NJ’s 3.6 Billion Dollar Hole

From Bloomberg:

New Jersey’s Budget Shortfall Widens to $3.6 Billion

New Jersey’s budget shortfall for the current fiscal year widened to $3.6 billion from a projection of $2.1 billion a month ago, prompting Governor Jon Corzine to call for unpaid days off to help close the deficit.

State revenue collections fell $526 million short of budget estimates last month, Treasurer David Rousseau said in a statement today. Through January, total revenue is $1.33 billion under target for fiscal 2009, which ends June 30.

“We are flat-lining with regard to revenue,” Corzine, 62, said to reporters in Trenton. “We’re going to have to make some substantial adjustments” to the state budget, he said.

Corzine said his administration has identified $472 million in additional spending cuts to help balance the budget. Those reductions include forcing state workers to take two unpaid days off in May and June, for savings of $35 million, he said. He also said the state will conduct a $100 million “tax amnesty” to entice delinquent taxpayers to settle up.

The governor said the shortfall includes a $2.8 billion deficiency in revenue and an additional $800 million in spending needs. Among those needs is a replenishment of the state’s unemployment benefits fund to prevent a statutory tax increase on employers, he said. The state will put $270 million into that fund to cover increased claims, Corzine said.

Rousseau said the state won’t sell any debt to fill the deficit, refinance bonds or miss payments.

For January, revenue totaled $2.4 billion, which is nearly 18 percent under target, Rousseau’s statement said. The gross income tax was $229.9 million, or 13.8 percent, below projections, the sales tax was $119.9 million, or 20 percent, below estimates, and corporation business tax collections totaled only $13.7 million, which is $111.2 million, or 89 percent, under projections, the statement said.

“The national recession has delivered another punch to New Jersey’s gut,” Louis Greenwald, a Cherry Hill Democrat who chairs the Assembly Budget Committee, said in a joint statement with Assemblywoman Nellie Pou, a Paterson Democrat. “We are going to make the tough decisions to keep the current year’s budget balanced without the need for tax increases.”

This entry was posted in Economics, New Jersey Real Estate, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

384 Responses to NJ’s 3.6 Billion Dollar Hole

  1. Galgon says:

    First!

  2. grim says:

    Sorry for the similar headline content.

    Flight back from Dallas was delayed about 4 hours and I got in pretty late.

  3. Aardvark says:

    I woke up today feeling so confident and happy knowing that Barak will be making my mortgage payment for me and also filling up my car with gas. What a great country we live in!

  4. SG says:

    One more FT article,

    Japanese lessons for a world of balance-sheet deflation

    Most of the decline in Japanese private spending and borrowing in the 1990s was, argues Mr Koo, due not to the state of the banks, but to that of their borrowers. This was a situation in which, in the words of John Maynard Keynes, low interest rates – and Japan’s were, for years, as low as could be – were “pushing on a string”. Debtors kept paying down their loans.

    In the US, the state of the financial sector may well be far more important than it was in Japan. The big US debt accumulations were not by non-financial corporations but by households and the financial sector. The gross debt of the financial sector rose from 22 per cent of GDP in 1981 to 117 per cent in the third quarter of 2008, while the debt of non-financial corporations rose only from 53 per cent to 76 per cent of GDP. Thus, the desire of financial institutions to shrink balance sheets may be an even bigger cause of recession in the US.

  5. SG says:

    from previous linked article,

    Yet what is happening inside the US is far from the worst news. That is the global reach of the crisis. Japan was able to rely on exports to a buoyant world economy. This crisis is global: the bubbles and associated spending booms spread across much of the western world, as did the financial mania and purchases of bad assets. Economies directly affected account for close to half of the world economy. Economies indirectly affected, via falling external demand and collapsing finance, account for the rest. The US, it is clear, remains the core of the world economy.

    As a result, we confront a balance-sheet deflation that, albeit far shallower than that in Japan in the 1990s, has a far wider reach. It is, for this reason, fanciful to imagine a swift and strong return to global growth. Where is the demand to come from? From over-indebted western consumers? Hardly. From emerging country consumers? Unlikely. From fiscal expansion? Up to a point. But this still looks too weak and too unbalanced, with much coming from the US. China is helping, but the eurozone and Japan seem paralysed, while most emerging economies cannot now risk aggressive action.

    Last year marked the end of a hopeful era. Today, it is impossible to rule out a lost decade for the world economy. This has to be prevented. Posterity will not forgive leaders who fail to rise to this great challenge.

  6. SG says:

    The Risk from Underwater Homeowners

    Obama’s $75 billion mortgage rescue plan doesn’t address the danger that more homeowners whose equity has evaporated might just walk away.

  7. DL says:

    Wait until Cherry Hill learns about upcoming school board tax increases. Last year’s budget increase was nearly 7%. This year they vote in April for 2009-10 and there’s no public accessible budget yet. I wonder why. A school district with 9 schools, a superintendent who gets $238k a year and four assistant superintendents who get over 150K a year. Its the township’s largest employer. Whoever wrote that we’re turning into a country of gov’t workers was on target.

  8. lostinny says:

    9 DL
    4 asst. sups. for a district with 9 schools is ridiculous. How do they get away with that?

  9. me@work says:

    just curious…

    how much mileage do you think we are gonna get for $75 B?

    I think very little…. but what do I know…

    sl

  10. Cindy says:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-budget20-2009feb20,0,5263469.story

    It looks like new taxes are headed our way as well – vote later today…

  11. crossroads says:

    Arnold is laying off 20,000 state workers is %20 of Cali’s state workers? if not how many in all? and how does NJ compare

  12. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601213&sid=a3wi0M6veJ1M&refer=home

    (11) Still -Some questions and answers on the plan from Bloomberg.

  13. BC Bob says:

    “The correct advice remains the one the US gave the Japanese and others during the 1990s: admit reality, restructure banks and, above all, slay zombie institutions at once.”

    From SG’s article;

    It’s exactly the advice we gave Japan in the 1990’s. You can’t allow zombie institutions to hang on. Do as I say, not as I do.

    Destroy the insolvent banks/homeowners, restructure, build back from savings/investment. Unfortunately, we’ll experience a Great D before we get to that step.

    This is not daddy’s recession. It’s not your typical business/inventory cycle recession. That’s easy, 12-18 months of slowing growth, depleting inventory and lowering rates.

    Unfortunately, this mess is grandaddy’s recession/depression. A massive plunge, fueled by the obliterated balance sheets, [business and consumers], not a business cycle. In normal recessions the fed does not increase its balance sheet from $900B to approx $3T, banks are not backstopped to the tune of $500B, loan modifications and nationalization are not on the drawing board.

    What recession? Frank is right, we are well past that stage.

  14. Corus Bankshares gets an early start on Bank Failure Friday.

  15. Cindy says:

    (13) Crossroads – Many here are worried about the gasoline tax hike – 12 cents a gallon. We already have the highest gas in the land..

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gas10-2009feb10,0,5564540.story

    Some are saying they will drive less in protest. Buy less in protest of the 1 cent sales tax. And the income tax hit will only speed up the business retreat from our state. It is a sad day for us here and tax increases are almost assured with the vote later in the day.

  16. Joe says:

    Free Advice: If you don’t have it then don’t spend it. Use cash instead of plastic. First figure out your needs & forget about your wants. Greed is the problem & this bail out is another hand out.

  17. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Joe,

    That’s commie talk!!! CNBC says buying gold is UnAmerican!!! What do you think they think of your message of thriftiness?

  18. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aMhwrLEeOCYo&refer=home

    Caroline Baum – Bloomberg

    5 easy pieces plan..

    #4

    If President Obama’s goal is to stem foreclosures and allow struggling borrowers to stay in homes, convert them to renters. Many of the folks were owners in name only. They borrowed 100 percent of the purchase price of the home, only to see the value plummet.

  19. crossroads says:

    Cindy
    How many workers does the state of Cali. employ?

  20. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (16)-

    I’m surprised they’ve held on for this long. Massive commercial RE exposure.

  21. safeashouses says:

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/18/news/economy/foreclosure_analysis/index.htm?postversion=2009021819

    Why were borrowers allowed to take out loans with monthly payments more then 38% of their income? Why were investors willing to buy the securitized loans from these deals? Why were these deals rated AAA?

    Greed + Stupidity on a national scale = Depression

  22. crossroads says:

    23
    wow! a lot of nothing going on. any idea how NJ compares since we’re heading down the same road

  23. Cindy says:

    So Roubini @22 talks about “private equity firms” taking over “cleaned up” banks – and cited the Indymac example.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2009/01/05/private-equitys-back-door-to-buying-banks/

    I just wonder…what kind of mischief this all entails…

  24. PGC says:

    Rick Santelli is losing it on CNBC. The traders are applauding him.

  25. Clotpoll says:

    safe (25)-

    I’m convinced beyond any sliver of doubt that we’re headed for a full-on depression.

    My wife turned on the (normally verboten in our house) Today show, and Suze Orman was talking about middle class people living in tent camps and in cars. MSM is allowing the truth to begin leaking out, I guess. Not a good sign. Or maybe it is.

  26. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (27)-

    Lookout. You’re getting close to ChiFi accusing him of being in the tank for the hedge funds.

  27. Cindy says:

    crossroads – 211,000 full time. I think I heard the goal was to cut 10% of the work force. Schools have big layoffs plans. (Not mine – we went into this with a surplus – no raises for years.) BUT – Now the surplus is gone and we have already cut 11% from this year’s budget. 4.5% projected for next year.

    The cynics believe Arnold will reinstate cut pet projects with stimulus funds yet the tax hikes will remain…A MESS.

  28. John says:

    http://weblogs.newsday.com/realestate/blog/2009/02/kings_point_home_comes_with_tw.html

    tough at top end. actually great article in Newsday today about Levitown foreclosure crisis, most scary stat was.

    Levitown home 1947 was $6,990
    Levitown home 1980 was $42,700
    Levitown home 2000 was $189,700
    Levitown home 2006 was $405,188
    Levitown home 2008 was $355,731

  29. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (31)-

    When do you see the riots starting there?

  30. Cindy says:

    (30) Clotpol – I’m starting to see where Chifi is coming from…It looks pretty cagey. I’m checking out articles – names on my own and….I just don’t know.

    Is that new money the right way to go?
    Is it going to be “too innovative” and risky?

    I see his argument CLEARLY that you may as well tag the hogs you have and keep track of them.

  31. Cindy says:

    (33) Clot – I actually don’t imagine riots at all. I see silent – monetary protests. People just are going to spend EVEN LESS.

  32. freedy says:

    americans , NJ residents to stupid, and busy with American idol to riot.

    besides, nj is a welfare state,, they
    love the bailout.

  33. Frank says:

    #20,
    “convert them to renters”
    We tried this already, have you seen housing projects lately?

  34. Cindy says:

    Clot – We were hit hard with foreclosures and so much of that market is clearing. Our prices here are already off 50%. Our sales are up. Folks have already moved into rentals, to Texas for work or found new jobs. We have been in an “economic downturn” longer than many locations…

  35. Clotpoll says:

    Another bogus jobless print today: 627K. Moving averages all up.

  36. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (35)-

    I agree. To me, that’s a given. I just figure if people can’t shop, they will begin to riot.

  37. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (34)-

    Where I’m from, we shoot the hogs and make sausage.

    Who cares if PE steps in and takes down these skinny, malnourished sows (not to stretch the porcine thing too far)? The subject acquisitions are as good as dead, anyway.

  38. Cindy says:

    (40) Clot – Actually – People “get it.” Frugal is in. Once the public here saw a few 60 minutes specials, they were scared sh!tless.

  39. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. weekly jobless claims unchanged at 627,000

    First time claims for state unemployment benefits were unchanged at 627,000 for the week ending Feb. 14, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. The four-week average of initial claims, which measures the underlying trend, rose by 10,500 to 619,000. Continuing claims rose by 170,000 to 4.98 million in the week ending Feb. 7, a 27-year high. The four-week average of continuing claims climbed by 92,500, to 4.83 million, also a 27-year high.

  40. grim says:

    Another bogus jobless print today

    Bogus? Those numbers are UGLY.

    4 week initial claims? Up
    Continuing claims? Up
    4 week continuing claims? Up

  41. Sean says:

    Must be really worried about riots and class warfarre if MSM is broadcasting this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu8Nd7xuix4

  42. Cindy says:

    (41) Clot – Wish I knew more on the subject. I’m trying to read with every spare minute but that means rising at 3AM and dead tired by 8.

    Believe it or not, teaching is very tiring work. I know you folks laugh a lot about that – but at second grade it just is.

  43. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (38)-

    Freeing up markets, houses turning over and people moving to places where they can find work and rebuild is what O and his crew are trying to prevent in the rest of the country.

    Their object is to trap people in their homes forever and create cross-generational debt slavery.

    I’ll bet a large amount of money that any modified mortgage under the new plan is a RECOURSE loan. This will tie lots of people to their houses and mortgages until the day they die.

    I’ll also bet nobody will pay much heed to the fact that the worked-out loans adjust at five years. Sixty months, and you’re back in the same shithole. Does anyone here think things will have materially changed by then?

  44. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Cindy,

    I understand Chi’s hesitance. Essentially the fear is changing the deck chairs on the Titanic. You put the PE/Hedge Funds in place of the current banking elite and the buying off of Congress continues just with different names on the campaign checks.

    However, if you are seeking a source of capital other than taxpayer money the PE/Hedge Funds are one of the few resources left.

    I find it pretty funny that all the uproar in the Democratic congress re the taxing of hedge fund fees/gains as capital gains rather than ordinary income seems to have disappeared once the hedge fund’s donation to Democratic campaigns dramatically increased during the last campaign cycle.:) Somewhere there’s a Republican political strategist kicking themselves for not thinking up that shakedown.

  45. Clotpoll says:

    Also little discussed in the mortgage workout plan:

    – streamline deed-in-lieu guidelines
    – streamline short sale guidelines

  46. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Americans Receiving Jobless Benefits Reach Record 4.99 Million

    The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits jumped to 4.99 million two weeks ago, breaking a record for a fourth straight time, signaling the job market is still deteriorating.

    Total benefit rolls surged by 170,000 in the week ended Feb. 7, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. First-time applications for unemployment benefits were unchanged at 627,000 last week, higher than economists projected.

  47. BC Bob says:

    “Our prices here are already off 50%. Our sales are up.”

    Cindy,

    What a surprise, free markets do work. How astonishing.

  48. Cindy says:

    GRIM! I had so much fun watching those cyclists yesterday. It was a big thrill for a small town like Clovis.

    The cowboy hat on the winner? Well, we have a big rodeo here every year. Big cowboy town.

    Local political Tshirt: So many clowns and no rodeo

  49. Cindy says:

    BC – You know that is what I believe.

    It is working here in California. I don’t know where the articles are now, but even groups of 150 developed lots sell – Some people have money. They will spend it when it makes sense and the deal is clearly stated.

  50. Barbara says:

    we need middle class riots, uprising in this country but it will never happen because the MC is always suckered into the culture/class/race wars during hard times and displace their anger with breathless consistency.
    Seeds are already sewn, look at all the anger at the “welfare” side of the stimulus bill. I don’t like it either but lets not take our eyes off the ball.
    Oh well, guns and God. Obama had a point.

  51. Clotpoll says:

    grim (44)-

    It’s even worse than that. I bet the losses are more like 1mm a week.

    If most states are like NJ, it takes a newly laid-off worker at least 2-3 weeks to even make contact with an unemployment office.

  52. grim says:

    Clifton Firefighters Protest Closing Of Fire Station And Layoffs

    New Jersey – About 60 firefighters handed out 7,000 fliers Monday protesting the city’s proposal to close a fire station next month. The closing of Fire Station 2 on Dumont Avenue, which was authorized Friday, will result in the layoffs of 16 firefighters and one staff member, said Robert DeLuca, president of the Clifton Firemen’s Mutual Benevolence Association.

    “It is going to jeopardize the safety of the residents,” DeLuca said. He also said that the closure of a local firehouse could negatively affect homeowners’ fire insurance. Closing the station will leave the city with five others.

  53. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (46)-

    I believe you. I wouldn’t even enter a room full of second graders.

  54. BC Bob says:

    “Sixty months, and you’re back in the same shithole. Does anyone here think things will have materially changed by then?”

    Clot,

    It’s the classic loser trader mentality, dollar cost avg down. If they had half a brain, they would cut their losses immediately. However, we want to string the dead along, enslave them. We are now doubling/tripling down on a horrific trade. This boondoogle will go down, in the history books, as the worst trade ever in US history.

    That’s OK, just remain on the other side of the trade.

  55. stan says:

    Frank-

    glad you here.

    Hoboken Condo Purchased 2005 for $550k

    sold last week for $470k mls#80011568, 2bdroom,2bth, 1130 square feet
    536 Grand street, #504

    Sale Date: 05/23/05 Book: 7574 Page: 278 Price: 550000 NU#: 0
    Sr1a Date Book Page Price NU# Ratio Grantee 536 GRAND ST #504
    More Info 05/23/05 7574 278 550000

  56. Barbara says:

    57. Clot
    “I wouldn’t even enter a room full of second graders.”

    Not without a hazmat suit. Those little buggers are carriers.

  57. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Another note re O’bama’s home rescue plan. Keep in mind this is all being done with TARP and other funds that have already been released with no specific defined legislative use/restrictions.

    The reason I point this out is this “plan” can be changed/dumped etc just as easily as King Henry changed/modified/dumped the original use of the TARP funds.

    My point is this has more with giving the sheeple the IMAGE that government is doing something rather than the REALITY that government is doing something or even CAN do something about this problem.

    It’s all about slowing things down to try to keep people from rioting in the streets. Inevitably there’ll be people rioting in the streets.

  58. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (53)-

    Allowing markets to work is what the gubmint fears the most.

  59. kettle1 says:

    BC 15

    “The correct advice remains the one the US gave the Japanese and others during the 1990s: admit reality, restructure banks and, above all, slay zombie institutions at once.”

    ……. does that mean you need to execute the ceo’s as well, by use of massive head trauma (that the only way to kill a zombie after all)?

  60. John says:

    http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/news/celebrity/ny-etmickey0218,0,5966437.story

    this is why most of middle class won’t riot to them this is news

  61. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (63)-

    I think impaling works as well.

  62. sas says:

    no riots, too many great non-lethal weapons designed for mass crowd control.

    and if you do see some radical type wanting to riot, walk away and stay clear of that person cause they are Fed.

    Feds like to dress up & act radical like, in order to be antagonistic, which then in turn gives the police a legitimize reason now to up there level of violence (i.e batons & tear gas), and it makes for good media press. (see look at those violent people).

    when its the Feds the whole time.

    police & Fed get caught all the time doing this to the point even the ACLU wants to go after them.

    SAS

  63. DL says:

    How does any school district get away with inflated salaries, over-populated bureaucracies and no accountability? It’s for the kids. That and apathy on the part of the sheep being fleeced. Besides, high taxes keep out the undesirables and maintain property values. See the link for the school administrator pay scale.

    http://www.cherryhill.k12.nj.us/departments/publicinfo/files/Copy%20of%20adminsal.pdf

  64. grim says:

    Driving down McCarter Highway in Newark, about 11pm last night.

    Almost spit my coffee out when I read what was spray painted onto the side of a building in huge letters. Wish I had a camera, I might go back just to shoot it.

    WHERES MY FUCKING BAILOUT!!!

    Beautiful.

  65. sas says:

    if i see riot, i see a fed operation.

    but don’t confuse a riot with legal protest.

    SAS

  66. John says:

    btw in a meeting with a very senior citi executive last night, has 500 direct reports, to me that is pretty up there. said 3q turnaround in economy, guess I have to wait to labor day to hear him say he reivsed it to a 4Q turnaround

  67. Barbara says:

    68 grim
    a sign of hope

  68. Clotpoll says:

    John (64)-

    Too bad he didn’t play the Joker in Batman. They could’ve saved money on makeup.

    I look at this guy and tell myself I DON’T want some of whatever he’s smoking.

  69. John says:

    vampire style or barney frank style?

    Clotpoll says:
    February 19, 2009 at 8:53 am
    vodka (63)-

    I think impaling works as well.

  70. jamil says:

    NJ middle-class tax revolt is starting..

    http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2008/12/no_pitchforks_but_angry_mob_st.html

    “No pitchforks, but angry protesters storm Hoboken City Hall”

  71. Clotpoll says:

    grim (68)-

    Go back. It’s worth it. You can sell that photo.

  72. 3b says:

    Saw an article in today’s Daliy News, sorry do not have a link, an outraged friend of mine insisted I read it,and so I did.

    After reading it, I wondered what the Daliy News hopes to accomplish by printing it. Were they expecting to elicit sympathy, or genereate outrage, as it did with my friend on the train.

    Here is the gist of it: This man hopes the Obama plan cna help him.

    He bought a 550K house in Jamaica Estates (nice area in Queens) no money down 80/20 loan. Two family house with rental income.

    He makes 80k a year as a computer programmer, but his over time which brought his salary up was cut.

    He has 70k in credit card debt, 2 kids in Catholic (10k a year in tuition), oh and his wife is looking for work.

    He is desperate, he just wants some help etc. Oh and he is sitting outside the house ( I presume) in what looks to be a very nice suit and expensive watch.

    Sympathy or outrage?

  73. Clotpoll says:

    John (70)-

    To me, a call like that from a C exec is as good a contraindicator as anything bi spews here.

    Thanks.

  74. Barbara says:

    Oh LORDY. PILOTS……have much experience with these, they are at the heart of the NJ real estate scandal that is 15 plus years long. You go Hoboken, and good luck.

  75. 3b says:

    #70 John: So your Memorial Day barbecue is canceled?

  76. PGC says:

    #41 Clot

    This place is worth a trip down 78 with your Hogs.

    http://www.dietrichsmeats.com/index.htm

    Nothing better than getting samples straight out of the smoker

  77. Clotpoll says:

    (76)-

    “Sympathy or outrage?”

    Can I choose “both of the above”?

  78. PGC says:

    Looks like the Caribbean desk is busy trying to stem its own bank run.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7897440.stm

  79. stan says:

    Frank-

    hoboken..928 Garden#2 mls# listed for 419k. under contract last week.

    last purchased for 460k in 2006

    Sale Date: 01/30/06 Book: 7818 Page: 203 Price: 460000 NU#: 0
    Sr1a Date Book Page Price NU# Ratio Grantee
    More Info 01/30/06 7818 203 460000
    928 GARDEN ST #2

  80. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (80)-

    If I start driving west, I might keep going.

  81. Cindy says:

    http://www.sacbee.com/

    Maldonado ready to vote aye

    Here we go…

  82. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    no riots, too many great non-lethal weapons designed for mass crowd control.

    with out getting myself into to much trouble…. all i will say is that many of those non lethal weapons can be countered with just a little effort and some of the newer ones can be turned back on the authorities with a little creative thought.

    Also note that these so called non-lethal weapons actaully are lethal if not used in the the specific manner designed.

    For instance the the microwave beam the military has developed will actually cause lethal 3rd degree burns to anyone who does not immediately move out of the beams path. how does a person in the middle of a crowd move out of the beam? what happens if the beam hit s a person wearing glasses (hint, cooked eyeballs).

    rubber bullets can kill, pulsed sound weapons can cause severe permanent damage.

  83. kettle1 says:

    Clot 65

    Are the CEO’s vampire Zombie hybrids??? now that is scary. We should do both decapitation and impalement then, just to be sure

  84. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Employees face furloughs

    RIDGEWOOD — Faced with a 2009 budget that exceeds $41.6 million and no increase in state aid, village employees could be getting additional time off — but it won’t be paid.

    “A one-week furlough is on the table for village employees,” Village Manager James Ten Hoeve said of furloughs for about 280 workers. “It could be worked out to be one day off a month for the second half of the year or we could shut down one day a week out of the 12 summer weeks for non-essential services. It would save $425,000.”

    Any discussion of furlough time involves communication with seven unions that represent employees in the village, including a majority of police and fire personnel, village officials said. The police and fire chief would not be exempt from furlough time, nor would Ten Hoeve.

  85. grim says:

    From the Record:

    UPDATE: Empty retail space on the rise

    Store closings and bankruptcies have caused the retail vacancy rate in northern and central New Jersey to jump to 6.86 percent through January 2009, up nearly three percentage points from a year earlier, according to the latest space survey from The Goldstein Group, a Paramus-based brokerage firm.

    A year ago, the retail vacancy rate on the 94 million square feet of properties surveyed by The Goldstein Group was 4.15 percent. That rate rose to 5.21 percent in July. The Goldstein report has been tracking vacancy rates since 2006.

    Nearly three dozen retail chains with stores in northern and central New Jersey have closed stores or filed for bankruptcy over the past year, and those vacancies are taking longer to fill.

    Defunct retailers whose empty spaces are reflected in the latest survey include Linens ‘n Things, Circuit City and Levitz.

    Chuck Lanyard, president of The Goldstein Group, said Wednesday that the brokerage is expecting to see more closings and bankruptcies over the next few months. “This downward plunge is still not over,” he said.

  86. kettle1 says:

    grim,

    there has been a set of empty retail space in the rockaway mall complex that have now sat empty for over 1 year. I have been watching them and wondering who is eating that cost. How long before an electrical fire happens, or before they are vandalized…

  87. Sure to work Economic recovery plan proposed by southern frat :)

  88. kettle1 says:

    Dissident HEHE

    got body armour?

  89. All Hype says:

    Clot (39):

    Totally agree with you. The inital claims numbers are totally massaged. People are losing their jobs left and right. The number should jump next week cause it’s the end of the month. Perhaps we will see 650k-675k….

  90. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle, you get my email?

  91. Cindy says:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/121358-new-york-real-estate-a-shoe-still-dropping?source=email

    Thought you all might like this:

    New York Real Estate: A shoe Still Dropping from
    Seeking Alpha

    Who has the “most aggressive” exposure?

  92. 3b says:

    #92 kettle: I havee got a Thompson. I would love to get an Armalite.

  93. kettle1 says:

    For SAS and HEHE

    a list of less-lethal Weapons (the correct name for non-lethal weapons)

    -Active Denial System, a focused microwave device said to be capable of heating the outer skin of a target individual or group to approximately 130° Fahrenheit (54° Celsius) in about two seconds, causing intolerable pain.

    -less-lethal rounds, firearm rounds which are designed to incapacitate, but not kill, a target. Rubber bullets, wax bullets,plastic bullets and rubber bullets with electroshock effect

    – tear gas (CS) and pepper spray (OC)

    -MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) Adirectional, non-lethal weapon designed for crowd control. It uses microwave pulses to generate uncomfortably high noise levels in human skulls, bypassing the ears and ear drums. being developed by the Sierra Nevada Corporation

    -LRAD (long range acoustic device)a crowd-control and hailing device. Its output up to 155db, focused at a distance, is sufficient to produce permanent ear damage and temporarily disrupt vision. It may also be used simply as a very effective megaphone prior to any use as a weapon.
    Studies have found that exposure to high intensity ultrasound at frequencies from 700 kHz to 3.6 MHz can cause lung and intestinal damage in mice. Heart rate patterns following vibroacoustic stimulation has resulted in serious negative consequences such as arterial flutter and bradycardia. (NYC has these http://tinyurl.com/d7aq2z)

    – Sticky Foam: an incapacitant, used when less lethal force is required, consisting of various extremely tacky and/or tenacious materials carried in compressed form with a propellant and used to block, entangle, and impair individuals.

    – Laser Dazzlers : Laser beam that temporarily disrupts vision, can cause permanent damage if anything longer then a very brief exposure occurs

    – Anti-traction material (ATM) is a very slippery, gel-like substance sprayed on ground surfaces to prevent access to areas by people and vehicles.

    – A pulsed-energy projectile (PEP) is under development that uses a chemical laser technology to produce a large flash, bang, and shock wave to temporarily disorient and incapacitate individuals in a crowd. Reported to have been used in iraq

  94. Al says:

    and corporation business tax collections totaled only $13.7 million, which is $111.2 million, or 89 percent, under projections, the statement said.

    Anybody wants to comment this number:

    89% down from buisnesses??

    Are you kidding me??

    Where is the big pharma and finance??

    Whats happened in January?

    Is anybody as shoked as I am?? NJ is officially bankrupt state now.

  95. 3b says:

    #89 grim: Paramus seems to be losing stores every other day.

    Meanwhil in River Edge, the Mayor and Council are still talking about how commercial redevelopment at the south end of town will dramatically help address our high of taxes.

    The south end of town is on the border of Paramus Rt 4. Talk about brain dead.

  96. 3b says:

    #98 scribe: Thanks. So sympathy or outrage??

  97. kettle1 says:

    mike yep, i replied

  98. chicagofinance says:

    grim says:
    February 19, 2009 at 6:39 am
    Sorry for the similar headline content.
    Flight back from Dallas was delayed about 4 hours and I got in pretty late.

    grim: want some cheese with your whine…

  99. kettle1 says:

    Clot,

    Mish shares your concern.

    “I am very concerned for the borrower’s sake about loan modifications turning non-recourse loans into recourse loans.

    How many people will become unwitting interest slaves for the rest of their lives by signing up for one of these “loan modifications”? That is likely to happen if non-recourse loans become recourse loans.”

    unfortunately most people will probably not realize that they just signed an indentured servitude contract

  100. Stu says:

    DL(67): “Besides, high taxes keep out the undesirables and maintain property values.”

    That’s Montclair’s MO!

  101. chicagofinance says:

    yikes says:
    February 19, 2009 at 7:08 am
    for anyone who plans on detaining people when the SHTF

    yikes: we should work on a new ETF for when the sh!t hits the fan….the ticker would be SHF

  102. chicagofinance says:

    crossroads says:
    February 19, 2009 at 7:42 am
    Arnold is laying off 20,000 state workers is %20 of Cali’s state workers? if not how many in all? and how does NJ compare

    X: after the layoffs, Ah-nold promised more…he deadpanned into the microphone “…I’ll be back…”

  103. confused in nj says:

    I find hollow points, filled with curare, work well.

  104. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle did not receive. Can’t post email here but it should be on the one I sent. If not Grim please give Kettle my email. Maybe wife deleted.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    I was at a meeting of the MODC economic development committee yesterday morning and I silenced the room with my doom talk. I asked Ben Waldron if we could sponsor a presentation on how NJ is or is not the next California. I wanted to get economists and speakers from Rutgers.

  106. Stu says:

    “89% down from buisnesses??”

    I noticed that too. Corzine should cut state workers by 50% tomorrow. Instead, he’ll probably say that all we need to do is take away one more holiday.

    Anyone think the depression isn’t here?

  107. kettle1 says:

    mike i just sent it late this morning.

  108. scribe says:

    3b,

    My question is: He’s lost his overtime, but what if he loses his job?

    You have to have an income to get a mortgage modification.

    So what about the people who are losing jobs, who’ve been paying their mortgages reliably over time, but can’t get other jobs?

    Are they just out of luck completely?

  109. House Hunter says:

    just a thought…how do you protest when the gov’t controls housing, health care and your retirement benefits?
    1) if you own your home but don’t pay our taxes in protest, tax lien sale can make you not own your home really quick
    2) with the bailout, they write the rules, if you protest, you lose…actually if you sell the home at a profit, they take it. (you don’t actually own it until the mortgage is paid, but people still think they “own” it
    3) look at medicare and medicaid, run into the ground. Now universal health care is being discussed, and the new miracle electronic records in the bill. You can have this procedure, at this hospital and when we say…
    4) retirement..that senator from CA wants to replenish people’s 401k to the August 08 values and then take it over for you…because you are stupid (not to mention that the plans are not that great any way.
    5) kids go to school and get told your parents are stupid.
    6) more and more privacy is gone….
    7) what’s next..

  110. House Hunter says:

    rant off

  111. Sean says:

    chicagofinance – California will bounce back, I would be more worried about New Joisey becoming Michigan.

  112. zieba says:

    Grim,

    Any chance you can give me an intersecting street?

  113. BC Bob says:

    “yikes: we should work on a new ETF for when the sh!t hits the fan….the ticker would be SHF”

    Chi,

    It already exists; SPG.

  114. Stu says:

    C = $2.82
    BAC (BOA) = $4.28

    Anyone else here think that the demise of these two banks are going to bring a very dark Friday to the markets tomorrow?

  115. zieba says:

    Corzine is a dope. Be a man, do the right thing instead of pandering to the bloated constituency until the very end.

    Can you believe yesterdays article? One furlough day before June…. one.

    RE 118:

    SHTF is free but its on the wrong exchange.

  116. Clotpoll says:

    scribe (113)-

    What if he goes to the local Mickey D’s for work?

    Will he be able to present that as his income?

    I sure hope this is premised on the gross income from the previous year’s tax return.

    This whole mortgage workout thing is Pandora’s box. Every question one can come up with just triggers five more.

  117. John says:

    funny part the 80K a year guy problems got a bigger story than the women who had her ear, nose and jaw eaten by a chimp. Also that guy is catholic?

  118. kettle1 says:

    sean 116

    California’s central valley is projected to be potentially entering a permanent drying period. If this is the case then recovery for CA will be just as hard as for NJ. They supply some huge % of US fruits and veggies. if that CA resource is significantly impacted they are in trouble

    http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2009/01/20/news/3_weather_090120.txt

  119. Victorian says:

    Clot (121) –

    This guy bought ~600K house on a 80K income. The lender has to get his DTI to 38% before getting anything from the government.

    This bill will not help homeowners who are far underwater on a jumbo loan, because the banks won’t take those losses.

  120. 3b says:

    #113 scribe:Are they just out of luck completely?

    It would appear that way to me.

    Also what kind of self respecting person would plaster himself all over the paper crying about how he needs help, and its not his fault. Just a disgrace.

  121. Painhrtz says:

    While ridgewood has some beutiful schools how the F@#K is the yearly budget 41.6 million. That stupid overpriced town is a bedroom community with a train station!

  122. All Hype says:

    Stu says:
    February 19, 2009 at 9:57 am
    C = $2.82
    BAC (BOA) = $4.28

    Anyone else here think that the demise of these two banks are going to bring a very dark Friday to the markets tomorrow?
    ______________________________________________

    I have seen that there have been some large block trades on BAC this morning. Why do you think that C and BAC are going down tomorrow?

  123. grim says:

    U.S. Feb. Philly Fed shipments index -32.4, record low

    U.S. Feb. Philly Fed lowest since October 1990

    U.S. Feb. Philly Fed index falls to -41.3

  124. crossroads says:

    chufi 107
    very nice
    110
    what is th modc…?

  125. crossroads says:

    cnbc
    Steve Liesman just said housing is where it all ( crisis recession) started. and housing rescue is step in right direction

    1) who can afford to buy houses at current price? job losses didn’t cause foreclosures affordability did

    2) house prices rising caused bad economy not falling prices. why don’t they get this?

  126. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (119)-

    How would you like to be C’s landlord right now? It must suck to be Mort Zuckerman. He thought he was dancing on Macklowe’s grave, but it turns out Macklowe may have been the lucky one, just to have tapped out early in the game:

    (Crain’s, 2/15/09) “Boston Properties Chairman Mortimer Zuckerman could barely contain his glee after picking up the General Motors Building last summer for $2.8 billion in a fire sale, trumpeting the transaction as the best he had made in his nearly 40 years in real estate.
    How times have changed. With the Manhattan office market entering a depression, Mr. Zuckerman is recording losses on some of his holdings in the city instead of crowing about them.
    Over the past month, his real estate investment trust has taken hefty write-downs on three midtown towers and pulled the plug on construction of two others. Meanwhile, the REIT is scrambling to contain fallout from the implosion of Lehman Brothers, a major Manhattan tenant, and the troubles of its biggest leaseholder, Citigroup.
    “In better times, [financial services] companies are high-quality tenants,” says Jordan Sadler, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets. “Today, many of them are struggling.”
    So is Boston Properties, the nation’s largest office landlord, with about 50 million square feet of Class A space spread among 147 towers in five metro areas. In addition to the GM Building, its trophies include Embarcadero Center in San Francisco and Prudential Center in Boston.
    Boston Properties logged four of the 12 largest acquisitions in New York last year (Top NYC Property Sales, Page 16), but its Manhattan portfolio has recently shaken the company. Last month, the firm reported $188 million in write-downs related to the three skyscrapers it bought last year from developer Harry Macklowe for a total of $1.1 billion. It also reported a $23 million charge connected to suspending plans for a building at Eighth Avenue and West 46th Street.
    Those charges contributed to a 96% plunge in Boston Properties’ fourth-quarter results from a year earlier, while funds from operations in the period sunk to $5.9 million from $147.5 million.”

  127. Al says:

    Heh – with all of these developing good news is I am getting my US citizenship this week.

    Just as a anekdotal evidence – For past 8 years of dealing with USCIS (formerly known as INS) offices:

    In the past they were as crowded as Wall-marts :)

    Last month and last week – I went to Elizabeth office and to Newark office – they were EMPTY.

    Will be interesting to see immigration into US numbers for this year.

  128. crossroads says:

    132
    “Last month and last week – I went to Elizabeth office and to Newark office – they were EMPTY.”

    everybody is at unemployment!

  129. NJGator says:

    Former Mayor of Glen Ridge to challenge Corzine in Dem Primary

    He turned heads with his quest to recall Gov. Jon Corzine. Now, Carl Bergmanson is running against him.

    But then again, Bergmanson, once the no-nonsense mayor of tiny, well-heeled Glen Ridge, has been turning heads for a while.

    Advertisement

    Take his views on New Jersey’s first-in-the-nation property tax burden. “We’re basically glorified serfs,” he said late last month, sit ting in his modest colonial home in a community where the average property tax bill is $15,832.

    Take his just-announced candi dacy for Corzine’s job. “Because he has got more money than God, no one will challenge him. … No one will, so I will. … It’s government by the wealthy for the wealthy.”

    The 48-year-old with an independent streak, Bergmanson, who on Jan. 12 formed an exploratory committee and last week made his formal announcement on a morning radio show, has found his calling, or rather his latest one: Democratic candidate for governor.

    http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/essex/index.ssf?/base/news-5/123467559623100.xml&coll=1

  130. Al says:

    Wholesale prices higher than expected
    Producer Price Index rose 0.8% in January, topping forecasts for a 0.3% increase and marking the first rise in six months.

    No Inflation, right? I was told that delation is in full swing!!!

    The core PPI, which excludes the volatile energy and food costs, rose 0.4% in January.

  131. Clotpoll says:

    Vic (124)-

    Jumbos are not eligible for any kind of workout.

  132. Sean says:

    kettle1 – I’ve been to the Delta, and spent a few days wake boarding there with friends from San Jose.

    The farmers and the cities will continue to steal water from the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Mokelumne, Cosumnes, CalaverasSierras rivers along with new pipelines directly from the Sierra Mountains straight into San Fran Area.

    No real water shortage in the North, in the south however the Mojave may just get bigger. Who needs LA anyway?

  133. Clotpoll says:

    News Flash: SEC halts Ponzi scheme targeting deaf people.

    I am not kidding.

  134. Clotpoll says:

    Hype (127)-

    Options expiration.

  135. DL says:

    Steve Liesman is on the White House payroll.

  136. Clotpoll says:

    x (133)-

    Everybody in Newark and Elizabeth went back to Brazil.

  137. Clotpoll says:

    Dow, S&P can’t rally for even an hour.

    The shitstorm is imminent.

  138. Al says:

    Clotpoll says:
    February 19, 2009 at 10:22 am
    x (133)-

    Everybody in Newark and Elizabeth went back to Brazil.

    There is some misunderstanding – Newark’s office and Elizabeth new office are there not only for newark area – they are for everybody living in NORTH Jersey.

    Thye have opened Elizabeth new office this year to accomodate some of the workload of the Newark office, as in the past 10 years newark office was swapmed with immigration cases.

  139. Stu says:

    “Why do you think that C and BAC are going down tomorrow?”

    All Hype: Well, once these ‘too large to fail’ firms approach the single digits, they usually gain unbelievable momentum. Think, Lemon Brothers, CIT, AIG, etc. Of course tomorrow might appear a little optimistic, but I have a funny feeling about tomorrow’s market. Just a hunch and nothing more. And as earnings season has progressed, it appears the later companies closed their books for last quarter, the worse the results have been. This does not look good for the next earning season.

  140. Marv says:

    That homeowner in queens can cut his expenses by 10K by taking his kids out of private school so why doesn’t he? I don’t think he is going to be eligible for help because his mortgage sounds like a jumbo, yet helping him sounds closer to reasonable than most stories I’ve heard.

  141. Al says:

    GM is about to drop PT cruiser…
    Am I the only one who likes how this cars looks (My wife hates it’s look so much, she did not even let me get it as our vacation rental car.)..

  142. DL says:

    Rented a PT Cruiser in Florida last year. Felt like I was sitting in a Flintstones car. OK for a rental.

  143. Stu says:

    Clot: option expiration Friday’s haven’t affected the market as much as they used to. Perhaps the smaller number of hedge funds and hedge fund assets may be playing a role in this?

  144. Zack says:

    Next law by Obama in the pipeline is:

    All Mortgages by unemployed people will be paid by the government until they find a job.

  145. Stu says:

    PT Cruiser looks like a big schlong.

    Sorry! Just my opinion.

  146. make money says:

    PT Cruiser looks like a big schlong.

    Stu,

    Since you always wanted one then why not pick one up for cheap and then you too my friend can brag.

  147. Herring123 says:

    Say it ain’t so – look what’s become of my alma mater, NYU:

    http://gothamist.com/2009/02/19/nyu_students_occupying_kimmel_cente.php

    Evidently 70 students barricaded themselves in the school cafeteria. “Demand #1, of course, is ‘amnesty for all parties involved in the protest.’ After that, they also require a full and annual reporting of the university’s operating budget, expenditures and endowment; tuition stabilization for all students; and public access to the Bobst Library. They’re also demanding that NYU offer 13 scholarships annually to students from the Gaza Strip and give surplus supplies to the Islamic University of Gaza.”

  148. Sean says:

    The SEC alleges that Hawaii-based Billion Coupons, Inc. (BCI) and its CEO Marvin R. Cooper raised $4.4 million from 125 investors since at least September 2007 by, among other things, holding investment seminars at Deaf community centers. The SEC also alleges that Cooper misappropriated at least $1.4 million in investor funds to pay for a new home and other personal expenses. The order obtained by the SEC freezes the assets of BCI and Cooper.

  149. RayC says:

    Grim,

    Could you tell me the status of 18 Carol Rd in Westfield? It was MLS 26004787 at one point. It was already listed at $559 for months, which would put it’s LP below several sales from 05 and 06. Thank you.

    RayC

  150. John says:

    I think short term Citi adn BAC will be propped up hoever, this one ain’t in the big guns of banking and is nearing a fed friday

    Fifth Third Bancorp. FITB (NASDAQ GS) $1.32

  151. MikeyMike says:

    Al,

    I had wanted the Cruiser since day 1 and I finally picked one up on 2005. I compared it to mazda, kia, and toyota and found that it offered the most for the money. I’ve been happy with it since. Have had zero problems with it. And I love the looks!

    Mike

  152. GM is about to drop PT cruiser…

    The PT is from Chrysler. Sorry to be a car geek.
    GM is dropping the Saturn brand and Pontiac.

  153. Al says:

    To Mike post #157:

    Finally – One person who thinks PT cruiser Looks nice!!!

  154. Stu says:

    I heard Saturn never made a dime. And you wonder why the American car manufacturers are suffering?

  155. 3b says:

    #145 Marv:yet helping him sounds closer to reasonable than most stories I’ve heard.

    80k salary, 550k house, no money down, non-employed spouse, oh and 70K!!! in credit card debt. How is that reasonable???

  156. John says:

    My friends at honda, toyota, bmw and mercedes tell you the real money is made on servicing. Drive around your town adn see how many places advertise they fix toyotas, mercedes and bmws, now look to see how many advertise they fix saturns. Damm things never break!!! GM sells a car at break ever at best and often for a loss and then makes zero on servicing, good for consumers bad for car company. My brother-in-law bought a brand new saturn never fixed nothing ever, never even did an maint other than once a year oil change and drove is 140K miles and sold it running. A BMW, Toyota Honda would have had tons of maint, struts, tuneups, exhaust, timing belt etc on the way to 140K all with a big markup. Plus they sold the car for a profit in the first place.

    Stu says:
    February 19, 2009 at 11:01 am
    I heard Saturn never made a dime. And you wonder why the American car manufacturers are suffering?

  157. #161 – GM certainly spent a lot of cash building and developing the company from the mid 80’s through the mid 90s, and then promptly dropped the ball rather than continue.
    It’s kind of sad. The Saturn of the early 90s was an interesting company that offered a product a lot of people loved.
    Rather than continue the development of small, economical cars during the mid 90’s (like Honda, Toyota, et al did) GM just pumped a bunch of “me too” vehicles from Vauxhall/Opel into the brand and people went away. GM has only itself to blame.

  158. skep-tic says:

    Lockhart on Squawkbox this morning:

    “We can’t allow house prices to drop another 10-15%.” !!!!

  159. GM sells a car at break ever at best and often for a loss and then makes zero on servicing

    GM was selling loan products that came with a free car; hence their current situation.

  160. kettle1 says:

    Al

    where is deflation????? is that a joke?

  161. kettle1 says:

    Mike

    resent the e-mail

  162. kettle1 says:

    skeptic,

    reversion to mean would require another 50% or so drop in housing…..

  163. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (148)-

    Agreed. Probably the biggest threat to C and BAC are the hordes of institutional investors who will have to dump shares because their charters won’t let them hold stocks that are under $5.

  164. Clotpoll says:

    And I don’t see C or BAC doing a reverse split. :)

  165. Al says:

    kettle1 says:
    February 19, 2009 at 11:17 am
    Al

    where is deflation????? is that a joke?

    It is partial Joke.

    What I see right now:

    My heating costs are up 18% 9 That was amount PSE@G was granted by the state last October. Natural gas went down 50% since but no decrease in price for me.
    Water rates increased 6% YoY.

    My health insurance is up 22% – company picks up 75% of costs, but 22% increase is here.

    Housing taxes are going up. I probably will negotiate my lease for next year to stay the same.

    Gasoline is creeping back up while oil stays at 35-40$/barrel.

    For the first time this month I saw some food prices dropping. Not too much but dropping. YoY food costs are up probably 10% right now.

    So as far as I am concerned Deflation is mainly in paper money. In banking sector and whatever else.

    My cost of living actually raised YoY significantly.
    Deflation is for rich folks again who have a lot of money to buy assets on a cheap.

    For average joe – everything is getting more expensive. Ohh wait I think Flat screen TV’s are getting cheaper.

    I guess I have to go buy one!

    The only deflation YoY I see is in a price of Gasoline. My commute is 15 miles a day total. Wife stays home with kid. I fill my car up once in 30 days.

    I loved 4$ gasoline as all of the sudden NJ drivers did slow down, people stopped driving aimlessly – there was a lot lighter traffic.

    What deflation?

  166. Clotpoll says:

    Al (172)-

    Strictly speaking, deflation and inflation should only be referenced in monetary terms.

  167. Clotpoll says:

    Al (172)-

    Do you have any recipes for flat-screen TV? Perhaps with a little pan sauce of wine and capers?

    “For average joe – everything is getting more expensive. Ohh wait I think Flat screen TV’s are getting cheaper.”

  168. Stu says:

    Current:

    BAC = $4.07
    C = $2.58

    9:57 am:
    C = $2.82
    BAC (BOA) = $4.28

    Pace is accelerating.

  169. Al says:

    Clotpoll says:
    February 19, 2009 at 11:34 am
    Al (172)-

    Do you have any recipes for flat-screen TV? Perhaps with a little pan sauce of wine and capers?

    Actually right now flat screen TV’s are approaching dining table sizes, they are flat and a lot cheaper than good quality furniture…

    So I was thinking of replacing my dining table with flask screen TV.. I also see a lot of potential in using them as Storm windows, air hockey tables, Fence elements, roofing, and construction blocks!!!

    Food – not soo much as somebody told me Flast screen TV’s have something called “heavy metals” in them… Supposed to cause cancer or something. I always thought little copper and lead was good for you – kills microbes.

  170. Al says:

    And yes there is deflation in global money supply – hugw one for that matter.

    But util It reflects itself in prices I pay it does not exist.

  171. kettle1 says:

    Al,

    as clot said, inflation deflation is a monetary phenomena. talk of food inflation or gas price deflation is inaccurate at best. What you are seeing is the end result of supply and demand. When housing values have lost a few trillion and banks have written off another few trillion you have defaltion.

    In our system credit is money, debt is money. As credit is withdrawn and as debts are written down you have substantial amounts of money leaving the market.

    In a deflationary depression ( the 30’s) the end result is that the 5$/gal milk now cost 1$/gal but you cannot afford that because your income has taken an even bigger hit.

    whether we end up in an inflationary depression or deflationary depression can be debated. I favor a little of both followed by an end result of a prolonged inflationary depression

  172. kettle1 says:

    Stu BC

    If the PPT can even manage a real rally this week and with eastern wuroipe on the brink, i guess Obama, begabe and Geithner arent planning on sleeping this weekend.

  173. kettle1 says:

    anyone see this yet?

    US Treasury doubles aid to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

    The US Treasury Department said Wednesday it was doubling its financial support to troubled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to 200 billion dollars each, in an effort to stabilize the real estate sector.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090218/bs_afp/useconomyconstructionhousing

  174. kettle1 says:

    Saab may go bust in 10 days, warns GM

    Saab, the Swedish carmaker owned by America’s General Motors (GM), could go bust within ten days without an immediate injection of state aid, the US company warned last night

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article5757562.ece

  175. #182 – Swedish govt. has nixed any assistance as well. Bye bye Saab.

  176. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (180)-

    If that’s the case, I bet O still knows where he can scare up a good 8-ball.

  177. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (181)-

    Between yesterday’s mortgage workout announcement and today’s news, it is patently obvious that Phony/Fraudy are being re-primed as garbage cans/bankruptcy/bailout vehicles.

    Because of the fiat nature of their very existence, Phony/Fraudy are basically being used as virtual garbage cans, to be virtually emptied, virtually scrubbed and virtually reused over and over.

    We are so fcuked. Chile may not be far enough away when this sucker detonates.

  178. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (183)-

    They did offer a nice tray of meatballs, though.

  179. kettle1 says:

    clot,

    i would rather be in chile then in asia.

    Asia may come out the strongest man standing when the dust settles in 10-15 years, but i dont want to be anywhere near there before then. way to much potential for shortages and turmoil.

    I hear albania is nice ;)

  180. All Hype says:

    C just a mere $0.05 away from it’s all time low.

    Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

  181. grim says:

    Hope nobody here is sitting on a Fortunoff Gift Card that they got as a wedding present.

    Fortunoff Stops Honoring Gift Cards as Bankruptcy Auction Nears

    Fortunoff Holdings LLC, the bankrupt luxury-goods chain, stopped honoring all gift cards as it prepares to auction its assets next week.

    The jewelry retailer is working with creditors to find a way to resume accepting the cards, said Lori Rhodes, a spokeswoman for NRDC Equity Partners LLC, Fortunoff’s owner. Rhodes said today in a telephone interview that she didn’t know when this might occur.

    “As a result of Fortunoff’s recent bankruptcy filing and the operation of bankruptcy law, Fortunoff can no longer accept gift cards as payment within any of its stores or online,” Rhodes said in an e-mail.

    Fortunoff, based in Uniondale, New York, sought protection from creditors on Feb. 5 and said last week it would sell its assets on Feb. 23. Purchase, New York-based NRDC purchased it last March out of an earlier bankruptcy for $110 million, including $80 million in cash.

  182. John says:

    GM is playing chicken with sweeden, bondholders and UAW, the old mexican standoff. I love it, Citi and BAC are either set for a new time low Friday or a crazy short covering days where maybe some lucky short sellers gets spanked

  183. #186 – heh… Swedish govt offered to help bail Saab but the entire thing had to be done with a single allen key.

    Speaking of which, I made the mistake of venturing to Ikea late Sun. I had to remined myself never go there on a weekend again, ever.
    Has anyone ever bought from CB2?

  184. BC Bob says:

    “I love it, Citi and BAC are either set for a new time low Friday or a crazy short covering”

    John,

    Going out on a limb? If I toss a coin in the air, tomorrow, it will probably come up heads or tails.

  185. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    February 19, 2009 at 9:56 am
    “yikes: we should work on a new ETF for when the sh!t hits the fan….the ticker would be SHF”
    Chi, It already exists; SPG.

    Bost: how about a Fresca?

  186. NJGator says:

    Grim 189 – So glad I made Stu burn ours on some new Calphalon a few weeks ago. Only took us 5 years to spend down all of our wedding credit.

  187. NJGator says:

    Re the PT Cruiser. I am definitely in the dislike camp. The sad thing is that Chevy makes a wannabe PT Cruiser. It’s called the HHR and it was utterly humiliating driving that thing on business trips. Our company rents midsize cars from Avis and that’s what I’d always get….used to beg for a downgrade, which was difficult to get when gas was $4/gallon.

  188. make money says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1039849853&play=1

    Rick Santelli goes nuts this morning on CNBC!

  189. chicagofinance says:

    crossroads says:
    February 19, 2009 at 10:10 am
    what is the modc…?

    http://modc.com/involved.html

  190. ricky_nu says:

    Comp blaster in Upper Saddle River:

    NJMLS 2847398

    current list at $2.195mm

    purhcased in 8/2007 at $2.65mm

    after 6% brokerage loss = $587k, and that is if they get asking price (which is doubtful)

    now we are talking real turkey.

  191. NJGator says:

    BTW – I believe this qualifies SP to serve in the Ob*ama cabinet now. From hereon out, Gator will only support candidates affiliated with the NJREREPORT party.

    JUNEAU, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin must pay back taxes on nearly $18,000 in expenses she charged the state for living in her home outside Anchorage instead of at the state capital, officials said Wednesday.

    A review of state policy and Internal Revenue Service tax laws determined the per diem payments should be treated as income, Department of Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer said.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29274669/

  192. C Dawg says:

    As a renter I am absolutely outraged by yesterday’s housing bailout announcement. I know it goes to the root of the problem, but that is precisely why such a solution is unacceptable. Housing is no longer a win-lose proposition. It’s a get rich quick scheme when times are good, and a socialized loss when things go bad.

    What a dope I am! Here I was renting a modest apartment, saving as much as possible every month to amass a down payment, and the government thinks massive interest, property tax and other related tax deductions aren’t enough. Now we need to just give homeowners money. Why don’t we just tax the renters and give it to the homeowners?

  193. yikes says:

    dow briefly touched 7400. wonder if that was during the rant by that clown on CNBC about how nobody wants obama’s big plan.

  194. BC Bob says:

    “Rick Santelli goes nuts this morning on CNBC!”

    Make,

    Great stuff!

  195. make money says:

    http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2009/02/switzerland-threatened-with-bankruptcy.html

    Switzerland could be the new Iceland due to loans to Eastern Europe.

    I would love to take a nice vacation in Geneva this spring.

  196. renter says:

    Even if the guy in Queens had his mortgage “modified”? He will still end up bankrupt because of the credit card debt. How do you pay off $70,000 in credit card debt with an $80,000 annual income?

  197. Al says:

    am! Here I was renting a modest apartment, saving as much as possible every month to amass a down payment, and the government thinks massive interest, property tax and other related tax deductions aren’t enough. Now we need to just give homeowners money. Why don’t we just tax the renters and give it to the homeowners?

    We actually do as renters do not get to write off mortgage interest deduction and property taxes deduction. In effect most renters do not itemize, and get hit even more for not being able to deduct state taxes from federal income.

    Granted in NJ where average house price is so much higher than renting price/month renters are still ahead, but in states where housing more in-line with rental costs mortgage interest deduction is a huge insentive to buya house or condo..

  198. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Saw Santelli this morn, bully for him called it how he sees it. They are replaying a portion right now say it is burning up the Internet. Gotta love it.

  199. make money says:

    Apparently I was just approved for a bunch of Loan Mod. According to th erep I would save over 5K per month.

    Go Bama. You’re the man.

  200. make money says:

    Now I have to get on the phone with the other lenders.

    Will keep you posted. remember, I have never been late on my mortgage.

    Anyone know if this will effect my FICO? are the Credit agencies smart enough to penalize me from future credit?

  201. Outofstater says:

    None of this will work. None of it. There is no money. There is only debt.

  202. BC Bob says:

    “According to th erep I would save over 5K per month.”

    Make,

    Fantastic! Take their stimulus and buy more gold, stick it to them.

  203. make money says:

    Fantastic! Take their stimulus and buy more gold, stick it to them.

    BC,

    That’s 5 ounces per month and I’m just getting started. On hold with Ken Lewis and his gang.

    Since inaguration day gold is up 30% and DOW is down 22% and I used to think that O and Timmy G won’t do anything for me.

    These guys are great.

  204. Homewrecker says:

    GM should drop the GM brand.

    The bailout money should go to companies like Tesla Motors, a silicon-valley automotive startup that has innovative ideas and is “not your father’s GM”.

    GM’s fundamental problem is that it builds cars people don’t want. Simple supply and demand.

    But we may end up all driving the American equivilent of Germany’s Volkswagen (“The People’s Car”).

  205. Stu says:

    C. Dawg:

    “Why don’t we just tax the renters and give it to the homeowners?”

    How much of a loss have you suffered by renting?

    Seriously, the most fair thing is for the government to just let housing bottom already. Endure the friggin pain already. Rip off the god-damn Band-Aid already. Instead, the infection is going to spread to our off spring.

  206. BC Bob says:

    “These guys are great.”

    make [211],

    I agree. Can we sign them up right now, for an additional 4 years?

    Just wait until they get heavily involved with the P talk. Then, it’s over, Gold.com

  207. chicagofinance says:

    Here is make’s theme song for 2009….

    Haysi Fantayzee
    “Shiny Shiny”

    Good times come to me now.

    I ain’t lying ‘cos there ain’t no time.
    It’s a pity ‘cos I dress divine.

    city smokes – people choke

    Big meanie he’s a genie and we ain’t got a hope.

    No chance – no chance.

    I feel fine
    no it ain’t no crime.

    I was dreamin’ of a demon and I ate a dime.

    The dime floats
    the colonel boasts –
    Send ’em up the hill boys, this ain’t no joke.

    No chance – no chance – no chance – no chance.

    Shiny shiny bad times behind me
    Shiny shiny sha-na-na-na.
    Shiny shiny bad times behind me

    Your sure look fine your shoes they shine.
    I taste your face your love is mine

    Mercury dan with a spikey hand.
    I’m a hot retard
    Marquis de Sade.

    No chance – no chance – no chance – no chance.

    Shiny shiny bad times behind me
    Shiny shiny bad times behind me
    Shiny shiny bad times behind me
    Shiny shiny bad times behind me

    Saw a cop on the line
    machine gun shine.
    I was dreaming not believing that I was alive.
    My mind broke
    the cop he choked.
    Get out of here, boy, or I’ll use the colt.

    No chance – no chance.

    You sure look fine your shoes they shine.
    No heat can compete with this blue-eyed liar.
    The child spoke – “We ain’t got a hope

    Press the button
    press the button – it’s all remote”.

    No chance – no chance – no chance – no chance.

    Shiny shiny bad times behind me
    Shiny shiny bad times behind me
    Shiny shiny bad times behind me
    Shiny shiny bad times behind me

  208. crossroads says:

    213 stu

    “How much of a loss have you suffered by renting?”

    %100 interest and 3 years of waiting for prices to comeback inline with income

  209. skep-tic says:

    Rick Santelli is the man.

  210. zieba says:

    Do they let Rick have a long leash or is he scripted to be the floor antagonist to balance out the on set propaganda pump?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEZB4taSEoA

    Rick is by far the funniest of the bunch, joe six pack TV fo sho’, but entertaining at times.

  211. Victorian says:

    Gold at all-time high of Rs 15,800 per 10 gm in Delhi

    NEW DELHI: Surging gold prices set yet another record of Rs 15,800 per 10 gram in the national capital on Thursday in line with the surging global bullion markets on speculation that the global recession will deepen further.

    The precious metal recorded fresh gains of Rs 50 to Rs 15,800, a level never seen before, after poor economic data of Russia and Japan raised concerns of a growing malaise of global recession.

    “We do not see any customers these days as surging gold prices cooled down the demand for jewellery in this marriage season,” said a Delhi-based Jeweller Gaurav Anand.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Market-News/Gold-at-all-time-high-of-Rs-15800/articleshow/4154539.cms

  212. Ben says:

    they don’t even care what Santelli says. It doesn’t mean much when 1 person speaks the truth when the rest of the channel is littered with hundreds of people who drink the kool-aid.

  213. ithink ithink says:

    kookaid is the market. fear & greed. two sides of every trade.

  214. skep-tic says:

    #132

    “Heh – with all of these developing good news is I am getting my US citizenship this week.”

    Congrats.

  215. Barbara says:

    Ok so…..any healthy local banks? I feel foolish for even asking.

  216. skep-tic says:

    hey guys, don’t forget the new conforming rate for mortgages is $625k. So it seems to me that a lot of loans that were jumbos initially could be refinanced by Fannie/Freddie under Mr. O’s socia-list mystery tour.

  217. Outofstater says:

    News from Detroit: Century 21 Town&Country Files Chapter 11.

    “Brokerage firms can’t survive selling these $20,000 homes when they used to cost “$200,000.”

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090219/BIZ/902190395/1001

  218. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barbara “Piggy”

  219. kettle1 says:

    Gator,

    Maybe we could have SP replace giethner as treasury sec.

  220. BC Bob says:

    “Maybe we could have SP replace giethner as treasury sec.”

    kettle,

    Stop that nonsense. Why mess with success?

  221. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barbara seriously look into Oritani Bank or Hudson City. All disclaimers. Do your due diligence.

  222. Victorian says:

    What percentage of Gold is used in Jewellery, Industry and Investment?

    Around 70% of gold demand is jewellery, 11% is industrial (dental, electronics) and 13% is investment (institutional and individual, bars & coins). Gold jewellery has strong “investment” attributes in all countries, and in markets such as India and Middle East is sold by weight at the prevailing daily rate with a supplementary “making charge” which varies according to the complexity of the piece. Jewellery is not used as currency in any market. I hope this answers your question: for further details see our website where you can subscribe to access further demand data and commentary.

    http://www.gold.org/faq/answer/94/what_percentage_of_gold_is_used_in_jewellery_industry_and_investment

  223. Victorian says:

    If 70% of gold demand is jewellery, India is the largest consumer by far and is reducing its consumption rapidly. What does this mean for gold prices?

  224. bi says:

    i have always been a contrarian on this board. 2 days ago i claimed oil was attractive while everyone here were so excited about their muzzles (srs and gold).

  225. NJGator says:

    Kettle I think SP can only be Undersecretary of the Treasury. She does not owe enough money in back taxes to qualify for the top spot.

    But if somehow she does get it, I foresee lots of pork for Alaska in TARP 3 instead of GS.

  226. BC Bob says:

    vic [231],

    Simple. They’ll wait for lower prices, as the market moves away from them, they will then come in a buy at much higher prices. Nothing new here.

    Once the market is short term overbought, it will pull back. All the pundits will then determine that India demand was the cause. As the market rebalances and then drives ahead, India jewelry demand will be forgotten.

    News does not make markets, markets make news.

  227. BC Bob says:

    “i have always been a contrarian on this board.”

    Bi,

    No sheet.

    If you have been trading your positions you would have been buried a long time ago. Why don’t you stop the crap and talk about what you currently have on. What you don’t have on can’t hurt you. Who cares?

  228. bi says:

    235, i have oil, mining, materials, financials, reits, tech, cash and s&p 500.

  229. Clotpoll says:

    bi (232)-

    I’m still excited about your eventual muzzling.

    Oil? I’ll let the hedgies lop you off at the knees on that one. They need dupes like you to chase the trade.

  230. Clotpoll says:

    (236)-

    BC, that’s what he’s got on this hour.

    Check him again at 3:30.

  231. Barbara says:

    why come Bankrate does not include BOA and CITI in its bank ratings for safe and secure?

  232. bi says:

    c and bac are probably the first two to be nationalized if bad bank/good bank stuff goes through

  233. BC Bob says:

    “mining”

    [236],

    I’m fcuked.

    “reits”

    Oh, back in the game.

  234. zieba says:

    Update: This crib of champions (ugliest house in NJ and most delusional owner winner) headed lower:

    From a million, to nine seventy five to nine fifty and now nine twenty five….

    http://newjersey.craigslist.org/reb/1041340169.html

    only half a million to go.

  235. John says:

    the interesting thing is I know everyone thinks citi is going under, but I don’t see it, yea I see shareholders getting wiped out but citi has yet to sell is valuable Japanese and Latin America subs or all of smith barney yet. I can’t imagine regulators siezing it before at least they have been forced to sell crown jewels. the other thing of interest citi was among the first people hit, they have been liquidating and laying off for two years. On top of that they were too weak to buy a wachovia, countrywide or soveign or be matched with bear or wamu. They have no integration issues. That said they may end up in some quasi type situation, but I think nationlization is off the table, the govt in on the hook for part of citigroup and the solution is not to go on the hook for the whole thing.

  236. crossroads says:

    will housing bailout have effect on asking prices? will people think prices can’t go down and continue to ask peak prices?

  237. bi says:

    today’s market is a “stress test” for citi and bac shareholders. if they close at or under this level, they are priced “go under” scenario.

  238. Sean says:

    Sombody got the MLS on this one?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29244599/

  239. Victorian says:

    Here is a comment from CR on the housing bailout, which made sense to me. Maybe the gurus over here can delve further.

    NO ONE IS PAYING THE MORTGAGE FOR SOMEONE ELSE!

    PART A – Fannie & Freddie refinance.

    This only applies to those whose loans are owned by Fannie and Freddie.

    Now this is VERY important to keep in mind – nationally house prices have fallen 20 (TWENTY) percent from peak prices.

    Here is an example of how and why this plan will not really work.

    In 2006, the borrowers bought a house for $277,000 and put down 10%. That means the loan is for $250,000. Lets say it carries a 7% 30 year mortgage. With principal taxes insurance and interest, the payment will be around $2040. The house is now worth $221,600 after that 20% price drop. They would still owe around $245,000 since it is so early in the mortgage.

    Under this plan they can refinance the house for a loan up to 105% of current value or $232,700. That is $12,300 short of what they owe. They CAN NOT refinance becasue they are too far underwater.

    And that will be a very common problem. Prices in southern CA are uniformly at least 34% off peak price. This will only work if (a) the borrower put down enough money – say 15% and (b) prices have not dropped more than 5% more than what they put down. GOod luck on that part.

    Fannie and Freddie are NOT GOING to write off the principal owed on the loan. No one – not you, not me, not anyone – is going to pay off any part of what they borrowed.

    Just for fun, lets assume they actually can survive this part of the requirements. Then they have to meet the Fannie/Freddie DTI (debt to income) limits. The new payment (principal, interest insurance & taxes) can not be more than 31% of their gross income. Then they can not have fixed debts (house, car payments, credit cards etc) that total more than 41-44% of their gross income. If they get this far, they are not getting a super-duper low interest rate. They will pay the going interest rate the same as anyone else would.

    All in all very very very few will actually manage to qualify based upon all this.
    The only thing this really does is change the Loan to Value for a refinance. Fannie & Freddie were requring that a refinance loan not be more than 80-85% of CURRENT value. All this does is let them refinance up to 105% of current value.

    PART B – bribing the loan servicers and banks

    Big problem is all these mortgages that were sliced and diced and sold off to investors. The banks don’t own them – they just manage them. That has been the problem all along with trying to modify those loans. The servicing banks will not go beyond minor tweaks to the loans because they will be liable to the owners of the loans. They can’t ask the owners of the loans for permission because they literally do not knnow who they all are.

    Lets take that same $250,000 loan with its PITI of $2040 and assume that the payament is 43% of the borrower’s gross income. That means the borrower has an income of $57,000.

    First the owner of the loan/servicing bank have to somehow reduce that payment so it is not more than 38% of gross income. That means making it $1805 for principal, interest, taxes and insurance. They have to somehow shave $235 off the payment. Usually you figure for every 1% increase in interest, it is another $50 in the payment for every $100,000 of the loan. Okay, the lender can try reducing the interest from 7% to 4 or 5%. That gets it in the ballpark.

    Now they have to get it down to 31% of gross income or to $1473 a month which is another $332 less. They can cut the interest to around 1.62% or something equally ridiculous which would work. The Federal government picks up 1/2 of that $332. Cost to the taxpayers? $1992 a year.

    Problem is that the bank servicing the loan will not be willing to pass the lost interest of $4812 a year (all of it from 43% – 38% & 1/2 of it from 38% -31% DTI) onto the loan owners for fear of being sued for mismangement. That has been the problem all along with these securitized loans.

    Anyone who has done any work with trying to sort out mortgages in trouble can tell you that the odds of this part of the proposal having any real effect are something like snowballs in hell. The servicing banks virtually NEVER agree

    (a) To write down the principal

    (b) To modify the interst rate for more than 2 years or so

    (c) To give up back payments and merely add them to the end of the loan and lengthen the loan

    (d) To give up accrued penalties and interest

    And that these servicing banks idea of a modification is to take the missed payments, penalties and costs; add them up; divide by 9 -18 months; & just add them to the regular payment or the new payment with a temporary interest rate reduction.

    Whole lot of fuss about something that really won’t amount to much.

  240. zieba says:

    I have never been sure about anything in my life as I am about the housing bailout failing miserably.

    It was designed to placate the masses but it really just irked a large set of the population.

  241. skep-tic says:

    Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay? [from the Economist]

    Is it that homeowners cannot afford to pay; or is it that they are declining to do so, because their homes are now worth less than their mortgages, the phenomenon known as negative equity?

    Both factors play a part, but economists are divided on their relative importance. One school thinks that, even in cases of negative equity, most homeowners will not default if they can afford the payments—not least because defaulting will wreck their credit records. A second school believes that once the home is worth less than the mortgage, homeowners have a significant incentive to walk away even if they can make the payment, since in many states lenders cannot then pursue them for the shortfall.

    Mr Obama’s advisers were drawn to the first school, in part by a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study that found that when home prices fell 23% in Massachusetts between 1988 and 1993, only 6.4% of borrowers with negative equity ended up in foreclosure. The authors concluded that most such borrowers felt what they got from their home was still worth the payment. The advisers were also influenced by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s apparent success in reducing the payments of delinquent customers of IndyMac, a failed bank. In a matter of months, 10% of the bank’s 56,000 seriously delinquent borrowers had their payments reduced to 38% or less of income.

    http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13145396

  242. 3b says:

    #244 crossroads: My concern as well, although not even sure I want to buy any more.

    However, I look at it like this. What buyer would want to buy, and risk their down payment, etc., when the critters in the very same house next door, could get bailed out, with their very own customized interest rate.

    And 25K 50k 75K or more who knows in a mtg principal write down.

    It is suicidal on the part of the prospective buyer.

    IMO no one will ever again be able to fairly value a house because of this nonsense. Where is the transparency?

    Current legitimate homeowners should be outraged, and start a million man/woman homeowners march on D.C.

  243. John says:

    This is better than the guy in Jamaica, two gay man who are former subprime mortgage brokers from american home mortgage want to be bailed out.

    NAME: Matthew Swift and Matthew Wallis

    TOWN: Coram

    MONTHS LATE: 19

    MODIFICATION WANTED: Lower interest rate so monthly payments are lower

    Month after month, through the stretching of pasta meals, unemployment benefits, filing of personal bankruptcies and car repossessions, the two Matthews have seen the value of their ranch home plummet.

    When they put 10 percent down on the house in 2006 and got a loan for $383,000, the property was appraised at $415,000, Swift said.

    Now, it’s about $298,000, he said, and the two have no equity in the home because they owe $66,000-plus and growing in payments and other fees.

    “We are hard-core under water,” said Swift, who got a job five months ago at a health care company.

    He believes President Barack Obama’s plan is a good step but said borrowers with no or little equity won’t get relief until lenders are forced to reduce the principal to reflect lower property values.

    Until recently, Swift, 38, and Wallis, 31, felt they knew how to wrest favorable changes on their prime loan mortgage from the lender – they were laid-off workers from American Home Mortgage, which shut down in August 2007.

    The only offer they got was one-eighth of a percent cut on their 7.5 percent interest rate, with the late payments, penalties and other fees tacked onto the back of the 30-year loan, Swift said. He turned that down, because without a longer loan term and a bigger interest cut, monthly payments would have gone from about $3,200 to over $3,900, he said.

    Since the layoffs, the couple has survived by using unemployment benefits to pay for gas and electricity and eating on gift cards from relatives to food places. Both men believe they are good candidates for a modification because they now have jobs; Wallis is working at with Capital One.

    “It’s sad that the banks have to be forced to do the right thing,” Swift said. “Why everybody took so long to get to this point, when this was the core of the problem in the first place, bewilders me.”

  244. Sean says:

    Grim you should team up with the Vulture and do a bus tour in New Jersey called “Bankers Foreclosure Tour” TM

  245. ithink ithink says:

    #246- sean

    27 scott lane

  246. ithink ithink says:

    Legislators: Require all new state workers to live in N.J.

    maybe everyone will come back from the Carolina’s too?

  247. skep-tic says:

    I agree with Vic tha the more you learn about this housing bailout, the more it becomes clear it won’t do much. Still, this is just the first step. There nothing to say that the O administration won’t do more when this proves uneffective. I think most responsible people need to be concerned by this because it shows a willingness to NOT allow the chips to fall where they should and unless the public demonstrates in no uncertain terms that they do not approve, I think we can expect more aggressive intervention when this proves ineffective.

  248. skep-tic says:

    #252

    ““It’s sad that the banks have to be forced to do the right thing,” Swift said. “Why everybody took so long to get to this point, when this was the core of the problem in the first place, bewilders me.””

    ****

    the right thing is to foreclose on these guys before the bank gets even deeper in the hole

  249. zieba says:

    RE: 258

    Yeah Nordstroms (JWN) defying gravity but recently broke out of triangle. Likely to revisit lows over the course of the next year.

    RE: 252

    Is it just me or are the “I am not white trash, I am entitled!” stories picking up steam as of late?

  250. freedy says:

    yes, i am awaiting my bailout,
    i also need a new vehicle,, and credit cards paid, they did not go far enough

  251. Mikeinwaiting says:

    skep-tic 256 I’m sure the boys have no problem getting deeper in the hole. (channeling John)
    Skep 255 Hopefully the backlash from this plan will stop the O team from further foolishness. Gotta watch those opinion poles you know.

  252. Victorian says:

    “the right thing is to foreclose on these guys before the bank gets even deeper in the hole”

    Skep – The problem with this is that the banks then have to recognize the loss on their books, which means that they have to mark-to-market the entire tranche of mortgages within the same neighborhood, price range etc.
    If they do this, they are really insolvent (as opposed to being zombies).

  253. Clotpoll says:

    John (243)-

    “They have no integration issues.”

    John, they’re still trying to swallow the turd Sandy Weill shoved down their throats years ago. Their whole business model is an integration issue.

  254. Victorian says:

    GE approaching zombie status. A financial company which manufactures light bulbs on the side.

  255. HEHEHE says:

    Vic,

    Hmmm didn’t Jack Welch put together that little strategem?

  256. Clotpoll says:

    HE (257)-

    I love this Davidowitz guy. He is a raving maniac…in the best sort of way.

  257. bi says:

    both bac and c are down 12%. game over!

  258. BC Bob says:

    “game over!’

    Bi,

    Your financials, long positions?

  259. safeashouses says:

    Clot,

    I worked for Salomon for 5 years, left in 2003. They still hadn’t integrated the Smith Barney and Salomon systems 5 years after the merger.

    Banks should never be allowed to get anywhere near joining the big to fail box. anytime I heard that line about a company I would just say “so was the Roman Empire” and then enjoy the dirty looks and the you don’t know what you are talking about lines. I admit I probably do not know what I’m talking about, but at least I’m not upside down on a pos house in NNJ or a luxury condo in the city.

  260. freedy says:

    here’s barry

  261. safeashouses says:

    #263

    Omama is reminding me more and more of Immelt.

  262. Clotpoll says:

    bi-muzzle within 10 points.

  263. kettle1 says:

    Clot,

    Re BOA

    Think Giethner is priming his “marshal law, end of hookers and blow for congress critters” speech for congress yet, or does he just re use paulosons?

  264. 3b says:

    #347 victorian: Good explanation. Hopefully it turnd ou to be the case.

    However, the governemnt could start turning the screws on the mtg servicers.

  265. 3b says:

    #273 Sorry reply to post #247.

  266. John says:

    Even funnier, I did a project at SmithBarney in 2000 and to check Reg T requirements on the margin desk I asked for the margin call report, well the batch job report said xx xxxxxx Margin Report. It looked familar and I was right it was the same old EF Hutton Margin Report I used in one of my first jobs, citi could not figure out how to change it so they just got a programmer to subsitute x’s for ef hutton.

    safeashouses says:
    February 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm
    Clot,

    I worked for Salomon for 5 years, left in 2003. They still hadn’t integrated the Smith Barney and Salomon systems 5 years after the merger.

    Banks should never be allowed to get anywhere near joining the big to fail box. anytime I heard that line about a company I would just say “so was the Roman Empire” and then enjoy the dirty looks and the you don’t know what you are talking about lines. I admit I probably do not know what I’m talking about, but at least I’m not upside down on a pos house in NNJ or a luxury condo in the city.

  267. All Hype says:

    T-minus 2 minutes to the 3 pm entrance of the PPT. Let’s see if the pump monkeys are out today.

  268. safeashouses says:

    Geithner,

    1) Made the Asian crisis of 97-98 worse.

    2) Played his fiddle while the IB went wild with MBS and other toxic debt

    3) Can’t even pay his own taxes

    Sounds like the perfect man to guide us through this crisis. (/off sarcasm)

  269. skep-tic says:

    enough of what the plan won’t do; let’s focus on the negative:

    “Let’s focus on the plan’s effect on the individual borrower. Anyone with mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be able to refinance to lower rates if his mortgage is between 80% and 105% of the value of the home. This is a sweet deal that is not available, for example, to many renters looking to buy homes now. Sadly for those who deferred the gratification of homeownership, the 20% down payment has now become industry standard. But at least their taxes will allow other people to stay in homes they can’t afford.”

    [from WSJ editorial page]

  270. HEHEHE says:

    Traders worry as Dow hovers near three-month low

    NEW YORK – Wall Street teetered near its lowest levels in three months, helped along by news that Hewlett-Packard was scaling back its 2009 forecast.

    The Dow Jones industrial average has been dangerously close to its late November lows all week after tumbling 300 points Tuesday. Traders are worried that if the Dow closes below the psychological barrier it reached on Nov. 20 the broader market could see stepped-up selling.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090219/ap_on_bi_st_ma_re/wall_street

  271. 3b says:

    #278 skeptic: Well if 20% is the new standard, than many may not be buying houses, becasue they are not enough with 20% to put down.

    And many that have it may not want to risk it.

    I think at this point if possible the best is to put as little down as possible.

  272. bi says:

    dow is already under november closing low. watch out. if there is no bounce today, it will become really ugly.

  273. Barbara says:

    I wonder if the “rent to own” phenom will return

  274. Victorian says:

    “But at least their taxes will allow other people to stay in homes they can’t afford.””

    – Funny, I did not see the WSJ complaining too loudly about our taxes funding banker bonuses, dividends and bailouts. Oh yes, they came from a “separate” pool of money.

  275. Herring123 says:

    Wow, just one more 400-500 point drop and bi will have capitulated. Is this some sort of contrarian indicator?

  276. skep-tic says:

    “Funny, I did not see the WSJ complaining too loudly about our taxes funding banker bonuses, dividends and bailouts. Oh yes, they came from a “separate” pool of money.”

    #284

    Vic– actually, they did. They called these people “fake capitalists” on several occassions

  277. dentss says:

    How do I know if I qualify for a payment reduction under the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan? In general, you may qualify for a mortgage modification if (a) you occupy your house as your primary residence; (b) your monthly mortgage payment is greater than 31% of your monthly gross income……My property taxes Damn near qualifies me for that

  278. confused in nj says:

    Obama is going to pay for all the spending with a new Cigarette Excise Tax of $5,000 per pack.

  279. Sean says:

    GO SRS!

    82.19 Up 5.98 (7.85%) 3:35PM ET

  280. All Hype says:

    HIG Down almost 25%, headed for the graveyard.

  281. kettle1 says:

    Al et al

    where is deflation? here it is! Mish has a great piece up today

    Bernanke’s expansion of M0 in the last four months of 2008 has merely reduced the debt to M0 ratio from 47:1 to 36:1 (the debt data is quarterly whole money stock data is monthly, so the fall in the ratio is more than shown here given the lag in reporting of debt).

    To make a serious dent in debt levels, and thus enable the increase in base money to affect the aggregate money stock and hence cause inflation, Bernanke would need to not merely double M0, but to increase it by a factor of, say, 25 from pre-intervention levels.

    M0 x 25 = 20 trillion FYI

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

  282. BC Bob says:

    “M0 x 25 = 20 trillion FYI’

    kettle,

    New target.

  283. Clotpoll says:

    Burn, baby, burn!! Burn the m-f*^ker down!!!

  284. Stu says:

    7 points until muzzle.

  285. Clotpoll says:

    BC (291)-

    Does this mean Timmay will start sending plates, Treasury paper and ink to all the Kinko’s in Northern VA? He’s gonna need to spin some more presses.

  286. Zack says:

    Dow hit 7449 before bouncing back..

  287. BC Bob says:

    Clot [294],

    No, it means I’m off to Home Depot, need more shovels.

  288. HEHEHE says:

    Hey Timmay’s back, it mus be Market Manipulation Thursday again, one free drink for each futures purchase!!!

  289. SG says:

    It’s a Renters’ Market in the Hamptons

    This is normally the time of year when people start making plans for the summer and lock in their rentals in the Hamptons. Not this year. Last month, The Real Deal suggested the number of rental transactions was down by as much as 80 to 90 percent compared to last year at this time; today the Post offers up examples of prospective renters offering owners as little as half the official asking price. Things may very well get worse as nervous renters wait to see if prices fall further, and owners become increasingly desperate to take the first real offer that comes their way. In other words, don’t be surprised if six recent college grads end up turning ex-Lehman COO Joe Gregory’s $32 million Bridgehampton home into a booze-soaked share house.

  290. ithink ithink says:

    #282 – Barbara

    I wonder if the “rent to own” phenom will return

    Do you mean the stores or houses? If stores, like TVs & couches? Pimm Fox was discussing these a few days ago on Bloomberg & how certain brands were set to do well & are already eating into certain stores cos you can just go across the street & rent a TV if you don’t get approved for the credit… I don’t give the rent-to-own stores much shelf life though unless they’re in an area with jobs.

  291. kettle1 says:

    clot,

    M0 is currently at about 800 billion.

    the chinese are unhappy with us at this level. I wonder what they would think about a 2,400% increase in M0?

    How long before the name Bergabe goes mainstream?

  292. SG says:

    Americans Become A Nation of Renters

    The Administration’s new plan to keep people in their homes by reducing what they have to pay for their mortgages each month actually has a similar effect on “ownership” although that may not be apparent at first.
    There are a number of clever ways that will mandate how the principal will be handled. According to Bloomberg, “Like earlier efforts from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and housing industry groups, the new plan will make use of interest-rate reductions, loan extensions and so-called principal forbearance, in which part of a mortgage’s principal is deferred to the end of the loan’s term.”

  293. HEHEHE says:

    Where’d Timmay go?

  294. BC Bob says:

    “How long before the name Bergabe goes mainstream?’

    I wonder if Gartman holds the rights to the name?

  295. BC Bob says:

    Is must be taking the new PPT some time to adjust to the Caribbean sun?

  296. Clotpoll says:

    6 points to muzzle time.

  297. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (300)-

    Maybe the Chinese can help us out on printing costs and just dump their USD reserves onto the market. :)

  298. Clotpoll says:

    Looks like PRU got dq’d from the Fed commercial paper program. All the insurers are way down. Are they going to follow suit?

  299. BC Bob says:

    Make,

    Just a thought.

    The last time shiny crossed, higher, the S&P’s,[1973], it then advanced 600% higher.

  300. Clotpoll says:

    BC (304)-

    I think the Caribbean desk crew just rolls out of bed every AM, gets smashed on Red Stripes & ignores Timmay’s calls.

    Maybe they’re on the beach, playing cricket with Allen Sanford.

    Or, playing cricket with Sanford’s head.

  301. Barbara says:

    299.
    Ithink
    I was referring to homes, but rent to own on goods was also a late 80s phenom. Interesting.

  302. BC Bob says:

    Clot [306],

    They are too busy, using their reserves, buying up mineral/oil firms, on their lows. Righr uner our nose, while we rob the productive to assist the dead. Which side of that trade will be a winner?

  303. BC Bob says:

    Right under.

  304. HEHEHE says:

    Bergabe has not been trademarked.

  305. Clotpoll says:

    HE (313)-

    This is a move that Grim should pull now!

  306. t c m says:

    re: the guy from queens – why should his wife go back to work if they use 31% of income to modify the loan? wouldn’t it be smarter for her to continue to stay home until the loan is modified? wouldn’t they use combined income? am i missing something?

  307. Sean says:

    re #314 SG – so there will be better looking broads working the poles.

  308. Clotpoll says:

    BC (311)-

    As I’ve been saying for weeks, we sadly know how this movie will end.

  309. Barbara says:

    This mortgage bailout is going to get dicey. Families, friends, coworkers are going to get into heated debates and there will be lasting effects on those relationships. Who amongst us doesn’t have that blowhard relative with every goodie under the sun under his roof? The non stop years of bragging while you squirreled your cash away diligently.
    Yeah, its gonna get ugly.

  310. BC Bob says:

    “Yeah, its gonna get ugly.”

    Barb,

    Agree. We all know deadbeats. I have already started to field the calls.

  311. kettle1 says:

    barb,

    the real mess is the huge # of boomers who consider their home a significant priton of their retirement portfolio. If that is the case then they have no portfolio.

    A neighbor of mine is an elderly fellow. him and his wife cannot afford the house and are living off of savings. The will not sell becuase that home is their retirement plan. They were planning on selling for a huge gain then heading down to sunny FL.

    They keep repeating that the market will turn in the spring and then everything will be OK.

    at this rate they will be forced out of the house aftrer having spent their liquid saving trying to stay in it and wait for the bubble to reflate. they will have zip when the sheriff knocks on the door.

    I have seen this same situation way to many times lately. this is going to be a monstrous social disaster……

    We next month is set to be a record treasury offering, just like last month was. if our debt is out of control trying to put a floor under housing what happens as all these boomers turn to SSI and medicaid/care to support them when they lost all their money in housing.

    Oh and dont forget that all those 401K’s and other retirement benefits are heavily tied to RE.

    Retirement will no longer exist unless you live like a pauper or are independently wealthy. Oh and we are going back to generational families. who is going to pay the 1500K/month nursing home cost????

  312. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (319)-

    Pretty soon, the gun talk around here won’t be about what kind of gun you have.

    It will be about how quick a draw you are.

  313. Stu says:

    How long before the plug gets pulled on this mortgage modification stimulus?

  314. John says:

    the recession is getting real bad, one of the ladies I work with maid had to cancel her cable and internet.

    On more serious note two friends got laid off from PwC and MS just this week. Both said they made it through lots of rounds of lay-offs just to make it to 2009. One has a pregant wife and one has a newborn and both were great workers. But when it hits the fan and it is round number five you are history, as the SVP at Citi told me last night, when you are done cutting the fat sometimes you have to cut the muscle.

  315. BC Bob says:

    Dow, back to 2002, closing level.

    Everything that dies someday comes back.

  316. John says:

    HIG senior bonds will be a good nibble soon, they have a ton of mark to market corp bonds in their investment port that are still paying but caused massive impairments

    All Hype says:
    February 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm
    HIG Down almost 25%, headed for the graveyard.

  317. Clotpoll says:

    FBI has found Stanford in Virginia. He is NOT in custody.

    WTF???

  318. BC Bob says:

    “How long before the plug gets pulled on this mortgage modification stimulus?”

    Stu,

    The stock market would explode. Of course it will be another excuse to get or add to shorts.

  319. kettle1 says:

    The new black:

    Home loans in the US: the biggest racket since Al Capone?

    http://blogs.ft.com/maverecon/2009/02/home-loans-in-the-us-the-biggest-racket-since-al-capone/

  320. skep-tic says:

    OK, even if you accept that something should be done to prop up the housing market, this help for deadbeats is the worst possibile method. Why not spend the money giving downpayments to 1st time buyers? Why must we throw money at the very people who have demonstrated that they don’t know how to handle it?

  321. kettle1 says:

    Treasuries Tumble as Fed Signals U.S. Debt Purchases on Hold

    Treasuries fell as the Federal Reserve signaled it’s not going to purchase U.S. securities to lower consumer borrowing costs any time soon. Thirty-year bonds, which had been little changed for much of the day, plunged after the minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 27-28 policy meeting showed officials will wait before buying Treasuries. The government tomorrow will announce the size of next week’s auctions of two-, five-, and seven-year notes. The likely total is $97 billion, according to Wrightson ICAP LLC. “Why wait?” said Michael Franzese, head of government bond trading for Standard Chartered in New York. “Why not take the pressure off the market by saying it’s imminent, or by saying it will be within a target range?”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aMfT61hFde64&refer=us
    —————-

    let me guess, an unidentified Caribbean corp will be making a large bid.

  322. SG says:

    Question to RE experts / Clot:

    I am looking at one of foreclosures coming up for auction. In details there is Judgment amount specified.

    Does that mean bidding starts from that price onward?
    Can one bid lower amount than this price?
    What is the chance of winning bid under this price?

  323. kettle1 says:

    Clot

    the fuse is lit

    Fear about ‘insolvent’ banks jacks up counterparty risk

    Financial counterparty risk is back up to where it was when Bear Stearns ran into trouble, according to an index that tracks prices of credit default swaps on the 14 dealers that account for the vast majority of derivatives trading. The Counterparty Risk Index shows that prices of five-year contracts that insure investors against bond defaults by Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley along with eight foreign firms reached 207 basis points today—slightly more than right before Bear was acquired by J.P. Morgan in March 2008.

    http://www.financialweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090218/REG/902189971/1036

  324. Lurker says:

    Re #321 Kettle:

    What do you mean $1500 -> who is going to pay the 1500K/month nursing home cost????

    A relative of mine nursing home tab by Florida Medicaid in fall of 2003 was $4500 a month.

  325. skep-tic says:

    the FT column makes another interesting point: just streamline the process for foreclosure if you are worried about neighborhood blight. gov’t could have a database online of all houses in foreclosure that people could bid on (Mr. O is big on web pages, right?). Gov’t could finance purchases online and you could have new people in the houses very soon after old people move out.

  326. Clotpoll says:

    SG (333)-

    If you have to ask these questions, you shouldn’t get within 10 miles of this sale.

  327. make money says:

    334 Kettle,

    good stuff. Who’s next?

  328. kettle1 says:

    give me an F’in break with the messiah crap already…..

    Obama threads a mortgage needle

    In office 30 days and President Obama has already devised a stimulus package, a bank bailout, and now a mortgage rescue. Like Franklin D. Roosevelt, he has put government’s shoulder into a falling economy. But also like FDR, he says he would end any program that doesn’t work. For his mortgage scheme, he may want to keep his hand on the plug.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0220/p08s01-comv.html

  329. Clotpoll says:

    SG-

    Not to be rude, but don’t be the guy jumping into a shark tank wearing a suit of meat.

  330. make money says:

    Sg 333

    Stay away from the water where sharks swim. I hear the pool water is nice and they serve free drinks.

  331. kettle1 says:

    Once Cali home prices drop below 98, they are approaching bottom. there will still be a potentially large overshoot, but that should be close. ( yes i just made a call and stuck my head out…)

    Southern California home prices fall 40% in one year to 2002 levels

    Southern California home prices continued their decline in January, falling to 2002 price levels, a real estate research firm reported today. The January median sales price for all Southern California homes fell to $250,000, a 40% drop from the same month a year prior, according to San Diego based MDA DataQuick. The falling prices were again driven by sales of foreclosed properties, which comprised nearly 60% of all homes sold in the region. Consequently, the lowest median sales prices were reported in San Bernardino County ($162,000) and Riverside County ($195,000), where foreclosures have been rampant.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-homesales20-2009feb20,0,7584906.story

  332. kettle1 says:

    Cali housing (san diego), but is approximately representative of the entire state as far as case-shiller data goes)

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_lsF4HSdqo04/SZZ3ebIQikI/AAAAAAAAA-Y/YW-1HiOKgB4/s1600-h/SanD.PNG

  333. NJGator says:

    From The I’m Gonna Party Like It’s 2005 Files – Montclair Edition

    Renovation Brings Big Bucks

    Realtors have been buzzing about the brisk sale of this home at 40 Edgemont Road. The circa 1907 house, newly renovated, was listed for $1,999,999 and sold for $2,510,000, for a whopping $510,001 over asking. It was also on the market for just nine days. We’d show you pictures of the inside, but the listing oddly provided only an exterior shot. Here’s what the house has: 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, plus a carriage house. It sits on .42 acre and taxes were listed at $22,265. What’s interesting: the same house sold exactly one year ago this month for $1,065,000 (see before pictures from that listing in the jump). At that time, the carriage house was listed as renting for 1,100 a month. It also used to be a 7 bedroom, 4 full bath home, so a bedroom might have became a bathroom in the renovation. The renovation is touted here.

    http://www.baristanet.com/realestate/2009/02/renovation_brings_big_bucks.php#more

  334. SG says:

    Clot: I was going to ask you to do the swimming for me. :-)

  335. ithink ithink says:

    the presses are running to force the holders of dollars to sell their devalued dollar. we’ll buy it back on the cheap while fixing up the place with stuff pegged to it. when enough is bought back we’ll raise rates & burn just enough to make it valuable again. someone was trying to corner the market & sell US bridges to nowhere, back to the rest of the world as a form of purchasing, which is why it’s different than japan, sweden or zimbawe. if it’s so bad that we’re printing dollars then how & with what leverage do we possibly have to make secret banks tattle-tale vs keeping their mouths shut?

  336. kettle1 says:

    Bank of America, American Express May Suffer as Credit Card Defaults Set Record

    Credit-card defaults may rise beyond 10 percent this year, breaking records and wiping out more than half of annual profit for lenders including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., analysts said. Loan failures are about to surpass a previous high of 7.53 percent as people losing jobs amid the U.S. recession can’t repay debt, according to Fitch Ratings. The defaults may peak at 10 percent to 11 percent of loans by yearend under a stress scenario, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Brian Foran said yesterday in an e-mail, reducing 2009 earnings for issuers including an almost 40 percent cut for American Express Co.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTitTMcMFNI8&refer=worldwide

  337. kettle1 says:

    Total state expenditures have grown to $145 billion in 2008 from $104 billion in 2003 and California now has the worst credit rating in the nation — worse even than Louisiana’s. It also has the nation’s fourth highest unemployment rate of 9.3% (after Michigan, Rhode Island and South Carolina) and the second highest home foreclosure rate (after Nevada). Roughly 1.4 million more nonimmigrant Americans have left California than entered over the last decade, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council. California is suffering more than most states from the housing bust, but its politicians also showed less spending restraint during the boom.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123491737158404543.html

  338. crossroads says:

    348 kettle1

    any idea how much outstanding cc debt there is in the us?

  339. Outofstater says:

    #242 Ugly! Who designs these things and thinks they are attractive? Who wants windows that look like warts?

  340. BC Bob says:

    “the presses are running to force the holders of dollars to sell their devalued dollar. we’ll buy it back on the cheap while fixing up the place with stuff pegged to it.”

    ithink,

    Funny s*it on this site, no?

    What, of any value, is pegged to our dollar? Good faith/promise? Legal tender for all debts public and private?
    What the hell are we going to buy it back with, more printed dollars.

    You are describing Weimar.

  341. bi says:

    capitulation time is near!

    The rise in the M2 measurement of money supply is saying “monetary policy is pretty easy and the economy may pick up before the consensus expects it,” said Paul Kasriel, chief economist for the Northern Trust.

    Kasriel, for years one of the gloomier private-sector prognosticators thanks to his early forecast that the U.S. housing market was on the path to meltdown, now has a sunnier outlook. He expects the economy to start recovering by the fourth quarter and that it will avoid a prolonged, debilitating bout of deflation

    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2009/02/19/njs-36-billion-dollar-hole/#comments

  342. bi says:

    Tomorrow when SRS hits 90 I am going to eat my shorts!

  343. skep-tic says:

    #343

    “Once Cali home prices drop below 98, they are approaching bottom.”

    sounds plausible, but keep in mind the difference between the california economy today and that in 1998. hard to say where the bottom is right now

  344. BC Bob says:

    bi [354],

    I owe you a drink, next GTG. I have to admit, you are a pisser.

  345. ithink ithink says:

    the interest rate is 1954.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v89/fucttape/22222-1.jpg

    houses prices don’t always go up, but at this point, they do.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v89/fucttape/thenandnow2.jpg

  346. ithink ithink says:

    357 in mod
    but i’m a rocker according to BC’s #352.

  347. ithink ithink says:

    What, of any value, is pegged to our dollar?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvmZ9SPcTzU

  348. Outofstater says:

    #335 And now nursing homes are $5,000/month.

  349. bi says:

    maybe my prediction will come true: the recession will be ended by Q1. now gloom and doom everywhere. but i wouldn’t be surprised to see dow rally 1000 pts. right now, we need a trigger, for example, fed forces MS buy Citi and Goldman buy Bank of America, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo take over the rest of “bad banks”.

    Market Watch: January leading indicators up; recession’s intensity to ease

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/January-leading-indicators-up-recessions/story.aspx?guid=%7B7132E29F%2DA05D%2D4497%2DB1C3%2D571F1AF5443B%7D

  350. kettle1 says:

    Skeptic,

    i think we could see cali as well as much of the US drop as low as 80+% off peak at the peak of the overshoot. But i think we will settle in the area of 98 prices. It will be a long slow process.

    if we follow the previous pattern we will not begin to overshoot for another 4-5 years

  351. BC Bob says:

    bi [362],

    A 1,000 point rally is possible, at any time. Don’t confuse a dead cat bounce with an improving econmoy.

  352. jcer says:

    SG, I will answer as someone looking at something similar. Typically the bank will bid the mortgage, so you normally would have to go over what is owed, normally with large banks that is how they operate. Smaller banks/individual mortgage holders may let a property go below whats owed or may even bid up over whats owed provided they think they can make money. You also need to do a title search to ensure there are no liens against the property. Considering you most probably have not inspected the property chances are you could get a raw deal. Clot is correct, let the bank take it and buy it after the fact if you desire.

  353. chicagofinance says:

    John says:
    February 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm
    the recession is getting real bad, one of the ladies I work with maid had to cancel her cable and internet.

    On more serious note two friends got laid off from PwC and MS just this week. Both said they made it through lots of rounds of lay-offs just to make it to 2009. One has a pregant wife and one has a newborn and both were great workers. But when it hits the fan and it is round number five you are history, as the SVP at Citi told me last night, when you are done cutting the fat sometimes you have to cut the muscle.

    JJ: Friend who got whacked from MS and found another job said he is about to get whacked again……….

  354. #362 – JP Morgan and Wells Fargo take over the rest of “bad banks”

    The market seems to think that WFC is one of those bad banks. Doesn’t look like JPM is too far behind.

  355. Clotpoll says:

    bi (355)-

    A simple muzzle would suffice.

  356. sas says:

    “Who’s Keeping Burger King Workers Below the Poverty Line?”
    http://tinyurl.com/b28ozd

  357. yikes says:

    make money says:
    February 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Apparently I was just approved for a bunch of Loan Mod. According to th erep I would save over 5K per month.

    Go Bama. You’re the man.

    make – care to share with whom? Got a few people i know that could use the help … a name or # would work … if you’d feel safer via email, grim can give you my email

  358. bi says:

    368#, maybe history is repeating itself this time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morgan,_Sam.jpg

  359. nj ecapee says:

    Corzine may propose eliminating property tax rebates

    With his budget-cutting options dwindling, Gov. Jon Corzine is preparing plans to severely curtail or eliminate New Jersey’s popular property tax rebates for the coming year, multiple sources close to the governor said today.

    The rebate checks to homeowners and tenants, which cost the state about $1.7 billion last year, represent one of the largest remaining non-essential spending items in the budget Corzine will present to the Legislature on March 10.
    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/corzine_may_propose_eliminatin.html

  360. yikes says:

    bi says:
    February 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    dow is already under november closing low. watch out. if there is no bounce today, it will become really ugly.

    this guy reminds me of that primate the cops shot in killed in connecticut. except the only thing Bi could rip apart would be all the worthless paper he’s holding

  361. d2b says:

    What happens to short positions when the SEC institutes a ban on short term selling? Does the brokerage account automatically cover them?

  362. NJCoast says:

    Hey PeaceNow- Cramer just let it slip on his show that he has a house in Ocean Grove. I just looked it up (no mortgage) and he’s on Abbott- is he a neighbor of yours?

  363. Sean says:

    ocean grove krammer must be a Bruce fan.

  364. House Hunter says:

    to Yikes, a question if you don’t mind answering…you quoted some mortgage data recently from your purchase…what mortgage co did you use? which one was a follow-up? how did you approach your search for a new mortgage?
    thanks in advance

  365. still_looking says:

    ket, 97

    Damn If I didn’t see you hanging outside the chemistry and physics rooms with you mop….

    …get back to work…. damn [mumbles under breath…] stinking, know.it.all janitor.

    sl

  366. still_looking says:

    Zack 179

    All Mortgages by unemployed people will be paid by the government until they find a job.

    O HAI! Peggy the moocher called…she wants her tagline back! :)

    and don’t forget…put gas in their cars (so they can get to unemployment…and church)

    and a chicken in every pot… a tofu chicken for the vegans….

    sl

  367. still_looking says:

    oops… that was Zack 149 not 179

    …long day in the pit.

    sl

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