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December 2, 2011

BRIC House: 2 Charts No One Wants To Talk About

By Louis Basenese

For most people, Friday’s just the day before the weekend. For us, though, it’s much more.

It’s the day I sum up the week’s most important economic and investment news. And I do it without all the claptrap. Instead, I let some carefully selected graphics do most of the talking for me.

This week, we have a sobering reminder that the U.S. residential real estate market still stinks. (Don’t kill the messenger.) But before we get to such a depressing note, let’s start with an interesting observation about the never-ending debt crisis in Europe…

The Euro Crisis That Never Ends
This is the crisis that doesn’t end,
Yes, it goes on and on my friend,
Some people are worrying how bad Europe’s debt problem was
And they’ll keep worrying about it forever just because.

You’ve got to be just as tired of it as me. Every financial newscast, blog, newsletter, magazine, newspaper and conversation with friends is dominated by the dreaded debt crisis in Europe.

I get it. Fear sells. People are really worried. Not to mention, stocks are getting whipsawed back and forth on each new development.

But you know what almost no one’s talking about? That stocks in the beloved BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China – are getting clobbered, too.

What happened to that decoupling thing? You know, the concept that these super fast-growing emerging markets could overcome all economic uncertainties.

How’s that working out for you, Jim O’Neill? (He’s the guy from Goldman Sachs that started this whole BRICs hoopla a decade ago.)

Societe Generale’s strategist, Albert Edwards, thinks it’s time to redefine BRIC to mean, “Bloody ridiculous investment concept.” Indeed!

Free, Free Fallin’

For five long, miserable years, U.S. real estate prices have been falling… hard. So you’d think it’s about time for a rebound. Well, think again.

The latest readings for the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices were released this week. And there’s a whole lot of red. Turns out only two cities enjoyed year-over-year gains.

The first one is Detroit, which we can rejoice about. No other U.S. city has endured harder times. But the second one, Washington D.C., not so much. It’s just more proof that while the rest of the country suffers, our elected misrepresentatives keep living the dream, detached from the real world. Must be nice.

That’s all for this week.  Thanks and enjoy the weekend!

Courtesy Louis Basenese of Wall Street Daily

The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.

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