“Among critics of American-style capitalism in the Third World, the way that America has responded to the current economic crisis has been the last straw. During the East Asia crisis, just a decade ago, America and the I.M.F. demanded that the affected countries cut their deficits by cutting back expenditures—even if, as in Thailand, this contributed to a resurgence of the aids epidemic, or even if, as in Indonesia, this meant curtailing food subsidies for the starving. America and the I.M.F. forced countries to raise interest rates, in some cases to more than 50 percent. They lectured Indonesia about being tough on its banks—and demanded that the government not bail them out. What a terrible precedent this would set, they said, and what a terrible intervention in the Swiss-clock mechanisms of the free market.”

— Joseph Stiglitz

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The Economy. New York Times columnist Frank Rich in true form on the US government bank bailouts, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz in a short, pointed piece for Vanity Fair on the world economy and the international perception of US policy and excerpts from Matt Tabibi’s attack job on Goldman Sacks in this month’s Rolling Stone, probably to be read with some skepticism, but nevertheless thought-provoking.
  • Michael Jackson. Amidst all the post-mortem accolades and fawn, Maureen Orph’s articles on Jackson for Vanity Fair over the years provide a sobering, if also at times excessively muckraking tonic.
  • Wood/Frazetta. A blogger has posted paste-up images, with text, of Frank Frazetta’s version of the EC story “Came the Dawn” (1953), which Wally Wood drew for Shock SuspenStories #9, that I linked to earlier. Check it out — it’s still awesome.