Explaining Southern California's economy

Pandit steps down as Citigroup CEO after navigating bank through 'Too big to fail' crisis

Congressional Oversight Panel Holds Hearing TARP Assistance To Citigroup

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit testifies during a hearing before the Congress. He just stepped down, ending a story that stretches back to the financial crisis.

Vikram Pandit steps down as CEO of Citigroup: "...a surprise to Wall Street that comes a day after the country's third-largest bank announced stronger-than-expected earnings." (LAT)

Son of Solyndra? A123 files for bankruptcy: "The bankruptcy filing may fuel further political debate over government financing of alternative-energy and transportation businesses." (Bloomberg)

Yahoo CEO and former Googler Marissa Mayer makes the incredibly tricky decision to...hire an Henrique de Castro, an executive from Google, as COO: "'This is a pivotal point in Yahoo!'s history, and I believe strongly in the opportunity ahead. I can't wait to join Marissa and the team and get started.'" (VatorNews

Oh please, oh please, oh please... The Tata Nano Americano: "So the owner of some of the world's most opulent vehicles wants to bring to the U.S. a car with fewer amenities and horsepower than your average lawn mower." (LAT)

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No Chevron fire and gas prices probably would have stayed lower

July-CPI-Grab

BLS

According to the Labor Department, gas prices have been going down since April. They moved up very slightly in July, nationwide. But they've move up a lot more in Southern California.

The Labor Department released its July Consumer Price Index this morning. This is an important monthly government dataset because it helps everyone who needs to make decisions about the U.S. economy to get a fix on inflation. There hasn't been much inflation in the U.S. over the past few years, and that's driving pressure on the Federal Reserve to undertake another round of monetary stimulus. (Why worry about pumping potentially inflation-producing money into the economy if there inflation hasn't shown up when money has been pumped into the economy before?)

The July CPI was basically flat. In Los Angeles, however, we're keeping a close eye on gas prices, after the Richmond refinery disaster. Prices have spiked since last week, but at the moment they've leveled off. The average gallon of regular in L.A. is selling for $4.10, according to GasBuddy.com.

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Where's the inflation? It's Ron Paul versus Ben Bernanke PART II

Ron Paul Continues Iowa Campaign Tour

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

LE MARS, IA - DECEMBER 30: Republican presidential hopeful U.S. Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks during a town hall meeting at the Le Mars Convention Center on December 30, 2011 in Le Mars, Iowa.

Last week, I wrote about how there's no significant inflation in the U.S. economy and that critics of the Federal Reserve's policies, chiefly Ron Paul, should admit that they were wrong and find something else to complain about. Such as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's inability to address the central bank's other mandate, maximum employment. With an unemployment rate at 8.3 percent, we're far from it.

The response from the commenters was swift, copious — and merciless! I got 120 comments, by far the most ever for a DeBord Report post, and all the one's that I didn't write myself disagreed with everything I had to say. Well, one didn't entirely disagree. This person just said I was as off-the-mark as Kenneth Rogoff and Paul Krugman and shouldn't be blamed.

I'll hasten to say at this point that I'm really fine with with this. I actually like being vigorously attacked, and I think that a good blogger brings the comment stream into the process. And so I'm doing that now (the comments are unedited, by the way).

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