Bloggers sock it to National Association of Realtors economists
As one of the main cheerleaders of the housing bubble, the National Association of Realtors has come under some well-deserved scrutiny. David Lereah, the former economist for the association, came out with a laughably wrong book called Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?: The Boom Will Not Bust and Why Property Values Will Continue to Climb Through the End of the Decade - And How to Profit From Them back in February of 2005. Oops. It's one of those height of the bubble books whose very title exposes the author as a bit of a clown, kind of like James Glassman's 2000 tome Dow 36,000. Oops.
He has since been replaced by Lawrence Yun, and 2 bloggers are captivating the internet with sites devoted to chronicling their shenanigans. On David Lereah Watch, Mr. Lereah is described as someone who "cannot be trusted as he is a paid shill." Similarly, Lawrence Yun Watch lists its purpose as following "the NAR's hack as he denies the housing bubble and crash."
The pedestal that these guys were placed on during the bubble is puzzling. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would take seriously the prognostications of someone who is paid by an organization whose members profit directly from rising home prices. It reminds me of Henry Blodget, except the conflict of interest is even more obvious.