There's a real question as to whether the massive bond-buying program known as quantitative easing was worth the cost, according to former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar. "My argument is not that QE was not at all useful," he said Tuesday on CNBC's Fast Money. On Monday he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal expressing the same sentiments. "I can only say: I'm sorry, America," he wrote. "The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time."
China's official news agency has called for the creation of a "de-Americanized world", saying the destinies of people should not be left in the hands of a hypocritical nation with a dysfunctional government. Heaping criticism and caustic ridicule on Washington, the Xinhua news agency called the US a civilian slayer, prisoner torturer and meddler in others' affairs, and said the "Pax Americana" was a failure on all fronts. The official news agency of China, which is seen as the pretender to the world's superpower crown, then rubbed in more salt, calling American economic pre-eminence just a seeming dominance. read more
As Washington is struggling with debt and all its political ramifications, American companies and consumers are embracing it, running up record amounts in 2013. Consumer credit surged past the $3 trillion mark in the second quarter of 2013 and continues on an upward trajectory, according to the most recent numbers from the Federal Reserve. At $3.04 trillion, the total is up 22 percent over the past three years. Total household debt, according to the Fed's flow of funds report, is at $13 trillion, nearly back to its pre-crisis level in 2007 and a shade below government debt of $15 trillion. read more
Nothing can go wrong with this idea. read more
The Libyan government on Sunday condemned what it called the kidnapping of one of its citizens who was taken into custody outside his home in Tripoli in a highly unusual covert operation carried out by the U.S. military. U.S. officials hailed the capture of Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, who was wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, as an intelligence coup that will disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda to strengthen its franchise in North Africa. read more