MEA CULPA

Dear Queen, Sorry About the Recession

A group of eminent British economists bowed to Queen Elizabeth II this week: According to the U.K.'s Observer newspaper, the group sent Her Majesty a letter after she demanded, during a visit to the London School of Economics last fall, to know why nobody had anticipated the global financial crisis. The three-page letter reportedly says that "financial wizards" who thought up plans to manage risky debts and protect the financial system were guilty of "wishful thinking combined with hubris," according to the paper. Signatories include Tim Besley, a member of the Bank of England's monetary-policy committee, and historian Peter Hennessy. While Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the correspondence, they said in a statement: "The Queen always displays an interest in current issues and is kept abreast of current issues. Obviously the recession is very topical."