Complying with a court order, the Federal Reserve began releasing documents on March 31 related to one of its bailout and wealth-transfer schemes during the financial crisis. And it turns out that among the biggest beneficiaries were foreign firms, including a bank owned by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's central bank.

Harvard Professor Gregory Mankiw (picture, left), in writing a hypothetical speech in the New York Times for the President in the year 2026, thinks politicians can kick the entitlements can down the road for another 15 years. His opening could come from any politician’s current teleprompter:

It used to be one of the great cities of a great nation, a thriving, prosperous metropolis humming night and day with the machinery of America’s industrial superiority. In 1950, individuals and families were still streaming to Detroit to work in the ever-growing automotive industry, and as the U.S. Census Bureau crunched the numbers that year they found the Motor City had grown to an astounding population of 1,849,568 people, with the city fathers predicting two million and beyond in the coming years.

Even after the Cash for Clunkers program failed, the federal government refuses to give up. It is now launching Cash for Clunkers 2, this time for “green vehicles.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the proposal has delighted General Motors.

Credit Time magazine for identifying, however imprecisely, a very important but little understood consequence of the modern Federal Reserve-based financial system: a “brain drain” that is luring many of the best and brightest from math, science, and engineering into finance. “Wall Street,” notes Time’s Rana Foroohar, “hires more math, engineering and science graduates than the semiconductor industry, Big Pharma or the telecommunications business.” The author continues:

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