Detroit Bailout II Nears the "Old News" Stage! 1) My colleague Daniel Gross thinks the GM and Chrysler bailouts weren't designed to actually save GM and Chrysler:
Sure, there was brave talk of reviving these once-proud brands and returning them to their rightful place in the pantheon of American corporations. But from the outset, I've believed that the interventions were simply efforts to delay liquidation rather than to avert it altogether, to provide a breathing space in which managers could find homes for valuable assets (other companies) and find chumps to absorb the losses from bad decisions (that would be the taxpayers). [E.A.]
2) I'm pretty sure Dan Gross is a friend of Steve Rattner. 3) Does Dan Gross know something we haven't been told? 4) If so, has anyone told President Obama, who--in Ryan Lizza's New Yorker piece , anyway--seemed to want the auto bailouts to actually "succeed." ... P.S.: Larry Summers was "comfortable Chrysler would survive," writes Rattner himself in an almost unreadably self-serving account of his bailout experience . "Comfortable"? Chrysler? Hello? Whose elevator goes straight to the garage? ... P.P.S.: For his part, Rattner characteristically hedges his bets, boasting only that his team gave Chrysler and GM a "healthy margin for error." Or, as Dan Gross might translate it, "a few more months." ... 12:15 A.M.
So You Think You Have Swine Flu? Am I the only one--besides Michael Fumento --who finds reports like NBC's last night on the spread of swine flu ("galloping its way across the country") to be wildly unconvincing? The NBC piece claims "90 dead" last week under the rubric "swine flu cases." [See about 1:10 in] This is almost certainly BS. As this CDC report makes clear, that figure includes both the swine flu and the regular annual flu. Indeed, NBC promiscuously conflates a) swine flu (H1N1); b) regular flu and c) "flu like symptoms" which may not be any kind of flu at all. ... That may be because the CDC itself has decided to conflate at least the first two categories, as noted in this seemingly damning CBS story and confirmed in the CDC report itself:
This new system was implemented on August 30, 2009, and replaces the weekly report of laboratory confirmed 2009 H1N1-related hospitalizations and deaths that began in April 2009. Jurisdictions can now report to CDC either laboratory confirmed or pneumonia and influenza syndromic-based counts of hospitalizations and deaths resulting from all types or subtypes of influenza, not just those from 2009 H1N1 influenza virus . [E.A.]
I think this means the CDC does not really know how many cases are swine flu and how many aren't. (The regular flu kills many thousands of people every year.) ... 12:43 A.M.