Chickens and Pigs.

I’m told of a place in North Dakota where the wind is so consistent that when it stops, a very rare event, all the chickens fall over.  And so it is with trends, especially long ones.  For half a century or more, real estate prices had been in a long trend upward.  When they stopped rising and actually reversed directions in dramatic fashion, the world banking system seems to have emulated North Dakota’s chickens.  What, if anything, will help them get back on their feet again?  The Fed is trying to force mortgage rates down to lure new home buyers back.  It may work, although it hasn’t done so for over a decade in Japan.  Potential buyers aren’t sure just where they stand as recession keeps taking more jobs away.  In winter, when the ponds in Dakota freeze, nothing is more pitiful than seeing someone’s hog get loose and struggle to walk on the ice.  We may wait a long time before the Fed’s efforts to reheat the economy allows Spring to blossom again here.