Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Congressional Hearing on The Housing Bubble

Tomorrow, the US Senate Banking Committee meets about the housing bubble:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers will question some leading government and industry economists about the perils of a possible 'housing bubble' in a Wednesday hearing.

Lawmakers wanted the session "because we've heard a great deal about the possibility of a housing bubble for several years now," said Sen. Wayne Allard, a Republican from Colorado.

The hearing, "The Housing Bubble and its Implications for the Economy," will be held in an open session of the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m.. (Reuters)
For the current predicament: Too Little, Too Late. Nevertheless, new regulations regarding the real estate and lending industry are certainly needed. Paper Money has launched a mini campaign so that the hearing is aired on C-SPAN. I fully support this effort.

18 comments:

  1. And the hearing is called:

    -"The Housing Bubble and its Implications for the Economy," will be held in an open session of the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m..-

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  2. Problem with the Housing Bubble conference is that the poor senators will be getting their info from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. That will now doubt leave them more in the dark than they already are. Oh well. Stupid is as stupid does. The 7 year downturn will turn into a 3-6 month temporary setback and everyone will leave saying they have the bull by the horns. Unfortunately, that is not the part of the bull that they will be holding.

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  3. Sorry, National Association of Home Builders as well.

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  4. Fenty won! ... This is the guy who Barry supported! (yikes!) ... Okay, I will concede that the value of property in the District of Columbia just went down by a considerable amount ... Fortunately, we'll have an opportunity to correct this very grave mistake 4 yrs from now ... Of course, that is what I thought when the Supreme Court changed the election results back in 2000 ...

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  5. I forget with paper it was, but a few days ago either the NYT or the WSJ published an article predicting further gloom for the housing market, as the housing downturn is going to more or less coincide with the "official" start of babyboomers' retirement in 2008. The assumption here is that as baby boomers begin to retire, they will most likely want or need to sell their homes (80% of them own homes), adding even more units to already high housing inventories, increasing supply at a much higher rate than demand. If I find the article online, I'll post a link.

    Buyers who bought houses with exotic loans and will need to sell in order to prevent foreclosure, will be competing with baby boomers and speculators for the few buyers that are still willing and able to buy now and in the next couple of years. Things really don't look well for those guys, huh?

    --SSH Anon.

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  6. anon said:
    "for the few buyers that are still willing and able to buy now and in the next couple of year."

    yeah right, few buyers ... Everyone out there who needs a home --- immigrants, newlyweds, etc --- are going to just go camp out in the woods rather than avail themselves of the creative financing out there to help them. Oh that's right, they avoid the one thing that will get them a roof over their heads as a matter of prinicipal. I wouldn't count on this happening.

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  7. Lance said:....yeah right, few buyers ... Everyone out there who needs a home --- immigrants, newlyweds, etc --- are going to just go camp out in the woods rather than avail themselves of the creative financing out there to help them. Oh that's right, they avoid the one thing that will get them a roof over their heads as a matter of prinicipal. I wouldn't count on this happening.



    once the news of how screwed people are getting over these creative ways to leverage $600K start to get out (even more than they are now) nobody will use those products.

    Lance = :troll:

    i'd be willing to bet this guy is prolly David himself generating page view with an alter ego cause nobody and i mean nobody can have their head as deep in denial as somebody like Lance does.

    i mean no-body!!!

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  8. Threadkilla: Lance has a right to his opinion. But like you, I'm a little amazed thay anyone would be in this much denial today. The news are not good for those who bought houses in the past couple of years, and the future newlyweds he speaks of, are probably going to think twice before buying a house now or in the near future (that is, IF those newlyweds can even afford to buy houses that are still overpriced and unaffordable... I'm not even going to get into the "the new immigrant is the housing market's savior" conversation, 'cause a huge percentage of them are BARELY subsisting even without a mortgage). I bet the newlyweds and the new immigrants will be (for the most part) wise enough to choose to RENT for a while, until the housing market is less scary.

    Lance, the discussion among economists is no longer about whether there is a bubble and if it'll burst, but how much of an impact it'll have on the national economy, and the personal economy of those who bought recently and especially those who bought with exotic loans. Seriously, it might help you and the rest of the remaining housingheads to get your heads out of the sand. I say that in an friendly tone. I'm not trying to offend, ok?

    BTW, I managed to find that article (an opinion piece in the Times): http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50710FE3D550C768CDDA00894DE404482&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fH%2fHousing
    The bad thing is that it's already in their online archives, and therefore not free. I found it on lexis nexis. I'll see if I can post the article by copying and pasting.

    --SSH Anon

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  9. Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
    The New York Times

    September 5, 2006 Tuesday
    Late Edition - Final

    SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 20

    LENGTH: 307 words

    HEADLINE: It Was Fun While It Lasted

    BODY:


    With economic signals flashing that the housing boom is over, speculation has now turned to how deep the slump will be and how long it will last, with predictions ranging from a smooth descent to a tooth-rattling plunge. Come what may, conventional wisdom holds that as long as you don't plan to sell your house any time soon, you'll be OK. The downturn is unlikely to wipe out all of your accumulated gains -- the thinking goes -- so you can cash in later.

    Or can you?

    The downturn in housing is overlapping with the retirement of the baby boom generation, which starts officially in 2008, when the first of 77 million boomers become eligible for Social Security. Most of them are homeowners, and many of them will presumably want to sell their homes, extracting some cash for retirement in the process. Theoretically, that implies a glut of houses for sale, which would surely mitigate an upturn in prices, and could drive them ever lower. The result would be less housing wealth for everyone and less to live on for those who had planned to retire on the house.

    Still, no one can be sure what will happen. Economists agree that the retirement of the baby boom generation will influence housing prices, but differ over how powerful the effect will be. But one thing is reasonably certain. The question would not be such a burning one if Americans, especially those near retirement, had adequate savings to see them through. Even before the personal savings rate went negative last year, Americans were meager savers.

    The housing bust may be what it takes to reverse that. Even a shift from profligacy to thrift would not be entirely good news, however. For an economy based on consumption, the change to less free-spending ways could be excruciating.

    The house party is over, but we don't yet know how bad the hangover is going to be.

    URL: http://www.nytimes.com

    LOAD-DATE: September 5, 2006

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  10. Lance said:
    “....yeah right, few buyers ... Everyone out there who needs a home --- immigrants, newlyweds, etc”

    Where’s that link again? What percentage of Americans own their home?

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  11. lance said "yeah right, few buyers ... Everyone out there who needs a home --- immigrants, newlyweds, etc --- are going to just go camp out in the woods rather than avail themselves of the creative financing out there to help them. Oh that's right, they avoid the one thing that will get them a roof over their heads as a matter of prinicipal. I wouldn't count on this happening.


    so the alternative is they choose the creative financing, buy a half-million dollar house in socal, market tanks, house is worth 250k,their arm ajusts, they can't make the increased payment, then turn in the keys, their credit ruined, then they are worse than they started.

    Lance, you are either desperate, crazy, or fiendishly contrarian in a Stephen Colbert kind of way.

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  12. Fenty won! ... This is the guy who Barry supported! (yikes!) ... Okay, I will concede that the value of property in the District of Columbia just went down by a considerable amount ...

    That's some funny stuff, right there. :)

    Fenty definitely seems like "all hat, no cattle" to me, but I don't think he'll be able to do that much harm unless commercial RE tanks downtown. And I think he's amenable enough to the business community that you're not going to see business flee the city anytime soon.

    Fenty might not be able to get rid of all of the union/crony deadwood in the city govt. and improve services to the level that they should be, but I doubt he's going to try and run the city like his own little Third World fiefdom, the way Barry did. If nothing else, I don't think Fenty would be able to get away with it--the city's changed too much and the feds aren't going to let that happen again.

    The effect of a RE drop would be interesting, since it would reduce tax revenue. A commercial RE drop would be devestating, but I don't think we're going to return to the bad old days of vacant, derelict downtown areas.

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  13. What is the real problem people have with Fenty? I don't think people were voting for Fenty so much as they voted against Cropp who had aligned herself with some of the established city leaders. People are looking for changes especially in the public school system..a system where Linda Cropp was a school board member during a time when the schools kept getting worse. Besides I'd like to think that plenty of these immigrants and newlyweds who some on this blog insist will take up the slack and purchase homes in the city won't necessarily all have the money to send their children to private schools. The focus on gaining development and new business opportunities in DC needs to transition to providing better services as well as have more of an emphasis of providing better public schools to residents.

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  14. originaldcer, I don't disagree with you, but somehow Fenty comes off as just a little too slick for his own good.

    Did he actually provide any details about how he could take control of schools that are run by a board that is almost entirely independent from mayoral/council control? Or how he would manage to fire the unionized incompetents and politically connected hacks who've run the system into the ground?

    Fenty has what, one term on the Council on his resume? He was a smalltime lawyer before that. I just don't see how that, his youthful good looks, easy manner, and slick wardrobe are going to translate into reform of heavily rotten institutions that have defied reform under two previous reformist mayors.

    Hope he proves me wrong. If the DC government could be turned around, I think a lot of the decline in the middle class in the city could be halted or even reversed. The city shouldn't just be wealthy, single gentrifiers and poor folks.

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  15. chriso I didn't hear Linda Cropp present any plans regarding what she was going to do either...Fenty has two terms as a city council member..Linda Cropp has served in DC government either on the School Board or on the council for more than 20 years I believe. So, if you think DC government is full of incompentent people then I'm sure that they came on board at some point during her tenure. I also think Cropp has had plenty of time to make the school system better and has not done much. But this is all off topic...

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  16. Lance once said
    "the bubble heads are causing the bubble."

    I thought that statement of absurdity couldnt be topped until.....
    "Of course, that is what I thought when the Supreme Court changed the election results back in 2000 ... "


    And Al Gore created the internet like he claimed. Cant you please leave your political insults off of a bubble board, or, is this all you have left since you were proved wrong about dc proper home prices falling?

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  17. Perhaps you're right, orignaldcer--a choice between Fenty and Cropp was...not much of a choice.

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