February 5, 2010

US Housing Crisis: Just Getting Started

By admin

Zero Hedge put together some comments on the CIBC research in “The Next Leg of the Housing Crisis in Five Simple Charts“.

Short version:  we’re all f**ked.

Longer version:  there are so many layers to this crisis that throwing cash at just won’t solve.  Two decades of Republican fiscal irresponsibility, creating structural deficits and hiding behind international crises like fabricated wars have driven the US to the bottom.

Clashing with this level of ineptitude in the US is the increasing bulk of retiring baby boomers, many of whom have started to sell off their real estate as they enter retirement and more of whom will do anything they can to preserve what few assets they have left after spending a life-time of pursuing economic bubble (gas prices in the 70s, interest rates in the early 80s) after economic disaster (the dot-com heist, the recent financial crisis).

Grind all of this together with a generation of youth that are no longer interested in unwieldy and impotent governments all the while deciding that they cannot live with themselves while consuming more and more Made-in-China / Bank of WalMart crap and you have the perfect storm.

The fall of 2008 was just the start of a very long, very deep structural economic adjustment that we will all have to work our way through.

One of the few solutions is to finally address the deepening divide between the haves and the have nots.  Tax policy, social engineering and economic incentives will all have to be drastically overhauled in order to improve upon this situation.

In Canada, this means reversing the ridiculous decision of the Cons to reduce corporate and individual tax rates, along with increasing the GST.  While I would prefer that the GST be increased to a much more realistic level like 12%, I’ll at least accept the 7% that we used to pay.

I would also recommend that we cease to allow companies and organizations to deduct expenses that are killing us, starting with gas and fuel allowances.  For too long, we’ve been subsidizing the ownership of carbon-burning fossils and this needs to change.