Monday, December 03, 2007

A wrap-up on Listen To Ben Stein's Insanity

at Dealbreaker:

• Roger Ehrenberg thinks the main sin of Goldman economist Jan Hatzius did was dissenting from Stein’s rosy view of our economic prospects. “Just because his paper doesn't comport with Mr. Stein's view of the world doesn't make it wrong or its methodology flawed - it's just that Mr. Stein doesn't like it,” Ehrenberg writes.

• Athenian Abroad says that Stein doesn’t seem to understand the difference between capital requirements and reserve requirements. “Hatzius's paper describes the impact of the sub-prime crisis on bank lending via the hit to banks' capital. Stein dismisses this, because the Fed can create reserves, and because Stein doesn't know that these are completely different things,” the Athenian writes.

• Naked Capitalism goes back an re-reads that Alan Sloan piece Stein refers to and discovers that the New York Times columnist totally misread it and seems to have confused events of 2006 with those of 2007.

• Stein’s even getting it from his fellow denizens of the New York Times. “Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be a serious columnist. I mean, it would never have occurred to me to suggest that the only way to explain an economic forecast I don’t agree with is to say that it must be part of an evil plot to drive down the market, so that Goldman Sachs can make money off its short position — and to suggest that Goldman should be the subject of a federal investigation,” Paul Krugman says.

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