June 11

What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.

The Mechanics of the Financial Reform Conference (TAP)
Tim Fernholz explains how conference committees shape legislation and who will be involved in the FinReg negotiations.

As Long-Term Unemployment Deepens, 99ers Look for Answers (Washington Independent)
Annie Lowrey examines the plight of Americans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and the Senate’s reluctance to help those who are most in need of a government bailout.

House Targets Underwater Homeowners (HuffPo)
House Republicans decided to stand up for banks instead of homeowners by putting forth a motion that would help to turn mortgage contracts into suicide pacts. House Democrats responded with a resigned shrug.

Can the U.S. Punish BP’s Shareholders? (NYTimes)
ND20 contributor Bill Black weighs in, arguing that the US is BP’s biggest creditor, and should act like it.

AIG’s Rescue Had ‘Poisonous’ Effect, U.S. Panel Says (BusinessWeek)
Led by ND20 contributor Elizabeth Warren, the Congressional Oversight Panel issued a report yesterday in which it blamed the AIG bailout for distorting the market by demonstrating that major financial institutions could shift their risk onto taxpayers.

Oy, Canada (NYTimes)
In a response to Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Marshall Auerback, Paul Krugman notes that Tories comparing current U.K. austerity measures to Canadian efforts in the 1990s are missing a few more pages from their history textbooks.

Perception, Reality, and Responsibility in the Gulf Oil Spill (CAP)
Eric Alterman argues that while there is plenty of blame to spread around for the BP oil spill, the main culprit is the Bush administration and its neglect of our regulatory agencies and national infrastructure.

Morality And Business — What You Can Do (No Shortage of Work)
A discussion with Bill Black about the miserable ethics of Goldman Sachs employees.

Push for BP to Halt Dividends Hits Resistance in Britain (NYTimes)
Disgruntled BP investors are complaining that the company is getting a lot of bad press because it has the word British in its name. It could also have something to do with that oil spill.

BP’s Mess, and Wall Street’s (NYTimes)
Maybe the only real difference between BP and Goldman Sachs is that toxic CDOs don’t show up on camera.

It’s Not the End of Men (TAP)
Ann Friedman believes that the problem modern American men are facing is not the decline of masculinity, but the persistence of outdated ideas about “women’s work.”

Imagine a world in which recessions don’t mean uninsurance (WaPo)
Ezra Klein points out a study showing that in the socialist gulags of Massachusetts, people can lose their jobs and still afford medical treatment. Thanks to the healthcare reform bill, the entire country may soon suffer the same terrible fate.

The Great Swipe Fee Robbery (Forbes)
Conservative journalist Reihan Salam finds common ground with progressives like the Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal on the need to rein in the Visa-MasterCard duopoly and its outrageous interchange fees.

BP Spills Coffee (YouTube)
It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. (Warning: contains some not-safe-for-work language.)