One reliable sign the housing crisis may be over

    I decided some months ago that I would never again waste any thought or electronic ink on David Lareah, the former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.  Mr. Lareah retired to Florida more than a year ago,

Lareah giving Wall Street advice is like Bill Clinton advising interns.

leaving behind at the NAR a legacy of misstatements that make "mission accomplished in Iraq" seem mild in comparison.  Since Mr. Lareah's departure, his successor, Lawrence Yun, has done a fine job of wrapping phony optimism around meaningless numbers.  The NAR and Yun continue to mislead their members and the mainstream media which, in turn, passes the tripe along to an anxious public.  
    But we know David Lareah, and Mr. Yun is no David Lareah.
    Yet now, just as I and countless others were getting used to not having Lareah to kick around anymore, comes word that the economist is back with a vengeance.  According to Newsweek columnist Daniel McGinn, perhaps the only person on the planet brazen enough to admit he feels sorry for the savaging that Lareah received during his tenure as hypemeister, the disgraced economist is planning a new gig on Wall Street.  McGinn writes that Lareah has formed Reecon Advisors, which will provide guidance to investors and Wall Street companies about the real estate market.  Huh?  That is like sending Bill Clinton to the local university to advise students on internships.  Nothing good can come of it.
    As a way to buff his own credibility with those Wall Street firms dopey enough to hire him, Lareah now says publicly that the housing market is going to stay in the dumper for some time.  
    "We're not at the bottom," Lareah told columnist McGinn. "[People] want it to be near the bottom, but we're not there yet.  The leading indicators are still very bad.  Pending home sales are still in bad shape. Mortgage applications are low ... There's still supply out there in abundance ...
    "This thing is going to get worse before it gets better."
    Lareah's pessimism about the housing market is the most optimistic note you will read anywhere.

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