What We’re Reading, 4/26/12
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 this morning: educational slowdown, Costco mortgages, and another reason for the gender wage gap.
"Education Slowdown Threatens U.S.," by David Wesel and Stephanie Banchero (Wall Street Journal). Historically, almost every generation has been more educated than the one that came before it. But for today’s 20- and 30-somethings, that’s no longer true: Rising tuition means that fewer kids finish college.
"Chasing Fees, Banks Court Low-Income Consumers," by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess (New York Times). Big banks are adopting tactics typically left to payday lenders: high-fee prepaid debit cards, emergency loans, money wire services. Banks say it’s an effort to attract low-income consumers — but it looks more like an attempt to recoup income lost on fee reforms.
"Romney’s Radical Theory of Fairness," by Jonathan Chait (New York). Romney’s fundamental economic philosophy, according to Chait: “Fairness is defined by market outcomes.”
"Ready for the Fight," by Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone). Rolling Stone’s second lengthy interview with President Obama covers Wall Street, the Middle East, and the upcoming campaign. Of note: Obama reads Paul Krugman and “all of the New York Times columnists,” and your friendly curator cannot believe he has the time.
"Occupy’s Big Stakes on May Day: Relevance," by Josh Harkinson (Mother Jones). Heard anything about Occupy lately? Neither have we! The movement hopes to make headlines again with a May 1 protest on the Golden Gate Bridge. Its current and future relevance might be at stake.
"Why Women Make Less than Men," by Kay Hymowitz (Wall Street Journal). If you believe Hymowitz, it’s not institutional sexism that drives the gender gap — it’s women cutting hours in order to have kids. “Today, childless 20-something women do earn more than their male peers,” she writes. “But most are likely to cut back their hours after they have kids, giving men the hours, and income, advantage.”
"Mitt Romney’s Dark Knight," by Jason Zengerle (GQ). Mitt Romney’s right-hand man once worked for a Boston tabloid and very nearly fought a Massachusetts mayor who didn’t like state budget cuts.
In other news: Greece is selling off islands to raise money, Costco is selling mortgages through 11 different lenders, and Rep. Todd Akin basically thinks student loans are socialist.
Happy reading, Tumblers!