Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner just published a major book, Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. The book is excellent in explaining the misconduct of executives who ran Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack. Yet it goes off the rails by overstating the role of these firms (and understating the role of others) in creating the housing meltdown and the closely-linked foreclosure crisis.
Who Created The 1990s Surplus, Clinton Or The GOP?
August 02, 2010
Former GOP House staffer Scott Galupo, while crediting my skepticism of supply-side economics, thinks I give Bill Clinton too much credit for the 1990s surpluses, when the credit belongs to House Republicans: The idea it was Clinton’s boldness alone—just a triviality that he was dealing in those days with a deficit-hawkish Republican Congress—that cleaned up a fiscal mess is equally risible.
Political Green Lanternism
July 07, 2010
Following up on my reply to Robert Kuttner, Brendan Nyhan calls the idea that presidential resolve is the answer to all problems "Green Lanternism," after the comic book hero pictured at right, and notes that it has advocates on both sides of the political spectrum: What's fascinating is that this brand of Green Lanternism -- like the policy one -- is almost a perfect inverse of what conservatives were saying about George W. Bush just a few years ago, a fact that seems to be lost on the liberals espousing it now.
What Do Liberals Want From Obama?
July 05, 2010
Not surprisingly, conservatives are unhappy with President Obama. Somewhat surprisingly, liberals are too--or, at least, a lot of liberal commentators. On July 4, Robert Kuttner spoke for many of them when he wrote, on the Huffington Post, that “we voted our hopes that events could compel Obama to govern as a progressive. We are still waiting.” Bob was primarily upset about Obama’s failure to push through a new stimulus package.
All Silent on the Lefty Front
June 11, 2010
Earlier this month, the Pentagon released a 151-page report outlining the increasingly grim situation in Afghanistan. The paper highlighted the Afghan government (and its security services) lack of capability; the enduring challenge of endemic corruption and poor governance; and the Taliban insurgency’s ability to maintain influence—often via intimidation—across broad swaths of the country. These challenges have already undermined U.S. military operations in Marjah, and could threaten the upcoming summer offensive planned for Kandahar, the heart of the Taliban insurgency. The entire U.S.
Summers of Our Content
December 24, 2008
It's been a month since Democrats swept the elections, right about the normal time for internecine warfare to break out. Last time the party won power, moderate deficit hawks and liberal neo-Keynesians immediately set out to wage a War for the Soul of the Clinton Presidency. Things got pretty vicious.