Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Jun 3, 2009

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is speaking up about the government’s strategy to spend its way out of recession. It’s a strategy Bernanke has clearly endorsed so far. But he says now it’s time to come up with a strategy for controlling the deficit because that could endanger the economy’s long-term health. I guess he’s talking to those of us who weren’t aware that limitless spending and ahem, the Fed printing money, might lead to long-term economic problems. On a similar note…

Well-known stock market shorter Jim Rogers says he wouldn’t short this market because the Fed has poured so much money into the system:

Central banks all over the world have printed huge amounts of money, and the real economy is not strong enough for all this money to be absorbed… so, it’s going into stocks and real assets such as commodities. It’s a mistake what they are doing. It’s giving short-term pleasure, but there’s long-term pain as we are going to have much higher inflation, much higher interest rates and a worse economy down the road.

The credit card people are still complaining (lobbying?) about the industry’s new rules, even though Congress has already passed the bill. Reuters has an interview with the head of Visa:

“It’s going to cause the whole industry to rethink itself,” Visa’s Chief Executive Joseph Saunders said in an interview. “It will result in less credit being offered to less people.”

Yes, yes, we know. Good. Once Americans pay down some of the $945 billion they owe to credit cards, maybe they’ll be in the mood to borrow more.

The San Francisco Business Times points out a UC Berkley study that shows most people don’t understand web privacy rules. It says Google’s eyes are everywhere:

Using trackers called “web bugs,” third parties collect user data from many popular web sites, and sites often allow this, even though their privacy policies say they don’t share user data with others.

“Web bugs from Google and its subsidiaries were found on 92 of the top 100 Web sites and 88 percent of the approximately 400,000 unique domains examined in the study,” the authors found.

Jack and Suzy Welch have a column in Businessweek about why they love Tweeting. Yes, that Jack Welch, the former leader of the biggest company in the world (GE):

We’re not saying it’s going to transform humanity–as some of its proponents will tell you–but we certainly get its incipient power. Indeed, if Twitter continues to expand at its current rate, it may well become a high-value way for companies to help brand themselves and microtarget consumer groups, as well as another tool for managers to interact with their people, and vice versa.

But Twitter’s business potential doesn’t explain why we tap away in 140-character bursts every so often. O.K., like three or four times a day.

We tweet because we can’t stop ourselves.

Twitter. Bringing generations together.


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