Saturday, June 30, 2007

There goes the neighborhood: Is the White House bringing property values down in DC?

According to the Washington Post, "The recent decline in home prices and the meltdown in the market for subprime mortgages are the first signs that the air is coming out of the credit bubble. Already, those factors have shaved half a percentage point off the economic growth rate. And you can be sure that there will be a much larger impact on jobs and incomes from a broad decline in stock and bond prices, a sharp tightening of credit and the turmoil that both of those will create in the murky derivatives markets."

Geez Louise! There goes the neighborhood! And Pennsylvania Avenue used to be such an upscale place to live. Don't you just hate it when someone moves onto your block, lets his home go to seed and brings all the other property values down? To say nothing of having to start to lock all your doors at night before your stuff gets stolen and start watching out for your kids. Now kids can't run free through the neighborhood any more. And it used to be such a family-oriented place. Now you gotta spend all your time worrying that the neighbors down the street might be selling them drugs, recruiting them into gangs or Lord knows what else.

According to Robert Cook's recent article in Global Research, it's those raunchy slumlords at 1600 Pennsylvania who are deliberately bringing property values down. "Among those poised to profit from the crash [in housing and stock prices] is the Carlyle Group, the equity fund that includes the Bush family and other high-profile investors with insider government connections. A January 2007 memorandum to company managers from founding partner William E. Conway, Jr., recently appeared which stated that, when the current 'liquidity environment -- i.e., cheap credit -- ends, 'the buying opportunity will be a once in a lifetime chance.'"

Good grief! These bums aren't just some down-at-the-heels trailer trash who are too lazy to mow the front lawn and give the White House a fresh coat of paint. These guys are sleazy wheelers-dealers who are DELIBERATELY bringing the neighborhood down! That's outrageous. There goes my equity.

As the Washington Post cheerily informs us, "Without the billions of dollars flowing each year to financiers and corporate executives, there will be less money to trickle down to car salesmen, yacht makers, real estate agents, third-home builders and busboys at luxury resorts. Falling stock prices will cause companies to reduce their hiring and capital spending while governments will be forced to raise taxes or reduce services, as revenue from capital gains taxes declines." Sheesh, guys. There goes the neighborhood.

Maybe we should try to sell now and get out while prices are still relatively high? According to TruthOut real estate expert Dean Baker, however, that is no longer a viable option either. "The latest data on housing sales showed that the inventory of unsold homes climbed to 4.4 million in May, yet another record." Guess we'll just have to do what our neighbors at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have done -- rent out back rooms to illegal tenants from Halliburton and/or sell out to K Street. Sigh.