I’m not a fan of the Atlantic, but this fact check of Niall Ferguson is on the money. My favorite is Ferguson’s complaint that “The country’s largest banks are at least $50 billion short of meeting new capital requirements under the new “Basel III” accords governing bank capital adequacy” even though Basel III has not been enacted in the US yet and $50 billion short is very little in a world where the total assets of US banks runs well into the trillions. Alex Pareene describes it well
Then the Atlantic actually published a complete fact-check of Ferguson’s story, which is not really the sort of thing one respectable middlebrow general interest magazine usually does to another. But Niall Ferguson is so awful, the gloves come off!
Even Politico gets in on the act, critiquing Ferguson’s half-assed defense of himself:
Niall Ferguson, author of this week’s Newsweek cover story calling for Obama’s ousting, has returned fire on Paul Krugman — albeit in a ridiculous, misleading, ethically questionable way that completely misses the mark.
What makes Ferguson respectable? The Oxbridge accent and the fact that in certain corners of academia a few glitzy pseudo-intellectual best-sellers now mean a “prestigious” endowed chair. For shame.