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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Oct 20, 2009

Good morning. Today, why savers are getting cheated, and seniors are getting another handout. Plus, a little stock market erotica from Colbert:

Savers are getting cheated by the bailouts (Allan Sloan/Washington Post)

What do the record-high Wall Street bonuses have in common with the record-low yields for savers? Answer: They show yet another way that prudent people, especially those living on fixed incomes, are being cheated by the government’s bailout of the imprudent.

Here’s the deal. The government is spending trillions to keep interest rates down to support the economy and prop up housing prices, and those low rates have inflicted collateral damage on savers’ incomes.

Seniors get another check from the government (Amity Shlaes/Bloomberg)

But the grannies aren’t happy. They want their $250 checks, even though they got a check for the same amount earlier this year, as part of the stimulus package. To seniors, an increase isn’t an increase — it’s “what I’m owed.” As AARP Chief Operating Officer Thomas Nelson put it, “Without relief, millions of older Americans will be unable to afford skyrocketing health care and prescription drug costs, as well as other basic necessities.”

The rest of us go along, in part out of respect, as per Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont: “We can’t turn our back on them.”

The seniors’ sense of entitlement about entitlements is worth criticizing even if criticism seems insensitive. That’s because senior entitlements preclude U.S. fiscal reform, starting with Social Security.

Why big banks can be better (Wall Street Journal)

Why is the Chamber defending big banks? (Baseline Scenario)

The scariness of having planes repaired abroad (NPR) Part 2 of the series.

Stock market erotica (The Colbert Report) Don’t worry, it’s safe for work:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Money Shot
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Michael Moore

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