Dan Kadlec is right to give short shrift to the horribly misconceived Kardashian Kard, a prepaid debit card aimed at teenagers. But I think he’s too kind about prepaid debit cards in general:
The WSJ does none of its readers any favors with its silly headline attempting to sum up the effects of the deficit commissions tax proposals. “Top Earners May Face Big Hit”, it says—which would surely be more accurate if the “May” was replaced with “Won’t”.
No sooner do I have lots of good things to say about Google’s pay policies than Mike Arrington breaks the news that Google is keeping one engineer, who was threatening to decamp to Facebook, by paying him $3.5 million in restricted stock.
The most clear-eyed view of the silliness of the deficit commission report comes from Kevin Drum, who points out that at heart it says much less about reducing the size of the deficit than it does about reducing the size of the government. The distinction is a crucial one, since the mathematics of the deficit are simple, and overwhelmingly a function of Medicare expenditures. “Medicare, and healthcare in general, is a huge problem,” says Drum: “It is, in fact, our only real long-term spending problem.”
Elizabeth Warren has been doing the rounds in recent days, extolling the virtues of small community banks and talking about how tough it is for them to compete with the big guys. It certainly seems that way over at the FDIC, where the list of bank failures in 2010 is up to 143 and counting—already more than the 140 banks that failed in 2009.