[Guest post by James Downie] Perhaps the strangest part of the furor around the Ryan budget proposal has been his ability to snow the media into treating him as a serious wonk, a thinker of “brave” thoughts. Then again, as Jon has written many times, media outlets seem to have fallen head over heels for Ryan’s “just a plain accountant” persona.
This year, Nouriel Roubini, the economist known to the general public as Dr. Doom, Prophet of the Financial Apocalypse, spent the early hours of Mardi Gras on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was only 11 a.m., but the party was rollicking. Traders careened around the floor, hooting and honking, dressed as dragons and devils and convicts. Rock music roared overhead, and no one seemed to care that, by the bye, the market had tanked.