The housing bubble may be over in America, but all the money that fueled it still has to go somewhere. The Wall Street Journal reports today on the same resurgent bubble-iciousness that Nouriel Roubini was warning about yesterday:
Concerns are mounting that efforts by governments and central banks to stoke a recovery will create a nasty side effect: asset bubbles in real-estate, stock and currency markets, especially in Asia.
….Behind the trend are measures such as cutting interest rates and pumping money into the financial system, which have left parts of the world awash in cash and at risk of bubbles, or run-ups in asset prices beyond what economic fundamentals suggest are reasonable.
….The symptoms of a frenzy are most evident in Asia and the Pacific, where economies are recovering most quickly….Over the summer, a Singapore condominium developer raised prices 5% the day before units went on sale. After dozens of would-be buyers lined up on a steamy night, the developer — a joint venture of Hong Leong Group and Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan — held a lottery for a chance to bid on the units. Singapore home prices rose 15.8% in the third quarter, the fastest rate in 28 years.
….The Australian dollar has jumped about 35% over the past 12 months as investors borrow in U.S. dollars to purchase Australian currency. The practice is propelling stock and bond markets faster than in the U.S. and Europe. Currency traders are betting that the Australian central bank, which raised interest rates by 0.25% on Tuesday, the second rise in two months, will continue tightening.
There should be better uses for this money. Why aren’t there?