Falling Home Prices Raise Bulls’ Wall Of Worry

By Rick Ackerman– Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Add to stock market bulls’ wall of worry a drop in West Coast home prices for the first time in seven years. This is part of a larger trend that saw U.S. home sales down 2.2% compared to a year ago. That’s the 16th straight month of annual sales declines, even as mortgage rates have fallen since last October from 4.95% to 3.75%. Some observers profess to be mystified, since the economy appears to be going great guns. Unemployment is near 50-year lows, wages are rising and GDP growth has been solid.

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Housing Collapse 2.0 Continues as Predicted

Existing home sales were down again nationally (4.4%) in April (fourteenth month in a row of declining sales year on year). That is the longest stretch without a single positive month since the housing-market collapse that brought on the Great Recession.

The graph here shows the point at which I said early last summer housing sales had turned over (for the worst) and would remain on a downtrend indefinitely, and it shows how that prediction has panned out.

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Housing Market Collapse 2.0 Accelerates Rapidly!

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

Just ten days ago, your Lone Ranger here laid out why one should see the barely beginning downturn of the housing market in Seattle as the bellwether for a national housing market bust. Naturally a snowflake or two of criticism landed on my nose to say I knew nothing about real estate. That being the case, look at how the world has changed in so little time to catch up with me. An idea that you may have read here first is now mainstream news in every housing fact being reported across the nation and around the world.

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Housing Bubble Pathologies, Part 2

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Home prices are still rising pretty much everywhere in the US, with California as usual leading the way. State-wide, the median CA home is now above $600,000, up 9% year over year. In San Francisco County, homebuyers are paying an average of 18% above the asking price, and price per square foot is now more than $1,000.

Even Silicon Valley residents, who are used to this kind of thing, are finding it remarkable. See ‘Facebook is taking everything’: rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families.

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Damn The Deficits, Huge Tax Cuts Ahead!

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Donald Trump has made good on one of his most audacious campaign promises by submitting what he describes as the biggest tax cut in U.S. History. For once, at least, this does not appear to be Trumpian braggadocio. It really may be the mother of all tax cuts. But if passed, what may this bunker buster do to the economy? While I have rarely met a tax cut I didn’t like, this one just may be more likely to send the economy into a downward spiral than it is to send up to orbit.

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The Hidden Cost of Zero Interest Rate Policies

By Laurence B Siegel & Thomas S Coleman – Re-Blogged From http://www.advisorperspectives.com

Should the Fed raise interest rates? Some believe that ultra-low interest rates are good for investors because they drive up the prices of stocks and real estate, fattening household balance sheets. Others counter that zero rates are an insidious tax, transferring wealth from borrowers to lenders, distorting incentives and misallocating capital for individuals and government and making the American investor poorer over time.

Where you stand on the Fed raising rates is likely to depend on which of these two positions you support.

We think the latter. Zero interest rates – which translate to negative real interest rates after inflation – are a massive transfer of wealth from investors to governments and other borrowers around the world. We’ll show that the scale of the transfer is nearly $1 trillion per year in the U.S. alone and will argue that the zero-interest-rate policy lowers expected returns on stocks and real estate as well.

Low interest rates hurt more than just investors. Everyone suffers because low rates distort consumption and investment decisions, potentially causing economic growth to be slower than it otherwise would be. Initially, in 2008-2009, low interest rates were an element or consequence of a policy of liquidity injection needed to avoid a collapse of the banking system and serious depression. Since then, however, they have become a tool of stimulative macro policy with limited success.

They are disastrous as an ongoing strategy.

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