New Banks, Loving Hazlitt, and Maybe Corruption

My blog entries concern whatever interests me, with my interest usually being piqued by something I’ve read. But I read more than I can possibly comment on, so I perform a kind of mental triage. I blog about the most interesting stuff and put my “overflow” into my Shared Google Reader container . These are usually short items and I will sometimes add a quick note. It’s easy for readers to spin through these entries, reading only what they want. This still leaves a “middle ground” of articles of interest for which I haven’t the time or inclination to write about but that are too long to place in the Shared Reader. So I’m now trying something I’ve seen other bloggers do: constructing a blog entry composed mainly of links. This takes a little more work than using Google Reader, but a lot less work than actually writing about them, and it’s a far better option than leaving them in my “process later” queue. So, here goes nothing! (All text is quoted from the article unless otherwise noted).

Let’s Start Brand New Banks, by Paul Romer, Commentary, WSJ
Everyone agrees that the United States urgently needs a few good banks. Turning bad banks into good banks is a difficult and risky way to get them. It’s simpler and safer to start entirely new banks.

More Appreciation of Hazlitt
Hazlitt does more than lay out basic economics and explode the fallacies behind various beliefs in government intervention. He also explains why much of the bad thinking is so widespread. In chapter 1, “The Lesson,” Hazlitt notes that the inherent difficulties in understanding economics are multiplied a thousand times “by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics or medicine–the special pleading of selfish interests.” No group is out lobbying for us to doubt whether gravity exists, some California bumper stickers to the contrary. But slick, well-paid, plausible-sounding lobbyists do try to make us doubt whether we’re better off buying goods cheaper from foreign countries, because these spokesmen represent powerful interests whose jobs and wealth depend on persuading us that free trade causes losses.

Paulson Overpaid by $78 Billion for TARP Bank Equity

Corruption in high places is so rampant that I don’t see how we dig ourselves out. And that puts it on much the same footing as our debt hangover.

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