Forum Replies Created
Alan, while I do not agree with everything you say, I appreciate your thoroughly vetted and persistent response to Nicole. Years ago at the old blog if anyone were to challenge her assertions, you would have been assailed by any number of surrogates who mostly nodded along with whatever she said. It was a stunning exercise in groupthink, and probably one of the reasons the efforts by TPTB to mitigate the effects of the crisis were so heavily discounted.
Its refreshing to see an alternative viewpoint here. Sadly, it is too late for the many people in the 2008-2011 time period who would have benefited from it.
“There may be shallow lulls in the asset markets, nothing ever only falls down in a straight line in the real world, but that debt I’ve described here will and must come down and be deleveraged.”
While I see where you are coming from Ilargi, I wonder how Ms. Foss would reconcile this with her expectation of massive lows in 2010 (in response to people following up on her DJIA 1000 statements) i.e.
“The comment I made over a year ago was that I would be surprised if the Dow was above 1000 by the end of 2010. That is not to say it’s impossible, as I have been surprised before.
What I don’t think is in any doubt is that the market will make new lows this year, and that will be quite dramatic enough for most people. My view as to more exact targets will evolve over time as a decline unfolds.
DECEMBER 29, 2009 AT 5:40 PM”
This is but one of the many pages that my brother bookmarked that appeared to have a real influence in how he prepared and warned his family at the time.
Its interesting, in that it was 5 years ago I first became aware of TAE when Cory sent me this:
US Housing: The Story of 2011
The part Cory emphasized was not the 80% price drops predicted, but the fact that all TPTB could do was delay the entire thing for a few months at most:
“The entire US housing system, lenders, builders, borrowers, the whole thing, is in grave danger, and that means both the financial system and the economy at large are as well. We’re looking at not just one or two, but a whole series of reinforcing feedback loops. Which neither Obama nor Geithner nor Bernanke have any control over, other than fleetingly and temporarily.
And that will be the story of 2011.”
Here we are, 5 years later, and the levitation continues…
It was a year ago that you left us, and as much as it pains me to say this, in the year since your passing all of your worst fears continue to manifest themselves.
– The house you sold at 360K, (to avoid the drop to 50K you expected), now sells for 425.
– The rent you incurred (to avoid the losses associated with owning) continues to rise – now well above the monthly mortgage you used to pay 2004-2008.
– The “14 years til mortgage freedom” you lamented, is now only 12 years away as the second crash never came and “muddle through” continues to rule the day.
– The wise voices you assumed would help guide you, either closed down their blog(s), or are lucky to be heard from on their own blog but once or twice a year.
– The family you left behind continues to suffer greatly because of the poor financial decisions you made in life.
Worst of all, you continue to be missed by all of your friends and family who cannot help but lament the loss of a well meaning loving father who made some poor choices in who he listened to late in life. It saddens all of us to see how had you not “woken up” as you said in the 2007-2008 timeperiod, you likely would still be with us now, happy and healthy surrounded by a family who loves you.
All of us who knew you hope in fact the pain and anguish you suffered in the last years of your life is now alleviated and you truly are in a better place. Moreover, I personally (who miss you far more than I ever thought possible) will continue to ensure your last wishes would be fulfilled the best way I know how.
I love you – Ann
IMO much of the problem with the deflation definition issue is that the velocity argument (which I understand) is eventually, with a lag, going to usually translate into some sort of real world, recognizable event for the everyman who thinks of just “prices” for things like his house.
Great example, Nicole herself said it best in this quote which really resonated with Cory:
“One of the attractive features about selling now is that you lock in today’s property price in cash – cash that will then go ten times as far as you ever imagined it would in a few years (provided you don’t manage to lose it in a bank run). You would then be able to afford a great property – perhaps large enough for yourself and your extended family – and still have money left over for taxes and necessities.” Nicole Foss, Jan 2009
It is only when you have a lot more of these “rubber hits the road” real world realization events when people will quit debating the TAE definition. If anyone is still alive by then, they will likely all see the things the way TAE does.
Nicole said – “Ann, you really do not understand the model we are working with here and so make uninformed comments. Considering that you make them in the spirit of trying to discredit without trying to understand, they add no value to the discussion. I am sorry for your loss, but I really do suggest you move on. Your obsession is not healthy.”
As a fellow contrarian, I understand precisely what you are working with. What I am pointing out is how unreliable these two indicators are. For example, while this spell of complacency is “the longest such streak in 21 years”, we had similar (longer) periods of complacency in 64, 65, 66, 76, etc. None of these marked a market top.
Likewise, regarding the vix the all time low (even lower than today) was hit in Mar 1993. Mar 1993 was not a top but a precursor of a 7 year bull run when the SPX rose 265%. As such, both indicators have multiple false positives making them hardly noteworthy, or indicative of a top. Matter of fact, if they showed the opposite of what they show now, would you flip your message to say we are on the “verge” of a massive bull run? Of course not…
At the end of the day, its a judgment call – are we really really in a period of manic optimism (meaning its time to batten down the hatches) or is this just a period of relative complacency compared to the abject fear and hysteria we saw in 2008-2012? In any event, when the March 2009 lows are smashed and we get even halfway to your predictions of the time (i.e. 90% off peak home prices, DJIA 1,000) I will congratulate you and move on. Until then, I will continue to hang around now and then until my memory of my recently deceased sibling fades into the distance.
Nicole said: “In short, market sentiment is a very effective contrarian indicator.”
Perhaps, but it clearly has an extremely high “false positive” ratio. I have been reading through the archives, searching for the words of my deceased brother, and by my estimation this is about the 30th time since mid 2009 that you have stated … “The long uptrend appears to be finally coming to an end.”
In all fairness, it does look like you did effectively call the 2009 market bottom, but you are now approximately 0-30 in your calls of “market top” since. It is a shame you did not actually test how often your “balance of probabilities” call of market top did not pan out. Will this improve your record to 1 of 31 in the last 6 years? I guess we shall see…
“You make the best judgement you can with whatever information you have at the time. You’re lucky if you get the chance to change your mind, in light of new information.”
Agree Tony. Irony is, as 2009 rolled on to 2010, 2011 and the “pushing on a string” “immutable as thermodynamics” liquidity crunch was suddenly looking very very mutable, it might have been wise incorporate that new information and revise that whole timeline thing accordingly. Sadly, that never happened…
“Anybody who has actually grown some food, or lived on a farm/ranch might look at this and think it is missing the obvious, which is the good farmland that the folks above and below claimed a century before.”
Which if it is that obvious, why did Nicole not immediately pick up on this? Speaks to her judgment IMO. In any event, seems like there is alot of moving around these days given that we are on the “verge” of deflation. So much for buy yourself a learning curve… Ann.March 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm in reply to: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne #19554
Nicole – while I will respond more substanitively later, may I ask how/where you got your understanding of US consumer finance & residential property law?
For starters, the vast majority (approx 75-80%) of US states are recourse. The so called “jingle mail” (in so far as that was a thing a few years back) was a practical step lenders used to condition behaviour. The tacit understanding was, if the borrower plays nice and turns over the property in OK condition (i.e. do not destroy the place with a crowbar the way some desperate people do), the lender will agree not to exercise its recourse rights against them personally.
That aside, the bigger problem in your understanding is the statement “Loans can be called in even if you have never missed a payment.” is at best highly misleading. Before any lender can foreclose, an event of default (such as missing a payment) must occur. In all cases, events which can lead to a default are all in the sole control of the borrower. A lender in some states may (and I stress “may”) be able to begin proceedings against a perfectly paying borrower under the doctrine of waste, but the chances of this happening against a habitable property are essentially nil.
That aside, the practical point is what lender in their right mind would pay 15K or more in attorneys fees against a perfectly paying borrower? Even if they had a staff on retainer, those hourly resources are always better used against a nonpaying borrower versus the paying borrower (who essentially funds their ability to have attorneys on retainer).
Larger point being, your misunderstandings of US residential property law will undoubtedly affect your judgment regarding the probability of certain events and potential downside for someone who decides to take on debt to gain longer term control over their own life as my brother did. Before you can advise or even state potential consequences for a certain course of conduct, it is essential to have your facts straight.
In the instant situation, the fact is that for 99.99% percent of borrowers who make their payments on time, they will never be dispossessed of their residence on loan. Thus, if you were assigning a value any higher than 0.01% in your modeling of outcomes, it is time to re-examine/re-weight the formula.February 27, 2015 at 3:20 pm in reply to: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne #19514
Nicole – no one is asking for “exact timing” but when you are now 7 years into a 5 year timeline, you have the right to ask questions. I understand that forecasts are probabilistic, but as with all things, enough time will prove everything wrong. 1 year ago Cory put it best when he said:
“What really sickens me is to think that had I done nothing, I would be 11 years into a mortgage with about 14 to go until complete freedom.”
Today, he would be 12 years in, with 13 years to go until complete freedom.
If things held together until 2018, he would be 15 years in, 10 years to complete freedom.
If things held together until 2023, he would owe about the same as your “90% off peak prices” forecast.
If things held together until 2028, he would have complete freedom.
So you tell me, when in the next 13 years is it fair to say telling someone to sell and wait for the crash was a really really bad idea?February 26, 2015 at 11:15 pm in reply to: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne #19507
Tell you what Caper, the family really doesnt want me to be here and air all our dirty laundry but you really really need to be put in your place.
The attorney handling his estate is Jim Donovan 571-236-9534. Cory was a pesudonym but if you ask about case number 631-001, they will confirm his real name and date of death (December 18, 2014, aged 44 years) as a matter of public record.
I told them to be on the lookout for someone going by the name of “Caper” so please inquire to your hearts content. Once done, may you kindly go to hell and dont bother me about this again. Ann (not my real name either).February 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm in reply to: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne #19468
Caper – Cory is dead. But if I do see him in some sort of afterlife, I will tell him what you think of him. Thanks.
Nicole, if you look closely, Cory was not looking for someone to blame, but for an act of contrition. Had the 8 letter combination “I was wrong” clicked off your keyboard would he still be here today? Hard to say for sure, but alas, now we will never know.
AnnFebruary 24, 2015 at 5:40 pm in reply to: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne #19450
Tonyprep – thanks for the kind words.
Nicole – he was not so much concerned with “losing money” in the “short term” as he was with losing credibility in the long term. As the proud protector of his wife and family, in 2008 he took decisive action, telling everyone he knew of massive price drops, incredible instability, a president that may not survive his term in office. In short, massive “on the ground” upheaval in the next 2-5 years.
He put all of his credibility at risk with that decision, and in the end, he lost all of it. The final straw was when the rent rose again and they had to move to a new area with lesser schools. At this point his wife no longer had confidence in his judgment of what is best for the family. As I too am a mother with young children, I cannot say that I blame her in that regard.
Perhaps you have a different idea of what constitutes short term than I do but understand we are now 6 years in what was portrayed of a 2-5 year timeline of massive upheaval. When one makes a decision like he did that is so far out of the mainstream, you only have so much time to start proving your foresight before your credibility is gone.
In the long term you may be right, but that does little good if the people who acted upon that message are no longer around to actually benefit from it. AnnFebruary 24, 2015 at 1:10 am in reply to: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne #19429
Nicole – since you are here and speaking about property, I thought I would let you know that my brother “Cory” who used to post occasionally to this site acted upon your advice in 2008 and sold his family home at what turned out to be the bottom of the market.
In the intervening years, as prices rose and rents went higher than his monthly payments, he realized the gravity of the mistake he made and became more desperate over time. Recently, he took his own life.
It strikes me from his writings what a profound impact you had with your words. In particular there was an exchange this last year where (his words) “she refused to admit how wrong she was” which had a devastating impact upon him.
While it is clear to me and the rest of the family that Cory had problems, I am struck as to what could have possibly been said here so as to be so influential to him. Thus, I am wondering if there is any way I could go back and see what he said here over time that caused him to mention this site in his suicide note? As the members of his extended family are now trying to pick up the pieces, any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you – AnnFebruary 24, 2015 at 12:53 am in reply to: Sucking Beer Out Of The Carpet: Nicole Foss At The Great Debate in Melbourne #19427
Test.May 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle May 21 2014: Drowning in the American Dream #13103
“I still don’t see why you say you are ‘horribly’ wrong. You got rid of the risk of ow(n)ing a long term mortgage on a home, and that risk is high. That has little to do with a few years left or right. Nothing that brings words like ‘horrible’ or horror’ to mind.”
Its all a matter of expectations versus results. If someone makes a very high impact prediction, X will experience a meteoric rise from 1000 to 4000 by 2014 and instead it rises “only” to 3500, while they are technically “wrong” its not a big deal. If it rises only to 2000 then its pretty badly off the mark. If it doesnt rise at all but instead falls to 850, that is majorly wrong. If it makes a difference, strike the word “horribly” and substitute “very” or whatever similar adjective if you prefer.
In my case, I was told (and I likewise told those around me) to see massive changes – 90% down pricing, obama forced from office, a landscape recognizable only to those 100 years old from war torn third world countries. I see none of those things, and neither do they, so the question is asked “where is all the massive upheaval you told us to expect? Why did you uproot the family and put us in a rental only to make us pay more and be priced out of ever buying again? You told me time, and time again, the upheaval is starting in 2009, 2010, 2014… and you were wrong, wrong, wrong. I never believed in any of this I was patient enough to give you SIX YEARS for what you said to pan out and none of it did – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
So yeah, plenty of pressure on me – so much so, my life is effectively over. And yes, while I do blame Nicole a bit, I recognize fully that I did this to myself, and I will bear those consequences. But what I am asking for now is a bit of humanity, a bit of closure, (and not from you Ilargi or any of the other posters whom I generally appreciate) why she cannot do this and answer for some things that went nowhere near what was expected, for the life of me, I simply cannot understand.May 23, 2014 at 2:15 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle May 21 2014: Drowning in the American Dream #13097
Horror as in the degree of “wrongness” of what you expect versus what actually happened. For example, expecting it to become so bad that Obama wont be able to finish his term:
Or perhaps (one month after we had hit a bottom), remarking:
“If I had to say when we might see a bottom that could last a few years instead of days weeks, or months, I wouldn’t suggest such a thing would be possible before the middle of the next decade at the earliest. This does not preclude largish rallies within that timeframe though.
I terms of what the world might look like by then, Denninger and Weiss and other purely finance types seem to think that recovery is possible to something at least vaguely resembling business as usual. That isn’t our position. We would say that the combination of capital and energy scarcity will preclude a return to anything most of us would recognize (with the possible exception of those almost a hundred years old or who grew up in a war-torn third world country).”
In any event, Ilargi, while I appreciate your responses, I found very little of what you ever said terrified me the way Nicole did. You always were a bit more cautious in what you said, wisely hedging your bet here and there. No one ever coined “the Ilargi Effect” Thus, you cannot be held responsible for things you never said, nor ever thought.
Nicole however can. Thus, the one question which I asked (twice) which she refused to answer was what happened to make this statement so wrong:
Housing starts are not making, nor will they make, a new bottom. Your 90% price decline in real estate will not pan out Ilargi.
Housing is not even close to a bottom, ergo it has much further to fall. I think it’ll be down 90% on average within 5 years. Watch this space.
JULY 19, 2009 AT 9:41 AM”
And again, what I was hoping for was some sort of honest and sincere accounting of what (in her words) caused this statement above not to be true. Not her more standard mecnanistic answer, or some semantic parsing – just some true and honest heartfelt account which includes an answer along the lines of:
What I missed was…
I was wrong because…
At the time I was thinking…
What I totally did not consider was…
When they did _____ I was shocked because _____
In any event, dont worry Ilargi about me sticking around here and bothering her much longer. For me the die is cast and my fate sealed. I just hope to see one human act of contrition from Nicole before I log off for good.May 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle May 21 2014: Drowning in the American Dream #13077
What are you actually looking for here at TAE?”
Variable – its a great question. What I am really looking for (deep breath here as I spill my guts) is answers on how so many of the things that Stoneleigh predicted were so wrong. Please understand, in 08/09 I came across TAE and was stunned by what Nicole was saying. In the early days, her track record was impeccable and she responded directly to posters with specifics on timing and everything. Morover, she was so incredibly certain of everything she said, like nothing I had ever seen before or since. I am not the only one who saw this either, witness the “Stoneleigh Effect”
After the event where we saw her in person, a few of us who took her advice seriously wondered when the time came, if things arent working out as planned, will she “own up” to it. The general summary was, yes, of course she will. She knows many of us are making absolutely life altering choices based on what she was saying – so if any of that goes wrong, she will very quickly change course, tell us what happened/why it didnt happen, and (perhaps) even apologize. In sum, we all assumed she would be willing to held accountable for what she said.
Thus, in the 2011-2012 timeperiod as things were starting to look like they werent going to happen as she said, I would log on expecting to see something like:
In 2008-2009 I told many of you XYZ would happen. Well, it now turns out that XYZ is looking increasingly unlikely, largely because I did not anticipate ABC could do DEF…Therefore, I now think that…
You get the general idea here. Unfortunately, this did not happen. To be honest, I was afraid to say something before now because I was afraid of Ilargi. I was fearful of being banned or censored as others were for questioning her. I still am.
So with that in mind, I come here now, a broken and battered person, asking for some measure of accoutability from the one person who has affected me like few others have, and that person is Stoneleigh. Unfortunately, I now come and ask her the hard questions (as I did in that other thread) and her answer was…silence…
Look, the long and short of it is that I did this to myself. I didnt have to listen to her, but my god, seeing as you were so willing to help people make life altering decisions, why do you suddenly clam up when they (understandably) come back asking for some rationale for why things went nowhere near what you expected?
Stoneleigh, I very much want you to see this, and if you can find it in your heart, I want an honest and sincere answer. And what I mean on that is nothing like your generalized almost robotic responses where you talk in absractions – if that is all you are going to do, please make me feel better by staying silent. However, if you so happen to find it in your heart to give an honest act of contrition and answer along the lines of:
I was wrong because…
At the time I was thinking…
What I totally did not consider was…
When they did _____ I was shocked because _____
You get the general idea here. You know you have the capacity to do this – the question is, do you have the courage to do so? At the end of the day, it would do nothing to help my fate. However, it would help me go to my grave with a better sense of peace for how so many of my choices 2008-2014 went so horribly wrong…May 22, 2014 at 1:59 am in reply to: Debt Rattle May 21 2014: Drowning in the American Dream #13054
“Ilargi said…But Cory, what is really important in all this, in what you quote, in where we are, in where we think this will lead us? Do you yourself see a way available to our ‘leaders’ to lead ‘us’ out of the gutter? Assuming even that they would want to? And if you don’t, then what are the options? In what fashion can we, given that we don’t have a crystal ball, do anything else than to tell our readers to get out because the risk is so high? Do you feel that risk has gotten smaller, on anything but a temporary basis? I sure don’t.”
I dont either, not at all. However, I have been known to have a bit of an alarmist streak. For the last few years, my spouse has been listening to someone who fully agrees it will all collapse because its unsustainable. However, his favorite saying is just because it is “inevitable” does not mean it is “imminent”.
For years I railed against him too, thinking he was delusional, and that no way this lasted more than a few months. Well “a few months” became “a few more months” became a year, and well, you know the rest.
It was thus that in the middle of one of our shouting matches and why we should wait just a bit more, my spouse wisely noted “how do I know we wont be having this EXACT same conversation in 3 years”, hence I came up with an absolute outside date of 2015.
At the end of the day, here is what I know…in 2008, I was 4 years into a mortgage with another 21 years until freedom. I found TAE, became terrified, and sold, rented, because it was IMPOSSIBLE that it would all hold together another 21 years – let alone 2.
It is now 6 years later, I am now paying MORE in rent than i did to buy, and prices have moved up such that I couldnt afford to buy back even if I want to. If nothing changes, I have become a perpetual rent slave, with another 50 years of ever increasing payments ahead of me.
So here I am, with another 6 years of waiting under my belt, I now realize, had I done nothing to prepare, I would now be coming up on year 11 of my mortgage, with another 14 years til freedom. Who is to say it cannot last that long?May 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle May 21 2014: Drowning in the American Dream #13046
Ilargi – pulling forward the discussion of the other day:
“Ilargi said…Everything we said, including the timing, would have already come to fruition if not for the absolute insanity unleashed by the Fed and its peers, and the propaganda that accompanied it. We have said multiple times in the intervening years that we did not see that coming. But what could we be accused of in that regard, that we didn’t accurately predict insane behavior? I think unpredictability tends to be an inherent trait in that sort of behavior.”
To be fair, one of the reasons that the insanity was not predicted on TAE was that alternative scenarios were not worthy of consideration because they were largely deemed impossible (metaphors of “pushing on a string” and “laws of thermodynamics come to mind”) for example 5 years ago when some anon @12:26 asks the question why dont we consider alternatives, the response:
Why do you insist that your point of view on what is happening and what will happen will not be de-railed by some new, never before seen method to ‘keep the dream alive’.
However much we may want to keep the dream alive, some things are simply not possible. Can you stop a ponzi scheme from hitting a brick wall at some point, where most people lose everything? Ponzi schemes can only grow so far before the entire world is involved and no more buy-in is possible. Remember that each generation of a ponzi scheme has to be significantly larger than the last. Eventually we run out of people to fleece, and at that point the whole structure collapses, albeit not all in one go.
This rally is giving us a temporary respite from something that is inevitable. It is making people hopeful that something can be done if only the powers-that-be do this or that, but that is just grasping at straws.
‘Solutions’ like printing money or handing out money that must be spent or lost are not real solutions. They postpone rather than prevent, and for a very short time at great cost. They do nothing whatsoever to address the essence of our predicament. They are desperate gambles that a day of reckoning can be postponed for long enough that our descendants will suffer rather than ourselves. Is this eally what we want – to make the mess worse by digging humanity into an even deeper hole, so long as we aren’t the ones who suffer personally? IMO the is the essence of the kind of short term thinking that got us into this mess in the first place.
We have known for decades that our way of life was not sustainable, and we are about to find out what that actually means. The opposite of sustainable is terminal.
JULY 10, 2009 AT 1:53 PM
Then 2 posts later, you address him too:
“The reason this keeps coming up, is because you never seem to want to address this real possibility that there will be some very real, extreme measures taken to prevent what you say will happen, from actually happening.”
No, the reason it keeps coming up is not our failure to talk about them, it’s that there’s an endless reservoir of “ideas” that people fail to think through and then call “real possibilities”. There is neither reason nor need for us to address them all, there’ll always be a next one and we’ve so far covered all of them without the need to go into specifics, even if that doesn’t satisfy the minds of those who think up the “real possibilities”.
The origin of most of these grandiose yet superficial theories lies in people’s ideas about the power of the Fed or government, which many seem to view as unlimited. And no matter how many times we say it is not, there’s always a new bright light that comes-a-shinin’.
From my point of view, the more extreme the theory, the more desperate its proponents. As you may have noticed, we’ve so far also failed to discuss the consequences of a meteor hit.”
JULY 10, 2009 AT 2:03 PM
The sad part is, among all the trolls like Cheryl, there really were people with sincere questions, yet I too bristled when these things were asked – my strength in the inevitibility of it happening soon was your strength in the inevitibility of it happening soon. One of the reasons I am still here – a full 5 years later…
“Nicole said…Cory, you use two quotes you say are from me. The first is Ilargi, not me. The second is me, but says nothing about a timeframe. I stand by the second.”
Nicole, with all due respect, you cannot be serious can you? Yes the first quote is Ilargi, but when he said “The way WE at The Automatic Earth see it play out is that the entire house of cards will fall within 2-5 years, and, within that timeframe, sooner rather than later.” I naturally assumed he spoke for both of you – especially as you did not correct his statement in that thread.
But if he did not, what then to make of this quote of yours from 6 months earlier:
“Stoneleigh said…Housing is not even close to a bottom, ergo it has much further to fall. I think it’ll be down 90% on average within 5 years. Watch this space.”
5 years from then is July 2014. I am not mis-reading this am I? Again, please explain what happened so I can at least give some sort of cogent explanation to my spouse as to why the area homes were once 500K (which we sold for 360K) are not 100K like I said they would be, but instead 400K and slowly moving higher?
“The fate of property prices will depend greatly on location, mostly on how easy it is to earn a living in the vicinity. In places where there end up being almost no employment prospects, the fall will be much faster, and perhaps go almost to zero. Where economic opportunities remain to some extent, there will be price support for homes.”
Stoneleigh – I read this response 2 days ago and have been spending the interim time collecting my thoughts before I respond. Accordingly, I want to say for the record, I very much appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to respond to little old me. Remember this.
That said, I am simply in shock in your response above is simply light years away from what you said a few years ago. I attended an event with you in a suburban Maryland home (one of those places you now say will have “economic opportunities” and “price support” for homes), and there was nothing about this. Instead, everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) you said to us was more about the 90% collapse, in the extremely near term – pretty much exactly what you said here (subject matter “about that 90% drop in home prices”:
“The way we at The Automatic Earth see it play out is that the entire house of cards will fall within 2-5 years, and, within that timeframe, sooner rather than later. While there can be any number of inside and outside factors that can speed it up, <b>we see practically none left that could slow it down.</b> Of course there can be people in a few years time who claim by hell and high water that their homes are still worth $500,000, but they will have neighbors who sold for $100,000, $50,000 or less. Price discovery can be in the eye of the beholder, until you must urgently sell.”
Later in that thread when someone doubts the severity of the drop, your response:
Stoneleigh said…90% is simply the typical move to the downside following an asset bubble, whatever the focus for speculation may be. It applies across the board, not just to real estate. Your stock portfolio is headed there as well. I stick by my prediction.
There is a complete sea change in what you said then versus what you say now, and I have to ask, how/when did this happen? Selling at the bottom and seeing prices rise to the point where I can not afford to buy back is bad enough – even worse though is the prospect of renting for years, paying far more per month than I ever did as a homeowner.
But the worst however is the impact this will have on my family. For many reasons we simply cannot leave this area, and honestly we were pretty well prepared (except for the mortgage and our fear of possible debtors prisons and “vinny the kneecapper”). I have lost so many friends & family by telling them for years to prepare for thusfar a non-event – and now I risk losing my spouse who will neither relocate nor be willing to rent forever.
So again, if you can, can you please help me understand how we got from what you said then to what you said now? It may not help me hold on to what I have from a financial perspective but it may help me hold on to whats left of my family perspective.
Nicole – I cant help but notice there was no further response. Have I missed something regarding US Housing? While you guys had not spoken about it much since say 2011, I assume everything you wrote before then was still your position since it was not updated or changed. Accordingly, I am still very much under the assumption that something massive must be happening in the very near term (2014 give or take a few months).
However your sudden silence is scaring me! Please Nicole, you are one of the few people I have left to talk to! Your comment above is one of many I saved all of which clearly implicated that we are now very much due for a rapid collapse in house prices, and I have been planning for the last 6 years accordingly. So again, given the time left is short, how can the collapse be anything other than rapid?
Nicole – for starters, I sincerely appreciate the extended back and forth – just like old times!!!
Speaking of which, I am not sure how to reconcile what you are saying now, with what you were saying in 2009:
Stoneleigh said…Arnold…Housing is not even close to a bottom, ergo it has much further to fall. I think it’ll be down 90% on average within 5 years. Watch this space.
This is but one of many comments of yours I have saved which had a monumental impression on my life & planning since late 08. Now obviously, I dont expect you to have perfect timing (i.e. July 2014 – not even you are that perfect 😉 but still, even if it takes til the end of the year to get there, wont we have to start seeing some RAPID price movement very very soon???
“Nicole said…Cory, house prices do not fall that quickly. The way that property bubbles burst is that the market tops out and goes illiquid, sometimes for a long time before prices fall.”
Nicole, how can this be? Everything I read about a liquidity trap was that there would be a RAPID race to the bottom. Same with the elliot wave – the 2009 rally was to be a temporary feeling of optimism before a RAPID drop down to earthshattering low levels.
Its been a while since I have reviewed your old writings, but again everything I read was this was all part and parcel of the massive deflation we were going to experience.
How can home prices withstand these forces???
Others – thanks for your words of encouragement, and especially you Nicole!
Yes I am in the US and the house I sold for 360K is now a bit over 400K – nowhere near the 50K to 100K I was told we would be seeing by now. While that alone is disappointing, I really dont care if it went up in value during my ownership. What really sickens me is to think that had I done nothing, I would be 11 years into a mortgage with about 14 to go until complete freedom.
Glad to hear that you still think we are on the brink, but that said, if we do not see MASSIVE fireworks in the VERY near term, my life will be going from terrible to unbearable. After 6 years of hearing “soon” my patient, trusting spouse no longer takes “soon” as an answer. Its do or die for me – literally
I am in shock. LESS of Nicole?
6 years ago, she was instrumental in my decision to sell my home and rent until the crash – thereby preserving what I had. Once that commitment was made, I assumed she would be there to help guide people like me through the transition. Now, as that decision has gone horribly wrong (my rent is more than my house payments were) and I come here to seek her advice and she is nowhwere to be found?
Talk about feeling left in the lurch! I used to donate here until living expenses made that untenable. My marriage is disentegrating (6 years of promising your spouse “the collapse will come soon and we can then repurchase” will do that to you), and now I literally cannot afford to live as yet again, my landlord is raising our rent.
I feel like I am at the end of my rope. Telling my family to prepare has caused nothing but alienation, and now one of the few people I felt I could rely on is moving on? What do I do now?April 13, 2014 at 4:44 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Apr 11 2014: Manipulated Markets And The Empty Bag #12283
While those declines in those comparitive charts are nice, all they do is bring us all or part of the way back to the 2008 levels when I got out to avoid the monumental declines we were expecting at the time (i.e. anyone else remember DJIA to 1,000?)
I dont know, I guess I should be happy I got out with some skin still on my flesh. Timing the stock market was not in any way my purpose for reading TAE. Still, to look back at those charts and how different my life would have been had I stayed in til now, is nothing short of infuriating.March 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm in reply to: Debt Rattle Mar 5 2014: Time A For A Little Down Time In America #11634
“That’s probably one of the reasons why we get so many Raulian overview Debt Rattles as opposed to Fossian in-depth treatises these days on TAE (that and I’m sure Nicole is busy with tours and whatnot)”.
I do hope we get more Nicole some time in the future. While all this “big stuff” is important, little people like me worry about little stuff – like the ever increasing rent. 6 years ago, Nicole was instrumental in my decision to sell my house. Now, as that decision looks worse and worse over time, I look to her for help and insight, yet I feel she is nowhere to be found 🙁
Well as I am the one who noted the “home prices are up 30%” perhaps I should elaborate.
Believe me, I get the whole debt thing (its the one part of this whole thing I get) – and as long as there is a chance of a 80-90% drop in home prices I WILL NOT BUY – no way no how.
However, I live in a divided house, with a spouse who simply is running out of patience. It was a major effort to convince her we need to sell, rent, and wait out the crash back in 08, and unfortunately, that (for now) appears to her and all other “nonbelievers” to be the bottom of the market. For years, she trusted me to make the right financial decisions for our family. But after 6 years of being proven wrong, that trust is wearing thin.
So yeah, while the “up 30%” hurts when you expected prices to drop another 40-50% – the thing that REALLY hurts is the ever increasing rent (now higher than my monthly payment when buying) and my loss of credibility within my family. Buying a house isnt like buying stocks. I didnt want to “make money” on appreciation – all I wanted to do by renting is limit my downside, but this is a decision that looks worse and worse as rent increases.
So going back to the issue of the debt – while I absolutely believe it is “inevitable” I am beginning to wonder how “imminent” it is. If it hits now then I am vindicated and my marriage is back on solid ground. However, if it doesnt hit until say 2025 or later when my house would have basically been paid off – renting for all those years would have been a major mistake.
So again, while I personally believe Stoneleigh that we are VERY CLOSE to the cliff’s edge – I simply cannot continue to repeat this in perpetuity and expect my spouse to continue to trust my judgment.
I hope you understand my dilemma.
Proflock&load – true, but if anyone does, its Stoneleigh. Just look at not what she writes but the way she writes it. People dont write like this in real life unless they KNOW what they are talking about!
Boiled Frog – agree. Yet, I used to bristle at the TAE posters who asked for timing back in 2008 so it would be hypocritical of me to do that now.
Stoneleigh, thanks for the update. Your words are so reassuring to me that I made the right decision to rent out and wait for the cataclysmic fall before I repurchase a home. In the end, we will be vindicated!
A question for Stoneleigh
A long time lurker/anonymous poster on TAE – I was a typical homeowner in a suburban setting with a mortgage (we met at one of your talks years ago but I doubt you remember me). Not wanting to suffer a 90% drop in home prices, I sold in late 2008, and started renting, thinking I could sit back, watching prices and rents drop precipitously.
Since then, prices in my area have not dropped but RISEN 30%. Moreover, my rent did not lower but was raised three times such that I now pay more than I did when I first purchased 2004. I fear that I will be getting another rent increase this summer, and if that happens, I will have to move my family out of the area (rentals are very hard to come by).
I wont belabor you all the details of my life, but lets say that unless we see price drops soon, my family life will go from bad to worse. Thus, I have to ask, do you still see massive price drops coming so as to vindicate my decision to sell and rent waiting out the 80-90% collapse for the past 6 years? I assume the answer is yes, but please reassure me this is the case as I truly am at the end of my rope here!
Regards – Cory