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Highlights

These are some of the things that I have written or done that I am particularly fond of.

April 17, 2012: Raise My Taxes, Please!” (Atlantic). Yes, the proposals in White House Burning will almost double my tax rate.

April 6, 2012: Someone Is Wrong in the Times” (Baseline Scenario). It’s a vain fight, but someone has to do it.

November 1, 2011:The Shameless Republican Race To Cut Rich People’s Taxes” (Atlantic). Why Republican presidential candidates propose policies that will only help the super-rich.

April 5, 2011: Moment of Blather” (Baseline Scenario). Note to the Times: I will do David Brooks’s job for half of whatever you are paying him now.

November 14, 2010: “Dear Mr. President” (Baseline Scenario). Why extending the “middle-class” tax cuts is bad for the middle class (let alone extending the tax cuts for the rich). Later, when the deal was done, I said that Obama was “drawing moderate-Republican lines in the sand.”

October 24, 2010: “Food and Finance” (Baseline Scenario). Why the food industry is like, and perhaps even more dangerous than, the finance industry.

August 23, 2010: “Housing in Ten Words” (Baseline Scenario). Housing is a bad investment, and has always been a bad investment. You have to evaluate the investment before you find out if you’ll get lucky, just like you have to evaluate the football coach’s decision to go for it on fourth down before you find out what happens. (I talked about this a bit more on Here and Now.)

June 14, 2010: “They’re Just Irrational?” (Baseline Scenario). Why behavioral economics can’t explain everything.

May 26, 2010: “Wall Street CEOs Are Nuts” (Baseline Scenario). “Obama and Geithner should know better than to expect gratitude from a bunch of narcissistic, delusional crybabies. And in that sense, both parties to this toxic relationship — the Wall Street bankers and the Obama administration officials — deserve each other.”

May 21, 2010: “The VC Tax Break” (Baseline Scenario). An obvious argument, but duty called.

May 4, 2010: “Why Do Harvard Kids Go To Wall Street?” (Baseline Scenario). “It’s easier to think that underwriting new debt offerings really is saving the world than to think that you are underwriting new debt offerings, because of the money, instead of saving the world.”

April 16, 2010: My appearance, with Simon, on Bill Moyers Journal. This is the first half, via YouTube.

You can see more at the show’s website.

April 12, 2010: “The Cover-Up” (Baseline Scenario). “The crisis happened because the banks wanted unregulated financial markets and went out and got them — only it turned out they were not as smart as they thought they were and blew themselves up. It was not an innocent accident.” See also “Pack of Fools,” the next day’s post.

March 13, 2010: “Get Rid of Selection Sunday” (Baseline Scenario). My proposal to fix the NCAA basketball tournament.

February 11, 2010: “The Myth of Efficiency” (Baseline Scenario). Why using your smartphone is not as smart as you think it is.

February 3, 2010: “The Republican Plan, I: People Will Die” (Baseline Scenario). What is wrong with the Republican plan for Medicare. See also parts II and III.

January 18, 2010: “The Myth of Ariba” (Baseline Scenario). My thoughts about the Internet boom.

December 21, 2009: “If Wall Street Ran the Airlines” (Baseline Scenario). The funniest thing I have written since my mock press release nine years earlier about Ariba acquiring the local Mongolian barbecue restaurant because of its cooking “platform.”

November 23, 2009: “Blaming It on Obama” (Baseline Scenario). One in a series of posts on how deficit chickens were blaming large short-term deficits on the Obama administration and using them to advance their eternal agenda of government-slashing. Wait, it worked. (A later post in this series earned me the coveted title of Grand Heresiarch of the Ancient, Hermetic, and Occult Order of the Shrill.)

November 11, 2009: “Low Savings, Bad Investments” (Baseline Scenario). Why we face a retirement savings crisis, and the only thing that might save us from such a crisis is Social Security, not private saving.

November 2, 2009: “Do Smart, Hard-Working People Deserve to Make More Money?” (Baseline Scenario). No.

October 27, 2009: “The Home-Buyer Tax Credit: Throwing Good Money After Bad” (The Hearing). We always talk about subsidizing housing, but why do we want to push up the price of a basic necessity? We’re just benefiting people who own homes (including me) at the cost of people who don’t own them.

August 5, 2009: “You Do Not Have Health Insurance” (Baseline Scenario). I really believe that. You have employer-subsidized health care, for the duration of your employment, which means you could lose it when you need it most. Unless, of course, you have government health insurance, like Medicare.

July 15, 2009: “The AEI Versus the Real World” (Baseline Scenario). Your plain, old-fashioned, Internet takedown, which Mike Konczal celebrated here.

July 11, 2009: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (Baseline Scenario). Some untested, unscientific advice about blogging.

May 11, 2009: “Why Health Insurance Isn’t Like Any Other” (The Hearing). Because actuarially fair pricing doesn’t work as public policy.

April 27, 2009: “Pierre Bourdieu, Tim Geithner, and Cultural Capital” (Baseline Scenario). Perhaps the first economics blog post to apply Bourdieu’s concept of distinction to the problem of regulatory capture.

March 2009 (online March 26): “The Quiet Coup,” in The Atlantic. This was the article that brought the “American oligarchy” theme to the mainstream, with over one million page views. (Simon got the byline because they wanted us to use the first-person voice when talking about his IMF experience.)

March 26, 2009: “Frog and Toad, Cookies, and Financial Regulation” (Baseline Scenario). Not a great post, but a great introduction.

February 26, 2009: “No, Wait! You Got It Backwards!” (Baseline Scenario). One of many posts that are unreadable now but, at the time, helped explain the mechanics of the many bailouts. Here’s another.

February 15, 2009: “Tracking the Household Balance Sheet” (Baseline Scenario). The analysis of the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances that made Paul Krugman call our blog a “must read.”

January 18, 2008: “The Speech I Want to Hear” (Talking Points Memo Cafe). What I wanted Barack Obama to say about torture.

October 4, 2008: The beginning of Financial Crisis for Beginners, the series of posts that was my first significant contribution to the discussion of the financial crisis.

September 23, 2008: “A Hedge Fund Like No Other,” The Washington Post. Actually, I don’t consider this a particularly good article, but it is the one that kicked things off. I discussed it with Simon on Saturday, we submitted it to the Post on Monday, and I skipped torts (with permission from the professor) on Monday afternoon to do the final edits. Because print op-eds are limited to eight hundred words, most of my original ideas ended up in “The Price of Salvation,” which the FT ran online on Wednesday.

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