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?