the audit

Audit Notes: Sorkin GOP, Multi-Task Meacham, Salmon, Simon

March 9, 2010

Andrew Ross Sorkin dips his toe into political commentary today in his DealBook column. Maybe he should stick to mergers:

What’s so interesting about the battle over the proposed consumer protection agency is that Republicans have painted the Obama administration as being in the tank with Wall Street.

But now they are the ones that seem to be helping Wall Street this time around.

Riiight. Because Republicans have long been Wall Street’s mortal enemy.

— The NYT‘ s Media Decoder reports that Newsweek editor Jon Meacham is in talks to host a show on PBS.

Doesn’t that guy have a major magazine to edit? Newsweek isn’t exactly running itself these days. Maybe Meacham can hand off TV-hosting duties (aka a job) to one of the Newsweek journalists he’s laid off recently.

Sign up for CJR's daily email

— Reuters’s Felix Salmon also found a lot to dislike about Roger Lowenstein’s oddly bad column (read my take here) saying banks’ health should be put before consumers’:

To which I only say that if you need to gouge consumers in order to remain solvent, you shouldn’t be banking in the first place. And no one will miss you when you go away. Yes, a sound economy means healthy financial institutions. But that never has to mean unhealthy customers.

I also enjoyed this:

Roger Lowenstein has a column up on Bloomberg with the headline “Smart Banks With Dumb Customers Don’t Exist” — which just goes to prove that smart writers with dumb ideas do exist.

Simon Johnson of Baseline Scenario takes aim at the recent press campaign to rehabilitate Tim Geithner’s reputation, and makes a critical point that has been glossed over in the press (emphasis mine):

We avoided a Great Depression primarily because, compared with 1929-31, we have a government sector that is large relative to the economy – and which does not collapse when credit goes into freefall. What exactly did the Obama administration do in ending the crisis that a Clinton or McCain administration – or even Bush – would not have done? The most plausible answer is: Nothing.

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.