Predictions 2009!

OK pompous prognosticators, dust off those crystal balls and lets hear ’em!

Ground Rules
Predictions provided should either be for June 30th, 2009 or December 31th, 2009, please specify.

Provide justification for your forecast, where applicable (unless you are just making it up, if so, state that).

You may provide any caveats and/or assumptions that your forecast is based on.

You need not provide a forecast for all categories below.

Where applicable, forecasts are judged against the surveys/reports listed.

Real Estate
National Existing Home Sales – NAR
Median Existing Home Price – NAR
Median Existing Home Price – S&P Case Shiller HPI
Median Existing Home Price – OFHEO HPI

New Jersey Existing Home Sales – NAR/NJAR
Median Existing Home Price – NAR/NJAR
Median Existing Home Price – S&P Case Shiller HPI
Median Existing Home Price – OFHEO HPI

National New Home Sales – NAHB
Median New Home Price – NAHB

Commodities
Oil
Gold

Equities
United States
International Developed Markets
Emerging Markets

Mortgage Financing
30-Year Fixed – Freddie Mac PMMS
15-Year Fixed – Freddie Mac PMMS
5/1-Year ARM – Freddie Mac PMMS

Macroeconomic
10y Treasury
Fed Funds Rate
National Unemployment Rate
New Jersey Unemployment Rate

Oddball
Anything else you’d like to make a prediction about.

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315 Responses to Predictions 2009!

  1. grim says:

    From Gallup:

    Idea of Economic Depression Becoming Less Far-Fetched

    Since March, the percentage of Americans largely ruling out the possibility of an economic depression in the next two years has shrunk from 40% to 25%, while the percentage saying it is “very likely” has grown from 23% to 35%. Although Americans who predict the worst for the economy remain in the minority, another 39% think a depression is “somewhat likely” to occur.

    Even if they don’t think a true economic depression — defined for respondents as a particularly severe recession lasting several years — is very likely, the majority of Americans consider the current economic situation in the United States to be the “biggest economic crisis” the country has faced in their lifetimes. Sixty percent hold this view, while another 16% call it a crisis, but not the worst in their lifetimes.

    Americans’ generally bleak economic outlook is borne out in their prediction that it will be much more than another year or two before the economy starts to recover. The majority believe it will take three or more years for that to happen, with the average prediction falling at five years.

  2. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Where’d the bailout money go? Shhhh, it’s a secret

    It’s something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where’s the money going? But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.

    “We’ve lent some of it. We’ve not lent some of it. We’ve not given any accounting of, ‘Here’s how we’re doing it,'” said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to.”

    The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what’s the plan for the rest?

    None of the banks provided specific answers.

    “We’re not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking,” said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.

    Some banks said they simply didn’t know where the money was going.

  3. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. developers look for a bailout from government: Journal

    Some of the nation’s biggest property developers are asking the government for assistance as a record amount of commercial real-estate debt comes due, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. The industry is reportedly asking to be included in a new $200 billion loan program initially created by the government to assist the market for student loans, car loans and credit-card debt. The industry is warning that thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed for defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies, owing to some $530 million of commercial mortgages that will be coming due for refinancing in the next three years. They say that this poses another major threat to the global financial system, already severely weakened. In a recent letter to Henry Paulson, signed by a dozen real-estate trade groups, the scenario was described as grim. “Right now, we believe there is insufficient systemic capacity to refinance expiring, performing commercial real-estate loans. For many borrowers, [credit] simply is not available.”

  4. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    More Firms Cut Labor Costs Without Layoffs

    Even as layoffs are reaching historic levels, some employers have found an alternative to slashing their work force. They’re nipping and tucking it instead.

    A growing number of employers, hoping to avoid or limit layoffs, are introducing four-day workweeks, unpaid vacations and voluntary or enforced furloughs, along with wage freezes, pension cuts and flexible work schedules. These employers are still cutting labor costs, but hanging onto the labor.

    And in some cases, workers are even buying in. Witness the unusual suggestion made in early December by the chairman of the faculty senate at Brandeis University, who proposed that the school’s 300 professors and instructors give up 1 percent of their pay.

    “What we are doing is a symbolic gesture that has real consequences — it can save a few jobs,” said William Flesch, the senate chairman and an English professor.

    He says more than 30 percent have volunteered for the pay cut, which could save at least $100,000 and prevent layoffs for at least several employees. “It’s not painless, but it is relatively painless and it could help some people,” he said.

    At some companies, employees are supporting the indirect wage cuts — at least for now. The downturn hit so hard, with its toll felt so widely through hits on pensions and 401(k) retirement plans and with the future so murky, that employers and even some employees say it is better to accept minor cuts than risk more draconian steps.

    The rolls of companies nipping at labor costs with measures less drastic than wholesale layoffs include Dell (extended unpaid holiday), Cisco (four-day year-end shutdown), Motorola (salary cuts), Nevada casinos (four-day workweek), Honda (voluntary unpaid vacation time) and The Seattle Times (plans to save $1 million with a week of unpaid furlough for 500 workers). There are also many midsize and small companies trying such tactics.

  5. grim says:

    From Newsday:

    Officials try to stem foreclosure troubles

    In the last six months, federal, state and local officials have made concerted efforts to stall or stop the foreclosure crisis – but it’s unclear whether any of the speeches, programs or policies have made or will make a significant difference.

    New York State officials point to the decline in the number of lis pendens, or initial foreclosure filings, over the past three months – a decline attributable to a state law passed in August that delayed legal foreclosure notices by 90 days. The hope, according to experts, is that the delay will give homeowners time to seek help, get a loan modification or find another way out. Homeowners receive a letter with counseling contacts and other helpful information, and are later offered a settlement conference with their bank.

    The reality, however, is that the decline in filings may have been temporary. The Real Estate Report, a West Islip real estate data firm, is already showing an uptick in foreclosure filings in its early December figures, as Long Island went from having about 40 or 50 filings a week from September through November, to 80 or 90 since December began.

    Also, state officials say they are unable to determine how many delinquent mortgages didn’t end up in foreclosure thanks to the state’s efforts.

  6. DL says:

    2009 Prediction: Sellers will still be in denial. From the Philly Inquirer:

    “There seem to be hundreds of nonserious sellers out there putting their properties on the market as though throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks,” Thurman says. “I’m talking about places that are filthy, cluttered, little or no maintenance, let alone updates. People with ‘For Sale’ signs on their lawns should at least bother to clear their counters and vacuum their floors.”

    “I was completely astounded at the general outlook at most of the sellers we encountered,” he says. “You’d think we were back in the buyer’s market of ’03. Most didn’t do much to spruce up their homes and seemed to be of the opinion that if we didn’t buy it, someone else would.”

    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/real_estate/20081221_On_the_House__Buyers_are_picky_in_this_market.html

  7. Ah, predictions…. I will go out on a limb and give a few for the next year.
    1) Citi fails further and begins the long process of selling off it parts.
    2) BofA fully enters full zombie-hood and starts down the long road that Citi is on right now.
    3) At least 1 major retailer goes into bankruptcy; Sears, Macys, Penneys. I’m not sure which, but I’d lean towards Sears. It could also be one of the big box stores like Lowes or Home Depot.
    4) By the end of the year one state will flirt with declaring bankruptcy.
    5) Despite being one of the worst job markets in years I may resign to do something else. I’m not sure what, and it’s getting to the point that I don’t care what, but something else. I have some F-U cash socked away and might use it to take my cameras and do a photographic On the Road, an updated The Americans or Let us now praise famous men.
    6)Brittney finds a new man.

  8. grim says:

    Let us now praise? How very new deal of you.

  9. Clotpoll says:

    1. Civil unrest will begin by 6/1/09. Most likely spot? California, as pension payouts are halted and Calpers is declared insolvent.

    2. The 10 year UST yield will drop below 2% well in advance of 6/1/09…and stay there through the rest of the year.

    3. A nationwide bank run/”bank holiday” event will occur sometime in 2009.

    4. The Hubbard plan for residential mortgage principal writedowns will become law. Upon its passage, whatever is left of the residential RE market will collapse under the weight of near-universal mortgage defaults and inability of RE markets to properly establish asset values and clear itself. Neighbor-against-neighbor violence will surge, as those who still have equity and are making payments are pitted against those being bailed out.

    5. Failed commercial RE developments will become giant warehouses for homeless people. The unemployment rate will rise to 12% by 6/1/09. The actual, true unemployment rate will be more like 25%, which puts us at the point of…

    6. Depression. By 6/1/09, CNBC will declare that the US is, for all intents and purposes, in a Depression.

  10. #8 – Just gettin’ into the zeitgeist.

  11. Cindy says:

    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2008/12/federal_reserve_1.html

    Federal Reserve Balance Sheet

    Grim – Since you have been tracking the activity, I thought you might like this summary…

  12. Clotpoll says:

    Ed Liddy on CNBC right now. Looking embalmed.

  13. DL says:

    Prediction: In 2009 real estate agents will stop giving away refrigerator magnets. From the WaPo:

    “Anthony Sanzo Jr. doesn’t need any statistics to tell him that a slumping housing market has forced thousands of real estate agents to look for a new line of work. He doesn’t need to know that membership in the National Association of Realtors has dropped by more than 100,000 agents in two years.

    Sanzo can tell all this just by looking at the number of promotional refrigerator magnets, calculators and calendars that his company, Sanzo Specialties of Endicott, N.Y., has sold in the past year.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/19/AR2008121901401.html

  14. DL says:

    In June of 2009 this house will still be on the market. Current asking: $370k. Last sold for $325k in 2004. (Remove beverages away from keyboard before viewing.)

    http://www.trulia.com/property/1063442792-307-Pembrook-Ave-Moorestown-NJ-08057

  15. grim says:

    Let me know if the moderation issue is resolved.

  16. HEHEHE says:

    I am reading Schiff’s new book. Favorite part is his recommending stocking up on cartons of cigarettes and bottles of whiskey as they will make very good bartering items.

  17. stan says:

    2009-

    Zima will make a triumphant comeback, after being endorsed by Shia Labeouf.

  18. DL says:

    In 2009 NJ will move up from number 12 to within the top ten of States with largest budget shortfalls as a percentage of annual budget.

    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/12/1218_shortfall_states/index.htm

  19. Cindy says:

    Grim (15) – I had no problem posting that link this AM.

  20. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Immigration laws, weak economy send many home

    The first signs of an Iberian exodus began about 10 months ago, when Kelin Muniz noticed a drop in customers who buy the Brazilian music and Brazilian beauty products in her store in the Ironbound section of Newark.

    Brazilians in the Ironbound are leaving in droves, Muniz said, driven out by a bad economy and tougher immigration laws. She said about 15 of her friends have already gone back.

    “Nobody comes here,” she said Wednesday, pointing to the empty Tropical Music store on Ferry Street, where she is an employee.

    After living in the United States for 10 years, Muniz also plans to pack her bags and move back to Brazil next month. The Newark resident wants to stay, but feels pressured to leave.

    The housing crisis has drastically reduced construction jobs for her father, while the Brazilian economy has become more stable, she said. Muniz will be the first in her family to return; her parents and sister will follow after their home is sold, she said.

    “We don’t have income. It’s been hard now to live here,” said Muniz.

    Delvemar Camilo de Souza, 25, dropped by Tropical Music to bid farewell to Muniz. He was leaving for his hometown of Minas Gerais in three days.

    “There’s no work, no money,” said de Souza, who worked only one day for four hours last week in his construction job.

    At Boi Na Brasa, a Brazilian restaurant, waiter Andre Vianna said tables are emptier than they’ve been in months.

    “Lots of Brazilians bought homes in New Jersey, especially in Newark, and with the new situation, the value of homes decreased so much,” said Roberto Lima, editor of the Brazilian Voice. “Owning a home here was no longer such a beauty.”

  21. Clotpoll says:

    HE (16)-

    How quaint and rustic.

  22. John says:

    Muni bonds and investment grade corporate bonds will return 10+ in 2009 total return. In particular, as Ted Kennedy’s health fails further Tobbaco Munis will be the best returning muni class. Housing mid to late 2009 will flatten out but will be flat in late 2009 and 2010.

    My way out there one is Toyota will ask Japan and maybe US states for a bail out. Bottom line, huge US recession, very cheap gas, snowy winter, stong yen and no credit is a very very bad time to be selling expensive shoe box hybrids.They are AAA now but I expect a rating cut anyday now.

  23. RentinginNJ says:

    1) Dow 6,500 by June. We are in a bear market rally now which will reverse in early 2009. (a corrective 4th wave of a larger 5 wave move down if you will).
    2) 30 year fixed 4.5%. Gubmint will explicitly and directly back mortgages. Standards will be eased since govt. will now call the shots.
    3) “New Deal” renewable energy plan gets passed to stimulate economy, but we won’t see CO2 cap & trade in 09 (can’t afford it now).
    4) Gold $850 on a flight to quality/long term inflation hedge, however short term deflation fears and a lack of liquidity will prevent gold from going much higher.
    5) Labor friendly dems will prop up auto makers & keep them in business and out of bankruptcy.
    6) California will require a bailout. NJ may need a bailout.

  24. BC Bob says:

    “But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.”

    Why blame the banks’s. Hammerin Hank forced this down the throats of our elected leaders and they signed off, with zero requirements/stipulations. The bank’s are saying thanks and fcuk you.

  25. John says:

    Just make sure there is stuffing in the turkey and now a bomb.

    still_looking says:
    December 21, 2008 at 9:54 pm
    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

  26. John says:

    Charles Nelson Reilly and Elizabeth Taylor will die.

    Predictions must always include a dead pool.

  27. BC Bob says:

    “We don’t have income. It’s been hard now to live here,” said Muniz.

    However, the same status in 2004-2006 qualified you for a $1M mortgage.

  28. grim says:

    From the Journal News:

    Real estate investors sour on foreclosures

    The number of foreclosures in the Lower Hudson Valley has gone through the roof. Yet investors are walking away from lenders’ auctions at county courthouses, despite having their pick of properties amid the biggest inventory of distressed-debt real estate in years.

    People who bid on foreclosed properties for a living say it’s a bleaker market these days, and there’s no clear sign of when things will improve. The problem, they say, goes beyond the fact that most of the properties carry debt that’s well above what the buildings actually are worth.

    “You used to have 100 people to sell to. Now you have maybe 25,” said Louis Zazzarino of White Plains, a contractor with a finance degree from Fordham University who’s been in the business for 10 years. “I don’t think things are going to get good any time soon.”

    Through October, there were 2,059 foreclosure filings recorded at the Westchester County Clerk’s Office, up 14.8 percent year over year. A surge in five-year adjustable-rate mortgages in 2004 is a likely harbinger of more foreclosure actions next year, County Clerk Tim Idoni said.

    What keeps people like Zazzarino and Friedberg coming back to auctions is the possibility that a bank will take a “haircut,” or agree at the last minute to accept a minimum bid far lower than what was advertised in the foreclosure’s legal notices.

    The preponderance of foreclosed properties in parts of Westchester has investors closing their checkbooks. Friedberg said he doesn’t want to acquire anything in Mount Vernon because the subprime mortgage market has left so many properties on the market with no buyers in sight.

    “Everything in Mount Vernon was either financed or refinanced at greater than 100 percent of its value, on its best day,” he said.

  29. grim says:

    From Newsday:

    Lending crunch adds to LI’s economic troubles

    As banks and other mortgage lenders tightened standards, shut down mortgage programs and, in some cases, went out of business entirely, lending on Long Island slowed tremendously, according to new data.

    That trend, combined with a continued rise in foreclosures, could add to an already troubled local real estate market and could affect the length and depth of the area economy’s recession, experts said.

    Total loan originations on Long Island fell by 30 percent during 2006 and 2007, according to a Newsday analysis of new mortgage lending data. While the subprime market drop was partly responsible, traditional, prime loan originations fell, too. And a quarter of local potential home loans were denied in 2007, up from 20 percent in 2006.

    The impact of the lending crunch remains far-reaching, especially on Long Island, which depends heavily on housing and housing-related credit.

    “Lenders got burned and they may for the foreseeable future be extra careful in lending and they may become too cautious,” said Pearl Kamer, chief economist of the Long Island Association, the region’s largest business group. “That’s going to limit any potential recovery in the housing market and by association, any potential recovery in the economy.”

  30. Clotpoll says:

    John (26)-

    Charles Nelson Reilly is dead.

  31. Clotpoll says:

    grim (28)-

    Just to think: my NJ investors are still hibernating. Why even bother to go to the sales, when the banks are holding out for prices that only an idiot would pay?

    I’ve told all my investor clients that I’ll be calling them when it’s time to put on the boots. I truly doubt I’ll be making those calls in 2009. Bailout mania will prolong the agony.

  32. Essex says:

    14…a decent place…you should ask if the owner will give you money to take it. If you are a really good negotiator you could pull it off.

  33. Confused In NJ says:

    The news in 2009 will get worse as the Public finally realizes that a Pseudo Service Economy, supported by Fradulent Financial Ponzi Schemes, is no longer sustainable. All the Kings Horses and All the Kings Men will not be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

  34. Stu says:

    2009 Predictions:

    For the most part, it will be a complete repeat of 2008.

    Massive consolidation/liquidation of department stores. Goodbye Kmart/Sears. The Big 3 automakers will become the Big 2 with Chrysler merging with GM. GE will be the AIG of 2009 eating up the majority of TARP III. Commercial REITs will crumble further and will be kept on life support through O’s infrastructure plan that is originally earmarked for bridges and tunnels, but ends up being used to bail out REITs. Discover Card…discovers bankruptcy and there will be no bail out for them. Massive violent uprisings will break out across China as displaced farmers turned factory workers will be out of work with no farms to return to. No riots in the US as ‘O’ will provide enough crumbs to the despots to keep them sedated. Banks will still not be lending and mortgages will be available at 5%, but few will be buying as fear of depression will continue. As mid-year approaches, expect all forecasts to change from slight recovery in economy in 3rd and 4th quarter of 2009 to the 2nd quarter of 2010. Hedge fund industry will be destroyed as people use CD’s as their primary means of capital preservation. Brazil will be only major economy to do well in the world. India’s economy collapses as outsourcing gets destroyed due to protectionism. Russian economy sinks further as oil remains cheap. Largest amount of deflation will be visible in auto prices as manufactures domestic and import cut prices to reduce inventory. ‘Green’ unfortunately will be put on the backburner for a while.

    Oil: $55/barrel
    Gold: $1200/oz.
    DJIA: 6500
    SRS: $150
    Frank: Unemployed and in foreclosure

  35. Cindy says:

    2009 is lost to us..but:

    1. Unemployment – the key issue – can also spur innovation and opportunity for new business creation…

    2. Maybe we raise trade restictions – Cuba? – The UN has been after us to do it for years.

    3. The dollar holds up. Not because it is great but because it is the best thing out there.

    4. Block grants to states

    5. Hoping to reinflate consumer spending, the 4.5% refinance goes through but folks retrench and use the new-found monthly bump for essentials.

    6. Families may need to consolidate, plant a garden, start over in 2010.

    7. The strong, well-run small businesses who didn’t “lever up” will survive but many will go under as divorce, illness take their toll on already-strapped situations.

    8. By the summer of 2010, we will have some level of stabalization: A humbled, down-sized, resilient America will emerge.

    9. Frugality will be king in 2009.

    10. A new TV show, “Frugal Families” will be a real hit.

  36. Cindy says:

    Oh, Grim – I forgot the rules – I’m just making it up – I have no “justifications” for anything I just said.

  37. Stu says:

    Breifing.com:

    Toyota Motors (TM) warned it expects to post a loss of approximately $1.68 billion in its fiscal year through March, according to The Wall Street Journal. Such a loss would be the company’s first ever.

  38. DL says:

    In 2009 waitresses will no longer qualify for no money down mortages.

    “Diane Shackle found it gut-wrenching to walk away from a mortgage she took out in times that were better for both her and the U.S. economy. But the reality was undeniable: While she was keeping up with the monthly payments, she said she could no longer afford to buy food for herself or even kitty litter for her two cats. So the 44-year-old cocktail waitress walked away from her two-bedroom condo in Southern California last July, turning her back on a debt of nearly $200,000.

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20081221/BUSINESS/812210323/1003/business

  39. DL says:

    Grim: 38 in mod. Article contained a word that describes a waitress who serves drinks.

  40. chicagofinance says:

    Predictions:

    1) Depeche Mode’s new album Masters of the Universe debuts at #1 on Billboard Album Chart

    2) Giada has a wardrobe malfunction on The View

    3) The Ryland Inn rises from the dead and clot drops $250 on a bottle of wine there

    4) grim accidently posts the wrong image on his March sales update…in lieu of the chart, we are treated to his nude submssion to the noted Krakow Alternative Lifestyle Magazine…Spotski Me Teenie Kielbasa

    5) chicago and kettel meet at a GTG and come to blows

    6) Cindy drives cross country on a Harley to meet at Morristown GTG in August

    7) Scientists are stumped at how the Onion crop in the United States has been destroyed. The root systems seem to be decaying due to an infection of the herpes virus, but they cannot understand how such a transmission could have jumped from humans to plants

  41. John says:

    Ok, since Charles Nelson Reilly apparantly died and no one has told me,

    I predict that since deaths always happens in threes, all three of these people who appeared on 1960s and 1970s sitcoms and TV shows will or should I say must die in 2009!!!

    Zsa Zsa Gabor – Green Acres

    Monty Hall – Lets Make a Deal

    Jack Klugman – Odd Couple

  42. HEHEHE says:

    I predict another Oklahoma City type bombing will occur.

  43. Essex says:

    34….stu…that was genius.

  44. PGC says:

    Interesting fact is that most of the East Coast sub lines terminate in Sea Grit NJ. It is a big single point of failure. The rest of the US lines could not handle the extra capacity and a lot of the US Euro traffic could not handle the extra prorogation time from a rerouted path.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7795320.stm

  45. Essex says:

    Honest Predictions…

    *UAW take concessions for their workers….people are torn between auto assembly work and jobs at Burger King.

    *Banks continue to take tax payer money and in the interest of Obama’s new transparency, provide yearly statements to the FEDs which no one there can understand.

    *The US adopts new rules for Mexican immigration to curb the flight of foreign workers back to their homeland where the economy is booming.

    *Ob*ma appoints Bill Clint*n to the Supreme Court.

  46. grim says:

    *The US adopts new rules for Mexican immigration to curb the flight of foreign workers back to their homeland where the economy is booming.

    Illegals provided a $250 stimulus check, where deposit thereof constitutes acceptance of a U.S nationalization agreement and denouncement of foreign citizenship. Passports are to be mailed out a few days after deposit.

  47. Cindy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R73umcsknlY&NR=1

    John @ 40 – Zsa Zsa in a VW commercial…

  48. Cindy says:

    (40) Chicago – #6 LOL – yeah, right…

  49. SAS says:

    predictions 09:
    Bush pardons madoff.

    (my first prediction for now),
    SAS

  50. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Developers Ask U.S. for Bailout as Massive Debt Looms

    With a record amount of commercial real-estate debt coming due, some of the country’s biggest property developers have become the latest to go hat-in-hand to the government for assistance.

    They’re warning policymakers that thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed into defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies. The reason: according to research firm Foresight Analytics LCC, $530 billion of commercial mortgages will be coming due for refinancing in the next three years — with about $160 billion maturing in the next year. Credit, meanwhile, is practically nonexistent and cash flows from commercial property are siphoning off.

  51. Frank says:

    “Immigration laws, weak economy send many home”

    Are the hot Brazilian women moving back??
    That would be a big loss to the strip club industry.

  52. grim says:

    Contents of the LnT HQ over in Clifton are all up for auction.

  53. grim says:

    From Inman:

    Mortgage brokers sue to block RESPA

    The National Association of Mortgage Brokers is going to court to block implementation of changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), saying the Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to assess the impact on small businesses.

    HUD’s RESPA rule changes include a standardized Good Faith Estimate (GFE) form, which requires the disclosure of yield-spread premiums paid by lenders when borrowers take out loans with higher interest rates. The GFE also requires that the rebates be credited to borrowers.

    Critics have said that mortgage brokers often pocket yield-spread premiums without the knowledge of borrowers, providing an incentive for them to place clients in higher-cost loans.

    As long as brokers don’t pocket the rebates, yield-spread premiums can help borrowers who choose to take out a higher-cost loan to cover their closing costs, HUD said in drafting the new rules. The new GFE doesn’t identify yield-spread premiums by name, but would require mortgage brokers to disclose that borrowers are receiving a “credit” for the higher interest rate, and to calculate the corresponding reduction in total settlement charges.

  54. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Manpower withdraws forecast, blames bleak December

    U.S. staffing services company Manpower Inc (MAN.N) withdrew its fourth-quarter profit forecast on Monday, saying demand for temporary workers had been light in December as a spreading global recession prompted U.S. industrial firms to idle plants to cut costs.

    “Demand for our services will be especially weak in December as we are hearing that many of our light industrial clients are taking prolonged plant shutdowns around the holidays compared to last year,” said Jeffrey Joerres, chief executive of the world’s No. 2 staffing company.

  55. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Economy eating at marriages

    To avoid fighting about money when they’re at home together, Dawn and Michael from Passaic County have resorted to staying in separate rooms.

    Michael, an independent home contractor whose new jobs dried up about nine months ago, spends hours at home glued to his computer, and Dawn — a therapist and the sole income earner of the family — says she’s starting to resent her husband of five years for not finding work. “It’s created a lot of tension and the question ‘Do I really want to stay in this relationship?,’ ” she said.

    Their marital tensions increased last month, when they received a pre-foreclosure letter on their home. But divorce is too costly of an option, said Dawn, who asked that her family’s last name not be used.

    The troubled economy has put a strain on many marriages, sending more couples to the therapist’s couch, but it’s also keeping some unhappy couples together because divorce can be costly, according to some local attorneys.

    Toni Belford Damiano, a divorce lawyer from Little Falls, said she’s recently had a few clients change their minds about splitting after weighing the impact on their net worth. One client called her up after an initial consultation saying, ” ‘At this point, I would be left with nothing financially, I can’t do it right now,’ ” she said, recalling the voice message.

  56. HEHEHE says:

    From Mish:

    ‘Feud Between the K’s and the M’s

    The K’s and the M’s are now in open debate as to how best to improve destroy the economy.

    The K’s, championed by professor Krugman want to squander dollars on massive government spending, believing it is possible to spend one’s way to fiscal prosperity. The M’s, championed by Mankiw think that cheapening the dollar via massive printing, in and of itself is sufficient to heal the economy.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

  57. Shore Guy says:

    From CNBC (I am mobile and unable to copy the link at the moment).

    “Some of the biggest U.S. property developers are asking for government money in the face of $160 billion in maturing commercial mortgages next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
    About $530 billion in commercial mortgages are due for refinancing over the next three years, with $160 billion due for payment next year, according to Foresight Analytics, the Journal reported.
    And with credit hard to come by and cash in commercial property drying up, companies want government assistance.
    Unlike home mortgages, commercial mortgages typically run for 10 years at most and have big cash payments due at maturation, the paper said.”

    Perhaps we will know we are at bottom when we get to the point of bailing-out the hotdog, pretzel, and other carts lining the Midtown streets.

  58. still_looking says:

    Well…. that didn’t take long…..

    CNBC
    Property Developers Request Bailout: Report
    Monday December 22, 9:13 am ET

    Some of the biggest U.S. property developers are asking for government money in the face of $160 billion in maturing commercial mortgages next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

    About $530 billion in commercial mortgages are due for refinancing over the next three years, with $160 billion due for payment next year, according to Foresight Analytics, the Journal reported.

    And with credit hard to come by and cash in commercial property drying up, companies want government assistance.

    sl

  59. still_looking says:
  60. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    More than 1 million jobs cuts seen in 2009: Challenger

    The labor market faces persistent weakness in 2009, with more than 1 million jobs cuts expected due to weak spending among consumers and businesses, according to a Monday report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. “It will take time for any stimulus measures to work their way through the economy,” said John Challenger, chief executive of the outplacement firm. “Even if the measures work, it could take several more months for consumers and corporate America to regain confidence and begin spending again.” He added that construction could get an “immediate boost” from Obama’s infrastructure plans.

  61. grim says:

    Great, Tosh gets to spend the next year playing Walker Evans and I’m going to be stuck digging a tunnel under the Hudson.

  62. Shore Guy says:

    I predict that in short-order (maybe 10-20 years, at most) George Herbert Hoover Bush will be viewed as one of the worst four presidents of all time, and will quite likely bee seen as the wost and the one who posed the greatest threat to America’s civil liberties and the rule of the Constitution — eclipsing, even Richard Nixon’s disregard for Constitutional rule.

    The question is whether W will pardon Cheney, Scotter, and any/every person involved in the Administration’s disregard for the rule of law. On the one hand, I don’t think he sees any illegality in what he or anyone else did and may not feeled compelled to do so; on the other hand, I think he does believe that O and the Dems DO think the Administration severely violated the law and will be looking to lop-off some heads, so to speak. To truncate any investigations and legal actions, W may issue a slew of pardons at 9 or 10 a.m. on the 20th.

  63. make money says:

    My predictions:

    1) Gold $1500
    2) Oil $150
    3) Food shortages and riots
    4) Snip – jb
    5) Jan and Feb are two biggest bankruptsy retail in US history.
    6) China and the rest of the world stop buying our debt and China sells a cool trillion $ to stimulate it’s own economy and infastructure.
    7) USD looses 60% of it’s value
    8) Malls turn into Factories
    9) SRS @ 200
    10) My wife who is pregnant today provides me with a make money prince Albani.

  64. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Modified mortgages re-defaulting at high rates: regulators

    More than half of mortgages modified in the first quarter were at least 30 days delinquent after half a year, and it’s necessary to figure out why so many modifications are not having the effect of preventing re-defaults, regulators said Monday.

    The proportion of modified loans delinquent by 30 days or more was 55% after six months, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. Modified loans that were 30 or more days delinquent after three months stood at 37%, the agencies’ data showed.

    “One very troubling point is that, whether measured using 30-day or 60-day delinquencies, re-default rates increased each month and showed no signs of leveling off after six months and even eight months,” said Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan.

    During the third quarter of 2008, delinquency increased in all loan categories — prime, Alt-A and subprime — with the percentage of mortgages that were current and performing falling to 91.47% at the end of the September, down from 93.33% at the end of the first quarter.

    “Delinquencies continue to rise, foreclosures and other actions leading to home forfeiture also continued to rise, and loan modifications were associated with high levels of re-default,” the report concluded.

  65. Richie says:

    Giants win the Superbowl.

  66. grim says:

    Very interesting, according to the report, loan mods done in the second quarter of 2008 are performing significantly worse than those performing in the first quarter.

    Q1 loan mods were showing a re-default rate of 19.18% three months after modification, Q2 mods are performing much worse with 21.38% of mods re-defaulting at three months.

  67. grim says:

    Also interesting, short-sales skyrocketing.

    New Short Sales
    Q1 – 5,834
    Q2 – 8,222
    Q3 – 13,254

  68. Frank says:

    My prediction:
    Clotpoll will quit real-estate business and go back to working in a bodega in Guatemala.

  69. Shore Guy says:

    About re-defaults. Does this surprise anyone here? Let’s face it, although a medical issue, a job loss, or other event might push people over the edge, the same shove would not spell disaster had they not been dancing at the edge already. I suspect that folks who acted in sucha a way as to be at the ede of economic disaster before the meltdown are not inclined/able to change imprudent behavior and each round of assistance to them just serves to put off, not prevent, their ultimate default.

  70. grim says:

    Alt-A re-defaults are running nearly as bad as Subprime.

    Q1 Loan Mod Redefaults (3 Months Out)
    Alt-A 36.28%
    Subprime 42.91%

    Q1 Loan Mod Redefaults (6 Months Out)
    Alt-A 53.15%
    Subprime 61.29%

  71. Frank says:

    #65,
    So 3% of all mortgage are delinquent and we have a recession??? Give me a break, this is nothing.

  72. make money says:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The labor market faces persistent weakness in 2009, with more than 1 million jobs cuts expected due to weak spending among consumers and businesses, according to a Monday report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. “It will take time for any stimulus measures to work their way through the economy,” said John Challenger, chief executive of the outplacement firm. “Even if the measures work, it could take several more months for consumers and corporate America to regain confidence and begin spending again.” He added that construction could get an “immediate boost” from Obama’s infrastructure plans

  73. Al says:

    Malls turn into Factories
    I wish it was that easy and could be accoumplished in one year…

    OK Fine, my predictions – pure speculation:

    For June 30th, 2009:

    Housing – down another 5% from year end 2008, across the board.
    Gold – 900$/ounce,
    Oil – 75$/barrel,
    30 years fixed – 4.5%
    15 years Fixed – 4.2%
    10 year treasury: 2%
    Fed Funds rate – 0%
    Inflation – 0%
    National Unemployment Rate 7.8%
    New Jersey Unemployment Rate 7.5%

    NO RIOTING YET, NO FOOD SHORTAGES.

    For year end, 2009:

    Housing – banks starting to dump foreclosures at 30% off today’s prices.
    Gold – 1500$/ounce,
    Oil – 175$/barrel,
    30 years fixed – 4.5% (if you can get it)
    15 years Fixed – 4.2% (if you can get it)
    10 year treasury: 2% (nobody will buy them)
    Fed Funds rate – 0% (banks will borrow huge amounts)
    Inflation – 10%/year (no wage inflation, just consumer goods prices)
    National Unemployment Rate 10%
    New Jersey Unemployment Rate 10%

    RIOTING begins in inner cities with high unemployment, against utilities turn-offs and food shortages.

    The O’s New Hope Plan is failing miserably.

  74. make money says:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The labor market faces persistent weakness in 2009, with more than 1 million jobs cuts expected due to weak spending among consumers and businesses, according to a Monday report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. “It will take time for any stimulus measures to work their way through the economy,” said John Challenger, chief executive of the outplacement firm. “Even if the measures work, it could take several more months for consumers and corporate America to regain confidence and begin spending again.” He added that construction could get an “immediate boost” from O’s infrastructure plans

  75. grim says:

    3%?

    I see 3.2% delinquent, 3.54% seriously delinquent, and 1.78% currently in foreclosure.

    Expressed as total loans, we’ve got 1.1 million loans delinquent, an additional 1.2 million loans seriously delinquent, and more than 600 thousand in foreclosure. And these numbers don’t reflect the total market, only those loans held/serviced by the banks/thrifts that the OCC supervises.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  76. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Commercial Loan Defaults May Triple as Rental Income Declines

    U.S. commercial properties at risk of default could triple if rental income from office, retail and apartment buildings drops by even 5 percent, a likely possibility given the recession, according to research by New York-based real estate analysts at Reis Inc.

    Lenders that used optimistic rent estimates to grant mortgages beginning in 2005 stand to lose as much as $23.1 billion, or 7.02 percent, of total unpaid balances if landlords lose 5 percent of net operating income, according to Reis. Analysts examined data on 22,890 properties that together may account for unpaid loans of about $329 billion in 2009, said Victor Calanog, director of research.

    Banks are at risk as office vacancies are forecast to rise to 15.6 percent next year from an estimated 14.6 percent at the end of 2008. Lenders who sold commercial mortgage-backed securities to pension funds, investment banks and foreign governments have been hit by more than $1 trillion in losses and asset writedowns connected to bad residential loans.

    “A large decline in net operating income isn’t necessary to shift a lot of properties underlying CMBS loans into debt- service coverage ratios that would be worrisome,” Calanog said in an interview.

  77. Shore Guy says:

    There are many folks here who — like us — are prudent with debt, live within their means, have substantial savings. Does anyone here have any good friends who are NOT and how has that affected your relationship?

    We are in the middle of a kitchen remod — the granite goes in today — and anyone who has done this knows that it is an expensive proposition to go custom/custom in a multi-room (kitchen and butler’s pantry) kitchen upgrade and that while one is without a kitchen it kind of takes over one’s life. So when a friend who has made very bad economic decisions and is living with an arm and leg hanging over the edge comes over to the house and sees the floors, cabinets, appliances, and whatnot, it is like there is this elephant in the room — he is just about eating grass soup (kind of like Ivan Denisovich) and breaking up furniture to burn to keep warm (while watching cable TV on the big-screen TV, after getting takeout in the new, and, yes, 100% financed car.

    I think if one of us were female and we were married, one of us would now be burried somewhere in the meadowlands, as our approach to money is so different. As way of background, he was far out earning me (as near as I can tell he has nearly always out-earned me), had his house, new cars, yadda, yadda, whilst I was still deep in student debt and existing on ramen and rice cakes.

    Anyone else have experience with something like this?

  78. grim says:

    For the history buffs here.

    From the WSJ:

    JWM Partners To Lose 4 Partners, Cut Staff On Losses

    JWM Partners LLC, a hedge fund set up by John Meriwether in 1999, is losing four partners and cutting staff after the performance of its flagship fund plummeted this year.

    JWM Partners was founded by Meriwether after his previous hedge fund, the iconic Long-Term Capital Management, had to accept a $3.6 billion bailout by U.S. banks in 1998 after it ran aground on highly leveraged trading strategies.

    Connecticut-based JWM Partners said in its November letter to investors, seen by Dow Jones Newswires, that its flagship relative value opportunity fund had lost 42.78% year to date…

  79. John says:

    Shore guy, get used to is, people hate people with a passion who have money when every one else is broke. I got my CPO BMW 5 series three months ago around the collaspe of lehman, it looks brand new. Not one neighbor, family member or friend commented on it. In fact I pulled into a family party and parked in my Mother in laws driveway and not one person said a word, my brother in law and mother in law and father in law just gave me a look like a snot was hanging out of my nose. Meanwhile in 2005-2007 everyone else got new cars and they came out congratulated them, threw change for good luck in car and asked for a test drive. Doesn’t matter my old car was ten years old, was totaled in an accident and I bought a CPO at auction. Spending money in a recession is bad, remember my old GFs Mom got a new Caddie in the 1991 recession and some lady yelled FU Rich Bitc$ and spit at her as she drove by in her new caddie. Expect the same treatment for your new kitchen.

  80. Al says:

    TO post # 78, 80

    So, people saying “YOU Bastard!”, when I tell them we are going to Hawaii for 10 days in January is normal then…

  81. danzud says:

    What I’m noticing between my friend and I is that our boom times were back when we were in our late 20s early 30s around 2000 and that all of us are worse off financially now as compared to then. Several of my friends were making $250k plus and thought nothing of buying or leasing the Mercedes or the honeymoons to Tahiti or buying the best TVs at the time. Now, they’re out of work or in jobs with heavy drop-off in volume of work. The worst is that a trucker friend of mine just told me he’s now on call for work when only earlier this year he was working 12 hour days locally during the week and they wanted him to do weekend runs out of state. Now, on call he works 4 of 5 days and limited to six hours. Truckers are the front line of telling us how things are moving and doing and right now, it’s bad. Only food and low-end clothing.

  82. Stu says:

    “There are many folks here who — like us — are prudent with debt, live within their means, have substantial savings. Does anyone here have any good friends who are NOT and how has that affected your relationship?”

    Shore, we have our Red Bank friends who have been spending like drunken sailors and now owe more on the loan on their house than their house is worth. In the past two years, they purchased 2 new cars, updated/finished their basement and kitchen, 2 new Iphones, large screen TV, they have a kid in expensive preschool, wife doesn’t work, has been on weight watchers for a year (not cheap, although she looks great), two new cars, new driveway, new shed, all new furniture (mostly Ikea) and I’m sure I missed a bunch as well.

    At a recent investment club meeting, when the treasurer proposed we all pay $20 extra in January to refill our petty cash account, our Red Bank friend suggest we smooth the payments of the 20 months out to an extra $2 with each months contributions since it will be easier to budget that way. When you talk to him about gloom or doom, he is so optimistic that it makes me gag. You will see an article in the Asbury Park Press about them, as they recently completed their 5th refi in 5 years and they should be pretty close to their breaking point. If he loses his job or takes a pay cut…Down goes Frazier!

    So as to how we relate to them? We enjoy their company and are attending their Christmas Eve powwow at their parent’s house in Jackson. We will not say a word about their financial situation to them, but their ways provide us lots of discussion fodder for the car ride back to Montclair. What else can you do? I just keep reminding the Gator (who does get jealous at times) that they are one paycheck from homeless.

  83. Hobocondo says:

    I actually think things will get better in 2009.

    Everyone will reshuffle and we will emerge leaner and meaner.

    C’mon, you guys were the ones who called a crash before it happened – is your ability to be prescient only focused on the negative, or do you really think that we will be reduced to rummaging and pillaging in a few months? I know a few people who’ve lost their jobs (including some very close to me), but I also know of many who’ve gotten promoted, found new jobs, etc. Folks have to put off retirement and cancel their next cruise, but there are still many people working and spending.

  84. Frank says:

    2009 prediction:
    Grim will run this blog from Poland.

  85. Stu says:

    Hobocondo,

    The government will probably have spent 15 trillion dollars by the end of 2009. At some point, someone is going to have to pay for all of this. Yes we called the crash in housing, but we have not yet experienced the crash in our overall economy.

  86. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy says:
    December 22, 2008 at 10:51 am There are many folks here who — like us — are prudent with debt, live within their means, have substantial savings. Does anyone here have any good friends who are NOT and how has that affected your relationship? Anyone else have experience with something like this?

    Shore: one of my roommates from college does the same work I do….he is the polar opposite of my approach to everything….all outward appearance, spent more money on the furnitire in his office that proabably everything in my house; has to drive German sportscars because a Lexus is a toy; in collge always cut corners and reflexively lied about everything; sells commissioned products now and almost 100% annuities and hedge fund-of-funds………always seems to want to get together, but I don’t feel like being lectured about what a loser I am for not working for him.

  87. Hobocondo says:

    With regard to how friends do financially versus how you do financially, I don’t go there.

    I never envy anyone when they are doing well (well, I stop myself when it starts to happen) and I never brag when I am doing well. Things can change TOO quickly. Loss of a job, an injury, an illness…it can all turn on a dime. And showing off gets you nothing good, just dirty looks and fodder for other people’s car rides home. On the other hand, it’s not great to be in the position of being pitied, either. Just better to mosey on through life doing the best you possibly can for yourself and friends, and not minding what others do, except to enjoy them and also support them in their times of true (not self-inflicted) need.

    My parents are immigrants and I remember them saying that their friends were driving Cadillacs while they were still car-less and walking to work. Fast forward 40 years and my parents have a VERY cushy retirement and the friends can barely make ends meet.

  88. make money says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beq3Mz2sDl8

    Peter Schiff’s radio show last Wensday. He really goes to town. I love the chart at the begining showing the Weimar republic Mark against Gold.

    Hearing this guy talk is music to my ears.

  89. zieba says:

    RE: 78 Shore

    My mothers friends would call on a regular basis to gloat about their daughters/sons moving into glorious homes. The really nasty ones dubbed themselves “real estate investors” purchased multiple properties and managed to get across the idea that “if your son had a decent job he too would have been a homeowner”.

    I have endured it, my mother has endured but the time of reckoning is near. Most of these high fliers got axed in the first round of layoffs from their redundant boom positions and with their ARM’s resetting they are back living in basements. The leased cars are also coming due and for the most part these families are going back to where they belong.

    Meanwhile, I have been out earning all these dopes and living within my means. I have saved up an amount of money which most likely will not be accumulated by these once high flying sheep in their lifetime. I am also managing family money which with a little luck will be good for DP’s or flat out cash purchases on 1 or 2 properties stateside in the coming years.

    I’m looking to snag a deal on a late model sedan for my mother to replace her aging Saturn. If I could purchase the very same automobile these hens were being forced to give up I swear I would pay a premium. :)

  90. HEHEHE says:

    Shore:

    I would definately say there is a bit of tension between myself and some of my friends re the current state of things. Personally, I got divorced, no kids, sold out of housing market at peak and have a nice chunk of change saved.

    I have several friends with kids who work in the finance industry, who bought homes in the past couple of years, and strident Omabama supporters who have been a bit delusional in their hanging onto hope for their future job prospects and the prospects of the economy.

    Early on I’d send them some articles about how bad things are going to get and they’d kind of agree. Now they get really defensive, especially those in the finance industry. I have some friends who are die hard Ojamama supporters and when I’ve pointed out the faults of some of his appointees they go bonkers. It’s a topic I’ve learned to not discuss with them any longer.

    Case in point, one friend commented on an article I sent him saying “I know you, you are the wacko guy on the street holding the sign saying repent, the end is near”.

    My reply was “I don’t believe I said anything about repenting”.

  91. chicagofinance says:

    make money says:
    December 22, 2008 at 10:15 am
    My predictions:
    10) My wife who is pregnant today provides me with a make money prince Albani.

    Live ammo…..congrats

  92. make money says:

    Meanwhile, I have been out earning all these dopes and living within my means. I have saved up an amount of money which most likely will not be accumulated by these once high flying sheep in their lifetime. I am also managing family money which with a little luck will be good for DP’s or flat out cash purchases on 1 or 2 properties stateside in the coming year.

    Zieba,

    You USD are under attack from the federal reserve. Your USD savings are like investing money with Madoff.

    Please think about Swiss franc, Yen, Shiny stuff, silver, anything but the currency the Fed is desperately trying to debase.

  93. zieba says:

    More recently one of my friends has saddled himself with a $530K mortgage, 10K taxes and is going around gloating about not doing a damn thing at work, collecting a great paycheck, working for the state, the amazing benefits, matching, I am out of money and now charge everything on the card, but it’s okay because my paycheck is paid by the government, bla bla bla….

    The day he told me he purchased the house I instantly stopped lecturing about economics and finance. This is a good friend and sometimes I find myself torn as to what to do, I root for him but I know whats coming. Unfortunately, my response to these people is the same across the board: screw all of you.

    I’ve been lucky to find a woman who is humble, smart and subscribes to the “speak softly and carry a big bank account” way of life. She now laughs at CNBC and understands, like most of our spouses, that these people are all on their way out.

    What worries me is that a whole subset of the population will not go down without a fight.
    (sound of gun cocking)
    bring ’em on

  94. Essex says:

    80.

    I predict John will suffer “severe Pelvic damage” when his poorly designed 5 series is t boned.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/16/earlyshow/living/ConsumerWatch/main3173647.shtml

  95. make money says:

    ChiFI,(93)

    I makes it rain in gramercy. Believe that!!

  96. Essex says:

    The 2008 BMW 5 series was rated as “marginal” in a side impact crash, the institute’s second-lowest rating. Lund’s group isn’t labeling the BMW “unsafe,” Chen noted, but called the 5 Series model the “worst” among the big cars tested.

    BMW spokesman Thomas Plucinsky said the institute’s test indicated the 5 Series has a strong body structure but the dummy was injured when it was hit by the arm rest. Plucinsky said BMW does up to 12 crash tests on all its cars as well as computer simulations of crashes.

    “The issue is that depending on the location of seat, the location of dummy, the location of the sled, the results could change,” he said. “This was one test on one day on one car.”

  97. chicagofinance says:

    make money says:
    December 22, 2008 at 11:15 am
    Hearing this guy talk is music to my ears.

    Not on board with this stuff…..talking his book….the higher he cranks this up, the more likely he is being pushed to the brink……

  98. Essex says:

    Meanwhile, John….the 3 series….did really well in the side impact test. Oh well. Safer Pizza.

  99. zieba says:

    re: 93

    I am feeling what you are putting down homeboy. Most of the money I manage is in overseas accounts denominated in foreign currencies.

    The stateside dollars are destined for disaster but the triple leverage ETF casino helps to keep things interesting.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    make money says:
    December 22, 2008 at 11:29 am
    ChiFI,(93) I makes it rain in gramercy. Believe that!!

    Albani: slipped one past the goalie?

  101. make money says:

    I drove the 5 series and said that in order for someone to hit they would have to catch me first. The M5 is so quick that I swear I ran slalom with yelow cabs and used them as non-moving cones.

  102. Clotpoll says:

    chi (97)-

    The only things to be bullish of are pawnshops and 99 cent stores.

    All the rest is Weekend at Bernie’s. Prop up the cadaver, and pretend it’s alive.

  103. make money says:

    ChiFi,

    Due date is April 2nd. I’ll let everyone here know. Watch the 10:00 o’clock news.

  104. chicagofinance says:

    zieba says:
    December 22, 2008 at 11:34 am
    re: 93 I am feeling what you are putting down homeboy. Most of the money I manage is in overseas accounts denominated in foreign currencies. The stateside dollars are destined for disaster but the triple leverage ETF casino helps to keep things interesting.

    z: I hear what both of you are saying, but you have to appreciate asset/liability matching and diversification. As long as you cover all the risks, fine. However, if everything was so obvious, then you would not see the pricing that you do. Withstanding the current conditions, if you still think everything is obvious, then you are underpricing risk.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    make money says:
    December 22, 2008 at 11:39 am
    ChiFi, Due date is April 2nd. I’ll let everyone here know. Watch the 10:00 o’clock news.

    albie: reverse engineering that one…little 4th of July firecracker? on the beach somewhere?

  106. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    December 22, 2008 at 11:37 am
    chi (97)- The only things to be bullish of are pawnshops and 99 cent stores.
    All the rest is Weekend at Bernie’s. Prop up the cadaver, and pretend it’s alive.

    assuming we enter the Clotosphere…….if so, then make the $250 a $400 bottle because you will be swimming in SKF….

  107. grim says:

    Not a big fan of the 5. Drove an ’08 on loaner for a few days, a nice car but I turned it in feeling less than impressed. I really don’t feel that the 5 is any kind of upgrade to the 3. If anything, fit and finishes are basically equal, only difference is size. M variants excluded, of course. While the new 3 coupes are nice to look at, from a drivers perspective the 135 makes for an interesting alternative.

  108. Essex says:

    101…Uh Huh…..

  109. chicagofinance says:

    I get zero credit for this?

    chicagofinance says:
    December 22, 2008 at 9:02 am
    Predictions:
    7) Scientists are stumped at how the Onion crop in the United States has been destroyed. The root systems seem to be decaying due to an infection of the herpes virus, but they cannot understand how such a transmission could have jumped from humans to plants

  110. John says:

    Don’t worry Essex, my five series is just a POS station car, I drive it 7.5 miles a week. In fact, in the three months I have owned it I only had it in my driveway once, it sits on the street by my house or at the train station. I only got it as I could not find a used 2008 CTS, and my wife gave me a pain when I was going to buy a 2007 STS V series at auction, which is a man’s car and now I wished I got it in instead so I could send it over to Essex’s house to hump his girlie M (Medicore) BMW car.

  111. Yikes says:

    anyone need a good mid-day laugh?

    last week we offered 525k on a place that had an asking of 600k. they came back asking 560k. we went up to 535k and told them essentially, take it or leave it.

    they didn’t reject it, but expressed dismay. meanwhile, they keep telling us they have another offer that was higher.

    over the weekend, we gave it thought, and we actually were over the house and ready to move on, eager to start the search up again in the spring.

    (after seeing all the doom and gloom from grim and BC over the weekend, i felt even better)

    Today, they came back to us – 545k. they’ve now come 55k off the house (it will only need a paint job and new to replace the carpets in a few rooms).

    they insisted there is another offer, but those people can’t move in till march, and for whatever reason, the sellers cannot get a bridge loan to carry two mortgages for two months.

    well guess what? we’ll have to carry two mortgages as well! so we told them 535k. im almost reluctant to pull the whole damn offer off the table.

    if our mortgage wasn’t going to work out to be about 2600, and we weren’t going to get 4.5, i’d say forget it.

  112. the crazy man in the corner says:

    chifi (106) –

    skf is so old hat, what about faz? ;)

  113. John says:

    I don’t like the 3 because it is just a German Camry, and is a cab in Europe and a loaner car in the US. ALso they blew out far too many new body style 3 series on cheap leases from 2004-2007 and they are flooding the auctions and dealers lots which they are re-flipping even cheaper, it is now a starter car for kids fresh out of school.

  114. the crazy man in the corner says:

    john (113)-

    its a me too car now.

  115. grim says:

    Just got off the phone with a borrower looking to refi with Wells. Wells telling him they are requiring a 740 FICO for top rates. 720 was the dividing line for a long time.

  116. Essex says:

    113…I see it as a lot of car for the money….superb handling….award winning design….incredibly comfortable. P.S. The 5 is as common (and as cheap) as the 3…FYI.

  117. Essex says:

    110…and yet you were hurt none of the family members fawned over it at your get-togethers? Make some sense man.

  118. the crazy man in the corner says:

    Yikes (111) –

    there is no other offer.

    you should bid lower, not higher. ;)

  119. John says:

    Speaking of crashes, I think injuries are overstated. I have been in plenty of wrecks, three for three in high speed acidents with no seatbelts. Maybe the govt manipulates the data. I have been in T-bones, Roll overs (triple roll over) and straight between the headlights varity crashes, spin-outs, etc. Funniest crash I ever had was a 1968 Buick I bought for 200 bucks with a huge iron bumper. Guy was tailgating me for no reason, even tapped the brakes lightly to get brakelights to go on so he would back-off. My brother tells me that technically if I am rear ended the accident is not my fault and I don’t even have to stay if I don’t want to collect damages and I should hit the brakes. Well after enough nudging with the guy on my tail I jam the brakes as hard as I can and this bozo plows my car. Took out his headlights and grill, well I yell out, hey the accidents your fault and I don’t want to press charges, see you later, funny thing was looking at the look on his face he knew there was nothing he could do. My car, did suffer a scratched WLIR bumper sticker. Even funnier my brother did the same thing a few weeks later, a vovlvo with some rich brat was crossing double yellow line and my brother just looked at him and let him plow us. Kid yells you saw me coming why didn’t you move, my brother says laughing, I am in a $100 dollar car and you are in a $30,000 car, why should I move, then kids says I will call cops, brother says go ahead I could use the money as it is your fault. Then stupid kid goes he knows and says his dad is going to kill him and starts to cry, at that point rather then just yell man up we just left, damm kid knocked at least five dollars of bondo off the dart. At that point we decided that it was not our job to teach life lessons to bad drivers, though we do feel we saved a few lives by making these two people better drivers. However, judging from the women you totaled my 1998 sable with a 2008 Lexus some people still don’t get it, people in cheap junky cars ain’t getting out of your way. Well I guess I can add her to my list of people I made better drivers.

    I often wondered is it an accident if you did it on purpose?

  120. Essex says:

    2009 PREDICTION: THE TRUTH BECOMES FASHIONABLE AGAIN.

    Delusion and ignorance….posturing….posing…and moronic diatribes will become passe.

  121. Yikes says:

    the crazy man in the corner says:
    December 22, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Yikes (111) –

    there is no other offer.

    you should bid lower, not higher. ;)

    Well aware of no “other offer.” We considered 525k a lowball, and 535k a decent price. Also, this is in Bucks County, not NJ.

    we plan on living in the place for a long time. if we hear today that they are not interested, oh well.

  122. make money says:

    ChiFi,

    Forget about the wilderness and the beach. The tradition is to alert your neigboors that there is a new prince in the hood.

    I already passed out one envelope. According to someone close to the situation I have 5 more to go and I get 30 seconds of true liberty under the constitution.

  123. make money says:

    John,

    The 335 is a drivers car and it saves you 20 ounces.

  124. make money says:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/JP-Morgan-buy-two-UBS/story.aspx?guid=%7B3A05A789%2DF07A%2D447F%2D89F2%2D0953CFBE7DDC%7D&dist=hplatest

    Everyone please pay close attention of where the TARP money is going and follow it.

    Bet you DP. I did.

  125. the crazy man in the corner says:

    make money (124) –

    alot of consolidation to take place… i just wonder if things will continue to fall apart at this pace

  126. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Mortgage Re-Defaults Rising With No Sign of Slowing

    The rate of home mortgage borrowers defaulting after their loans are modified is rising and shows no signs of leveling off, U.S. banking regulators said on Monday.

    The data showed that after six months, nearly 37 percent of mortgage loans modified in the first quarter were 60 or more days delinquent.

    After three months, 19 percent were 60 or more days delinquent or in the process of foreclosure. [typo? -jb]

    “One very troubling point is that, whether measured using 30-day or 60-day delinquencies, re-default rates increased each month and showed no signs of leveling off after six months or even eight months,” John Dugan, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said in a statement.

  127. Frank says:

    #129,
    Yes, but the foreclosure rate is only 1% of all mortgages.
    The media loves negative story, the reality is very different. 99% of people are still in their homes.

    Grim,
    Give up on the negative stories, how about some positive news?

  128. grim says:

    Yes, but the foreclosure rate is only 1% of all mortgages.
    The media loves negative story, the reality is very different. 99% of people are still in their homes.

    Frank,

    Why don’t I see you in the street protesting the bailouts?

  129. Skywalker says:

    Lease question for the crowd, so my lease is up and the landlord wants me to sign on the line for another 12 months. I have been stalling for a month now by telling the landlord that I am looking to buy a place. (Which I am but not at these prices). Landlord stopped by yesterday and I don’t want to screw the guy over but at the same time I don’t want to be on the hook if SHTF in 2009.

    Should I lock it in now and hope that I have a job and my wife has one through 2009 or should I tell the landlord that I will continue to pay month to month for 2009?

    So far we both have escaped layoffs even though both of the companies we work for are scaling back. If we do get the pink slip we are going to relocate, so having to pay off rent for several months that we could use for relocation expenses would be my preference.

    I am a great tenant have been living in my place for 4 yrs now, if landlord disputes he should be able to rent the place out from under me, but in this market who knows.

    Options Anyone? I am not looking for legal advise, just strategy.

  130. Frank says:

    #131,
    It’s too cold to get out.

  131. NJGator says:

    132 Skywalker – How about negotiating with your landlord for a shorter term lease?

    Our tenants went month to month because they were looking for a bigger place. In order to get them to commit, we offered them a reduction in the rent. We were originally looking to lock them in for a year, but we split the difference and just drew up a 6 month lease for half the savings we originally offered. We also told them we’d release them from the lease if they found us a replacement tenant.

    If you’re a good reliable tenant, your landlord would probably be willing to work with you to keep you a little longer.

  132. Rich In NNJ says:

    2009: Frank like Richard & Pretorius before him disappears between June 30 and December 31.

  133. Stu says:

    Rich (135): “2009: Frank like Richard & Pretorius before him disappears between June 30 and December 31.”

    Now that’s positively optimistic.

  134. Nicholas says:

    Predictions for 2009

    Commercials showing starving children in USA begin airing. Statistics of hunger and malnutrition start surfacing as major issues for States along with unemployment. Hospitals will be on the forefront of this issue as local newspapers start homing in on the issue that rise in hospital visits is due to hunger.

    Solar energy becomes a big deal since the 30% tax credit enters on the scene December 31st 2008. The creation of large solar farms subsidized by the taxpayer help to create numerous energy companies. These will eventually be bought up by larger energy companies. A new class of jobs previously only seen in large cities becomes available to rural communities, window washers. Many unemployed people will be asked to wash solar panels for less then minimum wage. I would consider solar energy to be the one area for potential growth in the next year.

    Housing nationally continues to fall another 15% with areas that were previously supported by high finance, such as NJ, will see large then national average drops. Areas with high levels of illegal immigrants will also see higher then average drops in housing as they return to their native countries leaving additional houses vacant.

    A system set up to redistribute wealth, such as forced mortgage cramdowns, will be put into place and result in political suicide for several key politicians. The redistribution scheme will eventually be scrapped.

    I concur with the bankrupcy predictions for early 2009 with retail leading the way followed by one of the big 3.

  135. Essex says:

    Prediction: TORT reform will be seen by the French as an act of war followed by a protracted series of insanely funny confrontations with French forces.

  136. yikes says:

    Clotpoll says:
    December 22, 2008 at 8:50 am

    grim (28)-

    Just to think: my NJ investors are still hibernating. Why even bother to go to the sales, when the banks are holding out for prices that only an idiot would pay?

    I’ve told all my investor clients that I’ll be calling them when it’s time to put on the boots. I truly doubt I’ll be making those calls in 2009. Bailout mania will prolong the agony.

    are you saying this because you think there will be principal writedowns?

  137. the crazy man in the corner says:

    btw.. does anyone know why SNM is skyrocketing?

    i dont recall that basic materials are tanking at a significant rate?? isn’t there a floor at some point?

  138. Stu says:

    SMN first of all.

    Pricing in a depression?

  139. Tom says:

    Speaking of predictions, I just posted that the NYC real estate market is not in the 10 worst list posted by CNN Money.

    Prices around here hasn’t seem to fallen drastically in accordance with drops in volume of sales, and this area was/is the least affordable in the nation.

    Am I the only one confused over this?

    Now I have to think up my predictions. :)

  140. 3b says:

    #142 Tom: it is just getting started for NYC’s real estate. The wall street debacle is kicking in.

  141. Nicholas says:

    There are many folks here who — like us — are prudent with debt, live within their means, have substantial savings. Does anyone here have any good friends who are NOT and how has that affected your relationship?

    Yes, I have many family members who are doing the same thing. Their houses are in forclosure, they are having problems getting food on the table, and they constantly complain about gas money to get to work. They have been either unemployed or under employed for the last year. It is like a huge elephant in the room, you can’t suggest to go out to eat or to a movie because it will only start a conversation about how poor they are.

    Overall the poverty is putting stress on their marrages and it is even difficult to spend time with them without them becomming bitter towards each other.

  142. yikes says:

    re: that earlier post … that didn’t take long – sellers have conceded to 535k.

    inspection pending, of course.

  143. Cindy says:

    http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1185&context=articles

    ILR School – Cornell University

    “Can a Tax Credit for Employment Growth in 2009 and 2010 Restore Animal Spirits and Help Jump Start the Economy”

    (Based on the New Jobs Tax Credit of 1977-1978 NJTC)

    The differences between 77-78 and 09-10 are explored…

    The cost (reduction in tax revenues) would be $45.2B 2009 and $54.35B 2010 from what I can tell.

    “Extrapolating from Bishop (1981) and Perloff and Wachter (1979); the NJTC probably generated at least a million jobs by the end of 1978.”

    Encouraging real job growth with tax breaks makes more sense to me than infrastructure spending.

  144. bi says:

    my prediction for 2009 markets:

    1) dow above 11000
    2) SRS under 30
    3) Oil above 50
    4) gold under 600
    5) 10 year treasury yield to 3%
    6) usd = eur
    7) national RE price turns up by june

  145. John says:

    spec house flop of the year!! was 3.5 million now at auction best offer over 1.75 million, wonder what it cost to buy and acre and build this monster?

    http://www.maltzauctions.com/auction_detail.php?ID=396490

    7,000 Sq Ft French Colonial Manor

    Spectacular New Construction · 1± Acre Corner Lot

    Details:

    879 Seneca Road, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey 07417
    APN: 20-02101-0015-00014
    County: Bergen
    Township: Franklin Lakes
    Subdivision: South Gate Urban Farms
    New Construction – 100% Complete (Excluding Lighting Fixtures)
    6 Bedrooms (All Feature Ensuite Baths)
    6.55 Bathrooms
    Incredible Gourmet Kitchen
    3-Car Garage
    4 Fireplaces: (2) Wood Burning , (2) Gas
    Full & Unfinished Basement
    Extensive Moldings & Trim Throughout

  146. John says:

    “prudent with debt” what an oxymoron

    There are many folks here who — like us — are prudent with debt

  147. 3b says:

    #147 bi: That is a tall order.

  148. Frank says:

    bi,
    With these optimistic predictions, Clotpoll and Stu will put a hit on you.

  149. Stu says:

    Grim,

    Can you ‘pin’ Bi’s predictions somewhere on your site or make it a permalink?

  150. Stu says:

    “With these optimistic predictions, Clotpoll and Stu will put a hit on you.”

    Not necessary Frank. If Bi puts his money where his mouth is, he’ll get murdered all by himself.

  151. 3b says:

    My predictions:

    1. Inflationary mini depression (severe recession turns into mini depression) by end of 2009 begining of 2010.

    2. Unemployment in double digits by end of 2009.

    3. States/municipalities declaring bankruptcy.

    4. Massive consolidation in retail, including the demise of Sears/K-Mart.

    I will miss Sears.

  152. 3b says:

    Toyota predicting first loss since 1949, that will not be good for Detroit’s Big Three.

  153. BC Bob says:

    Don’t know if this has been posted. The new buzz word in 2009, protectionism. This will be the final straw. The war is about to begin in earnest.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/3870089/Protectionist-dominoes-are-beginning-to-tumble-across-the-world.html

  154. 3b says:

    Some background noise on CNBC about I kid you not 3% mtgs to get the housing market moving.

  155. grim says:

    Sears? Maybe I can get a deal on the Craftsman tablesaw with the Biesemeyer fence.

  156. the crazy man in the corner says:

    stu (141) –

    sorry, a little dyslexic this morning

  157. 3b says:

    #158 grim; The loss of Sears IMO will be a sad day for all.

    With the exception of mens suits, the store had everything,and the service plans were great.

    Merging it with K-Mart was a disaster.

    I will miss Sears.

  158. Tom says:

    143: 3b,

    Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. If it’s just starting here, shouldn’t the predictions be worse than places that have already been sliding faster?

    Who they heck are making these predictions? Former weathermen that were fired for predicting rain after it’s already started pouring?

    I think by end of next year the NYC area will have eaily performed in the worst 10 looking back.

  159. 3b says:

    #161 Agreed.

  160. Nurburgringer (Kurt) says:

    RE Used cars
    Although Popular Mechanics doesn’t normally come to mind as a source for second-hand luxury car info, they put together a decent list:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/reader_rides/4296429.html?nav=hpPrint&do=print

    I’d add the Jag XJR and E39 BMW M5, and shift the E55 back a few years to have an extra 10g in your pocket for maintenance.

  161. Shore Guy says:

    ““prudent with debt” what an oxymoron”

    I don’t know about that. If one has the money in the bank to pay off a particular expense but decides to finance it in order to retain a hefty reserve in case of disaster, I see no harm in taking-on the debt.

    Also, charging a purchase, in order to gain the protection from the credit laws, as opposed to paying in cash, also makes sense IF one has the cash on hand to pay for it. That is what I meant.

  162. the crazy man in the corner says:

    160 (3b) –

    i hope it doesnt fall either..

    the loss of the craftsmen line of tools would make me have to shift to snap-on or mac at significantly higher pricing for similar quality.

  163. Stu says:

    Grim,

    I got a Sears table saw and as long as it is their professional grade, the fence is fine (not wobbly and stays parallel to the blade), although an accurate tape measure is a must. :( The kickback grippers were so tightly sprung that they would leave grooves in the face of my project. I think Sears does this purposely to force you to remove the guards ;)

    I just don’t do enough work on

  164. Stu says:

    Crazy Man: I think I know why SMN is moving…

    Moody’s has placed Alcoa’s (AA 9.26, -0.45) ratings under review for possible downgrade.

    “With demand for metals and mining turning lower amid softer economic conditions Alcoa announced earlier this year that it would stop all noncritical capital projects, and would also suspend share repurchases. Such moves help conserve cash and help pay down debt. According to its latest quarterly filing, Alcoa carried a long-term debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55.”

  165. Tom says:

    There was so much talk about how Lampert was going to be the next Warren Buffet. Sears Holding was going to provide the cash to fund his future investment miracles.

    So much for that I guess. It’s sad when billionaires fail. Maybe we should take out a collection for him.

    in 2007 MarketWatch called Lampert the worst CEO of the year.

  166. Stu says:

    Bi:

    SRS is up only 10% today. Please badmouth it some more for at least enough for a 20% gain.

  167. Tom says:

    Stu, grim,

    And remember. There is no more important safety rule than to wear these safety glasses.

  168. BC Bob says:

    Bi [147],

    In 2009, the rules change. If you want to talk about an asset class, you must have established a position. Since you are so bearish gold, here’s a trade for you. Step up to the plate and sell the Dec 2009, 1000 calls. Depending on today’s settelement, you can sell for approx $80. Go ahead and sell 100 calls. If you are right, and gold ends up around $600, you will take in 800K of premium.

    By the way, if you own stocks, it would be in your best interest to root on gold. If gold ends up down over 25% in 09′, sorry, stocks will be crushed.

    Good Luck, I hope it works out for you.

  169. Shore Guy says:

    # 170 Tom

    Yes, Norm.

  170. Clotpoll says:

    stu (169)-

    I predict bi will be a squeegee guy before the end of 2009.

    I also predict that brokerage companies will rename the margin call the “bi bye”.

  171. John says:

    Funny, they are still A rated, are in the TARP program and can issue FDIC back bonds at 2.75% yet their prior bonds trade at less than 70% on the market, either the govt knows something we don’t or the bond market knows something the US Govt does not. They should take the FDIC bond money and keep buying their outstanding debt till it gets back to par, risk free investment.

    M&I MARSHALL & ILSLEY BK MTNBE 5.00000% 01/17/2017 FR
    Price (Ask) 69.109
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 10.845%

  172. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    December 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm
    stu (169)- I predict bi will be a squeegee guy before the end of 2009. I also predict that brokerage companies will rename the margin call the “bi bye”.

    clot: correlated to what price paid for a bottle of wine for you?

  173. Clotpoll says:

    BC (171)-

    Asking this dolt to look at stocks, relative to gold?

    You’d have better luck reasoning with my dog.

  174. the crazy man in the corner says:

    clot (173) –

    margin call is such an evil term

  175. bklynhawk says:

    2009 prediction:

    Subscriptions will increase for Backwoods Home Magazine: self-reliance, self-sufficiency, country living, how to, alternative energy.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/

  176. 3b says:

    #176 clot: 3% mtg talk on CNBC, what say you??

  177. John says:

    I would add the 560sl to the list of cheap lux cars. I saw a mint late 1980s one in manhasset not that long ago for 9k with only 90K miles

  178. BC Bob says:

    “You’d have better luck reasoning with my dog.”

    Clot,

    I just thought he/she/it could run the scenario thru Biluva’s blackbox.

  179. Clotpoll says:

    chi (175)-

    I will be swilling ’82 Margaux with burgers by July. Collectors will feel the pinch, just like everybody else…and will be liquidating into a collapsed market.

    The good stuff will end up going for .10 to .12 USD.

  180. John says:

    I charge from dicey websites myself, but a lot of things they charge you sales tax plus credit card fee. I know near me stuff like drive way guys, sidewalk guys, kitchen and bath guys just tack on 10% for a credit card.

    Shore Guy says:
    December 22, 2008 at 2:12 pm
    ““prudent with debt” what an oxymoron”

    I don’t know about that. If one has the money in the bank to pay off a particular expense but decides to finance it in order to retain a hefty reserve in case of disaster, I see no harm in taking-on the debt.

    Also, charging a purchase, in order to gain the protection from the credit laws, as opposed to paying in cash, also makes sense IF one has the cash on hand to pay for it. That is what I meant.

  181. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    December 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm
    chi (175)- I will be swilling ‘82 Margaux with burgers by July. Collectors will feel the pinch, just like everybody else…and will be liquidating into a collapsed market.
    The good stuff will end up going for .10 to .12 USD.

    clot…to that point
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=973762135&play=1

  182. Frank says:

    FAIRFIELD GREENWICH GROUP DUE DILIGENCE PROCESS:

    https://www.fggus.com/guest/due_diligence.html

    I THINK MY FAVORITE IS BULLET POINT NUMBER 3:
    * Analyses trading records

    I CAN JUST IMAGINE THE WORKLOAD ON THIS ONE FACTOR ALONE!…

  183. Clotpoll says:

    3b (179)-

    I say talk is cheap.

    Too bad the Chinese, Russians, Japanese, et al are dumping agency paper as fast as they can. The planet is rolling into USTs faster than the Fed can soak up all the agency dreck.

    I say that Mr. Market wins in the end.

    Of course, super-low mortgage rates for purchase money don’t matter anyway. They could drive them down to 0% and nobody would apply at this point.

  184. bucksnative says:

    Yikes congrats. depending on where in bucks, i’m assuming one of the nicer townships, sounds like a good deal.

  185. John says:

    just a little tax loss selling, nothing to see here. actually for those few firms paying a 401k match at year end or first day of Jan this is a god send. plus those folks still lucky enough to get options or restricted stock bonuses in Jan who cares, lower is better.

  186. Clotpoll says:

    chi (184)-

    I’m trying to come up with a retort that involves Shawn Kemp…but I’m too distracted right now.

    Am e-mailing back & forth with my first potential “executive” short sale. 720K mortgage payoff, two college tuitions, and now no job.

    The guy is also 56 y/o, which means he will never make money again.

    I think it’s entirely plausible that hundreds of thousands of people in this guy’s situation will become permanent wards of the state.

  187. BC Bob says:

    “just a little tax loss selling, nothing to see here.”

    John,

    You are assuming that everyone is long.

  188. Clotpoll says:

    What kind of WPA program can we come up with for former grossly-overpaid middle-to-upper managers who have no real skills, no gumption and no clue?

    Can they be taught how to make True Religion blue jeans?

  189. Clotpoll says:

    BC (190)-

    Kudlow must’ve been just like John, back in the day…

  190. BC Bob says:

    “What kind of WPA program can we come up”

    Clot,

    They can help me dig.

  191. grim says:

    What kind of WPA program can we come up with for former grossly-overpaid middle-to-upper managers who have no real skills, no gumption and no clue?

    Shouldn’t be any problem to add more state and local government bureaucrats.

    *NOW* I’m scared.

  192. Clotpoll says:

    grim (194)-

    If we’re just gonna become one giant France, I’m moving to the damn original.

  193. Clotpoll says:

    bi, please come back and trash SRS some more.

    While you’re at it, can you please also give a shout out to SPG and NLY?

  194. Clotpoll says:

    Somebody throw these guys a life preserver.

    Or, just put a bullet in ’em and stop the suffering:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ggp

  195. Clotpoll says:

    Damn all those naked short sellers.

  196. grim says:

    Both Fitch and S&P downgrading Chrysler? How dare they. Somebody get Dubya or Frank on the phone and put a stop to this right now.

  197. Hobocondo says:

    A lot of people are feeling (and are going to feel) a lot of pain, but I think these are the most depressing predictions I have ever heard, even considering the source.

  198. 3b says:

    #200 True. But many of the topics that have been discussed on this board over the last couple of years, were “out there”, and yet have come to pass.

  199. grim says:

    Discuss.

    With LIBOR so low, I wonder how many workouts that resulted into a fixed-rate refi are going to be challenged by borrowers?

    Adjustable rates were the work of the devil when rates were moving upwards, but what happens now?

    I’m sure we can find a case where a borrower would have been better off had he/she stayed in an adjustable.

    When do we hear borrowers cry out, “I want my ARM back”?

    Will Greenspan make another statement on ARMs? “See, I told you so.”

  200. Qwerty says:

    grim @ 11:44am — “While the new 3 coupes are nice to look at, from a drivers perspective the 135 makes for an interesting alternative.”

    The 1-series is only 200 pounds lighter than the 3, and costs about the same.

    Advantage: 3.

  201. John says:

    Most people are long, there are not enough options and shorts to support a mostly short market. There has to be more longs than shorts.

    BC Bob says:
    December 22, 2008 at 2:41 pm
    “just a little tax loss selling, nothing to see here.”

    John,

    You are assuming that everyone is long.

  202. Tom says:

    Real Estate
    National Existing Home Sales – NAR : 5,100,00
    Median Existing Home Price – NAR : SFH 185k
    Median Existing Home Price – S&P Case Shiller HPI : 137
    Median Existing Home Price – OFHEO HPI : 325

    New Jersey Existing Home Sales – NAR/NJAR : down 5%
    Median Existing Home Price – NAR/NJAR : 480
    Median Existing Home Price – S&P Case Shiller HPI : 158
    Median Existing Home Price – OFHEO HPI : 235

    Oddball
    Anything else you’d like to make a prediction about.

    Athelets and actors will take a big hit as advertising budgets plummet. Probably a lot of whining on their part. At least one team will go bankrupt.

    For the same reaon, a number of web 2.0 companies will fail.

    Yahoo will drop to a market cap of close to 10B at which point a company other than MS or Google will buy it.

    At least one big internet data center will to belly up.

    GE’s bad news will be more in the news after the innauguration. Likely some other big companies too.

    IBM will drop to ~60 and recover to ~75 and stay there for a while.

    Home Depot and Lowes will close a lot of stores and there will be merger talks.

    Major talks at least about regulating hedge funds.

    McC will become a more likable guy again. VPILF will become the next Rachael Ray.

    People are going to reconsider the mergers that have been going on and the “too big to fail” companies that were allowed to form and there will be some serious talk about breaking them up but nothing will come of it except give some politicians air time and waste money.

    Rents are going to drop as people try to take in boarders or split up their oversized homes to make up for lost revenues.

    Well that’s some of the crazy crap that’s in my head now :)

  203. Clotpoll says:

    grim (202)-

    The gubmint thinks a 50% re-default rate is high?

    Wait ’til this sinks in. I bet it goes close to 100%.

  204. BC Bob says:

    “I think these are the most depressing predictions I have ever heard, even considering the source.”

    [200],

    This is nothing. Go back into the archives, many were spot on.

    In our 2007 predictions, I stated that 2 IB’s would go under. Don’t know if you were on this board at that time. The backlash was unrelenting.

    Oh well, my call was 3 months early on the first one, Bear.

  205. Stu says:

    Almost forgot one:

    Gary will get a decent job in 2009.

  206. BC Bob says:

    “There has to be more longs than shorts.”

    John,

    Is that a question?

    Of course there are, not even close. My point, not all are participating in tax loss selling.

  207. Stu says:

    Good thing B

    Dow 8,419.41 Down 159.70 (1.86%)
    Nasdaq 1,509.73 Down 54.59 (3.49%)
    S&P 500 861.73 Down 26.15 (2.95%)en cut the Fed lending rate to 0% eh?

  208. Clotpoll says:

    I just pooped a bunch of mustard seeds.

    Does that count for anything?

  209. Stu says:

    Considering that most markets are down somewhere between 40% and 60% this year and there are significantly less shorts than longs. I would really doubt that tax loss selling will have any affect on the market this December.

  210. grim says:

    Stu,

    What happens to the bad-news-means-another-rate-cut-rally now that the Fed can’t cut anymore?

  211. Stu says:

    “I just pooped a bunch of mustard seeds.

    Does that count for anything?”

    Perhaps you need to chew better?

  212. Stu says:

    “What happens to those bad-news-rate-cut-rallies now that the Fed can’t cut anymore?”

    I was actually thinking the same thing ;)

    Don’t worry. Fed and treasury will come up with something. Fortunately, the future can only pay so much no?

  213. NJGator says:

    The only think Gator is optimistic about in the coming year is that Florida wins the BCS championship on 1/8/09. Everything else is just going to go to cr*p.

  214. bi says:

    169#, stu, sorry i thought you were out of srs.

    > SRS is up only 10% today. Please badmouth it some more for at least enough for a 20% gain.

  215. Stu says:

    Bi,

    Small position bought at 130. Will go all in soon though.

  216. BC Bob says:

    “What happens to the bad-news-means-another-rate-cut-rally now that the Fed can’t cut anymore?”

    JB,

    Since the fed started to cut, from 5.25, the S&P’s are down approx 40%. Yet, the stock market always rallies in a rate cut environment? Maybe the fed should start raising rates, it may be the last hope for the bulls.

  217. bi says:

    before you guys trash my 2009 prediction, please count how manu posts here ridicuated my $40 oil call since august 2007.

  218. Tom says:

    Oh forgot to include in my predictions. We’re going to see the Big 4 in the news and in Congressional hearings much more next year.

  219. Clotpoll says:

    bi (220)-

    Please define “ridicuated”.

  220. BC Bob says:

    “please count how manu posts here ridicuated my $40 oil call since august 2007.”

    Bi,

    In case you missed the news, crude rallied to $147, after you made your $40 call. You lost a ton. Margins blew you out and closed your account.

  221. Stu says:

    One more prediction for 2009:

    Bi and Frank will become roommates at the local homeless shelter.

  222. Stu says:

    Newsweek:
    Protecting Your Portfolio from Deflation
    Here are some investment plays that may be likely to withstand a sustained bout of falling prices.

    http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/dec2008/pi20081218_674248.htm?campaign_id=yhoo

  223. BC Bob says:

    “Please define “ridicuated”.”

    Clot,

    Just ran it thru our quants blackbox. It means down over 50%.

  224. 3b says:

    #220 bi: What do you base your predictions on? Your man Mc Cain lost, are you telling us Obama is going to turn this whole thing around, and in 6 short momths??

  225. 3b says:

    #208 BC Bob: I stated that 2 IB’s would go under

    I made that same prediction. I was called a doom and gloom asshole by a friend in the business.

  226. make money says:

    BC(223)

    In 2009, we should implement a rule that in order to make a prediction or a call on any stock, ETF, Commoditty you have to put your monies up first.

    No numbers should be called with your chips in your pockets.

  227. Sybarite says:

    Question for the group:

    What is the floor on oil prices? At what point does it cost more to produce a barrel than it is worth?

  228. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    December 22, 2008 at 3:18 pm
    [200],
    This is nothing. Go back into the archives, many were spot on.
    In our 2007 predictions, I stated that 2 IB’s would go under. Don’t know if you were on this board at that time. The backlash was unrelenting.

    Bost: AIG? doh!

  229. John says:

    actually bear was bought by chase

  230. grim says:

    CIT now a bank, too bad no TARP funds are left.

  231. 3b says:

    #232 John:actually bear was bought by chase

    If it makes you feel better.

  232. make money says:

    #232 John:actually bear was bought by chase

    John,

    Please provide this news to thousands of people whose billions of equity was wiped out.

  233. John says:

    CIT IS A BANK!!!!!!! What the heck are you talking about? Who cares about TARP, thats for losers, they can issue FDIC back bonds at 2.75% and lend it out at 8%.

    Now give me GMAC and lets bring this puppy home.

    little know fact most bds and ibs bar their employees from owning other bds and ibs. The only people on wall street who own bear were bear employees.

  234. veto says:

    2009…
    S&P 500 below 650.
    Unemployment reaches 10%.
    GDP continues to shrink by another 5-10% during first two quarters, deflation continues until summer but fed stimulatory efforts eventually prevail. US trade deficit shrinks as we adjust to consuming less and saving more.
    Banks see more trouble in Q1 & Q2 but stabilize with greatly reduced profits and become almost totally nationalized. C trading under $5 again, but it matters not.
    Inflation in mid/late 2009 leads to dollar weakness and bursting of treas bubble. Kitco physical gold price over 1,100/oz.
    USO oil settling near near 30 during Q1 before going back over 60.
    S&P 20 city Case-Schiller national housing price index down below 160. NY Metro gets hit hard, goes below 190.
    SRS, short commercial reit screaming buy me at $65 today, up over 100 by year end.
    Federal bailout package for state govts successfully avoids major defaults.
    No riots in usa. As we break addiction to credit and bmws, foreclosees cram in with their in-laws and get back to basics, becoming happier and harder workers. USA successfully inflates national debt to a digesteable size and we move forward. Detroit auto factories convert to factories for alternative energy equipment.
    NJ local govt taxes stabilize as new focus becomes municipal mergers and replacing govt pensions with alternatives for new workers. No canabalism in 2009 or 2010.

  235. John says:

    This is why CIT wanted to be a bank. Sov was minutes from going under two months ago and now it can issue FDIC backed bonds at 2%. If you can borrow at 2% you have have the keys to the kingdom, CIT can buy up all its outstanding non tendered bonds that are below par and then do low risk lending and restore its balance sheet well before the FDIC bonds mature.

    SOVEREIGN BANK FDIC TLGP 2.75000% 01/17/2012 GTD SRNT
    Price (Ask) 102.342
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 1.957%

  236. BC Bob says:

    “actually bear was bought by chase”

    John,

    Comedian?

    What price did Bear shareholers receive for their pulverized stock? Funny, I thought the fed was a backstop.

  237. danzud says:

    I think the Saudis can pull it out of the ground for like $2-3 dollars…..

  238. BC Bob says:

    “actually bear was bought by chase”

    And he, John, works on Wall Street. Go figure.

  239. John says:

    Shareholders are evil, bondholders are nice.

    That is the message the Fed has been sending since the Bear deal happened. I own CIT, SOV, NCC, MI, CMA, Amex, Cap one, Citigroup and HSBC bonds bought since Bear and up till today. Get in Bed with the Fed Big Ben has been screaming. Wait till a bank bonds drop to around 70 cents on a dollar and jump in as the water is warm and watch it move back to par as the dollars fall from the sky while the common shareholders get pummeled. My big regret is I should have shorted commercial banks and longed their bonds, my insurance the short whould have shot through the roof. That would have been the single best stategy in 2008. Short bank stock and long bank bonds.

  240. John says:

    Buy the way Bear shareholders were paid 8 dollars too much, old jaimie should have stuck with the two bucks.

  241. Tom says:

    One more prediction.

    This time next year we’ll be discussing how messed up it is that banks are giving out foreclosed homes in lieu of bonuses.

  242. Cindy says:

    Grim – If I’m not mistaken, you have not done your predictions for 2009.

  243. Cindy says:

    Nobody liked my proposal at #146 to use tax credits to target job growth in the private sector ala NJTC from 1977-1978????

    Maaaannn…

  244. BC Bob says:

    “Buy the way Bear shareholders were paid 8 dollars too much, old jaimie should have stuck with the two bucks.”

    John,

    That’s the price you pay when you accept the fed’s terms, $30B backstop.

  245. SS says:

    My prediction for Gasoline: will be 0.99 cents by DEC 31 2009

  246. chicagofinance says:

    SS says:
    December 22, 2008 at 5:48 pm
    My prediction for Gasoline: will be 0.99 cents by DEC 31 2009
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd7K4m9gLZQ&feature=related

  247. sas says:

    predictions 09:

    unemployment will rise 1pt to 7.1 (on the low end)
    http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet

    (my second prediction for now),
    SAS

  248. sas says:

    7.5 on the high end.

    Aa

  249. sas says:

    oopps

    “7.5 on the high end”

    SAS

  250. Clotpoll says:

    Most frequent keywords on Google, 2009:

    Molotov c@cktail.

  251. Clotpoll says:

    3b (160)-

    I guess Lampert isn’t Buffett.

    Hell, turns out Buffett isn’t Buffett anymore.

    I always wondered why Lampert didn’t get busy liquidating all the RE he acquired right after the Sears closing.

    He didn’t even start offering stuff for sale until late ’06…and then, only via carefully-placed letters. A friend of mine in commercial RE gave me one of the letters when we were in AC, smashed at the Borgata @ 3 AM. It was hilarious. It read like the kind of letter you’d compose if you were trying to sell a turd sandwich to somebody.

    I wish I had the presence of mind to hang onto it. I woulda framed it.

  252. Clotpoll says:

    I am also grateful that I ditched a large position in SHLD @ $190, about 500 years ago.

  253. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Shore Guy says:
    “There are many folks here who — like us — are prudent with debt, live within their means, have substantial savings. Does anyone here have any good friends who are NOT and how has that affected your relationship? ”

    meh.

    “The blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. “

    Dinah Craik, in A Life for a Life (1859)

    A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.

    Jim Morrison

  254. bairen says:

    I predict

    1) Housing will fall more in the US, and even more in NJ

    2) Jets and Mets will still stink

    3) things will get so bad kettle1 will become bullish and chicagofinance bearish

    4) reinvestor101’s real identity will be revealed

    5) CNBC’s rating will go lower then Richard Bey’s and Phil Donahue’s

    6) The government will slash interest rates and print like crazy, yet RE will keep falling

    7) Hard core Republicans will reminisce about the Clinton years.

    8) I will know at least one family or friend who does jingle mail.

  255. Clotpoll says:

    spam (256)-

    Good stuff. I thought about this “what do you say/do around your underwater friends” thing this afternoon & came to the realization that the people who are truly my friends are all in the arts.

    They are either successful- and have somebody else managing their money- or dirt-ass poor and don’t care about money.

    I think I have subconsciously sought out people with whom I never have (or would have) a “money” conversation.

  256. James says:

    Recall the Saudi’s saying they need to make at least $40 a barrel to make it worthwhile.

  257. Clotpoll says:

    Tar sands producers in Canada need at least $35/barrel to break even.

  258. Confused In NJ says:

    Amazing how so many politicians are still championing yesterday’s issues, while the world collapses around them. At least Corzine has put his personal favorite on a back burner, as he misdeals with the economy.

  259. Yikes says:

    how’s this for dick: guy i know at a hedge fund got laid off today.

    dec 22!! They canned 3 people. he said it was out of left field. completely no clue it was going to happen. 1 month severance, even though he hadn’t been there a year.

  260. Clotpoll says:

    confused (261)-

    Corzine is a world-class assclown, who will not stop damaging everything he touches until he is voted out of office or dies.

  261. Clotpoll says:

    Can I ask Santa for someone else’s death?

  262. Cindy says:

    Spam (256) I have that poem hanging in my guest room – given to me by a friend. It is incorrectly attributed to George Eliot. I just checked it out via Google… It is Dinah Craik.

    You learn something every day.

  263. Cindy says:

    http://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/urate200812.pdf

    SAS (252) CA unemployment for Nov. 8.6 up from 8.4 in Oct. The Valley where I live is even higher.

    We have been hurting longer. Many in construction just left the state – headed for Texas or ? from what I hear.

    Still no budget – Do you have full time legislators there? They probably only work ten days a month. How is it that they can’t get this done.

  264. Frank says:

    “U.S. developers look for a bailout from government: Journal”

    Commercial delinquencies are less than 1% and these guys want a bailout, give me a break. Delinquencies are lowest we have seen in 20 years. Things have never been better.

  265. Cindy says:

    http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/2004/backgrounder_fullandpart.htm

    Here you go – Only four states have full-time legislators:

    California
    Michigan
    New York
    Pennsylvania

  266. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (268)-

    Another reason to fence off Michigan and turn it into a penal colony.

  267. sas says:

    Cindy,

    i think CA may hit 10%.

    its a slow burn, i think 09 will be more the same of 08…but much meaner.

    SAS

  268. sas says:

    “Things have never been better”

    come on bloke.. you know your joshing…

    i don’t think its henny penny, but I wouldn’t go as far to say thing never been better.

    SAS

  269. sas says:

    Grim,

    how about some web traffic stats?
    how the economy slowed traffic, attract more visits?

    SAS

  270. Cindy says:

    Say SAS, do you remember 25 cent gas?

  271. sas says:

    these boards sure go hush..hush after 5 o’clock.

    SAS

  272. #264 – Can I ask Santa for someone else’s death?

    I believe you may want to try Satan instead.

  273. WickedOrange says:

    The developer of The Metropolitan, a 37-unit condo project on Wallace Street in Red Bank, will auction off 31 of them at deeply slashed opening bids next month.

    http://www.redbankgreen.com/redbankgreen/2008/12/condos-to-go-on.html

  274. Barbara says:

    I’m going to predict a statewide real estate tax rebellion. With families going from two income to one or maybe, none, will they pay NNJ pro texes that in some cases close to equal their mortgage payments? And will the Sheriff really kick all these people out with no one there to buy up the properties/leans anyway? People will start squatting in tony middle class towns, neighbors won’t know what to hate more, their dead beat neighbors OR a vacant house.

  275. Barbara says:

    pro texes = property taxes. Sowwy.

  276. WickedOrange says:

    The exterior is just about finished at Union Street Village. But as indicated by the’ sample’ list of residents in the intercom, the eight condo units as well as a commercial space remain vacant.

    News that three players in Red Bank’s Union Street Village have been indicted for fraud leaves Red Bank facing a key question:

    Will the project, which has already sat idle for almost two years, become a long-term white elephant now that the real estate market is plunging?

    http://www.redbankgreen.com/redbankgreen/2008/12/fraud-at-red-ba.html

  277. sas says:

    “Say SAS, do you remember 25 cent gas?”

    i can’t seem to place 25 cents in my mind at time. The lowest I remember off the top my head is 45
    cents.

    for some reason, I remember when I was a lad, I bought hot dogs for 5 cents.

    SAS

  278. sas says:

    Barbara,

    I can forsee that happening if this slow burn begins to boil. yes…

    SAS

  279. Cindy says:

    280 – It must have been the late 60’s then – and you were busy elsewhere.

    You used to get pens, mugs and junk at the gas stations, too.

  280. Confused In NJ says:

    Clotpoll:

    Corzine is a world-class assclown.

    That tracks with his Personal Favorite.

  281. Barbara says:

    liens even

  282. 3b says:

    #250 sas Unemployment is already at 6.50 I believe, increase to only 7.1?

    Heck, they are now presdiciting up to 2 million retail jobs gone after the holidays.

  283. sas says:

    “280 – It must have been the late 60’s then – and you were busy elsewhere”

    that sounds about right. I didn’t drive much or really pay attention till I got back from the service, and I went off to war in summer 66.

    SAS

  284. sas says:

    “#250 sas Unemployment is already at 6.50 I believe, increase to only 7.1?”

    my predictions was for the state of NJ only. I believe right now we are at 6.1%, so i think we can easily hit 7.1%, on the low end.

    it will be a slow burn…

    SAS

  285. sas says:

    Cindy,

    and to believe I once believed LBJ..how foolish of me. and we lost all those boys…and for what? still hurts to think about it.

    SAS

  286. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Cindy says:

    “You learn something every day.”

    Hopefully it’s not yesterday’s lesson, again. :)

    (Now where the #$^%# are those car keys??!?)

  287. Cindy says:

    (288) SAS “still hurts to think about it.”

    It must be hard. I graduated from high school in 67 so I saw friends leave too…We all did what we thought was right at the time.

    I worked several jobs and was so focused on getting my credential, I just didn’t know what was going on in those days….

  288. alia says:

    weird money friends: not any of my boon companions (the only one i was worried about finally got out of cc debt last year and is sticking to it), but have recently been thrust into regular social interaction with a total jerk. no, really. he steals from his mother. (she bought the apartent above him for when she’s in town, and he’s been renting it out to tourists without her knowledge). then he complains about how his inlaws want him to go back to work (he’s a stay at home dad) and think they should restrict their lifestyle. “we live paycheck to paycheck,” he says, “but i like our lifestyle.” since he’s a jerk in many other ways (he thinks he’s smarter than me, which is fine. the problem is he shares this opinion out loud. not fine.) i welcome with some self-righteousness the pain he will be going through… except that he has a new baby, and she really doesn’t deserve such ridiculous caricatures as parents. can one notify cps for financial abuse? (end rant)

    did hide some of the xmas boxes when we had our xmas party. didn’t want to rub anybody’s noses in our splurge, since everyone is nervous and a lot of kiddos’ friends from school came and i don’t know how they’re doing. don’t want to be perceived as the weakest *or* the strongest link. must blend in with herd and smile.

  289. W says:

    Shore Guy – Grow up – GW Bush will go down as a great President after history plays out!

  290. Aardvark says:

    Any compkillers out there?

  291. Cindy says:

    SAS – Whenever I go to my high school reunion, they have pictures of those who have died on display. Out of my class of 650 or so, seven died in Viet Nam. Then when I went to my 20th, my twin sister’s picture was there, too.
    Hard.

  292. NJGator says:

    Bank gives 500 contest winners mortgage relief
    $861,513.25 in January mortgage payments won’t have to be paid

    One bank is playing Santa for 500 lucky homeowners in this season of foreclosures and sinking home values — a gesture paid in part by employees forgoing their annual office party.

    ING Direct forgave $861,513.25 in January mortgage payments — or an average $1,700 per household — for the 500 customers who won the online bank’s essay contest.

    ING Direct cancelled its holiday parties this year, said spokesman Jeff Mirabello, partly offsetting the cost of the contest. He was not unable to provide a specific figure on how much the company usually spends on its holiday gatherings.

    There was no staff vote on the decision, but employees weren’t upset, said Scott Lugar, head of consumer lending, who administered the program.

    A committee within the direct bank and thrift, owned by the Dutch financial services giant ING Groep NV, chose the winners out of nearly 5,500 homeowners who sent in a 250-word essay.

    “We said tell us your story,” Lugar said.

    Not included among the winners are any of the about 250 customers now in the foreclosure process, he said. Rather the winners were those whose stories struck the committee as particularly compelling.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28356535/

  293. Barbara says:

    most of my family are money stupid, indulged in all the pitfalls we discuss here. I do not discuss the situation with them because I do not want them to know about the massive cash we have been saving for over 10 years. The one time I revealed to a family member what we have (years ago) I was assumed “SO lucky (i.e. didn’t earn it or save with sacrifice) and was then hit up for a large sum.
    Never again.

  294. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Cindy says:

    “You used to get pens, mugs and junk at the gas stations, too.”

    But not in Joisey!! WTF, over?
    In the mid/late 70’s (?) the gas stations would advertise mugs, keychains, etc, EXCEPT OFFER NOT VALID IN NJ (and maybe one other state?)

    SO WHY PUT UP THE POSTERS in Woodbridge or Edison or Howell…? Teh stupid. It burns.

  295. bairen says:

    #276, wicked

    I’ve seen that brick building in peerson. Does not blend into the neighborhood. Who would want to pay 600k for a 2brd in Red Bank with a view of the municpal parking lots?

  296. Cindy says:

    NJGator (295) That’s cool!

    Barbara (296) That’s not so cool.

    Spam (297) I think they made that stuff in Japan in those days anyway….

    Does anyone remember the S&H green stamps or Blue Chip stamps you used to lick and slap into books to redeem for more junk?

  297. Pat says:

    Cindy, sorry about your sister. My bro went at 48 so I know the reunion thing.

    Of course I remember green stamps. I got so much crap that way when I was 12. I had to walk for about three miles (and through the bad section) to get to the redemption place. I remember getting a picnic basket with plates in it. And a toaster oven. And a big wicker blanket chest I had all through school and took to college with me. I carried the thing home, block by block, pushing it along on something like a skate board or a piece of plywood.

    The lady always tried to give me a hard time, but I told her there was no place that said kids couldn’t collect green stamps.

    And the stuff from the gas stations was addictive. We got an entire set of highball, wine and water glasses with our initials on them. But I think the entire set fell off the truck for my Dad.

  298. Pat says:

    Cindy, sorry about your sister. My bro went at 48 so I know the reunion thing.

    Of course I remember green stamps. I got so much crap that way when I was 12. I had to walk for about three miles (and through the bad section) to get to the redemption place. I remember getting a picnic basket with plates in it. And a toaster oven. And a big wicker blanket chest I had all through school and took to college with me. I carried the thing home, block by block, pushing it along on something like a skate board or a piece of plywood.

    The lady always tried to give me a hard time, but I told her there was no place that said kids couldn’t collect green stamps.

    And the stuff from the gas stations was addictive. We got an entire set of highball, wine and water glasses with our initials on them. But I think the entire set fell off the truck for my Dad.

  299. sas says:

    Predictions09:

    the return of the victory gardens:
    http://tinyurl.com/n4skb

    as food prices will increase and/or there will be shortages or limits in the stores.
    and people will get tired of eating GMO foods and factory farm sh*t food.

    SAS

  300. sas says:

    but don’t fear..
    there will still be people stuffing there gills at your local Fast Food Fat Face Burger.

    SAS

  301. Cindy says:

    Pat (301) “The lady tried to give me a hard time, but I told her there was no place that said kids couldn’t collect green stamps.”

    Good for you, the kids had to do all the licking anyway – and those things tasted bad.

  302. sas says:

    “reunions”

    I don’t goto my reunions.
    too much water under that bridge.

    my life has taken many turns, I can’t look into the eyes of people who knew me when I was a simple innocent bloke.

    SAS

  303. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122999261138328613.html

    Strapped churches can’t pay the mortgage…Merry Christmas.

  304. sas says:

    well, on that note, I think I will have a my nightly usual, warm milk & cognac, and goto bed.

    I got a teleconfernce tomorrow early with fellows from India. I can never undserstand a damn word they say, but there nice guys anyways….

    night:)
    SAS

  305. Pat says:

    SAS, you gotta convince them to do it like Dell. Text boxes.

    Your typing has gotten a lot better over the years. I think you could keep up in a type off box.

    Just a thought.

  306. chicagofinance says:

    bairen says:
    December 22, 2008 at 10:26 pm
    #276, wicked I’ve seen that brick building in person. Does not blend into the neighborhood. Who would want to pay 600k for a 2brd in Red Bank with a view of the municpal parking lots?

    bairen-it-all: but you can get a $16 haircut at Cardner’s across the alley at 6AM and eat Zebu pizza on the take out at night…..

  307. yikes says:

    Clotpoll says:
    December 22, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Most frequent keywords on Google, 2009:

    Molotov c@cktail.

    laughed out loud big-time
    awesome

  308. me@work says:

    291 alia,

    from “Madagascar”

    Penguin#1 “skipper…don’t you think we should tell them the boat’s run out of gas?”

    Penguin#2 “…nope. Just smile and wave, boys, smile and wave….”

    sl

  309. Shore Guy says:

    W @ 292

    You might turn out to be correct but I seriously doubt it. I suspect that GWB will be rated well below even Nixon, who at least accomplished some great things during his time in office.

  310. Shore Guy says:

    W @ 292

    You might turn out to be correct but I seriously doubt it. I suspect that GWB will be rated well below even Nixon, who at least accomplished some great things during his time in office.

  311. Shore Guy says:

    W @ 292

    You might turn out to be correct but I seriously doubt it. I suspect that GWB will be rated well below even Nixon, who at least accomplished some great things during his time in office.

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