What to Read on July 20, 2009

  • Should the Fed be Audited? — Arnold Kling – Very interesting points. I don’t know what Kling means in #1. Republican presidents have generated higher national debt (and hence inflation) than Democratic presidents, and Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker, who killed high inflation. The first sentence in #2 sounds right to me, but I tend to side with empirical and historical evidence to judge when experts are valuable (health care) and when the crowds are wisest (most markets). And #3 is absolutely correct, though not enough to outweigh the need for central bank independence, as any Latin American country that has experienced hyperinflation can attest to.
  • 7 Reasons Why Housing Isn’t Bottoming Yet — Barry Ritholtz – Solid analysis.
  • Driving While Telephoning Is Deadly — Matthew Yglesias – Today’s public service announcement: Please stay off the phone while you’re driving.
  • Jamie Dimon v. Larry Summers — Simon Johnson – History in the making…this is the kind of battle that will determine our future. The whole J. Pierpont Morgan analogy has to make you wonder: Is the best analogy for the current crisis not the Great Depression but rather the Panic of 1907, and if so does the Great Depression lie ahead? I don’t think it’ll be that severe, but all the evidence points to repeating our mistakes in the not-too-distant future.