“Things could get ugly”

From Bloomberg:

Housing Suffering Relapse Confronts Bernanke Credit Conundrum

The recovering housing market may be heading for a relapse as President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke consider ending support for the source of the global financial crisis.

The Obama administration is studying whether to let a first-time home buyers’ tax credit expire as scheduled at the end of November. Bernanke and his Fed colleagues may continue talking this week about how to wind down purchases of mortgage- backed securities, according to Peter Hooper, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. The two programs have helped stabilize real-estate demand, with new-house sales rising 9.6 percent in July from the prior month, the most since 2005.

Ending these efforts may stifle the housing rebound by depressing sales and pushing up both mortgage-backed bond yields and interest rates on home loans, even in the face of the record-low zero to 0.25 percent short-term rates the Fed has engineered, said economist Thomas Lawler. A weaker housing market would likely dampen the economic recovery and undercut shares of builders including Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. and Miami-based Lennar Corp., that have risen 40 percent this year, based on the Standard and Poor’s Supercomposite Homebuilding Index of 12 companies.

“Things could get ugly,” said Lawler, an independent consultant in Leesburg, Virginia, who spent 22 years at Fannie Mae, a Washington, D.C.-based government-controlled mortgage- finance company. “We could be facing a triple whammy at the end of the year: the expiration of the tax credit, the end of the Fed mortgage-buying program and rising foreclosures.”

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182 Responses to “Things could get ugly”

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Xanadu developers lose legal bid for financing stalled $2B retail complex

    The developers of Xanadu, the long-stalled $2 billion retail, sports and entertainment complex alongside the New Jersey Turnpike, have lost a legal battle against a key lender that backed out of the massive project earlier this year.

    In a ruling handed down a week ago by a New York judge, a lawsuit against Xanadu Mezz Holdings — an affiliate of Lehman Brothers — was dismissed.

    Xanadu officials, who had once called the Mezz Holdings financing critical to the project, said they are now considering their options.

  2. grim says:

    Education Bubble?

    From the Record:

    N.J. colleges borrow billions; students stuck with the tab

    Credit crunch? Not at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities, which have racked up huge debt loads while expanding over the past decade.

    The dozen four-year schools have taken on a record $3.86 billion in debt. And students are paying the bill.

    The cost of debt service has helped make the state’s public colleges among the most expensive in the nation, with annual tuition and fees topping $10,000.

  3. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Next New Jersey governor faces massive financial woes

    The winner of this year’s New Jersey governor’s race will begin his term with a multibillion-dollar deficit, mountainous debt, and a pension system that at last check was $34 billion in the hole.

    The shortfalls, persistent for years but even more daunting after a recession, will add pressure to raise taxes or drastically cut spending, potentially leaving less money for schools, roads, parks, and other needs.

    Neither Gov. Corzine nor Republican challenger Christopher J. Christie has provided in-depth plans to tackle the financial issues, which offer few easy choices, but in interviews last week they sketched broad outlines of how they would approach the problems.

  4. grim says:

    From the Press of Atlantic City:

    FHA keeps financing afloat

    The housing slump has been characterized by falling home prices, rising foreclosures and a scarcity of buyers.

    But despite collapse of the market for mortgage-backed securities and the subsequent credit crisis, financing has remained available, thanks in large part to the Federal Housing Administration.

    Created to assist the housing market during the Great Depression, the FHA returned to the front lines in this severe recession by backing bigger mortgages with fewer requirements.

    On Friday, the FHA admitted its finances have eroded beyond legal requirements, but insisted such steps wouldn’t be needed for now. Instead it proposed increasing the net worth required of lenders and requiring them to take responsibility for fraud by mortgage brokers with whom they work.

    In New Jersey, FHA loans jumped from 9,724 in 2006 to 38,123 last year – and 39,881 this year so far, according to Lemar C. Wooley, HUD spokesman.

  5. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    House Moves to Extend Unemployment Benefits

    Despite predictions the Great Recession is running out of steam, the House is taking up emergency legislation this week to help the millions of Americans who see no immediate end to their economic miseries.

    A bill offered by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., and expected to pass easily would provide 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for more than 300,000 jobless people who live in states with unemployment rates of at least 8.5 percent and who are scheduled to run out of benefits by the end of September.

  6. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Krugman Says ‘End of the World Postponed’ as Economy Hit Bottom

    The global economic downturn has probably hit bottom and the U.S. may have emerged from recession at the end of July or in August, said Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist.

    “The end of the world appears to have been postponed,” Krugman, a professor at Princeton University, said at a seminar in Helsinki today. “We’ve had an extraordinarily terrible crisis” though “we’ve probably hit bottom” as “world output has turned positive.”

  7. BeachBum says:

    price drop in Bradley Beach-
    MLS 20932927
    3 blocks from the Ocean
    4 Bedrooms
    1 Bathrooms
    From 950K to $899,999 in less than a month – maybe I’ll get my shore house yet. Not that this one looks like it is it from the pictures.
    Shore, Fiddy, NJCoast – any news from the tri-beach down area (Avon, Bradley, Belmar – with a little Allenhurst thrown in?)

  8. Essex says:

    Krugman is really stooopid. I’m the smaaaaaart one! Me! ME~!

  9. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Lennar 3Q Loss Widens As Sales Remain Weak

    Lennar Corp.’s (LEN) fiscal third-quarter loss widened amid write-downs on land and deferred tax assets as home sales remained weak.

    The sector is seeing signs the worst of the housing downturn may have passed. Customers are returning to the market, spurred by fallen home prices, low mortgage rates and a federal tax credit for qualified first-time buyers. But rising foreclosures, rising unemployment and tight credit still pose challenges.

    President and Chief Executive Stuart Miller said Monday that the housing market continued to recover as more-confident home buyers “took advantage of increased affordability,” though unemployment and foreclosures remain a challenge. Lennar – one of the U.S.’s largest home builders – has increased the number of home starts, reduced the number of homes in inventory and repositioned itself toward first-time and value-focused buyers, he added.

  10. marty says:

    I thought the NJ pension short fall was much higher than 34 billion, is that number spot on?

  11. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Congress Aims to Force Bank of America to Give Details on Merrill

    For months, Bank of America has been trying to keep secret its legal conversations at the end of last year about its coming merger with Merrill Lynch. So far, it has succeeded, mainly by arguing that those conversations should remain confidential because they are protected by attorney-client privilege.

    But now, the bank is facing questions from a House panel, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whose chairman, Representative Edolphus Towns, has told the bank that it cannot use attorney-client privilege when dealing with Congress.

    If Mr. Towns has his way, Bank of America would be forced to reveal information that would then affect a range of other investigations into the merger, including one by the attorney general of New York and another by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  12. grim (10)-

    Ready, shoot, aim. LEN’s new wave of home starts should finish them off.

    Then again, builders who don’t build aren’t builders, I guess.

    “Lennar – one of the U.S.’s largest home builders – has increased the number of home starts, reduced the number of homes in inventory and repositioned itself toward first-time and value-focused buyers, he added.”

  13. grim says:


    From the Star Ledger on 1/6/2009:

    New Jersey’s pension funding is problem too large to ignore

    New Jersey is on the cusp of a public pension crisis that could dwarf the $3.5 billion to $4 billion funding shortfall projected by Gov. Jon Corzine in October. Although the figures are obscured by current accounting rules, a detailed examination shows that New Jersey actually faces a potential $80 billion pension shortfall (not even counting the more than $20 billion in losses from the current stock market free-fall) and $50 billion in unfunded post-retirement medical and prescription drug benefits.

    This total unfunded liability of $130 billion is more than four times the state’s 2008 fiscal year budget, and represents a shortfall of around $44,000 for every household in the state. It’s fair to conclude that sooner or later, someone — almost certainly the taxpayer — will be forced to shoulder this staggering fiscal burden.

  14. Mish out of the gate strong this AM:

    “Bernanke can flood the world with “reserves” and indeed he has. However, he cannot force banks to lend or consumers to borrow.

    Yet every day someone comes up with another convoluted theory about how inflationary this all is. It is certainly “distortionary” in that it creates problems down the road and prolongs a real recovery by keeping zombie banks alive (as happened in Japan). However, it is not (in aggregate) going to cause massive inflation because it is not spurring the creation of new debt.

    Consumers and banks both are suffering from a massive hangover. Their willingness and ability to drink is gone. No matter how many pints of whiskey Bernanke sets in front of someone passed out on the floor, liquor sales will not rise.

    In a debt-based economy, it is extremely difficult to produce inflation if consumers will not participate. And as noted above, demographics and attitudes strongly suggest consumers have had enough of debt and spending sprees.

    Those pointing to flawed measures of money supply as proof of inflation just don’t get it, and likely never will.”


  15. Dr. Housing Bubble, spraying 24DT all over those green shoots in CA:

    “But again, you are selling homes in a state that is in a financial depression. And for perspective on those sales figures, the August peak was reached in 2005 with sales at a stunning 73,285. The average August sales figure for the state going back to 1988 is 49,467. So even with a 50 percent price drop in the state, the $8,000 tax credit, and real estate pundits cheerleading home sales the market still can’t make a 21 year average. Now we enter the fall and winter selling seasons that are slower and exhaustion is creeping into the markets. Add the Alt-A and option ARMs into the mix for 2010 and you can understand why we are starring at a second leg down.”


  16. Essex says:

    The comments section in Krugman’s editorial are scathing — he is getting reamed. Perp walks are needed Mister Prezident.

  17. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Homeowners who ‘strategically default’ on loans a growing problem
    A study shows that people who abruptly and intentionally abandon their mortgages often have high credit scores, in stark contrast with most financially distressed borrowers.


    I guess it’s not a subprime problem after all

  18. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [6] grim,

    Krugman said this????????

    ““The trouble is, we really have no road maps. The only model is the Great Depression itself.” That “was ended by a very large spending program known as World War II and we don’t really want to repeat that.”

    But, but, but. . . . how can that be? All my liberal friends told me that FDR and his New Deal spending ended the Depression. It’s taught in all the public schools, so it must be right, right?

  19. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [15] CAV

    “No matter how many pints of whiskey Bernanke sets in front of someone passed out on the floor, liquor sales will not rise.”


  20. grim says:


    Agree with Krugman on WWII being the event. However, I disagree slightly on the mechanism. Let’s not forget that the vast majority of worldwide manufacturing capacity outside of the US was destroyed. This wasn’t just a spending plan, especially when you consider the fact that we had a virtual monopoly on manufacturing after the war.

  21. grim says:

    Implication being that a war alone wouldn’t be sufficient. We would need something on the order of a war with China. Leveling Iran or Afghanistan wouldn’t help a whole lot.

  22. grim says:

    Which is likely why the wildly expensive Iraq wars have not manifested themselves as some kind of permanent prosperity.

  23. Raul V says:

    No. 2

    We should not be suprised that this state has the most expensive public colleges…..after all we already have..
    1 – highest property taxes.
    2 – highest car insurance rates.
    3 – one of the highest retail sales tax.
    4 – highest toll roadways.

    NJs motto should be “Go big…..or go broke”!!!

  24. Cindy says:


    Clot @ 16 – So just in case you were worried that yours was the most scr@wed up state in the USA, the Bee is running a 3-day series outlining CA’s shortcomings….

    Here is installment one from yesterday titled: Going Broke: State’s a Wreck – Can it be fixed?

  25. Raul V says:


    anyone with any insight/feedback/thoughts on the Hovanian new homes in Manalapan (Meadow Creek)?

  26. Cindy says:


    Installment two – “Going Broke: State officials spread loot like Santa, expert says”

    “….they ran for Santa Claus and made a mistake and filed for the Assembly and the Senate,” said Doerr…..”

  27. frank says:

    “Next New Jersey governor faces massive financial woes”

    Just raise taxes, what are they waiting for?? Jack them up. Let’s go.

  28. frank says:

    grim is getting political on the show, wow, what gives??

  29. chicagofinance says:


    Why don’t you run an ad campaign for Re/Max Branchburg? The new slogan
    “Liberate Tuteme Ex Inferis”
    (Save yourself from hell)

    Minor drawback, you need to rip out your eyeballs and offer them….

  30. John says:

    how can things get ugly when we have such a good looking president?

  31. chi (30)-

    Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

  32. make money says:

    Can we will wait until Euro is around 1.60, oil at $100+ and then tank the world markets and watch everyone flee to safety?

    Rinse. Repeat a few more times threat a war with a BRIC nation and buy 5 yrs of time to slowly shed losses.

    In the mean time bankrupt many companies around the world, instigate a few fights around the world and then have Omama’s second term dedicated to building the darling status that US enjoyed in the past from around the world.

  33. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Raul V :26

    I’d be wary of anything HOV built, too many corners are being cut to drive up profit margins.

    Before you make any purchase decision in Manalapan / Marlboro, I want you to drive Route 9 on any weekend, any time of day. It is the worst traffic experience in NJ – bar none.

    You should also do some quick research on Manalapan’s political troubles. Google it.

  34. Sean says:

    Unreal, we truly live in an age of no consequences.

    The president said he is “happy to look at” bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.

    also he takes a pot shot at bloggers.

    Obama said that good journalism is “critical to the health of our democracy,” but expressed concern toward growing tends in reporting — especially on political blogs, from which a groundswell of support for his campaign emerged during the presidential election.

    “I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding,” he said.


  35. Raul V says:

    No. 34

    Have you heard of any complaints in Meadow Creek regarding HOV construction?

    Yeah, I know route 9 sucks.

    As for Marlboro/Manalapan’s political troubles, can’t be any worse than the last two towns I lived in North Arlington and now Secaucus! One is broke…the other corrupt!! LOL

  36. Alap says:

    Route 9 does suck, but to get to that side of Manalapan, you can just take 18. Thats always a breeze south of EB Mall

  37. A.West says:

    Can anyone provide advice relating to buying a house with synthetic stucco aka EIFS? I’ve heard some people tell me just don’t do it, and I see some pretty scary stuff on the web about it. Any first hand experiences?

  38. Cindy says:

    35 -Sean – What a joke. Papers lose face because bloggers break news before they do – citizens turn to blogs for news – newspapers get a subsidy – Huh?

    The people have spoken. The papers have to find a new way – report real news in a timely manner or leave.

    And as for communicating – With blogs you actually carry on conversations and have a chance to discuss a topic.
    There is actually less chance to be railroaded into a view.

    What next, TV news programming?

    I now use my direct TV unit to record what I want to watch and FF through ads.

    The times are changing…

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [21] grim,

    And yet we still had a post-war recession.

    My point is that it is liberal orthodoxy that the New Deal ended the Depression. As a reliable mouthpiece (bad word choice, but I have to be succinct) for the liberal view, Krugman is committing near heresy by suggesting it wasn’t the New Deal that ended the Depression. Further, it just wasn’t US war production that ensured American prosperity, but as you correctly pointed out, manufacturing capacity in the industrialized world was wiped out except for US/CDN/UK. To me, that further erodes the liberal belief in the New Deal.

  40. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Raul –

    I have no specifics on Meadow Creek, but I’ve been in other HOV projects and you really want to give a close look at materials & finish.

    Maybe it’s better these days when they’re not so busy. 3 years ago, they had the worst tradesmen in history…..what a bunch of wood-butchers.

    As long as you know about Highway 9 and the gang of theives in town office, there should be no surprises.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I love this:

    “The European Union should go ahead with imposing limits on bankers’ bonuses even if the United States does not after this week’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh, European Commission president Jose-Manuel Barroso said on Sunday.

    “It would be interesting, important, useful to have if possible the same rules in the world (…) to have the Americans at our side,” he told the France TV5 television station.

    “But in this case of the bonuses, I am absolutely clear — it is such a scandal what is happening, it is really an ethical problem and I believe that, if necessary, we have to do it on our own,” he said.”

    I hope they do. It will mean a shot in the arm to the US financial sector. And if the US doesn’t go along, UK won’t. Then Sarkosy will have some ‘splainin to do as to why the EU banks are losing business to the americans.

  42. John says:


    Actually I bet woody johnson had a woody yesterday as every win gets a few more tickets/psls sold. He needs a superbowl win to sell those 2010 tickets. After he sells out new stadium the Jets can continue to lose as usual for the next 30 years.

  43. cli says:

    Tax appeal.

    I am interested in a house, whose 2008 assessment is about 900K. According to the tax record, the owner did a tax appeal early this year and get the 2009 assessment down to 850K. However the 2009 tax is 20K and is still higher than 2008 tax.

    I think the seller will likely to accept an offer of 680K-700K. How possible you guys think the property tax can lowered to 15K through a tax next year if the house is sold at no more than 700K? There are not too many comps in the town though.


  44. hughesrep says:


    Khov doesn’t change their stripes.

    Their homes are built with the cheapest materials put together by the cheapest subcontractors.

  45. BC Bob says:

    “J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!!!”

    Except you sold out, for a paltry couple of hundred. I guess bond traders are a different breed. No Comex trader would ever sell for a pittance and then have the nerve to cheer them. A fraud?

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [35] sean

    Problem with that is the flurry of lawsuits and charges that will be hurled by both sides against media outlets for political activity unless we don’t drop this pretense that nonprofits cannot get political. It is almost never enforced, and what enforcement efforts are attempted, are blocked by allied forces in Congress. When IRS investigated NAACP for blatant political endorsements, they feigned outrage (and, of course, screamed rac1sm), but also got their supporters in Congress to lean on the IRS (which kinda proved the whole political angle, but I am just being picky I suppose).

    So, ATEOTD, nonprofits whose party is in power can politic, and those whose aren’t can’t.

    Further, we see PC creeping into the tax exemption as well, and whether you agree or disagree, Bob Jones Univ. lost its exempt status because it had a policy barring its students from interracial dating. Can’t say I understand the policy, but the point is that a private organization was told that its internal policies were abhorrent, not to law but to sensibilities, thus it lost its tax exempt status. Consequently, we will see the definition of “qualified” nonprofit depend on whose party is in power, and this I find abhorrent.

  47. make money says:


    Jim and Vince says pay Bankers hefty bonuses they deserve however pay them in toxic paper they created.

    I just love good old Jimmy.

  48. make money says:

    Except you sold out, for a paltry couple of hundred. I guess bond traders are a different breed. No Comex trader would ever sell for a pittance and then have the nerve to cheer them. A fraud?


    What else?

  49. Shore Guy says:

    how does one “level” Afghanistan? And, if one did, would anyone notice?

  50. Shore Guy says:

    ““We could be facing a triple whammy at the end of the year: the expiration of the tax credit, the end of the Fed mortgage-buying program and rising foreclosures.”

    Translation: A return to a market economy.

  51. John says:

    Of course I am cheering them on!! I have four front row season tickets. if they make playoffs, KA-CHING!!!! If they make Superbowl Double KA-CHING. I will be at Titans Game next week. Look at the Gatoraide Cooler at 40 yard line by vistors bench I will be the good looking one in the front row!!!

    BC I have four seats in my name. Even if I went to every game I have to sell a lot of tickets. The one thing I am excited about is a few weeks ago I donated to a little charity my Jan 3rd Jets tickets as it is my daughters birthday and I can’t make it. They are doing a whole last game at Giant Stadium event and Broadway Joe and a bunch of others will be there. With front row seats you get the autographs and stuff. Now that Jets won first two the game may be for the playoffs. Anyhow charity is selling tickets to win prizes and my front row 40 yard sideline tickets is grand prize. I was very very nervous Jets would lose first two games and charity would lose out. I wanted charity to do it before season began. Anyhow charity rolled dice and waited till Jets won first two games and started ticket sales today.

    Don’t worry BC about my bad sale, I still own the put and I may or may not sell. Back in 1985 I had four full season tickets to St. Johns and got lucky to get four front row tickets under hoop for final four. I did not sell took three friends and saw Vilanova beat G-town in what I think was the best college basketball game ever played. Was on TV every time the ball was on my side of court and we partied with the the Nova Cheerleaders after the game. The lousy couple hundred I could have made were not worth it. But if Jets go to superbowl and I get tickets I am 100% going.

    BC Bob says:
    September 21, 2009 at 9:49 am
    “J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!!!”

    Except you sold out, for a paltry couple of hundred. I guess bond traders are a different breed. No Comex trader would ever sell for a pittance and then have the nerve to cheer them. A fraud?

  52. Shore Guy says:

    Beach Bum,

    I have noticed two things, some properties hitting the market that are just 10-15% overpriced and those that are still priced like it is 2005 plus 10%. The problem is the eager beavers, who see something priced ina way that resembles reasonable and then jumping in like a starving person at a bufffet table. It seems that many people view the decline in prices as a “dip,” and they feel compelled to “grab a deal while it exists.” As such, I don’t see the movement that I want. We did identify to places in the southern OBX last week that have some promise, but the one we like the most has been sucked dry of equity and the sellers are looking for a sucker to set them free of their ill-taken debt.

  53. hughesrep says:

    What do you look for in hiring a tree trimming service?

    I have about ten oaks that need to be trimmed, maybe one big one in a tough spot to come down, around the pool.

    I figure I’ll check insurance and ask them to spell arborist. Then what?

  54. tbiggs says:

    #40 Nom –

    Krugman and other liberals have been slowly shifting positions. The new orthodoxy seems to be that the New Deal merely prevented Armeggedon, the complete and final collapse of capitalism – but it didn’t go “far enough” to really give a full recovery.

    That works well for his arguments because that’s just what he’s been saying about our current round of bailouts – “not enough! My position has always been correct, but if it seems like I was wrong, it’s because we didn’t spend enough!” (actually, Krugman, it’s not working because it’s fiscal INSANITY!)

  55. Veto That says:

    Recalibrating Affordability Expectations

    Before the housing bubble, a quaint notion held sway that homeowners should be able to afford the houses they live in.

    One measure of affordability is to compare property prices with per capita personal income. Karl Case, co-creator of the Case-Shiller Home Price indexes, has tracked this for 20 major metropolitan areas. During the 1990s, most held steady in a range of four to six times income. But lax monetary policy and credit standards after that helped throw the notion of affordability out the window.

    Cities like Miami and Phoenix are particularly noteworthy. After a long period of stable midsingle-digit price-to-income ratios, these exploded.

    Most cities now have returned to “normal” ranges. Even so, don’t bank on this portending a house-price rebound.

    Sanity hasn’t returned everywhere: Los Angeles still boasts a ratio of nearly 10 times. Moreover, the collapse of the bubble should recalibrate expectations. The relative stability of price-to-income ratios prior to the bubble, together with stagnant incomes and rising unemployment, suggests prices in many areas are about where they should be.

    Against this stands Uncle Sam. Some four-fifths of new residential mortgages this year have benefited from government support, said trade journal Inside Mortgage Finance.

    Government interventions remain a wild card. But it is worth noting that efforts to date have helped stabilize price-to-income ratios in their normal range. Without this, prices likely would have plunged further. In Detroit, the ratio has dropped below the historic range of four to five times. Banking on a big housing bounce-back on the back of Washington’s grand fiscal experiment looks highly questionable. Quaint, even.

    -WSJ 9-21-09

  56. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Shore Guy –

    I told you about the Southern OBX, didn’t I ??
    It’s still summer down there.

    Did you happen to go to Amos Skeeter’s for dinner ??

  57. John says:

    BTW Springsteen tickets on sale at Ticketmaster, tons of seats available. I just looked.

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
    Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
    Thu, Oct 8, 2009 07:30 PM

    Description 112
    7 – 8
    Price Level 1
    LOWER LEVEL SEATING TypeRESERVED SEAT FULL PRICE TICKETTicket PriceUS $98.00 x 2 Price Details Facility ChargeUS $3.00 x 2Convenience ChargeUS $11.30 x 2

  58. BC Bob says:

    “I did not sell took three friends and saw Vilanova beat G-town in what I think was the best college basketball game ever played. Was on TV every time the ball was on my side of court and we partied with the the Nova Cheerleaders after the game.”

    Maybe the perfect game. Not close to being the best. I knew some of those cheerleaders.

  59. Veto That says:

    Silent Treatment on Bank Write-Downs

    Whenever asset write-downs don’t hurt earnings, it pays to look closely. As banks snap up weaker peers, a little-known and somewhat bizarre accounting treatment suddenly has come to the fore.

    Deserving special scrutiny is the accounting treatment that allows banks to write down acquired loans after the deal, but keep those hits out of their income statements.

    It works like this. Bank A buys Bank B, acquiring a loan portfolio, $1 billion of which it believes won’t get paid in full. It therefore takes a $200 million write-down on these impaired loans, meaning they come onto Bank A’s balance sheet with a fair value of $800 million at the deal date. If those loans subsequently deteriorate, the bank typically has to book a reserve against them, hurting earnings.

    Granted, banks can’t know everything at the time of a deal. However, adjustments have been large in recent cases, they can take place for a whole year after the deal, and they have happened after acquirers say they have done extensive due diligence.

    Moreover, outsiders have no way of gauging whether the circumstances that led to the “look-back” write-downs actually were there at the time of the deal. Their best hope is that auditors are keeping track.

    As the market has stabilized, investors have started shifting focus from bank capital to earnings. Deal accounting shows they need to watch both like a hawk.

    -WSJ 9-21-09

  60. Shore Guy says:

    “We should not be suprised that this state has the most expensive public colleges…..after all we already have..
    highest property taxes.
    highest car insurance rates.
    highest toll roadways.”

    We’re number one. And so close to NY too.

  61. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    cli :44

    I don’t think you’re going to be able to reduce the tax from $20K to $15K. That’s a big cut.

    What is the rate per $100 of assessed value in that town ?? What would your assessment need to be to give a $15K tax bill ??

  62. John says:

    HA HA, most of those guys use illegals. When you ask for insurance, how much, what does it cover and is it in force. But when an illegal mexican falls from the tree in your yard insurance won’t help.

    hughesrep says:
    September 21, 2009 at 10:05 am
    What do you look for in hiring a tree trimming service?

    I have about ten oaks that need to be trimmed, maybe one big one in a tough spot to come down, around the pool.

    I figure I’ll check insurance and ask them to spell arborist. Then what?

  63. John says:

    BTW BC what was the best college game. Nova had to play the perfect game to win and they did. G-Town played a great game and won. Plus that whole final four was great. SJU vs. G=Town game had over ten future NBA players on court and Mullen, Jackson and Ewing became three of the greatest all time NBA players.

    I went a few years later and saw Syracuse win the championship in the meadowlands, it was a great game but no magic in the air. Well we were in a swamp in Jersey and everyone hads the coach of Syarcuse.

  64. John says:

    Wow what a shocker, years ago I was to do a project there and tons of people in senior management and BOD all had the last name Irwin.

    Irwin Financial: /quotes/comstock/13*!ifc/quotes/nls/ifc (IFC 0.22, -0.26, -54.17%) Two Irwin Union Bank subsidiaries in Kentucky and Indiana were closed by regulators, bringing the total number of U.S. bank failures this year to 94 and draining another $850 million from the federal deposit insurance fund. First Financial Bancorp /quotes/comstock/15*!ffbc/quotes/nls/ffbc (FFBC 10.05, +1.74, +20.88%) of Hamilton, Ohio, agreed to assume the banks’ deposits. See story on Irwin.

  65. cli says:

    Fiddy Cents: 61

    The current rate per $100 assessed value for the house is 2.42%. I don’t know what is the rate for the town.

    If assuming the tax rate is 2.42%, I would have to get an assessment value of 619K in order to lower the property tax to $15K. That looks like an mission impossible.

    Anyway, $20K tax is just insane. That is higher than my current rent ($1.6K).

  66. Sean says:

    re: #52 – Shore and Beach, I spent the weekend trolling the neighborhoods north of Brick up to Rumson last weekend.

    I am seeing additional drops 5%-15% since the Summer is now over. Lots of inventory. We may see another 10-15% before the winter is done.

  67. Stu says:


    Even if tax rate was 15,000. At that point, your taxes will most likely increase by around a grand a year. Figure you will be paying 30K in about 13 years.

  68. chicagofinance says:

    for JJ:
    The lesbians next door asked me what I would like for my birthday.

    I was quite surprised when they gave me a Rolex.

    It was very nice of them, but I think they misunderstood me when I said, “I wanna watch.”

  69. chicagofinance says:

    grim unmod

  70. BeachBum says:

    Shore, Sean,
    Well this does encourage me to keep on waiting! I just keep repeating to myself: “one half a million dollars” very slowly. That way when I see things priced at 650-850K that seem cheap just because they’ve come down from some insane prices, I don’t want to jump at them. Also, many of these houses are not year round houses and I’ve got to believe that with unemployment the way it is going, people are going to be cutting some expenses.
    However, the big question mark is the bank inventory. If people have defaulted and the banks are not moving, the shadow inventory could be what’s keeping prices from dropping more…

  71. chicagofinance says:

    Raul V: All you need to know about Hovnanian is in my friend’s book and the chapter on Fort Myers FL.

  72. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Beach –

    Don’t think of it as One Half Million Bucks.
    Think of it as around 100,000 Mocha-Lattes.

  73. Outofstater says:

    #35 Does it not occur to our president, that people posting on blogs is the equivalent of speaking one’s mind in the public square?
    Not functioning too well today – had to stay up for the end of the Giants game. Wow. Did I hear that it was payback for 1976 when the Cowboys beat the Giants in their first game at the Meadowlands?

  74. cli says:

    Re:BeachBum 69

    For many bergen county towns along the train line, there are not many foreclosure auctions with judgement value above $700K in last 1 year. So, there probably are not many ‘shadow inventory’ of houses priced above $600K held by the bank.

  75. Nicholas says:

    I went to a family reunion on Saturday and turns out a member of my wife’s family works for Fannie Mae.

    I asked how it felt to be owned by the government. His response was classic.

    “It sucks. My entire portfolio is nearly worthless. I am letting my stock options that were struck at 63$ a share expire since they are trading at what 1.50$?

    Paulson came and spoke to us after the take over and someone asked the question about how long it would take for the stock price to recover. Paulson’s response was, ‘you wont have to worry about the stock price cause it likely will never recover.'”

    Obviously he was not happy about what happend but I ventured a few more questions. I asked him if he had seen a relaxation of the “declining market” areas. He said they were seeing a slight decrease in the number of areas marked as declining market. He noted that there were a few areas that were a downright “No” that moved to the maybe list.

    He said that the volume of loans moving through Fannie Mae had picked up and he took that as a good sign for housing in general.

    I commented that all his observations were consistent with a fall bounce in residential RE and the expiration of the 8,000$ subsidy.

    I asked him what he thought of the FHA tightening lending standards and if he thought that would have a big impact on Fannie Mae and he didn’t have any substantial answer.

    I’m guessing that this guy does not buy/sell loans at Fannie May but works rather in a managerial support role.

    Just thought you guys would be slightly interested.

  76. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    August West :38

    You were asking about the Synthetic Stucco.

    Moisture is the enemy, any water trapped between or behind the layers has no place to go. Check around door & window openings for seepage, make sure the gutters are clean and are not holding water.

    There are some inspection services that specialize in this stuff. If you’re buying a home with EIFS….it would pay to get these guys involved.

  77. Qwerty says:


    With their older son in his freshman year at Colgate and their middle son a high school senior eyeing similarly pricey schools, Denver residents Randy S. and Valerie Lewis decided she’d have to go back to work after 17 years as a stay-at-home mom. Valerie, 46, is applying for local teaching jobs paying $35,000. If she lands one, taxes will eat up $15,000 and the need-based aid they’d be eligible for will decline by $10,000, figures college finance consultant Troy Onink, who runs Stratagee.com.

    That leaves the Lewises $10,000 ahead if she works.

    The Obama Administration’s $75 billion Making Home Affordable loan modification program aims to stave off foreclosures by pushing down the interest rate on mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that monthly housing costs don’t exceed 31% of a family’s gross. Relief is for five years, and interest savings don’t have to be repaid. Applicants have a big incentive to fall a little bit behind on their payments to wangle a refi. (Honor your promises? That’s so out of date.) The process can take months, and while it’s under way it is imperative for homeowners to keep their income within a certain range. Once the new rate is locked in, they are free to earn more.

    “I almost understand why some people stay on welfare,” says Karen, a 59-year-old Bellevue, Wash. self-employed house cleaner. As a matter of “personal pride” she’s been applying for better paying, hotel head-housekeeper jobs, even though that could endanger her pending bid to have the interest rate on her condo reduced.

  78. Schumpeter says:

    west (39)-

    Don’t touch it. It is a close to 100% defective product.

  79. Sean says:

    re: #80 – Tuition at Colgate is in the Top 10 at $41k, they should send the kid to state school in Colorado where a credit is only $265 instead of indulging his fantasy of being an Art History major and future manager at an Arby’s.

  80. Qwerty says:

    RE: “buying a house with synthetic stucco aka EIFS”

    Ten seconds after pulling into the driveway, told an agent to back up and leave a foam-covered “stucco” house.

    Never appreciated the McMansion / Las Vegas set piece look.

  81. Schumpeter says:

    make (50)-

    John’s wife made him plant mums yesterday.

    Nancy boy.

  82. chicagofinance says:

    All this suggests that almost all of the $1.45 trillion the authors estimate was borrowed against rising home equity was used for spending.


  83. John says:

    Actually I was planting Two-Lips on your wife.

    Schumpeter says:
    September 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm
    make (50)-

    John’s wife made him plant mums yesterday.

    Nancy boy.

  84. Stu says:

    ChiFi (85):

    “Digging deeper into their data, the two Chicago economists discovered …”

    Momma always said not to trust Chicago economists.

  85. Schumpeter says:

    sean (82)-

    Edumacation bubble go pop.

  86. Schumpeter says:

    John (86)-

    Google us some “yo mama” jokes.

  87. SG says:

    The Deflationary Housing Environment Is Creating A Poverty Effect

    Our economy is driven by the consumer, and the loss of household wealth is creating a poverty effect. The poverty effect is the exact opposite of the wealth effect which was created by the housing bubble.

    Millions who have little or negative home equity are trapped in houses they can’t sell, do not want to own and a debt burden that keeps them from moving ahead. They can not save although many home owners want to boost their savings rate.

    The concept of buying a home as a guaranteed way to save and invest is gone. The past two years has shown there is no guarantee every home will go up for ever. In a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, almost half of those polled “no longer believe that the American dream of homeownership was a realistic way of building wealth.”

    Another alarming trend in housing is that mortgage defaults are raising fastest for those holding prime, fixed-rate loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association says. The issue has now spread far beyond just subprime and Alt-A mortgages made to people with questionable credit and income histories. Prime mortgages are given to those people who are supposed to be the industry’s most creditworthy low risk customers.

    Since we are in a deflationary real estate period which could last through 2012 we can’t depend on real estate as a prime wealth creator. Government needs to create programs that promote tax-free savings and help rebuild home equity if it wants a sustainable economic recover not just a stock market rally. The stock market rally is only temporary and when the economic realties settle back in we will see the negative stock market sentiment back in full force, which should send the stock market into a major pull back.

  88. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    EIFS on the exterior, and Chinese Drywall inside…..HA!

    The place is got so much mold it looks like a bad science project.

  89. Shore Guy says:


    Every house we have seriously considered this year apeared to have been used as an ATM.

  90. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [172][prior thread] essex,

    ” . . . but I am talking about the RICH…the folks with fortunes made on the backs of poor folks.”

    From your lips to Washingtons’ ears.

    As it stands, the spouse and I are “rich” and will have to serve as an ATM for the net-recipients of government largesse.

    Furthermore, I will have a far higher effective tax rate than the Buffets and Gates of this country.

    I had hoped to feel the love for all my “contributions” but instead, all I feel is a gun in my back and a hand in my pocket, and the gunmen look a lot like Corzine, Pascrell, Menendez, Obama, Pelosi, and Frank.

  91. Shore Guy says:


    Just last night Mrs. Shore said, “how can it be that we earn what we do, and have no debt, and live pretty frugally yet I don’t feel secure?” So I went through the we earn $X, subtract thus and so for federal taxes, for foreign taxes, for state and local taxes, for health insurance, for, for, for, and boom. Her response, “And Obama says we are rich?”

  92. Shore Guy says:


    Just about anyone who works for a living had a higher tax rate than those living off investments. Flat tax, is the only fair tax. No indexing, no exemptions.

  93. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Shore Guy –

    Tell me more about Southern OBX….that’s also a target area of ours.

    Were you in Atlantic Beach ?? Check out any restaurants ??

  94. A.West says:

    Fiddy, Schumpeter, Qwerty,
    Thanks for the feedback. Just googling it scares the heck out of me – it does seem that it’s a time bomb that will go off, just don’t know when, or how much damage/cost. And I don’t think the owners have been fastidious maintainers.
    Not the kind of worries I want from a luxury house.

  95. d2b says:

    I guess that if I knew that there would be little or no consequences for forclosure maybe I would have maxed out a HELOC or two. Seems like many people with second homes can walk away without recourse from the lenders after using these homes as ATMs. I’m not sure if they are even bothering to attach leins on the primary residences.

    Could have bought three units with no money down, stripped out 450k in equity and bought a 4th place for cash.

  96. Stu says:

    Update on our Red Bank friends. For those who have been following the continuing saga of our non-subprime friends who are the model for using their home as an ATM, this is the latest update.

    About a month ago, I attended said husband’s birthday party at a bar in downtown Red Bank. His stay-at-home wife thought it would be clever to make t-shirts for all of her husband’s friends with stupid sayings on them. Needless to say, the shirt was entirely too small for me and the cheap material made the experience both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. Well, at some point in the night, I got around to speaking with the birthday boy and it appears the day of reckoning is near. As I was mentioning how unbelievable the raw number of vacant store fronts there were in downtown, he alluded to considering moving into an apartment in downtown since they were now so cheap.

    His (spend money like there is no tomorrow) wife mentioned to Gator last night that they, like most, used their home as an ATM and they can not do it any longer. This is her first admission they have a problem. Until now, as we tried to knock sense into them, it was always, “Our house will never lose value.” Or, “Look how close we live to New York.” Meanwhile, she has attended at least once rock concert a week for the past nine months and invited Gator to see U2 on Wednesday night.

    In the past year, they have completely redecorated their living room (all new furniture, flat screen tv, huge artwork), finished their basement and put in a very contemporary full bathroom (not sure why), purchased 2 iPhones, new Mac laptops (I suppose to support their iPhones), and repaved their driveway, not to mention their growing Nintendo Wi library and plastic instrument collection. The continued spoiling of their only child comes with the territory.

    Me thinks the next owners are really going to appreciate the prior owners efforts.

  97. jamil hussein says:

    36 sean “also he takes a pot shot at bloggers.
    Obama said that good journalism is “critical to the health of our democracy,” ”

    I understand why lib want to shut down non-liberal blogs, talk radio and Fox News. Pushing through marxism would be much easier without those annoying actual reporters.

    Today, breitbart had another scoop NY Slimes refused to investigate. Had Bush done this, Pulitzer would have handed out already for reporting this and naturally impeachment would be front-page NYT issue.

    White House hand-picked liberal artists and instructed them to advance White House agenda, through tax-payer funded NEA.


  98. A.West says:

    I’d be happy with a flat tax, or a national sales tax, particularly if it was combined with shrinking of gaverment and spending cuts allowing an overall reduction of the total tax take.

    However, I see now that it could be devastating in the short run to people who planned household budgets around the housing related tax exemptions.

    Because of this, and the ongoing desire of politicians to use taxation as another tool in playing favorites, and redistributing wealth towards those with political pull and votes, I think the odds of a fairer tax happening are nil, without an overall philosophical revolution and enlightenment.

  99. Stu says:

    Hey Nom (94):

    “Corzine, Pascrell, Menendez, Obama, Pelosi, and Frank.”

    After Christy essentially does the same thing as Corzine, will you be willing to add a Republican to your list?”

  100. Schumpeter says:

    d2b (99)-

    Second lienholders are in the same sinking boat as the borrower when it comes to foreclosure, as junior lienholders all become defendants when the senior position files the lis pendens.

  101. jamil hussein says:

    CNN certainly needs bailout.

    “CNN talk show host Clifford Robertson charged with ID theft, bank fraud

    Robertson hosted a radio talk show on CNN 1190 to discuss real estate investment strategies. An attempt to reach Robertson wasn’t successful. If convicted, he would face as many as 32 years in prison. ”


  102. d2b says:

    Philadelphia Zoo.
    The poor layout may be because of the age of the place. It’s somewhat landlocked by the RR tracks and 34th street. It’s the oldest zoo in the country and they don’t have the space to house some animals like elephants. No apologies for the people.

    Cape May County Park has an interesting little zoo if you ever make it down this way. The zoo is located at Parkway exit 12. It’s free and it’s a great place to take kids on a cloudy, non-beach day.

  103. Schumpeter says:

    Stu (100)-

    I bet your friends don’t even lose a single night of sleep when they enter their inevitable nose dive into bankruptcy and foreclosure.

  104. John says:

    Ok, real reason I did not go to Pats game. I had to close pool, this weekend or next. Pats tickets went for double Titans tickets next week so I sold Pats. Actually the people who go with me are fair weather fans anyhow. I get what time is train, how close are you to bathroom, what will weather be like, what type of food do they servce and where are seats. Never do they ask who are Jets playing, the game is just the excuse to get out of house.

  105. John says:

    yo mama so fat she got to iron her dresses out in the driveway.

    Schumpeter says:
    September 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm
    John (86)-

    Google us some “yo mama” jokes.

  106. d2b says:

    Clot (104)-

    I understand. It just seems like most of these homeowners just walk away from the crippling debt that they created by buying high and then extracting equity. What are the consequences? Are lenders doing due diligence to seize unrelated assets or are they just excepting keys?

    If the latter is true, one could make a case for pulling extra equity out of one or more properties and pouring it into one property.

  107. d2b says:

    Do people going into foreclosure almost always declare bankruptcy?

  108. Shore Guy says:


    it was just a commando raid. Saw a few places and left. Emerald to Atlantic seemed less tacky than Kitty/Kill Devil etc.

    The drive is a b!tch, though.

  109. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:


    That was my impression of that stretch of beach too. Some really nice homes, both on the island and the in-shore towns like Beaufort and Swansboro. You’ll have to schedule a week down there to really get the feel of the place.

    I will look up the name of the townhouse where we stayed.

  110. Shore Guy says:


  111. Schumpeter says:

    d2b (111)-

    Not at all.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    for us, being within walking distance of the beach is THE thing. We like to start the morning walking in the surf and end the day the same way. Could care less if we see the beach between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  113. EWellie says:


    This sounds like so many people I know. My brother is a lawyer with a spends like there’s no tomorrow wife–he just lost his 200K job at a sweatshop law firm. His prospects are great, but she doesn’t want to take a pay cut. I see misery on the horizon, that’s for sure. Oh, did I mention the 565K two bedroom townhouse she forced him to buy at the height of the market?

  114. Schumpeter says:

    d2b (110)-

    Most lenders I know work from borrowers’ submissions of tax returns, pay stubs and a personal financial statement. The average mitigator has 150-180 files going at any one time, so the opportunities for independent, in-depth due diligence are limited.

    I’ve dealt twice now with short sales in which the borrower equity-stripped one property to buy his next. Both short sales were approved.

  115. freedy says:

    seems to me banks don’t want the keys.
    what are they going to do with the properties?


  116. Schumpeter says:

    freedy (119)-

    Bank walkaways. Hot new trend.

    In places like Buffalo and Detroit, the courts will force walkaway banks into foreclosing on problem properties and maintaining them.

  117. Stu says:

    “seems to me banks don’t want the keys.
    what are they going to do with the properties?”

    Wait…just like everyone else. After all, the gubmints got their back!

    Moral hazard. What’s that?

    Dow 10,000 baby!

  118. plg says:

    I see a lot of complaints on here over property taxes in NJ. Yes property taxes are higher here than almost anywhere. The problem is, I would argue, even at current rates taxes are not necessarily too high. They are NOT driving people out of the State as people often suggest. The price of homes in NJ are as high or higher than neighboring states despite the steep property taxes. One would assume if taxes were too high it would eat into the demand for houses pushing down the price, but that has not happened in NJ. People are willing to pay a steep price for home, even with a high property tax payments.

    This tells me that in return for those taxes residents get superior services such as schools, transportation, infrastructure and jobs such that, even despite those high taxes, they are still willin to pay a premium for the house itself.

    Am I wrong here?

  119. Stu says:

    10:35AM Moody’s reports US commercial real estate prices resume steep declines in July : Commercial real estate prices as measured by Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Indices (CPPI) renewed its steep declines and low transaction volume in July, Moody’s Investors Service reports. The CPPI was down 5.1% from June after having declined by only 1% the prior month. It is now 30.8% below what it was a year earlier and 38.7% below the peak measured in October of 2007. Overall market transaction volume continued the pattern of calendar 2009. “The market has averaged about 375 sales per month for the seven months in 2009,” said Moody’s Managing Director Nick Levidy. “Over the same time period in 2008, sales were averaging nearly 1,100 a month.”

  120. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    The Ocean Club –

    Nice place, right on the beach. Tell them you’ve stayed there before, they give a discount for returning guests. I don’t even think they check their records.

    You’re right….there is no easy way to get down there. I quess that’s what prevented it from becoming Seaside Heights.

  121. Stu says:

    Schumpy: (123)

    I smell what you’re smelling too.

  122. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [103] stu,

    Well, I did say that this is an election where the loser gets to be governor!

    Were I Christie, I would file 204(h) notices on day one and listen to the public workers howl. Then, if it is permitted for a state, I would put them all into distress terminations.

    It would be total hardball, nuclear war, but it would likely force the unions to the table, because if Christie is willing to fall on his sword at the next election, I can see where the voters won’t take kindly to Business As Usual pols trying to reinstate those fat pensions. Thus, the fallout could be huge, it would set up Christie for higher office, and the unions and dems may not want to risk it.

  123. Veto That says:

    “if taxes were too high it would eat into the demand for houses pushing down the price, but that has not happened in NJ. People are willing to pay a steep price for home, even with a high property tax payments.”

    Prices have not come down in NJ?
    This does not sound true at all.

    Property Taxes are not high here?

  124. BeachBum says:

    Stu – say it ain’t so – even in Red Bank??
    I’ve been driving around that area for years asking myself how people live like they do there. How can that many people flaunt that much money? Clearly it isn’t possible.
    I actually went into Tiffany’s on Broad Street a year ago, ready to spend some serious cash and there was not a thing in the store that I wanted! An economy like that can’t last!

    I think the prices in RB have come down, but the shore twons are still lagging…

  125. Sean says:

    I drove through Red bank yesterday and they had some kind of Restaurant crawl or “taste of” event going on Sunday, when they start doing stuff like that things cannot be all that great for the small businesses in town.

  126. BeachBum says:

    Although that makes for nice events in town – my mom goes to the cruising with the oldies nights, and the jazz fests and there’s something else in the fall, but I can’t remember it. They really have a good time.
    Sorry about all the store fronts being out, but they also need to sell what people want/need. How many restaurants/cosmetics shops can one strip with no parking support?

  127. Veto That says:

    “taste of”

    Sean, my opinion… although tacky, i dont see these as a sign of economic weakness.

    Most of the time you get ymca or chamber of commerce doing this as a no-overhead fund raiser and it gets pitched to the restaurants as a way to advertise.

    Even in Hoboken at peak of economy they did these faithfully.

  128. BC Bob says:

    After I heard Red Hot Red Bank for the umpteenth time, I put the for sale sign in the ground.

  129. Schumpeter says:

    BC (134)-

    I know that the real reason you sold is because Jay and Silent Bob told you to do it.

  130. Schumpeter says:

    How does that guy Kevin Smith keep riding that one trick pony?

    I heard Silent Bob doesn’t even smoke dope anymore.

  131. Sean says:

    Let me hear you sing it!

    Happy days are here again The skies above are clear again Let us sing a …


  132. John says:

    Red Hot Redbank? Went to a wedding there once on the water at some catering hall. Nice enough place. Kept think God this is the middle of nowhere. Yea it was close to beach but nine months out of year so what, had little tiny artsy fartsy downtown and that was about it.

  133. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    September 21, 2009 at 2:24 pm
    After I heard Red Hot Red Bank for the umpteenth time, I put the for sale sign in the ground.

    Bost: I was walking past the new storefront where they are refurbishing it to be an organic and gluten-free pizza place. I walked up to some woman that appeared to be an owner/manager. I asked her what was going in here…she said “Pizza Fusion” all-proud…..making a joke I said..”…you are going to build a nuclear reactor fueled by pizza?” I swear if she was Uma Thurman, she would have gone all-Kill Bill on me…..kind of just walked away….

  134. Nicholas says:

    My home office is based out of Red Bank, NJ.

    It seems a nice enough place to visit.


  135. John says:

    Price Target Research upgrades M B I A INC from POSITIVE to STRONG POSITIVE.BY Investars Analyst Actions
    — 07:15 AM ET 09/21/2009

    Ha Ha!!! So this is a new one. A company with a strong buy on their stock while their is a strong sell on their bonds. Me thinks someone is confused.

  136. John says:

    I always wondered why your emails took so long to reach NY.

    Nicholas says:
    September 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm
    My home office is based out of Red Bank, NJ.

    It seems a nice enough place to visit.


  137. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: Honestly, not to piss off the NNJ’ers here, but the Red Bank area is probably one of the better parts of NJ, because you are already at the Shore, and you are as close to Manhattan as many places in NNJ.

    If you pick the right towns, you really do not have to deal with traffic/crap. One drawback is that it has a very Westfield-esque oasis feel about some of the nice parts. Some places are really scenic or tranquil, but they can be surrounded by endless schlock. Not bad areas, but places that would do well to be swallowed by the sea.

  138. Mrdenis says:

    Taxes aren’t high in New Jersey ???try living in Little Silver taxes 28 years ago 2,100. today over 25K .with very few improvements

  139. chicagofinance says:

    Nicholas says:
    September 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm
    My home office is based out of Red Bank, NJ. It seems a nice enough place to visit.

    Nikos: I just went to Cardner’s to get a haircut. I was walking behind two older ladies that seemed to be up from Florida or something. They were walking in there as if they hadn’t been in the area in about 30 years. One said to the other “…did you really know Rocky at all?” the other said “..know him? I wrecked his car…” :)

  140. John says:

    Why is redbank so expensive when the mediam income is so low?

    The median income for a household in the borough was $47,282, and the median income for a family was $63,333. Males had a median income of $45,922 versus $34,231 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,265. About 6.3% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

  141. scribe says:

    Stu …

    What is this?

    plastic instrument collection

  142. Stu says:

    I did some snooping on my Red Bank friends thanks to the thorough Monmouth online databases.

    They bought the joint in 2004 for 390K, after having made well over 100K on their former POS cape.

    They took out two loans for the purchase. 316K 30-year + a 59K 15-year.

    In 2007, they refinanced into a 359K 30-year + a 42K 7-year.

    In 2008, they refinanced into a 416K 30-year + a 36K 5-year.

    So to sum it up. After making 100K off of their prior home, they somehow needed to finance fully their new 390K home.

    Today they owe 415 K on their 29-year, and probably about 30K on a 4 year.

    I Zillowed and Cyberhomed their property and it is worth either 340K or 406K.

    Husband makes decent money too! They are a perfect example of why credit in the hands of those who abuse is a recipe for disaster.

    Somehow they are 105K underwater after making 100K just 5 years earlier.

    WOW that’s a lot of Starbucks coffee and high tech gadgets!

  143. Stu says:

    “plastic instrument collection”

    Scribe…think rockband/guitar hero.

    Gotta have the drums, now I need the bass, and the keyboard, plus the mic…there goes the home!

  144. Sean says:

    John – Red Bank > Babylon Village

  145. d2b says:

    Anybody playing with Windows 7?

  146. Methinks John is Massapequa all the way.

    Massapequa, as in Buttafuoco.

  147. HN308 says:

    Any Attorney recommendation from the board? My offer on a REO in Rockland county, NY has been accepted.

    I need an attorney who specializes in dealing with the bank selling their REO’s.

    All suggestions are appreciated.

  148. NJGator says:

    Can someone with GSMLS access please give me the status of 2696930 (105 Hawthorne) in Glen Ridge? Is it UC, Sold or Withdrawn?

  149. Stu says:

    Me thinks John is Freeport.

  150. Veto That says:

    Junk Bond Buying Starting to Become ‘Ridiculous,’ Citigroup Says

    Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) — Investors are buying bonds from the lowest credit-quality issuers without restraint, according to Citigroup Inc.

    “These are the kinds of dynamics that cause strategists to wake up in the middle of the night and go for a long run,” the New York-based analysts wrote. “We understand investors are not supposed to fight the cash, but this is starting to become a bit ridiculous.”


  151. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    John, about Red Bank –

    Red Bank is the classic definition of a 2-tier market as far as the median incomes go.

    East of the Railroad Station is for the high-earners. On the West-side…let’s just say it’s the “Other Side of the Tracks”

  152. stan says:

    john is either syosset or plainview. without a doubt

  153. Essex says:

    94. I suppose congratulations are in order. That is unless your bonus was TarP/TalF money and in that case i hope that they claw back every dime and send and the missus packing.

  154. Essex says:

    John is Bayonne all the way.

  155. Essex says:

    Nuking public pensions would be interesting here in NJ. I would say that you would see a pretty dramatic spike in crime once the police decided to take a month off and the teachers closed the high schools….could be fun though. Right?

  156. scribe says:


    I was thinking of medical instruments .. :)

    One in particular :)

    It would be a John-like thought

  157. jon says:

    can anyone give me any info on njmls# 2930575

  158. John says:

    I agree!!!! JC AMR is doing a nots offering. Two weeks ago in secondary you could buy 10% coupon 10 year AMR bonds for 35 cents on the dollar. That is like yikes I am defaulting any day now. Now they are doing a bond issuance. What’s next is CIT going to do a bond deal.

    Funny part secondary is not too coo coo crazy but who is buying 100 million new issues of junk at under 8%, the nuts are.

    High-Yield Bond Buying Starting to Get ‘Ridiculous’ (Update1)

  159. John says:

    Close, Laurel Hollow.

    stan says:
    September 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm
    john is either syosset or plainview. without a doubt

  160. Veto That says:

    This is a good deal in Lawrenceville…
    Must be a foreclosure. I hope we see more of them.

    4 bed/3.5 bath
    Sold July 2006 for $515K
    Asking price today: $285K


  161. John says:

    Veto, look at how fast it went up, these dogs I bought are up between 78% and 141%. Most Genworth bonds were trading at 35 cents on dollar not long ago and now they are trading around 95 cents on a dollar. Not that much has changed.

    XL 03/19/2009 $0.55 78.69% Short

    GNW 12/29/2008 $0.35 141.74% Short

    UIS 02/03/2009 $0.38 130.61% Short

    HIG 03/23/2009 $0.50 88.54% Short

  162. NJGator says:

    Clot – There’s someone else who loves your GG minxes:

    Peter Braunstein Loves Gossip Girl

    What do you do if you’re a former fashion writer serving 18-to-life in prison for dr*gging, and s*xually as*aulting a former colleague of yours for 13 hours one crazy Halloween? Write lengthy missives to the New York Post, obviously.

    Because, you know, they will publish them! Or selections from them anyway. No one wants to transcribe all seven handwritten pages of crazy.

    Yes, Peter Braunstein, Woman’s Wear Daily writer turned lunatic fugitive turned suicidal inmate, loves Gossip Girl. Why wouldn’t he?

    “There’s another incentive or two for staying in the game, namely, Season 3 of ‘Gossip Girl,’ ” says the suicidal, stir-crazy s*x fiend in a seven-page, handwritten letter to The Post.

    “But still I ask myself: Sure, it’s probably going to be great, but is ‘Gossip Girl’ in and of itself reason enough to stay alive? We’ll see.”


  163. John says:

    scribe says:
    I am thinking more like weeds when the brother-in-law was dating the rabbi.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I was thinking of medical instruments .. :)

    One in particular :)

    It would be a John-like thought

  164. ruggles says:

    166 – but how loud is the highway? that’s close to where we get pizza.

  165. make money says:

    right out the Stalin playbook…bail out and control/manipulate the media…we deserve everything that’s coming.

    President Obama has stated that he is happy to consider bailing out the corporate media, expressing concerns that alternative internet based news outlets will grow in popularity as a result of the downfall of newspapers.

    Obama told editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade that preserving the print media is “critical to the health of our democracy”.


  166. Essex says:

    All I need to know I hear on Faux Newz.

  167. Barbara says:

    I heard that Obama want to control the air too through environmental standards…..HE’S A WIZARD!!

  168. Sean says:

    re: #171 – Calm down already the average shmoe watches TV 5 hours a day and does not read the newspaper.

  169. Essex says:

    I heard he wants all wimmen over 50 to get hysterectomies as well Barb.Lookout.

  170. Barbara says:

    Essex, I’m saving my womb for Glen Beck!

  171. Essex says:

    Sweet!! To quote chifunass — I wanna watch!

  172. Barbara says:

    speaking of glen beck, I just got that Time. It looks like they either highlighted his hair or the light of Jesus is shinning behind his head.

  173. Essex says:

    Maybe he is courting conservative metrosexuals now.

  174. Essex says:

    Bank of America misses their noon deadline. Looks like we are going to have to raise their interest rate to 29.9%.

  175. NJdroppingtheball says:

    so time to buy or no…

  176. Mrdenis says:

    Just look at the surrounding towns by Red Bank Rumson ,Fair Haven ,Little Silver …Navesink ….Springsteen Mickey Gooch ,Bon Jovi,Hovnanian

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