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Echoes of the 2008 Financial Crisis

I’d have titled this “Explaining the 2008 financial crisis in one commercial”, as one individual in this article at CNN/Money characterized the QuickenLoans Super Bowl commercial below that makes us all think of ten years ago, but that title was too long to fit.

I mean … nice commercial and everything, but QuickenLoans was one of the worst offenders during the era of mortgage madness, giving the unwashed masses more than enough rope to hang themselves vis-a-vis tapping their home equity and such.

I’m repeatedly amazed to see that they’re still around, given the role they played.

There were these comments too: “Thanks Rocket Mortgage for thinking the ‘08 housing crisis needed a sequel” and “Correct me if i’m wrong, but the last time mortgages were this easy there was some sort of global meltdown, right?”

Echoes of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Michael Lewis talks to Stephen Colbert about the new movie based on his book The Big Short and details the big problem with having bailed out the big banks.

Also see Third Avenue Fund’s Eerie Financial-Crisis Echo for an explanation of why the word echoes is plural in the title above.

Confidence is High

Hoisting up this photo of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen from this Fortune story today about how the central bank is, basically, flying blind when it comes to inflation since the Phillips Curve stopped working … well, it just seemed like a good idea this morning in advance of today’s expected non-action on interest rates from the Fed.

Here’s a simple suggestion – since it is now clear that newly created money from the Fed goes exclusively into financial instruments rather than anything that factors into consumer prices and, certainly, not workers’ wages (and “trickle-down” appears to be broken too), maybe the braintrust in the Eccles building should look more at stock prices (way up), bond prices (way up), home prices (way up), etc. to gauge whether or not they’ve done enough.

There’s also this rather embarrassing graphic via Marketwatch today:

Silicon Valley Housing Bubble 4.0?

I remember way back in 2000 when I began working for a tech company in Southern California that they had a rip-roaring housing bubble at that time up north, eyes popping amongst the Angelenos when we heard stories about how small, run-down houses routinely sold for a half million dollars, due to the original internet bubble. Counting the state-wide late-80s housing bubble and the mid-2000 nationwide home price surge, this makes four, but there are probably more if you go back a little further – all the way to the gold rush?

From this SF Gate story that serves as a timely reminder that the world is still kind of nuts.

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U.S. Housing Market Heating Up

After yesterday’s five-year high in existing home sales and fresh record high in median sales price, here’s a quick look at where home values are rising the quickest and where bidding wars are common via this WSJ story from a couple days ago.

California is sure running hot (Silicon Valley) and cold (Central Valley, a notable exception being Merced). Interestingly, Zillow puts the value of our California home about $20K higher than what we sold it for about 10 years ago (and we sold a couple years prior to the peak).

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