Anne Marie Chaker’s story is a little bit too alarmist, I think, but there’s still a serious problem here:
OK, so being good at Task X is a good predictor of academic success. But that doesn’t mean that we should teach Task X.
Now that he’s been fired from the New York Times, Ben Stein has popped up as a “contributor” to Fortune, of all places. (I’m not sure that “thank” is the right word, but I found out about this from Dan Gross.)
A team of seven Spiegel staffers has produced a spectacular account of the big M&A story you’re probably vaguely aware of and find far too complicated to understand — the attempted sale of GM’s European car division, Opel. There’s lots of great stuff here, such as the games of phone tag being played out at the highest levels of the German and US governments (including Angela Merkel, Tim Geithner, and even Hillary Clinton and Dmitry Medvedev); and the spectacular own-goals being scored by the German government (like appointing board members to the German-American trust overseeing the sale of Opel who disagreed fundamentally with the government’s own plans for the carmaker).
Putting aside the all-but-irredeemable basket-cases BofA and Citigroup, there’s only one major bank which has yet to repay its TARP money: Wells Fargo. How come? I Wells has a reputation as being the best and most solid bank in America, a favorite of Warren Buffett, and a bank which managed to sidestep most of the worst excesses of the credit boom.
After Greg Mankiw sparked a blogospheric resurgence of the nature vs nurture debate, Brad DeLong and Tyler Cowen Alex Tabarrok weighed in with very different views of the empirical data. Tyler Alex featured an extremely provocative graph, and I waited for someone, maybe Yglesias, to respond.
The prize for the weakest argument ever against a single strong bank regulator goes to Sheila Bair, with her tired and utterly inappropriate metaphor that “we can’t put all our eggs in one basket”. To the contrary, we have to put all our regulatory eggs in one basket, because otherwise the phenomenon of regulatory arbitrage will simply result in a race to the least-safe basket, as well as competition between regulators to see who can be most accommodating to banks.