Robert Samuelson, dean of America's economics journalists, today offers historical and economic perspective on the lingering finance crisis (or growing financial crisis, depending on your perspective).
His point: things could get very bad, but at present there are many reasons to think that they aren't that bad and won't turn out to be.
Meanwhile, SWNID decries the McCain campaign's craven concession to the Democrats of the metanarrative about the financial crisis. Listening to McCain ads, the longest of which was ably delivered though sadly not factually and tactically corrected by Sarah Palin last Thursday night, one would think it a matter of settled common sense that the financial crisis is entirely the consequence of the government's failure to regulate greedy Wall Street capitalists and predatory lenders.
Such a perspective is hardly accurate or complete enough to be deemed "true" in any true sense of the word. Worse, it cedes the discussion to a kind of "bipartisan" consensus in the completely wrong direction of making the American economy more hostile to business development. Such a political scenario reminds us entirely of the way that the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations (different only in the degree to which they applied the approach, not in the approach itself) approached the Depression in ways that kept things depressed: with government intervention that never improved the business climate.
Whacking personae who don't represent a significant portion of the electorate ("Wall Street," "speculators," "the wealthiest 1%") may be the kind of thing that focus groups respond to, but it isn't a platform from which to govern effectively.