We Know How to Fight a Financial Crisis. We Should Be Doing It.

Here’s an interesting chart from Josh Lerner (via Tim Duy). Instead of comparing the Great Recession to other postwar recessions in the U.S. (which have mostly been ordinary business cycle recessions), it compares the Great Recession to other financial crises. This is a better comparison since the 2007-08 crash wasn’t an ordinary business cycle recession. It was a financial crisis — and by that standard we haven’t done too badly. As Lerner says, this is almost certainly because “the strong policy response employed by nearly all major economies — both monetary and fiscal — helped stop the economic free fall.”

We could, of course, have done even more, and we still could. And should. The fact that this recession was provoked by a financial crisis is a reason to respond more strongly, not an excuse to throw up our hands and pretend that we don’t have the tools to limit the damage.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

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