J. Nelson Seawright, "The Church and the Debt Bubble," considers the impact of the real estate bubble and crash on Mormon church financing. A short excerpt:
Now that U.S. Mormons are no longer realizing, and paying tithing on, fantastic and unsustainable capital gains from stock and housing sales, but are instead paying more strictly on family income which has not really changed much at the median since the 1980s, is the church overcommitted? It costs money to run temples, wards, stakes, etc., and the fact that construction has been far outpacing the rates of missionary growth or growth of relatively high-tithing U.S. members hints at something like a baseball-baptisms-era if-you-build-it-they-will-come strategy. If so, we might be facing something of a debt-bubble hangover of our own…
I know nothing about LDS church financing, but found this a fascinating post, and one that is a case study of how the economic crash/correction will impact church life in the U.S. I would be interested to see other examples of serious considerations of how American religious life will respond to the Crash of 08-09. Surely church-related colleges and universities are in for some hard decisions? I don't know, really, I'm just saying . . .