Real Estate Market Outlook

National Park Re-opening!!!!

NC, Tennessee pay to open Smoky Mountains park during shutdown

RALEIGH, N.C. "” Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that North Carolina and Tennessee have agreed to pick up the $380,000 tab to open Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the rest of this week - the height of leaf-watching season in the park.

North Carolina will spend $75,000 from its tourism advertising budget, while Tennessee and two counties will spend the remaining $305,000 to reopen the park that straddles the state line from Wednesday through Sunday.

Like other national parks, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been closed since Oct. 1 during the federal government shutdown. About 10 million people visit the park annually, including 4 million who enter through North Carolina.

"This is about jobs and the economy," McCrory said in a statement. "Many North Carolina communities depend on tourism generated by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's critical that we get the gates reopened during the fall season."

He said he is exploring options to open other national parks in North Carolina.

Professor Steve Morse, director of Western Carolina University's Hospitality and Tourism Program, estimated that each day Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed costs nearly $1 million in consumer spending in North Carolina. The closure is potentially costing North Carolina workers $343,354 in lost wages per day, he said.

Things to Consider before Buying a Home

We have heard it all over the news, home sales are up, mortgage lenders are loosening up, prices are going up... Throw them all together and you find more folks are considering buying a home now than in recent years. For those of you that have purchased a home previously, you know what a daunting task it is. For those considering buying for the first time... it may be down right overwhelming!

A simple search of the internet provides an abundance of hints, tips, and tricks to finding your dream home. Once you lay your eyes on it.... common sense can fly right out the window. The house is suddenly surrounded by a glowing halo of light, basking you in all its glory. You think to yourself, "THIS IS IT! MY HOME SWEET HOME!" And maybe it is. Or maybe you are not seeing the overall picture, the minor details that make major differences down the road.

dream houseRealtor.com shares 14 items to consider before taking that leap in a recent article like visiting the home at different times of the day. Checking out the surrounding area to see what's near your home. Experience speaking here... having the 9pm train blow past your home every single night can be quite disruptive to a child's bedtime routine.

Verify not only the most recent taxes, but past taxes and how often re-appraisals are done.

Is there a neighborhood association and how active is it? What fees etc are required?

Chat up the neighbors. This is one time to consider the chatty, nosy neighbor a positive thing.

These steps and the others listed, may dim the halo around your dream home or burst the bubble entirely, but they are necessary to avoid buyers remorse and ensure your dream home is realistically the best home overall.

CLICK HERE to read the article in its entirety.

Don't forget to LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

Comments

  1. Seattle Mold Inspection on

    Black shape, inarguably, can be a serious danger to health. Get your berries; rinse them to remove leaves, branches and stray spiders. Give it a copuple of minutes to cool, then examine the consistency. Feel free to visit my web blog; Seattle Mold Inspection

    First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit for Closing Will Move Market

    WASHINGTON, May 29, 2009

    Consumers across the country can now take advantage of a Federal Housing Administration program to allow qualified home buyers to apply the $8,000 tax credit when purchasing a home. FHA will now permit its lenders to provide a short-term bridge loan that will let qualified home buyers use the tax credit to either make a larger downpayment above the FHA required 3.5 percent, cover closing costs, or buy down their interest rate.

    "A true housing recovery depends on buyers returning to the market and reducing inventory," said National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. "Since many of the homes available are lower priced starter homes, the ability for individuals to use the tax credit at closing should have a meaningful impact on home sales and values and will allow thousands of families to achieve the dream of homeownership."

    Shaun Donovan, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced the change today. In an address to several thousand Realtors® gathered two weeks ago at NAR's Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy, Donovan announced HUD's plan to offer the tax credit as downpayment assistance. Donovan detailed the modifications to that original proposal and announcement.

    "We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans," Donovan said. According to Donovan, the FHA's approved lenders will be permitted to "monetize" the tax credit through short-term bridge loans allowing eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

    NAR has supported monetization of the tax credit, which was part of an Obama administration housing stimulus plan enacted earlier in the year. NAR petitioned HUD to allow home buyers to use the $8,000 tax credit to help them cover downpayment or closing costs to bring new home buyers to the market and stimulate home sales.

    "We think this is a good program; our members have been getting many inquiries from potential buyers about it," McMillan said. "NAR is pleased that this enhancement has been made to the administration's housing recovery program. As we have heard before, there can be no economic recovery without a housing recovery. With an abundance of inventory, reduced home prices, historically low interest rates and now the availability of the tax credit at closing, we expect to see the housing market further stabilize and improve."

    Existing-Home Sales Rise in April

    WASHINGTON, May 27, 2009

    Existing-home sales rose in April with strong buyer activity in lower price ranges, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

    Existing-home sales - including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops - increased 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 4.68 million units in April from a downwardly revised pace of 4.55 million units in March, but were 3.5 percent below the 4.85 million-unit level in April 2008.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said first-time buyers continue to influence the market but there also is a seasonal rise of repeat buyers. "Most of the sales are taking place in lower price ranges and activity is beginning to pick up in the midprice ranges, but high-end home sales remain sluggish," he said. "The Federal Reserve needs to help restore liquidity for the jumbo mortgage market by buying these loans under the TALF program."

    "Because foreclosed properties will likely be released into the market over the rest of year, it is critical that distressed homes be quickly cleared from the market," Yun said. "Fortunately, home buyers are being attracted to deeply discounted prices and are bidding up many foreclosed listings, particularly in California, Nevada, and Florida - this will set the stage for healthy market conditions going forward."

    An NAR practitioner survey in April showed first-time buyers declined to 40 percent of transactions, implying more repeat buyers are entering the traditional spring home-buying season. It also showed the number of buyers looking at homes has increased 14 percentage points from a year ago. "This is consistent with our forecast for home sales in the latter part of the year to be 10 to 20 percent higher than the second half of 2008," Yun said.

    The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $170,200 in April, which is 15.4 percent below 2008. Distressed properties, which accounted for 45 percent of all sales in April, continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

    NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said conditions are optimal for buyers with good jobs and long-term plans. "We have record low mortgage interest rates, a wide selection of homes and affordable prices in most areas," he said. "When you add the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit, it's hard to imagine a better time to make an investment in your future through homeownership."

    According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.81 percent in April from 5.00 percent in March; the rate was 5.92 percent in April 2008; data collection began in 1971.

    Total housing inventory at the end of April rose 8.8 percent to 3.97 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.2.-month supply3 at the current sales pace, compared with a 9.6-month supply in March. "The gain in inventory is largely seasonal from sellers entering the spring market. Even with the rise, inventory over the past few months has remained consistently lower in comparison with a year earlier," Yun noted.

    Single-family home sales rose 2.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.18 million in April from a level of 4.08 million in March, but are 2.8 percent below the 4.30 million-unit pace in March 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $169,800 in April, which is 14.9 percent below a year ago.

    Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500,000 units in April from 470,000 in March, but are 9.4 percent lower than the 552,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price4 was $173,900 in April, down 18.5 percent from April 2008.

    Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 11.6 percent to an annual pace of 770,000 in April, but are 10.5 percent below April 2008. The median price in the Northeast was $237,400, which is 9.6 percent lower than a year ago.

    Existing-home sales in the Midwest slipped 2.0 percent in April to a level of 1.00 million and are 9.9 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $138,800, down 11.7 percent from April 2008.

    In the South, existing-home sales increased 1.8 percent to an annual pace of 1.74 million in April but are 8.9 percent lower than April 2008. The median price in the South was $148,000, which is 12.8 percent below a year ago.

    Existing-home sales in the West rose 3.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.17 million in April and are 19.4 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $222,600, down 21.8 percent from April 2008.

    Pending Home Sales Up for Three Months in a Row

    WASHINGTON, June 02, 2009

    Record low mortgage interest rates boosted pending home sales for the third consecutive month, with some benefit now from the first-time buyer tax credit, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

    The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in April, rose 6.7 percent to 90.3 from a reading of 84.6 in March, and is 3.2 percent above April 2008 when it was 87.5.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said buyers are responding to very favorable market conditions. "Housing affordability conditions have been at historic highs, but now the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit is beginning to impact the market," he said. "Since first-time buyers must finalize their purchase by November 30 to get the credit, we expect greater activity in the months ahead, and that should spark more sales by repeat buyers."

    The Pending Home Sales Index in the Northeast shot up 32.6 percent to 78.9 in April and is 0.8 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 9.8 percent to 90.4 and is 11.1 percent above April 2008. The index in the South slipped 0.2 percent to 93.0 in April but is 3.5 percent higher than a year ago. In the West the index rose 1.8 percent to 94.8 but is 2.9 percent below April 2008.

    NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said there are numerous buyer assistance programs around the country. "Some states are offering bridge loans that allow first-time buyers to use the tax credit for downpayment and closing costs, but there are many other local government and nonprofit programs available to buyers, depending on location," he said.

    "Just last week, HUD announced that qualifying buyers can use the tax credit for closing costs on FHA loans, to buy down the interest rate or make a larger downpayment. Buyers who are wondering about their options should contact a Realtor®, who can advise consumers on the housing assistance programs and resources available in a given area."

    NAR's Housing Affordability Index2 is in record territory. The affordability index rose to 174.8 in April from an upwardly revised 171.9 in March, and was the second highest monthly reading on record after peaking at 176.9 in January of this year. The HAI is a broad measure of housing affordability using consistent values and assumptions over time, which examines the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income; tracking began in 1970.

    A median-income family, earning $60,900, could afford a home costing $296,800 in April with a 20 percent downpayment, assuming 25 percent of gross income is devoted to mortgage principal and interest. Affordability conditions for first-time buyers with the same income and small downpayments are roughly 80 percent of that amount. The affordable price was well above the median existing single-family home price in April, which was $169,800.

    Yun cautions that the reporting sample for pending home sales is smaller than that of existing-home sales, so it is subject to greater variability. "In addition, the relationship between contracts on pending home sales and closings on existing-home sales is taking longer than in the past for several reasons," he said. "Mortgage processing time has increased, it is taking many months to close on those homes requiring short sales with lender approval, and some sales are falling through at the last moment."

    The total number of existing-home sales is expected to improve but with dramatic local market variation in the timing of recovery. "The market has already bottomed in some areas, but this is an unusual housing cycle with some areas improving rapidly while others languish or decline," Yun said.

    Comments

    1. bolsas on

      I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I'm not certain whether or not this post is written by means of him as no one else know such distinct about my trouble. You're wonderful! Thank you!

      Sorry Folks! Looks Like You Missed The Bottom!

      Report after report is giving me more and more evidence of my prediction/theory that the real estate market has bottomed. We continue to hear reports from the "boots on the ground" in heavily hit Florida markets that sales are increasing. It did not take a rocket scientist to know that the lower end market would be the first to recover. Investors have come into many markets buying up the short sales and bank owned properties. By no means are we out of the woods yet, but for the first time in a long time I am nervous that my clients will not get the house they want if they do not act quickly.

      For the past 18 months there was no sense of urgency. That seems to have changed. We are not even close to a sellers market, but we are working that way. Once the lower end items are snapped up the masses will realize that the market is heating up again and will want to get a "deal" while they can. I will be the first to say they better hurry up in some markets. It is funny how most will not get into the market until everyone is in and the best deals are gone.

      Home prices continue to fall which makes it even more exciting for a good rebound into next year. If only the interest rates would get below 5% again we would be golden! Why are you still reading this? Go buy some property!

      The Real Facts of N.C. Real Estate

      FORECLOSURE FACTS

      > Nationally, January foreclosure filings decreased10 percent compared to the previous month. > In January, the number of foreclosuresoccurring in N.C. decreased 29.3 percent when compared to January 2008. Nationally,foreclosure rates were 18 percent higher in January 2009. > North Carolina continues to descend in the official ranking of foreclosure rates, and is 33rd nationally. > Four states - Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida - represented 53 percent of the 274,399 foreclosures in the U.S. in January.

      ECONOMY

      > North Carolina is consistently at the forefront of affordable housing. Most recently, Cornelius was named one of the most affordable suburbs in the country. Fayetteville and Rocky Mount were both recognized for high price appreciations.

      > In 2008, North Carolina welcomed the most newcomers (versus loss of residents) of any state, according to moving services website Relocation.com. For every 100 people leaving, 180 moved in.

      HOMEOWNERSHIP

      > In February, Gov. Bev Perdue signed an authorization that could save N.C. homebuyers more than $30 million. > The National Association of REALTORS® estimates the impact of the stimulus package and lower interest rates on the housing market to be about 900,000 additional home sales in 2009 compared to conditions before the stimulus package.

      > Homes were more affordable in December 2008 than at any other point since the National Association of REALTORS® began its housing affordability index in 1970.

      Housing Stimulus and Stabilization Will Help Economic Recovery

      WASHINGTON, February 12, 2009

      The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan:

      "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is important for the U.S. economy and contains some important housing provisions. Eliminating the repayment provision in the $7,500 first-time home buyer tax credit will help bring buyers to the market and reduce housing inventory. NAR has been advocating that this provision be improved - the change will stimulate more than 200,000 additional home sales, which will help stabilize home values.

      "Reinstating the higher loan limits for FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for mortgages in high-cost areas is also important and will help reduce inventory and improve liquidity in the overall mortgage market. The allocation of resources for neighborhood stabilization efforts to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed and vacant properties is also very promising for the housing market. This funding will help protect communities across the country and preserve home values from further decline.

      "As the leading advocate for homeowners and the real estate industry, NAR will continue to address issues facing Americans who are trying to purchase a home, protect their current home or preserve investment opportunities in residential and commercial properties. NAR recognizes the efforts of the members of Congress who understand that without a housing recovery, an overall economic recovery is impossible.

      "NAR believes that positive steps are being taken to improve the housing market and will continue to work with President Obama, Congress and regulators to make housing stabilization a key component of any federal recovery plans."

      Pending Home Sales Show Healthy Gain

      WASHINGTON, February 03, 2009

      Pending home sales increased as more buyers took advantage of improved affordability conditions, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Big gains in the South and Midwest offset modest declines in other regions.

      The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in December, rose 6.3 percent to 87.7 from an upwardly revised reading of 82.5 in November, and is 2.1 percent higher than December 2007 when it was 85.9.

      Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the index shows a modest rebound. "The monthly gain in pending home sales, spurred by buyers responding to lower home prices and mortgage interest rates, more than offset an index decline in the previous month," he said. "The biggest gains were in areas with the biggest improvements in affordability."

      NAR's Housing Affordability index rose 10.9 percent in December to 158.8, the highest on record.2 The HAI shows that the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income is the most favorable since tracking began in 1970.

      "Significant uncertainty still clouds the housing market despite improved affordability conditions. For a sustainable housing market recovery and, hence, sustainable economic recovery, we need a significant housing stimulus and mortgage availability for qualified borrowers," Yun added.

      The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 1.7 percent to 62.1 in December and is 14.5 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index jumped 12.8 percent to 83.7 but remains 1.2 percent below December 2007. The index in the South surged 13.0 percent to 96.8 in December and is 1.6 percent above a year ago. In the West, the index fell 3.7 percent to 97.5 but remains 17.5 percent higher than December 2007.

      NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said the rise in contract signings is encouraging. "However, housing activity remains weak compared with potential demand, and the market is fragile given the economic backdrop," he said.

      "We can't take our eye off the need to stimulate housing, which can set the foundation for an economic recovery," McMillan said. "Last week's actions in the House to eliminate the repayment feature on the first-time home buyer tax credit, and to raise mortgage loan limits, are helpful. However, we need to take additional steps to meaningfully draw down inventory and stabilize home prices."

      McMillan said some enhancements that could bring more buyers into the market include expanding the $7,500 tax credit to all home buyers and extending it until the end of 2009, and making loan limit increases permanent. "We also need to direct funds in the Troubled Asset Relief Program to add liquidity to the mortgage market, buy down mortgage interest rates and increase other forms of credit," he said.

      Yun said the outlook for housing and the economy is murky. "Although Congress and the Obama administration are taking steps to help the economy, the stimulus package must deal with the root cause of the economic downturn, and apply the right fix to turn it around. If housing is ignored, a significant downward overshooting of home prices would continue to drag the economy down independent of the scale of the stimulus," Yun said.

      # # #

      1The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

      NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®

      Did We All Miss the Housing Bottom?

      Posted Monday, 12 January 2009 | Digg This ArticleDigg It! | Source: GoldSeek.com

      by Howard S. Katz

      1-12-09

      The current issue of the One-handed Economist features some very bearish patterns in the U.S. dollar. This is the moment of truth for the establishment. They are about to be destroyed, and they do not have a clue.

      For almost 4 months, they have been arguing that the U.S. economy is in a financial crisis of a "deflationary" nature. They cited the very minor and normal commodity declines of this past summer as evidence. They wildly exaggerated the real estate decline by shifting from one indicator to another, always picking the indicator which happened to be down that month. Here is the actual median home price (U.S.) as reported by the Census Bureau.

      As you can see, housing prices did decline in 2007. But they hit bottom in Jan. 2008, and have been flat to slightly higher since that time. You can check these figures at www.census.gov/newhomesales. You know what the media's monthly reports on housing look like: DOWN 14%...DOWN 18%. DOWN, DOWN, DOWN.

      How do they turn the rise from $216,000 in Jan. '08 to $220,000 in Nov. '08 into such a "decline?" Well one month they may use the actual number above. But the next month the number is bullish (not what they want); so they report the 12 month change. In April '08, both the one-month and the 12-month changes were positive. So they forgot about April and reported the 3-month average (Jan., Feb. and March) for '08 against the same 3 months for '07. This was reported immediately after the April figures were released. Everyone expected the report to be about the April figure. But the April figure was up and hence was not reported.

      When they are really under fire, they switch to the Case-Shiller index. It has a 10 city and a 20 city. That gives 2 more figures, one of which (the 1 month or the 12 month) is likely to be down.

      And yet the real news about housing prices in 2008 was that the decline of 2007 was stabilized suggesting that housing might be ready for a turn to the upside. To avoid drawing this optimistic conclusion, your newspaper did not technically lie. But it slanted the reports so that you would draw the wrong conclusion. It did not lie technically, but it lied in substance.

      Write to the editor of your local paper, and tell him that he has been lying to you about housing prices. What use is a newspaper that lies? No use at all. Throw it in the trash and spend your time seeking the real truth.

      The truth shall make ye rich. The establishment shall make ye poor.

      If the establishment is correct, then no one in his right mind should buy commodities at this time. According to these people a wave of deflation has come out of nowhere, and all prices will be going down. According to the One-handed Economist a wave of "deflation" can only come from a decline in the money supply, and all declines (or advances) in the money supply in history have been caused by the government. Further, the One-handed Economist points out that the U.S. Government, over the past 4 months, has started its greatest money expansion in history. Since Sept. '08, Federal Reserve credit is up by 150%, and the monetary base is up by 100%. The money supply proper will take some time because it is largely created by the private banking system, and this moves more slowly.

      Furthermore, although exact timing is less certain, I am fairly confident that bottoms are in for many commodities. Gold bottomed Oct. 24. Cocoa bottomed Oct. 24. Platinum bottomed Oct. 27. Silver bottomed Oct. 28. The CRB index bottomed Dec. 5. Corn, wheat and soybeans bottomed Dec. 5. Coffee bottomed Dec. 5. Unleaded gasoline bottomed Dec. 24. And crude oil bottomed Dec. 26. The establishment seems not to have noticed, but many commodities have been in uptrends since the turn of the millennium. For them to have 5-7 month declines is completely normal and does not indicate a reversal of trend. Just the opposite, what indicates a long term top in a commodity is a spike top, such as occurred in gold on Jan. 21, 1980.

      I have pointed out that all of the establishment's evidence for a general "deflation" is of the self-fulfilling variety. The newspapers report that there is going to be a decline in such and such an area of the economy. An executive in the advertising department of a retail outlet reads this and decides to cut back on his newspaper advertising. Therefore his store pulls in fewer customers and records lower sales for the Christmas season. Another executive lays off workers in anticipation of a slower period. Over and over the media makes their gloomy forecasts come true, at least for the short term. So, you see, they can make up any lie at all, and the self-fulfilling aspect will make it appear to be true.

      However, we know what happens to these self-fulfilling prophecies. They come true for a short period of time. Then the basic demand of the people for goods breaks through. All the indicators rebound. It turns out that the economy is not caught in a wave of "deflation." It is caught in a wave of "inflation."

      Since Ben Bernanke is so obsessed with what is conventionally called the Great Depression, let us give some attention to this event. Bernanke, and all other establishment figures believe that this was a wave of "deflation" which simply came out of nowhere. They believe that such waves are inherent in a free economy. But the "deflation" of 1930-33 did not come out of nowhere. It was engineered by the Republicans. In 1920, the Republicans, observing that prices had doubled during WWI, decided that it would be good policy to bring them back down again. Since cigars had gone from 5¢ to 10¢ during the war, this policy of restoring the pre-WWI price level was expressed as, "What this country needs is a good 5¢ cigar."

      First, this policy had been implemented after the price increases of the Civil War, and it had been very successful. It made the United States the richest country in the history of the world. Second, this policy had been very popular. The Republicans became the dominant party at this time, and the only Democrat who could get elected (Grover Cleveland) had a Republican economic policy (gold standard).

      The Republicans' logic was very compelling. All the savers in the country had been cheated by the WWI depreciation of the currency. The currency had to be restored to its true value in order to make the savers whole. The Republicans were the party of the savers, and the savers were the large majority of the country.

      The Democrats of that day cried, "What about the unemployed?" But the Republicans knew about the unemployed. They were basing their policy on what had happened after the Civil War. And after the Civil War there had been a "depression" (1873-79) almost as bad as that of 1930-33. Unemployment had soared during this period. The Republicans made two points. First, there were a lot more savers than unemployed; so their policy was for the benefit of the majority of the people. Second, the fact that the savers and the unemployed had different interests was temporary. It resulted from the fact that the Democrats had done wrong by depreciating the currency during the war. The unemployment of the 1930s was caused by the Democrats when they printed money to finance WWI. Further, the unemployment of the 1870s had been temporary, and that of the 1930s proved temporary as well. But the harm to the nation's savers which started after 1933 was permanent and had devastating effects on the U.S. economy.

      So here is a policy which not only was consciously and deliberately adopted by the Government, but the policy was right and was for the greater good of the country. For Bernanke to argue that this was something that just came out of the sky and was bad shows that he does not have the slightest concept of what is going on in economics. If one actually studies economics, one finds that all price declines in American history were caused by declines in the money supply, which in turn were caused by the government. There has never been a liquidity trap where people had money but just decided not to spend it.

      If there is intelligent life on Mars and a Martian were to visit America, he might point out, "Gee, you people have had rising prices for 53 years consecutively. The last year in which prices went down was 1955. I think you should be worried about prices going up, not down." And he might also point out, "Further, 1955 is celebrated in your popular culture as Happy Days. Maybe declining prices are a good thing, not a bad thing." Certainly the decline in gasoline over the last half of 2008 (temporary as it is) was a good thing. Maybe the President needs to appoint this Martian as his economic advisor.

      Since that time, the Democrats have posed as the defender of the unemployed, and anyone who argues against their policies is slandered as lacking sympathy. First, they had "sympathy" for the minority of the people but completely lacked sympathy for the large majority. Second, the leader of the Democrats at that time, F.D.R., was a Wall Streeter (manager of a vulture fund), and he just happened to adopt a policy which caused a large rise in the stock market. (The DJI doubled from early '33 to early '34 and multiplied by almost 4 times by early '37.) He couldn't admit that this was his intention. He was pretending to be a traitor to his class. The unemployed were a convenient post on which he could hang his hat. He was trying to lower real wages. This would reduce unemployment. But he was trying to do it to increase the profits of the big corporations. It was hardly in the best interest of the working man.

      Given that the supporters of Wall Street and the big corporations are now in control of the country and given that they have started a policy of a massive infusion of money, the question must be raised, how do you protect yourself? After all, this is the same policy which has reduced Zimbabwe (the former Rhodesia) to famine and disease. The first thing you have to do is to make a decision. Are prices going up, or are they going down? They can't do both, and what you need to do in the one case is exactly the opposite of what you need to do in the other. The media are lying to you because they represent the interests of Wall Street and the big corporations, and these people are trying to steal your wealth. You have to see through this lie if you are going to protect yourself.

      I call myself the one-handed economist because this phrase comes from Harry Truman, who was fed up with the BS he was getting from F.D.R.'s economic advisors. When Truman would ask a straight question, they would give him double talk. "On the one hand"¦, but on the other hand." Truman got angry and said, "What this country needs is a good one-handed economist." Truman stopped the growth in the money supply and balanced the budget. Eisenhower continued his policy. Together they gave the country Happy Days. Today, both parties are in the pocket of Wall Street, and they are trying to rob you blind. Ben Bernanke is counterfeiter in chief.