Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Eric Falkenstein rouges Joseph Stiglitz's derriere

L'aïe, qui fait mal:
... according to Stiglitz, the rich are generally immune to incentives, probably parasitic, and generally monopolistic. Like Russian Kulaks, Jews in pre-War Germany, Indians in Uganda, the rich are impediments to growth & justice.
Indeed, Stiglitz himself wrote a white paper arguing that Fannie Mae's 2% capital requirement was more than adequate in 2002 (he estimated an expected loss on $1 Trillion by Fannie of only $2 Million--pre hindsight). Indeed, Fannie Mae was one of his examples of beneficial government policy in his 2002 book The Roaring Nineties. Fannie and Freddie have already cost the government $127B, and it's not done. That's 90 Nick Leesons and counting, but the nice thing about being an intellectual is you aren't accountable for events that were aided and abbetted by your arguments actually worked, because if it fails, it wasn't implemented correctly (eg, Socialism didn't fail, rather, Soviet-style socialism failed).
His assertion that he called the subprime crisis is pretty weak. Look in vain for any strong statement by Stiglitz that underwriting for home lending was too easy prior to 2007, and you won't find it. He did reference an argument he made in 1992 that mortgage asset backed securities may be problematic, but this was a hedged statement, and not important enough to reassert over the subsequent 15 years.
Plenty more whacks where that came from.

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