Niall Ferguson and the Avoidance of Personal Responsibility: Every Accusation a Confession Department: (Early) Monday Smackdown

June 3, 2008: Ten Years Ago on Grasping Reality

  • Impeach George W. Bush. Impeach Him Now: Outsourced to Matthew Yglesias: "Though unusually juvenile in its phrasing, the underlying sentiment is typical of what I've called the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics—the conservative conceit that willpower is the crucial variable in making our national security policy work..."

  • Felix Salmon Says Bear Stearns—Except for Its CEO—Was Smarter than Lehman Brothers: Felix Salmon: "During a credit crunch, when you're stuck with illiquid assets, you can't hedge them.... Just as short positions in CDO equity tranches turned out to be a really bad hedge for long positions in super-senior tranches, short positions in broad credit indices are not a great hedge for specific loans which have turned sour. Ironically, it was Bear Stearns who had at least some people, led by mortgage head Tom Marano, who understood this. They knew that the big risk to the firm was chaos in the financial markets, so they put on a 'chaos trade' which would make lots of money in such an event, and very broadly hedge the risks the bank faced. But CEO Alan Schwartz, in a fateful decision, reversed that trade..."

  • Hoisted from Archives: David Stockman and William Greider: Brett Ellingson asks for background on William Greider and David Stockman.... William Greider.... "Stockman's... greatest sin, however, was telling the truth, albeit belatedly...." But there was no truth-telling exercise.... Republican Vice President George H.W. Bush knew that Reagan's fiscal policies didn't add up: he and his people coined the phrase "voodoo economics." Republican Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker knew that Reagan's plan made no sense: he called it a "riverboat gamble," meaning an imprudent and unwise throw of the dice...

  • Barack Obama: Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Final Primary Night: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008: St. Paul, Minnesota: As Prepared for Delivery

  • New York Times Death Spiral Watch: David Brooks Edition: DAVID BROOKS: "Obama‘s problem is he doesn‘t seem like a guy who can go into an Applebee‘s salad bar... "C&Ler Mitzi.... "I called my Applebee’s today to make sure I was correct and they do not have a salad bar.... None of their restaurants have a salad bar. David, sometimes the jokes write themselves. What an idiot..."