Friday, August 26, 2005

But don't let me burst your bubble

By Bill Maher

August 26, 2005

You don't have to remember history, but you do have to remember Thursday. The bursting of the Nasdaq bubble was only five years ago. People lost a trillion dollars. And here we are today with real estate prices across the country that could aptly be compared to Courtney Love: irrationally high and about to collapse.

I don't want to say there's a housing bubble, but I had a refrigerator delivered this morning and a homeless guy offered me $3 million for the box. Not to burst your bubble, but all bubbles do burst. And we learned this recently. It's not just that grandma was alive the last time it happened. You were alive. Eminem was on the radio. Just like now because, again, it wasn't that long ago.

You know, one argument hurled against marijuana use is that it affects your short-term memory. You know, one argument hurled against marijuana use is that it affects your short-term memory. If that's true, then a) Americans, or b) the real estate market, must be pretty high.

But let me correct one thing: not all Americans. This bubble isn't all across the country. Score one here for the red states, because it's apparently only in the savvy, liberal do-gooder coastal blue areas that greed and stupidity have taken over.

When real estate collapses, people will go bankrupt, which will take down the banks, which all along have really owned their homes, which will bring down the markets and then the dollar. And the GOP will win an election based on renaming Amtrak the Jesus Choo Choo and the whole thing will fester to the point where Plan B is to live in caves and barter.

Luckily for me all my money is tied up in Google, sunscreen and guns.

We're a nation swimming in debt, and when we reach our credit limits we artificially inflate the prices of our homes and borrow more. People are refinancing -- borrowing on the equity that doesn't really exist and will soon go down -- to treat themselves to extravagances, like a full tank of gas.

And do you know who holds most of our national debt? Asians. The only thing standing between us and foreclosure is the fact that Angelina Jolie is holding most of their children.

But I digress. The point was about how supposedly intellectual, superior coastal elites are the ones dumping thousands into mortgages they can't afford, proving once and for all how much people will pay not to live in Kansas.

Well, that is kind of true. In a recent survey here in my beloved adopted state of California, nine out of 10 people said they had or would give up everything to live somewhere where they might see porn stars at the gas station.

And people are so impressed with themselves about the prices: "Wow, you bought a home in Stockton 20 years ago and now it's worth $1 million? You're Nostradamus!" Except this Nostradamus is the guy who lost a fortune in 2000 when went belly-up.

What don't Americans get about "you're only rich on paper?" If there's one thing that Republicans schooled in the ways of Wall Street have taught us, it's this: Don't spend money you don't have; spend money other people don't have.


At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the "Bubble" bursts the banks will not take as big a hit as many may think. They hold as few as 25% of all mortages and the money they loan is borrowed from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Federally guranteed by the Government. Fannie and Freddie sell it back to Ginnie Mae to be securitized and sold to the investing public and institutions.Now who would you say will end up holding the "Proverbal Bag"

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