THE BLOG
07/04/2005 01:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bubbles, Glassman and Kurtz

Washington Post media commentator Howard Kurtz thinks there is no housing bubble, or at least that many in the media are "erring on the side of pessimism" in reporting on the matter.

His number one expert to prove the point?

James Glassman, described as "financial commentator" and "American Enterprise Fellow."

"The press has gone way overboard" in reporting the housing bubble, Glassman tells Kurtz.

Wait a second.

Isn't that the same James Glassman who in 1999 co-authored Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market?

You bet it is.

Shouldn't this guy be permanently disqualified as a purported expert on bubbles and market predictions?

There's more here than just a guy who got a stock pick hilariously and embarassingly wrong.

Glassman is an ideologist, a cheerleader for capitalism. (Do I exaggerate? "We believe the opportunities free markets and technology present are nearly limitless," says Glassman's Tech Central Station website.

More to the point, perhaps, Glassman is not a disinterested cheerleader, but one whose Tech Central Station is funded by the largest of U.S. corporations. Interestingly, among these corporations is Freddie Mac.

I'm no expert on housing markets, but it sure does seem like there's lots of evidence that we're living amidst a bubble. (For a discussion, see the Center for Economic and Policy Research's page on the bubble.)

For purposes of full disclosure, I'm sensitive to Glassman's conflicts because I work on access to medicines issues, and am often on the other side from Tech Central Station in intellectual property disputes. On that topic, it is fair to say that TCS commentary is ideological in the worst sense, ill-informed, oblivious to health outcomes and aligned with the site's pharmaceutical industry funders. I'm sure to come back to this topic in the future.