Therefore, given the incredible 60% decline in homebuilding from two years ago, the incentives put in the recent housing legislation to buy a home and what should be a radical revision going forward in the amount of foreclosed homes, you can expect that house-price depreciation will be stopped within a year's time.
We have more homes for sale than any time since 1991, BUT we have 40 million more people than we had in this country in 1991, so that figure is virtually meaningless.
Given the low rates of interest in this country and what will now be mortgage rates that track those low rates, and given the freefall in home prices nationwide to where they were in many cases before the bubble, and in some cases well below, there is, for the first time, an INCENTIVE to buy a home.
That's how significant this takeover could be.You need to forget its expense right now and the inflationary problems stemming from this. Those were the same reasons given when I suggested that we cut rates by 300 basis points last year and let everyone refinance when it was still worth it to do so. I am tired of the moralizing based on a total lack of rigor and homework. We are at this extreme because our policymakers have simply been lazy, wrong, intransigent and foolish. If this were the private sector, all of these people would be candidates to be fired. If this were the NFL they would have been gone long ago. But because they are in high positions and considered somehow blessed with a ken far beyond reality, we are in this mess. But the mess must be stemmed, and this will help stem it. Radically. It will not turn around the fortunes of the companies that need Europe or Asia to turn. Those economies just started slumping. It won't mean much to many industrial companies. At least not yet. But it will revive credit and it will cordon the problems to where they are manageable, and we will no longer worry about the viability of a Wachovia (WB) or a Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) or a Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) or even a Washington Mutual (WM - Get Report) because now any deposit is worth its weight in gold. That's because the spreads between what a bank can lend out and what it pays you are gigantic. With bountiful credit and bank balance sheets cleaned up, we will get out of this moment, and we will be prepped to advance, just as the BKX, HGX and the retail index have been signaling. With mortgage paper turned into federal paper, the holders worldwide, from Russia to China to Europe, will be made whole. The world will rally and something good, at last, will occur. With the concomitant decline in energy, we have the start of a turn that could get us out of this bear market once and for all.