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Brad Delong today is using his blog to lecture his students . Subject: how we got into this current recession , how to get out of it and why some sensible people are making dumb proposals that we should reject.

You could read it , today's installment takes about ten minutes. But here's what seems to be the key section 

It is true that the root problem was a derangement in the subprime mortgage market resulting from irrational exuberance which then triggered a derangement in financial markets more generally due to overleverage and misregulation.

Here's the Guardian Editorial

Somehow it seems like cheating to use a blog just to provide a link. But in this case it seems justified.



contrary to what you might think based on much of the US media. A survey reported in this weekend's Observer  shows that 64% of the British public are very satisfied with their health system. Which happens to be the highest result it has ever achieved on such surveys.

As the debate -shouting match -over the  Affordable Care Act (ACA )heats up it might be useful to remember that. Of course it's open to the rebuttal  that it measures popularity rather than performance.

But that, in fact ,  is even better.

Not all the middle east is pleased

by the UN decision on Libya. Turkey's bitter opposition has effectively side lined NATO.

See Juan Cole today in particular comment from Howard Eissenstat


My head tells me that a war is a war is a war and that the right policy is not to start one.But I know I want to draw a line and prevent the blood bath I fear would result if Quaddafi's troops occupied Benghazi.

Got to go and see what Juan Cole thinks.


There otta be a law

Gillian Tett in today’s FT

Why have so few bankers gone to jail in the wake of the financial crisis…Why….  Bernard Madoff (is) now sitting in jail, while all those faceless people who conjured up subprime loans or dodgy .collateralized debt obligations are not?

……To be sure the financial industry is dangerously powerful; and some bankers have behaved in ways that were immoral. But whether (they) have actually broken the law is less clear cut.


by trying to face facts.

This started as a comment elsewhere but I decided to nail it to the church door.

Of course I don't defend our system, who does? But I plead guilty to being defeatist about changing it. In all sincerity I'll wish good luck to those who try, but from the sidelines.

Not that I'm always there. I spent an hour yesterday with my state representative and days in November going door to door for another candidate. Despite all the things that are wrong with our system, I believe in try to fix things that I think can be fixed.


Wisconsin had to abolish the public sector employees' right to collective bargaining ( and really to unionization) because the State couldn't afford it. And could do that in a bill not requiring a 20 member quorum because it had no fiscal implications.

I see. 

And the voters should see.

Whatever the tactical argument until now for the Administration to stay on the side lines and let the democratic senators carry the ball, now it's time, more than time, for Obama to say Which Side We Are On.

Ah, yes.

Musee des Beaux Arts


Of Envy and Upside

In the discussion of  "overpaid"  Public Service workers, some one compared them with young lawyers carrying a  heavy debt load acquired on the way to passing the bar. And wondered whether those lawyers might resent the PS workers.  Or vice versa (I  wondered).

Let us assume that Joe Taxclerk might be fairly confident that some day he'll reach $60K/year. And young Sally Lawyer might hope to reach that - but can't be as sure as Joe.



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