February 9: The Sound of Settling

Feb 9, 2012Tim Price

daily-digest-150 What you need to know to navigate today's most critical debates.

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States Negotiate $26 Billion Deal for Homeowners (NYT)
Now that Eric Schneiderman and Kamala Harris have signed on to the settlement deal, the banks may finally be ready to fudge some numbers pay their dues and keep doing the same stuff but more secretively put this whole robo-signing mess behind them.

The SOX Win: How Financial Regulation Can Work (ProPublica)
Jesse Eisinger points out that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was heavily criticized as a drag on business and an overreaction to corporate accounting scandals, but over the last 10 years, the only thing it's kept companies from doing is lying to everyone so much.

Why Wall Street Should Stop Whining (Rolling Stone)
No one wants to hear bankers complain about bonuses or how boring it is to not gamble with other people's money, and Matt Taibbi notes that if you catch them accidentally being honest, they're a lot more worried about Europe than Dodd-Frank.

Preet Bharara’s toothless bite of Wall Street (Salon)
Gary Weiss questions Time's decision to portray U.S. attorney Preet Bharara as the bogeyman bankers dream about on those nights when they wake up in a cold sweat given that his biggest cases have been against people who stole from the big banks.

Ancient History (TNR)
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt writes that President Obama has been criticized for governing as a moderate Republican, but the moderate Republican brand once had a lot to recommend it aside from its unfortunate capacity for self-destruction.

Click here to buy Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch’s new book on the epic health care reform battle, Fighting for Our Health.

Little Room for New Workers (WSJ)
The job market is recovering, but the data show very little churn as those who currently have jobs are clinging to them for dear life out of fear that there still aren't enough opportunities waiting for them and the economy could take another plunge.

Tie U.S. Recovery Program to Economic Indicators (Bloomberg)
Peter Orszag points out that the slow, unsteady pace of the recovery highlights the benefits of implementing more automatic stabilizers and eliminating a lot of the guesswork and haggling of policymakers, much as they love doing that kind of thing.

Why White House sees political opportunity in the contraception battle (WaPo)
The Obama administration is sticking by a plan to require employer insurance to cover contraception, which may have to do with the fact that women and young people really like the idea, as do most groups that don't loathe the president anyway.

What We Learned From Planned Parenthood (The Nation)
Katrina vanden Heuvel compares the response to Planned Parenthood's defunding and the backlash against ACORN, pointing out that progressives have gotten much better at self-defense while the right has gotten worse at picking targets to smear.

Supporting Bad Habits With Public Money (NYT)
Casey Mulligan notes that restrictions that would keep the poor from spending their food stamps and welfare on junk food and strippers, respectively, don't have much point beyond political symbolism -- which is more than enough for their proponents.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

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