Saturday, May 21, 2005

Alan Greenspan is concerned about the housing market


"Without calling the overall national issue a bubble, it's pretty clear that it's an unsustainable underlying pattern," Mr. Greenspan told the Economic Club of New York at the Hilton New York hotel in Midtown.

Mr. Greenspan emphasized that he sees no sign of a nationwide housing bubble, but he acknowledged concerns over "froth" in the market and pointed to a big increase in speculation in homes - particularly in second homes. As a result, he said, there are "a lot of local bubbles" around the country.

The comments of the Fed chairman were the closest he has come to acknowledging the possibility that housing prices may be poised for a fall in some parts of the country.

The issue is sensitive for the Federal Reserve, because its policy of keeping interest rates low has helped propel housing prices upward even when the rest of the economy was dragging.

Local bubbles? Really Al? Ya think so? No kidding?

These "local" bubbles of course are concentrated where, um, people actually live. And I might add, in blue states or near blue states.

So yeah, maybe there's not a bubble in rural Wyoming, but who cares?

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