This week, we discussed her new book, "Reckless Endangerment" (written with Joshua Rosner), which lays out in great detail the crony capitalism — the unholy alliance between corporate America and the government it has bought and paid for — that lies at the heart of the financial crisis now gripping us.

Put simply, the regulated nearly always seduce their regulators. Nobel laureate George Stigler wrote long ago about this phenomenon, which he called regulatory capture.

Back and forth, between Wall Street and the government, go the lawyers and investment bankers. Guess where the greater riches lie? You're right. The politicians are paid off with campaign contributions, preference in IPOs, the initial public offerings of stocks, plum positions when they leave office and other goodies.

It's a corrupt, cozy relationship, and it governs our economic activities to the point of, and beyond, disaster.

Ratings agencies cannot be depended upon. Mainstream economists, the ones always citied as authorities, work for the stakeholders in the game, for the think tanks, banks, CEOs and the Federal Reserve.

They've only begun to admit that housing plays a humongous role in the wounded economy. This week, a Wall Street Journal story headlined "Housing Imperils Recovery" tells us a decade's worth of home equity growth in the U.S. has been wiped out, and that this matters more than these experts had thought.

Does one need a PhD in economics to miss the obvious, the thing right under one's nose?

In what might otherwise have hoped to be unrelated news... the unemployment rate rose to 9.1% today. Persistent chronic unemployment is also on the rise.