Realtor Chief Economist: “I spun”

AKA: Why you should ignore your Realtor and everything the National Association of Realtors Says

David Lereah was the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) up until April 2007, the time period otherwise known as the “Bubble”. His outrageously bullish forecasts earned him the name: Baghdad Bob of real estate.

His continually rosy forecasts, in the face of a rapidly deteriorating market even led some to start blogs to keep track of his spin, the David Lereah Watch was probably the most famous of these.

Criticism wasn’t coming from bloggers alone, mass media journalists routinely took aim at Lereah, and even his successor Larry Yun, one of the most scathing appeared in Slate:

Worst. Forecasters. Ever?
By Daniel Gross
Posted Monday, Dec. 10, 2007

As the housing decline began to take center stage, NAR forecasts were an important market event. This spurred investment research firm Investech Research to publish this gem:

Our own RentingInNJ came up with his own compilation, which spurred the wildly popular (one of the most widely linked and traffic’ed NJREblog posts ever):

Tracking Realtor Spin

1. “There’s no question there is a strong demand for housing from a growing population.” – David Lereah, NAR Chief Economist

2. “For the foreseeable future, the demand for homes will continue to outstrip supply” – Al Mansell, NAR President

3. “We’ve been expecting sales to remain at historically high levels, but this performance underscores the value of housing as an investment and the importance of homeownership in fulfilling the American dream.” – David Lereah, NAR Chief Economist

Which leads up to the January 2009 issue of Money Magazine, where Lereah admits what we’ve already known:

Former real estate bull admits, “I spun”
Working for realtors, David Lereah was famously optimistic. Not anymore.
By Donna Rosato

As chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, David Lereah was famously optimistic. Now a private consultant, he’s abandoned what he calls the “positive spin.”

Q: Were you wrong to be so bullish?

A: I worked for an association promoting housing, and it was my job to represent their interests. If you look at my actual forecasts, the numbers were right inline with most forecasts. The difference was that I put a positive spin on it It was easy to do during boom times, harder when times weren’t good. I never thought the whole national real estate market would burst.

Q: The NAR’s latest forecast calls for a slight increase in home prices next year. Thoughts?

A: My views are quite different now. I’m pretty bearish and have been for the past year and a half. Home prices will continue to drop. I think we’ll see a very modest recovery in sales activity in 2009. But we’ve still got excess inventories, a bad economy and a credit crunch that will push prices down further, another 5% to 10% more. It’ll take a long time to get back to the peak prices we saw in many markets.

Q: Any regrets?

A: I would not have done anything different. But I was a public spokesman writing about housing having a good future. I was wrong. I have to take responsibility for that.

Some fun threads from back in time:

The Big Picture: NAR and Housing Forecasts

San Diego Home Blog: Spin Class – David Lereah and NAR

Matrix: David Lereah Resigns, Spin Takes A Smoke

Patrick.net: Is David Lereah going to Hell?

The Mess That Greenspan Made: NAR Housing Report: Declining Home Prices Induces Heavy Spin

Housing Panic: David Lereah, the most discredited economist in world history, finally admits housing crash going to get worse, expects US home values to plummet 20%

Hat tip to Chifi!

This entry was posted in Housing Bubble, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

281 Responses to Realtor Chief Economist: “I spun”

  1. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    New credit card rules will reduce consumer liquidity – analyst

    The new credit-card rules approved by U.S. regulators to curb unfair practices will reduce liquidity at a time when consumers need it the most, and in turn impact consumer spending, prominent banking analyst Meredith Whitney said.

    “The regulators believe they are actually doing what is best for the consumer… we argue that the unintended consequences of such actions will at least do a commensurate amount of harm to the economy by stifling consumer spending,” the Oppenheimer & Co analyst wrote in a note to clients.

    U.S. regulators on Thursday approved new rules to curb unfair credit card practices such as surprise fees and interest rate hikes. The rules are due to take effect on July 1, 2010.

    Analyst Whitney said this regulation will reduce the current economics of the credit card industry to a level in which lenders will ultimately choose to provide fewer credit lines to fewer customers.

    The inability to maintain pricing flexibility on unsecured loans will result in a “dramatic” reduction of risk taking and therefore credit lines outstanding, Whitney said.

    “This line reduction will strain credit quality not just for credit card loans but for all consumer loans,” she added.

    Whitney said more than 70 percent of U.S. households have credit cards and that 90 percent of those households use cards as a cash flow management vehicle.

    “We view the credit card as the second key source of consumer liquidity, the first being their jobs,” Whitney said.

    “Pulling credit at a time when job losses are increasing by over 50 percent year on year in most key states is a dangerous and unprecedented combination,” she added.

    The analyst expects lenders to pull back well over $2 trillion of lines over the next 18 months as a result of risk aversion, funding challenges and the just finalized regulatory changes.

    This means available consumer liquidity in the form of credit card lines is expected to decline by 45 percent over the same period, Whitney said.

  2. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Lawyers: Modify mortgage loans in courts

    With fresh evidence that voluntary mortgage modifications aren’t working, a national lawyers’ group is urging the government to let the courts fix bad loans.

    “Court supervision of loan modification is needed, and unlike so many of the responses to the foreclosure crisis so far, there will be no cost to the taxpayer,” Henry Sommer of Philadelphia, president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, said Thursday.

    A study last month of mortgage-servicer reports to investors by Alan White, Valparaiso University School of Law professor, showed that of 3.5 million subprime and slightly less-risky Alt-A mortgages examined, 10 percent were in foreclosure, and another 10 percent were delinquent.

    Of the 21,000 of these delinquent loans modified, two-thirds saw an increase in principal, called “negative prepayment,” which added an average of $11,000 to loans of $210,000, White said.

    Only two of 43 servicers – Litton Loan Servicing L.P. and Acqura Loan Services L.L.C. – significantly reduced the principal of the loans they modified, he said.

    “There is a tremendous variation in the number and quality of modifications, and the chance of getting one depends on the servicer,” White said, adding that the monthly payments on 45 percent the 21,000 loans modified actually increased.

    “Many of these ‘modifications’ sound more like loan ‘workouts,’ where the debt, including default amounts, fees and fines, are simply re-allocated over the life of the loan,” which, in effect, raises the payments, said Rick Sharga, chief economist at RealtyTrac, which follows foreclosures nationally.

    “The lack of a meaningful solution from the government is baffling,” said Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center in Washington. She said most economists have recognized that “the financial crisis can be resolved only by dealing with its root cause: the escalating millions of mortgage foreclosures.”

    Requests for comment from the Mortgage Bankers Association, which supports voluntary modifications, went unanswered.

  3. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Mortgage aid could come with more Treasury cash

    The U.S. Treasury Department’s appeal on Friday for the final $350 billion of a market bailout fund could finally push administration officials to finance a broad mortgage modification plan endorsed by a senior bank regulator.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Chairman Sheila Bair’s plan to spur mortgage modifications with a government promise to share the costs of redefaulting loans has gotten strong support from Democratic lawmakers — the same people who could block the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue fund.

  4. grim says:

    Updating the table provided by Rich:

    Bergen County Full Year Sales/Contract data for the past 17 years, source NJMLS:

    SFH, Condo, Coop, TH

    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 5,940 6,723 (Year to date)

  5. grim says:

    With less than two weeks left in the year, which includes the holiday weeks, Bergen County sales are set to end the year at at least a 17 year low.

    Sorry, don’t have numbers prior to ’91.

  6. Essex says:

    1….”cash flow management’ with credit cards is like playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun.

  7. grim says:

    Bergen Co. Median Sale Price (NJMLS)
    SFH, Condo, Coop, TH
    2000 – $255,000
    2001 – $288,000
    2002 – $329,950
    2003 – $360,000
    2004 – $410,000
    2005 – $470,000
    2006 – $474,000
    2007 – $470,000
    2008 – $445,000 (YTD)

    Plenty of room for prices to keep falling.

  8. Cindy says:

    Grim – #6 in mod -

    2 posts from Bloomberg -

    “Paulson Urges Release of Next $350B From TARP”

    Then, one about an interview with Barney Frank currently writing legislation so he can earmark the funds for mortgage relief.

    Kinda funny really…

    So much for keeping their hands off of that money until January 20th.

  9. grim says:

    Same data adjusted for inflation (CPI):

    Bergen Co. Median Sale Price (NJMLS)
    SFH, Condo, Coop, TH
    2000 – $314,566
    2001 – $345,445
    2002 – $389,603
    2003 – $415,614
    2004 – $461,060
    2005 – $511,212
    2006 – $499,452
    2007 – $481,522
    2008 – $445,000 (YTD)

  10. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Sovereign Bank will cut 145 jobs in New Jersey

    Sovereign Bank, the banking unit of Sovereign Bancorp Inc., said Friday it will cut 145 jobs in New Jersey, or about 8 percent of its work force in the state, in a bid to reduce costs amid the economic downturn.

    “The decision to reduce our work force was a very difficult one, especially during the holiday season,” said Kirk Walters, the company’s chief financial officer, who is the acting chief executive officer. “There is never a good time to reduce staff, but this step is necessary, particularly during this economic environment.”

  11. reinvestor101 says:

    This credit crunch crap is getting ridiculous. How in the hell can someone buy something without credit? One of the reasons my ass is in a sling is wholly attributable to my credit lines getting pulled and reduced. American Express has cut my damn lines at least 3-4 times. I’ve had it up to here with them.

    How can I have a joyous Christmas if I can’t buy stuff?

    I want things to harken back to the halcyon days of old when there were multiple bids on houses and unlimited credit; the days before the real estate terrorist scourge made its presence known.

  12. Clotpoll says:

    grim (2)-

    You’ve said it before: foreclosure IS the solution.

    Nothing will improve until the gubmint figures this out. Which, sadly, appears unlikely to happen.

  13. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aYyR5s0pKdp4&refer=worldwide

    Schwarzenegger orders unpaid leave for state workers

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today ordered all state workers to take two days of unpaid leave each month to conserve money amid a record budget deficit and legislative impasse over how to fix it.

    He also ordered all departments to cut 10 percent of their workforce costs, through firings if necessary.

    The furloughs came after Schwarzenegger vowed to veto a package of tax increases and spending cuts approved yesterday.

  14. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (6)-

    Paulson = Beavis

    Barney the Dinosaur = Butthead

  15. Cindy says:

    Grim – 12 and 15 are the same post – in mod…(I thought it got lost in cyberspace.)

    I’m in mod today…

    Bloomberg about CA – Gov forced leave…10% cut backs

  16. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (9)-

    Everything Barney touches turns to shit.

    At least you can say he’s consistent.

  17. bairen says:

    Liar-reah admitted he was a spin meister?

    What’s next? shrub admitting he’s a moron?
    The mass media admitting its biased?

  18. Cindy says:

    (16) Clot – I think the jig is up for O’ Henry. Nobody’s giving him anything again without a fight – So he fights with Frank and Dodd??? What a joke.

    Did you read the Dr. Housing Bubble post by House Hunter yesterday? – #350 I think.

    He ends his rather clear explanation of Option Arms with the statement:

    “Any successful real estate investor understands that price is the most important thing in buying a home.”

  19. chicagofinance says:

    I haven’t received a “hat tip” in about 2 years or more. I thought I was completely over the hill. I feel like Nicklaus in 1986….

  20. bairen says:

    I know of a few families that aren’t exchanging gifts this year. Guess they overindulged in the past.

    One even told me they weren’t having a Christmas. Had to bite my tongue on that one, since I don’t think Christmas is supposed to be about giving fancy gifts.

  21. bairen says:

    #19 Chifi,

    Hope this comeback is more successful then Strawberry’s was.

  22. Cindy says:

    Hey Chicago – I got my first ticket in 40 years last week!

    (Hollywood stop – rrroollled through a stop sign…)

    I bet that doesn’t qualify me as a Jersey local…I’m simply a wannabe…to be so savy….

    I am the student…but thanks for the props…

  23. Cindy says:

    Duh – Chicago – that refers to your post #341 from yesterday…
    See – I’m still not sharp enough to be Jersey..

  24. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (19)-

    I have no doubt Klink will be given all the rest of the 350 bn TARP, after a staged slap-fight with Barney, Dodd and their pals. All 350 bn will disappear before 1/20, too.

    I think we’re firmly back to a point at which all you have to do to guess what’s coming next is to do three things:

    1. Examine the situation, and ask yourself, “what would an utter moron do here?”.

    2. Ask yourself, “what would a criminal do here?”.

    3. Ask yourself, “what is the worst possible outcome?”.

  25. Cindy says:

    (25) Clot – So you don’t think Congress will get all “pushy” and demand some accounting of the first $350B before approving “support for the financial industry” or whatever Paulson calls it now..?

  26. Happy Camper says:

    And Cheney recently admitted being a torturer. He will be arrested for crimes against humanity if he ever leaves US soil. But either way he will forever burn in hell.

    HC

    bairen says:
    December 20, 2008 at 9:11 am
    Liar-reah admitted he was a spin meister?

    What’s next? shrub admitting he’s a moron?
    The mass media admitting its biased?

  27. ricky_nu says:

    in the words of Sean Connery (ok, the make believe Sean Connery on SNL):

    “Suck it Lareah!”

  28. reinvestor101 says:

    I know you love radicals like Angela Davis which also extends to your love of radical solutions, but foreclosure is not the answer. Keeping people in their houses paying the damn loans is the answer. Whatever we need to do to keep that going is what we need to do…by any means necessary.

    All the foreclosure thing does is continue to hurt people like me.

    Clotpoll says:
    December 20, 2008 at 9:07 am
    grim (2)-

    You’ve said it before: foreclosure IS the solution.

    Nothing will improve until the gubmint figures this out. Which, sadly, appears unlikely to happen.

  29. victorian says:

    Cindy -

    Here is what I think about the second $350B “rescue” (notice how they don’t use bailout anymore) package.
    The dems don’t know what to with the money either. They would rather give it to this administration in return for some token sops about foreclosures and watch them fcuk it up. That way, they can have somebody to pin the blame on for the rest of 2009.

    I believe we will be burning through a lot of cash before this thing is over, sadly.

  30. Cindy says:

    I’m headed for a Winter Solstice meal at noon at Hunans (some special offerings) Chef Zhongyi Liu – Szechuan – Former executive chef at the Grand Hotel in Beijing. He never disappoints. I’ll check out what wines my buddies bring.

    I know they drink Spanish reds as well – and Australia Shiraz – Malbec. There are some excellent wineries in the Willamette Valley where I used to live, too – Witness Tree comes to mind. Washington state has exploded with wineries over the past 30 years. I wouldn’t even know the names anymore.

  31. Cindy says:

    (30) Victorian – You know – you are right. Why not just spend it. 1 trillion more is on its way…so WTF….

  32. Frank says:

    #12,
    “How in the hell can someone buy something without credit? ”
    Cash, that’s how we got in trouble in the first place, if you don’t have the money don’t buy it.

  33. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (26)-

    Prior actions are an excellent predictor of future behavior.

  34. chicagofinance says:

    Cindy says:
    December 20, 2008 at 9:20 am
    I am the student…

    C: You sound like David Carradine…..does that make clot Master Po?

  35. Pat says:

    Re, I thought you were all over bulldozing the inventory.

    What, did the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come pay you a visit this week?

  36. reinvestor101 says:

    This economy wasn’t based on cash. It was based on an ample supply of credit. You can’t change the rules of the game in the middle of play without bad results. I need my damn credit back and I need it RIGHT NOW.

    Frank says:
    December 20, 2008 at 9:36 am
    #12,
    “How in the hell can someone buy something without credit? ”
    Cash, that’s how we got in trouble in the first place, if you don’t have the money don’t buy it.

  37. Cindy says:

    Did you all catch that – Arnold refused to okay the taxes turned to fees joke the Dems tried to pull off? No new taxes – says Arnold – Cut 10% and everybody take a few days off – unpaid.

    Man – Now he turns Republican…
    he should have been cutting all these years…

    Funny how he waited until the teachers were all out for winter break – I wonder if a few days were just added to my vacation? Will I get a letter in the mail???

  38. reinvestor101 says:

    Lady,

    Watch yourself or you may find you’re living among some rubble!

    Yes, there is a group of us who have formed a miltia like organization comprised of investors. We have targeted certain areas for bulldozing…we will protect our real estate values by any means necessary.

    Pat says:
    December 20, 2008 at 9:40 am
    Re, I thought you were all over bulldozing the inventory.

    What, did the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come pay you a visit this week?

  39. Cindy says:

    (35) Chicago – Is Clot Master Po?

    Never watched the show but Grim is my fearless leader…

  40. Sal says:

    I’m glad to finally see some media pick up on this. Look, we’ve been on the market for over a year now. We do not think that prices are realistic – but Realtors we work with seem to think “Its time to buy!” True – if your you the fallen CEO of of financial with a golden parachute. We would buy – if the place we like is moving at fair price – and – we have a Realtor who was willing to push to make a sale rather than a larger commission.

    Pretty obvious that housing is a speculative market just like oil was. Its probably as intertwined as credit default swaps were. The economists work with the lendors who work with the realtors. Make it unrealistcly high and we all make out – woo hoo!

    Because housing has more investment affinity to regular folks – reality does not sink in – its the last vessel many folks have.

    Instead, we have to wait for fundamentals to kick in. No bonus, lower pay, increasing costs of everything else we need, tighter lending
    its just going to take time.

    That being said, Grimm what do you tell your clients to move on houses?

  41. Pat says:

    Re, you dont need a militia-like organization to bulldoze.

    Just a big fat chunk of cheese.

  42. Cindy says:

    Pat – How is it going over your way?

  43. reinvestor101 says:

    Pat,

    You shouldn’t trust this one. She’s evil. Sure, it seems like she might be asking an innocent question, but it’s a trap.

    Cindy says:
    December 20, 2008 at 9:57 am
    Pat – How is it going over your way?

  44. victorian says:

    One thing I really find hard to understand is that both ML and MS have such prescient economists like Stephen Roach and David Rosenberg.
    They why did these firms not heed the advice of their very best employees?

  45. Frank says:

    #37,
    If you need to buy things on credit you can not afford it. The only reason you would buy something on credit is because you can earn better return on the cash that you have. Why do you think I commute for 2 hours to get to work, because I refused to pay 8x my income for a place in Westfield or Hoboken. That’s how we got in trouble in first place, people that could not afford things bought them anyway, now it’s time to pay it back.

  46. Frank says:

    Cindy,
    CA has a bunch of idiots, they can solve their financial problems by simply refusing to pay for education and health care for illegal immigrants. Instead they create entire scene. How dumb can these people be??

  47. Frank says:

    My friend works in a Westfield supermarket and people recently laid off from Wall St., are looking for a supermarket work. How about moving to a more affordable town instead of trying to pay for a 1M home with a supermarket job?

  48. 3b says:

    #25 clot:Agreed. And yet there are still clueless sellers out there still coming on the market (less than a week before Chhristmas)with their their POS Capes for 500k!!

    SImply Amazing are people that clueless. Denial, so much denial.

  49. 3b says:

    #48 frank: How come your company does not hire them.

  50. willwork4beer says:

    Grim,

    Sorry about reposting this. It took so long to put together that I didn’t notice you had started a new thread. I figured no one would see it, so I’m reporting it here.

    This week’s report from the hinterlands…

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded 11 sales and 13 new listings in Hunterdon County this week. Three sales and three new listings made this list.

    MLS# 2597109

    59 NORMA RD
    Bethlehem Twp

    SLD: 08/20/04 $445,000
    OLP: 08/01/08 $449,900
    LLP: 10/29/08 $424,900

    Withdrawn

    DOM: 89

    OLP: 10/31/08 $399,900
    SLD: 12/18/08 $399,900

    DOM: 14

    10.14% off 08/04 sale price
    11.12% off 08/08 OLP

    MLS#: 2581558

    85 CLINTON ST
    Lambertville City

    SLD: 08/20/04 $610,000
    OLP: 10/02/06 $849,000
    LLP: 04/02/07 $749,000

    Expired

    DOM: 182

    OLP: 04/24/07 $740,000
    LLP: 10/29/07 $639,000

    Expired

    DOM: 188

    OLP: 09/21/08 $499,000
    SLD: 12/17/08 $499,000

    DOM: 19

    18.20% off 08/04 sale price
    41.23% off 10/06 OLP

    MLS#: 2466393

    7 CENTERVILLE RD
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 10/20/06 $555,000
    OLP: 12/06/07 $525,900
    LLP: 09/12/08 $488,900
    SLD: 12/16/08 $474,950

    DOM: 306

    14.43% off 10/06 sale price
    09.69% off 12/07 OLP

    Hunterdon County FUTURE Comp Killers

    Check out the last one. 105K off the 2000 sale price???

    MLS#: 2617486

    9 TAYLOR CT
    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 07/19/06 $680,000
    OLP: 11/05/07 $699,000
    LLP: 12/15/08 $549,000

    Withdrawn

    DOM: 406

    OLP: 12/16/08 $529,000

    DOM: 4

    22.21% off 07/06 sale price
    24.33% off 11/07 OLP

    MLS#: 2617475

    9 Morning Star Road
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 08/19/05 $775,000
    OLP: 04/14/08 $750,000
    LLP: 12/15/08 $699,000

    Withdrawn

    DOM: 245

    OLP: 12/15/08 $675,000

    DOM: 5

    12.91% off 08/05 sale price
    09.00% off 04/08 OLP

    MLS#: 2616668

    15 PRUNER FARM RD
    Tewksbury Twp

    SLD: 10/26/00 $1,055,000
    OLP: 12/13/08 $950,000

    DOM: 7

    09.96% off 10/2000 sale price

  51. grim says:

    That being said, Grimm what do you tell your clients to move on houses?

    For those set on buying? The same four or five things, every time.

    Just like you will not pay yesterday’s price today, a seller will not sell for tomorrows price today. If you want a deal, you’ll find it accompanying distress.

    You’ll never find a bargain if you are set on one single property. If you absolutely must own 831 Pretentious Boulevard, Haughtyville NJ, you can pay asking to do so. If you want a bargain, you’ll need to have an open mind and disregard those things others won’t. Boomerang formica, velvet flocked wallpaper and green carpet? Money in the bank.

    Given the property, the numbers need to make sense, period. They either do, or they don’t, there is no gray here.

    Time horizon needs to be long enough to ride out the market. 5 years? Too short. I don’t want to hear anything less than 7. A ten year horizon starts to sound sensible.

    If you buy, tune out of real estate completely, don’t track the market, ignore the news. The market will get worse, and you’ll tear yourself apart for not waiting.

  52. NJGator says:

    As a testament to Mr. Lisa’s (that’s for you, Alia) frugality, we have managed to book both our airfare and hotel accomodations for our JazzFest trip entirely on the house. Free plane tickets to Gulfport, MS and free rooms in Harrah’s New Orleans and in Biloxi. More money now for music, food and booze.

    Now we just have to sweet talk my folks into watching Lil Gator for a few days.

  53. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Mikeinwaiting says:
    “Was thinking about getting a chicken coop for eggs. Do you need to heat it, a lot of work etc? My wife ain’t having no chickens in the house! So I don’t know if it would work , plus plenty of hawks & foxes here abouts. Mountains Vernon NJ.Do have a dog to keep watch.”

    If you want eggs for fun, it’s too expensive to keep your own chickens. If you have to have fresh eggs for personal reasons (taste, organic, etc) then go for it.

    The coop should be at least the size of a phone booth (remember them?!?!) for 2-3 chickens, plus a good 10′ x 10′ x 6′ high fenced in area where they can come and go in and out. Your chicken fencing and housing must be bear, raccoon and opposum tight. SUPER TIGHT. You will have claw marks at any prossible entrance.

    Chickens do ok in cold weather, but you can put vaseline on their combs and wattles to prevent frostbite. They do poorly in the heat. Prepare to put in fans and PLENTY of cold fresh water.

    The predators are no problem if you don’t let them free range, but I don’t believe in keeping them “cooped” up, you might as well buy store eggs then… I have no sense of taste (hence the wine in a paper bag :) so I’m TOLD the eggs we produce are outrageously different and mush better than any store bought eggs. I have a waiting list of people who buy our eggs every week. Also, I’m told we have much betetr eggs than even the other local chick farmers(who keep their chickens cooped up), so I attribute this to the free-range all day aspect. I have no other explanation.

    Free-range chickens will re-work your gardens, schitt on your stuff and make dust bath pools where you least wanted one…

    You gotta love the chickens, the ambiance of chickens or the eggs… if you are half-hearted about it, it won’t work.

  54. still_looking says:

    bacon,54

    you’re my hero…. my hubby knows that as soon as is feasibly possible, we are gonna have chickens (and eggs.)

    I can’t wait!! :)

    sl

  55. still_looking says:

    nom, Thanks!

    sl

  56. still_looking says:

    Off to a wedding… have to catch up on all the posts I’ve missed later…

    grrr… falling behind on reading in a serious way…

    sl

  57. mtnbika says:

    Re: Grim (10)

    Grim, do you have any data like this for Monmouth County? We’ve been looking at that area for a while and it would be helpful to get a sense of what “reality” is for houses there.

    Thanks in advance.

  58. reinvestor101 says:

    Look, this is a real estate blog and the subject is how the real estate terrorists upended the real estate markets. Unless the knights templar had anything to do with this, put a sock it in. If they did, let’s hear the damn evidence so I can put them on my list for a bulldozing.

    neo says:
    December 20, 2008 at 11:56 am
    what are templars?

  59. reinvestor101 says:

    People like you are what has caused all the problems. You’re too damn cheap to buy something. We were encouraged to shop after 9/11 to save our economy and right now people like you are letting al queda win.

    If you love our country and hate terrorism, you will buy to support our economy. If you love our country, you will talk positively about the real estate markets and support them by buying.

    Frank says:
    December 20, 2008 at 10:17 am
    #37,
    If you need to buy things on credit you can not afford it. The only reason you would buy something on credit is because you can earn better return on the cash that you have. Why do you think I commute for 2 hours to get to work, because I refused to pay 8x my income for a place in Westfield or Hoboken. That’s how we got in trouble in first place, people that could not afford things bought them anyway, now it’s time to pay it back.

  60. sas says:

    “Bernard L. Madoff”

    had instutional help, from the top to the bottom. it goes as far as CIA intelligence help & IRS cover payoffs.
    this guy did not act alone and was not a rogue. and the numbers are alot higher than the media is telling.

    inside scoop from my sources.
    take it or leave it.

    SAS

  61. sas says:

    “reinvestor101″

    i like your posts, they are pretty funny.

    SAS

  62. d2b says:

    Lereah’s position is really no different than many people. Everybody has to spin for their job. His blanket and predictable statements were pretty transparent. However he’s showing his past employer no respect and he should keep his mouth shut.

    Sign of times- In the Philadelphia Inquirer this week’s jobs section is 5 pages. Some of those have very large adds and the type has been enlarged. Nobody is hiring. Some of it has to do with the holidays but it’s still pretty shocking.

    Another sign- My wife was unable to get through to NJ state unemployment to file a claim this week. She will not be getting a check until after the holidays. We are PA residents but her employer has promised to call in a favor with a NJ legislator. Her benefit has been approved but the claim number is jammed.

    Anybody have a friend in the Unemployment office?

  63. d2b says:

    Anyone think that Madoff has an illness?

  64. sas says:

    “Madoff”

    he is just a fall guy for a system that is starting to unravel. because his “helpers” no longer trusted eachother. and it was this lack of trust or confidence that is bringing down the system.

    he is just a poster boy.

    SAS

  65. d2b says:

    Anybody think that Bush is purposely leaving O a shit storm?

    O should open his mouth and bury these guys. If the markets don’t crash before he takes office he will be blamed for this entire mess. People have short memories.

  66. Kettle1 says:

    A chart of rich’s data at #4. I also added the Case-Shiller data for the same time period.

    http://tinyurl.com/859a3t
    (click on the charts to enlarge)

    Notice that during the early 90′s housing bubble, that there was not a rapid expansion of credit as can be seen by the case-Shiller index staying relatively flat.

    Also Notice the precursor to the current bubble; the Case Shiller Index starting a rapid rise in 1998.

    My question is what was the trigger? the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act ( this act removed The portion of the Glass-Steagall Act prohibited a bank from offering investment, commercial banking, and insurance services) wasnt passed until 1999 when a rapid rise in the case-Shiller index had already occurred. perhaps a secondary effect of the Dot.com bubble?

    Another question is: Is the case-Shiller (CS) data adjusted for inflation in some manner? if the CS data is adjusted for inflation then we have a very long way to fall to get back to historical norms.

    IF it is not adjusted, i treated the value of the CS data as a dollar value and used the online BLS calculator to adjust the the 1998 CS value (approx 8000) for 2008. That adjustment comes to approx 10,500.

    While this method is certainly not rigorous, i figured that it would give me a rough estimate since the CS value is ultimately based on the dollar value of home sale transactions.

    The NY CS index is currently at 19,000. A reversion to mean , using the rough inflation adjustment i described above would give us a target of 10,500. However a reversion to mean usually overshoots.

    I extended the trend lines for the CS data on one of the charts at the link above, As a VERY rough estimate, if current trends continue, then the CS Composite-10 could see a bottom in 2012. But if the area covered by the CS NY data continues on its current trend then it wouldn’t bottom until sometime around 2017.

    One argument we have on this blog is how well (or not0 the NY area will hold up during the RE deflation. I argue that we will see a big drop in the next 2 years and that the NY area will come into line with the CS composite 10 and CS composite 20. Data for the last 20 years show that the NY area has NOT been substantially different from the other 2 indexs. The difference has only arisen lately, since about 2004.

    i argue that this divergence is due in large part to the inflation of the financial services industry in the Ny area and the huge amounts of cash that were pumped into regional housing as a side effect.

    i think that the Ny region will see a bottom before 2017 but after 2012. My guess is the NY region will bottom sometime around 2014 and then stay stagnant for a long period.

    The driving factor that allowed the price divergence in 2004, the huge amounts of money loaned out by the banks with little to no regard for the quality of the loan, and the sky high salaries seen around the region will not exist to support the divergence anymore

    my 1.25 cents

    have fun tearing it apart!

  67. Kettle1 says:

    Grim

    help post at 69 in Moderation!!!!

  68. bi says:

    61#, re101, don’t worry. by this time next year, i am pretty confident that most re terrorists will exhausted theirselves. here is the indication:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=SRS#chart7:symbol=srs;range=ytd;indicator=volume;charttype=candlestick;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

  69. kettle1 says:

    Charts of Rich’s bergen county data and a few comments

    http://tinyurl.com/859a3t

  70. kettle1 says:

    geez, i am in moderation hell today :(

  71. kettle1 says:

    Bergen Sales + Case Shiller

    http://tinyurl.com/859a3t

  72. Jersey Jim says:

    I’m sure that O will solve all the problems in the US. It will be interesting to see what he will do when faced with a real world crisis. He lacks in any experience and I’m sure being a ‘community organizer’ will be very helpful against the terrorists and other bad guys that we face. The US is in a world of hurt. I would advise keeping your guns in a safe location and having an alternate place to relocate to if possible.

    Merry Christmas.

  73. serenity now says:

    Re #67
    d2b – I agree with you. Although I do’nt
    think Bush has to stir the pot very much. This thing is fermenting nicely
    all on it’s own and O is gonna have
    his hands full!! I kind of feel bad for
    him.

  74. Joe says:

    Great time, many opportunities and many more coming. Curently purchasing 10cents to 20cents on the dollar from peak levels. Smart investors are buying from bank tapes.

  75. jamil says:

    just got back from Switzerland. This is the new place for US companies (thanks for the new tax policies of the US govt). Great work, congress&O!

    “Noble Corp. today became the latest in a recent string of Houston oil and gas firms to announce plans to move their corporate headquarters to Switzerland, a change experts said is chiefly for tax purposes.”

    “The announcement came the same day Transocean, the world’s largest offshore driller, completed the process of changing its incorporation from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland. With the change, CEO Robert Long and other top officers will leave Houston to run the company from a new European headquarters.”

    “Last week, Houston oil field services giant Weatherford International announced plans to reincorporate in Switzerland and move its CEO, Bernard J. Duroc-Danner, and other top officers there.”

    “And other companies, including Tyco International and construction firm Foster Wheeler, have also recently announced plans to reincorporate in Switzerland.”

    Lawmakers have threatened to close tax loopholes that allow U.S. companies to benefit from incorporating in offshore tax havens while operating from the U.S. But Switzerland has tax treaties with the U.S. that would protect companies even if the laws change.

    This is another sad example what happens when Congress & O-team raise taxes.

  76. cooper says:

    “Boomerang formica, velvet flocked wallpaper and green carpet? Money in the bank.”

    I am wit chew, %100.

  77. cooper says:

    7- 10? sounds like a jail sentence. o please dont tell me that

    grim says:
    December 20, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Time horizon needs to be long enough to ride out the market. 5 years? Too short. I don’t want to hear anything less than 7. A ten year horizon starts to sound sensible.

  78. Hard Place says:

    If you love our country, you will talk positively about the real estate markets and support them by buying.

    To rephrase your statement… If you love our country you will kick the Paris Hilton wannabe’s out and go back to the grass roots that allowed us to build up this nation.

  79. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Spam 54, 55 Thanks! It is a food source for me eggs, chicken. I will read up on it.

  80. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Spam , mat not be cost effective now but down the road who knows.

  81. NJGator says:

    Frank 48 – You must be mistaken. Nothing bad ever happens in Brigadoon.

  82. Soylent Green ah-so good..mmnn says:

    Re 64-

    Have relative that works at Unemployment. Try to file by web if possible. Phone problems arebecause of heavy call volume (around Xmas and early school summer vacation) & There are 2 call center 1 north &1 south. They use to run independently. Now have a system called Virtual something – that routes call to available one. This require them to do the whole claim (about 10-15mins.)while you are on/off hold, before they got your information (about 6-10mins) and left the claim open & processed at end of day. Unfortunately, southern part of state callers are usually less prepared, more demanding, need more instruction and more likely to insult claim processor with a preference toward race/ethnic attacks which is promptly followed by a fast disconnect & claim entry cancellation.

    My wife was unable to get through to NJ state unemployment to file a claim this week. She will not be getting a check until after the holidays. We are PA residents but her employer has promised to call in a favor with a NJ legislator. Her benefit has been approved but the claim number is jammed.

    Anybody have a friend in the Unemployment office?

  83. Pat says:

    Cindy @43, over this way, Christmas is coming. The John Deeres are lit up in the fields like Macy’s.

    The Tinkertoys and Twister are wrapped and hidden in a big leftover moving crate, the litterbox is scooped and the lights are on the tree. Grandma in NY has snow and we hope to be there for more next week.

    Could I BE more organized (or bored)?

    This year, plain old red ribbon (not the thin, curling crap and not the shiny stuff) was not to be found anywhere in Maryland. It’s been banned in China or something. Maybe they’re hoarding it all for a big New Year’s float.

    I found a roll today, so life is good again.

    The only Christmas card I got today was from my Jewish friends in NJ. I miss ‘em.

    You’ve been sounding good out there.

  84. lostinny says:

    55 Spam
    I love the pics. Can I come visit?

  85. Cindy says:

    (88) Pat – I bet your NJ friends miss you, too.

    “The John Deeres are lit up in the fields like Macys.”

    Ah – Country life.

    Around here, folks say they are “going green” for Christmas.
    That means they don’t even have to wrap their presents. And the tree? Well, you just toss it up and dangle some strings of wooden balls – no ornaments. Pretty easy, huh.

  86. Clotpoll says:

    beer (51)-

    Nicely done, as always.

    I sold the 7 Centerville property two years back to the guys who lived there a nanosecond. ETS (the SAT dorks) moved the buyers away about 10 minutes after they closed.

    ETS tried- through their agent- to get my client’s septic docs and Seller Disclosure to present as their own. Har!

    They had their agent keep on trying…until I made him the first agent I ever dropped a f-bomb on.

    Now, I find it easy to f-bomb agents all the time.

  87. Cindy says:

    http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/20041018a1.aspKettle (69)
    “Also notice the precursor to the current bubble; the Case Shiller Index starting a rapid rise in 1998.My question is what was the trigger?”I have pointed to this several times here – and stand by my idea that it all goes back to the Tax Payer Refief Act of 1997.It created the tax-free investment environment. You could avoid capital gains tax without having to roll over your profits into a larger purchase. You simply keep the money and do what ever you want with the profits – every two years – there is no limit. As long as the property you sell has been your principle residence for 2 out of the last 5 years.
    That is when the flipping and purchasing to make a profit started around here…With each sale…the price went up…more building…everyone wanted to make a fast buck.

    Houses became investment vehicles – not homes.

  88. Cindy says:

    http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/20041018a1.asp

    Kettle (69)

    I typed a whole post about this and it was simply lost in cyberspace..never posted??

    “What was the trigger?”

    I still believe it was the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.

    It created a tax-free investment environment. Your house as an investment vehicle – not a home…

    Check into it and tell me what you think.

  89. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Thanks for the nice words :) Some times I feel like I contribute nothing here, so at least I feel better :)

    A laying hen lays ABOUT 1 egg every 25 hours. So you’ll get about 6 eggs a week. If she free-ranges, she may lay them in places you weren’t planning on…like the tall stack of hay in the barn; 17 rotten eggs crashing down on you prompts a shower real quick :)

    A 50 lb bag of feed is $13.00 (right now-that’s expensive) …having 6 hens could make it last 2-3 weeks, but you will have SCBs (Small Chirpy Birds) who swoop in daily to eat out of the feeder. They eat hardly anything, but don’t panic…the hens share nice.

    If your hens free-range, they’ll eat less at the feeder, but more “other things” will help themselves, since the door is open :)

    Hens lay about 2000 eggs in their lifetime. They will (can) live much longer than their fertility lasts… hens who no longer lay eggs are called “spent”. (We have plenty of those.)

    They have personalities. Likes and dislikes.

    Roosters are not necessary (just like humans? :) People incorrectly think a hen needs a rooster to lay an egg. She lays eggs regardless…But if there’s a rooster, the eggs she lay will be fertilized. (And trust me, they will be, he spends all day with his one track mind on s-e-x…) … her eggs will have been fertilized about 100 times a day :)

    Hens are a couple months old before they start laying; young non-laying hens are called pullets.

    They will lay all year if you heat your coop (45* is fine) and leave a light on. If you let daylight be their guide, they’ll slow down laying in the winter and resume in later winter.

    Fertilized eggs do NOT have baby chicks inside, unless she starts INCUBATING them… (by setting [sitting] on them 24/7 for 21 days…many people are scared of fertilized eggs. Don’t be. They’re the same visually.

    Here ends “more egg advice…” :)

  90. Cindy says:

    Grim – 93 in mod – messed up the link at 92.

    I keep going into mod – not sure why…

  91. Cindy says:

    Spam – Loved the photos. Thank you for sharing. Sounds like those chicks have a great life.

  92. Cindy says:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

    California Implodes in Multiple Ways

    Mish – I have until February before I need to take those unpaid leave days.

  93. alia says:

    53, Mr Alia thinks you’re hilarious.

  94. 3b says:

    #&1 bi: So to translate, are you saying all will be well next year, the real estate market will start to rise again, and the stock market,and the recession is over?

  95. reinvestor101 says:

    What???? Just stop it “Oliver Stone”!

    Madoff was just a lone ranger who got greedy. There was no great conspiracy with hedge funds supporting him and employees producing false statements. He did it all by himself and just thought he was running a bank until a damn “bank run” got started.

    You need stop this damn speculation that spooks people Sas. We can’t have people like you spooking every investor and making them jump at shadows.

    Madoff is just a damn rouge and this is just a extremely isolated incident of greed. What’s the matter with you anyway? Get with the program.

    sas says:
    December 20, 2008 at 12:47 pm
    “Bernard L. Madoff”

    had instutional help, from the top to the bottom. it goes as far as CIA intelligence help & IRS cover payoffs.
    this guy did not act alone and was not a rogue. and the numbers are alot higher than the media is telling.

    inside scoop from my sources.
    take it or leave it.

    SAS

  96. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Spam 92 thanks again, now I don’t have to read up on it! May give it a shot in the spring. I’m sure at that point I will have more ?.

  97. bi says:

    97#, 3b, the recession will end by the end of this year (Q1 2009 the latest). S&P will be up at least 20% next year (financials and REITs at least 50%). oil will be traded arond $55 range. treasury and gold will tumble… we will be in really goldilock economy again.

    all disclaimers apply.

  98. Pat says:

    I’m hungry for some dat free range chicken after reading this thread. What’s the shipping on one of those stinkers, spam?

    ;) good pics.

  99. Pat says:

    Did I every tell you my sheister sister stole two dozen chicks from her 6th grade science class, brought them home in her school bag and then we raised them in our attic?

    The alcoholic bastad funeral director next door made us get rid of them, eventually.

  100. kettle1 says:

    sorry for the blog spam grim, was trying to dodge moderation

  101. Cindy says:

    Grim – 92 (you can kill this) -93 and 97 – all in mod. If I have a link, it goes into mod.

  102. Cindy says:

    Kettle – One of my posts was for you. @69

    “My question is what was the trigger?”

    I tried to do a Wiki link and bankrate link to the info on The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. (I keep saying that it had a huge impact here.) Check it out and see what you think.

    Houses as tax-free investments – not homes..

    There is also an article at International Herald Tribune citing Vernon Smith – economics professor at George Mason Univ., who said the tax law change was responsible for “fueling the mother of all housing bubbles.” There are several views in the article.

    But I am unable to get a link to post …sorry…

  103. Cindy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/business/19tax.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

    The Reckoning – New York Times 12-18

    Tax Break May Have Helped Cause Housing Bubble

  104. Cindy says:

    Tried again with the New York Times version – no go – links won’t post for me – must be my computer…

    You can check it out here…

    New York Times – 12-18-08

    “Tax Break May Have Helped Cause Housing Bubble”

  105. Cindy says:

    Kettle – Also part of The Reckoning series – New York Times – set for tommorrow 12-21 – I think…6 pages…

    “White House Philosopy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire”

  106. kettle1 says:

    cindy,

    thanks!

    the tax change was only 1 of many required triggers but looks like it could be an event that coresponded with the ny area diverging and the bubble getting ignited. the bubble would have been self limiting without the massive expansion of credit. and that was facilitated with the changes to the glass-steagle act during the clinton admin

  107. kettle1 says:

    any comments on my attempt to do a rough extrapolation downward on the case shiller index using inflation?

    I am not familiar with and haven’t had a chance to look into the methodology behind the case shiller data to see if such an approximation is in anyway valid

  108. Cindy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/21admin.html

    Article – White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire

  109. Cindy says:

    (113) Kettle – Re your “rough extrapolation”…I haven’t the foggiest…

  110. Cindy says:

    Kettle – Are you able to post a link w/o it going into mod?

    Is it my computer?

    114 – I tried to post the link to the “White House Philosopy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire.” No-go

  111. kettle1 says:

    cindy,

    i was having the same problem today. any link i put up got modded

  112. kettle1 says:

    Cindy,

    If we do see a reversion to mean type movement with the case shiller index then we will probably see 1998 prices by rhe time we hit bottom

  113. Pat says:

    Cindy, have you considered the current volume (or lack thereof) of sales related to the two year flip?

    An analysis of the economic impact of a tax law change must examine or predict behaviors in both increasing and decreasing profit environments.

  114. Cindy says:

    118 – Whoa…so right back where I started…

    I just want a paid-for roof over my head when I retire.

    117 – re mod situation – Thanks – I thought something was up…

  115. kettle1 says:

    already posted???

    In neighboring Belgium, King Albert consulted political leaders after the government collapsed following its botched attempt to bail out financial group Fortis.

    ooops

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081220/bs_nm/us_financial

  116. Cindy says:

    119 – Pat – No, I haven’t really examined any statistics on the matter. I simply saw a total turn around of behavior in our Valley at that time. That is why I borrowed money from a friend to come up with a down (I was starting over after a divorce) to buy in 1999.

    It was a trend – a behavior I noted. I had friends buying multiple homes etc. With the increase in demand, Lennar Homes et al came to town and the building exploded.

    One of the articles I read stated that the upper-end homes (once you are beyond the $500,000 exemption) did not increase as quickly.

  117. Happy Camper says:

    As opposed to the quality leadership of..uhm….W? What a retard.

    Jersey Jim says:
    December 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm
    I’m sure that O will solve all the problems in the US. It will be interesting to see what he will do when faced with a real world crisis. He lacks in any experience and I’m sure being a ‘community organizer’ will be very helpful against the terrorists and other bad guys that we face. The US is in a world of hurt. I would advise keeping your guns in a safe location and having an alternate place to relocate to if possible.

    Merry Christmas.

  118. Happy Camper says:

    Yep…it is true. I believe it.

    HC.

    sas says:
    December 20, 2008 at 12:47 pm
    “Bernard L. Madoff”

    had instutional help, from the top to the bottom. it goes as far as CIA intelligence help & IRS cover payoffs.
    this guy did not act alone and was not a rogue. and the numbers are alot higher than the media is telling.

    inside scoop from my sources.
    take it or leave it.

    SAS

  119. Pat says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/19/AR2008121901406.html

    “If you do it right,” he said, “modifications really work.”

    Is this the same as if you build it, they will come?

  120. Pat says:

    moderation on the wp editorial on the new fannie modification process.

  121. Cindy says:

    (119) Pat –

    An analysis of the economic impact of a tax law change must examine or predict behaviors in both increasing and decreasing profit environments.”

    I’m thinking about how it got started. Folks don’t try to flip so much anymore.

  122. BC Bob says:

    EagleBank Bowl;

    Wake Forest-29
    Navy-19
    US Taxpayers-$32.8B [Tarp]

    Any wonder why the fed is fighting transparency?

  123. Cindy says:

    I am not going to try to post the link but..

    “Let’s Encourage Banks to Dump Bad Assets” WSJ 12-20 Judah Kraushaar

    “In short, to fix the credit crunch, policy makers need to move beyond capital injections and should start vigorously attacking the asset side of bank balance sheets. The answer is not for the government to buy these troubled assets but to create the conditions where the banks have a strong incentive to sell, and private sector buyers have a strong reason to buy.”

  124. syncmaster says:

    Two questions for anyone who can assist, both about listings in P i s c a t a w a y – zip code 08854.

    1. Hall Street Estates – new homes – if memory serves, they used to be listed at 449k, I see them listed now for 499k (up 50k in this market?). Can anyone confirm that this is what has happened and my memory isn’t playing tricks on me? MLS ID# on realtor.com for the latest listing is 2423086. I don’t recall old listing MLS #’s.

    2. Can anyone tell me what happened to 33 Kensington Drive? It was listed earlier but is now gone (on realtor.com).

  125. Prof. Samuel D. Bornstein says:

    I must bring a very important finding to the attention of all. I have been trying to bring this to the attention of Washington because they must address the following topic as quickly as possible.

    This relates to the upcoming wave of Foreclosures in 2009 that are due to the reseting of the “Toxic” mortgages.

    Many fail to realize that there are millions of self-employed smaller businesses, who employ from 1-10 employees, that are holding these risky mortgages. So, here we have a major problem… Not only will these small business owners lose their homes, but there will be the resulting JOB LOSSES on their business failure. Note, although President-Elect Obama is stressing the need to create 3 million new jobs, we must understand that “JOB RETENTION IS AS IMPORTANT AS JOB CREATION”.

    Our priority should be to be PROACTIVE in addressing these small business owners’ need to avoid defaulting on their mortgages. They require “Immediate and Specific Financial Guidance” to weather this storm.

    The 2nd Wave of Foreclosures has made it to the mainstream Media. CBS’s 60 Minutes had a segment on 12/14/08, but they missed a very important point. Here is a post which may have merit for your blog…….

    I would like to bring a very important bit of information to your attention that relates to this economic crisis that was overlooked until now.

    On Sunday, 12/14/08, CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment “The Mortgage Meltdown”.

    Scott Pelley’s piece on the 2nd Wave of Foreclosures overlooked a critical fact.
    The segment missed the fact that this next wave of Foreclosures in 2009 Will Take Self-Employed and Smaller Businesses who have these TOXIC mortgages. In fact, ALT-A, Option ARMS, Interest-Only, the TOXIC Mortgages that are considered the “Troubled” assets in TARP were specifically marketed to the self-employed who fell prey to them.

    The upcoming defaults on these risky “Toxic Mortgages” will result in an increase in foreclosures. But worse, once these small businesses fail, the resulting loss of jobs will cause millions to add to the ranks of the unemployed. Note that self-employed business owners (16.2 million according to the SBA) employ between 1-10 employees.

    An NASE survey at http://www.nase.org , was the first to provide compelling evidence of small business involvement in the upcoming toxic mortgage crisis. The survey was created by Prof. Samuel D. Bornstein and Jung I. Song, CPA of BornsteinSong Consultants in Oakhurst,NJ,and was conducted by the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) which issued a Press Release on November 21, 2008.

    According to this survey, it is estimated that 3,709,800 small business owners hold Alt-A and other toxic mortgages, and 1,279,800 are already delinquent as they have missed one to three or more monthly mortgage payments at mid-November, before the expected Resets that are scheduled to begin in 4th Quarter 2008 through 2012.

    These small business owners will be at-risk of payment shock and default as their monthly mortgage payments skyrocket. Small business owners were especially targeted for these Alt-A loans which required little or no documentation of income which appealed to many small business owners who previously were unable to qualify.

    The resulting defaults will be the cause of the upcoming second tsunami wave of foreclosures that will dwarf the subprime crisis and will take many homeowners, small business owners, and their employees at this critical time when our economy can ill afford it.

    Thank you,

    Samuel D. Bornstein
    Professor of Accounting & Taxation
    Kean University, School of Business, Union, NJ

  126. Sean says:

    No comment………………

    Economy & Fed CloseHedge funds gain access to $200bn Fed aid
    By Krishna Guha in Washington

    Published: December 20 2008 05:01 | Last updated: December 20 2008 05:01

    Hedge funds will be allowed to borrow from the Federal Reserve for the first time under a landmark $200bn programme intended to support consumer credit.

    The Fed said on Friday it would offer low-cost three-year funding to any US company investing in securitised consumer loans under the Term Asset-backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). This includes hedge funds, which have never been able to borrow from the US central bank before, although the Fed may not permit hedge funds to use offshore vehicles to conduct the transactions.

    The asset-backed securities to be funded under the programme are pools of credit card receivables, automobile loans and student loans.

    The idea is to increase the supply of these loans and reduce borrowing rates by ensuring that the companies that make the loans can sell them on to investors who have guaranteed access to low-cost funding from the Fed.

    The TALF is a key plank of the unorthodox strategy set out by the Fed last week as it cut interest rates virtually to zero. Washington insiders expect the programme will be dramatically expanded next year with further capital support from Treasury once the Obama administration takes office.

    A senior official in the outgoing Bush administration told the Financial Times it could also be broadened to include new commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities.

    The Fed thinks risk premiums or “spreads” for consumer loans are much higher than would be justified by likely default rates, even assuming a nasty recession.

    It attributes this to a lack of buying interest in the secondary market where the loans are sold on to investors. By making loans to these investors on attractive terms it aims to increase market liquidity.

    Making the scheme open to all US companies is a radical departure for the Fed, which normally supports financial market liquidity indirectly by ensuring banks have adequate liquidity to make loans to other investors.

    However, the liquidity the Fed is providing to banks is not flowing through to financial markets, because banks are balance-sheet constrained and risk-averse. So it is channelling funds directly to investors.

    The scheme is not designed specifically for hedge funds and a wide range of financial institutions are likely to participate.

    Nonetheless, Fed officials hope that hedge funds will be among those investors that take advantage of the low-cost finance to drive down spreads.

    The loans will be secured only against the securities and not the borrower. However, the Fed will lend slightly less than the value of the securities pledged as collateral. The Treasury has committed $20bn to cover potential losses.

    Since the credit crisis erupted, hedge funds have complained that they cannot get the leverage they need to arbitrage away excessive spreads and meet high hurdle rates of return.

    “Demand is there for leverage but not supply,” said Sylvan Chackman, head of global equity financing at Merrill Lynch.

    In effect, the Fed will now take on the role of prime broker – the lead bank that lends to a hedge fund – for specific assets.

    Additional reporting by Henny Sender in New York

    Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

  127. Qwerty says:

    Nice post JB — couple of typos probably worth fixing:

    “His outrageously bullish forecasts earned him the name the title: Baghdad Bob of real estate.”

    “Criticism wasn’t coming from bloggers alone, mass media journalists routinely took aim at Lereah, and even his predecessor Larry Yun…”

  128. lostinny says:

    131 Professor
    With all due respect, what exactly are you saying? Were there no small business owners that defaulted in the first wave? Are small business owners more worthy of a bailout for their personal home mortgages then just the average Joe what was not self-employed who also bought a home he couldn’t afford? Perhaps these small business owners shouldn’t be in business. If they can’t clearly see they are in over their heads in personal matters, can they see clearly when they are in over their heads in business matters?

  129. Cindy says:

    http://market-ticker.denninger.net/

    Kettle – “What was the trigger”

    More on the subject in this massive post which points out the errors in 1998 legislation, (click on the Office of Thrift Memo) including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

    We’re All Madoff – The Market Ticker

  130. Cindy says:

    Well, it looks like the links won’t post again..

    Kettle – “What was the trigger?”

    I was trying to say, check out the post at The Market Ticker – “We’re All Madoff”

    But alas, I’m lost in cyberspace yet again..

    “You cannot prevent a loss from appearing and being recognized unless you allow people to lie about the value of securities, place them off-balance-sheet in opaque containers where nobody can see what’s inside (and thus see how they’re performing) and “lever up” to issue yet more debt (credit) to cover the cash flow that should be happening but isn’t.”

    “As the embedded (and fraudulently-concealed) debt continued to mount, banks and other institutions found themselves performing a Madoff – that is, issuing new credit (debt) to be able to “show earnings” that in fact were a phantom.”

    “This Ponzi scheme even extended to individual consumers – that is, you.”

  131. Clotpoll says:

    I grew up on a farm. We had chickens. Chickens are filthy and gross.

  132. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (129)-

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s it’s really hard to sell failure.

  133. Cindy says:

    (138) Clot Agreed –

    The article at 129 suggested making the buying of failure attractive through tax incentives, something…50% tax credit…but get the junk off of the books so we can have some sort of confidence restored in the banking system – regulators – the government…..

    The Market Ticker post I tried to put up at 135 is brutal..

  134. bairen says:

    #136 Clot

    Chickens are filthy and gross

    Sounds pretty fowl.

  135. cooper says:

    131-sam

    the entitlement mindset; bailout incompetence and share loss. how about personal accountability? Professional Accountability? Greed? Wait, wait one minute…are you really RE101? you got me “SAM” – RE your always startin trouble knock it off! pretending your a professor, u crossed the line this time

  136. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (138)-

    Offering a tax incentive to buy an asset guaranteed to lose sounds like tax sheltering. That’s illegal (of course, when did the gubmint ever care about that?).

  137. Clotpoll says:

    coops (140)-

    He holds the Trump Chair of Real Estate at The Simpleton Institute.

  138. Cindy says:

    How are we going to get rid of this stuff? They also pointed out that the “open ended” time frame 5 – 10 years(encouraging Citi and others to “hold” the assets until they improved) was an awful idea. One year – sell it for whatever you can get – get it OFF of the books…

  139. Cindy says:

    Sorry – Clot – 144 was for you @142.

  140. cooper says:

    clot
    LMAO

  141. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (143)-

    I’d suggest that the current program of quarterly multi-billion-dollar writedowns works nicely.

  142. willwork4beer says:

    #130 syncmaster

    I found listings for 73, 75 and 79 Hall Street in Piscataway (MLS# 2423078, 2423085, 2423086). All three came on the market 07/05/07 (535 days) at $499k. There haven’t been any price changes that I can find.

    Sorry, nothing on 33 Kensington.

    Two questions for anyone who can assist, both about listings in P i s c a t a w a y – zip code 08854.

    1. Hall Street Estates – new homes – if memory serves, they used to be listed at 449k, I see them listed now for 499k (up 50k in this market?). Can anyone confirm that this is what has happened and my memory isn’t playing tricks on me? MLS ID# on realtor.com for the latest listing is 2423086. I don’t recall old listing MLS #’s.

    2. Can anyone tell me what happened to 33 Kensington Drive? It was listed earlier but is now gone (on realtor.com).

  143. Cindy says:

    (147) Oh Clot – You’re such a kidder. We are so royally scr@ewed…

  144. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (143)-

    The problem you’re trying to solve is really akin to reviving the dead.

    The US’ major banks are insolvent. We are (sorry for the mixed metaphors) giving blood transfusions to dead people.

    The assets in question have been offered for sale countless times, both publicly and privately. They are worth between .00 and .05 USD. Any of this stuff with real value has long since sold (much of it at a juicy discount) and will quietly mature at par. The only problem here is that the gubmint and the current holders of those assets don’t want to face the consequences of their stupid decisions, so they want to dump the loss on us.

  145. willwork4beer says:

    #130 syncmaster

    I found listings for 73, 75 and 79 Hall Street (MLS# 2423078, 2423085, 2423086). All three came on the market 07/05/07 (535 days) at $499k. There haven’t been any price changes that I can find.

    Sorry, nothing on 33 Kensington.

    Two questions for anyone who can assist, both about listings in P i s c a t a w a y – zip code 08854.

    1. Hall Street Estates – new homes – if memory serves, they used to be listed at 449k, I see them listed now for 499k (up 50k in this market?). Can anyone confirm that this is what has happened and my memory isn’t playing tricks on me? MLS ID# on realtor.com for the latest listing is 2423086. I don’t recall old listing MLS #’s.

    2. Can anyone tell me what happened to 33 Kensington Drive? It was listed earlier but is now gone (on realtor.com).

  146. willwork4beer says:

    Grim,

    Please kill my moderated post. I didn’t realize that spelling out the town name of 08854 would trigger mod. A second look revealed the objectionable word contained within the town’s name, so I deleted it.

  147. Cindy says:

    (149) Clot -

    This could take f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

  148. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (151)-

    I prefer the term, Chinese Water Torture.

  149. Laurie says:

    <<>>Years back during one of Castros “empty the prisons and let them go to the USA ” moments, thousands of new Americans fled to Miami. My in laws live in a sketchy (I’m being nice) little Havana neighborhood and during that time every new refugee got himself a Florida drivers license AND a chicken or 2…the place was overun with chickens and our young daughter (now 21) actually got “hen-picked” by a roving group of homeless chickens…needless to say she is scarred for life and won’t even EAT eggs…so much for any chicken/eggs up here running free….

  150. Laurie says:

    hen picked= hen pecked…sorry

  151. Frank says:

    #61,
    “If you love our country..”

    If you love our country you live responsible within your means, so we don’t need to beg the Chinese for money. Also buying crap supports the Chinese economy and does very little for the US economy, except for Walmart earnings.

    If you love our country you ask you neighbors to pay their mortgage on time or help them pay it instead of hitting the mall.

  152. BC Bob says:

    “I prefer the term, Chinese Water Torture.”

    Clot,

    One step forward, 2 steps back. Dead man walking.

    Cindy,

    There are too many holes in this dyke. The masters cannot create liquidity vehicles fast enough. The blizzard of deleveraging is too powerful. Their only solution is to create another bubble. However, a 20 year steroid induced binge does not self correct in 1-2 years. The idiots that got us into this mess think that the only solution is the hair of the dog that bit you. Cure a hangover with a cocktail? Not this hangover, they want to hand over the keys to an open bar.

    No govt in history has been able to control, long term, a business cycle. Sure you can delay, manipulate, cover up, price fix and freeze. However, the market will always, eventually, win. One other item, no govt in history has been able to print their way to prosperity. This will not be the first.

    Unfortunately, you can only lead a horse to water, you can’t force it to drink it. So, just buckle up. This baby will go much further/deeper than most can even begin to imagine. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

  153. BC Bob says:

    “I prefer the term, Chinese Water Torture.”

    Clot,

    One step forward, 2 steps back. Dead man walking.

    Cindy,

    There are too many holes in this dyke. The masters cannot create liquidity vehicles fast enough. The blizzard of deleveraging is too powerful. Their only solution is to create another bubble. However, a 20 year steroid induced binge does not self correct in 1-2 years. The idiots that got us into this mess think that the only solution is the hair of the dog that bit you. Cure a hangover with a c*cktail? Not this hangover, they want to hand over the keys to an open bar.

    No govt in history has been able to control, long term, a business cycle. Sure you can delay, manipulate, cover up, price fix and freeze. However, the market will always, eventually, win. One other item, no govt in history has been able to print their way to prosperity. This will not be the first.

    Unfortunately, you can only lead a horse to water, you can’t force it to drink it. So, just buckle up. This baby will go much further/deeper than most can even begin to imagine. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

  154. BC Bob says:

    JB,

    I found what put me into mod, #156. Just disregard. Why does c*cktail, put one into mod?

  155. crossroads says:

    California, NJ,and NY are in horrible shape financially along with other states. my question is are there any states in good shape?

  156. Sean says:

    #131 – Professor

    If the small business owners want a loan mod they can get it, however they will need to willing become serfs.

    The FDIC is touting a new sign-your-life away loan program, all the wide eyed, frantically desperate people are going to end up owing Uncle Sam not only for the house they can’t pay for, but for the hand-outs they’ll be getting to feed their kids as well.

    http://mrmortgage.ml-implode.com/2008/12/17/fanniefreddie-come-get-your-loan-mod-pay-for-life/

    The only thing the next administration can do is give everyone a job, perhaps guard duty at a checkpoint in Falluja or digging holes and then filling them up.

  157. Sean says:

    159 in Mod Grim

  158. NJGator says:

    Since I value people’s opinions on just about everything here, does anyone have a recommendation for a pediatric neurologist? Friend’s son has been possibly been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Right now she’s deer in the headlights in shock and hasn’t made an appointment to get him medically evaluated. I’m trying to help by providing names and contact info.

    Thanks, in advance, for any help.

  159. still_looking says:

    BC, 157

    I think C@CK (even if embedded in a word [not an onion] is the problem.

    While spam, clot, alia and I might consider this a male chicken,

    others might be thinking of John and onions….

    You know, the naughty word.

    sl

  160. 3b says:

    #103 bi: Delusional, but if you are happy in your world, who am I to argue.

    You are the most optimistic commentator on the planet. God Bless you.

  161. still_looking says:

    Gator, 160

    She lives where?

    sl

  162. 3b says:

    #156 BC Bob: Bi disagrees with you says all will be well by the end of this quarter (10 days left), 1st quarter 09 at the latest.

  163. NJGator says:

    SL 164 – Summit. Thanks!

  164. BC Bob says:

    JB,

    167 in mod. Please delete. I hit submit comment by mistake, was not done.

  165. Essex says:

    HAPPY HANUKKAH PEOPLE.

  166. kettle1 says:

    Gator

    get my e-mail from grim. that is my wifes specialty and she may be able to offer some suggestions. She’s a PhD Child Psych

  167. sas says:

    Alan Greenspan spelled out what printing money would mean, speaking to Congress back on February 15, 2005:

    “We can guarantee cash benefits as far out, and at whatever size you like, but we cannot guarantee their purchasing power.”

  168. sas says:

    AP study finds $1.6B went to bailed-out bank execs
    http://tinyurl.com/9hzc35

  169. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    All links seem to be getting modded this weekend. i was getting modded constantly yesterday…..

  170. sas says:

    “Madoff: “I’m very close with the regulators.”
    http://tinyurl.com/8ju59p

  171. sas says:

    yes, I am getting alot of moderation.
    what gives Grim?

    SAS

  172. sas says:

    Veteran investor Jim Rogers warns that the policies of central banks and politicians are turning what would have been a recession into a new great depression, and that Barack Obama’s taxation agenda will only make the problem much worse.

    Speaking to Bloomberg News, Rogers said that the crisis would at least be the worst since the second world war and that “it could well be” as bad as the great depression.

    “1929 was the stock market bubble which popped, we were going into a recession and then the politicians around the world starting making horrendous mistakes which turned it into a depression, it would have been just a normal recession otherwise but the American politicians and the European politicians – everyone got in on the act and that seems to be happening this time too,” said Rogers.

    Rogers labeled it “unfathomable” what central banks were doing and totally at odds with the lessons of history, adding that President elect Barack Obama’s intention to impose protectionism and taxation of capital would fuel a depression.

    “If that happens, it’s all over,” warned Rogers, adding that the same thing will happen to the U.S. as happened to Britain between 1918 and 1939, which went from being the richest and most powerful country in the world to being a shambles. China would replace America as the great superpower in the 21st century, said Rogers.

    Rogers explained that the only safe haven during such a period would be commodities and precious metals like gold, which always perform well during times of extreme upheaval. Rogers said he had bought a significant amount of gold at the start of its bull run in 2002 and that he hadn’t sold any of it.

    The veteran investor stated that shortages would translate into a strong comeback for oil, which slipped down to $36 dollars a barrel yesterday from a peak of over $145 dollars a barrel in July.

  173. sas says:

    ok, this webpage is really messed up today. I can’t take it anymore.

    later folks.

    SAS

  174. grim says:

    Software upgrade on Friday. Working the bugs out. Lots of posts being swept into the mod or spam folders.

  175. lisoosh says:

    Time for Pratchett –

    “Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm the rest of the day. Set a man on fire and he’ll be warm the rest of his life.”

  176. NJGator says:

    Kettle 169 – Much appreciated. Emailing Grim now!

  177. BC Bob says:

    JB,

    You can delete 171.

  178. BC Bob says:

    My broker tells me that stocks are the best vehicle for long term investing;

    http://216.157.72.247/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/att820081221-0653471.jpg

  179. still_looking says:

    http://news.yahoo.com /s/ap/states_medicaid_woes

    Just the beginning….

    link’ed into mod, therefore split the link… join the parts to see the site.

    sl

  180. still_looking says:

    WASHINGTON – That day in July was one that Tammy Morse won’t soon forget.

    Five months earlier, her husband lost his job as a recruiter for the financial services industry. Now it was the summer and the family savings were gone. She saw no way to get health insurance coverage for her family other than to apply for Medicaid.

    [snip]

    Just the beginning….

    see yahoo main page for the link & rest of article…

    sl

  181. still_looking says:

    jb,

    kill 188/189 (my in mod posts.) thx.

    sl

  182. House Hunter says:

    Word from the NYC boat show…nada, poof, no good, real bad

  183. crossroads says:

    I have to bring my pos caravan in for repairs. I think I will submit the bill to the TARP fund.

  184. crossroads says:

    131 prof. Bornstein.
    what your really saying is stay on the sidelines and wait for second wave that the current attempts to save housing will fail and fundamentals will rule the day. makes sense to me. Are most of these small businesses RE investors??

  185. Comrade Nom DePlume says:

    Greetings from Lovely Downtown Altoona (yeah)

    [18] barien,

    The media has admitted its bias. No news there

    [53] Lisagator

    Don’t you mean the little lisa? Keep us all guessing.

    And for those who wanted to know what I served at my party (drum roll please):

    Coastline Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 2006
    8.99 per btl at Total Wine in Union.
    Not much left (esp. after I bought a case).

  186. Comrade Nom DePlume says:

    [123] Happy camper

    IMHO (well, not that humble since I have some cred in this area), the 0-man and his party have set an impossibly high bar for themselves, and have already backed off their rhetoric considerably. I see NWIH that O-man can accomplish all he promised, and fail to see how he can do demonstrably better in the sorts of crises faced by Shrub.

    My 0.02

  187. NJGator says:

    Nom 196 – We will have to pick up some of that wine at the Essex Green location and see if it lives up to the hype.

    Regarding calling Lil Gator, Lil Lisa, I have decided that the name doesn’t really fit for a total boy’s boy. Lil Gator is happily running around the house playing with his new remote control CAT Skid Steer Loader that he picked for his first night of Chanukah gift.

  188. Jill says:

    Hey, all you knowledgeable people, maybe you can direct me in the right direction.

    I have been getting robocalls for the last 3 weeks from a law firm. The call says it’s trying to collect a debt from someone who is neither me nor my spouse. It gives the person’s name. Then it says that if we are not [person's name] to stop listening now, but if we are, to call such-and-such a number, and it gives a reference number.

    I ran a credit report on myself (still have to do it for DH) and mine is fine. I don’t know if this is some kind of scam where they’re trying to verify the number for marketing purposes or what. I do not have caller ID.

    It seems to me that a company trying to collect money would not use robocalls and ask for the person they want to collect from to call, but would call in person. I do not want to call back in case this is some scam outfit trying to verify that mine is a working number.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to what to do about this?

  189. Cindy says:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2008/12/effective-natio.html#more

    “Effective nationalization of the mortgage finance sector”

  190. Pat says:

    block the number from further bothering you.

    For instructions on doing this for no fee, see the inside of the phone book or contact your phone company.

  191. Cindy says:

    I just tried to post a link – it is in cyberspace somewhere…

    Check out: Economist’s View

    “Effective nationalization of the mortgage finance sector”

    “James Kwak says it’s likely that the new administration will get behind the Hubbard Mayer plan to have Fannie and Freddie buy mortgages and refinance them at 4.5%”

    “Now here’s the surprising part. In order for these mortgages to rejuvenate the housing market, they have to be available to everyone. This isn’t a program for reducing mortgage foreclosures; this is a program for boosting sales and refinacings across the board…”

    OMG!

  192. Cindy says:

    Grim – it’s in mod @ 200.

  193. Cindy says:

    oopss that’s Hubbard AND Mayer…

    Glenn Hubbard and Charlie Mayer..

  194. 3b says:

    I am in the market for a flat screen LCD (paying cash of course). Anybody know if there is any reall difference between Toshibia, Sony, Samsung, Sharp etc. And who is LG?

    Also I see, to remember reading that a few factories in Taiwan and South Koreas produce almost all of the flat screen TV’s and the various companies slap their names on them.

  195. Qwerty says:

    “Prof. Samuel D. Bornstein” at December 20, 2008 at 11:38 pm:

    Let ‘em burn.

    No sympathy for people who gambled with toxic financing and lost.

    No sympathy for people with ‘traditional’ financing who live beyond their means, either.

    Foreclosures will cleanse the foolish from the system and increase home affordability from bubble mania levels.

    Let ‘em burn.

  196. Pat says:

    LG is the company in Korea that made all those great first run phones for Verizon. Was goldstar and bought Zenith. You know, the tough cellphones that had great signals and never broke when you dropped them, so they got rid of them? I have an old LG and won’t get rid of it. It gets signals where my husband’s new phone is dead.

    Anyway, LG makes a decent TV that’s the cheapo model at Beastie Boy. Insignia.

    Doesn’t go on sale, but less expensive and not discernable quality difference from higher priced models.

  197. Firestormik says:

    RE: NJGator, 165.
    A neurogolist won’t help them other then to reconfirm the diagnosis. They can try
    Dr. Andrea Richards @ St.Pete University hospital @ New Brunswick – she seems to be nice.

    Tell them to apply for the Early Intervention and ABA programs ASAP and consider using DAN protocol. Ask Grim for my email if you have questions.

  198. syncmaster says:

    willwork4beer #148,

    Thanks.

    Where do I send the beer?

  199. New in NJ says:

    3b

    What size LCD TV, and what do you want to spend? I’ve done quite a lot of research lately because we’re getting one. It’s arriving Tuesday.

    There is definitely a difference.

  200. kettle1 says:

    firestorm:

    the first step is a detailed eval. some people love ABA others dont (professionals). there are many options, and as you said the family should speak with a professional in the field ( possibly multiple since all have a bias one way or the other) and then evaluate the available options based on the information provided.

    Not my field by understand the basics from my wife

  201. Stu says:

    Television gurus always swear by Samsung and Sharp Aquos for picture quality and durability. Samsung tends to be a bit cheaper. I, of course, have a beautiful 32″ Panasonic CRT that Atlantic City gave Gator’s dad about 10 years ago. My big techno geek money is in my speakers and my amp. My living room has the sound quality of a movie theater and the video quality of an airplane movie.

  202. serenity now says:

    Re #204 3b
    Have a friend who owns a home theatre
    business…….speaks very highly of the
    Pioneer and Samsung brands.
    Take note of how black the screen gets
    in night time pictures…. apparently
    the blacker the picture the better the
    overall picture quality is.

  203. kettle1 says:

    from telegraph.co.uk

    Protectionist dominoes are beginning to tumble across the world

    The riots have begun. Civil protest is breaking out in cities across Russia, China, and beyond. Greece has been in turmoil for 11 days. The mood seems to have turned “pre-insurrectionary” in parts of Athens – to borrow from the Marxist handbook This is a foretaste of what the world may face as the “crisis of capitalism” – another Marxist phase making a comeback – starts to turn two hundred million lives upside down. We are advancing to the political stage of this global train wreck. Regimes are being tested. Those relying on perma-boom to mask a lack of democratic or ancestral legitimacy may try to gain time by the usual methods: trade barriers, saber-rattling, and barbed wire.

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is worried enough to ditch a half-century of IMF orthodoxy, calling for a fiscal boost worth 2pc of world GDP to “prevent global depression”. “If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may happen in many countries, including advanced economies. We are facing an unprecedented decline in output. All around the planet, the people have reacted with feelings going from surprise to anger, and from anger to fear,” he said. Russia has begun to shut down trade as it adjusts to the shock of Urals oil below $40 a barrel. It has imposed import tariffs of 30pc on cars, 15pc on farm kit, and 95pc on poultry (above quota levels). “It is possible during the financial crisis to support domestic producers by raising customs duties,” said Premier Vladimir Putin….

  204. kettle1 says:

    3 million jobs???? who wants to wager $1 that we lose more then 3 million jobs in 2009

    Obama Expands Economic Recovery Plan to Create 3 Million Jobs (bloomberg)

    President-elect Barack 0bama, faced with a deteriorating economy, is expanding his stimulus package with a goal of creating or saving 3 million jobs over two years, a transition aide said last night. The revised target, up from 2.5 million jobs he previously announced, came at the suggestion of Christina Romer, 0bama’s pick to head the Council of Economic Advisers, during a Dec. 16 meeting with the president-elect’s top economic advisers, the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Romer said the short, medium and long-term economic forecasts have worsened since 0bama outlined the plan on Nov. 22, the aide said. Romer said the economy is likely to lose 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next year and the unemployment rate is likely to rise to above 9 percent. As a result, she said, the initial jobs estimate for the package was too timid, according to the aide.

  205. kettle1 says:

    Pres O more proposes 3 million new jobs as part of his recovery plan.

    HAHAHAHA, who wants to wager $1 that we lose more then that in 2009. Then there is the other little problem. Many of the jobs he wants to create will be dependent on tax payer funding for existence.

  206. NJGator says:

    Firestorm 207 – What’s your background? Just curious as to where your autism related knowledge is derived. Thx.

  207. serenity now says:

    Re 213 Kettle
    This is precisely why we all need Plasma
    TVs to observe the global meltdown from the safety of our living rooms.

  208. 3b says:

    #213 kettle: All sobering stuff. ANd yet I Am still seeing 500k POS capes coming on the market.

    Hey somebody has to step in for brother Gary.

  209. 3b says:

    #209 New: 40 inches, under $1000.

  210. kettle1 says:

    3b

    “All sobering stuff”

    Relax, have a beer, perhaps a glass of Nom’s fine Cab (Coastline Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 2006) and get comfy.

    This is just the pre-game entertainment.

  211. New in NJ says:

    Speaking broadly, Samsung is the best make. Samsung LN40A550 is probably the best choice for around $1000. You’ll need to do some shopping, but online I see prices around $990. Of course, it will be a little more by the time you add taxes, etc. If you really need to stay below $1000, try the Olevia 242TFHD. It’s a 42 incher. If you have space for it (it’s 41 inches wide) it is about the best one that’s easily within your price range.
    And the contrast ratio really is the key to great image quality.
    Hope this helps.
    We decided to get one because we don’t enjoy the cinema experience so much. We have Netflix, and we watch about three to five movies a week. I think it’ll be worth it for us.
    Incidentally, we got the Samsung LN-46A850.

  212. still_looking says:

    3b,

    What’s going on with Gary?

    He’s been scarce lately, no?

    sl

  213. kettle1 says:

    What does it say about a company when the major stake holders cant even giv eit awya!?!?!?!?

    Cerberus tries to give away Chrysler to unions, banks

    Cerberus Capital Management LP, Chrysler LLC’s majority owner, said it plans to give its stake in the Auburn Hills automaker to unions, debtholders and other stakeholders in exchange for concessions, paving the way for Cerberus to exit Chrysler’s automotive business — though it is unclear if labor and banks would want the company

  214. kettle1 says:

    Lagging indicators? Public beat economists in calling the recession

    Which of two groups—economists or the general public—came closer to predicting the recession? Surprisingly, it looks like the Joe Six Packs of the world were better economic prognosticators than the elbow patch set. In November 2007, a Gallup public opinion poll found 54% of Americans believed a recession would probably or definitely occur in the next 12 months. By comparison, a Wall Street Journal survey of 52 economists conducted two weeks later found that, on average, the professionals put the chances of a recession at 38%

    sorry no links or i get put in mod

  215. kettle1 says:

    Fortisgate scandal topples Belgian government

    Fortisgate, the growing scandal over the future of Belgian rump insurer Fortis, brought down the country’s government soon after the justice minister resigned over suspected state meddling in legal decisions. Jo Vandeurzen stood down after the court of cassation, Belgium’s supreme court, said it had found “significant signs” but no hard evidence that the government had tried to influence judges ruling on the bail-out and sale of Fortis. Within hours, prime minister Yves Leterme won a cabinet vote that the government should resign. King Albert now has to decide whether to accept the resignation.

  216. kettle1 says:

    World Bank: Russia may need help if oil falls more

    Russia would come under crippling financial pressure and may need to raise money externally if oil languishes at an average of $30 a barrel over the next two years, the World Bank predicted Friday. The bleak scenario would mark a rapid unraveling of Russia’s oil-fueled economic gains over the past eight years, during which time the government has paid down most of its foreign debt and built up a vast stockpile of international reserves.

    “If oil prices in 2009 and 2010 average $30 a barrel, that would be a nightmare scenario for a global economy,” Zeljko Bogetic, the World Bank’s chief economist in Russia told investors on Friday. “The pressures on the current account and public finances in Russia would quickly rise to a point where the financing constraint would become so sharp that it’s possible even to envisage Russia’s return from a creditor to international organizations to a borrower.” At $50 a barrel, Russia could drain much of its reserve funds and run budgetary deficits, but would not face a “meltdown” scenario, Bogetic said.

  217. kettle1 says:

    Germany is already collapsing

    The German economy is on the “brink of the abyss”, says the IMK institute in Dusseldorf. The country’s GDP could contract by 3.5pc next year. We are reaching depression levels here. The IFO confidence index published by its sister institute collapsed to a record low of 82.6. This is an industrial melt-down. It is becoming ever clearer that the surplus countries (angels) will suffer just as much – if not more – than the deficit countries (sinners), even if this offends moral justice. This was ultimately the story in the 1930s, though it did not look like that at the outset. Germany and China have become addicted to exports. This is not as healthy as it looks. They will bear the brunt of belt-tightening by the Anglosphere Club, and East Europe. Carsten Brzeski, ING’s Europe economist, said Germany’s fourth quarter will “very likely make history as the worst collapse of the German industry ever. One thing is evident: The current downturn could behave like a rock that threatens to roll down a hill. Once the boulder has gained momentum, it will simply mow down everything in its path.

  218. 3b says:

    #225 still: Sadly gary’s employment was a casualty of the recession. So I am sure he is preoccupied. Good Luck gary.

  219. 3b says:

    #222 new: Thanks vey helpful.

  220. 3b says:

    #221 kettle” I know, but still amazed. Speaking of wine I am no expert cannot tell $200 form $20,

    Due enjoy an Australian one, Noble Road. It is a Shariz whatever that is.

  221. BC Bob says:

    “3 million jobs???? who wants to wager $1 that we lose more then 3 million jobs in 2009″

    kettle,

    Not I. Sounds like a s*cker’s bet?

  222. still_looking says:

    I miss his rants… even better in person!

    Wish he would stop here a bit more often… :(

    sl

  223. still_looking says:

    Happy Hanukah to everyone…

    Made latkes, lit our electric menorah, can’t find the dreidel but maybe I’ll get one tomorrow…

    sl

  224. Firestormik says:

    NJGator, 217
    I’m in IT.

    We are in the same boat with your friend’s family and many other NJ parents. My 2y 9m old boy has a speach delay and was also diagnosted with autistic spectrum disorder.

  225. WickedOrange says:

    grim says:
    December 20, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Bergen Co. Median Sale Price (NJMLS)
    SFH, Condo, Coop, TH
    2000 – $255,000
    2001 – $288,000
    2002 – $329,950
    2003 – $360,000
    2004 – $410,000
    2005 – $470,000
    2006 – $474,000
    2007 – $470,000
    2008 – $445,000 (YTD)

    Plenty of room for prices to keep falling.

    grim says:
    December 20, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Same data adjusted for inflation (CPI):

    Bergen Co. Median Sale Price (NJMLS)
    SFH, Condo, Coop, TH
    2000 – $314,566
    2001 – $345,445
    2002 – $389,603
    2003 – $415,614
    2004 – $461,060
    2005 – $511,212
    2006 – $499,452
    2007 – $481,522
    2008 – $445,000 (YTD)

    Yes, but Fed funds ~6.0% in 2000 vs .25% now. so with that “padding” how much more will they fall….

  226. alia says:

    185, lisoosh
    it’s always time for pratchett.

  227. NJGator says:

    Fire 235 – Thank you. I will pass along your info to my friend. Her son turned 2 in September. Doesn’t speak a word. I think her husband is fighting her on getting the diagnosis confirmed, because he doesn’t want his son to be “labeled” or to “have a record with the state”. Very sad.

  228. NJGator says:

    SL 234 – We can’t find our dreidel either, but we did find gelt for all the kiddies. Lil Gator is very excited about the idea of getting presents for 8 straight nights.

  229. alia says:

    198 #1 son is getting the remote controlled cat dumptruck. i thought he had enough toys under the tree, but mr alia decided he needed a gift from daddy. (three guesses who will play with it first?)

  230. Firestormik says:

    Gator,
    Unfortunately the diagnosis is the only way to get ABA services sponsored by the State. Earlier they get it, better chances his son recovers and catches up with childlen his age. ABA is the only proven way to treat it. Pass my email, I’ll get her in touch with my wife – seems like she has read every single article about it she could find online.

  231. still_looking says:

    NJG, 239

    I have to get them… he is still OD’d on candy he got from the wedding we went to yesterday.

    We are a mixed family and it’s really rough this time of year. Sometimes I really feel it- like now. We are living with the in-laws while we save and they are really gung-ho on Xmas.

    It’s really funny when our (no kidding) Muslim cousins visit their Jewish cousins at their Christian Aunt/Uncle’s house.

    sl

  232. Pat says:

    Go tell Veronica, this is Hanukkah.

  233. alia says:

    199 jill:
    briedly happened to me. i called the number, they stopped calling me. no uptick in spam calls, as far as i noticed.

  234. NJGator says:

    Alia 240 – Lil Gator is getting that one too. 12.99 for a $27 toy in a pre-Christmas sale is pretty good. We even picked up 2 others to give as gifts to his little friends. Lil Gator also got a LeapFrog Tag because they were giving out $20 Toys R Us gift cards when you bought it.

  235. chicagofinance says:

    still_looking says:
    December 21, 2008 at 9:30 pm
    NJG, 239
    It’s really funny when our (no kidding) Muslim cousins visit their Jewish cousins at their Christian Aunt/Uncle’s house. sl

    still: When Linda, Hunter and I were visiting my family up in CT earlier this month, we stayed at a hotel where there was a Muslim couple getting married (I assume). When we were checking in, a bunch of children were playing in the lobby. My wife tried to walk past some of them to get to the elevator. A roughly eight year old boy said to Linda “only Muslims may pass white woman’……charming…. :-P

  236. NJGator says:

    SL 242 – Amazing Savings had tons of Gelt for 29 cents…and stu checked to make sure it wasn’t manufactured in China.

    Lil Gator is the only one of his cousins that is not the product of an interfaith marriage, so we have Christmas celebrations galore. This year he is even going to attend his first Polish Christmas Eve Wigilia feast at a friend’s house. I hope he likes pierogies!

  237. chicagofinance says:

    For the record….

    The relative new Whole Foods in Union is the practically the best one I’ve visted in the entire chain. I would only rank the one in TriBeCa higher. It is located in a strip mall with a Best Buy and a Target, next to the Home Depot/eXpo. It is on Springfield Avenue between Valley Street and Vauxhall.

    It is kind of freaky because I always will remember the site as the “mosquito bite golf driving range”.

    The side of the building is visible from I-78.

  238. still_looking says:

    NJG, 247 where is amazing savings? I’m having “gelt-less Hanukah guilt”

    sl

  239. alia says:

    gator,
    nice!
    don’t know how much dear husband spent. though he did say that FAO Schwarz was empty of customers at 9 am on friday. (he got it at toys r us in the end)

  240. NJGator says:

    sl 249 – There’s one in Verona on Rte 23 near the Kings and the Movie Theatre. The other ones left in NJ are in East Hanover, Teaneck and East Brunswick.

    http://www.amazingsavings.com/

  241. still_looking says:

    chifi 246

    The wedding we went to was our Muslim cousin (half Italian-half Pakistani) marrying her Egyptian bf. [no, not arranged. to end that curiosity]

    Her dad is a pharmacist, his is a veterinarian. Her mom is my son’s idol- he just adores her…

    When we have Thanksgiving they bring over a halal turkey and I make kosher trimmings they everyone can eat!

    sl

  242. still_looking says:

    THAT everyone can eat…. eesh… editor not working….

    sl

  243. NJGator says:

    SL 249 – There’s one in Verona on Rte 23 near the Kings and the Movie Theatre. There’s also one on Rte 10 in East Hanover. Only other ones left in NJ are in Teaneck and East Brunswick. Cheapo closeout heaven. It’s Stu’s favorite store.

  244. NJGator says:

    Alia 250 – Toys R Us ran a 1 day coupon for it yesterday. The store in Totowa was pretty busy, but we noticed that most people on line tended to be buying only one small item.

  245. chicagofinance says:

    LOST!!

    Gahan tracks:
    Hole To Feed, Miles Away and Come Back

    Others: In Sympathy, Corruption, Fragile Tension, In Chains, Wrong, Peace Will Come To Me + 4 others….

    Wrong coming in Feb…..

  246. Pat says:

    sl, it’s more fun to make the dreidle than find one.

    don’t know if the link will work.

    Note: we like Crayola gel blue over sky blue.

  247. still_looking says:

    chifi

    regarding the CT thing… it’s a big learning experience culturally.

    Like… women don’t shake hands with guys – Yesterday after the wedding, we were leaving. We congratulated the groom’s dad and my husband shook hands with him… my son was insisting, “Mama, shake hands, shake hands!”

    I had to explain to him that some cultures don’t agree with that…at 3 y/o I don’t expect him to get it…

    It was a real experience though.

    That kid was probably trying to be intimidating unfortunately.

    sl

  248. still_looking says:

    NJG. I will look for it! It sounds like the BigLots stores I have been to.

    THANKS!

    sl

  249. still_looking says:

    Pat… paper? clay? playdough? I’m already baking enough stuff to make Nabisco seem like a mom&pop…

    …need less work…need more sleep…working like machine this week unfortunately…. :(

    all work and no play makes SL a cranky critter…

    sl

  250. Pat says:

    paper. Shoprite website has a paper download for the kids to color.

    Try moving to a completely whitey protestant farming town. It’s actually sick that I know that Shoprite has a dreidel download.

    I’m not even Jewish and I still want my kid to play dreidel dreidel.

  251. 3b says:

    #236 wicked: FFR has nothing to do with it.

  252. rhymingrealtor says:

    “get my e-mail from grim. that is my wifes specialty and she may be able to offer some suggestions. She’s a PhD Child Psych”

    Kettle,

    May I also take you up on that offer?

    Thanks

    KL

  253. Clotpoll says:

    Plume (197)-

    Maybe he can have Biden approve some torture…

    “I see NWIH that O-man can accomplish all he promised, and fail to see how he can do demonstrably better in the sorts of crises faced by Shrub.”

  254. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (202)-

    Welcome to the destruction of the US.

    Anyone with a brain and a mortgage will default, should this idiocy come to pass.

  255. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (216)-

    Can’t be surprised. The guy is a soci@list.

    Nice guy, well-spoken, well-intentioned.

    And he’s gonna take a problem and make it 20x worse than it already is.

  256. Clotpoll says:

    serenity (218)-

    Not feeling so safe about my living room in about 3-4 months’ time.

    I think a few of my friends may be sleeping in it.

  257. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (226)-

    Those Belgians need to wise up.

    You gotta have the goddam judges around to wave through the bailouts and fix things the way the gubmint wants them.

    Then again, what else can you say about a country where they think a proper snack is french fries and mayonnaise?

  258. Clotpoll says:

    sl (234)-

    I’m gonna fill a sock full of dreidels and use it as a slap jack.

  259. Clotpoll says:

    Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
    I made it out of clay
    Dreidel, dreidel, driedel
    I’ll bang a sock full of ‘em upside your head…

  260. Clotpoll says:

    sl (242)-

    Maybe you can stage a re-enactment of the Six Day War? Make your kitchen the Sinai, and put a giant plate of latkes out as the prize.

    “It’s really funny when our (no kidding) Muslim cousins visit their Jewish cousins at their Christian Aunt/Uncle’s house.”

  261. Clotpoll says:

    chi (246)-

    Don’t worry. We’ll be rounding them all up in a few months.

  262. NJGator says:

    Clot – Is 2575540 in Millburn a short sale? Listing says the owners are “relocating” but it was just purchased earlier in 08. Seems fishy to me.

  263. Clotpoll says:

    Gator (272)-

    Looks like a legit relo. Sirva (relo company) is noted as the third-party seller.

  264. Clotpoll says:

    Gator (272)-

    OTOH, Sirva probably wants to ditch this bowser yesterday. They filed bankruptcy in Feb. and emerged in May. However, they’re hanging by a thread.

  265. NJGator says:

    Thanks, Clot. House was bought for 922 earlier in the year and then completely renovated. Will be fun to see how low it finally goes.

  266. NJGator says:

    Mr. Lisa’s Coastline Paso Robles report from Total Wine Essex Green – Completely sold out. Manager says the stuff is flying off the shelves and he doesn’t understand why. New shipment expected in tomorrow morning.

  267. Tom says:

    Missed this weekend. Just wanted to add it wasn’t only the heads that were spinning. They were promoting their agents to spin as well.

    I wrote about NAR’s surround sound dissinformation campaign in the past.

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