No Krugman Alert

August 28th, 2011

Before Irene, I announced a Krugman Alert:

Let’s see if the Keynesian Nobel Laureate at the Times writes some column how the (potential, hopefully negligble) damage caused by Hurricane Irene on New York City is a positive event it will create spending and benefit the economy.

During the store, I commented on broken windows.

It seems the storm petered out, so I will quote Larry Ribstein (on facebook):

Irene was less bad than expected. I imagine the market will go down tomorrow. Not enough broken windows for Krugman.

Update: An estimate of the damage:

Irene may cost insurers as much as $3 billion to cover U.S. damage, with overall economic losses of $7 billion, according to Kinetic Analysis Corp., which predicts disaster impact. The U.S. suffered $35 billion in losses in nine separate events so far in 2011, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tying a record for disasters causing more than $1 billion damage in a single year.

Update: From Freakonomics, on the media’s “overkill”

But here’s where I blame the media. Rather than admitting on Sunday that the storm had simply not been so bad, the New York City media was way too eager to join in on the fray, don its rain jacket, and get its disaster yahs-yahs out. While there is clearly a danger in under-estimating the risk of events, there are also negative consequences in trumping up the damages of an event that ultimately, wasn’t all that damaging. To me, Sunday’s all-day reporting blitz was classic overkill, and ultimately undermines the local TV media’s credibility to be able to tell me when something matters, and when it doesn’t.