A Bank Too Important To Fail

Kudos to Deborah Smith over at the Jersey Bites Blog for putting the “Blogging Out Hunger” campaign together. Deborah managed to get more than 100 blogs to spread this very important message.

Economy Leaves Americans with Empty Plates

More than 35 million Americans, including 12 million children, either live with or are on the verge of hunger. In New Jersey alone, an estimated 250,000 new clients will be seeking sustenance this year from the state’s food banks. But recently, as requests for food assistance have risen, food donations are on the decline, leaving food bank shelves almost empty and hungry families waiting for something to eat.

The situation is dire, no more so than at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), the largest food bank in the state, where requests for food have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism.

As the state’s key distributor of food to local banks – serving more than 500,000 people a year and providing assistance to nearly 1,700 non-profits in the state – the stability of replenishment of the CFBNJ is essential to ensuring that individuals in need have access to food.

If everyone could just do a little, it would help those in need a lot. To help, people can:

1. Make a monetary contribution: Visit www.njfoodbank.org.
2. Donate food: Drop off a bag of food at your local food pantry.
3. Organize a food drive: We can help explain the logistics of starting a food drive. Just call 908-355-FOOD.
4. Help “Check Out Hunger:” Look for the “Check Out Hunger” coupons at your local supermarket and donate. No donation is too small!

A list of participating blogs can be found here:

Bloggers Unite to Fight Hunger in New Jersey

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251 Responses to A Bank Too Important To Fail

  1. serenity now says:

    Food banks failing?
    Man the downward spiral of the economy in
    the two years I have been following this blog is downright scary.
    Anybody see 60 minutes last night?
    Round two is coming and we are already against the ropes.

  2. bairen says:

    serenity now,

    I watched the 60 minutes episode online. Pretty scary story that we may only be halfway through this housing bust, and 1/3 of the way through the asset bust (counting auto loans, credit cards, and commercial real estate).

    I had no idea the food banks were hurting so bad.

  3. BklynHawk says:

    Grim-
    I was actually thinking of posting some links to groups like this.

    Maybe before we start another survivalist/impending food riots comments string, we should send a donation or drop off some of those bunker supplies at one of these organizations?

    We give out shelf stable brown bag meals at our church and my office had a drive for City Harvest. I’ll be sending in something to this group.

  4. bairen says:

    US homes lose 2 trillion in value in 2008.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/15/real_estate/underwater_borrowers_near_12million/index.htm

    If mtgs were callable like during the Great Depression, this would be the mother of all margin calls.

  5. Clotpoll says:

    Anyone in the Hunterdon/Somerset area can stop by Tex’s Liquors (Rt 202 North, Branchburg, near West County Dr.) this Friday or Saturday night between 6-10 PM and make a cash donation to the Somerset County Food Bank.

    If you come Saturday night between 8-10 PM, I’ll be collecting.

    Tex will not let you drink in the parking lot, though.

  6. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (2)-

    Food banks usually tap out in the Spring, after getting through the Winter.

    This year, right now, most local food banks are already running close to 0.

  7. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (5)-

    This thing stinks to high heaven.

  8. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aKgINkd9m988&refer=home

    Madoff Said to Use Unregistered Side-Unit for Clients

    “The only person the employee recalled seeing Madoff consult with on the 17th floor was an executive known by his first name, Frank”

    I am not making this up…that is what the article says…go figure.

  9. Cindy says:

    Clot – from last night #378 –

    Sorry – I was out to dinner with friends…

  10. Cindy says:

    (8) Clot

    I talked to a friend in the area. The thinking is that it was some disgruntled whacko. I guess the bomb was near a gas line and it was raining pretty hard – but to move a bomb inside?

    Supposedly, they checked it out and declared it a dud like the other found earlier.

    It does sound like they have people all over it now. More news to follow I am sure.

  11. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (9)-

    One can only hope that it could possibly be our problem child, Frank.

    Sounds like Madoff pursued a distinctly Frank-like trading strategy.

  12. Cindy says:

    Grim – The schools just did a food drive in November. Really needed here as well. We are currently doing a “Coats for Kids” drive. The kids bring in old coats and they basically get redistributed to those who need them –

  13. grim says:

    Was talking with a friend out in Delaware about foreclosures on Friday. He was telling me about the 3 vacant homes in his community of 60. Neighbors get together to mow the lawns, etc. So we moved on to the economy, and he told me about a Thanksgiving dinner for the needy he and his boyscout troop put together at a local hall. Found what he said chilling, “When the first few people started walking through the door, I thought something was wrong, these didn’t look like needy people.” They ran out of food.

  14. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Fannie Mae Allows Renters to Stay

    In a move that provides relief to thousands of renters who face eviction but draws the federal government even deeper into the housing market, the loan giant Fannie Mae said Sunday that it would sign new leases with renters living in foreclosed properties owned by the company.

    It is the first nationwide effort to provide widespread relief to renters ensnared by the unfolding mortgage crisis, and it will effectively transform Fannie Mae — a government-controlled mortgage finance company — into a national landlord. It may also increase pressure on private lenders to establish similar programs and on lawmakers to pass renter relief.

    “There are renters all around the country who have been holding up their end of the bargain and paying their rent faithfully, but the landlord got into trouble, and so the renter is now unfairly facing eviction,” said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a consumer advocacy group. “It’s really good news that Fannie Mae is doing this. Now the question is whether private sector will follow suit.”

    In recent months, skyrocketing foreclosure rates have exposed as many as 70,000 renters to evictions, even though many never missed rent payments, according to analysts who track housing data. In many cities and states, renters can be evicted after their home goes into foreclosure, regardless of how long their lease stretches into the future.

    Many financial institutions — including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America — have policies to evict renters after foreclosure, company representatives said.

  15. grim says:

    Don’t think this is a positive for NJ real estate..

    From Bloomberg:

    Third of Hedge Funds Face ‘Wipe Out’ After Slump, Godden Says

    Almost a third of hedge funds will shut or merge after the $1.5 trillion industry posted its worst ever performance this year, according to IGS Group, which advises hedge funds on raising money.

    “The failure rate is going to go up, the closure rate is going up, and the merger rate is going up,” IGS Chief Executive Officer John Godden said in an interview in London. “It’s going to be a 30 percent wipe out.”

    The number of hedge funds more than tripled in the last decade to a record 10,233 at the end of June, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc. That number will likely tumble after funds dropped 18 percent in the year through November, the worst year since HFR started its Fund Weighted Composite Index in 1990.

  16. Clotpoll says:

    grim (15)-

    I’d rather take my chances paying rent to a deadbeat landlord.

    Come to think of it, Phony is a sort of deadbeat landlord.

    Can’t wait to see how well their (non-existent) property management division handles this.

  17. NJGator says:

    Stu and I went to visit with some friends while in Vegas over the weekend. In their gated community of 10 4000-5000 SF homes, 3 were on the market simultaneously. One house was foreclosed on, a 5000 SF home originally went to market with an ask of $1.2M. It sold for $600k. The last house is still on the market.

    Our friends bought one of the ‘smaller’ places in 2005 for over $750k, and put a small addition onto their place. Good thing they plan on staying there ‘forever’.

  18. kettle1 says:

    Got your pantry stocked yet? If this can happen in the UK, then the US is just as vulnerable.

    British retailers fear collapse of lines of supply. Supermarkets draw up emergency plans to keep shelves full

    Fears that scores of supermarket suppliers will go bust next year have led the country’s major chains to draw up emergency plans to replace them, The Observer can reveal. Separately, on the high street, bailiffs are getting ready for their busiest Christmas ever, with a slew of retailers expected to go into administration.

    Supermarket chain Asda, led by Andy Bond, is working on ‘worst-case scenarios’ across the board – combing its supplier base and examining alternatives to them. ‘Suppliers are under a lot of pressure and there will be casualties,’ said a senior executive at another store chain, which has already stepped in to pay troubled suppliers ahead of schedule.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/14/retail-supermarkets-suppliers-credit-crunch

  19. kettle1 says:

    Ouch

    Credit crunch costs pension funds $5 trillion in 2008

    The 2008 crash has wiped a total of $5 trillion (£3.3 trillion) off the value of private pension funds in rich countries since the beginning of the year, according to Paris-based think-tank the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Among the 28 major economies covered in the study, Ireland’s workers have been worst-hit. The value of their retirement savings has fallen by more than 30 per cent on average since the beginning of the year, once inflation is taken into account.

    Almost half of the total $5 trillion loss was sustained by US investors, who have also been watching the value of their homes slide for more than two years. The UK’s pension funds have been less severely affected, but the OECD calculates that the average pension has still declined by more than 15 per cent, or $300bn, since January – and it warns that the final outcome may turn out to be worse once losses on hard-to-value assets such as property are totted up.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/dec/14/pensions-credit-crunch-losses

  20. Cindy says:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/

    Paul Krugman

    European Crass Warfare

    In an linked piece, he points out – with economist algebra – why Germany’s cooperation is so crucial. “German destructionism is a problem.”

  21. kettle1 says:

    But we have to pay ridiculous bonuses to keep talent right?

    AIG Said to Offer Retention Payment to Bigger Group of Workers

    American International Group Inc., the insurer under fire for paying 168 executives not to quit after a government takeover, is giving retention awards to at least 2,000 more employees, according to a person familiar with the matter. The “retention bonus” equals as much as a year’s salary and recipients were ordered to keep the payment secret, said the person, who declined to be named because the plan was labeled confidential. Awards were offered to as much as 10 percent of staff at businesses that are for sale, including plane-leasing and insurance units in the U.S. and overseas, the person said. AIG said in September that 130 executives will get awards, just days after the New York-based firm got a government rescue package that now totals $152.5 billion.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=al7HigWEZYgA&refer=home

  22. kettle1 says:

    from the UK, but how long until we see such accusations in the US. Criticizing reporters for not keep the public in the dark?????

    Financial journalists charged with telling readers too much

    At the start of the decade, when US energy giant Enron collapsed after reporting fraudulent profits, and a string of smaller rivals including phone company WorldCom followed suit, financial journalists were criticised for failing to uncover the extent of their deceit. Now, as the world’s biggest banks struggle to stay afloat, crippled by the most serious financial crisis since the 1930s, business reporters are being attacked for a different reason, accused by some, including a powerful group of MPs, of destabilising the economy by revealing the extent of the problems at Britain’s biggest banks. Rather than telling their readers too little, as they were in the wake of Enron, journalists are now charged with telling them too much.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/dec/14/financial-journalism-credit-crunch-media

  23. kettle1 says:

    Stones are now being sold to protestors in greece and70% of Athens’ 18-25 year olds are without a job… that could be a problem

    young people (who would not normally see themselves as revolutionaries and are a far-cry from the ‘extremists’ Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis says are behind the disturbances) have begun stockpiling stones, rocks and crushed marble slabs from Salonika in the north to the resort islands of Corfu and Crete in the south. They have also started selling them on – at three stones a euro – to other protesters
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/14/greece-riots-youth-poverty-comment

  24. John says:

    Nothing wrong with a good retention plan. Actually makes a lot of sense. Lets say you have 10K workers and pay a 50% bonus, lets say times are tough and you go to zero bonus and tons of people quit which is a good thing as most were dead wood and you had too many people anyhow. However,the core group of around 500 people did most of work, brought in most of business and created new products. Well long term, giving retention bonuses to that 500 will make more money that cutting everyone’s bonus to zero.

    For Christmas I would like a GM/Chrysler/Ford/GMAC bailout, 75bps and 99 cent gas. Once the mustard seeds start growing the food banks will need less food as it is about jobs.

  25. Short Hills Renter says:

    60 minutes last night was a big eye opener. it took a lot of the issues discussed here and brought it to the “mainstream”. 2009 is going to be bad, 2010 is going to be bad and we are not even close to the bottom at this point.

  26. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Dec Empire State index -25.8 vs.-25.4 in Nov

  27. Clotpoll says:

    Carly Fiorina on Squawk right now.

    I now understand how Elvis could’ve shot his TV.

  28. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    New York Manufacturing Index Falls to Minus 25.8 in December

    Manufacturing in New York contracted in December at the fastest pace on record as orders and shipments remained weak.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell to minus 25.8, the lowest level since records began in 2001, from minus 25.4 in November, the bank said today. Readings below zero for the Empire State index signal manufacturing activity is shrinking.

  29. Clotpoll says:

    I wonder if Carly and Pat Russo get together for lunch…

  30. Cindy says:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/12/14/MN5M14MKSQ.DTL

    “S.F. feels the pain of real estate meltdown”

    “He said he is running his business under the assumption that the down market will continue for at least two years. His top advice to agents? Don’t take overpriced listings.”

  31. Sean says:

    SaS mentioned to watch for this. Just like in Argentina, take the pension funds and recapitalize the banks with it.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1214/bank.html

    Quote:
    Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan confirmed that money from the National Pensions Reserve Fund will be used in the recapitalisation programme.

  32. Clotpoll says:

    So how smart was Madoff, really?

    Seems to me he had the means to turn his whole company into a bucket shop before resorting to Ponzi tactics. Was he too scared of scrutiny into his market-making activities to go that route?

  33. John says:

    What to do now – New Smith Barney Muni Bond stuff
    Insofar as what to do now, we simply repeat our message from last week, and then
    add a couple of points.
    Our first message is simply to avoid selling into this messy, weak market
    environment if you can afford to wait until after year-end. The second message is to
    move out along the yield curve to take advantage off the extreme slope. The third
    message is to look at high-quality sectors where the yield increase has become
    severe, such as AA hospitals and AA housing, and other upper medium quality
    paper. Finally, for investors who are seeking equity-like (or better) total returns, we
    believe that properly selected paper in the higher yielding reaches of the muni market
    now provide some truly impressive opportunities. We note that, in our commentary,
    we have generally avoided recommending this paper. In our view, it has now become
    so compellingly cheap that it should be considered, even if only for a modest
    proportion of a total portfolio.
    In addition, we note that investors should for the first time in many years, be
    considering total return opportunities over a 1-2 year period in the muni market. As
    the market normalizes, properly selected munis should provide equity-like returns
    plus high tax-free income. For this purpose, we particularly like long maturity,
    medium quality discounts, including bonds selling below the de minimus discount
    under the Accrued Market Discount tax. If the market rallies, these bonds in
    particular could jump in value as the move in price back above the de minimus
    amount, which is 1/4 point for each whole year to maturity.

  34. Clotpoll says:

    I think post #27 is somebody spoofing John.

  35. grim says:

    So how smart was Madoff, really?

    IMHO, the kids were in on it. The script seems a bit too contrived to me. Leader/Father begs forgiveness, confesses to sons, sons do the “right thing”. Much more likely that they all realized the scam was up, dad agrees to take the fall for the entire operation. This thing is too big for one guy to handle, solo, in addition to all his other responsibilities. The only people you can trust with a fraud this big is family or the mob.

  36. Clotpoll says:

    Come to think of it, Madoff shouldn’t have feared going the bucket shop route.

    The US gubmint rewards firms that do this (see: GS).

  37. Outofstater says:

    Food Banks: Sent a check to the Plainfield Salvation Army last week. I’ll send another to the Community Food Bank this morning. Families that still have someone working need to dig a little deeper this year.

  38. Clotpoll says:

    John (27)-

    I don’t think mustard seeds will sprout in a ZIRP environment.

    “Once the mustard seeds start growing the food banks will need less food as it is about jobs.”

  39. RE101 says:

    Clotpol, watch out, I will hit you with my shoes you commie!!!

  40. Frank says:

    Short Hills Renter,
    Any foreclosures in Short Hills yet?

  41. Frank says:

    #42,
    Throw another pair from me.

  42. Sean says:

    re: Madoff – the buzz is that people invested with his firm “assumed” he was simply front running trades to make his steady returns. There have been a great many stories over the years about front running trades, Mutual Funds have been complaining loudly for years but low and behold the SEC cannot find any evil perpetrators except for the ocassional sacrifical Fidelity broker.

    There are about two thousand market makers.

    How many are crooked?

    As the tide is still going out on the markets a few more of these scammers will be left standing naked on the beach, but just like naked short selling we will never truly know the extent of how much front running and ponzi activity is going on.

  43. chicagofinance says:

    Cindy Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 7:21 am
    “The only person the employee recalled seeing Madoff consult with on the 17th floor was an executive known by his first name, Frank” I am not making this up…that is what the article says…go figure.

    Mr. Futer? Is this our man?

  44. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (40)-

    Too cool.

  45. chicagofinance says:

    Annus Horribilis Climaxes in Anxiety as New Year’s Economy Sees No Bottom

    This was the year the global economy fell apart. Next year may not be that much better, as policy makers try to put the pieces back together.

    “Annus Horribilis” I say the beginning of this title and assumed it was referring to Barney Frank.

  46. Clotpoll says:

    Long live the Queen.

  47. Clotpoll says:

    “Poofus Horribilis”?

    “Asspirate Horribilis”?

  48. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Capital One Delinquencies Rise in November

    Capital One Financial, one of the largest issuers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards, said on Monday credit quality deteriorated in several areas of lending in November, as unemployment grew and the economy eroded.

    In a regulatory filing, the company said the annual net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards increased to 6.98 percent in November from 6.54 percent in October, while the rate for loans at least 30 days delinquent rose to 4.70 percent to 4.48 percent.

  49. Cindy says:

    (48) Clot

    Marilyn’s second husband (ten years younger) is a college bud…
    None of us knew, until this article…it just blew me away.

  50. HEHEHE says:

    Looks like the PPT is going to drag out the announcement of the GM bailout until a moment most beneficial for the bulls.

  51. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Nov. industrial production falls 0.6% as expected

    U.S. Nov. manufacturing production falls 1.4%

    U.S. Nov. capacity utilization falls to 75.4% vs. 76.0%

    U.S. Nov. industrial output down 1.5% ex-strike, ex-storms

    U.S. industrial production down 5.5% in past year

  52. John says:

    I don’t think they want the bridesmaid showing up the bride. First we need our rate cut!, then back door we need GMAC to get funding to become bank and then the bridesmaid can catch the bouquet and GM/Ford/Chrysler can be saved, Merry Christmas.

    HEHEHE Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 9:30 am
    Looks like the PPT is going to drag out the announcement of the GM bailout until a moment most beneficial for the bulls.

  53. 3b says:

    #57 John: can you explain to me again what your rate cut is going to? Instill confidence?

  54. Essex says:

    I think with the tossing of money to banks — with no accountability btw — the least we can do is save one of the last vestiges of American mfg….who knows we may need to build something one day…..tanks?

  55. HEHEHE says:

    John,

    That’s why I was saying last week they were going to string out the auto bailout as long as possible because once its done they have nothing else to pump the market.

    Which says a lot about the bulls case: wow the government won’t let another company go bankrupt now’s a great time to buy stocks.

  56. Clotpoll says:

    John (57)-

    Look to Barney Frank for the backdoor action:

    “…then back door we need GMAC to get funding to become bank…”

  57. Clotpoll says:

    Essex (59)-

    The best thing we’ve ever manufactured is already complete:

    a doomsday machine

  58. Essex says:

    The only thing stopping the FEDs from rescuing the automakers are the unions. They would probably like to kill off the UAW. If that happens I wonder who will feast on the assets of the auto firms?

  59. Essex says:

    62. I love ya clot. And yes I agree. But man if it aint entertaining!!!

  60. Al says:

    Funny – this blog is officially mainstream media now. So 2-3 years ago Grim at all were visionaries!!!

    http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0812/gallery.market_gurus.fortune/index.html

  61. 2010 Buyer says:

    @ 44

    Finally had a chance to look through the powerpoint presentation. We haven’t seen anything just yet. The amount of resets coming in 09/10 is incredible.

    Take a look at pages 51,52, and 59

  62. Al says:

    My favorite predictions for link above:

    In terms of the stock market, the price/earnings ratio is no longer high. I use a P/E ratio in which the price is divided by ten-year average earnings. It’s a really conservative way of looking at it. That P/E ratio got up to 44 in the year 2000, which was a record high. Recently it was down to less than 13, which is below the average of around 15. But after the stock market crash of 1929, the price/earnings ratio got down to about six, which is less than half of where it is now. So that’s the worry. Some people who are so inclined might go more into the market here because there’s a real chance it will go up a lot. But that’s very risky. It could easily fall by half again.
    Robert Shiller

    In my view, U.S. stocks are still not attractive. Historically, you buy stocks when they’re yielding 6% and selling at eight times earnings. You sell them when they’re at 22 times earnings and yielding 2%. Right now U.S. stocks are down a lot, but they’re still very expensive by that historical valuation method. The U.S. market is yielding 3% today. For stocks to go to a 6% yield without big dividend increases, the Dow will need to go below 4000. I’m not saying it will fall that far, but it could very well happen. And if it gets that low and I’m still solvent, I hope I’m smart enough to buy a lot. The key in times like these is to stay solvent so you can load up when opportunity comes.
    Jim Rogers

    I think the overall economy will be worse than people expect. The biggest issue will be consumer spending. If 2008 was characterized by the market impacting the economy, then 2009 will be about the economy impacting the market. It’s already started.

    Meredith Whitney

  63. RE: Shelters and slightly off topic.

    Saw a late middleage woman with a “Will Work for Food” sign on the way in to the office this morning.
    Now, if I was still working in mid-town it would have been a ‘meh’ moment. However, I’m in hedge fund country in CT, so it was like seeing the same thing in Holmdel. Just a very odd sight in suburban Greenwich.
    There was a bit of press over the past few years about the gentrification of urban America and NYC especially. If the basic story was correct, and the poor really were forced out of the cities and into the `burbs, is this going to be a familiar sight?
    In addition to all of the other problems suburban NJ has does it now have to worry about hordes of displaced homeless and poor?

  64. Clotpoll says:

    sx (64)-

    I misspoke. Looks like the French beat us to the doomsday machine thingy:

    http://www.misunderstooduniverse.com/France_Builds_Doomsday_Machine.htm

  65. Al says:

    In addition to all of the other problems suburban NJ has does it now have to worry about hordes of displaced homeless and poor?
    I’d argue that in NJ homeless and poor are forced into inner cities like Camden and Newark by A LOT CHEAPER HOUSING.

  66. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (68)-

    They’re already here, just very much in the shadows.

    As their numbers grow, they will become more visible.

  67. kettle1 says:

    Re Big 3 bailout.

    Why not just skip with the all the BS and require the banks that have received TARP funds to give loans to the big 3? The banks have been hoarding the bailout money anyway. require then to fund the bailout using the taxpayer money they have received and are parking in the FED for interest.

  68. kettle1 says:

    Re Big 3 bailout.

    Why not just skip with the all the BS and require the banks that have received TARP funds to give loans to the big 3? The banks have been hoarding the bailout money anyway. require then to fund the bailout using the taxpayer money they have received and are parking in the FED for interest.

    ______________________________________

    Banks and consumers brace for new credit card rules

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. credit card industry, harshly criticized for imposing surprise fees and interest rate hikes on consumers, may face a day of reckoning on Thursday….
    http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE4BC1YK20081214?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10272%20

  69. John says:

    Rate cut is just ment to squeeze the ING direct people like a pimple till they pop.

    3b Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 9:47 am
    #57 John: can you explain to me again what your rate cut is going to? Instill confidence?

  70. HEHEHE says:

    Will this happen here?

    Police thwart Moscow rally, seize 90-130 people

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_opposition

  71. #75 – Didn’t exactly the same things happen when the RNC was in NYC in `04?

    Keep to you ‘Free Speech Zone’ citizens, or face arrest.

  72. #76 – Keep to your

    Need preview button and coffee…

  73. Clotpoll says:

    John (74)-

    Once again, I am utterly amazed that you actually work on Wall St.

    Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be.

  74. 3b says:

    #78 clot: Agreed.

  75. speedkillsu says:

    well Dr Doom who called it all ,it’s party like it’s 1999….http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_N2EyyrA_LPs/SUWOwX_JnJI/AAAAAAAAA3w/cUtQExKtB4I/s1600-h/toomuchfun.bmp

  76. Sean says:

    Unintended consequences of ZIRP?

    In its quarterly report, the BIS warned the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and other central banks that near-zero interest rates and emergency monetary stimulus may come at a cost.

    By opening the cash spigot, the authorities risk displacing the money markets and may “discourage banks from lending to other banks”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/3685332/BIS-warns-of-collapse-in-global-lending.html

  77. HEHEHE says:

    Speed,

    Co-eds dig a rebel!

  78. John says:

    Why, in 2000, 2001 and 2002 when the stock market collasped people fled to the safety of FDIC insured CDs, savings accounts, money markets and t-bills. Greenspan relentless lowered rates again and again and again till even people who had 1-2 year CDs had them mature and had nothing to roll them over into except a 2% taxable CD or 1% taxable money market. Eventually they forgot they almost lost their life savings between March 2000 and March 2003 and got into riskier bonds and stocks while paved the way for a great 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and most of 2007. Greenspan forgot to put away the spiked punchball and it went on too long. Well the punchball is getting spiked again and when we have 1/4 of one percent fed funds and our new president promising he will fix the world in his first 100 days the massess will jump right back in.
    Clotpoll Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 11:07 am
    John (74)-

    Once again, I am utterly amazed that you actually work on Wall St.

    Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be.

  79. skep-tic says:

    if you force the banks to lend to the Big 3, you will just have to bail out both groups again in a few months. GM lost $10.5B in 2005, a record year for car sales. They are a black hole

  80. John says:

    Part one of my Christmas wish.

    GMAC Holders Agree to Revised Swap Terms, Lawyer Says (Update1)
    Email | Print | A A A

    By Caroline Salas

    Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — GMAC LLC investors holding about $10.5 billion of bonds agreed to revised terms of a debt swap designed to help the auto and home lender get financial aid from federal banking programs, their lawyer said

  81. skep-tic says:

    60 minutes piece last night was a good reminder of the magnitude of the problem. subprime was a relatively minor factor in the NYC suburbs, but how big are Alt A and Option ARMs?

  82. John says:

    GM did employee pricing on cars/trucks in 2005 and sold a record amount of them at a loss. I bought an employee priced GMC SUV fully loaded for 32K, with a sticker price of 42K, Toyota was selling the same size and optioned car for around 55K. It cost GM more to make that 32K truck than it did toyota to make a 52K truck. All 2005 proved is that if GM is going to give away brand new cars they can sell a lot of them. Also back in 2005 I loved the misleading consumer reports that the toyota truck held its value more something like 70% versus 50% after three years. I am no math major but 30% loss on 55K is 17.5K versus a 50% loss on 32K is 16K. You actually lost more on the Toyota. I look around my town and I see tons of train station cars, SUVs and minivans that GM popped out in 2005. Most were like me, it was a good deal. An SUV or minvan to me is something you buy after you have your third or fourth kid and it ain’t for looks, the damm thing you keep for 8-10 years till the baby seat and car seat phase is over and that once that lollipop, poop, pee stained, baby formula stained eight years is up and you get rid of it no matter what the name plate says it ain’t worth much. It is a use it and abuse it car so residual values matter little. If GM sold a record amount of cars at a profit in 2005 that would have been better, GM had its ratings cut in 2005 based not on the car volumne but the fact they were giving them away. The other weird thing about consumers is they count resale value as a selling point in used toyotas versus chevys. Resale value is extremely important in a new car you do not plan on keeping more than 5 years. But a five year old used car you want to buy cheap and drive it into the ground you would think why would you want one with good resale, you are paying a lot more and the junkyard is going to give you any more for scrap cause it is a toyota.

  83. RentinginNJ says:

    can you explain to me again what your rate cut is going to? Instill confidence?

    I know. As we approach zero, it just becomes more and more obvious that the Fed is running out of bullets. The effective rate is close to zero anyway, dropping the target rate won’t make much of a difference. .

  84. John says:

    The yield on the five-year note was 1.52 percent at 10:51 a.m. in New York, according to BGCantor Market Data. The 2 percent security due in November 2013 traded at 102 9/32.

    The two-year note’s yield was 0.77 percent. Ten-year note yields fell three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 2.54 percent. Three-month bill rates held at 0.01 percent after falling below zero last week for the first time.

    The difference in yield between two- and 10-year notes, the so-called yield curve, was 1.77 percent, compared with 1.81 percent yesterday.

  85. kettle1 says:

    Skeptic,

    That was sort of my point. Its lost money either way.

  86. skep-tic says:

    #87

    Higher resale value is just a signal that toyotas are more durable. if you are buying a used car, it makes a difference whether it last another 3 years vs. 6.

  87. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 8:54 am
    I wonder if Carly and Pat Russo get together for lunch…

    Fiorina was merely an opportunist. Many people with whom I used to work at AT&T knew her. At the time of the Lucent spin in 1996, she was not one of the leaders of thought, but managed to garner an inordinate amount of credit for many of the actions taken. Once Lucent went on fire during the early stages of the dot-com bubble, she was granted a media created halo status and parlayed that fact into the HP post. She was never a detail-oriented or motivational leader. She falls into the same camp as Mike Armstrong. They are good at the “vision-thing”, but not blocking and tackling….when that happens, you end up paying too much money to outside consultants and I-Bankers. The end result is a lot of waste, as what you need are good people in the organization to give you the straight talk, but that isn’t the sexy route…….

  88. scribe says:

    Clot, #71

    My sister-in-law sometimes volunteers at church-run shelters for homeless women and their children in Woodbridge Township. The churches take turns. A lot of the women are working – low wage jobs at supermarkets and stores. They need their cars to get to work, but can’t afford to maintain the car and pay rent. Were it not for the shelters, they’d be sleeping in their cars with their children.

  89. PGC says:

    Here is a funny thought on Suze Orman.

    Last year she was berated by analysts for holding most of her 25Mil fortune in TIPS. With hindsight it looks like a smart move. AtShe seems to be one of the people who will come out of this looking better. At this point her message has not changed and she is “walking the walk”

    It could be time for a move to primetime.

  90. Clotpoll says:

    John (87)-

    That is a lot of bandwidth you used up there, trying to explain why GM can’t make money in any economic environment.

  91. John says:

    Actually Toyatas stink I had one. Little things like stuts, timing chain at 60K and expensive exhaust components drove me nuts. The 1996 camry my wife bought brand new which I got rid of at 45K miles had the drivers seatbelt, door handle, motormounts, struts leak, and exhaust break. They used cheap rubber on the motor mounts which caused engine to collaspe and break the exhaust too and cheap rubber on fronts struts had pinhole leaks and if you drove the car while raining near freezing then parked it and if fell below freezing it would put ice blocks in struts and you could not turn steering wheel. My wife treated that car like her baby and it looked brand new when she sold it. Other thing Toyota parts are expensive, the door handle had to match color of car and I had to get it at dealer, then those SOBs had a special wrench that only toyota makes that was needed to install it, the seatbelt I had to go to a junkyard. When a car has 40K miles I am not happy when I am in a junkyard looking for parts.

  92. kettle1 says:

    This is ugly…..
    check out the chart:

    Michael Saunders from CitiGroup has calculated ‘external debt’ – ie, what Britain owes the rest of the world. It is not 40% but 400% of GDP, the highest in the G7 by some margin. The next down, France, is 176%. America, flagellating itself for blowing such a debt bubble, is just 100%. Japan is about half America. The below graph shows ‘external debt’ – both in mid-2008, and five years ago.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/article_images/articledir_6156/3078296/1_fullsize.bmp

  93. Ben says:

    A car’s durability is as good as you want to make it. I’ve seen people with Chevy’s that have up to 400k miles on it and I’ve seen Chevy’s that break down after 100k.

  94. John says:

    Bottom line, Japanese and Germany our former enemies make cars people perceive as being better than american cars. Three identical cars each made with the same quality and the same cost people will pay more for a Japanese or German car. Ten year plus Japanese and German Cars are a nightmare to fix and maintain due to expensive parts but still people will pay more for a ten year old 100K Japanese or German car. People can forgive Japan and German for killing 20 million people in WWII but GM can’t be forgiven for making bad cars in the late 1970s through early 1990’s.

    Clotpoll Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 12:05 pm
    John (87)-

    That is a lot of bandwidth you used up there, trying to explain why GM can’t make money in any economic environment.

  95. chicagofinance says:

    REVIEW & OUTLOOK DECEMBER 15, 2008
    Madoff and Markets
    Shakespeare is a better investor than the SEC

    Capitalism runs on trust, so inevitably there will be men like Bernard Madoff who attempt to steal from the trusting. His alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme is exceptional mainly for its size, the length of time he was able to run his con, and the affluent and sophisticated circles in which he operated. There is something especially shocking when a man held in high esteem turns out to be a thief.

    Among the stranger arguments in the wake of Mr. Madoff’s disclosure is that this proves the case for regulating hedge funds. Huh? Hedge funds were among the main victims here, along with well-heeled individual investors, nonprofit endowment funds and foreign financial companies.

    As a broker-dealer, Mr. Madoff’s firm was already heavily regulated, and news reports say the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated him in 1992 without finding anything wrong. The SEC said in a statement Friday that its New York staff also conducted inquiries into Mr. Madoff’s firm in 2005 and 2007. Mr. Madoff’s separate investment company registered with the SEC in 2006, which is all that hedge funds would have had to do under the SEC’s proposed (but failed) hedge-fund rule of a few years back.

    In the wake of Enron, Congress also gave the SEC more money and people, as well as new political motivation, to pursue wrongdoers. And Mr. Madoff also operated in New York, under the supposedly watchful and relentless eye of former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

    Mr. Madoff pulled off his alleged con despite all of this market supervision. We are now supposed to believe that the same SEC lawyers who couldn’t detect a fraud at a firm for which they were directly responsible would somehow have done so if only they had been able to examine other hedge funds that invested in Madoff Securities. Thus does every enforcement failure become an excuse for more enforcement, especially among law-school professors and journalists who specialize in hindsight. Mr. Madoff, by the way, was a big donor to Democrats who favor tougher financial regulation. Perhaps that was also part of his strategy to avoid more scrutiny.

    The reality is that it is impossible for the SEC or any regulator to prevent every financial fraud, just as it is impossible for city police to prevent every burglary. If even Mr. Madoff’s two sons claim not to have known about the scheme, despite working at the firm for decades, how can we expect outside regulators to do better?

    Mr. Madoff’s investors will in retrospect kick themselves for not asking more questions, especially about the remarkable consistency of his returns over the years, his apparently fly-by-night auditing shop, and his small trading book despite having so much money under management. But the broker’s long record of showing gains and years of rising stock prices no doubt provided reassurance. The 70-year-old Mr. Madoff wasn’t some dot-com upstart but a pillar of the community and philanthropist. The best con men are always those you least suspect.
    The real lesson here is about men, not markets. Human nature doesn’t change, and crooks will always be with us. For investors the lessons are the eternal ones of diversification and diligence. Don’t trust your life savings with any single money manager or investment. Don’t assume that passing some new federal law will banish financial fraud, any more than “campaign finance reform” will stop the likes of Rod Blagojevich from trading political favors for money. As Shakespeare understood, the fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

  96. Clotpoll says:

    John (96)-

    I would’ve thought nothing made you happier than this:

    “When a car has 40K miles I am not happy when I am in a junkyard looking for parts.”

  97. chicagofinance says:

    DECEMBER 15, 2008 In Palm Beach, Investors Assume Worst

    By PAULO PRADA

    PALM BEACH, Fla. — John Sullivan was at a holiday pageant at a local school Thursday when a neighbor’s cellphone interrupted a children’s caroling.

    Soon, three other people were on cellphones, too. “People were calling their accountants,” says Mr. Sullivan, a regional-airline executive from Vermont who has a home here. The neighbor walked over and asked: “Did you invest with that guy?”

    He didn’t. “That guy” was Bernard L. Madoff, the legendary Wall Street trader who allegedly told his two sons last week that his investment-advisory business renowned for its steady returns was a Ponzi scheme.

    Mr. Madoff, 70 years old, had clients around the world who now are reeling from the revelation that their money might be gone. In this island enclave in south Florida, the damage is especially severe. Scores of local residents who invested with Mr. Madoff are believed to have combined losses in the billions of dollars. Many are retirement-age golf buddies and country-club colleagues of Mr. Madoff, who has owned a home in Palm Beach since the late 1960s.

    Bernard Madoff attracted many investors from the Palm Beach Country Club in Florida.
    Shocked investors are saying little publicly, but signs of their sudden financial distress were emerging over the weekend. By Saturday, four multimillion-dollar condominiums at Two Breakers Row, a complex just north of the landmark Breakers hotel, were put up for sale by owners who invested with Mr. Madoff, said Nadine House, a real-estate agent here.

    The condos sell for as much as $17 million and generally cater to part-time residents who enjoy access to the seaside hotel’s golf course, room service and other luxurious amenities.

    As Ms. House spent the weekend showing the properties to New Yorkers who flew down to see them, an outreach mission abroad by a local Jewish group was canceled. High-end pawn shops saw an unusual jump in weekend business from people seeking short-term loans. Because Mr. Madoff churned out what looked like unerringly consistent returns, many investors considered his firm safe enough to park cash needed for routine living expenses.

    “I don’t work on Saturday, and my phone was ringing lots,” said Levi Touger, owner of Royal Pawn & Jewelry, in nearby West Palm Beach, who said he fielded calls offering a Ferrari, a Tiffany ring and a yacht as collateral.
    Saturday night, some of those affected by the alleged Ponzi scheme gathered for a birthday party at the Mar-a-Lago Club, a resort complex owned by Donald Trump. “I’m amazed they’re here at the party, but they don’t look all that happy,” Mr. Trump said in an interview.

    Amy Millman, Bank of New York Mellon Corp.’s managing director for Florida, said the mess is “a financial tsunami on Palm Beach island, and it’s capsizing so many families.” Her Palm Beach office was flooded with frantic calls late Thursday and Friday from local investors hoping to transfer funds out of Mr. Madoff’s firm.

    It isn’t clear how much of their money is left, but many Palm Beach residents and businesses are assuming the worst. That would batter the local economy, typically fueled by one of the world’s densest concentrations of wealth. Gardeners and dog walkers are likely to lose jobs, along with accountants and lawyers.
    The real-estate market, already slowed overall despite resilient demand for marquee addresses, could sag even further and spill into nearby communities. Along Worth Avenue, lined with art galleries, antique shops and designer clothing stores, business owners worry that the alleged fraud will exacerbate what already has been an unusually quiet season.

    Local charities are expected to suffer badly, especially Jewish causes. Mr. Madoff attracted many investors from Palm Beach Country Club, with a membership of wealthy Jews known for being active in philanthropic circles.

    Charitable activity is one of the requirements to join the club, established by Jews in the 1950s as a response to rejection by clubs controlled by Anglo-Saxon families.

    “There may not be a lot of sympathy for rich people losing a lot of money, but many other people are going to be hurt because of this,” said Patricia Lebow, managing partner of the West Palm Beach, Fla., office of Broad & Cassel, a law firm with several clients who lost millions of dollars.

    “Any person, business or charity that worked with those people is going to suffer,” she added. Some charities invested directly with Mr. Madoff.

    Unlike many of the families that still make up older Palm Beach social circles, most older Jewish residents here accumulated self-made fortunes. Some of those who invested with Mr. Madoff are devastated because the alleged fraud could wipe out the inheritance they planned to pass to their descendants.

    “The tragedy is not for the individuals themselves, but what they would be leaving for others,” said Daniel Ponton, owner of Club Colette, a private dining club that includes some Madoff investors.

  98. chicagofinance says:

    grim unmod

  99. John says:

    http://www.volvocars.com/us/footer/about/NewsAndEvents/default/Pages/default.aspx?item=141

    This is a real car, 1966 Volvo (Ford), guy out in Long Island has this car he bought brand new and loves to drive, he has close to three million miles on the car. World Record!!!! Car is mint mint mint, all original, no major repairs, original paint and not even garaged. When a toyota cracks three million miles on original engine give me a call. That is around 80,000 miles a year for over 40 years in same car.

  100. Essex says:

    103…Only that Volvo was never a Ford.

  101. John says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122911869435602737.html

    restaurant in chicago featuring a 25 course meall.

  102. #104 – Thanks Essex.
    #103 – John – Ford bought Volvo in ’99.

  103. I suppose I’ll post the obligatory Top Gear tries to kill a Toyota link… enjoy.

  104. PGC says:

    Grim / Rich/ Tom,

    Can you expand on the listing history of MLS# 2843688 (the Wyckoff Comp killer)

    I would interested to see how they got to that price.

  105. Rich In NNJ says:

    NJMLS Bergen County Comp Killers!

    WYCKOFF, 429 CEDAR HILL AVE
    SOLD: $650,000 11/20/2005
    SOLD: $450,000 12/12/2008

    RUTHERFORD, 30 GARFIELD PL
    SOLD: $459,000 3/17/2005
    SOLD: $375,000 12/5/2008

    RIDGEWOOD, 1024 HILLCREST RD
    SOLD: $629,900 1/25/2005
    SOLD: $600,000 12/8/2008

    RIDGEFIELD PARK, 308 5TH ST
    SOLD: $334,000 1/9/2004
    SOLD: $285,000 12/5/2008

    PARAMUS, 335 BULLARD AVE
    SOLD: $1,070,000 1/26/2006
    SOLD: $945,000 12/12/2008

    OAKLAND, 124 MANITO AVE
    SOLD: $540,000 7/23/2004
    SOLD: $447,900 12/11/2008

    OAKLAND, 74 ROOSEVELT BLVD
    SOLD: $235,000 11/16/2001
    SOLD: $339,900 8/15/2003
    SOLD: $272,000 12/11/2008

    HACKENSACK, 157 BYRNE ST
    SOLD: $515,000 2/27/2007
    SOLD: $425,000 12/12/2008

    HACKENSACK, 48 WILLOW AVE
    SOLD: $305,000 3/7/2005
    SOLD: $555,000 2/28/2006
    SOLD: $295,000 12/10/2008

    GLEN ROCK, 50 ROXBURY PL
    SOLD: $700,000 3/28/2006
    SOLD: $635,000 12/10/2008

    GARFIELD, 42 HARTMANN AVE
    SOLD: $310,000 11/4/2005
    SOLD: $265,000 12/9/2008

    BOGOTA, 380 LEONIA AVE
    SOLD: $545,000 6/16/2006
    SOLD: $405,000 12/8/2008

    ALLENDALE, 20 BERESFORD RD
    SOLD: $906,000 3/20/2006
    SOLD: $810,000 12/9/2008

  106. Frank says:

    #109,
    You call these Comp Killers?
    These homes are overpriced by 50%. Talk to me when they are selling in the low 200s.

  107. 3b says:

    #111 frank:Talk to me when they are selling in the low 200s.

    Don’t worry, we will.

  108. Shore Guy says:

    “US homes lose 2 trillion in value in 2008.”

    I “love” statements like the one above. The homes never had that value in the first place; there was no more value in many homes than water in a mirrage.

  109. Clotpoll says:

    (105)-

    I’d rather have my own liver removed- without anesthesia- and fed to me on the operating table.

    Let’s see whether the molecular chefs are swimming naked as the tide rolls out.

  110. Mike NJ says:

    Can anyone give me an update on MLS # 2494024 ?

    Thanks

  111. Rich In NNJ says:

    PGC

    The owner/builder who purchased the property in 2005 had two listings for the house

    For the home itself:
    ACT 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $699,000 9/26/2006
    PCH 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $639,900 4/13/2007
    PCH 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $619,900 7/18/2007
    EXP 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $619,900 9/27/2007
    Relist:
    ACT 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $619,900 10/9/2007
    W-U 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $619,900 1/25/2008
    Relist
    ACT 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $599,000 1/25/2008
    W-U 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $599,000 4/11/2008
    Relist
    ACT 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $499,000 10/1/2008
    ACT* 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $499,000 10/25/2008
    U/C 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $499,000 11/7/2008
    SLD 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $450,000 12/12/2008

    And with a new house built:
    ACT 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $1,450,000 9/23/2006
    EXP 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $1,450,000 9/24/2007
    Relist
    ACT 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $1,149,000 4/14/2008 W-U 429 CEDAR HILL AVE $1,149,000 12/12/2008

  112. Rich In NNJ says:

    Frank,

    In which town?
    Where do you reside? I wondering how you have so much knowledge about the real estate in Bergen county that you would make such a call.

  113. 3b says:

    #114 shore: Welcome back.

  114. 3b says:

    #118 Rich: Frank is in Hoboken (I believe), where lots of properties are selling for 10% over 2005 prices;for real!!!

  115. Shore Guy says:

    “Our friends bought one of the ’smaller’ places in 2005 for over $750k, and put a small addition onto their place. Good thing they plan on staying there ‘forever’”

    Forever, is that as in “until the water supply dries up?”

  116. Rich In NNJ says:

    Now we only need ~3k units to sell and go under contract to match the average of the last 17 years.
    Otherwise, all is well.

    Year #Sold #U/C
    1991 6,909 8,335
    1992 7,804 8,953
    1993 8,296 9,549
    1994 8,554 9,249
    1995 7,619 8,649
    1996 8,185 9,679
    1997 8,961 9,564
    1998 9,759 10,498
    1999 9,756 9,571
    2000 9,193 9,736
    2001 9,022 9,460
    2002 9,864 10,160
    2003 10,150 10,659
    2004 10,684 11,147
    2005 10,612 10,973
    2006 8,657 9,562
    2007 8,035 8,669
    2008 5,862 6,661

  117. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home builders’ index stays a record low level in December

    With the recession deepening and foreclosures stealing their market share, U.S. home builders remained very pessimistic about their industry in December, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ monthly index released Monday. The NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index stayed at a record low 9 in December, showing that fewer than 1 in 10 builders believes the market is good. The home builders’ index has been falling for nearly three and a half years after peaking at 72 during the height of the housing bubble. The index dates to 1985. All three components of the index were at record low levels, with two of the three falling further in December.

  118. 3b says:

    #124 Rich: And we have a whole 16 days left to do it.

  119. grim says:

    From Chi’s moderated link above:

    Bernard Madoff attracted many investors from the Palm Beach Country Club in Florida.

    Shocked investors are saying little publicly, but signs of their sudden financial distress were emerging over the weekend. By Saturday, four multimillion-dollar condominiums at Two Breakers Row, a complex just north of the landmark Breakers hotel, were put up for sale by owners who invested with Mr. Madoff, said Nadine House, a real-estate agent here.

    The condos sell for as much as $17 million and generally cater to part-time residents who enjoy access to the seaside hotel’s golf course, room service and other luxurious amenities.

    Wow…

  120. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Fitch: Alt-A Mortgages Deteriorating More Rapidly than Expected

    Citing “a rapid deterioration of U.S. Alt-A RMBS performance,” Fitch Ratings again took the hatchet to its previous assumptions for Alt-A mortgages on Monday morning, revising its surveillance methodology and updating loss projections for all U.S. Alt-A RMBS.

    Fitch said it now expects losses on all Alt-A collateral to far exceed the estimates of its ‘moderate stress’ scenario in its late ratings update earlier this year. “Market developments, ongoing home-price declines and loan performance trends in the Alt-A sector over the prior six months have effectively eliminated the possibility of this stress scenario,” said Fitch in a statement.

    The rating agency said it now expects average cumulative losses om 2005, 2006 and 2007 vintage Alt-A transactions to hit 2.72, 6.78 and 9.58 percent, respectively, up dramatically from expectations at the agency earlier this year.

    Fitch cited a “rapid increase in 60+ day delinquencies experienced over the past six months,” despite servicers’ collective efforts to hold off on actual foreclosure sales — likely implying that a halt to foreclosures is having little effect in resolving borrower delinquencies. Between May and October 2008, Fitch said that 60+ day delinquencies for the 2007 vintage increased from 8.80 percent to 14.65 percent; 2006 and 2005 vintages also experienced steep increases rising from 10.30 percent to 14.24 percent and 6.57 percent to 8.79 percent, respectively.

  121. Frank says:

    This weekend I went to Miami and
    Ft. Lauderdale to check out the RE auctions. Every property, from 1M condos to 200K homes were selling for less then 150K. In comparison to FL, NJ market is on fire as evident by Rich’s comp killers.

  122. Shore Guy says:

    3b

    Thanks. Been working like a dog to get some things settled for year end.

  123. Shore Guy says:

    “… fewer than 1 in 10 builders believes the market is good”

    Who in the world are these “1 in 10” anyway?

  124. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    How are the places looking? Are they trashed?

  125. Frank says:

    In Hoboken, 5 2BRs went under contract last week with DOM of 79 days. When a 1000sf condos are still selling for 500K+ in less then 3 months, don’t call this a recession. This is the greatest bubble we have ever had.

    http://hudson.fnismls.com/publink/default.aspx?GUID=5ca273ac-e279-46bf-8e53-0b8c827fc722&Report=Yes

  126. Frank says:

    #120,
    Rich, When homes are selling for 6x income you don’t need to know much about the area to see the bubble.

  127. Frank says:

    Hoboken Tax Revolt

    http://www.HobokenRevolt.com

    Anyone starting NJ tax revolt?

  128. Against The Grain says:

    “People can forgive Japan and German for killing 20 million people in WWII but GM can’t be forgiven for making bad cars in the late 1970s through early 1990’s.”

    True. It goes to show just how badly people have been burned by American cars.

    Here are recent reviews of the Mercury Sable, twin of the vaunted Ford Taurus, and Honda Accords of the same vintage:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/capsule-review-mercury-sable/

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/capsule-review-1986-1989-honda-accord/

    Here’s an interesting article about GM “quality.”

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/inside-gm-ive-been-working-in-parts-and-service-in-gm-dealers-since-1965/

    Read the comments. Some of the claims are amazing and sad.

  129. Clotpoll says:

    (130)-

    This post firmly establishes Frank as a retard version of pret.

  130. John says:

    Re 137, well those are some pretty old articles and half the posters diasgree, well I guess I will trade one or two extra repairs then having blood of WWII and the holocost on my hands

  131. chicagofinance says:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/capsule-review-1986-1989-honda-accord/

    My first car was a Honda Accord 1986 LX that I bought with 90K on it. I drove it until 225K. Treated it like garbage….it was my first car. Minimal rust or leaks. The wear and tear issues were my fault because I drove it hard.

    Made multiple trips from NY/NJ/Philly/Chicago/Michigan.

  132. Victorian says:

    “Bottom line, Japanese and Germany our former enemies make cars people perceive as being better than american cars”

    – No doubt this information slipped your mind when putting down cash for your new BMW.

  133. Against The Grain says:

    #139 John – Those articles are only a few days old.

  134. Frank says:

    #138,
    This post firmly establishes that you are a typical a&&hole NJ RE agent.

  135. Nicholas says:

    My first car was an ’82 Mazda 626 with craploads of miles on it. I bought it with a blown head gasket for 250$.

    With no formal mechanical training, I went to the local library and photocopied the pages that I needed to repair the vehicle.

    I drove it for another 4 years before scrapping it. No further repairs were necessary other then normal maintenance. Head gasket repair probably cost me 12$.

    Awesome car, I have such fond memories about bringing that frankenstien back to life.

  136. My first car was a Honda Accord 1986 LX that I bought with 90K on it

    I had an ’89 Accord LXi that I drove into the ground. Great car. I have no doubt the thing is still running today somewhere.

  137. Nicholas says:

    My sister lives in an affluent community on the Eastern Shore of the Bay Bridge.

    She commented that two houses went into forclosure in her community ($650k-$800k houses). One of the houses had been completely gutted. All appliances were gone (Refridgerator, Stove, Washer, and Dryer) as well as the furnace, AC unit, water softener…everything. They had pulled up the hard wood flooring, removed the granite countertops, and pulled out all the kitchen cabinates. Sink bases and toilets were removed. All that was left was subflooring, studs and drywall.

    Complete gut of the home. $800k buys a massive house on the Eastern Shore in case your wondering. The community started completing units in 2005 and the first two forclosures were seen in late 2008.

    Expect things to get much worse in more affluent communities, this is not just a subprime problem.

  138. John says:

    Actually, the Japanese attacked us not Germany. In fact Mitsubishi made the zeros that bombed Pearl Harbor, funny enough Mitubishi in its Southern Plant got state tax breaks and help in setting up a plant with below UAW wages.

    Actually I didn’t not want to drive a faux Japanese lux cars as those are for wannabees, and too young to drive American lux cars, Caddie, pretty much for the 35-50 year old male crowd 5 series owns the market. E-Class is a chicks car and 3 series is like the c class a starter car. The 7 and 6 are a little too much given the recession and Jaguar is junk.

    I still stick by Motor City, the first car I had was a 1963 Dart and I had all the original owners records, when I got rid of it running with 163k it had NEVER beeen to a mechanic. Oil changed in driveway every 3K miles and guy had a tire mounter, I also had a tire mounter, in 17 years and 163K of driving the most expensive repair was a 35 dollar junkyard radiator when I lent the car to a friend and he was doing donuts on the site of the original United Nations in Great Neck Long Island which was torn down at the time cause they had already moved to NY, well there still was a beam or two here and there sticking up so my friend nailed the piece of the UN right between the headlights, well a tow line around a tree to the bumper and a couple of neutral drops in reverse gave us room to jam a used raditor in and after a few jumps on the hood to bang it back in it was good to go a few more thousand mile.

  139. the crazy man in the corner says:

    wow, a dodge dart, nice.

    make me miss the column shifter lol

  140. 2010 Buyer says:

    Fannie Mae should steer cleer of renting homes

    Making the rounds is a proposal that the GSE’s will not evict renters from properties on which they foreclose. How do they intend to manage this process? This has disaster written all over it.

    Who is going to collect tens of thousands or rental payments from all of these tenants?

    In the event of a sale, who will be responsible for evicting the existing tenant?

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/110765-fannie-mae-should-steer-clear-of-renting-homes?source=feed&Sort=MostRecent

  141. Qwerty says:

    The 3-series is a “starter car” only to people who either don’t know anything about cars, or are trying to impress.

    The 335 is a 300 HP twin-turbo animal that handles like a dream.

  142. grim says:

    Maybe this is the reason the Fed needs to buy agency debt? Either way, this doesn’t bode well for mortgage rates.

    Foreign sales of agency debt surged in Oct-Treasury

    Waning confidence in U.S. housing finance companies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system manifested itself in record sales of their securities by foreign investors in October, according to U.S. Treasury data.

    Foreigners reduced holdings of long-term “agency” debt by $50.22 billion in October just as investors began to question government support behind the bonds, which help fund the U.S. housing market. The sales affirm Federal Reserve reports that show foreign central banks dumped nearly $140 billion in agency debt and mortgage bonds since midyear, through last week.

    Investors in Asia accounted for a record $16.5 billion in sales in October, led by South Korea at $7.2 billion. Investors registered in the Cayman Islands dumped $22.7 billion.

    Yield spread premiums on agency debt widened slightly on Monday, after reaching some of their tightest levels in nearly three months on Friday. Five-year Freddie Mac spreads widened about 0.05 percentage point at midday to 0.9 percentage point.

  143. PBI says:

    From 2002 to 2006, houses went from being a tortoise to a hare in the investment world. Home sale profits and relaxed lending standards such as lower down payment requirements and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) made it possible for buyers of all income levels to pay more for houses.

    When the housing bubble began to deflate in 2006, history had a sobering lesson to teach. Home values had closely tracked three common-sense measures for many years:

    • Income —Home values floated at about three times average household income from 1950 to 2000. In 2006, the average household income was $66,500. Under the traditional model, home prices should have been about $200,000. Instead, the typical home sold for $301,000.

    •Rent —Homes traditionally have sold for about 20 times what it would cost to rent them for a year. In 2006, houses were selling for 32 times annual rent.

    •Appreciation —Existing homes grew in value by less than 0.5% per year, after adjusting for inflation, from 1950 to 2000. From 2000 to 2006, home prices rose at an average annualized rate of 8.2% above inflation and peaked with a 12.3% jump in 2005. Housing prices began to fall in the second quarter of 2006.

  144. John says:

    Actually, 63 had push button tranny on the dashboard with a little lever on dashboard for parking brake, nothing at all between bucket seats and no column on steering wheel. I had a convt and we used to run up trunk and jump into drivers seat without having to worry about your nuts.

    the crazy man in the corner Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 2:31 pm
    wow, a dodge dart, nice.

    make me miss the column shifter lol

  145. John says:

    When I see 3 series I think loaner car. The 335 is like a Taurus SHO, showing a little bigger engine into a starter car doesnt make it a race car. Plus the back seat on the 3 series is whimpy.

    Qwerty Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 2:46 pm
    The 3-series is a “starter car” only to people who either don’t know anything about cars, or are trying to impress.

    The 335 is a 300 HP twin-turbo animal that handles like a dream.

  146. Essex says:

    150…amen, otherwise known as a catagory killer in the car biz.

  147. 3b says:

    #151 grim:this doesn’t bode well for mortgage rates.

    But, but, what about our 4.50 30 yr mtg rates?

  148. John says:

    Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — Yields on 30-year Treasury bonds dropped below 3 percent for the second straight day amid speculation the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates tomorrow and provide details on whether it will buy government debt.

  149. John says:

    The average 2006-2007 home buyer has more equity in his car.

  150. Outofstater says:

    #69 Tosh – The cash-strapped and hungry are everywhere and they may not be displaced poor people from the cities. People can have nice houses they’ve lived in for years – with no food in them. They just tend to be invisible in the suburbs. The downward spiral in someone’s life can happen very quickly.

  151. HEHEHE says:

    They should tax obesity. All those fat f*cks are a major reason why insurance is so frigging expensive.

  152. Qwerty says:

    Back seat? No one looks at the back seat when evaluating a luxury performance car.

    Now a 528, that’s a starter car — an empty shell poser vehicle. Go 550 or M5, or go home.

    If you want a “family car” a 3-series probably isn’t it, because it’s smallish. But the smallish size means nimble performance, add in the perfect 50/50 weight distribution and the 300 HP “International Engine of the Year”, and you’re golden. It’s a dream commuter vehicle / DINK vehicle / second car / bachelor car.

  153. Ben says:

    heh, POS cape of the day:

    http://www.century21.com/property/index.jsp?ref_code=C21TruliaDL&id=35093996&WT.trulia_state=NJ&WT.mc_id=Organic

    For only 500k. Seriously, I was thinking closer to 170k.

  154. Ben says:

    “They should tax obesity. All those fat f*cks are a major reason why insurance is so frigging expensive.”

    My car insurance will increase if I get a speeding ticket. Why shouldn’t my health insurance increase when I smoke and eat McDonalds everyday? We would all be better off without all this insurance. Most health insurance and car insurance companies get laws passed and people to buy into their plans through fear mongering. People who drive around with crappy insurance don’t have to worry about car accidents. They are too poor to sue if they cause an accident. The same goes for healthcare. They just get it for free.

  155. RentL0rd says:

    The size of Madoff’s ripoff is mind numbing. How many more Madoffs will this down-turn uncover?

    In a way collectively RE is a type of ‘Madoff scheme’ .. don’t you think?

  156. Caroline Kennedy says:

    Senate? Why Yes. Thank You.

  157. Ben says:

    “#69 Tosh – The cash-strapped and hungry are everywhere and they may not be displaced poor people from the cities. People can have nice houses they’ve lived in for years – with no food in them. They just tend to be invisible in the suburbs. The downward spiral in someone’s life can happen very quickly.”

    This is all too true. I know a family living in a 800k house right now that can’t afford to heat it. The house may be the last thing to go, but there is a lot of pain behind closed doors that we cannot see. I see plenty of people shopping at the malls right now. I also read that sales retail sales are dead in the water.

    My sister is working a cashier job at a big retailer. They are currently proposing to pay their employees with gift cards to the store itself for the time being. What a scam.

  158. John says:

    168…I know a family just like that. Husband flipped for some plastic surgery for the wife and set up the spare room in early love dungeon decor. Now she takes care of business and covers not only the mortgage, but also a second home on the shore. Hidden assets can be found in a down economy.

  159. grim says:

    Crisis is real now..

    OLD-SCHOOL RAPPER HAS NO SCRATCH

    The Human Beat Box is taking a financial beating.

    Rap icon Doug E. Fresh – best known for his ’80s hit “The Show” – has been socked with three foreclosure actions by banks looking to collect more than $3.5 million in unpaid mortgages on a trio of his Harlem homes.

    The rapper, 46, also is being chased by American Express for nearly $60,000 in credit-card debt, and the IRS just slapped him with a $367,000 tax lien on top of more than $40,000 owed to the state tax collector, records show.

    The golden-voiced rapper, whose real name is Douglas Davis, grew up in Harlem. After his skill at vocally imitating drumbeats and percussion sounds made him famous in the 1980s, he stayed in the neighborhood, investing in local real estate and raising five sons.

    He fell behind in payments and, according to a foreclosure suit filed in Manhattan in late August, 2008, he now owes more than $1.73 million.

    Davis is putting the finishing touches on Doug E’s Chicken and Waffles, a new Harlem restaurant slated to open next month.

    He declined to comment on his woes.

  160. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (143)-

    What are you going to do when Madoff rats you out?

  161. Clotpoll says:

    3b (156)-

    Bergabe & Klink are gonna have to start printing faster to ratchet those rates down to 4.5%.

    Who woulda thunk those furigners might sell agency paper? It’s backed by full faith and credit (cough, cough…).

  162. Frank says:

    #171,
    NJ pension fund will give me more of your money.

  163. Nicholas says:

    National City….

    Wasn’t that the name of the city in one of the early NES games that came out?

    River City Ransom

    Didn’t some punks from National City steal your girlfriend and then ransom her off?

  164. Clotpoll says:

    sean (160)-

    Please, God, let it happen.

    This may start the riots in Mitchell’s neighborhood.

  165. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (174)-

    At what age were you when you decided to make the world despise you?

  166. John says:

    They park them by number and country in good country clubs, Italian sports cars up front along with Rolls and Bentleys followed by porsches, then S Class, seven series, M, then 5 series and e class, then Jags then 3 series and c class with American and Japanese cars over by the dumpsters. The really good clubs in Hamptons woould never let a 3 series park where it is visable from the street. Top of the line 3 series screams foot doctor or chiropracter and you can afford a real car like a Ferrari or a Porsche 911 turbo whale tail. Guy in the Hamptons used to have a triple white rolls royce convert, I once was going for the last spot at a party I was invited to at Christina Lawfords house when I cut in front to get in as I had an SL covt and their was a POS BMW aheard of me, before I got through my friend went paritally on the grass in his triple black porsche 911 convt and was about to be given the last spot when out of nowhere came that triple while Rolls Convt and he took the last spot, he got out in a white linen suit with no shoes as not to spoil his white carpet. I don’t know who he was but I had man envy, my friend and I bowed to him and parked our POS Benz and Porsche out on the street. I guess a three series is good in the Hampons for pizza delivery and loaner cars so I geuss they serve a purpose.

    Qwerty Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 4:11 pm
    Back seat? No one looks at the back seat when evaluating a luxury performance car.

    Now a 528, that’s a starter car — an empty shell poser vehicle. Go 550 or M5, or go home.

    If you want a “family car” a 3-series probably isn’t it, because it’s smallish. But the smallish size means nimble performance, add in the perfect 50/50 weight distribution and the 300 HP “International Engine of the Year”, and you’re golden. It’s a dream commuter vehicle / DINK vehicle / second car / bachelor car.

  167. Essex says:

    178….John, when you go to those parties do you find people walking (QUICKLY) away from you a lot? Just curious.

  168. John says:

    The 3 series 300 hp is around 169 hp less than a caddie

    The Cadillac STS-V combines power and performance in a luxury sedan. View pictures and features, Armed with a staggering 469 horsepower capable of going from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds,

  169. Frank says:

    #177,
    When I decided not to become a NJ real-estate agent. I figured, you can’t do anything more degrading to a human being that to put someone into a house they can’t afford and charge them 6% for it. It’s the most repulsive way to make a living.

  170. John says:

    Actually, I met John John, Chris Lawford, Susan Lucci, and some Rockafellers at that party. I used to hang with celebs a lot as it was a friend of mines hobby, Pat Riley, Paul Reiser, John Travola, Lee Majors have all been drinking with me to name a few.

  171. Clotpoll says:

    Lee Majors?

    Cool.

  172. Clotpoll says:

    Got any Susan Lucci dafunk stories?

  173. yikes says:

    talked to wells fargo last week about a mortgage rate and the guy laughed when i said we’d put down 200k. got back to us today.

    here’s the thing – despite that downpayment, and no CC debt, we were not able to get a loan for 350k. reason?

    i started a business one year ago. and you can’t get a loan – basically, impossible, he said – if you just started a business in the last two years. guess they think all small businesses will fail. (I even have a contract stating i get x amount for two years; then a lump sum, and then the contract goes for two more years.)

    the good news, of course, is that all i have to do is add my wife to my bank accounts and we’re good to go. so loan in her name.

    quoted at 5.15 %, but we’re holding out for 4.5.

  174. #180 – The 3 series 300 hp is around 169 hp less than a caddie…. STS-V

    In this case the 335 is also around $40K less than that Caddie. Try comparing the M3 to the STS-V, those are shooting for the same buyers.
    In the end the Caddie is still a tasteless car for goombahs who stumbled into money.

  175. skep-tic says:

    “I don’t know who he was but I had man envy, my friend and I bowed to him and parked our POS Benz and Porsche out on the street. I guess a three series is good in the Hampons for pizza delivery and loaner cars so I geuss they serve a purpose.”

    this is hilarious.

  176. Zack says:

    John – What about the M6. Will that fly in the Hamptons?

  177. Essex says:

    John….John….John has the baby boomer senility really hit you that hard? Geezus Krist man….get a fawking clue.

  178. still_looking says:

    # Essex Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    178….John, when you go to those parties do you find people walking (QUICKLY) away from you a lot? Just curious.

    –it’s the onion smell…

    sl

  179. grim says:

    Can I claim copyright to John’s posts?

    I’m thinking about publishing a compendium.

  180. still_looking says:

    grim, 192

    with illustrations????

    sl

  181. RentL0rd says:

    onion-anime

  182. lostinny says:

    Deaf ‘Extreme Makeover’ couple gets financial aid
    Why did their mortgage double since the makeover?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081215/ap_en_tv/extreme_makeover_foreclosure_2

  183. grim says:

    lost,

    http://www.philly.com/dailynews/features/gossip/20081209_Tattle___Makeover__couple_facing_tough_choices.html

    Unfortunately, after the makeover, the Vardons refinanced the mortgage, and their monthly payments have nearly doubled – from $1,200 to $2,300. They had debts of $20,000 for the boy’s therapy alone.

    “We didn’t have bad spending habits,” Judy said. “My husband got laid off for a time, and insurance wouldn’t cover Lance’s autism therapy and some other things like his vision and special dental work.”

  184. Ben says:

    lost inny,

    people will still try to convince you it’s just subprime. These people on extreme makeover are given homes and they still manage to get foreclosed on in a year or two.

  185. Ben says:

    186 yikes,

    “quoted at 5.15 %, but we’re holding out for 4.5.”

    This is why the market is absolutely toast in the near future. The treasury removed every potential buyer from the market until they offer 4.5% now.

  186. lostinny says:

    196 Grim
    So they needed to refinance an entire house for 20K in therapy bills? Spare me.

  187. lostinny says:

    197 Ben
    If you could have seen the argument between myself and my grandmother-in-law who has been in the RE market for 30 years, and I don’t know anything and its not a problem here (Tampa) etc etc. Trust me, they can’t convince me of anything.

  188. yikes says:

    # kettle1 Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Re Big 3 bailout.

    Why not just skip with the all the BS and require the banks that have received TARP funds to give loans to the big 3? The banks have been hoarding the bailout money anyway. require then to fund the bailout using the taxpayer money they have received and are parking in the FED for interest.

    Because in the grand scheme of things, banks matter, and a few car companies dont. michigan goes under … oh well. you get a bank run and the country suffers.

  189. Ben says:

    it seems that everyone’s in laws gives bad real estate advice

  190. grim says:

    AP reports that Ecuador has defaulted on a second set of bonds. Total in default now up to $1.16 billion. Chatter is that Ecuador is defaulting in an attempt to seek principal reduction and better repayment terms.

    Wait, this sounds familiar.

  191. 3b says:

    #183 John:I used to hang with celebs a lot as it was a friend of mines hobby, Pat Riley, Paul Reiser, John Travola, Lee Majors have all been drinking with me to name a few.

    You are a legend in your own mind, and a “beautiful” mind it is.

  192. 3b says:

    #174 clot:Bergabe & Klink are gonna have to start printing faster to ratchet those rates down to 4.5%.

    Than I might have to wait for 3.50,and so on, and so on.

  193. Cindy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnX-D4kkPOQ

    (85) skep-tic “They are a black hole.”

    “Should the government stop dumping money into a giant hole?”

  194. yikes says:

    grim Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Maybe this is the reason the Fed needs to buy agency debt? Either way, this doesn’t bode well for mortgage rates.

    Foreign sales of agency debt surged in Oct-Treasury

    Waning confidence in U.S. housing finance companies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system manifested itself in record sales of their securities by foreign investors in October, according to U.S. Treasury data.

    grim, guess this means you dont think the mortgage rates will drop to 4.5?

  195. victorian says:

    This is what a real “black hole” looks like –

    ” American International Group Inc. sold residential mortgage-backed securities with a face value of $39.3 billion to a government-funded facility as the U.S. seeks to limit losses at companies that did business with the insurer.

    AIG will receive about $19.8 billion for the assets, which were held by the insurer’s securities-lending program, the New York-based firm said today in a statement. The facility was mostly funded by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which may collect the majority of profits if it sells assets for more than the purchase price, according to a regulatory filing”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=awDt4bUFx2RM

  196. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (186)-

    It’s gonna take a few more weeks for Klink and Bergabe to spin the presses enough to soak up all the agency paper getting dumped by overseas investors.

  197. Clotpoll says:

    Ben (198)-

    4.5% and another 15% haircut on the price.

  198. victorian says:

    The management at the Big 3 really should be fired – They should have bought/written a boatload of CDS over the past six months.

  199. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (201)-

    It’d be a win-win all around if they’d fence in the whole state of Michigan.

    “michigan goes under … oh well. you get a bank run and the country suffers.”

  200. yikes says:

    # Ben Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    186 yikes,

    “quoted at 5.15 %, but we’re holding out for 4.5.”

    This is why the market is absolutely toast in the near future. The treasury removed every potential buyer from the market until they offer 4.5% now.

    well who wants to be the guy who buys at 5.15 or 5.5 and then two weeks later they’re offering 4.5? im not saying we’re holding out forever just to save like $125 a month … but when you think about it, why not just wait? What’s the rush?

    We are looking at houses as just a roof and four walls. not an investment. we understand that there wont be equity for 15 years (at least) and are planning as such.

    over the weekend saw some friends and one (who bought a townhouse/condo 2-story thing) already wants to move. “if the market turns, we’re out.” they want a yard. and can’t have a dog or a kid until they get an upgrade

  201. Clotpoll says:

    grim (203)-

    It’s a cramdown world now.

  202. Clotpoll says:

    3b (204)-

    I forgot to ask John if Travolta was wearing a dress.

  203. victorian says:

    Clot (209) –
    Could the attempt to devalue the dollar be more blatant?
    Time for Gold yet? On the other hand, the 30 year is @ 2.99. I just can’t make sense out of this, unless the Fed itself is pounding the long end of the curve down.

  204. yikes says:

    # Clotpoll Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Ben (198)-

    4.5% and another 15% haircut on the price.

    our offer will be 12.5% haircut (bucks county, though). we might make it wednesday. buyers have targeted a short sale … asking was 600k, but the realtor told us they are getting it for 550k.

    i hope they arent insulted by 525k. we actually like the place. best combo of yard and relatively new/big house, and a place we wont need to come in and do anything immediately (except add the pool).

  205. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (213)-

    Go FHA and get the streamline (free) refi in your package.

    Most lenders are running current FHAs and applying for the refi case number less than 30 days after the closing now.

    IMO, the rates won’t get below 5%. Too much headwind with the spreads blowing out again and foreigners dumping agency paper.

  206. Clotpoll says:

    vic (216)-

    Bergabe and Klink are running their own, genuine pump-and-dump operation in an asset bubble of their very own making.

    Cynical, devious…and extremely dangerous.

    These two clowns are playing hot potato with a vial of TNT. I fear it will be a classic case of playtime turning tragic.

  207. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (217)-

    Good luck…but assume all the players will be stupid assholes (you excluded).

  208. Clotpoll says:

    vic (216)-

    I think we always have to keep in mind that the evil duo’s endgame always ends in the USD being rendered close to worthless.

    At some point, they will let gold soar and stop the secret shenanigans that have suppressed its price far too long.

    Watch GS. They are a bullion bank…and they are demanding delivery of the physical. That’s a big tell.

  209. Clotpoll says:

    GGP down close to 10% in after-hours.

    Is the Ch. 11 filing gonna be tomorrow? That’s the rumor…

  210. Clotpoll says:

    Hmmm…now GGP bounces back. Sure trading late.

  211. Clotpoll says:

    WSJ reporting GGP, others seeking to extend payments again.

  212. Clotpoll says:

    Wow.

    A bunch of REIT bankruptcies is sure gonna be a buzzkill on the rate cut/bailout happy bomb.

  213. victorian says:

    Clot –

    Bernanke will try his utmost to insure that deflation is defeated because we are a debtor nation. He has pretty much followed his 2002 speech down to the T.

    In fact, he had mentioned buying agency debt and treasuries outright in the speech and has infact implemented the first half of this strategy.

    He has to try and inflate our way out of debt.Will he be successful at it? I don’t know. If he is, it will keep the nominal prices of RE and stocks up and the sheep will be happy.

    I am beginning to agree with BC Bob that Gold might be the play of the next 5 years.

  214. Pat says:

    John, it’s been a tough day. Losing your DL in MD means a day at MVA and that ain’t no day spa.

    I finally found my license and sat down at the puter and immediately got a picture of you jumping on the hood of my dad’s car and then bouncing bellies with Lee Majors.

    Do I need to say I had a major crush on him in 6th grade? Thanks, John.

  215. yikes says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    yikes (213)-

    Go FHA and get the streamline (free) refi in your package.

    You’re going to have to put that in English, buddy. I have no clue what this means.

  216. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (228)-

    FHA mortgages come with a provision for a free refinance. It’s called the Streamline.

  217. Clotpoll says:

    Pat (229)-

    With or without his makeup on?

  218. 3b says:

    #226 Victorian: it will keep the nominal prices of RE and stocks up and the sheep will be happy.

    It has not worked to date here. It did not work in Japan and, it will continue not to work here.

  219. still_looking says:

    Completely off topic (sort of)

    I want to get my FIL a subscription for some financial guidance type paper or other.

    He is subscribed to Barron’s already (for what that’s worth) but I want him to be informed in a more cutting edge way.

    That is, without bringing him here (he wouldn’t read a blog anyway, so it’s not an issue.)

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance

    sl

  220. sas says:

    “SaS mentioned to watch for this”

    I hope this helps my credability:)

    SAS

  221. yikes says:

    thanks, clot. good to know.

    wont lie when i tell you that bucks could you use a guy like you. you’d dominate this area.

  222. Pat says:

    sl, what’s your fil like? A reader? A listener? A techie? Lib/con?

  223. Clotpoll says:

    yikes (234)-

    Thanks, but only stupid sells big in residential RE.

    That’s why you get Babs Corcoran- and not Roubini- on the Today show.

  224. still_looking says:

    Pat,

    He is more of a reader…one year I got him a subscription to ValueLine — they’d send weekly data on stocks/investments.

    I no longer trust most ratings agencies and never got a clear picture if he even really benefited from it so I never got it for him again.

    Every other gift gets shoved in a closet and I ain’t having that this year…

    Yeah, Bah Humbug…whatever.

    sl

  225. still_looking says:

    He’s a cheapassMFerwhodespisesme conservative. Everyone else calls him weird,strange,antisocial,misanthrope an odd duck.

    sl

  226. Clotpoll says:

    sl (238)-

    Buy him a roll of asswipe, and tell him to read it for clues after he uses it.

  227. Essex says:

    I like John….he is an icon of the site…but wtf….start bashing my 3 series and you might as well start talkin shite about my kid. Or Dog.

  228. Essex says:

    We regularly receive hate mail that rudely suggests we are on BMW’s payroll. Indeed, we have selected the 3-series as one of our 10Best Cars for 16 consecutive years. During that time, we’ve also thrown 3-series Bimmers into 24 comparisons and awarded first places to 15 of them. And we’ve conducted long-term tests of 3-series four-doors and their M3 versions in the previous E36 and E46 generations. So it will surprise no regular reader that when the current E90 generation appeared in the summer of 2005, we requested an example for our long-term fleet.

    Our Monaco Blue Metallic 330i four-door arrived at our Hogback Road office on December 20. It stickered at $42,415, including $1600 for the Car and Driver–mandatory Sport package (18-inch wheels, sport suspension, sport seats, and leather sport steering wheel), $1450 for beige leather upholstery, $1000 for the Cold Weather package (seat heaters, headlight washers, and the ski-bag/folding-rear-seat combination), $595 for pay radio (Sirius), and $475 for the metallic paint.

    After putting a quick 2135 miles on the 330, we took it to the test track where we measured a 0-to-60 time of 5.6 seconds and a quarter-mile of 14.4 seconds at 98 mph. That’s real performance progress, as those figures are quicker even than an E36 M3’s. Our 330i’s chassis was equally impressive, not giving up in corners until 0.89 g was reached and stopping from 70 mph in the outstandingly short distance of 154 feet. Thanks to the higher-performance tires in the Sport package, the 330i’s speed governor was raised from 130 to 148 mph, which our example easily achieved. We’d say this 330i’s performance lived up to its sports-sedan rep in every way.

    Our impressions from the driver’s seat were even more positive. Despite the 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine’s 6600-rpm power peak, it produced strong thrust across the rev range, reducing the need to row its smooth and precise gearbox. The steering feel was excellent, and the car responded to inputs eagerly, accurately, and naturally. And the chassis was always eager to be leaned on, delivering its tenacious grip with steady balance and great stability.

    Aug 2007 Car and Driver.

  229. still_looking says:

    Clot, 239

    I already do (buy the asswipe.) Maybe another roll as a stocking stuffer.

    (my husband was asking about where to buy coal – it took me a minute to understand why..)

    maybe he found out that my husband accidently gave his entire spring/summer wardrobe to the Vietnam Vets Clothes donation.

    (well… they were in a bag similar to the donation bag…oops.)

    sl

  230. Pat says:

    sl, wow, if only I weren’t still married, I’d snap him up.

    Naw…we’d be too much alike.

    Have you considered a subscription gift card so that he can pick his own poison?

    Search on discount magazine and check the business/finance offerings.

  231. chicagofinance says:

    sl: Wall Street Journal….and he’ll love the Editorial column…the whole back of Section A and the Personal Journal section will really be a nice daily read for him.

    $79 gets you 52 weeks if you use the website offer….

  232. Firestormik says:

    BMW stands for Brutal Money Waster
    http://www.bmwlemon.com/
    Used to be a good brand, but lately their reliability is on par to GM

  233. still_looking says:

    chifi,

    hmmm WSJ might be a good one.

    Pat, sorry… a gift card would likely get closet-tossed as well.

    He gives Scorpios a bad name…

    sl

  234. Clotpoll says:

    For anyone in the Hunterdon/Somerset area, you can make a cash donation to Somerset Co. Food Bank/IHN this Saturday, 2-4 PM, at Tex’s Liquors on Rt 202 North, Branchburg (just South of the West County Rd intersection).

    If you come between 2-4, the one and only moi will take your donation and talk RE as much as you want.

    As I mentioned earlier, Tex will not let you drink in the parking lot.

  235. HEHEHE says:

    Still Looking,

    Investors Business Daily?

  236. Qwerty says:

    Back seats? Parking position at poser country clubs? People who love cars care nothing about these things. Perhaps you love the “image” rather than the cars?

    Me, I’d rather take a cash-bought 3 to a Sonic drive-in for an $8 meal, than worry about where some douche wearing white linen is parked.

  237. Hardwood floors are one of the best options if you are considering installing a new floor…

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