In about mid-2006, I remember when California real estate market around me started falling down. Just prior to that, I saw houses gaining value from high to higher, on a monthly basis. The highest per capita city/region in the US was not Beverly Hills or the Hamptons, but Los Alamos, NM where defense contractors were making, on average, more than anybody in the country and Livermore, CA was not far behind on "Iraq" war money/kickbacks/bonuses. People were driving huge SUVs for show more than anything else and regardless of gas price, they had jobs that could sustain any amount of cost to run such a vehicle. But we all know what happened since then. Every recession/depression often sees a high time right before the crash. I am old enough to remember 1989. People bragging about lighting their BBQs with 100 dollar bills in Orange County where daddy's little girl could call up on Madonna or Elton John mid tour for a private concert, people wearing $35 dollar polo and OP beachwear (which was a ton lot of money then), people pimping out their cars easily spending more than the car itself, parents giving kids $20-$30 dollars daily for the mall every day after school for snacks and video games, etc. That whole excessive '80s lifestyle, and flaunting it became so out of style after many lost a lot of money in the '89 stock market crash and a few savings and loans mishaps that followed shortly after. What are your pre-crash recollections from where you lived?