I'm sure many readers have seen the hype about the US housing market, with commentators and the mainstream media trying to persuade home-buyers and investors that everything's coming up roses. It's been a steady drumbeat of optimism since last year. A few examples:
- CNN - 'A new housing boom', October 2012
- CNN - 'The market doesn't lie: Housing recovery is real', May 2013
- CBS - 'Housing market recovery buoys Wall St.', May 2013
- US News - 'How the Housing Recovery Is Juicing Job Numbers', June 2013
I could cite many similar articles, but those will do to be going along with. The trouble is, they're false. I can say that with confidence, based upon the numbers crunched by the US Federal Reserve - the ultimate financial authority in this country. Consider these two graphs from the St. Louis Fed (click each graph to be taken to its home page for more information):
Home builders may be optimistic (see, for example, here and here), but the reality is that new housing construction is still in the doldrums compared to before the 2007-08 financial crisis. Furthermore, jobs in the housing construction industry have still not recovered to the levels they last reached in January 2010 (on the way down), much less those of 2007.
Do those numbers suggest a 'housing recovery' to you? Funny - they don't to me either . . .
The reason I've put these figures and graphics up here is to illustrate that if you believe the mainstream media when it comes to economic reality, you're riding for a fall. The media are lying in their teeth, systematically, callously and deliberately. They want to shield the Administration from the consequences of its economic policies, so they'll try to continue the fiscal masquerade as long as they can. Unfortunately, the underlying data don't lie . . . so they'll ignore them, and never publish them, and try to label those of us who pay attention to them as 'prophets of doom' or 'ignorant'.
I'll leave it to you. Look at the cold, hard numbers, and make your own decision. In that regard, I can only recommend and endorse the advice of Robert A. Heinlein:
What are the facts? Again and again and again - what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell", avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history" - what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!