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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Nov 20, 2009

Happy Friday. This morning: radical budget solutions, American blood in the water, and did Texas accidentally ban all marriages?

Other countries smell blood in the water (Real Clear Politics):

The United States needs to re-establish itself as financially credible and responsible so that when we lecture — about everything from global warming to Iranian nukes — we do so from a position of strength. That means, we need to stop borrowing other nations’ money.

Fixing the budget may require radical solutions (The Economist):

Students at National Defence University in Washington, DC, were recently given a model of the economy and told to fix the budget. To get the federal debt down, they jacked up taxes and slashed spending. The economy promptly tanked, sending the debt to higher levels than before. The lesson: “You’ll never get re-elected and you may do more harm than good,” concluded Eric Bee, an air-force colonel who took part in the exercise.

Geithner now tells a different story on AIG (Wall Street Journal):

This is startling. In April we noted in these columns that Goldman Sachs, a major AIG counterparty, would certainly have suffered from an AIG failure. And in his latest report, Mr. Barofsky comes to the same conclusion. But if Mr. Geithner now says the AIG bailout wasn’t driven by a need to rescue CDS counterparties, then what was the point? Why pay Goldman and even foreign banks like Societe Generale billions of tax dollars to make them whole?

Home prices are going back down (New York Times):

“I’ve been pretty bearish on this big ugly pig stuck in the python and this cements my view that home prices are going back down,” said the housing consultant Ivy Zelman.

Did Texas accidentally ban ALL marriages? (NBC Dallas):

While attempting to block same-sex marriages in Texas, legislators may have inadvertently banned all marriage state-wide. Oops.

The Onion’s new book combines 21 years of stupidity (NPR):

“The headlines come from long periods of desperation, boredom and a fleeting panic that we have to get our assignment done in time for the Monday meeting,” explains features editor Garden.

Seeing stupidity everywhere can quickly become a full-time job.

University of California approves 32% hike in student fees (PBS NewsHour)

Costco pulls Coke off the shelves to make a point (NPR)

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