Best of the Week: September 5-11, 2010

10. Liability and Excessive Risk Taking: Historical Evidence from Britain’s Banks — Richard S. Grossman & Masami Imai and Mortgage Rates and Home Prices — David Leonhardt
9. Free Speech Helped Avert Quran Burning — Jack M. Balkin, They Used to Burn Catholic Churches, Now They Burn Mosques — Juan Cole, and Catholics, Muslims, and the Mosque — John T. McGreevy & R. Scott Appleby
8. Is Chinese Mercantilism Good or Bad for Poor Countries? — Dani Rodrik
7. Did the Federal Government Create the Great Divergence? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4and Part 5 — Timothy Noah and It’s Not the Party; It’s the Policies — Robert Pollin
6. The Specter Haunting the Senate — Michael TomaskyPeople Don’t Listen to the President — Ezra Kleinand Waves Are for Surfing — Daniel Hopkins
5. Health Care: The Disquieting Truth — Arnold Relman and Why the ER Is So Crowded — Ezra Klein
4. The Crime Wave That Shames the World — Robert Fisk
3. Insights from the Afghan Field — Anatol Lieven and Top Ways 9/11 Broke Islamic Law — Juan Cole
2. Hard Times for Workers on Labor Day 2010 and Holding Wal-Mart Accountable — Harold Meyerson, Confessions of a Serial Liberty-Reducer — Peter Dorman, and Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong — Robert Reich
1. Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds — Michael Lewis
BONUS: Keynes’s Conference and Morgenthau’s Dream — Eric Rauchway and How FDR’s Concessions Saved the Social Security Act — David M. Kennedy

Learning from History, Rising Superpower Edition

Nobel Prize-winning international economist Paul Krugman has stirred up a debate over China’s exchange rate–and specifically, what the United States should do about it. Again, I don’t have time to wade into all the details, but it gives me an opportunity to repost a column I wrote for the Hazleton Standard-Speaker. (If you want to dive into the actual debate, you can find informed views here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

This debate follows on the heels of another one that possessed America’s chattering classes at the end of 2009: whether the United States is losing its dominance to China and India–and of course, what to do about it. Sadly, few observers have made the connection between the two issues. Recall what I said last week about the long reach of history and the fundamental challenge we face: “how to coexist (and survive) on this planet.”

It turns out those British history books are a good place to start, as I explained in August 2007:   Continue reading “Learning from History, Rising Superpower Edition”