Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If you're betting on a housing recovery, can I also interest you in the 'Bernie Madoff Capital Growth Fund'?

Black coffee-style sobering: "Anyone Who Is Still Bullish On Housing Clearly Isn't Paying Attention To The Real Numbers." The lowlights:

• There are 140 million homes in the US.

• 26 million of these homes -- nearly one in five -- are for sale, either directly or indirectly.

• 8 million additional mortgage owners are late on their payments and "on the verge of foreclosure".

• 35 million potential buyers are underwater on their existing mortgages and can't buy a home.

• 35 million others are unemployed or underemployed. That's 70 million potential buyers who are effectively out of the market.

• 80 million baby boomers are in the midst of retiring -- about 10,000 a day. If they downsize, the total reduction in housing demand is estimated at as many as 1.7 million average-sized homes.

Conclusion: "Add it all up, and there is a massive structural imbalance in residential real estate that will take at least a decade more to unwind. We could be looking at a replay of the same 26 year period from 1929 to 1955 when prices remained flat, and we are only 3 years into it!"

* * * * * * * * *

Okay, calm down. Breathe... cleansing breaths. Just forget about Debbie Downer. Please -- recall President Obama's historic words uttered only four short months ago:

One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted -– immediately and aggressively. And one year later, we're in deeper s*** than ever before.

America, you can't spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You f***ed up... you trusted us!

Full disclosure: I might have transcribed that last bit incorrectly. The dogs were barking, or something.

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