Welcome back from the holidays, everybody. If you're at all like me, you're STILL sleepy from all the turkey you ingested last Thursday. Though most of us regular Americans took the holiday to spend time with our families and take a break from work, your benevolent rulers in Washington, DC took no such break. Unfortunately for us, the beatings (aka, bailouts) will continue until morale improves.
For a hilarity injection, here's a cartoon from the Investor's Business Daily...
And now, the best bailout content from the past week...
- We start today with a New Yorker profile of Ben Bernanke that is well worth reading.
- The New York times has a graph showing their estimate of the bailout cost, at $7.8 TRILLION.
- From HotAir, file this under "A" for "angering:" bailout recipients will continue paying for naming rights in taxpayer-subsidized stadiums. This manages to combine two of my biggest hatreds: bailouts and stadium subsidies.
- Megan McArdle at the Atlantic assesses recent bailout history, and tries to apply some old lessons.
- Here McArdle writes (terrifically) about the many millions of culprits in the crisis.
- Arnold Kling at EconLog passes on a novel idea: why not buy the GOOD assets, rather than the toxic ones?
- And here's Kling with a mea culpa on the financial crisis.
- ProPublica does some bailout reporting.
- HotAir covers last week's big story: the Citigroup bailout.
- The Wall Street Journal gives us the skinny on the new Fed lending facility which extends bailout aid to securities backed by credit cards, auto loans, and student loans. Cost: another $25-100 billion. Chump change, right?
- Greg Mankiw has some fun with alliteration. I'd post my own, but they all involve excessive profanity.
- I should start a whole series simply called "I told you so" for the non-stop procession of supplicants (hat tip to Kristina Rasmussen for reminding me of that word's existence) for bailout cash. Since we're late to the party, we'll start with Part XLVII (48 for us 'Mericans): school districts hurting for cash.
- In what is probably Part XIV or something of the "I told you so series," bailouts of the states...and their opponents, like Mark Sanford.
- Responding to a New York Times Piece, HotAir's Ed Morrissey asks if we've "learned a lesson" about consumption. I suspect that individuals have learned it quite well (witness consumer spending data), but Congress certainly hasn't.
- Andrew Coulson at Cato@Liberty writes of some very interesting Pew data that suggests the feds aren't helping matters. I generally don't quote too liberally in the weekly roundup, but the final graph is just too perfect, "Even if all these bailouts could save the economy, other things being equal, other things are NOT equal. The bailouts themselves have an effect on consumer psychology, which has an effect on consumer spending. The Fed had better hire a shrink, quick, to let them know that they are on the brink of scaring the U.S. economy to death."
- Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution responds to the notion that disrupted information flows are exacerbating our economic difficulties.
- Good news/bad news. Good news: the office servicing the bailout is understaffed. Bad news: the office servicing the bailout is understaffed.
As usual, a special set-aside for the information-packed BailoutSleuth...
- Ten more banks raking in bailout cash.
- The low-down on the Citgroup bailout.
- Word that the nomination for Special Inspector General for TARP is being held anonymously. It should be pointed out that a hold simply means a Senator would object to a unanimous consent request to bring the nomination up. That could be overcome by a 60-vote majority, so a hold is not absolute.
- Virginia banks get in on the bailout extravaganza.
- Another billion dollars.
And on the auto front...
- HotAir tells us that the geniuses at General Motors finally got the memo on flying in private jets. Too bad they've missed so many other memos over the last 20+ years.