Monday, October 27, 2008

Ben Stein is Not Sam's Favorite

Dean Baker points out this August 2007 commentary containing dubious economic analysis by Ben Stein;

I'm sure Mr. Stein can "explain" his poor foresight (in characteristically patronizing tone), but to me it seems like he was looking at all the wrong figures. He wastes a lot of space talking about the "subprime" percent of the market in the article, going out of his way to minimize the extent of subprime defaults, meanwhile missing the point; subprime mortgage problems are not the cause of our financial troubles, they are a symptom. The cause is an overvalued housing market; by various accounts, 3 to 6 trillion dollars overvalued.

I look forward to the New York Times, NPR and other major news outlets' discussion of the *prime* mortage problem in the very near future! Like yesterday! Why haven't we heard about it yet? It will be another obvious "symptom" of an overvalued housing market, there is no reason not to start discussing it right now.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

To take an example from mundane life: remember Beanie Babies? People who slugged each other waiting in line to pay $100 for crackerjack-prize toys caused others to do the same..and so on. The housing market is another Beanie Cloud indicative of the nature of human behavior around acquisition.