My, how things change! In the go-go time period of 2002 through 2006, a home builder's game plan was to expand. Strategic agendas sounded like this: grow inventory, grow units, grow income, grow earnings per share, grow stock price. It seemed the stars were aligned, and balance ruled. Capital flowed freely for publics and privates, and everyone fed to satisfaction from the same capital bounty. Miracle of miracles, every pro forma and feasibility analysis worked with room to spare, and the challenge of the moment was how to do more. More land, more houses, more inventory, more pretax income. Home builders believed they'd finally solved the industry riddle, convincing Wall Street, lenders, and themselves that their business model could grow in any economic climate. The despised "cyclical industry" moniker was a thing of the past.