I did a very long but rather interesting review in The Browser’s 5 Books series last week, which is published today.

I think you will find it rather amusing weekend reading . . .

Category: Bailouts, Media

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “5 Books: Causes of the Financial Crisis”

  1. Moe says:

    Regarding the whole “Here’s the cause of the crisis…” phenomonon:

    There will be no final answer agreed to by all – no final court decision that decrees this or that answer as the “fianl”. So what exactly is the bloody point??? What a waste of time. Think about it – we’re still argiung over the cause ot the fall of the Roman Empire.

  2. slowkarma says:

    That was a great interview, Barry, and I plan to buy some of the books I haven’t yet read, but you’re too smart a guy to make that black-people-count-as-three-fifths comment.


    BR: Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

  3. SOP says:

    Thank you Barry, that was priceless.

    One big disagreement from my perspective –

    “For me the great hope for America and the world is technology. I hope that with Twitter and the blogosphere there will be a general moving away from big corporate entities to individuals and small companies…”

    Twitsbabble, Faceplant etc, etc, are just More Distractions.

    For me, the great hope for America and the world is a mass coronal ejection the knocks out the power grid locally and globally.

    No really. what (has) Dog wrought, Dog can unwrought.

  4. machinehead says:

    From the interview:

    ‘Canada seems to have done a much better job than the US has. They have a lot of banks with big market share, but they didn’t get into trouble, because the rules didn’t allow them to.’

    Let’s see whether this statement remains true after the great Canadian housing bubble pops.


    BR: Note that Canada has a mortgage insurance requirement if you put down less than 25% / 20%

  5. Mike Radigan says:

    RE: slowkarma Says:

    That was a great interview, Barry, and I plan to buy some of the books I haven’t yet read, but you’re too smart a guy to make that black-people-count-as-three-fifths comment.

    BR was referencing Article 1 Section 2 Clause 3 in our Constitution, nothing more nothing less.

  6. reedsch says:

    Great job, BR. Scratch any economist (or practicing econometrician) and you’ll find a philosopher.

  7. glengarry says:

    Also reading Kahneman right now and it’s scary. Making me paranoid about all of my decisions.

  8. slowkarma says:

    @Mike Radigan:

    I know that, of course. But the implication was that the three-fifths rule somehow demeaned black people, when in fact it was part of the struggle against slavery. The pro-slavers wanted to count each slave as 1 (whole) person, while denying them the right to vote. That would have given the pro-slavery states more pro-slavery members in the House of Representatives. The anti-slavery people didn’t want to count the slaves at all, if they weren’t allowed to vote. That would have given the pro-slavers fewer votes in the House, and made the anti-slavery vote proportionally larger. In the end, to get the Constitution accepted by the states, there had to be a compromise, and that’s where the 3/5s came from. Barry’s comment suggests that it was demeaning to blacks; that simply isn’t correct. Free blacks were counted as 1 person; slaves, as part of the struggle to free slaves, were counted as 3/5. If you were anti-slavery at the time, you have voted against counting slaves at all, because it would have cut the pro-slavery vote in the House.

  9. My comments was about 1 man one vote (and I did not want to omit the historical anachronism of women and blacks not having the vote)

  10. obsvr-1 says:

    BR fantastic interview and references to great books to read.

    Too bad you can’t have this interview hit the national press – It would help to quickly educate the “Entertained Masses” (and maintain the anger and outrage alive within the frontal cortex). This would be a much better read than that of the musing of Paul Krugman.