Like a doctor checking a pulse: The pulse of Wall Street, that is. Ever since she jumped from an assistant editor at Vogue to author of the 1981 The Woman’s Guide to the Stock Market, Morgenson has seen the markes from the inside, becoming our best guide to the dance of the economy — especially after she became business and financial editor at the New York Times, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for “her trenchant and
incisive Wall Street coverage.”

In today’s paper, Morgenson looks at those charged with keeping the Street accountable to its own laws n principles, a group she tags as Regulators in Need of Rehab. She stars with Treasury Secretary Paulson’s zigs and zags as he constructed his rescue plans:

Those little turnabouts reveal a couple of things. First, money sure goes fast these days. (Good thing Uncle Sam’s printing presses are oiled and ready to roll.) Second, regulators are making up rules for these emergency programs as they go. That is not necessarily bad. The TARP was, after all, full of holes. A particularly gaping one: how much taxpayers would pay for troubled mortgages.

But the new direct investment plan raises questions, too. Who will decide which banks receive help and which won’t? And what standards will be used to reach those decisions?… My personal favorites, however, involve a much broader cast of characters than just Mr. Paulson. In the first half of 2007, almost every senior regulator assured us that troubles in the mortgage markets would be “contained” to subprime loans.

Morgenson’s column may not reassure the hundreds posting on iVillage and BlogHer about the crash, usefully collected this weekend by The Daily Beast. But at least we know someone’s watching the store.

The prime of our lives, if not our careers:
Elle’s Women in Hollywood bash was all the buzz this weekend, featuring Jane Fonda, Sigourney Weaver, and Nicole Kidman among a passel of younger actors. Melissa at Women and Hollywood named Weaver as Feminist of the Year, for her blunt statement at the event:

Someday hopefully it won’t be necessary to allocate a special evening to celebrate where we are and how far we’ve come…someday women writers, producers and crew members will be so commonplace, and roles and salaries for actresses will outstrip those for men, and pigs will fly.

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