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Bank Scandal Turns Spotlight to Regulators (NYT)
Ben Protess and Mark Scott write that some are asking whether regulators let LIBOR manipulation slide because it helped give banks the appearance of financial health. That’s almost as good as actually being healthy, but retains a fun element of surprise.
Lies and Libor (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that the issue with LIBOR isn’t that people were shamelessly ripped off by banks, which is a dog-bites-man story. It’s that regulators must recognize that banks will exploit any loopholes they find like a genie with a mean streak.
The Nation’s Crime-Fighting Consumer Watchdog is Off and Running (MoJo)
While progressives greeted Richard Cordray’s appointment to head the CFPB with heavy sighs, rolling eyes, and 30 Rock references, the agency has found its footing in the last year, and it looks like it will be standing over here on the consumers’ side.
On tax cuts, Obama decides to fight (WaPo)
Ezra Klein writes that in proposing only a limited extension of the Bush tax cuts, President Obama has calculated that it’s worth risking a little market uncertainty to keep the “Mitt Romney will steal your lunch money and give it to a billionaire” message alive.
To Achieve Work-Family Balance, Americans Have to Work Less (The Nation)
NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that recent high-profile articles about Americans’ addiction to busyness and women’s struggles to have it all are linked by a common problem: we’re so overworked that having a personal life has become a fringe benefit.
Social Security and the Stork (NYT)
Nancy Folbre takes on the conservative meme that Social Security has discouraged Americans from having children, a sacred act between two people who love each other so much that they decide to create a precious little retirement fund together.
Will the Affordable Care Act Kill Jobs? (TNR)
Jonathan Gruber argues that though the GOP refers to the Affordable Care Act as “job-killing” so often it could be abbreviated JKACA, research shows it will help people choose better jobs or give them up voluntarily rather than cling to them like a life raft.
Housing’s Last Chance? (NYT)
Joe Nocera writes that it’s time for the government to use eminent domain to buy up underwater mortgages and offer homeowners reduced, affordable loans, making it clear that when we asked banks to do it themselves, we were just being polite.
For black Americans, financial damage from subprime implosion is likely to last (WaPo)
Ylan Q. Mui notes that black Americans hit by the subprime crisis not only suffered a massive financial setback but saw their credit scores ruined. But credit score companies say they don’t use race as a factor; they just screw minorities naturally.
Re-Re-elect FDR! Make 2012 the New 1936! (HuffPo)
Harvey J. Kaye argues that voters need to preach the gospel of FDR to this year’s presidential candidates, reminding them that once upon a time, we had a leader whose banking and business policies centered on regulation rather than flirtaiton.
With additional research by Danielle Bella Ellison.