If you’ve been reading the traditional press to try to understand the financial meltdown of the past week and the government’s responses, you’ve probably become more confused than enlightened. This comes as no surprise, given the general ignorance of economics among so many journalists. They’re doubly burdened now, they’re confronting the typical (these days) lack of detail from authorities as well as the well-founded sense that the government is making this up as it goes.
So much of the coverage has centered on the amount of taxpayer financing the government gurus want: $700 billion. Too little has been about where it would go and what it would do.
So I’ve been turning to real experts, people like Brad DeLong, the UC-Berkeley economist whose blog is a must-read if you want to be even halfway well informed. It takes some work to parse postings like “The Liqudity Trap, and Open Market Operations on the Risk Premium on a Pan-Galactic Scale” — but the information is incredibly useful and illuminating.
DeLong is of the best of the economics bloggers: incisive, smart and constantly pointing us to other writers and resources, including people who don’t agree with him, some of whom are politically very opposed to his views. Solid stuff, and critically important at this scary juncture…