In the US press, the real estate bubble is an example of American capitalist excess. Anyone who has lived abroad knows better. The American real estate bubble wasn't even particularly special by global standards. Certainly, the British boom beats it for both size and staying power--according to Brett Arends, it's still going on.
Arends attributes this to the British government's hefty stimulus, and he may be right. This is one of the uncomfortable questions that attends government intervention to keep financial crises from going too deep. We seem to know now how to keep bubbles from turning into Great Depression style disasters, with a combination of monetary policy, fiscal stimulus, and safety nets for both banks and individuals caught in the storm. But what happens next? Japan's Lost Decade? Or are we just setting ourselves up for a bigger, badder bubble down the road?