The Atlantic's motto (cont.): Today's news three years ago

Just one last reminder, this one prompted by the Bear Stearns news and the collapse of Asian stock markets around me as I type, of the Atlantic's "Countdown to a Meltdown" cover story, by me, from the summer of 2005.

The point of steering readers toward the article once more is its attempt to explain, while it was going on, the origins of the credit bubble whose collapse is now causing problems.

Some "predictions" in this fictional history are looking pretty shaky now -- for instance, the assumption that the first black American with a serious chance at the presidency would be a four-star Army general running as a Republican. (Our 45th president in this scenario, the "Desert Eagle," becomes a hero by leading the raid that captures Osama bin Laden just before the 2012 elections.) But some of the other predictions, about the spread of panic from the real estate markets to the international financial system.....