Monthly Archives: October 2008

The bad news keeps on coming…

Here’s a sobering bullet that I read on the “Seeking Alpha” news feed:

•Home prices spiral. U.S. home prices fell the most in at least 17 years and are under continued downward pressure from the highest foreclosure rate on record. According to Federal Housing Finance Agency data released yesterday, home prices are down 5.9% from the previous year while Q3 foreclosures rose 71% from the previous year. Every quarter another 250,000 houses enter foreclosure, with each foreclosure pulling down the value of nearby homes by a total of $220K.

And sadly foreclosures are even up in the Berkshires. As a seller, you must be cognizant of this information. As a buyer with good credit and cash – what an opportunity!! Stay tuned as this marketplace continues to unfold. I am now calling it a rolling crash as it’s been coming for months and may continue for months.

Credit Freeze-Credit Thaw and the Yo-Yo Stock Market

I was re-reading my blog entries from last winter and spring and boy did I call it. We are in a recession – gee what a surprise!!

But it’s not a garden variety recession – it’s one caused by the biggest credit bubble in history and the consumer is not likely to buy the US out of the recession any time soon. The consumer was also lured into cheap credit both taking equity out of their houses to spend beyond their means and amassing huge balances on their credit cards. So not only do the banks,hedge funds and corporation have to de-lever BUT so do the consumers. This is bad and good. Bad because there is no quick fix and we are likely to be stuck in a recession for a good year or so. The good news is we may become SAVERS!! And saving is a good thing!! It keeps money in the banking system, it takes the burden off of our children’s futures and it helps avoid the types of problems we now face.

So, the US government has helped thaw the credit markets and lending is beginning to happen again but the Stock Market is behaving like a yo-yo, not even a roller-coaster. I think it’s because there is uncertainty about the magnitude of the recession, uncertainty about the outcome of the election and uncertainty over the future of the US capitalist system. We have never experienced the Fed as the lender of first resort – is it a bailout or a movement toward socialism?? I wish I knew. I am however an optimist and I believe we will work things out and happy days will be here again.

Noticeably Silent and happy to be in the Berkshires

Hello friends. Where have I been during this mess? For one, I’ve been staying calm and remaining very focused and working very hard. The pundits are working 24/7, the central bankers are wringing their hands, and Iceland (yes the Country) has declared bankruptcy. What happened? Everyone was drunk on the excess of extremely loose credit and no amount of aspirin is curing the headeache and the puking.

And then I open the local paper, the Berkshire Eagle, and as clear as day Greylock Federal Credit Union has advertised on an entire page – “We have $100 million to lend” – They are solvent and thriving!! Wow – this local thing really does make sense – they didn’t sell their mortgages, loaned money in a market they understand and are happy to loan money to people they know. Seems so simple.

So as the world financial markets spin out of control, the Berkshires seems to function in its own orb. I hope it continues.