Frank Rick (again): The other plot

Ok, I am on a Frank Rich binge, but he does have one thought provoking article after another. In his column recently he wrote about The Other Plot to Wreck America:

“If they all skate away yet again by deflecting blame or mouthing pro forma mea culpas, it will be a sign that this inquiry, like so many other promises of reform since 9/15, is likely to leave Wall Street’s status quo largely intact. That’s the ticking-bomb scenario that truly imperils us all.” (from “The Other Plot to Wreck America”)

I just just finished reading the rare business/economics book (I usually skip them) called How Markets Fail. A highly readable and comprehensive review of economic theory as it evolved from Adam Smith to the present day. From the linked review in the Economist:

“For Mr Cassidy, the deeper roots of the crisis lie in the enduring appeal of an idea: that society is always best served when individuals are left to pursue their self-interest in free markets. He calls this “Utopian economics”. (from The Economist)

I suspect Mr. Cassidy would agree with Mr. Rich, above, and vice versa.

About our credulousness: another great Frank Rich article

Another great column from Frank Rich — Tiger Woods, Person of The Year. I recommend reading the whole thing. Here’s a telling quote:

“The most lethal example, of course, were the two illusions marketed to us on the way to Iraq — that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and some link to Al Qaeda. That history has since been rewritten by Bush alumni, Democratic politicians who supported the Iraq invasion and some of the news media that purveyed the White House fictions (especially the television press, which rarely owned up to its failure as print journalists have). It was exclusively “bad intelligence,” we’re now told, that pushed us into the fiasco. But contradictions to that “bad intelligence” were in plain sight during the run-up to the war — even sometimes in the press.

Yet we wanted to suspend disbelief. Much of the country, regardless of party, didn’t want to question its leaders, no matter how obviously they were hyping any misleading shred of intelligence that could fit their predetermined march to war. It’s the same impulse that kept many from questioning how Mark McGwire’s and Barry Bonds’s outlandishly cartoonish physiques could possibly be steroid-free.” (from Frank Rich, Tiger Woods, Person of The Year)