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Financial Crisis

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Cloudy With No Chance of Normal

A full recovery is nowhere in sight. So beware economists who use a false dawn to push awful policies.

 

(PHOTO: INMAN NEWS)

Cities are (Still) Dropping Like Flies

Local governments just can’t get a break. Stockton, California, is case in point.

 

The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time

Fred Block, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis, reviews William K. Tabb’s view of the 2008 financial crisis.

Features

ps-martin-act

Unleashing a Wall Street Watchdog

How a 1920s law meant to protect investors was manipulated to protect big banks and investment firms—until now.

 

Housing Crisis Hits Poor Renters Hard

As the middle class sidles out of the houses it can no longer pay for, the migration is making it harder for the poorest renters to find a place.

 

Can a Bad Economy Save Your Marriage?

Spouses who blame the economy for their woes, rather than pointing the finger at their partner, are more likely to be satisfied with their marriages.

 

How Foreclosures Feasted on Some Cities, Not Others

A look at foreclosures in two Southern California cities shows why some fared better than others in the housing crisis.

 

Brams: Let Congress Select Super Committees

Instead of party leaders selecting members of Congress to form a super committee to hash out problems, Steven J. Brahms suggests full houses of Congress make the picks using the minimax procedure.

 

Simon Johnson Critiques Democracy vs. Financialization

The former chief economist for the IMF discusses the unfairness of the existing American financial infrastructure and the complex policy prescriptions that seek a remedy.

 

Spain’s Vacant Airport Typifies European Woes

As the governments of Euro-zone states totter and fall, a public works project in Spain illustrates the sort of thoughtless expenditure that underlies their economic distress.

 

Scandals Do Drive Voters — When Abuse of Power Is Involved

New research finds financial scandals hurt politicians more than moral ones, and the public particularly frowns on abuses of power.

 

#OWS: What Took So Long?

Psychologists tie the reluctance to protest Wall Street bailouts to a deep-seated need to justify the status quo.

 

#OWS: Have We Entered the Age of Protest?

Popular movements like Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party suggest that mass demonstrations have moved from the last resort of the powerless to the first resort of the newly empowered.

 

Do the Rich Really Make All the Jobs?

The argument that taxing the rich is bad because they’re responsible for making jobs has some merit, says a researcher, but only for a subset of the wealthy — those funding start-ups.

 

If Postal Service Diversifies, It Can Deliver

Most of the U.S. Postal Service’s plans for surviving in the short term come down to cutting costs and not implementing the new ideas its own consultants have called for.

 

Old Money Caught in the Great Redistribution

How the recession transfers wealth from the old to the young.

 

Mortgage Interest Deduction on the Chopping Block?

A panel ranging from liberals to libertarians suggests turning the mortgage interest deduction, a sacred cow of the U.S. tax code, into hamburger.

 

Mortgage Loan Documents Getting an Overhaul

In a sadly unusual move, the federal government shops around simplifications to important loan documents by asking the public to pick a winner from among two designs.

 

Did the Stimulus Quench America’s Economic Thirst?

Washington dumped torrents of stimulus dollars across the American landscape to keep the U.S. economy from dying on the vine, but most of the spending won’t bear fruit until 2015.

 

Next Economic Stimulus: Everything 20 Percent Off

The next time the U.S. looks at economic stimulus, two University of Delaware economists suggest, it ought to consider offering a hefty discount on every retail purchase.

 

Bargaining and Budget Shortfalls: Are They Linked?

Wisconsin’s fiscal free-for-all over limiting collective bargaining raises hard-to-answer questions about public unions and state deficits. Answers vary by the measures chosen.

 

What’s So Funny About Tightwad’s Money?

One small rural bank’s humorous effort to expand succeeds fair and square, only to raise the eyebrows of the regulators tasked to oversee its health.

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The Rise of the Nuisance Flood

Minor floods are afflicting parts of Maryland nearly 10 times more often than was the case in the 1960s.

America’s Streams Are Awash With Pesticides Banned in Europe

You may have never heard of clothianidin, but it's probably in your local river.

How Textbooks Have Changed the Face of War

War is more personal, less glorious, and more hellish in modern textbooks than in the past. But there’s still room for improvement.

NASA Could Build Entire Spacecrafts in Space Using 3-D Printers

This year NASA will experiment with 3-D printing small objects in space. That could mark the beginning of a gravity-free manufacturing revolution.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014

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