Megan McArdle, “The End of Moral Hazard?” – on the administration’s banking proposal. From the article: If we do choose this “something”, Americans should probably be clear that this is going to deal a major setback to New York as a world financial capital. Many of the rules that were undone in the last two decades were got rid of because they were making it too hard for American banks to cope with foreign competition. If we do this, America’s financial sector will shrink, and our banks will lose a lot of business to foreign firms. That means, among other things, that we are going to lose big chunks of tax revenue, because bankers are very disproportionate contributors to federal coffers. It also means that New York’s renaissance will probably slack off–and the people who complain about the bankers will discover how many city services those banker salaries paid for. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. I think finance has taken on an outsized role in our country, and as we’ve seen over the past year and a half, that hasn’t been a healthy state of affairs. But this means a substantial change to the American financial system, and as with all change, we won’t like every single thing that follows.
Jessa Crispin, “The Foreign Service” – from the article: It is impossible to write about such a book as Best EuropeanFiction 2010 without also writing about America’s disinterest in such a book. Neither Zadie Smith nor Aleksandar Hemon could do it — and they’re the author of the introduction and the editor of the anthology. It’s a well worn angle by now: the fact that only three percent of literature published in the U.S. is work of translation, the fact that most of that work is being published by small independent presses and university presses.