Thursday, October 13, 2005

Martha, Martha, Martha

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc
West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

RE: Town of Cary, North Carolina, the first KB Home community created with Martha Stewart

Dear Martha,

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but is teaming up with a home builder really the best way to revitalize your company? Didn't you learn your lesson after you let them talk you into doing that reality television show? (Even last year's failed action drama Hawaii had better Nielsen numbers than your spinoff of The Apprentice, and who remembers Hawaii?) Isn't it best to stick with what you know? Isn't that how you made your fortune? For God's sake, you just got off house arrest, why do you want to chain yourself back to a piece of real estate? Do you really believe these developers when they say things like Bruce Karatz of KB Homes said in that New York Times story today?
"I don't believe there is a housing bubble bursting," Bruce Karatz, KB's chief executive, said. "I think there will be an evening off of demand and an evening off of price escalation. We won't see the big rises we've enjoyed in recent years. But that doesn't mean there will be a downturn."
An evening off of demand? An evening off of price escalation? Martha! Before you went to jail did you think your career was going to experience an evening off? Hell no. You knew you were falling faster than a undercooked meringue. Did you think your beloved Kmart was experiencing an evening off of sales just before Sears gobbled them up a year ago? Nuh uh! You had to know, in your heart, that you were witnessing the dying of the big, blue light. Girl, I thought you had better contacts in the financial world than THIS. Why isn't someone whispering in that cute little ear of yours? Isn't that what got you into trouble in the first place? Ok, so maybe you aren't talking to those people any more, and it's just as well, but it hurts to see the pendulum swing so far in the other direction.

Darling Martha, c'mon. Truth time. You gotta run. Run fast, and run hard. Throw that little old house deal off like a dirty ankle bracelet and make for The Hamptons. I know what you're gonna say. You gotta break a few eggs ... But, believe me, this isn't an egg. It's a gigantic bubble, and when it pops the yolk's going to be all over you.


— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble