I was a pre-beta invitee to WebNotes. The embargo has long since been lifted and I can blog about it but I was waiting for a bug fix from them. Since that fix doesn't seem to be ready, I'm mentioning it now and offering beta invites if you are interested. It is a web highlighting and annotation service that runs in a Firefox extension or from a bookmarklet.
Porn Bailout: Larry Flynt, Joe Francis Seeking Government Money
The only surprise here is in who's seeking the bailout. That there is yet another industry with hat in hand seeking bailout money is no surprise. Why? Because every bailout is a precedent for more bailouts. If you're an industry sector that hasn't received a bailout, it is in your interest to ask. What's the downside? At worst, you'll be refused. The upside is you get the money, enough to pay yourself a bonus perhaps and ride out the rest of the recession. This quote is rather telling: "Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses; we feel we deserve the same consideration." By that logic, why shouldn't any business head over to Washington to find its place at the public trough? Who's next? Retail? Restaurants? Travel? Utterly ridiculous.
The larger problem, in my view, is when the public starts adding up all those billions and billions of dollars in bailout money and starts questioning where it all came from. It's easy to cover up small increments in the money supply but when you see the Federal Reserve conjure up trillions of dollars out of thin air, that's when you wonder how much the money in your wallet really is worth. If confidence in the monetary system goes away, well, let's just say 2008 will look like a picnic in comparison.