February 7, 2009

Unstimulated

One reason I'm a lousy blogger is because I get bored easily, and thus often fail to write about what everybody else is writing about at the moment. This week, everybody was blogging about Obama's stimulus bill, but I said all I have to say about it in previous months, which has migrated to the edges of conventional wisdom by now.

Conversely, I started talking about the Community Reinvestment Act's role in the mortgage meltdown in August 2007, but by the time John McCain picked that idea up in the fall of 2008, I had gotten bored with it because I couldn't figure out a solid answer to the response, "Who held a gun to the heads of these big bankers and made them make loans to deadbeats?" Now, I've finally figured out what really happened, but who wants to hear about it now?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you are such a lousy blogger, why are you the only blogger I feel I NEED to read to know what is really going on in the world? I don't think I am alone in saying this, but your blog has considerably affected the way I look at the world.

Anonymous said...

Please cover the CPSIA.

Anonymous said...

If you are such a lousy blogger, why are you the only blogger I feel I NEED to read to know what is really going on in the world? I don't think I am alone in saying this, but your blog has considerably affected the way I look at the world.

Same goes for me, I check isteve every day, or even throughout the day.

Makes me ponder; what is news anyway?

In the days when I got that just from the TV and papers I knew the current stories big, small, important & trivial.

Now I get most of my 'news' via the internet and I find I'm following issues that interest me (rather than general news) - stuff I get at isteve in spades!

The downside is I Ive lost my grip on the news. Topical comedy shows on TV refer to things I no longer know about. More importantly, in the UK we have the pub quiz. I no longer know who exactly is in charge of what in the govt or about Ronnie the roller skating racoon or whatever this weeks silly story is, and thus my ability to do well in these quizes is impaired.

Harry Baldwin said...

I don't know Steve, I've been watching CNN and I see that that noted bipartisan bootlicker David Gergen is fully behind this stimulus. I think your problem is that you're always a few months ahead of the CW, while people like Gergen understand that the big money is in always being a few months behind it.

The stimulus plan reminds me of the point in the collapse of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme when he was writing out checks to family members before the Feds closed down his accounts.

Frank said...

"Who held a gun to the heads of these big bankers and made them make loans to deadbeats?"

Please tell, I'm dying to know.

Henry Canaday said...

I wonder what Lawrence Summers is thinking now.

Several years ago, before he got into trouble for uttering a few banal truths in a meeting with Harvard faculty, Summers said that the Bush budget policies were pointing the country toward its worst crisis in 50 years. He was referring to the fact that Bush budget policies were steadily increasing the acknowledged public debt, just as we were getting, year by year, closer to the Federal government's real budget problem, the widening gap between entitlement commitments and plausible tax receipts as the 21st Century proceeds.

I thought Summers statement was a little extreme even then. The worst-crisis-in-50-years characterization ignored the most dangerous days of the Cold War in the 1960s, the social and political breakdown of the late 1960s, the near collapse of market economies in the 1970s and the severe dangers faced by Reagan in the 1980s. But still I took his worries seriously. The long-term shape of the Federal government did not look rosy even a few years ago.

But history surprises. Little did Summers know that he would soon face a real crisis, much sooner than he expected. And it would come, not from short-term deficits and long-term trends in entitlements, but largely from an off-budget Federal activity not many people were paying attention to as recently as two or three year ago: the government corruption of lending standards in real estate. And that this crisis could potentially add trillions to public debt, when all the costs of stabilizing banks, recession and additional spending are counted.

Summers is smart enough to understand now that this sooner-than-expected crisis was not the result of some mad supply-side mistake, but of a policy that begun when he worked for the Clinton Administration, a policy that was in line with all the instincts of the Democratic Party. I doubt that he agrees precisely with your understanding of the causes of the crisis. I think he knows enough about the behavior of investment banks and hedge funds to attribute more responsibility to them. But no matter how one weights the 'pull' of investment demand for junk housing debt with the 'push' of government corruption that created this junk debt, the latter had to play a very significant role.

And now Summers has to deal with the consequences. He seems a little less cocky these days, a little more humble.

APH said...

One of the reasons I enjoy reading Sailer so much is because it's like peering into the future. And not only that - even when the MSM and others have picked up the story, they're months or years behind Sailer's actual analysis of why the story happened in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Hey this blog is one of the best, precisely because it goes into the topics others are reluctant to look at until they can’t be ignored. Here is something new you can write about before everyone else. I just found this website which celebrates all the swearing Obama engaged in within the audio-book reading of his autobiography. As usual people are taking clips of his swearing and are putting it to music and such, head over heels excited that the president has some hip hop attitude in his chicken soup soul: http://thephoenix.com/BLOGS/phlog/archive/2009/02/05/barack-obama-is-tired-of-this.aspx

Anonymous said...

Judging by this blog, i'm guessing Steve is a victim of "Drunk Blogging", seeing as it's being written at sometime Saturday evening.

That's fine though, as i'm guilty of "Drunk Blog Reading" early Sunday morning.

sj071 said...

Feeling guilty?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0867241/

Jeff Burton said...

fail to write about what everybody else is writing about at the moment

This is one of the reasons I read you. Lousy blogger indeed.

A Conservative Teacher said...

I feel for you- I wasn't really able to comment about the porkulas bill either on my blog- it's so bad and depressing and shockingly bad that I left the comments for others.

Keep up the good work!

headache said...

Steve,
Since you are bored and have got nothing to do, why don't you write a book on the meltdown, its causes and why the solutions won't work. At least you can make some money and we can have the facts on our fingertips. Get Brimelow to help you with those numbers, you know the large American-style ones with the many zero's.

headache said...

APH sed:
"One of the reasons I enjoy reading Sailer so much is because it's like peering into the future. "

Agreed. The problem though is we anticipate things to turn soon but they don't. The systems have enormous lethargy. Even though Steve is great daily reading, its depressing some of the time.

Gene Berman said...

Henry Canady:

Careful how you use the "junk" appellation. The "junk" debt category basically created by Milliken and Drexel-Lambert some years ago was a tad risky, especially as it was below the purview of the agencies rating corporate debt. But it was as solid as granite compared to many of the subprime mortgages and derivatives which found their way into the possession of so many banks, where the mortgagees seem frequently to have had default as their "safety-valve"
in case prices didn't increase (and, if they did, they had cash-out refinancing as an option to selling outright); at the risk of making an atrocious pun, you might well say that default was their "default option."

Speaking of Milliken, how many realize that Martha Stewart was his
personal secretary? In other words, whether or not they were ever involved in any "romantic" parking, she learned plenty about "parking" in that employment and was hardly credible later claiming ignorance (I think she may even have been an officer of the NYSE) of one sort or another.

Jacob Y. said...

I can read what everyone else is writing about anywhere else. I go to your blog for deeper thinking about issues - even if the conventional wisdom has already decided what the answer is and moved on.

Robert said...

You should continue to talk about this subject if only to toot your own horn a bit. When I read the NY Times on Friday, I thought of your prediction that President Obama would find a way to introduce community-organizer-style projects into any stimulus package. The Times front page article on the implications of Japan's lost decade, and subsequent stimulus spending, seemed to be laying the groundwork for such an effort. Among the views attributed to Tim Geithner was the belief (treated as fact in the article) that Japan wasted too much money on massive public works projects (probably true) while spending not enough on "education and social programs."

AMac said...

> Now, I've finally figured out what really happened, but who wants to hear about it now?

Well, many of this blog's readers are proving interested. Your essays have helped me frame the problem.

True, there are many in the D.C. elite who don't want to hear about it. I've corresponded with a few. The ripostes to your sorts of points are emphatic, if not overly weighted down with logic or evidence.

PrestoPundit said...

Try Russ Roberts.

David said...

Funny, I was thinking almost the opposite recently. I had begun to suspect (given the number and quality content of your posts) that you had people working for you now - ghost writers typing up your ideas. You post a lot. Actually it's sometimes difficult for this reader to keep up with you.

Somebody like Instapundit performs no analysis, had no ideas, and says nothing, but merely links to various (neocon-slanted) stories he got on an RSS feed and other people's linky posts. (Sometimes with comments, like "Indeed" or "Read the whole thing"). He's prolific but empty, while you're prolific but great. Quit whining.