Back to our Regularly Scheduled Programming…

Bad news for mortgages… ‘Households with negative equity or near it account for a quarter of all mortgage holders.’ – and since this is a key component of the current economic malaise, it portends badly for the future. (Read all the gory details in the article here…)

Pretty sobering statistic. Suggests that oversupply will yet drive housing prices down further. Wow. What a hangover. When I was in telecom/internet infrastructure finance during the asset bubble in 1999-2002, I was stunned at the economic shock front that was sent out. Now, I see that we were amateurs compared to the housing folks. They know how to throw an asset bubble party! Only hope that we survive the aftermath.

So, I have beat the theme of ‘economic excess’ into the ground and it is everywhere. In the press, shoe shine guys, taxi drivers, 10-box talking heads shots on CNBC… we got the message. That is good. Methinks it time to start thinking and talking about the navigation through the mess.

As one who did not play in this asset bubble, it is tempting to be angry at the collateral damage. Yet, as one astute person mentioned to me at a recent financial conference at UC Berkeley, ‘A crisis that is once in a century has got to contain within it opportunities that come only once a century. The art is to find the opportunities and work with them.’ What a wise person. Perhaps I will learn to be as wise as he.

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