Bill Clinton: How I’d fix the economy

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Move over Congress. Move over President Obama. Bill Clinton is back — and he has a lot of economy-fixing ideas.

The elder Democratic statesman has crammed his latest book — called “Back to Work” — with dozens upon dozens of policy prescriptions designed to get the economy back on track.

Clinton hammers one point over and over: Government is good, and the policies of “antigovernment ideologues” would only “push the pedal to the metal of the most destructive trends of the last thirty years.”

So how can the United States get back on track?

“We need to get our game face on,” Clinton writes.

A few of his ideas: Homeowners with underwater mortgages should have their loan principal reduced, U.S. companies should be allowed to repatriate profits held overseas and investment in green jobs and infrastructure must be increased.

Clinton says the country needs “a rapid, comprehensive effort to resolve the ongoing mortgage crisis.”

Every delinquent homeowner with a mortgage worth more than the house should have the principal written down or the loan’s term extended at a lower interest rate. Another option: If a homeowner can’t make reduced payments, they should be allowed to exchange a deed for a multi-year lease.

If those options don’t work for a homeowner, foreclosure should be expedited.

On the corporate tax code, Clinton says he favors reforming the system in a way that would lower tax rates but not the amount of revenue collected by the Treasury.

And in the near-term, Clinton says Congress should allow companies with earnings held overseas to repatriate that money at a tax rate below the usual 35% — say 15% to 20%.

If a company is able to prove they will use their repatriated profits to create new jobs in the United States, the tax rate should be dropped all the way to 0%.

The American tax machine

With as much as $1 trillion in profits being held overseas, the scheme could create a nice chunk of revenue for the Treasury. Clinton says that money should be used to fund infrastructure grants to the states.

Many of Clinton’s other proposals would try to create jobs linked to projects that would help change the way Americans produce and consume energy.

For example, Clinton wants an “aggressive, fifty-state building retrofit initiative” that is financed with a government-backed loan guarantee program. Meanwhile, states should launch their own retrofit programs. Congress should bring back full tax credits for green tech jobs.

The United States should also develop more efficient biofuels, work to harness geothermal heat and extract more natural gas — a process that often requires companies to use the controversial “fracking” technology.

At the very least, rooftops should be painted white, Clinton says, to help cut down on energy costs.

In all, Clinton lists 46 bullet-point ideas to help the economy, but he sneaks a few more in around the margin.

However, many of the ideas would require congressional action.

And as Clinton points out, Washington is tied in knots at the moment — totally consumed by partisanship. Very little legislation has successfully emerged from Congress this session.

And after all, that is where the rubber meets the road.

Analysis

With the US economy in turmoil and witnessing some of the highest rates of unemployment this is an interesting article showing Bill Clinton’s perspective on how to solve the economy. Bill Clinton is known for the 8 years of positive Economic growth during his time as President of the USA.
Yet, the tax code is vital for Americans and it is a tricky subject also for the GOP candidates for Presidency.

Japan ready to intervene again on strong yen

TOKYO — Japan on Friday voiced concern over the rise of the yen to fresh 15-year highs against the dollar and signalled it was ready to wade back into markets to intervene amid fears of a global devaluation battle.

“I am very concerned about the current situation,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan told parliament when asked about the yen’s strength, which puts Japan’s growth-driving exporters at a disadvantage by making their products more expensive overseas.

“We will take decisive steps when necessary, from the perspective of curbing excessive fluctuations in exchange rates,” Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a regular press conference.

Amid expectations the US Federal Reserve will adopt further easing measures to pump more liquidity into the world’s largest economy and further weaken the dollar, the unit Thursday plunged to fresh 15-year lows against the yen.

A surprise policy tightening move by Singaporean authorities to widen the trading band of its currency on Thursday also added to pressure on the greenback and pushed the Singaporean unit to record highs.

On Friday the dollar stood at 81.42 yen, little changed from 81.44 in New York Thursday, after the unit earlier plunged to a 15-year low of 80.89 yen.

 

Japanese economy ‘at standstill’

The Japanese economy is at a standstill, Japan’s government has said, as concerns about the strong yen continue to grow.

The recovery in the economy was “pausing”, the Cabinet Office said in a monthly statement.

It is the most negative the government has been about the economy in nearly two years.

The rising yen and a slowdown in global demand for Japanese exports was blamed for the downgrade.

In recent months, the government has insisted that the economy is “picking up”.

But it said it now expected the economy to remain weak for some time, with “weakening” exports a chief concern.

It said shipments to Asia in particular were becoming weaker, further hitting exporters that are already suffering from the strong yen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11571644

 

 

Vietnam Devalues Currency to Boost Exports as Stocks Approach Bear Market

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-18/vietnam-devalues-currency-to-boost-exports-as-stocks-approach-bear-market.html

Vietnam devalued its currency for the third time since November, moving to reverse a slump in exports that helped to drive stocks close to a bear market.

The dong slid to a record-low 19,425 per dollar at 9:28 a.m. in Hanoi after the central bank lowered the reference rate by 2 percent to help control a trade deficit. The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange’s VN Index dropped 1.6 percent to 455.96, extending its decline from the May peak to 17 percent, near the 20 percent that would indicate a bear market.

A weaker currency may boost exports and demonstrates the government’s focus on boosting economic growth over further easing inflation, said Prakriti Sofat, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Capital. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in June the economy may expand as much as 7 percent this year, beating the 6.5 percent target, from 5.3 percent in 2009.

“The main reason for the central bank’s move is to balance onshore foreign-exchange demand-and-supply and to support exporters,” Sofat said. “Vietnam largely exports low value- added goods and typically competes on prices.”