There was a thing called Wonk Watch:
Wonk Watch | The Big Money: We read the smarties so you don’t have to. The economic blogosphere has two distinct sects: the communicators and the brilliants. The communicators are the journo-bloggers who rehash the news with a dash of insight but a dearth of big-think vision. The brilliants are the wonky bloggers who break news with a visionary thesis that nobody can read all the way through.
The Sausage is a communicator. We'd like to help you understand. Thus, we bring you Wonk Watch, where we read the brilliants so you don't have to. We've chosen the wonks that most set the agenda for the rest of the econosphere, based on a totally subjective assessment. For now, our debut roster will include two economists, a blogger who may as well be one, and an analyst. Introducing:
Brad DeLong, UC-Berk[e]ley economist
Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times
Felix Salmon, Reuters blogger, formerly of Portfolio
Barry Ritholtz, CEO of only research firm Fusion IQ
It now appears to be dead.
But it was useful.
Someone should put their foot down and continue it, and that foot is me (until I get bored, at least):
Brad DeLong surveys the birther movement of 1377 and is annoyed at the cancellation of Wonk Watch and at Dick Armey's belief that Medicare = slavery. His main outings are a correct-the-record piece on how Brookings's Barry Bosworth is solidly in the pro-stimulus camp (and not "skeptical" as David Bleeping Broder claims), and some musings on a theme by Paul Krugman about the end of the possibility of bipartisanship and how this meshes up with Harold Pollack's call-out of Orrin Hatch for lying on TV.
Paul Krugman says that he and Robin liked Julie and Julia and that German politicians talk classical but walk Keynesian economics. His main outing consists of thoughts on why recently when the government deficit is high interest rates are probably low--basically that movements in animal spirits either boost economic activity and so raise both interest rates and government revenues or cause economic slumps and thus lower both interest rates and government revenues.
Felix Salmon's views may or may not be his own, but are extremely unlikely to be the views of Reuters. They include that shares of the music company EMI may go to zero, that the P/E ratio is high (needless to say because earnings are low), wonders whether Rahm Emmanuel is actually the Treasury Secretary, and applauds Justice Emily Jane Goodman for keeping that Snidely Whiplash that is WaMu from forcing Little Nell to surrender her virtue to keep her farm--all because WaMu decided that the fees from foreclosures made them something it wanted to do as much of as possible.
Barry Ritholtz notes that he was seven at Woodstock, is pleased that restaurants in the Hamptons are now full, snarks at quotes from President Herbert Hoover, and says that Gene Epstein of Barrons is as bad at choosing books as he is at economic forecasting--and that the worst book recommended is Sowell's The Housing Boom and Bust, which "mixes in just enough reality to keep you wondering. The problem I found is the reality-based work is filler, there only to legitimize the political talking points..."
Tomorrow--unless I get bored--Mark Thoma, Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, and Justin Fox. Tuesday: James Hamilton, Menzie Chinn, Yves Smith, and Calculated Risk