FROM Raghuram Rajan
Lawmakers Announce Deal on Bailout Plan The White House, the candidates and the Congress are working together on a massive commitment of public money. Saying that the entire economy is in danger, President Bush told the nation last night that the failure to act now might lead to a panic. The pressure is on as Democrats and Republicans struggle to rescue Wall Street and reassure taxpayers at the same time. This afternoon, Congressional negotiators gave no details, but after hours behind closed doors they emerged to announce they've worked out a compromise. We hear what the latest polls show about public opinion. What's the difference between a "bailout" and an "investment?" With just five weeks left until election day, should John McCain and Barack Obama debate as scheduled tomorrow night?
AIG's Global Reach, What's Next? Bear Stearns was bailed out , along with Freddie and Fannie , while Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail . But with a trillion dollars in assets, American International Group turns out to be big enough to threaten the global economy, moving the Federal Reserved to agree to what the New York Times calls "the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank's history." The insurance company does business all over the world, insuring cars, houses, retirement plans and companies, along with a lot of exotic financial instruments based on risky mortgages. Why does AIG qualify for $85 billion in American taxpayers' money? Will unprecedented government intervention ease the private financial crisis? Will other troubled companies be standing in line?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?