Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Apr 9, 2009

The Dow is back above 8,000 this morning, mainly thanks to Wells Fargo’s news. The bank is projecting a record Q1 profit. So does this mean the big banks are finally healing? More on that later. Here are some other fun things to read:

Bail out journalism (LA Times)
“If we’re willing to use taxpayer money to build roads, pay teachers and maintain a military; if we’re willing to bail out banks and insurance companies and failing automakers, we should be willing to part with some public funds to keep journalism alive too.”

Game Theory Exposes PPIP As Fraudulent (Real Clear Markets)
“It is bad economics and bad public policy and it is probably fraudulent. Congress should act pre-emptively to halt Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s latest scheme.”

How Ben Bernanke Staged The Quiet Revolution That Put Him On Top Of The World (Clusterstock/Washington Post)
“The Washington Post is running a long profile of the Fed chairman today. In it, we can see just how much of this is being driven by Bernanke himself and how little his staff is worried about legal niceties or any possible checks on the institutional power of the Fed. In fact, it seems there are almost no checks at all…except perhaps a blank check to spend and print money in the name of solving the financial crisis.”

U.S. May Enlist Small Investors in Bank Bailout (New York Times)
“As part of its sweeping plan to purge banks of troublesome assets, the Obama administration is encouraging several large investment companies to create the financial-crisis equivalent of war bonds: bailout funds. The idea is that these investments, akin to mutual funds that buy stocks and bonds, would give ordinary Americans a chance to profit from the bailouts that are being financed by their tax dollars.”

Did They Really Believe House Prices Could Not Go Down? (The American)
“Did the financial professionals of the mortgage originating and investing markets–or even more important, of the credit rating agencies who were rating mortgage-backed securities–believe house prices could not go down? No, they did not.”

YouTube is doomed (Silicon Alley Insider)
“YouTube is on track to lose roughly $470 million in 2009. No matter Google’s $116 billion market cap: a half-billion dollar loss on a single property, even one as large as YouTube, is a bitter pill to swallow.”

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