The new (in July) blog — Finance: Facts and Follies — hosted at Williams and featuring two Eph professors (Jerry Caprio ’72 and Ken Kuttner) looks like great stuff. Comments:

1) It would be handy if OIT provided an Eph-only feed from the collection of blogs that it hosts. There is nothing wrong, obviously, with hosting all these blogs or with providing a joint feed from all of them, but the vast majority of Williams students and alums only want to read the Eph contributors to these blogs. This would help out EphBlog, obviously, but also WSO, Public Affairs, the Alumni Office and so on. These organizations are not (yet) providing aggregate Eph news/commentary, but they will someday.

2) I was only 4 years ahead of my time in suggesting Williams faculty blogs like this.

There are surely many, many faculty members at Williams as thoughtful and engaging as Tim Burke at Swarthmore. Division III professors could look to Andrew Gelman at Columbia for inspiration. I know that the Williams Economics Department would have as many interested observations about life and the dismal science as the folks at Marginal Revolution

The more faculty members that blog at Williams, the better.

3) I enjoyed Professor Caprio’s latest post.

So should Ben Bernanke be reappointed? Let me give the honest answer: I don’t know. How can a financial economist not have an opinion on this issue? Simply because no one outside the Fed knows the facts that one would need to make the call – and that is the problem. To opine sensibly on this issue, we should know, but do not, what bank supervisors charged with overseeing the nation’s largest banks were telling him. If, when he was saying in the summer of 2007 that the problem was just a liquidity issue, his supervisors were telling him either that the major banks were in dire condition or that they did not know (evidently the truth, and the most damaging), then he should not be reappointed because he ignored this view. Certainly his remarks in public might have been aimed to calm markets, but his actions on monetary policy and regulation should have been different had he understood that the current crisis was a solvency issue from the start.

Read the whole thing.

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