Breakfast Buffet, Monday, April 20

America Is "Fill in the Blank": We've already heard that America is Russia, America is Japan, and America is a developing country. Here's another hat to try on: Krugman says America is Irish. (And it has nothing to do with how much Guinness we drink.)

Really? Another One?: Bank of America is the latest bank to post strong first quarter earnings. When will the backlash against bank profits begin?

Don't Blame the Engineers: The financial crisis is just a pothole on the road to technological progress! Writing in the Wall Street Journal, L. Gordon Crovitz says, "The innovators who thought up the elevator, the cotton gin and space travel didn't intend to kill or injure people as they perfected the technologies. Likewise, today's financial engineers never imagined their miscalculations could result in a global recession."

Sprucing Up the Shantytowns: One way Brazil is tackling the downturn: by investing in infrastructure (fresh water, cable car systems) in some of the worst of Rio's favelas.

No Crisis in Microcredit: Banco Compartamos, the Mexican microcreditor which achieved derision when it went public, is now Mexico's second-best performing stock, and it expects to benefit from the downturn.