Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Jan 13, 2010

Good morning. Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

Watch the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings here.

Obama and the Fat Cat bankers (Wall Street Journal)

There is only one way to resolve the bonus problem. We should continue to let shareholders pay their managers whatever and however they want. But we must get out of the business of guaranteeing against failure. The bankers and the shareholders who enjoy the rewards of risk-taking should be made to act like real capitalists: They should be required to assume the risks that go along with the banks’ business activities.

How the Fed made a record profit (Marketplace)

Goldman Sachs-AIG: It’s likely worse than you think (Real Clear Markets)

At NBC, prime-time tragedy is in the business model (Washington Post)

There are many other lessons to be drawn from NBC’s late-night debacle — on the shortcoming of industrial conglomerates (GE), on the difficulty of old dogs learning new tricks (Leno), and surely the one about sacrificing old products to launch new ones (O’Brien). You could probably construct an entire business school class around this case study in mismanagement.

Then again, you could be like NBC and create a TV comedy about it, get Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin to star in it, win a boatload of Emmys and still not learn a thing.

Supreme Court hears NFL merchandise case (NPR)

It used to be that lots of different companies had NFL licenses to sell items with NFL team logos. But since 2000, it’s been all Reebok, all the time. That’s the year the NFL decided it wanted to award its merchandising license for all 32 teams to just one company — Reebok.

Among those frozen out was American Needle Inc., a family-owned company based in Illinois that specializes in head wear. The company went to court, claiming that the 32 teams, operating though the NFL, had conspired to give Reebok a monopoly in violation of the federal antitrust laws. The NFL countered that the league is a single entity that operates as one business, not 32 competing businesses.

A federal appeals court agreed with the NFL, and American Needle appealed to the Supreme Court.

Obama Administration Eyes Tax Hikes for Bailout Banks (PBS NewsHour)

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