[edited 022810 to correct typos and clarify LMB as source of comments under Thoma and Smith links]
Economist's View (Mark Thoma) picks up on the "Frustration" of so many of us with the dumbing down of media, discourse and, yes, economics
LMB's comment here: As anyone who has had a discussion with a "true believer" in the efficient market hypothesis recently (or, since the crash) has learned, apologists for Friedmania have all sorts of reasons for pretending the facts are not what they are and that the evidence of market failure is proof (to their wacky logic) that markets work. Reminds me of a discussion I had with Larry Ribstein (formerly of George Mason law and now of Univ. of Ill. law and a dyed-in-the-wool free marketeer) about the Enron debacle. I had been saying for several years that derivatives were a problem and that we needed more transparency, even cooperation between the SEC and the IRS in looking at the way bankers engineered derivatives to achieve tax shelters and financial accounting dodges. When Enron "happened", I said that was evidence of the failure of markets to self-regulate--especially markets that were so easily manipulated through financial engineering. Ribstein's response to me--"No, Enron's utter failure is an example of the market working as it is supposed to." (more or less an exact quote from our personal conversation). The fact that the failure came after years of it being touted as a star of the 'new" risk diversification financial paradigm and that thousands lost their life savings because up until the utter end the company had been able to hide its nakedness behind the illusionary clothing of derivaties and swaps and off the books deals didn't deter him from claiming this obvious example of a failure of markets to self-regulate in ways that can provide stable, economy-enhancing situations as a success of the markets! Anyone who enjoyed this paragraph of mine will find John Quiggins a treat (one of the links in Thoma's Frustrations post)...
Naked Capitalism posts on Rubin's upcoming grilling (or "grill-lite"--since there is no experienced litigator to do the questioning) by the Financial Crisis INquiry Commission.
LMB here: Rubin, a Wall Street Insider, was a proponent of many of the ideas that gave financial institutions ridiculous license to gamble in a way that socializes losses and privatizes gains--covert bailouts, financial innovation, a policy of nonregulation of derivatives, the "new" risk diversifying (ha) financial innovation based economy, etc.
Yves has a very good point about all that at the end of her post.
"In other words, we need to come up with standards of what should be unacceptable behavior. Rather than focusing on what was legal, which gives an industry that devised overly lax rules an easy out, we need to identify what products and practices were destructive. If they happened to be legal, that is prima facie evidence that we need new rules." Naked Capitalism.