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A tipping point? Housing bears, everywhere

August 4, 2008 |  1:38 pm

K2azy7nc_2 A tipping point? You can't swing a 44-pound foreclosed cat without hitting a profile of an I-told-you-so housing bear in the news today:

Fortune.com posts a long profile of bearish analyst Meredith Whitney (pictured), who in 2005 predicted "unprecedented credit losses" for subprime lenders and now predicts an ugly, 1980s-style recession. CNBC piles on with an interview in which Whitney says housing prices will fall "much more than people expect." Random background: She's 38, a former Fox News commentator, a graduate of Bikini Boot Camp and is married to WWE pro wrestler John Layfield, a.k.a. "the J.R. Ewing of pro wrestling."

The New York Times profiles bank analyst Richard X. Bove: Since 2005, Bove "has gained a certain reputation as one of the few bank analysts to predict the blow-up in the housing market and subsequent problems at many banks." Random background: He's 67, works from his home in Lutz, Fla., and believes some bank stocks are now "too cheap."

Barron's gives the floor to bearish economist Noriel Roubini, who observes, "We are in the second inning of a severe, protracted recession, which started in the first quarter of this year and is going to last at least 18 months, through the middle of next year. A systemic banking crisis will go on for awhile, with hundreds of banks going belly up." Random background: A Turkish native who grew up in Italy, Roubini blogs at REG Monitor.  In September 2006 he told New York Magazine, "...there was a speculative bubble. And now that bubble is bursting."

-- Peter Viles
--Hat tip:
Calculated Risk
Your thoughts? Comments? E-mail story tips to peter.viles@latimes.com
Photo credit: Bloomberg News

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