Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 12:50 pm
By Jacob Goldstein
A while back, the MIT economist Andrew Lo set out to review a couple books about the financial crisis. Those books led to a couple more books, which led — you see where this is going — to 17 more books.
Five years ago, a subprime mortgage firestorm was melting down the U.S. economy, but most analysts didn't see it happening.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress in February 2007, said the housing sector "is a concern, but at this point we don't see it as being a broad financial concern or a major factor in assessing the course of the economy."
If he and the vast majority of economists were blind to the economic and financial calamity taking shape then, could they also be missing the start of a huge economic boom now?
Mitt Romney's Florida campaign co-chairman says Romney's stance on the mortgage crisis resonated strongly with Republican voters in the Sunshine State.
"It's at the epicenter of the problems we're facing in our economy here," Tom Lee, who served as president of the Florida Senate and now works in the homebuilding industry, told NPR's Ari Shapiro. "If we don't get housing turned around, we're not going to get America turned around."
"We've got to get people back to work so they can start paying their mortgages again and get housing back on the uptake," said Lee.
Just a few years ago, America's auto industry was on the verge of collapse. When President Obama took office, he had to decide whether to bail out General Motors or let it die. He chose to send them a lifeline, to the tune of $50 billion. In this week's State of the Union speech, President Obama said that decision paid off.
"Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's No. 1 automaker," Obama said.