made some comments at The Agonist, Ian Welch's, and Don's blog. Now it is time to get some work done around The Ranch..., so here's an old Agonist diary submission on 9/20/09. It has a bit of relationship to one of my comments.
Living On Stimulus...,
to keep the party going. I remember those days. It was “speed” way back then. Cross-tops…, little white pills that kept your eyes open wide. It didn’t take long and we were crushing them to powder and snorting them to get the effect quicker and stronger. I balked when the needles came out. And never looked back. That isn’t to say that my eyes went shut. I could see a lot of old friends who thought they were going somewhere quickly…, I saw them going nowhere fast. After the initial rush was over and the magic was gone…, no amount of the drug could recreate it until your body had recuperated and purged the last dose. There was no way to keep the party going with more of the same. Over the years “speed” morphed to “crank” and “crank” morphed to “meth”. Which seems to be a different character altogether. I can’t speak from experience about those days…, I was busy going somewhere slowly.
It looks to me like our housing starts have received a meth injection, judging from the quarterly stats.
2009: 1st Quarter = 78,0002nd Quarter = 124,000
The “meth injection”…, or as it is called in the media “stimulus”…, came in the form of $8000 tax credits, low interest rates, and government (taxpayer) backed loans from Fannie, Freddie and FHA. My question is how long this rush will last?
We have already been through the “cross-top” faze with Greenspan keeping interest rates low for too damn long…, to keep the party going. We started crushing and snorting them with Adjustable Rate Mortgages…, to keep the party going. We turned to the needle with no money down payments and all the other liar loans…, to keep the party going. We moved to “crank” with the securitization and selling of those mortgages…, to keep the party going. We are in the “meth” and needle phase now in a effort…, to keep the party going.
At the height of the party in 2005’s second quarter (the historically high quarter for most all years) the number was 485,000. That quarter figure was above 400,000 every quarter since 2003..., until 2007 when it dropped to 333,000. In 2008 it dropped to 194,000. As you can see above, when the figured dropped to 78,000 in the first quarter of 2009, desperate measures were called for.
And we’re getting them. Like I already said…, I have no experience with “meth”…, so I don’t know if it this “meth injection” will work or not. But prior experience tells me that more of the same crap that got us here isn’t going to keep the party going. We have way to far to go for a quick rush to solve the problem. We aren’t going somewhere slowly…, we are going nowhere fast.
Scott R. September 20, 2009 - 1:22pm