Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Some People Call Me Mau-rice

It’s not that the data is different; it’s the interpretation. For instance, Brad DeLong’s What Obama Needs to Do is three(or four) fine suggestions, one point (2) that hasn’t worked yet but bears repeating, and a moment (5) of hope that really does required Congressional action, as Stan Collender noted today. But the three good […]

Dr. Black asks, AngryBear Answers

The question: How much was credit being funneled away from all other sectors in the economy? The answer: Very little if any. Neither the general consumer lending: nor the specific Real Estate lending: appears to run in a different direction that Business Loans, except possibly, in the latter case, in late 2003 and early 2004. […]

Scariest Irvine Foreclosure

Dr. Black had a link to foreclosures in Irvine, California. This one especially caught my eye: 5031 Alcorn Lane, Turtle RockAmount owed: $298,876.14Last sale: July 2001, $485,000Auction date & time: Nov. 5 at 10 a.m.Location: In front of the flagpoles at Placentia Civic Center, 401-411 E. Chapman Ave.Trustee sale #: JPM-580Information: 714-573-1965 [emphasis mine] I […]

Simple Answer to a Simple Question

Dr. Black graciously asks: Am I the only to whom it’s occurred that monetary policy through the banking channel (as opposed to, say, actually dropping money from helicopters) is only likely to be effective if banks are pretty good at allocating capital efficiently, and recent history tells us that the existing set of clowns in […]

The Alpha and the Omega of mid-2007

Sometimes, Blog Posts Write Themselves: Cleaning up a hard drive of old files, I ran across these two articles from the middle of last year. First, the WSJ, arbiter of business sanity and purveyor of a positive meme whenever one is to be found, on 28 July 2007—nine months after the general supply of securitizable […]

Grass is Green, Sky is Blue, The WSJ Lies to You

Among their editorial suggestions for replacing Tim Geither as head of the New York FRB: Better choices would include …David Malpass, an economist who worked at the Reagan Treasury and long predicted the credit bubble…. Yes, you saw that correctly. David Malpass. Strangely, they don’t describe him as “David Malpass, former Chief Economist for Bear […]

The OTHER Reason we may not have needed the [cash portions of the] bailout bill…

…even though we certainly need some bailing out. Brad Setser notes the obvious: Frankly the TARP is now starting to look small relative to the Fed’s balance sheet. while including the reality: The latest [H.4.1] data release should settle the question; absent enormous liquidity support from the Fed, a much broader set of financial institutions […]

Municipal Finance and Depression

Ken Houghton I’ve been trying not to talk in these terms, but I’m sick, and Walter Jon links to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that puts it out in the open, so let us compare: The problems had emerged around 1870, starting in Europe. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, formed in 1867, in […]