Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari was the latest Fed official to claim that “spotting bubbles is hard,” that the Fed cannot see them, and that if it could see them, it shouldn’t do anything to stop them because it had only “limited policy tools.”
Neither Kashkari nor anyone else working at the Treasury Department in 2006 could see any bubbles, not even the housing bubble although it was already beginning to deflate.
“It is really hard to spot bubbles with any confidence before they burst,” Kashkari writes, specifically naming stock prices and house prices. “Everyone can recognize a bubble after it bursts, and then many people convince themselves that they saw it on the way up.”
So here is a visual aid for Kashkari and other Fed governors. It will help them “spot” the beautiful housing bubbles in the US – because bubbles really aren’t hard to recognize before they burst, if you want to recognize them.
Since everyone called it a housing bubble after it had imploded, even Kashkari, today’s phase in the wondrous market is Housing Bubble 2, No?
The other day, Zillow reported that the national median home value in April rose 7.3% year-over-year to $198,000. It too beat the peak of Housing Bubble 1 ($196,600) set in April 2007. “It only took a decade,” Zillow said.
View additional charts for major U.S. cities at: Dear Fed, It’s Not “Really Hard to Spot Bubbles” | Wolf Street