Marketing wins

Mark Bittman, best known for writing things like How to Cook Everything, wrote an article recently in The New York Times about a book he likes, Lethal but Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health, by Nicholas Freudenberg.

The thesis is that industry is using marketing to persuade customers to buy products that are directly or indirectly harmful to their health. Six industries are named in particular: food and beverages, tobacco, alcohol, firearms, automotive and pharmaceutical. The recommendation is that government should do something about it. Continue reading

What the Fed knew…?

… not much, apparently. The latest from The New York Times is that when the big banks started to fall in 2008, the Federal Reserve Board had no understanding of how serious the situation was. Bunch of amateurs, or rather, bankers out of their depth playing as economists, meeting every once in a while to make decisions for which their day to day work at the Federal Reserve Banks did not in the least prepare them.

What we need is a full time economic control board with the knowledge, expertise and authority to do what the Fed can not do.

But that’s impossible. There’s no way a committee can control a financial system that has gone out of control. Rather, what we need is a lean, mean economic machine that can do only what it’s supposed to do, and do it at the least possible expense—that is to say, without making anybody inordinately rich.

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