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“Paul Blart Mall Cop” was the nation's number one movie again last week. Is this just another leading indicator of the country's fall into the abyss? Well under the circumstances a few dumb laughs may be better than watching Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's suburban bliss disintegrate in “Revolutionary Road”–that may hit too close to home (as in foreclosures), or “Slumdog Millionaire”–Bollywood and India surpassing Hollywood and USA in optimism and determination. At least Mr. Blart is gainfully employed at being a numb-skull. And how many folks at Merrill Lynch are thanking John Thain for rushing out their bonus checks days before the Bank of America deal closed? Of course, Merrill would have followed Lehman into bankruptcy save for the government's forced marriage with B of A and a heavy dose of TARP. Now, thanks in part to this deal, B of A is on the brink along with Citi, which taps Dick Parsons (he used to be a banker before Time Warner) as its new Chairman. Parsons, a gracious guy, couldn't figure out what to do with AOL–can he or anyone else save Citi?

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