Bruce Norris is joined by Principle at Beacon Economics and panelist for I Survived Real Estate 2008, Christopher Thornberg. Bruce and Christopher discuss how Christopher got started in the prediction business, letting the data speak to you and street smarts, how this journey caught so many off guard, the duration of bubbles, how the downturn is worse then expected, looking at past real estate bubbles and how they compare, the chance that people who can afford home payments walk away because their neighbor owes half what they do, looking at what caused most of the damage, subprime being the fuel for the fire, the main problem being people paid too much, how falling prices will eventually allow people to get back in the market, home prices and consumer spending, unemployment and what that can mean for migration, when it might turn, if downturns hit coastal regions, the price decline and how it works its way out to coastal regions, returning to more reasonable ownership levels, following the foreclosure lists and realizing that investors weren’t the problem, how lenders are tightening financing, how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are exposed in volatile markets, the large amount of leverage within banks, equity position of banks, the story behind pent up demand, commercial real estate in the coming years, the land price bubble, false wealth and consumer spending, how to notice a commercial bubble is popping, the Federal Reserve and how they’re dealing with the market, dealing with inflation compared to past cycles, and what policy Christopher would change in the current market.
Christopher Thornberg is a founding partner of Beacon Economics. Dr. Thornberg is an expert in the study of regional economies, real estate dynamics, labor markets and business forecasting. He has been involved in a number of special studies measuring the impact of important events on the economy, including the NAFTA treaty, the California power crisis, port security, California water transfer programs and the September 11th terrorist attacks. Prior to launching Beacon he worked with the UCLA Anderson Forecast where he regularly authored the outlooks for California, Los Angeles and the East Bay as well as performing a number of specialized forecasts for regions and industries. Dr. Thornberg lectures on a regular basis at a variety of public and private events, has appeared on CNN, Fox News and CNBC and is widely quoted in the press. He received his Ph.D in Business Economics from The Anderson School and his B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He specializes in International and Labor Economics. Dr. Thornberg continues to teach in the MBA program at UCLA and previously held a faculty position in the economics department at Clemson University.
Christopher Thornberg will join our panel of experts on August 23, 2008 at the fundraiser, "I Survived Real Estate 2008." Proceeds will go to the Orange County Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. See iSurvived2008.com for more information.