As regular readers know, I write on the economy and its connection with society and politics. Over the years, I’ve explored dozens of subjects: recessions, inflation, executive pay, budget deficits, climate change, poverty, the welfare state, trade, taxes, aging, cybersecurity, China, the stock market — and many others. So far as I can tell, nothing that I have written has ever had the slightest effect on what actually happened. A long period of solid economic growth — labeled the Great Moderation by economists — fueled easy credit, shaky loans, defaults and insolvent lenders. Goodbye and good luck — you’ll need as much help as you can get.
Robert J. Samuelson wrote a twice-weekly economics column. Both appeared in the Washington Post online, and one usually ran in The Washington Post in print on Mondays.