Sunday, December 14, 2008

Curse Word Of The Week: Bernanke

So the cool kids make up their own curse words, you know. I propose a new one: Bernanke Now Kerry, why take the name of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in vain?

Because for the love of Mike, I do not have a Ph.D in economics and my stint at Princeton was in the Technical Services-Order Division at Firestone Library, but even I know that that the housing market is lousy because there's too many houses on the market and the number of foreclosures bring down the value of all the houses, and there's not enough buyers to take them off the market. Look, I took ECON 101 & 102 Pass/Fail, but they covered these concepts pretty thoroughly.

Does this plan do anything for thaat? No, it basically seeks to restart a bubble by trying to get more people to buy. Except since for about 5-6 years, everyone who could get credit to buy a house, bought a house and are now either are out of the market trying to conserve their equity, or are happy in their house or got foreclosed on and can't buy again. So where's the mystery pool of buyers who will be able to buy houses with 4.5% mortgages? And what's stopping current owners from flooding the market like Venice with more houses as they seek to buy other houses with lower rates since they can't refinance into a cheaper mortgage?

FAIL. Bernanke has the dumbs.

I don't think it's necessarily that homeowners have unrealistic views of the market they're in. I think it's that the market has fallen so fast and so far, no one knows what the price point is. My house is priced at $94,500. That's the point where I walk away with nothing having paid the mortgage, taxes and my relator. If I got an offer for less I could either work out a short sale or maybe borrow from my mom to make up the difference. But at what is seen as a competitive, low price for a house in my location, I can't even get a bid.

I am also not so impressed with the whole real estate industry and its people. I think they all have the dumbs.

In other news, homeownership makes women fat and unhappy. Yeah, that applies to my story.


drwende said...

LOVE the happiness and home ownership study. I've been saying for years that if home ownership was as fantastically fulfilling as all that, there wouldn't be so many people lined up to exhort us on how great it is.

Always be wary of anything where people have to TELL you that you're having a good time. If you actually ARE, you probably know it.

(And yes, I shake my head and grumble at Bernanke's notions of how to fix real estate.)

drwende said...

P.S.: I'm reading Marc Faber's Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, and he agrees with you completely and in detail. He's widely respected in the investing field, with reason.