US: Housing Crisis Dead Ahead

Posted by Robert P. Murphy - Euro Pacific Capital

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Author Peter Schiff has helped reassure me that I haven’t been taking crazy pills. President and chief global strategist of broker-dealer Euro Pacific Capital, Schiff is also the man who argued face-to-face with the Occupy Wall Street protestors in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, telling them — in part, at least — that they had a right to be angry.

Such perspectives help inform this wide-ranging and highly readable tome. For those who dismiss Schiff as an eccentric investor who “got lucky” with his now-famous prediction of the housing collapse, The Real Crash showcases a writer and analyst with a clear hold on sanity, who nonetheless has an unsettling message to convey.

“Whenever people credit me with calling the crash,” he declares at the outset, “it pains me to tell them that what they saw in 2008 and 2009 wasn’t the crash — that was a tremor before the earthquake. The real crash is still coming.”

Like many economists in the Austrian School — associated with thinkers like Ludwig von Mises and Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek — he author blames the housing bubble largely on the Federal Reserve. He acknowledges that government-sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and related interventions were contributing factors. But he thinks these alone can’t explain the size of the bubble.

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