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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Dec 3, 2009

Good morning. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke faces a Senate confirmation hearing today. Let’s start with that:

Be fair to Bernanke (Washington Post) Written by the man who was “car czar” for a very short time, Steven Rattner:

In a maelstrom of months of 24-7 workweeks and the need to make almost instantaneous decisions with potentially cataclysmic implications, how many of us can truly say that we would have done as well, let alone better?

As Bernanke has conceded, the Fed (and other regulators) made mistakes, but they were concentrated in the run-up to the meltdown rather than in the response.

We need a new Fed chairman (Wall Street Journal)

We say this not because of Mr. Bernanke’s performance during the financial panic of 2008, for which he has been widely and often deservedly praised. Like others in the regulatory cockpit at the time, he had to make difficult choices with imperfect information and when the markets were shooting with real bullets…

The real problem is Mr. Bernanke’s record before the panic, with its troubling implications for a second four years. When George W. Bush nominated the Princeton economist four years ago, we offered the backhanded compliment that at least he’d have to clean up the mess that the Alan Greenspan Fed had made. That mess turned out to be bigger than even we thought, but we also didn’t know then how complicit Mr. Bernanke was in Mr. Greenspan’s monetary decisions.

How Google can help newspapers (WSJ) By none other than the CEO of Google himself:

I certainly don’t believe that the Internet will mean the death of news. Through innovation and technology, it can endure with newfound profitability and vitality. Video didn’t kill the radio star. It created a whole new additional industry.

The FDIC shows banks how to fudge their losses (Bloomberg)

One restaurant at breakfast, a different one at dinner (NPR) Interesting idea. Two restaurants sharing the same space:

They’re hoping that at lunchtime, customers won’t be too confused by the aroma of scrambled eggs mingling with the smell of fresh-baked pizza.

DVD Box sets are the worst Christmas present ever (Slate) This column is hilarious:

Television episodes were never meant to be viewed in rapid fire order. Mad Men often ends with its lead character, Don Draper, stranded impotently in the gloomy, underlit front hallway of his suburban home. Viewed once a week, this is a weighty image of existential angst. Viewed three or four times in a row, you want to scream, “Buy some light bulbs!”

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