PODCAST: Is the economy recovering, or what?

The Fannie Mae headquarters in Washington, DC.

Wall Street is having a rocky start to the new week. The markets are digesting a lot of economic news right now, from unemployment numbers to manufacturing. Julia Coronado, chief economist for North America at BNP Paribas, says that the mixed signals from all of the last week's data make it difficult to tell whether the economy is really on the mend. "This morning, we're going to get the service sector, and we're looking to see whether that confirms that we're getting the much anticipated second-half, or whether it's more worrisome."

Got pink eye? Acne?  Need to shed a few pounds? Your local Walgreens and CVS want to take care of you in one of their on-site clinics. "And those are proving to be very popular and have got some really big traction going on them," says J.B. Silvers, a health care economist.  He says under the new health care law, insurance companies are going to push more patients toward retail clinics, to cut down on charges from hospitals and doctor's offices.

It could be curtains for Fannie and Freddie. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government back mortgage entities that taxpayers bailed out to the tune of billions of dollars after the housing market crash. Washington has been debating how to reform Fannie and Freddie ever since the crash. There is currently a proposal in Congress that would dismantle Fannie and Freddie, and Marketplace's economics guy Chris Farrell is a big supporter of the idea.

"Everyone agrees we need to do something about them," Farrell says. "I say, look, the taxpayer is still on the hook. Let them fade into the dustbin of history."

 

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...