Alan Greenspan puts his enormous skills to work shifting responsibility elsewhere. Here is the core argument:
U.S. mortgage rates’ linkage to short-term U.S. rates had been close for decades. Between 1971 and 2002, the fed-funds rate and the mortgage rate moved in lockstep. The correlation between them was a tight 0.85. Between 2002 and 2005, however, the correlation diminished to insignificance.
.. the presumptive cause of the world-wide decline in long-term rates was the tectonic shift in the early 1990s by much of the developing world from heavy emphasis on central planning to increasingly dynamic, export-led market competition. The result was a surge in growth in China and a large number of other emerging market economies that led to an excess of global intended savings relative to intended capital investment. That ex ante excess of savings propelled global long-term interest rates progressively lower between early 2000 and 2005.
That decline in long-term interest rates across a wide spectrum of countries statistically explains, and is the most likely major cause of, real-estate capitalization rates that declined and converged across the globe, resulting in the global housing price bubble .. By 2006, long-term interest rates and the home mortgage rates driven by them, for all developed and the main developing economies, had declined to single digits — I believe for the first time ever. I would have thought that the weight of such evidence would lead to wide support for this as a global explanation of the current crisis.