Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow May 11, 2009

Let’s start the week with SNL, shall we? The bank stress tests were the subject of the opening sketch on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, as Treasury Secretary Geithner gave the results of the “written” portion of the tests. Sample question: “For every $10 million in commercial loans outstanding, a bank should have…”

JP Morgan’s answer — Knicks tickets.

Collateral damage and double standards (Huffington Post)
“I also recently spoke at a convention of industrial construction companies. These are the people who build and maintain factories, power plants, and do other heavy industrial construction. I asked a room full of hundreds of executives how many saw signs of improvement in their order books. Not a single hand went up.”

Is Obama the next Bush? (Real Clear Markets)
Both of these men went “all in” with the nation’s checkbook asking for “sacrifice” from the citizenry, promising a better future. It would be interesting to see how Vegas odds makers compare the two bets. Which will happen first – Iraq becomes a stable democracy with a murder rate lower than Washington DC’s or Chrysler becomes a profitable car company and pays back its federal loans?

The Future of the American Dream (The Nation)
What’s needed in American life is a redefinition of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Given the nation’s great wealth, the ancient threats of scarcity and deprivation have been eliminated. Yet people remain yoked to economic demands despite wanting something more from life–freedom to explore the mysteries and bring forth all that is within them. Collectively, Americans need to take a deep breath and reconsider what it means to be rich.

Stocks probably aren’t cheap anymore (Clusterstock)
The bad news is that there probably isn’t a lot of juice left in this rally. If you missed it, piling in now is a risky bet. By most measures, stocks aren’t “cheap” in the ways they were in the first few months of this year.

Here come TV ads between web pages (Silicon Alley Insider)
If all this sounds like it will hamper the user exeperience, then too bad, says ShortTail Media CEO David Payne. In a speech at the Advertising Bureu’s annual meeting, writes AdWeek, Payne told publishers they needed ” to adopt bigger, bolder creative and to be less sensitive to user experience.”

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