It is a happy coincidence that facing page 30 where Bernard Avishai's excellent review of Paul Krugman's book begins is an ad for John Bellamy Foster's and Fred Magdoff"s Monthly Review Press book The Great Financial Crisis.
In that book (consisting of a few MR articles from the current decade as well as an introduction and special chapter written after the financial crash last fall) the authors lay out their thesis that the underlying cause of the financial crisis is the long-run tendency of monopoly capitalism to stagnate. The original analaysis was developed in 1966 in the book Monopoly Capital, by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy, and elaborated by Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff in many articles during the next three decades. I recommend that book to those who might want to investigate what is at the base of the tendency of "advanced" and "underdeveloped" economies in the world to be prone to financial bubbles (and the inevitable busts), which is where Krugman's book begins.
I agree with the comments already published--the Obama Administration is being ridiculously timid and thus may fall much too short of any effective response to the current crisis. Anyone interested in checking out a bolder (yet still decidedly reformist) perspective should go to the website of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts to read the statement put together by a group of heterodox economists in December. We call for a full "do-over" of the financial system--including an attempt to reconfigure international financial arrangement--coupled with a much stronger program of government investment and a real effort to redirect the distribution of income towards labor and away from capital.