Latest Articles


Budging Forward

The nation has just suffered through fiscal-cliff negotiations that left nobody, on either side of the aisle, happy with the results or the process.
Talking Politics
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 11, 2013

Finding balance

Balancing the state budget is easy. If by "easy," you mean "ridiculously difficult."
Politics + Other Mistakes  
By AL DIAMON  |  December 07, 2012

Paying debts

The other day, I got an email alerting me to an amazing financial opportunity.
Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  September 28, 2012

Student loans tying you down?

In late June DePaul University graduate student Marty Gleason went public about his mounting load of debt in an appeal to Congress to keep the interest rate on student loans at 3.4 percent.
Congress’s latest fix won’t give you much help
By DEANNA ISAACS  |  September 14, 2012

Let’s make campaign finance reform sexy

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was out on the hustings this week promoting his DISCLOSE Act, which would require the sort of independent political groups playing an outsize role in the presidential election to report on who is bankrolling thei
Going Big
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 20, 2012

Grad students get the knife

On July 1 graduate and professional students will no longer be eligible for federally subsidized Stafford loans.
Student Loan Cuts
By MELISSA NELSON  |  May 18, 2012

Magic money

It's fun to pretend there are supernatural solutions to our problems.
Clean Elections
By AL DIAMON  |  April 06, 2012

I was a teenage Gramlich

I can't say I ever intended from a young age to spend my 18th year mastering Washington Consensus–era monetary policy to recite in stuttering, rote cliché before a panel of mildly curious economic policymakers who filled out the payroll at Alan Greenspa
How I conquered monetary policy, macroeconomics, and the giggles
By JIM NEWELL  |  March 30, 2012

Bruce almighty

I'm writing this before it's officially decided whether State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin qualified as a US Senate candidate for the Republican primary in June.
Will Bruce Poliquin make the ballot?
By AL DIAMON  |  March 23, 2012

Breaking down the cost of Brown; birth control mirth; business as usual

Mayor Angel Taveras and Brown University are locked in a nasty fight over upping the school's payments to the city. And the university's governing board has announced it will hike tuition and fees by 3.5 percent next year.
Hill hiking
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 17, 2012
Viral Factor

Review: The Viral Factor

Made for a modest budget of $17 million — and feeling like it (who needs convincing explosions in an action movie?), Dante Lam's latest still gets the job done from a run-and-gun standpoint.
Run and gun
By BRETT MICHEL  |  January 20, 2012

Bad as me

I'm an economist in much the same sense that I'm commissioner of the National Football League.
The Law of Low Expectations
By AL DIAMON  |  January 06, 2012

Forbes on the Raimondo Speech

Forbes was in attendance today in new York as Treasurer Gina Raimondo accepted an award from the right-leaning Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research for...
By David Scharfenberg  |  January 05, 2012

Deep tracks and minutiae for music lovers, rich and poor

Ah, box-set season, that time of year when you go to your nearest record store, looking for gifts for that special someone you know who would really appreciate a super-cool addition to their record collection.
Box-set match
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 09, 2011

Question of the Day

Ian Donnis over at WRNI chats with Senator Jack Reed, who remains hopeful that Congress, afte the failure of the supercommittee, can work out a...
By David Scharfenberg  |  November 21, 2011

Economic Executive Orders

Dispatches from the White House.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  November 11, 2011


Ratings game

A recent poll found that more Mainers approve of the governor's job performance this year than did last year.
Gubernatorial Scorecard
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 11, 2011

Portland schools are 'learning to succeed'

Portland's public-school employees and leaders are working hard to meet the needs of every student in the system, but when asking themselves whether they've accomplished that, "the answer is 'Not yet,'" according to School Board chairman Kate Snyder.
Portland 101
By JEFF INGLIS  |  November 04, 2011

Tourist trap

To hear the experts talk, you'd think reducing the state budget by up to $100 million is a task only slightly less difficult than walking into a ritzy ocean-side restaurant without a reservation on a tourist-clogged Saturday night in the summer and expec
State budgeting
By AL DIAMON  |  October 21, 2011

Bank of America's Future Plans

America's favorite unfeeling corporate bank has some new ideas.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  October 07, 2011

Hoopleville coupons

Save on your breakfast balogney.
By DAVID KISH  |  October 07, 2011

Chafee Interview: Part II

Last week, I sat down with Governor Chafee for an interview on several topics. I've written, in this space, about his comments on medical marijuana. But...
By David Scharfenberg  |  October 03, 2011
Moneyball film

Review: Moneyball

Adapting Michael Lewis's bestseller of the same title, director Bennett Miller and screenwriters Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian take up Beane's story in 2002, when the A's, fresh from the previous season's playoff loss to the Yankees, try to rebuild af
The game's plays are numbered
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 23, 2011

Obama’s jobs plan is a step in the right direction

President Barack Obama's September 8 speech outlining his new jobs program — and the tax policies needed to finance it — was a sign of hope.
Notes on class warfare
By EDITORIAL  |  September 23, 2011

Three-city news war

The Portland Press Herald is really under the gun right now, from within and without its walls.
Press releases
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 23, 2011

Indentured servitude and other keys to the Rhode Island recovery

Despite the continual awarding of tax breaks to various upper-income types, we Rhode Islanders are told our business climate is still near bottom. So I make these seven modest suggestions for addressing the problem.
Dollars and Sense
By BARRY SCHILLER  |  September 02, 2011

RI Cuts More Public Employees Than Any State

Amid the unending agita over the pay and benefits for Rhode Island's public workers, Reuters reports: Local and state governments axed more than 200,000 jobs...
By David Scharfenberg  |  August 30, 2011

Museum dreams

This week, we're joining a guided tour of the Maine Museum of Political Paleontology. A docent is explaining to a group of schoolchildren what's happening in a scene depicting cave people trying to register to vote.
Political Paleontology
By AL DIAMON  |  August 26, 2011

Negative economic indicators

How to measure whether the economy's in the shitter.
Big Fat Whale
By BRIAN MCFADDEN  |  August 19, 2011

At the trough

In another example of the wonderful money management skills of government everywhere in Rhode Island, it appears that when it comes to getting rid of a budget deficit, you do it by throwing money at lawyers.
Good money after bad; letter from London; road woes
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  August 19, 2011