December Beige Book

From the Federal Reserve:

Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions (Beige Book) – December 2009

Second District–New York

The Second District’s economy has shown further signs of improvement since the last report, though the labor market remains soft. There are no indications of any significant price pressures. Manufacturing sector contacts report steady to increasing activity and continued improvement in general business conditions, and a large majority remain optimistic about the near-term outlook. Auto dealers report a rebound in sales in recent weeks. General merchandise retailers also say that sales have improved since the last report. There are signs of a pickup in tourism activity in New York City.

Commercial real estate markets–in both the office and industrial categories–have been steady to moderately weaker since the last report. Residential real estate markets have been mixed since the last report, but generally weaker, especially at the high end of the market; New York City’s sales and rental markets have been particularly weak. Finally, bankers report rising delinquency rates–articularly on mortgages, both residential and commercial; they also note continued tightening in credit standards, and weaker loan demand.

Commercial real estate markets in the District were again steady to softer since the last report. Manhattan’s office vacancy rate climbed again in October, while asking rents continued to fall and are running 25 percent below comparable 2008 levels; effective rents are reported to have fallen even more steeply–especially when concessions are factored in. Northern New Jersey’s market has been particularly slack, though office markets in Long Island and the northern suburbs appear to be somewhat firmer: in all these markets around New York City, vacancy rates have been relatively steady, while asking rents are running 4-5 percent lower than a year earlier. Office rental markets in upstate New York are mixed: vacancy and rent data suggest that metropolitan Rochester’s market has softened somewhat, while Buffalo’s market has been steady to slightly stronger. On the other hand, a commercial real estate firm in western New York State maintains that demand for both office and retail space is weak and that there is virtually no new development activity.

Housing markets have been mixed but, on balance, a bit softer since the last report. Home sales and prices have reportedly weakened moderately in the Buffalo area, in part due to the impending expiration of the [now extended] homebuyer tax credit. Contacts in northern New Jersey report that resale transactions remain low but have picked up a bit, and that selling prices appear to have stabilized at low levels. However, builders have reportedly stepped back on new development as they remain skittish about having excess inventory. New York City’s housing market has continued to weaken: while sales activity for existing apartments has rebounded from depressed levels, sales of new units remain very sluggish. Selling prices for existing units are reported to be down roughly 25 percent from a year earlier, with even steeper declines at the high end of the market; weakness at the high end is also evident in northern New Jersey. Developers looking to unload large inventories have begun to auction off condo units with steep discounts–primarily in Brooklyn, but also in the Bronx. New York City’s rental market also continues to weaken, with contract rents in Manhattan falling roughly 10 percent over the past 12 months; moreover, when concessions are factored in, the decline in effective rents has been a good deal steeper. On the supply side, one industry expert estimates that nearly 3,000 new rental units have been completed in Manhattan thus far in 2009–roughly double the figure for all of 2008.

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395 Responses to December Beige Book

  1. Annie says:

    frist

  2. morpheus says:

    second. Yah. . .i got the silver. Now can i get Kristi Yamaguchi?

  3. Commercial real estate markets in the District were again steady to softer since the last report

    As an anecdotal aside; the former Hickey Freeman and Brooks Brothers stores on 5th are still empty. It’s been about a year now.

  4. Schumpeter says:

    From the former chief vampire squid:

    “Nomi Prins – former managing director of Goldman Sachs and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London – is saying the same thing that financial bloggers have been saying: The giant banks are manipulating their books to make themselves look profitable.

    In fact, Prins says that this might be worse than the fraud which occurred at Enron:

    Enron was the financial scandal that kicked off the decade: a giant energy trading company that appeared to be doing brilliantly—until we finally noticed that it wasn’t. It’s largely been forgotten given the wreckage that followed, and that’s too bad: we may be repeating those mistakes, on a far larger scale.

    Specifically, as the largest Wall Street banks return to profitability—in some cases, breaking records—they say everything is rosy. They’re lining up to pay back their TARP money and asking Washington to back off. But why are they doing so well? Remember that Enron got away with their illegalities so long because their financials were so complicated that not even the analysts paid to monitor the Houston-based trading giant could cogently explain how they were making so much money.

    Surely someone with Prins’ financial background can sort out the accounting of the TBTFs?

    In fact, no:

    After two weeks sifting through over one thousand pages of SEC filings for the largest banks, I have the same concerns. While Washington ponders what to do, or not do, about reforming Wall Street, the nation’s biggest banks, plumped up on government capital and risk-infused trading profits, have been moving stuff around their balance sheets like a multi-billion dollar musical chairs game.
    I was trying to answer the simple question that you’d think regulators should want to know: how much of each bank’s revenue is derived from trading (taking risk) vs. other businesses? And how can you compare it across the industry—so you can contain all that systemic risk?”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/former-managing-director-goldman-sachs-accounting-fraud-too-big-fails-may-be-worse-enron

  5. Schumpeter says:

    tosh (4)-

    For many, the only fashion choice these days is between orange smock and blue smock.

  6. John says:

    Sunday’s Daily News is going to run a story called PSL? Go to HELL!!!

    Some weird green faced guy with another normal guy and hot girl rolled out a huge banner at last Jets game that sais PSL Go To Hell and got him thrown out, even weirer he tried to wrap the guard up in banner and got a standing ovation.

    If Jets and Giants both lose this week the season is officially over for both of them.

    Once again Jersey is the problem. No one wants to buy RE in Jersey even if it is only a PSL for 10 Sundays a year.

    Sucks is I sold my four seats to the game and I would have been in the picture.

  7. Safeashouses says:

    #4 tosh,

    That’s because people have switched to only buying stuff on sale at kohl’s, with a coupon.

    Cheap is the new black.

    Darning socks and patching jeans will be the new fashion trend.

  8. jamil says:

    5 schump:
    “In fact, Prins says that this might be worse than the fraud which occurred at Enron:”

    I’m sure you will be shocked to learn that Wall Street banks are eagerly pushing Global Warming Hoax and its trading scheme scam. What’s another trillion or two to be traded if the money comes from the tax-payers.

    Similar schemes in California, Denmark and elsewhere would make Bernie look amateur.

    Well, maybe this scam saves NYC and the house prices since this Wall Street really gets rich.

  9. Schumpeter says:

    Great Depression II is hitting the NFL. The NFL just chooses to ignore and deny it.

  10. Schumpeter says:

    Jamil, why don’t you go to Glenn Beck’s blog? Nobody is interested in your one-track bleatings.

  11. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Amen. Global warming..blah..blah..evil dems..blah…blah.

  12. Safeashouses says:

    There’s a job posting for contract positions to sell psl seats for the Jets. It’s on monster for Fairfield, nj. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw that ad.

  13. still_looking says:

    http://tiny.cc/zia9O

    Toll Bros. loses $111 million in Q4, but sees hope
    Toll Brothers loses $111 million in fourth quarter, but sees signs of housing turnaround.

    nothing to see here…

    sl

  14. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    INSERT NAME OF HOMEBUILDER…loses $111 million in fourth quarter, but sees signs of housing turnaround.

  15. Safeashouses says:

    I don’t understand this carbon trading and credit scheme. It seems similar to a morbidly obese type 2 diabetic paying me to eat some vegetables and go to the gym for him.

  16. A.West says:

    The Fed says “selling prices have stabilized at low levels” in NJ? How can they call today’s prices “low levels”? They must be surveying realtors and sellers, not prospective buyers.

  17. BC Bob says:

    “We probably thought he was a better guy than he is. I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of the 3-iron.”

    Chi [Previous thread},

    F-Ing Classic.

  18. BC Bob says:

    “Selling prices for existing units are reported to be down roughly 25 percent from a year earlier, with even steeper declines at the high end of the market; weakness at the high end is also evident in northern New Jersey.”

    How could this be? Didn’t Pret tell us that NYC, along with the mold coast was immune. After all, the highly educated flock to NY. In addition to this, what about those rich Europeans, buying US RE as a currency hedge? Did someone say forint?

    Please do Richard a favor. He wanted a wake up call if prices declined 7% in the NY Metro area. Wake up call? Hell, just set off a few M-80’s.

  19. BC Bob says:

    “Nomi Prins – former managing director of Goldman Sachs and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London – is saying the same thing that financial bloggers have been saying: The giant banks are manipulating their books to make themselves look profitable.”

    Schump,

    You mean mark to fantasy is a ruse?

  20. Cindy says:

    http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2009/12/03/how-obama-is-freezing-the-job-market/

    The uncertainty of it all…

    How Obama is freezing the job market

  21. BC Bob says:

    “There’s a job posting for contract positions to sell psl seats for the Jets.”

    Bairen,

    I’d rather sell paper, backed by full faith, to CB’s throughout the world.

  22. Cindy says:

    http://us1.institutionalriskanalytics.com/pub/IRAMain.asp

    More on Bernanke, banks, audit the Fed from Institutional Risk

    “The much touted “independence” of the Fed is an independence from the executive, not the legislation branch.”

    “The Congress has not just a right but the obligation to audit them.:

  23. A.West says:

    Jamil may be an uncredible source, but he’s right on cap and trade. The investment banks are indeed salivating at the idea of collecting fees on behalf of the upcoming tax on living and breathing.

    As I’ve said before, the models that the climate scientists are using in their promotion of climate change are not nearly as reliable as say, Value at Risk models for banks. Climate scientists are overconfident, have overstated their case, and the carbon taxers, tax collectors, and regulatory entrepreneurs have paid little attention to genuine economic cost/benefit analysis.

    So many here decry the groupthink and the complicity of the mainstream media in supporting the real estate and financial system bubbles/fiascos, but fail to see that the mainstream media is even more of a lapdog when it comes to overstating the global warming “crisis”. Maybe it’s that many people here love disaster stories of any type – housing, economic, financial, and so are eager to picture weather disasters as well.

    These politicians and mostly government-supported scientists in the global warming industry are no more trustworthy than say the politicians, economists, and risk managers involved at the Fed, Treasury, and Fannie Mae.

    Think about it.

  24. Schumpeter says:

    Anybody watching Eraserhead on CNBC right now?

    Santa, I want him to get hit by a bus for Xmas.

  25. via nakedcapitalism; JapanFocus has a great post on the US-East Asian symbiotic relationship re: debt.
    FTFA

    One has therefore witnessed for the last dozen years or so the extraordinary spectacle of a world economy in which the continuation of capital accumulation has come literally to depend upon historic waves of speculation, carefully nurtured and publicly rationalized by state policy makers and regulators – first in equities between 1995 and 2000, then in housing and leveraged lending between 2000 and 2007. What is good for Goldman Sachs – no longer GM – is what is good for America.

  26. BC Bob says:

    Cindy [21],

    70% of employment is attributed to small businesses. In this environment, health care, who would hire when they have no clue what their overall costs will be? Their #1 concern at this time; their own existence in 1-2 years.

  27. Forrest Gump says:

    Beavis has been talking on CNBC for a half hour now and I’m still waiting for him to say something.

  28. ruggles says:

    8 – “That’s because people have switched to only buying stuff on sale at kohl’s, with a coupon.”

    Switched? I’ve always been like that. Except kohls is way too high falutin’ for me. Quakertown farmers market in Bucks is more my style. Altho its gone downhill since they banned smoking, the one thing you can always count on is more toes than teeth on the people who shop there.

  29. Cindy says:

    http://247wallst.com/2009/12/03/wasting-time-at-the-jobs-summit/

    “Historians will look back on 2009 as one of the periods in American history when unemployment became an epidemic which almost certainly had several cures which it took much too long to administer. Epidemics are always the result of too little too late.”

    To be clear, I have no solutions. I only regret that the focus on health care came first – above all else.

    Meanwhile, our chance to rein in banking, deal with unemployment have suffered. The priorities are all messed up to me. And worse yet, the banks appear to be cruising.

  30. Cindy says:

    BC – 27

    Absolutely – That is why I said “The uncertainty of it all…”

  31. jamil says:

    16 safe:
    “I don’t understand this carbon trading and credit scheme.”

    It’s simple. Money is taken from you and given to Other People. Rinse and Repeat.
    The Other People like the scheme very much.

  32. Schumpeter says:

    gump (28)-

    I have never seen someone whose body language and facial expressions more loudly screamed, “I’m lying”.

  33. people have switched to only buying stuff on sale at kohl’s, with a coupon

    Surely it can’t be that bad.

    Some of us weep tweedy tears at the lack of a Hickey or Brooks store within 5 blocks of our office. I mean, sure there’s the Brooks at 346 Madison, but that’s like, 7 blocks away and would put way too much wear on our Sperry deck shoes.
    And I can’t shop at Kohl’s, they sell Dockers…. Dockers! Also, the selection of monocle polish there is decidedly low-rent.

  34. frank says:

    Don’t worry about jobs, Omama is going to solve all the problems today and the summit. In the meantime, if you need a job move to Mexico, it’s unemployment rate is half of ours.

    Mexico’s October Unemployment Fell To 5.9% From 6.4% In Sep
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091124-713961.html

  35. #31 – Marketwatch link to the deets. Good to see initial claims continuing to fall.
    I suppose the real story is in continuing claims which are at 9.61 mil, up %38 YOY.

  36. grim says:

    people have switched to only buying stuff on sale at kohl’s, with a coupon

    Kohls sales up 3.3%

    Abercrombie down 17%

  37. still_looking says:

    A West, 24

    A-men!

    /sarcasm/ What? Science used to manipulate, frighten, manipulate, direct and control (manipulate) people and other entities (gov’t, banks, etc) profit from it?? Pshaw. /off sarcasm./

    sl

  38. Pat says:

    Some things I’m seeing tell me that Walmeister is going after the Costcrowd during the next year. Fast.

    Can anyone define the difference between the Kohl’s crowd and the Costco crowd, or are they the same?

  39. still_looking says:

    I need a reference book on how to fall off the grid completely.

    Clot? Nom?

    sl

  40. Cindy says:

    http://cn.reuters.com/article/swissMktRpt/idCNBNG47903120091203

    Sean – Just keeping an eye out…

    CME nears deal with banks on CDS clearing -FT

  41. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Do The Harpy Tarpy

    Timmay puts the money in
    Timmay pulls the money out
    People ask any questions
    Then Timmay moves it all about

    Do the Harpy Tarpy
    Turn the banks “around”
    That’s what its all about

  42. still_looking says:

    Schump, 6

    hey~ a job is a job! Even if the hourly rate is 1/8th of the worker’s previously hourly!

    Heck, that and a nice Sonic gig is enough to make a mortgage on (isn’t it??)

    sl

  43. safeashouses says:

    #35 tosh,

    by people I meant me. LOL

    But Kohl’s does always seem to be more crowded then any other store I’ve been in recently.

  44. grim says:

    #42 – Heard Tom Keane talking about that one yesterday.

  45. d2b says:

    Jespar should keep his mouth shut there. He was the one that looked like an a$$. Breaks the code. He’s the one that should get the driver.

  46. Schumpeter says:

    sl (41)-

    I can send you to spend a week with my brother. He’s done it.

    How do you feel about eating venison 10-11 times in seven days?

  47. John says:

    Big Deal, DBAG and others already do that. Problem is flow, CME doing it makes it worse not better. That is just a dog and pony show to give some props to themselves it is the next Turqoise.

    Cindy says:
    December 3, 2009 at 8:54 am
    http://cn.reuters.com/article/swissMktRpt/idCNBNG47903120091203

    Sean – Just keeping an eye out…

    CME nears deal with banks on CDS clearing -FT

  48. safeashouses says:

    #49 schumpeter,

    No wild pig? So yummy.

  49. Shelley says:

    Price Drops and Chasing the market. As I watch the Madison and Harding markets I am noticing that almost nothing is selling, especially in the million plus range. Some realtors are advising their clients to make deep price cuts now or they will not be able to sell their homes for years. The freefall is coming in time for spring selling. In the spring you will see the end of the homebuyer credit and an interest rate hike, maybe of 100 basis points based on what I am seeing. You will really see some stunned sellers when realtors, fed up with overpriced listings, refuse to list homes at crazy numbers. (This is what happened in 1992-93)

    Here is an interesting price drop

    MLS #: 2688972

    3 Hillcrest in Madison
    Original Listing price back on June 6, 2009 of $1.1 million. Current price is $699K. Alot of homes in Madison have been overpriced and now are starting to see substantial discounts.

    Another interesting one:
    MLS#: 2663411
    66 Fox Hunt in Harding Township
    Started at $3.2 million a year and a half ago and they continue to chase market down. Now at $2 million and still not selling. What does not help is a comparable house sold at 67 Fox Hunt for $1.6 million at the height of the market. Same size lots, same square footage.

  50. still_looking says:

    Schump, 49

    I would rather grow chickens…

    sl

  51. still_looking says:

    Very OT:

    Anyone know a good autobody repair shop in Bergen County?

    sl

  52. BC Bob says:

    Shelley [52],

    Lower prices beget lower prices. Job/salary cuts force prices lower, this begets lower prices. Foreclosures, short sales force lower prices, this begets lower prices. Shadow inventory will force prices lower. This begets lower prices. The cycle goes on and on.

    There will be an extension of the buyers credit in June 2010, possibly an increase. Mid term elections will be right around the corner. They’ll be like pigs in a pile.

  53. safeashouses says:

    #53 BC Bob

    Another reason why I don’t eat salads.

  54. BC Bob says:

    SL [55],

    Forget about repairs. Turn the clunker in, get a bank.

  55. still_looking says:

    BC, 56

    Deflation?

    and 58, I can’t afford a bank (and its losses.)

    sl

  56. lisoosh says:

    Pat – #40 – Wal is building a Sams Club a few hundred yards away from Costco in Edison, so you might be right.

    Personally, love Costco, can’t abide Kohls.

  57. grim says:

    Anyone know a good autobody repair shop in Bergen County?

    Passaic County, but the only guy I trust.

    Talk to Jason at:

    G & C Auto Body Co
    302 Broadway, Passaic, NJ
    (973) 471-5074‎

  58. chicagofinance says:

    Are you trying to tempt the Albanian in me?

    54.still_looking says:
    December 3, 2009 at 9:30 am
    Schump, 49 I would rather grow chickens…
    sl

  59. grim says:

    Leavin’ on a jet plane!

  60. BC Bob says:

    “Deflation?”

    SL [59],

    Slumpflation. Thanks to our debased currency, we will be paying higher prices for food, energy, goods and services.

    If you live on a beach, no electricity, and hunt/fish for food, you’ll be OK.

  61. leftwing says:

    I know someone had posted 3 Hillcrest in Madison as a ‘wtf are they thinking’ when it listed originally.

    New price today at $699k, down from OLP of $1,100k.

    MLS 2688972.

    It’s an estate sale. Guess the kids wanted to roll the dice. Must have had an interesting discussion at the family Thanksgiving dinner this year.

  62. Leavin’ on a jet plane!

    Anywhere interesting?

  63. jamil says:

    36 frank: “Don’t worry about jobs, Omama is going to solve all the problems”

    Funny, has a single person working in this White House ever created a single job?

  64. jamil says:

    “Leavin’ on a jet plane!”

    I can sell my carbon credits for $500.

  65. frank says:

    SRS down to 7, I am in heaven.

  66. Painhrtz says:

    Still

    Mazzola autobody in Garfield. Grew up with his daughters does quality work.

  67. Kettle1 says:

    Safe

    I believe DAS mentioned he had a run in with a poisoned salad as well. Is SAS Iranian?

  68. confused in NJ says:

    67.jamil says:
    December 3, 2009 at 9:46 am
    36 frank: “Don’t worry about jobs, Omama is going to solve all the problems”

    Funny, has a single person working in this White House ever created a single job?

    Last one was Eisenhower when he created the National Highway System.

  69. Kettle1 says:

    DAS = SAS

  70. Ellen says:

    #40 re: difference between Costco & Kohls crowds –

    Kohls has lots of single people and old ladies. You’ll rarely find either one inside a Costco.

    BJ’s is kicking Costco’s butt in terms of affordable pricing on essentials – mac and cheese, diapers, shampoo, etc. I don’t go to Sam’s Club so I don’t know anything about them.

    I also think there’s something to Walmart going after Costco. A really nice Super Walmart (with groceries) has opened up in King of Prussia, PA, right around the corner from the Costco. It’s forced that Costco to lower a few of their prices, which are often still higher than BJ’s who’ll also take coupons, unlike Costco.

  71. safeashouses says:

    #71 kettle1

    I remember SAS saying he has some kind of treatment from being poisoned. Don’t remember the details.

  72. scribe says:

    from Bloomberg:

    Toll Net Loss Widens as Revenue Falls More Than Costs (Update2)
    Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A

    By John Gittelsohn and Peter Woodifield

    Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) — Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, reported a bigger-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter after revenue fell faster than costs. The shares dropped the most in a month.

    The net loss for the three months ended Oct. 31 widened to $111 million, or 68 cents a share, from $79 million, or 49 cents, a year earlier, the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company said today in a statement. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a loss of 44 cents a share, according to the average of 11 estimates.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=auzMmLI_xCCE

  73. Kettle1 says:

    Safe

    chelation therapy for heavy metal poisoning, I believe

  74. Anon E. Moose says:

    66.toshiro_mifune says:
    December 3, 2009 at 9:42 am
    Leavin’ on a jet plane!

    Anywhere interesting?

    T- T- T- Tennessee?

  75. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [21] cindy

    That’s heresy to liberals. I got castigated on this board for suggesting that Obama’s policies (other than Porkulus, which hadn’t passed at that time) would hinder job growth.

    Careful, lest ye be called “-ist.”

  76. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Once again, I have a good idea that I am too chickensh1t (not to mention poor) to act on. Now everyone is getting into the act.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703735004574571742502599748.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_lifestyle

  77. DoughBoy says:

    Has anyone posted the animated map of unemployment?

    http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html

  78. d2b says:

    Nom 79-
    I don’t recall anyone on this board defending Obama’s fiscal policy at anytime. Trying to blow holes in the extreme right’s bull shit is not the same as supporting the president. One president cuts and spends; the other wants to tax and spend. This board is smart enough to know that both parties have a spending problem.

  79. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [54] sl

    My neighbor is growing chickens

    In Westfield.

    Funniest damn thing I have seen in the town yet. 5 chickens running around in my neighbor’s backyard.

    Thank god there’s no rooster. After Kauai, I’d have to shoot it.

  80. relo says:

    67: JOBS (why nothing is being done?): Read something recently which detailed the background of presidential cabinet appointees going back to T. Roosevelt (i.e. creation of Sec’y of Commerce), “focusing on those positions one would expect to participate in this discussion: Secretaries of State; Commerce; Treasury; Agriculture; Interior; Labor; Transportation; Energy; and Housing & Urban Development”. Repubs staffed these positions w/ those w/ private sector backgrounds in excess of 50% of the positions (Reagan & Eisenhower @ 60%). Dems typically were at 40% (Kennedy & Carter @ 30%). Obama is an extreme outlier at > 10%.

  81. Seneca says:

    One of the finer turd’s in the WTD section of Westfield is back on the market so I guess the contract fell through.

    Does anyone know any good therapist’s in Union County that I can talk to about the joy I feel when overpriced turd listings come back on the market?

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [d2b]

    I can’t speak to whether they were defending his policies or taking issue with my predictions, but if there is a search function here, I think I could dredge up some instances where I suggested that hiring would be restrained because of policies that threatened to raise the costs of hiring for employers.

    I believe that it was either Schabadoo, Victorian, or perhaps you or Essex that took issue. If I have free time later, maybe I will try to find the threads.

    And it isn’t correct that there is no support here for his policies. This board has some that have defended the substance of his policies, notably health care. Even I don’t disagree with everything he proposes, and I honestly wish he would do more of the heavy, unpopular lifting that most agree needs to be done.

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [85] seneca

    Pardon my ignorance as a new Brigadoonian, but what is the WTD section?

  84. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom[87];

    Waiting To Die?

  85. d2b says:

    Nom-
    I agree and my Obama problem is the same problem that I have we Corzine. Both were elected because they represented themselves as anti-establishment. Then we get the same.

    My only healtcare arguement is that something needs to be done. I do not support any plan that involves raising any taxes. I don’t follow the debate much because I have come to expect toothless, watered-down garbage legislation from DC.

  86. The WSJ and Consumerist have links up to an abstract of a Univ of Arizona study on strategic defaults by homeowners, or the lack thereof. Really great read.

  87. Painhrtz says:

    WTD Washington’s turd dump

  88. ruggles says:

    Nom, I don’t know how you live there. Hit TJ’s saturday night (when its quiet), a woman keeps wedging herself and her cart between me and what I’m looking at–3 times in 3 different aisles. Kid standing in the cart, jumping up and down while dad is talking to someone 4 feet away. people with plenty of alleged money clogging the aisle to get the free samples next to the cheap wine. felt like I was back in Chatham except this kid was better behaved.

  89. Stu says:

    Thanks Tosh.

    The posted abstract will make great airplane reading for my flight out to Vegas tonight.

    By the way, we closed on our mortgage refi last night. Went super smoothly and nothing changed.

    I have to tell you all. The credential checking was tenfold of what it was when we obtained the original mortgage back in 2004. I wonder why that is?

    We are now with GMAC at 4.75. See ya later Wells Fargo at 5.5.

  90. Seneca says:

    nommy [87]

    I am reluctant to explain it as the guesses are very entertaining but I was going for Walk-To-Downtown.

  91. John says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    Reminds me of old joke,

    Q. what do you say to a city person who buys a farm?

    A. See you in two years.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:42 am
    Once again, I have a good idea that I am too chickensh1t (not to mention poor) to act on. Now everyone is getting into the act.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703735004574571742502599748.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_lifestyle

  92. Stu says:

    Reuters:
    U.S. retail sales miss view on weak holiday start

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/US-retail-sales-miss-view-on-rb-657714099.html?x=0&.v=4

    “The Thomson Reuters same-store sales index rose 0.5 percent for the month, falling far short of Wall Street expectations for a 2.1 percent increase. Many retail shares traded lower on Thursday after the reports, led by declines for teen and children’s chains.”

  93. still_looking says:

    Nom, 83

    I hope Bergen County is cool with chickens… (I’m not interested in roosters – just eggs and maybe pullet.)

    I bought three books about 10 yrs ago. How to Raise Goats. Keeping Chickens and Storing Root Vegetables.

    As I type this I am looking up at the Keep Chickens! book. (exclamation point is part of the title.)

    :)

    sl

  94. Shore Guy says:

    Is the U.S. financal situation now impinging on our ability to project power?

    I did not get to hear BHO’s presentation from West Point nor have I yet read it, so I may not have heard things correctly, but did he say that the cost of operations in Afghanistan makes it important that we pull out in three years?

    I am sure glad the “quaranteen” of Cuba did not cost too much.

  95. Shore Guy says:

    Is there anyone here who knows the breakdown for how state budget dollars are spent? In particular, what portion is direct spending by the state, say to operate the state police, prisons, the statehouse, etc, and what portion is aid to municipalities? If all trenton does is slash “aid,” then nothing is changed without the counties and municipalities making cuts. Otherwise, up go the local tax rates at the same time Trenton trumpets budget cuts.

  96. Shore Guy says:

    SL,

    You can raise capons. You have some skill with a knife. You can name them all John and get some psychic relief through the, um, process.

  97. Stu says:

    “Otherwise, up go the local tax rates at the same time Trenton trumpets budget cuts.”

    You just summarized Christie Whitman’s tenure as our governor. Oh yeah, she also chose not to fund the gubmint workers’ pension fund. It’s not easy to cut state taxes by 30% ya know.

  98. From the current Bernanke hearing;

    We do not see, at this point, any extreme mis-evaluation of assets in the United States

    heh, I’m sure that one won’t come back to haunt him.

  99. John says:

    My family spent thousands of years to get away from the drugery of farming, I ain’t going back so keep your cotton picking, chicken killing, potato digging fingers to yourself.

    Shore Guy says:
    December 3, 2009 at 11:35 am
    SL,

    You can raise capons. You have some skill with a knife. You can name them all John and get some psychic relief through the, um, process.

  100. #96 – stu – U.S. retail sales miss view

    I had a feeling that they would just based on the number of sales and extended sales emails I got bombarded with after Mon.

  101. PGC says:

    #97 SL

    Don’t forget the CDC

    http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pdf/intown_flocks.pdf

    This got me a 4 year grace period, before Mrs PGC puts up a coop.

  102. Stu says:

    Hold up John. You could have a whole field of onions to yourself.

  103. BC Bob says:

    Tosh [102],

    Bernanke: “There’s No Housing Bubble to Go Bust”

    10/27/05

  104. Happy Daze says:

    There is no spoon.

  105. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [92] ruggles

    Easy. I don’t go to TJ’s. Their wines suck and there is nothing else there I want that I can’t get somewhere else.

    Besides, after Philly, everyone is well-behaved by comparison. And the attitude isn’t anywhere near as bad as Summit/Millburn (can’t say re: Chatham as I only lived there a few months).

  106. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [94] seneca

    Duh, thanks. But that could be anywhere within a certain radius of Cosimo’s, so it doesn’t tell me much.

  107. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [97] SL

    I can’t speak for Bergen, but I can’t imagine it is legal to keep ag animals in residential areas. Calling them pets probably doesn’t help (esp. when the pets disappear after a holiday).

    My sister got chickens for her CSA in Maine, but that is an actual farm where the prior owners raised chickens (unfortunately, my BIL tore down the coops years ago. D’oh!)

    Besides, as John would point out, I am not a farmer and don’t pretend to be. If I get the Nompound, I am not farming more than a large veggie garden—I will tenant out the rest.

    That is, unless WWFB and Morpheus want to go in and grow hops and barley (yum!)

  108. PGC says:

    #21 Cindy
    #79 Nom
    A few things pop out of that article. “Why should I hire now while I might get a tax credit down the road.” “Give me a tax break and I’ll start hiring I promise.” “Offset carbon tax against payroll tax and the jobs will just start flowing.”

    I’ll put that in the same column as “Give us TARP funds and we’ll restart consumer lending”

    Saying Healthcare reform is a barrier to firms hiring is a big pile of straw. Hiring comes down to Credit, cash flow and sales. IF there is no demand for product or you can’t meet the cost of carry to deliver the product, there will be no hiring.

    Carbon Tax is just NAFTA all over again. The countries take a kicking and Big Business rakes in the cash.

  109. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [102] tosh

    Truer words were likely never spoken.

  110. Veto That says:

    “Is there anyone here who knows the breakdown for how state budget dollars are spent?”

    Shore, i was working on a project which required the analysis of the State’s finances.
    I still have the CAFR on my desk. At 400 pages its great cure for insomnia and its probably the most confusion clusterf_ck ive ever laid eyes on.
    If you dont want to have too much fun, I would recomend a more summarized version called the ‘citizens guide to the budget’ on the state treas website and that gives lots of nice charts and breakdowns of all sorts.

  111. Schumpeter says:

    tosh (104)-

    Funny how every “limited time” sale I got an offer on has been extended to 12-24.

  112. meter says:

    @34:

    “I have never seen someone whose body language and facial expressions more loudly screamed, “I’m lying”.”

    Absolutely right.

  113. ruggles says:

    109 – where I live, TJ’s frozen pizza blows fresh made pizza away. and my dogs are addicted to the dog food. so when we’re out for Korean food, we sometimes stop by.

  114. still_looking says:

    Shore, 100

    I prefer stuffing my chickens with onions… not vice-versa :)

    sl

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [112] county,

    So, you feel strongly that, if Company A has 48 employees, and is exempt from Obamacare, and looks at whether or not to hire a few more, it will do so without considering whether its costs will go up once it is now subject to Obamacare?

    Were I advising them, I would see if some employees could be reclassified to keep the numbers down, or if the business could be restructured into separate businesses with fewer employees, that would give them a higher ceiling overall, unless the feds put in a rule that requires consolidation of affiliates and subsidiaries.

    No, I can’t see how the cost of healthcare (which won’t go down under Obama, regardless of what he says) would enter into a business person’s thought process. Why would it?

    Oh, and thanks. Now I don’t have to search for the prior posts I told d2b about.

  116. still_looking says:

    John, 103

    You’re safe… you just keep yourself and those onions far away from my Shun set and we’ll be okay.

    sl

  117. schabadoo says:

    That’s because people have switched to only buying stuff on sale at kohl’s, with a coupon.

    Funny, I was at Kohl’s last night for my yearly visit (family member gets a 30% off coupon). I don’t see how they make any money. 15% on top of 30%, with prices in the Target range.

    Place was mobbed. Wonder if it’s sucking in the Bloomies types trading down.

  118. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [29] ruggles

    The teeth thing reminded me of a joke:

    How do we know the toothbrush was invented in West Virginia?

    Otherwise, it would be a teethbrush!

    Da dum. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

  119. still_looking says:

    PGC, 105

    …ah. Salmonella… what fun.

    sl

  120. still_looking says:

    Nom 111

    I dunno. I gotta look up the rules/regs for here I suppose. For now we have an egg farmer just a few miles away, so we go there for eggs.

    I still can’t decide where to set roots…I’m struggling with the decision.

    heart/brain conflict.

    sl

  121. Schumpeter says:

    plume (119)-

    I’m a small businessman. The only choice I’ll be making if O-care goes through is whether or not to keep opening my doors every day.

    I had one employee bookkeeper/receptionist who I let go almost three years ago. Given the current climate, I’d never hire another employee again.

    Anything is better that dealing with bennies, payroll taxes and healthcare…even if it’s only one person.

  122. PGC says:

    #119

    At that point the company will run the numbers and if the cost of carry works, they will still hire.

    If healthcare reform does not pass, do these companies hire back all the layoffs from this year? Will Emerson hire back the 14,000 they let go, the last time we discussed this.

  123. Smathers says:

    re: Kohl’s, Brooks, etc.

    It’s the tweedy folks that win. I know in Jersey fashion is slow, but the whole American Heritage thing is huge. Abercrombie blew it because they took a great brand and it turned it into wife beaters and flip flops.

    Let’s try again.

    Abercrombie down 17%
    J Crew 3rd quarter profit surges

    (J. Crew reported a profit of $43.9 million, or 67 cents a share, up from $19 million, or 30 cents a share, a year earlier)

    Same-store sales jumped 8%.

    But make no mistake. There can be some bright lights, but the economy is doomed.

  124. Smathers says:

    re: Kohl’s, Brooks, etc.

    It’s the tweedy folks that win. I know in Jersey fashion is slow, but the whole American Heritage thing is huge. Abercrombie blew it because they took a great brand and it turned it into wife beaters and flip flops.

    Let’s try again.

    Abercrombie down 17%
    J Crew 3rd quarter profit surges

    (J. Crew reported a profit of $43.9 million, or 67 cents a share, up from $19 million, or 30 cents a share, a year earlier)

    Same-store sales jumped 8%.

    But make no mistake. There can be some bright lights, but the economy is doomed.

  125. Smathers says:

    re: Kohl’s, Brooks, etc.

    It’s the tweedy folks that win. I know in Jersey fashion is slow, but the whole American Heritage thing is huge. Abercrombie blew it because they took a great brand and it turned it into wife beaters and flip flops.

    Let’s try again.

    Abercrombie down 17%
    J Crew 3rd quarter profit surges

    (J. Crew reported a profit of $43.9 million, or 67 cents a share, up from $19 million, or 30 cents a share, a year earlier)

    Same-store sales jumped 8%.

    But make no mistake. There can be some bright lights, but the economy is doomed.

  126. BC Bob says:

    “Given the current climate, I’d never hire another employee again.”

    Clot,

    Hire me. Just need some Stoli Tini’s along with an E-Signal ID.

  127. John says:

    I would just go all solvent green if there were no food. My town is very integrated, I could eat the chinese, indians, japanese, italians etc. However, I am not a cannable so I won’t eat any Irish people.

  128. Shore Guy says:

    Now for a pop-culture break:

    Tiger Woods won’t be playing any more tournaments this year.

    However,I’m sure he will get in some holes here and there.

    The crack investigative reporters at TMZ have reported the shocking rumor that Tiger was in a foursome while in the Open.

    Tiger’s wife really got pissed at his lame excuse. He said:

    “Honey, I’m a golf pro. That means, every day, I need to play a round.”

    Rumors that he doesn’t tip casino employees when in Las Vegas now appear false, as Tiger Woods has not only been giving his tip to c0cktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs for the last 31 months, he’s been giving her the whole driver – shaft and all!

    c/0 DailyComedy.com.

  129. FrustratedBuyer says:

    #52 Shelley

    I wish I were in such a market. My targeted area is Montgomery Township, 500k-750k. I just made an offer at 95% OLP today and was ridiculed by the seller agent. She said they have 5 offers already.

    Bairen, do you see similar activities in Basking Ridge?

  130. Schumpeter says:

    BC (130)-

    I think you are proposing an independent contractor-type arrangement. :)

    You’ll have to set up your own trading station and mix your own martinis. Sorry.

  131. Schumpeter says:

    John (132)-

    solvent green?

    cannable?

    We should have a contest, using both these words in a sentence.

  132. Schumpeter says:

    Just saw TMZ for the first time.

    I don’t want Bergabe or Eraserhead executed on TV anymore. I want all these annoying, loser “reporters” lined up against a wall and sprayed with bullets.

    Preferably televised between the last NFL game and 60 Minutes.

  133. John says:

    I gots to go to Frankfurt for business, any john type places I should hit?

  134. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    You would enjoy the neighborhood just east of the Hauptbahnhoft .

  135. Schumpeter says:

    John (138)-

    Just walk around and ask where Eva Braun’s place is.

  136. Schumpeter says:

    I hear the happy endings business in Germany is in a deflationary slump.

  137. lisoosh says:

    still_looking says:
    December 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    “I still can’t decide where to set roots…I’m struggling with the decision.”

    still, can I ask what does your other half do for a living?

    Reason I ask is that your profession is so mobile, the country really is your oyster.

    I’m going through the same thought process. I’m sick of moving after all those emigrations, but can’t see myself here for the long haul. Doing some serious soul searching as to where I want to be (professionally, geographically) in the next 10-20 years.

  138. PGC says:

    #138 Straw

    Lived there for about 8 months. The first three were spent living in Le Meridian.

    Anywhere on Kaiserstrasse between the main station and the Commerzbank tower, should get you started.

  139. Morpheus says:

    #111 Nom:
    we will discuss this potential business venture at the GTG. I have to have my kid delivered to my workplace that day. Depending on his behavior.

    newsflash: I just have been handed a motion to be argued in Sussex county at 1:30 P.M. Might not make it to GTG at all. That would require me to drive to work, drive to sussex county, and then drive back to work.

    Damn, another missed business opportunity! We shall see. Let me see how I can swing things: wife has rehersal that day in NYC.

  140. lisoosh says:

    Nom – I know it’s your profession so hard for you to ignore, but not all decisions in life are or should be made in relation to taxes.

    Charitable giving isn’t just about deductions. There are a lot of reasons -fear, kindness, true charity, relief (there but for the grace of G-d go I), personal connection to a cause and of course personal satisfaction and a need for recognition. Some of the biggest gifts out there were for no bigger reason than “because I was asked”.

    Hiring is about things like increasing sales, better marketing, professional accounting.

    Peoples choice of home state/country is about things like family, weather, work availability, lifestyle, language, food and a host of other variables.

    What a sad world to live in where the only driving motivation is taxes or tax avoidance.

  141. still_looking says:

    lis, 142

    He’s a carpenter by trade. Been stay-at-home Dad for now. (just made more sense and we didn’t want our kid raised by someone else.)

    Ever feel like you needed guidance in the worst way and didn’t have it? I don’t even mean in the shrink-couch way, just the “how do I plan – how do sort it out” way…

    I feel lost. Worse yet, I feel OLD and lost.

    sl

  142. Outofstater says:

    #136 I sterilized my Mason jars with boiling water, sprayed solvent green on my rutabagas to wash off the dirt and then they were cannable.

  143. Al Gore says:

    147.

    I wouldnt buy a house right now. You are in an incredibly strong position. A highly mobile career without being a bag holder. Protect your cash reserves as best you can and wait for the inevitable crash which is coming.

    Then we rebuild.

  144. BC Bob says:

    Anybody get the feeling that the SHTF sometime in 2010?

  145. d2b says:

    still-
    There’s a lot of that going around.

    I went to see a customer yesterday that is being sued by his former boss after buying him out. This guy would take this old man on vacation and take care of him since he had no children. The old man’s nephews got to him and convinced him that my friend was ripping him off. For almost 15 years the my friend drove him to doctor’s appointments and looked after him.

    The look of disgust was difficult. He was close to being in tears. Everybody is tired these days.

    On the other hand, maybe this is the kick in the teeth that this country needed. Generations before us were tougher because they struggled.

  146. d2b says:

    BC Bob-
    I don’t. There have been no consequences to the SHTF last year and early this year. Sadly, this is the new reality.

  147. A.West says:

    John,

    In Frankfurt, try the Stadel Museum, a walk by the river, the Goethe Museum, and if the weather is nice, have a seat in Romer Square with a wurst, potato salad, and apfelwine.

    I spent a nice afternoon doing just that, staying awake long enough so that I wouldn’t be jet-lagged the next day.

  148. Schumpeter says:

    lisoosh (146)-

    I can’t afford my tax bill. Can I send it to you?

  149. BC Bob says:

    SL [147],

    Stop that sheet. You’re young and have a better head than 99% of the population.

    Today is the 1st day of the rest of our life.

  150. Schumpeter says:

    stater (148)-

    I doubt that will be topped! :)

  151. HEHEHE says:

    Those Republicans are a bunch of criminal coddlers!!!

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/187083.asp

  152. BC Bob says:

    d2b [152],

    25 Mil unemployed/underemployed, hourly wages falling, avg work week at all time lows?

  153. meter says:

    John has insolvent green.

  154. Schumpeter says:

    Let’s see Jamil try to wiggle out of the Huckabee thing. It’s guaranteed he’s gonna try.

    Does this mean Huckabee’s lost Chuck Norris’ endorsement in the next election cycle?

  155. Schumpeter says:

    BC (158)-

    Noise & outliers.

  156. Ellen says:

    #146 lisoosh –

    The relative anonymity of the internet allows me to speak freely without feeling I’m bragging.

    We give tens of thousands in charitable donations every year. Never has income taxes been a consideration in our donations. You know why? Thanks to the AMT, there’s little effect on our bottom line.

    You know what we do consider though? How much we pay in federal and state income taxes. It’s well over six figures. If that sum were lowered, we’d have more money to give to charity.

    I have no idea how much you pay in taxes but if you’re not in the top percentage of wage earners and your charitable giving actually affects your tax bill, then you have no business judging those of us who do give so generously to charity despite having little to no effect on our taxes.

  157. d2b says:

    Bob-
    Up, up, and away. All of this doesn’t matter. Correction or Crash just to extort more from we the people. Or continue a run-up because they can.

    Fine for those of you that can play the trends. Terrible for the rest of us. Read somewhere that things started to take a dump when finance became an industry instead of the support mechanism for industry.

    Wife and I have a small business at the shore, tourist trap kind of thing. If things consider to suck in the real world, I’m selling my PA house and moving to the shore full time. I’ll be the only one moving into NJ, while you all are trying to leave. Then all I will need to do is pray for sun. It will be my escape plan.

  158. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [126] PGC

    “At that point the company will run the numbers and if the cost of carry works, they will still hire.”

    EXACTLY. My point is that the additional tax/cost/regulation acts as a thumb on that scale. For those close to a tipping point, that may make things tip.

    I don’t understand why I am the only one who thinks that way. Am I not getting through? Lisoosh seems to think that I think that all decisions are tax driven. No, but tax is taking a bigger and bigger role than it did.

    Used to be you said “don’t let the tax tail wag the dog” when making a business decision, but now the tail is a lot more imposing than it used to be. I can’t ignore that, and my clients certainly aren’t. Especially in an assymetric world.

  159. Schumpeter says:

    Anybody here think the following people wouldn’t shoot you or your kid between the eyes in order to keep the charade going?:

    -Rahm Emanuel

    -Bergabe

    -Eraserhead

    -Chris Dodd

    -Michael Steele

    -Barney Frank

    -Jamie Dimon

  160. Sean says:

    Laugh of the day.

    Senator Jim Bunning today on national television, looked Ben Bernanke square in the eye and told him that he and his contemporaries have “truly made the Fed the Creature from Jekyll Island”.

  161. BC Bob says:

    “Up, up, and away. All of this doesn’t matter.”

    d2b [163],

    It doesn’t matter until it does. Then it’s too late. Then, the universal excuse, nobody saw this coming.

    A sh*tstorm is coming. There are a plethora of pins surrounding the balloon, as it inflates. Which pin/pins triggers it? Take your pick.

    The govt can’t reverse a businees cycle. All they can accomplish is to delay and prolong the agony.

  162. Schumpeter says:

    plume (164)-

    It’s not about the taxes, or the amount.

    It’s about the fact that I didn’t invite the gubmint to be my partner. And, they are muscling in on me and mine in a fashion more reminiscent of Corleone than Uncle Sam.

  163. BC Bob says:

    That’s business.

  164. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [160] schump

    Little known fact, but states routinely ship their parolees out to other states. The exporting states actually maintain parole offices in other states. Idea was, I suppose, to get some distance from bad trash. Doesn’t work so well as you have parolees running around here from other states, so you have just as many former hoodlums as you did before.

    I know little about this, and apparently it is done by cooperative agreement, one that Ark. now finds itself out of.

    Personally, if I am a state governor in the Northwest, I have no interest in taking the SE or East Coast’s trash. Why they do is beyond me.

  165. still_looking says:

    Al G, BC 149/150

    I feel it. It all seems tenuous and yet I almost prefer the thought of crash/rebuild — rather than the protracted bleeding/retransfusing.

    I would see us stronger as a country if we flushed out the bullshit and worked on research, development, manufacturing and real things.

    Yet this farce continues. I don’t see a crash coming. I see years and years of this same charade of extend/pretend.

    Thanks for the kind words. I needed them today.

    sl

  166. confused in NJ says:

    163. Read somewhere that things started to take a dump when finance became an industry instead of the support mechanism for industry.

    Right On. A considerable part of our Service Economy is functions like Finance, which use to be overhead functions for Product Industries.

  167. still_looking says:

    Ellen, 162

    I’m not sure how you read that as lisoosh judging anyone.

    Quite frankly, taxes are an issue for many folks. Property taxes in particular can force folks to uproot, move, etc.

    sl

  168. Schumpeter says:

    When juveniles commit heinous crimes at such a young age, it’s more of an indicator that they should be immediately executed than given the opposite sort of treatment.

    Of course, that would force us as a society to acknowledge that some people are just born evil.

  169. Stu says:

    Nom, Lisoosh,

    I liken the government health care employee quota to how I see AMT impacting my net income once I reached that threshold. Lord knows I take home less after tax pay now than I did when my salary was $10,000 lower and I had tons of tax write-offs at hand.

    Fortunately, my salary was cut by 11%, so I’ll now make more ‘net’ this year.

    It’s a crazy world we live in.

    Speaking of charitable contributions, I think the efforts by fundraisers have quadrupled in the last year. We hit our allotment in like March.

  170. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [168] schump,

    As you are channeling famous economists, perhaps you can expound on how such gov interference actually forms barriers to entry?

    In my work, I see things like taxes or regulation actually advocated by some industry players, who would be subject to it, because it forms a barrier to entry by competitors. It’s one reason why Target is actually helping to fund anti-Walmart groups (since a unionized wal-mart won’t compete as effectively with Target). Healthcare is an even better example since it forces more companies to absorb a cost that other companies do, thus eliminating a competitive advantage. This is one example of how paternalistic governance actually winds up hurting the people it is supposed to protect.

    Thus, if health care costs are too onerous, and taxes go up, well, you can’t compete. Either you go out, or you never get in in the first place. The other guy, with his economy of scale, gets your clients, and since he now controls more of the market, he has pricing power, and up go prices when his competitors have withered away, or never materialize because the barrier to entry is that much higher.

    (Oh, I forgot. Businesspeople don’t consider such things.)

  171. still_looking says:

    d2b,

    I know what you mean… I guess the economy has been drudging along now long enough that I’m just numb to it.

    My dream is to own a sunblock/lotion/ice tea/shaved ice stand on a beach.

    Save a spot for me and my family.

    sl

  172. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Sort-of Tax News of the Day:

    “The House voted 224-199 Dec. 3 to pass and send the Senate a bill (H.R. 4154) that would make permanent the 2009 estate tax rate and exemption levels, although there is no clear path to enactment.

    While Democrats argued the $233.6 billion legislation would provide stability and certainty, Republicans argued that death should not be a taxable event and said that while full repeal is preferable, they were open to other options, such as indexing, a lower rate, and higher exemption levels.

    Twenty-six Democrats voted with 173 Republicans in opposition, while no Republicans crossed party lines to vote for the legislation.

    The legislation would make permanent the current estate tax rate of 45 percent and the non-indexed exemption levels of $3.5 million for individuals ($7 million for couples). Absent congressional action, the rate would fall to zero in 2010 and then rebound to 55 percent in 2011, with an exemption level of $1 million.

    Ways and Means Committee member Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) called the legislation “dead on arrival” in the Senate, saying it is “very unlikely the Senate is going to take a break from health care (H.R. 3590) and other issues to pass a bill they have serious concerns about.”

    Anyone need their estate plan reworked?

  173. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [178] redux

    BTW, IMHO Brady is full of it. I think this thing sails through the Senate on a voice vote.

  174. #172 – Read somewhere that things started to take a dump when finance became an industry…

    When the US was primarily a manufacturing economy we had economic policies designed to support manufacturing; highway systems (cars), expansion of the suburbs (household goods), etc.
    The finance industry has one primary product, debt. We have economic policies to support that that product’s expansion.

  175. still_looking says:

    BC. 167

    I know ultimately you are probably gonna be right… I just see the gubmint doing everything short of selling their mothers to keep the stench of the litter pan from overwhelming the house.

    They’ve already sold our kids into slavery.

    What next??

    I see us as Japan. We’ll be dead for years anyway. I wish I just knew how to trade it and more importantly, how to live it.

    BTW. I did find my shiny with both hands. :)

    sl

  176. still_looking says:

    Nom, 178

    yeah. me.

    sl

  177. Schumpeter says:

    plume (176)-

    You said it for me. I can only add that any astute businessperson has it as one of his top priorities that he must kill his competitors. As Bill Gates can attest, it’s a natural, capitalistic impulse to obtain market share and grow profits at the expense of a competitor. To the degree that the gubmint can be engaged as an unwitting ally in that battle, business will use it accordingly.

    My business will not survive the next few years because we’re better, brighter or more hardworking than the offices around me. It’s because we’ve achieved economies not available to larger, more cumbersome organizations; poached superior talent whenever possible; and, hoped that the gubmint sees fit to engage with competitors’ more-complex hierarchies whenever possible.

  178. PGC says:

    #162 Ellen

    Thank you for caring and thank you for your generosity.
    Part of the argument here is that some people see Healthcare and Welfare for those on the bottom rungs of our society as not the responsibility of the government. Looking after those who cannot look after themselves should be done at a charity level and not through government (ie taxes).

    If not for you, who funds the charities?

  179. Schumpeter says:

    sl (181)-

    Nah. Japan- throughout their whole “Lost Decades” debacle- has had a much higher rate of personal savings and has endured as well as could be hoped for.

    Us, OTOH, are headed back to the 16th century.

  180. bocce ball says:

    Tiger’s women – None of them are prom queens, but isn’t that what side beef is all about?

    http://tinyurl.com/yfpjjyc

    who’s ready for Jersey Shore tonight?

  181. Schumpeter says:

    Nothing in this country that a strict caste system, some feudalism and some indentured servitude can’t fix.

  182. still_looking says:

    Schump, 186

    … sigh … thanks for that enlightenment….*reaches for Prozac bottle*

    does anyone know how to pronounce “Prescient?”

    Is it a short (eh) or long (ee) ?

    Thanks, in advance,

    sl

  183. Sean says:

    re# 184 Yikes – Al Gore is a nutter pay no attention to him, he has no clue on how the treaty process even works.

    Obama is only making a pit stop in Copenhagen for a day on his way to Oslo to attend the the big party and accept his Nobel.

    Any treaty will have to wait until after Mid-Term elections.

  184. PGC says:

    #164 Nom

    Is that scale weighing a few ounces of flour or 250LB sack of potatoes. How much effect will that thumb have on the overall measurement. Will it be a tipping point for that 48 person company, well maybe yes. Will it be a tipping point for GE/CAT/Walmart etc etc, probably not.

    The status quo on the likes of healthcare means no hiring, giving the companies another tax break will still mean no hiring. So if you feel like you are the only one getting your argument, maybe you are out on a limb.

  185. PGC says:

    #178 Nom,

    Does that mean we can pull the plug on Grandma as we won’t the the the 1MM+ tax free jackpot.

  186. Al Gore says:

    185.

    If you search engine Copenhagen treaty you can read it for yourself. Its 187 pages long and the aims are clearly outlined.
    Here is a scribd version. http://www.scribd.com/doc/22648895/UN-Copenhagen-Treaty-2009

    Making people aware of the BS is the only way to stop it. Australias parliament shot down their version of Cap n Trade yesterday.

    Obama did state he is going to Copenhagen next week but he has to pick up his nobel peace prize first.

  187. Schumpeter says:

    Nom (178)-

    I think the only meaningful estate plan reworking will come through putting knockout drops in Gramps’ mashed potatoes, then applying a pillow to the face.

    Anybody wanna bet this kind of incident is on the rise by about this time next year?

  188. Al Gore says:

    171.

    You have taken the red pill. Its a rabbit hole. If you want the truth its out there you just have to dig down the rabbit hole. Problem is you wont sleep as well at night but you wont panic when it all goes down.

  189. safeashouses says:

    #134 frustratedbuyer

    We moved from Basking Ridge area. I still check the prices once a month. The listing prices continue to drop. I’ve seen townhouses listed for 2003 prices and there are livable 3 bedroom SFH for under 400k list.

    We’re not bidding on anything so I don’t know about the multiple offers. If the place was just listed or had a significant price cut recently I would be more inclined to believe there could be multiple offers then if it’s been at the same list price for 4 plus months. Clot would have a lot more knowledge of bidding wars, if there are any going on.

  190. Al Gore says:

    Guys like Sean are going to get burned bad. I just hope hes all talk or is too poor to have any assets to protect.

  191. John says:

    Most people have no clue how stupid people are in “industry”, after 9/11 I had to do some consulting work from Pittsburgh to Seattle and JC the simplest stupidest concepts were beyond them. They were still accpting checks and sending paper invoices and typewritters were in the offices. OMG you want to let these folks run our country.

  192. Stu says:

    still_looking (171):
    “I would see us stronger as a country if we flushed out the bullshit and worked on research, development, manufacturing and real things.”

    I’ve felt this way since the first bailout. It’s the old Band-Aid analogy come full circle. The moral hazard and laws of unintended consequences (IMO) are going to be much greater than had we let the companies (and rich executives) who run them off the hook for their deplorable behavior (gambling).

    Of course, our government’s decisions are always based on what is in the best interests of the ruling (rich) classes. They benefited greatly through mark to fantasy and bailout after bailout. It’s us peons that are wholly on the unemployment line.

  193. Schumpeter says:

    Anytime a seller will deliberately underprice his house by a little, you get a bidding war. Even today.

    It is the best tactic I know to obtain the best possible price. That’s why so few sellers do it.

  194. safeashouses says:

    #167 BC Bob

    What’s better, a sudden implosion, or to be slowly ground up, and then when you think it’s over, they bring out the steel rollers to finally pulverize you.

  195. make money says:

    Hofstra dropped football team? I many people that chose that school just beacuse of the parties and games.

  196. Stu says:

    “Anytime a seller will deliberately underprice his house by a little, you get a bidding war. Even today.”

    You are absolutely correct! Every house that is overpriced collects dust. Every house that is underpriced sells for close to what the overpriced moron would have been willing to sell it for.

    Been seeing this in the good and bad times.

  197. lisoosh says:

    #162 – Ellen – thank you for your generosity.
    I’m not sure where your anger comes from though. I clearly stated that most people who give generously to charities do so DESPITE tax deductions, not because of them. This was in response to Nom mentioning the other day that removal of the deduction would prevent him from giving.

    I worked in fundraising – major gifts specifically. I am well aware, and eternally grateful for the fact that there are incredibly generous individuals out there who deeply care for many worthy causes and go out of their way to support them.

  198. 3b says:

    #203 How does one determine under priced today?

  199. lisoosh says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    December 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    ” Lisoosh seems to think that I think that all decisions are tax driven. ”

    NO. I said that your posts always reference taxes in decision making. I pointed out that there are MANY factors in personal and business decisions outside of taxes.

  200. lisoosh says:

    sl #173 – Thanks

  201. Schumpeter says:

    Football is a dying sport. When TSHTF, the cost of equipment, practice time demands, the need for large numbers of players and risk of injury will finish it off.

    Good riddance. Expect to see lots more schools drop it.

  202. Sean says:

    re: #197 – Al – I have my sanity to protect hence my lack of enthusiasm for anything you manage to bang out on a keyboard.

  203. Nomad says:

    Still Looking,

    Keep your chin up. You are smart by being restrained and looking at things objectively. We left NJ a couple of years ago due to circumstances beyond our control but were eager to do so in part because of the property taxes. Keeping yourself mobile, not owning a home puts you in the drivers seat. Some of the other stuff is psychological and can be managed via self talk.

    Mark McCormick (author of what they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School) said to wait as long as possible to make big decisions as the extra time often allows things to work themselves out or at least be a whole lot clearer.

    NJ has a lot of financial problems so buying there would probably represent a long term committment and the housing market ain’t at the bottom yet. Furthermore, going out 2+ years selling a home may be significantly more difficult.

    I am living in limbo too which has it’s moments but the flexibility is worth the cost.

  204. Schumpeter says:

    “Some of the other stuff is psychological and can be managed via self talk.”

    My one big attempt at therapy, the lady said something like this to me…so I asked her why the hell should I spend $100/hour talking to her.

    Later that week, I discovered Knob Creek.

  205. Schumpeter says:

    Only problem is, every other word of my self-talk is f#^k.

  206. still_looking says:

    Nomad, 211

    Thank you for the kind words as well. I have too many factors to weigh in and that’s a large chunk of the problem.

    I appreciate your post though. I don’t feel as much like an unmoored skiff knowing that others have been there too.

    sl

  207. still_looking says:

    Stu,

    I guess I am old school… I’d rather rip the festering, soiled bandage off than extend the agony.

    sl

  208. still_looking says:

    Schump, 213

    As I have been accused of “pottymouth” – I have attempted to curb my sass.

    *grits teeth* it ain’t easy.

    sl

  209. safeashouses says:

    #196 safe

    Clot’s #200 response was what I meant.

  210. lisoosh says:

    still_looking says:
    December 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    “lis, 142

    He’s a carpenter by trade. Been stay-at-home Dad for now. (just made more sense and we didn’t want our kid raised by someone else.)

    Ever feel like you needed guidance in the worst way and didn’t have it? I don’t even mean in the shrink-couch way, just the “how do I plan – how do sort it out” way…

    I feel lost. Worse yet, I feel OLD and lost.

    sl”

    Snap. Too many decisions, not young enough for it not to matter. I know exactly what you mean about needing a wise old head to just help me sort it all out and point out which options have potential, which suck and where the pitfalls could be.

    Lucky that both of you have highly mobile professions. Of course too many options can be as much a curse as a blessing, but at least you are not locked into one employer or geographical area.

  211. John says:

    A.West says:
    December 3, 2009 at 2:08 pm
    John,
    Thank!! BTW which of those two museums have the “lampshades” on display?

    In Frankfurt, try the Stadel Museum, a walk by the river, the Goethe Museum, and if the weather is nice, have a seat in Romer Square with a wurst, potato salad, and apfelwine.

    I spent a nice afternoon doing just that, staying awake long enough so that I wouldn’t be jet-lagged the next day.

  212. safeashouses says:

    #216 lishoosh

    Exactly. Lots of mom and pop restaurants and stores in Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan compared to here. i think People are chained to the corporate desk partly because of health benefits.

  213. Nomad says:

    #214: try writing each of the factors down, along with when you guess a decision needs to be made on each one.

    Also write next to them the economic and non-economic risks

    Once its on paper, might be easier to digest.

    On your post about old school, with you there except most of the folk who can handle this lived through the great depression and not the great entitlement ear.

    Funny how my 87 year old father gets a chuckle out of our “difficult” economic times. He thinks this country has gone way soft. At 18, I was in college, and he was fighting WW2.

  214. Essex says:

    People adjust to whatever is expected of them. Bottom line. We have a lot of very ignorant people ‘managing’ our affairs. Good Luck Chris Christie.

  215. chicagofinance says:

    Schumpeter says:
    December 3, 2009 at 1:29 pm
    John (132)- cannable?

    Is that an Italian clothing designer?

  216. Essex says:

    The whole notion of service is gone. Now service means how fast I get my fries from the drive thru.

  217. still_looking says:

    Nomad, 222

    Thanks..will try it.

    Resonates well with me, about your dad. My 84 yr old dad was in the same boat (er, WW2 destroyer – a ‘tin can sailor’ actually!) so to speak.

    The poverty he lived through as a child, and was retold to us growing up is jaw dropping compared to today’s poverty.

    It’s humbling.

    sl

  218. BC Bob says:

    Sean [166],

    Jim “Perfect” Bunning must be a regular on this site?

  219. Anon E. Moose says:

    178.Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    December 3, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Anyone need their estate plan reworked?

    I predict a sharp increas in the number of rich Americans traveling abroad who disappear/are presumed dead under mysterious circumstances in 2010.

  220. John says:

    Ha, WWII at 18, big deal, I had to walk a couple blocks by myself at the age of 5 to kindergarten in the Bronx and learned you take the beating but don’t give up the milk money, And that was the first days lesson.

  221. schabadoo says:

    i think People are chained to the corporate desk partly because of health benefits.

    With health care such a huge expense, I’d guess the same thing.

  222. Shore Guy says:

    “Charitable giving isn’t just about deductions. There are a lot of reasons -fear, kindness, true charity, relief (there but for the grace of G-d go I), personal connection to a cause and of course personal satisfaction and a need for recognition.”

    Thus is so very true. BUT, and this comes from a family that give away a fair bit of money each year, the assalut on our assets (it seems like the “solution” to every problem facing the nation is to tax people like us) makes us feel iy is necessary to husband our resources. But for the money-grubbing positions of BHO and his ilk, charities would have gotten thousands more from us this year. I would really like to help all of the groups we traditionally help, but the pie is only so big. as government sucks more money from our savings, charities get less. I can’t give away money I no longer have.

  223. Al Gore says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Democrat on Capitol Hill said Thursday that Congress will tap unused funds from the Wall Street bailout to pay for new spending on roads and bridges and save the jobs of firefighters, teachers and other public employees.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said money from the bailout should be used to pay for jobs legislation that would funnel billions of dollars to road, bridge and other infrastructure projects and also help struggling state and local governments retain public employees. She also promised help for small businesses reeling from a credit crunch.

    http://www.courant.com/business/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-us-democrats-jobs,0,2452981.story

    Burn, baby Burn.

    This b#tch is public enemy number 1.

  224. schabadoo says:

    This b#tch is public enemy number 1.

    You linked to a story about using Wall Street bailout money on roads and infrastructure projects.

    You know, there’s a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.

  225. BC Bob says:

    “I had to walk a couple blocks by myself at the age of 5 to kindergarten in the Bronx and learned you take the beating but don’t give up the milk money”

    J,

    Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

  226. FrustratedBuyer says:

    #196 safeashouse, #200 Schumpeter
    Thanks.

    10 to 12% off peak is not exactly low asking. I start to believe that Montgomery, Somerset in 500 to 750k is a different market segment.

  227. FrustratedBuyer says:

    Safe, does your old handle mean white guy?

  228. 3b says:

    #235 It is not;no area is. period.

  229. BC Bob says:

    European CB’s step up and partake? Nah, let the walking dead, US taxpayer carry the burden.

    “In fact, the Inspector General makes it clear that no serious efforts were made to get the partners to take haircuts, and one bank’s offer to take a haircut was declined. I can only think of two possible reasons you would not make then-New York Fed President Geithner try to save the taxpayers some money by seriously negotiating or at least take up U.B.S. on their offer of a haircut. Sadly, those two reasons are incompetence or a desire to secretly funnel more money to a few select firms, most notably Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and a handful of large European banks. I also cannot understand why you did not seek European government contributions to this bailout of their banking system.”

    http://bunning.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=NewsCenter.NewsReleases&ContentRecord_id=556a0e84-feaa-d20f-2867-6793698d6974

  230. FrustratedBuyer says:

    #237

    Believe me, I really wish you are right.

  231. Veto That says:

    “I start to believe that Montgomery, Somerset in 500 to 750k is a different market segment.”

    Ive been looking about twenty minutes south of Montgomery in a lower price range and sometimes i feel the same way.
    Question: Are you asian? I know thats personal but i see alot of asian buyers new to the area over recent years. I believe that is keeping prices up higher than other regions. The recent nj census survey supports this idea.

  232. 3b says:

    #239 I am right;simple as that, nothing new.

  233. FrustratedBuyer says:

    #241

    Yes, I am Chinese. Chinese love Montgomery like crazy because of its schools. Chinese usually live a frugal live but they can spend a lot on house and education. Nearly all my competitors have good credit scores and large down payment. It is so sad that they don’t believe home price can drop.

  234. Schumpeter says:

    frustrated (235)-

    Wrong. The sellers just hide their insolvency better.

  235. Schumpeter says:

    Three 1mm+ Montgomery Twp lis pendens in the last three weeks.

    All three of the owners have FL mailing addresses.

  236. Veto That says:

    FrustratedBuyer.
    Montgomery is a good district for sure. Good luck to you.
    Just to offer some perspective… the whole economy almost collapsed last year and we barely got a 10% discount in some of the stronger towns with good schools. Maybe it is kindof sad that everyone doesnt think prices will crash but on the other hand they might be partially right. Time will tell.
    I guess that makes me a frustrated buyer too..

  237. Schumpeter says:

    frustrated (243)-

    Montgomery schools are overrated. No better/worse than Ridge, N Hunterdon, Watchung Hls, or any of the better districts in central NJ. My daughter has friends at all these schools, and I deal with parents from all these districts professionally and in coaching.

    You wanna get sucked down the vortex with your label-conscious pals? Be my guest.

  238. FrustratedBuyer says:

    It’s true that 1mm+ are sitting forever. There are no takers because of tax. There is one currently asking for 729k and sitting. It could sell for more than 900k at the peak. It is a good deal price wise. However its 20k tax makes it hot potato.

  239. FrustratedBuyer says:

    247
    Schools you mentioned are good. However, they are too far away. I can’t say Hillsborough schools are on the same level as Montgomery’s

  240. Veto That says:

    Schumpt, if we dont get significantly lower home prices when the currency collapses then i will really be upset.

  241. chicagofinance says:

    John says:
    December 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm
    Ha, WWII at 18, big deal, I had to walk a couple blocks by myself at the age of 5 to kindergarten in the Bronx and learned you take the beating but don’t give up the milk money, And that was the first days lesson.

    JJ: My first date was when I was 7 years old with Helen Kim. We rode our bikes around the neighborhood. I came home with a black eye because the teenage cousin of a guy in my second grade class demand that I give up my bike. I did not…..not cause I was a hero or anything, I just didn’t know how much it was going to hurt…

  242. relo says:

    245: Hmmm…would that be “bankruptcy-haven/asset protection haven” Florida?

  243. Schumpeter says:

    frustrated (249)-

    Why? Because they don’t court the media rags that rate the schools?

    Run along, now. The herd is getting ahead of you.

  244. House Whine says:

    249- Agreed that Montgomery has a grand new high school and very good test scores. I guess everything is relative because Hillsborough would be just fine for a lot of parents. But I guess it’s not quite upper tier. Sometimes I think it’s harder of kids to compete with so much pressure though and sometimes they thrive when they have the chance to be the stars.

  245. FrustratedBuyer says:

    Clot, if you fail to see the differences between Montgomery schools and Hillsborough schools, I would question myself if I have put too much weight on what you said over the years.

  246. Al Gore says:

    210.

    Sean,

    Im not going to sit here and argue with you. Maybe I am crazy but at least my information comes right from the source and is based on facts not propaganda. I suspect my distrust of government is going to save me a lot of money. How about you?

    All this has been talked about for a long time. Its only now creeping into mainstream news.

    Here is a lecture from 1974.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE7E5oFmH9c

  247. FrustratedBuyer says:

    254-
    Sometimes I think it’s harder of kids to compete with so much pressure though and sometimes they thrive when they have the chance to be the stars.

    Agreed.

  248. Al Gore says:

    259.

    Your kids are going to get a real lesson in pressure soon. So are you. Let reality determine if they are stars.

  249. Firestormik says:

    lisoosh says:
    December 3, 2009 at 9:36 am
    Pat – #40 – Wal is building a Sams Club a few hundred yards away from Costco in Edison, so you might be right.
    ———————————-
    I’s been operational since last Winter. The parking lot is almost empty, but it’s still hard to find an empty spot at Costo on Saturday

  250. relo says:

    I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a3m5YKDn20BE

  251. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [233] schabadoo

    “You know, there’s a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.”

    YOU LIE!

    (It’s not as tasty. In fact, decaf tastes like some of the chemicals got left behind)

  252. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [204] lisoosh,

    Actually, you got that wrong. It wasn’t the removal of the deduction (and the only proposal floated would not affect me) that prompted my decision, it was the fact that taxes overall will go up on my cohort, and since the purpose for a goodly portion of said taxes is to assist the downtrodden, why should I do voluntarily what I am already doing involuntarily?

    After all, I have only so many dollars after taxes to play with. If the government is going to take more of those away from me, well, they have to get made up from somewhere, and I am not shorting my kid’s education or my retirement to fund something that I already give tens of thousands of dollars to anyway in the form of taxation.

    I also floated the idea that a form of tax protest could be for people (since they can’t refuse to pay taxes) refuse to give to charity. It is, however, and ugly and scroogish way to make one’s point, and for that reason would likely fail.

    And recall, charities were sufficiently put off by the prospect of higher taxes on their donors that they objected to the (additional) cap on deductibility of donations. If donors don’t consider taxes, then why the fear?

  253. Sean says:

    re: #256 Al – re: “my information” again you waste more keystrokes with your Illuminati crap.

    Take a hike already any piker can Google “conspiracy theory” and post links.

  254. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [191] county

    “So if you feel like you are the only one getting your argument, maybe you are out on a limb.”

    Maybe. Maybe I am the lone voice in the wilderness. Fact is, we can handicap this race all we want, the proof will be in what happens when this thing finally passes, and in what form.

    There is a partner here who is somewhat conservative, yet he loves what the administration is trying to do because of the chaos that will ensue. As Lyndon Johnson once said “a town so small it can’t support one lawyer can always support two.” Succumbing to the vulture mentality in law, I guess I don’t care so much what happens, as long as I know how it will turn out. Then I can bet on it.

  255. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [192] prince georges

    “Does that mean we can pull the plug on Grandma as we won’t the the the 1MM+ tax free jackpot.”

    If that was a serious estate planning question (and I doubt it is), can you rephrase it? I didn’t understand the “the the the” part.

  256. Al Gore says:

    265.

    Sean you sound like a guy that may be underwater in his mortgage. Or maybe you are about to lose your job. You are going to lose your shirt next.

    You drank the Kool-aid. While I was saving during the real estate boom you were buying. While I pulled out of the market in early 08 you were still in.

    Now you differentiate between crazy and stupid.

  257. schabadoo says:

    It’s not as tasty. In fact, decaf tastes like some of the chemicals got left behind

    Look, I know this. You know this.

    The poster going ballistic over already-budgeted money being moved around? Good chance they don’t.

  258. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [267] schabadoo

    I get very defensive where coffee is concerned.

  259. Sean says:

    Al Gore – claims to be smart piker now, buddy you are bringing a rifle to a tank battle.

  260. lisoosh says:

    #259 – Firestormik –

    That’s the new Walmart next door. They are also planning a Sams Club on the site of the old Ford factory. Maybe a mile from Costco.

    It’s a Wal sandwich.

    I had noticed that the Walmart is pretty empty there although it might just feel like that because it is so cavernous.

  261. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [267] schabado

    I went back and read the story. I would be siding with him before you on that one.

    Pelosi proposes to shift funds from one approved purpose to another; the funds were not approved for greedy bankers, not greedy democratic constituents, and I question the legality of such a move, given that appropriations are subject to approval by the Congress. If she shifted the funds to Afganistan, would you feel similarly?

    Furthermore, I think its a safe bet that if Bush and a GOP congress did that, you’d be going ballistic.

  262. Al Gore says:

    271.

    Lol. You will be lined up against a wall and shot. Useful idiot. Yuri Besmenov. Google that moron.

    “President Barack Obama promised at a White House jobs forum on Thursday to take “every responsible step to accelerate job creation,” including some ideas he said could be put into action quickly. He cited an expanded program to help make more U.S. homes energy-efficient as an example.”

    He claims incompetence now that hes under heat. Millions were screaming hell in April with the 787 billion pork bill. I bet you buy into that BS as well.

  263. lisoosh says:

    Shore – you are quite right about financial hardship cutting giving. And yes, that can include tax burden too.

    The crowd I was working with are the 6 and 7 figure donors. As in 6-7 figure GIFTS, the real heavy hitters. Their giving profiles are frequently very interesting. Rarely do they decrease though unless they suffer a major financial hit, the big foundation holders are very particular about fulfilling pledges too.

  264. BC Bob says:

    “You drank the Kool-aid. While I was saving during the real estate boom you were buying. While I pulled out of the market in early 08 you were still in.”

    AG,

    That’s not the Sean that I know. Are you talking about a different Sean?

  265. WHYoung says:

    Regarding “Funny, I was at Kohl’s last night for my yearly visit (family member gets a 30% off coupon). I don’t see how they make any money. 15% on top of 30%, with prices in the Target range.”

    I work for a company that supplies them… all the merchandise designed for them is planned to be sold at significant discounts.

    If you ever found out what the mark ups are on some of the stuff you buy you’d be shocked.

  266. schabadoo says:

    I get very defensive where coffee is concerned.

    As someone who grinds beans for my french press, I understand.

    Regarding the cash: If Bush wanted to spend some money in this country rather than his foreign infrastructure programs, I’d be the first one for it.

  267. lisoosh says:

    #262 – Nom, As someone who spends real time getting people to part with their money for charity- it is a poor charity that relies on donations where tax deductions are the principle motivator.

    Charitable giving is about a lot more, as is volunteering. Donor engagement is an art it is about showing people how to leverage their donations, get results and connecting them with people helped.

    Most people working for non-profits could make a h@ll of a lot more working for corporations, and the hours would be better too. The non-profits I’ve associated with have some of the most intelligent and dedicated individuals working for them I have ever met.

  268. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom[262];

    You’re not alone; I ‘get’ and agree with your argument. I ‘give’ at the office.

    -Moose

  269. Veto That says:

    “my information comes right from the source”

    al, what source is that? your posts are big on fear, short on supporting deatils and lack any sense of balance.
    the best way to describe you is like fox news to the nth power. plus you rarely post the source to your end-of-the-world tabloids. For all we know you could just be subscribing to the wrong newsletters. Initially you were entertaining but a one-trick pony’s novelty eventually wears off.
    And even if there is truth to your extremist scenarios, you should tone down the delivery so that the reader doesnt write you off as a complete lunatic.

  270. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (272) Al

    Was that directed to me? Sorry but it was a bit incoherent.

  271. Anon E. Moose says:

    lisoosh[277];

    Money is fungible. Folks eat dinner at the church 9or other private charity) ‘soup kitchen’; use their EBT card to buy filet mignion; and whip out their $99/mo Blackberry to take a picture of Michelle Obama dishing up their free dinner.

    The wealthy don’t give money away – they endow charitable foundations for big tax write offs today, and pay themselves and friends/hangers-on salaries from same in perpetuity, while posting expense ratios that would make Bernie Madoff blush. Pass.

  272. Pat says:

    Outofstater. Outofstater.

    Ba.

    Bahahha.

    Bahahahahahha.

  273. still_looking says:

    http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/demotivators_2084_1653147

    I think we can get a group discount…

    :)

    sl

  274. stilllooking says:

    Has anyone noticed that the blank check offerings from the credit card companies are no longer arriving in the mailboxes monthly like before….?

  275. Al Gore says:

    Veto,

    This source. Thats the Copenhagen treaty. Its not my job to be your journalist. Its your job to protect your freedom.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/22648895/UN-Copenhagen-Treaty-2009

  276. PGC says:

    #265

    Bad typing

    Does that mean we can pull the plug on Grandma before Christmas as we won’t get the 1MM+ tax free jackpot, by keeping her going to the New year.

  277. PGC says:

    #283 SL

    My personal favorite is Potential.

    http://www.despair.com/viewall.html

  278. Veto That says:

    Al, I can appreciate the whole paul revere shtick but its not my job to read every 200+ page document that comes out of the imf or world bank.
    Dont do that to yourself. You are going to blow a gasket.

  279. d2b says:

    Still-
    I get them. But the terms have changed over the last few months. I always read them in the past because I knew someone running an arbitrage racket a few years ago when the INGs of the world were offering 4%.

    Funny that the only people that can still do this are the banks with help of the Fed.

  280. Sean says:

    Simple question for Al Gore.

    I call this my nutter test.

    Who caused 9/11 and why?

  281. Veto That says:

    PGC – great link.

  282. bocce ball says:

    has anyone posted this unemployment mad?

    geez, this is terrible

    http://cohort11.americanobserver.net/latoyaegwuekwe/multimediafinal.html

  283. Pat says:

    re the WalvCost thing.

    Trying to track preplanning as indicator of gas prices.

    Wal going after Cost could mean more than sales recovery. Cost wins triple if gas goes back up.

  284. jamil says:

    221 “Exactly. Lots of mom and pop restaurants and stores in Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan compared to here. i think People are chained to the corporate desk partly because of health benefits.”

    So the strenght of US big corporations (think of Starbucks etc) is not really because of their successful business plans but because mom and pop places are not around because of health care. Damn you are creative – you should be writing stuff to O’s telepromter.

  285. Pat says:

    sl, keep your chin up. I was going to tell you something the other night but I deleted it.

    There are silver linings. You know there are. You have to find them.

    I bought a Lands’ End mock turtleneck for five bucks at Sears today. They actually had petite sizes. Five bucks. The lady at the register desperate to scan the coupon for me.
    And I’m a cheap Wally shopper.

    Sometimes I’m sleepless. Dark, stare at the ceiling sleepless. I do chain event stuff to try to fix my brain. Start with an assumption like there is a person out there doing odd, random and positively useful things. Then, I follow the chain of events. Next, two people, random, follow the chain to meet.

  286. OhComeOn says:

    Shore guy says: ” the assalut on our assets (it seems like the “solution” to every problem facing the nation is to tax people like us) makes us feel iy is necessary to husband our resources. But for the money-grubbing positions of BHO and his ilk, charities would have gotten thousands more from us this year. I would really like to help all of the groups we traditionally help, but the pie is only so big. as government sucks more money from our savings, charities get less. I can’t give away money I no longer have.”

    Last year you said that democratic tax policy would prohibit sending your daughter to the college of her choice. (Smith, as I recall.) Now you say you can’t give as much as you’d like to charity because of these same tax policies. And yet, you do manage to find the money to fly first class and follow Springsteen up and down the east coast.

    I guess we should all be glad that people who earn less than $25K a year give a greater percentage of their income to charity than those who earn over $100K.

    “People earning less than $25,000 contribute an average of 4.2 percent of their household income to charitable groups, while those making $100,000 or more shell out an average of 2.7 percent of earnings.”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4021/is_11_24/ai_95309979/

  287. Pat says:

    JB, enjoy Hawaii.

  288. House Whine says:

    284.
    Yes, I noticed but we still get a few here and there. I hate getting them because I am forced to shred them- you can’t just throw the envelope unopened in the garbage. If I never see another one of those for me or any of my family members in my lifetime I will be thrilled.
    But, I still get unsolicited credit card applications which annoys me to no end. The worst is the Amex (I think that’s the one) where they send you an annoying fake credit card which I subsequently have to cut up because you can’t rip it up. All this extra work for crap I never asked for in the first place.

  289. NJGator says:

    Nom – has your wife found this place yet? http://www.chocolatepath.com

    Lil Gator and I stopped in there tonight to try some of the fancy hot chocolate they were sampling tonight (Stu’s away, so might as well spoil him with some dessert before dinner). We got a nice dark chocolate with caramel and hawaiian sea salt. Should go nicely with a cup of highly-caffeinated 100% Kona.

  290. lisoosh says:

    Anon – I rarely wish people ill, but your last post was so ass-wipey I’m going to hope to get to see life on the other side one of these days.
    Lets see your attitude then.

  291. still_looking says:

    Just for the record… 284 was not “me” — I don’t know who is so enamored with my handle…… those who know me, know it can’t be me… not that my writing stands out or anything. :)

    sl

  292. still_looking says:

    PGC, 287… I love them, just love them… they fuel my chagrin towards pollyanna-ishness (if that’s even decipherable..)

    sl

  293. Schumpeter says:

    frustrated (255)-

    Better than? What’s your criteria? Academic? Student life? Sports? Scores on the idiot tests?

    Let’s put it on the table. Are there too many lower middle class kids at Hillsborough? Too many lazy white kids? Too many black kids? Too many jocks? Too many kids who might do a couple of years at RVCC, but they still take the SAT and drag down the school’s average score?

    My daughter has played club lacrosse for several years with kids from both schools. She has had Montgomery teammates who a have 10-cent minds and type-A parents and Hillsborough teammates who were absolute beasts on the field and now go to Ivy League schools (Ali Deluca @ Penn comes to mind).

    It takes no imagination to follow the herd into a Princeton mailing address, a shiny new facility and a yearly “top 5” ranking in NJ Monthly. However, I seriously doubt there is much qualitative difference in the education a good student can obtain at either school.

    Perhaps you have put too much stock in what I say here. If anything, the thing I rail against the most is swallowing the party line and accepting the conventional wisdom without question.

  294. Schumpeter says:

    And…it sounds like you can’t man up and take down a house in that district, anyway. Regardless of the quality of the market, the people there are gonna make the barrier to entry high, so either jump it or STFU.

  295. still_looking says:

    Pat, 296

    Thanks! I am usually better about outlook… but it’s just painful to see our government doing the things they do and feeling truly helpless to stop any of it.

    Worse is that “Chicken Little” feeling… but sensing something large is really about to drop. Yet the superficial appearance is that “all is well” and “stay the course”

    Then, all I read resonates with tones of “this isn’t going to end well” — and not just from this site.

    I really feel like we are in those uncharted waters. It doesn’t feel good.

    sl

  296. still_looking says:

    Schump,

    I owe you a big “Thanks!” [First Valley Funding is a quality operation.]

    sl

  297. Schumpeter says:

    gator (300)-

    Only a place like Montclair could you find a joint where they f*^k up a perfectly good dessert by dumping designer salt in it. :)

  298. Schumpeter says:

    sl (307)-

    Thanks. Mr. Frustrated Montgomery Wannabe thinks he’s paid too much attention to my opinion over the years.

  299. Schumpeter says:

    sl (306)-

    You can’t stop the gubmint from doing what they do, but you can sure see it for what it is and mine it for opportunity.

    If the herd wants to get long eyewash and hopeium, you just have to short it. We all know how the movie ends, right?

  300. NJGator says:

    Clot 308 – In addition to the salt, you can also get the highest grade dark chocolate with chipotle pepper…and then walk across the street to buy some organic artisan spelt bread.

    These are just a few of the amenities of living in the WoHo section of town.

  301. d2b says:

    Sean says:
    December 3, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Simple question for Al Gore.

    I call this my nutter test.

    Who caused 9/11 and why?

    Sean:
    You go first.

  302. PGC says:

    #294 Jamil

    It was left that Nom would enquire from his pharma law friend if US companies get better patent protection onshore.

    Bu if you want to continue he discussion then I’ll throw this up. While China say they have signed up for TRIPs, When do you see big Pharma filing first in China?

    http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=79296

  303. chicagofinance says:

    304.Schumpeter says:
    December 3, 2009 at 10:26 pm
    frustrated (255)- Better than? What’s your criteria? Academic? Student life? Sports? Scores on the idiot tests?

    Was talking to some stuffed shirt at a party in Colts Neck…he asked me what is the best thing he could do to get his son into an Ivy League school. I told him to get a Newark mailing address,

  304. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh….HALL OF FAME EDITION

    Wall Street Journal
    PAGE ONE
    DECEMBER 3, 2009
    More Men Have Something They Want to Get Off Their Chests — Their Shirts
    Unbuttoned or Plunging, ‘Heavage’ Is Back; No ’70s Hair Carpets, Please, Wisps Only

    By RAY A. SMITH

    Man cleavage — plunging necklines slit open to reveal chest hair, pectoral muscles, maybe more — is back.

    Until recently, male décolletage was an androgynous fashion affectation limited mainly to sporadic appearances on European runways. But the look, including deep V-necks and scoop-neck tops, hit the U.S. in full force at New York’s September Fashion Week, turning up at shows by Duckie Brown, Michael Bastian and Yigal Azrouël.

    This time around, the styles were more blatantly sexual and the models had a more studly swagger. New York designer Mr. Bastian said his show’s vibe was inspired in part by “Latin guys” he noticed wearing their shirts unbuttoned, as well as the unabashed machismo of Latin American men in general. “We wanted to go back to a more natural body, a more ’70s body with the models, getting away from the super skinny,” says Mr. Bastian.

    Plenty of men, from regular Joes to “Dancing With the Stars” contestants, have loosened to the trend.

    On HBO’s hit series “True Blood,” 29-year-old ex-model Mehcad Brooks rarely went an episode without removing his shirt. Mr. Brooks also frequently displays his perfect pecs off-screen, wearing rib-hugging T’s with deep V-necks or shirts with the top buttons suggestively undone.

    “Even if people were making fun of me, calling me ‘Miami Vice’ like they used to in college, I would still wear it,” says the 6-foot-4, 215-pound actor. “It feels comfortable and I like the way it looks. If you can pull off three buttons undone, then do it.”

    Other fans of the look include actors Jude Law and Ed Westwick, who’ve been snapped showing off their man cleavage — or “heavage,” as one style writer dubbed it.

    “Harper’s Bazaar’s Stephen Gan is working the new male cleavage in a low-cut T-shirt; it’s called ‘heavage,'” tweeted Hilary Alexander, fashion director of Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, in early October while at a runway show in Paris.

    Mr. Gan, who, aptly enough, is also the editor of a magazine called “V,” says, “I think I’m allowed to dress this way.”

    Vik Mohindra, a 27-year-old graduate student from Toronto, confesses that his guy friends sometimes tease him about his heavage. “I would not recommend it to someone who isn’t confident with their body and overall sense of style,” says Mr. Mohindra, who says he works out three to four days a week and has a “defined” chest.

    Male cleavage, particularly on the silver screen, has long played a prominent role in popular culture. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. had his chest on display throughout the 1920s in films like 1924’s “The Thief of Bagdad” and “The Iron Mask” in 1929. A dashing Errol Flynn showed man cleavage in the 1930s, most memorably in 1938’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” These actors made skin-flashing practically de rigueur for certain swashbuckling roles.

    The aesthetic continued well into the 1950s and the 1960s, says menswear historian Robert Bryan, author of the new book “American Fashion Menswear.” Among those celebrated for their heavage were Marlon Brando (in the 1951 film version of “A Streetcar Named Desire”) and Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1960s.

    The last time man cleavage was so prevalent in the U.S. was in the 1970s — “the golden age of male chest hair,” says Mr. Bryan. Epitomized by John Travolta in 1977’s “Saturday Night Fever,” the convention back then was to skip enough shirt buttons to show off a thick forest of hair, perhaps topped with a gold medallion as a sign of virility.

    After decades in the fashion equivalent of Siberia, man cleavage got a boost in the early 1990s when Tom Ford, then head designer and creative director for Gucci, climbed to the top of fashion’s ranks while often wearing a dress shirt unbuttoned practically to his navel.

    It still took years for the fad to go more mainstream. Helping to pave the way were magazines like Men’s Journal and Men’s Health, which objectified the male torso on their covers. Marketers such as Abercrombie & Fitch attracted droves of fans with their buff, waxed male models. For those who don’t have the goods naturally, cosmetic surgery offers an increasingly popular solution. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that pectoral implants more than tripled in 2008, to 1,335 procedures up from 440 in 2007.

    Brad Wieners, editor-in-chief of Men’s Journal magazine, believes that the magazine has made guys feel more comfortable about wearing more fitted clothes and styles that show that they work out. Mr. Wieners notes that for a recent cover shoot, actor Alec Baldwin donned a shirt open at the collar, subtly revealing chest hair. “He’s not Burt Reynolds,” says the editor. “But he’s letting you know he’s got a chest.”

    The latest resurrection of man cleavage does raise a not-so insignificant issue: to wax or not? For a number of years, any male chest hair was considered a fashion don’t, but very recently a thin thatch has become quite acceptable. The low-cut look “is better if you have a little chest hair,” says Tyler Thoreson, a New York-based men’s style consultant. “It’s not about showing off chest hair, it’s about it peeking out a little bit.”

    Robert Caponi, a 32-year-old musician in Greensboro, N.C., isn’t taking any chances. In order to get the hair-to-skin ratio just right, he shaves his chest every two weeks or so — a regimen that helps him to feel comfortable in one of the six deep V-neck shirts he owns. Not all styles fit the bill. After purchasing a wide scoop neck recently, he declared it simply too revealing. “I looked in the mirror and I was disgusted,” he says.

    Some women share the sentiment. Posting on her blog earlier this year, Ketty Colom, a 22-year-old college student in Orlando, Fla., vented about the burst of men sporting heavage. “Leave it to the bedroom,” she said. “I don’t want to see your chest.”

  305. cobbler says:

    whine [299]
    You don’t have to shred the fake Amex cards – they don’t contain any personal info; also, bad for the shredder blades.

    With the amounts many charities waste on marketing themselves, taxes may actually be more productive use of your money…

  306. Shore Guy says:

    Anyone who has purchased concert tickets in the past year or so has very well likely run into the evil that is Ticketmaster (or Ticketmonster). Well the other big supplier of tickets is Live Nation (NJC, don’t blow a gasket). Both of these organizations ate dreadful and, in my opinion, and that of many people I have spoken with (well, actually anyone I have spoken with who has dealt with either of these outfits), they have been a pox on the ticket-buying public. Lucky for us, they want to merge in order to form an even bigger and less competitive organization.

    Anyone who wishes to object to such a merger can write to the Department of Justice (which is currently considering whether to allow the merger):

    antitrust.atr@usdoj.gov

  307. d2b says:

    Shore-
    Ticketmaster and the Comcast ripoff, Comcast tix have gotten under my skin for years. My favorite is the $2.50 charge to print the tickets on you own printer. Then there is the line item that was just labeled ‘fee’ for $6 per ticket. I have decided to skip some events because three tickets can cost up to $39 in fees.

  308. NJGator says:

    So I am exchanging emails with our faux Glen Ridge friend (Glen Ridge mailing address, house actually in Bloomfield, tells everyone she lives in Glen Ridge)tonight and she asks me what I mean by “we closed on our refi”. Oy. Maybe I’ve been too harsh. It now seems entirely possible to me that she actually might think that she lives in Glen Ridge and is not affirmatively lying about it.

  309. I’m looking for a commercial real estate agent in south jersey who is HONEST, and can help me to find commercial space. If anyone knows anyone please let me know. Send me an email, or answer this Yahoo questions. Thanks.

  310. crossroads says:

    320
    where in “south Jersey”

  311. jamil says:

    PGC 313
    “It was left that Nom would enquire from his pharma law friend if US companies get better patent protection onshore.”

    Sorry, this is BS. The link you provided requires registration but anyway, yes, many companies file already first in China if the relevant R&D was in China. Then they have a year to file in other countries, e.g. US and this has nothing to do with TRIPS agreement.
    Anyway, the point that big Pharma loses patent protection if they move R&D offshore is total hogwash.

    Big pharma can freely move its R&D (and manufacturing) abroad and it does not weaken its current or future patent protections in anyway.

  312. BC Bob says:

    Shore [317],

    You mean Ticketslime? F-EM.

  313. lostinny says:

    I call it ticketbastard. The fees are unreal.

  314. Veto That says:

    “If the herd wants to get long eyewash and hopeium, you just have to short it.”

    FrustratedBuyer, I think its nice of Schumpter to offer you this advice upfront for free but it would be up to you to inquire about hiring him. To me it does not seem like a difficult decision.

  315. House Whine says:

    316- Oh, well I am so paranoid about identity theft that I actually use a scissor to cut up the fake Amex cc. Charities are also doing themselves a disservice in my opinion by hounding my household to no end after I contribute just once to their organization. They never give up after that. Please stop calling me day after day and mailing me useless address labels in the hopes of more contributions. I am at the point at which I just feel like throwing cash into the Salvation Army pot at holiday time and leaving it all at that. Especially because I really don’t contribute with the thought of tax deductions but rather out of “the goodness of my heart”. Sometimes I also have the urge to just hand out cash to someone I see who looks like they need it- no red tape, no follow up calls involved.

  316. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    They are BAD, and not once have I mentioned the name to anyone who purchased a ticket and heard anything other than negative feedback.

    On a sadder note, still no word on a Christmas concert I see. $#!+

  317. Shore Guy says:

    Write to DoJ, folks. If we don’t, they will take the silence as a sign that all is well with the merger.

  318. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    For Christmas, Mrs. Shore sent me to the Buffalo show, and I got to hear Merry Christmas Baby and Jingle Bells — two highlights of the tour, for me anyway. It was not quite at the level of Lost in the Flood and Growin’ up, but close.

  319. Shore Guy says:

    I Wanna be Sedated (in Boston) was pretty great too.

  320. ruggles says:

    Re: Montgomery. The buyers market ended spring 09. And I’ll bet a lot of buyers upped their town of choice when the bubble crashed–assumed they could now afford to move up so the wealthier towns are even more competitive for the few actual buyers out there. Unless you’re willing to buy garbage from a desparate seller no one has approached or have cash, you ain’t getting a deal. And you’re only hurting yourself by looking as it adds to the activity that agents and sellers are seeing.

  321. jamil says:

    Wash Compost:
    “An energy answer in the shale below?
    New technology opens vast stores of natural gas, and the land rush is on”

    “Just a few years ago, the industry didn’t have the technology to unlock these reserves. But thanks to advances in horizontal drilling and methods of fracturing rock with high-pressure blasts of water, sand and chemicals, vast gas reserves in the United States are suddenly within reach.

    As a result, said BP chief executive Tony Hayward, “the picture has changed dramatically.”

    “The United States is sitting on over 100 years of gas supply at the current rates of consumption,” he said. Because natural gas emits half the greenhouse gases of coal, he added, that “provides the United States with a unique opportunity to address concerns about energy security and climate change.”

    Recoverable U.S. gas reserves could now be bigger than the immense gas reserves of Russia, some experts say. The Marcellus shale formation, stretching across swaths of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, has enough gas to meet the entire nation’s needs for at least 14 years, according to an estimate by two Pennsylvania State University experts. Just in Broome County, N.Y., where Fitzsimmons lives, shale gas development could create $15 billion in economic activity, according to consultants hired by the county.”

    Just a few years ago, the industry didn’t have the technology to unlock these reserves. But thanks to advances in horizontal drilling and methods of fracturing rock with high-pressure blasts of water, sand and chemicals, vast gas reserves in the United States are suddenly within reach.

    As a result, said BP chief executive Tony Hayward, “the picture has changed dramatically.”

    “The United States is sitting on over 100 years of gas supply at the current rates of consumption,” he said. Because natural gas emits half the greenhouse gases of coal, he added, that “provides the United States with a unique opportunity to address concerns about energy security and climate change.”

    Recoverable U.S. gas reserves could now be bigger than the immense gas reserves of Russia, some experts say. The Marcellus shale formation, stretching across swaths of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, has enough gas to meet the entire nation’s needs for at least 14 years, according to an estimate by two Pennsylvania State University experts. Just in Broome County, N.Y., where Fitzsimmons lives, shale gas development could create $15 billion in economic activity, according to consultants hired by the county.

    Just a few years ago, the industry didn’t have the technology to unlock these reserves. But thanks to advances in horizontal drilling and methods of fracturing rock with high-pressure blasts of water, sand and chemicals, vast gas reserves in the United States are suddenly within reach.

    As a result, said BP chief executive Tony Hayward, “the picture has changed dramatically.”

    “The United States is sitting on over 100 years of gas supply at the current rates of consumption,” he said. Because natural gas emits half the greenhouse gases of coal, he added, that “provides the United States with a unique opportunity to address concerns about energy security and climate change.”

    Recoverable U.S. gas reserves could now be bigger than the immense gas reserves of Russia, some experts say. The Marcellus shale formation, stretching across swaths of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, has enough gas to meet the entire nation’s needs for at least 14 years, according to an estimate by two Pennsylvania State University experts. Just in Broome County, N.Y., where Fitzsimmons lives, shale gas development could create $15 billion in economic activity, according to consultants hired by the county.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/02/AR2009120204305.html

  322. BC Bob says:

    Where’s Rain Man?

  323. frank says:

    Unemployment rate down to 10% with only 11K job losses.
    Buy a home now before prices double like in 2005.

  324. All Hype says:

    10% unemployment, give me a break. We shed 500k jobs a week and we have only 11k added to monthly unemployment number.

    What a total joke.

  325. NJCoast says:

    #329 BC

    I remember that show well. The liquor was flowing during and after for the band and backstage crew. Good times. John Bon Jovi might be a jerk and his music sux but he is soooooo pretty.
    Thanks for the memories.

  326. Schumpeter says:

    Couple yesterday’s gaffe on the jobs number by the White House with today’s “surprise” good news, and I’ll show you a completely engineered short squeeze.

    This is why I won’t hold SRS overnight.

  327. BC Bob says:

    NJC [337],

    JBJ doesn’t belong on the same stage with The Boss.

    If Southside was there, they probably ran out of tequila.

  328. Schumpeter says:

    I wouldn’t book Bon Jovi at a Holiday Inn.

  329. BC Bob says:

    “Where’s Rain Man?”

    On cue, he appears, #335

  330. Barbara says:

    horizontal drilling aka I Drink Your Milkshake.

  331. Schumpeter says:

    Nice to see the gubmint has fully embraced fraud as an acceptable way of dealing with difficult situations.

  332. still_looking says:

    Schump, 343

    The level of deceit, lying and overt corruption is mind boggling.

    I don’t see this ever improving.

    sl

  333. BC Bob says:

    Schump,

    The cheers are a result of a big increase in temp employment.

  334. NJCoast says:

    I sure liked what Bunning had to say yesterday but its a shame he delivered it like a nervous 1st grader reading a book report.

  335. stan says:

    BC(341)-

    Comedy is all about timing, and that was funny

  336. Schumpeter says:

    Liesman having a happy ending in real time on CNBC.

    That’s how you know this whole thing is a rig-up. Nice to get a UE number like today’s while Bergabe’s getting ripped a new one and all the bears are beginning to pile on.

    Shed the temp jobs in January + Q1 birth/death revision = 12% U3

  337. Cindy says:

    348 – Oh bother…

    (I just figured since Grim wasn’t here I’d toss that in…)

  338. BC Bob says:

    Schump [348],

    B/D has created approx 500K jobs in the last 6 months. I wonder how much they pay?

  339. Cindy says:

    http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/clubhouse?teamId=2483

    BC – Everything is coming up roses…

  340. yikes says:

    jersey shore, what an embarrassment.

    can’t believe i watched part of both episodes.

    the trash is so predictable.

    couldn’t the show have wrangled more attractive women?

  341. Veto That says:

    Awesome website to monitor bank loan performance.

    http://www.wlmlab.com

  342. scribe says:

    House whine, you said:

    I am at the point at which I just feel like throwing cash into the Salvation Army pot at holiday time and leaving it all at that …

    yeah, I think the kettle people are cool ..

    but I wonder, too, about all the charities that keep sending those address labels, which get tossed

    I contribute to one thing – a Catholic charities group that serves the poor.

    So all the solicitations are based on my magazine subscriptions, especially the ones that are considered “affluent” like the NY’er.

    They’re wasting huge amounts of money printing those address labels … and they don’t seem to realize it will make people feel that their money will go towards carpet bombing other people with useless address labels …so why bother?

  343. BC Bob says:

    Cindy [351],

    I watched. They looked good. Congrats! They’ll kick the Buckeyes ass.

  344. RayC says:

    352 yikes

    If they wrangled more attractive women it would be called “Hamptons!” or “South Beach!”

  345. Cindy says:

    355 – Thanks – What a game. If Ohio doesn’t watch a lot of tape and get a defense in gear – there is no stopping U of O.

  346. Veto That says:

    “jersey shore, what an embarrassment.”

    Yikes, i grew up in TR. to give you an idea of the tension each summer, my neighbor had a jeep with a huge sticker across the front windshield that said ‘Benny Killer’ until the police pulled him over and issued him a ticket and the courts made him change it to ‘Benny Stomper’.

    during the last month, I must get at least one email or facebook mass mailings per week about signing a petition for MTV to stop the Jersey Shore show immediately. The locals are outraged.

    Even UNICO is up in arms yet they are ok with sopranos broadcasting into every living room in the country. that tells you something.

    to make it worse, most of these kids on Jersey Shore are from NY yet Jersey takes the heat for harboring all the trash.

  347. PGC says:

    #322 Jamil

    Let me give you the relevant part of the link.

    A framework has been developed for investigating and assessing strategies associated with offshoring different segments of the value chain in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Cost, access to human capital, time to market, and market entry potential are the main drivers for offshoring. A large and expanding trained talent pool in India and China and growing infrastructure are enablers that attract multinational pharmaceutical companies to set up operations in these countries. Although government support, improvements in patent law, and growing capital markets in these countries will ultimately be the sustainers of the offshoring phenomenon in the pharmaceutical industry, the poor quality of talent, strict regulatory barriers, and cultural and economic barriers will have to be overcome for companies to maintain a competitive advantage via offshoring. The impact of offshoring on U.S. employment in the pharmaceutical industry is predicted to be minimal, and higher value-added services in the United States are expected to increase.

    An interesting trend is the emergence of reverse offshoring. With the increasing success of manufacturing and research, Indian and Chinese firms are looking westward to acquire access to discovery in basic science and profitable markets by partnering or acquiring assets in the United States and Europe.

  348. Schumpeter says:

    All these Guidos are the end product of the mass replication of a giant flaw in the gene pool. It’s the human equivalent of the overbreeding of certain types of dogs.

  349. jamil says:

    PGC: This article does not say anything how Big Pharma would lose (current or future) patent protection if it moves R&D (or manufacturing) offshore.

    It merely repeats many old issues wrt offshoring.

    My point is that your conclusion about big pharma losing patent protection if it moves offshore is pure hogwash – absolute irrelevant. For big pharma is irrelevant (well, often cheaper since salaries are lower) where it is doing R&D and inventions (and filing patents).

  350. lisoosh says:

    BC Bob says:
    December 4, 2009 at 8:58 am

    “Schump,

    The cheers are a result of a big increase in temp employment.”

    What are the bets on the # after the temps are let go and the retail outlets holding on until Christmas hoping to make it to the black give up the ghost?

  351. lisoosh says:

    scribe #354- they do it because it works.

    Best thing is definitely to become involved with one group that you feel is effective, read their books, sit on the allocations committee or board. It’s what the smart ones do. It also increases the satisfaction.

  352. FrustratedBuyer says:

    #332 ruggles

    You basically said we missed the boat. Good deals are gone for the time being in certain areas. This amounts to hearsay here.

  353. BC Bob says:

    lisoosh [364],

    Spot on.

  354. BC Bob says:

    “You basically said we missed the boat.”

    [366],

    Missed what boat?

    http://www.fotosearch.com/bigcomp.asp?path=CSP/CSP093/k0930404.jpg

  355. d2b says:

    Did not watch Jersey shore since I live it.
    Bought my Dad a reversable belt for Christmas. I’m new to the reversable belt but I love it and would recommend it.
    No sense talking RE or finance at this point.

  356. hughesrep says:

    355

    Oregon has a lousy defense and a good gimmick O, Ohio State has a lousy offense and a great D. Comes down to the line play and turnovers. The Ducks QB seems like a turnover waiting to happpen against a good defense. I’ll take the Vest and the under.

  357. Veto That says:

    d2b, what do you mean you live it?
    are we talking like ‘night at the roxbury’?

  358. d2b says:

    Veto-
    I own a house and business in Wildwood.

  359. PGC says:

    #363 Jamil.

    my last attempt at this.

    The US has the strongest patent protection for drug comapanies. With the exception of Bayer vs Housey, US courts have ruled in favour of the onshore development. You take the R&D out of the US, you lose the Section 217(g) protection of process claims.

    Funny, this must be the longest string of posts I have seen from you were you have not used the O word or right wing derivitive. There is hope for you yet.

  360. Veto That says:

    Wildwood – hate to admit but ive never been there. I take its similar to the jersey shore show?
    Would have never thought that. I assumed lbi and sout get the pa crowd. would think you get more farmers and ironworkers than tee shirts that have been attacked by a bedazler.

  361. RayC says:

    Schumpeter says:

    All these Guidos are the end product of the mass replication of a giant flaw in the gene pool. It’s the human equivalent of the overbreeding of certain types of dogs.

    That’s how we got Dick Cheney. Been inbreeding white government contractors for so long that he is constantly in the shop having defective parts replaced.

  362. Veto That says:

    uggh, was just forced to shed some GLD and lower my exposure. that thing is dropping like a hot potatoe and i dont have the stomach for it. silly me for doubling down at 120. that will teach me to play with bubbles.
    but dont worry bc, im looking for re-entry at some point here.

  363. BC Bob says:

    Veto [376],

    It all comes down to comfort level.

    This market has been trading like this for the last 8 years. Vol will continue for the next 5. It’s going to get wild.

  364. still_looking says:

    Veto,

    I don’t have the stomach for ETFs anymore.

    But, physical lasts forever :)

    sl

  365. Veto That says:

    BC, yes i panicked on this mornings selloff but i admitedly and willingly took on too much exposure to shiny so really i was just executing my orginal plan – which was to not overcommit to any one asset class.
    besides i have an itchy trigger finger anyway.

  366. Veto That says:

    “physical lasts forever”

    SL, yes, i found this out when i went back to the coin shop to sell.

  367. BC Bob says:

    “But, physical lasts forever :)”

    SL,

    No counter party risk. Always mark to market.

  368. still_looking says:

    I guess I am always looking 5 or so years ahead..

    Is it (or not) safe to have some gold available if interest rates go rampant?

    sl

  369. BC Bob says:

    Veto [379],

    You didn’t panic. You exercised good risk management judgement, based on your criteria. Too bad our banks didn’t have the same discipline.

  370. still_looking says:

    BC 381 :)

    Right! No mark to fantasy or gubmint pump backed by fantasy money either.

    I gave my in laws gold a few years back at 635/oz… they haven’t sold it yet — to the best of my knowledge :)

    sl

  371. BC Bob says:

    SL [382],

    Go back to 1979/80. Record high interest rates, record high gold.

    You know the disclaimer about past performance.

  372. BC Bob says:

    SL [384],

    If they want to sell, let me know.

  373. still_looking says:

    I need help understanding .VIX.

    Anyone?

    sl

  374. still_looking says:

    I doubt they’d sell :) Besides, with my luck… even if they did. Goldbag Suchs would find a way to arbitrage the deal.

    sl

  375. Veto That says:

    SL, i dont know the answer here but im sure bc does.
    i would start off with this logic: if interest rates go rampant its probably because inflation has gone rampant as well.

  376. Veto That says:

    from wiki – VIX is the ticker symbol for the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a popular measure of the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options. A high value corresponds to a more volatile market and therefore more costly options, which can be used to defray risk from this volatility by selling options. Often referred to as the fear index, it represents one measure of the market’s expectation of volatility over the next 30 day period.

  377. ruggles says:

    366 – frustrated, Last year I moved from an abbott school district (not really, but sort of) to one of the wealthiest zip codes in western NJ (which is like Irvington to you eastern NJ folk) and got my absolute perfect dream house in an almost nompound-like setting (I’d have to k!ll or befriend my neighbors to make it work but okay) and it only cost me an extra 20k to do it (I did trade quality of house for quality of land but thats what I wanted). my bank required 3 appraisals because there were no comps whatsoever and i had to put 30% down because they refused to believe the house was worth it. plus the interest rate was 6.25.

    This year, absolute garbage in my price range around me is going under contract. not all of it is closing, (some is) but obviously the buyers are out there bidding.

    I’m not suggesting you totally missed the boat. In fact, I think bigger plunges are coming. I’m just suggesting that prices might be sticky because of the perception that buyers are out there this year and because some buyers are actually out there. Same thing with shelly in chatham and that guy looking in robbinsville. These are places people still want to live. many, many people. and most likely the good houses that interest you, interest everyone else too. doesn’t mean prices won’t plunge further when hope, incentives, incomes, and low interest rates are gone. just not yet. and all you potential buyers sniffing around these towns don’t help the situation.

  378. Veto That says:

    so whatsthedelio on the gtg?
    no grim, kettle, bc? what kind of gtg is this??
    shumpy, sas, chi,john, nom, lish, pgc, stu & gator, shore?
    role call plese…
    this will be my first appearance and i dont want to be sitting there alone when frank, bi, jamil and re101 bust in with baseball bats.

  379. chicagofinance says:

    new thread….

  380. Gina David says:

    I lately came across your blog and have been learning along. I thought I would leave my first remark. I dont know what to say except that I have loved reading. Solid blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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