September 17 - The Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged; Ignorance and Belligerence on Display in Foreign Policy Debate; Winners and Losers in the GOP Presidential Debate

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Part 1

We begin with the Federal Reserve’s decision today to keep interest rates unchanged and speak with Robert Johnson, the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking who previously was Chief Economist of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and the Budget Committee. We discuss the assumption that, after eight years of trying to stimulate growth, Fed officials still lack confidence in the resilience of the economy, and also examine arguments against the almost zero interest rate policy that hurts pension funds, insurance companies and contributes to record low savings, while the anticipation that the Fed’s Quantitative Easing or QE will end soon, is creating instability in emerging markets.

Part 2

Then we look into the how the Republican presidential candidates handled foreign policy issues in last night’s second debate and speak with Roger Morris, who served on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under presidents Johnson and Nixon and is the author of “Between the Graves: America, Afghanistan and the Politics of Intervention” and “Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and Their Failed Ideals.” We assess the frightening levels of ignorance and belligerence, as well as the brazen distortion of recent history that had Jeb Bush claiming his brother George “kept us safe”, when clearly W failed to act on warnings that 9/11 was coming then led us into a most unnecessary and debilitating war in Iraq that we are still mired in and paying for.

Part 3

Then finally we get a rundown on the winners and losers in last night’s Republican presidential debate with David Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic where his latest article is “Who Won the Second Republican Presidential Debate?” We discuss how CNN’s format that encouraged sniping among the candidates by allowing anyone who was insulted an automatic rebuttal, led to a chain reaction of junior high name-calling that prevented any semblance of substance that may or may not have been forthcoming.

 

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