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Best of the Blogs: Will Obama's 'Stacked' Fed Be His Lasting Legacy?


Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the web.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Use our comments section to post your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

Wall Street Journal: Real Time Economics
Link: Has Obama Stacked the Fed? Not Really

"Foreign Affairs magazine, a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, has published an essay online in which two economists from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, Sylvester Eijffinger and Edin Mujagic, argue that President Barack Obama has stacked the Federal Reserve with appointees who will shape US monetary policy for at least the next two decades. It's the most popular item on the publication's website. "Thanks to a stroke of lucky timing - the Federal Reserve Board happened to have an unusually high number of vacancies during the president's first term - Obama will have either appointed or reappointed every single one of the seven members of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, including its chairman, Ben Bernanke, by the end of 2012," they argue. "'With the governors each set to serve a 14-year term, they will ensure Obama's long-term impacts on the U.S. economy.'"

New York Times: Economix
Link: US Assets at Work, Unsupervised

"Most Americans paid no attention last weekend when the International Monetary Fund announced it was well on its way to roughly doubling the money that it can lend to troubled countries - what the organization calls a $430 billion increase in the "global firewall'. The United States declined to take part in this round of fund-raising, so the monetary fund has instead sought commitments from Europe, Japan, India and other larger emerging markets." (Also read IMF Bumps Global Growth Outlook to 3.5%.)

China Business Blog
Link: Apple's Business Blowout Quarter Propels Nasdaq to Big Gain

"The Nasdaq (^IXIC) composite index shot 2 percent higher yesterday, powered by a surge in Apple (AAPL). The iPhone maker's stock climbed US$50 after the company once again blew past Wall Street's profit forecasts. With Apple's help, the technology-focused Nasdaq posted its best day this year. Apple, the biggest component of the index by far, climbed 8.9 percent after reporting that its earnings doubled in the first three months of the year. The company sold 35 million iPhones, twice as many as in the same quarter a year ago. The surge made back about half of what Apple's stock lost in the two weeks before its earnings announcement late Tuesday. One reason for the slump was an analyst's suggestion that Apple could not keep up the momentum in iPhone sales. Stock in Apple, the most valuable public company in the world, hit US$644 in intraday trading on April 10 and slid as low as US$555 on Tuesday. Apple jumped nearly US$50 to US$610 yesterday. The gain helped power the Nasdaq up 68.03 points to 3,029.63. Apple makes up 12 percent of the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq rose more than other market indexes thanks to its heavy weighting of Apple shares. The Standard & Poor's 500 (SPY) index includes Apple; the Dow Jones (^DJI) industrial average doesn't." (For related content, see Four Reasons Why This Is Not Your Father's Nasdaq 3000.)

All Things D
Link: Wal-Mart Lets You Pay With Cash When Shopping Online

" is launching today "Pay with Cash," a new feature that enables users to place orders online and then pay for them at a nearby Wal-Mart (WMT). In an interview, Joel Anderson, president and CEO of said the new feature is targeting people who don't have access to debit or credit cards."The fact that only 15 percent of our transactions are done in the form of credit at our stores means there's a large percentage of Wal-Mart customers who are dependent on cash to transact online. We definitely think it is a big opportunity," he said." (Also Read Should Failed CEOs Be Allowed to Remain on Corporate Boards?)

Financial Times: FT Alphaville
The Sum of a Car's Parts
"The sum of the average global car's component parts was $14,350 in 2011, according to estimates by analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It was estimated to be $11,100 in 2000. Assembly costs are excluded from this figure. But why the increase? 'In part, raw materials, but tastes for bling safety and fuel economy also played a role: 'While raw materials once again contributed to higher dollar ($) content in 2011, relative weakness in the US dollar also played a significant role. Furthermore, consumers continue to demand greater levels of electronics in vehicles, along with enhanced safety/touch-point elements, and improved fuel economy.'"
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