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President Obama seriously wants to nominate one of the men who caused the recession to chair the Fed; researchers are finding many animals, especially rodents, are smarter than the average human; and Detroit is suffering because of the auto industry's utterly capitalist decision to put shareholders before everyone else. These discoveries and more after the jump.

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In spite of May’s weak jobs report, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke still sees no reason for the central bank to expand its efforts to boost the American economy. The Fed is assessing whether the economy would continue to grow fast enough to reduce the unemployment rate without further intervention, he said.

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The Federal Reserve lent weight to economists’ warnings of a long and slow recovery on Wednesday when it announced plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero for at least the next three years. The idea is that low rates will encourage borrowing and investment in American businesses, helping resurrect the economy.

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In his first essay for New York Magazine since quitting The New York Times last spring, Frank Rich thoughtfully details Barack Obama's failure to push back against the financial wheeler-dealers who drove the country to the brink of ruin (more).

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Economists across a broad range are frowning on the Federal Reserve’s most recent attempt to spur the economy, saying that the strategy of buying federal debt has helped the stock market but has had little positive effect on the general population.

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How's that touchy-feely thing working for you, TSA? It apparently doesn't work for some Americans. Other headlines making their way onto this week's edition of "Left, Right & Center" include GM's IPO, tax break shenanigans and Afghanistan withdrawal confusion.

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Mortgages take center stage yet again on "Left, Right & Center" as the gang discusses Ben Bernanke and the possibility of Fed intervention. Also the final arguments around the midterm elections: Have Democrats made the case, and are Republicans being forced into positions even they don't want to hold?

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In a spare-no-one, off-the-cuff critique, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker delivered a blistering analysis of the nation's financial system Thursday, criticizing banks, regulators, business schools, the Fed and money-market funds in a “plea for structural changes in markets and market regulation.”

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Is the recession over? Will there be another? Much like the famous groundhog from Punxsutawney, Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke showed up to offer an eagerly awaited sign -- in this case to economists gathered Friday at Jackson Hole, Wyo, and to the world at large (continued) .

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