Krugman and the Bubble

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On his blog today, Paul Krugman reprints a chart of housing prices rising like a hockey stick in the mid-aughts and then hits back against critics who say the bubble couldn’t have been predicted:

Given this kind of picture — and given the fact that the late-80s rise in southern California was, in fact, a bubble — how could you not be very worried? And when you looked at the rationalizations for high housing prices being given at the time, it was obvious that they were questionable.

Sorry: the evidence just screamed bubble. No excuses for those who didn’t want to hear it.

OK. But did Krugman call the bubble? My recollection from his NYT columns, anyway, is that he didn’t really get concerned about it until mid-2005, which was only half a year before the market peaked. If the evidence was screaming bubble any earlier than that, why wasn’t he screaming too? Or was it happening somewhere other than his columns?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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