Sunday, April 11, 2010

Robert Shiller: "I burst the housing bubble"

Yes, people, as we sit and wait for the next bubble to arrive and save us, we finally can figure out who to blame for the untimely bursting of the last one: Robert Shiller!

It must be true, he says so his own self:

"In May 2005, I included in the second edition of my book, “Irrational Exuberance,” a new data series of real United States home prices that I constructed, going back to 1890. I was amazed to discover that no one had published such a long-term series before.

This data revealed that the home price boom was anomalous, by historical standards. It looked very much like a bubble, and a big one. The chart was reproduced many times in newspapers and magazines, starting with an article by David Leonhardt in The New York Times in August 2005.

In short, a public case began to be built that we really were experiencing a housing bubble. By 2006 a variety of narratives, taken together, appear to have produced a different mind-set for many people — creating a tipping point that stopped the growth in demand for homes in its tracks."

I wish I could say I was making this stuff up, but it's all right there in black and white.


kebko said...

I wish that tradable units in the Case-Shiller index for various cities had been available long enough to be a common device. I wonder if having a useful hedge for banks or mortgage purchasers to short housing prices would have significantly altered the events of the last 10 years.

Anonymous said...

If Shiller had just kept his damn mouth shut, my little townhouse in Winston-Salem would have been worth like $4.8M by now!

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