About

Mike Konczal is a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, where he works on financial reform, unemployment, inequality, and a progressive vision of the economy. His blog, Rortybomb, was named one of the 25 Best Financial Blogs by Time Magazine. A contributor to The Nation, his writing has appeared in the Boston Review, DemocracyThe American Prospect, the Washington Monthly, Slate and Dissent, and he’s appeared on PBS Newshour, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, CNN, Marketplace and more.

Follow him on twitter here.

Feel free to email him here.

Check out stuff he’s written here.

Raves and Reviews

“Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute, whose blog has become essential reading for anyone interested in financial reform…A number of people have asked for my own list of top finance/economics/whatever blogs. …I read Calculated Risk, Econbrowser, Rortybomb…”
Paul Krugman, Nobel-Prize Winning Economist and New York Times columnist.

“Rortybomb’s Mike Konczal…make you think everything else — from other bloggers to newspaper columnists to magazine articles — are lazy. Konczal is constantly applying new data sets and information to arguments in desperate need of empiricism. His comfort with the mathematical models and statistical wizardry that make most journalists blanch is married to an easy writing style and a pop-culture sensibility. He’s one of my daily reads, and he should be one of yours too.”
– Ezra Klein, Vox

“In the end, the expected take-down came from finance whiz Mike Konczal, solidifying even further his status as the Italian Vogue of the econoblogosphere: the best that there is, read by everybody who matters, if nobody else.”
– Felix Salmon, Reuters

“Rortybomb has been a juggernaut of must-read commentary on regulatory reform this week. Just start at the top and read down.”
– Ryan Avent, Economist’s Free Exchange

“Mike is a bona fide financial engineer with the good sense to live in the San Francisco area, and is a natural with economics, finance, public policy, and the English language.”
– James Kwak, Baseline Scenario

“In two posts, the amazing Rortybomb tries to make sense of credit-card-pricing mysteries, including this one, using ideas we learned in finance class. Only his training in critical theory prevents a Scanners-style head explosion.”
– Steve Randy Waldman, Interfluidity

“A recent post and set of graphs from Mike Konczal, who maintains the excellent Rortybomb blog, drive this point home.”
– Andrew McAfee, Harvard Business Review

32 Responses to About

  1. Mike,

    Just wanted to let you know I enjoy your blog very much.

    Cheers,

    Rolfe Winkler
    OptionARMageddon.com

  2. chew2 says:

    What is the academic background and education of a financial engineer?

  3. bella boo says:

    What is a financial engineer? I’m a CFA and even I don’t know. Could you explain?

  4. Dennis Tuchler says:

    Why Rorty? How does Rorty’s philosophy affect your blog?

  5. Great blog. Quality content. Even the gravatar’s cool. Well done chap.

  6. Sebastian Franck says:

    Yeah, why Rorty? The name drew me in, but I see no explanation. Please, do explain. Thanks.

  7. I like Johnny Walker Black, myself. That is probably not sophisticated enough for a true Whiskey connoisseur.

  8. Mike says:

    Glenfidditch or Lagavulin here. And more wondering about the Rorty connection.

  9. kevin says:

    Sign me up as another person curious about Rorty. Because if, in fact, “Rortybomb” is a reference to Richard… then LOLawesome.

  10. Crayfish says:

    Mike,

    Just discovered your blog whilst still in mourning over the end of Brad Setser’s blog (who on earth likes to work at the current NEC instead of preparing my daily breakfast of economics issues related to the US and China. I like what I see here, thanks.

  11. Russell says:

    Is it whisky or whiskey that you prefer? Glenfiddich and Lagavulin are whiskies; Maker’s Mark is whiskey.

  12. richard brown says:

    How can I subscribe to or receive your blog comments?
    Thx. RAB

  13. crocodilechuck says:

    Mike

    Congratulations on your new gig. Sometimes the good guys DO win

  14. Ted K says:

    Mike, I wish we could get your posts sent automatically to our e-mail by subscription. Of course I would visit the site anyway, but having it in e-mail would just be convenient and a way to reference it by date. Can you PLEASE set that up at Roosevelt?? Tell Roosevelt you need a good window view in your office–you’re worth it.

  15. Lothian Scot says:

    Fort Uncle Billy Cunctator:

    re Glenfiddich, the last syllable is pronounced in a guttural way as in the German “Ich”,
    but it takes a native Scot to say it!

  16. Sarah says:

    Again, what is a financial engineer? What is your education background?

  17. gappy says:

    Of course, on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog. And very smart dogs indeed write on the internet. And good good ideas have their own life. Sampling the posts, the quality of the ideas here is very high, for a blog.

    Still, for someone who focuses so much on finance and financial reforms, I’d hope to see more explicit qualifications. I understand you have an MS-level education in quantitative finance, which is good. But so do a few thousands finance professionals, some of them outstanding. And they don’t blog. At least, why not put the past employer(s) and the seniority of your positions in the industry? There would be nothing wrong with that.

    It’s a form of modern-day accreditation that well-known bloggers have nice things to say about Rortybomb. Although all of them *write* about financial reform, no one is an expert about it, either by having being involved in law-making, or having first-hand knowledge of the law by applying it on either side of the bench.

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  19. Sharl says:

    From the page about him at the Roosevelt Institute website:

    Mike Konczal… was formerly a financial engineer and mathematical analyst. Konczal holds a MS in Finance and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    First two paragraphs from the Wikipedia page for “Financial Engineering”:

    Financial engineering is a multidisciplinary field involving financial theory, the methods of financing, using tools of mathematics, computation and the practice of programming to achieve the desired end results.

    The financial engineering methodologies usually apply social theories, engineering methodologies and quantitative methods to finance. It is normally used in the securities, banking, and financial management and consulting industries, or by quantitative analysts in corporate treasury and finance departments of general manufacturing and service firms.

  20. Sharl says:

    Woops, meant to add a couple tags:

    From the page about him at the Roosevelt Institute website:

    Mike Konczal… was formerly a financial engineer and mathematical analyst. Konczal holds a MS in Finance and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    First two paragraphs from the Wikipedia page for “Financial Engineering”:

    Financial engineering is a multidisciplinary field involving financial theory, the methods of financing, using tools of mathematics, computation and the practice of programming to achieve the desired end results.

    The financial engineering methodologies usually apply social theories, engineering methodologies and quantitative methods to finance. It is normally used in the securities, banking, and financial management and consulting industries, or by quantitative analysts in corporate treasury and finance departments of general manufacturing and service firms.

  21. sremball says:

    None of the above applies to the Banking System RAPE of the American People. Whats even more stupid that that is our Gov’t doesn’t have the BALLS to deal with these perverts. They lock up Martha Stewart what a joke! The real crooks are running loose cannons with little to no control over what is going to happen next….in the scheme of things we could not make the money fast enough for the pigs that run our nations Banking System and Wall Street! But like my mother used to tell me….its still the greatest country in the world….go figure! I don’t have a Phd or BA or MA but I have 40 years in the real estate industry with finance experience and we have no one to blame but ourselves and the system that allowed it to happen. Greenspan included…with all of his MA, Phd’s so on and so forth….they watched while Rome was burning and allowed it to happen…

  22. Andre Mittag says:

    Mike,

    Some time ago (May 4th) you replied to message of mine I posted on your article ”13 Bankers,’ Financialization and the Real Economy.’ I had not been aware that you responded to it until just this evening; I appreciate you graciously writing back to me.

    I am not sure how many readers you have, but I do enjoy your updates and your writing. Unfortunately I have not been able to read much recently (life gets in the way, you know), but I do look forward to the quality analysis you provide.

    Thank you,

    Andre Mittag

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  24. LaDelle says:

    Loved your clear and concise explanation of the mortgage morass, linked by Simon Johnson at his NYT Economix blog. Thrilled to discover and bookmark rortybomb, and yet another person intrigued by its name. Please do explain!

  25. I’m a philosopher who writes about Richard Rorty a lot. I’m also wondering why you chose his name for your blog? Is it some other Rorty, perhaps?

  26. anytime you brilliant finance mathematicians care to learn about the real world ask someone that has put up with Greenspan Economics for the past 35 years!

  27. u says:

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation n under God,,,, indivisible, with liberty and justice for allTHe The quick brown fox jumed over the lazy dog.. The lazy dog jumped over the quick brown fox.

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