Demand for expensive waterfront properties, much of it coming from South Americans and other foreigners looking to park their cash, has the industry punch-drunk with enthusiasm. Miami agents are putting off vacations (lest they miss a big sale), and some are regularly flying to South America on sales missions.

A dozen years ago, I lived through the hype machine of the energy trading industry in Houston. Enron and other firms were transforming themselves into investment banks for traders of natural gas and electricity. They sometimes booked profits today on revenues not expected for another decade. Companies showed off their state-of-the-art trading floors. One hired Ray Charles to sing at a dinner for analysts. We all know how that story ended.There have been other bubbles, of course — particularly in the technology sector — but these days, I’m having flashbacks to my Houston days when I visit Miami and learn more about its high-end real estate market.
By Alexi Barrioneuvo, Oct. 11, 12 NYT

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