Business Breakfast: BP Has 24 Hours

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BP has a day. The housing market is having a horrible summer. Washington has no shot at passing a carbon price. Morgan Stanley had a great quarter. It's Business Breakfast.

BP Has 24 Hours: Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who commands the spill response, on Tuesday gave BP another 24 hours for testing its capped oil well, keeping it shut while BP and government officials weigh whether to kill the well permanently by pumping heavy mud into it. [NYT]

The Housing Market is Turning Down Again: In major markets across the country, home sales are deteriorating, inventories of unsold homes are piling up and builders are scaling back construction plans. The expiration of a federal home-buyers tax credit at the end of April is weighing on the market. [WSJ]

Can a Dysfunctional Government Save the Planet? The most efficient way to begin attacking the global swelter is no mystery. It involves raising the price of carbon emissions, which are warming the planet, and then letting the private sector find innovative ways to use less dirty energy. Conservative economists, like Gregory Mankiw, support this approach. So do liberals, like Joseph Stiglitz.But taxing carbon has never had much of a political chance. It's too honest. It acknowledges that the best way to reduce the use of a product is to increase its price. We would all prefer a free lunch.So Congress has been laboring to disguise a price increase in a more palatable package. [NYT]


Morgan Stanley's Big Quarter: Morgan Stanley's second-quarter profit soared as the bank rebounded from a year-earlier quarter marred by merger charges and the repayment of government funds. [WSJ]
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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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