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March 7, 2010
David Warsh, Proprietor

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In the Slough of Despond

Every once in a while, Economic Principals bogs down. It happened this week. .

EP spent a good deal of time reading most of three remarkable books about the mechanics of the subprime crisis:

Fool’s Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe, by Gillian Tett, of the Financial Times;

The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History, by Gregory Zuckerman, of The Wall Street Journal;

and The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side, Liar’s Poker and so on.

That’s nearly nine hundred pages of superb journalism, each book somehow better than the others – in other words, too much. EP came away, for the moment, unable to organize its thoughts.

EP expects to resume the straight and narrow path again next week.

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