Homeownership a public good or burden?

From the Economist:

Shelter, or burden?

IN A scene from the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”, a happy couple is about to enter their new home. Jimmy Stewart, whose firm has sold them the mortgage, reflects that there is “a fundamental urge…for a man to have his own roof, walls and fireplace.” He offers them bread, salt and wine so “joy and prosperity may reign for ever”.

That embodies the Anglo-Saxon world’s attitude to home ownership. Owning your own roof, walls and fireplace, it is thought, is good for householders because it helps them accumulate wealth. It is good for the economy because it encourages people to save. And it is good for society because homeowners invest more in their neighbourhoods, engage more in civic activities and encourage their children to do better at school than do renters. Home ownership, in short, benefits everyone—not just the homeowner—and the more there is of it, the better. Which is why it is usually encouraged by the government. In America, Ireland and Spain, homeowners can deduct mortgage-interest payments from taxable income.

Yet the worldwide crash was bound up in this supposed miracle of social policy. The disaster began with defaults on American subprime mortgages, a financial instrument designed to spread home ownership among the poor. It gathered pace after the failures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises that provide cheap home loans. As a result, the home-ownership rate in America has fallen for four years, the first time that has happened in a quarter of a century. In 2008, 2.3m families lost their homes or faced foreclosure—double the average before the crisis—reducing the home-ownership rate from 69% in 2004 to 67.5% at the end of 2008. The number of owner-occupied dwellings also slipped in Britain in 2007-08 for the first time since the 1950s.

(Hat tip to xmonger for the link)

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

295 Responses to Homeownership a public good or burden?

  1. murthy says:

    first one to post.

  2. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Big Lots 1st-quarter same-store sales off 0.5%
    Urban Outfitters same-store sales fall 9.6%
    Destination Maternity same-store sales down 1.2%
    Stage Stores April comparable sales down 1.5%
    Costco April same-store sales down 8%
    Children’s Place April comparable sales up 5%
    Limited April same-store sales down 6%
    Macy’s April same-store sales down 9.1%
    BJ’s April same-store sales down 4.9%
    Gap April same-store sales down 4%

  3. Cindy says:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-elizabeth-warren-wake-up-wall-street-the-world-has-changed-2009-5

    Elizabeth Warren: Wake up, Wall Street, The World Has Changed” Tech Ticker

    “We have TARP watchdog Elizabeth Warren on Tech Ticker this morning. She’s superb: A great combo of completely – charming – and – disarming plus opinions that land like a knockout punch.”

  4. Essex says:

    3.

    Is the government over reaching? Doh!!!

  5. safeashouses says:

    I’m going with burden.

    Millions of people are starting to realize they don’t own a house, the house owns them.

  6. Essex says:

    Still people will buy. If I had ‘more money’…I would pay off the mortgage…

  7. gary says:

    The Boston Globe Union is facing wage cuts and furloughs. Why? What’s the problem? All they need to do is simply raise prices on the product. Make the masses pay up!! Don’t they know that the easiest way to fix money problems is to demand more?

  8. tbw says:

    Bergen County not so prestigious?

    http://www.leadernewspapers.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=10321&new_topic=18

    (May 6, 2009, 3:45 p.m.) — The recently released New Jersey Uniform Crime Report shows a marked increase in violent crime in the Bergen County area. From murders to robberies to aggravated assaults, the first six months of 2008 — the most recent date when data was available — fared worse than the similar time frame in 2007.

    Specifically, the period from January 2008 to June 2008 saw six murders in Bergen County, as opposed to only two from the same period in 2007. Rapes dropped from 17 to 15, but robberies increased from 157 to 165. Similarly, aggravated assaults went up from 274 to 287. In total, violent crime increased from 450 cases in Bergen County to 473 cases, an approximate 5 percent increase.

  9. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I like that Elizabeth Warren. The problem is she has no power in the role she’s been given. The Wall Street oligarchs can lie all they want and the machinations of government will always have their backs.

  10. Shelley says:

    The amazing thing is the continuing disconnet with reality in Chatham. As many of you know we keep our eyes on the market and a new home came on yesterday.

    10 Peppermill Road: This home is absolutely lovely and ready for showing in a good neighborhood. Now for the bad news, the home is priced at $1.589,000 yet it is only assessed at $1.08 mil. As we all know many things in Chatham sell for right around assessment. The comps point to a $950K to 1.2 starting price and the home should sell for anywhere between $900K and $1.1. This home is priced at the 2006 comp level. The most any home in Wickham Woods has sold for is $1.6 million. Even better the homeowners purchased this home in 2000 at $785K.

    Has reality sunk in yet? “Not in Chatham”

  11. SG says:

    I would like to take voluntary opinion poll on Home Values shown by websites like cyberhomes.com

    I propose following approach,

    If you are looking to buy a home, select one home that you like, lookup its value, and then say either it is Overvalued or Undervalued and by what percent. Also post town you are looking into.

    I would like to see percent of people on this board think, how close these sites are in valuing the houses.

  12. gary says:

    And here’s what really makes my day: I open up the new listings in the morning and I love when I see a 3BD/1.5BTH shit* dump with an asking close to 600K. It’s the best comedy one could ask for. I’d like to have coffee with these people and hear them rattle off the checklist reasons of why their piss* hole is “worth” it. lol! I’ll meet you again when your “home” is at 237 DOM without an offer!!

  13. borat obama says:

    Last

  14. SG says:

    My personal opinion based on above approach,

    Town: Bridgewater
    Price Range: $500K
    House Value: I actually agree with the price shown on Cyberhomes, but the sellers apparently are listing houses 15% over that value.

  15. sas says:

    “Millions of people are starting to realize they don’t own a house, the house owns them”

    yee agree.

    for many, homeownership is a great thing (if you don’t over extend yourself)

    but, many were seduced (some out of fraudelent inducement some out of stupidity) to buy alot more house than they can afford, or just to buy anything rather then rent cause of the false mantra “buy now or be priced out forever”.

    don’t be fooled its going to get alot worse.
    yes, the sky won’t fall, but be prepared.

    SAS

  16. Clotpoll says:

    Shelley (10)-

    They will either:

    1. Quietly withdraw or expire…if they are solvent and don’t have to sell.

    2. Be carried out on their shields.

    No one will be spared. Anywhere. The plague touches all.

  17. sas says:

    “borat obama-Last”

    lol, for some silly reason, everytime i see that post, i laugh.

    whats wrong with me?
    SAS

  18. Victorian says:

    Timmayyy!! has an Op-Ed in the Times.

    “How We Tested the Big Banks ”

    We brought together bank supervisors to undertake an exceptional assessment of the strength of our nation’s 19 largest banks. The object was to estimate potential future losses, and ensure that banks had enough capital to keep lending even in the face of a deeper recession.

    Some might argue that this testing was overly punitive, while others might claim it could understate the potential need for additional capital. The test designed by the Federal Reserve and the supervisors sought to strike the right balance.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/opinion/07geithner.html?_r=1&hp

  19. sas says:

    “401(k)s Hit by Withdrawal Freezes
    Investors Cry Foul as Some Funds Close Exits; Perils of Distressed Markets”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124148012581385199.html?ref=patrick.net

  20. tbw says:

    lol, check out mls # 2920402

    “RARE OPPORTUNITY TO BUY A FULLY FURNISHED HOME AT END OF CUL-DE-SAC, JUST MOVING TO THE AREA? DOWNSIZING? STARTER COUPLE? ENTIRE CONTENTS OF HOME INCLUDED IN PRICE OF HOME PLUS TITLE FOR A 1987 MERCURY COUGAR ALL TOOLS IN GARAGE AS WELL. NEW FURNACE, NEW APPLIANCES AND NEWER WATER HEATER ROOF AND CENTRAL AC. ****PLEASE ONLY SERIOUS BUYERS THANK YOU****

    I think it is worth $369,000 based on that 1987 Cougar alone!

  21. Victorian says:

    Does anybody else think that Timmmayy looks a bit like Beavis?

  22. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Vic,

    Great call!

  23. Clotpoll says:

    vic (21)-

    IQ is within five points of Beavis’.

  24. Clotpoll says:

    Anybody see Timmay on Charlie Rose last night?

    I’d pay money to watch him be executed.

  25. John says:

    Rally Cap Day, couple more week of this we will all be buying trade up houses for cash.

  26. Clotpoll says:

    Maybe in a year or two, we’ll see Idol pre-empted for a televised double execution of Klink and Timmay.

    Naah…

  27. Clotpoll says:

    Every day, I wonder how we got ourselves into this mess…

    Then, John starts posting.

  28. Shelley says:

    Clot, just wondering if you work in the realty industry?

    You usually are on the mark.

  29. Victorian says:

    “Every day, I wonder how we got ourselves into this mess…
    Then, John starts posting.”

    Clot (27) – ROFL!!!!

    Seriously, you should be on a book cover somewhere.

  30. stan says:

    BC- hang in there.

    Pre-emptive Frank post…..
    Yes Frank 12 sold in Hoboken last week. Of those 12 half lost money, some over six figures. The ones who made money mostly bought before 2003, and even then realized gains weren’t that much.

    Lastly, if someone is going to lose their job, show some class.

  31. gary says:

    Shelley,

    Clot is a reality show TV host. ;)

  32. stan says:

    I think clot owns a whiskey distributor…

    :)

  33. we says:

    Clot is Grim’s other handle.

  34. Clotpoll says:

    Shelley (28)-

    I own a RE company.

  35. grim says:

    Clot is Grim’s other handle.

    I assure you that I don’t have the time for these kinds of games.

    If you are going to speculate, at least pick a person no one has ever met before.

  36. Clotpoll says:

    stan (30)-

    You can’t get mad at Frank for his callousness. He can’t relate to real job loss.

    The fall from fry cook to unemployment line is not very far.

  37. Cindy says:

    http://www.knobcreek.com/lpa

    Clot’s REAL business venture.

  38. Clotpoll says:

    grim (36)-

    Neither do I. I just seem to have developed a fascination for frittering away my life.

  39. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (38)-

    And great for breakfast, too!

  40. chicagofinance says:

    shell:
    http://www.chiphughes.com/

    As a side note, we are attempting to potty train my son. What we’ve done to motivate him is line the potty with Chip’s photo.

  41. Frank says:

    SRS bagholders,
    Welcome to 19.
    I will see you @ 13.

  42. chicagofinance says:

    N.B. the photo is old; clot is in his late 70’s at this juncture

  43. Frank says:

    Where’s the recession??

    In Hoboken, 12 UC this week vs. 7 last week.

    http://hudson.fnismls.com/publink/default.aspx?GUID=8e26ab16-bcf7-4911-8529-02c9a026364f&Report=Yes

  44. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    May 7, 2009 at 8:22 am
    Shelley (28)- I own a RE company.

    clot: or does the RE company own you

  45. Clotpoll says:

    chi (41)-

    Get ready to pay for a lifetime’s worth of threapy for that kid.

  46. Cindy says:

    Grim – On the original post – pubic good or burden? – I for one am thrilled over the next door neighbor’s purchase of a foreclosed home. She bought it at 45% off peak 2006 prices. She has added a new roof and garage door, replanted the front yard and generally improved my immediate area’s street appeal.

    Buying cheap foreclosures and improving the property = public good.

  47. Clotpoll says:

    chi (45)-

    Unlike every building around me, I have equity and a mortgage that matures (without a balloon) in 2019.

  48. chicagofinance says:

    unmod?

  49. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    May 7, 2009 at 8:32 am
    chi (45)- Unlike every building around me, I have equity and a mortgage that matures (without a balloon) in 2019.

    clot: how do you get the drugs through customs without the balloon?

  50. Frank says:

    You call this a recession??
    I call it a hot RE market.

    In Hoboken this week, 7, 2 bedrooms sold for $543,928 average price. DOM = 52.

  51. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “Big Lots 1st-quarter same-store sales off 0.5%
    Urban Outfitters same-store sales fall 9.6%
    Destination Maternity same-store sales down 1.2%
    Stage Stores April comparable sales down 1.5%
    Costco April same-store sales down 8%
    Children’s Place April comparable sales up 5%
    Limited April same-store sales down 6%
    Macy’s April same-store sales down 9.1%
    BJ’s April same-store sales down 4.9%
    Gap April same-store sales down 4%”

    They should start selling “green shoots”. I’ve heard the sheeple are buying them.

  52. Clotpoll says:

    chi (50)-

    Use pregnant women with children as mules.

  53. Clotpoll says:

    green shoots = dung-coated bamboo shoots, a la sas.

  54. Cindy says:

    Thanks Sean for the updates info – Isn’t this stuff fascinating?

    (9) HEHE – RE the Warren interview – She didn’t deny being interested in heading that commission. She does have the law background and I’m sure she would like to send out a few subpoenas.

  55. Cindy says:

    (54) Clot –

    Read somewhere yesterday

    Green shoots = Green Chutes

  56. Rich says:

    Some good news for the market today… According to a report from Automatic Data Processing, 491,000 people lost their jobs in April – better than the 650,000 jobs economists expected, and an improvement from the 663,000 jobs lost last month. Real estate transactions are moving higher. Unemployment is starting (perhaps) to slow. Inflation is working its magic in the stock market… We might finally be turning the corner.

    There’s still some work to do: Real estate research firm Zillow.com estimates nearly 21.8% of all U.S. homeowners are underwater on their mortgages – up from 17.6% at the end of the fourth quarter. But that’s nothing a raging inflation can’t cure.

  57. Cindy says:

    A HUGE thank you to everyone for ignoring Frank this AM –

    You Rock!

  58. Frank says:

    Where’s the recession???

    U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fell to Lowest Level in 3 Months

  59. grim says:

    #57 – That was yesterday, get with the times.

  60. Sean says:

    Follow up to yesterdays conversation about the potential coming inflation.

    The Senate approved their foreclosure prevention bill 91-5 yesterday. In this bill FDIC receives $500 Billion from Treasury in this bill to close down insolvent banks through 2010.

    We are also staring down the barrel of Tarp 2.0 after today’s Stress Test Results are released.

    These two actions to shutter and bailout the insolvent banks could potentially add another trillion to the deficit coming months and all of it is off budget.

  61. x-underwriter says:

    MLS ID #2669996

    This supposedly went under contract last week.
    Can anyone tell me what the contract price is?

  62. Rich says:

    #60

    No mention of it on this blog yesterday. I forgot this blog only collects negative news. That means as time goes on, there will be less activity here.

  63. Al says:


    It seems like sheepies ate all green shots early spring :(

    Very unwise of them as there will be nothing to eat later into the summer

  64. Clotpoll says:

    Rich (64)-

    Get back to work, stooge. Your gubmint needs you- and your next two generations of progeny- to pay for our bankers’ mistakes and frauds.

  65. we says:

    Rich, this place has a good collection of negative news. Let’s keep it that way.

  66. Sean says:

    Clot – Good news is the next generation will start a huge bubble in “trash mining”.

  67. SG says:

    Shelley: 10 Peppermill Rd, Chatham, NJ

    On Cyberhomes estimate is: $1,128,006

    You said its listed at $1.58 million

    Over priced by 28.6%

    That is definitely a lot of price difference to catch up.

    Do you see that to all listings in Chatham? or only few?

  68. grim says:

    No mention of it on this blog yesterday. I forgot this blog only collects negative news. That means as time goes on, there will be less activity here.

    Negative news? What the hell are you talking about.

    This is a real estate blog, populated primarily by buyers and investors.

    I deliver the best news possible, to my target audience, every single day.

    Prices are falling, and will continue to fall.

    Maybe you think this is negative news, but believe me, to a large portion of people here, this is the best news they’ve heard in years.

    Sorry you bought at the peak, you should have listened to me, I could have saved you thousands of dollars.

  69. sas says:

    “clot: how do you get the drugs through customs without the balloon?”

    i can answer that.

    (offline of course)
    :P
    SAS

  70. grim says:

    The only negative news here is that prices aren’t falling faster.

  71. Rich says:

    I am a RE investor and developer. I currently rent 120 units and still flipping homes and buildings in this market for a profit. Everyone here including yourself do not even know were to begin purchasing a property at the right price.

  72. Clotpoll says:

    From Elliott Associates’ recent newsletter, posted at http://www.zerohedge.com:

    “It is amazing and unprecedented to be raising taxes on investors and entrepreneurs in the midst of a deep recession, accompanied by a promise for more of the same. Indeed, in the states of New York and California, taxes and other anti-growth policies are piling on as if the residents and employers are hemmed in by some kind of barbed wire fence which prevents them from moving themselves, and their businesses, to a different locale. It may be true, in fact, that for many companies, the costs of pulling up the stakes are too high compared with “sucking it up” and making the best of a bad situation. But as soon as governments of other states or even countries actually come to the stunning realization that they can actually attract great jobs and businesses by making it appealing to locate there, the governors of New York and California, the Mayor of New York City, the leaders of Congress and the President may all find themselves standing by the alter, wondering why capital has taken flight and gone where it is welcome and fairly treated.

    Right now it may look to the “populists” as if they are winning. However, people well beyond the leadership of the financial community are trying to digest the truly disgusting stories of Wall Streeters getting death threats and seeing their pictures in the tabloids because they received bonuses from firms which received government aid.

    Many political leaders have joined the mob of anger at Wall Street and business and “the rich.” Although there was cupidity and stupidity galore in the boom, these folks forget that the private sector (not the government) needs to be the primary driver of new jobs and expansion to enable the U.S. to compete with countries with low wage costs. The government should facilitate such growth in the private sector by building incentives to save, invest and innovate. Unfortunately, the new administration and various municipalities are not doing that; on the contrary, they have been bashing entrepreneurs, investors, and capitalists. It is easy to say that such behavior does not hurt the country.

    The simple fact that capitalists are not boarding boats and planes and leaving is not supportive of this theory. Such thin evidence is also not determinative in assessing the long-term damage that the spirit of anger and retribution is doing. Capital will go where it is welcome. It will figure out where it is mistreated and where the rules cannot be relied upon. It is delusional to think that a society can achieve growth and attract outside investment while its government is sounding, and acting, in a hostile manner toward the engines of such growth (think Venezuela and Argentina).”

  73. grim says:

    Where’s the recession???

    U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fell to Lowest Level in 3 Months

    Here:

    Continued claims at 6.35 million, all time high…

  74. Frank says:

    How about buy now, before inflation pushes home prices to new highs??

  75. John says:

    Today, between the hours of 10:00am and 5:00pm, film crews will be filming a TV show and simulating an evacuation and mock emergency response scenario in the vicinity of 20 Exchange Place in Manhattan.

  76. Clotpoll says:

    Rich (74)-

    I am a RE investor (in the past), developer (way in the past) and broker (current).

    And I call bullshit on you.

    The only serious investors I know are on the beach, sipping fruity drinks.

  77. imkeithhernandez says:

    because it’ll be inflation of things people need rather than what they have

  78. Clotpoll says:

    John (78)-

    Will another 747 fly within 10 feet of 50-story buildings?

  79. Clotpoll says:

    Mmm. Rum swizzle…

  80. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Teaneck layoff plan approved

    Forty-seven employees — including 28 in the Fire Department — will receive letters today or Friday informing them that they might be laid off or demoted on June 25.

    But town officials say they still hope to resolve the budgetary crisis without resorting to layoffs.

    The town’s layoff plan was approved by the state Civil Service Commission on Wednesday. As a civil service town, Teaneck was required to submit a plan and a list of affected employees to the state.

    State law calls for any civil service employee that could be demoted or fired to receive a letter of notice at least 45 days beforehand.

  81. Stu says:

    Awesome cartoon Sean.

  82. sas says:

    you want good news:

    now is a great time to invest in heroine, sooner or later the turkish opium crowd will be priced out.

    opps, this is a RE blog.
    sorry
    :P
    SAS

  83. veto that says:

    (5) “they don’t own a house, the house owns them.”
    Safehouse: Dont know if you realized it or not but you’ve just quoted Henry Thoreau, from his Walden book.

  84. sas says:

    “including 28 in the Fire Department”

    wow. thats a shame.

    and you think calling 911 now sucks and is slow.
    wait till they start cutting more EMS.

    maybe that burgler will wait for you to get a dial tone on the tele before he decides to beat the crap out of you?

    SAS

  85. grim says:

    #79 – Concur

  86. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Manhattan Financial District Apartments Get Deepest Price Cuts

    Real-estate broker Ronnie Diamonde expected the three-bedroom apartment in New York’s Financial District, listed in August for $1.64 million and seen by 145 potential buyers, to sell in eight weeks.

    The condominium in the triangular-shaped Cocoa Exchange building was reduced twice by a total 21 percent over four months to $1.3 million, according to Streeteasy.com, a service that tracks New York real estate prices. A buyer will probably sign a contract this week for even less, said Diamonde, of the Corcoran Group, who has three other listings in the building.

    The Financial District suffered the deepest price cuts in Manhattan in the first quarter as securities firms shed more than 180,000 jobs in the Americas. Manhattan apartment sales fell 48 percent from a year earlier, real-estate appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. said. Sellers lowered prices on almost a third of condo or co-op listings by an average of 11 percent in the Financial District, according to Streeteasy.

    Downtown has been “disproportionately impacted by the layoffs and contraction of the financial-services sector,” said Jonathan Miller, president of New York-based Miller Samuel.

  87. kettle1 says:

    Rich 65

    BullSht,

    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2009/05/06/%e2%80%9cnew-jersey-will-go-bankrupt/#comment-294726

    i mentioned it yesterday along with the 2 other unemployment reports.

    Bloomberg report 610,000 jobs lost and TrimTabs Investment Research estimates 745,000 jobs lost in april.

    ADP does not include certain sectors so can under eeport unemployment

  88. 3b says:

    #89 grim: Recession? What recession?

  89. sas says:

    “Cocoa Exchange building”

    i wonder what the maintenance fees are for apts in that building? might be a factor as why the apartment sits.

    sometimes maintenance fees and be very high its crazy. Usually mismanaged rainy day funds.
    and when this bloke does move out, wonder what the coop board will tax him? i think they call that a moving tax, or something like that?

    so, if anyone is moving out of a coop… you best make sure at the last minute your local yocal coop board does initate a moving tax, or raise it on you as you depart.

    check the bylaws.
    SAS

  90. sas says:

    “so, if anyone is moving out of a coop”

    i think townhouse/condo associations can do the same thing? i am not sure. but, i would be on the look out for such schnanigans to CYA.

    SAS

  91. sas says:

    CYA = cover your arse

    SAS

  92. sas says:

    i gotta jump to a conference call from these krauts out of Berlin.

    later gater
    SAS

  93. John says:

    Don’t be scared Clottie, we will protect you.

    Clotpoll says:
    May 7, 2009 at 9:15 am
    John (78)-

    Will another 747 fly within 10 feet of 50-story buildings?

  94. Aaron says:

    Bondzilla approaches!
    Can’t wait to see what happens to prices when a loan is 10%.

  95. Bystander says:

    #21 Vic,

    Actually Timmay looks a lot like the Snow Miser:

    http://sixcharacters.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/smiser1.jpg

  96. Seneca says:

    I thought I saw this comparison between Beavis and Timmay on this blog? No?

    http://tinyurl.com/d58ph3

  97. HEHEHE says:

    “All Too Familiar
    As I was sifting through the latest news and commentary, I came across two articles that couldn’t be any more at odds with respect to the near-term outlook.”

    http://www.financialarmageddon.com/2009/05/all-too-familiar.html

  98. RayC says:

    SG

    cyberhomes is cybercr@p

    I typed in a few recent sales and the estimate 13-20% higher than the actual sales. I typed in the house I rent, and they list the last sale as 1994. It sold in 2005. They list it 25% higher than the identical house next door (which was in better shape) sold for over 1 year ago.

    Love the maps and clickability, just ignore the facts.

  99. Seneca says:

    The comparable sales data is hilarious. Grim, you can’t ignore Wal-mart. Same store sales up 5%!!!

    Obama’s Secretary of Smoke & Mirrors deserves a raise.

    Ask a Wal-mart, or Best Buy or Target or Childrens Place Sales Planner what the margins are now on the tee-shirt or box of crayons or DVD vs. the same item a year ago. Its down to pennies. Just about anyone can increase their sales when you start to give away product at or near cost.

    Its one thing to bring people into stores with loss leaders. Its another thing to turn half the store into a loss leader.

    When the naked shorts stop their covering, the party is over.

  100. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [24] clot

    I’d pay money to be able to lace up the gloves and go 15 rounds with that snark of a press secretary, Gibbs.

    Every time I hear him on the tube, I feel like punching it. There is just something about the guy that makes me want to hit him repeatedly in that pie face of his.

  101. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [86]

    I think Thoreau was paraphrasing his good friend, Ralph W. Emerson.

  102. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [64] sean

    Great cartoon. But the bell ought to say “U.S. Taxpayers”

  103. John says:

    People still get mortgages, how quaint.

    Aaron says:
    May 7, 2009 at 9:39 am
    Bondzilla approaches!
    Can’t wait to see what happens to prices when a loan is 10%.

  104. All Hype says:

    The market’s gone red, my wonderful mutual funds are going down……..

  105. grim says:

    From the Record:

    NJ Transit may cut train, bus routes

    Train and bus routes could be eliminated if NJ Transit fails to shrink its staff and services enough to make up a $62 million shortfall in Governor Corzine’s proposed budget.

    Cuts have already resulted in the cancellation of midday service to Hoboken on the Morris and Essex lines and 20 percent fewer printed timetables for commuters.

    Still, the agency has declined to raise fares and is forging ahead with a near-$10 billion capital improvement program that includes a new $8.7 billion train tunnel to Manhattan.

    Rich Sarles, NJ Transit’s executive director, said eliminating trains and buses is a “last resort.”

  106. NJGator says:

    The first Christopher Court house is up for re-sale in Montclair. Asking 100k below 2007 purchase price.

    Man I remember the controversy over these monstrosities like it was yesterday.

    http://www.carolsellsmontclairnj.com/MyHomeDtl.asp?lstPages=1&HomeID=876773

  107. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [32] stan

    “I think clot owns a whiskey distributor…”

    I think I have to hang out with Clot more often

  108. kettle1 says:

    GATOR,

    the description alone has me suddenly wondering where my checkbook is!


    Front porch, beautiful finishes. Terrific space. Gourmet kitchen with center island and detailed cabinetry opens to a Great Room. Sumptuous master bath with his and hers vanities and Jacuzzi tub. Palladium windows, turret, French Doors, central air, and two car detached garage. Close to NYC transportation.

    You had me at sumptuous!

  109. Frank says:

    “NJ Transit may cut train, bus routes”

    They are running too many trains and buses, they should cut them.

  110. grim says:

    #2 continued

    Nordstrom April same-store sales down 10.8%
    Ross Stores same-store sales up 6%
    JC Penney April same-store sales fall 6.6%
    TJX April same-store sales up 3%
    Target’s same store sales rise 0.3% in April
    Kohl’s same store sales down 6.2%
    Saks April same-store sales down 32%
    Aeropostale April same-store sales up 20%
    Macy’s April same-store sales down 9.1%
    BJ’s April same-store sales down 4.9%
    Gap April same-store sales down 4%
    Dillard’s April same-store sales down 6%
    Wal-Mart April same-store sales ex gas up 5%
    Wal-Mart April same-store sales up 4% with gas

  111. Seneca says:

    grim [108]

    NJ Transit cuts.

    Here is an idea. Let’s not pay a conductor for 8 hours of work because they make one run in to NY Penn, sleep for four hours, and make one run back out. Paid for the whole day. If NJT were run like a real business, heads would roll. It’s great to be held accountable to no one.

  112. Saks April same-store sales down 32%

    There’ve been a lot of ‘death rattle’ like noises coming from Saks recently.

  113. #114 If NJT were run like a real business, heads would roll.

    I agree. However, if it were run like a real business how much would it cost to get in to NYC?
    What would that mean for the `burbs?

  114. schlivo says:

    Rich says:
    May 7, 2009 at 9:10 am
    “I am a RE investor and developer.”

    Uh-oh. Is Duck back?

  115. nj ecapee says:
  116. grim says:

    Patiently waiting for Abercrombie numbers.

    Looks like Aeropostale is eating them alive.

  117. NJGator says:

    Kettle 111 – You should drive by and check these places out. 5,000+SF homes built with no more than 10 feet between them. Many of them have SHARED driveways.

    The builder was greedy and built 10 homes on a site where he should have built no more than 5.

    They tried to get $1.6-$1.8M for these places when they were first built. They sat and sat. Most of them closed at around $1M flat.

  118. we says:

    Abercrombie was down like 27% or something, heard on bloomberg this morning.

  119. John says:

    Clot and BC Bob, get used to it.

    Bull market
    A bull market tends to be associated with increasing investor confidence, motivating investors to buy in anticipation of future price increases and future capital gains. In describing financial market behavior, the largest group of market participants is often referred to, metaphorically, as a herd. This is especially relevant to participants in bull markets since bulls are herding animals. A bull market is also sometimes described as a bull run. Dow Theory attempts to describe the character of these market movements.

  120. NJGator says:

    Oh, and Kettle – the best thing about the “sumptuous” master bath is likely the great view of the traffic on Watchung Avenue that you will have just a few feet away from the house.

    These homes sit at one of the busier intersections in town – Grove & Watchung.

  121. Stu says:

    Gator,

    You failed to mention the variance for head on parking.

    These houses are so close together that you could actually pass a stick of butter to your neighbor without leaving your home.

  122. John says:

    http://www.hotforwords.com

    I love learning a new word everyday.

  123. Al says:

    Ultimate “compound place”: – just need to make sure that most of it is at least 20 feet above the water…

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKTRE54618T20090507

  124. All Hype says:

    Stu says:
    May 7, 2009 at 10:27 am
    Gator,

    You failed to mention the variance for head on parking.

    These houses are so close together that you could actually pass a stick of butter to your neighbor without leaving your home.
    …….

    Don’t forget the 1-way alley that runs down their so called “street”.

    I drive by that dump of a development every morning down Christopher Street.

  125. veto that says:

    sas, There’s a police officer on my soccer team and he thinks gov will never make drugs legal, no matter how much we need more tax revenue. “But why not?” i ask.

    A: Because the amount of money we (fed, state and local) make from seizures is astonishing, and its all off the books. We bust the big dealers and take their cash, cars, planes, houses and its huge recession proof revenue.

    Never thought about that before, although it seems obvious now. This concept is alot more plausable than the notion that our gov engages in the dealing themselves but i know very little about it and im not much of a conspiracy buff, you could prob shed some light on the subject im sure.

  126. #128 – veto – There are a large number of people very aware of what seizure related income means for various PDs.
    Also;
    – Would the various PD/Unions ever support a legislative change that would lead to a large reduction in the size of the aggregate U.S. police force?
    – Would the construction industry? How much is made from the construction, expansion and renovation of prisons?
    – Do the manufacturers of paxil, prozac, et al. really want to see a competitor that can be grown in the backyard?

    There’s a lot lined up against drug legalization. That said, I think it is only a matter of time.
    I should also state that even if they do become legal I won’t be using any of them.

  127. Al says:

    veto that says:
    May 7, 2009 at 10:35 am
    sas, There’s a police officer on my soccer team and he thinks gov will never make drugs legal, no matter how much we need more tax revenue. “But why not?” i ask.

    A: Because the amount of money we (fed, state and local) make from seizures is astonishing, and its all off the books. We bust the big dealers and take their cash, cars, planes, houses and its huge recession proof revenue.

    Never thought about that before, although it seems obvious now. This concept is alot more plausable than the notion that our gov engages in the dealing themselves but i know very little about it and im not much of a conspiracy buff, you could prob shed some light on the subject im sure.

    Drugs will not be made legal for a diffefent reason – about 1/2 of all law-enforcement budget in USA is devoted to drugs…

    By making them legal you eliminate hugecosts but also you will have 1/2 of law enforcement unemployed. And they have guns and know how to use em…

    Personally I think also drug lords and cartels are absolutelly not interested in more competition – any Big Pharma would put all colombia out of buisness in 1-2 years – pharma would be happy to take 100% ROI – right now drug cartels returns on investments are in in 10,000% a year.

  128. silera says:

    Just personal experience- I’m not sure that the aeropostale number is based on actual profit. I’ve always bought my boys old navy. At christmas they asked for aeropostale stuff and I walked in to check the prices- same or cheaper than old navy.

    For about 300 bucks I got two boys a winter wardrobe including 3 pairs of jeans each, a reasonable coat,3 tshirts, 2 hoodies,4 dress/polo shirts and even belts and a cornball beach necklace.

  129. Stu says:

    Here is a finished view.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=300+christopher+street,+07042&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=62.443704,135.351563&ie=UTF8&ll=40.828596,-74.199099&spn=0.001855,0.004131&t=h&z=19

    I like the fact that Google Maps lists the Passaic River in that location. Passaic River must be 7 miles from there at a minimum.

  130. Nicholas says:

    The building plans for Christopher Court are everything that I hate about housing that has been built in the last few years.

    There are absolutely no yards and the houses are so huge they become eyesores. That they are doing this type of construction right in the middle of a very well planned community is absolutely disgusting.

    The neighbor’s telephone rings and you pick yours up by mistake. I would rather rent an appartment then live that close to my neighbor. On the upside you could probably hi-five your neighbor without ever leaving your house.

  131. HEHEHE says:

    John? Frank? Bi?

    The Continuing Claims Fly Trap Shoots

    Posted by Tyler Durden at 10:42 AM
    One picture is worth a thousand propaganda machines:

    http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/05/continuing-claims-fly-trap-shoots.html#disqus_thread

  132. ruggles says:

    119 – Everyone knows Hollister is it. Crombie and Aero are for wannabes

  133. we says:

    Watchung ave. is the cutoff between Upper Montclair and non, right??

  134. Stu says:

    Watchung ave. is the cutoff between Upper Montclair and non, right??

    I would prefer if you called the other half by its proper name… Lower Montclair!

  135. zieba says:

    RE: 134 don’t forget the increased costs associated with maintaining these monster properties; heat, power, taxes, landscaping (obviously not a problem in this example).

    OT: I stumbled upon a show last night, I don’t watch much TV, it was called monster renovations? monster properties? Something like that…anyhow, some couple (guy in finance, wife looking good at home) were making a humble 2,000sq/ft addition to their house! (wtf!) “So and so is in fiance, so he set a tight budget of $500,000 for the renovation”
    I watched them knock down a few brick walls and then halt construction because they couldn’t find 10,000 used bricks to match the exterior.

    I still don’t understand why people offer to be put/profiled on these shows. Why whore out and lose your privacy?

  136. sas says:

    “Let’s not pay a conductor for 8 hours of work because they make one run in to NY Penn, sleep for four hours, and make one run back out. Paid for the whole day”

    i do hope this is a joke?
    cause if you really think tis such, ye alot to learn.

    SAS

  137. zieba says:

    sas has a weak spot for NJ transit workers?

  138. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    you forgot the other reason drugs will not be legalized anytime soon.

    The government needs a convenient boogyman that they can always point to. Who better, its not really politically acceptable to use entire races for as boogey men anymore.

    In the end drug abuse is a medical issue, not a legal issue. And drug use is a personal matter. how many people drink coffee every morning or smoke a cigarette.

  139. Outofstater says:

    #109 That house looks like some of the old houses I remember in Plainfield. As a kid growing up in a cookie-cutter tract house, I was fascinated by the idea of a turret.

  140. #142 – ket – how many people drink coffee every morning or smoke a cigarette.
    A lot. How many are hooked on perfectly legal prescription drugs?

  141. silera says:

    I’ve never been a brand name person- especially with the boys stuff. They outgrow/stain/rip everything they own within 6 mos to a year. Whatever survives them goes to a nephew or charity.

    Prices at abercrombie are criminal.

  142. xmonger says:

    Re: 114

    NJT is an interesting entity. I’m not sure how they run their business but I can take a wild guess that it is run like anything else in NJ, inefficiently.

    Benchmarked against the LIRR (not an example of efficiency itself) fares are significantly higher on NJT for similar distances into NYC.

  143. Stu says:

    xmonger,

    You are correct and the fares are significantly higher. Being a bit of a train fan myself, I recall seeing a study comparing fares a few years ago. I’ll see if I can dig it up.

  144. PGC says:

    #147 Stu

    “Being a bit of a train fan myself,”

    Is that the real reason behind the objections to the Silent crossings

  145. Stu says:

    PGC,

    “Is that the real reason behind the objections to the Silent crossings”

    Nice try, but my answer is “Nope”.

    Trains are still gonna blow their horns anyway and the rumble of the diesels is nearly as many decibels as loud as the whistles. Just another waste of taxpayer money.

  146. safeashouses says:

    #86 veto that

    I didn’t realize Thoreau wrote that.

    hate to admit it, but I’ve never read his Walden book.

    Of course I’ll have a bit of time to catch up on my reading this summer.

  147. sas says:

    “sas has a weak spot for NJ transit workers?”

    No, I just have a low tolerance for bullsh*t.
    i suspect the blogger earlier was just being silly with the post.

    NJT has its problems & every work location has its share of slackers, but many of those NJT workers are everday people just trying to get by like the rest of us.

    NJT management may be a different story.
    SAS

  148. sas says:

    “you forgot the other reason drugs will not be legalized anytime soon.
    The government needs a convenient boogyman”

    agreed. and didn’t forget.
    govt & control works best out of fear.
    wether that fear is legit or fabricated, people fold like a cheap hooker due to fear.

    SAS

  149. Traitor nom deplume says:

    Specter got a lot of promises from Reid in order to defect, but apparently the Senate didn’t want to go along, so some arm-twisting ensued.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is giving up his chairmanship of the Crime and Drugs Subcommittee and giving it to Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania, Durbin spokesman Joe Shoemaker said Thursday.

    Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, agreed to do give up the post after a day of intense negotiations and public feuding between Specter and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over Democrats stripping Specter of his seniority on key committees.

    The subcommittee is a relatively powerful position in that it apparently oversees about 60 percent of the Department of Justice, according to Shoemaker.

    A Democratic leadership source, who did not want to speak on the record about internal Democratic dynamics, also told CNN that Democrats decided to do this for Specter for two main reasons.

    First, they want Specter to win re-election, and this gives him a powerful legislative perch from which to run. Second, the Senate Judiciary Committee is about to deal with a new Supreme Court nomination.

    “The last thing we want is a disgruntled Democrat at the end of the dais,” this Democratic source told CNN.

    The full Senate voted Tuesday to strip Specter of his seniority, dropping him to the bottom of the pile on every committee he sits on. The action came on a resolution — passed on a unanimous voice vote– that set out committee assignments for the entire Senate. Specter suggested other Democratic senators
    had objected to him moving ahead of them in the all-important seniority ranks.

    Specter said Reid had told him “I would maintain my committee assignments and that my seniority would be established as if I’d been elected in 1980 as a Democrat.”

  150. kettle1 says:

    Can some one give me a basic run down of how the process works if you want to build on a lot in regards to how the mortgage gets handled ?

  151. sas says:

    “Winslow teachers protest threatened layoffs”
    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20090507_Winslow_teachers_protest_threatened_layoffs.html

    -Teachers, parents, retirees and a third grader beseeched the Winslow Township Board of Education last night to reconsider laying off more than 10 percent of its workforce to balance its budget.

    “We are in the business of children, and these drastic staffing cuts are not in the best interests of the children,” said Cheryl Danner, a third grade teacher at School 5.

    About 260 employees of the Camden County district this week received notice of potential layoff. Teachers must be told by May 15 whether they’ll be rehired for the 2009-10 school year.

  152. veto that says:

    150) Safe, its good timing to read walden. All about not complicating our lives with materialism and other time consuming nonsense. More entertaining than anything else, like listening to your granfather ramble on about how the world works. You’ve got to pick and choose the nuggets, there are just enough to keep you reading. in the end, its an gratuitous pontification that pays homage to the luxury of appreciating the moment but worth the time in my opinion if you have some time to kill.
    My fav part is when he talks about society being so worried about image that we would rather walking around naked than be seen in a pair of old ‘pantalooms’ that have been sewn fixed. And then he goes on to argue that a pair of worn in pantalooms bring lots of simple pleasures that most people will never know.
    We deal with the same thing today. The concepts are timeless. And then of course he puts housing into its perspective too, which makes it even better.

  153. still_looking says:

    grim wrote: Sorry you bought at the peak, you should have listened to me, I could have saved you thousands of dollars.

    and let’s not forget the HOTTEST!!!!! chest.hair.ever!

    Oy.

    sl

  154. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    best interests of the children

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    the teachers union, NJ state government, and US federal government are not in the best interest of the “children”.

    I once again humbly propose that in order to be legally considered an adult you must first be dropped off in the middle of in alaska, 50 to 100 miles from the nearest town/village with nothing but a knife, a lighter, and a compass. You are legally an adult if you make it back.

    Should cull some of the idiots from the herd

  155. still_looking says:

    Clot,

    Off to work…will give the latest ER report later…like around 0100

    can’t wait to see what shit’s waitin’ for me there…

    sl

  156. zieba says:

    Stories like post 155 make me angry.

    I should “besiege” the partners office and start making demands as well. After all, I am in the business of royalty compliance thus any cuts in company benefits is not in the best interest of my client.

    Bullszyt.

  157. Seneca says:

    sas [140]

    By all means educate me.

    A few weeks ago, I overheard a conversation between the conductor who collected my ticket and a friend of his who happened to be riding the rails.

    Conductor sat down in the three seater next to me to converse with his friend. Removed his hat: “I ain’t supposed to sit with the passengers so I better lose this.”

    20 minute conversation ensued about how great his gig with NJT was. “At least three times a month, they call me in to run the PJC (Princeton Junction) to New York, and then back out later in the afternoon. I sleep a little, grab some coffee… it’s great. They have to pay me for the full shift.”

  158. still_looking says:

    ket, 158

    works for me.

    My dad dropped me off in NY to pick up my passport (was planning a backpacking trip across Europe.)

    He figured with 15 bucks I should be able to get my pictures, passport and make it home on my own.

    And left me there (okay, I was 23 at the time) and if I bailed on that I’d not be a candidate for traveling alone (was supposed to go with a friend who caught Mono and couldn’t go.)

    Made it home. with no problem.

    sl

  159. silera says:

    Plume- most basic way is a mortgage for the land with construction financing for build. Once build is complete loans are combined to one mortgage for improved property.

  160. sas says:

    “You are legally an adult if you make it back”

    or the red light districts of Dong Nam Bo.

    whew! i never knew ___________.

    best i don’t fill in the blanks, Grimmie might put me in the east germen dog house.
    :)
    SAS

  161. veto that says:

    “I humbly propose that in order to be considered an adult you must first be dropped off, 50 miles from the nearest town/village. You are legally an adult if you make it back.”

    Ket, another quick story since we are slow today. Went to to play soccer in Bolivia with the Soccer Inst of American at age of 16, where i quickly realized that i will never ever become pro but thats beside the point, lived there for a month, trained three times a day. The first week of training is all fitness, you dont touch a ball so on day one they drop you off 15 miles into dessert dunes on edge of rainforest. The first 13 back to bus get a ride, the last 3 have to find their way back to the clubhouse in santa cruz 20 miles away, no money or wallet. I ran as fast as possible, chased by a bull for a second or two (as my shorts were red and the bulls were sitting right in the trail), heckled by drunken villagers with no teeth living on edge of rainforest as i stood out like ‘gringo’, bright blonde mop, brand new clothing, ran through wide river waste moving fast, up big hill, up and down sandy dunes. i didnt speak spanish so i was probably the most scared of getting left behind, practically sprinted the whole way and came in third, rewarded with small cup of sand and water. I was in top shape after day one. And so, i never became an adult because the bus ride home was cush. And the last four guys came in together anyway, so everyone got a ride. Found out later that the cocaine leaf tea sold at supermarket wonders for your energy levels.

  162. kettle1 says:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i4estRSYeFBIII9kezxnP4jgoGZQ

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — China, wary of the troubled US economy, has already “canceled America’s credit card” by cutting down purchases of debt, a US congressman said Thursday.

    China has the world’s largest foreign reserves, believed to be mostly in dollars, along with around 800 billion dollars in US Treasury bonds, more than any other country.

    But Treasury Department data shows that investors in China have sharply curtailed their purchases of bonds in January and February.

    “It would appear, quietly and with deference and politeness, that China has canceled America’s credit card,” Kirk told the Committee of 100, a Chinese-American group.

    “I’m not sure too many people on Capitol Hill realize that this is now happening,” he said.

  163. sas says:

    “HELOC Lockdowns Still Surprising in NJ”
    http://njhelocheaven.blogspot.com/

  164. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    “Eleanor Squillari, Madoff’s secretary of more than 20 years, told The Associated Press she thinks her former boss carefully orchestrated his arrest and that he’s protecting others who might have been involved in his multibillion-dollar scheme by not cooperating with investigators. She declined to speculate as to whom he might be protecting.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10570921

  165. jdog says:

    Seneca said

    “If NJT were run like a real business, heads would roll. It’s great to be held accountable to no one.”

    Tell me what real business would that be,
    banking, car manufacturing, insurance, etc… Or beanie baby reselling?

    Not saying that so called “gubmint” entities run business well, but the days holding up “real business” as some paragon of virtue is over.

  166. John says:

    Here is process to build a house on an empty lot.

    First find empty lot
    Go to bank get loan
    Got to town try to get permits,
    start building
    permits get delayed
    greese building inpector palms to get more permits
    build some more
    Town CO people come by and ask about your use of union electricians and plumbers, brother-in-law of Town CO folk is recommended
    Sanitation comes by and gives some tickets
    Carting folks come by and demand some money
    Neighbors protest you need a variance
    you hire a lawyer to proof you don’t need a variance
    Winter comes and work stops as union folks claim too cold to lay concrete
    Price of materials go up more than expected
    Hit Heloc for more money
    Hire CO expititer firm to try to get CO going
    Town has questions and wants new survey and an architiect to review.
    Rates go up on Heloc
    Still mising some permits house is 80% done and workers are blowing you off
    You declare bankruptcy
    Bank takes back house and lets if fall into disaray
    Bank bulldozes house
    Now it is an empty lot again.

    kettle1 says:
    May 7, 2009 at 11:48 am
    Can some one give me a basic run down of how the process works if you want to build on a lot in regards to how the mortgage gets handled ?

  167. Shore Guy says:

    Enhanced breasts. Safe for work, but maybe not the kitchen:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124148395729085669.html

  168. John says:

    Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

    This is the longest word in the english language, I am trying to figure how to work it into my next powerpoint with the Germans.

  169. grim says:

    171 is accurate

    Although item 2 doesn’t quite capture the difficulty involved in obtaining construction financing.

  170. Dink says:

    2003 pricing in Montclair…

    MLS # 2638956, 64 Overlook

    12/1/03 Sold $492,000
    5/6/09 Sold $485,000

  171. Recession related geek news; 3D-Realms shuts down after failing to deliver DNF for 11 years.

    Also;

    Dear Valve,

    Where the f*** is Episode 3?
    Love,
    Me

    /geek off

  172. kettle1 says:

    Tosh,

    Episode 2 was my favorite. Nothing like running up behind some one and hearing the dull thud of the crow bar as you beating them to death with a crow bar and as they are wildly trying to kill you with a plasma rifle.

    That and pinning someones body to the wall with a cross bow bolt to the head ;)

  173. kettle1 says:

    Tosh,

    I knew i was addicted to HL when walking through a parking garage, i heard a loud clang and the thought that i should fire off a few shotgun rounds while jumping behind cover before switching to my plasma rifle and firing an energy orb was the first thing through my mind. you have to do something to keep busy when you dont sleep ;)

    of course that was before kettle Jr.

    If the combine invasion ever starts, i’m ready!

  174. Hard Place says:

    Can some one give me a basic run down of how the process works if you want to build on a lot in regards to how the mortgage gets handled ?

    kettle1,

    Why would you want to build on an empty lot when you will be able to buy for less than land + construction cost. That is my guess where prices will end up. That is the only way to soak up this inventory. Than eventually people will move to those newer places and than the old decrepit towns will die and eventually bulldozed over. Let the tumbleweed roll…

  175. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [163] silera

    ?

    [164] chifi

    Even MORE music to my ears!!!

  176. Sean says:

    #180 did the doctor prescribe him visits to the local LA maryjane clinic?

  177. Seneca says:

    jdog [170]

    Fair enough. By the way, I am not suggesting that its the conductors fault that NJT is run poorly. Its not his job to run the company.

    I haven’t worked for hundreds of companies so I am sure some will take issue with my mentions but for starters:
    McDonald’s, Pepsico, Samsung, Nintendo

    NJT is a state-run monopoly. There are limited choices for those who have to utilize the rails. NJT blames Amtrak for the majority of delays and problems.

    “Real business” doesn’t apply to every firm out there. In fact, it applies only to a small minority. In my opinion though, if it were properly managed there would be more concern for customer service, continuous process improvement and adherence to a set of performance standards. Anyone who rides the NJC or NEC lines daily as I do knows the last thing on NJT’s mind is customer service.

  178. 3b says:

    Speaking of choo-choo trains. If you are a fan, than make this gorgeous home yours.

    It was on the market, off the market, on the market, off the market,and now on the market again.

    This time at a new improved price.This show stopper’s OLP was 749K, make it yours for the unbelieveable price of 629K.

    You get NJ Tranist trains right in your backyard,watch them go by from your stone paver patio!!

    And as an added bonus for those who prefer the Condo style of living, you will not be burdened with the extra maintenance of a basement.

    Start your memories today!!

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2841851&id=999999

  179. Seneca says:

    grim, I am in moderation I think because i used the word McD*nalds?

  180. Stu says:

    It’s raining cats & dogs here in Union. I think I’m going to start building an ark.

  181. Seneca says:

    … and if that is the reason why, I have been reading this blog for too long!

  182. sastry says:

    #170…

    especially since major blog activity is between 9-5 and seems no one here is working for the gubmint.

    S

  183. Zack says:

    #171

    Built a 3 family in Jersey City from the ground up in 2004.
    Most of what you listed can really happen.
    Only thing I would advice is planning for the worst. ie.. have enough funds liquid in your account so that even if your project is delayed by a year, you will be able to make interest payments on the construction loan.

  184. The Kid says:

    RE:164

    Manny being Manny. The Kid wonders if Manny even cares. This is best news for ARod’s impending return.

  185. silera says:

    Kettle- sorry. I’m entertaining myself on my blackberry and scrolled past your name.

    Construction financing requires much more paperwork than a regular loan and depending on your relationship with the bank can be a nightmare.

    John hit on a lot of the problems that could happen but as with any project, ensuring you have qualified people on the job make a huge difference.

    I’m a measly expeditor though and I think too often people wait til a project is riddled with problems before seeking our help. Same goes for a good architect/engineer, qualified GC and subs.

  186. veto that says:

    Sastry, 186, would not assume that.

  187. kettle1 says:

    wouldnt build in NJ,just curious. thanks all

  188. Zack says:

    Construction loans are much harder to get by these days as compared to 2004 and 2005. Why would the bank give you a construction loan where there are so many properties up for sale. The supply of homes is too much out there and securitization market is non-existant.

  189. #178 – ket – I knew i was addicted to HL when….

    My love of HL is equally deep. My patience with Valve though has limits.

  190. grim says:

    If that 10y keeps cranking at this pace, bye bye 4% loans.

  191. lurker til now says:

    sastry – I saw your posts about Green Brook and I was curious why you picked that town in particular. What do you like about it?

  192. #195 – That’s a big jump in the past 2 days. It’s been trending up for a while.

  193. zieba says:

    I snuck whore past the censor, how could MCD’s trip the wire?

  194. grim says:

    The name D0nald is forever banned.

  195. Shore Guy says:

    Hey kids, he RE agent is coming over. Quick! Shove all the junk under anything you can find.

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2841851&id=999999

  196. veto that says:

    shore, i like how they hid the pool table under the big blue cooler too.
    they should have staged better, could have caused bidding war.

  197. scribe says:

    tosh, #115, re Saks

    I was in the Fifth Ave. store on Sunday for the first time in decades.

    Seemed like most of the shoppers there had foreign accents.

    It was raining all day on Sunday, but it looked like, were it not for the foreign visitors, it wouldn’t have had many people there at all.

  198. PGC says:

    Can I propose a new award.

    “Overqualified for my new 2nd career in Realty, as my original field of excellence is in the toilet”.

    My first Nomination is Nancy, pologies to the IT guy, chef and SAHM etc.

    “Nancy worked in debt capital markets at Credit Suisse raising billions of dollars for highly leveraged media and telecommunications companies. Nancy has an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Economics from The Pennsylvania State University and her Masters of Business Administration from New York University. ”

    http://www.marron-gildea.com/agents_details.php?agent_ID=4027

  199. grim says:

    #200 – Other shots look good, agent should have just left that one out.

  200. grim says:

    #203 – Not a stretch.

    Her new position involves her raising hope for highly leveraged debtors.

  201. veto that says:

    Went looking at two nice homes last weekend down here in Mercer county. one needs 60k updating (including removal of paneling and carpeting) but is big and overlooks farm… http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/6-Woodcroft-Dr_Robbinsville_NJ_08691_1108602812
    The other one is short sale, just as nice. The neighborhoods are great.
    My wife, she wants to stop renting so bad and our little one was running around the backyard with big smile, its not easy to keep renting condo. Asking prices are much more realistic now and as low as they have been in five years but i still try to maintain the discipline to hold out another year. Realtor is pretty sure they will both go soon at close to asking and is sure that during the next two months lots of places will move. I think he is right as comps have been improved over last two months and we are a little more shielded from wall st here. He doesnt try to close us which helps, although he is probably sick of showing us places over the last three years. We dont abuse it and are upfront with him about waiting. Most of my research is done on net anyway (mostly here).
    If prices came back to normal, we would have bought years ago. Its starting to frustrate us more and more, and if prices start going back up i will be steaming. We have put a good portion of quality of life on hold because of this irresponsible bubble. Of course one day my wife will finally convince me to break down and buy at these high levels. two months later bottom will finally fall out. ha.

  202. Bystander says:

    If NJ ever has another slogan contest, I will put forth NJT’s daily slogan:

    “New Jersey: We apologize for any inconvience”

  203. zieba says:

    “and if prices start going back up i will be steaming.”

    If you can figure out how to do this with a meaningful volume bump too boot there’s probably a desk waiting for you at GS.

  204. 3b says:

    #206 veto: Prices are not going up any tiem soon anywhere in the NY/NJ area.

  205. safeashouses says:

    What happened to all the jobs that are between $10 an hour and Director level that aren’t in IT?

    I’m starting to feel like the guy from Falling Down. (with a better haircut and wardrobe though)

  206. 3b says:

    #207 bystander: Ben Frankklin likened NJ to a keg tapped at both ends.

  207. Hard Place says:

    veto,

    I’ll be the first to admit, I know nothing abt prices in Mercer County. However if you feel that fair value is close, than why hold out. In my neck of the woods, looking in morris, union and essex, prices are far from my projected bottom. I’m happily holding out, as my landlord just gave me a rent cut.

  208. zieba says:

    Safe,

    Great movie!

  209. ruggles says:

    206 – agree with the others. How will prices go up without the exotic mortgage products and lax lending standards of the bubble? Maybe in 15 years when we’ve all forgotten about this little blip…

  210. we says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/07/realestate/market-s-strong-but-for-how-long.html?pagewanted=1

    Market’s Strong — but for How Long?
    Published: Sunday, December 7, 1997

  211. veto that says:

    3b, yes, hope (and do think) you are right. its funny though, and not as easy as planned to wait out the crash. when news says housing is in trouble, wife gives smile and nods in agreement with the whole plan, claiming that i called it.
    But when she sees the housing recent recovery propoganda cheerleaders, she gives the dubious stare as if she’s been had.
    Ha, she doesnt know whether to kill or hug me. I have a feeling it will be hug though…

  212. John says:

    U.S. Banks
    Dealing With Stress
     The day is finally here — At 5pm today, the Fed will officially release
    hypothetical credit losses and required capital additions (if applicable) for each
    of the 19 banks that participated in the Government’s stress test. The banks
    will have until June 8th to develop a plan to address any capital shortfall and
    they will be required to implement their plan by November 9, 2009.
     Capital shortfall might result in some TRUP dividend suspensions — In a press
    release issued last night, the Gov’t listed several actions that the banks’ plans
    could include to address any capital shortfall. We were surprised that the Gov’t
    mentioned that plans “should include…waivers and suspensions on preferred
    securities including trust preferred securities” among possible steps.
     TRUPs are debt, in our view — We view trust preferred securities (TRUPs) as
    junior-subordinated debt, so we believe that a suspension of TRUP dividends
    could have a negative impact on a still-fragile debt market. Non-cumulative
    equity preferreds are a different story, in our opinion. We have expected Bank
    of America (Deteriorating, Low Risk) and Wells Fargo (Deteriorating, Low Risk)
    to suspend dividends on non-cumulative equity preferreds.
     The Government clarified a precondition of TARP repayment — To repay TARP,
    banks must be able to issue non-guaranteed debt, with a term greater than five
    years, in amounts sufficient to satisfy funding needs. (So doing one nonguaranteed
    deal would not suffice, we believe). Although the bond markets
    have improved recently, it is not yet clear how many financial institutions could
    successfully tap the markets to satisfy all of their long-term funding needs
    outside the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.
     Minimum capital ratio — The Government will require a Tier 1 common ratio of
    at least 4% at the end of 2010, under its “more adverse” scenario. Tier 1
    common is Tier 1 capital less hybrids and preferreds, so it is similar to tangible
    common equity (TCE). This is a somewhat easier target, because unrealized
    losses are not deducted from Tier 1 common, while they are from TCE.
     Capital shortfall details leaked — Based on press reports, the Government’s
    stress tests could indicate capital shortfalls at Bank of America ($34 billion),
    Wells Fargo ($13-15 billion) and at least five others. Press reports have also
    indicated that several banks under our coverage will not need additional
    capital: American Express, Capital One, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

  213. Victorian says:

    veto (216) –

    Simple Solution – Nix the TV. Point your browser’s homepage to Karl Denninger. Guaranteed hugs! :)

  214. kettle1 says:

    safe,

    can you tell me where to pick up an AT4? or was it a LAW used int hat movie?

  215. zieba says:

    What I want to know is who did JPM blow to pass the stress test with 80 TRILLION of notional derivative garbage swept under the rug.

  216. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Commercial Mortgage Delinquencies in U.S. Rise to 11-Year High

    Commercial mortgage delinquencies in the U.S. climbed to the highest level in at least 11 years in April as scarce credit made it difficult for landlords to refinance loans, according to property research firm Trepp LLC.

    The percentage of loans 30 days or more behind in payments rose to 2.45 percent, Trepp LLC said in a report. The delinquency rate was more than five times the year-ago number, Trepp said. The New York-based researcher’s records go back to 1998.

    “It’s about as bad as it’s ever been,” said Thomas Fink, a Trepp senior vice president. “I don’t think we’re done yet. Where it’s going to top out, I don’t know, but we’re not done.”

  217. veto that says:

    “if you feel that fair value is close”

    Hardplace, no i do not.
    i do like complaining though, even though waiting has saved thousands to date, many thanks to this blog.
    If i were grateful and rational, i would send grim $10,000 upon closing.
    and may do.
    :^)

  218. Traitor nom deplume says:

    Here’s another cartoon, and like Sean’s, it violates the MSM rules by poking fun (however mildly) at Dear Leader.

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/cartoons/20090504_ink_tank?pg=4

  219. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [222] hard

    I wonder if grateful buyers can remember grim at closing with a line on the HUD-1?

    Would be great if it were under Seller Expenses.

  220. John says:

    Even more important, there are winners and losers in a derivative contract, lets say Jamie Dimon is the second coming of christ and all 80 trillion of his stuff is good, well who are the counterparties? Who owe him 80 trillion, if chase ain’t holding the bag someone is.

    zieba says:
    May 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm
    What I want to know is who did JPM blow to pass the stress test with 80 TRILLION of notional derivative garbage swept under the rug.

  221. safeashouses says:

    #213 zieba & kettle1

    That was a great movie.

  222. sastry says:

    Lurker #196…

    Why did I pick Green Brook?

    We used to live on the border of Green Brook. We think it is a nice, hilly area. Good schools (part of Watchung/Warren etc.) and close to where I work. We think it is probably more affordable than Warren.

    Now that I think more, not sure… just a gut feeling and assumed familiarity? :)

    S

  223. lurker til now says:

    Sastry – No, I agree. I liked it, too. I like that the houses are newer and more updated than Warren. I guess Warren was never really my cup of tea. Good luck with your search :)

  224. zieba says:

    Who called the bond auction fiasco?

    It was someone on here but I can’t recall.
    Think it was ket, BC or make.

  225. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (154)-

    Construction-to-close loan. Process:

    1. But lot. You DP 50% of lot price, bank finances the rest.

    2. Close on lot.

    3. Construction loan, generally in a minimum of three draws. First draw happens after excavation and submission of stamped electrical & architectural. All draws subject to review of invoices and your future cost projections.

    4. Construction phase. After final CO, construction loan converts to regular mortgage & amortizes to term like any other mortgage.

    BTW, be sure to have lots of Vaseline on hand from beginning to end. You’ll need it.

  226. kettle1 says:

    Economic casualties pile into tent cities

    Pinellas Hope (tent city run by Catholic Charities) in Florida looks like a cookie-cutter subdivision, except that the orderly rows are of tents, not houses. Besides 250 tents, all of similar size, shape and color, there are 15 wooden sheds, 6 feet by 8 feet, that Catholic Charities built as shelters. The charity plans to reduce the number of tents to 150 and erect 100 sheds, which are more durable, and build as many as 80 permanent studio apartments on the property, Murphy says. His group also wants to open a campground for 240 homeless people in neighboring Hillsborough County, he says, primarily using wooden sheds. Unlike Pinellas Hope, which doesn’t border residential neighborhoods, the Hillsborough County parcel is across the street from a tidy 325-home subdivision called East Lake ParkThere, opponents of the tent city have a website: xxx.stoptentcity.xom.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-04-new-homeless_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

  227. Clotpoll says:

    veto (166)-

    Chewing coca leaves and playing football?

    We should talk sometime. Got taught that little trick in Baranquilla.

    If I tried that now, my head would explode.

  228. kettle1 says:

    Do you know what the tent cities are starting to sound like? especially the description of the florida one building wooden shacks?

    Hooverville’s

    for those not familiar witrh that term:
    A Hooverville was the popular name for shanty towns built by homeless people during the Great Depression. They were named after the President at the time, Herbert Hoover, because he allegedly let the nation slide into depression. The term was coined by Charles Michelson, publicity chief of the Democratic National Committee. (from wikipedia)

    http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/browse/azBrowse/Great+Depression,+hooverville

  229. kettle1 says:

    how long before a witty politicians starts the term Obamaville?

    http://static.crooksandliars.com/files/uploads/2009/03/hooverville_bb9c1.jpg

  230. sas says:

    “If I tried that now, my head would explode”

    you might as well give it a go..
    ye head is going to explode..one way or another.

    :P
    SAS

  231. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (203)-

    Neither of them are hot enough to justify spending as much as a rainy Saturday afternoon as their hostage.

    Marketing/Econ degrees from PSU = Mrs. degree

  232. Clotpoll says:

    If I were casting for “Suzanne”, one of those ginches would be it.

  233. kettle1 says:

    Clot,

    would a VA loan change the construction picture?

  234. PGC says:

    PA Realtors have a tough life. Even the criminals are stupid.

    http://www.mcall.com/news/local/police/all-4scam.6885384may05,0,1897142.story

  235. safeashouses says:

    #227 sastry,

    Seems like many homes in Warren have septic and/or well water, as well as propane gas and oil.

    Is Green Brook more on the grid?

    I also can’t stand Basking Ridge. Pretty town, shallow, superficial, spoiled people.

    What’s your opinion of Watchung?

  236. #236 – clot – Marketing/Econ degrees from PSU = Mrs. degree

    You just reminded me of the punch line to a joke from when I was in grad school.

  237. safeashouses says:

    I once saw a listing in Warren with utilities described as “private sewer, private reservoir”.

    I’m guessing that was a fancy RE talk for well and septic.

  238. kettle1 says:

    SAS

    Once again the UK is a sneak preview for the US

    Can we pay for pensions without working until we drop?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/edmundconway/5286906/Can-we-pay-for-pensions-without-working-until-we-drop.html

    The dilemma was spelt out by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) this week. The debt being racked up by the Government during this crisis is so gigantic that it must consider raising the official retirement age to 70 in little under a decade, increasing taxes by 15 per cent or cutting spending by 10 per cent. Ideally, the institute added, it should do a bit of everything. The problem is twofold. First, taxpayers have to contend with a bill of war-time proportions for cleaning up the economy and financial system in the wake of this crisis. Second, in the words of the International Monetary Fund – “in spite of the large fiscal costs of the crisis, the major threat to long-term fiscal solvency is still represented, at least in advanced countries, by unfavourable demographic trends.

    have any of these clowns ever read limits to growth and or its 30 year update. the religion of economic growth is a very bad idea for all involved.

  239. Victorian says:

    Whoa! I wouldn’t like to be the person caught in the PRU short squeeze. Damn thing has gone parabolic.

  240. HEHEHE says:

    Consumer Credit Plunges

    Posted by Tyler Durden at 3:10 PM
    So much for the subliminal plan to get consumer to spend, spend, spend… Instead it seems the recent trend of save, save, save is picking up steam. The latest G.19 filing shows a massive drop in both revolving and non-revolving consumer credit, which has fallen to a one year low at $2.551 trillion, an $11 billion reduction sequentially in credit, split about even between revolving and non-revolving.

    It is shocking, shocking that with unemployment breathing down everyone’s neck, people are actually paying off their credit cards.

    That great sucking noise is the 10 remaining Centurion cards sucking the life out of whatever imaginary green shoots the MSM is smoking.

    http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/05/consumer-credit-plunges.html

  241. safeashouses says:

    sastry,

    How about this one in Green Brook.

    Its listed as a short sale

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Green-Brook-Twp_NJ_08812_1108644714

    4 bd 2.5 bath 450k

  242. jcer says:

    John, I would assume JPM wrote the derivatives, so as long as they are not exercised all is fine. Probably a big reason why TPTB are trying to hold this together, it gives more time for contracts to expire and time to unwind and basically find bagholders, which if you spread it around is bad but not quite catastrophic. I’ve come to the conclusion the prop up of markets is not intended to be permanent it is to line the banks pockets with extra earnings and given them time to dispose of asset not yet “discovered” to be toxic which is a big joke because deflation will really hurt most of these assets. So allowing big bank earnings and slowing down the destruction of asset value gives them a much better shot at survival. As always the govt, pension funds, 401k, the stupid investor, etc will get saddle with worthless junk debt. Don’t worry the people will get robbed. As for China, it is probably correct to say they are trying to get rid of their dollar denominated investments but it aint that easy. I don’t think even the latin american countries will take them in the volume necessary as they all need liquidity, they need cash, treasuries don’t do them much good. The way the Chinese economy works and is growth they are wholly dependent on the US and Europe to a lesser extent both of which are basically tapped out. I think TPTB have a better handle on this than we think, but I think it will be bad for the vast majority of citizens but will keep the ruling class in power. I think they want to spend dollars at todays value and repay them essentially 25 cents on the dollar, so the desired result from the gov’t perspective is to ride the recession down, spend like crazy, inflate it away and while our workers will make less in real terms, it will seem like more and as we come out of the recession as soon as debt starts to disappear buying will return. Right now we are backfilling already destroyed money supply wait till the hole is filled and the spending actually puts money into the economy.

  243. kettle1 says:

    China fears bond crisis as it slams quantitative easing

    China has given its clearest warning to date that emergency monetary stimulus by Western governments risks setting off worldwide inflation and undermining global bond markets. “A policy mistake made by some major central bank may bring inflation risks to the whole world,” said the People’s Central Bank in its quarterly report. “As more and more economies are adopting unconventional monetary policies, such as quantitative easing (QE), major currencies’ devaluation risks may rise,” it said. The bank fears a “big consolidation” in the bond markets, clearly anxious that interest yields will surge as western states try to exit their QE experiment.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5286832/China-fears-bond-crisis-as-it-slams-quantitative-easing.html

  244. ruggles says:

    Green Brook violates the golden rule of North Jersey real estate: Never buy south of 78. Until you get to Clinton, then never buy north of it.

  245. zieba says:

    V,
    The moves are on all of them:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=5d&s=PRU&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=bac%2Cc%2Cwfc

    Except for AXP/JPM/GS who were told to fend for themselves and are essentially unchanged in the last week.

  246. safeashouses says:

    The listing reads “New York Style living in Suburban New Jersey”

    299k for a 3/1.5 in Dunellen.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Dunellen-Boro_NJ_08812_1106456851

  247. John says:

    Zieba, insurance rebound is a self fullfilling prophercy. I bought CNA, HIG and XL bonds mid march as they were depressed because they had huge investments of premiumns in corporate bonds that took huge MTM write-downs. All paper losses as insurers were not selling, when the huge bond rally begain the upward MTM process occured which let then mark up the bonds as well as their equity positions. I wish I bought the stock instead. The HIG bonds were 15% and XL was 18% back in March, but damm I could have got that in a single day in the common. That plus insurance as a whole was being shorted to death on March 12, the shorts are running on a 8 week beating and risk mgt is spanking them as they are blowing their VAR limits.

  248. jcer says:

    Kettle, China hates getting a taste of it’s own medicine. perhaps if they wanted an international bond market there currency wouldn’t be pegged, if they can keep their currency artificially weak so can we and everyone else. The Chinese govt can take a long walk they still need us more than we need them.

  249. safeashouses says:

    Green Brook North of 22 seems pretty nice.

    I’m not too familiar with the parts south of 22.

  250. PGC says:

    Clot

    I suppose the UK can claim to be playing real South American style football.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/may/07/chelsea-barcelona-referee-police-escort-ovrebo

  251. John says:

    I wanna blow out of here but will hang to watch 5pm spike in afterhours vol in case anything blows up, will tell you the story.

  252. jcer says:

    If they don’t fund us, we don’t buy their junk, if we don’t buy their junk there are very few people who will and their economy collapses and China breaks out into revolution/civil war etc. There gov is testing the waters, it is a death sentence to staying in control if they kill their biggest customer.

  253. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Consumer credit drops record $11.1 billion

    Consumers’ debts fell a record $11.1 billion in March, sending outstanding debt levels dropping at a 5.2% annual pace, the fastest decline since 1990, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. Outstanding consumer credit fell by a seasonally adjusted $11.1 billion in March to $2.55 trillion, the Fed said. It was the sixth decline in the past eight months following years of steady growth in debt averaging close to 7% per year. Consumer debts are up 0.1% in the past year, the slowest growth in 17 years.

  254. kettle1 says:

    jcer,

    i think that may change once the US decides to issues a second form of debt, either through issuing USD2.0 or congress allowing the FED to issue debt.

    Then the chinese will know the game is up and they may become much more direct about protecting their interests.

  255. #251 – That has potential. I have no idea of what Dunellen is like.
    They need to clear out that big bush in the front and trim back the tree on the side.

    Not really NYC though.

  256. kettle1 says:

    jcer,

    china shifting to an internal consumer economy to makeup for the loss of the US consumer is a pipe dream. the concept may struggle along for a while, but the US consumer was only capable of consuming such large amounts of “stuff” because we were funneling the worlds savings through our checking accounts and credit cards.

  257. jcer says:

    Kettle, I agree they will find some way to issue debt other than treasuries. I don’t really see what their recourse is, we have allowed their currency debasement to undermine our manufacturing for years, did they not think we could turn around and do the same, their dependence on us in so many ways should have raised a big red flag and they probably should have developed plans to mitigate some of the risks. But fundamentally I think the Chinese government is very stupid and had a dangerous growth at all costs plan, we see how well that worked for Merrill Lynch and UBS billions of losses later. If it were not for the history of that country I don’t know that their government could keep control. Besides military recourse, which coupled with an economic malaise which I believe will lead to political instability in China, so it is a non option I can’t imagine what they can do to us. We don’t need most of what they provide us with, it is discretionary for the most part. Now the oil countries or other countries that provide raw materials, that is a different story we need them to keep selling us stuff.

  258. veto that says:

    Baranquilla.

    Clot, yes we should. I may be the one guy that appreciates your footy anectdotes here, as there are often echoes posting soccer posts in real estate blog but i dont have much to respond as i dont follow sports at all anymore, DVR is overrun with reality tv, martha stewart and psychadelic childrens shows so trying to record a game edgewise is near impossible, although i did catch sneak peak of chelsea barcelona last night which was nice.
    Despite this small problem, im still on field every sun morning religiously like church. Im sure you understand even though in-laws look at me in disgrace like immature manchild but i need exercise or will go bananas sitting behind desk for the next thirty years waiting for prices to deflate.

  259. jcer says:

    Kettle that is my point exactly, they can bang the drums and ask us to be nice but fundamentally we don’t have to be nice and most probably cannot be nice. My point is they made their bed, and I don’t think they could possibly find a bag holder for that debt.

  260. Seneca says:

    Good thing PRU has no exposure to commercial RE.

    What is their leverage ratio anyway? I guess it doesn’t matter as long as mark to myth applies across investment classes.

    I thought their debt was closing in on junk status?

  261. Sean says:

    Humor Break anyone?

    Amazon Customer Reviews

    Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz

    http://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B00032G1S0

  262. Sean says:

    Kettle1 and Jcer – Asia is doing more than many people realize.

    Good post on the subject can be found here.

    Asia Breaks Free from Geithner and Summers

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/05/guest-post-asia-breaks-free-from.html

  263. zieba says:

    You’re too good to us John, too good.

  264. lurker til now says:

    Sean @ 266 – That is brilliant!! TFS :)

  265. 3b says:

    #216 veto: Remined her that pending home sales released the otehr day, did not rise in the northeasat.

  266. Eddie Lampert has just found a way to save Sears!
    How you ask? By converting all of the K-Marts into showroom/warehouses for Sears products!…..!
    You’d order you stuff online and then drive to the warehouse to pick it up! Awesome!

    ….. what’s Service Merchandise?

  267. veto that says:

    John,
    I can read the hyper link “/soccer_girls.htm”.
    You will obviously think nothing of getting every last one of us fired immediately as we unknowingly open your p*rnographic links from work computers.
    I would not want to see what kind of filth is in your cookies if you paid me.
    How about we keep this CCC rated and limit your posts to junk bonds and banks tests for now?

  268. veto that says:

    3b, thanks, i’m all over that but re is local for her too and our town has not been hit hard enough to sink in. it doesnt help when our friends sell their house for what they paid in late 2004 plus 5%.
    unfortunately she doesnt mark her calendar waiting for cs each month like us. By her logic, prices are up, rates are down.

  269. lurker til now says:

    veto, i’m just curious. how will you know when prices are low enough to buy?

  270. 3b says:

    #274 veto: She just has to be a little more patient. What si anoterh year at this point. Grant being in Mercer Co. youa re away form the NYC metro area, but anothe year will be lower prices for you and more savings.

  271. John says:

    I love stress tests that cause no stress

  272. veto that says:

    “how will you know when prices are low enough to buy?”

    answer is probably more complicated but 2002 prices in a solid town would make me seriously consider buying right now.

  273. veto that says:

    3b, u r right, thanks for talking me down from ledge.

  274. lurker til now says:

    i’m thinking you and a thousand other people, no? anyway, i’m sure with patience you’ll find what you’re looking for at the right price. Good luck :)

  275. HEHEHE says:

    Wow stress test results are shocking. Like watching a high jump competition where each contestant is allowed to bring their own ladder.

  276. No story yet but the NY Fed chairman has just resigned.

  277. If anyone remembers, Friedman had ties with Goldman that had come under scrutiny.

  278. lurker til now says:

    @ 283, 284. Thanks for the heads up. Yes, the GS connection is what he cites in his resignation letter:

    http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news/aboutthefed/2009/oa090507.pdf

  279. Silera says:

    I found this blog recently. They do a lot of fun charts and calculations for a variety of things. Here’s a link to their analysis of the tax relief expiration effect on income taxes for all payers.

    http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2009/04/meet-rich.html

  280. grim says:

    #280

    If all we’ve got is a thousand sidelined buyers, we’re in trouble.

  281. sas says:

    “trouble”

    trouble?
    no such thing as trouble, thats a Conspiracy theory.

    next, you will be wearing a tin foil hat

    SAS

  282. safeashouses says:

    Are these stress tests like a kids sports league where everyone gets a trophy? Some trophies are just a bit bigger than others.

  283. PGC says:

    #272 veto

    When John gets off the topic of finance, I get this song stuck in my head. It sums him up so well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTVpxxzb2Dc
    Not worksafe for me.

    Maybe I’ll stop calling him Strawman and start calling him Dennis.

  284. d2b says:

    SAS- I also look forward to the Borat Obama post. I wonder how many straight dats it’s been.
    Ruggles- Hollister is owned by Abercrombie.

  285. Pat says:

    Veto, where are you working?

    I’m trying to harp on the PA thing, but why aren’t you shopping in Bucks?

  286. veto that says:

    Pat, work in princeton. probably should be considering PA. Half my office lives there and commutes and they are all trying to convince me to look there too.
    but im a NJ guy and family is here. PA is a little too quiet for me, our cousins lived in PA for years. If im doing that, i would just rather move to TX where wife is from, and buy a 4br mcmansion for $200k.
    I also like being closer to jersey shore in summer. all stupid reasons i know but i just dont like pa that much i guess. thanks for suggestion though. will keep thinking about it.

  287. Pat says:

    Yeah, I know.

    But we had to admit…why buy some POS in Hamilton or Yardville, when you can get CR schools for the same price and be at the shore on 195 in like 35 minutes, if you know the speed traps at exit 10 and by the tpk.

  288. Geoff Bailey says:

    The entire problem rests on the shoulders of the government. Facilitating and promoting homeownership for the past century has led to nothing but mis-allocated resources financial calamity
    see this post – “The Misguided Adventures of Homeownership”
    http://newarknjcre.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/the-misguided-adventure-of-homeownership/

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