Posts filed under “Really, really bad calls”

Defining Recessions; Mis-defining NBER

Here’s another of those articles that look so embarrassing one year later:

Can you imagine an article that insinuates that the government, not an independent academic commission, was the more objective arbiter of data? That argued we should let the pols decide when recessions start and end?

Insane, right?

Let’s go to our WTF were you thinking file:

“But what exactly is a recession? The popular definition is two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. But NBER provides a little more room for judgment with its definition of “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real gross domestic product, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.” Justice Potter Stewart might have had more succinct wording than NBER: “I know it when I see it.”

Why not let the federal government be the arbiter of when we are in a recession? After all, the federal government collects and disseminates economic data, and by all accounts quite credibly.

WTF planet do you live on buddy?   I would bet that the majority of savvy knowledgable watchers of markets and economic releases would laugh their arses off at the phrase: “by all accounts quite credibly.”

I am not sure what the author was trying to prove, but pretty much everything in this article is shite . . .

>

Source:
What NBER Does: The ‘R-Word’
HAROLD FURCHTGOTT-ROTH
NY Sun, August 14, 2008

http://www.nysun.com/opinion/the-r-word/83840/?print=2053278121

Category: Economy, Really, really bad calls

FLASHBACK: No Housing Collapse Ahead…

Blast from the past: Turmoil in the housing market has led to fears that home prices will drop precipitously, particularly if foreclosures force large numbers of homes onto the market in the coming year. Recently, these fears have driven financial stocks down and led to the government rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But…Read More

Category: Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

Analyzing the Analyzers

One of the more fascinating things about a crisis and its resolution is the post-mortems: The after-the-fact analyses that some folks do to explain what occurred. These analyses are fascinating for what they reveal about the beliefs, methodologies, biases and cognitive failures of the many crisis watchers. Human fallibility being what it is, we can…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management, Credit, Derivatives, Really, really bad calls

Dear Lord, Anyone but Lawrence Summers . . .

I read articles like these with dread and horror: “As the White House begins to ponder whether to reappoint or replace Ben Bernanke when his term expires in January, the Federal Reserve chairman’s standing on Wall Street is on the rise while attacks on him from Congress mount. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Contrary Indicators, Federal Reserve, Really, really bad calls

Most Subprime Lenders Weren’t Covered by CRA

The CRA brouhaha last year led the Orange County Register to run an analysis of “more than 12 million subprime mortgages worth nearly $2 trillion” in late 2008. What did their data based analysis discover? “Most of the lenders who made risky subprime loans were exempt from the Community Reinvestment Act. And many of the…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Legal, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

John Carney’s Bizarre Crusade Against the CRA

What Felix Said . . .

Category: Credit, Politics, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

Cramer Calls A Housing Bottom (Yet Again)

“The end to House price depreciation in the vast majority of areas in this country has at last arrived.” -James Cramer > Do we even need to mention the absurdity of this? James Cramer, who has called an inordinate number of Housing Bottoms since the market topped in 2005, now declares that “Housing Has Officially…Read More

Category: Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

Was the TARP a Ruse?

The rush to repay TARP monies gives us another opportunity to consider why the hell this absurd financial giveaway ever happened in the first place. A close inspection suggests some dishonesty on the part of the prior Treasury Secretary. From its inception, the TARP never made much sense. Forcing banks that did not need money…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Corporate Management, Credit, Really, really bad calls

The Myth of the Rational Market

In this morning’s NYT, Joe Nocera takes on one of my favorite subjects: Why the market is neither rational nor efficient. He does a nice job, interviewing both Jeremy Grantham and Burton Malkiel. Along the way, he mentions Justin Fox’s new book, The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion…Read More

Category: Markets, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

Why Are We Bailing Out Insurers?

Will someone please explain to me why we are giving $22 Billion to Insurers? “The Treasury Department will make federal bailout funds available to a number of U.S. life insurers, acting on the embattled sector’s long-running effort to get government help. The Treasury is prepared to inject up to $22 billion into the insurers under…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management, Markets, Really, really bad calls, Regulation, Taxes and Policy