First, it tells us that Goldman is very good at what it does. Unfortunately, what it does is bad for America.
Second, it shows that Wall Street’s bad habits — above all, the system of compensation that helped cause the financial crisis — have not gone away.
Third, it shows that by rescuing the financial system without reforming it, Washington has done nothing to protect us from a new crisis, and, in fact, has made another crisis more likely.
Can I get an Amen?
you can haz an ‘amen’ and a ‘hallalujah’ with a side of ‘blood for the blood god’ if you’d like.
4srs, the latest leverage summed it up so well and just gave me a rightious angrie.
Why isn’t Krugman assigned the role of the slave who stands behind ceasar and murmers “you are only mortal”? I’d like to see him given the official job of standing behind Obama and murmering “these bastards are going to steal your eye teeth and your underwear if you don’t wake up. They’ve already taken the rest of us for everything we’ve got.”
As with anything that treats the banksters as anything other than rational actors nobly pursuing profits on the free market, such talk is technically true but collectively nonsense.
Is it a sign of the apocolypse that we now get to see the smiling mug of the ex moose-in-chief of Alaska off to the left? I tried to shield my eyes, but I got a glimpse of her face. My eyes are a little sore now, I’m worried that it is like viewing the Medusa and its only a matter of time until I turn to stone.
Well, that is a record. Four comments in and someone is already bitching about the ads.
I’ll go back to responding to the 400 emails telling me my site is infected by malware.
Just Some Fuckhead
Give it to Jesus, John.
I would love to see The Beard of Wisdom in the Treasury Department, but he’s said repeatedly he’s not interested, and that he doesn’t have the type of personality that could handle the politicking necessary to such a role.
But then, neither does Geithner, from what I can tell.
So if Kthug is the Beard of Wisdom, and Friedman is the Mustache of Understanding, what does that make David Brooks?
Just Some Fuckhead
@John Cole: The baldspot of.. ?
This is the root of the problem: our govt is under almost complete corporate control, to the point where even weak, watered-down impediments to the hallowed Free Market are not permitted. Obama is a soc1alist? What a joke.
What is David Brooks? He’s the wizard of if’s!
John, did you make additional changes to rid your machine of malware, or did the warnings just disappear?
@John Cole: at least the malware problem seems to be corrected. I read the “why are you getting this warning page” and it seems like the answer was “no good reason.” sorry you had to deal with that.
David Brooks, thy master of wankery.
It must be nice to be Paul Krugman, dispensing perfect criticism of good political results, never dirtying himself with the real world problems of process, of blue dogs, wingnutty congress-persorns, or responsibility for what he said last week.
I’m happy we stemmed the blood flow without engaging in major reconstructive surgery at the same time. Watching the development of the health care and energy bills, watching them limp along, their dates pushed back on a weekly basis, I wonder how long the banking and stimulus bills would have languished if we’d tried to reform the industry at the same time, how many lobbyists would have been parachuted in to pick out the best nose job money could buy.
“So if Kthug is the Beard of Wisdom, and Friedman is the Mustache of Understanding, what does that make David Brooks?”
The Inner Thigh of Fatuity? No, too many syllables. The Loony Loin?
He is the Thighs that Blind.
That is all.
The Grand Panjandrum
The pubic hair of Applebee’s.
Chuck? Chuck Todd? Is that you?
Joey Maloney a/k/a The Bard Of Balloon Juice
Lord of the Thighs? Pork Loin of Subservience?
David Brooks = bald spot of BoBo
I don’t know that one can improve on “Bobo.” It’s simple, it’s elegant, it’s easy to remember, and it neatly conveys the essence of the thing.
Hmmm … what happened to the little toolbar with the formatting commands?
Wow, that was quick. I mean, I knew that unless incentives to trash the economy were removed, bankers would trash the economy again – especially since they know the gov’t will bail them out if their risks fail.
I just figured they’d wait a decade or two. Not that they’d be back at it again in 6 months. Those guys have got two ton balls made of 100% lead.
That would make Brooks the Shorn Virgin of Misconception.
NPR is telling me that Henry “Don Vito” Paulson was hauled before a congressional committee yesterday, where he was asked rude and impertinent questions. I feel sure that he’ll also receive a sternly worded letter. Then he was allowed to leave. Not in handcuffs, also.
“…has made another crisis
more likelyinevitable” .
At least his criticisms appear to be based on fact and common sense, which is refreshing after hearing so many criticisms that are based solely on personalities and partisanship.
"Fair and Balanced" Dave
On the same topic, Bob Rogers is a national treasure.
That would make Brooks the Shorn Virgin of
but otherwise, yeah.
incidentally, wrt Taibbi, his observation that the American public simply can’t grasp the end of the American empire in a fashion akin to missing an amputated extremity is perhaps the most spot on articulation of a depressing phenomenon. it explains why even at sites like this so much ink is spilt arguing over ultimate irrelevancies.
what does that make David Brooks?
The bald spot of banality.
A Mom Anon
A pampered moron.
General Winfield Stuck
The Pharaoh of Fidget
Nothing makes me happier than knowing my argument left those who disagreed with me struggling to use guilt by association and name-calling. To return the favor, Sirota, is that you, ‘cus it sounds like the tone of your whining?
Krugman not partisan? Are you kidding me? His opinions are dripping with conflicted loyalties and rank with sour grapes.
Where’s the sour grapes? Krugman has been right on everything and everyone knows it. Doesn’t get any better than that–well, it would be better if he, and the rest of us, didn’t see the country going down in massive bankster induced flames while our government (both parties) throw money on them and then scratch their heads and say “whocouldaknowde?”
Hmm, Browski, I’d say that “solely” is a pretty important modifier in that sentence, wouldn’t you?
No one is contending that Krugman isn’t partisan. We’re just happy that he’s also fact-based.
@Morbo: So is this a tag yet?
@aimai: I think it’s been pretty obvious since the primary where the sour grapes are.
@JGabriel: Fair enough, except that I don’t find him fact based, I find him facty-based. I find him frustrating because he uses an argument one week to smack down conservatives and blue dogs and then ignores that same problem when he pens other criticisms. I demand consistency, ESPECIALLY from those on my side. To do less is to go all wingnutty.
E-zactly. That original quote that John posted is one that actually makes logical, rational SENSE, as opposed to being a spittle-flecked rant about soc1alism, Nancy Pelosi, and the masturbatory wonders of the Invisible Hand of the Free Market. THAT is why it is so refreshing: there has been a real dearth of the former and a surplus of the latter in political discourse.
Amen. And pass the collection plate. Goldman Sachs is still hungry.
What Media Browski said @ 15
Within the government Krugman would be working on getting things done.
On the outside Krugman can affect what is possible to get done.
While I have some sympathy for your position I would like to submit the latter – at this time – is more important. The Depression era financial regulations were gutted based on the Neo-Classical Economic theory. As long as that theory is the accepted paradigm any “reform” will be based on that theory, effectively re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
what does that make David Brooks?
the inner thigh of discretion?
@John Cole: David Brooks is Sunshine in a Bottle.
@Anoniminous: No one in the gov’t seems to want him working in the gov’t. All I know is that people consider Summers a pain, but are willing to work with him, and they consider Krugman a tremendous pain and extremely naive, and refuse to work with him. I think that’s telling.
As for the comments claiming “Krugman has always been right”, that’s simply not true. He’s wrong all the time, and half the people who ardently support him would backpedal from him madly if they knew his opinions on free trade.
I’m not saying he’s a bad pundit, or economist. He’s brilliant, he’s a Nobel Laureate, and his recent ponderings on cap and trade have been rather revelatory for me. I’m just very wary of the tendency I see developing to take him as some sort of progressive oracle.
@JGabriel: Relative to your quote “Krugman isn’t partisan. We’re just happy that he’s also fact-based.” But as we all know, facts, like truth have a liberal bias. So, Krugman is a liberal when he fights unfairly by using liberal logic, like facts.
(What happen to the tool bar … it doesn’t work.)
I wish I could remember which poster it was that was always taking a lordly tone and dismissing commentators who didn’t realize it was right and necessary to give all the money to the banks as ‘unserious’. Because it always especially amused me when they would go on about how that later the regulations would be fixed so it wouldn’t happen again. It was always good for a laugh.
Rescue the financials from every consequence of their recklessness and give them trillions more dollars to lobby the government with, and you think there’s any chance that there will be *more* regulation? Such naivete.
It IS important to have a push to do the right thing and to have the right scope. There is no denying that and I am happy to hear Krugman and others’ observations and recommendations..
I am not however, as interested in the wouldacoulda talk which would have that all this reform could have been done first or concurrently with the hard fix that was necessary immediately. THAT is just politically and realistically incorrect..Remember, there wasnt evern uniform information about what had to be done first and in what priority but Krugman and others just knew that what was done was wrong and would assure complete financial collapse right away. He.was.wrong. That’s ok — after all — this is a complex issue or rather, complex set of related and interdynamic issues — and as I said, I respect Krugman’s expertise along with Rubini and others.
Unilaterally accepting one person or one group’s observations outside the process as wholly factually and contextually correct and completely applicable to the situation without any caveats or respect for the actions and responsibilities of the current team is not just wrong, but unwise. It also presumes that the team in place has no interest in doing the right thing, ethically and technically. I don’t think that is true.
The peanut gallery has a role, but there is no reason to assume that IT has all the facts either and certainly I am not going to just blindly believe someone who has absolutely no skin in this and admittedly, has no stomach for the vagaries of the “politics”. That to me is like saying you want to design a building without considering gravity..
Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
“No one in the gov’t seems to want him working in the gov’t. All I know is that people consider Summers a pain, but are willing to work with him, and they consider Krugman a tremendous pain and extremely naive, and refuse to work with him.”
Well, Krugman was on *Reagan’s* Council of Economic Advisers. Also, Krugman and Summers don’t get along, and Laura Tyson (who was close to Obama during the campaign, and was also close to the Clintons, having been head of the CEA under Clinton) and Krugman have had their issues, as Tyson was on the opposite side to Krugman during the “strategic trade” debate in the 1990s (which Krugman won, BTW). So I think you’re mistaking personal rivalries between principal actors for defects on Krugman’s part.
BTW, I’ve met both Krugman and Summers, and Summers has by an order of magnitude the larger ego.
[email protected] 49 and Sparky:
Why would anyone accept huge change of any kind just.like.that?
Anyone who has had major surgery on a limb, or had any change in motor functionality can expect not only “missing” it but denial and depression…
I believe that managing that expected stage of any big change is part of being aware of this human emotional and adaptive process — just like the dirty ol “politics” that are necessary in dealing with our problems — unavoidable part of the process as important to manage as the technical features and facts of the matter…
John Hamilton Farr
Amen! Amen, amen, amen…
They didn’t fix a damn thing. I have a feeling this will blow up again very soon.
@Elie: I agree, but I don’t think Taibbi is criticizing here, I think he’s just making an observation. And I agree with him, Robert Reich, and Paul Krugman (who has danced around it more than Reich & Taibbi) that we’re not going back to the way it was, and that Americans have yet to acknowledge, let alone truly grasp the new reality.
“Americans have yet to acknowledge, let alone truly grasp the new reality.”
This denial more than anything, will shape our political and civic arena for the next at least two decades, I believe. It is an extremely dangerous reality to manage and one that I think that the Republicans and right wingers are counting on — mass hissy fits when reality has to finally be adapted to and expectations accordingly changed…
..And that is the part I pray about every night and the part that makes Krugman’s quibbling about how perfect all the change has to be by now so superficial and simplistic in its depth.
The real crux of the issue here is that the beneficiaries of this crap—highly paid banksters—are a very small number of folks, whereas the number getting screwed is large.
It’s been understood for a long, long time in political economy that situations were benefits are extremely concentrated and costs extremely diffuse are difficult to rectify.
Of course, in this case, the costs while diffuse are frickin’ ginormous. I’m guessing that my share of this bullshit is in the low tens of thousands.
Hang ’em from lampposts, somebody, please?
I’m bullish on guillotines!
@Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan: Thanks for the personal histories there, I wasn’t aware how things played out post-Reagan years.
No one forced Obama to bring Geithner and Summers on board. No process there; just terrible decision making. (Unless you want to include “in the pocket of the banksters” as part of process.)
As for responsibility for what he said before, Krugman’s fared pretty well. Particularly concerning Iraq.
Problem with that is that it’s likely we won’t get the major surgery, which is Krugman’s point—we’re likely to bleed out again, in the not-to-distant future.
I’d say “largely right.” For example, he was right that the financial sector needed capital injections, which is eventually what happened, but he appeared to think that it would be reasonable to do with without forcing bondholders to take a shortcut.
But overall, he’s really good. If nothing else, history will record him as one of the few people with a prominent mainstream, establishment platform who pointed out in real time that Bush was a lying monster.
BS. His criticisms of Obama have always been principled, on the issues.
LOL! Claiming that somehow Summers is “better” than Krugman is entirely laughable and discredits your position.
Krugman might be hard to work with, too much of a “prophet,” etc. (People definitely say things like that about Stieglitz.) But Krugman is part of the solution. Summers, OTOH, is part of the problem.
I don’t care about hanging them from lamposts.
I want their GD MONEY! We will need it to fund healthcare and fix our economy and other stuff
I think that is going to happen in more than one way.
They will fight it and they will use right wing fears to hide behind, so this has to be handled skillfully..
I am hoping that team O has a more sophisticated plan than what Krugman proposes without reference to anything socio-politico-psychological.
There IS a lot of resentment against these folks but it has to be managed correctly and not just lead to the bleeding away of the outrage energy…we need that energy to make the changes that so many are screaming about (rightly)
Who said he’s always right? The question is, how is his track record compared to other people in prominent positions in the establishment?
As for free trade, I don’t know what you’re insinuating. If you’re implying he’s too much a fan of “free” trade, then if you think Krugman is bad, Summers is much worse.
Again, you don’t post any details. I see a pattern here.
Who the hell is saying he’s progressive? In the grand scheme of things, he’s at best somewhat left of center. But at this time, in this place, he’s a lot better than many other people in prominent positions. Especially Summers and Geithner.
Huh? How was Krugman wrong? At the time he was arguing for capital injections, which is essentially what happened.
That might apply to some people, but taken generally, it’s a strawman. I agreed with Krugman’s thoughts on the appropriateness of capital injections, but disagreed with his apparent ignoring of haircuts for bondholders.
Except that you’re wrong. It’s not a presumption; it’s a claim with lots of evidence behind it—just look at the proposals floated, particularly that idiotic PPIP or whatever it was.
Ahh a Lion!
Uh huh, Krugman might have a shred of credibility if he didn’t believe wholeheartedly in bubble-blowing economics in the first place. If Washington really wanted to reform the financial sector and protect the consumer from future Predatory Wall Street firms, they would have let the meltdown run it’s course.
What she said. If we can’t keep the banksters from continually finding innovative ways to fuck us all over while enriching themselves and their cronies while failing to trickle down a single dollar to the rest of us sops, at least we can take some of their ill-gotten gains for useful purposes.
Call it whatever you want (redistribution, socialism, penalizing the wealthiest few) I don’t care. It’s clear that we need a much higher floor under people to prevent collapse for most of society, and the only way I see that being possible the government can provide it through higher taxation, mainly on the upper classes.
Nearly every problem faced by this country could be trivially solved with more tax money – infrastructure repairs, mass transit, better Social Security/Pensions, nationalized healthcare, etc. The other problems can be solved with more/better/enforced regulations. Yeah, devil’s in the details, but since Republicans are quite clearly opposed to either higher taxes or more regulation, they’re never, ever, ever gonna be part of the solution.
We need to get that through our fucking skulls and start making it clear to the public. It’ll take time to unwind 30 years of magical anti-tax, anti-government sentiment, but if we don’t start now it’ll suck even worse when we do.
67 – Oh — I was so wrong! YOU are right! There is overwhelming evidence that the current administration wants to sell us down the river and have no desire to do right by us or reform anything..
We elected another right winger who just wants to promote the status quo and is too stupid to figure out how to make reform happen and juggle about 50 other priority issues..
But YOu of course have all the answers to this and will remain unconvinced that he and the team that he selected cannot be right about anything and an unelected economist with no skin and no risk and an aversion to “politics” and process of getting multiple complex things done within this existing system (not Valhala) — is more credible.
BULL — but have a nice day
Is there not room in our political system for plainly speaking about things truly?
Forgive me for preferring that writers focus on stating clearly and plainly what is true and what policy should be and allowing for citizens and politicians to determine the best ways to either get there or avoid those destinations.
This is an absolutely idiotic, insane vein of criticism and I hope it dies out.
There are plenty of people who can and do focus on the “how” of pursuing policy goals. To deride someone for being correct is nuts.
Ahh a Lion!
A hilarious statement! The government has massively increased tax revenue every year for decades. Each president has created some program or department to ‘solve’ the problems you mention. So what do we have to show for it? A much lower standard of living than our parents.
In all instances, its not a matter of Krugman always being right or wrong — its in how his champions want to implement his recommendations. That is, WITHOUT considering the politics.
Your point is accepted that writters can and should be able to just write their ideas and thoughts without the rigours of adapting their recommendations to reality and be considered factually correct. However, someone has to worry about those pesky little details about how to get it done in the real world and to me, it detracts from the value and merit of the written recommendation if none of the politics or other mitigating circumstances are even honestly considered in the discussion.
@Elie: What you said.
@Elie: This, I think, is the basic summary of the debates that take place on Balloon-Juice. True, there’s real world politics to take into consideration. But if advocates start out in a half-compromise, when they get to the table to hammer something out, they will be expected to compromise further. We’ve seen that in the stimulus, and we nearly repeated it in the health care reform debate. Taking single payer off the table for “real world considerations” nearly jeopardized the public option compromise.
I get your point, I really do. But we need the shrill economists, the shrill gays, the shrill whatevers to voice their ideas so the compromise positions appear moderate, not extreme.
@liberal: You think Kruggles isn’t establishment? Ahem. As for who says he’s always right, that would be the people who approach his articles non-critically, aka, the netroots.
Also, I’m an economist, and therefore pro-free trade, but the DFH crowd surely isn’t.
“Again, you don’t post any details. I see a pattern here.”
Read his cap and trade article then. Duh, is this really that hard a game to play?
“Who the hell is saying he’s progressive? In the grand scheme of things, he’s at best somewhat left of center. But at this time, in this place, he’s a lot better than many other people in prominent positions. Especially Summers and Geithner.”
If you have to ask, you’ll never know. Seriously, I’m not going to catch you up on the debate that you seem to be coming at from a “Well this is all new to me so it must be wrong” POV.
And as for the rest, well, this is a family blog, so I’m not going to start making fun of you.
@liberal: Example? Easy. Krugman simultaneously maintains that wingnut congresspersons cannot criticize the stimulus because it hasn’t been distributed, but reserves that right for himself, despite the fact it hasn’t been distibuted. “You can’t say it isn’t working, unless you say it needs to be bigger.”
Frankly, your misreading of what I stated rather clearly about perceptions of working with Summers v. Krugman followed up by your hilarious “Summers is teh badz Krugman is teh goodz” analysis left me ROFLMAO! Hypocrisy, thy name is “liberal”, and I say that as a proud progressive.
I hear you and agree about the role of unfettered exposition of ideas — even wild ones —
That said, I fault Krugman and other critics less about what they write than how literally their supporters want to take what they say without any akcnowledgement of other pesky details.
I also agree with you that there is a choreography of getting things done including compromise — that starting at a point of capitulation won’t get you much sometimes but even THAT depends on the circumstances and how much you are willing to risk and who is going to pay for the risk you take…
For example, if the administration had just stuck it to the financial sector and let the banks fail, way back in January, yeah, these poobahs at Goldman-Sachs wouldnt be running around with excess profits. But we all know that a whole lot of small regular folks would be destitute now. My retired friend who was really worried that her whole means of support was evaporating is still worried (and should be), but the slide was stopped, at least temporarily to allow some to adjust. Are we all fixed? Hell no and I accept that we are still sliding. But we didnt let the bottom fall out just to satisfy the egos of some econ writter who is smart but who does not have and cannot have the responsibility to an elected official in government has to protect the weakest. Sometimes I think that people here think that the role of the administration is to provide a revolution..
If you (not you gex personally, but generally) want a revolution, got out and make it the right way — from the grass roots up. Spend the time in building awareness and help the folks to buffer what will happen to them. Not (Krugman)pontificating from the luxury of your academic appointment and weekly editorial for “A Major Newspaper” or blog.
In other words, I trust those with skin it. The more skin, the more I trust. Obama’s skin is in this and he will bear the brunt of whatever happens. I think its great that we have so many brilliant writters and thinkers who can offer and indeed push the administration. But they do not have the ultimate accountability or responsibility nor many many other details. I recognize that and it leavens what advice of theirs I take or not.
But have fun with the absolutes. Build your skyscrapers and lets just pretend there is no gravity…
Yeah, but the choices weren’t simply between ‘let it all fail’ and ‘give the banksters whatever they want’.
For example, in my view it was the shrill DFH’s and not the clever, process-oriented centrists who shrieked about Paulson’s 3 page ransom note to Congress and who helped manage to get at least minimal safeguards on the disbursement of $350 billion tranches.
Nouriel Roubini also didn’t run around saying ‘let it fail’; nor did he feel it necessary to conduct a kindergarten class in how exactly bills regarding the nationalization of non-bank institutions would have to be introduced and how it would be managed by what committees.
Again, criticizing somebody like Paul Krugman for simply pointing out what is true and what needs to be done without giving you the Da Vinci code instruction manual on how to do it is absolutely insane.
And I’m far from someone who views Krugman as infallible — for example, we crazy fringe leftists of the 1990s were correct while he was sneeringly dismissing us on a broad range of issues, some of which he has since changed views on (i.e., after studying global trade patterns some months ago he has now seen as crucially influential the farming out by U.S. corporations of certain high labor amount / lower technology production processes to foreign nations under the false banner of trade, and we lunatic DFH’s have been fringe carping about this for several decades).
The same is true of foreign policy. It is simply not a priori required to know about the exact procedures of doing X or Y via the State Department and or other agencies if I’m looking at what the U.S. is or isn’t doing with regard to, say, Latin America, before I am able to come up with my own ideas about what should be the policy.
I agree — one should not have to account for all the exact procedures or the entire range of technical issues to make a criticism or offer a solution…
I will reiterate — it is not the writter’s right to expound on any idea, but how people who use the writers conclusions to make an argument that is unilateral and argue that the discussed idea should be accepted or implemented on its face.
Its good to have all sorts of ideas floating around..but somewhere along the way, those pesky processey things that you discount as being too complex to consider and ruin the beauty of just great idea sharing, HAVE to be considered. At some point, as I consider the beauty of flight, I had better get into a plane or hang glider or I will confront the pesky detail of the ground..
When should that happen in your world and who should have responsibility for it? If we don’t have to discuss or acknowledge this in discussing ideas, how do we sort the good ideas from the not so good ones? If only the elected responsible person has that burden, and we can safely expound on any solution and flail them with it, isnt that also wrong and counterproductive?
Again, I am not arguing that we stop wide discussion of a variety of ideas. Only that we take care in considering what is ready for implementation or a starting point for defining what we should do and voice also some of the limitations in some of these great, idealistic visions…
Now you’re just being a cheap liar.
I did not “discount” any “pesky processey thigns” as “being too complex to consider”.
First and foremost, they’re mostly trivial and shallow, resulting from an idiot regurgitation of institutional history, just like in any corporation there is a handbook of processes that any fool who knows how to read and use an index can use to understand how to approach some procedure.
There’s nothing deep or awe inspiring nor crippling to the intellectual process of knowing exactly which committees are, by Senate and House traditions dating back years or perhaps decades and which are variably applied based on how badly the rich and hawkish want certain policies, most likely to generate particular legislation.
Second, there is not some lack of people fully qualified to outline policy planning procedures — rather, there’s a superfluity of them and a stunning lack of people who grasp the actual aim and importance of what you’re doing — i.e., Krugman types.
Good lord, every university political science and institutions of government program turns out legions of eager understudies aiming to do just such policy realization.
The points are getting more and more ludicrous.
It’s like reading an essay by a leading geologist on what sorts of questions and research topics desperately need to be explored in the coming years and which topics perhaps have been over-explored and then not just whining because he hasn’t outlined how your particular university or research center should follow steps toward those goals, but insulting and condemning him for not doing so for every university and research center.
Oh my goodness. Get a grip. Bad day? Get a massage and a lemonade.
Life is good
Ah, Krugman, so shrill that only bats can hear. Does anyone really believe that Krugman would have any power in an administration that chose Geithner and Summers? Why?
media browski, #45: “[…] people consider Summers a pain, but are willing to work with him.” This is part of the problem, surely. Why do “people” think Summers is _ at _all _ competent?