Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow May 18, 2009

For the first time, we could have a Triple Crown jockey without a Triple Crown horse!
Calvin Borel won the Derby on Mine that Bird, but Saturday, he rode superfilly Rachel Alexandra as she beat the boys in style. The plucky MTB was a close 2nd. Alright, back to business, starting with the scary chart of the day:

Scary chart of the day (The Big Picture)
“Today’s chart illustrates that 12-month, as-reported S&P 500 earnings have declined over 90% over the past 20 months… making this by far the largest decline on record.”

Rethinking the jobs stimulus (24/7 Wall Street)
“Congress and the Administration have succumbed to the concept that getting people back to work relies on investing in “themes” and not in people. Rebuilding the infrastructure is a favorite theme of politicians. Roads and schools always need repairing. Fixing them is for the public good. These political interests have chosen to avoid the nearly intractable problem of giving tools to those who are inadequately trained to do any skilled labor.”

Obama’s risky deficit spending (Real Clear Markets)
“Except from crabby Republicans, these astonishing numbers have received little attention — a tribute to Obama’s Zen-like capacity to discourage serious criticism. Everyone’s fixated on the present economic crisis, which explains and justifies big deficits (lost revenue, anti-recession spending) for a few years. Hardly anyone notes that huge deficits continue indefinitely.”

Soak the rich, and lose them (WSJ)
“Here’s the problem for states that want to pry more money out of the wallets of rich people. It never works because people, investment capital and businesses are mobile: They can leave tax-unfriendly states and move to tax-friendly states… The tax differential between low-tax and high-tax states is widening, meaning that a relocation from high-tax California or Ohio, to no-income tax Texas or Tennessee, is all the more financially profitable both in terms of lower tax bills and more job opportunities.”

Geithner — Secretary Loophole (The American Spectator)
“His nose for loopholes was critical to his orchestrating the bailout that sparked the bailout inferno: the March 2008 save of Bear Stearns. Similarly, his Treasury Department has wielded the Great Wall Street Bailout in ways Congress never imagined its law would be used. Even his hiring practices at Treasury involved finding narrow and dubious loopholes in President Obama’s ethics rules.”

Un-Paving Paradise: A Plan For Empty Car Dealership Lots (The Takeaway)

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