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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Nov 2, 2009

Good morning. Hope you had a good weekend. A few things to get the week rolling:

Bernanke doesn’t know what he’s talking about (Forbes)

Ben Bernanke is a walking economic fallacy. Rather than further empowering the Federal Reserve, which helped create our present economic difficulties, it’s time for individuals to challenge his inane assumptions while greatly reducing the Fed’s role in the national and world economy.

Krugman is still calling for more stimulus (New York Times)

What I keep hearing from Washington is one of two arguments: either (1) the stimulus has failed, unemployment is still rising, so we shouldn’t do any more, or (2) the stimulus has succeeded, G.D.P. is growing, so we don’t need to do any more. The truth, which is that the stimulus was too little of a good thing — that it helped, but it wasn’t big enough — seems to be too complicated for an era of sound-bite politics.

But can we afford to do more? We can’t afford not to.

Supreme Court considers mutual fund fees (NPR)

The case prompted an amazing debate between two distinguished conservative judges. Judge Frank Easterbrook, writing for the majority, said that there is plenty of competition in the mutual fund industry so there is no need for intervention from the courts because the markets will police the industry. In short, people can vote with their feet.

But in dissent, Judge Richard Posner, who usually leads the pack in deferring to market forces, said the time had come to re-examine some of those assumptions. Posner said that since the high fees charged by mutual fund advisers are industry-wide, measuring Harris’ fees against the norm doesn’t tell you much. In other words, if everyone is charging higher fees to mutual funds, most investors in these funds can’t vote with their feet.

Ford made a profit! (Clusterstock)

Homes for one dollar don’t even sell (NBC Chicago)

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