This story from Huffington Post has me asking some questions. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is one of several federal agencies and other parties trying to deal with the mortgage mess and that agency is proposing to settle with the big banks for a modest penalty (less than $5 billion--and yes that is modest given the size of these entities) and some modifications to some mortgages which may include principle reductions. I agree with the title of the article--this lets these vampires off the hook. Thankfully, not all of the agencies are on the same page as the OCC and the states' attorneys general are definitely not. I am very uneasy when a member of the Federal Reserve describes robo-signing as a 'flaw' and not as the fraud and perjury it is.
The Huffington Post has a new column--'The Watchdog'--to keep tabs on regulatory agencies and lobbyists. The headline story makes me very glad I no longer live in Missouri. Talk about taking a giant step backwards.
I put this item in the "OMG!! How the hell did they do that?!!??" folder. Follow a couple of the links because this is fascinating.
Ezra Klein at the Washington Post has a good piece on the problem of Medicare, Medicaid and medical costs that reflects my thinking on the problem. All of the proposals to cut the budgets for Medicare and Medicaid attack only the spending side of the equation and do nothing for the cost side. And, in the end, all the cutting results in is increasing the pool of people who simply can't afford needed medical care.
Anyone who really thinks the 'market' is an efficient organizer of economic activity needs to read this alternet blog post. Exporting 99% of the food grown in the area and importing 95% of the food consumed is not efficient.