Record foreclosures clog NJ courts

From the Record:

Credit crunch cases clog the courts

New Jersey’s courts are feeling the pressure of the ongoing recession with mortgage foreclosures soaring and credit-card debt lawsuits on the rise as well.

The state court system in October posted a record number of mortgage foreclosure filings for one month with more than 5,000 new cases, New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said Thursday.

“Each of these cases involves the potential for someone losing their home,” Rabner said.

In all, 46,130 foreclosures were filed in a 12-month period that ended September 2008. There were a total of 31,667 mortgage foreclosure filings, about 46 percent fewer, during the previous 12-month period.

In response, the court system has started a new program that provides mediation in an effort to get lenders and borrowers to come up with ways to prevent owner-occupied foreclosures. Mediation is now mandatory when a foreclosure is contested by the homeowner.

The courts must remain neutral in foreclosure cases, but Rabner said both the lender and the borrower have an incentive to participate in mediation sessions and reach an agreement.

“We’re encouraging people to participate at any step of the process even up until the time of the sheriff’s sale,” he said.

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411 Responses to Record foreclosures clog NJ courts

  1. grim says:

    This can’t be good for Jersey.

    From the AFP:

    Alcatel-Lucent to cut 1,000 management posts, seeks 750 mln euro savings

    Telecom equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent said Friday it planned to cut 1,000 management posts and reduce its sub-contractors by 5,000 in an effort to save 750 million euros (one billion dollars).

    Alcatel-Lucent said it hoped to realise the savings by the fourth quarter next year, with production costs cut accordingly by a third, and research and development cut by two thirds.

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Rescue Bid for Detroit Collapses in Senate

    A frantic, last-ditch attempt to forge a relief package for the auto industry collapsed in the U.S. Senate, dealing a giant blow to the immediate hopes of the Big Three.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada suggested the $14 billion wouldn’t be revisited until January. “It’s over with,” he said.

    The talks, which appeared close to a deal several times, broke off due to a sharp partisan dispute over the wages paid to workers at the manufacturing giants.

    General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which have said they can’t last the year without federal aid, both hope the White House will now relent and allow the Treasury to provide emergency loans from the $700 billion Wall Street fund, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Reid also urged that option.

    To date, the administration has resisted the idea. But “that may be where they go next,” said Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.). There is always a chance Congress will act sooner if one of the companies totters on the brink, although that possibility appears remote.

    GM, in a statement, said it is “deeply disappointed” that an agreement couldn’t be reached. GM had told Congress it needs $4 billion by the end of the month or it might not be able to keep its operations going.

    The company added that it will “assess all of our options to continue our restructuring and to obtain the means to weather the current economic crisis.”

  3. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Madoff ‘Big Lie’ Hits Fairfield Sentry, Kingate Funds

    Hedge funds, already heading for their worst year on record, may lose at least $10 billion from investing with a New York firm that founder Bernard L. Madoff called “a giant Ponzi scheme.”

    The biggest loser may be Walter Noel’s Fairfield Greenwich Group, whose $7.3 billion Fairfield Sentry Ltd. invested with Madoff’s eponymous firm, three people familiar with the matter said. Another client was Kingate Management Ltd., whose $2.8 billion Kingate Global Fund Ltd. invested with Madoff, they said.

    Investors, ranging from hedge funds that depend on outside managers to wealthy individuals, entrusted their money with the 70-year-old Madoff, who told employees before his arrest yesterday that his firm was “one big lie” and may have cost clients as much as $50 billion. His confession comes with hedge fund assets poised to fall as low as $1.1 trillion by Jan. 1 from $1.9 trillion in June, reflecting market losses and customer redemptions, analysts at Morgan Stanley estimate.

    “If the losses were $50 billion or even half that amount, it would be the biggest Ponzi scheme in history,” said Mark Schonfeld, the former head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York office, who is now a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  4. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Timeshare Vacation Homes Squeezed by Credit Crisis

    The timeshare vacation home, that status symbol of the American middle class, has been hit by a double whammy amid the global credit crisis.

    Credit for consumers to finance timeshare purchases is harder to come by, and the securitization market for hotel companies selling bonds backed by timeshare deals has mostly closed its doors.

    “In the last few months, sales have really dropped off a cliff—consumer credit is really disappearing in a lot of ways,” said Jeremy Glaser, lodging industry analyst at investment research firm Morningstar.

  5. Essex says:

    No surprise here….but how the hell did Carly Fiorina loot LU and then proceed to HP and do the same?

  6. Essex says:

    Oh and Pat Russo…the man-faced wh*re who thought she was doing LU a favor by selling them up the river! Long live the legacy of the wimmen CEOs.

  7. DL says:

    “Gov. Corzine said this week that New Jersey was working to speed up the start of $4 billion of infrastructure plans, including construction on schools, roads, sewers and other projects.

    He said the state had already targeted $2.8 billion of projects that could move within six months, and $1.2 billion more could be added if the federal government added funding.

    Corzine yesterday told the U.S. House Appropriations Committee that a federal stimulus package for the states, including public infrastructure projects, should be about 4 percent to 5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, which would mean $500 billion to $600 billion.

    In South Jersey, ready-to-go projects include work on the intersection of I-295, I-76 and Route 42; the intersection of I-295 and Route 38; bridge work on the I-295/676 corridor; and the Manahawkin Bay Bridge to Long Beach Island.

    Jobs are a key consideration. In New Jersey, a study in July by Rutgers University’s Edward J. Blounstein School of Planning and Public Policy calculated that $5.4 billion in state spending on new school construction would create 46,785 jobs over five years. It predicted the spending would generate more than $500 million in tax revenue.”

    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20081212_Region_ready_for_a_quick_economic_fix.html

  8. Tom says:

    Boy, you guys really tore into reinvestor101 yesterday.

    I don’t know why you guys are so hard on him and don’t accept the fact that he’s a victim here.

    It should be obvious. The poor guy seems to only have completed the freshman level course before actually getting caught up in the hype of the bubble.

    Like many others he was suckered into thinking the party would last forever and didn’t realize he was just another warm body that was able to sign their name to the banks that were looking to give out mortgages.

    And he probably got into the game late. Way after the more seasoned investors pulled out. So there were no veterans in the industry to help educate him better so that he would know how to gauge where the industry is going and how to whether the storm.

    He must have quit his other profession before he really got going in it too. Otherwise he would have been able to find a lender, even a hard money lender, willing to invest in his talents. But it seems he didn’t get a chance to really prove his prowess.

    Don’t worry reivestor101, I got your back. Take the high road and ignore all these haters. Step away from this blog and take advantage of the lull in the market to continue your real estate investing curriculum.

    Then, come back with your diploma when the market has gone back to the sanity where lenders aren’t afraid to give hard working Americans making 50k/year a $600k mortgage so that they can raise their families in a decent home tricked out to look like an awesome home. That way house prices can go back to appreciating 10% per year and you can rub these people’s noses in it.

    The concept of risk/reward is just a bump in the road. The government is willing to pump money into the system so we go back to the reward/reward system that made this millenium so great!

  9. Reingester101 says:

    I don’t stutter! All you commies need to buy up some SUVs and find me a man! I need someone to drain me dry.

  10. Reingester101 says:

    Tom, save your pity. I, as a true America Hero, visa vis George Bush….and the America I know and I love. Complete with uneducated dolts and greedy union scum.

  11. Barbara says:

    Beat it Jessika! I am the only cougar on this board! Buh Bye Detroit….you pitiful rattling bucket of bolts.

  12. serenity now says:

    Anybody here think Ford stands a chance of
    actually survivng this storm with GM’s
    market share up for grabs???

  13. DL says:

    I have to believe that GM will need to sell off Opel, which is GM’s European cash cow. German press is up in arms over the fact that poor U.S. management will take down Opel with it.

  14. Clotpoll says:

    serenity (12)-

    No survivors. At the minimum, one of the 3 needed to go, anyway. Just the further damage in public sentiment will be enough to finish off F and Chrysler.

    Burn baby, burn! Burn it to the ground.

  15. Clotpoll says:

    Gartman on Squawk, laying the smacketh down.

  16. DL says:

    Dow futures looking ugly.

  17. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion in Lending

    he Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

    Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    The Fed responded Dec. 8, saying it’s allowed to withhold internal memos as well as information about trade secrets and commercial information. The institution confirmed that a records search found 231 pages of documents pertaining to some of the requests.

    “If they told us what they held, we would know the potential losses that the government may take and that’s what they don’t want us to know,” said Carlos Mendez, who oversees about $14 billion at New York-based ICP Capital LLC.

  18. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    HBOS Loan Writedowns for 2008 Rise to $7.5 Billion

    HBOS Plc, the U.K. bank that agreed to a takeover by Lloyds TSB Group Plc, said this year’s charge for bad loans rose to 5 billion pounds ($7.5 billion), led by an increase in corporate delinquencies that was worse than analysts forecast.

    “The surprise is the bad corporate debts, which are materially worse than expected,” said Simon Maughan, a London- based analyst at MF Global Securities Ltd., who has a “sell” rating on the stock. HBOS is “now guiding us that things are going to get much worse before they get better.”

  19. cooper says:

    +/- 250 on the market today? -250 my bet… -disclaimer

    17 Grim- what happened to transparency? any chance of it coming back?

  20. Reingester101 says:

    17….It’s not like it’s your money or anything.

  21. bairen says:

    I’m going to go load up on rice, noodles, and canned goods after work today. (make sure I have at least a month or so)

  22. Yikes says:

    bracing for a wild friday in the markets.

    let’s PRAY Paulson doesn’t do something stupid and jump in here.

    if anyone actually knows reinvestor, kindly keep an eye on him – that guy could be on suicide watch the way he’s been acting recently.

  23. Tom says:

    grim,

    “refused to disclose” sure sounds a lot better than “I don’t know a bunch of guys in expensive suits that said they were CEO’s came by and we gave them money. They looked legit so we didn’t check ID’s or ask names.”

  24. Reingester101 says:

    Yikes…I am made of stronger stuff than that…but I have done the numbers. I am worth more dead than alive. Someone find me Courtney Love.

  25. bairen says:

    I think I’ve found Bergabe’s and Klink’s mentor

    Zimbabwe to release 500 million dollar note

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/12/12/zimbabwe.currency/index.html

  26. Tom says:

    “Zimbabwe to release 500 million dollar note”

    Nigeria should do the same. That way all those exiled princess might have an easier time escaping with their fortunes.

    When you’re fleeing a country after a military coup you need to travel light and be discreet.

  27. #13 – DL – I’m not sure how much of a cash cow Opel really is. I know the company has been in and out of profitability over the past ten years. There have been reports of a sale of Opel to Opel’s workers, but they’ve just been rumors for now.
    A second potential is the sale of Vauxhall in UK. Another of GM’s wayard Euro kids that’s been in and out of trouble for a very long time.
    Then there’s Saab and what to do with Holden, who I believe is profitable.

  28. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (27)-

    I think donkey carts are about to make a roaring comeback.

  29. Yikes says:

    reinvestor – i read your posts yesterday … dude, you’ve got issues. you simply don’t understand logic and math and reality.

    i still feel you are one big joke and a fraud.

    anyone know how much longer paulson keeps his damn job?

  30. DL says:

    Toshiro_mifune: I can’t comment on Opel’s current health but German print media maintains Opel is hwat has kept GM alive since the 80s. I’m sure there’s a bit of nationalism framed by blinders but it makes good press. The overall theme of reporting on the financial crisis is that it emanated from the U.S. so it fits the story line. I would expect the German gov’t to take a stake in Opel in some form (bridge loans, direct ownership) should it be necessary to decouple for the sake of the company.

  31. Essex says:

    “…everything crumbles…and those who rebuild it are truly gay…” (note: old meaning of gay) — Nietzsche

  32. grim says:

    Patiently waiting for some indication of the extent of the Mark-to-Madoff losses.

  33. still_looking says:

    “Long live the legacy of the wimmen CEOs.”

    Excuse me? BOB NARDELLI.

    Period. End of discussion.

    sl

  34. #30 – Opel is hwat has kept GM alive since the 80s
    I’m pretty sure Vauxhall would say the same as would Chevy.
    Regardless, this does show how much of a world-wide event a GM bankruptcy will be. Lot’s of suppliers, lots of divisions, all going at the same time.
    Sweden has already nixed the idea of funding Saab, I haven’t heard anything from the UK re: Vaux. and i’m not sure how much flexibility Germany has with Opel.
    This could be very very ugly.

  35. lostinny says:

    Today is going to suck.
    Talk amongst yourselves.

  36. grim says:

    This is the weekend open, not that it matters.

  37. HEHEHE says:

    Frist

  38. #12 – serenity now – Anybody here think Ford stands a chance of
    actually survivng this storm with GM’s
    market share up for grabs???

    Yes, I do. I think Ford has a decent chance of making it out of this alive. They do have decent products but desperately need a mgmt shake-up, especially in the US.
    I’d buy F as a long term hold right now.

  39. Essex says:

    33…the demise of a home improvement box mover? In comparison to what…Bell Labs? Century plus of innovation. I think not.

  40. Tom says:

    I was typing up some of my thoughts on the auto makers bailout this morning.

    The thing that bugs me the most is… Shouldn’t all the other bailouts to the financial sector have freed up enough capital to privately finance them until they restructure?

    Why can’t we just say hey, you guys, loan them some money, it’s only a few billion, we gave you trillions.

  41. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Investors Who Entrusted Funds to Firm Are Shaken by Arrest

    News of money manager Bernard Madoff’s alleged fraud sent shock waves through upscale communities in the New York area and Florida where wealthy individuals had entrusted billions of dollars to Mr. Madoff for decades.

    Ira Roth, a New Jersey resident, who says his family has about $1 million invested through Mr. Madoff’s firm, is “in a state of panic.” He said his 86-year-old mother-in-law has been living on the investments’ returns, and he has been using the funds to pay college tuition.

    “This is going to kill so many people,” said a current investor in Mr. Madoff’s fund. “It’s absolutely awful.”

    Mr. Madoff, who split time between New York City and Florida, was a regular on the Palm Beach social scene, attending the Red Cross Ball and many political fund-raisers, said Charles Gradante, a co-founder of Hennessee Group LLC, an adviser to investors in hedge funds.

    Membership rosters at a number of Florida country clubs could be particularly hard hit by Mr. Madoff’s alleged scheme, including Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton and the Palm Beach Country Club in Palm Beach. Members of these clubs helped promote Mr. Madoff’s services to the clubs’ membership, though the clubs themselves weren’t involved, club members said. Having money with Mr. Madoff was a symbol of prestige within these clubs, several member say.

    Long Island country club rosters are also expected to be severely hit by the alleged fraud. Dozens of members of Fresh Meadows Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., where Mr. Madoff is a member, and Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, N.Y., where his brother Peter is a member, have invested large chunks of their savings with him, according to three people familiar with his clients. Mr. Madoff raised his children in Roslyn, on Long Island, before moving to Manhattan.

    Many investors gained exposure to Mr. Madoff through hedge fund of funds, including Tremont Capital Management, a major distributor of Mr. Madoff’s fund, according to people familiar with the situation. New York-based fund of funds Fairfield Greenwich Advisors, L.L.C., with $14 billion in assets under management according to its Web site, also had substantial funds with him and were big promoters of the fund.

  42. Tom says:

    “but how the hell did Carly Fiorina loot LU and then proceed to HP and do the same?”

    When she broke the glass ceiling, the rest of the executives were distracted trying not to get their shoes scuffed up by the shards that were left laying on the floor.

  43. grim says:

    Core PPI up .1%, headline down 2.2%

  44. Clotpoll says:

    Tom (40)-

    All the financial guys are too busy, buying no-coupon Treasuries with their handout money.

  45. grim says:

    More bad news. Funny, when gas prices were sky high and going ever higher, I didn’t hear anybody pooh pooh the rising retail sales numbers as being “exaggerated”. So now when gas is falling, and pulling retail sales down with it, we shouldn’t be paying attention? C’mon, this is like the PPI crap. PPI falling, good news! Wait, isn’t the PPI headline falling because of energy? Yep, so why shouldn’t we ignore that one too and instead focus on the core? Oh, core is going up? I see. Move along while I think of some other way to spin this.

    From MarketWatch:

    Retail sales fall 1.8%, the 5th straight decline

    With gasoline prices plunging and auto sales on life support, U.S. retail sales dropped 1.8% in November, the fifth straight decline, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

    Retail sales – which account for about a third of final demand – were down 7.4% compared with a year earlier.

    The big drop was in line with expectations by economists for a 2.1% decline. Sales fell a revised 2.9% in October and a revised 1.6% in September.

    But the extent of the decline was exaggerated by an historic drop in retail gasoline prices in November. Excluding the record 14.7% drop in sales at gas stations, retail sales fell 0.2%.

    Many retail sectors reported their biggest sales increases in years, after seasonal adjustments and adjustments for trading days.

  46. Tom says:

    Retail sales are doing pretty well considering Christmas was cancelled this year.

  47. grim says:

    #46 – Agree, ex-bad items (autos and gas) was up 0.3%. But at what cost (e.g. reduced margin, direct losses)? While we won’t know those numbers until January or February, I think the fact that KB Toys filed for bankruptcy mere days before Christmas gives us some indication of ever thinning margin.

  48. John says:

    JPM CHIEF HAS SOME HARSH COMMENTS ABOUT OWN OPS

    Jamie Dimon showed up on the scene of what had been a modest kind of tragedy in shares of his own bank’s stock … and went about wasting the survivors in the banking sector with some measure of dispatch. In the process, he helped give what had been an indifferent market more of a tone – and a negative perspective – than had been the case, setting equities up for another one of those final-hour belly flops.

    Shares of Dimon’s JPMorgan (JPM) had been battling some pessimism in the session after UBS became the latest house to scrub the balance sheet of the banking giant in order to figure out how the write-downs were going to affect profits. Not too positively for the December-ending quarter, as it turned out – 15 cents instead of the 27 cents that analysts have, on average, forecast – but not too aggressively for the full year – UBS setting $1.48, versus $1.51, on average.

    Then Dimon showed up on CNBC-television, and started talking about the housing market – prices could fall another 20% next year – and the mortgage market, where conditions are likely to deteriorate further. The trading business isn’t great shakes either: Dimon characterized November as terrible, and December as pretty terrible, according to newswire accounts.

    The industry isn’t going to consolidate its way out of trouble, either, He dashed whatever likelihood there might have been of JPM hooking up with one of its struggling rivals, saying it doesn’t need a brokerage unit, and doubted the likelihood that two investment banks would merge. He added that JPM’s roll-up of the Bear Stearns assets have been harder and costlier than expected – a nice little morality tale for anybody who expected that salvaging the distressed assets of cratering banks, even at rock-bottom prices, represented a slam-dunk.

    Pretty much coincident with Dimon’s comments, the market’s decline accelerated, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s loss tripling to greater than 200 points intraday. While JPMorgan’s loss in the session bulged to 10%, Citigroup (C) declined 8%, and Bank of America (BAC) fell 9%.

  49. #46 – There have been some very good sales. If you have cash there are deals to be had. D700’s are at $2300 right now at B&H, that’s $700 off of a camera intro’d only a few months ago.

  50. DL says:

    Jim Rogers calls most big U.S. banks “bankrupt”

    “What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent,” he said. “What’s happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/InvestmentOutlook09/idUSTRE4BA5CO20081211

  51. Frank says:

    “Credit crunch cases clog the courts”

    The bureaucracy involved in NJ foreclosures is enormous, no wonder the courts are overwhelmed. Doooooo

  52. Yikes says:

    let me guess … some a*sclown is going to propose a bailout for the rich people who were shafted in the ponzi scheme?

    silver lining to auto bailout: helps us get closer to the bottom, wherever that may be.

    a bailout would have, i imagine, prolonged things at least another 6 months.

  53. DL says:

    Doesn’t Jim Rogers understand, that’s the way solialism works; take from the competent and give to the incompetent?

  54. grim says:

    let me guess … some a*sclown is going to propose a bailout for the rich people who were shafted in the ponzi scheme?

    Was there a meeting at the NY Fed last night? Was cash distributed to hedge funds and investors to offset losses? Were deals made to prevent further fund liquidations? Would we even know if this happened?

  55. grim says:

    Wasn’t there some kind of discussion about Olga’s Diner on yesterday’s thread?

    Olga’s, a Marlton landmark diner, is out of business

    Olga’s Diner, a landmark in Marlton, where Routes 70 and 73 meet, has unceremoniously closed.

    The diner has been shut down four times this year for not paying bills or taxes.

    Seventy-eight-year-old John Stavros said workers have found new jobs and his sons are not interested in running it. Stavros has been the manager of the diner ever since his father opened the business in 1959.

    The building is to be put up for sale.

  56. Barbara says:

    55.grim
    I was down there a week ago and noticed it was empty at 11pm. Seemed weird but my husband said oh they’re probably just closed for the night. NJ diners never close at 11pm.

  57. grim says:

    Big rally today +350 on George W singlehandedly saving the American auto industry. A true patriot, friend to workers and a champion of industry.

  58. DL says:

    Olga’s (Marlton Circle: Closed)
    The Diamond (Race Track Circle: Closed)
    Ponzios (Ellisberg Circle: Still Open)
    Here’s the link if you want to find them all.
    http://www.njdiners.com/index.html

  59. HEHEHE says:

    Grim,

    I would say that isn’t too far from the truth. There’s no way the PPT will not allow there to be HAPPY Holidays.

  60. Secondary Market says:

    i recently noticed Ponzio’s changed their sign to a nice fancy one and billboard ads promoting their executive chef. come on, if you have disco fries on the menu, an executive chef is not needed.

  61. Yikes says:

    # grim Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Big rally today +350 on George W singlehandedly saving the American auto industry. A true patriot, friend to workers and a champion of industry.

    Hmmm. begs the question – what happens to the price of oil if the bailout doesn’t happen?

    too much of a reach to suspect that the large gains in the last 48 hours were BECAUSE the bailout happened?

    8 minutes …

  62. Clotpoll says:

    grim (57)-

    A true patriot would stop this madness. However, I think all the true patriots are dead.

    Just another rally to sell, if Shrub taps the TARP for Detroit.

  63. chicagofinance says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

    “We’ve completed the record,” the band’s frontman, Dave Gahan, told Pop & Hiss on Thursday via phone from New York. “There might be a couple of bits and pieces we’ve got to clean up, but I feel really good about the fact that we’re finished,” he continued. “I think we’ve made a great record.”

    Gahan said the as-yet-untitled album, slated for release this coming spring, will have about 12 tracks.

    “We’ve been spoiled for choice with this one because we recorded more songs for this record than we ever had for any [other] record,” he said. “Maybe I’m old school or whatever but once you start going over 12 songs, I think it becomes a little weird.”

    He unveiled the titles of three tracks — “Hole to Feed,” “Comeback” and “In Chains,” all co-written by Gahan — that are likely set for inclusion on the album. Gahan added that the recording sessions, which took place over the last several months in New York and Santa Barbara, were productive and that he and the act’s principal songwriter, Martin Gore, are working well together.

    “We have about 18 songs,” he said, even hinting that the band will release a special EP or online-only add-on with the extra material next year.

    But Gahan stressed that the EMI release will be just that — a proper record that doesn’t run too long.

    Said Gahan: “I’ve been listening to the current play list, and I’m always still thinking of an album like Side 1, and Side 2. It’s like when you see a movie or something, and it goes over two hours and you’re say ‘OK, I get it.’ ”

    Though the band is increasingly fond of using guitars, the new disc may see a return to the Depeche Mode’s original analog synth roots — at least on a few tracks.

    “Martin’s got this new fetish which is basically buying gear on EBay,” Gahan said. “He must have bought up half of the analog equipment around the world. We’ve got all these old drum machines from the 1970s, and even some of the stuff that we used in the ’80s as well, like old Moogs and Arps.”

    As an example, Gahan noted that one of the new album’s stars is a piece of gear dubbed “The Colonel” – a vintage 1970s-era Steiner Parker synthesizer. It’s an instrument, said Gahan, “that makes crazy noises. We found it really inspiring and used it in a lot of things [on the new record].”

  64. grim says:

    Barrons, May 7th 2001

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    Two years ago [would have been 1999 -jb], at a hedge-fund conference in New York, attendees were asked to name some of their favorite and most-respected hedge-fund managers. Neither George Soros nor Julian Robertson merited a single mention. But one manager received lavish praise: Bernard Madoff.

  65. 3b says:

    #45 grim:Many retail sectors reported their biggest sales increases in years, after seasonal adjustments and adjustments for trading days.

    Really ?? I must hsve missed that, because all the numbers we have been seening for the retail sector have been down, down, down.

  66. HEHEHE says:

    Bloomberg just announced Deutsche Bank has warned it has $1B in trading losses

  67. schabadoo says:

    silver lining to auto bailout: helps us get closer to the bottom, wherever that may be.

    Will that be soon?

  68. John says:

    Down 200, but TARP money on its way

  69. lostinny says:

    63
    Thanks ChiFi!

  70. HEHEHE says:

    John,

    I think the odds are good we finish even to up. Mr “True Conservative” George W Bush will assure us of that.

  71. John says:

    If George lets the big three go under and there are no more pick-up trucks left they will hang him in Texas

  72. Tom says:

    Screw the auto bailout.

    12 billion is only about 40 bucks from every citizen.

    Market cap of GM and Ford is only around 10bln. Why don’t we all chip and buy them?

    Cut out the government as a middle man.

  73. comrade nom deplume says:

    “Goldman calls for $45 oil in ’09”

    These guys truly have no shame. Not the reason I can’t stand them, but a good one nonetheless . . .

  74. comrade nom deplume says:

    Tax thoughts of the day:

    After perusing the literature lately, I am confident predicting the following:

    1. Fed Tax receipt estimates for ’08 will prove even more inflated than believed.
    2. Fed Tax receipt estimates for ’09 will be slashed, even if there is a tax hike on us “rich” folks.
    3. The exclusion from gain for a sale of a principal residence is getting a haircut in ’09 but will be cut back even further.
    4. If there is an AMT deal, it will come at the expense of state/local tax deductions. Buh bye.
    5. If one of the Big 3 die, 1 and 2 look even worse.

  75. comrade nom deplume says:

    Off topic, and why RE may not matter much longer (a la “children of men”)

    CNN) — Up and down the East Coast, residents and naturalists alike have been scratching their heads this autumn over a simple question: Where are all the acorns? . . .

    Oak trees have shed their leaves, but the usual carpet of acorns is not crunching underfoot.

    In far-flung pockets of northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states, scientists have found no acorns whatsoever. . . .

    For what its worth, I have several oak trees on and around my yard in Brigadoon, and I don’t recall acorns either.

    No squirrels—my dog is gonna be very unhappy.

  76. kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    To your points….

    States are now looking for federal bailouts. But the feds are bleeding out already. how long can the snake east its own tail?

  77. Essex says:

    63…..golf clap….retro rock….bangs that hang down to your chin. Neato.

  78. kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    My cats love hunting the squirrels at the bird feeder. Why certainly anecdotal and not representative, we usually have 4 or 5 out there all winter. We only have 1 this year and he doesnt look very healthy.

    Also consider that we are probably in the middle of one of the greatest spices dieoffs in the history of the planet. We are in the middle of the Holocene extinction event. The 6th such event according to the fossil record.

    other 5:

    K/T Event 65 million yrs ago

    Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, 205 million yr ago

    Permian-Triassic extinction event 251 Million yrs ago

    Late Devonian extinction 360 million yrs ago

  79. Veto says:

    Novel concept from USA Today…

    Why home values may take decades to recover
    Some see 2006 as ‘lifetime’ peak in prices

    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20081212/1ahouseprices12_cv.art.htm

  80. comrade nom deplume says:

    [76] Ket,

    I think that the first to be abandoned by the feds are the states. Up until now, for decades, you saw creeping antifederalism with more power (and spending) concentrated at the fed levels. States were happy to cede power over entire areas of traditional state interest if that meant Uncle Sucker would pay for it. And if he didn’t, states screamed about unfunded mandates (even if the areas were traditional areas of state concern).

    We won’t see democrats embrace federalism, but they will try to stem the dollar flow except on their own projects, such as infrastructure and welfare spending of all stripes. Also, federal aid flows disproportionately to urban areas, and I expect that to accelerate.

    Another area that won’t be touched is disaster money. The dems have successfully politicized disaster, but that means that they are stuck funding every 10 car pileup whenever a governor screams for aid. But even there, I expect cutbacks.

    What this means when first responder money, LEAP money, and other pots of fed assistance that flow to states and munis dry up, is that the states look to the ready sources, which will be property taxes, fees of all sorts, estate taxes, and previously-untaxed employee benefits.

  81. comrade nom deplume says:

    [79] veto

    Actually, not that novel. When I lived in Phila, we knew we wanted to get out of our rowhouse and rent because we knew (and I and others on this board discussed) that we would never see these levels in our lifetimes. Even my goofy, new-age, ditz of a neighbor foresaw that, and when we told her that we would not likely sell in 2007, said that we likely missed out.

    We got lucky and did not miss out, and a lot of my neighbors there were putting their places up because they knew what we did, that it was a once in a lifetime market. Needless to say, they made huge gains whereas mine was mid 5 figures.

    In fact, we had originally considered keeping it as a rental, but decided that it would never be profitable, and if the market tanked and the city tanked, we didn’t want to be bagholders.

    (full disclosure–became a NJ bagholder anyway).

  82. Clotpoll says:

    Based on the events of the last 24 hours, I’m moving up my call for civil unrest.

    May ’09 will see the first of the riots.

  83. kettle1 says:

    Nom,80

    great analysis, but the question remains. The states cant get enough from their tax base so they go to the feds who get their money from the more or less same tax base (plus other sources). So the states go back to their tax base when the feds cut them off.
    How is this significantly different then a farmer who eats his seed stock over the winter?

    How long before those tax revolts start up?

  84. kettle1 says:

    Clot 82,

    I think fall 09 may the earliest,

    There is still “o” Fever about and some strategically placed stimulus could still appease the crowd for a while

  85. John says:

    Tax revolts for bailing out Citi, GM, Ford is an interesting concept, however the only people who have large 401Ks and big bond stock investments in these types of companies are the people who pay the most taxes. Hence, if we did not bail them out they would pay less taxes but have greater losses, the people who pay little or no tax don’t own these firms stocks or bonds. The problem is the people who pay little or no taxes don’t like the fact their free schools, roads, mortgage programs, food stamps, financial aid may get cut if money goes towards this which is why they are upset.

  86. Veto says:

    Novel concept from USA Today…

    comrade nom deplume Says:
    veto, Actually, not that novel.

    Of course Comrade, i was being sarcastic… glad you had the wisdom to cash out at the top.

  87. skep-tic says:

    UAW has unbelievable balls trying to play chicken with the U.S. gov’t. Let’s see how they like getting their contract voided in Ch. 11

  88. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (84)-

    I think “O” fever dissipates on 1/21/09.

  89. RayC says:

    Grim,

    I think you’re right about GW. President’s are always worried about their legacy, and as bad as his is, it would be worse if he left it to Obama to “rescue” the Auto Industry. And taking credit is easy, just ask Rudy G, once wildly popular for being mayor of a city that got attacked, that he singlehandly saved.

  90. kettle1 says:

    John,

    You are partially correct. I am not suggesting a tax revolt for bailouts, but a tax revolt when the states and the feds both start trying to squeeze blood from the stone (middle class tax payer). The bailouts will be just another spark to start the fire

    The middle class (used in a very broad sense) is facing decreasing income and increasing taxes while still facing huge debt levels. You throw in cuts to services that the people expect (as you pointed out john) and things could get ugly.

    The only option that would actually work and will never happen is to remove the fat from the bureaucracy…..

  91. comrade nom deplume says:

    [83] Remember, in a democracy, revolts are often done by ballots. 0bama and the dems brilliantly united the country by villifying the “rich” which were now defined as families making over 250K per year. They simply looked at the income distribution charts, and could plausibly see that 95% of the country made under that amount, and therefore, 0bama is the new uniter by unitinng 95% against 5%. So the hammer falls first on the 5%, and will fall even harder than 0bama said since the income tax increases will fail to raise sufficient revenues.

    So the dems will go after investments. Want home and land prices in the US to crater??? Pass a federal property tax. Investors will leave in droves. Already tax literature questions how the U.S. will retain capital. Rather than reform the tax structure, they will go after foreign holdings by U.S. citizens.

    Look for more prosecutions and more folks held in jail in contempt until they repatriate assets, and since asset protection trusts are designed to keep any form of control from the grantors, these folks will essentially be stuck in jail, unable to purge the contempt. And this leads me to another canary-in-the-coal-mine type of law: If there is an outbound reporting regime by institutions for much lower amounts, and/or a tax withholding scheme, that is bad. Also, look for a law that makes it a crime to set up a trust in a foreign jurisdiction and purposefully divest control over repatriation (or put in a mechanism that divests control on a triggering event, such as a lawsuit). When you see the feds slamming shut every single door and gate, and nailing them shut, it means that they are very concerned about capital flight.

    But soaking the rich until there are none will not solve the problem, and that is when you will see the middle class who are not benefitting from entitlements go to war with the entitlement class. But here the numbers are worrisome since retirees are part of the latter class, and between them and the poor, you will have a larger group to contend against politically. Already, some pundits feel that the GenY and millenials will grow to resent the boomers and X’ers. The result will be a return to fiscal conservatism in younger people, something we really haven’t seen. Query whether there are enough of them to make a difference.

    Eventually, with the piper to be paid, those left in the US will be subject to european style taxation, but without universal benefits.

  92. comrade nom deplume says:

    [86] veto

    It was as much luck as wisdom. And since I recently bought in an even more troubled state, I don’t know how wise I really am.

  93. kettle1 says:

    Skep 87,

    Perhaps i am being naive, or am under informed on the details of the big 3 expense structure, but the UAW does seem to be taking the brunt of the hit. I am not supporting them per se, but require equally draconian cuts for everyone or for no one

  94. John says:

    Kettle the only tax revolt the middle class should have is for real estate taxes when they are childless. The middle class gets far more services than they pay for with Federal and State taxes, but if you are unemployed you still have to pay full RE taxes and if you have no kids you still have to pay school taxes. At least with Federal taxes it only taxes people above 28% who make good money

  95. Essex says:

    A new program….No Bidness Left Behind.

  96. kettle1 says:

    Nom 90

    As the Boomers transition out of political power positions, how long will they be able to maintain their level of benefits? The amount of resentment is already noticeable and growing. One of the only ways to even attempt to fund the current level of entitlements is to essentially defund the US military and shift the funding to entitlements. HA< like that would happen.

    Nom, all of this sound familiar to a certain previous empire?

  97. kettle1 says:

    John,

    Generally, school taxes are in everyone’s benefit. Currently they have have been massively inflated, poorly implemented, and are now ridiculous, but generally it is reasonable to have the entire society support public education.

  98. scribe says:

    Treasury Ready to Prevent Failure of Automakers (Update1)

    By John Brinsley and Roger Runningen

    Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Treasury said it is willing to provide financing to American automakers after the Senate yesterday failed to approve a rescue for the beleaguered companies.

    “Because Congress failed to act, we will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes and acts to address the long-term viability of the industry,” Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said in an e-mailed statement.

    White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said earlier today in a statement that the Bush administration is considering using some of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to keep the auto companies afloat.

    Treasury has allocated all but about $15 billion of the first half of the TARP funds, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has until now repeatedly resisted calls to use the program to aid the automakers.

  99. HEHEHE says:

    Wouldn’t the Big Three have to become Bank Holding Companies to get TARP funds?

  100. Nicholas says:

    Oak trees have shed their leaves, but the usual carpet of acorns is not crunching underfoot.

    In far-flung pockets of northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states, scientists have found no acorns whatsoever. . . .

    This isn’t true. I have two dogs and they love fresh acorns. There are are about 6 oak trees in my community and they all dropped acorns. My dogs were having a field day running around as fast as they could eating them. It looked like something from a hungry-hungry hippo game.

    This story is untrue. Oak trees still produced acorns this year in Maryland.

  101. Clotpoll says:

    Our two biggest national exports, debt and inflation, have now been joined by fraud and public subsidy of failure.

    Riots by May ’09.

  102. Clotpoll says:

    This must be what Mussolini’s Italy was like.

  103. kettle1 says:

    CLott

    still want to bail to italy?

  104. RayC says:

    102 Clotpoll

    …but without the good food.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    Seneca Says:
    December 11th, 2008 at 4:34 pm
    Since we are in a muni-bond discussion frenzy, I could really use some advice.

    I (foolishly) put some money into Oppenheimer NJ Municipal C (ONJCX) back when it was trading near its highs last year. I am down over 40% on my investment. To make matters worse, I was going to put this money into a CD for safety since it was down payment money.

    When it started to tank, my (worthless) investment advisor said it was because banks and hedge funds were having to sell off whatever they had including their bonds. Every 5% of loss I kept thinking ‘maybe I should take the hit and just get out’. I kick myself everyday and wish I had just bought bonds straight up rather than this piece of dreck but it is what it is.

    So, those of you with muni knowledge, does this thing ever turn around or do I stop my crying and just eat the loss? I don’t fully understand why it continues to plummet unless the thinking is that NJ and its Authorities won’t have any taxpayers left to pay off the bonds.

    I am as interested in understanding why it continues its downward spiral (explain it to me like I am a six year old) as I am in hold/sell guidance. ALL DISCLAIMERS to anyone who offers a few pointers of course. I never want to repeat this dumb mistake.

    Seneca: The only thing dumb about the choice is that you wanted to protect principal. John gave a lot of good commentary. Ultimately, the allure of buying individual bonds is that (barring default) all you need to do is wait until maturity to have your principal returned.

    To be clear, this fund is literally the 100th percentile performer of its asset class. An unmitigated disaster. One major issue is that it was stuffed full of Tobacco Settlement paper, which is the lowest rungs of investment grade, so when spreads blew out (bonds of this type sold off) you had to eat the losses.

    No matter what, I would wait until your one year anniverssary to liquidate. You bought a C-share, so you are assessed a back-end sales charge of 1% if you pull the investment before this date.

    Let me research more to find out the exact story.

    FYI – the Tobacco settlement bonds were roughly 20% of the portfolio and Puerto Rico bonds were another 20%, so most of the answer is right there. It was less than 25% high quality investment grade.

  106. skep-tic says:

    #93

    kettle– UAW wanted to delay reduction of comp in line with competitors until 2011 when their current contract expires. funny, the business they work for is on brink of collapse this month and they think they have the luxury of getting overpaid for 2 more years.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/13/business/13uaw.html

  107. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (103)-

    Somewhere outside Rome or Turin?

    Sure. At least the policy of no work/make work/subsidized sloth is applied equally and understood by all.

  108. chicagofinance says:

    More relative to Oppenheimer investment strategy. Bottom line, the fund did what is was deigned to do. One of two things happened. You did not properly explain your expectations, or the adviser did not listen properly.

    The aggressive fund aims to generate high yields through ownership of low-rated or unrated munis. It buys gamier securities like land-development bonds, tobacco bonds backed by state revenues from the 1998 mass settlement with major cigarette companies, airport-revenue bonds and “inverse floaters,” whose yields move in the opposite direction of short-term rates. With muni short rates elevated, prices of inverse floaters have come under pressure.

  109. skep-tic says:

    the place where every stakeholder gets a seat at the table and takes a hit is called Ch. 11. But I do not think this is what the UAW means.

    ***********
    “The demands by the GOP caucus would have treated workers differently from every other stakeholder,” Gettelfinger said. “The GOP caucus was insisting that the restructuring had to be done on the back off workers and retirees rather than having all stakeholders come to the table.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/12/AR2008121201232_2.html?sid=ST2008121201385&s_pos=

  110. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    New York City Job Losses Creep Beyond Wall Street

    Well-paid professionals like lawyers, accountants and architects are joining the rapidly expanding unemployment rolls in New York City, as the effects of the financial crisis have spread beyond Wall Street not only to other white-collar industries but also to the construction and retail trades, a new report shows.

    The number of white-collar workers outside the financial industry receiving unemployment checks was up by more than 40 percent in October from the same month last year, and the number of college graduates collecting benefits was up by 50 percent, according to the report by the Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonprofit research group.

    “Unemployment is starting to shoot up in New York City, and it’s affecting a spectrum of workers, both professionals and blue-collar,” said James Parrott, the institute’s chief economist and author of the report. “It’s hitting young workers and older workers, and it’s poised to rise dramatically in the weeks and months ahead.”

  111. spam spam bacon spam says:

    The auto OEM’s suck.

    They got too big to fail.

    Where this leads will be mayhem, if they fail.

    Think “after the sale” support.

    No parts depts, no ECM software updates, no tech service bulletins, no OEM training, no warranty work.

    You guys may not know how much WORK goes into “after the sale” support of a vehicle.

    This is CRAZY. I cannot even wrap my brain around it!

    ****A vehicle gets sold and rolls out the door. The OEM is already making software changes to the car’s computer ECM. Car comes back for warranty. ECM gets updated via a computer loaded with OEM software being updated WEEKLY… Parts that fail get replaced with updated parts (failure reduction), parts fail and get covered under EPA emissions laws, Magnuson Moss Act, etc…

    The IT dept of an OEM is BILLIONS of dollars.
    They have proprietary information systems (SAE Standards) running vehicles, multi-plexing across multiple SAE standards (J1939, J1636 etc) and being accessed by software being CONSTANTLY updated (think 2x a day!) and software engineering problems being submitted, resolved and rewritten within weeks to be uploaded on vehicles already in use… you got an ABS sensor with a deisgn flaw? Someone’s working on fixing it….

    Jeebus Cripes.

    People have NO CLUE what’s going on under the hood and behind the counter.

    I blame the gov’t for allowing the companies to become too big too fail.

    This is our NATIONAL fleet.

  112. spam spam bacon spam says:

    toshiro_mifune….

    My other half needs a new camera. He has a sony mavica which is failing to write to the storage. (We loved the mini CDR aspect)

    Anyway, he’s an amateur photographer and loves his old SLR… (Pentax lenses) and now that he needs a new camera, he decided to get a digital SLR and in trying to be nice to me (price) he’s looking at the Sony A350 (A300)…but I think he deserves better.

    He does a lot of CLOSE UP work (like taking pictures of circuit boards (don’t ask :)) but does like to also take pics of nature, etc…

    What are your thoughts? I’m thinking $1500 for a budget….

  113. John says:

    That bond fund is a better deal now then when he bought it. But back in Jan just was trading at par in muni land. The bonds I bough that held were were all the short term, Medium term GO bonds and callable bonds with a high coupon with a current call date that I paid par for.

    Longer term, dicey bonds, bonds that had their ratings cut and low coupon non callable bonds all got clipped.

    Munis are great if you mix the good with the bad and can hold the bad to maturity but the muni bond fund rolled the dice very risky. The other problem is that cheap small piece munis, in 5k to 10k often offer slightly higher yields yet muni funds won’t buy them as it makes no sense to track all those little pieces

  114. spam spam bacon spam says:

    “I’m sorry sir, but your vehicle cannot be fixed. We ran our diagnostics and the ECM has a failure to substitute a known good quantity…so we called engineering, but there’s no answer.”

    “We called Eaton about your transmission surging in 3rd gear issue but there’s no answer.”

    “I just got off the phone with Billy-Bob’s Liquors and Cars Cheaper…Billy-Bob said he can jump your fuel pump’s circuit breaker with a paper clip to keep it from stalling. He said there’s a 99% risk of fire, but hey…”

    “I’m sorry. Your engine is now officially 7 cylinders. The engine has a heat problem which causes premature failure for injector #8; in the past, they would have issued an updated part with heat shielding, but there’s noone there anymore.”

  115. skep-tic says:

    other businesses continue to run in bankruptcy. The airlines argued that no one would fly on an airline in Ch. 11. People did anyway (I flew on Northwest many times before and after their bankruptcy and noticed no difference). Delphi was in bankruptcy and continued to function. The argument that an automaker couldn’t operated in Ch. 11 just doesn’t seem conclusive to me.

  116. #112 – If he already has Pentax lenses it would probably be best to go with a Pentax body. dpreview.com really liked the K200 which should be around $500 or so for the body only.
    If he isn’t tied to Pentax I use Nikon for 35mm or digital. There’s roughly 40 years worth of lenses to choose from in Nikon mount. The D40x & D60 are both very good cameras for not so much cash and there is a wide variety of macro lenses available. Try keh.com if you don’t mind used. Their quality is second to none and they have a great return policy.
    You can pretty much just copy/paste what I said for Nikon w/ Canon. Both companies will provide very good sensors and bodies for entry level stuff. It would be hard to go wrong with a camera from either.
    There’s nothing wrong with Sony cameras. Their photo division is really Konica/Minolta who they bought a few years ago. The have in-body image stabilization as opposed to Nikon/Canon who do it in camera. Sony may not be the first name you think of when it comes to cameras but they aren’t bad by any means. Most of the Nikon consumer level cameras use Sony sensors so the A350 is a good choice.
    Remember the body isn’t as important as the lenses. Digital bodies also have fast product cycle times. A camera you bought 2 years ago is almost a relic now. So save on the body splurge on the lens.

  117. 2010 Buyer says:

    Jim Rogers: Most Big US Banks Are “Bankrupt”

    http://www.pehub.com/26231/jim-rogers-most-big-us-banks-are-bankrupt/

  118. Imus says:

    Any one else pulling the trigger on a refinance now? The rates are super low. :)

  119. Clotpoll says:

    spam (111)-

    Those folks shoulda bought a Toyota.

  120. schabadoo says:

    91 nom deplume

    Ummm…is that a reinvestor parody post?

  121. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Tosh’…

    ty! He lives behind his camera, so I want him to love it.

    I sent him the link for keh.com

    I don’t mind used, as long as the seller is up front about the condition.

    I buy $200 technical manuals on Amazon for $10.00 (used) and never had a problem buying refurbished peripherals from an OEM like HP or Canon (like a $3000 laser printer for $900), so unless he’s got a problem with it, we might find something there; more money for lenses! :)

  122. grim says:

    Wow, remember the old days when losing a billion dollars would move the market.

    Who cares, move on. TARP’ll cover it.

    Deutsche Bank Woes Said to Persist on Credit Bets

    Deutsche Bank AG, shaken last quarter by a $1.68 billion loss trading for the firm’s account, is reeling again, this time from about $1 billion of bad bets in a unit led by credit-trader Boaz Weinstein in New York, people familiar with the matter said.

  123. 2010 Buyer says:

    #122

    …yes a yard is nothing these days.

  124. C Dawg says:

    As a frequent commenter on the evils that the Boomer generation has wrought upon us, I propose that the Boomers’ next act is emotional blackmail upon retiring. They will bank on their children not having the audacity to cut their benefits and put them out on the street.

    The Boomers used an unprecedented period of unrelenting prosperity to not invest in the future, but to milk the system to the brink of economic collapse. They sold us on the idea that going into your eyeballs for a house wasn’t poor decision making, but an investment. Cars aren’t machines, but an outward manifestation of your status and place in society. Retirement in your fifties was a right, now a privilege to be earned.

    I’m not saying that Boomers are any more evil than any other generation, but they are indicative of how insulation and prosperity can exploit ordinary human defects (greed, selfishness, etc.)

  125. C Dawg says:

    So, in conclusion: Cram it, Boomers. You had your time. Now struggle. Don’t worry–it’ll build character.

  126. comrade nom deplume says:

    [96] ket,

    As for defunding the military, Clinton tried it (which was why we were dropping daisy cutters in rock strewn Afganistan—we ran out of conventional bombs. This from an army intell officer friend in country at the time). So the “peace dividend”, or as might later be known, the “appease dividend”, should help.

    As for boomers, they don’t lose their clout until they die. That is why, for years, AARP was becoming the biggest special interest group out there. Seniors control elections and this will become more pronounced. Since most seniors will get less benes and less ret. dollars than before, they will vote more with the poor than they have in a long time.

    The division that is most important is within the seniors themselves. Those well off versus those that are not. Clearly those well off will not want to tax themselves, and may sit still for less benes. Those not well off want to tax the rich and get more benes. The seniors will largely agree on more benes but, for the first time, the seniors will be split just like the working populace on taxation. Since the dems have managed to bring much of the middle class into the poor, nonaspirational class camp, that marginalizes the HENRYs and truly rich.

    Remember also, by breaking off the lower 3/4 of the middle class into the “poor” camp with tax cuts, they will not be affected except through the effects of debt. They won’t see this so they won’t be revolting on fed taxes, and if they don’t own property, they won’t revolt on property taxes either.

    So what form does the revolt take? Massive disinvestment in housing, business and markets as the most heavily affected group, the HENRYs, vote with their feet.

  127. RentinginNJ says:

    UAW wanted to delay reduction of comp in line with competitors until 2011 …funny, the business they work for is on brink of collapse this month and they think they have the luxury of getting overpaid for 2 more years.

    They were willing to bet that if the bailout failed, Bush would throw a few $b their way of TARP money to tide them over until January when a more union friendly dem congress & president came in and passed a more “labor firendly” bailout. Looks like the strategy may very well work.

  128. comrade nom deplume says:

    [120]

    Ah, the lurker is back. No, I don’t have time to parody reinvestor. They are my own ravings, for your consumption (or not).

    So get out your crayons and tell me why my prognosticating is deluded. I’ll check back in a few hours, after I have terminated someone’s pension plan.

  129. # 121 – I don’t mind used, as long as the seller is up front about the condition

    Then try keh. Ther are incredibly conservative in their ratings. Antyhing that they have listed as BGN would probably qualify as mint anywhere else.

  130. John says:

    I don’t blame them, the Senate wanted them to work for $14 an hour which is 29K a year. If I am a 45 year old auto worker with three kids, a mortgage and a car loan $14 might as well be zero I am going under. Heck Trader Joe’s pays the college kids 12 an hour. I know they have to be paid less, but going from 60K to 30K is nuts. People who make 60K spend 100% of their income just to get buy.

    RentinginNJ Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 1:21 pm
    UAW wanted to delay reduction of comp in line with competitors until 2011 …funny, the business they work for is on brink of collapse this month and they think they have the luxury of getting overpaid for 2 more years.

    They were willing to bet that if the bailout failed, Bush would throw a few $b their way of TARP money to tide them over until January when a more union friendly dem congress & president came in and passed a more “labor firendly” bailout. Looks like the strategy may very well work.

  131. schabadoo says:

    toshiro_mifune

    Do old lens used on SLRs work on DSLRs?

  132. schabadoo says:

    Ah, the lurker is back.

    ?

    No, I don’t have time to parody reinvestor.

    You say that, but you post things like:

    As for defunding the military, Clinton tried it

    which is strikingly similar to 101’s wackiness.

    The tough part is, I can’t tell if you know the actual facts and choose to ignore them.

  133. skep-tic says:

    I think it would be great if the autoworkers could keep making the same money they have all along but that is a dream. You also have to keep in mind that the midwest is a much cheaper place to live. A dual earninng couple that makes $50k in a rural michigan town probably lives in a house that costs less than $150k. They are living as well as people making 3 or 4 times as much in the northeast. Right now lineworkers often make $80-90k. That is like $150-200k in NY.

  134. hughesrep says:

    Midwest auto workers are analgous to the $100k cops and teachers around here. Except they work full time.

  135. skep-tic says:

    here’s a mcmansion for $229k in a town near Flint, MI where there are a couple of GM plants. Again, making $40-50k is not so bad in that area:

    http://www.realtor.com/search/listingdetail.aspx?loc=otisville%2c+MI&bd=5&bth=4&sid=04fb98965f744ff0966962f7069e0ee3&lid=1102195589&lsn=2&srcnt=5

  136. Kettle1 says:

    Nom

    As for boomers, they don’t lose their clout until they die.

    With the looming health care crisis (jeeze,so many crises, so little time) that may be a self correcting issue. Elderly in the US require huge amounts of sophisticated healthcare that is very expensive…….

  137. RentinginNJ says:

    I don’t blame them, the Senate wanted them to work for $14 an hour which is 29K a year.

    John, I would agree with you if this were the case, but I think you might have misread the story. The Senate Republicans wanted the UAW to take a $14 per hour pay/benefit cut, to bring their fully loaded hourly rate more in-line with the foreign companies. The rate would go from about $62 to about $48. On an annula basis, they would be cut from about $130k in salary & benefits to $100k.

    Granted, this is a bitter pill to swallow, but still not a bad deal for putting the tires on cars living in the midwest.

  138. #131 – Yes, within reason. Manual focus lenses won’t auto-focus because the camera supports auto-focus. Some features on some cameras may not be available;e.g. I’ve used very old Non-AI 50mm lenses on my D40, but the camera wouldn’t meter and had to be operated in pure manual mode. Not a big deal.
    The lenses will usually fit just fine as long as they body accepts the mounts.

  139. 3b says:

    #139 skeptic:This would be a $1.5M+ plus house in many NYC suburbs

    It used to be.

  140. schabadoo says:

    138

    Thanks.

    My mom is still plugging along with her slr, but is looking to upgrade. With all the money she’s got in the lenses, it’d be a shame if they couldn’t be used.

  141. Kettle1 says:

    Forecast: Don’t expect auto rebound

    Weak auto sales are likely to continue through the first quarter of 2009, according to a new forecast from respected industry consultant J.D. Power and Associates. That could create further problems for the struggling U.S. automakers, even if they get the federal loans now being considered by Congress.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/08/news/companies/sales_forecast/index.htm?postversion=2008120817
    ———-

    The automakers will be lucky to see 8 million in annual sales for 09. their estimates are wildly optomistic!!!!

  142. #141 – She doesn’t have to go digital. Film is still here and will be for some time to come. Digital does make some things easier but introduces new headaches into the mess. I personally find film cameras much easier to use and get the results I want.

  143. John says:

    The actual salary of the under 30 crowd at GM is actually peanuts right now.

    RentinginNJ Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 1:54 pm
    I don’t blame them, the Senate wanted them to work for $14 an hour which is 29K a year.

    John, I would agree with you if this were the case, but I think you might have misread the story. The Senate Republicans wanted the UAW to take a $14 per hour pay/benefit cut, to bring their fully loaded hourly rate more in-line with the foreign companies. The rate would go from about $62 to about $48. On an annula basis, they would be cut from about $130k in salary & benefits to $100k.

    Granted, this is a bitter pill to swallow, but still not a bad deal for putting the tires on cars living in the midwest.

  144. Kettle1 says:

    Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion in Lending

    The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression. The Fed responded Dec. 8, saying it’s allowed to withhold internal memos as well as information about trade secrets and commercial information. The institution confirmed that a records search found 231 pages of documents pertaining to some of the requests.

    “If they told us what they held, we would know the potential losses that the government may take and that’s what they don’t want us to know,” said Carlos Mendez, who oversees about $14 billion at New York-based ICP Capital LLC. Bloomberg News is a unit of New York-based Bloomberg LP.

    The Bloomberg lawsuit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=apx7XNLnZZlc&refer=home

  145. Sean says:

    Bail out banks and allow employees to keep their extravagant pay and bonuses. Bail out the “big” three on condition the workers take a big pay cut.

    Talk tough from the GOP, it’s the workers — and those pesky liberal Democrats– to blame for America’s economic crises.

    The tough talk stops when they stop to realize what real class warfare looks like.

    There has to be a balance.

  146. Kettle1 says:

    AIG slashing prices, but may burn taxpayers

    American International Group Inc is slashing prices to win new business, industry insiders say, raising concerns that taxpayers could again be left to pick up the tab. AIG, once the world’s biggest insurer by market value, was rescued by the U.S. government in September as the cost of meeting counterparty obligations on bad mortgage bets left it close to bankruptcy. In the wake of its federal bailout, which last month swelled to more than $150 billion, industry executives say AIG has been rashly lowering prices, and at a time when market fundamentals show insurance rates need to rise.

    “AIG has intensified its effort to increase its market share, or at least preserve it,” said Edmund Kelly, chief executive of Boston-based rival Liberty Mutual. “I think it’s fair to say they’re doing some very stupid things in the market,” Kelly told investors on a quarterly conference call last month. “If (AIG units) are not reined in, it could be very destabilizing for the market.” The New York-based insurer denies it is cutting prices. But in one example of its aggressive rate-cutting, a unit of its commercial insurance divisioagreed to provide coverage for the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport at a price 60 percent below what was charged for the same policy a year earlier. Last year the airport paid $3.54 million to a consortium of seven insurers led by Travelers Group for a property, boiler and machinery insurance policy worth $1.7 billion, an airport spokesman said.

  147. John says:

    S&P says risk of default by GM, Chrysler “very high” – MarketWatch

    You just want to slap these guys, they love to state the obvious way too late to do anything but yet they had GM 30 year bonds at investment grade in 2004

  148. John says:

    Well when GMAC becomes a bank they can all get raises

    Sean Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 2:05 pm
    Bail out banks and allow employees to keep their extravagant pay and bonuses. Bail out the “big” three on condition the workers take a big pay cut.

    Talk tough from the GOP, it’s the workers — and those pesky liberal Democrats– to blame for America’s economic crises.

    The tough talk stops when they stop to realize what real class warfare looks like.

    There has to be a balance.

  149. skep-tic says:

    it is fair to criticize comp at banks in light of the bailout. but keep in mind that the gov’t has actually allowed banks to fail and that the banks that remain are aggressively cutting staff and comp. this is quite different from the big 3 who seem to want to keep doing the same thing they have all along

  150. schabadoo says:

    Bail out banks and allow employees to keep their extravagant pay and bonuses.

    You should’ve heard Kudlow crying about the billions in Wall Street bonuses paid out with relief money. Apparently it was all completely warranted and shouldn’t be questioned.

    Also, cutting dividends is class warfare.

  151. daddyo says:

    ChiFi,

    If the fund has a relatively short duration, if you hold on to it, the bonds will return to par soon enough. All those “losses” you have are paper marks that you only realize if you sell. Also, the fund yield will probably pick up quite a bit as the investments roll into more yieldy paper.

    If your muni portfolio starts taking significant default losses, then we’re probably in a situation where you won’t be worrying about it anyway.

    Short duration, high quality muni stuff is an ok place to be right now. If it’s long duration, I might be concerned.

  152. Victorian says:

    “this is quite different from the big 3 who seem to want to keep doing the same thing they have all along”

    – Yes, they should just take the funds, fire all their workers and buy zero-yield Treasuries.

  153. RentinginNJ says:

    The actual salary of the under 30 crowd at GM is actually peanuts right now.

    This is true. The pay for new hires isn’t extravagant. However, the Senate wasn’t targeting newer employees with more reasonable wages.

    The UAW wanted to bring wages down over time by letting current older employees keep their extravagant pay & benefits and averaging down “per worker” pay by hiring new workers at lower pay. The Senate was looking for actual concessions by these older workers with the rich packages.

  154. Sean says:

    re: #151 – skep there have been allot more job losses in Auto than in Finance.

    We also gave out allot of taxpayer money to our competitors to build all those toyota and honda factories down south, it is not correct to compare the wages and cost of living down in Alabama and Louisiana with the wages and cost of living in Michigan, just as it is not fair to compare NYC metro cost of living with the cost of living in the Midwest.

    The GOP is wrong here, if they feel this strongly on wages then the too big to fail auto industry should be sent to chap 11 and no bailout.

    Class warfare folks, coming to a town near you.

  155. 2010 Buyer says:

    Deutsch Caught in Affair w/ Hedge Fund’s Wife

    It seems that Donny Deutsch, whose CNBC show “The Big Idea” was put on hiatus last week, has found solace in the arms of a hedge fund managers’ wife. The advertising mogul has been having an affair with Lisa Sandler, the wife of hedge fund manager Andrew Sandler

    http://www.finalternatives.com/node/6337

  156. skep-tic says:

    banks are lending money, it is just that a lot potential borrowers are not looking so creditworthy these days. if you force banks to lend to questionable borrowers, you are just going to get another bailout in 6 months.

  157. Victorian says:

    (159)-

    Have you looked at the A2/P2 spread lately?

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/cp/

    Do you still think Hank and Ben were the best stewards of this crisis?

  158. skep-tic says:

    Bernanke and Paulson have made mistakes. They have admitted as much. The one thing you can credit them with is avoiding a total banking collapse, which we really were on the brink of in September. That would have been total chaos in the U.S. It is sort of like GWB– everyone looks at all of the dumb things he has done, but no one gives him credit for preventing the next big terror attack (which he has certainly done).

  159. grim says:

    Ecuador walks away!

    Ecuador to default on 2012 global bonds: report

    Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, said his country will not pay interest due on its 2012 global bonds, placing them in default, Reuters reported Friday. Correa said he will face any legal action against his government, according to Reuters. The default is Ecuador’s second in a decade, the news agency said.

  160. chicagofinance says:

    Victorian Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 2:39 pm
    (159)- Have you looked at the A2/P2 spread lately? Do you still think Hank and Ben were the best stewards of this crisis?

    Vic: A2/P2 is not really CP eligible…..what is your point?……A2/P2 credit are supposed to plan for these contigencies, and be prepared for long-term shut down of market access. Look at Ford…they did a really good job. Mulally should be applauded for his preparedness.

  161. Sean says:

    skep one can argue paulson and bernake were the cause of most of the problems we are experiencing today.

  162. grim says:

    They have admitted as much. The one thing you can credit them with is avoiding a total banking collapse, which we really were on the brink of in September.

    skep,

    C’mon, you know this is crystal ball talk. Nobody can know what would have happened unless they can peer into that alternate universe, anything else is speculation. Correlated, sure. Causation? Impossible to know.

  163. chicagofinance says:

    daddyo Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 2:15 pm
    ChiFi, If the fund has a relatively short duration, if you hold on to it, the bonds will return to par soon enough. All those “losses” you have are paper marks that you only realize if you sell. Also, the fund yield will probably pick up quite a bit as the investments roll into more yieldy paper.

    Mean duration of the Opp NJ Muni portfolio is 12.8 years……..

  164. Ben says:

    “Bernanke and Paulson have made mistakes. They have admitted as much. The one thing you can credit them with is avoiding a total banking collapse, which we really were on the brink of in September.”

    The federal reserve was the entity that blew up the bubble. They caused the crisis. You can’t give them credit for avoiding a collapse that they caused. That would be analagous to crediting a driver driving 100 mph down the road with saving your life because he swerved at the last second to avoid you.

    Furthermore, Paulson was CEO of Goldman while Goldman was busy buying up all this garbage. Now that he unloaded it on the taxpayers, you want to give him credit?

    These guys are the culprits. They aren’t your heroes.

  165. Victorian says:

    “total banking collapse, which we really were on the brink of in September”

    – How do you know? Which criteria do you use to judge this? All the indicators posted in the link above show that there has been no let up in the crisis. The banks are not lending. We just now have a few more banks which are too big to fail.

    “everyone looks at all of the dumb things he has done, but no one gives him credit for preventing the next big terror attack (which he has certainly done).”

    – What a ringing endorsement of the POTUS. Now, if everyone was judged at their job using this criteria.

  166. skep-tic says:

    Grim– I get what you are saying, but that week that Lehman went down, then Merrill was about to collapse, then AIG– if all of those had been allowed to happen in succession with no gov’t intervention it seems pretty obvious we would have been in total bank run territory. Bernanke and Paulson saw the light way too late and have not been consistent since then, but at the critical moment they did step up.

  167. grim says:

    Fed picks up another $3B worth of agency coupon:

    http://www.ny.frb.org/markets/pomo/display/index.cfm

  168. John says:

    Other problem is they have lots of redemptions this month, half the stuff they bought at par that is now trading at 70 they are selling in a weak market to pay the redemptions. When the market comes back and people start putting money back into fund the buying opportunity is over. That is why suzie orman does not like muni funds, the yields are weak to begin with and then you start putting fees on top.

    chicagofinance Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 2:51 pm
    daddyo Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 2:15 pm
    ChiFi, If the fund has a relatively short duration, if you hold on to it, the bonds will return to par soon enough. All those “losses” you have are paper marks that you only realize if you sell. Also, the fund yield will probably pick up quite a bit as the investments roll into more yieldy paper.

    Mean duration of the Opp NJ Muni portfolio is 12.8 years……..

  169. skep-tic says:

    At this point, I think I would probably just end up repeating a lot of the arguments I made a couple of months ago w/r/t the banks. I am admitting that the bailout has been botched in many ways, but I still think it is pretty clear that we are overall better off today because of the intervention. Understand that many disagree and I don’t think the opposite view is without merit

  170. Sean says:

    skep – think Japan, we are not better off in any way shape or form.

  171. John says:

    rate cut next week and tarp funds to GM next week will be a lovely artifically inspired rally, but I will take it anyhow, kinda like I say to a girl with fake boobs, they are real as long as I can touch them.

  172. Victorian says:

    (164) Chi –
    “A2/P2 credit are supposed to plan for these contigencies, and be prepared for long-term shut down of market access”

    I was not aware of this. The blowout in the spread compared to historical numbers just make it seem like more smaller businesses will go under than in normal circumstances.

  173. Kettle1 says:

    Sean, SKep

    If i try to look at it from Skep’s point of view, it seems that a bailout is better because it prevents the initial shock from a rapid unraveling and the subsequent overshoot that occurs. The goal being an extend unwinding and minimized overshoot.

    I respect Skeptics opinion but as we have debated before, disagree. I simply see such a delay as an extended waste of resources, government funds, that will come from the taxpayer.

    One other observation, and skep please chime in on this; Your assumptions seem to assume a resumption of the consumer markets after the “correction” runs its coarse. Is that correct?

    it really comes down to the whole bandaide debate. Fast or slow

  174. John says:

    http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/storysupplement/stateautoworkers/

    what a suprise DC has the lowest amount of autoworkers of any state

  175. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Corzine signs food, energy assistance bill

    Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed legislation authorizing $22.5 million for food, energy and legal assistance to New Jerseyans as part of his economic recovery initiative.

    The bill awards $10 million in energy assistance to people who need help paying their utility bills.

    Another $9.5 million is dedicated to legal aid for people facing foreclosure, bankruptcy and debt collection.

    The bill also authorizes $3 million to food pantries, which have been hit hard by increased demand as the economy sinks and unemployment rises.

  176. grim says:

    Another $9.5 million is dedicated to legal aid for people facing foreclosure, bankruptcy and debt collection.

    Huh? Might as well have used the money as kindling to heat the homes of people seeking assistance for heating/utility.

    $9.5 million?

    46,000 foreclosures were filed in NJ over the last 12 months.

    Not to mention the fact that we saw almost 20,000 bankruptcies filed in NJ in 2007, and are probably on track for more this year.

    9,500,000/(46,000+20,000) = $144 per case

    $144 per case? What kind of legal advice does that buy, an hour?

    And that didn’t even touch on debt collection. If we assume debt collection counseling will be at the same level of bankruptcies, that per person amount drops down to $110 per case.

    This will barely pay for a U-Haul Truck, let alone forestall a foreclosure.

  177. yikes says:

    # John Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    If George lets the big three go under and there are no more pick-up trucks left they will hang him in Texas

    no way GWB lets America’s Big 3 go under on his watch. he’s already had a horrible 8 years that will go down as legendary … you think he wants this blood on his hands?

    nope. pass the buck to the black president and let him decide what to do in 6 months when the big 3 ask for $$ again.

  178. Kettle1 says:

    Grim 180,

    How about we make that legal fund a foreclosure beer fund? That would be more useful to everyone and that would be a substantial amount of beer

  179. Victorian says:

    Where did BC Bob go?

  180. greg t says:

    chicagofinance Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 3:59 pm
    clot: be really f—ing careful…that said, I have a very bad feeling in my bones…around this time next week something really whacko is comin’ our way….

    guess your blackbox is just as good as kettle’s and bi’s

  181. skep-tic says:

    #177

    “it really comes down to the whole bandaide debate. Fast or slow”

    yes, I think this is a fair description. there are good arguments either way and a lot depends on how bad the underlying wound is

  182. yikes says:

    # Clotpoll Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Based on the events of the last 24 hours, I’m moving up my call for civil unrest.

    May ‘09 will see the first of the riots.

    Care to venture a guess as to WHERE, Clot?

    I’m thinking Detroit and Vegas are probably highest on the list.

  183. skep-tic says:

    #180

    my understanding of how consumer bankruptcy lawyers operate is that the few who do make money do so with volume as often they can only get a few hundred in fees out of any one client. sort of how H&R Block makes money with tax preparation. so that number might not be as unreasonable as it seems

  184. yikes says:

    went and saw the house we like again. sellers’ realtor seemed to show far too much of her client’s hand … basically, the sellers have first dibs on a short sale they REALLY like.

    however, another buyer for that property has entered the picture. the weird catch: the realtor represents BOTH potential buyers.

    at any rate, we really looked over the place we want and feel that the only dramatic thing we’d need to do is a complete paint job, and possibly pull up the rugs in the 3 bedrooms upstairs.

    the owners had two tiny dogs, but hardwood throughout (except those bedroms).

    the other kicker is that we want to put in a pool, and thus we’d need a new fence (it’s on .87 of an acre). never in my life have i priced a fence, but i gotta do that …

  185. skep-tic says:

    Paul McElroy: A lot of people don’t realize that change is a two-way street. You can come in with sixteen quarters, eight dimes, and four nickels – we can give you a five-dollar bill. Or we can give you five singles. Or two singles, eight quarters, and ten dimes. You’d be amazed at the variety of the options you have.

    Customer #3: I was driving through Pennsylvania on the tollway, and to save time I was using the exact-change lanes. I had just run out of quarters, and I was getting a bit nervous when I spotted a sign for a Citiwide branch at the next exit. Let me tell you, it was a pretty good feeling.

    Paul McElroy: I have had people come in with wrinkled ten-dollar bills to exchange for new crisp bills to put in birthday cards. We can handle special requests like that, usually in the same day.

    Customer #4: I’d just returned from a business trip to London, and all the cash I had was a five-pound note. Citiwide wasn’t able to convert it to dollars, but they did give me four guineas, two crowns, four shillings, and ten pence.

    Paul McElroy: All the time, our customers ask us, “How do you make money doing this?” The answer is simple: Volume. That’s what we do.

  186. hughesrep says:

    186

    How about this weekend in Detroit? Jim Bunning is signing baseballs in Michigan this weekend. I’m guessing he backs out.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20081212/COL04/812120325/?imw=Y

  187. yikes says:

    clot, and people who deal with mortgage brokers daily …

    regarding that mortgage rate drop to 4.5% … BOTH realtors today think that the 4.5 rate, if it happens, will only apply to NEW homeowners.

    what sucks is i bought a flip a few years back, so i dont qualify; wife has never owned. but i dont know if she can qualify on her own (makes 75-100k, loan we’re targeting is 325k).

    i think that’s BS that it will apply only to new homeowners. has anyone else heard this?

  188. yikes says:

    John Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I don’t blame them, the Senate wanted them to work for $14 an hour which is 29K a year. If I am a 45 year old auto worker with three kids, a mortgage and a car loan $14 might as well be zero I am going under. Heck Trader Joe’s pays the college kids 12 an hour. I know they have to be paid less, but going from 60K to 30K is nuts. People who make 60K spend 100% of their income just to get buy.

    Welcome to new america, buddy. you make 60k and you have a car loan? get with the program. sell the car and buy a $4k car with a lot of miles on it.

    $60k and the guy has a car loan? get real.
    i know couples clearing 200k+ and they are driving 6-10 year old cars with lots of miles.

    that’s how you get by. Detroit will have to learn the hard way.

  189. 3b says:

    #191i think that’s BS that it will apply only to new homeowners. has anyone else heard this?

    As I understand it, it will only apply to new homeowners.

  190. 3b says:

    #175 John:will be a lovely artifically inspired rally,

    And if it does (rally) it will rapidly decline again.

  191. John says:

    I think the rappers and saudis should chip in some bucks as they buy all the escalades and hummers anyhow. What are they going to go all bling bling in a camry?

  192. John says:

    RE 101 the massess are getting mad, whey are gathering their pitchforks and burning torches if we don’t get our 100BP and Auto bail out next week I wouldn’t be driving a Jap car under an overpass, the real americans will be exercising their right to bear arms.

  193. yikes says:

    3b – link to the new homeowner theory?

    why would they do this?

  194. 3b says:

    #197 Yikes: No link, stories in the WSJ and Markketwatch over the last couple of weeks.

    The theory behind the plan is to get fence sitters off the fence any buy a house, thereby cleaning out all the inventory of unsold homes.

    If you already own a home no 4.50 for you.

  195. 3b says:

    #196 Johnny boy what you gonna do with your 100bp? What is it going to do for you or any one, what did 0 rates do for Japan, nothing, nothing, and more nothing. Same with your 100bp, nothing.

  196. John says:

    Example of nutty sell off, bond issued in 2006 at par, since then 10 rate cuts and bond is off 30%. Someone buying today can afford to hold to maturity at 7% a lot easier then someone who got in at 4%, losing 300bps every year for 30 years is a real monkey spank.

    METROPOLITAN TRANSN AUTH N Y DEDICATED 04.50000% 11/15/2036 TAX FD DEDICATED TAX FUND BDS SER. 2006B
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 69.801
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 6.969%

  197. John says:

    I want 100bps for only one reason, so people can no longer hide in savings accounts, money markets or CDs. Once people see 1% CDs they will tip toe back into the bond market.

    3b Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 4:25 pm
    #196 Johnny boy what you gonna do with your 100bp? What is it going to do for you or any one, what did 0 rates do for Japan, nothing, nothing, and more nothing. Same with your 100bp, nothing.

  198. 3b says:

    #202 John:they will tip toe back into the bond market.

    And what buy tresauries at 0%? And as far as retai;l invetors they are not coming back to any market any time soon. They will stuff money in the mattress if they have to.

  199. schabadoo says:

    so people can no longer hide in savings accounts

    I always thought this was something to be encouraged…

  200. Kettle1 says:

    greg,

    I dont use a blackbox, I use a magic 8 ball

  201. John says:

    They will start buying muni bonds and investment grade corporate bonds. AA/AAA short term at first, short term investment grade bonds and munis are a screaming buy, IBM, GE, JPM etc, they ain’t going under in 24 months yet a lot of fear is priced in.

    3b Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 4:29 pm
    #202 John:they will tip toe back into the bond market.

    And what buy tresauries at 0%? And as far as retai;l invetors they are not coming back to any market any time soon. They will stuff money in the mattress if they have to.

  202. John says:

    Fitch cuts Toll Brothers ratings to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’

  203. 3b says:

    #206 John: many retail investors don’t need the tax exemption for munis, in fact many in the past would have been better off buying a high grade corporate and paying the difference.

    In this environment though they ar frozen, and won;t IMO take the gamble. The corps/high net worth will keep buying treas at 0 if they have to.

    There won’t be a lot of tip toeing in a recession like this one unfolding.

    It’s a brave new world grasshopper.

  204. Kettle1 says:

    Anbody notice this:

    Correa Defaults on Ecuador Bonds, Seeks Restructuring

    Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa halted payment on foreign bonds he calls “illegal” and “illegitimate,” putting the South American country in default for a second time in a decade.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=a5PyWzGVCR7E&refer=news

  205. John says:

    3B, you can’t sit on a few hundred thousand dollars at zero percent forever.

  206. John says:

    Haven Trust Bank of Duluth, Ga., becomes 24th U.S. bank failure of year

    Happy FDIC Friday

  207. daddyo says:

    As long as the inflation rate is -3%, 0% treasuries still seem ok…

  208. grim says:

    http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2008/pr08134.html

    Assets $572 million
    Deposits of $515 million.
    FDIC absorbing $200 million in losses

    35% in losses? Pretty severe.

    Can I ask why Sheila waited so long to close this bank down?

  209. grim says:

    Fitch cuts Toll Brothers ratings to ‘BBB-’ from ‘BBB’

    Also cut Horton, KB, Lennar, Centex, Ryland, and Pulte.

  210. Kettle1 says:

    (Bloomberg) — Heating-oil dealers in the U.S. Northeast have more than $100 million in unpaid bills from residential and business customers after fuel prices rose to a record, a consumer-debt service found.

  211. 3b says:

    #211 John:you can’t sit on a few hundred thousand dollars at zero percent forever.

    Sure you can. And if not for ever, than for the next couple of years.

  212. grim says:

    Lappin Foundation closes, assets ‘gone’

    he programs of the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation and the Robert I. Lappin 1992 Supporting Foundation are discontinued, effectively immediately. This includes Youth to Israel and Teachers to Israel, the foundations announced in a press release early Friday afternoon, Dec. 12.

    The money used to fund the programs of both foundations was invested with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and all the assets have been frozen by the federal courts.

    “The money needed to fund the programs of the Lappin Foundations is gone,” said Robert I. Lappin, foundation trustee.
    The foundation staff was terminated today, Friday.

    “It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement,” said Lappin. “The foundations’ programs have touched thousands of lives over many years in our efforts to help keep our children Jewish.”

    This summer, the foundation sent 111 teens to Israel and earlier in 2008, also provided a trip for Teachers to Israel.

  213. Seneca says:

    John, chifi, veto, daddyo – thanks for the discussion.

    Can I take a vote? Sell or Hold? If I knew I could be made whole in five years I would probably wait. I don’t need this money right now but if its just a slow sinking ship….

    In other news, a woman with an Indian accent called today. Said she could help me with my credit card debt. “I don’t have any” I replied. “Oh surely there is some credit cards I might assist you with in making payments” she said. “Nope, I only buy what I have the cash to pay for right now” was my reply.

    “How about mortgage debt then, I will help you as you are behind in your mortgage.” “I rent, you must be looking for some other type of American.”, I said and with that, she said “OK, thank you” and hung up.

    Happy holidays.

  214. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    NAHB Lays Off Staff, Trims Budget

    Not surprisingly, the National Association of Home Builders is being forced to retrench its staffing and budget as it faces a huge drop in membership — the Washington-based lobbying group said earlier this week that it had cut $11.5 million from its 2009 operating budget and eliminated 52 positions, as a result of cost-cutting measures.

    “The stark financial realities confronting our association and industry cannot be ignored, said Jerry Howard, NAHB CEO and president. “Projected income from NAHB’s two principal sources — membership and trade shows — will be down significantly in 2009.”

    The group has been among the largest lobbying entities on Capitol Hill in recent years, thanks to the vast run-up in residential construction and housing, and along with the National Association of Realtors and Mortgage Bankers Association helped form a triumverate that represented one of the most powerful lobbying forces inside the Beltway. The NAHB would not comment on whether the budget cuts would eat into the group’s lobbying efforts next year.

  215. Kettle1 says:

    Chrysler execs say cash will run short in January

    By TOM KRISHER – 20 hours ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler LLC is nearing the minimum level of cash it needs to run the company and will have trouble paying bills after the first of the year, according its chief financial officer.

    In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday night, Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda and Chief Financial Officer Ron Kolka also said some parts suppliers and other vendors have demanded cash on delivery but the company is fending them off.

    Chrysler has said its cash will drop to $2.5 billion by Dec. 31, the minimum needed to meet payroll, pay suppliers and run the company. With the U.S. sales slump expected to continue into January, one of the slowest sales months of the year, the company has little revenue coming in and must pay suppliers $7 billion every 45 days, Kolka said.

    —————————

    why not just merge the big 3? they clearly cannot survive as is. The suppliers are now demanding cash payments. how long do the big3 have left, even with government cheese?

  216. chicagofinance says:

    Seneca Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 5:36 pm
    John, chifi, veto, daddyo – thanks for the discussion.

    Can I take a vote? Sell or Hold? If I knew I could be made whole in five years I would probably wait. I don’t need this money right now but if its just a slow sinking ship….

    Seneca: I am more than willing to provide helpful info, but I cannot answer that question in this forum due to liability issues.

  217. chicagofinance says:

    greg t Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 3:47 pm
    chicagofinance Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 3:59 pm
    clot: be really f—ing careful…that said, I have a very bad feeling in my bones…around this time next week something really whacko is comin’ our way….

    guess your blackbox is just as good as kettle’s and bi’s

    I had no idea about this fact. I feel like a freak now……
    http://www.abc2news.com/news/local/story/Full-moon-tonight/p5v4eWGipE–jHyp5XF6EA.cspx?rss=702

  218. Barbara says:

    thinking about refis on a few investment properties. They have plenty of equity in them so that’s not a worry. I don’t want money out, just a lower monthly.
    What kind of fees can I expect in this climate?

  219. chicagofinance says:

    Lost……………….

    // 11.12.08 16:32 // Posted by Peter2 //

    The title of the Depeche Mode’s first “Single Of The Universe” leaked onto the internets today. While it’s been speculated since it’s inclusion at the October 6th press conference, it’s now not-yet-at-all-official that “Wrong” will be the lead single from the band’s yet-to-be-publicly-named album. While a release date has yet to be confirmed, it’s likely to be late March/early April, with a radio date some time in February.

  220. yikes says:

    so the 4.5 % loans … if you own a house, you cant get a rate that low … but what if you owned in te past, but currently rent?

  221. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (191)-

    That’s complete bullshit.

  222. Clotpoll says:

    bi (198)-

    Please inform me as you add to your SPG and NLY positions.

  223. Sybarite says:

    Clot,

    Keep an eye out for an email with a potential investment property for your opinion.

  224. bairen says:

    Can’t the last investors in Madorf’s firm sue the earlier investors? I thought that was the case. If there is fraud, even the people who unknowingly received funds may/have to return it.

  225. Kettle1 says:

    almost time to go home :)

    at least i get paid by the hour

  226. grim says:

    Whoa! Two failures today:

    http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2008/pr08135.html

    Sanderson State Bank in TX

  227. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Investor charged in fraud managed Lautenberg charity

    A Wall Street powerbroker now accused of a massive investment fraud scheme managed a charitable foundation created by Sen. Frank Lautenberg that had nearly $14.5 million in assets.

    Bernard L. Madoff, the 70-year-old founder of a self-named investment firm in New York City, was arrested on a securities fraud charge Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

    “Senator Lautenberg was an investor in Bernard Madoff’s investment fund, primarily in the form of his family’s charitable foundation,” Lautenberg spokesman Scott Mulhauser said.

    Newark attorney Michael Griffinger, who was asked to look into the matter for Lautenberg on Friday, said he believed Madoff was the sole manager or at least the primary manager of the foundation’s assets. The latest public tax documents available online show those assets totaled more than $14.5 million in 2006.

    “I’m hesitant to make any bold statements, because there may be some current accounts in the hands of others, but the bulk of the foundation money was in the hands of Madoff,” Griffinger said.

  228. yikes says:

    Clot – what’s BS? the 4.5 only being for “first-time” homeowners? again, this is what i heard from two realtors today and then 3B said he heard/read the same thing.

    i poked around the net and found this: “The Federal Reserve Bank has hinted that early next year, it might drop mortgage loan rates to 4.5 percent for first-time home buyers in an effort to revive the nation’s housing industry.”

    but the source is
    http://www.columbian.com/article/20081211/BIZ01/712119966/-1/BIZ

    so go figure

  229. Kettle1 says:

    Going home. hurray!

    Nom, clott

    found a good etf for you

    LD

  230. chicagofinance says:

    Kettle1 Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 10:32 pm
    Going home. hurray!
    Nom, clott
    found a good etf for you
    LD

    ket: How about when they are suffering from SKF/SRS withdrawal, they can start futzing with TBT?

  231. Pat says:

    http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/realestate/2008/12/11/foreclosure-home-sales-forbeslife-cx_mw_1211realestate.html?feed=rss_forbeslife_realestate

    “Thanks to buyers searching for deals, the number of sales of foreclosed homes in these towns are highest in the U.S.

    In Depth: America’s Post-Subprime Boomtowns

  232. chicagofinance says:

    grim UNMOD
    December 12th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Does Depeche Mode put you in moderation now? :(

  233. bi says:

    vic, he might try to get money back from Madoff :-)

    183# Victorian Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 3:45 pm
    Where did BC Bob go?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Madoff-alleged-50-billion-rb-13819411.html

  234. lisoosh says:

    #225 – Nice to see Gen X getting sh@fted as per usual.

  235. NJGator says:

    Nom – I sure hope that pension fund you are terminating is not mine!

  236. Jersey Jim says:

    Has anyone here installed EP Henry paver for their driveway? It is a bit expensive but I was thinking since my house is old (1820) the Old Towne Cobble would really make it look nice and add some value to the property. The asphalt that I need to replace looks terrible.

  237. ruggles says:

    The 4.5% mortgage rate story is supposedly just an idea that got leaked out to the public–so it may or may not happen. That’s why the details don’t really exist. I’ve heard that it will only apply to new purchases, not new homebuyers. So it would be anyone who buys a home as opposed to refinancing. However, some people have taken it to mean ‘new home’ purchases–so it would only apply to new construction. I have not heard, like you did, that it would only be for new home buyers like the $7500 tax credit. We will have to wait and see whether it happens and to whom it applies.

    James Lockhart is suggesting that rates will fall below 4% because of the government intervention in the markets. So 4.5 might not be the best deal. And didn’t rates in Japan in the 90s go to 0 or 1%. That’s the deal I’m waiting for.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/11/BUOA14LOEK.DTL&type=realestate

  238. grim says:

    The Fed is currently making outright purchases (not repos) in the short to mid-term agency paper market, purchasing Fannie, Freddie, and FHLA paper through permanent open market operations.

    The Fed currently holds something like $18 billion in agency coupon at this point, $15.8 billion par value was reported as held on the 10th, an additional $3 billion par value was added yesterday.

    http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/soma/sysopen_accholdings.html

    Not only was $3 billion par value purchased yesterday, but $5 billion par value was purchased the Friday before that:

    http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/pomo/display/index.cfm?showmore=1

    The Fed clearly states the purpose for doing so:

    http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/gses_faq.html

    What is the policy objective of the Federal Reserve’s program to purchase direct obligations of the housing-related GSEs?

    The goal of these debt purchases, combined with the purchases of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae announced on November 25, 2008, is to reduce the cost and increase the availability of credit for the purchase of houses. Purchases of GSE direct obligations are intended to lower the spreads between rates on GSE direct obligations and U.S. Treasury debt, which have widened recently.

  239. Hubba says:

    Clot,

    You might me moving your schedule for civil unrest up a bit further even:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081213/ap_on_re_us/bank_bombing

  240. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (235)-

    I can already see the rate activity across multiple mortgage classes. Both purchase money & refi (conventional and FHA) are seeing identical rate declines. No conditions as to first-time buyers.

  241. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (235)-

    One more consistency to all the rate manipulation:

    There are still no buyers.

    Refi business has picked up, though.

  242. grim says:

    Mega-comp killer in Upper Haughtyville, Bergen Co., NJ!

    429 Cedar Hill Ave, Wyckoff NJ
    Purchased: 11/20/2005
    Purchase Price: $650,000

    MLS# 2843688
    Sold: 12/12/2008
    Sale Price: $450,000
    31% below 2005 purchase price

    I thought prices never went down in Bergen, what happened?

  243. grim says:

    Kaboom!

    124 Manito Ave, Oakland NJ
    Purchased: 7/23/2004
    Purchase Price: $540,000

    MLS# 2846095
    Sold: 12/11/2008
    Sale Price: $447,900

    $92,000 (17%) BELOW the *2004* purchase price!

  244. Pat says:

    I’ve met a couple with children. It took them more than a year to sell their home, in order to purchase in a target town.

    A relative had agreed two years ago to sell them a home in the target area after they sold their original place. In the meantime, relative retired, moved and purchased a retirement home for cash. Relative rented them the home at a minor/token rent for the interim.

    Guess what purchase price the relative is demanding? Near peak. They will be taking an immediate 10% loss on the house and nearly full loss of equity.

    Is this a boomer phenomenon, or could this be considered the result of a verbal agreement that should be honored?

  245. bairen says:

    #250 grim,

    Do you think we’ll get back to 2001 prices or lower in another year or 2?

  246. willwork4beer says:

    Grim,

    This week’s report from the hinterlands:

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded 15 sales in Hunterdon County this week. Three made this list.

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers:

    MLS# 2581204

    280 TURKEY HILL ROAD
    Bethlehem Twp

    SLD: 12/08/05 $540,000
    OLP: 10/16/07 $499,900

    Withdrawn – DOM: 174

    OLP: 09/22/08 $474,900
    SLD: 12/10/08 $432,500

    DOM: 61

    19.91% off 12/05 sale price
    13.49% off 10/07 OLP

    MLS# 2521954

    1 OVERLOOK CT
    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 09/14/05 $463,500
    OLP: 05/28/08 $435,000
    SLD: 12/10/08 $425,000

    DOM: 8

    08.31% off 09/05 sale price
    02.30% off 05/08 OLP

    MLS# 2513549

    25 STONEHOUSE DR
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 12/09/04 $547,000
    OLP: 05/01/08 $549,000
    SLD: 12/12/08 $485,000

    DOM: 194

    11.44% off 12/04 sale price
    11.66% off 05/08 OLP

  247. willwork4beer says:

    Grim,

    Hinterlands report, part two…

    Hunterdon County FUTURE Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded 37 new listings in Hunterdon County this week. Seven made this list.

    Hunterdon County FUTURE Comp Killers

    MLS# 2614553

    6 TROON TER
    Clinton Twp

    SLD: 09/16/05 $186,000
    OLP: 10/27/05 $219,611
    LLP: 04/27/06 $195,000

    Expired – DOM: 182

    OLP: 05/02/06 $189,900
    LLP: 11/02/06 $189,900

    Withdrawn – DOM: 45

    OLP: 12/08/08 $175,000

    DOM: 5

    05.92% off 09/05 sale price
    20.32% off 10/05 OLP

    MLS# 2614888

    38 HERMAN THAU RD
    Clinton Twp

    SLD: 02/20/03 $275,000
    SLD: 08/14/06 $420,000
    OLP: 01/29/07 $474,900
    LLP: 04/11/07 $427,500

    Withdrawn – DOM: 72

    OLP: 07/10/07 $399,900
    LLP: 09/19/07 $399,900

    Withdrawn – DOM: 71

    OLP: 12/09/08 $240,000

    DOM: 5

    12.73% off 02/03 sale price
    42.86% off 08/06 sale price
    49.47% off 01/07 OLP

    MLS# 2614636

    2 RARITAN POINTE
    Lambertville City

    SLD: 07/27/05 $339,400
    OLP: 07/13/08 $389,000
    LLP: 12/07/08 $369,000

    Withdrawn – DOM: 147

    OLP: 12/08/08 $335,000

    DOM: 5

    01.30% off 07/05 sale price
    13.89% off 07/08 OLP

    MLS# 2615990

    109 SLIKER RD
    Lebanon Twp

    SLD: 11/27/02 $490,000
    OLP: 09/10/07 $739,900
    LLP: 03/10/08 $599,000

    Expired – DOM: 182

    OLP: 12/09/08 $449,900

    DOM: 4

    08.19% off 11/02 sale price
    39.20% off 09/07 OLP

    MLS# 2615208

    7 Hageman Road
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 06/11/04 $664,900
    OLP: 07/13/08 $755,000
    LLP: 12/05/08 $605,000

    Withdrawn – DOM: 145

    OLP: 12/09/08 $599,900

    DOM: 4

    09.78% off 06/04 sale price
    20.55% off 07/08 OLP

    MLS# 2616146

    21 CENTRAL AVE
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 07/27/05 $715,000
    OLP: 03/16/07 $799,900
    LLP: 09/16/07 $799,900

    Withdrawn – DOM: 129

    OLP: 01/11/08 $745,000
    LLP: 05/05/08 $729,900

    Withdrawn – DOM: 115

    OLP: 05/07/08 $729,900
    LLP: 07/11/08 $729,900

    Expired – DOM: 65

    OLP: 07/17/08 $699,999
    LLP: 11/24/08 $699,999

    Withdrawn – DOM: 130

    OLP: 12/12/08 $699,999

    DOM: 1

    02.10% off 07/05 sale price
    10.62% off 03/07 OLP

    MLS# 2616111

    67 Main St
    Stockton Boro

    SLD: 08/31/04 $850,000
    OLP: 11/16/06 $875,000
    LLP: 08/13/07 $850,000

    Withdrawn – DOM: 270

    OLP: 08/15/07 $799,900
    LLP: 11/30/08 $799,900

    Expired – DOM: 473

    OLP: 12/11/08 $799,900

    DOM: 2

    05.89% off 08/04 sale price
    08.59% off 11/06 OLP

  248. chicagofinance says:

    Looking for trucks on You Tube with Hunter and came across this video……seemed topical…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsEke6IQkDw&feature=related

  249. chicagofinance says:

    Cutting edge solutions for modern times….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITZRp4DwDas&NR=1

  250. 3b says:

    #227 yikes: 4.50 is for any one who currently does nto own a home, primary residence only.

  251. yikes says:

    crime spree in the west village/meatpacking in nyc.

    that’s where a lot of rich white people live (Sarah Jessica Parker, Gisele and Tom Brady, tons of other celebrities, etc).

    wonder how long this will keep up, and if it is related to where the world is headed …

  252. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (256)-

    I wanna be a repo man!

  253. 3b says:

    #251 barien:Do you think we’ll get back to 2001 prices or lower in another year or 2?

    IMO yes,and sooner, the large leg down in prices will be this Spring.
    I would not at all be surprised to see prices go back to late 90’s levels, as a guy I know believes that they will.

    Even I was nver that doom and gloom as far as price declines, but now, would nto be surprised.

  254. yikes says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    December 13th, 2008 at 8:01 am

    yikes (235)-

    One more consistency to all the rate manipulation:

    There are still no buyers.

    Potential buyer here! And I would assume anyone who has been reading this board for the last 2 years “has their boots on.”

    I can’t imagine the govt letting rates go to 0 or 1% … isnt’ that what got us here in the first place?

  255. yikes says:

    # grim Says:
    December 13th, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Kaboom!

    124 Manito Ave, Oakland NJ
    Purchased: 7/23/2004
    Purchase Price: $540,000

    MLS# 2846095
    Sold: 12/11/2008
    Sale Price: $447,900

    $92,000 (17%) BELOW the *2004* purchase price!

    Grim – In your experiences, is being the “comp killer” purchaser a good or bad thing? I just wonder if we’re able to beat this 600k house down to 525k … we have then set the benchmark in the neighborhood for future sellers.

    don’t exactly want an X on our house as the “comp killer, paper money destroying bastards!” …

  256. grim says:

    Cutting edge solutions for modern times….

    Impressive

  257. veto says:

    Re:[222] municipal bond fund
    Seneca Says: Can I take a vote?

    Whether to hold or sell your muni fund (or any other security) is the million dollar question all the mad scientists here are pondering on a daily basis. Most people took an intital hit on their portfolio and either held, pulled out, doubled down or continue to wonder if its too late for any of those options. Unfortunately a vote probably wont help you much. The concept of diversifying a portfolio with products that are negatively correlated to eachother (like stocks mixed with munis) is a good one especially over the long run (see markowitz modern portfolio theory, investing 101) but we’ve all been reminded that in a crisis, almost everything is interconnected and therefore positively correlated downward so its not a bulletproof strategy and thats why all the sophisticated hedge funds and endowments took hits too. We’re all looking for the bottom here, not only in stocks and bonds but in housing and the overall economy as well.
    Personally, i think we’re going lower but doesnt mean we’ll get there in a straight line, even in the crash of 1929-33 we mustered 30% rallies lasting months. you could sell half to make yourself feel like you did something. also look into a stop loss at a price you dont feel comfortable going under. If you do hold on, you should do so expecting more sleepless nights over the next six months at least even if holding proves to be the right choice.
    disclaimier: do not take my advice, im often wrong.

  258. Just me says:

    Can anyone find any info about this property?
    Thank you

    MLS 3027968

    R 3027968 X 304 WELLINGTON Jackson $439,900 4 3 1 HOMEAL 308729 N 11/30/2008 90

  259. Seneca says:

    Thanks veto.

    Unrelated: … had dinner at a /French place in lower haughty-ville (Union County). Avg. $80 meal and the place was packed. Tried to solicit from the group of 10 if it “felt” like we were in a recession. Overwhelming feedback was no. Everyone is still employed (or at least the one spouse who is working is still employed) so why should we feel any different when we have same income, same mortgage payment and there are 40% off sales at Banana Republic and 25% off at Lord and Taylor. As far as x-mas shopping for the kids goes, no plans to cut back. Cause little Max can’t go without the James the train he asked for and little Emily can’t go without the new American Girl Doll plus coordinated outfit and tea set.

  260. grim says:

    I can tell you it was purchased on 8/22/2005 for $504,000.

  261. Kevin in Trenton says:

    Some interesting positive real estate-related news for us animal in Trenton:

    All aboard for cash infusion
    Saturday, December 13, 2008
    BY ANDREW KITCHENMAN

    A surge in federal spending over the next two years may provide an opportunity to complete long-planned proposals to convert Route 29 into a boulevard and extend light rail to the Statehouse.

    President-elect Barack Obama has promised a massive national economic recovery package and Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer is pushing for the city to benefit from the federal spending.

    http://www.nj.com/news/times/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1229144725323490.xml&coll=5

  262. Kevin in Trenton says:
  263. 3b says:

    I was out in Paramus Park early this morning (7:30), no crowds parked in front, everything on sale Got what I needed and home in under 2 hours.

  264. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (261)-

    It’s not the rates that are influencing buyers at large. It’s price.

    At today’s still-too-high prices, nobody’s buying.

    Rising unemployment and stratospheric personal debt loads don’t help, either.

  265. 3b says:

    #271 clot:It’s not the rates that are influencing buyers at large. It’s price.

    Exactly. You cannot have an economic melt down/financial crisis, and brutal recession, and still have so many houses on the market with sellers looking for 2005/06 peak prices.

  266. Cindy says:

    http://thepriceofeverything.typepad.com/the_price_of_everything/2008/12/the-twelve-days-of-crisis.html

    And this from ft.com/undercover

    Dear Economist: Is the credit crunch suitable for children?

  267. bi says:

    267, seneca, you are right! in addition, we pay $1.6 per gallon instead of $4.3 in summer. we buy 2 shares of stock instead of 1 a year ago

    >why should we feel any different when we have same income, same mortgage payment and there are 40% off sales at Banana Republic and 25% off at Lord and Taylor.

  268. victorian says:

    Clot –

    Your May 09 prediction maybe a little optimistic?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081213/ap_on_re_us/bank_bombing

    “A bomb exploded inside a bank here late Friday afternoon, killing a police officer who arrived to check on a suspicious object and seriously injuring two others.”

  269. Cindy says:

    http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/12/tracking_tarp.php

    Interesting R/E charts – by Megan Mcardle – she asks:

    “Is this crazy? Well let’s ask this question: what happened in 1997 to make housing worth so much more?”

    I still contend it was the Tax payer Relief Act of 1997 –

  270. 3b says:

    #275 bi: So according to your reasoning, things are good, even though they are bad? Makes no sense, but not surprised that is how you would llok at the situation.

    Everything may be fine with those 10 people at the restaurant, until they are not for 1 or 2, or more.

    But for them to have such a cavalier attitude is foolish.

    This is going to be one incredibly ugly recession, and people should recognize that.

  271. Sean says:

    Cindy – one thing not mentioned in that article was the large mergers of Real Estate Agencies both commercial and on the retail side that was occurring in 1997.

    Coldwell Banker for example was busy gobbling up smaller agencies all of the US.

    The evil NAR collaborated to market homes and drive the prices up to increase demand.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9506E7DC153DF935A35757C0A961958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

  272. Cindy says:

    Anyone know where a gal can find a little action on a cold afternoon?

  273. chicagofinance says:

    bi Says:
    December 13th, 2008 at 11:15 am
    267, seneca, you are right! in addition, we pay $1.6 per gallon instead of $4.3 in summer.

    bi: Gassed up at the Hess on US 1-N at Finnegans Lane in North Brunswick on Thursday night. Paid $1.41 with credit card. BOOYA.

  274. Outofstater says:

    #251 Pat – Not all boomers are money-grubbing clueless jerks. (Some are BROKE, money-grubbing clueless jerks, but that’s another story.) Perhaps the relative is factoring in the reduced rent he/she charged the family. Not a lawyer but didn’t Sam Goldwyn say that verbal agreements aren’t worth the paper they are written on?

  275. lostinny says:

    ChiFi
    You have mail.

  276. lostinny says:

    Last time I filled up I think I paid 1.61 in Woodbridge. If I went down the block I would have paid 1.57. Oh well.

  277. Sybarite says:

    I suspect post 280 is the work of an imposter.

  278. Qwerty says:

    Chicago, this one seems more appropriate for the times:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfXbZVPP3MQ

  279. lostinny says:

    284 Syb
    I think you are correct.

  280. chicagofinance says:

    Qwerty Says:
    December 13th, 2008 at 1:56 pm
    Chicago, this one seems more appropriate for the times:

    SICK! THE MOTHER LODE!

  281. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Pat Says:
    December 13th, 2008 at 8:44 am
    [snip]
    Guess what purchase price the relative is demanding? Near peak. They will be taking an immediate 10% loss on the house and nearly full loss of equity.

    Is this a boomer phenomenon, or could this be considered the result of a verbal agreement that should be honored?

    Depends.
    If it’s in writing, kids are most likely stuck. If not, but if boomers can show they LOST money because the kids agreed to take it at the higher price and moved in and THEN decided it was worth less, then the boomers may have a judge commiserate…

    No one (usually) wins, but if there’s concessionas on both sides, it may work out. (Usually it’s just an expensive paper fight between lawyers…)

    Just *another* reason why every agreement that involves more than $100.00 should be in writing. Even if it’s just on a dirty napkin… :)

  282. Hobokenite says:

    grim,

    Will there be a “2008 predictions” summary/review thread? Maybe a few days before the 2009 predictions thread?

  283. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (279)-

    Realtors do not drive prices up or down. We create and manage a marketplace, bringing together buyers and sellers.

    There are agents and companies that can, misguidedly, attempt to sustain price levels at unrealistic levels.

    If you’re of the belief that Realtors these days are too stupid to drive the market toward price levels that would trigger greater sales volume, it’s only consistent to believe that we cannot influence them upward, either.

    Ultimately, only buyers and sellers influence prices.

  284. Clotpoll says:

    200 bn of redemption demands, piled up pre-Madoff. How large will the number be now?

    From today’s NY Times:

    “It is difficult to map out the swath of damage that the Madoff firm’s collapse is likely to cut through the hedge fund industry, not to mention a wide range of other investors. But among its biggest investors were funds of funds, firms that invest in several hedge funds and are nominally among the most sophisticated judges of character in the industry. Because Mr. Madoff reported consistently positive returns for more than a decade — some say impossibly so — he drew vast amounts of business from them.

    Now, the collateral damage is likely to add to the chaos that has already been ravaging hedge funds. Spooked by losses and forced to raise cash quickly as the financial crisis ballooned, investors have sought to pull out their money from hedge funds, causing serious pain, and even some forced closures. A growing list of large, well-known firms have sought to block redemption requests in an effort to stem a mass exodus of investors who now desperately want to get into cash.

    In a letter sent Friday, the Citadel Investment Group said it was halting redemptions at its two largest hedge funds through March 31.

    Confidence will only weaken further with the Madoff firm scandal, intensifying pain for the industry.

    “If you couple this with the deleveraging already, this means one thing: more redemptions,” said Campbell R. Harvey, a professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

    The losses from the Madoff firm will also raise more questions about how well funds of funds perform due diligence, a concern already magnified by losses in the hedge fund industry.

    “Funds of funds that invested in Madoff will get a double whammy,” said Whitney Tilson, who runs the T2 Partners hedge fund. “Not only will they have to take a loss, but they are going to have to do an awful lot of explaining for how they ever got fooled here.”

    Indeed, while many investors are asking how regulators could have missed a towering Ponzi scheme, some are beginning to question the whole process of due diligence. Several potential investors had raised questions about Mr. Madoff’s claims of steady returns over the years, but regulators apparently took few steps to investigate.

    “Where were the auditors?” asked Bill Grayson, the president of Falcon Point Capital, a hedge fund based in San Francisco. “Where was his chief compliance officer? Where was the S.E.C.?”

  285. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (290)-

    Maybe Frank’s fund got wiped out by Madoff.

    One can only hope.

  286. spam spam bacon spam says:

    You want to see what #$%$#! buyers are doing?!?!

    I know someone who *should* be fiancially savvy… he’s a VP of a major bank.

    Bought property #1 in 2004 for $760K

    Currently listed 899K, (But I think original list price is 1.2MM?)

    It’s because they buy property #2…without even letting it go on the market, for 1.2MM…

    Sellers/original owners of property #2 bought new, back in 1999, for $325K.

    So, I assume they jumped at property #2 without listing property #1 thinking they would “swap”…

    But what the heck does he care? He’s getting his bonus and is carrying *about* 2MM in mortgages at the moment…

    And remember kiddies: this is our tarp fund at work…

  287. Sean says:

    re: #291 Clot – “Ultimately, only buyers and sellers influence prices.”

    The appraisers disagree.

    http://appraiserspetition.com/

    And I disagree from a perspective that many Realtors were merely a pawn in this game, since most are to stupid to even know what financed the bubble, present company excluded.

  288. sas says:

    “Jonathan Gordon”

    what is this wimp crying about?
    He found a job and still gets severence.

    talk about the biggest bed wetter. wow.

    talk about mental illness.

    SAS

  289. Just me says:

    Grim , tks

    its my understanding its gettig ready for auction …hmmm

  290. Cindy says:

    (280) Whoa – Left this AM for a bit of shopping and lunch with the girls..

    Thanks Sybarite @284 and Lost @ 286 – I see you had my back…

    You were right – Somebody is up to their old tricks….

  291. Cindy says:

    Vic – Thursday – I think it was, you posted those new rules for work…you know the “effective January 2nd 2009″…cracked me up.

    I wrote down the “New Office Policy” and took it to work – It is now in the school staff room – Big hit…

  292. Cindy says:

    (279) Sean

    I was thinking “follow the money.” Once the tax breaks kicked in “in earnest” say – 1999 – things totally changed around here. People couldn’t sell and move quickly enough (You can only do it every two years.) The flipping mentality was born.

    Then they expanded the law – 2003 I believe… you’d have to check out pub. 527 I think – so you just have to live in the place two out the last five years..”aggregate” two of the last 5 years before the sale – occupancy need not be continuous. All of a sudden, you could own two homes and “work” the system a bit.

    In the old days you had a one-time tax exemption – period. From what I saw here, everything changed with that law.

  293. kettle1 says:

    Spain may have $4 billion exposure to Madoff fraud

    Spanish investors could have up to 3 billion euros ($3.98 billion) of exposure to funds managed by Wall Street trader Bernard Madoff, accused of masterminding a fraud of up to $50 billion, Expansion said on Saturday. ‘The first estimates suggest both groups (large fortunes and Spanish funds) could have invested more than 3 billion euros in vehicles managed by Madoff,’ the financial daily said without naming its sources.

    http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2008/12/13/afx5817891.html

  294. kettle1 says:

    Executive Accused of Mortgage-Securities Scheme

    A financial executive used little more than a pen to alter credit scores and reclassify mobile homes as single-family houses, inflating the value of thousands of mortgages that were repackaged and sold to investors, prosecutors allege. Federal prosecutors in Miami on Thursday charged Steven Gordon, 49 years old, a former partner at Bayview Financial LP, with one count of wire fraud, in one of the first cases highlighting investigators’ efforts to move beyond low-level mortgage schemes and delve into suspected fraud in the mortgage-securities business involving bigger financial firms.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122904079529200047.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  295. kettle1 says:

    German bank bail-out has failed, say MPs

    Germany’s banking sector rescue has failed and should be modified urgently if lasting damage to the economy is to be avoided, the MPs who oversee the €500bn ($668bn, £449bn) of funds warned on Friday.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f9569418-c84c-11dd-b86f-000077b07658.html

  296. kettle1 says:

    Citadel Halts Withdrawals From Two Hedge Funds After 50% Drop

    Citadel Investment Group LLC, enduring its biggest losses since starting in 1990, halted year- end withdrawals from its two biggest funds after investors sought to take out $1.2 billion, or 12 percent of assets. Withdrawals may resume as early as March 31 for the Kensington and Wellington funds, the Chicago-based firm said in a letter yesterday to clients. The funds, which together manage about $10 billion, have lost 49.5 percent of their value this year through Dec. 5. “We have not made this decision lightly,” Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin, 40, wrote. “We recognize how a suspension impacts our investors, especially those with current financial obligations of their own to meet.”

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

  297. Cindy says:

    http://clusterstock.alleyinsider.com/2008/12/bernie-madoff-hosed-client-list

    Bernie Madoff’s Victims: The List

    So I’m wondering, how could this happen? Don’t you deposit the funds with a third party like Pershing so there is a “firewall?”

  298. Cindy says:

    (276) Victorian

    I lived only 15 minutes away from Woodburn when I lived in Oregon. It is a farming community right off of I5.

    They took the bomb inside – Huh?

  299. Cindy says:

    http://nakedshorts.typepad.com/files/madoff.pdf

    Found this at Ticker Forum – skeptics in 2001

  300. sas says:

    “I lived only 15 minutes away from Woodburn when I lived in Oregon. It is a farming community right off of I5.
    They took the bomb inside – Huh?”

    yeah, something smells not right with this story. Sounds like there to more to it.
    I woudn’t even be surprized if its false flag.

    SAS

  301. Cindy says:

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20081213/NEWS/812130339/1001

    (308) Sass – It happened – for real…

    I just talked to a friend who lives in Silverton….here is the local newspaper accounting of the events..

  302. spam spam bacon spam says:

    From Cindy’s link, a comment listed below it describes the Madoff situation pretty well…:

    “When the tide goes out you get to see who’s peeing in the ocean.”

  303. sas says:

    “308) Sass – It happened – for real…”

    yeah, I know it happened.
    but the people behind it sounds funny to me.

    We will have to wait and see.

    anytime a bomb goes off, I am always skeptical as to “who dun it”.

    I was in the military for alot of years..call me conspiratorial I guess.
    but, hey, that Nicolas Cage movie was just a cake walk :)

    SAS

  304. Cindy says:

    (311) Oh, I see. The bomb guy was on the force for 11 years the report said. He took it inside…??? That alone doesn’t sound right….We shall see…

  305. sas says:

    yup, I know.
    and involvement at a bank.
    in a small farming town.

    this doesn’t look right at first glance, more info has to come out.

    Thats like that one time, I knew a guy from the Gaza down in the Texas area, a very involved activist for peace, and started to name ..names… all of a sudden he commits suicide.

    SAS

  306. sas says:

    “I knew a guy from the Gaza down in the Texas area”

    I mean, he was from the Gaza strip, living in Texas. Was starting to say that there hired hit men in US to go after palastian activist hired by IDF, all of a sudden, he is gone too. Ruled a suicide.

    in any case…

    SAS

  307. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (295)-

    Appraisers catch pressure from everyone to confirm the value of a deal that’s already been agreed to by both buyer and seller.

    If a buyer and seller don’t have a meeting of the minds, appraisers aren’t needed.

    It is a convenient fantasy to believe that Realtors influence prices. It just isn’t true.

  308. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (302)-

    Perhaps Mr. Gordon should call Mitchell as a witness for the applicability of trailers as single-family homes:

    “A financial executive used little more than a pen to alter credit scores and reclassify mobile homes as single-family houses…”

  309. Clotpoll says:

    (316)-

    And I’d LOVE to be able to influence prices…

  310. Cindy says:

    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/

    You have to go down to the “Waiting for the 2009 Bailout” for the pics of this Riverside home…

    “Okay, so the current price tells me they want this place to sell but that picture tells me they don’t.”

    Unbelievable..

  311. lostinny says:

    320 Cindy
    That was pretty nasty. But you know, this is the stupidity of these people. And the bank just lets it go? I mean if they really wanted to sell it, would they allow a pic like that floating around out there? (pun intended)

  312. bi says:

    305#, cindy, interesting list. this is why you should never belive in security
    analysts.

    “Richard Spring. WSJ: A Boca Raton resident and former securities analyst, says he had about $11 million — or 95% of his net worth — invested with Mr. Madoff. “That’s how much I believed in him,” Mr. Spring said.”

  313. kettle1 says:

    barien, clot,

    all that first person shooter time on the PC had a purpose afterall. comobat training

    (Crows)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv2tPNdEfL0

  314. Seneca says:

    Apologies if I am beating a dead horse here. Wanted to post something that was a counterpoint to the muni bond discussion from the past couple of days. Would love to hear additional points/counterpoints. The scenario below is not my own hypothesis.

    On 12/12, a guest “expert” on CNBC apparently suggested that there will be a mass exodus from Treasuries as soon as investors become unsatisfied with the negative/pitiful returns. “Expert” sees a stampede into corp and/or muni bonds which are currently in the dumps.

    Bloomberg.com seems to agree (at least with regard to the flight out of T-Bills) with an article on the Treasury Bubble.

    If President-elect Barry refuses to let states and municipalities go broke during his administration, could muni bonds recover if investors see them as being “on sale” and look for some tax-free interest?

  315. bairen says:

    #323 kettle,

    I’m glad my formative years weren’t wasted.

  316. Sean says:

    Pawns clot, lets agree realtors and the NAR are just pawns.

    http://img.realtytimes.com/rtimages/blanche/$file/buynownewsrelease.pdf

  317. Sean says:

    Jellyfish gone wild

    Jellyfish are terrorists to the Travel and Tourism business and need to be eradicated.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081212/sc_nm/us_jellyfish

  318. chicagofinance says:

    chicagofinance Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 6:06 pm
    greg t Says:
    December 12th, 2008 at 3:47 pm
    chicagofinance Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 3:59 pm
    clot: be really f—ing careful…that said, I have a very bad feeling in my bones…around this time next week something really whacko is comin’ our way….

    guess your blackbox is just as good as kettle’s and bi’s

    I had no idea about this fact. I feel like a freak now……

    So here is my tally so far from the blackbox of whacko left field:
    #1 Hunter will have a sibling
    #2 My cousin unexpectedly gets deferred from Columbia
    #3 Fuel pump goes on my car
    #4 This Madoff thing

    WTF????????

  319. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (323)-

    When I get long again, the first stock I will buy is the company that makes that gun.

  320. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (326)-

    Pawns might actually be overstating it.

  321. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (326)-

    NAR is a completely discredited, floundering cabal of simpletons and spinmeisters.

  322. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (328)-

    Just the forces of nature telling you to buy SRS. :)

  323. Punch My Ticket says:

    Pat [251]:

    20 years ago your friends would be off the hook. The Statute of Frauds (inherited from England in the dark ages) required real estate transactions to be in writing to be enforceable.

    NJ law was changed in the 90s. The simple fact that the relative de facto transferred the property two years ago by renting it at a nominal sum puts your friends on the hook.

    http://law.onecle.com/new-jersey/25-frauds-and-fraudulent-conveyances/25-1-11.html

    Time for negotiation or a judge is going to have to decide what a fair price is. If I were the judge, I’d put them on the hook for the 2 year old price.

  324. galgon says:

    Doesn’t everyone love getting woken up by the sound of water dripping into your utility room?

    The guy above us must have lost his water heater around 5 this morning because we woke up to loud dripping and a small flood at 6. Luckily we are renting and nothing but a few laundry supplies got damaged on our part. It remains to be seen how bad the walls and ceiling will look and if mold will show.

    Any thoughts on what we can do to keep things from getting moldy (I have a popcorn ceiling if that matters)? How about the light socket where the water was leaking from, is there anything i need to do to it other than not use it till it dries? For some reason the water was yellow when it came out, any clue as to why that would be?

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

  325. DL says:

    Re101’s not gonna like this…

    “We will never see these (home) prices again in our lifetime, when you adjust for inflation,” says Peter Schiff, president of investment firm Euro Pacific Capital of Darien, Conn. “These were lifetime peaks.”

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20081214/BUSINESS/812140351

  326. kettle1 says:

    clot 329

    The first supplier for the CROWS program was Recon Optical (Barrington, IL, USA) with their RAVEN SRWS product.[1]

    After an open solicitation Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Kongsberg, Norway and Johnstown, PA, USA) won the CROWS II contract with a variant of their M151 PROTECTOR, which is also used on the Stryker M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle.[2][3] KONGSBERG received a frame-contract of more than 1 billion USD for the delivery of up to 6,500 CROWS systems to the US Army and a first purchase order exceeding 300 million USD [4] In May of 2008 Kongsberg was awarded a $117 million contract from the U.S. Army for the delivery of additional CROWS systems.
    ———————————–

    Note: soldier find the system a pleasure to work with, they can plug in their ipod and rock out while working.

    Initial testing found that soldiers who grew up playing games nearly always outperformed those who did not. Observers often assume that the guns are computer controller due to the high level of accuracy and rapid target acquisition

  327. kettle1 says:

    clot a little more for you

    http://media.putfile.com/Iraq-Crows-System-In-Use-There

    when do we connect these to skynet?

  328. cooper says:

    #334-once the leak is fixed be sure to dry everything completely (carpet, wood, etc). Use a dehumidifier, fans… very important it’s dry. When all is dry use bleach, it will kill all the mold, ratio 3/4 cup to a gallon of water. not sure about the electrical outlet…
    -disclaimer

  329. cooper says:

    #334 here’s a link that might help

    http://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm

  330. kettle1 says:

    doh!

    Greek police run out of tear gas as rioting continues for a seventh day

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5331547.ece

  331. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (336)-

    I have a new toy at the top of my Xmas list now…

  332. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (339)-

    Out of tear gas?

    I hate when that happens.

  333. Barbara says:

    339….just let me back into em after my hubby makes some of his 4 alarm chili.

  334. Kim says:

    Re: Madoffs

    I know them (distant relatives, but they want nothing to do with us… different social class obviously!). Their “chief compliance officer” is Bernard’s niece, Shana. Guess she was too busy being a socialite to properly oversee her company’s tactics.

    Also, back when their company got off the ground in the 60s/70s, it was common knowledge to family members that Bernard’s father declared bankruptcy but had money hidden, and that money was used to start up his company – not so much the $5,000 he earned from lifeguarding.

  335. yikes says:

    clot, where do you think this rioting will take place in 09? just curious about whether you think it’s only an urban thing, or if it stretches out to the burbs, too.

    vegas and detroit are probably the obvious ones … maybe LA if the state goes bankrupt, and NYC, too?

    Just glad we moved out of the city and to the burbs 8 months ago. also, glad we picked up a gun.

  336. kettle1 says:

    yikes,

    ready for Newark riots 2.0?

  337. scribe says:

    galgon, #334

    I had a major flood from my upstairs neighbor – he fell asleep in the tub.

    Water was pouring out the light fixture like Niagara Falls.

    Landlord told me to turn on the light to see if it still worked. Since it did, he told me to turn it on and leave it on – would help with drying it out.

    The following day, he stopped by with some of his workers. They drilled a couple of holes in the ceiling to help it dry out. Filled the holes with plaster later.

    No real harm done. Just a huge mess.

  338. PeaceNow says:

    gaigon, #334—

    I had terrible upstairs neighbors in NYC who seemed to have no idea that their leaks traveled into my place. I lived through two of their water heaters failing, numerous occasions when they overwatered their plants, sink overflows and the continued use of their badly grouted shower stall.

    So, first of all, I don’t really think you have to worry about mold. A one-time drenching that’s allowed to dry isn’t going to produce a problem, but if it makes you feel better, do use bleach. Be aware, though, that you won’t be able to get to where the mold might be growing unless you ripped out your ceiling. Second, I wouldn’t use that light fixture for a while, however, if you’ve got circuit breakers in your place, a water-induced short out should trip the breaker (if you must use the fixture). Third, the water’s yellow because before it entered your place, it traveled through whatever dirt/dust/crap is between your ceiling and their floor.

    Hope this helps.

  339. kettle1 says:

    gaigon,

    my basement flooded at one point and the wiring for the baseboard heating ended up rusting out over the next 2 years or so and shorting out… fyi

  340. Cindy says:

    (328) Chicago

    #1 Hunter will have a sibling.

    Congratulations!

  341. Cindy says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7759146.stm

    (328) – #1

    Jupiter – Venus – Moon = Smiley Face

  342. bi says:

    332#, clot,

    based on your gambling mentality, i estmate 1) your average cost on SRS is around $118
    2) it is about 80% of your portfolio
    3) you are 70% margined.
    4) you are going to get margin call if SRS dropped to under $70

    Clotpoll Says:
    December 14th, 2008 at 12:26 am
    Chi (328)-

    Just the forces of nature telling you to buy SRS. :)

  343. yikes says:

    Bi
    Please post ur email address so I can paypal you $5 so you can buy a clue.

  344. victorian says:

    Yikes –

    Here are 2 more addresses for you – hank@us.gov and ben@us.gov.

  345. Seneca says:

    Sam Zell declares property recovery by spring 2009.

    “A revival in the U.S. real estate market, key to a recovery in the world economy, should begin by next spring, property mogul Sam Zell told an Israeli business conference on Sunday.

    “I believe that in a country that continues to grow and where the population continues to grow, we will see the first signs of equilibrium in the housing market in the spring of 2009 and I will expect by spring 2010 the housing market in the U.S. will look a lot better,” Zell said.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081214/bs_nm/us_zell_property_1

  346. Sean says:

    Protesters take over the TV Media in Greece.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7781617.stm

  347. serenity now says:

    60 minutes is doing a peice tonite on next
    wave of foreclosures.

  348. galgon says:

    Cooper, Kettle, Peace, Scribe

    Thanks for the info. I think the yellow water might have been from the rust inside there water heater. The last little bit of water dripping down now is a deep rust color. Unless there are some pipes or wires running in the ceiling that are really rusty. Either way I am glad I do not own the place and that both me and my upstairs neighbor were home. I wonder what he was thinking when he got woken up by my constant banging on his door at 6 am and saw me through the peephole.

  349. victorian says:

    Iraqi journalist throws his shoes at Bush during press conference.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/ 28223089#28223089

    This has to be the video of the year!

  350. lostinny says:

    360 Victorian
    I didn’t know Bush could duck that fast.

  351. 3b says:

    #354 Senenca: I guess he forgot about the recession. This is th same clown that did the financially disatrous Chgo Trib deal.

    Yeah, recovery by the Spring. Just a short 3 or 4 months form now, and all will be well.

  352. HEHEHE says:

    I am sure Laura B’s pulled that one a few times.

  353. HEHEHE says:

    Agreed 3B, Zell has no credibility.

  354. Cindy says:

    Oh, never mind…..dead in the water…

    Sec. 4 “Immediate termination of TARP purchase authority.”

  355. Cindy says:

    God I am lonely. Someone please hold me.

  356. Cindy says:

    Grim – If you would be so kind as to check out the poster at 369…It is not me. I don’t know who it is but this has happened before. Can you check the email they register with or something?

    Thanks…

  357. victorian says:

    Victorian *throws shoe* @ 369

  358. lostinny says:

    Fed mulls interest rate cut, maybe to all-time low
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap_on_bi_ge/fed_interest_rates

  359. yikes says:

    barney frank is a jacka*s. what an embarrassment.

    love how o’reilly called him a coward.

  360. bi says:

    354#, senaca, good stuff. by the way, zell is clot’s god in real estate.

  361. Clotpoll says:

    bi (351)-

    Here’s the truth:

    1. My average on SRS is $110. It is all the house’s money…as in 100% profits from previously-closed positions.

    2. It is currently 100% of my portfolio.

    3. I am not margined.

    4. Therefore, no margin call.

    Please inform us as you add to your SPG and NLY positions. Perhaps you’ve even initiated a position in PCL.

  362. Clotpoll says:

    bi (374)-

    The one thing you can count on is that Zell’s already got his out of the Trib deal.

    He saddled the employees with the fallout and debris, and the rest of anything in that stinking corpse of a company that had any real value whatsoever is long gone.

  363. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (344)-

    California first. All trends start there.

    Also, they will be the ones to stop making payouts to state employees and pensioners. They will be the first ones to riot.

  364. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (370)-

    Does this mean you and I can’t hook up tonight? :)

  365. Clotpoll says:

    lost (372)-

    The Fed’s rate game has now devolved to the point at which it’s like watching a bad puppet show, staged by a doddering 80 year-old.

  366. Clotpoll says:

    Chi-

    I will congratulate you if you promise me you won’t let your newest addition to the family anywhere near the Depeche Mode CDs. ;)

  367. Clotpoll says:

    sean (355)-

    My Christmas wish is for somebody to put a cap in Schumer’s bean.

    He is pure, unadulterated, toxic pond scum and should be summarily executed.

    Preferably while bound to Barney Frank, upside down.

  368. Clotpoll says:

    In the Arab world, hurling a shoe at someone is the supreme insult.

    It also now happens to be the best televised thing I’ve seen in 2008.

  369. Clotpoll says:

    Is it just me, or did the Secret Service seem a tad slow in swinging into action after Shoe #1 went flying at Shrub’s head?

  370. victorian says:

    Clot (383)-
    They must have opened their 401(k) recently.

  371. victorian says:

    Asian Markets on Steroids! Must be this news –

    China Industrial-Output Growth Is Weakest Since 1999

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a_qOU7v7GQBQ&refer=home

  372. Clotpoll says:

    Hey bi-

    Here’s the latest from my real RE hero…and it’s not Sam Zell. Guess who it is:

    “China is on the brink of collapse internally. We are betting heavy that things explode prior to the January 26 start of Chinese New Year. Sit tight today. We cashed in a couple of very profitable positions yesterday, and we may cash in a few more today. If not today, then next week . . . but we are sitting in a perfect position to take advanage of this market.

    Sit tight. Sit on you hands if you have to. Better yet, set your exit prices and go fishing, golfing or whatever you enjoy.”

    Zell’s whored it out long ago. Just like Buffett, just like Klink, Bergabe, Cash n’Carry, Geithner (can’t even get interested enough in him to think of a nickname), et al.

  373. victorian says:

    “1. My average on SRS is $110”

    – Ditto. Also playing with house money. Looking at my SRS and FXP make me sad right now.

  374. Clotpoll says:

    Maybe Dubya caught a whiff of the stink that came off those two shoes that went whizzing by his head. Guess he needs a couple of days off.

    Sorry, Waggoner, Nardelli and Mulally. You’ll have to wait:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Don’t expect an announcement Sunday or Monday from the White House on a possible plan to prevent the collapse of the troubled auto industry. That’s the latest word from White House officials.

    The Bush administration is considering ways to provide emergency aid to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. Those two car companies have said they could run out of cash within weeks without government help.

    Last week, Congress failed to approve $14 billion in loans to help the automakers. That’s when Bush officials said they were considering several options, including using money from the $700 billion financial bailout fund to provide loans to the carmakers.

  375. Clotpoll says:

    vic (387)-

    At times like these, think how happy you’d be sitting long NLY, SPG, GGP or PLC going into a Monday opening bell.

  376. Clotpoll says:

    Why throw TARP money at Detroit on Monday, when you can put it off until the Fed announcement on Tuesday and trigger a huge idiot rally?

  377. bi says:

    375#, clot, seems my estimate is pretty accurate except margin part.

    never own SPG, NLY or PCL and probally will never buy these reits. by the way, recent Fortune has a nice say on NLY.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/11/magazines/fortune/best_stocks.fortune/index.htm?source=yahoo_quote

    >Please inform us as you add to your SPG and NLY positions. Perhaps you’ve even initiated a position in PCL.

  378. bi says:

    386#, MM – Massive Misconception or mike morgan

  379. Clotpoll says:

    bi (391)-

    Cramer also said nice things about NLY for the better part of three years. He also liked Thornburg, a similar company that’s now delisted.

    Your estimate is entirely inaccurate, as you both assumed that I am margined and assumed that I’m not playing with the house’s money.

  380. Clotpoll says:

    bi (392)-

    What can I say? You’re a genius.

    BTW, can you point to any time in the past 24 months at which Morgan made a bad call?

    Let’s add Roubini to that challenge. How about him? When has he been wrong?

  381. Clotpoll says:

    bi-

    The only thing I want to know from you is when you go from DUG to DIG.

  382. Clotpoll says:

    Henry Blodget reporting on Madoff. Scum on scum, as it were:

    I Knew Bernie Madoff Was Cheating, That’s Why I Invested with Him
    Posted Dec 12, 2008 12:45pm EST by Henry Blodget

    From ClusterStock.com, Dec. 12, 2008:

    “Interesting tidbits coming in about Bernie Madoff (read indictment here).

    Specifically, we’re hearing that the smart money KNEW Bernie had to be cheating, because the returns he was generating were impossibly good. Many Wall Streeters suspected the wrong rigged game, though: They thought it was insider trading, not a Ponzi scheme. And here’s the best part: That’s why they invested with him.

    For years and years I’ve heard people say that [Bernie’s] investment performance was too good to be true. The returns were too steady — like GE earnings under Welch — and too high given the supposed strategy.

    One Madoff investor, himself a legend, told me that Madoff’s performance “just doesn’t make sense. The numbers can’t be straight.” Another sophisticated Madoff investor actually went through trade confirms in order to reverse-engineer the strategy and said, “it doesn’t add up.”

    So why did these smart and skeptical investors keep investing? They, like many Madoff investors, assumed Madoff was somehow illegally trading on information from his market-making business for their benefit. They didn’t consider the possibility that he was clean on that score but running a good old-fashioned Ponzi scheme.

    And another from Whitney Tilson:

    One friend who saw this coming said Madoff had his own broker-dealer and a relative as his finance guy; another friend said he was suspicious because of the 1-2%/month returns with never a down month (much less quarter or year), combined with never showing a a down month (much less quarter or year), combined with never showing anyone his portfolio. 99% of the time, if it sounds too good to be true, IT IS!”

  383. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (397)-

    He can’t even detect a massive male pr@stitution ring running out of his own apartment…

    Here’s another sack of shit that shouldn’t even have a bullet wasted on his summary execution.

  384. Clotpoll says:

    398 moderated. Sorry. Don’t know why. Quoted from the AP.

  385. Clotpoll says:

    sean (397)-

    It now occurs to me that doom is our fate.

  386. Sean says:

    Clot – I agree but what to do, in a few months doomers will be ostracized,

  387. Clotpoll says:

    Sean-

    Arm yourself to the teeth, and go out in a blaze of glory.

    Or, just short the crap out of everything that’s gonna go up in smoke.

  388. Yikes says:

    Clot – what fed announcement tues? mortgage rates going down Tues?

  389. Sean says:

    Clot – Armed is a fools game, you cannot defeat tanks without state help.

    I like your idea of Italy, I was over in Italy several times over the last few years and can easily appreciate the lifestyle.

    I have sailing skills, and that is my out, leave if it ever happens.

  390. schabadoo says:

    barney frank is a jacka*s. what an embarrassment.

    love how o’reilly called him a coward.

    Yeah, that O’Reilly’s some hero…

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