Economic News Round-Up

Let's start in Europe, where the history comes from...

CNN Money—European leaders hash out crisis deal:
A majority of European leaders agreed early Friday on a new deal to try to resolve the continent's debt crisis, but some countries including Britain refused to back a broader treaty change.

The 17 members of the eurozone, which share the embattled single currency, reached a deal for a new intergovernmental treaty to deepen the integration of national budgets.

Six other EU nations supported the deal. "We're doing everything we can to save the euro," President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said at a news conference in Brussels following a marathon summit meeting of EU leaders.
As a result of the news, stocks are up. For now. The rollercoaster continues in the Eurozone.

Iain and I were talking about the European crisis for a long time last night, and we were both lamenting the push for austerity in Europe, which will be just as ineffectual as it will be in the US, because it's not an economic solution; it's a deflection of accountability. Austerity is just a fancy name for the strategy of making poor people pay for wealthy people's mistakes.

Speaking of which...

The HillDems' payroll tax cut extension goes down again in Senate: "Senate Republicans blocked the latest installment of President Obama's jobs plan—a bill to extend the payroll tax cut—for the second week in a row on Thursday. The bill, titled the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, was shot down 50-48. It would have cut the payroll tax paid by employees to 3.1 percent from the current 4.2 percent while funding itself by imposing a surtax on millionaires."

Paul Krugman in the New York TimesAll the GOP's Gekkos:
Almost a quarter of a century has passed since the release of the movie "Wall Street," and the film seems more relevant than ever. The self-righteous screeds of financial tycoons denouncing President Obama all read like variations on Gordon Gekko's famous "greed is good" speech, while the complaints of Occupy Wall Street sound just like what Gekko says in private: "I create nothing. I own," he declares at one point; at another, he asks his protégé, "Now you're not naïve enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you, buddy?"

...[T]he current orthodoxy among Republicans is that we mustn't even criticize the wealthy, let alone demand that they pay higher taxes, because they're "job creators." Yet the fact is that quite a few of today's wealthy got that way by destroying jobs rather than creating them.
The HillGOP seeks to cut unemployment benefits: "GOP leaders hope to build momentum for an end-of-year tax package with sweeping reforms to federal unemployment benefits. The Republican proposal is expected to reduce the total number of weeks unemployed workers are eligible for aid by as much as 40 weeks and tighten rules for eligibility."

Digby—Next step in our Randian dystopia: stigmatize the unemployed: "[J]ust as you can tell if someone looks like an '"illegal' you can tell if someone's likely to be a drug user. They're just looking for the 'bad people' who are stealing the money from hard working taxpayers."

And in Occupy news...

Greg Sargent: Winning the Argument.

CNN: Midnight deadline passes for Occupy Boston protesters to clear out.

WSJ: NYU to Offer Classes on Occupy Wall Street.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to leave links to anything you're reading and/or writing in comments.

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