Bank bailout faltering
The billions of federal dollars funneled to the nation’s banks aren’t trickling down to businesses and consumers, experts testified this week. In the first hearing of a panel appointed by Congress to monitor the $700 billion bailout, bankers, economists, and officials described the toll the credit crunch was taking on families and businesses. “There is little evidence of what effect these billions of dollars are having on us,” said panel chairwoman Elizabeth Warren.

Tobacco lawsuits advance
The U.S. Supreme Court this week voted 5–4 to allow smokers of so-called light cigarettes to sue tobacco companies for deceptive advertising. The Federal Trade Commission argued that cigarette makers have long known that cigarettes advertised as “ultra light” or “low tar” are no safer than regular cigarettes, yet their ads have implied that they were less risky.