Why Washington's growing irrelevance is good for the country

After three years of sclerosis, Congress is poised to at last pass an actual budget. We’ve been so consumed with the dysfunction of the parties on Capitol Hill that this feat appears significant. In fact, it should be routine. Yet in the context of the past few years, it is anything but.

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Bitcoin: Bubble? Maybe. The Wave of the Future? Definitely.

Bitcoin. The world’s newest and hottest virtual currency. It has become the story du jour for a financial media hungry for stories, and its sudden surge in recent weeks, going from a price of less than $200 barely a month ago to $1,200 last week, certainly attracted attention. And of course, rarely do things gain so much so fast without a concomitant fall.

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The Youth Unemployment Crisis Might Not Be a Crisis

There’s no doubting that worldwide, kids are out of work. In the United States alone, the unemployment rate for 15 to 24-year-olds is about 16 percent, nearly twice the national average. In parts of Europe, the figures are much worse, with a whopping 56 percent youth unemployment rate in Spain alone — representing about 900,000 people. But do these high numbers represent a global labor market crisis that imperils future growth, as the headlines warn? Maybe not. Maybe instead, they’re evidence of a generation of college graduates determined not to settle, which bodes well for our future.

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Bubble or Not, Don’t (Necessarily) Blame Fed

Toward the end of her Nov. 14 confirmation hearing to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen faced a question from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) about the effect of years of easy-money policies at the Fed: “Here’s what I’m saying. . . . I think the economy has gotten used to the sugar you’ve put out there. And I just worry you’re on a sugar high.” Yellen, who has been vice chair of the central bank since 2010, was not given time to address the charge, but her prominent role in supporting such policies gives us a strong sense of her answer.

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Safe Markets???

Albuquerque Financial Expert and Founder of Portfolio Wealth Advisers Lee Munson is asked his opinions on the stock markets recent surge. Is this another 2000 or can we continue to expand our economy? None of this is as important as having a solid game plan matched with a better investment philosophy. Zachary Karabell, Envestnet head of global strategy, sees a lot of skepticism of what's behind the rally as markets continue to go up. Lee Munson, Portfolio Asset Management, weighs in.

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The Clash of Generations Reshapes the Workplace

In an age of connectivity, how do different generations interact? Do they trust each other? How do companies seek, find and retain key talent as the worldview of people of different ages in the workplace differs? What does the contrast in attitudes between Millenials and everyone else portend for productivity and business’s future?

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The Sharing Economy and the Symbiotics of City Life

Sharing and so-called “collaborative consumption” is poised to alter city life, company life, and family life. We now use digital tools to assist in sharing cars, bikes and apartments. But we’ve always shared apartments, restaurants, libraries, workspace and health clubs. As a host of new platforms transform the economics of sharing, what are the parameters of these new transparent eco-systems? How are business, social and cultural norms re-orienting around collaborative consumption and the sharing economy?

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Business Infinity

Challenges and opportunities confront business from every direction, in ways that change almost hourly. Business models and ecosystems are being upended, disruptors emerge from the tiniest and least noticed corner, customers and employees demand new treatment, and the entire landscape becomes ever more global. How can and should leaders adapt?

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Column: Tweeting our way forward

Twitter's initial public offering last week was everything that Facebook's botched offering a year and a half ago was not: the stock was reasonably priced; management wooed investors; and the company neither promised the moon nor the stars, and was rewarded with a substantial amount of cash raised, a stock that went up more than 75 percent, and a valuation of $25 billion.

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Tweeting Isn't a Bubble, It's a Bandwagon

Twitter’s initial public offering last week was everything that Facebook’s botched offering a year and a half ago was not: the stock was reasonably priced; management wooed investors; and the company neither promised the moon nor the stars, and was rewarded with a substantial amount of cash raised, a stock that went up more than 75 percent, and a valuation of $25 billion.

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Healthcare.gov and the Inevitably Digital Future of American Governance

The Obamacare blame game is in full swing, and without other news to fill pages and airtime, it’s likely to continue for some time. Attention is shifting from the myriad problems with the official website Healthcare.gov, and toward the health plans that are being canceled, even though President Obama promised that they would not be.

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A Mayor is Only as Good as His City

The New York City mayoral race is entering its final days, and it seems all but certain that Bill de Blasio will be the new master of City Hall. That’s prompted anxiety among some in New York, best encapsulated by an ad run by Republican challenger Joseph Lhota warning that the city would revert to a 1970s crime-ridden cesspit if de Blasio is elected.

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The Upside of a 'De-Americanized' World

This current bout of Washington absurdity has reached its denouement, for now. Though resolved for the next few weeks, these debates seem certain to continue, especially with the debt compromise only good until February. Overall, the result has been to accelerate a trend that has been gathering steam for at least the last five years: the move away from a Washington-centric world and towards a new, undefined, but decidedly less American global system.

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Canceling the debt ceiling apocalypse

Before we begin, let it be said that the looming possibility of the U.S.'s default on its own debt is a not-insignificant issue. Let it also be said that the U.S. government may be unwilling to pay interest on its multi-trillion dollar publicly-held debt as of mid-October, and that this carries substantial risks. And, finally, let it be said that this is something we should most definitely avoid.

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What If Default Isn't a Disaster?

Before we begin, let it be said that the looming possibility of the U.S.’s default on its own debt is a not-insignificant issue. Let it also be said that the U.S. government may be unwilling to pay interest on its multi-trillion dollar publicly-held debt as of mid-October, and that this carries substantial risks. And, finally, let it be said that this is something we should most definitely avoid.

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