Controlling Out Of Countrol Property Taxes

From the Philly Inquirer:

Christie to propose cap on property-tax hikes

Gov. Christie will propose a constitutional amendment to cap property-tax increases at 2.5 percent per year in his budget speech tomorrow, hoping to hold down the levies that have been a long-standing source of frustration across the state.

He also plans to revive a controversial tax plan to raise money for hospitals; cut aid to towns, schools, and colleges; and reshape the state’s property-tax rebate program as credits on homeowners’ bills – instead of checks in the mail – according to three officials briefed yesterday by the Christie administration. The credits would not be applied until April, May, or June 2011.

That means homeowners would not receive checks in 2010, though they still would get tax relief in the coming fiscal year. The rebates are typically mailed in the summer and fall to help offset the state’s high property taxes, which average $7,300.

Delaying the payments until the fiscal year’s fourth quarter would give Christie time to convert the checks into credits and also buy some time while the state’s financial picture became more clear. Under the governor’s plan, the credits would not be paid until after nearly a full year of tax collections and after he has proposed his next budget.

Those who received rebate checks last year – senior citizens earning less than $150,000 and other homeowners making $75,000 or less – still would be eligible to get a credit at the same level, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because their briefing was meant to be confidential.

The 2.5 percent property-tax cap would replace the existing 4 percent limit. Christie also will call for eliminating several exceptions that let schools and municipalities often exceed the 4 percent maximum.

According to two sources, Christie has considered imposing a similar 2.5 percent cap on increases in state operations.

The tougher property-tax limit would put more pressure on mayors and school boards to keep local spending in check even as they lost state aid. Christie has argued for weeks that local leaders need to do their part to make the state more affordable, and he has pledged to offer “tools,” such as changes to the rules governing labor negotiations, to give them more power to control costs.

“All levels of government have to impose that discipline. Government cannot continue to be made larger and more expensive,” Christie said at a news conference last week.

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513 Responses to Controlling Out Of Countrol Property Taxes

  1. freedy says:

    first ever

  2. SG says:

    Did anyone see the 60 minutes piece yesterday on Financial meltdown? It was pretty good.

  3. safeashouses says:

    That amendment will never happen.

  4. SG says:

    Wall Street: Inside the Collapse

    Author Tells “60 Minutes” What Led to Wall Street Collapse and Who Predicted It

  5. Final Doom says:

    Why a cap at 2.5%? Through compounding, this still represents a total disaster for the state of NJ.

    The cap should either be 0 or a negative number…as in, reductions.

    The only way to kill the cancer is to starve it.

    I guess everybody would rather slip into the warm, inviting waters of oblivion.

  6. Final Doom says:

    I’m still trying to get comfortable with that fat oaf, Al Roker, being presented on Weather Channel as some sort of “expert”.

    I thought his only real areas of expertise were celebrity ass-kissing and stuffing his pie hole 24/7.

  7. Final Doom says:

    Guess this puts the kibosh on my Juarez vacation.

  8. Final Doom says:

    I think Juarez would be a great venue for one of my Rollerball franchises. They would also round out my Central Division:

    1. Detroit Bulldozers
    2. Cleveland Pendencies
    3. Kansas City Schools
    4. Memphis Thug Life
    5. Juarez Headshots

  9. Final Doom says:

    “GATA’s Adrian Douglas has done a tremendous job of combing through dozens of hundred-plus page FOMC transcripts, and has compiled numerous quotes by assorted FOMC-related personnel, including former Chairman Greenspan, which provides yet another piece of evidence, demonstrating the persistence of the Fed’s gold price suppression scheme. As Douglas puts it: “My thinking was that if an organization is so inept at covering up that detailed transcripts were retained, then perhaps it is also inept at completely redacting sensitive and incriminating information. What I found is quite astounding and serves as documented evidence by the Federal Reserve itself that it manipulates the gold market.” We present the relevant quotes dug up by Douglas, whom we applaud for his effort, together with his very relevant commentary, which once again exposes the Fed’s covert gold price suppression intentions.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/gata-present-new-evidence-feds-gold-price-supression-scheme-coming-through-oddly-unredacted-

  10. Yikes says:

    can all those taxes help the people who are underwater in Wayne, NJ?

    the video i saw on TV looks like something you see in the midwest.

  11. Yikes says:

    d2b, if you’re out there … next time you’re at the grocery store, check out Philadelphia Magazine.

    nice little breakdown of towns in the greater philly area. there’s some real estate talk

  12. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Repost from late last night, must say it pales in comparison to Clots #9 wow.

    Worth a read also go to comments some good stuff.

    But then again, while there are signs that the economy may be picking up, it is a strange type of recovery. It is what I call a statistical recovery. Let’s look at this litany from my friend David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff. He notes that there are measures of economic health other than the stock market and GDP. To wit:

    * More than five million homeowners are behind on their mortgages.
    * There are over six million Americans who have been unemployed for at least six months, a record 40% of the ranks of the jobless.
    * The private capital stock is growing at its slowest rate in nearly two decades.
    * Roughly 30% of manufacturing capacity is sitting idle.
    * Nearly 19 million residential housing units, or about 15% of the stock, is vacant.
    * One in six Americans is either unemployed or underemployed.
    * Commercial real estate values are down 30% over the past year.
    * The average American worker has seen his / her level of wealth plunge $100,000 over the last two years, even with the recovery in equity markets this past year.
    * Bank credit is contracting at an unprecedented 15% annual rate so far this year as lenders sit on a record $1.3 trillion of cash.
    * Unit labor costs are down an unprecedented 4.7% over the past year, and what has replenished household coffers has been the federal government, as transfer payments from Uncle Sam now make up a record 18% of personal income (and the Senate just passed yet another jobless benefit extension bill!).”

    Wow. 18% of personal income in the US is now from the US government (also known as taxpayers, current and future).

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/193515-the-velocity-of-money-and-its-implications?source=hp_wc

  13. njescapee says:

    Full hour interview of Michael Lewis will be on Bloomberg tonight at 9pm

  14. Nomad says:

    Re: 60 minutes – interesting piece. Lots of blame to go around. Wonder what would have happened if from 2000 – present, in order to get a mortgage income and assets would have to be verified. Simplistic view, yes but most of the mtg crap and subsequent downstream issues would have been avoided. Of course, the consumer economy would have not had it’s faux robust run because houses would not have been ATM machines.

    Take away the oxygen and the fire can’t burn.

  15. njescapee says:

    Bashing Goldman Sachs Is Simply a Game for Fools: Michael Lewis
    Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A
    Commentary by Michael Lewis

    July 28 (Bloomberg) — From the moment I left Yale and started working for Goldman Sachs, I’ve felt uneasy interacting with those who don’t.

    It’s not that I think less of Goldman outsiders than I did while I remained among you. It’s just that I feel your envy, and know that nothing I can do or say will ever persuade you that I am no more than human.

    Thus, like many of my colleagues, I have adopted a strategy of never leaving Goldman Sachs, apart from a few brief, spasmodic attempts to make what you outsiders call “love” or “the beast with two backs.” Goldman recognizes how important it is for its people to replicate themselves. We bill no performance fees for the service.

    Today, the sheer volume of irresponsible media commentary has forced us to reconsider our public-relations strategy. With every uptick in our share price it’s grown clearer that we who are inside Goldman Sachs must open a dialogue with you who are not. Not for our benefit, but for yours.

    America stands at a crossroads, and Goldman Sachs now owns both of them. In choosing which road to take, ordinary Americans must not be distracted by unproductive resentment toward the toll-takers. To that end we at Goldman Sachs would like to dispel several false and insidious rumors.

    Rumor No. 1: “Goldman Sachs controls the U.S. government.”

    Every time we hear the phrase “the United States of Goldman Sachs” we shake our heads in wonder. Every ninth-grader knows that the U.S. government consists of three branches. Goldman owns just one of these outright; the second we simply rent, and the third we have no interest in at all. (Note there isn’t a single former Goldman employee on the Supreme Court.)

    What small interest we maintain in the U.S. government is, we feel, in the public interest. Our current financial crisis has its roots in a single easily identifiable source: the envy others felt toward Goldman Sachs.

    The bozos at Merrill Lynch, the dimwits at Citigroup, the nimrods at Lehman Brothers, the louts at Bear Stearns, even that momentarily useful lunatic Joe Cassano at AIG — all of these people took risks that no non-Goldman person should ever take, in a pathetic attempt to replicate Goldman’s financial returns.

    For too long we have allowed others to emulate us. Now we are working productively with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the Congress to ensure that we alone are allowed to take the sort of risks that might destroy the financial system.

    Rumor No. 2: “When the U.S. government bailed out AIG, and paid off its gambling debts, it saved not AIG but Goldman Sachs.”

    The charge isn’t merely insulting but ignorant. Less responsible journalists continue to bring up the $12.9 billion we received from AIG, as if that was some kind of big deal to us. But as our CFO David Viniar explained back in March, we were hedged. Our profits from AIG “rounded to zero.”

    People who don’t work at Goldman Sachs, of course, find this implausible: How could $12.9 billion round to zero? Easy, but you just need to understand the mathematics.

    Let’s assume AIG transferred $12,880,560,250.34 of taxpayer money to Goldman Sachs. A Goldman outsider, asked to round this number, might call it $12,880,560,250.00. That’s not how we look at it; at Goldman we always round to the nearest $50 billion, so anything less than $25 billion rounds to zero.

    Think of it that way and you can see that $12,880,560,250.34 isn’t even close to not rounding to zero.

    Rumor No. 3: “As the U.S. government will eat the losses if Goldman Sachs goes bust, Goldman Sachs shouldn’t be allowed to keep making these massive financial bets. At the very least the $11.4 billion Goldman Sachs already has set aside for employees in 2009 — $386,429 a head, just for the first six months — is unfair, as the U.S. taxpayer has borne so much of the risk of the wagers that generated the profits.”

    Really, we don’t know where to begin with this one. It is wrong-headed in so many different ways!

    Let’s begin with the idea that the taxpayer is running a bigger risk than we are. The billions he stands to lose are trivial; after all, they round to zero.

    The real risk, when you think about it even for a minute, is the risk we take ourselves: that Goldman will cease to exist and we will cease to be Goldman employees. To flirt with such tragedy we obviously need to be paid.

    Rumor No. 4: “Goldman employees all look alike.”

    Several recent newspaper photos have revealed that a surprising number of Goldman Sachs workers are white, male and bald. That non-Goldman people glance at such photos and think “Holy crap, they even look alike!” just shows how deeply anti- Goldman bigotry runs in American life.

    We at Goldman represent unique clusters of DNA; if we bear some faint surface resemblance to one another, and to creatures from the 24th century, it is only because our superior powers of reasoning lead us to hold in our minds exactly the same thoughts, at exactly the same time.

    A shared disinterest in growing hair, for instance, isn’t a coincidence of nature but an expression of healthy like- mindedness.

    “The world is a pool table,” our naked-headed CEO likes to tell us. “And all the people in it are either stripes or solids. You alone are the cue balls.”

    Rumor No. 5: Goldman Sachs is “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

    Those words are of course taken from a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine and they are transparently false.

    For starters, the vampire squid doesn’t feed on human flesh. Ergo, no vampire squid would ever wrap itself around the face of humanity, except by accident. And nothing that happens at Goldman Sachs — nothing that Goldman Sachs thinks, nothing that Goldman Sachs feels, nothing that Goldman Sachs does –ever happens by accident.

    (Michael Lewis is a columnist for Bloomberg News and the author of “Liar’s Poker,” “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side,” soon to be a major motion picture. The opinions expressed are his own.)

    To contact the writer of this column: Michael Lewis at mlewis1@bloomberg.net

    Last Updated: July 27, 2009 21:00 EDT

  16. Jim says:

    Getting property taxes under control should be a priority. Wouldn’t it be nice if people could continue living where their family and friends are rather than move out of state once the kids are out of high school. When you read some of these articles about school programs being cut the parents just don’t get it. They think pre-school (free babysitting service) and after school programs are a right.

  17. Shore Guy says:

    “According to two sources, Christie has considered imposing a similar 2.5 percent cap on increases in state operations.
    The tougher property-tax limit would put more pressure on mayors and school boards to keep local spending in check even as they lost state aid. Christie has argued for weeks that local leaders need to do their part to make the state more affordable, and he has pledged to offer “tools,” such as changes to the rules governing labor negotiations, to give them more power to control cost”

    This last item, dealing with changing the rules governing labor negotiations, could be seismic in its application. I suspect that what the Governor’s office is hinting at is a change to interest arbitration for police and firefighters.

    Right now, comparability — where a town falls compared to the actual wages or percentage wage increases — is close to the greatest, if not the greatest, factor that determines the wage increases set by arbitrators. If “ability to pay” or tax burden or some other factor replaces “what everyone else got,” it could change the increases all public workers get.

    Thecurrent system has promoted ever-upwardly-spiraling wages, as each settled contract at or above either the “mean increase” or the “median increase” increases those metrics.

  18. NJGator says:

    Lil Gator and I went to a fundraising breakfast at one of the Montclair elementary schools this weekend. Head of the school PTA addressed the crowd, told them what programs are on the district’s chopping block and implored everyone present to show up at the next board meeting o demand they ‘don’t destroy our children’s education’. Should be an interesting circus.

  19. Shore Guy says:

    Jim,

    C’mon, haven’t you gotten the memo? Those who can’t afford to stay and pay, pay, pay, are just not worthy of livingin NJ. After all, NJ is only for the economically successful, and is not for just “anybody.” It is so close to Manhattan, don’t ya know? Those who can’t afford to stay should just find someplace more in keeping with their “kind.”

  20. Jim says:

    Shore,
    Sorry about that. I’ll now get back to the party line- It is all for the children.

    Note to self: buy back-up generator system. It seems my high taxes aren’t applied to keeping the lights on around here.

  21. Final Doom says:

    While standing in the rain all weekend, I thought a lot about excessive taxation being used as a deliberate tactic in order to:

    1. Force people to move at key junctures in life. Destroys networks of family, friends and community. An alienated individual is an individual who is less likely to rage against the machine.

    2. Systematically destroy wealth and the incentive to accumulate wealth. Same outcome as #1, and also a great way to slowly wring ambition out of people.

    3. Continue to ensure guaranteed capital streams to underwrite the endless public sector/bankster daylight robbery of Amerika.

  22. Mikeinwaiting says:

    22 Jeez Clot & I just wonder where my umbrella is.

  23. Final Doom says:

    Mike (21)-

    VNO is walking away from properties now. Sure, that yield is sustainable…

    I look forward to the day when I can short all the crap on that list right into the ground. Mark my words, it will happen.

  24. Final Doom says:

    mike (23)-

    A couple of the people I was with made subtle suggestions that my musings were more consistent with water on the brain than simply being outdoors in a rainshower.

    There are gonna be a lot of people who just don’t make it through the first wave of casualties when it goes from gray to black.

  25. Final Doom says:

    SRS inching closer to a 5 handle.

    Please, God, let it happen…

  26. Final Doom says:

    My database/mail lady informs that we are running about 65-70 new FK filings in Hunterdon/Somerset weekly…plus shooting out another 70-75 follow up letters on old filings.

    Green shoots.

  27. Shore Guy says:

    ” It seems my high taxes aren’t applied to keeping the lights on around here”

    You just do NOT read the memos, do you? The worthy, the enlightened, they glow and are full of such energy that their mere presence powers the appliances near them. You seem o rely on others for your basic needs far too much. How did you ever get permission to enter NJ in the first place?

  28. safeashouses says:

    #22 Doom,

    I was thinking I’m glad I moved out of that pos house I was renting in Warren. Nothing like being in house during a nor’easter that has over a dozen 60 foot plus trees within 30 feet of it.

    Although since we were on top of a large hill, we didn’t have to worry about flooding.

  29. Barbara says:

    Shore Guy says:
    March 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Jim,
    Shore,

    “C’mon, haven’t you gotten the memo? Those who can’t afford to stay and pay, pay, pay, are just not worthy of livingin NJ. After all, NJ is only for the economically successful, and is not for just “anybody.” It is so close to Manhattan, don’t ya know? Those who can’t afford to stay should just find someplace more in keeping with their “kind.” ”

    Its funny, this is exactly the attitude that was applied to Manhattan’s unaffordable housing since as early as I can remember (late 80s?). I never thought then that it could or would be applied to NJ.

  30. Shore Guy says:

    Jim,

    Thoze who aspire to some seemingly-unattainalbe goal are often more insufferable than the people who have achieved it. In fact, I have often found that the people who have achieved certain desirable goals (making the Olympic team, getting elected, the flat overlooking central park, pro sports contract, whatever) are nicer than those who envy that success and wish to distinguish themselves from those “beneath” them..

  31. Shore Guy says:

    those, even.

  32. make money says:

    Top Ten highest paying BA degrees. I trully hope my girl goes into engineering.

    Major Average Salary Offer

    Petroleum Engineering $86,220
    Chemical Engineering $65,142
    Mining & Mineral Engineering (incl. geological) $64,552
    Computer Science $61,205
    Computer Engineering $60,879
    Electrical/Electronics & Communications Engineering $59,074
    Mechanical Engineering $58,392
    Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering $57,734
    Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering $57,231
    Information Sciences & Systems $54,038

    Source: Winter 2010 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers. Data represent offers to bachelor’s degree candidates where 10 or more offers were reported.

  33. Shore Guy says:

    Pharmacy is also high, although the salaries are flat. One can come out at close to 100,000 but those in the profession for years earl little more. It is a job where you have the knowledge or you don’t and experience, it seems, adds little value — at least that is what the compensation seems to say.

  34. Final Doom says:

    The highest-paying engineering is the engineering of financial failure.

  35. Shore Guy says:

    From CBS News,

    Stu/Gator,

    Do you have and western-Mexico cruises planned?

    “To the south, along the Pacific in the popular tourist resort of Acapulco, an even more gruesome weekend. Early on Saturday, 13 people were killed, including five police officers. Four of the victims were beheaded. All, undoubtedly, the dirty work of Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels.”

  36. Shore Guy says:

    From CBS News,

    Stu/Gator,

    Do you have any western-Mexico cruises planned?

    “To the south, along the Pacific in the popular tourist resort of Acapulco, an even more gruesome weekend. Early on Saturday, 13 people were killed, including five police officers. Four of the victims were beheaded. All, undoubtedly, the dirty work of Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels.”

  37. House Whine says:

    27- I find those stats a bit ironic because weren’t these very counties in the top 7 wealthiest in the U.S., as reported just last week?

    34- You are right about pharmacy- my friend has been a pharmacist for 28 years. She now has the privilege of ringing up toilet paper and the pharmacy tech is the one counting the pills. Sounds like a mind-numbing job to me and I don’t know how she can stand it. The only rewarding part is that she gets to advise customers on meds.

  38. chicagofinance says:

    Both of you are full of it. Don’t start insulting me. Basically you are both closed minded people that expect way too much accomodation. Tough luck. You want the entire world to be Disney and you are hacked off when you come to NYC and -surprise- it’s NYC. Honestly, what you get now is the rated G version of NYC on top of it. Have you ever waited in Penn Station for 5 hours and been scared instead of inconvenienced? Battery low on your cell phone? WTF is that?

    Finally “urban sophisticate” just shows you are looking to pick a fight….simply put in my best “urban sophisticate” vernacular…..fcuk you.

    126.Barbara says:
    March 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm
    chifi,
    did that, with limited cell phone battery left – no vacancies. Tournament weekend. Your urban sophisticate routine is 2nd only to your smartest guy in the room routine on the yawn scale.

    127.njescapee says:
    March 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm
    Barb, oh and while you’re waiting for turn down service, you could take the kids in the limo to Smith and Wolenskys for their specialty bird cage dessert. :-)

  39. Shore:

    We are going to Alaska in August on Bally’s AC. Well sort of. Palin made the taxes for visiting Alaksa by cruise ship outrageously high. By far, it is the most expensive itinerary I’ve ever witnessed. Even with Bally’s paying all of the NCL revenues for us, taxes are now $195 per person and port fees are $200. So it will cost us $800 out of pocket to take a free cruise. Typically, taxes and port fees on a 7-day cruise are half of that. We are bringing the little guy too, so that brings it up to $1300 as they gave me the casino rate of $300 for a third in the room plus those pesky taxes. I would not be surprised if tourism, Alaska’s 5th largest industry drops from the top ten as a result of these taxes. Someone should remind Palin that Alaska is part of America, even if you can see Russia from there.

  40. njescapee says:

    dude, GTFOOH, I was a nyc cabbie back in ’72 probably before you were born.

  41. Mr Hyde says:

    make 33

    As someone in one of those field you listed, i would suggest mining/mineral extraction, and petroleum as the best prospects. Engineering fields have been/are being rapidly commoditized and outsourced.

    the catch with the mining and petroleum engineers is that you had best plan on being single for a while if you want the high salary. The high end of the pay spectrum in those fields is usually going to those who are “in the field”, on the rig in the gulf of mexico or onsite in the alberta stip mines.

    You may not be living in these locations but you will be doing lots of traveling and its generally not cushy.

    Nothing wrong with any of this, but something to be aware of.

    Long term prospects for mining/mineral extraction engineers, is probably the best out there. Many companies cannot find enough of these engineers as most people would rather sit at a desk then be in the field making site visits to the various mining operations or refining operations.

    The Colorado school of mines is one of the best in the world for mine/mineral extraction engineering and they run a demolitions summer camp for teens. They learn about the use of explosives in mining and then get to go do it for real and setup and detonate explosions in local mines.

    if i could do it over i would be going to the Colorado school of mines in a hart beat.

    if you are willing to travel and occasionally get dirty, you are almost guaranteed a job even in today’s economic environment.

    Colorado School of Mines
    CSM is a state engineering university located in Golden, Colorado specializing in the geosciences.
    http://www.mines.edu/

  42. njescapee says:

    and I was a corporate executive chauffeur in the late 70s early 80s so I saw both sides. believe me nyc is rich-friendly. Union League Club, Princeton Club, breakfast at the Regency Hotel, and not one of these clevel ececs would spring for a hotel room on their own dime.

  43. Jim says:

    30. Shore
    Thoze who aspire to some seemingly-unattainalbe goal are often more insufferable than the people who have achieved it. In fact, I have often found that the people who have achieved certain desirable goals (making the Olympic team, getting elected, the flat overlooking central park, pro sports contract, whatever) are nicer than those who envy that success and wish to distinguish themselves from those “beneath” them..

    You are right about that. One of my brothers is on a flight crew in the AF Reserves. A couple of weeks ago they had to fly 19 General Officers down to South America. Who was the worst, most demanding person on the plane? A full colonel who was escorting the General Officers on the trip.

  44. Mr Hyde says:

    Seniors still get a break at 150K???

    Those who received rebate checks last year – senior citizens earning less than $150,000 and other homeowners making $75,000 or less – still would be eligible to get a credit at the same level,

    Thats rediculous. Knock those seniors down to the 75K level. 150K is not “i’m living on fixed income” its more then twice the median income in NJ

  45. Jim says:

    46. Mr Hyde

    Now calm down. This is NJ, it doesn’t have to make sense. Our State Motto- Some pigs are more equal than others.

  46. John says:

    Funny part these are all great jobs at 21 but by 40 you will be collecting soda cans to make ends meet. Plus these jobs are great career moves for women who plan on staying home with their kids. You out-earn all the other majors from 21-33 and then you call it quits with a boat load of cash to be with your kids. Finance, Sales, Big 4 and Law, you bust your butt making peanuts from 21-33 and then the cash comes pouring in. Horrible job for a women who plans on having 3-4 kids. Come money time you are out of game.

    Engineering is a glorified clerical position. I used to live near Sperry growing up and recall those 40 year old engineers driving to work to sit in their short sleeve shirts with ties in their little cubes while the 40 year old wall street execs in my town were being driven home in a limos in their armani suits.

    make money says:
    March 15, 2010 at 8:15 am
    Top Ten highest paying BA degrees. I trully hope my girl goes into engineering.

    Major Average Salary Offer

    Petroleum Engineering $86,220
    Chemical Engineering $65,142
    Mining & Mineral Engineering (incl. geological) $64,552
    Computer Science $61,205
    Computer Engineering $60,879
    Electrical/Electronics & Communications Engineering $59,074
    Mechanical Engineering $58,392
    Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering $57,734
    Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering $57,231
    Information Sciences & Systems $54,038

    Source: Winter 2010 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers. Data represent offers to bachelor’s degree candidates where 10 or more offers were reported.

  47. Mr Hyde says:

    House,

    A NEW MEME!!!!

    Underwater?

  48. veto that says:

    Analysis: Mark-to-market accounting battle is about to heat up

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board is expected to propose an expansion of banks’ use of market value for loans and other financial assets, sources said. The proposal would affect banks’ balance sheets, income statements and measures used by investors to assess financial institutions.

    wsj

  49. Cindy says:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/fcuk-will-close-most-us-stores-2010-3

    Chicago – The end is nigh…

    Have a great day all…..

  50. veto that says:

    Economists warn about second wave of crisis

    At a recent industry conference, Pippa Malmgren, an economist who specializes in political effects on the financial market, described how Phase II of the financial crisis is on its way, although the timing remains a mystery. Malmgren was followed by Benn Steil, a fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, who also offered a bleak outlook. Phase II is expected to start when the government starts working to pay for stimulus programs.

    barrons

  51. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto

    Real Mark-to-market would instantly bankrupt the major banks.

  52. veto that says:

    here is the 1980s/1990s charts from our discussion yesterday.

    Again, this is Case Shiller and FHFA, which include all sf housing types, (i think), so its not just condos/townhomes.

    FHFA is very mild, even how it represents todays crash, which they only have as down 13% right now in this current crash, so i always consider case shiller to be way more reliable.

    What do you think?

    http://www.scribd.com/full/28392893?access_key=key-24zzocdfqbe8cbg0u4ou

  53. freedy says:

    seems that the Park Ave. Bank President
    was doing a little fun and games.

  54. Mr Hyde says:

    Was talking to some friends over the weekend. Both stopped paying their mortgage in the fall. One got foreclosed on and the other has not heard a peep from the bank. They have similar homes that in theory should have a similar market value.

    it appears that the difference is how underwater they were. One had Heloc’d his how to stratospheric levels and the other “responsible” owner had not and their house was barely underwater.

    From this and other stories that i have heard it sounds like the bank forecloses if they think they can turn it around at close to the outstanding debt. But that they ignore the nonperforming property if it is to far underwater.

  55. veto that says:

    more from mtm article…

    While FASB will likely come under fire for these approaches, it may have found an ally last week in House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank. In a letter to the big four banks, Mr. Frank said banks were refusing to accept reality when it came to the value of second-lien mortgages such as home-equity loans.

    “Because accounting rules allow holders of these seconds to carry the loans at artificially high values, many refuse to acknowledge the losses and write down the loans,” Mr. Frank wrote.

    Marking such loans to market values, and making the impact more prominent in accounts would be a step toward forcing banks to take the more-realistic view—as Mr. Frank and many investors want.

  56. A.West says:

    New Jersey woman (Old Bridge) is an inspiration to New Jersey’s public sector employee unions:

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/1027360/woman-aims-to-become-worlds-fattest

  57. freedy says:

    when you heloc them, they are screwed.

  58. jamil van jones says:

    40 chi:
    You are expecting too much.When facing ultimate disaster, libs have been taught to wait for FEMA or other gov agency to rescue them.
    I expect federal bailout, including (unionized) therapy is coming to those who got stranded in nyc.

  59. Mr Hyde says:

    to clarify,

    the guy who heloc’d his home has not heard a peep from the bank. the one who was “responsible” was promptly foreclosed on.

    nether of these cases was a strategic foreclosure. Both were due to unemployment

  60. A.West:

    Did you see this?

    “In order to pay for the enormous amounts of food she is eating — her weekly grocery bill is $815 — Ms Simpson makes money by running a website where men pay to watch her consume fast food. “

  61. veto that says:

    Memo to NJ Public Workers and Retirees: You’re Screwed

    …Yesterday we got a glimpse of what happens when a government pension does go broke.

    The retirees in the Prichard, Alabama pension plan have not gotten a check since September, 2009. Monthly benefits came to $150,000 and the trust simply ran out of money, there being no funding requirements for public plans.

    The retirees sued. Yesterday it was reported* that a bankruptcy court judge denied a motion that would force Prichard to pay its pensioners, saying they do not qualify as administrative claims — or day-to-day obligations — of the city.

    This should serve as a clarion call to anyone expecting money from the New Jersey pension plan. Unless you’re going to die soon, don’t count on getting all of it. Politicians are under no obligation to fund their promises and when the trust runs out of money nobody is going to bail it out.

    http://blog.nj.com/njv_johnbury/2010/03/memo_to_nj_public_workers_your.html

  62. Jamil,

    I hear that true conservate Republicans don’t even call for tow trucks when their American cars break down.

  63. safeashouses says:

    #59 A. West

    LMAO

    She wants to be the world’s fattest woman to go with her world’s fattest mother title. It’s important to have big goals.

    Anyone here paying to watch her eat fast food?

  64. Yikes says:

    Final Doom says:
    March 15, 2010 at 7:32 am

    2. Systematically destroy wealth and the incentive to accumulate wealth. Same outcome as #1, and also a great way to slowly wring ambition out of people.

    we probably will go down to 1 income partially because of this. whats the point of both working if uncle sam is gonna take it all?

  65. Mr Hyde says:

    A West

    maybe we can use her for long pig smoked bacon once see meets her goal. There would a serious quantity of pork belly from her at that point.

    I bet we could auction it off for quit a price as well.

  66. veto that says:

    New round of foreclosures threatens housing market

    The housing market is facing swelling ranks of homeowners who are seriously delinquent but have yet to lose their homes, and this is threatening a new wave of foreclosures that could hit just as the real estate market has begun to stabilize.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/11/AR2010031104866.html?hpid=topnews

  67. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 69

    stabilize

    ROFLMAO!!!!

  68. Juice Box Sean says:

    Spin is no property tax rebates for anyone this year.

    Sources: Christie’s Budget Suspends Tax Rebates

    TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is preparing to introduce a budget that suspends property tax rebates, cuts more than $1 billion in aid to schools and towns and skips a $3 billion contribution to the state pension system, legislative leaders said Sunday.

    About 25 legislators and senior staff members were briefed on the governor’s plans. Several spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the $29.2 billion budget before Christie introduces the proposal Tuesday.

    The budget must be approved by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed by the Republican governor by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. This is Christie’s first budget.

    Under Christie’s budget, no one will get a property tax rebate check this year to combat New Jersey’s highest property taxes in the nation, which average $7,300 a household. When rebates return in the spring of 2011, senior citizens, the disabled and low-income wage earners could get a tax credit rather than a rebate check, and could get less than they received last year.

    The budget proposes an $819 million cut in aid to school districts and a $445 million cut in aid to towns. Christie is expected to call for a 2.5 percent spending cap for schools and towns, but that constitutional amendment would have to be approved by voters and wouldn’t likely take effect until 2012. If approved, spending above the cap would require voter approval.

    Christie’s budget spares the state’s 65,000 union workers from layoffs and includes the 3.5 percent pay raise they are due July 1.

    Under a contract former Gov. Jon Corzine renegotiated with the unions in late 2008, state workers agreed to defer a 3.5 percent pay raise due last July 1 and take 10 furlough days in exchange for a no-layoff pledge through 2010. In addition to the scheduled raise in July, the workers are due a deferred raise on Jan. 1.

  69. “stabilize”

    Know what else is in the stable?

  70. veto that says:

    From that wash post article…

    As these foreclosed properties add to the supply of homes for sale, they could undercut housing prices, which have increased modestly through December, according to the most recent figures in the S&P/Case-Shiller home prices index. That rise partly reflected a slowdown in the flow of foreclosed homes onto the market.

    “Some of the positive housing data may not be signaling a true turning point, as many servicers are holding back on foreclosures and the related houses are not yet being offered for sale,” said Diane Westerback, a managing director at Standard & Poor’s. Westerback said it could take 33 months to clear the backlog.

  71. veto that says:

    Krugman: It’s America That Has China Over A Barrel, Let’s Take Advantage Of it

    Mar. 15, 2010

    By the end of April Tim Geithner’s Treasury has to publish a semi-annual report that will either brand China as a currency manipulator or not.

    Of course, everyone knows that China — like all countries — manipulates its currency, but these things are shrouded in theater and politics and nuanced language, but the upshot is that it would apparently be a big deal if the Treasury actually made such a call.

    Well, leading figures in the US are going to put as much pressure on Geithner to do so as they can.

    In a fresh editorial out today, Krugman says it’s time the US began “taking on China.” That’s actually the headline of the column.

    What’s most interesting about the column isn’t his call for China to let the Yuan rise in value, that’s old, but his argument that the US has nothing to fear from China.

    It’s true that if China dumped its U.S. assets the value of the dollar would fall against other major currencies, such as the euro. But that would be a good thing for the United States, since it would make our goods more competitive and reduce our trade deficit. On the other hand, it would be a bad thing for China, which would suffer large losses on its dollar holdings. In short, right now America has China over a barrel, not the other way around.

    Bold and refreshing!

    Meanwhile, while Krugman fights the intellectual battle in the media, NY Senator Chuck Schumer is prepared to go to take action in Congress. Word is that Schumer is set to introduce legislation that would go after China over manipulation, and it may resemble a bill he proposed in 2005 to slap huge tariffs on imports. That didn’t pass, but it sent a message.

    business insider

  72. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [67] yikes

    For me, the hard part is predicting the tipping point when it all starts to slide downhill. At some point, the willingness of the wage slaves to work will end and I think you will see a lot of early retirements if taxation gets to be too onerous. That will depress revenues. Businesses, particularly small biz/self employed, whill cheat like hell, thus depressing revenues.

    People theorize that retirement incomes will get whacked, but remember that this cohort is growing so the votes are not there, at least at the lower levels. There will be means-testing so the “rich” are further disincentivized to sock it away for retirement. They will draw down retirement assets quickly so as to qualify for benefits. That means a brief burst in taxes, followed by a hangover that results when the “rich” have liquidated their retirement accounts. Result is lower revenues about 5 years after means testing is implemented.

    This pushes the tax burden onto the younger wage slaves that took our jobs when we retired early. Since they voted for Obamanomics, I don’t feel so bad for them. Now we retired folks control the pursestrings. Of course, if taxes get too onerous, that results in less consumption, thus lowering economic activity, which lowers revenues, and so on, and so on, and so on. The most productive have already left for greener shores, so the innovation generator that has propped up our economy for decades is also gone. Now the slide downhill is proceeding quickly, and we reach a point where a low-level civil war is being fought in the economic trenches. Public workers vs. taxpayers are the opening salvos.

    I think it would have already started to occur but for the tax preference given to foreign direct investment (FDI). I think that, in the future, this preference will continue, and we will go further into hock to the rest of the world.

    The preference for FDI also means that expatriates need not disinvest in the US; they can leave and if they go to a treaty country, their taxes are cut dramatically. Hello Ireland. BTW, this applies to both individuals and corporations.

    If we end the prefererence for FDI, that low sucking sound in the background will become overwhelming as capital flees the country. Hello Argentina.

  73. safeashouses says:

    #74 veto

    If I owe you a million, it’s my problem. If I owe you a trillion, it’s your problem.

  74. veto that says:

    Is China’s Politburo spoiling for a showdown with America?

    The long-simmering clash between the world’s two great powers is coming to a head, with dangerous implications for the international system.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/7442926/Is-Chinas-Politburo-spoiling-for-a-showdown-with-America.html

  75. A.West says:

    My wife’s thinking about taking a job as an executive with one of the world’s largest consumer product companies, at their China HQ. With the US going down the drain, I’m in favor, even though that means we’ll be apart most of the time. Because in a few years, if the US/NJ keeps taking more than half of my income, our whole family could relocate to China. Even the communists let you keep more of your income than our federal, state, local authorities do.

  76. veto that says:

    Safe, indeed.

    At this point, I dont know who is bluffing more, us or china, but this is getting good.

    The article at 77 is a must read. made my day.

  77. veto that says:

    77 was so good, i read it twice…

    “Clearly, Beijing is in denial about is own part in the global imbalances behind the credit crisis, specifically by running structural trade surpluses, and driving down long rates through dollar and euro bond purchases. No doubt the West has made a hash of things, but the Chinese view of events is twisted to the point of delusional.

    What interests me is Beijing’s willingness to up the ante. It has vowed sanctions against any US firm that takes part in a $6.4bn weapons contract for Taiwan, a threat to ban Boeing from China and a new level of escalation in the Taiwan dispute.

    In Copenhagen, Wen Jiabao sent an underling to negotiate with Mr Obama in what was intended to be – and taken to be – a humiliation. The US President put his foot down, saying: “I don’t want to mess around with this anymore.” That sums up White House feelings towards China today.

    We have talked ourselves into believing that China is already a hyper-power. It may become one: it is not one yet. China is ringed by states – Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India – that are American allies when push comes to shove. It faces a prickly Russia on its 4,000km border, where Chinese migrants are itching for Lebensraum across the Amur. Emerging Asia, Brazil, Egypt and Europe are all irked by China’s yuan-rigged export dumping.

    Michael Pettis from Beijing University argues that China’s reserves of $2.4 trillion – arguably $3 trillion – are a sign of weakness, not strength. Only twice before in modern history has a country amassed such a stash equal to 5pc-6pc of global GDP: the US in the 1920s, and Japan in the 1980s. Each time preceeded depression.”

  78. veto that says:

    Any attempt to retaliate by triggering a US bond crisis would rebound against China, and could be stopped – in extremis – by capital controls. Roosevelt changed the rules in 1933. Such things happen. The China-US relationship is no doubt symbiotic, but a clash would not be “mutual assured destruction”, as often claimed. Washington would win.

  79. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    if it comes down to it, the US can handle a forced depression much better then china would. we would come out the winner in that game. China already has to be careful to avoid civil unrest and imports massive amounts of food.

    If it came to it we could intentionally crash the system and have a good chance of being the one who comes out at least somewhat intact on the other side as opposed to china.

  80. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 81

    Washington would win.

    I dont like either party, but i dont see O having the brass cohones needed to be confident that we would win such a confrontation.

    It would take a brass set and the willingness to cut your own hand off if need be.

  81. John says:

    Isn’t the words “women exectutive” an oxymoron in China?

    A.West says:
    March 15, 2010 at 10:21 am
    My wife’s thinking about taking a job as an executive with one of the world’s largest consumer product companies, at their China HQ. With the US going down the drain, I’m in favor, even though that means we’ll be apart most of the time. Because in a few years, if the US/NJ keeps taking more than half of my income, our whole family could relocate to China. Even the communists let you keep more of your income than our federal, state, local authorities do.

  82. John says:

    Sounds like they Fcuked up.

    FCUK Will Close Most US Stores
    PrintIan Ritter | Mar. 15, 2010, 8:32 AM | 456 | 4
    Tags: Retail, Retailers
    French Connection Group doesn’t have a large US store presence, but the one it has will get a lot smaller. The British apparel retailer is closing 17 of its 23 stores here after posting a fiscal-year loss.

    While its store count isn’t large, nearly all FCUK stores are in prominent

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [77] veto

    Comment of the Day on the article:

    “”Hope and Change”??…more like “Ropes and Chains”!!”

  84. veto that says:

    86 – i love it when people take a subject like that and reduces it to partisan politics du jour.

    just proves that half the people reading these articles are retarded.

  85. Mr Hyde says:

    There is no way we stop china from taking Taiwan if they are willing to engage in a “hot” conflict short of a world war. That would be interesting to see if china pushes that issue.

  86. jamil van jones says:

    88: In the case of war between China and Taiwan, on which side you think Obama would be ?

    No way Taiwan can fight both China and US.

  87. Maybe China shouldn’t have been buying our debt all those years. Likewise, maybe we shouldn’t have been buying all their slave-labor produced shite?

    Me thinks that China has the upperhand here in that we are running a deficit and they are running a surplus.

    If we do decide to embargo their products, it’s gonna cost a lot to buy the replacement sh1t. One would expect a major recession would occur. In would come Uncle Sam to help reduce the pain, but who would buy our debt?

    Now China would lose a nice chunk of their export business, but not all of it. The government, running a surplus could help pick up the slack easily.

    Now who wins this battle Mr. Krugman?

  88. PGC says:

    #44 njescapee

    Did that 70s limo have Crushed Velour seating? … :*)

  89. PGC says:

    Gov. Chris Christie’s budget will cut more than $800 million in state aid to schools using a method outside New Jersey’s school funding formula, setting up a likely court challenge, according to two officials familiar with the plan.

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

    The big problem here is that if he is going to court, he better be sure he is going to win, otherwise it will cost more in the long run.

  90. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [87] veto

    I am not willing to speculate on what the commenter was trying to convey, but you gotta admit, it was a clever takeoff on Obama’s slogans.

  91. Mr Hyde says:

    90 Stu

    Its very possible we win it. There is no consumer large enough o replace the US in China’s export business. On top of that China is very worried about politicial stability its astounding growth rate of the last 5 – 10 years cannot be maintained. They have taken the US model and run it to new heights.

    Yes it would certainly hurt us, but you also are not talking about hundreds of millions being underfed and unemployed as a result. China is. They also have a megaton debt bubble of their own waiting to detonate.

    If we play our cards right we could come out on top in such a conflict.

    If we slammed the door on china and promptly opened our trade full bore to eurpoe, on the premise that they do the same, then china is toast.

    Perhaps not likely, but one of many possible scenario’s

  92. njescapee says:

    PGC, yeah it did :-) hated the limos but loved those old GM sedans. My fave was the ’79 Olds 98 we used to drive. Had to be kept low key back then because of terrorist threats. Some of us had to go to the Bondurante driving school. So nothing’s changed much.

  93. John says:

    cousin just gave me deats on her new home, 900K with 18K property tax. Nice, teacher 70K salary and husband’s unemployment check as income and bank gave them a loan. crazy stuff still going on.

  94. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Arrggh. Another dustup with the poster boy for DSM IV.

    I have so gotta start networking for my own practice. Fcuk these partners, especially this fool.

  95. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [45] jim

    Second that. When I was a trust admnistrator, the true Old Boys were just lovely to deal with. But the wannabes with 500K portfolios were insufferable.

  96. Doyle says:

    #96

    John, what was the mortgage amount?

  97. veto that says:

    93 nom, oh yeah. i can appreciate when anyone rips that vague slogan apart.

  98. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom,

    Better get moving on Nompouds Inc.

  99. chicagofinance says:

    Post of the year…..

    Cindy says:
    March 15, 2010 at 9:16 am
    http://www.businessinsider.com/fcuk-will-close-most-us-stores-2010-3
    Chicago – The end is nigh…
    Have a great day all…..

  100. New in NJ says:

    Mr Hyde #68

    I don’t think I could personally support cannibalism, but she might make a pretty good alternate energy source.

  101. veto that says:

    “If we do decide to embargo their products, it’s gonna cost a lot to buy the replacement sh1t.”

    stu, id rather pay more for stuff knowing that the money is being recycled back into our own economy, rather than being used to hasten our undoing.

    it should bother all of us that our vaccuum/toaster was made by starving children who work 12 hour days for a dollar and a bowl of rice.

    as they cut back on our treas holdings to send a message, we will prob run the printing presses a little harder. its easy to see who would win that game of chicken.

  102. Shore Guy says:

    “if taxation gets to be too onerous”

    One lesson of American history that politicians ignore at their peril is that while Americans have been willing to suffer and to sacrafice in order to move themselves and the nation forward, we do not cotton to what we see as excessive taxation. Consider our responses tothe Stamp act and various taxes imposed from London and the taxes that led to the Wiskey Rebellion. One can follow the pattern up to Prop 13 and the Reagan Revolution. There comws a point where American’s just say “stuff it” and push back. For the most part, it has not involved firearms, of late, but it sure is easy to see how things could get violent.

  103. Hyde,

    I suppose you might be right, but I question how much the Chinese’ divine nationalism would play into this. When residents of a state will subject themselves to a mandated limit on the number of children they may have and not riot over such oppressive rules, then I would question how bad it would need to get for them to go all ‘Tiananmen Square’ once again. I mean, the average Chinaman is as stupidly accepting of what the government discloses as Jamil is as to what Glenn Beck dictates.

  104. WTF says:

    Why doesn’t the government get off this guy’s back? He should be able to dump his medical waste wherever he wants! Isn’t that right fellow libertarians? I’ll bet Ayn Rand would agree.

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

  105. chicagofinance says:

    Come on guy….you obviously had a really messed up view of NYC. I know what you are saying, but there is tons more to the place that the crap you had to endure…and you know it.

    Another point is that that NYC is the great equalizer. In most places around the country you need power and influence, NYC is the ultimate capitalist statement……money overrides everything……don’t have money? ….then use your friggin’ coconut to figure out what other options you have…no one will stand in your way…

    njescapee says:
    March 15, 2010 at 8:44 am

    and I was a corporate executive chauffeur in the late 70s early 80s so I saw both sides. believe me nyc is rich-friendly. Union League Club, Princeton Club, breakfast at the Regency Hotel, and not one of these clevel ececs would spring for a hotel room on their own dime.

  106. Happy Daze says:

    35 Doom

    LMAO because it’s true!

  107. chicagofinance says:

    ulqin albani: among other items people have noted, the problem I’ve heard is that the starting salaries are high, but the raises suck and so in the long run you get screwed…..

    make money says:
    March 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Top Ten highest paying BA degrees. I trully hope my girl goes into engineering.

    Major Average Salary Offer

    Petroleum Engineering $86,220
    Chemical Engineering $65,142
    Mining & Mineral Engineering (incl. geological) $64,552
    Computer Science $61,205
    Computer Engineering $60,879
    Electrical/Electronics & Communications Engineering $59,074
    Mechanical Engineering $58,392
    Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering $57,734
    Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering $57,231
    Information Sciences & Systems $54,038

    Source: Winter 2010 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers. Data represent offers to bachelor’s degree candidates where 10 or more offers were reported.

  108. Happy Daze says:

    43 Hyde

    Don’t forget the luxurious accommodations.
    Living by Alberta’s tar sands
    you get the satisfaction of paying well over $100k to live in a trailer home.

  109. chicagofinance says:

    make money says:
    March 15, 2010 at 8:15 am
    Top Ten highest paying BA degrees. I truly hope my girl goes into engineering

    also:
    http://www.cornellsun.com/section/news/content/2010/03/15/rescue-efforts-continue-recover-matt-zikas-11-body

  110. njescapee says:

    (108)chi, I now like NYC at a distance and was just stating facts that’s all. I grew up working class, grew up in Queens and da Bronx. Used to hang out in Manhattan alot. My friend’s dad owned the pool hall under the arcade at 52nd and B’way back in the Super Fly days. Rode probably every mile of the subways when I was a kid i.e., I was a messenger in the summers during HS. Used to go to the Filmore, even got to hear Charlie Mingus at his club. But let’s face it man, these days NYC is really for the rich and the connected.

  111. Shore Guy says:

    ” get the satisfaction of paying well over $100k to live in a trailer home.”

    And $400,000for Elizabeth, Rozelle, Kerarny, etc. is better because…?

  112. Shore Guy says:

    Duh! Higher taxes and proximity to NY (which folks tend not to take advantage of anyway).

  113. John says:

    No clue but guy is laid off subprime mortgage broker so I am sure he knows all the tricks. From my back of hand calculations they could not afford that house if they got it for free with 18K taxes and over an acre of land.

    Doyle says:
    March 15, 2010 at 11:14 am
    #96

    John, what was the mortgage amount?

  114. John says:

    NFL “secret coin toss” just done to see who plays first regular season game at New Meadowlands stadium. Giants won of course. Jet fans are furious as it was a “secret coin toss” so no one actually saw the flip. Talk about BS. Woody Johnson wanted to have it done at “meet your seats” day so fans and media could see flip. NFL sucks, missed out on great PR stunt.

    I wonder if the do “secret coin tosses” to decide who gets into Harvard?

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [105] shore

    It will only get violent on a troubling scale if a state decides to push back and tells the feds to fcuk off. The state can suspend cooperation with the IRS, can order registrars of deeds not to record IRS liens, and (this is where it gets interesting), actively prevent enforcement of federal laws by arresting federal officers, and enforcing state habeas writs on the Marshal Service.

    This will create a federalism crisis, and force the feds to either act heavy handedly, or back off.

    BTW, Montana is doing something similar to piss off the feds right now by licensing production of firearms or ammo for manuacture and sale only in Montana. The argument is that the feds would have no jurisdiction to regulate because there is no interstate commerce. Personally, I think that is a weak argument, but Montana will force it to be litigated there.

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [117] john

    “I wonder if the do “secret coin tosses” to decide who gets into Harvard?”

    Not that secret, actually.

    One winning strategy is to move to Cambridge and enroll your kid in Rindge and Latin. Harvard has to take a certain number of Cantabrigidians every year. Improves the odds greatly.

  117. A.West says:

    John,
    Up at the top there are a lot of women on boards, my wife’s classmates from China are now pretty senior, men and women.

    At the low end, you’d probably love it – the hotels and bars are full of pretty young girls looking to climb all over the guys with money, and they aren’t even ashamed of it. No way would my wife would let me work in China while she stayed in the US, virtually all the married men over there succumb to the temptation (though I wouldn’t succumb of course). People in China are pretty amoral, generally care more about “face” than their own integrity.

  118. Hey Gator,

    Want to move to China? I’ll go on a fact finding machine for a year first to test it out. OK?

  119. jamil van jones says:

    105 Shore: “One lesson of American history that politicians ignore at their peril is that while Americans have been willing to suffer and to sacrafice in order to move themselves and the nation forward, we do not cotton to what we see as excessive taxation. ”

    Politicians have one tempting option: They can replace the people. In the UK, leaked labour gov documents from the early days of Blair regime exposed such that, ie labour wanted to have massive parasitic immigration in order to soilidify political power and in the US, various “immigration” groups directly linked to Dems have openly admitted that too. If they enough people in, the “progressives” can take over permanently.

    To (again) paraphrase Harry Reid: This war is lost.
    America lost. Parasites won. I don’t think America can ever recover from 4 years of current Chimp-in-Chief.

    It’s over.

  120. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [122] jamil

    That’s hardly news or new. In fact, that was Tammany Hall’s power base.

  121. Qwerty says:

    Chi @ 11:36am, admit it, you’re the guy in the front row holding the camera…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYmmh9zkpQM

    “Another point is that that NYC is the great equalizer. In most places around the country you need power and influence, NYC is the ultimate capitalist statement… …money overrides everything… …don’t have money? ….then use your friggin’ coconut to figure out what other options you have…no one will stand in your way…”

  122. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [118] redux

    Boy am I behind. It is already being litigated in Montana, and the DOJ filed a reply brief recently (pro-gun groups filed an action for a declaratory judgment that the commerce clause does not extend to in-state activities; DOJ opposes)

    Personally, I think that this is a losing argument, but it makes for good political theatre—states pass legislation asserting their rights, and the Feds come in and get them stricken down.

    Wonder what will happen when one of the 20 odd states with nullification resolutions actually gets sued to enforce it?

  123. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [122] jamil.

    There is also a call to open the borders so people buy our houses.

    Yeah. As if.

  124. Shore Guy says:

    ” care more about “face” than their own integrity.”

    To paraphrase Billy Crystal’s take off or Ricardo Montelbaum (I know rhere is no way I spelled that correctly):

    It is better to look good than to be good?

  125. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom

    Art imitates life on the grandest of scales. From Al’s illuminati to open boarders for housing to trade wars with japan. You couldnt write the script for all of this happening at the same time.

    should make for a heck of a ride!

  126. PGC says:

    #107 WTF

    It amuses me when I see the Texas Tea Party start ranting about the EPA. Its stories like this that show that business (large or small) cannot pol1ce themselves. Theres not much differnece between this guy and GE dumping in the Hudson.

    Does the EPA fall within the small government proponents’ “The 4 things we will pay the Government to run”

  127. Final Doom says:

    veto (73)-

    33 months? Try 33 years.

    LMFAO.

    “Some of the positive housing data may not be signaling a true turning point, as many servicers are holding back on foreclosures and the related houses are not yet being offered for sale,” said Diane Westerback, a managing director at Standard & Poor’s. Westerback said it could take 33 months to clear the backlog.”

  128. Nicholas says:

    I am an Electrical Engineer and my starting salary in 2005 was 54,000$ a year. In 2010, I’m now double that figure and from what I know I’m not near a cap.

    I suppose that if you wanted to be a glorified secretary you could be but the same could be said of any degree. You could get a degree in finance and work for H&R Block doing taxes.

    I think that your arguments and evidence are ancedotal. The real key to raising your salary is to work for a company who’s core buisness is directly in line with your field. For example, get an Aerospace degree and go work for NASA or Boeing for the duckets. If you work as an Aerospace engineer doing sound checks for some nameless band then you are going to suffer the pay hit.

    The other thing to remember about engineering is that in general the pay increases do suck but experience is gold in the industry. If you net the right exposure to the right systems then your skills become a very hot commodity. When this occurs it is almost necessary to change companies as your boss will get heartburn when he has to give you that 20% raise just to keep you from leaving. When they start paying you more than their own salary thats when things get really crazy and almost always means you have to find another job, one where your manager is also an engineer.

    You are right, the industry is overwhelmed by aged engineers that are still hanging on to those cooshie jobs. The thing that you must remember is that because of the “nerdy” stigma put on engineering over the last 20 years there has been a lack of replacements to step into the gap. I’m surrounded by 60 year old communications engineers that are destined to retire in the next 5 years and there will not be suitable replacements to fill their shoes.

    Now where is my darned pay cap? I must have misplaced it.

    Engineering is a glorified clerical position. I used to live near Sperry growing up and recall those 40 year old engineers driving to work to sit in their short sleeve shirts with ties in their little cubes while the 40 year old wall street execs in my town were being driven home in a limos in their armani suits.

    Another post…

    among other items people have noted, the problem I’ve heard is that the starting salaries are high, but the raises suck and so in the long run you get screwed…..

  129. jamil van jones says:

    130 PGC: “It amuses me when I see the Texas Tea Party start ranting about the EPA.”

    EPA is using discredited “science” to push government control for political reasons. What next, some gov agency, using scientific evidence that earth is flat, starts controlling opening of abortion clinics?

    EPA is staffed by hard-core leftists who share certain sick ideology.

  130. PGC says:

    #134 Jamil

    Well that point sailed way above your head.

    Not suprising.

  131. House Whine says:

    133- Here’s what’s happening on the undergraduate level as regards engineering- students go in with the best intentions but many drop out of the degree program when they realize how much hard work and studying is involved. If you don’t love it, you will hate sticking with it for the 4 or 5 years it takes to get the degree. And, the field still doesn’t seem to be attracting as many women as thought would be in it by now. It’s a lot of nose to the grindstone, without a lot of time left for partying, if you want to get the good grades.

    I have a close friend who has been an electrical engineer w/a Master’s and is in his 50’s. He is now “stuck” with his resume of being in start ups and can’t break into the already well-established companies. He works very long hours, without much job security. I have no idea what his salary is, but he isn’t living the life of Reilly. So I think you are right about choosing to work in the right niche from the get-go.

  132. PGC says:

    #117 Strawman,

    Don’t worry, even though you lost the coin toss, you will have a Lean and Mean Jets Team next year.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2010/03/13/2010-03-13_band_on_the_tum_jets_coach_has_surgery_to_trim_weight.html

  133. Juice Box Sean says:

    Clot – remember our discussion of “Flash Riots” in Greece.

    Well seems the FBI does not like the concept of using Twitter to outwit them.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/03/police-twitter-riots-social-media-activists

  134. NJGator says:

    From the Baristanet Real Estate Page:

    145 2nd Avenue, Little Falls
    List Price: $429,000
    Taxes: $9,228
    Lot Size: 0.27 acres
    4BR/1.5 BA
    Open Sunday, 2-4 pm

    Realtor Comments:Montclair-style home without the taxes, on a pretty street, and close to the Little Falls train station.

    Hmmmm….cause $9k+ in taxes on a $429k house is such a deal. I wonder if the open house went off while the Passaic River was flooding nearby. Do Little Falls houses come complete with boats?

  135. Final Doom says:

    sean (138)-

    When the time comes, I’m just gonna stand on my porch and pick off as many uniformed people as I can.

    That philosophy kinds eliminates my need for Twitter.

  136. make money says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/35873506

    I thought people who take TARP will never go to jail.

  137. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    129.

    Hyde,

    The war scenarios, as previously discussed, are valid views imo. All part of the Anglo Saxon mission. Gotta get that war started.

    On another note. Speaking of illuminati and the p@dophiles in the UN.

    Girl Scouts Distribute Planned Parenthood Sex Guide at UN Meeting

    “The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about v@ginal or @nal intercourse… But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!”
    http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.1589/pub_detail.asp

  138. Final Doom says:

    gator (139)-

    Believe it or not, I was in Northern VA this weekend, and it is even more of a hell on Earth than Little Falls.

    If I lived in NOVA, I’d have wigged out a couple years ago. The traffic alone is a nightmare.

  139. Mr Hyde says:

    House

    The popular concept in engineering for the last 10 years was that the low % of women in the filed was due to legacy exclusion of women.
    If that was truly the case then you would see a much larger # of women in engineering. There are some real world differences that just arent politically correct. There will most likely always be more male engineers then female , just as there will likely be more female nurses and teaches then male.

    You can enforce and indeed want equal opportunity but will only ever have equal achievement if artificially enforced regardless of the gender or cultural mix you have in any given field.

  140. NJGator says:

    N.J. taxpayers owe pension fund $45.8 billion

    New Jersey taxpayers face a decades-long continuation of six-figure annual pension payouts and other costly retirement benefits promised to public employees.

    The reason: State law guarantees that pensions for existing workers can’t be altered. Even a package of pending legislation — hailed as the remedy for a system that’s short $45.8 billion — would apply only to new employees and not to the current workforce of some 450,000.

    The guarantee, in a 1997 law signed by Republican Gov. Christie Whitman, has served to insulate public workers from wrenching economic realities that prevail in the private sector. Amid the national recession, for instance, 21 percent of Garden State companies suspended payments to 401(k)s, according to a September survey by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Those companies are not obliged to resume the contributions or make up the difference.

    “In private industry, for those not in a union environment, employers are free to make changes as they see fit,” said Jim O’Connor, managing director of Cbiz EAO benefits, a Manasquan consulting firm. “It’s all business-driven.”

    New Jersey’s government workers have no such retirement uncertainty. The trend in their pension system is ever-growing salaries and a surge in retirees. It’s all underwritten by the country’s highest-taxed property owners — whose elected officials accommodated labor unions, incorrectly counted on eternal pie-in-the-sky investment returns and took little action when a financial crisis was clear.

    A multiyear pension-data analysis by The Record shows that:

    Annual payments to retirees reached $5.50 billion in 2008, from $3.53 billion in 2002 — a 56 percent increase and more than triple the national inflation rate. The number of retirees, meanwhile, increased 21.4 percent, to 226,000.

    “Pensionable” salaries of existing public workers jumped 23.8 percent, to $23.98 billion in 2008 from $19.37 billion in 2002.

    In 2003, roughly one in eight public employees earned at least $75,000. That number more than doubled — to 98,300, from 49,800 — and now about one in five workers is paid at least $75,000.

    Estimated obligations to current retirees now stand at $72.08 billion. Another $61.67 billion is due to current employees. The total outstanding obligation, $134.9 billion, is up 22.2 percent since 2006.

    The system is $45.8 billion in the hole. In other words, for every $3 it owes, the state is short nearly a buck. The shortage, known as an unfunded liability, has more than doubled from 2006, when it was $24.8 billion.
    Changes brewing
    With support from both parties and Governor Christie, legislative leaders are championing a pension-reform package that would tighten enrollment eligibility, raise retirement ages and make other cost-saving changes.

    One proposal would phase out the traditional pension plan, a move private industry started after a 1974 law encouraged 401(k)-type programs. In 1979, roughly six in 10 private-sector workers had a pension plan similar to what New Jersey runs today, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. In 2008, the ratio stood at a mere one in 14.

    Such “defined-benefit” systems are costly to employers, both to administer and to keep solvent.

    “Public employers are subject to union pressures and legislative restrictions,” said O’Connor, the benefits consultant. “In New Jersey, you have very strong unions and you also require an act of the state Legislature to make changes to pension rules.”

    Supporters of the reforms working through the Legislature say that eventually those changes would help shore up the system.

    But they would have no impact, by way of example, on a 21-year-old office worker hired before any of the proposed reforms are signed, and who could retire in 2049 and enjoy today’s generous retirement benefits.

    “For the current employees, we are bound, absolutely,” said state Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester. “But we’re not bound for life. It’s just a matter of us drawing the line. Current employees obviously keep what they have because they have it. But for future employees, no.”

    Employment experts say, however, that in the private sector, retirement rules can be changed in the middle of employees’ careers. For example, pension plans are routinely “frozen” when business pressures demand — meaning that workers stop accumulating pension credits. Accrued benefits are sacrosanct, as are payments to those who have retired.

    Skipped payments
    The crisis now is far from what the Whitman administration had pictured in 1997, when the governor successfully lobbied to skip pension payments, bond $2.75 billion and apply that loan plus investment earnings to patch a $4.2 billion hole in the pension funds. The idea, called the Pension Security Plan, was to lower taxes, relieve long-term debt and ensure the long-term health of the pension pool. But a key assumption of the plan — annual investment returns of 8.75 percent — faltered when the markets ended their run-up in 2001.

    “These are mysterious things to most of the people most of the time,” said Gordon MacInnes, a former Democratic state senator from Morristown who had tried to defeat the plan. “[Lawmakers] were just abandoning prudent conservative practices to make good on a political promise to reduce the income tax by 30 percent and at the same time balance the budget. This was the primary vehicle to do that.”

    James DeEleuterio, one of Whitman’s treasurers, defended the governor’s Pension Security Plan as fiscally sound. As for the related legislation — the “non-forfeitable” right to a pension — it merely formalized what had been practice all along, he said.

    “Part of that was, frankly, a trade-off,” DeEleuterio said. “At the time, the unions made several concessions to the state in terms of employees paying a part of their overall health-benefit costs and changing copays. They said if we’re going to make these concessions, we want a guarantee that once an employee becomes vested, the state can’t turn around and say, ‘OK, we’re taking that back.’ ”

    The pension-bond bill won narrow approval. The non-forfeiture measure received overwhelming support in both houses, with five Republicans — one in the Senate and four in the Assembly — casting no votes.

    “Back in those times the stock market was doing pretty well,” said Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Sussex, who as an assemblyman had voted against the 1997 pension bills. “But the question was, ‘OK, what if that doesn’t go on into perpetuity — will we face a problem in the future knowing that a good thing doesn’t last forever?’ A handful of us said we have to prepare ourselves for that day.”

    When Whitman left office in 2000 to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the pension system continued to be flush — but the administration had warned that if the excess assets vanished, the state would have to resume making payments, DeEleuterio said.

    Instead, later administrations continued to withhold payments, even as the markets contracted, tax revenue dried up and New Jersey’s unfunded obligation — what it owed, compared to what was on hand — reached its current $45.8 billion.

    Recognizing mistakes

    In 2005, a pension-and-benefits review panel convened by Richard J. Codey, the Democratic acting governor, identified missteps — including the Pension Security Plan — and suggested corrections. A year later, a special legislative committee on property-tax reform identified an $18 billion unfunded pension liability and recommended 21 changes to strengthen the retirement system. Few of those recommendations became law.

    Sen. Kevin J. O’Toole, R-Cedar Grove, who sat on the committee’s benefits-reform panel, asked for legal opinions on non-forfeitable pension rights. Lawyers from the Office of Legislative Services and the Attorney General’s Office said the clause from the 1997 law was akin to a contract and altering it would be unconstitutional. O’Toole, an attorney, wasn’t satisfied.

    “There’s still deep exploration on what’s a non-forfeitable right and what’s not,” he said last week. “We’re going to get a briefing from the Governor’s Office and the treasurer soon. Right now, everyone’s holding their breath.”

    Sweeney, the state Senate president — and an ironworker with heavy backing from trade unions — has had one-on-one discussions with members of public-safety and other employee unions. He said he told them that the state will fulfill its promise of a sound pension, but stressed that long-term reform — however slow — is necessary.

    “Pensions are long term,” he said. “Shocking the system would force people to leave, run out the door. By doing it in a very responsible way, which we are, you’re gradually correcting the pension system. It’s not about fixing it overnight. It didn’t break overnight.”

    One of the reform proposals under consideration would ask voters to approve a constitutional change, ordering the state to make good on the pension contributions it has skipped for years, even as the workforce dutifully paid its share. Supporters say such a clause, with a seven-year payment plan for $17.5 billion in overdue funds, would set up New Jersey for fiscal responsibility.

    Critics say it would require up to 10 percent in immediate and disastrous budget cuts to cover what’s owed.

    “How many colleges are you going to close?” said Michael Riccards, executive director of the non-partisan Hall Institute of Public Policy, which has studied pension issues. “How many mental institutions are you going to close? How many jails are you going to close?”

    E-mail: younge@northjersey.com and sheingold@northjersey.com

    Big salaries, big pensions
    New Jersey has seen dramatic increases since 2003 in the number of people receiving annual government pensions of at least $75,000 or earning government salaries of at least $100,000.

    Retired employees
    Annual pension 2003 2009
    At least $100,000 26 377
    At least $75,000 500 3,391

    Active employees
    (Salary of at least $100,000)

    Employees 2003 Percent of employees 2008 Percent of employees
    All employees 8,538 2.0 24,836 5.4
    State police fund 15 0.6 1,536 51.6
    Police and firefighters fund 2,618 6.3 8,374 19.4

    Source: New Jersey Treasury Department/staff analysis by Dave Sheingold

    Three scenarios
    New Jersey’s government employee pension system covers 463,000 current workers and 226,000 retirees. Here are three scenarios for how much will be owed to three typical current employees if they stay on the public payroll until retirement.

    Teacher Police officer Office worker
    Average 2008 salary $52,810 $71,333 $42,388
    Estimated final salary $124,486 $121,440 $99,919
    Annual pension $82,991 $78,936 $67,218
    Lifetime pension $1,576,829 $2,447,016 $1,277,142

    Note — Estimates use the following assumptions: starting with average 2008 salaries of 30-year-old workers with at least five years’ experience; building in 3-percent annual raises until reaching the retirement age for each fund; living until age 79.

    Source: New Jersey Treasury Department/staff analysis by Dave Sheingold

    New Jersey taxpayers face a decades-long continuation of six-figure annual pension payouts and other costly retirement benefits promised to public employees.

    RECORD FILE PHOTO The reason: State law guarantees that pensions for existing workers can’t be altered. Even a package of pending legislation — hailed as the remedy for a system that’s short $45.8 billion — would apply only to new employees and not to the current workforce of some 450,000.

    The guarantee, in a 1997 law signed by Republican Gov. Christie Whitman, has served to insulate public workers from wrenching economic realities that prevail in the private sector. Amid the national recession, for instance, 21 percent of Garden State companies suspended payments to 401(k)s, according to a September survey by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Those companies are not obliged to resume the contributions or make up the difference.

    “In private industry, for those not in a union environment, employers are free to make changes as they see fit,” said Jim O’Connor, managing director of Cbiz EAO benefits, a Manasquan consulting firm. “It’s all business-driven.”

    New Jersey’s government workers have no such retirement uncertainty. The trend in their pension system is ever-growing salaries and a surge in retirees. It’s all underwritten by the country’s highest-taxed property owners — whose elected officials accommodated labor unions, incorrectly counted on eternal pie-in-the-sky investment returns and took little action when a financial crisis was clear.

    A multiyear pension-data analysis by The Record shows that:

    Annual payments to retirees reached $5.50 billion in 2008, from $3.53 billion in 2002 — a 56 percent increase and more than triple the national inflation rate. The number of retirees, meanwhile, increased 21.4 percent, to 226,000.

    “Pensionable” salaries of existing public workers jumped 23.8 percent, to $23.98 billion in 2008 from $19.37 billion in 2002.

    In 2003, roughly one in eight public employees earned at least $75,000. That number more than doubled — to 98,300, from 49,800 — and now about one in five workers is paid at least $75,000.

    Estimated obligations to current retirees now stand at $72.08 billion. Another $61.67 billion is due to current employees. The total outstanding obligation, $134.9 billion, is up 22.2 percent since 2006.

    The system is $45.8 billion in the hole. In other words, for every $3 it owes, the state is short nearly a buck. The shortage, known as an unfunded liability, has more than doubled from 2006, when it was $24.8 billion.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/87610287_N_J__TAXPAYERS_OWE_PENSION_FUND.html

  141. Nicholas says:

    I totally agree with you that it was a very tough 4-5 years of studying from teachers who were overly analytical and knew how to effectively compute a grade curve, so don’t try any BS with them.

    I’m pretty sure that he can work his way back out of the “startup” category because everyone was doing it back in the early aughts. He likely doesn’t want to because he still romances the idea. The key is to focus on the skills he does have, sharpen them by further reading/study, pay out of pocket to go to industry conferences in his discipline and then rejoin the fold.

    Nothing is better then talking about the optical fiber conference (OFC) and what you thought was important and which speakers you liked to your potential boss. Better yet if he was one of the speakers then you can relate to him on a much better level.

    Here’s what’s happening on the undergraduate level as regards engineering- students go in with the best intentions but many drop out of the degree program when they realize how much hard work and studying is involved. If you don’t love it, you will hate sticking with it for the 4 or 5 years it takes to get the degree. And, the field still doesn’t seem to be attracting as many women as thought would be in it by now. It’s a lot of nose to the grindstone, without a lot of time left for partying, if you want to get the good grades.

  142. Final Doom says:

    John, you should get a piece of this:

    “The FDIC announced a $1.8 billion deal after the close on Friday. I thought it was interesting from a number of perspectives. As usual, I find fault with it.

    The summary terms of the transaction can be found here. The following is what I thought important:

    -This is a run of the mill MBS with bells and whistles. The big whistle is the guaranty. The FDIC has puts its chomp on the whole thing. That means that this has the full faith and credit of the US government behind it.

    -The deal was priced as a discount to Ginnie Mae paper (also full faith guaranty). The FDIC remarked that there was “robust” demand for the paper. I should hope so. High yielding AAA should not be a hard sale these days.

    -The 1.8B deal was backed by $3.6B in mortgages that FDIC owned as a result of acquiring failed banks. The advance rate on the deal is 50% of face. What this means is that the mortgages in the portfolio are swill. No wonder the FDIC had to put its name on this to get it out the door.

    -The collateral was valued at 70% of par. This is the same discount that was applied to the sale by FDIC of its performing mortgages that came from the failed Indymac bank. That deal has proved to a bust. The ex Goldman guys who put the Indymac deal together are now just raking it in, much to the chagrin of the FDIC and at the expense of the old Indymac borrowers.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/sheila-does-deal

  143. Mr Hyde says:

    Sean,

    It would seem that you could avoid some the trouble these guys ran into buy using a cracked wifi connection in a populous area and a high gain antenna.

    That combined with something like TOR could make it VERY difficult to find you until after the fact.

    Heck, crack several wifi connections in a populous area and jump from one connection to the other using a high gain antenna and it becomes even easier to hide your true location.

    These are all trivial actions that could be done by an 8th grader with basic PC know how.

  144. Final Doom says:

    hyde (148)-

    I cannot process instructions that are more complex than “squeeze the trigger, and fire until the clip is exhausted”.

  145. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Stupid In America; What’s Wrong with the U.S. Education System?

    The following video should be required viewing for every member in Congress, every teacher in the United States, and every parent with children in public education.

    Here are a couple of select quotes:

    From a parent: “I would not send my kind to an American public school, not even for a million dollars.”

    From a student: “I think it’s a pity that American children don’t have the same opportunities and the same choices that we have”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx4pN-aiofw&feature=player_embedded#

  146. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom

    put simply, a laptop and a fancy antenna would allow to run twitter communications over other peoples home networks regardless of whether or not they have their wireless “protected” you could even jump from one home network to another, so that if done correctly, the twitter feed cant be traced to your physical location.

  147. Sastry says:

    Powerball $200M+ ticket sold in North Jersey. Check your wallets. I checked mine, and found that I don’t have a ticket.

  148. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    U.S., U.K. Move Closer to Losing Rating, Moody’s Says

    March 15 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. and the U.K. have moved “substantially” closer to losing their AAA credit ratings as the cost of servicing their debt rose, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=a0a8xAghPS8I

  149. Nicholas says:

    On the topic of women in engineering, I have little to add mostly because I’m male and because I really haven’t thought about it.

    If I were to hazard a guess as to why there are not more women in science and engineering disciplines it is probably because the nature of the work environment. Engineering has been a very fast changing environment and when you stop reading/applying yourself the skills you have quickly atrophy and become outdated/useless. A woman who wants to take 2-5 years out of her career to raise a family immediately finds that her skills that were top notch are now second rate.

    It necessitates that a woman who wants to raise a family must work doubly hard to maintain relevancy in her work which for obvious reasons would be difficult.

    Data suggest that the attrition rate for females is twice as high as for males with Bachelors degrees from industry jobs. With a Doctorate degree the attrition rate nearly matches that of male counterparts.

    This article from 1994 examines the issues women and engineering and would support the above conclusion. This article is very data heavy/rich.

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=2264

  150. Sastry says:

    #150…

    “I would not send my kind to an American public school, not even for a million dollars.”

    The only person I know that sent the kid to a private school did so ‘cuz the kid was a extremely good at math (+5 grades), but was at same age level in other things. There too, the only problem was that the kid would have to then go to two schools.

    Much of the rants against public school seem to be either from the “tax” side of the equation, or from wing nuts!

    S

  151. Final Doom says:

    It is one of the great regrets of my life that I’m having to send my kids to public school.

    Experiencing my “Blue Ribbon” district up close and personal is one of the things that has convinced me that we now live in a Third World jerkwater.

    It’s also convinced me that there will be no avoiding the certain doom coming our way.

  152. Final Doom says:

    Ignorant is forever.

  153. John says:

    Why would a women want to be an engineer when she can sleep with Tiger Woods or get a reality show and go on TMZ and ET and do a tell all for a few million? Or worse case marry rich.

    My friend who was filty rich married and ex-stripper and only ask that she never work. He said last thing is I want some career women going blah blah blah about her day at work while my house is dirty and no food is on table.

  154. House Whine says:

    144- and 154 Mr. Hyde, Nicholas
    I actually do agree with your points about women in engineering. The successful women engineers that I do know have never been able to opt out to raise a family. Either they have no children OR their husbands have no career to speak of and are raising their children.

    Nicholas you are also so correct about the fact that at this point I really doubt my engineer friend has any intention of leaving his niche. He keeps thinking that success is right around the corner. Maybe he doesn’t mind working 24/7.

  155. John says:

    BTW I have 12 years of private education and ooks how gd I dplel.

  156. Final Doom says:

    Thanks for clearing that up, John.

  157. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.

    The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.

    Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.

    Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.

    The Sunday Herald reported in 2007 that stealth bomber hangers on the island were being equipped to take bunker-buster bombs.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/final-destination-iran-1.1013151

    155.

    Nope. Public schools suck. Sorry.

  158. A.West says:

    John,
    How does he like his ex-stripper wife, who I’m guessing is not great at cooking or cleaning, and now being married, isn’t much interested in s3x either.
    Does he tell all his friends that his wife is an ex-stripper, for kicks, or did you get to know her before they entered holy matrimony?

  159. Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:

    Here it comes again, another late day melt-up:)

  160. Mr Hyde says:

    John

    I thought you married the career woman and kept the stripper on the side? Did i do it wrong?

  161. Final Doom says:

    west (163)-

    In the World of John, any woman under 300 lbs. that’s married to a rich guy is, de facto, an ex-stripper.

    I do like John’s fantasy of a guy being able to get an actual ex-stripper to cook dinner and clean house.

    In fact, I increasingly wish I could become trapped in 1962 the way John is.

  162. Final Doom says:

    HE (164)-

    There will be a late-session melt-up (on low volume, natch) on the day that Jesus rises from the dead and condemns most of us to an eternity of hell.

  163. John says:

    Loves it, she is 5 ft 9 inch and blonde with a smoking body, turns out she does not cook or clean. What she does do is go to gym, keep in shape, keeps her hair and makeup and nails done and when he walks in door she takes care of him. Well he pays for take-out and a maid and some baby sitting when she is working out or getting “worked on” but many does he enjoy her and never has to listen to her day at work. No big rumped floppy working gals for him.

    It was either her, sweedish model or a variety of other things that make men go weak at knees. She also used to do girl/girl shows on stage, how hot is that!!! Don’t worry about him, he has been with a few hundred women and she is 12 years younger and in spite of her career is no where near his body count. He knew he wanted her from the moment he met her. However, he waited six months to ask her out as he wanted to do all her friend first. He figured she would dump him if started with her first and then did her friends. He is a smart man. She was on the cover of a magazine recently too, NYC is a great place for hot women. Bad place for working ladies. No fame and fortune to be found in a cube.

    A.West says:
    March 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm
    John,
    How does he like his ex-stripper wife, who I’m guessing is not great at cooking or cleaning, and now being married, isn’t much interested in s3x either.
    Does he tell all his friends that his wife is an ex-stripper, for kicks, or did you get to know her before they entered holy matrimony?

  164. Happy Daze says:

    114 Shore

    I made a lengthy response but it’s in moderation (probably because it has a few links).

    In short, I made a typo if ever there was one. 100k should be 500k.

    “Don’t forget the luxurious accommodations.
    Living by Alberta’s tar sands
    you get the satisfaction of paying well over $500k to live in a trailer home.”

  165. Final Doom says:

    hyde (165)-

    Sounds like it’s from that whole “treat your wife like a hooker” playbook.

    If I’m gonna treat my wife like a hooker, she’s gonna get turned out and make me some damn money. :)

  166. Final Doom says:

    John (168)-

    I don’t have enough energy to properly respond.

    I am not worthy.

  167. John says:

    One of my requirements was a wife who would not work when we had kids. I made that clear around the second date. Child care, two commutes, two lunches, drycleaning and all the juggling is pointless. You end up with two 1/2 careers instead of one full one. That said I don’t mind being the one who stays home.

    Mr Hyde says:
    March 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    John

    I thought you married the career woman and kept the stripper on the side? Did i do it wrong?

  168. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom,

    To be fair, i do know s couple who essentially have the “John” arrangement. He makes the Big $$$ and she keeps herself in shape and takes care of him, i.e. johns description at 168.

    You have to wonder how that works out after 20 years though

  169. Happy Daze says:

    Little-known fact:

    Cindy Crawford has on a chemical engineering scholarship but dropped out to become a full-time model.

  170. veto that says:

    sweet weather will be in 60s all week.

  171. Mr Hyde says:

    No link:

    Per the WSJ C, JPM, WFC and BOA have about 2.8 Trillion in Helocs on their books.

    Clot,

    So tell me again what happens if these banks actually used mark-to-market accounting on these assets

  172. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [130] PGC

    “Theres not much differnece between this guy and GE dumping in the Hudson.”

    Show me where the tea parties, or any conservative group for that matter, advocate in favor of such dumping.

    And please, no tortured Kevin Bacon game scenarios where one tries to link outrage at EPA efforts to go around Congress on carbon dioxide is an implicit approval of dumping toxic waste in estuaries. Won’t fly.

  173. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [176] hyde

    “So tell me again what happens if these banks actually used mark-to-market accounting on these assets”

    You’re an engineer (when you aren’t subbing as a h.s. janitor).

    What happens when a 30 ton lead weight falls 150 feet from a crane onto the steel subflooring that the crew just laid on that construction site???

  174. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom,

    NJ is currently required by law to meet its pension obligations. Couldnt the legislature pass a new law bypassing this commitment?

  175. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [143] doom

    Trick is to live inside tthe Beltway. Closer in, the better.

  176. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde – I hope i’m living far away from NJ if that ever come to pass. The union whining would make me prefer riots.

    FYI greetings from San Juan PR airport on my way home only to go back on sunday. Isn’t work grand, but sure beats the alternative.

    My favorite statement regarding the intellectually challenged; You can’t fix stupid

  177. I couldn’t understand some parts of this post, but I guess I only need to learn a bit more about this, because it sure seems interesting and kind of though-proviking! By the way, how did you first get started with this?

  178. skep-tic says:

    Bidding wars are breaking out on not so great houses that are not insanely overpriced. Anyone who is seriously looking right now I think can back me up on this. The doomsday talk here is increasingly diverging from reality when it comes to real estate.

  179. Final Doom says:

    hyde (176)-

    The correct answer is: the US banking system is insolvent.

    Bonus answer: given the massive presence of garbage, misvalued mortgages on the Fed balance sheet, it is also insolvent.

    “So tell me again what happens if these banks actually used mark-to-market accounting on these assets”

  180. skep-tic says:

    husband who works and wife who works out is the de facto arrangement in probably 25 towns across the tri state area.

  181. Final Doom says:

    hyde (179)-

    Why can’t we issue pensioners IOU notes, a la California?

    We could also pin a note to the IOUs on how to shred them and braise them like cabbage.

    “So tell me again what happens if these banks actually used mark-to-market accounting on these assets”

  182. njescapee says:

    PAPER: CT Sen Candidate Owns 47 Foot Yacht Called ‘Sexy Bitch’…

    http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/The-running-of-the-rich-Is-wealth-changing-406355.php

  183. Juice Box says:

    re: #176 – “So tell me again what happens if these banks actually used mark-to-market accounting on these assets”

    “Systemic margin call from Hell” is the standard term I believe.

  184. d2b says:

    Escape-
    If you like the olds 98. You would have loved my stable of cool college rides wich were handed down from relatives at the right price of free.
    1984 Dodge Ares-k car
    1978 Ford LTD wagon
    1970s Mercury Grand Marquis
    1979 Delta 98.
    Everytime a car would die it seemed that someone in our family was getting something new. They were not pretty but the price was right. My 98 had a leak that dumped water on the passenger when I made a left turn.

  185. sas says:

    can you say pension funds?

    ok, go back to sleep.

    SAS

  186. Barbara says:

    because you love it. 98 Olds fans, click –
    Brought to you by chuck and the flav:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr4oH57iaR4

  187. njescapee says:

    189, d2b, That ’79 Olds 98 Regency was a solid ride. It had a great drivetrain and handled real well, nice leather seats. I think it was the 3rd model year after GM introduced the shorter body style.

  188. njescapee says:

    thanks Barbara!!

  189. veto that says:

    “Bidding wars are breaking out”

    Ok Skeptic, you were on a role last week but im sorry, i have to draw the line and so i cant agree to the bidding wars thing. If anything i would expect to see alot of activity with the comps close around 2005 prices all the way through may, but i dont expect bidding wars. Are you really seeing that???

    This weekend was a bust up by me because of the storm.
    We went to one open house for a town home.

    With all the bad weather, its going to push all the transactions into april and it will be a record April!!! green shoots.

  190. skep-tic says:

    I saw 2 bidding wars break out on Sunday after open houses. This was not in NJ. One house was in decent shape but was priced about 10% higher than recent comps. I thought this price discrepancy would keep people away, but when I went to the open house and saw the number of families with little kids there (at least 10 sets), I thought to myself “damn.” Sure enough, multiple bids. This is going to set a new higher comp for the neighborhood. The second open house I went to, same thing happened. This house was in really good shape, renovated, but small. Mutiple bids again– this one is going above asking price. I am telling you, this doomsday stuff does not match reality any more.

  191. Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:

    I didn’t see any bidding wars in Hoboken this weekend as half the town was underwater. I did notice a heated email exchange between a couple of RE brokers over pricing of the resale units in the building I live in as one was listing places at 10% off peak while the other was going at 30%:) Actually pretty funny to read them at each others throats. It’s ok though as most of them will be tending bar or bagging groceries anyway in a couple of years.

  192. Dink says:

    Veto,

    how would I use the Case Shiller data to ballpark an appropriate price on a house today. For example, a house was sold in Aug-2004 for $400K. The index was 177.5 then. Currently its as 171.5. Does this indicate the price sold should be about 3% less?

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

  193. skep-tic says:

    I am not saying these people are rational. I think it is a mini-frenzy because of this tax credit and because mortgage rates are low. Both are at least fully priced in at this point, so it is silly. I am definitely not getting into a bidding war right now. But I do think this is quite a new phenomenon relative to the last 18 months – 2 yrs.

  194. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    BOHICA everyone. . .

    “House Budget Panel Approves Reconciliation Bill to Advance Health Overhaul Bill

    Posted March 15, 2010, 4:49 P.M. ET

    The House Budget Committee March 15 voted 21-16 to advance the procedural vehicle needed to pass the health care reform bill in Congress to the full House, making it possible for the legislation to come to the House floor by the end of the week.

    The Reconciliation Act of 2010 contains the higher thresholds for the 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health insurance premiums and new hospital insurance (HI) taxes on unearned income proposed by President Obama to help bridge the gap between the House- and Senate-passed health care overhaul bills.

    The Senate bill (H.R. 3590) will be taken up in the House along with the reconciliation bill and both will be sent to the president for his signature. The Senate-passed bill is expected to be attached to the reconciliation bill by the House Rules Committee, which would deem the Senate bill as passed under a self-executing rule once the reconciliation bill is passed.

    House leaders have said they are still awaiting final cost estimates for the legislation from the Congressional Budget Office and the earliest possible vote on the bill would be March 18. If passed by the House, the legislation could be passed in the Senate with only a 51-vote majority because reconciliation bills cannot be filibustered.”

  195. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom[125];

    Wickard v. Filburn lives yet?

  196. jcer says:

    You’ve got WS bonuses coupled with STUPID,STUPID people trying to get an 8k tax credit and low rates. I am trying to buy because my lease is up, offered 400 on condo with ask of 450 from a developer no less, they came back with 445 and I told them to keep it, they’ve has this thing on the market for 2 years went from 650 to 600, then to 550, then 500 now 450 for the last 6 months. The active comp from 16 months ago is 420 and its on a higher floor, better view! I can buy a smaller unit, bank owned with guaranteed financing 3.5% down for 300. I expected them to come back more aggressively then they did.

    The stupidity of people who are apparently have managed to accumulate money is appalling.

  197. skep-tic says:

    There is some pent up demand. It is real. Some people put off buying last year because they were unsure of their employment outlook. If they have survived to this point, they believe they are in the clear and now is the time to buy. The $8k tax credit is enough of a nudge to push them over the edge. It will be interesting to see what happens after that expires, but in the meantime it looks like it may affect the comps.

  198. jcer says:

    if the government backs off the support in the next few months these recent buyers will not be happy.

  199. Happy Daze says:

    jcer,

    Is this one of the various high-rises around downtown JC?

  200. A.West says:

    Jcer,
    If you wanted to buy at 400k you had to put your starting bid low enough such that your final px is halfway between that and their ask. Then they reduce 5k, you hike 5k, repeat until one of you shuts down the process.

    “First and final offer” doesn’t work because that’s not how people are accustomed to negotiations working. Your 400k offer led them to think 425k was probably your real limit.

    Also, put more fishing lines in the water. Some people will deal, some won’t, so you need to have some negotiations to walk away to/from.

  201. willwork4beer says:

    Re: 182

    Clot,

    I think this bot is talking to you.

    interesting and kind of though-proviking! By the way, how did you first get started with this?

    I always figured you were a pro-viking kinda guy. Time to break out the broadsword and battle axe. Gotta be prepared in case the ammo runs low…

  202. skep-tic says:

    I agree with West on the bid strategy.

  203. willwork4beer says:

    Starting night two at the local motel. Woke up yesterday morning with no power, which also means no well pump, therefore no water. Tree fell on the line from the street to the house. JCP&L says “maybe” they’ll get it fixed by 11:00 PM tomorrow.

  204. jcer says:

    Yes it is downtown JC, I actually offered 390k was trying to buy for prob 405-410k(not first and final, I view 5k off as a really low increment, if they had come back 435, I would have upped), they came back at a laughable 445. I had my realtor go back and tell them that if they can get more aggressive I’m still interested if not, then eh. Developer has 5 units left, I figured they would be aggressively trying to sell, exact same unit higher floor is available resale for same money. Developer foolishly thinks there will be a surge due to the credit and doesn’t want to deal, I am confident if it doesn’t sell I can go back and buy for my number. Last year the developer would have taken that number and the credit rush along with fewer units to sell has them sitting and waiting for the right sucker, who will be 30-40k in the hole at inception.

  205. Anon E. Moose says:

    West[204] et al.;

    What about throwing that $445k back at the seller. “Clearly you’re not a serious seller if you’re going to take that negotiating position.”

    Wasn’t/isn’t similar done all the time to buyers? It’s not shutting down the process, just shaking the nuts loose from the tree a little.

    Buyers got the hand now — they should use it.

  206. jcer says:

    I have employed the various strategies, before. They work to an extent, I could get the developer to take 430-435 with the A.West strategy, typically that strategy works 3 rounds at the most leaving my with 430k. The longer the developer waits the worse it gets, is WS does layoffs units go on the market cheap as maintenance and taxes drown the owner in these high rises.

  207. willwork4beer says:

    Skep-tic,

    I believe you in regard to bidding wars for aggressively priced homes. I’m sure that’s happening in some places.

    However, and its JMHO, these folks will be underwater in a few months as RE takes another leg downward.

    All disclaimers.

  208. jcer says:

    Yes Anon, I am prodding to see how willing they are to negotiate, my opinion not much. They have shutdown, even at 400k it is expensive, add ~1500 per month in maintenance and taxes, when a similar rental goes for $2500 and tell me how great of a deal it is.

  209. jcer says:

    Most realtors have failed basic math!

  210. A.West says:

    I’d have come back 3k higher to counter their small drop, which would signal that my max is approaching fast. They may have more time than money, whatever. You can’t find out if you walk away in a huff. We started negotiations 4 times before one stuck (it had already been beaten down by others for a year before we got to our final one). The seller who caved the fastest was the house with the most hidden problems uncovered in inspection, so that was a waste of $1000 of inspections.

    Basically, making an offer is free, so maximize your use of them.

  211. A.West says:

    Jcer,
    If they are unrealistic, then don’t waste your time with them. If other people will buy at their price, then they’re smart to wait for such people. If others don’t, then break off amicably and maybe after 6 months of reality you can conclude negotiations at a price you like. Meantime, sounds like renting is cheaper, so why not keep renting?

  212. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [200] moose

    If there was ever a bass-ackwards, devoid of intelligence, sh1t-sucker of a decision, Wickard v. Fillburn fits the bill. Has to be the most idiotic example of jurisprudence this century. Makes Dred Scott seem eminently reasonable.

    Grover Norquist should drag that one behind the barn and kill it with an axe.

  213. veto that says:

    Dink, 197

    yep, you can use that logic as a guide to value the home.

    you also should cross check that value against current comps just to make sure that it jives with your town.

  214. jamil van jones says:

    199 Comrade: “which would deem the Senate bill as passed under a self-executing rule”

    Well, US had a good run with the constitution. Time to move on. I’m sure libtards feel the same way when President Palin rams some nice legislation through so that it is “deemed” passed by Speaker Beck. No need to actually vote anymore. Heck the constitution.

    Interestingly, in Clinton v. City of New York (1998), Stevens specifically wrote that this is not allowed, but as we all know (see Lauterberg or any other lib court) that law is for suckers (read: conservatives).

    Stevens wrote that the exact same bill must be voted in both the Senate and in the House.

    I’m sure Stevens agree with his own conclusions now and overturns National S0ocialism. /sarc.

  215. jamil van jones says:

    219: oh, and next DOJ should criminally prosecute and disbar the lawyers who provided legal advise for Pelosi for this decision. At least next DOJ should make sure that the liberal lawyers have to spend millions and countless years defending themselves in witch hunt trials.

  216. Final Doom says:

    skep (198)-

    It’s a smaller group of idiots than the group chasing the Nov. 1 deadline for committing financial suicide in pursuit of the illusion of a tax credit.

    I can give a lot more than anecdata here. Absolutely ALL the players in this micro-mini frenzy- buyers and sellers alike- are the dregs of the puncheon.

    After April 30, our 40 years in the wilderness begins. The fist signifying events of the diaspora (I predict) will be Summer riots and bank runs.

    It will not be pretty.

  217. Final Doom says:

    beer (212)-

    I’d bet my life on what you said.

    All the elements of the perfect storm are in place. The dolts will have their heads handed to them.

    BTW, the credit quality of the current buyer pool is abysmal.

  218. Anon E. Moose says:

    No argument for me on that, Nom [217].

    “Congress shall have Power… To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states”. Art. I, Sec. 8.

    I’d love to see the wars that broke out if half of what is done in the name of “regulat[ing] commerce… among the several States” was to be imposed upon commerce “with foreign Nations”, both being said in the same breath.

  219. Juice Box says:

    re: #199 Comrade – “self executing rule”

    I think its time to summon the Cracken

    I predicted months ago they would use a trick not sure which one but extending the self executing rule to this extent is surely due for a Supreme Court challenge. This has to be an unprecedented maneuver to pass their health care bill of this size and taxation without a public roll-call vote on the measure.

  220. borat obama says:

    Las

  221. PGC says:

    #177 Nom

    The very nature of the EPA goes against te very tenets of conservatism. A government entity that tells business how to operate from the small local garage to the multi national conglomerate flies in the face of small government and free enterprise. As does the FDA, HHS and even the forrestry service.

    I single out Texas Tea Party as I suspect that there is a lot of Oil money flowing into those coffers. I don’t think Al and Jamil Jane six sh00ter really care about the EPA or its view into before they got the talking points.

    I don’t think tht GE advocated to dump PCBs either, but it didn’t stop them doing it.

    In almost every industry and business, that with the exeception of a few Ned Flanders types, business cannot be relied upon to “do the right thing”. Also as I am sure you are aware, without the likes of the EPA etc to set limits and prosecute offenders, corporate law states that spending dollars on “doing the right thing” goes against shareholder value.

    “Do the right thing” – From melamine in baby formula, lead in toys, contaminated ground water in Pompton Lakes, subprime mortgages, tax evasion, etc, etc, etc.

  222. Mr Hyde says:

    Why can’t we issue pensioners IOU notes, a la California?

    Isnt it technically illegal/unconstitutional for states to issue IOU’s????

    Nom?

  223. bullrun says:

    Pledge to China’s Leaders: You Will Lose Money on Government Bonds

    By Dean Baker – March 14, 2010, 3:49PM
    The battle over China’s role as an investor in U.S. government bonds is taking ever more bizarre turns. According to the New York Times, China’s Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, warned the United States about running large deficits and inflation, saying that protecting the value of the dollar is a matter of “national credibility” for the United States.

    The NYT then quotes Mr. Wen as saying: “any fluctuation in the value of the U.S. currency is a big concern for us. … I hope the United States will take concrete steps to reassure investors. It is not only in the interests of the investors, but also the United States itself.”

    Mr. Wen is apparently badly mistaken about the assets he is buying. Not only is there a serious risk that the value of the dollar denominated assets (like government bonds) that he is buying will fall, it is an absolute certainty. Anyone with any understanding of the U.S. economy can assure Mr. Wen that he will lose money on his investment in the U.S. economy; the dollar will fall in value. If he is concerned about this prospect, then he absolutely should take China’s money elsewhere, and let the dollar fall against the yuan now.

    The logic is very simple. At the current exchange rate, the United States is running a massive trade deficit. The deficit has temporarily shrunk due to the downturn, but it is still running at an annual rate of $450 billion a year, more than 3 percent of GDP. Once the economy picks up, the trade deficit will expand and likely get back near its 2006 peak of 6.0 percent of GDP.

    This is of course unsustainable. The only way that this deficit can be corrected is by reducing the value of the dollar. China can opt to delay this correction as long as it wants by buying ever more U.S. government bonds and other U.S. assets, but this just means that its losses will be even larger when it does eventually decide to cash in its chips. There is simply no one else out there who is willing to buy $1.5 trillion at the current international exchange rate. If China waits 3 or 4 years and accumulates another $1-2 trillion in dollar assets in the meantime, then its losses will be even larger. This is not a questionable proposition – it is sure money (on the downside).

    While Washington is chock full of deficit hawks running around insisting that we have to cut Social Security and Medicare or China will stop investing in the U.S., they actually have the story completely backward. (It is necessary to talk slowly when speaking with deficit hawks. Remember, these people could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble.) The United States has absolutely nothing to fear from China’s decision to reduce its investments in the United States and allow the dollar to fall and the yuan to rise.

    This decision would mean that the United States could finally get its trade deficit down to a manageable level. The trade deficit has been the leading imbalance in the U.S. economy over the last decade. The large trade deficit required very low private savings and/or large budget deficits. This is an accounting identity. If the country is a net borrower from abroad (this is what a trade deficit means), then it must have low national savings. There is no way around this story.

    In reality, China is pointing a water gun at our heads. We should beg them to become unhappy with our fiscal and monetary policies and stop investing in Treasury bonds. The improvement in the trade deficit that will result from the fall in the dollar will create ten times as many jobs as any “jobs bill” that President Obama can possibly get through Congress.

    So, if Mr. Wen is considering pulling back from his dollar investments because he doesn’t have confidence that the dollar will hold its value, then we should do everything in our power to reassure him. We have to tell Mr. Wen that the dollar will absolutely not hold its value. He must know that China will take a bath on its purchases of Treasury bonds. That way, maybe he will stop propping up the dollar. If the dollar then falls to a sustainable level, then Mr. Wen will no longer have to worry about its decline and millions more workers will have jobs. That way both Mr. Wen and workers in the United States will be able to sleep better at night

  224. Mr Hyde says:

    Dink 197

    To accurately compare the two periods you would have to adjust for inflation

    If you compare 2 $ values from different time periods without accounting for inflation you have a false comparison. Its the classic (25 cent pack of gum from 1950). You wouldn’t say that the pack of gum from 1950 is 75% cheaper then today’s $1 pack of gum. You would have to adjust the 1950 price for inflation, so lets assume that hypothetically the adjusted price of the 1950 gum is 75 cents. The real price different is only 25% not 75%

    CS Index was at 177.5 in Aug 04

    Nominal (unadjusted) value is 177.5.
    The CS value from august 2004 adjusted for inflation is 199.25

    In this case we have seen a “real” drop of about 16%.
    177.5 ( Aug 04)

  225. jamil van jones says:

    224: “I predicted months ago they would use a trick not sure which one but extending the self executing rule to this extent is surely due for a Supreme Court challenge. ”

    Stevens will now have to contradict himself in order to cover National S0cialism.

    I’m sure Shore joins me by advocating criminal prosecution of any government lawyers who advised on this (“they told Pelosi/Chimp in Chief what they wanted to hear”, deliberately unconstitutional breach of oath).

    Also, this is impeachable offense for Chimp-in-Chief.

  226. Mr Hyde says:

    Dink

    Lets apply that to your exact scenario.

    how would I use the Case Shiller data to ballpark an appropriate price on a house today. For example, a house was sold in Aug-2004 for $400K. The index was 177.5 then. Currently its as 171.5. Does this indicate the price sold should be about 3% less?

    400K in 2004 is the same as $457K in 2010 dollars. We already calculated the 16% drop in the CS index to date.

    457K less the 16% drop is $383K.

  227. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom, Moose 217

    I am no lawyer, but i just looked up the Wickard v. Fillburn case and holy F’ing $hit thats a messed up ruling!!!!

  228. Pat says:

    Does anybody here NOT have automatic overdraft protection between savings/checking?

    Can you tell me if you plan to pass on it after July and let the bank reject transactions?

  229. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    226

    The EPA is nothing but an arm of the UN Agenda 21 cronies. If you recall the Copenhagen Treaty ended in scandal back in Dec and immediately there was talk in DC about enforcing carbon taxes without Congressional approval via the EPA.

    People like you are pushing for a war by cirvumventing the Constitution and I suspect you are going to get it.

  230. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    228.

    Bullrun,

    Ultimately its going to be a Plaza Accord type meeting amongst nations.

    Results will most likely be.
    1. Debt repudiation. 2/3 written off.
    2. Currency revaluations with the dollar taking a 30-50% haircut. All currencies falling vs gold.
    3. A bigger role for SDR’s as a trading unit.
    4. Loss of the dollar as world reserve currency.
    5. IMF will get a bigger regulatory role.

    They’ll have to generate another crisis first.

  231. Dink says:

    Hyde,

    Thanks, that example clears things up for me.

  232. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    22,000 Teachers To Get Pink Slips in California

    SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell teamed up with the state teachers union, today, and a long list of others to announce the grim news that 22,000 California teachers have received notices of potential layoffs.
    http://www.kesq.com/Global/story.asp?S=12144108

    So goes California so goes NJ?

  233. PGC says:

    #234 Al

    You keep on banging on about UN 21 like a bad fcuking record. Any chance you can change the tune.

    For the most part I don’t comment on government agencies and if they are effective in implementing their mandates. Or if I even agree with their mandates (NJ MVS as an exception, has imnproved beyond belief). Here’s what I do know. When I fly into Newark I see the big yellow smog haze and wonder how we live, breathing this crap. But then I think back to the days growing up with coal as the main fuel and how the yellow is a lot better than the black soot particles, but not by much. At that point I thank the EPA, beause without them, that air would be a lot worse. Superfund was one of the best things to come out of the Reagan Administration.

    Here is a nice view of NJ. Enjoy.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=7656

  234. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    PGC,

    Are you willing to give up your right to private property for those beliefs?

    “Sustainable Development has three components: global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction. The international focus for Sustainable Development is the United States. This is because America is the only country in the world based on the ideals of private property. Private property is incompatible with the collectivist premise of Sustainable Development…. Sustainable Development works to abolish private property in order to manufacture natural resource shortages and other alarms in order to facilitate governmental control over all resources and ultimately all human action. So-called public/private partnerships are the major tool to accomplish this objective.”

    UN Agenda 21 is the antithesis to the US Constitution.

    Enjoy the view. North Korea at night.
    http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dnorth%2Bkorea%2Bat%2Bnight%26ei%3Dutf-8%26fr%3Dyfp-t-701&w=438&h=390&imgurl=doctorbulldog.files.wordpress.com%2F2006%2F10%2Fnorthkorea-at-night.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.irandefence.net%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D47246&size=183k&name=northkorea+at+ni…&p=north+korea+at+night&oid=bfe7a3ec0500ddb8&fr2=&no=1&tt=1972&sigr=11hqqtl6p&sigi=121gqd3rc&sigb=12p91fjg5

  235. chicagofinance says:

    221.Final Doom says:
    March 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm
    are the dregs of the puncheon.

    dude: I could figure it out from context, but you smoked me good with that one……fcuk…you know so much sh!t it embarasses me….

  236. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh…
    http://release.theplatform.com/content.select?pid=DlkbH6sC3W1FiYLtXZUaX1VdWSpxcHTe&&MBR=true&&zone=home width=640 height=360 type=application/x-shockwave-flash allowFullScreen=true bgcolor=#ffffff/>

  237. chicagofinance says:

    again…the end is nigh

  238. Outofstater says:

    #238 Honest to God, when I was a kid, I thought that all fog smelled bad because the air in central Jersey stunk every single foggy morning. Yuck. It HAS to have improved since then! And there was a particularly noxious odor somewhere on Route 1 that smelled like a mixture of wet kitty litter and burning coffee grounds. Ah, the memories….

  239. chicagofinance says:

    a.k.a. …..stadden eyelan

    243.Outofstater says:
    March 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm
    #238 Honest to God, when I was a kid, I thought that all fog smelled bad because the air in central Jersey stunk every single foggy morning. Yuck. It HAS to have improved since then! And there was a particularly noxious odor somewhere on Route 1 that smelled like a mixture of wet kitty litter and burning coffee grounds. Ah, the memories….

  240. PGC says:

    #239 Al

    Last time I looked there were still a few Monarchys in existance.

    Your view of Sustainable Development is wildly distorted. But its your view and opinion and you have a right to them so I can’t say anything.

  241. willwork4beer says:

    Wet kitty litter and burning coffee grounds…?

    How about that roll up your windows sulfur smelling like too many cheap beers and burritos kind of stink…?

    (AKA Linden/Rahway circa 1980)

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  243. Final Doom says:

    chi (245)-

    Baseball is a degenerate, dying sport.

  244. Outofstater says:

    #247 Or that faint but menacing odor as you passed American Cyanamid on 287. I always wondered if it was melting the top layer of lung tissue.
    Do Linden and Rahway still smell like sulfur? Was that from Bayway or one of the chemical plants? Not that it matters….

  245. willwork4beer says:

    250 Out

    I don’t know where it came from. I was always too busy rolling up the windows and ducking the stink.

    It got a lot better over the years. That doesn’t mean it smells like roses or anything these days…

  246. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Clot 248:

    Damn, I have not seen the episode yet.

    Oh well…

  247. Yikes says:

    jamil van jones says:
    March 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    To (again) paraphrase Harry Reid: This war is lost.
    America lost. Parasites won. I don’t think America can ever recover from 4 years of current Chimp-in-Chief.

    It’s over.

    sounds like what the entire world was saying during the last few months of the GWB era.

    forget sounds like – it WAS what everyone was saying about the last president

  248. Yikes says:

    Final Doom says:
    March 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Believe it or not, I was in Northern VA this weekend, and it is even more of a hell on Earth than Little Falls.

    If I lived in NOVA, I’d have wigged out a couple years ago. The traffic alone is a nightmare.

    i’ll agree on the traffic. otherwise? great place to raise kids and a family. it has the richest county in the nation (fairfax county, where Clot was).

    note: grew up there

  249. Stu says:

    I once had to play lizbit (Elizabeth) in a varsity football game in 1987. I swear we lost that game due to the odor alone.

    I grew up near an Anheiser-Busch brewery. The yeast smell during the summer mornings was pretty terrible as well. Fortunately, when the wind blew west, we were treated to the sweet smell of fake oreos from the Sunshine/Hydrox factory.

  250. confused in NJ says:

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  251. Shore Guy says:

    WTF??

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/15/AR2010031503742_pf.html

    After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might instead attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

    Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would instead vote on a more popular measure that presumes the health-care bill has passed the chamber.

    The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the Senate bill.

    “It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know,” the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. “But I like it,” she said, “because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”

    snip

    House leaders have worked for days to round up support for the legislation, but the Senate measure has drawn fierce opposition from a broad spectrum of members. Anti-abortion Democrats say it would permit federal funding for abortion, liberals oppose its tax on high-cost insurance plans, and Republicans say the measure overreaches and is too expensive.

    Pelosi said Monday that House Democrats have yet to decide how to approach the vote. But she added that any strategy involving a separate vote on the Senate bill “isn’t too popular,” and aides said House leaders are likely to bow to the wishes of their rank-and-file.

    Instead, under the self-executing rule, the House would vote on a package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers “deem” the Senate bill to be passed.

    snip

    As Democrats look for a path that can get the Senate legislation through the House and onto Obama’s desk, they are also crafting a separate, more popular package of fixes under reconciliation rules. That fast-track budget procedure is protected from filibusters and could pass the Senate with only 50 votes.

    Democrats were still struggling Monday to put the finishing touches on that , which can include only provisions that would affect the budget.

    snip

  252. Shore Guy says:

    Has the Speaker of the House been replaces with the Mad Hatter or maybe the Red Queen?

  253. njescapee says:

    Shore, what the heck is that all about? we’re gonna get something but no one knows what it is but we know it’s gonna cost a lot more than the estimated $1T over the next 10 yrs.

  254. Shore Guy says:

    “Does anybody here NOT have automatic overdraft protection between savings/checking?”

    We don’t. We just keep five-figures in the account, and don’t count it towards our register balance. So, when it says, $5,000 in the register, there might be, say $15,000 there. That way, no small, medium, or for that matter, large error accounting for routine purchases or bill payments can cause an overdraft.

  255. Shore Guy says:

    njescapee,

    If we as a board decide that were we all to go to Australia for a week, as a blod outing, that we would visit X, Y, and Z cities and see x’, y’, and z’ sights and stay at a, b, and c hotels, I guess, under the House rules for this piece of legislation, we will be deemed to have approved the travel.

  256. njescapee says:

    oh, I see said the blind man.

  257. Shore Guy says:

    The chair of the House Rules Committee, under which is generating the rules under which this nonsense is being alowed is Louise Slaughter, she is up by Rochester NY and her home number is (585) 223-7519.

    If you think this is nonsense, it might be worth a call to her and also to your own representative.

    Vote for the bill, vote against the bill, or go fishing and miss the vote but this other approach is utter nonsense.

  258. Shore Guy says:

    I am starting to feel like the only person at a party who is not tripping on acid.

  259. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    263.

    Its f#cked up beyong all recognition isnt it Shore?

    Not sure it even really matters. How on earth do they expect to pay for it?

    I also would expect a tidal wave of litigation if it goes through in that manner.

  260. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/arts/music/16rock.html

    Slouched against the lectern at the 25th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a shirtless Iggy Pop snarled, “I am the world’s forgotten boy.”

    No more. After years of being named finalists to enter the hall of fame, then getting outvoted, the Stooges were finally inducted this year, in an event held at the Waldorf-Astoria on Monday night and telecast on the Fuse cable channel. “After the seventh time” the Stooges were nominated, said the band’s guitarist, James Williamson, in his acceptance speech, “we were beginning to think we would have to take pride in not getting in.”

    Behind him, Mr. Pop was already unbuttoning his white dress shirt, getting ready to jump, drop to his knees, strut and twist across the stage and down into the black-tie audience. Introducing him, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day had described him as “the most confrontational singer we will ever see.” In his acceptance speech, Mr. Pop declared: “Roll over, Woodstock. We won.”

    snip

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  264. chicagofinance says:

    24. mooshu
    March 13th 2010 – 21:53:46 |
    Well, the entire front of our apartment smells like sh*t pretty much. We’re sure to get mildew from all the beautiful streams of rain pouring in.

    Nice lesson for City Hall and all the corrupt developers out here. Not that they’ll ever get it. Sigh.

    If we all start floating away… Um, bon voyage.

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