Surfing the U.S. housing market

Robert Shiller is both a thoughtful macroeconomist and a clever entrepreneur. I interviewed him on both aspects of his working life for Diamond Weekly on Labor Day 2006. Among other things, he was pessimistic about the U.S. economy, and suggested that it might well enter recession by 2008. But he was also clear that the U.S. housing market of the last decade has no parallel in our history — and that Americans will always look for the next quick buck.

Our surveys show that people expect to get rich from some investment. It does tend to alternate between stocks and housing, and that’s been true for a long time. The stock market boom of the 1920s ended in 1929. Then there was a boom from 1933 to 1937, and that was followed by a housing boom in the ‘40s and early ‘50s. Then it was back to the stock market in the mid-1950’s.

World Voice: Robert Shiller

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