February 9

“All you need to know to navigate today’s economic debate.”

S.E.C. Enforcers Focus on Avoiding Madoff Repeat (NYT)
Robert Khuzami explores the tense atmosphere of the S.E.C. more than seven months after Bernie Madoff was sentenced.

U.S. Small-Business Index Rises for First Time in Three Months (Bloomberg)
Confidence among U.S. small businesses increased in January for the first time in three months as the outlook for sales improved, according to the National Federation of Independent Business optimism index.

We’re Paying WHOM to Fix Subprime Mortgages? (MotherJones)
Andy Kroll condemns the idiocy of giving federal money to the same companies that helped to construct the subprime mortgage meltdown.

Gloating at John Thain’s Step Down (Atlantic)
Benjamin Carlson explores the repercussions of John Thain’s recent move to CIT, a seemingly less prestigious position.

Head of BIS Calls for Bigger Liquidity Buffers (NakedCapitalism)
Jamie Caruna, head of the Bank of International Settlements, recommends that that banks hold enough to allow them to survive a month without access to funding.

Elizabeth Warren Calls Out Wall Street (BaselineScenario)
James Kwak highlights the challenges facing Elizabeth Warren’s battle against power on Wall St., including the challenge of getting a consumer protection bill passed in the Senate.

No Exit in Sight for U.S. As Fannie, Freddie Flail (WSJ)
The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac faces more obstacles as the President tries to reduce foreclosures to keep Americans in their homes.

The Inexact Science of Economics (Economist’sView)
Mark Thoma writes on the nature of economics, examining the disconnect between economic laws and their actual manifestation within society.