Eighty-five percent of borrowers in Southern California have taken out adjustable-rate mortgages to have lower mortgage payments now and spend money on dining out and shopping, but the boom can't last, according to a roundtable participant at the Western Regional Mortgage Brokers Conference in Las Vegas.Americans are spending like never before and not saving, said Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, a global investment strategies company, during a broker roundtable on surviving the real estate bust. "People are borrowing to take vacations and remodel their kitchens," said Mr. Schiff. "Borrowers don't have to prove income any more or have a job to qualify for a loan. All the risk belongs to lenders. And we are on the way to a collapse if the federal government creates higher inflation." Mr. Schiff said the longer it takes for the bubble to burst, the worse the recovery will be. "The boom is like a heroin high -- it feels great," he said. "But in order to get healthy, there is withdrawal, and that is not pleasant. The body has to purge itself of the artificial credit-induced boom similar to the '90s."

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