I really need to get started on my review of Dean Baker's False Profits...
The first two paragraphs:
Dean Baker is one of the very few economists to have gotten things right in the mid-2000: to have not only recognized the housing bubble, but to have predicted that it would produce big trouble for the economy as a whole. Now he has produced his book on the financial crisis, False Profits. Given the sales of all the books by all the people who did not predict that the housing bubble would have big bad consequences for the economy as a whole, everybody who has bought even one of those other books is under a strong moral obligation to buy Dean Baker's book and to read it with very close attention. And they will all profit substantially from doing so.
But let me start by saying how I disagree with the book. I think that its story of the linkages between our current crisis and Federal Reserve policy is significantly overstated. Its argument about how excessively-low interest rates caused the housing bubble is exaggerated. I think that its belief that the Federal Reserve could have taken much more action to curb the housing bubble while it was underway is also exaggerated, and does not recognize the very real constraints that the Federal Reserve works under and all but ignores the costs of austerity. And it overstates the strength of the links between the housing bubble and the housing crash on the one hand and our current situation of macroeconomic despair on the other.