Photograph by MoonSoleil/Conny Liegl
The Flying Wallenda’s were tightrope daredevils who performed without a safety net. Having perfected the 7 person human pyramid over 50 years of performing they became the most famous high wire circus act of the 20th century. In a 1963 performance two of the family fell to their deaths.
Some people were surprised.
In the middle of this decade the availability of no-doc, 45 year, 105 % cash back at closing, adjustable rate home loans made the market prices soar. Having perfected the art of packaging tens of millions of loans by stuffing in the junk with the good stuff, shares of junk bonds backed by homes spread all over the world. The American savings rate is down to zero.
In 2008 the realization dawned that this meant some people had “already sold their house to the bank” and they were “upside down”. Irrational panic followed and several large companies fell to their deaths.
Some people were surprised.
Human nature is to follow the lemming in front of you and don’t ask any questions. Safety in numbers. We have a media which tends to make news where there isn’t any. And don’t even mention talk radio. They would make you think the boom times were normal and would never end. Now we have gone the other way and are talking ourselves right off the cliff. You read stats saying this or that is “36% Down”. Of course it is, we were on an all time high. Now we are going down. It’s a simple rhythm, like the tide. Up then Down.
Some lost sight of cycle when it was at the top. Now they are losing sight of the cycle when it’s at the bottom. From Irrational Euphoria to sheer Adrenaline Panic.
Those of us beyond gen x and y have seen worse than this. What’s different this time is the media carnival overplaying the situation. Remember Y2K ? It was brought to you by the news media. Remember how they said the electricity, the banks and all computers would fail at midnight on December 31, 1999 ? Remember what happened ? Nothing. Next time you read a Newsweek comparison to the Great Depression keep that in mind.
We also remember Robert Vesco, Michael Milliken and the junk bonds, the crash of 1987, the crash of 1999 (most have forgotten that one) and of course the dip after 911. We are still here and those of us who didn’t try to perform the 7 person human pyramid on a tightrope are doing fine.
This is the prediction of a seasoned observer – the media that magnifies and spins so well will turn from obsessing on the negative to finding the positive some time after the new President gets in. They will fulfill their own prophecy which they spun before the election. We will rally, once again, as we always have.
Chuck Carey is the principal of Carey Commercial, a Hyannis, MA based business and investment property brokerage firm serving Cape Cod, MA. Through his more than twenty years of professional involvement in the local marketplace, he is widely regarded as one of a small number of commercial brokers offering the level of experience and pragmatic perspective clients require as they address the dynamics of changing market cycles.