First of all, I want to give props to commenter JCH who came up with a (half joking, I think/hope) suggestion in my "Employer of Last Resort," post:
"The joke in the Great Depression was we paid one guy to dig a hole, and then we paid paid some other guy to shovel the dirt back in the hole. Most modern people would die if they had to work outside digging holes, etc.
So I've been working on the modern equivalent of the above. For instance, we could pay one person to write a computer virus, and then pay another person to write the anti-virus. This job could outlast any recession.
Congress has taken to reading the Federal reserve's AIG emails multiple times. This is great work if one could get it. So we could have a computer generate random AIG email messages, and then congress cold pay people to read them. This, obviously, could go on forever, as it already has. It just needs some creative expansion.
These are make-work jobs that could be done in cubicles in air-conditioned offices, and that is what we need."
on to the links:
-NY Times: "Vancouver: "$1B Hangover From an Olympic Party"
"As for Vancouver’s municipal government and the taxpayers, the bad news is already in. The immediate Olympic legacy for this city of 580,000 people is a nearly $1 billion debt from bailing out the Olympic Village development. Beyond that, people in Vancouver and British Columbia have already seen cuts in services like education, health care and arts financing from their provincial government, which is stuck with many other Olympics-related costs. Many people, including Mrs. Lombardi, expect that more will follow."
-Ritholtz: "When Were Stocks Last Undervalued?"
I am less interested in debating stock market valuation, but more interested in the second chart in Ritholtz's post: consumer spending in excess of cash income.
-Paul Kedrosky, regarding "The Paradox of Toil"