It’s Here — Or Maybe Not

Michael Panzner
updated | Author's Website

In “Grumpy Old Permabear,” I noted that “a growing number of commentators are suggesting that the worst is behind us,” and included (among others) a link to a post by Calculated Risk, “The Housing Bottom is Here.” While I certainly can’t say for sure that Bill McBride is wrong (FWIW, I am a big fan of CR and have been a regular visitor since its earliest days), I did point out that “genuine bottoms have, historically at least, gone unrecognized until well after their arrival.”

On the flipside, long, secular downturns — like those that invariably follow bursting bubbles — are littered with endless claims of a recovery being at hand. As it happens, Weakonomics has compiled an extensive collection of such pronouncements about the current bear market, stretching back almost six years, in “The Megalist of Calling the Housing Bottom.” Here are some examples:

1/31/2012 Homeownership rates fall to 66% as downturn nears a bottom – USA Today
1/10/2012 Has The Housing Market Hit Its Bottom? – Forbes
12/8/2011 Is the Housing Bottom Finally in Sight? – Kiplinger (my favorite!)
9/27/2011 This Has To Be The Housing Bottom – Seeking Alpha
6/21/2011 The Housing Bottom Is Here: Economist Russell Price Explains – Daily Finance

2/8/2007 Housing still on down slope Economists say no recovery until midyear; prices face record fall – Market Watch
12/21/2006 Housing ‘close to bottom,’ realtor-group economist says – Market Watch
12/5/2006 Home builders see bottom of housing slump – CNN Money
11/15/2006 Housing slide may deepen; New forecast sees bottom in 2008 – Boston Globe
10/6/2006 Greenspan Says `Worst’ May Be Past in U.S. Housing – Bloomberg

Otherwise, it’s been a while since I last highlighted a chart like the one that follows (the unedited original comes via Business Insider), but I thought it might be something worth noting to those who believe the Fed actually knows what it takes to look after or “fix” the economy (or whatever else Bernanke & Co. claim they are responsible for):

Inflation-currency-edited

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