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IPFS News Link • Housing

What Happens When Millions of Renters Can No Longer Afford High Rents and Move Back Home?

•, By Charles Hugh Smith

Recency bias can stretch back 40 years. It's been over 40 years since the U.S. experienced a deep recession (what I call a "real recession") which is characterized by elevated inflation, interest rates, yields, unemployment, defaults and bankruptcies, none of which can be reversed with air-drops of "free money" because higher inflation, rates and yields all limit central bank money-printing and fiscal "free money" via deficit spending.

Without air-drops of trillions of dollars in "free money", the accumulated excesses of the economy have to sort themselves out the hard way via defaults, bankruptcies, insolvencies, layoffs, tightening credit and reduced spending / consumption.

The last time this burn-off of excesses could no longer be pushed forward occurred in 1980-82, the deepest downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Few remember the 1980-82 recession and even fewer think a recurrence is even possible. The dead-wood of excesses never get burned off, they just pile higher with each central bank-fiscal bailout / "free money" air-drop.

Recessions which burn off excesses act as catalysts for profound social, financial and economic shifts. Up until the recession, everyone assumes the current situation is permanent and forever. This is the equivalent of assuming a forest piled high with deadwood will never catch fire.

By way of example, consider that the relatively mild dot-com implosion recession of 2000-02 led to 100,000 residents of the San Francisco Bay Area moving away to lower-cost climes because once the layoffs swept through the dot-com bloat, people could not longer afford the high rents and cost of living.

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