Sunday, October 5, 2008


The bears were right, the collapse of the housing bubble is heading toward a bad recession, and the Westside cannot be immune. But the sun is still shining on a beautiful fall day!

With that, here are some strong new "big picture" posts of how we got here and what may lie ahead. Hang on for the ride of your life!

Barry Ritholtz' history of the housing bubble, "Fannie Mae and the Financial Crisis"

The current housing and credit crises has many, many underlying sources. Its my opinion there were two primary causes leading to the boom and bust in Housing: A nonfeasant Fed, that ignored lending standards, and ultra-low rates.

Charles Hugh Smith's "Mark Your Calendars: The Crash of October 7, 2008"

Tongue gently in cheek I am predicting the wheels come off the fake rally on October 7. ...

Skeptics of a Crash, please review the following charts for the context of what awaits us. Here are five charts without which the present crisis cannot be properly understood/contextualized:

1. total credit as a % of GDP
2. the housing bubble
3. plummeting housing values
4. financial profits as % of GDP
5. U.S. national debt (just toss another trillion on there, wouldya, Hank? Oh, heck, make it two.)

Mish's "Brace For Massive Layoffs"

Main Street and Wall Street both better be bracing for layoff because they are coming.

And Keith's "So I asked HP guru Peter Schiff one really important question that's on everyone's minds."

Q: Where would you put your investment-ready US dollars today?

A: My advice has not changed. Keep your cash reserves in foreign currencies, right now the Japanese yen looks to be the strongest, own gold, and take advantage of some great values in high dividend paying foreign stocks, especially those that are not exposed to U.S. consumers or U.S. borrowers.


Anonymous said...

"Don't worry, all the rich foreigners and wealth families are going to buy all the westside houses!"

Where is that idiot now?

Anonymous said...

I heard the Russian and Chinese stock markets were booming--there is so much cash floating around that they don't know what to do with it all!

The foreigners will be soon buying up all of the 90402 houses.

They aren't making any more land...

Anonymous said...

Russian stock market was suspended yesterday, finished about 10% down. Hang Seng down about 5%.

Every stock market falling.

You're right about the land though, coastal erosion caused by global warming will ensure there is less california by 2050.

Anonymous said...

Coldwell Banker is having a 10 day 10% off sale. You know it's getting ugly, when the westside becomes a used car lot!

My realtor called today to say look over listings and know I can make an offer at 10% and it'll be accepted. Now. Getting a loan on that is a whole other story!

Richard Mason said...

"Home sellers will have the option to maintain the reduced listing price for their properties following the 10-Day Sales Event."

That's nice that they have that option.

teddy said...

the 10% off sale is only for HO that wish to participate. Probably not a lot of Westsider's. However, you can certainly make an argument that existing listings are at least 10% overpriced, at least for the homes that have been on the market for a while. The homes on the market more then 6 months are probably 20 -25% overvalued.

Anonymous said...

The trifecta...

"The episodes of credit crunches and housing busts are often long and deep. For example, a credit crunch episode typically lasts two and a half years and is associated with nearly a 20 percent decline in real credit. A housing bust tend to last even longer: four and a half years with a 30 percent fall in real house prices. And an equity price bust lasts some 10 quarters and when it is over, the real value of equities has dropped to half."

Anonymous said...

Thank you, anon 06:38. My wife & I saw the Coldweld Banker "sale" add in the paper this weekend and wondered how they were going to pull it off.

We even wondered if Coldwell Banker was going to eat the cost of the 10%... y'know how sales are normally done (business takes a hit to get customers in the door).

But... nope.

It's just their lazy way of educating their own clients on the reality of real estate. Y'know... their J-O-B.

So for the 10% reduction, the homeowner gets "extra" advertising. What a bargain! For a home in the Westside, what does $50K to $100K buy you in advertising?

Anonymous said...

Iceland is in danger of going bankrupt!

Now we're having countries going out of business. This certainly means that the prices in 90402 will be going up since there's no place left to put your money that is safe!

And who said that we were in a bubble?

Wall Street closed WAY down again today--what do they know! 2 Trillion lost in retirement accounts!

See, everybody didn't put their money into prime real estate (e.g., 90402).

Buy now before you're priced out forever!

Happy days are here again da da da da da ddddd......!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, all the rich foreigners and wealthy families are going to buy all the westside houses! A friend of a friend knows a guy who has like $27 gazillion dollars, AND he has 3 kids. You know what that means! 3 more sales in 90402.

Anonymous said...

So... if McCain is going to buy my mortgage and sell it back to me at whatever becomes the current market value, I'm going to make a #%&(@ing killing.

I'm switching my position from neutral on the local market to hard bear! We're gonna see 70% declines! I'm gonna buy the house next door! My investment is fail safe and fully insured!

Anonymous said...


If McCain is going to federally insure housing values... where's the downside of buying at the top, middle, or bottom of the market?

This is the worst sort of socialized loss. It rewards the irresponsible speculators on the backs of those of us who were being responsible and waiting to purchase homes that we could afford.

I have totally lost my faith in the capitalist system in this country. How can a Republican candidate even think about nationalizing the entire housing market like this?

I can't take it anymore. I'd move to Canada, but its worse up there!

Anonymous said...

"I'd move to Canada, but its worse up there!"

Well, maybe not anymore!

Anonymous said...

Does McCain's statement even make any sense? As I understand it, it's not really possible to buy up mortgages, other than perhaps the ones that the banks are holding, which are presumably the performing loans. The rest of the toxic crap was sectioned up and sold off to various institutions as investments (hence the worldwide economic apocalypse!!).

It would be like buying up shredded paper and then taping it back together. Either that job would be done overseas or there would be an increase in taxes to oversee that monumental task.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the Feds covering the home owners, I applied for a 'loan modification' for my SFR in 90405....and got the mortgage reduced by no cost to me....which is sad in a way, because all the taxpayers will be eating my mortgage...