We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Liquidity, Default, Risk

8th December 2008

Brad DeLong of the Cato Institute takes a realistic look at the crisis du jour.

Thus we have an impulse — a $2 trillion increase in the default discount from the problems in the mortgage market — but the thing deserving attention is the extraordinary financial accelerator that amplified $2 trillion in actual on-the-ground losses in terms of mortgage payments that will not be made into an extra $17 trillion of lost value because global investors now want to hold less risky portfolios than they wanted two years ago.

Our current financial crisis remains largely a mystery: a $2 trillion impulse in lost value of securitized mortgages has set in motion a financial accelerator that we do not understand at any deep level that has led to ten times the total losses in financial wealth of the impulse.

2 Responses to “Liquidity, Default, Risk”

  1. Octagon Says:

    Brad DeLong is a member of the Cato Institute only if George W. Bush joins MoveOn.org.

    But seriously, DeLong is one of the big lefty Keynesian Macro guys and is a serious supporter of the political Left. He is no member of Cato.

  2. Tim of Angle Says:

    His appearance on the Cato Unbound site must have confused me.