Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

For readers that have never commented, there is a link at the top of each message that is typically labelled “[#] Comments“. Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn’t know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past year. The archives can be accessed by using the links found in the menus on the right hand side of the page.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

371 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Citigroup Laying Off 2,000 More
    March 21, 2008; Page C3

    Citigroup Inc. plans to lay off an additional 2,000 employees from its markets and banking unit, and in this latest round of job cuts, senior investment-banking officials won’t be spared, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

    The latest round of job cuts at the New York-based bank brings its layoffs since the mortgage crisis began to more than 6,000, or about 10% of the market and banking unit’s work force.

    The layoffs are expected to take place by the end of the month. They are likely to take an especially sharp toll on the capital-markets side of the business, but some mergers-and-acquisition bankers will also be axed, the people said. The cuts will be concentrated in New York and London.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Goldman Will Reduce Capital Markets Workforce, N.Y. Post Says

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to dismiss as much as 15 percent of its workforce in the capital markets and related support departments, the New York Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

    The reductions are likely to come in the division that includes investment banking, debt and equity underwriting and merger advice, the newspaper said. Employees were first notified about the staff cuts on Monday, the Post reported.

  3. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Home Vacancy Rates
    Post Sharp Increases
    March 21, 2008

    Cities and counties with some of the worst fallout from the nation’s housing slump also are seeing a sharp upswing in vacant homes, a trend economists say might set up further declines in home prices.

    The national homeowner vacancy rate, which gauges the number of vacant homes on the market, rose to 2.8% in the fourth quarter, according to Census Bureau data. That was up from 2.7% in the previous quarter and matched the record set in the first quarter of last year.

    Vacancy rates in the 75 largest metropolitan areas showed vast differences last year, ranging from a low of 0.1% in the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., area to a high of 7.4% in Orlando, Fla., Census Bureau data show.

    “The higher the vacancy rate, the greater is the degree of stress on pricing,” said Jim Diffley, managing director of regional services at economic-research firm Global Insight in Waltham, Mass. “It’s a measure of how far the market is out of whack.”

    The Census Bureau’s report also showed that when compared with 2005, some of the fastest-rising vacancy rates last year were in struggling Rust Belt cities and recently sizzling Sun Belt markets, with cities in Florida — the epicenter of the housing bust — showing the biggest jumps in the gauge of vacant homes.

    Vacancy rates alone, of course, aren’t the only gauge that economists are watching when trying to weigh future price trends. They note that other important measures, such as employment and population growth, also play a role. In that light, they say higher vacancy rates in areas with struggling economies and slumping populations could present more persistent problems than in cities with growing economies.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Mortgage Mess Hits Home For Nation’s Small Builders
    Delinquencies Rise, Hitting Local Banks;
    Mr. Whitlatch Folds
    March 21, 2008; Page A1

    TWINSBURG, Ohio — In the first wave of the housing crisis, homeowners across the U.S. lost their properties to foreclosure. Now, many of the nation’s small and midsize home builders are on the ropes.

    Builders’ problems are now threatening losses for small and medium-size regional banks. Muscled out of the mortgage business by large national lenders, many of these banks flocked to construction lending as the housing market boomed. Though these institutions were generally less exposed to the subprime-backed securities that have generated billions of dollars in losses for national banks, they are the front-line casualties when builders and developers can’t make their payments.

    Delinquencies on loans to build single-family houses reached 7.5% of the value of all such loans in the fourth quarter, up from 2.1% a year earlier, according to Foresight Analytics, an economic and real-estate research firm. There’s likely more pain ahead. The Commerce Department reported this week that permits for new housing construction, a barometer of future building activity, fell 7.8% in February to the lowest level in 16 years. Also this week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said it had “increased [its] overall concern” about banks with high concentrations of construction loans, particularly those for residential developments, its strongest warning to date about these banks.

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress late last month that he expected some small U.S. banks to fail due to the housing stress. Analysts say as many as 150 banks could fail over the next three years. By comparison, about 900 banks and savings-and-loans associations failed from 1990 to 1995, according to the FDIC.

    “This credit crunch is not perceived to be as bad as the S&L crisis,” says Ivy Zelman, chief executive of Zelman & Associates, a housing research firm. But depending on how regulators respond, she says, “I think it could be.”

  5. grim says:

    From the Long Island Business News:

    Slowdown tightening broker biz

    The housing crunch is chasing away real estate agents.

    The drop in home sales is being blamed for the lowest number of real estate offices and brokers in 33 months, with Nassau, Suffolk and Queens posting 4,420 fewer agents since last September, a drop of more than 15 percent.

    There are also 213 fewer real estate offices since September.

    The drop reverses a long, steady expansion, with the number of agents rising from 16,729 to 28,863, and the number of offices increasing from 1,809 to 2,895 between January 2003 and September 2007, according to MLSLI.

    “What we’re seeing is a lesser number of agents because the market has been noticeably softer,” said Joseph Mottola, chief executive of West Babylon-based Long Island Board of Realtors.

    “If agents can’t make a living or they need this as a second income they are going to think twice,” Cantor said.

  6. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Japan property firm folds, hit by subprime

    A Japanese property investor has filed for court protection from creditors, the first listed company in Japan to collapse from tighter lending in the wake of the U.S. subprime crisis.

    Reicof Co Ltd said it had failed with debt of 42.6 billion yen ($430 million) as investments in hotels went sour.

    “Financial and real estate markets have deteriorated in the wake of the subprime crisis and we were not able to sell properties or secure loans as expected,” Masaki Nogami, a Reicof lawyer, said at a news conference on Friday.

  7. grim says:

    From BusinessWeek:

    New York Feels the Crunch

    It’s ugly on Wall Street. With the subprime mortgage meltdown, credit crunch, and falling stock market, investment bankers are facing the worst job losses since the months following September 11. In the wake of its near collapse last week, Bear Stearns (BSC) is expected to lay off at least half of its 14,000 employees. Citigroup (C) said on Mar. 20 that it plans to add 2,000 layoffs to the 4,200 it announced in January. And many bankers are wondering not only which firms will be hit next, but whether their own jobs are safe.

    So how long before the rest of New York City gets whacked?

    Thus far, much of the New York area has staved off the steep declines in home prices and employment that are sweeping so much of the U.S. But because jobs in finance account for about 23% of New York City’s overall personal income and 27% of the city’s tax revenues, eventually Wall Street’s layoffs and busted bonuses will filter down to shops, restaurants, real estate brokers, limo drivers, and other Main Street employers. The falling value of the dollar—and the concomitant surge in tourism and foreign real estate purchases—will help cushion the blow to the overall economy. But since the primary business of New York is still the money business, it’s inevitable that Wall Street’s pain will be shared.

  8. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Insurer Gives Its Reasons for Severing Merrill Pacts

    Security Capital said XL Capital was promised control rights on the $3.1 billion of portfolios it had guaranteed for Merrill Lynch International, but Merrill Lynch had given those same rights to one or more third parties.

    “The decision to terminate the Merrill Lynch International contracts was not made lightly,” Security Capital said.

    By terminating the contracts, Security Capital is hoping to get out from under an obligation that could cost it hundreds of millions of dollars. But ending the contracts could force Merrill Lynch to write down billions of dollars of exposure.

  9. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    CIT Taps Credit Lines and Talks of Asset Sales

    The CIT Group, a century-old company that lends money to small businesses and midsize corporations, was forced to draw on $7.3 billion of emergency bank credit lines. Its shares and bonds plummeted.

  10. Frank says:

    Merrill Lynch will be laying off 5,500 starting next month, many of them in NJ.

  11. Frank says:

    No even a week goes by and RE inventory jumps by another 1,000 units in NJ. RE agents are working hard. How about trying to sell some of those homes, instead of just listing them??

  12. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Leery Lenders Demand More From Borrowers

    Just when consumers and the U.S. economy need banks to lend more freely, the mortgage industry is making it harder to borrow — even for those with good credit.

    Mortgage insurers, whose backing is required for borrowers who can’t afford the traditional 20 percent down payment on a home, have already flagged nearly a quarter of the nation’s ZIP codes where they refuse to insure some home loans.

    That encompasses a wide variety of neighborhoods: McMansions in Scottsdale, Ariz.; luxury Miami condos; 1960 ranch houses in Flint, Mich.; and early 20th century kit homes in Metuchen, N.J.

  13. lostinny says:

    Oh Frank
    Listing is selling. Well at least it was a couple of years ago. Yet more people who are living in the past.

  14. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Carpenters’ union files suit over classification of workers

    A New Jersey carpenters’ union is suing a Texas-based developer for allegedly employing undocumented workers and denying them benefits by classifying them as independent contractors and not employees, it was announced Thursday.

    “This is the most blatant abuse of laws I have seen in a long time,” said Albert Kroll, a former state labor commissioner who represents the carpenters in their case against D.H. Horton Inc., which calls itself “America’s Builder.”

    “This illegal hiring scheme is quite simple,” said Kroll, saying Horton hired a subcontractor who would hire undocumented immigrants and label them contractors, paying them $8 to $14 an hour in a market where the going pay is $21 to $23 an hour, according to Tom Canto, executive secretary and treasurer of the carpenters’ group.

  15. grim says:


    Agree, most agents have no idea how to sell homes. Getting the listing agreement signed is the hard work, once it’s in place, you sit back and wait.

    What do you mean “marketing”, it’s on the MLS, it is on Realtor.com, it is on our website. We even took out a 1/4096th page ad on page 396 of the New Jersey Journal three weeks ago. Held an open house too!

    I can count the number of agents I know that can actually “sell” a house on one hand (actually, 2 or 3 hands, but that doesn’t sound nearly as good).

    The listing agent’s first priority isn’t to sell your house, it is to sell you into signing (and resigning) the listing agreement. But ain’t that always the way it is in the service biz. Most agencies have turned selling their service into an art, but fail miserably when trying to execute. The reason behind this isn’t a mystery, in the go-go market, listing was selling (as lost says). If you didn’t get those listings, you were done. Selling them was the easy part (see paragraph 2).

  16. Secondary Market says:

    #15…..and with Foxton’s, you get (got) a flashy website and a vanishing agent.

  17. Sean says:

    re: 14 (Grim)

    This has been going on for years and the Unions had turned a blind eye, in the construction trades. This lawsuit was only filed because the Union hall is now filling up with members looking for work. There was a time, when any builder tried something like this (hiring illegal Mexican workers) these large projects would go up in flames. I would not be surprised if some of the DH Horton projects are torched by angry unemployed taxpaying union members.

  18. SG says:

    Another Comp Killer in Bridgewater.

    On today’s reported closings,
    4 Alexis Court, sold for $495,000

    During 2005, similar houses were sold at $580,000+. One person I know bought one at $595K.

  19. SG says:

    Another one in Bridgewater

    42 WALTERS BROOK DR 12/17/2007 $515,000

    The township assessment is $560,000+

  20. JLB says:

    One of many updates that I receive and many are starting to sound like this one:

    Spring has sprung and so has the market! In the past month, my new listings have had amazing results:

    54 Old Short Hills Rd, Short Hills- Contract after 1st weekend

    17 Undercliff, Millburn- 6 offers after 1st weekend

    111 Short Hills Ave, Short Hills- 5 offers after 1st weekend

    1 Tulip Lane, Short Hills- we had 6 offers after this past Sunday’s open house.

    Interest rates are low, sellers are staging & “smart pricing”, and there has never been a better time to buy a house.

  21. SG says:

    Anyone has opinion on this site, http://www.buybankhomes.com/

    What is normal process that Bank follows when trying to sell the house? Is there normally set number of months before prices are dropped? Any issues with Lowball on Bank properties?

  22. grim says:


    Easy enough to find REO homes in this area by searching the major lender sites. Local REOs are almost always MLS listed and represented by agents.

    What is normal process that Bank follows when trying to sell the house?

    They list it with an agency that they have a relationship with. MLS listed, not really any major difference from a typical sale.

    Is there normally set number of months before prices are dropped?


    Any issues with Lowball on Bank properties?

    No, in fact I strongly suggest it, realize that you aren’t dealing with someone who has an emotional attachment with the property.

  23. grim says:


    Millburn Contracts

    November 2006 – 17
    November 2007 – 14
    (Down ~18%)

    December 2006 – 17
    December 2007 – 12
    (Down ~29%)

    January 2007 – 27
    January 2008 – 14
    (Down ~48%)

    February 2007 – 30
    February 2008 – 27
    (Down ~10%)

    YTD 2007 – 57
    YTD 2008 – 41
    (Down ~29%)

    I concur with her position on right pricing, Millburn is still a high demand town, price a property right and I have no doubt you can get 6 offers in a weekend. The question is, when will the other 100 sellers in Millburn realize this?

  24. House Hunter says:

    CEO of bear stearns bought a 25 million dollar property in NYC this week…I think we all helped fund that one

  25. SG says:

    Thanks Grim. I see a property on http://www.buybankhomes.com/ but not on MLS.

    I am surprised why.

    Also, is there list of links to lenders REO listings? If not, can we create such a list.

  26. House Hunter says:

    The problem as I see it with the discount brokers like help u sell(grim correct me if I am wrong)is that traditional realtors won’t even tell you about them, they don’t like the “discount” in their comish…we actually had to call our realtor and ask her to show it to us, she only sent us the traditional broker listings

  27. hughesrep says:

    14 & 17

    It has also been going on for years in some of the subcontractors business’, especially some of the large new home construction plumbing contractors in NJ.

    That Plaza Grande project they mentioned has had a bunch of serious issues including prefab units that were off by a few inches, lawsuits galore, partners dropping out, a revolvong door of subcontractors. It’s been a mess.

  28. Richie says:

    It’s a great time to buy a house if you have money. Most people out there don’t, which is why the US ended up in this mess.


  29. njpatient says:

    “The cuts will be concentrated in New York and London.”

    That CAN’T be true. New York is DIFFERENT.

  30. House Hunter says:

    #21 SG..just from my experience, not a realtor jsut looking for every angle to buy a house at this point. There were some homes in my area going up for foreclosure and most had for sale signs and were on realtor.com with agents. You could find them on the sheriff sale as well. Once they (usually) went back to the bank, there was a period of time where they disappeared off the mls. Then they return under an agent for a while, then some go to auction.
    check out this link to a million dollar home that for the past two years was in the process. at one point they were asking 989,000..so 50 cents on the dollar is about where the auction is starting…my long winded answer is lowball away! http://www.ushomeauction.com/property.php?auctionID=H-022&itemID=14853&venueid=88

  31. House Hunter says:
  32. rhymingrealtor says:

    Grim # 15

    Now I’ve read it from you and I ‘ve read it from clot “Marketing” Can you or he elaborate? What do you do? I’ve only had experience with the norm, MLS, Internet, Local Papers,open house, Flyers in the Take one please stand? Help me.


  33. House Hunter says:

    By the way, this property in the link above sold at 1,098,000 not 1.3 mill

  34. House Hunter says:

    SG I meant to type “sold originally”

  35. chris-c says:

    do you have any lowball stats for lower somerset (08540)?

  36. njpatient says:

    “So how long before the rest of New York City gets whacked?”

    Don’t these fools know NYC is different?!?
    Maybe they’re not talking about Manhattan…

  37. make money says:

    Frank Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 7:18 am
    Merrill Lynch will be laying off 5,500 starting next month, many of them in NJ.


  38. gary says:

    Do we have a lot of buyers on the sidelines? Is there an army of buyers waiting for the “right” price before they jump in or will tougher lending standards contain the flow? Please elaborate.

  39. Imus says:

    Have some sort of a NYC complex? Hope there is a cure to that…

  40. Well, the lay-offs have finally started in earnest. I have to admit I was beginning to second guess myself for a little while there about how bad it was going to be.

  41. chicagofinance says:

    clot: watch the line with this crap!

    Clotpoll Says:
    March 20th, 2008 at 9:37 pm
    JLB-Dolt (217)-
    Hell, I’m averaged in so low on my miners, that the past few days represent yet another chance at loading up some more before the next moon shot.
    And, that moon shot will inevitably occur as the last of the overleveraged, shaky longs is carried out on his shield.

  42. chicagofinance says:

    Bear Stearns CEO Is Said to Rent House
    March 21, 2008; Page W8

    Bear Stearns Cos. Chief Executive Alan D. Schwartz has taken off the market his suburban New York house, listed for $4.5 million, and is renting it, the real-estate agent who had listed the home says.

    Meanwhile, Bear Chairman and former CEO James Cayne closed last month on a $27.4 million purchase of two adjacent apartments at the Plaza condominium in New York, according to public records.

    Both moves came before Bear’s fire-sale deal Sunday to be acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase. Under the terms of that deal, Mr. Cayne’s Bear holdings, once valued at $1 billion, would total roughly $13.1 million, less than half the cost of the Plaza units.

    In 2000, Mr. Schwartz paid $2.75 million for the newly built, 7,850-square-foot house in Purchase, N.Y. , overlooking the ninth green of the Golf Club of Purchase. The three-story home has views of Long Island Sound, six bedrooms, a playroom and a wine cellar. In 2003, Mr. Schwartz paid $10.4 million for a 17-room, 11,000-square-foot mansion on seven acres in Greenwich, Conn., records show, and he also owns a condo in Edwards, Colo. Susy Glasgall, of Houlihan Lawrence, had the Purchase listing.

    A growing number of frustrated sellers in New York’s suburbs are renting their homes. Greenwich agent Barbara Wells, of Prudential Connecticut Realty, says, “A tremendous amount of houses are for sale and for rent. We’ve never had that before.”

  43. grim says:

    How do asset sales “quell concerns about cash shortgages”?

    If anything, in this situation asset sales affirm liquidity concerns.

    “Nothing to see here, there is no cash shortage, we’re selling assets to raise cash, but only to prove that we don’t really need the cash. Now, if there are no further questions, I need to end this call, because we’re selling the phone system, and the building that houses it.”

    CIT Plans Asset Sales to Quell Concerns About Cash Shortages

  44. House Hunter says:

    #37 MM I used to work at ML in Princeton and Hopewell..still have friends there…layoffs definetly coming and they are usually after 1st quarter mid to late April. No official word on numbers though

  45. grim says:

    Kudos to Lehman for coming up with such a creative way to rid itself of $2b in myth-marked trash. I guess it really is all in the marketing.

    Lehman plans new distressed debt funds

    Lehman Brothers Private Fund Investments, the fund of funds division of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., has joined the growing ranks of advisors ramping up their exposure to distressed debt in the face of an increasingly uncertain economy.
    The group soon plans to begin marketing Lehman Crossroads Fund XIX LP with a $1.5 billion target, according to the people familiar with the firm. It expects to allocate up to 30% of the new portfolio to distressed debt funds, one person said.
    Separately, Lehman also has begun marketing Lehman Brothers Distressed Opportunities Fund LP, a dedicated distressed debt fund of funds with a $725 million target. The firm plans to commit the portfolio to a mix of distressed debt and turnaround funds, including both firms that adopt control-oriented strategies and those adopting more liquid trading strategies.

  46. Clotpoll says:

    Hunter (26)-

    Help-U-Sell- and other limited-performance brokers’ listings- are in the MLS. They also usually do not feature poor incentives to the buyer’s agent. If your agent is not giving you those listings, find one who will.

    Befitting the market, I rarely see listings now that do not fully-incentivize the buyer side.

  47. mneer1 says:

    Why now is a great time to buy:

    The National Association of Realtors said that “on average home values double every 10 years”.

    Disclaimer: Each market is different, so talk to your realtor today!

  48. Clotpoll says:

    kl (32)-

    Short story:

    1. 80% of all buyers use the internet as their primary tool to create a final wish list and gather info on agents, lenders, insurers, etc when buying a home.

    2. Following from #1, listing agents must market on the internet to build a buyer pool and create buyer flow.

    3. Following from #2, it is not enough to simply be on the internet with your listing. If your listing comes up #7,000 and on page 32 of a search, it might as well not exist.

    4. Flowing from #3: as in any other internet marketing, optimization of placement is the name of the game. Doing what it takes to have listings appear at the top of searches is essential to effective marketing. Frankly, in most popular forums (i.e., Realtor.com), this involves the liberal application of money. It’s pay-for-placement.

    5. Once an agent has addressed #1-#4, then the traditional rules of marketing come into play. Identify a need, then fill it.

    6. My own little rule: price is a component of marketing, but marketing is NOT a component of price.

  49. skep-tic says:

    Have to respond to a post Bru made last night:

    “It’s too easy to say that DVD players and cell phones are the problem – in my opinion, it is the presentation of a certain type of lifestyle as “normal””

    Bru– here’s where I think you’re wrong: magazines and TV are selling fantasies. The lifestyle they portrary is not supposed to be normal. It is meant as an escape from reality. I agree that many young people who lack experience get this mixed up. My sister is a senior in college and she is deeply confused on this issue. Getting unconfused is simple: go to work and look at all of the people around you. They are not spending summers in Capri and shopping at Bergdorf every weekend, nor do they expect to. And most of them are pretty happy despite this. The reason is that they judge the quality of their life compared to other real people, not fictional characters or movie stars.

  50. BC Bob says:


    I noticed you were digging yesterday. I found this.

    “BC Bob Says:
    October 31st, 2006 at 1:05 pm”

    “Just got back in town and saw the news. Congrats and all the best. Now, I would have really been impressed if he added, buy gold!!!”

    Gold was approx $600 at that time. Now it’s time to teach Hunter how to say 200 day moving average.

    You thought I was kidding, approx 2 weeks ago, when I stated that many will be taught a painful lesson that tuition can not buy?

  51. Hard Place says:

    High compensation for short sales – Could be a sign of the times. Desperate for buyers, the lenders are looking to entice whatever agent has a qualified buyer to unload illiquid assets off their balance sheet. If this keeps up seems like there is a battle to find whatever remaining buyers are out there.

  52. Clotpoll says:

    gary (38)-

    75% of whatever “pant-up” demand may exist cannot sell their current homes. Tomorrow’s buyer is today’s seller, and the vast majority still have not gotten it through their heads that the worm has turned.

    That’s why you see the mix of sellers weighted more toward the “must sell/forced to sell” variety. Lots of people who don’t have to sell are coming off the market…and, they’re going to remain off. For years.

  53. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (41)-

    Believe me, I watch it closely. The PPT operates in strange and diabolical ways. It is disquieting to know that the combined forces of the gubmint, Fed and Treasury are working overtime against me. And, they have way more resources and brainpower.

    In the end, Mr. Market always wins, though. And this time around, Mr. Market is going to inflict a brutal penalty on the PPT.

  54. Clotpoll says:

    And, we all must reclaim our straw men in due course.

  55. Sean says:

    Follow up yesterday’s to GMAC vs. HFTC lawsuit. I wonder how many scams like this were going on in NJ?


  56. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (42)-

    What a d-bag. I hope the tenants trash his house and stiff him on the rent.

  57. grim says:


    What amazes me are the number of agents who don’t think good photographs are important. This is, of course, evidenced by the vast majority of agents who take their own photographs with a cell phone or $3 digicam.

    In the surveys that I’ve done as part of an entrepreneurial venture I worked on, we found that a large percentage of potential clients will ignore listings with poor quality pictures, despite the fact that those pictures aren’t representative of the property. We did a small study that had subjects browse a mock real estate website that showed two sets of photos for the same house, one set of very poor quality, another set of high quality (actually, a professional architectural photographer). When presenting the potential clients with the question of “Would you visit this house in person?”, we found that the professional photographs resulted in a statistically significant difference, surprisingly so.

    So while professional photos might not sell a house, they will result in a larger number of potential clients visiting a property. Likewise, poor photos mean that the money spent on your online marketing is largely wasted.

  58. syncmaster says:

    From THNT:

    The city of New Brunswick is pressing forward with a pair of downtown redevelopment projects of major import, the latest a mega-housing, retail and office complex that calls for one 28-story high-rise and two 17-story rectangular towers on a 5-acre tract of land hard against the Northeast Corridor rail line.

    Both projects together promise to reshape the New Brunswick skyline along with the city’s tax base, boldly ushering in a new era of growth and prosperity for the city.

    Rough housing plans call for about 730 apartments and 28 town houses, ranging in price from $500,000 to $800,000; the concept would serve New Brunswick’s need to provide housing for its growing professional and New York City commuter base, as well as high-salaried employees of its burgeoning health-care industry and Rutgers University.

  59. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 10:15 am
    Chi, I noticed you were digging yesterday. I found this. “BC Bob Says:
    October 31st, 2006 at 1:05 pm” “Just got back in town and saw the news. Congrats and all the best. Now, I would have really been impressed if he added, buy gold!!!”
    Gold was approx $600 at that time. Now it’s time to teach Hunter how to say 200 day moving average. You thought I was kidding, approx 2 weeks ago, when I stated that many will be taught a painful lesson that tuition can not buy?

    Bost: I’ve seen your position grow….here is the result of 1 1/2 years of growth on my end…..


  60. mneer1 says:

    re (59)

    I agree, before I was squeezed out of the market, probably now until at least 2012, due to the advent of prudent underwriting, I would not have wasted my time with a listing that didn’t have at least 8-10 quality photos.

  61. Sean says:

    The dark prince Cheney is in Saudi Arabia today, to follow up from Bush’s visit.

    Last week on CNN Jack Cafferty vilified Cheney about this trip.

    Well worth to watch Cafferty again, he almost had an aneurysm during this commentary.


  62. make money says:

    BC, #52

    Should I care about this pullback if I own the actual physical metal?

  63. Mitchell says:

    #59 I’m amazed at the number of homes listed on Realtor.Com without pictures. I pass right over them if there isn’t a picture to begin with and I find in a lot of cases there is a reason they didn’t post a picture.

  64. RentininNJ says:

    Do we have a lot of buyers on the sidelines? Is there an army of buyers waiting for the “right” price before they jump in or will tougher lending standards contain the flow? Please elaborate.

    According to the Census Bureau, home ownership levels are around all time highs (although slipping in recent quarters). In the Northeast, 65% people own their homes.
    So who is left? Well, much of the remaining 35% will never own; they choose not to, have terrible credit or are structurally priced out (i.e. poor).

    During the housing bubble, we “borrowed” buyers from the future. People who would have normally waited until the time was right, saved up a down payment etc., rushed into the market for fear of being “priced out forever”. At the same time, east credit made entry possible fore these buyers.

    So, who is left? Where is this “pant-up” demand? Well, you have a small group of contrarians (like many of us here) who didn’t drink the Cool Aid and you have your normal pipeline of young people graduating college, getting jobs and thinking about buying. That’s really it. There is no cavalry of fence sitters coming to the rescue of the housing market. It’s a myth, they don’t exist.

  65. Clotpoll says:

    grim (46)-

    Truth to tell, there have been a lot of babies thrown out with the bathwater. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of mispriced stuff out there that will quietly mature at par.

    However, I’ve got to think that the search for these mispriced assets is a proprietary activity. “Inviting” the public into distressed-asset funds seems a bit disingenuous.

  66. skep-tic says:


    I wonder how many of the ultimate buyers of those properties got significant cash back at closing. Difficult to understand how you could find so many willing buyers to pay that much above comps

  67. BC Bob says:


    I can’t get in.

    It’s amazing, I remember that post like it was yesterday. Did my year end 2006 post, Chi will discover that Hunter is a southpaw, come true? He must be getting big, probably a terror. If he’s not a southpaw, forego the glove and ball and put a golf club in his hands.

    All the best!

  68. Al says:

    grim Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 10:23 am

    What amazes me are the number of agents who don’t think good photographs are important. This is, of course, evidenced by the vast majorit

    Grim – what amazes me even more if number of photographs of interior with CRAP all over the place. In a few listings I saw bedrooms with beds not made and clothes scattered on the floor.

    There was a listing with very nice living room But it had TWO BICYCLES leaning agains Dining table???

    Everytime favorite – Unwashed dirty dishes in the sink and at the kitchen table…

    Can client sue a realtor for posting a picture like this??

    P.S. At least I haven’t seen unflushed toilet bowl, yet at least not with lid open…

  69. BC Bob says:


    Get my email address from JB.

  70. Secondary Market says:

    i love when pictures on realtor.com are of everything BUT the house. like the park, train station. to me it screams that the realtor is trying to hide the money pit and sell the idea that 500k is valued in the location alone.

  71. jamil hussein says:

    Do you need a buyer’s agent, if you are (relatively) educated buyer and use a RE attorney?

    Would it reduce the closing costs (or does the seller’s agent just take bigger payment)?

  72. Al says:

    Unmoderate please?

  73. grim says:

    Here are some other interesting things we learned:

    Clutter is a killer

    Postage stamp photos are worthless

    Buyers preferred photos of furnished homes, but only if there was some semblance of interior design and modern/neutral decor. Anything dated, old, or messy was actually a detriment.

    Photos of vacant homes need to be taken in such a way to not illustrate the fact that they are vacant. Focus on exterior pictures, kitchens, baths, fireplaces if the home has no furniture. Do not take pictures of empty rooms. Buyers tended to think empty rooms were smaller than they actually were.

    Exterior pictures should be shot in the spring/summer, regardless of when the house is being sold. Buyers thought that winter pictures looked “cold and unwelcoming.” Yes, this means prepping prior to listing, if you are listing in the winter.

    Also interesting is that buyers seemed to love night-shots of lit homes.

    Dining room shots should be done with a properly set table.

    Buyers thought lit fireplaces were also “welcoming”. (This one takes a damn good photographer to catch).

    For the photographers out there:

    Buyers love the effect of exposure or flash bracketed HDR photography. If you can take HDR shots, do it, if you don’t know what it is, learn to do them.

    Wide angle lenses tend to give rooms a better sense of scale, buyers tend to think rooms are larger when shot with extreme wa lenses (distortion corrected).

    When shooting interiors of larger homes, especially those in which other rooms are visible in the shot, multiple flashes are an absolute necessity.

    And a useful tip for agents. Wedding photographers tend to make pretty good interior photographers, and will generally work for a reasonable wage mid-week.

  74. RentininNJ says:

    I always like the pictures where the agent couldn’t be bothered to get out of the car & does the “drive by shooting” of the house, where you see the house through the car window.

  75. Clotpoll says:

    grim (48)-

    I take short sales at 8-10% total commish and offer half to the other side.

    The lenders ultimately hit everyone involved in the transaction for concessions- agents, lawyers, inspectors, etc- so the extra vig gives us a high number to negotiate down.

    Sometimes, if the deal is a real onion-buster (and my client is a jerk), I won’t negotiate down. I just tell the bank to go ahead and foreclose if they don’t like my fee. The bank is never in a good position at that point, and they almost always relent.

  76. Clotpoll says:

    skep (51)-

    It is disquieting that a college senior could still be living in such a fantasy world.

  77. Clotpoll says:

    grim (59)-

    You should see Realtor.com’s stats on no pictures/poor pictures attached to listings. In short, they are a listing-killer.

  78. syncmaster says:

    Clot #77, I have cousins who work and still live in that fantasy world. They happen to be in workplaces where everyone – even the boss – is in the same age group and well-paid enough to sustain it.

    I am lucky in a way that I work in the burbs with a bunch of middle aged guys. I learn a lot from them.

  79. BubbleYum says:

    grim Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 5:52 am
    From the WSJ:

    Citigroup Laying Off 2,000 More

    Does Citi have any busines strategy other than laying people off? I imagine at one point the only people sitting up there will be Pandit and whatever flunkies can still muster sufficient faux-enthusiasm in convincing him that he’s doing a heckuva job! I know a whole group that got the hell out of dodge when Sandy Weill was still in charge and started their own hedge fund, and life has never been better, credit meltdown and all. Something to be said for actual competence . . .

  80. Hehehe says:

    BC Bob and Make,

    What about gold teeth? I was thinking of getting some gold for my grill.

  81. grim says:


    What? You mean buying a $150 Casio at Best Buy doesn’t make me a professional photographer?

  82. skep-tic says:

    Clot– I agree. Unfortunately, she joined a sorority full of very wealthy/spoiled girls and has developed a very warped view of the world. They all are confident that even if they fail to achieve any type of success on their own (or in the event their parents cut them off), they will just marry some rich guy who will happily fund their lifestyles. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is a particularly unusual point of view among girls her age. I’m hoping she’ll snap out of it after a year or two of work

  83. MT says:

    #59 grim
    Exactly! Now real estate marketing is as same as web shop. Poor quality presentation will lead to poor results.

    I almost missed the fact that a property relisted with fresh new pictures was actually the same one that’s being listed before and sitting a long time.

  84. grim says:

    Oh, one more big tip for photographers.

    Learn how to take shots of rooms with large windows.

    This means not blowing out the exterior when exposing for the interior. You’ll need a big flash to pull this one off (Or HDR with brackets you can drive a Mack truck through).

  85. make money says:

    What about gold teeth? I was thinking of getting some gold for my grill.


    That’s old school. You need to put some Bling both clear and pink in there now and it has to be resting on platinum. You know what I mean.

  86. Hehehe says:


    I work near the diamond district, I’ll see what I can find.

  87. make money says:


    I work near the diamond district, I’ll see what I can find.

    holler at Jacob.

  88. Hehehe says:

    Don’t you mean holla?

  89. njpatient says:

    59 grim

    “What amazes me are the number of agents who don’t think good photographs are important.”


  90. Hehehe says:

    In Hoboken you can tell the place is a dump or has a view of a wall when they have a bunch of pictures posted of the common areas

  91. scribe says:


    What about virtual tours?

    Are those significantly more expensive to produce/upload to realtor.com?

    Is there any evidence that they result in greater interest?

    There seems to be a lot of variation in that some have better tech, while others are poor quality and cumbersome.

    Personally, I think still photos work better, and are faster to click through.

  92. RayC says:

    63 Sean re:Dick Cheney in Saudi Arabia

    “I’m sure they will talk about the need for a cooperative way forward to try and stabilize this market, reduce the volatility in the market, and serve the interests of both consumers and producers alike,” John Hannah, national security adviser to Cheney, told reporters.

    Well there you have it. Dick Cheney is there to serve the interests of “consumers and producers alike”. Ummm, help. I don’t think I can take any more of my interests being represented by Dick Cheney.

  93. #85 – Actually you could just bounce the flash off the ceiling. Set it for about 2 full stops under proper exposure for the light outside and you should be fine. Unless the ceiling is very high, then I’d shoot full power into a an umbrella and bounce the light.
    As a kit a Nikon D40 w/ say 2 Vivitar 285HV flashes, and 2 cheapy light stands and umberllas. Depending on how well you shop you could problably get this for around $700 (a little more if you wanted to sync the flashes wirelessly) and would be more than enough camera to do the work.
    HDR bracketing is cool, but may not be nec.
    Personally, I’d shoot it with Ilford FP4+ on my 501CM. You may not sell the house but the shots would be beautiful.
    Also, yes the photography makes a big difference in which listings I’d look at.

  94. make money says:

    Peter Schiffs Weekly Newsletter.

    Alice in Wonderland

    How do you know when you’re through the looking glass? A fairly good indication is when the price of gold, which normally moves up in response to monetary easing, instead plummets in reaction to one of the largest rate cuts in Fed history. Apparently, yesterday’s 6% drop in gold resulted from the “hawkishness” shown by the Fed in only cutting rates by 75 basis points, rather than the 100 points that many had expected. It is a testament to how low the bar has been set that the Fed can slash rates in the face of a collapsing dollar and soaring commodity prices and still be viewed as hawkish on inflation. Is it just me, or is Ben Bernanke morphing into the Mad Hatter?

    Despite the mildly tough language in its statement, it should be clear to all that the Fed sees inflation as the only politically acceptable “solution” to the problems it created. The conclusion that a 75 point cut shows concern about inflation is half right. The Fed is concerned, but only to the extent that the markets stay focused on bogus CPI numbers and fail to notice severe price increases throughout the economy. The fact is that inflation will be with us for some time, and the knee jerk drop in gold is yet another excellent buying opportunity.

    As the credit and financial crisis spirals out of control, and the Fed moved $30 billion of garbage Bear Stearns debt onto the public balance sheet, the proposals coming from other market leaders are taking similarly phantasmagorical turns. Steve Forbes, in an interview on CNBC earlier in the week, proposed that the government suspend “mark-to-market” rules for one year so that holders of unsellable mortgage-backed securities no longer have to recognize losses. Remember, the dominos began to fall precisely when two Bear Stearns hedge funds were forced to actually sell assets they had failed to properly mark-to-market. Were the government to actually follow this advice it would destroy what little confidence remains in our financial system. However, Mr. Forbes believes that the markets can be spared unnecessary pain if participants can simply pretend that their holdings are worth par value. This amounts to a plea for accounting by mutually beneficial mass delusion.

    Later in the week, investors were cheered by the Government’s decision to slash the surplus capital requirement of already overextended Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by 33%, and by Wall Street’s success in convincing investors to dump $17.9 billion into the record IPO of Visa…which may qualify as the largest sucker bet in history. But the most bizarre idea was introduced on the pages of the Wall Street Journal when veteran opinion page writer Holman Jenkins Jr. recommended that the government buy and “bulldoze” foreclosed homes in order to prop up the values of those that remain standing. I’ll deal with these ideas in sequence.

    After pushing through earlier proposals that allow and encourage Fannie and Freddie to buy larger loans, the reduction of capital requirements now pushes the government sponsored lenders farther out on a leveraged limb. By allowing the accumulation of even more taxpayer guaranteed debt, the moves will merely delay and exacerbate the housing problems and will increase the size of losses when these two government sponsored enterprises ultimately fail. In the meantime, by taking on more risk, the appeal of existing Fannie and Freddie insured debt will erode further, driving up mortgage costs, and creating additional losses for leveraged owners of these securities.

    In the early stages of the biggest credit crunch in U.S. history, buying shares in Visa, a company that derives its revenues based on transaction fees from credit card purchases, qualifies as a particularly ill- timed investment. Perhaps buyers of these shares didn’t get the memo, but the days of Americans using credit cards to buy products they cannot afford are about to come to an end. For all its flaws, Wall Street does possess an extraordinary ability to apply lipstick on any pig. For the formerly private owners of Visa, this is perhaps one the best exit strategies ever engineered, on par with the Hail Mary orchestrated by Blackstone last year (shares of Blackstone are now trading for half their IPO price).

    Finally, in response to Mr. Jenkins’ proposals, there is no question that we built far too many homes during the housing bubble. However, destroying them now will merely compound our losses. The one benefit we have from excess construction is an ample supply of what will soon be highly affordable homes. At the moment foreclosed houses are only unwanted because their prices are still too high. Once prices drop sufficiently there will be plenty of demand. However, destroying existing homes reduces their value to zero (actually less due to demolition costs) and only exacerbates the losses to creditors and society. Mr. Jenkins’ thinking is formed by the same perverse logic that led the Roosevelt Administration to destroy farm animals and crops during the 1930’s because he wanted to prop up food prices. As I wrote in my book “Crash Proof”, we must certainly be on the eve of our financial destruction, as we are clearly a nation gone completely mad.

  95. jmacdaddio says:

    My first job was working the second shift doing QC testing at a generic penicllin maker in North NJ. I learned many life lessons from the Russian and Indian immigrants who worked there, not to mention Russian curses. While my friends were racking up cc debt I was saving. My Indian boss told me that he had been in the country for 12 years, his house was paid off, and he was part owner of a liquor store. I was under strict instructions to keep the liquor store secret, since if our American bosses found out they would be jealous. The Americans were mostly baby boomers drowning in cc debt, car payments, crippling mortgages, etc. back in 1996-96. I wonder how they fared in the bubble years.

  96. njpatient says:

    63 Sean
    Was that first note from you?

  97. njpatient says:

    “However, I’ve got to think that the search for these mispriced assets is a proprietary activity. “Inviting” the public into distressed-asset funds seems a bit disingenuous.”

    You said a mouthful there, bub.

  98. njpatient says:

    74 grim

    I’d say 9 of 10 listing agents could benefit from that list. You’d think half of those items are intuitive, but if that’s the case, there’s a serious lack of intuition in the hereabouts.

  99. BC Bob says:

    “Do you think it’s over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor!? Hell no!

    Animal House.

  100. njpatient says:

    87 hehehehe
    “I work near the diamond district”

    Me too. Tosh as well. Maybe we meet for lunch at Del Friscos….

  101. njpatient says:

    93 RayC

    It’s an excellent time to buy AND sell.

  102. skep-tic says:

    “he was part owner of a liquor store.”

    this is a business I’d be inclined to try, but I wonder what percentage of an average liquor store’s sales is to alcoholics. If it’s a lot, I’d be uncomfortable with that

  103. Hehehe says:

    I like a good steak

  104. njpatient says:

    grim – help out of moderation at 105?

  105. Zack says:


    You will have to sell your house or your first born child to eat at Del frisco’s

  106. skep-tic says:

    #106 agreed– it is pathetic. these guys should be cheering this correction

  107. #104 There’s the Ted’s Montana Grill on 61st. Phenomenal burgers.

  108. make money says:

    this is a business I’d be inclined to try, but I wonder what percentage of an average liquor store’s sales is to alcoholics. If it’s a lot, I’d be uncomfortable with that

    Can’t call yourself a capitalist then can you? Look at Trump and Gambling.

  109. Hehehe says:

    “Steve Forbes, in an interview on CNBC earlier in the week, proposed that the government suspend “mark-to-market” rules for one year”

    I love that bs. He sure wasn’t complaining when they were recording record earnings slicing and dicing the stuff and claiming sh*t is gold.

  110. 3b says:

    #62 2012?

  111. annamelbourne says:

    To all Realtors: Here’s just how important good photographs can be. Sold my condo in ’04 and have been renting since, waiting for the market to return to sanity before getting a house. Husband and I started looking around, casually, six months ago, mostly at open houses. In January, we signed with a Realtor and started looking in earnest, but we were prepared to wait a year or more if we couldn’t find what we wanted at a good price. We were fully prepared to lowball, too.

    We were looking in a handful of Bergen County towns, to be near family and friends. I saw a house on Craigs list, with 8 big, beautiful, well-lit photos and five or six paragraphs of information, including the address of the house, contact information for the Realtor, and the mls number. Everything was crystal clear–both the photos and the written information.

    Although this house was in a town that wasn’t on our list, was in Essex rather than Bergen, and had higher taxes than our limit, we went to see it. We saw the house two days after it went on the market; within a week we were one of five bidders for the house and ended up paying slightly more than asking price. It’s under contract and scheduled to close in May.

    That is the power of good photographs. This house had everything that we love and we never would have seen it if not for the photos. Those photos lured us out of Bergen, past our tax limit, and, astonishingly to us, past the asking price.

  112. skep-tic says:


    capitalism isn’t imcompatible with ethics.

  113. CB in SJ says:

    March 21, 2008
    Op-Ed Columnist
    Partying Like It’s 1929

    If Ben Bernanke manages to save the financial system from collapse, he will — rightly — be praised for his heroic efforts.

    But what we should be asking is: How did we get here?

    Why does the financial system need salvation?

    Why do mild-mannered economists have to become superheroes?

    The answer, at a fundamental level, is that we’re paying the price for willful amnesia. We chose to forget what happened in the 1930s — and having refused to learn from history, we’re repeating it.

    Contrary to popular belief, the stock market crash of 1929 wasn’t the defining moment of the Great Depression. What turned an ordinary recession into a civilization-threatening slump was the wave of bank runs that swept across America in 1930 and 1931.

    This banking crisis of the 1930s showed that unregulated, unsupervised financial markets can all too easily suffer catastrophic failure.

    As the decades passed, however, that lesson was forgotten — and now we’re relearning it, the hard way.

    To grasp the problem, you need to understand what banks do.

    Banks exist because they help reconcile the conflicting desires of savers and borrowers. Savers want freedom — access to their money on short notice. Borrowers want commitment: they don’t want to risk facing sudden demands for repayment.

    Normally, banks satisfy both desires: depositors have access to their funds whenever they want, yet most of the money placed in a bank’s care is used to make long-term loans. The reason this works is that withdrawals are usually more or less matched by new deposits, so that a bank only needs a modest cash reserve to make good on its promises.

    But sometimes — often based on nothing more than a rumor — banks face runs, in which many people try to withdraw their money at the same time. And a bank that faces a run by depositors, lacking the cash to meet their demands, may go bust even if the rumor was false.

    Worse yet, bank runs can be contagious. If depositors at one bank lose their money, depositors at other banks are likely to get nervous, too, setting off a chain reaction. And there can be wider economic effects: as the surviving banks try to raise cash by calling in loans, there can be a vicious circle in which bank runs cause a credit crunch, which leads to more business failures, which leads to more financial troubles at banks, and so on.

    That, in brief, is what happened in 1930-1931, making the Great Depression the disaster it was. So Congress tried to make sure it would never happen again by creating a system of regulations and guarantees that provided a safety net for the financial system.

    And we all lived happily for a while — but not for ever after.

    Wall Street chafed at regulations that limited risk, but also limited potential profits. And little by little it wriggled free — partly by persuading politicians to relax the rules, but mainly by creating a “shadow banking system” that relied on complex financial arrangements to bypass regulations designed to ensure that banking was safe.

    For example, in the old system, savers had federally insured deposits in tightly regulated savings banks, and banks used that money to make home loans. Over time, however, this was partly replaced by a system in which savers put their money in funds that bought asset-backed commercial paper from special investment vehicles that bought collateralized debt obligations created from securitized mortgages — with nary a regulator in sight.

    As the years went by, the shadow banking system took over more and more of the banking business, because the unregulated players in this system seemed to offer better deals than conventional banks. Meanwhile, those who worried about the fact that this brave new world of finance lacked a safety net were dismissed as hopelessly old-fashioned.

    In fact, however, we were partying like it was 1929 — and now it’s 1930.

    The financial crisis currently under way is basically an updated version of the wave of bank runs that swept the nation three generations ago. People aren’t pulling cash out of banks to put it in their mattresses — but they’re doing the modern equivalent, pulling their money out of the shadow banking system and putting it into Treasury bills. And the result, now as then, is a vicious circle of financial contraction.

    Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues at the Fed are doing all they can to end that vicious circle. We can only hope that they succeed. Otherwise, the next few years will be very unpleasant — not another Great Depression, hopefully, but surely the worst slump we’ve seen in decades.

    Even if Mr. Bernanke pulls it off, however, this is no way to run an economy. It’s time to relearn the lessons of the 1930s, and get the financial system back under control.

  114. make money says:


    This developer foreclosed on a massive 10 acre project in West Palm Beach and instead of the market and lack of buyers he blames the lenders for this mess.

  115. make money says:


    capitalism isn’t imcompatible with ethics.

    Somewhat true but you can’t feel bad about your cusomers and you definitively can’t feel bad about making money.

    It’s your own family that you need to worry about. Your Brain is for business and your heart is for your family.

  116. njpatient says:


    “#104 There’s the Ted’s Montana Grill on 61st. Phenomenal burgers.”

    typo? 51st? That’s a block from me and my favorite watering hole (Heartland).

  117. Clotpoll says:

    skep (104)-

    No greater a mix than the percentage of alcoholics in the general population.

    A few good liquor store owners will also cut off drunks, or people who come into the store loaded.

  118. syncmaster says:

    make money #118,

    It should be legal to sell kids cocaine, then. Who cares if they OD.

  119. Theo says:

    Can anyone get me an address on njmls #2747570


  120. Clotpoll says:

    patient (106)-

    Saw Forbes blowing that twaddle yesterday and nearly lost my lunch.

    That proves-once and for all- he is an inbreed and a corporate welfare junkie.

  121. #119 – typo? 51st? That’s a block from me and my favorite watering hole (Heartland)

    Probably just my brain in fail mode.

  122. make money says:


    relax, You have to be 21. That’s why we have rules and laws to govern a society.

    cudo’s to ml implodometer,

    great pieace on Bear and JP situation,


  123. Jill says:

    grim re: 126: Oops. I used the cr@p word. Shame on me. Can you unmoderate? Thanks.

  124. njpatient says:

    “capitalism isn’t imcompatible with ethics.”

    hmmm. Where to start? Every day I have execs say to me “we want to do X, tell me how we can do it legally.” Because there are MANY grey areas in the law, the answer is often “it’s not clear whether or not doing X is legal.” Then the pressure is applied to say that it is legal. Even where that pressure is resisted, it now enters the province of the business judgment of the C-level guys whether or not to do X, which will be profitable, and may be legal (or not).
    This process is constantly re-curring.

    Is it ethical to do X if a lawyer has advised you that it may be illegal?

    What I can tell you for certain is that if your top competitor is constantly doing X and you’re not, you’re not going to last long.

    I guess it depends what the meaning of “ethics” is.

  125. njpatient says:

    “That proves-once and for all- he is an inbreed and a corporate welfare junkie.”

    As with so many who inherited their wealth and position.

    Born on third base and think they hit a triple.

  126. Aaron says:

    “capitalism isn’t imcompatible with ethics.”

    I think one can do very well in this world with the goal that both parties of a transaction feel satisified at the end.

  127. skep-tic says:

    “Saw Forbes blowing that twaddle yesterday and nearly lost my lunch.

    That proves-once and for all- he is an inbreed”

    he always struck me a robot who didn’t really understand the things he was saying. inbreed also works

    but to think that Wall St used to be populated exclusively by guys like him and they ran it better than today…

  128. Richie says:

    Pictures even come into play on eBay. You’ll see that poor quality pictures in auctions leads to less of an interest.


  129. bi says:

    41#, clot, chifi: moon shot?

    nasa mission accomplished.now the sattelites are back to earth


  130. njrebear says:

    I hope our friend Reachard is OK.

  131. SG says:

    Good article by Paul Krugman.

    I have always wondered, somehow the whole financial network is like big giant feedback loop. Most folks are both in debt (primarily via mortgages and CC) and at the same time are investors via 401K, IRA, CD, Pension plas etc… Large percent of investment is in these Assets, which is used to create mortgage and CC debt.

    Is it really worth it to go through such a cycle? Or is it better for most folks to payoff their mortgages before investing at least in vehicles that again invest back into Asset backed securities?

  132. make money says:

    I think one can do very well in this world with the goal that both parties of a transaction feel satisified at the end.

    What is it that you do for a living and how is it that you practice this? Or is it just empty rhetorics.

  133. make money says:

    BStearns has (or had) 14 thousand workers, most having been paid in stock share bonuses in recent months. The economy in New York City is sure to be badly harmed, worse than already. Wall Street jobs account for 35% of NYCity wages.

    35% of wages. One third of NYC econimy is directly effected by wall street. The other 2/3 are indirectly effected. A 30% Wall Street cut will have a depressionary effect on NYC.

    no need to worry though, Gold Coast and NNJ will NOT be affected.

  134. make money says:

    I hope our friend Reachard is OK.

    Why did his house finally fall of the cliff(I mean it literary)

  135. kettle1 says:

    Out of curiosity i ran some numbers for ethanol last night feel free to cal me on any errors and remember this is a first run estimation…..

    -1 US gal of ethanol (EtOH) has the same amount of energy as 1.5 gallons of EtOH.

    -Per DOE, the US uses 388 million gallons of gas per day

    -Per the Iowa Ag Review the US plants 80 million acres of corn per year (2006 data)

    -1 acre of corn yields 158 bushels.

    -current EtOH yields are 2.7 gallons EtOH per bushel of corn.

    -This gives 439 gallons of EtOH per acre of corn.

    -if we replace ¼ of daily US gas usage with EtOH we would need 88 million * ¼ = 9.5 million gallons of EtoH per day or 5.26 Billion gallons of EtOH per year.

    -5.26 billion gallons divided by 439 gallons of EtOH per acre fo corn = 11.8 million acres of corn per year to replace ¼ of the US gasoline usage.

    From the US grain council, current US corn consumption breaks down as follows: 19% export, 27% Food/Seed/Industrial, 54% Feed and residual.

    Replacing ¼ of US gasoline usage with EtOH would take up 13% of the corn produced.

    Consider that this scenario is only for replacing ¼ of gasoline usage. Replacing ¼ of oil usage would be much harder as the US uses approximately 7.6 Billion barrels of oil per year or about 230 Billion gallons of oil per year

    Lets put that in perspective……
    Assume that oil and gas are exactly equivalent ( they are not because it takes energy from oil to produce gas, so 1 gallon of gas in actually less then 1 gallon of oil but lets pretend for a first run guess)

    Using this assumption ¼ of our annual gasoline usage represents 5.26 billion gallons of gas divided by 230 billion gallons of oil = 0.023 or 2.3%

    So ¼ of our annual gasoline usage represents about 25 of our annual oil usage. So it takes about 13% of our corn production to replace 2% of our oil usage!!!!!! This doesn’t sound very effective to me! Lets extrapolate. If we replace 25% of our oil usage with EtOH we would use 13% / 2% = 6.5% of corn production per 1% of oil replaced. 100 / 6.5 = 15.4. this means that WE CAN ONLY REPLACE 15.4% OF OUR OIL USAGE WITH EtOH IF WE USE OUR ENTIRE ANNUAL CORN PRODUCTION!!!

  136. syncmaster says:

    make #136,

    Wall Street jobs account for 35% of NYCity wages.


  137. make money says:

    The other story not told is that Bear Stearns was dissolved before the wrecked investment bank had a chance to take advantage of the Term Security Lending Facility. It will be made available by the USFed at the end of March. The sleazy hogs on Wall Street wanted to remove one player at that window. The other story not told is that a liquidation of Bear Stearns would inevitably have resulted in a massive credit derivative meltdown. The consequences cannot be estimated. The derivative upside down pyramid is mammoth. No precedent exists for its partial unwind or dissolution. The pyramid holds together the entire USTreasury complex, attached to interest rate swaps, attached to credit default swaps of various types, and so on. This pyramid is leveraged 70 to 1. The talk is funny though, since the USFed has backstopped only $30 billion in Bear Stearns securities. What about the other $800 to $1500 billion rancid bonds floating within striking distance to Wall Street and major bank balance sheets? In truth, we might later learn that Bear Stearns helped to bail out JPMorgan, in helping to shore up its credit derivatives, in providing some emergency collateral, soon to bust, to prevent a JPMorgan failure!!! JPMorgan owns $7.778 trillion of credit derivatives, two and half times as much as Citigroup, the same toxic stuff that crippled Citigroup. JPMorgan skated on this one without publicity.

    Any thoughts on above paragraph?

  138. #139 – NY Fed, of particular interest is page 5.

  139. njpatient says:

    “Why did his house finally fall of the cliff(I mean it literary)”

    Have you got him confused with Duck and his faulty retaining wall?

  140. make money says:


    See my post #125 for the source.

  141. make money says:

    you’re right. he definitively belongs on the top ten list.

  142. make money says:


    you’re right. he definitively belongs on the top ten list.

  143. kettle1 says:


    from BEA.gov, the 2007 US GDP was 13.7 Trillion

    JPM alone holds 7 trillion???? that sounds like a problem


  144. Confused In NJ says:

    In the 1950’s our Society was based upon Capitalism. It was still a Nation of Private Shop Keepers, Farmers, Industrialists, etc. Individual families owned Department Stores, Butcher Shops, Gas Stations, Funeral Homes, Factories, etc. Most people were able to experience the American Dream. Today’s Society is not Capitalism. A Few Very Rich People own everything. The current Shadow Financial System is Legalized Fraud & Thievery. Unfortunately, only a replay of Bastille Day, can shake the Grip of the Globalist Monarchy which has seized power, and return the Country to it’s People. Remember, the Globalists actually think they have the right to sell US infrastructure to Foreign entities. That is a Gross violation of the Constitution.

  145. make money says:


    I hope you can fit a whole bunch of people in your place in Domenica as everyone you know family and friends will beg to join you.

  146. kettle1 says:

    147 confused

    The black helicopters should be arriving shortly for your ride to GITMO. A little water boarding should get you to tell them what terrorist cell you belong to

  147. kettle1 says:


    its a couple of acres with mature fruit trees, i should be able to handle the extended family ( its not that large really)

  148. njpatient says:

    thanks for the link
    “The financial services sector, which includes finance, insurance, and real estate firms, is important to New York City not only as a source of jobs but also, increasingly, as a source of earnings (Chart 5). In fact, the share of total city earnings accounted for by the sector in 2000—more than 35 percent—was almost triple its 1970 share. However, one of the key features of New York City’s financial sector is its declining share of nationwide finance employment—at 6.5 percent in 2000, this share was less than half its size in 1960.”

    Doyle, see you in 2017. Drinks on me!!

  149. kettle1 says:


    i take that back, just counted and its at least 40 ppl. better buy a few more acres!

  150. make money says:

    fruit trees are gonna be the key.

  151. Confused In NJ says:

    149.kettle1 Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 1:26 pm
    147 confused

    The black helicopters should be arriving shortly for your ride to GITMO. A little water boarding should get you to tell them what terrorist cell you belong to

    C’est la vie, C’est la guerre.

  152. Hard Place says:

    I think that $7bb number was only long CDS positions, not including any short CDS positions. I remember the net number being much more manageable in the hundreds of millions. The question than is that if the short CDS are matched positions. If they are not than JPM is not managing their risk properly. I hope that is not the case. My information was when I was cruising through the web and came across the open CDS positions for the major banks. I can’t remember where I saw it though.

  153. BubbleYum says:

    Confused In NJ Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 1:24 pm
    In the 1950’s our Society was based upon Capitalism. It was still a Nation of Private Shop Keepers, Farmers, Industrialists, etc. Individual families owned Department Stores, Butcher Shops, Gas Stations, Funeral Homes, Factories, etc.

    Yeah, I guess this pretty little picture is what inspired Ike’s crazy rantings about a little something called the “military-industrial complex.”

  154. make money says:


    great lets subsidize it with borrowed money from Saudis.

  155. BC Bob says:


    The moderator threw a curveball. If you want to discuss it, disclose your position.


    Let’s summarize; buy corn?


    Bear did not get bailed out. They were thrown to the wolves. However, they made their own bed. JPM was bailed out along with the world markets.

  156. Shore Guy says:

    # 51 “The reason is that they judge the quality of their life compared to other real people, not fictional characters or movie stars.”
    As we tell our children: Unless you are the richest person in the world, there are othere people that will have more than you, so don’t sweat having less than anyone else.

  157. Clotpoll says:

    Aaron (129)-

    For the vast majority of businesspeople, that’s how it is.

    The people in corporate America who constantly complain and attempt to find ways to circumvent this simple philosophy are the exceptions…and, they’re the exceptions that prove the rule.

    Their scheming, whining and bleating only reveals their corrupt nature. The fact that they can only succeed by shafting people- or compromising politicians- underlines it.

  158. Confused In NJ says:

    127.I guess it depends what the meaning of “ethics” is.

    Ethics is a major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is “the good life”, the life worth living or life that is satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct.

    This common definition seems to support the current philosophy of do unto all to get yours.

  159. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob 158

    Good point,

    Anyone who read that analysis nows owes me a reasonable $50 research fee. I accept gold bullion and non-US currencies

  160. make money says:

    “Their scheming, whining and bleating only reveals their corrupt nature. The fact that they can only succeed by shafting people- or compromising politicians- underlines it”

    “However, I’ve got to think that the search for these mispriced assets is a proprietary activity. “Inviting” the public into distressed-asset funds seems a bit disingenuous”

    you’re dropping some bombs today Clot. I find it hard to type this but I’m impressed.

  161. Clotpoll says:

    bi (132)-

    Does “bi” stand for “bifurcated attention span”? Blow that chart back 1-2 years, and tell me what you think. At 5 years (BC’s entry point), the argument is completely moot.

    Keep shorting commodities and being long HBs and the other silly stuff you do.

    Please also let us know when you put on a trade. Taking the other side- simultaneous to your actions- is as good an approach as I’ve come across lately.

  162. Clotpoll says:

    rebar (133)-

    I think his wife has him strapped to a board.

  163. Confused In NJ says:

    156.BubbleYum Says:

    Yeah, I guess this pretty little picture is what inspired Ike’s crazy rantings about a little something called the “military-industrial complex.”

    Eisenhower was right about the Industrial (Corporate Cabal) Complex. They own & control everything, now.

  164. Clotpoll says:


    1:24 PM, and here’s the first call to arms of the day here.

  165. Happy Camper says:

    “capitalism isn’t imcompatible with ethics.”

    not sure what’s the point of such statement. communism isn’t incompatible with ethics. being realtor isn’t incompatible with ethics. running NJ’s gov’t isn’t incompatible with ethics.


  166. gary says:

    Annamelbourne’s post [114] is exactly the reason why I’m asking if there are a lot of buyers on the sidelines. Multiple bids over asking for a desirable home and not a single comment regarding this post.

  167. Confused In NJ says:

    In the penultimate draft of the address, Eisenhower initially used the term military-industrial-congressional complex, and thus indicated the essential role that the United States Congress plays in the propagation of the military industry. But, it is said, that the president chose to strike the word congressional in order to placate members of the legislative branch of the federal government. The actual authors of the term were Eisenhower’s speech-writers Ralph Williams and Malcolm Moos.[2]

    Attempts to conceptualize something similar to a modern “military-industrial complex” existed before Eisenhower’s address. In 1956, sociologist C. Wright Mills had claimed in his book The Power Elite that a class of military, business, and political leaders, driven by mutual interests, were the real leaders of the state, and were effectively beyond democratic control.

  168. lisoosh says:

    Shore Guy Says:

    “As we tell our children: Unless you are the richest person in the world, there are othere people that will have more than you, so don’t sweat having less than anyone else.”


  169. Clotpoll says:

    gary (169)-

    That post is not remarkable. A properly-priced home is so unusual in this market, that it often triggers bidding wars.

    What’s also so unusual is how rarely sellers will take this course, even though there’s plenty of evidence of its effectiveness.

  170. annamelbourne says:

    Gary, 169: IMO, the key to multiple bids over asking was an aggressive asking price, a home in top condition (truly), and the fact that the Realtor got very good photos of that home in front of as many eyeballs as possible, very quickly.

    By the way, over the last six months we visited probably 50 other homes, most of which were overpriced for the condition/location and none of which we were interested in bidding on.

  171. BC Bob says:


    First, all disclaimers.

    You can spread Dec 2008 corn calls, expire end of Nov.. Buy Dec 600 calls and sell the 700 calls. Based on yesterday’s close, the spread will cost 18 to make 82. You are risking $900 to make $4,100, per contract.

    If there is just a whiff of dry weather, watch out.

  172. Clotpoll says:

    BC (174)-

    I think Willard would be all over that trade. :)

  173. kettle1 says:

    BC 174,

    I would do another analysis, but will wait until i receive my outstanding research fee’s that are due

    It can be shown that there is a very high probability of corn (among other food commodities) seeing a significant amount of upwards pressure. International demand, international supply problems, oil prices etc. are generally all in favor of an upwards move.

  174. Hard Place says:

    What about all those listings with the photoshopped green lawns and blue skies. See lots of those nowadays.

  175. skep-tic says:


    “Today’s Society is not Capitalism. A Few Very Rich People own everything.”

    Confused– have you ever read Marx? one of his basic beliefs is that what you described above is the natural result of capitalism– greater and greater concentration of wealth in the hands of the few.

  176. Rich In NNJ says:

    Theo (122),


  177. BC Bob says:


    Following the new rules on the blog, unless the grains come in limit up on Monday, I’m putting it on.

    All disclaimers

  178. kettle1 says:


    In that case i only charge a 2% fee.

    Just kidding ;)

  179. Sean says:

    I had some time today to think about the ongoing rumors of another possible bank failure.

    Here is a little analysis for my favorite doom and gloom crowd.

    The FDIC has on hand about $1.22 for each $100 that it insures. This is adequate in normal times, but these are not normal times, rumors are flying around that additional bank failures are on the horizon.

    Here is a breakdown of total deposits at some bigger US based banks.
    1) BofA – 596 B
    2) JP Morgan – 439 B
    3) Wachovia – 314 B
    4) Wells Fargo – 263 B
    5) Citibank -210 B

    And for the WAMU detractors, they have managed to become quite large since they were went public in 1983 and became a national bank.

    6)Washington Mutual – 202 B

    Now, of course, the FDIC only insures the first 100K per account, so the numbers above are obviously not representative of the actual exposure, however the FDIC insurance fund balance as of the end of 2007 was only 52.4B.

    Roughly 25% of the deposit value of a bank that people are openly talking about as the next Bear Sterns.

    If the WAMU shoe drops, there will be no way of preventing a bank run. The FDIC doesn’t have the cash.

    Waves of Bank runs could occur just like the 1930s.

  180. Happy Camper says:

    #147, #179

    Marx? Maybe Marx and true aren’t necessarily incompatible?


  181. nnj guy says:

    #183 is right on the money.

    FED will not wait WM fail in their watch. They would create a negative interest window for them to save them in a crash position

  182. Clotpoll says:

    BC (181)-

    In the tradition of bi, I predict we’re close to seeing a 24-hour span in which some soft/hard commodities will be both limit up and limit down.

  183. alia says:

    Not sure if this is useful or not, but a friend works for the Fed. He actually monitors a particular bank with a large presence in NYC. This was supposed to be a normal week, but after the BS stuff, everyone is being ordered to go through their banks’ records with a fine tooth comb… not sure what exactly they’re looking for, but they’re looking.

    Probably not a surprizing data point, but it’s data nonetheless.

  184. Hehehe says:

    For the next Pret starts popping off about how great NYC’s commercial RE market is doing:

    Large firms start to dump office space Theresa Agovino
    Published: March 16, 2008 – 6:59 am

    As the economy cools, tenants are starting to shed Manhattan office space—a development that could lead to lower rents and signify the end of the robust leasing market that landlords have enjoyed over the past few years.


  185. Clotpoll says:

    HE (188)-

    The dispatches from Pret continue to be fewer and far between.

    Perhaps he has realized that he’s dead man walking, too.

  186. skep-tic says:


    I grew up in RI where many of the S&Ls were insured by the state rather than the FDIC. All it took was 1 bank failure during the early 90s S&Ls crisis for the state insurance scheme to fail. There was a statewide banking holiday thereafter. Deposit insurance is mostly window dressing and cannot be relied upon if there is a real bank run

  187. BC Bob says:


    The potential derivative and cds bomb, scares the s#it out of me. A declining RE market belongs in the bullpen compared to this black cloud.

  188. Hehehe says:

    Come on Clot, a man of his intellect and wealth can only live one place in the world.

  189. Clotpoll says:


    Stephen Curry is a monster. 30 pt. 2nd half…

  190. Clotpoll says:

    BC (191)-

    Given the brain-busting complexity of the derivatives timebomb, what are the odds that any of the players in this game have matched positions or otherwise hedged properly?

    Given the players’ track record up to now, what assurance is there that this thing is not about to detonate?

    If it does not detonate, can it be attributed to anything other than sheer luck?

  191. BC Bob says:

    Clot [189],

    You’ve always stated that it starts westward and moves east. That said, I forget if you described it creeping eastward or advancing like a freight train?

  192. kettle1 says:

    regarding the general financial situation….

    What fascinates me is that the entire system, from the CDs ‘s to FDIC insurance to to everyday checking accounts relies upon ephemeral pillar of trust. The banks can run a fractional reserve system only because we the people trust them to hand us our money on demand. They could not actually do that in a bank run situation. The big IB’s are only solvent because their creditors trust them to honor agreements. Home loans are given only because the bank trusts you to repay.

    So this amazingly complex global finance system is built not upon some unshakable fundamental law of physics, but upon the financial machines ability to maintain the trust of the people at large. ultimately it only takes the perception of a violation of that trust to destroy the entire financial system. Whether that trust has truly been violated is irrelevant.

    Although in our current situation that trust has been grossly violated, like a drunk prom date!

  193. Clotpoll says:

    BC (195)-

    I think the pace has quickened significantly.

  194. BubbleYum says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 12:24 pm
    skep (104)-

    No greater a mix than the percentage of alcoholics in the general population.

    I’m not so sure this is true, Clot. Most of the studies I’ve seen suggest that a disproportionate percentage of liquor sales are to alcoholics, which makes sense to me.

  195. Clotpoll says:

    Was it Buffett who said a bank that has to proclaim- then prove- its trustworthiness is no longer a bank?

  196. Clotpoll says:

    bubble (198)-

    About 10% of the population is guessed to be alcoholic.

    I’ll buy that the size and frequency of their purchases is greater than the average purchase of the non-alcoholic 90% majority, but to say that alcoholics dominate the economics of the drinks business might be taking it a step too far.

    Were that the case, wine- which has been proved to be a beverage of moderation in the rest of the world- would never have taken hold in the US.

    I will now await the wrath of the holy rollers and health police.

  197. BC Bob says:

    Clot [194],

    It’s like an electric box/panel, hard wired. You may have thousands of wires, different colors, crossed, spliced, intertwined and held together by rubber bands. When you flick the switch and the lights go on, you’re OK. However, once the lights start blinking, chaos ensues. Subsequently, if the lights go out there’s mayhem. Hopefully there’s a d#mn good or lucky electrician on board. Locating the faulty wire may be a frightening endeavor.

  198. Clotpoll says:

    BC (201)-

    Funny. Whenever my black box acts up, I just shake it or bang it with a hammer. :)

    Works every time. So far.

  199. Sybarite says:

    #200, others regarinding liquor stores

    I worked at a liquor store/higher-end wine shop during my college years, and I’ll say that the majority of the clientele were not alcholics. However, I believe this depends very much on the location of said liquor store, and the demographics of the neighborhood.

    I would have to guess that most liquor stores in more urban, lower-income areas do indeed have a majority of clients with the thirst.

  200. Clotpoll says:

    Syb (200)-

    How else to explain the rise of Olde English?

  201. Sean says:

    re: credit derviates.

    What will happen? It is simple, defauts and lawsuits galore. It has already started. Just about every large bank is already embroiled in billion dollar lawsuits over credit default swaps.

  202. BC Bob says:

    Liqour and the movies were big winners in 29, early 30’s.

    Bud and Netflix?

  203. BC Bob says:

    That’s liquor. One eye on the keyboard, one eye on the Hoyas.

  204. njpatient says:

    183 Sean

    Wish I could discuss.

  205. njpatient says:

    Dook game yesterday nearly a great deal of fun.

  206. kettle1 says:

    183 sean,

    I remind myself of that fact whenever i decide i need to scare myself. Kind of like the child who peeks under the bed after mommy turns the lights out

  207. Clotpoll says:

    patient (209)-

    Made my day. They won’t be so lucky soon.

    Funny the way the announcers kept blaming Dook’s bad play on Coach K’s case of the flu.

    They could’ve also mentioned the other disease sweeping that team: slow, short guys who can’t pass, play defense or rebound.

  208. kettle1 says:

    question for the group,

    Am i the only one who wonders if the “end is niegh” crowd with their armed/stocked cabin in the back woods isnt on to something? This is a serious question. For example, during the cold war the nukes could have flown at any minute and almost did on several occasions. if you talk to people who had access to high level info back then they say that they were always waiting for the first mushroom cloud. Alas it never happened.

    Is this financial mess the same thing? it looks like doomsday if you look at the details but perhaps it somehow works itself out while causing minimal disruption/disaster?

  209. Clotpoll says:

    BC (206)-

    Any correlation between this chart and the recent performance of the economy?


  210. skep-tic says:


    “What fascinates me is that the entire system, from the CDs ’s to FDIC insurance to to everyday checking accounts relies upon ephemeral pillar of trust.”

    Kettle– there’s a fascinating book called “Trust” by Francis Fukuyama (Amazon link below) on this topic.


  211. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (212)-

    I don’t think we’ll be near as lucky as in the days of the Cold War. This thing is on, no doubt.

    I’m not being facetious when I talk about meeting places for family, code words and hidden caches of “essentials”.

  212. Clotpoll says:

    Disclaimer: both my parents are children of the Depression and told me every story of every year of that experience.

    My takeaway has always been how quickly the unthinkable becomes the commonplace.

  213. Hehehe says:

    “Given the brain-busting complexity of the derivatives timebomb, what are the odds that any of the players in this game have matched positions or otherwise hedged properly?”

    That’s a good one. Why did Waits’ “Whistling Past The Graveyard Just Pop In My Head”?

  214. skep-tic says:


    “Am i the only one who wonders if the “end is niegh” crowd with their armed/stocked cabin in the back woods isnt on to something? This is a serious question. For example, during the cold war the nukes could have flown at any minute and almost did on several occasions.”

    I think about this too, but the truth is the end could be near any day. A million different things could happen which you can’t really prepare for. If you’re going to take extra precaution, it makes more sense to take extra care driving, crossing the street, watching your diet, etc rather than worrying about things that are mostly beyond your control

  215. kettle1 says:


    I have actually tried to talk about the idea of meeting places and contact methods in case of unnamed disasters. Even this basic conversation gets poo-pooed and i get looked at like maybe i am smoking some of that there wacky weed. My wife tolerates it but takes the view of “a disaster on such a scale cannot be prepped for”. Oh well, i shall prepare for a disaster plan quietly and keep it to myself

  216. JLB says:

    You might want to add http://www.zillow.com to your “comprehensive” marketing strategy as more buyers are going in that direction.

  217. kettle1 says:

    Clott, i may come knocking some day as i may be able to offer some unique skills ;)

  218. njpatient says:

    220 JLB
    Good point. I don’t think any of us were aware of that site.

  219. ithink-ithink says:

    comics in 223

  220. BC Bob says:

    “They could’ve also mentioned the other disease sweeping that team: slow, short guys who can’t pass, play defense or rebound.”


    White Man Can’t Jump?


  221. skep-tic says:


    “a disaster on such a scale cannot be prepped for”.

    let’s say that you do prepare so that in the event of a major disaster where resources are scarce, you have a stash of food and supplies. how long are you going to be able to keep this quit while gangs of people are moving about looking to take whatever they can? I know this sounds crazy, but in a true Mad Max scenario, that is what you’d be dealing with

  222. kettle1 says:

    225 Skeptic,

    we are getting a little far afield here, but from what i have read the best case scenario is being part of a small somewhat isolated community with a mixture of skills.

    This is actually a relatively interesting subject with a fair amount having been written on it.

  223. kettle1 says:


    thanks for the book recommendation i will have to pick it up

  224. Sybarite says:


    By any chance, is this referred to as Z-day? I’ve heard that term but haven’t looked into it much.

  225. kettle1 says:


    have heard the term, but like you not really familiar with it

  226. alia says:

    skep- in a different forum (zillow, in fact) i said similar: my family’s safety is more assured by being just as hungry and thirsty as the neighbors. (this was in the context of having extra supplies of food and water. as a hedge against inflation, sure. but if it gets to the point where i need a year’s supply of water in the closet… i’m dead.)

  227. Sybarite says:

    OOps; only somewhat relevant:
    Noun (zee day): A term probably coined by Max Brooks which refers to the war between zombies and mankind. Derived from the word D-Day, which is a British term used to refer to a variable day on which a combat attack or operation is initiated. Z-Day is marked by a sudden attack on mankind by zombies, which will lead to a widespread zombie outbreak. There are a number of zombie survivalist groups worldwide (largely in the US, UK, and Canada), that are already planning what to do when this day comes”

  228. lostinny says:

    There was just a repeat of a show on the Discovery Channel (I think) about what would happen if a meteor hit the earth. They depicted not only the damage and destruction of everything in site everywhere in the world, but they also showed their ideas of the plights of the few survivors. The dipiction of people immediately afterward was similar to behavior of tribal peoples in their distrust of other groups, their hunting and gathering techniques, and the will to survive taking precendence above all else. It wasn’t until years later that they returned to a more “civilized” behavior.

  229. kettle1 says:


    people are this discussion on zillow???? wow, wouldnt have guessed

  230. JLB says:

    #222 Patient: wasn’t inferring people had never heard of the site or weren’t using it just think it is becoming much more important in the world of buyers that used to rely on an agent to give background

  231. kettle1 says:

    Lost 232

    I saw that as well. The thing about going tribal is interesting and makes sense. Our tribal past is the basis for modern discrimination, whether racial or ethnic. it has been shown that babies form a preference for skin color and facial characteristics by the time they are 1 month old. the hypothesis is that this is a left over survival trait from when humans were still tribal.

  232. SG says:

    Greenspan has also been widely criticized for comments he made on Feb. 23, 2004, in which he encouraged homeowners to take out adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs. In a speech to the Credit Union National Association, Greenspan said that a Fed study showed that many homeowners would have saved tens of thousands of dollars over the previous decade if they had taken ARMs.

    In fact, if homeowners had converted from ARMs to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at that time, they might have avoided the repayment problems some people are now experiencing.

    Greenspan said yesterday that he tried to correct those comments on March 2, 2004, less than a month later, in a New York speech praising 30-year fixed mortgages. “If I am guilty of encouraging people to take out adjustable-rate mortgages, I am guilty for 30 days,” he said.


  233. kettle1 says:

    syb 231,

    I dont feel nearly as paranoid now that i know there are some people who are actually prepped for a zombie invasion!

  234. kettle1 says:

    incase anyone here is worried about Z-day

    Zombie Survival & Defense Wiki –

  235. lostinny says:

    Kettle 235
    Now that’s interesting to me since babies are born with the ability to make sounds found in every language on earth. Do they begin to lose that ability at a month old?
    I wonder how many of those fantasizing about vacationing in Capri would survive this type of disaster.

  236. spam spam bacon spam says:

    My next door neighbor owns a liquor store. For an investment. (He’s like 900 bazillion years old)

    I asked him if he wanted people to become heavy drinkers… (it was in jest and taken as such-we were making funny jokes…)

    His answer? He doesn’t wish anyone to become anything they aren’t already.

  237. kettle1 says:

    239 lost

    I will see if i can dig up the study. if i remember correctly the hypothesis is that by recognizing members of their own tribe as early as possible babies were more likely to survive then those who did not discriminate. I do not believe that the correlated with language. i think babies retain that ability until 1 year+.
    Remember that we are talking about traits that would have formed when we were still living in caves and actually hung out with Neanderthals. It really was eat or be eaten at that point in history.

  238. skep-tic says:

    not that I spent a huge amount of time thinking about it, but I would have been inclined to think that having a bunch of food/supplies would be to your advantage in an apocalyptic scenario up until I read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy about a year ago.

    That book convinced me that having such a stash would make you a target more than anything else. The protection of a group would be a good defense, but organizing such a group ahead of time is impracticable. Basically, if sh*t really hits the fan, it would come down to kill or be killed on a massive scale and I don’t really think there’s any amount of planning that could prepare you for that

  239. gary says:

    What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

  240. lostinny says:

    Thanks. I read the abstract. Maybe I’ll cave in (no pun intended) and buy the article. I’d like to know the specifics.
    Wow I’m a big nerd today. :)

  241. kettle1 says:


    Basically, if sh*t really hits the fan, it would come down to kill or be killed on a massive scale and I don’t really think there’s any amount of planning that could prepare you for that

    i strongly disagree, when you can put 5 rounds inside a quarter at 100 yards and have plenty of ammo, i would say that you are more prepared then some joe who has never used a firearm or the typical gang-banger!

  242. Sean says:

    re: The Road by McCarthy.

    Belive it or not the film adaptation is in production now. Charlize Theron, Viggo Mortensen and Robert Duvall.

    post apocalyptic cannibal movies usually draw a decent crowd at the box office.

  243. lostinny says:

    If people knew about your stash then yes, I agree, you’d be a target. People who really feel that this could happen do prepare as well as they can, as Clot briefly mentioned earlier, with code words and pre-determined meeting places, etc. While it may not be possible in every scenario, some of this is still a beneficial practice. For example, we have fire drills in school, should have them in office buildings and some families have them. I remember having shelter drills as well. These offer a way to practice the quickest way to safety and to survival. Having a pre-determined meeting place, code words and supply stash is taking it many steps further. But is it really alien to us?I don’t think so.

  244. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (219)-

    Your wife will be happy you planned when it all hits the fan.

    We cannot control the impending disaster, but we can certainly control how we will respond.

  245. Clotpoll says:

    JLB (220)-

    Slow down there, big boy. Still trying to get my brain around the concept of “healthcare” as your stock pick yesterday.

    If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re a little slow around here…

  246. Clotpoll says:

    BC (224)-

    Chambers now owns a RE company in Phoenix. Good thing he pulled down a few bucks in his NBA days…I hear he’s smoking the big one these days.

  247. kettle1 says:


    my next step is getting the wife to a rifle range

  248. Clotpoll says:


    As the shooter, or the target?

  249. Sean says:

    It wasn’t that long ago that we had a sampling of post apocalyptic behavior. Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, did we learn any lessons from that?

    I for one can sail a boat, I would do my best to round up family and head for the Ocean, perhaps sail south as far as Panama or Costa Rica. At least on the Ocean I would not have to worry too much about roving gangs of hungry people in the cities. Pirates on the other hand could be an issue.

  250. Clotpoll says:

    Z-Day? Isn’t this what the religious wackos invoke when the talk about the 700 and the rapture?

  251. alia says:

    skep: yup, zillow. (and you thought we were just a bunch of stock market trading japanese housewives. ;)… i *have* thought a lot about post-apocalyptic stuff, having grown up with a sociopathic, charismatic parent who believed the end was nigh (but buy land, they ain’t making more of it) and the pyramids on mars are encoded messages on how to build hyper drive engines. (that last bit perhaps colors just how far i’m willing to take the doomsday scenario.)

    i have my gov’t recommended emergency flight kit packed, but that’s about as far as i’m ready to go… at the moment. am flexible, as more data reveals itself. ;)

  252. skep-tic says:

    Maybe I’m being unfair in my assessment, but it just seems to me that at best you can only make small preparations for doomsday which would be completely inadequate for the actual reality. Sort of like trying to cross the sahara while only packing 8 oz of water— why bother?

  253. kettle1 says:


    my wife and i have been together for over 12 years straight, although not married until recently. We dont like to rush things :) I can honestly say that i dont regret any of it

  254. Clotpoll says:

    lost (232)-

    “…similar to behavior of tribal peoples in their distrust of other groups, their hunting and gathering techniques, and the will to survive taking precendence above all else.”

    Is this a description of a holocaust aftermath, or Goldman Sachs on Monday?

  255. skep-tic says:


    “I for one can sail a boat, I would do my best to round up family and head for the Ocean”

    that is a very interesting strategy. fishing skills would be handy as well

  256. kettle1 says:


    You are generally correct. The question is can you increase your odds at all. Its highly unlikely you can insulate yourself or remove yourself from the event, and how you respond depends on where you are when it hits the fan. So while 8 oz of water wont get you across the desert, if you know you might be in the sahara, carry 32oz. It might not save you, but it will get you further along then the joe with 8oz and who knows that might make the difference.

  257. Clotpoll says:

    Get ready for the influx of comments here from the crowd who Googles “zombie invasion”.

    Oh boy.

  258. lostinny says:

    While I would say both, I’m terribly apathetic to GS. Call it my own brand of psychopathy, the only thing I’ll be gathering on Monday is popcorn to watch the drama unfold.

  259. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (258)-

    Got it. Lived with my wife for 5 years, before she decided I was a keeper.

    Good thing she has no interest in anything I post here. If she was, her opinion might change in a jiffy.

  260. kettle1 says:


    Katrina and N’awlins (aka Chocolate City) teaches me that

    1. you should immediately get away from large groups of people

    2. avoid law enforcement elements at all times.

    3.do not wait for or expect help from any government organization

    4. small cooperative groups have the best chance

  261. BC Bob says:

    Clot [213],

    HMMMM? Now take a look at this one. Market mayhem as beer and movies are big winners? What is John Q indicating?

    I think the NJ Vulture Fund should act swiftly.


  262. kettle1 says:


    My wife has informed me that i am apparently useful enough to be considered a keeper but should remember that she does reevaluate from time to time and no decision is final.

  263. JLB says:

    #250: I finally realize what your problem is, you need to get laid! Not Spitzer style, McGreevy style. It just might make you a better realtor (:

  264. kettle1 says:

    i dont know BC, what does this tell you?


  265. Clotpoll says:

    lost (263)-

    Developed that love of watching during your Vault days, I’ll surmise.

  266. rhymingrealtor says:

    Thanks, Clot & JB and all who gave marketing suggestions, I googled flash bracketed HDR photography still not sure I understood it however I have a good eye so to speak. I usually take nice pics, and am sought out for agent pictures. I do make a point to pay attention to details in the room before I take the picture and take many shots from many angles to get the best one.
    Clot, I don’t think I have to appeal to as big of an audience as you, your location I believe appeals to many from many places. Where I am the people leaving are going to your area, and the ones coming are coming from limited places and we try to target our advertising to where they come from.

  267. JLB says:

    #264: Clot says, “Good thing she has no interest in anything I post here. If she was, her opinion might change in a jiffy.”

    wow, you could say that again!

  268. Clotpoll says:

    jlb (268)-

    I just realized that you need a ball peen hammer between your eyes.

  269. kettle1 says:

    Skeptic 260,

    fishing may not help much most of the larger fish stocks have or are collapsing.

    Fish stock collapse prediction correct, says Seafood Council. 04 …
    The Northern Territory Seafood Council has supported a Canadian report that claims some of the worlds fish stocks could be wiped out by 2048 The Canadian …
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200611/s1781138.htm – 24k –

  270. Clotpoll says:

    BC (266)-

    Beer and liquor, hedged with cheap entertainment.

    Sounds like a winner. I think I’ll enhance my position by using all the margin my online broker will make available to me. :)

  271. JLB says:

    #273 Clot: Is that a threat? I don’t know if you can handle another lawsuit right now, but I’m a little scared.

  272. lostinny says:

    I have several good friends that survived Katrina and still live in NOLA. While there were terrible things happening, there was also a lot of sensationalism because that’s what the news looks for. I am absolutely disgusted that there are neighborhoods that still look like the storm was yesterday. How our government turns its back on its own people in a time like this is just beyond me. But then, Bush talked about how he used to party there. I guess he doesn’t care that his party town actually has people who don’t live to party there. They just want to live there.

  273. Clotpoll says:

    jlb (276)-

    You should be scared. Dolts as big as you generally have no idea when they’ve triggered someone who’s truly dangerous.

    BTW, please inform as to who is suing me.

  274. kettle1 says:


    i feel for your friends, but am not sure i got your point from that post. Police and National Guard illegally confiscated weapons, people waited for help as instructed by the GOV and no help or inadequate showed up. etc.

    I recorded the military and police raido transmitions from the first couple of days after katrina. Its actually interesting to listen to. very different picture then the news.

  275. lostinny says:

    Clot 270
    I’m not a voyeur. And to tell you the truth, I always thought the Vault was skanky. I liked Hellfire Club better and I thought Paddles was cleaner then all of them.

  276. kettle1 says:


    i feel for your friends, but am not sure i got your point from that post. Police and National Guard ilegally confiscated wepons, people waited for help as instructed by the GOV and no help or inadequate help showed up. etc.

    I recorded the military and police radio transmition from the first couple of days after katrina. Its actually interesting to listen to. very different picture then the news.

  277. lostinny says:

    Ah yes moderation.

  278. kettle1 says:


    279 in moderation, not sure why

  279. skep-tic says:

    kettle– still relatively easy to catch enough fish to live on in the Atlantic if you know what you’re doing. a striper or two per day would feed a family. if you have sailing skills like Sean you can follow them up and down the atlantic coast throughout the year I agree that commercial fishing is doomed longterm

  280. Sean says:

    We have come full circle back to solient green for survival.

  281. Clotpoll says:

    When the zombie invasion begins, you will assuredly find me at the liquor store.

    OT: what’s a Torero?

  282. lostinny says:

    A matador?

  283. Confused In NJ says:

    Just got back from Stop-N-Shop where a blown cart damage my left front fender. Was thinking about getting it fixed, but I see from the latest posts, the end is near, so it wouldn’t have time to rust anyway. Guess I’ll just leave it, as a casualty of the strip mall, leave your cart anywhere on a windy day, people. Don’t think I’ve owned a car in last 20 years that hasn’t gotten dinged at a grocery store.

  284. grim says:

    New Jersey Survivalist Report

  285. grim says:

    How does that saying go?

    Don’t bother betting on armageddon, you won’t be here to spend your winnings.

  286. Sean says:

    Folks remember he was crucified by the Jews and Romans today, so in the spirit of the Holiday please feel free to forgiver each other.

  287. lostinny says:

    Sorry, I get so upset about it, I tend to go in many different directions and sometimes it doesn’t make sense. I’d like to hear those transmissions if you’ve got a way to send electronically. Please get my email from Grim. My point was, that not everything the police or National Guard did was wrong. Some was, yes. But some was not. It’s just that all we tend to hear about it what they did wrong. One day I was watching CNN and they stationed themselves on Canal St. This is one border of the French Quarter. They had their camera pointed down towards the river where the street was flooded. However, at one point they turned the camera up the street and it was dry as bone. You would have thought that there was no dry land anywhere near there because of the way they mostly shot it. Instead of pointing out the areas that didn’t get hit hard and showing something positive, they continued to focus on the negative.

  288. lostinny says:

    Sean if you’re going to turn on the religious faucet today at least capitalize He.

  289. bairen says:


    CNN has a bunch of stories of people (mostly in mortgage business) who are struggling.

    Take a look you housing crash doubters

  290. 3b says:

    Did I miss something about goldman today?

  291. BC Bob says:

    Huskies or puppies?

  292. Clotpoll says:

    lost (280)-

    I thought skanky was the point. :)

    Actually, I must confess Odeon and Robots was much more my speed.

  293. lostinny says:

    Nah Clot there’s skanky and there’s beyond. Ick. Anyway, I liked the slide at USA a lot. :)

  294. Clotpoll says:

    sean (291)-

    Please hold that thought until after someone plants a ball peen in jlb’s head.

  295. BC Bob says:

    “March 21 (Bloomberg) — Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin called for quick government action to tackle the rising level of home foreclosures and he indicated taxpayer money will have to be used.”


  296. Clotpoll says:

    BC (300)-

    There’s a happy thought for all of us.

    When the taxpayer loot starts going to people who committed fraud, I’ll seriously consider picking up and leaving the US.

  297. Clotpoll says:

    I actually mentioned leaving the country to the wife and kids a few days ago, and they didn’t go ballistic.

  298. lisoosh says:

    RE: Armageddon.

    It all depends on what kind. Floating off the cost in a dingy with a bunch of crotchety relatives, or holed up in a cave somewhere with the same bunch doesn’t really appeal somehow.

    If we are talking nuclear or meteor, I would prefer to just head right for the center. Instant vaporization is a lot more appealing than watching my skin peel off or my kids wandering around blistered, blind and hungry.

    If financial meltdown – a small community in a rural area would probably be the best. Although looting Manhattan might be a bit of a blast.

  299. lisoosh says:

    Post in mod.

  300. lisoosh says:

    The main thing in a Mad Max style scenario is to look like you don’t have anything worth stealing.

    Same trick to not getting mugged or ripped off in any Middle Eastern Shuk.

  301. Sean says:

    3b, if you read this blog from the beginning today you might come out with the conclusion that eventually some of us will be sodomized by raging bull zombie realtors.

  302. Clotpoll says:

    sean (306)-

    That post will be good for the search engines.

  303. Steve says:


    GS laying off 15% of capital mkts staff, I believe-

    But hey, I’m sure that won’t be in NYC!! Or Bear, Or Citi, or….

    couldn’t resist :)

  304. grim says:


    Skip Costa Rica, head further south to Uruguay, “trust me”.

  305. Sean says:

    lisoosh – it is possible to survive at sea for a long period if supplied properly away from people long enough for things to settle down on land. Sure relatives can be crotchety but hopefully they will be less inclined to toss you overboard or eat you.

    This guy has been at it for nearly a year without pulling into port. His companion recently left the boat but he is continuing on.


  306. Confused In NJ says:

    I think I’ll petition Corzine to wave the Sales Tax on Auto Body Repairs caused by inconsiderate NJ people allowing strong gusts of wind from Trenton to move their shopping carts into a parked vehicle. Seems as fair as Tax Payers bailing out Flippers and Banks.

  307. Confused In NJ says:

    310. Sean. That was the movie Water World with Kevin Costner. He had one advantage though, he also had a set of gills. They did find land at the end, though.

  308. Clotpoll says:

    grim (309)-

    Good soccer there. However, it might make my Jewish wife a little jittery.

  309. Clotpoll says:


    Same for Paraguay and parts of Brazil.

  310. Sean says:

    Clotpoll, believe it or not I will be headed over to the Irish consulate soon in NY to get my EU passport. American born children of Irish immigrants can easily become dual citizens. Not that I am leaving the Grand Ole USA anytime soon, but my Irish mother is insistent that all of her children know their heritage and can come and go as they please.

  311. Happy Camper says:

    “Good soccer there. However, it might make my Jewish wife a little jittery.”

    Jewish people don’t like soccer?

  312. Clotpoll says:

    Jews love soccer (just look at the lsraeli nat’l team or Tottenham Hotspur in the EPL).

    Uruguay, Paraguay? Not so much.

  313. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Weighing Criminal Response to Mortgage Crisis

    The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a broad review of the subprime lending crisis to see if there is a “larger criminal story” to the mortgage meltdown, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said.

    Mukasey said the agency hasn’t decided if the turmoil merits a response similar to the Bush administration’s corporate fraud crackdown that began in 2002 after the collapse of Enron Corp. Still, he told reporters in Washington today, the department’s criminal division is now weighing how to address the issue.

    “We’re considering information that’s coming in and possible legal theories,” Mukasey said. “People are looking at the law to see to what and to whom it might apply.”

  314. grim says:


    You’ll face more discrimination as an American.

  315. gary says:


    About the multiple bid scenario from earlier: If a house is priced “right” and commands multiple bids over asking, then isn’t it fair to say there are a lot of qualified buyers waiting in the wings? Or are there just a handfull qualified and they’re bypassing the BS homes and going for the more desirable ones?

    And what if 5 homes on the same block all decide to price aggressively, maybe they will all draw multiple bidders. I guess my point is that there is no way of gauging how many truly qualified buyers exist. For me personally, I have at least 20% ready and a stellar FICO but I’m not going to show up in any data. Am I making sense?

  316. lisoosh says:

    Clot – big Jewish community in Brazil, I have friends from there. They have a pretty nice life. Argentina the same.

    I have 3 different passports, all pretty useless. Only the British one has potential by allowing me to live anywhere in the EU.

  317. bairen says:

    #320 Gary,

    You always make sense. You do sound a bit frustrated occasionally.

  318. bi says:

    158#, bob,clot,

    with GDX down 15% in 3 days, it is equivalent to dow down 700 pts each day for 3 days. everybody on this board would be screamming. my points are 1) the investment on commodity related products could be riskier than equity; 2) it might be a good buying opportunity but i won’t get in before i find somthing to hedge.

  319. grim says:

    If anyone wants to drool over a true real estate pornographers work, give this a click:


  320. bairen says:

    #324 grim

    That guy’s an artist.

  321. gary says:


    What, me frustrated? lol!

  322. Clotpoll says:

    gary (320)-

    At the right price, there’s always a buyer. Any market, any time.

    There’s no way of concretely gauging what somebody WOULD do in any kind of competitive marketplace. The only thing that can be hazarded is an intelligent guesstimation of what might happen. The only statistics that come into play in RE are, unfortunately, trailing in nature. There’s just no mark-to-market. To me, this is what makes things like Zillow so laughable. Try as we all might at times, RE just can’t be commodititzed.

    It also bears repeating that in housing, you don’t need a gang of buyers who are willing to buy any particular house; you only need one. The evidence of recurring multiple offers on the few homes that come to market priced right does not necessarily indicate a massive and silent “pant-up” demand. The five buyers who get caught up in a bidding war over a particular house may be the only five motivated buyers for the whole area and price range. Those absorption rates Otteau publishes don’t lie, and they’re probably as good an indicator of buying interest as any.

    Every time a house gets taken down, the particulars of that deal become your best gauge as to what may happen next.

  323. John says:

    of course they like sports in fact Jay Fieldler is my favorite, but of course he played quarterback.

  324. Clotpoll says:

    soosh (321)-

    Almost all the WWII war criminals are caught or dead. Still kinda creepy in some of those S. American places, though.

  325. gary says:


    So, absorption rate seems to be the best indicator and if true, that means that sellers are still not getting the picture as the absorption rate is increasing. Which means that the longer the denial goes on, the worse the fall is going to be. And if the stats are trailing, then perhaps a lot of these sellers are dead people walking.

    I used to rail about too much data and not enough pragmatism on this board and here is one time I’m itching for clear cut data. Ironic. :)

  326. PeaceNow says:

    Oh, come on. You’re now all into leaving the country? Go, please…

  327. kettle1 says:

    grim 324,

    that is indeed real estate pron if i have ever seen it. I might want to buy one of those sight unseen, just from the pics

  328. profuscious says:

    RE: this year’s version of y2k, anthrax, and avian bird flu with a silver/gold lining

    A few years ago, I took a tour of our government’s once super-secret, emergency base beneath the mountains in White Sulphur Springs, WV, supposed to house the govt. once the nukes we’re launched, built underneath the Greenbrier. It was kind of amazing and sad at the same time. Pretty sure there are several more like it somewhere else.

    Makes you wonder if the shadow banks have similar places. Let’s put it this way, I’d be sure to stop by with a few friends to say hello.

  329. John says:

    Dominion Homes Inc. (DHOM:Dominion Homes Inc
    News, chart, profile, more
    Last: 0.550.000.00%

    3:29pm 03/20/2008

    Delayed quote dataAdd to portfolio
    Create alertInsider
    Sponsored by:
    DHOM 0.55, 0.00, 0.0%) said it received notice from Nasdaq that its shares will be delisted at the opening of business March 31 since the company failed to regain compliance with minimum market value requirements. Dominion doesn’t plan to appeal the decision and will seek a listing on the over-the-counter Bulletin Board. The Dublin, Ohio, home builder also said it most recent annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission included a going concern note from the company’s auditors.

  330. kettle1 says:

    i wonder if the distraction worked???


  331. kettle1 says:

    more OT

    Naked Woman Picture Gains Popularity On Internet
    (Not work or kid safe)

    maybe i cane help one of use economic terrorists smile!

  332. Clotpoll says:

    BC (333)-

    I could move there & probably make their national team. I could also get a job counting their gold bars.

  333. Clotpoll says:

    …maybe get a little Riesling plot along the Rhine…

  334. Clotpoll says:

    USA = Nascar, fiat paper and fried Snickers bars

    Lichtenstein = Formula One, gold and 10 Michelin *** within 50 miles

  335. kettle1 says:

    sorry grim, should have added the note :(

  336. Confused In NJ says:

    The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a broad review of the subprime lending crisis to see if there is a “larger criminal story” to the mortgage meltdown, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said.

    I thought we held “That Truth to be Self Evident”? Amazing how the have to consider investigating the obvious.

  337. WickedOrange says:

    My brother and his wife just sold their house in one day for 417k they we’re asking 429k. Three offers on the first day…
    so much for a slow market.


  338. Firestorm says:

    Can anybody provide info on MLS# 814657, pleeease. And what do you guys think about Woodbridge? We are looking at towns with reasonable commute time to NYC ( up to 1 hr )Right now we are renting in Edison and we doubt we want to buy here, unless it’s North Edison

  339. WickedOrange says:

    When are prices on the gold coast going to fall…

    “Five New Jersey counties experienced population declines last year, according to the Census: Burlington, Essex, Hudson and Union all showed a rate of loss of less than 1 percent, with only Cape May County registering a minus 1.22 percent loss of residents.”

    Proportion of total permits issued for Hudson County
    1987 3%
    2005 12%

  340. Bru says:

    Living with the parents … at 50+.

    Of course, not everyone has that, um, luxury? But the article further illustrates that prior generations are better off.

    Regarding the financial adviser who mentions how parents should stop subsidizing their kids: I wonder what she thinks about those girls who live fabulous Manhattan lives while working for low-paying jobs like PR and magazines. All my parents provide me with is a a roof over my head (along with theirs).

  341. rhymingrealtor says:

    Uh Grim,

    If I could make any listing I’ve ever had or may ever have, look like the photos you posted, with that there flash bracketed HDR photography, I would give up Real Estate and become a photographer. (-:


  342. Pat says:

    “All my parents provide me with is a roof over my head…”

    Bru, if you project forward, using a conservative rate of return, the value of the asset you have been bequeathed looks something like this:

    Free rent from June 1999 (assumed college graduation date). Note that I’m assuming a mediocre apartment; you’ve been able to live in a nicer home than an apartment, which has it’s own value. But I’ll discount this by the negative personal experiential factor.

    7/1/1999-6/30/2000: 12,000 (plus 9 yrs @.05)
    /2001: 12360 (plus 8 yrs @1.05)
    /2002: 12720 (plus 7 yrs @1.05)
    /2003: 13080 (plus 6 yrs @1.05)
    …and so on.

    Current value of asset: UNBELIEVABLE

    Now, invest that for the rest of your life…maybe 50 years at 7 percent.


  343. Pat says:

    oops its and live.

    Excuse my grammar, I’m having issues with neighbors and police tonight.

  344. Firestorm says:

    RE: rhymingrealtor

    To get that quality, you have to be a Photoshop maniac as well..

  345. Clotpoll says:

    Pat (349)-

    You’re talking to a wall. This babe is a certified crazymaker.

  346. Essex says:

    343….uh…..good for them….congrats. Old kitchen…mish mash of various window styles….one car garage. Not really a place I would consider but good they got their price.

  347. Clotpoll says:


    Forgot to ask: how was Love in the Ruins?

  348. Pat says:

    Well, Clot, it’s a tolerance problem I struggle with. Plus, I have no wine and now I need a glass.

    The nude dude and his girlfriend were throwing pots at each other. Someone called the police. All three of our town’s fearless men in blue showed up. They took the girl away. I’m upset because I bet my husband they’d take the shirtless wonder.

  349. Pat says:

    Excellent. I especially loved the line about a Mormon winning the presidency.

    There was a lot I liked.

  350. Clotpoll says:


    Sounds like a wild night in Dogpatch. Maybe one of the girl’s brothers will come over one night and dispense some Pennzy-style justice.

    There’s a timeless quality to Percy’s best stuff. Change a few things here and there, and you’d think it was written yesterday. I still don’t understand why Hollywood hasn’t figured it out. Hell, they could even jam the adaptation of Love in the Ruins full of hot chicks and mayhem.

  351. rhymingrealtor says:


    Sorry about cops and neighbor issues, Ihate those kind of nights.
    I agree on your points. I was not given the oppurtunity to live at home, save money and start out ahead of the game, even as an incentive to put myself through school, as that was not important to them. If I made enough to make it (not make it well) that was good enough. I was’nt given the oppurtunity when I failed either, although my parents were given that chance by their parents, before my mother remarried we all lived with my grandmother, and after she remarried we lived in his mother’s house until they saved for a house.
    My children will be given the oppurtunity.


  352. rhymingrealtor says:

    Futher to my post 358, I do beleive some people can start out with nothing and end up doing great, some can start out great and end up with nothing. I do think though a good start helps.


  353. Bru says:

    So, say what you really think about me, Clot!

    Pat, thanks – really, I honestly needed that. You absolutely deserve some wine.

    It’s hard for me to let go of the fact that the life I’d planned for myself didn’t materialize – I need to stop seeing it as failure.

    Having said that, I will shut the folk up.

  354. Pat says:

    I really don’t know, KL. I guess I’d have to figure out what success is, first. Survival? Money?

    I know this guy who was short bus. He’s so skinny…like the skeleton man in the movie with the midget lady who says, “This house is clean.” He sweeps floors around town. He stops in the 7-11 and sweeps, then walks over to the deli, then the pizza shop.

    He has his own place. I found out he doesn’t collect disability.

  355. Essex says:

    Pat….blah blah blah….no young man wants to live at home. INo woman wants to meet and man who lives at home….no guy after college wants to revert back to being under the parents thumb: unable to brings women home…hang with pals until all hours….etc…etc…etc. Bru. Break free. There is more to life than money.

  356. WickedOrange says:


    “Not really a place I would consider”

    darn, monmouth county could really use some more bennies

  357. Essex says:

    What are bennies?

  358. Essex says:

    Oh wait….that is that gheyass term for people who go to Da Shore….and are guidos…..OK….pal….I’ve lived in six states — and frankly could really give to sh*ts about the local culture of exclusion here….get a clue.

  359. RGB says:

    #343: Do you know what the commute is like from Middletown to the financial district? I was going to look there last week after looking around in Fair Haven, Rumson, and Little Silver. The commute looked to be around 1:20 or 1:30 door to door, but someone at work said that’s only if everything runs perfectly (timing with trains, no delays, etc). He also said that on the way home it’s probably closer to 2 hours b/c there’s no express, but I think he’s wrong looking at the train schedules. We ended up looking in Ridgewood that weekend, but after looking at the train schedules again I’m tempted to look in Middletown. Anyway, the person I work with recommended Westfield, and looking at that commute, I think it might shoot up to the top of the list, especially knowing how nice their downtown area is, variety of restaurants, pretty good schools.

    I’m probably not buying until mid/late 2009 or even 2010, so prices will hopefully come down 10-15% (possibly 20%?). Any thoughts on those three towns (Middletown, Ridgewood, Westfield) from any more experienced house hunters on here? We’re also looking at Chatham and Summit, so any info comparing those towns also would be much appreciated, as is all the info you all provide.

  360. Firestorm says:

    RGB Says:
    Any thoughts on those three towns (Middletown, Ridgewood, Westfield)
    IMHO Westfield is nice, but property tax might kill you. And as far as I remember it’s ~45 minutes ride to Hoboken, so you friend was right about time. Plus – forget about parking next to the station, unless you drive and park at Linden – plenty of space over there – it will add another 20 minutes

  361. WickedOrange says:

    essex, relax, i’m just pulling you’re chain i’m currently in north jersey too.

    I was just posting a data point. I was shocked by the quick sale. I didn’t need or ask for the condescending house review.

  362. Essex says:


  363. WickedOrange says:

    RE: 366

    I commuted from middletown, a block from the navesink river (reb bank station) to wall street for a little over a year. It’s 1 1/2 hours either way (door to door) during commuting hours about 90% of the time. If you’re on the local then it’s two hours.

    The five day a week commute gets old fast but loads of people in the area do it.

  364. Laurie says:

    On the importance of decent photos…
    My FIL is elderly and trying to sell a unit in a good building on Miami Beach. He bought the unit back in the day for maybe 45k and he has it on the mkt now for 18 months for 399k..the apt is horrible and faces a wall BUT the building is good so the listing agent has 8 photos of the common areas and not one of the apt…not one…they even have a photo of one of the workout machines in the exercise room but nada of the apt…BTW..no offers ever and only a few showings mainly by other people who have an apt in the building. The true price for that place is more like 150k..agent is desperate for my FIL to lower price but he has a tenant and he doesn’t have to sell so it’s just one more unsold/overpriced property on Miami Beach

Comments are closed.