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Understanding Housing Bubbles Paperback – April 11, 2012


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About the Author

In the late 1970s Bill McKim was an attorney in Torrance, California, where he had a real estate law practice. He lived across the street from where a housing bubble began. He watched and marveled as prices of houses around him doubled, then tripled, in price, in a matter of months, without any change in the value of those houses as dwellings. From that time on, he viewed housing bubbles differently than did anyone else. By the time the third housing bubble had burst in 2008 he knew that 1) the bubbles are caused by a Homemania, and not by the activities of individuals or groups of individuals, 2) the Homemania causes an investment to exist which pays a very high rate of return with no apparent risk, 3) such an investment inevitably draws investment capital away from other investments, 4) the investment creates very little wealth and causes a great increase in the consumption of wealth, leaving the country much, much poorer, 5) the bubble cannot be controlled by regulation, once it occurs, 6) bubbles can be prevented by taxation, and 7) nobody was aware of any of this. Since that time, a number of books have been written, and television productions aired, about the most recent housing bubble. They have not shed light on the true nature of bubbles and their effect on the economy, though, because their creators had not had the experience of seeing a housing bubble form. These books and television productions are almost always driven by an attempt to pin the blame for the financial disaster on some individual or group of individuals. The truth is that no one was responsible for creating the disaster, but that everybody was equally ignorant about what was happening. Now we are in the midst of an election campaign to select a President and a Congress whose most important and most urgent task will be to quickly enact a tax reform that will prevent housing bubbles from occurring in the future. No candidate has any idea that such a task exists, nor any understanding of why we are in the present economic crisis, nor what should be done to cope with it. That is why this book was written. It explains what a Homemania is, with ten more Steps to Understanding which remove all impediments to learning the truth about the current crisis and how to deal with it.

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