March 14: Deciding the Election with an Economic Coin Toss

Mar 14, 2012Tim Price

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

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Muddled Economic Picture Muddles the Political One, Too (NYT)
David Leonhardt writes that the economic turning point that will decide President Obama's fate in November has arrived, but it's still not exactly clear which direction it will wind up pointing him in. For now he's just sort of spinning in place.

Obama Lunches With Bloomberg? Here's What's Really Afoot When it Comes to Political Money (AlterNet)
No one knows what Obama and Bloomberg discussed over lunch, but Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Tom Ferguson thinks the collapse of Americans Elect's centrist hopes was on the menu. Or maybe Obama's planning ahead for a third term.

15 of 19 Big Banks Pass Fed’s Latest Stress Test (NYT)
The Fed released its latest stress test results two days ahead of schedule after Jamie Dimon decided to do it for them, so now banks can feel free to reduce their capital, just like passing a regular stress test means you can switch to an all-bacon diet.

HUD IG Report Released With Settlement Details Servicer Abuse Directed From the Top (FDL)
David Dayen notes a new report that confirms mortgage abuses weren't just the result of some interns getting bored and deciding to perpetrate a massive criminal conspiracy. First their managers promoted them to VP of Criminal Conspiracies.

Faced With Unequal Pay, Some Women Opt Out (The Nation)
ND2.0 Editor Bryce Covert writes that the "opt-out revolution" of college-educated women leaving the workforce is less a positive affirmation that they can plot their own course in life and more of a resigned sigh that their wages aren't worth it.

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Michael Tomasky on GOP Plans to Sink the Economy (Daily Beast)
Republicans are faced with a conflict of interest in that their stated goal is to defeat Barack Obama, which means that making sure the economy stays as miserable as possible works in their favor. Luckily, all they have to do is what comes naturally.

Would a Higher Top Tax Rate Raise Revenues? (NYT)
Bruce Bartlett writes that in attempting to make the case that taxing the rich does nothing to reduce inequality, conservative economist Allan Meltzer has accidentally made an excellent case that we should go ahead and tax the rich just 'cause.

Germany Fails To Meet Its Own Austerity Goals (Der Spiegel)
While Germany insists other European nations don the hair shirt of austerity as punishment for their reckless ways, it has implemented less than half of its own planned cuts. Maybe "do as I say, not as I do" sounds better in the original German.

Do we need minority-owned banks for minority communities? (WaPo)
Suzy Khimm notes that that letting the big banks replace struggling minority-owned banks would be a slightly more appealing proposition if they didn't have a proven track record of preying on minorities like vampires at a hemophilia clinic.

Giving Dennis Kucinich his due (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel pens an ode to Kucinich, who was frequently mocked for acting like he was a member of a genuinely progressive party, and who has now been forced by redistricting to leave Congress and return to his home planet.

With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.

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