Matthew Yglesias

Matthew Yglesias is a senior editor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a former Prospect staff writer, and the author of Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats.

Recent Articles

A Too Late Solution?

J Street's first conference may have been a success, but prospects are still bleak for the two-state solution the organization wants.

National Security Adviser Jim Jones delivered the keynote address at the first annual J Street conference. (Flickr/J Street)
Founded 18 months ago to provide a "pro-Israel, pro-peace" perspective on the conflict in the Middle East, advocacy organization J Street hosted its first annual conference this week in Washington, D.C. From a growth perspective, the event was a smashing success. Over 1,500 people attended; the Obama administration took the outfit seriously enough to dispatch National Security Adviser Jim Jones to give a speech, and despite considerable pressure from the Jewish right to freeze out the group, 148 members of Congress agreed to join the host committee, with about half a dozen members participating personally. J Street has its share of critics among the Jewish establishment, but it has survived and even thrived, attracting extensive media coverage and giving the large number of left-wing Jewish political activists and writers a banner under which to gather. In all, the conference was a successful debut event for a group that’s achieved a great deal under difficult circumstances and in a...

Beyond No-Fault Finance

Restoring stability and fairness requires thinking about the whole economy, not just Wall Street.

It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street by Nomi Prins, Wiley, 296 pages, $25.95 Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe by Gillian Tett, Free Press, 293 pages, $26.00 Managed by the Markets: How Finance Re-Shaped America by Gerald F. Davis, Oxford University Press, 304 pages, $29.95 From the beginning of the great financial panic of 2007-2008, efforts at understanding the crisis have been hampered by the likely bias of the people in the best position to know. Anyone sufficiently "inside" the financial world to understand what was happening was also inside enough to have suspect motives. That's why someone like Nomi Prins, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs turned muckraking lefty journalist, comes to seem invaluable. And this is never more so than when, as with her new book It Takes a Pillage , she's confirming the suspicions of...

Europe-a-Dope

The European Union is becoming ever stronger, and no one seems to care.

(Niall Carson/PA Wire)
On Oct. 2, one of the year's most important stories passed by with little notice in the United States: Irish voters supported ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon in a referendum that cleared the last major obstacle to a substantial overhaul of European Union institutions. The vote and the coming changes were paid little mind in the States primarily because EU institutional reform is, admittedly, a boring subject. I was in Europe at the time, and even Europeans -- even Europeans working in foreign ministries -- didn't seem very interested in the news. Nevertheless, the continuing process by which the EU gets both larger and more united is among the fundamental factors shaping the future of world politics -- arguably even to a greater extent than economic growth in China and India. For all the talk about rapid growth in the developing world's mega-states, Europe remains far richer. China and Japan both have gross domestic products hovering a bit below $5 trillion. The USA is a far...

A Problem of Olympic Proportions

When it comes to Copenhagen, we should worry less about the Olympics and more about the looming December climate summit.

Barack Obama will fly to Copenhagen at the end of this week for a brief visit. His mission: to plead Chicago's case to the International Olympic Committee, which is deciding whether the Windy City, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, or Tokyo will get the honor (and questionable economic benefits) of hosting the 2016 Games. The minor scheduling decision has set off a small tempest in a teapot. The attention-starved Danes (they're even paying for me to visit next week to learn about their domestic environmental policy) are excited to play host to a U.S. president. And the American right wing is eager to offer absurd political attacks, like Michael Goldfarb from The Weekly Standard making the claim that lobbying on behalf of his hometown -- and the United States of America -- is some kind of corrupt payoff to an insidious "Chicago machine." This is silly, but the brief moment of international political attention to the city of Copenhagen prefigures a much more serious meeting in December -- a major...

Hawks and a Hack Job

John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsay Graham all want the White House to commit more resources to Afghanistan. Too bad the senators don't have any credibility on the issue.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham argue for continued presence in Iraq during a press conference in Amman, Jordan in 2008. (AP Photo/Nader Daoud)
Barack Obama is probably not used to thinking of John McCain as an ally, given that McCain ran against him last year and since the election has opposed every one of the administration's initiatives, even going so far as to abandon previous support for cap-and-trade out of spite. Lindsay Graham and quasi-Democrat Joe Lieberman don't really seem to be Obama's friends either. Yet, here the three senators were on The Wall Street Journal op-ed page -- also not typically where Obama finds his allies -- insisting that's exactly what they were, in at least one situation: "The president and his allies -- and we count ourselves among them on this issue -- must invest significantly greater effort to explain why, as the president recently put it, Afghanistan is a 'war of necessity.'" In context, it's clear that this neocon troika is not trying to help but instead is concern-trolling. They're not supporting the administration's policy in Afghanistan. Instead, they're attempting to prejudge the...

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