Vernon Smith on the Bailout
By Arnold Kling
During a bubble buyers are everywhere. Then, suddenly, they disappear, waiting, watching, delaying, reluctant to buy assets that others might not. That buyers will disappear in a bubble is predictable, what is never predictable is the timing. In his 1933 inaugural address, President Franklin Roosevelt said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Yes, but the return of fearful buyers is just as unpredictable as the timing of their disappearance. And only the most arrogant will pretend to know what public policies will restore buyer “confidence.”
…There are only three kinds of buyers in a downside housing/mortgage or equities market: those who buy too soon; the few who roll an 11 at the bottom; and those who are too spooked to buy until well after the crisis is over, if ever.
I will likely buy to soon. I already did a little bit a couple of weeks ago. But I think that the nonfinancial sector of the economy looks pretty good.