Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Something you wish you never said

"...risk to the government from a potential default on GSE debt is effectively zero."
Joseph Stiglitz, Jonathan Orszag, and Peter Orszag in a paper written for Fannie Mae.

GSE = government sponsored entity, that is, Fannie Mae

If I had said that, I certainly wouldn't be present at the Occupy Wall Street protests telling the protesters they have the right to be indignant about the private financial sector.  At the same time, I wouldn't be terribly embarrassed about the statement (not that Stiglitz is, I don't know).  That's what almost everyone thought, except for the others, who thought you can't estimate probabilities of that sort.

Mark A. Calabria.  October 15-16, 2011.  Notable & Quotable.  The Wall Street Journal.

Blog Archive