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A Mortgage Agency Pick Is Likely to Cause Conflict (NYT)
Peter Eavis and Annie Lowrey report that critics are displeased that the president is nominating Mel Watt, who supports mortgage writedowns to help struggling homeowners, to replace Ed DeMarco, who’s been doing his best pet rock impression as acting FHFA director.
Federal Reserve ponders possibility of increasing stimulus (WaPo)
Ylan Q. Mui notes that the Fed explicitly acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the economy could get bad enough to convince it to ramp up its bond-purchasing program — and if it does, the central bank doesn’t mind telling anyone that it will be Congress’s fault.
GOP’s Census Bill Would Eliminate America’s Economic Indicators (HuffPo)
Tired of bad economic news? Maybe we’d be better off with no news at all. As Michael McAuliff writes, that seems to be the position taken by Republican lawmakers who want to ban the Census Bureau from collecting data used to calculate unemployment and GDP.
American job prospects make for dim May Day celebration (MSNBC)
Ned Resnikoff notes that yesterday was International Workers’ Day, but it was a lot like any other day for American workers, marked by historically low labor force participation and union membership, declining job quality and safety standards, and the looming threat of layoffs.
Big Banks are Victims of Their Own Success (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger argues that the Brown-Vitter bill banks are decrying as a punitive measure that will destroy the financial system is the bad cop to Dodd-Frank’s good cop. Wall Street may live to regret stripping the latter of its badge and its gun and drumming it off the force.
Banks on the Run (Continued) (The Nation)
Greg Kaufmann writes that banks are learning another valuable lesson about the consequences of indiscriminately throwing people out of their homes: no matter where they hold their shareholder meetings, angry activists keep turning up like a roll of bad pennies.
It’s a 401(k) World and It Basically Sucks (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias thinks Tom Friedman’s “401(k) world” metaphor is an apt description of modern America, but it’s a barren, inhospitable world for anyone except the wealthy and the few middle-class workers who manage to invest wisely and adequately.
The New Study That Republicans Who Reject Medicaid Must Read (TNR)
While some conservatives are doing an end zone dance over a new study that shows Medicaid access has limited health benefits for the poor, Jonathan Cohn argues that keeping beneficiaries out of crippling medical debt — and clinical depression — isn’t nothing.