A new issue of Economic Sociology is out. David M. Levy (CSPC) and Sandra J. Peart (Jepson): Economists, Crises and Cartoons. From the latest issue of Regulation, Richard B. McKenzie writes In Defense of Monopoly: Market power fosters creative destruction; and Richard A. Epstein on Takings Law Made Hard: A novel property rights challenge is a constitutional morass. America's Nastiest CEO: Think business journalists are too timid? Look what happens when you go after a struggling firm. An excerpt from The Devil’s Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers by Vicky Ward. Seth Hettena reviews The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis (and more and more and more and more and more). A look at 5 economic collapses more ridiculous than this one. Will the Senate keep subsidizing Wall Street to the tune of billions of dollars a year? James Surowiecki on private equity’s egregious tax loophole. From The New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar on how Paul Krugman found politics. A review of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby (and more and more). The fable of market meritocracy: Markets don't reward smart people — they reward value. How far would you go for 5 cents? Charging a nickel for every bag at the grocery store has created "a behavioral economist's dream". The first chapter form The Calculus of Selfishness by Karl Sigmund. Financial crises always spark interest in marginal critics of the system; one that’s attracted interest on the left is Ellen Brown, who’s got a book and a website called Web of Debt (and part 2). The success of the stimulus bill is noteworthy as another is weighed. Richard Posner on the real danger of debt: The United States is deep in the red — and doesn't have the political tools to get out.