The housing bubble has precipitated a severe, and possibly catastprophic, economic crisis, so I thought it would be useful to put together a list of pundits and experts who were dead-wrong on the housing bubble. They were the enablers, and deserve to be held accountable. People also need to know (or be reminded of) which pundits/experts should never be listened to again. But most importantly, I have time to do this kind of thing now.

The list includes only pundits and (supposed) experts. That means the list doesn't include policymakers such as Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, because however wrong they may have been, policymakers—and especially Fed chairmen—are undeniably constrained in what they can say publicly. I strongly suspect that both Greenspan and Bernanke honestly believed that there was no housing bubble, but alas, we'll never know for sure. The list also doesn't include pundits/experts who were wrong only about the fallout of the collapse of the housing bubble—that is, the extent to which the collapse of the housing bubble would harm the economy.

Many of the names on the list won't shock anyone, I'm sure. And FWIW, a few of the pundits seemed to deny the existence of the housing bubble simply because Paul Krugman argued that there was a housing bubble, and they absolutely hate Krugman. Unfortunately (for our economy), Krugman was right—again.

The list is a work in progress (though I've been reasonably thorough in my research), so feel free to suggest other people who should go on the list. So without further ado, here's the list:

1. Alan Reynolds, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute:

"No Housing Bubble Trouble,"Washington Times (January 8, 2005): "In short, we are asked to worry about something that has never happened for reasons still to be coherently explained. 'Housing bubble' worrywarts have long been hopelessly confused. It would have been financially foolhardy to listen to them in 2002. It still is."

"Recession Fairy Tales," Townhall (October 5, 2006): "When it comes to homes . . . many people have spent the last four years fretting that the 'housing bubble' might end. That is, they worried that overpriced homes might become more affordable. This is not quite as nonsensical as worrying the price of oil might fall too much, but it's close."
2. Kevin Hassett, Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute:
New York Times (July 25, 2004): "Another bubble-skeptic is Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of the fabled 'Dow 36,000,' which was published in 1999 when the Dow Jones index was around 11,000. Mr. Hassett says there is an ideological component to the belief in bubbles. Liberals, who tend to believe that government must step in to protect people from market imperfections, will likely see more of them. Conservatives, who like their markets unfettered, will see less. [EoC: What a classic line. Liberals win again, conservatives lose again—same old, same old.]
...
"Mr. Hassett of the conservative American Enterprise Institute thinks housing prices will be pretty much O.K. He acknowledges there might be some bubble dynamics at play in some regions. But he argues that for the most part people are paying more for homes because their incomes are higher and interest rates are lower, reducing the cost to own a home.

"Mr. Hassett expects that rising interest rates would raise this cost and home prices would then decline proportionately. But he sees no reason to expect a catastrophic decline. 'I don't think a catastrophe is very likely,' he says.
3. James K. Glassman, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute:
"Housing Bubble?," Capitalism Magzine (May 24, 2005): "[W]hile such signs of speculation are troubling, there is little solid evidence that a real estate bubble is puffing up.
...
"Even in places where prices are soaring, worries of a bubble could be overblown because higher prices appear grounded in good old fundamentals."
4. Jude Wanniski, former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal & adviser to President Reagan:
"There is No Housing Bubble!!," The Conservative Voice (August 13, 2005).
5. Jerry Bowyer, Author of The Bush Boom:
"Hate to Burst Your (Housing) Bubble: But there isn't one," National Review (July 5, 2006).
6. Nicolas P. Restinas, Director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies:
"More Than a Bubble Keeps Housing Prices Sky-High," LA Times (May 20, 2004).
7. Jim Cramer, Host of CNBC's "Mad Money" & Co-Founder, TheStreet.com:
"House Beautiful," New York Magazine (December 8, 2003): "Housing bubble? What housing bubble? The signs are in place for a further run-up in real estate. Breathe easy, mortgage holders. There’s still no place like home."
8. Christopher Flanagan, Head of ABS Research, J.P. Morgan:
"Housing Outlook," J.P. Morgan Research, June 17, 2005 (no link): "[B]ased on what we know and see in terms of employment and interest rates, it is extremely difficult to see how five years from now we could be looking back and observing a historical 5-year growth rate of, say, less than 5%. That should be more than adequate to support the continued good credit performance of sub-prime mortgage pools.

"It is important to understand — we can contemplate home price growth rates declining, albeit modestly, but we do NOT envision home prices declining!"
9. Neil Barsky, Alson Capital Partners, LLC:
"What Housing Bubble?," Wall Street Journal (July 28, 2005): "There is no housing bubble in this country. Our strong housing market is a function of myriad factors with real economic underpinnings: low interest rates, local job growth, the emotional attachment one has for one's home, one's view of one's future earning- power, and parental contributions, all have done their part to contribute to rising home prices.
...
"What we do have is a serious housing shortage and housing affordability crisis."
10. Chris Mayer, Professor of Real Estate, Columbia Business School, and Todd Sinai, Professor of Real Estate, Wharton School:
"Bubble Trouble? Not Likely," Wall Street Journal (September 19, 2005): "For the past several years, Chicken Littles have squawked that the sky -- or the ceiling -- is about to fall on the housing market. And it's tempting to believe them.
...
"Yet basic economic logic suggests that this apparent evidence of a bubble is anything but. Even in the highest-price cities, housing is, at most, slightly more expensive than average."
11. Jonathan McCarthy, Senior Economist, New York Fed, and Richard W. Peach, Vice President, New York Fed:
"Are Home Prices the Next Bubble?," FRBNY Economic Policy Review (December 2004): "Home prices have been rising strongly since the mid-1990s, prompting concerns that a bubble exists in this asset class and that home prices are vulnerable to a collapse that could harm the U.S. economy.
...
"A close analysis of the U.S. housing market in recent years, however, finds little basis for such concerns. The marked upturn in home prices is largely attributable to strong market fundamentals: Home prices have essentially moved in line with increases in family income and declines in nominal mortgage interest rates."
12. David Malpass, Chief Economist, Bear Stearns:
"So This is a Weak Economy?," Wall Street Journal (June 28, 2005): "[T]he litany against the U.S. economy is so ingrained and familiar that few disputed this spring's 'slowdown.' When strong data on income, employment, consumption and profits showed 3.5% first-quarter GDP growth and a continuation into the second quarter, the headlines shifted to other attacks -- adjustable-rate mortgages, a housing 'bubble,' the distribution of income -- rather than revising the slowdown story."
13. Steve Forbes, CEO, Forbes, Inc.:
Global Leaders Speakers Series (November 10, 2005): "[Forbes] maintained that there was no 'housing bubble' in the U.S. but there was an 'oil bubble' driven by speculators."
14. Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Investment Strategist, Claymore Advisors:
"Mr. Greenspan's Cappuccino," Wall Street Journal (May 31, 2005): "These nattering nabobs expect a housing collapse to take down the U.S. economy. But excessive pessimism is unwarranted: Fears of a housing bubble are overblown."
15. Noel Sheppard, Economist, Business & Media Institute:
"Media Myths: The Housing Bubble is Bursting,"Business & Media Institute (Nov. 30, 2005): "The increase in real estate values the past five years has not resembled the rapid rise typically seen in a bubble."
16. Carl Steidtmann, Chief Economist, Deloitte Research:
"The Housing Bubble Myth," Economist's Corner (July 2005): "When you strip away all of the white noise around a housing bubble, what you find is a robust market for housing that is undergoing several profound changes all of which manifest themselves in higher home price indexes, none of which adds up to a housing price bubble."
17. John K. McIlwain, Senior Resident Fellow for Housing, Urban Land Institute:
"No Housing Bubble to Pop," Washington Post (March 2, 2005): "[T]he housing markets will cool as interest rates rise and as affordability declines, but they won't crash. Most markets will flatten for a while or increase at lower, more historical, rates. A few may decline for a year or two. But we won't have a crash."
18. Margaret Hwang Smith, Professor of Economics, Pomona College, and Gary Smith, Professor of Economics, Pomona College:
"Bubble, Bubble, Where's the Housing Bubble?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (2006): "Our evidence indicates that, even though prices have risen rapidly and some buyers have unrealistic expectations of continuing price increases, the bubble is not, in fact, a bubble in most of these areas in that, under a variety of plausible assumptions, buying a house at current market prices still appears to be an attractive long-term investment."
19. Charles Himmelberg, Economist, New York Fed (with Columbia professor Chris Mayer and Wharton professor Todd Sinai—see #10, above):
"Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports (September 2005): "As of the end of 2004, our analysis reveals little evidence of a housing bubble. In high appreciation markets like San Francisco, Boston, and New York, current housing prices are not cheap, but our calculations do not reveal large price increases in excess of fundamentals."
20. Jim Jubak, Investing Columnist, MSN Money:
"Why There is No Housing Bubble," MSN Money (June 10, 2005): "Housing bubble? What housing bubble? With the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yielding below 4% and 30-year mortgages available at 5.1%, there isn't a housing bubble."
21. James F. Smith, Director, Center for Business Forecasting:
"There is No Housing Bubble in the USA: Housing Activity Will Remain At High Levels in 2005 and Beyond," Business Economics (April 2005): "There is no evidence of a housing 'bubble' in the United States and housing demand should stay strong for years to come."
22. Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor, National Review Online:
"Don't be Myth-Understood," National Review (December 21, 2005): "[T]he so-called housing bubble has yet to pop, and likely won't as long as home ownership remains a tax-advantaged event. Even the New York Times — no parrot of White House talking points — has had to admit that the economy is 'booming.'"
23. Samuel Lieber, President, Alpine Woods Capital Investors:
"Housing Bubble? The Market Won't Pop, Experts Predict," Wall Street Journal (April 12, 2006): "We don't see a bubble. Historically, home prices just don't go down nationwide unless we are in a significant recession. The last time home prices fell nationwide was in 1990. It's employment that really counts. The underlying fundamentals of real estate are still very positive. Job creation and household formation drive housing."
24. Mark Vitner, Senior Economist, Wachovia:
"There is No Housing Bubble, Says Senior Economist," The Virginia-Pilot (January 19, 2006): "'Everybody is looking for evidence of a housing bubble,' [Vitner] said. 'There is not a housing bubble. The supply had not kept up with demand.'"
25. George Karvel, Professor of Real Estate, St. Thomas University:
"Housing bubble?," Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 4, 2005 (via LEXIS): "'There's no housing bubble,' said George Karvel, a professor of real estate at the University of St. Thomas. 'This is a media-induced frenzy. If I wanted to say there is a housing bubble, I'd have Time and Money magazine camped on my door. They've called, and I've told them there's no bubble. Panic sells."
...
"There is absolutely nothing in any market in the country to indicate there'd be any kind of collapse in housing prices,' he said."
26. Glenn Hubbard, Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School:
Face the Nation (August 21, 2005): I think we do have a great deal of froth in housing markets. There's no doubt about it. I don’t think we're likely to see a large nominal price collapse, that is largely falling house prices, but I think we'll see much slower rates of growth in house prices after 2005.
27. Alex Tabarrok, Professor of Economics, George Mason University:
"Was there a Housing Bubble?," Marginal Revolution (Feb. 13, 2008): In the shift to the new equilibrium there was some mild overshooting, especially due to the subprime over expansion, but fundamentally there was no housing bubble [emphasis in the original].
28. Larry Kudlow, Host of CNBC’s "The Kudlow Report" & Economics Editor, National Review:
"The Housing Bears Are Wrong Again," National Review Online (June 20, 2005): All the bond bears have been dead wrong in predicting sky-high mortgage rates. So have all the bubbleheads who expect housing-price crashes in Las Vegas or Naples, Florida, to bring down the consumer, the rest of the economy, and the entire stock market.
Special Commercial Real Estate Edition: Casey Mulligan, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago:
"A Commercial Real Estate Crisis? Probably Not," Economix (New York Times Blog) (Feb. 4, 2009): I continue to watch the economy in 2009 but, barring a significant further decline in business activity, I do not expect to see a nationwide surplus of commercial real estate and therefore do not expect to see commercial real estate suffer the kind of crisis that followed from the housing surplus.
* * * * *

One close call was Barry Ritholtz, who wrote a column in 2005 with the headline, "Don't Buy the Housing Bubble Propaganda." While the headline would suggest that Ritholtz denied the existence of the housing bubble, it appears to have been more hyperbole than anything. The substance of his argument was that housing values wouldn't fall in value as much as tech stocks did when the dot-com bubble popped (80%). In fact, he outright predicted a significant correction in house prices: "As the rate cycle plays out, prices will slide. I'm looking at a slow asset depreciation of 10%-30% over the next several years as a realistic possibility." Since that's more or less what has happened, it would be difficult to say that Ritholtz was "wrong about the housing bubble." Therefore, Barry does not go on the list.

As I said earlier, this is a work in progress. Let me know if you know of someone else who deserves to be on the list.

72 comments:

Invictus said...

Now that is one damn nice piece of blogging. Nicely done!

Barry Ritholtz said...

I always hated that headline.

My view has been that we had a much mroe dangerous Credit bubble than a national housing bubble.

In terms of true Housing bubbles, there can be no doubt that (since 2005), S. Florida, Southern California, and Las Vegas have all been true bubbles -- at least two standard deviations from the norm, prices doubling, etc.

The rest of the country was not quite as bubblicious -- and in terms of that 25-35% pullback I forecast in prices, we are now about halfway there. . . .

Tom W said...

This is a list of people whom nobody would have taken seriously in the first place.

Alan Reynolds, James Glassman, and Kevin Hasset are paid to produce opinions which conform to their think tanks' ideologies. I doubt whether even they believed those opinions.

Jude Wanniski is a notorious idiot crank who is the "Lyndon Larouche" of economics.

Jim Cramer is a hysterical twit who screams and throws things while offering financial advice. People watch him for the same reason they watched Jerry Springer: it's fun to watch white trash embarrass themselves while they showcase their poor emotional control.

Most of the others are obscure.

Economics of Contempt said...

Tom W,

Obviously some people do take Reynolds, Hassett, and Glassman seriously, because they still appear frequently on prominent op-ed pages. Hassett is one of McCain's economic advisers, and was supposed to debate Brad DeLong tonight. You might not take Hassett seriously, but it's very clear that other people do. You are not the sum total of media consumers.

Also, if you really think David Malpass, Brian Wesbury, Chris Mayer, Todd Sinai, and Margaret & Gary Smith are "obscure," then you must not read a lot of economic/financial commentary. Malpass and Wesbury are ubiquitous pundits on the financial markets, and Mayer, Sinai, and the Smiths appear frequently as "housing market experts" (despite being wrong about the most important housing market development since the Depression). The point of my list was to allow people like you (i.e., people who don't read a lot of economic/financial commentary) to know the history of the supposed "expert."

EoC

Anonymous said...

sweet article - call 'em out!

nyet said...

it's rather weird if Greenspan (and the system) didn't know what will hit them, but decidedly picked bernanke, who is the master of great depression.

coincidence?

if the system is truly drunk in their own cool-aid, they would pick one of the morons you listed up there as the Fed Chairman, instead of an academic that really knows what hit us 80 years ago.

Pratish Gandhi said...

As Invictus above awesomely said, that is one damn piece of blogging! Sometimes I wonder if economists are ever going to decisively predict something which is going to happen in the future. Why is it that for any issue, there are such diverging opinions from different economists? I think for a common person like me, the profession as a whole loses its credibility because of instances like these.

James said...

I've got my list here. Two you missed: Art Laffer and Ken Fisher.

There were also a number of outspoken real estate industry pundits: National Association of Realtors chief economists David Lereah and Lawrence Yun, also Rick Snyder, Kevin Forrester, Marlene Goldberg, and Terri Murphy. Finally, let's not forget the Columbia and Wharton Business schools.

TStockmann said...

And just so it isn't just the right side of the spectrum: Richard Green, from GWU (then) and USC (now)

http://real-estate-and-urban.blogspot.com/2006/08/was-there-housing-bubble-is-it.html

Anonymous said...

Not only are most of these people still employed but their fellow travelers are still making economic decisions in corporations, government and universities.

Their ideas are like a deadly staph infections that stay in the blood long after we think the health of the patient is improving.

Tord Steiro said...

I miss Art Laffer on your list. But perhaps is sufficiently discredited already to be worth mentioning?

I.A. Vowel said...

Is David Lereah at the National Assocation of Realtors too much of a hack to even be mentioned?

Anonymous said...

BY THE WAY WHO WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE HOUSING BUBBLE

Pete DZ said...

Dumping on Jim Cramer for something he said back in 2003 that actually proved to be pretty true with hindsight seems a little harsh. The others? Good work.

Anonymous said...

None of these economists knew what a CDO was back when they made their comments -- the business had passed them by. And they still think ideas of 50 years ago hold sway.

Would love to see a list of folks that got it right.

By the way, I figured you didn't include Laugher because he's no longer considered an economist by anyone except himself.

Anonymous said...

These are the pundits/academics who sold their souls for a few bucks. Greenbacks trump principles for these pundits.

Roger Chittum said...

Which were the three worst?

The Real-World Economics Review Blog is holding polls to determine the awarding of two prizes:

* The Ignoble Prize for Economics, to be awarded to the three economists who contributed most to enabling the Global Financial Collapse (GFC), and

* The Noble Prize for Economics, to be awarded to the three economists who first and most cogently warned of the coming calamity.

http://rwer.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/announcing-the-ignoble-and-noble-prizes-for-economics-2/

Sarah said...

Who got it right? I can think of three off the top of my head, Shiller, Dean Baker, Krugman. There were many more, but they had to be willing to take a lot of abuse from the 'experts'. I suspect few in junior positions ventured to challenge the conventional 'wisdom', whatever their private opinions might have been.

After all we were being accused of treason against capitalism by even suggesting that markets could be other than entirely rational. The all-knowing, all-wise market was nevertheless apparently so fragile that anyone not bent in complete obeisance might cause its collapse. Not many were willing to take the rap, ready and waiting behind the 'no bubble to see here, move along' rhetoric for bringing on the crash.

The debacle reminds me of a previous case in which no-one was ever held accountable for being completely and devastatingly wrong-- that was the insistence of mainly Chicago-style economists that Russia and former East-block countries should reform their economies in one fell swoop without even bothering to look at the legal and administrative structures which were required to support these changes.

The disastrous result has been evident for awhile, and at the economics meetings in Atlanta I heard discussion of research that confirms the obvious: those countries which ignored the expert advice and took their time devising appropriate reforms have done considerably better, long term, than those who listened to their self-certain Western advisers.

As with the housing bubble, somehow these wizards have continued to be the 'experts'- while those with the disadvantage of actually knowing something about their subject are marginalized.

T said...

I'm not sure pre-2005 commentary is fair game. Pre-2004 is certainly not fair to pick on. (I'd even give some slack to comments made in early 2005.)

I was concerned that housing was well into a bubble by 2004, but you could have made reasonable arguments that it was not in a bubble or would just go flat for a few years at that point.

Note that as of Q4 '09 the Case-Schiller index is around its Q4 '03 level (nominal).

It is the buying activity from late '04 through early '07 that really put is into serious bubble territory and created the following devastation.

Anonymous said...

Bill and the late Tanta at Calculated Risk also got it right.

Chuck Ponzi said...

You totally missed "Economist" Gary Watts:

http://www.socalbubble.com/2007/10/gary-watts-tenth-circle-of-hell.html

Milton Recht said...

BTW, Krugman was wrong. From the Krugman NYTimes article linked to in the above blog.

Krugman said:

"This is the way the bubble ends: not with a pop, but with a hiss....So the news that the U.S. housing bubble is over won't come in the form of plunging prices...."

Maybe if Krugman had called it correctly and predicted the financial crisis, the massive foreclosures and the huge drop in house prices, people might have listened to him. He called a coming earthquake, a small vibration.

Nobody got the risk inherent in the housing bubble correct and predicting rain but not the coming flood is not a useful or accurate prediction.

Krugman and all the others who say they saw it coming have as much explaining to do for getting it wrong as those who did not see the bubble.

theBuddhist_Investor said...

Anyone from the brokerages like Schwab (Liz Ann Sonders), Etrade, etc? I wonder about those that are fueling the current stock market bubble?

Alan J. Barnes said...

Krugman ended that 2005 article with the following sentence: "And everyone - not just those who own Zoned Zone real estate - should be worried."
So I think that Mr. Recht is wrong in his attempt to tar Krugman.
Remember the aphorisms.
1. In things economic, Paul Krugman is always right.
2. If you think Krugman is wrong, see #1.

Anonymous said...

Why not Yun? of the NRA? Still, fabulously wrong wrong and wrong.

Steven said...

Larry Kudlow:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDNhMDFhNmJmYmU3NDQyZTAyOWNhMmYzNTY3NDNiODA=

But then again, he's always wrong.

Anonymous said...

Roubini had it right, didn't he?

Ryan C. said...

I completely agree with T. I wonder, though, if anyone was denying bubbles as late as 2007.

Yaleman said...

Roubini, Shiller,Goldman Sax?, Buffett, Toll, Vornado's Roth, inside sellers at many banks, homebuilders, Angelo @ Countrywide Credit,

Lorenzo said...

Surely anyone who talks of "The" housing bubble as a singular phenomenon is automatically wrong. The patterns varied enormously among different housing markets.

Which, of course, does not stop people who talked of there being no housing bubbles anywhere being wrong!

Anonymous said...

Who got it right?

Here is my list so far:

http://www.economicgrowth.org.nz/artman/publish/article_1336.shtml

Anonymous said...

http://www.economicgrowth.org.nz/artman/publish/art
icle_1336.shtml

modern said...

A collection of predictions here:
http://www.prosper.org.au/2009/09/14/economists-who-dominated-the-gfc-predicitons/

This guy gets my plaudits for long-range forecasts:

"Fred Harrison wrote in his 1997 analysis – The Chaos Makers:

By 2007 Britain and most of the other industrially advanced economies will be in the throes of frenzied activity in the land market equal to what happened in 1988/9. Land prices will be near their 18-year peak, driven by an exponential growth rate, on the verge of collapse that will presage the global depression of 2010. The two events will not be coincidental: the peak in land prices not merely signalling the looming recession but being the primary cause of it."

Anonymous said...

nothing happens in a vacuum and for those who say that southern cal has a bubble, check out the zip codes along the beaches in orange and san diego counties, most have seen little downside and have actually grown in the last year.

Robin said...

The bubble is generally thought to have peaked in late 2006. In January 2005 -- the first piece quoted here -- I wrote "by now, house prices . . . have risen a long time and to heady levels, so any new homebuyer in a hot area had better buy for the intrinsic value of the home and not for profits from a quick resale."
I also said that housing can't become "affordable" until prices of overpriced homes (mainly in 7 states) came down.

Robin said...

p.s.(Robin is Alan Reynolds)

John Albert said...

Hmmm, you've now been Krugmanned! (In a good way.)

Skimming through the old comments ...

a) Yes, most of these people are obscure/disreputable

b)However, this is pretty much The Wall Street Journal's heavy hitter list

Too bad. If the WSJ editorial pages were of the same quality as its reporters' coverage, the Journal could host a terrific discussion of economics that could be genuinely helpful. Instead, the WSJ farms out its pages to politically motivated quacks.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, BUT credit should only go to those who gave good arguments for their predictions, and the premises were true. What might be ill-grounded guesses that turn out right don't deserve any points. Good start, though. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Similarly, say what the argument was from those who got it wrong. Then we're talking.

Chris Gaun said...

I wonder if you could update this with inflation predictions. I imagine it will be the same people

PeakVT said...

Nice list. If you want really nail somebody in particular, I suggest quotes from several years, say 2002-2008. Unfortunately, since nobody has been or will be fired for being wrong about the bubble, you won't get much more than personal satisfaction out of the effort.

My list of who was explicitly right on the bubbble would include CR & Tanta, Roubini, Baker, and quite a number of bloggers who had little influence outside of other internet addicts. I think Krugman was a bit late to the game, but not by much.

Anonymous said...

It was unsustainable and obvious said logic

It was what it was said love of money

Anonymous said...

Nice work, but the Cramer comment was a little unfair. He said it in December 2003, and housing prices did continue to run up for at least another 1.5 years. (I should know: I bought my house in April 2005. It was on the market for three days and I had to pay above asking price.)

nsk said...

Tabarrok.

http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/02/was-there-a-hou.html

Anonymous said...

July 30, 2004, "Collateral Damage from a US Housing Bust," Paul Kasriel
https://www-ac.northerntrust.com/content//media/attachment/data/econ_research/0407/document/pc073004.pdf

SvN said...

I can't help but think that Bernanke or Greenspan belongs on that list somewhere....

Anonymous said...

Where's Ben Stein? http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/01/farewell-to-ben.html

Stuart Levine said...

Obviously, there should be a two-track "Hall of Shame" here. On one list, there should be those who generally offer helpful commentary, but just tripped up this time. On the other list should be those, like Kudlow, who are so consistently wrong that they have worse track records than a broken analog clock.

Finally, what about those who weren't pundits when they made their predictions, but are, essentially, pundits now. Alan Greenspan would seem to fall into this category.

mlnberger said...

I would like to add that Doug Noland, the Prudent Bear, who I came to later learn was using economic analysis based on the Austrian school, was predicting doom and gloom from 2002 or 2003.

Anonymous said...

Two big omissions:
Stephen S. Roach, Morgan Stanley Chief Economist (http://www.morganstanley.com/views/gef/archive/2006/20060918-Mon.html)

Ethan Harris, Merrill Lynch chief economist (formerly with Lehman Brothers)

Anonymous said...

To add to minberger:

Mark Thornton also called bubble back in 2004, again using Austrian economics as his theoretical framework.

To John: "You've been Krugmanned!"

You mean hit with an intentionally duplicitous straw man argument. yeah you probably were. He got called on it so many times that he had to forcibly shorten his readers' comments section so these people could not methodically tear him apart on his blog.

Predictably, his blog is far less interesting now.

Anonymous said...

so the only economist I could spot is Glenn Hubbard, what are the other guys? media personalities?

bagoh20 said...

The nature of economics calls is such that being right or wrong an any prediction is not very indicative of anything. I called the housing bubble right too, and I don't know anything. You could flip a coin with most economists, otherwise they would all be rich from their abilities.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of cranks who regularly predict Armageddon. A stopped clock is right twice a day. Many people missed the severity of this downturn, but it is a mistake to overly praise the Cassandras who "got it right". Many of these folks, like Roubini, will spend the rest of their careers predicting a repeat. More than likely, they will always be wrong.

Anonymous said...

The Gardner brothers of The Motley Fool missed it - they aren't economists but they had a big following.

Michael Geffrard said...

Much have been said in terms of housing bubble. Most likely, these experts and even Michael Geffrard based their comments on facts. Yet, I think the housing bubble is still relative on a certain location and financial preferences of each. Anyway, I loved the way you've compiled such information. Thanks again for posting.

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EcornerLearning said...

We cannot blame them though. They just did their work and analyzed based on their own understanding of the market.

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InfinityBall said...

As mentioned a year+ ago, putting Cramer on the list doesn't work. If he said that in late 2003, he was right for 3 years for almost everyone, and 4 years for most people.

That's solid for an economic prediction that's not stating a real timeline

Will Mackin said...

Everyone who bought a house in 2006 knew the prices did not make sense. We moved to a cheaper area of our town to minimize our risk. I am just selling the house we bought then. Perhaps we should have rented, but is it worth renting during the best years of your children's lives? Not for me! Now how can we profit from this ridiculous gold bubble . . .

Seth B. said...

Dean Baker had it pegged in 2002.

http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/housing_2002_08.pdf

Sidney said...

There are those above who say that comments pre 2005 should not count. I bought my house in 2003. I started looking in 2002, and prices were racing upward even then. I recall discussing with my wife that we should buy the smallest house we could, because when the bubble burst, all real estate would be worth a lot less, and so we should not tie up too much money in it. I actually felt that it would be better to keep our money in the stock market... Little did I know that the real estate market was so closely tied to the stock market, and would drag the whole economy down.

My point being that if I could call it in 2003, a so-called 'expert' should have been able to call it in 2004 or 2005.

Anonymous said...

What Sidney said. My house-hunting experience was in 2002, and it was clear something was afoot when the mortgage lender offered nearly 3x the loan my wife & I were comfortable taking on. I called them not a week after closing to ask some minutia of a question, and was informed they had offloaded said mortgage to Countrywide.

Who could have seen it coming in 2005? A better question is who couldn't have seen it coming in 2002-2003?

Steve S said...

I strongly suspect that both Greenspan and Bernanke honestly believed that there was no housing bubble, but alas, we'll never know for sure.


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T Barnaby said...

I'm sure. And FWIW, a few of the pundits seemed to deny the existence of the housing bubble simply

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Dr. Worden said...

American banks have once again begun producing mortgage-based bonds in substantial numbers. Meanwhile, institutional investors have been buying up low-cost houses in order to rent them while speculating on the value. As a result, the housing market may be going into another bubble. Are we headed for another financial crisis? Moreover, is history destined to repeat itself, given human nature? If interested, see the following article: http://thewordenreport.blogspot.com/2013/04/return-of-mortgage-based-bonds-another.html

PENNY STOCK INVESTMENTS said...

All the brains in the world could not have prevented the housing boom and bust.

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