And U-6 at 13.5%
The Current Recession in Comparative Perspective

Does David Brooks Write Anything in Good Faith?

The answer is: no.

David Brooks quotes Christina Romer out of context--taking her 1994 argument that monetary policy is more flexible and effective at ending small recessions and misinterpreting it to apply to big recessions like today, which are too big to end via monetary policy alone.

The New York Times editors should have killed Brooks's article. The fact that they didn't tells us something about their commitment to ethics in journalism.

David Brooks writes:

The Confidence Surplus: Christina Romer is Barack Obama’s choice to lead his Council of Economic Advisers. In 1994, Romer and her husband, David, wrote an essay entitled “What Ends Recessions?”... The Romers surveyed the recessions of the previous 50 years to try to reach some conclusions about what works. “Our central conclusion is that monetary policy alone is a sufficiently powerful and flexible tool to end recessions,” they wrote.... “Discretionary fiscal policy, in contrast, does not appear to have had an important role in generating recoveries.”... The Romers’ essay exemplifies the economic doctrine that... fiscal stimulus plans that try to time a recession are dangerous, unproven and unnecessary.

That doctrine has suddenly vanished. But not because we suddenly know how to create effective stimulus plans.... Today there is wide support for fiscal stimulus. It’s just that there is no historical experience to tell us how to do it, and there is no agreement on how to make it work. The economists’ prescriptions are all over the map...

I think there is pretty strong agreement about how to try to make it work. When Marty Feldstein is at the same spot on the map as Christie Romer, that tells you something.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?