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Why are we in this mess?

January 28, 2009

The San Francisco real estate market has fared SO much better than the rest. Our inventory levels are still pretty darn low. (More on that later!)

We have price reductions. We have short sales, foreclosures, and the like. We just have less depreciation and less distressed properties. No one is immune to this quagmire, not even the Left Bay!

Yet, our long-term gains are outstanding. This market offers A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY.

It is THE time to be a first time buyer.

It is THE time to trade-up (move from that starter loft or condo and into a single family or larger space in the location you really want) and definitely to trade-down (scale-down from your big home to that hip condo walking distance to everything) if you've owned your home for at least 5 years.

But, I digress.

What I really want to share is a column from Sunday's NYTimes Business section.

Alan S. Blinder, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and former vice chair-person of the Federal Reserve, wrote a short and sweet summary of how we got into this mess.

Specifically, he addresses the 6 mistakes made that could have been avoided. By avoiding them, our mess would have been significantly less of a disaster!

"Our capitalist system did not condemn us to this fate. Instead, it was largely a series of avoidable - yes avoidable - human errors. Recognizing and understanding these errors will help us fix the system so that it doesn’t malfunction so badly again. And we can do so without ending capitalism as we know it." - Alan S. Blinder

They are:

  1. Wild Derivatives
  2. Sky-High Leverage
  3. A Sub Prime Surge
  4. Fiddling on Foreclosures
  5. Letting Lehman Go
  6. TARP's Detour

The column is SHORT. Please read it. Bring a box of tissues. Call me. We'll talk. 😉

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/business/economy/25view.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

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