Friday, October 15, 2010

What I'm Reading

Nick Hornby, one of my favorite writers, used to write a column for the Believer magazine entitled "What I'm Reading". Basically the Believer paid him to read books and write witty things about them, and he did. In fact his columns were compiled into very good books.

In lieu of a proper post, I am going to point to some very good columns by other people I have stumbled across recently. Maybe I will write more about them later.

There was a fascinating review of/interview about a new documentary (coming to Pittsburgh in November) called "Inside Job" in Salon; the movie is yet more about the financial collapse. It is mostly an interview with the film maker; about midway through the interview he compares the last twenty years of popular economic thought to the intellectual decline of communist thought in the Soviet Union. Interesting stuff.

Glenn Greenwald is one of my new favorite writers. Paul Krugman has a blog entitled "The Conscience of a Liberal", but really that title should belong to Greenwald's column in Salon. Just recently he had a column where he describes the war on drugs and the war on terror as mirrors. Just before that, Greenwald continued the role he has taken up, as a very intelligent and fair critic of the Obama administration. In this case, he took Robert Gibbs to task for accusing the Chamber of Commerce of behavior that Gibbs had himself had participated in 2004. My dad used to say (and probably still does) that the Democrats did the same thing in the sixties that Nixon did in the seventies, its just that the Democrats didn't get caught (I should write more about this in the future). Greenwald's column on Gibbs does not let the Chamber off the hook, he simply also takes the Chamber's accusers to task for (a) the sloppy tenor of their accusations and (b) the messy past of some of those accusers.

Finally, the NYTimes has its share of good articles and columns (more than I actually read). Paul Krugman has a good column on mortgages and the financial industry in general today (a tad bombastic, but then again if an economist can't get upset about wasted money ...). Some more detail about how the banks engaged in the bad mortgage to toxic asset process itself is detailed here.

Next thing I plan to read is details about Pittsburgh's parking/pension mess.

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