Daily Digest - May 16: Thirty-Seventh Time's the Charm

May 16, 2013Tim Price

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Four Better Ways to Spend the $55 Million Wasted on Votes to Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Think Progress)

House Republicans will vote to repeal Obamacare for the 37th time today because they still haven't found a genie to grant their wish, but Bryce Covert and Adam Peck write that instead of paying them to pretend to work, we could pay for things we actually need.

Sequestration Cuts Taking Money Out of People's Unemployment Checks (HuffPo)

Arthur Delaney notes that 2 million long-term unemployed are seeing their benefits cut as a consequence of the sequester. Now that money can be put toward reducing the already rapidly shrinking federal deficit instead of being wasted on, say, a family's dinner.

The global epidemic of underemployed youth (Reuters)

Shane Ferro highlights a report from the International Labor Organization that finds fewer than 20 percent of young people in high- or low-income countries are fully employed, with the rest either hustling, studying, or just waiting around and wondering when life starts.

IRS Fallout: The Real Scandal Is Secret Money Influencing US Elections (The Nation)

While some critics are mad that the IRS dared to question the legitimacy of a bunch of guys in Thomas Jefferson costumes, Ari Berman argues the bigger problem is that they didn't even bother to question what the guys in the expensive suits and ties were up to.

Europe's endless recession, in one chart (WaPo)

Brad Plumer notes that the euro zone economy has now contracted for the sixth consecutive quarter, making it the longest recession the euro zone has ever experienced and, based on how its members are souring on the project, quite possibly the last.

The Fed's Credibility Problem (ProPublica)

Jesse Eisinger argues that while it might be fun to point and laugh at the hedge funders who have been complaining that the Fed doesn't know what it's doing, they kind of have a point, even if it's by accident: the central bank's track record is pretty abysmal.

Why Won't the SEC Rein in the Firms That Tanked America's Economy? (MoJo)

Erika Eichelberger writes that a handful of credit rating agencies helped blow up the economy by telling banks for a fee that the piles of toxic junk they were selling smelled like roses, but the SEC still isn't sure it sees anything wrong with that scenario.

Guerrillas in the Boardroom (TNR)

David Dayen writes that shareholder activists are learning to work the system, winning 66 percent of proposal votes this year and engineering the ouster of a Fortune 500 CEO. Now they're on the verge of making Jamie Dimon take his ball and go home.

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