A quick look back in time to the days when St. Paul was advocating we take the road to this present disaster. This time, Zero Hedge picks up the now familiar cudgel of Krugman’s own words to beat him mercilessly for the umpteenth time. The New York Times should run this take as a disclaimer beneath his columns:
How Keynesian Archduke Krugman Recommended A Housing Bubble As A Solution To All Of America’s Post Tech Bubble Problems
The year is 2002, America has just woken up with the worst post dot.com hangover ever. Paul Krugman then, just as now, writes worthless op-eds for the NYT. And then, just as now, the Keynsian acolyte recommended excess spending as the solution to all of America problems. Only this one time, at band camp, Krugman went too far. If there is one thing that everyone can agree on, is that the Housing Bubble, is arguably the worst thing to ever happen to America, bringing with it such pestilence and locusts as the credit bubble, the end of free market capitalism, and the inception of American-style crony capitalism. Those who ignored it, even though it was staring them in the face, such as Greenspan and Bernanke, now have their reputation teetering on the edge of oblivion. So what can we say of those who openly endorsed it as a solution to America’s problems? Enter exhibit A: New York Times, August 2, 2002, “Dubya’s Double Dip?” Name the author: “The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn’t a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.” If you said Krugman, you win. Indeed, the idiocy of Keynesianism knew no bounds then, as it does now. The solution then, as now, to all problems was more bubbles, more spending, more deficits. So we have the implosion tech bubble: And what does Krugman want to create, to fix it? Why, create a housing bubble… Well, at least we know now how that advice played out.
And now what? He wants another trillion in fiscal stimulus… Quadrillion? Sextillion (arguably this cool sounding number is at least 2-4 years away before the Fed brings it into the daily vernacular)? And just like the housing bubble he suggested then brought America to the biggest depression it has ever seen, so his current suggestion will be the economic cataclysm that wipes out America from the face of the earth.
So we have two simple questions:
i) how does Krugman still have a forum in which to peddle his destructive ways, and
ii) why does ANYONE still listen to this Nobel prize winner, a/k/a charlatan?
Being stupid is one thing. Being stupid and learning your lesson after seeing your idea crash and burn is another. Pushing for the same policy response time after time, layering misery upon misery, is an altogether third, and most Krugman, thing.
How many more lunatics in charge of the insane asylum do we need before we finally say “enough” to their deranged ramblings and their illusions of reality…
As we surmised in our examination of the Krugman model and our subsequent examination of Richard Alford’s analysis, Washington engineered the housing bubble to cover up the pernicious effects of capital flight from the United States. This charge is now being explicitly circulated in the investor community:
Our US economists make the very interesting point (similar to Marc Faber) that peaks of income skewness – 1929 and 2007 – tell us there is something fundamentally unsustainable about excessively uneven income distribution. With a relatively low marginal propensity to consume among the rich, when they receive the vast bulk of income growth, as they have, then the country will face an under-consumption problem (see 9 September The Economic News ?- link. Marc Faber also cites John Hobson’s work on this same topic from the 1930s).
Hence, while governments preside over economic policies which make the very rich even richer, national consumption needs to be boosted in some way to avoid underconsumption ending in outright deflation. In addition, the middle classes also need to be thrown a sop to disguise the fact they are not benefiting at all from economic growth. This is where central banks have played their pernicious part.
I recalled seeing another article from John Plender on this topic back in April 2008. His explanation for why there had been so little backlash from the stagnation of ordinary people?s income at a time when the rich did so well was simple: ?”Rising asset prices, especially in the housing market, created a sense of increasing wealth regardless of income. Remortgaging homes over a long period of declining interest rates provided a convenient source of funds via equity withdrawal to finance increased consumption” – link.
Now you might argue central banks had no alternative in the face of under-consumption. Or you might conclude there was a deliberate, unspoken collusion among policymakers to rob the middle classes of their rightful share of income growth by throwing them illusionary spending power based on asset price inflation. We will never know.
But it is clear in my mind that ordinary working people would not have tolerated these extreme redistributive policies had not the UK and US central banks played their supporting role.