How To Make an Asset Class Appreciate

First Houses, Now Gold? What’s the best way to make an asset class appreciate? A. Increase its intrinsic value B. Limit supply C. Increase its liquidity D. Stimulate demand Answer:  C. (credit also given for “D.”). Buried in a Wall Street Journal article last week (the good stuff always is) was this nugget: Whenever an asset gets...
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Are Title Insurance Companies Bracing for a Tidal Wave of Claims? Nah.

National Moratorium on ForeclosuresSurprise, Surprise . . . the same banking behemoths that recklessly originated trillions in dubious mortgages — fuel for Wall Street’s securitization juggernaut — are apparently now running roughshod over the rights of delinquent borrowers as they seek to foreclose on their homes. How big a problem is this? And who’s going...
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Grandparent and Grandchild Bubbles

A 30 Year Overview of Commercial Real Estate Did you know that bubbles can have progeny? That’s John Carney’s take, in his treatise-length (but extremely worthwhile) post, “How A Government Bailout Created Today’s Commercial Real Estate Catastrophe” (Clusterstock; 11/16/2009). According to Carney, today’s commercial real estate bubble is actually a “grandchild” bubble; the “grandparent” was...
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Reviving "Animal Spirits"

Less Trust = Simpler Financial System “The more complex the transaction, the more trust is needed to sustain the transaction.” –Robert Shiller, “Animal Spirits Depend on Trust“; The Wall Street Journal (1/27/2009) Robert Shiller, the Yale economist who made his name calling the 2000 Stock Market Bubble, has an excellent piece in Tuesday’s Wall Street...
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Short Sale Hurdles

Pursuing a Short Sale? Better Be Patient One of the reasons that a “short sale” can be so protracted is all the decision makers involved. For those who aren’t familiar, a short sale is when a listed home is worth less than the mortgage against it. Rather than foreclose, the lender can often do better,...
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