Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Jan 6, 2010

Good morning. Let’s begin the day with these items:

Happy New Year. Now pay up. (LA Times)

From costlier checking accounts to higher credit card fees, banks are scrambling to find ways to compensate for as much as $50 billion in annual revenue that could be lost because of the tougher rules and requirements.

“This isn’t about a money grab,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president for government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry group. “This is about covering operating costs and risks related to transactions.”

If the Fed missed this bubble, how will it see a new one? (New York Times)

The fact that Mr. Bernanke and other regulators still have not explained why they failed to recognize the last bubble is the weakest link in the Fed’s push for more power. It raises the question: Why should Congress, or anyone else, have faith that future Fed officials will recognize the next bubble?

He and his colleagues fell victim to the same weakness that bedeviled the engineers of the Challenger space shuttle, the planners of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, and the airline pilots who have made tragic cockpit errors. They didn’t adequately question their own assumptions. It’s an entirely human mistake.

Which is why it is likely to happen again.

Will 2010 Bring a New Recession? (PBS NewsHour)

More on the 3D TV thing (NYT)

… the question becomes whether consumers — many of whom have only recently upgraded to costly new high-definition sets — will want to watch in three dimensions enough to pay for the privilege. “I think 90 percent of the males in this country would be dying to watch the Super Bowl and be immersed in it,” said Riddhi Patel, an analyst at the research firm iSuppli.

Avatar and Ke$ha: A Common Denominator (NPR)

We’re here to argue that these two No. 1 smashes — the sci-fi flick and the dance-pop party song — have something in common: They’re both totally derivative.

And that’s different from many other movies and pop songs, how?

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