Posted by WARREN MOSLER on November 17th, 2009
Interesting how high housing starts were when interest rates were a lot higher than they are now.
And if you ‘population adjust’ the housing starts the ‘Greenspan super bubble’ fell far short of previous highs, even with much higher mtg rates back then. (add about 2% to the 10 year note rates to approximate mortgage rates.)
In fact, it’s hard to attribute housing performance to interest rates in general.
I saw a graph from Goldman a couple of years ago showing how housing related to the fiscal cycle and at that time it was forecasting a decline. And interest rates were nowhere to be found in that model. While I did criticize some of the policies of the Greenspan era, I never have ‘blamed’ him for the housing bubble. Ironically he’s watched this destroy his reputation and largely believes it himself.
Interest rates didn’t get us into this and they won’t get us out, as the late John Kenneth Galbraith stated in his last book, ‘The Economics of Innocent Fraud.’