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This Is How Wall Street Is Fighting the Brown-Vitter Bill (NY Mag)
Kevin Roose writes that despite Brown-Vitter's slim chances of passing, the fact that banks have already started freestyling their fear-mongering -- how's "too-big-to-fail is a good thing!" working for you? Okay, what if it's already fixed? -- makes him root for it.
Turns out the much-hyped settlement still allows banks to steal homes (Salon)
David Dayen notes that banks still illegally foreclose on thousands of homes using tactics like robo-signing that they swore off as part of the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement, but the settlement terms recognize that it's tough to go cold turkey on criminality.
Not Enough Inflation (NYT)
Paul Krugman writes that despite conservatives' warnings that we should stock up on gold coins and canned beans before the Fed's money-printing causes hyperinflation, the real danger is in having the dollar become a collector's item when demand is already low.
The Austerity Delusion (Foreign Affairs)
Noting that austerity has proven to be a singularly useless and counterproductive economic policy wherever and whenever it's been tried, Mark Blyth looks at why western leaders continue to be lured in by the siren song of "common sense" that's anything but.
U.S. Spending Cuts Seen as Key in Slowing Growth (NYT)
Are you sitting down? Okay, get this: Nelson Schwartz reports that economists think the combination of higher payroll taxes and sequestration will drag down the recovery and hurt job creation. Why didn't anyone warn Congress sooner? Egg on their faces, for sure.
Expert: Obama's Housing Nomination Is Good News for Poor People (MoJo)
Erika Eichelberger reports that affordable housing advocates back Mel Watt, current House Democrat and would-be FHFA director, citing his support for principal reduction and lending to low-income and minority borrowers. Just don't call it community reinvestment.
More Obama appointments: Pritzker at Commerce; Froman for trade representative (WaPo)
Zachary Goldfarb notes that hotel heiress Penny Pritzker, the president's pick to head the Commerce Department (official motto: Google us!), could be the wealthiest Cabinet secretary ever. Meanwhile, Paris Hilton continues to wait for her call to serve.
The Face of Pregnancy Discrimination (RH Reality Check)
Annamarya Scaccia looks at how employers exploit vulnerable workers and creative interpretations of the law to fire pregnant employees, put them on unpaid leave, and otherwise deny them opportunities, just like their own mothers dreamed they'd grow up to do.