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Snap Judgment: When to Trust Your Instincts, When to Ignore Them, and How to Avoid Making Big Mistakes with Your Money by David E. Adler

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34. Fear and Loathing in Ft. Lauderdale

The subprime market dislocation widely discussed in the months leading up to the full-blown financial panic of Autumn 2008 was not an abstract or faraway concept in South Florida in the spring of that year. In Ft. Lauderdale, as soon as you exited the freeway it was clear there was a problem: a tattered sign next to the off-ramp begged “Investors needed: properties offered at 50% of assessed value.” This was merely a hint of what was to come. Off Las Olas Boulevard, the city’s main drag, things seemed to get worse, not better. Every house and condo on the glittering waterfront streets seemed to have the exact same yellowing, faded sign: “For Sale.” The mortgage broker’s office was closed and had its own ...

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