Today it was clearly visible that the historical data he looks at to predict the future is not working. The current appreciation in housing and other economic indicators are not what the models would suggest. Time and time again he said “this is a time of great uncertainty.” He’s clearly puzzled by the rapid appreciation in home prices while disturbed by the “bail out economy” and the national deficit. He admitted, “Things seem to be working right now but we’re in a GRAND experiment.” I found it incredibly telling.He's had other recent interviews:
At one point I said, “You seem so conflicted.” He said, “I am terribly conflicted. This is the most uncertain time that I can remember. Things are violating the laws that I learned. The turn around in real estate is so dramatic. The whole country is experiencing an upsurge but I don’t know what to make of it.”
Government has been dumping $40,000-$80,000 in cash into each marginal home purchase. With that kind of money, it would be shocking not to have a housing recovery. That spending gets added to the national debt. The people who get the hand out are often different from the people who pay the bill, so this is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Also, this massive spending changes the mark-to-market (short-term) value of homes, but since it does nothing to change the owner-equivalent rents those homes generate, it does not change the discounted cash flow (long-term) value of homes. Like credit card spending, we'll still be paying the cost when the benefit is long gone.
Hat tip to an anonymous blog commenter, who shall remain anonymous, and hat tip to Kevin for a link to the video.