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Fed chairman sees red

first_imgWASHINGTON – Outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Friday that America’s exploding budget deficit and a protectionist backlash against soaring trade deficits could disrupt the global economy. On a day when he was being honored in London for his nearly two decades in the world’s highest-profile economic job, Greenspan restated some familiar worries. He said U.S. deficits are set to soar with the pending retirement of 78 million baby boomers and he suggested that Congress consider trimming Social Security and Medicare benefits because the government probably has promised more than it can afford, especially in health benefits. If something isn’t done to trim benefit costs, the resulting budget deficits would “cast an ever-larger shadow” over the future living standards of Americans, Greenspan said in a taped speech delivered to a conference sponsored by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. Greenspan was in London to attend his final meeting of finance ministers and central bank presidents of the Group of Seven wealthy industrial countries. The two-day meeting was planned in part as a farewell party for Greenspan, who is retiring from the Fed at the end of January. Before the G-7 discussions started, Greenspan was awarded the Freedom of the City of London honor by Britain’s Treasury chief, Gordon Brown. The award is a symbolic honor dating to medieval times and bestows the rights to drive sheep across London Bridge and to be hanged with a silken cord if sentenced to death. Brown said Greenspan’s 18 years at the Fed had been “the most successful in history” and had been distinguished by Greenspan’s “strength in both good times and in testing times.” In his Philadelphia speech, Greenspan did not outline what benefit cuts should be considered for American retirees, but in the past he has endorsed proposals such as raising the age at which retirees can draw full Social Security benefits. “In the end,” he warned, “the consequences for the U.S. economy of doing nothing could be severe.” In a brief mention of current economic conditions, Greenspan said the economy had delivered a “solid performance” so far in 2005. “And despite the disruptions of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, economic activity appears to be expanding at a reasonably good pace as we head into 2006,” he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Greenspan repeated his belief that the country’s record trade deficits can be addressed through market forces without any harm to the economy. But he said this benign outcome would be jeopardized if the United States and other nations did not get their budget deficits under control and if they made the mistake of making their economies less flexible by erecting trade barriers. “If, however, the pernicious drift toward fiscal instability in the United States and elsewhere is not arrested and is compounded by a protectionist reversal of globalization, the adjustment process could be quite painful for the world economy,” Greenspan said in a second speech, which he delivered to a conference in London. In contrast to Greenspan’s worries about future threats to the economy, President George W. Bush on Friday went to the White House Rose Garden to highlight a new report showing that the labor market was rebounding strongly from the impact of recent hurricanes, creating 215,000 jobs last month. “We have every reason to be optimistic about our future,” Bush said. last_img read more

Jose Mourinho touches David Moyes lows as Manchester United lose to West Ham

first_imgManchester United’s troubled season hit a new low on Saturday as Jose Mourinho saw his gamble on introducing a new tactical system backfire with an insipid 3-1 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League.After a week in which he had dropped Paul Pogba as vice-captain and seen his men ousted from the League Cup, Mourinho watched United’s faint league title hopes dwindle further with a new-look set-up but the same old prosaic fare.With Pogba so ineffectual that he was substituted after 70 minutes, Mourinho’s unfamiliar 3-5-2 line-up quickly capitulated as record signing Felipe Anderson scored his first Hammers’ goal with an audacious back-foot flick after five minutes.Absolute scenes! pic.twitter.com/r74LskkjTAWest Ham United (@WestHamUtd) September 29, 2018Andriy Yarmolenko’s shot deflected off Victor Lindelof for an unlucky own goal just before the break but though substitute Marcus Rashford gave the visitors hope with a clever volleyed 71st-minute flick, Marko Arnautovic waltzed between United’s central defenders minutes later to seal victory.Far from closing the gap on Manchester City, Mourinho is matching the lows of David Moyes at Manchester United.The 3-1 loss left United with 10 points from seven games matching the club’s previous worst Premier League start under Moyes in 2013 immediately after Alex Ferguson’s retirement.Ashley Young gave #MUTV his assessment of today’s game. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/0sFaPIY2TyManchester United (@ManUtd) September 29, 2018Mourinho seems more focused on picking internal battles rather than motivating his players and preventing a display as disjointed as the one in east London that followed a League Cup loss to second-tier club Derby on Tuesday.advertisementMourinho hasn’t just feuded with midfielder Pogba, who played 70 minutes after being stripped of the vice captaincy, but with the club’s hierarchy. After spending the off-season bemoaning his inability to sign a center back, midfielder Scott McTominay was deployed on the right of an unsettled three-man defense.Little wonder that United was so easily picked apart by a West Ham side with only four points from six games before Saturday.(With inputs from AP and Reuters)last_img read more