linked down

Why Is This Bubble Different From All Other Bubbles?


Mostly interested in the latest Case-Shiller chart with the nice dotted line reversion to the mean. Based on the intersection point on the index, we can’t expect to hit a bottom on house prices until 2012, and then we would likely expect to overshoot a bit to the downside.

Takeaways include: expect house prices to fall further on a nominal basis, an inflation-adjusted basis, or both (likely both). This is information I’d almost rather not have as even if we don’t find a house in the next couple of months and relegate to renting for another year or so, we’re only marginally better off a year from now in the overall correction.

What can you do?

Here is the full-size.

linked down

The Great Inflation Moderation that Wasn’t


Tim Iacono of The Mess that Greenspan Made consistently puts out some of my favorite charts, and has been doing so for as long as I remember (back before I was even blogging at autoDogmatic!). Anyway, his latest post is fantastic because it really attacks a huge misconception regarding the period of prosperity attributed to Greenspan known as the “Great Inflation Moderation.”

In particular, I love his chart below on Interest Rates and Existing Home Prices. I don’t know what was going on prior to 1980, but look at that inverse correlation!

And some quotes:

There are no real surprises below – a big run-up in prices as interest rates were moving lower over the last 25 years with a major price correction at the end that still has a little way to go.

It is through lower mortgage rates that dimwitted economists have sought to rationalize the dramatic rise in home prices over the last few decades, most of them thinking that everything was hunky-dory right up until the housing bubble burst in 2005-2006.

It’s no coincidence that, after the events of the last eighteen months, very few now see what was once glowingly called the “Great Moderation” as a permanent shift.

As far as price signals go, it was more like the “Great Muffling”.