Cramer vs Cramer… in a war of words NAR sent an unarmed man

I would hope by now you have had the opportunity to either hear or read Jim Cramer’s statements about the condition of the real estate market. He was on the Today show the other morning. (NBC is pimping Cramer and his Mad Money, so get used to his visage during morning coffee.)

In his appearance earlier in the week, Cramer told Meridith Viera – and I paraphrase – “Do NOT buy a house now, you will lose money!” I have to admit, I listen to Cramer sometimes and he speaks from experience. His experience is in a world that I don’t have much expertise. He deals in money matters. There are a lot of people that listen to him. His statement went unchallenged by Meridith “what in the world are you thinking” Viera.

Apparently, someone at the NAR was flipping channels that same morning. Their search for the cartoon network was interrrupted by Cramer’s Crash Cramming Course in the housing market. I can only imagine that they sent Lawerence Yun (sic) a memo and asked him to research what Cramer said and craft a response. They sent NBC a note saying that it was not fair that no one was there to rebut what Cramer shared.

If you think Cramer was piling on… will hate what happened next.

The Today Show, (really pimping their new program pick up – Mad Money) invited Jimbo back and offered a point-counter point spot to the NAR. In their typical wisdom, the NAR had the president elect for 2008, Charles McMillan get out of bed and appear opposite Cramer.

What the hell were they thinking?

Lenn Harley must not have been available. Broker Bryant and his counter partner TLW must not have been available. O.K., Brian Brady was probably still asleep. I accept that maybe some verbose, quick thinking people must not have been available……but Charles “do I have to get up that early after key noting the Indianapolis state convention” McMillan. (And you wonder why the effectiveness of the NAR is in a faster free fall than housing prices?)

Cramer made his statement again. Your turn McMillan “that’s not true, real estate is local. It is different everywhere.” Cramer ” Only three zip codes in the country are a value, Seattle, mumbled numbers and maybe Montgomery County, MD. That’s it” Over to you McMillan – I must have misheard, I think he stammered something about the mid-west and included Indiana. It was hard to tell because although his image was stationary, our president elect (duck out of water already) was back pedalling quickly.

Cramer ‘Indiana???? Indiana is one of the worst!!!!” Our man on the spot McMillan “That isn’t true. I was just the key note speaker at their convention and they are positive about their market”

Memo to Charlie……you just got through blowing hurricane force smoke up their rear end. you are the president elect of their national group. you only chatted with groupies that were hoping for a photo op and other leaders that over time have learned to say when asked “hows the market”……….respond “incredible”.

To McMillan’s credit….I have to say something nice (I don’t want my supra key cut off). He did try to mention that people live in houses. It may just be me. I actually expect the head of my association to be able to speak about the market we work and live in. I do not expect a “deer in head light” vacouous stare and nothing of substance offered to refute Cramer.

It would have been nice to hear –

  • People that buy homes as a residence and plan to live in them for 3-5 years have NEVER lost money.
  • The only investment that people can purchase and use for housing is a co-op.
  • There is not one stock that receives the favorable capital gains treatment that home ownership is afforded.
  • You can not directly finance the purchase of stock and write off the interest related to that financing.
  • Shelter is one of the basic needs (according to Maslov), no investment is on the scale.

I didn’t hear it. I just watched McMillan fumble through his side. There was nothing offered that would refute Cramer’s statement – If you buy a house today, you will lose money. Well, I can promise you that if you watch a replay of the point-counter point late this afternoon… will lose your lunch.

Why am I paying dues?????

Required disclosure and disclaimer: I am only parapharsing this event after but one cup of coffee. Even though I only have Cafe Dumond coffee in the house, The chickory does not provide me with photographic memory. The view expressed here are mine and I reserve the right to change my mind if questioned by anyone from Homeland Security that asks to speak with me privately.



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