Monday, April 22, 2019

IW on the web

Tech entrepreneur David Siegel has an interesting and thorough post up at medium.com that is a sort of reference point to cutting edge or wise thinking on a vast array of topics.  One reason I am posting a link here is because David kindly includes the work of Scott Sumner and myself on the financial crisis and the housing bubble, prominently, as work that should be read and understood.

Regarding our work, he begins with:

Understanding the Great Financial Crisis

A good way to see the storytelling effect is to look at the “common wisdom” of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008/9, an event that impacted every person on earth and destroyed a billion jobs. Almost everyone got the story wrong. Michael Lewis’s book and movie, The Big Short, was popular but completely missed the true cause and effect. So did Niall Ferguson and many experts.
In reality, two people — Kevin Erdmann, an investor and Scott Sumner, an economist — have shown that the “common wisdom” does not fit the facts. Using the scientific method and hard evidence, they show that the GFC was a result of bad reactions to scarce resources

I appreciate David's support and his willingness to consider this new point of view.  But, in addition to that, his post can be fruitfully used as a starting point into inquiry in a number of topics.

He lists my book "Shut Out" as an "advanced" reading.  For those visiting IW from David's post, if you don't want to dive into a long tome of "advanced" reading on the topic, here are a couple of shorter pieces that may get the ball rolling.  I'm not sure they are any more accessible, but they are much shorter, and introduce the basics.  (My writing tends to be analytical rather than narrative, but I don't think you will find any of my work to be nearly as difficult as, say, the typical academic article in an economics journal.)

Housing Was Undersupplied during the Great Housing Bubble

The Danger in Using Monetary Policy to Address Housing Affordability

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