Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Jan 5, 2010

Good morning. Here’s what I’ve cherry-picked so far today:

Let’s start with former AOL-Time Warner CEO Jerry Levin apologizing for that disastrous merger. His comments were what caught my attention. From CNN Money:

Levin called for lots of public-company CEOs to step up and say, “I’m really very sorry about the pain and suffering and loss that was caused. I take responsibility.” About himself and the wealth-obliterating deal: “It wasn’t the board. It wasn’t my colleagues at Time Warner. It wasn’t the bankers and lawyers.”

Levin, 70, praised former AOL boss Steve Case-who sat beside him on set-as “a brilliant, young digital entrepreneur.” He placed the main blame on execution, saying about the combined AOL Time Warner: “It was not a supermarket. It was a mall.”

“That’s the problem with Citigroup (C),” he added. “That’s the problem with AIG (AIG). That’s the problem with GE (GE).”

Bernanke absolves Greenspan — and himself (Forbes):

What is most disconcerting about Bernanke’s speech is that with interest rates at essentially zero, and with the economy and inflation picking up steam, he made a speech defending extremely loose money.

The implications of this are enormous. If the Fed plans on stubbornly staying the course with 0% interest rates in 2010, what better way to convey that inclination to investors than by defending the loose money of the 2000s?

Barack Obama, you remind me of Herbert Hoover (The New Republic)

The price of free (Marketplace) Thought-provoking interview.

Finally, researchers have discovered the solution to burnt toast (Daily Telegraph):

Engineers have spent 15 years perfecting the £160 Magimix Vision Toaster, which has double insulated clear glass on both sides giving a panoramic view of each slice as it cooks.

They had to find away to cook the bread in the toaster without using traditional metal elements which obscured the bread.

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