Some Texas Counties Weigh Picking Up Medicaid Expansion Themselves

By: Monday August 27, 2012 6:58 am

When the Supreme Court removed the barriers to states opting out of the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act, one of the first states to say they would reject the extension of additional coverage was Texas. This would have an outsized effect on the reach of the expansion, since moving up the eligibility of [...]

The Selling of the World, Cont’d

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 12:55 pm

This sounds like a right terrible idea: New York City, embracing an experimental mechanism for financing social services that has excited and worried government reformers around the world, will allow Goldman Sachs to invest nearly $10 million in a jail program, with the pledge that the financial services giant would profit if the program succeeded [...]

SEC Wants Oversight for Municipal Bond Market

By: Wednesday August 1, 2012 2:18 pm

Given the SEC’s track record on regulatory enforcement, I probably shouldn’t get too excited about this, but somebody needs to regulate the municipal bond market. The Securities and Exchange Commission asked Congress for new powers Tuesday to bring the nearly $4 trillion municipal securities market under greater federal regulation and force better disclosure for ordinary [...]

Rare Judicial Rulings Go Against Corporate Power

By: Friday July 27, 2012 12:22 pm

A couple judicial rulings recently actually went against corporate America in favor of consumers and residents, in such a rare fashion that I feel compelled to report on it. First, in Pennsylvania a state appellate court delivered what may be one of the first rulings against expanded hydraulic fracturing in a state with plenty of [...]

Federal Reserve Returns to Same Old Failed Solutions to Economic Problems

By: Wednesday July 25, 2012 8:15 am

After watching as they missed both their employment and inflation targets, the Federal Reserve pronounced themselves ready to act, but in the same sluggish, ineffective ways they have over the past couple years: Fed officials could take some actions in combination or one after another. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in testimony to Congress last week, [...]

Muni Governments Seek Damages in Libor Scandal

By: Wednesday July 11, 2012 10:20 am

Whether or not regulators sanction the major banks in the Libor rate-rigging scandal, plenty of stakeholders plan to sue the banks for restitution. This will be a bit difficult to figure out. Sometimes rates were fixed up, sometimes down. Certain Libor rates, like the 1-month or 3-month rates, were tampered with more than others, like [...]

Oakland City Council Demands Debt-Swap Renegotiation With Goldman Sachs

By: Friday July 6, 2012 1:24 pm

If the Libor scandal did end up hurting local governments to a large degree, you can just add that to the list. Local governments have been easy marks for the financial industry during the last decade, engaging in all kinds of interest rate-swap deals and other vehicles for financing operations. When they turn sour, the [...]

The Victims in the Libor Scandal Include Local Governments and Local Taxpayers

By: Thursday July 5, 2012 1:35 pm

As we absorb the Libor banking scandal, one of the things that will drive it is a recognition of who this hurt, at whose expense Barclays and a host of other banks made profits by manipulating the benchmark lending rate. Kevin Drum argues that it’s limited to floating-rate interest note investors, traders on futures exchanges [...]

Bernanke Continually Keeping Powder Dry, Despite Clear Evidence of Economic Slowdown

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 7:38 am

We know that the Federal Reserve kept the status quo on its monetary policies yesterday, extending Operation Twist (selling short-term maturities and buying long-term ones to try and reduce longer-term interest rates) through to the end of the year, but going no further. But the Fed released another set of data yesterday, its updated forecasts [...]

Cory Booker’s Slip Reveals Role of Private Equity in Local Government Funding

By: Monday May 21, 2012 10:25 am

Against my better judgment I’m going to weigh in on this Cory Booker story. As you probably know, Booker appeared on Meet the Press yesterday and pronounced himself “nauseated” by the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record with the private equity firm Bain Capital. In a follow-up YouTube that looked like the kind of [...]

Obama Brings Back the American Jobs Act From the Mothballs

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 9:46 am

Perhaps showing concern about the softening economic forecasts of recent months, President Obama has provided a to-do list for Congress that would, in his words, “create jobs and help restore middle class security.” The to-do list includes several ideas from the American Jobs Act and subsequent legislation proposals announced in recent months. They include: 1) [...]

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