Tag Archives: speculation

Sunday Morning Roundup

I’m still deeply saddened by the death of Whitney Houston. There’s some speculation that she may have drowned at a Beverly Hills Hilton hotel. Here’s a slide show of her great career.

Mitt Romney wins Maine, barely. I was surprised at Ron Paul’s very strong second-place finish.

Greece continues to be in deep trouble. They need a bailout. Europe needs the stability which comes with all of its member countries pulling their weight.

The Conservative Political Action Conference chose Mitt Romney in their straw poll. I’m very surprised that Ron Paul did not do better in the straw poll.

Researchers have created a robot which can remove stomach cancer.

Although the subject is incredibly divisive, marijuana does need to be legalized. Even some police officers think so.

Did you see that the CIA public web site had been hacked? If someone can hack the CIA, how secure are those web sites that we don’t see?

Right now, it is 17° here in Asheville.  There is some extremely cold weather gripping parts of Europe. Over 500 people have died because of the cold.

Rachel Maddow has written an extremely thoughtful piece in the Washington Post which summarizes the War on Birth Control.

Bubbleheads? No, that’s harsh. Impressionable women were waiting to talk with Sarah Palin at CPAC. A few described the half-term governor as an inspiration. Wow. I would describe sister Sarah as a lot of things, but an inspiration is a little bit of a stretch.

Stay warm. What’s on your mind?

Role of investors in housing bubble

My good friend, Theron, pointed this out some time ago. I don’t recall what data he was citing, but it appears to have been 100% correct. I have only recently begun to understand that every day Americans who thought that they were one house flip away from riches were a big factor in the bubble.

From CalculatedRisk Blog:

Several readers have asked me to comment on this new paper from Fed economists Haughwout, Lee, Tracy, and van der Klaauw: “Flip This House”: Investor Speculation and the Housing Bubble (ht Josh)

[W]e present new findings from our recent New York Fed study that uses unique data to suggest that real estate “investors”—borrowers who use financial leverage in the form of mortgage credit to purchase multiple residential properties—played a previously unrecognized, but very important, role. These investors likely helped push prices up during 2004-06; but when prices turned down in early 2006, they defaulted in large numbers and thereby contributed importantly to the intensity of the housing cycle’s downward leg.

It was pretty obvious that investor buying was pushing up prices in 2004 and 2005. I wrote a post in April 2005 (over six years ago!) on that subject: Housing: Speculation is the Key (Note: in that 2005 post I treated speculation as storage and showed how speculation pushes up prices during the bubble – and pushes down prices after the bubble bursts).

What Happened to Rick Perry?

There’s been a ton of speculation on the Internet that there were something wrong with Rick Perry when he spoke in New Hampshire over the weekend. Was he drunk? Was he high? Was there something medically wrong with him? Take a look at these clips from the Rachel Maddow Show. These clips clearly show a different Rick Perry. I would go as far to say as it shows a Rick Perry who was clearly “nonpresidential.”

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