A long over due linkfest of unusual, overlooked and provocative pieces:
• 86% of all mortgages are taxpayer backed in some form or another (Washington Post)
• Good Billions After Bad (Vanity Fair) As the Bush administration waned, the Treasury shoveled more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in tarp funds into the financial system—without restrictions, accountability, or even common sense. The authors reveal how much of it ended up in the wrong hands, doing the opposite of what was needed.
• The FT has a counterpoint to Krugman’s Sunday’s NYT magazine article: Why some economists could see the crisis coming (FT) From the beginning of the credit crisis and ensuing recession, it has become conventional wisdom that “no one saw this coming”. But in fact, many had seen it coming for years. They were ignored by an establishment that, as the former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan professed in his October 2008 testimony to Congress, watched with “shocked disbelief” as its “whole intellectual edifice collapsed”.
• Michael Moore declares all-out war on capitalism (LA Times)
• The Sorry Tale of America’s Out-of-control Spending (The American) At the end of fiscal 2008, which came on September 30 of last year, the American national debt stood at $9.6 trillion. That sum is, perhaps, quite beyond the imagining of most people. It is, after all, 250 million times the average per capita income. Even the total fortunes of the entire Forbes 400 list add up to less than 15 percent of it. To use a journalistic measure that dates back to the late 18th century—when the British national debt had become a major political issue in that country—if you laid 9.6 trillion silver dollars end to end, they would reach to the sun and back, with enough left over to wrap around the Earth more than 1,700 times.
• Elizabeth Warren says, “Turn up the heat on non-bank lenders” (New Deal 2.0) Despite widespread agreement about the problem, the U.S. has never made a sustained, systemic effort to regulate non-bank lenders. As lending abuses became more obvious, there was no effort to close regulatory gaps and loopholes or to devote federal resources toward the oversight of non-bank institutions.
• The Fall edition of H+ magazine is out
That’s my 10.
Anything worthwhile that I may have overlooked?