Links 2/23/08

Promises, Promises from Microsoft. Again Groklaw

Wall Street Bank Run David Ignatius, Washington Post. Frankly, this isn’t a very good piece, but I include it because it suggests how far behind the public at large may be in understanding our financial woes.

What do the US, Saudi Arabia and China have in common? Brad Setser

British Columbia “the clear leader in North American climate policy” WorldChanging. BC implements a carbon tax.

FDA Clears Avastin for Breast Cancer Huffington Post. This gives a clearer explanation than the Wall Street Journal as to why this call represented a lowering of the FDA’s standards.

A ‘Moral Hazard’ for a Housing Bailout: Sorting the Victims From Those Who Volunteered Edmund Andrews, New York Times. This is worrisome. The Bank of America “have the government buy our bad mortgages” plan is treated with some seriousness. They were dumb enough to buy Countrywide, they should live with the consequences.

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One comment

  1. Dave Raithel

    Mr. Smith, re the Ignatius article: Just when I thought I was starting to get a grasp of things in your world, your observation that it “suggests how far behind the public at large may be in understanding our financial woes” deflates my confidence. I guess there is one one clearly disputable factual assertion re the Sovereign Wealth Funds, as I recall a post here that the SWFs are declining to keep bailing. But what, exactly, is incorrect about his general description of the state of finance capital and how it has come to be in it? As I read through the article, I was feeling somewhat elated that I knew about what he was writing, I’d been learning about it here.

    Are you referring to his point that “The public, fortunately, doesn’t understand how bad the situation is. If it did, we might have a real panic on our hands.” That may cynical, but cynics are often unblinking at reality. Writing as a member of the public, the layity relative to the financiers, I confess that I was only obliquely aware that something was afoot – that Friedman froth testimony some summers back; that Cramer guy yelling at the TV camera. But surely it is not necessary for one to comprehend the most technical details of tranches or the most arcane procedures of ARS auctions to understand what in general is going wrong, anymore than it is necessary to be a nuclear physicist to grasp how nuclear weapons do their damage and why they are not good for children and other living things…or is it?

    What ought he to have written for those of us mostly wanting to think clearly as citizens who bother to vote?

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