Daily Flog: Frantic banks make a run on us; automakers drive up to Treasury's ATM

It's a wonderful life for bankers. After decades of spending billions to fight government regulation, they're running to the government for billions to bail them out.

And a Republican administration is pulling out all the stops — even embracing nationalization — to help them.

Now the big automakers, after decades of producing and defending gas hogs while falling behind foreign competitors, are snuffling up to the U.S. Treasury trough for some free slop.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, has been in no mood to bail out his old company's rival investment banks. Lehman was allowed to collapse, and Morgan Stanley has had to turn to Japan for help.

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But even that's working out: Just this morning, Mitsubishi finally agreed to bail out Morgan Stanley, in return for a 21 percent share.

Corporate welfare is now out in the open. And it seems to be working, as the foreign markets showed an initial surge this morning instead of a plummet.

So the state of Wall Street may finally be looking up. How's the state of working America looking?

Check with the Economic Policy Institute for its latest report.

More on that later today in Press Clips. For now, let's just say: Grim. And you'll simply have to bear it.

Read on for today's picks, including some items from the Chinese business mag Caijing, which you might want to start browsing now that the U.S. has lost its grip as the ruler of the world's financial system.

NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Washington Post: 'The Big Apple Loses Luster: Wall St. Meltdown Caps a Streak of Defeats for City'

McClatchy: 'Treasury will buy stock in banks; Asia, Europe bounce back'

Caijing (Beijing): 'Saving America: The U.S. financial system could go under without swift action from the global community'

Wall Street Journal: 'Slow-Motion Crash Leaves Investors Scrambling'

N.Y. Daily News: 'NYPD cops eyed in 100 East Coast robberies of cash, coke from dealers'

Gawker: 'Fox's Obama Expert Fears Jews'

Slate: 'How Race Can Help Obama: And why an Obama win wouldn't be a victory over racial prejudice'

The Onion: 'Much-Criticized Media Vows To Return To Softball Tactics'

BBC: 'Markets surge after crisis talks'

Gawker: 'Prostitution Still a Safe Bet in New Depression'

N.Y. Daily News: 'Woman left for 2 hours in emergency room wins $10.7M'

Slate: 'Mom, What's a Credit Default Swap?: Books to read your children during a financial crisis

McClatchy: 'Daring to utter the "L" word: Obama on track to a landslide'

New Yorker: 'Beyond The Palin'

Jewish Daily Forward: 'Retired American Generals Enter Israeli Politics Against Livni'

Slate: 'A Dolphin or a Lonely Transvestite?: How best to talk about English in English'

Wall Street Journal: 'In Virginia, McCain Struggles To Hold the South for GOP'

AP: 'NBA in joint venture to build arenas in China'

N.Y. Post: 'QUINN NOW IN MIKE'S CORNER'

Gawker: 'Yet Another Publisher Wusses Out to Islam Extremists'

Wall Street Journal: 'Is the Pope's Newspaper Catholic?'

Guardian (U.K.): 'Biggest US car firms may seek bail-out from government'

L.A. Times: 'Howard Stern loses listeners -- and influence -- on satellite radio'

N.Y. Post: 'POLICE "SHIFT" GEARS: MORE ANTI-CRIME OT'

IRIN: 'Countries lagging in flu pandemic plans, UN warns'

Caijing (Beijing): 'Internet Posts Used in Zhuzhou Graft Trial: In a landmark case, a former city food bureau chief is accused of corruption based on Web postings by whistleblowers'

Caijing (Beijing): 'Skittish CIC Sits Out Morgan Stanley Deal: Morgan Stanley was too expensive for China’s sovereign wealth fund CIC, which has lost a lot of money in the past year'

N.Y. Post: 'B'KLYN FIRE HORROR: KID, 12, AND UNCLE KILLED IN NEW APT.'

N.Y. Times: 'Hindu Threat to Christians: Convert or Flee'

N.Y. Times: 'Under "No Child" Law, Even Solid Schools Falter'

N.Y. Times: 'Writing Memoir, McCain Found a Narrative for Life'

N.Y. Times: 'After Weekend Financial Huddle, No Sign That Lenders Will Thaw'

N.Y. Times: 'Korean Star’s Suicide Reignites Debate on Web Regulation'

N.Y. Times: 'The Power of Political Pratfalls'

N.Y. Times: 'For Greenspan's Wife, Covering the Financial Crisis Is on a Case-by-Case Basis'

BBC: 'US banking regulation outdated" '

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