Tim Price

Deputy Editor

Recent Posts by Tim Price

  • Daily Digest - May 3: Wall Street's Latest Greatest Fear

    May 3, 2013Tim Price

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    This Is How Wall Street Is Fighting the Brown-Vitter Bill (NY Mag)

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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.

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  • Daily Digest - May 2: DeMarco's Days Are Numbered

    May 2, 2013Tim Price

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    A Mortgage Agency Pick Is Likely to Cause Conflict (NYT)

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    A Mortgage Agency Pick Is Likely to Cause Conflict (NYT)

    Peter Eavis and Annie Lowrey report that critics are displeased that the president is nominating Mel Watt, who supports mortgage writedowns to help struggling homeowners, to replace Ed DeMarco, who's been doing his best pet rock impression as acting FHFA director.

    Federal Reserve ponders possibility of increasing stimulus (WaPo)

    Ylan Q. Mui notes that the Fed explicitly acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the economy could get bad enough to convince it to ramp up its bond-purchasing program -- and if it does, the central bank doesn't mind telling anyone that it will be Congress's fault.

    GOP's Census Bill Would Eliminate America's Economic Indicators (HuffPo)

    Tired of bad economic news? Maybe we'd be better off with no news at all. As Michael McAuliff writes, that seems to be the position taken by Republican lawmakers who want to ban the Census Bureau from collecting data used to calculate unemployment and GDP.

    American job prospects make for dim May Day celebration (MSNBC)

    Ned Resnikoff notes that yesterday was International Workers' Day, but it was a lot like any other day for American workers, marked by historically low labor force participation and union membership, declining job quality and safety standards, and the looming threat of layoffs.

    Big Banks are Victims of Their Own Success (ProPublica)

    Jesse Eisinger argues that the Brown-Vitter bill banks are decrying as a punitive measure that will destroy the financial system is the bad cop to Dodd-Frank's good cop. Wall Street may live to regret stripping the latter of its badge and its gun and drumming it off the force.

    Banks on the Run (Continued) (The Nation)

    Greg Kaufmann writes that banks are learning another valuable lesson about the consequences of indiscriminately throwing people out of their homes: no matter where they hold their shareholder meetings, angry activists keep turning up like a roll of bad pennies.

    It's a 401(k) World and It Basically Sucks (Slate)

    Matthew Yglesias thinks Tom Friedman's "401(k) world" metaphor is an apt description of modern America, but it's a barren, inhospitable world for anyone except the wealthy and the few middle-class workers who manage to invest wisely and adequately.

    The New Study That Republicans Who Reject Medicaid Must Read (TNR)

    While some conservatives are doing an end zone dance over a new study that shows Medicaid access has limited health benefits for the poor, Jonathan Cohn argues that keeping beneficiaries out of crippling medical debt -- and clinical depression -- isn't nothing.

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  • Daily Digest - May 1: Uncertainty, Unprincipled

    May 1, 2013Tim Price

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    The studies behind austerity are weak. The study behind 'uncertainty' is worse. (WaPo)

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    The studies behind austerity are weak. The study behind 'uncertainty' is worse. (WaPo)

    Ezra Klein notes that the "policy uncertainty is hurting the economy" meme is back in the headlines, and as Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal has shown, that's apparently all the proof that the researchers making that claim think they need in order to back it up.

    How Wall Street Defanged Dodd-Frank (The Nation)

    Gary Rivlin explains why passing financial reform in 2010 might have been the easy part compared to the all-out war lobbyists have been waging against it ever since. Schoolhouse Rock left out the part where the Bill turns up dead with a knife sticking out of his back.

    Banks Resist Strict Controls of Foreign Bets (NYT)

    Eric Lipton notes that the current focus of bankers' ire is a proposal that would give U.S. regulators more oversight on overseas derivatives trades, since it's not like there's any chance someone like the London Whale could wind up beaching on American shores.

    House Financial Chair Hensarling Goes on Ski Vacation with Wall Street (ProPublica)

    Justin Elliott reports that the GOP's top man on the House Financial Services Committee hit the slopes with industry reps who have generously donated thousands to his PAC. He's so dedicated to his work that he just can't help but bring it with him on vacation.

    As Jobs Lag, Fed Is Viewed as Unlikely to Do More (NYT)

    As the Fed wraps up a two-day policy meeting, Binyamin Appelbaum writes that they probably won't back away from their current stimulus program, but they won't do much to expand it, either. They're aiming for a solid "Needs Improvement" on their job evaluation.

    For the unemployed, no reprieve on budget cuts (CNNMoney)

    Jeanne Sahadi notes that sequestration will force cuts in unemployment benefits for 3.8 million Americans starting this week, and the longer states wait to make the cuts, the more they're going to hurt. They're just buying time for Congress to, er, leap into action.

    How to ease economic anxiety (WaPo)

    Harold Meyerson writes that with polls showing most Americans feel their fortunes are on the decline, the only response (besides eating a whole tub of ice cream) is to organize for higher wages and against trade agreements that undercut American workers.

    CEO Pay 1,795-to-1 Multiple of Wages Skirts U.S. Law (Bloomberg)

    Many companies continue to resist Dodd-Frank's requirement that they disclose their pay ratios, so Bloomberg crunched the numbers itself and found that the average CEO's making 204 times as much as his average employee. Time to ask for that raise.

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  • Daily Digest - April 30: Canceling the Cable Monopolies

    Apr 30, 2013Tim Price

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    The Next Elizabeth Warren (TNR)

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    The Next Elizabeth Warren (TNR)

    If you've ever been annoyed by your Internet provider, return the favor by reading John Judis's profile of Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford, who's taking on the telecom giants and fighting to make high-speed Internet access as ubiquitous as electricity.

    The United States of Sequestration (MoJo)

    Timothy Murphy highlights how sequestration has affected all 50 states in the six weeks since its $85.4 billion in cuts began to kick in. From closed Head Start programs to furloughed workers, nothing brings the whole country together quite like terrible policy.

    Sequestration 101: If a Budget Cut Doesn't Affect the Wealthy, Congress Won't Fix It (The Nation)

    Bryce Covert argues that there's a reason flight delays consumed the media and Congress's attention while other cuts are ignored: policymakers actually listen to rich people's complaints, whereas everyone else sounds like one of Charlie Brown's teachers.

    Meals On Wheels Sequestration Cuts Taking Effect (HuffPo)

    Case in point: With Meals On Wheels set to deliver as many as 19 million fewer meals this year due to funding cuts, Arthur Delaney reports that some recipients are actually questioning whether it's worth feeding them if it means that others will go hungry.

    Washington's Backward Retirement Policy: So Wrong, and Yet So Easy to Fix (The Atlantic)

    James Kwak argues that there would be plenty of money to shore up Social Security's finances without cutting benefits if the government stopped giving it to people who don't need it (and don't particularly care if they get it) in the form of 401(k) and IRA subsidies.

    Are Democrats Moving Away from "Debt Crisis" Rhetoric? (Prospect)

    Jamelle Bouie writes that instead of offering voters a choice between lots of enthusiastic austerity and a little less regretful austerity, even moderate Democrats seem to be realizing that they're betting off drawing a clear distinction and emphasizing growth instead.

    House Republicans Eyeing New Hostage Opportunity (NY Mag)

    Jonathan Chait notes that Republicans are once again plotting to force a debt ceiling showdown, but instead of tying it to deficit reduction like last time, they're now demanding a version of tax reform that makes deficit reduction the only thing you can't do.

    No Rich Child Left Behind (NYT)

    Sean Reardon writes that while the racial achievement gap in education has been narrowing, the income-based achievement gap is widening as rich parents sink more resources into giving their little darlings that leg up that a trust fund alone can't provide.

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  • Daily Digest - April 29: The Fed Keeps Rolling That Rock Uphill

    Apr 29, 2013Tim Price

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    The great economic experiment of 2013: Ben Bernanke vs. austerity (WaPo)

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    The great economic experiment of 2013: Ben Bernanke vs. austerity (WaPo)

    Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal writes that U.S. economic policy has become a "punch me as hard as you can!" bar bet in which the Federal Reserve makes a big push to stimulate the recovery and lawmakers push back with spending cuts and tax hikes.

    Latest GDP Report Shows U.S. Economy Still Waiting for Liftoff (Bloomberg View)

    Matthew C. Klein notes that the last quarter's growth, which came in below expectations, was driven largely by personal consumption, which can't keep going unless people get more money, and stunted by austerity, which can evidently keep going no matter what.

    The Story of Our Time (NYT)

    With the austerity narrative looking shakier by the day, Paul Krugman offers a synopsis of the progressive alternative: the government isn't like a family that needs to tighten its belt; it's the spender of last resort that keeps your family from cutting off its circulation.

    The Unluckiest Generation: What Will Become of Millennials? (The Atlantic)

    Derek Thompson argues that while Millennials had the bad fortune to be born at precisely the right time to inherit an absolute economic mess when they came of age, they do at least have cheap food, clothing, and streaming video to help keep their spirits high.

    Loans Borrowed Against Pensions Squeeze Retirees (NYT)

    Older Americans aren't faring much better than the younger ones, as Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that retirees lured in by the promise of "pension advances" sometimes wind up paying up to 106 percent interest and turning over their life insurance to lenders.

    How to Lose the Sequestration Fight (TPM)

    Brian Beutler argues that Congress's quick fix for flight delays isn't just bad policy because it gives special treatment to the rich; it's also bad strategy inasmuch as it proves Democrats don't actually have one for holding Republicans accountable for the sequester.

    Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever (Rolling Stone)

    Matt Taibbi notes that in addition to messing with Libor, the international interest rate benchmark, the big banks may also have manipulated ISDAfix, a benchmark for pricing interest-rate swaps, making it the bacon cheeseburger pizza burger of financial scandals.

    How One Tweet Almost Broke US Financial Markets (MoJo)

    Nick Baumann writes that after one hacked tweet about a White House bombing sent the stock market plunging, critics of high-frequency trading software have new concerns about SEC oversight and how these computers would react to some real bad news.

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