Thursday, April 25, 2013

Frontline web site: a treasure trove of content

Damn I'm busy lately - I barely have time to spend hours on the Internet.

Recently I've discovered the treasure trove of stuff that is the Frontline web site, most especially the shows and online content devoted to examining the economic system and what went wrong with it. Just the interviews alone are incredible - they have Krugman and Goolsbee.

How could you not love Goolsbee, the way he expresses himself? He suggests that AIG deserves the "Nobel Prize for Evil."

A great anecdote from Goolsbee at the end of the clip above:
"So the financial crisis is absolutely full-blown, and at the beginning of December, the president has named all of the [people] who are going to be taking the economic jobs in the Cabinet. And they have the first big briefing in Chicago at the beginning of December. Everyone comes in, and we get a blizzard in Chicago. So most of the leading economic officials of the last two decades, they can't get a cab. They are all taking the El in and traipsing through the snow to get to the transition office...

They go through, and they brief the president, and absolutely one thing after another. It couldn't be worse -- epically horrible. The GDP we thought at that time is going to be shrinking 3, 4 percent a year at annual rates, which is extremely bad. Job market -- horrible. Financial markets -- Tim Geithner says that we can't argue that there won't be another collapse; we don't know that they will vote the second half of the TARP; the stock market may collapse further. [It's] not clear there won't be contagion.

I talk about the housing market. Prices are down. People can't finance their mortgages. Home wealth, household wealth has fallen the most on record, bigger than the beginning of the Great Depression. We go through one after another. The briefing ends.

I go up to the president, who I've known for sometime, and I say, "Mr. President, that has got to be the worst background briefing that a president-elect has had since 1932, Franklin Roosevelt, if not Abraham Lincoln, 1861."

And he says: "Goolsbee, I hate to break it to you. That's not even my worst briefing this week."

You can see why Jon Stewart loves Goolsbee so much - he had him on the show six times. Which is alot for an economist, especially when you consider he had Elizabeth Warren on four times and Krugman on only once.

Here is part 1 of the extended Daily Show Goolsbee interview, the most recent one.