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The Economic Challenge Ahead: More Jobs and Growth, Not Deficit Reduction (Robert Reich)
Reich writes that deficit hawks are still getting to frame the debate in Washington, and they aren't interested in using that power to push for solutions to real problems like unemployment or even fake problems like the deficit they're supposed to be hawking.
CBO: Turns out austerity is bad for the economy (MSNBC)
Ned Resnikoff notes that a new report from the CBO shows that recent efforts to cut government spending and reduce the deficit have resulted in slower growth, an outcome that could only have been predicted by anyone who understands the concept of subtraction.
Postal Cuts Are Austerity on Steroids (The Nation)
John Nichols argues that forcing the U.S. Postal Service into a death spiral of spending and service cuts is both an assault on public services and a breach of constitutional responsibility. Rain and snow can't stop the mail from getting through, but Congress might.
How Effective Is the Safety Net? (CBPP)
Robert Greenstein writes, contra Kristof, that government assistance like food stamps and Medicaid has kept tens of millions of Americans out of poverty, but even with those programs to keep us from falling, we need a less rickety ladder to help us climb upward.
Wonder Warren (Prospect)
David Dayen notes that by helping to launch an investigation of the very inaccurately named Independent Foreclosure Reviews, Elizabeth Warren is turning the bright new spotlight that's been shined on her right back onto the darker corners of finance and regulation.
The .03% Solution (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger writes that as Europe presses ahead with a financial transaction tax, the U.S. should embrace it as a way to raise some much-needed revenue and dial high-frequency trading back down from its current "just mainlined a can of Four Loko" setting.
Emperors of Banking Have No Clothes (Bloomberg)
Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig argue that banks don't have much of a leg to stand on when they complain that tougher regulation would be too costly for them, especially when their alternative is for taxpayers to act as a combination trust fund and bail bondsmen.
Why the Government's Lawsuit Against Standard & Poor's Matters (Our Future)
Richard Eskow writes that taking S&P to court for its mortgage practices is a good idea not just because there's a mountain of evidence that the agency committed serious fraud, but because their overall job performance is barely worthy of a junk rating.
E-Mails Imply JPMorgan Knew Some Mortgage Deals Were Bad (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg notes that court documents from a suit against JPMorgan show that the bank and the firms it acquired during the financial crisis treated critical appraisals of their products as a rough first draft of the glowing reviews investors would read.
Stupid things traders say: The five most incriminating exchanges in the new Libor case (WaPo)
Danielle Douglas rounds up some choice quotes from the e-mail dump from the CTFC's Libor investigation, and look, guys, I don't want to tell you your business, but there must be a darkened parking garage somewhere you could be having these chats in person.