National / International News

Why low inflation can be dangerous

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:36

Right now our inflation rate is around 1 percent. But some at the Fed say that's way too low.

The hope is to see inflation go up. But why on earth would we want to increase inflation?  

"A little bit is good, but not too much. It's like a lot of things in life -- good in moderation," says Jeremy Siegel, a professor of finance at Wharton. "Higher inflation is a bad thing, but mild inflation, statistically has been associated with very good economic times."

Siegel says during times of inflation, the dollar decreases in value. So the $100 you borrowed back in the day was worth more then, than your $100 payment today -- which means less financial burdens for consumers and more cash to spend.

And that's one reason the Fed wants to see inflation go up -- just a little bit. 

"It's not so high as to be hurting a lot of people, but it's at a level which would probably create a lot of jobs," says Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisers. Thayer says the benefit of job creation would probably outweigh a slightly higher inflation rate.

Ukraine not on the agenda as IMF gathers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:20

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are set to open their annual spring meetings. It will be a busy weekend for finance ministers and economists who are visiting Washington from all over the world. Dozens of panels and speeches are on the agenda, but none are about Ukraine, a country the IMF has offered billions of dollars.

According to Ken Rogoff, former IMF chief economist, right now, “the geopolitics overrides what the finance ministers and the central bankers think.”

But at a gathering of policymakers from close to 200 countries, it is bound to come up.

“I think it’s going to be talked about behind closed doors,” says Barry Eichengreen, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley.  

VIDEO: Fixed or floating election voters?

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:20
Have voters already made up their minds about the general election, or is their vote still up for grabs?

Mother denies son's diet neglect

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:15
A woman denies three counts of child neglect by feeding her son a diet of oats and vegetables.

'Grunting teens need speech classes'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:13
A former speech-writer to Tony Blair says schools need to do more to help teenagers improve their communication skills.

Roman wall fall damages bid fails

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:11
A woman who fell over a Roman wall while looking for somewhere to urinate after a night out drinking loses a claim for damages.

Don't break my heart: This week's Silicon Tally

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:09

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week's guest is Nitasha Tiku, , co-editor of Valleywag, Silicon Valley's tech gossip rag.

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AUDIO: Unison warns over paramedics' stress

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:06
The ambulance service is on the verge of breaking down because of paramedics' stress levels, union Unison has warned.

Molotov Cocktails And Razor Wire: Inside An Occupied Building In Ukraine

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:06

Pro-Russian protesters in the eastern city of Donetsk seized a government building in the middle of town on Sunday. NPR's Ari Shapiro went inside the building and reports on what it was like.

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German store recalls 'Hitler mugs'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:05
A German furniture store chain apologises for selling coffee mugs which feature Adolf Hitler's face on a postage stamp, blaming it on a "terrible" mistake.

The strike that threatened an English summer

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:05
The cricket ball makers' strike that threatened the 1914 season
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