Friday, May 9, 2008

Map of Misery

From the May 8, 2008, issue of The Economist, Map of misery: The house-price bust has a long way to go.

SOUNDING more like a cartographer than a central banker, Ben Bernanke this week showed off the Federal Reserve’s latest gizmo for tracking America’s property bust: maps that colour-code price declines, foreclosures and other gauges of housing distress for every county. His goal was to show that falling prices meant more foreclosures, and to urge lenders to write down the principal on troubled loans where the house is worth less than the value of the mortgage. His maps—where hotter colours imply more trouble—also make a starker point. The pain of America’s housing bust varies enormously by region. Hardest hit have been the “bubble states”—California, Nevada and Florida, and parts of the industrial Midwest. The biggest uncertainty hanging over the economy is how red will things get.
Read the rest of the article.

All I have to do is walk around the neighborhood and see the number of "For Sale" signs that have been up for months... Houses are not moving. Prices are dropping, and many people are hurting. Many folks who might need to sell their home cannot do so without taking a loss.

Maybe they shouldn't have bought that house they couldn't afford in the first place... Maybe it might have occured to them, before they bought their house, that if property values have jumped 300% in the last five years, they might, just maybe fall again... But I also know folks who need to sell their home, because of job relocation, etc... and they cannot get out. Ms. Cartophiliac and I have often spoken of relocating... I think we'll just stay pat for now.

Where to go when surrounded by the Map of Misery? Why not take a vacation for the mind? Visit The Funny Times:

The Funny Times is a The Funny Times is a monthly tabloid newspaper for humor - funny jokes, political cartoons, news and columns.
No matter what has you down:
  • The War on Terror
  • HMO Waiting Rooms
  • Family Stress
...our cartoonists and columnists will fill you with inspiration instead of despair.
So, don't let yourself be lost in the Sea of Red Ink, broken down in Monotony, or stranded on the Road to Ruin... use this road map from The Funny Times.

Thanks to the Stumbling Tumblr for the miserable tip.

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At Saturday, May 10, 2008 , Blogger Michael5000 said...

Interesting how prominent state boundaries are in the data pattern. That suggests that differential state regulations might be influenceing the pattern....


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