Let's get green. Tis the season for shortish men with elf like grins. Yes, it's the season for celebrations of all things Irish. In Indianapolis most kids want to be Peyton Manning. Mine wants to be Michael Flatly. In March, that can be viewed as a noble goal given the month. Right now, yes we're thinking green but there is more than one reason to do that. The obvious is that in a few days we'll collectively come out of our cabin fever, pour a green adult beverage and watch our community celebrate St. Patty's Day. The eight year old in my house got a bit of a jump on it with his Irish dancing recital at the Warren Performing Arts Center. Hard to believe that in Indianapolis, home of the almost no significant cultural diversity (insert tounge in cheek here), there can be such an outstanding dance troupe, but there is. They won't be the only ones dancing or thinking green this month, however. Our good friend Federal Reserve Chairmam Bernake will be dancing a monetary jig as well, but with far more significant consequences. Chairmen Bernake will be guiding the Fed into another significant decsion on how far to lower interest rates again. There seems to be a common belief that it will be at least 50 basis points but some feel we could see a 3/4 point reduction. As sure as I stand here on my soap box had they been paying any attention last summer they could have avoided this. Since no one was listening, we're playing catch up on the rate front, no doubt with some painful national affect.

Bernake spoke recently about the current foreclosure problem. Battling a dangerous wave of home foreclosures,Bernanke called Tuesday (3/5) for additional relief and urged lenders to help distressed owners by lowering the amount of their loans. "This situation calls for a vigorous response," Bernanke said in a speech to a banking group meeting in Orlando, Fla. Even with some relief efforts under way by industry and government, foreclosures and late payments on home mortgages are likely to rise "for a while longer," Bernanke warned. Rising foreclosures threaten to worsen the problems in the housing market and for the national economy, which many fear is on the verge of a recession or in one already. Gee, do ya think?.

While the national issues remain top of mind, real estate remains a microeconomic, local issue. In Indianapolis that still means people are making incredible buys on property. Who has the courage to make those decisions now and who will regret not being a part of the value growth over the next several years remains to be seen. Meanwhile I'll be pouring myself a cold one in all of your honor and hoping for a better 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2008. Keep your shaleilee dry and your spirits up because friends, we're all going to need it.....

Greg@gregcooper.com or 317-848-GREG (4734)