Timothy Taylor Does Have a Blog
By Arnold Kling
He started it a while ago. Two weeks ago (his first post?), he wrote,
This graph needs a short explanation of what net lending is (that is, new lending minus repayments and charge-offs). But seeing a graph that goes up and down over the decades since 1950, but then turns violently negative the aftermath of the crisis, really helps to give a visceral sense of what a financial crisis means.
Obviously, the post includes a graph. What strikes me, though, is that net lending by banks really plummets after the period of financial crisis. One could argue that there were two distinct phases. In the first phase, there was a lot of worry about bank solvency. In the second phase, bank lending fell. If the two phases had coincided, we could talk about this being a credit crunch. Instead, it looks like a financial panic, followed by a real downturn, which in turn reduced the demand for loans.
In another early post, Taylor writes,
A consistent view should favor either that both state and local pension funds and Social Security can put their money in the stock market and assume high rates of return, or that neither should be able to do so. It can’t make logical sense to say that for state and local pension funds, it’s fine to invest in the stock market and to assume a high rate of return, but for Social Security it’s too risky to invest in the stock market and thus necessary to assume only the low Treasury bond rate of return.
My consistent view is that all of these pensions should be turned into 401(K)s, with investment decisions made by individuals, not by the state. The problem with this approach is that some investors will make bad decisions, and then they will come crying to the rest of us asking to be bailed out. I think that private charity ought to handle this. If people know they will have to beg for bailouts rather than feel entitled to such, they will invest more carefully.