We bailed them out. We bailed them out to help them start lending.
As a small business owner with 15 employees I have been struggling to keep us above water for the past 3 months. We’re living payroll to payroll. All three partners stopped taking salary so as not to lay off any people. We’ve been teetering on the edge but somehow we’ve postponed the drop month by month. Last week we saw our first glimmer of hope with a few extra sales – light at the end of the tunnel.
Yesterday Citi pulled our Line of Credit.
From 1945 until around 1980, the financial sector was one industry among many in the United States. Then something happened.
People in finance started making more money,* jobs in finance became more desirable, financial institutions became more influential, and the linkages between the financial sector and the political establishment became stronger. At the same time that our financial sector became more leveraged and more risky, it also became more powerful. The result was a confluence of interests between Wall Street and Washington – one more normally found behind the scenes of emerging market crises, the kind the IMF is called on to resolve.
The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed a bill that says that a student can receive a passing grade in an Earth Science class if they say that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the Earth an hour ago, and then planted false memories into every single living creature on Earth to make it seem like they’ve been around longer.
Of course, that’s not the intent of the bill. The intent is that a student can say the Earth is 6000 years old and still get a passing grade. The bill itself says that a student cannot be graded down if they say that what they are being taught interferes with their religious beliefs.
Specifically, the bill states:
A school district shall treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the district treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.
It’s the “otherwise permissible subject” phrase that’s sticky. That can easily be interpreted as meaning tests, besides just normal classroom discussion.
Microsoft Corp. abandons kitschy with its newest PC ad campaign and goes straight for the customer’s tight wallet.
One commercial features Lauren, who is hunting for a laptop on a budget. She tries the Apple Store, and doesn’t like it.
“For $1,000 they only have one computer available, that’s a 13-inch screen,” she says, concluding, “I’m just not cool enough to be a Mac person.”
Microsoft claims their agency “recruited unwitting subjects by posing as a market research firm studying laptop purchasing decisions.” However, Lauren is an actress.
But forget about that for a moment. Rule 1: If you’re actually number 1 in the market, you never mention your competition by name.
And you really don’t admit they’re “cool”.
I guess Microsofts marketing message is: “if you are too poor to buy the actual products, you can always make do with our junk”.