The financial turmoil of 2007-?: a preliminary assessment and some policy considerations (pdf) "All episodes of financial distress of a systemic nature, with potentially significant implications for the real economy, arguably have at their root an overextension in risk-taking and in balance sheets in good times, masked by the veneer of a vibrant economy. This overextension generates financial vulnerabilities that are clearly revealed only once the economic environment becomes less benign, in turn contributing to its further deterioration." A scholarly, sane, relatively brief, accessible-to-the-layperson, and mostly apolitical look at the current turmoil.
Framing the Economic Debate. If you read Metafilter, you've no doubt seen a few links criticizing Bush's handling of the economy. The unabashed partisans at the Heritage Foundation have put together a document from which many of Bush's talking points about the economy (tonight, and throughout the campaign) are likely to come.