In today's Wall Street Journal in an article titled 'Renters Gloat Over Housing Slump,' the David Lereah Watch Blog was mentioned and I was interviewed.
David Jackson, a 26-year-old information-technology specialist, has been railing against the housing industry for two years -- ever since he made a vain attempt to find an affordable town house or condo in Silver Spring, Md. Unable to understand why prices were so high, he began researching the real-estate market and, he says, "came to the conclusion that there was a massive housing bubble." So Mr. Jackson decided to remain a renter. He pays $645 a month for part of a townhouse.
Now that the housing market is slumping, "I feel vindicated," Mr. Jackson says. "But I'm not looking forward to the coming recession." He believes that the housing slowdown and the effects of "a mountain of debt" on consumers will pull the entire economy into a slump.
Mr. Jackson blames what he calls "the housing industrial complex" in general and Mr. Lereah, the Realtors' economist, in particular. Since last year, Mr. Jackson has maintained a blog (davidlereahwatch.blogspot.com) devoted entirely to vilifying Mr. Lereah.
The blog recently offered a $75 cash prize for an essay containing "the most scathing criticism" of Mr. Lereah. Sample submission: "Dr. Lereah is a lying snake with the ethics of a dope-dealing pimp."
Mr. Lereah says he doesn't object to the blog. "There are people who believe it's the end of the world" for housing, he says. "They blame me for being positive."
Mr. Lereah resorts to putting words in my mouth
when he says, in reference to my blog, that "There are people who believe it's the end of the world" for housing. I have never claimed it is the end of the world for housing. I claimed that from peak the "Prices declines in the bubble markets are very likely to vary between 20% - 65 in real dollars."
By putting words in my mouth, Mr. Lereah, attempts to make me out as a housing extremist. He uses a straw man (Fallacy Of Extension) argument. Mr. Lereah cannot be trusted because of his history of deception and wrong predictions.