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Monday, December 08, 2008

This, That, and Tanta

by Calculated Risk on 12/08/2008 12:50:00 PM

I've add Tanta: In Memoriam to the menu bar above. This page includes several family photos, tributes to Tanta, and links to Tanta's writings and articles about her. Check it out.

Women on the Web had a story on Tanta this morning: Four Financial Horsewomen Who Warned of the Apocalypse

And Krugman mentions Tanta in a Salon interview: Paul Krugman's depression economics

Yeah, the "confidence game" goes bad pretty quickly if there aren't genuine substantive reasons for confidence. I wrote early in 2008 that Fed/Treasury policy was based on the "slap in the face" theory; the late, much-lamented Tanta at Calculated Risk even worked it into one of her Mortgage Pig entries. The answer, again, is institutions and regulations to secure that confidence. And if necessary, you deal with the problem of market panic by restricting the market: temporary capital controls, temporary nationalization of banks.
Also - the WaPo has an article on mass transit this morning: New Ridership Record Shows U.S. Still Lured to Mass Transit
Americans rode subways, buses and commuter railroads in record numbers in the third quarter of this year, even as gas prices dropped and unemployment rose. The 6.5 percent jump in transit ridership over the same period last year marks the largest quarterly increase in public transportation ridership in 25 years, according to a survey to be released today by the American Public Transportation Association.
However gasoline prices didn't started falling sharply until October, so it will be interesting to see if mass transit ridership falls off with gasoline prices. This fits my post yesterday, Thoughts on oil. I touched on several oil related topics including estimating that the decline in oil prices is providing a stimulus of about $15 billion per month to the U.S. economy compared to July.