Items of Interest:
The great American slowdown -- The recession may not be as severe as many fear, but the recovery could take longer—and that is dangerous
AMERICANS are unaccustomed to recessions, particularly ones that involve shopping less. During the past quarter-century, the world's most powerful economy has suffered only two official downturns, in 1990-91 and 2001. Both were short and shallow. In 2001 consumer spending barely skipped a beat; a decade earlier it fell, but only briefly. Buoyed by rising asset prices and financial innovations that allowed ever more people to tap ever more debt, the collective American wallet has not snapped shut in almost two decades....
The Big Picture:
Economist Cover: The Great American Slowdown
Housing Starts in U.S. Drop Twice as Much as Forecast, Hitting 17-Year Low -- Housing starts in the U.S. dropped more than twice as much as forecast in March to a 17-year low, signaling that declining construction will keep eroding economic growth this year.
Work began on 947,000 homes at an annual rate, down 11.9 percent from February and the fewest since March 1991, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, fell to a 927,000 rate from 984,000 the prior month.
Foreclosures are pushing down property values by adding to the glut of unsold homes, prompting buyers to hold out for better bargains and undermining new construction....
How To Solve the Housing Crisis Tomorrow -- Could the U.S. government could save homeowners from foreclosure - and bail out bankers too - by investing in U.S. residential real estate? ...
200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned us:
If Americans ever allow banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless.Well, 7,000 families a day are now losing their homes to foreclosures. That’s roughly 21,000 men, women and children each day being forced out of their homes, being stripped of their assets and often their life savings. This isn’t a one-day problem for these people, it can take many years to recover from losing a home, if ever! ...
Southern California’s Housing Market Still Frozen: Report - Housing Wire
The Housing Crisis: Personal Responsibility and Wishful Thinking - Seeking Alpha
Commercial Real Estate Imploding - Seeking Alpha
Housing starts down, consumer prices up - The Mess That Greenspan Made
Buyers Beware - [foreclosures are tricky] Business Week
Wall Street's Billion-Dollar Paydays - Jenny Anderson, New York Times