Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Feb 5, 2010

Happy Friday. This morning, the latest job numbers are out. Plus, the mystery men of the financial crisis and debating the ruling on campaign ads…

More jobs lost, but unemployment rate falls (New York Times)

“We are turning the corner,” an economist for IHS Global Insight, Nigel Gault, said. “But the gains will probably not be big enough to make serious inroads into the unemployment rate for some time.”

The mystery men of the financial crisis (New York Times) I believe this to be true:

We need to get beyond the amusing political theater of the recent Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearings featuring tight-lipped Wall Street chief executives like Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman, John Mack of Morgan Stanley and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase — and the artfully crafted statements they compiled with the help of $1,000-an-hour Wall Street lawyers. We need to hear the nitty-gritty of what caused the crisis from the people who know why things happened the way they did but haven’t yet been asked to speak up by someone with subpoena power.

Did Obama’s economists do their homework on the Volcker rule? (New Deal 2.0)

Volcker apparently thinks that proprietary trading encompasses most of the risk-taking speculation done by the banks. He objects, because they put at risk the money that is guaranteed by the federal government. The banks have access to the Fed window for reserves to bail them out, and trillions of dollars of federally-insured checking and savings savings deposits.

It is hard to imagine he is that out of touch.

Debating the Supreme Court ruling on election spending (Bill Moyers Journal)

“If you want to get bent out of shape about something, direct your ire at a massive and constantly growing government that has its hands in virtually every aspect of economic and social life in America,” Says Gillespie.

Harvard legal scholar Lawrence Lessig disagrees, viewing the ruling as a another step in the takeover of democracy by big money.

Victim of a real estate scheme? Tell your story (Huffington Post)

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