Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quotes of the day

We self-censor less than American reporters.--Tim Shipman

The American health-care system may be a crazy mess, but it is the prime mover in the global ecology of medical treatment, creating the world’s biggest market for new drugs and devices. Even as we argue about whether or how our health-care system should change, most Americans take for granted our access to the best available cancer treatments—including the one that arguably saved my life.--Virginia Postrel

There is so much talk about how banks amplify risk but don't toss out the classical model altogether. Banks also share in risk. If your banks are less risky, often something else is more risky, and vice versa.--Tyler Cowen

Over all, [the FASB's weakening of mark-to-market accounting] seems like a recipe for weakening, not increasing, investor confidence.--Rob Cox and Richard Beales

Does anyone else think it would be a good idea to require that campaign monies returned due to scandal be given to the opposing political party rather than some cushy charity? It always rubbed me the wrong way that, as a Senator, your shady contribution collection return/adjustment likely put your name in lights amongst the highest donors for [fill in the blank]. An immediate shift of the funds to the party of your closest contender in the last general election, would make for an interesting disincentive.--Equity Private

It would have been better to keep a distance from G.M. and prepare the region for a structured bankruptcy process. Instead, Obama leapt in. His intentions were good, but getting out with honor will require a ruthless tenacity that is beyond any living politician.--David Brooks

President Obama proclaims that it is "ingenuity and resilience that makes us who we are." Nice words. But if he really believes his rhetoric, why is he using taxpayer dollars to protect GM and Chrysler from bankruptcy? Surely an ingenious and resilient people can weather the bankruptcy of these ancient behemoths.--Don Boudreaux

The 400,000 [job loss] figure is a made up number. It's just a guess. [President Obama] just wanted to make it sound as big as possible. He has to. The UAW is so small, just 190,000 workers. One estimate of the bailout of the auto industry is $130 billion. That's only about $684,000 per worker. What a bargain.--Russell Roberts

Many of GM's dealers will receive lavish buyouts as an inducement to close their doors, for a total cost in the billions of dollars. That's disgusting, but it's required both by GM's contracts with them and by the welter of state laws that protect the dealers. (If you want to know who the political power brokers are in any given city or town, look for the car dealers.) This is going to be kept scrupulously out of the news, because car dealers contribute huge sums to every last man and woman in Congress and the Senate. The public was ready to torch the private residences of AIG executives, but they won't make a peep about paying billions of their own hard-earned dollars to provide a cushy retirement for thousands of already-rich auto dealers.--Red State

A change in auditors is usually the first leg of a death march for slimy companies like Overstock. And believe me, they don't get any slimier.--Gary Weiss

We’re all familiar with it: the world where Lincoln was a Democrat, Bull Conner a Republican, Martin Luther King a Democrat and when the Vietnam War was started by Tricky Dick, instead of by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Not that anybody’s got something against JFK, but facts are facts.--Richard Fernandez

... the evangelicals’ role in the [housing] market may have prevented home prices from getting even more out of whack.--Zubin Jelveh

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