Thursday, December 30, 2010
Peter Schiff argues in this Op-Ed in the Wall Street journal that average US housing prices are still too high:
If we assume the bubble was artificial, we can instead imagine that home prices should have followed a more traditional path during that time. In stock-market terms, prices should have followed a trend line. When you do these extrapolations (see lower line in the nearby chart), a sobering picture emerges. In his book "Irrational Exuberance," Yale economist Robert Shiller (co-creator of the Case-Shiller indices along with economists Karl Case and Allan Weiss), determined that in the 100 years between 1900 and 2000, home prices in the U.S. increased an average 3.35% per year, just a tad above the average rate of inflation. This period includes the Great Depression when home prices sank significantly, but it also includes the frothy postwar years of the 1950s and '60s, as well as the strong market of the early-to-mid 1980s, and the surge in the late '90s.
In January 1998 the 10-City Index was at 82.7. If home prices had followed the 3.35% annual 100 year trend line, then the index would have arrived at 126.7 in October 2010. This week, Case-Shiller announced that figure to be 159.0. This would suggest that the index would need to decline an additional 20.3% from current levels just to get back to the trend line.
Schiff is quite correct. And I would add that the diversion of capital from other industries to housing during the 1998-2006 bubble is one of the reasons why the current recession is so severe. It is unfortunate that the federal government continues to subsidize the home mortgage market.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Back in the 1960s, there was an excellent British rock band called the Yardbirds. Their personnel changed several times, and included the likes of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.
After Beck and Clapton left the group, the lead guitarist was a man from London named Jimmy Page. He played for the Yardbirds for a time, and then all the other members of the group quit. So he found a new singer, bassist, and drummer and they went on their first tour billed as the "New Yardbirds". And then they changed their name --- to Led Zeppelin.
Page was heavily influenced by Robert Johnson. But he brought the art of guitar playing to its highest level. As can be seen in this early video of one of their greatest songs: Communication Breakdown:
Like a handful of other people, Page has that unusual ability to transform his thoughts and emotions into music. Watch how he makes a masterpiece by simply strumming a scale on his guitar:
So there we have the greatest musician on the planet. But you'd best watch out Jimmy. There's a tiny woman from New York in your rear-view mirror. And she's gaining on you fast.
Before we discuss who is #1, let's first review #2 through 19:
2 Lady Gaga
3 John Bonham
4 John Lennon
5 Paul McCartney
6 Jimi Hendrix
7 Brian Jones
8 David Bowie
9 Elvis Presley
10 Robert Johnson
11 Hank Williams Sr
12 Patsy Cline
13 Nat King Cole
14 Cindy Wilson
15 Diana Ross
16 Johnny Cash
17 Brian Wilson
18 Willie Nelson
19 Mick Jagger
20 Paul Simon
Friday, December 24, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Chris Monckton, aka Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, has been attending the Climate-Change junket in Cancun. He has the following to say:
With perspective, no one would waste a single second of his own time or a red cent of other people’s money trying, Canute-like, to make “global warming” go away.
In the me and now, even eminent professors lack perspective. Last week one such wrote to the Daily Telegraph to say that Roger Helmer, the jovial Tory MEP, ought not to have gone to Cancun for the latest big-carbon-footprint UN climate junket. Instead, said the Prof, Mr Helmer should have used the time learning that “global warming” of 0.7C in a single century was unprecedented in the last 600,000 years.
Once the number of people who are waking up to the global warming hoax reaches a critical mass, those who are currently promoting this nonsense will have nowhere to hide.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Anyone ever notice these 'climate change' conferences are always in exotic locations like Cancun?
If the climate alarmists were really serious about reducing CO2 emissions, they could have had a teleconference, instead of jetting around the world while they expect the little people to live like cavemen.
ENTERPRISE Minister Jim Mather has sparked fury by jetting off to a Mexican holiday resort on a climate change junket.
As Scotland is gripped by the worst snowfall in 45 years, Mr Mather flew out on Saturday to Cancun, where temperatures soared to a balmy 79F yesterday.
Flanked by two officials, he joined the UK’s 45-strong delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The four-day trip is expected to cost more than £6,000 in business class flights alone. Mr Mather’s 10,000 mile round trip will create almost four tons of greenhouse gas.