Morning Reading

Good morning. A busy day ahead, including Tim Geithner testifying to Congress about the AIG bailout, and of course, the president's State of the Union address. Here's what I've seen so far:

What Geithner will say on the Hill (Bloomberg) An excerpt from his remarks:

"We acted because the consequences of AIG failing at that time, in those circumstances, would have been catastrophic for our economy and for American families and businesses," Geithner said. "Everyone should realize that because of the actions of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, the American financial system is now in a position where it can provide the credit necessary for economic growth."

The SOTU speech the president would give in a more honest world (Washington Post)

To our leaders: Start acting like adults (Thomas Friedman/New York Times)

Leaders, companies or individuals guided by situational values do whatever the situation will allow, no matter the wider interests of their communities. A banker who writes a mortgage for someone he knows can't make the payments over time is acting on situational values, saying: "I'll be gone when the bill comes due."

People inspired by sustainable values act just the opposite, saying: "I will never be gone. I will always be here. Therefore, I must behave in ways that sustain -- my employees, my customers, my suppliers, my environment, my country and my future generations."

Lately, we've seen an explosion of situational thinking.

Democrats would be wise to block Bernanke's appointment (The Nation)

If John McCain had compiled Obama's record, he would be condemned by even the most moderate Democrats as a tool of the corporate elites.

Because Obama is a Democrat, many in his own party continue to cut him slack.

In doing so, they are giving the party of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman just enough rope to hang itself in 2010.

Before the Senate votes on Bernanke, some documents need reviewing (HuffPo)

Housing bubble fears and prices soar in China (NPR) Haven't you been paying attention, China?

New figures show that property sales in China jumped 75 percent last year as record levels of bank loans boosted purchases. Property prices rose by the fastest pace in 18 months in December, adding to fears of a real estate bubble. China has been trying to rein in speculation.

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