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Has the U.S. housing bubble delayed or prevented other bubbles from collapsing?


By HARM   Follow   Wed, 30 Aug 2006, 10:05am PDT   2,811 views   113 comments
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global housing bubble

Given this is a very Bay Area and California-centric blog, we often tend to forget that the RE bubble is arguably international in scale. The Economist pointed this out in an excellent piece last year. One of the most perplexing mysteries to many of us fundamentals-driven contrarians, is why haven't the housing bubbles in other countries --which started before the U.S. bubble-- already collapsed?

The Australian, UK and Irish bubbles had a good 2-3 year head start on the U.S. by some measures, while the Netherlands hasn't had a significant price correction in some 15 years. By all accounts, they should have seen sizeable price corrections well before now, and yet we are only recently seeing reports that indicate these booms are finally past their peaks. Could it be that the U.S. housing bubble itself delayed or prevented these other bubbles from collapsing as quickly as they otherwise might have? Could it be that all the Fed/GSE generated USDs and specuvestor credit sloshing around the globe might have propped up the overseas housing bubbles for longer than they would have survived without us?

For that matter, does a rapidly deteriorating housing & credit market here portend doom for these overseas markets? If an SDCIA "investor" here sneezes, does the rest of the world catch a cold?

Discuss, enjoy...
HARM

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skibum   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:15am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 74

Peter P Says:

Whatever happens in the future, we will adapt, or not. We should not worry too much about it.

Que sera sera...

skibum   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:18am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 75

SF Woman,
That may very well be true. From the perspective of a potential buyer (not that unit), personally, I'd much prefer renovating myself rather than paying for someone else's choices and tastes. Especially if one were buying in that price range, it seems preferable to do things the way you want them. I do realize, however, that there are people who like everything "move in ready."

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:18am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 76

Que sera sera…

Two things you cannot avoid: tax and death.

On the species level: suffering and eventual extinction.

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:21am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 77

"Just let people bid for them."

What do UC Irvine profs teach in lieu of communal goods and inelastic demand curves?

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:22am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 78

"On the species level: suffering and eventual extinction."

Let's hope our breeding habits do not resemble that of carrier pigeons.

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:25am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 79

What do UC Irvine profs teach in lieu of communal goods and inelastic demand curves?

How would I know?

I understand the importance of communal goods but I understand human nature better. We cannot force people to become responsible when it is against their nature. They have to come to their enlightenment on their own "free will".

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:29am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 80

SFWoman,

$3.1 million is a heck of a lot of renovation! If I was in the market I'd be tempted to ask if they've installed 24 karate golden toilets and bathtubs.

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:34am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 81

"We cannot force people to become responsible when it is against their nature. They have to come to their enlightenment on their own “free will”."

Yet there are national parks and police departments and free public education throughout the world...

I may think humanity is a bit slow on the uptake and may well be marching towards extinction, but I'll give it credit for teetering along this far. Not everything needs to be auctioned off like cellphone bandwidths.

DinOR   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:36am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 82

SFW/astrid,

This will be interesting to watch unfold. I'm definitely w/astrid b/c with Zillow etc. how difficult would it be to mistake this for any thing other than naked greed? No offense to your friend.

With all of the "market coverage" we have at our avail it's going to be a lot more difficult to find an "undiscovered gem" or more specifically (to be able to pawn it off).

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:40am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 83

Yet there are national parks and police departments and free public education throughout the world…

People were not necessarily responsible. They were just acting on their own self-interests.

Many environmentalists (not all) choose to do the "right thing" simply because they like things to stay certain ways. They may even ignore Nature's tendency to evolve and renew.

DinOR   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 6:49am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 84

"we will adapt, or not"

To a large degree....... that is true. I just can't help sensing this daily burden to do our absolute level best. Each preceeding generation fought and struggled just to survive and, we are their children. They've brought us this far. So with every acre they cleared with primitive hand tools just to ensure there would be a next generation we can and should seek innovations to confront our issues. Even we do become extinct we should at least go down swinging! Don't we owe them at least that much?

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:08am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 85

Humanity is overrated. Just wait until the cockroaches become the dominant species on Earth.

Randy H   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:20am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 86

alien

I gently remind you that you opened this volley by scoffing at the notion of space conquest as a source of growth. What credentials do you have in that area, since you seem to think only direct participants in a field are qualified to participate in discussions.

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:25am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 87

What credentials do you have in that area, since you seem to think only direct participants in a field are qualified to participate in discussions.

I have no credentials whatsoever. :(

HARM   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:27am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 88

Buffett and his wife remained friends over the years even after Buffett’s current girlfriend Astrid moved in with him.

Wait a minute --astrid is Warren Buffett's GIRLFRIEND?? When did this happen? Moving up in the world, eh, astrid?

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:30am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 89

No point in worrying about nuclear power plants and water shortages and space travel, humanity will be destroyed by superbugs and rogue nuclear warheads and polygamy cooties long before we get to that point.

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:32am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 90

"Wait a minute –astrid is Warren Buffett’s GIRLFRIEND?? When did this happen? Moving up in the world, eh, astrid?"

Alas, no. This particular online handle comes by the way of a Scottish indie pop band named after the 5th Beatle's photographer girlfriend. I will agree that there's much worse things than being a long time girlfriend to an charming, philanthropic, and exceedingly wealthy older gentleman.

Randy H   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:35am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 91

alien said:

I think this is unlikely due to EROEI issues.

then

Actually I have a Major in physics.

So I'd guess that someone with a masters in finance would be more qualified to determine EROEI, or did they teach that along with thermodynamics? Aside, I did complete the undergrad engineering physics series through quantum, but that was a long time ago. This is why credentials pissing matches are stupid.

I'm still befuddled as to why somewhere like Israel would knowingly invest their national security and economic future in a desalinization technology that apparently everyone knows is the "wrong technology". It is possible. But you know what they say about incredible claims.

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:35am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 92

"I will agree that there’s much worse things than being a long time girlfriend to an charming, philanthropic, and exceedingly wealthy older gentleman."

Like a complete loss of grammar function. (Where's the Google toolbar grammar check?)

Correction

I will agree that there ARE much worse things than being a long time girlfriend to A charming, philanthropic, and exceedingly wealthy older gentleman.

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:47am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 93

RE: Correction

I can guess that "charming, philanthropic, and " was inserted afterwards. Am I right? :)

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:57am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 94

"I can guess that “charming, philanthropic, and ” was inserted afterwards. Am I right? I can guess that “charming, philanthropic, and ” was inserted afterwards. Am I right? "

No, actually, charming and philanthropic came first. I always liked Warren Buffet's apparent lack of pretensions (including lack of pretension at not having pretensions) and his ability to get along with a large and disparate group of people. I also admire how he made his money and how he and his family are spending its money. The exceedingly wealthy part is kind of an afterthought...I'm not aiming to marry him or get some money off of him, so the exact extent of his wealth isn't important for me.

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:59am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 95

I'm just a very poor grammarian.

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 7:59am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 96

As it happens I tend to avoid commenting on subjects of which I have no knowledge.

I always comment on subjects of which I know nothing about. But again, I am for entertainment only. :)

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 8:14am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 97

Randy,

So were you talking about freshwater or tritium?

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 8:46am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 98

Its just very hot here and my air conditioning has decided to fail

In this situation I would just take a cool bath and meditate. Perhaps I would burn an incense to clear my mind?

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 8:50am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 99

Randy is a really nice person. So he will not hate you for too long. :)

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 8:55am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 100

I thought deuterium + tritium was considered the most promising combo for fusion power.

As for freshwater. I can't take the US seriously on this matter until they stop keeping lawns and golf courses and make some serious revisions to the American west's water rights apportionment.

Folks in the BA are lucky they get water from Hetch Hetchy. BA water tastes so much better than LA water.

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 8:58am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 101

BA water tastes so much better than LA water.

Have you been to San Jose?

Claire   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 9:03am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 102

off topic....

Okay, I've read several times about people referrring to prices moving sideways - what the hell does that mean, how can a price move sideways, not up or down? I guess I missed that explanation/definition - could anyone enlighten me?

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 9:09am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 103

"Have you been to San Jose?"

Not long enough to drink SJ tap water.

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 9:19am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 104

Though this graphic suggests that SJ is also part of the Hetch Hetchy water diversion system.

http://bawua.org/docs/hetch_map.pdf

lunarpark   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 9:22am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 105

http://www.pulteplus.com/landing.htm

Pulte offering incentives in Sunnyvale.

astrid   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 10:16am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 106

Tritium, because bone cancer can be painful...

Peter P   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 10:18am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 107

Pulte offering incentives in Sunnyvale.

There are several new communities in that part of Sunnyvale: Pulte, Toll, and now Barry Swenson. We will see.

hugel   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 12:05pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 108

It's Just Money: Rich Toscano of Piggington Goes Head to Head with a Realtor

Interesting debate.

surfer-x   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 1:07pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 109

So at least for the Netherlands I can say we are carefully watching the US. And it doesn’t look good.

So you have your finger in the dike?

Different Sean   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 3:34pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 110

Nature will adapt. It isn’t likely to care whether it is ignored or not. The question of how Nature’s adaptation to human intervention will affect the human race’s survival prospects is unfortunately unanswerable in advance.

it's interesting that whenever there has been a significant shift in global climate, there has been a massive die-off of macro species, and others eventually rise up to take their place. i think man is one of the few species who will be able to persist, as man already lives in a diverse range of climates, can travel quickly over long distances, can change the environment and control technology, and is omnivorous and not dependent on a small subset of species as a food source. it appears nature has come up with the best adaptation so far in the form of bipedalism, a large brain AND opposable thumbs...

by a coincidence, I happened to be watching the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation on the National Press Club talk yesterday, who had a lot of interesting things to say. not happy about nuclear power generally vs 'alternative' energy production. he also made the point that the ACF is the voice for species that cannot speak for themselves when it comes to deforestation, climate change, etc.

a $2bn desal plant was proposed here, but it would have been supplied by coal-burning power stations, not nuclear, which would have meant the release of huge amounts of CO2. not popular, so they shelved it. was going to use some sort of membrane process rather than distillation or similar... and they let huge amounts of water run off the city to the sea as stormwater whenever it rains, which is mostly just on the coast these days - complete inability to recycle...

this guy recycles his sewage onsite in his tiny back yard in an inner-city terrace and catches rainwater, and doesn't use any water from the mains as a result... i've posted him in before...
http://www.abc.net.au/science/planet/house/special.htm

Randy H   Thu, 31 Aug 2006, 11:43pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 111

alien,

No offense taken. I should apologize first for taking an overly defensive stance. I owe the same apology to Zephyr from a couple threads ago.

I've had the in-laws in house for the past few weeks. I'm afraid my nerves are wearing thin.

Different Sean   Fri, 1 Sep 2006, 11:09am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 112

I just wonder how other countries' markets can defy gravity if the US market crashes -- it doesn't make sense for one major market to have a correction given the nature of the fundamentals, to not have similar corrections in the netherlands, UK, oz, spain, eire, etc... leaving out flow-on effects from one economy to another for the moment... it's possible for some OECD countries to ride out recessions other countries are having if they are strong in commodities or similar, or have good prudential arrangements, but the boom pattern is very similar across these countries, and it seems like every unsustainable credit bubble should burst...

Different Sean   Sat, 2 Sep 2006, 11:23pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 113

Information comes from the media. Those in the media (especially the higher income people) own property.

Close, but not quite on the nail... the media make huge revenues from real estate advertising -- huge revenues. they don't want to upset their cash cow source by running negative stories... altho some medial moguls have property interests as well, and don't want to see their own multi-million properties going down in value -- but they really make their income from advertising, that's the true life-blood of the mass media...

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