Fashionably late, Manhattan joins the party

From the NY Times:

Apartments Sell for Less if They Are Sold at All

Hard times have come to the Manhattan real estate market, according to a series of quarterly sales reports to be issued on Thursday.

Relatively few apartments are selling, and when they do, prices are down 20 percent or more from a year ago. Large, luxurious apartments on Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue and Central Park West, and new condominiums with many unsold apartments, have been particularly hard hit.

One report, prepared by two brokerage firms, Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property, showed the number of closings of condos and co-ops down by 58 percent in the first quarter of 2009, compared with the same period a year earlier, as buyers were scared off by worries over the economy, portfolio losses and fears that apartment prices would continue to fall in the months ahead.

The report showed that average condo and co-op apartment prices were down 11 percent from the first quarter of last year, to $1.5 million. Co-op prices were off 27 percent, to $975,000, and condominium prices down by 4 percent. but were up from the last quarter, as buyers continued to close on new condominiums for which contracts were signed many months ago.

The number of sales of apartments over $10 million plummeted, by 87 percent, compared with a year ago, when sales of apartments at some of the city’s most expensive condominiums, at 15 Central Park West and at the Plaza Hotel, were completed, the report said.

Although details in the various reports differed — one put the decline in sales at 52 percent and another at 48 percent — they suggested a market still traumatized by a collapse in confidence last fall after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, even as sales have begun to stabilize in far more troubled real estate markets in the West.

Jonathan Miller, an appraiser who prepares the market report for Prudential Douglas Elliman, said he has tracked a series of statistics on inventory over the last decade that show the market declining more steeply than ever before.

The number of apartments on the market, 10,445, was 34 percent above the inventory level a year ago, he said, and 15 percent above the inventory last quarter.

The average number of days that apartments stayed on the market had increased to a record 170, nearly half a year, up 16.5 percent from the first quarter last year and 7 percent from the last quarter. And when buyers did sign contracts, they got a discount of 12 percent from the most recent listed asking price, up from 7.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008.

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267 Responses to Fashionably late, Manhattan joins the party

  1. Essex says:

    I never understood the pricing of NYC…..always thought is was INSANE in the membrane.

  2. bi says:

    here is a question a viewer ask MM. i would ask MM cults the same question here.

    > So Mike at what point would you capitulate with a stop loss? SPX 850?

    Thanks
    Sean

    April 2, 2009 10:56 AM

  3. Clotpoll says:

    Mikey’s latest, tailored to the bug-like attention span of bi:

    “If this week’s markets rallied because of the G20 initiatives, we are in big trouble. Let me walk you through what the G20 boys and girls did . . . or didn’t do. They created or saved nothing! Here’s a walk through the main bragging points of the G20 love fest that created or saved nothing.

    IMF Funding – The G20 agreed to give the dysfunctional and loosely regulated IMF more than a trillion dollars to hand out to countries facing financial problems. Here’s the catch. First, only Japan, China and the EU actually agreed to provide funding. Japan and the EU committed to $100 billion that they don’t have. And China, who has the funds to help the world, is going to kick in a paltry $40 billion . . . maybe. You see they want a greater say in the running of the IMF as part of their measly $40 billion. The US is said to be contemplating as much as $250 billion that we don’t have. Even if all of these funds do come in . . . and that is a huge IF, the total only comes to $490 billion which is $610 billion short of their $1.1 trillion announcement. Obviously, too much love-fest, schmoozing, giggles and grins and pure nonsense . . . but it gets worse.

    By the way, the IMF’s track record stinks. Some say as much as 80% of IMF funds actually get sucked up by corrupt politicians, warlords and friends.

    Global Quantitative Easing – It hasn’t worked for us or the EU, so let’s roll it out to the world. This one gets a bit tricky because the IMF is going to use their SDR program and increase this to $250 billion for each country. What is SDR – Special Drawing Rights. What is Quantitative Easing – Printing Money. So under this plan each country will have an allocation of a “shadow” IMF currency which they will call SDR. So what? This is a big so what, because the shadow currency can be converted to dollars, euros or sterling. The G20 just leveraged this program up ten-fold yesterday. If you’re confused, so is the G20 and the IMF. They are taking QE to a level that has not explanation on planet earth.

    Bag A Banker – Not exactly, but the G20 is going to “crackdown” on all forms of compensation to bankers. This proposal received unanimous approval, but it really isn’t a proposal for anything other than to come up with a set of international rules to prohibit banks from paying executives big money for taking risk. Now get this . . . not only don’t they have a plan on how to do this, and not only will it need to be accepted by everyone, but the initial outline says the regulators are going to assess the risk and the compensation. I swear . . . I’m not making this up. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

    So far we have three G20 initiatives . . . with none of them being anything more than Ka Ka de Poopy.

    Toxic Assets – The G20 has decided they don’t like toxic asses. That was a revelation. So each country has agreed to dispose of these toxic assets by setting up a bad bank or insuring the assets against default. I know . . . they were probably high on red wine by the time the figured this out. A bad bank? Okay, sounds good, but then what? Do we sell it to the Martians? And you gotta love the insured against default schtick. We are talking about bankrupt countries where there currency is worthless . . . and they are offering to insure the toxic debt. With what?
    So the G20 could not come up with a single feasible plan for dealing with toxic assets. You see, there is no way to just ignore them. Eventually, these will destroy the financial markets. So instead of pushing them under the carpet, we need to line them up and pay the consequences for eliminating them. If that means thousands of banks fail, so be it.

    Fiscal Stimulus – This was supposed to be the BIG KAHUNA of the entire conference. But we knew in advance that Merkel and Sarkozy were not going to spend anymore money on stimulus. So what do the G20 decide to do? They pulled an ObamaRamaLama and agreed to announce they had already pledge $5 trillion collectively. Okay? We already knew that. Now what? Nothing. End discussion.

    Secret Tax Havens – Actually, they’re not a secret but they keep secrets. So the G20 decided to punish any countries that do not agree to cooperate. Gordon Brown declared . . . “The era of banking secrecy is over.” Oh yeah? Who says? Because the G20 did not come up with a single plan for dealing with the tax haven. Moreover, they didn’t even come up with a single sanction for a country that fails disclose. Please, no laughing. This is serious stuff.

    Protectionism – Okay, I know you’re going to laugh, so here goes. The G20 is adamantly against trade barriers and protectionism. They declared that is was protectionism during the 1930’s that made the Great Depression truly depressing. But once again, no teeth, no regulations, no plans, no sanctions. In fact, the same countries agreed not to implement any protectionist policies back in November. Since then more than a dozen of them have put trade barriers in place. At the top of that list is the USA with huge bailouts to every industry except Larry Flynt. So far, Larry Flynt and the porn industry is the only one turned away from bail out money. Bail outs are trade barriers because we are subsidizing industries that compete with foreign industries. We didn’t give any bail out dollars to Toyota or Honda, and they build cars here in the USA. In any event, this issue flopped just like every single other G20 initiative. Trust me . . . these idiots did nothing but smile for pictures, eat, drink and giggle.

    International Financial Monitor – You’ll not believe this, but it’s true. They are going to rename the existing Financial Stability Forum. They are going to call it the Financial Stability Board. Actually, this was the only action they agreed upon that will be implemented. This is a global banking watchdog. Why did they rename it? Because the Financial Stability Forum was a total flop. Obviously, we would not be where we are today if they were doing their job. The new name will make it all better and we will all play nice. Not so fast. You see the FSB has no power to do anything to anyone. It’s just a watchdog. It’s a toothless watchdog at that. I kid you not.
    Trade and Finance – They all agreed we need more trade and finance for more trade. So they agreed to create a fund of $250 billion at the World Bank to allow companies to access finance. No word on where the $250 billion will come from or even a hint at who or what will qualify for this financial assistance . . . and of course not a single word about terms.

    And that my dear friends is one of the key reasons the markets rallied this week. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone bothered to listen to anything other than the ObamaRamaLama we heard. In fact, articles and videos about Michelle Obama’s clothes are more popular on the Internet than just about any other story this week. Sad but true.”

  4. Clotpoll says:

    Moderated at #3. A response, by MM himself.

  5. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123871391215884547.html

    “Homeowner-Aid Plan Caught in Second-Loan Spat”

    “The Treasury is “actively working” on the second-lien issue and will announce “something within the next few weeks,” said department spokesman Andrew Williams.”

    What to do with those pesky seconds.

  6. stan says:

    But Manhattan Is so close to……

    I’m off to Kannekt to go nerf herding.

  7. Sastry says:

    Clot, from prev thread…

    “Still don’t get why you’d come in on an obvious multiple offer situation just off the bid. Swing for the fences, or pass.”

    Just happened that way… I picked a number, against general advice and stuck to it. We don’t want to go very much over budget. Between taxes that approach 14 k, and PITI + general expense estimates too close to my salary levels, there is not much wiggle room.

    Of course, as time passes, our double income situation will add more to the downpayment, so we may be able to bid a little bit more next year. If we “assumed” double income, then no problem, but that could become a lot of pressure on us.

    As you can see, I have no answer for the low bid. Only one so far, and we’re learning. You’d be surprised that my wife thought the bid was too high. Newbie missteps — lessons learned without costing too much?

    S

  8. cooper says:

    Q- Has this marked to fantasy issue has become reality?

  9. Sastry says:

    “So Mike at what point would you capitulate with a stop loss? SPX 850?”

    SPX 850 stop loss? For a short position, or is that a question from months ago?

    S

  10. GerryAdams says:

    Is there a mathematical model for calculating the effect that the difference in taxes between two comparable homes have on the value of the house? Any rules of thumb? I was thinking about making a spread sheet for the next thirty years and making a few assumptions and calculating the difference. I do not know though if I will be forgetting any factors.

    Thanks, Mike

  11. Sastry says:

    Clot, we are doing some mark to model :)

    We think that a fancy house (and fancier ones) is worth exactly what we can afford, and we’re sticking by that number.

    Aaah.. we think this McMansion is worth… ahem… 100k? :)

    S

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Following in FASB’s lead any women reading should know that the Corolla I’m driving is actually a Ferrari.

  13. Cindy says:

    http://www.wikio.com/blogs/top

    Grim -Have you ever seen this???… wikio rankings for blogs.

  14. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Guy who ran the NakedShorts website died yesterday from a heart attack. I offer this classic in tribute.

    Great days in securities fraud

    http://nakedshorts.typepad.com/nakedshorts/2009/01/great-days-in-securities-fraud.html

  15. grim says:

    From the Record:

    ‘Tremendous cutback’ at ports

    Businesses in New Jersey’s ports are braced for another bad year after trade through the terminals fell in 2008 for the first time in 14 years.

    Terminal operators and a trucking association said business this year is already down 20 percent to 30 percent over the same period in 2008, forcing them to reduce operating hours, cut work schedules and lay workers off.

    “Every terminal in the port has had a tremendous cutback in hours of service, shifts, overtime,” said Jeff Bader, president of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, a trade group for trucking companies. He also is president of Golden Carriers, a Hillside-based trucking company.

    Bader estimated that as many as 2,000 of the 7,000 owner-operator truckers who work in the ports are either not working or are on reduced hours. Imports and exports through the ports in January were down 15 percent compared with the same month in 2007, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

    “Everybody is down,” agreed John Atkins, CEO of Global Terminal & Container Services in Jersey City. He said business through his terminal is about 5 percent lower than the same period in 2008, with no uptick in sight.

    “Even if it comes back, it won’t come back that quickly, at the levels we have been used to,” said Atkins, adding that his terminal actually did better in 2008 than in 2007.

  16. sas says:

    “Apartments Sell for Less if They Are Sold at All”

    not true. doesn’t exist. conspiracy theory black helicopter stuff.

    go back to shopping, max out you credit cards, eat so much till you can’t walk, watch some more TV & entertainment.

    afterall your a consumer, not a citizen.

    and remember, your babys love formula containing rocket fuel:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090403/ap_on_he_me/baby_formula_perchlorate

    SAS

  17. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123875775797386333.html

    The share of U.S. home mortgages that were current and performing dipped below 90% for the first time in decades at the end of last year, according to a report released by two federal regulators Friday.

    Credit quality deteriorated across all loan categories during the fourth quarter of 2008, with prime mortgages seeing the biggest percentage jump in serious delinquencies, as job losses and the weakened economy took its toll on household finances. Serious delinquencies are loans that are 60 or more days past due.

    Steps by lenders to help borrowers avoid foreclosure, including loan modifications, rose by more than 11% in the fourth quarter. Still, the share of borrowers who failed to keep up with payments despite loan modifications climbed steadily through most of last year as the economy worsened and lenders continued to perform modifications that didn’t lower monthly payments.

    “This new data shows that, in the current stressful environment, modification strategies that result in unchanged or increased mortgage payments run the risk of unacceptably high re-default rates,” Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan said in a statement.

    The share of current and performing mortgages dropped from 93.3% at the end of the first quarter of 2008 to 89.95% at the end of the year.

    Subprime loans continued to have the highest concentration of serious delinquencies. They climbed to 16.4% at the end of last year from 10.75% at the end of the first quarter. The percentage of Alt-A loans that were seriously delinquent rose to 9.10% from 5.18% over that period.

    At the end of last year, 2.4% of prime loans were seriously delinquent, more than double the 1.1% at the end of the first quarter of 2008. Prime loans are the lowest risk category and account for around two-thirds of the mortgages covered by the report.

    With the weakening economy and inadequate efforts to modify loans, re-default rates on modified loans continued to climb through most of 2008. The share of modified loans that were seriously delinquent after eight months was 41% for loans modified in the first quarter and 46% for those modified in the second quarter, the bank regulators said.

    Re-default rates were lower for modifications that resulted in lower modifications for borrowers, the report found. The share of such modifications jumped to more than 50% in the fourth quarter.

  18. sas says:

    bike chowerheads..

    “Cannondale Layoffs”
    http://wearecentralpa.com/content/fulltext/news/?cid=79431

  19. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (5)-

    The mortgage office in my building has not been able to do a single MHA mortgage re-work because of second liens and subordination problems.

    The language of MHA is clear: first lienholders are supposed to basically do everything they can to blow out- or gain massive concessions- second liens. Too bad they didn’t anticipate that second lienholders might not play along…

  20. sas says:

    “The mark to market system, will now be replaced with the mark to fantasy system. FASB made its move because of pressure from Capitol Hill. Our elected representatives are demanding rules that help companies mislead investors. In case you had any doubt whose side they are on, it should be pretty obvious with this action. If this was actually something that worked, Enron would manage to have avoided imploding and still be in business because it lied about its financial numbers. The banks may be able to carry on however since they have an apparently unlimited supply of freshly minted federal money available for continually bailing them out. Of course, like every other free lunch program the Feds have come up with, the costs for this one will be heavy as well.”
    http://nyinvestingmeetup.blogspot.com/

  21. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    Regardless of what others are willing to pay for any given asset, an asset is only worth to you what you are willing to pay for it. I know people who will pay hundreds of dollars for certain advertising posters for certain classic yachts. To me they have minimal to no value. In a “bidding war” with them, will I be able to buy one of them? No, of course not; however, given that to me the things are not worth what these others are willing to spend, I do not care.

    The same holds true for RE. If a given house is only worth $X to you, and to others it is worth more, you will not be able to buy it, but you should also feel okay about that. What is the benefit of paying too much, in your mind, for a given asset? So what if you beat the other offers. If you overpay for something as expensive as a house it will come back to haunt you, I suspect.

    When Mrs. Shore and I were looking for our house, we had two incomes where one was 2/3 that of the other. When we went looking, we ignored the lower income and then refused to mortgage more than 21/2 annual income of the one salary (bear in mind we also were confident of that income going up over 20% the following year, which it did.). We also put down a bit over 20%, and had cash on hand to pay for all moving expenses, repairs, and upgrades.

    As a result, we never had a single day when the mortgage, or any other housing expense, hung over our heads. We used the lower income for travel, paying-down the mortgage faster, savings, cars, savings, savings, etc.

    If you have a number, if I were in your shoes, I would stick to it, even if it means missing out on certain homes. If you need to reassess later on, go for it.

  22. sas says:

    supplemental:

    “Manhattan condo sales plummet
    Four residential real estate reports issued Thursday all showed broad declines but slim gains in prices as buyers and sellers continue their standoff”

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20090402/FREE/904019953

  23. Stu says:

    Economy lost 663,000 jobs in March, and unemployment rose to 8.5%, government says. Total jobs lost in recession: 5.1 million.

  24. Clotpoll says:

    sastry (7)-

    I fail to see what lesson you’re trying to learn. This is not brain surgery. If you don’t have a comfortable DP or prices haven’t come down to your desired levels, why are you bothering to play the game at all?

    Again, this is not a push for you or anyone else to buy. Just as sellers can’t price to 2005, buyers need to understand that you can’t get tomorrow’s price today.

    The distorted expectations from both sides prevent markets from clearing. Granted, these days it’s mostly sellers causing the problems.

  25. sas says:

    some of my favorite words: “bribe” & “fraud”

    neither of which had no influence whatsoever during the pump & dump RE bubble.
    wink..wink.. :P

    “NY mental health workers charged with bid rigging”
    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20090402/FREE/904029982

  26. Clotpoll says:

    Sastry (11)-

    Houses are worth what the markets think they’re worth. Just as the “personal needs” method of pricing doesn’t work (i.e., I need to net “x” to fund my retirement) for sellers, your ability to afford doesn’t hold water in a competitive bidding environment. The qualified buyer who is willing to pay $1 more will prevail every single time.

    Why not wait until the market falls far enough into your range of affordability to allow your offers to prevail? It IS going to happen.

  27. All Hype says:

    Stu says:
    April 3, 2009 at 8:33 am
    Economy lost 663,000 jobs in March, and unemployment rose to 8.5%, government says. Total jobs lost in recession: 5.1 million.
    ……

    We are halfway to the peak of unemployment. These talking heads on CNBC are sure entertaining! The new talking points are recovery around the fringes of the economy. WTF is that?

  28. Seneca says:

    When the news is only a little bit worse than expected, we get a market rally. With the news that unemployment dropped only to the forecasted level, we should see DOW 8200 today?

    Right?

  29. d2b says:

    Now they can buy each others assets with our money. Think of the fees that this can generate.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Bailedout-banks-eye-toxic-rb-14840542.html?sec=topStories&pos=5&asset=TBD&ccode=TBD

  30. Clotpoll says:

    Bill Gross, wh0ring it out on Squawk right now.

  31. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. March nonfarm payrolls fall 663,000 v -688,000 expected

    U.S. March unemployment rate rises to 8.5% as expected

    U.S Jan. payrolls revised to loss of 741,000 jobs

    U.S. March payrolls show widespread job losses

    U.S. March alternative U6 jobless rate rises to 15.6%

    U.S. payrolls fall by 5.1 million since recession began

    U.S. March unemployment rate of 8.5% most since 1983

  32. grim says:

    rally on

  33. grim says:

    BLS via CR:

    Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline sharply in March (-663,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 8.1 to 8.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.1 million jobs have been lost, with almost two-thirds (3.3 million) of the decrease occurring in the last 5 months. In March, job losses were large and widespread across the major industry sectors.

  34. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Unemployment in U.S. Climbed to 25-Year High of 8.5% in March

    The U.S. unemployment rate climbed in March to the highest level since 1983 and the economy lost more than 650,000 jobs for a fourth consecutive month, a sign renewed reductions in spending might slow a recovery.

    The jobless rate increased to 8.5 percent, as forecast, from 8.1 percent in February, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. Employers cut 663,000 workers from staff, bringing total losses since the recession began to about 5.1 million, the biggest slump in the postwar era.

    “The labor market has gotten worse,” Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist at RDQ Economics LLC in New York, said before the report. “Weak labor-market conditions will result in consumer spending being weak throughout most of 2009.”

    Payrolls were forecast to drop by 660,000, according to the median of 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Estimates ranged from losses of 525,000 to 750,000.

    Forecasts for the jobless rate ranged from 8.2 percent to 8.7 percent.

  35. 3b says:

    #31 grim: U.S Jan. payrolls revised to loss of 741,000 jobs.

    That is a very big revision up, and the worst since 1949. Guess CNBC of course is just ignoring that.

  36. kettle1 says:

    Clot,

    The IMF currently holds about 3000 tons of gold stocks. if pushed, it could sell some of its gold to raise cash for SDR’s or it could offer the gold as collateral in a loan/leverage model.

  37. grim says:

    March declines plus the downward January revisions put job losses reported at approximately 750k.

  38. make money says:

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/04/larry_summers_ignored_frightening_trading_practice.php

    Harvard Derivatives Whiz fired after e-mailing Larry Summers about “frightnening” trades.

    This guy is running Omama’s political team. I hope O wakes up and put tall Paul to run things.

  39. kettle1 says:

    More on the toxic waste that are SDR’s. The real kicker is that it will force us to raise even more debt when we are already having to print money to keep up with current expenditures…..

    -When a country decides it wants to spend an SDR, it alerts the fund, which then takes the bits of paper it created to the country that has the real money and exchanges them. For example, if Bananalandia wants dollars, its SDR account is debited, and America’s SDR account is credited. The U.S. then issues debt to raise the dollars to give to Bananalandia. The rate at which countries borrow is a weighted

    -In a 2004 paper for Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, Carnegie Mellon economist Adam Lerrick explained that SDRs cost U.S. taxpayers $330 million per year. With the U.S. “contribution” to the 1997 resolution total U.S. exposure would be about $12 billion

    -SDRs are nothing more than a fancy term for allocated credits divvied out by the IMF to member countries. The SDR pool at the fund traces its roots back to the gold standard when it was used as a liquidity tool for balance-of-payments shortfalls. These “international reserves” would continually circulate from deficit to surplus countries. Today, under fiat currencies, SDRs are like bits of paper printed by IMF officials in the basement. They have no value but can be exchanged for subsidized loans to nonreserve currency countries. As the fund explains, “The SDR is neither a currency, nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members.” The current exchange rate per SDR is about $1.50.

    -Since IMF financing is “off-budget,” meaning that it doesn’t show up as an annual U.S. expenditure, all this is an off-the-books future liability

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123854148528775677.html

  40. Shore Guy says:

    Great newsm huh? Unemployment up 5%. Yippee. The market is sure to take off this morning. Now, if employers would just fire every employee, we would be set for the mother of all market increases as unemployment CAN get any worse after that and the numbers would surely improve from there.

  41. comrade nom deplume says:

    OT Alert—-From the NYT on law careers:

    “The changes are likely to begin with compensation. Years ago, law firm starting salaries were not that different from government or public-interest jobs. But the gap has become a chasm. First-year salaries at top firms are around $160,000, compared with $48,000 to start for state and local prosecutors and $40,000 for legal-services lawyers. New associates often earn more than the judges they appear before.

    The downturn will probably rein in salaries at the high end. Top firms are already under pressure to lower the $160,000 starting salary; one industry-watcher says it could fall as low as $100,000. And fewer firms will feel the need to pay the top salary.

    Lower pay should mean that associates will not need to work the grueling hours many have been forced to. And it will mean less pressure to go into private practice for law graduates who would rather do something else.

    Clients are also likely to benefit — and consumers, since legal fees are built into the cost of almost everything. Even before the downturn, big-firm clients, led by the Association of Corporate Counsel, were pushing to phase out the billable hour — which can go as high as $1,000. Tight corporate budgets will give clients more leverage to push to pay by the project or for successful outcomes.

    For years, law school tuition rose along with big-firm salaries. Between 1990 and 2003, the cost of private law schools rose at nearly three times the rate of consumer prices. The average graduate now leaves with more than $80,000 in debt. In one survey, 66 percent of students said debt prevented them from considering government or public-interest jobs.

    If the downturn is prolonged, law schools will need to keep tuition and other costs in check so students do not graduate with unmanageable debt. More schools may follow the lead of Northwestern, the first top-tier law school to offer a two-year program.

    Law schools may also become more serious about curriculum reform. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released an influential report that, among other things, urged law schools to make better use of the sometimes-aimless second and third years. If law jobs are scarce, there will be more pressure on schools to make the changes Carnegie suggested, including more focus on practical skills.

    They may also need to pay more attention to preparing students for nonlegal careers. Law graduates have always ended up in business, government, journalism and other fields. Law schools could do more to build these subjects into their coursework. . . .”

    Anyone who had experience in BIGLAW saw this coming; everyone knew the salaries were unsustainable, and that lockstep was a dead man walking. I pity the poor saps who were not able to position themselves well when the dam started to show signs of cracking. Because large firms still have to recruit and still worry about perception, you won’t see mass layoffs, but you will see headcount steadily, quietly, reduced at top firms. You will also see new models for the attorney ranks, such as staff attorneys in a near permanent state and with greater duties but no chance at upward growth, more counsel and of counsel positions, and the death of lockstep after the first year or two.

    One unfortunate effect will be the restratification of the profession on the order of what existed 15-20 years ago, meaning that now, more than ever, where you go to law school will determine your career opportunities. There will be fewer meaningful BIGLAW jobs and little opportunity elsewhere, so competition for the best jobs will be fierce and only those in the top 20 schools need apply.

    I, for one, am very glad I segued out of BIGLAW 5 years ago, and retrained for a new practice area that should remain in demand for years to come.

  42. kettle1 says:

    shore,

    want to wager that we see an average of 700K+ joblesses per month for the rest of the year?

  43. comrade nom deplume says:

    [38] Make,

    Interesting story. I got to know Walter Cabot not long after HMC cashiered him, following the Crash of ’87, I guess for not seeing it coming.

    Real nice guy, very conservative investor. Guess if you are not sufficiently clairvoyant enough to save their azzes in time, HMC doesn’t want you.

  44. comrade nom deplume says:

    I am probably behind the trend in predicting this, but it occurs to me for you underemployed lawyers out there, that there is a huge legal market waiting to be tapped.

    Banks and other mortgageholders are now refusing to foreclose, either for sloth or because it simply isn’t worth it. I tried to think if that gives homeowners any grounds, and nothing comes to mind.

    But, for those properties hopelessly overleveraged, it may make sense to attack the mortgage in court and get it voided. The basis may be fraud or some other irregularity. If the holder is already ambivalent about enforcing it because it is essentially worthless, the holder may also be unwilling to aggressively defend it.

    Once voided, the property owner has it free and clear (assuming no other liens). Assuming you can find lawyers willing to work on contingency, it is a no-lose for the homeowner.

    I am sure this is being done beyond the community activist level; it just doesn’t appear to have become a cottage industry yet. But it is something to think about for the attorney seeking new business.

  45. House Whine says:

    comrade nom deplume:

    Pray tell what area of law you ARE in – maybe it would give me a good idea of what to pursue (paralegal position, not attorney) and can you give me a clear explanation of the difference between
    “counsel” and “of counsel”? Thanks!

  46. Al says:

    But, for those properties hopelessly overleveraged, it may make sense to attack the mortgage in court and get it voided. The basis may be fraud or some other irregularity. If the holder is already ambivalent about enforcing it because it is essentially worthless, the holder may also be unwilling to aggressively defend it.

    Once voided, the property owner has it free and clear (assuming no other liens). Assuming you can find lawyers willing to work on contingency, it is a no-lose for the homeowner.

    What you are describing is in effect how Lawsuits will kill mortgage industry – good luck getting mortgage after that.

    Liability lawsuits – either injury harrasment or discrimination or labor disputes is one of the main reasons manufacturing is driven out of the USA.

    Legal costs is up to 30% of MEdical expences – in the form of liability insurance.

    Now off to the mortgage….

    hey – I guess only mortgages available will be from mom and dad or thouse guys in leather coats who do not even sign loans documents – you guarantee loan with you kneecaps and internal organs :)

  47. skep-tic says:

    2 million jobs lost in the last 3 months. insane

  48. 3b says:

    #47 skeptic:2 million jobs lost in the last 3 months. insane.

    Yes it is. And we still have clowns out there talking about bottoms and recoveries, and one of my favorites form Mr, Yun of the NAR form earlier this week. “housing will recover before employment.”

    And of course sellers still asking fantasty prices.

    We has this discussion yesterday as to where (year wise) prices would bottom in our area,and IMO I would not be surprised to see prices bottom out at 2000 levels.

  49. zieba says:

    Kettle you playboy! Make it so.

  50. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    The only question in my mind is whether we seea month with 1,000K in job losses.

  51. Revelations says:

    GerryAdams @10,
    I’d compare payments. Obvioulsy the higher taxes eat into affordability of the mtg payment, hence a similarly priced home might be much less affordable (and desirable). Especially if trends continue. See my exhibit A from post 38 last night.

  52. Shore Guy says:

    “I, for one, am very glad I segued out of BIGLAW 5 years ago, and retrained for a new practice area that should remain in demand for years to come.”

    White-collar criminal defense, perhaps?

  53. comrade nom deplume says:

    [46] AL

    What it will kill is the subprime industry. And I am not saying its fair or right, but simply predicting it will happen (in fact, it is happening but not at a commercially viable level).

    Will those people essentially screw their credit? Probably, but I am not their credit counselor. Is it a boon to the loan shark industry? Yes. And here’s another prediction: Organized Crime is going to see their best years in years from loan sharking, drugs, tobacco smuggling and money laundering. Not applauding, just predicting.

  54. comrade nom deplume says:

    [45] house,

    Regular viewers can tell you that I have done banking work and tax work. I have also done (and still do) some litigation and probate work. Cannot be more specific.

    As for where demand will be in the future, it is easier to say what will NOT be in demand, and that is corporate deal work of any sort. Also, anything having to do with the financial services industry will be dead for years to come.
    Some will think that gov will pick up the slack, and there have been some pronouncements to that effect, but I don’t see it happening, not enough to make a difference anyway.

    I told grim, and the article seems to confirm, that this is not the time to go to law school. Too much money for no real opportunities. And folks seem to agree as anecdotal evidence suggests that applications are DOWN, which is counter to all prior downturns. It means that folks don’t see us coming out of this anytime soon, and don’t see a reason to invest heavily in thier future. Probably better off learning auto repair or healthcare related fields.

  55. Shore Guy says:

    I guess we CANT depend on the Chinese to save us after all:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/business/global/03realestate.html

  56. grim says:

    From Gizmodo:

    Ritz Camera Shuttering Nearly Half Their Stores

    Get it? Shuttering? Developing? Oh, right, hundreds of Ritz employees are losing their livelihoods, and towns across the country are being deprived of their last standalone camera shop. This is actually extremely sad.

    The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in February, but these 300 liquidations are the first serious manifestation of its decline. This is terrible news all around, but could have been predicted; film developing is a dead business, and the increasingly homogeneous nature of point-and-shoot cameras and the spec-centric marketing of DSLRs favors impersonal, cheap and convenient retailers like Best Buy and Walmart

  57. Revelations says:

    Very sorry… Apparently, anything between “” is edited out in a post. Please excuse my ignorance, and the 3rd repost. Grim, please delete my 55.

    The case against buying a house in NJ:

    I will use Monmouth Co as an example, but anyone can build their own case! It’s fun!

    Exhibit A, Taxes.
    Monmouth Co avg tax growth from ’00 to ’07 = 55% (~7% per year compounded)
    http://www.nj.com/news/bythenumbers/ click the “taxes in your town” link

    Exhibit B, Price growth.
    Monmouth Co avg growth from Q3,2000 to Q3, 2006 = 148% (~16% growth per year compounded)
    http://www.njar.com/research_statistics/housing.html you have to pull data for your area from the end of every quarterly report

    Drop so far? From Q3,2006 to Q4, 2008 = -22% (approx -9% per year compounded)

    +148% then -22% ?? Not.. yet.. there. Especially considering what follows.

    Exhibit C, Per Capita Incomes.
    Monmouth Co, from ’00 to ’06 (current yr $) = 21% (~3% per yr compounded)
    http://www.bea.gov/regional/reis/default.cfm?selTable=CA30 select NJ, and your county.
    or,
    Monmouth Co, from ’01 to ’07 = ~18% (again, ~3% compounded)
    http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/outside.jsp?survey=en

    Finally Exhibit D, Population.
    Monmouth Co, from ’00 to ’06 = ~4% (or <1% per yr compounded)
    (from same BEA source as above)

    Closing remarks:
    It seems (if my research is right) that the tax growth of 7% per year and home price growth of 16% per year became drastically dislocated from income and population trends (3% per yr and less than 1% per yr, respectively). There was simply a huge, sustained shock to the demand side.
    Why?
    1.) Cheap credit (thanks Alan!)
    2.) Easy credit (weak documention/worthiness req’mts)
    3.) No down payment, risk free!
    4.) Financial innovation, turning cr@p into AA securites for purchase by small-town overseas pension funds.
    5.) Positive psych reinforcement for more than 6 yrs.
    6.) Large amts of investment $ rotated into sector.
    7.) Fear of forever losing the homeownership dream, (toward the end).
    8.) Poor memory on part of regulators/ policy makers.

    And the supply fought to catch up. As it did, demand began its retreat..
    Why?
    #s 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 reversed trend 180 deg.
    I’d say there is evidence that current negative forces would push equilib prices below historical trends, since many RE parameters weren’t so poor pre-boom. (A big overshoot on down side?)

    So IMHO, clearing prices are far below where current asking prices are, and it’s probably somewhere closer to late 2002 prices assuming 4%/yr apprec and a stable/sound economy. Due to the current economy (unemployment) and tax growth, I’d say maybe lower.

    I’m tired of hearing that prices here are different b/c “we’re near the CITY”, or “near the BEACH”, etc…
    BS. The city and the beach have always been here, they did not appear in the last 9 yrs. If I’ve missed something, please chime in. Otherwise, I see no fundamentals supporting the current prices even with additional 15% discounts.

  58. comrade nom deplume says:

    [53] shore

    “White collar perhaps?”

    Perhaps. Our firm has a good practice there and I would like to do more with it.

    Okay, today’s ABA Journal said that to take care of myself, I should exercise, get rest, eat well and “avoid snarky blogs.” So, see you all on Monday.

  59. Shore Guy says:

    “Regular viewers can tell you that I have done banking work and tax work. I have also done (and still do) some litigation and probate work. Cannot be more specific.”

    Nom DePlume of the Tom Hagen Law firm?

    How did the movie line go?

    “I have a speccialty practice, limited to a single client”

  60. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. March ISM services 40.8%, below consensus 42%

  61. Revelations says:

    Grim please delete my #55, and unmod #59. I reposted this because I didn’t realize that the “less than” and “greater than” symbols delete everything between them. Sorry for the hassle..

  62. Shore Guy says:

    A shot across the bow of the Fed and its regional banks:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/30023944

  63. zieba says:

    Curious if there are any IP attorneys here, specifically in entertainment field…

  64. skep-tic says:

    Revelations– your post from last night was spot on. Does not make sense to buy right now unless you can find a very unique situation. And the effort to find such properties would be so extensive as to not be worth it.

  65. skep-tic says:

    So, interesting anecdote (at least to me). I made what I thought to be a very generous bid on a house in late December. I gave them two days to think it over and they tried to shop my bid and instigate a bidding war (lesson learned). So I pulled my bid and walked. Come to find out yesterday that the deal they signed with the other bidder just fell apart because their financing didn’t come through. Here is the crazy part: these people are putting their house back on the market at a HIGHER price than what they had in December. So glad I didn’t go into contract with these idiots.

  66. stan says:

    Anyone have an idea where to get flood insurance for the jersey shore? I imagine its FEMA related Thanks

  67. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. March ISM services index falls to 40.8%

    U.S. nonmanufacturing sectors contracted at a faster pace in March, according to a Friday report from the Institute for Supply Management, as the global slowdown continued to take its toll. The ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 40.8% in March from 41.6% in February. Economists polled by MarketWatch were looking for a March result of 42%. Readings below 50% indicate that more firms are contracting than expanding.

  68. skep-tic says:

    this is obvious, but the drop in NYC sales directly affects the suburbs. A large percentage of the buyers for SFHs have 1BRs in the city they need to sell first.

  69. Al says:

    skep-tic says:
    April 3, 2009 at 10:12 am
    Here is the crazy part: these people are putting their house back on the market at a HIGHER price than what they had in December. So glad I didn’t go into contract with these idiots.

    it is simple – If we are going to get lowballed – lets price it so 30% off will give us desired price!!

    This ways buyer will feel like he is getting a deal, and we will get our desired price as well.

  70. Ben says:

    “I never understood the pricing of NYC…..always thought is was INSANE in the membrane.”

    everything priced in the city was insane. I stopped going into the city after I got charged 12 bucks for a budweiser.

  71. Revelations says:

    Skep-tic @65 –

    Thx, I had to repost it (@ #58 this thread) because I think I stumbled upon some html editing trick (left and right arrows), and part of my argument was deleted.

    One thing that I probably didn’t stress enough (but it’s not like the posters here aren’t aware of it) is the unemployment issue. The economic axiom that one simply can’t carry more debt than one can service (after basic necessities) can be bypassed only by a ponzi scheme. But of course, it can’t be sustained. Why haven’t prices fallen yet back into balance with incomes? I have a few ideas, none of which are sustainable. …I thought I remember seeing a post that rank and file professionals are tapping their 401Ks in record numbers…

  72. #57 – Ritz Camera Shuttering Nearly Half Their Stores

    Not really that much of a surprise. Ritz chose to go head to head with Walmart and Best Buy in the point-and-shoot market. They really had no chance of winning there. They LCD’d themselves out of the market.

  73. Revelations says:

    BTW,
    Thx Grim for fixing my blogospheric blunders.

  74. schabadoo says:

    nerf herding

    I’ve never seen this used as a verb.

  75. Rich says:

    People just don’t give up. Put the past behind us and move foward. Example of positive people.

    N.J. CEO divvies his $500K bonus among workers.

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20090401/NEWS01/90401040

  76. Revelations says:

    A few weeks ago, I was asking Clot about a house I bid on (fair offer, but they thought low ball). The sellers refused to come down, and I guess they shopped it around and went under contract without coming back to me. This week, the deal fell through and they solicited us asking if they can still take our last offer. We turned it down because now I think a mid 2004 price (what they paid in ’04) is still too high.

  77. Revelations says:

    Another house we looked at, they said they could come down to our budget, but again price was still to high. So, we’re removing ourselves from the market now b/c we don’t want to waste ours, and the realtors time. We’ll get her a gift cert for a local restaurant for her time, and use her next year. Consider that both these houses listed originally for $699, and both now will take very low $500s. Nice homes, but they need to be low to mid $400s for me. Too aggressive? We’ll see.

    Falling knife? More like catching a falling chainsaw.

  78. Clotpoll says:

    MIkey’s happy thought of the day:

    “I’d like to tie two things together that truly spell out where we are going. The G20 this week is placing all of their eggs in hopes that the IMF and World Bank can juggle $1.1 trillion dollars in bail out money that they don’t have and probably will never see more than a third of that amount. I’ve said, the G20 was nothing more than a love-fest full of nonsensical chatter playing to constituents at home.

    Simon Johnson was the Chief Economist at the IMF in 2007 and 2008. He recently published a very detailed piece in The Atlantic that should be required reading for everyone in Washington. In fact, the best thing we could do right now, would be to can Geithner, Bernanke and Summers, replacing them with Simon Johnson and a team he builds. Here are a few words of wisdom from Johnson’s article in The Atlantic.

    Living Within Our Means – Here’s what Johnson had to say about how the IMF looked at countries in crisis. “Each country, of course, needed a loan, but more than that, each needed to make big changes so that the loan could really work. Almost always, countries in crisis need to learn to live within their means after a period of excess . . . “

    Unfortunately for us, we have not only failed to learn to live within our means, but our solution to the problem is to spend more!

    Goldman Sachs and the Economic Royalists – Johnson has this to say about who really runs the USA . . . and the world. “ . . . the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital—a belief system. . . . One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson’s predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.

    These personal connections were multiplied many times over at the lower levels of the past three presidential administrations, strengthening the ties between Washington and Wall Street. It has become something of a tradition for Goldman Sachs employees to go into public service after they leave the firm. The flow of Goldman alumni—including Jon Corzine, now the governor of New Jersey, along with Rubin and Paulson—not only placed people with Wall Street’s worldview in the halls of power; it also helped create an image of Goldman (inside the Beltway, at least) as an institution that was itself almost a form of public service.

    Wall Street is a very seductive place, imbued with an air of power. Its executives truly believe that they control the levers that make the world go round. A civil servant from Washington invited into their conference rooms, even if just for a meeting, could be forgiven for falling under their sway. Throughout my time at the IMF, I was struck by the easy access of leading financiers to the highest U.S. government officials, and the interweaving of the two career tracks. I vividly remember a meeting in early 2008—attended by top policy makers from a handful of rich countries—at which the chair casually proclaimed, to the room’s general approval, that the best preparation for becoming a central-bank governor was to work first as an investment banker.

    A whole generation of policy makers has been mesmerized by Wall Street, always and utterly convinced that whatever the banks said was true. Alan Greenspan’s pronouncements in favor of unregulated financial markets are well known. Yet Greenspan was hardly alone. This is what Ben Bernanke, the man who succeeded him, said in 2006: “The management of market risk and credit risk has become increasingly sophisticated. … Banking organizations of all sizes have made substantial strides over the past two decades in their ability to measure and manage risks.”

    Doubling Down on Stupid – Despite all of the warnings and obvious problems, governments continue to bow down to the Economic Royalists. At this point, there is NO way out of this mess without dire consequences that become more dire by the day. So here’s how Johnson introduces his section on “The Way Out.” “Looking just at the financial crisis (and leaving aside some problems of the larger economy), we face at least two major, interrelated problems. The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support.”

    We have double-trouble staring at us, and it gets worse, because this week the government caved into allowing the banks to mark-to-myth, so assets that are worthless are now on the books at prices the banks have made up to pump up their balance sheets. Simon Johnson minces no words in addressing this problem . . . “At the root of the banks’ problems are the large losses they have undoubtedly taken on their securities and loan portfolios. But they don’t want to recognize the full extent of their losses, because that would likely expose them as insolvent.”

    In essence, we have Doubled Down on Stupid.

    Worse Than the Great Depression – Johnson closes with this . . . “The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump “cannot be as bad as the Great Depression.” This view is wrong. What we face now could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression—because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big. We face a synchronized downturn in almost all countries, a weakening of confidence among individuals and firms, and major problems for government finances. If our leadership wakes up to the potential consequences, we may yet see dramatic action on the banking system and a breaking of the old elite. Let us hope it is not then too late.”

    It Gets Worse – One things Johnson has not discussed is the level of derivatives still in the system. Goldman Sachs leads the way with five times the exposure to toxic derivatives as any other bank. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) just included information about Goldman Sachs in their most recent report that seems to have gone unnoticed by the media. Yes, Goldman Sachs is now a commercial bank, so if we want to look, we can. But it seems like nobody wants to look. It seems like none cares that Goldman Sachs leads the pack in exposure to risk. They are not alone. And I will close with this. It get worse, because we did not have toxic and highly leveraged derivatives in the 1930’s. This Depression is truly on steroids.”

  79. Sastry says:

    The only bid we made was 450 on a 525 ask, and are waiting to see what the selling price will be (closing 4/30). We don’t have an idea of what a good bid is (you know the place, and your advice was to “move on”). Would 480 have been OK? Should it have been over 525? We want to get a sense of numbers.

    We can commit right away at 450, stretch at 480, and wait for a year at 525. Since that income is low, we’d want the loan to be around 250 to 280 at most — hence 450 to 480. Next year, we can push it a bit up… We’d like to get the best house for that money (REO or otherwise).

    It’s like putting in a bid for “C” or “FNM” in early 2008 at 19 when they were at 25 :). I hope it won’t happen that way with houses.

    S

  80. waiting says:

    My wife has been screaming for a house for the past two years, and finally I capitulated and bought one. The house price is about $800k. The total cost of title insurance is $3500. Is the amount normal for Republic of New Jersey?

    Thanks.

  81. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (36)-

    The thought of IMF dumping gold in order to raise fiat paper is chilling.

    I’m with MM on the IMF’s ability to do anything other than toss gasoline on the fire. And, in the end, they may not even be able to do that, if only 1/3 of their “promised” funding comes through.

  82. Clotpoll says:

    wait (82)-

    Title prices are fixed by statute and are based on the price of the house.

    That amount sounds about right.

  83. Mary says:

    Revelations #79

    I’m curious, what area and what size houses were you looking at? We just started casually looking at houses in the mid-500’s range and are debating over what their “fair value” should be.

  84. chicagofinance says:

    Revelations says:
    April 3, 2009 at 12:48 am
    The case against buying a house in NJ:
    I will use Monmouth Co as an example, but anyone can build their own case! It’s fun!

    Revs: The only wild card in your otherwise thorough analysis is the high speed ferries. It circumvents the train schlep, and allows a group of higher end houses to sell at a premium. Of course it cuts the other way when Manhattan jobs get hacked to bits.

  85. Revelations says:

    Sastry @81,
    If you can do $525 in a year, then wait. Then you get a similar house for $450, you can go by a new car, take a vacation, and have a healthy cash reserve for the economic maelstrom we are in.

  86. chicagofinance says:

    bi says:
    April 3, 2009 at 7:09 am
    here is a question a viewer ask MM. i would ask MM cults the same question here.

    When bi has a question, does that make him bi-curious?

  87. Revelations says:

    Also, I was in your shoes trying to figure out what is a good or “safe” price. The the more digging I did to justify the numbers I was considering, the more I realized that things are still ridiculous and can only get worse.

    I can’t think of one bullish case for RE. Don’t get distracted by mo-over-mo numbers, ‘experts’ sixth sense, or recent price drops that aren’t framed by the preceding price boom.

  88. waiting says:

    Thanks Clot.

    (84) Clotpoll says:
    Title prices are fixed by statute and are based on the price of the house.

    That amount sounds about right.

  89. Clotpoll says:

    make (38)-

    Tall Paul’s already marginalized. Criminals Summers and Timmay run the show.

    Run the show like chimps, that is.

    We are so fuct.

  90. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (42)-

    I’d be more willing to wager that in retrospect, we will discover that the economy began shedding 1mm job/month in Q4/08.

  91. Clotpoll says:

    plume (44)-

    Could an attorney work a case of lender refusal to foreclose as abandonment of an agreement…or as breach of contract?

    Sorry for my simplistic question. I’m no lawyer.

  92. Clotpoll says:

    3b (48)-

    Hey…unemployed people can own cars now and either return them upon loss of a job (Hyundai) or have a completely insolvent manufacturer pick up their payments (GM).

    Why can’t the jobless buy homes?

    Every man a king!

  93. Clotpoll says:

    plume (54)-

    Subprime ain’t dead. It’s come back- in much more virulent form- in the guise of FHA.

    All the same schemes, cons, frauds and perps just migrated to FHA from subprime. We now have data on loan quality from 2007-to-present that makes subprime look like AAA.

    The mortgage/housing detonation will be with us the rest of our adult lives (I’m 49). I truly believe it will be 40 years in the desert with this crap.

  94. chicagofinance says:

    comrade nom deplume says:
    April 3, 2009 at 9:24 am
    [38] Make,

    Interesting story. I got to know Walter Cabot not long after HMC cashiered him, following the Crash of ‘87, I guess for not seeing it coming.

    Real nice guy, very conservative investor. Guess if you are not sufficiently clairvoyant enough to save their azzes in time, HMC doesn’t want you.

    nom: …and this expectation is different that every other shop how?

  95. Stu says:

    “Why can’t the jobless buy homes?”

    Better yet, why can’t the homeless find jobs?

    Bi-curious ChiFi? Pretty funny. So does that mean that his predictions follow a predictable Bi-cycle?

  96. we says:

    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/890482?highlight_key=y&keyword1=title

    People say Title Insurance can be decreased, have not tried it myself.

  97. Clotpoll says:

    One of our correspondents was in the office yesterday, telling us about a 200mm+ originator they just busted running a false VOE (verification of employment) boiler room.

    One of their processors noticed that about 20 different applicants all provided the same phone number for employment verification.

  98. grim says:

    Can’t we put the jobless to work building homes for the homeless?

    Problem Solved!

  99. Revelations says:

    Mary @85,

    Primarily southern Monmouth, but we’ve mapped out a large range from the far western parts of Monmouth to the south eastern. I’d say nothing northwest of Freehold, and we can look further up along the GSP corridor b/c I commute south and wife commutes north.

    House size from 1600 to 2100 SF ideally, but we’re flexible.

  100. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (56)-

    I’m shocked, just shocked…

  101. comrade nom deplume says:

    [93] clot

    I don’t think abandonment works. I have to believe (not having looked) that mortgages contain provisions that say enforcement isn’t waived simply because it is not pursued. And I cannot see how failure to foreclose is a breach.

    Rather, its about timing. If the lender/servicer/holder is in no position to beat back a lawsuit for, say, fraud in the inducement, then you may get a default judgment or weak defense, or a settlement offer. Basically, its a do-it-yourself cramdown without bankruptcy. But an attorney would have to be very efficient and knowledgeable in order to make money off of this.

    Okay, I have to get back to my paying client. On the road this weekend (have to visit a movie producer that won’t give my client’s friend a movie role; SAS, you want in on this?) See youze all Monday

  102. Clotpoll says:

    grim (100)-

    Can’t we just put the homeless in unsold HOV & TOL houses?

  103. chicagofinance says:

    Revelations says:
    April 3, 2009 at 11:30 am
    Mary @85, Primarily southern Monmouth, but we’ve mapped out a large range from the far western parts of Monmouth to the south eastern. I’d say nothing northwest of Freehold, and we can look further up along the GSP corridor b/c I commute south and wife commutes north.
    House size from 1600 to 2100 SF ideally, but we’re flexible.

    Revs: As I am learning, renting in a new area is a damn sure smart way to figure out whether you will enjoy it.

    There are some major drawbacks to Colts Neck. I am really happy that when all is said and done, if my family doesn’t want to adapt, we will just walk away.

  104. Zack says:

    #100

    Why build homes for homeless people when there are so many vacant homes.

  105. kettle1 says:

    Clot 83

    Just because the IMF can sell gold, does mean they cal solve the problem at hand.

    I agree with you that the IMF shenanigans will only fuel the fire and ensure that the neighbors house is doused in gasoline as well.

    The catch is that they could cause some interesting market movements if they got desperate enough to start selling gold in any quantity

  106. Revelations says:

    chifi @105,
    Great advice.
    We looked recently at place in Colts Neck as well. Beautiful area. Car dependent. Also, the house was surrounded by gargantuan homes with big gates, and it did not convey “welcome to the community”. I wondered whether I would ever even meet the neighbors. The Clover Hill section seems nice.
    But you’re right. The only way to truly know an area as you said is to actually spend time there; not just passing through on an open house visit.

  107. Revelations says:

    For years we couldn’t save as fast as price growth, now we’re saving more, and prices are coming down to us!

    Assuming NJ remains a viable place to live without sacrificing retirement goals, I’ll bite. But I fear NJ’s financial situation is jeopardizing any hope at future prosperity we might have had. Might have to whip out the US atlas, some pushpins, and plot some options.

  108. Revelations says:

    I heard recently that Minneapolis is going gangbusters! (or was bucking some national contractions anyway). You can always layer up with artic thermal insl, right? :O

    Ok, I’ve spewed enough bits on the blog today. Gonna go be productive.

  109. bi says:

    107#, kettle, IMF selling gold to help troubled nations? now i see sometimes gold is not an useless metal but it is true only if the price stays when you need it.

  110. Alap says:

    At least four people were shot in Binghamton, N.Y., and dozens may have been taken hostage, local media report.

    Social unrest comes to NY?

  111. Ben says:

    When governments sell their gold reserves, it’s usually the last desperate attempt to maintain their position of power. Governments that resorted to this have always turned to the printing press soon after which results in their bankruptcy and collapse. This is no different than your average middle class American pawning their jewelry to try to make their last mortgage payment. They are still on the fast track to default and foreclosure.

  112. Alap says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123877508503886971.html

    BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — At least four people were shot and as many as 41 people taken hostage Friday morning at an immigration-services center in Binghamton, according to media reports.

    Mayor Matthew Ryan told the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin that there was a hostage situation involving a gunman with a high-powered rifle.

    The newspaper reported 41 hostages in the building of the American Civic Association and said apartments were being evacuated.

    Emergency dispatchers were in contact with some people inside by phone, WBNG-TV reported. The gunman might still be in the building, the newspaper reported.

    Four people were removed from the building on stretchers and taken to hospitals, and 10 more ambulances were called, the newspaper reported.

    The condition of the victims wasn’t immediately clear.

    A spokeswoman at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton confirmed that a student from Binghamton University was being treated at the emergency room. Spokeswoman Linda Miller said she didn’t know the nature of the injuries.

    “We’re on full alert anticipating we’re going to get additional casualties,” Ms. Miller said.

    The American Civic Association describes itself as helping immigrants and refugees with counseling, resettlement, citizenship, family reunification and translators. It also intervenes with emergencies, including fighting, hunger and homelessness, according to information from the association’s Web site.

  113. bi says:

    with all ultrashorts got killed in last few days. what is the best strategy? bail-out yourself, stay put, or double-down?

  114. Clotpoll says:

    Rev (110)-

    Minnesota? Look out for those woodchippers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qWFhDvURLg

    Not suitable for workplace.

  115. Clotpoll says:

    bi-

    See #113. See if the concept can penetrate your iron skull.

  116. 3b says:

    #94 clot: God I love what America has become. I am almost tempted to sing.

  117. Clotpoll says:

    Mish, right on cue with evidence that BLS is turbo-cooking the numbers via birth/death nonsense:

    “After the typical in January in which the Birth/Death Model revisions bore some semblance of reality, the Birth/Death numbers are back in outer space.

    Many small 1-5 person service providing shops in mortgage lending and real estate are throwing in the towel. Those small businesses are not properly accounted for in the Birth-Death Model. At this point in the cycle birth death numbers should be massively contracting.

    Month after month, with the exception of January, the BLS is assuming more jobs were created by new businesses than lost by businesses closing shop. The BLS model is horribly wrong.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

  118. Clotpoll says:

    U6 now stands at 15.6%. And that’s the bogus number.

  119. Clotpoll says:

    3b (118)-

    Just don’t sing Lee Greenwood, ok?

  120. freedy says:

    sad for mm,,, guy cant read a chart

  121. 2 Cents says:

    “if MM’s claim of 250% return by Feb 27 is true, which i don’t believe,”

    http://www.morgan7.com/trades

    Why do you hate making money so much?

  122. skep-tic says:

    #55

    “As for where demand will be in the future, it is easier to say what will NOT be in demand, and that is corporate deal work of any sort. Also, anything having to do with the financial services industry will be dead for years to come.”

    Disagree with this. There will be consolidations across many industries as the weaker players get taken out, esp in the banking arena. Also, there is a swath of new banking regs coming which will provide work for lawyers. I do not think we will see an equivalent to the private equity boom again any time soon, but deal work will rebound somewhat

  123. freedy says:

    bby cbrl diasters

  124. kettle1 says:

    clot 119,

    that is why you should follow U3 and U6

  125. HEHEHE says:

    Clot,

    Not only are the overcooking the unemployment numbers everything else the government issued for Feb is all hopped up on “seasonal adjustments”.

  126. skep-tic says:

    on the law comp point– the idea that firms will pay less and require associates to work less is not going to happen. if you are staffed on a deal, no one is going to accept your going home after 35 hrs that week if there is more work to be done, regardless of what you are paid. I think it is more likely that a top tier of firms will separate from the pack in terms of comp. Fewer people will be drawn to law school overall because the ability to walk into a $160k job will be greatly diminished– but it will still be available to some. I expect law school to get a lot less competitive and many schools to fold altogether.

  127. kettle1 says:

    clot 121,

    I dont believe that the birth/death model is used in the generation of U3 and U6 as part of the alternative data tables.

    I do think that BLS may be trying to cook the numbers by messing with the seasonal adjustment.

    take a look at page 2:
    http://www.scribd.com/full/13842106?access_key=key-2n89xkw27rwhgqty6j1d

    notice how the most recent seasonal adjustments break out of the historical trend. Only time will tell, but i think this is as they are trying to fudge the alternate data series.

    However, you can avoid that by only looking at the unadjusted numbers. page one of the link above shows a comparison between the adjusted and unadjusted numbers to give you a feel for what impact that may or may not have.

  128. schlivo says:

    waiting says:
    April 3, 2009 at 11:06 am
    “My wife has been screaming for a house for the past two years, and finally I capitulated and bought one.”

    Should have come here first. We have a whole support network here to help resist that sort of pressure.

  129. kettle1 says:

    Another fun point:

    historically NYC has higher unemployment then NJ. but recently the 2 have converged are currently running at the same unemployment rate.

    My guess is that we are seeing the link between NYC finance and NJ workers showing up.

    look at the link at my April 3, 2009 at 1:23 pm post for the data

  130. Stu says:

    Huge thunderstorm just rolled through Union!

  131. Zack says:

    waiting says:
    April 3, 2009 at 11:06 am
    “My wife has been screaming for a house for the past two years, and finally I capitulated and bought one.”

    Who is wearing the panties in the house? You or your wife?

  132. Stu says:

    “My wife has been screaming for a house for the past two years, and finally I capitulated and bought one.”

    Is she willing to absorb the future losses?

  133. Sastry says:

    Sums up my state of mind regarding buying a house, when I seek suggestions here :)

    Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
    – Erica Jong

    BTW, anyone… what do you think of MLS #2667888 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Green-Brook-Twp_NJ_08812_1107978126)?

    S

  134. poor guy says:

    sastry

    what are the taxes?

  135. still_looking says:

    Stu 132,

    T storm here in lovely Bergen just now…. :)

    sl

  136. Sastry says:

    poor #136

    $9,489 for 2008… Assessed at $466,100

  137. Stu says:

    Sastry:

    Rip out the island in the kitchen and immediately invest in new countertops.

    Surprised that the pool and hot tub/deck aren’t in the photos. I have a feeling that this is one of those homes you’ll drive out to see, only to reveal a serious shortcoming. For example, its location…directly in between Qwerty and Jamil’s homes and across from Bi’s.

  138. bi says:

    something must have happened to S*S. maybe benanky is loading up all CMBS right now. In such a quiet Friday, it keeps dropping to $42.5. something is wrong.

  139. freedy says:

    mm went short goldman ,, about 50 points ago.

  140. leftwing says:

    Anyone with info on the SRS?

    Not breaking chops here, just started getting in and out of it (out now, looking) and trying to figure out what’s driving it so far down.

  141. Kanan says:

    Sastry,

    I agree with Stu and I would also say that floor would also need to be replaced. The larger picture of the kitchen makes it look in desperate need of an update.

    500K+ with a straight face?

  142. bi says:

    141#, freedy, he must have sold it on march 9th with handsome profit.

  143. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 says:
    April 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm
    clot 119,
    that is why you should follow U3 and U6

    Are these U2 cover bands?

  144. Stu says:

    I’m waiting till Monday to rebuy the last position (1/6th) that I sold about a month ago.

  145. House Whine says:

    skeptic:

    It might not be such a bad thing to have fewer law schools because I can’t tell you how many disillusioned young lawyers I have met. They seemed to have no idea what the practice of law really entailed, nor how many hours of grunt work it would involve. I think many of them just thought being a lawyer was a sensible next step, with a guaranteed income but I know quite a few who regretted ever going.

  146. yikes says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Sastry-

    Why are you so hot to get a pre-approval if you’re not really serious about buying?

    BTW, let me confirm for you that you aren’t serious. When you get serious, you will track down the good deals. Even in a market as awful as this, they don’t fall in your lap.

    agreed. we looked for 8 solid months – almost daily – and nothing. there were a few nibbles but nothing jumped out at us. we finally decided to make an offer on something we liked.

    just so happened it came on the market when out lease was expiring (and they were jacking the rent up).

  147. skep-tic says:

    House Whine– I think it would be great to have a lot fewer law schools. There are some schools out there right now that can barely get a majority of grads to pass a bar exam. It is simply too easy to get into law school at this point, too easy to rack up unserviceable, undischargeable debt for many people. The ABA has let young lawyers down by allowing so many law schools to continue to exist that are really just total ripoffs.

  148. about says:

    revelation:
    what towns are you looking in? we too are looking to buy, but seems that waiting is the better option, regardless if rates start up again. If we found a home now, our bid would definitely be 15%-20% off ask…

  149. HEHEHE says:

    This news story reports an incident that occurred near where I grew up, let me know if you notice anything suspicious in the photo:

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090403/NEWS0107/304030105

  150. Stu says:

    HEHEHE (151):

    “let me know if you notice anything suspicious in the photo”

    He is being green?

  151. Sastry says:

    Kanan/Stu: Thanks for the info. I didn’t notice the floor, but noticed the counter.

    MLS #913737 (got it from realtor.com and not from agent — one car garage, looks pretty, photos must be from summer — but there is not much detail on BR, BTH, etc). What to look for in this?

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/24-Swanson-Lane_Somerset-County_NJ_08812_1107975730

    S

  152. Clotpoll says:

    left (142)-

    M2M, anticipation of uptick rule coming back.

    Let the crooks wheedle and manipulate. The patient is dead. All those mall stores aren’t gonna start paying rent again, just because M2M has been dispatched and you can only short on upticks.

    The fact that gazillions of dollars of commercial mortgages are coming due in ’09 and can’t be refinanced- in any way, shape or form- DOES matter. Too bad you don’t hear much about that.

    Dead and rotting. The patient is dead and rotting. The failure of commercial RE is a given at this point…and its failure will be the kill shot to any rapid recovery.

  153. 2 Cents says:

    RE: China and its Treasury Holdings. IMO, Krugman nails it.

    “Was there a deep strategy behind this vast accumulation of low-yielding assets? Probably not. China acquired its $2 trillion stash — turning the People’s Republicinto the T-bills Republic — the same way Britain acquired its empire: in a fit of absence of mind.

    And just the other day, it seems, China’s leaders woke up and realized that they had a problem.

    The low yield doesn’t seem to bother them much, even now. But they are, apparently, worried about the fact that around 70 percent of those assets are dollar-denominated, so any future fall in the dollar would mean a big capital loss for China. Hence Mr. Zhou’s proposal to move to a new reserve currency along the lines of the S.D.R.’s, or special drawing rights, in which the International Monetary Fund keeps its accounts.

    But there’s both less and more here than meets the eye. S.D.R.’s aren’t real money. They’re accounting units whose value is set by a basket of dollars, euros, Japanese yen and British pounds. And there’s nothing to keep China from diversifying its reserves away from the dollar, indeed from holding a reserve basket matching the composition of the S.D.R.’s — nothing, that is, except for the fact that China now owns so many dollars that it can’t sell them off without driving the dollar down and triggering the very capital loss its leaders fear.

    So what Mr. Zhou’s proposal actually amounts to is a plea that someone rescue China from the consequences of its own investment mistakes. That’s not going to happen.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/opinion/03krugman.html?em

  154. JBJB says:

    Chi

    “The only wild card in your otherwise thorough analysis is the high speed ferries.”

    These ferries have been on the verge of going out of buisness for some time. I wonder if the death of Wall St will be the final nail in the coffin?

    BTW, monthly pass on NY Waterway from Belford to Pier 11 is now $605/mo. Seastreak from Atl. Highlands to Pier 11 now $625/mo. Buy yea, its much better, more comfortable, and quicker than NJT.

  155. freedy says:

    buffet green on his warrants
    priced at 115 gs

  156. Stu says:

    Sastry (153):

    Much better home IMO based on the pictures. Also appears to be well-maintained. I hope you like gardening though. A landscape like that requires at least 6 hours a week to maintain. Maybe more.

  157. JBJB says:

    Reval

    I have lived in Monmouth for the past 7 years (Red Bank, Tinton Falls, now Middletown). You should check out Tinton Falls, good spot for N/S commuting. Prices/taxes are more reasonable. Right on the border of Colts Neck and Red Bank.

  158. leftwing says:

    Clot, 154

    Maybe, but an uptick change should affect other ultrashorts and not seeing it there.

    Looked further, made a call or two. Big buy imbalances the last few days across most REITs, seems like Vornado is a big mover of the SRS today with SPG also contributing. No specific news on either I can find.

    Seems CRE is TALF-, PPIP-, and otherwise alphabet soup-able. Buccy on a desk says he’s seen this, with the big banks buying others’ assets. He’s crossing $200m of raw loans as we speak….

    Trying to avoid getting back in and fighting the tape down another 20+% or so if there are big buyers out there, whatever the reason.

  159. Stu says:

    Why is SRS down today?

    More talk on Bloomberg of the announcement of the Uptick rule on April 8th. Of course, this won’t change anything for an equity that is heavily traded like SRS.

  160. 3b says:

    #121 clot: Only becasue it is you clot.

    I am not sure who hates that song more, you or my wife.

  161. leftwing says:

    re: 160, buddy on a desk, even

  162. Frank says:

    To all the SRS bag holders, I will see in the teens…

  163. gary says:

    What’s the best place pizza place in Hoboken? Thx.

  164. 3b says:

    Make this creampuff yours today!!

    And NO! It is not a converted PATH subway car!!

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2912624&id=999999

  165. 2 Cents says:

    “To all the SRS bag holders, I will see in the teens…”

    Thanks Frank! Ever since you turned bullish on SRS, you have jinxed it.

  166. gary says:

    I meant to say “best pizza”.

  167. leftwing says:

    just jumped in for a bunch at 40.48, ride ’em cowboy…

  168. Nicholas says:

    Curious if there are any IP attorneys here, specifically in entertainment field…

    I used to work for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as an examiner. I am an engineer, not a lawyer but I can answer some questions about patent law. I will not comment upon the patentability of an idea.

    Disclaimer: It has been years since I worked for the USPTO and in no way is any of my patent advice to be taken too seriously. You should seek a patent lawyer for all serious questions.

  169. Frank says:

    #167,
    Whatever I do, do the opposite and you will make money. Guaranteed.

  170. PGC says:

    #165 Gary

    How long is a piece of string?

    Best value : Bennys on Washington
    Best Brick oven : Grimaldis
    Best bar pie : Leos
    Best when wasted at 2AM : 5 Star

  171. about says:

    thanks grim!!!

  172. Stu says:

    PGC:

    I agree with your pizza review 100%!

  173. The Kid says:

    Best Sicilian: Torna’s Pizzeria on 9th

  174. HEHEHE says:

    Why is everyone got their undies in a bunch of double shorts? This isn’t the first time the governments put on the full court press and pumped up the market. What happened every other time? It collapsed. Moreover their plans are getting even more desperate which makes me actually worried a bit that they really are losing control.

  175. Nicholas says:

    I agree HEHEHE, I haven’t seen any substantial change in the way that things are being run. Many of my brothers and sisters are out of work and struggling.

    They are out of work and are starting to devolve into criminal activity to survive. I expect that we will start to see a lot more of this behavior before we are done. I don’t like the job report and I don’t like the actions that the government is taking to “remedy” the problem.

    Something just doesn’t feel right when the revised numbers come out with such huge error bars that there is no logical way to determine which way we are headed. The compass is spinning and that only means more losses to come.

  176. scribe says:

    Nom, #54

    Years ago, in the late 80’s, I did a story about small business loans for minority neighborhoods.

    At the time, the loan sharks were charging 20% plus. I think it was around 20 – 24%.

    Now that Citi et al can charge as much as 30% on CC’s, I’m wondering …are the loan sharks actually a better deal?

    What are the loan sharks charging these days?

  177. bi says:

    176#, you are absolutely right. double shorts are for people who may lose control in john’s sense.

  178. bi says:

    171#, frank, you should give this advice a few weeks ago. you know we are sheeples.

    Frank says:
    April 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm
    #167,
    Whatever I do, do the opposite and you will make money. Guaranteed.

  179. stan says:

    Five star?Is That seven star. For drunk, ant covered pizza. Yes you heard that right….they redid the place and it actually looks worse. Went in once during the light of say, with no boze in the system, scary

    Gary- if your going for sitdown, get grimaldi’s.

  180. Stu says:

    “Whatever I do, do the opposite and you will make money. Guaranteed.”

    Here comes the diaspora out of Hoboken.

  181. kettle1 says:

    Anybody see a problem here?

    (NJ manufacturing data)
    http://tinyurl.com/c5k9gj

  182. gary says:

    Thanks all for the pizza advice!!

  183. bi says:

    182#, frank is a big hedgie. he bought at 70s by his claim and has stomach for teens. learn from him.

  184. comrade nom deplume says:

    [128] skep

    “on the law comp point– the idea that firms will pay less and require associates to work less is not going to happen. if you are staffed on a deal, no one is going to accept your going home after 35 hrs that week if there is more work to be done, regardless of what you are paid.”

    I did not write it, but I think they meant to convey that there won’t be pressure to bill 3000 hrs a year if you aren’t compensated commensurately. I always told greenhorns that there was a reason law firms paid 150K to 23 y/o snotnosed kids, and it wasn’t because they were smart. It was because, all things being equal, you would not want to work there so they pay you extra to get you in.

    As for deal work, I did not suggest it would disappear altogether, but that there will never be a level sufficient to soak up the available talent out there. As for reg work, you don’t staff up for that (I know, I did that) so that won’t create many jobs.

    To your other points, I agree completely, and I consider myself fortunate because I avoided the Golden Handcuffs like the plague. Mrs. Deplume and I had very little debt when we got out. We also managed to foresee what was coming and position accordingly.

    Of course, if I was truly omniscient, I would have liquidated everything at peak in 2007, gone way short until now, and would have held off buying in Brigadoon until now (if not altogether). But I’m only partially omniscient.

  185. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (164)-

    If I see you in the teens, I’ll be buying with all I’ve got.

    Somebody please present me a scenario that does not end in a complete failure of almost every segment of commercial RE.

    Note: Using TALF to kick the problem down the road- so that a potential massive detonation becomes an exploding supernova- does not constitute a valid solution.

  186. Clotpoll says:

    HE (176)-

    They’ve lost control.

    The next bad news won’t spark anger. It will spark action. Bad action.

  187. Stu says:

    “exploding supernova”

    It will come. Hard part is knowing when and ensuring that you have a golden ticket for the telescope viewing.

    Not terribly happy with my core position right now. Of course, I’ve been here before. :P

  188. Stu says:

    Grim,

    Your 1 share of SRS for the donation has lost $13 not counting trading fees. :P

  189. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (189)-

    Your core position? Mine is drilling toward middle earth.

    And I don’t care. Will average down, all the way. We all know how this movie ends.

  190. poor guy says:

    kettle 183

    your link has a problem

  191. bi says:

    today is too brutal to s*s. down 17% to $38 and change. i cnanot figure it why but atribute it to end of day (and week) momentum. sorry stu. but i don’t think it will take too long to see s*s in teens and fxp in single digit with this strong upside momentum. acctually it needs 25% up on IYR and FXI.

  192. 3b says:

    Some gentleman by the last name of Hermann is on CNBC now, saying that the worst of 2009 job cuts were done first quarter of 09, and we could see possitive GDP in the second quarter!!!

    Imagine that!!

  193. Stu says:

    bi:

    We’ll see…won’t we! :)

  194. chicagofinance says:

    PGC says:
    April 3, 2009 at 3:07 pm
    #165 Gary
    How long is a piece of string?
    Best value : Bennys on Washington
    Best Brick oven : Grimaldis
    Best bar pie : Leos
    Best when wasted at 2AM : 5 Star

    Gary: for the over 30-crowd that hangs out north of 8th Street; Napoli’s Brick Oven and for a slice use Uptown Pizza

  195. zieba says:

    YESSSSSSSS!!!!

    Bi is nine for nine… this is good news for Stu % Co.

    This can only mean one thing, we’ve peaked, monday markets -3%.

  196. bi says:

    actually, if you were on long side and thus had strong gain this week, it may not be a bad idea to load some s*s over the weekend to lock your profit. but these ultrashorts are not good for long run- it has always be my position

  197. Clotpoll says:

    Things starting to look a little less rosy for PPIP.

    This is typical. 2-3 days after the gubmint announces some new scheme, the gild comes off the lily, as all the players once again realize it’s all an exercise in turd-polishing:

    “The world’s largest hedge fund manager, Bridgewater Associates, apparently won’t participate in the Treasury’s much-ballyhooed public-private invesement program designed to clear “legacy” securities and loans off of troubled banks’ balance sheets. The $71 billion money-management firm reversed course Thursday, after earlier indicating it had planned to participate, according to a report in the New York Post.

    Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio blasted the program — at least the securities side of the program — as both a conflict of interest and one that offers very little leverage.

    In terms of a conflict of interests, Dalio zeroed in on Treasury’s plan to hire five asset managers to run the program. “The managers are clearly in a conflict-of-interest position because they have both the government and the investors to please and because they will get their fees regardless of how these investments turn out,” Dalio is quoted by the Post as writing in his letter.

    “We would not want to have our clients commit to invest, or even ask them to trust us being in this conflicted position.”

    Investors had initially cheered the program when it was first announced, believing the government was offering the private sector access to cheap leverage that had largey evaporated during the ongoing credit crisis. Dalio, however, said that upon further inspection of the goverment’s plan, actual leverage being offered is closer to 1-to-1, the Post reported.

    Dalio suggested the whole loan aspect of the PPIP would be more attractive to investors, possibly, offering leverage of as high as 12-to-1; but said Bridgewater had little interest in acquiring “illiquid loans.”

    And, of course, investors specializing in whole loan acquisitions have had their own concerns, as well, as HousingWire reported previously on Mar. 24.

    It’s unclear if other firms intend to follow Dalio and Bridgewater’s lead, but the move is clearly an ominous one for a Treasury that is counting on private investors to make the most of remaining TARP funding.”

  198. HEHEHE says:

    Fillipo’s on First makes a good pie. Much better than Fillipo’s on Washington.

  199. Clotpoll says:

    bi (200)-

    Please grace us with your definition of “always”.

    This could be more fun than Clinton’s definition of “is”.

    “but these ultrashorts are not good for long run- it has always be my position”

    In related news, it has been discovered that gnats cannot grasp the concept of “always”.

  200. Clotpoll says:

    What happens when the gubmint offers cheap, easy leverage…and nobody shows up?

  201. Alap says:

    The gunman barricaded the rear door of the building with his car before entering through the front door, firing his weapon, the official said.

    The gunman had recently been let go from IBM in Johnson City, said Rep. Maurice Hinchey, whose district includes Binghamton. The gunman opened fire on a citizenship class, he said.

    “People were there in the process of being tested for their citizenship,” Hinchey said in a telephone interview. “It was in the middle of a test. He just went in and opened fire.”

    and it begins… people pissed about losing their jobs, blaming it on immigrants…

  202. HEHEHE says:

    “and it begins… people pissed about losing their jobs, blaming it on immigrants…”

    I’d wager you’ll be seeing more and more of these incidents going forward and I don’t think it will just be immigrants targeted; former co-workers, bosses, govt officials etc. Scary times.

  203. homeboken says:

    Napoli’s makes wonderful thin crust pie. I would also not rule out Margherita’s on Wash & 8th. They make a mean Marchetto Pizza, if you are into toppiings.

  204. Alap says:

    206 – I agree. I think this is the first of many stories we will hear like this. And stories like the one in France where employees held the boss hostage for a few days (which got no play from the media here in the states)

  205. Rich says:

    Signs of life in California real estate
    There’s is a lot of activity out on the coast that may indicate a reawakening of the housing market there – and across the country.

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/26/real_estate/California_comeback/index.htm?postversion=2009040311

  206. comrade nom deplume says:

    [205] Now reports of 13 dead on CNN

    I told someone today that, sadly enough, the WH is going to pounce on this as a reason to push for gun control. Rahm says don’t let a crisis go to waste, so I expect that tomorrow, we will be hearing about how the shooter is a right wing, skinhead, gun nut, with a bazillion rounds of ammo in his trailer.

    And I agree with HEHEHE. There will be more of this, and I think more than in downturns past.

  207. skep-tic says:

    re: California. Someone mentioned already I think, but I will second that the New Yorker article this week on the realtor who specilizes in REOs in L.A. is very good. The guy has concluded that he is not even going to waste his time on foreclosures of less than $1M because there are so many high end foreclosures available to sell at this point. Doesn’t seem to point to a rebound despite what CNN thinks

  208. comrade nom deplume says:

    [208] alap

    Actually, the French hostage stories actually did get a lot of play, just not on MSM TV.

  209. Sastry says:

    #208… Though the chances are very low, anti-immigrant sentiments can go measurablu… At times I also fear that the “anti banker” sentiment can be used as an excuse by some to vent anti semitic views.

    Thankfully, we have a more or less level headed administration. Imagine if Palin were in charge? Real america vs urban america, which have a lot of technical people from outside the US and bankers…

    S

  210. Sastry says:

    nom,

    I’d be cheering more gun control :)

  211. comrade nom deplume says:

    [214] Sastry

    I know.

    Which was why last year, I advised folks to get their shopping done early.

  212. Clotpoll says:

    I have as many guns as I need but not as many as I want.

    -Phil Gramm

  213. skep-tic says:

    these massacres are happening now about every four weeks or so. it is clearly too easy for mentally unstable people to get guns.

  214. Essex says:

    I am not sure how much more ‘gun control’ you could get here in Jersey….whereas other places are easy to get a gun. Here it is difficult and inconvenient.

  215. HEHEHE says:

    The guy was in NY. It’s not like he was in Texas. People who want to stuff like that are going to find a way to to do it.

  216. Qwerty says:

    Late, but worth noting —

    Best pizza….

    A margherita pie at Patsy’s Pizza

    http://www.patsyspizzeriany.com/locations.htm

  217. Essex says:

    Shooter was named “Jiverly Voong” — Uh…with a name like that the guy had it out for immigrants?

  218. grim says:

    Stu/Gator,

    Need tips on Napa

  219. freedy says:

    does anyone know how much the new health
    care plan for all children in NJ cost?

    and who is paying for it.

  220. dentss says:

    When Home Prices Hit Bottom…The end may be in sight — and getting a better sense of when it’s coming can help you make the smartest buying and selling decisions….http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/106862/When-Home-Prices-Hit-Bottom

  221. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (221) Essex

    Sure. Think white guys have a monopoly on that?

    As fer skep, problem is that even with a good registration syst, some don’t get snared (VA tech). And then there are those who are sane as we know it but later snap. No easy solutions and no willingness on either side to compromise

  222. B Squared says:

    The media was probably itching to print more hate filled stories about awful awful white males who are out to get immigrants. Now that the narrative went the other way, expect this story to disappear after some obligatory hand wringing.

  223. Essex says:

    Well this guy also won’t be elevated by hate groups as a hero…methinks.

  224. AntiTrump says:

    If Manhattan is on a 20% off sale, why would I buy in the ghettos in Jersey City and Upper Hobokken??

  225. Sastry says:

    BSquared… two sides to every story, but I think we can all agree that guns in the hands of nuts is not good.

    How do we cut that, very diverse opinions. Mine is a bit extreme: more and more control (cut out all guns)… but we don’t know what is a workable idea.

    S

  226. Steve says:

    Clot (201),

    Very interesting.

    A good friend used to send over Bridgewater commentaries back in 03-05, I always found them to be quite insightful, certainly contrarian back then.

    My sense is they’re a very solid shop, and if they’re backing away, certainly going to give the other hedgies pause. The smart ones, anyway.

    PPIP DOA? Now, that would be a shocker.

    tick tick tick

  227. yikes says:

    did someone here say in the long run (doomsday scenario) airplane bottles of alcohol would have more value than actually bottles of alcohol?

    hitting costco tomorrow, wondering if i should load up on the essentials (we have a 3 month supply of living supplies should the SHTF) and then some booze on the way back.

  228. NJGator says:

    Grim,

    What are you interested in? Food, vineyards, good tasting deals, lodging?

    We need more to go on and I do hope someone is accompanying you.

  229. chicagofinance says:

    HEHEHE says:
    April 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm
    Fillipo’s on First makes a good pie. Much better than Fillipo’s on Washington.

    He: Yes, although it is a very dough-y pizza. A lot of people like thin crust. They also make subs and salads that kick the crap out of Luca Brasi.

    I used to live at Clinton and 1st, so Filippo’s and Nag’s Head were my kitchen and living room. Breakfast most Saturdays and Sundays at Zack’s…I’m sure these days things are pretty worn. This was back 7-10 years ago.

  230. chicagofinance says:

    grim says:
    April 3, 2009 at 5:57 pm
    Stu/Gator,
    Need tips on Napa

    Siverado; Seavey; Mumm; Frog’s Leap; skip Stag’s Leap at all costs. Eat in Yountville.

  231. yikes says:

    i cant wait to unload all my apple stock shortly. still thinking the bull will last another week or two (based on what? NOTHING!) and then i’ll unload it and take a decent profit.

    love all apple products… but when shore and clot are predicting the dow will touch 6000 again …

  232. Essex says:

    My prediction re: Guns…tougher sentences will follow. Make any crime where a gun is involved mandatory life sentence. That’ll tone things down.

  233. Essex says:

    Obama over in Europe wowing the youth…but my guess is that if things continue to go south here….he’ll be ignored by all of the kids working the night shift at BK.

  234. Stu says:

    Make sure you set up an appointment to taste Anderson Conn Valley. It’s off the main path just a bit, but if you luck out like we did, you’ll get a tasting with Mr. Anderson who is all business, no fluff. He was the one cracking open the $500 bottles for us to taste, even after we clearly stated that there is no way we were buying it.

    I’m sure Gator will provide you with more info. I’m too tired tonight.

  235. Essex says:

    Did he make you spit or swallow stu?

  236. NJGator says:

    Grim re Napa – In addition to all of Stu and Chifi’s recs, I would recommend Schramsberg if you like the bubbly. They have a cool tour with caves. You’ll need to book ahead. I also like like Chateau Montelena nearby.

    Frog’s Leap was very charming (and FREE) and the gardens were amazing. We walked through them with a glass of merlot and didn’t even need to buy lunch :) Book ahead for this too.

    I also like Trefethen -smallish family vineyard with nice wines in Napa. Cakebread used to give a great free tour, but now I think they’ve gone too commercial. The wines are still tasty though and it’s worth a stop.

    Are you staying strictly in Napa? We really enjoyed some of our stops in the Alexander Valley. Rochioli and Twomey (thanks Cindy) had killer views and vino to match. Arista was a nice stop as was Bella (loved the Zin). Tasting fees were easier on the pocket here than in Napa.

  237. NJGator says:

    Stu 238 – Don’t forget he also gave us a ride in the Hummer since it was “too damn hot to walk and you’ve probably seen a dozen wineries before”.

    Grim – are you also looking for dining recs?

  238. Cindy says:

    (240) Gator – You forgot my new favorite – Goldeneye…

    http://www.goldeneyewinery.com/

    Anderson Valley –

  239. chicagofinance says:

    All: I have the just published Q12009 ETF Reference guide from Bloomberg Wealth manager.

    Pretty helpful.

  240. Cindy says:

    http://www.lacrema.com/about/tastingroom.html

    Grim – Complimentary tasting…

    I just like to drink the stuff. Go with someone who has actually BEEN there.

  241. chicagofinance says:

    Also, April/May 2009 issue of Morningstar Advisor has an article trashing leveraged ETF’s by Paul Justice (pp 40-41).

    I don’t know if I appreciate the point though. The gist is that buyers are not understanding what they are buying, so the funds are bad. As opposed to the fact that the funds are intrinsically bad.

    He strongly states that the fund should not be help more than a day and also only by institutional investors.

    At some point when I have time I can scan it and post the text here. No web access yet.

  242. Cindy says:

    Rich – Thanks ever so much for the positive posts at 76 and 209. I appreciate you!

    Sure, we are pretty messed up here in Cali and you’ll have to pay the new 1% sales tax increase … but the sun is shining.

    When were you planning your trip, Grim?

  243. SysAdmin says:

    Clotpoll (Posting # 3) : Why the market rallied recently.

    The stock market operates on “Greater Fool” theory. Given that April 1st is All Fools day, I guess more fools were made around that day. The market sensed the increased supply(more potentially greater fools) and rallied.

  244. Pat says:

    This isn’t important, I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, but spam, are you out there?

    Had some maintenance done (bird removal) and guy looked down, saw a litter of four (2 day old?) feral kittens on the ground on the other side of fence.

    I should have just let the gunk fall down around them. But I put on gloves, put them on a blanket in a plastic bin on its side, and set it in our yard under a heavy deck chair (it was raining). The mother came under the fence and took three, all through the afternoon. Last one taken was at 5:30. One is still left. It’s 56 degrees. The thing is screaming. any advice?

  245. Barbara says:

    re: gun control. We need mandatory finger print recognition technology on all newly manufactured guns and retro fitted old guns, however nothing to be done about all the unregistered and mostly illegal stuff that’s already out there. How about a Wii for guns program? Rims for guns?

  246. Barbara says:

    I’m generally against gun control, but I like gun security. One owner type thing.

  247. yikes says:

    Sastry says:
    April 3, 2009 at 11:02 am

    The only bid we made was 450 on a 525 ask, and are waiting to see what the selling price will be (closing 4/30). We don’t have an idea of what a good bid is (you know the place, and your advice was to “move on”). Would 480 have been OK? Should it have been over 525? We want to get a sense of numbers.

    We can commit right away at 450, stretch at 480, and wait for a year at 525. Since that income is low, we’d want the loan to be around 250 to 280 at most — hence 450 to 480. Next year, we can push it a bit up… We’d like to get the best house for that money (REO or otherwise).

    dont know all the particulars … their situation, the area, taxes, etc … but that’s what we came in at – 75k under asking.

  248. sas says:

    bet me
    that gunman was serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

    another prozac zombie.

    SAS

  249. sas says:

    oopps:

    that gunman was on serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

    SAS

  250. yikes says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 3, 2009 at 11:28 am

    One of our correspondents was in the office yesterday, telling us about a 200mm+ originator they just busted running a false VOE (verification of employment) boiler room.

    the movie boiler room is great.

    while we’re talking movies … holy cow, Mila Kunis is devine in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. it’s on Cinemax all the times these days.

    (only have cinemax because if you call verizon and threaten to leave for a competitor, they’ll give you all the movie channels free for a month)

  251. Manhattan will wind down as other areas try to find their legs. There is no where to hide, when an Hydrogen bomb goes off. Yes, there was foreign money and Wall Street’s new rich. Both of which, are in trouble now. Fortunately for NYC is that the Jumbo’s are back. For quite a while Manhattan sales on the high end were all cash. Now there is financing available at reasonable rates. If the money keeps coming in and Wall Street is now finding its legs, the market will try to hold up. Most markets around the country are trying to bottom. I think Manhattan has a lot more to give back first.

  252. Sastry says:

    Yikes #251…

    This was an REO property, priced to sell (per clot, and I agree).

    Was yours a successful bid (75k under ask — what was ask price, roughly)?

    S

  253. Sastry says:

    sas, do you think SSRI’s are bad (or worse, do you think SSRI’s are responsible for this)?

  254. yikes says:

    Stu says:
    April 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Sastry (153):

    Much better home IMO based on the pictures. Also appears to be well-maintained. I hope you like gardening though. A landscape like that requires at least 6 hours a week to maintain. Maybe more.

    GREAT point, Stu. we were all stoked about getting .85 acres. and now that the weather’s warming up the wife is badgering me to do lame shit like fertilize the yard and then add lime. wtf?

    i have thrown in the towel and conceded that a lawn service is best. probably could get a riding mower and spend 2 hrs mowing it every weekend, but i actually think my time would be better spent on “side projects” that have more upside.

  255. yikes says:

    AntiTrump says:
    April 3, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    If Manhattan is on a 20% off sale, why would I buy in the ghettos in Jersey City and Upper Hobokken??

    agreed. though with what might be coming down the pike for nyc in the coming years (tax hikes, anarchy, bedlam, etc), id run the other way.

  256. yikes says:

    Essex says:
    April 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    My prediction re: Guns…tougher sentences will follow. Make any crime where a gun is involved mandatory life sentence. That’ll tone things down.

    what if they broke in your house and you were defending your family?

    what if you were in wendy’s and a guy was robbing the place … you could have saved valuable lives if you took the guy out instead of let him kill people and rob the joint

  257. Sastry says:

    yikes #260

    In both cases, there won’t be any crime, right?

    S

  258. yikes says:

    Sastry says:
    April 3, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Yikes #251…

    This was an REO property, priced to sell (per clot, and I agree).

    Was yours a successful bid (75k under ask — what was ask price, roughly)?

    not in NJ, but owners had been there i believe 14 years, they were angry at the bid but go over it (they had targeted their own short sale and had to act quickly), they came back at something absurd like 550 and we went up 10 from initial and said take it or leave it and they took it.

    good news is that it needed almost no work. we manually yanked up the carpets (they had dogs) and put in new ones. that’s it. and, and we had to buy a washer/dryer.

    i have to say … absolutely love it. today, i got out a lawn chair, put it in the driveway, and just looked at the backyard for about 30 mins while on the wifi.

    first place i’ve owned that i’ve lived in, and it’s pretty cool. writing checks daily isn’t, but whatever.

  259. reinvestor101 says:

    I have warned repeatedly about these damn commies. Look at them and what they’re trying to do

    Let me tell you something, had Bush been in charge and at the G-20, there would have been a lot of things done differently. We wouldn’t be talking about someone’s damn Jason Wu dress, we’d be talking about a color revolution in Taiwan. You’ve got to get tough when commies and terrorists want to cut out the damn dollar.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-yuan3-2009apr03,0,865582.story

    China positioning its currency for a run at world supremacy

    Reporting from Shanghai — Could the world’s currency of choice have the face of Mao Tse-tung on it, not George Washington?

    Quixotic or not, the Chinese are preparing for that day

    In a series of what might be called baby steps, Chinese officials recently have moved to globalize the yuan and promote its influence overseas, with Shanghai designated as command central.

    Since last December, China has signed deals with six countries, including South Korea, Malaysia and most recently Argentina, for currency swaps that would inject Chinese money into foreign banking systems. That would allow foreign companies to pay for goods they import from China in yuan, bypassing the dollar — the currency that dominates international trade and finance, including foreign exchange reserves.

    Beijing is also taking initiatives to use the yuan, also known as the renminbi, to settle trade accounts between some Chinese provinces and neighboring states, starting with Hong Kong.

  260. reinvestor101 says:

    I have warned repeatedly about these damn commies. Look at them and what they’re trying to do

    Let me tell you something, had Bush been in charge and at the G-20, there would have been a lot of things done differently. We wouldn’t be talking about someone’s damn Jason Wu dress, we’d be talking about a color revolution in Taiwan. You’ve got to get tough when commies and terrorists want to cut out the damn dollar.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-yuan3-2009apr03,0,865582.story

    China positioning its currency for a run at world supremacy

    Reporting from Shanghai — Could the world’s currency of choice have the face of Mao Tse-tung on it, not George Washington?

    Quixotic or not, the Chinese are preparing for that day

    In a series of what might be called baby steps, Chinese officials recently have moved to globalize the yuan and promote its influence overseas, with Shanghai designated as command central.

    Since last December, China has signed deals with six countries, including South Korea, Malaysia and most recently Argentina, for currency swaps that would inject Chinese money into foreign banking systems. That would allow foreign companies to pay for goods they import from China in yuan, bypassing the dollar — the currency that dominates international trade and finance, including foreign exchange reserves.

    Beijing is also taking initiatives to use the yuan, also known as the renminbi, to settle trade accounts between some Chinese provinces and neighboring states, starting with Hong Kong.

  261. Essex says:

    264…sounds like they are just positioning themselves for anutha run at most favored nation status.

  262. Jim says:

    I saw this on another site and thought some of you might find it funny (or true even).
    ————————————

    Folsom Prison

    A tax on beer is coming
    it`s rolling round the bend
    and I aint smoked a Newport since
    I don`t know when
    and I voted for Obama
    cause I just could not see
    now a tax on beer is coming
    and that`s what tortures me

    When I was just a baby
    my momma told me son
    if someone sounds like Karl Marx
    you better turn and run
    but I voted for Obama
    cause I just could not see
    now a tax on beer is coming
    and that`s what tortures me

    I bet Joe Bidens laughing
    and smokin big cigars
    Pilosis tellin GM
    to make electric cars
    but I make less than 250
    so I just could not see
    that Obama`s tax and spend plan
    was gonna torture me

  263. Brook says:

    ATTENTION HOMEBUYERS in Morris County, NJ

    How to Beat the Home Buying Bubble of Over-Inflated Prices

    There is an answer to the astronomical rising prices of homes. Within our area, housing prices have more than doubled (and in some instances, have tripled) in the past 5-6 years for no reason except greed. People have put themselves into debt, because they did not want to lose a home because they became emotionally attached and in turn, took out a mortgage that a mortgage broker said they could afford -when in actuality they could not. I am a homeowner in Chatham and have lived here for most of my life. The realtors have strongly brainwashed homebuyers to purchase more expensive homes than they could afford and persuaded home buyers to take out huge mortgages in order to purchase a home. Due to the greed of the realtors, the homeowners who sold their homes, which accelerated into a false “supply and demand”, houses have escalated so much that middle class prospective homebuyers cannot afford to purchase a home. My children cannot afford to purchase a home.

    Greed has brought down Wall Street, Banks, Mortgage companies, and other large corporations. This is where we had to fall, in order to learn and know the important things in life. When I sell my home, it will be for the Pre-Real Estate Boom price: an average price where the middle class person can afford to purchase a home, easily. This will begin the lowering cost of homes. People are losing their homes and their jobs. Middle America cannot get over-inflated mortgages, any longer, nor do they want to. We have entered into an economic collapse.

    A colleague of mine has been looking to purchase his first home. Just to give you an example, in December 2002, the house sold for $210,000. In October 2008 (5 years later), the realtor has listed the home price as $420,000. Bear in mind, there has been a small amount of cosmetic work done to the home (nothing exceptional). The price has listed as more than doubled in the past 5 years, which is completely ludicrous. A doubling of a house price in 5 years is pure greed. This is just one of the many examples in this area of a 20 mile radius. Has your salary doubled or tripled within 5 years? No, in fact, many salaries have decreased in the past 5 years.

    When my colleague had questioned the realtor regarding the reasoning behind the over- inflated prices, she mentioned “it was for a reason.” She alluded to the statement to “keep particular people out.” I expressed to her how disgusting that was and at this time in history, someone actually had the audacity to express this sentiment. She was from a big conglomerate Realtor firm. Needless to say, my colleague dropped her as a realtor and strongly advises against recommending her company.

    People need to stick together and look at the “big picture” and look at their fellow man, instead of the most exhorbant amount of money they can put into their pockets.

    So, as homebuyers, there is a way to bring the prices of homes (Pre-boom real estate prices – 2001) to an affordable price.

    1) In the state of New Jersey, the cost of a sale of a home is public information. All records date back to the building of the home.

    2) Call the Taxation Dept. at the Borough Town Hall in the designated town. Give them the address of your prospective home and ask them all the sale dates of the home and what they sold for. You may want to know the last 3 or 4 home sales of the particular home in order to determine the inflated real estate boom market price and to determine a bid price.

    3) Bid according to the price BEFORE the Real Estate Boom Market. At the point of the Real Estate Boom Market – during and at its highest peak, these are over-inflated homes and they are simply not worth it.

    4) For example, the house that my colleague was reviewing, sold for $210,000 in December 2002. In October 2008, the realtor listed the price as $420,000. So, with the collapse of the economy; people losing their jobs and homes, coupled with the doubling over-inflated prices of homes, in order to bid for a home, bid closer to the 2002 price of $210,000 with an increase of a few dollars. Use your discretion.

    5) Do not be swayed by realtors. They are conniving, aggressive sales people, who are looking out for how much money they can put in their pockets. They are NOT looking out for your best interest, whatsoever. The most used phrase to attempt to condone listing homes with extremely high prices; even the most modest small/average home in the Chatham, NJ or the Morris County area, the realtor would say in that unconvincing wispy voice, “It’s C-h-a-t-h-a-m” or “It’s M-A-D-I-S-O-N.” You could sell a home in any neighborhood with those sales tactics and using that tone and connotation. “It’s W-H-I-P-P-A-N-Y.” Sounds the same, right? You understand the brainwashing techniques.

    There are homeowners in this area and the surrounding towns, who are able to sell their home for a reasonable price. Not everyone is greedy. Another friend of mine sold their home. This was at the beginning of the real estate boom. His house was listed as $750,000 by the realtor. He met a couple whom he liked. He expressed to the couple that he has been blessed with an average income and a wonderful family, and would like to give someone an opportunity. He sold his house for more than ½ the listed price at $350,000. Look at the possibilities. Do not listen to the negative people. Everything is possible.

    The more homebuyers use these tactics and stick to this principle, the more homes will decline in price, close to where they were before the Real Estate Inflationary Boom of Double and Triple prices. Soon, homebuyers will be able to purchase homes again at a reasonable price and not an inflationary false price.

    Good luck!

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