The New York Times had an article Las Vegas Faces Its Deepest Slide Since the 1940s about how devastated Las Vegas is in the current recession. It’s a tough read that shows many places aren’t anywhere close to the end of the recession.
Vegas is the furthest right data point on this chart. Over 12% of owner-occupied households are over 50% underwater, and a total underwater rate of over 70%:
Netroots Nation was held in Vegas this year, and the Forgotten Foreclosure Panel was a really intense experience. Ryan Grim opened with a story about a cameraman not sure where he was going to live (video at link), and Dave Dayen, Elizabeth Warren and Senator Merkley discussing the failures of HAMP and the need for mortgage lien-stripping and other measures.
Nevada is interesting because it’s such a disaster, it’s relatively small, and there isn’t going to be enough demand to clear the abandoned properties – it would be a perfect place for a state-wide implementation of a right-to-rent program. If we were serious about “shocking” a solution to a structural unemployment problem forcing some financial firms and bondholders to actually eat losses in Nevada would be a place to start. But let’s also not confuse this story with the story of the country as a whole, where every state has had an increase in unemployment.