Amanda Stanhaus

Tag: economist

Janet Yellen

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By the end of this week—Feb. 1, 2014—Janet Yellen—my hero—will have taken the reins fromBen Bernanke and become Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen. While Janet Yellen is the first lady to hold this highly respected position, Janet is using the gender neutral title, “Chair.”

I say, “You go girl!” And I am not the only one saying this. Here are few things to know when Janet Yellen inevitably comes up in conversation this week.

Janet Yellen is already the media’s darling and sparking women’s interest in economics.

Janet Yellen is proving women can have it all—her key is having a supportive and similarly high-achieving hubby.

Janet Yellen—breaker of the glass ceiling—is in a Microsoft commercial promoting ladies!

If you want the straight facts, here is Janet Yellen’s bio, courtesy of The Fed.

I wish Janet the best of luck in her new role.

Thank you for being my trailblazer, Janet Yellen!

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(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Goldman Sachs

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“Goldman Sachs.” Utter this investment bank’s name and everyone will share their opinion.

Circa Fall 2008, few were fans of Goldman Sachs.

But all that mattered was that Warren Buffett was a fan.

The social media savvy appreciate the twitter feed of the Goldman Sachs’s Elevator.

Both sexes should bookmark “The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide To Being A Man” as a reference.

Fortune Magazine has consistently named Goldman Sachs as one of the best companies to work for. No other big investment bank can make this claim.

Fortune Magazine’s Anne VanderMey decided to dig deeper with her article, “Yes, Goldman Sachs really is a great place to work.”

This article is required reading. However, here are the highlights:

It’s accepted that employees are worker bees, think 80 hour weeks. The stakes are high. And the compensation is ginormous!

But, what employees seem to love is the team atmosphere.

As an economist, my favorite line showed the distinct difference between Google (and its free food) and Goldman Sachs where “the cafeteria has pricing based on demand; if you go during peak hours, you pay more.”

Now we’ll have something to discuss when we meet Goldman gentlemen at the bar! That’s always the goal of my bird’s eye view!

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(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

NAFTA

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Looking for an excuse for a party? [Spark of inspiration.] A birthday party for NAFTA will bring a spark of fun to a drab January!

Twenty years ago, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was born. NAFTA has changed North America, so let’s review who, what, where, when and why before we celebrate!

Who?

North America = The United States of America, Canada, and Mexico.

What?

Free Trade Agreement = Elimination of trade barriers. North America said goodbye to many tariffs (AKA taxes changed upon import /export).

Where?

North America

When?

January 1, 1994

Why?

Because its annoying to have to pay to use our roommates stuff. Not that I support stealing from our roommates. But if it is an accepted fact that my roommate and I are going to swap stuff, then an agreement should be made to make this happen as cheaply as possible.

The U.S., Canada, and Mexico were constantly swapping stuff and wanted to save $$, so they created NAFTA!

And before I let you party animals loose, here a must-know fun fact to drop at the party courtesy of naftanow.org: “Today NAFTA covers a North American economy with a combined output of US$17.0 trillion.”

We should all be very happy that the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are besties. Have fun celebrating NAFTA’s Birthday!

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Bye Bye Ben Bernanke

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Ben Bernanke has been Chairman of the Federal Reserve since February 1, 2006 and his chairmanship ends this month. No need to shed a tear though, he will stick around as a board member until 2020.

Plus, there is good news, chickadees! Janet Yellen will replace Ben, if the senate approves her today. If yay, she will blaze a trail for me & lady economists, as Janet Yellen will be the first lady to be Federal Reserve Chairman! She’s just as fabulous as us, Janet’s book is called The Fabulous Decade: Macroeconomic Lessons from the 1990s.

More to come about Janet Yellen, but today I want to give you a “bird’s eye view” of Ben Bernanke’s time as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Last week, Ben Bernanke said ta-ta in this speech, summing up his time as Chairman. The following is what he wants to be remembered for:

Transparency and accountability

Ben Bernanke broke with the past and during Ben’s chairmanship, everyone who wanted to know, could easily find out how America’s money is being managed. (Psst, the Federal Reserve is the U.S.’s central bank.) Ben became a TV star, print journalism prince, and a social media darling.

Financial stability & reform

Crises like 2008 and the fixes of post-2008 are nothing new. What was “different” this time was the complexity of our contemporary economy. (Psst, Bettie funnily explained the clusterf*** that was 2008 here.) Luckily, Ben Bernanke was a Great Depression expert even before his Chairmanship and used his  knowledge to correct the economy during The Great Recession of 2008.  Unfortunately, the reforms are a needle in a haystack, but better than nothing.

Monetary policy

We have Ben Bernanke and his monetary policy to thank for the near zero interest rates on our savings accounts. Interest rates so close to zero are good to get the economy back on track (AKA it’s very cheap to borrow and build businesses), but personally don’t make me feel great when I review my monthly savings account statement. He had good intentions and Bernanke’s monetary policy saved the U.S. from something much worse.

Ben Bernanke will be missed. He was a big deal. How big of a deal? A fellow economist wrote a song about him—and we know when a man writes a song about you, it’s serious!

See, economists can be fun…in their own way!

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

 

Bitcoin

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I smile and nod whenever someone mentions something I don’t fully understand. Until recently, that is what I did when “Bitcoin” was mentioned.

“Bitcoin” seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Wanting to avoid professional suicide, this economist-by-training dove into the details. Here’s a visual, answering the question: What is Bitcoin?

Instead of smiling and nodding, let’s fill our verbal responses with the following key words.

Virtual Currency

Bitcoin is cash for the internet. No bank or credit card company needs to butt into a transaction. And no name/ personal info needs to be exchanged when the transaction takes place. This was super handy for the bad guys and their former playground, The Silk Road.

Satoshi Nakamoto

The “creator” of Bitcoin. No one knows if Satoshi is one person or a group of people. Satoshi knows her/their stuff. Here is the pseudo-academic paper penned by Satoshi explaining the premise of Bitcoin.

Bubble

I like to be paid in US$ because I know that I can purchase whatever I want using US$. Trust is key to any currency.

I like to respond to whoever brought up Bitcoin with this question, can its value be trusted or will the bubble burst?

Plus, Paul Krugman recently posed the question, is Bitcoin the wave of the future or a thing of the past?

Want more Bitcoin details? Here is a comprehensive set of videos from my favorite, Khan Academy.

Go get ‘em, Girls! Don’t let the Bitcoin convo stop with you!

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy vocab blog: XO, Bettie Vocab.)

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I just can’t! This hurts whether my boy or bond tell me this.

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy vocab blog: XO, Bettie Vocab.)