Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Nov 18, 2009

Good morning. A nice assortment of subjects to start the day, from brown-nosers to “cash for caulkers”:

When common sense says “sell” (Smart Money)

US banks are too small to succeed (National Post) A Canadian perspective:

Excessively vilifying Wall Street and calling for the separation of commercial and investment banking activities as debated in the United States and United Kingdom would reintroduce unhealthy barriers to competition in financial services and may actually increase systemic risk. It would also misrepresent the root structural causes of a history of instability in U.S. banking. Indeed, the Canadian experience proves that commingling commercial and investment banking activities can work very successfully.

Should workers suck up to the boss or not? (USA Today)

…fresh research indicates that top executives may not be as good at weeding out brown-nosers as they think and that many are gullible to disingenuous ego strokes from subordinates.

Bosses now are told to praise down because the old-school days of a paycheck being enough to motivate employees are all but over, says Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg. But praising up is a different animal, a knotty conundrum of the workplace. Most CEOs say they appreciate an honest compliment if it passes the sincerity sniff test. Trouble is, bosses don’t often have a good nose, at least not for the brown-noser.

Stimulus for weatherizing your home? (New York Times)

John Doerr, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and former President Bill Clinton have separately suggested versions of the idea to the White House. Mr. Doerr calls his proposal, which would give households money to pay for weatherization projects, “cash for caulkers.” Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, told me, “It’s one of the top things he’s looking at.”

Federal subsidies keep small airports flying (NPR)

Even the most frequent fliers have probably never taken a plane trip to Vernal, Utah, or Rockland, Maine. Those towns have two of the nation’s smallest commercial airports.

But whether or not you were a passenger on them, you’ve helped pay for flights to those cities and more than a hundred others, under a federal subsidy program that helps small airports maintain commercial service.

1 in 7 American households struggle for food (PBS NewsHour):

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.