Financial Meltdown Blogging

| Thu Nov. 13, 2008 2:12 PM EST

FINANCIAL MELTDOWN BLOGGING....Hi there. Kevin here. Turns out the jury room here in the Orange County Superior Court has free WiFi and plenty of desks and carrels to work at. Hooray! So, since my number hasn't been called yet, here's some miscellaneous financial meltdown blogging for you. Today, Atrios says:

I think it's important to keep in mind the fact that this looming economic disaster was preventable. The Wise Old Men of Washington and Wall Street have fucked everything up due to a combination of greed and and adherence to ideology regardless of what the facts are. There were many moments in the past few years when something could have been done to at least minimize the problems, and at every step they've done the wrong thing.

No argument on the greed and ideology front, but I'm curious: was there really anyone who made the right call on all this at a policy level? There were, of course, plenty of people who recognized the housing bubble for the idiocy that it was (Alan Greenspan notably not one of them), but were there any major voices making specific policy proposals to slow down the bubble? Or rein in the mortgage market? Or regulate the CDO/CDS market in a way that would have prevented some of the damage? I'm talking specifics here, not just general observations that the FIRE sector was out of control. Arguments about interest rates being too low count, if they were made for the right reason, but I'm interested mainly in more detailed recommendations.

I don't have any big point to make here. I'm genuinely curious. There were many moments in the past few years when perhaps something could have been done, but what? And who was proposing serious measures that would have helped? Any major Dems? Economic pundits? Wall Street mucky mucks? Who were the unsung heroes? Help me out here.

By the way, I'm typing this on the netbook I bought yesterday, an MSI Wind U100. About 400 bucks, the size of a trade paperback, decent keyboard (slightly smaller than full size), good battery life, readable 10" screen, and — annoyingly but not surprisingly — it outperforms my desktop PC in almost every way. So far, the only drawback is that the touchpad is maddeningly sensitive, but hopefully I'll eventually figure out a way to tweak that. More later after I've used it more.