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Rob Viglione

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  • Continue to Lower Your Home Price Expectations [View article]
    These economists might be right if we're only looking at nominal prices...well, assuming the Fed can get the right mix of currency dilution to make everything look better!
    Jun 24 12:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    It's interesting to note that HUD consistently overstates its housing estimates by 15.2%, on average.
    Jun 24 12:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Home Sales Miss by Most Since at Least 1998; Lowest Reading Ever [View article]
    You've got to love how the Commerce Dept. / HUD are consistently off by an average of 15.2% on all their estimates!
    Jun 24 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Never Believe a 'Real Estate Economist' [View article]
    A “growing consensus” is easy enough for the schizophrenic...
    Jun 16 11:55 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Housing Prices: Highest in 120 Years [View article]
    The things that have changed from the late 19th century are cost and availability of capital, and regulatory skewing of real estate markets relative to competing asset classes.

    My guess is that the 100-110 range in the Shiller price index represents the next lower bound resistence level, consistent with a 1945-2000 trend. If the economy really goes to hell we should be looking for housing in the 70-80 range.
    Jun 15 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgage Debt Falls, Property Values Stabilize [View article]
    That chart shows me a country of negative equity...scary!
    Jun 14 11:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tax Break on Mortgages May Disappear [View article]
    Housing markets have been manipulated way too much for way too long. Special treatment of debt capitalization is certainly one reason housing has long been overpriced and buyers have been goaded into assuming increasing levels of debt. Skewing capital structures towards debt increases system risks.

    Repealing this tax loop hole will have great long term benefits for the US, but doing so now will certainly accelerate general asset price deflation. The time to have done this was between 2003 and 2006.
    Jun 12 08:53 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pending Home Sales: Do Real Estate Statistics Mean Anything Anymore? [View article]
    I agree with your sentiments regarding median home prices. To tell you the truth, I usually just compute those values because they are widely accepted by the industry. Spending way too many hours of my life crunching local real estate statistics has disillusioned me on their utility in many cases. There's just no easy answer to which metrics should be computed. I've tried mean prices, median prices, and something I call "core" prices.

    You can view some of my stats work here with core prices:

    Essentially, I strip out data that exceeds one standard deviation from the mean. This at least, theoretically, removes distressed properties on the low end of the spectrum, and neutralizes the average-skewing effects of high end properties.
    Jun 11 02:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Misreading Indicators Leads to Bad Policy [View article]
    Democracies rarely incorporate sound long-term considerations in policymaking. Rather, incentive-constraint space is limited to the short term election cycle. This effectively dissociates the near term benefits of actions from their long term consequences.

    Until this process is changed don't expect logic to flow out of Washington, Sacramento, Albany, or any of the other hallowed halls of political aristocracy.
    Jun 10 11:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Global Economy: U.S. Had Its Day, But Sun Now Rising Across the Pacific [View article]
    "The Tigers have vast savings and capital resources, whereas the West has exhausted much of its capital through consumption."

    The West has sold itself out for decades - all the way from individuals borowing and spending themselves into oblivion, to our municiapl, state, and federal governments doing the same on 100x the scale.

    History goes in cycles. We will soon go bust and be forced to face reality. When we do so we'll once again have our chance to rise.
    Jun 10 11:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Small Business and the Disappearing U.S. Consumer [View article]
    <The NFIB said the new aid is misdirected, as "only 5% of small business owners cite 'financing' as their top business problem but 31% cite 'poor sales.">

    What does such logic have to do with politics? It's about getting re-elected, which means "taking action" and paying off voters with subsidies.

    No politician can say "we need to sit, wait, and let the last 4 decades worth of bad decisions unwind."
    Feb 11 08:52 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama vs. Reagan After One Year [View article]
    Policy consequences can take years, if not decades, to manifest. This is the luxury of politics for those who can gain short term advantage for long-term destructive policies.
    Dec 31 01:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama vs. Reagan After One Year [View article]
    Policy consequences can take years, if not decades, to manifest. This is the luxury of politics for those who can gain short term advantage for long-term destructive policies.
    Dec 31 01:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ben Bernanke: Ultimately Destructive? [View article]
    Mr. Brown, another great article. Please keep spreading the word. I'm doing my best to spread your writing via Twitter & Facebook.

    My question is how historians will ultimately paint the picture of America's decline & fall? Will it be attributed to pollution, barbaric incursions, destructive emperors, etc.? Or will history remember the words of the few, like yourself, who have been predicting this for decades?
    Sep 6 12:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Capitalism Failed? [View article]
    Rather than an "adversarial relationship" between government and business, how about NO relationship?

    Just as business should not have power to use government to its advantage, so too should government be shackled in using its power to disturb free commerce.

    Arguments for who should have the right to use what powers against whom always come down to unjust favoritism. Rather, we should be questioning whether or not these sorts of powers should even exist.

    On Sep 06 08:07 AM EEB wrote:

    > This article seems to state that the big, bad government has become
    > increasingly powerful over the last forty years, and, despite the
    > efforts of valiant capitalists, that's why the economy is so bad.
    > What hogwash. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were two of the most successful
    > capitalists ever, and they basically controlled the federal government.
    > A look inside the federal government right now, and especially during
    > the last thirty years reveals a very cozy relationship between corporations
    > and government. These relationships exist across all industries
    > from defense to agriculture.
    > If you want real liberty, then you need to have a more adversarial
    > relationship between the government and corporations. In fact, the
    > more adversarial relationships that exist between government, business,
    > the media, established religion, etc. the better off the average
    > person is. When all the power is in the hands one part of our society:
    > government or the corporations or the churches, the group in power
    > becomes tyrannical.
    > But the idea that a care-taker government could exist that only guards
    > a few minimal individual liberties is a fantasy because such a weak
    > government would be overwhelmed and corrupted by powerful business
    > interests. This was already occurring during the last Bush administration
    > because the regulation of important business activities, such as
    > finance, was a joke.
    > In other words, the libertarian rant that all evil comes from government
    > is wrong, and it is usually either naive or disingenuous. There
    > are many sources of evil in our world, and bad government is certainly
    > one of them. But corporations, religion, evil individuals and many
    > other factors can be sources of evil as well.
    Sep 6 11:46 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment