The next “bomb” to drop

From Bloomberg:

U.S. Mortgage Time Bomb Needs Defusing Yesterday: John F. Wasik

When talking about the U.S. home market, mentioning “the other shoe to drop” was quaint about a year ago. Now we are referring only to bombs.

The latest ordnance is the option adjustable-rate mortgage, one of the many sucker loans marketed during the housing boom. Option ARMs basically gave borrowers four ways to pay back, most of them involving low initial outlays that would reset at much higher monthly amounts at a future date.

Of the $200 billion of these loans outstanding, almost $30 billion is due to reset this year and $67 billion in 2010, according to Fitch Ratings, a New York-based ratings company.

The resets inflict more trauma on the U.S. housing market. The average option ARM monthly payment will soar 63 percent — or $1,052. Although there was a slight increase in home sales in November, prices fell 18 percent from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index.

The pain continues. Since most option ARM borrowers will be unable to refinance because of lowered credit ratings or lack of home equity, many of those resets will result in more foreclosures and further depress home prices.

Ultimately, the option-ARM resets might plunge 8 million more households into foreclosure. That’s in addition to the 2.3 million facing home loss last year, says Eric Rothmann, an analyst for Zacks Investment Research in Chicago.

The shock-and-awe days of the housing crisis are far from over because of these loans and their cousins: subprime, “Alt- A” and some prime mortgages. While Barack Obama’s administration struggles to fix the banking industry, it will be difficult to directly remove these loans — and related securities — from balance sheets without triggering billions in writedowns.

The option-ARM barrage will exacerbate the housing decline in the worst-hit areas.

Homes that can’t be refinanced probably won’t be sold immediately. Assuming no government aid comes along to help these homeowners, the houses will go into foreclosure and be resold at much lower prices. That fuels what economists call a “feedback loop” of ever-lower values.

Houses that are resold are discounted at least 30 percent from the original selling prices, according to U.S. researchers John Campbell, Stefano Giglio and Parag Pathak, who studied 1.8 million transactions in Massachusetts over the past 20 years.

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

413 Responses to The next “bomb” to drop

  1. safeashouses says:

    This bubble is going to hurt almost all of us. Even those of us who lived within our means are going to lose jobs, feel more stress in our lives.

    I posted last night how there are no longer weekend lines at my local donut and bagel shops.

    There are also no longer birthday parties at my kids school. No more open gyms, petting zoos at home, and bowling alleys. Instead the birthday boy/girl brings in a cake or some cookies.

    And I doubt we’ve even reached halftime for this bust.

  2. kettle1 says:

    second!

  3. kettle1 says:

    second!

  4. kettle1 says:

    Safe,

    now only if we could get our fearless leaders who are in the process of bankrupting the nation to understand that point

  5. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (4)-

    They won’t understand until a gun-wielding mob is crashing into the Capitol bldg.

  6. cooper says:

    It’s in the air or maybe not but it feels like today/this week is brewing up to be a doozie… Sas said a few days ago something was coming- I’m feeling it this morning. going to get canned goods and ammo in 10 minutes, right after I warm up my tract driven custom 4×4. Putting a ball turret on this Wednesday, woohooo. any suggestions on an identity license plate?

  7. Clotpoll says:

    Nancy Pelosi has a clue? Barney Frank? Harry Reid?

    Talk about pi$$ing on your foot and telling you it’s raining…

    Did I mention Pelosi’s husband is in commercial RE?

  8. Clotpoll says:

    cooper (6)-

    “any suggestions on an identity license plate?”

    I’m pretty sure “Anarchy” is taken.

  9. Clotpoll says:

    Can you imagine the size bong hit Michael Phelps can pull?

  10. Cindy says:

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/14801241.html

    I listened to a Peter Thiel interview on Bloomberg yesterday from Davos and wondered “Who is this guy? – Pay Pal, Facebook Clarium.)

    I found the attached article from a year ago where he basically says “Investors have no choice but to bet on globalization.” Well, he says a lot more than that…

    In the interview from Davos, he said IF things get fixed, it won’t be from the top down. That it was government’s job to run efficiently.

    He suspected it might be fixed on a hidden, micro level. That lots of small businesses could somehow adapt. People figure out new things to do.

    I read another article at Time – I’ll see if I can find that too.

    What does everyone think of this guy?

  11. cooper says:

    Clot how bout LawLess or MobRule? I think the 1st might be taken by a “film-star”

  12. Cindy says:

    http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2009/01/30/davos-cross-post-three-questions-for-peter-thiel/

    Davos Cross Post: Three Questions for Peter Thiel

    What surprised you over the last year?

    Then what are your concerns going forward?

    Then what is going to restart it or who is going to fix it?

    “I suspect that if it gets fixed, it gets fixed sort of on a hidden, micro level. There are lots of small businesses that somehow adapt, people figure out new things to do. And somehow there’s this very flexible adaptation that happens. I suspect there’s no easy top down fix.”

    Since this guy has a clue about the future of things (Pay Pal – Facebook) – I just want to know more about what he is thinking.

  13. cooper says:

    9 Clot-how did Michael Phelps lung capacity get into the mix? Although he probably can rip a nice one… 4 footer says I

  14. cooper says:

    Will we ever get the truth?

    GDP Goosed By TARP-

    “It turns out that the TARP money given to banks as recapitalization was a major factor in the total GDP number.”

    “How? Uncle Sam buying a financial asset does not contribute to GDP under normal circumstances. But the Treasury purchased these assets at prices discounted to market prices.

    “The Bureau of Economic Analysis, my hedgie friend informs me, records this purchase as a Capital Transfer — its the difference between the price paid and the fair market value. Capital transfers are based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, by reducing net government borrowing or lending.”

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

  15. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123353481151637695.html

    More States Considering Tax Breaks to Woo Jobs

    “Under Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, New Jersey has promised to send small businesses a $3,000 check for every new hire.”

  16. Essex says:

    You guys are expecting waaaaaaaay too much from the gubmint. Haven’t they proven their skillz time and time again? Phelps has the right idea….

  17. Pat on a bike says:

    I want my ten thousand dollars.

  18. Cindy says:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/02022009/business/pension_tension_153124.htm

    Pension Tension

    Gray Lady’s $625M Deficit Add to Publisher’s Woes

  19. Pat on a bike says:

    I want my ten thousand dollars..

  20. Shore Guy says:

    This seems to describe the situation very well and is from the NY Times:

    “To date, the banks have stuck their heads in the sand and demanded that they be paid the price of good apples for bad apples.”
    LYNN E. TURNER, a former chief accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission, on setting a value on assets the United States might buy in its banking rescue plan.

  21. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Pfizer, Wyeth deal could mean N.J. job cuts in pharmaceuticals

    Pharmaceutical industry experts say the state should brace for more job cuts in the wake of New York-based Pfizer Inc.’s planned acquisition of Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth in a deal valued at $68 billion.

    They say the Garden State will suffer disproportionately from drugmaker cost cutting and consolidation due to its status as “the nation’s medicine chest,” just as it benefited disproportionately during the industry’s halcyon days. New Jersey is home to 17 global, North American and U.S. headquarters for the drug industry.

    “When the pharmaceutical industry catches a cold it sneezes first in New Jersey,” said Bob Franks, president of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey. “These are global economic trends that are acting upon the industry outside the borders of New Jersey.”

    “Jersey is in trouble because it has so many pharmaceutical companies and they’re all looking to cut costs and reduce head counts,” said Jon LeCroy, a pharmaceutical industry analyst at Natixis Bleichroeder. “A big chunk of its Wyeth workers are at risk, especially the 900 in its main office.”

    Wyeth was already cutting 10 percent of its 47,000 employees when the deal was announced. It intends to complete those cuts in 2010, spokesman Doug Petkus said.

    Pfizer plans to trim 10 percent of its 81,900 workers. Wyeth has 1,350 employees in New Jersey and Pfizer 1,600.

    Acquisitions are typically accompanied by layoffs as employers shed redundant operations, particularly headquarters functions at the acquired company.

    “You never want to lose high-quality jobs like these,” said Maggie Peters, executive director of the Economic Development Corp. in Morris County, where Wyeth is based.

  22. DISSIDENT HEHEHE says:

    Futures are down, I’m happy.

  23. Cindy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x78WOCEMxiU

    Super Bowl Part 2 –

    There ya go BC –

    Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
    Born to Run
    Working on a Dream
    Glory Days

  24. Very interesting article over at Naked Capitalism on the falling industrial output in Japan.
    FTFA;
    Japan industrial production will have fallen 28% (non annualized) in four months. It will have fallen by a third in about a year. Nothing in the history of major nations compares. A 28% decline in four months would be more than half of the entire decline in U.S. industrial production over the 3 years and nine months of the U.S. Great Depression.

    There’s also a lot of speculation about the wisdom of the Yen as a safe. Very good reads.

  25. willwork4beer says:

    Clotpoll

    From previous thread:

    “…chairs designed in a North Korean prison”

    Still cleaning the coffee off my screen…

    And thanks for your support.

  26. Shore Guy says:

    “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
    Born to Run
    Working on a Dream
    Glory Days”

    It did not wow me. If one were in the stadium, it might have felt different, but I did not much care for the set, and just did not care for the new song at all.

    My choices, from the “family set-list pool” were:

    Radio Nowhere
    Crush on You
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
    Badlands

  27. DISSIDENT HEHEHE says:

    All Super Bowl halftime shows should just feature Lee Greenwood singing God Bless the USA, nuf said.

  28. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (25)-

    “Stron” yen? Ha, that’s a good one.

    Yen is the winner in a battle of weak men.

  29. Clotpoll says:

    HE (28)-

    Lee Greenwood can’t do the Super Bowl. His career is already dead.

  30. Clotpoll says:

    At the GTG where I watched the Super Bowl, all the talk was about the low-quality “work” Springsteen’s wife appears to have undergone.

    And believe me, the women in this room knew from “work”. My wife’s best friend is flammable.

  31. Stu says:

    Mattel 4Q profit falls by nearly half

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Mattel-4Q-profit-falls-by-apf-14220398.html

    “Toy maker Mattel Inc. said Monday that fourth-quarter profit fell 46 percent, hurt by the stronger dollar and the weakest holiday season in decades.”

    You know it’s bad when spending on ‘the children’ declines. Especially when the quarter includes the necessity of winter holiday giving. Next quarter, when there is absolutely no real impetus to buy Chinese cr*p for our children, I would expect the results to worsen significantly.

    But what do I know. I only have four digits worth of FXP. Put according to Jamil, I should be indexing.

  32. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Dec. personal savings rate rises to 3.6%

    U.S. Dec. nominal consumer spending falls 1.0%

    U.S. Dec. nominal incomes fall 0.2%

    U.S. Dec. real disposable incomes rise 0.3%

    U.S. Dec. real consumer spending falls 0.5%

  33. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (32)-

    I’ll index into annihilation. Short of that, SKF and SRS will do just fine.

  34. DISSIDENT HEHEHE says:

    Clot,

    Nothing gets the tears flowing or the knee-jerk nationalism knee jerking than Lee Greenwood singing that song followed by a few F-16’s flying low overhead at the end.

    At a time like this when sheeple control needs to be maximized the government will always have Lee Greenwood’s phone number on direct dial.

  35. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Real consumer spending falls for 6th time in 7 months

    U.S. real consumer spending fell in December for the sixth time in seven months as consumers saved what they gained from falling energy prices, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Nominal spending fell 1% in December, the sixth straight decline. After adjusting for a 0.5% decline in prices, real consumer spending fell 0.5% in December, after a 0.3% increase in November, the government said. It was the sixth decline in real spending in the past seven months. Nominal incomes fell 0.2% in December. After adjusting for inflation and after paying taxes, real disposable incomes rose 0.3%. With spending falling faster than incomes, the personal savings rate rose to 3.6% in December.

  36. DISSIDENT HEHEHE says:

    You people need to do the patriotic thing, get off your @sses and buy a bunch of sh*t you can’t afford with money that you don’t have!!!! Commies!!!:)

  37. Clotpoll says:

    HE (35)-

    I have a special little notebook full of names like yours and the special little violations you continue to perpetrate against my sanity. :)

  38. Clotpoll says:

    HE (37)-

    If Springsteen’s new album is all like that crappy song yesterday, count me as a “no sale”.

    Bruce is prolific, but I think he’s run out of ideas.

  39. Clotpoll says:

    Come to think of it, I’ve run out of ideas.

  40. Barbara says:

    yeah I don’t like anything off the new BS album. Just because you wrote a song doesn’t mean you should record it.
    Just sayin.

  41. PGC says:

    Bruce just shilled the new song and took two songs from the 70’s and one from the 80’s. My 3yo son had the best comment, he threw up just as the half time show started. Very apt.

  42. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Spending, Income Fall as Economy Continues Slide

    Consumers cut spending for a sixth straight month in December and their incomes shrank, according to a government report on Monday that underscored the rapid deterioration in the economy.

    The Commerce Department said spending decreased by 1.0 percent after falling by a revised 0.8 percent in November.

    That figure was previously reported as a 0.6 percent drop.

    Incomes fell by 0.2 percent after November’s 0.4 percent decline, previously reported as a 0.2 percent decline.

    Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast spending falling by 0.9 percent and incomes slipping 0.4 percent.

  43. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (42)-

    I threw up when I realized the Steelers weren’t going to cover the number.

  44. Nuts, lost my original post.
    #29 – Yen is the winner in a battle of weak men.

    Fair point.
    However, if the BOJ can’t artificially devalue its currency to favor trade, what does this mean for both Japan’s future and the global economy.
    This is completely uncharted waters.
    Also, Yves had a discussion on a Times (UK) piece on unrest in China. I know Mike Morgan has talked about the same, you might find it interesting.

  45. Clotpoll says:

    syb (43)-

    At least it was better than watching a Jackson expose herself.

  46. Cindy says:

    Well – I liked it. I thought it was fun to watch. But he just got warmed up at Glory Days then it was over…

  47. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (46)-

    Don’t worry. I have full confidence the Japanese will figure out some way to outperform in the great race to 0.

  48. Barbara says:

    I used to really hate the Born In The USA stuff because it was so overplayed at the time. Never loved Glory Days much but some of the less played stuff on that LP I’ve come to really like lately.

  49. Cindy says:

    Shore (20)

    I noticed your quote in this article..

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/02/business/02value.php

    Risks are vast in revaluing tainted assets

  50. All Hype says:

    So Obama will require banks to start lending again if they take gubbmint money. Too bad they cannot lend no matter how much money they get.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a8mVjojniVQk&refer=home

  51. Clotpoll says:

    Hype (52)-

    Look how well gubmint-forced lending works in the UK.

    If you think bankers can’t run banks, wait ’til the Ob@manauts get hold of the controls.

    O has the 18-wheeler pointed squarely at the concrete wall now. Let’s see how well he can accelerate.

  52. grim says:

    Lend? Lend to whom? The only people who are borrowing are those with stellar credit and incomes (read: don’t need the money).

    Who wins in this situation? Certainly not the marginal borrower, the owner facing foreclosure, or the guy who just lost his job.

  53. Stu says:

    You just threw $10,000 into the fire. I’m guessing we’ll do another $20,000 before the Feds realize that the flue isn’t even open. They’ll say the first 10k didn’t work because it was not big enough. Perhaps by then, our mustard seeds will have grown large enough to be ground into a topping fit to dress the giant pork sandwich that is currently being devised by our leaders. Perhaps we should put a Quizno’s sign on the congress pulpit?

  54. #54 – Lend? Lend to whom?

    Good question, who is borrowing right now?
    Are any businesses expanding production in this environment?

    Other than Colt and Ruger…

  55. BC Bob says:

    Cindt [24],

    Well I didn’t win with any #’s in my pool. However, I did win the halftime pool. Was 3-4, extra credit for my 2 definites. I’m ususally right in that pit.

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I heard the gov flacks calling on those with monry to spend and it gave me an idea. The “rich” including the HENRYs that will get soaked by O should go on a spending strike. Really stop all discretionary spending and promise to hold back until O relents some on taxes and stupid stimuli. Will never happen but its an idea.

  57. Stu says:

    I had Cards 2 Pitt 7. I knew the 2 would be tough.

  58. psjoe says:

    willwork4beer-
    I was wondering if you could tell me what happened to the following listings?
    MLS# 2557101 142 Kingwwod-Locktown Rd., 08559
    MLS# 2538595 1 Alford Ln., 08825
    Thanks from out in Hunterdon – Joe

  59. Stu says:

    “Really stop all discretionary spending and promise to hold back until O relents some on taxes and stupid stimuli.”

    Have you witnessed the numbers Nom? They have stopped already! The wealthy did not get that way by not being financially adept.

    Continuing the new ETF thread that was addressed last week. A sign maker ETF might do well. A lot of $ stores will need to be renamed $10 stores once hyperinflation kicks in.

  60. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (56)-

    Moody’s is with you on Colt. Upgraded the debt toward the end of last year.

    Then again, Moody’s has been known to fire the occasional blank.

    http://www.alacrastore.com/storecontent/moodys/PR_166410_815082082

  61. Stu says:

    Most Europe markets are down 3% today with a few approaching 4. Our futures are looking pretty ugly as well. But have no fear…the ISM manufacturing index comes out at 10am. This should turn things around.

  62. Stu says:

    Clot. Smith&Wesson is looking cheap in the mid 2’s.

  63. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (61)-

    Here it is. The gold standard in fiat paper:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/ca/Zimbabwe_%24500_million_2008_Obverse.jpg

    Brother, can you spare a hundred million?

  64. SG says:

    A $4 Trillion ‘Big Bang’

    The Obama administration is gearing up for a ‘big bang’ announcement within the next two weeks that will combine a bank clean-up with measures to reduce home foreclosures and probably steps to kick-start credit markets.

    Goldman Sachs estimated that it would take on the order of $4 trillion to buy troubled mortgage and consumer debt. That number could shrink if the program were limited to only certain loans or banks, but it could also grow if other asset classes such as commercial real estate loans were included.

    If the ‘big bang’ goes off this week, what will it mean for Planet U.S. Dollar? Or Planet Gold? Well, as our friend Steve Belmont in Chicago reported on Friday, gold is moving toward a day of reckoning after trading in a range for the last ten months. It will either break out much higher, Steve says, or buckle. We’ll be watching.

    Is it good time to move out of USD?

  65. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (64)-

    I remember Cramer pumping this stiff when it was trading close to $20.

  66. Stu says:

    Clot:

    You know your currency ain’t worth squat when the best thing you can honor on the bill is a couple of rocks.

  67. Clotpoll says:

    Stu,

    They should come out with a new bill showing the poor guy who’s buried under them. Probably their Treasury secretary.

  68. grim says:

    Groundhog saw his shadow.

    6 week ban on conspiracy theories and Armageddon.

  69. #71 – Freemasons, Rosicrucians and New World Order nutjobs

    They’re right you know.
    /adjusts tinfoil derby to better deflect them mind-rays.

    fnord

  70. PGC says:

    Can we have a level set on the GSMLS number.

    Selling season starts today.

  71. Sybarite says:

    lets see 2-15 is the date of record that most wall street firms pay restricted stock and options bonus utilizing share price on that day. why do I feel no rally till after 2-15?

  72. comrade nom deplume says:

    [61] stu

    No, they have slowed, but they will also return at some point (unless we really melt down). No, I am talking about really ratcheting back, not just on the things that give us pause but can still afford, but on nearly anything we can, even if it involves a little pain. Things like tourism, leisure spending, etc.

    Part of the issue is communicating it as well. Let people know that, as a group, you will restrain spending in order to protest being a tax target. One of the reasons it would resonate is that state officials would be adversely affected (especially in NJ) and if such a “spending strike” looked effective, it would force the delegation to seek relief in DC.

    Besides, Stu, you know as well as I that this woudl be harder than herding cats. It is a pipe dream to think this way, but if there was an effective countervailing message that got people riled up about being tax slaves, and they felt that this was their best leverage, then the appearance of organized resistance could cause policy makers to rethink how they treat the HENRYs (who will be the group hardest hit by the 0bama/Pelosi/Kennedy tax plan).

  73. comrade nom deplume says:

    [70] grim

    Can we still plan the Compound? After all, it isn’t just about Armageddon?

  74. DL says:

    Parents of one of the band mambers of “Against Me” are friends of ours. They met Bruce after one of their concerts because Bruce took his son to see his son’s favorite band. One of the Against Me members had some lyrics to a Bruce song tatooed on his arm. Bruce’s son asked where they were from. His Dad said they were the lyrics to one of his songs. Seems his own kid doesn’t listen to his mucic.

  75. Stu says:

    Yeah Nom, that increase from 35% to 38% will have them all running for the exits en masse.

    The under 35% crowd has been screwed royally since 1980. 30 years of taking it up the backside. The 1% is asked to make a mere pittance of a sacrifice and you suggest they start a grass roots revolt.

    First, the last time anyone in that 1% even touched any grass was when they checked the wind direction prior to driving down the fairway on the 18th. Forget about grass roots.

    Second, tax rate on these folks was 92% the last time the country dug themselves into a hole this deep and they all stuck around, even though the recession was less global in nature.

    Were you at that party with Phelps?

  76. Victorian says:

    Richest Americans’ Income Doubled as Tax Rate Slashed

    “The average tax rate paid by the richest 400 Americans fell by a third to 17.2 percent through the first six years of the Bush administration and their average income doubled to $263.3 million, new IRS data show.

    The 17.2 percent tax rate in 2006 was the lowest since the IRS began tracking the 400 largest taxpayers in 1992, although the richest 400 Americans paid more tax on an inflation-adjusted basis than any year since 2000.

    The drop from 2001’s tax rate of 22.9 percent was due largely to ex-President George W. Bush’s push to cut tax rates on most capital gains to 15 percent in 2003. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aOTRqZpdyxz4&refer=us

  77. Stu says:

    Thanks Victorian.

    I think when the economics books are rewritten. They will blame the demise of the US, not on debt securitization, but on the increased divide between the haves and the have nots. If there is any reason to build a compound to avoid the anarchy of the revolution, it is this systematic destruction of the middle class that is to be blamed.

  78. Sean says:

    Did anyone hear the Bloomberg interview this morning around 8AM? They had on an author William K. Black who wrote the book called “The best way to rob a bank is to own it.” Book is an insiders view on the S&L Fraud that went on in the 80’s.

    He went on this morning about how during the S&L scandal the Govn’t prosecuted over 1,000 insiders for Accounting and Securities Fraud, (note there were only 3,000 S&L’s at the time) while this time around there really has yet to be any perp walks.

  79. comrade nom deplume says:

    [149] spam (yesterday)

    Saw your post. I have a few observations

    1. I am serious

    2. I cannot “do” anything right now (I could but it would be idiotic to try on my own, and for many of the reasons you gave). That is the purpose of planning and organizing versus buying a ski house with a few acres of rocky slope.

    3. I had already given thought to a lot of what you mention (though not your sublateral support points, which are well-taken, thanks).

    4. Some of us lawyers can actually repair power tools, re-roof a house, or operate heavy equipment. I have done all these things and more.

    5. I am not a farmer, not trying to pose as a farmer, and have no desire to be a farmer. That said, while I hope never to have to learn what you know, I feel reasonably confident that I can learn it. And I do know that you can’t farm land you don’t own or have rights to, or retreat to a safe location you don’t have. First things first.

    6. Finally, I am surprised at the implicit suggestion that anyone who wants to have something akin to the same level of self-sufficiency as yourself is a crackpot.

  80. kettle1 says:

    Clot,

    Looks like the UK is preparing for a natonal bank failure / nationalization of its banks.

    UK business secretary backs new ‘people’s bank’ at Post Office

    A groundbreaking “people’s bank”, offering a full range of financial services and using the UK network of 12,000 post offices, is being promoted by Peter Mandelson, the business secretary. The plan to use the remaining post office outlets as the backbone of a new national bank would head off a Labour revolt over Royal Mail privatisation and provide the country with a fiscal impetus. Last night Pat McFadden, the minister for postal affairs, said he was keen to expand their operations and allow them to function more like fully fledged banks, but with a clear social purpose. “I am warm about the idea,” he said. “The secretary of state [Lord Mandelson] has said he wants to see a stronger role for the Post Office. This is something we are working on. We have asked the business and enterprise select committee to look into this.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/01/post-office-bank-mandelson

  81. comrade nom deplume says:

    [77] stu

    Sorry, I gotta reply to this one:

    “tax rate on these folks was 92% the last time the country dug themselves into a hole this deep and they all stuck around, even though the recession was less global in nature.”

    Uh, some didn’t, and it was because (1) the taxes in Bermuda were lower, and (2) the recession was less global in nature. If we didn’t have tax expatriation, why have we been blocking it?

    Second, you assume that other features of the tax code were the same in 1960 as they are now. I can assure you that the tax code was vastly different. Just one point–tax shelters that are illegal today were legal then. Also, it was a lot harder to track offshore accounts. Think the Swiss numbered account was a nonentity before W took office? I could go on, but you are smart guy and do the research yourself.

    Next, 35 to 38 percent. I suggest you recheck you math, and add the payroll tax hike and the expected state/local tax hikes.

    Your supposition that the under-35% crowd has been screwed royally comes from the idea that their portion of income subject to tax has not declined as much as the former 92% crowd has. But I concede that the 25% bracket has been getting boned by AMT as of late, which was passed by a Congress that was irate at less than 200 taxpayers. Less than 200. Now 20 million.

    Finally, I am not in the top 1%, but I will still get whacked, and to a larger extent than the top 1% will, precisely for the reasons Victoria gives. The top 1% realize much of their income from capital gains, which will still be taxed lower and not subject to payroll taxes. They can also be timed, deferred, transferred, etc. If you are a landlord, you get depreciation, deductions, etc. to offset and defer recognition. I have none of that, which means that I can’t afford that country club membership or a timeshare on a private jet.

  82. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (81)-

    It appears the British have invented a way to create a run on the post office.

  83. willwork4beer says:

    #59 psjoe

    142 Kingwood-Locktown expired at 535K after 184 days.
    1 Alford listed at 489,900 sold at 465K.

  84. PGC says:

    #83 Clot

    The UK always had this. The Post Office ran passbook accounts on behalf of the Treasury.

    http://www.nsandi.com/

  85. John says:

    OK, you guys are pretty grim today. Or should I say pretty clotpol today. Had to go to bestbuy saturday and people were buying as usually, I finaly bought WII as they had them in stock and I was going to get it anyhow. People were buying $40 dollar Wii games like candy. On to supermarket where people were throwing $25 dollar cases of beer and $25 dollar supercakes in their cart like it was nothing and onto Marshalls which had a sale and extra checkers where people were gobbling up $85 dollar shirts for $35 bucks. In the great depression people had holes in their shoes in the snow and people sent their children out begging for food or to stand in the roadway by a bump hoping the coal truck would drop a few coals so they would not freeze to death. WOW people are buying CPO cars and waiting for things to go on sale and cutting back on unecessary home blow out, OMG it is the great depression, mommy only bought me 3 Wii games instead of 4, cool your rocket jets with this compound stuff.

  86. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (85)-

    Pardon me while I make myself a double absinthe.

  87. Sean says:

    Grim #89 is in Mod.

  88. All Hype says:

    John:

    I was in Best Buy on Saturday at 3 pm and there were more employees than shoppers. The TV sales people were all over me. Must be alot more po’ people in East Brunswick than where you live.

  89. skep-tic says:

    previous thread– parliament funkadelic– yes.

    went to see a foreclosure yesterday. was listed at 10% off the 2007 price it was bought at. Kind of f’d up inside. Medicine cabinets ripped out of the bathrooms, shower heads removed. Place had not been renovated in 25 yrs on top of that. This place was in a top shelf neighborhood too. A similar (structurally) place across the street was listed for $150k more. They are going to be pissed when this REO finally sells. I contemplated bidding 30% below list but decided I wouldn’t even want it for that much.

  90. kettle1 says:

    clot,

    mark my words, that proposal is a safety net as they know that the UK banking system is very close to default/collapse. And the catch is that the UK government risks becoming Iceland 2.0 if it tries to save the banks by taking on all of the banks debt. The problem is that the UK banks have liabilities denominated in foreign currencies that are significantly greater then the UK government can possible support. if the UK government even attempts it, its foreign reserves will be wiped out and voila! icleand 2.0

    They are about to be forced to let their banks collapse. The only way to keep the government legitimate in the eyes of the people at that point is to ensure that the people can access their money.

    This will be guaranteed by the government and they will use the post offices as banks.

    I am well aware that i will either be spectacularly right on this or spectacularly wrong. time will tell

  91. Stu says:

    Nom,

    Buy a multi-family. ;)

    The deductions are well worth the pitter patter of the footsteps upstairs. Of course, the gator might disagree.

    I am firmly in AMT as well and it sucks royally. Never dreamed of the country club or a share of a private jet. My aspirations are few and consist primarily of a hammock and shack in Costa Rica, a few fishing poles and a small vegetable garden. Though, I will need to be near the ocean.

  92. Clotpoll says:

    Missed this on Friday. Good times.

    Mark those calendars for 3/15:

    CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE:GGP) announced today that it had entered into Amended and Restated Forbearance and Waiver Agreements with its syndicates of lenders for the 2006 Senior Credit Agreement and the Secured Portfolio Facility which extend the forbearance periods from today until March 15, 2009. Under the terms of the amended Forbearance Agreements, the Company agreed to certain additional restrictions and covenants, and the lenders agreed that certain possible future cross-defaults related to the Company’s mortgage indebtedness will not cause an immediate termination of the Forbearance Agreements.

  93. Sean says:

    Read the rest of the Article Posted Above in #88.

    Same Author/Professor William Black making the rounds basically calling for prosecutions A.S.A.P.

    If we are going down in flames we need perp walks people!

  94. Stu says:

    Clot…I saw it. Funny how it came out the same day as their not so awful earnings?

  95. Stu says:

    ISM numbers weren’t that bad. Market rally on. News at 11.

  96. Clotpoll says:

    GGP’s Q1-09 earnings will be their Waterloo.

    If they don’t default first.

  97. Stu says:

    January ISM Manufacturing came in a better-than-expected 35.6 after coming in at 32.9 in the prior month. The latest reading was expected to hit just 32.5. ISM prices paid hit 29.0, which is better than the reading of 18.0 that was expected.

    Construction spending in December fell 1.4%, which is a bit steeper than the 1.2% decline that was widely forecast. Spending was down 1.2% in the prior month.

  98. skep-tic says:

    cheap wine of the week:

    http://www.snooth.com/wine/mcmanis-family-vineyards-pinot-noir-2007/

    tried it alongside a $20 bottle of pinot on friday and liked it more

  99. comrade nom deplume says:

    [93] stu

    Have always given that serious thought and it is something I would do if the right opportunity presented itself. Unfortunately, over the last decade, when I could afford to get into this, the price-rent ratio was not favorable. Beleive me, I am watching this closely as well (which was why I did not want to sink a ton of cash into a small farm).

  100. kettle1 says:

    Lets recap

    Globalalization has crashed , how long before we see local shortages? the dominoes are falling… Ocean, Air, truck, and Rail….

    ——————————–

    Down Week for Freight Traffic on U.S. Railroads

    WASHINGTON, January 29, 2009 — Freight traffic on U.S. railroads continued to trend downward during the third week of 2009, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported today. Carload freight totaled 267,634 cars, down 14.6 percent from the comparison week in 2008, with loadings down 9.2 percent in the West and 22.1 percent in the East. Intermodal volume of 195,182 trailers or containers was off 7.1 percent from last year, with container volume falling 2.3 percent and trailer volume dipping 23.9 percent. Total volume was estimated at 28.4 billion ton-miles, off 13.4 percent from 2008.

    ————————————-

    GENEVA (AP) — The airline industry lost $5 billion last year as passenger growth slowed and cargo shipments fell because of the global economic crisis, the International Air Transport Association said Thursday.

    Cargo shipments plunged in the last month of the year, putting the industry in “uncharted territory.”

    —————————————-

    ATA Truck Tonnage Index Plummeted 11.1 Percent in December
    January 26, 2009 4:30 PM
    Tiffany Wlazlowski 703-838-1717

    ARLINGTON, VA — The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index plunged 11.1 percent in December 2008, marking the largest month-to-month reduction since April 1994, when the unionized less-than-truckload industry was in the midst of a strike. December’s drop was the third-largest single-month drop since ATA began collecting the data in 1973. In December, the seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled just 98.3 (2000 = 100), its lowest level since December 2000. The not seasonally adjusted index edged 0.6 percent higher in December.

    ————————————-

    By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor

    Last Updated: 3:39PM GMT 14 Jan 2009
    Shipping rates hit zero as trade sinks
    Freight rates for containers shipped from Asia to Europe have fallen to zero for the first time since records began, underscoring the dramatic collapse in trade since the world economy buckled in October.

  101. Stu says:

    Nom,

    Buy near a train to get the appreciation when New York pops the next time. Then sell.

    Disclaimer: It could be a long time before the next NY pop.

  102. Qwerty says:

    A fabulous piece from 60 Minutes, might make a nice front pager:

    The Mortgage Meltdown
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4668112n

    The level of misery and doom outlined warms the heart.

  103. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    February 2, 2009 at 7:24 am
    Can you imagine the size bong hit Michael Phelps can pull?

    clot: A strong demonstration of wit. Just a pithy statement.

  104. Stu says:

    I thought it was nothing less than brilliant actually.

    “Can you imagine the size bong hit Michael Phelps can pull?”

    It does force one to conjur up quite a hilarious picture in ones mind.

  105. Stu says:

    conjure even.

  106. PGC says:

    #87 Clot

    “Pardon me while I make myself a double absinthe.”

    Thats was all the rage in 1891.

    What was old is now new …. etc etc

  107. comrade nom deplume says:

    [103] stu

    Remember the BIL that has his own “compound” (actually a farm and B&B) in Maine? He also owned several multifamilies in the Boston area. I used to handle his evictions (which were always the worst sort of deadbeats because he would typically rent to immigrants at decent rates).

    He foresaw something and started to unload his multifamilies in the early 2000s, but I think he still has one or two.

  108. John says:

    Funny part I was in a bad neighborhood, the malls in the bad neighborhoods roll right along, no one has a job in good times or bad so recession is meaningless. The malls in the good neighborhoods are slow. Rat a tat tat as long as I got my gat.

    All Hype says:
    February 2, 2009 at 10:11 am
    John:

    I was in Best Buy on Saturday at 3 pm and there were more employees than shoppers. The TV sales people were all over me. Must be alot more po’ people in East Brunswick than where you live.

  109. HEHEHE says:

    I heard the Bushes have a compound in Paraguay? Any truth? I am sure Lee Greenwood has his own guest room.

  110. John says:

    Michael Phelps uses the NY Sunday Times for Rolling Paper.

  111. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    February 2, 2009 at 8:50 am
    syb (43)- At least it was better than watching a Jackson expose herself.

    Didn’t you see Weinberg whip it out at the end?

  112. scribe says:

    nom,

    What’s a HENRY?

  113. Brint says:

    Speaking of Hunterdon comp killers, can someone pull the history on 1 1st Street, Califon? I think it’s listed now at $375K, but I recall it sold a couple years ago. Thanks.

  114. grim says:

    I can’t tell if this is comedy or not.

    From Bloomberg:

    Zimbabwe Central Bank Removes 12 Zeroes From Currency

    Zimbabwe, which has the world’s highest inflation rate, slashed 12 zeroes off its currency and announced measures to make trade in foreign exchange more transparent, Gideon Gono, the central bank governor, said.

    The central bank revalued the currency at a rate of 1 trillion Zimbabwe dollars for one, Gono said in a statement on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Web site today. The central bank also lifted all restrictions on foreign currency cash withdrawals.

    All foreign-exchange trade will be brought “into the visible formal market,” Gono said.

  115. grim says:

    Frankly, I believe they are restarting because they’ve run out of the necessary ink and paper to add additional zeros.

  116. chicagofinance says:

    Sean says:
    February 2, 2009 at 10:11 am
    Blame Bloomberg and his Black Box.

    I scanned this passage, and then arrived at your link…..I’m mean come on dude….I want to get my opinions from some vitriol spitting hipster than hangs out in Williamsburg and is going to lecture me that Grand Army Plaza is the center of the universe…..

  117. Stu says:

    ChiFi:

    Agreed, perhaps the worst source ever.

  118. chicagofinance says:

    Stu says:
    February 2, 2009 at 10:16 am
    The deductions are well worth the pitter patter of the footsteps upstairs. Of course, the gator might disagree. I am firmly in AMT as well and it sucks royally. Never dreamed of the country club or a share of a private jet. My aspirations are few and consist primarily of a hammock and shack in Costa Rica, a few fishing poles and a small vegetable garden. Though, I will need to be near the ocean.

    Stu: why does everyone get bent out of shape by the AMT? It is straightforward. People just get pissed because all their little tax tricks get harpooned. We should just use the AMT instead of regular tax rules. Income x tax rate = tax

  119. PBI says:

    Of the $200 billion of these loans outstanding, almost $30 billion is due to reset this year and $67 billion in 2010, according to Fitch Ratings, a New York-based ratings company.

    —> good 1 – 2 years away before they start giving houses away in NJ

  120. Hard Place says:

    Can anyone with MLS access provide insight into what happened at 10 Raymond St in Chatham? It was an appealing looking multi-family that was listed for a loooooooonnnnggg time. I haven’t seen it on the GSMLS lately. I would’ve considered this place with a 5 handle, but owner was still asking $675k before it went off GSMLS.

    I was looking to go the multi-family route for some of the reasons people stated here. Also I don’t mind sharing a home. That’s how I grew up, in a multi. Very common for people to do such things in less affluent areas and less affluent countries.

  121. Stu says:

    “Income x tax rate = tax”

    Yes. Eliminate all loopholes and credits. The savings in administration would be mind boggling. Of course, I would short H&R Block to no end ;)

  122. Hard Place says:

    why does everyone get bent out of shape by the AMT? It is straightforward. People just get pissed because all their little tax tricks get harpooned. We should just use the AMT instead of regular tax rules. Income x tax rate = tax

    The clever masses and the lobbyists would be up in arms! Woe is my tax breaks!

  123. Sean says:

    Chicago and Stu – William Black was interviewed on Bloomberg Radio this morning, the reason why I linked to the voice article was for his contribution to the article, regardless of what conclusion the author of the Voice article came to about the Bloomberg terminals. I thought is was more comical to blame the terminals and not the crooks down in DC who deregulated the markets.

    We cannot continue to ignore the CDS Gorilla in the room, and UNTIL all BETS are off we cannot get back to anything resembling a real economy.

    Here is another link, little progress has been made.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aa1Y8DpE6p1I&refer=home

  124. Hard Place says:

    The savings in administration would be mind boggling.

    But it wouldn’t fit the job creation mantra being spewed?

    I miss Ross Perot with his crazy delivery, yet somewhat sane ideas.

  125. SG says:

    ETFs tracking battered real estate investment trusts offer a way to play a REIT recovery. A fund that bets against the sector, ProShares UltraShort Real Estate (SRS:ProShares UltraShort Real Estate), had net inflows of nearly $700 million in December, according to investment researcher Morningstar Inc.

    Wide range of ETFs lets traders make bets on nearly any sector, strategy

  126. make money says:

    “Income x tax rate = tax”

    We collect one trillion in taxes per year. Our overseas empire bill is a trillion.

    How about we bring all the troops home lay off all IRS people and eliminate the income tax.

    Letting people keep the fruits of their labor is a sure way to getting re-elected.

  127. kettle1 says:

    make 128

    that is also a sure way to have an accident…. plane crashes, drunk driving fatality, drowning while swimming in the carribean…….

  128. Stu says:

    Heard someone on Bloomberg mention his strategy was to go long the dogs of the dow and short the spiders.

    Sounds like a twisted version of Charlotte’s Web.

  129. Sean says:

    FYI – All of your anecdotal observations about retail shopping reflect a truism about what is NOW happening, the sheep are home cowering right now. Yesterday after enjoying a nice sunny day Skiing I went to Dairy Queen and the fridge was full of Super Bowl cakes that weren’t sold, I also hit up Shoprite and noticed a slew of prepared food platters for the Superbowl that went unsold, and there were no parties in my Neighborhood which is not NORMAL.

    I am guessing that retail numbers for January will be showing about a 10% ADDITIONAL drop off the cliff since the beginning of the year for some larger retailers, the smaller boutique shops are really hurting perhaps as much as 30% decline in foot traffic and even more in sales rung up at the register.

    I expect the next Stimulus Bill to be directed at the sheep, nice Debit/Gift Cards from the Government to get them out shopping, perhaps as much as 2k per family.

  130. RayC says:

    Mortgage report-I know from time to time people ask what rate can I expect to get? Here’s my unfolding story.

    I found a house (bank owned-but in great shape) and they want “best and final offer by tomorrow. I went to lending tree to get a pre-approval so I can make an offer. (20% down – excellent credit) The first one came back 30yr conforming @ 5.25, a 1% buydown to 4.75, and their only other fee is $820.

    Anyone else apply this week?

  131. Stu says:

    Sean:

    Best anecdotal evidence was that we were not invited to a single Super Bowl party. Normally we have to choose from about five different venues. And to keep the comments down from the peanut gallery, I’ve realized how I have opened myself up here.

  132. Stu says:

    And I started my insurance discount search this weekend. Looks like I’m on pace to save about $600 annually. Would you believe that Geico was $140 cheaper than the second best quote I received? So far, I received 7 quotes.

    I’m going to see what kind of savings I can obtain off of the homeowners policy next.

  133. Slightly off-topic, but nymag has a interesting
    article on Stuy-town and Tishman Speyers.

  134. Hard Place says:

    there were no parties in my Neighborhood which is not NORMAL.

    Could have been due to the fact that Cardinals vs. Steelers did not excite anybody. In fact, turned out to be one of the most exciting games, EVER!

  135. RayC says:

    Stu,

    Thank God my sis has been having her SuperBowl party for 18 years -she’d never cancel for fear of losing the “rights” to the party.

  136. Sybarite says:

    Hard Place,

    That Multi in chatham expired 12/31/08 at $675k. I felt the same way about that one; nice place but a tad overpriced.

  137. Stu says:

    I’m hoping the multi-family route takes off. From 2005 to 2007, it was definitely the ugly step-child in Montclair.

    One can not have too much appreciation for depreciation! ;)

  138. Jill says:

    Went to pick over the bones at Circuit City in Paramus on Saturday. Big TVs moving like hotcakes but not much else. 20% off smaller sets (which is what I’d want to buy, like a 27″ for the bedroom) and no more than 20% off anything else. The shopping center there has already lost a huge Linens ‘n’ Things and now CC. The Expo store is going to go out too. I would not want to live in Paramus these days. They are used to lower taxes, but their ratables are all going to disappear. Best Buy wasn’t much busier. I bought a copy of the “Sense & Sensibility” DVD on sale for $4.99. That’s how I stimulated the economy this weekend. Well, that and some Chinese takeout.

  139. Sean says:

    Crap –

    A bill was recently introduced in Congress by Democrat Rep. Alice Hastings of Florida to grant authority to hold the civilian population inside closed military camps.

    H. R. 645

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.645:

  140. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Stu 135: Did the auto ins thing $825 less a year have to pay up front 6 months at a time, no sweat I’m going with it. Progressive by the way through AAA. Having a teenage driver is expensive!

  141. Stu says:

    Nice Mike.

  142. Stu says:

    Ray C.:

    “she’d never cancel for fear of losing the “rights” to the party.”

    That’s true. You have to fight…for the “rights”…to paaaaaaartaaaaaaayyyyyy!

  143. All Hype says:

    Sean (142):

    The link comes up blank. I need to send this to my family, this will get them all worked up.

  144. John says:

    Stu also try Amerprise for Car insurance. Also company ratings and service count a little too. Progressive you have to pull a little teeth to get paid. My car total last year with a 2008 Lexus with Amerprise they handed me a check like it was peanuts. Did not even raise my rates.

    The biggest deduction on a two family house involves shady accounting, legally it is not that big a deduction. I know tons of people who put a good will fridge in the rental and buy a viking for their unit and criss cross receipts. Legally, if you are in the 40 % tax bracket you have to lose a dollar to get back 40 cents, heck you can do that with a charitable contribution.

  145. RentinginNJ says:

    why does everyone get bent out of shape by the AMT? It is straightforward. People just get pissed because all their little tax tricks get harpooned. We should just use the AMT instead of regular tax rules. Income x tax rate = tax

    Chi…I would be all for a simplified tax system (rate x income = tax), of course that will never ever happen. Our tax code is based on the business model of a Moroccan bizarre. There is a high sticker price, but the shop owner wants to be “your friend” and is always willing to cut you a special deal. Similarly, our complicated tax system allows politicians to give perks & deals out to their constituents.

    The problem with the AMT isn’t its simplicity; it’s that people paying the AMT are subsidizing all of those people who still have the ability to “use little tax tricks”. It everyone was subject to simplified tax (with no deductions) our tax rates would be lower.

  146. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Stu: One more ticket or accident & he is on his own. Doing well in college so trying to help but his ins on a sh*t box with just liability is more than full coverage on my 07. Wait to those little ones get older folks. Another starts to drive in May! College in Sept for him. Pray to the gods of srs.

  147. make money says:

    Haven’t heard any talk about the Knicks. Won 8 out last 11.

    It’s gonna be a hell of a week for me.

    We’re streaking baby.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcCxc5ZAX80

    I love the part when he says honey do you think KFC is still open?

  148. Hard Place says:

    Syb,

    That Multi in chatham expired 12/31/08 at $675k. I felt the same way about that one; nice place but a tad overpriced.

    Yeah with rents collapsing, quicker than I expected, I’m holding out. Knife is falling and I’m not good at catching things.

  149. kettle1 says:

    Sean, all hype

    H.R.645
    Title: To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.
    Sponsor: Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] (introduced 1/22/2009) Cosponsors (None)
    Latest Major Action: 1/22/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

    H.R.645
    Title: To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?c111:./temp/~c111wTJ1Qa

  150. Hard Place says:

    Stu/Mike,

    Auto ins. Sounds like something I have to do as well. I remember hearing GEICO gives a discount to Berkshire shareholders. I own some Berk, and will have to give them a try. Quick internet check says discount is 8%. Currently I’m with AIG and they are pretty good with claims, but I’ve got to check around for pricing. It’s been about 5 years, so what’s the worst that can happen? I waste about half hour or I pay less money? Sounds like a winner.

  151. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hard Place:Yeah with rents collapsing, quicker than I expected, I’m holding out. Knife is falling and I’m not good at catching things.
    So true, no offense to Yikes but buying now is a very bad idea. Keep the cash & wait out the storm. RENT.

  152. psjoe says:

    #84 willwork4beer-
    Thanks. Trying to decide on listing this spring.

  153. Clotpoll says:

    John (110)-

    By this rationale, Cleveland is a wonderful place to live.

    “Funny part I was in a bad neighborhood, the malls in the bad neighborhoods roll right along, no one has a job in good times or bad so recession is meaningless.”

  154. zieba says:

    re: 155
    Word is born.

  155. Clotpoll says:

    grim (116)-

    The mother of all reverse splits:

    “The central bank revalued the currency at a rate of 1 trillion Zimbabwe dollars for one, Gono said in a statement on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Web site today. The central bank also lifted all restrictions on foreign currency cash withdrawals.”

    This puts the phrase “rounding error” in a whole new light.

  156. Sybarite says:

    Hard Place,

    Were you the guy talking about Morristown’s legal quandries? Can you expand on that a bit?

  157. make money says:

    Mike 149

    Invest in Florida!

  158. Mikeinwaiting says:

    John 147: If Progressive pays slow so what as long as they pay. I cover then get my money back worth the savings.

  159. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (134)-

    Maybe it’s your breath.

  160. Stu says:

    John:

    The biggest deduction on a two family house involves shady accounting, legally it is not that big a deduction.

    I’m keeping it legal John, but I agree that it would be very easy to cheat. The breaks aren’t awesome, but they are pretty good. A lot depends on how the tax brackets fall. Was really good until I entered AMT.

    Mike,

    I never had an insurance claim in my life. I hope it stays this way for a while. Never an accident and one speeding ticket when I was 17 in Upstate NY. No reciprocity back then or my parents would have absolutely kicked the cr*p outta me. To this day, they still don’t know about it.

  161. Stu says:

    Thanks Clot.

  162. Stu says:

    Grim 164 in mod.

  163. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Make 161: Yea right!
    Gold soon on a pull back.Inflation is coming “it’s just a matter of time”, singing. That is from an old old song maybe sas knows it.

  164. Outofstater says:

    HR152 Hmm. Call me Pollyanna but this sounds more like preparation in case of a major disaster or terrorist attack. We may need places for people to go for food, shelter and medical care and military bases can provide all of that. They can set up a tent city with field kitchens and hospitals in a day or two.

  165. make money says:

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has stopped paying many bills after elected leaders failed to meet a self-imposed end-of-January deadline for solving the state’s budget crisis.

    Checks are not being issued for Cal Grant college scholarships, county social services and even the California Highway Patrol. No state tax rebates will be issued until a plan is adopted to deal with the state’s huge deficit.

    In addition, more than 200,000 state workers are scheduled to take two days a month off without pay starting Friday as part of a furlough plan backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    “This time, there are real-world consequences,” said H.D. Palmer, “Because we have not been able to get to a budget agreement, payments aren’t going to be made.”

    who got next?

  166. John says:

    Mike, GEICO held me up for three years on a payment. Good Luck. Other thing to watch for is lets say you have 100K insurance and someone sues you for a million, insurance company thinks claim might settle for 150K so to save on legal they just cut check on day one for 100K and leave you with 900K lawsuit to fight all on your own. Other thing that is interesting when you are sued for a large amount lawyer will slap a lien on your house while claim in pending so if your insurance is slow to pay and you want to sell your house good luck.

    Mikeinwaiting says:
    February 2, 2009 at 11:58 am
    John 147: If Progressive pays slow so what as long as they pay. I cover then get my money back worth the savings.

  167. make money says:

    Mike 166

    You’re praching to the wronmg quire when it comes to Mr. Shiny.

    I would pick up some BS lot in FL on a online auction and register your vehicles there.

    You can pick up some @REDC for a few hundred. That’s all.

  168. kettle1 says:

    outofstater,

    I dont have an opinion on the bill yet, not enough info,

    but the government can already setup camps on military bases or government property using authority it already has under FEMA as well as other state and federal regulation.

  169. NJGator says:

    Just spoke to my mom. She was at a Superbowl Party last night where her friends were openly telling everyone that their daughter and her husband short sold their home in Martinsville. They had a second kid, didn’t want to live there anymore (could still afford it though) and decided to just walk away and rent a townhouse near her folks. Husband is a Newark PO. Another friend’s daughter is about to get divorced and will also be short selling her condo soon.

    The banks are toast.

  170. Hard Place says:

    Sybarite,

    Hard Place,

    Were you the guy talking about Morristown’s legal quandries? Can you expand on that a bit?

    Sorry wasn’t me.

  171. Shore Guy says:

    “long the dogs of the dow and short the spiders.”

  172. Shore Guy says:

    “long the dogs of the dow and short the spiders.”

  173. Shore Guy says:

    “long the dogs of the dow and short the spiders.”

    Preface that with, “Aye, Matey,” and it sounds like something a 17th century pirate would say.

  174. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    Please kill this msg and the phantoms from 12:23

  175. BB says:

    Can someone get me the address for MLS ID #2617618? Thanks!

  176. Shore Guy says:

    “I started my insurance discount search this weekend. ”

    USAA, is the only way to go for ANY insurance.

  177. Shore Guy says:

    About airline profits. I suspect that if issues in the Horn of Africa develop further, the airlines are going to take both physical and financial hits. It is a mess and we are ignoring it. Beware of al Shabaab.

  178. kettle1 says:

    a good description of the current dillema from denniger

    “It is absolutely critical that Obama and Congress understand these facts (and they really are simple; we have $53 trillion in public and private debt – that is, credit – and yet the monetary base is just shy of $2 trillion up from the “normal” $800 billion or so) – it is not mathematically possible for a $2 trillion dollar thing to control the outcome of a $53 trillion thing, especially when you are threatening to add $7 trillion to it.””

  179. skep-tic says:

    if you want to drastically raise taxes on “the rich” you need to put in more brackets. big difference between someone making $350k and 350mm

  180. safeashouses says:

    #142 sean,

    Who gets to be clot’s roommate?

  181. Shore Guy says:

    As for the halftime show, I don’t think Bruce translated well to video – at least not after seeing him enough to have a feel for the power of a live E Street Band performance.

    Last year we had a chance to see him a few different times in a few different states and enjoyed the then-new album too. From the first couple of notes on the Magic album, it had me wanting to listen more and there are a number of tracks worthy of Darkness, Born, and the River on Magic.

    As I understand things, Springsteen usually takes a LONG time in the studio when making an album. I read that the new one is made up of songs written wuickly and recorded in 2-3 takes; it sounds like it, and seems to lack the care usually given to his music. One wonders if it was just what had to be done to satisfy the record contract and try to draw attention away from the best of album he is selling through his deal with WalMart.

    When we see him on tour this year, I hope he treads lightly on the new album. Lucky Town and Human Touch were bad enough…. well, they say bad news comes in threes. Perhaps next year he will put out something worth buying.

  182. skep-tic says:

    #168

    “In addition, more than 200,000 state workers are scheduled to take two days a month off without pay starting Friday as part of a furlough plan backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    “This time, there are real-world consequences,” said H.D. Palmer, “Because we have not been able to get to a budget agreement, payments aren’t going to be made.”

    who got next?”

    ***************

    RI and MI

  183. spam spam bacon spam says:

    at 80, comrade nom deplume says:

    Saw your post. I have a few observations

    1. I am serious
    *****************
    I think you think you are. Too.
    *****************

    2. I cannot “do” anything right now (I could but it would be idiotic to try on my own, and for many of the reasons you gave). That is the purpose of planning and organizing versus buying a ski house with a few acres of rocky slope.

    ****************
    Unfortunately, nature takes time. The sooner you start, the sooner it’s ll be up and working. You CAN plan too much and not EXECUTE enough…
    ****************

    3. I had already given thought to a lot of what you mention (though not your sublateral support points, which are well-taken, thanks).

    ****************
    Cool. I’m just tossing stuff out there. Brain fodder :)
    ****************

    4. Some of us lawyers can actually repair power tools, re-roof a house, or operate heavy equipment. I have done all these things and more.

    ****************
    Oh, didn’t mean to imply you can’t…the “tools” issue was meant a heads up as to needing them and a way to repair them, as in fire/anvil/hammer/tongs/tempering solution, etc…
    ****************

    5. I am not a farmer, not trying to pose as a farmer, and have no desire to be a farmer. That said, while I hope never to have to learn what you know, I feel reasonably confident that I can learn it.

    ****************
    In the big sense, you don’t need to be a “farmer”. But you will need to be a farmer in the smaller sense… small crops, orchard, etc…it’s easy to learn, comes with a lot of trials and tribulations and certainly gives you a sense of responsibility…
    ****************
    And I do know that you can’t farm land you don’t own or have rights to, or retreat to a safe location you don’t have. First things first.

    6. Finally, I am surprised at the implicit suggestion that anyone who wants to have something akin to the same level of self-sufficiency as yourself is a crackpot.

    ****************
    Not a crackpot. Didn’t say that. (Re and Bi are crackpots.) I think you are a daydreamer. A Walter Mitty. A talker, not a do-er.
    ****************

    I *THINK* (warning, opinion ahead!) that you are enamored with/about your weapons and have developed a fantasy about how you and your trusty weapons would take on “the zombies” after a catastrophic event. “Night of the Living Dead” meets Snake Pliskin…

    I’m not sure if I’ve even seen your description of what type of event(s) you would be preparing for…

    (I could have missed it, though)

    Again, I would and certainly could help, although I’m no expert myself. I could just tell you my exoperiences and how we overcame them and what pitfalls we either encountered or escaped by luck…

  184. lisoosh says:

    skep-tic says:
    February 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm
    “if you want to drastically raise taxes on “the rich” you need to put in more brackets. big difference between someone making $350k and 350mm”

    No, flat tax would work fine – just as long as ALL income was taxed and there wasn’t the plethora of write-offs for the rich that exists now.

    Currently, wage slaves are hardest hit and lower income earners pay much bigger percentage of their income on the regressive taxes, such as sales tax.

  185. spam spam bacon spam says:

    ummmmm, kettle are you in your manic phase?

    7:09pm, 2:26am, 6:46am, 12:18pm…

  186. spam spam bacon spam says:

    no wonder why you’re so smart.

    you never sleep!

  187. kettle1 says:

    Spam,

    Yes, didnt sleep last night. brain wouldnt stop running. ever have that problem? it sucks. maybe i should try polyphasic sleep

    it gives you lots of time for reading….

    Or planning your evil empire!!!!!!

    note to self: check on progress of secret arctic command center

  188. comrade nom deplume says:

    [186] spam

    “I think you are a daydreamer. A Walter Mitty. A talker, not a do-er.”

    Ouch. Well, until I do something tangible beyond research and marketing, I will have to live with that. I wish I were further along but part of the plan involves finding co-investors and so far, I have only one (for tax optimization and making it less painful financially, I require more participants).

    “I *THINK* (warning, opinion ahead!) that you are enamored with/about your weapons”

    There I have to disagree. I don’t think I went nuts (I have acquired 1 (used) rifle in the last 10 years and have no plans for more), and based on what I read, Grim is better-armed than I. What I have written most about is changes I expect (like H.R. 45 or the N.J. ammo micro-encoding requirement) and what I think they mean, which is get yours now. I view it like insurance: Better to have it and not need it than the other way around. Still, I have been a sport shooter for 35 years, so I do get use and enjoyment out of my “investments.”

    As for your counsel, yes, it would be invaluable going forward, esp. once I am in a position to evaluate properties. This is where I know I don’t possess all of the requisite knowledge (that and I cannot forge my own tools or properly dress game).

  189. Stu says:

    Nom/bacon,

    Can I clean out the stables? I’m a very good cook as well.

  190. HEHEHE says:

    Fantastic:

    “2. Point: The Dollar is Doomed…

    I’ll be blunt. The US dollar is doomed.

    Today, our country (government and private citizens) are carrying a debt load of more than $13 trillion dollars (almost 400% of GDP), and the borrowing is far from over. To put that number in perspective, consider that one billion seconds is about 32 years, but one trillion seconds is nearly 32 thousand years. Our debt is massive.

    Remember, the government can’t create wealth and productivity; it can only transfer it from one party to another. As a country, where we were once borrowing this money from the rest of the world, mainly China and Japan, we’re now reduced to printing this money out of thin air and the end result will be the inevitable devaluation of the US dollar.

    Well, that’s one way to look at it. But there’s another side to this… ahem… coin…”

    http://www.minyanville.com/articles/index/a/20883

  191. skep-tic says:

    I agree that flat tax idea with no deductions is best in theory, but I don’t see it ever happening because legislators would then be unable to reward their pals. assuming the existing tax code is tinkered with, rather than thrown out, I think having more brackets is sensible.

  192. NJGator says:

    Nom – I’m up for investing, but am not sure if my position as spouse of Stu disqualifies me from doing so.

    Remember, you might need someone to vouch for you with the proletariot, so we could be useful.

  193. Clotpoll says:

    make (150)-

    Should be fun to watch the Knicks vs Cleveland or Boston in the first playoff round.

    D’Antoni is God.

  194. kettle1 says:

    Skeptic,

    the way california is going i am beginning to wonder if that will be a start of a tax revolt. Once funds run dry at the local municipal level.

  195. John says:

    The middle class rich 100K to 5000K already pay way too much taxes, at that salary you can’t really afford to set up complicated tax shelters or pay for $500 an hour tax accountants so you just get nailed. The under 100K crowd and over one million crowd are the real tax cheats.

  196. Stu says:

    John,

    “The middle class rich 100K to 5000K already pay way too much taxes, at that salary you can’t really afford to set up complicated tax shelters or pay for $500 an hour tax accountants so you just get nailed. The under 100K crowd and over one million crowd are the real tax cheats.”

    For once I fully agree with you!

  197. Clotpoll says:

    Gator (172)-

    Two Chapter 7 FK’s at a ten-family party I went to last night. Debts out the gazoo, no equity to preserve, income and dependents well within limits.

    Both are thrilled. They get to reset the meter at 0 (albeit sans credit cards).

  198. Clotpoll says:

    safe (183)-

    Whoever it is had better be quick on the draw.

    “Who gets to be clot’s roommate?”

  199. Stu says:

    GE:
    P/E Ratio: 6.79
    PEG Ratio: 1.07955

    I am stunned!

  200. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (190)-

    Two words:

    sleeping pills

  201. Stu says:

    “Who gets to be clot’s roommate?”

    I don’t care who my roommate is as long as long as I get to keep a loose I on the stash of the shiny stuff. My guess is that there would be such distrust of each other that we would all send up sleeping in the same room.

    Compound and orgy?

  202. Stu says:

    “Compound and orgy”

    Would help keep the heating bills down I suppose.

  203. John says:

    Can I borrow a billion from Citi at 4% to invest in their 10% bonds, I really promise to pay it back as long as I can keep my 60 million a year interest income.

    CITIGROUP NOTES 5.625% 08/27/2012 ISIN #US172967BP57 SEDOL #7666900
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 87.000
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 10.056%

  204. Macy’s cuts dividend and 7k jobs.
    Did anyone call a Macy’s bk for the `09 predictions?

  205. Stu says:

    “Did anyone call a Macy’s bk for the `09 predictions?”

    I called Sear’s holding and got lambasted for their RE holdings having too much value. What value?

  206. yikes says:

    boy, the republicans were doing great things while fighting this stimulus tax bill …

    and now some republican clown in Missouri comes out and basically says that companies should fire foreign workers first.

    wow. this won’t end well.

  207. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/28978347

    Here B.O. says tht the stimulus package “Must pass despite modest differences”

    MODEST differences? One side says borrow a trillion to spend on ordinary expenses and the other side says spend less, cut more, and only spend on thiongs that will affect us in the long term.

    Modest differences? It is like a polygimist saying that because he and his non-polygimast wifr both believe in marriage they are in basic agreement and their differences about how they view marriage are “modest.”

    Uggh.

  208. kettle1 says:

    stu,

    every one gets their own stash. bring your own shiney stuff AND your own safe.

    The safe gets cast into the concrete foundation, that way they cant grow legs without taking the building with it.

    Clot,

    if i really want to sleep i will meditate. works pretty well, but may take about 45 minutes unless i end up in a lucid dream. those are fun though so i dont mind

  209. Stu says:

    “and now some republican clown in Missouri comes out and basically says that companies should fire foreign workers first.”

    Shouldn’t be long before someone blames the whole recession on the Hebrews. I just hope that person is not much of a motivational speaker. The sheep are easily herded by one well prepared dog.

  210. #209 – I had picked Sears too. I knew about the real estate holdings, but NO ONE SHOPS THERE!
    I may be wrong…

  211. Stu says:

    ShoreGuy:

    “MODEST differences? One side says borrow a trillion to spend on ordinary expenses and the other side says spend less, cut more, and only spend on thiongs that will affect us in the long term.”

    Just a month ago, wasn’t it the congress who was saying the same things to Paulson when he was lobbying for TARP 1?

    Boy how quickly the roles reversed.

  212. Victorian says:

    Shore (211) –
    Can you give us a link of what the Reps propose? (besides more tax cuts, of course).

  213. Shore Guy says:

    From the lost gold story:

    “A Brinks executive in Los Angeles said he had been advised by his lawyers not to comment.

    Where the millions of dollars in customers’ money went is unclear.

    Vegas, perhaps?

  214. grim says:

    Hebrews? Nah, everyone knows it was the Frugalites.

  215. Clotpoll says:

    shore (211)-

    We should all pause to remember that the current prez is a very young, very inexperienced Chicago machine political hack, who has no legislative track record and whose executive career just started two weeks ago.

  216. Shore Guy says:

    Victorian,

    Most of them just propose voting out Dems and electing more Reps ao the senior Reps may have committer ciaris and more staff.

  217. chicagofinance says:

    toshiro_mifnue says:
    February 2, 2009 at 1:26 pm
    Macy’s cuts dividend and 7k jobs.
    Did anyone call a Macy’s bk for the `09 predictions?

    tosh: I said it was possible in a meeting in November….around the time I sent that thing about don’t buy gift cards right before T-giving if you recall.

  218. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    Other than that, all is well.Oh, while we are watching him shuttle troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, keep your eyes on the Horn. We seem to think we “did” that in the 90s. It may well be that this time it intends to DO us (the West that is).

  219. Stu says:

    John,

    Any good GE bonds out there? 10% dividend (CEO virtually promised to keep it where it’s at for at least one more year), also too big to fail and is still a nice energy infrastructure play in the long run. You could try your short the stock, long the bond strategy here.

  220. Shore Guy says:

    “Frugalites”

    Sounds like a discount diet cereal.

  221. #222 – Ahh, I thought someone here had mentioned them.

  222. grim says:

    WSJ reporting that Morgan Stanley laying off up to 1800

  223. Stu says:

    “Frugalites”

    I thought those were the cheap people in training.

  224. grim says:

    I thought those were the cheap people in training.

    They run a militant training camp out of the back room of an atlantic city buffet.

  225. skep-tic says:

    #211

    “MODEST differences? One side says borrow a trillion to spend on ordinary expenses and the other side says spend less, cut more, and only spend on thiongs that will affect us in the long term.”

    GOP is right here (IMO), but unfortunately they have zero credibility at this point on economic matters (or much else). Only potential check on congressional dems is Mr. O. I hope he understands that he is betting his reelection on the success of this deeply flawed bill

  226. Stu says:

    “They run a militant training camp out of the back room of an atlantic city buffet.”

    Do you think they strategize on the free bus ride down?

    My parents like to tell me about a few of their neighbors (active adult community) who take the free bus back and forth each day for the free meal voucher and $10 in coin often offered. I suppose it beats tender vittles, but barely.

  227. skep-tic says:

    #215

    “Shouldn’t be long before someone blames the whole recession on the Hebrews. I just hope that person is not much of a motivational speaker. The sheep are easily herded by one well prepared dog.”

    watching the way people are zombies for Mr. O makes me relieved that he does seem to be fundamentally reasonable guy. It is easy to see how the public could fall in line behind someone with his rhetorical gifts who is not so nice.

  228. Shore Guy says:

    Skep,

    If hi intends to be true to his words, he needs to veto this Christmas Tree and ask for a clean and targeted bill.

    I doubt it will happen.

  229. Outofstater says:

    “Frugalites” I thought that was Clot’s army. Visigoths, Frugalites, yeah, I’m sure that’s right.

  230. John says:

    Close to 8% on long term GE which is amazing when you consider 30 year bonds are at 3% and this 23 year triple AAA GE is almost 500 bps higher. Supposedly they are both AAA and taxable so the spread should be nowhere near that high

    GENERAL ELEC CAP CORP MTN BE FR 6.750% 03/15/2032 MAKE WHOLE
    Price (Ask) 90.199
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 7.660%

  231. Stu says:

    “I hope he understands that he is betting his reelection on the success of this deeply flawed bill”

    He was dead in the water the day he was elected. At this point, it really doesn’t matter much anymore. There are very few options left to get out of this hole.

    When we were kids, we all joked that we were digging a hole to China. Sadly, we may just have succeeded?

  232. Stu says:

    “When we were kids, we all joked that we were digging a hole to China. Sadly, we may just have succeeded?”

    Can I market that before Krugman steals it?

  233. Happy Daze says:

    Sean, ShoreGuy:

    For once I’m happy to have poor phone service.
    When I got the sales call,
    I thought they were asking me to invest in
    cold bouillion!

    Fortunately I passed since I heard the Frugalites were cornering the market at their buffet.

  234. make money says:

    Clot 64

    This guy will be studied f ryears in business school as the poster boy of the Gold Standard.

    http://i732.photobucket.com/albums/ww329/blackfridayarmy/money/bernanke-bill-1.jpg

  235. Jill says:

    Stu: So does this mean that Evita Mooselini from Alaska becomes president in 2012? That’s enough to make me hope the Mayans are correct.

  236. chicagofinance says:

    John says:
    February 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm
    Close to 8% on long term GE which is amazing when you consider 30 year bonds are at 3% and this 23 year triple AAA GE is almost 500 bps higher. Supposedly they are both AAA and taxable so the spread should be nowhere near that high

    GENERAL ELEC CAP CORP MTN BE FR 6.750% 03/15/2032 MAKE WHOLE
    Price (Ask) 90.199
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 7.660%

    JJ: corporates are not munis….you are getting underpaid to go out the curve…keep it 10 years and in…..

  237. PeaceNow says:

    Stu–

    I used to want kettle’s job, but now I want yours. You are at work, aren’t you?

  238. Clotpoll says:

    John (236)-

    “AAA”. Yeah, right.

  239. John says:

    ChiFI I know, but it still goes to show what a sham GEs triple AAA rating is when it is 500bps more that a triple AAA treasury. No one in the bond market is pricing it like a Triple AAA company.

    In munis there is a crazy steep yield right now. 10-20 is a very sweet spot. That tax free 5% rate is going to be even tastier in 2010 when tax rates go up. That is a good place to put a 1-12 year olds college fund.

  240. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Banks continue to squeeze credit for consumers, businesses

    Fed reports most banks impose tighter lending standards

    No banks made it easier for consumers to obtain credit: Fed

  241. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Fed Says Most U.S. Banks Tightened Loan Terms in Past 3 Months

    A majority of U.S. banks made it tougher for consumers and businesses to get credit in the past three months even as lenders received infusions of taxpayer funds, a Federal Reserve report showed today.

    “About 65 percent of domestic banks reported having tightened lending standards on commercial and industrial loans to large and middle-market firms,” the Fed said in its quarterly Senior Loan Officer survey. “Large fractions of domestic banks continued to report a tightening of policies on both credit-card and other consumer loans.”

  242. #246 – No banks made it easier for consumers to obtain credit

    The Fed is obviously not counting themselves in this.

  243. Stu says:

    Yes,

    Unfortunately, work is not as busy as it used to be (financial printer). In reality, I should be using my time more productively as I am actually juggling a lot of projects at once. Ultimately, you are correct.

  244. John says:

    Great, heard the name of new bad bank is going to be “Capital None”, slogan will be what;s in your wallet? and the answer will be Uncle Sam.

  245. yikes says:

    Sean says:
    February 2, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Crap –

    A bill was recently introduced in Congress by Democrat Rep. Alice Hastings of Florida to grant authority to hold the civilian population inside closed military camps.

    H. R. 645

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.645:

    i see nothing, can you copy/paste?

  246. Hobocondo says:

    Yesterday I noticed a lot of people coming home (I live in a large building) with arms full of shopping bags. SOMEONE is buying. Actually, right now the sales are so good that if you have a job, you can get fabulous prices on things.

  247. yikes says:

    kettle – just saw what you posted. are you sure that reads, “hold the civilian population inside closed military camps.”

    ??

  248. kettle1 says:

    Tosh 248,

    Has bernanke been hanging out with phelps???? if a 0 down option arm for a home that is 5-8X a persons income isnt easy credit then what is?

  249. Clotpoll says:

    make (240)-

    Soup into the computer screen!

  250. HEHEHE says:

    This is a better bill, The Rangel Rule:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.735:

  251. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (248)-

    The Fed is a bank?

  252. Sean says:

    Damm Terrorists are at it again.

    Goldman Says Buy Puts Because U.S. Stocks May Resume Retreat

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aotLF3OO7sDQ&refer=home

  253. kettle1 says:

    Yikes,

    “hold the civilian population inside closed military camps.”

    I dont believe i said that, i think that was seans interpretation. I said that i have not seen enough info.

  254. Sean says:

    Looks like no IOUs in California, surprise, surprise the banks won’t take them, one million people will just have to go without their disability checks.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/California-Crisis-Deepens-Are-cnbc-14225310.html

    Those denied payments will not be receiving IOUs in lieu of checks, despite reports to the contrary. Controller Chiang’s office tells CNBC that IOU’s “are a last resort.”
    On his Web site, he explains why:

    “There are no assurances at this time that all financial institutions will accept registered warrants (IOUs) and it is unlikely that any registered warrants issued will be redeemed by the state for several months. Additionally, registered warrants likely will complicate the cash flow borrowing which the State will be required to undertake in July. As the Governor and Legislature work to fix our budget, they are expected to need short-term or cash-flow borrowing from the credit markets to make any new budget work.”

  255. #254 – On a side note, does anyone care, and I mean really care that that Phelps kid was doing bong hits?
    Or is this just so much noise in the background of life that we have a conditioned response to and it’s condemned without acutally thinking about it….
    Just sayin’

  256. #257 – The Fed is a bank?

    Well, kinda…

  257. Clotpoll says:

    sean (258)-

    No, it means the prop traders at GS (all four who are left) are buying calls.

    Would you like a toaster with your puts?

  258. Clotpoll says:

    sean (260)-

    “Registered warrants”.

    This gets my vote as best euphemism of all time.

  259. Clotpoll says:

    I’m still waiting on GS’ passbook savings plan, Christmas Club and ATM cards.

  260. Ben says:

    I dunno about you guys, but I haven’t spend any money on any of these consumer goods the past 8 years. Now that we are having all these price cuts, I’m actually considering spending money.

  261. comrade nom deplume says:

    [193] stu,

    Of course you can volunteer for that duty. I seriously doubt you would want to sleep with that stuff around, would you?

    [196] gator.

    Of course you aren’t disqualified. See above.
    Besides, Stu said something about an orgy???? ;-0

  262. comrade nom deplume says:

    [243] peacenow,

    You may want to rethink that. I suspect Kettle’s job has a greater probability of longevity, given their respective industries.

  263. Victorian says:

    Clot (257) –

    “The Fed is a bank?”

    – I would say it is the epitome of a “Bad Bank”.

  264. PGC says:

    #240 make money

    When you read that Bullion Reserve story, did you have a momentary doubt that the contents of that shelf with your name on it in Australia might just be bare?

    Stu, are you still confident using Bullion Vault?

  265. Stu says:

    True. Nom. I’m surprised that I am still here.

  266. Hard Place says:

    I dunno about you guys, but I haven’t spend any money on any of these consumer goods the past 8 years. Now that we are having all these price cuts, I’m actually considering spending money.

    I’ve been on a spending spree. Bought a 46” plasma screen last month and two pairs of shoes last week. First tv I’ve bought in almost 10 years and shoes I probably bought replace some worn out pairs I’ve had for at least 5 years. I’m a strong proponent of resoling shoes. Shoes were more than 50% ff retail. Next might be to replace some of my holier than thou socks and undershirts. Might as well replace some late ‘90s pants too. The new pants I bought last year seem to be less full in the legs and thighs. I’m skinny, but not that skinny. I guess it is a sign of the times. Make pants tighter so it’s harder to pull your wallet out.

  267. Victorian says:

    “Poll: 6 In 10 Americans Say No More Funds For Bailout”

    Some folks at CR opined that the “bad bank” proposal is a trial balloon. Obama put it out there in conjunction with the banker bonus story to drive public opinion against it. So that people will gravitate towards nationalizing the banks.

    I am hoping that this is the case. If not, then indeed, the new boss is the same as the old boss. The appointment of Geithner has driven me halfway to that point.

  268. Stu says:

    Stu, are you still confident using Bullion Vault?

    Actually, I have nothing there yet except for that free gram they gave me when I signed up. At this point I probably have a gram and a quarter :P

    Outside of defending the physical yourself and the costs involved with it, I still feel Bullion Vault is 100 times safer than paper gold. Too be honest with you, if Bullion Vault goes, I imagine we will be well into our compound by then.

  269. Clotpoll says:

    stu (276)-

    Free gram of what?

  270. kettle1 says:

    PGC,

    that is why any physical i own is under my direct control other wise its no more secure then paper dollars in this environment. I do own some shiny paper, but i consider that to basically be a gamble.

  271. John says:

    I am shopping too, Marshalls, TJ Maxx etc. usually has junk, now it is high end stuff you never see. Great time to buy a car too, great time to buy everything except real estate. I am just waiting for the deadbeats to move out of my future mcmansion so I can buy it at 40 cents on a dollar.

  272. Stu says:

    Clotpoll:

    They give you a free gram of gold to play around with their trading system when you sign up. I haven’t put any of my own money in yet, but will try to cash out that free gram soon enough to see if they appear legit. Don’t even guess what price I got the gram at?

  273. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (280)-

    I like the free $25 Forex trading account you get when you sign up for the CNBC contest.

    I took that $25 and pointed it right at Mrs. Watanabe. Works like a charm.

  274. comrade nom deplume says:

    scribe,

    Since you asked. It makes the point very clearly about who will bear the brunt of higher taxes at all levels.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/24/magazines/fortune/tully_henrys.fortune/index.htm

  275. Stu says:

    Victorian… This is a good thread on their legitimacy.

    https://www.kitcomm.com/showthread.php?t=31362

    I would be most concerned about the difficulty in selling the shiny in their closed market if no one was willing to buy. This could happen and leave you with a very steep loss. Then again, same could happen holding the physical. Logistics of buying and selling gold kind of suck, from what I’ve heard, but I’m no expert. I’m also not greedy, so I don’t think I would stay in gold through a very pronounced downturn.

  276. Doyle says:

    #252

    Agreed. I know things are bad out there, but we ran to the mall Sat at 6p to get the little guy sneaks and it was packed. We then drove back down Rt. 46 / 3 East and restaurants / movie theater / strip malls parking lots were all jammed. We then went out to dinner at a bar/restaurant and waited an hour for a table. Granted we got 30% off on two pairs of sneaks, which was an awesome deal.

    My wife doesn’t pay attention to much of anything, and she kept saying “aren’t we supposed to be headed for a depression?”.

    I guess nobody was buying anything expensive, but it sure seemed weird.

  277. kettle1 says:

    Doyle,

    most people are still absorbing the idea of a recession, forget depression, that hasnt even begun to enter the public consciousness yet.

  278. Sean says:

    Whole slew of new legislation coming to prop up Housing Markets.

    4% Mortgages
    Tax Credits
    Forclosure prevention measures.

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/01/news/economy/Senate_stimulus_housing/index.htm?postversion=2009020117

  279. skep-tic says:

    I actually haven’t changed my lifestyle at all. There is really not much that I want to buy. I look cool enough in my zubaz pants so why change?

  280. grim says:

    Whole slew of new legislation coming to prop up Housing Markets.

    Will most certainly kill any chance at a spring market this year.

    Why buy now? Wait for your 4% mortgage.

  281. randy says:

    down in Atlantic City on Saturday… restaurant we were at was PACKED (Dock’s Oyster House), you would think these were the go-go days. Irish Pub on St James? Packed… Hotel rates at the casinos? $250 and up (Borgata = $399) .. now granted these same hotels were all $400 on Saturdays last year and Borgata was $500 but still, $250 ain’t cheap and the casinos are doing well if they’re getting 80-90% occupancy with those rates!

    went to Resorts around midnight and had my choice of roulette tables, wife hit 2 small jackpots on a nearby slot machine and there was room enough for me to do some tumbling and an “Army” roll right in front of the cashier’s window. In other words, Resorts did not look healthy.

  282. randy says:

    6 in 10 opposed to more bailouts?

    who the hell are the 4 in 10 that are hip to more bailing out?!?!

  283. Stu says:

    “Irish Pub”

    I love that place!

  284. freedy says:

    now randy, who would you thinK.

    trenton,orange,paterson,elizabeth,patterson,camden, plainfield,dover,

  285. Stu says:

    “who the hell are the 4 in 10 that are hip to more bailing out?!?!’

    Well 1 works on Wall Street and the other 3 don’t, but were paid by the banker (via his generous bonus) to vote in favor of more bailouts.

  286. Victorian says:

    Was talking to my friend at FRE a while back. It is amazing to witness the sense of entitlement amongst these tarped out guys.

    He is a s/w developer over there and says that he deserves a bonus because he worked hard during the year and was good at it.

  287. Stu says:

    I should probably pay my employer a bonus then. I almost forgot, I have already involuntarily given him 10% of my salary.

  288. Sybarite says:

    freedy = frank?

  289. Shore Guy says:

    “who the hell are the 4 in 10 that are hip to more bailing out?!?!”

    Bankers and the people who pay little to no taxes and instead receive from government benefits paid by those of us who do and — interestingly enough — likely make up the other 6 in 10.

  290. Shore Guy says:

    Merrill doing that across the board?

  291. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    But with deflation, it is only an 8 or 9% cut in real dollars.

  292. scribe says:

    I still want to know what a HENRY is.

    Nom?

  293. Stu says:

    Shore Guy,

    It was done in October. 15% at executive level, but probably not smart for me to discuss that here.

  294. Sybarite says:

    scribe

    I believe “High Earner, Not Rich Yet”
    or something along those lines

  295. randy says:

    Stu, Irish Pub is my favorite drinking establishment. the crowd is rough around the edges late at night… lots of lonely or angry single guys that will shoot you nasty looks and rudely attempt listen to your conversations if you come with a lady.

    the bartenders are great guys and there are always off-duty cops there drinking so i never worry… anyway, the ambience is truly “historic”

  296. Shore Guy says:

    Indeed. Well, in the current climate 90% of prior earnings is better than 0%.

  297. Shore Guy says:

    Any truth to the report that Mitch McConnell, in the interest of stimulating Americans into buying is proposing an all soft-porn PBS station, which will accept commercials from victoria’s secret, and related firms? WWBT? (What would Barney think?).

  298. jcer says:

    Victorian, the truth is the Software people and operations types probably do deserve a decent bonus this year. While their companies are doing poorly many are not compensated very highly and bonus was important. Also they probably weren’t doing extremely well when times were good and now they are being punished when times are bad. I can understand why they feel they deserve a bonus but also understand why they probably won’t get one. Additionally with what has gone on, structural changes, layoffs, etc their jobs have gotten harder and they are being asked to do more with less. The problem is most banks are stiffing the lower level people and still paying bankers.

  299. RentinginNJ says:

    Why buy now? Wait for your 4% mortgage.

    Your friendly local Realtor® would be able to tell you that once the 4% mortgage went through, housing prices would rise in response. After all, housing prices “always go up” when interest rates drop…and then, you would be priced-out of the house of your dreams forever.

    Your local NAR member would council you to take advantage of this time before the rate drops to 4% to buy a house while the selection is great and prices are attractive, which could be refinanced later when the rates drop.

  300. Shore Guy says:

    First PB, now this:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,486534,00.html

    So much for PB and Shroom sandwiches for awhile.

  301. scribe says:

    Syb,

    Thank you! :)

  302. Ben says:

    if those who don’t buy are priced out forever, who do those who own sell to?

  303. Shore Guy says:

    Did anyone catch the ReMax commercial on the Westwood One broadcast of the game last night? The message? Buy now or get priced out.

  304. Ben says:

    side note: the only thing I’ve ever been priced out forever from is Berkshire Hathaway, but even that looks like it may be changing.

  305. Shore Guy says:

    Pufffffff-up

  306. Victorian says:

    jcer (305) –

    Ultimately, the bonus is based on the underlying business’s success/failure.
    If they feel they were stiffed during the boom, they had a chance to migrate to a different industry.

  307. Shore Guy says:

    Puffffff-up
    The housing prices
    Whatever you do
    If peoples’ housing values fall
    They will stop voting for you

    The only way they can buy
    Is to get a loan
    From over-inflated values

  308. Shore Guy says:

    that some put on their home

  309. Shore Guy says:

    anyway, work calls.

  310. PBI says:

    currently 9 – 10 month supply of houses on market. Can’t see how any one would be “priced out of the market” even w/ 4% rates. You were stupid to buy during the bubble & really upset you didn’t wait a few years. You just had to be like everyone else.

  311. John says:

    the 6 out of 10 are just stupid people.

  312. jcer says:

    Victorian, that is not really the point. The point is that when your pay structure relies on bonus, it is not really a bonus anymore but is regarded as income especially for the people working in ops. If the person felt their combined salary bonus on average for the last 5 years was reasonable they were not going to leave for money but when an operations person is asked to work considerably more and then is given what amounts to a 25% pay reduction of course they are going to be unhappy about it and believe they are owed a bonus. Additionally ask the person in the good times and they wold state that since what they do does not drive revenue their bonus was small. My point essentially is ops people are disconnected from the revenue stream and bonus really was a pay substitute. until you have worked for a financial firm you would not understand it. Additionally with regards to compensation, a person should be compensated for the value of their work not the performance of the company. Short of being a banker or an MD, nobody was really compensated based on the firms performance and thus really don’t deserve to be penalized in the other direction. Understandably most people left realize the reality of the situation and are taking pay cuts and no bonus because in general we are glad to still have jobs.

  313. RayC says:

    I have question to realtors –

    If you have a client that is planning to get mortgage through a lending tree reference i.e. a remote bank, does that cause delays? Do you suggest only using local people?

    I have not applied for a mortgage before and the selling agent for the bank owned property I am looking for is “suggesting” using a guy he knows, because he claims any online broker will change their rates a few weeks into the process

  314. skep-tic says:

    #310

    “if those who don’t buy are priced out forever, who do those who own sell to?”

    PhD candidates in philosophy are no doubt working on this right now.

  315. kettle1 says:

    U.S. Homelessness Surges as Funding Falters

    Shelters across the country report that more people are seeking emergency shelter and more are being turned away. In a report published in December, 330 school districts identified the same number or more homeless students in the first few months of the school year than they identified in the entire previous year. Meantime, demand is sharply up at soup kitchens, an indication of deepening hardship and potential homelessness.

    http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20090201144810815

  316. Sybarite says:

    RayC,

    I think your agent makes a cut on referrals.

    As far as I know, once you “lock” in your rate, the lender can’t change it. You should also ask for a good faith estimate of closing costs from whomever you end up using to make sure they don’t have some bogus fees stuffed in there.

    YMMV

  317. skep-tic says:

    RayC– not a realtor, but I can tell you that a prior agent we used tried to make us feel uncomfortable about where we were getting our financing with the suggestion that we go through her friend. We declined. One of the first things our new agent (who is much better in many ways) said to us was that sellers do not need to know nor should it matter what kind and from where you are getting your financing. So I would say that you should be careful as to whether your agent is really looking out for you here.

  318. chicagofinance says:

    My anecdotes on how things are going:

    #1 In a nice upscale take-out sandwich place on Friday from 11:50AM-12:40PM. NO LUNCH RUSH except about 6-7 people around 12:25PM. The family that runs the place were basically standing around. Unsolicited the matriach comes up to me and thank me for coming. We make some small talk. She says that they can make it through the winter and they are hoping things pick up in the warmer weather.

    #2 Slobby husband of realtor on Saturday morning (sweats with belly hanging half-way out). Making small talk with him. He said he is going to the Atlantic City, so I assumed it would be one of the crappy places. I didn’t show it, but he said he was going to the Borgata and -GET THIS- they comped him a room ON A SATURDAY??!!?? The only explanation I have is that he is a black card holder, gets really drunk, and just pisses away money OR things are REALLY BAD.

  319. kettle1 says:

    F

    Construction spending posts record drop in 2008

    U.S. construction spending fell for a third straight month in December, closing out a year in which building activity dropped by a record amount as housing continued to plunge. And economists don’t expect a quick turnaround amid a severe recession and the ongoing financial crisis. The Commerce Department said Monday that total construction spending dropped by 1.4 percent in December, slightly worse than the 1.2 percent decline economists expected. For the year, construction spending fell by a record 5.1 percent, surpassing the 2.6 percent decline in 2007. The weakness in both years reflected huge declines in home construction, which fell 27.2 percent last year, the largest drop on records going back to 1993.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/02/02/business/NA-US-Construction-Spending.php

  320. Barbara says:

    266.
    “Ben
    I dunno about you guys, but I haven’t spend any money on any of these consumer goods the past 8 years. Now that we are having all these price cuts, I’m actually considering spending money.”

    I’ve been updating stuff after 10 years of nothing. Bought a Dyson on sale, a steam mop. Just boring stuff but its nice to have new and better things and they were all on sale.

  321. Hard Place says:

    Short of being a banker or an MD, nobody was really compensated based on the firms performance and thus really don’t deserve to be penalized in the other direction. Understandably most people left realize the reality of the situation and are taking pay cuts and no bonus because in general we are glad to still have jobs.

    The front office (revenue generators) were always paid a larger portion of their compensation as bonus. Variability of magnitude was based on performance of your group. Some many multiples of their base was expected in good times. The back office typically are paid much lower bonuses and had lower variability (based on overall performance of firm). In the end neither front office or back office should be getting much in way of bonus if the firm overall wasn’t doing well. Problem is that some of these front office people still made decent bonuses after a 50%-75% cut. That’s why the clawback option makes much more sense. When the firm does not do well, the clawback will take from the guys whose risk taking caused the losses and pay off the businesses that are still doing well. This smooths over some of the salary issues. Don’t know why this was not instituted much earlier. I could go on about this issue, much more, but not enough time in the day.

  322. Essex says:

    We have a ton of land out in the boonies in South Central PA….been in the family for many years and spans acres….I would feel fine retreating there in the event of an “emergency”…..but as one who has lived in a few remote places a couple of things must be considered….KNOW THE LAY OF THE LAND…strangers in the boonies are very suspect people and can disappear as quickly as in any urban jungle. Also be careful who you make friends with…those folks are WEIRD out there for a reason.

  323. Essex says:

    326…you are a complete closet case….thus the LOVE of Depeche Mode.

  324. spam spam bacon spam says:

    I’ve bought stuff recently but will admit to not updating my wardrobe.

    I guess I gotta go get something to replace my Sergio Valente jeans and Gitano crush valor shirts….

  325. Sean says:

    re#330 – Essex, The golden rule in the boonies is when you start hearing banjoes playing run for your life.

  326. comrade nom deplume says:

    [333] sean,

    In OC-MD, we bought a t-shirt for a family friend that does a lot of whitewater in West Virginia.

    It says “Row faster, I hear banjoes”

  327. comrade nom deplume says:

    [332] spam

    Don’t forget that Members Only jacket; its probably a bit threadbare by now.

  328. Essex says:

    I like banjos…but I get your point.
    Spent a good part of my life in the sunbelt….including a stint in places quite small and somewhat remote. Once you are ‘in’ you are in for life….good people….often very very cool. But man watch out for the odd duck or two.

  329. Hobokenite says:

    “Victorian, that is not really the point. The point is that when your pay structure relies on bonus, it is not really a bonus anymore but is regarded as income especially for the people working in ops.”

    So you’re trying to tell me they get paid like $5/hour if they don’t get their bonus money?

  330. comrade nom deplume says:

    [322] skep

    Easy. To those that did buy.

    (acknowledging the applause of one hand clapping)

  331. skep-tic says:

    If NYC becomes crappy again I’m going to start dressing like Rick James.

  332. Essex says:

    339….a corpse?

  333. skep-tic says:

    the legend lives on

  334. John says:

    two year AAA muni at 1.18%, what is the point.

    NYC is crappy now, it used to be great, used to love when I came home with an open beverage at 5 am and the sun was coming out and the working girls in their torn fishnets and smeared lipstick would say good morning. I used to love the afterhours dive on my block that was open 4am till noon on my block, where bouncers, club owners and dancers would hang out. Five am Egg sandwich on the bar with a tall boy shook the cobwebs out from a long night of drinking. NYC has stunk since around 1996.

  335. jcer says:

    337, actually if you count the increase in demanded hours and reduced pay, your low level ops personnel is going from making roughly $20-25 per hour to $10 or less. I know some of these people and they are salaried to the tune of ~55k, used to getting 20k bonus for 50-55 hour weeks. Now it is like base salary, no raise, minimal bonus like 2k, 7am-7pm minimum. Meanwhile their firm gave out 4 billion in bonus. These people can’t cover their expenses on base salary.

  336. RayC says:

    Sybarite, skep-tic,

    Thanks, that reinforces what I feel.

    I did call his guy, and so far,he has matched the best rate I got, with slightly lower fees. (30 yr fixed,no points, at 5%)

  337. John says:

    BTW realtors suck. My wife is thinking of relocating us to a ritzy town. So she browse a few properties on-line and she chit chats with the realtor on-line and then asks for an appointment to see some properties. Well the realtor actually yells out YIKES when my wife wants to know what weekend she is available in January 2011. She says her appointment book does not go out that far. I guess she has a ton of business.

  338. Sybarite says:

    344
    Ray

    Sounds good; it definitely doesn’t hurt to explore your options, as sometime their people do actually have the best offers. The important thing is to actually shop around, and not just “trust” that you’re getting the best deal.

  339. Rich says:

    20 people were layed off from my job last week. It is getting bad.

  340. Rich says:

    20 people were layed off from my job last week. It is getting bad.

  341. skep-tic says:

    there are good agents out there but they are very hard to find. I am looking in several towns so have been recently trying to find an agent in a few diff’t places.

    I email realtors and say here’s what I’m interested in, I know what is on the market already since I have a computer, but I would like to use an agent to let me know which sellers are actually motivated (i.e., why are they selling). I say I am not interested in dealing with the 95% of sellers who are in dream land.

    Amazingly, the majority of agents– rather than trying to offer to provide the kind of service I am talking about– instead try to convince me that actually most places are not overpriced. I can only conclude that they are either dumb, don’t listen or don’t want the business.

    When you finally get a response from an agent who gets it, however, the difference is like night and day. So far, I have met one person like this and I wish I could clone her to work in every town.

  342. Clotpoll says:

    vic (294)-

    Sounds like the typical civil-service-type loser to me.

    I tried hard, so give me a trophy.

    Coffee is for closers.

  343. Stu says:

    “If NYC becomes crappy again I’m going to start dressing like Rick James.”

    Start?

  344. Essex says:

    John you are dumber than a box of hammers.

  345. Clotpoll says:

    Ray (321)-

    Online mortgage “services” blow. I’m not suggesting you roll over for a broker suggested by your agent, but I can tell you multiple horror stories about Lending Tree, E-Loan, Quicken, etc.

    BTW, it is a violation of RESPA for a mortgage broker to pay a RE or title agent for a referral.

  346. Stu says:

    I lost my 401K match and my retirement benefit. I don’t see anyone crying out for me. Is this any different than losing a bonus.

  347. Stu says:

    For what it’s worth Clot, E-Loan was pretty good for me and no one else came close to matching their quote.

  348. danzud says:

    As far as AC hotels rooms go, I’m going to Vegas at the end of February (NASCAR race). Hotel prices down 25-30% from last year on the south and central strip. RIO, Hilton and Palm also have low rates.

    Prices dropping on Hawaii hotels in June too. The $$$ are not getting spent.

  349. Clotpoll says:

    John (342)-

    I left Manhattan in ’89 because I couldn’t stand the theme park vibe anymore. If some grime and danger came back, I’d think about going back.

  350. Clotpoll says:

    John (345)-

    Why don’t you or your wife call me one day and ask me a smart-ass question like that?

  351. Essex says:

    I lived through the tech meltdown where you were ‘rif’ed faster than shit from a goose…no one cared…so?

  352. willwork4beer says:

    #115 Brint

    MLS#: 2636347

    1 1ST ST
    Califon Boro

    SLD: 12/21/00 $305,000
    OLP: 04/21/07 $500,000

    Withdrawn DOM: 123

    OLP: 07/23/08 $419,000
    LLP: 01/23/09 $399,900

    Expired DOM: 184

    OLP: 01/25/09 $375,000

    Active DOM: 8

    2008 assessment: $482,400

    2008 taxes: $11,230

  353. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (355)-

    You got lucky. It is a bit of a random process.

    One thing is for sure: a bank that’s not chartered in NJ is not required to disclose all kinds of pre-paids and add-ons. I have personally worked with at least half a dozen buyers over the years who went the online route, got the best rate, then found out the day before the closing that they were getting clobbered with hidden extras.

  354. Clotpoll says:

    Motto in my office:

    The customer is always wrong. If they were right- and knew what to do- they wouldn’t be coming to us.

  355. Hobokenite says:

    “I lost my 401K match and my retirement benefit. I don’t see anyone crying out for me. Is this any different than losing a bonus.”

    Of course it’s different. You don’t work in finance. Therefore no one should feel bad for you.

  356. Hobokenite says:

    Makes you wonder how anyone survived on wall street when they weren’t handing out the 6th highest amount of bonuses ever.

  357. skep-tic says:

    Clot– it is possible that some customers know what they’re doing and just want someone to do it for them, isn’t it?

  358. RayC says:

    I feel like I’m jumping off a cliff, making an offer on a house w/o an agent. I called the REO listing agent myself – but what the hell, what’s the worst that could happen? I get the house and start paying my taxes….

  359. RayC says:

    BTW, I do realize the worst is much worse than that. :)

  360. Clotpoll says:

    skep (365)-

    Yes, it is. With a good agent, the ease and convenience is a true value-add. Unfortunately, 99 out of 100 agents can take a perfectly workable deal and ruin your life.

  361. willwork4beer says:

    Anecdata:

    Got a few people in Central PA. My brother is a union master plumber, no work in January, union says they have something lined up for “maybe” end of February.

    He’s doing residential calls when he can get them, just trying to get by. And praying that big industrial job comes through later this month. Last year he was doing six or seven twelve hour days a week…

    An old friend lives just a few miles away from my brother. He got laid off today and he is pretty down about it. He says the job market out there looks awful. He’s willing to take whatever he can get.

  362. Clotpoll says:

    Ray (366)-

    With that attitude, I can safely say you deserve whatever comes.

    I could write about 10,000 words here, but it’s dinnertime.

  363. Clotpoll says:

    Ray (366)-

    Ever seen an REO where the AC wasn’t run for an entire summer?

    The phrase that pops to mind is “silent, deadly eco-bomb”.

  364. Clotpoll says:

    Don’t expect the REO agent to tell you that the AC wasn’t run for an entire summer.

    Although, most of these guys won’t screw you any more or any less than they stick it to the bank.

  365. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    They discontinued the retirement plann too? I assume it was only defined contribution to start with.

  366. Sybarite says:

    353

    Really? I thought I remember reading that there was some kind of “finder’s fee” kicked-back to agents who referred clients to a mortgage broker.

  367. Stu says:

    ShoreGuy:
    I used to get 3% of my salary placed into the old 401K which was independent of the match. It became policy when the pension was frozen. The retirement plan exists still, but no match and the worst options ever. About 7 funds total to choose from.

    Clot: Believe me Clotpoll, I made sure I knew exactly what all of the fees were and made them fax them to me broken out prior to agreeing on using them. They did change one fee (title?) since they claimed they erred when quoting me since they gave me the single family rate. We met in the middle and it was only about a $150 difference. They were completely non-existent though between the lock and the closing, but I thought that is standard operating procedure.

  368. Hard Place says:

    I called the REO listing agent myself – but what the hell, what’s the worst that could happen? I get the house and start paying my taxes….

    That’s taking initiative. No one better to represent your best interests than yourself.

  369. Clotpoll says:

    Syb (374)-

    Plenty of mortgage guys will slip cash under the table for referrals, but it is 100% illegal.

  370. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (375)-

    The average borrower doesn’t come to the fight as armed as you.

    That’s when these online guys do their best “work”.

  371. Hard Place says:

    Don’t expect the REO agent to tell you that the AC wasn’t run for an entire summer.

    The guy never said he wasn’t going to get an inspection.

  372. Stu says:

    True Clotpoll. You see the same thing when getting your chimney cleaned, when buying a car or a mattress or when dealing with most construction contractors. I usually begin the process by saying that if you try to rip me off, I will leave before you finish the sentence.

  373. Clotpoll says:

    Hard (379)-

    Inspectors miss a lot. Especially in the noted example. It’s hard to spot.

  374. sean says:

    Perhaps we should export the banksters to China? Seems Premier Wen has a bone to pick with them.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article5636572.ece

  375. Clotpoll says:

    Nice to see Mr Wen has taken a break from killing Tibetans.

  376. willwork4beer says:

    #371 Clotpoll

    Re the “silent, deadly eco-bomb”.

    Saw two short sales last fall, now both REOs. Both were very scary, felt like burning my clothes when I got home.

    Mold never sleeps.

    (all due apologies to Neil Young)

  377. willwork4beer says:

    One had a dead chipmunk in the bathtub…

  378. yikes says:

    Sean says:
    February 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Who took me pot of Gold?

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9C01E5DE173BF936A35753C1A965948260

    and i wont be doing the bouillon vault because of that. i’ll keep my shiny stuff where i keep my sawed off.

  379. RayC says:

    Thanks Hard Place – I’m getting an independent inspection, and my Dad is an Engineer who has done many home inspections. He’s a real ball breaker too. So I’ll get his opinion too.

  380. RayC says:

    Clotpoll,

    Thanks for that AC warning. It does have central air.

    I’ve been inside, it is definitely not a horror show on the surface. It is well maintained in and out. And I’m only considering it because it is significantly below everything else.

  381. d2b says:

    Progressive for insurance. We did have a claim that was not our fault and we were paid right away.

    Brother calls me to get him Bruce tickets yesterday. Said he would call back with a number. Never called. maybe that Superbowl performance scared him away. I thought Bruce jumped around like an idiot. He’s an old guy trying to act young. Seems phony. Plus I’d rather see Janet’s nipple than Springsteen’s junk flying to the screen.

    Favorite Irish Pub is the one at 11th and Walnut in Philly.

    I’m still employed for another week, but the Board meets this week. I was talking with others in my MBA class and there are no jobs out there. The scary part about unemployment are the prospects of finding a new job.

    If I do lose my job, I’m tapping my Heloc right away. My rate is about 4% interest only.

  382. Stu says:

    Yikes,

    If you read the safeguards, then you would see that the same situation is not possible with them. ViaMat insures the vault and there is a daily audit performed by Albert Goodman. To each their own. Personally, I feel the hassle of buying and selling physical is akin to root canal work. I’ll take my chances I suppose.

  383. yikes says:

    Ben says:
    February 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I dunno about you guys, but I haven’t spend any money on any of these consumer goods the past 8 years. Now that we are having all these price cuts, I’m actually considering spending money.

    spending $ is so overrated. here’s my winter clothing budget: went to macy’s looking for a couple cashmere sweaters. pick out 2 i like. go to pay – it’s like $200. while fishing in my wallet … i find a macy’s gift card!

    it had $250 on it. ended up spending $3 – on the Aunt Annie pretzel afterward.

    we’re not hoarding – but we’re DEFINITELY saving more than the 6 months that we previously thought was necessary. we want to have 50k liquid now – this downturn could last years.

    (or decades, like japan)

  384. jamil says:

    “Goldman Says Buy Puts Because U.S. Stocks May Resume Retreat”

    Goldman predicted $200 oil. They are almost as bad as experts here when it comes to investment advice..

  385. yikes says:

    Outside of defending the physical yourself and the costs involved with it, I still feel Bullion Vault is 100 times safer than paper gold. Too be honest with you, if Bullion Vault goes, I imagine we will be well into our compound by then.

    but stu, that article said buillon vault “vanished” in the 80s, and there was no compound necessary back then.

    what are all these costs you speak of? you put it in a massive safe and drill the safe into cement in the basement. am i missing something?

  386. yikes says:

    NYC is crappy now, it used to be great, used to love when I came home with an open beverage at 5 am and the sun was coming out and the working girls in their torn fishnets and smeared lipstick would say good morning. I used to love the afterhours dive on my block that was open 4am till noon on my block, where bouncers, club owners and dancers would hang out. Five am Egg sandwich on the bar with a tall boy shook the cobwebs out from a long night of drinking. NYC has stunk since around 1996.

    Disagree with all of this. That’s because this was still happening when i was there in 2002. in fact, i only thought it got played out when meatpacking got cheesy and i got a serious GF.

    but nyc in my 20s? incredible. the times put college to shame.

  387. yikes says:

    Clotpoll says:
    February 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Ray (366)-

    Ever seen an REO where the AC wasn’t run for an entire summer?

    The phrase that pops to mind is “silent, deadly eco-bomb”.

    at the gtg, i will plant myself next to clot just to hear funny-a*s sh*t like this. just LOL’d

    another great gossip girl tonight

  388. Stu says:

    Yikes,

    Not the same company nor even close to the same concept.

    Where ya going to buy your gold Yikes? And who do you plan to sell it to? I’m not talking about a few necklaces either. When gold is dropping $100/day, I hope there is a jackhammer available for you to rent from the Home Depot so you can bust through and sell it. And I’m sure you are reputable enough that when you sell it, the buyer won’t be concerned about the purity. “Hold on a minute please. I’ll get you a small sample to test. Now where did I put my jack hammer?” And no vacations either, unless you want to hire Blackwater to sit in your basement. Shoot, I could already find out where you live by tracing your IP. That’s amateur stuff.

  389. yikes says:

    Personally, I feel the hassle of buying and selling physical is akin to root canal work.

    good point. i have envisioned a scenario where we go to make the sale i have two heavily armed friends with me (and i do have such friends).

    the plates are off the vehicle and i wear a disguise in the store in case they try to use cameras to track me.

    actually, i’d be like De Niro in heat where they do that swap deal and they try to jack Deniro and his people are waiting with long-range weapons to kill those bastards.

    yeah, seen too many movies, for sure

  390. sas says:

    you bitter renters!
    lol, you remember that one.

    i’m not even a renter, and i was called a bitter renter.

    SAS

  391. Stu says:

    Yikes,

    It might be easier to rob the money train.

  392. sas says:

    had a rough day, someone call me an as*hole, accuse me of getting their wife pregnant, or something to lighten up my night.

    alot on my mind, heavy things.

    SAS

  393. sas says:

    wait a minute, that post didn’t come out right, nevermind.

    yeah, i can’t think straight.

    SAS

  394. Stu says:

    SAS,

    You aged piece of crap!

  395. randy says:

    ((crickets))

  396. chicagofinance says:

    yikes says:
    February 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm
    but nyc in my 20s? incredible. the times put college to shame.

    y: I didn’t do too bad in my mid-teens in NYC. Vomited on a cop’s shoes accidentally while drunk. Slept overnight on the #7 train for 4 hours 45 minutes (the train ride is only 30 minutes each way). Got blown in the middle of the day in Central Park by my girlfriend.

  397. Hard Place says:

    Yen Weakens as BOJ Share Purchase Plan Revives Demand for Yield

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=auCNw1LLKsK8&refer=home

    Huge news.

  398. NJGator says:

    Clot – After doing a little research, found out the house our family friends short sold has an illustrious financial history. Was a FK back in 03. Bough by a flipper and then purchased by the friends. They spent $430k for a 1200SF house in Martinsville. I wonder what awful financial fate befalls the poor saps who just bought the place. It must be cursed.

  399. nj ecapee says:

    Bill to curb speculation could kill CDS: analyst

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Bill-could-collapse-credit-default/story.aspx?guid={01DB8823-01CA-490E-8656-B7B78C2C9DA5}#comments

  400. Curmudgeon says:

    Clot:

    NYC was not Disneyland in 1989. You are about 5 years early. In fact it was still in a downward spiral that didn’t begin to improve until ’92. Crack epidemic, window washers…record numbers in murder, petty theft, grand theft, robbery and rape were all set sequentially from ’89 to ’91. Avenue B was a freaking minefield and Loisaida was Beirut. Mind you, they were the years that I personally fell in love with NYC, but it was definitely NOT a theme park! (Maybe you were UES; I don’t acknowledge their claim to be part of NYC…)

  401. cooper says:

    last?

  402. Essex says:

    403////chicagofairydance overcompensates and overshares….

  403. lostinny says:

    Earthquake in Rockaway last night?

  404. Brint says:

    @willwork4beer

    Thanks!

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