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

Not So Dumb as Economists, Part 1

I was going to point out that finance people are not so dumb as economists,* but Echidne’s takedown of Gary Becker is so divine it deserves your attention more: This argument was initially made by Gary Becker, an economist, a very long time ago.** It is not an uncommon argument from conservatives (or from certain […]

Name the Year: Declining Home Prices and Equity Removal

UPDATE: In this context, Dr. Black catches Jamie Dimon expressing what is at best ignorance: However, [Dimon] cautioned, until the market meltdown “you never saw losses in these products, because home prices were going up.” All that research in 1984 and 1990 was for naught, apparently. I’m still away (things are better, but still not […]

Not-So-Select Short Subjects

Now that I know we’re just members of the “Peanut Gallery,”* let this random links post work as a placeholder for longer posts as we prepare for the “holiday”: Shorter Mark Thoma at Marketwatch: If you can’t build a better model, best to reappoint a man who doesn’t think he has to do half of […]

Mundell Fleming Muddle ?

Robert Waldmann Wow an argument in favor of protection from Paul Krugman. I never expected to read that. Now he’s against protection all the same, but he does admit that there is a good argument that right now a bit of protection would be good for the world. The argument, basically, is that governments aren’t […]

Barro on Keynes Barro and Grossman

Robert Waldmann Robert Barro wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. The substance of the op-ed is to report an estimate of the Fiscal multiplier 0.8 which is less than one. Thus, according to Barro, a stimulus will partially crowd out of investment, consumption or net exports and not just reduced leisure. Paul Krugman […]

45 trillion credit swap market…how big is that?

The ABX.HE index, which is based on credit default swaps on different tranches of subprime mortgage-backed securities. (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland) Hat tip to Jim Satterfield for this link to Marketplace public radio. Bob Moon is the Senior Business Correspondent. MOON: OK, I’m about to unload some numbers on you here, so I’ll speak […]

Sallie Mae couldn’t have predicted…Model Validation Part 3

Higher Ed Watch reports on Sallie Mae: Last week, we wrote that Sallie Mae and its promoters on Wall Street claim the company was “blind-sided” by the rising default and delinquency rates on subprime private loans it made to low-income and working class students at poor performing higher education trade schools. It’s a convenient argument […]

Bank risk models and regulation

Here is Avinash Persaud, writing on Willem Buiter’s blog, with his take on the problem: Why Bank Risk Models Failed and the Implications for what Policy Makers Have to Do Now, by Avinash D. Persaud: Sir Alan Greenspan, and others have questioned why risk models, which are at the centre of financial supervision, failed to […]

OldVet: Finding our Way out of the Fog

This one is by OldVet. — Attracted by the pretty lights we wandered into the financial winter and got lost in the fog. The photo is actually Odessa, Ukraine, and seemed apt this morning as we hear plans and counter-plans to deal with financial markets. I’d like to draw your attention to a most interesting […]

OCC and Model Validation Part 2

FIRE reports: “The securities industry is an economic powerhouse that continues to strengthen the U.S. economy,” said Securities Industry Association President Marc Lackritz. “SIA data shows that last year alone, we raised a record $3.2 trillion of capital for American business and nearly $14 trillion over the past five, underscoring our substantial contribution to overall […]