Maureen Tkacik

A Crash Course in Crisis Economics*

*Starring (to the extent, for good or for ill, that any of this can come down to one person, which as we’ll see is only so much) Barney Frank.

Straight Outta Weston

Pat Demling has seen her Hip Zepi stores get robbed, shot up, and blasted by the mayor for selling “Stop Snitchin’” T-shirts. She’s beloved by her employees, and resented by customers who say she’s exploiting the poor. It’s a tricky business, being a white, Republican, tennis-loving, one-time suburban mom running a growing hip-hop-wear empire.

Economic Hit Man

Claudine Martin is the name on the business card she slips to him across the table, though he will come to doubt that it is real. The next line reads Special Con-sultant to Chas. T. Main Incorporated, the stodgy engineering…