Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Mar 4, 2010

Good morning. A few things to start the day, including Robber Barons, Toyota and Greece:

Germany in no-win situation with Greece (Bloomberg)

“There would be no understanding in Germany for bailing out Greece,” Henrik Enderlein, a political economist at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, said by phone. “It’s a bit of catch-22 situation: if you give in to Greece and you put 5 billion or perhaps even 10 billion into some kind of rescue package or into some guarantees, then the German government would look irresponsible. However, if it doesn’t, then European Union leaders might put a lot of pressure on Merkel and say, look, we have to bail out Greece.”

Let’s bring back the Robber Barons (WSJ/Real Clear Markets)

We live in a world of rising competitors-foreign robber barons-who don’t much care about our endless quest for health-care justice. The U.S. on its current path to a stage-managed economy floating in a lake of taxes will keep down the greatest population of intellectual and managerial firepower the world has seen. The rest of the world admits that, with the recent exception of the Chinese, who think we’re ready to be taken. We have young people impatient for the chance to do what Carnegie, Rockefeller and Hill did. Let them.

What comes after Toyota’s reckoning? (AOL)

I created my list of 101 things I wanted to accomplish in life, which was a start to my becoming happy, but only a start. Eventually, studying happy people I knew, I learned what would make me happier and, I’m convinced, a more successful person. It all began with that reckoning, with taking stock and determining I wanted to become happier, and systematically setting out to be so.

So last week when I saw Mr. Toyoda testify before Congress, and heard commentators talk about how this was “a moment of truth for a titan of industry,” I immediately saw this as Akio Toyoda’s reckoning — and his opportunity.

Why the US Postal Service is destined to fail (Minyanville)

Some small businesses see burden in the “cadillac tax” (NPR)

Did Robert Rubin really say that? (Felix Salmon)

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