Prophecies of Nostradumbass! Who (Other Than Greenspan and Bernanke) Were the Biggest Clods of the Housing Bubble?


If Cassandra had been a little more upbeat, people would have believed her.

Never be wrong when you can be spectacularly, arrogantly, exuberantly wrong. Economics of Contempt rounds up 25 great no-bubble-here quotes from those long-ago days when you weren't allowed to bring fluids on an airplane, America was bogged down in two wars, and Hoobastank's "The Reason" taught us all to love again.

This is a pundit roundup, and many of the culprits are folks you'd expect to see. James K. "Dow 36,000" Glassman (now Mr. Wrong for two millennia!) takes third place for finding "little solid evidence" of a real estate bubble and lots of "good old fundamentals" for soaring prices in the middle of 2005. Jim "Mad Money" Cramer lands in seventh place for a 2003 bet that there would be "a further run-up in real estate." (Which was in fact an accurate prediction.) National Review Online editrix Kathryn Jean Lopez demonstrates the capacity of mid-decade conservatives to overestimate the magical powers of government with this: "[T]he so-called housing bubble has yet to pop, and likely won't as long as home ownership remains a tax-advantaged event." Contemptuous references to "nabobs" and "worrywarts" abound.

What does it all mean? If the lessons of the Iraq war and the preening of the liberal hawks taught us anything, it's that wrongness is not a bug in punditry, it's a feature.