As Google flirts with the $300 mark -- fueled by three price targets above that level in the last week alone -- the market is beginning to feel eerily familiar to the halcyon days of 2000.
If you're in the market for a home, the fear-driven sentiment is just as pronounced. Yet the prices move unrelentingly higher.
We can debate forever whether these assets are richly priced, or when the bubble will burst. But one thing seems undeniably rich -- those 5% to 6% commissions consumers are still paying to real-estate brokers. Those fees haven't budged in years, despite the ubiquity of information on the Internet that's caused other intermediary fees to plunge as consumers learn to do their own information gathering. The real-estate-broker fee is outdated, hard to justify and unsustainable, according to Steven Levitt, a University of Chicago economist, and author of "Freakonomics," a must-read book for anyone who likes to turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Based on my e-mails, this column was apparently controversial. I hope readers will post their remarks in this blog for everyone to read and respond to. Thanks.