Housing headlines are dominating the news these days in the same way the Nasdaq did in the late 1990s.
And no wonder. Successive years of sizzling sales and spectacular price appreciation have given way to falling sales and starts, record inventories of unsold homes (new and existing), a plunge in housing affordability and a flattening out of prices on a nationwide basis. The residential real estate market may never match the Nasdaq’s vertiginous 78 percent decline from the 2000 top to the 2002 bottom, but it is captivating potential sellers, late-to-the-party speculative buyers and analysts looking to assess the impact on the overall economy.
… One area that has received next to no attention is the risk to the banking system, which, like everyone else, got caught up in the housing-market froth, extending credit seemingly without much due diligence. [emphasis added]
This is history you’re seeing.
Also at Crooks and Liars ｻ Keith Olbermann Delivers One Hell Of a Commentary on Rumsfeld
This is one to send to friends and family. (Click on E-mail this story below.)
The STF Rule: When Republicans accuse, it usually means they’re doing what they are accusing others of.
Question — does it embolden the terrorists to intentionally split the country right down the middle? Does it weaken the country in a time of war to accuse half of the country of being traitors and helping the enemy? Doesn’t THAT “embolden the terrorists?”
Did I call it, or what? APRIL: Seeing the Forest: Bush Was BUYing Oil At These Prices!
This also means, by the way, the perception that oil prices are dropping just as the election approaches.
Did I call it? Come on, who’s your daddy?
US economic growth slowed to an annual pace of 2.9 per cent in the second quarter as housing starts fell more than initially believed, the government said Wednesday.
This piece originally appeared on The Patriot Project
Paul Galanti has earned the nation’s respect. He graduated the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962 and entered Naval flight training, where he became an instructor. In 1965 he was assigned to the USS Hancock, a carrier off Vietnam, and flew 97 combat missions before being shot down on June 17, 1966. He was captured and kept as a POW for almost seven years, released February 12, 1973. There are good write-ups describing some of his time as a POW and later career available online here, here and here, and the text of a Virginia Senate and Assembly Joint Resolution commending him is available here.
Following post-POW rehabilitation Galanti completed a Masters degree and went on to complete a distinguished career, retiring as Commander in 1983. His military decorations include the Silver Star, Two Legions of Merit for combat, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star for combat, nine Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal for combat and two Purple Hearts. He was on the cover of Life Magazine in October, 1967 and Newsweek, February, 1973. His bio at the Vietnam POW site also notes that he:
"is a recipient of the Liberty Bell Award, the Outstanding Virginian Award and numerous other awards and citations for civic service. He is Past President of the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation, Past President of Nam-POWs, the national Vietnam POW Fraternity, a River Rat, POW Coordinator for the Skyhawk Association and an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, he was President of his class at Annapolis."
Paul Galanti served with honor and endured a great sacrifice for this country. He stands as a model for overcoming the worst that can be thrown at a person, and honors all of us as Americans. Like his fellow veterans Paul Galanti has earned the respect of every American.
Read this story, written by Bob Johnson, running for Congress in New York’s 23rd CD, about extensive corruption in US Government contractiing in Iraq (and follow the links). Daily Kos: Judge: Contractors Are Above the Law; We Can Fight Back. And here’s the key line:
And the Republican government has actively blocked all efforts at investigating this in any way.
And how can this continue?
The committees responsible in the House, especially the Armed Services Committee … have, to my knowledge, not held a single hearing on this matter. Every attempt at even holding hearings gets bottled up in the Rules Committee in the House. The corruption is so obvious and blatant, and the efforts to block looking into it so complete, it’s hard not to get the feeling that it’s deliberate.
Here’s one part of the problem: The corruption is so extenive and so profound, and so un-reported in the media, that YOU sound like a crazy person, a fanatic, if you try to tell people what is going on!
Just after posting below I came across this: Stephen Roach: Bursting Housing Bubble A Very Big Deal ,
If the US consumer slows, the demand expectations that typically drive capital spending will also weaken. So, too, will the growth dynamic of America’s export-led trading partners — thereby undermining support for US exports, as well. In short, for a wealth-dependent US economy, the bursting of another major asset bubble is likely to be a very big deal.
When the air is expanding inside a speculative balloon, stretching the film of credibility that contains it to an ever-more improbable thinness, you can always find someone to explain why this time it’s different — why technological/demographic/astrological factors justify valuations today that have always proved historically unsupportable.
Until the bubble actually starts to deflate or burst, there’s just enough doubt about whether prices really will revert to their historical mean to keep us all guessing. Even the most convinced sceptic can never say with any certainty when a bubble will collapse, and so the science of identifying bubbles is an inherently retrospective activity.
But it looks now as though we can say with some confidence that the long American housing bubble is over.
So what might happen next?