Weighing in on Wall Street

You may have noticed how we haven’t really talked about the melt-down of our financial systems here. It has been the Big News, particularly this week as we saw Lehman Brothers exit stage left and Merrill Lynch find a foster home at Bank of America, and as we continued to hear the reports that banking giants Washington Mutual and Wachovia are operating with detonation devices strapped to their chests. Most recently, attention has shifted to news that insurance powerhouse AIG is doing the dog paddle in a fierce undertow.

We haven’t really talked about it for a couple of reasons. First, what is currently taking place is quite complex. I am a real estate agent and, having opted to forego the elective classes on micro- and macro-economics during my college years in favor of physical anthropology and sailing, I readily admit I am not qualified to provide an in-depth analysis of the global or even national banking systems. I know what I don’t know, and what I know comes from the same places every other “outsider” gets their information — the media. Second, a full month ago I spoke with a favorite mortgage broker who promised me an insanely inspired guest article. The problem here is that he is a maniac, a perfectionist, a loan officer who embraces and studies economics with the same enthusiasm I show my Altos Charts. And with the scenery changing by the minute, I am told he is about eight redrafts into the assignment, which means I am no closer to my guest post.

Thankfully, Jeff Corbett has unknowingly come to my rescue. Better known as the X Broker, Jeff wrote this succinct piece on what the Wall Street goings-on of the past week really mean to the real estate market. Even I understood it, so I encourage you to give it a read.

If you live in San Diego, you might want to skip over the last part, where the X-Man says, “Unless you live in California, Las Vegas, South Florida, or the Rust Belt…which either experienced high levels of mortgage fraud(or) illogical appreciation…  your local housing market is no worse off than it was before Wall Street’s most recent ‘Black Monday’.”


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