If you read one thing all day, nay all week, make sure it is Matt Taibbi's The Big Takeover in Rolling Stone:
Which, when you think about it, is insane: What had brought us to the brink of collapse in the first place was this relentless instinct for building ever-larger megacompanies, passing deregulatory measures to gradually feed all the little fish in the sea to an ever-shrinking pool of Bigger Fish. To fix this problem, the government should have slowly liquidated these monster, too-big-to-fail firms and broken them down to smaller, more manageable companies. Instead, federal regulators closed ranks and used an almost completely secret bailout process to double down on the same faulty, merger-happy thinking that got us here in the first place, creating a constellation of megafirms under government control that are even bigger, more unwieldy and more crammed to the gills with systemic risk.In a not-so-ironically related note, Texas bailout money is going directly into the same sprawl beast that helped bring it all down. From the NYT:
Quotes from the condo auction at Atlantic Station:
Texas plans to spend $181 million of its federal stimulus money on building a 15-mile, four-lane toll road — from Interstate 10 to Highway 290 and right through the prairie — that will eventually form part of an outer beltway around greater Houston called the Grand Parkway.The road exemplifies an unintended effect of the stimulus law: an administration that opposes suburban sprawl is giving money to states for projects that are almost certain to exacerbate it.
“I can’t wait to get downtown,” he said, “and not having to worry about driving a lot. We’ll be walking a lot and taking advantage of Atlantic Station.”
from another satisfied customer:
“I’m so excited,” the 28-year-old Delta employee said. “I didn’t know how it was going to go, but it all turned out well. I probably couldn’t have afforded it otherwise.”
See, falling housing prices is a good thing. People can now afford homes in places where they actually want to be, not Conyers, GA, wherever the eff that is.
And in happier news, a follow-up to last week's guest post on the what, how-to's and why's of converting your patch of grass into something productive, the Obama's have planted an organic veggie garden in the White House lawn:
“My hope,” the first lady said in an interview in her East Wing office, “is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”