By John P. Calverley

Analyzes significant marketplace bubbles of the 20 th century; states the U.S. is within the early-middle phases of a housing bubble. —, December 12, 2004

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Extra info for Bubbles: And How to Survive Them

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7 Opponents of this view argue that the fall in money supply was a result (not a cause) of reduced economic activity. They would agree that the Fed should have tried harder to offset it, particularly in 1931–2 when policy was actually restrictive, but question whether the Fed can in fact control the money supply anyway. In 2000–3 money growth continued in the 6–10 percent per annum range, somewhat stronger than for much of the 1990s. 8 Overall about 40 percent of the banks in existence in 1929 disappeared over the following four years, mostly through closures (though some reopened later) and amalgamations.

The same goes for house prices. If a higher house price–earnings ratio really is justified now, as many people argue, once the step higher has been made house price growth should return to the growth rate of earnings. The US 1990s experience is interesting in this regard. The acceleration in productivity growth in the 1990s, part of the paradigm shift that accompanied the bubble, continues to be reaffirmed. US productivity growth since 2000—that is, after the bubble—has averaged 4 percent a year, a very high rate.

They are persuaded by the bulls’ arguments and also by the continuing rise in the market. 3 POPULAR AND MEDIA INTEREST Popular interest in the market becomes intense and this is reflected in greatly increased media coverage. Some stories emphasize the “wow” factor, as big rises in markets make people rich overnight. ” In the case of housing markets, where often a majority of readers will be gainers, the emotional hook may be glee at the good news. A subtext may be that the reader too can get rich and some coverage will put the emphasis on how to join the party, for example providing information on stock funds or on mortgages and property investment.

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