The Newsweekly’s Last Stand — Michael Hirschorn (The Atlantic) – Really interesting piece on the odd success of The Economist. Great insights for business and journalism. Money quote: “The irony, as restaurateurs and club-owners and sneaker companies and Facebook and Martha Stewart know—and as The Economist demonstrates, week in and week out—is that niche is sometimes the smartest way to take over the world.” Whether it will last, though, remains to be seen. The media and news world is changing fast, and The Economist will eventually have to adapt like everyone else. The question is whether they find a way to fill the same niche as the platform shifts.
Off-Balance-Sheet Federal Liabilities — James Hamilton – Hamilton does a nice job of summarizing some rather complicated accounting. The key here is the difference between the first and second graphs; the real problem, in other words, is not the fiscal stimulus, but rather the unsustainable rise in health care costs. As to all the “off-balance-sheet” vehicles the government uses, how have they been working for Wall Street lately?
CAFE Kills (GM) — David Henderson – Henderson is consistently one of the best commentators on CAFE standards. This is another excellent insight; the comparison with a fuel tax is the crucial point.
Fatal Assumptions — yelvington.com – Excellent analysis of what is wrong with the newspaper industry — on the inside. We won’t see journalism right its ship until the publishers recognize these facts and trends.