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Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Jan 19, 2010

Good morning. Hope you had a good weekend. Surprise, surprise — the banks think they might have a legal challenge to the president’s proposed fee. Also, go inside the collapse of a once great newspaper:

From the “Of Course They Did” desk (New York Times)

Wall Street’s main lobbying arm has hired a top Supreme Court litigator to study a possible legal battle against a bank tax proposed by the Obama administration, on the theory that it would be unconstitutional, according to three industry officials briefed on the matter.

Icelanders are having a fiery debate (NPR) I’ve been following this story for a while now. It’s a great story, and this pretty much sums it up:

“What do you think would have been the outcome in the United States if the taxpayers had got the chance to vote about the bill, the bailout? Just imagine,” says Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson. “It is not an easy task to get the voters to accept increased taxes and economical burden because of irresponsible behaviors of bankers.”

Post Apocalypse: Inside the messy collapse of a great newspaper (The New Republic)

And so, in a new era for journalism, The Washington Post has yet to figure out what it wants to be. The result has been a lot of lurching–some of it (like salongate) embarrassing, much of it merely ineffective, but almost all of it suggesting a newspaper in disarray.

Valdez crude still bubbling up (BBC)

Large quantities of oil spilled during the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster can still be found beneath gravel beaches in Alaska, a study has discovered…

Most clean-up operations in the area ended in 1992 because the remaining oil was expected to disperse within a few years.

The Census finds its most educated workforce ever (Cincinnati Inquirer)

Locally, the bureau already has recruited engineers, former corporate vice presidents, college professors and radio disc jockeys to help manage the 2010 census, which will attempt to count everyone in the country beginning in March.

“The horrible recession has benefited us in an indirect way – our applicant pool contains a set of people with experience and background and training that is unprecedentedly rich,” said Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau.

Dubai construction of indoor artificial mountain range halted (The Onion) Gotta love The Onion:

“Maybe it’s time for us to pull ourselves up by the straps of our handmade custom-fitted patent-leather Italian boots and put our slaves back to work. Only through ingenuity, perseverance, and forced labor can Dubai get back to being Dubai again.”

“And mark my words,” he added, “We will still put a man on the artificial moon we’re building by 2025.”

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