ZIRP Wednesday!

From Bloomberg:

Fed May Cut Rate to 1%, Signal Steps to Save Economy

The Federal Reserve may lower its benchmark interest rate to 1 percent today and signal further reductions to levels unseen since Dwight Eisenhower was president.

Tumbling commodities prices and weaker consumer spending are slowing inflation, which officials described as a “significant concern” at their last scheduled meeting in September. Tomorrow, the Commerce Department will probably report that the economy shrank at a 0.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the most since the 2001 recession, economists predict.

The Fed “will be very aggressive,” said Mark Gertler, a New York University economist and research co-author with Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. “Inflation risks are off the table” and “the issue now is how bad the recession will be.”

He predicted the benchmark rate will be cut by half a point today, matching the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Bernanke and his team could push borrowing costs to zero by June if the credit crunch intensifies, Gertler said.

The Fed has already cut the benchmark rate from 5.25 percent in the past 13 months and created six lending programs channeling more than $1 trillion into the financial system. Banks are still reluctant to lend to each other and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is down almost 36 percent this year, even after yesterday’s surge.

The FOMC is scheduled to announce its decision on rates at about 2:15 p.m. in Washington.

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454 Responses to ZIRP Wednesday!

  1. PGC says:

    Finally first

  2. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Centex reports quarterly loss on housing gloom

    Centex Corp. after Tuesday’s closing bell reported a fiscal second-quarter loss as home builders continue to grind their way through the residential downturn and a glut of unsold houses.

    Centex is the latest home builder to announce dismal quarterly results as consumer confidence continues to weaken on fears of recession and job losses. Industry bellwethers Pulte Homes Inc. and Ryland Group Inc. last week reported losses for the latest quarter.

    “The home-building industry continues to grapple with unprecedented economic conditions,” Tim Eller, chief executive of Centex, said in a statement. “We improved our gross margins and generated positive cash from operations despite the extreme weakness in the housing market.”

  3. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    New Jersey Voters May Limit Borrowing as Corzine Proposes Sales

    New Jersey taxpayers are likely to approve a measure giving them power to limit borrowing as Governor Jon Corzine plans bond sales for projects aimed at helping bolster the economy.

    Residents will be asked Nov. 4 to amend the state constitution to require voter approval for bond issues not backed by dedicated revenue. The ballot measure would close a loophole that allowed officials to sidestep rules requiring taxpayers’ consent on debt sales by issuing through state authorities.

    “The state is seen as being overextended in its debt,” said Joseph Seneca, an economics professor at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The measure “will be overwhelmingly approved given the demonization of debt over the last year,” he said.

    New Jersey, the 11th-largest U.S. state by population, has the third-biggest debt load relative to personal income, or $32 billion. The amount has tripled in a decade as governors sold bonds to help balance budgets and avoid tax increases. Corzine, a first-term Democrat facing re-election next year who has trimmed debt by $650 million, says more borrowing will be needed to help accelerate roadwork and school construction.

  4. grim says:

    These guys are still in business? Things must be worse than we know if they are begging at the trough. Please note that this is a press release.

    Realogy Proposes Short-Term Government Buy-Down in Mortgage Rates to Stimulate Housing Market and Accelerate Broader Economic Recovery

    PARSIPPANY, N.J., Oct 29, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services, today announced that the Company has approached the U.S. Department of Treasury with a practical solution to help stimulate the housing market and lead to a broader economic recovery. The Company also conducted separate national surveys with its real estate franchisees and U.S. homeowners, the results of which underscore the rationale behind its proposal.
    “There are millions of credit-worthy people ready to jump back into the housing market, but they need to be motivated,” said Realogy President and CEO Richard A. Smith. “In our view, the incentive of substantially lower mortgage rates would directly stimulate the housing market — both in sales volume and price — and thus accelerate the overall U.S. economic recovery.”
    Realogy’s proposal calls for a short-term government buy-down of mortgage rates to at least 4.5%, or lower, for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (down from current rates of approximately 6.04%(1)). This homebuyer incentive would apply to the purchase of all new and/or existing homes sold up to $1 million in price. There are a number of ways in which the government ultimately could decide to structure and fund this program, which could be addressed as part of the stimulus packages currently being discussed in Washington. Realogy is working with a number of other organizations to carry this message forward and encourage greater dialogue around solutions aimed at boosting the economy through a direct stimulus to the housing market.

  5. grim says:

    From Newsday:

    $150M office tower to be built in Newark

    Newark officials say the city’s economic renaissance is continuing with the downtown area’s largest premium office project in 16 years.

    Tucker Development Corp. detailed its plans for the $150 million Liberty Plaza on Tuesday night, which it described as a “cornerstone” for similar downtown development projects in the city. It comes amid growing interest from cost-conscious developers reacting to the U.S. economic slowdown

    “Now is the time to be part of the City of Newark,” said Richard Tucker, chief executive officer of the Highland Park, Ill.-based company.

    It will build the 22-story tower _ containing 410,000 square feet of premium office space _ on a tract across from the Broad Street train station. The 3.5-acre site is near the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark’s Penn Station, Newark Liberty International Airport and only 20 minutes by train from downtown Manhattan.

  6. HEHEHE says:

    Yeah it’s these outrageously high mortgage rates that are causing the problems:)

  7. grim says:

    I thought rates were at historic lows?

    I know people who purchased homes with double digit mortgage rates, I think we’ve even got a few people here that have had a double digit handle on their PRIME loans.

    Mortgage money is cheap, prices are the problem.

  8. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Consumers Feel the Next Crisis: Credit Cards

    First came the mortgage crisis. Now comes the credit card crisis.

    After years of flooding Americans with credit card offers and sky-high credit lines, lenders are sharply curtailing both, just as an eroding economy squeezes consumers.

    The pullback is affecting even creditworthy consumers and threatens an already beleaguered banking industry with another wave of heavy losses after an era in which it reaped near record gains from the business of easy credit that it helped create.

    Lenders wrote off an estimated $21 billion in bad credit card loans in the first half of 2008 as more borrowers defaulted on their payments. With companies laying off tens of thousands of workers, the industry stands to lose at least another $55 billion over the next year and a half, analysts say. Currently, the total losses amount to 5.5 percent of credit card debt outstanding, and could surpass the 7.9 percent level reached after the technology bubble burst in 2001.

    “If unemployment continues to increase, credit card net charge-offs could exceed historical norms,” Gary L. Crittenden, Citigroup’s chief financial officer, said.

  9. cooper says:

    Brilliant! so lets bring rates even lower than they are, that way home prices can remain unaffordable. way to think it through.

  10. HEHEHE says:

    It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill getting larger and larger. Mortgage defaults, foreclosures, car loan defaults, repos, credit card defaults, personal bankruptcy. And it’s gaining more and more speed with each uptick in unemployment.

  11. grim says:

    A self-serving proposal, this does nothing to help existing homeowners. This is a plan to attempt to increase the number of transactions taking place, and the number of commissions paid out to the brokers and agents of Realogy.

    Would you have expected any less?

  12. grim says:

    Does the Realogy proposal include a plan to eliminate broker/agent commissions in order to make homes more affordable? How about commission rebates to the buyer? Not to mention dropping commissions for sellers who are nearing the “underwater” mark.

  13. Shore Guy says:

    “There are millions of credit-worthy people ready to jump back into the housing market, but they need to be motivated”

    The credit-worthy folks are likely the ones who have a firm grasp on the absurdity of current prices and realize that fundamental forces are exerting downward pressure on RE prices. Other than a shift to loewr and sustainable prices, how do these people believe that the credit-worthy will become “motivated” to spend their well-earned money on RE at over-inflated prices?

  14. Shore Guy says:

    “is a plan to attempt to increase the number of transactions taking place,”
    Former stock brokers, perhaps?

  15. HEHEHE says:

    Maybe Realogy should just give their employees wristbands that say “Protect the House”. I heard that works.

  16. cooper says:

    [11-12]Grim ur right, I was thinking they were trying to help the housing market… silly me

  17. Shore Guy says:

    “If unemployment continues to increase, credit card net charge-offs could exceed historical norms”

    Reporter to Capt. Smith of the RMS Titanic: Capt. Smith, is the ship damaged from its encounter with the iceberg?

    Capt. Smith: The current conditions are a challenge but will within our operational guidelines. True we are sitting a bit lower in the water than our historic norms but every minute we cruise gets us closer to New York and that insulates us from the worst of the market uncertanties.

  18. Shore Guy says:

    “wristbands”

    I thought the new thing was burying a statue of Allen Greenspan in one’s garden.

  19. NJGator says:

    NY faces crushing economic crisis, governor warns

    ‘There will be no segment of this budget that will not be cut’

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27426551/

    The article goes on to talk about potential cuts of up to 25%. Sad (but not surprising )that a blind man can read the economic tea leaves better than Corzine.

  20. Cindy says:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/discount-mortgage-program-would-revive/story.aspx?guid=%7B9E3ECA34%2DE497%2D4D2D%2D9237%2DF5EC8098A423%7D

    Grim (4) Here’s another idea from Marketwatch: Reviving Real Estate

    “As a result, our political leaders are transfixed on limiting damage rather than coming up with solutions.”

    “Rather than throw billions more at keeping underwater mortgage-holders in homes they shouldn’t have bought, let the carnage play out. Afterall, we shouldn’t reward ignorance even if sub-prime borrowers got played by sleazy mortgage brokers and greedy financiers.”

  21. BC Bob says:

    “Fed May Cut Rate to 1%, Signal Steps to Save Economy”

    Strictly cosmetic, window dressing.

  22. kettle1 says:

    New York State will ask for a government bailout today. So who bails out the federal government? Not the tax payer, they already took all of our money and gave it to the banks to loan back to us…..

  23. Cindy says:

    Re – #20 The key of course – is to let the carnage play out first – and let the prices fall.

  24. John says:

    I already have grown tired of today’s rate cut, I wanna another one!!!! Can’t wait till TARP lets GM becomes a bank and bails them out. Heck, The Bank of GMC (General Motors Chrysler) sounds better than the Manufacturers Hanvover Chemical Bank combo from the 1990s.

    BC Bob is a great Bear Market guy but will he know when spring is here and it is time to come out of the cave.

  25. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27424524/

    “LEXINGTON, Ky. – President Bush’s first treasury secretary says Congress should scrap plans for a new economic stimulus package and instead require that no future home mortgage be awarded without a 20 percent down payment.

    Paul O’Neill said Tuesday it doesn’t surprise him that neither presidential candidate has endorsed his position, but he insisted it is the best way to quickly improve the nation’s economic footing.

    “Unfortunately we’ve gotten to a point where people that want to run for president don’t think they can tell the truth and still get elected,” O’Neill told reporters before speaking at a conference. “I’m hopeful whichever person gets elected, they’ll be better than what they’ve said. An awful lot of presidential campaigns now are pandering to the lowest common denominator. They promise people everything.”

    snip

  26. kettle1 says:

    Cindy,

    The problem is that hosuing is what the enitre credit pyramid is built on. Everything fro the leveraged banks to tv manufacturers in china are all predicated upon the US housing boom. If that falls apart and the so called “assets” disappear ( the home value is marked-to-market) the the whole pyramid collapses.

    it will collapse anyway, but they are trying to prop up the foundation of the debt pyramid. A Sisyphean task

  27. grim says:

    Facing bankruptcy and failure? Become a bank!

    From Bloomberg:

    GMAC Wants to Become Bank After Getting Access to Fed Program

    GMAC LLC, the money-losing auto finance and home-loan lender, is seeking to become a bank holding company after gaining access to the Federal Reserve’s new program designed to unlock short-term commercial credit markets.

    The Fed began buying commercial paper from companies this week to reduce interest rates and lure investors back to the market for short-term debt, which seized up last month following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Detroit-based GMAC said yesterday it was approved to participate in that program.

    Becoming a bank holding company would make it easier for GMAC, the primary lender to customers of General Motors Corp., to participate in the Treasury Department’s banking-industry rescue and quell doubts about the lender’s survival. The firm could also get direct loans from the central bank and temporary debt guarantees from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

  28. Shore Guy says:

    So, “we are tired of the market going down, thus we bid the market up” regardless of whether there is any basis for increased prices. WTF buys into this nonesense?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3683270/

    snip

    ““There is nothing fundamental that came out today or yesterday that would take it up or down. We’re all groping for something meaningful to talk about,” said Bob Andres, chief investment strategist at Portfolio Management Consultants. “The market is exhausted from going down.””

    snip

  29. grim says:

    Can I become a bank?

  30. Shore Guy says:

    Mrs. Shore and I thought about becoming a bank holding company and dipping into the Fed funds but when we called the Fed we found out we were ineligible because we are solvent. Careful management of ones wealth doesn’t bring the rewards it once did — but it does allow one to do one’s patriotic duty to spread the wealth around, or soon will, anyway.

  31. cooper says:

    welcome to the National Grim Depository Bank… hummm

  32. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    Unless you are overleveraged, no.

  33. BC Bob says:

    John [24],

    Actually, as I stated yesterday. I’m looking for a 20-25% bear market rally, from Monday’s closing levels. The Dow can trade up to 10.5-11K and still be in the confines of a bear market. If we test that downtrend line, I will be happy to give it to all your buddies.

    I would luv to see a 50-60% retracement from the Aug highs. In addition to that, I’d be thrilled to see the same retracement from last Oct highs.

    One item, you are right, I’m underground. However, not in the caves, rather the mines.

  34. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    C’mon. Unless you can show at least $3mm in debt for each $100m in assets, how can you ever hope to become a bank?

  35. Cindy says:

    (26) Kettle

    Isn’t that exactly why they are working on changing to mark-to-market model? Would that help – the “moving” average idea?

  36. Cindy says:

    http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini/254189/roubini_says_us_needs_400_billion_stimulus_package

    1:25 mins. – Uhg! I tried to FF to get to the juicy parts to no avail.

    3 speakers
    Arthur Levitt – Carlyle Group
    Al Hunt – Bloomberg News
    Nouriel Roubini – Stern School

  37. 3b says:

    #4 grim: Pathetic. And it will destroy the housing market.

  38. Cindy says:

    Grim – 36 is the same as 37 – I couldn’t get it to post – Sorry for the repeat..

  39. RentinginNJ says:

    Bernanke and his team could push borrowing costs to zero by June if the credit crunch intensifies, Gertler said.

    Domo Arrigato

  40. njrebear says:

    BC Bob,
    What do you think its going to be next year? deflation or high inflation?

    thanks

  41. 3b says:

    #24 John: So we are just going to skip the erecession?

  42. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601213&sid=aE04JJV9jIWA&refer=invest

    Most U.S. Homeowners Say Houses Lost Value, Zillow Says

  43. John says:

    I was at a party this weekend of parents all mid 40s to late 50s. Very quickly I brought up housing and the stock market. All I got back was most people have already hit 15.5K max in 401k already this year, they stopped investing in stocks in their taxable accounts till the market stablizes, they are not worried about losses in their 401K as they all aren’t touching them for 15-35 years and they all bought their houses pre 2000 so they are not concerned about their paper losses. They were cutting back on new car purchases. One told me a cute story about how it is the first time since she was in college that she has a mechanic!!! Over the last 15 years their cars has always been under warranty and they went to dealer. Now both cars are off warranty and they go to local mechanic and fell they are giving back to the community as mechanic lives in their town. It almost felt like LiveAid and I was ready to hear the yuppies burst out singing “We are the Used Car Owners” Except without creepy Michael Jackson.

  44. Shore Guy says:

    If the market is expecting a 1/2 PC cut today, that 1/2 PC cut will just meet expectations. Given that the bankers at the Fed and on Wall Street, the Wal Street brokers, and the existing power structure have the most to lose with a win next week from BO, perhaps the FOMC will use this last opportunity to affect the markets before the election to hit the ball out of th park — to cause another rally (however unsupported by the fundamentals) in order to boot Mc-C’s chances by cutting 3/4 to 1 pt. All the news would be of another 800 point rally, how things are looking up, thus allowing Mc-C to focus on pointing out that the economy is righting itself thus allowing voters to focus on foreign policy issues.

    Nothing would surprise me in these next 5 or so days — not even busses blowing up here in the US, a hijacking, etc.

  45. John says:

    Who says a recession in a bad thing? If you have a stable job and did not get caught up in overextending yourself it is a great opportunity to buy things you always wanted on a civil servant salary. Boats, late model SUVs, BMWs, summer homes, and good dividend paying stocks and high quality bonds are on sale. Heck when Macy’s has a huge sale people run to the stores. The world is on sale for the non overextended.

    3b Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 8:48 am
    #24 John: So we are just going to skip the erecession?

  46. 3b says:

    #45 John: The non overextended are not going to get us out of a recession.

  47. Cindy says:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2008/10/how-credit-default-swap-settlements-are.html

    Naked Capitalism

    “How Credit Default Swap Settlements are Draining Liquidity from Interbank Market”

  48. Shore Guy says:

    “I don’t feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.”

    Michael Corleone or Dick Cheney, you decide.

    And was this Fredo Corleone or Allan Greenspan talking about his mismanagement of the housing bubble: “It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect! “

  49. Shore Guy says:

    Alan, even.

  50. Victorian says:

    Has anybody else noticed the morning lines at Dunkin Donuts getting smaller by the day?

    Regular Dunkin folks at my workplace are now going to the coffee carts.

  51. Sean says:

    re#27 & #29 – Lenard Tessler and Vikram Pandit must be kicking themselves right now, Cerberus and Citigroup put in allot of cash only a year ago to buy a controlling stake in GMAC and Crysler, and now nobody wants to fund the merger of GM and Crysler. Crysler in attempt to shed jobs is now offering workers $75k buyouts and a $25k car voucher.

    The energy dept was going to accelerate giving them $25 Billion for green cars but how can they since Crysler just cancelled their Green/Hybrid car program.

    The CEO of GM has been down in DC screaming for money but there is noone to listen since everyone has now gone home for the election, but it dosen’t matter since Hank Paulson is against bailing out the car compaines so now they all want to be banks and all of this needs to happen before next week.

    Allot of shorts were also blown out over in Europe over VW’s stock, the Germans pulled a fast one and beat the Hedge Funds at their own game.

    Desperate times, even Jim Cramer does not want to bail them out, it seems Jim Cramer has found God.

    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=289004&cl=10433473&src=finance&ch=633473

  52. NJGator says:

    Vic- Have the St*rbucks folks moved to the Dunkin yet as their initial downsizing? They might offset the numbers.

  53. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    Bingo! The downward shift.

  54. grim says:

    Vic- Have the St*rbucks folks moved to the Dunkin yet as their initial downsizing? They might offset the numbers.

    Cheaper for me to get a Venti Doubleshot at SBUX than go to Dunkin. They always throw in the extra shot for me, so we’re talking about 6 shots of espresso for under $3. Not to mention I can top it off with a good quality half and half. This is a much better value in terms of buzz to dollar ratio.

    6 x 64mg Caffeine (USDA average per shot) = 384mg Caffeine
    Large Coffee = 175mg Caffeine

    Would need two large coffees at Dunkin to equal the same caffeine, price would be higher.

    It costs me roughly 50 cents to pull a shot at home, so those 6 shots would cost me $3. I get the labor and milk for free by going to SBUX.

    Buzz Arbitrage 101.

  55. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    With all that caffeine, you need to watch out for encounters like this one (from Meet the Robinsons):

    Mr. Willerstein: Dr. Krunklehorn, I know you’re very busy at Inventco Labs. And we’re just so happy to have you as a judge.

    Lucille Krunklehorn: It’s my pleasure, Mr. Willerstein. Hey, you never know, one of your students may invent the next integrated circuit, or microprocessor, or integrated circuit. Oh wait, I said that already. Well, I just don’t get out of the lab very much. Is that a bowtie? I like bowties. I haven’t slept in eight days!

    Mr. Willerstein: Uh, well then, can I get you a cot or something?

    Lucille Krunklehorn: Nope, I have the caffeine patch. It’s my invention. Each patch is the equivalent of 12 cups of coffee. You can stay up for days with no side effects. Ahhh! Sorry.

  56. tbiggs says:

    #19 NJGator –

    “Sad (but not surprising )that a blind man can read the economic tea leaves better than Corzine.”

    It’s often said that people missing one sense develop their other senses better. I wonder, does the actual visual reading of (likely misleading) reports make you more likely to believe them? A blind boss will hear people telling him about the data instead – and I’ll bet there’s some amount of fear or uncertainty he can hear in their voice.

    #28 Shore Guy –

    “The market is exhausted from going down.”

    It seems people throw around the term “dead cat bounce” every time the market swings up, just to sound like they’re savvy about markets. But doesn’t this sound like a classic reason for a dead cat bounce? “Wah! Stop going down! I need you go go up!”

  57. Essex says:

    45..October 29th, 2008 at 8:54 am
    Who says a recession in a bad thing? If you have a stable job and did not get caught up in overextending yourself it is a great opportunity to buy things you always wanted on a civil servant salary.

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

    Great John, then ‘you’ the stable civil servant can join the rest of the over extended? Even stuff on sale can be $$$.

  58. John says:

    GM deal is getting done, bonds were up yesterday, they got six month CP US deal yesterday so right off bat US Govt CANT let them go bankrupt in next six months or they will have egg on their face. Chryslers Green Car program is redundant. Fuel is cheap for now and Chrysler is on life support and won’t last for more than a few months without govt assistance and a merger. Why the heck should they invest in green technology? Plus GM is way ahead of them in Hybrid and electric car technolgy. A GM Chrysler Combo still should get 2/3rds of 25 Billion. That plus Chryslers 11 billion dollars in cash gives GM close to 27 billion. Then they can sell off useless redunandt assets, fire reduntant workers. Then they can get GMAC Chrysler Financing reorged as a Bank to get a direct injection so they can start making cheap loans again. Sure it will be amazing pain, tons of jobs losses, but the US still needs an auto industry, bad enough we need to rely on oil from enemies but in WWIII imagine having to buy cars, trucks and tanks from foreign countries. Good Luck with that. Even more important Hedge funds and IBs won’t have to pay out on CDS’s and banks and BDs sitting on GM bonds can still get interest payments to prop up income statement and won’t have to take huge write offs that would distroy their balance sheets. Plus I really really want to see the new Chevy Volt and new Chevy Camaro on the road. Plus I would love to see a Cadilac Escalade Hybrid towering over those nancy boy prisuses in the hybird parking only section at wild by nature.

  59. Shore Guy says:

    Maybe we will soon see the Sta-rbuck-s folks issue a patch. “All the caffeine, no need to stop and sip. And, zero transfat.”

  60. Essex says:

    I believe we are a long way from the reckoning that everyone wishes for. There is still a lot of hypocracy built into the economy. Only when we are bartering with live animals and hemp will the world truly be saved. j/k

  61. John says:

    Name the song

    Doo-be-doo-be-doo.
    Doo-be-doo-be-doo.
    No, Doo-be-doo-be-doo.
    Doo-be-doo-be-doo.
    Doo-be-doo-be-doo.
    Doo-be-doo-be-doo.

  62. Shore Guy says:

    “That plus Chryslers 11 billion dollars in cash gives GM close to 27 billion. ”

    Even halving GM’s current burn rate, tht gives them, what four years of life, if they don’t get their act together?

  63. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    Debtors in the Night?

  64. RentinginNJ says:

    Who says a recession in a bad thing?

    I agree.
    The creative destruction brought on by a recession is very necessary for a healthy and well functioning free market capitalistic economy. Had we simply accepted the recession we had coming to us after the dot com bubble burst, we wouldn’t be in this mess today. Instead, we gave the hung-over party goer more alcohol in the morning to stave off the hangover and keep the party going. All we did was delay the inevitable and make it worse.

    The problem is that recessions are not politically correct, so you get the natural conflict that exists when you have a free market economy and a democracy; the people try to vote away any downside to the markets.

  65. speedkillsu says:

    Grim 7;41 ….this is a trick question put on the ballot .Right now 29 billion of the 40 billion debt was borrowed unconstitutionally ,which means it’s not guaranteed by the state .by voting YES on this issue it then become the burden of the taxpayer /or property tax payer …trenton always has a way out for wall street .I believe they are afraid in these times default is a option ,unless they slip this through

  66. NJGator says:

    Stu and I have switched from morning coffee out to brewing our own 100% Kona. Stu can give you the math on it (trust me, he’s done it), but we have massively upgraded what we are drinking while massively downgrading the out of pocket cost.

  67. John says:

    Essex, when I worked at EF Hutton their were three thousand people in my building, I lasted to the final ten. I turned off the lights and shut down our 487 DTC number. In fact damm Shearson hired me and I had to quit the place after begging for a lay-off for over a year. Be the most qualified and know where the bodies are buried.

  68. Sean says:

    Mrs Watanabe I wonder if they still perform Seppuku in Japan.

    http://blogs.ft.com/gapperblog/

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    French press?

  70. Shore Guy says:

    One wonders if this is a matter of “buy it now whilst we still have some cash, or credit.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122528231638779909.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  71. Shore Guy says:

    And, the’re off!

  72. NJGator says:

    69 Shore – No, but based on what I’ve read here, I think we should :)

  73. NJGator says:

    Shore 59 – That would be the ultimate skinny latte.

  74. Cindy says:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

    Some Case Shiller Info from Mish –

  75. Shore Guy says:

    With such tough actions as non-binding advisory resolutions, is it any wonder that Wall Street quakes at the power of the Democratic-controlled congress, NOT! Yeesh. Someone on the Hill needs to grow some….uh… courage.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/27423117

    snip

    “We tried to get more restrictive language in the bill,” says Steve Adamske, a spokesman for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D. Mass.) “We were not able to go as far as we would have perhaps wanted,” he says, noting that the House earlier this year passed an advisory vote on a non-binding resolution giving shareholders a greater say on pay.

    snip

  76. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    The french press is wonderful. We now brew that way and then filter through paper and the brew is smooth and rich and, well, a practically, as the commercial says, organic experience.

  77. skep-tic says:

    #4

    ““There are millions of credit-worthy people ready to jump back into the housing market, but they need to be motivated,” said Realogy President and CEO Richard A. Smith. “In our view, the incentive of substantially lower mortgage rates would directly stimulate the housing market — both in sales volume and price — and thus accelerate the overall U.S. economic recovery.”
    Realogy’s proposal calls for a short-term government buy-down of mortgage rates to at least 4.5%, or lower, for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (down from current rates of approximately 6.04%(1)). This homebuyer incentive would apply to the purchase of all new and/or existing homes sold up to $1 million in price.”

    hey, I called this a couple of weeks ago. I feel pretty confident that there will be some sort of buyer stimulus along these lines next year.

  78. 3b says:

    #78 skeptic; The only stimulus needed is a continued, but more accelerated decline in prices in our area.
    It is working in Cal and other places out west, it will work here.

  79. Shore Guy says:

    The same Laffer?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122506830024970697.html

    The Age of Prosperity Is Over
    This administration and Congress will be remembered like Herbert Hoover.By ARTHUR B. LAFFERArticle
    more in Opinion »Email Printer Friendly Share:
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    About a year ago Stephen Moore, Peter Tanous and I set about writing a book about our vision for the future entitled “The End of Prosperity.” Little did we know then how appropriate its release would be earlier this month.
    Financial panics, if left alone, rarely cause much damage to the real economy, output, employment or production. Asset values fall sharply and wipe out those who borrowed and lent too much, thereby redistributing wealth from the foolish to the prudent. This process is the topic of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book “Fooled by Randomness.”

    David GothardWhen markets are free, asset values are supposed to go up and down, and competition opens up opportunities for profits and losses. Profits and stock appreciation are not rights, but rewards for insight mixed with a willingness to take risk. People who buy homes and the banks who give them mortgages are no different, in principle, than investors in the stock market, commodity speculators or shop owners. Good decisions should be rewarded and bad decisions should be punished. The market does just that with its profits and losses.
    No one likes to see people lose their homes when housing prices fall and they can’t afford to pay their mortgages; nor does any one of us enjoy watching banks go belly-up for making subprime loans without enough equity. But the taxpayers had nothing to do with either side of the mortgage transaction. If the house’s value had appreciated, believe you me the overleveraged homeowner and the overly aggressive bank would never have shared their gain with taxpayers. Housing price declines and their consequences are signals to the market to stop building so many houses, pure and simple.
    But here’s the rub. Now enter the government and the prospects of a kinder and gentler economy. To alleviate the obvious hardships to both homeowners and banks, the government commits to buy mortgages and inject capital into banks, which on the face of it seems like a very nice thing to do. But unfortunately in this world there is no tooth fairy. And the government doesn’t create anything; it just redistributes. Whenever the government bails someone out of trouble, they always put someone into trouble, plus of course a toll for the troll. Every $100 billion in bailout requires at least $130 billion in taxes, where the $30 billion extra is the cost of getting government involved.
    If you don’t believe me, just watch how Congress and Barney Frank run the banks. If you thought they did a bad job running the post office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the military, just wait till you see what they’ll do with Wall Street.
    Some 14 months ago, the projected deficit for the 2008 fiscal year was about 0.6% of GDP. With the $170 billion stimulus package last March, the add-ons to housing and agriculture bills, and the slowdown in tax receipts, the deficit for 2008 actually came in at 3.2% of GDP, with the 2009 deficit projected at 3.8% of GDP. And this is just the beginning.
    The net national debt in 2001 was at a 20-year low of about 35% of GDP, and today it stands at 50% of GDP. But this 50% number makes no allowance for anything resulting from the over $5.2 trillion guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assets, or the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Nor does the 50% number include any of the asset swaps done by the Federal Reserve when they bailed out Bear Stearns, AIG and others.
    But the government isn’t finished. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — and yes, even Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke — are preparing for a new $300 billion stimulus package in the next Congress. Each of these actions separately increases the tax burden on the economy and does nothing to encourage economic growth. Giving more money to people when they fail and taking more money away from people when they work doesn’t increase work. And the stock market knows it.
    The stock market is forward looking, reflecting the current value of future expected after-tax profits. An improving economy carries with it the prospects of enhanced profitability as well as higher employment, higher wages, more productivity and more output. Just look at the era beginning with President Reagan’s tax cuts, Paul Volcker’s sound money, and all the other pro-growth, supply-side policies.
    Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan added their efforts to strengthen what had begun under President Reagan. President Clinton signed into law welfare reform, so people actually have to look for a job before being eligible for welfare. He ended the “retirement test” for Social Security benefits (a huge tax cut for elderly workers), pushed the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress against his union supporters and many of his own party members, signed the largest capital gains tax cut ever (which exempted owner-occupied homes from capital gains taxes), and finally reduced government spending as a share of GDP by an amazing three percentage points (more than the next four best presidents combined). The stock market loved Mr. Clinton as it had loved Reagan, and for good reasons.
    The stock market is obviously no fan of second-term George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ben Bernanke, Barack O-ba-ma or John Mc-Ca-in, and again for good reasons.
    These issues aren’t Republican or Democrat, left or right, liberal or conservative. They are simply economics, and wish as you might, bad economics will sink any economy no matter how much they believe this time things are different. They aren’t.
    I was on the White House staff as George Shultz’s economist in the Office of Management and Budget when Richard Nixon imposed wage and price controls, the dollar was taken off gold, import surcharges were implemented, and other similar measures were enacted from a panicked decision made in August of 1971 at Camp David.
    I witnessed, like everyone else, the consequences of another panicked decision to cover up the Watergate break-in. I saw up close and personal Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush succumb to panicked decisions to raise taxes, as well as Jimmy Carter’s emergency energy plan, which included wellhead price controls, excess profits taxes on oil companies, and gasoline price controls at the pump.
    The consequences of these actions were disastrous. Just look at the stock market from the post-Kennedy high in early 1966 to the pre-Reagan low in August of 1982. The average annual real return for U.S. assets compounded annually was -6% per year for 16 years. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a bear market. And it is something that you may well experience again. Yikes!
    Then we have this administration’s panicked Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, and of course the deer-in-the-headlights Mr. Bernanke in his bungling of monetary policy.
    There are many more examples, but none hold a candle to what’s happening right now. Twenty-five years down the line, what this administration and Congress have done will be viewed in much the same light as what Herbert Hoover did in the years 1929 through 1932. Whenever people make decisions when they are panicked, the consequences are rarely pretty. We are now witnessing the end of prosperity.

  80. randy says:

    recessions are good for the younger generations. they generally are coupled with deflating asset values (houses become more affordable) and overpaid old folks are the first to get sh*tcanned at work, paving the way for younger/cheaper labor to step in and begin their ascent. also, recessions are a necessary part of the business cycle that sets the table for a new period of economic prosperity.

    college students, recent grads, and those under 40 should be happy about the recent turmoil. baby boomers, bankers, and overleveraged consumers can go cry in their beers… they had their time to shine now it’s off to the hinterlands for retirement!!

  81. kettle1 says:

    just found out that the parent company of one of my clients is based in iceland….. Wonder if the next check will clear? will they even cut the check? there have already been some grumblings from other contractors. uh-oh

  82. Shore Guy says:

    “they had their time to shine now it’s off to the hinterlands for retirement!!”

    Randy,

    Many of the boomer generation ended up ,ovng back in with mom and dad after college. I suspect that many of them will be moving in with their kids after retirement.

  83. Shore Guy says:

    Well, off to flog the staff.

  84. skep-tic says:

    3b– the thing is, I don’t think gov’t reduced mortgage rates to 4.5% will do much. the carnage is already happening in the most bubbly areas. it will happen here regardless of mortgage rates because the local economy is tanking. so I think all the 4.5% will do is give a nice bonus to people who would be buying anyway

  85. Sean says:

    re: #82 kettle1 ask them to pay you in blubber.

  86. Sean says:

    re#81 Randy are you Frank?

  87. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    what is the gold-blubber conversion rate lately?

  88. randy says:

    Sean 87-

    Frank doesn’t think we’re in a recession or will have one. I think we’re in one and it’s going to get worse. but it’s not all bad. it depends where you stand.

  89. Confused In NJ says:

    The Government could easily restart Housing Sales if they issued a Government edict which mandatorially reduced all house prices by $100K. That would move New Providence & Berkeley Heights back into the Rhealm of Reality. It would also play nicely into O’s Redistribution of Wealth Mantra.

  90. Sean says:

    Randy recession is the wrong name for it.

    I read someplace, I disremember where, but we are not having a recession or decession or reflation or repression or some kind of infarction.

    The current “crisis” has now reached epic proportions which may turn out to be global stagflation – a phenomenon never before encountered, and still yet unnamed.

    I was thinking we should call it “nullflation” or “dammflation” or perhaps “divorceflation”, but I am sure some economic professor from some highbrow University Professor will come up with something catchier.

    Yes unfun, no bonus, no vacation, and no nookie, global stagflation. After all in these times of no consequences or responsibility who needs to have a localized depression.

  91. 3b says:

    #89 randy: Frank is in deep denial he bought in 2005.

  92. Mr. Oliver says:

    So they’re going to lower the rates to a point or less?

    Meanwhile, mortgage rates are rising and the down payment that I have sitting in my ING account is earning less and less money.

    And this helps me how?

  93. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Economy: Durable Goods Orders Drop, Excluding Cars, Planes

    Orders for U.S. durable goods, excluding cars and aircraft, fell for a second straight month in September as the credit freeze and a slump in sales caused businesses to cut back on investment.

    The 1.1 percent drop in bookings of goods meant to last several years was less than forecast and followed a 4.1 percent decrease in August. A rebound in aircraft orders, a volatile category, and an increase in defense bookings unexpectedly pushed total orders up 0.8 percent.

    The slump in manufacturing worsened in October as financing dried up, according to regional factory surveys. That suggests declines in investment spending will contribute to a contraction in the U.S. economy for the second straight quarter. Economists estimate a government report tomorrow will show gross domestic product shrank in the July-through-September period.

    “We see businesses that have changed gears in reaction to the financial markets, worries about credit availability and worries about consumers,” said Stephen Gallagher, chief U.S. economist at Societe Generale SA in New York, who forecast total orders would increase. “It should lead to more decisive negative readings on capital spending in upcoming quarters.”

  94. skep-tic says:

    the only people who will be selling in the next year or so will be those who are forced to sell. job loss, death, divorce, relocation, builders clearing inventory and mortgage reset are the catalysts. the only one the gov’t may be able to affect is the mortgage reset crowd. it does not really matter, I think, because the comps will still be driven lower by all of the other forced sellers. O can help people stay in their homes by reducing interest rates and principal, but it will be a pyrrhic victory for the homedebtors because their houses will continue to lose value.

  95. grim says:

    Meanwhile, mortgage rates are rising and the down payment that I have sitting in my ING account is earning less and less money.

    And this helps me how?

    Increased savings rates and falling home prices offset the rising mortgage rate and lower interest rate.

    You can always refinance in the future, when rates are lower.

    Look at the bright side, your down payment account has seen positive appreciation over the past 12 months. What does your portfolio look like?

  96. grim says:

    the only people who will be selling in the next year or so will be those who are forced to sell. job loss, death, divorce, relocation, builders clearing inventory and mortgage reset are the catalysts.

    I still assert that the price declines we’re seeing are still largely irrelevant for long-term owners. If those owners are upsizing or downsizing, the overall change in prices over time is a wash. Even for shorter-term move-up buyers, the only important number is the delta between the new purchase and old sale.

    In addition, it would be interesting to see how many NJ retirees play the geo-arb game and take advantage of the currently-lower prices in places like Arizona or Florida. They can still get a good price for their NJ home (assuming long-term ownership), and at the same time take advantage of the severely depressed AZ or FL markets.

    Seems like a good time to be an NJ retiree!

  97. Stu says:

    Nom,

    Do you mind if I ask Grim for your email address? Without a speedy return to a robust economy, I’m feeling confident that the pink slip is a coming. If so, I’m pretty sure the retroactive removal of our defined retirement benefit was illegal. Perhaps I could use this as leverage towards a larger severance? Let me know if it’s OK to contact you directly via email and thanks for the assistance in advance.

  98. skep-tic says:

    grim– I still think there is an overall mindset among long term owners that this is a temporary downturn and that if they just hold off for a year or two that the market will come back. This is reflected in the absurd asking prices. One would think these people would see the big picture as you suggest, but I think many of this group has counted on home equity to fund retirement plans and they are disinclined to let this dream die. reality might register more easily for the move up buyers who will see a bigger dollar discount on their purchases than on their sales.

  99. skep-tic says:

    I would imagine the geo-arb retirees may be more along the mindset of the move up buyers, however

  100. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [29] Grim,

    Would be happy to usher your de novo application through the federal and state regulators. What sort of charter did you have in mind? How about national bank status: The First National Bank of Grim, N.A. sounds very confidence-inspiring.

  101. Frank says:

    “Frank doesn’t think we’re in a recession or will have one.”

    Recession or not, home prices in NJ are not moving much.

  102. John says:

    ING is paying 4.25% on the one year cd and only 2.75% on the money market. The penalty for breaking a one year or less cd is only three months interest and that penalty is tax deductable. If you are pretty sure you may not need the money in less than one year I would go ahead and lock in. For example you take a one year cd on 10K at 4.25 and break it at nine months you would have earned $212 even after backing out the lost three months interest and the penalty. However if you left it in the money market at 2.75% for the whole nine months you would have earned $206. People make a big deal about locking in. If that is a problem just leave liquid the amount you need to lock in the home 10% and buy a one year cd with the remainder of money. If you are not even looking for homes the odds you will find one and actually close in less than a year is slim, at best you will find one and have put down 10% and be pending closing.

    Mr. Oliver Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 10:12 am
    So they’re going to lower the rates to a point or less?

    Meanwhile, mortgage rates are rising and the down payment that I have sitting in my ING account is earning less and less money.

    And this helps me how?

  103. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [98] Stu,

    Sure, Grim, okay to give stu my nom deplume email address.

    Stu, you will have to identify your employer (in the email) in case of potential conflicts.

  104. Stu says:

    Sean (91):

    I was thinking we should call it “nullflation” or “dammflation” or perhaps “divorceflation”

    I was thinking a better term for it might be ‘flatulation’.

  105. Stu says:

    Nom (104):

    No problem. Many hear have already figured out who it is. ;)

  106. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [90] Confused,

    Actually, the feds are fully aware of the wealth destruction effect of the housing crash, and in some sense, they are actually encouraging it.

    The bursting of the bubble will ultimately lower home prices, which is something the gov, and dems in particular, want. Further, it costs them little since such losses are typically not deductible on our fed taxes. The Frank plan was, in part, intended to accomplish this at the expense of banks and their shareholders, but Frank could not hold a gun to their heads so few banks went for it. Look for Frank to ask for a gun after 1/20/09

  107. 3b says:

    #97/99 skeptic: Well than there appears to be a lot of divorces,job losses,transfers etc in my town, and many others in Bergen county.

    I agree that some were hoping this was a temporary down turn, but at this point one would have reasonably expected that belief to have changed,and accepted reality.

    Plus for many long time owners, they never in their wildes dreams would have expected prices to get so high, probably even bofore the bubble, so their reluctance to accept reality is just not understandable to me.

    Many times over the last few years I have heard long time owners say , wow if I had to buy my house today I could not afford it.

    My thoughs were,well if you cannot afford it, how do you expect others to be able to afford those very same prices?

  108. skep-tic says:

    DoomBank, N.A.

  109. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Mortgage applications bounce from 8-year low

    Demand for U.S. mortgage applications climbed last week from a nearly eight-year low, while borrowing costs dipped, a trade group said on Wednesday.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted mortgage applications index, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, increased 16.8 percent to 476.7 in the week ended October 24, reversing the prior week’s 16.6 percent slump to the lowest reading since December 2000.

    Requests for applications to buy homes as well as refinance mortgages increased last week after posting similar declines the previous week.

    The trade group’s seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 8.5 percent to 303.1 after falling 10.9 percent the prior week, while its refinancing applications gauge jumped 28.5 percent to 1,489.4 following a 23.5 percent downturn.

  110. grim says:

    Many times over the last few years I have heard long time owners say , wow if I had to buy my house today I could not afford it.

    New mantra:

    If I had to sell my house today, I could not afford it.

  111. HEHEHE says:

    Fleckenstein Setting It Straight:

    “I’m sure there will be other ideas about how best to help create jobs, but one “solution” — which is no solution at all — is to put a floor on house prices. House prices in America are still too high, relative to average income, and the average income is going down. So trying to “stabilize” house prices is (a) impossible and (b) a complete waste of money.”

    http://www.minyanville.com/articles/dollar-energy-Credit-mortgage-crunch-debt/index/a/19741/p/1

  112. skep-tic says:

    3b– here is how I look at it. Let’s say you are in your early 60s and like a lot of potential sellers, your kids are grown, you’re thinking about downsizing and retirement.

    You’ve just seen your equity portfolio drop by 30-40%. Getting a good price for your house just became a lot more important in terms of realizing your retirement plans.

    You know that you personally couldn’t afford to buy your house at peak price, but people WERE buying at this prices for several years, so you think that people today have just gotten richer.

    The above is my parents’ point of view and I think there are a lot of people like them out there.

  113. Clotpoll says:

    grim (4)-

    Or, their idiot sellers could just drop their prices. Evidently, the fools at Realogy still haven’t figured out that rate manipulation- of any type- is pushing on a string. But, what else would you expect from an outfit that is drowning in red ink and is about to exceed its debt covenant limits? They’ll be coming up with crackpot ideas like this, even as they miss some more payrolls and watch their office furniture get repo’d.

    Prices have dropped in NV, FL and CA. Sales are up in all three places. What a goddamned surprise.

  114. grim says:

    You’ve just seen your equity portfolio drop by 30-40%. Getting a good price for your house just became a lot more important in terms of realizing your retirement plans.

    Good point.

  115. Clotpoll says:

    grim (11)-

    The funny part of it is that the dolts at Realogy don’t understand that this isn’t the way to get transactions going. Can Leon Black really be this stupid? Do you think the realogy monkeys ran this idea by him before releasing it?

    If Black isn’t drinking Scotch for breakfast by now, he should be. LBOing this crew into his fold makes the Linens n’Things deal look brilliant by comparison.

    Again, look at FL, CA, NV. That’s how you get transaction volume up!

  116. kettle1 says:

    China Wants the U.S. Dollar to Drop Dead

    China pounds the conference table hard for a new currency order. After a first commentary a month earlier, China now shoots straight against Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs), accusing the USA of plundering the world’s wealth with its own fiat currency. The attack does not stop there. Other, unspecified, currencies urgently need to replace FRNs as the world’s reserve currency.

    The commentary on the front page of the overseas print edition of People’s Daily had some advice for Asia and Europe as well. In a not too polite style – a far step from traditional Chinese reserve – both economic regions were told they “should banish the U.S. dollar from their direct trade relations for a start, relying only on their own currencies.”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/102337-china-wants-the-u-s-dollar-to-drop-dead

  117. 3b says:

    #144 clot: What are your thoughts on why there seems to be so much reluctance for people in our area to drop their prices. Why after all that has happened still so much denial?

    As I have said many times, I do not remember this type of mindset during the last housing bubble/burst.

    There is tons of inventory for sale, and yet little is moving. One thought I have is this.

    1 house sells 10 sit, yet if the one house sells at anywhere close to the ridiculous asking price (10% less lets say), does that give hope to the other 10 sellers that all they have to do is continue to wait, and they too will find soembody to pay their price?

  118. Clotpoll says:

    Gator (19)

    What’s scarier than “Guvnor Corzine”?

    “Secretary Corzine”.

    Wait ’til this dope gets his hands on the Treasury wheel.

    We are so f*&ked.

  119. Shore Guy says:

    “Recession or not, home prices in NJ are not moving much.”

    As true as this may be, as they say, past results do not guarantee future performance.

    Looking at metro-area home prices reminds me of watching the Blue Angels at an air show some years back. Standing on the ground, I watched the planes rocket straight up. After awhile, the planes began a maneuver that would soon take them straight down towards the ground. During the transition from straight up to straight down the planes appeared to stop moving — of course, it was just an illusion caused by the planes moving through the parabola.

  120. Clotpoll says:

    grim (27)-

    I have never been a person that cursed. However, it seems that’s all I do now. Can somebody please explain to me how these f*^kheads can even THINK to do such a thing? Are we that deep down the hole that up is down, and down is up? When is Mr. Toad’s wild ride finally going to end? This is an absolute nightmare.

    These people need to be shut down and publicly shamed, yet they beg for more:

    “GMAC LLC, the money-losing auto finance and home-loan lender, is seeking to become a bank holding company after gaining access to the Federal Reserve’s new program designed to unlock short-term commercial credit markets.”

  121. Shore Guy says:

    WTF, happened there?

  122. grim says:

    Triple post, very nice.

  123. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    Perhaps you can delete this post and the duplicates above?

  124. Stu says:

    “WTF, happened there?”

    I knew it all along. Clotpoll is obviously your doppleganger?

  125. BC Bob says:

    “You’ve just seen your equity portfolio drop by 30-40%. Getting a good price for your house just became a lot more important in terms of realizing your retirement plans.”

    If anybody thinks that the RE market will cooperate, to compensate for losses in other markets, or to provide a cushion for retirement, they are sadly mistaken. They will be chasing the market down.

  126. Shore Guy says:

    How did that happen, anyway? Weird.

  127. skep-tic says:

    look at where transaction volume is up big (CA, NV): it is due to foreclosures, short sales and builders clearing inventory. In other words, forced sales.

    Big price drops will come in our area as well when the proportion of forced sales rises. This is coming in 2009 due to job losses.

    People will irrationally hang on until they are forced to sell. People who are underwater on their mortgages will keep paying hoping the value will come back in the long run. They do not consider the alternative of selling and realizing a loss to be a real alternative.

    Long term owners (as I have argued above) similarly will irrationally resist realizing what they perceive to be a loss.

    I believe this loss aversion when it comes to real estate is well proven at this point. Forced sales is the only thing that will move the market lower.

  128. 3b says:

    #113 skeptic:You’ve just seen your equity portfolio drop by 30-40%. Getting a good price for your house just became a lot more important in terms of realizing your retirement plans.

    I understand that logic howver, I woudl argue that your equity portfolis drops by 30-40%, big well known IB’s are history.

    The government is bailing out and taking equity stakes in all sorts of financial companies, banks, probably GM. Unemployment is rising, with layoff announcements every day,and on and on.

    And yet you still expect to get a “good” price for your home? Based on what?

    None of the above was occurring during the time when you could get your good (inflated) price, with no effort. Yet now it is a whole different environment, and you still expect that same good price. It makes no sense to me. Maybe I think too much.

  129. Stu says:

    I see that ReTard is still fixated on toilet paper. I suspect this places his intellect somewhere around that displayed during first grade recess.

  130. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (44)-

    Beware false flag operations between now and 11/4.

  131. Shore Guy says:

    As a people, we used to accept and deal with pain and loss throughout life. We allowed it to make us stronger. Now? It appears like any loss is to be avoided at any cost.

  132. Sean says:

    China cut it’s rate by .27% the third cut in six weeks.

    I love how there are Zero Posts in the comments section in the Chinese Online newspapers.

  133. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    NOTHING would surprise me.

  134. 3b says:

    #125 reloanmodification: Ah never mind.

  135. Shore Guy says:

    Sean,

    Why would anyone need to post when they are in full agreement with comrad reporter and the Central Committee?

  136. BC Bob says:

    “Recession or not, home prices in NJ are not moving much.”

    CSI says down 10% in the NY area. If you bought in the last few years or are levered to the tilt, it’s substantial. Go sell today, add closing costs, what % are you down now. In addition to this, CSI does not include the cost to carry; maintenance and improvements. Add it all up, wealth [fake] is being destroyed.

  137. Clotpoll says:

    grim (54)-

    Probably even cheaper for you to switch to meth at this point.

    “Cheaper for me to get a Venti Doubleshot at SBUX than go to Dunkin. They always throw in the extra shot for me, so we’re talking about 6 shots of espresso for under $3. Not to mention I can top it off with a good quality half and half. This is a much better value in terms of buzz to dollar ratio.”

  138. skep-tic says:

    3b– we all think about this stuff way too much! Most people just look at what their neighbor sold their house for at the peak and consider that the value of their own house (plus a premium because their house is of course better). maybe reality will start to creep in when there is a short sale on their block.

  139. chicagofinance says:

    Driving in today……$2.37 for regular….

    GOOD. VERY GOOD. HOW ABOUT A FRESCA?

  140. Clotpoll says:

    John (58)-

    We should give Michigan to Canada.

    If they’ll take it.

  141. 3b says:

    Durable goods number up 0.8, based on an increase in orders for air planes and autos. AUTOS??

    The big 3 are dying, Toyota is down now offering )5 financing, Honda’s profits off 40%,and a rise in demand for AUTO’s??

  142. Victorian says:

    There is an interesting quote which I read somewhere by Nicholas Taleb. He said that the reason he moved to America was that this country encouraged failure, because out of a lot of failures, came ground-breaking innovation. Hence, America was by far the most innovative country. Asian cultures are far more conservative and failure is anathema.

    By the present actions of the government, it looks like we have veered away from that path. We are not allowing failed companies to die and good ones to take their place.
    $700B could have much more wisely spent encouraging innovation rather than handing out dividends and bonuses.

  143. chicagofinance says:

    …another unsubstantiated tidbit heard on Bloomberg this morning…..

    Credit card companies are now monitoring the places you shop carefully. A card holder who begins to show a pattern of shopping at WalMart when they had not done so previously will be flagged as a “person under potential financial distress”. As a result, they may find themselves with a dramatic cutback in their unused credit line.

  144. Stu says:

    ChiFi: There are some extremely cheap stations on Liberty Avenue in Union. On Monday they had regular for $2.21. All of a sudden, our 16mpg Xterra is not looking like it was such a bad choice economically (since they virtually sold it to us at cost). Environmentally though, it’s a loser. Then again, it doesn’t hold a torch to the super polluting coal-fired power plant in Jersey City.

  145. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    If our debt to PRC gets much larger, we may be giving them Guam, Samoa, etc. to pay off the debt.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    So, Credit at William’s Sanoma and cash at Wal Mart?

  147. Stu says:

    ChiFi(145):
    “A card holder who begins to show a pattern of shopping at WalMart when they had not done so previously will be flagged as a “person under potential financial distress”

    Note to self…Stop into Neiman Marcus and purchase a plastic shoe horn on credit.

  148. Nicholas says:

    Why does it matter if someone who has money shops at Walmart and gets credit lines tightend.

    If you have money then you don’t need credit. It won’t take too long for credit card companies to recognize the folly in their observations when only a small percentage of their customers retain preferred status.

  149. John says:

    Back in September GM did employee pricing that actually included certain 2009 models and good gas milage models. They moved a lot of 2009 CTs and Malibus in Sept that inflated the auto sales number. October was a blood bath in auto sales and folks like BMW, Toyota and Mercedes who are above giving cars away at all costs to keep residuals high planned on selling again in October, well October was a bloodbath in the markets and they did not sell squat, The Caddie dealer near me was banging out 2009 CTS’s at 32K in Sept while 08 Eclasses at the Benz dealer next door were rotting away at 48K. I have no clue what they are going to do with a lot full of brand new 2008 eclasses in Nov 2008 with consumer reports giving them blacks for reliablity with a five year old body design.

  150. Nicholas says:

    Now things like massage parlors, casinos, large purchases at the “Lion’s Den” are another story.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about shopping at Walmart.

  151. Victorian says:

    I use my credit cards just for the points and pay the balance in full every month. If you do not go above 33% of your limit, your score does not get hit.

    Does your credit score go down if you do not use CC regularly? Or does it not matter?

  152. Shore Guy says:

    “It won’t take too long for credit card companies to recognize the folly in their observations when only a small percentage of their customers retain preferred status.”

  153. Shore Guy says:

    “It won’t take too long for credit card companies to recognize the folly in their observations when only a small percentage of their customers retain preferred status.”

  154. Shore Guy says:

    “It won’t take too long for credit card companies to recognize the folly in their observations when only a small percentage of their customers retain preferred status.”

    Too funny. The credit card companies will just raise fees on folks. People are so wedded to their cards, well most folks anyway, they will gladly bend over and say, “Thank you sir, may I have another.”

    Unless more folks follow the Shore Plan and overpay bills each month, heck for utilities etc. we are usually paid 3+ mos ahead, they will likely remain tied to the use of the little plastic cards and will do anything to keep them.

  155. Shore Guy says:

    GRIM!!! Please delete the 1/2-finished posts. I don’t know WTF is happening here. Is it something in IE 8? I did not even hit post and the things posted.

  156. Nicholas says:

    If you don’t use your CC regularly you do not take a hit.

    The only negative I have found from holding onto card for a long time is that when I want to use them again it is hard to haggle with the CC company to get lower rates or more advantageous terms. Mostly those worries go away even after 30 days of using the card reliably.

    I wasn’t able to cash out points until I started to use some cards.

  157. Stu says:

    Victorian(153):

    As far as I know, your credit score does not take a hit no matter how much of your available credit that is utilized as long as you pay it off in full each month and you have other credit cards with equal or higher credit limits. The credit report does not look at any cards individually rather adds up your average monthly outstanding balance across all of your cards versus your total credit availability. Not using a credit card at least once per 12 month period will result in the credit card being deemed inactive and will reduce your available debt ratio on your credit report. Never voluntarily close credit cards, especially those with long histories and large credit limits. Don’t apply for new cards unless you absolutely need to as this lowers your score.

    Following these practices has brought my credit score up over 70 points in the last 5 years. Of course, I was accidentally late two weeks with one car payment in 97 when I completely forgot about it when I was out of the country. This was the only slip up I ever made to my credit report and have not carried a balance since the early 90s.

  158. 3b says:

    #140 skeptic: True. But the level of denial to me is still amazing.

  159. Clotpoll says:

    grim (97)-

    Righto. However, in my area, the smarter folks who have owned long-term all got out of the game (and out of NJ) months ago. A lot of the rest of the solvent, long-term owners still here aren’t selling and now probably won’t sell until things are back on the upswing.

    That leaves nothing but dumb money and dead money.

    Which leaves me more and more time to trade every day. :)

  160. 3b says:

    #140 skeptic: I have also found that for every one seller who comes on the market now with a more reasonably priced (although still over priced) listing), there seems to be another that comes on right after, with an asking price that reflects 2005/06, not today when we are heading into 2009.

  161. Stu says:

    3B: I wouldn’t go there.

  162. RentinginNJ says:

    Credit card companies are now monitoring the places you shop carefully. A card holder who begins to show a pattern of shopping at WalMart when they had not done so previously will be flagged as a “person under potential financial distress”.

    Oh S**t.

    I just went to Wal-Mart for the first time on Monday because it’s the only place I know where I could get a “welcome mat” and a taillight bulb in the same store. I used my credit card to get airline miles, but I always pay in full each month.

    I hope my trip to Wal-Mart doesn’t sentence me to a life in coach.

  163. 3b says:

    #162 clot:and now probably won’t sell until things are back on the upswing.

    Clot, do you think they understand that the upswing will be years from now??

  164. Victorian says:

    Stu (159) –
    “As far as I know, your credit score does not take a hit no matter how much of your available credit that is utilized as long as you pay it off in full each month and you have other credit cards with equal or higher credit limits.”

    – I thought so too, until I was surpised with a hit on my score because I had spend above 35% of my limit on one of my cards. I had paid the balance in full at the end of the month.
    However, the balance was reported before I had paid it off, and they brought down my score a couple of points.

    I agree with the rest of your post. I have been following that practice for the past 3 years and my score has gone up more than 50.

  165. FH NJ says:

    Friday, August 05, 2005
    Price Lowered on Rumson House Again

    This house in Rumson is now listed on the MLS for $835,000. It was recently priced at $875,000 and before that $899,000, which was down from $940,000 back on May 5th. MLS ID#: 10038427

    Now listed @ $570K: 80Waterman Ave, Rumson
    http://realestate.yahoo.com/New_Jersey/Rumson/Homes_for_sale/971e3af72df2356cb7cf85658c90c6af;_ylt=AlgxmyJvhNDO4EWTci2iNZDnMrQs?cc=realestate&p=rumson,%20NJ&priceHigh=850000&priceLow=550000&nodeId=750007014&radius=&bedrooms=&bathrooms=&type=classified&sortBy=price+1&ltype=0

  166. Clotpoll says:

    3b (118)-

    I have no thoughts on this phenomenon. However, I now use it as a sort of contraindicator for actions I take regarding personal RE and stock investment decisions.

    My overarching feeling is that if I’m surrounded by thousands of Costanzas, it should be damn easy to get rich.

    So far, so good. I’m actually beginning to hope this thing gets drawn out even more.

  167. chicagofinance says:

    FYI – FICO is a dynamic number like a stock price. You could check it 4 times in one day and it could be different, depending on when you charged certain items and when entities report payments or other activity.

  168. Nicholas says:

    Shore,

    It is pretty easy to nail CC companies to the wall for doing stupid things. I regularly call each of mine 3-4 times a year to protest idiot things I have seen.

    I have never paid a late fee even though I have made late payments.

    I’m tempted to call and threaten to cancel some of my cards for these companies participating in the bailout (I have a twisted sense of humor).

    I will share some of my wisdom from calling CC companies. After repeated calls you can discern how they are organized and there is little difference between CC companies because they all use the same customer service model.

    The first thing to know is that when you call you begin by talking with either an automated system or a Teir 3 level goon. They are authorized to make only minimal changes to your account and are often limited to only one change every 30 days. If ever customer support says to call back in 30 days to make additional changes your not speaking to the right person. Tier 3 people are NOT who you want making changes to your account. Be polite to these people because they are the gateway to Teir 2 level support.

    At Teir 2 level support, a pit manager/boss, is allowed more leeway to make changes to your account but he is bound by service agreements and company policy. He can make unlimited changes to your account as long as they do not exceed company policy. This guy always doesn’t like to be bothered but will take the time to understand your situation and will do what he can to keep you happy. He is often the last stop on talking with customer support.

    In the event that you have a more serious issue with your card that the Tier 2 pit boss cannot solve he may forward you on to Tier 3 but be warned that Mr. Teir 3 does not like you and is not your friend. He usually answers the phone to tell you what is going to happen and not to listen to you. He will impart very important information as to the inner workings of how the CC works and often will start quoting laws that specifically prohibit him from helping you further and MAY direct you to a way around the law but it is likely painful.

    There is also a department for loss management but these guys are equivalent Teir 2 personnel. If you threaten to cancel your credit card you are often channeled off to this department.

    An example:

    “I have been calling every year for the past 4 years to remove this annual fee. I feel that it is stupid, I don’t pay annual fees from other cards I have, and I won’t pay on this card. If they don’t remove the fee I will pay but I will also cancel the card. I don’t EVER want to see another annual fee show on my statement.”

    Automated: We can reduce your annual fee by 50% press 1 to accept…

    Teir 3: I can remove the annual fee for this year…I cannot make any more changes to the account.

    Teir 2: Policy prohibits me from removing the annual fee from this account.

    Teir 1: Mr. Nicholas, I’m sorry but the annual fee cannot be removed from your account. At the time you signed the agreement the fee was part of the contract. If I were to change the terms of agreement it would make null and void the rest of the terms, I don’t have the authority to “line-item” through your agreement. In order to remove the annual fee you need to cancel this card and apply for a new one without an annual fee. If you read through your terms and agreement you will see that the annual fee is rescinded after 5 years, I suggest you keep the card and call back one more time next year to have the fee removed.

    Thank you, good day, [hands the phone to Tier 2].

  169. Clotpoll says:

    skep (140)-

    “…maybe reality will start to creep in when there is a short sale on their block.”

    Nope. That’s when the dopes learn the meaning of the word, “outlier”, then use it at every f*&king event they attend.

    If I hear “outlier” one more time, somebody’s getting a mouthful of Chiclets.

  170. Outofstater says:

    #121 Clot – “Who is John Galt?”

  171. 3b says:

    #169 clot:I’m actually beginning to hope this thing gets drawn out even more.

    I don’t, it is getting old.

  172. 3b says:

    #172 clot: So they assume that the short sale does not count?

  173. Clotpoll says:

    3b (166)-

    Don’t know, don’t care.

    In my main line of work, I only have interest in, and only attend to, forced sales. Everyone else’s backstory is pure white noise.

  174. Nicholas says:

    Q: Can I Eat My Textbook?

    Although frequently considered when the pantry and wallet is empty, eating your textbook is extremely harmful to your health and may result in serious complications. Common side effects of eating a textbook may include an upset stomach, dehydration, nausea, missing problem sets, and constipation. Chegg will not accept books in eaten conditions nor in any conditions that resemble being eaten (please see our book conditions policy).

  175. Clotpoll says:

    3b (174)-

    Righto. Funny, though: these are the same people who think the RE agent will mow the shoulder-high grass of the short sale next door.

    But that abandoned, weed-choked disaster next door will have no effect on your property value when it sells short.

    A nation of Costanzas, I tell you…

  176. NJGator says:

    Clot 119 – Maybe a constitutional amendment banning former members of GS from serving in the cabinet is in order.

  177. yikes says:

    One item, you are right, I’m underground. However, not in the caves, rather the mines.

    that’s a great line.

    anecdotal: Realtive has owned a jewelry biz for about 25 years. said relative, maybe two years ago, retired, but still has a ton of jewelry.

    i had this person call a big jewelry company they dealt with for about 15 years regarding gold coins (to see if i could get some at wholesale).

    “sorry, we’re not selling gold coins anymore. stopped about 8 months ago.”

    why?

    “we’re holding onto it for now, but we should be putting it back on the market in a year or so.”

    we read this as: When gold spikes to 1500 in a year or two, that’s when they’ll put it on sale.

  178. Nicholas says:

    I mowed my neighbors grass when his home went into forclosure.

    I contacted the other neighbors and let them know that I would be mowing the grass and that if they wanted they could help out.

    I wouldn’t let that guys misfortune drag down area values because his yard went unmowed. With all of us working together I didn’t have to do all that much anyway.

  179. 3b says:

    #178 clot: Understood. In my mind there is no sense in bidding now, because asking prices although down, are still too high for the seller to accept my realistic bid based on fundamentals.

    He or she would consider it a so called low ball,and of course be insulted. The level of denial out there can perhaps be attributed to dire straits that many of these would be sellers may be in, both younger and older.

    And so I will wait, for now.

    Many sellers out there will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new reality. I plan to help that process along after this years holiday season.

  180. Clotpoll says:

    Nick (181)-

    If you think about it, the smartest thing to do to a foreclosure on your block is to find a way for it to “accidentally” burn down.

  181. r says:

    Thanks FH NJ. I drove by that house recently. Can you believe they have been chasing prices down since the Spring of 2005. (Full disclosure: I used to run the Jersey Shore real estate bubble website, before I had two kids.)

    That house has been listed by every Realtor in Rumson and Fair Haven. It’s an advertisement for trying to sell a house without a Realtor since they have been mis-pricing it for 3 1/2 years.

    # FH NJ Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Friday, August 05, 2005
    Price Lowered on Rumson House Again

    This house in Rumson is now listed on the MLS for $835,000. It was recently priced at $875,000 and before that $899,000, which was down from $940,000 back on May 5th. MLS ID#: 10038427

    Now listed @ $570K: 80Waterman Ave, Rumson
    http://realestate.yahoo.com/New_Jersey/Rumson/Homes_for_sale/971e3af72df2356cb7cf85658c90c6af;_ylt=AlgxmyJvhNDO4EWTci2iNZDnMrQs?cc=realestate&p=rumson,%20NJ&priceHigh=850000&priceLow=550000&nodeId=750007014&radius=&bedrooms=&bathrooms=&type=classified&sortBy=price+1&ltype=0

  182. Nicholas says:

    Stock market is doing so well why would the FED need to drop rates now?

  183. Shore Guy says:

    “Price Lowered on Rumson House Again ”

    And only 16ish blocks from Springsten. Practically neighbors.

  184. skep-tic says:

    3b– you make the point above that there must be a lot of divorces, deaths, relocations, etc in your town because there are a lot of houses for sale. but these houses are not really for sale– they are only for sale at wishful prices which means they are effectively out of the market. the only houses that are actually for sale are where the person has to sell within a few months. there are few of these out there right now, but more are coming

  185. chicagofinance says:

    grim Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 9:08 am
    Vic- Have the St*rbucks folks moved to the Dunkin yet as their initial downsizing? They might offset the numbers.

    Cheaper for me to get a Venti Doubleshot at SBUX than go to Dunkin. They always throw in the extra shot for me, so we’re talking about 6 shots of espresso for under $3. Not to mention I can top it off with a good quality half and half. This is a much better value in terms of buzz to dollar ratio.

    6 x 64mg Caffeine (USDA average per shot) = 384mg Caffeine
    Large Coffee = 175mg Caffeine

    Would need two large coffees at Dunkin to equal the same caffeine, price would be higher.

    It costs me roughly 50 cents to pull a shot at home, so those 6 shots would cost me $3. I get the labor and milk for free by going to SBUX.

    Buzz Arbitrage 101.

    Grim: one of my greatest hits, as if I have any…
    301 – Intermediate Buzz Arbitrage

    Understanding Arbitrage Trading

    Today was a hot and sweltering day, signaling the true beginning of summer. As usual, I decided to walk to the local café, because I enjoy the caffeine jolt of a strong cup of coffee. I regularly purchase the 20 ounce size, and at my outlet they charge $1.80 for the privilege. Some people think it’s a bit much for a cup, but I gladly pay for what I think is good value.

    On this particular day, I decided that drinking something with the warning “…careful, the beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely hot…” might be a mistake. So instead I asked what an Iced Coffee would cost.

    “That would be $2.80” was the reply.

    “One dollar for a cup of ice?” I asked in a puzzled tone.

    Well, I decided to order my regular burning hot cup on principle.

    After my order was rung-up on the register for $1.80, I asked how much would a large plastic cup of ice with a straw would cost. “Oh! – no charge of course.”

    Fine. I took my booty, walked over to the condiment station, poured the hot coffee over the ice, threw the paper cup away, and merrily left to face the heat and humidity.

    Believe it or not, if this example makes sense to you, then you understand what participants in the financial markets call an “Arbitrage Opportunity”.

    A clever person (let’s call him a “Trader”) will identify opportunities in the market, and trade to take advantage. One of the fascinating innovations of the Financial Markets is the ability to sell something “short”. To sell short is to establish a market position by selling a security one does not own. We will use our Iced Coffee example to illustrate.

    In the market, a Trader seeing an opportunity will offer $2.80 cups of Iced Coffee to the public at a nearby street corner. The Trader doesn’t have any coffee, so if he sells a cup, he quickly rushes into the café, and orders a coffee at $1.80 with a free cup of ice. He quickly converts the regular coffee into Iced Coffee, and delivers it to the purchaser to close out the sale from a few moments earlier.

    In our example, Trader was “short” an Iced Coffee when he accepted an order on the street corner for a product he wasn’t immediately able to deliver. He “closed out” his short position only after he bought (or went “long”) a cup of hot coffee at the café and delivered it to his street corner customer.

    What happens now? Well, not everyone is going to want to pay $2.80 for Iced Coffee, especially when they realize after watching the Trader run back and forth that they too could create the drink for less money. So as the Trader cycles more and more coffee through this profit-making machine, the market notices, and he has to drop the price so people will continue to buy. The offers begin at $2.75, soon $2.60, and finally $2.50.

    Our café friends are not too happy either. It would not take very long for them to figure out what the Trader was doing, so they soon start charging 25¢ for the ice, then 50¢, and finally 75¢, and then “presto” the opportunity is gone. The Trader can create an Iced Coffee from piece parts that now cost more than $2.50, but can only sell it for $2.50. So he’ll pack his bags and wait for the next chance.

    This type of activity occurs from time to time in the financial markets in all sorts of assets, including stocks, bonds, and commodities. In fact participants have computer programs that are constantly analyzing different combinations of investments to find less expensive ways to buy and sell equivalent assets. Once these programs identify an opportunity, they automatically trade to profit from it.

    Amazing isn’t it? Easy to understand. However, because our financial markets are reasonably efficient, arbitrage is difficult to execute. At least not without a few Physics and Math PhD’s at your disposal, along with an investment banker or two.

  186. grim says:

    Way to go Essex county! Any wonder why taxes are so high?

    Newark Bears file for bankruptcy

    The Newark Bears minor league baseball team filed for bankruptcy, saying they owe their biggest creditors more than $4.6 million, including $3.4 million to its mortgage company and more than $800,000 to Essex County.

    Newark and Essex County financed the construction of the $30 million Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium with the sale of bonds. Later, remaining bond funds were used to build a parking deck that is leased out to surrounding businesses during the day. The city and the county now share a more than $1 million annual debt payment.

    Team owner Mark Berson and Essex county executive Joseph DiVincenzo both said over the weekend that baseball will remain in Newark despite what may happen to the Bears.

    DiVincenzo said he was looking to possibly help arrange a sale of the team and that at worst, local colleges and high schools could use the stadium for games.

  187. BC Bob says:

    “And only 16ish blocks from Springsten. Practically neighbors.”

    Now if it was 10th Ave [Freeze Out], I may bite.

  188. Essex says:

    171….geez…who cares?

  189. chicagofinance says:

    By the way with the coffe thing….one of you guys corrected me stating that proper Iced Coffee is qualitatively different than what I produced, because the melted ice diluted the brew…..fine….keepin’ it real….

  190. Nicholas says:

    Essex,

    Dunno, maybe those who are interested in knowing that you can throw some people around at your CC company like rag-dolls and some you can’t.

    Might help you save a few bucks.

  191. Al says:

    Why are NJ taxes are soo high??

    20. Contract #0753, Woodbridge H.S. Synthetic Turf Field improvements, and the final quantities change order, which decreases the bid price of $880,620.00 by $22,180.76 for a total contract price of $858,439.24
    http://www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us/elected_officials_councilOR.html

    Because we can pay almost 900K for a new turf for a High School Field!!!

    Talking about cutting spending – how about get risd of that team – township would probably save 5 millionsjust on that!!!

    why do residents of Woodbridge have to pay for parents who want their kids to be in the team ??? What If I want my kid top play but he did nto make it?? Do I get my money back?

    Come on – 850K for a turf?

  192. alia says:

    i have a dumb question:

    i am unclear whether all the “bail out banks” rhetoric includes credit unions. i know they are insured, and not by the fdic.

    they still likely took on mortgages for over priced houses, even if the members were prime.

    should i assume they (media, govt, bloggers) mean “all institutions involved with lending money for pos capes and mcmansions” when they say “banks”? (i mean, “bank” now includes car makers… i need a vocab lesson)

    i wanna know if my savings plan is “special” and safe from market forces…. ;)

  193. grim says:

    Come on – 850K for a turf?

    It enhances the prestige of the school district, which results in higher home prices.

    If we don’t do this, home prices will fall, you don’t want your home price to fall any further, do you?

    It isn’t turf, it is an investment in your retirement and the future of our children.

  194. NJGator says:

    Grim 189 – In these trying economic times, the Montclair Town Council is planning on spending close to $1,000,000 to qualify for a 24HR RR quiet zone, spend at least 6 figures on street signs and other such for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan (our new mayor was head of Bike Montclair), spent another 6 figures to build an all-access playground to accomodate the disabled that is expected to mostly draw disabled children that do not live in Montclair (and we did not ask Joey D for money or insist that the county pick up the tab and build it in a county park), and are moving ahead with a $50M school that the town probably doesn’t even need. Oh, and in their spare time they also got Montclair designated a fair trade town. I think we’re the first in NJ.

    I look forward to drinking my fair trade coffee at a local cafe. if I can still afford it after paying an annual property tax bill that is likely close to 3% of the actual FMV of my house.

  195. yikes says:

    question: you’re putting, oh, say, $1000 a month in the market. this is not cutting into other saving or spending or bills or anything of that nature.

    is there a safe spot where it won’t tank too far in the next 2 years?

  196. 3b says:

    #196 grim: It also enhance the rankings in NJ Monthly.

  197. John says:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Major issues have been resolved between General Motors Corp. (GM:General Motors Corporation
    News, chart, profile, more
    Last: 6.54+0.29+4.64%

    1:05pm 10/29/2008

    Delayed quote dataAdd to portfolio
    Analyst
    Create alertInsider
    Discuss
    Financials
    Sponsored by:

    GM 6.54, +0.29, +4.6%) and private equity firm Cerberus Capital over a possible combination of GM and Chrysler LLC, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing sources close to the matter. Shares of GM rose 8.5% to $6.78 in recent trading

  198. Frank says:

    BC,
    “Go sell today, add closing costs,”
    If NJ RE agents were not charging rip off commissions, closing costs would not matter.
    You can’t look at maintenance and assume that your home is loosing value because of it. You need to live somewhere, using your logic paying rent is wealth destruction vs. consumption.

  199. John says:

    Bump it to 5K a month that way if it falls in half you still have some cash.

    yikes Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 1:02 pm
    question: you’re putting, oh, say, $1000 a month in the market. this is not cutting into other saving or spending or bills or anything of that nature.

    is there a safe spot where it won’t tank too far in the next 2 years?

  200. grim says:

    #197 – You best pipe down if you know whats good for you. Dissent isn’t welcome in Montclair.

  201. 3b says:

    #187 skeptic: I know. Just don’t understand the rationale of keeping your house on the market month after month.

    I also do not understand why realtors continue to take these lisitngs, and pay for advertising, and run open houses.

  202. Al says:

    I always liked that high taxes are not a factor on a price of houses in NJ…..

  203. Frank says:

    Come on – 850K for a turf?

    That’s cheap, my town paid double that. It’s union power.

  204. Shore Guy says:

    Peoples’ Republic of Montclair?

  205. 3b says:

    #201 Frank:You can’t look at maintenance and assume that your home is loosing value because of it.

    Sure you can. Think about it a little more, and get back to us. I am too tired to post it for you.

  206. Clotpoll says:

    (200)-

    Marriage of zombies.

  207. John says:

    Very Interesting!!!!! Around 2006 I had a meeting with the SMT at Toyota and number one risk to Toyota identifed was a GM Bankruptcy, when I asked why they said if GM went bankrupt we risk there being a huge backlash against foreign cars and the US will start implementing curfews on amount of Toyotas sold in US and create tax and monetary poicies unfavorable to Japan, Toyotas goals was to be close to one or be one by a little, crushing GM would not work out for either firm long run. I laughed then but now I see the fear in their eyes.

    GM Chief May Ask for Help From Toyota
    NEW YORK (Dow Jones) — Struggling U.S. auto maker General Motors Corp. (GM) is expected to ask for help from Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.TO) in turning around its business, Kyodo News reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the plan.

    GM Chairman Rick Wagoner is considering visiting Japan soon and meeting with Toyota’s leadership to discuss the plan, the sources said.

    Toyota is expected to consider quick fixes for the cash-strapped GM, including buying up its assets, to help it secure sufficient business funding.

    The executives of the world’s two biggest automakers may also discuss expanded business partnerships, including Toyota making fuel efficient compact cars for GM on an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) basis and providing hybrid-car technologies to the U.S. carmaker, the sources said.

    Toyota and GM have had close partnerships in high-tech areas since 1984, when they set up a joint auto production venture in California.

  208. Clotpoll says:

    3b (208)-

    What a smashing idiot.

  209. 3b says:

    #206 Frank:That’s cheap, my town paid double that.

    Of course they did, why wouldn’t they? What with houses in your town still selling at 10% over 2005 prices.

  210. 3b says:

    #185 Nicholas: Bear market rally, nothing more.

  211. NJGator says:

    Grim 203/Shore 207 – Well the times they are a changing in town. People are unhappy and maxed out. That $15k tax bill seems a lot more unreasonable on a $500k house than it did on a $700k house. People who are soon to be out of jobs or already are don’t want the town to spend $50k on irises that they never spent before, no matter how pretty they are. More forward thinking people on the council are actually talking about cutting budgets 10% across the board. Let’s see if anything comes of it.

  212. Shore Guy says:

    Does anyone have access to the history on 80 WATERMAN AVE Rumson, NJ 07760. I assume it is REO. MLS ID #20813911.

    Thanks.

  213. Stu says:

    ChiFi: Found an interesting arbitrage opportunity on our last cruise.

    The casino on board allows one to draw cash from your onboard account. Before disembarkation you can settle up your account with a credit card. Anything purchased on-board the ship earns a 4% credit towards your next NCL cruise when purchased with the NCL Bank of America Mastercard. Maximum withdrawal per day in the casino is $2,000 cash. On a 7 day cruise you can withdraw $14,000 cash. Now payoff your credit card at the end of the month with the $14,000 cash and you just earned $560. (.04*14,000 = $560.)

    Well I don’t know if this is arbitrage exactly, but it is a pretty sweet deal ;)

  214. 3b says:

    #214 More forward thinking peoplr ont he council.

    More forward thinking, or not clueless?

  215. Frank says:

    #208,
    3b, only if you’re homeless.

  216. John says:

    Actually 15K in 2008 RE tax for a person laid off in 2008 is cheap. In 2007 when they were working the whole year and in AMT they spent 15K and could not write off a nickle. In 2008 they are no longer in AMT and get back 5K in their Federal Taxes so their RE taxes has fallen by 1/3 from 2007 to 2008.

    NJGator Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 1:18 pm
    Grim 203/Shore 207 – Well the times they are a changing in town. People are unhappy and maxed out. That $15k tax bill seems a lot more unreasonable on a $500k house than it did on a $700k house. People who are soon to be out of jobs or already are don’t want the town to spend $50k on irises that they never spent before, no matter how pretty they are. More forward thinking people on the council are actually talking about cutting budgets 10% across the board. Let’s see if anything comes of it.

  217. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    Just wait until Montclair follows the lead of Ithaca, NY (PR of I) and starts issuing its own currency.

  218. Doyle says:

    #215

    Grim, too funny. My wife and I went to an open house in Monty two weeks ago and I saw an M*Cain / P*lin sign on one lawn in the neighborhood. I did ask my wife what the h*ll those people were doing in town ;) I almost missed it trying to step over all the “Save Darfur” signs.

  219. NJGator says:

    Doyle – There are about 10 of them. They even have a club. It’s the g-d’s honest truth.

  220. grim says:

    Doyle,

    I moderated my own post. I might find my own house egged tomorrow night.

  221. Shore Guy says:

    The dream ticket is Biden Palen. It would keep us entertained, anyway.

  222. alexj says:

    #29 – “Can I become a bank?”

    Sure, and then when you’ve screwed up by making some poor investment choices, you can split yourself into a “good” bank and a “bad” bank, and all will be well again.

  223. Stu says:

    I’m going to the budget meeting tonight in Montclair. It should be interesting and I plan to dissent loudly. I threatened the last mayor by stating that I would come to a meeting in nothing more than a barrel if he didn’t stop wasting my money on frivolous cr*p. When I went to find a barrel, I couldn’t find a source.

    I’ll report back to the group here what the results of the meeting were tomorrow.

  224. Doyle says:

    #222

    Gator,

    Does Stu crash their meetings and go on P*lin rants like he does here?

    Kidding Stu.

  225. Doyle says:

    Come on Grim… leave it up!

  226. NJGator says:

    227 Doyle – Our R’s are much more in the Christie Whitman, northeastern moderate mold. I think they may go on their own Caribou Barbie rants at their secret meetings.

  227. Doyle says:

    True Gator, otherwise they would not reside in Monty, perhaps GR.

  228. John says:

    30 minutes left to lock in on 4.25% ING One year CDs!!!!

  229. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    It would frighten them more if you threatened to go to the meeting in Gary’s chrreleader outfit. Well, some of them, anyway.

  230. NJGator says:

    Doyle 231 – In my morning drive down Ridgewood Ave to drop Lil Gator off at school, I have only seen the OB signs.

    For our conservative friends here that are familiar with feminine hygeine products, they may find that appropriate and humorous.

  231. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Some tax observations for those of you contemplating tying the knot—you may want to hold off:

    It is well known that the Obama tax plan will hammer the HENRYs (high earners, not rich yet), but it also exacerbates the “marriage penalty” for couples in higher-earning jobs. For couples with joint income under 400K, you avoid or mitigate the effect of the Obama tax hikes on the upper middle class by staying single for as long as possible.

    In the New America, living as an unmarried couple carries little stigma so why not consider it? Even if you register as a domestic partner rather than a spouse (as gay couples can do in many states), then you get many of the benefits of being married, but you also get the benefit of another 150,000 of earnings before you are “rich” under Obama’s tax plan.
    In addition, you avoid the already-exising effects of the “marriage penalty” and limit your exposure to AMT. This is because, while you are “married” for many non-tax purposes, you are single as far as the feds are concerned.

    If your family earns under 400K, you may also consider amicably “divorcing” to regain single status. But be careful of child support orders and the fact that a spouse can always ask for alimony later.

    The top beneficiaries of this effect are those that get the incidents of marriage without the legal designation, notably gay married couples in Mass. and Ct., and gay civil union couples in states that offer civil unions. Further, many corporations now extend benefits to domestic partners.

    Hetero couples should examine their state’s laws to see if domestic partnership is an option (typically not) or if their company benefits cover domestic partnerships for opposite sex couples (some do).

  232. 3b says:

    #219 Frank: When did you become homeless? Sorry to hear that.

  233. Doyle says:

    #234

    Interesting…

    I’ll leave the second comment to John.

  234. kettle1 says:

    Alia,

    Credit unions may or may not be safer. its likely that they are not significantly better off. Its depends on the credit union. I have access to 2 different ones and i know that they both participated heavily in non-traditional home loans that will come back to haunt them.

    i am not a banking expert…..

  235. NJGator says:

    BC Bob – Baristanet reports on opening night at the Wellmont:

    http://www.baristanet.com/2008/10/well_done_wellmont.php#more

  236. skep-tic says:

    funny thing is that a guest on the O’Reilly Factor last night said that reporters write articles biased in favor of Mr. O so they can come off as cool to their friends at Montclair cocktail parties!

    I have never been to Montclair and the statement would’ve meant nothing to me if not for this blog

  237. skep-tic says:

    239 in mod

  238. BC Bob says:

    Frank [202],

    You missed my point completely, not surprising. CSI underestimates declines. It does not account for improvements. A 10% decline may just be the tip of the iceberg. Wealth[fake], is being destroyed.

  239. Shore Guy says:

    Does anyone here have access to Monmouth County MLS?

  240. Stu says:

    Shore Guy (233): This is progressive Montclair. A bald fat man in a cheerleader outfit would probably either be asked out on a date or asked to help coach the Mountie cheerleaders.

    And I have never ranted publicly, although I have typed loudly in both emails to our mayor and in our local online forums. Tonight will change that if I hear from them what I expect to hear from them.

    At the Montclair Town Council meeting, I did warn them all individually not to waste my money and I said I would be watching them like a hawk. I met each town council member individually and told them that either they need to fire the town manager or figure out a way to get along with him since their behavior at the meeting was infantile.

    Like I said before, tonight’s meeting should be fun. If I do speak, I’ll be sure to youtube it for all of ya!

  241. BC Bob says:

    NJG [238],

    I saw some pics of the Wellmont, looks good.

  242. NJGator says:

    241 Shore -NJ Coast does

  243. Mctc says:

    I may be new at this, but could someone tell me why this would be a bad idea?..

    If the government wanted to stimulate real estates sales and let the market get to equilibrium faster(reset prices), why not let owners who sell their homes at a loss take an up-capped capital loss deduction on a one-time basis. This way the government would be subsidizing at least part of the loss without creating a bureaucracy along with the subsidy.

  244. Nicholas says:

    The casino on board allows one to draw cash from your onboard account. Before disembarkation you can settle up your account with a credit card. Anything purchased on-board the ship earns a 4% credit towards your next NCL cruise when purchased with the NCL Bank of America Mastercard. Maximum withdrawal per day in the casino is $2,000 cash. On a 7 day cruise you can withdraw $14,000 cash. Now payoff your credit card at the end of the month with the $14,000 cash and you just earned $560. (.04*14,000 = $560.)

    The only problem I see with this is that cash withdraws start accruing interest on the day that they are withdrawn. Only purchases have the 30-60 day grace period. This phenomenon has something to do with the fact that CC companies don’t have to pony up the money themselves until 30-60 days later when a check is cut to the vendor. In the “cash” case they have to pony up right away.

  245. skep-tic says:

    WSJ Real Time Economics Blog:

    October 29, 2008, 11:51 am
    Many Homeowners Think They’re Immune to Price Declines
    Almost half of U.S. homeowners think their homes are insulated from the broader national decline in prices, according to a survey by real-estate Web site Zillow.com….

    Despite a financial crisis, market volatility and continued indications of declining home prices, 17% of homeowners told Zillow they think their own home’s value stayed the same over the past year, while 32% said their home has appreciated in value. Zillow estimates that nearly three-quarters of homes have lost value in the past 12 months…..

    Most homeowners see stability on the horizon. Some 40% believe their home’s value will stay the same over the next six months, while 21% think their home will appreciate. But that stability ends at their door, as 57% said home values in their local market will decrease over the next six months.

    *********

    amazing

  246. 3b says:

    #242 Stu: You are a brave man Stu. In my town you would be shunned.

  247. NJGator says:

    Nicholas 246 – These are not treated as cash withrawals by the CC company. They are charges to your onboard ship account which then get settled up at the end of the cruise by paying with your credit card. Stu has done this for years without ever paying a fee.

  248. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    grim, feel free to kill 235 in mod

  249. 3b says:

    #247 skeptic: Amazing, and totally incoherent and irrational (if I am reading the results correctly).

    I am almost at the point where I do not care. If all that has transpired does not lower prices, than what will? Buying an over priced POS with a 10K a yar tax bill and rising is not very appealing.

    They fell dramatically during the last down turn, and things were not nearly so grim.

    All I know is I am not over paying, simple as that.

  250. Sean says:

    re: GM and Crysler – 2010 will mark the triumphant return of the Cimmaron and the K car.

  251. Nicholas says:

    Sounds like a solid racket to me then as long as you are going on a 7 day cruise anyway.

    That subsidy might not entice me to go asea though…

  252. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 1:48 pm
    Does anyone here have access to Monmouth County MLS?

    Shore: the poster NJ Coast does….I have their contact information, but give them a chance to post here first. If you hear nothing for a few days, post again and I will forward it to you. However, if at all possible, I want to give them a chance to respond.

  253. Nicholas says:

    When will the FED declare if it is cutting rates today?

  254. chicagofinance says:

    5 minutes

  255. chicagofinance says:

    Warning: politically biased

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq8Uc5BFogE

  256. Shore Guy says:

    Here ya go, for anyone who wants to be in a position to borrow a cup of sugar from Bruce and Patti.

  257. Shore Guy says:

    Here ya go, for anyone who wants to be in a position to borrow a cup of sugar from Bruce and Patti.

  258. Qwerty says:

    How taxes will change shortly…

    ==========================================
    Income The Underdog The Messiah
    ——————————————
    Over $2.9M -$577,148 +$699,872
    $603K and up -$109,214 +$121,689
    $227K-$603K -$15,877 +$942
    $161K-$227K -$6,322 -$2,796
    $112K-$161K -$3,736 -$2,135
    $66K-$112K -$1,487 -$1,264
    $38K-$66K -$608 -$1,118
    $19K-$38K -$259 -$892
    Under $19K -$65 -$567
    ==========================================

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/29/news/economy/candidates_tax_plans/

    I especially like this one:

    Income The Underdog The Messiah
    ——————————————
    $227K-$603K -$15,877 +$942

    That’s nearly a $17K hit each year if The Messiah wins.

  259. Shore Guy says:

    Chifi, he is the one who does catering for performance venues?

  260. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Some tax observations for those of you contemplating tying the knot, and why some of you may want to hold off!

    It is well known that the O tax plan will hammer the HENRYs (high earners, not rich yet), a group already bearing the highest tax burden as a percentage of income, but it also exacerbates the “marriage penalty” for couples in higher-earning jobs. For couples with individual incomes under 200K, you avoid not only the already-exising effects of the “marriage penalty” and limit your exposure to AMT, but you avoid the effect of the O tax hikes on the upper middle class by staying single for as long as possible.

    In the New America, living as an unmarried couple carries little stigma so why not consider it? Even if you register as a domestic partner rather than a spouse (as gay couples can do in many states), then you get many of the benefits of being married, but you also get the benefit of another 150,000 of earnings before you are “rich” under O’s tax plan.
    This is because, while you are “married” for many non-tax purposes, you are single as far as the feds are concerned.

    If your family earns under 400K, you may also consider amicably “divorcing” to regain single status. But be careful of child support orders and the fact that a spouse can always ask for, and get, alimony later even if he/she agrees to waive it in court.

    And if you can get the incidents of marriage without the legal designation, then you truly make out under this structure. The marriage differential favors primarily gay couples that marry in Mass. and Ct. or get civil unions in states that offer civil unions. Further, some states and a number of corporations now extend benefits to domestic partners that mimic the benefits of married status.

    Hetero couples should examine their state’s laws to see if domestic partnership is an option (typically it is not) or if their company benefits cover domestic partnerships for opposite sex couples (some do).

  261. kettle1 says:

    An Njrereport GTG at the montclair town meeting to witness the wonder that is stu tearing into the town council?

  262. Shore Guy says:

    That tax chart also omits the payroll tax.

  263. yikes says:

    1/2 point cut

    whop de damn do

    – Derrick Coleman

  264. SIMONfromLYNDHURST says:

    As expected the FOMC has lowered the Fed Funds Target rate 50bps to 1%.

  265. Stu says:

    Nicholas:

    Game over on the cruise arbitrage. It is becoming a cruddy worldpoints mastercard earning 1% as of 1/1/2009. Two more accounts (Gator an account in her name too) added into the ever growing pile of inactive cards that I have been amassing. I can’t wait till I buy my 2nd house in 2010. Immediately after the closing I plan to call about 20 different credit card companies to close my inactive accounts. The junk mail I receive from them alone is astounding.

  266. grim says:

    From Marketwatch:

    FOMC lowers fed funds rate by half point to 1.00%

    FOMC says downside risks to growth remain

    FOMC says economy has slowed markedly

    FOMC vote to cut rates to 1.00% is unanimous

  267. Frank says:

    Letter from Henry Waxman

    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE49R7WC20081028

    I wonder if he’s going to send a letter to all RE agents and ask them why they’re overpaid.

  268. BC Bob says:

    shore [262],

    She.

  269. Stu says:

    Funny Kettle1!

    I plan to come armed with statistics. If they don’t listen, I will bring Perot style charts to the next one.

  270. NJGator says:

    263 Nom – If I divorce Stu, I want to enforce the verbal pre-nup that I have with him. I get everything. He gets nothing.

  271. Shore Guy says:

    she, thanks.

  272. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    The up side to getting nothing is that you are then fre to start over with a 20 Y.O. coed.

  273. Shore Guy says:

    free

  274. Victorian says:

    I find it amazing that people still think that they are going to get tax cuts from the next administration (whoever that may be).
    How the hell are we going to pay for the Iraq War, bailouts, budget deficits etc. without tax increases?

    I hear a lot of people say that there will be pain while we get out of this recession, what is this pain going to be, if not an increase in taxes?

  275. HEHEHE says:

    There is no Christmas in Who-ville the year!

    BarcLehs Cancels Christmas

    http://dealbreaker.com/2008/10/barclehs-cancels-christmas.php

  276. RaulV says:

    Hello,

    Can someone get me listing history for mls 70000620 in Secaucus, NJ. Thanks!

  277. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (270)-

    “I wonder if he’s going to send a letter to all RE agents and ask them why they’re overpaid.”

    Funny; I was going to write a letter to your hedge fund and ask how a simpleton like you gets people to pony up 2/20.

  278. Shore Guy says:

    HENRY, i like it. What was the other acronym I heard the other day, BABOONS something about Baby Boomers No Savings.

  279. Essex says:

    stu and gator……your lives…they are…fascinating.

  280. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [274] gator

    Sorry, verbal prenup not worth the paper its written on.

    But a NJ court will give you that anyway.

  281. Sastry says:

    Victorian [#277]

    How the hell are we going to pay for the Iraq War, bailouts, budget deficits etc. without tax increases?

    Joe the plumber, with profits from all the businesses he will buy… He will graciously trickle on us with all the savings he will get from low taxes.

    That will fund the wars, deficits, and VP’s outfits.

    At least with O, there is an acknowledgment that some taxes have to go up…

  282. Essex says:

    280….my gawd…..that looks nice.

  283. Frank says:

    #281,
    The funny part is that state of NJ is paying me with your money and it’s more than 2/20. Heee Heeeeeee

  284. Shore Guy says:

    That springfield house does look nice.

  285. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [278] Vic,

    The O campaign has, IMHO, disingenuously and purposely misled the flock on tax cuts. And I say this not becaused I am biased (though I am) but because the math simply doesn’t work. At a minimum, the money he hopes to make on cap gain and div income isn’t going to be there. There were a lot of “huh?” moments as I listened to, and read the proposals.

    Personally, I think (and hope) that there is no change until 2011, when O will allow the 2001 cuts to expire. And I think he has to, lest he run the risk of causing the Congress to revert back to GOP in the mid-terms, which would kill any chance of getting it done. Also, if the Senate stays 41 seats GOP, then that prevents O from ramming through his program and ballooning the deficit.

  286. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [286] Sastry,

    We aren’t.

    That said, on the war, taxes and a host of social program promises, look for O to throw the progressives under the bus by the mid-terms.

    Clinton did it, and while they hated him then, they love him now.

  287. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [273] stu,

    Remember to use the voodoo stick as a pointer.

  288. Clotpoll says:

    frank (287)-

    Thanks for confirming your doucheness.

  289. Shore Guy says:

    “disingenuously and purposely misled the flock on tax cuts”

  290. Shore Guy says:

    “disingenuously and purposely misled the flock on tax cuts”

  291. Shore Guy says:

    “disingenuously and purposely misled the flock on tax cuts”

    The Great O lied?

    Maybe call him Oz for now, no offense to Ozzie.

  292. grim says:

    Again, where is the money coming from?

    Treasury, FDIC Said to Develop Program to Avert Foreclosures

    The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are developing a program to provide at least $500 billion in government guarantees for troubled mortgages, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The plan, which could help millions of homeowners refinance into affordable loans, would require lenders to restructure mortgages based on a borrower’s ability to repay. The industry would have to keep the lower monthly payments for five years before raising interest rates, the people said.

    FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair discussed the program today at an international deposit insurers conference in Arlington, Virginia, without offering details. An official announcement is expected as early as tomorrow, the people said.

    “A framework is needed to modify loans on a scale large enough to have a major impact,” Bair said.

  293. Shore Guy says:

    Egads, Grim. I did not even press post, enter, or anything else. IE 8 seems to be possessed.

  294. kettle1 says:

    shore,

    might i suggest firefox in place of IE?

    http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

  295. Victorian says:

    289 – Nom.

    The same holds for Mc, to an even bigger extent, as seen from the charts posted by Qwerty.
    There is no way in hell that taxes will cut during the next 4 years, if there is any sense in the next government.
    But then again, we have had GWB for the past 8 years – that did not make sense either.

  296. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    We don’t need dollars from the budget, we have the Fed.

  297. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Shore, does your mouse have some sort of nervous tic?

    And yes, O lies. His policy statements go beyond mere omission, and suggest, or outright state, a result that cannot possibly happen. That said, such prevarication is not unique, and is, in fact, necessary since there is no tailored tax and every payor is affected differently.

    I am curious to know if, in a period where there are massive NOLs and the anticipated unearned income in these estimates has evaporated, whether the Blue Dogs are gonna drink the kool-aid. They have the most to lose if they support a tax cut and the deficit still balloons, as I expect it to do.

  298. grim says:

    So how long are we going to stay at 1%? Any guesses? Decades?

    Domo Bernanke-san, domo.

  299. John says:

    Talk about Arb ops, you can get a home equity loan up to 100K tax deductable now for as low as 4.25%. If you have a 6% or higher mortgage take the 100K check and pay off your mortgage. Give it to the man!!

  300. John says:

    We have one more rate cut to go, either .25 or .50!!! Big Ben once said he would take it to zero if he had too. I am around 90% sure of one more rate cut, I smell it in the air from Wall to Water Street.

    grim Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 2:51 pm
    So how long are we going to stay at 1%? Any guesses? Decades?

    Domo Ben, Domo.

  301. Shore Guy says:

    I suggest that someone organize a national infrastructure and debt reduction bank. The purpose of the bank will be to reduce federal government debt and to improve and replace telecommunications, transportation, and power infrastructure. The bank could only lend to companies who take it upon themselves to make said improvements and donations to the USG for debt reduction without charging the various government entities — that is right, they rebuild the bridges according to government spec but do not get tot bill for it. In exchance, the companies do not need to repay the loans. The bank will be funded by direct loans fromthe Fed, which will also not be repaid.

  302. Shore Guy says:

    I suggest that someone organize a national infrastructure and debt reduction bank. The purpose of the bank will be to reduce federal government debt and to improve and replace telecommunications, transportation, and power infrastructure. The bank could only lend to companies who take it upon themselves to make said improvements and donations to the USG for debt reduction without charging the various government entities — that is right, they rebuild the bridges according to government spec but do not get tot bill for it. In exchance, the companies do not need to repay the loans. The bank will be funded by direct loans fromthe Fed, which will also not be repaid.

  303. yome says:

    #145 Why does it matter if you pay your credit card bills in full at the end of each billing cycle,walmart or neiman?

  304. Clotpoll says:

    John (304)-

    The one thing I would bet a substantial amount on is that rates will be at 0% when it’s all said and done.

  305. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    John,

    Or, you could borrow the money and invest in municipals that have a taxable equivalent yield of around 8%. So long as it is a home eq. loan, you avoid the prohibition on deducting interest used to invest in tax-exempt bonds.

  306. Shore Guy says:

    As long as the Fed is creating and giving away cash, it might as well benefit everyone.

  307. 3b says:

    #296 grim: So are they just lowering rates, or reducing mtg amounts too. Who will determine the debtors ability to pay?

    When the rate goes up after 5 years, do they add the reduced principal amount back. Who knows where rates will be in 5 years? And on and on the questions go.

  308. Qwerty says:

    Victorian @ 228 asks “How the hell are we going to pay for the Iraq War, bailouts, budget deficits etc. without tax increases?”

    When GWB lowered taxes, Federal revenues increased:

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pdupont/?id=110010798

    One take is to increase prosperity, thereby increasing taxable activity (profits, purchases, etc), thereby increasing tax revenues to the federal govt.

    Another take is to “spread the wealth” from hardworking successful people to others.

  309. John says:

    “If the economy weakens further, it may open the door for another 25 or 50 basis points in December,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina.”

    Music to my ears!!!!

  310. Qwerty says:

    That’s 2:28 pm, not post #228.

  311. 3b says:

    #292 Clot: Yes. He is a real Massengill.

  312. John says:

    Actually, if you are in AMT home equity interest is not tax deductable for purchases of muni bonds. But that works great if you can do it. I still see some near term callable high coupon muni bonds trading near par with 5.5 yields, that is $5,500 a year tax free income versus $4,250 home equity interest income that is tax deductable.

    Comrade Nom Deplume Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 2:58 pm
    John,

    Or, you could borrow the money and invest in municipals that have a taxable equivalent yield of around 8%. So long as it is a home eq. loan, you avoid the prohibition on deducting interest used to invest in tax-exempt bonds.

  313. grim says:

    Ok, enough, no more Obama or McCain talk today.

    Banned, will be deleted.

  314. 3b says:

    #314 qwerty: What propsperity? Seems to me to have evaporated

  315. Qwerty says:

    Sastry @ 2:36 pm, just plan for that $17,000 debit in your personal balance sheet each year.

  316. kettle1 says:

    shore,

    stop trying to help the people and have another glass of coolaide. keep such rhetoric up and there could be an unfortunate accident.

  317. grim says:

    Instead, use the rest of the afternoon coming up with a ZIRP related parody using Turning Japanese by the Vapors as a starting point.

  318. grim says:

    Bonus points if you can come up with a clever rhyme using the name “Roubini”.

  319. Shore Guy says:

    can it use Zoombinis?

  320. Clotpoll says:

    My new favorite band is Jonathan Richman & Half Japanese.

  321. Sastry says:

    Nom [#290]

    Chances of O throwing progressives under the bus will be low if we declare victory in Iraq and leave [strengthen Afghanistan], if we catch OBL, and if the economy improves significantly [pretty low chance]. May be if stocks tank till Jan and come back afterward, O can also stake claim for some “capital” and spend it (wisely, unlike GWB).

    That said, worst case scenario is that progressives get thrown under the bus like usual — at least it won’t get worse.

  322. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    In the current environment, it almost doesnt sound nuts.

  323. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    UBL is dead.

  324. Shore Guy says:

    What I am waiting to see is when George Herbert Hoover Bush travels overseas at some point, and some nation grabs him under the international law that allows any nation to try anyone for any war crime and puts him in the dock.

  325. BC Bob says:

    JB [325],

    We turned Japanese awhile ago. Now just getting ready for Shogatsu.

  326. rhymingrealtor says:

    A card holder who begins to show a pattern of shopping at WalMart when they had not done so previously will be flagged as a “person under potential financial distress”

    Stu,

    Believe or not I thought of that the other day at the food store I realized my husband had not put my debit card back in my wallet, when I was already at the register. I put it on my credit card and thought sh@t I hope they don’t think I am broke and charging my groceries.

    KL

  327. Hobokenite says:

    So why doesn’t the government just go ahead and buy me a GM car?

  328. Clotpoll says:

    While in Venice, imbibing Bellinis
    Up came a good man, named Roubini
    I thought him Qadaffi
    He informed me I was daffy
    So I told him to whistle my weenie.

  329. Clotpoll says:

    Yes, I am losing my mind.

  330. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (333)-

    I don’t think you’ll see Cheney taking too many foreign junkets, either.

    I hear there are still warrants out on Kissinger.

  331. HEHEHE says:

    Is it me or is Bergabe’s beard getting whiter with each rate cut? Maybe they should do a sequel with him to that Santa Clause flick?

  332. Clotpoll says:

    (340)-

    Yeah, except Bergabe’s becoming Satan.

  333. Stu says:

    So Qwerty, why if lowering taxes increased federal revenue am I seeing my wage decrease each year vs. inflation? This has been occurring since about the time GWB took office?

  334. John says:

    I don’t care how 3B likes to defrost frozen bananas he has a right to his opinion.

    If O wins their will be victory, well for the terroists anyhow.

  335. Sastry says:

    Shore [#332]

    But… but… Mc said that he knows how to catch UBL (sadly, he won’t tell us unless he is elected).

  336. John says:

    Wait and see if Toyota plays ball. If not when we have tarifs on Jap cars, interest deductions on loans for american cars only and tax rebates for american cars only that 12K malibu will look mighty good next to a 40K camry.

    Hobokenite Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 3:15 pm
    So why doesn’t the government just go ahead and buy me a GM car?

  337. Frank says:

    #294,
    Clotpoll, thanks for paying me a salary and a fat bonus. :)

  338. scribe says:

    KL,

    The credit card companies are encouraging people to use their cards for everyday stuff like groceries, gas, and drugstores via cash back promotions.

    I had an old plain vanilla card I hadn’t used in years – no points. When I finally called them to cancel it, they gave me a range of options, including 2% cash back on groceries and drugstores and 1% on everything else. Now I use the card all the time. It’s easier than going to the ATM for cash, and it’s money I’m going to spend anyway.

    Lots of people use cards for groceries now. That’s a good way to build up points.

  339. Stu says:

    Scribe,

    Amex Platinum from Citi. 5% back on grocery, drugstore and gasoline for 2 years. No annual fee. Maximum of $3,000 back I think, which is a lot of gas, drugs and groceries.

  340. grim says:

    Given that retail prices have already been raised to cover the cost of the credit card transactions, I’m not going to pay cash unless I get a discount. Why not use the plastic and take advantage of the cash-back or other benefits?

    I rarely ever pay cash anymore.

  341. Stu says:

    Oh yeah,

    It’s thankyou points that are earned which means if you use gift cards or book airfare through them, you get the true 5% back. Gator and I are going to Vegas in December through this program. Watch the value of program points as they often don’t equal the same amount as the rebate they claim to be worth.

  342. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (348)-

    Wishing you syphilis for Christmas.

  343. Clotpoll says:

    (359)-

    My son (5th grade) comes up with better material than this.

  344. Nurburgringer says:

    SKF/SRS back into the 120’s.
    Clot, you fully reloaded yet?

    BTW I was in Japan (Tokyo/Yokohama/Osaka) on b&p last week. Yodabashi and all the other stores seem to have no concerns about selling $5000 massage chairs, Rolex watches, designer clothes, etcetc. Cigarettes and takoyaki are the only things that are cheap, but the level of service everywhere… my god how depressing to board my United flight flight home, where surly battleaxes served sh!tty wine at $6 a glass after 10 days of smiling, bowing, helpful people.
    kampai

    kampai

  345. BC Bob says:

    “My son (5th grade) comes up with better material than this.”

    Clot,

    In addition to this, your son does not walk around with tire marks on his face.

  346. skep-tic says:

    on making lowball bids… curious what approach people think is best. do you give a 24 hr, 48 hr, 1 week, etc expiration?

  347. Clotpoll says:

    nur (362)-

    All in on both. Shot my last shot & loaded up in the high 120’s, just a little while ago.

    If both hold up after hours, I may dump ’em and take the profit. Both around 145 going out.

  348. Nicholas says:

    The issue with credit cards is that they cost the retailer a % of the sale total depending upon how large the purchase.

    That is the reason why gas stations stop pumping at 75$. Above 75$ they pay extra for the purchase.

    Stores in my area have started to do cash/credit pricing again with the cash price reflecting a 2-3% discount for small purchases and much higher for large purchases.

    The piddling 1% that your credit card refunds to you is a joke in comparison to the higher price that you pay when you purchase something.

    If you were to walk into any small buisness and negotiate a purchase price for an item and then ask for a cash discount they likely would take 2-3% off the item.

    Just because you didn’t think to ask for one doesn’t mean it isn’t on sale for cash.

  349. Clotpoll says:

    vic (365)-

    More like a plunger handle.

    Expect the ass-kicking to resume tomorrow. No more false hope to cling to now.

  350. John says:

    http://emma.msrb.org/

    Chi Fi look here for muni info by cusip.

  351. John says:

    Usually you get 10% off for cash.

  352. Shore Guy says:

    “he knows how to catch UBL ”

    Yes, using a grave-sniffing dog.

  353. Victorian says:

    It will be interesting to see what Asia does tonight. Ben has essentially fired his last shot and all we got was a 1000 point rally.

    The new prez will not have anything to fight the recession with.

    What can these guys do next?

  354. Shore Guy says:

    Skep,

    I would never give more than overnight. A week is way too long.

  355. Shore Guy says:

    Victorian,

    And as the holiday sales numbers start dribbling in, the market will give back that 1,000 points and then some, I suspect.

  356. Nicholas says:

    In the last 12 minutes of trading before the bell closed SFK jumped more then 16$.

  357. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [348] Nurburgringer,

    I feel your pain. After flying Lufthansa back from Europe, and flying Air France intracountry, I don’t ever want to fly a US based carrier unless I have to.

  358. Pat says:

    Shore, are you experiencing pop-ups and slowness, including redirective ads?

    Last year, after we were infected with Vundo, I experienced the same auto posting and triple posting.

    The trojan is depositing crap around the hard drive. Running McAfee or Norton scans will not correct the problem.

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

  359. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    John 316

    [okay, I couldn’t resist that]

    Actually, if you use the HE loan $$$ for purchasing TEs, it should not be deductible at all, but no one typically questions the use of HE proceeds.

    And you are correct about AMT, which pretty much scuttles the benefit.

  360. NJGator says:

    348/361 – You think that’s bad. Try sailing on a US flagged cruise ship. Ship has to be staffed almost entirely with American crew….which based on the wages paid by the cruise industry means you get a bunch of lazy, unhappy college aged kids.

    Only saving grace is that you are in Hawaii, and the scenery makes you overlook everything else.

  361. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [325] Sastry,

    Well, it is a prediction after all. I have no crystal ball. That said, the economy will be the main factor. Exiting Iraq before the midterms is likely not going to happen, and if it does happen, it will require a more than de minimis presence and a lot of $$$$ flowing to Iraq, otherwise the wheels will come off over there and we will either (1) go back in or (2) let it sink.

    But at least some of the progressives are gonna get tossed under the bus.

  362. FH NJ says:

    #183 r

    Too funny that I got that that from YOU, it must have “rang a bell”. I did give your site credit in the area that says “website”.

    At any rate, We went to look at that house way back when you had mentioned it. The place was/is a joke starting with the “rock” lawn. VERY deceiving pictures and words! Too good too be true. Anyone who knows the area the #1 give away – The avg. 1400 +/- sq. ft house off River Rd./E. River Rd start at $600K +/-

  363. RayC says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/business/30homes.html?hp

    Government Said to Be Near Plan to Aid Homeowners

    I must applaud the government. Their efforts over the last 5 years, capped by this, will guarantee that I never buy a house. If only they put this much effort into, I don’t know, renewable energy. Healthcare? Making sure there are no steroids in baseball? Oh no, they did that one. Whew. At least I can always watch steroid-free baseball in my rental.

  364. chicagofinance says:

    John Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 4:12 pm
    Chi Fi look here for muni info by cusip.

    nice! muchos tacos Manolo!

  365. skep-tic says:

    #367

    “Under the plan, the government would agree to shoulder half of the losses on home loans if mortgage companies agreed to lower borrowers’ monthly payments for at least five years, according to the people briefed on the plan who asked not to be named because details were still being negotiated.”

    wow.

  366. skep-tic says:

    so, what happens after 5 yrs?

  367. lostinny says:

    I’m so glad I’m reading about the benefits of staying single or “divorcing” the day before my anniversary. :)

  368. skep-tic says:

    from the WSJ.. more vague than NYTimes on details of this plan…
    ************

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are in advanced talks about a plan that could help two to three million homeowners avoid foreclosure, though details of the program are still being finalized.

    “The decision about whether to go forward with this program is currently in a White House policy process so I’m unable to provide comment,” said Corinne Hirsch, a spokeswoman with the Office of Management and Budget.

    A Treasury spokeswoman said media reports offering specifics of the plan were “simply inaccurate.” Spokeswoman Jennifer Zuccarelli did acknowledge that the Bush administration is considering further steps beyond its previous attempts to slow record levels of foreclosures.

    “As we said last week, the administration is looking at ways to reduce foreclosures and that process is ongoing,” Ms. Zuccarelli said.

    FDIC spokesman Andrew Gray also declined to discuss the negotiations.

    “While we have had productive conversations with Treasury and the Administration about options for the use of credit enhancements and loan guarantees, it would be premature to speculate about any final framework or parameters of a potential program.”

    People familiar with the discussions said the plan could involve partial federal guarantees on mortgages that are modified so that they are affordable to borrowers. The money for the plan could potentially come out of the $700 billion financial rescue program authorized by Congress earlier this month, and some estimates suggest the help for homeowners could cost between $40 billion and $50 billion.

    FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair told the Senate Banking Committee about the discussions during an appearance last week, avoiding specifics but suggesting loan guarantees would be involved. At a conference Wednesday, Ms. Bair said policy makers need to take additional action to help people stay in their homes in order to prevent the continued downward spiral of the housing market.

    “Everyone in Washington now agrees that more needs to be done to help homeowners,” she said.

    Ms. Bair noted the FDIC was working to implement a framework for systematically modifying loans. “Such a framework is needed to modify loans on a scale large enough to have an impact,” she said.

    The legislation authorizing the Troubled Asset Relief Program required Treasury to take steps to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

    Roughly 7.3 million American homeowners are expected to default on their mortgages between 2008 and 2010, with 4.3 million of those losing their homes, according to Moody’s Economy.com, a research firm.

  369. skep-tic says:

    guys, as renters we will always be hung out to dry. you can count on that.

  370. yikes says:

    damn. had a dr. appt at 4 pm and of course missed the boat on SKF. rats.

    that’s what’s so neat about that ETF – one minute you’re down $10, and then it’s up $15 the next.

    not for the faint of heart.

  371. NJGator says:

    Montclair – Boonton Line service suspended for the 2nd evening rush hour in a row. Last night it was a track fire in Glen Ridge, tonight it is a downed tree near GR. It’s going to be a long winter. And I don’t even want to think how bad it’s gonna be after the state has to cut the budget and maintenance goes further into the crapper.

    And the DeCamp riders hate us, since we’re ruining their night too.

  372. Shore Guy says:

    Better hung ot to dry than hanged.

  373. Shore Guy says:

    Anyone still without power at home?

  374. victorian says:

    Yikes (374) –

    Maybe you should set triggers for your order.

  375. kettle1 says:

    pension, whats that?

    Lockheed, Ryder Drain Cash as Crisis Hammers Pensions (Update1)

    By Pat Wechsler and Edmond Lococo
    Enlarge Image/Details

    Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) — A trade group whose members include Lockheed Martin Corp., Dow Chemical Co. and General Motors Corp. is pressing Congress to help close a record $200 billion deficit in U.S. pensions created by this month’s global stock-market collapse.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aelzwwntb45g&refer=home

  376. BC Bob says:

    So dead man walking gets to stay in his/her pos, reduce their mortgage, which they will end up eventually defaulting on and all is well. In the meantime, their neighbor, who hasn’t missed a payment and bought within their means, will watch their value drop 20-30% percent. What a system.

    Why doesn’t everybody default?

  377. kettle1 says:

    BC bob

    the US government is essentially saying go ahead and buy now, default on payments and when hyperinflation hits in 2 or 3 years pay off the mortgage with pocket change. that 5 year mortgage reduction should be enough time for hyperinflation to really kick in.

    maybe i go ahead and buy……

  378. Shore Guy says:

    BC,
    It is just this kind of disincentive to work that caused soci-al-ist states like the US-SR to fail. These efforts to protect people from pain ultimately bring greater and more widespread pain.

  379. Outofstater says:

    #379 “This will be real money that companies have to come up with…” Real money. What a concept!

  380. kettle1 says:

    shore,

    there you go again trying to help the poor working class….. one more time and i report you to the “thinkpol”

  381. bairen says:

    Can the fed funds rate become negative? You would be charged to have your money in a bank.

    That would force people back into stocks or buying junk they don’t need.

  382. william says:

    344–Grim u know why? because every time u charge…a fee is being charged to the business just perpetuating part of the prroblem for businesses…It’s greed thinking

  383. kettle1 says:

    barien,

    yes,

    i cannot find the article, but one of the fed governers did an interview a few years back where he was asked that and he said that yes it is an extreme tool but could be done.

  384. william says:

    greed is not good, sorry mr Gecko

  385. william says:

    You are so clueless if you think those cash back incentives are helping…..ure killing the mom and pops….unreal

  386. william says:

    Credit Cards are Satan’s spawn

  387. bairen says:

    #377 # Shore Guy Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Anyone still without power at home?

    Since the day I got married.

    Or do you mean electric?

  388. bairen says:

    #386 kettle1

    That would be unfortunate. I wonder what would people do in that case? Buy t-bills or some other kind of short term bond.

  389. BC Bob says:

    bairen [384],

    Eventually, the fed will pay us to borrow $.

    shore [382],

    I was taught that captitalism was more efficient than central planning. We will be stuck in the muck for years and the end result, inflation, will be much more severe than any short term dislocations.

    We have already proven that welfare eliminates any motive to better yourself. In lieu of handouts, rebates, cushions, band aids, lifelines, etc., we should be providing incentives to produce goods and services, which somebody/anybody may want to buy. How about we forget about the dead wood and offer a stimulus program for small business. We are masters regarding the creation of liquidity facilties, printing. Let’s focus on directing that capital towards productive means.

    We have flooded the system with $ and the end result was bankruptcy. Why repeat the cycle. Akin to paying off a cc with 5 more cc’s. Create debt to pay debt. Just a hamster spinning out of control.

    There was a time when I knew we were turning Japanese. At this time, I’m not quite sure. If we are lucky, that will be the best scenario.

  390. Victorian says:

    BC Bob/Clot –

    Here is some soothing Marc Faber. Calls Bernanke a disaster, says only thing which would make him happy is if he resigns, says he would not hire Bernanke as his gardner.

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

  391. sas says:

    yes…yes..

    I agree with this william bloke.
    CC cards are bad news.

    and shy away from people using them at all, regardless of so called “reward” points, or cash back ploys.

    The CC cards charge fees everytime they get swiped. Usually out if the local store or cab drivers pocket.

    just pay cash, and forget the so called little perks. Collectively, you are diverting money away from main st, and right to wall st.

    and we know wall st is a melting.

    SAS

  392. sas says:

    lol
    Lemon brothers!!

    total morons.

    I’m still laughing at you saps.
    if you need job, you can come to my place and help Juanita cut up the zucchinis for the enchiladas.

    SAS

  393. william says:

    SAS—URE the man!!

  394. sas says:

    Juanita sure makes a damn good enchilada smoothered in green chille.

    SAS

  395. Victorian says:

    BC Bob (392)-
    “I was taught that captitalism was more efficient than central planning”

    – The reason they cannot let capitalism work to fix this thing, is that there will be a lot of short term pain. There is no social net to catch all the fallen people, hence the need to preserve the system at any costs.

    Chifi likes to term us as anarchists/nihilists, but I have been seriously looking to find a bullish case for America. But so far, I have nothing. 70% of our GDP is due to consumers fueled by the credit bubble. They cannot keep this bubble inflated forever and now it is deflating rapidly.
    I cannot see what the next engine of growth is going to be. I would still be confident, because I have seen the innovation and the work ethic of the American people. However, now we are destroying the very fabric of our country by rewarding failures and punishing prudence and honesty.
    I seriously hope that whoever is the next president brings credibility back to America.

  396. 3b says:

    #374 skeptic: Why? Just bid accordingly.

  397. sas says:

    “SAS—URE the man!”

    yee:)

    SAS

  398. william says:

    I tried to buy tickets to a concert on ticketmaster, they were 60 dollars face—they said the show was sold out and to go to ticketsnow.com…..the same tix were 300 dollars there……TICKETMASTER OWNS ticketsnow.com!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They buy up their own blocks then distribute them to the other website and charge 5 times the price……

    I then WENT IN PERSON to the venue and bought tix for face…yes they had seats available!

    OMG!!! I’m gettin my pitchfork and torch…anyone wanna come?

  399. sas says:

    “TICKETMASTER”

    another terrible lot.

    SAS

  400. Cindy says:

    (Grim) 322 Clot (332) Limerick time

    There once was a man named Roubini,
    With too much hair to wear a bikini.
    His name “Dr. Doom,”
    Brought him fame birth to tomb.
    So who cares once you’ve had your martini.

  401. Cindy says:

    Clot – the 332 – Limerick time was for you!

  402. 3b says:

    #381 BC BoB: will watch their value drop 20-30% percent.

    And those percentage drops you mention are being optimistic.

  403. william says:

    I wish they offered a class at my local college called “how to start a revolution 101”

  404. sas says:

    I really like that Jesse Ventura character.
    he says how it its..
    and call it for what it is..

    SAS

  405. Cindy says:

    How about a discussion based on “unintended consequences?”

    Me first – People pull money out of the market once you have guaranteed savings and CD funds.

    How about – once the price of oil soared – fertilizer went up altering which crops farmers planted last year.

    (One for Kettle from last night) Lehman fails – causing commercial paper to dry up – Baltic Dry Index falls.

  406. still_looking says:

    Regarding yesterdays posts

    Sorry I am late, I am on a nightmare schedule til tomorrow – I work the overnight tonight

    Outofstater: Thank you! For even noticing… I can’t tell you what those words meant to me…. I could tell you stories that’d curl your hair. Few people can relate to what I’ve seen.

    Ket, Yes. It can be arranged (with some prior arrangement and clearances…) and yes, while HIPAA is an issue, it is accounted for.

    Sorry for the brevity, I am off to another night shift.

    sl

  407. alia says:

    still–i met an er nurse today and thought of you and thanked her.

  408. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (375)-

    Never a dull moment.

  409. Clotpoll says:

    BC (381)-

    They pass this madness, I will default.

    One would be an idiot not to.

  410. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (407)-

    Thanks for breaking up another evening of wretched disgust over the deliberate dismantling of my country.

  411. BC Bob says:

    vic[396],

    Faber is a blast. Also, he’s been 100% spot on. Bergabe is serving this up on a silver platter, I’m digging.

  412. sas says:

    “American consumers shopped but have now dropped
    Bad signs for tomorrow’s GDP report”
    http://tinyurl.com/6aqnee

  413. Cindy says:

    (416) Clot – Ah cummon…I know you have another limerick in you…
    you have one of the wittiest minds I have ever encountered…You are the king of repartee.

  414. Cindy says:

    (418) Sas –

    That is the one component these yahoos have not figured into their equation – the comsumer no longer wants to play the credit game.

    No one – No one I know wants a loan for anything.

  415. Cindy says:

    A comsumer – would be a consumer I’m thing…

  416. Clotpoll says:

    Mike Morgan, random thoughts from the past few days:

    Tuesday- “All we can do is sit back and let Paulson and his Pals continue to rape the pension funds, mutual fund investors and general public. They needed a day like today to slow down the growing negative sentiment. And they might push for a couple more, but it is more likely we will see 6,000 rather than holding above 9,000 for more than a few days.

    We have three conference calls scheduled for tomorrow – 8:45, 11:00 and 2:45. I knew on Sunday that this week was going to be wild, and that is why I scheduled 15 conference calls this week. Today’s close was a bit uglier than I would have expected, but I am not blown away. In fact, when you get a snap like this without any fundamentals or any inkling of support for the move, you can already see the handwriting on the wall. Buyers will step in . . . because this IS the bottom. And once they are in, they will be slaughtered.”

    Today- “To show you how absolutely insane today’s panic move was, I challenge anyone to explain the following statement from one of the media yappers . . .

    “We are going to get a mean reversion punctuated by a fear driven diversion. That will precipitate the weakest hands to revert to the mean, followed by a differentiation driven by extreme volatility.”

    And then he added the BUT…

    “But we need to undercut the lows so we can buy the dips and sell the rips, but for now I am only more interested in selling the rips.”

    I sat there stunned, having no idea what this jackass was talking about. If you accurately interpret this diatribe of nonsense, you win the Grand Prize. These are the kinds of idiots rocking this market. And with what? Nonsense. So just sit back and laugh. Even it we are up another 10% tomorrow, just laugh. If you have more fire power, put it to work. If you don’t, you’re in my boat . . . and I’m just fine with this nonsense.

    I also heard a few other BULLS on the box this afternoon. They were all screaming about the VALUE in stocks. I asked, what value? General Motors? Or $4.00 coffee at Starbucks? Or maybe $2,500 big screen TVs at Best Buy? Or maybe we want to look at the triple value in Sears . . . lousy real estate, lousy stores, lousy consumer market. No, maybe the value is in oil, which is down 50% and headed lower? Or maybe there is some value in builders that are selling homes for less than it cost them to build them? VALUE??? Where?

    Okay, so that is my final ditty for tonight. Tomorrow morning we are holding a Pop Quiz on the bold section above. Be prepared.

    P.S. Cramer is just starting and he is on a Bull tear. The man is now calling a bottom, even though last week he was talking Depression. Hallelujah. Now I know we’re going to make a pile of money over the next couple of weeks. Ka Ka Cramer’s Confirmation of a “Dynamite” Bull Rally is money in the bank for us. And the one stock that told him we are zooming to the moon. . . Apple. We just shorted Apple. We also shorted Sears after he called that the key stock . . . and we doubled our money!”

  417. Cindy says:

    Does anyone know anything about the noise regarding 401k accounts? Is there really a possibility that the govenment can confiscate them and tell you the funds have been added to the social security pool?

    Or …is this a grandfathered in idea – where a 401k that you have now are okay but 401k accounts will no longer be tax exempt?

    Anyone heard anything?

  418. BC Bob says:

    Clot [415],

    They have lost total control. Everything is socalized, to hell with the consequences. Why wouldn’t everybody default? Also, new buyers, if this passes, would be prudent to add this into the equation. These modified loans, when they sell, will be tomorrow’s comps.

  419. Al says:

    DOOMS DAY IS HERE!!!!

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomeFinancing/why-the-surge-in-home-sales-is-bad-news.aspx

    Quote
    This house in Riverside, Calif., for instance, was bought for $586,000 in 2006, foreclosed on in November 2007 and sold again this summer for $147,000 — just 25% of what it sold for two years ago. And here’s another heart-stopping fact: Even that vastly diminished sales price was financed, according to real estate records, with a 100% mortgage. Good luck getting one of those now.

    what the writer forgets to mention that the house was sold in 2002 for 83K!!!so 147K is still almost 80% appreciation in 6 years!!!

    What this means for homeowners is that if you happened to buy at the peak of the boom, your house is unlikely, in inflation-adjusted terms, to get back to the price you paid for it for another decade at best, if ever.
    You may think that this goes just for the most inflated markets like the real estate speculation capitals of California and Florida, but that’s not true. Look at the historical numbers, and you’ll see that just about any coastal market is still priced 75% higher than it was in 2000.

    But the prevailing wisdom remains that if you hold on to your house for a long time, eventually you’ll do fine. Don’t count on that.

  420. TomS says:

    (401)Victorian – You just summed up exactly why I always have a nagging feeling that we’re screwed in the long run. The best course of action in my opinion is if the US really makes an effort in reasearch/development of alternative energy sources. Energy is something that the world wants if we can actually figure out a viable way to replace carbon fuels we would be set.

  421. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (419)

    There once was a man named Roubini
    Who buggered a dolt named Bergabe.
    He studied Depressions
    While fomenting recession
    Nour, stick a grenade in his hiney.

  422. Cindy says:

    (427) Clot – All that talent –

    We could have a limerick with Grim included too???? I’ll need to ponder that.

    Question RE Mike Morgan – Does he focus on ETFs? Aren’t SKF and SRS Exchange traded funds? As you know, I only know about my 403b.

  423. Clotpoll says:

    Tom (425)-

    Now is the time for cold fusion!

  424. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (427)-

    Morgan is a big proponent of SRS/SKF. He rode them hard- and well- at the beginning of this bust. I don’t subscribe to his service, but my suspicion is that he day-trades them heavily.

    More recently, he went hard on DUG. I think he’s out of that position now, though.

  425. Cindy says:

    (430) By reading/ and watching some of the moves you all have made – when to go in get out (ala Stu) – it is all pretty interesting. With my line of work though, I never know if I will have a brain by the end of the day.
    I wouldn’t trust myself with one red cent.

  426. Cindy says:

    It doesn’t seem like any program aimed at helping underwater mortgage holders would be viable if it included those who have taken funds out of their property or did not put money down. Also, wouldn’t there have to be some sort of cut-off date? Otherwise, everyone -as you pointed out Clot- would simply stop paying to qualify for the restructured mortgage program.

  427. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (431)-

    The only program aimed at underwater borrowers should be sheriff sales.

  428. Cindy says:

    #433 You know you have my vote there…

  429. Cindy says:

    There once was a gent named Grim
    Who decided to be sleek and slim.
    Every morning around six
    He concocted a caffine fix.
    And so now he’s all bouncy and trim.

  430. Cindy says:

    (Clot) BTW – 2 of the 3 houses in my area have sold. The house next to me is still for sale. No other houses have come on the market in my neighborhood. The 3 houses were all flippers.

  431. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (434)-

    Layeth the smacketh down.

  432. Clotpoll says:

    There once was a blogger named Grim,
    A paragon of fancy and whim
    He dropped a few ducats
    On pistols and kayaks
    Oh God, I hope he can swim.

  433. yikes says:

    that line about ‘not hiring bernanke to be my gardner’ is hilarious

    laughed my ass off

  434. Cindy says:

    There once was a guy named Grim
    In hot pursuit of…..Kim
    Though he sought to be near
    He was riddled with fear.
    So now he works out at her gym.

  435. Cindy says:

    Last one Clot….Gotta correct/eat –

    My cup is filled to the brim.
    I’m the caffine-addicted Grim.
    There’s nothing more fun
    Than cleaning my gun
    And watching “The Secret of Nim.”

  436. Shore Guy says:

    Bairen,

    Touche. All I have to say is, “Yes, dear. You are right, I was wrong.”

    BC,

    Clearly, the Comintern will need to keep an eye on you and the other counterrevolutionaries and kulaks.

  437. william says:

    may want to invest in construction…we’re gonna need alot of gallows in the coming years…

  438. Shore Guy says:

    So, in the event M wins the election (yes I know that is as likely as daylight breaking out over Central Park from midnight until 3 a.m.), what is the reaction likely to be?

  439. william says:

    more apathy

  440. Victorian says:

    Anybody looking for Free HBO for a year, contact Comcast. I just chatted online and they added HBO free to my account for a year.

  441. william says:

    Remember when americans were hard working and produced a decent product?

    It was before televisions and video games existed

  442. NJGator says:

    Shore 443 – I am starting to believe EV landslide like you. McM and the Rs now spending money on robocalls in AZ.

  443. Stu says:

    Just got back from the town operating budget meeting. I posted the results on our local news blog…

    http://www.baristanet.com/2008/10/bike_lanes_1.php

    Essentially, I spoke up about something in the budget I felt was a frivolous spend. They originally agreed. They then passed the budget pretty much exactly as is.

    I am now thoroughly convinced that government spending will see its first ever cut the day the USA falls.

  444. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (448)-

    Man, you should get the hell outta there.

    But I can’t think of anywhere in NJ that’s much different.

  445. Shore Guy says:

    Eliminate pensions for elected officials and impose tax increase caps, and it will force hard decisions and allow them to be made. Right now the ability to tax “just a little bit more for this worthy project” allows officials to avoid making hard choices that will offend some group or another. Were the dollars coming in limited, and were there no ability to retire on the electorate’s dime, the politicos would be more likely to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

  446. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Montclair puts its meetings online?

  447. Stu says:

    On a local cable channel Shore Guy. I’m gonna get on this town council in 4 years and I’m gonna raise hell!

Comments are closed.