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Can Economic Recovery Plow Ahead?

Europe wobbling. Markets down. We ask if the U.S. recovery is strong enough to plow through. Plus, Kristof/WuDunn to ’10 grads.

A trader on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, May 27, 2010. (AP)

Talk about a tightrope. One minute this week, news of the U.S .economy is full of rosy forecasts, happy economists, manufacturing booming, and all systems go for recovery.

The next minute, the headlines are swamped with dire fear of a contagion from Europe, endless economic winter, a “double-dip” recession and the stock markets dropping like stones. 

So, which is it?  There is obviously no clear answer. But there is a big battle underway between hope and fear. 

This Hour, On Point: we look at the evidence, hear the cases, for hope and for fear on the US economy.

Guests:

Jim McTague, Washington editor for Barron’s.

Carmen M. Reinhart, director of the Center for International Economics at the University of Maryland and co-author, with Kenneth Rogoff, of “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.” She testified yesterday before President Obama’s fiscal commission.

Alan Blinder, professor of economics at Princeton University. He’s former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton.

Closing Segment:

Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn (Credit: Middlebury College)

In the seventh installment in our graduation season series, we listen to an excerpt from the Middlebury College commencement address by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and author Sheryl WuDunn. In 1990, the two won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square—the first married couple to win the Pulitzer for journalism. At Middlebury last Sunday, they spoke about what each graduate can do to help one individual at a time, and not to worry if he or she can’t immediately solve large-scale problems such as global poverty. Helping the individual, WuDunn said, is a legitimate way of changing the world, and can also change “you” for the better. You can watch the full address.

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