One of the most astute commentators on the economy in Florida and real estate particularly is Mike Morgan. His latest piece is fascinating but makes for a none so cheerful read. He thinks as goes FL goes the rest of the U.S. Is Florida a crystal ball we should all be looking into?
Excerpt: “I was going to call this “Banks March Us Into Depression,” or maybe more fitting is . . . “Complete Collapse of US Banking System.” Folks, that is what we are looking at. I don’t see any way around it. What we’re seeing here in Florida, is your crystal ball. And what happens here, is coming to a town near you . . . soon. This past week I didn’t write anything, because what I am seeing unravel is disturbing to the point I had to question what I was seeing and hearing. So I decided to take as much time as I needed to digest it all, and then put something together for you. So here goes . . .
I could prepare volumes of spread sheets with Bernankesque numbers. I could talk about commodity prices and oil and third world politics and a dozen other metrics that all lead to the same conclusion. But let me give you a ground zero look. That’s what I do best. I will leave the manipulation of the numbers to the folks on Wall Street that do it best. The same folks that have created the precipice they will soon push us off.
I spend a great deal of time dealing with Asset Managers hired by banks stuck with REOs. So as not to re-hash the events leading to the housing crisis, I will not discuss the free-money policies of the past, and I will not discuss the absolute lack of accountability in making the bad loans of the past. Let’s just deal with how the banks are attempting to recover.
Unfortunately, banks are not making a realistic effort to address the crisis. That may be because they cannot. As the banks and builders have announced write down after write down, my mantra has been . . . and continues to be . . . NOT ENOUGH – NOT ENOUGH – NOT ENOUGH. I still believe that. The builders and the banks have underestimated the magnitude of the problem, and they continue to do so. Analysts continue to look at the rear-view mirror and attempt to manipulate numbers based misguided historical assumptions.” Full article floridacrystalball