You tell someone who loses their house in Arizona (Todd) that there is no recession or someone out of work. We don't want to instill panic, but I don't want some rosey picture painted either. I want facts. Forget the technicals here... We are in a period of economic uncertainty and a great deal of volatility and stress in our economic infrastructure.
"They are strong" to me is a stretch (at best).
If you know anything about the mortgage and/or real estate business, then you know that most people who own a home and have a mortgage pay that mortgage on time. It's a small percentage of homeowners holding mortgages (albeit a growing percentage) who are actually late or having their homes foreclosed on. 9 times of 10, these foreclosures are the result of a homeowner getting in over their head into a home they simply could not afford. Now, admittedly, part of the blame rests with greedy banks and mortgage companies who at one time would give a loan to anyone with a pulse, regardless of their credit history, and doing so allowing the borrower to "State" their income, not actually prove their income. Of course, this opened the door to all kinds of exaggeration of one's own income and assets, which in turn got people into homes and loans well beyond their means. Ultimately, the blame really rests on the borrowers themselves. If they got into a home loan that they couldn't afford, even if it was years down the line once that loan adjusted, then whose fault is that? The Banks? I think not. If someone buys or leases a new car and 2 years into it the car gets repo'd because the payments stopped getting made on time or at all, do we blame the car dealership?
Fact of the matter is, this economy overall is still thriving. Granted, at a slower pace, even a snail's pace, but it's not like it's all "doom & gloom" either. People are still buying houses. I went to a high-end restaurant to eat Saturday night, and there was still a waiting list to get seated. We had the biggest movie box-office take in history this summer. I look around everywhere and see people with iPods and iPhones...shopping malls are going up, airplanes are full. I'm not saying that things haven't gotten challenging, or that people are not hurting -- of course they are -- but there are positive things out there to see. It simply is not ALL doom & gloom.