The always-amusing Jim Cramer offered a quick commentary on CNBC this morning that seemed awfully revealing, in response to the news that the average loan in foreclosure has now been delinquent a record 631 days.
Cramer: When you’re 600 days [past] foreclosure, you should be thinking squatters, and those are people who are not paying their mortgage so they’re shopping. And I know that sounds odd, but listen,we’ve got a squatter economy and we have got an off-the-books economy and those are the ones generating the better numbers.
Other CNBC anchor: By off-the-books, you mean people working jobs–
Cramer: Look, you know what, the employer wants to avoid all the Obama regulations, okay, or the previous ones, and the employee wants cash. Look, we’re developing an economy that is an underground economy, it’s never been the way America has done [this]. It’s the way business is reacting, it’s the way people who need jobs are reacting. Off-the-books and squatters are income producers when it comes to retail.
Ah. A massive off-the-books or black-market economy to avoid costly regulations and red tape. Sounds like Greece, doesn’t it? Cramer is doing what he does best — assessing the situation and offering investment tips about it — but in the end, how much of an economic future will America have with a “squatter economy” or an “off-the-books economy”?