Croaked Timer

by Henry on June 6, 2009

That our group blog is named “Crooked Timber” is sometimes taken to suggest that we are all devotees of Isaiah Berlin, who popularized the phrase about the ‘crooked timber of humanity’ that our title riffs on. As it happens, we are no more all fans of Isaiah Berlin than we are fans of “Therapy?”:http://www.amazon.com/Crooked-Timber-Therapy/dp/B001PS0EZ2/henryfarrell-20 (I haven’t listened to them since Teethgrinder meself), but it probably behoves us to acknowledge that today is Berlin’s “hundredth birthday”:http://www.economist.com/theworldin/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12494599 (or rather would be, if he were still alive). Princeton University Press has The Crooked Timber of Humanity and various other titles “for sale here”:http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6265.html for thems that are interested.

La Deutschmark Vita

by Henry on June 6, 2009

This “FT article”:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f4d18748-5232-11de-b986-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1 is the best piece I’ve seen on the intra-Europe battles over ECB policy, but it could go deeper still.

When Angela Merkel ended a long and otherwise unremarkable speech about economic policy this week with a vitriolic attack on the world’s three mightiest central banks, the German chancellor was writing a minor chapter of her country’s political history. No previous chancellor had dared attack their, and others’, central banks so frontally – saying the US Federal Reserve, Bank of England and European Central Bank should all row back on their unconventional recent ways of propping up economies. …

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