Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Nov 4, 2009

Good morning. Here a few things I’ve seen so far:

A tired story: Business vs Labor (Washington Post) Per our discussion about Ford the other day:

To most of Ford’s unionized auto workers, the results were a signal that after years of layoffs, pay freezes and benefit cuts, the latest concessions negotiated by union leaders were unnecessary. As they saw it, Ford’s sales turnaround confirmed their long-held belief that all that was required to make Ford competitive again was for its overpaid executives to come up with cars that Americans wanted to buy.

The workers are right about the cars, of course, but dead wrong on the issue of Ford’s financial viability. Ford will now be forced to compete at a cost disadvantage not only to foreign producers, but to GM and Chrysler, whose workers accepted steep concessions as part of their government bailouts.

The stock market’s still a good predictor (WSJ/Smart Money)

Actually, it’s not (Slate):

The rising U.S. stock market and a weak, slow-growing U.S. consumer sector aren’t really in contradiction. Given the large-scale trends transforming the global economy–and the role of large U.S. companies in it–it may be possible to have a sustainable rally in American stocks without a sustainable rally by American consumers.

The best of the worst is behind us (Minyanville)

The Madoff story is far from over (PBS NewsHour)

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