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.

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403 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Bank of America Receives $138 Billion of Rescue Funds

    Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank by assets, received a $138 billion emergency lifeline from the government to support its acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. and prevent the global financial crisis from deepening.

    The U.S. will invest $20 billion in Bank of America and guarantee $118 billion of assets “as part of its commitment to support financial-market stability,” the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a joint statement shortly after midnight in Washington.

  2. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Citigroup Q4 net loss $8.29B

    Citigroup Q4 loss from continuing ops. $12.14B

    Citi took $5.3B value adjustment for derivatives

    Citi took $7.8B of revenue marks in securities, banking

    Citi to split global bank from brokerage, asset mgmt unit

    Citi to reorganize into two operating units

    Citi reaches agreement with Treasury, Fed on loss sharing

  3. grim says:

    Good thing TARP II was approved yesterday. This sucker might have gone down.

    From the Fed:

    Treasury, Federal Reserve, and the FDIC Provide Assistance to Bank of America

    The U.S. government entered into an agreement today with Bank of America to provide a package of guarantees, liquidity access, and capital as part of its commitment to support financial market stability.

    Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will provide protection against the possibility of unusually large losses on an asset pool of approximately $118 billion of loans, securities backed by residential and commercial real estate loans, and other such assets, all of which have been marked to current market value. The large majority of these assets were assumed by Bank of America as a result of its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. The assets will remain on Bank of America’s balance sheet. As a fee for this arrangement, Bank of America will issue preferred shares to the Treasury and FDIC. In addition and if necessary, the Federal Reserve stands ready to backstop residual risk in the asset pool through a non-recourse loan.

    In addition, Treasury will invest $20 billion in Bank of America from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in exchange for preferred stock with an 8 percent dividend to the Treasury. Bank of America will comply with enhanced executive compensation restrictions and implement a mortgage loan modification program.

    Treasury exercised this funding authority under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The investment was made under the Targeted Investment Program. The objective of this program is to foster financial market stability and thereby to strengthen the economy and protect American jobs, savings, and retirement security.

  4. grim says:

    An amazing study. Government pushes them to become too-big-to-fail (go forward with the Merrill merger), and then rescues them when they are about to go under. I see how this works now, take two not-too-big-to-fail companies, merge them, let them fail, and *THEN* rescue it. How is this anything other than the FDIC/Fed/Treasury bailing out their own dumb mistake?

  5. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Merrill Lynch lost $15.31 billion in fourth quarter, Bank of America says

  6. grim says:

    Citi getting their piece as well. Why am I being forced to share Citi’s losses?

    From MW:

    Citi loss sharing program covers $301B of assets

  7. George Bush says:

    try to find a term:

    Government financial engineering?

    Financial government?

  8. bairen says:

    $5 grim,

    They “only” lost 15 billion. No wonder the execs from ML deserve such large bonuses. Another doofus could have lost 20 billion or more.

    / off sarcasm

  9. Essex says:

    *sigh* if you people cannot see the value in supporting our great financial giants while they slowly pillage every middle class person in this country and send them into oblivion…then I just don’t know what to say….(sarcasm off)

  10. Essex says:

    Ah……Our first MBA President — see? This is how business is done!

  11. Clotpoll says:

    The government of the United States is a racket and an ongoing criminal enterprise.

    Carry on…

  12. Clotpoll says:

    Bergabe and Klink should face a firing squad.

  13. victorian says:

    Clot –

    I have moved beyond anger to a state of mild detached bemusement. There is no turning back from this.

  14. james says:

    This country is so f’d up its almost laughable. After reading this article I have passed the mendoza line. I am offically embarassed to be an American.

  15. Clotpoll says:

    This country is a complete disgrace. I’m not embarrassed; I’m ashamed. We have, in short order, become a second-tier welfare state.

  16. Clotpoll says:

    The next step will be a foreign entity walking onto our soil to secure its government’s interest in some vital asset.

  17. Clotpoll says:

    I am a middle-aged guy who owns a company with 9 people.

    If I could know- without no more than a cursory review- that any deal to take over MER would be a death sentence for the purchaser, why couldn’t Ken Lewis figure this out?

    The people who run these banks really ARE this stupid. The money system in the US really is being run by a gang of knuckle-dragging primates.

  18. james says:

    It makes me want to default on my mortgage just for kicks. Or even better. Mortgage my shit to the ears, and walk out of the country with a box of gold bars.

  19. njrebear says:

    “Citi reaches agreement with Treasury, Fed on loss sharing”

    WTF is that?

  20. Essex says:

    Time again for a little Leonard —

    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows that the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows that the captain lied
    Everybody got this broken feeling
    Like their father or their dog just died

    Everybody talking to their pockets
    Everybody wants a box of chocolates
    And a long stem rose
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows that you love me baby
    Everybody knows that you really do
    Everybody knows that youve been faithful
    Ah give or take a night or two
    Everybody knows youve been discreet
    But there were so many people you just had to meet
    Without your clothes
    And everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    And everybody knows that its now or never
    Everybody knows that its me or you
    And everybody knows that you live forever
    Ah when youve done a line or two
    Everybody knows the deal is rotten
    Old black joes still pickin cotton
    For your ribbons and bows
    And everybody knows

    And everybody knows that the plague is coming
    Everybody knows that its moving fast
    Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
    Are just a shining artifact of the past
    Everybody knows the scene is dead
    But theres gonna be a meter on your bed
    That will disclose
    What everybody knows

    And everybody knows that youre in trouble
    Everybody knows what youve been through
    From the bloody cross on top of calvary
    To the beach of malibu
    Everybody knows its coming apart
    Take one last look at this sacred heart
    Before it blows
    And everybody knows

    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Everybody knows

  21. HEHEHE says:

    And the markets love it! Hit it Lee, “I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN…”

  22. comrade nom deplume says:

    European markets up smartly on news that we have become just like them.

  23. HEHEHE says:

    Actually we are worse, we are just like them but we PRETEND to be the bastion of free market capitalism

  24. HEHEHE says:

    I’ve a good friend who works at Citi, I wonder if his division will be part of the new company that’s certain to go bankrupt or the one that just has a really good chance of going bankrupt?

  25. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Rescue of Banks Hints at Nationalization

    Last fall, as Federal Reserve and Treasury Department officials rode to the rescue of one financial institution after another, they took great pains to avoid doing anything that smacked of nationalizing banks.

    They may no longer have that luxury. With two of the nation’s largest banks buckling under yet another round of huge losses, the incoming administration of Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve are suddenly dealing with banks that are “too big to fail” and yet unable to function as the sinking economy erodes their capital.

    Particularly in the case of Citigroup, the losses have become so large that they make it almost mathematically impossible for the government to inject enough capital without taking a majority stake or at least squeezing out existing shareholders.

  26. HEHEHE says:

    Picked this off of Hoboken411 re Toll Bros:

    “In urban New York, we have one building in Manhattan, two buildings in Williamsburg and four properties in Hoboken and Jersey City with one additional large property coming online in several years. It’s being mothballed right now. There is fear. The buyers are definitely scared. We take 10% down and we do not negotiate the return of that money. So if you have $1 million unit, it’s a tough pill to swallow and walk away from $100,000.

    Every deal is a struggle. You’ve got to hold the hand of the bank appraiser. You’ve got to hold the hand of t he mortgage company. You’ve got to hold the hand of your buyer to get them off the ledge. Most are afraid of losing their job right now in the New York world. The lenders are not in love with lending any more in urban New York. So the rates are higher. The down-payments are larger and every deal is a struggle.

    Urban New York is obviously slow, although we are very encouraged in the last week with Hoboken, which appears to have come back. We sold five homes last week in Hoboken, which is shocking. Bob (Toll, CEO of Toll Brothers) told me to figure out where these people come from and mass mail everybody they know.”

    -Toll S.V.P. Doug Yearley

  27. grim says:

    Screw the Japanese, we’re going Chavez.

  28. HEHEHE says:

    What’s Hugo going to do without W to through his tirades at anymore?

  29. grim says:

    #29 – Great Quote..

    The report said Codey said people soon might be calling the Xanadu project “the mistake at the Meadowlands.”

  30. comrade nom deplume says:

    [23] HEHEHE

    heck, considering the O-man’s platform, we are not going to be pretending much longer.

  31. comrade nom deplume says:

    [30] grim

    “mistake at the meadowlands”

    I thought that was the Jets?

  32. Clotpoll says:

    HE (21)-

    Mark my words, I will get even with you for that.

  33. comrade nom deplume says:

    [27] grim,

    Well, we might as well start learning the lyrics to our new national anthem:

    The Internationale (modern version by Billy Bragg, 1990)

    Stand up, all victims of oppression
    For the tyrants fear your might
    Don’t cling so hard to your possessions
    For you have nothing, if you have no rights
    Let racist ignorance be ended
    For respect makes the empires fall
    Freedom is merely privilege extended
    Unless enjoyed by one and all.

    So come brothers and sisters
    For the struggle carries on
    The Internationale
    Unites the world in song
    So comrades come rally
    For this is the time and place
    The international ideal
    Unites the human race

    Let no one build walls to divide us
    Walls of hatred nor walls of stone
    Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
    We’ll live together or we’ll die alone
    In our world poisoned by exploitation
    Those who have taken, now they must give
    And end the vanity of nations
    We’ve one but one Earth on which to live

    And so begins the final drama
    In the streets and in the fields
    We stand unbowed before their armour
    We defy their guns and shields
    When we fight, provoked by their aggression
    Let us be inspired by life and love
    For though they offer us concessions
    Change will not come from above.

  34. comrade nom deplume says:

    [34] redux

    Sorry grim, I fed the trolls. Where’s Reinvestor to call me a commie, and Schabadoo to say that I am making no sense?

  35. John says:

    God Bless Free Market Capitalism. Not a single person on this board has the right to complain. You all had the opportunity to buy 30 year bank bonds at 15% interest back in July through December when only the silly left wing starbuck drinking fools thought the govt would not bail them out. The bank bail out is like the plane crash yesterday, there were only two choices to be made, either get on the boat or sink. We all knew last fall our taxes were going up, you either had to live with that or buy a high yield bank bond and pay your extra income taxes off the interest income. I know it is gun to your head politics. But get ready for more of that.

  36. Barbara says:

    on a brighter note, new Galactica tonight

  37. Sean says:

    That money did not come from the second half of TARP, since that second 350 Billion TARP money has yet to pass the House folks, it was a parting gift from Paulson.

    Paulson has illegally overspent the first 350 Billion TARP by about 40 billion and the guarantees who the heck knows what that means.

    Bank of Ammerilwide has derivatives with maximum potential future losses of as much as $81 billion. These are NOT bad mortgages.

  38. Stu says:

    Good morning fellow comrades.

  39. Stu says:


    I’m a huge fan of BB. Saw him play at least 20 times. He was much more radical prior to the birth of his son. He sure has mellowed with age.

    Between Marx and Marzipan in the dictionary, there was Mary.

  40. Sean says:

    re; #36 John I could care less if my taxes go up a few points, you are missing the big picture here, but you will get the “big picture” once a loaf of bread costs 10 bucks and it costs 35 to ride the LIRR one way from Ronkonkoma.

  41. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Dec. CPI falls 0.7% vs. -0.8% expected

    U.S. Dec. core CPI flat as expected

    U.S. CPI up 0.1% in 2008, smallest gain in 54 years

    U.S. Dec. core CPI up 1.8% in past year

  42. grim says:

    Great commentary from Ritholtz:


    The amazingly bad deal Bank of America plan mirrors an even worse bad deal made by the Feds with Citigroup in November. There, the taxpayers explicitly insured the bank against losses on 90% of $306 billion of toxic assets — Citigroup’s real-estate loans and securities.

    Like Citi, the B of A monies are a terrible deal for the taxpayer — not a lot of bang for the buck, and leaving the same people who created the mess in charge.

    Organ transplant medicine understands certain truths: You do not give a healthy liver to a raging alcoholic, as they will only destroy the organ via their disease/bad judgment/lifestyle.

    Why do we give billions of taxpayer dollars to incompetent managers who failed to protect their assets, who destroyed shareholder value? These people have demonstrated a marked INABILITY to run these firms. Why reward them with 10s of billions of dollars?

    Its nothing short of madness . . .

  43. Shore Guy says:


    But the good news is that EVERYBODY will be earning at least a million by then. A million will be the new $100,000. Well, $50, 000 anyway.

  44. Shore Guy says:

    “The U.S. will invest $20 billion in Bank of America and guarantee $118 billion of assets “as part of its commitment to support financial-market stability,” the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a joint statement shortly after midnight in Washington.”

    Two thoughts:

    1) Whatever happened to the public’s business being done during times when the public is awake;

    2)If the USG keeps riding in to back loans banks make, why on earth would they act prudently in making them?


    Yes I remember those dark days. First they came and took the banks. Then they came and took the auto companies…My friends and I would gather in secret, drink home made beer, smoke cigarrretes made from lawn grass and listen to the old patriotic classics from the past. Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood; they kept us alive.

  46. Sean says:

    Shore – The goal is to keep wage inflation down as well, infact the kids in school now will all be given really great jobs just like in Japan where they use three people to wrap one hamburger.

  47. Barbara says:

    46. you forgot the NUUUUUGE!!!!

  48. Shore Guy says:


    That is from On Day in the Life of John Johnson?

  49. grim says:

    More out of Citi (not sure which one, the good citi or its evil doppelganger), from MW:

    Citi credit cards likely to grow with unemployment : CFO

    Citi card losses surpass levels of early 90s recession:CFO

  50. Shore Guy says:

    Or perhaps Notes from a Hole in the Market?

  51. grim says:

    My friends and I would gather in secret, drink home made beer, smoke cigarrretes made from lawn grass and listen to the old patriotic classics from the past.

    Ahh, the classics… Can I offer one up?


    Bye-bye American Pie,

    Greenspan blew a bubble,

    Paulson told Congress a lie.

    Banksters stole your money,

    Left your family high and dry.

    Now you can’t find a job,

    No matter how hard you try.

    Say good-bye to your dreams in the sky,

    Say good-bye to your piece of the pie.

  52. comrade nom deplume says:

    [39, 40]

    BB fan? Comrade? Finally out of the Red Army closet there in the People’s Republic of Montclair, tovarisch?

    Anyone know where I can buy a Hammer and Sickle flag? Or will the Cub@n flag and Che banners be the new standard (kinda like the ones that the 0bama workers had hanging in their offices when they inexplicably allowed newscameras in). And that Venezuelan flag is pretty spiffy—soc1alist and stylish.

    (if I had the time and money, I would buy a bunch of old Sov1et flags and get a bunch of friends to wave them on the inaugural route. Good photo opp there).

  53. Stu says:

    Well I am half Russian (Ukraine).

  54. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Citigroup headcount fell by 29,000 in latest quarter

    Citigroup Inc said Friday that its headcount fell by 29,000 from the third quarter to the fourth quarter. The company said its staffing level across the company was 323,000 at the end of the fourth quarter, down from 352,000 at the end of the third quarter. Citi’s staffing if off from the historic high of 375,000 at the end at the fourth quarter of 2007. Citi Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said the company hopes to reach its target employment level of 300,000 soon. Late in 2007, the company unveiled plans to trim 50,000 jobs in fairly short order.

  55. Shore Guy says:

    The current situation makes me somewhat wary about stockpiling so much cash. As the saying goes, “Just because you are NOT paranoid does not mean they are NOT trying to get you.”

    I don’t know that I expect a bank holiday, but one would not surprise me, under the right circumstances. A sharp decrease in the value of the dollar would also nopt surprise me, and, since we import so much of our basic goods, the inflation could become a killer. We are going to soon be ending an expensive war and looking back as far as the Civil War, whenever we end a war we end up with huge runs of inflation. Will this time be different; I don’t know, the RE bubble sure wasn’t. Inflation wipes out the value of the saved cash and makes all those passed-up opportunities less desirable. But the market seems a bad place for long-term investing right now and RE is poised to go down, at least residential properties. Does this make farmland the only reasonable place to safeguard wealth? I know some of you will say, no, go with gold. I understand that but gold can be taken — either on paper or by thieves — be they common criminals or governments that decide they need to take hords of gold out of private hands.

    My you live in interesting times (so says the Chinese curse).

  56. comrade nom deplume says:

    [46] HE

    lawn grass??? Ewww.

    (I should talk—once on a scout camping trip, we lil’ ones decided to ape the big boys smoking joints so we made our own (the older kids actually had some scruples and wouldn’t pass the bones to us because we were “too young”). We made them out of pine needles and newspaper. We didn’t actually try to smoke them but since we didn’t know how to smoke, we accidentally inhaled some anyway. Nasty, nasty sh1t).

  57. grim says:

    Wonder how many employees are going to be assigned to rearrange deck chairs on the sinking ship (aka Citigroup Holdings)?

  58. Imus says:

    Just read that AIG is spending $619 million in retention pay for its executives and employees. The American public screwed yet again (and we did not even get dinner and a movie!).

    Of course, you will never see a story like this on page 1 – the media is more interested in feeding us fluff like “Miracle on the Hudson” and Oprah’s inauguration….sigh…

  59. DL says:

    I usually am able to hold my ground when it comes to Euro anti-Americanism in the political arena. But when they critize the U.S. for having unleashed ebola capitalism on the rest of the world, for once, I can only respond that they have no idea how bad it is. We have screwed the pooch.

  60. comrade nom deplume says:

    [54] stu

    Grandparents survived the pogroms, eh?

    Well, I can see how you would despise the czar!

  61. Mike NJ says:


    Sometimes after reading this blog I wish I really was on the Galactica and lost in space.

    All signs point towards a top 5 episode tonight.

    Looking forward to it immensely.

  62. Shore Guy says:


    I can se it now, Cheech and Chong, the Early Years:

    Cheech:Dude, this is some awsome ch-it? What is it, fir?

    Chong: No way, man. This is straight off the boat Austrian Pine. Grown at 15,000 feet. Awsome, stuff.

    Cheech: Austrian Green. Awsome. And it makes the room smell so nice.

  63. Shore Guy says:

    “Just read that AIG is spending $619 million in retention pay for its executives and employees.”

  64. Shore Guy says:

    “Just read that AIG is spending $619 million in retention pay for its executives and employees.”

  65. Shore Guy says:

    “Just read that AIG is spending $619 million in retention pay for its executives and employees.”

    Geeze, how else do you expect them to KEEP such key employees. Not just anyone can run a giant corporation into the ground like they did. It takes a special breed and we must pay anything necessary to keep them as they are the only ones who know how to manage the company.

  66. comrade nom deplume says:

    [56] shore,

    Farmland is reasonable, though not for all wealth since it is highly illiquid and unmoveable.

    That said, my preliminary research suggests that the feds cannot impose property taxes (disclaimer: I haven’t really done that much resarch, and it doesn’t mean they won’t try) so if you buy in a staunchly anti-tax area, then it is unlikely that property will be subject to confiscatory taxes.

    Further, there is still at least a constitutional prohibition on seizure of property without just compensation. Good luck getting what you think is just, but it does mean that government isn’t going to seize what it can’t use.

    Finally, farmland is productive in a way that lends itself to underground economy. I highly doubt the folks selling at “farmers markets” or roadside stands report very much. And reportable sales income is wiped out by expenses and depreciation.

    Spam can speak better to the economics of farming (perhaps he would make a good consultant for the NJREReport Compound).

  67. randy says:

    why can’t we just default all this bad debt and move on? why must we monetize all the bad debt onto the backs of the taxpayers, eventually inciting massive inflation and degrading the quality of life of our children and grandchildren?

  68. comrade nom deplume says:

    [63] shore

    we weren’t nearly that hip. Imagine a couple of 11 year olds, playing stoner, and accidentally getting a whiff of some nasty, toxic, caustic smoke. We were coughing for half the day.

    Rather pathetic really.

  69. Barbara says:

    I wish for Star Trek. The transporters alone….in downtown NYC in seconds. Goodbye NE Corridor.

  70. comrade nom deplume says:

    [48] barbara,

    thanks a lot. Now I will have bad wango tango flashbacks for the rest of the day.

  71. Shore Guy says:

    Since the Federal Reserve can create all the money it wants. It should just buy up all the governments existing debt and then write-off the debt. Clean start.

  72. Victorian says:

    “I would buy a bunch of old Sov1et flags and get a bunch of friends to wave them on the inaugural route”

    – Aren’t you a lil late there? You should have done that yesterday at the farewell speech.

  73. Shore Guy says:

    government’s, that is

    or maybe governments’, and include the states as well while we are at it.

  74. Stu says:

    “Grandparents survived the pogroms, eh? ”

    Not exactly, my great grandmother and her parents escaped the pogroms via ship at the turn of the century. Both of her folks croaked on the way over. My great grandmother was approximately 2 year’s old when she was cataloged on Ellis. Since she had no surviving relatives, they named her Mary (first and last Jew that I know with that name) and gave her the birth date of 1/1/1900 (which was their code for we have no clue. Grandma Mary lived to be 88 and was wise till the day she died. She also knew how to cook and made everything from scratch. She made a mean hot chocolate, awesome smoked fish and fantastic mamaliga. Her daughter (Selma), whose brother is dying as we speak unfortunately, is also still kickin strongly and is in her late 80’s as well.

  75. Shore Guy says:

    Heck with Wango Tango, Dog Eat Dog may be the new motto for these new times.

  76. Shore Guy says:

    CPI-U decreased 0.7 percent in December

  77. Barbara says:

    70. Comrade
    Let me be of assistance. This will kill that earworm.

    “I’m walkin’ on sunshine……oh OH, I’m walkin’ on sunshine, oh YEAH AND DON’T IT FEEL GOOD!”

    Your welcome.

  78. grim says:

    Since the Federal Reserve can create all the money it wants. It should just buy up all the governments existing debt and then write-off the debt. Clean start.

    Are you proposing, dare I say it, a “do-over”?

  79. grim says:

    Not sure I know of any historical precedent for an empire ever being given a “do-over”.

  80. Shore Guy says:

    Or we can modify the Dead tune to be something like:

    Driv-ing the ec-on-om-ic train
    Like he’s high on cocaine
    Hank Paul-son
    You bet-ter watch your speed
    Trouble a-head
    Trouble bee-hind
    And you know a bail-out
    Just crossed my mind.

  81. Stu says:

    Some scary stuff in Schwab’s report:

    8:53AM Charles Schwab beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (SCHW) 14.89 : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.27 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.26; revenues fell 4.5% year/year to $1.28 bln vs the $1.28 bln consensus. Net new accounts for the quarter totaled approximately 51,400, down 15% year-over-year. Total accounts reached 5.2 million as of December 31, 2008, up 3% year-over-year. Co said, “With equity valuations and short-term interest rates starting 2009 dramatically lower than a year ago and

    no positive catalyst currently in sight, we believe we must proceed as if the economic environment will not improve for some time…

    Accordingly, to help support our priorities while offsetting at least some of the likely revenue pressure, we are proceeding with our previously announced effort to reduce expenses significantly, with the current expectation of identifying and implementing cuts totaling 7 to 8% of our 2008 total spending.

    We are also mindful that the overall mortgage market is another important element of the environment, and that further deterioration in this arena could negatively impact mortgage-backed securities in our investment portfolio; in particular, those holdings backed by Alt-A collateral, a relatively small portion of the total.”

    Parts separated out with extra line breaks for emphasis (too lazy to do HTML).

  82. Mike NJ says:

    60 Babrabra,

    Tell me about it. I am on the M&E every day to Hoboken. Talk about 100 year old trains. I think they send us India’s old trains when they are done with them.

    Did you see the trailer for the new JJ Abrams (Lost) Star Trek. Looks pretty good.

  83. Barbara says:

    I did and it could be kind of campy/cool like Star Ship Troopers or a total fail.
    Hoping for the best.

  84. Shore Guy says:


    But in the past a do-over required defaulting on debt. In this case, a private entity, the Fed, could create all the cash it needs to buy up all the debt it wants and just decide to never collect on the debt. They are essentially doing the same thing for the banks right now. Why not extend it to the USG? It would immediately allow us to slash the federal budget and taxes by about one-third as we would no longer have debt to service.

  85. Shore Guy says:

    Apologies to Pink Floyd:

    We don’t need to pay our debts off
    We dont need to make a buck
    Keep printing all the cash that we need
    Even if it leaves us Fu**ed

    Hey people, we still got the bomb

  86. Clotpoll says:

    John (36)-

    Call me crazy, but I’m not buying bonds issued by criminal institutions that are run by primates.

  87. grim says:

    How could an empire ever be trusted after taking a mulligan that big?

    Imagine the sequence of events.

    Secretly print massive volumes of cash
    Trade that cash for all outstanding treasuries.
    Currency crashes, making foreign currency holdings worthless.

    Is it really any different from defaulting on the debt?

  88. shawn212 says:

    Paulson from a month ago

    “I’m expecting no other major financial institution to fail”


  89. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (38)-

    And just to think: BAC’s derivatives position is dwarfed by that of JPM (the alleged “quality” bank).

  90. grim says:

    “I’m expecting no other major financial institution to fail”

    Isn’t that the same thing as Paulson saying, “I won’t let a major financial institution fail, regardless of the cost.”?

  91. Stu says:

    How could an empire ever be trusted after taking a mulligan that big?

    I’ve been saying this since Bear!

    Once there is a real drop in the treasuries, it’s compound time.

  92. Stu says:


    You thinking what I’m thinking or you waiting till after the inauguration?

  93. Shore Guy says:


    In fact, our gold reserves and currency reserves would skyrocket in value.


    As for “Paulson from a month ago

    “I’m expecting no other major financial institution to fail” ”

    To be fair, I belive his full statement was: “I’m expecting no other major financial institution to fail, all my hair to grow back over the weekend, and for Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston to drop their current lovers and take up with me on a beach on Barbados”

  94. Shore Guy says:


    I suspect the Bush Administration has been working like dogs just to make sure the crash occurs in or after February.

  95. veto says:

    John, Good move accumulating munis. I see the 10 yr MMD moved 75 bps since jan 2.

    About inflation…
    I saw David Wyss, chief Economist S&P, speak tues about his 2009 outlook. He makes no predictions about inflation or deflation but did mention that Japan, during 1990-1995 period, were expecting huge amounts of hyperinflation but it just never came… I guess our situation has its differences but i thought that was interesting. He also mentioned that their corp bubble was different then our consumer credit bubble in that their Corp credit drove 20% of GDP at peak whereas our consumer bubble driving 70% of GDP.

  96. Clotpoll says:

    stu (92)-

    Averaging in at every chance. I might even margin it.

  97. Stu says:

    Shore Guy,

    As liberal as I am, I don’t really think that is the case, nor do I believe in the PPT. With that said, the one thing that is suspiciously missing from this downturn and which usually signals a bottom is near is a black market day. Considering the magnitude of this recession and the size of the government intervention, I fear it will be very big and very bad, but probably won’t occur until the forest fire is restarted by the prime option arms.

  98. Stu says:

    “I might even margin it.”

    Isn’t it fun when when you’re playing with the banks money? ;)

  99. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. industrial output down 2% in Dec.

    Weakness in output at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities gained momentum as the year drew to a close, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

    U.S. industrial production dropped 2% in December after a revised 1.3% drop in the previous month. Production is now down in four of the past five months.

    Production fell at an 11.5% rate in the fourth quarter. Factory output fell 1.8% in 2008, the first annual decline since 2002.

    The drop in production in December was larger than expected. Economists had been anticipating that December’s production would fall 1.2%

    Capacity utilization fell to 73.6% in December from 75.2% in the previous month. This is the lowest level since December 2001.

    Declines in output were widespread in December.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    January 16, 2009 at 7:13 am
    I am a middle-aged guy who owns a company with 9 people. If I could know- without no more than a cursory review- that any deal to take over MER would be a death sentence for the purchaser, why couldn’t Ken Lewis figure this out? The people who run these banks really ARE this stupid. The money system in the US really is being run by a gang of knuckle-dragging primates.

    clot: I’ve said it in the past. Hubris, not stupidity. This SOB is (soon was) the classic empire-building CEO. Why do you think the stock traded at a discount for so long? For these guys, the money is fungible. The loss of power is the biggest hell possible. To megalomaniacs, to be a nothing, and tarred and feathered is worse than death. Lewis will be dead within 10 years.

  101. Clotpoll says:

    veto (95)-

    Biggest difference: when the SHTF in Japan, they were a nation of savers.

    Us? Not so much.

    Squatter camps and trash barrel fires, here we come.

  102. chicagofinance says:

    veto says:
    January 16, 2009 at 9:36 am
    John, Good move accumulating munis. I see the 10 yr MMD moved 75 bps since jan 2.

    About inflation…
    I saw David Wyss, chief Economist S&P, speak tues about his 2009 outlook. He makes no predictions about inflation or deflation but did mention that Japan, during 1990-1995 period, were expecting huge amounts of hyperinflation but it just never came… I guess our situation has its differences but i thought that was interesting. He also mentioned that their corp bubble was different then our consumer credit bubble in that their Corp credit drove 20% of GDP at peak whereas our consumer bubble driving 70% of GDP.

    veto: I really like David. He’s a nice guy. However, he is purely ineffectual. He lives in his little ivory tower.

  103. Clotpoll says:

    chi (100)-

    I wish he’d die today:

    “Lewis will be dead within 10 years.”

  104. Clotpoll says:

    chi (102)-

    Not to mention that Mr. Wyss works for a known criminal enterprise that has abetted the biggest financial fraud of all time.

    Anything promulgated by S&P or Moody’s should be regarded as lies.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    OK – everyone together….

  106. make money says:

    Citi got money from tax payers to dump a broker and BAC got money to acquire one.

    Interesting day!

    Is it me or does this make any common sense.

  107. Shore Guy says:

    “Is it me or does this make any common sense.”

    It makes all the sense inthe world. In the last dys of being able to do so, Paulson showered money on “friends.”

  108. grim says:


    Capacity utilization fell to 73.6% in December from 75.2% in the previous month. This is the lowest level since December 2001.

    Utilization at these levels is hardly inflationary. Not to mention a harbinger of more job cuts and additional downward pressure on wages.

  109. Shore Guy says:


    When capacity is low, one cuts capacity. Soon it will be back up to the 90s but with a much smaller number of plants and decreased capability to produce.

  110. John says:

    I love the smell of a bull market in the morning.

    Chi Fi, thank on the muni call. I bought lots of long term munis between Nov 1st and Junuary 2st when they were around 75 cents on a dollar on Margin no less and I sold the shorter term ones I had at over par this week to come out of margin. Buying 10K long term pieces for 7,500 in December and selling 10K short term pieces in January for 10,500 really juiced my interest income stream. All my 7,500 pieces are all trading at close to 9,000.

  111. grim says:

    When capacity is low, one cuts capacity.

  112. Outofstater says:

    Clot – you do a disservice to knuckle-dragging primates everywhere. This is it. I don’t know why today, but it feels like the end. Time to look over the pantry and stock up on canned tuna fish and pasta. If frugal = rich, then food = money.

  113. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    UMichigan consumer sentiment rises to 61.9 in January

    Jan. UMichigan consumer sentiment above 59 expected

  114. make money says:


    Capacity utilization fell to 73.6% in December from 75.2% in the previous month. This is the lowest level since December 2001.

    Utilization at these levels is hardly inflationary. Not to mention a harbinger of more job cuts and additional downward pressure on wages.


    Zimbabve unemployment rate is over 50%, they produce nothing and they sport a 5 digit inflation rate.

    Hyperinflation is a result of money supply. above economic pressures are only short term phenomeons.

    Due to gov’t interference we will suffer a depressionary hyperinflation.

    We will wipe all debt, screw the world and somehow blame them. Then start fresh with the Amero.

    It will make the ’30s look like a walk in the park.

  115. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Wall Street layoff storm also soaks office landlords

    Wall Street’s employment tsunami, most recently swamping Citibank Inc (C.N), is also undermining the island of Manhattan’s 443 million square foot office market, threatening to drag rents down 35 percent from a second quarter 2008 high.

    The bankruptcies and buyouts of Wall Street giants Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, and the massive layoffs implemented by survivors such as American International Group Inc (AIG.N) and Citi will shrink the Street — and its need for office space.

    “The pendulum has swung completely the other way from being a landlord’s market to being a tenant’s market,” said Steve Chasanoff, a director at FirstService Williams, a real estate services firm.

    Financial firms typically occupy a third of the office space in New York City’s commercial and cultural center of Manhattan, according to real estate services firm Colliers International.

  116. grim says:

    BC Bob,

    Can you forward this to our lumber friend?

    Dear Industry Colleagues,

    It is with regret that we inform you that the 2009 CLA Annual Convention scheduled to be held at the Toronto Sheraton Hotel February 18 and 19 has been cancelled. This very difficult and unfortunate decision was made in light of the exceptionally low number of registrants the event has been able to attract to date.

    Canadian Lumberman’s Association

    Hat tip CR

  117. grim says:

    Given the dramatic drop in commodity prices, I’d wager a big bet that it is significantly cheaper to build a new home right now than to buy a still-unoccupied new home built 2 years ago.

  118. grim says:

    Factor in lower home prices (teardowns) and land prices, a good builder who didn’t saddle himself with debt and land two or three years ago could likely continue to operate profitably in this environment.

  119. zieba says:

    RE; 115

    A couple of months ago a certain large entertainment company was moving across the river to the Jersey waterfront. It’s new neighbors were largely finance companies. At the time of the move the landlord has expressed concerns about the new tenant being able to pay the rent and I think they had to jump through some hoops for him.

    Is that part of JC heading for ghost town status?

    Now it appears as if it will be the one least likely to downsize space and pay their bills on time. (they were already gutted by a private equity firm prior to the move)

    Wiki fun fact:
    Goldman Sachs Tower (30 Hudson Street), in Jersey City, New Jersey, is the tallest building in New Jersey, and the tallest in the United States of any building not in its metropolitan area’s largest city[1].

  120. make money says:

    Is anyone shorting AAPL as a no Jobs no Apple as we know it play.

  121. Comrade Kettle1 says:


    Madness? This IS SPARTA!!!!



    my perspective on cash risk…. There is certainly risk to holding cash, but it is somewhat mitigated by the fact that is a serious currency event happens local people will not have much choice but to use dollars. they can barter, but thats one of the only other options in the short term. Even if foreigners wont take dollars or the value has dropped significantly relative to foreign currencies, the dollar will still ave some utility for local markets. Even if you have a stash of yen , is the local grocer or mechanic going to accept payment in yen????? None of the options are risk free, holding farm land, gold, cash, all have risks, but the key is to mix and match to minimize ( as i am sure you know better then i do).

    In the case of a bank holiday, cash will be king regardless of any devaluation. the average person doesnt even have this stuff on their long distance radar. If the banks are closed for a week, consider how many people get paid electronically. For a true bank holiday they would ave to shut down debit cards. How many people carry cash. Locally the value of cash will skyrocket ( at least temporarily) the second a bank holiday is enacted, regardless of international value of the dollar at the time.

    my 3 cents

  122. still_looking says:

    dow graph looking saw-toothy again…


  123. Stu says:

    “dow graph looking saw-toothy again…”


    Don’t get me started!

  124. zieba says:


    Circuit City to liquidate all after failing to find a buyer.


  125. comrade nom deplume says:

    [78] barbara,

    appreciate it, but I’m not really sure that was what I needed.

    In honor of Stu’s ggps and the tone of the day, maybe I will simply hum The Volga Boatmen to myself all day.

    Or maybe an organ requiem (what my daughter calls “the spooky music.”)

  126. chicagofinance says:

    John says:
    January 16, 2009 at 9:58 am
    Chi Fi, thank on the muni call.

    JJ: donate something to grim for the site.

  127. ricky_nu says:

    Grim – 117 & 118

    I agree – If you built 2 years ago and are still sitting on your inventory you are playing with fire. The replication cost is now far below what you are sitting on.

    Lumber -45%
    Sheetrock -50%

    your “inventory’ just got smoked, not to mention that lot you overpaid on just dropped 30-40% in value. Unlucky……

  128. chicagofinance says:

    make money says:
    January 16, 2009 at 10:21 am
    Is anyone shorting AAPL as a no Jobs no Apple as we know it play.

    make: bad trading idea…all info out there already….

  129. chicagofinance says:


    WSJ W6
    Born to Run — and Promote
    After stumping for Obama, Bruce Springsteen launches a campaign for a new album
    3/4 of a page article

    with track by track review
    “Working on a Dream” is one of Bruce Spring-steen’s most stylistically diverse albums, built largely around themes of redemption and hope. A track-by-track guide to its 13 songs.

    ‘Outlaw Pete’An update of the murder-ballad tradition — but with strings that flirt with ’70s disco.

    ‘My Lucky Day’A raucous Springsteen anthem.

    ‘Working on a Dream’A midtempo “Yes, we can”-themed rocker unveiled at an Obama campaign event.

    ‘Queen of the Supermarket’A tongue-in-cheek take on unrequited love about pining after a checkout clerk.

    ‘What Love Can Do’An ode to the strength of romance.

    ‘This Life’Takes some arranging cues from “Pet Sounds”-era Beach Boys.

    ‘Good Eye’Gospel-inspired blues, featuring harmonica and lyrics disparaging “earthly riches.”

    ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’A song with a shuffling beat and lilting melody.

    ‘Life Itself’A dark love song, in which the singer urges the addressee not to succumb to suicidal urges.

    ‘Kingdom of Days’A string-washed ballad.

    ‘Surprise, Surprise’A birthday wish that “the evening stars scatter a shining crown upon your breast.”

    ‘The Last Carnival’The Boss sings of life as a trapeze artist.

    ‘The Wrestler’Folk-inspired track about final shot at stardom.

  130. ricky_nu says:

    Not totally applciable to NJ, but more to wall St, here is a nice place up in New Canaan (very blue-chip town, full of wall streeters).

    price goes Kaboom.


    This house has dropped in ask by 40% in last month (2 drops of 20%+). Originaly list was over $2mm.


  131. comrade nom deplume says:

    He is probably glad he didn’t have to live to see his empire go down in flames.

    “DALLAS: Trammell Crow, a one-time accountant with no real estate experience who built one of the largest real estate development companies in the nation, has died. He was 94.

    Spokeswoman Cynthia Pharr Lee said Thursday that Crow died Wednesday at a family farm near Tyler in East Texas. The cause of death wasn’t immediately released. In 2002, Crow’s wife disclosed that the legendary developer suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.”

  132. chicagofinance says:

    grim unmod

  133. Nicholas says:

    Anyone find Chuck Norris jokes funny?

  134. comrade nom deplume says:

    [133] Nick

    Chuck Norris does. Go tell him one.

  135. Nicholas says:

    Apparently Chuck Norris does find the jokes about him very funny. You can find a list of his top favorites. I never liked his TV shows and always thought he was a sub-par version of Van Damme or Segall. Apparently he was one of the origional gangstas back in the day so he gets lauded with praise now.

    I find the ones that have him defying mathmatical, technology, or physical limitations the funniest. I guess that is because I’m an engineer.


  136. PGC says:

    Who said ….

    “I think progress is the biggest enemy on earth, apart from oneself… I think we’re gonna take good care of this planet shortly… there’s never been a weap0n created yet on the face of the Earth that hadn’t been used…

    …We’re run by the Pentag0n, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche… As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy. We’re at the mercy of the advertiser and of course there are certain things that we need, but a lot of the stuff that is bought is not needed…

    …We all live in a little Village… Your village may be different from other people’s villages but we are all prisoners.”

  137. Stu says:


    Saw Lone Wolf McQuade with about ten of my friends at a 7th grade birthday party.

    Most of my friends were Star Wars geeks. Not us. Chuck was the real deal!

  138. RemainCalmAllisWell says:

    Some Friday reading. Although I think some folks here already are familiar with it.

    Also make sure you check out the user reviews.


  139. TB says:

    I find the ones that have him defying mathmatical, technology, or physical limitations the funniest. I guess that is because I’m an engineer.

    Chuck Norris won a game of connect four in 3 moves. This fits the bill.

    Rember the Soviet Union? they called it quits after watching a Delta Force marathon.

  140. All Hype says:

    Circuit City:

    Gonna get me a TV seriously discounted. This will be my last electronic purchase for a long time!

    Get your toys now before all the freshly printed money by Benny causes serious hyperinflation.

  141. Zack says:

    Got out of my SKF position. Rode it from 110 to 159 for a few weeks.

  142. comrade nom deplume says:

    [136] nick

    Oh, its obvious. He did an ad that poked fun at his persona. I loved it.

  143. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Banks in need of more capital: Paulson

    The second half of the financial industry bailout fund should be used mostly for direct capital injections into troubled banks and financial firms, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday.

    “At least in my judgment, a good portion of the TARP resources has to be used for capital programs,” Paulson told reporters in his final press conference as Treasury Secretary.

  144. Mike NJ says:


    Liquidation “sales” are the one of the worst places to find a bargain. My advice is to not even go into the store.

  145. comrade nom deplume says:

    [143] John

    Sounds like those folks were blessed yesterday. The absolute right pilot in the cockpit to handle an emergency. Virtually everything he did in his life prepared him for that one moment.

  146. comrade nom deplume says:

    grim, 147 in mod and I have absolutely no idea why.

  147. grim says:

    #148 – Place where the pilot sits.

  148. still_looking says:




  149. #149 – Place where the pilot sits.

    I know this one, A Bar!


  150. grim says:

    4k jobs lost at Hertz, 1k at AMD, 30k at CC.

    What a day…

  151. 1k at AMD, 30k at CC

    I didn’t realize CC had that many employees.

    There have been a number of rumors of the impending demise of AMD recently. I’m not saying they’re valid, or even all that new, but the frequency has certainly picked up in the past 2 weeks.

  152. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Remain calm…

    “The Bush Boom: How a Misunderestimated President Fixed a Broken Economy” (Paperback)by Jerry Bowyer (Author)

    298 of 319 people found the following review helpful:
    Through the Looking Glass, October 24, 2003
    By Alice (Wonderland) – See all my reviews

    “Finally! A book that proves the existence of an alternate universe. Obviously, a rip in the space/time continuum between this universe and the other universe where Bush is presiding over a ‘boom economy opened up and this book fell through. Can there be ANY other explanation?”

    “At last, our 8 year nightmare of national prosperity is over”

    “I think that “delusional” is too kind here. There has indeed been a Bush boom, but it has been confined to the small group already the best off in American society. As he heads on to have a net loss in jobs during his term, as his ill-conceived adventure in Iraq allows bin Laden to go free and inflames hatred for America, and as his domestic policies erode forty years of bipartisan progress Bush has created a “boom” indeed–unfortunately, it is the “boom” of the economy and security of America imploding.”

    “144 pages of fail”
    “This book is 144 pages of information that has been proven to be 100% incorrect”

    “good joke gift
    this would probably make a great joke gift for the holidays–just make sure you don’t give it to someone who’s been laid off or foreclosed.”

    “Great Bundled Deal
    I bought this book in a bundle along with “19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England’s Unbeatable Patriots” and both were excellent.”


  153. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Loving the comments:

    “Finally, a guide to a genius’s policies”

    Many of you know some basic economic facts…

    When Bush became president:
    DJIA 11,139, S&P 500 1209, Nasdaq Composite: 2139. USD/EUR 1.07
    Median household income: $50,007

    DJIA 10,365, S&P 500 1106, Nasdaq Composite: 1983. USD/EUR 0.69
    Median household income: $49,901

    Now a lot of people would say that’s terrible, and note that they’d expect income and stock indexes to rise by at least the rate of productivity growth and inflation combined, but those people are short-sighted.

    If that happened, think of all the taxes we’d have to pay? No, instead President Bush has saved us all a fortune on taxes, by ensuring that on average we get poorer every year, and that our investment accounts have no gains, thus sparing us from the capital gains tax.

    Finally, a thoughtful explanation of how Bush has cut all our taxes, by destroying all our incomes! “

  154. Shore Guy says:

    not only do we have no gains but think of how many years we will be able to carry forward all those $3,000 losses.

  155. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Bush saved us!


    Dear gawd the man’s a genius…

  156. John says:

    Lots of lay-offs. There are still good jobs out there but the catch is if you were from a company that went under you are stigmatized and if you were in a company that laid off 10% of employees people wonder if that means who were rated in the bottom 10% ratings wise. I know of one or two great companies that have great jobs they can’t fill easily. They don’t want any Bear/Lehman type people nor laid off people. They only want people with a good background from a good company who are currently employed.

  157. scribe says:

    ricky, #131

    in the ad:

    basement: crawl space

    My observation is that houses without basements don’t sell very well.

    My question is: That’s a fairly new house from the 90’s. Why doesn’t it have a basement?

    There’s a house near my parent’s former house. New construction – on the market for at least two years, probably more like 2 1/2 going back to the first construction stage ads in the MLS.

    Original ads said: basement: crawl space, utility room: first floor.

    Original asking: $649,000. Finally sold in November for $490,000.

    And the old house sold for demolition was over $300,000 – I think $320,000.


  158. John says:

    Diana Lee, a manager at Los Angeles-based Jamison Services Inc., a closely held commercial-property owner, said she agreed to $1,000 a day for use of a building in Torrance that has been vacant for six months.

    “Anything is better than nothing,” Darrell said he advises clients, including Lee. “I often tell them, ‘Look, it’s not big-budget, but it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.’”

  159. HEHEHE says:

    Military is hiring

  160. HEHEHE says:

    Seriously you survive Iraq/Afghanistan and get a job with an oil company when you get out.

  161. Hard Place says:

    Factor in lower home prices (teardowns) and land prices, a good builder who didn’t saddle himself with debt and land two or three years ago could likely continue to operate profitably in this environment.

    Grim – Yes it’s probably cheaper to build than buy right now, but with prices for homes dropping and supply plentiful, I bet that houses will be worth less than their replacement cost (land + building). Builders are screwed. Who said that they are not making more land, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” or is that “Bye! Bye! Bye!”.

  162. meter says:

    “Since the Federal Reserve can create all the money it wants. It should just buy up all the governments existing debt and then write-off the debt. Clean start.”

    This is exactly what I have wondered about. Corporations in trouble often create a “super senior” level for emergency debt.

    How long before the government rolls out the “super dollar”?

  163. Hard Place says:

    From 164. Just an example. Look at Newark 10 years ago buildings were selling for dirt cheap, well below the replacement cost. Several years ago, Newark boomed. Buildings valued above replacement costs and development started. Looks like Newark is going to spiral back down. Same thing started in NYC almost 20 years ago. History is not just going to sound like its repeating, but it sound like it may be stuttering, as well.

  164. Hard Place says:

    In all this mess, GE Capital announced 10% cuts. I actually wondered why they didn’t do it sooner.


  165. Stu says:

    I can vouch for the sheetrock prices. I finished my basement a little over a year ago. Sheetrock was $11/sheet at the Home Depot. Went back this Summer to get some concrete mix and the same sheet of sheetrock was under $6. Similar price drop for the studs and plywood. Could have done my basement for at least 1/3rd less. Of course, I’m not complaining. Even with the cheapo click flooring (.70 square ft) and a drop ceiling, the whole job cost a hair over $2,000. Most contractors would have wanted a minimum of $20,000 for the same job, probably a bit more since I soffeted in all of my asbestos covered pipes.

  166. Sean says:

    Dive Dive Dive!

    BCS is tanking today down 29%

  167. grim says:

    That all? TARP it.

  168. Sean says:

    BCS bought Lehman and now there is 458.79 Billion in Derivatives to deal with.

    Are the Yanks gonna TARP the Brits?

  169. Sean says:

    WOW! Time to run out to PA and buy more ammo folks.

    952,000 Filed for Unemployment last week! Jan


    The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 952,151 in the week ending Jan. 10, an increase of 220,205 from the previous week. There were 547,506 initial claims in the comparable week in 2008.


  170. grim says:

    Well yeah, we shafted them with Leh, the least we could do is spend a few minutes cuddling.

  171. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    GE Capital Said to Target at Least 7,500 Job Reductions in 2009

    General Electric Co.’s finance arm may cut 7,500 to 11,000 jobs, or at least 10 percent of its workforce, because of the global financial slump, people familiar with the company’s plans said.

    The reductions are part of GE Capital’s announced plan to reduce expenses by $2 billion this year, said the people, who didn’t want to be identified because the numbers aren’t public. The savings goal also includes expenses such as office closings.

  172. PGC says:

    #171 Sean

    BCS could be explained by the UK short ban getting lifted yesterday.

  173. John says:

    Fed May Purchase Treasuries in Days to Ease Credit, UBS Says
    Email | Print | A A A

    By Whitney Kisling

    Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve may purchase Treasuries within the next few days or weeks as it broadens its policy beyond interest rate cuts to ease credit conditions amid the worst recession in 25 years, according to UBS AG.

  174. HEHEHE says:

    CNBC Breaking: CBO Estimates Losses on First $250 Billion of TARP at $64 Billion


  175. grim says:

    Can we do a remake of Brewster’s Millions with Paulson playing the role of Brewster?

    From IMBD:

    His uncle’s last will and testament is that Monty must spend 30 millions dollars in 30 days, if which he accomplishes, he will get 300 million. But at the end of 30 days he must not own anything. He also must not give the money away and must not destroy anything valuable and he also cannot tell anyone why he is spending all this money.

  176. grim says:

    Paulson’s Billions.

  177. All Hype says:

    BAC at $7.14.

    The bailout came too late….

    Sorry Ken :(

  178. Outofstater says:

    Chrysler just got more of our tax dollars. Gotta go throw up.

  179. John says:


    here is what a man’s walk in closet should look like!!

  180. comrade nom deplume says:

    [149, 150] grim, sl

    So the moderating software has a dirtier mind than I do?

  181. comrade nom deplume says:

    [181] sean

    “”On the surface [a TARP ETF] sounds like another dumb idea, but in reality it may be heavily considered,”

    I agree with him. It sounds like a dumb idea.

  182. HEHEHE says:

    I am sure Cramer is for the Tarp Etf

  183. Ben says:

    well considering the government prints money and it has to go somewhere, it would only make sense to create a TARP index. In 2000 we had the Nasdaq Bubble. In 2003 we had the housing bubble. In 2008 we had a short lived oil bubble. In 2009, we can have the TARP bubble.

  184. Ben says:

    Peter Schiff called it the day Merrill Lynch was sold. He said Bank of America’s strategy is to become “too big to fail” by buying garbage institutions.

  185. John says:

    Tarp ETF is a great idea, once you have it you can then buy puts or calls on it and bet for it or against it. Going long stock in Tarp companies for now is pretty dumb though as govt is only interested in keeping them afloat not propping up their share prices. But a few months down the road maybe.

  186. pricedOut says:

    So the thirties are coming full circle? Dust Bowl II Drought in Texas; Cattle dying, no grass, nothing but dirt…

  187. HEHEHE says:

    Was this posted yesterday? You might want to get your taxes done ASAP:

    Calif. taxpayers may get IOU instead of tax refund


  188. Comrade Kettle1 says:

    comrade nom,

    whats the general legal aspect of the state or government paying you with an IOU. COuld someone legally lace a lien on a town for X dollars because they received an IOU in lieu of payment?

  189. Stu says:

    A member of my online investment club is a California government worker. He said that they are expecting to get part of their paychecks in IOUs as soon as now. I’ll keep you all up to date if it happens, but I’m sure the media will just as well.

  190. Sean says:

    I take it Hank won’t be visiting China

    “A Chinese central bank official attacked reported comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that China’s high savings rate helped trigger the global credit crisis.
    “This view is extremely ridiculous and irresponsible and it’s ‘gangster logic,’” Zhang Jianhua, the bank’s research head, said. His comments were in an interview with the state-run Xinhua News Agency, posted on a government Web site today.”


  191. Stu says:


    I suppose your bond investment strategy is interesting in contrast to my short the sh*t out of commercial RE strategy. If the current strategy of continued FED/Treasury meddling in the supposedly free market fails, then I wonder who would suffer more damage first.

    I’m exposed to significant counter-party risk which is held by the companies which many of your bonds are invested in. I would have incredible paper gains, but I would have to convert them to ‘real’ gains prior to the counter party implosion. Your bonds would slowly lose value until they became valueless, so you too would have to sell them prior to maturity to avoid their complete loss of value, which would accelerate my gains. ;)

    Of course, if the market somehow comes back, I get reamed and you get rewarded.

    Got a large supply of popcorn?

  192. HEHEHE says:

    Paulson, a gangster? Amoral thief perhaps. Gangster implies getting your hands dirty.

  193. Seneca says:

    Challenge to the readers of this fine forum…

    In five sentences or less, explain what has just happened with Citi, BOA and the government so that a 6th grader could understand it.

  194. Sean says:

    This is making the rounds today..

    A letter from the BOSS
    To All My Valued Employees,

    There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of
    this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has
    changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news
    is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job.

    What does threaten your job however, is the changing political
    landscape in this country. Of course, as your employer, I am forbidden to
    tell you whom to vote for — it is against the law to discriminate based on
    political affiliation, Race, creed, religion, etc.

    Please vote who you think will serve your Interests the best. However,
    let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what
    is in your best interest. First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that
    casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every
    business owner there is a back story.

    This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see
    and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home
    at last years Christmas party. I’m sure all these flashy icons of luxury
    conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don’t
    see is the back story.

    I started this company 12 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300
    square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living space was
    converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a
    company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

    My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent
    went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective
    transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on
    weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was
    married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

    Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a
    modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars
    and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of
    hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling
    through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look
    like it was birthed in the 70’s.

    My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I,
    however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with
    a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these
    luxuries my friends supposedly had.

    So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check
    in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don’t. There is no “off” button
    For me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all
    to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, sleep, and
    breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no
    weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to me
    like a 1 day old baby.

    You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house,
    the Mercedes, the vacations… You never realize the back story and the
    sacrifices I’ve made. Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that
    made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the
    people who didn’t.

    The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to
    the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for. Yes,
    business ownership has is benefits but the price I’ve paid is steep and not
    without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and
    employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and
    let me tell you why:

    I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay
    enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use
    taxes. Payroll taxes Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes
    on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess
    what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and
    regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my
    time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for
    quarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

    The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the
    guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000
    people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting
    at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

    Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of
    this country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck
    you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? That’s nuts.
    Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which
    is why your job is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don’t understand;
    to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy Had
    suddenly government mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess
    what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I
    would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial
    economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut
    in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

    When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t
    defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life,
    do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of
    America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill
    it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the mud of America are
    the essential drivers of the American economic engine.

    Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change
    you can keep. So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple. If any
    new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and
    simple I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the
    government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child’s future.
    Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more. Then, I will close this company down,
    move to another country, and retire.

    You see, I’m done. I’m done with a country that penalizes the
    productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to
    provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

    While tax cuts to 95% of America sounds great on paper, don’t forget
    the backstory: If there is no job, there is no income to tax. A tax cut on
    zero dollars is zero. So, when you make decision to vote, ask yourself, who
    understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t? Whose
    policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know
    who might be the one capable of saving your job. While the media wants to
    tell you “It’s the economy Stupid” I’m telling you it isn’t.

    If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it will
    be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country,
    steamrolled the Constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever.
    If that happens, you can find me in South Caribbean sitting on a beach,
    retired, and with no employees to worry about.

    Signed, Your boss,
    Michael A. Crowley,
    PE Crowley, Crisp & Associates, Inc.
    Professional Engineers 1
    906 South Main Street, Suite 122
    Wake Forest, NC 27587

    919.562.8860 x22
    919.562.8872 Fax

  195. make money says:

    Memo to Hank,

    Stay away from mailand China.


  196. grim says:

    You’ve got to laugh..


    Since there were no serious injuries, posting this will not harm my karma.

  197. kettle1 says:


    think we hear back from SAS, our resident 007, tonight about the invite?

  198. John says:

    Stu the best strategy for both of us would have been to long bonds in companies we think the Govt is going to prop up and at same time short their stock. If all goes to plan and govt turns them into zombie companies whose bonds keep paying while their stock is near worthless you win twice, if they go bankrupt you have hedged your defaulted bonds when the stock falls to zero. I wish I had did that strategy. For now I stopped buying bank bonds in December so each month that goes by I care less and less. For instance I bought Comerica bonds at 14% yield for a price of 72, investment grade bonds pay around 40 cents in bankruptcy. At 14% interest I only need the company to last a little over two years to break even. I did have one bond blow up on me, a wamu bond, it was a 5K piece and believe it or not I sold it post bankruptcy for 68 cents on a dollar as it was a senior bond. Most of my bonds in shaky companies are senior so I am way up the food chain.

  199. grim says:

    The hit of the evening, however, was this new take on “American Pie” performed by Mr. Scaturro:

    A long, long time ago…

    I can still remember

    How the Dow Jones used to make me smile.

    And I learned my trade and had my chance

    The music played I did my dance

    And I made seven figures for a while.

    I can’t remember if I cried when they pulled the plug on Countrywide…

    It sucks that Iceland is out of ice….Bye, Bye to my piece of the pie…Now I travel coach whenever I fly…Maybe this will be the day that I die.

  200. Sean says:

    re: #203 Dunno. I am still game if SaS is.

  201. Stu says:

    How old is SAS?

  202. kettle1 says:


    me too

  203. John says:

    Lots of people have this list of most well capitalized banks and names like Chase are often mentioned. Funny part I used to work years ago at Brown Brothers Harriam and to this day Brown Brothers does not offer FDIC insurance on its accounts as their credit rating is higher than the US. Govts so to do so would tarnish their rating.

    In orientation they show this old film when I was there from near the end of WWWII when the US Govt was running out of money and the troops on the russian front need money ASAP. The war movie trailor ment to be shown at movies shows Mr. Harriaman handing the president a check for a loan of $40 million (huge sum back then), President then says would you like a receipt and he says no just pay me back interest free when you win the war.

  204. Sean says:

    Stu -He served in Nam, and apparently still can take out a dweeb at Starbucks, my guess late 50s or early 60s.

  205. jamil says:

    stuck in moderation

  206. HEHEHE says:

    WWII, Russian front? What universe you from?

  207. Stu says:


    You’ll probably wanna leave it there :P

  208. Stu says:


    You selectively left this part out…

    Additional conditions are that the prospective buyer must have a clean criminal record, a good credit record, the ability to present and prove a decent monthly income, and no outstanding financial obligations or credit liabilities. The purchase itself can be done either with cash, bank transfer or monthly instalments, but the financial resource must be proven legitimate.

  209. Sean says:

    re: #197 HEHEHE – Paulson went to the John Earchliman school of plubming.

  210. Outofstater says:

    #198 Citi and BoA are insolvent and have been for a long time because they “invested” in garbage that was and is worth maybe five cents on the dollar. When they realized how much trouble they were in, they went, tin cup in hand, to the public trough. They said the world would end if they failed and the feds coughed up the dough. The money disappeared into the void that is their balance sheets. Now they are back for more and this money will disappear too.

  211. kettle1 says:


    my guess on SAS was about 65 or so

  212. All Hype says:

    Nice pump job on the markets today.

    It’s all priced in! The recovery is just around the corner.

    All those announced layoffs are the long awaited kitchen sink moment!

    Buy! Buy! Buy!

  213. John says:

    BTW good credit record is even more important than just getting a mortgage. Every company in Financial Services nowdays run a credit report, bankruptcies, bad credit unpaid bills you are automatically disqualified.

  214. John says:

    Chrysler offers 0% after $1.5B bailout
    Government loans Chrysler Financial to make loans to its customers, prompting zero-interest financing offer.

  215. jamil says:

    Stu: Yeah, the “background” checks by RE and mortgage companies are notoriously detailed.
    You really believe this “the ability to present and prove a decent monthly income” BS ?

    I don’t know if DHS also does the background checks here for but for example “wealthy investor visas” are well-known scam. In theory, you have to invest $500k, but you don’t actually have to invest that. Former INS officers have plenty of agencies that arrange this. The idea is just to show some token initial investment and promise that it will generate profit at some point. Just like in mortgage backround checks.

  216. This is pretty interesting; Indiana going back to the gold standard ? Or are they being forced to pay in gold/silver?

    Anyone more familiar with this?

  217. hughesrep says:


    Wow, the meth dealers and fried pork tenderloin sandwich purveyors are getting tough with their credit terms.

  218. kettle1 says:

    Seneca 198

    In five sentences or less, explain what has just happened with Citi, BOA and the government so that a 6th grader could understand it.

    my attempt:

    from 1950 to 1980 the USA saw a steady increase in individual and national wealth, as well as an increase in living standards based on the US producing stuff in factories. this growth, that made everyone happy started to slow. Some “smart” businessmen and politicians noticed that bankers make more money then factory workers, so why not turn the entire US economy into a banker of sorts. So they did that, and the banker that the US had now become proceeded to borrow more and more money, making loans with the borrowed money and making a profit off of the interest while also paying back his own loans. One day the banker finally borrowed to much money at the same time that the people he loaned money to began to fail to pay him back. he realized that if he didnt pay his own debts then he couldnt borrow any money and he would be broke, just like the people he was lending to. unfortunately this banker cannot afford to pay his own debts if the people he loaned money to dont pay him first. And here we are today. how do we pay our debts, we are broke and a broke banker is in a lot of trouble.

  219. Stu says:

    “You really believe this “the ability to present and prove a decent monthly income” BS ?”

    Same rules are used by many central American countries for acceptance of expatriates and retirees. One must prove worth before they allow you to buy any real estate there. Considering all of the other illegal immigration propaganda you post here, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if they actually paid for real estate here rather than just squatting like ALL of the others. Right?

  220. #225 – The meth dealer have always been tough. Re: the later; now I’m hungry.

  221. Sean says:

    re: #224 Tosh

    January 14, 2009

    Indiana State Senator Files Gold Money Bill
    Senate Bill 453, The Indiana Honest Money Act
    Indiana Picks Up Where New Hampshire Left Off !

    Indianapolis, Indiana — State Senator Greg Walker of District 41, (R-Columbus), has officially filed a Bill
    that would allow Indiana to offer its citizens a choice of Gold (and Silver) coin or the Electronic equivalent
    in payable and receivable transactions with the state. This bold bill will finally bring Indiana back into
    conformance with the Constitution for the United States of America which states “No state shall…make
    any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts…” Article 1, Section 10.

    The Indiana Honest Money Act will be voluntary for citizens, but mandatory for certain, specialized
    businesses and will allow Indiana to fund the Treasury with enough assets insuring that no current state
    funds will need to be earmarked. S.B. 453 is NOT a replacement for Federal Reserve Notes, but more of
    a competing, Constitutional currency and an insurance policy for our current, tenuous “money” system.

  222. Outofstater says:

    #224 Jeez, and I thought this was a joke because Purdue nailed Northwestern last night with seconds left. (Purdue is old gold and black).

  223. #229 – This is really surprising. When we did the New Year’s predictions did anyone take “hard currencies” ftw?

  224. kettle1 says:

    Sean, Tosh

    Seems like indiana is somewhat throwing the gauntlet down. I would imagine that the Fed’s will have this shot down one way or another. it seems like it could set a precedent that the federal reserve may not like.


    Ireland: Things fall apart

    Ireland has been unceremoniously shaken out of its New Year hangover. First Waterford Wedgwood, owner of the luxury crystal and china brands, was placed in receivership. Days later Dell, one of the country’s most important foreign investment companies, announced it was closing its Limerick computer factory and relocating to Poland. Then, on Thursday night, the government moved to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank, the country’s third-largest lender. It represents a triple shock for an economy already struggling with rising unemployment and a spiralling budget deficit. After a decade or more in which Ireland outpaced its European Union partners, many commentators are now wondering whether the one-time “Celtic tiger” is destined for a protracted period as one of the continent’s also-rans. The bitter joke doing the rounds in Irish financial circles runs: “What is the difference between Iceland and Ireland? Answer: one letter and about six months.”


  225. #232 – The Fed’s reaction, if any, should be interesting. However, there’s been precedent in this country’s past for alternative currencies. If this is just an option to receive payment in a note that is redeemable for gold/silver I’m not sure how it would be illegal. The US Gvt. can’t accept it but everyone else would have the choice to.
    Again, this could get interesting.

  226. kettle1 says:

    looks like someone agree’s with my opinon that china could face political instability due to the collapse of growth

    Will China lead the world into depression?

    Oh no! Albert Edwards at Societe Generale has issued another terror alert: Sell everything. Hide in a bunker with plenty of whisky. The S&P 500 index of US shares is about to crash through its half-century support line to 500. “Technicals say it is time to bail out. Cut equity expose and prepare for rout. US depression looking likely. While China’s 2009 implosion could get ugly.” Mr Edwards — who is of an “Austrian” persuasion, ie hates excess debt — was one of the very few economists to see this whole crisis coming, and to issue warnings clearly and emphatically (unlike others who now claim to have been seers, but in fact hedged).

    He said interests rates would be slashed to zero and that bond yields would fall to the lowest in history. All this has occurred. The key argument is that markets have been sold a pup on the China growth miracle and have massively underestimated the risks for the global FX and trading system as this unravels. “The Chinese economy is imploding and this raises the possibility of regime change. To prevent this, the authorities would likely devalue the yuan. A subsequent trade war could see a re-run of the Great Depression…. Do you really trust politicians to “do the right thing”? Mr Edwards has been tactically bullish on equities since the end of October when the MACD (Moving Average Convergence /Divergence Oscillator) for the S&P 500 broke upwards.


  227. Lot’s of doom and gloom from the SocGen analysts this week.
    I almost miss the place.

  228. kettle1 says:

    tosh 233

    the problem is timing. with people getting nervous, both locals and foriegners about the stability of the us finanical system, an alternative to the dollar begins to look very appealing.

    The problem is if this gains traction and people actually perceive that an alternative currency exists then the instability of the dollar could be quickly escalated. If people accept an alternative form of currency then the so called tools that the treasury and fed try to employ become largely powerless. the treasury and fed will not let a gol/silver system become widespread as it would destroy their ability to manipulate the economy

  229. #326 – We’re both agreed on the outcome of a movement to an alternative hard currency.
    I’m not sure how much control the Fed/Treasury could have over such a move. Foreign govts/CBs following a similar path could be a real killer, as it would be well out of their purview.

  230. PGC says:

    #198 Senneca

    I’m sure Krugman could come up with something. This could be the next bubble!


  231. grim says:

    From NorthJersey.com:

    State’s revenue collections $800M below budget

    New Jersey revenue collections are now more than $800 million below budget estimates at the mid-point of the current fiscal year, according to a report released today by the state Department of Treasury.

    December collections came in $354 million under original budget projections, marking the third straight month the state missed its target.

    “The revenue numbers continue to show how deeply the nation’s economic troubles have affected businesses, personal income and consumer spending in New Jersey,” state Treasurer Dave Rousseau said.

    In all, the state is $812 million behind budget estimates since the current fiscal year began in June. The state’s major sources of revenue — the property, income and corporate taxes — are all down at least 5 percent.

    Rousseau said he expects the shortfall will total $1.7 billion by the close of the fiscal year in July.

    Earlier this month Governor Corzine announced $812 million in mid-year spending cuts. He’s also proposed using rainy day funds and a hoped-for $300 million allocation from the federal government to close the budget hole and compensate for the new spending he’s ordered as part of a larger economic assistance and recovery plan.

    “We’ve taken the painful but necessary steps to maintain a balanced budget and if further spending reductions are necessary we’ll continue to our intense line-by-line budget-review process,” Rousseau said.

  232. John says:

    Apple’s Steve Jobs Is Said to Be Considering Liver Transplant

  233. grim says:

    In other news…

    1000 apple fanboys line up to give their liver to Steve in exchange for a macbook pro.

  234. Apple’s Steve Jobs….Liver Transplant

    How long until the web is flooded with various iLiver jokes?

  235. Clotpoll says:

    plume (132)-

    Trammell Crow is the man. He outlived real estate.

  236. kettle1 says:


    I’m not sure how much control the Fed/Treasury could have over such a move.

    political favors and a few well placed “bailouts” could probably buy enough politicians to kill this in the state legislature

  237. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Calif. tax refunds to be delayed starting Feb. 1

    California’s controller says he will begin a 30-day delay on tax refunds and other payments starting Feb. 1 because the state is running out of money.

    Controller John Chiang said Friday he must delay $3.7 billion in payments next month because lawmakers have failed to address California’s growing deficit.

    With a $41.6 billion shortfall over the next year-and-a-half, the state is on the brink of issuing IOUs.

    Chiang says his office must continue education and debt payments but will defer money for tax refunds, student aid, social services and mental health programs.

    A severe drop in revenue has left the state’s main bank account depleted. The state had been relying on borrowing from special funds and Wall Street investors; those options are no longer available.

  238. Sean says:

    Where is John?

    Apparently the CitiBank at 111 Wall St was robbed today.

  239. OT – From Consumerist;
    WaMu/Chase no longer offering “free” FICO scores to customers.
    I didn’t use my WaMu card much but this was a nice service.

  240. John says:

    I heard the sirens, usually Citibank is the one robbing us.

  241. John says:

    Can I have his old one, will go nice with a good keante

    toshiro_mifune says:
    January 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm
    Apple’s Steve Jobs….Liver Transplant

    How long until the web is flooded with various iLiver jokes?

  242. #249 –will go nice with a goodkeante

    Good lord. A bad old joke that’s been played out for 15 years, and you butcher chianti.
    That’s almost an archetypal John post.

  243. Shore Guy says:

    Regarding Geithner:

    I was talking to some staffers for the Senate Finance Committee today. It should be interesting on Wednesday. Given what I heard, I would not be surprised if he gets pulled, backs out, or gets rejected by the full Senate. I am not counting pn it, it would just not surprise me

  244. Shore Guy says:

    Did anyone catch the ad on the radio today advertising “State of NJ bonds?”

  245. Shore Guy says:

    I think the last line of the ad was: This is not an offer or solicitation to by, we are begging, please, please, please save us. Or something like that.

  246. Hubba says:

    “Grim – Yes it’s probably cheaper to build than buy right now”

    If it was cheaper to build there would be people building and undercutting existing prices including REO. It is not cheaper to build.

  247. Shore Guy says:

    Is it cheaper to tear down than to sit idle?

  248. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Hey Jamil:

    You gotta go to some Bulgarian internet site for your news?

    Jeebus, dude…you come across as having some SERIOUS mental health issues… And I’m not kidding. I mean, we all look at you weird and snicker, but maybe you should start talking to a professional or something…ask your primary care physician….

    That said, there has ALWAYS been an “investor visa”…

    EB-5 Visa — The rules

    One may qualify for an EB-5 as follows:

    Invest $1 million and hire ten employees anywhere in the USA

    Invest $500,000 and hire ten employees in an area where the unemployment rate exceeds the national average unemployment rate by 150%

    Invest in a regional center.
    INS designated specific areas, called Regional Centers, as eligible to receive immigrant investor capital. INS approved over 20 Regional Centers.

    Regional Center investors may rely on indirect job creation rather than directly hiring ten employees. A competent professional, such as an economist, must quantify the indirect employment. If the regional center is in a high unemployment area the required capital is reduced to $500,000.

    Of the 10,000 investor visas (i.e., EB-5 visas) available annually, 5,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving an INS-designated “Regional Center.” To date, the quota has not been exceeded.


    I know lots of illegal mexicans just waiting for a chance to plunk down 1 million dollars…

    Oh, and don’t ask about the “fees” to get this green card. They’re about 1/2 again the amounts…the lawyers laugh it up.

    If someone wants to drop some serious cash like that in my country, by all means give him/her a card!

  249. jamil says:

    56 Shore: “We are going to soon be ending an expensive war ”

    Uh. You didn’t get the memo? O plans for major escalation of war in Afghanistan and no change in Iraq. One of his first major decisions is to decice to whether to buy more F-22s. Pentagon does not want them (considers F-22 too expensive compared to alternatives, such as JSF) but dems want them (heavy lobbying going-on, majority of supporters are dems).

  250. make money says:

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s controller says he will begin a 30-day delay on tax refunds and other payments starting Feb. 1 because the state is running out of money.

    Controller John Chiang said Friday he must delay $3.7 billion in payments next month because lawmakers have failed to address California’s growing deficit.

    With a $41.6 billion shortfall over the next year-and-a-half, the state is on the brink of issuing IOUs.

    Chiang says his office must continue education and debt payments but will defer money for tax refunds, student aid, social services and mental health programs.

    A severe drop in revenue has left the state’s main bank account depleted. The state had been relying on borrowing from special funds and Wall Street investors; those options are no longer available.

    It’s official.

  251. spam spam bacon spam says:

    223 Jamil said:
    “…are well-known scam. (snip) but you don’t actually have to invest that. Former INS officers have plenty of agencies that arrange this.”


    “Former INS officers have plenty of agencies that arrange this.”


    “Former INS officers have plenty of agencies that arrange this.”

    Holy crap on a stick.

    Jeezus, Jamil.
    You’ve jumped the shark.

    It’s official.
    This IS your home page:

    (hang on Kettle!)


  252. California’s controller says he will begin a 30-day delay on tax refunds and other payments starting Feb. 1
    but will defer money for tax refunds, student aid, social services and mental health programs.

    Oh, this will end well.

  253. comrade nom deplume says:


    Uh oh. Another one of my tripwires is coming into focus—when states start taking steps to position themselves near the exits. Now this has zero chance of passing, but what it tells me is that there are folks in officialdom thinking the unthinkable.

    In that vein, some of the unthinkable may make sense. For example, should a state plan for secession? Not do it, but have a plan in case they decide to. Scary, you say? Well, states plan and prepare for hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados and nuclear attack. Why not secession?

    This, btw, is one of my tripwires that says “ramp up the compound efforts there, Nom.”

  254. comrade nom deplume says:


    another tripwire comes into view.

  255. make money says:


    Can someone look into this and advise. ChiFI, BC, Kettle. What are the risks?

  256. Shore Guy says:

    Regarding California: This is one of those times I am glad not to pay taxes by withholding. Why would anyone overpay any taxes in this climate. The states are insane to not encourage overpayments — interest-free loans to them.

  257. jamil says:

    spam: The funny thing in the article was that the “buy RE, get green card” scheme is now marketed around the world by RE scam artists.

    In EB-5, you don’t have to actually invest anything, certainly not 500k. I happen to be well aware of how it work..There are a lot of agencies that can help you if you can’t come up with decent plan on your own. It works so that you pay some token sum for the agency – often run by former INS people – and some promissory notes for the remainder of the investment (forgiven after the green card is secured). Technically, it is only borderline illegal and rarely prosecuted. DOJ investigate reports have more about this.

    Btw, you don’t need lawyers for green card (unless you are a total sucker).

  258. make money says:


    Chrysler is doomed to be a failure regardles of how many times we bail them out. Look at this junk.

  259. make money says:

    Who wants to make a bet the 0bama won’t let this happen his first 10 days on the job.

    Watch Cali get a 10+ billion rescue.

  260. Sean says:

    Make, heard that story on Bloomberg this AM, you need to rent a tanker which many traders have done and anchor them off of Lousiana. You cannot take delivery in Brigadoon.


  261. comrade nom deplume says:

    [189] john

    I agree. My personal theory on the bailouts is that they don’t want a sudden collapse, or even a cascade of collapes, but are paying in order to insure an orderly liquidation of the financial system.

    I guess they think 1,000 cuts are more survivable than a gaping chest wound. But to me its kinda like telling the wife of someone who just jumped off a building but hasn’t hit that “so far, he’s okay.”

  262. grim says:

    If it was cheaper to build there would be people building and undercutting existing prices including REO. It is not cheaper to build.

    Please re-read what I wrote:

    Given the dramatic drop in commodity prices, I’d wager a big bet that it is significantly cheaper to build a new home right now than to buy a still-unoccupied new home built 2 years ago.


    Factor in lower home prices (teardowns) and land prices, a good builder who didn’t saddle himself with debt and land two or three years ago could likely continue to operate profitably in this environment.

  263. spam spam bacon spam says:


    Don’t EVEN GO THERE with me, dude.

    You will be sorry and your a$$ hairs will be scorched. Go lay down.

    You cannot get an investor visa without investing about DOUBLE what the amount required is…

    I watch these visas unfold first hand.

    This is not an easy green card (forgetting the $$ req.)
    You need a lawyer and related staff who can waddle ALL THE WAY thru the process (years) and he/she WILL TAKE A LOT OF MONEY FROM YOU.

    There are a LOT of processes that need to be completed and if you think, for a MINUTE, that anyone can do this “cheaper” or by themselves, you are off your meds.

    It’s not even guaranteed and TRUST ME, these investors spend a LOT MORE than $500K or 1MM… they don’t get to “pay a little now”…

    It’s required to be DONE, BOUGHT, PAID FOR, then you get to apply for the visa.

    Adn you know what? People will comb thru your finances like you climb thru dumpsters. The lawyers and accountants and paralegals and witnesses and bankers and sellers ALL get their $$ before you even get to sit down…

    Your psychosis is showing again, Jamil.

  264. comrade nom deplume says:

    [199] sean

    Great sentiment (I agree completely) but the letter is a hoax. Crowley-Crisp is a real company and their website disclaims it.

  265. jamil says:

    spam: I have personally successfully dealt with 2 different green card processes in different categories. Not a big deal if you do your research. Also, I know how the EB-5 scams work. No money is really needed (for the investment – the middleman no doubt got their money), and in the end, it wasn’t too complicated. If you believe that you need high-priced lawyer for the green card, you are off your med.

  266. jamil says:

    spam: This may be of interest to you..Only the tip of iceberg. This is different scheme I witnessed, though.


    “These companies made few investments and created few jobs. But the aliens they helped could contribute money to a company for investment, wait for two years and gain approval for permanent residence. The company could then forgive the promissory notes and keep the bulk of the capital the alien had given it.

    Reporters Walter Roche and Gary Cohn of The (Baltimore) Sun reported in February 2000 that Virtue had issued rulings in 1993 and 1995 that completely changed the shape of the investor visa program by allowing visa applicants to pool their money and to substitute promissory notes for much of the cash, knowing they would receive green cards and would never have to make their full investment. “

  267. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (159)-

    Seems like everybody now remembers that Wells just swallowed a turd called Wachovia.

    Wells is just as tapped as the rest of the scurvy lot. Just watch what comes next.

  268. Clotpoll says:

    grim (173)-

    That’s what they get for banging a stiff.

  269. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (195)-

    It’s a sad day when some factotum in China is the guy telling it like it is.

    “Gangster logic”? Not even.

    More like chimpanzee logic.

  270. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (196)-

    My money is squarely on your position.

  271. grim says:

    Breaking from the WSJ:

    U.S. officials are considering new bailout plans. One option would be a government-run “bad bank.” Officials are concerned about toxic assets hurting banks.

  272. grim says:

    What exactly does a “bad bank” do, as a business? Insult depositors? Give away defective toasters? Fail?

  273. jamil says:

    actually, “bad bank” concept worked quite well in scandinavia in the 1990s. There was recently a delegation in DC from Sweden to share their experiences. All bad loans and collateral is held by the bad bank which gradually gets rid of these. I suppose the valuation of the assets is practically zero when the bad bank starts, so it will do well..

  274. #280 – grim – What exactly does a “bad bank” do

    Hangs out on Maiden Ln, smoking with his friends, being loud, wearing a leather jacket, flirtin’ with all the hotties.

  275. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (250)-

    Right up there with Crush Valor.

  276. Hubba says:

    #270 – Grim.

    Wasn’t taking issue with your statement but the blanket statement. I happen to agree with you given your conditions, and building is still certainly cheaper than alot of the overpriced POS out there.

    #255 – Shore

    “Is it cheaper to tear down than to sit idle?”

    Absolutely, tax savings more than cover demo costs, until everyone does it and drives tax rates up…

  277. #283 – Crush Valor is still the reigning champ though.

  278. grim says:

    By calling this facility a “bank”, there is some implication that “banking” will be taking place. Highly unlikely. I believe this endeavor will more closely resemble Yucca Mountain.

  279. Clotpoll says:

    plume (261)-

    Better go buy that Woody Guthrie songbook now.

  280. Clotpoll says:

    grim (286)-

    We have a template for this. It’s called Enron.

  281. jamil says:

    isn’t Fannie Mae better template?

  282. victorian says:

    Whats with all the layoff news? Wasn’t the bailout supposed to be for Main St via Wall St?

  283. victorian says:

    “isn’t Fannie Mae better template?”

    – Don’t worry Jamil, the Bulgarian news outlet might have found a way to blame the Dems for Enron as well.

  284. jamil says:

    public notice announcemet:
    Two large jet engines missing. Last seen near Hudson river. Please contact US Airways.

    How long does it take to start the conspiracy theories? Engines were removed during the night etc..

  285. jamil says:

    vic: Glad that our local “news” outlets always can blame the reps, but never dems. You should play “Name that party” sometimes..

  286. Clotpoll says:


    This Kaka thing is unbelievable. And those Abu Dhabi guys had better make sure they’ve really got the jack to keep Man City on track for at least 5-6 years while the world gets back to normal.

    I’ve always been a big fan of Wenger and his methods. He’s like the Billy Beane of football. I think Arsenal will come out of this period smelling like roses.

    (ESPN, January 16, 2009): “At a time when cost-cutting, debt repayment, and spending within means are the latterday idioms there can be few industries in which a record-breaking fee is ready to be paid for an asset. But then top-level football lost touch with the rest of human life some years ago.

    Kaka: Part two of City’s plan.

    Arsene Wenger, as ever, may have tinged his words with self interest when he said “Manchester City are in a different world” but it is hard to disagree with his opinion that “Man City buying Kaka for £100m is an exception to what is happening in our world.”

    Football’s gravy train had shown signs of slowing down, wracked by the problems affecting the rest of the world. And that’s a business world, because football stopped becoming a game for anything apart from those 90 minutes on the pitch some time ago. A bid that will more than double the previous transfer record of a previously unapproached £46m signalled City’s bank-rolled new regime are prepared to operate completely beyond the parameters of what had long looked bloated and unsustainable.

    Kaka”>Kaka forms part two of Manchester City’s grand plan to prove themselves to football’s playing elite. Robinho, who may well be irked by his compatriot’s superior salary and standing, was the first part. Will their signings signal a rush of suitors to get on the phone to their agents to request a move to Eastlands? Manchester could be manna for those agents who had begun to wonder where their next Ferrari was coming from.

    The arrival on the scene of the shadowy Kia Joorabchian, the fixer for the chaotic Tevez and Mascherano deals of recent times, shows that those businessmen who choose to line their pockets on the back off football’s mega-deals have recognised that there be gold in them there small hills of Beswick.

    The ten percenters have been concerned of late that economic crisis may cut into their revenue. City’s arrival on the scene with oil-soaked money to burn means the fixers and the third parties will soon have Mark Hughes and Garry Cook’s number on speed-dial.”

  287. lostinny says:

    We really need another gtg. You guys make me crack up every day.

  288. Sean says:

    lost right now a gtg might turn out like the O.K. corral.

  289. Clotpoll says:

    lost (296)-

    Larry David could make a TV show out of this that would run for 20 years.

  290. lostinny says:

    297 Sean
    That would make me crack up even more. But you know we’d have to meet at “high noon” to try and be authentic.

  291. Clotpoll says:

    sean (297)-

    In that event, I think my new pistol-grip Mossberg would be a real game-changer.

  292. lostinny says:

    298 Clot
    No Larry David. I really don’t find him funny at all.

  293. Sean says:

    I canceled my ski trip this weekend to Vermont folks do to the extreme cold. I am instead going to be an incoherent drunk all weekend instead, so anything I manage to type and spell correctly should be ignored, starting right NOW!

  294. Clotpoll says:

    What is the difference between freezing your ass off and really freezing your ass off?

    As if I need to mention: I’m not a skier.

  295. victorian says:

    BFF –

    National Bank of Commerce, Berkeley, IL


  296. Sean says:

    Clot – I have an old friend who is nearly as nuts and just as funny as Larry David but without the money. Meeting up with him and a crew tonight to play cards and drink. He has been out of work laid off since Dec 07, cannot find work and now has his indigent family living with him, cash has to be running very low by now.

    Same guy was blow out during DOT com, made a comeback only to get burnt in the latest bubble again. He watches the news all day long now and all I can say is the man has to be ready to boil over.

    The man is an ex-marine, and i would like to think my advice to him has been the only thing that has kept him from shooting up half of NJ.

    I can’t even imagine how many folks around the country are just like him, lots of pent up anger and plenty of training on how to hurt people.

  297. Sean says:

    Clot – Skiing can be a ZEN thing just like surfing, it is worth the effort, if not for the skiing then for the people you meet, you will have to trust me on that one.

    As far as cold goes for the most part the colder the better, fresh real snow becomes like talc when it is really cold out, problem is the wind shuts down the lifts and whiteouts are outright dangerous.

    I am going out to Aspen for my 40th B-day in March so I need all the practice I can get, Vermont is as close as you can get to fun times and good skiing without going out West. I am also planning on going to the Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler next year. That place rocks and there is no altitude or attitude to deal with there.

  298. PGC says:

    “Btw, you don’t need lawyers for green card (unless you are a total sucker).”

    or you don’t need to spend the next 5 years within the US get a lawyer. If you leave for a day you have to refile and go to the back of the queue. I know a few people who couldn’t leave the country to attend family funerals as they would have to refile.

    My lawyer got me a few pieces of paper that allowed me to come and go.

  299. PGC says:

    #306 Sean

    East Cost + Cold = Bad Ice
    West Coast + Cold = Deep powder

  300. Shore Guy says:

    ” lots of pent up anger”

    I suspect there wl be more and more pent-up anger being expressed across the state and the nation as people come to realize that many (and for some, most) of their assumptions about the economy and their place in it are wrong and that they lack most of the security they assumed they had or would have.

  301. grim says:

    Bank Failure Friday!

    From MarketWatch:

    National Bank of Commerce is first closure of ’09, FDIC says

    National Bank of Commerce is located in Berkeley, Ill.

  302. grim says:

    Cost to FDIC: $97.1 million.

  303. PGC says:

    #295 Clot

    Wenger got a lot of things right. He thought that the new stadium would overrun cost and cut capital from his budget so he packed the team full of cheap youth. While this season is shot due to injuries, it should have all come together.

    There is a great quote from him when Anelka wanted more money to reflect his world class status.

    “You weren’t world class when you got here”

  304. grim says:

    Terrifying compendium of headlines over at CR:

    WSJ: Circuit City to Liquidate, Meaning 30,000 Job Losses

    Bloomberg: GE Capital May Cut as Many as 11,000 Jobs This Year

    WSJ: Pfizer to Cut Up to 2,400 Jobs

    WSJ: Google Plans 100 Layoffs of Recruiters

    AP: AMD to cut 1,100 workers, 9 pct of staff

    Reuters: Hertz to cut more than 4,000 jobs

    Bloomberg: WellPoint Cuts 1,500 Jobs, Blames ‘State of Economy’

    AP: Blue Cross Blue Shield to cut up to 1,000 jobs

    Tampa Bay Business Journal: Report: Layoffs looming at Clear Channel

  305. PGC says:

    I used to work for one of those Kappa Beta Phi inductees. Their meetings were always fun.

  306. PGC says:

    Two kids down for the night, now its time to bath the baby.

  307. jamil says:

    PGC: “or you don’t need to spend the next 5 years within the US get a lawyer.”

    The way I took care of green card process in two cases, in two different categories, no problems were encountered. Heck, if you are someone with average or above average IQ, what is really the problem with this. Yes, I spent several thousand dollars for this, fees & travel (I actually selected the consular processing option, ie my interview was abroad in US embassy, but it was fast though slightly more risky).

  308. Sean says:

    Do you really want to hurt me, do you really want to make me cry.

    Boy George sentenced to 15 months.

  309. jamil says:

    one more thing: Wenger is an a$$hole. always whining, angry and bitter. Now De Jong for £13m??

  310. bairen says:

    #211 John,

    In orientation they show this old film when I was there from near the end of WWWII when the US Govt was running out of money and the troops on the russian front need money ASAP.

    Was that before or after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

  311. jamil says:

    I was talking about Man City, not wenger the whiner.

  312. PGC says:

    #316 Jamil

    I’ll pass your thoughts onto your compatriots that couldn’t fly home to light the funeral pyre.

  313. PGC says:

    #318 Jamil

    The only word you almost got right here was winning.

  314. jamil says:

    PGC: Please do. They didn’t file adjustment of status?

  315. jamil says:

    PGC: and they should have selected consular processing option. that would certainly avoided all that sort of problems.

  316. Stu says:

    Speaking of skiing. The Gator family is heading up to Smuggs for some skiing on Sunday and Monday. Little Gator is three a half so he’s ready to go. I learned when I was five and was forever grateful that my parents started me at such a young age. I still remember my first trip to Hunter in 75.

    It’s gonna be cold, but not like today or tomorrow cold.

    Have a great weekend folks and Clot, I averaged in some more at the close on SRS and on FXP. Had nothing to due with the SocGen prediction as I had read that yesterday morning.

  317. PGC says:

    #323 Jamil

    And that statement shows how much you know about this process and why you need a lawyer.

    After you file for adjustment of status, if you leave the US without the correct paperwork, you are deemed to have abandoned your application. So if your H1-B has expired you can still stay in the country if your application is pending, but without advanced parole you will not get back into the US.

  318. alia says:

    271, spam
    if we both weren’t already married to wonderful men, i might have to marry you. or at least have your babies.

  319. Frank says:

    Hoboken sales strong as ever. Where’s the recession??

    Four 1BR under contract this week after being on the market for an average of 81


  320. galgon says:

    Bank Failure Friday #2

    Bank of Clark County, Vancouver, WA


  321. PGC says:

    #325 Stu

    I love Smuggs, we got a great deal a few years back from the NJ ski council. Slope side condos with lift tickets thrown in.

    Check out the back trail from Stowe.

  322. jamil says:

    PGC: I know that very well. I have done this couple of times for myself and other people, traveled all the time abroad and never needed a lawyer. Its not that hard (yeah, once in Canada I had a problem as I have forgotten my US visa..it was in my expired passport and I only had a my new passport..it costed me $200 to get through, but hardly a real problem). Only a true sucker needs a lawyer for green card.

  323. reinvestor101 says:

    This is a pre-emptive post to stop sas from trying to make something out of this story that is beginning to break.
    No sas, this guy is not associated with Madoff and he only made off with about $ 300 million of investor money. No it’s not a Ponzi scheme nor does it have anything whatsoever to do with your imaginary black econonmy.

    This need to be said to pre-empt you from the sort of talk that scares the hell out of everyone


    Police have launched an investigation into the disappearance of Art Nadel, a money manager whose Sarasota, Fl.-based Valhalla Management is under investigation for investment and asset theft.

    Nadel’s wife reported him missing in the afternoon on Wednesday, according to Lieutenant Chuck Lesaltado of the Sarasota County Sherriff’s office. Two days later Sarasota police launched an investigation into Nadel’s investment firm for investment and asset theft.

    Nadel reportedly left a note that was recovered after his disappearance. Sarasota authorities would not confirm what was written in the note, but would say that Nadel’s car, a green Subaru, is also missing.

    Sarasota Police Captain Bill Spitler said that detectives began investigating the firm Friday.

    “We’re dealing with a substantial amount of money that has reportedly been taken from many investors,” Spitler said.

    Spitler confirmed that some of the victims are “very high-profile people in the Sarasota community and throughout the state; they had invested money and at this point they have been told the money is gone.”

    As of now there is no indication of this firm’s investments having any ties to Bernard Madoff’s who is suspected of defrauding investors for as much as $50 billion.

    “We’re not using the word Ponzi scheme,” Spitler said.

    Sitler went on to tell FOXBusiness.com that he has gotten calls from victims across the United States who say they called Valhalla to check on the safety of their investments after news of the Madoff investigation broke.

    “They were told that their money was safe and now they’re finding out that it may not be,” Spitler said.

    Investors associated with Valhalla Management should contact the Sarasota Police Department

  324. reinvestor101 says:

    Also, Nadel is nearly eighty years old, so he’s a lot older than Madoff also which means he doesn’t care about money. He probably just lost money on bad investments and just went into a panic. He’ll probably surface shortly with an explanation.

  325. reinvestor101 says:

    I just jizzed in my pants….

  326. PGC says:

    I get left in here with Jamil, RE101 and Frank, What did I do?

    I feel like I went to the bathroom in a restaurant just before dessert, I come out and everyone has bolted, leaving me with the bill

  327. PGC says:


    A spreadsheet, are you Pret re-incarnated.

    What was the OLP on those Hoboken Gems.

  328. reinvestor101 says:

    ok, whose the wise guy here? Do I have to hard code my handle to keep someone from stealing it and masquerading as me?

    I’ll find out who you are and when I do, watch out!

    reinvestor101 says:
    January 16, 2009 at 9:55 pm
    I just jizzed in my pants….

  329. alia says:

    pgc, i’m here, too. hoping sas stops by and hints at an interesting story. (i know he can’t tell us the details, but that’s what my imagination is for. :)

    i wish i could afford a compound.

    am settling for another costco visit this weekend.

    what are your weekend plans?

  330. PGC says:


    Can we have a new metric to measure this.

    Number of Hedge funds Active, in profit and open
    Number of hedge funds bust in the last 12 months X YYYY

    Where YYYY is the sum of the number of managers in jail, fleeing, faking suicide, successful suicide

  331. reinvestor101 says:

    I eat my own filth.

  332. reinvestor101(the real one) says:


    Are you trying to steal my handle?

  333. reinvestor101 says:

    Please tell me I am not gay. Please!

  334. PGC says:

    #339 alia
    I’m glad I’m not alone.

    Fun weekend planned with the kids. Monday we have a big Pre Chinese New year celebration with some friends. Private room in the restaurant with about 10 courses.

    SharkFin or Abalone?

  335. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    Stop your bellyaching will you? There is no widespread fraud. Stop implying that.

    PGC says:
    January 16, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Can we have a new metric to measure this.

    Number of Hedge funds Active, in profit and open
    Number of hedge funds bust in the last 12 months X YYYY

    Where YYYY is the sum of the number of managers in jail, fleeing, faking suicide, successful suicide

  336. PGC says:


    Not me. I don’t like people surfing as others.

  337. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    Hey wiseass, if you were a real man, you’d show your actual screen name. Stop hiding and show your face punk!

    reinvestor101 says:
    January 16, 2009 at 10:12 pm
    Please tell me I am not gay. Please!

  338. BC Bob says:

    “Show me another investment like Hoboken RE.”


    Still an idiot.

    Not even close. Best of all no Hudson County prop taxes. Total blow out if you are calculating futures, 15-1. Why would anybody waste their $ on a Hoboken condo?


  339. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    It’s probably essex, clot, 3b, Yikes, njpatient, allhype and etc. I have a lot of enemies here.

    PGC says:
    January 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Not me. I don’t like people surfing as others.

  340. BC Bob says:

    “I have a lot of enemies here.”


    Bullspit. I offered you a freaking job. If you took off those rose colored glasses, you would have accepted.

  341. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    A job?? You never offered me a job?

    (Is it still available??)

  342. alia says:

    pgc: as soup or as currency? (is abalone the one with a pretty shell, or am i mixing up my sea critters?)

    so i was watching last night’s daily show on the laptop just now, noticed that wendy’s is doing an interesting ad campaign. they’re sort of making fun of hoarding your money in your mattress… but kind of not.

    maybe i’m reading too much into it. i don’t see a lot of advertizing, so it sometimes ambushes me. (oh, and makes me feel old. those zany kids and their wacky camera angles. get orf my lawn!)

  343. Pat says:

    re, I know it’s not funny to be impersonated without warning (so sorry, honey, but I’m laughing my ass off, regardless. It’s better than keante.) Anyway, try to think of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and what not.

    Is that Sean on the booze?

  344. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    Lady, you know what? I think it’s you who is pulling that little stunt. You stole my number before and I would put in past you to pull a stunt like this.

    Pat says:
    January 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm
    re, I know it’s not funny to be impersonated without warning (so sorry, honey, but I’m laughing my ass off, regardless. It’s better than keante.) Anyway, try to think of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and what not.

    Is that Sean on the booze?

  345. alia says:

    101… 101… ponders… is that 101 dalmations? does re have a plan to buy houses for 101 dalmations to live in? or work in? puppy mills…

    i don’t need booze, just a teething baby and lack of sleep…

  346. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    (starting my list again where I left off at)

    12. alia

  347. Pat says:

    I was flattered, you know, that you remembered me.

  348. reinvestor101(the real one) says:


    Do you recall our deal from last year? Allow me to recap so as to prompt your memory. I believe that we agreed that there was insufficient room on this blog to accomodate the both of us. Accordingly, we agreed that when I am actively posting, you would absent yourself.

    Pat says:
    January 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm
    I was flattered, you know, that you remembered me.

  349. Pat says:

    How do you know this isn’t someone impersonating me, as well?

  350. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    You ladies here are very lucky I’m a gentleman, unlike the rest of these hardankles here.

  351. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    Cause I know–okay? Now hold up your end of the bargain.

    Pat says:
    January 16, 2009 at 10:51 pm
    How do you know this isn’t someone impersonating me, as well?

  352. Pat says:

    Oh, re. I was reading.

    Maybe the jobs list will interest you.

  353. lisoosh says:


    Company bosses admit £80m buy-to-let fraud
    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) described the Ponzi style scam, by five buy-to-let con artists, as “simply staggering”

    The former directors of three Gateshead-based property companies used their victims’ money to fund a lavish lifestyle in a scam that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) described as “simply staggering”.

    The five spent £500,000 on a fleet of luxury cars, including Aston Martins, Bentleys and a 1960s Mark II Jaguar – known as the “Inspector Morse Car”. A further £250,000 was spent on racehorses, £300,000 on arts and antiques and £200,000 on luxury clothing. In one example of excessive company spending that the SFO described as “completely disproportionate” to the size of their business, the directors hosted a £500,000 Christmas party for 100 staff, where a £100,000 villa in Spain was given away in a prize draw.

    Between 2001 and 2003, John Potts, Peter Gosling, Natalie Laverick, Peter Graham and Eric Armstrong sold about 4,000 residential properties, mostly in the North East, to 1,750 investors through their companies PPP Ltd, Practical Property Portfolios Ltd and Napeer Holdings Ltd, referred to together as PPP. The majority of investors were individuals who entrusted their life savings to the scheme, although the SFO said that a number of larger organisations were also taken in.

    However, an investigation in 2003 by the Department for Trade and Industry that resulted in the liquidation of the companies found that many of the properties, worth around half the sum paid in by investors at between £10,000 and £12,000 each, had not been refurbished and in undesirable areas. An estimated 2,600 properties worth £65 million never earned any income, with around two thirds left unlet, either because they were uninhabitable, or subject to a compulsory purchase order. The “rental guarantee” insurance policy, which the scammers admitted they had used as a marketing tool, was also worthless, the DTI found.

  354. lisoosh says:

    alia, spam – run into the light.

  355. lisoosh says:

    You too PGC

  356. bi says:

    stu, per clot’s hero, mike morgan, china will have a major riot by the end of this month. we have 14 days left.

    P.S., SRS is making a u-turn to its 25.25 stop before 1:10 reverse split.

    >Have a great weekend folks and Clot, I averaged in some more at the close on SRS and on FXP. Had nothing to due with the SocGen prediction as I had read that yesterday morning.

  357. bi says:

    one and half year ago, everyone on this board said they were waiting for the blood on the street. but when it is happenning, people are scared to death…


  358. PGC says:

    #376 Lisoosh

    The light will come about 6:30AM when the kids get up.

  359. PGC says:

    #368 Bi

    I just hit the superfecta !

  360. sas says:

    “with your imaginary black econonmy”

    no its real. if you believe it or not, that your deal.


  361. sas says:

    damn i love wines from Italy!

    nothing like getting smashed and painting the town red.

    Yee, oY!


  362. scribe says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s truth to the rumor that reinvestor is a woman.

    Does that get me the lucky #13 spot on “the list”?

  363. scribe says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s truth to the rumor that reinvestor is a woman.

    Does that get me the lucky #13 spot on “the list”?

  364. reinvestor101 says:

    With the right amount of lube anything is possible.

  365. Jersey Jim says:

    That reinvestor101 is a strange guy/gal.

  366. Essex says:

    373…SAS=Jewish Cowboy….Yee Oy?
    The Cisco Kid…..a la Gene Wilder.

  367. Essex says:

    Interesting front page story on NYC losing it’s lustre. Perhaps people will tire of spending big bucks to live in a tiny box with a doorman…

  368. bairen says:

    #365 lishoosh

    The Inspector Morse car rocks.

    I always wondered how a drunkard public servant could afford it.

  369. bairen says:

    jamil and PGC,

    You guys ever go to Immigration in Newark? Makes a trip to the DMV seem like Spring Break.

  370. bairen says:


    Salmonella outbreak in peanut butter products from Kellogs, Famous Amos, and Keebler.


  371. reinvestor101 says:

    Would someone please tell these unAmericans that they should stop lowballing and crying and eating ramen! Go out and buy a steak….pay to dollar for a car….and help me to find my mind. I know I left it somewhere.

  372. kettle1 says:

    sean 306

    re whistler:

    no altitude issue? sure there is! if you only ski the bottom half of the mountain then no, but if you ski the top half there certainly is!

    whistler rocks!!!!

  373. kettle1 says:


    how about that photo album invite????? me and sean would love to take you up on it…..

    1elttek at gmail dot com



    i like the format tweaks!

  374. lostinny says:

    Is this where we’re headed?

    Zimbabwe unveils $100 trillion banknote

    HARARE (AFP) – Zimbabwe unveiled a 100 trillion dollar note Friday in the latest grim measure of its staggering economic collapse, heightening the urgency of a new round of unity talks set for next week.


  375. Clotpoll says:

    jamil (8:21 Sat.)-

    Wenger a whiner? Let’s see, who’s your favorite manager? Sir Alex, probably. The biggest whinger and crybaby in all of Europe.

  376. Essex says:


  377. grim says:

    A little experiment this weekend, we’re going to try out threaded comments.

  378. grim says:

    My only concern is that we’ve got so much comment volume, it’ll be hard to keep up with the discussion.

  379. Outofstater says:

    Whoa. Nice new look! I feel like I’m in a new neighborhood. It’ll take some getting used to but it’s nice.

  380. lostinny says:

    I thought it was just my computer.

  381. livinginpa says:

    maybe it’s me, but I wouldn’t call that house in Bridgewater a McMansion. In any event, nice to see prices coming down.

  382. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (9:58)-

    More like that scene in The Godfather: “leave the gun; take the cannoli”.

  383. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (10:07 Fri)-

    Hey, is that like an algorithm? Or a Monte Carlo simulation?

    I cain’t figger them x and y brain-busters, ok?

  384. Essex says:

    Heh heh heh….the comedic possibilities are ENDLESS now!!!

  385. PGC says:

    Been there, done that.

    Nothing could ever beat Journal Square DMV in the old days

  386. Essex says:

    Agreed….it does not qualify….too narrow and cheap looking….a real McMansion is at least big enough for three families and a bonus room.

  387. Clotpoll says:

    baire (6.47 AM)-

    That piece of crap is right on Vanderveer Rd. Like a friggin’ NASCAR race there.

    Nice bathtub Madonna out front. Every luxury home should have one.

  388. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (6.54 AM)-

    I’ve showed that house. I don’t know which is better, the constant roar of traffic from the Somerville Circle, or the pride of ownership that will come from knowing your next door neighbor starts working on transmissions at 7 AM.

  389. grim says:

    New thread, move it on up.

Comments are closed.