Divining the 2010 market

From Inside Jersey:

Trying for a comeback: New Jersey’s housing market in 2010

After putting the nation’s economy through the spin cycle, the real estate market this year could take a break.

Home prices look as if they’ve reached their lowest points, and people are starting to take deep breaths and buy again. It’s beneficial, too, that the federal government has helped keep mortgage rates down, in the 5 percent range, and Congress extended and expanded tax credits so they reach almost all potential buyers — not just first-timers anymore. Together, this means houses remain more affordable than they were for decades.

However, it’s tough to pay your mortgage without a job, and New Jersey’s labor market is key to a recovery in home prices.

“The worst is behind us, but the labor market is the big cloud going forward,” says Rutgers economist Joseph Seneca. If the economy does what’s being called a “double dip” or a “W,” more people could lose their jobs, and eventually their homes. But for now, most local markets have already stopped their price slide, and some markets are even coming back.

Overbuilt Hudson County will continue to struggle. Manhattan’s weak market is sapping demand from Hudson County, and deep South Jersey is hurt by being far from major job centers — Philadelphia and New York — and by Atlantic City’s losing streak.

Good news for home sellers is that while they don’t exactly have the upper hand, they may not feel as desperate to sell before prices fall any further. “It gets better from here,” Otteau says. “Some markets will be experiencing modest, gentle price increases.”

Still, sellers will be up against more competition from the “shadow market” — something that’s not quite as spooky as it sounds. This market is composed of sellers who had been waiting on the sidelines, because they figured it wasn’t worth putting their homes on the market when buyers were scarce. They’ll come out, adding to the supply.

BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN:
Home prices rise slowly. It could take years to get back to the highs of 2005 and 2006. Jeffrey Otteau, who tracks home prices, predicts no change in 2010 prices. However, New Jersey should see a 3 percent rise in 2011.

WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN:
The economy retreats, consumers and employers get scared, and more people lose their jobs. The government pulls back support, mortgage rates rise and sales fall. Foreclosures and fear send prices down again.

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

213 Responses to Divining the 2010 market

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    New homes sales in the Northeast fell more than 3 percent in November

    As the state’s real estate market heads towards recovery, more evidence was released this week showing the terrain is uneven.

    New Jersey’s homebuilding increased slightly in November, while new homes sales in the Northeast declined marginally for the fifth consecutive month, according to the Commerce Department.

    A pick-up in multifamily construction in Gloucester and Hudson counties bolstered the 1.4 percent total rise in housing permits last month, said Patrick O’Keefe, chief economist for J.H. Cohn, a Roseland-based accounting firm. Almost 30 percent of the state’s 1,010 approvals to begin construction were multifamily permits issued in those two counties.

    O’Keefe cited federal statistics that said through November, builders have obtained 10,816 building permits — 37.7 percent fewer than in the first eleven months of 2008, and 70 percent below the same period in 2005.

  2. Nomad says:

    So with high unemployment, minimal if any job creation, and a multitude of other macro economic issues looming, housing is going to stabilize. I wish it would but I doubt it.

    A short break in the pain but thats about it.

  3. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126165189196404117.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird

    Still -
    “Boy Reunited With American Father in Brazil”

    “The pair were expected to fly back the the Mr. Goldman home in New Jersey within hours.”

  4. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a5NB5suN_HaM&pos=4

    “Dimon, Blankfein, Mack Among First to Testify at Crisis Panel”

    …armed with an $8 million budget and subpoena power…it plans hearing until September.

  5. Cindy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/business/24trading.html?ref=global-home

    I wonder if they (5) will explore this:

    “Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won” Gretchen Morgenson

    While the investigations are in the early phases (SEC in this case) authorities appear to be looking at whether securities laws or rules of fair dealing were violated by firms that created and sold these mortgage-linked debt instruments and then bet against the clients who purchased them, people briefed on the matter say.

  6. NJGator says:

    Merry Christmas David Goldman

  7. homeboken says:

    WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN:
    The economy retreats, consumers and employers get scared, and more people lose their jobs. The government pulls back support, mortgage rates rise and sales fall. Foreclosures and fear send prices down again.

    One correction, ad the phrase “and most likely” after Worst

  8. cooper says:

    from top article-

    WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN:
    “The government pulls back support, mortgage rates rise and sales fall. ”

    shouldn’t that header read WHAT IS INEVITABLY GOING TO HAPPEN…

    how will real recovery begin if mortgage rates DON’T rise or if the gov’mnt adds MORE support?
    Laissez-Faire where are you?

  9. Cindy says:

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/senate-passes-landmark-health-care-bill/19293354/

    Senate Passes Landmark Health Care Bill

    58 Democrats 2 Independents – “yes” Republicans unanimously “No.”

  10. BC Bob says:

    “But for now, most local markets have already stopped their price slide, and some markets are even coming back.”

    Sounds like the 1991 dead cat bounce. Actually, sounds more like the 30′s;

    http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_01/seymour062001.html

  11. Schumpeter says:

    Cindy (6)-

    Are you kidding? That gambit has been GS’ game plan for years. No way in hell they’re shutting down that party.

  12. Schumpeter says:

    Cindy (8)-

    Sorkin is a fluffer, as is anyone who actually thinks Klink, Bergabe, Eraserhead, et al are honest guys.

  13. Schumpeter says:

    BC (12)-

    Eraserhead told NPR yesterday that there will not be a slide back into financial crisis. Said something to the effect of “we have the tools to prevent it from happening”. What a dolt.

    I fully expect a large-scale panic in ’10…one that dwarfs Fall ’08.

    Got physical?

  14. BC Bob says:

    “the buyers of synthetic mortgage C.D.O.’s were large, sophisticated investors, he said.”

    Cindy [6],

    From the article posted.

    Well, well. Sounds like he is muttering a pile of sheet.

    I would venture to guess that Goldman would be considered a sophisticated investor? Yet, they went to bed with a flea infested dog. When Goldman wins, other parties are sophisticated, know their risk parameters. When Goldman losses, the king drops his pants and becomes a welfare queen.

    Give them credit, that is talent.

  15. ruggles says:

    Is a certain house in Larchmont going back on the market to take advantage of all the good news?

  16. Painhrtz says:

    the end of democracy through the sound of thunderous applause.

    At least the revolution will be televised

  17. Cindy says:

    Clot – 13 – Good Morning Clot. I’m just feeling grateful I have enough energy to read stories. I had high hopes for the “Pecora” commission idea.

    14 – I knew Nom/Chi went to see him and thought they might be interested in Simon’s thoughts. After I was finished reading the book, all I could wonder was “Did he have to take a shower after each interview?” – I thought they all came off as self-interested slime balls.

  18. BC Bob says:

    Clot [15],

    He’ll make John Connally look like a hawk. Hopefully, for selfish reasons, Timmy will be sticking around.

  19. BC Bob says:

    Kick the can down the road. Ceilings get raised, floors get lowered.

    “WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Senators on Thursday voted to approve a short-term increase in the U.S. debt limit, boosting it to $12.4 trillion. The increase of $290 billion only extends borrowing capability through February, however, so lawmakers will need to revisit the debt ceiling next year. The vote was 60-39.”

  20. Essex says:

    15. dude you made me literally LOL.

  21. BC Bob says:

    Is that what our Burger Flipper is looking for. Worse than 1990, 1981 and 1966. Any pattern developing?

    From CR;

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_pMscxxELHEg/SzIyFnL7y1I/AAAAAAAAHHA/JjeM1bciKZo/s1600-h/NHSNovSales.jpg

  22. Schumpeter says:

    pain (18)-

    The revolution is going to be interactive. Better be ready, pal.

    Got ammo?

    “At least the revolution will be televised”

  23. Stu says:

    Best quote from Cindy’s Goldman Sachs article about selling CDO’s and then shorting the buyers:

    “When you buy protection against an event that you have a hand in causing, you are buying fire insurance on someone else’s house and then committing arson.”

    Go ahead and worry about illegal immigration and health care ya dumb sheep. This is pennies compared to how much wealth Timmay and friends just looted from ya.

  24. Schumpeter says:

    Cindy (19)-

    We need to skip the Pecora Commissions and kangaroo courts and move straight to the executions.

    Treason IS punishable by execution.

  25. grim says:

    Christmad a bit less merry for 452,000.

  26. Schumpeter says:

    Cindy (20)-

    Substitute “Ghana” and “John Agyekum Kufour” (president of Ghana) every time you see “California” and “Schwarzenegger” in that article. Pretty funny.

    The sad thing here is that NJ is just like CA: a Third World, parasitic substate that is hastening the death of the host organism.

  27. grim says:

    Christmas too

  28. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

  29. Schumpeter says:

    Gotta get ready for oblivion.

  30. Cindy says:

    Clot @ 29 – Now I know I’m on the mend…I just laughed out loud!
    Thanks

  31. #32 – Screw Christmas.

    Hmm, a bit more on the nose than ‘Bah Humbug’, but understood.

  32. Cindy says:

    Thanks Tosh @ 31 – Happy holidays to everyone from me as well…

  33. Schumpeter says:

    NBA go bye-bye:

    “If someone gains weight, they can hide it a little. Grow a beard. Wear baggy sweaters. Whatever. But when an NBA team is struggling financially? It can’t hide it. Rasheed Wallace famously loves to say, “ball don’t lie.” Neither do the seats. Especially in the lower-level sections between the baskets, the ones that blend into the background of every live telecast. If attendance is sparse enough, the blurry collage of fans, colors and empty seats almost looks like a Monet painting.

    In Year 2 of the No Benjamins Association a disturbing number of home games have that Monet feel. Fudged attendance figures have become as commonplace as jokes about Shaq’s weight. Two weeks ago, I took my daughter to a Magic-Clippers game that seemed about half-full … you know, just like every other Clippers game. The Staples Center has a capacity of 19,000 people and 30,000 pounds of Botox. When I played the “How many people are here?” game with Lenny, a friend in my section, I guessed 10,000 and Lenny guessed 9,500.

    The announced crowd that night? 16,750.

    Sorry, Clippers. Seat don’t lie.

    Fortunately, Ken Berger, a CBS Sportsline reporter, obtained attendance figures for the first quarter of the season. Only one ticket-related statistic matters in professional sports: net gate receipts. (The attendance number doesn’t matter because it’s so easy to manipulate; teams either fib or boost the total by giving tickets away for absurdly low prices, hoping to recoup some of it through concessions and merchandise sales.) According to Berger’s information, net gate receipts have dropped 7.4 percent from last season. Eight teams (Philly, Sacramento, Charlotte, Memphis, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Indiana and Atlanta) already reside in the dreaded “We Make Less Than $500,000 Per Game” Club, and that number could swell once non-contenders either gut their teams or start tanking for lottery purposes.

    The long-term point: Until the NBA revamps its financial system after the 2010-11 season, we’re going to see a handful of teams willingly weaken themselves just to save money. We got a taste with the Shaq/Jefferson trades last summer, but this will be different. This will feel more like baseball: the “haves” preying on the “have-nots.” This year’s luxury-tax line is $69.2 million. Next year’s line will drop to between $62 million (worst-case scenario) and $65 million (reasonable). What do you do if you own New Orleans, a .500 team that has $73.1 million committed this year and $71.8 million committed next year? Do you just suck it up and lose $12 million in tax money for these next two seasons on top of significant revenue losses? Or do you do something to change your destiny. You know … like …”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/091223&sportCat=nba

  34. Painhrtz says:

    requested 100 rounds of 7mm mag, 10 bricks of 22 and 500 rounds of buckshot from Santa Clot. hopefully I get the gift of brass tomorrow.

    Plus I’m trying to find someone to teach me how to reload

  35. Schumpeter says:

    Nothing says “Christmas” like high-velocity ammo.

  36. Schumpeter says:

    Cindy (34)-

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better.

  37. frank says:

    Where’s the recession???

    The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week declined to the lowest level since September 2008, signaling firings are easing as employers gain confidence in the economic recovery.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aurbvTVEDQn0&pos=2

  38. frank says:

    Buy a home, before prices shoot up like in 2005.

    Orders for goods meant to last several years rose in November, pointing to increases in spending and production that will help sustain the expansion into 2010.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=axtIQM3Tt6XM&pos=1

  39. frank says:

    What housing recession???

    Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac CEOs May Receive $6 Mln in 2009 Pay

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aSMnQMSUZsRw&pos=6

  40. Essex says:

    Ur right Fwank. Good times!!

  41. Schumpeter says:

    Frank, what are you doing here? Get out and buy, buy, buy…before prices go up.

    If this board were the NBA, Frank would be GM of the Knicks.

  42. 3b says:

    #10 So which does the government want, a real economic recovery, or just preventing housing prices from dropping any more?

  43. Cindy says:

    @6 The lack of fiduciary duty on everyone’s part is scary. The clients/ pension fund managers probably weren’t angels either.

    In the end, I still fault the politicians who have let regulations fall by the wayside, or in the case of derivatives, failed to rein them in in 1999.

    But here we are, this is the mess we have to deal with. O has his precious health care. Now he’d better turn an eye on the real economy of the USA. I swear, the elections of 2010 are just around the corner and some of these guys must be feeling some heat at home.

  44. BC Bob says:

    “If this board were the NBA, Frank would be GM of the Knicks.”

    Clot,

    Isiah’s bitch.

  45. 3b says:

    #12 BC Mr. Otteau is calling for a soft and gentle rise in prices, is that like a soft an gentle massage??

  46. John says:

    A rare bond of the day, why oh why is 8%+ investment grade bonds so hard to find.

    BTW CHIFI, you bet me months ago AMBAC would not survive to year end, 12-31-09 is coming up soon, what up?

    Also what up with Indians wishing me happy holidays today? First of all they know I celebrate Christmas so why not say Merry Christmas. Secondly, what do I say back, they are not celebrating any holidays? Not even New Years.

    SUNTRUST BKS INC SUB NT 6.00000% 02/15/2026
    Price (Ask) 82.000
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 8.006%
    867914AH6

  47. 3b says:

    #25 Schumpt: Americans are too stupid to revolt.

  48. safeashouses says:

    #49 3b

    I thought Otteau has been consistently wrong/over optimistic about the declines, so why should he be right this time?

  49. NJGator says:

    Goldman’s New Jersey-based lawyer, Patricia Apy, criticized how the handover was conducted.

    “Unfortunately, the Brazilian family, rather than have the handoff take place in a garage, which would have been secure, parked away and walked him through the press, which only serves to make the situation more stressful for the child,” Apy said.

    Blum also said the tumult during the boy’s delivery could have been avoided.

    “The family was offered the same access to the consulate as the father,” she said. “For whatever reason they chose to get out of their cars and walk in.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091224/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_brazil_us_custody_battle

  50. relo says:

    43: Should be required to take it in-kind.

  51. 3b says:

    #52 Safe He has been consistently wrong. I juss love the language that he uses. Makes him look even more moronic.

  52. safeashouses says:

    The end is nigh/ or WTF is wrong with people?

    I saw a woman in a fur coat this morning at the supermarket trying to take a pack of those plastic shopping bags they use at the registers. She got real indignant when the cashier told her she can’t do that, yet kept walking away until backup was called. Then she put the bags back and waddled off.

  53. bi says:

    merry christmas and happy new year to everyone. i cannot wait grim opening the gate for 2010 predictions.

  54. safeashouses says:

    #53 gator,

    That family was wrong from day one, so why should they change at the last moment?

  55. safeashouses says:

    #56 3b,

    maybe he’s in training to join the fed or treasury.

  56. grim says:

    No predictions on this thread, we’ll visit that one closer to the new year.

  57. relo says:

    37: I used to love NBA growing up. Can’t remember when I last watched a game, much less went to a game. Even w/ me coaching (maybe because of) kids stopped playing before end of middle school. Hoop in the driveway is lonely.

  58. NJGator says:

    Safe 59 – I don’t know…maybe some misguided hope that there was some shred of human decency buried deep somewhere in there? That if they really cared about this kid that they would try to do this in the easiest, least traumatic way possible? Sometimes Stu’s sunny optimism has an effect on me and I momentarily forget just how much people suck.

  59. 3b says:

    Merry Christmas/Nollaig Shona Duit.

    To all.

  60. NJGator says:

    In my inbox today, 2 Montclair Multi-Family GSMLS listings. Note that the list prices are about 300k below current assessments (which translates to about an addition 7k/year in taxes). Nothing wrong in the market here. Carry on.

    I’m so glad that our town council is focused on things like bike racks while we are careening towards financial oblivion. Maybe next year they’ll just bond 3M or so to repay successful property tax appeals instead of 300k to reassess the entire town.

    http://emailrpt.gsmls.com/public/show_public_report_rpt.do?report=clientfull&Id=50289774_6166

  61. Painhrtz says:

    Happy Kwanza everyone, finally leaving the office and the real world until Jan 4, 2010

  62. lostinny says:

    Gator Safe SL
    Re: The Goldman/Brazilian fiasco

    Has there been any info anywhere on why the mother chose to stay and keep the child in Brazil? I didn’t think of this until a relative brought it up. I think she made a good point. Was this the mother being a complete c word, t word, insult vulgarity here, or was there a real problem in the marriage that she was trying to escape. I don’t condone what she did at all. I just wonder if there’s more to this story that we don’t know about.

  63. NJGator says:

    AIG bonus return pledge goes mostly unfulfilled
    Executives give back only about $19 million of $45 million promised

    When word spread earlier this year that American International Group had paid more than $165 million in retention bonuses at the division that had precipitated the company’s downfall, outrage erupted, with employees getting death threats and President Obama urging that every legal avenue be pursued to block the payments.

    New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo threatened to publicize the recipients’ names, prompting executives at AIG Financial Products to hastily agree to return about $45 million in bonuses by the end of the year.

    But as the final days of 2009 tick away, a majority of that money remains unpaid. Only about $19 million has been given back, according to a report by the special inspector general for the government’s bailout program.

    Some of the employees who had offered to return their bonuses have instead left the company, taking their cash with them.

    Others remain at Financial Products but are also holding on to their money until they see what Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Obama administration’s “compensation czar,” decides about whether they should get future bonus payments they have also been promised. Feinberg, AIG and government officials have been involved in ongoing negotiations over the status of past and future bonuses at the insurance giant.

    Dozens of employees have hired lawyers, bracing for a fight if AIG or government officials try to block the payments.

    Cuomo has said little publicly in recent months about the AIG bonuses. On Tuesday, his office had no comment when asked about the payments.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34570499/ns/business-washington_post/

  64. 3b says:

    #65 But frank says, well we all whatt frank says. And Mr Otteaus says soft gentle rise in prices. Is not Montclar a town where prices would rise softly and gently? H

  65. 3b says:

    I am going to pick this up as a stocking stuffer. At a list price of only 379K and yearly property taxes of only $11,000 a year, how can I go wrong?? This is a perfect example of a house that will have a soft and gentle increase in prices. I am gonna put a big red bow on it too.

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2944846&id=999999

  66. 3b says:

    and some markets are even coming back.

    According to the article, and where would those markets be?

    Plus the article states that most local markets have stopped their slide, based on what? Or is it just this time of year when the market is always dead?

  67. Terc says:

    [38] Painhrtz:

    I don’t know how to reload myself (but I do save my brass just in case), but there are a lot of reloaders at the range I frequent for Garand matches, which are fairly low key and friendly. Could be a good way to strike up friendships with reloaders.

  68. Rich52 says:

    Prices to rise softly and gently in the face of massive gubmint support for the housing market? Pathetic and scary as to what will happen when gubmint support will run out.

  69. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Couple of articles in this morning’s Asbury Park Press that point out just how far into the fiscal sh1t-hole this state has fallen.

    1. There are 4 officers of Parsippany’s Police Force retiring this month. They are getting paid for 30 years worth of unused sick/vacation/personal days.
    The cost to the local taxpayers…..$900K, payable over the next 3 years. That figure does NOT include their life-time pensions and Cadillac Health Care for their extended families.

    2. Middletown Twp (my home town) has been self-insuring their employee Health Care expenses. This year’s bill….$4.7M Over the past 3 years they have spent well over $12M on employee Health Care Claims !!

    I am so glad I’m a short-timer in this state.

  70. John says:

    The Brazilian Court obviously knows what they are doing. Attempting to raise a child in New Jersey is obviously a case of child abuse.

    lostinny says:
    December 24, 2009 at 9:41 am
    Gator Safe SL
    Re: The Goldman/Brazilian fiasco

    Has there been any info anywhere on why the mother chose to stay and keep the child in Brazil? I didn’t think of this until a relative brought it up. I think she made a good point. Was this the mother being a complete c word, t word, insult vulgarity here, or was there a real problem in the marriage that she was trying to escape. I don’t condone what she did at all. I just wonder if there’s more to this story that we don’t know about.

  71. chicagofinance says:

    I actually take umbrage with the idea that “fear” sends prices down. It is really the dissipation of stopgap measures that are desperately holding things in place.

    WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN:
    The economy retreats, consumers and employers get scared, and more people lose their jobs. The government pulls back support, mortgage rates rise and sales fall. Foreclosures and fear send prices down again.

  72. Rich52 says:

    Fiddy (74),

    I never understood the idea of unused sick/vacation days. Why are they not like the private sector where it’s use em up by the end of the year or lose em? Ridiculous.

  73. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Some of those unused days were accrued at a Patrolman’s salary 29 years ago. They are being paid at today’s rates…in one case $138K per annum !!

    How are there unused sick days if the township has $4.7M in Health Care bills !?!?!

  74. frank says:

    #46,
    “Frank, what are you doing here? Get out and buy, buy, buy…before prices go up.”

    I am buying thousands of homes in my funds daily, I am under contract on an investment property, I am margined to the max in my brokerage account. What else do you want? I am bullish on America.

  75. frank says:

    DOW at 2009 high. Happy Holidays.

  76. NJGator says:

    Lost 67 – Not entirely sure. Did some research and all I can say is that in any court filing (both in the US and Brazil) there were never any allegations that the father was abusive in any way to the child or the mother. Best I can tell, she had a more glamourous life in Brazil, didn’t want to lose her son and knew she would likely lose in any court up here in the states. In the beginning they tried to strong arm the father into coming to brazil to settle the matter – because the courts would be much more friendly to the mother there. They did not want this case heard in NJ, where is where jurisdiction was.

  77. lisoosh says:

    lost – she married into a very wealthy and powerful family in Brazil.

    Lets see, middle class NJ lifestyle, ultra wealthy Brazilian lifestyle.

    So hard to choose…..

  78. d2b says:

    lost 67-
    I’m thinking that if there was a dark side the Brazilian side would have exposed it. In fact, with people crying wolf these days, one should be surprised that the card was not dealt.

    Rich 52-
    My point exactly about the sick time. The use it or lose it policy punishes your good employees. My mother worked for the Philadelphia Water dept in a two person dept and the woman with her used every available sick and vacation day. Was not a good situation and my mother because the go to person very quick.

  79. frank says:

    SRS will hit $6 today. Happy Holidays to me.

  80. d2b says:

    Not sure if it was mentioned but the COBRA extension was passed this week. Fifteen months of subsidized health insurance if you get laid off before 2/28/10.

    This is one of the good programs that reaches working families. I may need it as well.

  81. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [8] cindy,

    I am about 2/3 through it. One thing I found remarkable is, in one 8 page stretch, I found 4 glaring typos, including the word “frusterated.”

    And I get b1tched at for my typos. Next time, I am shoving that section under my sr. partner’s nose.

  82. John says:

    “working families”?

    d2b says:
    December 24, 2009 at 10:26 am
    Not sure if it was mentioned but the COBRA extension was passed this week. Fifteen months of subsidized health insurance if you get laid off before 2/28/10.

    This is one of the good programs that reaches

    . I may need it as well.

  83. d2b says:

    John,
    I guess I should said out of work families. Anyway, I would be the typical savings to a recently laid off worker with a family would be about $700 to $800.

  84. meter says:

    Willing to chip in to have Frank euthanized.

    Just sayin’.

  85. Schumpeter says:

    3b (49)-

    Stroke job.

  86. Schumpeter says:

    Please, Grim, ban bi from making 2010 predictions here.

  87. lostinny says:

    75 John

    You really never cease to amaze me.

  88. lostinny says:

    82 Gator

    Thanks for the info. I’m actually surprised then, that there was no charge of kidnapping. I mean she didn’t just go beyond state lines, she went international.

  89. lostinny says:

    83 Lisoosh

    Agreed. How many people here would rather be there then here anyway.

  90. Schumpeter says:

    lost (67)-

    The important thing about the Brazil kid story is that it’s the perfect media vehicle to captivate the general public by using cheap sentimentality to hook us and Pavlov-like repetition to keep us salivating for more info…as well as the saccharine, unsatisfying “happy” ending.

    That lady didn’t skip for Brazil for no reason. Guy probably beat the crap out of her, but he’s good-looking, articulate and empathetic, so the media creates their own storyline and injects him into it as a victim.

  91. schabadoo says:

    the end of democracy through the sound of thunderous applause.

    Bad Star Wars quotes for Xmas? Ugh.

  92. lostinny says:

    84 d2b

    That’s what I was wondering. I mean, we should have heard about something that wasn’t right. But at the same time, the word kidnapping or abduction was never used as far as I can remember. That’s really what happened here if there was no “dark side” to the story.

  93. lostinny says:

    96 Schump

    That was my relative’s point. She couldn’t understand how a mother in a good marriage, would just decide to stay and basically kidnap her child if there wasn’t some big problem. Other then her being a c word, that is.

  94. Schumpeter says:

    frank (80)-

    This may be the clearest sign we’ll ever get on this board to fade everything in sight, except Armageddon.

    “I am margined to the max in my brokerage account.”

  95. Essex says:

    100. Ouch. I saw that too….poor guy.

  96. John says:

    There was no kidnapping or abduction. The women was Brazilian, NJ Sucks, she took the kid with her on vacation to Brazil and just never came back. Brazil normally sides with the mother in a divorce and she go custody in Brazil and Brazil did not recognize the US Courts that the Dad should get custody. Once Mother died Father is automatically next to get kid, which he did. Big Friggin Deal.

    aslostinny says:
    December 24, 2009 at 11:25 am
    84 d2b

    That’s what I was wondering. I mean, we should have heard about something that wasn’t right. But at the same time, the word kidnapping or abduction was never used as far as I can remember. That’s really what happened here if there was no “dark side” to the story.

  97. knicks fan says:

    Gator #68

    Good for those guys, they shouldn’t give any money back – why should they, because some ape form NY with political ambitions decided to use his bully pulpit to strong-arm them into it? If the company went belly up, they would have gotten the money anyway (employees are first in line with a bankruptcy).

    A contract is sacred, tis one of the things that separates us from China. A mortgage is a contract too, and we see many Americans welching on those too, how do you feel about that?

  98. Schumpeter says:

    lost (95)-

    All the Brazilians who were in NJ went back years ago. More money & better jobs there.

    Check out Ironbound in Newark these days.

  99. House Whine says:

    Sick day policies.. I don’t think any of my jobs in the private sector ever allowed you to carry over sick days. We never got that many sick days to begin with though. But i sure did notice those co-workers who couldn’t tough things out- constantly complaining about this ailment and that ailment. I think they were sick of work but when they called out sick it put such a burden on those who showed up. I saw no evidence that their actions affected their performance reviews- of course very unfair but so it goes.

  100. relo says:

    105: I’ve never worked somewhere where excessive “sick” days were tolerated. Those that tried didn’t last long. Like Tommy Lasorda said about Darryl Strawberry’s tenure w/ the Dodgers – “How many times a year does a healty adult get sick”?

    Then again, I’ve never worked in a union shop.

  101. BC Bob says:

    “I am margined to the max in my brokerage account.”

    Frank,

    Didn’t know that margins accepted hamburgers and hot dogs. Then again, they may be following the path cleared by the fed.

  102. NJGator says:

    Lost – The word abduction actually has been used for quite sometime in this case. Here’s a link to a Dateline story that was aired earlier this year.

    http://bringseanhome.org/dateline.html

  103. Stu says:

    Worst part of getting paid out for sick days is that it encourages people to work when their sick. They then infect the rest of the healthy staff who also are incentivised (new catch term) to work sick. I suppose we can thank the unions for this.

  104. Stu says:

    their = they’re

  105. House Whine says:

    106: nope, they weren’t even union shops. Just certain people who knew how to get in good with those that mattered I guess. It’s a talent. I also noticed that those who were higher up on the food chain somehow were able to maintain their health while those that complained of every ailment under the sun were not. Funny, we all shared the same air and germs. I have also worked for an office where we actually had no sick days at all. If you got sick you had to use vacation days. That’s the other extreme though.

  106. d2b says:

    Stu 109-
    Not sure that I’ve really seen much of this. Although my father was old school and he would say that you should work when sick because you can’t do anything else. Save your sick days for mental heath days.

    I would bet that for every one day that a worker shows up ill there are 10 to 15 days that are taken by people that could work if they did not have any available time.

  107. schabadoo says:

    A mortgage is a contract too, and we see many Americans welching on those too, how do you feel about that?

    ?

  108. John says:

    What part of this sounds like an abduction? BS. I have a friend, his wife wanted custody and wanted to divorce him and was having an affair with a horse trainer. She encouraged him to take an international assignment and they moved to Italy for 24 months. As sson as she was there she filed for divorce. Italy favors the Mom. She threw him out, Italy demanded he keep paying rent and expenses and took his passport. When his work assignment ran out he had no income and could not leave country and he owed child support. He has his mom and dad pay off Italy to get him out and she kept sole custody for the next ten years. Italy labeled him a deadbeat dad and US put a lien on his salary to send to Italy.

    This guy in NJ, does not mention, he never had custody, never paid for child support and never presented why the kid should live with a single middle class dad in NJ over a rich family in Brazil. Plus what is with the stupid name he gave the kids. Sean Goldberg of something, he is jewish, mother is Brazilian and the kid has a Irish first name. I hope the step dad sues his butt for 5 years child support.

    On June 16, 2004, I drove Bruna, Sean and Bruna’s parents to Newark Airport for a planned 2-week vacation to her parent’s home in Brazil

  109. Stu says:

    d2b (112):

    So you never witnessed the flu, a stomach virus or a strong cold spread through your workplace like wildfire?

    I’ve seen it countless times at my place of employment. Of course, we have very few offices and lots of open desks (not high-walled cubicles like most).

  110. 3b says:

    #103A mortgage is a contract too, and we see many Americans welching on those too, how do you feel about that?

    Who cares? Seriously who cares? If the banks can game the system, bring it to its knees, and still get big bonus money, than anybody else that can get over should. Moral hazard was created by the government.

  111. ruggles says:

    lost – haven’t you heard about the Japanese cases? Kids taken by moms to Japan, never come back. ever.

  112. 3b says:

    frank is bullish on America? Maybe frank is actually Larry Crudlow.

  113. Cindy says:

    Stu – I have a totally new mind set. Usually, I would miss maybe one day a year (writing up sub plans is such a pain, you may as well go in.)

    Now? I’m sick – I’m home a few days. This pneumonia has me convinced that they can call me a wuss or whatever. Here are the sub plans – Best of luck.

    Folks are sending in kids sick as dogs. By 8:15 they are at my desk telling me they are sick but Mom made me come to school. So be it. If the sick kids won’t stay home, once I’m sick too – I will.

  114. NJGator says:

    For John –

    The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law that provides an expeditious method to return a child taken from one member nation to another. Proceedings on the Convention concluded 25 October 1980 and the Convention entered into force between the signatory nations on 1 December 1983. The Convention was drafted to “insure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence.”[1] The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court. The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.

    Procedural Nature
    The Convention does not provide any substantive rights. The Convention provides that the court in which a Hague Convention action is filed should not consider the merits of any underlying child custody dispute, but should determine only that country in which those issues should be heard. Return of the child is to the member nation rather than specifically to the left behind parent.

    The Convention mandates return of any child who was a “habitual resident” in a contracting nation immediately before an action that constitutes a breach of custody or access rights.[2] The Convention provides that all Contracting States, as well as any judicial and administrative bodies of those Contracting States, “shall act expeditiously in all proceedings seeking the return of a children” and that those institutions shall use the most expeditious procedures available to the end that final decision be made within six weeks from the date of commencement of the proceedings.[3]

    [edit] Wrongful Removal or Retention
    The Convention provides that the removal or retention of a child is “wrongful” whenever:

    “a. It is in breach of rights of custody attributed to a person, an institution or any other body, either jointly or alone, under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention; and

    “b. at the time of removal or retention those rights were actually exercised, either jointly or alone, or would have been so exercised but for the removal or retention.” These rights of custody may arise by operation of law or by reason of a judicial or administrative decision, or by reason of an agreement having legal effect under the law of the country of habitual residence.[4]

    “From the Convention’s standpoint, the removal of a child by one of the joint holders without the consent of the other, is . . . wrongful, and this wrongfulness derives in this particular case, not from some action in breach of a particular law, but from the fact that such action has disregarded the rights of the other parent which are also protected by law, and has interfered with their normal exercise.”[5]

    [edit] Habitual Residence
    The Convention mandates return of any child who was “habitually resident” in a contracting nation immediately before an action that constitutes a breach of custody or access rights. The Convention does not define the term “habitual residence,” but it is not intended to be a technical term. Instead, courts should broadly read the term in the context of the Convention’s purpose to discourage unilateral removal of a child from that place in which the child lived when removed or retained, which should generally be understood as the child’s “ordinary residence.” The child’s “habitual residence” is not determined after the incident alleged to constitute a wrongful removal or retention. A parent cannot unilaterally create a new habitual residence by wrongfully removing or sequestering a child. Because the determination of “habitual residence” is primarily a “fact based” determination and not one which is encumbered by legal technicalities, the court must look at those facts, the shared intentions of the parties, the history of the children’s location and the settled nature of the family prior to the facts giving rise to the request for return.[6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Convention_on_the_Civil_Aspects_of_International_Child_Abduction

  115. d2b says:

    Stu 115-
    I work from home.

    But,I’m not saying it does not happen. I don’t believe that such situations would be avoided for the most part if sick time needed to be taken. You would probably see an increase in mental health days and a drop in productivity that goes with it.

    The inefficiencies of govt employees has little to do with the ability to accrue sick time.

    On the other hand, I have not data to back up my argument.

  116. jcer says:

    Liking that article about GS, although the quote is good.

    “When you buy protection against an event that you have a hand in causing, you are buying fire insurance on someone else’s house and then committing arson.”

    It’s not super accurate, I have been saying for awhile it’s akin to:

    Building a home with faulty materials, selling it as top of the line and putting out an insurance policy against a faulty building falling down, an event you are certain is going to happen because you used very bad materials.

    GS knew how bad what they were packaging, and a lot of them deserve jail, not 60 million dollar bonuses. GS should be liable and made to pay for their investor losses as they seeming really believed these were bad where most other banks were clueless. GS is the worst company, the embodiment of evil, they work their ops people to death, don’t pay them a lot considering what is asked and are pompous, also 99% of the people working there are devoid of social skills, oh yeah they trade on inside knowledge and use their size to manipulate markets. The firm is a far cry from what it was when it started.

  117. John says:

    Marry a hot girl from another country and she risk she will take you to cleaners or walk off with your kids. Another guy I know married an insanely hot mexican girl he met on spring break in Cancun. He milked him dry for 10 years and when he lost his job after 9/11 she maxed out the last of his cards and went back hom. He played with fire, and as Jimi Hendrix once said you play with fire you are going to get burned.

    I hate Sick days. They should be illegal. My last firm got rids of sick days, funeral days and personal days and gave us 5 extra vacation days. No more listening to my dog died, my furnance broke, my long lost uncle died, I am sick, my kid is sick, I am hungover, bs from staff. It is there day, just put in vacation day no questions asked, and it was use it or lose it. It is unfair to the hard working folks when you have the small group milking the days. I know who milks days as they git 120 days without a sick day they take one.

    I was not sick one day in 8 years at my last job and only had one funeral to attend. I got 8 X 5 days off or 40 vacation days and all I gave up was one funeral days. The milkers complained they were like I use 5 sick days, two funeral days and 3 persoonal days and now you are replacing it with 5 days. Hey buddies 90% of company is making out like bandit with no sick days.

  118. Stu says:

    d2b,

    The saddest part of the paid sick day argument for government workers is that they probably take as many sick days as their counterparts in the the private sector, but probably don’t mark it down in the books. The inherent lack of profit incentive and the difficulty in terminating government employees (thanks again to the unions) makes cheating the system a low risk maneuver.

  119. jcer says:

    Gov’t workers need to get real, payout from sick days is crazy! John, in the real world those people don’t make it, I get 8 sick days, and don’t use them, why because when they are giving raises, bonuses, or layoffs they look at those numbers and it is taken into account. You use all the sick/ bereavement days and your out in the next round.

  120. renter says:

    “in the real world those people don’t make it…”

    Maybe people just take advantage of the system that exist where they work.

  121. BC Bob says:

    China will always be bidding at our auctions? Total nonsense. They have steadily converted their long term into T-bills and have stopped buying T-Bills, almost completely, at recent auctions.

    Japan’s trade surplus is kaput. Who’s left? The EU? Hopefully, Benny will have a few more printing presses under his X-Mas tree tomorrow. Time to fire Timmy and hire Madoff. After all, we’ll need a real pro to pull this one off.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/china-is-unloading-us-dollars-rapidly-2009-12

  122. frank says:

    Happy Kwanzaa to everyone. Buy a home now before rates go up.

    U.S. Mortgage Rates Rise to 5.05%, Freddie Mac Says

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&tkr=FRE:US&sid=aA0C0QWJPd1A

  123. BC Bob says:

    “It is unfair to the hard working folks when you have the small group milking the days.”

    J,

    LMAO. Are you part of the hard working category?

  124. BC Bob says:

    Frank [128],

    I hope they go up to 10%. Try to calculate how much more underwater you’ll be. Blow it out.

  125. jcer says:

    renter, when you work in a large company in corporate america, I am convinced they track many things and when looking to layoff it is taken into account. I’m not agreeing with it but it is reality. The way a small company works is usually better, in the end employers shouldn’t really look at anything but what is this person delivering and what is their potential to deliver more, because at the end of the day it is does this person do the job I am paying them for. I don’t care if the person is purple and comes in 1 hour 1 day a week if they do the job well. In corporate america it doesn’t fly they’d rather have an 6 incompetent people working 80 hours a week, than one purple person working 1 doing the same job. Why, well because the management doesn’t look useful if the task they are doing is simple. This is why they add unnecessary complexity to things and allow inefficiencies to exist, the gov’t is no different but worse.

  126. John says:

    Yes, I am always at work. No BS. I take like a sick day every five years. Never schedule vacation when needed and cancel it at moments notice. Work is Number ONE!!!!

    BC Bob says:
    December 24, 2009 at 12:47 pm
    “It is unfair to the hard working folks when you have the small group milking the days.”

    J,

    LMAO. Are you part of the hard working category?

  127. jcer says:

    Office space and dilbert are the most accurate depictions of large corporations that exist today.

  128. John says:

    When I was doing work at Chase they have umlimited sick days. They just subtract the day with prorated bonus amount that day from your annual bonus. Out too much and you are fired anyhow. Better. Why should I in a four person dept that works 12 hour a day, need to work a 16 hour day when one guy is milking it. Lets split up his day among the three of us.

  129. BC Bob says:

    “Yes, I am always at work.”

    J,

    You didn’t answer my question.

  130. John says:

    Merry Christmas, I am Audi 5000!!!

  131. John says:

    See I am the hardest worker, answered your questions,

    BC Bob says:
    December 24, 2009 at 1:04 pm
    “Yes, I am always at work.”

    J,

    You didn’t answer my question.

  132. Schumpeter says:

    BC (130)-

    The scary thing is, imagine that Frank really is one of WS’ best and brightest.

  133. Schumpeter says:

    …and John is the yardstick for WS’ best and brightest

  134. cobbler says:

    BC Bob [127]
    Chinese’ problem is that they can’t figure any useful thing to do with their constantly building up stock of US $$ other than buying UST. OK, they bought some gold for the central bank – but there is not enough of it in the whole world to spend all or even large part of the USDs they’ve got. If they switch to our equities instead, they’ll create a mother of all bubbles in the stock market. They are not buying the whole U.S. companies (except a few) because they consider them to be a dead meat. So, China Inc. is stuck – the only thing that realistically gets them out of this poke is reducing the trade surplus, which they are ideologically opposed to.

  135. renter says:

    I agree with you 100%. I was only saying that people in the public sector take advantage because the system is there to do it. If these same people were in the private sector then they would show up and deal with the corporate system.
    I worked for a large company and couldn’t believe how poorly it was run. The incentives were perverse. Middle management would tell us to cancel product on orders that wasn’t available to ship so it increased the fill rate. The result? Manufacturing was blind to the demand for the product and production wasn’t increased. The orders came in again and even less product was available. Eventually the order stopped coming and we lost the entire market for that product.

  136. jcer says:

    No John, is “the most interesting man in the world”, from the Dos Equis commercials, I imagine who ever said that yesterday figured out the mystery.

  137. jcer says:

    Yes in corp america the motivation is not to run well it is for you to serve who ever you work for so that they look good. Doesn’t matter if what you are doing isn’t productive, we have more projects that are worthless but just are for management to claim they have accomplished something major!

  138. jcer says:

    Make it as complicated as possible so no one knows what you are doing and can point to this massive accomplishment that required you to have 60 employees for 6 months, it’s insane, meanwhile productive business suffers because some genius took 60 employees and wasted lots of time.

  139. Cobbler, I’ve been to Chinese factories and seen what is happening there. They not interested in taking over U.S. companies, they are looking at transforming their own country. They want us to come begging them for help, but not just yet – when they’re more powerful. Buying USD’s is a way of scuring that for the future.

  140. BC Bob says:

    “So, China Inc. is stuck”

    Cobbler [140],

    Recent evidence indicates they are spreading out of LT Treas while their buying of T-Bills have halted to almost nothing. In addition to this, there is less available for current treas participation.

    As our savings rate increases, the current account deficit w/China falls. In this scenario, we are supplying them with less dollars. Therefore, do you anticipate they sell materials, minerals, energy and food to increase their treasury participation?

  141. Barbara says:

    Merry Christmas to all and lets keep the murder-suicides to a minimum, k? Gonna be a long weekend and I don’t want to see any of you in the news.
    Peace.

  142. BC Bob says:

    “No John, is “the most interesting man in the world”, from the Dos Equis commercials”

    jcer,

    That title has been taken by SAS.

  143. PGC says:

    It’s Dec 24th and I haven’t been this busy since the Euro conversion in 1999. This financial meltdown generating a brutal workload. Someday I will sit down and document these past two years. I feel like I have been sitting on the 34th St bleachers watching the Macys Thanksgiving day parade go past.

    Happy Holidays or as we say in the old countty. Merry Chr1stmas.

  144. cobbler says:

    BC Bob [146]
    If our saving rate truly increases and current account deficit drops as you suggest the $$ that currently are to be converted to UST by the Chinese will be domestic and will find their way to the bond mutual funds here. Historically, the main demand for UST debt had been domestic, and foreigners only started playing a major role when our deficits increased manyfold. I doubt, though, that the current account deficit will drop much and for long in the absence of strong industrial policy and protectionist steps. As much as U.S. consumer needs to shrink to make the economy healthy (rather than having 2 cancerous bulges -of consumer spending and of financial services, and bare and dry bones everywhere else), Chinese won’t let it happen.

  145. BC Bob says:

    “If our saving rate truly increases and current account deficit drops as you suggest the $$ that currently are to be converted to UST by the Chinese will be domestic and will find their way to the bond mutual funds here”

    cobbler [150],

    Big assumption. Debt payment is considered savings. Do you think some of that “savings” may be utilized to repair decimated balance sheets. Make no mistake about it, the fed is monetizing debt. This will continue for the foreseeable future.

  146. Punch My Ticket says:

    Merry Christmas to all.

  147. BC Bob says:

    NJC,

    How jacked up were they, #154. How about Southside? Whew.

  148. cobbler says:

    BC Bob [151]
    If Fed is monetizing debt as you are suggesting that eliminates the need for the Chinese or anyone else to buy UST… Fed could just exchange them for the greenbacks and immediately have them shredded… Doesn’t happen – while it is an ultimate way to destroy the debt crisis, it destroys too many other things that TPTB want to keep.

  149. lisoosh says:

    International parental kidnappings happen all the time – ruggles is right about Japan and the Middle East is a minefield full of kids removed by their fathers from their Western mothers.

    David Goldman is very very lucky. If the ex hadn’t died, creating an emotive story and he hadn’t captured the medias attention he’d have been lucky to see his kid before his 18th birthday.

  150. lisoosh says:

    jcer -just imagine the profits most companies could see if they just ran efficiently…..

  151. BC Bob says:

    cobbler [156],

    Essentially you are promoting an expansionary fed balance sheet, a depreciating currency and rising inflation. Wonder why Pimco and China are maneuvering?

    I’m done. Provide data that indicates China is currently increasing their purchases of mbs and treas sec.

  152. A non-market related prediction for `10.
    Facebook will prove to have been my downfall. I know none of you care, but I just need to publicly acknowledge a) yes I know it didn’t end well the last time b) yes, she is married now c) no, I don’t care.
    I’m pre-stockpiling scotch with regards to the inevitable end of aforementioned ‘situation’. Thank you.

  153. Essex says:

    Merry Christmas to ya’ll!

  154. Essex says:

    160….Oh toshiro….Hahahaha

  155. frank says:

    Protect yourself against inflation, buy a home now.

    Paulson, Robertson Bet On Rising Treasury Yields
    http://www.finalternatives.com/node/10066

  156. Cindy says:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Treasury-removes-cap-for-apf-602219088.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

    As Chicago would say: The end is nigh…

    “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac receive unlimited future funds from taxpayers to stay afloat”

    “The government has handed its ATM card to beleaguered mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

  157. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Merry Christmas all!

    Cindy 165 They are out of control,this will not end well and end it will. How long this house of cards can keep going(USA)is anybodies guess but at some point the SHTF and watch out.

  158. d2b says:

    TSHTF when every last nickel has been stolen and the new mantra is that its good to be poor. The only people that utter “its only money are the very poor and very rich”.

  159. 3b says:

    #164 frank higher treas rates equals higher mtg rates equals house prices falling even more than they have already fallen. Now go back to sleep.

  160. Mikeinwaiting says:

    3b 168 Why do you bother!? NO clue.

    d2b 167 It will be good to be poor , do nothing live off the tit of gov!
    I remember reading a book about 30 years ago by Mack Reynolds everyone was on NIT(negative Income Tax)RollTown check it out.

  161. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Have a great eve all off to dinner.

    More than 30 years ago may still have it, man am I old. Still remember reading it like it was yesterday.

  162. Stu says:

    Damn.

    Where did all the Jews go?

    Merry Christmas everyone else.

  163. lisoosh says:

    Playing I Spy Bingo with the kids.
    My daughter did not approve of my improvisational skills.

  164. scribe says:

    tosh, #160

    I’m pre-stockpiling scotch with regards to the inevitable end of aforementioned ’situation’. Thank you.

    ???

  165. confused in NJ says:

    There are only 27 Amendments to the Constitution. This is a proposed
    amendment.

    Amendment 28
    Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United
    States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or
    Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the
    Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the
    citizens of the United States

  166. Essex says:

    No shit! I love that one confused…..damn right. We do not need a ruling class.

  167. #162 – essex – thank you, I deserve all the laughter you have.

  168. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Stu 171 Out partying with the gentiles.

  169. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Confused 175 We can only hope & pray , fat chance.

  170. Outofstater says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

  171. lostinny says:

    Merry Christmas all. Sorry I cut out on the conversation earlier. I went out car shopping.

    Gator, thanks again for the info.

  172. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

  173. Schumpeter says:

    BC (146)-

    I suspect this is akin to speaking at a wall.

  174. Schumpeter says:

    cobbler (150)-

    Give up. Just freaking give up.

  175. Pat says:

    I hate facebook – on so many levels. Tosh, what happened. I’m dense and sped-red the posts here just now.

    Me want dirt while I’m vewwy, vewwy quietly tip-toeing and carrying poorly-wrapped Christmas presents down winding stairs. After three glasses of cheap wine, I’m gonna blow it here. I should just toss the stuff over the banister.

    But my husband can’t catch.

  176. Schumpeter says:

    Just want to plow through tomorrow and watch the Boxing Day EPL fixtures. At least I don’t have to spend Xmas with my fat, loser BIL and his bitch of a wife. Not having to see them is my present from my wife.

    I have enough guns, ammo, whiskey and physical to withstand an immense onslaught of stupid. And, I am as convinced that this onslaught will begin soon as I have been convinced of anything else in my life.

    Smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em. Pretty soon, it’s gonna be time to go to the mattresses.

  177. Schumpeter says:

    Eraserhead has rented out his Larchmont POS and probably lives in a rented, overpriced POS inside the Beltway.

    I also suspect the gubmint is paying the rent in Larchmont and paying his rent.

    This guy and all his pals should be lined up against a wall right now.

    Merry Christmas.

  178. Schumpeter says:

    The mortgage vigilantes have already struck their first blow. We’ve been eating ham sandwiches and guzzling supermarket eggnog while they’ve been busy.

    It all goes parabolic in January. Get your shit together; the asskicking will commence soon.

  179. Schumpeter says:

    This is how we should be celebrating Christmas:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKyO2G8kGM0

    Fight the power.

  180. Mikeinwaiting says:

    clot

    It all goes parabolic in January. Get your shit together; the asskicking will commence soon.

    can’t wait!

  181. Schumpeter says:

    Thank God we have the United States Congress looking out for us:

    “Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke can both sleep well – the Great American Ponzi (“GAP”) can continue for at least one more month, courtesy of Senate Democrats who all, with the exception of Evan Bayh, voted to raise the debt ceiling by $290 billion to $12.4 trillion. 59 Democrats all did their job in pretending that an exploding budget deficit is nothing to write home about, as there is this thing “called the printing press” yet with 60 votes needed America could have been on the verge of its first ever technical default. The savior: Republican George Voinovich of Ohio, who voted against party lines, and 39 other Republicans, and voted “for” unlimited printer cartridges.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/democrats-pass-temporary-debt-ceiling-extension-no-vote-error-margin

    I just want a Chinese lead-painted race car for Christmas. Maybe I will microwave it for two hours, then try to eat it.

  182. Schumpeter says:

    “As we have seen so illustriously over the past year, all Ponzi schemes eventually fail under their own weight. The US debt scheme is no different. 2009 has been witness to spectacular government intervention in almost all levels of the economy. This support requires outside capital to facilitate, and relies heavily on the US government’s ability to raise money in the debt market. The fact that the Federal Reserve and US Treasury cannot identify the second largest buyer of treasury securities this year proves that the traditional buyers are not keeping pace with the US government’s deficit spending. It makes us wonder if it’s all just a Ponzi scheme.”

    -Eric Sprott

  183. safeashouses says:

    #160 tosh

    LOL. Are you going to morph into a blend of John and clot for 2010?

  184. sas says:

    ok, Santa was just tracked by NORAD over Newark. He is on is way up to Boston.

    SAS

  185. sas says:

    if Santa was in Newark, he better check his sled, the brothers might have stole something from under him & Rudolph’s nose.

    SAS

  186. cobbler says:

    All turning Japanese…

    Let me know why it is so bad to have 5.2% unemployment:
    http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=axgACWbsW71E


    Dec. 25 (Bloomberg) — Japan’s unemployment rate rose for the first time in four months in November, an indication job growth may not be strong enough to support the economy’s recovery from its deepest postwar recession.

    The jobless rate climbed to 5.2 percent from 5.1 percent in October, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo, matching the median forecast of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

    Nevertheless, there are signs that the labor market won’t deteriorate further. The job-to-applicant ratio rose for a third month to 0.45, meaning there are 45 positions for every 100 candidates, the Labor Ministry said today. The report also showed there were 80 newly advertised jobs in November for every 100 people who started looking for a job that month, the most since January. Economists regard the gauge as a leading indicator of employment.

  187. sas says:

    i can’t wait till tomorrow, wife & I get to eat the figgy pudding & brandy.

    Merry Christmas old Food Emporium :)
    SAS

  188. sas says:

    “Merry Christmas, movie house!”

    SAS

  189. Pat says:

    If the only thing your child asked for is a bird – like in a cage – does it count if you glue some feathers on the cat’s face and then yell at it in the morning when your little one comes down and looks at the pile of presents?

  190. Pat says:

    My husband and I are discussing the merits of various ways out of this one.

  191. Barbara says:

    pat lol I dont blame you for ignoring the bird request, they are too noisy for me.

  192. yikes says:

    merry christmas!

  193. Shore Guy says:

    “figgy pudding”???

    I always thought it was friggen pudding. Live and learn. Being from Jersey, it seemed to make sense.

  194. Shore Guy says:

    “Santa was just tracked by NORAD over Newark. He is on is way up to Boston”

    They launched interceptors from Rome or Mass?

  195. sas says:

    you mean Freeganism?

    SAS

  196. sas says:

    yeah, figgy pudding, it contains figs.
    If made well with the brandy, you can light it like a candle.

    we usually light it up, and sing a song or two.

    SAS

  197. scribe says:

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

    Hope Santa leaves many good things under the tree for you and yours!

  198. lostinny says:

    Dear Sleeping Gods,
    Why have you forsaken me?

    Merry Christmas all. Have a happy and healthy holiday.

  199. willwork4beer says:

    Merry Christmas to all. Even bi, Frank and lurkerd. And where has Re101 been hiding? Merry Christmas everybody!

  200. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Merry Christmas!

    Pat 200 I love it. I should have pulled that move.

    Lost you got mail.

  201. njescapee says:

    Merry Christmas to All from Key West!

  202. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Like we didn’t see this one coming????

    “By RACHEL BECK, AP Business Writer Rachel Beck, Ap Business Writer – 2 hrs 14 mins ago
    NEW YORK – The government shouldn’t reward liars. But that’s the effect of changes to the Obama administration’s failing program to help homeowners modify their mortgages.

    Until recently the rules were clear: if you grossly understated your income to qualify for the program, you had to restart the loan modification process. It made sense. After all, we got into this housing mess partly because too many people were dishonest about how much they made.

    Fast forward to today. The federally funded Home Affordable Modification Program was aimed at getting banks to rework mortgages for homeowners in order to slow the pace of foreclosures. The government set a goal of modifying up to 4 million mortgages over the next three years.

    The program isn’t working like it’s supposed to. Since March, just 31,000 homeowners have won permanent relief. One big reason why is that lenders are doing what they should have been doing all along — requiring things like proof of income.

    How’s the government responding? By letting homeowners who fudge their income numbers off the hook with little more than a wink and a nod.

    “This isn’t the kind of person the government should want to help,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning Washington think tank. . . .”

    Memo to Dean: What about being a liberal redistributionist are you not getting???