The first thing we do, let's…

…and the bankers and the talking heads. Via TPM comes this truly appalling clip of Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb on CNBC. Roubini and Taleb are talking about a systemic crisis and the needle that they think we need to thread to get through it; in contrast the network talking hairstyles want stock tips. I suppose it’s progress that the traditional media are talking to folks that actually got it right, rather than their usual practice of canonizing those who dug the hole we find ourselves in (obviously – given the title of the post – I’d prefer cannonizing them). I’m beginning to believe that a piece of the institutional failure we’re seeing can be attributed to our ruling elite’s love of going meta – don’t pay attention to the content of the argument, instead, warn your guests about the dangers of being a rock star and marvel that Bill Gates would actually wait in a line to hear your guests speak. The rage in the hinterlands may be breaking through the Villager’s (DFH-speak for the elites) carefully constructed bubble; Diane Rehm – usually the Villager-est of softball, conventional wisdom interviewers – was amazed at the platitudes spewed by her banking industry guests yesterday (check out that guest lineup though – now those are some wild and radical gets *sarcasm*).


Rather than stock tips, what might actually be useful are some thoughts on the future of unemployment. Somebody twittered this link – whoever it was – thanks.

Start with the numbers: worldwide, the UN estimates as many as 51 million people could become unemployed this year. Here in Britain, if the analysts are right, one million people who currently have jobs won’t do in twelve months’ time. What happens next for those people will shape the kind of society we live in, over the next decade and beyond.

I want to think about some of the ways this situation could play out. In particular, I’m interested in whether the things we’ve learned from social media over the last few years can play a role in lessening the hardship of this recession and shaping the world which comes out the other side. *


Finally, a blog that’s going on the blogroll real soon now – Boone, Johnson and Kwak’s Baseline Scenario.

The Baseline Scenario is dedicated to explaining some of the key issues in the global economy and developing concrete policy proposals. Since it was launched in September 2008, articles on this blog have been cited by The Wall Street Journal (Real Time Economics), The Economist (Free Exchange), The Financial Times, NPR (Planet Money), and many other sites around the Internet. The authors of the blog have also published articles in The Washington Post and in the online editions of The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, and Reuters. The blog was the subject of an interview with Simon Johnson in The Wall Street Journal. Content from The Baseline Scenario is currently republished by Seeking Alpha, Talking Points Memo Cafe, and RGE Monitor. *


You’ll know I’m really pessimistic when I start posting recipes for long pork.