Audit Notes: Monopoly Culture, Health Care, SNLers on CFPA

Thomas Frank reviews an interesting-looking book on monopolies in the American economy—one that argues that there are more than you might think. Of particular interest to us is Frank dropping a bit of business-press criticism in there:

What we saw, in that essay as well as in “Cornered,” is a kind of business journalism that is itself being squeezed out of the market. Mr. Lynn does not lift his voice to sing the praises of this week’s CEO superstar; he does not furnish stock tips; and these are not stories of triumph or even of progress. In fact, Mr. Lynn seems to regard many of the business success stories of today as thinly veiled tales of disaster.

John Hempton of Bronte Capital snags some good health-care discussion from CNBC’s recent interview of Warren Buffett:

We (the US) have a little over 2.5 doctors per thousand. Much of the world has over 3 doctors per thousand. We have 11 nurses per thousand – much of the world has more. We have three beds per thousand – much of the world has 6 or 7 beds per thousand.

Hempton points out that the U.S. pays far more to its doctors than other countries and spends more on litigation, drugs, and administration (insurance overhead, essentially), and says he’d “love to see a decent breakdown of these things.”

So would I. Anybody know of one?

— Funny or Die rounds up old SNL presidents to argue for a real Consumer Financial Protection Agency, taking George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to task for their failures. Darrell Hammond, Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Chevy Chase, and Dan Aykroyd are all here with bonus Jim Carrey as Reagan.

Funny or Die’s Presidential Reunion from Will Ferrell

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.