Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Who Will Explain The Bubble To Your Editor?

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Al Tompkins is a guy that newspaper editors from coast to coast listen to each morning before they head into their budget meetings (which is when a bunch of editors sit around and joke about the news for 20 minutes and then spend 5 minutes deciding what stories should go where in the next day's paper). My editors worship the man's daily blog of hot news stories and trends because it means they don't have to think for themselves. Al tells them what he thinks is important, and thank God, he's often right.

So, it's worth pointing out to all who question the intelligence of the mainstream media that there are some wise people out there who try to keep the average editor informed. While Tomkins is hardly banging a drum to warn people of the housing bubble, he's at least doing what any good journalist should do — looking at the facts and explaining what they mean.

Tompkins did a bubble entry on his blog a year ago, hooking America's editors up with a solid primer on the subject, and pointed out in a year-end roundup of the biggest stories of 2005 that housing was a giant story. Unfortunately, there was so much bad news to report in 2005 — from Iraq to the Tsunami to Katrina — that not too many year-end, top-10 lists included the housing issue.

I suspect, as the stats continue to fly across Tomkins desk throughout 2005 he'll start to see that the so-called "water" thrown on the housing bubble theory was just the real estate industry's attempt to wash away the stain of reality.
The price of housing was a giant story in 2005 that will have implications for years to come. It is still uncertain if we are in the midst of a housing bubble. The cost of housing resulted in speculation that encouraged land development, condo construction and investments that were unimaginable in previous years.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble