A stylised fact of US political polling is that, national security aside, the price of gas drives presidential approval ratings. Could house prices might be even more important? If they were, it would be hard to prove statistically, since there are no previous episodes of nationally falling house prices. Which is worse for confidence: gas at say $5 a gallon, or another five figures wiped off your net worth? Perhaps the White House should be more worried about what happens to house prices between now and November 2012 than about what happens to the price of oil.
No respite from housing recession in the first quarter, says Zillow.
The tragedy of Sarah Palin. By Joshua Green, The Atlantic. A more complicated story than you might think, brilliantly (and somewhat sympathetically) related. The chasm between state politics and national politics: “What if she had tried to do for the nation what she did for Alaska?”
Chomsky’s Follies. By Christopher Hitchens, Slate. “The professor’s pronouncements about Osama bin Laden are stupid and ignorant.”
The Obama Spring. By John Heilemann, New York. Obama is no longer Jimmy Carter, but he might be George H.W. Bush.
Debt Ceiling May Come Crashing Down on Treasury. By Bruce Bartlett, Fiscal Times. It’s not about the deficit; it’s about cash flow, and keeping faith with creditors. Calling that into question? The word “irresponsible” is inadequate.