A lot of folks get credit for “calling” the recent crisis, but many are permabears, and thus were likely beneficiaries of the broken-clock phenomenon.
Economists who saw the recession, but who have the mental flexibility to change their mind, are far more useful.
Gretchen Morgenson profiles one: Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics, who started warning about real estate in 2005, but now likes what he sees:
HERE are the data that have caught his eye. At this time last year, the total stock of commercial and industrial bank credit was $1.32 trillion; it was contracting at a blistering pace — about $7 billion a week. Indeed, between the peak of such lending in October 2008 and the trough in June of this year, total commercial and industrial bank credit fell by one-quarter.
Now, this contraction has stopped. The data have recently turned positive and should continue climbing, albeit slowly. “Getting to zero is not bullish at the moment,” Mr. Shepherdson said. “I would want to see commercial and industrial credit growing reasonably strongly to an outright positive four, five or six billion dollars a week. The story is really that the credit contraction seems to be coming to an end.”