"In 2005 I would have given you 10,000 to 1 odds that future historians would regard Ben Bernanke as a better central banker than G. William Miller"
Liveblogging World War II: June 21, 1942

Smackdowns!: Ta-Nehisi Coates Smacks Down the Astonishingly Deceptive Josh Trevino on Twitter...


tanehisi: For you to misquote me, you would have had to actually make an attempt to quote. You couldn't even do that. @jstrevino

Dean Baker smacks down the astonishingly ignorant Casey Mulligan on his weblog:

Microsoft and Apple: The History Casey Mulligan Doesn't Know: Casey Mulligan used his NYT blogpost this week to tell readers:

there is no such thing as a monopoly in the computer industry….

[T]here is some history that Mulligan apparently does not know. Back in 1997 Apple was in the intensive care ward with its survival very much in doubt…. The big question facing Apple was whether Microsoft would continue to design its office suite to be compatible with Apple computers. After all, Apple had a relatively small share of the market at the time, why should Microsoft go through the effort and expense of making Word, Excel and the rest compatible with Apple's silly system. Here's what the NYT had to say at the time about Microsoft's decision to throw $150 million Apple's way and to continue to produce Apple compatible software:

Odd or not, the bailout is good for both. Apple users are assured that their beloved company gets desperately needed cash and that Microsoft will continue to supply them up-to-date word processing and other applications software. Many would-be Apple buyers had been turning away out of fear that as Apple's market share shriveled, so would the programs made available for use on Apple machines. The bailout is also good for Microsoft because it preserves a demand for its software programs designed to be compatible with Apple machines. But some suspect a more Machiavellian purpose by Microsoft as well. Microsoft can now fend off antitrust charges by pointing out that Apple's continued existence will prevent Microsoft from acting as a monopolist. If Apple dies, Microsoft will appear nakedly monopolistic, the only major producer of operating systems for personal computers….

The implication of the NYT's assessment is that the threat of anti-trust litigation forced Microsoft to be less predatory even to the point of working to keep a competitor alive. In this case, the competitor in question turned out to be an enormously innovative company that now produces great products that consumers value immensely.

That story makes the government's anti-trust case against Microsoft look pretty damn good…

And the Virginia Beach Virginian-Pilot smacks down the astonishingly incompetent UVA Rector Helen Dragas in print:

U.Va.'s rector should resign: Helen Dragas, rector of the University of Virginia, has failed repeatedly to explain why President Teresa Sullivan was forced out a week ago. Dragas has, however, built a convincing case for another departure - her own. The Virginia Beach developer and 1984 U.Va. grad was the architect of Sullivan's ouster. She is also the board's spokeswoman, a strange post for someone who has failed so utterly to communicate with everyone. The resulting chaos has caused substantial damage to the commonwealth's premier institution of higher education….

Dragas doubled down on her initial generalities and platitudes. Worse, her efforts to strike a conciliatory tone devolved into parody…. Dragas refused to address what happened or how. She was silent on reports that at least three board members knew nothing of efforts to remove Sullivan…. She declined to comment after one board member publicly opposed a motion to promote Carl Zeithaml, the dean of the McIntire School of Commerce, as interim president, effective Aug. 16. She failed to address the resignation of Peter Kiernan, chairman of the Darden School Foundation's board of trustees, just days after he sent an email saying he had worked for weeks with Dragas, at the behest of two "important Virginia alums," on a new presidential search.

Sullivan addressed board members in private Monday. Her remarks, made public afterward, suggested she was unwilling to go along with demands for "corporate-style, top-down leadership." She talked about the culture of U.Va., and the need to protect and nurture it. She highlighted the administrative changes she had made, which provided a foundation for more significant change to come. It was a comprehensive defense of her tenure, and the contrast with the inadequate indictment by the board could not have been clearer.

The Board of Visitors has the legal right to hire and fire the president. But it has a responsibility to explain…. Dragas and other board members have failed to even try. The result is tumult, the likes of which U.Va. has never seen. The rector has shown disrespect for the university's shareholders and utter disregard for the value of transparent governance. She has shredded her credibility…. In the best interests of herself, the governor and the university she professes to love, Dragas and her collaborators should resign….

A tremendous amount of work must be done at U.Va. to quell the suspicion, the anger and the distrust that have roiled the campus. That work cannot be done if the person responsible for it remains there.