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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

September 23, 2009 at 9:50 AM

Washington scores well on national wealth and opportunity scorecard

Top of the News: Washington state gets an A in the new Assets and Opportunity Scorecard by CFed, the economic development think tank. It’s one of only a handful of states to score high on these 92 yardsticks of wealth, poverty and family financial security.

Still, there’s work to be done. The organization recommends policies that boost investment in small businesses, enhance housing affordability and enact stronger protections for the customers of payday loan outfits.

Oregon and Idaho received Cs. The feared South Carolina got an F.

Midweek Briefing: Want to know how federal stimulus money is being used? You can track it on the government’s site, recovery.gov. Or you can use the more complete and up-to-date information from recovery.com, a site run by Seattle-based Onvia. It also allows commenting so you can rant against, as my emailers term it, SOCIALISM!!

–So the world economy came to the brink of collapse and all the big players learned their lessons, right? Apparently not. According to the Wall Street Journal, a former Moody’s analyst-turned-whistleblower says the loose practices of the credit-rating agencies are as bad as ever.

–Still, we can blame and laugh painfully. Vanity Fair published a list of the 100 people, companies and institutions to blame for the crash. Washington Mutual’s Kerry Killinger comes in at No. 60. Cute, and accurate. Wish I’d thought of it first.

–UC Berkeley’s Brad DeLong offers a critique of the many laissez-faire economists blasting the idea that government can help stimulate the economy during a bust. It shows why faculty disputes are so vicious. Meaty reading wherever you come down on the issue.

–Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin flexed her economic-policy muscle in a speech in Hong Kong. The crash, says she, was caused by government excesses (Hmmm, the Bush administration?). Guess she hasn’t had time to read up on the excessive risk-taking by the bankers, shadow banking system and mortgage fraudsters. She’ll get right back to us, youbetcha.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Obama charms ’em

Then the UN goes back to

Business as usual

Comments | More in Midweek Economic Briefing

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