Ahead of the curve

AHEAD OF THE CURVE…. If you watched the “Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC last night, you saw a great segment with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) about those who got deregulation terribly wrong — and the small handful who saw the disastrous consequences coming a decade ago. The name of a certain political magazine came up twice.

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Dorgan and Maddow covered quite a bit of ground, including a helpful discussion on the repeal of Glass-Steagall, but of particular interest was Dorgan’s reference to a Washington Monthly cover story he wrote in 1994 on the dangers of derivatives.

The Monthly‘s online archives don’t go back quite that far, but Dorgan’s prescient piece is available online.

Obviously, Dorgan deserves a lot of credit for getting this exactly right, especially when nearly everyone in the political establishment was completely wrong about deregulation. We might also give credit to the estimable Charles Peters, who had the wherewithal to publish Dorgan’s piece when the political winds were blowing in the other direction. (Charlie’s nonprofit, Understanding Government, has an annual prize for what he calls “preventive journalism.” He ought to give himself one.)

For more on Dorgan’s foresight and the larger issue of getting the dangers of derivatives right, also note this fine post that CJR ran earlier this month.