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About the Author

Jonathan D. Miller

Jonathan Miller is a partner and co-owner of Miller Ryan LLC, a strategic marketing communications consulting firm to the financial services and real estate industries. Miller has more than 25 years of communications and marketing experience in the real estate industry, counseling many leading executives. For the past 15 years he has also authored Emerging Trends in Real Estate, the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) premier annual industry forecast and speaks extensively on suburban and urban issues. He is also author of ULI's Infrastructure 2008: A Global Perspectives, a major analysis on the looming changes facing the

U.S. on infrastructure and land use issues. He has led marketing/communications teams at Equitable Real Estate, Lend Lease, and GMAC Commercial Mortgage (Capmark Finance), overseeing re-branding programs for those firms as well as for COMPASS, Boston Financial and Amresco when they were acquired by Lend Lease. He has extensive crisis communications and corporate-change experience. Miller graduated with honors from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and earned a law degree cum laude from American University. Contact Jonathan Miller.

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I'd have to agree that many - especially those who are 50 and older are likely shell-shocked and the majority will need to make major changes in past habits in order to have any hope of a stable future, but some of that change may actually come in the form of selling and spending.

You are going to see "garage sales" like you've never seen before while people slim down, clean out and covet cash. Once low fixed rate 4% mortgage money is a reality there may be quite a few people who decide to leave the Northern States and the prospects of $5 a gallon winter heating oil for a bargain priced canal front home in Cape Coral.

For the younger folks, if college money remains elusive, those with entrepreneurial spirits will forgo the education and beg, borrow and steal to put their ideas into reality. Younger minds are also more forgiving and less concerned with having their retirement money today - they are also the group that is earning lower salaries and most likely to retain their jobs. They will be the group that leads the way in consumer spending albeit in much lesser volumes than in our recent past. But how nice for them too - they will be able to purchase a home or investment property at very attractive prices and stand a much better chance of having enough money after mortgage payments to still buy an ATV or small boat and eat out once a week.

The only way the economy will truly shrink is when the population stops expanding. Until then, only sections of it will have more problems than others.
Posted by comment_user_455081 | Wednesday, February 25 2009 at 12:15PM ET