Weekend Open Discussion

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

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

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

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423 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From the Philly Business Journal:

    Tax appeals swamping N.J.

    Seeking to lower their property taxes as real estate values decline, homeowners and businesses alike in New Jersey are flooding the state with appeals.

    The worst may be yet to come for municipalities, which rely on the revenue to provide public services and are expected to face an even heavier onslaught of appeals next year.

    The Tax Court of New Jersey, which handles appeals for properties valued at more than $750,000, has already processed 10,731 complaints this year, a spike of 3,800 over the same period last year. County boards of taxation, which handle the appeals of lesser valued properties, are also reporting significant increases, all of which threaten to cut into the budgets of municipalities, said William G. Dressel Jr., executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

    “When there is a successful appeal [the cost] is not split up between the county and the school; the municipality has to absorb the total loss,” Dressel said, explaining that municipalities must refund all portions of the tax, including the school portion, which makes up about 70 percent. “We may find ourselves in a situation where literally we have to increase taxes to pick up the tax loss or reduce services.”

  2. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Northeast posts 20 percent home sales drop in March

    The Northeast recorded the worst home sales and price declines of all regions in the country in March, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday, as layoffs exert a drag on the area’s housing markets.

    Northeast home sales dropped 20 percent last month from the year before, and median sales price tumbled 18 percent to $231,700.

    Nationally, sales of existing homes posted an unexpected decline, falling 4 percent in March from a year ago, without adjusting for seasonal factors. The U.S. median sales price slid more than 12 percent to $175,200.

    “You have distressed sales that are helping drive sales up in certain states, but then you have weak demand in most states, including the Northeast, and that’s driving sales down,” said Patrick Newport, economist at IHS Global Insight.

    The key factor: the recession, Newport says.

    Closer to home, sales volume declined 12 percent and prices dropped 13 percent in Bergen County in the first quarter of 2009 from the same period a year ago, according to the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service. Similar figures were not available for Passaic County.

  3. Qwerty says:

    This is of course the Unprecedentedly Brutal Weekend Discussion.

  4. John says:

    This is terrible, if the stock and bond market keeps rising while housing become more and more afordable we may run out of things to complain about in a year or two.

  5. John says:

    More bad news

    U.S. Corporate Borrowing Costs Fall to Lowest Since October
    By John Detrixhe

    April 24 (Bloomberg) — Corporate borrowing costs fell this week to the lowest since October amid signs that government efforts to repair broken credit markets are working.

    The extra yield investors demand to own corporate debt instead of Treasuries fell to 698 basis points as of yesterday from the December peak of 896 basis points, according to Merrill Lynch & Co.’s U.S. Corporate and High Yield index. That represents an average yearly company savings of $19.8 million for every $1 billion of bonds sold.

  6. Silera says:

    Hubba says:
    April 24, 2009 at 10:53 am
    #255

    Sil, you didn’t read it to the end. Your kids should beat you.

    Oh, I did. I’m willing to take a beating if it will mean my sons make it Time magazine.

    It’s all for the children.

  7. #6 – Great John! GM can start borrowing and build new plants! Chrysler too!

  8. bi says:

    more bad news…

    S*S at $25 and handle. i am going to ask STU give me permission to call this crap its real name: SRS

  9. kettle1 says:

    BI,

    you long ago violated the nature of the agreement. The agreement was for you to not discuss that ETF at all.

  10. BC Bob says:

    J [6],

    TLGP, nationalization. Cheer, cheer. Now come the conditions, debt swapped for equity. BOOYAA.

    Are you really this clueless?

  11. make money says:

    I’m down some serious money on this. I appreciate if you shut the fcuk up!!!

  12. make money says:

    post 13 was meant for Bi

  13. BC Bob says:

    [10],

    Oh great, now dumber is offering his/hers market commentary.

    Off to Hartford, hope I hear Atlantic City;

    “Everything that dies, someday comes back”

    I know I’ll hear Hard Times.

  14. 3b says:

    #1 grim: I wonder if these are the same people who voted yes for the school budgets in the mistanke belief that higher taxes would keep their property values high ro stable?

  15. 3b says:

    #2 grim: Closer to home, sales volume declined 12 percent and prices dropped 13 percent in Bergen County in the first quarter of 2009 from the same period a year ago, according to the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service.

    Now that is what I want to see.

  16. 3b says:

    #8 toshiro: Yes, and they can start hiring too.

    Nothing really means anything until unemployment stops rising. And if the numbers continue to increase at 600K+ a month, can we could as many economits predict see 10& % unemployment by year end.

  17. 3b says:

    Ford and Microsoft both post ugly numbers. Market up. Yes, makes perfect sense.

  18. SirRentsalot says:

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-foreclosure-property-upkeep-04222009,0,2521610,print.story
    “With tens of thousands of homes across Florida left abandoned and overgrown by the foreclosure crisis, governments from Miami to Winter Garden have responded by sending crews out to mow lawns, clean pools and do other basic work — leaving behind bills for the banks to pay once they take possession of the property.

    The state’s banking industry wants to put a stop to the practice.

    Banking lobbyists have quietly crafted a measure in the Florida Legislature that would prevent cities and counties from forcing the banks that hold mortgages on properties in foreclosure to maintain those properties until they have actually acquired the title to the land — a process that can take six months or more to complete. The language, written by the Florida Bankers Association, would also prevent cities from establishing registries to keep track of all the foreclosed homes in their area.”

    Yeah. That’ll help.

  19. SirRentsalot says:

    “April 24 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve took on more than $74 billion in subprime mortgages, depreciating commercial leases and other assets after Bear Stearns Cos. and American International Group Inc. collapsed. “

  20. SirRentsalot says:

    http://tinyurl.com/ddydgr

    “now that tens of millions of Americans are poorer than they used to be, the credit-card bubble is bursting. Credit card delinquencies are soaring. At the Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender by assets, 7.8 percent of credit-card accounts were delinquent in February by more than 30 days, up from 5.9 percent last August. Yesterday, Bank of America reported a $1.8 billion first-quarter loss in its credit-card services unit. “

  21. NJGator says:

    Grim 1 – This has been my knock on Montclair all along. They should be more proactive about dealing with this issue. They need to address the too high assessments before they certify the assessment to the county in January. We asked if the town if they would be interested in having an informal discussion about this and they declined. They choose to litigate an issue that they know full well they will lose. In addition to eating the county and school overpayments, they also incur extra legal fees. Last year Montclair actually had to borrow money in order to refund tax overpayments for successful appellants. All of this is then factored into our tax rate and pushes it even higher.

    “When there is a successful appeal [the cost] is not split up between the county and the school; the municipality has to absorb the total loss,” Dressel said, explaining that municipalities must refund all portions of the tax, including the school portion, which makes up about 70 percent. “We may find ourselves in a situation where literally we have to increase taxes to pick up the tax loss or reduce services.”

  22. Essex says:

    I would issue a call to anyone with a credit card…..screw em. DON’T and send a message to the banks that they can take their usury and their credit ratings and shove em….Americans are sick of it.

  23. chicagofinance says:

    Silera says:
    April 24, 2009 at 10:00 am
    Chi- I went to a private new hampshire boarding school.

    sil: I think I may know which one….I have a client whose son is a similar story…..

  24. All Hype says:

    These markets are a mini-NASDAQ bubble in the making. There is no underlying fundamentals to support this kind of rally.

    To John and Bi: Enjoy it while you can. Keep one finger on the sell button.

  25. stan says:

    These banks are concerned about the landscaping fees??? Ha, I realize it adds up by penny wise pound foolish….cmon!!!

  26. RayC says:

    BC Bob says:
    April 24, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Off to Hartford, hope I hear Atlantic City;

    “Everything that dies, someday comes back”

    I know I’ll hear Hard Times.

    ——

    I got a call from the Boston show – he did “I Wanna be Sedated”

  27. bi says:

    11#, kettle, i thought the agreement is that I can start to talk it again when S*S reached $25. no? you have documents for this? -)

  28. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 says:
    April 24, 2009 at 9:26 am
    3B How do you explain the 25% drop in Manhattan apartment prices from the Summer of 2008 to now, vs. the seemingly very small drop in house prices in north Jesey during the same period?It makes no sense to me. My guess (and its purely a guess); is that the collapse of wallstreet had an immediate impact in Manhattan. Who was bidding up the prices of apartments to nose bleed levels?

    3b & ket: The peak in NJ was 9/2005-ish; the peak in NYC was possibly 6-18 months later. There is some commonality in NYC/NJ buyers, so I think that there were still a small numbers of buyers in NJ who had the benefit of buying property without the pure fiercest bidding in NYC. That said, I assume the recent numbers reported also have an element of relativism to explain some of the divergence. NYC is coming off an in context higher comparison number, while NJ was already substantially hit…

  29. bi says:

    13#, make 2 handle, you got to ask SEC to stop trading this crap. seriously.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    All Hype says:
    April 24, 2009 at 11:48 am
    These markets are a mini-NASDAQ bubble in the making. There is no underlying fundamentals to support this kind of rally.

    To John and Bi: Enjoy it while you can. Keep one finger on the sell button.

    All Hype: the amount of crap they had to deal with here means that you are not justified at flipping them off at this juncture.

    make….that French Connection UK-ing sucks

  31. chicagofinance says:

    3b says:
    April 24, 2009 at 11:25 am
    Ford and Microsoft both post ugly numbers. Market up. Yes, makes perfect sense.

    3b: actually …. yes

  32. Silera says:

    Chi- It was St. Paul’s School. It is a great school and I had a really great experience there overall. I just meant to highlight the “you don’t belong here” mentality.

    In the projects, kids were just as bad to me. Whenever I came home, because I also happen to be very irish looking for a dominican, and private school didn’t help my “street cred”, I spent many a summer defending my right to walk through my own neighborhood.

    The anti gentrification sentiment actually works in about the same way but with much less insult and more injury.

  33. chicagofinance says:

    3b: that why I respect albani…he backs up the talk with putting his quid on the line….realize that the bulk of “analysts” don’t have skin in the game, so “expectations” are irrelevant.

  34. chicagofinance says:

    Silera says:
    April 24, 2009 at 11:54 am
    Chi- It was St. Paul’s School. It is a great school and I had a really great experience there overall. I just meant to highlight the “you don’t belong here” mentality.

    In the projects, kids were just as bad to me. Whenever I came home, because I also happen to be very irish looking for a dominican, and private school didn’t help my “street cred”, I spent many a summer defending my right to walk through my own neighborhood. The anti gentrification sentiment actually works in about the same way but with much less insult and more injury.

    Sil: The client is Brazilian. The son comes off as a white guy.

    I guess you were inspired by the Wesley Snipes/Michael Jackson dialogue from the long-form video for the song Bad.

    I have a story for you. I had a client who worked for a public traded company in NYC that I won’t mention. The company had a Latino Business Association for employees. The client was Latino and fluent, but her estranged dad was Chinese and she looked Chinese and her last name was Liao. She shows up to the meeting and these woman start gossiping right in front of her in Spanish. The omplain to her boss “?quien es esta chinita?”

  35. bi says:

    put record straight, i am neutral to comercial reits. but as it was intended, this board served as an informative and educational resource. after chifi briefly mentioned volatility effect of ultrashorts, i digged many websites and then posted tons of links (even from proshares own documents) against holding ultrashorts for a period longer than 1 week for any purposes. some folks here want to take me as contrarian indicator. i don’t mind at all since i have nothing to lose.

  36. All Hype says:

    chicagofinance says:
    All Hype: the amount of crap they had to deal with here means that you are not justified at flipping them off at this juncture.
    ________________________________________________

    I do not understand what you mean by the statement above? I was giving them a little props to the money they have been making as of recently. No flip off intended.

  37. chicagofinance says:

    I stand corrected…..sorry

    All Hype says:
    April 24, 2009 at 12:05 pm
    chicagofinance says:
    All Hype: the amount of crap they had to deal with here means that you are not justified at flipping them off at this juncture.
    ________________________________________________

    I do not understand what you mean by the statement above? I was giving them a little props to the money they have been making as of recently. No flip off intended.

  38. Victorian says:

    Bi (37) –

    Thanks for the effort you put in educating us, but the leveraged ETF dependency on path and volatility had been discussed over here months before you put those links up.

  39. skep-tic says:

    response to a comment from a previous thread:

    yes, people can and do live in NYC on $75,000 per year, but I believe the issue is whether businesses in NYC can attract/retain the sort of employees they want if they cannot pay substantially more than that.

    From my standpoint as someone not originally from the area who came here specifically for a job, the answer is definitely “no”. The NYC area is ridiculously expensive compared to where I am from and where I am from is expensive compared to most of the rest of the country. My income is higher than anyone in my family, although my lifestyle is considerably worse. If there were not a chance at a big payoff somewhere down the road, then I would not have even come here in the first place. I think this is the reality for many of the people who come to NY from other places, most of whom have options to go elsewhere.

  40. renter says:

    I know so many people who speak Spanish who are not Hispanic. It isn’t a difficult language to learn. Conjugation can get tricky but most people don’t need to read Cervantes to get by.

  41. Silera says:

    Chi-

    That’s hysterical. I hope she had the gumption to reply in spanish.

    Everytime I’m in that situation, it’s a coin toss. Sometimes I just shut it, but when I do acknowledge it, it’s gloriously awkward and uncomfortable.

  42. Sean says:

    bi – still waiting for you to find one economist who said the recession ended in the 1st quarter.

  43. renter says:

    I never acknowledge it. I learn much more by pretending I don’t understand.

  44. Sean says:

    John which catholic school did you go to in the Bronx?

  45. veto that says:

    Assuming the bursting credit is gone forever, I guess the real stimulus comes in the form of a new life altering technology. In that online Yale class that someone posted, (was great by the way thanks) Shiller spoke about new technologies creating new bubbles every ten-thirty years going back hundred of years. One of the more interesting ones was paper, before that only the rich could get a newspaper since they were printed on leather hydes, so the poor stayed uninformed and illiterate. Also, the carbon copy helped business contracts become easily recorded and allowed the economy to flourish. One of the funniest ones was the file cabinet. It started in Germany around 1920 and it spread like wild fire but the US was reluctant to accept this technology since it was way too “risky and unreliable”. When we finally took on the file cabinet system around 1935, it helped productivity and efficiency enormously, yielding growth benefits for the next twenty years. The copy machine, car, lightbulb and internet followed. I would include the tremendous financial innovation in debt products, derivatives and financial markets but he didnt get into that.
    The next innovation for us seems to be green technology, right? not only because we have the skills and abiity, but because we have a need for sake of environment as well as national and economic security. China and India perhaps have the ability too but they are focused on economic growth and probably not willing to hinder that for the earth’s sake. basically, the developing world still has starving people and is going through our industrial revoltution of the early 1900s, so they dont really care about driving Prius. Once we start adopting clean energy and removing ourselves from the oil cartel that owns us, we will look back in twenty years in disguist. Actually this process has already begun if you look at the huge environmental progress we have made since the early 1900s by controlling coal use, fuel efficiencies and other pollutants. Even though green tech is not happening quickly and seems to be pushed more by regulators than industry, i still think there is tremendous future for us there. It also follows our previous business models of innovating and then after twenty years of making superior solar panels and batteries or whatever, we can just give the industry away to poorer countries who are able to run it in a more cost effective way while we sit back and collect the diminishing dividends. Tesla car company was on 60 minutes last weekend, made we think of this.

  46. John says:

    our lady of refuge

  47. chicagofinance says:

    Sean says:
    April 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm
    John which catholic school did you go to in the Bronx?

    our lady of onion

  48. bi says:

    44#, sean, i don’t know what you do in a tarp-affected bank. but this kind of mentality would be bluntly rejected if you were interviewd by a. west, who frequently makes interesting comments on this board.

    >Sean says:
    April 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm
    bi – still waiting for you to find one economist who said the recession ended in the 1st quarter.

  49. Sean says:

    John – ah Bainbridge Avenue I was born in Union Hospital and my parents lived in that neighborhood for a few years.

    We thought we were the Jefferesons once when we moved to Gun Hill Road across from the golf course.

    I bet you a pint my parents know your parents John.

  50. 3b says:

    #51 sean: Used to hit the Village Pub from time to time on Bainbridge back in the day. east Bronx boy myself.

  51. Nicholas says:

    Our Lady of Perpetual Help

    http://www.olph.net/

    I used to attend this church waaay back. Funny how things can bring back memories.

  52. Nicholas says:

    Treasury lends 2 more Billion to GM

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090424/ap_on_bi_ge/us_auto_bailout

    WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department says it has provided General Motors Corp. with another $2 billion in federal loans as the giant automaker struggles to restructure.

    The Treasury said that the payment was made to GM on Wednesday and provides working capital to the company.

    A government report revealed earlier this week that the Treasury was prepared to provide GM with up to $5 billion more in federal loans and Chrysler with up to $500 million more in bailout support as they race against deadlines to restructure.

    GM has until June 1 to complete restructuring plans that satisfy the government’s auto task force, while Chrysler has until April 30.

  53. Sean says:

    bi – pay better attention, I don’t work in a bank, and if I did I would not be posting here.

    I am still waiting for your economist, if you can’t find one then admit you were wrong about the recession being over in the 1st quarter and move on.

    FYI bi, I defended your presence here to Grim when you he was going to ban you permanently do to you losing the SRS bet, I now see that may have been a mistake.

    I suggest you stop harping on that ETF already, since even I am growing tired of your “broken record” comments.

  54. Safeashouses says:

    I went to a meeting today and was told we’re having a 2 month contest. 75% of you will get fired at the end.

    Fortunately we also got a paycut.

    I kept waiting for Alex Baldwin to walk in.

  55. NJGator says:

    our lady of onion. Made me shoot powdered sugar across the table at café du monde! … Stu

  56. still_looking says:

    Anectdata:

    SIL lost her UBS job yesterday.

    sl

  57. 3b says:

    #33 chgo:3b: actually …. yes

    I guess so if one adheres to the it could have been worse rationale.

  58. Outofstater says:

    #43 “gloriously awkward and uncomfortable” – another great phrase! Thanks, sil.

  59. skep-tic says:

    from the WSJ:

    “Year over year, new-home sales were 30.6% lower than the level in March 2008.

    The median price of a new home dropped 12.2% to $201,400 in March from $229,300 in March 2008. The average price fell 10.3% to $258,000 from $287,600 a year earlier. In February 2009, the median price was $208,700 and the average was $255,100.”

  60. Nicholas says:

    still looking,

    Condolences to SIL (I’m not sure they are but they seem important to you).

  61. Nicholas says:

    Safeashouses,

    Survivor: Real World has come to your office. Good luck.

  62. Sean says:

    Safeashouses – Will we be seeing you on
    FOX’s new reality TV show “Someone’s Gotta Go,”

  63. still_looking says:

    thanks Nicholas…

    Fortunately she’s really frugal and their house is paid off already. But they have their second kid on the way.

    sl

  64. RobGilpatric says:

    @47 – Veto

    That was a thought-provoking and sobering comment. Thank you!

  65. skep-tic says:

    http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/WSJ_Housing_ValuationQ4_2008_Report.pdf

    interesting report on national house prices (breaks it down by metro area as well). suggests that nationally, housing is now undervalued and locally, in the NYC metro, housing is fairly valued. methodology is not explained very well, but this strikes me as pretty hard to believe.

  66. BlindJust says:

    Was told by a realtor that a given RE market can be divided into thirds (<= 400K, 700K <= x 700K) and the bottom third drops first followed by middle then top. It seemed reasonable that the top, percentage wise, will fall further if, for no other reason, because of more tighter lending standards. Thoughts appreciated.

  67. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [57] gator

    Have a beignet for me!!!

    (and bring me back a box of the mix!)

  68. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [34] silera,

    Bit of culture shock there, I bet. Going from NYC to Concord, NH (is is Concord, right?).

    What I want to know is whether you wore your yankees cap everywhere, and did you get grief for it?

  69. Nicholas says:

    I bought shares of Ford today. I’m long on them from here on out.

  70. zieba says:

    Kettle, make;

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_H2DePAZe2gA/SfHkkSPipeI/AAAAAAAAI9s/zFcWKlakE14/s1600-h/word.jpg

    April 24 (Bloomberg) — Executives and insiders at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the steepest stock market gains since 1938 to unload shares at the fastest pace since the start of the bear market.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=email_en&sid=au8cyqeJFifg#

  71. zieba says:

    April 24 (Bloomberg) — Executives and insiders at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the steepest stock market gains since 1938 to unload shares at the fastest pace since the start of the bear market.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=email_en&sid=au8cyqeJFifg#

  72. zieba says:

    sorry for the double, thought it was in moderation because of links…

  73. kettle1 says:

    3B 18,

    Nothing really means anything until unemployment stops rising. And if the numbers continue to increase at 600K+ a month, can we could as many economist predict see 10& % unemployment by year end.

    Since oct 08, Unemployment has been growing at an average rate of 7% per month. if that growth rate continues more or less unabated, then we would be facing unemployment levels close to the height of the great depression. We would be looking at about 17% U3 and 30% U6. available data shows a peak of about 35% during 1933. However that was annual data and the real peak was probably over 40% due to a number of factors. Regardless, if we continue at the current rate and actually approach 20% U3 then you can expect this event to well surpass the 19030’s.

    will post a little projection for you later tonight

  74. skep-tic says:

    #68

    “It seemed reasonable that the top, percentage wise, will fall further if, for no other reason, because of more tighter lending standards. Thoughts appreciated.”

    I agree with this. If you get into jumbo mortgage territory around 750k and up, you need at least 20% down. This is prohibitive for many buyers in what I would call the “entry level luxury” market ($750-$1.5m). Above that level I think you have many more truly wealthy people who don’t have a problem coming up with a lot of cash. There is a ton of inventory out there that is just into jumbo mortgage territory

  75. Sean says:

    Bi, you should put your Pontiac Aztek in long term storage it is going to worth allot of money in a few years to collectors.

    GM Said to Preserve GMC Brand, Eliminate Pontiac in New Plan

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aSzU5bt90cWM&refer=home

  76. Silera says:

    I’m a Mets fan. We were only 4 yrs out of the 86 series. I think New England resentment has worn off since.

    Yankees hatred up there reaches levels of certifiably insane.

  77. chicagofinance says:

    Silera says:
    April 24, 2009 at 1:34 pm
    I’m a Mets fan. We were only 4 yrs out of the 86 series. I think New England resentment has worn off since. Yankees hatred up there reaches levels of certifiably insane.

    Sil: My uncle and cousin live near Hartford CT…it is possibly the scariest place in the U.S. when Yank.Sox fans have to live side by side….I’d rather be a truck driver during the Rodney King riots…

  78. Sean says:

    My younger brother is a Mets fan, despite daily corporal punishment dealt out during the baseball season he stuck with them.

    I rewarded him with surprise tickets to game 3 of Subway Series where the Mets handed Orlando Hernandez his first ever postseason defeat, and Benitez redeemed himself by closing out the win.

    Until then that was probably the happiest day in his life, I doubt however he will ever be that happy again.

  79. Silera says:

    The saddest Mets moment I’ve ever witnessed was the night that my cousin married a Phillies fan. Their wedding was in 2007 on the last night of the playoff series.

    On the wedding bus back to the reception hall from the church, my Mets loving Uncle heard the loss on the radio and never smiled again for the rest of the evening. His only daughter barely got the dance from him.

  80. kettle1 says:

    Skeptic 67

    ROFLMAO

    That report is little more then expanded RE talking points. Their definition of fair value only works if you assume we are NOT in a debt bubble and that this is just a little recession.

  81. Curmudgeon says:

    Stu and Gator..

    NOLA tip!
    Liuzza’a by the Track (walking distance from the Fest; not the “other” Liuzza’s). Get the shrimp po’ boy (not fried), the gumbo, the BBQ shrimp…actually, anything. It doesn’t look like much, but that place rocks!

    Link: http://www.nola.com/sites/liuzzas/

    Wish I was there..

  82. 3b says:

    #67 skeptic: It is not fairly valued in most decent NYC metro areas yet. Perhaps in Newark or Paterson.

  83. John says:

    You rich folks up on Bainbridge, I was on Morris and 196th streeet. Been so long my spraypaint tags were sprayed over back in the Richard Nixon days.

    Sean says:
    April 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm
    John – ah Bainbridge Avenue I was born in Union Hospital and my parents lived in that neighborhood for a few years.

    We thought we were the Jefferesons once when we moved to Gun Hill Road across from the golf course.

    I bet you a pint my parents know your parents John.

  84. Zack says:

    Most banks will pass stress test according to cnbc.com

  85. Victorian says:

    “Most banks will pass stress test according to cnbc.com”

    In other news, water is wet.

  86. Zack says:

    Up Up and away. Buy now or be priced out forever..

  87. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    Heading to Hartford? I am already here. Saw the second Boston show, it was good; not nearly as good as the Giant Stadium shows last summer, but little can be (well Ft. Lauderdale last year was kick-@$$).

    Looking for “Crush on You” and “Sherry Darlin’,” after that it is all gravy.

  88. Most banks will pass stress test according to cnbc.com

    Is anyone really expecting to see any failures? I’m honestly asking. Does anyone expect any of the 19 not to pass? If so, who?

  89. Sean says:

    re: #88 Zack – The free market is the stress test and they all failed.

  90. House Whine says:

    Re: speaking foreign languages – The native Spanish speakers are actually very happy when I speak to them in their native tongue. But they are almost always surprised that I can do it. It has opened up a lot of opportunities for me as well as new friendships. I do agree that Spanish is a lot easier to learn but I think it helps to learn it before you are an adult.

  91. Shore Guy says:

    Stu/Gator,

    Say hello to Jackson Square and have a bignrt and some coffee up on the Moonwalk for me.

  92. Shore Guy says:

    “he Northeast recorded the worst home sales and price declines of all regions in the country in March,”

    Like the shock waves from an earthquake, it just takes time to radiate out.

  93. safeashouses says:

    Nicholas & Sean

    I think all of us are going to go. I doubt anyone will win.

  94. Shore Guy says:

    Re. Bruce and second boston show:

    I Want to be Sedated was very-well done and far better thant Outlaw Pete and Working on a dream. The onstage engagement was entertaining. No Rosalita :( maybe tonight.

  95. Shore Guy says:

    Anyone have recomendations for a good place to eat in Hartford within a short walk of XL? Not looking for linen table clothes and such tonight as I am just in hiking boots and a Stone Pony tee shirt.

  96. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [99] Shore

    I guess the Rib Room is out then.

  97. Traitor nom deplume says:

    GM to kill off Pontiac.

    That’s one more acronym in the graveyard.

  98. SirRentsalot says:

    57 Stu

    I am buying a house there in about three months.

  99. FT Alphaville has some deets from the Fed white paper.

    #101-That’s one more acronym in the graveyard.
    Well, we still have FIAT, don’t we?

  100. John says:

    I love a good stress test. I already knew if you lent money to banks at zero and let them lend it out at 19.9 on a credit card all would be right in the world.

    Ford rocks the house, the 2010 New Mustang and Taurus and the New Fusion Hybrid are rock star cars. I loved my Sable right up to the day it was t-boned. The 2010 Taurus is a camry killer!!!!!!

  101. Doyle says:

    #76

    Skep, agree as well… The town I’m watching has 33 homes between $700k – 1Mil, and 25 1Mil+. For the most part they are just rotting there. They don’t seem to realize that people are not throwing this kind of money around anymore.

    Soon enough.

  102. John says:

    BTW our president called the bottom around the time Bernakee went on 60 minuts. The guy is the best ever!! Basically he said I am killing shareholders and saving the bondholders so don’t buy stocks then when stocks hit bottom he gave the green light to jump back in. Bascially only commies lost money.

  103. The 2010 Taurus is a camry killer!!!!!!
    Why? It didn’t kill the Camry when it was the 500.

    the 2010 New Mustang and Taurus and the New Fusion Hybrid are rock star cars

    I’m amazed you can type given how drunk you obviously are.

  104. John says:

    The people who don’t have the money can’t get zero down loans to buy and the people who still have money are waiting for the bottom before they jump in.

    Doyle says:
    April 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm
    #76

    Skep, agree as well… The town I’m watching has 33 homes between $700k – 1Mil, and 25 1Mil+. For the most part they are just rotting there. They don’t seem to realize that people are not throwing this kind of money around anymore.

    Soon enough.

  105. SirRentsalot says:

    Oh, and Stu/Gator – don’t miss the stuffed merliton – it’s my favorite food at the Fest (better even than the crawfish monica, which is a close second).

  106. John says:

    Between 1992 and 1996, the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States
    The original Taurus was a milestone design for Ford and the entire American automotive industry, as well as a very influential vehicle that brought many new features and innovations to the marketplace.[2] Since its launch in 1986, Ford has sold 7,397,595 Tauruses worldwide as of March 31, 2009,[The all-new 2010 Taurus will become available July 2009.

  107. Zack says:

    Good shorting opportunity developing as we speak..
    I am shorting SPG right now.
    Short now or be shorted forever…

  108. Between 1992 and 1996

    Note the dates. The new Taurus isn’t a new car, it was previously available as the Ford 500 and didn’t sell.

  109. Ben says:

    See, the thing is, I truly believe Obama knows the currency is going to be destroyed. That’s why he was out there pleading with everyone to refinance the second he and his cohorts manipulated interest rates down to 4.5%

  110. veto that says:

    Nicholas, good call on Ford. I love their new lineup. Finally doing something right by stealing their styling from the europeans. I think of all of them, they are the only ones with any hope of a turnaround.

  111. Sean says:

    tosh – re: Fed white paper, not surprisingly, their worst case Economic Scenario is what many would consider a best case scenario for the economy.

    Unless the BLS creates a new U-3 stat like they did in 1994 that uses a new new counting method, ie. exclude people without jobs from the unemployment statistics we will not never stay under 9% U-3 for 2009.

  112. SirRentsalot says:

    “Between 1992 and 1996, the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States”

    I love that.

    “Taurus: The Budweiser of cars!”

  113. Sean says:

    At least Ford is trying to keep jobs here, the old Wayne Michigan plant that used to build Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs will be converted to build the new Ford Focus one car model to be sold worldwide.

    It is a four banger turbo, don’t know if it will be a hit with the soccer moms here in the states however.

    http://www.motorauthority.com/gallery/2011-ford-focus-rendering/2011-ford-focus-rend-motorauthority-01.html

  114. BlindJust says:

    108 – The people who don’t have the money can’t get zero down loans to buy and the people who still have money are waiting for the bottom before they jump in.

    I have no confidence in my ability to call a bottom. I was looking for a YOY stability in the price decline or some stability in the %foreclosure increase in Alt+A or Prime. Assuming this stability occurs within the next 2 quarters, what indicators would you leverage to determine whether that stability is simply a breather before the next leg down?

  115. #118 – Sean – Ford is trying. I wish them luck. I’m not holding by breath though.
    That Focus is already available as the Mazda3 in the US. People seem to love it.
    The list of Ford models that should have come to the US is very very long. I hope they’ve learned something.

  116. kettle1 says:

    Sean,

    U3 is alreay at 9% per BLS #’s for march!!!

    will hit 10% by june

  117. From the white paper;
    Based on information provided by the BHCs, implementation of the proposed changes to FAS 140 could result in approximately $900 billion in assets being brought onto the balance sheets of these institutions. Risk‐weighted assets were increased by about $700 billion to reflect this projected consolidation.

  118. Sean says:

    kettle1 – right and they stress tested the banks on this, the “more adverse” or worst case scenario is using U-3 of 8.9%.

  119. 3b says:

    #119 blind: indicators would you leverage to determine whether that stability is simply a breather before the next leg down?

    Unemployment#’s would be one of the biggest indicators in my opinion,and number is continuing to accelerate upwards.

    For instance Wall St one of the so called foundations of the NYC metro area real estate market, laid off an additional 4000 people this past MarcH in our area.

    Leagal, and publishing have also been severely hit so far.

  120. From CalculatedRisk; The National Credit Union Administration seizes a Fla credit union. $1.6B in assets & 200,000 members.

    CUFF?

  121. A.West says:

    #67 skep

    Seems like there’s a huge disconnect between the real estate and towns they’re measuring in that paper (for NJ) relative to the towns and houses that most on this board are looking at.

    That affordability as of Q4 must be going down when incomes and employment fall. Maybe it’s also boosted by lower mortgage rates too.

    Makes me think buying a vacation home in Florida at <$200k would be a sweet deal, except I suspect their “average” is quite low-end relative to my expectations. I took a peek a few months ago at Captiva Island, FL units for sale, and it was still priced in fantasyland, as far as I could tell. If the price dropped enough some places could generate decent rental income, maybe – I’m a total novice in that field.

  122. The Kid says:

    If The Kid didn’t know any better, this would make me put bids on some of the open houses this weekend.

    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/index.php?cl=13128615

  123. John says:

    Traders Instinct. I bought my NYC coop in late 1991 at an RTC foreclosure sale. Turn out to be the exact week of the bottom. It was either instinct or I am a cheap SOB, stats are for saps.

    BlindJust says:
    April 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm
    108 – The people who don’t have the money can’t get zero down loans to buy and the people who still have money are waiting for the bottom before they jump in.

    I have no confidence in my ability to call a bottom. I was looking for a YOY stability in the price decline or some stability in the %foreclosure increase in Alt+A or Prime. Assuming this stability occurs within the next 2 quarters, what indicators would you leverage to determine whether that stability is simply a breather before the next leg down?

  124. Thundaar says:

    This sounds kinda fun!
    FACTBOX: French “bossnappings” multiply as crisis bites

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKTRE53M4D720090423?ref=layoffdaily.com

  125. John says:

    I knew the stress test were going to be a walk in a park, I bought fifth third bonds right before results at 58 sents on a dollar. I kinda felt the test is fixed but the doubtful Thomas’s of the world need to see the print version just to feel good, these are the soccer trophy kids grown up.

  126. Outofstater says:

    OT: New flu strain has elements of avian, swine and human viruses and it has human to human contact.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53N22820090424

  127. bi says:

    where is frank? is he n@ked at beach counting chips he made on S*S? he is a genious, shorted at $70 and added more at $50. now it is approaching his target – teens

  128. bi says:

    if the market can close at this level, it will be 7th consecutive weekly gain for S&P.

  129. kettle1 says:

    Sean

    From oct 08 to march 09 unemployment grew at an average rate of 7% per month. I calculated forward the U3/U6 rates for the rest of the year if we continue to see that rate of unemployment growth. Italicized values are calculated

    U6 U3
    Jan-09 15.4 8.5
    Feb-09 16 8.9
    Mar-09 16.2 9
    Apr-09 17.4 9.6
    May-09 18.6 10.3
    Jun-09 20.0 11.1
    Jul-09 21.4 11.9
    Aug-09 22.9 12.7
    Sep-09 24.6 13.7
    Oct-09 26.4 14.6
    Nov-09 28.3 15.7
    Dec-09 30.3 16.8

  130. Doyle says:

    #108

    John: exactly.

  131. Essex says:

    By the same token I know a guy who just sold his house in one week. Done deal. Starter home….SOLD.

  132. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    What can you tell me about it, I have decent clothes with me and could dress for dinner, but would prefer not to have to go back to the hotel and change before the show. Not that walking across the skybridge is a big deal, it is just not something I want to mess with it.

    Any other suggestions? Something with good steaks, fish, and wine would be nice.

  133. Zack says:

    Where is Clot. Haven’t hear from all day. Hope he hasn’t committed suicide with his position n SRS.

  134. Traitor nom deplume says:

    WE’RE NUMBER ONE (OR TWO)!!!

    Another accomplishment for Jon Corzine.

    http://www.sbsun.com/business/ci_12173983

    Moving out to flee taxes?
    State fiscal woes may be last straw for firms.

    “Out of 50 states, California has the third worst business tax climate, according to a study published in October by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation. The study looks at corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment tax and property tax.

    California was eclipsed by Rhode Island and New Jersey.

  135. Shore Guy says:

    “The WHO said it was ready to use rapid containment measures if needed, including antivirals, and that both the United States and Mexico are well equipped to handle the outbreak”

    Of course we are so good at preventing people from coming across the southern border it should be a snap to prevent infected folks from getting into the US.

  136. Sean says:

    kettle1 – now you see how I cam up with my U-3 20% prediction for 2010.

    Full on Zombie apocalypse…

  137. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [103] Tosh,

    You mean “Fix It Again Tony”?

  138. Sean says:

    Just exercised some options today, that money is going straight to my pot of gold.

  139. Doyle says:

    Essex, priced to sell I presume? Any details?

  140. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [137] shore

    Not much, if it is even still there. Higher end hotel restaurant in one of the hotels. It was what passed for finer dining in Hartford.

    Full Disclosure – I ate there in the mid-80’s so any review is pointless. Back then, Hartford was a dump and in full Johnscapade mode, I must disclose that I only visited Hartford twice, both times in the 80’s and both times involving women. Besides the dinner with one old GF’s family at the Rib Room (where stepdad, a FLA developer, pitched a fit because his T&T wasn’t brought to him in a footed glass (I sh1t you not)), I drove my Mt. Holyoke girlfriend to Hartford in the 80’s for her first tat (a nice tasteful rose—she got the dragon later, after we broke up) Tatoos were illegal in Mass then so that gives you the flavor of Hartford, where the bikers held sway over Sisson Street. (Johnscapade off).

    I think that any sort of brewpub near what is (was?) the civic center is probably a best bet. Beyond that, no help. Sorry.

  141. #143 – nom – Well, that’s one of them. Having said that I do really like the new 500, esp the Abarth

  142. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [83] silera

    “The saddest Mets moment I’ve ever witnessed was the night that my cousin married a Phillies fan.”

    No bargain for the Phillies family either, I bet.

    My cousin got married a few years ago, and the announcement, in their typically casual fashion showed them in baseball caps, and the faux MasterCard ad description read “New York Yankees cap—$19.95. Boston Red Sox cap—$19.95. Yankees fan marrying Red Sox fan—Priceless.”

    This was in spring 2005, so we had a of fun at the expense of the bride’s family, and did our level best to run up their bar tab.

  143. make money says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCIfD45eqnA

    One of very few french man I love!!!

  144. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [147] tosh

    After the recent survival study for small cars, I think I am going larger. No way I drive that anywhere in NJ where driving is a contact sport, and insurance is apparently optional.

  145. Sastry says:

    Re: Taurus and …

    Does anyone have experience with the new Fusion Hybrid?

    S

  146. make money says:

    jcs,

    They don’t like competition do they?

  147. make money says:

    Traders Instinct. I bought my NYC coop in late 1991 at an RTC foreclosure sale. Turn out to be the exact week of the bottom. It was either instinct or I am a cheap SOB, stats are for saps.

    John,

    I was told that RTC sold these SOB’s for one dollar just to have someone pay the maintance.

  148. Silera says:

    Plume-

    These stories are proof that love and alcohol can heal as well as destroy.

    I hope tonight’s a healing night.

  149. Traitor nom deplume says:

    And here’s some more news, putting NJ at the head of the pack (depending on your view).

    http://www.sbecouncil.org/uploads/sbsi%202008%5B1%5D1.pdf

    The Small Business Survival Index also ranks NJ ahead of the Golden State as the second worst place in the nation for small businesses.

    Actually, DC came in at the bottom, and DC really isn’t a state, so I think that Corzine and the Assembly can rightfully say WE’RE NUMBER ONE when it comes to states.

  150. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    i havent disagreed with your U3 call. the implications of 20% U3 are staggering. The problem is also that at some point unemployment is a self reinforcing pattern in a consumer based economy

  151. Sean says:

    re#139 – JCS – Obama said he wants to eliminate the “middle men” lenders that he says add inefficiency to the system.

    The last guy who tried to cut out the middle men didn’t finish his ride through Dealey Plaza.

  152. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [155] silera

    There must have been some loving over there because I just got a baby announcement from them a couple of weeks ago.

  153. John says:

    only thing between the pitchforks and the bankers is me.

    Private conversation betwen prez and JD.

  154. bi says:

    to me this bear market (rally) has long way to go. after market close today (friday), SPY went up half to one percent without any significant news. this is becaouse shorts are so nervous.

    disclaimer: this is the view from a different janitor: kettle is on day shift and i am on night shift.

  155. jcer says:

    Sean, there is a difference between saying something and doing it. Obama is great at saying things, not so much at following through. His social agenda is one thing, but it seems to me he is firmly on the side of the financial firms and whatever happens will not cause problems for them. it strikes me he uses social issues to cloud what’s important.

  156. John says:

    Chase, TD Waterhouse and KPMG had lay-offs this week. lots of 10-15 year employees showed the door. Lay-offs accelerate at the bottom, that is a big time green shoot.

  157. Sean says:

    re#157 – kettle1

    A janitor that you are can see it, yet lots of very smart people cannot.

    Simple concept really, it is a self reinforcing spiral in the absence of credit demand decreases.

    The self reinforcing part is actually two spirals but we don’t need to confuse people do we?

  158. sas says:

    “Apple retail sheds 1,600 full-time positions”
    http://tinyurl.com/cqah3f

  159. sas says:

    ye be afraid…very afraid

    “Plight of Carmakers Could Upset All Pension Plans”
    http://tinyurl.com/cf7dw4

    SAS

  160. #165 – That’s kind of surprising given how well Apple has been doing. Maybe now they can put in some g**d*** cash registers in their stores like the rest of the human race.

  161. dent says:

    A interesting take from Wall Street Manna”house prices, will now be going up, and these price increases, along with the rising stock market will get those who haven’t bought, or who are contemplating buying a home, off of the sidelines, and it will help engender confidence in banks who love algorithms and models, but hate common sense!” Let’s do the math. The numbers on the average home sale price came out today at $165,400. That my friends is the absolute low reading that you will see in this housing cycle, so get on board, or get run over by the train….
    http://aaronandmoses.blogspot.com/2009/03/housing-math-for-bears.html

  162. sas says:

    “Vioxx maker Merck and Co drew up doctor hit list”
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25272600-2702,00.html

  163. sas says:

    i love Jamaica..cold beer joint.
    once did some work in Kingston, alot of fun.

    “Jamaican army deployed ahead of tax increase”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN4N34351120090423

    -Jamaica’s government put police and the army on alert to prevent violent demonstrations as it prepared to announce tax increases on gasoline, cigarettes and other consumer items on Thursday.

    SAS

  164. galgon says:

    Bank Failure Friday #26

    Southern Bank, Kennesaw, Georgia

    http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2009/pr09057.html

  165. galgon says:

    Bank Failure Friday #27

    Michigan Heritage Bank, Farmington Hills, Michigan

    http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html

    2 down and it is only 6:30. Possibly a few more coming.

  166. sas says:

    “Bank Failure Friday”

    conspiract theory, doesn’t exist.

    go back to Applebee & TGI Fridays.
    go out and go shopping & use your credit cards, take your serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and do things that make you a rock ribbed american.

    SAS

  167. Sean says:

    SaS – you start hitting the sauce early?

  168. kettle1 says:

    sean

    there have been a number of articles the last few years about how epidemiologists expect an epidemedic to pop up any time due various factors.

    the spanish flu killed about 100 million

  169. Sean says:

    WHO convening emergency committee to advise on swine flu

    http://in.reuters.com/article/health/idINTRE53N4SZ20090424

  170. confused in nj says:

    Interesting thing about Obama wishing to get rid of the middlemen is, the entire Service Economy is predicated upon a great number of layers of middlemen in every area.

  171. Sean says:

    “Housing is probably forming a bottom, because even the supply of homes, the inventories, declined,” said Asha Bangalore, an economist with Northern Trust in Chicago. “I think the housing market is stabilizing.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2441697520090424

  172. Roy G Biv says:

    Mets vs Yankee — Hell-o it is only a game !!

  173. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    in my opinion the real feed back loop in the deleveraging of the massive global debt bubble. unemployment is just one of many consequences of the deleverging

  174. Sean says:

    Kettle1 – Here is another bold prediction to go with my 20% U-3 prediction.

    Bold prediction: O’bama will try and sell a policy next year and will fail.

    The only policy solution that will allow US households to pay down their debts is – ready? – a conscious monetary policy of wage inflation.

    Let’s see O’bama sell that one.

  175. galgon says:

    BFF continues: #28 for the year
    #3 today. 4 if you count the credit union.

    First Bank of Beverly Hills, Calabasas, CA

    http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/beverlyhills.html

    Even Beverly Hills is not immune.

  176. d2b says:

    Sean says:
    April 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm
    re: #88 Zack – The free market is the stress test and they all failed.
    ___________________________

    Post of the day!

  177. galgon says:

    Bank Failure #4! Big night for the Feds today.

    First Bank of Idaho, Ketchum, ID

    http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/firstbankidaho.html

    Still not that late. There could easily be more.

  178. Sean says:

    Lenny Dykstra goes bust and gets canned by Krammer.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/thestreetcom-dumps-lenny-dykstra-2009-4

  179. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    wage inflation would be tricky/difficult to pull off, and i have wondered about how the opposing forces will interact.

    first let me define my use of the terms inflation/deflation as an increase or decrease in the money supply, not in terms of prices as is often done.

    we are currently experience wide spread deflation as debt is destroyed, everything for value disappearing from derivatives to bad mortgages to decreasing home values. All these come into play because debt is money in our current system.

    The general public has become worried enough that a fair % of people want to decrease their debt. This has a multiplicative deflationary effect. as they pay off debt without acquiring new debt, they are essentially generating deflation by removing debt (money) from the system. At the same time, since they are not using that money to buy more “stuff”, the companies selling “stuff” cant expand so on and so on.

    Money is currently being printed and huge amounts have been handed out. But if that money cannot circulate in the system it lays dormant and you do not see inflationary effects. The banks have essentially hoarded the cash the government has handed out, so it has been unable to have an inflationary effect. At the same time, deflation/ debt destruction is progressing at a much faster rate then the government is issuing money. So even if the banks did not hoard the money we would still have net deflationary effects.

    Lets assume that next spring deflation has slowed a bit and Obama begins injecting a few trillion directly to the population instead of bank vaults. What are a significant % of people going to do? pay off debt!

    Paying off debt is a deflationary action that can have a multiplier effect in our fiat consumer based economy.

    The only way that issuance of money to the general population can have a inflationary effect while there are significant deflationary effects present is to start a zimbabwe style economic policy, and i do not see obama going to that.

    Of course Obama will probably try this in on form or another and the failure of his plan is where the danger lies. everyone from banks to individuals will likely hoard a fair amount of the money handed out and once deflationary effects subside you may see all of the hoarded cash flood the market.

    That is the whip lash i have referred to before. a rapid shift from a deflationary environment to a very high inflation environment could cause widespread havoc, as the economic responses to deflation and inflation are fairly different and with little time to adjust the participants in the effected economy would be unlikely to fare well.

    Now if we really play this scenario out, i think that there is a fair chance that an effort at wage inflation could easily trigger a bond dislocation.
    one possible out come is a russian style currency crisis ala 1999. While the underlying cause would be different i think some of the social effects could be very similar.

    what i do think will happen, is that the US will continue the down slide like the rest of the world, but that there is a good chance that we remain the “best of the worst”. Although, that is little consolation for anyone having to live through the event, myself included

  180. gary says:

    Does anyone know a link where banks compete for your business? I want to refinance my car and Lending Tree is a bunch of bullsh*t. They give you one bank when they promise four and it’s a take it or leave it deal. F*ck them. I want to be able to enter my information and have banks compete offering the best rates. Can anyone suggest a site? Thanks in advance.

  181. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    here is your 20%

    43 US states project $121 billion in total deficits next year, with california representing over 30% of said deficit.

  182. kettle1 says:

    skeptic et al,

    in regards to the WSJ RE report you posted earlier

    Taking a look at the data below compiled by my firm, Cirios Real Estate — which depict sales transactions for the part of the San Francisco Bay Area between San Francisco and San Jose known as the Peninsula — one can see how rising home prices from 2003 to 2007 shifted sales transactions towards more expensive properties. This makes intuitive sense, and should naturally push up both average and median home prices. Since the market peaked, however, notice how the percentage of sales of homes under $400,000 shot up to more than 50% of sales in the first quarter of this year, from as low as 9% in 2007. Conversely, sales over $1,000,000 that accounted for almost a quarter of transactions in 2007 now make up less than 9% of total sales so far in 2009.

    This heavy concentration of sales in low-end markets is skewing home price data to the downside, exaggerating the impact of depressed markets on broad measures of prices.

  183. Silera says:

    Sean- I stumbled across that Lenny Dykstra blog doing a google search for basic trading information just a few weeks ago. It came up first page. It reminded me of this conference I went to once during the stock bubble where some yo yo promoted buying investors business daily and buying stock options on yahoo and microsoft. This was like 1999.

    My mom has fallen hook line and sinker for every hair brained scheme out there. I’d been to enough avon and mary kay meetings as a kid to know that this was just waste. Thank heavens I convinced her not to do it.

  184. kettle1 says:

    3b,

    read the article i posted at 190. it proposes a very interesting idea that could explain the lag in home price declines in NNJ and the northeast in general

  185. Sean says:

    Kettle1 – the current policy of avoidance will create 20% U-3 and that will cause a complete political reset.

    I a going next month to the motherland to check out this phenom.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition_Towns

  186. Outofstater says:

    New flu strain – human to human AND at least for now, appears to be more deadly among healthy young adults. That was true in 1919 too. This might be something to keep an eye on.

  187. Cindy says:

    http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/04/two_questions_for_simon_johnson.php

    What exactly do we know about Simon Johnson – besides the fact that he is everywhere when I search for recent info on banks? (I believe he airs with Moyers on PBS tonight.)

    IMF, wrote “The Quiet Coup”, wants banks nationalized, MIT, Baseline Scenario…Peter Peterson Institute of International Economics.

    Peter Peterson, who wanted to privatize social security, supporter of IOUSA, Blackstone, BlackRock – hedge fund money for PiPP.

    Some days I feel I am being sucked into a vortex of misinformation.

    So does Simon Johnson want banks to fail so hedge funds can swoop in? Or…is he looking out for you and me?

  188. Sean says:

    Silera – if you ever heard Lenny Dykstra speak you would think he is the last guy in the world that should be picking stocks, yet there were several interviews on the MSM (where he didn’t talk much) touting him as some kind of Oracle.

  189. Cindy says:

    http://w3.newsmax.com/fir/fir14.cfm

    Remember this guy – “Trapper John?”

  190. kettle1 says:

    Stater,

    my understanding is that certain flu’s and other illnesses are more dangerous to the young and healthy due to them causing cytokine storms. basically your immune system overreacts and ends up in a feed back loop which ends badly for you.

    that is what is believed to have happened with the spanish flu, which seems to have preferentially killed the younger and heakthier

    SL may want to correct me on that though

  191. Silera says:

    http://www.avvo.com/news/dykstra-s-wife–nails–him-with-divorce-207.html

    His wife’s leaving him too.

    That article title stinks.

  192. reinvestor101 says:

    sas,

    You’re scaring the shlt out of everyone, but you try to act like you’re being friendly. Are you actually Casper?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqAE2LnovtU

    sas says:
    April 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm
    ye be afraid…very afraid

    “Plight of Carmakers Could Upset All Pension Plans”
    http://tinyurl.com/cf7dw4

    SAS

  193. Sean says:

    Cindy – Wayne Rogers is regular on Saturday morning MSM FOX show Cashin’ In, he was/is negative for quite a while and fights with Jonathan Hoenig a Hedgie bull.

    I like Wayne, he adds some sanity to the MSM.

  194. Cindy says:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/04/home-sales-distressing-gap.html

    Calculated Risk – “Home Sales: The Distressing Gap”

    “I believe the gap was caused by distressed sales – in many areas home builders cannot compete with REO sales, and this has pushed down new home sales while keeping existing home sales elevated.”

    “So I believe those analysts looking at the existing home sales report for stability are looking in the wrong place. the first “signs of stability” in the housing market will be declining inventory (see 3rd graph here), a bottom in the new home sales (see previous post), and the gap between new and existing home sales closing.”

  195. Cindy says:

    (200) Sean – I have seen him before – in the days when I actually tried to invest. He always made sense to me.

    Dykstra talk made me think of him – out of his element and all.

    I caught 2 minutes of Bo Jackson – yes you heard right – Bo Jackson – trying to discuss his new bank on CNBC. Turned it off so that is all I know about that.

  196. Victorian says:

    Cindy (195) –
    RE: Simon Johnson and the Peterson Institute.

    He was a visiting fellow for 2 years – 06 and 07. I don’t think that qualifies him for being in some hedge fund collusion conspiracy theory.

    BTW, Paul Volcker is on the board of directors for that institute. Does that make him a co-conspirator?

    As is Summers, and Simon has been extremely critical of him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterson_Institute_for_International_Economics

  197. Sean says:

    re#202 – Cindy

    Bo Jackson bank? That is one I will need to bookmark.

    South side of Chicago no less?

    Stock offering already?

    http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/bo-jackson-backs-bank/

  198. Cindy says:

    (203) Victorian – Thanks for the input.

    http://baselinescenario.com/2009/04/24/the-next-big-hearing-bill-moyers-tonight/

    I read his “Baseline Scenario” (with James Kwak) daily.

  199. Sean says:

    re: #186 kettle1 -“multiplicative de
    flationary effect.”

    disinflation is the term I believe.

    Wait for it, the “whip lash” if it comes it will be nearly overnight.

  200. Victorian says:

    Our Tax Dollars at work.

    April 24 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve took on more than $74 billion in subprime mortgages, depreciating commercial leases and other assets after Bear Stearns Cos. and American International Group Inc. collapsed.

    In its biggest disclosure of the securities accepted to stabilize capital markets, the Fed said yesterday it had unrealized losses of $9.6 billion on the assets as of Dec. 31. . . . .

    “The numbers basically confirm that Treasury is going to have to take some TARP money and reimburse the Fed,” said Whalen, whose financial-services research company analyzes banks for investors. “It is essentially up to the Treasury to get the Fed out of this.”

    The central bank lent $2 trillion to financial institutions and hasn’t disclosed information about most of the collateral backing those loans.

  201. Victorian says:

    Cindy (205)
    No worries. I enjoy reading him daily as well. Johnson, Stiglitz, Roubini and Krugman, IMO, are the only ones thinking about us right now.

    All the rest are in the bankstas’ pockets. Geithner and Summers are Obama’s Iraq.

  202. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [193]

    There are smaller versions of this in the U.S., and it was one of the ideas behind the Nompound

  203. Outofstater says:

    #198 Ket – Yes, I think I’ve read that too – something about a young, vibrant immune system going into over-drive. I’ve also read that some of the 1919 victims might have been saved with just simple care – like having someone to give them something to drink or some soup. If this does become a pandemic, I think we’d better count on taking care of our own family members at home ourselves because the system will be overwhelmed. I was in a meeting a few years ago where the speaker said that in the event of a pandemic, every hospital bed in the state of Georgia would be taken within the first twelve hours. Our county has designated a “flu hospital” and is thinking about turning the middle schools into secondary hospitals but I’m not sure that will work. Having some extra chicken noodle soup and Gatorade in the house couldn’t hurt.

  204. Sean says:

    re# 209 – Nom just scoping it out, also I have no desire to fend off the masses, hence the island.

  205. BklynHawk says:

    #210-

    Welcome to the the NJ wine, guns, investing, $300 jeans, Nom pounds, pandemics, real estate report.

    I’ll suggest all the empty strip mall stores could be converted into triage centers, care and quarantine centers.

    Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat!

  206. NJGator says:

    Hey – we are not number one in sales tax. NOLA sales tax is 9% ouch! – so NJ has something to aspire to.

  207. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    i understand disinflation a decrease in the rate of inflation. The multiplicative effect i am suggesting would ultimately be a deflationary effect, because whether people pay off debt, put it in a savings account, or stuff a mattress, the money will not be in active circulation. You could say, that i am proposing that such an inflationary effort would actually decrease the velocity of money.

    For ant effort at direct inflation to really work people would have to start generating new debt, or if that fails go Zimbabwean

  208. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    i understand disinflation a decrease in the rate of inflation. The multiplicative effect i am suggesting would ultimately be a deflationary effect, because whether people pay off debt, put it in a savings account, or stuff a mattress, the money will not be in active circulation. You could say, that i am proposing that such an inflationary effort would actually decrease the velocity of money.

    For ant effort at direct inflation to really work people would have to start generating new debt, or if that fails go Zimbabwean

  209. kettle1 says:

    “We are past the crisis stage; I think we’re in the cleanup stage now[..] It’s going to take some time and everybody needs to be patient, and it is not going to be pretty.”

    -Sheila Bair

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/04/23/fdic-chief-says-banking-sector-past-the-crisis-stage/

  210. kettle1 says:

    sean,

    all in all, i am debating semantics. enjoy the debate though! thanks

  211. safeashouses says:

    I actually remember getting a shot at school when Ford was President. Now I know why.

    1976: the swine flu scare

    http://www.capitalcentury.com/1976.html

  212. KareninCA says:

    I am refinancing our condo loan – it’s now via my husband’s employer, but I want to switch it to our credit union. and our credit union doesn’t sell its loans.

    oh, the form is miserable!

    I haven’t yet gotten to the page on which they require that I count the pennies in the penny jar, and total up how much we spend each month on dog treats. but it’s there, along with every annoying get-up-and-find-a-file question that a bank ought to ask.

  213. KareninCA says:

    I thought that Carter was the president during the swine flu epidemic-that-wasn’t.

    a sure sign that the 70s are back, on steroids

  214. Clotpoll says:

    essex-

    You would have to put Andy Kaufman on that short list with Chuck Barris. Nice call.

    I was at the match in Memphis where Jerry Lawler gave him the piledriver. To this day, I couldn’t tell you whether that was real or not.

  215. Clotpoll says:

    My buddy and I were enjoying a bit of the barley soda that evening and started rooting for Andy Kaufman. I didn’t think we would make it out of the building alive.

  216. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (216)-

    Somebody please clean up the mess known as Sheila Bair.

  217. Clotpoll says:

    vic (207)-

    The Treasury has to buy up Maiden Lane. I believe it is illegal for the Fed to be holding those securities.

  218. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (202)-

    Bo Jackson in banking is like Tim Geithner as Sec’y of Treasury.

    Oh, wait…

  219. Clotpoll says:

    Bo knows toasters?

  220. Clotpoll says:

    How many times have Fedco/Treasury broken the law in the past six months?

  221. Clotpoll says:

    sas (165)-

    That’s 1,600 slackers who won’t be buying quality weed until they catch on at a new job.

    Is there any way to short the pot market?

  222. Cindy says:

    (227) Clot – I caught a glimpse – heard a few lines – “With us, you won’t just be a number…” Walked over and turned the darn thing off.

    The theory, I figure, goes something like this: Since bankers have messed up so royally, why not trust us…we have no idea what we are doing.

  223. Cindy says:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/hearing/2009/04/the_next_big_thing_for_hearing.html

    (228) Clot – The Hearing

    These folks are trying to get something going.

  224. Cindy says:

    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/

    Notice of Financial Default.

  225. Cindy says:

    http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/04/24/opinion/1194839777826/bloggingheads-unnecessary-bailouts.html

    Yeah – We probably needed to recapitalize banks but not in the piecemeal fashion.

    Nothing is going to happen until we recapitalize the consumer –

    A couple of chatting economists – fun format.

  226. reinvestor101 says:

    People kill me just trying to portray how bad things are. All we need to do is stop the negative talk and things will be okay. Let me tell you something, I’ll be damned if I ever try to eat a dandelion or damn fried squirrel or a pigeon. Things are not that bad and if things were that bad, they would most certainly get worst for anyone’s disgestive tract if they do what this lady is suggesting. She ought to be detained for any writing this sort of ridiculousness.

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseKids/live-off-the-land-in-the-city.aspx

  227. Cindy says:

    (234) RE 101 – One of my predictions for 2009 was a new show called “Frugal Families.” Maybe this gal should run it.

    “Chowing down on chickweed”
    Foraging is “about a connection and an interaction with an environment.”

    Foraging – We have returned to being hunters and gatherers?

  228. Essex says:

    223.
    Memphis! Oh yes. You think folks around here can be a little scary….just try to stare down a pissed off feller from the backwoods sometime. Skeeeerrrry.

  229. sas says:

    “Live off the land — in the city”

    i have to agree with reinvestor101 with this one. what a stupid article.

    this isn’t mad max or planet of the apes.

    Eating pigeons & rats? what about all the pesticides the city sprays to eliminate these creatures, and you want to eat that stuff?

    then again, you already eat it when you goto McDonalds or buy your meats at A&P.

    SAS

  230. sas says:

    stuck in moderation again.

    looks like the east germans are back in the house.

    SAS

  231. sas says:

    or.. maybe its the obama good squads.

    obbaaa maa…obbaaamaaa….

    sheep
    SAS

  232. sas says:

    “Swine flu in NY?”

    sure are alot of swines on wall st.

    SAS

  233. veto that says:

    223.Essex says: “Memphis! You think folks around here can be a little scary….”

    Just got back from a convention in memphis. Some people are nice and normal and others are very scary, although i never made it outside the city limits. Rondezvous restaurant downtown was an interesting experience, supposedly their best ribs. They seat us in the basement, waiter walks up to the table and says, “wood yoo lak ti traa the cheese n sausage plate?” i almost got up and left right there but stayed for the entertainment value. His next question was if we want beer. He asks just like that too, “do you want beer?” so i asked what kind they have? He said “michelob”. Wow, what a difference in culture.

    Graceland was great though. Elvis bought that mansion in 1957 for $100K (which is not bigger than a 4 bedroom nj colonial with full finished basement). Today its worth over $100 Million. Apparently they rake in $5 million a year in revenue. They offer 3 different tours and the tourists come out of the wood work in droves, lined up in front of the $80 ticket window so they can see the Elvis lives museaum. I bought the cheapest ticket and practically ran through the mansion. Anyway, when the tourists finally get in there, they spend hours and they’re all sobbing like babies, as if he passed yesterday. ive never seen anything like it.

  234. Clotpoll says:

    veto (246)-

    Don’t talk down the ‘Vous. Those are the best dry ribs on Earth. BTW, I hate MIchelob, but there’s something about ice-cold MIch on tap there when it’s 97 degrees and 97% humidity that makes it work just fine.

    Also, you didn’t get seated in Siberia. Most of the ‘Vous is underground. Only the party rooms and offices are at street level.

  235. Clotpoll says:

    I got a hankerin’ now for a fried bologna sandwich on Wonder Bread, a grape Nehi and a Moon Pie.

  236. Clotpoll says:

    …otherwise known in Memphis as breakfast.

  237. Essex says:

    245. I’d do her.

  238. Essex says:

    My family hails from Memphis and Nashville on my dad’s side….I spent the better part of 15 years in Kentucky. Best Bar-B-Que on the Planet is here…

    http://www.moonlite.com/

  239. Sean says:

    What happens to VPs when they cannot find new work in California.

    Well paying “consulting job” robbing banks.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_12192771?nclick_check=1

  240. Sean says:

    Kettle1 – Check out NY times article today on Spain’s deflation and unemployment.

    Spain’s jobless rate, already a painful 15.5 percent, could soon reach 20 percent, a troubling number for a major industrialized country.

    Deflation can result in a downward spiral that can be difficult to reverse. As unemployment rises sharply and consumers cut spending, companies cut prices. But if sales do not pick up, then revenue can decline further, forcing more cuts in workers or wages.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/business/global/21deflate.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=simon%20johnson%20spain%20deflation&st=cse

  241. SG says:

    Is Paterson Falls good place to visit for few hours? Is there a park to spend time?

    Thanks

  242. veto that says:

    didnt mean to rip on your home state clot. Im sure they could make fun of our accents, beer and pizza joints just the same. They actually have a lot figured out with quality of life.

  243. Happy Camper says:

    I bet they miss the Peseta right now

    “Spain’s jobless rate, already a painful 15.5 percent, could soon reach 20 percent, a troubling number for a major industrialized country.”

    HC

  244. 3b says:

    Question? How accurate is Trulia in anybody’s opinion? It says prices in my town have dropped 16% from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009.

  245. BC Bob says:

    Shore;

    Hartford. Are you back? You weren’t in the Hilton bar after the show, were you? I saw a couple, both with black Pony shirts. We were at the Irish bar around the corner, before ths concert and for a little bit after. It was wild with Yankees-Red Sox going on. It was about 1/2, 1/2. After this we went to the Hilton bar, stayed there. Not the bar, the hotel.

    Wild Thing?

  246. Tom says:

    Another jolt to housing industry and IT outsourcing industry!!
    New rules for H-1B and L-1 visa holders.

    The bill prohibits the practice of ‘H-1B only’ ads and prevents employers from hiring additional H-1B and L-1 guest workers if over 50 per cent of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders, Grassley said in a statement. It gives power to the Department of Labour to investigate, audit and penalize abuse of H-1B and L1 visa employers.

    http://obama.wsj.com/article/0fydbGk0dh7hk?q=U.S.+Senate

  247. Essex says:

    259. More likely a huge blow to the American curry industry.

  248. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Looks like I am staying in Hoboken. Landlord dropped my rent 10%.

  249. kettle1 says:

    Memphis…..

    there seems to be a large memphis connection this blog. The kettle family has several connections to memphis as well as back woods TN. I personally hate the place!

    Sean,

    Spain is toast. I think that before this is all settled we will see political instability in spain. Whether the current government can pull through is any ones guess. They have to many problems occuring at once to come through this without some sort of instability.

    -Water issues/ environmental degredation
    -Social issues, Immigrant Vs native spaniards (including the whole arab/european tension seen throughout europe)
    – No economy without RE and construction
    – My understanding is that there is little in the way of a social safety net in spain, there for the unemployed and destitute are likely to reach a critical mass quicker then someplace with a fir sized safety net.
    -Dont forget that europeans have no problem rioting/demonstrating, unlike the americans

  250. Clotpoll says:

    sx (251)-

    Mutton joint.

  251. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (262)-

    You forgot Basque separatists.

  252. Cindy says:

    (245) Silera

    “I think I love Elizabeth Warren too.”

    Thanks for the posting @ Slate. This woman is my hero.

    “We can’t have a modern economy without solvent banks, but we can’t have solvent banks or a functioning economy without solvent families.”

    “Aligning the interests of Americans and the financial services industry is critical.”

  253. kettle1 says:

    Sean,

    we are still set to see a massive jump in unemployment. The american automakers have something like 40-50% excess manufactuinr capacity if consumers are only buying 9 million or less cars per year. I believe that for the last decade or so during the height of debt expansion, the average turnover period for a car was 2-3 years. people were replacing their cars on average every 2-3 years while the average lifespan of a car from sales floor to junk yard is 10-12 years!

    The auto manufacturers cannot survive sitting on 40+% excess capacity. They also cannot afford to try and mothball the capacity at this point as they are broke and have no real cash reserves, only credit lines.

    Current auto capacity is at about 15 million cars per year for each of the manufacturers (round number) but this year they will be lucky to see 9 million sold, and they need about 11 million in sales to make any money.

    So in essence they also have something like 30-50% excess workers. The automakers directly employ about 350K workers and about another 7 million directly depend on the auto industry for work, such as suppliers, dealers, etc.

    As a very rough guess, lets assume that the auto industry will shrink by 30% and that that would correspond to a 30% reduction in jobs dependent on in directly within the suto industry. so 7.35 million jobs reduced by 30% means about 3 million jobs lost.

    Per BLS 663,000 jobs were lost in march corresponding to an increase in U3 from 8.1 to 8.5 percent. so lets say that 663,000 jobs is equivalent to .4% change in unemployment

    3 million / 663,000 = 4.5% increase in unemployment just from the reduction in the auto industry

    U3 currently = 9.0% and U6 = 16.2 %

    the downsizing of the auto industry could put us at U3=13.5% U6=20.7%

    And realistically a 30% cut in the auto industry would have national implications and spark secondary and tertiary unemployment. In short a target of U3 at 15-20% by the end of 2009 is not really a stretch

    Note: that this is a very rough estimate and a large number of assumptions are made.

  254. Firestormik says:

    I really hope so. NE corridor trains smell like shit. I guess that’s after-product of their “healthy” food

    Essex says:
    April 25, 2009 at 2:50 pm
    259. More likely a huge blow to the American curry industry.

  255. kettle1 says:

    clot,

    its not just the basque’. eastern spain is majority Catalan and the catalan do not consider themselves spanish from the ones i know. It seems to be a somewhat grudging relationship and there is definitely some historical bad blood, although not to the level of the Basque.

    Spain has at least 3 major ethnic/cultural groups that have historical conflicts with the spanish government, and this is without considering the culture clash with the arabs.

  256. kettle1 says:

    clot,

    both the basque and the catalan speak a different version of spanish (although they would tell you its not spanish, but a different language).

    I see a bull market in tear gas, kevlar and rubber bullets. Can we get a leveraged ETF for this?

  257. D says:

    #254 SG says:
    April 25, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Is Paterson Falls good place to visit for few hours? Is there a park to spend time?

    No & not really

  258. sas says:

    “100 DAYS, 100 MISTAKES
    SARAH PALIN, GLENN BECK AND OTHERS ON OBAMA’S SHORT, ERROR-PRONE TIME IN OFFICE”
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04252009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/100_days__100_mistakes_166177.htm?page=0

  259. sas says:

    “Kroft to Obama: Are you punch-drunk?”
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20339.html

  260. kodiak says:

    Overheard someone I recognize as a real estate agent in an upscale northern new jersey train town having a conversation this morning at the town diner while eating breakfast. He said that he and a lot of agents he knows are actually anticipating this year to turn out to be a very good year for real estate sales because the prices have come down and there is a lot of pent-up demand out there that is ready to explode into a lot of sales activity (?!) He seemed to genuinely and sincerely believe what he was saying…….I could hardly believe it when I observed the conversation……everything in town except the very lowest end of the price spectrum has been sitting and sitting for months if not years…..

  261. Sean says:

    re:#262 Kettle1 – then toss another 12 million from the service industry on to the unemployment rolls.

    US jobs Service Industry as a Percentage of total

    Year Total Jobs Service Jobs Percent
    1986 111,374 74,189 66.6%
    1996 132,352 94,300 71.2%
    2006 150,927 111,867 74.1%

  262. sas says:

    when i these headlines, it makes me scratch my head. it makes me think of
    hedges investments; selling liability insurance to avian-swine- human flu vaccine developers, buying reinsurance on lives of victims of a bogus vaccine.

    what rock to look under? try Allied Vaccine Development Project & CAI private equity group.

    “Mexico swine flu deaths spur global epidemic fears”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090424/ap_on_he_me/med_swine_flu

    but, what do I know? last time I scored was back in 1978, in the back row, when Mr. Greenfield made that famous touchdown.

    SAS

  263. Everything's Hobroken says:

    What a laugh, Sarah Palin and Glen Beck on Obama’s ‘errors’. Funniest idea in months.

  264. NJGator says:

    paterson falls is cool for a looksee. not far from there is lambert castle which is pretty cool and agreat place to laize about. then check out corrados on your way back.

    Saw some great acts at steamy jazzfest. 12 oysters, mudbug bread and red velvet cake, plus about 5 liters of water later, we are about to see our last act…marsalis and the NY jazz orchestra. enjoyed the heck out of ingrid lucia and paul sanchez as well. thid festival really puts most other music fests to shame IMO.

    Toddles…Stu

  265. poor guy says:

    wall street get to keep their high salaries after all. So much about affordable housing in NY/NJ for us poor. well done prez!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/business/26pay.html

  266. NJGator says:

    pardo the trio induced spelling errors please.

  267. sas says:

    anyone have stock in oseltamivir (Tamiflu by Gilead & Roche) and zanamivir (Relenza by GSK)?

    do we have a pump & dump on our hands?

    it will be interesting, no doubt.

    SAS

  268. sas says:

    Palin, Beck, and Obama

    all losers

    SAS

  269. kettle1 says:

    SAS,

    werent cheney and rumsfeld both involved with pharma companies?

    Are they running off of the “V for vendetta” script?

  270. kettle1 says:

    Just found a very interesting piece on Real estate and the great depression

    The Great American Real Estate Bubble of the 1920s:
    Causes and Consequences
    http://economics.rutgers.edu/dmdocuments/White1920sRealEstate.pdf

  271. sas says:

    “werent cheney and rumsfeld both involved with pharma companies?”

    yes, and they made much jack over false flag.

    with the swine story, to me, its more false flag. yes, of course money will be made with inside knowledge, but its a diversion. Its the fear factor is what til sought.

    a little fear, and people bend like butter, and forget about the crap economy, high taxes, meltdowns.

    think of it as herding the sheep.

    also, another excuse to take away civil rights, to order to keep you safe from the boogie man. whomever that boogie man be. be it Bin landen, be it Cold War, be it Al Qudia, or a flu pandemic.

    SAS

  272. sas says:

    you better believe JPM knew, cause they were in on the take.

    “Suit Claims JPMorgan Aided Madoff’s Fraud”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/25/business/economy/25madoff.html?ref=global

  273. sas says:

    “boogie man”

    i mean a created boogie man. or a grossly exaggerated boogie man.

    SAS

  274. reinvestor101 says:

    sas says:
    sas,

    It’s time to let Madoff go. He’s out of the news and this thing was isolated to just him and a very small circle of people. Stop scaring everyone.

    April 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm
    you better believe JPM knew, cause they were in on the take.

    “Suit Claims JPMorgan Aided Madoff’s Fraud”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/25/business/economy/25madoff.html?ref=global

  275. sastry says:

    #259, #260… H1/L1 50% limit.

    I think 50% is a very much easy bar to meet. Usually guys that run H1/L1 body shops will count themselves, their spouses, etc., as employees (and they are often greencard holders or citizens). Then, they will have a few very low paying jobs given to non-H1’s etc., to plug the shortfall. They may even hire some students that just finished their degrees (no visa needed for about a year and a half). I am sure there will be some exemption for “small businesses” [both parties use the “small business” phrase to get some loopholes — taxes, legal restrictions, etc.] It’s basically not going to be effective at all. There is a market inefficiency in the IT industry. Laws on the quotas, etc., are much more effective — and they are already very stringent.

    #267 Firestormik…
    What’s your problem with Indians? May be there is no need to be actively seeking smells!

  276. reinvestor101 says:

    What?? Frugal families?? The next thing you know, this lady who wrote this crap will be talking about how good the family dog might look on the damn dinner table with a apple stuffed in his mouth. Let me tell you something, my ass may be in a damn sling because of these damn real estate terrorists, but I’m not about to butcher Fido for the damn dinner table.

    238-

    Cindy says:
    April 25, 2009 at 9:50 am
    (234) RE 101 – One of my predictions for 2009 was a new show called “Frugal Families.” Maybe this gal should run it.

    “Chowing down on chickweed”
    Foraging is “about a connection and an interaction with an environment.”

    Foraging – We have returned to being hunters and gatherers?

  277. Firestormik says:

    sastry,
    Are you advising me to avoid NE corridor train? :)

  278. BC Bob says:

    “my ass may be in a damn sling because of these damn real estate terrorists, but I’m not about to butcher Fido for the damn dinner table.”

    50.5,

    Classic. Luv it.

  279. sastry says:

    #291… wear a mask? Pretend it’s for protection against the swine flu. Or, may be drench yourself in cologne.

  280. Firestormik says:

    Sastry,
    Any advice on boarding the train? Should I push back with double force or buy a suit with sharp spikes?

  281. NJGator says:

    Sastry…

    Just make sure you don’t get off at Metropak.

    I’ll be here all night.

    Stu

  282. Essex says:

    290….not sure I follow.

  283. Essex says:

    263….indeed…but the buffet has every known meat == amazing.

  284. still_looking says:

    can someone recommend a good hotel for New Orleans?

    Stu/Gator? :)

    sl

  285. chicagofinance says:

    ROI APRIL 24, 2009, 10:19 A.M. ET
    In Real Estate, A New Class of Haves
    and Have Nots As bargain sales of distressed homes soar, financially healthy sellers may need to slash prices to compete.By BRETT ARENDS

    Is real estate cheap yet – or is it still expensive?
    Maybe it’s both.

    The latest data from the National Association of Realtors, which rattled nerves on Wall Street this week, showed national home sales are still weak. But they also showed how home sellers nationwide have split into two camps.

    Call them “the haves” and the “don’t haves.” As in: Those who have to sell, and those who don’t have to.

    The haves are the distressed sales. These include those in foreclosure, and those in pre-foreclosure “short sales.” Such sales are now booming – at bargain prices.

    On the other hand, those who don’t have to sell are often hanging on to 2006 prices. And they are hanging on to their homes.

    Prices aren’t dropping. And homes aren’t selling.

    This could be ominous. It suggests – though it does not prove – that another shoe could be about to drop in real estate, as those who don’t have to sell realize they need to compete more aggressively with those who do.

    The latest housing numbers tell a story.

    According to the Realtors, there were 360,000 second-hand (aka “existing”) home sales last month. As the headlines noted, that was down about from a year ago, when sales were 375,000.

    But remarkably, distressed sales – foreclosures plus short sales — now account for more than half of all turnover nationwide.The figure was 53% in March.

    “This is the first month that has gone over 50%,” says Realtors association spokesman Walter Molony. “It was stable for five months at about 45%.”

    That means March saw about 190,000 forced sales. No wonder prices are in free fall.

    A year ago, says Mr. Molony, distressed sales made up just 18% of the 375,000 transactions. That’s about 68,000 sales.

    In other words, the number of distressed sales has nearly tripled in a year.

    That’s the good news. That’s a market clearing, at last. Distressed sales are taking place at prices at least 20% below the rest, the association says.

    On the other hand, look at those who aren’t in foreclosure or a short sale. They’re selling their homes while still solvent. This used to be called the normal housing market.

    Prices haven’t come down much. In some premium neighborhoods they have may even be rising.

    But the volume of those “normal” sales is down sharply. They make up just 47% of 360,000 second-hand home sales. That’s 169,000 transactions.

    How little is that?

    Even a year ago, when the housing market was already in the tank, these non-distressed sales accounted for 82% of 375,000 second-hand home sales nationwide. Or 308,000 transactions.

    It’s like the old joke about the man with the million dollar dog (“Well, I haven’t sold him yet!”).

    When a real estate market collapses, volumes die first. Prices fall later. So news that volumes are drying up for non-distressed sales has to be an ominous sign.

    Those who live in premium neighborhoods often fancy that they are immune from the slump. “Oh, good quality will hold up,” they say. It’s true good quality may hold up for awhile. But that doesn’t mean anyone’s immune.

    And over long terms, different real estate markets have to maintain some reasonably persistent connections. Otherwise many people would move to the cheaper neighborhoods.

    The trade now — in theory, at least — may be to sell the place in an upscale neighborhood like Pacific Heights in San Francisco, if you can, and buy a foreclosure deal out in the ‘burbs.

  286. chicagofinance says:

    still_looking says:
    April 25, 2009 at 11:05 pm
    can someone recommend a good hotel for New Orleans?
    Stu/Gator? :)sl

    still: I heard John recommends the Wild Onion…..you have to peel the sheets off the beds….

  287. nj ecapee says:

    stayed here a couple times. very nice place in French Quarter.

    http://www.dauphineorleans.com/packages.shtml

  288. Qwerty says:

    RE: “another excuse to take away civil rights, to order to keep you safe from the boogie man. whomever that boogie man be. be it Bin landen, be it Cold War, be it Al Qudia, or a flu pandemic.”

    Which of your civil rights have been taken away?

    The Soviet Union wasn’t a threat? Are the Twin Towers still standing? These are not imaginary problems, however “taking away your civil rights” has certainly become the boogeyman du jour.

    Just because threats are used to motivate behavior, doesn’t mean the threats are not real.

  289. reinvestor101 says:

    Dr. Pottymouth,

    Look, the good people of New Orleans have been under enough torture with Katrina. They don’t need you going there, throwing your weight around and cussing everyone out. Please leave them alone. Meanie.

    still_looking says:
    April 25, 2009 at 11:05 pm
    can someone recommend a good hotel for New Orleans?

  290. sastry says:

    #302..

    however “taking away your civil rights” has certainly become the boogeyman du jour.

    On the other extreme side, there have been many a false threat used to push tax cuts, a war, and several no-bid contracts as personal favors. The stuff works effectively because some threats are real — just like stereotypes, there will always be some element of truth, and that’s what makes them so dangerous.

  291. Firestormik says:

    sastry,
    On the other extreme side, I’m glad I’m not seeing p@ss and sh@t on streets in Edison. You guys learned something at least.

  292. Firestormik says:

    sastry,
    On the other extreme side, I’m glad I’m not seeing p@ss and sh@t on streets in Edison. You guys learned something at least.

  293. 1elttek says:

    Nice,

    This is an interesting back door play

    Bear Stearns, AIG Dumped $74 Billion in Subprime, CDOs on Fed

    The Federal Reserve took on more than $74 billion in subprime mortgages, depreciating commercial leases and other assets after Bear Stearns Cos. and American International Group Inc. collapsed. In its biggest disclosure of the securities accepted to stabilize capital markets, the Fed said yesterday it had unrealized losses of $9.6 billion on the assets as of Dec. 31. The bonds, swaps and notes were taken in from Bear Stearns, once the fifth-biggest Wall Street firm by capitalization, and AIG, which had been the world’s largest insurer.

    The losses on securities backed by assets such as home loans in Florida and California signal that U.S. taxpayers may be forced to reimburse the central bank through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to Christopher Whalen, managing director of Torrance, California-based Institutional Risk Analytics. “The numbers basically confirm that Treasury is going to have to take some TARP money and reimburse the Fed,” said Whalen, whose financial-services research company analyzes banks for investors. “It is essentially up to the Treasury to get the Fed out of this.” The central bank lent $2 trillion to financial institutions and hasn’t disclosed information about most of the collateral backing those loans.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aP2XyOHiRSGI&refer=home

  294. SG says:

    Recession, Far From Over, Already Setting Records

    THE current recession has become the second-worst in the last half-century and is close to surpassing the severe 1973-75 downturn, according to the Index of Coincident Indicators, based on government data and compiled each month by the Conference Board, a private organization.

    This recession is also bidding to be the longest in recent history. If it ends in May — which seems unlikely — it will have lasted 16 months, tying it with the 1973-75 and 1981-82 downturns as the longest since World War II.

  295. 1elttek says:

    GM employee stock fund dumps all company shares

    The manager of General Motors’ employee stock fund has sold off all remaining shares of the troubled auto maker, which is closing plants and slashing costs in a bid to avoid bankruptcy. General Motors revealed in a regulatory filing late Friday that its employee stock-purchase plan has unloaded all shares of the company in favor of short-term and money market investments.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GM-employee-stock-fund-dumps-apf-15032782.html

  296. kettle1 says:

    unintended consequences

    Rats Feed Off U.K. Recession as Trash Mounts, Buildings Empty

    The recession is also leading to more empty stores and unfinished homes across Britain as businesses collapse. More than four out of five councils are currently reporting an increase in empty properties, according to the LGA. A record 15 percent of British stores will be vacant by the end of 2009 as 1,600 retailers go out of business, according to the world’s biggest credit-checking company, Experian Plc. “Wherever there are empty properties, there’s a problem,” said Kevin Higgins, a spokesman for the trade group British Pest Control Association. “It’s not just rodents, it’s cockroaches as well. It’ll have a big effect as time goes on.” And it’s not just affecting vacated buildings. Gurinder Sahni, director of Master Traders Ltd., which exports ethnic food to mainland Europe from London, said he’s lost about 500 pounds worth of goods, including almonds, fruit juice and even palm oil to rats during the past year. “They come in at night and just eat everything,” said Sahni. “There’s no favorite. They’ll eat anything.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=a7XWhB9as2Xg

  297. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    this ones for you

    Italy’s Mafia Thrives In Global Financial Meltdown

    While businesses around the world are hunkering down for survival, the Italian mob is living a golden moment. Italy’s various organized crime syndicates _ often lumped together colloquially as Mafia Inc. _ are gobbling up gas stations, muscling in on supermarket franchises, making loans to cash-starved businesses, taking over trattorias and acquiring buildings in swank neighborhoods in Rome and Milan, investigators say. These mobsters have lots of what is in short supply for many businesses these days _ liquidity _ as well as centuries-honed expertise in preying on the vulnerable, whose ranks are swelling in the current financial crisis. It all means the mob is free to sink cash into two areas that lie at the heart of the global meltdown: real estate and credit markets.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/25/italys-mafia-thrives-in-g_n_191377.html

  298. kettle1 says:

    wonder how this would play out in the northeast?

    A Cyber-Attack On An American City

    Just after midnight on Thursday, April 9, unidentified attackers climbed down four manholes serving the Northern California city of Morgan Hill and cut eight fiber cables in what appears to have been an organized attack on the electronic infrastructure of an American city. Its implications, though startling, have gone almost un-reported. That attack demonstrated a severe fault in American infrastructure: its centralization. The city of Morgan Hill and parts of three counties lost 911 service, cellular mobile telephone communications, land-line telephone, DSL internet and private networks, central station fire and burglar alarms, ATMs, credit card terminals, and monitoring of critical utilities. In addition, resources that should not have failed, like the local hospital’s internal computer network, proved to be dependent on external resources, leaving the hospital with a “paper system” for the day.

    http://perens.com/works/articles/MorganHill/

  299. SG says:

    Outside news from Dubai,


    House Prices Could Plunge by 70pc: UBS

    Now that is drop.

  300. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (269)-

    If Barca wins Champions League, it might set off the first riots in Spain.

    It might also happen if they reach the final and lose.

  301. Clotpoll says:

    sx (297)-

    Given it’s Kentucky, that probably is amazing. They probably have a very liberal definition of “meat”.

    Isn’t there a finders-keepers road kill law there?

    “…but the buffet has every known meat == amazing.”

  302. Clotpoll says:

    chi (299)-

    No one will be spared.

  303. Clotpoll says:

    1eltek (307)-

    Thus concludes another episode of Beavis, Meet Butthead.

    “The numbers basically confirm that Treasury is going to have to take some TARP money and reimburse the Fed”

    I may have also misheard, but didn’t Bergabe tell Congress that Maiden Lane was doing fine?

  304. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 26, 2009 at 8:32 am
    chi (299)- No one will be spared.

    clot: you ever go candlepin bowling?

  305. BC Bob says:

    [307],

    Yes, the next bailout. The problem never gets solved. We are just transferring leveraged crap. Who bails out the treasury?

  306. lurkerd says:

    chicagofinance says:
    April 25, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you for posting this article.

    Distressed sellers = plunging prices. When a homeowner has a high loan-to-value ratio or negative equity, the homeowner – or the foreclosing bank – becomes a distressed seller.

    A relatively small proportion of homeowners in the New York metro area are distressed. The continued health of homeowners in New Jersey and New York shouldn’t be ignored because it helps explain what a lot of people can’t figure out – why home prices in the New York metro area aren’t crashing despite this area’s low affordability and location close to the epicenter of the financial crisis.

    In the sand states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida) and Michigan, the % of homes with negative equity is 29.5% and above. Loan-to-value ratios are >70% in each of these states.

    In constrast, the negative equity figures in New Jersey and New York are 9.7% and 4.5%, respectively. The loan-to-value ratio is 57% in New Jersey and 48% in New York.

    The figures come from Core Logic as of December 2008. They cover homes with mortgages and exclude homes owned free and clear.

  307. NJGator says:

    SL – we’re staying at Harrah’s, which is a nice hotel, but we’re really only staying here because Stu gambles and the room is free.

    We are having a fantastic time. Jazz Fest was loads of fun. Wynton Marsalis put on a teriffic show. We saw some other great Jazz and Blues acts, had great food and I will now be a hero to the 4 year old set in Montclair. Imagination Movers performed at the fest yesterday and signed autographs. I got them to record a personal video message for my son and 2 of his friends. One of the band members even said ‘your mom rocks’ in the message.

    This morning it’s off to Commander’s Palace for brunch and then back to Biloxi for the Mississippi Coast Crawfish Festival.

    Have a great day y’all.

  308. Sastry says:

    Grim…

    I believe you should mod #305. Such posts reflect very poorly on this blog. This guy keeps making racist posts, and I was trying to diffuse it by joke about it, but there is certain malicious intent there.

    S

  309. jamil says:

    time to buy an air conditioner or two..

    is it better to have one big air conditioner (12 kBTU?) or two small air conditioners (6 kBTU?) in a small/midsize 1-BR ? Apt gets a lot of sun.

    The most logical place would be the bedroom window (it has direct path to living room).

    It would be easier (less hassle) to deal with only one air conditioner, but not sure if that would result one room being too cold and the other too humid.

  310. poor guy says:

    320 lurkerd

    while rich guys in NY/NJ don’t have to compete with distressed sales and foreclosures on their turf, they might have to give in to pressure from other states. Furthermore, they might keep their high salaries (see my post above), but many of them lost their job.

    Let’s hope.

  311. sas says:

    “Italy’s Mafia Thrives In Global Financial Meltdown”

    the mafia in your own backyard are doing well too.

    what recession? not in the black economy (thus far).

    unless of course, your one of the boys that are on the gold coast. i would imagine the boys on that side of town had to have felt the effects of RE bubble.

    SAS

  312. kettle1 says:

    1elttek = kettle1

  313. bi says:

    322#, sastry, igore these indian-hating coward racists. do they dare say anything like this to jews? they will cut their balls off. do you like the taste of beer and sushi now and did you like it then at your first time? they got to get used to 21st century stuff. i would recommend they throw their cologne to garbarge can. one day i took NEC to my client’s site and they all have been turned on.

  314. Firestormik says:

    Sastry, 322
    It wasn’t racist, simply observation.

  315. sastry says:

    #329…

    Those people can change their habits, but I am afraid you’ll always remain a sh@t. Tough luck. Make sure you don’t pass on that to your next generation, or else you’d need to name your male offspring as Eric Cr@pson.

    S

  316. Firestormik says:

    sastry,
    I’ll remain a sh@t by saying truth? Ok, I don’t mind to continue being that kind of sh@t. :) And it’s pity for you that moved it on the personal level

  317. Firestormik says:

    “pity for you that you’ve moved “

  318. crossroads says:

    324 poor guy

    I think nj is just behind the curve a little. our prices didn’t go up as fast as the sand states and are coming down slower. the job losses here are adding up but with a wall st job loss do they get a nice package on the way out?

  319. sastry says:

    #331…

    “I’ll remain a sh@t by saying truth? Ok, I don’t mind to continue being that kind of sh@t. :) And it’s pity for you that moved it on the personal level”

    Naah. It’s still at the internet level. I can’t even imagine meeting you in person. See, we can do something about smells and hygiene of strangers, but we cannot do much about virulent pathogens, and the type you carry have caused much more damage than all plagues combined.

    S

  320. Outofstater says:

    Fun news from the St. Louis Fed:

    …for a pandemic as severe as the 1918 influenza, estimates of its overall economic impact range from a 4.25 to a 5.5 percent annual decline in GDP—an effect large enough to trigger a significant recession.

    http://liber8.stlouisfed.org/newsletter/2008/200802.pdf

  321. jackhornung says:

    Firestormik,
    Your tone is blatantly racist. I am not sure if you have lost your job to a H1B or just jealous of people not your race doing lot better than you, but please keep your crude thoughts to yourself. This forum is not a place for anyone to spew their hatred. Therefore, please act civilized or go away..
    JH

  322. Firestormik says:

    re: 336

    In fact, I used to be a H1B holder myself. I’m doing fine, thank you.
    Just getting s little bit pissed sometimes since I currently rent in Edison. And I can say a lot in the same “tone” about immigrants from my own contry – that’s why I would never live in Brooklyn. Simply truth.

  323. sas says:

    “racist”

    i’m racist.
    i hate everyone.

    :)
    SAS

  324. Firestormik says:

    sas,
    Welcome to the club :)

  325. jackhornung says:

    I recently moved out of Brooklyn, so I can relate to few things!

  326. yome says:

    After Off Year, Wall Street Pay Is Bouncing Back

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/business/26pay.html?_r=2&hp

    Happy days are here again!!!

  327. Firestormik says:

    re: 340
    I’m really glad for you.
    I haven’t been home for 7 years and any desire to go immediately disappear upon visiting Brighton Beach. It’s like USSR frozen in it’s 80s. Seems like people refuse to adapt to reality.

  328. freedy says:

    try dover and morristown

  329. BC Bob says:

    [341],

    How about all the jobs lost that are not coming back?

    From the same article;

    “The number of fat cats making loads of money is much less than you think,” he said.

  330. Firestormik says:

    As documented previously on Zero Hedge, concern #1 by a large margin for the administration is the issue of commercial real estate, and more specifically the disconnect between price discovery of CRE securities (especially in equities) and their deteriorating cash flow fundamentals. Investors who have actually done their homework and have established directional bets on CRE valuations, have, over the past month, been left wondering how it is possible that equity prices of REITs and other leveraged plays on CRE could possible be skyrocketing by over 100%, despite massive rolling dilutions and increasing fundamental weakness.

    http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-there-reit-reverse-inquiry.html

  331. still_looking says:

    thanks to all who helped with NOLA info (on and offline! :)

    Next… cool stuff to see? Stuff to miss?

    Is it too hot in may/june?

    thanks, in advance, as always!

    sl

  332. bi says:

    if this administration is as smart as bush’s team, they should take this opportunity to close the border.

    U.S. declares public health emergency as swine flu spreads

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/26/swine.flu/index.html

  333. sas says:

    “NOLA”

    except being one of the greatest places on earth to get crawfish Étouffée.

    NOLA is boring & overrated.

    give me De Wallen or Ballyheigue.

    SAS

  334. sas says:

    “Swine flu confirmed in NYC high school students”
    http://tinyurl.com/dfn86a

  335. Essex says:

    *oink*

  336. Essex says:

    Oh Look Now!! A pandemic….

    How convenient.

  337. nj ecapee says:

    @ NOLA entertainment is all over the place.lots of great street musicians in French Quarter, hang out at Mediteranean cafe, near the French Market, just get a table and buy a bottle of water. great food, K-Pauls, Baccos, skip breakfast at Brennans. tourist trap rip off.

  338. gary says:

    I just came back from visting 6 open houses: 2 each in Ramsey, Allendale and Ho Ho Kus. The prices are still f*cking insane… f*cking laughable and a number of people that I spoke to walking out of the houses ageed. They said the same thing we said, “Where’s this so-called price drop?” It’s happening in Arizona, South Florida and California, not here.

    And these houses were nothing at all to talk about, out-dated 3BD/1.5BTH stinky smelling bleck asking around the 7 handle. Gimme a f*cking break. I have no idea who gave anyone the notion that the sky was falling in any of these Upper Bergen towns. It ain’t happening… period… get over it. If you don’t have at least 250 large to drop in a better town while pulling in at least 150 large, then you can f*cking forget thinking about these towns.

  339. Cindy says:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04242009/profile.html

    Moyers – Simon Johnson and Michael Perino – video

    On the Pecora Hearing

  340. Frank says:

    #341,
    Where are the pay cuts on Wall St.?? Where’s the gloom and doom?? where’s the recession?? It look like RE market is going to explode up soon in NYC.

  341. confused in nj says:

    Why do they call it Swine Flu, if it actually is a combination of Human, Avian & Swine Flu viruses? If it originated in Mexico, call it the Mexican Flu, like the Spanish Flu of old. Very confusing.

  342. Essex says:

    Frank says it’s all good. That is good enough for me! Pass the dutchie pan the left hand side….pass the dutchie….

  343. Cindy says:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/hearing/2009/04/macey_timothy_geithner_doesnt.html?wprss=hearing

    “Timothy Geithner Doesn’t Get it”

    Obama, Are you reading any of this stuff?

  344. Essex says:

    Cindy. Obama is a friend of the banks. Everything he does publicly is designed to appease an uneasy populace, but in fact he is completely aligned with the same forces of industry as any of his predecessors. He said what he said to get elected. Nothing more.

  345. Essex says:

    358. They call it swine flu to appeal to the kosher crowd.

  346. grim says:

    Back from Cali!

  347. Cindy says:

    (364) Grim – Were you in Napa? Did you enjoy it? Details…

  348. sas says:

    “Cali”

    doesn’t exit
    conspiracy theory
    tinfoil hat stuff

    next, you will tell me you just got back from the moon.

    SAS

  349. grim says:

    Napa and San Fran, great trip but Napa is much more my speed (slow).

    Stayed at a B&B in Napa proper, the Inn on First. Highly recommend it, beautiful home, fantastic innkeepers, and really great food. Loved Frogs Leap, but then again I knew I would, long time drinker. Erin was a great host, probably the best tasting in the Valley, free or paid. Service at the big wineries was a disappointment, the smaller wineries are the reason to go out. Was more impressed by a small winery called Goosecross than I was with Opus One.

    San Fran was a bit too touristy for me. Best part was a little sushi joint in Mission called “Blowfish – Sushi to die for”. The only other part of SF I enjoyed was the Market at the Ferry Building, lots of interesting gourmet food vendors.

    Biggest shock was the number of homeless and/or panhandlers in SF. Two or three, *EVERY* block. Haight is nothing but a homeless shelter for runaway teens.

  350. Essex says:

    Some people call me the space cowboy…some call me the gangsta of love.

  351. sas says:

    kettle & nom pound,

    Operation Dark Winter
    http://www.terrorisminfo.mipt.org/Dark-Winter.asp

    SAS

  352. sas says:

    “Biggest shock was the number of homeless and/or panhandlers in SF. Two or three, *EVERY* block”

    San Fran has always been like that, even back in the late 60s.

    SAS

  353. sas says:

    “Mexico Seeks to Contain Swine Flu, Economic Impact”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ajQ2fE_qHCXE&refer=home

  354. Cindy says:

    Sas is right about San Fran, Grim. Very liberal city with pan handlers and street performers everywhere since the 60’s.

    I hope you enjoyed the mild weather – we did have record-breaking heat down my way for a few days there. Next time you can go the Anderson Valley/ Napa/ Sonoma route.

    I’ll remember the Goosecross and tell my friends who travel there.

  355. Hubba says:

    If the market can rally through swine flu, I call bottom. Round on me if I’m wrong.

  356. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    did you see the article about a huge jump in the rodent /c*ckroach/pest population in the UK due to the current depression? That is setting the stage for a potentially serious disease outbreak

  357. kettle1 says:

    Rats Feed Off U.K. Recession as Trash Mounts, Buildings Empty

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=a7XWhB9as2Xg

  358. BC Bob says:

    “Rats Feed Off U.K. Recession”

    kettle,

    Goldman?

  359. Essex says:

    373. Lord son predicting a bottom to this market…not possible now or in the next three years.

  360. Hubba says:

    I’m a gambling man…….and crazy.

  361. Essex says:

    As my granny used to say….

    You (me) don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.”

    So, no, I never gamble.

  362. Hubba says:

    @379

    But a round of beers never hurt anyone……

  363. grim says:

    Market rallied right through the avian flu scare, did it not?

    What does that mean?

  364. crossroads says:

    370 sas

    didn’t they call them hippies then?

  365. BC Bob says:

    News does not determine market direction. Market direction determines news.

  366. Hubba says:

    The news didn’t get big until this weekend. And BC, when a market rallies in the face of bad news, it is a sign of market strength.

  367. Hubba says:

    and if I’m wrong, free drinks!

  368. 3b says:

    #385 hubba:when a market rallies in the face of bad news, it is a sign of market strength.

    Gee in the old days it would be seen as a sign of stupidity,

  369. 3b says:

    #362 essex: Agreed.

  370. 3b says:

    #357 frank: Might be OK for the ones still left on Wall st.

    But what all the unelployed wall st people? Don’t think they will be bidding any real estate up. Do I have to explan everything to you?

  371. Essex says:

    Frank is either 17 in his folks basement or he is knee deep in more cash than anyone I know. You decide.

  372. Essex says:

    The only people hurt by free drinks are the one’s pulled over as they leave the pub.

  373. 3b says:

    #354 gary: You are wrong grasshopper.

  374. BC Bob says:

    “when a market rallies in the face of bad news, it is a sign of market strength.”

    Hubba,

    Or the bottom of the channel in an oversold environment, testing a technical over-hang?

  375. yikes says:

    Firestormik says:
    April 25, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I really hope so. NE corridor trains smell like shit. I guess that’s after-product of their “healthy” food

    Essex says:
    April 25, 2009 at 2:50 pm
    259. More likely a huge blow to the American curry industry.

    depends on what train you ride. many neighborhoods in NJ – you could smelling any # of many races.

    yardwork, ponzi schemes, pizza makers, you name it

  376. sas says:

    “didn’t they call them hippies then?”

    no, they didn’t. a bum has always been a bum and a begger a begger.

    back in the 60s, in the San Fran scence, the true hippies were out to set a new culture, and way of life/society.

    ex. they didn’t care about DC, cause to them DC just didn’t exist. the original flower power & hippie generations were very alternative, not bums or beggers.

    then, a new wave of so called hippies came along. Major drug addicts and started to beg for money.

    so…

    depends on the time frame.

    SAS

  377. Cindy says:

    http://www.vimeo.com/1778399

    Just got this email – maybe it’s been around awhile – if so – my apologies.

    wingsuit base jumping

    I wonder what happened to the first guy to try this out…

  378. sas says:

    “News does not determine market direction. Market direction determines news”

    bingo.

    like i said, and nobodys ever understood what I mean (except for maybe Clot).

    They is one way to short New York and long Chicago.

    but, what do I know?
    last time i scored was in 78, when Mr. Greenfield made that famous touchdown.

    SAS

  379. yikes says:

    jamil says:
    April 26, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    time to buy an air conditioner or two..

    is it better to have one big air conditioner (12 kBTU?) or two small air conditioners (6 kBTU?) in a small/midsize 1-BR ? Apt gets a lot of sun.

    The most logical place would be the bedroom window (it has direct path to living room).

    It would be easier (less hassle) to deal with only one air conditioner, but not sure if that would result one room being too cold and the other too humid.

    one thing i dont miss about NYC and love about a house in the burbs: Central AC.

    we hit the Shad Festival in new hope yesterday, came home sweating to a nice, cool house.

  380. sas says:

    oopss

    “There is one way to short New York and long Chicago”

    in any case….
    SAS

  381. Cindy says:

    (395) Again – Sas has it right.

    There were street musicians and artists – the beggars came after the LSD/ drug scene when folks flocked to the area and stayed.

    They weren’t the original “artists” who have always been a part of the SF scene.

  382. sas says:

    San Fran…

    I spent a fun time there one summer during the true beatnick time. It was the cats meow.

    Then, I got shipped off. Due to my own tom foolery.

    SAS

  383. yikes says:

    Firestormik says:
    April 26, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    re: 340
    I’m really glad for you.
    I haven’t been home for 7 years and any desire to go immediately disappear upon visiting Brighton Beach. It’s like USSR frozen in it’s 80s. Seems like people refuse to adapt to reality.

    guy who used to cut my hair in NYC lived in brighton beach. nice guy. not a tough-talking commie like the rest of those clowns, just a regular dude.

  384. Cindy says:

    I should qualify that statement. When I say “always” I mean from the time I began visiting. I’m 60 now.

    You saw guitar players/ jugglers etc. and folks selling hand-made items on the corners in those days.

  385. Essex says:

    394. I love Indian food. It doesn’t always love me.

    IMHO NOLA is the closest thing to a European City we have here. Though it may have changed since Katrina.

  386. Sean says:

    Sacramento Health Department orders school closed until no influenza-like illness detected for one week.

  387. nj ecapee says:

    we still have the street musicians, magicians, entertainers, crafts, handmade crafts, jewelry here at Mallory Square. Some have been doing their thing here for well over 30 years. I swear it’s a time-warp.

  388. Frank says:

    “But what all the unelployed wall st people”

    They are too lazy to get a real job, illegals by me have no problem getting good paying jobs. Where’s the high unemployment when a non-English speaking, with no driver license nor SSN can get a good paying job?? I call this America in it’s greatest.

  389. Frank says:

    grim, while out in SF, did you go to the REDC RE auction?? A big one this weekend. Did you Polosi about the homeless??

  390. sas says:

    “I love Indian food. It doesn’t always love me”

    now, we know why you have that gas problem.

    SAS

  391. sas says:

    Swine Flu outbreak in ’76

    “The SWINE FLU Vaccination for the new pandemic”
    http://tinyurl.com/d2ppll

  392. safeashouses says:

    #397 sas

    commodities?

  393. Essex says:

    409…it’s actually rather entertaining. Unless of course you are in mixed company.

  394. Hubba says:

    #393 BC

    Yep, that’s the other possibility.

  395. Hubba says:

    #391 Essex

    Your too negative bloke.

  396. Firestormik says:

    re: 420
    yikes, IMHO you can find a decent dude in any neighborhood

  397. Essex says:

    Well, I’m not a kid anymore and when I was I didn’t give a crap. So, yeah. Realism and age tend to create a bit of a buffer. Meanwhile, we can celebrate 100 days of Bullsh#t visa vis Obama.

  398. chicagofinance says:

    Essex says:
    April 26, 2009 at 8:53 pm
    IMHO NOLA is the closest thing to a European City we have here. Though it may have changed since Katrina.

    SX: Montreal or Quebec City?

  399. Essex says:

    417…..NOLA feels more like a European port city….with better drugs.

  400. sastry says:

    Essex… What is your major disappointment with O? Is that he is not too aggressive (e.g. being close to W’s positions on bailouts)? If I am not mistaken, your views on income taxes are more in line with what the current administration has (i.e. more progressive taxes).

    S

  401. Firestormik says:

    re: 418 Everything’s Hobroken
    Thank you!
    Agree 100%

  402. Firestormik says:

    Just had an IM conversation with a friend in Moscow. Harley Davidson shop – he fired eveybody, handling everything by himself and his wife, has a debt and planning to take on another, hoping it’s over by the end of the year.
    Europe is fcuked

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