What We’re Reading, 4/6/12
Every morning, we poll the staff and round up their favorite economic, financial and political reads of the day. On our iPads and in our inboxes today: the March jobs report, how Americans spend their money, and a pawn shop for millionaires.
"U.S. Added Only 120,000 Jobs in March, Report Shows," by Christine Hauser (New York Times). Without a doubt the biggest news of the day: The economy added a disappointing 120,000 jobs last month, compared with 240,000 in February. The unemployment rate’s also down narrowly, from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent. If you’re looking for more context, check out the Wall Street Journal’s excellent live blog, which rounds up reaction and analysis. (Plus charts! We love charts.) Social media maven Amanda Lilly flags this post on unemployment myths.
"Romney Using Ethics Exception to Limit Disclosure of Bain Holdings," by Tom Hamburger (The Washington Post). Romney appeased some of his critics when he released his tax returns in February. But we still don’t know the underlying assets in his accounts at Bain Capital — and a loophole in disclosure requirements mean we probably never will. (Interesting follow-up: Obama has taken to Twitter over this story.)
"The People Vs. The IRS," by Elizabeth Dwoskin (Businessweek). The tax code is four times as long as War and Peace, and getting more complicated by the year. “For the majority of taxpayers, the IRS has become faceless, nameless, with no accountability and no liability,” says advocate Nina Olson. Dwoskin’s long read looks into why dealing with the IRS is so daunting.
"How America Spends Money: 100 Years in the Life of the Family Budget," by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic). “And I thought I spent too much money on food and clothing,” says magazine writer Lisa Gerstner. “In 1900, more than half the family budget went to those two things.”
"A Look Inside a Foxconn Factory" (Marketplace). If you’re still following the fall-out from Mike Daisy’s Apple story, there’s no better place than Marketplace’s ongoing Foxconn series. Here, Rob Schmitz — the guy who outed Daisy in the first place — visits a Foxconn factory and reports on its (actual, unexaggerated) working conditions.
Finally, some Friday fare: Business Insider has this crazy infographic on how birth order impacts your money habits, and Yahoo reports on a "high-end pawn shop … for the 1%."