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ECONned Book Discussion Update

BDBlue's picture

[The discussion is here. Yves is awesome. -- lambert]

For those interested in participating in the discussion of Yves Smith's new book ECONned we're going to move it back a week instead of holding it tomorrow to give more people a chance to read the book and participate. It will now be on Sunday, March 28 from 2-4 p.m. Feel free to drop by even if you haven't read the book. There's sure to be lots of ideas to discuss.

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Submitted by lambert on

The book is very, very informative, and its a primer on financial engineering/ideology during the Neo-liberal Ascendancy 1970-2008. Since the finance guys are running the country, it behooves us to understand what they think.

It also behooves us to help Yves whittle down her ideas into talking points, which is one of the things we're good at.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

I hadn't realized Yves Smith's book was going to be such a sweeping discussion of economic matters or I might have planned to read it sooner, without BDBlue's prompting.

I agree with Lambert's "talking points" suggestion -- I'm not any good at that stuff but you guys sure should take a crack at it. There are lots of reasons liberal talk radio sucks. One of them is that hardly anyone on our side has developed, much less become fluent in, the bumper sticker and quarter page riffs that explain our basic concepts and tell our most important stories.

Sean Hannity is a virtuoso performer because he has repertoire of about forty conservative talking points and historical mini-riffs. Drawing on one of these, he's never at a loss to respond to a caller or a breaking news story. What he says may not be true or fair but it always sounds thought out and coherent. When you're selling something, repetition works. Listening to liberal commercial talk radio or BlogTalkRadio, it's as if no one has a clue about what works in the medium. They must think the listener is impressed if the person behind the mic is unprepared, i.e. does not have memorized scripts on which to rely. And I won't even get started on the other style of liberal broadcasting, the Micky Maddow Club approach.

In her Introduction, Yves writes:

(p. 6) We need to implement economic policies that treat finance as the handmaiden of commerce, not its master.

"Handmaiden" may be a bit too literary for our purposes and "commerce" makes me think of something narrower than "production andtrade" but this is a crucial, crucial point, one that all of us on the left ought to understand and be able to counter with whenever conservatives invoke the virtues of an unregulated Wall Street.

Anyway, I'll look forward to reading the thread on the 28th whether or not I can follow along in real time.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

and there's so much good stuff in there it's amazing. You've hit on one of the sentences I like so much. I hope you can participate in the discussion even if it means adding comments after the 2-4 time.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Mortimer Adler, the Great Books guy, said readers should write comments on the pages of the books they own. Coloring books aside, I, myself, have never been able to make a mark in any book without feeling like a vandal.

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Submitted by Riggsveda on

Congratulations on this great event, you guys! I love her to death. Smith is one of the few mainstream economists not afraid to call out the "moderates" who facilitated the meltdown and many other disasters resulting from unfettered control by the free-market religious fanatics, and she really knows her stuff. I'll definitely be checking in on it.