I've retained that most people think the 700-plus-billion-dollar bailout is a bad idea. And that banning short-selling isn't a useful idea. And that lot of folks don't buy the blaming of the "repeal" of Glass-Steagall. Oh, and Megan McArdle is skeptical of hindsight regulation.
* [Megan McArdle] Clear as Glass (Steagall) | 19 Sep 2008 10:38 am
* [Marginal Revolution] Glass Steagall: The Real History | Posted by Alex Tabarrok on September 19, 2008 at 07:24 AM
* [Marginal Revolution] Did the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act cause the housing bubble? | Posted by Tyler Cowen on September 19, 2008 at 06:48 AM
* [dKos] Three Times is Enemy Action by Devilstower | Sun Sep 21, 2008 at 09:03:41 AM EDT
* [NYT freakonmoics blog] "The F.A.Q.'s of Lehman and A.I.G." By Douglas W. Diamond and Anil K. Kashyap | September 18, 2008, 10:04 am
Megan McArdle on de/regulation:
* Obama goes for the jungular [15 Sep 2008 05:49 pm]
* What should Bush have done [16 Sep 2008 07:36 am]
* Rethinking regulation [16 Sep 2008 02:19 pm]
* Hindsight regulation [16 Sep 2008 04:44 pm].
One thing that's been throwing me in chatting with lefties has been the idea that we should let Wall Street fail (they deserve it after all, and hey, if these companies are too big to fail, isn't the middle class too big to fail as well? shouldn't we get some sort of bailout -- I bite my tongue on the fact that "saving the middle class" isn't that simple, nevermind the fact that much/most of the middle class is not exactly teetering on failure, because I know the statement is intended partially tongue-in-cheek) as if this wouldn't have any sort of ripple effect. I mean, I'm usually the one advocating heartless pragmatism (just war, ends justify means, etc.) and not being beloved by the Left for it.
Schadenfreude [23 Sep 2008 01:00 pm]Things I might be able to retain include Tim Carney on what the heck AIG is (via Megan McArdle).
Why Washington (especially the media) hates Wall Street. A friend writes to ask if I've "gone native". Exquisitely attuned as I am to the effect that severe recessions have on advertising revenue, and the balance sheets of people who fund money-losing magazines--well, no, I certainly haven't. I'd rather let Wall Street off scott free than sacrifice my job to "teach them a lesson".
Why we need a bailout, even if not this bailout [23 Sep 2008 09:06 am]
Every crisis gets compared to the Great Depression. This very nearly was.
There are strains on the left and the right that are kind of okay with this idea.
The left wing version says "Let them fail! Capitalism is inherently unstable; greed is no way to run an economy. We need to force banks to stop doing all of these dangerous things and regulate them so heavily they can't make a mistake. Also, as a general rule, rich people should suffer for their mistakes, and ordinary people shouldn't. This is a great opportunity to repeat FDR's awesome victories!"
How close was the financial system to melting down? [22 Sep 2008 02:49 pm]
Banks have tens of billions of debt maturities to refinance in the coming months. The overwhelming majority of it will be good even under distressed circumstances--unless they can't roll any of it over. At that point, they experience the same problems you would if your credit card company pulled your credit line and demanded you pay back everything you owe them.
No doubt some of my readers are rubbing their hands and saying "Exactly what should happen to people who carry credit card balances!" And I'm sure that among you there are people who pay cash on the barrel for everything, having never taken out any loan for a house, an automobile, an education, a personal financial crisis. These people never even use an American Express Card, which is, of course, a short-term loan. They also do not work for companies that borrow money to buy capital equipment or finance expansion, and their firms do not experience any mismatch between their payables and their receivables. Those people should stop reading now, because I'm pretty sure the Amish aren't supposed to use the internet.
The rest of us live in a world that is created and run by institutions that amass capital from millions of people and concentrate it in areas where it (usually) makes people better off.
Ten National Security Myths (The Nation - September 17, 2008)
I finally read Maureen Dowd's "Aaron Sorkin Conjures a Meeting of Obama and Bartlet." I'd been resisting, 'cause I don't like Maureen Dowd. Not gonna lie; I wasn't impressed.
There's a lot of filler, and while there are a few good lines it's mostly not that compelling.
And Bartlet's attack on Palin . . . where to even begin? Oh, I know, with "It's not bad enough she's forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too?" because where the fuck did THAT come from? Point out a double standard? [Which Bartlet does, in his "black daughter" bit.] Yes, go for it. But we know nothing about Bristol and [Googles] Levi or their relationship.
jennyo takes the opportunity to comment: "I also note that 30 Rock has a lot of shippy RPF [...] This once again suggests that of all fandom fights, the "ZOMG RPF IS WRONG!" is still a rather dumb fandom fight." I would argue that pr0ning up celebs is a bit different from the gen/shippy RPF that mainstream media is able to get away with.
If we're gonna talk West Wing professional RPF, I prefer The Onion's "Aaron Sorkin Announces New 'West Wing' Animated Series At SorCon" (hat tip: wisdomeagle).
This from the Tues. Sept. 23 metro made me giggle:
The owner of a San Francisco wine bar was doing a brisk business with an organic wine imported from Chile: Palin Syrah. But after a certain nomination last month, sales have dried up.***
"It was our best-selling wine before [the V.P. announcement]," Chris Tavelli, owner of Yield Wine Bar, told the Serious Eats blog. But since then sales have plummeted. Because wine drinkers in San Francisco really are that petty.
OBAMA SUPPORTER John Althouse Cohen on "How Obama Lost Me."The Mike Rappaport piece ends: "Update: Since Glenn has linked to this post with the statement "why [Mike Rappaport] is not supporting McCain," I thought I should give readers a couple of other blog posts on the subject with additional reasons. Here are three of many, and there are others on this page." Reading them is something of a surreal experience.
Plus, Mike Rappaport on why he's not supporting McCain.
Don't people wind up feeling this way every four years? Which isn't to say they're wrong. As for me, I haven't liked a candidate enough to be actually disillusioned by one in . . . well, ever, really. The good news is that the guy you don't like usually fails to live up to your fears almost as much as the guy you like fails to live up to your hopes. . . .
Starbucks Does Not Equal Savvy
What we talk about when we talk about experience
By Michael Gerson | NEWSWEEK
Published Sep 20, 2008
Here They Go Again
Rovean tactics alone do not win the Republican Party elections. This is a center-right country, and Democrats ignore this at their own peril.
By Jonathan Darman | NEWSWEEK
Published Sep 20, 2008
Who Cares Where Spain Is?
The debate shouldn't be a chance to play gotcha. What the candidates know about the world is less important than how they think about it.
By Richard N. Haass | NEWSWEEK
Published Sep 20, 2008