March 15: Banks Get Absolution, But Women Must Confess

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

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Robosigning Still Going on at Wells Fargo, Reports HUD Inspector General (Naked Capitalism)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Matt Stoller notes that banks obstructed the government’s investigation and continue to break the law, but they’ve agreed to stop committing so many crimes that authorities have to pretend to do something.

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs (NYT)
Greg Smith writes that he’s resigning from his position as an executive director at Goldman because the firm has become focused on making money at the expense of clients rather than for them. Also, he’s pretty awesome at ping pong. Just saying.

Why the bank dividends are a bad idea (Reuters)
Anat Admati argues that letting banks that passed the Fed’s stress tests buy back shares and raise dividends is as wise as a doctor telling his patients to celebrate their clean bill of health by easing back on the exercise and taking up smoking.

Why Employers Should Want Their Workers Using Contraception (The Nation)
The Arizona GOP is doubling down on the debate that won’t die with a bill that could allow employers to fire women for using the pill for S-E-X. But as ND2.0 Editor Bryce Covert points out, a less randomly pregnant workforce is a stronger workforce.

The Difference Between Private and Public Morality (Robert Reich)
Reich notes that while Republicans are ready to call in the National Guard if you don’t have a papal dispensation for whatever’s going on in your bedroom, they’re all too willing to turn a blind eye to the moral rot spreading through corporate boardrooms.

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Capitalism, Version 2012 (NYT)
Thomas Friedman writes that as we attempt to define what modern capitalism will look like, we should acknowledge that there needs to be a private-public balance instead of pretending the choice is between the Soviet Union or Galt’s Gulch.

Jobs Bill Stalls as Congress Fights Over Agency (NYT)
Annie Lowrey reports that the bipartisan JOBS Act has hit a snag over the Export-Import Bank. Democrats argue it should be reauthorized, but some Senate Republicans question the decision to appoint Art Vandelay to head the agency.

A Tale Of Two Economies: The GOP’s Schizophrenic Jobs Message (TPM)
Benjy Sarlin notes that the GOP is faced with the tricky proposition of convincing voters that Barack Obama has utterly ruined the American economy with his socialist ways while still taking credit for the amazing job growth in Republican territory.

Congress’s war on the post office (Salon)
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can stop the mail, but as Josh Eidelson writes, Republicans are going to take their best shot, lambasting the U.S. Postal Service for running a deficit that was essentially mandated by Congress.

When a Congressman Becomes a Lobbyist, He Gets a 1,452% Raise (on Average) (Republic Report)
Lee Fang’s eyebrow-raising analysis shows that while many politicians may lack the dignity or principles to keep from completely selling out once they leave office, they do at least have enough self-respect to establish an extraordinary asking price.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.