Let's think about this for a second.
Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Business Channel. More
Thompson has written for Slate, BusinessWeek, and the Daily Beast. He has also appeared as a guest on radio and television networks, including NPR, the BBC, CNBC, and MSNBC.
Le populist rage from the Financial Times: "Workers at a failed French car parts supplier are threatening to
blow up their factory unless the company's two biggest clients - Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen - stump up extra compensation." And just in time for Bastille Day!
This comes after a wave of "bossnappings" across the country, where frustrated workers would take their bosses hostage "sometimes for several days."
Simon Johnson writes that the administration isn't supporting the proposed Consumer Financial Products Agency enough. Since I wrote a piece arguing the exact opposite last week, I thought I'd respond, though I do agree with Simon in so far as he administration could never do too much to support the creation of the agency.
Simon's main concern is that the administration isn't launching a "frenzied effort" to build support for the agency among economists, like it did for PPIP. There's a good reason why that is the case: Most of the economists who would listen to Treasury sympathetically already think the CFPA is a good idea. On the other hand, very few of them thought that PPIP was the best approach for the banks. Treasury doesn't need to waste time convincing economists of what they already believe, or keep them from criticizing a proposal they're likely to support. PPIP isn't a good comparison for the effort, anyways: The better legislative baseline is bankruptcy loan modification, a pro-consumer measure killed in the senate when the administration actually failed to support the legislation strongly enough.
ECONOMIC policy, which became startling when Washington began buying automobile companies, has become surreal now that disappointment with the results of the second stimulus is stirring talk about the need for a . . . second stimulus.
Elsewhere, it requires centuries to bleach mankind's memory; in Washington, 17 months suffice: In February 2008, President George W. Bush and Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed that a $168 billion stimulus -- Stimulus I -- would be the "booster shot" the economy needed. Unemployment then was 4.8 percent.
AMERICA'S recent history has been a relentless tilt to the West--of people, ideas, commerce and even political power. California and Texas, the nation's two biggest states, are the twin poles of the West, but very different ones. For most of the 20th century the home of Silicon Valley and Hollywood has been the brainier, sexier, trendier of the two: its suburbs and freeways, its fads and foibles, its marvellous miscegenation have spread around the world. Texas, once a part of the Confederacy, has trailed behind: its cliché has been a conservative Christian in cowboy boots, much like a certain recent president. But twins can change places. Is that happening now?
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