I live outside of Washington DC, just beyond the leafy suburbs, right on the edge of the countryside.
Where I live is an interesting mix of Federal Government employees and old horse money. Not a bad place to live, and an area that is probably slogging through the current recession better than most places due to it’s proximity to the Federal trough.
But even here, there are real cracks emerging.
I recently sat with a friend of mine who runs a business and he lamented that over the past year things have been steadily drying up. As people have begun to max out their credit cards, without fresh infusions of new debt backed money, things have slowed. He is very concerned, because there seems no light at the end of the tunnel.
Despite what we have been told, there is no recovery. About the only thing (aside from metals) that has rallied over the past year and a half is the stock market because the Fed has infused the market with funny money.
What I see on the ground is an eroding of the long held assumptions in this country about the economy.
Lets see…Housing always goes up. Buy and hold. A college education is “good debt.” Only crazy people retire to Costa Rica…
Things are changing.
Housing is continuing to spiral down. Buy and hold is a crazy philosophy in a time where returns in the stock market have been flat to negative for 10+ years. College educations now are a dime a dozen and paid for by (formerly) easily obtained debt which then anchors the former “student” to a life of servitude. Costa Rica is filling up with retirees from the States who are trying to get out with what they have left.
South Florida and Glendale Arizona are not far enough any more…