Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Businessweek Archives

Will Housing Make Bernanke Cranky?

? Sold! |


| Help for Cash-Poor, House-Rich Senior Citizens ?

February 03, 2006

Will Housing Make Bernanke Cranky?

Peter Coy

He's genial. Personable. Open. He's Ben S. Bernanke, who this Wednesday succeeded Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

But Bernanke might get a little cranky in the coming year if Goldman, Sachs & Co. is right about a coming slump in housing.

Read on ....

Goldman economist Jan Hatzius argues that softness in housing will be such a drag on the economy that the Federal Reserve, which has been steadily cranking short-term interest rates higher, is going to have to turn around and start cutting them to keep the economy from tanking. He's looking for a full percentage-point cut in 2007.

Here are Hatzius' bullet points:

**Houses are about 15% overvalued nationwide, ranging from 50% overvalued in Los Angeles to not overvalued at all in Houston.

**Housing construction, which is the highest share of GDP in half a century, will slow. And people will pull less cash out of their homes (through cash-out refinancings, etc.).

**Together, these drags will subtract 1.5 percentage points from the economy's underlying growth rate. For the past two years, housing's strength has lifted economic growth about 1 percentage point above its underlying rate. All told, then, the downturn in housing from will subtract 2.5 percentage points from GDP growth.

**Ben Bernanke probably isn't going to react right away. He'll wait until there's concrete evidence that a housing downturn is hurting the economy. "If and when that slowdown arrives, however, the response is likely to be fairly aggressive."

02:14 PM


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Will Housing Make Bernanke Cranky?:

? Should Home Buyers hold off buying for 2006? from Pacesetter Mortgage Blog

Lansing, Michigan - I was reading an article by Toddi Gutner over at The Hot Property Blog this morning. Here was the question at the end of her piece:Do you agree with Chris that housing cycles are 10-12 years? If [Read More]

Tracked on February 4, 2006 08:16 AM

? A Weakening Economy (If It Is), Has The Makings Of A Refi Boom In 2007 (If It Does) from Matrix

Source: Charles Atlas

In Peter Coy’s insightful post Will Housing Make Bernanke Cranky [BW], he discusses Goldman economist Jan Hatzius [BW] argument that the “soft landing” that has been described more times than can be legally b... [Read More]

Tracked on February 7, 2006 11:24 PM

We know this. Bernanke is inheriting a housing market that has experienced an extreme bull market for the past 4 years. What else would be expected, as the correction already started.

In addition, the bond markets are already betting on a coming recession. The idea that Bernanke will be facing a tough situation in the next 2-4 years is known, he will have to cut rates. Just by how much, for how long, and how he handles the public in regards to his future actions is the uncertainty that no market likes; especially the equities markets.

Posted by: UrbanDigs at February 3, 2006 07:54 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus