Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yes, We Have No Bananas

Nicolas Sarkozy "a la banane,"* dit-il. The French, precariously employed, are skidding on banana peels into poverty, says François Hollande. This is what passes for political debate in France? asks the commentator.

*i.e., he is smiling, from the resemblance of the mouth forming a smile to a banana, says the dictionary. In English we might say that he has a "s***-eating grin on his face."

Two Book Recommendations for These Times

"Economic crisis, policy debate, and political experimentation are surely somehow connected, and their connections are the subject of this book." So wrote Peter Gourevitch in 1986, in a book that deserves to be re-read today, Politics in Hard Times. And for a look at Keynesian doctrine in practice see Peter Hall, ed., The Political Power of Economic Ideas: Keynesianism across Nations. (Both Peters are friends of mine, but you won't go wrong with either book.)