Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein is a staff reporter at The Washington Post. You can read his blogging here. His work has appeared in the LA Times, The Guardian, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, Slate, and The Columbia Journalism Review. He's been a commentator on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and more.

Recent Articles

WHAT SORT OF BANKERS DOES WASHINGTON NEED?

In response to yesterday's post suggesting that Washington do more to attract out-of-work finance types, a smart financy type who recently came to Washington e-mails: I totally agree with you that the progressive community needs to be pushing ahead much more aggressively on reg reform. One thing you didn't mention is that the fin. services community has basically largely been dusting off their old "competitiveness"/deregulation proposals from 2004-7 and recasting them as "regulatory reform" proposals now. Paulson's original blueprint was totally cut from this cloth, and contained a number of wishlist items. But while I agree that more resources ought to be directed towards getting top notch financial folks, I think you're glossing over a couple of real issues with taking folks from Wall Street. His e-mail continues below the fold:

MEDIA ME.

I'll be on Ed Schultz's MSNBC show tonight around 6:30 Eastern. It will be a milestone in television history, and you don't want to miss it.

CAN TWITTER SATISFY OUR DEEPEST NEEDS?

Maybe some of them. I rather like Ruth Reichl's take on Twitter: Twitter is a sort of public diary; figurative scraps of paper. Are you enjoying it? Enormously. As I wrote in my first book, privacy is overrated. My mother’s scraps of paper were shouts into the void, and I think she would have been much happier if she could have sent them into the world instead of sticking them in a box. We all want, very much, to be seen and understood. That's a nice thought. And it's true that Twitter, like blogs, democratizes access to the means of recognition. It's not so much that people want to be watched as that they want to be seen. People -- including, sadly, me -- mock all the trivia that makes it onto Twitter -- "I'm at the gym, and hate the elliptical machine!" -- but that stuff isn't trivia to the people experiencing it. It's the stuff of life. And the ability to share it helps to make it matter.

FRANK LUNTZ TELLS REPUBLICANS TO HIT "REPEAT."

A bunch of readers have written in to ask why I haven't commented on pollster Frank Luntz's "leaked" memo advising Republicans on their efforts to oppose health reform. The basic answer is I don't think it's an important document. I could have written the whole thing myself just by reversing-engineering one of Rudy Giuliani's speeches. And it's "leak" feel a bit meta to me. It's theoretically a strategy document for Republicans, but it's being used less to inform their approach than to give the press a reason to write that they have a strategy. And so they do. "Healthcare denial horror stories from Canada & Co. do resonate," Luntz advises. That means, I guess, that conservative politicians will continue using them, as they have for the past two decades? Elsewhere, Luntz suggests that Republicans "define the crisis in your terms...If some bureaucrat puts himself between you and your doctor, denying you exactly what you need, that’s a crisis." Attacking bureaucrats! Where does Frank...

THE NEW YORK FED THINKS THE BANKS REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.

Eliot Spitzer expounds on one of my favorite topics: The astonishing composition of the New York Federal Reserve: who selected Geithner back in 2003? Well, the Fed board created a select committee to pick the CEO. This committee included none other than Hank Greenberg, then the chairman of AIG; John Whitehead, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs; Walter Shipley, a former chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, now JPMorgan Chase; and Pete Peterson, a former chairman of Lehman Bros. It was not a group of typical depositors worried about the security of their savings accounts but rather one whose interest was in preserving a capital structure and way of doing business that cried out for—but did not receive—harsh examination from the N.Y. Fed. The composition of the New York Fed's board, which supervises the organization and current Chairman Friedman, is equally troubling. The board consists of nine individuals, three chosen by the N.Y. Fed member banks as their own representatives, three...

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