Thomas Frank hits the nail on the overly exuberant financial infotainment head:

If the world of financial infotainment can itself be described as a "market," it is a market where accountability does not seem to exist, where the heaviest of incentives seems to carry no weight, and where consumers, to judge by what they get, seem constantly to choose the lousy over the good. The old order discredits itself, but the old order persists nevertheless. 

Frank goes on to hammer away at the oft-tossed trope that no one could have seen this coming. Anyone who has read Calculated Risk, Roubini, Stiglitz, Krugman, Atrios, Baker, here at FDL or any number of other places across the web for the last few years knew things were brewing up a bad storm of shitpile. 

But, as Frank makes clear, these voices were not only marginalized and ridiculed, they were actively shut out of the process all the while cheerleaders on CNBC and elsewhere talked up market mania:

This needs to be repeated every time someone pleads, "Who could have known?" Plenty of people did see the disaster coming. Most of them were marginalized, however, laboring at out-of-the-way econ departments, blogs and B-list think tanks. They were excluded and even ridiculed because their larger understanding of the economy was not one that fit well with the sort of Wall Street worship preached by the likes of CNBC…. 

Adversarial voices are few. Criticism is sacrificed for access. Advice sometimes shades over into simple propaganda. Even the worst prognosticators sometimes go on to jobs with presidential campaigns or prominent think tanks.

Can I hear an amen? Or at least a Lawrence Kudlow can kiss my ass?

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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