Weil on Finance: American Shutdown Fatigue

Jonathan Weil joined Bloomberg News as a columnist in 2007, and his columns on finance and accounting won Best in the Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2009 and 2010.
Read More.
a | A

Howdy, View fans. We're not even eight hours into the government shutdown, and already it's starting to feel old and tired. I'd give it a week, tops. But then again, what do I know? And on that note, it's time for your morning links.

What Americans think about the government shutdown

If these numbers are right, the shutdown shouldn't last long, although you never know with some of the ideologues in Congress. A Quinnipiac University national poll released today found that 72 percent of American voters oppose Congress "shutting down the federal government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare," while 22 percent support it. The poll also found that voters, by a 64 percent to 27 percent margin, oppose "blocking an increase in the nation's debt ceiling as a way to stop Obamacare." Click the link for the release and a deeper dive on the polling data.

More on the shutdown from an old Newt Gingrich hand

Dan Meyer, who was chief of staff to former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, told Bloomberg News that market reactions and the economic blow from a shutdown may sap the will of rank-and-file Republican members of Congress and make them less eager to risk a debt default. He said some Republican lawmakers "want to play a little too close to the flame here and, frankly, some of them need to get their fingers singed."

The Guardian's financial future

The Edward Snowden files on the National Security Agency have been the biggest story so far for the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper. Its website has become the world's No. 3 most popular English-language newspaper website. But the Guardian "has lost money for nine straight years," writes Ken Auletta in a lengthy article for the New Yorker. The director of the trust that supports the Guardian warned last year "that the trust's money would be exhausted in three to five years if the losses were not dramatically reduced." It's a well-reported, long-form read on how the Snowden articles came together and how the Guardian is struggling to survive.

The palace intrigue continues at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, says the Justice Department's investigation of JPMorgan is "based in large part on information from a person inside the bank who is aiding the government," including e-mails "suggesting the bank vastly overstated the quality of mortgages that were being bundled into securities and sold to investors before the financial crisis." So if you think your life is stressful, imagine what that cooperating person is going through.

Forward-looking indicator of the day that financial Armageddon soon may be upon us after all

The prepaid Occupy debit card is here. Or maybe it's not. It's hard to tell from this New York Times article, which refers to it as merely an "idea," which makes you wonder why it has its own New York Times article already. Anyway "the idea," according to the Times, is "to serve people who do not have bank accounts, but it also aims to make Occupy a recognized financial services brand." Call it the ultimate insult to the Zuccotti Park crowd.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Weil at jweil16@bloomberg.net