Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Dec 2, 2009

Good morning. Here are a few items to get the day rolling:

Worse than Enron? (Nomi Prins/The Daily Beast) A good analysis of bank balance sheets.

Why Fritz Henderson is out as GM’s CEO (Time):

An old discredited GM slogan for one of its former car brands insisted that this wasn’t your father’s Oldsmobile. Shortly thereafter, GM pulled the plug on Olds.

Whitacre has served notice that “this isn’t your father’s GM” anymore. All of the auto world will be watching to find out what kind of GM he wants it to be.

A Lost Decade for US Growth? (Investor’s Business Daily)

If nothing’s done, the spending and deficits will have ruinous effects on our economy and standard of living by forcing taxes up. As a recent report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation notes, just to close this year’s expected deficit would require a tripling of tax rates for all taxpayers.

That’s right: triple. Today, joint filers face tax rates that range from 10% to 35% of their income. To eliminate the deficit, the tax rates would have to soar to a range of 27.2% to 95.2%.

But here are 10 ways to get the budget back on track (Jeff Frankel)

Stocks: The “Loss” Decade (Businessweek):

“The lesson is that stocks are risky,” says Boston University Prof. Zvi Bodie. And, what’s often forgotten, he says, is that stocks’ risk is dangerous even to investors over a long-term horizon of ten or more years.

Heath bill would impose calorie labeling regulations (NPR)

It may seem that rules about vending machines and chain restaurants don’t belong in a bill overhauling the nation’s health care system. But Michael Jacobson of the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest says it definitely does.

“Because they will actually promote health,” he says. “Most of the rest of the legislation will pay for people who are sick, but having calorie information prominently posted will reduce the obesity problem.”

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