Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein is a former Prospect writer and current editor-in-chief at Vox. 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


For more stress test commentary, check out this roundtable the New York Times held with an array of financial system experts, including Yves Smith, Simon Johnson, and William Black. The assessments range from furiously negative to grimly unconvinced. It's, err, stressful* reading. *Sorry, sorry...


The results of the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program -- sorry, the stress tests -- are out. You can download the full release here . I've actually gotten the feeling in recent days that there's a bit of confusion over what the stress tests actually represent. In short, the stress test was an examination of how the bank would perform under further, well, economic stress. It's not how much capital the bank is expected to need. It's how much capital the bank is expected to need if things get worse. To quote the official release, the government set out to "measure how much of an additional capital buffer, if any, each institution would need to establish today to ensure that it would have sufficient capital if the economy weakens more than expected." That "more than expected" gets you to the ambiguity. Expected by whom? The Federal Reserve argues that their "adverse scenario" was, quote, "deliberately stringent." In other words, the Federal Reserve says it was being, if anything, too...


I had an interesting e-mail exchange yesterday with a finance expert thinking of moving to DC. Come, I said. There's work for you. And there is! Too much, in fact. One of the problems bedeviling Washington's response to the financial crisis is that there's very little financial expertise outside Wall Street. There's some in the regulatory sector. But just about none in the ideas industry. And there's a reason for that. I'm not going to say finance is boring , but the sort of people who are interested in it tend to be the people who are interested in making money in finance, not in moving to DC and taking an entry level job at Brookings for $32,000 a year. And it's not as if Wall Street has been picky about hiring in recent years. That's a problem, though. For instance: Everyone knows that the coming fight is on the shape of financial regulation going forward. But the think tanks and advocacy groups have been curiously silent on how that should look. An administration official...


It's sort of received wisdom that the Securities and Exchange Commission is irredeemably captured by the financial industry and totally incapable of conducting its daily affairs. But what you didn't know was how comically incompetent it was. Moe Tkacik -- with an assist from a GAO report -- explains .


Sorry for the slow blogging today. Meetings are the enemy of the blog. But I did want to say a word on Malcolm Gladwell, who's coming in for a lot of semi-deserved flack for his article on underdogs. In the piece, Gladwell offers up a puff job on Silicon Valley parent who coached a team of 12-year-olds to championship by spurring them to employ full court press. Gladwell uses this to make his point about the tactics of the underdog: The weaker power can only win if it aggressively defines the rules of the conflict in a way that disadvantages the stronger power. This isn't exactly a new insight: It's called asymmetric warfare. And it makes no sense in terms of basketball. If full court press were really a fail-safe strategy for weak teams, more of them would use it. It's not a new concept. But Gladwell isn't an academic and he's not a traditional reporter. Insofar as he has a beat, it's modern fables. Stories with a point. He's like Aesop for the corporate class. To wit, the...