Is spending on higher education the next financial bubble?

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Rochester Business Journal.

Kent GardnerIs college worth the money? This is a seasonal debate, prompted by parades of caps & gowns and the agonizing, “So what do I do now?” from grads burdened with big loans but tiny incomes.

Some facts about college cost are hard to nail down: One source (The College Board) reports that inflation-adjusted “net tuition”—the posted price less grants (called “discounts” in retail)—rose 47% for private four-year institutions from 95-96 to 07-08; for public institutions, the price increase was 34%. Yet another source (The College Board) reports that net tuition & fees actually fell 14% for public institutions and rose a relatively modest 17% for private four-year colleges and universities—over the same period. Read more »

我们是第一 (We’re number one)

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Rochester Business Journal.

Kent GardnerRemember “mutual assured destruction?”  MAD was the dominant principle of the Cold War:  The Soviet Union would not attack us as long as we retained the ability to retaliate.  They might surprise us and obliterate New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, but our nuclear subs and hardened silo-based missiles would respond in kind, turning Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Vladivostok into historical footnotes (if mankind survived to write any more history).

A kind of financial “MAD” became our consolation in the 1990s as China continued to accumulate foreign exchange, the vast majority of which was in dollars (or financial assets like bonds that were priced in dollars).  At present, China’s holdings of dollar assets top $1.5 trillion, says the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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