Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

For readers that have never commented, there is a link at the top of each message that is typically labelled “[#] Comments“. Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn’t know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past year. The archives can be accessed by using the links found in the menus on the right hand side of the page.

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288 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. freedy says:

    1st ever

  2. coalcracker says:

    Happy Holidays to everyone. Grim, I found your site 6 months ago and as a ex- New Jerseyean ( lived in Bridgewater for 8 years and my sister and family live in Howell as well).I have enjoyed the Garden State updates. Great blog !!

  3. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Holiday Sales Tumble as U.S. Consumers Reduce Luxury Purchases

    Cutbacks on clothing, electronics and jewelry led U.S. retail sales to drop as much as 4 percent this holiday season as consumers limited purchases to necessities, according to SpendingPulse data.

    Spending was the lowest since MasterCard Advisors started tracking data in 2002 to provide the SpendingPulse service, said Michael McNamara, vice president of research and analysis, in an interview yesterday. He estimates sales, excluding autos and gasoline, fell 2 percent to 4 percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24.

    “Overall this has been one of the most challenging holiday seasons on record,” McNamara said.

    Consumers facing a recession, tightening credit and the highest unemployment rate in 15 years shortened their gift lists and spent less. Retailers including Macy’s Inc. and AnnTaylor Stores Corp. responded by increasing markdowns, which stand to hurt profit margins in what may be the weakest holiday spending season in four decades.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Retail Sales Plummet

    Price-slashing failed to rescue a bleak holiday season for beleaguered retailers, as sales plunged across most categories on shrinking consumer spending, according to new data released Thursday.

    Despite a flurry of last-minute shoppers lured by the deep discounts, total retail sales, excluding automobiles, fell over the year-earlier period by 5.5% in November and 8% in December through Christmas Eve, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse unit.

    When gasoline sales are excluded, the fall in overall retail sales is more modest: a 2.5% drop in November and a 4% decline in December. A 40% drop in gasoline prices over the year-earlier period contributed to the sharp decline in total sales.

    But considering individual sectors, “This will go down as the one of the worst holiday sales seasons on record,” said Mary Delk, a director in the retail practice at consulting firm Deloitte LLP. “Retailers went from ‘Ho-ho’ to ‘Uh-oh’ to ‘Oh-no.'”

  5. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Homeless ranks climbing

    The number of homeless people and those on the brink of homelessness has increased significantly since last year, according to several outreach organizations throughout North Jersey.

    Most leaders of such local groups are blaming a historic economic downturn that has driven up prices on some necessities and prompted employers to cut jobs.

    “You’re seeing people with higher-level jobs coming through the system,” said Robin Reilly, who leads the FAITH Foundation, a Hackensack-based homeless outreach organization. “You might look like you live very well, but you’re scared to death. You’re hanging on by your teeth.”

  6. Cindy says:

    http://equityprivate.typepad.com/ep/2008/12/death-of-cook.html

    Kettle – long piece…well worth the read. More grist for the mill regarding the question: “What happened?”

    This author lays the blame squarely at the foot of legislators and points out how the industry had no choice but to follow.

    He also disputes the naysayers regarding “free markets.”

    Victorian – remember your post #293 – 12/23 -8:02 PM

    “Surprised nobody linked this to piss Chifi off.”

    He disputes your attached article.

    He refers back to The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 which gave the power to dictate the particulars of home ownership incentives that would bind the GSEs to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, created within the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development by the same act.

    “Billions of dollars were forcibly injected into the housing market for the least qualified borrowers in the form of massive and artificially created demand from Fannie and Freddie as dictated by the wisdom of less than a dozen senior members of the political class in the United States.”

    He goes on to explain how private entities had no other choice but to follow suit…

    “A small administrative cadre was centrally setting the level of demand and liquidity flow for a major portion of the country’s economy, and, in a cruel multiplier effect, was therefore indirectly setting prices that influenced all the actors in the sector.”

    “It bears mentioning during this period that competitors, unable to function in a market this skewed, complained bitterly that the GSEs were distorting their ability to profit, and that they were in effect, using government subsidies to advertise their services to prospective homeowners.”

    “Let’s put this into perspective, In what other context would any system calling itself a “free market” ever permit this? What would we think if the U.S. government poured advertising dollars into a government sponsored entity producing computer operating systems in direct competition with Linux, Apple and Microsoft?”

    And this – Enter Wall Street…

    “As a consequence of the boom, GSEs and everyone else, had to put all of the mortgage paper somewhere. Technically, their mandates ran afoul of capital regulations. There was literally no way that the number of loans they were being compelled by statute and regulatory urgings of HUD to buy could be kept on their own balance sheets. That should have been the cap right there. And if not for the dire consequences of missing their targets, it might have been. There is only so much mortgage risk you can keep on your balance sheet with the capital requirements then in place.”

    Markets solving problems…

    Enter Wall Street – of course we can solve that problem. We will just securitize it all.

  7. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Casino fund hit by sour economy

    Gaming halls are not the only ones suffering from the downturn in gambling brought on by competition and a weakened economy. The Casino Revenue Fund, a recipient of casino-generated dollars, doesn’t take in as much for its myriad programs for seniors and the disabled. With fewer dollars to go around, decisions are needed as to where to put shrinking dollars.

  8. Cindy says:

    Kettle – Another writer’s opinion on the issue:

    http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/print_friendly.php?p=The-Real-Cause-of-the-Curr-by-Joe-Reeser-080926-83.html

    “What are the unintended consequences of these actions? Prior to 1992, and the passage of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act, if a lending institution wrote a sub-prime loan they essencially had to accept the risk of making that loan, of whether or not that loan would be repaid. FM2 would not purchase the loan because sub-prime loans did not meet their quidelines. Therefore, not that many subprime loans were written and those that were written generally performed very well. But with the passage of this act, and the resulting lowering of FM2 quidelines to purchase sub-prime loans, these lending institutions could now make them with impunity. The lending institutions could make their money on origination fees and other charges while pushing the risk of the loan actually being repaid onto FM2. Thus, from 1992 onward, the number of sub-prime loans ballooned dramatically. Everyone applauded the great increase in the number of low- and moderate- income homeowners. Very few noticed the risk to FM2 and the entire financial system.

    Far from being a lack of regulation, it is wrong-headed regulation that is the overarching cause of the entire mess.”

  9. bairen vulture says:

    Pakistan puts troops on alert and recalls all on leave.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/12/26/india.pakistan.tensions/index.html

  10. Cindy says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7799541.stm

    China to allow freer yuan trades

    “Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying: “The US dollar is unlikely to be stable next year and later.”

    “And the likelihood of the United States issuing more money in the near future adds to the depreciation risk in US-dollar-denominated assets and trade settlements.”

    Oh great….

  11. 2010 Buyer says:

    The Elephant in the Room

    In 2008, the financial media was saddled with an enormous task: explaining the unexplainable. The subprime mortgage mess, which began life as a seemingly isolated problem in a much larger market, had morphed into a crisis of epic proportions that would take down two Wall Street firms, a handful of commercial banks, an insurance giant, maybe even an auto company or two.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/dealAtoms/idUKCH1150222841220081226

  12. Hobokenite says:

    Cindy,

    Then why did subprime loans suddenly become a problem in 2007?

  13. Cindy says:

    (9) barien – A lot of ships in the Gulf of Aden – How is it they haven’t taken care of these pirates by now – Is something else going on?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081226/ap_on_re_as/piracy

    “Three Chinese Navy Ships Leave for Somalia”

    “Countries as diverse as Britain, India, Iran, the US, France and Germany have naval forces in the waters or on their way there. On Wednesday, Japan said it was considering joining the coalition.”

  14. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (6)-

    Put another label on this, and what you have is essentially a WorldCom-type scam. Pricing and business planning across a whole sector of the economy totally driven by a fraudulent player that reports bogus numbers:

    “It bears mentioning during this period that competitors, unable to function in a market this skewed, complained bitterly that the GSEs were distorting their ability to profit, and that they were in effect, using government subsidies to advertise their services to prospective homeowners.”

    “Let’s put this into perspective, In what other context would any system calling itself a “free market” ever permit this? What would we think if the U.S. government poured advertising dollars into a government sponsored entity producing computer operating systems in direct competition with Linux, Apple and Microsoft?”

    Thanks to all for your inquiries on my FIL. He is resting comfortably. He’s just very, very old (91) & the knees have given out. He’s in a very good facility, close to home, so it’s easy for my MIL to go over anytime.

    The funny thing around this situation is that both FIL & MIL will bitch and moan about the weather, economy, bills, etc…but not about FIL being bedridden. They are Hol@caust survivors, and every day of life they’ve had after that experience is their idea of playing with the house’s money. My FIL was joking (yes, joking) with me last night that he’s lived too long, anyway.

  15. Victorian says:

    Headlines @ Bloomberg

    Holiday Sales Tumble as U.S. Consumers Scale Back on Jewelry, Electronics

    U.S. Futures Gain on GMAC Bank Permit; Asian Stocks Advance for Second Day

    Yes – When 70% of the GDP is consumption, GMAC becoming a bank is great news for the market. Or is Bill Gross the market now?

    Are we still a republic?

  16. Cindy says:

    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2007/03/26/subprime-deals-falling-apart/

    (12) Hobokenite – This is a reference to Grim’s report on 3-26-07

    The bubble burst – Many here are much more knowledgeable about these matters than I am – I am investigating and learning
    myself….

    It is my understanding that it took a while for the process to lead to the need for securitization. Then they peddled the CDOs and MBSs for quite some time.

    But with the loan defaults came the realization that the trauches were a bad risk. No one would buy them so investment banks couldn’t move them and get fresh financing.

    Meanwhile, the prices were going up, over-building was taking place and the loans had to be riskier and riskier to get folks into homes.

    Consult the experts here – They can better approach the question, I’m sure.

  17. Yikes says:

    just curious – how liquid are people on this blog?

    If you and your wife lost your jobs tomorrow, do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?

    im excluding stocks and bonds and mutual funds that you could sell.

    just wondering sheer liquidity. our financial advisor says 6 months LIVING EXPENSES, so if you assume 5k a month, 30k would last you six months.

    as we enter the depression in 2009, anyone else think that should be pushed to 9 months? or a year?

  18. Cindy says:

    Clot (14) So glad to hear every one is comfortable and doing well.

    Your father in law sounds like a man I wish I knew. My favorite book of all time is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. He found a reason to live through the horrors of the Hol@caust when many just gave up.

    “When man finds it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.”

  19. BC Bob says:

    “Home-Mortgage Rate Hits Fresh Low, 5.14%”

    From previous thread.

    Scribe,

    It’s Merry Christmas for “qualified” buyers; record inventory, 20% of mortgages underwater, declining prices and most important, the other side of the table? A ton of 50.5’s getting pummelled. BOOYAAA.

  20. BC Bob says:

    “the weakest holiday spending season in four decades.”

    No recession?

  21. Hobokenite says:

    Cindy,

    It was a rhetorical question. My point was that trying to blame the current mess on something that happend 16 years ago is just people (primarily the Faux news types) trying to find a scapegoat for what is happening.

  22. Frank says:

    You call this a recession??? Give me 2 of them.

    Amazon.com Rises After Reporting ‘Best-Ever’ Holiday Season

    Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest Internet retailer, rose as much as 4.9 percent in early Nasdaq trading after saying it had its best holiday-shopping season ever.

    More than 6.3 million items were ordered worldwide on Dec. 15, its peak day, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement. The Internet retailer didn’t provide specific revenue or profit data, and a phone call to its media hotline wasn’t immediately returned.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aYg.v9B9Qyfk&refer=home

  23. Al says:

    Yikes says:
    December 26, 2008 at 9:43 am
    just curious – how liquid are people on this blog?

    If you and your wife lost your jobs tomorrow, do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?

    im excluding stocks and bonds and mutual funds that you could sell.

    just wondering sheer liquidity. our financial advisor says 6 months LIVING EXPENSES, so if you assume 5k a month, 30k would last you six months.

    as we enter the depression in 2009, anyone else think that should be pushed to 9 months? or a year?

    TO answer your question – it is complicated.

    If I live in NJ my cost of living is close to double compared to other places. (Rent 1500 vs. 600-700 in other places, double the car insurance, expensive utilities. So If I lose my job – I am out of NJ in a hurry – any comments from ChiFi – (s)he is always on me for this).

    Liquid money is another issue – since we have being saving for downpayment on a house for the last 2 1/2 years I estimate we have enough cash to last for a year without moving out of NJ or ANY cut-backs in spending.

    If we move to cheaper place I think it will last us 2+ years – All we would have to pay is rent + utilities and food.

    Now if the country does fall into a depression – I’d say savings would not matter as it will be hyperinflation caused depression.

    So in reality I do not think you need more than 6-9 month of savings.

    P.S. saving cash (CD’s) for house downpayment worked out great – outperformed my 401K by close to 50% last year!!!! And my 401K losses are minimal as we tried to save as much cash as possible.

  24. BC Bob says:

    “And the likelihood of the United States issuing more money in the near future adds to the depreciation risk in US-dollar-denominated assets and trade settlements.”

    Cindy,

    On a scale of 1-10, the dollar ranks as an 11, in the eyes of the treasury/fed. The goal is inflation, print and debase. In addition to this, it’s a worldwide race to the bottom in currencies. Just wait until the protectionism talk gets heated. Got gold?

  25. BC Bob says:

    Yikes says:
    December 26, 2008 at 9:43 am
    just curious – how liquid are people on this blog?

    “If you and your wife lost your jobs tomorrow, do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?”

    Better have more than 6 months.

  26. sas says:

    recession in bubble economy
    near recession in real economy (still has some life, otherwise you wouldn’t have this story)

    “Amazon says 2008 holiday season was ‘best ever”
    http://tinyurl.com/9upd4f

    SAS

  27. sas says:

    don’t get me wrong, 09 we are all in a recession.

    alot of you out there will be coming to jesus at tax time.

    SAS

  28. BC Bob says:

    “You call this a recession??? Give me 2 of them.”

    Frunk,

    Funny you bring this up. I’m looking at some RE deals, based on peak comparisons, it would equate to 2 for 1.

  29. Hard Place says:

    Happy Holidays all!

    Some may think the posters here are harbingers of doom, but we are just calling it as we see it. I know I am hoping to get by unscathed, but know that no one is immune to troubles in this economy. So for 2009, hopefully more people will be prudent and do not find fascination with $300 jeans and fancy $800 strollers. I do have one weakness for a nice 3 series convertible or 911 cab, so I understand if anyone splurges there.

  30. sas says:

    “real economy”

    yes, what defines this is a slippery slope. and true, its about to have a stroke.

    SAS

  31. Hobokenite says:

    Frank,

    Too bad you don’t work for Amazon.

  32. BC Bob says:

    “Too bad you don’t work for Amazon.”

    Hobokenite[31],

    Not qualified.

  33. sas says:

    “If you and your wife lost your jobs tomorrow”

    I would be happy as a rooster in a hen house if I lost my job. but, i run my own show so ain’t nobody going to lay me off or fire me (well, i can get fired in the sense of lost contracts, which happens every now and then cause I got a big yap and known to get into brawls at meetings)

    but many depend on me to bring home bacon, so I do my best. but if I had my choice, I would be in Cape Town, watching the sun.

    “do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?”

    i don’t like to reveal too much about myself. but, i always plan for the worse & hope for the best.

    SAS

  34. Cindy says:

    (22) Sorry Hobokenite

    It is helpful for ME to track back the legislation/actions that got us to where we are today. I find articles that draw conclusions and cite events interesting.

  35. sas says:

    “do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?”

    i think the better question is:

    “do most people have 6 months of food stored up?”

    SAS

  36. Essex says:

    SAS….I have a stash of ramen and baked beans…..plus I could stand to loose a few lbs….around the mid section.

  37. Jersey Jim says:

    Yikes says:
    December 26, 2008 at 9:43 am
    just curious – how liquid are people on this blog?

    If you and your wife lost your jobs tomorrow, do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?
    —————————————

    Between my wife and myself we have about $200,000 cash. I plan on putting about half of that into the house we recently bought in South Jersey since it has about 30 years of deferred maintenance. We get rental income from a few properties so if we would lose our jobs things wouldn’t be that bad but we would cut back. The property taxes for the place in South Jersey are over $9,000 a year so that and utilities can eat into savings pretty quickly.

  38. sas says:

    BC says, “Better have more than 6 months”

    i would agree, i know not all can do that.

    but, i would think people should really evaluate themselves and try to save several months worth of bills.

    if people out there are in a spot living paycheck to paycheck, no matter what your income level. i think a reevaluation is in order.

    SAS

  39. Yikes says:

    food isn’t our primary worry just yet. we’re worry about finances first.

    BC Bob, you got your boots on? you disappeared there for a minute … didn’t know if you bought a place or not.

  40. kettle1 says:

    yikes,

    the kettle family is @ 6 months, working on building up to 1 year.

    —————————————–

    if this doesnt worry you it should…..

    Japan Should Scrap U.S. Debt; Dollar May Plummet, Mikuni Says

    Japan should write-off its holdings of Treasuries because the U.S. government will struggle to finance increasing debt levels needed to dig the economy out of recession, said Akio Mikuni, president of credit ratings agency Mikuni & Co. The dollar may lose as much as 40 percent of its value to 50 yen or 60 yen from the current spot rate of 90.40 today in Tokyo unless Japan takes “drastic measures” to help bail out the U.S. economy, Mikuni said. Treasury yields, which are near record lows, may fall further without debt relief, making it difficult for the U.S. to borrow elsewhere, Mikuni said. “It’s difficult for the U.S. to borrow its way out of this problem,” Mikuni, 69, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television broadcast today. “Japan can help by extending debt cancellations.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aFgHlh.Dn4Lc&refer=home

  41. Yikes says:

    sas – yeah, the 6 months ? was about total living expenses. drew up a budget of everything, and came out to about 5k (luckily, our mortgage will only be, with taxes, about 2500 a month).

    but i was a paycheck-to-paycheck guy about 7-8 years ago when i was making jack squat (like 30k) living in NYC and running up huge CC bills.

    met the current-wife, and all of my fortunes soared. really, life has only been good since we met. new jobs, my business, investments, everything

  42. jamil says:

    This sounds fair (in the UK).

    “Millions of middle-class home owners living in desirable neighbourhoods are facing higher council tax bills after the next election following a secret Government exercise to assess the “niceness” of different areas.

    Tax inspectors have divided England into 10,000 new “localities” with each neighbourhood ranked on the socio-economic class of its residents and environmental factors such as crime and traffic levels.

    The inspectors have even purchased demographic data disclosing how many company executives, pensioners or students live in particular streets, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

    This has been collated on a secret database which is being used to assess the desirability of neighbourhoods to help determine council tax bills if Labour wins power again at the next election.

    The Conservatives have branded the proposal “a nice neighbourhood tax” which will penalise middle class families struggling to cope with the economic downturn. It is feared the revaluation will quickly be implemented if Labour wins the next election to help fund the growing deficit in Britain’s public finances.

    A revaluation of council tax bills is considered politically explosive and has already been delayed once amid widespread fears that it would be used to increase taxes. ”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/3950038/Labour-planning-secret-tax-on-nice-houses.html

  43. Frank says:

    #40,
    That’s exactly why you need to own hard assets like a house.

  44. sas says:

    “food”

    i hope there isn’t a bank holiday, but if there is stores will be empty and what will be left will be 10x prices.
    and if war escalates, this $30 crude will be nothing but a one night stand in Vegas before you get back on the return flight home to your wife in the boring suburbs.

    Emergency Banking Act
    http://tinyurl.com/6gor8t

    SAS

  45. scribe says:

    BC,

    One of my questions: When mortgage rates are that low, what incentive do the banks have to make 30-year fixed rate mortgages?

    Maybe mortgage money would loosen up if a.) prices decline another 20 – 25%, as many seem to be predicting now, while b.) mortgage rates rise a couple of points.

    For the buyers, it would be a wash. But wouldn’t conforming mortgages at 7% or 8% make banks more willing to lend?

    I realize that jumbo rates are higher than 5%-plus.

  46. sas says:

    “food isn’t our primary worry just yet. we’re worry about finances first”

    there inter-woven bloke.
    food is an asset & liquid.

    SAS

  47. Frank says:

    #45,
    The banks don’t keep the loans, so they don’t care, these days the low mortgages are sold to Fannie, so the bank just keeps the fees. The problem is the banks don’t have the pipeline to make them, because they have laid-off all the mortgage people.

  48. jamil says:

    “One of my questions: When mortgage rates are that low, what incentive do the banks have to make 30-year fixed rate mortgages?”

    People move on average every 7 year so they don’t actually have the mortgage for 30 years. I suppose the average life of a mortgage is 7-8 years?

  49. sas says:

    “met the current-wife, and all of my fortunes soared. really, life has only been good since we met. new jobs, my business, investments, everything”

    when everything is going in your direction, look out, you are usually driving in the wrong lane

    :)
    SAS
    (i learned that lesson the hard way!)

  50. Yikes says:

    The dollar may lose as much as 40 percent of its value to 50 yen or 60 yen from the current spot rate of 90.40 today in Tokyo unless Japan takes “drastic measures” to help bail out the U.S. economy, Mikuni said

    dollar loses value = $7000 for a loaf of pumpernickle bread?

  51. BC Bob says:

    Yikes [39],

    Yeah, was buried for the past 4 weeks. Yes, the boots are on. However, the laces are not tied.

  52. Sean says:

    re: #17 Yikes – I can survive for several years even if my wife and I both lost our jobs, however it is my extended family I have to worry about.

    They are ill prepared, and yesterday we discussed 2009 predictions after dinner and dessert. I mentioned cutting spending and saving allot more in 2009 for the rainy day fund and a few gave me a puzzled look, and when I mentioned how correct I was about my predictions from the last Christmas dinner all I got was the “know it all” talk, so I decided to skip the conversation and wash all the pots and pans and let them enjoy their evening and their port wine.

    I was not talking about much more than scaling back on car leasing and fancy vacations, and saving extra $$ this year and it was as if I was a blasphemer telling them that God was dead, while infact I was the one of the few who went to church yesterday and sang the loudest. Everyone at Christmas dinner seemed to know that things were going to be ugly in 2009, but have yet to get out of the denial phase.

    The next leg down will come sooner than most realize, even with the O’bama “bump”.

    I have not stocked up the pantry since I plan on skipping town if SHTF, if given a choice of fight or flight I am leaving since the number of zombies around would be overwhelming even if you have an aresenal.

  53. kettle1 says:

    SAS 46

    exactly. many people do not realize the interconnection until they system breaks. if one fails so will the other.

    if you finance is secure but your food isnt, then you are not nearly as secure as you might think.

    green backs could easily become worthless, and then all the benjamins in the world wont feed you.

  54. Barbara says:

    Ah the finger pointing on Christmas eve. I have a lot of “angry white guys” in my family so of course its everyone else’s fault.

    Meanwhile these same guys can’t stop spending on every piece of tech porn out there, despite their shaky financial and job situations.

    Its hard not to lay in, but whateves.

    The elephant in the room boils down to this: Character. This country lost it a long time ago.

  55. sas says:

    you blokes wanting to set aside cash for bills.

    don’t forget a little stash for anything medical that might come up.

    sadly, i know many people who lost most of there finances to illness.

    me, if I ever get ill. Let me die.
    I’ve sidestepped death so many times, its amazing. sooner or later i gotta pay the piper.

    SAS

  56. Al says:

    scribe says:
    December 26, 2008 at 10:52 am
    BC,

    One of my questions: When mortgage rates are that low, what incentive do the banks have to make 30-year fixed rate mortgages?
    Maybe mortgage money would loosen up if a.) prices decline another 20 – 25%, as many seem to be predicting now, while b.) mortgage rates rise a couple of points.
    For the buyers, it would be a wash. But wouldn’t conforming mortgages at 7% or 8% make banks more willing to lend?
    I realize that jumbo rates are higher than 5%-plus

    For the buyers, it would be a wash. – FALSE!!!!

    We have discussed it in detail – it is a significantly more beneficial for a buyer to buy 150K house with 12-13% rates that 300K house with 6% rates…

    150K house – You can pay it off faster, refinance, sell easier. Any pre-payment you make on that house are magnified by 2, compared to 300K house.

    It was said a long time ago – right now low rates means no risk premium for banks – with high rates there is a lot more risk-premium and low prices means less losses in case of defaults.

    So in effect higher interest rates and lower prices will lead to “easier” creadit qualifications.

    Bu in the end it commes down to : HOUSE PRICES MUST FALL A LOT.

    And our goverment just won’t have it.

  57. Barbara says:

    oh snap, 54 in moderation because I used a cheeky term. Its PG-13 I swear

  58. kettle1 says:

    Yikes 50

    “dollar loses value = $7000 for a loaf of pumpernickle bread?”

    Possibly. If deflation is the dominant force at the time, then the loaf of bread will be 5 dollars but no one will have cash (except for njrereport bloggers)

    if the US dollar really did crash then it could be a situation where people with food would not accept US dollars.

    But those are extreme cases, although possible

  59. BC Bob says:

    Scribe [45],

    The levels,rates, are of no concern to the bank. It’s their spread that is the arbiter. With the ffr at an effective 0% rate, the spread is huge. There is an incentive to lend at these rates. One caveat, lend to quality, not the walking dead.

  60. jcer says:

    SAS from the posts you ave written recently I am starting to think you are a contract killer or something.

  61. Barbara says:

    What Al said

  62. BC Bob says:

    “sooner or later i gotta pay the piper.”

    SAS,

    If you stay away from Lodi, it will be the latter.

  63. Al says:

    jcer says:
    December 26, 2008 at 11:03 am
    SAS from the posts you ave written recently I am starting to think you are a contract killer or something.

    More like “ission Ipossible” type of outfit….

    At least SAS gets to drive nice cars….

  64. BC Bob says:

    “That’s exactly why you need to own hard assets like a house.”

    Frank,

    Just lost my coffee.

    I would think you would rather own an asset that’s in demand, in backwardation. Who wants to buy an asset that has record inventory levels and is joined at the hip with high/going higher taxes? Not to mention the cash that it s*cks to maintain.

  65. Al says:

    Moderated… – Do Fann1e and Fredd1e gets you moderated now?

  66. kettle1 says:

    NJ WIne report.

    had a very nice wine over the holiday:

    Caymus Vineyards
    2005 Cabernet (Napa valley)

  67. Al says:

    For some reason “hard assets” sounds like some of the junk email I get for V1agra and c1alis….

  68. sas says:

    “SAS from the posts you ave written recently I am starting to think you are a contract killer or something”

    since its xmas time and we are the topic food, I will tell you a little story about myself.

    i was once on a third world location, a location that had hard economic hardtimes and inflation through the roof. And wala..food became very valuable. food = money.

    I had some food (some crap snacks) on my person, just bought a little sack worth. you could still purchase it, but it was very exspensive.

    as I was walking back to the hotel (about a 5 minute walk around the ben), all of a sudden, something stabbed me in the back kidney, and I went down like a tree stump of lighting!

    turns out a kid, looked about 10, stabbed me from behind took my food & wallet, and ran away.

    talk about being in a pickle, i went to the hospital and they had to shew the chickens off the table to stich me up. and my buddy who was with me had to pay off the hospital staff not to call the police (we were working on the down low).

    my point?
    when times are tough, even kids will stab you for food. and they don’t say “stick’em up”.

    typically, when someone mugs you they work in pairs, one approaches you from the front & approaches you fast to get your attention, then someone gets you from the back by the surprize.

    SAS

  69. Frank says:

    #66,
    If you believe the $ will drop 60%, your house will go up in $ terms 66.6%, that’s why.

  70. sas says:

    “If you stay away from Lodi, it will be the latter”

    never get drunk and run your mouth off in the ball room, especially in Lodi in the late 70s.

    BC Bob knows that story.

    SAS

  71. NJGator says:

    Kettle 68 – Cost/bottle?

  72. scribe says:

    Yesterday, I took a Lakelands bus to my brother’s for Christmas in Stanhope.

    Usually, I go down to Metropark first the night before and drive up with my other brother.

    The bus went through this one area with fabulous houses.

    I think it was Mountain Lakes.

  73. scribe says:

    BC,

    I didn’t realize that from the perspective of 0% ffr, the spreads were still huge.

    Another question I think is obvious: How long can the Fed stay at 0% ffr before it becomes disruptive?

  74. sas says:

    wait a minute? i thought knuckehead sean hannity wanted to drill in Alaska.

    “Crude Oil Rises as U.A.E. Trims Output to Comply With OPEC Cut”
    http://tinyurl.com/8896wy

  75. Cindy says:

    (17) Yikes “How liquid are people on this blog?”

    Man. That’s a tough one for me. I really need the schools to continue running to make it out of this thing alive. Now if the economy can hold on for three or four more years, I plan to be debt free and could probably survive a while on some savings. (My weak point – low salary makes that hard.)

    I’m supposed to get a pension – ? The R/E taxes aren’t so high here in CA and I will still be able to work at 64 – 65…..Walmart greeter? Don’t know.

    My 403bs got hit hard even before I froze them into MM.
    I do the max $500. a month to my Roth – CDs. Only time will tell.

    Gator – I can vouch for that Caymus as well – spendy though I’ll bet. Remember, I don’t buy the wine – I just drink it.

  76. t c m says:

    #22 hobokenite –

    i agree with cindy #34 – (keep posting cindy)

    exploring the root of the problem, and citing it’s beginning 16 years ago, doesn’t make it null and void ….

    these articles are interesting

    why so close minded?

    and what does fox news have to do with anything?

  77. Cindy says:

    (79) t c m – Oh, I’ll post an interesting story when I find one. I just don’t usually have this sort of time at a computer – this is fun.

    Usually, it is catch up in the AM….I have gotten to where I come to the computer instead of read the morning paper…if it wasn’t for the puzzles – I could cancel the subscription…

  78. still_looking says:

    Cindy 80

    Usually you can download the puzzle too…. even the NYT puzzle!

    I am cancelling mine too..for exactly that reason!

    sl

  79. still_looking says:

    Clot,

    …91. About the average age of the patients I saw on Xmas eve and day.

    Many are living even longer than you can imagine….and independently!

    God Bless him. I’m glad things are okay!

    Oddly enough… my sickest patient yesterday was a 2 yr old. Horrible pneumonia.

    And of course the phalanx of suicide attempters…. who I always describe by using the acronym that you are well versed in: TSTL.

    sl

  80. Cindy says:

    (81) Still – You made it out alive!

    Good idea…I’m pretty old school. I have been dragged into the computer age kicking and screaming…

  81. kettle1 says:

    gator,

    dont know, it was a gift from a client who is a wine buff.

    a quick check on google says about $20

  82. still_looking says:

    Cindy 83,

    yah, it was a battle…and thankfully no one died on my watch. I had one suicide attempter (overdose of ativan/alcohol) who did her best to “jump in the box” [a/k/a die] on me.

    I fixed her…. well, literally and figuratively :)

    She scared the shit out of a maintenance guy (and her nurse) when she sat bolt upright — she was intubated and on a vent at the time) flailed around a bit then crashed back on the stretcher…

    Yah…. next dose of ativan is coming MY way…I sure as shit wasn’t expecting that.

    sl

  83. still_looking says:

    All Hype,

    Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, little brother!! :-)

    sl

  84. 2010 Buyer says:

    Raffle tixs, is this what its come too?

    The house is a POS to me but would love to have the land. There’s some controversy about whether its legal though

    http://www.winadevonpropertywithfishing.co.uk/index.php
    ————-
    Global interest in £25 raffle for jetsetter home

    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/3951965.Global_interest_in___25_raffle_for_jetsetter_home/

    —————
    Win a $264k Home for only $50 in a Raffle

    http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=116278&catid=57

  85. 2010 Buyer says:

    Grim in mode

  86. 3b says:

    #84 kettle:a quick check on google says about $20

    $20 for a bottle of wine?? Recession what recession?? I will take two of these.

    Jeez, next thing you will be talking about flat screen TV’s.

  87. 3b says:

    #66 frank:your house will go up in $ terms 66.6%, that’s why.

    Yeah, sure, and who exactly will be buying these houses??

  88. 3b says:

    #40 frank:That’s exactly why you need to own hard assets like a house.

    Frank, you joker, always with the humor.

  89. Frank says:

    #90,
    Anyone that believes in the story that the $ will drop 60%. I don’t so I am not rushing.

  90. d2b says:

    Six months? I’ve over a years worth. I don’t keep it at home for security. It’s at my friend Berine’s in NYC. Spoke to him about a month ago and he said everything was fine. In fact, he’s managed to invest some of it. My statements say that we are doing great.

  91. d2b says:

    The stories about saving food sometimes make me think snowstorms here in the Northeast. Everyone rushes out for bread, milk, and eggs.

  92. sas says:

    09 will be alot worse than a snowstorm.

    i really don’t understand how people think there ok if they have some cash stored up, yet no food.

    maybe i am old fashion?
    or maybe nobody has ever been stabbed by someone wanting food?

    SAS

  93. sas says:

    but, hey what do I know?

    I haven’t left Lodi since 77.

    SAS

  94. sas says:

    and..

    is it me, or does A&P grocery suck eggs or what! never has anything, or what it does have it junk.

    SAS

  95. kettle1 says:

    will someone think of the I-bankers????

    Market for Corporate Jets Goes Into Free-Fall

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/business/25jets.html?_r=1&ref=business

  96. BC Bob says:

    “Anyone that believes in the story that the $ will drop 60%”

    The dollar is toast. If you debase and print there will be unintended, even intended, consequences. A house as a hedge versus the dollar? I just busted a rib. Got gold?

  97. sas says:

    “If you debase and print there will be unintended, even intended, consequences. A house as a hedge versus the dollar? I just busted a rib. Got gold?”

    this is a main reason I suspect that the robber barron bankers are not showing transparency with the bailouts.

    they don’t want to show how much they are printing, and how they are suppressing gold.

    cause if that were revealed, could get ugly, real quick.

    SAS

  98. TomS says:

    SAS,

    Most people have grown up with the convenience of grocery stores, the idea of not being able ‘to run to the store’ for something is foreign.

  99. sas says:

    “A house as a hedge versus the dollar?”

    yeah. not a good play.

    SAS

  100. kettle1 says:

    SAS 100

    “they don’t want to show how much they are printing, and how they are suppressing gold.”

    This is already obvious through public info. most are to busy watching american idol to both looking at it and even fewer understand the implications

    the info showing this has been posted on this blog many times.

  101. kettle1 says:

    But we just need to restart the consumer economy right?

    US consumers fall deeper into debt

    U.S. consumers are falling deeper into debt, an official at one of the largest U.S. credit bureaus told Reuters on Tuesday, as the U.S. recession deepens and job losses mount. Dann Adams, president of U.S. Information Systems for Equifax Inc, said the already high rate of personal bankruptcies could increase. “We’ve seen a continued ramp up of delinquencies across the board,” he said. That would pile more bad debt on banks already struggling to cope with heavy mortgage-related losses. Consumers are missing payments on mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans, Adams said, adding that Americans may be growing more reluctant to take on new debt and more willing to save.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/8167936

  102. jcer says:

    Right now oil is one of the better hedges for currency inflation. Gold doesn’t look bad but oil looks better. I want my own strategic supply.

  103. sas says:

    “Most people have grown up with the convenience of grocery stores, the idea of not being able ‘to run to the store’ for something is foreign”

    true. i forget there at least 2 generations btw me and those who blog on here.

    like gasoline, during the embargo.
    people would goto blows (literally) over a tank of gas.

    SAS

  104. kettle1 says:

    The US has lost 2 million jobs in 2008. Pres O plans on creating 3 million through his jobs program.

    Who wants to wager that more then 4 million are lost in 2009?

  105. sas says:

    “This is already obvious through public info”

    yes, but i don’t think we know who from where is doing what with how much.

    if thats been posted, i’d like to see it.

    actually, i don’t need to see it.
    i think i already know.

    SAS

  106. Cindy says:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/26/asia/26addiction.php?page=1

    International Herald Tribune

    The Reckoning

    “Dollar shift: While Americans spent, Chinese saved

  107. kettle1 says:

    WOW, this hurts!!!!! how long before one of these formerly wealthy individuals puts a hit out on madoff or does the wet work themselves?

    Clawback ruling says Madoff investors must pay back past profits

    Investors who have lost their money in what is alleged to be the world’s biggest financial fraud may also be made to repay any profits that they made to US liquidators. Under a new bankruptcy ruling, any investors who withdrew cash from the hedge fund run by Bernard Madoff before the $50 billion (£34 billion) fraud was discovered could be forced to return their original investment and any profits. The ruling, which was made in October, will come as a devastating development to Walter Noel, 78, the billionaire whose own investment firm — Fairfield Greenwich — lost $7.3 billion in Mr Madoff’s scheme. As the victims began a batch of lawsuits against him, one financier who had invested his own clients’ money with Mr Madoff committed suicide yesterday. Thierry de la Villehuchet, 65, the co-founder of Access International Advisors, a fund management company, killed himself in his Madison Avenue office after losing as much as $1.4 billion.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article5391758.ece

  108. kettle1 says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 26, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    70% of US GDP is based on consumer spending? We are a heroin addict who is about to see some wicked withdrawal
    US retail group wants national sales tax holidays. How exactly is saving a family $175 going to convince them to spend more money they do not have?

    ——

    A U.S. retail trade group asked President-elect Barack 0bama on Tuesday to add a series of temporary sales tax holidays to an economic stimulus package as a way to revive consumer spending. The National Retail Federation called for three 10-day periods of sales tax-free shopping in March, July and October 2009, which it said would save consumers almost $20 billion, or $175 for the average family. Under the NRF’s proposal, the federal government would reimburse states for the lost tax revenue. State sales tax rates range from 2.9 percent to 7.25 percent, the group said.

    In a letter signed by the chief executives of retail chains, including JC Penney Co Inc and Saks Inc, the NRF said the situation was “critical” with consumer confidence at the lowest level on records dating back 41 years. “With consumer spending accounting for 70 percent of GDP, it is difficult to foresee an improvement in overall economic growth until the consumers regain their footing,” the NRF said. The trade group wants tax-free treatment to apply to all tangible goods subject to state sales tax, except tobacco and alcohol.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/marketsNewsUS/idUKN2353456820081223

  109. sas says:

    “Clawback ruling says Madoff investors must pay back past profits”

    ouch.

    SAS

  110. sas says:

    lesson learned, know where & how your profits are coming from..

    if you don’t, it can come back to bite you.

    SAS

  111. Barbara says:

    111.
    Good.
    Most of these investors are savvy enough to know that gaining 10% on a fund while the rest of the market was tanking equals only one thing, funny biz nit. They just thought the guy was such an insider that he could was untouchable. They just didn’t count on a trashy Ponzi scheme.
    Oh well.

  112. TomS says:

    I will be shocked if Madoff makes it through 2009.

  113. Barbara says:

    114.
    ouch, errors galore. Sowwy.

  114. kettle1 says:

    SAS,

    there have been a few articles on financial sense and similar blogs that presented data showing JPM and citi playing the gold game. they would have to have the defacto backing of the big dogs int he fed to pull it off.

  115. BC Bob says:

    “Clawback ruling says Madoff investors must pay back past profits”

    How ironic, many of the world’s top scammers got scammed.

  116. sas says:

    “I will be shocked if Madoff makes it through 2009”

    Madoff didn’t act alone, he had institional help.

    but, i killed that topic the other day. check it out in the past thread from past 2-3 days.

    SAS

  117. kettle1 says:

    Treasury provides support for 92 more banks

    The Treasury Department says it has provided an additional $4.7 billion to 92 banks as part of the government’s $700 billion rescue of the financial system. The department released a list of 49 banks that got final approval last Friday to receive $2.8 billion. It said an additional 43 banks received final approval Tuesday, but those names will not be released until Monday.Treasury also confirmed that it had given preliminary approval to American Express Co. and CIT Group to receive support from the $700 billion bailout fund. The money is being disbursed as part of the government’s effort to buy stock in banks, to bolster their balance sheets and spur them to step up lending to fight the worst financial crisis to hit the country in seven decades. But critics contend that many banks are not using the government funds for the purpose Congress intended.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081223/meltdown_banks.html

  118. sas says:

    “Omama plan”

    as far as I know, its nothing more than pump & dump economics.
    http://tinyurl.com/b7wkl

    keep in mind, one can pump & dump a stock, real estate, a country, a whole economy.

    SAS

  119. PGC says:

    One of my best gifts this year was a new book on Sausage making. It will go with the preserving and curing books I got last year.

    I am slowly building up the skill set to be self sufficient. I will have the earth oven for bread and pizza, the smokehouse for curing and the grill for meat. I am canning fruits and sauces in small amounts and overall I’m rolling through the stock quite nicely. I think I may crack open a jar of this years peaches tonight.

    I could probably stretch the current contents of the dry food pantry a couple of months. Here is a great article for those interested.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/blunt115.html

  120. kettle1 says:

    Mea Culpa

    I believe that we are seeing the equivalent of the japanese bubble burst occuring here int he US.

    if that is correct, then it will not take 10 years for the housing market to recover. It WILL NOT recover.

    Exacerbating factors are the current deflation, lack of US savings, and an economy that is entirely based on consumer spending.

    If japan is any sort of model, then it could be 30+ years before the stock market approaches the 2007 highs and housing is unlikely to recover.

  121. sas says:

    also can pump & dump buisness’s, pension funds, municipalities, and people.

    SAS

  122. comrade nom deplume says:

    [6] Cindy,

    That was a great read, but it was also only part of the problem. The CRA and how it was administered (in a manner consistent with the goal of promoting home ownership) was just as big a problem for the “bitter competitors” of the GSEs. I can’t say all that much due to attorney-client privilege, but suffice it to say that the bank regulators under Clinton, and later Bush (same people really), along with poverty groups really held the banks’ feet to the fire concerning subprime lending—They wanted more of it and put the screws to the banks to make sure the spigot stayed open.

    Frank bitterly contests CRA’s role in the meltdown, but the fact remains that, IMHO, he is an unindicted co-conspirator in the housing debacle.

  123. comrade nom deplume says:

    [125] redux

    BTW, that was Barney Frank, not Troll Frank.

  124. Victorian says:

    BC Bob – Just finished reading Liar’s Poker. All the stories about traders kept reminding me about the one you told about the trader who used to keep banging his fists on the table when a trade went against him.

    A truly incredible book though, highly recommend it. A fast read too. Whatever is happening right now has happened before. The road remains the same, only the vehicle changes.

  125. comrade nom deplume says:

    [122] PGC

    PGC also sounds like a good candidate for the NJREReport.com Compound!!!

  126. Frank says:

    “Who wants to wager that more then 4 million are lost in 2009?”

    If you are so negative on this country, why don’t you move to Cuba? I hear they are doing just great down there.

  127. BC Bob says:

    105,

    I love crude, long term, at these prices. However, one year ago, 1 oz of gold bought approx 9 barrels of crude. Today, 1 oz of gold buys approx 24 barrels crude.

  128. 3b says:

    #104 kettle:adding that Americans may be growing more reluctant to take on new debt and more willing to save.

    Just exactly how can they save if they cannot pay their debts??

    Okay I am not going to pay this months car payment because I am going to save it instead??

  129. 3b says:

    #129 franl That Cuba bit is getting old, don’t you think?

  130. Victorian says:

    Nom –

    You are barking up the wrong tree with the CRA. I know it is a favorite scapegoat for the right wingers, but the facts simply do not agree.

    “Fed economists found that about 60% of higher-priced loan originations — the technical definition of subrpime — went to middle- or higher-income borrowers or neighborhoods who aren’t targeted by CRA. More than 20% of the higher-priced loans were extended to lower-income borrowers or borrowers in lower-income areas by institutions that aren’t banks — and aren’t covered by CRA.

    The “striking result,” Kroszner said: “Only 6% of all the higher-priced loans were extended by CRA-covered lenders to lower-income borrowers or neighborhoods in their CRA assessment areas, the local geographies that are the primary focus for CRA evaluation purposes.” ”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/12/03/feds-kroszner-defends-community-reinvestment-act/

  131. 3b says:

    #127 victorian:Whatever is happening right now has happened before.

    Not to this magnitude has it happened, at least in our lifetimes.

  132. sas says:

    if anyone is realy savvy out there, and you want to an entrepreneur, throw away the MBA, and ask yourself:

    “what can I do to prevent intermediation?”

    in my opinion, thats the best buisness plan, and works the best (ask any drug dealer, they will tell ya, they actually have the best buisness models).

    in any case..
    think

    why should I send my money to New York or London for 4%, only in turn to have those fruitcakes in turn, loan back to kettle or BC Bob for 18%. Why don’t you just cut out NY?

    i think moving forward, this model and people whom work this model with there own widgit, they will do good.

    if people out there working a corporate job, your working for a dinosaur and will become extinct.

    just my thoughts.
    SAS

  133. sas says:

    “1 oz of gold bought approx 9 barrels of crude. Today, 1 oz of gold buys approx 24 barrels crude”

    and soon an oz will buy the dow.

    i remember those days, they were alot of fun. alot of water under that bridge.

    SAS

  134. sas says:

    “drug rings & prostitution rings”

    I don’t promote the use of these things, but if you study these area from an economical point of view, they are usually run very really well and are good examples of a free market.

    SAS

  135. Barbara says:

    free market, sas? Its free when the girls are beat up and desperate, sexual slave trade is right here in the us of a. There’s nothing free about it. Its a stacked deck.

  136. comrade nom deplume says:

    [53] Sean,

    That was precisely why the target demographic for the compound were professional couples living in or close to Manhattan. Those are the folks that would derive the greatest benefit since those are the ones that live where zombies would spring forth.

    Scoped out the Poconos a bit on my way to Altoona last weekend. Seems NYers have already been buying up farm/hunting land, and the cost per acre is actually going up! May have to consider Luzerne county instead of Pike or Wayne, just to keep cost reasonable. Also found it more built up than I had expected, so there is a zombie threat there as well, though I would still expect most defensive measures to be adequate—no need for perimeter walls, barbed wire and floodlights.

    Even in a SHTF scenario, I don’t expect too many zombies in Brigadoon (and presently have enough ammo to hold them off, I think). Further, I have another 1000 rounds at my sister’s family compound, which is my current TEOTWAKI sanctuary (I sincerely doubt sis would turn away family, especially those that bring firearms, supplies, a strong back, and valuable skills).

    We really should have a SHTF GTG sometime to discuss planning, share ideas, and see if there is interest in a shared farming sanctuary property (a.k.a., the compound).

  137. sas says:

    “Its free when the girls are beat up and desperate, sexual slave trade is right here in the us of a. There’s nothing free about it. Its a stacked deck”

    you’ve seen too many hollywood movies.

    the situation you speak of is very rare, because it drives away good buisness, people aren’t that dumb. In my above post, I wasn’t talking about the crack head walking the street for $20.

    you would be very surprized how many people work in these buisness, people you would never think of or expect.

    so when you say its a stacked deck, i would have to disagree.

    SAS

  138. sas says:

    and doing something against ones will is “free market” either.

    i’m talking people not doing things under duress.

    SAS

  139. sas says:

    I can’t type:

    I mean:
    doing something against ones own will. that wouldn’t be a “free market”

    hence, your post would then be true.

    SAS

  140. sas says:

    I tend to think if we look at people how well they run a buisness, how they handle free markets, create ideas, handle economics…..

    my money would be on the black kid from the hoods than the white bread from the Ivy League.

    SAS

  141. Frank says:

    #132,
    “That Cuba bit is getting old”
    Pick any other country other than USA, you seem to hate this place.

  142. Barbara says:

    140, sas
    and you watch too much HBO. I guess the 16 yr old mexican girls in my town are working their way through med school. Yep.

  143. Cindy says:

    http://www.coffeebeancorral.com/

    Something you may need at your compound –

    Information on roasting your own coffee – using an old “air pop” popcorn popper…(instructions on the left – scroll down to popcorn popper.)

    My daughter sent me Sumatran but says they have all sorts of coffee from all over the world.

  144. comrade nom deplume says:

    [133] Victorian,

    First, you assume I am a right wing nutjob. Fair assumption since I am not a liberal, but most don’t consider me sufficiently right wing either. I guess I am middle of the roadkill.

    Second, regardless of where money actually fell, directly from a CRA-subject lender, which is what your study seems to measure, there are a lot of ways to earn CRA credit, and not all lending tracks in the manner you suggest. Further, and more importantly, in order to get a bank deal approved, you needed at least a “satisfactory” CRA rating from your regulator. Community groups, like ACORN, Greelining, NCRC, etc., know this and pressured regulators to block bank deals until they ponied up a new “commitment” to originate XXX billion in new lending to LMI households. Regulators also evaluated such commitments as a way to grease the skids for the bank merger approval. Read orders from the Fed or OCC (OTS and FDIC approval orders aren’t as descriptive) and you will see the regulators evaluating the CRA lending of the acquirer (as they are required by law to do) and the weight of the commitments made for LMI lending versus the claims of community groups.

    I drafted the rebuttals that banks filed against community groups that maintained the bank wasn’t doing enough LMI lending.

    Finally, whether or not the lending was w/in the CRA assessment area or not is largely immaterial since so many banks shared the same assessment areas. Regulators gave “credit” for lending to LMI outside of the assessment area, especially for the largest banks. What mattered was that you kept at least a “high satisfactory” overall rating in order to be able to engage in mergers and acquisitions. Thus, although I haven’t seen your study, I can pretty much conclude that it is a left wing attempt to shield CRA from conservative attacks. Further, I said that CRA was part of the problem, not the entire one–the fact that the GSEs accelerated this lending (and banks were not happy with the GSEs, and wanted them shut down as unnecessary) was at least a major factor. But the bank’s need to comply with CRA in the face of armtwisting to make more loans to LMI populations was very real and I saw it firsthand.

  145. sas says:

    “and you watch too much HBO. I guess the 16 yr old mexican girls in my town are working their way through med school. Yep”

    i didn’t say it was a good thing.
    i am just talking economics.

    and 16yr mexican girls would be a very small % of the total. that would be like seeing a muslim, and thinking he was a terrorists tied to osama bin laden.

  146. sas says:

    “working their way through med school”

    you would be surprized how many college girls (NYU & Columbia) pay college this way. why? because they make good money. more in 1 hr, than most make in 8hrs.

    like I said, I don’t promote, but I am not blind to the world.

    SAS

  147. 3b says:

    #144 frank: I love the place. True patriots are very crtical of their country when it is going the wrong way.

    I suggest you stop being the typical dumb American and familarize yourself with American history.

    The founding fathers argued all the time.

  148. sas says:

    “and you watch too much HBO”

    i don’t have HBO. that channel is too violent for me.

    SAS

  149. sas says:

    time for a little refresher:
    “free market”
    http://tinyurl.com/rh7or

    then read my posts.
    :)
    SAS

  150. Frank says:

    #150,
    Sounds like you are old enough to remember.

  151. Frank says:

    #150,
    Did they call others stupid, dumb, and other names??
    Because I have see this from you.

  152. PGC says:

    #128 Nom,

    I have my nice 2 acre place up on a ridge in the Catskills. It does need plumbing and electric, but if will be as off grid as I can make it. It’s a good place to have to stage myself and if worse comes to worse, the taxes are low enough to always have a place to live if TSHTF and I end up long term unemployed. My long term goal is to plant vines as it has a great winter climate for growing grapes.

    SAS is correct food will be the key to this. Instead of bread and circuses, we will just have bread lines. At the end of the day, this country does have the natural resources to feed its own people. Even if the imported oil stops, there will be enough local supply for the government to function. Personal consumption would be NIL in that scenario.

    My charitable contribution this year will be to put together a small “build your own pantry and feed yourself booklet that I can give out to people to allow them to store basic cheap foods and be able to prepare a few basic meals.

  153. sas says:

    “Frank”

    i actually gave a small kudos to Frank in yesterdays xmas thread.

    skin through it.

    SAS

  154. Sean says:

    Frank, – seriously it puzzles me why you are not on the site below adding to the real estate banter and are instead here gracing us with your sheer lack of wit.

    http://www.trumpuniversity.com/blog/index.cf

  155. Cindy says:

    (125) Nom –

    I forget you have a law background and would bring a unique perspective to the regulation conversation.

    Kettle brought up the question last week and I have been looking for articles on the subject: Who? Why? When?

    I was leaning toward the timing of the tax ruling in 1997 then I hit on that article. You bring up the CRA. That is US federal law. My point really is:

    It is all legislation.

    Say what you will about banks, individuals, interest rates.. any of it (although – personal responsibility will always be #1 with me) – these guys in Washington are dangerous.

    They aren’t around long enough to see the long-term ramifications of the decisions they make…or at least to be blamed for them. I think it is important to track back and expose it. That Barney Frank retains any credibility and is a lead man in this new administration is scary to me.

  156. Yikes says:

    nothing like getting end of days less than 24 hours after xmas.

    to stock up on after NYE: food supplies, ammo.

  157. Yikes says:

    so kettle, isnt the only way your scenario of awfulness hits is if the foreign countries quit propping up our economy?

    but wouldn’t it hurt them significantly if they did this?

  158. Cindy says:

    Yikes – I DO NOT believe it is the end of days. But 2009 is lost to us. Roubini warned that we have not adequately recapitalized the banks so they still have junk to write down.
    No trust – no leadership….lousy politicians.

  159. Cindy says:

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/the-home-front/2008/12/18/nouriel-roubini-the-700-billion-bailout-isnt-enough.html

    $700B bailout isn’t enough

    “We have to take about 2 trillion of credit losses…”

  160. schabadoo says:

    you would be surprized how many college girls (NYU & Columbia) pay college this way.

    When you first mentioned the topic, I was thinking of Spitzer’s girl. Came from good surroundings, just liked the easy money.

  161. Cindy says:

    Worst fear – Bi’s gunna come on and tell me I’ve posted 100 times…

  162. jamil says:

    I just encountered another stupidity in the US health care system: Flex spending account, ie you have to spend everything by Dec 31. My family was too healthy this year (for flex acc purposes) so we had to spend $1,600 today for something (that is eligible for flex spending).

    The scam artist/salesperson who sold me all the options for the designer sunglasses (and lenses) seemed to be very happy, though. Anyway, I had no incentive to compare prices as I still have plenty of money left in FSA. At least I made my contribution to the economy.

    Why the heck is automatic rollover not allowed?

  163. yikes says:

    spending $1600 in a week might be fun. man, i haven’t spent lavishly like that in awhile.

    oops, i feel bad saying that. reinvestor’s probably upset that im not ‘helping the economy.’

  164. kettle1 says:

    yikes

    so kettle, isnt the only way your scenario of awfulness hits is if the foreign countries quit propping up our economy?

    no. foreign nations cannot prop up the US economy. no matter how much they offer to lend the US, the average consumer is tapped out. once the average consumer is saturated in debt and cannot or will not increase their debt load, the consumer economy collapses.

    the entire consumer economy was/is based on debt expansion. You have 3 different generations currently living through this mess. none of them will be willing to repeat this debt orgy after it is resolved.

    no foreign nation has the ability to float the US for much longer. unrest is spreading in most of the nations that support the US debt and the global finance empire is crumbling.

    Outside of all of this, and com[are only to japan we are in a worse situation.

    if japan’s stock market and housing market have not recovered in 20 years, what factors will allow the US to do so?

    its not the end of the world, not doomsday, but it is a catastrophic reversion to mean of our own making

  165. Frank says:

    #165,
    Just send in a bogus receipts and get your money back, it’s your money after all.

  166. comrade nom deplume says:

    [158] Cindy,

    The events leading up to the housing debacle and mortgage meltdown are best thought of in the title of the Sebastian Yunger book, and an event I remember vividly as a Bay Stater, then living in Quincy, Mass.:

    The Perfect Storm

    There are several pieces of legislation that I feel led to this point, and all of which have an unintended effect, starting with the CRA, then in succession FIRREA, Section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Their influence can be seen in various ways, and ironically most of them intended to prevent the result we see here today.

    To wend one’s way through the threads of each piece of legislation and calculate the effect would be a herculean and Einsteinian task, one that I don’t profess to be up to, but I think that there will be a great many scholarly articles that analyze these days and I feel that all of the legislation presented, and more, will be found to have had an influence, however unintended.

    Further, one must consider the fact that these laws were not just avoided or subverted, but outright ignored, both by regulators and government and by the regulated. The effect of such wanton disregard cannot be ignored.

  167. kettle1 says:

    SAS Schab

    knew a girl in college who did that. nicest person in the world and no one would have ever guessed. and she wasnt some beat up, strung out junky.

    she dealt mostly with middle aged
    nyc bankers. both of them were there only for a business transaction.

  168. comrade nom deplume says:

    [165] jamil,

    I could tell you why, but then I would have to bill you. I advise on this for a living.

    As for your FSA, make sure your company hasn’t adopted the ‘grace period’ extension.

    The law was changed a few years back to allow plans to give an additional grace period for participants to spend the plan years’s FSA dollars. This means you can have a period into 2009 to spend 2008 bucks. But your plan has to have that feature (it isn’t required). So check with your plan administrator!!!!

  169. jamil says:

    77 sas: “wait a minute? i thought knuckehead sean hannity wanted to drill in Alaska.”

    Why are you talking about Hannity? Over 50% of Americans want to open ANWR for drilling (in the summer around 60%) and support for current drilling in AL is probably >90%.

    Energy investments are made for decades and price of oil goes up and down several times in the next 50 years. The “experts” on this blog have confirmed that $200 oil is here to stay.

    In any case, it is better (for the economy/jobs, environment, national security/energy independence) to drill in the US, rather than to send trillions to hostile dictators.

    Now it is excellent time to start the projects (and have them ready in 5-10 years, in time for the next OPEC/Putin/Chavez extortion attempt).

    I thought you are not one of those out-of-touch libs who believe that food comes from Trader Joe and energy comes from the wall socket.

  170. bairen vulture says:

    #154 frank,

    They actually shot each other. VP Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehauken, NJ.

    Andrew Jackson resigned from the Senate (his first term) because he couldn’t take the bs and because disputes were settled with canes instead of pistols. He went back to Tennessee and would up killing a political rival in a duel. He let the guy shoot him first, then jackson took careful aim, shot the guy in the gut, got on his horse with a bullet in his chest and rode back to his hotel. Jackson was a tough sob.
    And a straight shooter in more ways than one.

    He got reelcted to the senate 20+ years later and was still disgusted by the bs.

  171. comrade nom deplume says:

    [155] pgc

    maybe we should just bunk up with you ;-)

    Your place makes my point. To have someplace to get away to and survive off of for an extended period if necessary, but also close enough and properly located for recreational use. Doesn’t matter that it wasn’t the original intent, but it does prove useful.

    I considered upstate but selected the poconos because of Pennsylvania’s tax and firearms policies, and proximity to recreational attractions (this wasn’t intended to be a pure survivalist thing after all).

    I query whether 2 acres is enough to provide all you need however, both for crops and timber.

  172. jamil says:

    171: My company has no grace period for FSA, so this had to be done by Dec 31.

    As for Frank’s advise..Maybe I’ll “find” some receipts for the remaining amount..

    HSA (instead of FSA) is a great system in theory, but in practice (e.g. due to investment choices and fees) it is not something I’m too anxious about.

  173. NJGator says:

    Jamil 165 – First off, you likely have until March 15 to spend your money. Secondly, you are getting a tax advantage for putting the money in a flex spending account and were warned when you set up the account that it was use it or lose it. You should only put in the amount of money that you know you will use…don’t be greedy.

  174. bairen vulture says:

    #154 frank,

    Also the northeast seriously considered leaving the union during the War of 1812. Then AndrewJackson gave the Brits a beat down in New Orleans, and the Union was preserved. The Federalist party collapsed as a result and the Republicans dominated.

    And there has always been heated disputes in this country between East and West/ or North and South. City vs country.

    If everyone agreed we’d wind up in a totalitarian state like the USSR or WW2 Germany.

  175. comrade nom deplume says:

    [159] yikes

    Don’t feel you have to go nuts. Do get what you need first however, like handgun ammo or handguns. Rifle ammo and rifles will continue to be available (except for the .50 caliber and any black guns—they may be going away).

    BTW, Ruger is having an “Inauguration Special” and selling 20 round mags for the mini-14 until Jan. 20. From what I read, and my own experience, only Ruger’s mags work well with Ruger rifles, and Ruger never was interested in producing hi-cap mags. So I ordered 2 and had them shipped (legally) to my sister’s “compound.” As long as I never bring them to NJ, no problem.

  176. Frank says:

    #177,
    Now is much easier to leave the union, just hope on a plane to Iran, there’s millions of people willing to come to this country without complaining about it.

  177. comrade nom deplume says:

    [175] jamil

    or stock up on OTC drugs, first aid stuff, etc. That is usually permitted

    [176] Gator,

    Not necessarily. Some plans don’t permit grace periods. I gather from his comment that Jamil checked.

  178. jamil says:

    NJGator: “You should only put in the amount of money that you know you will use…don’t be greedy.”

    Yes, I’m well aware how FSA works, including tax advantages. At least my plan has to be spent by Dec 31 (receipts for the reimbursement may be sent until March 31 or so, but the actual invoice must be dated in 2008).

    Maybe I was a bit greedy, every other year so far we had enough expenses but this year we were “too healthy”. I’m not really complaining about that aspect.

  179. comrade nom deplume says:

    [175] jamil

    FWIW, HSA is great if you are generally healthy. But if you expect to have expenses, then do the math and see if FSA works better.

    We converted back to ppo/fsa because we are expecting and know we are gonna have some expenses in 2009. So we can load up the FSA, spend it down, then when the baby is born, convert back to an HSA (qualified change in status rules under Code Section 125).

    Again, I could advise you but then I have to bill you.

  180. kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    for long term self sufficiency, you need on average about 3/4 acre/person. Thats just for growing food.

    Planning on timber as your only fuel is suboptimal. Some basic solar thermal upgrades, doable for 5k can significantly reduce your heating needs. This applies even in upstate NY

  181. jamil says:

    comrade: “or stock up on OTC drugs, first aid stuff, etc. That is usually permitted”

    Yes, this is probably what I do next..But I can hardly spend the remaining ~$900 for that. I suppose I need to find the receipts from Dr Frank that I had forgotten.

  182. comrade nom deplume says:

    [183] Kettle,

    You will have to be my consultant on that—it’s way over my tiny little head.

    Now, if you will all excuse me, I have to review the operative provisions of the Inspector General Act, and the legislative history of the qualified thrift lender test.

  183. comrade nom deplume says:

    [184] Jamil

    Got a doctor in the family???

    I do, and it comes in handy for just such a need.

  184. jamil says:

    comrade: Re HSAs. I’m waiting until Vanguard is offering HSA accounts. So far, the investment plans do not look too useful. I made extensive comparisons last year, but in the end, you never know for sure what kind of expenses you are going to face next year.

  185. Al says:

    Wow it is really Apocalyptic in here right now…..

    Come on – it won’t be pretty, but it won’t be that bad… Yea flying to vacation 3 times a year might be thing of a past…

    We might even have to mow our own lawns in the end….

    And going out to dinner will be once a month occasion – or less… And yes Mc D will count as going out… Right now unless it is 40-50$/person people around me do not count it as going out at all…..

    It will be simpler world with less consumption, that is it…..

    Funny though, I am applying for NJ gun permit next week… Against my wife’s better judgment.

  186. kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    a good middle ground setup would be 1/2 acre per person for food and about 2 acres/person of timber.

    The catch is that you dont just suddenly become an expert small scale farmer. its takes several seasons to become successful at it.

    ——————————–

    Frank,

    heated and intellectual debate is the foundation of our nation. We are a nation of compromise not consensus.

  187. New in NJ says:

    I have a quick question for somebody who has experience in such matters…

    My wife was given a ticket for Title 39 4-81, Failure to observe signal. She said she overran the stop line by 1/2 of the car length, but did not enter the intersection. She didn’t enter a crosswalk because there isn’t one where this happened.

    She was headed east on Green Lane in Union, near the train station entrance.

    She wants to contest the ticket. Do you think it’s worth lining up a lawyer to do so?

    Thanks in advance.

  188. kettle1 says:

    AL,

    people were saying the same thing about this blog when it was calling a housing bubble in 04/05.

    The problem is most people base their future expectations off of their current circumstances. current circumstances may or may not be indicative of long term trends.

  189. kettle1 says:

    take a look at the chart in the article

    US Retail Sales Plummet
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123025036865134309.html

  190. New in NJ says:

    166 yikes-

    We probably ran up what would have been a $1600 bar bill if it hadn’t been all inclusive. Other guests complained about slow service. We had the good sense to tip, so the waiter was right there whenever we dropped below the 1/2 mark on the beer or sissy drinks.

  191. kettle1 says:

    One Last Super Bubble

    Like the sorcerer’s apprentice, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his predecessor Alan Greenspan have unleashed a series of ever-larger asset bubbles they cannot control. Now the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates to between zero and 0.25%, coupled with a promise to keep them there for an extended period, and the threat to conduct even more unconventional operations in the longer-dated Treasury market risks the biggest bubble of all, this time in U.S. government debt. Bubble mania is no accident. It is the direct consequence of the Fed’s asymmetric response to shifts in asset prices. Pressed to “lean against the wind” and adopt counter-cyclical interest rate and credit policies in the asset market, senior Fed policymakers have repeatedly demurred.

    http://www.financialweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081226/REG/812229993/1036

  192. firestormik says:

    Al,

    How did you deal with your wife? Because I’m in the same position. She says if I get a gun, she is leaving the country.

  193. kettle1 says:

    Bank regulators forced accounting board to ease fair-value rules

    Comments at FASB meeting show regulators refused to adjust capital reserve requirements to reflect banks’ complaints that accounting exaggerates their losses. SEC pressure led FASB to make “emergency” change in accounting rules instead. Bank regulators, acting partly through the Securities and Exchange Commission, pressured the Financial Accounting Standards Board to ease its fair-value rules, according to comments made during a board meeting on Dec. 15. At the meeting, FASB member Lawrence Smith reported that in his consultations with bank regulators over the board’s rules for valuing troubled financial instruments held by banks, the regulators, whom Mr. Smith did not identify, refused to change their capital reserve requirements to take into account complaints that fair-value accounting exaggerated banks’ losses.

    http://www.financialweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081224/REG/812249983/1036

  194. kettle1 says:

    We debated this before. An action such as this one could place increased pressure on china or other competitors to do the same.

    this is the race to devalue, beggar thy neighbor, race to the bottom:

    Vietnam devalues currency

    Vietnam devalued its currency by 3 percent Thursday, spurred by falling inflation and the weakest annual economic growth in nine years. The central bank set the dong midpoint at 16,989 per dollar Thursday, from 16,494 on Wednesday after a two-day cabinet meeting in which Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said gross domestic product had grown 6.23 percent this year. That is the slowest pace since 1999, when growth was at 4.77 percent. Last year Vietnam was a darling of the investment community, with 8.5 percent expansion. After a domestic overheating crisis earlier this year, and faced with the global slowdown, the government has cut its growth forecast to 6.5 percent.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/25/business/dong.php

  195. Al says:

    Hey Kettle – as I said before – I live in soviet union when it si collapsed – bread lines, months long electric outages and such…

    Trust me – you do not really need a “compound”… Collapsing economy does not equial collapsing Goverments and Society.

    Unless you would postulate that American Society will collapse without Consumer Spending….

    I would argue that it will not. Little Jimmy will have to have Christmas with only ONE Toy as a present Present though.

    And Jimmy’s dad will not buy that new shiny boat or jet-ski to play outside… It will be paying for food instead.

    But again, I simply do not believe in “Mad-Max” type of world…. It will be more like 1960th -1970th living….

  196. Al says:

    But again, I simply do not believe in “Mad-Max” type of world…. It will be more like 1960th -1970th living….

    BUT WITH INTERNET

  197. kettle1 says:

    World faces “total” financial meltdown: Bank of Spain chief

    The governor of the Bank of Spain on Sunday issued a bleak assessment of the economic crisis, warning that the world faced a “total” financial meltdown unseen since the Great Depression. “The lack of confidence is total,” Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said in an interview with Spain’s El Pais daily. “The inter-bank (lending) market is not functioning and this is generating vicious cycles: consumers are not consuming, businessmen are not taking on workers, investors are not investing and the banks are not lending. “There is an almost total paralysis from which no-one is escaping,” he said, adding that any recovery — pencilled in by optimists for the end of 2009 and the start of 2010 — could be delayed if confidence is not restored.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h2SsVV8JJZk5ooieD_bfpKcrg_qw

  198. kettle1 says:

    AL,

    For reference i look at the 1873 financial collapse and its fallout and try to extrapolate to to day.

    I dont see a mad-max type event either, but much more trying conditions then the 70’s.

    In many ways russia was much more prepared for collapse, due to both social and economic reasons, when you were there then the US could dream of being,

  199. kettle1 says:

    have a flight to catch G’nite all!

  200. Al says:

    firestormik says:
    December 26, 2008 at 4:31 pm
    Al,

    How did you deal with your wife? Because I’m in the same position. She says if I get a gun, she is leaving the country.

    I haven’t yet, also I have being trying for while…. I am applying for permit since it might take a long time in NJ…… She does not mind me applying for permit, but we will see.

    I think there will be a lot of begging and convincing involved… With enough patience I might succeed. However her main objection is that we have a 19 month old in the house. And unless I could absolutely prove to her that baby can not get to it in any reasonable period of time – lets say 2-3 years trying :-) there will be no gun in our house. So we will see.

    Anybody have a handgun safe in mind?? It has to have dual protection – fingerprints + code, easily accessible – less that 15 seconds to open (6 digit code punched in – about 3 seconds + fingerprint scan or other Authentication method?) … weigh about 50 pounds, so not too easy to move around.

  201. bairen vulture says:

    jamil,

    I’m in the same boat with the FSA plans as well. My old plan I had till 3/31 to accrue expenses, now under my wife’s it’s only till 12/31. Looks like I’ll be getting a few new pairs of glasses and sunglasses and stocking up on first aid stuff this weekend.

  202. comrade nom deplume says:

    [196] Kettle

    Something prompted me to come back to the board and I saw your article. Very timely and useful. Cannot tell you why.

    [188] Al

    Better to have and not need, than need and not have.

    That said, marital disharmony isn’t worth the modicum of protection so I recommend you get the spouse on board first, perhaps by adopting a lot of ground rules about storage.

    Finally, be careful of the NJ laws. If you get a permit to buy, it is good for only one purchase and for a limited period. I have completed my shopping so Monday I become an NJ resident.

    Now, back to the qualified thrift lender test and Title 12 of the CFRs.

  203. comrade nom deplume says:

    [203] Al,

    I was able to convince the spouse because:

    1. gun stored very high up in a discrete location

    2. Always left with safety on and no round chambered

    3. Slide and safety very stiff and hard even for an adult to operate

    This required that before it became dangerous, a toddler would have to:
    a. locate the weapon
    b. Find a way to get to the weapon at about 8 feet.
    c. turn off the safety, and
    d. chamber a round.

    Because each step was deemed nearly impossible or impossible for a 2 year old, and because center city phila. was sufficiently dangerous, I prevailed. You should not have any trouble convincing spouse that a toddler cannot get to and operate the weapon; the unspoken issue is the wife’s safety. Be sure to address that as well.

    Now I am out. Night, all.

  204. kettle1 says:

    AL,

    Re Gun safety. Stats show that training in use and safety of a firearm is one of the best methods. Any adult in the household should be trained in the proper and safe operation of any firearms you keep in the house.

    There are a number of place in Nj or any other state will provide day or multiday firearms safety and use courses. They even have courses especially geared towards women if that is more the flavor you want.

  205. Al says:

    Obviously if I fail to convince the Lady of the House there will be no gun… It is not worth the family peace.. Strangely enough she does not mind me getting a Composite Hunting Bow…

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0054988416830a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0510104&cm_ite=0054988416830a

    In my opinion powerful composite bow is far more dangerous than guns, because people will no take it seriously, but it is a scary powerful weapon with a lot less precision – easier to hit someone by accident…

    May be becasue she did archery as kid??? And I had shooting range once a week for 4 years – rifles and handguns, courtesy of Soviet Goverment :-).

    I am still amazed by that shooting range. You take 10 kids, ages 12-16 , ONE instructor, 2 rifles and 2 handguns… So up to 4 kind sooting at a time… It was et up that only 4 kids could possible get into a gun area at a time. Amazingly – I believe in 20 years of it’s existance in my town, there were no accidents.

    “Готов к труду и обороне”, сокращенно ГТО – Rocks…..

  206. kettle1 says:

    Al,

    spend the money and purchase a course at a gun range. You do not need a permit or a firearm if you go to one of the courses in PA. They will teach you basic safety and then they will do a firing exercise.

    This would be a good chance for you and your wife to assess whether firearm ownership is appropriate for you without blindly guessing. You may both hate it or love, but then you know the real answer and have had any misconceptions dispelled.

    http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/find.asp?Location=USAPA&Type=BPistol

  207. Jim says:

    A joke about our economy, taken from another blog:

    Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and
    announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys
    for $10 each.
    The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: ‘Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.’ The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.

    They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys!

    Now you have a better understanding of how the

    WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WILL WORK !!!!

  208. Cindy says:

    http://www.financialweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081226/REG/812229993

    “One last Super-Bubble”

    “The problem is that if the unconventional monetary policy works, and the economy picks up, the Fed will come under pressure to “normalize” rates and reduce excess liquidity to prevent a rise in inflation. The resulting rate rises will inflict massive losses on anyone who bought bonds at today’s 2.25% rate.”

  209. Cindy says:

    Chicago – Did you get a chance to read #6? Sort of sets Ritholtz straight, I’d say.

  210. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 says:
    December 26, 2008 at 1:40 pm
    Mea Culpa I believe that we are seeing the equivalent of the japanese bubble burst occuring here int he US. if that is correct, then it will not take 10 years for the housing market to recover. It WILL NOT recover.
    Exacerbating factors are the current deflation, lack of US savings, and an economy that is entirely based on consumer spending. If japan is any sort of model, then it could be 30+ years before the stock market approaches the 2007 highs and housing is unlikely to recover.

    ket: did you take your meds today? WTF is this bone headed drivel?

  211. chicagofinance says:

    Victorian says:
    December 26, 2008 at 1:44 pm
    BC Bob – Just finished reading Liar’s Poker. All the stories about traders kept reminding me about the one you told about the trader who used to keep banging his fists on the table when a trade went against him. A truly incredible book though, highly recommend it. A fast read too. Whatever is happening right now has happened before. The road remains the same, only the vehicle changes.

    vic: Make sure to throw a phone receiver at ket at the next GTG….

  212. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 says:
    December 26, 2008 at 3:52 pm
    yikes

    so kettle, isnt the only way your scenario of awfulness hits is if the foreign countries quit propping up our economy?

    no. foreign nations cannot prop up the US economy. no matter how much they offer to lend the US, the average consumer is tapped out. once the average consumer is saturated in debt and cannot or will not increase their debt load, the consumer economy collapses.

    the entire consumer economy was/is based on debt expansion. You have 3 different generations currently living through this mess. none of them will be willing to repeat this debt orgy after it is resolved.

    no foreign nation has the ability to float the US for much longer. unrest is spreading in most of the nations that support the US debt and the global finance empire is crumbling.

    Outside of all of this, and com[are only to japan we are in a worse situation.

    if japan’s stock market and housing market have not recovered in 20 years, what factors will allow the US to do so?

    its not the end of the world, not doomsday, but it is a catastrophic reversion to mean of our own making

    ket: this drivel is so patently idiotic that I think you are actually trolling us….

  213. chicagofinance says:

    jamil says:
    December 26, 2008 at 4:07 pm
    171: My company has no grace period for FSA, so this had to be done by Dec 31. As for Frank’s advise..Maybe I’ll “find” some receipts for the remaining amount.. HSA (instead of FSA) is a great system in theory, but in practice (e.g. due to investment choices and fees) it is not something I’m too anxious about.

    HSAs are good if you have the good health and good earnings enough to use them properly…..just another IRA

  214. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 says:
    December 26, 2008 at 4:17 pm
    Nom, for long term self sufficiency, you need on average about 3/4 acre/person. Thats just for growing food. Planning on timber as your only fuel is suboptimal. Some basic solar thermal upgrades, doable for 5k can significantly reduce your heating needs. This applies even in upstate NY

    ket: anything more than a cursory skim of the bulk of your posts is suboptimal…….

  215. bairen vulture says:

    #214 chifi,

    They wear headsets now.

    When I was at Salomon I knew a guy in ops who broke 6 phones. They told him the next broken one was on him.

    I swear I sat next to the guy in ops who padded his expense account enough to buy a car.

  216. victorian says:

    Stu/Gator:
    Which restaurant in Montclair gives you the best value for money in your opinion and is BYOB? Not particular about the cuisine, but Italian would be nice.
    Thanks!

  217. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 says:
    December 26, 2008 at 4:37 pm
    World faces “total” financial meltdown: Bank of Spain chief

    The governor of the Bank of Spain on Sunday issued a bleak assessment of the economic crisis, warning that the world faced a “total” financial meltdown unseen since the Great Depression. “The lack of confidence is total,” Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said in an interview with Spain’s El Pais daily. “The inter-bank (lending) market is not functioning and this is generating vicious cycles: consumers are not consuming, businessmen are not taking on workers, investors are not investing and the banks are not lending. “There is an almost total paralysis from which no-one is escaping,” he said, adding that any recovery — pencilled in by optimists for the end of 2009 and the start of 2010 — could be delayed if confidence is not restored.

    ket: this $hit is better than internet p0rn to you..eh?

  218. Firestormik says:

    Al,
    If you don’t mind, can I get your email from Grim? I think we have a couple things in common.

  219. Cindy says:

    Hey Chicago – I missed you today. (161)

  220. chicagofinance says:

    Op-Ed from the WSJ

    By definition, ket believes this guy is stupid, idiotic, delusional or naive. Probably some lethal combination of all….

    OPINION DECEMBER 26, 2008 The Economic News Isn’t All Bleak

    We may be in for a long slide. But there are also reasons to think the economy could rebound quickly.

    By ZACHARY KARABELL

    The recent economic news has been dismal, and it’s now almost universally assumed things will get worse before they get better. Conventional wisdom also dictates that this recession will be longer, deeper and cause more long-term pain than any financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    Yet, less than two years ago, conventional wisdom dictated that the housing bubble would be painful but that global economic growth would remain stable. That assertion was proved dramatically incorrect. Why then is there so much conviction in today’s forecasts of a dire future?

    Predictions about the rate of unemployment by the end of 2009 are based on how high that rate went during and after other recessions, and how steep those recessions were compared to today. Forecasts of GDP growth are grounded in the nature of past contractions and how long it took the system to begin expanding again. But none of these past patterns are necessarily a useful guide to the circumstances of today. The way events have unfolded over the past few months simply has no precedent.

    It’s common to hear comparisons to the Great Depression, when economies around the globe shrank precipitously, or to the 1970s, when an oil shock gave way to steep contraction of GDP growth in the developed world and a concomitant collapse in energy prices. But those occurred over the course of years. What happened since the collapse of Lehman on Sept. 15 was a global, synchronous cessation of all but nondiscretionary economic activity in the wake of the near-collapse of global credit markets.

    And it happened over the course of weeks, not years. Data from October and November show shrinkage of 10%, 20% and often considerably more in corporate earnings, car sales, home prices, commodities and a host of other areas.

    But analysts and strategists now take this as the “new normal” and are projecting into 2009 and beyond as if it were.

    True, this global halt is the dark side of the information technologies and globalization that have created so much wealth and generated so much activity in the past 20 years. The frictionless, instantaneous flow of capital is possible only because of the Internet and electronic exchanges. The supply chain for industrial metals, from copper to iron ore, has gone from being regional and fragmented to global and unified. Semiconductors have become one global industry with pricing and inventories determined based on aggregate world-wide demand. Few industries are local, and almost everything is linked.

    In good times, that meant credit expanded and activity magnified geometrically. China for one has undergone more transformation in 20 years than most countries have seen in 100. But when the system was infected with toxic assets, the effects spread everywhere and fast. The collapse of Lehman led to fewer cars being sold in China in a matter of weeks, and the decline of Dubai real-estate prices to boot.

    And yet, if things came to a halt more quickly than ever before, they could also restart more quickly than ever before. This is not to say they will, only that the possibility is more than marginal. And there are signs things are not everywhere as bad as conventional wisdom suggests.

    First, we haven’t seen war, revolution, the collapse of states and governments or massive demonstrations sweeping the globe. Crowds have demonstrated in China, Greece and Thailand — for reasons sometimes related to the economic crunch and sometimes not. Pakistan is teetering for multiple reasons — of which economics is only one. But major economic crises in the 20th century almost always led to those types of major breaks, especially during the 1930s.

    While no one can say whether they will come in the months ahead, for the time being we should be remarking on how relatively stable things are in light of what has happened.

    Second, consumers in many parts of the world are in relatively good shape. That statement might strike many as absurd, given the mantra of “consumers have been living beyond their means.” But it’s not just the third of American households that have no mortgage, or the 50% savings rate in China, or the still massive wealth accumulation in the Gulf region, Brazil and Russia. It’s that the credit system, even at its most promiscuous, didn’t allow consumers to take on the obscene leverage that financial institutions did. Millions of people who shouldn’t have been lent money were, either in mortgages or through credit cards. But they couldn’t be levered 40-to-1 as investment banks and funds were.

    People have also reacted swiftly to the current problems, paying down debt and paring back purchases out of prudence or necessity. That’s a short-term drag on economic activity, but it will leave consumer balance sheets in good shape going forward. Low energy prices and zero inflation will boost spending power. Even if unemployment reaches 9% or more, consumer reserves in the U.S. and world-wide are deeper than commentary would suggest. Household net worth in the U.S. is down from its highs but is still about $45 trillion. As the credit system eases, historically low interest rates also augur debt refinancing and constructive access to credit for those with good histories and for small business creation in the year ahead.

    Entrepreneurs often thrive when the system is cracking. In addition, corporations generally have very clean balance sheets with little debt and lots of cash, unlike the downturns in 2002 and in the 1980s. And government has more creative ways to spend, which both the current Federal Reserve and the incoming Obama administration intend to do.

    The last months of 2008 will go down as one of the most severe economic reversals to date, and on a global scale. But it is foolish to assume that this period provides a viable guide to what lies ahead.

    The rush to declare the future bleak has obscured the fact that no one knows the outcome of an unprecedented event. No one. The worst course in the face of uncertainty is blind faith in conventional wisdom and past patterns. The best is to stay humble in the face of the unknown, creative and unideological about solutions, and open to the possibility that as quickly as things turned sour they can reverse.

  221. chicagofinance says:

    chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    December 26, 2008 at 5:57 pm
    Op-Ed from the WSJ

    By definition, ket believes this guy is stupid, idiotic, delusional or naive. Probably some lethal combination of all….

    OPINION DECEMBER 26, 2008 The Economic News Isn’t All Bleak

    We may be in for a long slide. But there are also reasons to think the economy could rebound quickly.

    By ZACHARY KARABELL

    The recent economic news has been dismal, and it’s now almost universally assumed things will get worse before they get better. Conventional wisdom also dictates that this recession will be longer, deeper and cause more long-term pain than any financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    Yet, less than two years ago, conventional wisdom dictated that the housing bubble would be painful but that global economic growth would remain stable. That assertion was proved dramatically incorrect. Why then is there so much conviction in today’s forecasts of a dire future?

    Predictions about the rate of unemployment by the end of 2009 are based on how high that rate went during and after other recessions, and how steep those recessions were compared to today. Forecasts of GDP growth are grounded in the nature of past contractions and how long it took the system to begin expanding again. But none of these past patterns are necessarily a useful guide to the circumstances of today. The way events have unfolded over the past few months simply has no precedent.

    It’s common to hear comparisons to the Great Depression, when economies around the globe shrank precipitously, or to the 1970s, when an oil shock gave way to steep contraction of GDP growth in the developed world and a concomitant collapse in energy prices. But those occurred over the course of years. What happened since the collapse of Lehman on Sept. 15 was a global, synchronous cessation of all but nondiscretionary economic activity in the wake of the near-collapse of global credit markets.

    And it happened over the course of weeks, not years. Data from October and November show shrinkage of 10%, 20% and often considerably more in corporate earnings, car sales, home prices, commodities and a host of other areas.

    But analysts and strategists now take this as the “new normal” and are projecting into 2009 and beyond as if it were.

    True, this global halt is the dark side of the information technologies and globalization that have created so much wealth and generated so much activity in the past 20 years. The frictionless, instantaneous flow of capital is possible only because of the Internet and electronic exchanges. The supply chain for industrial metals, from copper to iron ore, has gone from being regional and fragmented to global and unified. Semiconductors have become one global industry with pricing and inventories determined based on aggregate world-wide demand. Few industries are local, and almost everything is linked.

    In good times, that meant credit expanded and activity magnified geometrically. China for one has undergone more transformation in 20 years than most countries have seen in 100. But when the system was infected with toxic assets, the effects spread everywhere and fast. The collapse of Lehman led to fewer cars being sold in China in a matter of weeks, and the decline of Dubai real-estate prices to boot.

    And yet, if things came to a halt more quickly than ever before, they could also restart more quickly than ever before. This is not to say they will, only that the possibility is more than marginal. And there are signs things are not everywhere as bad as conventional wisdom suggests.

    First, we haven’t seen war, revolution, the collapse of states and governments or massive demonstrations sweeping the globe. Crowds have demonstrated in China, Greece and Thailand — for reasons sometimes related to the economic crunch and sometimes not. Pakistan is teetering for multiple reasons — of which economics is only one. But major economic crises in the 20th century almost always led to those types of major breaks, especially during the 1930s.

    While no one can say whether they will come in the months ahead, for the time being we should be remarking on how relatively stable things are in light of what has happened.

    Second, consumers in many parts of the world are in relatively good shape. That statement might strike many as absurd, given the mantra of “consumers have been living beyond their means.” But it’s not just the third of American households that have no mortgage, or the 50% savings rate in China, or the still massive wealth accumulation in the Gulf region, Brazil and Russia. It’s that the credit system, even at its most promiscuous, didn’t allow consumers to take on the obscene leverage that financial institutions did. Millions of people who shouldn’t have been lent money were, either in mortgages or through credit cards. But they couldn’t be levered 40-to-1 as investment banks and funds were.

    People have also reacted swiftly to the current problems, paying down debt and paring back purchases out of prudence or necessity. That’s a short-term drag on economic activity, but it will leave consumer balance sheets in good shape going forward. Low energy prices and zero inflation will boost spending power. Even if unemployment reaches 9% or more, consumer reserves in the U.S. and world-wide are deeper than commentary would suggest. Household net worth in the U.S. is down from its highs but is still about $45 trillion. As the credit system eases, historically low interest rates also augur debt refinancing and constructive access to credit for those with good histories and for small business creation in the year ahead.

    Entrepreneurs often thrive when the system is cracking. In addition, corporations generally have very clean balance sheets with little debt and lots of cash, unlike the downturns in 2002 and in the 1980s. And government has more creative ways to spend, which both the current Federal Reserve and the incoming O—- administration intend to do.

    The last months of 2008 will go down as one of the most severe economic reversals to date, and on a global scale. But it is foolish to assume that this period provides a viable guide to what lies ahead.

    The rush to declare the future bleak has obscured the fact that no one knows the outcome of an unprecedented event. No one. The worst course in the face of uncertainty is blind faith in conventional wisdom and past patterns. The best is to stay humble in the face of the unknown, creative and unideological about solutions, and open to the possibility that as quickly as things turned sour they can reverse.

  222. bairen vulture says:

    Didn’t we have a revolution so we would be a society based on meritocracy instead or aristocracy?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081226/ap_on_el_se/caroline_kennedy

    What has she done with her life besides being the daughter of a President?

    There has to be someone more qualified in all of NY to be picked to be a Senator, don’t you think?

  223. chicagofinance says:

    and to repeat…..

    The last months of 2008 will go down as one of the most severe economic reversals to date, and on a global scale. But it is foolish to assume that this period provides a viable guide to what lies ahead.

    The rush to declare the future bleak has obscured the fact that no one knows the outcome of an unprecedented event. No one. The worst course in the face of uncertainty is blind faith in conventional wisdom and past patterns. The best is to stay humble in the face of the unknown, creative and unideological about solutions, and open to the possibility that as quickly as things turned sour they can reverse.

  224. bairen vulture says:

    chifi,

    You seem a bit tense. Is this because the Yankees opened up the check book, while the Mets leadership lost money with Madoff?

  225. chicagofinance says:

    Cindy says:
    December 26, 2008 at 5:54 pm
    Hey Chicago – I missed you today. (161)

    C: Can you give us a link to one of your Stevie Nicks covers? This doomfest of a blog needs some uplifting……

  226. chicagofinance says:

    bairen vulture says:
    December 26, 2008 at 6:01 pm
    chifi, You seem a bit tense. Is this because the Yankees opened up the check book, while the Mets leadership lost money with Madoff?

    Sometimes this blog feels like the apartment I grew up in……you walk into the kitchen after not being around for a few days, flick on the lights, and you see that all the roaches have been festering on everything that hasn’t been tied down…….

  227. bairen vulture says:

    #228 chifi,

    John would be proud of that one, although you need to include a bad smell too.

    I bought some new castiron cookware made in the USA and am going to do a Korean BBQ on my castiron grill tomorrow. May even make some pickeled veggies to with it. Already have the Kimchi.

  228. spam spam bacon spam says:

    comrade nom deplume says:

    Your place makes my point. To have someplace to get away to and survive off of for an extended period if necessary, but also close enough and properly located for recreational use. Doesn’t matter that it wasn’t the original intent, but it does prove useful.

    (this wasn’t intended to be a pure survivalist thing after all).

    The best way to screw up a business venture is to “wander” from your original intent.
    Advice ahead: Write down your plan(s) and stick to them. I don’t think a place that has a connvenient “recreational” mode would be your best option in “survivalist” mode.
    In horses, many people like me ride both dressage and jump… so we can buy an excellent dressage saddle (couple $K) AND an excellent jumping saddle (couple $K) we can buy an “all-purpose” saddle for $1-2K and have a saddle that does well at neither :)

    I query whether 2 acres is enough to provide all you need however, both for crops and timber.

    2 acres is NOTHING. That’s cute. Seriously, you’ll need a schitt load of acreage, and how much land you need LITERALLY depends on the site itself. Water access, land slope, sunfall, micro climate, soil type, subsoil, etc etc all affect what you can do…

    So being able to grow corn, for instance, may be possible in one corner of your land, but not possible just 1 acre over. But, getting water to the fertile acreage may be a problem.

    Just in our little plot, we use pumps to bring water uphill, but they are expensive and use electric, from the grid, of course :)

    Keeping animals for milk, meat or heavy work? There’s a whole ‘nother ball ‘o ear wax right there…

  229. jamil says:

    224 bairen: “Didn’t we have a revolution so we would be a society based on meritocracy instead or aristocracy?”

    She said that she has been a mother and mainstream O-media has been truly impressed. Chris Matthews probably felt a thrill going up his leg. Fortunately, she does not have successful, proven track record in being a Governor and elected public official. That would naturally disqualify her.

    NY senate seat is reserved either for Cuomo clan or Kennedy family, and don’t forget Biden’s Delaware senate seat which is reserved for his son (his campaign manager is a seat-filler until 2010 as his son is not available until then). Thank god Chelsea is not appointed as senator at least for a few years.

    Maybe O solves Princess Caroline problem and sends her to the UK as an Ambassador. After all, her granddaddy was a great success there (nazi-symphatizer who sought an audience with Hitler, and advocated against helping UK, sabotaged US war efforts and stated that democracy in Europe is bunk).

  230. Cindy says:

    (223) Chicago – “People have also reacted swiftly to the current problems, paying down debt and paring back purchases out of prudence or necessity.”

    I remember when this all came out in the open, it was literally months ago. The spending stopped – Wham. Folks just didn’t know this was all going on. Folks will be better off with the cut backs and smarter, too.

    That is what I see here. We have 8.6% unemployment and no increase in reported crime that I’m aware of or folks on street corners…but not spending much – that’s for sure.

  231. PGC says:

    #190 New,

    Only get a lawyer if you can’t afford the points. Otherwise it will be about $350 for a simple ticket. Plead Not guilty and send in the ticket. Show up for court and try for 3 things.
    1) if the cop doesn’t show you should get a dismissal
    2) Plead the ticket down to something without points. I think no seatbelt is a bigger fine with no points or 2 points. At the end of the day, you are just revenue.
    3) Maintain your innocence. Judge I made a full stop, I was about to proceed into the junction a speeding car came by, so I stopped again. Low and behold I was pulled over. Two things to point out in this strategy, have pictures of the junction. If you have physical evidence (picture of the junction)they can put that in the record it is easier for them to justify letting you off. If you are cross examining the cop, try and find a way to get him to admit he was not looking at you 100% of the time. Where was he standing or parked. Could he see the brake lights. Could he see the road markings. Would he had had to look the other way to check the junction while you were stopped. Did he see the speeding motorist. If not why not.

  232. bairen vulture says:

    jamil,

    I found those qualifications underwhelming. Worse then Mccon’s VP choice.

    I would love to see an end to the election/selection of the same families Cuomos, Kennedys, Gores, Clintons, Shrubs, etc. Let’s let some new morons trash the place up.

  233. stu says:

    Al (195):

    “Al,

    How did you deal with your wife? Because I’m in the same position. She says if I get a gun, she is leaving the country.”

    Once you have a gun, you would think it would be easy to deal with your wife!

  234. PGC says:

    Spam

    The two acres is a parcel in the woods. so you could easily gather wood from the rest of the forrest. It also has a 30ft dug well and clay sewer pipe so I think there may be a leech field in part of it. I have what looks to be a cast iron vent pipe about 20 ft from the side of the house.

    The rest of the woods is owned by some Italian Brothers in the Bronx. It is not on the tax maps so I assume it must be set aside land. IF needed I’m sure I could clear a little more area if I needed more space. As it is a half mile up a ridge, you don’t get any traffic that isn’t local. There is a lot of wild turkey and deer so the neighbors all go hunting.

  235. Cindy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNrrrCCTdAStevie Nicks -My favorite to sing though…

    Time makes you bolder – children get older and I’m getting older, too.
    I’ve been afraid of changing…

  236. Cindy says:

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

    oooppppssss – botched that link

    This is Stevie Nicks

  237. Cindy says:

    (236) Stu – “Once you have a gun, you would think it would be easy to deal with your wife!”

    That was good stu – but it’s a rough crowd today. Today, everyone is headed for the hills…. I’ve lost my job and I’m now a Walmart greeter.

  238. Cindy says:

    Chicago – @235 – forgot the title…

    It was the 70’s. We needed encouraging then, too.

    “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”

    Off to dinner…

  239. New in NJ says:

    233 PGC-

    Thanks for the insight.

    She doesn’t have any points.

    I read the code and there is no mention of the stop line anywhere in the context, only entering the intersection.

    She said that on her approached the police car was just sitting in the middle of the intersection as if he were approaching from the opposite direction and waiting to turn left. He just sat there through the entire red light. When her light turned green and she drove on toward Rte 82 (Morris Ave), he made a u-turn and stopped her.

    The whole thing just sounded strange.

    She was visiting a friend in the area, and her friend said that the police in the area around Kean U. can be real d!cks.

    Her court date is New Year’s eve.

  240. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (41)-

    This is brilliant, in a diabolical sort of way. Rather than waiting for us to repudiate our debt (which is where this runaway train is headed), Japan gets in on the bailout. They don’t end up being made entirely whole, but being in a senior/more enmeshed position in our bailout gives them a leg up on the rest of the world.

    It’s chilling to see what the Japanese and Chinese are openly thinking and saying about us.

  241. Clotpoll says:

    jcer (61)-

    I came to that conclusion about six months ago.

    A rather jolly contract killer, though…

  242. jamil says:

    that would explain the disappearing posters here. maybe they insulted him one time too many.

  243. Clotpoll says:

    sas (100)-

    Our own fair gubmint is the biggest short seller of gold on the planet (their “leasing” program being the most laughable example). As we’ve discussed here ad nauseum, many of their tactics are downright illegal.

  244. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [230] spam,

    I see your point, but my model has a need to be immediately useable for good times as well as bad, hence the need to be near recreational areas. Otherwise, I am asking people to buy into (1) a farm that they can’t use, and (2) a sanctuary property in case of TEOTWAWKI. Of course, the number of potential owners and the available acreage may dictate ultimate use.

    [236] Stu

    Somehow I think my former running mate is a better shot than you, being from sunny, well-armed, Florida and all. I’d bet on her in a firefight.

  245. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [231] Jamil

    Matthews did. A bit after the election, he told Scarborough that it was his job to advance the 0bama agenda.

    Guess he figured that he was on MSNBC so everyone watching would agree.

    To me it was an astonishing admission. Worst-kept secret, true, but an astonishing admission nonetheless.

  246. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (200)-

    Yeah, but Barca’s gonna win Champions League:

    “The governor of the Bank of Spain on Sunday issued a bleak assessment of the economic crisis, warning that the world faced a “total” financial meltdown unseen since the Great Depression. “The lack of confidence is total,” Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said in an interview with Spain’s El Pais daily.”

  247. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [229] barien

    Kimchi and bulgogi??? Can I come over?

  248. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (211)-

    The mother of all pump-and-dumps. And this one will be started, fueled, inflammed and ended by the Fed and UST.

  249. stu says:

    Victorian (219):

    “Which restaurant in Montclair gives you the best value for money in your opinion and is BYOB? Not particular about the cuisine, but Italian would be nice.”

    That is a tough one, because there are great eating options from cheapo to high-end.

    For high end value there is a great Italian place named Fascino. It’s highly rated in Zagat’s and there are ways to eat there pretty inexpensively. When Restaurant-dot-com is running their 80% off sale (which is about every other week lately), you can purchase a certificate for $2 which provides a discount of $25 off of $35 but requires two entrees to be purchased. If you use Upromise, when you purchase the certificate, you will get a whopping 15% back for college which equals $.30, but every penny counts. Next if you are willing to eat between 5 and 5:30pm or 9 and 9:30pm as your reservation time, OpenTable-dot-Com will give you $10 towards a $50 OpenTable gift certificate which is useable at any OpenTable restaurant. Next, pay for your dinner with a credit card that gives you 5% back (Discover does from October through December) and the total bill is really reasonable for a top NJ restaurant. Lisa and I ate there on Tuesday and they had Tuesday specials which went from $16 to $24. Their regular menu entrees range from $20 to about $35. Their appetizers are from $8 to about $15. Their fabulously fancy desserts, which are made by the chef’s mother, run about $7 to $10. Lisa and I both had our own apps (she had polenta sticks, I had mussels arabiatta), entrees (she had cavatelli and broccoli in a pesto/I had a fish livornese) and we split a dessert (chocolate peanut parfait w/ marshmallow brulee). Total check without any discounts would have been $73 + tip for the two of us (though we could have easily gotten away with one appetizer that we could have split). With the discounts, the meal came out to $31 + full tip($13) or $44 complete!

    Passionne (excellent French food) also offers both the OpenTable and Restaurant-dot-com discount (at times) so a similar deal can be worked out there.

    So there is true value in these places if you take advantage of the discounts.

    In the mid-level category, Lisa and I like Marzullo’s a lot for Italian. The service is mediocre, but the food is quite a step above your typical pizza and restaurant joint. They coupon in the Val-Pak. Their personal pizzas are big enough for three to eat and are delicious as are their paninis. Their desserts are weak, so we usually shoot down to Gencarelli’s and pick up Ferraro’s quality Italian pastries (Broad Street in Bloomfield) for $1.50 each. They are open till 9pm!

    Greek Taverna is a good value for Greek (no coupons), but very reasonable and huge portions. The place gets pretty loud and their dining room is a little too cafeteria-ish, but the food is the real deal.

    On the cheap end, we like Nauna’s for Italian, Satish for their Indian buffet on Wednesday, Udupi for Indian on the other days of the week (they are dirt cheap and do restaurant-dot-Com), Brookside Thai in Bloomfield and Chengdu 1 in Verona for Chinese. We don’t do steak since Gator’s a vegetarian, so I can’t help you there.

    All of these places listed are BYOB. I hope you agree with our choices.

  250. Clotpoll says:

    stu (252)-

    Restuarants that participate in couponing (even the most innocuous-sounding ones) are almost invariably the ones hanging by a thread financially.

    Ron Goredesky, probably the best restaurant consultant in the US, calls them the “crack cocaine of the foodservice industry”.

    If a NJ restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license, it is almost always doomed to fail. In a normal foodservice operation of quality, the contribution margin is entirely beverage-generated.

    Enjoy all those BYOBs…soon.

  251. Clotpoll says:

    Gotta go. Watching the rest of Wall-E (my vote for Best Picture, 2008).

  252. NJGator says:

    247 Nom – Gator hails from the tri-state area, but headed down to Florida for the fun, sun and cheap tuition (they waived out of state tuition for the honors program).

    That being said, I have probably had more hands on firearms experience than Stu and I do have a bit of a temper, so it’s probably for the best that we don’t currently have any firearms in the home.

  253. NJGator says:

    Clot 253 – I agree with you in principle re the couponing. Stu has taken me on several a wild goose chase looking for a restaurant that was in the Entertainment Book that no longer existed. That being said, some of these places are using the Restaurant.com/Open Table Bonus to drive business during off hours. Not many people tend to eat here at 5PM. Although it is a nice way for Stu and I to sneak in a grown up meal without paying for a babysitter (Lil Gator’s school is open until 6:30).

    Stu’s recommendations above were specifically because Victorian was asking for value. I do like all of the places in his email, but if money were no consideration I’d tell Victorian to go to CulinAriane and Osteria Giotto in a minute.

  254. reinvestor101 says:

    Yikes says:
    December 26, 2008 at 9:43 am
    just curious – how liquid are people on this blog?

    If you and your wife lost your jobs tomorrow, do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?

    im excluding stocks and bonds and mutual funds that you could sell.

    just wondering sheer liquidity. our financial advisor says 6 months LIVING EXPENSES, so if you assume 5k a month, 30k would last you six months.

    as we enter the depression in 2009, anyone else think that should be pushed to 9 months? or a year?

    What?? I don’t have more than a couple of seconds of reserves much less 6 months. This thing CAN NOT be allowed to collapse.

  255. spam spam bacon spam says:

    PGC:

    Your little piece of land sounds nice, but it sounds like a vacation spot for city folk.

    First things first, if you don’t “own it”, “it” don’t exist…

    By that I mean if the land ain’t yours, time will come when mr x or ms y will take what’s theirs…and it’s usually after you’ve settled very nicely into using their land and worked hard to clear ir, plant it, build it, whatever…

    Second, it *sounds* like no one here has REALLY lived off the land. It’s no picnic, people.

    If you TRULY live off the land, whether with meat or without, you will NOT, I repeat, NOT have time to post your comments in a some blog. Living off the grid is FOR REAL. It’s REAL hard work. It’s a FUGCKING BACK-BREAKER in ways you can’t dream of yet.

    I lived off the grid with some like minded folk in KY some (many) years back. As funny as it was, we did have electric, but nothing else. Water was brought up in buckets from a hand dug well. Water was heated to cook and wash in an outside fire pit. (no knobs on that stove) The bldg was 1 room, about 15′ x 20’…very old, no windows (as in: they mfudkersisjisgone! I, unlike my compatriots, required some semblance of a shower every day…I cant stand da’ funk. And skin sores abound when you working and aint no taking no break for a washdown, anyhow, got too much to do…
    Another time, ask me how I bathed…Thas a whole nuther story…

    So does a bear schit in the woods? Uh huh, and so duz yee! Ooooo! Woohee… Loookatherfaceallscrunshedup lik’a she ain neva se’in no taw-let widdout walls or roof or schitt papper, o hell, sheevenu think dat place hasgottahaveatleast semin-a holes innaground… Deep holes so she caint be afeered of hearing it plop on top… The men work REAL Hard ON THEM FOR YOUR LILLY WHITE a55es them holes, unlesses u need him farsumthin’ elese, then you dont get no perrteeleetil hole and you just have to drop trow behind a big tree with a snatch of leaves to clean up. You can say high to alldem boogies is doin their thing on that tree when you doin yar’n own thing….boogies walkin up the tree, some different liittle colored boogies walking side-a-ways and then sem of the really big boogers comin right at your exposed for Gawd to see lilly white a55….wipe quick now and pull up bein’ careful not to snap any ‘o dem boogers inside whitcha…
    Hopinnonegotonyershuesthatsux…

    Oh man… I got *LOTS* of off the grid stories. And they mebee funny now, but they aint when you livin’ ’em…

  256. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [255] gator

    Well, you can borrow some of mine to duel it out. You get the Makarov; it’s more accurate than the .38 snubnose and has less of a kick.

    You can go to Weehawken to do it too, for a nice historical flavor.

    If we get a shooter’s GTG, you can go since you know which end to hold. Very important, that.

  257. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [258] spam,

    Channelling “Deliverance” over there, spam?

    And which part of KY were you frequenting? I spent some time in Park City/Horse Cave area, and a bit in Bowling Green and Lexington (but I don’t much remember B.G. or Lex much, as I was usually quite drunk).

  258. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [260] redux,

    and, Yes, Kentucky involved another few episodes of my personal “John” stories, but that is a bit too NC-17 for this audience. So no stories.

  259. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [257] reinvestor.

    sucks for you then, I guess.

  260. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [209] Kettle, Al,

    The outdoor range I went to in Lahaska, PA (near New Hope), will certify you by a range safety officer. Not a ton of training but it’s dirt cheap. $30 for your membership, certification and all-day shooting (you supply all the supplies though-guns, ammo, targets and safety gear).

    Provided you aren’t a flaked out yahoo (and your experience tells me you aren’t, at least when it comes to gun safety), cert. at this range should be easy for you. Heck, you even get to handle Russian firearms again.

  261. NJGator says:

    257/262 Nom/Re – Don’t you just love economic Darwinism?

  262. NJGator says:

    259 Nom – Gator has long since given up the belief that there will ever be another GTG and is starting to question whether or not y’all actually exist or if I am just losing my mind.

  263. stu says:

    Nom,

    Gator is not aware of my childhood hunting excursions for rabbit, dear and muskrat (although we trapped them) nor does she know that I had the privilege of firing off a round from a sawed-off shotgun (nearly knocked me on my ass) as well as some tiny rifles. My cheapo YMCA sleepaway camp had a riflery program which I attended for about 3 years in elementary school. I haven’t shot since I was a teenager though, unless you count paintball ;) Which brings up a funny story…

    I was out playing skirmish with a bunch of friends from my prior place of employment. The last battle of the day is never a capture (and return to your base) the flag scenario. It is typically the first to simply reach the opposing teams flag scenario. Well being that the battle field was a narrow but lengthy rectangle and we had to use up all of our ammo, I decided that our best plan of attack would be to make one long line of attackers that would run full speed (think Rambo) the length of the battle field, pretty much firing the entire way. Each person was responsible for about a swath or real estate about 10 foot wide in front of them. Well what I didn’t know, is that my team schemed behind my back to stop at about midway in the battlefield and purposely did not tell me. Well the air horn sounded to start the final battle. Sure enough, everyone ran full speed ahead as planned, firing off what remained of their ammo. I was screaming like a raving lunatic (not unlike Frank) until I realized I was alone in enemy territory and they too were not saving their ammo for any reason. I got shot so many times that I couldn’t even stay standing. My fatigues looked like a kindergarten fingerpainting! Needless to say, my team did not win the final battle. The pain was so intolerable, I’m not sure if I’m ever going to paintball again!

  264. NJGator says:

    266 Stu – If Gator knew that you hunted “dear”, she might have had some second thoughts about marrying you.

  265. Qwerty says:

    Yikes @ 9:43 am — 15 to 18 years. Never understood the 3 or 6 months rule of thumb; wouldn’t be able to sleep at night living under that level of serfdom.

    ——————

    Yikes says:
    December 26, 2008 at 9:43 am
    just curious – how liquid are people on this blog?

    If you and your wife lost your jobs tomorrow, do most people have 6 month’s cash reserves in the bank?

    im excluding stocks and bonds and mutual funds that you could sell.

    just wondering sheer liquidity. our financial advisor says 6 months LIVING EXPENSES, so if you assume 5k a month, 30k would last you six months.

    as we enter the depression in 2009, anyone else think that should be pushed to 9 months? or a year?

  266. Qwerty says:

    RE: Amazon says 2008 holiday season is its “best ever”

    What were their profits? Certainly they sold a lot of widgets, but at what markup?

  267. stu says:

    Oh dear!

  268. stu says:

    Qwerty,

    I agree with you (for a change). Amazon has been so deep discounting that I doubt their earnings will be too good. This same thing happened last Xmas here on this blog. Everyone said sales numbers were great, but the earnings certainly were not.

  269. spam spam bacon spam says:

    260 Nom…

    I ain’t channeling it, I lived it. Full up and center. :)

    One time went into a four room house which had a non-working console teevee as an altar with flickerin candles to the very dead Elvis Presley. I will make you wince when I tell you some of the pictures were paint by number velvet, done “notsa’good”, neither…

    I’m thinking it was to take your mind off the fact that from front to back, the floor sloped a good 18″ from front to back, over 25′ maybe 30’…. You needed cleats and looked for things to grab hold of, and that ain’t no lie!

    The “living” room had a couch from what I could tell but the room itself was being enveloped by garbage bags of textiles. I assume clothes, but one could not assume in that situation…The bags (all colors, too!) went to the ceiling in all the corner-ey areas, and began to bank down until you had mount manure rippling right atcherfeetthere….

    Wayne, the “husband” met his “wife” when she was 6 months pregnant; I met them when the baby was 6 weeks old and Wayne was working his a$$ off pitching and stacking hay for $2 per hour to keep the Elvis is a jeebus candles lit…

    These lovely memories come from Spencer County, Kentucky (Taylorsville, KY)

    Yessirindeedie…. Fine ‘ole Spencer County, KY. Where there’s 1200 inhabitants and 800 had the same last name. McKinley. Heh. I STILL remember it. McKinley.

    Did I mention it’s a dry county? These people do this when they’re slober!!!!

  270. spam spam bacon spam says:

    PS-I was 45 lonely minutes to the nearest McDonalds…

  271. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Amazon? Discounting?
    Blasphemous!
    They’ve got a rep to protect as the higest priced out there…

    Where do I find these Amazon deals?

  272. stu says:

    Grim,

    You will like this one.

    SA:
    The Housing Market Will Improve with Lower Prices, not Lower Interest Rates

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/112298-the-housing-market-will-improve-with-lower-prices-not-lower-interest-rates

  273. KareninCA says:

    Mr. Mortgage’s latest. very worth reading. in some ways more relevant to the west coast, but CA economy affects other states. he argues that the presently touted low mortgage rates will cause *more* people to walk.

    Low Mortgage Rates to Spur New Wave of Defaults
    Posted on December 26th, 2008 in Daily Mortgage/Housing News – The Real Story, Mr Mortgage’s Personal Opinions/Research
    Talk about unintended consequences. The following is significant insight from the street level. This is especially important for those of you thinking that these low mortgage rates will lead housing and the consumer to the Promised Land.

    Everyone wants to refinance right now – that’s a fact. Home owners and loan officers around the nation have not been this exited in years over the low rates. The media are actually quoting mortgage rates non-stop, which is a complete story in and of itself.

    Loan officers and banks are very busy taking loan applications, as reflected in the faulty MBA loan application survey data (Mr Mortgage story out next week). Loan approval times at some banks is at three to four weeks making for a two month start to finish. Fall-out will be extreme over the near-term as brokers and borrowers switch banks three and four times trying to get the lowest rate available. Trying to hedge this chaotic mess is a mortgage secondary marketing manager’s worst nightmare and can lead to significant losses.

    Along side of being one of the biggest consumer ‘bait and switches’ of all time, this drop in rates should set the stage for a significant leg-up in mortgage loan defaults and leg down in house values and consumer / homeowner sentiment.

    In my opinion, the government artificially pushing rates down this quickly not only will cost the originators plenty but quickens the pace at which the Alt-A, Jumbo Prime, and ‘Prime’ implosions could begin in earnest.

    Please note that 4.5% never really existed unless the borrower wanted to pay thousands of dollars to buy that rate through points, which is rare. For a perfect borrower with a 740 credit score, 80% loan to value and no second mortgage attached the lowest that rates got were roughly 4.875%. Since then they are hovering around 5.25% to 5.50%. This, from 6% before rates took their dive. I am not a believer that rates can sustain these low levels without .gov permanently ‘fixing’ them somehow. Left up to the mortgage bond market and there are just too many sellers over the past several months, especially on well bid days.

    In the past the mortgage process involved getting a completed loan application, ordering the credit report and appraisal and processing the loan. In a couple of weeks when the appraisal came back from the appraiser, the loan was submitted into underwriting for approval. Everything went smoothly because the appraisal always came at or above borrower’s estimates.

    These days the process has changed a bit. Now the first thing done after the loan application is taken is to call the appraiser for a comparable sale check to see if the value at which the home owner states the house is worth is on target.

    Therein lays the rub.

    From early reports since rates fell sharply in early December, 80% of the loan applications are not getting out of the starting gate easily. Loan officers are all saying the same thing — that appraisals are not coming at value due because ‘all of the foreclosures and REO sales have taken the value down’. In the majority of these cases, this kills the loan.

    The loan officer then notifies the borrower of the news and they are in disbelief. All home owners think that their home is worth the most on the block and I have been told that this is a tough pill to swallow. This brings the crisis home instantly.

    Everyone trying to refinance into lower rates at once should hasten the national reality that the largest portion of the home owner’s net worth has evaporated in the past year. One loan officer I spoke with equated this call to a Doctor notifying a patient that they had a terminal illness.

    The other three top reasons that loans are not making it out of the application phase are because of credit scores coming in too low, interest rates not really being what the borrowers are hearing hyped and Jumbo money is near all-time highs.

    With respect to scores, many have been negatively affected by creditors bringing revolving lines down sharply over the past several months. If the outstanding balance is over the 30% and/or 50% threshold of the available credit it negatively affects the score. Lately, banks have been dropping available credit to just above the outstanding balance, which is over 50% and a large credit score hit.

    With respect to rates, most borrowers do not have a perfect 740+ score and 80% and below loan-to-value meaning they do not get the rates being advertised. Even a small deviation in borrower profile such as a subordinated second mortgage, 700 credit score or 90% loan-to-value can result in a 100bps rate spike at least. Only a year ago the latter profile would have been considered ‘Prime’ — their 90% loan-to-value today would have been 50% equity back then.

    Lastly, Jumbo money both Agency Jumbo from $417k to $625k and bank portfolio over $625k are priced terribly in the 6.5% to 7% and 7.5% to 9% ranges respectively. That is if they can even get the loan made. The problem with this is once you get out of the Subprime universe, a large percentage of Alt-A and Prime loans are over $417k. The Alt-A, Jumbo Prime and Prime universes are on very shaky ground right now and these are the borrowers who could really benefit from a low fixed rate right now.

    This harsh reality could spur a new wave of defaults and walk-aways from borrowers that were not considered at-risk before. This takes the crisis into the ’Prime’ universe very quickly because Prime borrowers represent the majority of new refi applicants. This new wrinkle brings the Prime Implosion to the forefront much quicker than my original, more linear time-line of Subprime to Alt-A to Jumbo Prime then Prime with some overlap.

    Additionally, when borrowers with Jumbo loan amounts over $417k find out that 30-year fixed rates are anywhere from 6.5% to ‘unavailable’ the reality that that they are stuck in that loan and likely that home indefinitely will set in. The macro-economic effects of this are unknowable.

    With underwater or ‘near’ underwater home owners that are unable to sell or refi totaling 42% nationally and about 65% to 70% in the bubble states, this news is not surprising. However, it likely will be surprising to the media, analysts and markets when the facts get out in a couple of months.

    In a nutshell those that don’t need the credit can get it and those that do can’t. This is the perfect credit crisis storm – one which low rates can’t fix.

    The only thing that can be done to get money into borrower’s hands quickly is to waive appraisals for Agency and FHA loans as Lockhart has suggested. That is of course if the borrowers are ignorant enough to consider this option. “James Lockhart, Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, said last week they were considering waiving the requirement to get new home price appraisals before refinancing loans they hold – a move that could greatly increase the scope for refinancing.”

    But ‘no appraisal’ refi’s are a disaster that takes the housing crisis to an entirely different level because now the tax payer will be on the hook for trillions in mortgages that are essentially unsecured credit lines. Nobody will ever buy these loans or securities derived from them. That being said, given the extent of the negative-equity in America with no way to fix it other than aggressive proactive loan modifications allowing principal balance reductions, my money is on them seriously considering this radically destructive move out of sheer panic. -Best Mr Mortgage

  274. KareninCA says:

    if you plan to live in a rural area you’d better get to know your neighbors ahead of time, and be agreeable and generous. they will be (they already are) watching your every step, and what you bring in and out of your “compound”. and they’ll be exploring it while you’re away at your city job. your ability to defend it will depend on their allowing you to; they outnumber you and can wait you out. yes, I’m from a small town.

    I really don’t know why so many people feel that they need to own land. if we have to grow food, healthy people who are willing to work hard will be able to join any group. gardening is unbelievably labor intensive – why do you think farmers had so many kids in the old days? chopping wood, is also labor intensive; so is any sort of homesteading activity. so, stay healthy, learn skills, and learn to be agreeable, rather than saving money for a plot of land.

    actually, what I anticipate is that McDonalds and Taco Bell will become GSEs, and we will all live on dollar meals.

    Clotpoll – not Wall-E! nooooooooo!!!!!!!! what happened to the S@x Pistols?

    kettle – I like your posts. please ignore chicagofinance.

  275. bairen vulture says:

    #250 Comrade Nom Deplume

    Kimchi and bulgogi??? Can I come over?

    Sure. I just need to practice a bit first. Haven’t made bulgogi in over a year. I’ve actually made my own kimchi in the past too. Yummy.

  276. bairen vulture says:

    Got straws?

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/26/tennessee.sludge/index.html

    TVA coal sludge estimated at 1 billion gallons.

    Why would you buy a house downhill from a sludge retention pond? Why?

  277. willwork4beer says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All

    This week’s report from the hinterlands…

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded six sales and eight new listings in Hunterdon County this week. Two sales and three new listings made this list.

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers:

    MLS#: 2591195

    27 Andreann Drive
    Clinton Twp

    SLD: 08/09/05 $770,000
    OLP: 10/16/08 $689,900
    LLP: 11/16/08 $629,900
    SLD: 12/23/08 $585,000

    DOM: 39

    24.13% off 08/05 sale price
    15.21% off 10/08 list price

    MLS#: 2561254

    14 Locktown School Road
    Delaware Twp

    SLD: 04/10/06 $470,000
    OLP: 07/31/08 $429,000
    SLD: 12/23/08 $399,000

    DOM: 35

    15.11% off 04/06 sale price
    07.00% off 07/08 list price

    Hunterdon County FUTURE Comp Killers:

    MLS#: 2619748

    1 CYPRESS CT
    Clinton Town

    SLD: 01/18/05 $348,000
    SLD: 11/15/06 $369,000
    OLP: 12/23/08 $329,000

    DOM: 4

    05.46% off 01/05 sale price
    10.85% off 11/06 sale price

    MLS#: 2619662

    412 SERGEANT WAY
    Lambertville City

    SLD: 08/23/05 $584,330
    OLP: 12/23/08 $575,000

    DOM: 4

    01.60% off 08/05 sale price

    MLS#: 2619186

    127 KUHL RD
    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 02/28/06 $545,000
    OLP: 12/22/08 $534,900

    DOM: 5

    01.86% off 08/05 sale price

  278. stu says:

    Clean coal?

    My butt!

  279. sas says:

    when i met my wife, i already owned firearms. she was for sure uncomfortable with it.

    i found the best thing is education.
    take them out to a shooting range & take a safety course together. let her know how to hadle the weapon. never treat like a toy nor show it off to your buds. keep it under wraps.

    i keep my firearms in an instant access pistol safe, but I also keep one next to my alarm clock with loaded clip, but the clip isn’t in the butt, they just lay next to eachother.

    my wife kindly accepts alot about me too. maybe its my crooked smile:)

    SAS

  280. kettle1 says:

    ChiFi

    If you want to troll, at least try to be entertaining like RE101.

    You love to criticize my posts, yet i cannot remember the last time you actually tried to rebut one.

    DO you still have your panties in a wad after i pointed out that your complete confidence in AIG was wrong after you chidely lectured clot and stu on how sound AIG’s finances really were when they bet AIG was going down?

    your continues and vacuous insults are reminiscent of an outclassed know-it-all who is afraid of ending up with egg on their face if the debate the facts.

    Chi, grow up. either be an entertaining troll and come up with some original material ( heck even copy re101 and go the terrorist route) or say something intelligent in response to my comments.

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