Business, Economics and Jobs

Macro chatter: Ron Paul takes on the Fed — again


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wore a suit to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in March. He wore a hoodie to meet with Wall Street bankers about Facebook's big IPO.


Yuriko Nakao

Need to know:
Ron Paul plans to take another whack at the Fed today.

The federal committee he chairs is scheduled to consider his Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act and several other bills that aim to alter the course of the US central bank.

The Fed so far has been able to heartily withstand Paul’s attempts to topple it, but Paul has been able to get the Fed’s books audited and gotten Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to reveal that he does his own grocery shopping.

Bernanke meanwhile may remain a lonesome dove on the Fed board a while longer. President Barack Obama’s latest nominees to join Bernanke on the board will have to face so many hurdles to get approved that the Senate may just give up on them, Reuters reported.

Want to know:
The US may actually have made money in April for the first time in a very long time.

We’ll have have to wait until the official numbers come out on Thursday. But for now, the Congressional Budget Office is predicting the government last month generated its first surplus is nearly four years.

A profit wouldn’t exactly mean the US has turned a big economic corner, though. Much of April’s gains are attributed to timing and the US still isn’t yet expected to break its streak of $1 trillion annual deficits.

Dull but important:
Spain has its own too big to fail problem. Spain plans to spend billions of euros to bail out its third largest bank, Financial Times reported.

Bankia is struggling under the weight of bad real estate loans as Spain battles its second recession in three years. The bank could need up to $13 billion to weather the euro zone crisis, but it’s not clear how the government might finance a bailout, Reuters said.

Bankia, which used to be seven smaller banks until a series of a mergers a few years ago, poses the biggest risk to the Spanish banking sector, according to the IMF.

Meanwhile newly elected leaders in Greek parliament still are struggling to form a ruling coalition and talk that Greece could be forced out of the euro zone is growing. 

Just because:
The euro zone may have problems, but India's could be worse, according to one economist.  

While US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is trying to help American retailers like Wal-Mart gain new customers in India, American economist Tyler Cowen is worrying about just how much the country’s economy has slowed down.

Even though India’s economy still is growing faster than the US economy, its having a disproportionately negative effect on the poor, he wrote in The New York Times.

If India's economy doesn't pick of steam, another generation of millions of Indians may fail to rise out of extreme poverty, according to Cowen. 

Strange but true:
Mark Zuckerberg won't wear a suit for Wall Street, not even for Facebook’s big IPO.

The Facebook founder and CEO kicked off his company’s IPO roadshow in Manhattan Monday wearing his trademark black hoodie, jeans and a pair of sneakers while his colleagues CFO David Ebersman and COO Sheryl Sandberg wore what Wall Street might consider more acceptable attire.

Zuckerberg also was in the men’s room when the question and answer portion of Monday’s festivities began, CNBC reported.  

Zuckerberg did wear a suit in March when he met with Japanese Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda, so it is possible that he does know how to tie a tie.