Natural gas could be next big thing

The cold weather arrived early this fall in the Northeast and Midwest of the United States, which are the major natural gas consumers in this country. The arctic air marched through those regions, waking up the prices of the dormant natural gas, which have lagged oil prices for years. The… Continued

A loss of investor confidence

There has been a debate in the United States regarding China’s possible sale of the $1.4 trillion in Treasury bonds it has lent to the United States. This debate has become more relevant recently in the light of the United States’ repeated troubles in formulating its federal government budget and… Continued

Oil shale: alternative energy?

It has become obvious to oil observers over the years that the oil landscape is not a constant, and it keeps changing because of diverse reasons. Many of us remember the quadrupling of oil prices in the early 1970s in reaction to an oil embargo that lasted for several months… Continued

Airline fares on the rise

Summer is here, and this season’s travel is in an advanced planning stage if not already underway. I used to travel from New York to Amman, Jordan, and vice versa for my annual vacation almost every year. Now I cannot do that, and I have to spend some summers in… Continued

Japan pushing world to currency wars

Shinzo Abe was first elected prime minister of Japan in September 2006. He showed commitment to fiscal policy reforms, including a balanced budget, but failed to improve the economy. With a popularity rating below 30 percent, he was forced to resign in 2007, having served for less than a year.… Continued

Treasury bonds reach 2 percent interest

The current debate regarding the U.S. economy revolves around the recent hike in interest rates as represented by the 10-year Treasury bond rate. This rate had spent most of the last four years dancing below 1.85 percent, which is considered very low by historical standards. Suddenly, this rate has risen… Continued

The trillion dollar coin and you

In the United States, the president must get the approval of Congress to raise the public debt limit every time government spending reaches the imposed limit. If Congress and the president do not reach an agreement, the credit rating agencies then consider the government to be in default. Thus, if… Continued

U.S. income distribution and education

A question that puzzles many people in the United States is how companies can make good profits while the American economy is virtually in a slump. This question is relevant because it has significant bearing on rising income inequality and the changing role of education and skills, which has been… Continued

Why gas prices continue to rise

The driving season in the United States, which seasonally pushes gasoline prices higher, is long behind us, but the average national price for gasoline on Oct. 1 in this country was $3.80, which is the highest on record for this time of year. It also seems that there is no… Continued

QE3: More effective than QE1 and QE2?

Quantitative easing is an emergency monetary policy used during recessions. The Federal Reserve plans to buy $40 billion every month in mortgage-backed securities in the open-ended QE3 until the labor market improves significantly. QE3 is the third round of buying long-term bonds that the Fed will be using to target… Continued