Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NYC Economy Hit by Mortgage Meltdown: Who Could Have Known?

From Beat the Press:

Economics reporters seem to prefer relying on expert sources who are surprised by the economy. The NYT has an article today that examines the impact of Bear Stearns' collapse on New York City's economy.

At one point the article presents the comments of Alan H. Fishman, the chairman of Meridian Capital: "Nobody’s ever seen something like this, ... If you’d asked everybody how serious this was two weeks ago, they would have said, it’s serious but it will pass. Now they would say it’s very serious.”

Mr. Fishman is wrong in his assessment of what everybody would have said two weeks ago, or more precisely two months ago:

"Watch the New York housing market. Real house prices in the New York City area more than doubled in the decade from 1996 to 2006, driven in large part by the extraordinary boom on Wall Street. With the boom turning into a colossal bust, the NYC real estate market looks quite vulnerable."

--Dean Baker

So a tip of the cap to Dean Baker but it didn't take his entire buck-eighty I.Q. to figure it out.
We did it with a lot less intellectual horsepower, with historical ref's, backwards and in heels.
Albeit seven weeks later:
Manhattan Housing Continues to Buck the Bust. And: The Florida Land Boom