Debtwatch No. 43: Declaring victory at half time

Flattr this!

Note: the first part of this post will main­ly be of inter­est just to Aus­tralian read­ers, but I con­clude with a numer­i­cal expla­na­tion of “Why Debt-Defla­tion Caus­es Depres­sions” that will be of inter­est to read­ers every­where.

Last week I took part in a debate enti­tled “The Great Res­i­den­tial Hous­ing Debate — the next Bub­ble or a legit­i­mate Boom?” at the annu­al con­fer­ence for Peren­ni­al Invest­ment Part­ners; I put the Bub­ble case and Chris Joye of Ris­mark Inter­na­tion­al pre­sent­ed the Boom case (here is my paper and my pre­sen­ta­tion). As is well-known, Aus­tralia is one of the few coun­tries in the OECD not to expe­ri­ence two quar­ters or more of falling GDP as a result of the GFC, and prob­a­bly the only coun­try that has not expe­ri­enced a fall in its prop­er­ty mar­ket.

The con­fer­ence was held twice, first­ly in Mel­bourne on Wednes­day Feb­ru­ary 24th, and then in Syd­ney on Fri­day 26th. There were rough­ly 400 peo­ple in the audi­ence on both occa­sions, all of whom were cus­tomers of Perennial–with the major­i­ty (rough­ly 75%) being finan­cial plan­ners. The con­fer­ence employed an elec­tron­ic vot­ing mech­a­nism that let par­tic­i­pants answer gen­er­al ques­tions, as well as rate the speak­ers. In our debate, it was used to work out where peo­ple stood on the “Bub­ble vs Boom” spec­trum both before and after the debate. A “1” indi­cat­ed a com­plete Bear who expect­ed prop­er­ty to crash and advised get­ting out now, while a “10” was a com­plete Bull who advised “Buy, Buy, Buy”.

Pri­or to our debate in Mel­bourne, the aver­age score was 4.9. This sur­prised me, because I expect­ed the audi­ence to be gen­er­al­ly pro-prop­er­ty; how­ev­er a score of below 5.5 indi­cat­ed that over­all the audi­ence was bear­ish on prop­er­ty (since the aver­age of the ten num­bers from 1 to 10 is 5.5; also see ** below).

After our debate, the score was 5.2–a small move in favour of the bull­ish posi­tion, but still slight­ly in the bear­ish camp. Chris com­ment­ed that this was “about even” and “too close to call” as he left the stage, which I thought was a fair enough sum­ma­ry of the out­come.

So I was stunned when Crikey asked me to respond to the report Chris had giv­en them of the Mel­bourne debate (“Reflec­tions on Cage Match Mk 1″), which includ­ed the state­ments that:

So I think I pret­ty com­pre­hen­sive­ly mon­stered Steve Keen at our debate in Mel­bourne yes­ter­day. That was cer­tain­ly the feed­back from those who attend­ed (there were 500)

While I felt I was able to intel­lec­tu­al­ly tear Steve apart limb-by-limb, I will say this: he is a love­ly guy. Very diplo­mat­ic and hum­ble in defeat…; and

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the elec­tron­ic scor­ing in yesterday’s debate was a bit con­vo­lut­ed: it mea­sured the shift in the audi­ence sen­ti­ment from bear­ish (Steve) to bull­ish (Chris) before and after the event. On that basis, I won. But I think a sim­pler Chris ver­sus Steve vot­ing sys­tem would have made the dif­fer­ence much more strik­ing

Huh? The rest of the post was of a sim­i­lar vein–though there were occa­sion­al caveats such as “As I not­ed in my pre­sen­ta­tion, Steve has made some valid crit­i­cisms of con­ven­tion­al eco­nom­ics, and its neglect of debt cap­i­tal mar­ket imper­fec­tions. And he deserves some kudos for antic­i­pat­ing a cred­it cri­sis” (gee, thanks!), even this was imme­di­ate­ly fol­lowed by “But what­ev­er strengths he pos­sess­es are over­whelmed by his propen­si­ty to make sil­ly state­ments.”

I had no inten­tion of com­ment­ing on the debate pri­or to see­ing this hit a nation­al news site, but of course this could­n’t be ignored–though at the same time it did­n’t deserve to be tak­en seri­ous­ly. So I took a face­tious approach–opening my reply with “I don’t know what Chris con­sumed after our talk at Perennial’s con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, but if he has any spare I’d like to try it at a par­ty tomor­row night”, and con­clud­ing with the advice to Chris that, “Next time, after a con­fer­ence, don’t con­sume any­thing, just take a cold show­er”  (I also point­ed out the sta­tis­ti­cal fact Chris appar­ent­ly missed, that the mid­dle point in scores from 1 to 10 is not 5, but 5.5).

Chris took this rejoin­der very well–despite our fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences over this issue, we get on well per­son­al­ly, and unlike some par­tic­i­pants in this debate, he does have a sense of humour.

And so we pro­ceed­ed to Syd­ney. There the audi­ence was slight­ly less bear­ish than in Mel­bourne: the aver­age score pri­or to the debate was 5.3, just slight­ly below the neu­tral lev­el. But after the debate, there was a sig­nif­i­cant shift towards the Bear case. The post debate score was 4.6.

Chris had made the clas­sic mis­take of declar­ing vic­to­ry at half-time, only to get a cold show­er with the full-time result (see below how­ev­er under **).

Why Debt-Deflation Causes Depressions

Declar­ing vic­to­ry at half-time” is a syn­drome which afflicts the entire debate over our cur­rent eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion: opti­mists are of the opin­ion that the cri­sis is all over now, while pes­simists think it’s only just begun. On this front, as always, I regard his­to­ry as the best indi­ca­tor of who may be right. On this front, I can’t com­mend high­ly enough the site New from 1930, which from Jan­u­ary 1 2009 began pub­lish­ing sum­maries of the Wall Street Jour­nal from Jan­u­ary 1 1930. The last few entries include these pearls of wis­dom from Feb­ru­ary 1931:

An Old-Timer believes the mar­ket ral­ly “will do more to restore pros­per­i­ty than any­thing else.” Total secu­ri­ty val­ues have increased over $20B since start of year; bar­ring anoth­er dive in the mar­ket, this assures a recov­ery since the 10M-15M US own­ers of stock feel rich­er. Bulls say the ease with which con­sid­er­able prof­it-tak­ing has been absorbed recent­ly is “the surest indi­ca­tion of a strong healthy mar­ket.” Mar­ket has ral­lied very sub­stan­tial­ly; “if it runs true to form, it will have one of those ‘healthy reac­tions’ that will, accord­ing to the bulls, strength­en its ‘tech­ni­cal posi­tion.’” “The buy­ing pow­er of the peo­ple and the cor­po­ra­tions still is large … In oth­er words, the coun­try nev­er was in a bet­ter posi­tion to stage a come­back after a depres­sion … (Feb. 25th)

One banker cites plen­ty of evi­dence that the back­log of con­sum­ing pow­er is largest its been in years: corp. inven­to­ries are down 20% from a year ago, and even more from 2 years ago; corps. are hold­ing more cash; pro­duc­tion of many prod­ucts is below require­ments; prod­ucts have been wear­ing out for 18 months of deferred buy­ing; secu­ri­ty val­ues up $20B since Jan. 1; easy cred­it; record-break­ing sav­ings deposits. Last year there were few ral­lies on which to sell; this year there have been few dips on which to buy. Pub­lic inter­est has grown this year, but is still small com­pared to 1928 and 1929; “a mar­ket with a grow­ing pub­lic inter­est is a dan­ger­ous mar­ket to sell short.” (Feb. 26th)

Yeah, right: in both 1930 and 1931, the belief was widespread–at least in the finan­cial community–that the Depres­sion was over, and recov­ery was just around the cor­ner. As Aus­trali­a’s Alan Kohler not­ed when he first dis­cov­ered this blog, at least ear­ly on dur­ing the Great Depres­sion, peo­ple did­n’t realise that they were in it. They too, were declar­ing vic­to­ry at what turned out to be not even half-time.

Ulti­mate­ly, the debate over whether we’re in a com­plete recov­ery or mere­ly a tem­po­rary recess from the GFC will only be resolved by time. But well-informed the­o­ry can also give a guide as to what we can expect, and here I regard Hyman Min­sky’s Finan­cial Insta­bil­i­ty Hypoth­e­sis and Irv­ing Fish­er’s Debt Defla­tion The­o­ry of Great Depres­sions as the out­stand­ing guides. How­ev­er they are com­plex the­o­ries, espe­cial­ly when most econ­o­mists have been mis-edu­cat­ed by neo­clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics into ignor­ing mon­ey, debt, and dis­e­qui­lib­ri­um dynam­ics. So the fol­low­ing numer­i­cal exam­ple might make it eas­i­er to under­stand their argu­ments:

  • Imag­ine a coun­try with a nom­i­nal GDP of $1,000 bil­lion, which is grow­ing at 10% per annum (real out­put is grow­ing at 4% p.a. and infla­tion is 6% p.a.);
  • It also has an aggre­gate pri­vate debt lev­el of $1,250 bil­lion which is grow­ing at 20% p.a., so that pri­vate debt increas­es by $250 bil­lion that year;
  • Ignor­ing for the moment the con­tri­bu­tion from gov­ern­ment deficit spend­ing, total spend­ing in that econ­o­my for that year–on all mar­kets, both com­modi­ties and assets–is there­fore $1,250 bil­lion. 80% of this is financed by incomes (GDP) and 20% is financed by increased debt;
  • One year lat­er, the GDP has grown by 10% to $1,100 bil­lion;
  • Now imag­ine that debt sta­bilis­es at $1,500 bil­lion, so that the change in debt that year is zero;
  • Then total spend­ing in the econ­o­my is $1,100 bil­lion, con­sist­ing of $1.1 tril­lion of income-financed spend­ing and no debt-financed spend­ing;
  • This is $150 bil­lion less than the pre­vi­ous year;
  • Sta­bil­i­sa­tion of debt lev­els thus caus­es a 12% fall in nom­i­nal aggre­gate demand.

What about if debt does­n’t actu­al­ly sta­bilise, but instead grows at the same rate as GDP? Then we get the fol­low­ing sit­u­a­tion:

  • In the first year, total demand is $1,250 bil­lion, con­sist­ing of $1,000 bil­lion in income and $250 bil­lion in increased debt;
  • In the sec­ond year, total demand is also $1,250 bil­lion, con­sist­ing of $1,100 bil­lion in income and $150 bil­lion in increased debt;
  • Nom­i­nal aggre­gate demand is there­fore con­stant;
  • But after infla­tion, real aggre­gate demand will have con­tract­ed by 6%.

This is the real dan­ger posed by debt: once debt becomes a sig­nif­i­cant frac­tion of GDP, and its growth rate sub­stan­tial­ly exceeds that of GDP, the econ­o­my will suf­fer a reces­sion even if the debt to GDP ratio mere­ly sta­bilis­es.

A debt-depen­dent econ­o­my has no choice but to record ris­ing lev­els of debt to GDP every year to avoid a reces­sion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this makes a debt-ser­vic­ing cri­sis inevitable at some point, espe­cial­ly when a large frac­tion of the increase in debt is financ­ing Ponzi-spec­u­la­tion on asset prices, since this adds to debt with­out increas­ing soci­ety’s capac­i­ty to finance that debt.

That is why falling debt lev­els caused the Great Depres­sion, as Irv­ing Fish­er argued back in 1933, and the phe­nom­e­non is obvi­ous in the empir­i­cal data. The next few charts illus­trate this argu­ment.

Pri­vate debt and GDP lev­els in the USA from 1920 to 1940:

The change in pri­vate debt, added to GDP to show aggre­gate demand as the sum of GDP plus the change in debt:

Now I cal­cu­late the pro­por­tion of aggre­gate demand that is debt-financed, by divid­ing the change in debt by the sum of GDP plus the change in debt: the for­mu­la for is:

The cor­re­la­tion of the frac­tion of demand that is debt financed (lagged one year since the data is end-of-year annu­al) with unem­ploy­ment is minus 0.77.  Rough­ly speak­ing, this tells us that when the debt-financed frac­tion of demand ris­es, unem­ploy­ment falls, and the cor­re­la­tion of these two series accounts for 77% of the change in unem­ploy­ment between 1920 and 1940:

Now let’s repeat the same exer­cise with the data from 1990 till 2010

Pri­vate debt and GDP lev­els in the USA from 1990 to 2010:

The change in pri­vate debt, added to GDP to show aggre­gate demand as the sum of GDP plus the change in debt:

The cor­re­la­tion of the frac­tion of demand that is debt financed (unlagged since we now have quar­ter­ly data on debt) with unem­ploy­ment (the cor­re­la­tion coef­fi­cient is now minus 0.84):

This is why debt-defla­tion mat­ters, and it’s also why we are bare­ly at the half-time mark in the GFC. Though gov­ern­ment spend­ing has coun­tered the fall in debt-financed spend­ing to some degree, that fall has only hit 40% of the lev­el that applied dur­ing the Great Depres­sion, even though debt lev­els are sub­stan­tial­ly high­er (rel­a­tive to GDP) than they were back then.

The numer­i­cal exam­ple giv­en above is, by the way, not too far removed from the empir­i­cal data for both Aus­tralia and the USA pri­or to the GFC. In the year before the cri­sis, Aus­trali­a’s GDP was rough­ly A$1.1 tril­lion, and the increase in debt that year was A$260 bil­lion, which was a 17% increase on the pre­vi­ous year; for the USA the com­pa­ra­ble fig­ures were rough­ly US$14 tril­lion, a US$4.5 tril­lion increase in debt, and a peak rate of growth of debt of about 10% p.a.

The exam­ple also illus­trates why the rate of infla­tion mat­ters, and why a low rate pri­or to a debt cri­sis is a seri­ous dan­ger. If infla­tion is high when the cri­sis hits (say 20% p.a.) then most of the decline can be tak­en by a fall in the rate of con­sumer price infla­tion itself. But if the com­mod­i­ty infla­tion rate is low, then the hit will be tak­en by asset prices and actu­al out­put as well as by a fall in the infla­tion rate.

The process can be coun­ter­mand­ed to some degree by the gov­ern­ment run­ning a deficit, which coun­ter­acts the fall in aggre­gate demand caused by pri­vate delever­ag­ing. But the gov­ern­ment deficit would need to be far high­er than cur­rent lev­els to return us to pros­per­i­ty if noth­ing is also done about the astro­nom­i­cal lev­el of pri­vate debt.

With the deficits that are being con­tem­plat­ed today, I expect the out­come to be that the rest of the OECD will “turn Japan­ese” and enter a long-run­ning, low lev­el Depres­sion. Actions that lim­it those deficits–or even worse, force coun­tries in cri­sis like Greece to impose aus­ter­i­ty mea­sures to reduce deficits back to zero–will turn this from a drawn-out Depres­sion into a sud­den and deep one.

Of course, at the same time that eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy makers–misled by neo­clas­si­cal economics–are impos­ing aus­ter­i­ty pro­grams on nation­al gov­ern­ments, they are try­ing to restart the pri­vate debt binge mech­a­nism that gave us the cri­sis in the first place. I’ll write more on this in a future Debt­watch, but in the mean­time I rec­om­mend the post on this point on Vox by Peter Boone and Simon John­son, “The dooms­day cycle”.

Why has Australia done so well?

I’ve not­ed pre­vi­ous­ly that gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy dur­ing 2009 boost­ed house­hold dis­pos­able income dra­mat­i­cal­ly, and Ger­ard Minack of Mor­gan Stan­ley recent­ly point­ed out just how much: “house­hold dis­pos­able income increased by 10.1% over the year to the Sep­tem­ber quar­ter, while labour income – the biggest com­po­nent of house­hold income and tra­di­tion­al­ly the largest swing fac­tor – increased by just 0.4%.” (Mor­gan Stan­ley Aus­tralia Strat­e­gy and Eco­nom­ics, Feb­ru­ary 24, 2010: The Odd Expan­sion). The pri­ma­ry fac­tors dri­ving house­hold dis­pos­able incomes high­er were the gov­ern­men­t’s stim­u­lus pack­age (which boost­ed incomes by about 4%) and the RBA’s rate cuts (which added anoth­er 5% to dis­pos­able incomes).

As Ger­ard com­ment­ed when he first pub­li­cised this out­come (Mor­gan Stan­ley, Dow­nun­der Dai­ly Octo­ber 9, 2009: Antipodean Lessons), “If that’s reces­sion, bring it on!”: it’s unheard of for house­hold incomes to rise dur­ing a reces­sion, and that’s a major rea­son why Aus­tralia avoid­ed a down­turn last year.

But it’s not the only rea­son: the oth­er one, as my numer­i­cal exam­ple above illus­trates, is what hap­pened to debt lev­els. In our debt-depen­dent economies today, a reces­sion almost always means a fall in debt lev­els rel­a­tive to GDP (while a Depres­sion results from absolute­ly falling debt). We began that process ear­ly in 2008, only to dra­mat­i­cal­ly reverse direc­tion in 2009 so that, once again, debt was grow­ing faster than GDP.

The key cause of this was that oth­er gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy, the First Home Ven­dors Boost, which enticed Aus­tralians back into mort­gage debt in droves (both First Home Buy­ers who actu­al­ly received the Boost, and the Ven­dors who sold to them who took lev­ered the extra $15–40K The Boost added to the sale price into anoth­er $100–200K for their next house pur­chase). This pol­i­cy gave us the fastest turn­around in debt lev­els in our post-WWII eco­nom­ic his­to­ry.

Note that the peri­od pri­or to 1965 had as many peri­ods of the debt to GDP ratio falling as rising–which is the sign of a cycli­cal but non-Ponzi econ­o­my. Then from 1965 on, the trend was for debt ratios to rise faster than GDP except dur­ing the reces­sions of 1973–76 and 1990–94. The peri­od of the Howard Gov­ern­ment involved the longest sus­tained peri­od of ris­ing pri­vate debt ever–though notably this trend for ris­ing debt began while Keat­ing was still PM.

Then the GFC hit vir­tu­al­ly as Rudd came to office, and the rate of growth of pri­vate debt plunged–a sim­i­lar coin­ci­dence to the one that had done the Whit­lam gov­ern­ment in decades ear­li­er (note that the debt bub­ble whose burst­ing brought Whit­lam undone had also com­menced under the pre­ced­ing Lib­er­al gov­ern­ment of Bil­ly McMa­hon).

Rudd deserves no blame for the burst­ing of the debt bubble–as I warned since Decem­ber 2005, this was inevitable and when it hap­pened, a seri­ous glob­al reces­sion would begin (because the phe­nom­e­non was glob­al and not mere­ly lim­it­ed to Aus­tralia). But his gov­ern­ment does deserve what­ev­er is deserved–credit or blame–for the rapid turn­around in debt. This would­n’t have hap­pened with­out the First Home Ven­dors Boost, since as is illus­trat­ed below, the only source of this increase in pri­vate debt has been ris­ing mort­gage debt.

Had this trick been pulled back in the 1990s, then Rudd would have received cred­it for it in the long run, since it would have set off a pro­longed boom as debt to GDP ratios rose for many years and gave us a strong if illu­so­ry recov­ery from the pre­ced­ing reces­sion.

But this is 2010: house­hold debt has risen from under 30% to almost 100% of GDP (the RBA has recent­ly changed its sta­tis­tics on this front–two months ago the fig­ures in D02 yield­ed a ratio slight­ly above 100%), and I sim­ply don’t believe there’s capac­i­ty for it to con­tin­ue ris­ing. So I expect that the trend will rapid­ly reverse itself back into a falling pri­vate debt to GDP ratio, and the recov­ery this ris­ing debt has helped engi­neer will evap­o­rate.

That will leave gov­ern­ment spend­ing as the one prop to keep the Aus­tralian econ­o­my afloat, and it is a prop that should­n’t be under­es­ti­mat­ed, as the next chart illus­trates: though the pri­vate debt to GDP ratio turned around from falling at 5% p.a. to ris­ing at 2% p.a. cour­tesy of gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy, the increase in gov­ern­ment debt added anoth­er 3% to the mix.

The sum of chang­ing pri­vate and gov­ern­ment debt thus sub­stan­tial­ly boost­ed spend­ing in the Aus­tralian econ­o­my in 2009–enough to stop the GFC in its tracks here. But in 2010, it is high­ly unlike­ly that the pri­vate sec­tor will con­tin­ue re-lever­ag­ing. That will leave increased gov­ern­ment debt-financed spend­ing as the only boost.

If the gov­ern­men­t’s con­tri­bu­tion remains at about the lev­el of 2009–roughly a 3% boost–and the pri­vate sec­tor con­tin­ues the delever­ag­ing it was doing before gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy kicked in–at a rate of close to 6% p.a.–then the net out­come will still be a falling debt to GDP ratio. While that is nec­es­sary in the long term to get us out of the Ponzi cycle we have been trapped in for the last 4 decades, it will still mean pain: pri­vate sec­tor delever­ag­ing will out­weigh gov­ern­ment sec­tor pump-prim­ing.

The rea­son is sim­ple: so much debt has been tak­en on already by the Aus­tralian pri­vate sec­tor that its capac­i­ty to take on any more is vir­tu­al­ly exhaust­ed. Even as house­holds slapped on more mort­gage debt under the influ­ence of the FHVB, oth­er per­son­al debt was falling (until just recent­ly) and the busi­ness sec­tor has been rapid­ly deleveraging–and even so, busi­ness debt today still exceeds the peak it reached in 1990.

So the Aus­tralian gam­bit out of the GFC–get back into debt as fast as possible–may soon run its course. We should then find our­selves in the same sit­u­a­tion as in the rest of the OECD–deleveraging. The fact that we are tak­ing the “hair of the dog” approach to a debt-hang­over (get drunk again on debt the next morn­ing) is read­i­ly appar­ent in this com­par­i­son of Aus­tralian and US pri­vate debt lev­els: Aus­tralia actu­al­ly began to delever before the USA did, but just as they hit delever­ag­ing with a vengeance, our aggre­gate pri­vate debt start­ed to grow once more.

Just like the “hair of the dog” approach to get­ting over a hang­over, it works once or twice, but not for­ev­er: the ulti­mate des­ti­na­tion is DA: “Debtors Anony­mous”. Aus­tralia has mere­ly delayed its entry into the club.


Further reflections on the Perennial debate

Chris in part attrib­uted doing poor­ly in Syd­ney to a cou­ple of per­son­al mishaps that morn­ing pri­or to the debate–and he did say that he expect­ed not to speak as well as in Mel­bourne before the debate in Syd­ney took place. That would cer­tain­ly have been a fac­tor.

One oth­er fac­tor may be that I devel­oped the numer­i­cal exam­ple used in this Debt­Watch Report after the Mel­bourne con­fer­ence. That gave the Syd­ney audi­ence a clear­er idea of why debt-defla­tion matters–and why the ser­vic­ing cost of debt, which Chris insists is not high, is not the main prob­lem with a debt-dri­ven econ­o­my.

Of course, I dis­pute the argu­ment that debt ser­vic­ing costs are not par­tic­u­lar­ly high today. As the next chart shows, even though the RBA’s rate cuts have reduced the cost sub­stan­tial­ly from its peak, inter­est pay­ments on mort­gages in Aus­tralia today con­sume 7.5% of house­hold dis­pos­able income. This is 1.65 times the aver­age from 1976 till now.

Yet this “aver­age” itself is almost as high as the debt ser­vic­ing costs in 1990, when mort­gage rates were an astro­nom­i­cal 17%–2.5 times as high as today’s rates. The pri­ma­ry dri­ver behind this extreme rise in debt ser­vic­ing costs is the fac­tor Chris loves to ignore, the ratio of mort­gage debt to income. This is more than five times larg­er today than it was in 1990 (130% of house­hold dis­pos­able income ver­sus 25% in 1990).

In Syd­ney, the audi­ence was advised (after our debate) to make a large change to its pre­vi­ous num­ber if they were per­suad­ed one way or the oth­er; this may have made the final swing larg­er in Syd­ney than Mel­bourne.

Final­ly, Chris lat­er argued lat­er that finan­cial plan­ners are inher­ent­ly bear­ish on res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty, since they want to advise peo­ple to get into stocks instead. That is an argu­ment that I would pre­fer to take with a grain of salt. Whether that is true or not as a gen­er­al propo­si­tion, it appears that the peo­ple “Mum and Dad investors” might rely upon for advice about where to put their spec­u­la­tive dol­lars are on aver­age telling them not to put them into res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty, which is the oppo­site advice to that one sees reg­u­lar­ly in the Aus­tralian media today (sourced from com­men­ta­tors who clear­ly have no pecu­niary inter­est in whether house prices rise or fall…).

Bookmark the permalink.