From American Progress:
JPMorgan Chase agreed yesterday to buy Bear Stearns for $2 a share, less than one-tenth the firm's market price on Friday. The bank and the Federal Reserve "will guarantee the huge trading obligations" of Bear, "which was driven to the brink of bankruptcy by what amounted to a run on the bank." Bonddad has more analysis.
The current economic crisis "is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war," writes former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan in the Financial Times. He also argues that "market flexibility and open competition" are "our most reliable and effective safeguards against cumulative economic failure."
Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) current visit to Iraq is bolstering the belief by the country's politicians that if he is elected president, "the American military would have a large presence in Iraq for a very long time." Jalaladeen Sagheer, a senior member of the leading Shiite Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, described McCain's visit as "an advertisement for the American elections."
Vice President Cheney made a surprise visit to Iraq today, to reaffirm "the unwavering commitment" of the United States to rebuilding Iraq. Cheney told reporters that it was "especially significant" he was in Iraq five years after the March 2003 U.S. invasion. Shortly after his arrival, "two explosions rocked Baghdad."
Five years after the U.S.-led invasion, the Red Cross reports that Iraq faces a major humanitarian crisis. "To avert an even worse crisis, more attention must be paid to the everyday needs of Iraqis," said Beatrice Roggo, the ICRC's head of operations for the Middle East and North Africa. "Everyone should have regular access to health care, electricity, clean water and sanitation."
Harper's Scott Horton reports that an internal Department of Justice investigation into the firing of at least eight U.S. attorneys is approaching its conclusion. The report will likely be released in the spring, and it "will almost certainly be explosive."
Climate change may "turn Ireland’s legendary emerald landscape a dusty tan" according to a new report by the Irish American Climate Project. "[T]he soft rains that people talk about as a blessing...could turn harsh," said the project's director Kevin Sweeney. Additionally, potatoes, Ireland's agricultural staple, "might cease to be a commercial crop under the stress of prolonged summer droughts."
And finally: Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh describes himself as "a big Mac guy." Lately, he's been having trouble backing up his e-mail archives, a "problem that was echoed by other users on message boards." So Limbaugh took to the airwaves, making his plea directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Apparently, someone at Apple was listening, and sent over an engineer to help Limbaugh. Two weeks later, the problem was fixed.