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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Roger Cohen Missed the Housing Bubble

Roger Cohen Missed the Housing Bubble

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 04:49

Yes, it's hard to those who write for major news outlets to notice an $8 trillion housing bubble. This is the story of the downturn and the current "fiscal woes." It would be nice if Cohen could do a little homework before writing a column like this one. In reality, the U.S. has no fiscal woes right now (the interest rate remains near post-war lows), we just have inadequate demand.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Last Mover, September 04, 2012 6:51
But Cohen does say this in the linked NYT article which also condemns economic hyprocrisy from all sides:

Obama needs to deal briefly with the past: President George W. Bush’s unfunded wars, at a time of unfunded tax cuts, had a lot to do with America’s current fiscal woes; and it was Bush’s bi-polar America (half at war, half on limitless credit at the mall) that suffered a financial meltdown in 2008 of such dimensions that it will take a decade to recover.

The "limitless credit" part, even if inadvertent, is easily associated with the wealth effect from the housing bubble. Of course he's flat wrong about the necessity of a decade to recover.
last mover misses the point...
written by pete, September 04, 2012 10:11
As Dean points out, there is no fiscal woe. To drive the point home, even the scoring of the "fiscal cliff" shows only a two quarter recession. Government debt simply does not matter for the real economy. And this is especially true since the true government debt, that held by companies, individuals and foreigners, is actually much, much smaller than the reported number. Now real government spending (building highways or paying teachers) might matter, in a small positive way when there are idle resources, or in a negative way if there are none. But how that spending is financed, current or future taxes or inflation, is irrelevant.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.