Magazine August 19, 2013, Issue

Cause for Depression

A monetary history of our recent economic travails

More than five years into the depression that is the dominating fact of our economy, we still have no clear picture of its causes.

The consensus is that the bursting of a housing bubble was to blame. Borrowers started to walk away from mortgages based on inflated home prices, and financial companies had to write down the value of securities based on those mortgages. That’s what led to the financial panic of late 2008 and early 2009, and the seizing-up of credit markets in turn sent unemployment soaring. This is the explanation to which President Obama alluded in a July 24

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Carolina Comeback

Ever since Pat McCrory became North Carolina’s first Republican governor in 20 years, a stream of media coverage has portrayed the Tar Heel State as “the Wisconsin of 2013,” to ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Long View

The Al-Irshad Group

Transcript from the Al Jazeera Political Talk Show The Al-Irshad Group: Sunday, August 4, 2013 Host Al-Irshad: “Issue One! Weiner-riffic! In the aftermath of a series of degrading and degenerate scandals ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

NO VOODOO No mystical sixth sense do I possess. I hardly handle normal senses well. No vision have I ever had of Hell. Jesus does not drop in at my address. My life has been ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Sins and Commandments in Language I was thinking that I was the only one bothered by the all-encompassing use of “inappropriate” to avoid an honest confession of sin. Even my pastor, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We’re traditionalists on sex scandals: They ought to include sex. ‐ In July, President Obama gave another in his long series of speeches that constitute “a pivot” to the economy. ...
Athwart

Rahs and Rah-Nots

Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, said he almost didn’t include the famous photo of firefighters raising the flag because it was too “rah-rah.” One “rah” is ...

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