An Internet Guide to Understanding the Financial Crisis


This guide is developed through e-mail discussion on the list serves of the Association for Evolutionary Economics, the Union of Radical Political Economics, The International Association for Feminist Economics and discussions among the heterodox economists of the economics department at Wright State University. (Sirisha Naidu, Zdravka Todorova, Paulette Olson, Rudy Fichtenbaum, and Barbara Hopkins)

Updated August 25, 2009  

There is just too much good stuff out there, but we've tried to organize it so you can get your questions answered or find the right article for your class.  But, you can also use these links to help you find websites and blogs and to find out who the useful voices are that you can search for to get even more great stuff.

Articles added in the last two weeks or so are now in Bold. Note: recently added does not mean recently posted.

*accessible to a general audience      ** accessible to economics students        *** accessible to economists


Article/Quote of the "Week"


Just check out the new revised section on

What to Do About it.

What is a Housing Bubble?


Dean Baker, "The Housing Bubble and the Financial Crisis" in real-world economics review Issue 46 **

Check out Dean Baker's Blog

Check out the center for economic policy research

Check out the real-world economics review


Michael Hudson "The New Road to Serfdom" in Harper's 2006 * See Michael Hudson's website Eric Janszen "The next bubble: Priming the markets for tomorrow's big crash" in Harper's

What is a Financial Crisis?

Robert Fitch, "In Defense of Washington and Wall Street" in NewPolitics, Vol. XII, issue 2.* Steve Keen, "The Roving Cavaliers of Credit." * Check out Steve Keen's DebtWatch Blog for an Australian Perspective on the Financial Crisis.
James Kwak's "Financial Crisis for Beginners" *

The Crisis of Credit Visualized *

Good for Beginners

John Watkin's "Staring into the Abyss: The Current Economic Crisis" *
Michael Perelman "What is the Crisis about? Ficticious Capital or the Distruction of Wealth" at EconoSpeak** Check out EconoSpeak: Annals of the Economically Incorrect  

The Role of the Financial Sector

Warren Mosler and Eileen Debold "Financial Engineers and the Brave New World"** Simon Johnson "The Quiet Coup"* Joshua Coval, Jakub Jurek, and Erik Stafford "The Economics of Structured Finance" ***

Crisis in the Real Economy (not just financial)

Foster and Magdoff "Financial Implosion and Stagnation" Montly Review Rick Wolff's Video lecture "Capitalism Hits the Fan" * (now available on DVD) John Bellamy Foster "Keynes, Capitalism, and the Crisis" in Monthly Review
Michael Perlman "How to Think About the Crisis" *    

How Did It Get This Bad?, or What is Happening?


Reporters, Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson, from NPR explain how this works on This American Life - "The Giant Pool of Money" *

They did an another episode - " Another Frightening Show About the Economy". *


Check out their blog - "Planet Money"


Check out their podcast "Planet Money"
Randall Wray " Financial Markets Meltdown: What Can We Learn from Minsky?" *** Check out other articles at the Levy Institute Catch Randy talking about layoffs on Minnesota Public Radio
"Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street" Wired Magazine * (explains the mathematical formula that was used to grossly underestimate risk, explains the difference between risk and uncertainty).

Elena Panaritis "This Crisis Demands Non-Traditional Solutions to Get to a Path of Quick Recovery"*

"The current economic crisis stems from the fact that the underpinnings of the market are either broken or rotted, and in some cases there are no underpinnings."

Wilhelm Buiter

"Harmful financial innovation" *

Doug Henwood "Gloomy, w/ a 15% chance of depression" * Check out Doug Henwood's New Left Observer Check out Doug Henwood's book Wall Street
Economics of Crisis: A Brief Timeline of Events * Economics of Crisis: Focus on the U.S. * Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan "Contours of Crisis" ** a three part series in Dollars and Sense

Walden Bello "Primer on Wall Street Meltdown " *

F. William Engdahl "Geithner’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: The Entire Global Financial System is at Risk
When the Solution to the Financial Crisis becomes the Cause
" *

Why it is Worse than "They" Think


James Galbraith, "No Return To Normal: Why the economic crisis, and its solution, are bigger than you think" Common Dreams *


The Role of Deregulation

Robert Weissman of Multinational Monitor at Democracy Now *   (See a text version of the argument at Check out Multinational Monitor  

Are We Coming Out of Recession?

(see also What Does This Mean for Working People? )

Levy Report: "Prospects for the United States and the World: A Crisis that Conventional Remedies Cannot Resolve" ** Martin Feldstein (Chair of Reagan's CEA) "Has the U.S. Recovery Begun?"

Is it as bad as 1980-82?

Menzie Chinn "Output, Employment and Industrial Production in the "1980-82 Recession""

Repeating Stupidity:

Barbara Garson, Where Did Those Traders in Toxic Assets Go? *

Mike Whitney "Skip the Happy Talk: This Depression is Just Beginning" * Nouriel Roubini, "The risk of a double-dip recession is rising" from the Financial Times.

Global Perspectives on the Economic Crisis

Jayati Ghosh "This crisis of capitalism is not all bad news" ** Check out the other panelists for the Guardian (UK) discussion "Capitalism in Crisis" **

Kevin Gallagher "The developing world is too big to fail: Developing nations are vital to global economic recovery – and the world's rich countries should start acting like it"


"No stimulus for the poor : Signs of economic recovery should not be an excuse for rich countries to abandon stimulus spending or ignore calls for reform"*

Politics of the Crisis and the Power of Bankers

Simon Johnson, former Chief Economist of the IMF, compares bankers to Russian Oligarchs on Bill Moyers * Check out Johnson and Kwak's blog Baseline Scenario  
Robert Kuttner on the danger of the conservative undertow "Time to Think" *    
Joseph Stiglitz "Banks Behavior Inconsistent with Public Interest" * Check out Stiglitz at Democracy Now * Stiglitz "A Bank Bailout that Works" in The Nation. *

How Does Inequality Cause and Deepen the Crisis?

Luisa Fernandez, Fadhel Kaboub, and Zdravka Todorova "On Democratizing Financial Turmoil
A Minskyan Analysis of the Subprime Crisis"
Check out other articles at the Levy Institute Check out trends on income inequality from the Economic Policy Institute
Bill Moyers "The Business of Poverty" * Michael Parenti "Capitalism's Self-Inflicted Apocalypse" Common Dreams or Video at Democracy Now * Paul Krugman "Falling Wage Syndrome"*

Evidence that Progressive Economics Policies like the Community Reinvestment Act did NOT contribute to lower lending standards (See also "Giant Pool of Money" above for what did)

Federal Reserve Governor Randall S. Kroszner "The Community Reinvestment Act and the Recent Mortgage Crisis"**

Aaron Pressman of Businessweek on their "Investing Blog" *  

Why weak unions and weak labor laws contribute to the financial crisis

Damon Silvers, Associate General Counsel for the AFL-CIO - " How a Low Wage Economy with Weak Labor Laws Brought Us the Mortgage Credit Crisis" * "Union Card or Master Card -- How a Nation of Workers Became a Nation of Debtors" *  

Why Didn't "They" See It Coming? And What Does It Say About the Macroeconomics We've Been Learning?

James Galbraith - "The Collapse of Monetarism and the Irrelevance of the New Monetary Consensus" *** Check out what Galbraith is saying in columns and op-ed pieces Watch Bill Moyers interview Galbraith about his book The Predator State
David Colander, et. al. "The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics ** Thomas Palley's Letter to the Queen* Geoffrey Hodgson "After 1929 economics changed: Will economists wake up in 2009?" ** in Real World Economics Review 48
Financial Times Journalist, Willem Buiter " The unfortunate uselessness of most ’state of the art’ academic monetary economics"* The Times Journalist, Anatole Kaletsky, "Economists are the Forgotten Guilty Men" * New York Times Journalist, Patricia Cohen, "Ivory Tower Unswayed by Crashing Economy" *
Barry Eichengreen "The Last Temptation of Risk"**    

What Should the Crisis Teach Us About Markets and the Invisible Hand?

Nitasha Kaul "Bankers on Benefit" at ZNet *    
Frank Ackerman - "The Economics of Collapsing Markets" in real-world economics review issue 48. ** Check out Frank Ackerman (and Lisa Heinzerling)'s critique of Cost Benefit Analsis Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing or Check out Ackerman's other critique of cost benefit analysis Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution

What Does This Mean for Working People?

Center for Economic Policy Research on Job loss *  
Check out the "Newsroom" of the Economic Policy Institute for the latest on what is happening to the job market *

From EPI

Jobs report for April 08 *

The Human Toll of Job Loss *

Jobs Picture for July 02, 2009*

State of Working America - Executive Summary *
Economics of Crisis: Focus on the U.S. * Economic War and Profiteering * From TASC (Think Tank for Action on Social Change a progressive think tank on the Irish Economy) John Miller "The Real Unemployment Rate Hits a 68-Year High" * in Dollars and Sense
Dan La Botz "The Decline of Manufacturing and Machine Tools, and the Future of American Industry and the Working Class" *in Monthly Review
Heather Boushey "No Good News for Workers" * Nayla Kazzi and Heather Boushey "Uneven Job Losses" *

What Does This Mean for Women?

"The Gender Effects of Economic Crisis" * See the "The Economics of Crisis" by the same group of mostly feminist economists * Stephanie Seguino, "The Global Economic Crisis, Its Gender Implications and Policy Responses," ***
Nancy Folbre's comments on the stimulus package * Nancy Folbre's earlier comments on the stimulus package * Heidi Hartmann video on Women Retirees *

News on Women from the UN:

ILO warns economic crisis could generate up to 22 million more unemployed women in 2009, jeopardize equality gains at work and at home *

African women bear brunt of global crises, warn delegates at UN conference *
Heather Boushey "The Importance of Women Breadwinners" * "Women in the Recession - Working Mothers Face High Rates of Unemployment"  from Joint Economic Committee **

Heidi Hartmann "The Impact of the Current Economic Downturn on Women" **

"Shaky Economic Times are Shakier for Women" *

Rania Antonopoulos "The Current Economic and Financial Crisis: A Gender Perspective" *** "Women's Equality Hurt by Job Loss" * from Canadian Auto Workers  

Addressing Gender Inequality in Macroeconomic Policy

Rania Antonopoulos "Promoting Gender Equality Through Stimulus Packages and Public Job Creation: Lessons Learned from South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme"**


The Great Depression

The Depression Blog "News from 1930: Being a daily summary based upon my reading of the Wall Street Journal from the corresponding day in 1930."    

What Did the Swedes Do When Their Housing Bubble Burst in 1992?

Interview with Bo Lundgren Head of the Swedish Debt Office in The Local: Sweden's English News *

from a speech given by the Swedish Central Bank to Koreans during the Asian Financial Crisis on their experience. **


What the Japanese Didn't Do When Their Housing Bubble Burst and the Asian Financial Crisis Hit.

UCSC economist Michael Hutchison comments ** IMF on the Japanese Banking Crisis ***  
The Economics of Crisis: Lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis *    

What Does the Crisis Mean for the Rest of the World?

Foster " A Failed System
The World Crisis of Capitalist Globalization and its Impact on China" Montly Review
Julia Perelstein "Macroeconomic Imbalances in the United States and Their Impact on the International Financial System"*** Robert Wade and José Antonio Ocampo "The Economic Crisis and
the Developing World:
What Next?"**
Economics of Crisis: Europe * Economics of Crisis: Outside EU and the US * Economics of Crisis: Danger for Developing Countries *

Whatever Happened to Iceland?

CRS Report for Congress: Iceland's Financial Crisis **

Report Questions Lending of Iceland Bank (Time)*

with links to earlier stories in Time

Personal Stories on YouTube: Artic Meltdown: The Financial Crisis in Iceland *
Anne Mayhew's comments on an article in the New Yorker (AFEE list) *    

What to Do About It.

Economists letter to the Congress *

Economists for Full Employment *

Online discussion of Economists about Paul Krugman's the Return of Depression Economics and the Recession of 2008 **

look for TPM bookclub and click on it.

Paul Krugman "What Obama Must Do: A Letter to the New President" *

Paul Krugman on the new bailout *

Radhika Balakrishnan and Diane Elson, "The Economic Crisis is a Human Rights Issue" *

The Economics of Crisis **

Fiscal Stimulus, Bretton Woods II, New Financial Architecture Introduction, New Financial Architecture, High Level Global Meetings

Michael Hudson "A Tax Program for U.S. Economic Recovery" ** Allan Schmid's Blog "The Troublesome Economist" * William Black "The Audacity of Dopes" *
Robert Kuttner on AIG bonuses at Democracy Now * Robert Kuttner and Michael Hudson on Stimulus Plan at Democracy Now * James Galbraith on Declaring Banks Insolvent at Democracy Now *
Jan Kregel "It's That Vision Thing: Why the Bailouts Aren't Working and Why a New Financial System is Needed"** Mark Weisbrot "Challenging Economic Dogma" *  

TARP: Is it the Assets that are Troubled or is it the Relief Program?

Check out

Report of the CBO

Who Got it?

"Tracking the $700 billion Bailout" NYTimes *

Doug Henwood on Tarp and more in The Brooklyn Rail "Ka-Pow! Bang! Crash! Down Goes Another Bubble! Doug Henwood in Conversation with Christian Parenti"* Willem Buiter "The Fed's moral hazard maximising strategy"*
William Black "The Great American Bank Robbery"* (video lecture) See more comments at Economic Perspectives from Kansas City See the Interview with William Black by Bill Moyers

Obama's Proposal for Financial Regulation and Consumer Protection

(See archives for comments on earlier proposals)

James Galbraith Testimony to Congress * Joint Economic Committee Testimony "Too Big to Fail or Too Big to Save? Examining the Systemic Threats of Large Financial Institutions"  with appearances by Joe Stiglitz and Simon Johnson Kevin Gallagher "Credit Raters Need a Downgrade"*

Simon Johnson "Jeb Hensarling [Republican , George Orwell"*


"John Dugan [Comptroller of the Currency] Consumer Advocate or Bank Defender"*

Obama's Stimulus/Budget Strategy
James Galbraith "No Return to Normal" * New York Times Blog list of various Economist's Stimulus Plans * Skip to: Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia Business School *
Dean Baker, Center for Economic Policy Research *
Nathaniel Keohane, Environmental Defense Fund *
Claudia Goldin, Harvard University
Ann Dryden Witte, Wellesley *
Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts-Amherst *
Laura Tyson, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business *
Lori Kletzer, University of California, Santa Cruz *
and others.
James Kwak "The State and the Local Hole"*
Lawrence Mishel from EPI "Tax Cuts Won't Create Jobs" * Recovery Act investments start to pay off, but long road remains ahead *
Green Jobs, Green Recovery John Irons Ethan Pollack of EPI "The recovery package in action"

Is the Deficit a Problem?

Nancy Folbre "The Granddaddy State"*

Paul Krugman "Deficits and Interest Rates" *  

Reforming the International Monetary System

Jan Kregel "Some Simple Observations on the Reform of the International Monetary System" **

Organizations Working towards Reforming the Priorities of the IMF

New Rules for Global Finance


Responding to the Right's Inflation Concerns

Dimitri b. Papadimitriou and Greg Hannsgen "Recent Rise in Federal Government and Federal Reserve Liabilities: Antidote to a Speculative Hangover"** Video of David Wessel of the WSJ "Are Inflation Concerns Overstated"* (a bit less forceful than I'd like, but he does show that to have inflation we have to make some assumption that don't make much sense.)

Paul Krugman "The Big Inflation Scare"*

or his blog "Embedded vs. Non-embedded Inflation"

Doug Henwood in The Brooklyn Rail "Ka-Pow! Bang! Crash! Down Goes Another Bubble! Doug Henwood in Conversation with Christian Parenti"* (see page 3) James Galbraith criticizes Bernanke in Foreign Affairs in 1999 "The Inflation Obsession: Flying in the Face of the Facts"** Dean Baker in The Monthly Review "June Price Data Sends Mixed Signals on Inflation" **

Industrial Policy

Kevin Gallagher "A New US Industrial Policy" *    

Rethinking Macroeconomics

Radhika Balakrishnan, Diane Elson, and Rajeev Patel "Rethinking Macro Economic Strategies from a Human Rights Perspective" Engendering Macroeconomics at ** Giorgos Kallis, Joan Martinez-Alier, and Richard B. Norgaard, "Paper assets, real debts: An ecological-economic exploration of the global economic crisis"***
Post-Keynesian Interpretations of the Crisis for Beginners by John Harvey.* You can start with lesson 1 or read it like a blog and start with today's comments. JP Bouchard "Economics Needs a Scientific Revolution" ** in Real World Economics Review 48 Jonathan Goldstein "Heterodox Macroeconomics and the Current Global Financial Crisis" from Heterodox Macroeconomics: Keynes, Marx, and Globalization **
Thomas Palley "America’s Exhausted Paradigm: Macroeconomic Causes of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession" **

Rethinking Capitalism

Amartya Sen "Capitalism Beyond Crisis" * David Harvey "Their Crisis, Our Challenge" *  

Can the Financial Crisis Be Funny? *


Bird and Fortune and Bremner:

How Markets Really Work

Financial Advisors

Silly Money Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V

We're All Poor Now

Global Economic Meltdown

Jon Stewart on the role of CNBC (the media) and interviewing Business columnist Joe Nocera and the DOW as a measure of public opinion.

Clusterf#@k to the Whitehouse I

The Pyramid Economy

F#@ked or Fixed

The Attack of the Invisible Hand
Economic Meltdown Funnies Financial Crisis Matson Editorial Cartoons: Geithner , NYSE,  Financial Health Care,  Wall-Street bonuses, Republican Suggestions , SEC on MadoffAuto Bailouts

PhD comics

"Guess who's coming to grad school?"

"The Economic Meltdown: Should you be concerned?"

Simon Johnson, former IMF Chief Economist,on the Colbert Report. TARP: a slide show
Autoworkers Compete