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Dayen’s Roundup from March 13, 2012

Young news readers check today's Doonesbury (Cornell Univ. Lib., 1920)

Maybe I’ll keep taking apart the foreclosure fraud settlement Wednesday. For now, a wee bit of rest, as I’m slightly under the weather.

• More takes on the settlement docs from Matt Stoller and Isaac Gradman. And I would be remiss in not congratulating Lynn Szymoniak for getting her whistleblower lawsuit against the leading servicers settled and walking away with $18 million. Nobody deserves it more. You may know Lynn from her appearance on 60 Minutes; she’s basically the one who popularized “Linda Green” and all the faulty assignments. Not sure if Lynn gets to share in the proceeds because of Dodd-Frank’s new law incentivizing whistleblowers, but that does appear to be working.

• Those HUD IG reports detailing servicer conduct can be found here. Thanks for getting these out quickly so we know what’s been released!

• I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen in North Carolina just filed suit against the big banks for documentation errors.

• Ben Bernanke is resisting a subpoena in a civil case against Bank of America. The Fed? Secret? No!

• I heard about some of this but never reported. Now Loren Berlin and Ben Hallman tell the story of Eric Schneiderman’s spat with the Tom Miller faction over what really went down on the foreclosure fraud settlement.

• More homeowners are winning their cases against the banks on foreclosure issues, but according to this article the banks try to keep them under wraps, lest other homeowners get any bright ideas.

• After a brief standoff, Spain agreed to further austerity measures to get its budget in line with Eurozone targets.

• The Administration released its health exchange rules yesterday. It gives even more flexibility to the states. You won’t recognize these exchanges from one state to the next.

• Another arrest for Rebekah Brooks in the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal.

• I thought it was interesting that, in his remarks on the shooting rampage in Afghanistan, President Obama did not let on that this was a lone gunman. He danced around attributing the incident to one person or a roving gang.

• The Goldman Sachs report for 2012 growth has been lowered, particularly because of oil prices. Maybe the assumptions of economic growth through to the election need to be rethought.

• Do you think that the massive run on Treasuries by banks has anything to do with how successful it is to borrow at near zero and lend back to the government at 3%?

• Harry Reid really wants to help out his BFF T.Boone Pickens with a natural gas rider in the transportation bill.

• Don’t know what to make of Rush Limbaugh’s show pulling back national ads for two weeks.

• Diane Ravitch is pretty righteous on Arne Duncan. Just saw the Jon Stewart rerun on Duncan, he wasn’t bad either.

• The middle class really isn’t sharing in economic prosperity.

• Not just oil: commodity speculation has sent the price of food soaring as well.

• If it were up to the public, there wouldn’t be any SuperPACs.

• Speaking of polls, the data on contraception here is a bit funky. But then, that whole poll could be statistical noise, and the question looks poorly framed.

• No surprise here, the AFL-CIO endorsed Barack Obama for President.

• I haven’t followed the MF Global debacle closely, but it’s another case of two-tiered justice, by all accounts.

• Bashar al-Assad suddenly called for May Parliamentary elections in Syria. The Arab League, meanwhile, wants a full investigation into regime crimes.

• We know that this was coming: the loss of the wind production tax credit will mean major closures in that industry.

• Sarah Palin, who no longer has the debate coaches from the 2008 campaign, wants to debate Barack Obama.

• Bob Turner, who surprised in winning Anthony Weiner’s House seat, now plans to lose to Kirsten Gillibrand statewide. He didn’t have a choice, they ripped up his district in redistricting.

• Bravely bold Sir Dick Cheney bravely ran away away from Canada. At least the lives of this crew has been made miserable on international travel. Small solace.

• The contrarian take on this homeless hotspot story is that, “hey, at least the company is finding a use for the homeless and trying to help them!” Not really buying that one.

• Don’t know if you’re filling out NCAA brackets or not, but I figure you could use Nate Silver’s help.

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David Dayen

David Dayen