Citi offers cash for keys

From the WSJ:

Citi Pushes Foreclosure Alternative

Mortgage lenders are trying to arrange smoother departures for distressed homeowners who can’t be saved by loan modifications–and discourage them from trashing the homes on their way out.

CitiMortgage, a unit of Citigroup Inc. (C), announced Wednesday a pilot project that will let some delinquent borrowers remain in their homes without making mortgage payments for six months if they voluntarily transfer ownership to the bank.

Over the past two years, millions of foreclosures have been delayed by state and federal programs requiring lenders to try to keep borrowers in their homes by easing their monthly payments. But the moment of truth is approaching for hundreds of thousands of households that sought help under the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, launched a year ago, as well as borrowers who have sought help through other programs.

“We are concerned that if there is a foreclosure glut at some point in the cycle it would have to have a negative impact on house prices,” and Citi’s pilot program should help prevent a build-up in foreclosed homes, said Sanjiv Das, the chief executive of CitiMortgage in an interview.

The CitiMortgage pilot program provides incentives for more borrowers to use a procedure known as a “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” in which the borrower voluntarily transfers ownership of the home to the lender, which then cancels the mortgage debt. Aside from letting such people stay in the homes for six months, CitiMortgage says it will give them at least $1,000 to cover relocation costs, an incentive sometimes dubbed “cash for keys.”

Mr. Das said, “Something formally needs to be done in addition to the modifications. We are in a different stage of the housing cycle. Restructuring mortgage payments was part one of the cycle, making sure that foreclosure glut doesn’t hit the industry is part two of the cycle. Citi is trying to stay ahead of it.”

The pilot program is available for certain people whose mortgages are owned by CitiMortgage in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio. The bank should benefit by avoiding legal costs and reducing the time homes are left vacant and exposed to vandalism. Participants will be required to “maintain the property in its current condition,” the bank said. It plans to expand the program if the pilot is successful.

From the Washington Post:

Mortgage officials try exits softer than foreclosures

Seeking alternatives to the nation’s struggling foreclosure prevention efforts, federal and mortgage industry officials increasingly are looking for ways to get distressed borrowers to leave their homes voluntarily, without going through the expensive foreclosure process or a messy eviction.

Citigroup, for instance, plans to announce a pilot program on Thursday that would allow delinquent borrowers who don’t qualify for or decline mortgage relief the opportunity to stay in their homes without making payments for up to six months before turning over the keys, in return for keeping the property in good condition. The bank estimates that up to 20,000 borrowers in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio could be eligible.

Moody’s Economy.com has forecast that the number of short sales and transactions in which borrowers surrender their deed in lieu of foreclosure will increase more than 50 percent, to about 490,000, this year. That is just a fraction of the 1.9 million homeowners Moody’s has forecast will lose their homes to foreclosure this year, up from 1.7 million last year.

From the Star Ledger:

CitiMortgage offers option for N.J. homeowners in default

The fourth-largest mortgage servicer in the country is offering homeowners in New Jersey who are 90-days late on their payments a chance to walk away with cash.

CitiMortgage, a unit of Citigroup, will announce today a trial program that lets borrowers remain in their homes for six months after signing a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure contract — so called because owners agree to hand over their homes to the lender.

These borrowers also will receive at least $1,000 in relocation expenses.

“Basically, the lenders are giving defaulted owners cash for their keys,” said James Bednar, who writes a real estate blog at njrereport.com.

He said some participants could eventually end up saving as much as $20,000 after relocation expenses and mortgage payments.

Real estate agents also said the program could have an adverse effect on New Jersey’s already troubled housing market by driving down prices.

“They’re going to have to be at a lower price than everyone else,” said Sal Poliandro, a Saddle River-based real estate agent, of the homes that will eventually go up for sale. “Not only are they going to have these houses on the market, they are going to be encouraged to sell them quickly.”

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680 Responses to Citi offers cash for keys

  1. willwork4beer says:

    Frist!

  2. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    US foreclosures drop in Jan but more loom-RealtyTrac

    U.S. mortgage foreclosure filings dropped in January but the decline may prove only temporary as housing-rescue efforts fall short of addressing current drivers, a report released on Thursday showed.

    Foreclosures are by far one of the biggest threats to the U.S. housing market, which remains highly vulnerable to setbacks and heavily reliant on government intervention. If foreclosures continue dropping it would be one of the strongest signals yet the market is on the path to recovery.

    Foreclosure filings — including mortgage default notices, house auctions and home repossessions by banks — were reported on 315,716 properties in January, a decrease of nearly 10 percent from December, but up 15 percent from the year-earlier month, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said.

    “January foreclosure numbers are exhibiting a pattern very similar to a year ago: a double-digit percentage jump in December foreclosure activity followed by a 10 percent drop in January,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a statement.

    “If history repeats itself we will see a surge in the numbers over the next few months as lenders foreclose on delinquent loans where neither the existing loan modification programs or the new short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure alternatives works,” he said.

    REOs, or real estate-owned properties, activity nationwide was down 5 percent from the previous month but still up 31 percent from January 2009; default notices were down 12 percent from the previous month but up 4 percent from January 2009; and scheduled foreclosure auctions were down 11 percent from the previous month and up 15 percent from January 2009, RealtyTrac said.

  3. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. foreclosure rate drops 39 percent, report says

    Foreclosure filings in New Jersey dropped about 39 percent in January from the previous month, yet still remained higher than they were in the same period in 2008, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

    The firm — which tracks defaults, bank seizures and auction notices — said 6,146 foreclosure notices were served in the first month of the new year.

    RealtyTrac doesn’t distinguish between notices served to commercial and residential owners.

    In the meantime, New Jersey is still reeling from a housing crisis that sent the number of troubled borrowers skyrocketing.

  4. grim says:

    From the Press of Atlantic City:

    Area foreclosures drop sharply in January

    Foreclosures in southern New Jersey fell sharply in January, but remained substantially higher than the same period a year ago, foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif., said Wednesday.

    January filings fell nearly 10 percent nationwide, yet still remained 15 percent higher than a year ago.

    Atlantic County foreclosures were down 40 percent for the month and 45 percent higher than the previous January. Cape May County filings were 42 percent lower than in December, but up 26 percent over the prior year. Ocean County’s 36 percent drop in January left it 39 percent higher than January 2009.

    Only Cumberland County managed fewer foreclosures for the month – down 42 percent – and from the prior year, down 7 percent.

    James Saccacio, RealtyTrac president, said the data was typical of the season for the highly volatile foreclosures, with double-digit drops in January following double-digit increases in December. If the pattern holds, the next few months will see filings increase.

    December monthly foreclosure increases locally were 11 percent in Atlantic County, 14 percent in Cape May County, 26 percent in Cumberland County and 11 percent in Ocean County.

  5. grim says:

    From RealtyTrac:


    U.S. FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY DECREASES 10 PERCENT IN JANUARY

    January 2010 – New Jersey
    Lis Pendens – 4208
    Notice of Sale – 1002
    REO – 936

    January 2009 – New Jersey
    Lis Pendens – 3363
    Notice of Sale – 1001
    REO – 640

    Watch that last number, in January of 2009, despite the number of actions taken, only 640 homes were taken back by banks. In 2010, the figure jumped almost 50% to 936 homes.

  6. freedy says:

    How many people on this blog actually think
    that Citi is trying to help the homeowner?

    Its a good deed. Anybody here have a Citi
    Credit Card, see how they treat you with that.

  7. safeashouses says:

    I thought a homeowner could squat for over a year without making a payment before getting evicted. Why would people take 1k and leave after 6 months if that’s the case? Does the Citi program free the homeowner from any future liabilities and claims bt Citi?

  8. freedy says:

    part of the reason they are doing this is
    because a homeowner can squat for a year.

    this is BS its in their best interest to get you out. Saves them legal, and if a homeowner
    wants, i believe you could stay for perhaps
    two, or even longer.

    This is a joke.

  9. Cindy says:

    http://www.sacbee.com/politics/story/2528864.html

    Something positive to report for CA:

    “State tax haul $1.3 billion above January projection”

  10. grim says:

    Deed in lieu programs are designed to save lenders money.

    How?

    Shortens timelines to seizure.
    Reduces legal fees.
    Reduces damage to homes, improving resale.
    Reduces overall nonpayments (they will take a 6 month loss instead of a 12 month loss).

  11. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Muni Bond Funds – lets be careful out there people

    http://www.financialarmageddon.com/2010/02/no-safe-haven.html

  12. grim says:

    I don’t care what Citi or other lenders say, these programs are for their own benefit, not the borrowers.

  13. safeashouses says:

    #10 grim,

    I wonder how many participants get stuck with a promissory note or other claims from the “generous” lender.

  14. Cindy says:

    http://www.sacbee.com/politics/story/2528528.html

    Well…Some good news for CA but always bad news as well:

    “CalPERS project in Boston on verge of going bust”

    Somebody must have made big bucks duping these CalPERS idiots on one big RE deal after another…

  15. Cindy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/health/policy/11insure.html

    Streamline – rarely a good word…

    “New Jersey Added to Trial Program to Streamline Health Insurance Paperwork”

  16. freedy says:

    the citi corp deal is a screw job for the
    homeowner. they know people can stay for years
    its for the benefit of Citi, not the screwed
    homeowner. or as some what to say “deadbeats”

    my ass, screw Citi corp, before they screw you

  17. grim says:

    Recourse on a deed in lieu?

    I’d love to see that play out in court.

    Especially since it will be Citi pitching the offer.

    Scot free

  18. Cindy says:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/commercial-loan-losses-could-threaten-system-cop-2010-02-11

    “Commercial Mortgage Failures Threaten System: Overseer”

    COP – CRE

  19. Cindy says:

    More on CITI from Bloomberg:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a5oyeNFX5hVs&pos=6

    “Citigroup “Trups” may be for sale as U.S. seeks bailout profit”

  20. Yikes says:

    #
    sas says:
    February 10, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    its time some of you blokes out there wake up and smell the Folgers coffee. ain’t a dime difference btw a republican or democrat.

    Don King owns them both.

    SAS

    come on, deer hunter. tell us something we don’t know.

  21. homeboken says:

    Iran a nuclear state? I am shocked, I really thought they were only developing nuclear power for energy. If you can’t trust the Iranians, who can you trust?

  22. Cindy says:

    Home @ 21

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100211/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_nuclear

    I thought they were watching a 3-D movie.

  23. Mr Hyde says:

    Question for the collective

    If you have the opportunity to buy a home from a family member for a cut rate and the total piti would be only 15-20% more then your current rent, does it make sense to do so.

    Pro’s would be a built in put option and being able to live in the house for a year or more without paying the mortgage in a worst case scenario. Also a good chance of being able to pull off an effective 0 down deal and conserve cash.

    Con’s
    property tax exposure and maintenance

    thoughts?

  24. freedy says:

    meanwhile freddy and fanny buying up
    bad paper at record rates.

  25. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “Somebody must have made big bucks duping these CalPERS idiots on one big RE deal after another…”

    If CalPERS operated like most pension funds in the past decade I am sure there’s plenty of CalPERS reps who were rewarded handsomely above and below the table to make such “investments”.

  26. John says:

    Citi is the home-owner. The person in house put no or little money down, is underwater and stopped paying Mortgage, taxes and insurance. He or She is a squater who does not have his name on title.

    The squatter is denying Citi, the home owner from selling his house, btw we all own a lot of citi so the squatter is stealling directly from every taxpayer.

  27. Citi offered the loan John. They were the experts in the loan business.

    “I’ll give you $1 dollar for Boardwalk and Park Place.” The bank should have known better.

  28. Yikes says:

    grim says:
    February 11, 2010 at 7:51 am

    I don’t care what Citi or other lenders say, these programs are for their own benefit, not the borrowers.

    of course, Grim. they run a business. would you expect anything less?

    the borrowers are shafted. i wish i had a good strategy for them, but i dont.

  29. nw says:

    Freedy, the people who read this blog get the idea. You’re a deadbeat and you support stiffing anyone you’re indebted to.

    But can you drop the rain man act, or is that the extent of your cognitive ability?

  30. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde we were offered a deal like that but the property taxes are prohibitive where the in laws live and we felt like the house would never be ours

  31. John says:

    Citi in most cases did not offer loans. BS places like American Home Mortgage gave out lier loans and fudge documentation and Citi ended up buying these mortgage from mortgage brokers that went bankrupt and Citi has no recourse to unload them.

    Chase used to have a whole section of bank that bought mortgages from Mortgage brokers out in Lake Success Long Island and Wamu was big into it. Jamie fired all those people and now Chase directly gives mortgages only and verifies the information itself. This is a huge legacy issue.

    Quite often the bank never loaned these people a nickle, they bought the paper under false pretenses. It is illegal to outright lie and submit false documentation to obtain a mortgage most of these underwater homeowners are criminals.

  32. John says:

    Plus I still own Citi bonds paying me 16% a year for 30 years, how can I afford my steak and lobster and front row jets tickets if the deadbeats stop paying, say a prayer for me this does not impact my income stream.

  33. Iranians says:

    homebroken – Who can you trust?

    Sarah Pal!n
    Any mechanic
    Darth Vader
    Your federal government
    Scott Boras
    Beck & Rush
    Richard M. Nixon
    Lane Kiffin

  34. Schumpeter says:

    Typical Citi screw job. You can drag things out up to 24 months with minimal effort, still short sell your house…and extort $3,000-$5,000 cash-for-keys. Just threaten to cut off the power and abandon your house in weather like this.

    I regularly negotiate $3,000+ cash-for-keys for my clients.

    F^#k you, Citi.

  35. Schumpeter says:

    The Citi Never Thinks

  36. freedy says:

    only 3k, i thought you could get more.
    and your right 24 months,, easy, with a little work.

  37. freedy says:

    and be careful ,, you will be deemed a
    deadbeat defender.

  38. Schumpeter says:

    safe (13)-

    Starting April 5, demanding promisorry notes on mortgage deficiencies will become illegal for Phony/Fraudy issued or backed mortgages.

  39. Schumpeter says:

    freedy (37)-

    The rumbles I hear is that they are going to try to crack down on people like me by deeming us “unregistered financial advisors”. That way, the little guy will be up shit creek with no access to advice or help.

    Just the way the banksters want it.

  40. Mr hyde says:

    33
    Vader.

    Pain:

    property taxes are my main concern.

  41. John,

    Citi didn’t know it, but Goldman shorted it. That’s believable. And us morons on the NJREREPORT are the experts as we saw it coming.

    You can do better than that John.

  42. I would have to go w/ Vader as well.

  43. Schumpeter says:

    grim (17)-

    I think that Citi is going to try to get the homeowner to allow a short sale within that 6 month forbearance period. DIL is better than FK, but a short sale creates the least possible loss to the bank.

    BAC has a trial program in the pipeline that is almost identical to C’s, but revolves around selling short as fast as possible.

  44. Schumpeter says:

    hyde (23)-

    I like it. Have the family member hold paper, too.

  45. Mr hyde says:

    schump

    <i.Have the family member hold paper, too.?????

  46. Mr hyde says:

    Clot,

    are do you have an over/under on how long before Germany starts talking about returning to the Deutsche Mark?

  47. Mr hyde says:

    Clot,

    do you have an over/under on how long before Germany starts talking about returning to the Deutsche Mark?

  48. Schumpeter says:

    hyde (45)-

    Depends on how close that family member is, and how much each party trusts the other. You can pull off some interesting things with a little cooperation.

  49. Schumpeter says:

    hyde (47)-

    Yes. Tomorrow.

  50. Anon E. Moose says:

    Stump[39];

    I see your point I mean listenting to upstanding, bona fide REALTORS® about how “Home prices only go up,” “Buy now or be priced out forever,” and my personal favorite, “This is the best investment you can make in your family’s future,” (emphasis mine) has done wonders for the 25% of borrowers now underwater, hasn’t it?

    I take it you object to people wanting to flack used houses as “investments”, but not be bound by the same rules that investment brokers live by?

  51. Anon E. Moose says:

    Hyde[47];

    Cool! I still have a 100 DM note that I never cashed in. Now I won’t have to. Procrastination pays off!

  52. nw says:

    #36 Freedy

    Here’s an idea for you, since your stuck on that one. Instead of polluting this blog with your repetitive posts, why don’t you start your own deadbeats blog?

    You seem to have a real knack for this. You could teach people how to get free transit rides by pretending they’re disabled, and how to jimmy the soda machine for a free drink. Lots of potential for you there.

  53. Veto That says:

    “The CitiMortgage pilot program provides incentives for more borrowers to use a procedure known as a “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” in which the borrower voluntarily transfers ownership of the home to the lender, which then cancels the mortgage debt.”

    What is the difference between this and foreclosure? Or is this just a faster, cleaner foreclosure process where the homeowner takes less of a hit to their credit score?
    In the end the effect seems to be the same as a foreclosure since the home goes back to the bank and banks will control all of the inventory, which is not good for all of us bubble sitters hoping for a 40% discount from peak.

  54. Mr hyde says:

    Moose,

    The father land wont have much choice if they dont want to get dragged down by Greece, Spain, Ireland and eastern Europe.

    Perhaps they will choose to go down with the ship, but I think at some point the German people might start to make their displeasure known to the politicians

  55. freedy says:

    citi has a problem, gov. controlled.

    and the gov knows housing is a problem.

    citi ,, gotts to get those deadbeats out and
    on the streets.

  56. Mr hyde says:

    Who pays the property taxes on all of the foreclosures???

    Are the banks actually ponying up the taxes? Are towns going after the bank for taxes due?

    Is this just one more time bomb in the mix?

  57. freedy says:

    normally the bank, who normally is screwing
    the deadbeat homeowner, continues to pay the
    taxes.

    that’s what they don’t like. if the taxpayer
    who continues to be a deadbeat squats for
    24 months,, my oh my do the math.

    of course , the bonus pool for citi and
    the others has no effect.

  58. NJGator says:

    John 31 – BS. Our friends just refi-ed through the little outfit that we used. Guess who now holds their mortgage? Chase.

  59. Veto That says:

    Hyde, you have an interesting situation there.
    your answer really depends on the numbers and the dicount offered on the price.
    Its hard to tell by ‘an extra 10-15% piti’ because i dont know what your rent is now and where your piti will be after you buy that place.
    I wouldnt worry too much about property taxes, they are horrible, always have been horrible and always will be horrible in nj. But the good news is that we have a monster structural state deficit and are required to balance, so just like in the early 90s during the last housing bust, property taxes will come down a little bit in the coming years. they will never be low. they will always be high in nj.

  60. Yikes says:

    you guys see this?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/business/11bonus.html?hp

    It turns out that some of the highest-paid financial executives in America work far from the canyons of Lower Manhattan, at companies that have largely avoided the outcry over the return of hefty paydays on Wall Street.

    Topping the list is John G. Stumpf, head of Wells Fargo, the bank based in San Francisco, according to an analysis of 2009 compensation in the industry. Mr. Stumpf was paid a personal best of $18.7 million in cash and stock for 2009 — up 64 percent from 2007, just before the financial crisis struck.

    Mr. Stumpf is making twice as much as Lloyd C. Blankfein, his counterpart at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Blankfein — who for many Americans has come to symbolize this new period of Wall Street riches — was paid $9.7 million for 2009, less than some expected.

    It is a stunning reversal in the old pecking order of pay. Big names on Wall Street like Mr. Blankfein usually take home far more than staid bankers like Mr. Stumpf, whose bank’s biggest business is making home mortgages and loans to corporations.

  61. 3b says:

    #54 If I were the Germans I would be pissed that they have to bail out all the losers in Europe. And Greece lied to get into the Euro zone, out and out lied. They should be kicked out.

  62. 3b says:

    #59 Actually property taxes were not all that bad, only in the last 5 or 6 years that they have gone insane.

    In fact north Jersey property taxes were much more competitive than Westchester NY, one of the reasons we moved to Bergen in the first place, along with cheaper car insurance, and commutation costs.

  63. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde our PITI would have been 3000 a month, including taxes, but the taxes in their town have been averaging a 300 per year increase. I laws want to get out and viewed us as the best option, wife wants no part of it. she has siblings that treat mom and dad as their personal banks.

  64. Veto That says:

    Commercial mortgage failures threaten system: overseer
    Losses may range between $200 billion and $300 billion, report says

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/commercial-loan-losses-could-threaten-system-cop-2010-02-11

  65. Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:

    John,

    That is an all-time classic. Poor Citi they were duped by these mortgage broking con-men. Give me a break. They are in trouble because they were dumb enough not to dump more of the junk onto unwitting municipalities and pension funds. They knew the game they were playing. Chuckie Prince said it best, “as long as the music is playing you got to keep dancing”.

  66. Mr hyde says:

    Pain

    The PITI would be under 3K and taxes are currently 6K.

    Inlaws actually want the house to stay in the family and everyone is on good terms.

  67. Happy Daze says:

    So how long until Citi becomes
    the nation’s largest property management firm?

  68. Mr hyde says:

    I thought CITI and all the other big banks were flooded with sophisticated Ivy League bankers? How did all those Ivy leaguers get out smarted?

  69. “So how long until Citi becomes
    the nation’s largest property management firm?”

    Perhaps they should change to REIT status. Their stock would likely triple.

  70. Veto That says:

    3b, when prices of home were going up 15% per year, most could care less if their property taxes were increasing at a rate of 10% because they felt their homes would eventually make them rich and the taxes were just a small fee in relation to all their equity.
    Plus when the economy was better, most people could afford to pay it and were happy to keep uop with the jones’.
    Im hoping that as prices correct and as unemployment and foreclosures continue to skyrocket, taxes will come back down to earth because people will become extremely outspoken about it. its already becoming popular for politicians to slash budgets and cut funding. politicians will catch on and do what gets them elected.

  71. Mr hyde says:

    Veto 70

    the hard part is the large # of people employed by the town and state. At some point the town/state is going to resist cuts due to the unemployment effects such cuts will have.
    The effect could be even worse in a place like NJ where the major employers 9 Pharma, finance, telcom) are all pulling out or scaling back.

  72. Shore Guy says:

    “Foreclosures are by far one of the biggest threats to the U.S. housing market”

    THE biggest threat to the housing market is overpriced homes.

  73. Veto That says:

    Hyde, they will cut it all: jobs, salaries, pensions, benefits, unemployment at the state and local level. They have to in order to balance the budget. its not optional.
    If the fed wants to keep printing to cover our deficits then it will buy some time but that is not a long term option.

  74. Shore Guy (73): you got that right. And the government is doing everything possible to keep homes overpriced. Does anyone have a total as to what was spent by them in their MBS purchases?

  75. Mr hyde says:

    Veto,

    you have mail

  76. Happy Daze says:

    Think the following is true?
    a potential benefit of Citi making this offer instead of outright kicking the homeowner to the curb is that it affects the psychology of the person such that the perception of goodwill makes it less likelihood to vandalize the property.

    And congrats to Grim for getting quoted in the mass media again!

  77. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde, if that is the case I would jump on it. The question is how does the wife feel about it, your tolerance level owing cash to a relative and do you want to leave lovely Morris County?

  78. Happy Daze says:

    61 3b

    Meanwhile Turkey has been banging on the EU’s doors to be let in…

  79. “Hyde, they will cut it all: jobs, salaries, pensions, benefits, unemployment at the state and local level. They have to in order to balance the budget. its not optional.”

    I disagree. They will figure out ways to bond operational costs as hidden capital items. Locally, this is occurring with regularity. Montclair reduced $600 a year in property taxes by making a sewer authority that does not get paid out of the property tax revenue. The town claimed they lowered taxes. Meanwhile, we now must right a non-tax deductible check of $600 that we didn’t write before. They will continue to do this until the capital budgets are so large that the interest payments on the debt are larger than the debt themselves. This will occur at the state and county level as well. Look at what Whitman did with halting the funding of the state pension system and then lowering your property taxes by 30%. In the end, you will probably pay a lot more to bail out the public pension then had you not received that temporary tax cut.

  80. lisoosh says:

    My only beef with what Citi is doing is the fact that they want to hold on to inventory and protect prices (duh, no mark to market).

    Other than that, speed up the foreclosures and have them be in better condition sounds good to me, time to get this train wreck moving again. I just want them dumped on to the market tout suite. Homedebtors out in 6 months sounds better than out in 2 years from my perspective.

    We all have a horse in this race- mine is I’ve been very very patient for a very long time and would like to see the benefits at some point in my lifetime.

  81. Mr hyde says:

    Pain,

    located in morris county and the wife is interested.

    I’m a little hung up on holding a mortgage in the current environment. Having the “put” option is nice but am realistic that the wife would push back substantially before agreeing to utilize it.

    I have a few months to mull it over.

  82. Oofah, spelled write right and wrong in the same sentence. Repeat that 5 times in a hurry.

  83. Mr hyde says:

    shore:

    amusement for the day:

    An Arab ambassador called for an instant divorce after discovering his veil-wearing fiancée had a beard and was cross-eyed
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1249922/Ambassador-calls-divorce-veil-wearing-bride-reveals-beard-crossed-eyes.html

  84. Veto That says:

    stu, yeah they will do all of those gimmicks at first and some of it might stick. But they cant continue to raise taxes and create new taxes without people going nuts and punishing politicians when it becomes the elephant inthe room.
    Actually its better if it does become worse first because that is what will get people to speak up and do something about it. the tea party is a good start. We will see more of it.

  85. John says:

    Juice, have you every worked at Citi, have you ever did an end to end review of the process of buying whole loans from mortgage brokers and securitizing them into MBS or holding as investments and maintaing servicing rights? If not you should not comment.

    I have seen the store rooms with boxes of whole loans from mortgage brokers and was amazed at how many people name Jose have landscaping businesses making 200K a year. Fake SS’s and everything. That is who is being kept in their house.

    Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:
    February 11, 2010 at 10:29 am
    John,

    That is an all-time classic. Poor Citi they were duped by these mortgage broking con-men. Give me a break. They are in trouble because they were dumb enough not to dump more of the junk onto unwitting municipalities and pension funds. They knew the game they were playing. Chuckie Prince said it best, “as long as the music is playing you got to keep dancing”.

  86. Mr hyde says:

    John

    I have seen the store rooms with boxes of whole loans from mortgage brokers and was amazed at how many people name Jose have landscaping businesses making 200K a year. Fake SS’s and everything. That is who is being kept in their house.

    there have been a number of stories about that exact issue:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-35821-Immigration-Reform-Examiner%7ey2010m2d7-The-role-illegal-aliens-played-in-the-mortgage-crisis-and-continue-to-play

    The Sub Prime underwriting guidelines had special requirements for, what was called, Foreign Nationals….30% down and full credit package including credit references from their country of origin and a valid Visa. To circumvent this requirement, the applications were marked that the borrower was a US citizen then, regardless if the credit profile did not support such a claim, an underwriter was not allowed to question the application.

    This along with use of stolen SS# or use of their American born child’s SS# and lax credit requirements that allowed alternative credit, helped cover the ruse. All required documentation was fraudulent and with the large use of a/k/a’s, information was hard to track.

  87. “how many people name Jose have landscaping businesses making 200K a year.”

    Yet Chase chose to service the loan. Just stop John.

  88. freedy says:

    call a bank now and go for a loan mod. see what you get . easier to get into china
    than to get a loan mod done with these
    deadbeat bankers.

  89. John says:

    Actually on those Chase/Citi did something where you buy whole loans to securitze. You need $250 million in whole loans to apply for a CUSIP from MBSCC and then secutize it into tranches. On any given days there were multiple issues going on. Can take a few months from when you buy the first whole loan till quants slice and dice it and it gets cusip and retail sales force sells it. Chase stopped dancing sooner than Citi and had a lot less deals in pipeline, Prince went full steam ahead and was still in business a few months after Chase and GS hit the brakes, when the music stopped Citi did not have a chair.

  90. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde then use the time on your side, not carrying interest bearing mortgage to family is better than a bank, plus they tend to be a little mor forgiving in times of hardship

  91. Mr hyde says:

    Pain,

    actually i think it would make more sense to carry the mortgage with the bank. Its a lot more difficult to walk on a mortgage to a family member then to a bank. Much higher long term costs then a hit to credit rating

  92. Painhrtz says:

    good point

  93. Anon E. Moose says:

    65.Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:
    February 11, 2010 at 10:29 am
    …Chuckie Prince said it best, “as long as the music is playing you got to keep dancing”.

    I think a better analogy is dancing with a bear. You don’t stop when you want to, you stop when the bear wants to.

  94. leftwing says:

    Clot

    “That way, the little guy will be up shit creek with no access to advice or help.”

    Absolutely.

    A corporation, any organization for that matter, is going to act in its own self interest.

    Kind of like the realtors’ guild trying to stamp out discount brokers, or not allowing an SEC up the wazoo licensed salesperson/advisor to be a broker without sitting in some schmuck’s office for two years.

    These salt of the earth, guy’s guy, teary eyed moments over the ‘little guy’ though are getting tiresome.

    I have no sympathy for these ‘little guys’ who find themselves totally upside down because they did a no down payment, 8x income loan.

    In fact, I despise them because their reckless actions drove up home values for me and everyone else.

    If you bought a house between 2000 and (heaven forbid) 2007 you paid more than you otherwise would have because a bunch of these little jerks bid the market up.

    If you were on the sidelines renting, waiting for prices to mormalize, they didn’t because a bunch of these little jerks bid the market up.

    Spare me the sympathy card. If they couldn’t run with the big dogs they should have never gotten off the porch, which would have been better for all of us.

  95. safeashouses says:

    #38 Schumpeter,

    I’m surprised that it will become illegal. That will make it harder for the man to turn us all into propertyless debt serfs.

  96. Punch My Ticket says:

    hyde [66],

    The PITI would be under 3K and taxes are currently 6K.

    I must have been misinterpreting what the T in PITI stands for. For my entire adult life.

  97. jcer says:

    The banks had no standards and did very dumb, risky things. Nobody can justify this and it reeks of either incompetence or out and out greed by employees trying to get a payday.

    Speaking of banks selling REO, my parents tried to buy from chase(in Palm Beach FL) a few weeks ago offered 700k on a home asking 1m, bank countered at 990k. It’s such a joke, the has no kitchen and is all ripped up as the previous owners destroyed it on their way out, best of all the comp is the house next door that sold was 700 sqft bigger, nicer, newer, not ripped up or in a distress situation sold for 1m last year based on this comp’s psf the home should sell for 880k, but in reality it should be less as the home needs lots of work. Parents thought 750k-800k would buy it easily(needs easily 50-75k in work to even bring it up livable snuff, probably 125-150k to make it nice) I told them the banks are for lack of a better word dysfunctional and want to pretend that a ripped out home is still worth 100 cents on the dollar and will pay HOA fees and palm beach property taxes.

  98. freedy says:

    Gov. declares a “state of fiscal emergency”
    for the State on NJ..

    on the verge of a BK.

    lets get it on

  99. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ket 6k taxes not bad,what town if you are inclined to disclose.

  100. Shore Guy says:

    SL,

    What is your take on this?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/us/07nurses.html?pagewanted=all

    KERMIT, Tex. — It occurred to Anne Mitchell as she was writing the letter that she might lose her job, which is why she chose not to sign it. But it was beyond her conception that she would be indicted and threatened with 10 years in prison for doing what she knew a nurse must: inform state regulators that a doctor at her rural hospital was practicing bad medicine.

    When she was fingerprinted and photographed at the jail here last June, it felt as if she had entered a parallel universe, albeit one situated in this barren scrap of West Texas oil patch.

    “It was surreal,” said Mrs. Mitchell, 52, the wife of an oil field mechanic and mother of a teenage son. “I said how can this be? You can’t go to prison for doing the right thing.”

    But in what may be an unprecedented prosecution, Mrs. Mitchell is scheduled to stand trial in state court on Monday for “misuse of official information,” a third-degree felony in Texas.

    [snip]

    The case has been infused with the small-town politics of this wind-whipped city of 5,200 in the heart of the Permian Basin, 10 miles from the New Mexico border. The seeming conflicts of interest are as abundant as the cattle grazing among the pump jacks and mesquite.

    When the medical board notified Dr. Arafiles of the anonymous complaint, he protested to his friend, the Winkler County sheriff, that he was being harassed. The sheriff, an admiring patient who credits the doctor with saving him after a heart attack, obtained a search warrant to seize the two nurses’ work computers and found the letter.

    [snip]

    Until they were fired without explanation on June 1, Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Galle had worked a combined 47 years at Winkler County Memorial Hospital here, most recently as its compliance and quality improvement officers.

    [snip]

    It was not long after the public hospital hired Dr. Arafiles in 2008 that the nurses said they began to worry. They sounded internal alarms but felt they were not being heeded by administrators.

    Frustrated and fearing for patients, they directed the medical board to six cases “of concern” that were identified by file numbers but not by patient names. The letter also mentioned that Dr. Arafiles was sending e-mail messages to patients about an herbal supplement he sold on the side.

    Mrs. Mitchell typed the letter and mailed it with a separate complaint signed by a third nurse, who wrote that she had resigned because of similar concerns about Dr. Arafiles. That nurse was not charged.

    [snip]

    Dr. Arafiles, 47, who attended medical school in his native Philippines and trained in Baltimore and Buffalo, said his lawyer had advised him not to talk. “I’ve been brutalized and abused,” he said. “I’m the victim in this case, and that is all I can say.”

    Several Texas laws would seem to enshrine a nurse’s right, and perhaps duty, to report a physician when he or she believes that patients are at risk. Lawyers on both sides agree that the case will hinge on whether a jury believes that Mrs. Mitchell reported in good faith. In civil whistle-blower cases, the Supreme Court of Texas has held that good faith requires only a reasonable belief that the conduct being reported is illegal.

    The hospital administrator, Stan Wiley, said in an interview that Dr. Arafiles had been reprimanded on several occasions for improprieties in writing prescriptions and performing surgery and had agreed to make changes. Mr. Wiley, who said it was difficult to recruit physicians to remote West Texas, said he knew when he hired Dr. Arafiles that he had a restriction on his license stemming from his supervision of a weight-loss clinic.

    In a surprise inspection last September, state investigators found several violations by Dr. Arafiles and concluded that the hospital had discriminated against the nurses by firing them for “reporting in good faith.”

    But Sheriff Roberts, who has held the post for 18 years, said the state would show that the complaint had been filed in vengeance. “If it’s made to destroy somebody’s reputation or forcing them to leave town,” he said, “then I don’t believe it is good faith.”

    Sheriff Roberts called Dr. Arafiles “the most sincerely caring person I have ever met.”

    [snip]

  101. chicagofinance says:

    Greece is the fault of the Jüdin who control the banks of New York. We are organizing. Our sabotage efforts with the Japanisch manufacturer have proven successful and we shall move forward with our Volkswagen plans. Now that we have control of the Gypsies of Griechenland, we can commence the clean-up of the enemies of the state: Jews, Gypsies, Social Democrats, other opposing politicians, opponents of Nazism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, habitual criminals, and “anti-socials” (e.g. beggars, vagrants, hawkers), and the mentally ill.

    Mr hyde says:
    February 11, 2010 at 9:48 am
    Clot,
    are do you have an over/under on how long before Germany starts talking about returning to the Deutsche Mark?

  102. Shore Guy says:

    Hyde,

    I bet it was the cross-eyed part that pushed him over the edge.

  103. jcer says:

    John, your making it even worse now by saying the banks knew it was crap and with knowledge of this created securities AAA rated and sold them to unwitting “clients”, hmm state pension funds. So now not only did they lose their shits, totally fudge their balance sheets, but also were involved in something akin to criminal enterprise!

  104. leftwing says:

    Hilarious. I found recently an envelope labeled ‘foreign money’ I had when overseas. Kept bills in a drawer rather than convert every time I got on/off a plane.

    Pounds, rubles, swissies, czeck kroner, schillings, and dutch guilders – I think I’m still good.

    Gonna take a bath on either the DEM or FF unless Euro comes apart. If I recall one of the two – probably the Germans – said they would redeem them indefinitely, the others put a time limit.

    Burn baby, burn.

    Funny thing (not), this cash in my drawer for five years was probably the best long term buy and hold investment in that period. Think the swissie went from like 60 cents to parity with the dollar.

  105. Boy, this Christie sure sounds a lot like Corzine did when he was a greenhorn. Shouldn’t be long before he disappoints the tea baggers.

  106. Essex says:

    My take on Christie is that you will see less ‘services’ and perhaps a reduction of taxes….by like $30 a person.

  107. Mr hyde says:

    Mike,

    you have mail

  108. Painhrtz says:

    Left I have plenty of chinese RMB from my last two trips

    chi no worries the germans have no national identity anymore as any outpouring of nationalism is strictly forbidden. they felt guilty cheering when they were a finalist in the world cup a few years back

  109. Mr hyde says:

    my take on christie:

    He’s a politician. I’ll believe it when i see it.

  110. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    Stu,

    Tea partiers, not tea baggers.

    “tea bagger” has some obscene meaning … something to do with a guy’s .. cough, cough …[fill in the blank]

  111. SG says:

    Zillow Sees Early Signs of Double Dip in Home Values

    In one in five, or 29 of the 143 markets tracked by Zillow, home values have flattened or have begun to decrease again after showing at least five consecutive monthly increases during 2009 – early signs of what could become a ‘double dip.’

    Home values in an additional 29 markets, including the Los Angeles and New York MSAs, increased on a month-over-month basis each month throughout the fourth quarter. However, the rate of increase slowed from November to December in 21 of those markets, and several appear likely to experience several months of sustained decline in early 2010.

    “The recent stabilization owed a lot to policy support in the form of tax credits, lower interest rates and increased Federal Housing Administration lending. The remaining correction in home values we’ll see in the first half of this year is a function of market fundamentals, such as the increasing flow of foreclosures, high levels of inventory in the market and a probable decrease in demand as the impact of the tax credit wanes and mortgage rates rise. While the next few months are likely to bring further home value declines in most markets, we do expect to see a national bottom in home prices by the middle of this year. Thereafter, home values are likely to bounce along the bottom with real appreciation remaining negligible for some time.”

  112. freedy says:

    i guess we have some problems in Trenton.

    the Gov. has now discovered he has a “welfare
    state” on his hands.

    wonder what the Mayor’s of passaic,paterson,camden,etc have to say?

    “more aid” we have to take care of these
    deadbeats.

  113. SG says:

    LOW MORTGAGE RATES AND FIRST TIME HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT STABILIZING HOME PRICES?

    With mortgage rates still being low and the first time home buyer tax credit available why aren’t home prices still going up?

    One way to answer this question is psychology. At the end of 2009 many future home owners thought they would have to close on their new home by November 30th, 2009 or they would lose out on the first time home buyer tax credit. President Obama and his staff extended this tax credit and now these home buyers are sitting back and waiting as the extension is until April 30th, 2010. These buyers know they have plenty of time.
    It will be very interesting to see what happens in the housing market during the months or March and April when the tax credit comes to a conclusion. A better question might be “will the first time home buyer tax credit be extended again?” If there is another extension we might see that home prices actually decline because home buyers are being enabled. Mortgage rates are likely to remain low until at least the spring so it looks as if home prices might have hit a near term high and could be headed lower.

  114. Schumpeter says:

    freedy (114)-

    Er, not to be too obtrusive…but, you’re a deadbeat.

    Don’t get mad at me. I’m about to join you.

  115. Mikeinwaiting says:

    scribe 112 lets just call them tea baggers more fun that way. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  116. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 116 that should be an interesting read. I’m sure you can play it out well,good luck

  117. John says:

    jcer says:
    Nope they were AAA, remember they were insured by AMBAC and MBIA or had a GSE backing them.

    I owned Mortgage Backs, good yield on those babies but I stopped owning them in 2002. 100% of institutional investors buying it knew what they were doing. in 2003 rates were at record lows and they needed yield. But for everyone who got out on time there was someone buying the hot potato.

    Smith Barney sold Ford bonds at par in 2000, but in 2008 they paniced and told investors to sell at 25 cents and now bonds are back to par. Lifes a crap shoot sometimes.

    February 11, 2010 at 11:56 am

    John, your making it even worse now by saying the banks knew it was crap and with knowledge of this created securities AAA rated and sold them to unwitting “clients”, hmm state pension funds. So now not only did they lose their shits, totally fudge their balance sheets, but also were involved in something akin to criminal enterprise!

  118. Schumpeter says:

    moose (50)-

    Obviously, you only read your own posts here. Since about the first day I started posting here, I’ve advocated for Realtors to be held to the same standards as investment advisors.

    Too bad TPTB, the RE lobby and banksters don’t want a smaller, leaner base of RE agents who have the skills to go at them head-on. Easier to promulgate and support an army of zombies, housewives, short-timers and deadbeats.

  119. Schumpeter says:

    hyde (54)-

    Perhaps a charismatic leader will help the German nation through this decision.

    “Perhaps they will choose to go down with the ship, but I think at some point the German people might start to make their displeasure known to the politicians”

  120. Schumpeter says:

    hyde (56)-

    The banks pay the taxes. One of the weird things about this whole bust is that property tax collections are up in some of the worst-hit areas.

    Having to recapitalize escrows on property taken into REO is one of the most debilitating problems for banks that are foreclosing en masse.

  121. SG says:

    New Economic Report of the President blames Bush even more

    Chapter 2 examines the economy that President Obama inherited and the extensive policy actions taken in the areas of financial rescue, monetary policy, housing policy, and fiscal policy. It details the impact of the actions and the challenges that remain. It also discusses future jobs initiatives.

  122. Mr hyde says:

    RE Christies planned cuts

    Along with eliminating programs “that sounded good in theory but failed in practice” across state departments, Christie is cutting $475 million in aid to school districts, $62 million in aid to colleges and $12 million to hospital charity care.

    I dont know what % 12 million is of the total that hospitals receive in charity care aid, but we can expect to start seeing ER’s close in areas that provide large amounts of charity care.

    That whole idea of dont worry about healthcare, let illegals and the poor use ER’s, is going to bite all of us in the rear.

    A quick google shows that as of last april, Nj hospitals put out 1.8 billion in charity aid and received 600 million in reimbursement from the state.

    SL,
    What say you about the situation???

  123. Schumpeter says:

    yikes (60)-

    Anyone who truly believes that Wells Fargo is not a dead, zombiefied, festering piece of shit doesn’t know banking. They have been functionally insolvent from the day the Wachovia deal closed.

    Pick a Pay, anyone?

  124. SG says:

    New dangers for the world economy

    When the crisis started, governments helped save the world economy. Now they are the problem.

    LAST year it was banks; this year it is countries. The economic crisis, which seemed to have eased off in the latter part of 2009, is once again in full swing as the threat of sovereign default looms.

    Europe’s troubles have given investors good reason to worry; but they are not the only cause for concern. Policy changes around the world have also spooked investors. China’s government began to rein in its lending binge last month, worried about accelerating inflation and asset bubbles. India’s central bank has raised reserve requirements and Brazil’s fiscal stimulus is being phased out (see article). The rich world’s big central banks are gradually unwinding the emergency liquidity facilities they introduced at the height of the crisis. “Quantitative easing”, the process of printing money to buy longer-dated securities, is coming to an end—or at least being put on hold.

    All this has knocked asset prices. Stockmarkets are down sharply, commodity prices have tumbled and volatility is up. The MSCI World Index of global share prices has fallen by almost 10% from its peak on January 14th. Optimism about a “V”-shaped recovery is being replaced with pessimism about a double-dip recession, as fears grow that policymakers will be forced, or will mistakenly choose, to remove monetary and fiscal props too soon.

  125. RayC says:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/slumburbia/?hp

    Article title “Slumburbia”

    Subject – What will fill the empty homes and lots of our suburbs in the future

    Quotezilla! – Others saw it as the residential embodiment of the Edward Abbey line that “growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

    Odds of this article appearing 2 years ago – don’t know – can’t divide by zero.

  126. Schumpeter says:

    3b (61)-

    I like that. I guess that makes Greece the world’s first subprime nation.

  127. Veto That says:

    “I’m about to join you.”

    clot, just dont stiff the cable company and pse&g.

  128. Schumpeter says:

    Shore (71)-

    I was gonna suggest we have a waterboarding GTG. Guess that’s a little beyond the pale, though.

  129. Tea baggers was not a mistake.

  130. Mr hyde says:

    clot,130

    sounds like fun. free beer to whoever lasts the longest.

    It will be good practice for when they start rounding up those of us on the watch list.

  131. Christie’s cut of 475 million dollars to the schools will result in one of two things occurring. Either your property taxes will increase to cover the shortfall from Trenton or the state will take a bailout from the feds which means you’ll pay double later for what you would have been better off paying today.

    Until Christie mandates cuts on the per pupil cost to educate them, the educators’ union gravy train will just keep on rolling down ‘dem’ tracks.

  132. Mr hyde says:

    Stu,

    As others have said, a sudden increase in property taxes may be the pain that is needed to get the population to act,

  133. Schumpeter says:

    safe (96)-

    Correct…but what they want- even more than turning us into debt serfs- is to get their hands on that collateral as fast and as cheaply as possible. That way, they can release that collateral into the market in a way that allows them to play whatever fraudulent game they deem necessary to prop up the inventory’s fantasy valuations.

    They figure that the process of ditching the REO inventory will go hand-in-hand with yet another bubble-fueled Ponzi that will boost the ranks of the debt serfs yet again.

    Classic pump-and-dump…with an absolutely worthless investment at its core.

  134. Schumpeter says:

    Remember, in less than 24 months, the people surrendering housing collateral will probably be in good enough shape to go into debt for a house all over again.

  135. Schumpeter says:

    Please do not bust on me if you find my claims to be illogical. They are illogical; yet, this is the kind of crap that goes through bankers’ minds.

  136. Christie’s cut of 475 million dollars to the school aid will result in one of two things occurring. Either your property taxes will increase to cover the shortfall from Trenton or the state will take a bailout from the feds which means you’ll pay double later for what you would have been better off paying today.

    Until Christie mandates cuts on the per pupil cost to educate them, the educators’ union gravy train will just keep on rolling down ‘dem’ tracks.

    Oh man are the Montclair operating budget deliberations going to be a riot this year. Especially after Fried allows the schools to up their budgets by 4% again, even after the loss of aid from Trenton.

    Better get one of those wallets with a chain on them fellow Montclairions. Fried’s about to pick pocket you.

  137. Schumpeter says:

    The first thing one must do to understand the gubmint and banksters is suspend logical thinking.

  138. Schumpeter says:

    jcer (98)-

    Was it an all-cash offer? If not, it’s a no-go.

  139. Shore Guy says:

    An interesting take on the BO WH. As I said weeks ago, Rahm has to go if BO wants to move forward and achieve anything of note in the time between now and the Augest recess, after which, he is all but done legislatively. I like the Gerghan statement at the end:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b6b4700a-10fb-11df-9a9e-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1

  140. Shore sad todayGuy says:

    It seems we have an impending death in the family today. It is very sad, but she is an old gal who has had an eventful life. I will be sad to never see her again, and even sadder for Little Shore who will not grow to adulthod with which to share moments.

    Remember folks, we are all terminal, some just on a faster track than others. Go outside today and draw in a lungfull of air and relish being alive for another day.

    Anyway, off to sit by the phone and reflect.

  141. Yikes says:

    John, stick to onions and vehicles and reciting stories you read in penthouse, buddy.

  142. nw says:

    #114 Freedy

    You’re part of the welfare state. If there was such a thing as personal accountability, you would be sitting in a debtor prison right now.

  143. Mikeinwaiting says:

    nw 144 freedy was chastised & defended by some for like 2 days we know how you feel about it.Debtors prison that would make the banks happy.

  144. Schumpeter says:

    jcer (104)-

    It’s securities fraud. And actually, it’s a pretty cut-and-dried case of it.

    Too bad banks own every branch of gubmint.

    Look on the bright side: securities fraud is now tacitly legal.

  145. NJGator says:

    Essex workers file grievance against county for not giving snow day during blizzard conditions

    ESSEX — The union representing Essex County workers filed a grievance against county officials because they did not shut down offices and give employees a day off because of the treacherous snow storm, a union official said.

    “The conditions are so bad that both employees and the public can’t get to work,” said David Weiner, president of the CWA Local 1081, the union representing county workers. “Why couldn’t the county government be shut down. So little could have been gotten done anyway. It puts our members and public at risk.”

    Weiner also noted a holiday is required in a contract between the union and the county when Gov. Chris Christie decides to close state offices.

    Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., county executive, dismissed Weiner’s concerns and said there is a long-standing policy in place of not shutting offices.

    “It’s going to cost close to a $1 million for cleanup,” said DiVincenzo about snow removal. If they declared a holiday for people, the county would have to pay overtime to essential employees such as the law enforcement on top of snow removal costs.

    “It’s too costly,” he said. “More than ever before, county government can no longer afford it.”

    When it snows heavily, DiVincenzo said his 3,500 employees have an option to take a vacation or sick day. He did not know how many had taken off today, he said.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/essex_workers_file_grievance_a.html

  146. Schumpeter says:

    John (119)-

    Hot potato = steaming turd

    BTW, buying something mismarked by collusive ratings agencies with the endgame in mind of dumping it on a greater fool is probably something not even Robert Mugabe would call a legitimate business.

  147. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore 142 very sorry to hear have an Aunt who is 85 good health, sharp as a tac. We are very close,she is a great person & loved by all.Will be a real devastating lose when the time comes.

  148. Schumpeter says:

    veto (129)-

    What? Don’t stiff Crapcast?

    Homey don’t play dat.

  149. nw says:

    Mike

    I hear you but I’m not going to give Freedy the satisfaction of making an otherwise worthwhile site to read a dumping ground for his screed.

    I’m pretty sure he thinks that by repeatedly saying the same thing over-and-over, he can eventually convince himself and others that he’s in the right.

    He’s no different than the banks, welfare recipients, public workers or illegals that he bemoans on a daily basis.

  150. chicagofinance says:

    Stu: please use a different word…n’kay?

    Stu aka The Sausage Party says:
    February 11, 2010 at 11:56 am
    Boy, this Christie sure sounds a lot like Corzine did when he was a greenhorn. Shouldn’t be long before he disappoints the tea baggers.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=teabagger

  151. nw says:

    And he’s a troll as well who deserves to be muzzled.

  152. Essex says:

    wtf nw….”public workers”….so these folks are villains? Somehow a teacher or a cop or firefighter are suddenly thieves? Listen, pretty soon all you will have here are back office customer service reps…the only true Americans.

  153. chicagofinance says:

    check out this shitzes!

    6. teabagger 1381 up, 1210 down love it hate it

    A misinformed, right-wing corporate media consumer who often fails to understand that BOTH major parties represent a corrupt plutocracy that steals from the middle class by taxing labor and profiting from corporate tax subsidies.

    A teabagger also often fails to acknowledge that George W. Bush and his neo-conservative minions perpetrated one of the boldest and most egregious executive power grabs in the history of the United States. Furthermore, teabaggers mistakenly continue to blame a newly elected President Obama for all that ails the United States of America, based on a grossly flawed perception of reality (including latent racial prejudice) and despite the fact the U.S. economy collapsed on the previous administration’s watch.

    Teabaggers are also known to base their misguided, right-wing-media-inspired beliefs about President Obama on stupid conspiracy theories about totalitarian takeovers, FEMA camps, etc., despite the fact these very same theories have been circulating around on the Internet for years, and were originally ascribed to neo-conservative cabalists at a time when Barack Obama had not even entered national politics. Teabaggers also are known to be particularly paranoid, xenophobic and intolerant, especially with regard to immigrants and anyone who isn’t white.

    Additionally, teabaggers generally echo stupid myths about entitlement spending (it actually only accounts for about 1% of federal budget spending), have no idea that most poor people in America are not lazy, actually do work and don’t want to be on welfare, and have no idea what socialism actually means or that socialist reform in this country is actually what allowed a middle class to flourish and ultimately make the U.S. one of the most prosperous nations in human history.

    Furthermore, teabaggers incorrectly equate socialism with Stalinism, think a system that rewards greed (capitalism) is the divine preference (despite Gospel evidence to the contrary), and are shameless champions of a misguided belief in American exceptionalism. Teabaggers also fail to recognize the inherently unpatriotic nature of their failed every-man-for-himself ideology that ultimately vilifies anyone who supports public policy aimed at reaching out to fellow Americans in need. They celebrate an exploitative corporatocracy (holy creator of jobs, blah blah blah) while denigrating the little guy for being “weak.”

    Interestingly, teabaggers uphold an immoral, morbidly obese, twice divorced, draft-dodging, college dropout and known drug addict as their de facto leader, and are even known to advocate burning books. Of course, teabaggers fail to recognize the blatant hypocrisy within the GOP and tend to oversimplify all political debate and social issues, much like their pseudo-intellectual, fat-ass leader.

    Finally, incredibly, teabaggers fail to recognize the hysterical double entendre associated with their proudly adopted teabag moniker.

    Every village has its idiots, of course, but it’s sad when citizens of any nation allow themselves to be whipped into a frenzy en masse by a state-run propaganda machine masquerading as a legitimate, fair, balanced and independent news organization. Teabaggers are right to believe the future of the U.S.A. is in jeopardy, but sadly they have not yet correctly identified the real enemy. Perhaps when teabaggers finally grow up and mature into thinking adults, they will see the right-leaning power establishment for the oppressive and cunning beast that it is.

    Teabagger: We don’t care that George Bush tripled the deficit and lied us into a war. The new administration only cut taxes for 90% of the population… fascists. Let’s go throw some Lipton tea bags into a fountain!

  154. Essex says:

    Adults make their own decisions. Who to work for. How to pay (or not pay) their bills. For everyone who feels morally superior — goody for you — somebody is also probably banging the crap out of your wife while you sit atop your pedestal.

  155. plg says:

    Christies priorities are quite interesting:

    Cuts to the Public Advocate, NJ Transit and Education.

    Thats a pretty solid attack on the poor and middle class because as we all know it is the poor and middle class who are living high in the hog!

  156. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Essex 156 Holding back again buddy, rock on just say n. lol

    nw 151 If that’s your position then don’t feed, we just breeze by those anyway.

  157. Essex says:

    Dang! Oops. OK once again. Too much?

  158. cooper says:

    Bluto: Over? Did you say “OVER”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the German’s bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell No!

    Otter: German’s?

    Boon: forget it, he’s on a roll

  159. cooper says:

    Bluto=banks
    otter=???
    boon=timmy

    little help

  160. safeashouses says:

    #159 Essex,

    Keep those words of wisdom flowing. Someone’s got to cover for Gary during the day.

  161. Oh PLG…I’m pretty liberal myself, but I don’t think Christie is targeting any class. When your property taxes go up, I’m pretty certain that those who own a larger home will be paying a much larger share then what they pay in state income tax.

  162. Happy Daze says:

    155 chifi

    You must have got that from urban dictionary.
    If so, it’s probably the most entertaining entry I’ve read, or at least the one with the most effort undertaken.

  163. relo says:

    147: What, use a sick day? Preposterous, everyone know those are only for cashing out, unused, upon retirement.

  164. Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:

    John,

    I’ve never sat in such a room. However, I’m willing to bet that there was little or no concern re what was in those files as long as the FAT FEES were coming in to slice and dice them;)

  165. Cooper,

    How old are you?

    You can’t be over 35.

  166. d2b says:

    Joining you all from the Blackberry today. Power has just been restored after 17 hrs. Cable/Net will not be back until tomorrow. House was 52 this morning.
    Food in the freezer was soft. Someone told me it would keep for 24 hrs. Any idea on what should be tossed?

  167. cooper says:

    stu only a little over but i never act like it

  168. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    101, Hyde,

    One nurse worries/complains – meh, who knows…. two nurses then three and four nurses…. odds are good he is bad.

    Experienced nurses are good at sniffing out bad docs. Most of those nurses with experience have trained and practiced at places where good, prudent medicine is practiced.

    They easily spot the bad ones. Now, mind you — anyone can have an “off day” (no I’m not kidding….) but the safety net is wide with checks and warnings to prevent bad things happening — from techs, nurses, pharmacists and even other docs/consultants.

    At first blush reading this… I am inclined to more likely trust the nurses — they just know — I have been challenged plenty of times… and with experience and good outcomes, the nurses trust me.

    An example. For CHF (congestive heart failure) where I trained, we routinely ‘bolused’ — gave brief, high doses — with Nitroglycerin through the IV.

    I had a nurse balk (he’d never seen this done) and refuse…. I walked him through it – he saw that the patient got better and was on just nasal cannula oxygen rather than with an endotracheal tube on a ventilator…

    The problem sometimes is docs that practice “old” medicine and don’t retrain, relearn new practices and have bad outcomes.

    For a layman, it’s hard to know good from bad medicine. A lot of folks *think* they know, but they don’t.

    Example- I had a patient with belly pain. In older folks with high blood pressure, this can represent an abdominal aortic aneurysm (deadly.)

    First thing we do is check for pulses in the feet (if the aorta is OK, blood gets to the feet… if not… look out!)

    The wife was yelling at me, “Why!! are you looking and pressing on his !!! feet!!! He has abdominal pain!!!!”

    I had to teach her why. It’s the shitty part of my job. The family member then looks/feels stupid and I waste time.

    I could go on and on and on about this…

    sl

  169. D2B:

    Why didn’t you just put the food outside in the snow? Power outages in the winter rock compared to them during the summer heat. You can always dress up in layers. Unfortunately, you can not take off your birthday suit.

  170. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Here’s your clue:

    Sheriff Roberts called Dr. Arafiles “the most sincerely caring person I have ever met.”

    What’s common about most of the best docs?

    They usually have shitty bedside manner. They will always have work as they are technically and intellectually skilled.

    They don’t give a fu*ck what you think of them… and they have little tolerance for patients that are simply looking to be pandered to.

    If you are looking to have your ass kissed, see a schmoozer who may or may not maim/kill you…

    If you are looking to have a problem fixed see a technician.

    It’s the rare doc that has both qualities.

    sl

  171. chicagofinance says:

    cooper says:
    February 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm
    Bluto=banks
    otter=???
    boon=timmy
    little help

    otter=
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_oTwEGiup_Wo/SkrxGS4-aoI/AAAAAAAAE3o/HRbfAGQeEHM/s400/Kneale_Dennis_.jpg

  172. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Sorry, 101 was for Shore..

    and I’m sorry to hear…

    having seen so much of it in my life, I wish you and your family peace.

    sl

  173. plg says:

    Stu,

    If property taxes are your concern, even the property tax is a highly regressive tax.

    The reason for this is that high-income households tend to have a lower proportion of their assets subjected to property taxes. While renters do not
    directly pay property taxes, most economists conclude that the costs of property taxes are largely passed on to renters in the form of higher rents.

    In effect, Chrisite is allowing the Millionare’s tax to expire so that he can cut services to the poor and middle class and any increase in taxes will be born by those same poor and middle class people.

  174. prtraders2000 says:

    Speaking of snow days and public employees, did anyone catch Bloomberg’s press conference where a reporter asked about the rate of absenteeism for city employees? Bloomberg had no idea, but the guy from the Sanitation Department couldn’t wait to chime in. He proudly declared that only 20 of over 6,000 sanitation workers missed work yesterday. He then completely stuck his foot in his mouth as he continued to note that the department couldn’t come close to that attendance rate on nice day when they are actually picking up the garbage. Bloomberg just stared him before leaving the podium.

  175. Oh PLG. I suppose the only thing that will pass muster with you is a tax on the rich. Am I right?

  176. plg says:

    Stu,

    No, it depends.

    I would suppport more broad based taxes that make sense, like the gas tax. It would be regressive, but it would discourage driving and put the cost of pollution on the creators of the pollution. Increasing the cost of using NJ transit, as Christie now does, is doing exactly the OPPOSITE of that.

    If he had any balls he would raise the gas tax and increase funds to NJ transit. Instead he cuts funding to NJ transit.

  177. SG says:

    Spec Houses Rise as Builders Bet On Buyers Before Tax Credit Ends

    Home builders are ramping up speculative construction to attract last-minute home buyers who want to tap a soon-to-expire tax credit.

    The strategy is risky. If the buyers don’t materialize, builders could be saddled with unsold homes that will require heavy discounting to sell, hurting profits and slowing the housing recovery. New homes may also continue to lose market share to lower-priced foreclosed houses. Indeed, some economists expect an avalanche of foreclosures in the months ahead as lenders release homes they have been keeping off the market.

    But that’s a chance the industry is willing to take. “We know that we’re going to have more people out now,” says Lance Wright, co-owner of CastleRock Communities in Houston, Texas. “Buying is an emotional decision. Seeing the actual product that you’re moving into will certainly make it easier.”

  178. Juice Box Sean says:

    re: Citi and MBS.

    Cumon now John the entire private MBS securitization industry blew up into smithereeens, from something like 775 Billion a year to less than 10 Billion a year.

    The root of the whole mess was demand for AAA stamped boxes of shit. It may have been guaranteed shit but it was still shit in a box and still stunk.

    The use of CDS allowed ratings agencies to generate AAA ratings for the senior tranches of CDOs which in turn created unwarranted demand to originate new mortgages to securitize.

    Unless and until (God forbid) someone is willing to step in and be the new AIG and provide cheap insurance on private MBS, the securitization market will not revive, it is now deader than any zombie around. Without the Gov and Fed supports for mortgages housing would be in a full on free fall.

    Anyone who thinks housing is going up from here on in is full of hopium and needs to go to detox.

    Fed announced is pulling out of MBS in March and the folks down in DC who make the rules of the game are literally frozen with fear. Who is left to guarantee the markets besides the taxpayer?

    Bueller?

  179. chicagofinance says:

    plg says:
    February 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm
    Stu,
    If he had any balls he would raise the gas tax and increase funds to NJ transit. Instead he cuts funding to NJ transit.

    plg: I disagree with this statement. Christie potentially is putting his life in danger. I’m not kidding, and THAT is balls…..

  180. njescapee says:

    PLG, don’t tax me tax the guy behind the tree. let me guess, you have a short commute or use mass transit.

  181. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

  182. plg says:

    njescapee,

    I do not commute by NJ transit. I have a 45 min drive to work.

    I have done the math and NJ transit would be MORE expensive for me, which should not be the case.

    Chicago,

    How is Christie putting his life in danger? That is a bit dramatic isn’t it? I mean cutting NJ transit is easy. None of his voters out in Mendham or Ocean County use NJ transit. There is nothing politically brave about cutting essential services to the poor.

  183. cooper says:

    chifi
    otter=dennis kneal
    good call

  184. Schumpeter says:

    Burn the m-f’er down. Who gives a shit at this point about NJ Transit or property taxes or any of this other idiocy? All of it- absolutely all of it- is a corrupt-to-the-core sham.

    Prepare for Depression. Prepare for civil unrest. Prepare for civil war. Let the dopes like plg keep wailing and crying for more and more to be taken from the productive, to feed the beast of the unproductive. Guys like him will be the first casualties when the hosts throw off the parasites.

  185. frank says:

    Finally some real cuts are coming??

    Chris Christie declares fiscal ‘state of emergency,’ paving way for N.J. spending cuts

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/chris_christie_declares_state.html

  186. frank says:

    Where’s the recession??? Buy a home now, before prices go way up.

    NJ existing home sales rise on lower prices, rates

    The National Association of Realtors said today that resales in New Jersey stabilized at the end of 2009 — rising 2.7 percent to about 115,400. Meanwhile, the expanded and extended first-time home buyers tax credit had little effect here because of the relatively high cost of homes

    http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2010/02/nj_existing_home_sales_rise_on.html

  187. plg says:

    You just can’t wait for it all to fall apart huh? I know it must be scary and intense for you, but this is not the first and is not the last economic crises in the world. Just try to relax. During times of fear and panic there are many opportunities. I can’t wait to take advantage of your fear and panic.

    Hosts and parasites. Dude, have you been evaluated recently?

  188. Essex says:

    Christie puts his life in danger every time he uses the stairs.

  189. freedy says:

    does anyone feel his fiscal restraints
    will hurt home values,or will the bottom
    be in?

  190. Schumpeter says:

    plg (191)-

    Evidently, you can’t read. If you could, you’d understand that I’m not afraid, and I’m certainly not in panic. You have to give a rat’s ass to be subject to either emotion, and that’s something I got past a long time ago.

    BTW, if you can find a better game for exploiting the current economic rabbit-hole than helping people short sell their houses- while zonking the banks for all they’re worth- please share them here.

  191. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Heres a link to the Verichip advertisement aka “The mark of the beast”

    Better find religion folks. I suspect the Swine flu morons will be the first to line up for this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWxPQ6RUgiI

  192. Schumpeter says:

    plg (191)-

    And, as a matter of fact, I can’t wait for it to really hit the fan. When it goes completely Mad Max, my investment in munitions will probably pay off in spades.

  193. Schumpeter says:

    plg will be the first in line for his Verichip.

    People who have these will probably be the first thrown into concentration camps.

  194. John says:

    Juice Springsteen, no one gave a rats arse what was in those boxes, I even saw lots of subprime trailer home mortgages in tornado zones in that box!!!!

    But who cares. When you are kicking the can down the road it creates trading opportunities.

    BTW Margin is around 50% usually, the idiots who bought houses were way more leveraged than that.

    Plus when yields on safe things like CDs, and T-bills fall to near zero, smart people start to pay off mortgages, car loans and credit card bills. Once they are loan free and cash starts piling up and rates are still low they buy this crap. Yield junkies are funky monkeys

    Chifi, dumped Ford Bonds today!!!I need something new that pays 30% monthly interest, what do you got?

    02/06/2009 Bought, $0.17 Most Recent Value $0.77 – 350.11% Long Term Gain

  195. chicagofinance says:

    plg says:
    February 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm
    Chicago,
    How is Christie putting his life in danger? That is a bit dramatic isn’t it? I mean cutting NJ transit is easy. None of his voters out in Mendham or Ocean County use NJ transit. There is nothing politically brave about cutting essential services to the poor.

    plg: It is shrewd. You go to the places of least resistance first, then you back the true parasites into a corner.

    Question: To the extent that you advocate for the moral requirement to authorize government to redistribute wealth in some arbitrary manner, please let us know what steps you personally have taken without coercion to volunteer your time, abilities, or money to any charitable causes in NJ? This request falls under the broad category of “keepin’ it real”…..

  196. plg says:

    Shumpeter,

    In your host and parasite worldview, which are you?

  197. chicagofinance says:

    John says:
    February 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm
    Chifi, dumped Ford Bonds today!!!I need something new that pays 30% monthly interest, what do you got?
    02/06/2009 Bought, $0.17 Most Recent Value $0.77 – 350.11% Long Term Gain

    JJ: The crossing guard in Red Bank is actually a pimp for the RBC girls. He monetized the revenue stream and also the money he bilks from the parking meters and the loansharking. I think the spot rate is roughly 30-35% interest, although the coupon fluctuates based on cash collections….

  198. Essex says:

    Mutualistic parasitic relationships keep us all alive. Spread the love. Spread the virus.

  199. Schumpeter says:

    plg (201)-

    Host, definitely. However, I am slowly ridding myself of parasites.

    The ones I can’t rid myself of in a conventional manner, I can bust a cap on them when TSHTF. That’s why I can’t wait for it to happen.

  200. Veto That says:

    Al, if the beast wanted us to be chipped, do you really think he would make it optional?

  201. Schumpeter says:

    chi (202)-

    How do I get a piece of that action? ;)

  202. Outofstater says:

    Does Christie have the authority under the state of emergency to mandate pay cuts and furlough days? If he did that, the public employee unions would strike, right? Could he then give them 48 hrs to go back to work or be fired, as Reagan did with PATCO, the air traffic controllers union?

  203. plg says:

    Chicago,

    I view every aspect of my existence as intertwined with the greater good. Every single thing I do with my money, time and decisions I ask how it affects the greater good. I don’t view some donation to a charity as absolving me of responsibility towards the greater good. It is not a list of actions, it is a lifestyle. So I won’t list my charitable contributions for you, I will just tell you that I have a worldview that sees my own well-being intimately intertwined with the well-being of others and the world around me.

  204. Schumpeter says:

    veto (205)-

    Like everything else that’s bad for you, the optional chip program is somewhat akin to a “loading dose”.

    Once that loading dose is absorbed by society, the initial resistors will submit like sheep.

  205. Veto That says:

    “I have a worldview that sees my own well-being intimately intertwined with the well-being of others and the world around me.”

    plg, are you jesus? and if so, are you for or against the vchip?

  206. plg says:

    Shumpeter,

    What makes you a host? What is that you do that makes you a host and others parasites?

  207. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    205,

    In government. Everything that is first voluntary becomes mandatory. All that is needed is the right crisis.

    Go back and check the legislation in August regarding the UN pandemic level 6 swine flu scare. Specifically, Massachusetts, NY, and PA.

    Im not sure why I even warn you idiots that want to argue with me. Perhaps, there are some folks in here that dont believe in Unicorns and can think for themselves.

  208. Schumpeter says:

    plg (208)-

    Pardon me while I step outside and vomit.

    “I view every aspect of my existence as intertwined with the greater good. Every single thing I do with my money, time and decisions I ask how it affects the greater good.”

    plg, are you Stuart Smalley?

  209. frank says:

    I take NJ Transit daily and I see the waste daily, empty buses are running every 5 minutes and no one has the guts to stop them. Total waste of taxpayers money. Go Christie.

  210. Schumpeter says:

    plg (211)-

    Easy. I work, employ people and am productive. That makes me a host for virtually all of society’s parasites, who want to either rob me blind or forcibly redistribute my wealth in order to render me weak.

  211. Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:

    Belmar Johnny,

    Nobody is questioning your ability to trade bonds. I was only questioning your categorizing the people running Citi as anything other than willful participants in a government sanctioned Ponzi scheme.

  212. Juice Box Sean says:

    re #208 – PLG are you a member of PETA.

  213. Outofstater says:

    #208 Oh my God! What kind of drugs have been slipped into your food? The greater good??? You sound like one of those weasels in Atlas Shrugged! That’s how we got into this f-ing mess!!! How about the concept of enlightened self-interest. Gotta step outside with Schump now.

  214. Essex says:

    I see every aspect of my life intertwined with somehow getting my wife to let me do naughty things to here. That’s just the way it is. Has been for years. Everything else is gravy.

  215. plg says:

    Shumpeter,

    So your employees are parasites? I am just trying to understand your worldview.

  216. Veto That says:

    Al, Please dont refer to me or this board as ‘idiots’.
    I’ve been hearing warning about vchips and bar codes since the early 90s.
    Its only people like you who are freaking out about them now that you first peed in your while watching conspiracy theories on youtube.
    If this is an eternal battle between the beast and G*d, you think your inside info that you find on the internet is going to keep you safe?

  217. Schumpeter says:

    I stopped doing charitable stuff a few weeks ago. I woke up and realized that most charity simply either:

    1. reinforces the parasitic state into which the recipient has fallen; or,

    2. goes to people who lap this stuff up and laugh in your face for being enough of a dope to willingly give stuff away. After a short time, most of these losers actually come to expect their handouts and a few of them will tell you straight up that they see you as weak and not worthy of respect. Of course, a pimp, dealer or g-banger commands total respect.

    Fcuk charity.

  218. Schumpeter says:

    plg (220)-

    When my agents become parasites, I fire them.

    Getting ready to fire one pretty soon who I kept from living in their car about a year ago. Now this hookworm owes me over 10K.

  219. plg says:

    Outofstater,

    Do you know what enlightened self interest is? You used the term, but I don’t think you know what it means.

    Enlightened self interest is the philosphy that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest. That is precisely what I am saying.

    Enlightened self-interest was a concept that Alexis de Tocqueville discussed. The notion he held was that Americans voluntarily join together in associations to further the interests of the group and, thereby, to serve their own interests.

    Im not sure of your point.

  220. Juice Box Sean says:

    PLG – Answer the question are you a PETA member or not?

  221. plg says:

    Shumpeter,

    So the handicap are just parasites because they can’t be productive. What should we do with them?

  222. safeashouses says:

    #208 plg

    I’m throwing up over here. Couldn’t make it out the door. At least I didn’t splatter the keyboard. (John, it’s not what you think)

    Does plg live in Montclair or Maplewood?

    Were you in Bar Harbor about 10 years ago? I was sitting at a table next to some poser who was saying he didn’t consider himself an American, he considered himself a citizen of the world. I laughed so hard I spilled my beer.

  223. Veto That says:

    when the beast puts chips in our arms, will the mass chaos that ensues finally bring home prices down in line with income?

  224. Schumpeter says:

    I’d say American society has broken down a great deal since de Tocqueville’s time.

    These days, joining with any such group as you describe is pretty much the equivalent of chugging Jim Jones-flavored Kool Aid.

  225. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Veto,

    When people like you promote the healthcare bill that includes legislation for the Verichip that is what freaks me out.

    “If this is an eternal battle between the beast and G*d, you think your inside info that you find on the internet is going to keep you safe?”

    Thats exactly why I said better find religion.

  226. Outofstater says:

    #224 Perhaps you are right. The term I should have used is self-interest. Or perhaps individual self-interest.

  227. Schumpeter says:

    plg (226)-

    Not falling for your straw man. I know a lot of handicapped people who are incredibly productive. Physical disability often propels people to do incredible things.

  228. Veto That says:

    Al, why are you always ranting on and on about researching UN charters and this proposition and blah blah blah.
    Why cant you just summarize it for us and spit it out?
    Is it because it makes no sense unless its buried in a 400+ page document which talks in cicles about how everyone is out to get us?

  229. Schumpeter says:

    Anything in the US that is done in a group either has been- or will be- corrupted.

  230. NJGator says:

    JC Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini only convicted on 2 of 6 counts.

    NEWARK — A Jersey City deputy mayor was convicted today of two of six counts in the first corruption trial to stem from last summer’s massive FBI sting.

    Leona Beldini was found guilty of two counts involving illegal campaign contributions. The federal jury in Newark reached its verdict this afternoon after a snow storm delayed deliberations.

    Beldini was acquitted on four of six counts, including one conspiracy count, two attempted extortion charges and one bribery count in which she was charged with agreeing to be the exclusive real estate broker for Solomon Dwek’s condo project in exchange for getting him zoning approvals in the city.

    Beldini was convicted of two bribery accounts for accepting $20,000 in a illegal campaign contributions on behalf of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

    Beldini showed no emotion as the verdict was read. Sentencing has been scheduled for June1

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/beldini_nj_corruption_trial_dw_2.html

  231. Schumpeter says:

    veto (233)-

    I think the only thing Al is missing is that those who are out to get us are simply sitting back and letting us wipe ourselves out.

  232. plg says:

    Shumpeter,

    Do you know what a straw man is? You used the term, but I don’t think you know what it means.

    Yes, but take a parapalegic who is completely dependent on others for survival. Its just one example. Perhaps the person is just mentally challenged in a way that they cannot provide for themselves.

    What should we do with this sort of parasite?

  233. safeashouses says:

    Where’s the recession?

    “NYC’s skinniest house sells for 2.1 million”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_odd_skinny_house

  234. John says:

    chifi get me in on the vig, back in the day when Amex first opened ATM machines there was an outdoor ATM machine in the seaport. One of the first, there was a loanshark who hung out at a seedy bar between pace and the seaport. Wore a suit and a trenchcoat. He would get multiple people to take out Amex cards and give them to him. People would borrow from him, he would write it up at bar then he would take your card, take out the funds and while it was on loan you basically show up each month with your statemen and he gives you double or triple the finance charge each month. I did not do it but a few friends did and I always got lots of free drinks when they got their cut. I love old wall street.

    Guy used to take a metal bar from under trench coat and wack you in knee or elbow in the crowded subway, lirr or path if you did not pay. Next day he call you and say “I know where you live I know your commute, next time you go down it will be a knife or gun”. He never used a knife or a gun. Don’t know if he had one. He only loaned out a few grand to each person and people found the money real quick.

  235. Schumpeter says:

    Typical sociopath.

    “Beldini showed no emotion as the verdict was read.”

  236. Veto That says:

    “When people like you promote the healthcare bill”

    Al, are all your nutso rantings really about politics?

    is the beast rep or dem?

  237. chicagofinance says:

    In other words, you do nothing, give nothing, and do not have the conscience to literally lie outright here about it. Nice try, unless you are also RE101 and the other related poster…then KUDOS to you! :)

    plg says:
    February 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm
    Chicago, It is not a list of actions, it is a lifestyle. So I won’t list my charitable contributions for you, I will just tell you that I have a worldview that sees my own well-being intimately intertwined with the well-being of others and the world around me.

  238. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    233.

    The Copenhagen treaty is 18 pages and I did summarize it. It will be revisited in Mexico city next year.

    The healthcare bill is 2000 pages and is beyond my ability to summarize but HR3200 did include RFID legislation.

    And yes, there is a lot of critical information buried in 400 page documents and anything that comes out of the UN I pay attention to. Attention to detail.

    And yes, its a good time to be paranoid.

  239. John says:

    I actually never give to charity. Church, CCD, Girl Scouts, PAC, Food Drives, Clothes Drives, 9-11, Katrina, Haiti arm twisting forces me to give so much that I voluntarily give nothing. Yet they take take take and take.

  240. plg says:

    Chicago,

    You assume, based on my resonse, that “i give nothing, do nothing”?

    Way to miss the point entirely. I could provide you a list of things I do and charities I donate to, but that would fail to see my point. You really have a hard time seeing information that doesn’t comport with your worldview. That is a scary trait.

  241. Outofstater says:

    So, is it just me or does plg sound like HAL in 2001 only more mellow? Read his posts imagining HAL’s voice. Has he called anyone Dave yet?

  242. plg says:

    Chicago,

    If I were to give you a list of charities that I donate to, that would validate the worldview that says, “I give x amount to charity, so I don’t have to feel bad about all the other destructive things I do.”

    That is not how I view the world. I view all my actions as a whole, not as a discrete set of actions.

  243. Essex says:

    Geez plg…..I think that stands for Pios Lil Girl….no offense of course.

  244. Essex says:

    or maybe I meant Pius

  245. 3b says:

    #95 If you were on the sidelines renting, waiting for prices to mormalize, they didn’t because a bunch of these little jerks bid the market up.

    Spare me the sympathy card. If they couldn’t run with the big dogs they should have never gotten off the porch, which would have been better for all of us.

    Amen my brother.

  246. Schumpeter says:

    plg (237)-

    Here’s my simple def: it’s you, constructing specious arguments that I never made, then your attributing those arguments to me.

    Kinda like your post #237. Leave the quads and the mental defectives out of it. I’m not Romanian, so I don’t believe in warehousing them, suffice it to say.

  247. meter says:

    Al “Thermostat” Gore seems to have one (Verichip) imbedded up his ass. Probably thought it was a suppository. Or his boyfriend’s member.

  248. leftwing says:

    “Adults make their own decisions.”

    Except when they sign a loan document that any sentient being with bovine superior intellect realizes they have no chance of repaying.

    Then the banksters made them do it.

  249. Schumpeter says:

    John (239)-

    Was that guy named Blankfein by any chance?

  250. 3b says:

    #194 For frank it will always be 2005.

  251. leftwing says:

    plg

    Just for the record, what color is the sky in your world?

    “If property taxes are your concern, even the property tax is a highly regressive tax.

    The reason for this is that high-income households tend to have a lower proportion of their assets subjected to property taxes.”

  252. 3b says:

    #190 Meanwhile, the expanded and extended first-time home buyers tax credit had little effect here because of the relatively high cost of homes

    That’s a bunch of BS, most of the activity hase been in the lower priced homes, and that is exactly because of the 8k tax credit.

  253. Essex says:

    Well meter…those same adults are screwed blued and tattooed now aren’t they. For the record…been paying mortgage since 2002…never missed a single payment.

    Now we bought with a traditional mortgage though a credit union that wanted to know EVERYTHING about our income….and we needed 20% DOWN.

  254. 3b says:

    #191 this is not the first and is not the last economic crises in the world.

    This is not an economic crisis, this is an economic melt down. None of us have seen this before in our lifetimes. If you cannot see that, than you are in deep denial or delusional.

  255. NJGator says:

    Schump 240 – How bad was the prosecution that they only managed to convict her on 2 of 6 counts when THEY HAD HER ON TAPE!

    She probably won’t give up Healy if she’s only gonna do a few months.

  256. 3b says:

    #190 Buy a home now, before prices go way up

    Exactly why would they be going up?

    And in your prior post you provide us to a link informaing us that Christie has declared a fiscal state of emegency.

    So should we buy a home because we are in a state of emergency (will that help real estate prices?), or should we buy a home before the state of emergency is over?

  257. meter says:

    @259 –

    Not sure who you actually intended that for but my only comment in this thread was directed at Kaptain Konspiracy (Al Gore).

    Anyway, I congratulate your fiscal propriety. I would have done the same were I in the market in 2002.

  258. Schumpeter says:

    plg (248)-

    I view my actions through the filter of “how do I make it to the end of the day”. Right now, you are preventing me from doing that, so good day to you, sir.

  259. Schumpeter says:

    3b (260)-

    When things go from gray to black, it is going to be a pleasure to pick the meat from the bones of a dupe like plg.

    Holding this thought in mind is one of the things that keeps me going.

  260. Schumpeter says:

    gator (261)-

    They’re all gonna walk with a wrist slap.

    Crime that pays is crime that stays.

  261. Essex says:

    The only thing that keeps me from serious considering plg’s pov is that I know there are people out there who would gut me like a stuffed pig for my tennis shoes.

  262. Schumpeter says:

    sx (267)-

    Hear, hear. The ablest and smartest ones who have been on the dole since childhood have the most profound contempt for those who try to help them.

    They mistake kindness for weakness. Just like feral dogs.

  263. 3b says:

    #142 Sorry to hear that. My Father in Law died last night. One of the most intelligent, hardworking, savviest,and interesting men, I have ever know. Finally succumbed to kidney disease, after having a kidney transplant over 20 years ago. He loved and lived life to the fullest, and did not let his disease stop him. He was active and vibrant almost to the end. (he would have been the perfect addition to the nompound with his survivalist skills). Too young to die ar 75. He was a like a second father to me, and I am broken hearted he is gone. Thanks to all for listening.

  264. Schumpeter says:

    Don’t even get me started on the illegals.

    Found out one of our players & his whole family was illegal. They worked the club for everything: more playing time, show up late, special treatment…real PITAs. In the end, dad took the kid on the sly to try out for another club, and they ditched us when word got back to us.

  265. Schumpeter says:

    3b (269)-

    My condolences on your loss.

  266. Barbara says:

    so sorry 3b. I lost my mom in law 7 years ago, she was also like a mom to me and I feel her loss daily. Take care.

  267. Bystander says:

    This month’s blizzards are battering jobs.

    “Economists estimate that between 90,000 and 150,000 jobs could be lost in February, as the snow kept people home from work and stalled hiring during the month.”

    Jesus HC – reminds me of the realtor articles two years ago stating that bad weather kept people from buying homes. Yep, it is called a sh*t storm.

  268. I usually agree with what you post here, but in this case I must say that I do not share your views.

  269. Barbara says:

    274.

    teeth whitening:
    could you be more vague?

  270. jcer says:

    Schump, cash money, offered 700k cash. My father doesn’t believe in personal debt(through an LLC is a different story) or unmitigated risk, very risk adverse with his own money and doesn’t really believe in borrowing unless necessary or housing as an investment.

    As for aid, yes society needs to take care of those who cannot care for themselves, but define those who cannot care for themselves? I hate to sound cold but it comes down to either you are physically or mentally capable or neither. I believe we need to empower the handicapped to be productive and provide for them if they cannot, but the lazy deserve to starve, because they can feed themselves but they are unwilling to work for it. We need to get people to work. If they can’t get a job give them a job, but nothing pleasant, you’ll see how soon they find a job on their own. Seriously, I am going to call my plan welfare recipient replaces migrant laborer or farm hand, the gov’t rents you out to businesses in need of labor to pay for the welfare. Any random task you can be assigned to within reason. In the case of NJ, walk around trenton, Newark, jersey City, and ask yourself are we really helping these people by putting them on the dole? In principle I am liberal but in practice it is damaging to society. It makes our society soft and unable to compete, it breeds crime and poverty. Socialism failed repeatedly, it is an experiment not worth repeating.

  271. jcer says:

    I don’t care if we are paying welfare recipients to dig holes and fill them in, as long as they don’t get away with doing nothing.

  272. chicagofinance says:

    3b: sorry to hear it

  273. Essex says:

    276. The French seem pretty happy…..

  274. jcer says:

    3b, my condolences for your loss.

  275. Schumpeter says:

    jcer (276)-

    Wow, that’s amazing. Yours is the first story I’ve heard of a cash offer being rebuffed with no counter.

  276. safeashouses says:

    3b, sorry to hear that.

  277. Schumpeter says:

    jcer (277)-

    I say we conscript them to fight the endless wars we seem to love so.

  278. chicagofinance says:

    When someone describes the shortcomings of others, they often offer a window into their own psyche…..also known commonly as “projection”….

    plg says:
    February 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm
    You really have a hard time seeing information that doesn’t comport with your worldview. That is a scary trait.

  279. jcer says:

    279, the French are a different story entirely. Their society and societal structures are different. It is also not a truly socialist country. When all you do is drink wine all day you are going to be pretty happy! Happy has nothing to do with it, is it productive, does it add to society or does it hamper productivity and the success of others?

  280. safeashouses says:

    #279 Essex,

    The french are happy cause they have good food and thin women.

  281. jcer says:

    Schump, JPM countered at 990k a 10k reduction, who ever makes decisions in banks is a) pretty stupid and b) on drugs or out of their minds.

  282. Schumpeter says:

    sx (279)-

    Wait until this Summer’s edition of endless, car-burning riots and let’s visit that topic again.

  283. jcer says:

    284, we have tried many are smart enough to not sign up and we all know selective conscription would violate a whole bunch of laws.

  284. chicagofinance says:

    plg says:
    February 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm
    Chicago,
    Way to miss the point entirely.

    plg: come on…you are missing the point; I question no so much your philosophy, but rather how genuine you are. You may be a troll. Regardless, remaining vague and positing specious arguments effectively makes you a troll here.

    Additionally, you do not even know me, so how do you know how open minded I am. Spare me your highhanded pontificating about the greater good and the “collective”…resistance is futile……

  285. Schumpeter says:

    The French who are happy, are happy because they are supported cradle-to-grave for doing absolutely nothing.

  286. Schumpeter says:

    chi (285)-

    Nothing that sophisticated with plg. Just a garden variety dumbass.

  287. Schumpeter says:

    jcer (288)-

    990K isn’t a counter. It’s them telling your dad to get lost.

  288. jcer says:

    Gator, I am surprised they convicted Beldini at all, these are hudson county democrats remember. She clearly did not follow the party line, the whole self serving real estate agent thing brought her down. All of the loose ends were supposed to be tied up by the death of Jack Shaw, as the bag man he is the only one who actually touched the money and knows where it went. Healy was smart enough to direct people to Shaw and was purposely vague. No Shaw testimony puts this case and the eventual one against healy in a tough place.

  289. safeashouses says:

    How desperate do you have to be to hold an open house on Valentine’s Day?

  290. jcer says:

    Schump they’ll be back, either they’ll be dealing with a bottom-feeder like my father or a builder(not likely wanting to take a big risk so is paying peanuts). Most buyers down there really don’t want to do work, a completed place commands a premium and a wreck takes a huge hit. Screwing banks is his thing(buying bank debt for pennies on the dollar and foreclosing on the real estate), he is still waiting to get in on the commercial bust but it unfortunately is not at all like the early 90’s when the banks needed money.

  291. Schumpeter says:

    When the unemployed, rioting Muslims are setting the cars of the bourgeoisie on fire, how many of the narcoticized French will be able to do anything but sit and watch? Hell, the police there sit and watch.

    I’d love some raghead to try to set my car on fire. Good target practice.

  292. Essex says:

    287…I like my ladies with a little meat on the ol bone…..if ya know what I mean.

  293. Schumpeter says:

    jcer (297)-

    I like your dad…and I’ve never even met him.

  294. Barbara says:

    281
    Essex

    you just threw it down…*braces for impact*

  295. Schumpeter says:

    sx (299)-

    The BBW p0rn site is next door down. :)

  296. Schumpeter says:

    Let’s say a USAF bomber is overflying…let’s say…Athens. And then, a hydrogen bomb somehow slipped out the bay door, and accidentally airburst. Would anyone mind?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/here-comes-cavalry-will-us-taxpayers-be-footing-bill-greek-bailout

  297. plg says:

    Chicago,

    I argued that a gas tax would have been preferable to cutting aid to NJ transit. What is specious about that?

    I argued that cutting the Public Advocate, Education and NJ transit would harm the poor and middle class.
    What is specious about that?

    Your response was to ask how much I donate to charity, which I find totally irrelevant to the substance of my argument, but I entertained the bankrupt question anyway.

    What I am finding in these comments is that personal attacks are common, but substantiative responses are lacking. Would anyone care to debate the merits of these points, rather than say things like “your argument is specious” or “how much do YOU donate to charity”?

  298. A.West says:

    plg,
    I actually do agree with one thing you said, about raising gas taxes. At least fuel is correlated to road repair expenses, so in the absence of privately owned toll roads (which I’d prefer), it’s one way to levy a user fee.

    But I think making NJ Transit pay its own way is a good idea, too. Nowhere near as good as ripping education out of the hands of the state and govt unions, however, on the making things better front.

    As for charity, I’m only a fan of one, my only hope for making our world a better one someday. Made a big donation when I got my bonus in December: http://www.aynrand.org
    (Plg, don’t look, you’ll like it about as much as the Wicked Witch liked Dorothy’s bucket of water.)

  299. Schumpeter says:

    plg-

    Pretty much all of us here have had it with your tired, pedantic, chiding and holier-than-thou attitude. Given that you have married an intense dislikability factor to arguments more suited to seventh grade Civics class, why don’t you give it a rest?

  300. Barbara says:

    Ayn Rand: on FIRE since Nov of 2008.

  301. d2b says:

    301 Barb-
    I work for a French firm. Our equipment is manufactured outside of Paris and we are at a distinct competitive disadvantage because of it. It’s sold for a premium and it’s really not much better than competitive equipment. Our industry is very mature. France may be the worst place in the world to have a manufacturing base.

    They are as arrogant to work for as their reputation. They think that they invented business and overcharge our subsidiary for everything. They are slow to react and getting concessions from our own factory and their own workers is almost impossible.

    Our division does 50% of the global business, yet getting minor adjustments made for our market is a major endeavor. Even though we are all the same company I truly believe that they enjoy screwing us over.

  302. Yikes says:

    d2b, surprised to hear you lost power. know 2 other people in bucks who lost power … one only lives about 3 miles from us.

    thankfully, we didn’t lose power.

  303. Essex says:

    We may try the ex pat thing one day….but I really do love the Yoo Ess Ay! I mean where else can you get all an order of BBQ ribs and a side of statins??

  304. d2b says:

    Yikes,
    I’m west of the city in Montgomery County. The transformer behind our neighbor’s house went and that’s why. The folks down the street and across the street still had power. About 20 homes in our area went out and a few developments near us had the same problems.

    Timing was terrible. It went out at 5PM last night. Plus with such a small outage area, I’m not sure that we were a priority.

  305. Schumpeter says:

    d2b (308)-

    France is just a completely degenerate society that is defined by- and consumed by- its welfare state.

  306. Barbara says:

    Essex, I like my iced coffees to be about the size of my head and if I want a fash mag at 2am to ward off a shame spiral, then its my God Given.

  307. Schumpeter says:

    I like that term, “shame spiral”. Is this like something girls who do the binge/purge thing get into?

  308. Essex says:

    Babs…if you need anything at 2am I am your man……;-)

  309. Schumpeter says:

    Example:

    plg is descending into a shame spiral, so he decides to vent by trolling at a real estate blog.

  310. jcer says:

    I work for a rather large swiss firm, I firmly believe they are functionally insolvent. The swiss are very incompetant at business, especially understanding the US market place, I don’t know how they got this reputation for being good with money. It is very scary, the only swiss things I will buy are chocolate and watches. The lack of work ethic in europe is astounding.

  311. Essex says:

    Liberal guilt has consumed more than one mensch.

  312. Schumpeter says:

    sx (316)-

    BBW chat room is next door.

  313. Barbara says:

    I know nothing of eating disorders but since getting on Facebook, they are apparently really common amongst my old HS mates.

  314. Essex says:

    Gotta love the Swiss though….I mean…hey at least they have decent vacations.

  315. Barbara says:

    d2b,
    I guess at the end of the day, is the business profitable or teetering? Business and people are a PITA the world over.

  316. Schumpeter says:

    Let’s see how many eating disorders we have in the US when our standard of living gets lopped in half and millions of us are having to grow gardens in order to eat.

  317. Essex says:

    I worked in tech for so long that I became decent at making money in firms that were either insolvent or had no business plan to speak of.

  318. Essex says:

    324. Shit we’ll probably all be fit like those dude in the 30’s.

  319. plg says:

    Shumpeter,

    Thank you for yet another example of a response completely lacking any substance whatsover. Did you actually say I am “dislikabile?”

    That worked in 1st grade. “No one likes you, nah nah nah!”

    You make no point whatsover, except to try to insult me, which will not work. So, if you have something substantive to add or you would like to respond to the merits of my post, I’d be glad to respond. Otherwise, you will be not be getting responses from me.

    Shumpeter said:
    “Pretty much all of us here have had it with your tired, pedantic, chiding and holier-than-thou attitude. Given that you have married an intense dislikability factor to arguments more suited to seventh grade Civics class, why don’t you give it a rest?”

    A.West

    Thank you for your substantive response. I think we may have found a PERFECT example of an area where I and you Ayn Randers can agree. A gas tax would satisfy your desire for users to pay their own way and my own preference to create tax incentives that promote less usage of gas and more mass transit.

    As far as NJ transit is concerned I don’t see how mass transit would be funded without government support. Most mass transit systems in the world are subsidized. The Chinese are building an insane amount of high speed rail as we speak. The rest of Asia is leaving us in the dust on mass transit. Viable, affordable mass transit is essential to our competitiveness.

  320. Barbara says:

    326.
    that’s some slow food fer sure. We need a calories to pound of fat calculation to time starvation risk. Off the top of my head I think we’ve got a years reserve, if my observations at the MAll last week are any indication. How many for the Chinese, hmmm? America, #1.

  321. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    317.

    Shump,

    Most of the people that think like that were educated at places like Columbia or Seton Hall. Communist indoctrination camps. F them. They will learn the hard way.

  322. Schumpeter says:

    plg (327)-

    Thank you, and go fcuk yourself.

    “Otherwise, you will be not be getting responses from me.”

  323. Schumpeter says:

    sx (326)-

    That Tom Joad was wicked ripped.

  324. Schumpeter says:

    Al (329)-

    When it all starts going to hell, these weaklings like plg will be vaporized in a day.

  325. plg says:

    More substance from Shumpeter,

    His new argument is literally,

    “go fcuk yourself!”

    Very clever argument.

  326. Outofstater says:

    #333 I like that argument. It’s short, sweet and to the point.

  327. jcer says:

    I don’t think anyone disagrees with better transit, but……NJTransit/Amtrack/Conrail will NEVER, I repeat NEVER suceed in improving transit. Give up now and bring in Bombardier.

  328. Essex says:

    333. That’s the one my wife uses with me and it always works.

  329. Essex says:

    Of course she’s from Philly….and my understanding is that they all tend to be a little harsh there.

  330. plg says:

    jcer,

    when you say NJ transit Amtrak won’t, you are aware that the european system is highly subsidized. It is a model of transit worldwide.

    The Chinese system is completely government funded and is growing to shame our own transit system.

    Bombardier is actually a partner with european transit. The trains are still highly subsidized.

  331. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    3b,

    Sorry for your loss.

  332. Barbara says:

    gota side with plg here. Trains should be publically subsidized. I put them right up there with fire and ambulance as far as what a civilized society should be willing to pay for. NJ Transit is already a fortune, and extremely crowded.

  333. PGC says:

    #254 leftwing

    “Except when they sign a loan document that any sentient being with bovine superior intellect realizes they have no chance of repaying.”

    What I really find funny is the correlation between those who signed the subprime mortgage paperwork because they were told there was no down side and those that signed up for Auction Rate Securities that were told they are always liquid. Both didn’t understand the paperwork.

  334. PGC says:

    #292 Clot

    “The French who are happy, are happy because they are supported cradle-to-grave for doing absolutely nothing.”

    Yet even with the high teen and overall unemployment, they still have the second strongest economy in Europe. They also have a military that is mean as Fcuk. Fron the Leigionaires to the ones that run over greenpeace boats. Add in embracing Nuclear Power and great wine food and beaches, there is a lot to be said.

  335. PGC says:

    #308 d2b

    “I truly believe that they enjoy crewing us over”

    You are starting to get it.

    Are you in Avaya by any chance?

  336. jamil says:

    106 Stu: “Boy, this Christie sure sounds a lot like Corzine did when he was a greenhorn. Shouldn’t be long before he disappoints the tea baggers.”

    Christie stated today “”Revisit its rich union contracts,” Christie said. “And they may also have to consider service reductions or fare increases.””

    Anyway, I love it when some low IQ liberal moron gets kicks by calling fiscal conservatives “tea baggers”. I understand you, though. Had you mom not drinked while pregrant, you might be almost normal and having a decent job.
    Tough luck.

  337. jamil says:

    Bloomberg news:
    “Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit. ”

    Now, let’s see. How many of the liberal wackos here actually believed The One’s pledge not to raise taxes ?

  338. Mikeinwaiting says:

    jamil where you been the crew was looking for you the other day to debate an ultra liberal. Sorry you missed it.

  339. PGC says:

    Jamil, how was the convention in Texas.

    I had scribled a note on my hand about something I wanted to discuss with you. Its a bit smudged as its been a few days. It was a math question for the tea party quiz.

    600 people
    $550 a ticket
    100K keynote speaker fee

    Is blowing a 1/3 of the gross on one speaker, fiscal conservatism in action?

  340. grim says:

    when you say NJ transit Amtrak won’t, you are aware that the european system is highly subsidized. It is a model of transit worldwide.

    Spain is particularly impressive. Of course, my geeky optimism is tempered by the precarious fiscal situation that country faces. No doubt the cost of AVE has played a role in their current situation. I believe the cost of AVE is measured in billions.

    I am pro mass-transportation, and believe it should not only be subsidized, but funded by taxes on non-mass alternates. I would support a dramatic increase in federal and state gasoline taxes to fund.

  341. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Maybe it would be good if we eliminated car transportation and herded everyone into trains. That way they would be easier to control. UN Agenda 21

    Insert name calling here……….

    Live free or die

  342. njescapee says:

    Grim, Is what you are proposing mean that folks residing and working in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Morris, Sussex counties where mass transportaion is pretty much non existent should subsidize NYC and vicinity bound commuters’ transportation through higher gas taxes? Pretty regressive if I may say so.

  343. PGC says:

    #350 njescappe

    Why not. When you look at the numbers of people communting into NYC, JC and NYC, mass transportation can work and should be supported. Getting people on mass transit will free up the RT 202. 22, 206 of the world to the cross traffic that is not commuting East to the cities.

  344. A.West says:

    I’m enjoying John Stossel’s show. This week’s episode was mostly about how public employees are plundering state finances. He had this guest on among others:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1_Ecn4jHls
    Still, it’s unfortunate that a discussion of what’s really going on has to turn into a proxy war by political parties.

  345. Essex says:

    …Let’s get real about the state’s PERS pension system. It is not about the state workers who contribute every payday. It’s about the corruption of the system. First, Govs Whitman and McGreevey stole 3 billion each for operating costs. A private sector CEO would be jailed for this. The state, except for the one third of the obligation added this year, has contributed zero for the past 13 years. That means all of the money added to the system has come from the employee’s paychecks not tax money. In the mid 1990’s the fund was worth 93 billion when the State Div of Investment prudently invested the money. Then through politics private stock brokers got their hands on the money. They invested in high risk hedge funds and even gave Lehman Brother (some former employees) 800 million from the fund, two months before it went belly up. Another case that should put people in jail. The Div of Investment state employees cost the state 5 million a year, the brokers cost up to 200 million in fees. In total, this move has cost the fund about 2 billion. By the way, the “private” brokers have now managed to reduce the value of the fund to about 53 billion. In addition, you have the politicians getting 3-4 pensions, they make deals for association members and contracted attorneys (not gov employees) to be added to the system. Do they even contribute? Politicians who work in and benefit from the private sector while serving on a board or committee at $1,000 a year get a six figure state job for three years and their pension is based years of service and salary. This means they could walk away with a $60,000 pension for actually paying into the system for three years
    Of course, to protect themselves, they have been “grandfathered in”.
    So what is the legislature’s answer? Cut the benfits of all the state employees that have paid into the system for years with the promise that working for the gov does not pay but at least you will get a decent pension. For the bashers, most major companies and unions offer similiar or better benefits. If you want to lower taxes, stop the corruption…

  346. grim says:

    Grim, Is what you are proposing mean that folks residing and working in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Morris, Sussex counties where mass transportaion is pretty much non existent should subsidize NYC and vicinity bound commuters’ transportation through higher gas taxes? Pretty regressive if I may say so.

    Actually, the opposite. NYC and vicinity residents already have mass-transportation alternatives readily available. Housing affordability is forcing lower income residents to live further away from job centers, and forcing them to bear the additional burden of the cost of the extended commute. Sure sounds regressive to me.

    Maybe it would be good if we eliminated car transportation and herded everyone into trains. That way they would be easier to control.

    So what you are saying is, if the Jews had cars, the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened. I completely understand now.

  347. Essex says:

    If the Jews were just a little more considerate of the Nazis and perhaps put up with some of the scapegoating…you know the blame for a bad economy and such….then maybe…

  348. leftwing says:

    PGC

    On fire tonight, aren’t we?

    Dodged that ARCs bullet myself. Can’t believe how much time I waste making sure my cash is in fact in cash.

    Whatever that means these days….

  349. njescapee says:

    PGC, Why shouldn’t the cost-causer pay his / her own way.

    Drivers already pay tolls, taxes.

    Why should a car commuter subsidize with higher gas taxes a train / bus commuter? If I live in Somerset county and must commute to employer or school in Sussex county, why should I subsidize a Middlesex county resident’s commute to NYC or Secaucus.

    Remember: Don’t tax me tax the guy behind the tree.

  350. plg says:

    njescapee,

    “Is what you are proposing mean that folks residing and working in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Morris, Sussex counties where mass transportaion is pretty much non existent should subsidize NYC and vicinity bound commuters’ transportation through higher gas taxes? Pretty regressive if I may say so.”

    Regressive means it taxes the poor at a higher rate than the rich, which to many people, is considered unfair. It does not have a regional meaning, as far as I know.

    In fact, the residents of ALL of NJ would benefit from increased mass transit usage in the form of cleaner air and less congestion. For the future, we should be incentivizing people to live near transit instead of way out in Sussex county. Making transit cheaper and driving more expensive would do that.

    Also,

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  352. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    354. If every Jew would have defended their home with a fire poker the holocaust wouldnt have happened.

    Remember this.

  353. Essex says:

    *sigh* Al…few things are funnier than holocaust jokes. I will make you a deal. Next GTG…look for me…and tell me one of those. We can share a laff together. OK?

  354. leftwing says:

    “Regressive means it taxes the poor at a higher rate than the rich, which to many people, is considered unfair.”

    plg

    Glad to see you understand the meaning of regressive.

    Your post saying real estate taxes are regressive had me wondering.

    I get progressive, as in I pay 39% of the last dollar I earn while someone else pays only 22%

    I get that taxes like real estate, sales tax, gas tax, etc. that tax everyone at the same rate are ‘fair’.

    Glad to see you agree.

  355. njescapee says:

    Grim, I was referring to the current state of NJ infrastructure. I might agree with you if mass transportation services were actually available in those counties but unfortunately they are not and will probably not be for generation or 2.

  356. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    361. What joke?

  357. Qwerty says:

    Al, you somehow fail to understand the cruelty and commitment Adolf’s Germany exercised towards the goal of eradicating Jews.

    This thread has been Godwinned…

  358. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    365. No I fully understand. If you think it cant happen again why dont you look up the report from iron mountain.

    Stop being a victim and start defending your God given rights. Americans arent going to fight your war for you.

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  360. jcer says:

    No problem with subsidized transit, just with the current government entities responsible, we want bullet trains…we get acela! Slower than driving! How about nyc->philly in a half hour,Phily->baltimore in a half hour, baltimore->DC in 15 minutes, NYC->Boston in 2h20m, possibly nyc->chicago in 4hrs. We not only need the budget but also the expertise. The problem with massive gas tax is, mass transit is no where near where it needs to be and it would hit the lower middle class hard, additionally the impact on certain tourist locales would be devastating. The money spent on financial bailouts would be better spent on a north east transit backbone and land bridge freight system.

  361. PGC says:

    #357 njescapee

    Think of it this way. If you can move a lot of PA -> NYC comuters off Rt80/78 etc onto public transport, it would make the local comutes in Warrenn Sussex, Morris etc a lot easier.

    Its fun to watch the friday evening traffic in Morristown and the like when there is an accident on the 287/80 ramps.

  362. PGC says:

    #356 Leftwing

    I have had to leat a lot of topics slide in the past few weeks due to work and life commitments.

    I’m off to Europe tomorrow. At least I’m gettiing a small break on the EUR conversion this week.

  363. PGC says:

    leat=let
    time for sleep

  364. njescapee says:

    PGC, believe me I know. I’ve had various length daily commutes in and around the 287 corridor from Belle Mead for 27 yrs. I am now a full time teleworker based in Key West and I drive less than 2000 miles a year. Mileage varies. :-)

  365. jcer says:

    Grim, TGV or Spain’s AVE, metro,cercenias are a far cry from what NJTransit or Amtrack is offering,buses are often faster and cheaper than Amtrack. The federal gov’t is the only entity capable of building it and the leadership can’t be what’s there now.

  366. jcer says:

    Two words, Light Rail, I see it every day and it is upsetting that NJTransit managed to spend 3 billion on it and they had the land for the tracks. Don’t get me started on the PA, MTA, etc. EWR airtrain and the general state of trains to and from the airport, not even really sensible even from the city centre in NYC. The half baked, expensive transit solutions offered by the current organizations cook up are boondoggles.

  367. cobbler says:

    Realistically, the high-speed rail in the NE Corridor could be built only after a major change in the eminent domain laws (otherwise, the whole U.S. national debt has to be doubled to pay off the land owners). Will never happen. High-speed rail link between Houston and Dallas may happen; not that many people will be using it because of intrinsic dislike of being herded and controlled by the government, but NJ residents will be actively financing the project via taxes.

  368. chicagofinance says:

    cobs: stop stating reality and facts; it causes great pain to those living in harmony….

    375.cobbler says:
    February 12, 2010 at 12:08 am
    Realistically, the high-speed rail in the NE Corridor could be built only after a major change in the eminent domain laws (otherwise, the whole U.S. national debt has to be doubled to pay off the land owners).

  369. chicagofinance says:

    Fun facts time for those living on the moral high ground.

    #1 I did not earn a driver’s license until I was 25 years old.

    #2 I have been in or traveled through every station in the NYC subway.

    #3 I ask for evidence of credibility; essentially the avoidance of hypocrisy; and in response I receive evasion and an accusation that is wholly unfounded.

    Honestly, have you ever heard the term “limousine liberal”? Just trying to smell you out…..

    248.plg says:
    February 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm
    Chicago, If I were to give you a list of charities that I donate to, that would validate the worldview that says, “I give x amount to charity, so I don’t have to feel bad about all the other destructive things I do.”
    That is not how I view the world. I view all my actions as a whole, not as a discrete set of actions.

  370. Sean says:

    You guys with your rail, make me LOL.

    It is going to be buses when the oil starts to run out. Ever been to a third world country? There is little rail just too damm expensive. However a bunch of used buses are dirt cheap to operate.

  371. brewcrew says:

    jcer, the ideas trotted out regarding rail service and our current Amtrak/Acela mess are not half-baked; in fact they are highly calculated political maneuvers. Amtrak could make the runs you outlined in the timelines you outlined, provided they lay the infrastructure required (upgraded rails, upgraded or eliminated grade crossings, upgraded catenary, etc). However, NIMBYs don’t want 150mph trains running through their backyards, local blowhard politicos don’t want Amtrak passing them by and demand the trains stop in their podunk towns, and lets not forget the goose that lays golden eggs known as airport parking fees. This is why ticket prices are exorbitant if you want to take the Air Train – because the airport & local and state government needs to get their cut.

  372. A.West says:

    One of the big distortions an economy can have is when the government becomes the monopolist in providing transportation services. They typically are the only major player in both road and rail service provision, but their investment decisions aren’t based on economic demand, but typically are based on political pull and favoratism. I’m against government involvement entirely, but given that it’s forced private investors out of the industry entirely, underinvestment in transport assets can be just as bad as over or mal-investment. Typically, transport assets are good in the areas where the powerful politicians are based, bad and underinvested elsewhere.

    Believe it or not, markets are better at coordinating transport investment than governments – but no country has really built a system supported by this principle.

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