Questions I Would Like to See Asked
By Arnold Kling
I would love to see this question asked at a Presidential debate:
If half of the troubled mortgage loans are for non-owner-occupied homes, that is for houses owned by speculators, do your proposals still make sense?
My understanding is that Obama wants a moratorium on foreclosures. For speculators, too? How does that help?
My understanding is that McCain wants taxpayers to pay people’s mortgages. Does that include speculators? How is that fair?
I would like to see this question asked of Paul Krugman:
Do you still believe that oil prices are determined by current supply and demand conditions, with little or no role for futures speculation?
I am not saying that the drop in oil prices from $140 to $80 in a matter of weeks shows that prices are divorced from fundamentals. Oil traders may have rationally changed their outlook for economic activity and therefore oil demand over the next several years. But I don’t think that the actual consumption of oil products has fallen by enough in the last several weeks to justify a decline in oil prices of that magnitude. I think that the debate a few months ago between Paul on the one hand and those of us (Tyler, myself) who adhere to the Hotelling model goes to the latter.