Housing starts give mixed signals about recovery

From the AP:

Meltdown 101: Housing starts show industry’s woes

Housing construction is crawling out of its very deep hole, but no one expects it to reach the heights hit before the housing bubble burst — at least not for a very long time.

The Commerce Department released its monthly report on housing starts Tuesday, saying they increased in September by a modest 0.5 percent to an annual rate of 590,000 new homes and apartments. Applications for new building permits, however, fell by 1.2 percent to an annual rate of 573,000 units.

Here are some questions and answers about the housing starts report and what it says about the state of housing and the overall economy.

Q: What has been happening to housing starts?

A: They have been on a wild roller-coaster ride.

They surged into the stratosphere during the housing boom in the middle of the decade as cheap credit propelled sales of both new and existing homes to record levels for five straight years. To meet demand, builders ramped up production, pushing construction starts to 2.07 million units in 2005, close to the all-time high for housing starts of 2.36 million new homes and apartments constructed in 1972.

Q: What happened after 2005?

A: Housing has been in a painful, prolonged slump. Housing starts hit an all-time low this past April of 479,000 units at an annual rate, 79 percent below the peak month during the boom years. Since April, however, housing construction has staged a modest rebound, rising in four of the past five months, including the 0.5 percent gain in September that was reported Tuesday.

Q: So is that good?

A: Well it is certainly better than the plunge in construction that occurred over the past 3 1/2 years. The downturn in housing, accompanied by rising mortgage defaults, helped trigger the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression and pushed the country into its longest recession in seven decades.

A rebound in housing is needed to help support overall economic growth — both directly, through the money spent to build new homes, and indirectly, through the support increases in home sales provide to related industries such as appliance makers and furniture stores.

Q: What do economists expect will happen in coming months?

A: The September housing starts report gave some mixed signals. Housing starts did rise but the report showed that permits for new construction fell for the second month out of the past three. And analysts closely follow building permits as a good indication of future activity.

Analysts suspect that the September permit decline was a payback from a jump in applications earlier in the summer, as builders rushed to get projects started in time to take advantage of the government’s $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. That program is scheduled to end Nov. 30.

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146 Responses to Housing starts give mixed signals about recovery

  1. confused in NJ says:

    Good article

  2. Schumpeter says:

    No doubt the 8K tax credit will be expanded and extended. When it does finally expire, lookout below.

    It is nothing more than a giant cash-for-clunkers, sucking in dopes and sucking in future demand.

  3. Schumpeter says:

    So today, we are one day closer to oblivion.

  4. BklynHawk says:

    I agree with Zandi’s statement at the end of the article. Not exactly sure about that with the 1.5 million number.

  5. crossroads says:

    “The downturn in housing, accompanied by rising mortgage defaults, helped trigger the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression and pushed the country into its longest recession in seven decades.”

    shouldn’t it be the UPturn in housing??? maybe if the gvt. used a reverse strategy and tried to keep house prices low we wouldn’t be here. isn’t the feds mandate to fight inflation? which is what I consider house prices running up %100.

  6. grim says:

    From Gawker:

    Tipster: Six Layoffs at Bon Appetit

    Conde Nast folded Gourmet and spared Bon Appetit. But Bon App didn’t make it out totally unscathed. We hear their layoffs came down today.

    A tipster tells us that Bon Appetit cut six editorial positions today—”One from every department – edit, art, food, copy, research, photo.”

  7. grim says:

    From Philly.com:

    Full-time enrollment soars at NJ’s 2-year colleges

    Full-time enrollment at New Jersey community colleges has risen by a record 12 percent this year.

    That’s the finding of a report released this week by the state Council of County Colleges.

    Nearly 97,000 full-time students are now enrolled at the 19 community colleges.

    Educators say some of the increase is due to the economy. Jobs are hard to come by, and community colleges are a logical choice for cost-conscious students and people retraining for new jobs.

  8. grim says:

    From the Press of Atlantic City:

    Jobless rate edges up across region in Sept.

    Unemployment in southern New Jersey counties mostly edged up in September, which was expected due to seasonal jobs ending.

    But jobless rates remained substantially higher than a year ago – in Atlantic County, 77 percent higher, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    Atlantic County’s jobless rate was 12.2 percent in September, up from 11.8 percent in August and from 6.9 percent the previous year. The state said 16,800 workers were unemployed in the county last month.

    Cape May County’s rate increased to 8.5 percent in September from 7.5 percent in August, and from 5.5 percent the year before. Ocean County saw a similar increase, from 9.1 percent to 9.6 percent in the month, and from 6 percent the year prior.

    The monthly jobless rate fell slightly in Cumberland County, to 12.6 percent from 12.7 percent. Last year, the rate for September was 8 percent.

  9. Schumpeter says:

    Raritan Valley Community College is so overcrowded, they’ve had to turn open fields into parking lots.

    6,000 students now…and tons of kids there who’ve done 1-2 years at Ivies and other top-tier schools.

  10. confused in NJ says:

    Interesting that the FDA requires Warnings on Drugs concerning side effects, but does not require drug companies to figure out the causes and implications, or improve drug to eliminate them. One has to assume profit trumps health. Classic examples are Asthma drugs that may cause Asthma relate Death, Anti Depression drugs that may cause Suicide, Birth Control Pills which 60 years after development still cause blood clots?

  11. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    That Frontline episode last night was very good. Too bad it’s not broadcast on every network. Geithner and Summers deserve to be run out of DC to the gallows. Why would anybody take ecomonic advice from these douchebags?

  12. #7 – There were also cuts at Wired (not in NY, I know). There’s increasing talk about Conde’s ability to continue in its present form.

  13. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Twenty-Two Reasons Why this Recession is Different and Why it Will Endure

    I find it surprising that I’m now getting inquiries from readers, asking if “we’ve reached bottom” in the current economic recession, and asking if the time has come to start buying stocks or residential real estate. It seems that the talking heads of mainstream media are using some sort of voodoo. How can anyone think that we’ve hit bottom, and an economic recovery is in progress? To dispel the myths from the CNBC Cheering Section, please consider the following. (And note that I’ve provided references for each assertion, just so you know that I’m not talking out of my camouflage hat.):

    1.A broken global credit market that has not fully recovered. See: After Lehman, U.S. firms adjust to new face of credit
    2.Lack of transparency in Mortgage-Backed Securities and other re-packaged debt instruments. See: Geithner Blames Lack of Transparency for OTC Derivatives Hit on Market.
    3.The increasing Federal debt, which is growing at an unprecedented rate. See: The National Debt Clock.
    4.Mountains of consumer and corporate debt. See: Observations on the US Debt.
    5.The Federal budget deficit. See: Federal Deficit Hits All-Time High of $1.42 Trillion.
    6.Ever-expanding bailouts. (I call this The MOAB.) See: As More Companies Seek Aid, ‘Where Do You Stop?’
    7.Monetization of the National Debt. See: Fed Could Expand MBS Purchases. (Can you spell Oroborus?):
    8.The destruction of the American consumer economy. (It had been artificially credit-driven). See: A Year After The Crisis, The Consumer Economy Is Dead.
    9.Chronic unemployment, possibly much higher than officially reported. See: Alternate Data at ShadowStats.
    10.More than $500 Billion USD in hedge funds that have borrowed short and lent long. See: Assets invested in hedge funds increase by $100bn
    11.A double wave of residential mortgage rate resets. See: this chart of scheduled mortgage interest rate resets.
    12.Continued down-ratcheting of house prices. See: Housing Prices Will Continue to Fall, Especially in California
    13.The under-reported “shadow inventory” of foreclosed houses. See: The “Shadow” Foreclosure Inventory
    14.The very likely collapse of commercial real estate (“the other shoe to drop”.) See: Is a commercial real estate bust inevitable?
    15.A huge crisis lurking in over-the-counter derivatives. See my analysis published in 2006 and the dozens of articles on the Derivative Dribble Blog.
    16.Under-funded pensions. See: Almost half of top unions have under funded pension plans.
    17.A coming wave of municipal bond and municipal bond hedge fund failures. See: The Failure of Leveraged Municipal Bond Hedge Funds.
    18.Increasing numbers of bank failures. See: FDIC: Bank Failures to Cost Around $100 Billion.
    19.Insurance company collapses–some, like AIG, were foolish enough to insure more than a trillion dollars in derivative contracts. See: AIG: Is the Risk Systemic?
    20.Worsening state, county, and city budget crises. See: State prepares for shutdown as budget deadline looms, and this article from a liberal site: Predicting Worse Ahead from America’s Economic Crisis.
    21.Loss of faith in the US Dollar, on the FOREX. See: Dollar’s reserve currency status in focus as G-7 finance ministers meet.
    22.The coming mass currency inflation, following some asset deflation. See: Which is more likely in 2010: Deflation or inflation?

    http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/10/twentytwo_reasons_why_this_rec.html

  14. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/opinion/20herbert.html?_r=1&em

    [snip]
    We’ve spent the last few decades shoveling money at the rich like there was no tomorrow. We abandoned the poor, put an economic stranglehold on the middle class and all but bankrupted the federal government — while giving the banks and megacorporations and the rest of the swells at the top of the economic pyramid just about everything they’ve wanted.

    And we still don’t seem to have learned the proper lessons. We’ve allowed so many people to fall into the terrible abyss of unemployment that no one — not the Obama administration, not the labor unions and most certainly no one in the Republican Party — has a clue about how to put them back to work.

    Meanwhile, Wall Street is living it up. I’m amazed at how passive the population has remained in the face of this sustained outrage.

    Even as tens of millions of working Americans are struggling to hang onto their jobs and keep a roof over their families’ heads, the wise guys of Wall Street are licking their fat-cat chops over yet another round of obscene multibillion-dollar bonuses — this time thanks to the bailout billions that were sent their way by Uncle Sam, with very little in the way of strings attached.

    Nevermind that the economy remains deeply troubled. As The Times pointed out on Saturday, much of Wall Street “is minting money.”

    Call it déjà voodoo. I wrote a column that ran three days before Christmas in 2007 that focused on the deeply disturbing disconnect between Wall Streeters harvesting a record crop of bonuses — billions on top of billions — while working families were having a very hard time making ends meet.

    We would later learn that December 2007 was the very month that the Great Recession began. I wrote in that column: “Even as the Wall Streeters are high-fiving and ordering up record shipments of Champagne and caviar, the American dream is on life support.”

    So we had an orgy of bonuses just as the recession was taking hold and now another orgy (with taxpayers as the enablers) that is nothing short of an arrogantly pointed finger in the eye of everyone who suffered, and continues to suffer, in this downturn.

    Whether P.T. Barnum actually said it or not, there is a sucker born every minute. American taxpayers might want to take a look in the mirror. If the epithet fits…

    [snip]

  15. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I will not be the least bit surprised if some unemployed guy snaps and goes bonkers on a bank HQ or gets caught planning something similar. I do not condone such action but I won’t be surprised.

  16. Shore Guy says:

    HEHE,

    I am amazed it has not already happened.

  17. Schumpeter says:

    The people who move on banks will not be your usual disaffected “loner” types.

    They will be ordinary folk. And they will come in numbers.

  18. Shore Guy says:

    Teller to the platform: “The customers are revolting”

    Platform: “Don’t look at them.”

  19. John says:

    Hate to say it folks, but the tony BC, CT, and LI towns that bankers like to live in had their bottom in march. Bonus season is back and try explaining to your wife why you are waiting to trade up with a million bonus check in your hand is a tough sell. Hampton homes are moving too. The starter home crap boxes going for a few hundred thousand with high unemployment and the expiring 8k credit are going down a lot more

  20. BeachBum says:

    The events of the day remind me of the LaFontaine/Aesop fable of the frog and the scorpion: the frog comes up to the stream and sees a scorpion sitting on a rock. The scorpion says, Oh Mr Frog, you are so strong and swim so well, please carry me to the other side.
    The frog says, No, I can’t do that because you’ll bite me and I’ll drown.
    The scorpion says “Mr Frog! Of course I would not do that, because you are so strong and are doing me a favor. Besides, if I bite you and you drown, I will drown too, so of course I won’t bite you. Please bring me across, it will be good for both of us.”
    The frog considers this and decides that it is logical, so he allows the scorpion onto his back and starts swimming across the stream.
    All of a sudden, he feels a pinch on his back and his legs start to give out.
    He turns and with his last breath says “Why did you do that? Now we both will drown.”
    And the scorpion answers “Because it is in my nature.”
    We all must remember and insist that our elected officials remember that no one goes against their nature.
    The bankers will not, and therefore strings must be put on every penny ever given. Humans generally will not, so we must be subject to oversight and enforcement. The administration has to start hauling in ciminals – and not just on insider trading, but on simple theft. And they need to start doing it soon.

  21. Shore Guy says:

    Beach,

    My favorite telling of that fable was done by Forrest Whitaker.

  22. Shore Guy says:

    “The administration has to start hauling in ciminals – and not just on insider trading, but on simple theft. And they need to start doing it soon.”

    A knucklehead who robs a 7-11 and gets $37 faces more and harder jail time than a guy in a suit who steals $500,000 or more. There is something very wrong with that and it fails to provide sufficient disincentives to improper behavior.

  23. NJCoast says:

    John-

    Spring Lake too.

    14 houses currently Under Contract

    1 at $699,000
    5 at $999,000-$1,999,000
    6 at $2,000,000-$2,999,000
    1 at $4,999,000
    1 at $6,999,900

  24. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Didn’t you mention something about this a few weeks ago?

    http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/topstocks/?fpn=citibank%20yanks%20mastercards&gt1=33009

    “Could banks have any less respect for their customers?

    Citibank (C) has begun closing customers’ accounts without telling them. That’s a bitter surprise for some people who pull out their cards to make a purchase, only to learn that the card has been denied.”

    [snip]

  25. BeachBum says:

    NJC – don’t tell me that! I am still waiting for the sweet spot in Belmar/Bradley (although maybe that’s the lower band and not the million dollar bonus babes)…

  26. Shore Guy says:

    NJC,

    But that charming little lake place in SL tht just stole my heart is not sold yet, so there is still an opportunity for the Shores to live their dream.

  27. Shore Guy says:

    Beach,

    The upper crust has and will continue to have the assets to buy in the “exclusive” places, and to pay enough to keep out the riff raff who bring in less than $ 1mm s year. Nice places like Avon, and decent places like Belmar, and partly okay places like Bradley exist in a world of “real economics,” and will decline as time goes on.

  28. db says:

    Shore Guy , is that a little yellow cape?

  29. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    John,

    Can’t argue with you. Only thing holding it back is the number of people recieving the bonus checks is less than years past. Likely going to be a year to year phenomenon going forward absent some sort of unforeseen development creating economic growth. I personally don’t see Wall Street havin the same performance next year.

  30. Etomology says:

    From French, “a loud discharge of intestinal gas,”

  31. Shore Guy says:

    Cape? No, I never wear a cape. Well, only on special occasions, but never yellow.

  32. Cindy says:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/63941-democrats-lock-republicans-out-of-committee-room?page=1#comments

    Shore – BeachBum – They can’t even get the Countrywide VIP deals out in the open…

    “For months Towns has refused Republican requests to subpoena records in the case.”

  33. John says:

    Wall Street is back baby, playas never lost job. Yea a pretty girl or two, overpaid clerks and people over 50 got canned. But bottom line the stars betwen 30-50 are going to make record bonuses and they buy houses. The guy who took an early retirement package or the hot single girl in IB weren’t buying the trade up houses. The margin clerk making 150K may have bought a timeshare, caddie, disney world trip and a plasma when time were good but he wasn’t buying no million dollar home. My hot hot hot friend from GS with the smoking hot body who got let go at GS is on to plan B. Forget the MBA she is looking for the MRS and one or two C-level divorced guys she is dating are in the running for a new trophy wife. I feel bad for the clerks and people in their 50’s who got canned as they will never get another job like that, the smoking hot girls will just have to trade making their money in the boardroom to making their money in the bedroom, but hey if you are on the wrong side of 30 it was going to happen pretty soon anyhow.

  34. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I have a new hero, rather heroine.

    Last night’s Frontline showed a gutsy Brooksley Born standing up to the Troika of Greenspan, Rubin & Sommers. Those godless bastids put her through the wringer in a closed door meeting when she wanted to regulate the OTC Derivative market, which at the time was a multi-trillion dollar snake pit.

    To watch her stand up to these gangsters who wanted no regulation at all was an eye-opener. And then, just six weeks after they effectively shut her office down….the feces hit the fan with the LTCM collapse. A portent of things to come.

    And guess who holds high positions as O’bama Financial Advisors ??? If you said Sommers and Rubin, you can collect your prize at the door.

    That Frontline episode may be repeated over the weekend. I heartily suggest you find the broadcast time & watch it. Preferrably with your children….since they are the ones who will be paying for these excesses for years to come.

  35. Cindy says:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/

    Fiddy – Full program online – podcast

    Hope it works…

  36. Shore Guy says:

    BEach,

    This place does nothing for me but, it is on the correct (beach) side of Main Street, it is in the north side of town, and is an easy walk to Main Street, and the train. Prices are starting to drop and with continued pressure, I suspect, will a fair bit more:

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/605-8Th-Ave_Belmar_NJ_07719_1103344387

  37. 3b says:

    #20 We have been through this over and over, and yet you still prattle on. Most of these high paid bankers already have a house in these towns.

  38. Shore Guy says:

    Remember, we don’t need a strong and broad manufacturing sector, we have aerospace:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hBKMe6zlY6CcgsyR4T2hMvwcttmwD9BFFUM00

  39. Shore Guy says:

    In the category of, one just cannot make up these things:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-marina-death17-2009oct17,0,3558556.story

    “Neighbors thought dead man’s body was part of Halloween display
    The body of Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed, 75, an apparent suicide, sat decomposing on his Marina del Rey balcony for days because neighbors thought the lifeless figure was a dummy and didn’t call police.”

    [snip]

  40. BeachBum says:

    Shore – for some reason the links to that site don’t work for me. Actually 8th Avenue raises questions for me. Last summer my sister, Mom and I were riding around looking at houses from the car. We ride by this place on 8th – a corner lot, and this guy is walking along. He tells us to slow down, we think maybe he lives there and is going to offer to show us the place. Instead his says “Don’t buy a house here – this is a sh1t house, and this is a sh1t street” so I ask why – and he says because all the bennies come off the bridge and drive down 8th Ave to the beach so the street is full of traffic and bennies. Then he tells me “Look in Wall – ya gotta look in Wall – twice the house for half the money and only 20 minutes from the beach”.
    We laughed all afternoon about the exchange. But now I wonder: is 8th Ave a sh1t street??

  41. Shore Guy says:

    Beach,

    Or he just wants to keep things all to himself. I lived in Belmar for years and don’t recall 8th as being bad. Streets like 10th and 16th were busy, but I can’t speak to 8th.

  42. Shore Guy says:

    Perhaps NJC has different memories of it.

  43. meter says:

    “The events of the day remind me of the LaFontaine/Aesop fable of the frog and the scorpion: the frog comes up to the stream and sees a scorpion sitting on a rock. The scorpion says, Oh Mr Frog, you are so strong and swim so well, please carry me to the other side.
    The frog says, No, I can’t do that because you’ll bite me and I’ll drown.
    The scorpion says “Mr Frog! Of course I would not do that, because you are so strong and are doing me a favor. Besides, if I bite you and you drown, I will drown too, so of course I won’t bite you. Please bring me across, it will be good for both of us.”
    The frog considers this and decides that it is logical, so he allows the scorpion onto his back and starts swimming across the stream.
    All of a sudden, he feels a pinch on his back and his legs start to give out.
    He turns and with his last breath says “Why did you do that? Now we both will drown.”
    And the scorpion answers “Because it is in my nature.”
    We all must remember and insist that our elected officials remember that no one goes against their nature.
    The bankers will not, and therefore strings must be put on every penny ever given. Humans generally will not, so we must be subject to oversight and enforcement. The administration has to start hauling in ciminals – and not just on insider trading, but on simple theft. And they need to start doing it soon.”

    —–

    Great analogy. They are raping the system but in doing so are taking the whole thing down (the US dollar and in time the American way of life.)

  44. hughesrep says:

    42

    Eighth Ave gets the eastbound 10th Ave overflow, especially since they changed the light there a few years ago. Eighth also gets all the 1st through 6th traffic funneled to it going west from the beach.

  45. Seneca says:

    Housing Market Has Bottomed, Banking Analyst Bove Says

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/33411724

    “The biggest problem that banks have faced was the fall in the housing market, and this seems to have bottomed, Rochdale Securities banking analyst Richard Bove told CNBC.

    “I really believe that the industry has bottomed, that we’re not going to see further crashes in home prices or in home sales,” Bove told “Squawk Box.” “

  46. Danzud says:

    Maybe we need to keep a running housing idiots list and add people to it. Could have started earlier but Bove is at the top not for being the best but just because we have to start somewhere….

  47. #48 – That could be fun. I’d like to add David Lereah and Casey Serin to the top 5.

    Also, I think Dick Bove is usually refered to as “woodland creature Dick Bove” or “timid furry Dick Bove”, at least he is on dealbreaker.

  48. Secondary Market says:

    Veto, you around? I recall you asking about banks and rates recently. I just locked @ 5% w/ Gateway Funding (Horsham PA). I worked with them when I was buying distressed assets and they were a very bad client. Which is part of the reason I chose to get a loan there. I think they recently acquired an Alt-A shop about a year ago but my loan will be long gone and transferred before that catches up to them.

  49. Here 4 Now says:

    #34 John: “The margin clerk making 150K may have bought a timeshare, caddie, disney world trip and a plasma when time were good but he wasn’t buying no million dollar home.”

    Oh yeah? Why not? We had people making 30K buying 400K homes, so I’m not convinced that margin clerks making 150K weren’t responsible for buying some of those million dollar homes during the bubble. That was the whole problem.

    Those days are over.

  50. HEHEHE says:

    Politicians use taxpayer money to bailout banks.

    Banks pay big bonuses after being bailed out by politicians.

    Bankers pay $30K a plate towards politicians.

    http://dealbreaker.com/2009/10/30400-buys-wall-street-a-three.php

  51. Sean says:

    re #20 – John re: “Hampton homes are moving too.”

    John the only place they are moving is onto a Lis Pendens filing and furniture out on the street. There are hundreds of East end homes in forclosure, and I am not talking the Blue Collar 3 Bedrooms on the Bay.

    https://www.lirealestatereport.com/LIRERBlog/

  52. 3b says:

    #53 And most of the margin clerks John mentions have been redundant for years. For a guy who is in the business, he knows very little as far as the dynamics. He is lost in the 80’s.

  53. Seneca says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/33398833

    Diana Olick ruminating that the home buyer tax credit is not a done deal. Latest push is for extension through first half of 2010 and expansion to HH income up to $300,000.

    IMO, there is no way this is not extended and the debate over how much longer is irrelevant as we can just extend 6 months at a time for years. The issue of what income levels should be allowed to take advantage should be a source of folly. I don’t see the gubmint allowing the housing stats to fall off like we saw in autos post CFC.

  54. Schumpeter says:

    John (20)-

    How quaint it is to see that you believe you and your ilk are somehow insulated from the bloodbath that is coming.

    No one will be spared. No one.

    “Hate to say it folks, but the tony BC, CT, and LI towns that bankers like to live in had their bottom in march. Bonus season is back and try explaining to your wife why you are waiting to trade up with a million bonus check in your hand is a tough sell.”

  55. Schumpeter says:

    Fiddy (35)-

    My kids ain’t paying jack shit for any of the “excesses” of the past few years.

    You can make book on that.

  56. Schumpeter says:

    …nor will my kids be drafted when the inevitable war is declared.

  57. Schumpeter says:

    Shore (40)-

    Just another example of how life imitates “Weekend at Bernie’s”.

  58. HEHEHE says:

    May I ask a question, is the $8K tax credit really moving real estate on the coasts or in any major city?

  59. Jim says:

    That fable with the frog and scorpion is telling. I relate it to BO jumping on the backs of the American people and getting elected. Now that we are in deep water he is inserting the stinger. However it is his nature and he will continue to pull the US economy into ruin.

  60. Seneca says:

    HEHEHE [61]

    There are plenty of towns in the tri-state area that offer homes in the $200-$350k price range. 3% off the overall cost of a house makes a big difference to many.

    Its not driving Short Hills and Rumson markets, government bailout money is handling things there.

    All bases are covered.

  61. Bronx Bomber says:

    steve phillips never could pick ’em when he was the GM of the mets, either

    http://tiny.cc/Y30Xj

    anyone selling yankees world series tickets?

  62. HEHEHE says:

    “There are plenty of towns in the tri-state area that offer homes in the $200-$350k price range.”

    Patterson? Newark?

  63. Seneca says:

    You can buy a decent home in Rahway, Linden, Roselle, even Cranford at the high end of that range.

    Not everyone aspires to get into Brigadoon. For many, its enough to get out of Irvington and into a slightly below average school district that is somewhat safer, or, live in a very small home in a slightly above average town.

  64. John says:

    Brigadoon is a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.

    It tells the story of a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years, though to the villagers, the passing of each century seems no longer than one night. The enchantment is viewed by them as a blessing rather than a curse, for it saved the village from destruction. According to their covenant with God, no one from Brigadoon may ever leave, or the enchantment will be broken and the site and all its inhabitants will disappear into the mist forever.

  65. Schumpeter says:

    John Mauldin, upside the head with a 2×4:

    John Mauldin: Tax Hikes Will Kill the ‘Recovery’, Which Isn’t Real Anyway
    Posted Oct 21, 2009 07:30am EDT by Aaron Task in Newsmakers

    The economic recovery currently underway is a statistical mirage, based on easy year-over-year comparisons and inventory rebuilding, John Mauldin, president of Millennium Wave Securities, tells Henry in the accompanying video.

    The unemployment rate is closer to 12% when you include people who’ve been dropped from the survey and the “underemployment” rate – people working part-time vs. full time – is 17% to 18%, “and rising,” Mauldin says. “That doesn’t feel like recovery.”

    Mauldin, who writes the popular Thoughts from the Frontline e-letter, predicts the U.S. economy will be back in recession next year because of higher taxes, both new and with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

    “The Obama administration [and] the Democrats aren’t going to be able to help themselves,” he says. “The deficits are going to be running so high they’ll feel – politically — the need to do something. The way they want to solve it — instead of cutting spending is to increase the revenue. That’s going to suck a lot of air out of the room.”

    As for the long-term, Mauldin worries America could repeat Japan’s experience of a lost decade (or two), if not the Great Depression itself, citing the risk of policy errors such as trying to solve a debt crisis by issuing more debt.

  66. Shore Guy says:

    “no one from Brigadoon may ever leave, or the enchantment will be broken and the site and all its inhabitants will disappear into the mist forever.”

    I thought that was congress.

  67. 3b says:

    #59 And if I may add in all modesty I coined this term;my only claim to fame on this blog.

  68. 3b says:

    #69 And if I may add in all modesty I coined this term;my only claim to fame on this blog.

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Hey BC,

    It looks like I am able to go to the Garden on the 8th. Are you up for a show?

  70. 3b says:

    grim please unmod #75. Nothing bad there.

  71. safeashouses says:

    #71 Shore Guy

    LMAO,

    So true.

  72. NJGator says:

    Glad to see our government has it’s priorities in order:

    Obama urged to investigate BCS

    WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch is asking President Barack Obama to launch a Justice Department investigation into college football’s Bowl Championship Series over antitrust laws.

    Hatch tells the president in a letter Wednesday that a “strong case” can be made that the BCS violates antitrust laws. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

    Under the BCS system, some conferences get automatic bids to participate in top-tier bowls while others don’t, and the automatic bid conferences also get far more of the revenue. Hatch represents Utah, and he says the current system unfairly discriminates against some conferences. The BCS has said it simply recognizes the teams people want to watch. Neither the White House nor the Justice Department has an immediate comment.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091021/ap_on_go_co/us_bcs_championship_congress

  73. PGC says:

    #54 Chi

    Lucky you, I get stuck with lunch with the Italian Navy.

    http://www.lloyds.com/News_Centre/360_risk_insight/360_events/Future+Event+-+NATO+NY/

  74. Veto That says:

    “Veto, you around?”

    Secondary, Congrats on securing the low rate. What percent down did you go with and what were the fees like?
    I had that contract a week ago but broke it during attorney review because it was backed up to a golf course. i was excited about that feature at first but then i took my buddies golfing there to show them the back of the house (located off the first tee) and realized that anyone with a hook drives their ball into the back yard. therefore we learned that our child would not be allowed in the back yard and it would mean that BBQs at our house were at your own risk – hard hats required. It was a deal killer so we walked and i have seen some nice asking price corrections over the last 2 weeks. But we are still looking. The 5% rate is a good incentive but inventory is still attrocious.
    Good luck with your house… are you renting this one or living in it?

  75. PGC says:

    #15 Shore,

    Makes me think of this a

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

    A lot of people today need to look back at history and learn from it

  76. John says:

    My sign at the airport would read in English “If you can’t read this sign get the Hell out of the Country”

    The Dice Man!

  77. John says:

    Re 78 –

    Q. Why did the Italian Navy in WWII have glass bottom boats?

    A. So they could see the Italian Navy from WWI.

  78. Schumpeter says:

    gator (77)-

    The gubmint does have its priorities in order.

    Bread and circuses.

  79. HEHEHE says:

    Beige Book

    “Construction and Real Estate
    Commercial real estate markets in the District were steady to softer since the last report. Manhattan’s office vacancy rate continued to climb in September and for the third quarter overall, while asking rents continued to drop and were again down about 20 percent from a year earlier (not counting increased concessions by landlords). In the rest of the New York City metropolitan region, however, office markets have slackened only marginally. Industrial vacancy rates are up slightly in northern New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester, while asking rents have fallen moderately in all these areas except Westchester, where they have held steady.

    Housing markets remain sluggish across the District, though sales activity has picked up in certain areas. A New Jersey contact indicates that resale activity is inching upward, though prices continue to be depressed due to a substantial volume of foreclosures and short sales. New home sales remain flat in northern New Jersey, though the inventory is gradually diminishing, due to a lack of new development. In western New York State, home sales activity reportedly slowed in August and remained relatively sluggish in September, while prices generally remained steady; contacts express concern that the upcoming expiration of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers will adversely affect sales and prices. Manhattan’s apartment sales market remained weak in the third quarter. Sales activity rebounded moderately from the prior quarter but remained lower than a year earlier; prices continued to decline and were estimated to be down 18 percent from a year earlier on a per-square-foot basis. The inventory of listings declined modestly, but the average number of days on the market continued to climb. Manhattan’s rental market slackened further in September, with average asking rents continuing to run about 10 percent below a year earlier; in addition, landlords are reported to be offering increasingly generous concessions–waiving fees and offering one or more months of free rent. Vacancy rates are reported to have edged down seasonally, but this is expected to reverse in the upcoming (typically slower) winter season.”

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/BeigeBook/2009/20091021/2.htm

  80. 3b says:

    #32 schumoter: I agree. they will wait IMO until close to the Nov 30 cut off date, to get as many deals closed between now and than as they can. Than they will announce the extension, buyers can than take a break for the holidays, and resume purchasing in January 2010.

    And don’t be surprised if they not only extend it, but increase it to 15k, and than make that retroactive to the begining of 2009, so all the 8k’ers who purchased previously will now get 15k.

  81. chicagofinance says:

    One of my favorite references ever…
    The song contains samples of US comedian Andrew Dice Clay throughout the track, including the loud exclamation of “oh!” at the start of each chorus along with the words “you’re unbelievable” spoken at the end of the first chorus.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unbelievable_(EMF_song)

    John says:
    October 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm
    My sign at the airport would read in English “If you can’t read this sign get the Hell out of the Country”
    The Dice Man!

  82. Seneca says:

    3b [85]

    >> and than make that retroactive to the begining of 2009,
    >>so all the 8k’ers who purchased previously will now get 15k.

    It’s a MAD MAD world so I can’t tell if you are joking with this part.

  83. Schumpeter says:

    PGC (80)-

    I was thinking more along the lines of this Jello Biafra classic of American poetry:

    “Zen fascists will control you
    100% natural
    You will jog for the master race
    And always wear the happy face

    Close your eyes, can’t happen here
    Big Bro’ on white horse is near
    The hippies won’t come back you say
    Mellow out or you will pay
    Mellow out or you will pay!

    Now it is 1984
    Knock-knock at your front door
    It’s the suede/denim secret police
    They have come for your uncool niece

    Come quietly to the camp
    You’d look nice as a drawstring lamp
    Don’t you worry, it’s only a shower
    For your clothes here’s a pretty flower.

    DIE on organic poison gas
    Serpent’s egg’s already hatched
    You will croak, you little clown”

  84. Schumpeter says:

    seneca (87)-

    The bill in front of the Senate raises the tax credit to 15K…any buyer, any property.

    Speaking of Mad World, here you go:

    All around me are familiar faces
    Worn out places, worn out faces
    Bright and early for their daily races
    Going nowhere, going nowhere
    Their tears are filling up their glasses
    No expression, no expression
    Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
    No tomorrow, no tomorrow
    And I find it kind of funny
    I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying
    Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you
    I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles
    It’s a very, very
    Mad World
    Mad world
    Children waiting for the day they feel good
    Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
    And I feel the way that every child should
    Sit and listen, sit and listen
    Went to school and I was very nervous
    No one knew me, no one knew me
    Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
    Look right through me, look right through me
    And I find it kind of funny
    I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying
    Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you
    I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles
    It’s a very, very
    Mad World
    Mad World
    Enlarging your world
    Mad World.

  85. 3b says:

    #88 No I am not. I believe they will make it retroactive to the begining of 2009.

  86. 3b says:

    #’s 88, 89, 90: Of course why should the people who have done their part to try and help the housing market lose out on another 7k. It would not be right. (sarcasm off)

  87. chicagofinance says:

    strumpet: my favorite song of all time (of course the 1983 TFF version); ahh to be 16 years old with a buzz cut from Astor Place Barbers, a vintage black coat with arms that were too short and a ripped lining….

    chumpeter says:
    October 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm
    Speaking of Mad World, here you go:

    All around me are familiar faces
    Worn out places, worn out faces
    Bright and early for their daily races
    Going nowhere, going nowhere
    Their tears are filling up their glasses
    No expression, no expression
    Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
    No tomorrow, no tomorrow
    And I find it kind of funny
    I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying
    Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you
    I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles
    It’s a very, very
    Mad World
    Mad world
    Children waiting for the day they feel good
    Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
    And I feel the way that every child should
    Sit and listen, sit and listen
    Went to school and I was very nervous
    No one knew me, no one knew me
    Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
    Look right through me, look right through me
    And I find it kind of funny
    I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I’m dying
    Are the best I’ve ever had
    I find it hard to tell you
    I find it hard to take
    When people run in circles
    It’s a very, very
    Mad World
    Mad World
    Enlarging your world
    Mad World.

  88. chicagofinance says:

    That came when I lived above a pizza restaurant in Bath and I could look out onto the centre of the city. Not that Bath is very mad – I should have called it “Bourgeois World”![2]
    —Roland Orzabal

  89. Schumpeter says:

    Expect to see Dylan Ratigan’s tragic one-car crash any day now:

    “Why trillions of dollars in US taxpayer money are given to casino gamblers to do whatever they want with and then it is used for political purposes…Why America’s taxpayer money is being used to subsidize casino gambling as a lifestyle and why Larry Summers, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner were able to do that.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/ratigan-asks-important-questions-advance-tomorrows-bank-america-congressional-hearing

  90. lostinny says:

    86 Chi
    Don’t they sample Dice saying “h0sebag” the whole time?

  91. Danzud says:

    #94, don’t you mean dead in a DC park?

  92. #96 & #94 – If we’re going to be traditional here wouldn’t he be found hanging beneath a bridge, pockets filled with bricks, and his body partly covered by the rising tide?

    /Roberto Calvi?

  93. 3b says:

    Have you ever ridden horses through a rainstorm?
    Or a lion through a busy street bazarre?
    There are many things I’d love to turn you on to
    But somehow I feel they’re safer where they are

    Yes, there’s a man I know
    With no expression
    He’s got none at all
    Yes, there’s a man that I know
    With no expression, darling
    He’s got none at all

    Well, some people are inbound with infatuation
    And some others spill depression as the law
    From one’s mother getting at no imagination
    So beware then, maybe sin is at your door

    Yes, there’s a man that I know
    With no expression
    He’s got none at all
    Yes, there’s a man I know
    With no expression
    He’s got none at all

    But you may never, never
    See this man laughing
    Come to think of it,
    I’ve never seen him cry
    But he might be sitting
    And you hear him singing
    And by and by he’ll stop and sigh
    Before his voice would even begin to speak
    And he’d just cry

    Yes, There’s a man I know
    With no expression, darling
    He’s got none at all
    Yes, There’s a man that I know
    With no expression
    He’s got none at all

    Have you ever, ever ridden horses through a rainstorm?
    Or a lion through a busy street bazarre?
    There are many things I’d love to turn you on to
    But somehow I feel they’re safer where they are

    Yes, There’s a man that I know
    With no expression
    He’s got none at all
    There’s a man that I know
    With no expression
    He’s got none at all

  94. HEHEHE says:

    Treasury Said to Set Pay Cuts for Aid Recipients’ Executives

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aJYVn5B5q1AY

  95. Schumpeter says:

    tosh-

    They should do things with a little class and panache, like Putin, and jam his dinner full of polonium 210.

  96. Shore Guy says:

    Has anyone been paying 3tention to Iceland? What is going on there?

  97. #100 – That could backfire and give him super powers though. Then where would they be?
    Running from a mutant Ratigan with x-ray vision, that’s where!

    /apologies, it’s been a long day.

  98. Shore Guy says:

    If anyone has an extra ticket to see Springsteen at MSG on 11-8 let me know.

  99. HEHEHE says:

    Nah, US is always big on plane crashes, provides more plausible deniability.

  100. Schumpeter says:

    tosh (100)-

    That’s not what happened to that guy in London who ate a portion of glow-in-the-dark sashimi, Putin-style.

  101. Essex says:

    Schumpeter — Where IS your ascot.

  102. Sean says:

    re#105 – SaS said he once had to go for chelation therapy. Perhaps he will tell us the back story one day.

  103. #105 – That’s not what happened to that guy in London

    Hmm, you’re right. Obviously we’ll have to feed polonium to some insect (perhaps even an arachnid) and get said beastie to bite Ratigan, thereby using the transitive radioctive-arachnid powers to create our super-Ratigan. Genius!
    Clearly, my logic here is flawless, do not try to resist!

    /again, apologies. a really really long day.

  104. Sean says:

    I like how Buffet used the carrot and stick analogy.

    Do you hear that Eric Holder? Start using a stick already.

  105. Here 4 Now says:

    #107 I think people go for chelation therapy for things as mundane as eating lead paint chips.

    But I’m sure there is a more interesting story behind this one …

  106. HEHEHE says:

    Clot,

    Look at what they did to the leader of the Ukraine. I don’t even want to know what they did to ugly his face up so much.

  107. Seneca says:

    So the market was up most of the day today and steps down a bit at the end and THIS is what CNBC attributes it to:

    “Stocks finished lower after well-known banking analyst Dick Bove downgraded his rating on Wells Fargo.”

    Why do I feel like a drinking game is involved here and every time CNBC credits Bove with a market-making statement, you have to chug?

  108. Shore Guy says:

    “I like how Buffet used the carrot and stick analogy”

    Hey Warren. I am from Jersey and that means we shove a carrot up their … and beat ’em with a stick. Seems about what is necessary about now.

  109. Sean says:

    Shore Guy – Come midterm election time the Dems will need lots of perp walks and show trials to keep control of the House and Senate,up until now Eric Holder’s Fraud task force has been busy mopping up the mortgage fraudsters and a few creeps like Rajaratnam. I read somewhere they are following up on thousands of leads.

    Watch Obama tell Holder to release the hounds on a few more banking execs come next Fall just in time for Mid-Term elections.

    Bread and Circuses….

  110. Nicholas says:

    The way both parties, Reps and Dems, are behaving neither should be in power.

    It really is time for our political system to man up.

  111. Veto That says:

    lost, good one. the funniest thing about eddie murphy is that he dropped $30 million on a place entitled ‘bubble hill’.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    “Watch Obama tell Holder to release the hounds on a few more banking execs come next Fall just in time for Mid-Term elections.

    Bread and Circuses….”

    Circus or not, it seems there are many who deserve to be rounded up and convicted, including, one might argue, at least one tax writer in congress

  113. relo says:

    Clot, thought you might enjoy 120.

  114. lostinny says:

    120
    COC uggh. Pepper is an interesting guy.

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