Our esteemed 33rd president, Harry S. Truman, once said, "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours." In the vein of everything old becoming new again, it seems that this eye-of-the-beholder issue has never rung truer than when it comes to pinpointing when the current/recent real estate recession began, and when it ended (or will end, depending on your point of view). The Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Indices calls recession and recovery in terms of peaks, troughs and the rises and falls thereto and therefrom. The Case-Shiller called the top of the market in 2006 or 2007, depending on the market, and the bottom of the national housing market in the spring of 2009; the Case-Shiller is primed to mark another nationwide bottom -- the second dip -- any moment now. Last fall, a committee that studies business cycles for the National Bureau of Economic Research raised more than a few eyebrows when it declare...
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