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Marketplace of Ideas

Here’s what people are talking about this week:

  • The Institute of International Finance’s Capital Markets Monitor for this month raises red flags about corporate debt levels, according to the Wall Street Journal.  They quote the IIF, saying, “Against the backdrop of recession, sluggish recovery and low inflation, many highly indebted corporate borrowers may already be struggling to service their debt.”  This could mean market pressures reducing corporate performancSkyline_of_Little_Rock,_Arkansas_-_20050319e in developed countries, and severe turbulence for companies based in emerging markets.  [Wall Street Journal]
  • Could Little Rock be the next Detroit?  Researchers at Boston College put together a report examining the proportion of city revenues that go towards pension costs in 173 cities, and found the Arkansas capital to be well above average, with 17.6% of revenues going to pensions.  What will this mean for the city’s finances?
  • As young people in today’s economy are constantly being told, a college degree is crucial to future financial stability, with those holding a B.A. experiencing lower rates of unemployment overall, while on the other had, costs for obtaining that degree are meanwhile spiraling out of control.  But the cut rate degree programs being rolled out in Florida and Texas aren’t the magical answer to this dilemma.  In fact, as Rebecca Schuman for Slate reports, they seem to be a poor choice both educationally and economically.  [Economist]
  • There’s been a lot of talk in economic circles (and political campaigns) about the gender wage gap.  But the Bureau of Labor Statistics this week came out with a report that puts an interesting spin on the data: .  Of course, this study doesn’t address the different reasons women and men go into part time positions, or the career paths they follow thereafter, but it adds an interesting spin to the discussion. [New York Times]
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