Inspired Economist Pick of the Week

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This column highlights the top economic stories of the week.

For a while it looked like Google might actually bailout the newspaper industry by buying a stake in newspapers that have been struggling with debt and declining ad revenues.  However, it appears that this plan ha been called off.

Meanwhile, the Treasury department has committed $ 7.5 billion in aid to GMAC, the auto lender that will use the aid to support financing to GM and Chrysler. But the questions remains as to whether this boost can actually translate to sales.

Speaking of automobiles, China is taking steps to clean up it reputation as the world’s biggest polluter by banning high emissions vehicles from entering Beijing‘s inner city.

The other big news this week is that the much talked about Waxman-Markey climate change bill sets ambitious targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions through a cap-and-trade system. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, told Bloomberg TV that the legislation is a “good compromise.”  But some critics say the proposal could actually encourage pollution. More about this here…

And Bloomberg put a positive spin on the economy this week, reporting that orders for durable goods and home sales probably rose in April as the recession has begun to weaken.

“Evidence that the 16-month recession is coming to an end continues to build,” said David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. “Home sales and building activity seem to be stabilizing and manufacturing surveys point to smaller production cuts and smaller job losses.”

Has the government’s forceful intervention in the capital markets worked? Or have we simply heard this story before?

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