Making sense of the foreclosure numbers

From the NY Times:

In New Jersey, No Consensus on Foreclosure Problem

IN gauging the severity of the foreclosure problem in New Jersey, the experts could hardly be farther apart. Some see the state as relatively unscathed at this point, with the situation about to improve; others see worsening conditions that may turn downright severe.

But then again these same experts are the first to admit that they are handicapped by extremely unreliable information. Real estate market analysts, lawyers, academics, public officials: there are clusters of them on either side of the debate.

“Precise numbers on foreclosures are very elusive,” said James W. Hughes, the dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. But he said he was hearing reports from researchers in the field that foreclosure filings in some county courts were increasing. That trend may pick up steam as federal home-buyer stimulus programs expire, and high-paying jobs continue migrating out of state.

Jeffrey G. Otteau, whose Otteau Valuation Group provides real estate market analysis to the industry, sounded a similar note on the quality of available statistics. “The numbers from the various sources do not square,” was how he put it. Mr. Otteau quoted data from RealtyTrac, a company based in Irvine, Calif., that monitors court filings around the country, in characterizing New Jersey’s current foreclosure rate as very low — just .04 percent of households. He also predicted that foreclosure actions would decline as the overall economy improved. RealtyTrac, a subscriber service, is a primary source of information about distressed properties for investors.

Cross-checking RealtyTrac numbers with other statistics often amounts to an “apples and oranges” problem, according to Mr. Otteau and Mr. Hughes. For instance, a report last month by the New Jersey court system estimated the number of foreclosure filings rose 29 percent from 2008. But the number is a raw count, not a calculation of rate.

Still, Mr. Otteau said, it does not jibe with RealtyTrac’s report as best he can tell. Goldie Sommer, a real estate lawyer who specializes in short sales for the firm Sommer & Engelhart in Fairfield, said she had ended up relying on the anecdotal reports of brokers who list properties available for short sale — and on the fact that she is extremely busy — to infer that the number of homeowners facing foreclosure was “bouncing up again.”

For instance Michael Hawley, of the United Association of Realtors, said that 35 to 40 percent of Essex County homes currently listed in the $300,000-to-$350,000 price range were short sales. At $700,000 and above, he added, 10 to 15 percent of listings are short sales.

An office manager for Weichert in Caldwell estimated that 15 percent of all listings right now were delinquent-mortgage properties; at Unicasa United Realty in Newark, a manager estimated that more than 60 percent of the agency’s listings were for properties whose owners were “underwater,” or owed more than the home was worth.

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

485 Responses to Making sense of the foreclosure numbers

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Monitoring mediators: There’s very little oversight for influx of mortgage modification companies

    When Juan Paulino bought his three-bedroom ranch in Hasbrouck Heights in 2005, he took out the only loan he could afford: an adjustable-rate mortgage.

    But what seemed like a good deal at the time turned sour four years later, when the rate reset upward and his monthly payments suddenly jumped more than one-third.

    Desperate to lower his $4,000 monthly payment, he hired a mortgage modification company to negotiate better terms with his bank. For $2,700, Dunwell Financial Solutions in Jersey City assigned an adviser to steer Paulino through the daunting process, resulting in a deal that cut his payments in half.

    “I didn’t want to lose my house,” said Paulino, 58, a Continental Airlines cargo agent. “It was a bad situation that I couldn’t afford.”

    But Paulino’s success story might soon be the exception rather than the rule. Since March, when the Obama administration launched a mortgage modification program to help stall the foreclosure crisis, federal and state regulators have been cracking down on an emerging “cottage industry” of so-called mediators. Many of them are unlicensed firms looking to snap up government incentives by duping desperate homeowners with promises they can’t deliver.

    In New Jersey, a dozen modification outfits have already come under the scrutiny of state regulators. In November alone, the state fined nine firms at least $5,000 each for allegedly offering loan modification services to consumers without a proper license.

    And in July, the state Attorney General’s Office filed two separate lawsuits charging 10 people with fraud after they promised to help modify mortgages for residents struggling to keep their homes.

  2. grim says:

    What a joke..

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. Senate considers pension payment requirement changes

    New Jersey lawmakers want to reverse years of raids on state retirement funds by requiring the state to pay its annual share into the pension system.

    The Senate held a required public hearing today on a resolution that ultimately would be decided by voters because it changes the state constitution. The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution next week. The Assembly has yet to consider it.

    If voters are asked to approve a ballot question in November, they would decide whether to bind the state and other public employers to make at least one-seventh of their pension contribution the following fiscal year. The employers would be required to increase the contribution by one-seventh every year until the entire portion is being paid in FY2017.

    The state’s public worker unions oppose the resolution, which they say sanctions the state to continue underfunding the pension system for seven more years.

    “It will constitutionally sanction the very practices that put the pension system into the state they are right now,” said Brian Volz, a spokesman for the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

  3. grim says:

    As this blog predicted, on numerous occasions..

    From the Record:

    N.J. Assembly members unveil legislation to bring video lottery terminals to the Meadowlands

    Five state Assembly members from North Jersey introduced legislation Monday designed to lead to the installation of video lottery terminals at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

    Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-Passaic, said the introduction of VLTs at the track would “be a boon to taxpayers” in his district and statewide.

    “Transforming the Meadowlands complex into a 21st-century entertainment and gaming destination is essential to the future of our region,” Schaer said.

  4. grim says:

    Bye bye Jersey jobs.

    From Fox 59 Indianapolis:

    Sony announces new jobs at Terre Haute plant

    About 150 jobs could be heading to western Indiana. Sony has announced plans to move DVD production from its New Jersey plant to Terre Haute. The move means Sony will now produce all of its DVDs at that facility. The company says the change is being made to help manage costs and improve company efficiency.

  5. willwork4beer says:

    Grim,

    Hope you’re feeling better today.

  6. grim says:

    From the Trentonian:

    TRENTONIAN EDITORIAL: It’s panic time for N.J. pension plans

    About those alarming reports that New Jersey’s foundering public employee pension plans are taking on $34 billion of red ink, uh, try not to panic, but make that figure $46 billion instead.

    Oh, well. Go ahead. Panic.

    As the state legislature scurries to upright the capsizing pension plans, a news update from the state’s pension consultants said the plans took on an additional $12 billion of red ink just last year alone.

    Accountants’ term for the $45.8 billion of red ink is “unfunded liabilities” — that is, the future amount of benefits promised that the pension plans can’t deliver.

    The consultants were reporting old news in attributing the red ink to three sources:

    — The failure of Statehouse politicians to make good on the pension-funding obligations they signed off on.

    — Plummeting earnings on the pension plans’ investments.

    — Skyrocketing costs of benefits.

  7. grim says:

    Thanks! I’m feeling much better today.

  8. SG says:

    Two-thirds of Calif. home sellers couldn’t make payments

    Two out of every three California home sellers in the past year decided to sell because they couldn’t meet their monthly mortgage obligations, according to a survey of sellers released Thursday by the California Association of Realtors.

    These distressed sales usually resulted from changes in employment status. By comparison, in 2008, one in five sellers cited the ability to meet their mortgage payment obligation as a reason for selling.

    “Tighter underwriting standards and a decline in equity continued to impact the market in 2009,” said Steve Goddard, the association’s president, in a news release. “Many homeowners chose to sell last year because their adjustable-rate mortgage reset at the same time home prices were experiencing an unprecedented decline.”

    The survey also showed that homes sold on average for $20,958 less than original asking prices, though the difference was significantly larger for first-time sellers, at about $30,000 below list price, and smaller for sellers who had previously sold a home, at about $8,000 below list price.

  9. SG says:

    Nab a real estate deal – while you still can

    (Money Magazine) — If you’ve been holding off on a real estate purchase, glimmers of a turnaround in the housing market may have you wondering if it’s finally time to make your move.

    But if home values are falling in your area, you don’t have much to lose by waiting. If the house you want costs $375,000 today and you put down 20%, you’d pay $1,644 a month for a fixed-rate mortgage at 5.18%. Buy that same home for 5% less later on with rates at 6% and you’d only pay an extra $65 a month. If prices plunge 10% or more this year (as they are expected to in 12% of markets, according to Fiserv), you’ll come out even or ahead.

  10. SG says:

    Tax credit distorting home seller behavior as well

    But along with conjuring up an army of buyers in an otherwise dead market, the tax credit also appears to be having quite a bit of an impact on seller behavior as well.

    Just check out this new report from Trulia, which finds a pattern of sellers dropping prices in a bid to snare potential tax credit buyers.

    The trend, in fact, is pretty clear – it’s what to make of it that’s the question. The months leading up to the pending expiration of the home buyer tax credit last fall saw a rising trend line of price reductions, here and across the country.

    Here in Boston, the price cutting reached a peak in November, right about the time the home buyer tax credit was set to expire, with 33 percent of the homes on the market having been knocked down in price at least once.

  11. SG says:

    PRICE REDUCTIONS LEVEL-OFF SHOWING SIGNS OF STABILITY RETURNING TO U.S. HOUSING MARKET

    21 percent of homes currently on the market in the United States as of February 1, 2010 have experienced at least one price cut. This represents the second straight month of home price reductions at this level, the lowest level since Trulia started tracking price reductions in April 2009, and a significant decrease since November 2009, when 26 percent of homes had at least one price reduction. The total dollar amount slashed from home prices dropped to $22.6 billion compared to $28.1 billion in November, a 19 percent decrease. The average discount for price-reduced homes continues to hold at 11 percent off of the original listing price.

    The Tax Credit Effect

    National price reduction levels peaked toward the end of last year, corresponding to the timing of the original November 2009 deadline for the Federal Housing Tax Credit. In the months following the extension of the tax credit we’ve seen the lowest levels of reductions since the report started in April 2009.

  12. serenity now says:

    The Post Office is proposing canceling Saturday delivery,
    Municipalities are putting employees on furlough,
    Businesses still laying off……pretty soon we will all
    be on vacation! PARTY ON GARTH!!

  13. Final Doom says:

    Oblivion is upon us. Just squeeze the trigger, sit back and relax, like a nice Skinner Box dweller.

    Think I have another underwater seller who’s gonna abandon his house today or tomorrow.

  14. Final Doom says:

    serenity (12)-

    If they closed the post office completely, I wouldn’t notice & wouldn’t care.

    All the post office produces are debt and fat, cranky, passive/aggressives.

  15. Final Doom says:

    When will the first big NJ tent city really take off? I say this Summer.

  16. grim says:

    Why not cancel Saturday delivery? If it is urgent, use an alternate carrier and pay a premium.

    But then again, I’m biased. I am paperless with all my bills and statements, I get very little in the mail. What I do get is largely promo material, which I can do without.

  17. Final Doom says:

    Need to stretch the value of your gold? Just add tungsten.

    I profoundly hope both JPM and GS can be implicated in this:

    “German TV station ProSieben finds what appears to be some evocative proof of gold counterfeiting, in the form of tungsten gold substitutes coming to the W.C.Heraeus foundry, which is the world’s largest privately-owned precious metals refiner and fabricator, located in Hanau, Germany. The foundry has isolated at least one 500-gram tungsten bar due for melting, originating from a (so far) unnamed bank, which as the head of the foundry stated made the unpleasant discovery that “not all the glitters is gold.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/german-prosieben-tv-channel-finds-500-gram-tungsten-bar-wcheraeus-gold-foundary-bank-origin

  18. serenity now says:

    CLot (14)
    You forgot “sharp shooters”.

  19. confused in NJ says:

    Should coalesce nicely by 12/20/2012.

  20. freedy says:

    Well in keeping with my position. Screw the
    banks, before they screw you. Grim:
    How’s the spring selling season looking?

    I guess Bergen with the number of foreclosures is a good bet?

  21. confused in NJ says:

    Be interesting to see Society when the only jobs are Public. I guess 500 people leaning on one shovel in front of a ditch will be more noticeable.

  22. Essex says:

    22. You wanna see f*ckoff time in action….just watch the number of diligent private sector workers posting endless on the interweb. Just sayin.

  23. NJCoast says:

    Almost all jobs in the USVI are gubmint. With breaks its about a 3-4 hour workday. Everybody happy mon!

  24. Shore Guy says:

    ” and high-paying jobs continue migrating out of state”

    Lies! Everyone with a high-paying job wants, no, DEMANDS, to work or live close to NY.

    It has ever been thus and ever wil be.

  25. Shore Guy says:

    “Transforming the Meadowlands complex into a 21st-century entertainment and gaming destination is essential to the future of our region, ”

    THIS says it all. What ever happened to relying on manufacturing products that the world needs?

  26. Mr Hyde says:

    Shore 26

    The only chance of saving NJ is redeveloping its manufacturing base. if we would get smart about taxes, NJ is a very competitively located state for a number of industries.

    The so called service economy is nothing but smoke and mirrors unless NJ wants to legalize prostitution.

  27. freedy says:

    redevelop manufacturing in NJ is impossible.
    costs are just to high. labor force sucks

  28. #16 – I am paperless with all my bills and statements, I get very little in the mail. What I do get is largely promo material, which I can do without.

    Largely the same here. I do get some traditional mail still, but could do away with it without too much of a problem.
    What to do with Post Office employees though if the service goes away? Same with lumber, paper and printer employees made redundant when no more new catalogs get mailed…

  29. Mr Hyde says:

    US mail

    The funny thing about US mail is that they would already be broke if it weren’t for all of the commercial garbage that gets delivered to my house regardless of whether ro not i want it delivered.

    Kill the commercial garbage and drop mail delivery to 4 days per week. if you need a package on the other 3 days go with a private carrier ( UPS/FedEx etc).

    I wonder how large the layoffs would be from the postal service. Potentially substantial if they cut the BS redundant jobs and shutdown post offices that are 2 miles apart.

  30. Mr Hyde says:

    Freedy

    I disagree. Costs may currently be prohibitive, but that could be remedied if the state were motivated. realistically, no matter how motivated the state may be it will take time and not happen overnight. But the people could be retrained and living expenses could be cut substantially.

  31. Mr Hyde says:

    Grim,

    glad to hear you’re feeling better

    cheers

  32. #30 – I wonder how large the layoffs would be from the postal service. Potentially substantial if they cut the BS redundant jobs and shutdown post offices….

    You know, the knock on effects of killing the US mail commercial stuff might be devastating. Paper mills, printers, truck repair, gas, etc. Might it be cheaper to just keep the dumb thing running?

  33. Shore Guy says:

    “service economy is nothing but smoke and mirrors”

    Pr0stitution is the only job in the service sector that has legs.

  34. Shore Guy says:

    And, while some say the work su(ks and others say that it bl0ws, you know that most other people are also getting s(rewed at work but never have any say in the position they assume.

  35. SG says:

    Cindy: Do you know how CA education compares to NJ education?

    This article seem to suggest that CA is way behind and NJ is way ahead. Not sure what is the truth!!!

    Teacher salaries vs. private sector; Freeze N.J. salaries at top; Questioning Star-Ledger’s motives

    About 30 years ago, California residents were sick of high property taxes, so they approved Proposition 13. It lowered their property taxes, but it decimated their public school system. Now, anybody who can afford it sends his or her children to private schools. Anybody who can’t is out of luck.

  36. Shore Guy says:

    “e. Costs may currently be prohibitive, but that could be remedied”

    How? One, lower housing costs. Two, lower taxes.

    So, let housing prices fall and then cut the amount being spent on government and, bingo, we become more competitive.

  37. Mr Hyde says:

    tosh 33

    in the short run yes. In the long run no. Consider all of the material and money being utilized in a wasteful nonproductive enterprise! The transition would be painful, but needs to take place.

    You dont refuse to pull the splinter out because it will hurt to do so. Otherwise you end up with an infected would that is even worse int he long run.

  38. Mr Hyde says:

    Shore 37

    exactly. You also need to kill the political kickback machine in the state.

    of course this is all fanciful daydreaming…

  39. confused in NJ says:

    Seems like an entire industry keeps trying to get me to go paperless, and not use mail. I will never, ever, switch to all electronic. Why, because I can’t control it. The electronics game of planned obsolescence is annoying for casual users, deadly if you actually use it for critical functions. I hated migrating from Windows 95 to 98. Really hated switching from 98 to XP. And windows Visa and 7 bite. A key frustration was Turbo Tax no longer working with Windows 98. Got around that using Free Turbo Online until they discontinued it interfacing with 98. Now use it with XP and bought a 7 for when they kill XP. As long as my key statements come Snail Mail, I can live with the annoyance & expense of continual planned upgrades and obsolescence.

  40. Shore Guy says:

    NJ, NYM and a bunch of other states are like a guy running full-bore towards the rim of the Grand Canyon and fretting about the depth of the river — like it matters as he will be dead on impact.

    Our officials are wringing their hands over the effects of cutting costs while they system will die without the cuts, thus causing far greater pain in the end.

  41. #38 – … In the long run no

    That’s true, I was only thinking about unemployment costs over the course of a few years.
    It does need to go away at some point. It’s really more a matter of political will than anything else. I’m not sure if I see anyone now, or on the horizon, will the brass ones to make the first steps on this.

  42. Shore Guy says:

    NYM= NY, at least for today

  43. House Whine says:

    Where I live it’s the smaller satellite post offices that do an excellent job. They are open at convenient times and are efficient. Strangely, it’s the larger, more central post office nearby that is unfriendly and inefficient. Whoever is running things is not getting the equation right here.

  44. Has anyone seen inventory numbers recently?
    Judging from what I saw for sale this weekend (and this is understood to be anecdotal) it just can’t be good. It seems much worse than last year. Just about every corner had at least one, and many times two or three for sale signs/balloons/etc.

    Not indicative of a price firming environment.

  45. House Whine says:

    Question for everyone: if we keep cutting back, even in “non-productive” fields such as the post office where in the world are we supposed to put all the newly unemployed workers? It’s not like there are new jobs for them to go to. What is the plan? You can talk about individual responsibility which I do believe in, but in the end if the jobs simply don’t exist what are people supposed to do?

  46. jamil says:

    Comrade (prev thread) about renouncing US citizenship.

    What’s your opinion at what income/wealth/inheritance levels people should start considering renouncing US citizenship?

    I guess most people with foreign background who leave the US and maintain US passport prefer to keep it for a) easier visa-free travel in the US and other countries, and b) having the option to one day return to US for work without visa hassles (I doubt many people consider retiring in the US).

    If the price to pay is the cost and time of filling out turbotax (geitner edition) that’s no brainer, and even small US tax is fine for most people. In most low-tax countries (say, Singapore, Taiwan) the salary is also lower so somebody making 200k in the US typically gets similar lifestyle and similar job for 100k in those countries. I’m not sure if they have to actually pay anything in those cases. US death tax may also be an issue for some people.

  47. Mr Hyde says:

    Tosh

    When is it ever a “good” time to kill a substantial portion of an overgrown industry. No one ever wanst to be responsible for creating unemployment. Virtually no modern politician that i am aware of has the brass set to step up and do it willingly. Even taking pleasure in the cuts, in killing the beast!

  48. #46 – in the end if the jobs simply don’t exist what are people supposed to do?

    This is what my concern was. They simply can’t all become Walmart greeters.
    There are a lot of issues related to the US restoring its industrial capacity. It would be one solution though.

  49. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704479404575087381597040268.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

    Guns and States

    A much-discussed subject of late…

    The Supreme Court takes up another Second Amendment case.

  50. #48 – When is it ever a “good” time to kill a substantial portion of an overgrown industry?

    It never is. We have ourselves quite a problem here, don’t we?

  51. Mr Hyde says:

    House 46

    We are digging our own grave. if our government was responsible and actually cared about its true mandate, it would be taking the TRILLIONS used to bailout the banks and engaging in a crash course re-industrialization of the US.

    Short of such an action history tells us that the answer is war. if not war then revolution due to civil unrest becomes likely.

    While it would not be popular, one effective route would be to throw up a number of key tariffs and trade barriers and then having the government fund ( not own) the initial development of industrialization.

    The game the government is currently playing is trying to initiate a highly controlled bout of inflation so that they can avoid civil unrest as the US winds down from a service economy to….. who knows what.

    Once again, history shows that such attempts are futile at best and often destructive to the overall economy

  52. jamil says:

    Yikes (prev thread):”just looked it up: Glenn Beck went from high school to work
    I’m no elitist or snob, but how is this clown on the radio/TV 3-4 hours a day? What credentials does he have? ”

    I’m not sure if Yikes even realizes the irony of his out of touch liberal elitism:

    I’m not an elitist but how dare those people without college degree challenge us elitists on anything?

    Yeah, baby. Your Masters degree on Chicano women’s studies makes you eligible to opinion in this country, unlike those uneducated hicks who should just shut up and take the orders from you!

  53. 3b says:

    #58 Only 58 days left (for those who qualify), for the tax credit. Hurry, hurry!!

  54. Mr Hyde says:

    On a related note:

    has anyone noticed that the US no longer has an effective civilian space program. Nasa has essentially been de-funded.

    Of course we have to cut deep but it is telling when the only “superpower” now has to have russia, the EU and japan finish its space station.

  55. #52 Short of such an action history tells us that the answer is war…

    We’re slowly slipping into the same pattern of perpetual low grade imperial conflict.

  56. Cindy says:

    SG 36

    After prop 13 came Prop 98, which was to insure funding was kept up for schools – but Arnold has gotten around that recently. He now says gas taxes should be fees not tax funds.

    That way, the money does not have to be figured into the funding formula for schools. Interesting times here.

  57. veto that says:

    FDIC plans to sell $1.8 billion in asset-backed debt

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. might help restore confidence in securitization with a plan to sell $1.8 billion in guaranteed debt backed by residential mortgage assets of failed banks seized by the agency. “It will be a new issue benchmark deal where we haven’t had one in quite some time,” said Scott Buchta, a strategist at Guggenheim Capital Markets. “Even though technically it’s an agency, it’s still a new issue.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0111783120100302

  58. Shelly says:

    Question for the board. What happens to people like those who bought on Park Lane in Madison in 2006 for a number that was about 50% over market at the time? Those sellers have their home on the market for $1.9 mil, despite the fact that the house is probably worth $1.2-$1.3 mil based on the comps. How can people like that ever get out from under?

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [21] confused

    “Be interesting to see Society when the only jobs are Public.”

    We have, at least in my lifetime. It’s called commun1sm.

  60. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [47] jamil

    There is no single right answer. But it largely depends on how you derive your income and your future prospects.

    For example, virtually all my income is wage income; I have no passive assets generating a comfortable lifestyle for me. Since I cannot improve upon my situation by expatriating, and have no opportunities, I don’t.

    Best candidates for expatration continue to be those who have amassed wealth. It makes far more sense to expatriate with that wealth, pay the exit tax on gains (and with good planning, that can be minimized), and free your estate from the Death Tax, which would be considerably more onerous. Of course, your heirs should also expatriate so that they can inherit (the exit tax gets applied to inheritances from expatriates).

    Later, after the heirs have become wealthy tax free, they can apply for RA status. I can’t see the State Department getting pissy and turning away rich (and taxable) folks who want to return. Naturally, the wealth will remain in trust in other countries, free from U.S. taxation.

  61. Painhrtz says:

    One set of blue overalls please,

    Instead of propping up the zombie banks significant investment should have been made in creating industries around country wide self sufficiency. Creation of water resources, alternate fuel production (algals, drilling, etc.), and updateing the crumbling infrastructure with new technologies would have gone a long way to restarting the economy.

    Sadly I think that moment has passed.

  62. Mr Hyde says:

    Pain,

    we passed that exit on the highway to oblivion a trillion or so $ ago.

    Nom 63

    How would that scenario play out for an FX trader who was essentially a day trader and made the majority of their income from their trading not from wages?

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [605] [prev thread] Doom

    “Isn’t Maddow a rugmunch? She looks like one.”

    Yes. She is open about that. So no kid with Beck unless she dips the turkey baster in the wrong vial.

  64. Yikes says:

    grim in mod at 68. not sure why

  65. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [65] hyde

    Short term cap gains are taxed at marginal rates. So you would have the same income tax rate.

    But, if you are not self-employed, you should not have to pay FICA/FUTA on the gains.

    (don’t know for sure w/o looking it up, and this does not constitute legal advice, yadda, yadda, yadda, you know the drill).

  66. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [53] jamil

    Anyone who begins a comment with “I’m no elitist or snob” is one.

    Kinda like saying “I’m not prejudiced, but . . .”

  67. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [65] hyde,

    That, BTW, is another reason that the uber-wealthy have a lower effective tax rate than you or I. They aren’t dinged with over 8% in taxes for FICA/FUTA/NJSUI on their unearned income.

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    More canary in the coal mine moments:

    I tried to sign on to BNA at work and it didn’t recognize my log-in.

    So IT either dumped me from BNA, or dumped BNA altogether.

    Either way, it isn’t a good sign.

  69. veto that says:

    “Has anyone seen inventory numbers recently?”

    Tosh, inventory is horrible in my town. Almost no new listings have hit the market and the superbowl hase come and gone weeks ago.
    Anybody who wants to buy has very little to choose from.
    I know of at least ten homes in the last three years that were on the market at some point for a year or more but then have been pulled from the market entirely without selling.
    Plus add all the the rotting foreclosures that are not even for sale, the amount of shadow inventory out there must be staggering.

  70. cooper says:

    60- you walk away…

    http://www.youwalkaway.com/

    Shelly says:
    March 2, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Question for the board. What happens to people like those who bought on Park Lane in Madison in 2006 for a number that was about 50% over market at the time? Those sellers have their home on the market for $1.9 mil, despite the fact that the house is probably worth $1.2-$1.3 mil based on the comps. How can people like that ever get out from under?

  71. Mr Hyde says:

    Cooper,

    But that wouldn’t be moral or fair to the neighbors who might then have to deal with the fallout!!!

  72. veto that says:

    “has anyone noticed that the US no longer has an effective civilian space program. Nasa has essentially been de-funded.”

    Hyde – yes this is sad. To me, it follows along the same story of our shrinking manufacturing base and helps explain why we make inferior toasters/cars/vaccums, etc.

    NASA funding is actually pretty high right now in real inflation adjusted dollar terms compared to the last fourty years but if you look at it as a percentage of the overall fed budget, its been shrinking since apollo in 1966 and now makes up less than 1% of the total budget. This might be as a result of our defense budget having swelled so greatly over that time period.

    You would think that nasa would be a
    leading effort for the future of the country but judging from the funding, it doesnt seem like it is.

  73. lisoosh says:

    For Barbara, because NB is showing this guys efforts with its peace and tranquility…

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/03/new_brunswick_retirements_for.html

    New Brunswick to pay $1.4M to retiring six employees for vacation, sick time

    “Retirements for five police officers and one firefighter will cost the city more than $1.4 million in payouts for accumulated vacation and sick time.

    …Mayor James Cahill released details on the payouts yesterday at the same time he announced the retirement of police Director Anthony Caputo, who completed his 26-year career on Sunday.
    Peter Mangarella, the deputy director under Caputo, was named the new director starting today.
    Caputo will receive $376,234, including $265,732 for unused vacation time and $110,502 for accrued sick time. Retiring with an annual salary of $174,271, Caputo will receive a yearly pension of $115,01940, according to state officials.
    The other four officers plan to leave their jobs before April. Capt. Leslie Levine, with 27 years on the force, will receive $310,079, from the city for unused vacation and sick time. With his annual salary of $152,844, Levine will receive an annual pension of $103,933.92, according to state records.”

  74. NJGator says:

    Cindy – Our BOE released preliminary budget info this week. Their new “goal” is a 2.9% tax levy increase. They claim they are cutting $5M in expenditures to do this. There will be staff reductions to accomplish this. Proposed staff cuts in the Central Office – 5. Proposed staff cuts in the elementary schools – 33.

    The board has formally asked the teachers to consider reopening their contract in order to save jobs. To my knowledge, no such request has been made of the central office staff.

  75. Mr Hyde says:

    I would love to be a politician just to get into a high office for 1 term. I would start cutting like Mary Hatchet, then sit back and enjoy a drink as the chaos ensued.

    To paraphrase clot, “Embrace the chaos”

  76. sas says:

    lower back still hurts. I’m walking around smelling like icy hot.

    Its going to be a while before I cut a rug again on a sat night.

    SAS

  77. sas says:

    “Embrace the chaos”

    did the govt checks stop coming?

    SAS

  78. Mr Hyde says:

    SAS

    go see a good chiropractor

  79. Mr Hyde says:

    SAS

    I dont get government checks. I am one of the guys funding them whether i like it or not.

  80. “Icy hot.”

    In my sleepaway camp days, we used to put that stuff on our balls for sh1ts and giggles.

  81. Mr Hyde says:

    Stu

    Try dusting a guys jockstrap with cayenne pepper. When he starts to sweat things heat up a bit!!!

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [74] hyde

    I am working on the equity-strip, tax avoidance exit strategy for us bagholders to employ in the future (or sooner if Obama sets his gunsights on Code Section 121). Given the restrictions on property transfer to a commercial entity, I suspect that the solution is to form a an LLC with like-minded buds, sell the house to the corp. for a generous sum (thus locking in a high basis), and renting from the LLC, which converts all of the nondeductible expenses into deductible losses (that pass through to members). After a year, buy out the buds pursuant to a pre-arranged option that they hold (so they don’t lose $$$), and you become the majority owner of the LLC (save for a marginal interest with someone so you don’t become a sole member LLC). I think that this way, you avoid basis reduction rules because you didn’t really sell to yourself but to an entity that you were a minority owner of, and eventually bought out (just be careful of pesky attribution rules).

    Eventually, you “relocate” to your second home, thus keeping the first as “vacation” property that you continue to rent. This makes it appear all the more as investment property, not some sort of tax scam. You continue to “write off” the expenses that would otherwise be nondeductible. Later, when the house sells for less than you originally paid, you get a nice large capital loss to carry forward.

    To further hide the ball, you could do this on a “club” basis, with fellow “investors” getting into the act. Thus, you have 6 or 7 “partners” that all sell their houses to a series of cross-owned LLCs that they eventually control, and continue to rent them until they are sold. The presence of so many unrelated parties shelters the tax benefit from scrutiny as it appears to be a series of unrelated transactions. Later, when everyone is paid out, you unwind the entire arrangement.

    I suppose IRS could challenge this, and I have a pretty good idea how, but the seemingly innocent number of transactions, occuring over years and generating marginal losses until the realization events occur should keep it off the radar.

  83. Final Doom says:

    jamil (53)-

    Your defense of the moronic Glenn Beck only brings your own motives further into question.

    IMO, guys like you are 10x more dangerous than any of the quasi-Soci@lists out there.

    Continue following blindly.

  84. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom,

    One day i hope to earn enough to employ your creative services….

  85. fly-over says:

    ‘I will never, ever, switch to all electronic. Why, because I can’t control it. ‘

    What makes you think you are in control with paper?

  86. sas says:

    “I dont get government checks. I am one of the guys funding them whether i like it or not.”

    we all depend on the govt check or govt contracts, in one way or another. Might not be a solid line, but a dotted line.

    So, when an investment guru talks diversification, you now know he went to the wrong school.

    SAS

  87. sas says:

    “Glenn Beck”

    talk about a peckerwood.

    SAS

  88. ricky_nu says:

    Shelly #60

    either they walk away or they put it up for sale at a fantasy price, wait a year or two, then puke it up at hte market price.

    check out this one:

    16 Ivy Place, Upper Saddle River:
    sold for 7/26/2007 at 2.65mm
    resold 6/18/2009 for 1.75mm

    ouch, that will leave a mark

  89. Yikes says:

    Only got on this Beck tangent because i watched 5 minutes of his show and the guy clumsily stumbled through basic facts at his chalkboard and i wondered who the heck this clown was to be on TV/radio riling up the masses with a bunch of misinformed junk.

    (i’m not an ‘elitist.’ i know plenty of smart people who didn’t go to college. i dont think not going to college is that big a big deal. but at the same time, i dont think guys with no education should be on TV/radio shouting every g-d day about stuff they clearly are uninformed about.)

  90. Clot:

    Thanks for covering for me on the Jamil tip.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. Genocidal leaders would remain as relatively unknowns if it was not for the moronic sheeple who go along with them and their irrational ideals lock stock and barrel. Look how Obama duped the masses. Glen Beck is certainly no different.

  91. make money says:

    http://www.times-herald.com/local/Regents-propose-4-000-layoffs–dozens-of-program-cuts-76857

    Edumucation bubble bursting down south? We talked about this here.

    John,

    How are you going to play the bailout with your bond strategies?

    Ps. Glen Beck is to be viewed/listened for entertainment purposes only!!!!

  92. veto that says:

    From SGs cnbc article posted at 61:

    “it’s way past the time for ending taxpayer support of the housing market. These policies are geared toward propping up home prices, the definition of a perverse public policy. Artificially holding prices at above-market levels harms new potential buyers, from young adults starting their own households to immigrants putting down stakes in the American Dream. The subsidies wrongly delay the inevitable home market price adjustment to excess supply in many markets across the country. “I don’t see anything being gained by holding housing prices higher than the market rate,” says Dean Baker, economist and co-director of the liberal Center for Economic & Policy Research in Washington. “It is difficult to see why the government would want to pursue policies that would encourage people to pay too much for homes.”

  93. 3b says:

    #95 It is difficult to see why the government would want to pursue policies that would encourage people to pay too much for homes.”

    And there you have it all summed up in one simple sentence.

  94. Mr Hyde says:

    3b

    “I don’t see anything being gained by holding housing prices higher than the market rate,” says Dean Baker, economist and co-director of the liberal Center for Economic & Policy Research in Washington. “It is difficult to see why the government would want to pursue policies that would encourage people to pay too much for homes.”

    What does the government have to gain? Everything!!!!

    deflation of the housing bubble without a bubble of greater magnitude, or multiple bubbles of a cumulatively greater magnitude makes the US an economic disaster zone

  95. dan says:

    Glenn Beck just isn’t on at any good time for me to see him. It’s either 5pm or 2am and hopefully, I’m not still up at 2am.

    However, anyone that wants to counter the church of global warming and their need for Americans to spend trillions chasing their ecologically pure utopia by giving these whackjobs more power/control is fine with me.

  96. 3b says:

    #97 True. But if houses were genuinely affordable (along with reasonable property taxes in our area), than one could argue that people would have alot more money to go out and spend on stuff. And isn’t that what the gov’t is trying to do, get people to spend, since 70% of our economy (how sad is that?) is based on consumer consumptiom.

  97. veto that says:

    SG that msnbc piece was a good article.

    “Dump the Tax Credit Entirely
    At a minimum, the government should allow the first-time home buyer tax credit to expire on its target date of Apr. 30 , 2010 [with the purchase completed before July 1). The tax credit has already been expanded and extended past its original expiration date of Nov. 30, 2009. The Obama Administration may be under pressure from some members of Congress and advocates for beleaguered homeowners to beef up its troubled Homeowner Affordability & Stability Plan mortgage relief program, but it would be far better to scrap it altogether. The FHA should continue its recent move toward boosting its lending standards. The Fed should adhere to its plan to stop buying mortgage-backed bonds by the end of the first quarter. Longer-term, the Administration and Congress should start the process of culling the U.S. tax code of the myriad special provisions that favor housing. In a modern economy, it makes no sense for homes to get preferable tax treatment over stocks and other investments. What’s more, Canada doesn’t allow mortgage interest deductions, yet its homeownership rate is comparable to that of the U.S. To be sure, the U.S. housing market remains weak and is going through another rough patch. For instance, sales of existing homes plunged 7.2% in January. That’s on top of a revised 16.2% drop in December. New home sales plunged in the first month of the New Year to the lowest level in five decades. Mortgage applications are weak. Foreclosure projections are running in the 3 million-plus range for 2010. With a near double-digit unemployment rate, plenty of potential home buyers are wary of betting on housing at the moment.

    Crucial Yardstick
    Still, the market may not have much farther to fall. For example, by one important measure, the housing market is nearing bottom. Many factors affect the value of homes, from the health of the job market to the animal spirits of speculators. But prices in the rental market are critical. After all, rent and home ownership compete for household dollars. If rental prices are going up, owning a home becomes more attractive, and vice versa. That’s why it’s worth paying attention to a metric called the rent-to-price ratio. It measures the gap between the price of a house and the amount of rent tenants would pay to live in it. For instance, if a house priced at $283,000 would rent for $10,000 a year [$833 a month], the rent/price ratio is some 3.5%. Economists Morris Davis, Andreas Lehnert, and Robert Martin calculated that the rent/price ratio averaged 5.29% from 1960 to 1995. But from 1995 to 2006 a home buying frenzy drove the ratio down to a historically low rate of 3.5%. Davis, an economist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, says the ratio has climbed back to a recent peak of 5% in the first quarter of 2009, and in the fourth quarter of last year it was at 4.85%. Rents may trend lower, with a national rental vacancy rate of nearly 11%, close to a record high. Nevertheless, “the ratio is at its historic average,” says Davis. “Looking at that ratio, you would say that housing prices have stabilized.” In the forecasting business, everyone eventually comes back, ruefully, to Samuel Goldwyn’s famous remark, “Never make predictions, especially about the future.” The future direction of the housing market is uncertain. What is certain — and it’s the genius of a capitalist economy — is that the market adjustment will be much quicker and fairer if the government stops its efforts to prop up prices. Let the market work.”

  98. 3b says:

    #98 I am not a fan nor am I a fan of the clowns on MSNBC either. However, the idea that only college graduates can or should have an opinion on something is elitist. How many college grads even opened a book in their 4 years (or 5, or 6) And our so called best and brighest from the top schools, are responsible for much of the carnage we have today.

  99. veto that says:

    “And there you have it all summed up in one simple sentence.”

    I dont understand what took the media or our politicians so long to catch onto the fact that housing is unaffordable at these levels.

  100. Outofstater says:

    #94 University system layoffs in Georgia – coming soon to states everywhere. If we don’t have the money, we can’t pay the public employees.

  101. veto that says:

    oh – right. The unafordability was overlooked for the greater good – to save the banks. i keep forgetting that.

  102. 3b says:

    #103 Should be interesting to see the tuition rises in NJ’s state schools this year.

  103. sas says:

    “oh – right. The unafordability was overlooked for the greater good – to save the banks. i keep forgetting that.”

    yeah !! you sap. and don’t you forget it.
    now go back to work and pay my bills.

    wink wink :P
    SAS

  104. veto that says:

    105 – yeah but you mean ‘fee’ rises.
    tuition rises are capped at state schools so they call it a ‘fee’ and the increase is limitless.

  105. Mr Hyde says:

    3b 99

    You would essentially have to unwind the housing bubble, take the economic hit, then hope you could rapidly backfill the financial gap with consumer spending.

    Thats a pipe dream. Consider the lost tax receipts from lower housing prices assuming that states didn’t raise rates to make up for the loss. That lost revenue alone would be devastating to states and the FEDs.

    Such a scenario only has a hope of working if you were to somehow reduce entitlement spending at the same time you deflated the housing values.

    We also have to remember that over the last decade the majority of the increase in consumer spending came from dirt cheap credit. Income stayed essentially flat for the last decade.

    Take away the leveraged housing and you end up with higher interest rates on consumer credit which effectively shuts off the debt spigot. With incomes flat and dropping, there is not additional money to be spent on consumer goods as that money that was being spent was actually credit.

    The issue is debt saturation. The US has become saturated with debt. The only way forward is to pay it down by reducing spending in other areas, defaulting on portions of the debt, or a combination of both.

    Yes, inflation can help, but only if you have stopped accumulating new debt. Our current entitlement programs alone ensure that we will be adding additional debt at the national and state level for the foreseeable future.

  106. Final Doom says:

    veto (75)-

    I would support an investment in using NASA rockets into outer space as a death penalty tool.

    A one-way ticket on a Saturn II for Eraserhead, Bergabe, O and all the other treasonous crooks who are screwing us sideways into oblivion.

  107. Final Doom says:

    gator (77)-

    Time to check your pitchfork for sharpness.

  108. Final Doom says:

    gator (77)-

    We are only going to ram this plunger 1″-2″ up your arse.

    “Our BOE released preliminary budget info this week. Their new “goal” is a 2.9% tax levy increase.”

  109. Final Doom says:

    Hyde (78)-

    I’ve evolved from that statement.

    My new motto is: BE the chaos.

    “To paraphrase clot, “Embrace the chaos”

  110. Outofstater says:

    More on university cuts in Georgia:
    UGA – $58.9 million cut, 1418 currently filled jobs eliminated. Incoming freshman class reduced by one third.
    Georgia Tech – $38 million cut, 452 jobs eliminated along with 150-200 research positions. Incoming freshman class reduced by 20%.
    http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/colleges-outline-massive-cuts-339971.html

  111. Final Doom says:

    stater (113)-

    I bet their reductions in freshman class admissions eerily correspond to a similar-sized drop in applications.

    The last bubble is beginning to burst.

  112. NJGator says:

    Doom 111 – They are patting themselves on the back. In their budget presentation they proudly proclaim this as the “lowest tax increase in 11 years”.

    http://www.montclair.k12.nj.us/WebPageFiles/1410/budget-10-11-100301.pdf

  113. Mr Hyde says:

    I have relatives in 2 different state university administrations. The thought at both universities seems to be that “we will ride this trend out”, “its a short term fluctuation due to the recession”…..

  114. Final Doom says:

    Gator (115)-

    You’re at a point in that town where a well-placed car bomb or package bomb to the right member of the sekretariat could really be a game-changer.

  115. Final Doom says:

    hyde (116)-

    Yes, and we all know what an excellent grip on reality most US academic-types have…

    I wanna hear some putty-lips prof of English lit deconstruction ask me if I want fries with my order.

    That’s when I’ll know we’ve achieved hell on Earth.

  116. Mr Hyde says:

    doom 117

    you are clearly a much higher priority on the watchlist then me my friend!

  117. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom

    Human nature 101:

    Given the choice between pleasant illusion and an unpleasant reality, 90% of people will choose the illusion even if they know it will result in more severe consequences at a later date.

  118. Final Doom says:

    hyde (119)-

    Honestly, if I lived in a Peoples’ Republic-type town, I wouldn’t expend the energy on trying to change anything.

    I’d just leave. Most of TPTB in these places would have people living in the park and eating garbage before acknowledging that their broken nanny gubmints don’t function.

  119. Final Doom says:

    hyde (121)-

    That’s why we need to toss a couple of good wars and maybe season them with some global pandemics.

    We need to cull the population and allow about a half-century’s worth of suppressed natural selection do its work.

  120. Final Doom says:

    Kill the nitwits!

  121. Final Doom says:

    Let’s see how Montklair handles an outbreak of bubonic plague…

  122. 3b says:

    #108 Agreed/Understand. Just saying if economic recovery is predicated in consumer spending on stuff, lower prices/taxes would give more people more money. I am of course talking about potential future buyers, on the sidelines, and assuming they have reasonably decent/secure jobs. The current ones who have HELOCD/MAXED out, should be discarded. they cannot aid in any kind of recovery.

  123. Mr Hyde says:

    3b,

    i know you are well aware. just talking to the aether….

  124. Final Doom says:

    Some people are all talk. Others take action:

    MOSCOW (AP) – An independent think-tank and a rights group in Uzbekistan claim that authorities have instructed health workers to surgically sterilize women as part of a government campaign to reduce the birth rate in the authoritarian ex-Soviet nation.

    The Expert Working Group claimed Tuesday that a Health Ministry decree has ordered doctors to conduct hysterectomies on tens of thousands of women in the Central Asian nation.

    The Najot rights group reported “numerous” cases of forced sterilization in maternity hospitals where doctors allegedly sterilize women without their consent.

    Uzbek health officials did not answer repeated phone calls seeking comment.

    A human right activist who made similar allegations in 2005 was jailed for alleged anti-government actions.

  125. veto that says:

    oh gosh. is this the part of the day where ket and clot egg eachother on come up with the most extreme end-of-days scenario imagineable?

  126. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    Ever hear of salted nukes?

    a real world dooms day weapon.

    /Doomer Hyde off

  127. sas says:

    is Final Doom coming off his serotonin reuptake inhibitors?

    ha ha,
    SAS

  128. veto that says:

    “Let’s see how Montklair handles an outbreak of bubonic plague…”

    geez, and to think i would have been happy with a mere 10% decline in home prices.

  129. veto that says:

    “Ever hear of salted nukes?”

    ket, unfortunately i have not.
    but im hoping it will somehow be used to crash home prices.

  130. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde – yeah cobalt 59 fallout kill the population and vegetation with a 5 year half life. a little bit of patience and in 20 years you could have a generally good land free of those pesky enemy combatants.

  131. Mr Hyde says:

    pain,

    i hand faith you would come up with that ;)

  132. john says:

    This will require research as up to now I did not even know they had schools in Georgia.

    make money says:
    March 2, 2010 at 10:59 am
    http://www.times-herald.com/local/Regents-propose-4-000-layoffs–dozens-of-program-cuts-76857

    Edumucation bubble bursting down south? We talked about this here.

    John,

    How are you going to play the bailout with your bond strategies?

    Ps. Glen Beck is to be viewed/listened for entertainment purposes only!!!!

  133. john says:

    I personally don’t like to talk to anyone with less than a graduate degree and at least two certifications. My knowledge is profound I act without thinking in an infaliblie manner.

    3b says:
    March 2, 2010 at 11:20 am
    #98 I am not a fan nor am I a fan of the clowns on MSNBC either. However, the idea that only college graduates can or should have an opinion on something is elitist. How many college grads even opened a book in their 4 years (or 5, or 6) And our so called best and brighest from the top schools, are responsible for much of the carnage we have today.

  134. Painhrtz says:

    hyde – any time nothing like having lunch time and a nuclear chemistry book at your desk. Had to look up the components of a salted nuke though, but figured the principal had to do with a salt the earth/ poison the well strategy.

    This ties in nicely with the death of industry discussion from earlier

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-01-townhangingon_N.htm?se=yahoorefer

  135. Final Doom says:

    veto (129)-

    Truth be told, I’m of the existentialist camp on this stuff.

    Much more likely we all fade away with a X@n@xed-out, depressive whimper-and-sigh than with a five-star Gottendamerung.

  136. Final Doom says:

    hyde (130)-

    Salted nukes go great with a frosty anthrax drink.

  137. House Whine says:

    113- Georgia Tech is a Great Engineering school and quite difficult to get through successfully and it has a very good reputation. You get a quality education for the price, especially if you are from Georgia. So, it would surprise me if their applications have decreased recently. From what I recall, Georgia offers very generous college scholarships to graduation high school seniors with high GPA’s. At least, they used tol

  138. Final Doom says:

    pain (134)-

    I though cobalt 59 was a boy-band.

  139. john says:

    Overpriced bond of the year!!!!

    AMERICAN INTL GROUP INC 4.70000% 10/01/2010NT Price (Ask) 101.200
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 2.571%
    Yield to Maturity 2.570711%

  140. Final Doom says:

    Whine (141)-

    I can’t imagine that a high GPA from a GA high school is worth a plug nickel.

    “Advanced” in GA means you’re not dating your cousin.

  141. House Whine says:

    144- Talk about “elitist”.

  142. 3b says:

    #141 I can’t imagine that a high GPA from a GA high school is worth a plug nickel

    I am not sure NJ’s are worth much more.

  143. make money says:

    Is Georgia the new Greece? What’s wrong with them don’t they know you not supposed to cut education? Silly politicians won’t get re-elected for sure. John can run and win agaist these fools.

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Cut: $38.07 million

    Positions eliminated: 452

    Other: Decrease admissions by 20 percent; eliminate 150-200 research positions; increase student-faculty ratio to 24-1

    Georgia State University

    Cut: $34.12 million

    Positions eliminated: 622

    Other: Reduce freshmen and transfers by 1,000; close Brookhaven campus; eliminate 396 course sections; close Fiscal Research Center and Capitol Hill Child Enrichment Center; eliminate Georgia Health Policy Center

  144. safeashouses says:

    More doom and gloom.

    When are we going to have another move to another state/country debate?

    At least have a few greedy grubber posts or another write like John contest.

  145. Painhrtz says:

    Doom – nah that was U-238. Are you enjoying the California prelude going on in Chile?

  146. reinvestor101 says:

    It’s about damn time that the republicans stand up to these damn spend thrift liberals.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100302/ap_on_go_co/us_budget_impasse_9

    Sen Jim Bunning of Kentucky blocks the stinking liberal agenda by blocking the damn unemployment extension. These damn liberals didn’t want to pay for it and he’s forcing them to do the right damn thing.

    Unemployment benefits don’t create jobs in the first damn place and Obama wants to create a stinking welfare state. If you want a job, you can get a damn job so as far as I’m concerned, there shouldn’t be a damn extension of any damn unemployment.

    What?? My philosophy is more important than people starving? I don’t give a shlt. Let them eat cake.

  147. confused in NJ says:

    88.fly-over says:
    March 2, 2010 at 10:43 am
    ‘I will never, ever, switch to all electronic. Why, because I can’t control it. ‘

    What makes you think you are in control with paper?

    History. My Mail Statements have never failed to reach my Mail Box, in a timely manner, since inception. My Electronics have under gone at least five major disruptions since 1995.

  148. veto that says:

    “Much more likely we all fade away with a X@n@xed-out, depressive whimper-and-sigh than with a five-star Gottendamerung.”

    clot, this might be the most negative thing you ever said. a 20 yr, drawn-out, anticlimactic slog would be hell.

  149. chicagofinance says:

    grim un mod one of these

  150. dan says:

    Jamil,

    You do realize you’re a victim of ANIS or ANti-ISrael fixation syndrome…….

    | |
    | |
    | AN)(IS |
    | |

    Do you find yourself obsessed with Zionism rulers?

    Are Israelis the only performing war criminals in the world?

    Do you project a bloated sense of victimization?

  151. chicagofinance says:

    Figured it out….

    chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    March 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    The last pianist listed is my Uncle.
    Edmund Arkus, Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61.

    February 20, 2010, New York, NY – As the classical music world accelerates towards the 200th Anniversary Celebration [of the march 1st birthday] of Frederic Chopin, New York City’s Third Street Music School Settlement commits seven brilliant pianists from its roster of elite musicians to perform Friday, March 5 from 6:00-7:00 pm, at the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden. The venue is New York City’s largest year-round showcase for free visual and performing arts. “Third Street’s participation represents stellar talent from Canada, China, Jamaica, as well as this country’s West Coast and East Coast. Third Street is known for its diversity among students and its first-rate faculty, no less. Our faculty performers will rival those of any major conservatory”. said Rosemary Caviglia, Chairperson, Piano Department, Third Street Music School Settlement.

    The audacious feat of 200 hours for 200 years of Chopin is produced by none other than veteran broadcaster and music producer Jim Luce, who has 17 years of Caramoor Jazz Festival, and other major jazz documentaries for PRI, The WFMT Radio Network and NPR, including the definitive Peabody Award-winning series on Miles Davis in 2001 to his credit.

    Polish born Frédéric Chopin, (1810-1849) was among the most gifted composers and pianists who ever lived. He was tutored at home until the age of 13 then continued his studies under Polish pianist, violinist, teacher, and composer Wojciech Zywny. It was his performance of Ignaz Moscheles’ work that he entranced the audience with his free improvisation and earned the title “best pianist in Warsaw.” He embarked on an extensive European tour, arriving in Paris in 1831 where he composed many of the masterpieces that are often described as the richest and most influential legacy left to the piano repertoire by any individual composer.

    Third Street Music School Settlement bevy of extraordinary pianists include:

    Michael Crane, Polonaise in F-sharp Minor, Op. 44. A laureate of several piano competitions including the Joanna Hodges Piano Competition, one of the world’s major piano competitions, and the Grace Welsh Prize in Piano. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. His mentors include luminaries like legendary pedagogue Daniel Pollack, whom the New York Times describes as “one of the remaining few pianist today with a sublime link to the golden age of piano.” He has also studied under Boris Berman and has appeared in master classes with, Richard Goode, Claude Frank, and the late Alicia De Larrocha.

    Among his recent performances include stints with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Society, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York City, the St. Stephens Concert Series at St. Stephen’s Church in Cohasset, Massachusetts, and a holiday engagement at the Empire State Building. He has presented chamber music recitals with the members of the Los Angeles-based Camerata Pacifica. He is a member, Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society and the Music Teacher’s National Association. For more information visit

    Sarah Silverman, Deux Nocturnes, Op. 55, Nos. 1 and 2. B.M., Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music; M.M., Manhattan School of Music. She studies with notable pedagogues as James Anagnoson & Daniel Epstein. She took master classes with John O’Conor, John Perry, Marilyn Engle, Warren Jones & Julian Martin. Her vocal and jazz studies were under auspices of Luciana Souza and Peter Eldridge. She has presented solo and collaborative performances in New York and Canada. She is a teaching artist for the Lincoln Center Institute and Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music. She performs regularly in New York. For more information at

    Esther Lee Kaplan, Three Mazurkas, Op. 17, No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 24, No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 7, No. 2 in A minor Waltz in E minor (posthumous). M.M., University of Southern California. She received her early musical training with Ethel Leginska, John Crown and Adele Marcus. She later received a scholarship at The Juilliard School and studied with Rosina Lhevinne and Irwin Freundlich. She has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philarmonic Orchestra and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony. She performs extensively as soloist and chamber musician. She was a former faculty of the University of Southern California. She is a reording artist under the Cambria Records label.

    Ming Fong, Two Etudes, Op. 25, No. 1 in A-flat Major. Op. 25, No. 19 in B Minor. B.M., University of Kansas, M.M., Rice University. He received additional studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. His mentors include A. Slobodyanik, John Perry, Claude Frank and Jack Winerock. He performed throughout China and the U.S., including performances at Weill Recital Hall, Caramoor, Steinway Hall, Aspen Music Festival and the Great Hall of People in Beijing. Faculty, Music Conservatory of Westchester.

    Mary Jo Pagano, Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23. pianist and Chamber Music Program Director. D.M.A., Manhattan School of Music. She studied under pedagogue Leon Fleisher, Constance Keene, Eugene Pridonoff, and James Ruccolo. she is a winner of the Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition, and De Jon Young Artists Competition. She has performed as soloist with numerous regional orchestras;, and has embarked on national tours with the Royale Trio. She is a former faculty of the Slippery Rock University, Kinhaven Summer Music School. Her music pursuits include Scholar/performer on PBS telecourse, As well as Exploring the World of Music. She is the author of The History of the Third Street Music School Settlement: The Dual Identity of the Original Music School Settlement.

    Paul Shaw, Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, Op. 47. B.M., M.M., D.M.A., The Juilliard School. Winner, William Kapell International Piano Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Performances at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Beethovenhalle, Marlboro Music Festival. Creator of Picturecital: Classical Music in Living Color; Piano Talent on Parade television program. Recordings: Live from New York, It’s Paul Shaw; James P. Johnson’s stride piano classic Yamekraw; currently engaged in multi-disc exploration of his Caribbean musical heritage. Member, Chamber Music Minnesota Governing Board. Associate Professor of Piano, University of Minnesota.

    Edmund Arkus, Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61. B.S. and M.S., The Juilliard School. His mentors include pedagogues Rosina Lhevinne, Wolfgang Rose. Chamber music studies: Louis Persinger, William Kroll. Contemporary music studies with Stefan Wolpe. He had Solo performances in U.S. and Japan. He has had collaborative with Keisuke Wakao, Assistant Principal Oboist of the Boston Symphony, and chamber performances with Berlin Philharmonic Quartet, members of Orchestre de Paris, NHK Orchestra, Boston Symphony. Radio broadcasts on WNYC, WFUV, WQXR; live broadcasts on NPR, BBC. He has taught master classes in New York, Ogaki, Tokyo, Nagoya. Former faculty, Queens College.

    Third Street Music School Settlement, the nation’s oldest community music school, was founded in 1894 by Emilie Wagner, who believed that music could offer the impoverished immigrants of New York’s Lower East Side some respite from their daily struggles.

    Today, more than a century later, Third Street serves more than 3,500 students each year both at the School and through its MILES (Music Instruction on the Lower East Side) Program in the public schools, where it reaches a sizeable immigrant population and hundreds of children who lack affordable options for quality training in the arts. A generous program of tuition assistance, scholarships and program subsidies benefits three-quarters of all students served.

    Third Street is dedicated to providing quality arts instruction to young people who might otherwise never learn to sing, play an instrument or perform before an audience. The School is also widely recognized as a training center for serious music students. In an environment that honors achievement, creativity and personal growth, Third Street nurtures the aspirations of all students, regardless of their artistic ability or economic circumstances, while inspiring in each of them a life-long love of the arts, no matter their eventual career path. Each student is carefully matched to a member of the School’s talented, dedicated faculty.

    Program offerings at Third Street include weekly after-school and Saturday music instruction (group and individual) in most instruments and voice, along with theory, composition, ensemble and performance activities. It also offers classes in ballet and tap dance, as well as workshops in drawing, painting, collage and ceramics. In addition to its after-school and Saturday programs, Third Street offers a range of preschool arts activities, including a licensed nursery program. The School also provides music instruction to adults of all ages and levels, and presents more than 250 free, public concerts and recitals by students, faculty and guest artists every year.

    We are located at: Third Street Music School Settlement, 235 East 11th St., New York, NY 10003, (212) 777-3240 ext. 555.

  152. Final Doom says:

    veto (152)-

    Sorry. The motto for Final Doom of Oblivion is not “Have It Your Way”.

    Within a thick mist of SSRI-induced ennui is how it all fades to black.

  153. make money says:

    ChiFi,

    What the FCUK?

  154. Final Doom says:

    Isn’t Albania where they came up with the phrase, “don’t shoot the piano player”?

  155. Final Doom says:

    …hand me those pliers…

  156. Final Doom says:

    More evidence of our Ponzi nation:

    “There is a great buzz in the marketplace about new private equity funds being raised to invest in failed banks. The story goes something like this: We are organizing a fund led by the former heads of federal regulatory agencies with big time connections in Washington. These DC players are going to get a front-row seat to play in the sales process for failed banks being run by the FDIC. These funds claim that FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair is giving assets away for nothing and we are all going to make a lot of money in that old fashioned Washington way, namely slopping at the public trough. Unfortunately none of the above is true and many of these “offerings” are misleading or fraudulent.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/newest-investment-scam-wall-street-investing-funds-acquire-failed-banks

  157. Shore Guy says:

    “rugmunch”

    Huh? Is that like a munchkin? Is she a really short woman?

  158. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [137] john

    “My knowledge is profound I act without thinking in an infaliblie manner.”

    This from the guy who didn’t know there were schools in Georgia, and is most in need of spell-check of anyone on this board.

    Welcome to the Johniverse.

  159. Shore Guy says:

    “Mary Hatchet”

    Sister of Molly?

  160. Shore Guy says:

    “Their new “goal” is a 2.9% tax levy increase”

    Gator,

    Cuting to the bone I see. Oh, BTW, was CPI about half that number?

  161. New in NJ says:

    I thought that cobalt 59 was a malt liquor.

  162. Shore Guy says:

    When are our elected officials going to get the message, ability to pay is not THE standard. Just because residents still have some blood left in them does not mean that the goal should eb to extract the last drop.

  163. Final Doom says:

    Shore (166)-

    The real fun starts when the gubmint lickspittles storm the ramparts in search of their lost benefits.

    Then, they’ll get to learn what it’s like- literally- to be bled dry.

    Watching the Nat’l Guard shoot a crowd of lard-assed DMV clerks full of pepper spray and rubber bullets will be more fun than going to an all-Albanian tractor pull.

  164. chicagofinance says:

    Why would they sell? If they bought 4 years ago, I assume that they bought it for a lifetime.

    Shelly says:
    March 2, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Question for the board. What happens to people like those who bought on Park Lane in Madison in 2006 for a number that was about 50% over market at the time? Those sellers have their home on the market for $1.9 mil, despite the fact that the house is probably worth $1.2-$1.3 mil based on the comps. How can people like that ever get out from under?

  165. Painhrtz says:

    safe here is a greedy gruber story for you

    just bid on a house listed at 450 offer was 400K. Owner stated they had 4 other offers and was going to counter. Never did, cited personnel reasons, wasn’t taking any more offers and pulled the house.

    bought 340K 2004, not carrying a mortgage and some updates, but nothing spectacular cut corners in a lot of places. We liked the house hence the high bid.

    If I was to hazard a guess the significant other was pissed at the “low offers” and decided not to move the family. I bet dollar for donuts it is relisted after the school year comes to a close. Bet they get a healthy dose of reality then with no more tax credit and tightened FHA standards.

  166. Shore Guy says:

    “Ever hear of salted nukes?”

    Oh yea. Frito Lay makes them. Tehey also make a reduced-fat and reduced-sodium version.

  167. Outofstater says:

    #141 The Hope Scholarship pays for tuition, fees and $300 towards books at any state college or university in Georgia for any student who graduates from a Georgia high school with a 3.0 or better. The student must maintain at least a 3.0 to retain the scholarship. The program is funded by the state lottery.

  168. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [92] yikes

    “i dont think guys with no education should be on TV/radio shouting every g-d day about stuff they clearly are uninformed about.”

    What if they have an education but are still shouting every G-D day about stuff they are clearly uninformed about? You can get that anywhere.

    Should we continue to lionize H.L. Mencken, who never attended college? Or Ben Bradlee, of an eminent Mass. family and prep schools, but never went to college? Should we consider Bob Woodward better than Edward R. Murrow because Woodward went to Yale, while Murrow bounced around three obscure colleges?

    I have three degrees (two of them law degrees), but that doesn’t stop Schabadoo, PGC, and occasionally Lisoosh, plg, and Essex from telling me I am full of it.

  169. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Tax News of the Day:

    The IRS actually acquiesed in something!

    “The Internal Revenue Service said March 2 it has made an administrative determination to accept the position that medical residents are excepted from Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes based on the student exception for tax periods ending before April 1, 2005, when new IRS regulations went into effect, according to a news release (IR-2010-25).

    The IRS will, within 90 days, begin contacting hospitals, universities and medical residents who filed FICA (Social Security and Medicare tax) refund claims for these periods with more information and procedures, the release said.”

    Guess Obama doesn’t want to tick off new doctors any more than he already has.

  170. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [163] shore

    “Sister of Molly?”

    John dated her once. Said he was flirting with disaster.

  171. chicagofinance says:

    “I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man.” Marion Barry

    john says:
    March 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I personally don’t like to talk to anyone with less than a graduate degree and at least two certifications. My knowledge is profound I act without thinking in an infaliblie manner.

    3b says:
    March 2, 2010 at 11:20 am
    #98 I am not a fan nor am I a fan of the clowns on MSNBC either. However, the idea that only college graduates can or should have an opinion on something is elitist. How many college grads even opened a book in their 4 years (or 5, or 6) And our so called best and brighest from the top schools, are responsible for much of the carnage we have today.

  172. john says:

    Funny, I took a speed-reading class once and was the fastest reader in 20 years and could even read faster than teacher. Explanation was I could care less about spelling, knowing what words mean, or even if I skip whole paragraphs. My mind also automatically skipped every And, The, An,This type of useless words. This was mastered via large amounts of ADD, hypereractivity, and reading whole text books within one hour of finals. Students with high GPAs can and will never master art of reading a law textbook at the rate of 3 seconds a page. My mind absorbs the basic concepts at a 75% rate which gets me a C+ with a few minutes of work, while the A student grudges along for months on end. Hence in trading, my conclusions about a set of financials and detailed analyst report can be reached in under two seconds allowing me to act quickly, spelling and grammer is a useless art form.

    Chifi is much much much smarter than me. Yet he poured through AIG, Citi and Ford financials and concluded not to buy their bonds, my lightening fast mind, read three sentences when blank via homer simpson type of moment and said, TBTF, buy buy buy. Uncle Sam is propping these puppies up.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    March 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    [137] john

    “My knowledge is profound I act without thinking in an infaliblie manner.”

    This from the guy who didn’t know there were schools in Georgia, and is most in need of spell-check of anyone on this board.

    The other thing that confuses me about Georgia is what happens if a couple from down south gets married in Georgia and then moves to New York where they get divorced, are they still brother and sister?

    Welcome to the Johniverse.

  173. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [166] shore

    Actually, that is, and will forever be, the standard.

    You can read scholarly articles on tax policy until the cows come home. When you reduce them to the irreducible, they all try to justify that very premise, that taxation is based on ability to pay. The circular logic, and strained reasoning that goes into justifying that premise is sometimes so laughable as to be tragic, but there it is, for all to see. It is the premise underlying all forms of taxation.

  174. john says:

    Chifi, I will see you August 1st, MBI had some good numbers yesterday and ABK is in same business.

  175. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [176] chfi

    Better known for “I’m the luckiest man alive.” Marion Barry.

  176. chicagofinance says:

    make: the side of my family from Vilnius that was liquidated by Hitler….

    #
    make money says:
    March 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm
    ChiFi,
    What the FCUK?
    #
    Final Doom says:
    March 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    Isn’t Albania where they came up with the phrase, “don’t shoot the piano player”?

  177. Barbara says:

    worse thing about beck is how completely convinced he is that he’s super clever and ironic. He’s like that one guy in your crowd that everyone just kind of tolerates.

  178. Anon E. Moose says:

    152.veto that says:
    March 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    clot, this might be the most negative thing you ever said. a 20 yr, drawn-out, anticlimactic slog would be hell.

    Only to question… would be?

  179. chicagofinance says:

    #
    john says:
    March 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm
    Chifi is much much much smarter than me. Yet he poured through AIG, Citi and Ford financials and concluded not to buy their bonds, my lightening fast mind, read three sentences when blank via homer simpson type of moment and said, TBTF, buy buy buy. Uncle Sam is propping these puppies up.

    JJ: No “he” said to buy AAPL at 88; GOOG at 290; GLD at 87; and BAC at 6.

  180. sas says:

    about Univ system of Georgia..

    did they receive any stimulus funds?

    shows you whats down the pike for many major univ systems that got the one time stimulus funds, postponing the inevitable.

    many more shoes will fall.

    not good.
    SAS

  181. sas says:

    “AstraZeneca Shuffles, Eliminates Del. R&D Jobs
    says restructuring will affect 3,500 R&D jobs, with 1,800 to be cut”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=9988423

  182. NJGator says:

    Shore 164 – Y’all will want good seats to watch the revolt. 2.9% is the “levy” increase. Not only does that not include the costs of the new school, but it also cleverly masks the fact that this will be more than a 4% rate increase in the school tax rate. Many, many people had successful tax appeals in Montclair last year. The rate increase will probably be at least 4% if not more. Those who did not appeal will pay through the nose.

    Oh, and even with that tax rate, I don’t think we are fully funding our municipal pension obligation this year.

  183. sas says:

    “AstraZeneca Shuffles”

    meaning, it shipped them off to China.

    SAS

  184. make money says:

    http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20100227/UPDATES01/100226117/N.J.+colleges+spend+millions+lobbying+federal+government

    The best investment in 2008-09 has to be lobbying Washington. GA is too stupid to follow the king.

  185. sas says:

    I’m calling it right now.
    There will come a time in your lifetime that if you want to plant a garden in your backyard for food purposes, you best pony up and pay the state govt “permit” in order to do so, if not, you are fined by x amount.

    “NM lawmakers to consider sales tax increase”
    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9E61BD00.htm

  186. sas says:

    “shows you whats down the pike for many major univ systems that got the one time stimulus funds, postponing the inevitable”

    like I said earlier, what happens when the govt check run out? diversification anyone? ha ha.. there is no such thing.

    SAS

  187. House Whine says:

    182- Beck- I can’t even “tolerate” him. I hear his voice and he makes me cringe. Can’t believe he is still on the telly, and in prime time and on the radio.

  188. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom[178];

    Like pricing in any other business, their goal is to maximize revenue. Laffer figured out that above certain rates, you reduce revenue. The funny thing about the Laffer curve is that reducing tax burden on individuals was merely a side effect — the goal of reducing marginal rates is to increase revenue, through increased activity and increased compliance/reduced avoidance strategies that would no longer justify their own dead weight transaction costs.

    Starving the beast is another matter entirely from reducing rates.

  189. fly-over says:

    ‘This from the guy who didn’t know there were schools in Georgia, and is most in need of spell-check of anyone on this board.’

    Watch out, your irony detector may need a tune-up.

  190. sas says:

    back to that NYT article/link:
    “Preparing for the Inevitable Bursting Bubble”

    this is how you prepare:
    you invest in your health & family & friends.

    because
    a) you can’t afford to get sick (even if you do have health insurance)
    b) family & friends are the only one whom will take care of your sorry, pathetic ass when your old.

    so, when you see these types of cutsie tootsie written by the so called financial experts, you know they don’t know jack shilt other than just trying to keep the shell game going in order to collect a fee, from you.. the gullible sap.

    SAS

  191. sas says:

    “this is how you prepare:”

    oh yeah. stocking piling helps. hedges against inflation.

    stockpile nonfood items, maybe do some canning of food. things of that nature.

    SAS

  192. skep-tic says:

    #72

    “Tosh, inventory is horrible in my town. Almost no new listings have hit the market and the superbowl hase come and gone weeks ago.
    Anybody who wants to buy has very little to choose from.”

    I agree that inventory seems to be very thin in desireable areas. My impression is that there is actually a little boomlet in contracts right now due to the coming expiration of the tax credit (supposedly) and rates a little over 5%. The lack of inventory seems to be contributing to a sense of urgency among people who are looking.

  193. August 1st, 2010. A day that will live in infamy. I’ll bring the Vidalias.

  194. dan says:

    In the medium or long term, the scoreboard or TV ratings will tell whether he’s full of it or not of if people like the content. Like it or not, that’s why FOX has been going up over the years and MSNBC has tanked. Beck may go the way of Arsenio or Morton Downey but on the other hand, he may end up with ratings like O’Reilly.

  195. House (192):
    “Can’t believe he is still on the telly, and in prime time and on the radio.”

    Just wait until he gets caught abusing Oxycodone. Then his ratings will go through the roof. Finally, his followers will be able to relate to him.

  196. Painhrtz says:

    SAS already looking at a pressure canner for this years garden and some canning books. Everything that is old is new again. I am also trying to get my hands on wine and beer making supplies. Just because the world comes to an end doesn’t mean I should suffer.

  197. 3b says:

    #197 It is a dead zone in my Bergen blue ribbon train town.

  198. john says:

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

    This is why NJ is going to hell in a handbasket.

  199. jamil says:

    128 final doom: “Some people are all talk. Others take action:
    MOSCOW (AP) – An independent think-tank and a rights group in Uzbekistan claim that authorities have instructed health workers to surgically sterilize women as part of a government campaign to reduce the birth rate in the ”

    Well, there is this one guy in the US who publicly advocated forced sterilizations in the US for the exact same reason. Thank god he is not in any powerful position in the US. Oh, wait, he is current White House Science Advisor..

    (btw, this was exposed by Beck – State Media refused to report it. This is a good example why Beck and Fox News is popular. As long as State Media is not in the news business, there is a huge market for actual news.)

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/21/obamas-science-czar-considered-forced-abortions-sterilization-population-growth/

  200. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ

    How Milton Friedman Saved Chile

    OPINION: GLOBAL VIEW MARCH 1, 2010, 9:39 P.M. ET

    Milton Friedman gave Chileans the intellectual wherewithal first to survive the quake, and
    now to build their lives anew.

    By BRET STEPHENS

    Milton Friedman has been dead for more than three years. But his spirit was surely hovering protectively
    over Chile in the early morning hours of Saturday. Thanks largely to him, the country has endured a tragedy
    that elsewhere would have been an apocalypse.
    Earthquake magnitudes are measured on a logarithmic scale. The earthquake that hit Northridge in 1994
    measured 6.7 on the Richter scale. But its seismic-energy yield was only half that of the 7.0 quake that hit
    Haiti in January, which was the equivalent of 2,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs exploding all at once.
    By contrast, Saturday’s earthquake in Chile measured 8.8. That’s nearly 500 times more powerful than
    Haiti’s, or about one million Hiroshimas. Yet Chile’s reported death toll—711 as of this writing—was a tiny
    fraction of the 230,000 believed to have perished in Haiti.
    It’s not by chance that Chileans were living in houses of brick—and Haitians in houses of straw—when the
    wolf arrived to try to blow them down. In 1973, the year the proto-Chavista government of Salvador Allende
    was overthrown by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chile was an economic shambles. Inflation topped out at an
    annual rate of 1000%, foreign-currency reserves were totally depleted, and per capita GDP was roughly that
    of Peru and well below Argentina’s.
    What Chile did have was intellectual capital, thanks to an exchange program between its Catholic University
    and the economics department of the University of Chicago, then Friedman’s academic home. Even before
    the 1973 coup, several of Chile’s “Chicago Boys” had drafted a set of policy proposals which amounted to an
    off-the-shelf recipe for economic liberalization: sharp reductions to government spending and the money
    supply; privatization of state-owned companies; the elimination of obstacles to free enterprise and foreign
    investment, and so on.
    In left-wing mythology—notably Naomi Klein’s tedious 2007 screed “The Shock Doctrine”—the Chicago Boys
    weren’t just strange bedfellows to Pinochet’s dictatorship. They were complicit in its crimes. “If the pure
    Chicago economic theory can be carried out in Chile only at the price of repression, should its authors feel
    some responsibility?” wrote New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis in October 1975. In fact, Pinochet had
    been mostly indifferent to the Chicago Boys’ advice until the continuing economic crisis forced him to look
    for some policy alternatives. In March 1975, he had a 45-minute meeting with Friedman and asked him to
    write a letter proposing some remedies. Friedman responded a month later with an eight-point proposal that
    largely mirrored the themes of the Chicago Boys.

    For his trouble, Friedman would spend the rest of his life being defamed as an accomplice to evil: at his
    Nobel Prize ceremony the following year, he was met by protests and hecklers. Friedman himself couldn’t
    decide whether to be amused or annoyed by the obloquies; he later wryly noted that he had given communist
    dictatorships the same advice he gave Pinochet, without raising leftist hackles.
    As for Chile, Pinochet appointed a succession of Chicago Boys to senior economic posts. By 1990, the year he
    ceded power, per capita GDP had risen by 40% (in 2005 dollars) even as Peru and Argentina stagnated.
    Pinochet’s democratic successors—all of them nominally left-of-center—only deepened the liberalization
    drive. Result: Chileans have become South America’s richest people. They have the continent’s lowest level of
    corruption, the lowest infant-mortality rate, and the lowest number of people living below the poverty line.
    Chile also has some of the world’s strictest building codes. That makes sense for a country that straddles two
    massive tectonic plates. But having codes is one thing, enforcing them is another. The quality and consistency
    of enforcement is typically correlated to the wealth of nations. The poorer the country, the likelier people are
    to scrimp on rebar, or use poor quality concrete, or lie about compliance. In the Sichuan earthquake of 2008,
    thousands of children were buried under schools also built according to code.
    In “The Shock Doctrine,” Ms. Klein titles one of her sub-chapters “The Myth of the Chilean Miracle.” In her
    reading, the only thing Friedman and the Chicago Boys accomplished was to “hoover wealth up to the top
    and shock much of the middle class out of existence.” Actual Chileans of all classes—living in the aftermath of
    an actual shock—may take a different view of Friedman, who helped give them the wherewithal first to
    survive the quake, and now to build their lives anew.

  201. john says:

    Real question is how much did you buy in your own trading account, how much do you still own and what is your exit price. None of these investments really pay a dividend so you need to get out at some point.

    My big regret is not buying FITB, AXL, GNW, UIS, F and XL. Those are all up 1,000% in last 12 months. Your picks are kinda boring. Goog is only up 100%. and APPL and BAC is barely 300%.

    300% sounds like a lot, but my UIS, GNW and F bonds all did 300% last year. I think you need to show me 500% return on investment in your stock picking skills. Heck my hasdic friends make 40% monthly in the garment/jewelry district factoring business. They are banging out 480%.

    JJ: No “he” said to buy AAPL at 88; GOOG at 290; GLD at 87; and BAC at 6.

  202. Anon E. Moose says:

    Fm [203]:

    “What makes a real man? Well, a real man is independent. A real man has a pickup. A real man has a dog. A real man has a rifle. A real man has a pickup, a dog, a rifle, and a wife who’s a teacher.”

    Post of the Day to John.

  203. Barbara says:

    204.
    jamil,
    I call bullshit. If there was ANY red meat here for republican, they would have taken it. Why not? They’ve done it with everything else. Something tells me that the context is off, this book isn’t what Fox wants you to think it is.

  204. Oh Jamil,

    I really do feel for you. The day you realize how much time you have wasted on maintaining your Foxnews decoder ring status, you will have wished they really were teabaggers.

  205. jamil says:

    92 Yikes “Only got on this Beck tangent because i watched 5 minutes of his show and the guy clumsily stumbled through basic facts at his chalkboard and i wondered who the heck this clown was to be on TV/radio riling up the masses with a bunch of misinformed junk.
    (i’m not an ‘elitist.”

    Well, you are a textbook example of an out of touch liberal elitist snob. You cannot debate on the merits, you can only do character assasinations and declare non-liberals either morons, racists or both.

    I don’t particularly care about Beck, but he is popular because he reports things that are true and State Media refuses to cover. Another example that comes to my mind is Van Jones. Beck easily found out Van Jones admitting in his own words that he a communist, 9/11 truther who believed US government was behind 9/11 and he stated that white people are poisoning black people. Given that he was top-ranking WH official in charge of billions of dollars, this is certainly newsworthy.

    For one full week, State Media refused to even mention this. Only after Van Jones resigned NYT reported about this. Liberal people who only got the news from NYT have never heard about the controversy before the resignation. Of course, you and your liberal buddies insist that this is “all lies” yet they cannot point out anything that was a lie. Van Jones is himself on the record stating these things.

  206. Final Doom says:

    whine (192)-

    I think it’s very likely Beck will either get shot by somebody or his network will just cancel him the minute his act starts to bore his audience of mouth-breathing knuckle draggers.

  207. veto that says:

    “Just bid on a house listed at 450k offer was 400K. bought 340K 2004, some updates, but nothing spectacular.”

    Pain – 170
    A $400k offer seems very high for this situation. very high.
    These sellers are obviously searching for a sucker.
    Was this you that made this offer?

  208. jamil says:

    Stu: Maybe you should join the “Coffee Party”. New York Times just had a positive article how great this new liberal grassroots organization is.

    Of course, they “forgot” to mention that the Coffee Party leader is not just a some ordinary fed up citizen but the head of Obama’s fundraising campaign and former Strategy Analyst for New York Times.

  209. Painhrtz says:

    Veto I know it was high, we liked the house it sat on almost and acre and taxes were below 7500. so we were willing to overpay. We weren’t moving above 400K. they were definately fishing for a knife catcher. glad it wasn’t me

  210. Jamil,

    I do not need to join a party. I can think for myself. I need not be spoon-fed diarrhea like Jamil.

  211. Barbara says:

    I still think most people join political organizations to hook up.

  212. “I still think most people join political organizations to hook up.”

    In that case, Jamil must be into the aged.

  213. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain [214];

    The good news I draw from your episode: seller’s used house hack worked (such that it was) for naught and goes home to yet another night of Ramen Pride as reward for their poor judgment in stroking the sellers’ delusion. Sooner or later even an industry as dense as that one will get the point.

  214. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    85.

    MMMM MMM MMMM. That plan is the moment Ive been waiting for. It is the last contingency plan I need to make. Thanks for your efforts.

  215. cooper says:

    I take it back Mr. Hyde, your right my moral compass was off
    ;)

    Mr Hyde says:
    March 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Cooper,

    But that wouldn’t be moral or fair to the neighbors who might then have to deal with the fallout!!!

  216. chicagofinance says:

    john says:
    March 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Real question is how much did you buy in your own trading account

    Not how much….what….
    http://www.midasmedici.com/

  217. Yikes says:

    trying to find a good free website to read about SUVs (looking into leasing for business), anyone have any advice?

    my keys: ability in snow (4 WD), gas mileage, safety.

    i know this is a car-loving crowd, help a commenter out!

  218. njescapee says:

    Yikes, edmunds.com is a good resource

  219. Anon E. Moose says:

    Good news for Realtors! Employment prospects through the end of the 2010!

    http://christopherfountain.com/2010/03/02/attention-realtors/

  220. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    “Watching the Nat’l Guard shoot a crowd of lard-assed DMV clerks full of pepper spray and rubber bullets will be more fun than going to an all-Albanian tractor pull.”

    Quote of the day

  221. veto that says:

    “I know it was high, we liked the house it sat on almost and acre and taxes were below 7500. so we were willing to overpay.”

    Pain, a year ago i could see you bidding high because there was a lot of uncertainty with all the govt prop up programs.

    But now we are starting to see new lows on the CS indeces, and we are finally starting to see some distressed homes selling at 2001-02 prices here and there. On top of that, the prop up programs are ending, rates are going to 5.5% and a huge new wave of foreclosures are coming to your neighborhood within six months.

    Nobody really knows for sure if prices will start to stabilize from here, start to go up or continue to go down another 50% in NJ but when you consider all the facts, any moron can tell you with 100% absolute certainty that this is definately not the time to throw in the towel and pay 2005 prices.

    Whether you fell in love with the house or not a good reason to overpay by that much.

    Find a good deal first and then i guarantee you will fall in love with the payments even more.

  222. Final Doom says:

    skep (197)-

    Yeah. All four of them.

    “The lack of inventory seems to be contributing to a sense of urgency among people who are looking.”

    RE is dead for at least 20 years. Increasingly, I’m leaning toward moving my call out to 40 years.

  223. Final Doom says:

    stu (200)-

    Also, just like the pillhead Limbaugh, Beck will never die.

    I’ll never retire, just because I dread being trapped in some facility and having to sit with all the other feebed-out residents, watching this crankball a-hole blather on about nothing.

  224. njescapee says:

    Doom, Beck’s subliminal message is don’t tax me. so he’s pursuing his own self interest. same with Cavuto. all the other cr-p is just noise.

  225. Final Doom says:

    jamil (204)-

    I’m a staunch advocate of anything that keeps you from reproducing.

  226. Final Doom says:

    nj (229)-

    Yep. A simpleton, with a simple idea, cloaked in the robe of profundity.

    He has a lot of air time to fill.

  227. Firestormik says:

    I just got back from health benefits meeting. 17% raise in premium for the company and 200% employee contribution raise. My salary was just effectively reduced by 10%.

  228. john says:

    I seen better looking management teams at
    a crack house at 3am. What is that company. Is it publicly traded.

    chicagofinance says:
    March 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm
    john says:
    March 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Real question is how much did you buy in your own trading account

    Not how much….what….
    http://www.midasmedici.com/

  229. jamil says:

    208 Barbara:
    “jamil,
    I call bullshit. I”

    Well, this is typical reaction when liberal is faced with facts. Unable to provide any actual counter-facts, they can only retort to attacking the person (rather than facts) or just calling everything wrong/bs/racist.

    Btw, here is an excerpt about that WH Science Advisor:

    “President Obama’s “science czar,” John Holdren, once floated the idea of forced abortions, “compulsory sterilization,” and the creation of a “Planetary Regime” that would oversee human population levels and control all natural resources as a means of protecting the planet — controversial ideas his critics say should have been brought up in his Senate confirmation hearings.

    But many of Holdren’s radical ideas on population control were not brought up at his confirmation hearings; it appears that the senators who scrutinized him had no knowledge of the contents of a textbook he co-authored in 1977, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” a copy of which was obtained by FOXNews.com.”

    You can obtain copy from the library and see yourself.

  230. Final Doom says:

    fire (233)-

    You’re gonna have to steal a lot of office supplies to balance that out.

  231. veto that says:

    john, chi,
    looks like a nigerian pyramid scheme.

  232. NJGator says:

    Firestormik 233 – Did they also sneak in increased copays and deductibles? Welcome to my world.

  233. veto that says:

    If you saw this home, you wouldnt believe that they are asking 250K.
    It about 10 feet back from a 50MPH road, surrounded by trailers in the middle of nowhere.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/745-Route-524_Upper-Freehold_NJ_08501_1116030502

  234. Firestormik says:

    NJ,
    They did it last year, forcing me to switch from low plan to high.

  235. veto that says:

    This is not a bad mini-compound. 21 acres in central nj for 500k.
    It looks like something out of Lost, which they would refer to as, the shack.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/758-Province-Line-Rd_Allentown_NJ_08501_1112719548

  236. Jamil's Twin says:

    Well, this is typical reaction when liberal is faced with facts

    All the facts right here, my brother –

    http://scienceblogs.com/bioephemera/2009/07/description_misrepresented_as.php

    Wow. Here’s another inexcusable case of bad science journalism – one that clearly has political motives. This is the lede from a story by Amanda Carpenter in this morning’s Washington Times:

    President Obama’s top science adviser has toyed with extreme measures of population control, even suggesting in one book how to make it more publicly acceptable for the government to spike drinking water in order to sterilize people.

    Wow! That would be quite a shocker – if it were true.

    Honestly, this “news” article goes off the rails so hard in its first paragraph, I barely know where to start! First off, it turns out that Carpenter is referring not to any new federal policies espoused by Holdren, but to a 1977 ecoscience textbook that Holdren co-wrote with Anne and Paul Ehrlich:

    John P. Holdren, named as Mr. Obama’s science “czar” earlier this year, described this in a book he wrote with Paul Ehrlich — author of the “Population Bomb,” which predicted masses would starve due to exploitation of resources through the 1980s — about the world’s rapidly increasing population. In the 1977 tome “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” Mr. Holdren and Mr. Ehrlich, in addition to Mr. Ehrlich’s wife, Anne, considered various ways to keep growth in check.

    So what’s actually going on here is that in a textbook about population and resources, Holdren and his coauthors talked about hypothetical population control policies. Wow, that’s so . . . completely necessary! What kind of textbook would it have been if they hadn’t talked about such obvious issues – especially given that nations like China and Singapore were already using population control policies, and China was on the verge of putting its one-child policy into effect? A pretty useless textbook, that’s what.

    The sad thing here is that Carpenter’s story, like the extremist blog post that appears to be her only source (which I’ll discuss later), doesn’t recognize the distinction between talking about something and endorsing something. That distinction is absolutely central to science: science is all about discussing, testing, and evaluating many possibilities – hypotheses – until the evidence endorses one hypothesis over the others. It’s also central to policy, in which multiple policy options are described prior to one being recommended. In fact, this distinction is central to all academic fields. Does a historian comparing the draconian regimes of Hitler, Mussolini and Kim Jong Il automatically support totalitarianism? Highly unlikely – unless the historian actually says he/she advocates a dictator’s policies.

  237. chicagofinance says:

    veto that says:
    March 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    john, chi,
    looks like a nigerian pyramid scheme.

    vito: except they are my friends, are fcuking smart and have ball$ of steel…

  238. jamil says:

    242: So what is the difference compared to Fox News report?

    That liberal article admits that, yes, indeed, Holdren did co-wrote the book that had the sick ideas of population control. Of course, it is “hypothetical”. Thank god Holdren was not in charge of any federal policies back then, but the correct point is that he did indeed have that kind of sick opinions and giving that kind of extremist official White House position is dangerous.

  239. jamil says:

    242: So if Palin had co-authored book in the 1970s speculating hypothetical situation in which all women who did abortion would be executed, that would surely be poof-poofed by State Media?

    After all, she wasn’t in charge of any federal policy then. It was merely “hypothetical”. Yeah.

  240. veto that says:

    chi, ok.
    thats good.
    but can they make money?

    there is growth potential in that industry
    but its still dependant upon what the govt will do and where oil prices will go.

  241. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Abu Dhabi Media website The National has disclosed some rather disturbing news about peace “prospects” in the middle east. It appears this past Friday saw a war council convene in Damascus, between Syrian president Bashar al Assad, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to “devise counterattack plans and assign tasks in the event of an Israeli offensive on one or all parties, wrote Abdelbari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds al Arabi.” And more troublingly, “the Iranian president said he expects war to break out somewhere between spring and summer of this year. Meanwhile, the Hizbollah chief vowed to strike the Israeli capital, its airports and power stations if Israel dared to attack Beirut’s critical infrastructure.”Let’s recall that Goldman’s most recent 2010 and 2011 WTI estimates call for prices to rise to $90 and $110/bbl, respectively.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/war-council-convened-damsacus-past-friday-prepare-israeli-strike-iran-president-expects-war-

  242. A.West says:

    John,
    Is your gut telling you to call a bottom on real estate this year? Most other folks on this board are so invested in the bear story, they will miss the bottom, like they did in stocks and bonds. I still think I upgraded too early, but none of the new listings I’ve seen so far this year are causing regret.

  243. Qwerty says:

    ..

  244. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Governor Christie: “Time to Hold Hands and Jump Off the Cliff” – Chris Christie For President?

    In the time we got here, of the approximately $29 billion budget there was only $14 billion left. Of the $14 billion, $8 billion could not be touched because of contracts with public worker unions, because of bond covenants, because of commitments we made accepting stimulus money. So we had to find a way to save $2.3 billion in a $6 billion pool of money.

    When I went into the treasurer’s off in the first two weeks of my term, there was no happy meetings. They presented me with 378 possible freezes and lapses to be able to balance the budget. I accepted 375 of them.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/03/governor-christie-time-to-hold-hands.html

  245. relo says:

    250: Holy crap. Usually, a few weeks into office and I’m already regretting having voted for (fill in the blank).

  246. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Veto,

    This MSNBC interview is about you.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/35672836#35672836

  247. relo says:

    243: Must present an interesting situation at airport security screening.

    vito: except they are my friends, are fcuking smart and have ball$ of steel…

  248. sas says:

    “NJ Transit Announces Deepest One-Year Staff Reduction in the Agency’s History”

    – New Jersey Transit says it will freeze spending and lay off more than 200 workers to help plug a major budget gap.

    Agency officials said Tuesday that NJT will reduce its work force by about 2 percent, trim executive salaries by 5 percent and reduce corporate contributions to employees’ 401K plans by one-third.

    Officials say the cuts represent the deepest one-year staff reduction in the agency’s 30-year history.

    They will account for about $30 million in reductions toward a combined $300 million budget gap projected through 2011.

    NJ Transit says it plans to announce proposed fare hikes and service cutbacks next week.
    http://www.1010wins.com/NJ-Transit-Announces-Lay-Off-of-Over-200-Workers/6479686

  249. me@work says:

    Lisoosh, Got email.

    Not at home yet. Just finishing a shit-day in the Pit.

    If you have time we can meet to talk or you can call me — email grim for my cell.

    I have some other charts and will be in Somerville for another half hr or so..

    sl

  250. confused in NJ says:

    250.Al “The Thermostat” Gore says:
    March 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm
    Governor Christie: “Time to Hold Hands and Jump Off the Cliff” – Chris Christie For President

    I’ve been in NJ since 1976 and this is the first Governor I’ve seen that’s not Intellectually Challenged.

  251. dan says:

    I always thought Beck attacks on Van Jones was fair especially after Jones’ group Color of Change started writing letters to stop advertising on his show. Jones went after Beck’s livelihood so Beck then went after Jones. Simple enough.

  252. sas says:

    “Chris Christie”

    I’ve had lunch with CC on several occasions. My impression is that he is a straight shooter, with business first, social issues second. I think he means well, but his naive..borderline gullible personality might do him in.

    I like him. but its like trying to swat a fly with a shotgun.

    It just ain’t gonna happen.

    The pension problem is major, and he seems to not know what to do.

    SAS

  253. grim says:

    Stu, say it ain’t so..

    Montclair district’s new budget includes layoffs and tax hikes

    The Montclair Board of Education has proposed a $112.7 million budget for the 2010-2011 school year that would eliminate as many as 60 jobs and increase the school portion of local property rate by 2.9 percent.

    Schools Superintendent Frank Alvarez said the tentative budget proposal includes more than $4 million in “across-the-board cuts that affect every school and every program in the district.”

    Meanwhile, Montclair Education Association President Dennis Murray rejected the board’s request that the 1,000-member union reopen its current contract with the district and forgo a negotiated 2.5 percent average wage increase this year to help save the jobs of teachers, aides and other support staff who are slated to be laid off if the proposed budget is approved.

    With a crowd of more than 200 teacher union members in attendance to show their solidarity, Murray said the MEA was willing to discuss possible areas of cost savings with district officials “but only in the context of the existing agreement.”

  254. grim says:

    I bet they opt for no layoffs, and instead increase by 6%.

    After all, think of the children.

  255. grim says:

    Not to keep harping on this one..

    The Post Office is proposing canceling Saturday delivery,

    Why do you think there isn’t a National Do Not Mail Registry, similar to the Do Not Call legislation passed in 2003/2008?

    It might have something to do with the volume of junk mail now outnumbering the volume of first class letters delivered on a yearly basis.

  256. Outofstater says:

    There is no longer any choice, for any state or any municipality. The money just isn’t there. There must be pay cuts and benefit cuts and layoffs. Taxes can only be raised so much before people just give up and leave.

  257. PGC says:

    Interesting thought from the UK.

    “The recovery is being driven by public spending. Business is reacting to weak demand and cutting back on investment. Without investment to generate demand and rebuild the economy, we will fall back into recession. When the private sector won’t invest, the government must.”

  258. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    265.

    Keynesian economic garbage.

  259. PGC says:

    Nice article with a great quote

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/feb/28/obama-tea-party-republicans-opposition
    Luntz has advised them to stop comparing O to H1tler and be more strategic in their choice of enemies and allies, but to little avail. “They don’t want to be told,” he says. “They don’t want to be lectured, they don’t want to be advised, educated, informed.” He jokes that he’s relieved to come out of those meetings without his tyres being slashed.

  260. PGC says:

    Nice article with a great quote

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/feb/28/obama-tea-party-republicans-opposition
    Luntz has advised them to stop comparing O to H1tler and be more strategic in their choice of enemies and allies, but to little avail. “They don’t want to be told,” he says. “They don’t want to be lectured, they don’t want to be advised, educated, informed.” He jokes that he’s relieved to come out of those meetings without his tyres being slashed.

  261. PGC says:

    #266 Al

    Its not Keynesian. It is a fair statement of where we are. Free market investment is in the toilet; employment and underemployment are rising to scary levels so gvmt spending is the only game in town. Even Reagan hit the gas with defense spending. Also, it can’t be considered Keynesian as there is no Monetary Balance to be seen.

    Why not step up to the plate with some solid ideas on getting the country back on track as opposed to the whining b1tching and tin foil hat crap you keep coming out with.

  262. Final Doom says:

    relo (256)-

    We’d be better off giving those bombs to monkeys.

  263. Final Doom says:

    sas (259)-

    I’ve got to believe that Christie’s shortcomings are overcome by his sense of when to go for the kill.

    Even if we were to make the argument that his prosecutorial record came from a shrewd sense of knowing which cases to pursue hard, it may also give us a hint that he won’t go after pensions until or unless he’s in a position of maximum political advantage.

  264. Final Doom says:

    Contrast Christie to O, who has spent his first year throwing everything against the wall and waiting to see what sticks.

    The only thing O has done is burn up a massive amount of markers in the favor bank and turn the Senate (in record time) into 50 latter-day Brutuses, all waiting to plunge a shiv between his shoulder blades.

    Beware the Ides of March.

  265. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [241] veto

    Given the cost for acreage, the location, the taxes, the proximity to a whole lot of folks you don’t want to be near, and the fact that it is still in NJ, it is actually a really bad choice for a compound.

  266. Final Doom says:

    Correction: 100 latter-day Brutuses.

  267. Final Doom says:

    grim (261)-

    I think tonight is the night that Stu & Gator become black.

    Or, decide to get the hell out before they turn into pillars of salt.

  268. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    269.
    Look you f#cking liberal Communist piece of shit. You want some ideas. Here they are. It doesnt surprise me that a tit sucking moron like yourself cant come up with these novel ideas to getting the country back on track.

    1. Abolish the IRS and the income tax. Institute a flat tax of 15-17% or the Fair Tax.
    2. Eliminate public education funding through property taxes. Allow schools to compete for students by allowing parents to choose the school whether parochial or charter through vouchers.
    3. Withdraw from the UN and NAFTA.
    4. Impose import tariffs. You cant compete with slave labor.
    5. End the wars and eliminate foreign aid and the IMF.
    6. Institute term limits for elected officials.
    7. End the Federal Reserve and return to sound currency.
    8. Enforce immigration laws.

    Your public welfare regime has come to an end. The parasites have killed the host. Now its time to be a grown up and be responsible for yourself.

  269. Final Doom says:

    PGC (267)-

    Pardon me, but isn’t this kinda the definition of a mob?

    “This angry and leaderless movement is a potential liability for the Republican party, and its importance is often exaggerated.”

  270. Final Doom says:

    al (276)-

    Is killing all the Jews #9?

  271. Morpheus says:

    Al, Jamil:
    Please, you are boring me. Please discuss real estate, guns, SHTF, Nompounds (I really should copyright that before Nom does and then sell the rights to him for a hefty profit), and other interesting topics.

    May I suggest something useful: vertical gardening or intensive argiculture on limited sized parcels of land.

    Please make yourselves useful or at least entertaining like RE 101

  272. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [277] doom

    “Where is the mob? I must find them. I am their leader.”

  273. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [279] morph

    “I really should copyright that before Nom does and then sell the rights to him for a hefty profit”

    Ha! Too late. Already all over that.

  274. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    278.

    Not the people of the Jewish faith the Zionists. Theres a difference. Thats not my call. Clearly the withdrawal of foreign aid would be more effective. The Zionist state has cost the US 151 billions dollars since its inception and dragged us into multiple wars including one on the horizon. Remember the USS Liberty.

  275. Final Doom says:

    al (282)-

    Fair enough. I see “Zionist”, and I tend to think someone is speaking in code, rather than to the literal meaning.

  276. Final Doom says:

    But, I like it better when al goes all tin hat.

    I also like to think it’s giving cover to the fact that I’m losing my mind.

  277. Final Doom says:

    “Just about everyone has had something to say about this bailout — mostly that it was an ugly but necessary step to stave off a domino effect that would have brought the world’s financial system to its knees. But what we have not yet heard is just how Treasury Secretary Geithner, as then-head of the NY FED, got away with taking ownership of 77.9% of AIG’s equity and voting rights in clear violation of the law.

    The question we are left with is: Why? What motivated this illegal grab of AIG’s equity and voting rights? Was it desperation in the face of the largest potential collapse in the history of modern finance? Was it unbridled power combined with supreme hubris? Or was it just criminal? The answer to this query resides in the as-yet-hidden files of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, now subject to a subpoena issued by my office in the federal lawsuit Murray v. Geithner, pending in the Eastern District of Michigan.

    In the course of discovery, resisted by the government at every turn, we have learned that the deal Geithner put together as the NY Fed’s president was illegal on its face.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/03/geithners-illegal-money-laundering.html

  278. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    This is from an old poll story, but I came across it, and boy, will it get PGC’s panties in a bunch:

    “Washington (CNN) — Activists in the Tea Party movement tend to be male, rural, upscale, and overwhelmingly conservative, according to a new national poll. [A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey] . . .

    According to the survey, roughly 11 percent of all Americans say they have actively supported the Tea Party movement, either by donating money, attending a rally, or taking some other active step to support the movement. Of this core group of Tea Party activists, 6 of 10 are male and half live in rural areas.

    Nearly three-quarters of Tea Party activists attended college, compared to 54 percent of all Americans, and more than 3 in 4 call themselves conservatives.

    “Keep in mind that this is a pretty small sample of Tea Party activists,” Holland said. “But even taking that into account, the demographic gaps that the poll finds between those activists and the general public on gender, education, income, ideology, and voting behavior appear to be significant differences.”

    The poll indicates that about 24 percent of the public generally favors the Tea Party movement but has not taken any actions such as donating money or attending a rally. Adding in the 11 percent who say they are active, a total of 35 percent could be described as Tea Party supporters. That larger group is also predominantly male, higher-income, and conservative. . . .”

    /snip

  279. Final Doom says:

    It’s too bad that we can’t turn some of the Teabagger intensity toward good, old-fashioned anarchy.

    I feel like my merry little band is missing an opportunity here.

  280. veto that says:

    “the fact that it is still in NJ, it is actually a really bad choice for a compound.”

    Nom, i referred to it as a ‘mini’ compound on purpose.
    Its obviously not going to do you any good in the event of a nuclear winter.

  281. njescapee says:

    a reason why the tea party exists:

    Fuel Taxes Must Rise, Harvard Researchers Say
    By SINDYA N. BHANOO
    To meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering reality: gas at $7 a gallon.

    To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase, according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

    The 14 percent target was set in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget for fiscal 2010.

    In their study, the researchers devised several combinations of steps that United States policymakers might take in trying to address the heat-trapping emissions by the nation’s transportation sector, which consume 70 percent of the oil used in the United States.

    Most of their models assumed an economy-wide carbon dioxide tax starting at $30 a ton in 2010 and escalating to $60 a ton in 2030. In some cases researchers also factored in tax credits for electric and hybrid vehicles, taxes on fuel or both.

    In the modeling, it turned out that issuing tax credits could backfire, while taxes on fuel proved beneficial.

    “Tax credits don’t address how much people use their cars,” said Ross Morrow, one of the report’s authors. “In reverse, they can make people drive more.”

    Dr. Morrow, formerly a fellow at the Belfer Center, is a professor of mechanical engineering and economics at Iowa State University

    Researchers said that vehicle miles traveled will increase by more than 30 percent between 2010 and 2030 unless policymakers increase fuel taxes.

  282. Stu says:

    After reading Mish on Christie, I realized that I should really get behind this guy, that is if I could possibly fit.

    Grim,
    The original Montclair BOE budget called for a 1% tax levy increase. Now that Christie is cutting school aid, the BOE has approved a 2.9% tax levy increase. So essentially, when the going is good, the size of the school budget as compared to tax revenues is adequate. When the going is bad, the size of the school budget must be increased to reflect the loss in tax revenue.

    Until Christie sets spending caps on locals, all he has done is shift the burden from the state income tax to the local property tax. I’m still holding my breath.

  283. PGC says:

    #276 Al

    Liberal as the fourth word, I expected the first word at least.

    I was so happy when I was actually able to have a debate with Jamil without him throwing L-b0mbs, F-b0mbs or other slurs. I put it down to the fact we were debating a topic he had good knowledge on so his arguments stood on their own merits.

    But anyway to your points.

    1. What exactly would abolishing the IRS achieve, you say you want a Flat tax or a fair tax, how do you plan to collect it. I think what you should be focusing on is a rework of the tax code which is the core of the problem. Focusing on the IRS is wrong and dangerous as we have seen in the past few days
    2. Who pays for public education in your system. In today’s world charter schools are funded in the most part from the public school budget, state aid and federal funding. Parents also do have choice, if they want to set up a charter school they are more than welcome. The O administration is even encouraging this with the “Race to the Top” program. Charters will cost you more in the long run as there will be a for profit element to it so why not focus on fixing the public system, it will be cheaper.
    3. Take your UN tin foil hat off please. I actually agree with you on NAFTA.
    4. Import tariffs are a two way street. They will hurt exports and the balance of payments. While as you state you can’t complete with slave labor, you can’t close your borders to trade.
    5. I didn’t think we should have been in GW1 let alone these current two wars. On the other hand. Defense spending is a massive part of the budget, so the reduction will have an impact into the economy. Foreign aid is a fraction of a percent of our budget and the US has no power to disband the IMF (or the UN). The problem with the IMF is that you have to get all the other members to aggress to changes.
    6. Term limits are a two edge sword. Wile you remove the chance of corrupted elected officials as they are not around for that long, you devolve most of the real power into the local gvmt machine. NY Mayor is a great example. It took Bloomberg as an independent to wrest control of the schools back into mayoral control where he could attempt reform and change (I will defer to or NY teachers on whether this was effective or a good thing in general).
    7. Nixon broke the gold standard, so the currency you have now is the one you are stuck with and getting it back to a sound state I don’t think can happen with the deficit and the debt. The federal Reserve you can’t get rid of, only hope to reform.
    8. Immigration is a separate conversation.

    You say the parasites have killed the host. I would say you can cure the disease. Your proposals are to just give it a head shot and get it over with. If that is the case, move to Texas and secede. IF you want a fresh start, fine, leave the rest, because there are a lot of people who believe the current US is not finished.

  284. Stu says:

    What about the Zionists???

  285. PGC says:

    #277 Clot

    I would say it is not leaderless. It is D1ck Armey, a lot of cash and a lot of Sheeple.

  286. NJGator says:

    Doom – Stu hasn’t turned black yet. Registration does not start until next week.

    Grim – The layoffs are a coming, along with a pretty big tax increase. They are talking about 60 positions and it looks like the MEA won’t consider reopening their in order to save jobs.

    A mom of one of Lil Gator’s friends is a Home Ec teacher with less than 4 years in the district. I’m pretty sure she’s updating her resume this week.

  287. PGC says:

    #287 Nom

    No bunching here.

    I will say that I was 100% behind Rick Santellis original sentiment and backed away from it at the same time he did. The tea party today, I see as an expression of free speech and don’t hae a problem with it. I do have an issue with the content of the meesage and have the same rights to dispute it.

    I won’t dispute your demographics or numbers, but I would say that as political force they will have a hard time getting past that statement of “Keep your gvmt hands off my Medicare”.

    Overall I feel they will hurt the GOP more than the Dems.

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    252.Al “The Thermostat” Gore says:
    March 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm
    Governor Christie: “Time to Hold Hands and Jump Off the Cliff” – Chris Christie For President?

  289. chicagofinance says:

    “The Thermostat” Gore says:
    March 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm
    Governor Christie: “Time to Hold Hands and Jump Off the Cliff” – Chris Christie For President?

    When I went into the treasurer’s off in the first two weeks of my term, there was no happy meetings. They presented me with 378 possible freezes and lapses to be able to balance the budget. I accepted 375 of them.

    Where is that theme song?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J36cvLXko04

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  291. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    293.

    Watch this video of Zionists (AIPAC) and followers of Judaism fight in the street.

    Anti-Zionist Jewish Protestors are attacked by an AIPAC conference attendee
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dSHl3C9kgY

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