"Houses Have Increased Their Preference for Being Vacant"
links for 2010-07-29

Liquidationism Further Refuted

Paul Krugman directs us to Heather Boushey:

his Has Been An Equal Opportunity Recession When It Comes To Job Losses Across Industries: Economist Paul Krugman highlights Raghuram Rajan arguing in today’s Financial Times that the Federal Reserve should begin raising interest rates because “the US had far too much productive capacity devoted to houses and cars, because consumers could obtain financing for them easily.” Essentially, Rajan is arguing that monetary tightening is necessary to shift resources out of the too-large housing and car sectors. Krugman points out that this makes no sense.... Let me add a bit more meat to this story... the Great Recession has been more of an “equal opportunity” recession than other recent recessions....

Certainly, construction has lost a significant chunk of jobs, but other industries — manufacturing, professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and information services — have all lost a larger share. Much of financial activities could be considered tied to the run-up and bust of the housing market, but all the others? This Great Recession has had fairly broad, widespread job losses across industry, which contradicts the idea that there’s one or two sectors that U.S. workers need to transition out of.