Weekend Reading

by Osman Parvez

Here's a few tidbits for your weekend reading:

Well before the bubble burst, I told you that the areas that saw the most appreciation during the run-up would be hit hardest by the downturn. Per the latest Case-Shiller data, the evidence is clear. Once high-flying markets like Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas are down over 30% from their peak. Denver has seen a 7.4% decline from the peak in August 2006. Here's Mish with the story. Keep in mind that within each market, there will always be tremendous variability. For the skinny on our local market, please see the latest research report (available on request).

When it comes to how you should blog, this one is short, but sweet. And I think it's right on. Expect more random stuff on our blog. Like the next paragraph...

Here's a report on education for black males in America. "This website is a data portal that provides parents, educators, media, policymakers, elected officials—and anyone who cares about education and equity—direct access to important, alarming data on the devastating reality of education for Black males across all 50 states." The report should give quite a bit to think about. For one thing, Colorado didn't even qualify for inclusion in the report because we have fewer than 10,000 black male students. I also wonder about the usefulness of these kind of comparisons and how they impact the studied group. The differences among states is also something to note. Compare California with New York.

Ok, back to real estate for a moment. Here's the NAR's rosey take on the housing bill. Of course, the summary ignores the economic impacts entirely. The email accompanying the link said: Great News!! President Bush just signed into law the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This is a major victory for REALTORS®, consumers, and our nation - and YOU helped make it happen!" As I wrote yesterday, for many reasons, particularly fiscal conservatism and the unintended effects of government intervention, I'm not so sure this is great news.

Moving on. Here's one to keep your eye on (add to your rss reader). The Denver Infill Blog touts itself as "News, ideas, and commentary about Downtown Denver and its urban infill developments." It includes photos and comments on city redevelopment projects. Judging by the active comments, it's a popular place to have an opinion.

Finally, for all of you worried about Peak Oil here's a ray of sunshine. Apparently researchers at MIT have come up with a hyper efficient way to store energy, one that mimics the way plants do it.
Until now, solar power has been a daytime-only energy source, because storing extra solar energy for later use is prohibitively expensive and grossly inefficient. With today's announcement, MIT researchers have hit upon a simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy.
Requiring nothing but abundant, non-toxic natural materials, this discovery could unlock the most potent, carbon-free energy source of all: the sun. "This is the nirvana of what we've been talking about for years," said MIT's Daniel Nocera, the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy at MIT and senior author of a paper describing the work in the July 31 issue of Science. "Solar power has always been a limited, far-off solution. Now we can seriously think about solar power as unlimited and soon."
image: emdot

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This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.