Monday, June 15, 2009

Economic Crisis Just A Symptom of Something Larger

David Goldman (a.k.a. Spengler) is a favorite essayist of mine. His insights have captivated me since I was first introduced to his writing several years ago. He is a devout Jew living in Tokyo that manages a hedge fund and used to work for the Reagan administration. If you have a spare 17 minutes, listen to the interview below. David describes how deteriorating demographics are driving our economics.

An Interview With David Goldman on "Demographics & Depression" from First Things on Vimeo.

One of the topics David speaks about is the number of traditional households in the U.S. (i.e. mom and dad married with children) has held steady since 1960. Traditional households now only account for only 25% of all U.S households as compared to 40 years ago when they were the majority. He discusses this impact on the way people use housing.

He also describes the global problem of an aging baby boomer population with money to lend and the lack of young people to work and pay interest on loans that support those boomers. He foresees dramatic lifestyle changes ahead for all of us as this imbalance in demographics continues.

It will be interesting to see how these things affect Utah's housing market down the road since it has a demographic more reminiscent of 1950's America. On a macro scale, the financial implications (interest rate volatility, lending guidelines, inflation, ect.) will affect Utah, the difference however will be Utah's unique economic profile. Utah will be subject to macro-economic effects that are unrelated to its own local economy.

In a way, we are living through that right now in relation to the housing meltdown. Utah missed the big bubble. Yet we are paying the price via tight lending. More to come....

1 comment:

Ken Coman said...

Jeremy - What an excellent post. His point of view is very valuable. The family has always been the foundation of civil society and when harmony and disunion are depleted out of that union, the support for society slowly, or even quickly, goes with it.

Thanks for sharing!