What Went Wrong? David Wessel Weighs In

Over the next few months, Big Think is rolling out a series of interviews with leading economics experts to analyze the financial crisis and answer some pressing questions: Who’s to blame? Where do we go from here? Today’s interview is with David Wessel, economics editor of the Wall Street Journal and author of the recent bestseller, In Fed We Trust: Bernanke's War on the Great Panic.

He talks about the culprits behind the crisis, Ben Bernanke's performance, what might have been, and the role of the media in provoking and analyzing the crisis. We've asked a network of top economics bloggers to provide some questions for the interviews, as well as weigh in on the answers each week:


Economist’s View - Mark Thoma, Professor of Economics, University of Oregon

Economics One - John B. Taylor, Professor of Economics, Stanford University and former Undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Treasury Department

The New Republic’s The Stash - Noam Scheiber

The New Yorker’s The Balance Sheet - James Surowiecki - Columnist, and author of bestseller The Wisdom of Crowds

Marginal Revolution - Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University

Reuters Finance, Felix Salmon

The American Prospect’s Beat the Press - Dean Baker, Professor of Economics, Bucknell University and Co-Director, Center for Economic Policy Research

The Money Illusion - Scott Sumner, Professor of Economics, Bentley University

Café Hayek - Russ Roberts, Professor of Economics, George Mason University and a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution

The Atlantic’s Atlantic Business Channel - Dan Indiviglio

The Fly Bottle - Will Wilkinson, Research Fellow, Cato Institute

The Big Questions - Steven Landsburg - Professor of Economics, University of Rochester and Columnist, Slate

Econlog - Arnold Kling, Adjunct Professor of Economics, George Mason University and former employee of both Freddie Mac and the Federal Reserve

The Atlantic’s Asymmetrical Information - Megan McArdle, Managing Editor, The Atlantic

Causes of the Crisis - Jeff Friedman, Visiting Professor of Political Science, University of Texas and Founding Editor, Critical Review,

National Review’s The Corner/The American Scene - Jim Manzi – Chief Executive Officer, Applied Predictive Technologies

The Economist’s Free Exchange/The Bellows - Ryan Avent, Online Editor, The Economist

Naked Capitalism - Yves Smith, President of Aurora Advisors, and former employee of both Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Co.

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Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
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Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
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Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
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