Just one quick post.
On the subject of The Great Land Bubble:
Is China about to implode? Paul Krugman is worth a read on the subject, though in the end he doesn't know any better than anyone else. For what it's worth, the one encouraging thing I've consistently read about China is that their property bubble is largely driven by cash purchases, not debt. And non-debt bubbles, like the dotcom bubble, are inherently less destructive when they burst than debt-driven bubbles. [More]I agree whole-heartedly. The other difference with a farmland bubble is the low velocity. Most of us never want to actually sell the land, so after a while even a way off-base price is little more than an unpleasant memory. I suppose I have paid too much for land, but my heirs won't care, just like I don't care what my forebears paid for the land handed down to me.
Then again how often have we said, "This time is different?" But even if we are way wrong, the default rate on land mortgages in 1987 (the bottom) was about 7%, or viewed from the other direction, 93% gritted our teeth and scrounged up the payments somehow.