Don’t Ask a Journalist to Explain Real Estate Economics to You, Part I

No offense to David Streitfeld, but I won’t be asking him to manage my investments anytime soon.

Streitfeld, a New York Times reporter, declares, “Real Estate’s Gold Rush Seems Gone for Good.” He interviewed several economists who warned that “home ownership will never again yield rewards like those enjoyed in the second half of the 20th century” — or, at least, that’s the conclusion he drew from the interviews.

Streitfeld asked all the right people. Dean Baker told him, “People shouldn’t look at a home as a way to make money because it won’t.” Robert Shiller said, “People think it’s a law of nature” that home prices must go up, but it isn’t. Barry Ritholtz warned, “People shouldn’t be holding their breath waiting for it to happen again.”

All three of those guys predicted the housing crash. They know what they’re talking about…but does Streitfeld?   Continue reading “Don’t Ask a Journalist to Explain Real Estate Economics to You, Part I”

Best of the Month: March 2010

10. What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? — Robert A. Pape, Lindsey O’Rourke, & Jenna McDermit, Lady Gaga vs. the Occupation — Thomas Hegghammer, and Hating Us for our Degeneracy — Daniel Larison
9. Study: Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalized — Gareth Porter, Iraqi Children’s Growth Stunted by War — BBC News, Night Raids Belie McChrystal’s New Image — Gareth Porter, and Gen. McChrystal: We’ve Shot “an Amazing Number of People” Who Were Not Threats — Justin Elliott
8. Taking Sides — John Mearsheimer and Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem Does Not Belong to Jewish-Israelis — Juan Cole
7. 10 Questions for Finance Reformers — Barry Ritholtz and The Lone Star Secret — Alyssa Katz
6. Cultural Change Is Key to Bank Reform — Justin Fox, Greeks, Romans, and Financial Reform — Paul Krugman, and The Source of Global Trade Imbalances — Johanna Mollerstrom
5. As Things Get Worse in Pakistan, the Optimism Continues to Soar — Robert Fisk, Pakistan to America: What Have You Done for Us Lately? — Arif Rafiq, Into the Terrifying World of Pakistan’s “Disappeared” — Robert Fisk, and Don’t Forget India — Nikolas K. Gvosdev
4. The Arab Tomorrow — David B. Ottaway, Once Again, a Nation Walks Through Fire to Give the West Its “Democracy” — Robert Fisk, The Oil Curse — Christopher Dickey, The Political Resource Curse — Fernanda Brollo, Tommaso Nannicini, Roberto Perotti, & Guido Tabellini, and The Political Limits to Globalization — Daron Acemoglu & Pierre Yared
3. Fiscal Policies in “Normal” and “Abnormal” Recessions — Paul De Grauwe
2. How to Combat Modern Slavery — Kevin Bales
1. “The Evil Scourge of Terrorism”: Reality, Construction, Remedy — Noam Chomsky and A Curious History of the CIA — Jane Mayer
BONUS: Setting Congress’s Sights on Next Target — Anthony W. Orlando

Best of the Week: March 28 – April 3, 2010

We will return to the “Top 10” format because the feedback didn’t suggest much value-add from the “Top 15”. If you wish us to return to the “Top 15” at any time in the future, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the site or email us. — AWO

10. Why Celibacy Should Be Abolished — Hans Küng
9. EIA: New Offshore Drilling Will Lower Gas Prices in 2030 a Few Pennies a Gallon — Joseph RommRisk Is Clear in Drilling; Payoff Isn’t — John M. Broder & Clifford Krauss, Grounded Ship: 3km Oil Spill on Great Barrier Reef — Marissa Calligeros, and What the Frack? — David Biello
8. Here We WMD Again — Scott Ritter, The United States, Iran, and the Middle East’s New “Cold War” — Flynt Leverett & Hillary Mann Leverett, and “Reporting” on Iran Should Seem Familiar — Glenn Greenwald
7. Is the Health Care Law Unconstitutional? — Jack M. Balkin, Randy Barnett, Abbe R. Gluck, David B. Rivkin, Lee A. Casey, & James F. Blumstein, Individual Mandate Penalties Are Adequate — Austin Frakt, Is “ObamaCare” Destroying Wealth? — Uwe E. Reinhardt, and Economy Will Get a Boost from Health Care Overhaul — Mitchell Schnurman
6. The Income Rollercoaster — Karen Dynan and High Income Disparity Leads to Low Savings Rates — Yves Smith
5. What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? — Robert A. Pape, Lindsey O’Rourke, & Jenna McDermitLady Gaga vs. the Occupation — Thomas Hegghammer, and Hating Us For Our Degeneracy — Daniel Larison
4. Study: Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalized — Gareth Porter, Iraqi Children’s Growth Stunted by War, Says Study — BBC NewsPacified Populations — Kathy Kelly, Night Raids Belie McChrystal’s New Image — Gareth Porter, and Gen. McChrystal: We’ve Shot “an Amazing Number of People” Who Were Not Threats — Justin Elliott
3. 10 Questions for Finance Reformers — Barry Ritholtz and The Lone Star Secret — Alyssa Katz
2. Fiscal Policies in “Normal” and “Abnormal” Recessions — Paul De Grauwe
1. How to Combat Modern Slavery — Kevin Bales
BONUS: Power Tools — Steven Strogatz