Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Mar 2, 2010

Good morning. Among this morning’s items — remembering the lessons of the dot-com crash, Earth’s economic model is broken, what drives media slant, and rebuilding your nest egg after the Great Recession.

Remembering the lessons of the last great market bubble (Allan Sloan/Washington Post)

Regardless of how much “financial reform” is passed in Washington, the Street will find ways to profit at your expense. That’s what it does. To counter, you have to watch out for yourself, and remember that there’s no such thing as low-risk, high-return investments (can you spell Madoff?) or free lunches. Don’t get too greedy, as many people did late in the bull market because stocks had done so well for so long.

The only way to get serious about the deficit: Cut gov’t worker pay (Forbes)

Just to be clear, we’re not just picking on President Obama here. The pay increase in his budget would actually be the smallest in 20 years. But total compensation per federal worker–cash earnings plus fringe benefits–now averages twice that of the private sector. So cutting cash earnings by 10% across the board seems not only reasonable, but justified.

Earth’s economic model is broken (LA Times)

The Earth has its own set of rules, solidly grounded in laws of physics and chemistry and emergent principles of geology and biology. Unlike our economic model, these are not artificial constructs. They are real, and they govern. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, 100-year floods, massive wildfires and disease epidemics are dramatic examples of parts of nature, neither all service nor all harm, creating and destroying, and governed by rules that are indifferent to humans. Our anthropocentric economic model for interacting with the world ignores and is proving to be incompatible with Earth’s rules, and is therefore on a direct collision course with them.

Betting on the blind side (Vanity Fair) An excerpt from Michael Lewis’s new book…

“Sometimes markets err big time,” he wrote. “Markets erred when they gave America Online the currency to buy Time Warner. They erred when they bet against George Soros and for the British pound. And they are erring right now by continuing to float along as if the most significant credit bubble history has ever seen does not exist.

What drives media slant (Econbrowser) Interesting research into newspaper bias.

Rebuilding a nest egg after the Great Recession (NPR) First of a three-part series.

[Pew Study: News Becoming More Personalized, Participatory, Portable] () (PBS NewsHour)

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