Author: Niki Virani

The Kernels of the EU

Since the summer before I started attending the LBJ School of Public Affairs to four weeks before the end of my first semester there has been one topic in and out of news headlines: Greece and the European Union. The headlines have read just about everything from Greece defaulting on its’ loans, to credit rating drops, to Greece rejecting the euro (thereby leaving the EU) and, finally, the European bailout plan for Greece. Upholding international treaties is no easy task but it all comes down to enforcement of the rules. There are rules to joining the EU (a thick stack of rules) and you must follow the rules if you want to play the game.  The game here is one of solidarity, where individuals from member countries can move freely within all other member countries and utilize the same currency. Greece has clearly taken advantage of this scenario and is currently free-riding the EU system; it deliberately broke the rules. My personal view is that Greece should be removed from the EU. I understand after reading that statement most people are giving me a mortified look because building the EU is all about solidarity. However, removing Greece from the EU would be the best decision from a continental point of view because its contribution to the EU is minimal and its debt within the union is high with over...

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Consumer Confidence Courtesy of Warren Buffett

  “Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country’s fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness. That feeling can create its own reality.” This statement stood out to me as I read an op-ed written by Warren Buffett in The New York Times. I’m a poor graduate student whose consumer confidence has sunk – to minus 49.1 percent to be exact (according to Bloomberg). This drastically low number is no surprise to me with an unemployment rate of 9 percent and an unsteady stock market; the question this begs is how does this change? The radical idea that I submit is thinking like Warren Buffett. Have you ever wondered what would happen if Warren Buffet became chairman of the Federal Reserve? He is a man who has beaten the market 20 out of 24 years and whose bullish attitude calls to question the policies currently being undertaken by the Fed. How would fiscal policy be different if “The Oracle of Omaha” were running the show? A recent op-ed he published in The New York Times tells us. He insists the 12 members of Congress who have been assigned to cut the 10 year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion should have a more realistic view of what America can and...

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