Alice Schroeder, Buffett’s biographer, writes in her Bloomberg column that she hears anecdotally that Goldman Sachs (an Audit funder) bankers are applying for gun permits, which she has a little fun with (ADDING: Alphaville points out that Schroeder is a former managing director of Morgan Stanley, and I should say I took this column as tongue-in-cheek):
Common sense tells you a handgun is probably not even all that useful. Suppose an intruder sneaks past the doorman or jumps the security fence at night. By the time you pull the pistol out of your wife’s jewelry safe, find the ammunition, and load your weapon, Fifi the Pomeranian has already been taken hostage and the gun won’t do you any good.
More interesting is this (emphasis mine):
Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury secretary during the bailout and a former Goldman Sachs CEO, let it slip during testimony to Congress last summer when he explained why it was so critical to bail out Goldman Sachs, and — oh yes — the other banks. People “were unhappy with the big discrepancies in wealth, but they at least believed in the system and in some form of market-driven capitalism. But if we had a complete meltdown, it could lead to people questioning the basis of the system.”
There you have it. The bailout was meant to keep the curtain drawn on the way the rich make money, not from the free market, but from the lack of one.
— Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson says the paper would have 280 to 290 fewer reporters if it had dropped its online subscription model, as Rupert Murdoch initially planned to do when he bought the place, PaidContent reports. Thomson probably isn’t accounting for any ad revenue WSJ.com might have gained from increased traffic, which would lower that number. Regardless, you can bet that ad revenue wouldn’t have come close to covering the lost subscription money.
— Editor & Publisher reports that some 75,000 Web sites reprinted newspaper content in a one-month study period without a license.
In addition to running 112,000 “near-exact” unlicensed copies of articles — defined as publishing more than 80% of the original article and more than 125 words re-used — an additional 163,173 excerpts of articles were found on the sites.
E&P should have noted that the company behind the study, Attributor, has a dog in this fight. It’s pitched a product that would allow publishers to take a cut of the advertising from sites that use its content. (h/t Greg Mitchell)
— Finally, what says “Merry Christmas, darling” better than a cycling jersey that looks like its made out of a copy of The Wall Street Journal? If you’re not already sold, maybe this ad copy will get you: “While The Journal breaks news, you can break away from the pack…”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.