“Riddle me this: did all of these countries have a Fannie/Freddie or CRA?”

November 17th, 2011
  1. November 17th, 2011 at 12:29 | #1

    Yup. People almost always overestimate the impact particular or local causes relative to broader systematic issues.

  2. November 17th, 2011 at 14:09 | #2

    Yep. (Or rather, nope.) I can remember thinking about this about 3 years ago. It’s very simple empirical work. If you want to check a hypothesis, try expanding the sample beyond one country.

    We all make the mistake Richard Williamson talks about. But I’m afraid Americans tend to make it a bit more than others. Because in smaller countries it’s a bit harder to ignore what’s going on in other countries.

  3. November 17th, 2011 at 15:04 | #3

    @Nick Rowe Yeah: Americans are darned bad at looking outside their country, or comparing to (comparable groups of) others. They’re not very curious, it seems.

    In case you haven’t noticed, I’m darned curious. When I first started poking around in economic data, for instance, I immediately started comparing prosperous countries (mainly govt. size versus GDP growth, and similar) to see what turned up. I was surprised. Contrary to the meme I’d come to generally believe after years of being pummeled by it, I found that there’s little or no correlation there — whether you looked at my simple correlations or the more sophisticated ones in the literature.

    Just sayin’…

  4. November 17th, 2011 at 15:27 | #4

    I like the insight, but be prepared for the argument that Fannie and Freddie’s nefarious activities were so extensive and their securities sold so far and wide that they single-handedly collapsed civilization everywhere.

  5. November 17th, 2011 at 16:40 | #5

    @Nick Rowe
    Richard Wikinson, perhaps?


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