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Posted at 7:05 PM ET, 11/16/2010


By Ezra Klein

Recap: The ultimate deficit graphic; my dinner at El Bulli; and who the mortgage-interest deduction benefits in two graphs.


1) The lede of Jeffrey Rosen's Al Franken profile is amazing.

2) CBPP on Simpson-Bowles.

3) Michael Mandel argues for countercyclical regulatory policy (pdf).

4) "Humans are hierarchical primates by nature and have a kind of fascination with power and dignity."

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 7:05 PM ET
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Next: Wonkbook: Tax cut negotiations off to bad start; two more deficit plans (now with added stimulus!)


The fact that Al Franken is a Semator at all is amazing. It shows that the people of Minnesota have a certain whimsical view of government. (Franken, Bachmann, Ventura, Wellstone). to be taken seriously though, he's really have to be elected from another state.

If he could only actually stay awake during the Senate hearings, that might be a good start though.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 16, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, while you have been speculating about commission recommendations that are DOA, the world has been turning in your absence.

As I predicted at least one month ago, maybe more, there is going to be a tobacco style litigation settlement over the mortgage mess.

Headline from latest edition of the WAPO"

"States, mortgage lenders in talks over fund for borrowers in foreclosure mess"

No I didn't use a crystal ball, or link to yet another twenty something financial writer, I listen to business people, in the information areas that THEY watch and read.

JP Morgan about three, four weeks ago estimated the cost of the mortgage crisis at 60 billion to 110 billion for the industry as a whole. Obviously they already had a handle on the fund idea and were speculating about how big the claimant base would be.

Today would have been an excellent day to buy Goldman because they have the least headline risk among the financials, (as I pointed out in a post this morning).

Over the next few months, as this story develops peaks and dips, buy the rest of the financials that are quality names, holding off on B of A until dead last, unless you are a serious long term person. They say the market discounts by about 6 months in the future, and we can expect everybody to sign off on this by the end of 2011, if not sooner.

The Fed will do whatever it has to, in front or behind the scenes, to facilitate this settlement idea, because an improved economy with bank and financial stocks still in crisis mode is unthinnkable.

So Ezra my point in writing this is not to blow my own horn (if you like Olbermann, you could never object to that), it's to point out that your style is not conducive to ever being taken seriously as a writer on the economy. I've been a reader for sometime, and maybe I've missed it, but I've NEVER seen you interview anybody in business, or link to anybody else who has.

Even in this morning's roundup column, you talked about a renewable energy standard, while I dug out the stories about the actual businesses involved in the field and how they said they were doing instead.

As a result, we probably come to entirely different views about the push to "green jobs" in this country, but mine is based on the people who create those green jobs, not the bloggers who speculate about them.

So, remembering that I know nothing about writing for a living, but a thing or two about business, you have two choices.

You can wind up like Steve Pearlstein and a hundred other business writers and bloggers that nobody in influence reads, or you can begin sleeping with the enemy. Start out slow. Maybe just once a week, have CNBC or Bloomberg TV on all day, and actually LISTEN to the people on the show. Call up a health insurance or pharmaceutical CEO about how HCR might be facing modification. Talk to Bill Gross of PIMCO about the QE2 effects.

For God's sake, forget you ever heard of Krugman!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 16, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I've totally been wishing we could have made Obama a King or a Prince or something.

Posted by: bgmma50 | November 17, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Do you think you are being intellectual by using newspaper jargon such as lede? Even MS spell checker rejects it. Come on, all readers do not worship at the journalist's altar.

Posted by: jimtallcott | November 18, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

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