Bernanke warns of threat from deficits
The economy could be hurt if Congress and the White House fail to come up with a plan to curb the nation’s huge budget deficits in the coming years, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Monday.
Bernanke, in a speech prepared for delivery, reiterated his belief that the government shouldn’t raise taxes or slash spending now because the economic recovery still is too fragile.
But failing to bring the deficits under control could endanger the economy later on, he said. Exploding budget deficits can lead to higher interest rates for people buying homes and cars and for businesses buying equipment or expanding operations. That could crimp Americans’ spending and slow economic growth.
The federal government is on track to produce its second-highest deficit ever — $1.3 trillion — for the budget year that ended Sept. 30.
New CEO at Twitter
Twitter Inc., the Internet service for short messages, is developing a penchant for keeping its CEOs’ tenures relatively brief, too.
Evan Williams on Monday became the second Twitter co-founder to step aside after a two-year stint, making way for a colleague considered to be better suited for steering the next phase of the company’s rapid growth.
Known simply as @Ev on Twitter, Williams intends to focus on product development while continuing to work for the company.
The change in command at the privately held company turns over Twitter’s leadership to Dick Costolo, an early investor who was hired as chief operating officer a year ago.
Prices at gas pump rise; oil ends lower
Retail gasoline prices rose Monday, and oil prices rallied to the highest level in two months before falling back to settle lower with the retreating stock market.
Benchmark crude for November delivery lost 11 cents to settle at $81.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day, it rose to $82.38, the highest level since Aug. 6.
At the pump, the national average for a gallon of regular rose to $2.732, according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on retail gas prices. That’s 3.8 cents higher than a week ago and 26.4 cents above a year ago.