Homebuyer Tax Credit Free For All

From HousingWire:

IRS Wrongly Gave Homebuyer Tax Credit to Resident Aliens, Minors: Watchdog

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) believes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may have paid out millions of dollars in first-time homebuyer tax credits to individuals not eligible to receive the $8,000 credit.

Nearly $4m of incorrectly paid credits were due to both alleged fraud and filing errors on claims by 580 taxpayers less than 18 years old. The youngest of these was 4 years old, TIGTA head J. Russell George said in prepared testimony to the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee.

TIGTA also found 3,200 taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) claiming the credits. ITINs are generally used to track income tax for resident aliens, in lieu of a social security number.

While the legislation creating the tax credit does not specifically address resident alien eligibility, other laws prohibit aliens residing without authorization in the US from receiving most federal public benefits, George said. It is possible that as much as $20.8m in tax credits were paid to resident aliens ineligible for the credit.

But shortly after the IRS began administering the tax credit, the TIGTA office suggested additional fraud and error reporting measures, like requiring taxpayers submit a copy of their Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Settlement Statement, known as the HUD-1 form. TIGTA also recommended verifying the information on Form 5405 and manually transcribing paper versions of Form 5405.

The IRS rejected both proposals, saying requiring the HUD-1 form would be burdensome to taxpayers and may deter them from taking the credit. IRS also indicated the tax credit was approved too late to manually transcribe the paper Forms 5405.

As a result of the IRS’ decision to not implement the additional checks, George said, more than 19,300 electronically filed 2008 tax returns improperly claimed the tax credit for homes that had yet to be purchased at the time of the tax filing. He said more than $139m in erroneous claims were paid to these individuals.

George said his office also identified nearly 74,000 fraudulent claims for the tax credit by individuals who did not qualify because they were not considered first-time homebuyers. These individuals claimed deductions of home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, deductible points and qualified mortgage insurance premiums on previous years’ tax returns, indicating they had owned a home within the past three years.

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215 Responses to Homebuyer Tax Credit Free For All

  1. me@work says:

    first!! :)

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    New Jersey Pays Goldman Sachs for Swaps on Nonexistent Bonds

    New Jersey taxpayers are sending almost $1 million a month to a partnership run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for protection against rising interest costs on bonds that the state redeemed more than a year ago.

    The most-densely populated U.S. state is making the payments under an agreement made during the administration of former Governor James E. McGreevey in 2003, when New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund Authority sold $345 million in auction-rate bonds whose yields fluctuated with short-term interest costs. The agency finances road and rail projects.

    “This vividly shows the risk of entering into interest- rate swap agreements,” said Christopher Taylor, former executive director of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board in Alexandria, Virginia. “The world’s got to see what stupidity even the sophisticated investors like the transportation fund can get into.”

  3. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Time Warner to cut Time Inc jobs-source

    Time Warner Inc’s magazine division Time Inc plans another round of job cuts as advertising declines erode revenue, a source familiar with the unit said on Thursday.

    The job cuts at Time Inc — which publishes Time magazine, People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune — would be at about the same level as the division cut last year, the source said.

    Time Inc. cut more than 600 positions, or more than 6 percent of its workforce, in that round.

  4. grim says:

    From MediaBistro:

    Tallying Up The Condé Nast Layoffs — So Far

    Can you believe it’s already been over two weeks since Condé Nast shuttered four titles, resulting in about 180 layoffs?

    In the past few weeks, more layoffs have come to almost every surviving Condé Nast title, and all of them (except maybe The New Yorker) will likely experience cuts before the end of the year — if not the end of the week.

  5. crossroads says:

    are they going to prosecute? I guess not it would cause more
    foreclosures and we can’t have that.

  6. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Wall Street pay cuts could affect N.J. budget

    With the state’s budget already looking sickly, New Jersey could stand to lose more money because of the Obama administration’s decision to slash pay and bonuses of Wall Street executives, Gov. Jon Corzine said yesterday.

    But it’s unclear how much income the state would forego — and whether it would be made up for by an overall increase in Wall Street bonuses and pay this year.

    The U.S. Treasury Department yesterday ordered seven bailed-out financial companies to cut pay for dozens of executives starting in November.

    Corzine said the lost revenues due to the pay restrictions “could be a hit” on the state budget, but added he supports the move.

  7. Schumpeter says:

    wag (2)-

    I like the Chilean side better, simply for the fact that Chile is a civilized nation and not a giant, lawless free-for-all. That place sure looks nice, though.

  8. Schumpeter says:

    Soupy Sales buys the ranch.

  9. Schumpeter says:

    Fraud in FHA? Fraud in claiming the 8K tax credit?

    I’m shocked…just shocked…

  10. Schumpeter says:

    Today show about to play 911 call from Steve Phillips’ wife when his 22 y/o gumade showed up at the house.

    This should be the kill shot to his career.

  11. ruggles says:

    11 – heard it yesterday on Howard Stern

  12. ruggles says:

    wife deserves everything she can get

  13. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125624924996302333.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel

    Politics – WSJ on New Jersey election

    “The fastest-growing political group in America is “none of the above.”

  14. Schumpeter says:

    ruggles (13)-

    Hope that doesn’t include a STD.

  15. r says:

    Happy October Surprise, Governor Corzine. “Today a jury found Joe Ferriero, former chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud and two counts of mail fraud. Guess how much money Jon Corzine and his family gave to Ferriero over the years? $441,600.”

  16. Schumpeter says:

    Cindy (14)-

    Wake me up when the fastest-growing group is “armed revolutionaries”.

  17. Schumpeter says:

    r (16)-

    Corslime will still win the election. He’s spread plenty of seed money through the usual Hudson/Essex precincts, and Christie is the most inept candidate in the history of US politics.

  18. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    You won’t believe the sheer number of Corzine “supporters” in Hoboken. He must be dumping sh*tloads of $$$ in Hudson. They’ve been around for weeks.

  19. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Little tidbit from David Fry:

    “The buy programs were stimulated by little follow-though selling from yesterday and the Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) coming in “better than expected”. Ignored in the enthusiasm was a lowering of the previous LEI report.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/168440-friday-outlook-earnings-stoke-markets?source=hp

    So it’s not only the gubmint polishing up the stats, even the “independent” Conference Board is at the same game.

  20. safeashouses says:

    #15 Schumpter,

    Did you read the intern’s letter to the wife? I think Chifi posted a link to it the other day. Philips is such a romantic, telling the intern not to worry about getting pregnant since he had had a vasectomy.

  21. safeashouses says:

    #11 Schumpeter,

    Here’s a talk show playing the call. It’s in the first 1:30

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/10/23/jb.cradle.attraction.cnn

  22. John says:

    Soupy Sales was a great guy, he once got us tickets to Wonderama, my brother got the pie in face for telling bad jokes, did the snake charmer bit and won a years worth of Oscar Meyer blongia and him and my sister were in the big wheel race at the end. I was too little to be in show, which stunk. But we saw it live on WPIX from home and it came on as a repeat the next year. Too bad they did not save most of the tapes from Wonderman that was a great show. I loved Soupy growing up he was one of my Dad’s limo customers.

  23. Painhrtz says:

    government giving away money and there is fraud. shocked abosultely shocked.

    Where is my box of 600 dollar hammers?

    from previous – got my first .22 at 3 years old, but wasn’t actually given to me until twelve. By that point had a healthy respect for firearms

  24. Jim says:

    Why do we keep bailing out homeowners with tax credits, modifications and lower interest rates at the expense of taxpayers? It doesn’t seem to be helping. A recent Fitch study indicated that 65% of all mortgage modifications are back in default within a year.

    We need to help other parts of the economy besides housing. We need to help business large and small to create jobs and export product and services. This will help us lower the deficits. More bailout money needs to diverted to fund start up businesses and concepts. We need to innovate and grow out of this recession. Small businesses created 60% of all jobs. At this point, unemployment is our largest problem. Not housing.

    Housing should no longer be the sacred cow. It just helps us consume and increase our deficits. Think about it. We borrow (most likely from foreigners) to buy a home, then we borrow to improve it. We need to stop devoting all these resources to an industry that just helps us consume, borrow and not export.

    We also need to help those who do not own home. Those folks pay consumer credit interest rates of up to 24%. Why should homeowners pay only 5%? In fact if you look at the recent default rates, homeowner have defaulted at a higher rate. Also, mortgages are non recourse loans. This mean the homeowner can just walk away from the mortgage and the creditor has no right to pursue the homeowner. With this protection, some of these homeowners are trashing the houses before they vacate. Consumer credit card debt has recourse for the lender. I know this is blasphemy, but we need a fundamental change in why we value homeownership as it has led to one of worst economic disasters and significant inequities in our society. Why should we as a society give all these loan modifications and tax credits to try to keep a property owner in his/her home when there is no assistance to keep a non property owner (tenant) from being evicted. Many of these homeowners got into trouble by using their homes as an ATM machine. They purchased cars, boats, vacations, or even stopped working due to their new found equity as the housing bubble inflated and now the taxpayer is expected to help them modify and reduce the principal on their mortgages. We are essentially bailing out a privileged class who has abused their privileges.

  25. Stu says:

    John,

    Wonderama was the greatest Saturday morning kids show ever. I am still surprised that it has not been reincarnated in one form or another.

  26. make money says:

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2009/03/08/morris_brown_college.html

    College auctions off buildings and almost has water shut off. As in housing this bubble is starting with the Subprime borrower.

  27. Cindy says:

    http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/real_estate/archives/2009/10/another-setback.html

    Another setback on big CalPERS real estate deal…

    Like we can’t botch enough R/E deals in our own backyard, we need to head out to NY…give me a break. My own outfit, CalSTRS, has already written off $100 million.

  28. Orion says:

    Every time I hear of a new gov’t program it makes me vomit. This administration is going to the dogs. I’m sensing a lot of anger amongst the people I speak with. Something’s brewing…..

    And, when will FHA implode?

  29. NJGator says:

    We got our preview for 2010 open enrollment yesterday. 401k match – cut in 1/2 (plus we lost our pension earlier this year), health and fitness cut 40%, copays for backup day care, health insurance premiums up 25% plus introductions of in-network and pharmacy deductibles as well as in-network coinsurance, significant reductions in short term and long term disability coverage plus no raises for the 2nd year in a row. No recession here.

  30. Stu says:

    What do you all think of this article?

    http://www.fgmr.com/hyperinflation-watch-october-21-2009.html

    Is there really a correlation between printing money and the current equity bubble that is completely disconnected from fundamentals?

  31. Shore Guy says:

    “Wonderama”

    Okay geezers, complete these lyrics:

    “Does anybody here have an _____? Does anybody here have an _______? Everyone here has a right and left ear but, does anybody here have an ______?

    Stu,

    It can’t come back — nothing explodes.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    This is what it takes to create truly inspired comedy…….

    Sales was born Milton Supman on Jan. 8, 1926, in Franklinton, North Carolina, where his was the only Jewish family in town. His parents, owners of a dry-goods store, sold sheets to the Ku Klux Klan. The family later moved to Huntington, West Viriginia.

    His greatest success came in New York with “The Soupy Sales Show” — an ostensible children’s show that had little to do with Captain Kangaroo and other kiddie fare. Sales’ manic, improvisational style also attracted an older audience that responded to his envelope-pushing antics.

    Sales, who was typically clad in a black sweater and oversized bow-tie, was once suspended for a week after telling his legion of tiny listeners to empty their mothers’ purse and mail him all the pieces of green paper bearing pictures of the presidents.

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [31] stu

    Some timely analysis to go with that.

    “For all but three years of the past 40, the federal government has run a deficit, and at the most basic level, the reason is simple. In their desire to be re-elected, congressmen are afraid not to spend more and more, and they’re equally afraid to give voters the bill for those services, even though that bill must inevitably be paid. . . .

    Using the Tax Foundation’s Microsimulation Model, we can project how much revenue a broad-based increase in federal income tax rates would generate. However, when the rates necessary are spelled out, it becomes apparent that deficits this large simply cannot be closed with higher federal income tax rates. This year and for several years to come, even if congressmen were willing to present the full bill to the taxpayers in the form of higher taxes to match their spending level, they could not do so.

    About 40 percent of the federal government’s revenue comes from payroll taxes at a rate of 15.3 percent of wages. After taking that chunk from the nation’s paychecks, the federal government turns to the individual income tax for most of the rest. And the income tax is always the principal lever that Congress uses whenever it wants to adjust taxes up or down.

    Assuming deductions, exemptions and credits were kept the same as they are now, the government would have to nearly triple every tax rate. Table 1 shows the effect on statutory rates of such a hypothetical tax hike. Instead of taxing couples with rates that range from 10 percent to 35 percent, tax rates would have to start at 27.2 percent and range up to 95.2 percent. . . .”

  34. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    It gets better . . .

    “Are 2009 and 2010 an Anomaly?

    The federal deficit is projected to be larger in 2009 and 2010 than in any future year, and it could be argued that the impossibility of raising enough revenue now to match federal spending is not so alarming because those two years are an anomaly caused partly by the TARP bailout and the fiscal stimulus legislation. Those two federal actions account for roughly one quarter of 2009’s $1.4 trillion deficit, according to Secretary Geithner.[2]

    However, in subsequent years, according to the President’s Budget, the deficits are still huge by historical standards, never falling below $700 billion and rising back above $1 trillion as 2020 nears. As a result, in all likelihood it is true for every foreseeable year that the income tax system would be unable to raise as much revenue as the government plans to spend, absent major changes in our tax code or spending patterns.

    In 2011 tax rates would have to be increased by a factor of 2.23 to close the deficit, and even in 2012 and 2013, when projected deficits are the lowest, according to the Administration, tax rates would have to be levied at prohibitively high levels to erase the deficit. For example, in 2012, even after the top two tax rates have been raised from 33% to 36% and from 35% to 39.6%, all the rates would have to be multiplied by 1.87 to raise enough to erase the deficit . . .”

  35. Shore Guy says:

    “This administration is going to the dogs.”

    Giong? Going? This administration is doing just what they said they were going to do, and anyone who was listening to the policy positions should have expected it to do what it is doing. I did not want this guy as president but when he won I hoped that against the odds he would turn out to be great, as we need great right now. Unfortunately, he is not even adequate.

  36. chicagofinance says:

    Ahhhh…we gots some sh!ts to short……….finally…..booya bichez…

  37. Schumpeter says:

    I should’ve known we could count on John for a Soupy Sales story.

  38. Shore Guy says:

    Didn’t Soupy once also ask his viewers, “What is a word that begins with F and ends with U-C-K? That’s right, fire truck.”

    I think the thing with the money was on New Years day and that he cued it us as something like “the reason your parents feel so awful this morning (i.e. hungover) is that green paper, so help them feel better by getting it out of the house.”

  39. Shore Guy says:

    Soupy sales sounds like an exonomic term. As in, “Best Buy warned today that it was experiencing soupy sales and it was unlikely to meet forecasts.”

  40. Shore Guy says:

    economic even

  41. Outofstater says:

    Re: Soupy and Wonderama – What were the names of those two puppets Soupy had? I don’t even remember what they were supposed to be. And what ever happened to Sonny Fox, who was on Wonderama when I watched it, um, several years ago.

  42. Shore Guy says:

    Was it Bob McAllister who followed Soupy?

  43. John says:

    It was Bob McAllister when my brother and sister was on show. Soupy did a lot of work at PIX and had tickets.

  44. Schumpeter says:

    When will the 21st century Tom Joads take to the road?

    “500 applicants came in a day. To have had any chance one needed to be at the top of the stack.

    In that regard, those looking for a job should note how it can help to go straight to the company website rather than fax or email a résumé.

    The job in question was simply for an administrative assistant. Responsibilities included data entry, assembling paperwork and making copies. Yet look at what the pool of applicants contained.

    Applicant Pool:

    -I.B.M. business analyst with 18 years experience.
    -A former director of human resources.
    -Someone with a master’s degree and 12 years at Deloitte & Touche, the accounting firm.
    -A former bank branch manager.
    -A woman who once owned a trucking company.

    All of the above were immediately disqualified as being overqualified.

    To land a job you have to be the perfect candidate, near the top of the stack of résumés, neither underqualified nor the slightest bit overqualified and you have to be willing to grab at a fly ball (show eagerness to jump at passing opportunities).”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/10/how-being-slightest-bit-overqualified.html

  45. John says:

    wow Sonny FOX is still alive!!

  46. Cindy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdUD4giJPOk&feature=related

    Soupy Sales that NOT SAFE for work –

    Well, unless naked ladies are AOK.

  47. Schumpeter says:

    Nothing but smooth sailing ahead, folks. Pay no attention to the Federal balance sheet that has tripled in less than two years:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/excess-bank-reserves-fed-balance-sheet-assets-skyrocket-record-high-levels

    Also, keep in mind that the Fed’s balance sheet contains high-quality, appreciating assets such as Hammacher-Schlemmer stock and a ghost mall in OK.

  48. Kettle1 says:

    Grim 3

    “The world’s got to see what stupidity even the sophisticated investors like the transportation fund can get into.”

    Oxymoron?!?!?!?

  49. Stu says:

    Not that anyone is paying attention any more, but existing home sales came in slightly higher than expected. Of course, these numbers are juiced by the supposed expiration of the 8,000 tax credit for 4-year olds.

  50. Painhrtz says:

    Well Stu if said 4 year old has a good paying job they will be free and clear by 35

  51. Stu says:

    I am hoping and praying that FHA holds together long enough for my planned move in the Spring. I too yearn for the 3.5% downpayment and look forward to having my credit ruined through a modification. We have enough cash saved up that we won’t need credit anyway. I would only mourn the loss of the 4K or so per year that we steal from the credit card companies.

  52. Shore Guy says:

    In mod?

  53. PGC says:

    #50 3b

    This was my thought 15 years ago. Dublin was not worth the money.

    Jason Berry, a markets trader and business owner from California, moved to Ireland 10 years ago. As time went on, the pressure to buy property increased. “Everyone was telling me buy, buy, buy,” he says. But, when he compared prices in Dublin to other capital cities it became apparent just how little he would get for his money. “I just couldn’t bring myself to buy.”

  54. 3b says:

    #53 It is the only way to play a rigged system.

  55. 3b says:

    #57 There are whole brand new housing developments 2 hours outside Dublin, that are empty.

  56. Schumpeter says:

    3b (59)-

    The US’ greatest three exports ever:

    1. debt
    2. inflation
    3. currency manipulation

  57. Schumpeter says:

    None of us will need credit when the new valuable household asset will be a hard perimeter.

  58. make money says:

    56 Shore,

    Do you have any idea why there is a black helicopter outside my window right about now. One day could Grim will go missing and I’m talking about Nashville.

  59. Stu says:

    “Do you have any idea why there is a black helicopter outside my window right about now.”

    Is it dropping money?

  60. Kettle1 says:

    Shore,

    DO you think they would let me search for some old posts i have been trying to dig up???

    What say you CIA/NSA/FBI/DHS/etc

    how about you monetize your little database and offer historical post searches.

  61. Kettle1 says:

    Stu 63,

    No, but i see a B52 in the sky with a strange green cloud spreading out behind it

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    You guys are being paranoid. When I lived in NoVA, I saw the black helicopter every day, and it didn’t bother me once.

    Course, I lived near Langley, so that was the explanation.

    Damn thing was so regular, I could set my watch by it. If I was still in the house when I heard it, I knew I was late for work.

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    And for the folks at NSA:

    Bomb!

    There, go ahead and add that to my file, under “subversive.”

  64. Kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    O fcourse there is a way to trip up this type of monitoring technique.

    Use a bot and set it to post on blogs you frequent and others you dont and have it post random comments generated based on the blog content while being sure to throw in plenty of hot keywords.

    If enough people used such bots, the type of tracking mechanism described would lose a significant majority of its usefulness/profitability.

    The spammers have already perfected this type of bot, all some one would need to do is re-purpose said bots and then get enough people to do it so as to generate enough “noise” that you collectively overwhelm the signal:noise ratio

    In other words, SPAM THE CIA

  65. Kettle1 says:

    follo wup,

    you would actually want said bot to associate itself with your normal accounts to enhance the noise effect.

    who ever said that spammers werent useful!!!

  66. Kettle1 says:

    One more thought.

    if you really want to be sophisticated collect a bunch of your own posts run a pattern analysis on them then set your bot to generate traffic in such a way as to to overwhelm you normal posting pattern/signature in a large scale analysis.

    Once again get a god programmer to automate all this and the CIA runs into the same problem that web mail does with p3n1s 3n1@rgm3nt ads

  67. Kettle1 says:

    god = good

  68. Kettle1 says:

    Grim,

    got some programmer friends? this smells like a firefox plugin or grease monkey script to me!

  69. Kettle1 says:

    Kettle1 gets renditioned in 5…4…3…2…..

  70. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    kettle,

    you need to set up some bot that will notify your lawyer in the event of your rendition.

    As for spamming the CIA (NSA?), I really don’t have that kind of time. Besides, FBI has always had a file on me for background checks; I’ve been fingerprinted more than a hood, and they know all there is to know, which will bore them to tears.

  71. Kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    Dont need a bot. i will most likely be in eastern europe and classified as an enemy combatant hence a lack of any access to the US legal system.

    The DEA probably has quite a file on me given all the DEA regulated facilities i have worked at and had to be background checked for. I am sure they could share that with the other 3 letter guys

  72. Kettle1 says:

    Nom the great thing about a bot/plugin/script is that you run the setup once and then you for get about it. Consider it the fire and forget system of the internet. It would post at various intervals on various sites without any intervention from you.

    As i said this has all been developed by spammers and already exists. You would just need to repurpose it.

  73. chicagofinance says:

    By Christian Laux and Christian Leuz

    Fair-value accounting (FVA), also known as “mark-to-market” accounting, has been blamed for contributing significantly to the financial crisis. But Christian Leuz, of Chicago Booth, and his coauthor, Christian Laux, have analyzed the role of FVA for U.S. banks and conclude that there is no evidence that fair-value accounting added to the severity of the financial crisis in a major way.

    http://www.igmchicago.org/2009/10/19/did-fair-value-accounting-contribute-to-the-financial-crisis/

  74. Sean says:

    Odds on who on this blog gets picked up first?

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/twitter-anarchist/

  75. Kettle1 says:

    Last one off topic:

    Nom

    the bot concept could potentially have interesting legal consequences. If you can prove that any posts you make are indistinguishable from posts made completely automatically by a computer program running on your computer, could a prosecutor use a potential post against you in a legal case? There would seem to be the potential for ample reasonable doubt .

  76. Laurie says:

    Re #59….<<<>>>>
    You only have to travel 30 minutes west of Miami/ Fort Lauderdale and all those identical red roof tiled houses are empty and decaying in the swamps…not a pretty sight.

  77. Shore Guy says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/bw/20091023/bs_bw/oct2009bw20091021441398

    By Prashant Gopal Prashant Gopal – Fri Oct 23, 8:08 am ET
    America’s strongest economies have one thing in common — home prices that never got too hot or too cold.

    Home prices in metros such as San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Little Rock, Ark., and Baton Rouge, La., remained steady through boom and bust. Although no metropolitan area entirely avoided the economic downturn, the most resilient metros were protected by a potent mix of recession-resistant jobs.

    The upstate New York areas of Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, and Buffalo suffered from declining jobs in manufacturing, but got significant boosts from sizable health-care, education, and government sectors. Construction is booming in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, as firms take advantage of financing for post-Katrina hurricane recovery work and service-related companies expand to meet the needs of a growing population. Omaha and the state of Iowa have relatively strong insurance sectors.

    Texas, the last state to enter recession, has been bolstered by its oil and gas industries — which have also helped Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Texas also has many other things going for it, including affordable home prices and relatively low wages, which attract corporations.

    BusinessWeek.com used data and analysis from the Brookings Institution’s new MetroMonitor to come up with the nation’s 40 strongest economies. The MetroMonitor, which measures the nation’s health on a quarterly basis, ranks the top 100 metros based on job growth, unemployment, gross metropolitan product, and home prices.

    A relative boom in Baton Rouge

    “No place has been untouched by this recession. This is a change from previous recessions,” said Alan Berube, a senior fellow and research director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. “But there’s a big difference in losing one-tenth of a percentage and losing 15% of jobs.”

    Baton Rouge, which was ranked No. 6, “grew jobs every month until August 2009 and in August it only lost nine-tenths of a percent, compared to 5.1% nationally,” said Lauren C. Scott, professor emeritus of economics at Louisiana State University.

    snip

  78. JS says:

    Ritholtz ripping apart the September sales numbers.

    Existing Home Sales FALL in September 2009

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/10/existing-home-sales-fall-in-september-09/

    His conclusion on the NAR is pretty comical:

    “I am honestly unsure of whether the folks at the NAR are dumb as lawn furniture and make these misreperesntations honestly — or whether are just another group of disgusting spin doctors, willfuylly peddling lies because it helps their own agenda.

    Those are pretty much the only options: Idiots or full of sh1t. (You decide).”

  79. meter says:

    “3b (59)-

    The US’ greatest three exports ever:

    1. debt
    2. inflation
    3. currency manipulation”

    The Luther burger surely places in there somewhere:

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/laughlines/brunchburger.jpg

  80. NJGator says:

    At least my boss had the guts to show up when the layoffs happened here.

    http://gawker.com/5388499/graydon-carter-jets-to-bermuda-while-layoffs-hit-vanity-fair

  81. we says:

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/325-S-Orange-Ave-Livingston-NJ-07039/38672992_zpid/

    This house is on the market, but can’t find the listing anywhere.

  82. 3b says:

    #84 Nice Hair.

  83. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    You can’t expect the big wigs to stick around and have to face all the sadness do you? It is such a downer. Clearly, it is a much better choice to go play in the sun, where people are happy.

  84. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    On a serious note, Graydon should remember that bad things happen during times of crisis and one jets away for vacation — just ask Mikhail Gorbachev.

  85. House Whine says:

    When I was downsized a few months ago my bosses were nowhere to be found. At first this bothered me because I liked them and wanted to say good-bye. I decided not to take it personally- in the end it was probably easier to be shown the door without having to say too many good-byes. I found it very hard to focus on cleaning out my office even though I wasn’t really surprised to be let go. I felt like I was moving in slow motion and it was almost harder to watch my co-workers reaction to my being let go than to deal with my own feelings at the time. I will never forget it but I have moved on.

  86. ruggles says:

    85 – maybe its an exclusive listing.

  87. Veto That says:

    Kettle, 68-73.
    You just won the award for the most consecutive posts – 6 in a row.
    Maybe Shumpter or SAS have come close to that record before.
    Its only if you start replying to your own posts will i worry.

  88. Alap says:

    85 – that place has a tax bill of almost $100k a year! WOW.

  89. John says:

    8 – A new record for most consecutive posts!

  90. Stu says:

    Speaking of vacation, the Gator family is going to be cruising Mexico for 9 days round-trip out of San Diego for Thanksgiving. We received a true friends and family deal (Gator knows someone who works there) which lowered the already low prices to fantastic. The three of us, with airfare direct EWR to SAN is a hair under $900. One airfare was booked with Citi Thankyou points (Thank you credit card companies). The cruise is a nine-day in a superior balcony room with all taxes and gratuities included for $2600. This is a complete steal considering that it includes the Thanksgiving holiday which is a prime travel time. The hotel room for the extra night is free thanks to my Harrah’s gambling problem. I am so psyched! Now to find some H1N1 vaccine before we embark will be the tricky part.

  91. Stu says:

    John,

    We already know that you are mentally ill.

  92. Kettle1 says:

    Sorry Veto,

    I am in free form thinking mode today!

    Oh hey Kettle @ 76 good idea!!!

  93. Kettle1 says:

    STu,

    Watch out for the Norwalk virus, one of the most effective viruses know.

    Noroviruses are transmitted directly from person to person and indirectly via contaminated water and food. They are highly contagious, with as few as ten virus particles being able to cause infection

  94. Shore Guy says:

    Maybe Timmy got his “process” for destroying the economy from hollywood:

    http://gawker.com/5387832/a-directors-process-is-just-an-excuse-to-bang-pas-director-reveals?skyline=true&s=x

  95. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Don’t let the bosses know you are jetting across the country with the entire family and going for a cruise. They might conclude that you RE empire is doing so well they can cut you lose and save a job for a guy who needs to work.

  96. Veto That says:

    no worries kettle. take all the kb you need.

  97. frank says:

    How about the RE market in one post??
    Where’s the recession???

    “Home resales in September clocked the largest monthly increase in 26 years as buyers scrambled to complete their purchases before a tax credit for first-time owners expires.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091023/ap_on_bi_ge/us_home_sales

  98. safeashouses says:

    look what the future of China does in elevators. All they need are some frats and beer parties and they will be Amercanized.

    “Silly Students In A Nanjing University Elevator – HP Viral Video Advertisement”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-XHdkCsc5U&feature=player_embedded

  99. 3b says:

    #108 See #82 silly boy.

  100. Kettle1 says:

    Question of the day:

    Is Krugman smoking crack?

    Is he really suggesting the chinese sell US treasuries, a an action that would result in a spike in interest rates and potentially wipe out the so called green shoots seen to date?

    Paul Krugman: “Suppose the Chinese were to do what Wall Street and Washington seem to fear and start selling some of their dollar hoard. Under current conditions, this would actually help the U.S. economy by making our exports more competitive.
    In fact, some countries, most notably Switzerland, have been trying to support their economies by selling their own currencies on the foreign exchange market. The United States, mainly for diplomatic reasons, can’t do this; but if the Chinese decide to do it on our behalf, we should send them a thank-you note.
    The point is that with the world economy still in a precarious state, beggar-thy-neighbor policies by major players can’t be tolerated. Something must be done about China’s currency.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/opinion/23krugman.html?hp

  101. Escape from NJ says:

    Stu: (101)

    Just wondering if you are on the RC ship. If so, my family booked the same cruise months ago when rates were dirt. The rate started at $4,000.00 and when down to $2,800.00. H1N1 was good for something. Small world.

  102. Schumpeter says:

    gator (84)-

    If douche came in human form, that’s what it would look like.

    He would make an excellent butt-buddy for someone in Attica.

  103. Kettle1 says:

    Clot,

    Here is your Chilean ranch:

    http://rancheschile.com/

    Prices vary from $4.000/acre(25 acres) to $2.750/acre (100 acres), and include all infrastructures. For full details, please visit our web site.

  104. Kettle1 says:

    We could get the blog to buy up the chilean ranch parcels and have our own little party in Chile!

  105. Stu says:

    Escape, yes it is the RC ship. Are you going? GTG in Baja California?

  106. Schumpeter says:

    Vodka (116)-

    Thanks, but I have to nix it. The closest soccer is Valdivia, and they are in the 3rd division.

    One of my requirements is 1st division football nearby.

  107. confused in NJ says:

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12652

    Interesting Cost figures on Michelle Obama’s Personal Staff.

  108. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [116] kettle

    Now that is a nompound!

  109. NJGator says:

    Stu 101 – $2400. Please give me full credit for fulfilling your cheap vacation dreams.

  110. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #101: What recession indeed!!!!!!

  111. Veto That says:

    Amazon hit an all time high today. You guys should get in before you get priced out.
    PE is only 70x.

    But of course that is not the ‘correct’ PE because it includes the horrible sales numbers from the consumers pulling back because of the 18% unemployment and fear about an economic depression but those are all one-time items so you have to add back $1 billion in sales as if the depression doesnt exist in the first place and then you will get the ‘real’ adjusted earnings number. And if you make those simple little adjustments the PE is actually only 3x and its a BUY.

  112. Barbara says:

    Off topic question for parents. What’s there to do for a 1st grader on a Friday late afternoon/night besides the movies? I’m stumped.

  113. Kettle1 says:

    barb,

    where are you , boy or girl?

  114. Kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    time to start up Nom inc in chile and as a subsidiary of the irish parent corp.

    Clot

    how hard is it to get dual Chilean citizenship?

  115. Barbara says:

    Kettle, the Brunswicks, Middlesex county. Boy

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Kettle

    You may not need citizenship to take up residence in Chile for awhile, and it may even be advantageous, taxwise, to be a resident alien.

    Technically, you don’t need to be a citizen of another nation to renounce your US citizenship, but the US won’t accept renunciation if that would make a person “stateless” even though there is nothing in US law that would prevent you from renouncing. In fact, the UN has a protocol to prevent statelessness, which is really an anti-tax haven statute since it is the wealthy that can best benefit from temporary statelessness.

  117. Nicholas says:

    I’m not a parent but my wife is a Early Childhood Education teacher and I have scads of nieces and nefews.

    First graders (6-7 years old) should be practicing reading since it will be one of their most useful skills. Try playing games that require some small amount of reading to complete.

    Monopoly comes to mind but you need to require them to read the chance and community chest cards.

    I also found that puzzles anywhere from 100 to 500 pieces(if they hold the childs interest) are a great way to exercise brainpower.

    Computer games such as Little Big Planet are some amazingly fun games that require manual dexterity coupled with problem solving that may interest your child, try playing with them.

    My brothers and sisters would have thier kids participate in motion activities if you have a highly mobile/athletic child. We have something called tumbletots that teaches basic gymnastics that can burn off quite a bit of energy.

    I also found that children tend to really like motion based games like charades or hide and seek.

    Another good game for a family to play is “eye spy” where one person finds an object that they can see and then others ask questions that can only be answered with a yes or no about the object and the first person to guess the object wins.

  118. Kettle1 says:

    Barbara,

    if you dont mind a 45 min – 1hr drive, try this

    http://www.ortsfarm.com/

    he should have a ball. i go there a few times a year and my guy loves it. so does this 7 year old nephew

  119. Painhrtz says:

    Ket you got mail found my pics

  120. Kettle1 says:

    Nom 130,

    you never know when dual citizenship might come in handy. although perhaps there are some negatives i am not aware of

  121. Barbara says:

    Nicholas thanks for the reply. We’ve been doing Eye Spy a lot recently, thats a good one. I just wanted to get him out of the house but on a cold rainy day in NJ, there’s not a lot to go to.

  122. Kettle1 says:

    Pain,

    i see you outsmarted the chinese agents yet again. Thanks

    Remind me to bring the peanut butter!!!!

  123. Kettle1 says:

    Sorry Barb,

    I am not in NJ right now, didnt know it was raining

  124. Kettle1 says:

    barb,

    get your son to blog on NJ rereport and make some financial calls. His black box could probably rival Bi’s

  125. Kettle1 says:

    sunny and 70 where i am ;)

  126. Schumpeter says:

    vodka (128)-

    Dunno. I was just planning to repudiate my US citizenship. Can’t think of why I’d come back.

    “how hard is it to get dual Chilean citizenship?”

  127. Schumpeter says:

    plume (130)-

    Irony of ironies: even the UN won’t let you be a rich, yet homeless welfare queen. Too bad the US of A has no problem with it at all.

  128. Schumpeter says:

    Nicholas (131)-

    The only game I’d be playing with a kid right now would be “Seal the Perimeter”.

  129. Schumpeter says:

    “Cops and Robbers” would also be a good one.

  130. Painhrtz says:

    jealous I’m going to be hunting in the rain again tomorrow

    Barb – there is plenty to do on a rainy day. Take him to the mall and play I spy the debtor or personal favorite the unemployment office to play who is most likely to go postal.

    Liberty Science Center is a great place on a rainy day

  131. Kettle1 says:

    CLot,

    how about “advanced marksmanship in high stress environments”. I here thats a hit with the younguns!

  132. Schumpeter says:

    Gotta develop that kinder, gentler machine gun hand.

  133. chicagofinance says:

    I found the movie for the next GTG…opens today….

    ‘Antichrist’ sure to shock, but it also awes

    By V.A. MUSETTO

    Last Updated: 2:28 PM, October 23, 2009

    Posted: 11:58 PM, October 22, 2009

    Lars von Trier might not be, as he famously boasted in Cannes, “the best director in the world.” But, as witnessed by his “Antichrist,” he certainly is one of them.

    For those who don’t recall, “Antichrist” scandalized Cannes, which isn’t easily scandalized, with its explicit s-xual violence.

    I finally got to see the film this week, and I went expecting to be shocked — and so I wasn’t.

    Not bothered by the shocking elements — bloody m-sturbation, a self-inflicted cl-toridectomy — I was free to concentrate on the strong points of von Trier’s film.

    First and foremost has to be the surreal, fairy-tale-like cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle, who also lensed “Slumdog Millionaire.”

    Then there are the brave performances by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg (she won Cannes’ best-actress laurel).

    Very few actors would have the courage to allow von Trier to put them through what Dafoe and Gainsbourg experienced in the name of art.

    They play a Seattle couple — identified only as He and She — whose young son, Nic, tumbles to his death from an apartment window as his parents make love.

    (The tragedy brilliantly unfolds in slow-motion black and white to the sounds of a Handel aria.)

    Switching into color, “Antichrist” tracks the grieving couple’s trip to Eden, an isolated cabin deep in the woods where He, a psychoanalyst, hopes to treat his wife’s deep depression.

    Psychoanalysis quickly turns to S&M s-x play. She bolts a millstone through his leg. He escapes, but she finds him and attempts to bury him alive.

    The next morning, she unearths him and they return to the cabin, where the film’s most infamous scene transpires. (I heard gasps coming from the back of the screening room at that point.)

    Von Trier loves to provoke, as we’ve seen from such previous films as “Breaking the Waves””The Idiots” and the musical “Dancer in the Dark,” with Bjork and Catherine Deneuve.

    In fact, von Trier would sink into a depression as deep as She’s were his films to be embraced by mainstream audiences, a segment of the population for which he has nothing but disdain.

    Please don’t take anything I’ve said to indicate that “Antichrist” isn’t difficult to watch.

    It most certainly is, but as somebody (the Marquis de Sade, perhaps) once said: No pain, no gain.

  134. Nicholas says:

    Hmm…cops and robbers that takes me back.

    Along those same lines I could suggest

    Mother may I?
    Red Rover, Red Rover.
    Red Light, Green Light.
    Simon Says.

    These are all motion based games that are fun for young children.

  135. #147 – I’ve already seen it. Very interesting, although not always successful. I respect A.O. Scott but disagreed with his review.
    If you’re not comfortable with the non-literal & abstract you’re probably not going to like it.

    …. also, A Serious Man was pretty good as was The Informant.

  136. Also, Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex is (finally) playing in the city. It’s another interesting hit-and-miss proposition. A bit more straight forward though.
    I’ll warn; it is in German with subtitles.

  137. NJGator says:

    So the Gators will not be in East Orange on Monday for our anniversary after all. We settled for a $50k reduction in our assessment, which will net us a $1190 refund from The People’s Republic of Montclair.

    Clot – do I still have to go to North Bergen for my anniversary dinner?

  138. Shore Guy says:

    Hey Nom,

    Look what I came across today:

    Countdown until Obama leaves Office
    1184 Days, 20 Hours, 23 Minutes, 10 Seconds.

  139. Outofstater says:

    Barbara – Dress warmly, take umbrellas and go out for a walk in the rain. Let him wear old sneakers so he can jump in the puddles. He’ll be freezing when you come home so then he can help you make popcorn and hot chocolate. If you have a fireplace, he can help you make a fire too.

  140. gary says:

    Caligula, the uncut version, was enough for me.

  141. Shore Guy says:

    There is still time to get reservations at the diner under the Skyway in Kearney. It is cheap, so Stu should be okay with it.

  142. Barbara says:

    153.
    outofstater
    This is a great idea, I may get him some cheap rainboots from wallmart now. He’s a city kid but I grew up rural and pretty much went around barefoot rain or shine till late october (school aside) and he missed out on a lot of that fun stuff.

  143. lisoosh says:

    My sister (in London) tells me that the finance community there is partying like it’s 1999. She says you’d never know the rest of the country is in the cr@pper.

  144. ruggles says:

    151 – Gator congratulations! I was looking at the equal valuation tables this morning coincidently. Looks like Montclair’s new ratio didn’t change much from last years. A lot of other towns seem to be devaluing their housing stock and raising ratios by quite a bit.

  145. Escape from NJ says:

    Stu, (118)

    GTG on the lido deck. The trip is booked and paid for. My wife, son and my parents. Going a day early to check out the Zoo. Just need to determine which ports will be beach days and which will be golf.

  146. james says:

    #17

    I prefer Independed Militant Conservatives for Balanced Budget and Line Item Veto

    and

    The Democratic Communist Party looking for a reason to exist.

  147. james says:

    #29

    “Something’s brewing…..”

    its called revolution.

  148. Sean says:

    Gartman on CNBC says DXY will continue to drop for another year.

  149. NJGator says:

    Escape 162 – We are staying a day later for the zoo. Can’t wait for the first NJRER GTG on the high seas.

    We’re on deck 9!

  150. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Bank Failure Friday: The 100th bank closure of the current crisis:

    Partners Bank, Naples, Florida, was closed today by the Office of Thrift Supervision, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Stonegate Bank, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to assume all of the deposits of Partners Bank.

    The two branches of Partners Bank will reopen on Monday as branches of Stonegate Bank

  151. NJGator says:

    Escape – how old is your son? Lil Gator is 4 1/2.

  152. NJGator says:

    Ruggles 161 – the ratio does not tell the whole story for Montclair. First off, the appraiser did a cr*p job of assessing highly improved properties. Many of them were way underassessed in 2007, and even with the drop in the market are still assessed below market value. These updated properties are also almost the only ones that are still selling.

    I analyzed all useable sales in the township for this year’s appeal and I found that homes assessed below the town’s average were twice as likely to be assessed over their sale price than more expensive properties.

    Since the revaluation, Stu and I have reduced our assessment by over 100k through appeals. The market is tanking in many sectors of this town.

  153. Schumpeter says:

    gator (151)-

    Yep. Pre-dinner drinks in Harrison, too. :)

    If Stu’s feeling expansive, maybe you can have extra pickles on your Cuban sandwich.

    “Clot – do I still have to go to North Bergen for my anniversary dinner?”

  154. Schumpeter says:

    Still, no one listens. The situation will continue to deteriorate until we acknowledge that tough choices have to be made.

    “Neither Koo nor Krugman have learned a thing about the Real Lesson of Japan’s Lost Decades.

    The real lesson is no matter how much money you throw around, economies cannot recover until noncollectable debts are written off. That is why you have “zero interest rates and still nothing’s happening.”

    The moment fiscal stimulus stops economies are virtually guaranteed to relapse until the core problem is resolved. The problem is Asset Bubbles, Malinvestments, and debts that cannot possibly be collected.

    Bailing out the banks did nothing to fix these problems. Consumers are still saddled in debt, in underwater mortgages, with no job. Moreover, there is no driver for jobs given rampant overcapacity in nearly every sector.

    Banks do not want to lend in this kind of environment so they don’t. Businesses do not want to expand in this kind of environment so they don’t. Meanwhile the Obama administration is making matters worse by increasing taxes on small businesses and proposing everyone pay for health insurance, with businesses forced to offer a plan or pony up part of the cost.

    This too is giving small businesses an incentive not to hire. Housing prices are too high yet the Administration and Congress are hell bent on propping up prices. The solution is to let prices fall until they are affordable.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/10/us-faces-second-lost-decade-because-of.html

  155. Shore Guy says:

    “Just need to determine which ports will be beach days and which will be golf.”

    Such are the choices faced by the idle rich. :)

  156. NJGator says:

    Clot 171 – I am actually on the train en route to meet Stu for dinner in Morristown at Mehndi. Between that and my cut and color tomorrow at Bangz, I will be lucky to get something off the BK Value menu for the next few weeks.

  157. Shore Guy says:

    “tough choices have to be made”

    TOSH! This is America — we are so exceptional that we never have to make hard choices. Anything we want is ours for the taking and the rest of the world will pay for it in eternal gratitude for our support during WWII.

    Frig the choices, man; Europe and China will pay, the Saudis too, because they LOVE us.

  158. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    Are you two around on the 8th or 9th?

  159. Shore Guy says:

    “The real lesson is no matter how much money you throw around, economies cannot recover until noncollectable debts are written off.”

    Wrong! All one needs to do is to sell them to the Fed at 100% value and if the Fed NEVER tries to collect, the debt is not bad. Problem solved.

  160. Schumpeter says:

    Shore-

    Somebody will pay. Once we declare war on them.

  161. Shore Guy says:

    IN the old days that worked well, but now we would be bombing the same factries we depend upon for everything.

  162. Shore Guy says:

    factories even. Bloody thumb keyboards.

  163. Shore Guy says:

    I Woke Up Dreaming, a song for current times. The anti Happy Days Are Here Again:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0vC-aSERUg&feature=related

  164. NJGator says:

    Shore 176 – yes, we are around. email me or stu.

  165. Shore Guy says:

    100th bank failure today.

  166. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [183] shore

    Actually, now up to 105

    http://www.fdic.gov/

  167. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Here’s today’s list (and remember, we are still open on the west coast)

    Riverview Community Bank, Otsego, MN
    Bank of Elmwood, Racine, WI
    Flagship National Bank, Bradenton, FL
    Hillcrest Bank Florida, Naples, FL
    American United Bank, Lawrenceville, GA
    Partners Bank, Naples, FL

  168. still_looking says:

    After nearly two weeks of a miserable schedule… finally some air…

    Lost,

    any news?

    sl

  169. still_looking says:

    Gary, re: Caligula

    I got the DVD from Netflix a couple of weeks ago… finally get to watch it… will it give me worse nightmares than our national debt?

    sl

  170. still_looking says:

    Barbara, I don’t know if they have them near you, but we drag our 4.5 yr old to the Children’s Museum in Paramus on rainy days to play.

    They have coupons (via email and Entertainment book) and different events throughout the year.

    All else fails, I take him for nature walks and play, “Anybody Home?” we look for bugs, spiders, worms under rocks…. first asking, “anybody home?” then looking under the rocks or logs to see who’s there.

    I also teach him about mushrooms, plants, seeds/nuts/acorns and whatever we run across.

    We’re in Bergen if you ever want to hang out for a play date.

    sl

  171. Schumpeter says:

    sl (187)-

    Let me put it this way: Caligula is in my all time Top Ten. :)

  172. Schumpeter says:

    Shit. All I did with my son at that age were watch EPL soccer and cage fighting.

  173. lostinny says:

    SL

    Call me when you’re free. It’s just more bs on top of more bs and I’m really ready to f@cking kill someone.

    BTW, Caligula was a great flick. I hope you got the x-version. :)

  174. lostinny says:

    189 Clot
    This is why we get along. :)

  175. james says:

    I think the consensus among this very intelligent and affluent group is that this BS is all going to come crashing down. So instead of talking about granite counter tops why dont we discuss the implications of a run away government and ways to protect our wealth.

    War consumes wealth it doesnt create it so does social welfare. 180 billion of March’s stimulus program went to welfare programs. How about we eliminate both

  176. Schumpeter says:

    james (193)-

    I like the way you think…

  177. NJCoast says:

    I’m through my first hour with Paul Anka on stage. One more hour to go. I need a drink.

  178. Schumpeter says:

    Coast-

    You need a .45 and a clean line of sight.

  179. Outofstater says:

    #193 That’s the question we’ve been pondering in our house for some time now – what do we do? The problem is so big it’s difficult to get my mind around it – the debt at all levels is staggering. The government’s heavy hand in abrogating contracts is unprecedented. The end result of both promises to be catastrophic for all of us. Our president will turn out to be the poster child for unintended consequences. It seems to me that we are on very unstable ground and the least little shock, from whatever quarter, will send it all tumbling down. What to do? I don’t know. So far, all we have come up with is to eliminate all of our debt and save as much as possible.

  180. d2b says:

    I’m beginning to think that there will not see a major crash. While we have massive debt, much of it is owned by trading partners that have every incentive to keep us as customers. I think that the closest thing that we will have to a crash is the continued erosion of the middle class. We will have a middle class that is enslaved and really poor. The laptops, cell phones, and ipods will serve ass comfort mechanisms that will keep us passive. Then again we could always hire illegals to storm Wall Street.

    The market will rise and fall. But the last 9 months have shown us that big money moves the market. Look at this week, triple digit increases when unemployment is high. Triple digit losses when AMZN blows away estimates. Same as it ever was.

  181. Shore Guy says:

    “I’m through my first hour with Paul Anka on stage. One more hour to go. I need a drink.”

    NJC,

    There is NO alcohol strong enough. Give me metal any day.

  182. Shore Guy says:

    Heck, Mongolian throat singing would be a better evening.

  183. sas says:

    “There is NO alcohol strong enough. Give me metal any day”

    give me Burt Bacharach

    SAS

  184. sas says:

    “It Was Almost Like a Song” by Ronnie Milsap

    SAS

  185. Shore Guy says:

    “give me Burt Bacharach”

    Gladly will I give him to you.

  186. Shore Guy says:

    Who is Ronnie Milsap?

  187. sas says:

    “Citigroup (C), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Others to Lose FDIC Debt Guarantees”
    http://www.americanbankingnews.com/2009/10/20/citigroup-c-jp-morgan-chase-jpm-wells-fargo-wfc-and-others-to-lose-fdic-debt-guarantees/

  188. sas says:

    “Goldman Sachs Still Paid for Swaps on Redeemed Bonds”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=al5.EHL9NEBQ

    – New Jersey taxpayers are sending almost $1 million a month to a partnership run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for protection against rising interest costs on bonds that the state redeemed more than a year ago

  189. Barbara says:

    still looking,
    thanks for those ideas, I wish I were in Bergen and would take you up on the offer. Unfortunetly I’m in Middlesex. My kid has no neighborhood friends because there aren’t any and at school his best friend is a girl who is a Jehovah’s Witness or some such nonsense and her mom is paranoid and unfriendly and she can’t socialize outside of school with my kid. Yeah, I gotta get the hell out of here already.

  190. morpheus says:

    well, kegged my first belgian tripel. ABV 10.339%. never brewed that strong a beer before.

    Hope it turns out well.

    Have a good weekend.

  191. Pat says:

    O.K., cf. I took your recommendation and watched the Antichrist movie.

    I figured it would be one more nail in my current anti-religion coffin. The other day, I finally got around to “Religulous.”

    But it was as bad as Father N*v****o on one of his good days. Uberbasterd N was a Typical Priest of the 60’s who verbally berated us for ripping the fetuses out of our wombs (I was like 7) and then did who knows what himself behind closed doors.

    That movie was like going to confession, peeing in my pants waiting in line, and then running away to the Polish church to the nice guy who told jokes in the confessional. Tonight, I ran away to the refrigerator for Tin Roof Sunday and Whipped Cream.

    Now, I’m sitting here with my sins still intact and wondering WTF W. Dafoe is doing in a movie like that.

  192. Barbara says:

    Pat,
    ever notice that people’s version of God’s nature reflects their own personality/nature exactly? I think the uber religious suffer from NPD.

  193. Pat says:

    It’s difficult to gauge it. So many people I know no longer follow a religion.

    The ones that do, seem mostly to do the token rituals in order to please the old folks.

  194. lisoosh says:

    Barbara, I’m in Somerset on the border with Middlesex, I think you’re in my neck of the woods. My son is 5.

    I say we hang at Morpheus house, he seems to have the good beer.

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