Monday, September 13, 2010

Property prices - picture a leaking barrage balloon

Property prices have risen faster than inflation for so many decades that modern man seems incapable of contemplating that there is now nothing left to keep them up. Cartoons often can convey complicated concepts where words fall short. As I cannot draw, let me describe a cartoon picture. Picture Great Britain above which floats a leaking and therefore descending huge barrage balloon, dirigible or whatnot. So high has it been and so large has it become that it virtually covers the entire island. It is called "House prices". As it falls threatening to crush the mass of pygmy like figures below, they manfully grip any stick pole or cane to hand to keep it aloft, yet gravity cannot be defied. Any observer would see that evacuating to areas yet uncovered by the monstrosity provides their sole means of escape. My view that senior members of the Government must cut themselves free from the fantasy of ever rising home prices is designed to allow them to cut the false bonds that restrict their freedom of movement and as it were with one bound be free! It is their own attitude of mind that prevents them from perceiving the reality. Last week it was announced that British land development prices for new buildings had fallen to one third of their 2007 peak. That is the extent of the fall that, disregarding inflation on building material costs , now faces the homeowner, that is right a fall of two thirds or 66%! Frightening is it not, yet nobody has done, nor indeed is doing anything about it. The money thrown at the banks and therefore down the drain since 2007 has merely succeeded in deferring the reality, as does the Basel III fiddling of last evening. The problem is worst in the USA, then Britain and thereafer in the other English speaking nations such as Australia in my view. Trust must return to our means of exchange, namely money, is that possible with patent failures King, Trichet, Bernanke and Geitner working at the solution under political leaders seemingly mainly concerned with the impossibility of maintaining their ill-gotten gains from the property price bubble they themselves created and benefitted from almost entirely at the public's expense. Since Nixon broke the last link of the US dollar to gold, "In God we trust" on the coinage, should have become "In the Fed Chairman we trust" which certainly seemed true through the Greenspan years but must today be farcial when viewing the efforts of Bernanke! Another aspect of the wider view would reveal that our bust barrage balloon was in fact part of the wider EU supported by other illusory and leaking dirigibles but that as they say is an entirely different kettle of (almost extinct) fish!



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