The Great Debate

from Bethany McLean:

How Ralph Nader learned to love Fannie and Freddie

By Bethany McLean
February 18, 2014

Corrects story issued February 18 in third-to-last paragraph regarding efforts to contact Ralph  Nader.

Populism: The Democrats’ great divide

By Robert L. Borosage
February 5, 2014

One day after President Barack Obama called for moving forward on trade authority in his State of the Union address, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared, “I am against fast track,” and said he had no intention of bringing it to a vote in the Senate.

Obama’s small steps won’t fix inequality

By Helaine Olen
January 30, 2014

President Barack Obama is taking on the challenge of increasing the United States’ all but stagnant economic mobility.

Why conservatives spin fairytales about the gold standard

By Charles Postel
September 17, 2013


The Federal Reserve is celebrating its 100th birthday trapped in a political bunker.

‘Democratic wing’ of Democratic Party takes on Wall Street

By Robert L. Borosage
August 1, 2013

The chattering classes are fascinated by the Republicans’ internecine battle to redefine the party in the wake of the George W. Bush calamity and the Mitt Romney defeat — from Senator Rand Paul’s revolt against the neoconservative foreign policy, to intellectuals flirting with “libertarian populism.” Less attention has been paid, however, to the stirrings of what Senator Paul Wellstone dubbed “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” — now beginning to challenge the Wall Street wing of the party.

Derivative rules: Global problem needs global solution

By Martin Neil Baily and Aaron Klein
July 10, 2013

The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated how interconnected the global financial system is. What began as a real estate bubble fueled by subprime mortgages in many states ballooned into a global financial panic of unprecedented magnitude. Bundles of poorly underwritten mortgages generated toxic derivatives bet on in a global market. When the dust settled, there was broad agreement that not only did we need a new financial regulatory regime, it had to be globally coordinated.

A case of lobbysts vs. small cap investors

By Lise Buyer
July 3, 2013

It’s tick season again: the time of year when those small, seemingly unimportant beasts emerge and attack the unsuspecting or unaware. This year, they seem to be everywhere and have a particularly robust group of carriers. The problem with ticks is that, while they seem benign, they can cause significant harm to those who are not vigilant.

Can Congress pull back from the brink?

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
December 13, 2012

Americans want to see Congress and the president make a deal on the “fiscal cliff,” that noxious mix of expiring tax cuts and mandatory spending slashing due at year’s end. They just don’t think it will happen without a lot of pain, according to recent polls.

The perils of cliff-diving

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
December 6, 2012

The fiscal cliff is a danger to the economy.  Some have argued that cliff diving is benign either because the cliff itself is an illusion – it is really a gentle slope – or because policymakers have the cartoon-like power to reverse going over the cliff without hitting the abyss.

2013: The year of tax reform

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
November 1, 2012

Policy and political circles are now both talking about the prospect of comprehensive federal tax reform next year. From Capitol Hill to Wall Street to Main Street, people are asking how this reform will be structured. They should look to states across the country for their model. Many are due to embark on sweeping overhauls, even complete rewrites, of their tax codes in 2013.