Friday, January 14, 2011

FOMC 2005 Transcripts: 'Flip That House' as Bubble Sign

by Bill McBride on 1/14/2011 09:15:00 PM

The Fed released the FOMC transcripts from 2005 today. That was a key year for the housing bubble because that is when activity peaked - also inventory started to rise towards the end of the year and that helped me call the top.

Earlier I excerpted some comments from the June meeting - a meeting focused on housing.

Here is more from Ryan Grim at the HuffPo: Fed Economist To Greenspan In 2005: Discovery Channel's 'Flip That House' Should Cause 'Existential Crisis'

"I offer one more piece of evidence that I think almost surely suggests that the end is near in this sector. While channel-surfing the other night, to the annoyance of my otherwise very patient wife, I came across a new television series on the Discovery Channel entitled 'Flip That House,'" economist David Stockton said, prompting a roomful of laughter according to the transcript. "As far as I could tell, the gist of the show was that with some spackling, a few strategically placed azaleas and access to a bank, you too could tap into the great real-estate wealth machine. It was enough to put even the most ardent believer in market efficiency into existential crisis. [Laughter]"

The Fed, the home of many of the most ardent believers in market efficiency, did not go through an existential crisis, however, and did little to slow down surging prices or warn consumers that "the end is near."
This was from the end of Dec 13th transcript and by then the housing bust had already started.

Posts this morning:
Retail Sales increased 0.6% in December
Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization increased in December
Consumer Sentiment declines in January
Core measures of inflation increase in December