I notice nobody ever comments on my political analysis blog entries. I supposed they are right on and no comment is needed, or maybe not.
Its not too early to define 2008 as the oops! year. Only that the people saying oops! are the well educated, established and self assured experts, and they were wrong in very conspicuous and highly visible ways. I offer just a few political and economic evidences of this that were heavily consequential:
1) Hillary Clinton with all of her political experience and highly paid consultants completely missed the mark by underestimating the Iowa caucuses as playing an pivotal role in the primary elections. She said in one interview essentially: "I don't put too much emphasis on Iowa...who knows who goes to the caucuses". Obama won by a huge margin and the rest is history.
2) The Romney campaign consisted of many people who previously worked on the Bush campaign. They assumed it was still in style to launch attack ads and underestimated the changes in the Republican and general American demographics. They were wrong.
3) I really find it almost appalling that people blame Greenspan so quickly. They loved the guy for 25+ years through 4 administrations, then times turn rough after turning over the mantle at the Fed and people blame him for their problems. But it is significant that he admitted mistakes and took some blame for his free market ideologies he unflinchingly supported for years setting the stage for the financial crisis to occur.
4) Lehman Brothers specialized in working with high net worth individuals and was known in the right circles and time and time again claimed everything was fine with there company as the marketplace got worse. Their headquarters stood defiantly just north of Times Square in Manhattan, it's a dark building in a way emitting an elite sort of invincibility. And yet no amount of CEO spin talk could cover up bad assets.
The very people whose job was to know the political and financial world the best made huge miscalculations. Many forces at play affected these and other decisions. Some of this is at least in part a general shift away from the traditional experts. The experts are wrong or the times and changing along with the culture, politics, technology and demographics.