Though most central bankers hate inflation, policies that promote inflation may boost the U.S. economy, some economists say.
Ken Rogoff, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, says the Federal Reserve's efforts to boost growth haven't worked and the central bank needs to be more forceful.
"They need to be willing, in fact actively pursue, letting inflation rise a bit more," says Rogoff, who is now a professor at Harvard. "That would encourage consumption. It would encourage investment. It would bring housing prices into line."
Businessman and GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has been taking advantage of his recent rise to fame. Since he won the Florida straw poll late last month, he is everywhere: appearing on Sunday talk shows, promoting his new book and taking every opportunity to try to maintain his momentum.
People like the way he talks. His frank, motivational style has come out in GOP debates and in speeches.
Long-term joblessness is one of the unfortunate legacies of the recession. Earlier this year, the Labor Department started tracking longer periods of unemployment. According to that data, there are now more than 2 million people who have been jobless for at least two years, and 700,000 of those have been looking for work for at least three years.
An Iranian who was studying physics in Texas went on trial in Tehran this week on charges related to espionage.
Omid Kokabee, 29, a graduate student at the University of Texas, Austin, went home to Iran to visit his family back in February. When Kokabee failed to return to Austin, his friends discovered he had been jailed and charged in Iran with communicating with a hostile government and taking illegal funds.
His case is only now becoming public knowledge, just a few weeks after Iran released two young Americans accused of espionage and held for more than two years.
Pot dispensaries have flourished in California, one of 16 states where the use of medical marijuana is legal. But the federal government is now giving some of the state's pot shops 45 days to close down.
The state's four U.S. attorneys gave notice to at least 16 stores that they must close, or face criminal charges and the seizure of their property, according to the Associated Press.
News that a Florida legislator wants to bring back the banned activity of "dwarf tossing" has people shaking their heads, and wondering why in the world you would want to do something like that. Of course, they're also curious as to whether he'll succeed.
Fake products permeate nearly every corner of China's economy. Earlier this year, the trend seemed to reach a new low when phony Apple stores were exposed in southwestern China.
Each fall, the fakery even extends to the world of seafood and East China's Yangcheng Lake, which is just a short train ride from Shanghai. Yangcheng is home to what are reputed to be China's tastiest and most expensive hairy crabs.
Two years ago, Ben Williams won the Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition at the Kennedy Center in his hometown of Washington, D.C. Dee Dee Bridgewater knows, because she sang with Williams that night. Only months before, he'd earned his Masters at the Juilliard School of Music. As the winner, Ben Williams received $20,000, a recording contract with Concord Music Group and a future booking at the Kennedy Center.