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A Deck of Cards of Most Wanted Economists? It Would Only be Comprised of Jokers.


It is hard to believe, but it has been almost twenty-years since the 'most-wanted' Iraqi playing cards were issued by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  Recall, this deck of cards was comprised of Iraqi officials wanted by the coalition then governing Iraq.  The cards were arranged so that the most wanted officials had the highest face value cards.  Most famously, Saddam Hussein was designated the ace of spades, while his two sons were assigned the ace of clubs and ace of hearts respectively. 

If a similar deck of cards were comprised of those people most responsible for causing the 2008 financial crisis and 'financializing' the US economy it would be very special deck of cards.  Rather than being comprised of aces, kings, queens, etc..., the deck would be comprised of nothing but jokers! 

In the figures below, most wanted cards for a handful of financiers, economists and central bankers have been compiled.   In spite of all their easily documented blunders - only a few of which are described here - all these 'jokers' saw their reputations grow after the 2008 crisis - a crisis they did much to cause.  Here is a sampling;

  • Austan Goolsbee was named to President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors and is now a professor at the University of Chicago
  • Tim Geithner, easily the most feckless official in a position of power in the years before the crisis, was 'promoted' by President Obama and became Treasury Secretary.  Now, he is the Managing Director of Warburg Pincus.
  • Ben Bernanke, co-equal to Alan Greenspan in causing the 2008 crisis, has been universally lionized by the political, economic and financial establishments, most spectacularly by "The Atlantic" who consider him "The Hero."

Austan Goolsbee and Fredick Mishkin (both have PhDs from MIT)

Paul Krugman and Jeremy Siegel (each a MIT PhD and each a Ivy League professor)

Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson (both Dartmouth graduates)

Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke (Fed Chairman and PhD Economists)

A little bit of a different approach than the blog posts I typically write.  I hope everyone likes it and thanks for the positive response to last week's article. 



Peter Schmidt
November 07, 2021
Sugar Land, TX

PS - As always, if you like what you read, please consider registering with the site.  It just takes an e-mail address, and I don't share this e-mail address with anyone.  The more people who register with the site, the better case I can make to a publisher to press on with publishing my book!  Registering with the site will also give you access to the entire Confederacy of Dunces list as well as the Financial Crisis timeline.  Both of these documents are a treasure trove of information on the crisis and the long-running problems that led to it.