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To understand the Fed’s bond-buying dilemma, picture a lake

Jul 13, 2021
A Columbia Business School professor explains quantitative easing and the Feds' $120 billion per month bond-buying program with an analogy.
If water on a lake is too low, boats can't go from one side to the other smoothly. "The Fed is basically adding some water in that lake to keep the liquidity — or to keep the water — from completely drying out,” says Yiming Ma of Columbia Business School.
Ethan Miller via Getty Images

What if jobless benefit boosts didn't need congressional approval?

Feb 22, 2021
Throughout the pandemic, federal unemployment benefits have had expiration dates. Some economists think there's a better way.
President Joe Biden discussing his administration's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation.
Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

What's behind the national debt?

Jun 17, 2020
We look into how the government borrows money and what it means in the long run.
Then-Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in 2016. The national debt has since passed $26 trillion.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Why annualizing can make GDP forecasts look scarier than they are

Jun 11, 2020
If one quarter differs significantly from another, it's hard to paint a picture of the entire year.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

When and why it’s worth taking a look at equity index futures

Mar 4, 2020
They can indicate where the market is going to open, but they're not a crystal ball.
"I see an apple in a grocery store ..."
Fox Photos/Getty Images

Why sometimes big news does not move the stock market

Jan 7, 2020
Was it a predictable event? Then Wall Street's reaction might already be "priced in."
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Should we be paying closer attention to weekly unemployment claims?

Dec 4, 2019
"It's really a measure, I think, of worker confidence in the economy," said Tara Sinclair of George Washington University.
Some states require unemployment insurance claims be filed in person.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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What is a cryptocurrency, anyway?

Nov 25, 2019
Sorting blockchain from bitcoin and everything else.
A photo illustration of the litecoin, ripple and ethereum cryptocurrencies.
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Where do earnings expectations come from?

Oct 29, 2019
Analysts estimate how a company will perform.
A trader works during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange,
Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

What do changes in the stock market actually mean?

Oct 22, 2019
"It's not as simple as it might seem," said Andrea Eisfeldt of UCLA.
A trader exiting the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in April 2013.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images