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Nearly there!

Lewis Ranieri says we're within "shouting distance" of the bottom of the housing market.

Really? Ranieri's the guy who pioneered securitization: the bundling of credit card debt, home loans, auto loans, you name it, into bonds. He told attendees at the Milken Institute Global Conference today that the slump in housing has created some great buying opportunities, and made it easier for middle class Americans to by a house.

Not everyone's quite as bullish as Ranieri (now a private equity fund manager). Donald Brownstein of Structured Portfolio Management noted it's a question of when the economy might turn around, and how. He said forecasts predict an uptick in the housing market in the next few years.

Is that shouting distance? I guess it depends on how loud your voice is.

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Paddy Hirsch is a Senior Editor at Marketplace and the creator and host of the Marketplace Whiteboard. Follow Paddy on Twitter @paddyhirsch and on facebook at www.facebook.com/paddyhirsch101
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I read Michael Lewis' book about the topic called Liars Poker, in which Ranieri played a large role. A good read...

As far as the bottom, well I think he's a bit of an optimist...but we're not too terribly far off. It's always darkest before the sun rises.

-g

I love Liar's Poker. Cracking read. Have you read Lewis' anthology, Panic? I can recommend it.

The Milken Institute? That itself would be funny enough.

What sort of fool would believe anything this Ranieri fellow says? If there were honor in this world he would fall upon his sword. Shame on you for wasting our time and attention on the financial equivelent of Nancy Grace.

"Shouting distance", eh? A 'few years'? Heck, maybe the bottom will coincide with my replacing the hard-earned downpayment fund that evaporated in the crash. (Yeah, I paid attention and did the 'right' thing and stashed it in stocks. Should have just stashed it in a coffee can.)

Stranger things have happened.

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