May 19, 2007

Post-houisng-bubble regulation: Will the REIC and MSM have to expose conflict of interest in the future?

One good thing that came out of the dot-com collapse is that analysts and media have to expose when they have any potential conflict of interest - stock holdings, investment banking relationships, etc.

Well, as we all know, that doesn't happen today with real estate.

You have people like The Corrupt David Lereah out there cheerleading housing, while speculating in investment condos, having his salary paid by six percenters, and making money off of "housing never goes down" books.

You have Nicholas Retsinas at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing putting out "there is no bubble" statements, when his salary is paid for by the who's-who of the REIC.

You have MSM reporters cheerleading housing because their salaries are paid for by REIC ads, and on a personal level their house is their biggest financial asset (or risk). In other words, their entire career and financial well-being rests on house prices going up.

And you have real estate clerks giving their expert unbiased views to the MSM on how we've "hit bottom" and how "it's a great time to buy or sell", when the only thing standing between them and a lifetime of Top Ramen is getting suckers to believe that it's a great time to buy or sell.

Real Estate and stocks should be treated the exact same way. Anyone with a vested interest in the asset in question should be required by law to expose their potential conflicts.

Until then, the public will continue to be duped, conned, lied to, deceived and crushed.

HousingPANIC full disclosure: I don't own any real estate thank god.


Paul E. Math said...

It should be obvious to everyone that a representative of the NAR is incapable of presenting an unbiased view. Unfortunately, few have the critical skills to make this observation.

So, when commenting on real estate, anyone whose home is their primary asset or who is employed by a home builder, seller, buyer or middleman should begin with the statement "I have a vested interest in rising real estate prices so the opinion I am about to give is not entirely objective".

Someone like Robert Schiller wouldn't have to make that statement because his home is not the largest asset in his portfolio and he does not in any way make money from the home sale transaction. That's how you would know someone's opinion was objective and therefore trustworthy.

Anonymous said...

You wonder why the talking heads on TV are always cheering good housing numbers

Anonymous said...

no, the MSM won't have to expose their conflict of interest. people should know about "paid product placement," etc... by now.

Anonymous said...

i stopped driving at 1.87 a gallon, boy you sheeple are realy getting ripped off in this neo war economy gas rationing

ocbear said...

You will never get rid of rosy predictions because journalists may also be homedebtors.

Don't worry about RE agents. In 10 years they won't exist except in NYC and Newport Beach. It should be that long till the next bubble.