Tag Archives: real estate

Australia’s housing bubble pop.

It looks like there are jitters beginning to be felt through Australia’s house bubble. How do we know? Because when “housing bubble fears grow” it already burst. It is too late now. Whoever sells first wins.

Is Canada’s housing market bubble beginning to deflate?

Now we are reading a welcome news from Canada. The supply of houses on the market is beginning to increase which if it were to continue on this path would signify that Canadian housing bubble is being pricked as we speak and should provide a spectacular deflation in the months and years to come.

This is how it started in USA back in 2005. First supply of houses rose while the prices continued to inch upward. But then the supply really began to accumulate as more and more fools started to put their properties on the market sensing that it was time to get out. We know what happened next.

And now in Canada we are beginning to see the same kind of trends. They, of course, still continue talking about how real estate prices never go down, and that the rising valuations are based on fundamentals and that Canadian economy is strong and getting stronger. But we now know that this is precisely the bubble talk you hear at the top of many speculative markets throughout history.

The Marginal Productivity of Debt.

The key to understanding the problem is the marginal productivity of debt, a concept curiously missing from the vocabulary of mainstream economics. Keynesians take comfort in the fact that total debt as a percentage of total GDP is safely below 100 in the United States while it is 100 and perhaps even more in some other countries. However, the significant ratio to watch is additional debt to additional GDP, or the amount of GDP contributed by the creation of $1 in new debt. It is this ratio that determines the quality of debt. Indeed, the higher the ratio, the more successful entrepreneurs are in increasing productivity, which is the only valid justification for going into debt in the first place.

A sure sign of deflation: 9 bailed-out banks report declines in new lending.

As the pool of credit worthy borrowers and worthy inestment projects dwindles in a deflationary environment so the lending declines. It is no surprise that in still democratic USA, unlike the communist China, the Government cant just mandate its banks to lend. It can provide interest free credit lines, it can embark on a massive Qunatitative Easing and public relations campaings, but if banks are scared to lend and the borrowers are not interested in borrowing nothing will get the lending machine going. At least, not until the bad debts are liquidated through defaults, which are, of course, deflationary. And so the lending contracts.

Conquer the crash: Bernanke defeats deflation.

At last, the news reports are now fully brimming with optimism and proclaiming victory after victory on the economic front. Despite the fact that the private (and total) credit in the US economy has been and is still contracting at unprecedented multitrillion dollar annual rate, which is deflation by definition in credit based monetary system, the Bloomberg news declares nevertheless that the honorable manager of the privately owned Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, has already defeated deflation. Oh say, can you see …

Q3 2009 private sector credit collapsed at – $1.81 Trillion annual rate.

The ONLY major player still borrowing money in big amounts was the United States Treasury Department (line 3), sopping up $1481.2 billion of the credit available — and leaving LESS than nothing for the private sector as a whole.

Overall total credit in the economy shrank at an unprecedented annual rate of -$275.6 billion.

Private sector credit fell at an astonishing – $1.8098 Trillion.

Sovereign Defaults Coming in Second Stage of the Financial Crisis.

The first stage of the deflationary debt unwind resulted in massive consumer and corporate defaults, particularly in the financial sector. This sector being one and the same as the governments that it controls, the state has thrown all the resources that it had and did not have (pulled them out of thin air) in order to save its Banking sponsors. While it has given the Banks the respite and saved many of them for now from going belly up, it did not solve a thing. The bad debts have simply been transfered to the Central Banks’ balance sheets that are expected to be later transferred to the taxpayers of each and every country. Whatever was not transfered was hidden by suspension of the mark-to-market accounting rules. Thus, the deflation that is not seen has not gone a way, but has been simply hidden.

Dubai default is DEFLATION.

When a debtor reneges on its loan repayment obligations or asks to postpone them this is deflation by definition. The debts that cannot be repayed are defaulted on and so the total debt outstanding in the economy deflates. And what about prices? The prices on real estate in Dubai are down as much as 50% since the beginning of the world financial crisis. So when debt deflation takes hold assets lose value and cause even more defaults. We say that we are in a deflationary spiral then. When it stops is a big question, but given world wide government intervention in free markets this almost assures that the so much needed adjustment will take a long and painful haul. Yet the prices will get to their natural level in spite of all government actions to support them.

One can hope that the Dubai default situation will give a much needed kick to accelerate the process of deflation and wipe out the speculators and their central bank friends.

Here goes Dubai.

Japan sees long deflation in US, bets on falling Treasury yields.

“The recovery is very weak and the U.S. is running the risk of deflation…” say the Japanese investors as they are piling into US Treasuries while expecting the yields to drop sharply. They may be the only ones in current economic environment that have extensive experience investing in deflationary times and so it may be worth wile heeding their advice:

“Demand for Treasuries is very good because of the idle money in the banking system…”

“The medium term risk toward inflation is being caused by potential policy missteps by policy makers in regards to monetary and fiscal policy and the weakening dollar…”

“Any economics textbook would tell you that the massive stimulus from the central government will eventually cause inflation, but the Japanese know it doesn’t have to turn out that way…”

“The U.S. economy has faced a double whammy: the recession and credit contraction. The U.S. will face a triple whammy with deflation. That’s good for the Treasury market.”

Deflation is firmly taking root in USA. FED is still in denial.

Even though the signs of deflation are everywhere as expressed in contracting credit, money supply, and prices, the privately owned Federal Reserve’s executives continue to beat about the deflationary bush by referring to it as “disinflation” and talking about it in future tense. It has been happenning already for the past year and a half and it will continue as evidenced by record low long term Treasury yields this week. The below article provides a detailed discussion and solid evidence of deflation and how it works.