Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Oct 19, 2009

Hope you had a good weekend. This morning… so now, the administration is mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. Plus, a disturbing report about airline repairs, and why the wrong person always wins the award:

The banks are not alright (Paul Krugman/NYT):

Administration officials are furious at the way the financial industry, just months after receiving a gigantic taxpayer bailout, is lobbying fiercely against serious reform. But you have to wonder what they expected to happen. They followed a softly, softly policy, providing aid with few strings, back when all of Wall Street was on the ropes; this left them with very little leverage over firms like Goldman that are now, once again, making a lot of money.

Obama’s mad at Wall Street (Washington Post) Right hand, meet the left hand.

The Obama administration has defied popular opinion in backing huge government bailouts to try to rescue much of the nation’s auto industry and stabilize the financial system, steps it saw as critical to fostering an economic recovery. At the same time, it has attempted to tap into popular anger at corporate America with outspoken criticism of bonuses, perks and other practices that have long been staples of big business.

The US approach to Internet gambling is absurd (LA Times):

State laws are wildly inconsistent and sometimes hypocritically excessive. “Martians might have a difficult time understanding that if you play poker online for money in the state of Washington, you’re committing a class C felony,” Joseph M. Kelly, a gambling-law expert at Buffalo State University in New York, told me. “That’s the same as rape.”

The government gives out bad info on stimulus (CNN Money)

Gaffes in federal reports this week about stimulus have called into question the government’s ability to accurately track how many jobs are being created by the massive $787 billion Recovery Act.

The data in Thursday’s reports were filled with mistakes, including an error that made it look like a French vaccine maker received the largest stimulus contract, $1.4 billion, when in fact it has gotten an award one-100th the size.

To cut costs, the airlines send repairs abroad (NPR):

The pressure seal around the main cabin door was failing, and that shriek was the sound of air leaking through. The plane diverted to Denver. Everybody was safe.

But that and other recent malfunctions affecting US Airways planes, which NPR is reporting for the first time, raise questions about a controversial and growing practice at most U.S. airlines: The industry is sending 1 of every 5 planes to developing countries, from Central America to Asia, when the planes need to be overhauled and repaired.

Why the wrong person always wins the award (The New Republic)

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