Reader Notice: Changes Coming to This Blog

Dear readers,

I am going to be making some changes to the blog over the next few weeks, and anticipate the result will be a plus, although I know some of you are very resistant to anything new.

First, we will be adding some guest bloggers in regular slots, each posting one day a week. I suspect many of you already enjoy their work. Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, Ed Harrison of Credit Writedowns, Leo Kolivakis of Pension Pulse, and Rolfe Winkler of OptionARMageddon each offer high quality commentary and analysis. Some previous guest bloggers, such as former Congressional staffer Lune and hedge fund manager Scott Frew, will also weigh in as their schedules permit.

Second, we will be doing a minor redesign in the course of moving over to WordPress. I know we need a real redesign, since the letter from the gulag look is getting a bit old, but the muse has not yet whispered to my web designer, so a mere tidying and sprucing up will have to do for now.

Third, your humble blogger has a high class problem. I have a deal agreed for a book, tentatively titled eConned: How Misguided, Overhyped Economic Theories and Policies Led Us Into the Financial Crisis, with Palgrave. Since my most prized (and far and away most expensive) book is the New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance (three volumes) I consider that to be a good omen. I have assigned myself a Bataan death march writing schedule since I want the book published by early next year. If I had any sense, I would stop blogging altogether for a few months, but I labor under the delusion that my presence will be missed (remember that De Gaulle, when asked how France would get by without him, said, “The graveyards are full of indispensable men.”).

Separately, if anyone knows of a grad or college student who might be interested in part-time interning as a researcher for the book, please have them contact me at And if any of you might be willing to review and comment on a chapter or two (depending on your background and interests) when I get to the point of drafting, please ping me.

I’d also welcome other forms of reader support, but am unsure if I can really leverage it (ie, if I have to spend a lot of time reading a lot of possible posts and making choices, that could well take more time than writing a post myself). One exception might be reader submitted book reviews. But I would still need a way to screen for quality and make sure they were loaded into the blog correctly. Similarly, readers send me many useful Links candidates, and I feel guilty that I don’t write personal thank you’s, but I get so many that it would take considerable time. I wish I had an idea as to how to streamline the production of the Links page.

Of necessity, I will have to blog less for the next six months. However, I will also be shifting some of my commentary to “how did we get here?” questions and issues that ought to provide new grist for reader commentary and input. Maybe I am getting burned out from the crisis, but I feel too much of my commentary keeps circling back to the same topics. The problems are not going away, and even if there are new news hooks, the themes aren’t changing all that much, the bad policies, the bad assets, the lack of will to reform, the doublespeak. I suppose in times like these, making sure one is not part of the problem and doing what one can, even in a small way, to get things on a better path is a contribution. But the trajectory of policy seems immune to public opinion and reason.

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  1. S

    Excellent. Zero hedge is great spot.

    also something perverse about wfc cutting divy today when thiey raised it into the crunch on the back of the short ban. Litte timmy was surely part of that orchestration. Unreal when the did it but poetic that they end up takign it back with their stock at 8.

  2. Richard Smith

    Agree about the closed loop feel of the newsflow now. Meant to say something about that in my last but it was already far too long. There could still be some macro/world trade blowups but the nice logic of the bank blowups so far has gone. Kind of an interregnum.

  3. Swedish Lex

    Good luck with the book. Happy to provide an old continent perspective any way I can.

  4. Bill

    Yves, congratulations on your book deal. I will look forward to buying a copy when it becomes available. I understand that your book obligations will limit the time you have to blog here, but please know that the work you have done has provided invaluable enlightenment and and a breath of sanity for us, your readers. Your blog is an oasis in a desert of misinformation and obfuscation. Thanks for all you have done.

  5. Anonymous

    Thank you Yves and congratulations on your book. I hope you enjoy the process.

    This blog has been such a gift to me. No matter how much you limit your input it is the quality of breath and depth you bring to it that matters.

    Still looking forward to whatever your blog points me to. It is the best writing and commentary on the issues of the day.


  6. mistah charley, ph.d.

    “…[T]he themes aren’t changing all that much, the bad policies, the bad assets, the lack of will to reform, the doublespeak….But the trajectory of policy seems immune to public opinion and reason.” Amen, sister.

    As the pre-revolutionary Russian peasants would say, “If only the the Father of our Nation, the Czar (our intelligent and humane President) knew how the nobles (the elites of the MICFiC – military industrial congressional financial corporate media complex)oppress us, things would be different.”

    What the simple faith of the peasants prevented them from understanding was that the czar and the nobles, despite their conflicts, had a deeper shared stake in not disturbing the status quo, which depended upon continuing the oppression of the peasants. Finally came the cataclysm – and the exchange of a system in which man exploited man for one that was just the reverse, to quote Galbraith.

    Similarly in the here and now, despite getting the change we suspended our disbelief in, we still find ourselves in a Bruce Cockburn song – “the trouble with normal, it always gets worse.”

    Let’s keep on working, though – let a thousand Thomas Paines write ten thousand contemporary versions of Common Sense, and something good may come of it – and if not, at least we tried.

    May the Creative Forces of the Universe stand beside us, and guide us, through the Night with the Light from Above (metaphorically speaking.)

  7. Independent Accountant

    I too revisit the same topics. Peter Wallison, banking stooge, just wrote a WSJ piece that repeats what he wrote over a year ago. Until the system blows up in a credit collapse or a hyperinflation, we will see the same stuff again and again.

  8. cansarnoso

    i’ll miss ya

    and except new vitamins once you are back at this treadmill full time next year

    on hopes that taking some distance will lend enchancement (?, well hardly) to your viewpoint

  9. Thorne

    Hey, been reading for months, but first time to comment.

    a) You’re not delusional.

    b) I like the current design VERY much. “Sprucing” should be fine.

    c) The daily links are among the best aggregates on the web. I’ve been recommending you to anyone who’ll listen. (Not to slight your own discourse, of course.)

    and d) Congratulations on the book deal! Remember to stay hydrated – those death marches are rough!

  10. Anonymous

    “the trajectory of policy seems immune to public opinion and reason.”

    Quote of the Year.

  11. Peripheral Visionary

    Good luck with the book deal, Yves.

    And I think you’re correct that the news cycle has hit something of a (downward-sloping) plateau. The tone is not likely to change if or (more likely) when a fiscal funding crisis breaks out. The Eastern European meltdown may precipitate a new stage in the crisis as Europe enters a catastrophic phase; the U.S. may follow at some point.

    Depressing, but thank you for your effort to cover it and provide insight.

  12. Anonymous

    Yikes — submitted this to the wrong post. It belongs here.

    [Concerning LINKS]


    I don’t know how it’d be done (coding-wise, or if there is an existing method), but it seems like there must be an easy way to create a field (similar to a comment/contact field on any website), which would help you keep a tally of LINKS submitted for consideration. Basically, a comment field like this one, with extra inputs for “Submitter’s Name, Article Title, Source/Publisher, url link, Submitter’s brief comment.” The field title’s could be tinkered with to automatically not appear (submitter comments) and/or be relabeled (hat tips.)

    As administrator, you’d be able to browse and launch from this ‘private’ list, and have the option to select a ‘box’ beside each worthy link, making it visible to the public. If there isn’t an easily way to make this altered comment forum into a regular post with a little click, you could always just copy/paste the html text (usually viewable/accessible at the edit/preview stage of posting) of the vetted links into a new blog post.

    That sounds a bit more difficult than I bet it’d be, certainly easier than filtering through emails and comments, then hunting again to assign hat tips.

    A better worded explanation (or visual mock-up/sketch) might be worth briefly posting, to see if any html/rss-savvy readers can cook something up, or at least point you in the right direction.

  13. Hubert

    bookl deal – I congratulate and pity you.

    Your choice of co-bloggers is first class.

    The layout is fine in my view; I like the old-fashioned view.

    The graveyard saying come from Clemenceau as far as we have been told here.

    Good luck with all your endeveours (correct spelling in Greenspanish ?)

  14. Einars

    Cool, looking forward to the redesign and the book. I really appreciate the work you put into this blog!

  15. Brad

    Of course I’ll miss you! Of course I’ll look forward to the book! It is important to reinvigorate and give the brain chances to pursue less implacable problems than systemic denial. Happy new beginnings!

  16. Charlie

    Yves, in some ways I’m sorry you’re writing a book: the book industry creates a huge gap in time between events and analysis. Also, the themes you bang away on are important right now because they are not being talked about elsewhere. A book WILL help raise the profile of your criticisms, but I suspect next year some of these will be mainstreamed.

    But I’m glad to see you cash out and develop an exit plan from your hard work blogging!

    Look at Tom Barnett — who is an ass — but a useful model of how you can integrate advocacy, blogging and booking writing, all in one. Just don’t listen to his ideas….

  17. roger

    Yves, well, the graveyards may be full of indispensible men, but the web is not full of indispensible blogs. This is one of the few! I hope you are modeling your book on Zola’s J’accuse. I’ll totally miss your voice! Sorrow on this end, but I’m happy you are doing the book.

  18. Anonymous

    Tyler Durden’s a great resource, put him on the same pedestal as you. Look forward to seeing his conributions.

  19. lineup32

    Thanks for your time and interest, best of luck on your new book and look forward to the changes.

  20. Anonymous

    eConned: How Misguided, Overhyped Economic Theories and Policies Led Us Into the Financial Crisis

    … and are perpetuating the same

  21. tyaresun

    Congratulations on the book deal. Speaking selfishly, I will be lost without your blog, please son’t stop.

  22. Anonymous

    “How Misguided, Overhyped Economic Theories and Policies Led Us Into the Financial Crisis”

    As one of your many virtual editors I’d say cut down on the title length.

    Imagine someone on a plane saying hey I just read a book by Yvyeahvsss…oh..I’m not sure how to pronounce his..or her? name. The book title is Misguided something or other.

    Use your above running title as a subtitle. The title should be an ice pick into the back of the brain.

    New Title:

    SCREWED!: How Overhyped Economics Raped America’s Future.

    I assumed you were into the whole sexual innuendo thing by your use of ‘naked’.

    P.S- I’ve worked with WordPress and think you made a good choice. If you are going with your own server then make sure you utilize a comments service which can handle the load.

    Calculated Risk just had a good discussion on this matter.

  23. freude bud

    I am old school, and so books impress me. Congratulations!

    The crisis is wearing–a drop in the frequency of posts is not likely to change your analysis all that much.

    Ed Harrison writes good stuff.

    Good luck!

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I would make it over 1,000 pages long and suggest this title:

    The Rise and Fall Of The Dismal Science

    Also, I myself am looking for someone to co-write a book. I am thinking of calling it, “The Capitalist Manifesto” with a subtitle of “Relax, Capitalism Is Just Communism Looking Backwards” under the psuedonym of X. Ram L’Rak.

  25. babar ganesh

    whew. now that you’re out of the game of publishing bad news, the markets can recover a bit.

  26. Anonymous

    Your thoughts are of much more valuable to us public on a real time basis than your writings in a book of any title. Unfortunately there is not a current way to monetize that value from us to you. What a pity.

    Good luck with what you do

  27. Stevie b.

    Yves – delighted for you, devastated for myself. For me, NC is undoubtedly the best blog there is and less input from you will be desperately missed.

    De Gaulle may have been right, but he was of course referring to men…

  28. ca

    Yves —

    The insights you offer on your blog are unique and greatly appreciated by your readers.
    I am glad you are not totally abandoning us.
    Look forward to buying your book.

  29. Manshu

    Yves –

    Congratulations on the book. You are one of the best commentators and a sane voice in the current crisis. I will look forward to reading your book and will miss your posts here at NC.

  30. giggity

    I found the blog through a forum poster a few months back and have been increasingly addicted to the point I check multiple times daily…fantastic information here. Please come back at least once a week for a fresh entry, Yves!

  31. dearieme

    Good on you, Yves. I fear we may need a companion volume – “O-Conned: How a Misguided, Overhyped Political Messiah and his Policies Led Us Deeper Into a Financial Calamity”.

  32. brushes9

    Click “brushes9” to sing along!

    “Honor” by Atreyu
    Resolute a stance of defiance
    Always teetering on the brink
    Nothing can hold you back when
    When you’re not holding back a thing

    Open arms (we) embrace tomorrow
    Closed fists, tarnishing today
    We’re not afraid to open our mouths and scream
    We believe in what we say

    Like a whisper to the dusk
    An oath against the shadows
    Denying the dark
    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT till the break of dawn
    Like a prayer unto the dawn
    In arms against the shadows
    Destroying the dark
    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT till the break of dawn

    Covered in sweat and blood
    Yet still our heads held high
    Actions have consequences
    When you live for foolish pride

    Been careful not to lose ourselves
    Stand together one passion one hate
    We believe in a better tomorrow
    We believe in what we say

    Like a whisper to the dusk
    An oath against the shadows
    Denying the dark
    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT till the break of dawn
    Like a prayer unto the dawn
    In arms against the shadows
    Destroying the dark
    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT till the break of dawn

    We’ll fight our battles we’ll wage our wars
    Settle the scores with honor and blood
    We’ll wear our scars like medals of hope

    Note: In metal, hate is a valid motive, because our “hate” for the oppressor is reverse double-speak for our love of justice.

  33. Brian Pitts

    Brian in Los Angeles here:

    I happen to LOVE the look the current design of your blog! I’ll miss it if/when it changes. I enjoy how easy it is to read, and I also think it’s a very calming layout. Sigh…

    Your writing is wonderful in both style and content. Good luck with your book. I’m a writer myself and i know how daunting a task it can be.

    Thanks for all the good work.

  34. Anonymous

    I can’t wait until your book comes out…

    Please say you’ll do a book tour and we can all meet each other…

    Cheers to one of the best voices out there…Yves…bon chance.

  35. Anonymous

    I will miss you. Your blog is essential reading for me too. What I love about what you do is the synthesis as much as the analysis. And the empiricism over dogma. Like the boy who saw that the emperor had no clothes. I look forward to the book!

  36. live free or die trying

    Congratulations, a book is no small endeavor. I wish you luck and I look forward to reading it. I think that stepping away from the day to day commentary and taking a more macro look will be interesting, but we all will miss your voice. If you decide to post segments of your draft it would be an honor to help flesh out your ideas or give alternative perspectives.

    you wrote,
    “…the trajectory of policy seems immune to public opinion and reason.”

    makes me sad, it reminds me of Eliot.

    To the other posters: FWIW I don’t believe Yves did it to ‘monetize’ her blog. I think she did it for the challenge and the opportunity to step back and try and develop an integrated view of what went wrong.

    Regardless of why you’re writing the book, I am extraordinarily grateful for your blog and your voice of reason in the wilderness. Good luck

  37. Anonymous

    Yves, been reading this blog for several months – the only one I read regularly. Good luck with the book, you’ve got a customer when it comes out.

  38. Glen

    Congrats Yves, your just rewards for much hard work. Given the quality of postings (less my tripe) coupled with the guest bloggers (Ed is a choice guest) and you still at the helm (all be it in a reduced capacity), our beloved site is in good hands. This could be the development of an interesting concept; an evolution. It’s a shame economics itself can’t evolve.

  39. Merry-will-go-round

    This blog has been one of my daily oases of sanity, humor and news for the past year. I’m glad that you have planned for some wonderful co-bloggers for the next chapter of NC. It’s comforting to know that “we” have made plans to ensure that going cold turkey is not in the immediate future for us faithful readers. As dispensable as life is to death, your generous feeds of wicked wit, rationality, elegant emperor-disrobing commentary, and creative analysis of REAL news is part of my healthy diet of information.

    Although I now realize that the Links page is quite a production, I hope the ecological / environmental links will not be downsized. Although they generate less commentary, I find them invaluable to grasping the “Big Picture” (or at least, the bigger picture) of world events.

    Good luck on the book. I hope it reinvigorates you in your pursuit of the “truth.” I’ve noticed the burnout factor over the past week or so. Perhaps the book also can serve as a vehicle for revealing how you handle the cognitive dissonance that must arise as one attempts to maintain personal integrity and passion in the financial profession.

    PS: I know the planned subtitle/title is already too long, but “accounting” should be added to the targets.

    PSS: “Misguided” is a very velvet-gloved term. Wouldn’t “Socially Devastating” be more accurate?

  40. IF

    Let me from now on call you Yves Solzhenitsyn. I hope your daily grub on the islands of NY is better than the food on Sakhalin, Magadan etc.

    If my memory is not completely bad, I expressed my hope a few months ago that you would write a book one day. I wish you luck with it! Though, now I am afraid it might be late to write a bestseller. I will probably buy it. But people are going to be very burned out in a year. I don’t think your style will reach the masses. But I hope it will be good and stand up to time. Make it count.

  41. Capricorn

    Yves, I am torn between loosing your highly valued contributions to us, your readers, and your success with the opportunity on offer.

    I will continue to look for your contributions and perspectives.

  42. john bougearel


    You do not suffer from delusion, you will be missed, but understandably so.

    plus ça change, plus le même chose.

  43. john bougearel

    babar ganesh may be right! The markets may recover a bit from here, the confluence of “peak acceleration” in job losses, and a shift on your part towards writing a book.

  44. john bougearel

    Oh, two more thoughts:

    One is that your antidote du jour has been quite the tonic to offset the sordid affairs revealed on this blog every day.

    Two is that I think you will find that the book will write itself more quickly than you might imagine. Not that it isn’t alot of work, mind you. But setting aside big blocks of time, such as weekends that spill into the next week if need be can be immensely productive. And before you know it, nine months later, you’ll have your baby.

  45. Anonymous

    Good luck, Yves, I will miss your presence here but am glad that your insights will be distilled for posterity. Can’t wait to read your book. Whatever can be done to get the truth out, is always worthwhile.

  46. bh

    Yves, in some ways I’m sorry you’re writing a book: the book industry creates a huge gap in time between events and analysis.

    No problem, I think. It’s amazing what can come from taking the time to sit and really think through a thesis. Also, I read Lowenstein’s “Origins of the [tech] Crash” in 2006, and enjoyed every page of it.

  47. Walter

    > I labor under the delusion that my presence
    > will be missed

    Worse. You will be +severely+ missed.

  48. Anonymous

    Yves, I can't say much beyond what has already been said so well by others. Like a longtime lover you are taking care of us, even as you grow and explore other directions.

    I second the commenter who said; "The title should be an ice pick into the back of the brain."After nearly finishing the remaining comments, the phrase "Quicksand & Tigers" popped into my consciousness. I realized that it is "the icepick" for me. I hope it helps you to hone one for the book.

    One of my other daily reads is Barry Ritholtz's "The Big Picture." If you haven't already discussed your new directions with BR & his efforts to write & publish "Bailout Nation" while continuing his daily blog, I'm sure his experience along that path would be enlightening.

    Best wishes for all that lies ahead.

  49. Anonymous

    did you know frank ostroff at mckinley — researching global finanance capital* back in mid 80s i found him very helpful…he’s moved on and times have changed so simply a notion.

    *per hilferding’s 1910 book, the fusing of production and finance.

  50. Mirela

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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