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Sequester of Fools (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that two years after the quest for a grand bargain ended with the flame-out of the Simpson-Bowles commission, the only fiscal crisis we face isn’t the one they warned about, but the one that was designed to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We’re All Women Workers Now: How the Floor of the Economy Has Dropped for Everyone (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert argues that while the workforce is now roughly evenly split between men and women, the nature of work has shifted heavily toward old-fashioned girly jobs — look nice, smile, earn a little pocket money, and don’t get too comfortable.
Obama Fleshes Out Plans for Infrastructure Projects (NYT)
John Schwartz reports that the president has a three-part infrastructure investment plan, including a public-private National Infrastructure Bank, a streamlined permit process, and $50 billion to fix all the bridges being held together with duct tape and good thoughts.
Too Little, Too Late: Why? (NYRB)
To some, TARP was the worst mistake made during the financial crisis. To others (mostly its architects), it paid off in spades. Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick plays claims adjuster and provides a full damage assessment of the Geithner legacy. (Note: subscribers only.)
Why Should Taxpayers Give Banks $83 Billion a Year? (Bloomberg)
Big banks like to claim their size gives them some sort of edge, but an editorial argues they wouldn’t be turning a profit without the lower borrowing costs that result from the government standing by to perform first aid in case they collapse under their own weight.
A Tax That May Change the Trading Game (NYT)
Floyd Norris writes that Europe looks ready to embrace a financial transactions tax to help rein in high-frequency trading and recoup its losses from the financial crisis, and like all European fashions, they’re hoping it will catch on in America in the next few years.
Financial Reform’s Triple “F” Rating (Prospect)
David Dayen examines Dodd-Frank’s failure to overhaul the credit rating system in which issuers pay ratings agencies big bucks to evaluate the quality of their securities, or, more accurately, to tell investors what a safe and amazingly profitable bet they are.
Despite Aid, Borrowers Still Face Foreclosure (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that out of the homeowners who have seen some relief from last year’s big foreclosure settlement, only 13 percent got help with their primary mortgage. That explains why the banks signed the settlement papers with a ;-).