Editor’s note: This item was originally posted at the Matrix blog by Jonathan J. Miller.
I always thought the word "crisis" wasn’t the right word for the situation we find ourselves in these days. I see this more as a housing "reset." It’s when the issue crosses over into the mortgage/credit arena; then we are in a crisis — sort of a technical malfunction. Massive de-leveraging equals a crisis, I suppose.
There’s a good article in Forbes called, oddly enough: "The Housing Crisis Isn’t A Crisis": "This brings us to Zywicki’s disagreement with the Obama administration. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers and the other adepts in the administration all argue that the bursting of the housing bubble amounts to a national tragedy. According to President Obama himself, the ‘crisis’ is ‘unraveling homeownership, the middle class and the American Dream itself.’ "
And we start to realize how much power the financial services sector wields over Washington policymakers. This is best explained in Simon Johnson’s "The Quiet Coup," an article in The Atlantic.
Of course, many find it easier to simply blame the person in closest proximity in this fun piece in Salon by Erica Ferencik: "They shoot real estate agents, don’t they?" Ferencik bills herself as "a recovering stand-up comedian and featured guest on NPR’s "Morning Stories." I recently plugged her novel, "Cracks in the Foundation," which is a good read. Erica promised me an Orange Julius or a mention of my eventual first book in her blog, whichever comes first.
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