Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Follow The Money

A lot of stories involving money have been floating around the water cooler. Well, the water cooler in my mind, anyway.
First, the NBC late-night fiasco. Late word is that the 11:35 PM -12:35 AM Eastern time slot will not be halved to accommodate Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. Rather, "The Tonight Show" would be pushed back to 12:05 AM, with Jimmy Fallon at "Late Night" starting at 1:05. NBC had clearly hoped to maximize ratings - and, of course, profits - by re-arranging the late-night schedule to accommodate and retain all three comedians while appeasing affiliates with traditional prime time programming at 10 PM Eastern for lead-ins to local late night news. The network has had its plans thwarted by O'Brien, who has refused to go along with the idea, dismissing it as impugning the integrity of "The Tonight Show" and being unfair to Fallon by pushing his show so deep into the wee small hours of the morning. O'Brien laments that he has not been given enough time to build up an audience because of the network's troubles. But hey, it's all about the money these days, isn't it?
Meanwhile, in Washington, the Obama administration is considering taxes on commercial banks and investment banks that have received federal bailout money from the government - even from those that have paid back their loans - in an effort to recoup the government's infusion of cash at the beginning of the fiscal crisis and compensate for the money the banks lost in the recklessness that led to the events of 9/15. The bank taxes and fees proposed would target bonuses and executive pay and address incurred by the Troubled Assets Recovery Program. The banks don't like this, of course, but President Obama certainly believes it could pay down the deficit, restore fairness in the Wall Street-Main Street paradigm, and, not so coincidentally, improve his standing with voters on economic issues and avoid serious Democratic losses in the midterms.
The attempt to avoid a serious Democratic loss in Massachusetts, meanwhile, continues with leading Democrats sending e-mail after e-mail urging emergency contributions for Martha Coakley's campaign against Republican Scott Brown as she fights for her political life leading up to the special Senate election for Ted Kennedy's seat next Tuesday. I've gotten several such e-mails. Please, if I were interested in spending money on a woman I may not hear from again in a week, I'd go back to dating! :-O

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