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The studies behind austerity are weak. The study behind ‘uncertainty’ is worse. (WaPo)
Ezra Klein notes that the “policy uncertainty is hurting the economy” meme is back in the headlines, and as Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal has shown, that’s apparently all the proof that the researchers making that claim think they need in order to back it up.
How Wall Street Defanged Dodd-Frank (The Nation)
Gary Rivlin explains why passing financial reform in 2010 might have been the easy part compared to the all-out war lobbyists have been waging against it ever since. Schoolhouse Rock left out the part where the Bill turns up dead with a knife sticking out of his back.
Banks Resist Strict Controls of Foreign Bets (NYT)
Eric Lipton notes that the current focus of bankers’ ire is a proposal that would give U.S. regulators more oversight on overseas derivatives trades, since it’s not like there’s any chance someone like the London Whale could wind up beaching on American shores.
House Financial Chair Hensarling Goes on Ski Vacation with Wall Street (ProPublica)
Justin Elliott reports that the GOP’s top man on the House Financial Services Committee hit the slopes with industry reps who have generously donated thousands to his PAC. He’s so dedicated to his work that he just can’t help but bring it with him on vacation.
As Jobs Lag, Fed Is Viewed as Unlikely to Do More (NYT)
As the Fed wraps up a two-day policy meeting, Binyamin Appelbaum writes that they probably won’t back away from their current stimulus program, but they won’t do much to expand it, either. They’re aiming for a solid “Needs Improvement” on their job evaluation.
For the unemployed, no reprieve on budget cuts (CNNMoney)
Jeanne Sahadi notes that sequestration will force cuts in unemployment benefits for 3.8 million Americans starting this week, and the longer states wait to make the cuts, the more they’re going to hurt. They’re just buying time for Congress to, er, leap into action.
How to ease economic anxiety (WaPo)
Harold Meyerson writes that with polls showing most Americans feel their fortunes are on the decline, the only response (besides eating a whole tub of ice cream) is to organize for higher wages and against trade agreements that undercut American workers.
CEO Pay 1,795-to-1 Multiple of Wages Skirts U.S. Law (Bloomberg)
Many companies continue to resist Dodd-Frank’s requirement that they disclose their pay ratios, so Bloomberg crunched the numbers itself and found that the average CEO’s making 204 times as much as his average employee. Time to ask for that raise.