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Real Estate Bubble Explained in 30 Seconds


A 30-second ad spot from 2005 tells us all we need to know.

Do we really need another explanation of the real estate bubble? You bet we do! Especially when the explanation comes to us from a 30-second circa 2005 national advertising spot that Minyanville's Mike Schuster stumbled upon; a cruel reminder that the pieces of the housing puzzle were there before us, scattered about in a pile a full three years before the crash, just waiting patiently for someone to piece them all together.

The spot, called "The Debate," is for Century 21, a real estate agent franchise best known for the hideous gold jackets that even ABC Sports gave up sometime in the early 1980s.

Okay, so the setup here is that a husband and wife are having a debate in the kitchen about whether or not to buy a new house. We open to a title card that says, "The Debate."

The husband, who we can tell is really frustrated, opens the conversation saying, "That's not the point!"

The wife, clearly irritated with her husband's mealy-mouthed indecision, asks, "What is the point?"

"What?!" she persists, adding that she loves that house. Oh yeah, plus the schools.

But the kids are three and one, Mr. Mealy-mouth whines.

The wife crushes this objection by noting (correctly we might add) that the kids are eventually going to grow up.

And then, she delivers the coup de grâce: "Suzanne researched this!"

The camera pans down to show a phone. Yes, you guessed it; Suzanne is on the line. "This listing is special, John. You guys can do this," Suzanne says, helpfully, because remember? She researched this!

A wife's furrowed brow later, the husband concedes defeat. The two embrace.

"This is awesome," the wife says. "You see the size of that garage?" the husband replies, warming to his quick defeat.

Suzanne breathes a huge sigh of relief (commission, you know) and promises to "get to work."

And just like that, an entire banking industry was brought to its knees (not shown in the commercial).

Check out the clip for yourself:

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