Weekend Open Discussion

While this has nothing to do with the economy or real estate, I had to share. Introducing my newest foster, Spooky (yes, named for Halloween)! Spooky is a pure bred boxer that has a broken leg, severe tendon damage, and a rather nasty soft tissue infection. The vets were worried that he might actually lose his rear leg. Owner wanted to put him to sleep, can you imagine! Spooky is pictured here analyzing the credit quality of a RMBS tranche.

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

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

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

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603 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. SG says:

    Frist,

    Cautious optimism over NJ gov’s economic plan

    TRENTON, N.J. –

    Business and banking groups in New Jersey expressed cautious optimism about the economic survival plan announced Thursday by Gov. Jon S. Corzine, saying that while it seems promising they want further details.

    “My first impression is there’s a lot to like about it,” said Joan Verplank, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, who was among those attending the governor’s address at the Statehouse in Trenton.

    “He touched on some issues we have been pushing for some time, such as tax changes and offering a helping hand to companies, and he also talked about holding the line on spending,” she added. “It seemed like he was saying to businesses, ‘We want you here and we want to help you grow and succeed.'”

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Housing Starts Probably Fell to 17-Year Low in September

    U.S. builders probably broke ground in September on the fewest houses in 17 years, a sign the real- estate market deteriorated even before the recent credit meltdown, economists said before a report today.

    Housing starts fell 2.6 percent last month to an annual rate of 872,000, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 74 economists. Another report may show consumer sentiment fell in October for the first time in four months.

    Builders will find it difficult to lure buyers into the market after stock prices plunged this month and banks made qualifying for a mortgage more difficult. Declines in construction are likely to continue to hurt economic growth well into 2009, extending the housing slump into a fourth year.

    “Housing starts will show declines in coming months due to the credit crisis and the weak economy,” said Terrin Griffiths, an economist at the California Credit Union League in Rancho Cucamonga, California. “The housing market is continuing to struggle toward a bottom.”

    The Commerce Department’s report on starts is due at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 840,000 to 935,000 units.

  3. SG says:

    State joins U.S. in combating the plague of ousted families and abandoned houses

    Friday, October 17, 2008
    BY JEFFERY C. MAYS
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The state and federal governments will embark on a two-pronged, $100 million-plus plan to help New Jerseyans before they lose their homes and stabilize neighborhoods that are being devastated by the rise in foreclosures.

    In his address to the Legislature yesterday, Gov. Jon Corzine pledged $40 million to prevent foreclosures — now at 50,000 per year in New Jersey — through two state Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency programs. One would provide community groups with up to $15million to buy houses and rent them back to their owners, and the other would provide $25 million to allow the state to work with banks to refinance mortgages.

    New Jersey also will have $51.4 million in federal funds available from a measure passed by Congress in July, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, to purchase homes that have fallen into foreclosure, rehabilitate and resell them at reduced prices or demolish them. Five municipal governments, including the state’s three largest cities — Newark, Jersey City and Paterson — will share an extra $12.5 million in federal money to purchase foreclosed homes.

  4. SG says:

    Corzine lays out wide-ranging economic rescue plan
    by Claire Heininger/The Star-Ledger
    Friday October 17, 2008, 12:05 AM

    The Democratic governor called for putting $500 million of pension and other state-managed investment funds into community banks, to make more money available for lending to local businesses.

    He also asked for a new program that would give businesses with up to 500 employees $3,000 for each new full-time job they create and maintain for at least one year.

    In all, the economic-stimulus package will cost the state about $150 million, not including the investment of pension funds. New Jersey also could benefit from more federal funding in the weeks ahead, possibly from the $700 billion bailout recently passed in Congress or from a proposed stimulus package, Corzine said.

    Some of the measures — such as speeding up construction projects, providing foreclosure assistance and investing the pension funds — will soon be implemented by the administration, Corzine said. Others require legislation, such as the $3,000-per-new-job plan and several changes to New Jersey’s corporate tax formulas.

  5. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Bankers’ Bedrooms Get Starring Role in Credit Crunch: Joe Mysak

    A municipal bond analyst’s best friend in the months ahead is going to be the newspapers’ and magazines’ “Luxury Homes and Estates” advertising sections.

    You know them — they contain page upon page of top-tier, multimillion-dollar houses and apartments.

    Sometimes they are nice New England-like, Federal-style houses, sometimes handsome Gilded Age piles, more often than not 10,000 or 15,000 square-foot-plus extravaganzas that make you scratch your head and wonder, “Who lives like that?”

    Six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, wine cellar, “media room” (whatever that is), pool, sauna, kitchen with two ranges, “out buildings” “stable block”: Were the people who bought these places planning on holding very regular and large family reunions or going into the bed-and-breakfast business? Did they really think that all their friends and family would travel out to the remotest regions of Wyoming, Montana and the Outer Banks to visit for a weekend barbecue?

    The front lines of the credit crunch are going to be Martha’s Vineyard; Litchfield, Connecticut; New Jersey’s horse country; Palm Beach, Florida; the Upper East Side and Tribeca in Manhattan; wherever our erstwhile plutocrats decided to buy houses and apartments and live like rich people.

    (emphasis added)

  6. grim says:

    From the LI Business News:

    Automobile dealers breaking down on Long Island

    High gas prices and a tightening credit market is causing many of Long Island’s auto dealers to consolidate or close shop altogether, leaving their vacant car lots for real estate brokers to redevelop.

    It’s hard to sell cars when you can’t offer customers loans. For example, Capital One Financial will suspend inventory lending to auto dealers in New York and New Jersey on Nov. 1. And the financing divisions of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford have also tightened the credit they extend to some dealers, which has led to fewer options and more expensive loans for car buyers, according to a report on dowjones.com.

    That’s led to the shuttering of the Mitsubishi, Mazda and Chevrolet dealerships in Smithtown, and the Ford dealerships in Rockville Centre and Port Jefferson Station.

  7. grim says:

    From NJBIZ:

    But How Do We Pay For It?

    When Gov. Jon S. Corzine announced that he would be addressing the Legislature about New Jersey’s economy, speculation ran wild as to what the onetime Wall Street kingpin would have in mind for growing the Garden State.

    In a half-hour address in Trenton on Thursday, Corzine outlined a multi-pronged package touching on everything from real estate (mandatory mediation in all foreclosure situations) to small-business growth (offering a $3,000 tax credit, per new hire, to companies with 500 or fewer employees) to lending (depositing state funds into community banks in order to encourage growth). Part of the plan is designed to spur job creation by moving up the start dates for construction projects for agencies like NJ Transit and, in cooperation with New York, the Port Authority.

    As an immediate salve to the state’s economy, it won praise, but critics wonder how, exactly, the debt-saddled state will pay for it.

  8. SG says:

    Haines: Corzine Ignores The Needs Of Middle Class Families

    “Just last month New Jersey lost 3, 900 jobs; year-to-date more than 21, 000 and that doesn’t reflect the current crisis on Wall Street. Middle class families on Main Street have clearly been adversely affected by the tax, borrow and spend policies of Governor Corzine and his Democratic allies in Trenton.

    “Sadly, Governor Corzine offered limited solutions to the fiscal crisis in his speech today. In fact, one aspect of the governor’s plan helps only 1, 000 homeowners. This is insulting. He seems to have forgotten that there are more than 8.5 million people in the state.

    “In order to revive our economy and help businesses and all middle class families in the state we need to a start with four simple steps.

    Adopt the Republican Plan for a Sales Tax Holiday that will let families keep more of their money, and protects retail jobs.

    Roll back toll hikes, to make commutes more affordable and to keep the cost of groceries from going through the roof.

    Veto the $160 million COAH tax that will cause sprawl, congestion on damage home values.

    Repeal the $60 million energy tax.

  9. SG says:


    Financial Advisers Differ on Future of Economy

    “We are not out of the woods yet,” Tice said, predicting a severe recession or a depression ahead.

    “This has been a massive credit bubble. We grew the total credit market debt from 170 percent to 350 percent of (Gross Domestic Product) — we completely screwed up our economy,” he said. “We will have to take pain. The market is going to go down and it is going to be ugly and I wish I had a better solution.”

    Investors have to decide whom to trust — a particularly important task for those who are retiring in the coming several years.

    Tice counsels far more cautiously.

    “Now is the time to conserve what you have in our opinion because things are likely to be dire for some time,” he said. “This is likely to be a 20-year secular (long-term) bear market. … There’s some dispute if we started in 2000 or 2008 but it’s likely either way to take another 12 to 15 years.”

    He suggests that investors get used to the idea of stable investments like Treasury bills and foreign sovereign debt obligations, even if they earn only 1 percent.

    “Don’t reach for a 9 percent return because you ‘need’ that much money,” he said. “The market will do what it’s going to do regardless of what you as an investor ‘need.'”

    Froehlich predicted the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which peaked at 14,280 in October 2007 but hovered below 9,000 recently, might return to 12,000 by the end of 2009.

    Tice thought it might fall to 5,000. “We’re going to have to get back to milk and cookies and enjoying times with our neighbors and not always driving to the cities from our $600,000 homes.”

    Any in-house Financial Advisor care to give their opinion?

  10. Cindy says:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

    I am trying to understand the drop in commodities – is it related to hedge funds?

  11. Clotpoll says:

    grim (7)-

    “…but critics wonder how, exactly, the debt-saddled state will pay for it.”

    Wait ’til this monkey is Secretary of the Treasury.

  12. Clotpoll says:

    SG (9)-

    A Biblical generation of pain. I’m planning as though we will be in a severe recession for the rest of my life (I’m 49).

  13. SG says:

    HSBC may buy back Canary Wharf headquarters

    When do we start seeing similar things in NYC?

  14. njrebear says:

    Bush to give pep talk to anxious country Friday

  15. Cindy says:

    I have been attempting to track to TED spread – this is what I have so far:

    10/7 – 3.55812
    10/8 – 3.91449
    10/9 – 4.23226
    10/10 – 4.63617
    10/13 – 4.56992
    10/14 – 4.36107
    10/15 – 4.33697
    10/16 – 4.07622

  16. SG says:

    “Buyers are afraid to buy because they think prices are going to go down more,” said Woerner, who entered the industry in its heyday five years ago. “And sellers are really angry. They’re like, `Well, my neighbor got $100,000 more for their house a year ago. Why can’t I get that?”‘

    By contrast, a year ago, it was buyers who were “really angry because prices were so high,” Woerner noted.

    While afraid to purchase too soon, prospective homebuyers who do make a bid on a home become “very cocky,” Woerner said.

    “They come in with low-ball offers and they ask for everything,” she said. “They want everything fixed, and they expect a low price because they figure if you’re selling in this market you must be desperate.”

    Desperation, of course, is another powerful motivator.

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_10740605

  17. SG says:

    JPMorgan Responsible for the Destruction of U.S. Financial System

    The tag team of JPMorgan as the monster and Goldman Sachs as its harlot represent a powerful pair that is more responsible for destroying the entire US financial system than 95% of the American public has any awareness. The colossus of JPMorgan is a monster, a predator, nurtured by pond scum. It has gobbled up Chase Manhattan, Manufacturers Hanover, Chemical Bank, Bank One, and more over the past two decades. Their profound presence in keeping the USTreasury Bond yields down can never be understated. They do so by managing 85% of the credit derivatives on the planet. They distorted usury prices, as in price of borrowed money, thus aggravating the LIBOR (London InterBank Offered Rate) market in a very visible manner.

    The oblong usury prices have contributed mightily to the destruction of the US Economy itself, created bubbles, killed jobs, and wrecked savings. The ugliest hidden activity for the JPMorgan monster is to manage the Bank of Baghdad, where they manipulate the crude oil price, where drug trafficking money is funneled from Afghan sales, under management by the US Military aegis (guys with no uniform stripes or markings). Maybe such illicit money offsets Credit Default Swap losses, making America strong for freedom and liberty. Goldman Sachs is clearly the investment banking agent for the USGovt, given the privilege of insider trading in unspeakable proportions.

  18. Cindy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/opinion/17buffett.html

    Hasn’t the market fallen every Friday?

    Buffet is buying…for now…

  19. grim says:

    I guess record Wall Street bonuses aren’t going to keep top tier towns frothy this year…

    From CNBC:

    JPMorgan Bonuses to Be Slashed 30% to 50%

    In a sign of what is expected to be a dismal year for Wall Street bonuses, CNBC has learned this year’s bonuses at JPMorgan Chase will be down 30 percent to 50 percent. The news was relayed to the managing directors of the firm’s investment bank in a call to review the company’s third quarter earnings.

  20. Cindy says:

    (20) Thanks Grim

  21. grim says:

    Commentary from William Poole in the WSJ:

    Treasury Has No Authority to Coerce the Banks
    The less voluntary the bailout, the bigger the risks.

    Last week, the Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program was itself in deep trouble, with observers harping on the administrative nightmare it would entail. On Tuesday, Treasury announced its program of direct purchases of bank stock.

    The capital-infusion program would be voluntary for the banks wanting to raise new capital this way. This approach was the right way to go. It promised to use federal resources in an effective and relatively market-friendly way.

    But we’ve since learned from press reports, including in this newspaper, that the program was not quite so voluntary for nine of the nation’s largest banks. The day before the government announced its new program, the heads of these banks apparently “volunteered” to sign up the way a soldier is “volunteered” for latrine duty. “Yes sir, sergeant, right away, sir.”

    To my knowledge, there is no statute that permits the U.S. government to require that a corporation sell stock to the government. Is Treasury so panicked by the financial crisis that it is willing to abandon normal democratic processes, such as acting under statutory powers?

    The sad thing is that there is no need to strong-arm large banks; indeed, this tactic adds risk to the financial stabilization effort. Treasury’s argument, as I understand it, is that it needs to require some participation in the capital-infusion program to avoid stigma. Because participation carries terms objectionable to banks, such as limits on executive compensation, only weak banks will want to participate willingly. If some banks participated and others did not, those who did would be in effect declaring they were weak and scaring away depositors and investors.

    The stigma argument does carry some weight. But the way to deal with it is for participating banks to raise private capital as well as Treasury capital — so that they can demonstrate that they are unquestionably solvent and strong. One way to demonstrate strength would be to hold capital clearly in excess of the regulatory minimum.

    One risk posed by Treasury’s less-than-voluntary approach: What if a courageous board of directors of one of the nine large banks doesn’t agree to sell stock to the Treasury, despite the CEO’s promise? After all, a board should be more than a rubber stamp for the CEO. What if a stockholder suit blocks a bank’s participation? Then what? Would Treasury apply further turns of the extralegal screw to the recalcitrant bank?

    If a bank hangs tough, we have some very rough times immediately ahead. If no bank resists, we have some tough times ahead for the longer run, because, large bank or small, the federal government is now beginning to walk down the path of credit allocation.

  22. Yikes says:

    Cindy – So as the TED Grows, what does that mean?

    Grim – was mentioned late last night … any thoughts to a GTG in AC?

  23. grim says:

    any thoughts to a GTG in AC?

    AC has been discussed in the past. Not sure that we’ll get good turnout though.

  24. Confused In NJ says:

    12.Clotpoll Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 6:52 am
    SG (9)-

    A Biblical generation of pain. I’m planning as though we will be in a severe recession for the rest of my life (I’m 49).

    Luckily, History Channel says 12/20/2012, so pain span is limited.

  25. grim says:

    Bank Failure Friday!

  26. HEHEHE says:

    “In a sign of what is expected to be a dismal year for Wall Street bonuses, CNBC has learned this year’s bonuses at JPMorgan Chase will be down 30 percent to 50 percent.”

    They forgot to add you have to be employed by JPM on the date they award them too:)

  27. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Talk of sales-tax cut may backfire

    Talking about trying to stimulate the economy by halving the sales tax during the holiday season may wind up hurting the big-ticket retailers who would most likely benefit if the tax holiday were enacted.

    Aiming to help keep businesses open and people employed, Republicans want to reduce the state’s 7 percent sales tax from the Friday after Thanksgiving through Jan. 4. With tepid to dismissive reaction from the controlling Democrats in Trenton, the proposal’s prospects seem slim.

    What’s worse, said James B. Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, which supports the measure, is that talk of the holiday may speed up the demise of car dealers.

    Car sales are expected to be down 12.5 percent this year, and 40 dealers have consolidated or closed in the last 18 months as the crumbling economy has stopped people from buying cars, Appleton said Thursday at an Assembly Republican hearing on the economy.

    “If we gave them one more reason not to buy today because they think three weeks from now they’ll get a discount, I’m not sure some dealers will last those three weeks,” Appleton said.

  28. Cindy says:

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

    (24) Yikes –

    The experts here can tell you – I was told (by the experts here) that we want it to go down…

    “A rising TED spread often presages a downturn in the US stock market, as it indicates that liqidity is being withdrawn.”

    “The TED spread is an indicator of perceived credit risk in the general economy.”

  29. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (19)-

    If I could get my own preferred class of shares- with a 10% coupon- I’d be long, too.

  30. Clotpoll says:

    (29)-

    Welcome to deflation, Mr. Appleton:

    “If we gave them one more reason not to buy today because they think three weeks from now they’ll get a discount, I’m not sure some dealers will last those three weeks,” Appleton said.

  31. Clotpoll says:

    Dicky Fuld subpoenaed.

    Makes perfect sense. LEH was selected from the get-go as the corporate scapegoat…and the one to be cut loose. GS wins again!

    Now, the CEO will be offered up to the 6 o’clock news as the guy who did it all.

  32. BC Bob says:

    “Financial institutions ran to their lender of last resort for record amounts of cash in the latest week, under extreme pressure from the worst global financial crisis in a generation, Federal Reserve data showed on Thursday.”

    “Banks and dealers’ overall direct borrowings from the Fed averaged a record $437.53 billion per day in the week ended October 15, topping the previous week’s $420.16 billion per day.”

    “We have effectively allowed the central banks to disintermediate the banking system. Why would I want to borrow from you if I could do it with the central bank, because they can always print it up and say ‘here’…and they are in the business now of making sure I stay in business,”
    Simons said.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081016/bs_nm/us_usa_fed_discount_3

  33. BC Bob says:

    Cindy,

    Forget the TED spread. Focus on earnings and the economy.

  34. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Sept. housing starts fall 6% to 817,000, 17-year low

    U.S. Sept. building permits fall 8% to 786,000, 27-year low

    U.S. single-family building permits down 39% in past year

    U.S. Sept. single-family permits down 12% to 26-year low

    U.S. Sept. housing starts worse than expected

  35. DL says:

    What’s different this time.
    1. Consumption was an illusion financed by home equity.
    2. Households are at or above their ability to carry additional debt.
    3. When/if banks are willing to lend to consumers, households will not need or want credit.
    4. Consumption will drop drastically causing demand destruction for all types of services and goods.
    5. Job loss will result from decreased demand.
    6. Government spending will not be able to “kick start” the economy.
    7. Deflation and wealth destruction are the only viable solutions. Too much money was chasing too few assets creating bubbles.

  36. Sean says:

    Waiting for an update from the NJ Dept of the Investment on the what was a 76 Billion dollar Pension fund.

    They haven’t updated the data since August.

    http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/doinvest/

  37. BC Bob says:

    [36],

    Positive news for the housing market.

  38. John says:

    Cindy buy an ETF that buy a basket of pref stock, you get around 11% dividend taxed at 15% and a shot given low stock prices of another 50% in upside appreciation also taxed at 15% or just put a limit order in around a point below asking on a JPM, BAC Pref and it will execute during one of our daily 400 point down swings. You can get a better deal than buffet. You will be kicking yourself next year it you don’t do it.

    So Cerabus buys out the remaining stake Mercedes has from Chrysler to make it all American then is gets JPM to finance GMs purchase of Chrysler then GM/Chrysler receives two thirds of Govt package and then only re-tools the best factories of the combined two dumps the unperforming factories and cans all the reduntant white collar workers and force unions into more concessions and hit the US Govt up for more money as now they are to big to fail. Sounds like the 30 year GM Bonds paying 33% are a screaming buy at 20 cents on the dollar. You get back nearly all your cash in three years and then the next 27 is gravy. Even better if you bought a 10K bond at 20 cents on a dollar you are only spending 2K today and have a shot at 30 years of interest as if you had 10K and then you get back 10K at end even though you only spent 2k.

    Pretty cool.

    Muni bonds are crazy buffet yields, once the bond insurer bail out passes, muni bond ratings will go up, also S&P is re-rating munis based on state and city strenght not bond insurer so the bonds have a shot at getting the higher rating of two, interst rates are falling which make existing bonds more valuable and O looks like he will win which will make taxes higher and tax free bonds more valuable. Finally, a few NJ bonds hit 7% yesterday that is 11% if it was taxable interest. Some of the bonds like that are NJ toll roads with solid revenue streams, underlying collateral and are insured. No reason to be at that yield. Cindy do your research.

    Buffet was also in yesterday cause pricing was crazy. Bud which pays a good dividend at one point was trading at 20% less than the cash offer of the agreed upon deal, hedge funds were dumping anything they could in the morning. That was a chance to get 20% pretty much risk free for holding a blue chip dividend paying stock for a few weeks.

    Cindy change your last name to buffet and jump in!!!

  39. BC Bob says:

    Sean [38],

    Taxpayers, dig deeper.

  40. grim says:

    Positive news for the housing market.

    Positive news for the existing home market, negative news for the economy.

  41. Sean says:

    re: Lehman Failure

    In Bernake’s speech to the Economic Club of NY he spoke about Lehman and why they could not be saved.

    QUOTE: “A public-sector solution for Lehman proved infeasible, as the firm could not post sufficient collateral to provide reasonable assurance that a loan from the Federal Reserve would be repaid, and the Treasury did not have the authority to absorb billions of dollars of expected losses to facilitate Lehman’s acquisition by another firm. Consequently, little could be done except to attempt to ameliorate the effects of Lehman’s failure on the financial system.”

  42. BC Bob says:

    Treasury supply is increasing exponentially while the economy has fallen off the edge. So as the fed continues to cut, the long end continues to rise. Great news if you are an idiot banker. Troubling if you are tapping the credit markets.

  43. PGC says:

    If the bond market is all gravy at the moment, then why is my Investment grade bond fund in the toilet. It was fine up until about 3 weeks ago and then tanked when the market went down. I thought that bonds and equities had a symbiotic relationship. Stocks up, bonds down. Stocks down, bonds up.

  44. Sean says:

    The state run NJ Pension Fund lost about 22 Billion when the DOT COM bubble burst. The fund went from $94 billion in the year 2000 to $72 billion in 2002, it had only since climbed back up to 76 Billion as of August, and most certain has declined since August.

    The shortfall has to be made up by the taxpayers. New Jersey needed about $58 billion to provide all the care it has promised its current and future retirees.

    My Bet is if O Man wins Corzine and his cronies exit stage left and go work for the Federal GOV in some capacity.

  45. BC Bob says:

    JB [42],

    Exactly.

    The economy is digging a deeper hole. Unfortunately, reaching the bottom in housing will cause extreme damage to the economy. Oh well, nobody said it would be easy.

  46. PGC says:

    GTG – I have a free weekend coming up Nov 7th. Can’t do AC, but would anyone be up for a NNJ meet up.

    I would like to see a Ridgewood meet up at some time. We could even start with a Foreclosure walking tour.

  47. 3b says:

    #47 BC Bob: And that is the sad part, the artificial run up in housing has ruined the economy.

  48. grim says:

    Brigadoon and Haughtyville are on the docket.

  49. John says:

    Wall Street, the sequel: Greed is gone
    The Economist, 18 October 2008, 367 words , (English)
    But what will Gordon Gekko be like when he is back? MASTERS of the universe one year, minions of the state the next, Wall Street’s finest have been humbled as never before. Such a parable would be ideal fodder for the recession-era …

  50. Stu says:

    Dink (from last night):

    If you are interested in FP video poker, you must immediately join the yahoo group VPFREE.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vpFREE/

    Besides their daily digest where professional VP pokers share their secrets, they have the odds listed and location for almost every FP and near FP machine in the US. You can sort by casino or game.

    In AC, at the Tropicana they have Double JW – 52 cards plus two Jokers at 25 cents.
    9/5 (FP) = 1-2-3-4-5-9-25-50-100-800
    (99.97% – 22.1 VAR – 44,905 RF Cycle)

    With any kind of cash back or comp multiplier it is a positive machine.

    Most of the other casinos have 9/6 Jacks with a return of 99.5%. This is an easy game to master and is available from .25 to $100. Typically, one requires a comp multiplier of 9% or higher to turn this one into a positive game.

    Nothing else in the casino, besides counting cards at BJ, will even provide you with better than a 98.6 unless you can master Baccarat to the tune of a 98.9% return.

    Hence, why 9/6 Jacks or Better is the game to play.

    If we do plan a GTG in AC, I’d be more than glad to give you all a basic lesson that will provide you with at least 99% return.

    So when someone belts out that infamous quote that the house has you beat every time…tell them they are wrong!

  51. John says:

    The bond market is great today with average investment grade corp bonds at 79 cents. At 79 cents over 1 in 5 investment grade companies would have to go bankrupt in next 12 months and be so bankrupt bonds pay zero on the dollar for you to break even.

    That is factoring in a worst case we have never seen.

    When bonds were trading at par in 2007 that was factoring in pretty much zero companies would go bankrupt which was kinda crazy as we know companies do go bankrupt, so in 2007 you were not being paid for the risk you took on in 2008 your are being overreward for the risk you take on.
    PGC Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 8:50 am
    If the bond market is all gravy at the moment, then why is my Investment grade bond fund in the toilet. It was fine up until about 3 weeks ago and then tanked when the market went down. I thought that bonds and equities had a symbiotic relationship. Stocks up, bonds down. Stocks down, bonds up.

  52. Sean says:

    If the government wants to guarantee credit for banks, why not guarantee everyone a job?

    HOW about a FULL Employment Jobs program. There are at least 700,000 people out of work in NJ and NY. The Gov should put them all to work, since private enterprise does not need them.

    Work keeps at bay three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.
    – Voltaire, 1759

  53. 3b says:

    Hey tbw if you are around. I thought you might like to know 2 of the castle condos are in foreclosure (built Spring of 2007).

    They are currently listed with a realtor, but are in fact in froeclosure. The penthouse is also still available,reduced from 1.3 million to 995k (3rd listing)

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2842045&id=999999

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2842169&id=999999

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2810534&id=999999

  54. NJGator says:

    And who said the foreclosure problem won’t hit the high end train towns?

    http://newmls.gsmls.com/public/show_public_report_rpt.do?report=clientfull&Id=37280493_6166

  55. Cindy says:

    (35) BC
    “Forget the TED spread. Focus on earnings and the economy.”

    I was wondering about that because no one I know wants to borrow money.

  56. NJGator says:

    BTW the Chatham listing in 55 was purchased in 1/06 for $665k. Current LP is $529k. Ouch!

  57. via NakedCapitalism:Icleandic defaults causing more CDO woes.
    Just when you think it couldn’t get any stupider it does. They were selling off the premium payments on credit default swaps as CDOs.

  58. BC Bob says:

    Stu/Gator,

    When did the Wellmont start hosting concerts? Do you know the capacity for concerts? Is there parking available for this?

  59. Secondary Market says:

    Is PA the new Charlotte?

    HOUSE PRICES: SECOND QUARTER 2008 (Year-to-Year Change)

    Over the past 12 months, most of the gains in the house price indexes across the metropolitan areas in our three-state region were in western Pennsylvania.

    Metropolitan Area

    Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA -2.0%
    Newark-Union, NJ-PA* -2.9%
    Altoona, PA 3.8%
    Ocean City, NJ -2.1%
    Atlantic City, NJ -3.1%
    Philadelphia, PA* 0.6%
    Camden, NJ* -2.6%
    Pittsburgh, PA 3.2%
    Dover, DE 0.8%
    Reading, PA 3.6%
    Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA 4.7%
    Erie, PA 2.2%
    State College, PA 3.6%
    Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA 3.0%
    Trenton-Ewing, NJ -3.4%
    Johnstown, PA 9.6%
    Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ 0.5%
    Lancaster, PA 1.5%
    Williamsport, PA 4.3%
    Lebanon, PA -4.0%
    Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ*-1.9%
    Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight*

  60. Cindy says:

    (40) John

    “Cindy change your last name to buffet and jump in!!!”

    John, you must have missed my annual income report from a few days ago. The best I can do is my monthly dollar-cost averaging in my 403b…pittance.

  61. John says:

    Cindy, use your rich husband’s money or your FWB’s money.

  62. gary says:

    Is it a good time to buy, yet?

  63. Stu says:

    BC Bob:

    Wellmont was supposed to kicked off with Hanson (umm bop), but they added the Counting Crows.

    http://www.wellmonttheatre.com/

    Theatre holds 2,500. Initial ticket prices are insane for most shows, but I see this happening everywhere.

    They claim to have a parking plan, but smart people will just park about 1/4 a mile south in one of the many residential neighborhoods surrounding the theatre. At first, I expect everyone to cherish the theatre. But eventually, the lack of parking will spell it’s demise. It’s a decent walk from Bay Street NJ Transit station as well.

    The renovation though is supposed to be incredible.

  64. NJGator says:

    BC Bob – First concert at the Wellmont will be the Counting Crows on 10/27. Regarding parking, I suggest prayer.

  65. BC Bob says:

    Stu,

    Thanks. I’m thinking of going to see the Counting Crows and Steeley Dan. This could be a big hit, if they address the parking issue. Akin to Count Basie.

  66. Cindy says:

    (62) John

    You have mistaken me for someone else…

  67. BC Bob says:

    Gator [65],

    Thanks. That was the first issue that crossed my mind.

  68. NJGator says:

    A little further research on that Chatham foreclosure shows this owner has had a LP filed on 3 properties – another one in Chatham and one in Madison.

  69. BC Bob says:

    Stu/Gator,

    Open your driveway for parking, Wellmont, and offer a car service to and from.

  70. Cindy says:

    I know John, you can be my rich friend and invest some funds for me and when they pay off, I’ll send my address through Grim so you can forward the check…
    Sound good?

  71. #64 – Oooooh! Yo La Tengo playing on NewYears Eve! That could very well rock!
    Wolf Parade playing on 11/14, Vampire Weekend a month later… I really have to start checking Wellmont more regularly.
    $75 for Counting Crows? Seriously?

  72. Stu says:

    Market futures are looking pretty bad, probably due to our buffoon in chief’s speech earlier.

    Rally off?

    It’s also an option expiration Friday so expect volatility to surpass that of Bi’s predictions.

  73. Yikes says:

    from the vegas paper:

    ROOM RATES PLUNGING

    More signs of declining times: Room rates have fallen dramatically since the economic downturn.

    Rooms at Bellagio are going for $149; $110 at Mandalay Bay, $90 at MGM Grand, $69 at Treasure Island, and $60 at Monte Carlo and Luxor.

    Excalibur is offering $42 deals, and Circus Circus has rates starting at $37.

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/31156239.html

  74. Stu says:

    Yikes,

    Some of us don’t ever pay for rooms so no biggie.

    Wait till City Center opens with another 5,000 rooms and tons more condos in a market that needs less of ’em.

  75. Cindy says:

    (62) (71) And remember John, you feel free to pull your original investment – That’s gunna be okay with me…

  76. NJGator says:

    How about a trip back to the 80’s and Duran Duran? They definitely have an eclectic calendar. Only thing sold out so far is Bill Maher.

  77. John says:

    Gold futures fell Friday for a seventh straight session, with the benchmark contract heading for the biggest weekly loss in more than 20 years, as investors kept dumping futures contracts and opted for cash amid financial turmoil.

  78. Stu says:

    “Only thing sold out so far is Bill Maher.”

    In liberal Montclair, Bill Maher could break Lance Burton’s LV records for consecutive sold-out shows.

  79. John says:

    Cindy Crawford, Cindy McCain, Cindy Margolis must Cindy’s are rich and beautiful.

  80. Clotpoll says:

    I wouldn’t pay .75 to see Counting Crows.

  81. Clotpoll says:

    John (79)-

    Paul Tudor Jones is selling his gold. If he needs cash, that tells you everything you need to know about the hedgie world.

    My bold prediction (sorry, bi) is another massive selloff today.

    Speaking of bi, I hear he’s dating his margin clerk. However, she still won’t cut him any special “favors”.

  82. JF says:

    …And Justice For All by Metallica.

    Lyrics are pretty fitting I think:

    Halls of Justice Painted Green
    Money Talking
    Power Wolves Beset Your Door
    Hear Them Stalking
    Soon You’ll Please Their Appetite
    They Devour
    Hammer of Justice Crushes You
    Overpower

    The Ultimate in Vanity
    Exploiting Their Supremacy
    I Can’t Believe the Things You Say
    I Can’t Believe
    I Can’t Believe the Price You Pay
    Nothing Can Save You

    Justice Is Lost
    Justice Is Raped
    Justice Is Gone
    Pulling Your Strings
    Justice Is Done
    Seeking No Truth
    Winning Is All
    Find it So Grim
    So True
    So Real

    Apathy Their Stepping Stone
    So Unfeeling
    Hidden Deep Animosity
    So Deceiving
    Through Your Eyes Their Light Burns
    Hoping to Find
    Inquisition Sinking You
    With Prying Minds

    The Ultimate in Vanity
    Exploiting Their Supremacy
    I Can’t Believe the Things You Say
    I Can’t Believe
    I Can’t Believe the Price You Pay
    Nothing Can Save You

    Justice Is Lost
    Justice Is Raped
    Justice Is Gone
    Pulling Your Strings
    Justice Is Done
    Seeking No Truth
    Winning Is All
    Find it So Grim
    So True
    So Real

    Lady Justice Has Been Raped
    Truth Assassin
    Rolls of Red Tape Seal Your Lips
    Now You’re Done in
    Their Money Tips Her Scales Again
    Make Your Deal
    Just What Is Truth? I Cannot Tell
    Cannot Feel

    The Ultimate in Vanity
    Exploiting Their Supremacy
    I Can’t Believe the Things You Say
    I Can’t Believe
    I Can’t Believe the Price We Pay
    Nothing Can Save Us

    Justice Is Lost
    Justice Is Raped
    Justice Is Gone
    Pulling Your Strings
    Justice Is Done
    Seeking No Truth
    Winning Is All
    Find it So Grim
    So True
    So Real

    Seeking No Truth
    Winning Is All
    Find it So Grim
    So True
    So Real

  83. Clotpoll says:

    Exit light
    Enter night
    Take my hand
    Off to never never land

    Somethings wrong, shut the light
    Heavy thoughts tonight
    And they arent of snow white

    Dreams of war, dreams of liars
    Dreams of dragons fire
    And of things that will bite

  84. NJGator says:

    All this CC talk makes me nostalgic for my redneck college days. A good college friend of mine used to work nights as a DJ in the JD Penguin’s Revolving Lounge in an ABC Liquors store in Gainesville. One night a drunk redneck offered him $5 to play “that really cool Mr. Jones song”…ugh!

    Also my Libertarian Gun Nut friends once organized a protest of the Hootie and the Blowfish concert at the Florida Theatre. They marched outside with signs that said “Hootie is a tool of the new world order” and “No Hootie Blow Fish”. Apparently word got out to the band, that didn’t get the joke. Darius even commented on stage “We’ve never been protested before. We’re the least controversial band.” My friends were just bored and thought they sucked.

  85. BC Bob says:

    “I wouldn’t pay .75 to see Counting Crows.”

    Clot,

    Just pay .75 and I’ll take your ticket.

  86. Cindy says:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/100384-vouchers-against-forclosures?source=email

    Here’s an idea…..
    “Vouchers against foreclosures”

  87. Stu says:

    Mr. Crowley, what went on in your head
    (Oh) Mr. Crowley, did you talk to the dead
    Your lifestyle to me seemed so tragic
    With the thrill of it all
    You fooled all those people with magic
    (Yeah)You waited on Satan’s call

    Mr. Charming, did you think you were pure
    Mr. Alarming, in nocturnal rapport
    Uncovering things that were sacred, manifest on this earth
    (Oh)Conceived in the eye of a secret
    Yeah, they scattered the afterbirth

    Solo

    Mr. Crowley, won’t you ride my white horse?
    Mr. Crowley, it’s symbolic of course
    Approaching a time that is classic
    I hear that maidens call
    Approaching a time that is drastic
    Standing with their backs to the wall

  88. BC Bob says:

    “My bold prediction (sorry, bi) is another massive selloff today.”

    Clot,

    It will be wild, options exp.

  89. #81 – Oh, I’d do .75. But am I missing something here? Is there some sort of huge Counting Crows fan base I never knew of?
    I mean their 5 best known songs are Mr. Jones and then Mr. Jones 4 more times.

  90. Stu says:

    Tried to post the lyrics of Mr. Crowley.

    I suppose Ozzy must be taken in moderation.

  91. Jaw says:

    Stu @ 52,

    Any quick tips? Going to AC this weekend.

  92. gary says:

    I am the one, Orgasmatron
    the oustreched grasping hand
    my image is of agony
    my servants r*pe the land
    obsequious and arrogance
    clandestine and pain
    two thousend years of misery
    of torture in my name
    hypocrisy made paramount
    paranoia the law
    my name is called religion
    sadistic
    sacred
    wh*re

    I twist the truth
    I rule the world
    my crown is called deceit
    I am the emperor of lies
    you grovel at my feet
    I rob you and I slaughter you
    your downfall is my gain
    and still you play the sycophant
    and rebel in your pain
    and all my promises are lies
    all my love is hate
    I am the politician
    and I decide your fate

    I march before a martiant world
    an army for the fight
    I speak of great heroic days
    of victory and might
    I hold a banner drenched in blood
    I urge you to be brave
    I lead you to your destiny
    I lead you to your grave
    your bones will build my palaces
    your eyes will stud my crown
    for I am mars the god of war
    and I will cut you down

  93. Stu says:

    “Any quick tips? Going to AC this weekend.”

    Make sure you get a player’s card.

    If you are going to tip at the tables, do it in the presence of a pit boss and it doesn’t hurt to up your bets when they approach.

    Don’t play 6/5 black jack and look out for the tables where the dealer hits soft 17. This is bad news for the players.

    Which casino are you going to?

  94. BC Bob says:

    Clot [82],

    Open interest, futures, has fallen 270,000 contracts in the past year. If it was increasing, I would have been short, during this time frame. Open interest is now back to 2006 levels but gold is $200 higher? In addition to this, the ETF contract has increased 150 tons in the past month. Does Barclay’s have the physical to back this?

  95. Shore Guy says:

    Ozzy? Moderation? Perish the thought.

  96. BC Bob says:

    tosh [89],

    What can I say, my wife likes the group. What the hey, she agreed to sell our house in 9/05. If it costs me a couple of tickets, so be it. I’ll go to Tierney’s first and get lathered up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWmeUmj6U_U

  97. skep-tic says:

    Hedge Funds May Cut 10,000 Jobs, Options Group Says (Update1)

    By Saijel Kishan

    Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) — Hedge funds may cut as many as 10,000 jobs this year as they struggle with their biggest losses in almost two decades

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

  98. Stu says:

    One more money management strategy that works nicely on the BJ table. It’s called the Manhattan progression.

    On the first hand bet double the table minimum. If you win…

    On the next hand bet the table minimum. If you win again…

    On the third hand bet double the table minimum again. If you win again…

    Bet triple the table minimum….Etc.

    Any time you lose, go back to betting double the table minimum and begin the progression again.

    The full progression goes 212-334-5678. Hence the name Manhattan progression.

    The power of this sequence is that if you win two hands in a row, you always pocket some of the winnings. Most people just double their bet or go up by one unit with everyone. When you do this, you give too much back on your losses. Unless you hit a really cold table, this betting progression will keep you on the table a lot longer. If the table is choppy, you will neither win or lose more than betting the same amount every time. If the table is hot…Hoowah!

    Couple last tips. Since the odds are stacked against you, the longer you play, the more likely it is you will lose. If you get an early win, go out to the boardwalk and enjoy the variety of things to do. Spend some of your winnings in the outlets. At least when you go back to the tables and they take the shirt off of your back, you’ll have another to wear home.

    Good luck.

  99. #93 – Oh dear. We’ve descended to posting Motorhead. Things could get ugly.

  100. Jaw says:

    Stu @ 92,

    We don’t have any particular casino in mind. Relatives are here from out of state so was just going to take them to AC as something to do. Based on your recommendation above I was thinking we will definitely do Tropicana.

  101. Jaw says:

    That was suppose to be Stu @ 97.

  102. gary says:

    toshiro_mifune,

    Nothing like a good dose of Lemmy to set things right! :)

  103. grim says:

    It’s called the Manhattan progression.

    My god, have you phoned the quants yet? You could be on to the next big thing. And here we thought Martingale and a big black box was the pinnacle of modern finance.

  104. #100 – If it makes your wife happy that’s all that matters. I had no idea they were that popular.

  105. Stu says:

    Clot (85):

    “My bold prediction (sorry, bi) is another massive selloff today.”

    I hope you are right. I have some limit sells in that would require your prediction to come true to trigger. Monday’s have been bad to shorts as Paulson likes to do his research on the weekend and announce his voodoo on Sunday nights.

  106. Diane says:

    the JD Penguin’s Revolving Lounge in an ABC Liquors store in Gainesville.

    omg… I know this place.

  107. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Consumer sentiment drops in October

    In the midst of global efforts to shore up markets and economies, U.S. consumer sentiment dropped in October, according to a media report on the University of Michigan/Reuters index released Friday. The index fell to 57.5 in October, compared with a reading of 70.3 in late September. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting an October result of 64.5.

  108. BC Bob says:

    Hail to the Victors;

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — In the midst of global efforts to shore up markets and economies, U.S. consumer sentiment dropped in October, according to a media report on the University of Michigan/Reuters index released Friday. The index fell to 57.5 in October, compared with a reading of 70.3 in late September. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting an October result of 64.5.

  109. grim says:

    ‘Plunge’ would have been more appropriate, but it seems so overused lately…

  110. NJGator says:

    Diane – Are you a UF Alum?

  111. Stu says:

    Grim (107):

    If there were no table limits the Martingale would be a beautiful thing. I play the opposite way. If I’m losing, I bet less. If I’m winning I bet more. Here are some other colorful strategy names all for craps:

    Einstein’s ‘Field’ of relativity.

    The Fireman.

    The Reverse Fibonacci.

    Tyco’s rotating Brahe.

    None of these guarantee or even claim to be a winning system. They are all about lasting longer through money management and making the return in comps.

  112. Diane says:

    Nope. UCF. (and Lafayette. Moved to NJ from Daytona Beach.

  113. Diane says:

    I had friends at UF. And I think there is more than on JD’s. How about those rotating bars…

  114. NJGator says:

    Yes, they were very classy :) My friend was not a morning person. It was a great college gig for him. Stay up late, chain smoke and drink.

  115. Secondary Market says:

    the best AC/Vegas advice i had ever received was from a dealer. he was taking a smoke break and i asked him for a gambling tip. he took a long toke, blew out the smoke and said: “save yourself the trip, just send us a check”.

  116. Stu says:

    If Bush had half a brain, his speeches on the crisis would have looked something like this.

    From the lips of the Oracle:

    Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.

    You might think it would have been impossible for an investor to lose money during a century marked by such an extraordinary gain. But some investors did. The hapless ones bought stocks only when they felt comfort in doing so and then proceeded to sell when the headlines made them queasy.

    Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn’t. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value. Indeed, the policies that government will follow in its efforts to alleviate the current crisis will probably prove inflationary and therefore accelerate declines in the real value of cash accounts.

    Equities will almost certainly outperform cash over the next decade, probably by a substantial degree. Those investors who cling now to cash are betting they can efficiently time their move away from it later. In waiting for the comfort of good news, they are ignoring Wayne Gretzky’s advice: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”

  117. Doyle says:

    #120

    I just spent the last three days at jury duty in lovely downtown Paterson, NJ. There were two very nice little old African-American ladies in the jury box at one point. When the judge asked them each what they like to do in their spare time, they both replied “I’m a Christian and I like to go to church, and gamble”.

  118. make money says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l-kR82_ydM

    I love seeing my broker on TV abuzing everyone. Even CNBC and Dillon bow down to Peter Schiff!!!

  119. Stu says:

    Secondary Market,

    You do know that the nickname by locals for Las Vegas is “Lost Wages”.

  120. Shore Guy says:

    “Moved to NJ from Daytona Beach.”

    For the weather?

  121. Jaw says:

    Thanks for the tips Stu.

  122. lostinny says:

    RE AC gtg
    Dropkick Murphy’s Nov. 7th
    Please no more Lemmy. I can only visualize those warts for so long.

  123. Shore Guy says:

    “Atlantic City, NJ -3.1%”

    Was this part of the state not one of the few britght spots up until now?

  124. John says:

    Cindy I would love to bank roll you but I ran out of money. Between March 1st and last week I have been buying bank bonds and munis wtih most of buying taking place 3/1, 7/15 and in the last month. I ran out of cash last week. Now lets hope Uncle Sam knows what he is doing to fix the credit markets in the next few weeks.

  125. Shore Guy says:

    “From the Record:

    New Hudson River tunnel on track”

    Central NJ commuters throwing money down a dark hole?

  126. NJGator says:

    Shore – Hopefully it comes to fruition before train service from the Poconos :)

  127. Stu says:

    Jaw:

    Last hint.

    Download and install this.

    http://www.download25.com/video-poker-hunt-download.html

    If you can’t get your VP accuracy above 99%, then stick to black jack.

  128. grim says:

    From the Philly Business Journal:

    Economic gloom widens Pa. shortfall

    Pennsylvania is among 20 states and the District of Columbia that are already facing midyear budget gaps, according to a new report.

    The rocky economy has resulted in consumers spending less, driving less and losing jobs — all of which is taking its toll on the tax revenue of states, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported. Pennsylvania’s general fund revenue last month was $163.8 million, 6.5 percent less than anticipated because of declining tax revenue.

    States can draw on available reserves, cut expenditures and raise taxes to try and close budget shortfalls. But action will also be needed by Congress to help them survive the storm, economists said.

    “If you look at the last downturn of 2001-02 the states’ budget problems continued a couple of years after the recession ended, and there’s no reason to think that won’t happen this time,” said Elizabeth C. McNichol, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington.

  129. skep-tic says:

    #51

    “But what will Gordon Gekko be like when he is back?”

    so much potential for that sequal.

  130. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [7] grim

    “critics wonder how, exactly, the debt-saddled state will pay for it.”

    They, and we, need only look in the mirror.

  131. grim says:

    so much potential for that sequal.

    I thought they made the sequel, American Psycho. To some extent I’d say that Boiler Room might be considered the sequel as well.

  132. Victorian says:

    Stu(121)-
    Here are my thoughts on Buffet. He has enough wealth and long enough time horizon to ride out any short term losses in the market. If you remember, he was buying a lot in the 1973-74 bear market. But the market did not really take off until 1980.
    Also, at that point there were no other avenues for investors to make money besides the US – no BRIC, no Russia etc. Our debt to GDP ratio has increased from 150 in 1980 to about 350.
    I am desperately trying to see a bullish case for America, but so far – I have nothing. Except a ground breaking invention in green technology, I do not see where we would see our growth from.

    How would you build your bullish case, ignoring the fact that markets always go up in the long run (However, Japan has discredited that meme). Most investors have timelines of 10 – 20 years.

  133. Nicholas says:

    The bullish case Victoria is that this is a global recession and if we play our cards right we might come out faring better then other economies. In my book that is a win.

    I think the issue that alot of us are having is that we don’t trust that the cards are not comming out of someones sleeve (Paulson).

    We need American ingenuity to turn these lemons into lemonade.

  134. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [88] Comrade running mate gator,

    I bet your redneck college days were more redneck than mine. Hard to be very redneck in western massachusetts (shut up BC) but we tried.

    Probably the most redneck activity was “dead squash hunting” in the fall. We’d glean the fields of overripe pumpkins, find our regular spot in the woods, drink beer and use the pumpkins for target practice.

    Mini 14 .223 cal. makes a nice big hole in the back of a pumpkin.

    Of course, the Smithie from Kentucky was quite the redneck too, but I am keeping some of my John stories to myself.

  135. Victorian says:

    Correction to 138-
    ignoring the “assertion” that markets always go up in the long run.

  136. Nicholas says:

    double negative…damn

    The issue is that alot of us think that someone (Paulson) is pulling cards out of his sleeve.

  137. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    ING shares plunge on capital injection fears

    U.S.-listed shares of Dutch bank and insurer ING Group plunged 30% amid speculation the Dutch government, like others in Europe, may inject capital into it. ING also carries holdings of Alt-A mortgage securities.

  138. PeaceNow says:

    Shore Guy—

    Okay, I now understand what you were talking about re: payroll taxes. Of course, you leave out the fact that payroll taxes are regressive, penalizing all those workers—roughly 90%, by the statistics I found—who make less than $100,000.

    I was the sole proprietor of a small business for many years, and, like you, I bristled at the percentage of my income that went toward “self employment tax.” But I bristled because I never came close to the cap. You, apparently, have.

  139. Diane says:

    (125)“Moved to NJ from Daytona Beach.”

    For the weather?

    yes. and the relaxed lifestyle.

    Really though, when I moved from the Sunshine to the Garden State, my kids were in elementary school. The schools overall are way better here than there. And my salary doubled.

  140. NJGator says:

    Anyone looking in the Montclair/GR area know what is wrong with 43 Hillside Ave (2583284) in Glen Ridge? 5BR (3 decent size) 2 1/2 baths on a large lot. Only 21 DOM and the price was just dropped to $450k. Taxes are 16k based on a $6okk assessment, but that should be pretty easily appealable.

  141. NJGator says:

    Diane 145 – When people asked why I came back north from Florida after school, I told them I moved down to FL 40 years before my time.

    And Gainesville weather was just plain awful from May until October!

  142. NJGator says:

    Comrade Nom 140 – Your redneck experiences are just that much more meaningful, because you really had to work for them. While I, on the other hand, simply had to roll out of bed in the morning.

  143. skep-tic says:

    American Psycho was pretty much a comedy (and a big disappointment compared to the book— difficult to get deep into Bateman’s head in a movie). Boiler Room was better but was sort of underside version of Wall St (it was like the Sopranos was compared to the Godfather– de-glamorized the concept). I think the Wall St sequel has huge potential because a lot of those 80s corporate raiders were really idealists, just like the Reagan revolutionary crew. They all were really pretty high concept when it came down to it and now their nearly religious belief in the power of free markets is being tested. So I think it would be interesting to see Gekko cling to the “greed is good” mantra or abandon it in the face of what is happening now

  144. make money says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE49F97920081016

    I really feel bad for anyone who is still saving in USD.

  145. Shore Guy says:

    Peace,

    We pay about 60% of our income to tax.

    As for payroll tax. If O wants to raise the limit, fine, but at least he should be honest about the fact that he is doing so. Right now the cap on payroll tax is 102k, next year it will be 107k. Once he eliminates the cap, he is going to be hitting lots of people who thought he was going to lower their taxes. One can make sound policy arguments for keeping the cap or eliminating the cap, but one should be honest about what they are doing. He has not been honest about much,and the press has been so charmed with him that they have never pressed him. Now, it is all but over; i hear a fat lady warming up.

  146. NJGator says:

    Shore – where exactly does one find an honest politician?

  147. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    I hear that train is on the drawing boards, and will be built right after the widening of the western end of 80. Time to buy in NEPA before the prices go up in the new train towns. Don’t be shortsighted, or left behind.

  148. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    There are a few. Pete Defazio, for instance.

    The corrupting influence is pensions. Take away the pensions, give them each $15k for 401(k) and see people not flocking to stay forever and, thus, doing everything possible to stay.

  149. Diane says:

    NJGator 147 and others…

    My Florida = Old geezers that cannot drive but on the road in droves especially at 5 pm for the early bird specials clogging up work traffic. Love Bugs. Palmetto Bugs. Lizards. Humidity. Hurricanes. Scam artists. Poor uneducated people. Reformed alcoholic southern baptists. Rednecks with rebel flags…i can go on…

    My daughers (now 19 and 22)tell me the best thing I ever did for them was get them the hell out of eff ell aaaaa

  150. skep-tic says:

    #151

    “One can make sound policy arguments for keeping the cap or eliminating the cap, but one should be honest about what they are doing. He has not been honest about much,and the press has been so charmed with him that they have never pressed him.”

    totally agree.

  151. Dink says:

    Stu, thanks for the advice. I’ll actually be in AC staying at the Trop for teacher’s convention.

    I’ve studied optimal strategy before on video poker, but never gone full bore ahead on it.

  152. Stu says:

    Victorian:

    Buffet has advantages that are akin to Walmart’s buying strategies. Both contain such large size compared to their competitors that it results in much more favorable terms. Use his recent bank buys for example. Very few, besides him and his Berkshire empire could arrange such a great deal. Not even the U.S. government could. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he has the media pulpit to cheerlead his holdings into better positions to sell them. Besides his inherent advantages I just listed, his patience and long-term view are his greatest investment traits. He also does not delve into areas he is not familiar with, hence he avoided the tech bubble entirely. I see Buffet as the world leader in street smarts and common sense, but not terribly academic. He would not have made a good FED or Treasury head.

    As for the return of the market, ChiFi put it best a few weeks back when he asked the question whether we were facing a serious recession verses a depression. I personally don’t see a depression, rather I see a very serious recession ahead. Will we get out? Most definitely. Are we close? No effin way! I don’t see the ‘green’ thing as the way out. As much as it pains me to say this, I think being concerned about the environment and profiting in a capitalist environment work against each other. One can never even ponder the next bubble. A lot of people said the tech bubble would have never occurred had it not been for the IPOD. Others say it was internet porn. To some extent, I would agree that it was a little of both. Although I couldn’t even conjure up a guess what the next revolution will be to drive the economy, I’m fairly certain that something will come up.

    I also think all too often we equate the economy with the stock market. There is a lot more to the economy than the market value. The market values consumerism too greatly. If every company did not have excess earnings, the economy could still be fine. Everyone could be working and collecting a salary and paying taxes. Imagine if all companies were privately held.

    I believe strongly in the laws of supply and demand. Growth is required to support a growing population. Recessions slow birth rates. I know it has slowed Gator’s and mine. Things will eventually equalize and then growth will start anew with a whole new set of problems and crisis.

    When whale oil was a valued commodity for it was used to keep lamps burning, fears of a shortage were all too common. Candles just were not bright enough to perform work after dark. Think anyone predicted the oil find in Pennsy as the next driver of growth and replacement to whale oil?

    What the hell am I talking about? ha ha ha

  153. Shore Guy says:

    Diane,

    The only parts of FLA that tend not to be scary to northerners are the three south east counties, which are the least Floridian.

  154. JF says:

    Did anyone catch Jim Cramer on The Big Idea with Donny Deutch last night? It was pretty interesting.

  155. Stu says:

    Grim my answer to Victoria (158) is in Mod.

  156. skep-tic says:

    the other thing is that the payroll tax cap steadily rises each year anyway, so there is already a built in tax increase.

    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/cbb.html#Series

  157. John says:

    SS tax is not regressive, if you make 300K they may stop taxing you at 102K but when you retire you get a SS payment as if you earned 102K.

    Raising it and keeping the retirement amount at the lower sum is like saying rich folk have to put 31K a year in the 401K plan but the govt will actually only deposit 15.5k in the plan and give your other 15.5K away to the welfare folks in brooklyn so they can buy x-boxes and fancy rims for their escalades. Not fair. SS is a savings plan not a stelth tax.

  158. Shore Guy says:

    skep,

    “Me? No, I NEVER voted to increase your taxes.” Between that and the AMT, they will get more blood from more turnips, without ever having to take the heat for doing so.

  159. Stu says:

    Cool Dink,

    The mere mention of a professional gambler usually creates such ridicule. I’ve met some and they ARE the real deal. I just enjoy the numbers and statistics part of it. If I can break even with this diversion, the more the better.

  160. skep-tic says:

    The overarching goal of O’s tax plan in is simply wealth transfer, plain and simple. Now, there are reasonable arguments as to why this is necessary (e.g., population in general will lose faith in markets if distribution of wealth gets too concentrated at the top); however, O rarely levels with the public that this is his intention (in this, he is no better than most politicians). He instead pretends that he is simply “cutting taxes” for most Americans, when in fact, he is really proposing welfare.

  161. NJGator says:

    I forgot about the love bugs. Yuck! Ate through the paint on my beautiful 89 Red Plymouth Sundance!

    My South Florida school friends always claimed that the Canadian snowbirds were the worst drivers of all. If you’re driving in Florida, the last place you want to be is near a car with Quebecois plates! They definitely were more prone to make the left turn from the far right lane or vice versa.

    I also found it very ironic that in a state with such a large percentage of elderly drivers there were no provisions for driver retesting both on the road and vision after a driver reached an advanced age.

  162. BC Bob says:

    Nom [140],

    I may have done shots with you, early 80’s, at Faneuil Hall?

  163. skep-tic says:

    #164

    Stu– don’t most pro gamblers play poker? my understanding is that in that game, you are really competing against the other customers at the table, rather than the house. thus it is easier for a pro to consistently win

  164. Dink says:

    Right on board with that line of thinking Stu. I get no enjoyment of playing games knowing I’m losing money in the long run (my wife plays roulette and that drives me insane!)

  165. Stu says:

    Skep:

    “He instead pretends that he is simply “cutting taxes” for most Americans, when in fact, he is really proposing welfare.”

    If O didn’t lie, he would never get the votes needed to make the share the wealth strategy become a reality. Both sides lie because they have to. Sheeple can’t handle the truth. And even if they could…they wouldn’t like it. Doesn’t a tax break sound better than an income balancing plan? It’s the same reason Bernanke and Paulson won’t say what they know. Ultimately, you must decide if the truth underlying the lie is something you support or not. Some people believe in trickle down theory, others believe the economy succeeds more by increasing the wealth of the lower and middle classes. The jury is out on finding proof that one works better than the other. I think we would all be better off if the rich were less greedy and the poor were not so dependent on welfare.

    The raw size of government and the inefficiency of the bureaucracy is probably where most of our tax dollars are being wasted when you add it all up. Fighting dumb wars aren’t helping much either.

  166. Stu says:

    Skep (170): “don’t most pro gamblers play poker?”

    Today, probably yes. But as the fad wains again, the video poker ranks will swell again. Both are not an easy living. They both require more time than most full-time jobs and quite frankly, playing poker (video or traditional) for a living could get very boring. It requires tons of travel and amazing discipline. VP requires a lot of scouting to find positive resulting games. Also, casinos eventually pick up on the fact they are losing to you and reduce your comps to zero. I’ll stick to what I do at work.

  167. Shore Guy says:

    We looked at a house the other day and it had tile applied over the basement floor. Does anyone here have any experience with such tings? Since one puts down concrete backer board before applying tile, it seems, on the face of it, that the tile right on the concrete floor should not be a problem. Still, I am wondering if there is anything that could bite us.

  168. SG says:

    Jaimini Bhagwati: Deregulate and perish?-I

    The US housing mortgage market is valued at about $14 trillion and the sub-prime component is around 10 per cent of that amount. The recent financial firm bankruptcies and credit freeze were clearly triggered by housing loan defaults. However, the root causes of the current crisis are more varied than just the repackaging and selling of “toxic” sub-prime mortgage securities by getting the rating agencies to classify them as triple A. For example, AIG was inadequately capitalised to sell high volumes of credit default swaps (CDSs) on CDOs linked to MBS. At a more fundamental level, elementary principles of risk management were abandoned by regulators. For instance, in 2004 five US investment banks, namely Goldman, Lehman, Merrill, Bear-Stearns and Morgan Stanley prevailed upon the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to allow them to increase their leverage. The SEC relaxed its three-decade-old rule, which restricted debt to net capital ratios to 12:1 and allowed these five banks to increase their leverage ratios to 30 and even 40:1. If leverage is around 30:1, a reduction in the value of a bank’s assets by a little over 3 per cent will wipe out its entire equity capital.

    The US has invariably been at the forefront of financial sector deregulation and innovation. At the same time, in the last ten years or so, any weakening of consumer confidence or stock market sentiment was met by increased federal spending and interest rate cuts. This was possible because some Asian and fossil fuel-exporting countries had accumulated large trade surpluses and lent back the dollars to the US through investments in US government paper. Excessively generous housing loans to non-creditworthy borrowers led to a sharp increase in demand which, in turn, resulted in a housing market bubble. MBS were repackaged such that the underlying risk was less obvious and for a time the rise in real estate prices fuelled consumer spending. Less nimble financial institutions were left holding the risk on their books and some of the firms which provided CDS cover did not have adequate risk capital.

    To summarise, is it deregulation which is at the root of the financial sector’s current problems? Deregulation cannot be blamed since it decreased costs through increased competition and also raised efficiency levels. The financial meltdown was due to an abdication of regulatory responsibility, conflicts of interest leading to irresponsible behaviour on the part of rating agencies, and excessively leveraged bets taken by financial institutions combined with loose monetary policy, the last of which was made possible by global trade imbalances.

  169. NJGator says:

    Can someone with GSMLS access let me know if 319 Maolis in Glen Ridge closed? If it did, what was the SP? Many thanks.

  170. Stu says:

    Shore Guy,

    No need for backer over cement. If there is a water problem (common in basement), I imagine that the backer could be problematic. Perhaps Hughesupplier is still around and could answer you. This thing sounds right up his ally.

  171. Secondary Market says:

    Fall of the Fat Cats.

    http://tinyurl.com/6o3uou

  172. grim says:

    Can someone with GSMLS access let me know if 319 Maolis in Glen Ridge closed? If it did, what was the SP? Many thanks.

    OLP/LP: $549,000
    SP: $510,000

  173. BC Bob says:

    “The SEC relaxed its three-decade-old rule, which restricted debt to net capital ratios to 12:1 and allowed these five banks to increase their leverage ratios to 30 and even 40:1.”

    SG [175],

    ….and why does Cox still have a job?

  174. SG says:

    Long article, but here is last few paragraphs.

    A Fukuyama moment in finance

    Central banks around Asia therefore will have to organically trim their reserves by floating currencies, selling off silly assets such as the agency bonds of the US (Fannie and Freddie) and increasing their allocation to physical commodities such as gold, oil and ferrous metals. Around a quarter of China’s reserves are tied up in these assets, for example, creating a mammoth series of losses in future if they are not sold off.

    The world’s overall capacity utilization is declining, suggesting a continuation of deflationary impact on asset prices over the near-term. In effect, buying securities in Europe and the US will only expose Asian investors to further losses. The hardworking citizens of Asia have both a productive and financial edge over their Western counterparts. For them to choose to invest in each other though would take a bit of time, as well as the development of financial markets in these countries.

    Strange as this may seem, it appears to me that the only safe haven in the world, aside from physical gold, is investing in financial assets that best capture the global shift of production and consumption to Asia. In effect, the sweat, blood and toil of Asian workers is the sole engine of global growth. Investments could take the form of stocks or bonds, but the geographical constant remains the region. The reason that is a strange choice is that most such funds are managed and domiciled in the financial centers of New York and London rather than Hong Kong or Singapore.

    Isn’t it time to complete the overhaul of global finance by moving the centers of management to these Asian cities?

  175. NJGator says:

    179 – Thanks, Grim.

  176. BC Bob says:

    “Jordan Belfort was once chairman of a brokerage firm called Stratton Oakmont. In the early to mid-’90s, he called himself the Wolf of Wall Street.”

    [178]

    Possibly, the biggest bucket/scam shop ever.

    No Disclaimer required.

  177. SG says:

    BC: ….and why does Cox still have a job?

    I agree. The SEC sleeping on wheel is the crux of problem. All the sub-prime is just news as it increase viewership of MSM. The whole current gang should be fired.

  178. John says:

    Because when he meets with Barney Frank George Bush gets the giggles introduing Cox and Frank

  179. BC Bob says:

    John,

    Somehow I knew that this was leading to Frank and Cox.

  180. Yikes says:

    CNBC is laughable today. buy stocks! warren buffett said so in the NY Times!

    but american stocks cheap!

    for the sake of buffett and CNBC … if the market dips to 7000 or lower, there will be a lot of angry americans …

  181. kettle1 says:

    Yikes

    My guess is that the market will be up for a few weeks and there could be a pile in behind buffet. only time will tell

  182. Yikes says:

    WSJ bashes Gold

    http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2008/10/17/gold-loses-some-shine/

    this is great news. i’ll be able to buy the physical on the cheap.

  183. Yikes says:

    # BC Bob Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Clot [82],

    Open interest, futures, has fallen 270,000 contracts in the past year. If it was increasing, I would have been short, during this time frame. Open interest is now back to 2006 levels but gold is $200 higher? In addition to this, the ETF contract has increased 150 tons in the past month. Does Barclay’s have the physical to back this?

    BC can you put this in English? You know, for the three of us who have no clue what ‘open interest futures’ means. any links to this info?

    just looking to up my smart quotient

  184. SG says:

    Europeans call for plan on valuing derivatives

    European Union regulators called Friday for a clear plan on valuing some of the shadowy high-risk credit derivative investments that have played a key role in the global financial crisis.

    Billions of dollars have been wiped off banks’ balance sheets in recent months on fears that some complex investments may be based on assets that are nearly worthless — such as housing loans that may not be paid back when a recession puts people out of work.

    Is there Derivative bubble bust in works?

  185. SG says:

    Former SEC chief rips agency on meltdown

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Arthur Levitt, the one-time chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, blamed his former agency Thursday for failures he said helped cause the financial meltdown.

    “As the markets grew larger and more complex — in scope and in products offered — the commission failed to keep pace. As the markets needed more transparency, the SEC allowed opacity to reign. As an overheated market needed a strong referee to rein in dangerously risky behavior, the commission too often remained on the sidelines,” Levitt said.

    Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the panel chairman, blamed unscrupulous lending practices for the meltdown, saying the tactics “will be remembered as the financial crime of the century.”

    He said regulators “willfully ignored the abuses taking place on their beat.”

  186. SG says:

    US banking regulation ‘outdated’

    The banking regulators in the United States are fit for the 19th century and need a “dramatic overhaul”, according to the man who used to run one of them.

    Harvey Pitt was the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for two years until 2003.

    He oversaw Wall Street when it was rocked by the terrorist attacks on New York in September 2001.

    “We’ve got a 21st century financial services marketplace and a 19th century regulatory model,” Mr Pitt says.

    The SEC in particular has been heavily criticised after the collapse of several Wall Street banks this year.

  187. Clotpoll says:

    jaw (95)-

    Hit the pawnshops.

  188. kettle1 says:

    i am already the nut on the blog, so will go out on a limb and channel BI…..

    Comex starts a sell off this weekend and enters a nose dive.

  189. kettle1 says:

    watch out for the bounce after the new year

  190. NJGator says:

    McC campaign admits they didn’t vet Joe the Plumber, bases campaign strategy off of reading the Drudge Report.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14652.html

  191. hughesrep says:

    Perhaps Hughesupplier is still around and could answer you. This thing sounds right up his ally.

    I still lurk. It is either that actually do some work and talk to Joe the Plumber.

    Unfortunately I know just enough about flooring to know to pay someone else to do it, sorry.

  192. skep-tic says:

    #172

    “If O didn’t lie, he would never get the votes needed to make the share the wealth strategy become a reality. Both sides lie because they have to.”

    agree with you here and glad you recognize this. what is frustrating is the widespread portrayal of O as this transcendant figure. he is a pretty run of the mill liberal politician when you look at his actual platform; he is just a much better public speaker than average so he is able to hide the ball

  193. Yikes says:

    interesting gambling tips, Stu.

    im a play as you go guy. if the dealer gets hot, i have no problem sitting out a hand or two to change things up.

    if you’re hot, increase your bets.

    if i get a bad vibe from a blackjack dealer, i will walk away. i dont like playing against a cold, female dealer who rarely speaks. i rarely have any luck when asian women are dealing.

    to whomever is going … enjoy the SMOKE-FREE environment there this weekend!

  194. kettle1 says:

    Yokes,

    Not to speak for BC,, but my 2 cents….

    Open interest, futures, has fallen 270,000 contracts in the past year. If it was increasing, I would have been short, during this time frame. Open interest is now back to 2006 levels but gold is $200 higher? In addition to this, the ETF contract has increased 150 tons in the past month. Does Barclay’s have the physical to back this?

    The short and sweet version….. Does barclays have enough physical gold in its vaults to fulfill all paper contracts that lay claim to that gold? Probably not. I other words, if people start taking delivery of any significant fraction of the contracts there would be a run on gold, the same a a bank that runs out of cash.

  195. Jamey says:

    163:

    SSI is not a savings plan. Read the SSI Acts.

    Insurance. That we pay so retirees aren’t picking through garbage. Or so the theory goes.

  196. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 9:53 am
    I’ll go to Tierney’s first and get lathered up.

    Bost: Tierney’s was the beginning of 30 months of my life being pissed down the toilet…..it was really fun though….as an act of self-preservation, all such recollections have been banished to the netherworld….

  197. BC Bob says:

    Yikes [190],

    “Open Interest- The sum of all long or short futures contracts in one delivery month in one market that have been entered into and not yet liquidated by an offsetting transaction or fulfilled by delivery.”

    http://www.lind-waldock.com/education/glossary/technical_analysis_terms.shtml

  198. Clotpoll says:

    BC (82)-

    Methinks Barclays might have a little ‘splainin’ to do…

  199. BC Bob says:

    Chi [203],

    We should meet there? Get back on the right track.

  200. Confused In NJ says:

    Once upon a time, in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
    The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them.
    The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.

    He further announced that he would now buy at $20.
    This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.
    Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

    The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

    The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.
    In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. ‘Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected.
    I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.’

    The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the monkeys.
    Then they never saw the man nor his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!

    Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.

  201. Stu says:

    Skep:

    “what is frustrating is the widespread portrayal of O as this transcendant figure.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. He was handpicked due to his speaking skills. America loves their celebrities too much and O has much more celeb status than M.

    I do think that O will listen to his advisers. This is a trait woefully missing from W and I have a feeling it would be missing from an M administration who claims to be maverick in nature. If O turns out anything like Corzine though, I’m really gonna be pissed. Corzine is the devil.

  202. PGC says:

    #208 Stu

    Does that put you up there with that “pluto is a planet” ex mayor of Glen Ridge who is trying to get Corzine impeached?

  203. House Hunter says:

    question to make money..what are the fees like with schiff?

  204. Stu says:

    PGC – I know exactly who you are talking about. I read that this week, Glen Ridge mailed out letters telling homeowners that they are responsible for any accidents that occur on their bluestone sidewalks.

    In Montclair, current town council is planning an ordinance that requires all new sidewalks to be made of bluestone opening up the township to enormous lawsuits.

  205. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    drat, 212 in mod. WTF, I didn’t say O?

  206. Nicholas says:

    Confused,

    I loved the story. I’m definitely putting it on my retelling list.

  207. John says:

    SS is a mental health reward. Without SS my in-laws would move in with us and I would go nuts. Also without SS your parents and inlaws would draw down the equivalent of the SS monthly check each month our of their home equity and savings. So in effect if you get an inheritance you say thank you SS.

    Jamey Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 12:55 pm
    163:

    SSI is not a savings plan. Read the SSI Acts.

    Insurance. That we pay so retirees aren’t picking through garbage. Or so the theory goes.

  208. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [203] Chifi,

    “Tierney’s was the beginning of 30 months of my life being pissed down the toilet…..it was really fun though”

    For me, that was the bar underneath Uno’s and Boathouse in Harvard Square. Didn’t dwell there for nearly as long before deciding to come up from rock bottom.

    Those memories also banished (except for the juicy ones recounted in my “John” stories, and the fact that I decided to quit smoking while boozing up at the Boathouse on July 4, 1988—never picked up a butt since.)

  209. John says:

    I feel a bull market coming on. To quote Rock Hudson I think we have found a firm bottom.

  210. stan says:

    As far as goodbyes go, this was pretty good.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/27239479

  211. Nicholas says:

    1000 point climb in the DJIA over the last week? Is that what I’m seeing?

  212. BC Bob says:

    “Andrew Lahde, manager of a small California hedge fund, Lahde Capital, burst into the spotlight last year after his one-year-old fund returned 866 percent betting against the subprime collapse.”

    “Last month, he did the unthinkable — he shut things down, claiming dealing with his bank counterparties had become too risky. Today, Lahde passed along his “goodbye” letter, a rollicking missive on everything from greed to economic philosophy. Enjoy.”

    “The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.”

    http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/daily-brief/2008/10/17/hedge-fund-manager-goodbye-and-f-you

  213. grim says:

    All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

    Quote of the year.

  214. John says:

    You know it has only been a full days but I miss the depression, S&P best week since 1982, Oil falling like a brick, Commodities falling like a brick, LIBOR coming down. Inflation falling. It was exactly 7 days ago that the world was ending. When I fill up my tank this week with cheap gas maybe I can chat with the gas attendent about the good old day of four dollar gas. Maybe I will say Merrry Christmas to the heating oil guy this year or buy my wife some jewelery now that gold is cheap. A true cheapskate like me loved sky high gold and gas and a huge recession it made being cheap trendy. Now once again I am plain old cheap.

  215. Stu says:

    Grim 219 in mod…I didn’t say nuthin!

  216. BC Bob says:

    “1000 point climb in the DJIA over the last week? Is that what I’m seeing?”

    [219]

    You are also seeing a 2,400 point drop within the last month. I guess it all depends on ones time frame?

  217. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [148] Comrade runnning mate Gator,

    Ya know, I am just not gonna go there.

  218. BC Bob says:

    JB [221],

    Fcuking classic.

  219. Secondary Market says:

    @218
    WTF?!?!

  220. 3b says:

    #222 John: You are still getting your huge recession. It is going to make the one in the early 90’s and the one when I graduated from college in the early 80’s look tame.

  221. BC Bob says:

    Stan [218],

    Didn’t notice that you posted the same letter.

  222. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [169] Comrade BC

    I doubt it. From 1981-85, I was at UMass and did not spend a lot of time at Fanueil, though summers and some breaks I was there. Houlihans and the bar with the Frog name were my usuals back then, but not frequently because I lived in Cambridge during the summers and Harvard Sq. was much closer.

    I also did not do shots after freshman year (too many bad incidents) right through to senior year, when I hooked up with the aforesaid Smithie from KY, who really liked her bourbon so that ban got tossed (along with clothing and cookies periodically).

  223. Nicholas says:

    John,

    My office mate made a remark that made me smile after I told him that oil prices kept falling.

    He said, “Damn, and I just inflated the air in my tires”.

    It took a minute to get his humor as it came accross so flawlessly and dry. It was a parody of the American ethos.

    Shouldn’t increasing your efficiency be part of everyday life?

  224. 3b says:

    #217 John: Based on what pray tell? Cannot keep up with you. One minute you are the quintensial Wall St tough guy, the next minute you sniveling for the bailout to be passed.

    It’s the end of the world, its the begining of the world, very hard to take much of what you say seriously.

  225. 3b says:

    #232 very hard to take much of what you say seriously.

    Which is of course my own fault.

  226. BC Bob says:

    3b [232],

    If John was a pitcher he would be 15-15, an era of 1.89 when he won and 9.42 when he lost.

  227. Stu says:

    Unlike John, I blame my wishy-washyness on my senility.

  228. BC Bob says:

    Nom [230],

    Maybe it was Shay’s, outside patio?

  229. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [220] BC,

    My favorite scorched earth goodbye still has to be the HLS schmuck that flamed his firm (Paul Hasting, I think) as he went out in 2004.

    His final sentence “may the smoke from the bridges I burn today be seen far and wide” is a classic, and more true than he knew.

    The firm got him back good with a press release saying that the attorney (Gregory something, maybe Harris) was leaving “by mutual agreement.” Zap!

    I gave my notice at my firm at about the same time, and people who saw it on the internet kept coming up to me to ask if I was the author. I had to point out that, if I had written something that caustic, I wouldn’t still be standing here.

  230. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [237] BC

    Shay’s!??!? OMG, there’s a memory. It is distinctly possible, though I was never there very much.

    Would be truly funny, if we recognized one another at the next GTG.

  231. stan says:

    BC BOB-

    No problem,

    i saw that letter and it has had me chuckling to myself since I read it.

  232. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [238] redux,

    Here it is: My favorite flame-out goodbye letter (actually, an email). And it was Paul Hastings in San Diego.

    From: [REDACTED]
    Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2004 1:11 PM
    Subject: FW: Goodbye…

    As many of you are aware, today is my last day at the firm. It is time for me to move on and I want you to know that I have accepted a position as “Trophy Husband”. This decision was quite easy and took little consideration. However, I am confident this new role represents a welcome change in my life and a step up from my current situation. While I have a high degree of personal respect for PHJW as a law firm, and I have made wonderful friendships during my time here, I am no longer comfortable working for a group largely populated by gossips, backstabbers and Napoleonic personalities. In fact, I dare say that I would rather be dressed up like a pinata and beaten than remain with this group any longer. I wish you continued success in your goals to turn vibrant, productive, dedicated associates into an aimless, shambling group of dry, lifeless husks.

    May the smoke from any bridges I burn today be seen far and wide.

    Respectfully submitted,

    [SIGNED]

    ps. Achilles absent, was Achilles still. (Homer)

    p.p.s. When you’re standing on a burning bridge the view is kinda hazy.

  233. jcer says:

    Stu, with O we are getting all of the NJ lackies in the federal gov. O is a machine politician as are the NJ Pols. That is my first real problem with him. We will get Corzine, we will get Booker, etc. Totally ineffective driven by ideology. Corzine could care less about economic development, but if you mention green building, leed certified he gets very excited. Listen green building is great and all but a big issue to NJ citizens is economic development and jobs. O is exactly the same, he has his own agenda, I don’t know what it is but it exists. This guy is not Clinton or Gore, we will not get moderate policy driven by pragmatic thinking, we are getting the Left’s version of GWB, except he is more intelligent and speaks better. Make no mistake, M is not like GWB, O is like GWB. I don’t like either of them but I despise Obama, and I have always voted Dem. Liberal politics don’t work when scoundrels are instituting them.

  234. BC Bob says:

    Nom [241],

    Another classic.

  235. John says:

    Yea I doubt it. Back in the early 1980s we used to go dumpster diving for tires, lick and roll to get into bars, buy one roy rodgers meal and the four of us would raid the fixins bar, petty crime was normal way to support your self in college. Turnstile jumping was out of necessity, helping yourself to parts from any car without plates were normal. Big thing in my college was medical testing experments, ponzi schemes, dealing, etc.

    3b Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 1:49 pm
    #222 John: You are still getting your huge recession. It is going to make the one in the early 90’s and the one when I graduated from college in the early 80’s look tame.

  236. BC Bob says:

    John,

    Did you ever go to Steak and Brew, with a group, each order 1 potato and drink for hours?

  237. NJGator says:

    Colin Powell might endorse O
    Once considered a potential McC running mate, he may endorse McC’s D rival.

    Retired Gen. Colin Powell, once considered a potential running mate for Sen. John McC, now may endorse his opponent, Sen. B O (D-Ill.), according to R sources. But an air of mystery surrounds Powell’s planned live appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and no one is sure what he will say.

    Powell’s unassailable national security credentials could sway voters who are vacillating about whether O is ready to be commander in chief, and his endorsement of the Illinois senator would make a national security emphasis by McC in the election’s closing days extremely difficult.

    Powell, 71, a professional soldier for 35 years, has advised the last three R presidents.

    The general’s camp is being coy about what he might or might not say on Sunday. But some McC advisers suspect, without being sure, that Powell will endorse O.

    “It’s going to make a lot of news, and certainly be personally embarrassing for McC,” a McC official said. “It comes at a time when we need momentum, and it would create momentum against us.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14665.html

  238. skep-tic says:

    anyone concerned about ING?

  239. John says:

    Everyone has been wrong about this market, even on this site, we have had gold bugs, oil bugs, dollar haters, etc. The only thing we are right about is RE going down.

    The craziest part is some of the dumbest things I did this year have worked. I started buying 5K bank bonds and figured at 10% I would just spread it around however when SOV bonds yields got juicy I bought a 5K at 92, a 10K at 90 a 5k at 88, a 5k at 85, a 5k at 75 etc only to see it drop to 45 when they almost went under, dumb dumb dumb doubling down, but Banco S bought them and they they are back around 85 soon to be at par after the deal. I bought munis the whole way down and gave up last week. They are down but I don’t care as I am getting a good tax free yield. The things I thought would work did not and the things I did that I thought a second after I hit the buy buttom were stupid worked out. It is like the Steinfeld eposoide where George does the opposite of what he would normally do and is a big sucess.

    The govt bail out caused all my bank bonds to come back to life and it appears the govt bail out of bond insurers will cause my munis to come back to life. Other than a 5K piece wamu bond that I sold at 65 I still have all the bonds and I am riding them to maturity and since they are currently paying triple the money market rate I have no reason to sell.

    I am manic up and down because with govt intervention and panic selling the rules no longer apply and you have to go with a feeling rather than a calculator.

  240. rhymingrealtor says:

    Sean,

    Deep inside me lurks a sick love for
    “Family guy” of which I have no explaination.
    Thanks for the LOL, having of course already seen that episode I waited giddily on the edge of my seat to hear Lois say “Who wants Clam Chowder”

    KL

    KL

  241. skep-tic says:

    #221

    the letter was great until he went off on the weed tangent at the end. but good for this guy and I hope he enjoys promoting hemp in the parking lot of phish concerts going forward

  242. John says:

    Beafsteask Charlies all you can eat salad bar and all you can drink beer and order the cheapest thing on menu. They used to put unpealed shrimp in there to slow you down so we used to bring pledges with us and have them fill up bowls at a time and their job was just to peal and throw it at us like walruses in the circus. Beefsteak even used to have an all you could eat steak night. Well ten of use went there starving skipped the salad and beer and soda and found out it is not all you can eat steak as they cut us off at nine each. Well when we started to cause a huge scence that it was fraud and we are calling the cops the manager pulled out a big knife and told us we should cause after eating 90 of his steaks if we did not leave right now he was going to stab us to death. There is no reasoning with that type of man so we decided to leave.

    BC Bob Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 2:27 pm
    John,

    Did you ever go to Steak and Brew, with a group, each order 1 potato and drink for hours?

  243. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Fitch cuts Genworth Mortgage, MGIC, PMI Mortgage ratings

  244. lisoosh says:

    This was from CNBC. The link is on their website “Letter from Hedge Fund”

    “Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America. “

  245. lisoosh says:

    Ooops, looks like I wasn’t the first.

  246. NJGator says:

    250 – Geez this reminds me of when my grandparents used to go to Roy Rogers to enjoy their free senior citizen coffee. They’d order a biscuit (30 cents) and then sit there all day drinking coffee and chatting up the manager…usually telling him how much money they had.

  247. NJGator says:

    226 Nom – Note to self: reread all comments before posting to check for unintended double entendre.

  248. grim says:

    Turns out when you pay a salesperson a commission to arrange a loan, you can’t trust that salesperson to guarantee the quality of that loan. Who woulda thunk it?

    From Bloomberg:

    Downey Shutters Unit That Accounted for 80 Percent of Loans

    Downey Financial Corp., the California lender that’s lost 95 percent of its market value in the past year, shuttered a mortgage unit that accounted for more than three-quarters of loan production.

    The company said yesterday that it’s closing the business less than a week before it must present regulators with a long- term business plan. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Stover confirmed today that the unit represented about 80 percent of loans and said the Newport Beach-based company isn’t discussing its plans.

    “Their losses have just been stunning,” said David Lykken, co-founder of Mortgage Banking Solutions, an Austin, Texas-based consulting firm, and 34-year industry veteran. “Lending has screeched to a halt.”

    Downey’s wholesale-lending business used outside brokers to originate loans while the bank did the underwriting and funded the mortgages. That business dried up as home prices tumbled, foreclosures soared and the capital markets froze. Downey, among the biggest issuers of option adjustable-rate mortgages in one of the hardest-hit states in the country, has reported $600 million in losses over the past four quarters.

  249. grim says:

    That business dried up as home prices tumbled, foreclosures soared and the capital markets froze.

    Correction, the business dried up when loan standards tightened from “fog a mirror” to “has a job”.

  250. skep-tic says:

    what I think is funny about that letter is this obvious stoner made an 866% return in one year. I am imagining him looking like Garth from Wayne’s World. I bet you that office was never lacking Funyions

  251. grim says:

    Sounds like mortgage insurance is going to get a whole lot expensive as the black boxes are reconfigured.

    From MarketWatch:

    Fitch cuts Genworth Mortgage, MGIC, PMI Mortgage ratings

    Fitch Ratings on Friday downgraded the ratings of Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. and PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. Genworth Mortgage Insurance’s insurer financial strength rating was lowered to A+ from AA while Mortgage Guaranty Insurance’s IFS has been cut to A- from A+ and PMI Mortgage Insurance’s IFS was downgraded to BBB+ from A+. The move reflects continued deterioration in the mortgage insurance industry, primarily from exposure to mortgages originated in 2006 and 2007. “Looser underwriting, increased incidence of fraud and sharp home price depreciation have resulted in high levels of early term delinquencies which, in turn, have caused the MI industry to post significant loss reserves,” Fitch said. The ratings agency expects increased delinquencies and losses for the industry, and is forecasting an average 30% peak-to-trough decline in home prices nationally.

  252. grim says:

    And that coming from a bunch of optimists..

    The ratings agency expects increased delinquencies and losses for the industry, and is forecasting an average 30% peak-to-trough decline in home prices nationally.

  253. Stu says:

    That 30% sure sounds like a familiar number.

  254. grim says:

    Looking to spend some dollars this weekend?

    Liquidation sales will begin today at the nation’s 371 remaining Linens ‘n Things stores, which will probably shut down by the end of the year.

    U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Sontchi in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday approved Linens’ request to hire Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, Hilco Merchant Resources and four other companies that specialize in retail liquidations.

    Linens sought permission for a quick shutdown to gain an edge over rival retailers that also will have to discount merchandise in the next few months, Michael Gries, the company’s chief restructuring officer, said last week in court, Bloomberg News reported.

    During the liquidation sale, stores will accept any outstanding gift cards but will not accept coupons.

  255. grim says:

    NO COUPONS? Screw that.

  256. Stu says:

    Linens and Things quality is crap. About the only thing they were good for was storage bins.

  257. BC Bob says:

    “Linens sought permission for a quick shutdown to gain an edge over rival retailers that also will have to discount merchandise in the next few months”

    Hurry, blow them out before X-Mas shopping begins. On the flip side, if they were an IB, we would be injecting massive amounts of liquidity into them.

  258. grim says:

    Would Walmart be considered too-big-to-fail?

  259. BC Bob says:

    Is deflation only tied to the hip of asset/commodity prices?

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS:united parcel service inc UPS 51.23, -0.41, -0.8%) said Friday that it will raise shipping rates by up to 5.9% in 2009. The company said the average price increase on all air express and U.S. origin international shipments will be 4.9%, and the average price increase for ground packages will be 5.9%. The new rates take effect Jan. 5.

  260. grim says:

    Looks like someone didn’t get the memo about commodities being out of style.

    Thieves plunder bronze doors from Elizabeth cemetery

    Thieves stole two bronze doors from a mausoleum at an Elizabeth cemetery, police said today.

    Authorities discovered the theft from B’nai Jeshurun Cemetery after the men tried to sell the plundered metal at a scrapyard, where suspicious employees called police, police said.

  261. skep-tic says:

    “Would Walmart be considered too-big-to-fail?”

    i bet they would. interestingly, recall that wal-mart tried to set up a bank about a year ago. they were denied. it will be interesting to see if this same stance is maintained going forward. throughout history, my understanding is that most banking has grown out of other profitable industries. it is a modern development to try to separate banking

  262. gary says:

    No, seriously… prices are coming down… seriously!! No, really… I’m serious dude, we’re in a deep recession and prices are at least 20% off of peak… really… I’m not kidding!! No, really… seriously… for real! Ok, well… ummm… well, they will be… I swear… I mean it!! For real!! Well, they might be… you’ll see!!!

    http://www.realtor.com/realestate/glen+rock+boro-nj-07452-1099571428/

  263. Victorian says:

    259 –
    “what I think is funny about that letter is this obvious stoner made an 866% return in one year”

    – Yes, it is even funnier when you see a teetotaler christian scientist doing such a fantastic job in managing the economy.

  264. NJGator says:

    Grim 258 –

    “Correction, the business dried up when loan standards tightened from “fog a mirror” to “has a job”.”

    I don’t know. With 80 year olds bring given 30 year mortgages, I’m not su sure “fog a mirror” was a hard and fast rule either.

  265. Nicholas says:

    I thought that everyone was getting 80/20 loans during 2006 and 2007. Wasn’t that the new fad since NINJA loans were so prevalent?

  266. Nicholas says:

    UPS raises rates while fuel prices are falling, interesting.

    Sounds like Big Brown is going to be crapping their pants this year when no one sends gifts to each other.

    I expect shipping companies to have a very tough time downsizing during the recession.

  267. Nicholas says:

    Dow choked on the gains made earlier in the day.

  268. skep-tic says:

    there is no cheech & chong of christian scientists.

  269. chicagofinance says:

    John: Can you give me a little primer on the preferred ARS issuance for closed-end muni funds? If I am staring at several of the NJ closed-end munis trading at a discount and I have quantified the leverage. Is there another risk out there that is not obvious? I see the ARS failures driving up the expenses and it is cutting the monthly dividends for October. However, it looks as if the damage is already done. The concern here for me is that I have no room for error, because I want to be shrewd, but if I overlook a risk, then I f—ed up.

  270. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [148, 256] Gator,

    After the rolling out of bed comment, I was going to ask you if you were my Smithie girlfriend from the 80’s (that had a stripper’s name, which made things a bit more interesting) but then I remembered — Gator=UF, not Smith, not KY, duh!

    Though she did spend a lot of time in Florida after dropping out of Smith. Hmmmm. Connie?

  271. Stu says:

    Funny,

    When Gator and I went loan shopping in 2004, no one ever pushed the exotics on us. Up front, I did state that we wanted to put 20%down, but I still would have liked to have been offered the wacky stuff. They did push for us to take out 5 times our salary though. I looked at Gator when we prequalified for 800K and started singing the theme song to ‘The Jeffersons’ though.

  272. Stu says:

    Nom, Gator…Don’t make me get a bucket of cold water.

  273. Stu says:

    Come on Gary (271):

    Those stupid looking, match the cabinet panels that snap into the door of the dishwasher are included. That’s worth at least 100K.

  274. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [281] stu,

    ROFLMFAO.

    Seriously, the trois of us have to go get drunk some night (Mrs. Deplume isn’t drinking these days).

  275. Stu says:

    And I just noticed the pink deck.

  276. CAIBC says:

    271, Gary…

    hypethetically speaking…if you were to put an offer in for that Glen Rock house, what would you be willing to pay?

    lets get everyones opinion on this one…

    what better way to figure out what the ‘real’ prices really are!!!

    my guess – 425K

  277. John says:

    CIT Group Inc. CIT (NYSE) $4.63Change:+1.72 +59.11

    Why is CIT up almost 60% today?

  278. NJGator says:

    “rs. Deplume isn’t drinking these days”

    Une deuxieme petite Nom, peut etre?

  279. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [278] Chi,

    Stay the f*ck away from CEF munis. I got burned in some and one of my colleagues, a muni bond atty, says he would never touch them.

    He also suggests that rates are gonna be huge in some new GO offerings out soon and to get in then. He recommends avoiding revenue bonds

  280. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [287]

    Oui

  281. Nicholas says:

    Anyone consider that this warm weather we have been having is going to drive oil prices even farther down as furnaces all across the US haven’t turned on yet?

  282. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [290] Nick

    Nat Gas prices too. In fact, they lost more on a % basis, I think. And there is a warmer winter forecast, if memory serves.

  283. John says:

    ARS problems are lack of liquidity not the lack of credit quality. A closed end fund does not have fund redemptions to meet so therefore if they have hard to sell ARS that are yielding 7% they just let them sit. You double down on closed end funds as the underlying bonds are discounted and the closed end fund is discounted. Smith Barney published some excelent research on Munis last week and nothing I saw indicated underlying problems leading to defaults. If anything right now we have 100% discounted that bond insurers are going to pay out

    chicagofinance Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 3:49 pm
    John: Can you give me a little primer on the preferred ARS issuance for closed-end muni funds? If I am staring at several of the NJ closed-end munis trading at a discount and I have quantified the leverage. Is there another risk out there that is not obvious? I see the ARS failures driving up the expenses and it is cutting the monthly dividends for October. However, it looks as if the damage is already done. The concern here for me is that I have no room for error, because I want to be shrewd, but if I overlook a risk, then I f—ed up.

  284. Nicholas says:

    Grats Nom

  285. Nicholas says:

    Hurray for global warming…oopse.

    I’m going to go plant some citrus trees in my back yard so that by the time they mature the weather will allow them bear fruit.

  286. Nicholas says:

    Have a good weekend everyone

  287. NJGator says:

    279 Nom – I am not your Smithie, and I have only crossed paths with one Smithie. She happened to be a co-worker and a professional drunk of sorts. A rich woman who worked for sport. I used to enjoy going out with her for “business lunches”. We’d sit at the bar at Osteria al Doge, and the bartender would continually refill our Chardonnay glasses, never waiting for us to finish, so you never could keep track of what you had drank. I never could get much work done after those lunches.

    I also only know one person from the state of Kentucky (I do not count residents of Pennsyltucky). He was a classmate from UF. Real nice guy who recently got his PhD in some sort of bug science. Spoke French with the funniest accent I ever heard. He used to travel far and wide during the summers to visit his friends no matter what state they lived in. He always tried to get us to come visit him in Kentucky, but no one ever would. Anyways, on his first visit to NYC to see me, my parents took him on their version of the “grand tour” – which meant they drove him around in a car around Manhattan and never got out – except to see a broadway show and then go to Chinatown. My folks are creatures of habit, and the only place they’d go to was a little dive called Wo Hop. My dad asked my friend what he thought of NY and he said in his Southern drawl “Well, it sure is bigger than Louisville”. So after my friend left, my folks told me they thought he was an upstanding and respectful young man, and that he was welcome to come visit and stay with us anytime. When I told my friend this, he said (also in heavy southern drawl) “If I come back, can we please go back to that “Ho Wop” place? It was mighty fine.” I then proceeded to tell him that he might want to be careful in certain neighborhoods about saying exactly that, because he changed the name of the restaurant to Italian Whore.” When I told him that, I could feel him blush over the phone!

  288. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [296] Gator,

    Funny, but your John narratives need more spice.

    Your Smithie co-worker sounds like one of the guys I worked with at my first bank job on a trading desk. Trust fund baby from Ohio that worked for fun. We would go out and get bombed (legally or not) virtually every night after work, either in the grimy bars that were all over the Boston Financial District, or in his car in “Siberia” which doesn’t exist anymore. Or we would go to his 200 year old farmhouse in Georgetown, Mass. and some of the mailroom guys that came along would roll “quarter pounders.”

    Good times.

  289. NJGator says:

    289 Nom – Félicitations et bonne chance!

  290. lostinny says:

    263 and 264
    DH tried to use a BBB coupon at LNT yesterday and they refused it. So he went to BBB.

  291. NJGator says:

    297 Nom – I work in publishing. The only men I am surrounded by all day are gay. There will never be any spice to my work narratives. Will have to continually refer back to the college glory days for John narratives. Sigh…

  292. lostinny says:

    Congrats Nom.

  293. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [296]

    “sure is bigger than Louisville.”

    Hah.

    Once in Lu-ville, I walked up to an intersection, very large one for Lu-vil, and all the traffic stopped. I saw that they had a green light. I looked at them. They looked at me. Then it dawned on me that they were waiting for me to cross.

  294. chicagofinance says:

    NJGator Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 4:09 pm
    My folks are creatures of habit, and the only place they’d go to was a little dive called Wo Hop.

    Gates: What do you mean “a little dive”? Wo Hop is an institution…..where else can you eat a full meal at 4:45AM for $10, and then play poker for 2-3 hours?

  295. chicagofinance says:

    All you Fanueil Hall people….any good stories about the Cold Tea?

  296. lostinny says:

    I know a lot of people like Wo-Hop but the last time I was there I thought it was awful- even though my parents took me there as a kid. I swore I wouldn’t go back. That was over 10 years ago. Should I give it another try?

  297. NJGator says:

    Yes, Chifi. I am well aware that Wo Hop is the ultimate Chinatown diner.

    And nary an eye doctor appointment went by in my youth when we didn’t go there afterwards since we were “already in the city”. Because Mott St was oh so convenient to the Upper East Side.

    I still like to go there. Stu’s favorite Chinatown dive, of course, is Big Wong.

    Double entendre intended.

  298. Sean says:

    Clickable Fun -Updated daily, you move your mouse around and “unlock” new actions or sound-effects. Give it a shot every day leading up to the election!

    http://www.palinaspresident.us/

  299. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Gator, lost and Nick

    Merci beaucoup. Un autre petite fille. Petite Nom sera tres heureuse; elle veut in petite soeur.

  300. 3b says:

    #292 John: The Muni ARS market is being retired.

  301. NJGator says:

    Lost – Have you been to some of the vegetarian places in Chinatown? Buddha Bodhai has great food.

  302. gary says:

    College is a bigger scam than packaging mortgages and selling them as solid investments. I hated f*cking college. In fact, if I had to do it all over again, I would’ve obtained my electricians license ASAP after high school graduation and no doubt, would be making triple what I’m making now.

  303. 3b says:

    #288 Nom:He recommends avoiding revenue bonds

    Unless they are double barreled;still someof those around.

  304. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [304] Chi,

    “cold tea”

    HA! No stories I can tell here; they are John-like and I don’t have time, and don’t care to be dishing on my hound dog days. Stu still has that bucket of water.

    Unless he used it on Gator after [306]

    Usually, cold tea for us was at the China Moon in Chinatown, next to the surface artery. There was also, if memory serves, a chinese restaurant btwn South Market and State Street, on an upper floor that served cold tea.

  305. chicagofinance says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 3:59 pm
    [278] Chi, Stay the f*ck away from CEF munis. I got burned in some and one of my colleagues, a muni bond atty, says he would never touch them.

    Nom: I know you got served, but isn’t it more of a WTF is this thing issue?

    John: I want to make sure that you are answering my question…..I don’t really know the structure, so I am taking a wild stab. The closed end fund shares that trade are the common shares. The common share proceeds were used to make investments in various bonds, and that is the “fund”. However, to juice returns, the fund managers also created a separate set of preferred shares that were ARS. The ARS are not investments of the fund, they are a source of capital for the fund to invest. When the fund was created, I think they viewed the ARS as a cheap place to suck in money to juice the returns. At this point though (and using Nom’s colleague as an example), the fund has ARS liabilities and leverage, so investors are freaked and dumped everything. However, in reality, regardless of whether the ARS is splitting out terrible interest rates such as 8%-11% that cause higher expenses that drag on the dividends, the discount to NAV more than makes up for the expense drag. As a previous holder, Nom got screwed, but at this juncture, it seems as if there are an OK tool. Not a place to pile in, but just generally OK.

    Do I understand this one correctly you think?

  306. 3b says:

    3271 gary: What can you do, you cannto force the seller into reality. If they want to sell drop the price dramtatically, if nto stay. It is as simple as that.

    But those that have to or want to, or have no choice are,and will drop their prices.

  307. chicagofinance says:

    lostinny Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 4:33 pm
    I know a lot of people like Wo-Hop but the last time I was there I thought it was awful- even though my parents took me there as a kid. I swore I wouldn’t go back. That was over 10 years ago. Should I give it another try?

    lost…I have no idea what the food tastes like…..I just know that it is a good place to go when you are drunk, its late, you are with a bunch of guys, and everyone is married to the strip clubs are off-limits.

  308. lostinny says:

    310 Gator
    No I haven’t. I call a mini veggie gtg.

  309. the crazy man in the corner says:

    ha.. wo hop, i dont understand how people eat there..

    Big Wong is much better, that is for sure. Although, its not like it used to be, where you could goto the back alley places at like 230AM trying to find food and your local massage parlor ;)

  310. lostinny says:

    316 ChiFi
    I wonder if that’s the time of day my parents first learned about it?

  311. 3b says:

    #314 Many of the tax exempt auction preferred’s are subject to the AMT, so be careful if that is an issue.

    They were typically 2-2.5 times over collatoralized, meaning for every dollar in the fund, there was at least 2 dollars in other municipals backing it.

    The proceeds from these issues when originally Underwrritten were all invested in muni’s including the proceeds form the preferred offering.

    The ARS market typically refers to straight muni-auction rate securities for a specific municipal entity.

  312. NJGator says:

    I think I almost got a waiter fired at Big Wong because I sent my food back. I had asked for no mushrooms in my dish and got a plate full of pretty much just mushrooms.

    I don’t know what the manager said. But there was much yelling and I felt bad. Made me want to just eat the d*mn mushrooms even though I despise them.

  313. lostinny says:

    Nom
    I can’t speak or write French but I can read so in English, I hope you’re all very happy.

  314. Al says:

    gary Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 4:36 pm
    College is a bigger scam than packaging mortgages and selling them as solid investments. I hated f*cking college. In fact, if I had to do it all over again, I would’ve obtained my electricians license ASAP after high school graduation and no doubt, would be making triple what I’m making now

    Amen. shouldn’t we all turn electicians/plumbers/nurses now??? -New bubble – trade school tuition!

  315. lostinny says:

    Gator
    No mushrooms = extra mushrooms as is always my problem. And I don’t like them either. Except stuffed.

  316. NJGator says:

    And Stu always said I was weird because he thought I’m the only vegetarian who hates them.

    Definitely mini-vegetarian gtg. Email me.

  317. the crazy man in the corner says:

    Gator (321) –

    I’m assuming you told him in english? they sometimes can get it mixed up – i always have to say it in chinese, otherwise, they seems to always reverse what i want.

    it reminds me of a funny story from a couple of years ago – Im sitting in the front on the left hand side (away from the stairs), and this red-headed guy comes in with his whole family. Expectedly, the guy at the front (pseudo-maitred guy) says in chinese, put him in the back and motions to one of the waiters. The red-headed guy responds immediately with, “i dont want to sit with the outsiders” .. i almost choked on my soup.

  318. NJGator says:

    326 – Yes, English. I was not fortunate enough to grow up in the People’s Republic of Montclair, so Chinese was not one of my school’s foreign language offerings. Unfortunately, I am limited to English and very bad french.

  319. chicagofinance says:

    3b Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 4:47 pm
    #314 Many of the tax exempt auction preferred’s are subject to the AMT, so be careful if that is an issue.

    They were typically 2-2.5 times over collatoralized, meaning for every dollar in the fund, there was at least 2 dollars in other municipals backing it.

    The proceeds from these issues when originally Underwrritten were all invested in muni’s including the proceeds form the preferred offering.

    3b: My question is directed at the common which are trading at discounts from 5%-20% of NAV. Last week, then discounts touched 30%-35%. Again the price for the common is relative to the NAV. I assume that even if the underlying munis in the fund are selling-off, that still does not explain the gap in the market price of the common to the NAV. I see that the preferred shares structured with resetting interest rate auction derived terms are a potential red flag, but again, I look at something with maybe six or seven major risk variables. I just wan to ensure that I have identified them all. The leverage and failed auction rates for the preferred is as advertised, yes? Is there anything else kooky about these structures that I am overlooking?

    John, Nom and 3b: thank you in advance for your generous help…..

  320. lostinny says:

    325 Gator
    I lost your email when I got a new computer. I’ll ask Grim for it.

  321. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Lost,

    Thanks. The french was for Gator’s benefit, and mine since I really need the practice.

    The Lil Nom once asked if we could buy her a baby sister. Lately, she has been back on that and once said “If we ask God, maybe he will give us another baby.” Can’t wait to tell her, but will wait a bit because 5 y-os have no patience whatsoever.

  322. Wag says:

    Nom (289) – Nom, vous souhaitant la famille et le meilleur de tout, toujours.

  323. lostinny says:

    330 Nom
    Yes I would wait. Maybe until she wonders what mommy ate that made her tummy so big?

  324. chicagofinance says:

    the crazy man in the corner Says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 4:53 pm
    Gator (321) – I’m assuming you told him in english? they sometimes can get it mixed up – i always have to say it in chinese, otherwise, they seems to always reverse what i want.
    it reminds me of a funny story from a couple of years ago – Im sitting in the front on the left hand side (away from the stairs), and this red-headed guy comes in with his whole family. Expectedly, the guy at the front (pseudo-maitred guy) says in chinese, put him in the back and motions to one of the waiters. The red-headed guy responds immediately with, “i dont want to sit with the outsiders” .. i almost choked on my soup.

    tcmitc: I grew up in Flushing, so many of my friends were Cantonese and Mandarin. It took me awhile to realize that when I went to restaurants with them and they ordered, the bill was always 30% less. There were two sets of prices: regular and round-eye….

  325. BC Bob says:

    “I hated f*cking college. In fact, if I had to do it all over again, I would’ve obtained my electricians license”

    Gary,

    My frosh/soph year dorm, 1st floor male, 2nd&3rd female. You could have learned how to splice some wires there.

  326. Stash says:

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

    Andrew Lahde, manager of a small California hedge fund, Lahde Capital, burst into the spotlight last year after his one-year-old fund returned 866 percent betting against the subprime collapse.

    Last month, he did the unthinkable — he shut things down, claiming dealing with his bank counterparties had become too risky. Today, Lahde passed along his “goodbye” letter, a rollicking missive on everything from greed to economic philosophy. Enjoy.

    Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.

    Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

    There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list those deserving thanks know who they are.

    I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.

    So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all. Andy Springer and his company will be handling the dissolution of the fund. And don’t worry about my employees, they were always employed by Mr. Springer’s company and only one (who has been well-rewarded) will lose his job.

    I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life — where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management — with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.

    On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government. Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man’s interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft’s near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.

    Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant — marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other additive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States this week. Please people, let’s stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.

    With that I say good-bye and good luck.

    All the best,

    Andrew Lahde

  327. 3b says:

    #244 You doubt the recession, or you doubt that it is going to rival the one in the early 80’s?

    I was one of the few of my friends that actually had a job when I graduated.

  328. BC Bob says:

    “There were two sets of prices: regular and round-eye….”

    Chi,

    When I worked on a futures desk, one of our big accounts was a Chinese Doctor. He had trading screens in all of his offices. An absolute nut. He would always complain about his fills on stops. He would constantly call us, “you round eye bastards”

  329. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Wag, merci

    Lost, I think we will not wait quite that long because she is pretty sharp and we don’t want her to think we were keeping it from her. That said, I don’t want 5 months of “is the baby coming yet?”

  330. 3b says:

    #271 gary: Put your Enya tape on. Just because some selelrs are still in deep denial, does not mean prices are not, will not fall;they are and will continue to.

  331. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    3b,

    Should we just go with the orinoco flow?

    couldn’t resist.

  332. 3b says:

    #328 Your bases are covered.

    I cannot say much more than that because of my present responsibilities.

    ( I cannot appear to be offering or soliciting investment advice, which is why I comment so little about investment issues on this blog;in a former life I was very much involved in the muni auction/tax exempt auction preferred market.

  333. 3b says:

    #339 That will work,however he will need his plug in waterfall as well. It will set the whole mood.

  334. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [300] gator,

    Unless stu figured prominently in those John-styled stories from UofF, perhaps we shouldn’t drink quite so much at the next GTG.

    Mrs. Deplume don’t know the half of it. And I plan to keep it that way.

  335. HEHEHE says:

    They just had a segment on Fast Money stating that Wall Street folks, especially bigwigs, should have to kickback their bonuses from the past 7 years to the taxpayers since we are bailing them out. All of a sudden CNBC is all for the little guy.

  336. NJGator says:

    Nom 342 – Sadly I did not meet Stu until 2 years after graduation.

  337. stu says:

    I do feel that a drinkfest is in order. Let’s set a date.

  338. the crazy man in the corner says:

    chifi (333) –

    funny, that actually reminds me of a different story..

    i sent my friends to this dive place under the bridge, off market st – saying how these 3 dishes (assorted seafood, duck, and beef related) there were awesome, and it only costs about 8$ total. They go over there, and when they get back, they come asking if they were at the right place, and then proceed to show me this menu and say – “there is only chicken and pork on this menu, and none of the stuff you spoke about, AND our meal was 20$”, and Im thinking to myself, I’ve never seen this menu before? I then realize, oh.. they have a non-chinese persons menu. (and apparently they like to rip people off who can’t read the chinese menu)

  339. the crazy man in the corner says:

    Gator (327) –

    i didn’t grow up in montclair either, nor was I implying that you should know Chinese (i apologize if it came across that way) – its just that I’ve seen it screwed up when asked for in chinese also. ;)

  340. bairen says:

    #346 crazy man

    Many Chinese restaurants have 2 types of menus, 1 for Chinese, 1 for foreigners. I always order off the Chinese one if they have it.

  341. NJGator says:

    tcmic – wasn’t offended at all!

    One of my staff members likes to tell the story of her roommate bragging that there was one Tasti D Lite (for those who don’t work in NYC, this is a lo cal frozen dessert place. Harry on Sex & The City once referred to it as ‘frozen flavored air’) that was ‘so much better than all the rest’. This stuff is like 5 calories an ounce, and doesn’t taste like much. One day, she’s walking right past the one her friend raves about and decides to go in to check it out. When she mentions to the guy behind the counter that her friend raves about this location and says it’s much better than the rest, he offers to tell her his secret. He then shows her all the extra heavy cream he pours into the machine! If only they knew, there would be legions of sad anorexics trolling around the UES.

  342. lisoosh says:

    Now I spend time in NNJ, I’d finally be up for a GTG.

  343. NJGator says:

    Let’s pick a date folks. I want to find appropriate childcare so I don’t wander around Hoboken again showing Lil Gator choo choos while Stu gets to have all the fun.

  344. lostinny says:

    Lisoosh
    It would fantastic to finally meet you.

  345. lisoosh says:

    lost – Thanks. Although a bit nerve-wracking.

    And work is having an event where the featured speaker will be…..Jim Cramer! Guess I’ll have lots to tell after that :-).

  346. Yikes says:

    May the smoke from any bridges I burn today be seen far and wide.

    this is beyond classic. it is already taped to my computer.

  347. Confused In NJ says:

    An old motto that can be applied to a number of government officials;

    “Never try and teach a Pig to sing, it can’t be done, and it annoy’s the Pig”.

  348. Confused In NJ says:

    MLS#: 2560856 A good buy in Berkeley Heights. Has dropped @$100K from OLP and is about 2003 prices.

  349. NJCoast says:

    The Wellmont Theatre in Montlair will have a tough road ahead of them because the seat capacity is too low to make any money since the artists are getting such high guarantees (next bubble to burst?). Unless they sell a ton at the bar they are toast. The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank is a non- profit and can apply for grants and fundraise.

    Yesterday I worked for a band called GWAR. They were such nice guys during the day- so quiet and polite. When I asked what kind of music they played they just smiled and said “You’ll see”. After dinner they retreated to their dressing room for a couple of hours and when they came out- OMG!!!! I asked if any of them was named Clotpoll but nobody owned up.

  350. the crazy man in the corner says:

    348 –

    yeah, i didnt realize that they had a different menu until later on in life, lol.

  351. lostinny says:

    357 NJCoast
    You’ve never heard of GWAR? I hope you weren’t too close. Very messy show.

  352. NJCoast says:

    #359Lostinny

    Nope never heard of them. I’m from another era and genre. James Taylor, CSN&Y, etc.- I know- snore tours. The crew was quite amused by my shock. I must say I did find GWAR a bit entertaining- it was some of the fans that really scared me. And yes it was very messy luckily I was behind the stage.

  353. BC Bob says:

    “Yesterday I worked for a band called GWAR.”

    NJC,

    Next time you work for that other band please ring the bell.

    “poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be kings, and the king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything”

  354. BC Bob says:

    Oops, that’s poor/ rich men.

  355. lostinny says:

    360 NJCoast
    Yes some of those fans are scary. But like you said, its all entertaining. They aren’t my thing either but I think everyone should experience them once in their lives.

  356. alia says:

    146: gator, i was hoping you would know the answer! (http://newmls.gsmls.com/public/show_public_report_rpt.do?report=clientfull&Id=37280249_6134 is all i’ve got… i assume you have it, too?)

  357. BC Bob says:

    No, just a bad dream? Quattrone, Grubman, Blodget?

    “Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) — Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which last month filed the largest bankruptcy in history, is the subject of three federal criminal probes and at least 12 subpoenas, according to a lawyer for the failed bank.”

    “There’s been an outcry from people in the streets, and that puts pressure on prosecutors to do something,” said Todd Harrison, a former New York federal prosecutor now with Washington-based Patton Boggs. “They’re going to be looking at all aspects of the credit crisis, including the rating agencies and the mortgage lenders who packaged and sold securities.”

    “Investigators have subpoenaed Ernst & Young LLP, Lehman’s auditor; U.K.-based bank Barclays Plc, which bought Lehman’s North American brokerage; and the New Jersey Division of Investments, which runs a pension fund that lost $115.6 million on a $180 million investment in the June stock sale, according to people familiar with the case.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aqR6ugyYX1tI&refer=news

  358. alia says:

    gator- could it be the oil heat? maybe the tank exploded?

  359. stu says:

    Gwar…Aren’t they fond of huge bloody tampons?

    Anyone here a fan of Ween?

  360. NJGator says:

    Alia – I’ll have to see if our GR friends know anything. Can’t believe I missed that though!

    Our tenants almost bailed on us to move into a bigger rental that they were going to renovate for a discount on the rent. They were all excited about it until they found out the oil tank would cost $2200 to fill…and the owners wouldn’t give them a straight answer on how long the oil would last. After hearing that, I think they are ready to re-up with us for a year.

  361. Veto says:

    John (248) is right about all the off-base market calls though. Besides re this site has made some pretty outrageous investment calls so far. Last week, when market was dropping into a bottomless pit of dispair, this blog was downright scary. All that talk of guns, gold and canabalism took the concept of fear to a whole new level. Glad to see things cooling down in here.

  362. bairen says:

    Hedge fund manager quits after 870% gain in one year.

    http://business.smh.com.au/business/hedgefund-manager-quits-on-high-20081018-53ez.html

    I think Clot would like this guy. He calls the Ivy league alum running Wall St and government stupid and “low hanging fruit” and wants to legalize weed.

  363. willwork4beer says:

    Grim,

    This week’s report from the hinterlands…

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded 17 sales in Hunterdon County this week. Four made this list:

    MLS#: 2525955

    27 GLENSIDE DR
    Clinton Twp

    SLD: 11/18/04 $190,000
    OLP: 06/03/08 $199,900
    SLD: 10/11/08 $180,000

    DOM: 118

    MLS#: 2516896

    370 SIDNEY ROAD
    Franklin Twp

    SLD: 11/17/03 $595,000
    OLP: 05/10/08 $629,900
    SLD: 10/15/08 $560,000

    DOM: 79

    MLS#: 2542220

    31 PROVIDENCE DR
    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 04/08/04 $555,000
    SLD: 01/13/06 $664,000
    OLP: 06/26/08 $595,900
    SLD: 10/14/08 $542,000

    DOM: 68

    MLS#: 2561488

    129 EAST BECKS BLVD
    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 06/03/05 $930,000
    OLP: 07/31/08 $910,000
    SLD: 10/15/08 $800,000

    DOM: 37

  364. Clotpoll says:

    stu (367)-

    Chocolate & cheese, baby.

  365. Clotpoll says:

    veto (369)-

    Who says it’s calmed down? We’re still headed off a cliff; the gubmint’s criminal actions have both delayed the event and aggravated the effects of the final outcome.

  366. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (370)-

    I think he should get his own TV show.

  367. willwork4beer says:

    Grim,

    Hinterlands report, part two…

    Hunterdon County FUTURE Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded 35 new listings this week. Four made this list:

    MLS#: 2591195

    27 Andreann Drive
    Clinton Twp

    SLD: 08/09/05 $770,000
    OLP: 10/16/08 $689,900

    DOM: 2

    MLS#: 2589425

    12 SMITH ST
    Hampton Boro

    SLD: 06/12/06 $504,000
    OLP: 10/12/08 $475,000

    DOM: 6

    MLS#: 2590953

    1307 SOUTH BRANCH DR
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 11/04/05 $380,000
    OLP: 10/15/08 $329,900

    DOM: 3

    MLS#: 2590753

    70 North Slope
    Union Twp

    SLD: 09/16/05 $196,000
    OLP: 10/15/08 $184,900

    DOM: 3

  368. cooper says:

    palin is gonna be on SNL tonight, can tina fey can take her?

  369. HEHEHE says:

    Mister will you please help my pony?

  370. PGC says:

    300 NJGator

    I used to live in Downtown Jersey City better known as “The Gay Ghetto”

    My building was 30% gay so there are a few stories. We had a 6ft4 ex marine that looked like GI Joe who hated straight people. He referred to us as “the breeders”

  371. NJGator says:

    PGC 378 – When Stu and I first met, he lived in Downtown JC – in one of the rowhouses on Columbus. After we started dating, I moved to a place on Jersey and 5th before moving onto Hoboken.

  372. Stu says:

    Clot and Hehehe:

    I know a lot people think Ween is silly, but until you see them live and participate in their AIDS song, one should reserve their opinion. I’ve been following them since their demo tapes. If they ever got serious, they could probably rival a U2 for pure talent. I kind of like the fact that they do what they enjoy. More bands should try it.

  373. Clotpoll says:

    beer (375)-

    Your Hunterdon comp killers make my Saturday, as usual.

    The pain is here, full force. I know you bemoan the low percentage of comp killers vs the entire inventory…but in the end, everything that sells in this county will be a comp killer.

    All my neighbors are tapped out. Everyone I meet tells me about a friend or relative who’s tapped out.

    Of course, my township just decided to spend a gazillion dollars on a road paver…when the township now has only ONE MILE of unpaved road. The one person who spoke up against this at the twp. meeting was declared out of order…and a unanimous “yea” vote was then immediately taken.

    We’ll next be hit by a 31 mil request for “necessities” for the school district. It should require the guilt trip of the century to jam this through. However, I have no doubt it will pass.

  374. PGC says:

    #379

    We were on 8th and Monmouth. I went from Hoboken to Jersey City. It was nice to step off the party train and into the quiet life. The building was fun and we had a great time. you just never knew who you would meet in the ele

  375. sas says:

    “Fire Retardants in Toddlers and Their Mothers. Levels Three Times Higher in Toddlers Than Moms”
    http://tinyurl.com/5je4os

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that toddlers and preschoolers typically had 3 times as much of these hormone-disrupting chemicals in their blood as their mothers.

    SAS

  376. PGC says:

    evator. My personal favorite was the Barbie doll with the buzz cut and the Monster truck.

  377. Stu says:

    My row house was a gay friendly establishment, but the residents were all breeders. The best years of my life were in downtown Chilltown (as the local thugs liked to call it). One of my favorite stories was from the local Chinese take out place named Shun Lee (who was a popular character in one of the popular karate games on Nintendo). Although they claimed to sell Chinese food, I think I was the only one who didn’t order fried chicken and fries. Well anyhow, the owner liked to tell a story about how this one brother came in their one day with his hand gun drawn and asked for some cash. The owner reached down below the register and pulled out his two magnums and the robber immediately fled. Ahh, the gold ol’ days.

  378. PGC says:

    oops sorry about the split post.

  379. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (380)-

    Stumbled upon Gene & Dean in their formative days, as I lived across the river in Lambertville. Two seriously bent individuals.

    If you like to cook, there’s no better music on the planet to do prep work to.

  380. NJGator says:

    PGC – I was in Hoboken for a year. Then Stu moved back from LA and we moved out to the burbs.

    I needed to move from my JC apartment (roommate’s fiance was moving in). My parents never could understand that fact that JC was gentrifying. They always abhorred the fact that I lived there. Thought the place was completely unsafe….so they threw cash at me to subsidize my rent and move me into a luxury building in Hoboken with parking. I was only 25 then, so it was a fun place to spend the year.

    I don’t suppose my parent’s vision of JC was helped by the fact that my car was smashed up while parked on the street during a high speed police chase with an armed and dangerous felon.

  381. jamil says:

    197 gator “McC campaign admits they didn’t vet Joe the Plumber,”

    Are you seriously saying that campaigns should “vet” ordinary citizens who make simple questions? The issue is the answer B. Hussein gave to Joe (“redistribute your wealth”). It does not matter who made the question. Joe is not running for office.

    It’s been funny to see how low-IQ far-left crazies go after Joe (his divorce records etc). Bill Ayers or B Hussein has never been scrutinized or “vetted” so well (btw, B.Hussein’s campaign manager has tax liens, too).

    Joe was minding his own business, on his front lawn, when B.Hussein (with TV cameras) walked by and Joe asked a simple question (“I wanna one day buy a business a make 250k..”). Now all the far-left crazies and B.Hussein/Joe Bliden mock him that he does not make 250k. Bliden said in campaign speech that in his neighborhood ($1M houses) “no plumber make 250k, heh heh”.

    Good strategy boys. I’m sure attacking Joe the Plumber helps you in Ohio. Keep doing it.

  382. NJGator says:

    No Jamil. But I’d think the McC folks would want to do a little research before they decide to make the guy their cause celebre and base most of their campaign strategy on him.
    But desperate, mavericky folks do stupid things.

  383. jamil says:

    Maybe Joe the Plumber should run for office. He’s been vetted already and he explained the tax issue better than MC, when he said that who knows what will be the eventual limit (250k, 150k or 100k) after your wealth will be “spread around” by the government.
    Super rich can always set up expensive tax evasion schemes but small business owners rarely do, and one day Joe the Plumber (or millions like him) aspire to be small business owners, making more than 250k.

    When Bill C run for president, he too promised not to raise taxes, but 2 weeks after winning he said that he didn’t actually mean that and went on to raise taxes. B. Hussein has been voting for every tax hike he could find, so reasonable person could assume that tax hikes are his true nature (rather than vague campaign promises).

  384. Orion says:

    Weekend food for thought:

    “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody..I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” – O response to Joe the Plumber

  385. Orion says:

    “The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means to carry out his promises, and is already on his road to perdition.” – Carl Jung

  386. jamil says:

    gator: Again, the issue was B.Hussein’s promise to spread the wealth around. There are millions of people like Joe the Plumber who aspire to be able to buy a small business some day. This is the American dream, attacked and mocked by B. Hussein and his campaign.
    This surely is a valid issue and B. Hussein is making a major mistake by mocking it.

    Wrt Joe: Yes, he has tax small problems (like many others, including B.Hussein campaign managers) and that’s even more reason to lower taxes as they are already killing businesses, and he has divorced etc. Big deal.

  387. chicagofinance says:

    Veto Says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 12:22 am
    John (248) is right about all the off-base market calls though. Besides re this site has made some pretty outrageous investment calls so far. Last week, when market was dropping into a bottomless pit of dispair, this blog was downright scary. All that talk of guns, gold and canabalism took the concept of fear to a whole new level. Glad to see things cooling down in here.

    Veto: I was not alone?

  388. Yikes says:

    Last week, when market was dropping into a bottomless pit of dispair, this blog was downright scary. All that talk of guns, gold and canabalism took the concept of fear to a whole new level. Glad to see things cooling down in here.

    I believe that most of that talk was boosted by the sinking stock market … and a lot of the fear remains. I’m just curious – what, exactly, is there to be positive about?

    You’ve got people being advised nOT to pay their mortgage to get help from the govt … jobs are being lost all over the place, interest rates soar, and for stubborn owners refuse to return sale values refuse to a realistic level.

    of course there is going to be panic and fear-mongering … have you looked at who is steering this wretched trip?

  389. willwork4beer says:

    Clotpoll 381

    Glad to be of service.

    BTW – I almost included 10 Alexander but since its new it had no previous sale for comparison. But I know there was a lot of pain there. It was originally listed last November @ 450K. Congrats on the sale.

  390. bairen says:

    #375 beer,

    nothing like coffee, donuts, and comp killers to get my weekend off to a good start.

  391. PGC says:

    I don’t think the doom and gloom mongers have gone anywhere, they are just taking a break as they realise that the slide to the bottom will take time. 2-3 years. This months plungE is just the first act of “The Ring” Opera and we have have a long way to go until the fat lady sings. I put the Dow in the High sixes to low sevens in 2010 as the bottom. All disclaimers.

    A better metaphor could be “we are watching The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbits have just left the Shire”

  392. lisoosh says:

    # PGC Says:

    “A better metaphor could be “we are watching The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbits have just left the Shire””

    Where’s Tom Bombadil when you need him?

    Love the analogy.

  393. NJGator says:

    Spending surge pushes deficit toward $1 trillion
    Election promises could create biggest hole in federal budget since 1946

    MSNBC
    The Washington Post

    Spending surge pushes deficit toward $1 trillion

    Congressional leaders and both presidential candidates are proposing billions of dollars in tax breaks and other measures to stoke economic growth, a surge in spending that could send the federal deficit soaring toward $1 trillion this year, creating the deepest well of red ink since the end of World War II.

    The government already has embarked on an unprecedented spending spree to halt the implosion of the U.S. financial system and is borrowing money at levels that some economists fear could undermine the nation’s economic security for years to come. Congress could consider additional spending as soon as next month, potentially digging the nation’s hole even deeper.

    “We’re going to make Ronald Reagan look like a piker in terms of deficit creation, I think,” said Rudolph Penner, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office during the Reagan administration.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27247139/

  394. 3b says:

    #399 PGC: I don’t think the doom and gloom mongers have gone anywhere.

    There is plenty of doom and gloom wherever you look. We don’t have to wait to get to the bottom;we are already wrapped in it.

  395. 3b says:

    #396 Yikes:Last week, when market was dropping into a bottomless pit of dispair

    And it still is, no change there.

  396. lisoosh says:

    Listening to my eldest whining about grapes being on offer for a snack. My kids aren’t spoiled compared to most – no big fancy B’day parties, limited clothes etc but still spoiled in terms of feeling entitled to whine about grapes.

    I was thinking that there may be a big sea change in parenting coming down the line as reality starts to bite. A lot more kids being told “no” and that is something I can definitely get behind.

    On another thought – talking to even pretty responsible Gen “y”ers and they still focus on “work with meaning” and finding perfection. With no space for scut work. They don’t seem capable of thinking that there could be meaning in just paying the bills, feeding a family etc.

    The societal changes over the next few years will be fascinating.

    OK – rumination over.

  397. Everything's Hobroken says:

    ‘Veto: I was not alone?’

    No, in fact the crescendo of emotion here helped to convince me to move into the market on the 10th.

    So far, so good!

  398. skep-tic says:

    Not to prejudge, but for those who said no heads would roll, you were a bit too cynical

  399. skep-tic says:

    that was in response to #365

  400. skep-tic says:

    #404

    “On another thought – talking to even pretty responsible Gen “y”ers and they still focus on “work with meaning” and finding perfection. With no space for scut work. They don’t seem capable of thinking that there could be meaning in just paying the bills, feeding a family etc.”

    very true. this attitude is rampant

  401. Barbara says:

    Here’s a fun game:
    In your opinion, what will the average American family look like 5 years from now, lifestyle wise?

  402. Outofstater says:

    #407 Lisoosh – I think you may be right. The concept of “any work that is legal and moral is honorable” may catch on. It will also be refreshing to be rid of the sense of entitlement that some people seem to have – like a relative of mine who just HAD to have a 1 carat diamond engagement ring in a platinum setting AND it had to come from Tiffany’s. She deemed herself worthy of nothing less, what with her being a college dropout working as a receptionist at a plumbing supply house and all.

  403. TREY says:

    Home Prices Seem Far From Bottom
    by Vikas Bajaj
    Friday, October 17, 2008

    provided by
    The New York Times

    The American housing market, where the global economic crisis began, is far from hitting bottom.

    Home prices across much of the country are likely to fall through late 2009, economists say, and in some markets the trend could last even longer depending on the severity of the anticipated recession.

    In hard-hit areas like California, Florida and Arizona, the grim calculus is the same: More and more homes are going up for sale, but fewer and fewer people are willing or able to buy them.

    Adding to the worries nationwide are rising unemployment, falling wages and escalating mortgage rates — all of which will reduce the already diminished pool of would-be buyers.

    “The No. 1 thing that drives housing values is incomes,” said Todd Sinai, an associate professor of real estate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “When incomes fall, demand for housing falls.”

    Despite the government’s move to bolster the banking industry, home loan rates rose again on Tuesday, reflecting concern that the Treasury will borrow heavily to finance the rescue.

    On Wednesday, the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.75 percent, up from 6.06 percent last week. While banks are moving aggressively to sell foreclosed properties, the number of empty homes is hovering near its highest level in more than half a century.

  404. Martin says:

    Joe the P. is not running for President. He’s entitled to be a flawed citizen like the rest of us, simply daring to ask a question of the powerful and chosen.

  405. Yikes says:

    re: 5 years from now …

    Without home equity to tap into, and without nearly as much room on the credit cards to “boost” the quality of life … and with jobs being lost all over the place …

    the ‘average’ American will be living a life like families in the 1960s – dinner at home, not having all the new TVs/electronics, no longer having flashy cars …

    not living ABOVE their means, which is the way it should be. savers will prosper.

    a life most, i assume, will consider ‘boring.’ this will cause a backlash against our president (Barry O) and i think it’ll bring republicans back to power in 2012.

    this life, of course, is nothing i’m too concerned about. we are well-equipped for the next few years. 10 years from now? Who knows.

  406. Confused In NJ says:

    I’m looking foward to Louis Farrakkan being appointed Ambassador to Isreal. Palestinian Peace Talks should be a lot more lively.

  407. BC Bob says:

    Veto,

    Note, many have had huge gains, taking the opposite side of the pundits. To criticize those that have rung the register is ludicrous. Cycles go on for years and years. To discuss moves that occur in days, weeks or months is asinine. Look at the long term cycles. That said, where do you sit?

  408. Clotpoll says:

    beer (400)-

    What a train wreck that one was. Pure loss, all around.

    The best part of it was that BAC took an absolute bath on the short payoff.

  409. lisoosh says:

    # Martin Says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    “Joe the P. is not running for President. He’s entitled to be a flawed citizen like the rest of us, simply daring to ask a question of the powerful and chosen.”

    Taken right from the McCain “we scr*wed up now CYA by blaming the other guy” playbook.

    The issue isn’t Joe the P and his flaws. The issue is the moronic campaign that held up a false paragon of virtue without taking 10 minutes to check facts. That made a major Presidential debate decision based on “The Drudge Report”.

    What next, deciding who to bomb based on Ann Coulters latest book?

    Not a McCain hater, but do we really need a White House that functions like this?

  410. lisoosh says:

    # Martin Says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    “Joe the P. is not running for President. He’s entitled to be a flawed citizen like the rest of us, simply daring to ask a question of the powerful and chosen.”

    Taken right from the MC “we scr*wed up now CYA by blaming the other guy” playbook.

    The issue isn’t Joe the P and his flaws. The issue is the moronic campaign that held up a false paragon of virtue without taking 10 minutes to check facts. That made a major Presidential debate decision based on “The Drudge Report”.

    What next, deciding who to bomb based on Ann C0ulters latest book?

    Not a MC hater, but do we really need a W House that functions like this?

  411. lisoosh says:

    Grim in mod

  412. jamil says:

    martin: everbody who dares to ask a non pre-approved question from Dear Leader (or god forbid, critize Him) will be crushed by o-thugs in the drive-by-media and net. Didn’t you get the memo: it is racist to question Dear Leader. Just wait what life will be under B. Hussein’s, with doj hunting down those joe the plumbers..

  413. Victorian says:

    423 –
    Love the Realtor’s logo on that one. “List By Dusk. Sold by Dawn”.

    Guess houses like these can only be sold in their dreams.

  414. magneedo says:

    SAS (386)-

    Why aren’t PBDE’s, poison food/products from
    China, Peak Oil, etc… EVER discussed in our obviously staged presidential debates?

    Obviously Joe the plumber and negative ads have served their purpose as distractions to discussing real issues.

    I’d like to pose these questions to our candidates, would they ever be allowed on network tv?
    – What are your plans to combat the coming impacts from peak oil?
    – How can you protect us from poison food and products from China?
    -Why do I need a Real ID card and mandatory flu shots?
    -What is your stance on the patriot act?
    -Why is everything (housing, cars, insurance) so expensive and how can someone live on minimum wage?
    -Why are we spending trillions on defense/year. Are we fighting against alien technology from outer space?

  415. alia says:

    283, (and then 287… i don’t know french but i was going to ask the same question. maybe in pig latin. ;)

    Nom

    Woo!

  416. kettle1 says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/17/executivesalaries-banking

    Pay plans for bankers have been disclosed in recent corporate statements. Pressure on the US firms to review preparations for annual bonuses increased yesterday when Germany’s Deutsche Bank said many of its leading traders would join Josef Ackermann, its chief executive, in waiving millions of euros in annual payouts.

    The sums that continue to be spent by Wall Street firms on payroll, payoffs and, most controversially, bonuses appear to bear no relation to the losses incurred by investors in the banks. Shares in Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have declined by more than 45% since the start of the year. Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have fallen by more than 60%. JP MorganChase fell 6.4% and Lehman Brothers has collapsed.

    At one point last week the Morgan Stanley $10.7bn pay pot for the year to date was greater than the entire stock market value of the business. In effect, staff, on receiving their remuneration, could club together and buy the bank.

  417. kettle1 says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3218075/Britain-faces-deflation-for-first-time-since-1960.html

    Britain will slump into deflation next year for the first time in half a century, experts have warned. For the first time since 1960, the cost of living will start to shrink next year, in a worrying parallel of the Japanese “disease” of the 1990s, according to new research. The news comes amid growing speculation that the Bank of England will soon be forced to cut borrowing costs to 2pc or below, taking them to their lowest level since it was founded in 1694.

  418. kettle1 says:

    looks like the MSM are finally catching on……

    Amid Pressing Problems, Threat of Deflation Looms
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122428776277746551.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Policy makers navigating the U.S. through the global credit crisis may have a new concern on the horizon for 2009: deflation.

    The risk of deflation — generally falling prices across the economy, beyond volatile energy and food costs — remains slim. But the financial shock and a faltering economy can set the stage for a deflationary environment. Federal Reserve officials view broad-based deflation as unlikely but possible. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen said in a speech this week that the plunge in oil prices along with slackening demand for labor and goods should “push inflation down to, and possibly even below, rates that I consider consistent with price stability.”

  419. kettle1 says:

    The next domino(s)

    Ukraine, Hungary and Serbia in emergency talks with IMF

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/3204874/Crisis-spreads-to-Eastern-Europe-as-Ukraine-Hungary-and-Serbia-call-IMF.html

    Ukraine, Hungary, and Serbia are all in emergency talks with the International Monetary Fund, raising fears that an exodus of foreign investors will set off a systemic crisis across Eastern Europe. A team of IMF trouble-shooters rushed to Kiev on Wednesay to draw up a possible standby loan to help Ukraine stabilize its bank after a panic run on deposits this month.

  420. kettle1 says:

    No problem here….

    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE49F97920081017?sp=true

    Banks and dealers’ overall direct borrowings from the Fed averaged a record $437.53 billion per day in the week ended October 15, topping the previous week’s $420.16 billion per day. Some analysts are concerned that banks’ dependence on Fed lending might become long term and difficult to change. “The banking system is going to become addicted to this very cheap money. Unwinding it will be very difficult,” said Howard Simons, strategist with Bianco Research in Chicago.

  421. kettle1 says:

    irony?

    Credit has gotten so tight in recent weeks that companies contemplating a bankruptcy filing can’t find the cash needed to get through the process.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122421475294443955.html?mod=todays_us_nonsub_money_and_investing

  422. kettle1 says:

    Great article…

    Bernanke Is Fighting the Last War

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122428279231046053.html

    ‘Everything works much better when wrong decisions are punished and good decisions make you rich.’

    On Aug. 9, 2007, central banks around the world first intervened to stanch what has become a massive credit crunch. Since then, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have taken a series of increasingly drastic emergency actions to get lending flowing again. The central bank has lent out hundreds of billions of dollars, accepted collateral that in the past it would never have touched, and opened direct lending to institutions that have never had that privilege. The Treasury has deployed billions more. And yet, “Nothing,” Anna Schwartz says, “seems to have quieted the fears of either the investors in the securities markets or the lenders and would-be borrowers in the credit market.”

    The credit markets remain frozen, the stock market continues to get hammered, and deep recession now seems a certainty — if not a reality already. Most people now living have never seen a credit crunch like the one we are currently enduring. Ms. Schwartz, 92 years old, is one of the exceptions. She’s not only old enough to remember the period from 1929 to 1933, she may know more about monetary history and banking than anyone alive. She co-authored, with Milton Friedman, “A Monetary History of the United States” (1963). It’s the definitive account of how misguided monetary policy turned the stock-market crash of 1929 into the Great Depression.

    Since 1941, Ms. Schwartz has reported for work at the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York, where we met Thursday morning for an interview. She is currently using a wheelchair after a recent fall and laments her “many infirmities,” but those are all physical; her mind is as sharp as ever. She speaks with passion and just a hint of resignation about the current financial situation. And looking at how the authorities have handled it so far, she doesn’t like what she sees.

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has called the 888-page “Monetary History” “the leading and most persuasive explanation of the worst economic disaster in American history.” Ms. Schwartz thinks that our central bankers and our Treasury Department are getting it wrong again.

    To understand why, one first has to understand the nature of the current “credit market disturbance,” as Ms. Schwartz delicately calls it. We now hear almost every day that banks will not lend to each other, or will do so only at punitive interest rates. Credit spreads — the difference between what it costs the government to borrow and what private-sector borrowers must pay — are at historic highs.

    This is not due to a lack of money available to lend, Ms. Schwartz says, but to a lack of faith in the ability of borrowers to repay their debts. “The Fed,” she argues, “has gone about as if the problem is a shortage of liquidity. That is not the basic problem. The basic problem for the markets is that [uncertainty] that the balance sheets of financial firms are credible.”

    So even though the Fed has flooded the credit markets with cash, spreads haven’t budged because banks don’t know who is still solvent and who is not. This uncertainty, says Ms. Schwartz, is “the basic problem in the credit market. Lending freezes up when lenders are uncertain that would-be borrowers have the resources to repay them. So to assume that the whole problem is inadequate liquidity bypasses the real issue.”

    In the 1930s, as Ms. Schwartz and Mr. Friedman argued in “A Monetary History,” the country and the Federal Reserve were faced with a liquidity crisis in the banking sector. As banks failed, depositors became alarmed that they’d lose their money if their bank, too, failed. So bank runs began, and these became self-reinforcing: “If the borrowers hadn’t withdrawn cash, they [the banks] would have been in good shape. But the Fed just sat by and did nothing, so bank after bank failed. And that only motivated depositors to withdraw funds from banks that were not in distress,” deepening the crisis and causing still more failures.

    But “that’s not what’s going on in the market now,” Ms. Schwartz says. Today, the banks have a problem on the asset side of their ledgers — “all these exotic securities that the market does not know how to value.” “Why are they ‘toxic’?” Ms. Schwartz asks. “They’re toxic because you cannot sell them, you don’t know what they’re worth, your balance sheet is not credible and the whole market freezes up. We don’t know whom to lend to because we don’t know who is sound. So if you could get rid of them, that would be an improvement.” The only way to “get rid of them” is to sell them, which is why Ms. Schwartz thought that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s original proposal to buy these assets from the banks was “a step in the right direction.”

  423. alia says:

    338, nom
    on telling the yung’in: i wasn’t going to tell my 4 yr old until i showed, but i was too excited to wait. i was watching a dvd that showed a woman progressing through pregnancy, and it showed the fetus getting bigger and bigger as time slowly went on. my son was fascinated, so that became a good entry point. “do you see how the mommy has a baby inside her? and it gets bigger and bigger? well *i* have a tiny tiny baby in *me*!) it worked really well.

    best tip: for the first time big sibling sees mom after the baby is born, make sure the baby is *not* in mom’s arms. that really helped reassure mine he wasn’t being replaced. i gave him a big hug, and then daddy brought the baby out. there were a few rough days, and than the older one blossomed into his role of helpful big brother.
    (i am not sure i can claim much credit. he came out with “and i can share my toys with the baby!” without any coaching from anybody)

  424. alia says:

    371, gator

    if it really is just priced to sell… well, you can have it with my blessing. as long as i can be your gardener. (can you imagine how many apple trees you could fit onto the plot? swoon)

  425. lisoosh says:

    What’s the difference between investment bankers and pigeons?

    The pigeons are still capable of making deposits on new BMW’s.

  426. alia says:

    407, lisoosh:
    yes.
    my son, i realized over the last couple of weeks (since starting school. coincidence?), does not understand the difference between want and need. if he wants something, that is a good enough reason (in his head) to get it. the (mostly) patient “No” has been getting used an awful lot lately. i’d like to think this is a normal, age-appropriate stage he’s going through, and not a sign that he’s spoiled. :}
    well, and if he is spoiled… he’s young. we have time to re-mold him. ;>

  427. bi says:

    a lot of folks here feel they are best investment gurus on oil, gold, re and stocks.
    is there anybody who can claim they are still positive in their investment accounts?

  428. lisoosh says:

    alia – pretty sure it is an age thing. That said, it really struck me that there are plenty in the world who would be grateful for anything to eat and my daughters squabbles were just ridiculous. Then I thought about how in a really tough recession food waste just goes out of the window (among those who have it tight) and that presumably that level of indulgence (don’t like this thing? Here have this, or this or this) just goes out of the window, be it food or clothes or toys or anything else.

    From a disciplinary point of view, I wouldn’t miss it.

  429. kettle1 says:

    Question for the blog….

    if companies no longer must mark-to-market given that the assets in question will/may be worth more then their current value at the maturity date, Then why can i not get a loan based on my home being worth 1 million dollars? I paid 1 million for it 2 years ago and even if the 1 million $ home down the street sold for 700K last week, my house will still be worth 1 million again if wait long enough (i.e maturity).

    Funny that the bank will only give me a loan on a “mark-tomarket” basis…..

  430. BC Bob says:

    “firms that made wrong decisions should fail,” she says bluntly. “You shouldn’t rescue them”

    Kettle[433],

    One of the best reads in months. Anna for Fed Chairwoman/Sec of Treasury?

  431. BC Bob says:

    bi [438],

    Stop asking moronic questions. Go fine tune your blackbox, better yet ECCAP it. Nobody, on this site, is subscribing to your blackbox [thankfully]. That’s worth a few % points in the black on its own.

  432. BC Bob says:

    That’s ENCAP

  433. John says:

    I called the bottom over a week ago when I said last Friday at 3pm was bottom(8 days ago) I still think it is going to hold for rest of year.

    All closed end funds like Nuveen has the proceptus on their websites. You have to look there for the details, I owned eton vancy and nuveen early this year and they had hard any of that stuff after the second quarter.

    Straight out bonds are a bargain now so you can always skip the closed end fund and buy the bonds if you have at least 25k

  434. timmy says:

    alia,

    I had a huge turd progress through my colon. I think it would be cool to involve the US Government in that development of mine.

  435. lisoosh says:

    veto, chi etc.

    After much consideration, I think you take much of the more apocalyptic posting more than a tad too seriously.

    When people are extremely angry and frustrated, demanding that they not express that smacks of the same “do not question authority, it is unpatriotic” mantra that pervaded in the run up to Iraq. The same “happy happy joy joy” economic drumbeat that prevented people from really focusing on the problems which began and were evident some time ago. And which could have prevented some of the worst excesses from occurring.

    It is the anti-thesis of a true democracy, which requires that ALL voices be heard.
    Reasoned discourse demands that possibilities which are evident on the basis of reason, no matter how dramatic, be included. Many of the more dramatic voices in the last few months have actually proved to be the most prophetic (AIG anyone?).

    Nothing wrong with disagreeing. Wouldn’t be a discussion without disagreement. But patronizing those who disagree? Not so cool.

  436. John says:

    Something like this very high A rated might be easier than closed end funds

    GLOUCESTER CNTY N J IMPT AUTH LEASE REV 04.00000% 09/01/2017 REV BDS SER. 2005 A
    Price (Ask) 91.896
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 5.150%

  437. bairen says:

    I drove through Dunellen today on 529 and saw a party for a grand opening of a bank. Had one of those booths you go into that blows money around, even had sign spinners trying to direct traffic to it.

    I’ve never seen something like that. Is that a sign of desperation to attract depositors?

  438. t c m says:

    what’s the difference who joe the p. is? he could be a plant or a robot for all i care, it’s O’s beliefs that matter.

    the issue is “speading the wealth around” —- i really think honest people can disagree on the merits of it. O should defend it, not run from it. After all, it is what he believes, and it is what he will do.

  439. grim says:

    I drove through Dunellen today on 529 and saw a party for a grand opening of a bank. Had one of those booths you go into that blows money around, even had sign spinners trying to direct traffic to it.

    Went to Sears to buy a new toaster. When the salesperson rung me up, he let me know that as a promotion I was eligible to receive a free bank.

  440. lostinny says:

    I had to get a new ATM card at Commerce yesterday. The person that helped me tried to get me to open a credit card. Not exactly what I wanted to deal with.

  441. lostinny says:

    Grim
    Congrats on the new pup! What a great name.

  442. jamil says:

    449 “what’s the difference who joe the p. is? he could be a plant or a robot for all i care, it’s O’s beliefs that matter…
    the issue is “speading the wealth around””

    It was funny to see all low-IQ morons to attack him: “His first name is not Joe!..he does not make 250k!..he is a rep plant” (apparently Karl Rove bought the house for him 10 years ago and let him live there unnoticed for the last 10 years and then Karl got The Messiah to make an unannounced visit with TV cameras past Joe’s house..Karl you magnificent wizard!!)

    Anyway, since he believes in the spreading the wealth and handing out the money to other people who are not that successful, why does B. Hussein not give half of his campaign money to MC and third party candidates? That would be fair wealth redistribution.

    His campaign is making more than 250k.

  443. lisoosh says:

    Funny. I thought “trickle down economics” was a suggestion of how to spread the wealth around.

    A discounted method too. Wasn’t that originally posited by Laffer (the Laffer curve?) commonly seen on TV a year or so ago insisting that the fundementals of the US economy were just peachy, with housing especially stable and strong?

    Standard economics shows that injecting cash into the lower levels of the economy actually stimulates it more.

    Food stamps inject more into the economy than they cost.

  444. bairen says:

    I would love to see someone ask the candidates if they would lead the campaign to end women’s suffrage. Saw something similar on the Man show years ago and thought it was hysterical.

    Here’s the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmKWp4OPoUM

  445. Shore Guy says:

    I thought Spooky looked like a U.S. Attorney chewing over executives at Lehman.

  446. t c m says:

    #454 – lisoosh –

    i think trickle down was a way to spread the wealth –

    my point is that if O, and his followers, believe in spreading the wealth around, why attack the person who questions it- or disagrees with it – O should be able to defend it. in any case, i think that to a certain degree, most of us believe in some kind of spreading the wealth around. what’s wrong with questioning the method or amount?

    i hope that this is not a sign of what’s to come in an O presidency……ordinary people being intimidated and smeared when they ask valid questions.

  447. Shore Guy says:

    “trickle down economics”

    Alaso known as “Piddle-Down Economics,” and “Tinkle-Down Economics.”

  448. bairen says:

    #455

    Would be great to watch Omama, Bipolar, McCon, and Tina, i mean Pailing stick their feet in their mouth and then try to talk their way out of it

  449. stu says:

    Argh, Grim, my very long #460 is in moderation. Congrats on the pooch BTW. You did a very good thing.

  450. Shore Guy says:

    “most of us believe in some kind of spreading the wealth around. ”

    Speak for yourself. I am all for giving opportunities to everyone, removing barriers to education, etc. I am also for a safety net to protect people from poverty. THat said, whay should I be deprived the benefit of my hard work to “spread the wealth” to someone who took less Less rigorous coursework, went out to parties and ball games while I was working double shifts and depriving myself of the comforts of life in order to better my own life, or anyone else who worked far less hard than I did to get what little I have?

    I want everyone in this nation to be safe, healthy, and educated. That said, most of us were jumping all ove the government for the moral hazard created when they bailed out Wall Street; a similar thing occurs when folks who never saw the need to do homework in 5th grade, or to go to classes in high school, or press on with vocational education, college, or whatnot gets “a little wealth spread their way.”

    The days of sliding by through k-12 education, going down to the local plant, and achieving a solid middle-class living are largely over. It is about time folks learn that if they do not push themselves to be better every day, things might be tough for them later.

  451. alia says:

    lisoosh,
    (439) had a friend who would tell her 6 yr old daughter, who was a picky eater, “there are children starving in Africa”… It was particularly apt since she herself had been a starving adult there.

    timmy,
    (445) pardon?

  452. Shore Guy says:

    “Dunellen”

    Channeling someone else near and dear to the board: “I dun Ellen a few times back in the 70s. I also boubd Brooke, but that is another story for another day.”

  453. bi says:

    Farrakhan Says ‘New Beginning’ For Nation of Islam

    http://cbs2chicago.com/local/nation.of.islam.2.843209.html

  454. Shore Guy says:

    “firms that made wrong decisions should fail,” she says bluntly. “You shouldn’t rescue them”

    I get all warm and tingly when I see a statement like that.

  455. Shore Guy says:

    “Farrakhan ”

    I thought he was dead.

  456. Shore Guy says:

    “is there anybody who can claim they are still positive in their investment accounts?”

    Claim? Sure. lol

  457. stu says:

    Bi,

    “Farrakhan”

    Here comes the desperation of a losing campaign. I’m surprised they waited until the last two weeks before this race card was played. Funny thing is, it will backfire worse than the car John uses when collecting rent.

  458. alia says:

    wait, i missed something. puppy? i thought grim got a toaster? or a bank? (searches posts… confused…)

  459. stu says:

    I guess jackasses and bastards do not trip the moderation filter.

  460. bi says:

    What will this mean to America? An administration that is either at war with its base or at war with the nation.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=78333

  461. victorian says:

    Can someone explain how is O going to “spread the wealth” ? As far as I know, he is increasing the tax rate on above $250K incomes to Clinton era rates. If this was not considered spreading the wealth back then, why now?

    I would imagine that most of the people in middle america make less than $250k. Why is it so easy to get these guys riled up about a phrase?

  462. stu says:

    Victorian:

    Because all us low-IQ morons still believe in the American dream. Don’t we?

    I pondered that same question myself.

  463. NJGator says:

    I have no problems with Joe. I just wonder why John McC wants so much of Joe’s hard earned money away? Joe has already admitted now that he would do much better under O’s tax plan than McC’s.

    McC and SP can talk about Joe Sixpack and anti-elitism all they want, but the fact is that their economic policies will help the elites out there and not the Joes.

  464. stu says:

    Bi…it appears Pat B is desperate too. He should have called it quits after he ruined GB seniors convention back in 92.

  465. victorian says:

    473 (Stu) –

    So the trick is to convince these folks is that if you ever in your life make > $250K, you will be taxed like crazy. So, vote against it.

    Meanwhile, all the producing economy is being outsourced and the barrier to get to the 250k point is being raised day-by-day.

    Honestly, it would be interesting to see if we have the data to determine this progression.

  466. NJCoast says:

    Spooky is a cutie!

  467. t c m says:

    #461 – shore –

    “Speak for yourself. I am all for giving opportunities to everyone, removing barriers to education, etc. I am also for a safety net to protect people from poverty. ”

    ok, so you are for some kind of spread the wealth – just not to the extent that O wants to. that was my point – the plumber questions the method and extent of spreading the wealth around, and is attacked –

    #472 – victorian

    “Can someone explain how is O going to “spread the wealth” ?”

    i believe he is going to expand tax credits to lower income people that begin to phase out after 40K income. He will expand the amount of people who pay no tax, and increase the amount of people who actually receive a check from the IRS by taxing people who make more than 250K.

  468. t c m says:

    #474 –

    Gator

    “Joe has already admitted now that he would do much better under O’s tax plan than McC’s”

    just because at this moment a person will get more from the govt with one candidate than the other, doesn’t mean that the person shouldn’t disagree with them. maybe he hopes to make more some day – what’s wrong with that?

    do you advocate we all have to look into our wallets today and vote according to how many pennies the govt. throws at us or let’s us keep?

  469. PeaceNow says:

    I don’t know, JB, but Spooky looks to be too adorable to be a foster. I’m guessing you might keep him….

  470. Al says:

    i believe he is going to expand tax credits to lower income people that begin to phase out after 40K income. He will expand the amount of people who pay no tax, and increase the amount of people who actually receive a check from the IRS by taxing people who make more than 250K.

    Even less incentive to be in places like NJ, Make sub-100k and work. Move to the middle of nowhere, get under-40K job, pay 400$ instead of 1500$ in rent and enjoy you life.

    I really hate all of those income based programs as they do not take into account huge difference on costs of living.

    75K for a family in NJ right now – almost impossible to make it, and impossible to live on if you decide to buy.

    75K in Michigan – you are rolling in Dough.

  471. Cindy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBqjX1c520s

    Grim,

    “Spooky” – couldn’t find Santana…

  472. alia says:

    hits refresh. figures it out. sorry. *blushes*

  473. PeaceNow says:

    Shore Guy—#461

    Oh, puhleeze.

    You’re all for “giving opportunities to everyone, removing barriers to education, etc.,” but not if you actually have to contribute to achieving that. Why should you be deprived of “the benefit of my hard work to “spread the wealth” to someone who took less Less rigorous coursework, went out to parties and ball games while I was working double shifts and depriving myself of the comforts of life in order to better my own life, or anyone else who worked far less hard than I did to get what little I have?”

    Well, I’d say because those opportunities you want everyone to have simply have not materialized for a large percentage of Americans. And to say that they have not materialized because people were going to parties and ball games while you were working…oh, come on. Are you really so naive, or so elitist? Do you really believe that single-parent inner-city children fail to thrive because they’re partying and playing ball?

    Listen, I’m glad you’re successful. But puhleeze, if you really want “everyone in this nation to be safe, healthy, and educated,” then stop whining about how all thoe people you claim to want to help don’t deserve it.

  474. jamil says:

    “I would imagine that most of the peop”le in middle america make less than $250k.”

    250k is just a vague campaign promise (Bill C also promised to lower taxes – he did the opposite). As Joe The Plumber explained in GMA interview, who knows what the limit would be in reality (assuming there is any tax cut).
    Also, many people like Joe the plumber believe that O is lying. His record is tax hiker. Talk is cheap.

    Besides, Messiah has hinted raising the SS tax cap and congressional dems are openly advocating getting rid of 401k tax breaks.

    Also, 40% of people already do not pay any income taxes so The Messiah would be sending welfare checks to them (he calls them tax credits or something, similar to EITC which is already subject to widespread fraud).

    Besides, people and businesses that make ~260k are the ones who could get the country out of the slowdown/recession by hiring new workers and using services. The Messiah is killing them with additional taxes.

  475. NJGator says:

    On a lighter note, Lil Gator and I took a ride out to Harding today for a hay ride and pumpkin and apple picking. Beautiful day and good times!

  476. lostinny says:

    Gator
    I emailed your CN address. Just an FYI in case you have a filter.

  477. victorian says:

    “250k is just a vague campaign promise”

    – How is giving a concrete number a vague campaign promise?

    “Besides, people and businesses that make ~260k are the ones who could get the country out of the slowdown/recession by hiring new workers and using services”

    – As i believe, it is a progressive tax. Only the amount above $250k will be taxed at a higher rate. I have read the numbers on CNN, and quoting JTP’s numbers of 280k – it would lead to an additional $900 in taxes.

    The main factor which is killing small businesses is the cost of health care. If this can be addressed, I believe it will lead to higher savings than tax cuts.

    BTW, if Bill Clinton raised taxes – how come businesses flourished during those years? And why are businesses floundering under the Bush tax cuts? Enough of your supply side BS already. It has been thoroughly discredited.

  478. bi says:

    the language sounds familiar in what heard in former communist contries. it would not take too long to see “class struggle” in this country. this has been indicated in the recent financial turmoil. who want to risk their capital to invest?

    It comes down to values – in America, do we simply value wealth, or do we value the work that creates it?” Omama said at a rally under the Gateway Arch. “I’m not giving tax cuts to folks who don’t work. I’m giving tax cuts to folks who do work. That’s right, Missouri – John Mcane is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people ‘welfare.’”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14702.html

  479. stu says:

    Jamil,

    When they come to spread my wealth, I am going to specifically ask that the portion you refuse to receive (since it’s below you) be given to the nation of Islam.

  480. chicagofinance says:

    lisoosh Says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 4:49 pm
    After much consideration, I think you take much of the more apocalyptic posting more than a tad too seriously.
    It is the anti-thesis of a true democracy, which requires that ALL voices be heard.
    Reasoned discourse demands that possibilities which are evident on the basis of reason, no matter how dramatic, be included. Many of the more dramatic voices in the last few months have actually proved to be the most prophetic (AIG anyone?).
    Nothing wrong with disagreeing. Wouldn’t be a discussion without disagreement. But patronizing those who disagree? Not so cool.

    l: I understand and agree with your point to some extent. However, please bear in mind what was being written at the time, and how outlandish it was. It went beyond being humorous. Honestly, as I said at the time, I don’t care what people think or do, but it is difficult enough making optimal strategic financial decisions in the face of incredible negative feedback. There are certainly a great number of people that are influenced by the opinions of some of the most outspoken here. I don’t think it is unreasonable to identify visceral things that appear to be written in angst, fear, greed, vengence, anger etc. because decades of research has shown that humans are hard wired to react in this way to stressful stimuli and it results in poor decisionmaking. Everyone here brings a distinct voice. If mine is to first educate everyone about Depeche Mode and then offer up some of my experience in finance, countering what was expressed a couple of weeks ago was the best that I can muster under the circumstances.

  481. jamil says:

    “BTW, if Bill Clinton raised taxes – how come businesses flourished during those years? ”

    Yes, I forgot the Great Pets.Com Bubble and the nation that went into a recession under his watch. Great times they were.

  482. sas says:

    omama a citizen? I think not.
    http://tinyurl.com/44jwd6

  483. stu says:

    Jamil,

    With a straight face, tell me that SP is fit to run the country. I dare you.

  484. victorian says:

    492-
    But according to you, those businesses should not have even begun in face of the tax raises.

  485. Cindy says:

    Chicago – I for one appreciate your reasoned responses.

    I read on another site that we now have “irrational pessimism.”

  486. stu says:

    SAS…desperation from you too?

  487. bi says:

    497#, at least she is running a state with high approval rating. but how about him? his only executive experience is running one campaingn after another.

  488. jamil says:

    stu: If you seriously believe The Messiah’s tax cut promises, you should seek immediate help. I’ve heard they can do miracles with the new drugs.

    He has been tax-hiker all his life and closely associated with marxists, from “Rev” Wright to Bill “Established Member of Establishment” Ayers.

    Next year 401k tax breaks are gone, capital gain and dividend tax cuts are gone, SS tax cap is removed and O-Jugend is marching on the streets harassing businesses.

  489. stu says:

    “There are certainly a great number of people that are influenced by the opinions of some of the most outspoken here.”

    Yes, at the height of the panic, I figured it was the right time to sell some of my shorts. I do hear you though.

  490. sas says:

    “SAS…desperation from you too?”

    desperation? hugh?

    I don’t like omama, and I can spout out a million reasons.

    thought this bloke’s webpage was interesting.

    SAS

  491. stu says:

    Jamil…

    Answer the damn question!

  492. stu says:

    SAS… I know ;)

  493. jamil says:

    494: “With a straight face, tell me that SP is fit to run the country. I dare you.”

    Uh..She has actually run a state successfully, unlike The Messiah who has never run anything except community organizer team (who spent 100Million for “education” indoctrination with well-known terrorist leader). Are you seriously saying that community organizer is fit to run anything?

  494. victorian says:

    BTW, didnt Mc oppose the Bush tax cuts at some point? What makes you confident that he will keep his tax cut promise?

  495. sas says:

    but to me, the real dandy that omama has done was working with hedge-fund manager Leah Zell & Chicago Council on Global Affairs to extort money from the Boeing Company.

    I gotta admit, that took alot of damn guts and he must of had alot of connections to pull that off.

    look into it.

    SAS

  496. jamil says:

    505: Good question. Of course, I can’t be sure (and liberal congress would probably prevent that anyway).

    It is just a pick between known marxist extremist who has voted for every tax hike during his tenure vs. somebody who has often supported tax cuts. I would pick the one who often supported tax cuts and has shown more integrity in his life and has kept his word. The Messiah has already broken all his promises (from public financing to FISA etc). Why would he start being honest now? He’s been a liar all his life.

  497. stu says:

    Jamil,

    You are blinded by your party.

    I see a lot of flaws in O. I can admit that. But if you can’t see the danger in a maverick who didn’t vet SP, nor Joe the rabble rouser, then I could easily see us mired in wars not dissimilar to the terrible decision to invade Iraq.

    Your ignorance of the terrible decision of choosing SP is astounding.

    Most of what McCane has succeeded in is a result of his nepotism. From getting accepted at the naval academy after barely graduating high school, to getting to be a pilot with bad grades at the academy, to getting more planes to fly after crashing 3, to even being a celebrity POW. Not to mention cheating on his first wife.

    O man was not my first choice, but he is not the worst choice. M’s terrible handling of this campaign and complete 180 in positions from 2000 until now is scary. He is a maverick, not unlike Ayers…no?

  498. sas says:

    jamil & stu,

    the powers that be got you were they want you. shatter the false left/right debate.

    becaues in the end, its the bankers & copporate elite that are in charge.

    I think the bailout if more that enough proof.

    SAS

  499. kettle1 says:

    cindy,

    have you ever read “Confession of an economic hitman”?

    i would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

  500. stu says:

    Sas…sad but true.

    I like a good argument once in a while though.

    Honestly, no one is changing anyone’s decision here. Your vote in NJ was decided for you already.

    What a country.

  501. kettle1 says:

    SAS,

    i would argue that it goes further then bankers though. The core issue arises from “growth” based economics.

  502. jamil says:

    stu: MC was pretty much my last choice in the primaries, but he is still better than a known marxist who associates himself with known america-haters and terrorists.

    Vetting Joe The Plumber? You must be out of your mind. The issue is not Joe, but the The Messiah’s tax policies (that are going to hurt the aspiring middle class regardless of what he promises now – he is known tax-hiker).

    The O-Jugend and his new brownshirts are going to hunt down you too one day, until you are 100% in his camp (remember how they spit on Hillary supporters in TX and NE caucuses and carried out voter fraud?)

    SP has been succesful governor (with 80% approval ratings) with actual responsibilities and track record. Yes, she is not a foreign policy expert (just like Bill C) but at least she is not an embarrassment like Joe Bliden who did not understand the role of VP, claimed that US kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon and claimed that US general said that surge principles could not work in Afghanistan.

    Btw; If you don’t know who is Ayers, please google him. He is a vicious terrorist leader and mass-murderer (just incompetent one), his (and his wife) role in the murder of NY police officer is still unclear. Several members of his terrorist group were involved and only 1 (or 2) were caught.

    I agree that MC’s campaign has been awful (he refuses to mention “Rev” Wright etc), but I still believe he is going to win. Messiah’s poll numbers were constantly overstated in the primaries and dems are oversampled in polls, so it is close now. ACORN voter fraud gives Messiah extra 0.5-1% and it may be enough but I still believe that MC wins.

  503. John says:

    soon I will be able to say eat your dinner the president has starving brothers and sisters in africa

  504. kettle1 says:

    deflation in action…

    look at these charts…
    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/10/where-are-food-prices-headed.html

    the fed is pumping huge amounts of money into the economy and food prices are going down?

    the velocity of money must be hitting a wall right now. V=gdp/m2 . M2 is skurocketing and GDP growth is negative

  505. sas says:

    “The core issue arises from “growth” based economics”

    yes, I agree. That is one of the roots, and the central bankers & corporate elite are the onces whom carry this out.

    yes…yes..

    SAS

  506. jamil says:

    stu: One more thing. I arrived this country as a “Bill Clinton democrat” and a staunch supporter of him. I read Ny Slimes every day, until the sheer dishonesty and bias got me, sometime after the FL vote fiasco and Gore’s attempt to suppress the military vote.

    I was still “undecided”. Anyway, few more years NY Slimes bias and I had enough.

    There are several things I still cannot understand in this country. No ID required to vote??? Even Iraq and Mexico (and Harlem school boards) require photo ID.
    Race-profiling is ok?? You can legally be denied a job or place in college if the color of your skin is not the right one??
    To be honest, that makes me sick and I cannot vote for people who advocate this.

  507. sas says:

    “Confession of an economic hitman”?

    I told you about the story about how we pulled the rug out from South Korea and single handly created the cell phone industry….

    or getting drunk with a bunch of KGB Russians in Moscow?

    SAS

  508. sas says:

    well…I didn’t get drunk that night,

    but I had to throw down several thousand dollars on hookers for those fellas..if I was not to end not being gutted and put into a dumpster.

    man, I should write my own book.

    SAS

  509. kettle1 says:

    this guy gets [aid for this stuff?

    0% Rates Needed for Market Recovery: Strategist

    U.S., European and Japanese interest rates need to be slashed to practically zero if there’s any chance of a market recovery, Roger Nightingale, strategist at Pointon York, told CNBC Friday.

    “I’m not talking about 50 basis points … we really have to take rates down to effectively zero,” Nightingale said, pointing out that U.S. rates “got down to one percent in the last recession and that wasn’t a bad one.”

    “The Europeans have to go to zero, the Brits have to go very close to zero, the Japanese of course haven’t got much room, they certainly have to go to zero,” Nightingale said, adding that even zero might not be low enough for the U.S. to escape a deep, protracted slump.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/27236152

  510. stu says:

    It’s funny Jamil. I respect your decisions and justifications for them, although I don’t agree with them.

    I’m the complete opposite. Used to be much more Republican and have swung to other side based on almost the same reasons you gave.

    Both guys are pretty bad. If M got elected, it would not be the end of the world to me. If he died on the other hand. OMG!

  511. magneedo says:

    What is the difference in taxes between dem’s and rep’s anyway? A few percent? life changing…? I don’t think so. The real stuff stays the same regardless of dem or repub in office. Why do right wing complain about democrat entitlement programs when defense spending is the largest entitlement program in existence. Why are no 3rd party candidates ever allowed to participate in t.v. debates?

  512. kettle1 says:

    SAS,

    i had the impression you were more of a “jackal” of sorts. at least a coordinator in that side of affairs

  513. Cindy says:

    (510) Kettle
    “Have you read Confession of an Economic Hitman?”

    No – not familiar with that one. Just got “Liar’s Poker” in the mail and haven’t even cracked it open. Very busy.

  514. jamil says:

    stu: “It’s funny Jamil. I respect your decisions and justifications for them, although I don’t agree with them.”

    Thank you and likewise.

  515. sas says:

    kettle1,

    I’m no economist.
    Got an MBA at Tuck many years ago. Totally worthless piece of paper.

    I had my living first in military, then kissing ass, having a great crooked smile, and not being afraind to get my hands dirty when need being, and can handle my liquor.

    now, I’m old & tired.

    SAS

  516. d2b says:

    So how many people do you think vote their party, regardless of the empty suit, because of the intense dislike of the other? These are the people that ‘have never voted for a Republican’ or ‘hate liberals’. I think that the number is about 35%.

    I remember the polls in Philly had a large lever at the top where you could just pull it to vote Democrat or Republican.

  517. sas says:

    man, I gotta goto the next GTG and bring some of my photo albums.

    SAS

  518. sas says:

    d2b,

    the right feeds the left, and the left feeds the right.

    that why Dem vs. Rep is a false debate to make you think you have a choice.

    Nov 4th, isn’t an election…its a selection.

    SAS

  519. bi says:

    sorry if it has been posted here before. but this wsj piece is a real deal:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122385651698727257.html#

  520. jamil says:

    sas: Your career path sounds familiar: Military, stealing IP, drunk with KGB and handling of liquor. No MBA, though (but Ivy League in UWS). Not much of kissing ass, though.

    old and tired too.

  521. sas says:

    kettle1,

    one more bit about me. My signature, SAS, isn’t my real signature.

    hint…hint..

  522. kettle1 says:

    SAS,

    the axeman of the hangman….. your choice. hey your choice matters, right?

  523. kettle1 says:

    Special Air Services or intelligent software

  524. sas says:

    the only reason i got into Tuck was not because I was smart.

    I had an old flame in admission up there, she got me in. under the table. but, I did work hard when I was there.

    SAS

  525. Diane says:

    John,
    re #444: proceptus (dental, nasal, or gyno apparatus?)

    #514: crown royal up went up my nose while laughing

  526. jamil says:

    Interesting interview with Joe The Plumber:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U85wrwZwNgk

    Seems to be a nice guy, who made the mistake on being at home and asking a question from a candidate who is running for a president. Next thing he knows that every far-left lunatic is attacking him, exposing his home address and going through his dirt.
    100 people camping outside his home, he has been savaged and he lost his job because of the attacks.

  527. d2b says:

    jamil-
    Not sure if you realize this, but it was the republicans that made Joe a star. Nobody cared, espically the canadate, when he asked a question. Joe was Joe the Nobody before McJohn gave him his 15.

    Then poor Joe does the talk show/interview circuit. You reap what you sow…

  528. Diane says:

    Maybe I do not understand the Joe the Plummer scenerio. Is he a plummer who wants to buy a plumming business, or is he a plummer working for someone? Does he have or expect to have an income (not the business, but personal income) of 250k? And when the candidates speak about taxes cuts, do they explicitly mean a reduction (or increase)of the tax RATE? Why is it said “lower your taxes” and not “lower your tax rate”? Guess I am a little confused about what’s being proposed.

  529. jamil says:

    d2b:
    WTF? Joe asked a fair question and it revealed interesting stuff from a candidate who did not have a teleprompter to help him.

    The issue is people like Joe and Joe’s personal background is totally irrelevant. I don’t think there is anything wrong to raise the issue of Joe and people like him (but the vicious _personal_ attacks against him are sickening but at least the attacks are turning most normal people against the Messiah so I cannot complain too much).

    Current semi-honest polls (like Gallup) are showing likely voters +2 for the Messiah. Given the oversampling of dems in polls and the fact that the primary poll numbers for O were constantly overstated by (on avg) 3 points, I would say that MC is already leading. ACORN fraud effect gives O maybe 0.5% so it is really close.

  530. jamil says:

    diane: “Is he a plummer who wants to buy a plumming business, or is he a plummer working for someone?”

    Both.

    He works for somebody else and dreams of buying a plumbing business that would make 250k-280k. Candidates have vague tax plans and I don’t think anybody expects them to be implemented as advertised in a campaign (see Bill C’s “tax cuts” that raised taxes).

  531. d2b says:

    jamil-
    Again, you reap what you sow.
    Once Joe does the Good Morning America interview, HE opens himself up to scrutiny.

    This guy isn’t turning away reporters. He appears to want to be a celebrity. I’m not sure that he’s a victim here.

    The O camp never gave this guy a second look until they needed to respond.

  532. bi says:

    487#,
    they should not have kids in the first place. or they should have give their children adopted if they cannot raise them.
    they are creating cancer for this society.

    >Do you really believe that single-parent inner-city children fail to thrive because they’re partying and playing ball?

  533. jamil says:

    542: “Once Joe does the Good Morning America interview, HE opens himself up to scrutiny.”

    He was being attacked before that and before the debate. (And anyway, why the heck should private citizens be viciously attacked for asking a simple question). The press refuses to scrutinize Bill Ayers or B.Hussein (why they haven’t tracked down his drug dealer or his poor relatives in Kenya, but are writing about Cindy MC’s miscarriages and Joe The Plumber’s divorce?)

    Anyway, as I said, this is turning more people against The Messiah so I cannot complain too much. More the far-left lunatics attack him, the more it hurts The Messiah.

  534. bi says:

    543#, i’m not so optimistic about it. if there is no dramatic thing happenning in next 2 weeks, it is very likely you will be ruled by president hussein as you called and washington dc would be renamed new leningrad.

    >Current semi-honest polls (like Gallup) are showing likely voters +2 for the Messiah.

  535. jamil says:

    bi: One of the dramatic things was Joe The Plumber. Well, not him, but the mocking and vicious personal attacks against him that have galvanized middle class voters, especially outside the coastal liberal bastions (in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania etc). Joe Bliden was openly mocking him (Bliden lives in $1M neighborhood and said that no plumbers there make 250k heh heh – what a jerk).

    Anyway, the polls are assuming +8 part ID advantage for dems (or double-digit like Osamaweek or whatever Newsweek is called nowadays). Reality will be around +3 for dems. This alone would mean MC win (even before the O effect, like in primaries, especially in battleground states where his poll numbers were massively overstated).

  536. flowerboy says:

    Does anybody the if MC didn’t vote for the bailout plan he would be up in the polls? He says he is against the pork yet signed a bill full of it. I also think to many women will just vote for SP just to get a women in the WH. First Hill lost now SP. We will never see a woman in the WH………

  537. jamil says:

    btw: This is from the “Established Member of Chicago Community (Organizers)”

    “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at.”
    –Bill Ayers, Weather Underground, 1970

    His protégé is about to achieve the ultimate power and ability to finish their dreams. Public school “education” will be transformed. Change is coming.

    Well, at least we don’t have rich people to worry about then.

  538. Shore Guy says:

    “Do you really believe that single-parent inner-city children fail to thrive because they’re partying and playing ball?”

    Of course not. Nevertheless, poverty can be overcome by parents who have high expectations for their children and demand excellence. Failure to do so almost guarantees failure. There are pleanty of examples of kids from the same neighborhood goong to neighborhood schools — one public (with low expectations( and one Catholic (with high expectations) — with huge differences in outcome (And I did not go to Catholic school. I attended a bottom 10% HS here at the Shore). Holding one’s self and one’s children to a high standard is too often lacking, and will continue to be lacking as long as people get bailed out of a lifetime of bad decisionmaking.

  539. sean says:

    Jamil – MC ain’t sexy, the ladies this time will select O

    Check the polls when it comes to women the O man blows MC out of the water,the APP poll earlier this month gave O man a much larger spread.

  540. sean says:

    Bi- Leningrad how about Yekaterinburg?

  541. DL says:

    Drunk with KGB Russians (FSB these days). I can relate.

  542. SG says:

    Building Flawed American Dreams

    Long article on Henry Cisneros. He was involved in housing during Clinton era. I have mate him at many occasions. Whatever being said, he is true gentleman.

  543. The more I read this blog, the more I realize the importance of a good content like yours. Keep up the good work.

  544. yome says:

    With all the tax deductions available to small business,joe the plumber will try to get to less than $250,000 Adjusted Gross Income.I know somebody that has a cash business(barber)he pays less tax than me.

  545. bairen says:

    #519 SAS

    1) You should write a book.

    2) Speaking of cell phones. My mother-in-law ans sister-in-law both looked at my new cell this Spring and said that one was discontinued in Taiwan a couple of years ago. One of those Samsung slider phones. Argh.

    Outside of the iphone/ipod I think East Asia’s way ahead of us in cell phones and consumer electronics. You should see the the cameras my overseas visitors carry. Very jealous.

  546. bairen says:

    #524 Cindy,

    I used to work on that desk in NY. All the guys from the book had left before I got there. (the MBS traders are no longer obese, maybe a few could lose a bit).

    I think I met the guy who bought a car by overcharging his expenses (or at least someone like him). When I worked in the back office I sat next to this clown for a few months. All he did was ask people for receipts, call people he hadn’t talked to in 5 years for Yankees playoff tickets and Giants tickets. He even bought a 50k life insurance policy on each of his kids so he could pay for the funeral and get the money back he spent raising them.

  547. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (434)-

    GOING TO become addicted? These guys were hooked at the first hit. Now, the gubmint is just their cheap money pusher. They’ll never be able to put down this pipe.

    “The banking system is going to become addicted to this very cheap money. Unwinding it will be very difficult,” said Howard Simons, strategist with Bianco Research in Chicago.

  548. skep-tic says:

    NYTimes RE Section: RE Market tough? What’s the big deal, just make your parents give you $50k!

  549. PGC says:

    Congrats Grim,

    Does the foster come with insurance. Will the insurance companies refuse to cover him as they will claim pre existing condition. After the election will there be universal dog healthcare or a tax credit to spend where he wants.

  550. PGC says:

    Talking to some friends from Brigadoon. They report that they noticed a lot of cars in Driveways with “For Sale” signs on them. Some streets are 1 in 5.

    I’m noticing a lot of Harleys and Classic muscle cars for sale around me.

  551. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (436)-

    Great stuff. Think Klink or Bergabe has spoken once to this lady in the past five years?

  552. Clotpoll says:

    alia (440)-

    Yep, it’s natural behavior in a kindergartner.

    However, when the Secretary of the Treasury exhibits it…

  553. Clotpoll says:

    bi (441)-

    Up 39.5%, YTD.

  554. Victorian says:

    Finally, some good news!! Your bailout dollars helping some poor folks out –

    “Financial workers at Wall Street’s top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year – despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/17/executivesalaries-banking

  555. Clotpoll says:

    soosh (449)-

    Funny that the most strident and panicked of posters here have been the most dead-on in their called shots (will keep my own back-patting to a minimum here).

    Once you buy into the premise of this Gottendammerung, predicting each inexorable and logical step toward ruin becomes easy.

    And, a cursory perusal of Ms. Schwartz’ interview (436) should be assurance enough that all the Treasury/Fed manipulations are the equivalent of both pushing on a string, and- more likely- covering fire for the thieves who are staging the biggest broad-daylight bank robbery in history.

    This thing doesn’t end until Wil E hits the canyon floor.

  556. skep-tic says:

    “I have lived on both sides of that line and in theory know that the division between the haves and the have-nots is destroying this country. This does not equate to my support of welfare or larger government in any way, shape or form. If greedy corporate executives and Wall Street jack*sses are not willing to share the spoils of the hard work of all, then I do believe it is fair for the government to help the economy by punishing the selfish b*stards for their abhorrent behavior.”

    #473

    stu– as you know, they will not stop with the tippity top. and more fundamentally, if one’s overall philosophy is that wealth redistribution is desireable, then why not stop until everyone is economically equal?

  557. Clotpoll says:

    Here’s the kind of bent logic that dopes like Motley Fool use when they see their subscriber base fleeing the market:

    They now say that top-tier, blue-chip stocks be bought and held, a la Buffett…since the magic of compounding gains over time leads to potentially unlimited profit.

    However, short selling is a bad thing, since theoretically, the potential for loss is limitless and the upside for gain is capped at 100%.

    Sound theory; shaky application.

  558. Victorian says:

    Clot (574) –
    “(will keep my own back-patting to a minimum here)”

    – Your Fannie and Freddie calls alone should earn you pats for life :).
    I should have listened to you and started shorting them @30. But, at that point, I did not believe that such huge institutions could fail so spectacularly. Live and Learn.

  559. skep-tic says:

    #485

    “I really hate all of those income based programs as they do not take into account huge difference on costs of living.”

    Indeed.

  560. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (464)-

    Word.

    However, we are so far down the road to Soci@lism, we probably can’t turn back. We now have an entire, giant generation of brain-dead (Boomers) that cannot- as a group- be entrusted with the simplest of responsibilities. They have eaten all the goose eggs, artificially fattened the goose, slaughtered it, eaten the dripping, smarmy, stinking foie gras and discarded the rest of the carcass, without even trying to roast it or render some stock.

    Besides, the entitlement mindset bred by Soci@lism makes for an easy-to-control populace. It will be easier to maintain order once the middle class is finished off and there are only rich people and poor people.

    Still maintain that if we’re becoming a Peoples’ republic, I’m going to a country where the soccer is better.

    Happy to report I’m making some headway on that with my family.

  561. skep-tic says:

    #514

    “O man was not my first choice, but he is not the worst choice. M’s terrible handling of this campaign and complete 180 in positions from 2000 until now is scary.”

    agree, but it must be acknowledged (as you have) that O is a huge risk himself. you have to be willing to assume he will govern more from the center than he has voted throughout his career

  562. Clotpoll says:

    stu (477)-

    The American Dream is not the problem.

    The problem is, the vast majority of our citizens believe that the American Dream is about being able to buy all the silly shit that catches your eye, then advertising that fact to the world by coating yourself in bling.

  563. Clotpoll says:

    tard (489)-

    Nice to see you back on your game.

  564. Clotpoll says:

    chi (497)-

    “However, please bear in mind what was being written at the time, and how outlandish it was. It went beyond being humorous. Honestly, as I said at the time, I don’t care what people think or do, but it is difficult enough making optimal strategic financial decisions in the face of incredible negative feedback.”

    Whatever gets written here pales in comparison to the reality of the biggest slow-motion dismantling of an empire ever witnessed by man.

  565. Clotpoll says:

    sas (512)-

    Now you’re getting into the red meat.

    Gotta know Sam Zell got a big chunk of change outta that somehow.

  566. Clotpoll says:

    Follow the money…

  567. skep-tic says:

    #574

    “And, a cursory perusal of Ms. Schwartz’ interview (436) should be assurance enough that all the Treasury/Fed manipulations are the equivalent of both pushing on a string, and- more likely- covering fire for the thieves who are staging the biggest broad-daylight bank robbery in history.”

    actually, she seems to agree with the need for a bailout and with the original plan, no less.

  568. Clotpoll says:

    sas (515)-

    McPain v O. Nothing but a sheeple show.

    Eat my bread, do my will.

  569. Clotpoll says:

    jamil (519)-

    Dope. The biggest America-haters of all occupy the Federal Reserve bldg, DOT bldg, and the big, goofy house on Pennsylvania Av.

  570. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (521)-

    Could that be the “big sucking sound” Perot was talking about?

  571. skep-tic says:

    ” It will be easier to maintain order once the middle class is finished off and there are only rich people and poor people.”

    #580

    agree with this. eliminate the possibility social mobility and people will simply look for handouts, not opportunities. The interesting thing is that the perceived lack of social mobility may be as dangerous in some respects as an actual lack. This is why I have some sympathy for dems complaints about income inequality. but addressing income inequality through redistributive taxation is very tricky since it tends to calcify class divides by reducing the incentive to move up

  572. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (526)-

    Here comes the confirmation that all the world’s currencies are engaged in a race to the bottom. Expect to see more of this idiocy in coming weeks.

    Funny that the experts and technical geniuses who issue these pronouncements have no f*^king clue as to what their words really mean.

  573. Clotpoll says:

    Gonna be fun watching Colin Powell get some payback today.

    Republicans treated him like the house nigger. Sending him to the UN to do Shrub’s dirty work was one dumb move.

    Payback’s a bitch.

  574. Clotpoll says:

    di (542)-

    “crown royal up went up my nose while laughing”

    Funny. Me and the soccer guys in school used to snort Jack Daniels. Called ’em “eye openers”.

    That was some stupid shit.

  575. Clotpoll says:

    jamil (543)-

    Don’t worry about him. I smell reality TV show.

  576. Clotpoll says:

    bi (549)-

    Always refreshing to see a call for eugenics.

  577. Clotpoll says:

    shore (555)-

    You might as well be speaking Chinese. Tens of millions of us are already too lobotomized to understand the concepts of personal responsibility and consequences of actions.

  578. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (577)-

    Looks like Sarkozy’s having a uniquely American experience there.

  579. Clotpoll says:

    Vic (578)-

    Even bigger institutions will fail. A big money center bank must go. JPM will need a new carcass to pick clean in the next few months.

    My bold prediction (sorry, bi) is that C will be done by March. Reasons:

    – Sheila Bair doesn’t want them to start saying stuff in open court about the Wachovia deal, her incompetent double-dealing & other unpleasant things.

    – C’s Wachovia deal essentially revealed that C is dead man walking, anyway. Why did the gubmint need to be on the hook for the losses over 42 bn?

    – Just as JPM hit Lehman with a 138 bn anchor as it was sinking, JPM will again need to both acquire massive amounts of cash- via acquiring deposit base- and offload more toxic CDS loss onto a sinking victim.

    Many thanks to BC for helping me come to this conclusion.

    Book it. C is done.

  580. Stu says:

    Clot,BC,: I’ve been calling for the death of C since BS died. I was surprised that Lehman went first. I’ve followed C closely for the past 10 years and they have repeatedly sucked. I’m still surprised they lasted even this long.

  581. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (600)-

    My nephew does commercial paper at C. He describes it as hell on earth.

    And that was before the meltdown.

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