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Chaos, Regulation, Racism

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Business

• Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, the last two large investment banks in the U.S., simultaneously (suspiciously!) became bank holding companies, for two reasons: to have more capital on hand (most likely through acquisition of actual banks) and to stem confidence crises (through having more capital on hand). Also they may go to the Fed for cash in case of another wave of losses. They saw the writing on the wall of forthcoming greater regulation, so they had little downside into entering a system which already has greater oversight.

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• "The flailing economy has drained $67 billion in value from the top 100 global brands—even before the investment-bank crisis last week. "

Politics

• Because a black man is running for president, now everyone is urgently trying to figure out how much white Americans really hate black Americans. The answer is: "some" to "lots."

• South Africa's HIV-denying president Thabo Mbeki was forced to resign by his own party. Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe is expected to be announced as his successor today.

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