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Munchau:  Unless there has been some structural shift, there is going to be one of the most serious housing downturns ever.

Let me expand on what he is saying.  

In 1928 the US housing market started to lose value.  The market value of these homes did not return to pre-28 values until the 1950s.  Mr. Munchau is saying this downturn will be worse.

(eek)

Jerome: The only open question is whether the new investors, who are buying into our banks at this delicate point in time, will make any money.

For those in euro-land it's an open question.  Partially it depends on the total exposure of the total financial system, the strength or lack of it for the individual entities, and what moves the euro makes versus other currencies. None of which do I know enough about to comment.  Tho' I would like to note: in theory international investors could lose money on their investment when accounting in euros and make money in their currency-of-record.  

In US dollars, pumping money into the banking system is one way for holders of US dollar denominated financial instruments to trade their paper into claims on real assets.  The holders get to trade a depreciated claim (those financial instruments) at par - a buck still buys a buck in the US.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 16th, 2007 at 07:03:21 PM EST

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