NJ: “lurching from crisis to crisis”

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Thursday, August 21st at 8:00pm

AMC Clifton Commons 16
405 Route 3 East
Clifton, NJ 07014

Tickets can be purchased online, click here.

—————————-
From the NY Post:

JERSEY: A LESSON IN FAILURE FOR NY

From 2003 through 2007, while the nation’s private economy soared, only tax-supported government jobs grew robustly in Jersey. Private employment increased a meager 1.8 percent, mostly in low-wage service jobs. In 2006, when the country was in the midst of an economic boom that produced government surpluses everywhere, Jersey faced a crushing $4.5 billion budget shortfall that prompted an embarrassing shutdown of state government.

Jersey’s decline has been rapid and astonishing. In the ’60s, one study judged it to be among the most business-friendly states because of its light tax burden. That helped attract a steady stream of businesses and residents from New York and produced robust economic growth.

Although there were occasionally signs of trouble over the years (like the pension shenanigans of Gov. Christie Whitman, in which government shirked its long-term obligations), the state’s real decline started with the election of Gov. Jim McGreevey and a Democratic-controlled Legislature in 2001.

McGreevey, aided by the Legislature, raised taxes and fees an astonishing 33 times, totaling $3.6 billion, amid a recession. The state also passed a heap of new labor-friendly, anti-business laws that rapidly worsened conditions.

The fallout has been swift. In 2002, the Beacon Hill Institute rated Jersey 26th among the states in overall competitiveness; by 2004, it had plummeted to 44th. Recently, corporate executives surveyed voted it one of the states where they’re least likely to expand.

Despite the constant stream of bad news, reform has been difficult because the kind of big-government, tax-consuming politics ruining Jersey have given too many residents a stake in the system.

The rapid growth of state and local government – whose employment increased by 15 percent from 2000 through 2006 alone – has created a huge public work force not about to vote for eliminating its perks and benefits.

Meanwhile, the state’s recent tax increases have fallen almost entirely on upper-income residents, so that those earning more than $200,000 a year (just 4.9 percent of households filing tax returns) are paying 60 percent of all income taxes. Jersey has even managed to make its onerous local property-tax system progressive by instituting a state rebate program – but only for those earning below certain incomes.

The effect of all of this is to make Jersey a place where businesses and a few residents pay the freight. So many people are on the public dole that reform becomes virtually impossible.

he question for New Yorkers is whether their pols learn anything from this. While for years people pointed to Jersey as a business environment New York should emulate, Jersey now stands as a cautionary tale. With Albany’s own dysfunctional politics, only Wall Street’s enormous earning power and Gotham’s international tourist appeal has insulated New York (and only Downstate) from Jersey’s fate. But with a prolonged crisis now possible in financial markets, New York may face the prospect of a Jerseyfication of its own budget and economy.

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328 Responses to NJ: “lurching from crisis to crisis”

  1. grim says:

    From NJBIZ:

    Company Downsizes Operations but Retains Jobs
    Weyerhaeuser exits 3 facilities in the state

    Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest forest products companies, is reducing the scale of its operations in New Jersey, partly because of a $2 million incentive from Pennsylvania that encouraged the company to move its distribution center from Bridgewater to Easton, Pa.

    After the Aug. 4 sale of the two plants, and the relocation of its Bridgewater distribution center, New Jersey will have only one Weyerhaeuser facility—a sales and design center for engineered wood products in Marlton that has about 30 employees. The company plans to keep that location for now, says French.

    Weyerhaeuser was apparently encouraged by relocation incentives of $2 million Pennsylvania offered the company earlier this month, according to a press release from the office of Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell. Pennsylvania’s offer to Weyerhaeuser is part of a $642 million incentive package Rendell announced two weeks ago to leverage $1.3 billion in investments and create or retain 30,000 jobs in 25 counties.

  2. grim says:

    From the Pocono Record:

    US vs.THEM: Developers painted rosey pictures of Poconos

    ocono home builders and Realtors have aggressively courted buyers from metropolitan New York for years. The pitch for the Poconos includes utopian promises of a better life — inexpensive luxury homes, communing with nature, and an easy commute to work are among the lures.

    One well-known ad campaign, “Why Rent?” started in 1994. Developer Gene Percudani’s company, Raintree Homes, ran radio, print and television ads in New York and New Jersey to attract low- or fixed-income customers. New homes were promised for $1,000 down and monthly mortgage payments of $685. The promotion stopped when the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Scranton accused the company of deceptive advertising. Other commercials at that time showed shootings in the city, comparing that violence to deer roaming in a safe Pocono yard.

    Erin Reilly, assistant professor of sociology at Northampton Community College, who has studied predatory lending, said that her students thought the advertisements that lured their families to the Poconos had not delivered on their promise. She mentioned one student’s suggestion for a tagline for the area: “The motto should be, ‘If you don’t die on Route 80, we’ll give you a bad mortgage.'”

  3. grim says:

    From NJBIZ:

    Garden State Job Losses So Far This Year Total 14,100

    According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s monthly survey of employers, total payroll employment in the state declined by 200 jobs in July. Since June’s total was revised upward by 200 jobs, employment has essentially been flat the past two months. This could be considered a positive development, since the employment loss so far this year (measured December 2007 to July 2008) totals 14,100 jobs, or approximately 2,000 jobs per month.

    The balance sheet for the first seven months of 2008 is shown in the accompanying table. Private-sector employment has declined by 14,500 jobs while government added 400 jobs.

    In general, the total July employment results tend to indicate overall stabilization for the month. A key question is whether this represents a “bottoming out” or just a brief respite from further sustained job declines. Data in the coming months will provide an answer.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Are Pounded
    Two Stocks Plunge On Growing Fears Of a U.S. Bailout
    By JAMES R. HAGERTY and APARAJITA SAHA-BUBNA
    August 19, 2008; Page A3

    Share prices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged Monday amid growing fears that the two largest providers of funding for U.S. home mortgages won’t be able to avoid a government bailout.

    In 4 p.m. trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Freddie shares were down 25% to $4.39. Fannie stock dropped 22% to $6.15. Both stocks are down more than 90% from a year ago.

    Many investors and analysts fear the two companies may not be able to raise more capital by selling shares, amid gloom over the huge losses they face on mortgage defaults. On Monday, some preferred shares previously issued by Fannie and Freddie were quoted at dividend yields of more than 16%, up from 14% Friday. With investors demanding such high yields, raising money through new preferred shares may be too expensive.

    Selling common shares also would be difficult, because the companies’ market values have shrunk drastically. At Monday’s close, Fannie’s market value was $6.6 billion and Freddie’s $2.8 billion. Raising even a modest $5 billion would mean severely diluting the value of existing shares.

  5. RPatrick says:

    In reponse to the main article:

    I had another 60-80K earner announce this weekend that he’s leaving the NNJ/NYC area.

    I was looking at other grad schools, 200-300 a credit versus 600-900. Something ot thin about AGAIN.

  6. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Subprime Crisis Not Over; Large Bank May Fail

    A large U.S. bank may fail in the coming months as the global credit turmoil continues to hurt financial markets, said Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

    “The worst is yet to come in the U.S.,” Rogoff said in Singapore today. “The financial sector needs to shrink. I don’t think simply having a couple of medium-sized banks and a couple of small banks going under is going to do the job. We’re really going to see a consolidation even among the major investment banks.”

    “Like any shrinking industries, we are going to see the exit of some major players,” Rogoff said, declining to name the banks he expects to fail. “The only way to put discipline into the system is to allow some companies to go bust. You can’t just have an industry where they make giant profits or they get bailed out.”

  7. grim says:

    From the Washington Post:

    Fannie’s Perilous Pursuit of Subprime Loans

    In January 2007, as years of loose mortgage lending were about to send the nation’s housing market into devastating decline, Fannie Mae chief executive Daniel H. Mudd wrote a confidential memo to his board.

    Discussing the company’s successes, Mudd said one of Fannie Mae’s achievements in 2006 was expanding its involvement in the market for subprime and other nontraditional mortgages. He called it a step “toward optimizing our business.”

    A month later, Fannie Mae outlined plans to further expand its activities in the subprime market. The company recognized the already weak performance of subprime loans but predicted that they would get better in 2007, according to another Fannie Mae document.

    Internal documents show that even late in the housing bubble, Fannie Mae was drawn to risky loans by a variety of temptations, including the desire to increase its market share and fulfill government quotas for the support of low-income borrowers.

    Since then, Fannie Mae’s exposure to loosely underwritten mortgages has produced billions of dollars of losses and sent its stock price plummeting, prompting the federal government to prepare for a potential taxpayer bailout of the company. This month, Fannie Mae reported that loans from 2006 and 2007 accounted for almost 60 percent of its second-quarter credit losses.

  8. grim says:

    From the AP:

    ‘Liar loans’ threaten to prolong mortgage crisis

    In the mortgage industry, they are called “liar loans” — mortgages approved without requiring proof of the borrower’s income or assets. The worst of them earn the nickname “ninja loans,” short for “no income, no job, and (no) assets.”

    The nation’s struggling housing market, already awash in subprime foreclosures, is now getting hit with a second wave of losses as homeowners with liar loans default in record numbers. In some parts of the country, the loans are threatening to drag out the mortgage crisis for another two years.

    “Those loans are going to perform very badly,” said Thomas Lawler, a Virginia housing economist. “They’re heavily concentrated in states where home prices are plummeting” such as California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona.

    Many homeowners with liar loans are stuck. They can’t refinance because housing prices in those markets have nose-dived, and lenders are now demanding full documentation of income and assets.

    Losses on liar loans could total $100 billion, according to Moody’s Economy.com. That’s on top of the $400 billion in expected losses from subprime loans.

  9. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Lehman May Report $4 Billion Writedown, JPMorgan Says

    Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may write off about $4 billion in credit-related investments and other assets when it reports fiscal third-quarter earnings, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts said.

    “The credit environment continues to be difficult,” New York-based analysts led by Kenneth Worthington wrote in a report yesterday. “It will be another difficult quarter for Lehman.”

    Lehman may write down some of its $61 billion of mortgage and other asset-backed securities after benchmark residential and commercial mortgage-related indexes declined by as much as 20 percent, the analysts wrote. Lehman may have already been selling some commercial mortgage assets, they added.

  10. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    When Henry Met Fannie
    August 19, 2008; Page A16

    There’s no rest for a Treasury Secretary in a financial meltdown, as Hank Paulson is discovering. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to bleed mortgage losses, and so the Treasury chief may soon have no choice but to pull the trigger on his new authority for taxpayers to recapitalize the mortgage giants.

    Fan and Fred shares took another header yesterday, in the wake of a Barron’s article predicting that a Treasury recap was “almost inevitable.” When a single story in one day can take nearly 22% off Fannie shares, and nearly 25% off Freddie’s, you know investors are scared to death.

    They should be. Two weeks ago the companies added another $3.1 billion in losses to the $11 billion they’d already reported in recent quarters. Both companies slashed their dividends and warned they’d buy fewer mortgages, while being more selective about those they do buy. So much for the assertion — made so confidently this year by Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer — that Fan and Fred would rescue the mortgage market from the housing slump.

    Instead the companies have dug an even deeper hole than have many subprime lenders. Their current run of losses are based in so-called Alt-A loans, aka “liar loans,” that didn’t require enough proof of borrower net worth. Fan and Fred piled into Alt-A mortgages in recent years as a way to gain market share amid the late, unlamented housing mania. No one knows how many of those loans will go belly-up before the housing market starts to turn, presumably in 2009.

  11. NJl$ord says:

    7th

  12. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home Depot profit drops 24%, sticks to 2008 view

    Home Depot, the world’s largest home-improvement retailer, said second-quarter to Aug. 3 net income dropped 24% to $1.2 billion, or 71 cents a share, with sales down 5% to $20.99 billion and same-store sales down 7.9%. “We continue to see pressure on our market and the consumer, generally,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO. For the year, it expects earnings per share from continuing operations to drop 24% and sales to fall 5%, in line with earlier guidance.

  13. SG says:

    US bank will go under, warns ex-IMF man
    Nick Goodway, Evening Standard

    A major US bank will fail in the next few months and the worst of the global financial crisis is yet to come as the American economy hits further troubles, former International Monetary Fund chief economist Kenneth Rogoff warned today.

    The problem, which Rogoff alludes to, is that we’re nowhere near through this. The unease is that the writedowns we’ve witnessed, spectacular as they have been, related to the first phase of the crisis. As the credit squeeze bites and the downturn takes hold, possibly giving way to full-blown recession, defaults and repossessions will soar. One area of worry is credit cards – their loans were packaged up and sold on to speculators in just the same way as subprime mortgages.

    Most of the losses and bank manoeuvres to date relate to one corner of the market. As Rogoff says, it is likely to get worse before it gets better.

  14. SG says:


    Exclusive Interview: Jim Rogers Predicts Bigger Financial Shocks Loom, Fueling a Malaise That May Last for Years

    During a 40-minute interview during a wealth-management conference in this West Coast Canadian city last month, Rogers also said that:

    * U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke should “resign” for the bailout deals he’s handed out as he’s tried to battle this credit crisis.
    * That the U.S. national debt – the roughly $5 trillion held by the public– essentially doubled in the course of a single weekend because of the Fed-led credit crisis bailout deals.
    * That U.S. consumers and investors can expect much-higher interest rates – noting that if the Fed doesn’t raise borrowing costs, market forces will make that happen.
    * And that the average American has no idea just how bad this financial crisis is going to get

  15. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Housing Starts in U.S. Probably Dropped to 17-Year Low in July

    U.S. builders probably broke ground in July on the fewest houses in 17 years, signaling the residential-construction slump will continue to hurt growth, economists said before a government report today.

    Housing starts plunged 9.9 percent to an annual rate of 960,000 after a 1.066 million pace the prior month, according to the median forecast of 77 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. A separate report may show wholesale prices probably rose at a slower pace in July as fuel expenses peaked.

    Stricter lending rules, rising borrowing costs, falling property values and record foreclosures will further depress home sales and cause builders to keep retrenching. Inflation pressures are likely to ease as the downturn in housing, loss of jobs and credit crisis weaken the economy this year and into 2009.

    “The supply of housing continues to be cut in response to the still relatively high inventories of unsold homes,” said Brian Bethune, an economist at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “This will continue to generate a large negative drag on overall growth in the second half of 2008.”

  16. Laughing all the Way says:

    The bill spurred another 25 bps add-on for all Fannie/Freddie product (on top of the up to 250 bps in premiums they’ve already built into every agency loan). Practically speaking, I don’t see anybody short of Jesus qualifying at under 7%. In addition, qualification parameters will ratchet up again. Instead of today’s procto-exam, it’ll be a procto-exam with a pneumatic drill. A lot of potential buyers either won’t pass muster…or will just toss their hands in the air and give up.

    Higher rates + fewer buyers + more sellers = big price drops

    Clot, you said this last night and couldn’t have made us happier. our lease ends in the spring, so we’ll have, HOPEFULLY, 4 months of price drops before we can jump into the market.

    this breakdown of mortgage rates increasing makes us think spring of 2009 will be a solid time to purcahse

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/09/business/09mortgage.html?ref=yourmoney

    Take, for instance, a couple who buy a $500,000 home and make a down payment of 20 percent, or $100,000. With a 6.43 percent interest rate on a 30-year fixed loan, their monthly payment would be $2,510. Over the 30-year life of the mortgage, they would pay a total of about $1 million for the home, including the down payment.

    But what if that couple had waited and the home price dropped 9 percent to $455,000 but mortgage rates rose to 7.01 percent? Now, the 20 percent down payment would be $91,000, and the monthly payments $2,424. The buyers would end up paying a total of about $964,000 for the house, or nearly 4 percent less. If the buyers were able to refinance to a lower rate a few years later, the total cost could be even lower.

    The calculations change, however, when mortgage rates go even higher. Once the rates move above 7.36 percent, they begin to lose the benefits of the 9 percent drop in the house price.

  17. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Did our condo buyer in Edison check back in after asking for, and getting some good advice here Sunday night??

    I think her name was cjgal….

    I’m not sure I would pay $330K for a condo in this market. Wait a minute….I’m sure I wouldn’t!!!

  18. tbw says:

    Poconos are very backwoods. I know people who have moved there and hate it. Lots of WT…

  19. Shore Guy says:

    WT?

  20. Cindy says:

    (19) Shore – I think that’s “white trash.”
    I had to think about it too….

  21. Will V. says:

    SG #13 “A major US bank will fail in the next few months” If I was to place a bet I think it’s Washington Mutual, any takers?

  22. Shore Guy says:

    ahhh, thank you Cindy.

  23. Frank says:

    “JERSEY: A LESSON IN FAILURE FOR NY”

    NJ keeps voting for these idiots, which means we want failure, so what’s the problem? I don’t see it. NJ wants high taxes and ineffective government. Give people what they want.

  24. Clotpoll says:

    The Poconos are an annex of the Bronx.

  25. Clotpoll says:

    Will (21)-

    My money’s been on WaMu for over a year. However, Wachovia might beat them to the bottom. I don’t see how Wachovia gets past the tidal wave of defaults that will be coming when the bulk of their option ARM portfolio resets.

  26. Shore Guy says:

    As for the contention that AC will keep over-inflated home prices down in SJ, well, overinflated:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93687307

    Atlantic City Tries To Widen Its Appeal To Tourists
    by Brad Linder

    Listen Now [3 min 57 sec] add to playlist

    Morning Edition, August 18, 2008 · Officials in Atlantic City like to boast that the New Jersey vacation spot is within a day’s drive for a third of the U.S. population. But that fact isn’t translating into booming business this summer. From souvenir stands on the boardwalk to the casinos and hotels, high gas prices and the soft economy are taking a toll.

    ************

    Michael Pollack is a long-time casino consultant and editor of the Gaming Industry Observer newsletter.

    “You gotta understand that, for most of its existence, Atlantic City largely had a monopoly on East Coast casinos. In that earlier era, you did not have to work particularly hard to operate at close to capacity. The customers were there because they really couldn’t go anywhere else,” Pollack says.

    But now they can — and do. Two huge Indian casinos in Connecticut opened a decade ago. Casinos at racetracks in Pennsylvania and Delaware also are cutting into Atlantic City’s profits. A casino in downtown Philadelphia should soon be under construction. There’s also a new slots-only parlor in Yonkers, N.Y.

    Dawn Canella, from Wallington, N.J., plays the slots and has been going to Yonkers because it’s closer than Atlantic City. And, Canella says, Atlantic City casinos have been taking slots players for granted.

    ************

  27. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. July single-family permits fall to 26-year low

    U.S. July housing starts fall 11% to 965,000 annual pace

    U.S. July single-family building permits off 5.2% to 584,000

    U.S. housing starts down 29.6% in past year

    U.S. July building permits sink 17.7% to 937,000 pace

    U.S. July housing starts fall to 17-year low

    U.S. July housing completions fall to 25-year low

  28. grim says:

    Ooof!

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. July PPI rises 1.2% vs. 0.3% expected

    U.S. July core PPI up 0.7% vs. 0.2% expected

    U.S. PPI up 9.8% in past year

  29. John says:

    In New Jersey the bottom 60% of households pay only 1% of the tax. The loss of the middle class is sad but in accounting terms the Irish 60K a year bus driver with four kids and a stay at home wife pays basically zero percent state and fed taxes and most likely at best 8K in school taxes. That guy has four kids in the school system at a whooping 60K a year in expenses. So he sells his now overpriced home to a DINK couple who make 250K with no kids and are in AMT and pay a boatload of taxes and catch the train to the city and uses no services at all. The couple is pure profit to the state of NJ.

    Now NC/SC used to have super low taxes as they had a boat load of retirees with no kids who paid taxes, one by one the houses are being filled by the “irish busdriver” with four kids. Long term NC/SC will be the new NJ. They will have to jack taxes as you can’t be charging 3K a year property tax and have people of low income and lots of kids paying no state tax yet educate four of their kids.

    NC/SC in 40 years will be somewhere that only Snake Pliskin could survive in.

  30. BC Bob says:

    “Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) — Interest-rate derivatives are showing that investors are preparing for another round of turmoil in credit markets amid renewed concern that the U.S. will have to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

    “Risk aversion is continuing in the market,” said Suvrat Prakash, an interest-rate strategist in New York at BNP Paribas Securities Corp., a unit of France’s largest bank. “These firms really may very well be closer to insolvency than we thought.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aaFjf7VDAX20&refer=home

  31. John says:

    Citigroup bonds are almost at 11%!!

    CITIGROUP INC BONDS 08.40000% 12/31/2049 PERPETUAL ISIN #US172967ER86
    Price (Ask) 86.500
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 10.664%

  32. njpatient says:

    I’m going to ask for a 10% raise today.

  33. Shore Guy says:

    # 29 “can’t be charging 3K a year property tax and have people of low income and lots of kids paying no state tax yet educate four of their kids. ”

    This assumes that the state cares about educating the kids. It seems to be that a good number of southern states are happy enough to have dreadful public schools and to leave it to parents to pay for any decent education.

    For the southern states, having a cadre of poorly educated folks at the ready allows them to keep wages low and to more easily pull the wool over their eyes come election season.

  34. BC Bob says:

    [28],

    “U.S. July core PPI up 0.7% vs. 0.2% expected”

    Funny, I thought it was strictly corn and crude?

  35. Target reports lower quarterly profit. 4th straight quarterly decline.
    Also: Saks sales down 4%, inventories up 1.4%. 2Q loss of 23cents a share.

  36. Stu says:

    Good morning everyone. Nice economic reports released today.

    PPI was scary high and housing starts fell by the most in 17 years. I expect the DJIA to rally by 300 points. Nothing to see here but the continued butt-rape of the middle class. Move along.

  37. reinvestor X says:

    I really fail to see what good it does for a magazine to publish this sort of garbage. All it creates is a feeling of “woe to the world”, fear and hand wringing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find those sorts of emotions very useful at all.

    Funny, that article is bereft of anything that smacks of a solution. That could be said about Roubini, Schiff and the rest of your doom and gloomers. I never hear anyone speak about a solution other than letting our world collapse. I’d like to see the brooding Roubini operate as fed chair and see what he would do. Same thing with Peter Schiff (unpatriotic dirtbag) as treasury secretary. Guess what? They wouldn’t do a damn thing much different than what’s being done now.

    Tell you what, I’m not going to mope around wringing my damn hands and I sure as hell ain’t gonna listen to anyone who encourages that.

    SG Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 6:48 am
    US bank will go under, warns ex-IMF man
    Nick Goodway, Evening Standard

    A major US bank will fail in the next few months and the worst of the global financial crisis is yet to come as the American economy hits further troubles, former International Monetary Fund chief economist Kenneth Rogoff warned today.

  38. BC Bob says:

    “I never hear anyone speak about a solution other than letting our world collapse. I’d like to see the brooding Roubini operate as fed chair and see what he would do.”

    50.5,

    Did you miss the memo. He said he would raise rates.

  39. 3b says:

    #23 Frank: I agree.

  40. Clotpoll says:

    Tard (37)-

    Much as forest fires are the solution to overgrown forests, letting things play out in financial markets would be a great benefit.

    However, whining f@scists like you far outnumber the responsible in this country, so we will continue turning Japanese.

    Enjoy your deflation. When it hits, it’ll be here for a while.

  41. Shore Guy says:

    # 36 “PPI was scary high and housing starts fell by the most in 17 years. I expect the DJIA to rally by 300 points.”

    What you say would be funny if it were not a reflection of the madness that has actually accompanied similar reports these past months. When the market ceases to trade on fundamentals, the market gains fail to reflect the true health of the economy and people should not look to market gains as a measure of economic health. But, if the market goes up, it will be reported as “all is well” or at least “better.”

  42. 3b says:

    #25 clot: He is also predicting consolidation in the IB area. So we should expect to see another failure like Bear.

  43. Al says:

    njpatient Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 8:40 am
    I’m going to ask for a 10% raise today.

    Let us know how it goes….

    My Company’s CEO said – we need to cut costs. So 3% raise for you. Basically – if you want a raise – quit….

    One more year and good bye NJ for me….

  44. Stu says:

    Laughing (16):

    “The calculations change, however, when mortgage rates go even higher. Once the rates move above 7.36 percent, they begin to lose the benefits of the 9 percent drop in the house price.”

    But wouldn’t you also expect real estate values to drop at a quicker pace once interest rates ticked up to levels where loans are cost prohibitive? Correct me if I’m wrong, but from my perch there appears to be a strong inverse relationship between mortgage interest rates and housing prices which becomes exaggerated at the bottom and top of the interest rate spectrum. Some would even say that the 5% Fed Rates caused the housing bubble in the first place.

    Raise the rates to 10%. Watch housing prices drop dramatically, then watch the competition over the current inventory increase and start a new housing bubble all over again.

  45. 3b says:

    #34 BC Bob: So much for Bergabe, and his moderating inflation.

  46. Victorian says:

    I hear that our beloved Pres is going to announce a new welfare program –

    “No Bank left Behind”

  47. Stu says:

    “No Bank left Behind”

    Awesome Victorian

  48. Al says:

    Raise the rates to 10%. Watch housing prices drop dramatically, then watch the competition over the current inventory increase and start a new housing bubble all over again

    If right now rates will go up dramatically – there will be no immediate corresponding drop in prices.

    It will be the end of housing market for a year or two.

    Only sales you will see will be FK and BK.

    There will be no new construction as it will be impossible to build cheap enough, and existing owners will not sell for 50% from what they want to get.

    RE will be in a state of paralysis for a year or two.

  49. make money says:

    Re,

    Ben can’t shine Roubini’s shoes. Ben’s a sell out. he sold the american people and it’s middle class and is nothing but a puppet sting.

    Rogers told you that Monday morning when Hank wanted an empty check he’s short Fannie and Freddy and gonna short some more into the rally.

    Here’s the right thing to do with Fannie and Freddy considering the mess we’re into now. Wipe out the share holders, make the bond holders take a haircut and take them over and sell the profitable peaces.

    This will realize and minimize the losses and allow houses to bottom.

  50. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Wholesale Inflation Jumps Well Above Forecasts

    Wholesale inflation surged in July, leaving prices for the past year rising at the fastest pace in 27 years, according to government data.

    The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices shot up 1.2 percent in July, pushed higher by rising costs for energy, motor vehicles and other products.

    The increase was more than twice the 0.5 percent gain that economists expected. Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.7 percent.

    That increase was the biggest since November 2006 and more than triple the 0.2 percent rise in core prices that had been expected.

    The bad news on wholesale prices followed a report last week that consumer prices shot up by 0.8 percent in July, leaving consumer inflation rising at the fastest pace in 27 years.

  51. All Hype says:

    Everything Uncle Ben has said in the public has been a lie. I do not know why anyone listens to him. He is the court jester of the financial world. The sad thing is he controls the money supply.

  52. Shore Guy says:

    # 46

    Actually it is no BANKER left behind.

  53. V.N. says:

    So, who can tell me what the best locations are in Bucks County PA? I need to commute to Somerville, NJ, not NYC. My boss (a multimillionaire who tired of NJ taxes) last year moved out there from Princeton, and says he can make it to work in 45 minutes of scenic driving.

    Key concerns are elementary school quality. Plus I’d like 5br, 3.5 baths, a pretty lot, ideally under $800k.

  54. kettle1 says:

    I nominate Johns post at 29 for post of the day for the gratuitous Snake Pliskin mention.

    When do they get him back to make Escape From NJ

  55. Shore Guy says:

    #53 I know folks who like Yardley and Newtown areas. Easy to hop onto 95 to head into NJ, and no tolls.

  56. kettle1 says:

    Clott 40,

    if/when deflation shows up we will most likely not be on this blog to talk about it. we will probably be to busy worry about more essential things in life such a dinner.

  57. Victorian says:

    OT –
    Saw a homeless guy in NYC begging for money the other day. His sign-
    “I believe in Mr. O. I want change”.

  58. max says:

    “so many on the public dole that reform becomes virtually impossible”

    NJ the Welfare State.

  59. BC Bob says:

    Ben is an economics professor, no banking experience. Maybe we should raise the bar? The mimimum level of experience required to be Fed Pres; some marginal experience underwriting loans? Hey, let’s be a bit stern, after all they are responsible for regulating banking instituitons; a hint of experience within risk management?

    No, we get a puppet with a brain cramp regarding the great depression.

  60. John says:

    Thank you GM. I get my check next week for my totaled car. Don’t know if I will buy new but last time they did employee pricing it crushed resale on one to two year old models as those buyers opted for new instead.

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) Discuss
    GM 10.36, -0.82, -7.3%) said Tuesday it would offer short-term deep discounts on a wide line-up of 2008 and some 2009 cars to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The company said it would offer the public the same price given to its own employees on most Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Saturn, Cadillac, Saab and Hummer vehicles, from Aug. 20 through Sept. 2.

  61. grim says:

    Employee pricing? How creative.

  62. chicagofinance says:

    My take on this blog in recent weeks….don’t get stuck in the weeds…..if the economy is %ucked, at least enjoy yourself in the meantime…

  63. grim says:

    Ok, something has got to be missing here, because thinking about this one just makes my head hurt.

    From the AP:

    NYC bus workers file suit against diesel makers

    A group of New York City bus workers claim in a lawsuit that diesel exhaust from idling buses exposed them to severe illnesses, including lung and throat cancer.

    The lawsuit, filed in state court on Monday, names 13 diesel engine manufacturers, including General Motors, Northrop Grumman and Orion Bus Industries.

    The workers, bus drivers and mechanics employed by NYC Transit, claim buses sometimes idled all night in depots. The lawsuit says the companies knew “the belching of these fumes was a dangerous byproduct.”

  64. 3b says:

    #61 grim: Flipping around on TV last night, I saw an ad for Chrysler and I am pretty sure it said they were offering 20 to 40% off MSRP on all of their products.

    Is that a sale, or a going out of business sale?

  65. BC Bob says:

    “Is that a sale, or a going out of business sale?”

    3b,

    Did they bring back Crazy Eddie for the commercial?

  66. John says:

    Don’t laugh Grim, My friend who goes to the Newburgh dealer auction told me back in June/July of 2005 when nearly all the car companies did employee pricing the dealer auction got flooded with late model trade in cars and it drove down prices. Remember when they did employee pricing in 2005 they stole 2006 customers by making them buy sooner rather than later. Even worse that flood of 2005 employee pricing cars are now all around three years old so that floof of 2005 cars are ready to hit the auction, next week is a good time to buy a very cheap used 2005 car at auction. If you pick one that came with a four year factory warranty you are set. Trouble is once again GM is leading the way at wrecking residuals which is troube for the banks. Don’t laugh but when 2009 CTS’s are going for 30K the 5 series and e class becomes a much harder sale at 50K. They are better cars, but when you are putting down 10K that is the difference between a 20K loan or a 40K loan.

    Grim Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 9:26 am
    Employee pricing? How creative.

  67. HEHEHE says:

    Bankruptcy spike blamed on mortgage mess

    A 31 percent increase in bankruptcies in New York City has been blamed on the subprime mortgage crisis. About 14,400 were recorded over the year’s first seven months, compared to 11,026 in the same period last year.

    http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/bankruptcy-spike-blamed-on-mortgage-mess

  68. lostinny says:

    67 Hehehe
    But NY is immune!

  69. bairen says:

    I’m really thinking about pulling up stakes from NJ next summer and heading out.

    The problem is where would we go? I want some place with better weather, lower cost of living, and diverse population like NJ’s.

    Can only think of Portland, OR off the top of my head. Any other ideas?

  70. Stu says:

    “I want some place with better weather, lower cost of living, and diverse population like NJ’s.”

    San Quentin?

  71. Young Buck says:

    69. Bairen

    Portland meets your better weather criteria?

  72. bairen says:

    #70 Stu,

    you wanna be roommates?

  73. PGC says:

    #69 barian

    Vancouver or Seattle.

  74. skep-tic says:

    #32

    njp– seriously? are you counsel?

  75. bairen says:

    #71 Young buck,

    Portland’s better than NJ’s. And they do have houses in the 250k to 300k range in middle class areas. Unlike NJ where 230k puts you in a tiny 2 bedroom condo in Somerset.

    Seattle is too grey for my taste. Although I did get a lot of exercise stepping over the homeless grunge kids when I was there in 2002.

  76. bairen says:

    #njp,

    Just asked to be paid in Canadian or Aussie dollars instead. Even the Yuan.

  77. SG says:

    “I want some place with better weather, lower cost of living, and diverse population like NJ’s.”

    Check out, Austin, TX.

  78. bairen says:

    #73 Pgc,

    Never been to Vancouver. May check it out next year.

  79. spam spam bacon spam says:

    hoo boy. The Poconos are completely riddeled with White Trash.

    Get this…I KNOW HER. (I hang my head…)
    http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080109/NEWS/801090325

    Shannon Stone had only been married a few minutes when he looked over the aisles of the convenience store, stocked with potato chips and beef jerky, to search for his new bride.

    “She’s not working is she?” he asked.

    Stone had just married Dawn Kowalchuk-Zalek in a unique ceremony at the Pen Mart convenience store on Route 196 in Tobyhanna where Dawn is a manager.

    “This is my first mini-mart wedding,” she said.

    The store was closed between 2 and 3 p.m. to allow the wedding some privacy.

    “I’m very appreciative, for lack of a better word, that the owners would allow us to close the store,” Dawn said after the wedding.

    The couple plans to remain in the area [thank gawd] to begin their life together, …

  80. Al says:

    grim Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 9:30 am
    Ok, something has got to be missing here, because thinking about this one just makes my head hurt.

    From the AP:

    NYC bus workers file suit against diesel makers

    A group of New York City bus workers claim in a lawsuit that diesel exhaust from idling buses exposed them to severe illnesses, including lung and throat cancer.

    The lawsuit, filed in state court on Monday, names 13 diesel engine manufacturers, including General Motors, Northrop Grumman and Orion Bus Industries.
    The workers, bus drivers and mechanics employed by NYC Transit, claim buses sometimes idled all night in depots. The lawsuit says the companies knew “the belching of these fumes was a dangerous byproduct.”

    It is the Case of TML – Too Many Lawyers!!!

    Why don’t name oil companies as defendants as well – they are making this evil Diesel fuel.

    How much do you want to be that most of thouse drivers were smokers??

    P.S. Lawyers and Lawsuits have being killing manufacturing and Long Term Buisnesses for years in USA.

  81. bairen says:

    #77 SG,

    Austin could be a good choice, but it is real hot. My sister used to live there. Not sure if I want to find rattle snakes in my yard and scorpions in my house on a regular basis. Would have to get a pack of terriers and let them patrol the yard.

  82. Young Buck says:

    75. Bairen

    Yea looks like you’re right. I thought Oregon would be colder than NJ.

    http://www.city-data.com/city/Portland-Oregon.html

    How about Charlotte? (cue Mitchell)

  83. njpatient says:

    29 john

    “In New Jersey the bottom 60% of households pay only 1% of the tax.”

    Bull$hit.

  84. bairen says:

    #79 spam

    That’s so romantic. I guess the bowling alley was already booked?

  85. Victorian says:

    78- Bairen

    I lived in Victoria, B.C. for a couple of years. The main thing I noticed about Canada was that it is tough to get rich from scratch, but you can make a comfortable living if you have the right kind of skills.
    Also, I did not see abject poverty as is prevalent in some parts of the U.S. – a more equal society IMO.
    And the weather on the west coast of Canada – Victoria + Vancouver – is divine!!

    Vancouver has a lot of Chinese and Indian population. Chinese were brought in the early 20th Century to build the railroads and the Indians have been farming over there for more than a century.

    I think the part of Canada which is booming right now is Alberta – Calgary, Edmonton etc. – mostly energy related.

  86. max says:

    now that’s an idea.. NJ could raise money
    by allowing the NJ turnpike stops to be used as Wedding Venues.

    Why not? NJ ,, Shameless

  87. John says:

    Nope, chart in Newsday today had it in Nassau County LI which is similar income to BC that the bottom 60% pay only 1%. In general nation wide the bottom 60% pay almost no taxes. If you look at the income chart amazingly 60% of people earn under 70K in total household income and with kids and deductions basically pay peanuts in taxes.

    From 2000 to 2006, shifts occurred in the numbers of people at different income levels on Long Island – especially those considered middle class. The Long Island Regional Planning Board divided Long Island into four income groups: low-income, lower middle-income, upper-middle income and high-income. The income amounts for 2006 are in inflation-adjusted dollars, making them comparable to 2000 income data.

    2000 2006

    Income group Household income / % of LI households Change 2000 to 2006

    Low-income Under $30G 19.4% Under $35G 19.4% No change

    Lower middle-income $30K-74G 35.8% $35K-87.5G 38.3% Up 7.6%

    Upper middle-income $75K-99G 17% $87.5K-116.5G 13.8% Down 18.8%

    High-income $100G+ 27.8% $116.5G+ 32.2% Up 16.2%

    Bankrupt AHM to repay some creditors 5.9% of debt
    BY EMI ENDO | emi.endo@newsday.com
    8:26 AM EDT, August 19, 2008
    Unsecured creditors are to be repaid no more than 5.9 percent of what they are owed by bankrupt American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., Bloomberg News is reporting.

    Using cash from the sale of its assets, the former Melville-based company will pay nothing or less than 1 percent to many creditors, according to court documents in the ongoing bankruptcy case in Wilmington, Del. The company previously estimated it had about $4.63 billion in debt.

    More than 6,000 people lost their jobs after American Home went bankrupt in August a year ago when it became swamped with margin calls from backers retreating from trouble in the mortgage market.

    njpatient Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 10:26 am
    29 john

    “In New Jersey the bottom 60% of households pay only 1% of the tax.”

    Bull$hit.

  88. bairen says:

    #86 John,

    What are the median house prices in that area?

  89. kettle1 says:

    bairen:

    Vancouver BC would be my choice for best place to move. been there a few times and love it. Dont know i could convince the wife though?
    Can you get dual citizenship, or do you need to become a canadian?

  90. kettle1 says:

    John 86

    wrong again. it appears that the US already has a flat tax. almost everyone pays an effective rate of 40%

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/Advice/YourRealTaxRate40.aspx

    We have a national flat tax, albeit one with bumps and potholes.

    The fact that the political parties won’t acknowledge this is one reason they are doing a disservice to the voting public.

    Instead, both parties have a vested interest in the theatrical possibilities created by the idea of graduated tax rates. Notice that I said “the idea of” graduated tax rates. That should not be confused with reality.

    Democrats argue that taxes on the rich should be raised because others need the money. This wins votes from the legions of voters who aren’t rich.

    Republicans argue, with great piety, that high taxes crush incentives and should be reduced, and that only then will the American way see a new dawn.

    Politicians talk this way because they generally talk about only one tax: the federal income tax, which offers graduated rates from 10% to 35%.

    Politicians rarely talk about what real people experience: the true maze of taxes and government benefits. If someone put them all together, we could see what our actual tax burden was. We could see who pays at the highest or lowest rates. Discussions of tax policy wouldn’t be a waste of time.

    Well, two researchers did it.

    In a study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Boston University economists Laurence J. Kotlikoff and David Rapson have found that our all-in marginal tax rate is 40%, give or take a bit. Yes, you read that right: 40%.

  91. Stu says:

    Best thing about Vancouver is that street vendors sell vegetarian hot dogs and Whistler is only about an hours drive away.

  92. bairen says:

    #88 kettle1,

    Vancouver BC sounds great. One of my sister’s friends moved there and has no interest in moving back. I don’t know what it takes to get a visa to move there.

  93. Shore Guy says:

    Lexington KY is also supposed to be a very nice area. I did nit believe it at first but, a number of couples (including some gay and lesbian couples) we know have said it was the best place they ever lived and want to go back.

    Who knew?

  94. Shore Guy says:

    The heck with Crazie Eddie:

    “Crazie Ben, his currency prices are i-n-s-a-n-eeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  95. Shore Guy says:

    93 In Moderation

  96. chicagofinance says:

    2 points about the NorthWest….it is really far away from here and it is more disconnected than you could ever imagine due to distance and time zones…if that appeals to you great, but you might also end up like Cobain if you are wired for the East Coast…

  97. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Fed must keep finger on the trigger: Fisher

    Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said Tuesday the Fed should be prepared to hike rates at a moment’s notice if it becomes evident that inflation is out of control.

    It is just too early to know for sure whether inflation will quickly recede as a threat, Fisher said.

    “And until we have a clear sense of what will prevail, monetary policy makers must remain poised to act if slowing growth fails to contain inflation pressures,” Fisher said in a speech to a business group in Aspen, Colo.

    Although conventional wisdom is that inflation may soon peak as oil prices drop and the economy slows, Fisher said this may turn out to be wishful thinking.

    He said he worried that the economy may have already come down with a case of inflation “fever” from the surge in oil prices.

  98. Young Buck says:

    82 in moderation

  99. Young Buck says:

    82 in moderation

  100. chicagofinance says:

    grimmy: the fat faced Nudger might make the celluloid event …

  101. bairen says:

    #98 chicagofinance

    True, but I did 3+ years in Australia. Hard to get more disconnected from the rest of the world than that.

  102. bairen says:

    #94 Shore guy,

    didn’t know Lexingotn, KY had such an appeal.

  103. reinvestor X says:

    That’s no solution. All that does is hurt all the investors which are not only domestic but worldwide. That impairs our ability to continue to sell treasuries and imperils the USD as a consequence. Morover a move like that will imperil the entire worldwide economic situation more that what you terrorists have done already. You bears just want to see a total collapse for purely selfish reasons. The obligations this nation carries to the world are too big to allow a total collapse, notwithstanding you guy’s selfish desire to get a house on the cheap

    This thing has got to be unwound very slowly and the path we’re on will ensure that’s the case.

    (49)make money Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 9:07 am
    Re,

    Ben can’t shine Roubini’s shoes. Ben’s a sell out. he sold the american people and it’s middle class and is nothing but a puppet sting.

    Rogers told you that Monday morning when Hank wanted an empty check he’s short Fannie and Freddy and gonna short some more into the rally.

    Here’s the right thing to do with Fannie and Freddy considering the mess we’re into now. Wipe out the share holders, make the bond holders take a haircut and take them over and sell the profitable peaces.

    This will realize and minimize the losses and allow houses to bottom.

  104. max says:

    Will NJ ever regain its muster?

  105. bairen says:

    #105 reinvestorx

    This thing has got to be unwound very slowly and the path we’re on will ensure that’s the case.

    how did that work for Japan?

  106. Stu says:

    “This thing has got to be unwound very slowly and the path we’re on will ensure that’s the case.”

    My solution is slightly different. Take all of the members of the executive boards of the IBs, mortgage banks, rating companies and anyone else related to the selling of GSEs or funky loan products and have them return three quarters of what they earned between 2004 and 2007. Lord knows they did not deserve the pay and bonuses in the first place. This should easily provide the government enough capital to help troubled homeowners renegotiate fair terms with their lenders. It will also put the punishment where it belongs and not on the shoulders of those who did not partake in the funny business (most of us here).

    Or…we could just keep on cutting the taxes on people who make 250K per year and up and force those under this economic line to give up an even larger percentage of their overall take.

    Bet we see the latter option.

  107. jonbd says:

    I was down in Wilmington, North Carolina for 2 years and moved back up north in February. The beach was amazing, but the housing prices were much more than I expected. And the property taxes were being reassessed 10-fold right when I was leaving. There is very little work down there and old money plantation families pretty much piss on “Yankees”. The schools are bad, I had alot of friends that were teachers and were getting half NJ salary. There were alot of transplants there way before I got there, when it was much cheaper.

  108. John says:

    Well Lexington KY does have a lot of horses that those people can enjoy, and unlike Queen Victoria they have better lifts today so they won’t get crushed.

    In 1985 I saw the final four in Lexington KY and was in the front row under hoop. Vill beat Georgetown in championship, greatest college game ever.

    In the first round when St. John’s lost the damm CBS cameraman kept blocking my brothers view and we complained to him that we paid good bucks to sit here and he is blocking our view. Cameraman said if SJU comes back he will make it up to us. So SJU does come back and Georgetown calls time out, during commercial CBS gets my brother out on floor to do the “We are St. John’s Roar” When CBS comes back on live he is still out on floor for like 5 seconds in front of 20,000 screaming fams and a few million watching the game with Chris Mullen, Patrick Ewing, Walter Berry and Mark Jackson on the sidelines waiting to get back in game. Was pretty cool, my friends cousin was a Vill cheerleader so we partied with the Vill players and cheerleaders after the next game. There is a DVD in blockbuster called greatest college basketball moments. They do a whole think on the Georgetown/Vill 1985 championship game and in the DVD they show how both teams made it there and they have the clip of my brother out on the court screaming “we are st. john’s” you can also see me in the dvd as I am right under hoop.

  109. skep-tic says:

    #90 kettle– I am very skeptical about that conclusion. You can look at the chart and see the tax rate approaches 50% for people making $150,000. It declines as you go higher than $200,000, but my guess is that many people in this group make a substantial portion of their money from investments and have the ability to take substantial write offs in the form of business expenses and capital losses. People whose salaries are above $200,000 are almost certainly paying at least 50% of their income in taxes since they are in high marginal brackets and are subject to the AMT. Certain areas of the country such as NY and CA have a lot of households who fit this description. These are the people who really get screwed when politicians start to argue that our tax policy is not progressive enough.

  110. RentinginNJ says:

    ‘Liar loans’ threaten to prolong mortgage crisis

    This is New Jersey’s Achilles heel. When I raise the mortgage crisis issue, Realtor’s® are always quick to tell me that the “subprime crisis” is someone else’s problem; not of concern in prestigious NJ.

    Liar’s loans, however, are another story.

    http://www.newyorkfed.org/mortgagemaps/
    select ALT-A and “share low or no documentation”

  111. BC Bob says:

    “All that does is hurt all the investors which are not only domestic but worldwide.”

    50.5,

    The shareholders are toast.

  112. Stu says:

    Mr. O wants to reduces taxes for those under 250K and raise them for those above.

    Mr. M pretty much favors the opposite.

    Mr. O had a racist pastor.

    Mr. M is slightly less moronic then Mr. B, but both were losers in almost everything in life.

    I respect that Mr. M was a POW, but I would much rather elect someone who didn’t get caught by the enemy.

    I also don’t expect a response from bi since the DJIA is down over 100 points.

  113. HEHEHE says:

    RE 108,

    Stu, sounds like a plan.

  114. NJLifer says:

    105 Reinvestor

    “notwithstanding you guy’s selfish desire to get a house on the cheap”

    So are you saying that it is was our patriotic duty to buy a house at historically overpriced levels? How many houses did you buy during peak to support that cause? Selfishness is putting your kids future in danger by taking out toxic loans and living beyond your means, all so you can drive a German car.

  115. BC Bob says:

    “Vill beat Georgetown in championship, greatest college game ever.”

    John,

    BS. Duke/Kentucky, 1992;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-iq58_oz4

    Don’t forget Jimmy V over Phi Slama Jama.

  116. skep-tic says:

    the question is how much can you squeeze the above $250k people before they stop producing? I am about at that level and my wife and I concluded that it simply wasn’t worth it for her to work after taking into account taxes and childcare expenses. She mad about $70k as a teacher. I think this is a clear example of how too high of a tax burden backfires. The gov’t definitely loses revenue from households like mine by disincentivizing the lower earning spouse from working. If you raise rates even higher on this group, the disincentive to work will be that much higher.

  117. Stu says:

    I would give anything to remember who when asked what is the best investment option out there suggested FNM and FRE be shorted. This was back in late 2005 on Bloomberg radio. I would buy this gentleman a beer.

  118. Stu says:

    Skep –

    Why did the Rockefeller’s and Ford’s keep working in the 30s when their effective tax rate was over 90%?

    You are in a unique situation with your wife. Most wives of high earners do not work, unless you consider hot stone massages as a form of employment.

  119. Victorian says:

    114 Stu-

    Mr O did not perform well in the Rick Warren forum. He will lose the election.

    I fear for the electorate in this country. Why is “faith” such an important factor in governance? Not saying “O” is the answer to all our prayers – but given the choices, he is the better choice by a mile.

  120. Shore Guy says:

    In moderation again

  121. Stu says:

    I agree that people put way too much value in “faith”. I have a funny feeling that O will win the popular vote, but there are just too many Americans in the red states that could not pull the lever for a black man that he will lose the electoral college.

    These red staters might say they will vote for O in a poll, but they won’t actually do it at the polls.

    If M wins, I will increase my holdings in Unilever, full owner of the Vaseline brand.

  122. BC Bob says:

    It’s a shame that Mr Mudd wasn’t blogging on this site in 06-07′.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/18/AR2008081802111.html

  123. kettle1 (Anti-Re101) says:

    This country is sick, very sick. We have a systemic cancer coursing through our body. We deny the illness day after day because we fear the pain that comes with the cure.
    We are either going to die a slow painful death or we are going to acknowledge our illness and wipe out the cancer with a massive dose of Chemo.
    The treatment will hurt, and will make us all very sick for a while. But in the end it is our only option.
    Any true patriot who believes in the principles this country was founded on will step up and fulfill their responsibility as Americans, as the benefactors of those who fought for liberty throughout our past. They will demand that America stop living beyond its means, demand accountability of the CEO robber barons and political lackeys who have fleeced the country and the people for unheard of sums of money. We will acknowledge that the price to be paid is ours and should not be pushed up our unborn children and grandchildren simply to spare us the consequences of our actions.
    Fate shall soon unmask the true patriots and show the fat swollen leaches sucking off of the american spirit for what they are.

  124. skep-tic says:

    Stu– Honestly, with all due respect (and I am not saying this sarcastically), I think you jump to the same conclusion that many people jump too– that the “rich” are primarily made up of Rockefeller types. There are far more families like mine that have one or two wage earners that add up to low $100,000s annually than there are people sitting on vast piles of wealth. My situation is not that unusual in the NYC area. Many couples I know who are starting to have kids are facing the same financial issue. Of course, I understand that I am very lucky to be in the position I am in. I am simply saying that raising tax rates may not always result in higher tax revenues. I believe that my situation illustrates this and I tend to think that if rates are raised substantially higher, there will be many more families that reach the same conclusion we did.

  125. BC Bob says:

    “Any true patriot who believes in the principles this country was founded on will step up and fulfill their responsibility as Americans, as the benefactors of those who fought for liberty throughout our past.”

    Kettle,

    I agree. Short every kool aid induced rally.

  126. Jamey says:

    29:

    Snake Plissken? I thought he was dead.

  127. Luminent Mtg defaults on debt. They’ve received a demand letter on about $41mil in jr. notes.
    No link.
    They’re somewhat large and located in Philly.
    Just and FYI.

  128. Stu says:

    Skep,

    The gator and I are not far from where you are financially only are salaries are more balanced. Believe me, I don’t consider myself a Rockefeller or a Ford. Shoot, I can not even afford a Ford. But seriously, AMT is the killer in our salary range and I’m pretty certain that it was with intent that it was never ratcheted up to match inflation. I hear what you are saying, but say the income tax bracket from 250K to 400K goes from 35 to 37 and from 400K to 1000K goes from 35 to 40 and then from 1 mill up to 42 K. Is this really going to kill American business?

    During the Billy C. years, any family over $161,500 paid 39.6%. Businesses didn’t exactly collapse during his rein.

    Bottom line is, I’m rapidly approaching the brackets defined for increases by Mr. O and would be willing to pay for it, but only if those above me paid a little more. It’s only fair IMO.

  129. Clotpoll says:

    BC (117)-

    Anytime Dook loses, it is the greatest college game ever.

  130. bairen says:

    #126 skep-tic

    Exactly. Unles the lower paid spouse is earning over 80k a year the 2 income family is a myth for people with multiple kids young enough to require daycare.

    daycare for 2 little kids is going to run 30k a year or more. Even after school care costs $175 to $250 a week, plus you need to pay for camps and breaks.

  131. kettle1 (Anti-Re101) says:

    jamey 128

    I though he would be taller.

  132. Stu says:

    Citi just offered me .125 off of their current mortgage rates in an email for having such great credit.

    Woo hoo!

  133. Stu says:

    Bairen (132) says “Exactly. Unles the lower paid spouse is earning over 80k a year the 2 income family is a myth for people with multiple kids young enough to require daycare.”

    Or do your patriotic duty and just have one or less kids ;)

  134. Stu says:

    From last night’s discussion…Someone had asked if I simply made up the allegations about how the Chinese have been suspected of breeding athletes.

    Here is a link to the creation of Yao Ming.

    http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501051114/story.html

    The Gator also says there is some controversy surrounding the true age of many of the Chinese gymnasts.

    In other news, I had delicious Eggplant and Garlic Sauce for dinner last night.

  135. Shore Guy says:

    Ket

    Amen (which, as everyone may remember, means “let it be so”)

  136. skep-tic says:

    Stu–

    Glad to hear you get what I’m saying. Unfortunately, aspiring presidents are planning on financing their grand plans with our money. Your marginal rate will go up 2 to 5%, your soc security and medicare taxes will go up 2-4% (based on Mr. O’s latest statement) and any money you manage to make off investments will be taxed 10% higher as well. This all starts to add up pretty substantially if you ask me, and this assumes that there are no as-yet-undisclosed tax hikes in store. But then again, we are “rich,” so we can afford it.

  137. bairen says:

    #135 Stu

    Or do your patriotic duty and just have one or less kids ;)

    I thought my patriotic duty was to go shopping and buy a house I can’t afford using a ninja option arm.

  138. Jamey says:

    117:

    Dwane “The Pearl” Washington heaves a half-courter to beat Boston College at the buzzer, 1984.

    THAT was the best game ever.

  139. NJl$rd says:

    NJ RE + Freedom Writers Report?

    http://www.freedomwritersfoundation.org/site/c.kqIXL2PFJtH/b.2259977/k.AFD3/FAQ.htm
    What makes the Freedom Writers Method unique?

    Many teaching methods aim to increase students’ interest in school and, in turn, help to decrease high school drop-out rates. The Freedom Writers Method differs in several ways:

    * The Freedom Writers Method not only increases the involvement and satisfaction of students with school but also of teachers. Teachers on the brink of quitting the profession find renewed energy and focus for teaching using a method that helps them to better reach their students.

    * The ripple effect of the Freedom Writers story brings students and educators together in an environment that promotes acceptance and embraces diversity. Instead of judging others by their economic standing, the color of their skin, or their learning abilities – students learn from each other and find common threads in their lives.

    * Much of the educational community and the public at large believes that “at-risk” kids can not learn until society fixes the problems that make kids at-risk in the first place (i.e. broken families, poverty, gang violence, etc.). Erin’s method teaches that the answers to society’s problems are in educating the kids. Until we do this, the problems cannot be fixed. This simple difference is what offers the most hope to this nation to improve the lives.

  140. kettle1 says:

    has anyone mentioned this yet??

    The Shanghai SSE composite index is now below 2320, the lowest since the amazing run up started in 2006. The index is off over 60% from the peak.

    Chart from CR http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/08/shanghai-gold-medal-in-cliff-diving.html

    As the index drops so does business investment. As business investment drops so does business. As business drops, can/will china continue to loan the USA obscene amounts of money on a daily basis? The cracks are starting to show in the consumerist facade.

    deflation rearing its head?

    Data compiled by Lombard Street Research shows that the M3 ”broad money” aggregates fell by almost $50bn (£26.8bn) in July, the biggest one-month fall since modern records began in 1959.

    “Monthly data for July show that the broad money growth has almost collapsed,” said Gabriel Stein, the group’s leading monetary economist.

    On a three-month basis, the M3 growth rate has fallen from almost 19pc earlier this year to just 2.1pc (annualised) for the period from May to July. This is below the rate of inflation, implying a shrinkage in real terms.

    The growth in bank loans has turned negative to a halt since March.

    “It’s obviously worrying. People either can’t borrow, or don’t want to borrow even if they can,” said Mr Stein.

    Monetarists say it is the sharpness of the drop that is most disturbing, rather than the absolute level. Moves of this speed are extremely rare….
    with chart: http://tinyurl.com/62ofbs

  141. kettle1 says:

    has anyone mentioned this yet??

    The Shanghai SSE composite index is now below 2320, the lowest since the amazing run up started in 2006. The index is off over 60% from the peak.

    Chart from CR http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/08/shanghai-gold-medal-in-cliff-diving.html

    As the index drops so does business investment. As business investment drops so does business. As business drops, can/will china continue to loan the USA obscene amounts of money on a daily basis? The cracks are starting to show in the consumerist facade.

  142. BC Bob says:

    Jamey [141],

    I almost threw my TV out the window that night.

  143. kettle1 says:

    deflation rearing its head?

    Data compiled by Lombard Street Research shows that the M3 ”broad money” aggregates fell by almost $50bn (£26.8bn) in July, the biggest one-month fall since modern records began in 1959.

    “Monthly data for July show that the broad money growth has almost collapsed,” said Gabriel Stein, the group’s leading monetary economist.

    On a three-month basis, the M3 growth rate has fallen from almost 19pc earlier this year to just 2.1pc (annualized) for the period from May to July. This is below the rate of inflation, implying a shrinkage in real terms.

    The growth in bank loans has turned negative to a halt since March.

    “It’s obviously worrying. People either can’t borrow, or don’t want to borrow even if they can,” said Mr Stein.

    Monetarists say it is the sharpness of the drop that is most disturbing, rather than the absolute level. Moves of this speed are extremely rare….
    with chart: http://tinyurl.com/62ofbs

  144. Jamey says:

    133: So I gather that there are at least a handful of folk hereabouts who, when Isaac Hayes died last week, they said either, “car trouble?”, or “You’re the DUKE! You’re A-Number One!!!”

  145. njpatient says:

    74 skep

    “njp– seriously? are you counsel?”

    nah – I just figure with PPI up 10% YOY….

  146. Jamey says:

    But it was f’ing amazing, right? All that hype, and “Fat Butt” comes through on a nationally-televised contest. Surprised that it doesn’t get more notice as the G-O-A-T.

    ps: No disrespect to BC intended (and sorry about your TV). It was just the best game I ever watched. Some joked with me, saying that my later decision to attend SU was based on the outcome. I was impressionable as a kid, but not THAT impressionable…

  147. HEHEHE says:

    No Limit to Greenspan’s Once-In-A-Century Events: Caroline Baum

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aQDn.ZYPabIg

  148. Laughing all the way says:

    So, who can tell me what the best locations are in Bucks County PA? I need to commute to Somerville, NJ, not NYC. My boss (a multimillionaire who tired of NJ taxes) last year moved out there from Princeton, and says he can make it to work in 45 minutes of scenic driving.

    Key concerns are elementary school quality. Plus I’d like 5br, 3.5 baths, a pretty lot, ideally under $800k.

    Just moved out here four months ago. Haven’t been all around the County, but so far, it seems like Washington Crossing and Newtown are the best for schools (well, high schools).

    You could look at New Hope, too. With a budget of 800k, you’ll get a damn sweet place. And much lower taxes than NJ (i’d guess about half).

    Newtown will put you about 45 mins to Philly, and 90 mins from NYC.

  149. reinvestor X says:

    Well you write real pretty, but are dead wrong. There’s nothing wrong with this country that a tax cut and a loosening of the credit spigots wou’t cure. The brutal truth is this: a concerted effort was undertaken by a few unpatriotic individuals to undermine our real estate markets. That is evidenced by all the gleeful cheering that permeates many blogs. Just yesterday, someone here was trying to decide if they should wait it out in NJ to see if they can get a house on the cheap based on someone else’s misery.

    What was Greenspan supposed to do in the aftermath of 9-11??? Let the damn terrorists succeed in collapsing this economy? Why did the president tell everyone to support American business in the aftermath of 9-11? He did that because that’s what we needed to do. Al Quaida was out to destroy us, but they don’t have to work too hard to do that because now they have the assistance of home grown real estate terrorists doing their work for them to upend the markets.

    Save your pretty words and high talk for those who are ready to be deceived that economic collapse is good for America. You can’t be a patriot and wish for that. I’m fundamentally opposed to that view.

    kettle1 (Anti-Re101) Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 11:44 am
    This country is sick, very sick. We have a systemic cancer coursing through our body. We deny the illness day after day because we fear the pain that comes with the cure.
    We are either going to die a slow painful death or we are going to acknowledge our illness and wipe out the cancer with a massive dose of Chemo.
    The treatment will hurt, and will make us all very sick for a while. But in the end it is our only option.
    Any true patriot who believes in the principles this country was founded on will step up and fulfill their responsibility as Americans, as the benefactors of those who fought for liberty throughout our past. They will demand that America stop living beyond its means, demand accountability of the CEO robber barons and political lackeys who have fleeced the country and the people for unheard of sums of money. We will acknowledge that the price to be paid is ours and should not be pushed up our unborn children and grandchildren simply to spare us the consequences of our actions.
    Fate shall soon unmask the true patriots and show the fat swollen leaches sucking off of the american spirit for what they are.

  150. njpatient says:

    87 john

    “Nope, chart in Newsday today had it in Nassau County LI which is similar income to BC that the bottom 60% pay only 1%”

    That chart ignores most taxes. It is, in fact, bull$hit.

    It’s as much a bunch of bull$hit as it would be if they published a chart that said “people making $80K/year pay payroll taxes at TEN TIMES the rate of people making $10M/year. It’s outrageous!”

    Stupid.

  151. Mike NJ says:

    All this tax talk has made me angry. I would be more than willing to pay more taxes if it was equally distributed, but of course it won’t be. Then we have O saying he will increase social security payments. So you are telling me I will now be paying SS over the $100K or so I pay now with no increase in payments? No freaking way. SS is not welfare, plain and simple. To increase the tax for some and then not offer an increase in payouts is absolute blasphemy. That fact alone will get me out every evening with M signs in hand. Heck, I even like O and aside from SS I might have even voted for him. Absolute rubbish.

  152. njpatient says:

    90 kettle

    Exactly.

    Have to get past the cherry-picking to talk about the issue.

  153. max says:

    to make it from newtown to nyc in 90 you need a batmobile

  154. Sean says:

    re: #29 John my uncle a retired “irish bus driver” gamed the system. He retired after putting in his 20 years at the MTA driving a bus up and down Broadway and moved his whole family back to Ireland. He is 75 now and has been retired since 1981. 27 years retired so far.

  155. House Hunter says:

    v.n. schools in PA.
    Yardley is Pensbury school district, newtown is Council rock (ask to see homes in the council rock school district which I believe is ranked better than Pensbury)

  156. Laughing all the way says:

    to make it from newtown to nyc in 90 you need a batmobile

    No, man. I’ve done is several times. I did, however, forget to mention the TIME of day you did it. 90 mins cannot (PROBABLY) be done in rush hour. At least that’s my guess.

    I have my own business from home, so when i go into NYC, i head in at off-peak hours.

  157. Laughing all the way says:

    re: taxes. wife and i got lucky this year work-wise, and it looks like we’ll be paying about 45% of our money to taxes.

    this pisses us off to no ends.

    My opinion: Make the largest tax bracket for people who make 500k and up.

  158. Jamey says:

    I just wanna see some more realistic estimates of the total tax burden as a percentage of income — for instance, measuring the total impact of all regressive forms, like fees and tariffs.

    Renewing a driver’s license, for instance, takes a much bigger bite out of someone earning minimum wage, than it does from someone pulling down $250k. Neither one’s really getting ahead; the latter, however, has further to go before his feet are in the fire.

    Maybe McStraighttalky is right: you’ve got to earn $5 million a year (or ditch the mother of your children for a woman who earns that much) to be considered “rich” in America. (What he neglected to add [publicly] was. “and thank GOD for it.”)

    I think everybody’s getting screwed, glued, and tattooed, but it’s easier for the man Behind the Curtain to do what he does when the littler people are at each others’ throats.

  159. BC Bob says:

    “a loosening of the credit spigots wou’t cure.”

    50.5,

    Have you been sleeping for the past 7 years? All the pigs have played in their pile of s*it. How did that work out?

    The best cure would be to tighten, whip inflation before it whips us.

    Throw out Bergabe, bring back Tall Paul.

  160. njpatient says:

    153 mike

    “All this tax talk has made me angry. ”

    Me too. The absolutely massive Federal tax increases of recent years have been completely insane.

  161. njpatient says:

    161 jamey

    “I just wanna see some more realistic estimates of the total tax burden as a percentage of income — for instance, measuring the total impact of all regressive forms, like fees and tariffs.”

    Studies have been done, and like Kettle’s, generally conclude that the total burden winds up being ~ flat.

  162. Jamey says:

    151:

    Well you write real pretty, but are dead wrong. There’s nothing wrong with this country that a tax cut and a loosening of the credit spigots scratchedcouldn’t cause.

    Fixed.

  163. Jamey says:

    Or not. Damn HTML tags!

  164. #162 – Throw out Bergabe, bring back Tall Paul.

    I concur! I’ll even accept a Paul-like substitute if Volker doesn’t feel up to it.
    Also, we should tar-and-feather Greenspan.

  165. RentinginNJ says:

    Well you write real pretty, but are dead wrong. There’s nothing wrong with this country that a tax cut and a loosening of the credit spigots wou’t cure

    Exactly the approach we took after the dot com bubble burst. While it helped avert a serious dot com related recession, it further imbalanced our economy and gave us a housing bubble and the crisis we have today.

    What is the end game? Keep cutting until we have zero taxes and zero percent interest rates? Then what? A healthy capitalist economy requires creative destruction and periods of wiping out the excess.

  166. SG says:

    A film about debt – Another inconvenient truth

    From The Economist print edition
    Fiscal Armageddon, coming to a cinema near you

    AMERICA’S infamous debt clock, near New York’s Times Square, was switched off in 2000 after the national burden started to fall thanks to several years of Clinton-era budget restraint. However, it was reactivated two years later as the politically motivated urge to splurge once again took over. The debt has since swollen to $9.5 trillion, with the value of unfunded public promises (if you include entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare) nudging $53 trillion—or $175,000 for every American—and rising. On current trends, these will amount to some 240% of GDP by 2040, up from a just-about-manageable 65% today.

  167. make money says:

    The best cure would be to tighten, whip inflation before it whips us.

    BC,

    After Hank is done emptying his bazzoka and ben is flyes his helicopter over a couple of too big to fail banks then it will too late.

    Inflation will whip us and it’s only cause we don’t the balls to fight it.

  168. Shore Guy says:

    “your soc security and medicare taxes will go up 2-4% (based on Mr. O’s latest statement”

    Unliss like me, and Mrs. Shore, you are self employed. Then double that increase, as the self employed pay both the employer’s share and the employee’s share. Add a dollop of AMT and runaway property and state taxes (we pay in 15 or so states), foreign income taxes, we pay in another half-dozen countries, and when all is said and done, we pay a good 60% of our income in taxes. Were we in, say Denmark, we would pay the same, but our healthcare, etc. would be included in that. As it is, we pay about $16,000/yr for health insurance — which does not come close to being all it should be.

    I love this country but, we need to stop the self deception.

  169. make money says:

    Democratic Rep. Charlie Wilson of Ohio, a fourth-generation undertaker, sponsored a National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day. Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, whose home state of Georgia has 24,000 acres planted in watermelon, pushed a resolution establishing July as National Watermelon Month.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121910897089651793.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

    The worst Congress and the Worst President at the same time and we voted for these shmucks. What does this say obout current voting citizens. The worst ever?

  170. kettle1 says:

    make money, BC

    If you were Paulson or Bernanke or John Thain would you want to fix the current system? You have gotten filthy rich by running the economy into the ground. The long you can keep this ship afloat the more you make. You are so wealthy that future income is irrelevant to you (unless you have a truly amazing hooker and blow habit).
    He who controls the money controls the country. It is in the little peoples interest to fix the economy, but not in the interest of those controlling the money. end of story. IF you want change then those controlling the money must be removed from positions of power and influence. Good luck on that mission

  171. SG says:


    Home economics

    From The Economist print edition
    Behind the housing gloom is an improving backdrop

  172. SG says:

    Ticking time bomb

    From The Economist print edition
    A nasty mortgage product promises yet more misery

    OPTIMISTS, look away now. Prices in America’s housing market may have slumped, but the pain for a significant subset of homeowners has barely begun. Even at Barclays Capital, which spotted some of the improvements mentioned in the previous story, there is still concern. The bank’s Nicholas Strand says that roughly 1.4m households, most of them in California, hold a particularly nasty type of adjustable-rate mortgage called the “option ARM”. Although the overall value of option ARMs is lower than that of subprime loans—some $500 billion, according to Mr Strand, compared with about $1 trillion in subprime loans—their sting is more venomous.

  173. Clotpoll says:

    make (171)-

    The cat is out of the bag. Inflation is already loose, and all the PPI inflation is going to start showing up at the consumer level about any minute now.

    We’re on the upslope of the rollercoaster to oblivion now. When we get to the plunge, a lot of folks are gonna $h!t their pants.

  174. make money says:

    He who controls the money controls the country. It is in the little peoples interest to fix the economy, but not in the interest of those controlling the money. end of story.

    I agree. Will add that hyoer inflation will cause the people in control of money loos control as people will flock tyo other currencies and precious metal onc ethey loose faith in the greenback.

    So it’s in their interest to turn the ship around eventually if they still can.

  175. kettle1 says:

    make 174,

    That the diebold voting machines are highly effective?

    make 179,

    not if you know you already hit the iceberg. then you just want people distracted long enough for you to load up your gems, cash and favorite mistress into the life boats.
    besides if you are in the know, go buy some swiss francs and short the dollar. you just keep getting richer. and we keep getting poorer.

  176. SG says:

    Savers are the losers in today’s tough times

    WASHINGTON — Two giant mortgage companies get into hot water over risky investments. The government steps in to throw them a lifeline should they need it.

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans buy homes more expensive than they can afford. Congress approves a rescue package.

    Troubles erupt at a Wall Street investment firm that made bad bets on mortgage investments. The Federal Reserve steps in and provides financial backing for the company’s takeover.

    Meanwhile, tens of millions of people pay their mortgages on time, don’t max out their credit cards and put money into retirement funds. They may even save a little extra on the side.

    In return, they get rates on their savings that don’t even keep up with inflation. They also are witnessing their nest eggs shrinking as the value of their homes plummets and the stock market tumbles.

  177. NJLifer says:

    151 Reinvester

    “a concerted effort was undertaken by a few unpatriotic individuals to undermine our real estate markets.”

    You mean the flippers, right?

  178. Via FT Alphaville a GS report predicting href=”http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2008/08/19/15211/calling-all-cash-please-report-to-aig-fp/”>AIG looking at another $9-$20 bil in losses.
    Some fun quotes;
    The central tenet of our “Don’t buy AIG” argument is simple: the intricacies of AIG’s business are so complex that management may not even know the extent of the company’s ultimate exposures, let alone losses… Thus, if management cannot accurately assess its ultimate exposures or losses, then how can one expect the rating agencies to do so?

  179. Sean says:

    Isn’t it odd that even after Colonel Klink begged congress to basically Fedex the Bankers Bailout Bill through giving Fannie and Freddie the explicit guarantee of the US Government that the spreads on Fannie and Freddie’s bonds have widened, and their stock prices have tanked since their guarantee became explicit compared with what they were when the US Govt guarantee was merely implicit.

    The exact opposite of what Colonel Klink wanted has occured. The markets have spoken and what we now have here folks is an implicit downgreade on the fulll faith and credit of the US Treasury.

  180. Sean says:

    PPT in action again, get ready for lots of covering.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080819/bs_nm/sec_shortselling_dc_1

  181. spam spam bacon spam says:

    [153]
    What?

    I don’t see it that way.

    Why do some people pay SS tax on their WHOLE income and some people only pay SS tax on part of their income?

    They will ALL collect the same…

    Erase the ceiling. IMHO, it’s stupid, and retired millionaires will cash their SS checks just as gleefully as the lady in a shoe, so the rish folks deserve to pay in to SS just as gleefully…

    my $.03

  182. spam spam bacon spam says:

    *rich.

    Witch obveeuslee eye’m knot sicne I kant eevan spel itt.

  183. njpatient says:

    “AMERICA’S infamous debt clock, near New York’s Times Square, was switched off in 2000 after the national burden started to fall thanks to several years of Clinton-era budget restraint. However, it was reactivated two years later as the politically motivated urge to splurge once again took over. The debt has since swollen to $9.5 trillion”

    That’s a massive federal tax increase; it’s just deferred, so that it won’t be blamed on the politicians who actually put it in place.

  184. Mike NJ says:

    187

    You are right, they will all collect the same, as in NOTHING!

    Why pay more for the right to collect ZERO in 30 years when I can pay half as much.

  185. chicagofinance says:

    HEHEHE Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 12:48 pm
    Time To Gradually Reaccumulate Energy Stocks – And Gold

    The call for this week: Regrettably, for most of this year it has been more of a trader’s market than an investor’s market. While we are a much better investor than trader, we have attempted to navigate the volatile environment using the trading side of the portfolio. Recall that we advise using 80% of your equity portfolio for investment ideas and 20% for trading. And when we say “trading,” we DON’T mean day trading! Rather, we try to wait for a trading “set up” whereby the odds are tipped so far in our favor that if we are wrong we are going to get stopped-out quickly with hopefully small losses and live to play another day.

    HE and others: READ THIS PASSAGE FROM ABOVE…right out of the $&*$@& article…

  186. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (186)-

    PPT? The tide’s rolling out. Looks like they’re part of the pants-down crowd.

  187. Clotpoll says:

    “Tide’s out” might not be the right metaphor. This time around feels more like Escape from Saigon.

  188. Shore Guy says:

    “I don’t see it that way.

    Why do some people pay SS tax on their WHOLE income and some people only pay SS tax on part of their income?

    They will ALL collect the same…”

    That last part is not entirely true, but true enough to point to why it is unfair to those of us eraning morte than $105k/yr to tax all of our income for SS.

    There is a range of payments, based on lifetime earnings, that people will receive in SS; however, there is a cap on the maximum payment. So, the more you earned (and payed in) results in a greater SS payment in retirement. But, since there is a cap, taxing people (for what is not supposed to be an income redistribution scheme) on income that will not increase their ultimate payment is just another income tax. If we decide, as sound policy, to tax high income folks more, then lets be honest about it, and not do it in a backdoor manner. Our current tax system is full of backdoor taxes that are hidden from most people.

    Back when I was poor, and I mean dirt poor. I never understood the big deal some people made about the “complexity” of the tax code. Back then, I added a few numbers on a simple tax form, went to a booklet and found my tax. Now, though, I understand. We file tax forms that run hundreds of pages. One of the forms in the packet comes with notice that the IRS estimates it will take the average taxpayer something like 35 (or 40, or 45) HOURS to complete — Hours, not minutes.

    IF we were running a ballanced budget and paying down the debt, extra taxes would not concern me; however, we are far from doing either and the only call is for more spending. Folks, our house is on fire and our elected officials are worrying about whether to add daffodils to the garden in the spring.

  189. Shore Guy says:

    Please excuse the typos above. Between eating lunch, talking on the phone, and doing this, things got by my aging eyes.

  190. Shore Guy says:

    One more reason not to move to Mississippi:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Fitness/story?id=5610367&page=1

  191. HEHEHE says:

    Chi,

    I am not telling anybody to do anything. Just saying this guy thought a certain segment of the market was oversold. Citi analyst said the same thing yesterday. I have a certain portion of my money in “safe” investments and another portion I trade with.

  192. chicagofinance says:

    HEHEHE Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 2:32 pm
    I have a certain portion of my money in “safe” investments and another portion I trade with.

    HE: Well you don’t appear to be in the majority here. I have various categories of investors listed from conservative to most aggressive:
    1. conservative
    2. moderate risk
    3. aggressive
    4. river boat gambling
    5. nj re report bloggers

  193. Shore Guy says:

    6. the Fed’s recent moves

  194. bairen says:

    #196 Shore guy,

    Maybe 10% food price increases will change that trend.

  195. Al says:

    7. RE investors

  196. Shore Guy says:

    8. Obama’s economic “plan”

  197. Shore Guy says:

    8. The Dem’s nominee’s economic “plan.”

  198. Shore Guy says:

    Is the “O” word on a par with the “F” word now?

  199. John says:

    BS, Vill had to play the perfect game to beat G-town. They shot something like 93% to win. If you look at G-town, SJU and Vill in that final four that year you had half the olympic dreamteam on the floor. Heck SJU didn’t even made the finals and sent seven players to the NBA. Heck Mark Jackson wasn’t even the starter in that game. 1985 G-town was better than most NBA teams and Patrick Ewing was a man among boys and Vill was a serious underdog. Vill had to play the perfect game or hope G-town screwed up. G-town had a fantastic game and Vill won.

    Plus Duke/Kentucky were both pretty good schools and are meaningless to most major markets. The sports bars around NY were pretty empty for that final four.

    SS is a retirement plan not a tax, making people who make 300K pay on all 300K and only pay them benefits on 105K is stealing.

    The tax code is kooky, Plus I pay a boatload of taxes already and I can’t even get a deduction for my kids, wife or real estate taxes paid. Heck I drove to the train this morning in a 33 year old car with broken turn signals while you rich 60K tax cheats drive your fancy Japanese cars.

    BC Bob Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 11:30 am
    “Vill beat Georgetown in championship, greatest college game ever.”

    John,

    BS. Duke/Kentucky, 1992;

  200. BC Bob says:

    9.Investment Banks
    10. GSE’s
    11. AIG

  201. Shore Guy says:

    12. Bush in command of our military forces

  202. Shore Guy says:

    Hey folks, everything is looking up:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/26293325

  203. BC Bob says:

    John,

    You are confusing perfect game with greatest game. Not even close.

  204. John says:

    Hey are we still in a recession, Just came back from a lunch on stone street and it was packed, everyone is spending like crazy. I think I am the only poor person in the world.

  205. njpatient says:

    193 clotpoll

    ““Tide’s out” might not be the right metaphor. This time around feels more like Escape from Saigon.”

    Yeah. But without the “escape from” part.

  206. njpatient says:

    198 chifi

    In case it doesn’t come across, I’m so conservative it’d make you vomit. When things start to look up, I’ll wander carefully into category two.

  207. Young Buck says:

    That Mexican place on Stone Street is pretty good. Adrianne’s is over-rated. Ulysses is probably the best for a beer, although they don’t have much of a lunch menu.

  208. njpatient says:

    207 shore

    in command of anything whatsoever.

  209. njpatient says:

    We had discussed good places for Indian food awhile back. The place Mrs. Patient and I love in Brigadoon was picked as best Indian by NJ Mag (not that their opinion means too much) – but thought y’all might like to know. It’s named Raagini – an unimposing-looking place on 22.

    Another Brigadoon food review: Mrs. Patient and I finally got around to going to Chez Catherine last week and enjoyed it a great deal. The food and service were superb, and the atmosphere was above average. The wine markup is worse than many places, however, so choose carefully.

  210. Jamey says:

    205: Social Security, by definition, is form of insurance.

    Better not to need it than to need it. But that’s why it’s there.

  211. Young Buck says:

    Speaking of 22, the girlfriend and I love the Airang in Mountainside. Fun place and great food. Try the asparagus wrapped in steak appetizer.

  212. skep-tic says:

    how is social security a form of insurance? there is (supposedly) a guaranteed payout. it is more like a very expensive annuity

  213. SG says:

    Just bought tickets to IOUSA movie for Thursday night.

    Who else is coming?

  214. Tom says:

    If the rest of the country is anything like Bergen County, with foreclosures going for so much below judgment it’s no wonder foreclosures are making up such a large portion of recent home sales.

  215. cjgal says:

    17# Fiddy Cents on the Dollar Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 7:42 am

    “Did our condo buyer in Edison check back in after asking for, and getting some good advice here Sunday night??

    I think her name was cjgal….

    I’m not sure I would pay $330K for a condo in this market. Wait a minute….I’m sure I wouldn’t!!!”
    —-
    We are not going to pay that either . Thinking of offering 300 ! is it too low ?
    To refresh its 2br condo@n. edison. Good schools. community is decent ( westgate).

  216. NJGator says:

    215 NJP – Best Indian in the state is in Edison. Akbar or Moghul. But Stu and I are always willing to check out new places to see if they can compare. Thanks for the rec.

  217. Shore Guy says:

    Speaking of lower Manhattan, since Whitehall is just around the corner from Stone:

    Came to talk about the draft.

    They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
    where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
    neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
    day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
    I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. `Cause I wanted to
    look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
    to feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
    and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
    kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
    me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

    And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
    wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
    guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
    KILL, KILL.” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “KILL, KILL,” and
    he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
    yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
    sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

    Didn’t feel too good about it.

    Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
    detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
    at the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
    hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
    ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
    inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
    part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
    last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
    and I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
    one question. Have you ever been arrested?”

    And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
    with full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
    the phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
    go to court?”

    And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
    colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
    the back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
    you to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W …. NOW kid!!”

    And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
    where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
    committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
    looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
    rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
    they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
    bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
    father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
    ‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
    and said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
    $50 and pick up the garbage.” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?”
    And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
    there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
    said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
    and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
    father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
    bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
    things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
    up and said.

    “Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
    know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-
    you-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-
    officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
    forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
    fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
    and I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
    down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
    pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
    other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
    the other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
    following words:

    (“KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?”)

    I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
    ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
    sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench
    ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
    kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.” He looked at me and
    said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
    off to Washington.”

    And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
    study in black and white of my fingerprints.

  218. Stu says:

    IOUSA:

    Stu and NJGator will be there.

  219. HEHEHE says:

    13. Cincinnati Bengals investing again in Chris Henry

  220. RentinginNJ says:

    Just bought tickets to IOUSA movie for Thursday night.

    Who else is coming?

    I will be there

  221. njpatient says:

    222 gator

    Thanks. The Patients will soon be found in Akbar and Moghul.

  222. SG says:

    cjgal: Unless you want Edison only, I would recommend Bridgewater. One listing in townhouse complex where I live just came way under last comp price. (MLS 2559926 LP: $275K). Looking at details, it seems either REO or Shortsale. It’s 3 BR Townhome, I presume much bigger than Condo.

  223. ADA says:

    Anyone have any thoughts on AXP? Seems really cheap right now. I know all disclaimers.

    thanks in advance.

  224. Clotpoll says:

    HE (224)-

    He promised all the rest of the Bengals & management he could score them some dynamite weed.

  225. Stu says:

    AXP?

    Don’t leave home without it?

    I wouldn’t be there. Unlike Visa and Mastercard, they actually loan the money rather than act as a transfer service for a bank.

  226. Stu says:

    Barron’s take on AXP:

    INVESTORS OVERLOOK AMEX CREDIT CHALLENGE
    Investors have been a bit too optimistic about the hurdles confronting American Express (AXP), despite the middling-at-best performance of the stock this year. Friedman Billings said that recent statistics on credit conditions suggested the macro environment should prove more daunting than those shareholders have been anticipating. The daunting macro environment could lead to higher credit costs than the company has been suggesting over the next two or three quarters. In addition, the recent growth in receivables could diminish the valuation gap that has separated AmEx from other consumer credit concerns. Shares have eased 2% in Monday’s trading.

  227. John says:

    When I worked at EF Hutton the whitehall building was across the street. NASD put their headquarters there for awhile and I watched them build a glass cover over the regular old stone draft building and when it got several stories up to the top of the old building they built for many floors a regular old 1980s glass tower office building. The really cool thing is the old stone army draft building is under the 1980’s glass office building. My old boss hated that place as he went to the vietnam war and that is where he went before he left and then he got a job at hutton where you could see it out the window. Speaking of Hutton one my staff from Hutton in 1987 linkin with me today, really cool.

  228. John says:

    The mexican on stone is awsome, just had lunch there, you are right my man.

  229. NJl$rd says:

    Stu, there is a big difference between matchmaking and breeding by force. If your allegation is true, that would be a human crime. The time article portrait an Mao’s era in China and its sport system (emulation of Soviet Union). It also suggested a successful matchmaking for Yao Ming’s parents. But a marriage by-force or systematic bleeding as you suggested is not a proven crime by the communist. Instead, communists’ doctrine in that era of China is marriage freedom (with party match-making), and one child policy. It’s hard to believe they forced-bleed Yao Ming (why won’t they bleed more brothers and sisters for Yao Ming if they ever have a brain?).

    Noneless, that’s not the point. The point is your failure of acknowledge of other progress by ignorance. It’s time to wake up and work on our own issues.

    #136 Stu Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    From last night’s discussion…Someone had asked if I simply made up the allegations about how the Chinese have been suspected of breeding athletes.

    Here is a link to the creation of Yao Ming.
    http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501051114/story.html

    You could probably win a gold medal too if your mother and father were chosen to be married by the state and then forced to breed future Olympians.

  230. syncmaster says:

    Mogul’s good but Akbar? No way.

    Rasoi is better (Oak Tree Rd).

  231. Clotpoll says:

    slummy (236)-

    Somebody should “force-bleed” you. In a tub of warm water.

    “It’s hard to believe they forced-bleed Yao Ming (why won’t they bleed more brothers and sisters for Yao Ming if they ever have a brain?).”

  232. NJl$rd says:

    IOUSA – Have fun with Grim and all excuses.

  233. HEHEHE says:

    Clot,

    He keeps it in his shoes.

  234. galgon says:

    Could someone give me an address of this rental property: GSMLS #2518031

    I want to see if it a lovely view of 78 like some of those condos do.

    Thanks in advance.

  235. NJl$rd says:

    Clot I heard you kill yourself last night :)

    Oh well, if you prefer to do a short-sale .50 let me know.

    #238 Clotpoll Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    slummy (236)-

  236. 3b says:

    #221 Thinking of offering 300 ! is it too low ?

    Nope, it’s too high.

  237. ADA says:

    Clot,

    LOl, so tell me what you really think. I imagine that pic has wide application at this point.

    thanks all,

  238. njpatient says:

    “Nope, it’s too high.”

    I agree with that.

    From where I sit, things are getting worse, fast.

    It’s going to be horrific.

  239. daddyo says:

    Before we moved, my wife and I came across a new restaurant in Cranford called A Toute Heure.

    It specializes in local food, but local can include other states nearby. Without a doubt, the best food we had in a long, long time.

    The menu moves a lot, but we never had anything that was less than wonderful. Even the fries are excellent.

    You get seated by the owner. Very cozy interior. BYOB. Off the main drag in Cranford.

  240. 3b says:

    #245 NJpatient:It’s going to be horrific.

    Agreed. The clowns in D.C., are just trying to keep the whole thing together before the election in November.

    You have to wonder about Paulson, and his comment that he is leaving in Janaury.

    No interest in hanging around to see how his handy work turns out? Interesting.

  241. NJGator says:

    227 NJP – There used to be a Moghul in Morristown (the decor was more opulent and they also had a liquor license). It was one of Stu and my favorites. The owners of Moghul opened up 2 new restauarants in Headquarters Plaza, along with a connecting cocktail lounge. The Indian restaurant is called Mehndi. I have not yet eaten there, but the menu looks excellent. The other restaurant is Ming II (I believe Ming I is in Edison). I have been to Ming II and I thought the food was outstanding.

    I was actually near Oak Tree Road last week to take a SQL class in Iselin. I went to Moghul Express (didn’t have much time for lunch) and had an awesome Dosa. They have an Indian Sweet Shop in that restauarnt and Stu was the receipient of some yummy South Indian treats to remind him of his trip to Chennai.

  242. Clotpoll says:

    slummy (242)-

    I would happily invest .50 in teaching you something resembling English.

  243. bairen says:

    I think we are going to see wealth destruction on a grand scale.

  244. kettle1 says:

    bairen,

    I agree and would add that many of the truly wealthy will be hit hard as well. Very few suspect what really lies ahead. too many have been drinking their own coolaide. We will see the rise of the next generation of Rockefellers and the fall of the paris hiltons.

    But as the saying goes, destruction breeds creation. for those who are prepared and willing to take risks, opportunity awaits on the other side.

  245. John says:

    Yastrzemski Taken to Hospital With Chest Pains, Red Sox Say

    By Danielle Sessa

    Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) — Carl Yastrzemski was admitted to a Boston hospital with discomfort and chest pains, the Boston Red Sox said in a statement.

    The Hall-of-Fame outfielder was undergoing tests at Massachusetts General Hospital after being taken there this morning

    “He was brought in and during the evaluation it was discovered that parts of Babe Ruth’s missing piano was lodged in his chest. The piano parts were removed. The test results indicated that after Boston won the recent World Series and the curse was lifted the lodged piano parts were freed and resulted in the chest pain. ” Yastrzemski’s spokesman Dick Gordon said in a telephone interview. “That’s about all I can tell you.”

    Yastrzemski, 68, was the last player to win the Triple Crown in 1967 when he led the American League in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. He played his entire 23- year Major League Baseball career with the Red Sox.

  246. NJGator says:

    Grim – 248 in moderation. I have no idea why!

  247. njpatient says:

    247 3B

    “You have to wonder about Paulson, and his comment that he is leaving in Janaury.

    No interest in hanging around to see how his handy work turns out? Interesting.”

    Of course not. It’ll be time to cash in back in the private sector.

  248. njpatient says:

    246 daddyo

    Thanks!!! I’d read about that place but forgotten. I am putting that on my schedule for my next date with Mrs. Patient.

  249. njpatient says:

    Oil is almost at $40.

  250. bi says:

    today’s top 10 posters:

    23 Shore Guy
    19 Stu
    17 grim
    16 njpatient
    16 bairen
    13 BC Bob
    11 John
    11 Clotpoll
    9 SG
    9 kettle1

  251. Otis Wildflower says:

    Pacific NW is well known for its suicide weather (damp, dark, dreary).. Both Portland and Seattle are in denial about their own bubbles, and Portland has a very activist land use policy within city limits. I have a friend living in Portland, and he’s been an out-of-work teacher for at least 3 years, and he’s got NY certification!

    As for Vancouver, it’s a LOVELY place to visit. BUT.. They’re running neck-and-neck with Toronto in the “overpriced and in-denial real estate” contest for Canada.. Not to mention GST, PST, other taxes, etc.. OTOH, I believe you can qualify for dual-citizenship if you buy a property of a certain value (IIRC 300k CDN or greater) to live in.. So if you don’t mind the taxes and are smart enough not to pay 600k for a condo in downtown eastside (google ‘vancouver dtes’ sometime, it’s pretty entertaining) it may be worth it, especially if you’re involved in film or video production.

    As for me, my company in DE has just relocated me to the new facility that’s within 3mi of my townhouse.. Been riding the mountain bike there (DE is very bike-friendly, lots of dedicated lanes and/or 6’+ wide shoulders on most roads) a few times a week, trying to get back into some semblance of shape..

  252. bi says:

    123#, stu, why u always look at the issue by color? who looks better when standing up against putin? M or O?

    >I agree that people put way too much value in “faith”. I have a funny feeling that O will win the popular vote, but there are just too many Americans in the red states that could not pull the lever for a black man that he will lose the electoral college.

    These red staters might say they will vote for O in a poll, but they won’t actually do it at the polls.

    If M wins, I will increase my holdings in Unilever, full owner of the Vaseline brand.

  253. njpatient says:

    Now I’m tied with grim.

  254. njpatient says:

    and now:

  255. njpatient says:

    Stu!!

  256. John says:

    CFA Institute Says Passing Rate Climbed for Certification Exam

    By Ian Katz

    Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) — A higher percentage of Wall Street job applicants passed the final test in a three-step process that may give them a hiring edge as the financial-services industry cuts jobs at the fastest pace in at least five years.

    Fifty-three percent passed the third stage of the Chartered Financial Analyst test, up from 50 percent last year, the CFA Institute said in a statement today. A record 92,081 people took the exam in June, including 14,569 who cleared two preliminary exams to qualify for the test that lets them obtain CFA designation, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based institute said.

    Financial companies have eliminated more than 100,000 investment jobs worldwide, including 76,670 in the Americas, since the global credit crunch started a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the most dismissals since the market slump from 2000 to 2003. About 33,300 finance jobs in New York City, or 7.1 percent of the 2007 peak, will be cut by June 2009, the Independent Budget Office, a non-partisan monitor of city finances, estimated in a May report.

    The CFA exam and certification has become a path for financial industry candidates seeking better jobs, higher salaries and a deeper understanding of finance. The not-for- profit CFA Institute recommends candidates spend at least 250 hours studying for each phase of the test.

    The institute said 35 percent of the 44,063 people passed the first test in the process, and 46 percent of the 33,449 taking the second test passed. Of those who took the three exams in June, 42 percent passed, unchanged from last year.

    The CFA program started in 1963 and stems in part from Benjamin Graham, a pioneer of value investing who mentored Warren Buffett and advocated a rating system for financial analysts.

  257. Otis Wildflower says:

    BTW Austin… I’d consider it, as I have friends there and they love it… For 3 seasons of the year, it’s gorgeous weather… BUT… Summers are hotter and sweatier than Satan’s taint. Ain’t no dry heat.

  258. njpatient says:

    “A higher percentage of Wall Street job applicants passed the final test in a three-step process that may give them a hiring edge as the financial-services industry cuts jobs at the fastest pace in at least five years. ”

    Maybe we can get an opinion from pretorius on this point.

  259. 3b says:

    #263 John:About 33,300 finance jobs in New York City, or 7.1 percent of the 2007 peak, will be cut by June 2009,

    There is more than that number cut right now.

  260. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 2:56 pm
    Hey folks, everything is looking up:
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/26293325

    THE Diminutive D!ckweed.

  261. 3b says:

    #259 bi: Why exactly do we need to stand up to Putin.

    We have to exact the reality that he is the leader of Russia, and work from there.

    We were playing around in his back yard, and he got tired of it.

  262. 3b says:

    #268 Sorry about that. I had promised no discussion on my part re: Georgia, Russia, USA. I forgot.

  263. BC Bob says:

    bi [257],

    Why don’t you include your top 10 trades. I need a leading indicator.

  264. njpatient says:

    118 skep

    I’m in that bracket x2, and my taxes were increased drastically when the AMT kicked in for us in 2003, which was a massive de facto tax increase. Lump in the $500 Billion in annual deficits which are also massive federal tax increases on a deferred basis, and it’s been a terrible seven years.

    I’m not as pessimistic as you going forward on the federal tax front, I suppose, because it’s so f*cking bad already that it can’t get much worse.

  265. serenity now says:

    Hey all-
    been a while since I posted last, but still
    lurk regularly. Had lunch with home appraiser (freind of mine) today who commented on bank losses. He stated that when a loan goes bad (foreclosure) that the bank claims the entire loan balance as
    a loss. His position was that there still
    is “value” in the property and that the losses may be “overstated” as the bank will
    recover some $$$ when the home is auctioned.
    Is this really how it works??
    Perhaps money recovered from auctions should
    be given back to the payers – yeah right!

  266. stu says:

    bi:

    Cause many parts of the USA are still terribly racist. Do you think that flashing pictures of white celebrities with absolutely no connection in any way to O was done for any other reason than to scare the bejeezus out of the Shake&Bake-eating members of our country?

    I think O should run an advert where he flashes pictures of dried fruit like raisins and prunes prior to calling M a piece of beef jerky.

  267. Tom says:

    Clotpoll or anyone else,

    I put up these charts for Bergen County property tax rates by municipality.

    The NJ div of tax didn’t have the 2008 numbers. Anyone know where I can get those numbers?

  268. NJl$ord says:

    Why everyone is crazy about CFA is another Phenomenon I can’t crack it out.

    My wife tried it back in 03,04 she passed the level 1 but failed level 2 the next year. Part of the reasons were crazy work hours leave no room for review for the text and pregnancy. Well she did not really need one technically as she already had a mba/ms in fin. The failure of the attempt did not prevent her promotions down the road. The craziest thing I heard was an IT girl past CFA in a straight but still can’t change career. Sometime I wonder she was so smart in IT why bother do FIN. Well everyone in IT these days gotta be very smart to survive.

    #263 John Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    CFA Institute Says Passing Rate Climbed for Certification Exam

  269. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    serenity :277

    I don’t know the details of the bank foreclosure process, but thinking logically about it…..the bank can’t claim any loss on the loan until the property is disposed of, right?

    I can’t claim a loss on a stock that goes down in value until I sell the stock, capeesh.

  270. Sybarite101 X says:

    241

    34 Hillside Ct.

    Union TWP

  271. Sybarite101 X says:

    EDIT

    282 Should have been in reference to galgon post 245

  272. Clotpoll says:

    serenity (277)-

    The foreclosed house goes onto the bank’s balance sheet, less legal fees, carrying costs, repairs, commissions, escrows, maintenance, etc. The losses are offset- somewhat- by a payout by the PMI insurer…assuming a PMI policy was in place.

    Banks take a big loss on foreclosed homes, but they are not necessarily 100% losses. In places like Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, etc. in which there is no chance of re-marketing the asset, banks now regularly abandon foreclosed homes.

  273. Sybarite101 X says:

    269

    “BUT… Summers are hotter and sweatier than Satan’s taint.”

    This got me good. I LOL’d for a bit.

  274. BC Bob says:

    “Why everyone is crazy about CFA is another Phenomenon I can’t crack it out.”

    I’m stumped. Interpretation

  275. Clotpoll says:

    BC (286)-

    Translation: he is looking for crack and cannot find any. Therefore, he is inflicting himself upon us.

  276. victorian says:

    287- Clot
    Careful. He might force bleed a few more like him.

  277. Nom Deplume says:

    [143] Jamey

    Any team that beats BC gets “greatest game” in my book!

  278. BC Bob says:

    Clot [287],

    Thanks. I was confused.

    Something like this;

    http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Say-No-To-Crack-Posters_i1037389_.htm

  279. BC Bob says:

    Nom,

    Just like a trade. Don’t worry about what you don’t have on; that can’t hurt you.

  280. victorian says:

    The Nikkie is cliff diving. Down 300.

  281. victorian says:

    “Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker called for “demonstrably” privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, becoming the first Fed official to publicly clash with the Bush administration’s strategy of keeping them as federally backed firms. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHbJk11JLWtk&refer=home

  282. Laughing all the way says:

    BC, Clot, et al (except bi)

    have i missed the talk of muni bonds here? any thoughts whatsoever?

    thanks,
    Randomville, USA

  283. Laughing all the way says:

    Gold going to $600!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/26282751

    bi, did you write this?

  284. Cindy says:

    From yesterday “The Jobs Recession is Here. Time to get to work.”
    Eric Janszen – itulip.com – charts included
    in the article.

    “Unemployed youth: Canaries in a Coal Mine?”

    Some figures: projected peaks

    45-54 projected 7-9% currently 3.9%
    35-44 projected 9-10% currently 4.7%
    25-34 projected 12-13% currently 5.7%
    20-24 projected 17-18% currently 10.2%
    (already at the peak of the last recession.)
    16-19 projected 25-30% currently 21%

    “The current recession is more serious than all previous recessions since the early 1980s. This time inflation, unemployment, and a credit crunch are cutting into demand. Demand, in the economic sense, is the combined desire of consumers to spend and the availability of the cash they need to act on that desire. Recessions with declining demand tend to be self-enforcing and falling demand leads to falling consumption leading businesses to reduce labor costs by laying off employees, leading to falling incomes and further reduction in demand.”

    “Another unusual aspect of this recession is that traditional Keynesian techniques to stimulate demand by expanding credit through interest rate cuts is hobbled by a moribund housing market; housing has for decades been the primary mechanism for transmitting interest cuts to consumers by reducing a household’s primary interest expense, their mortgage.”

  285. NJl$rd says:

    #286 BC Bob Says:

    Now everyone in fin world know there were quite a few cuts in the wall street. My wife’s institution no exception in the name of re-org. The survivors should work their a$$ off to keep the jobs you may think so. Well on the weeks before CFA, there were no works done by the lower level associates. Bosses had to threaten with job but still novail. Turn out those entry level folks valued CFA better than their job. This is not an individual phenomenon as apparently various study groups were formed underground.

  286. 3b says:

    #295 Gold going to $600!

    Too bad he didn’t say why.

  287. Cindy says:

    (152) HEHEHE – On Greenspan…The ending is priceless..

    “When the press calls just say “no comment.” This is an acquired skill but I’m sure you will catch on.”

  288. NJl$rd says:

    Are those you guys:
    http://webzoom.freewebs.com/bobby1970/A%20Redneck%20Half%20Moon.jpg
    Are those you two? I can’t hear.

    #290 BC Bob Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Clot [287],

    Thanks. I was confused.

    Something like this;

    http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Say-No-To-Crack-Posters_i1037389_.htm

  289. stu says:

    Need some advice.

    My wifes brother brought his 2006 Accord in to the dealer where he bought it since the air conditioning wasn’t working. In their attempt to fix the AC they claimed to have destroyed the engine by accidentally getting some kind of liquid in there. They offered to replace the engine free of charge, but from my experiences, a replaced engine never runs nor lasts like the original. In this case, the original engine only had 21,000 miles on it. They have offered to warrant the engine for 3 years. I honestly think this is not enough compensation, but what else can one negotiate to make NJGator’s brother feel fairly compensated?

    Any advice would be great.

    Thanks ya’all.

  290. NJl$rd says:

    Re: irish busdriver

    Without those Irish kids, who’s going to take care of your retirement folks?

    IMHO, in addition to his pension, he should be awarded 4 gold medals for raising up four good kids.

  291. kettle1 says:

    298 3b

    i am beginning to agree with the potential for $600 gold. reason? people moving to liquid assets, cash!. Yes gold can be liquid, but not when you only hold the contract and its anyones guess as to whether the physical gold is actually in the contract issuers vault. Or if you have gold shares or an ETF it is not a liquid asset. As you said the other day, there was no physical gold to be bought from dealers over the weekend. I think money is quickly and quietly moving for the exits and into highly liquid assets, cash and physical metals, among other things.

    i could be very worng, and besides i hold now financial stake in this call..

  292. NJl$rd says:

    Why everyone assume every kid need 15k tax dollars a year to be taken care of properly, is another myth to me. I understand kids need good teachers and good life.

    But come-on if the Indian could solve the equation with 1k, why couldn’t we cut it in half??

  293. Clotpoll says:

    Laughing (294)-

    Munis? Not in NJ, I hope.

    I’d probably want to steer clear of Birmingham, AL too.

  294. Clotpoll says:

    Laughing (294)-

    Could I interest you in some slightly-used auction rate securities? ;)

  295. BC Bob says:

    Laughing [295],

    Certainly a possibility. If it did occur, the long term techicals would still be bullish.

    No Disclaimer required.

  296. Laughing all the way says:

    # Clotpoll Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Laughing (294)-

    Munis? Not in NJ, I hope.

    I’d probably want to steer clear of Birmingham, AL too.

    Hell no. PA.

    Basically, we’ve got the 40% for the house and then some (6 months living, 30k to furnish the house) saved, so we dumped so money into munis and then some into the S&P as a long-term investment. don’t plan on touching either for at least a decade – unless absolutely necessary.

  297. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Tell them you want a factory new engine.
    Good luck with that, though.

    You’re only entitled to a pre-loss condition, which is a used engine.

    They’ve done what they need to do. Offer to make is as it was.

    Problem is, I assume they hydrolocked the engine and in order to do this, they had to be doing something not techncially described by the factory…what they probably did was have a completely inexperienced person make your repair. Think McDee’s last week, Honda dealer this week. No, there’s no requirement for training or tools to become a tech. You just need to fog a mirror, and some places don’t require even that… these guys at the bottom make $8.00/hr for every hour they bill out, so he was probably trying to work on 3 cars at once and royally screwed up.

    Anyway, if you want to play hard, tell them you want the car pulled off the service floor immediately and you will be having it placed in locked storage for investigation by an expert and that you’re hiring a lawyer. Tell him you’ve been referred to Justin Proper from the Rose Law Firm and tell him to google that name while he’s on lunch…

    Chances are you’ll get a shiny 1 year old car with 10K on the clock as an even swap…

  298. BC Bob says:

    “CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Lowell Bike has already scored a pair of tickets to see the Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field in two October playoff games and one World Series game, a bet that’s costing him $1,700 for events the luckless team may never play.”

    “He doesn’t actually have the tickets because they don’t exist. But he’s got options on them, meaning that should the Cubs go to the championship playoffs and then on to the series — and that hasn’t happened since 1945 — he has the right to pony up more money, or the face value, for the seats. The $1,700 is already spent.”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/sportswatch-cubs-fans-make-unusual/story.aspx?guid=%7B1EE5D58A%2DCF4E%2D41F0%2D8F06%2D10C90B30CFBD%7D&dist=hplatest

  299. Shore Guy says:

    # 298

    Because it will now be priced in 1/2 oz increments?

  300. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Oooops, I just tried and you get better results with “Justin E. Proper”

  301. NJl$ord says:

    “Freedom Writers,” a true story about a white teacher trying to make a difference in a room crammed with black, Latino and Asian high school freshmen, has the makings of another groaner.

    http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/01/05/movies/05free.html

  302. RentinginNJ says:

    Falling home prices: The silver lining


    New York was the least affordable major housing market in the country, according to the report. It was the first time that a major metropolitan area outside of California was the least affordable home market in the 17-year history of the report. Los Angeles was the least affordable housing market at this point last year.

    In New York, the median home price fell slightly year over year to $481,000 from $510,00. That led to an increase in affordability; 11.4% of households earning the median income of $63,000 could afford to buy a median priced home, up from 6.3% in the second quarter of 2007.

    Despite that change, New York still fell to the least affordable area from second-least affordable last year, according to this survey

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/19/real_estate/most_affordable_housing/index.htm?cnn=yes

  303. NJl$ord says:

    It’s quite an entertainment for the public to have a taste of paris hitons falling off her pan%.

    For that reason, we did honestly own her a favor.

    #255 kettle1

    We will see the rise of the next generation of Rockefellers and the fall of the paris hiltons.

  304. NJl$ord says:

    Congress enacted an income tax in October of 1913 as part of the Revenue Act of 1913, levying a 1% tax on net personal incomes above $3,000, with a 6% surtax on incomes above $500,000. By 1918, the top rate of the income tax was increased to 77% (on income over $1,000,000) to finance World War I. The top marginal tax rate was reduced to 58% in 1922, to 25% in 1925 and finally to 24% in 1929. In 1932 the top marginal tax rate was increased to 63% during the Great Depression and steadily increased, reaching 94% (on all income over $200,000) in 1945. Top marginal tax rates stayed near or above 90% until 1964 when the top marginal tax rate was lowered to 70%. The top marginal tax rate was lowered to 50% in 1982 and eventually to 28% in 1988. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_history_of_the_United_States

  305. stu says:

    Mets are mounting an 8th inning rally! Let’s see if Delgado is really getting out of his slump or will hit into a double play.

  306. bp says:

    When all is said and done, in the next few years, I wonder how many of us, who are currently patiently waiting for the home prices to fall, will be willing to buy a house in NJ?

  307. NJl$ord says:

    RE: stand up again Putin

    Have a conversation with a Ukraine-born friend this past weekend regarding Georgia. Basically in his opinion Russian is full of bull$hit. According to him, the worry in Poland is the same in Ukraine. Heck if S.U. forced your people to speak Russian for the past 70 years chances are a great deal of them still speak Russian. But that doesn’t mean they’re Russian. It’s a dirty game played by the Russian to give out illegal passport to the separatists in S.O. that’s the root cause of the problem. If Putin are so fond of self determination why he can’t let go Chennya. Then how about East Siberia there were history of disputes and large population of Chinese immigrants. Heck how about the CA, NM, AL, FL in the States shouldn’t we give back to Mexico, Cuba and Russian too?

    Oh..well. I can’t disagree with my friend. What amazed me more is the fact that, so many people here are buying Russian-side story. Heck if I’m a Ukrainian or Pole, I’d be smart to give up hope on both USA & NATO now. Just to be realistic, if we don’t know what we’re doing (WMD), what’s the fu$k of the business we’re entitled to solve for Ukrainians and Poles.

    So save your breath and try to figure it out all by yourself my dear friends. Just my $.02 and all disclaimers.

  308. NJl$ord says:

    Why I’m never in the top 10 in this board, is another myth I haven’t cracked it out yet.

    Life is not always fair!

    #262 bi Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    today’s top 10 posters:

  309. NJl$ord says:

    Why clot101 is always in the top 10 is another myth to me.

    Shouldn’t you spend more time to finish your real job before posting here? Oh well, how about volunteer to teach English for some inner-city poor kids. It seems you have some talent why not to use it wisely??

    #262 bi Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    today’s top 10 posters:

  310. NJl$ord says:

    It’s no fun everybody sleeping. Time for me too have a good night

    and off rant />

  311. njpatient says:

    310 BC

    Seems like an expensive option, but if both flavors of Sox can win it all, can the Cubs be far behind?

  312. njpatient says:

    305 clot

    “I’d probably want to steer clear of Birmingham, AL too.”

    Ya think???

  313. njpatient says:

    289

    NOM!!!!!

    (Sorry – thought I was at Cheers…)

  314. chicagofinance says:

    stu Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 8:17 pm
    Need some advice.
    My wifes brother brought his 2006 Accord in to the dealer where he bought it since the air conditioning wasn’t working. In their attempt to fix the AC they claimed to have destroyed the engine by accidentally getting some kind of liquid in there. They offered to replace the engine free of charge, but from my experiences, a replaced engine never runs nor lasts like the original. In this case, the original engine only had 21,000 miles on it. They have offered to warrant the engine for 3 years. I honestly think this is not enough compensation, but what else can one negotiate to make NJGator’s brother feel fairly compensated?
    Any advice would be great.
    Thanks ya’all.

    Stu: Call Honda Motor America to help arbitrate. National will make sure that a pipe goes up the a%% of the dealership…just my guess….

  315. chicagofinance says:

    NJGator Says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 4:34 pm
    I was actually near Oak Tree Road last week to take a SQL class in Iselin. I went to Moghul Express (didn’t have much time for lunch) and had an awesome Dosa. They have an Indian Sweet Shop in that restauarnt and Stu was the receipient of some yummy South Indian treats to remind him of his trip to Chennai.

    Gates: My wife and I used to walk from Route 1 down Green Steet and up Oak Hill to Moghul. I think it was 45 minutes. We lived in a little condoshack rental for a year in 1997 when she worked in Princeton and I worked in Basking Ridge. We opened the door and there was a 7-11 that was across the street. It was the safest place in the entire area because all the cops were in the DD & the 7-11 all day and night.

    My favorie movie theaters were in the same strip mall as Moghul. No one ever went there because Menlo was a mile away. My wife and I saw a 7:30PM showing of GI Jane on the night it was released, and we had the entire screening room to ourselves. Thinking it a once in a lifetime opportunity, I suggested that we screw. She was disgusted and took an entire handful of popcorn and threw it in my face. She was always considerate of me which I appreciated, because she could have easily chosen to dump the 32 oz diet coke in my lap.

  316. It sure seems rough out there. What choice does the country have but yo buckle up and take the hit?

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