Patt Morrison

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Obama Calls the Wild and Crazy Financial Markets to Heel

For a time it looked as if the financial markets, with all their fancy instruments like derivatives and short-selling, were playing a ''heads-I-win, tails-you-lose'' game -- until it all came crashing down last autumn with AIG and scads more companies. Some people still think they should have been allowed to founder, but they were like the drowning man who threatens to pull his rescuer under, right along with him.

So the Obama Administration is now proposing to keep that from happening again. It wants to put some of the same oversight and regulation in place for that part of the market that the banking industry has operated under for about 75 years. In the first of what will probably be several discussions on the topic, we tried to figure how the regulations would work, like requiring that the financial companies have some skin of their own in the game to make them less reckless, and how likely the administration is to get pushback from the left and the right in Congress on this -- especially now that the initial ''scare'' has passed.

The Lakers parade goes off as scheduled tomorrow morning -- sponsored entirely by private money. City Council president Eric Garcetti let us know that both the public and the City Council had been very much against spending a dime of city dough on a parade at a time when the city is about to fire people and cut services. And he said it's a precedent he'd like to keep in place for future victory celebrations -- so let's test that out soon, okay, Dodgers?

Tomorrow, why working with your hands has taken such a hit in the ''information society,'' and how it's overdue for some respect. As one academic said, you can't hammer a nail over the Internet.

-- Patt Morrison

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