07/12/2012 07:46 am ET

Fed Wonders If It Should Help Economy, Maybe: Seven And A Half Things To Know

Thing One: Finicky Fed: Long-term unemployed people of America, take heart: Your brave champions on the Federal Reserve have heard your cries and are leaping into... thinking about maybe doing something about it!

The minutes of the latest Federal Reserve Koffee Klatch and Monetary Policy Hoedown reveal that Fed officials, or at least the communist ones, were starting to get just a smidgen uncomfortable about the fact that the central bank is completely failing to uphold either side of its dual mandate, of maintaining maximum employment and stable prices. They are very seriously thinking about taking action. At some point. Maybe.

America's greatest minds, its economists, who not long ago solemnly pronounced this economy to be Awesome Forever, amen, now solemnly declare to the Wall Street Journal that the Fed will soon have to take action because the economy is so awful. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it: Other policy makers -- meaning Congress -- seem unlikely to do much to help. And it looks like maybe the "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases looming at the end of the year is already starting to hurt the economy, The New York Times suggests. That could be one reason why, even though the European debt crisis is back on a low boil for the time being, 10-year Treasury notes sold yesterday at a record-low yield, the Financial Times notes. The bond market is much, much more pessimistic about the economy than the Fed is.

Thing Two: PFGWorst: The PFGBest implosion just keeps getting weirder. The Dr. Moreau of the whole crazy thing, Russell Wasendorf Sr., went and got himself hitched in Vegas just a couple of weeks ago, for some crazy reason. The brokerage firm's auditor was a guy living in a van down by the river, apparently. And Reuters, citing an anonymous source, reports that Wasendorf forged bank documents for years to cover up missing money.

Thing Three: JPMorgan Not Chased: Staff turnover at the New York Fed after the crisis may have kept regulators from keeping a close eye on JPMorgan Chase's risks, The New York Times reports: "By the time they got up to speed, it was too late." That helped contribute to the bank's massive London Whale loss, which it is expected to report details about tomorrow.

Thing Four: Viacom/DirecTV: That high-pitched whine you hear is the sound of children in 20 million American homes going without SpongeBob SquarePants this morning. Viacom has blacked out Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and several other channels from DirecTV's 20 million customers, in an escalation of a dispute over fees.

Thing Five: Crisis Clock Ticking: Next year will mark the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis, and it's been at least five years since some of the financial crookery that led to the crisis. Which means the financial crooks responsible are juuuust about out of the statute-of-limitations woods. Lawyers at the Securities and Exchange Commission are scrambling desperately to file suits or ask crooks to pretty please let them have more time, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Thing Six: Credit Suisse Clients Clocked: German tax inspectors have been raiding the homes of people suspected of using Credit Suisse accounts as illegal tax shelters, the Wall Street Journal writes: "The dispute is the latest chapter in a widening effort by foreign governments to clamp down on tax evasion allegedly engineered by Swiss banks."

Thing Seven: Foreclosure Wave: Some economists may be declaring that the housing bust is finally over, but the pain of it is certainly not. Foreclosures rose for the second straight month in June, part of an expected flood of foreclosures following the national foreclosure-fraud settlement, Reuters notes.

Thing Seven And One Half: Staggered Migration: There's DNA evidence that native Americans arrived from Asia in three distinct waves rather than one migration, Bloomberg writes: "Scientists have believed the Americas were populated by ancestors who entered through an Asian-American land bridge that existed in northern Canada 15,000 years ago. Yesterday’s announcement, reported in the journal Nature, adds evidence to a long-fought debate in support of the multiple-migration theory."

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Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

8:30 a.m. ET: Initial Jobless Claims for the week of 07/07

2:00 p.m. ET: Treasury Budget for June

Corporate Earnings:

11:00 a.m. ET: Fastenal

Heard On The Tweets:

@StevenTDennis: Palin just cited on Hannity "fact" that average fam lost 40% of wealth "under Obama." Drop happened in '08 wealth up since

@maxkeiser: Americans don't mind their savings stolen; they mind their guns taken. But if you're savings are gone, what do you need a gun for?

@Nouriel: Spanish banks conned households to switch deposits into high yield sub-debt. Now that sub-debt will be haircut in bank plan

@TheStalwart: HuffingtonPost's post about Mitt Romney getting booed has 25,000 comments

@philipaklein: SCOTUS totally could have used organ music when the health care decision was being read.

-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.

And you can follow us on Twitter, too: @markgongloff and @byKhadeeja