Time for my weekly writeup of Friday's business and economy report on "American Now with Andy Dean." Obviously, we couldn't not talk about the Mega Millions lottery, even though we've discussed it before. Evidently, the lotto authorities are still tracking down the winners for the Friday night drawing. The fact remains, of course: These are people who spent $1 — well, OK, maybe they spent hundred or even thousands of dollars on tickets, I have no way of knowing — for a shot at $640 million. Negligible input for a monumental payoff. And a reminder that while the odds are waaayyy against you, as Andy points out, it can be worth it to play the lottery when it gets super-high, jackpot-wise. You're investing in a personal "black swan" event.
Otherwise, we discussed the Dodgers sale, including the masterful — and to some, malevolent — parking-lots side deal that soon-to-be-former owners Frank McCourt worked out. Also some back-and-forth about Goldman Sachs ultra-critic Greg Smith's $1.5 billion book advance, some more discussion of why Apple should buy Research in Motion as RIM's stock price continues to struggle, and to cap it all off, the breaking news that Keith Olberman was fired at Al-Gore owned Current TV.
It's Monday, and that means that I post the audio of my weekly joust with Andy Dean on his radio show — a show that's now seven months young! So congrats to Andy on that. He's trying to bring me out of the darkness and into the light, so on Friday we spent some discussing the sins of Paul Krugman, op-ed columnist for the New York Times and sworn foe of conservative viewpoints. Krugman hasn't given up on his position that we need more government spending rather than less right now. Andy is horrified by this prospect. I actually think that Krugman, in a recent blog post, actually did something unusual and glossed over a rather significant piece of spending under Reagan — defense spending.
I think we could use more of that right now, for two reasons: We need to refurbish aspects of our military, especially Navy ships, which guard the world's sea lanes; increased defense spending could also function as a kind of non-partisan stimulus is a political environment that far too divided to pass the kind of stimulus was saw early in the Obama administration.
Listen in to my weekly Economics Report segment on "America Now with Andy Dean." I've been doing this for a few weeks now, and have appeared in the broadcast a number times before that, and although Andy gives me plenty of grief for my "liberal" positions, I have to hand it to him: He does a three-hour radio show every day and really has his preparation down. Whenever we talk, he knows his numbers — cold. Good examples from Last Friday's show include our discussion of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's investigation of bank overdraft fees and of the Obama/Romney plans to reduces corporate taxes. We also have a little fun an the expense of Meg Whitman and HP's consternating plan to introduce a Windows-Intel tablet.
It's always great to talk to somebody who has a good grasp of data. My colleagues at KPCC always strike me as being great at this, as does Mr. Dean.
I did my weekly Economy Report on "American Now with Andy Dean" a day early this week — Thursday rather than Friday. Andy very kindly informed me that the first step to leaving the liberal matrix is admitting that you have a problem, but I think I need to know what the other eleven steps are before I'm fully prepared to go down that road. In any case, we ran through the business news of the week, which included President Obama's budget; General Motors' record 2012 profit and Mitt Romney's view of the bailouts; the thorny question of whether "carried interest" income earned by folks in the financial sector should be taxed as regular income; and the whole dustup over Starbucks policy toward gun owners.
Listen in! It was a snappy discussion, as usual. I come in about halfway though.
I went on "America Now with Andy Dean" again yesterday to talk about a few recent blog posts, including one on Bill Clinton's Herculean speaking fees, good rich people and bad rich people, and the end of email. The wonderfully conversational Darryl Parks was filling in for Andy, and we bantered for a while. I've embedded the broadcast, above.