Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas, my gift of hope to GenX 'ers and Millennials

One thing a significant downturn in an economy always does is help the next generation afford the things that the previous generation has taken for granted and that they have overpriced.

For instance, maybe homes and maybe the stock market.

With home prices continuing to fall (and they will until all the defaulted mortgage and excess capacity is absorbed or demolished), and when our recent college graduates and Gen Xers start to recover they will find the cost of homes to be within their reach. In a few years a hardy bunch of young home builders will get out there again and start building small, energy efficient and affordable homes

I expect that the government will continue to find ways to keep home mortgage rates as low as possible. However, the curves of price and interest must meet to keep home ownership costs affordable. I think this is a given and maybe the economists idea of supply and demand will make sense again sometime soon.

Although the convergence of low mortgage rates and cheap money helped create our economic predicament, the politics of homeownership is not over by a long shot. (the poster's humble opinion).

When the bankers come to their senses and dump their stock portfolios to take their profits and resume traditional banking again, the prices of stock ownership (again, in my opinion) will return to a realistic level.

In the post-consumerism world, stocks will be priced on a company's ability to make and share profit (that used to be called paying dividends). Stock prices will not be based on your bet that there is someone willing to pay you a higher price for an overvalued stock. (The theory of the next greater fool.)

An added benefit:

In other areas, millennials and GenXers will find that, as the generation that screwed up the economy leaves that economy by death, retirement or other means, interesting jobs will open up. Some of those interesting new jobs will be in post-consumer businesses, green energy, and climate change adaptation.

So with the cheery time of the year upon us my gift to millennials and GenXers is HOPE that: 
  • they may be able to own their own mcmansion (suitably downsized)
  • they may gain wealth through industrial ownership.
  • they may find jobs more exciting than grocery bagger or barista.
And to all a good night!

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