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Money for Nothing (NYT)
Paul Krugman notes that our wise men keep predicting deficits will lead to disaster, but with borrowing costs at an all-time low, they’re like end-times prophets disappointed when the sun rises the day after they marked the apocalypse on their calendars.
When Even Pessimism May Be Too Optimistic (WSJ)
David Wessel warns that avoiding another recession before the U.S. is fully recovered from the last one will require everything from the euro crisis to fiscal policy to go just right, but the last few years have clearly established that Murphy’s law is in effect.
New housing bubbles set to burst (Al Jazeera)
Dean Baker argues that with the UK, Canada, and Australia all caught up in housing bubbles relatively larger than the one the U.S. experienced, central banks need to become more diligent about making sure random parts of the economy don’t explode.
A crisis worse than 2008? (Salon)
Steve Weissman writes that the LIBOR scandal could undermine trust in banks even more than the financial crisis did. There’s no complex web of derivatives deals to unravel here, just a bunch of guys going “Hey, here’s the interest rate I made up today.”
A Fed Governor Wants Tougher Rules (NYT)
Simon Johnson notes that the Volcker Rule has gained an influential advocate in the form of Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, but she fears that her colleagues would prefer a weaker version of the rule, like “no prop trading unless you really really want to.”
Teaching Matters: Why It May Put More Women Into Public Office (Forbes)
NND Editor Bryce Covert writes that a new Teach for America program encouraging alumni to run for office could tap into a deep pool of female political talent. Good thing we’re laying off all our teachers; that should give them a lot more time to campaign.
Romney’s Innovative Economic Plan: Dubya 2.0 (TAP)
Paul Waldman argues that Mitt Romney’s claim to have some special knowledge of how the economy works is belied by a policy platform that only counts as fresh and innovative if we all agree to the GOP’s polite fiction that George W. Bush never existed.
Mitt Romney’s Pork Barrel Olympics (MoJo)
Tim Murphy notes that when Mitt Romney touts the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as an example of his skill at hard-nosed cost-cutting, he leaves out a few details, like how his friends ripped off the federal government to the tune of $1.5 billion.
Money Corrupts Politics Even More Than You Thought (Bloomberg)
Ezra Klein notes that 80 percent of Super PAC money comes from a secretive group of about 200 donors, but simply disclosing their spending won’t help when the size of their bank accounts is a more effective deterrent than most nuclear arsenals.
America’s High Health Care Costs (CAP)
Maura Calsyn, Emily Oshima Lee, and Danny Schwaber present a set of infographics illustrating the root causes and ramifications of our $2.8 trillion in annual health care spending, which should be enough to make anyone feel a little ill.
With additional research by Danielle Bella Ellison.