Sunday, January 11, 2009

The World's Smallest Violin

From the Wall Street Journal:

Once one of the world's most-visible housing experts, Mr. Lereah is disconnected from his old life. The former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors says the group's top executives won't return his phone calls. He says he wasn't invited to the association's 100th birthday bash last May.
Mr. Lereah, who says he left NAR voluntarily, says he was pressured by executives to issue optimistic forecasts -- then was left to shoulder the blame when things went sour. "I was there for seven years doing everything they wanted me to," he said, looking out his window to his tree-filled yard in this Washington suburb. Mr. Lereah now works at home, trying to rebuild his career and saddled with a sagging portfolio of real-estate investments.
In April 2007, Mr. Lereah left NAR, and after working about a year on a start-up venture, took some time off for a few months. He cruised around on his 29-foot sport-fishing boat and played golf at the country club...He has started his own company, Reecon Advisors, that puts out a weekly newsletter on the housing market and provides consulting services..."He's starting to make some money off it now, not much," says Mrs. Lereah. "We have an expensive lifestyle: a big house, a housekeeper once a week, college tuitions, the country club."


Max said...

Wow. Here's a guy who thought he did everything right: He sold out his integrity as a professional economist, US citizen, human being, and Realtor, and now he wonders why he has no friends. Pretty soon he'll be telling the neighbors how bad his wife's cooking is.

No violin from me.

Diggin Deeper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diggin Deeper said...

Lereah was the perfect example of an economist/agenda reporter who basically lead unsuspecting lambs to slaughter...Fortunately for most here, he ended up laughing stock, apparently without enough credibility now to make ends meet...Twang!

If you "tell it like it is" the press wants to run you out of town (ala Peter Schiff), brand you an alarmist, and then end up eating from the palm of your hand when the truth be known.

We have consistently seen this occur over the last couple of with official and press reports gently walking us down the economic ladder.

Question everything, and once you're convinced that what you believe is true, question it again.

Cow_tipping said...

So lets see here, he made $$ hand over fist when it went up and the kool aid was flowing, unfortunately drank some of the kool aid himself, and no wants to make $$ when its going down. Man isn't that really sad that he cannot ... yea.

patient renter said...

Smallest violin indeed. It's hard to feel sorry a man who was one of the most contributing individuals to the housing crash (misrepresenting information allowed it to go on longer than it should have).

Dave said...

Many people have expensive lives not by choice but because of everything around them is expensive. I feel no sympathy for this man and his "expensive lifestyle" of choice.

anon1137 said...

This line explained it all to me:

Every morning, Mr. Lereah drives to a Dunkin' Donuts or McDonald's and eats in the car . . . .

Deflationary Jane said...

and again:

Go East, young man? Californians look for the exit

Sacramento was attractive when salaries were high (the era) and housing was inexpensive. Remove both of the those conditions and there is no reason to stay.

The crime wave is the next thing to appear in the data as part of the push out of the region.

Buying Time said...

There were also many Reators that drank the kool aid he sold and have been burned. I have seen a lot of listings lately where they are trying to unload properties.

For example:

"$480K for this GORGEOUS HOME?? Brokers-owners paid over $640,000. for this pristine Centex home."

Other homes on that street are listed for 100k less.

Curious said...

Remove both of the those conditions and there is no reason to stay.

So, why are you back? I know that comes across as snotty and I don't mean for it to be read that way, but I am truly curious.

If Sacramento and California are so frickin' horrible, why did you come back here?

I am not involved in real estate in any way (except as a homeowner who likes it here and owns a home outright so the price fluctuations don't concern me especially).

This has literally bugged me for months in a minor way. You burnt bridges with the area on your way out to the great mid-west and yet you returned three months later complaining about the same things as before you left.

I understand that your relationship broke up, but was that relationship the only reason you loved the mid-west?

That doesn't seem to fit your online persona but it leaves me confused.

Why would you return to a place you mocked and disparaged so heartily when there are a thousand other places you could have gone?

As always, I am Curious.