Students Gain a Glimpse into the State of the US Economy

Story by Sean Gustafson

“There is no way out of this crisis,” Floyd Norris told students at the University of Utah on Oct. 26, 2011, when talking about the current condition of the United States’ economy; clarifying his statement Norris, the chief financial columnist for the New York Times, continued by stating, “at least not simply.”

Norris began his lecture by comparing the current U.S. economy with previous economic hard times and some of the lessons that have came about from those time periods.

“One of the things I [have] learned [in school] was that it was never really consented what caused the Great Depression.”  Norris continued with because there wasn’t that consensus, it played a major role for what has been going wrong recently.

Norris continued because there wasn’t this consensus on what lead to the Great Depression and later recessions, people didn’t understand the economy. People would continue to spend more than they could afford, banks made poor loans choices and all together people were and still are ignorant to financial matters.

Expanding on this, Norris added, “A lot of the suffering we are undergoing now… was brought about by people who bought homes they should have never purchased and paid more than they could have afford.” People, not understanding beyond the basics of finances and debt, foolishly feel victims to the plague of credit-debt that still haunts many today.

When asked for further clarification on these matters, Norris responded with “I think people assume… a well operating economic and financial system; and if you assume it you won’t pay any attention to it.”

Another point Norris spoke about was that “when credit is easy, it’s a lot of fun.”
Expanding on that statement, student Laurie Carlson said, “If you don’t have credit than you can’t get anywhere.” Carlson continued by expressing with good credit one can buy the houses they want, get their dream car, and receive better loan rates.

When asked about whether or not they understood the topics discussed at the lecture, a lot of the students attending had expressed they had known either very little about finance and the economy or nothing at all beforehand. “I didn’t understand a lot of the technical terms.” said student Halley Hamman.

Despite the swimming in this sea of confusion, there were students who still found the lecture benefitting. Some students took this event as an eye-opening opportunity, such as student Marquis Newman, who expressed because he had a hard time following the lecture he believed he “should learn more about finances.”

Neela Pack, the Student Body President for the University of Utah, said that she felt the lecture was “supper successful.” It got student to think on matters that they wouldn’t normally think about. Pack added that the students were lucky to have such an “esteemed and well respected journalist” talking on such matters.

At the conclusion of the lecture Norris, expressed his optimism for the future when he stated that he believed the economy “will come around.” Norris exclaimed that there were problems before, and there will continue to be problems.

After illustrating the example of Steve Jobs and all he has done, Norris concluded, “this [market of ours] is an amazing system to produce stories like that.”   [539]

Floyd Norris Can Save the Economy

Story by Marquis Newman

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Floyd Norris, the chief financial correspondent for The New York Times, discussed that concessions, such as another stimulus and extending low interest rates on mortgages, need to be done to help the U.S. economy.  These concessions could help get the U.S. economy out of flux.

In the midst of a presidential election, Republicans and Democrats are debating and arguing about the economy, whose fault it is that the U.S. economy is bad and what can be done to fix the economy. Norris has many valid points on the subject and joked that maybe President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor should read one or two of his columns.

Many Republicans believe that a stimulus does not work. “There are a lot of references to Obama’s failed stimulus plan,” said Norris. He joked that the national government not trying another round of stimulus is similar to a student who studies for a test, but does poorly and says “Well there is obviously no point in studying.” Norris said the government should try another stimulus and maybe it could be a short term alternative, until politicians can figure out a long term solution.

Extending the benefits of low interest rates on mortgages is something that Norris said he believes will benefit the economy and will help people who really need the low interest rates.

“Many people can’t refinance,” according to Norris, who argued that letting somebody re-borrow money at a lower interest rate does not increase the credit risk, but might actually let people pay the debts they owe when they wouldn’t have been able to before.

“Credit gets you places,” said Laurie Carlson, a student at the University of Utah who attended the event. If decreasing the requirements to get a lower interest rate on a mortgage doesn’t increase risk and helps out the homeowner’s credit, then banks should look to initiate this.

There are many people to blame for America’s financial crisis.

“We used to take for granted that the government should try to improve the economy and that there were things it could do,” said Norris. The Great Depression, which the recent recession has often been compared to, is used as the model for how to get out of a depression. Economists learned a great deal about how to get out of a recession during that time, but according to Norris, “I think the fact that we never reached a consensus on that [how the Great Depression started], is what went wrong recently.”

Many of the guests who attended the talk believed that Norris’s ideas were excellent and wondered why some of them haven’t already been implemented.

“I wish he could make a bigger difference” said Lauron Bailey, a guest of the event. Another student who was at the event, Sean Gustafson said “He got me to think….this was definitely something that could spark.”

The event ended with Norris answering questions from curious attendees and giving advice to struggling homeowners and job seekers. As some of Norris’s views gain popularity around the financial community, maybe eyes at the nation’s capital will begin to take notice of some of the ideas that Norris has.

Americans Learn More About Government Tax Increase

Story by: Laurie Carlson

“People who claim to be the most patriotic tend to hate the country or government at least, because of taxes,” said Floyd Norris, chief financial correspondent of the New York Times.

Rachel Thomas, a student journalist at the University of Utah, commented on what Norris said.

“The people who hate the government the most are the people who are putting time and loyalty into the government. Any time the government lets those loyal people down, they are obviously going to be the people who are the most hurt,” she said.

Another student journalist at the University of Utah, Marquis Newman also had something to say about Norris’s remarks.

“I think no matter who is in power, people hate the government and that’s because the government is so slow and problems take months or years to get fixed. People definitely can be patriotic but criticize the government at the same time. Maybe if the government leaders were more sympathetic to the voters over their power, then we would be happier citizens over being patriotic. I think then our government would be a lot better.

Norris went on to say the American people might respond better if they have joint sacrifice. Americans need to have a love for this country and a want for helping America which will have to come through a great sacrifice.

“Everyone will need to sacrifice, being proud to pay taxes, it proves I am successful and I wouldn’t mind paying more to help us get out of this mess,” Norris said.

“People definitely can be patriotic but criticize the government at the same time,” said Marquis Newman.

“American people also need to have an attitude of pride and ideology. Being a U.S. citizen you should be proud to be in the U.S. We have a great country and a democracy, which makes our country great. Plus we have politics that are of the people and for the people. The political side is slow moving but we should be proud to be Americans who have a free country,” said Norris.

The same ideology that created the Great Depression is upsetting efforts to pull out of the current recession. “Why should college students be concerned about the economy?” Question asked by a University of Utah student journalist, Sean Gustafson, to Floyd Norris commenting on the recession.

Floyd Norris commented back by saying, “The obvious answer which all the seniors would know is that some point you are going to be out in the real world looking for jobs.”

This process would be a whole lot easier if people were hiring.

“I think people sometimes assume that we are a well operated economy and if we assume that won’t always help us.” Some people don’t have to worry about the economy if they have somehow found a job that could be their career now, and the vast majority of Americans are working now.

The United States never fought a war without raising taxes to pay for it. It seems as if this can be done for free. If the government keeps raising taxes more people are going to have to somehow try to find jobs in this recession. That problem can bring more people to hate the government. As Floyd Norris mentioned earlier, “You should be proud to pay taxes because it proves you are a successful American.”

On Oct. 26,2011 this event took place at the University of Utah, Marriott library.

New York Times’ Chief Financial Correspondent Feels the Government Needs To Step In

Story by Makaylee Pettit
Floyd Norris, New York Times’ chief financial correspondent said that the government is following 1920s secretary of state Andrew Mellon’s philosophy. Because of this the government is backing away from the economy’s problems instead of trying to fix them.

Norris said during the Great Depression in 1929, Mellon’s advice was, “The government should keep its hands off and let things work out by themselves.”  The solution was to, “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers and liquidate real-estate.” He thought this would make people work harder and live a more moral life.

In Mellon’s eyes it was a persons own fault if they were wiped out by the depression, explained Norris as he spoke at the University of Utah in October about what’s wrong with the economy.

University of Utah student Stephen Blomquist said he agreed with Mellon’s advice. He said, “I think that capitalism and the free market is what made America what it is today, and that the government should not get involved and just allow the market to play out.”

Presidential candidate Herman Cain has similar views. He recently said, “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich blame yourself.”  Norris said, “That attitude that it is the fault of the poor that they are poor has never gone away completely, even through poverty programs and the creation of the unemployment service.”

Utah Valley University student Krista Shipp does not agree with Cain’s statement. She said, “[The government] can’t blame anyone but themselves. So I think it’s their fault.” She feels they should be responsible for cleaning up the mess.

Norris said that while many still have the belief that if the government can get their own spending under control it will restore confidence in the rest of the nation, the Mellon view has caused the willingness of the government to pull away from trying to deal with problems. We used to take for granted that the government should try and improve the economy.

Norris said, “There are signs that at least some governments are backing away from the Mellon philosophy, and the idea of letting things work themselves out.” But on the contrary, “We really don’t have a lot of faith in government right now. That lack of faith may have been earned.”

According to Norris only 10 percent of people in the United States that think the government can always be trusted, or at least trusted most of the time. When asked about her trust in the government, University of Utah student Laurie Carlson said, “I trust our government, not a ton I don’t think, but I do trust them.”

Norris said, “Part of the problem is the government is focusing on what they thought they learned from the Great Depression. His theory is, “Knowing what they did wrong is not the same thing as knowing what would have happened if they had tried something else.” He, like Shipp, said the government needs to find a solution, but there is a stumbling block with only 10 percent of the nation trusting them.

Economic expert speaks to University of Utah students

Story by Chris Washington

The economic recession is something that many Americans felt very close to home. However, very few really understand what caused it and what can fix it. Floyd Norris is one of those people.

Norris is the chief financial correspondent for the New York Times. He has a wealth of knowledge regarding economics as a whole and particularly the current state of the economy. The economic situation is more to him than just a bunch of graphs and numbers; it is something that has affected millions of Americans directly.

“I love this country”, said Norris, “I’m proud to pay taxes and wouldn’t mind paying more if it helped us get out of this crisis.”

Economists tend to try to let things work themselves out regarding the economy. However, Norris believes that it is time to start taking action in order to fix what is happening in our economy. According to Norris, despite many people believing that the recession ended in 2010, it is actually still going on.

“People saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but were wrong.” explained Norris.

In Norris’ opinion it is both the American people’s and the banks’ fault for the economic crisis. He believes that a lot of the suffering that is affecting American lives, was brought on by people buying houses that they cannot afford. Many people borrow these great sums of money that they can’t pay back. The banks are partially responsible for this because they enable these people to make these decisions even though it wasn’t always expected to work out.

Many people believe that the crisis could have been avoided. Steven Blomquist, a University of Utah student, agreed.

“Regarding our economy, you can’t expect to go up forever and keep prospering more and more, eventually you will peak and then you begin to spiral downward, which is the phase we are in right now,” he said.

Norris said that people could see the recession coming in 2006 and 2007. When Americans can borrow a lot of money and credit is easy to come by, the country grows a lot like it did in the 1920s. However, much like The Great Depression, there is a price to pay after such a large amount of growth. Norris thinks that if economists would have paid more attention during America’s most recent episode of economic growth, that this could have been predicted and possibly prevented.

Norris understands the power of money and the importance of a good economy. When speaking about a past treasury secretary, Norris stated that in all actuality three presidents served under him. Although that is an exaggeration it is an example of just how important and how powerful the people who control and understand American money can be.

“Money makes the world go ‘round, if you don’t have it you really stand no chance.” said Rachel Thomas, a student and cheerleader for the University of Utah.

Although the economic situation American’s are in is something that cannot be mapped out perfectly, people like Floyd Norris exemplify the importance of a good base of knowledge and how being aware can empower Americans.

Floyd Norris Speaks to University of Utah Students about the Great Depression II

Story by Rachel Thomas

Floyd Norris, the New York Times chief financial correspondent, spoke to a group of University of Utah students on November 3, 2011 about the economy and ways to recover it.
Floyd Norris likened today’s economy to the economy during the Great Depression.
Norris said, “There was never really a consensus about what caused the great depression it didn’t seem right that the world should dive into a depression, and this is critical on what has gone wrong recently”
If the authorities had known what to do a lot of unnecessary suffering could have been avoided. A lot of the suffering that is affecting American lives was brought on by people buying houses they couldn’t afford and borrowing money they couldn’t pay back because they didn’t have the money to pay back, according to Norris’s speech.
Banks are also partly to blame for people purchasing houses they can’t afford. The government should have intervened before the foreclosures happened. In Norris’s column, “Time to Say It: Double Dip Recession May Be Happening,” in the New York Times, he refers to the current times as the Great Depression II. He reasons that this new era is considered a depression, because of the commonalities in the economy during both times. In each case the first recession was caused in large part by a sudden withdrawal of credit from the economy. The recovery came when credit conditions recovered.
“The unavailability of credit caused a decline in world trade volumes of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression, and nearly every economy went into recession,” Norris said.
However, Norris believes there is a solution to the plummeting economy. He says the U.S. economy is showing the same signs it did when on the rebound from the past two recessions. Most politicians are embarrassed by the current disaster which is why they continue their negativity towards the steadily increasing economy.
During his lecture, Norris said, “Take seven years from when the economy blew up to have it fixed.”
Norris said he believes that informing students in college is important, because they are the next generation to be affected by the economy.
Norris said, “College aged students are going to be getting jobs and getting interviewed and they need jobs to be available. People assume that it is a well operating financial system, but when you assume then you stop paying attention to it. If you can still find a career then it doesn’t really affect you.” In today’s economy finding a well paying job isn’t that easy, so most people will run in to dilemmas because of the financial instability in America.
Chris Washington, who’s an Intro to News Writing student and attended the lecture, said, “I think becoming informed about the economy at an earlier age can help make a change, a smoother recovery for the future, and possibly push students to attend college so they have a greater chance at getting a stable job.”
When asked on his final thoughts about Norris’s lecture Steven Blomquist, a University of Utah student, said, “It was very informative and interesting to be able to hear his perspective on what is going on in the economy.”