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Readings: Quit India, US Housing, ULIPs

Markets at a 31 month high. (Livemint)

Telenor Investors say “Quit India”. Uninor in some trouble? We’ll know on Sep 21, when Telenor has their annual general meeting – but I don’t expect them to say they’ll get out (that doesn’t help exit valuations).

NY Times: Let (housing) prices fall?. The article questions the logic of letting prices fall, because falling prices are a downward spiral since more people will stay away and existing homeowners will have reason to default. This is downright stupid. For a century, America has made homeownership attractive, so that people feel nice. When prices fall, people will still want to feel nice – the touchy feely thing about owning the place you live in has more value than silly hopes that home prices will keep going up. It’s like a cellphone or computer or ipod or consumer electronics. You can hold on thinking prices will come down, but you love the fact that you can use it today and you’ll pay – a house is like that. If they don’t let housing prices fall, there will be no buying.

Like CR says, the problem is jobs. If they give up the housing trip, they can focus on jobs. At some point this means protectionism and I’m hoping they get there sooner rather than later – because that paves the way for a “restructuring” of US debt, and so on. But I don’t think it’s going to happen soon – because they will protect the market as long as they can.

Livemint: New ULIP norms may throw 1.2 million agents out of work. What a joke this is. They CAN charge customers directly, instead of depending on lopsided commissions. If India has to learn this the hard way, we just have to.