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January 04, 2009


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Lee D

You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to outdo the NAR for sheer blind pollyannaism. The NRF's wishful thinking isn't even in the same league.


@ Lee

Agreed, I just found it stupendously bold to predict an up-trend in Holiday sales when sales of, uh, everything are down by anywhere from 5-50%.


I don't know why you even ask - NAR is the most ridiculous group(and that is saying a lot).

I remember having to explain to a realtor a few years back how amortizing the loan worked (after the dumb guy kept trying to tell me how it was better to pay a stupid price and have "equity" in a home). He really didn't get it - he kept referring to the charts NAR gives its realtors that calculate the debt costs per $1,000. And he literally said "home prices have gone up 5% a year for the past 5 years and I don't see any reason why they won't keep rising."


@ Thoth

I guess the only reason for comparison is expectations; Everyone and their mother should know with 100% certainty by this point, that the NAR is about as reliable for credible information as Mad Magazine. Not being wholly aware of the NRF's tendency to massively exaggerate and make things up as a matter of principle, I figured they'd at least say sales would be flat y/y. Alas, they later revised their "estimates" downward as the holiday season came along, but I find it interesting is that they should HOPE TO GOD spending didn't increase in the holiday season.

As we've discussed, consumer-linked assets (whether Retail company equity, credit card ABS or whatever) are likely to be completely fuxored in '09. Hoping that by announcing spending would be up, such a prediction actually came to fruition, as the NRF did, is akin to hoping for one's demise to happen sooner rather than later.

Kid Dynamite

you need to read Paul Kedrosky's post today:



@ Dynamite

Just saw it on twitter actually, thanks for reminding me though! Frankly, someone needs to explain to me how the NAR (and the Rating Agencies) haven't been completely silenced on the matters they typically expound upon. Both have proven to be completely and utterly full of shit, sigh...

Calgary Schmooze

Fuck. Thanks for the heads-up, Anal.

Cancelling my subscription to Alfred E. Neuman's investment newsletter...

burnt quant

re: this set of mindboggling mathematical impossibilities

Brilliant stuff if you can be bothered to follow the link and dig through a sheet of figures that have been put together by your local realtor, proving that children should not be let loose on Excel without supervision.

Check out the annual figures that make no sense given the quarterlies, the rebound in home prices with unemployment at 8%, the disposable income bounce with falling employment, the bounce in consumer confidence etc etc...

Lee D

Forgive the self-spam but Thoth's story about schooling a realtor reminded me of this story a friend told me that I posted up last year, and it seems timely:



@ Burnt quant

My head actually almost exploded when I went though it! Also, wtf is up with the PDF? Only amateurs and complete liars supply the pdf instead of the xls, oh, wait...

@ Lee

Self-spam forgiven (financial traders and other serial self-spammers, not so much)

Lee D

LMAO @ "Only amateurs and complete liars supply the pdf instead of the xls, oh, wait..."


As I mentioned in an above comment about the NRF, its interesting to consider that these two groups, with their short-sighted "NOW (right NOW!) IS THE BEST TIME TO BUY, AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!" rhetoric have shot themselves in the foot. That is, in attempting to accelerate purchase decisions in both timliness and magnitude - and acomplishing those objectives - both groups and their constituents/members now find themselves pretty much f*cked.

Sigh, the problem with the buy buy buy/sell sell sell culture we've created (/let run rampant), no one can see the forest for the trees (i.e. a balance of short-term well-being with an eye on long-term sustainability).


Anal_yst - I agree that NAR and NRF have pretty much shot themselves in the foot, but I honestly don't think they even uderstand why. I personally have never understood the whole rationale behind encouraging consumer spending (whether on a house or at the mall), especially the reckless spending on the past decade. It always just reminds me of that SNL skit on how to get out of credit card debt ("stop spending money if you don't have it").

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