Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The "Oil Theory" of the recession we discussed the other day, as distorted by the GOP primary

Here's a bit more to keep you busy on Friday. Check out this article, which explains how there is a type of truth in what Rick Santorum said about the recession recently, namely that rising gas prices contributed to it. Now, Santorum was arguing that Obama magically caused high gas prices even though he wasn't President yet, and that this caused people to default on their mortgages. The first part is absurd, and the timing does not support the second part, as much of the decline in housing already had happened before mid-2008 when gas prices spiked. But Santorum may accidentally have hit on a truth, in that high gas prices could have caused monetary policy to respond less aggressively than needed, thus helping to fuel the vicious cycle that turned an ordinary recession into The Great Recession.

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