Reparations From Banks – NYTimes.com

After five years, the banks are starting to be held to account. Last week, JP Morgan: The government’s attempts to hold banks accountable for their mortgage practices may finally be paying off. On Friday, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $5.1 billion to the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac …

Rich people, poor people

Mayor Bloomberg’s interesting framing of how rich people bring more money to the city’s budget, which helps the many poor people living in the city (yes, despite all the frenzy about hipsters in NY, 46% of New Yorkers’s live under 150% of the federal poverty threshold, or less than $35,775 …

Daily Reminder of Texas State Budget Cuts – NYTimes.com

Texas’ hostility to public investment is starting to come home to roost in tangible ways. Great piece in the New York Times about how falling transportation funding manifests itself in gravel roads, one of the few places where spending cuts are felt by nearly everyone.  Transportation is not the state’s …

Rich Man’s Recovery – NYTimes.com

I’m too jet-lagged to write much about this, and am coming late to the lively discussion over Saez & Piketty’s latest piece about rising income inequality. The dramatic rise in earnings and wealth inequality between the 1% and the rest of the country is important, and as Krugman says, demoralizing …

Detroit, bankruptcy, and the national pension fixation

The post I wish I had time to write: how easily people can imagine taking away a retiree’s pension, how small those pensions usually are, and how controversial the assessment of Detroit’s (and everyone else’s) actual pension problem is (for starters, Morningstar says Detroit followed industry practice for its pension …

Local journalism: Las Vegas

I’ve been thinking recently about how broadly I conceive the term “urban austerity.” Austerity conjures up not just scarcity, cutbacks, severity, but also the people who are outside that scarcity; the people who impose it, who argue for its necessity and who decide which parts of the city need to …