Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

For readers that have never commented, there is a link at the top of each message that is typically labelled “[#] Comments“. Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn’t know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past year. The archives can be accessed by using the links found in the menus on the right hand side of the page.

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331 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. Nomad says:

    1.000000000000

  2. Nomad says:

    Could we really be crawling out of this mess?

    By Timothy R. Homan
    April 2 (Bloomberg) — Employment in the U.S. probably grew in March by the most in three years as the economy expanded, the weather improved and the government hired temporary workers to conduct the census, economists said before a report today.
    Payrolls climbed by 184,000 workers last month, the most since March 2007, after falling by 36,000 in February, according to the median estimate of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The jobless rate may have held at 9.7 percent for a third consecutive month.
    Caterpillar Inc. is among companies adding staff, showing the recovery that began last year is on the verge of creating the jobs needed to lift consumer spending and sustain the expansion. At the same time, unemployment may take time to recede as formerly discouraged employees flood the labor force looking for work, signaling the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low in coming months.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a1Lo1VT.LTPY&pos=2

  3. Nomad says:

    Thursday, April 1st, 2010, 9:47 am

    One day after the Federal Reserve’s $1.25trn mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program came to a close, mortgage rates were up in two weekly surveys.

    http://www.housingwire.com/2010/04/01/and-so-it-begins-weekly-mortgage-rates-jump/

  4. serenity now says:

    Re#2
    Caterpillar adding staff-
    Machines being ordered by demolition companies???
    Lots of abandoned homes to take down??

  5. grim says:

    Recession over, Abercrombie same store sales were up. I thought we all agreed on this last month?

  6. afe says:

    Grim – how’s your dad? Hope everything went well last week. Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery!

  7. Nomad says:

    It does make me wonder if we see a double dip with the second one being a lot milder than the first followed by a slow and painful trudge out of this mess and a new reality thats not like the good old days but better than what we have had the past few years.

    LT unemployment will be higher than in the past, no surprise there and wages lower. Interesting to see if life without some of the excesses really represents a lower standard of living or opens our eyes up to the fact that all the crap we bought was simply not needed in the first place or if it is just a matter of time until people need their fix of consumerism.

    PHILADELPHIA—Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s Economy.com, began a March 15 speech in his hometown of Philadelphia by trying to cheer up the room about the nation’s economy.

    “The recession is over. A recovery has begun”, said Dr. Zandi, starting his speech with an encouraging note to the members of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, which was held at the historical Union League.

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/32588/

  8. What a beautiful morning…
    Far too nice to be at work…
    f***inf bond traders…

  9. frank says:

    Market on fire again.

    Manhattan Apartment Sales Jump, Buyers Seek Bargains

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aQraOQrodPxg&pos=5

  10. #9 – Might want to have included the full first paragraph there frank.

    Manhattan apartment sales doubled in the first quarter as bargain-hunting buyers scooped up co-ops and condos in a market where resale prices have fallen an average 29 percent since their peak.

    Likewise; I’m sure Ferrari would have a banner year if they dropped the sales price of the 459 Italia to, say $35k.

  11. Essex says:

    Frank seems to have forgotten his frontal lobe.

  12. freedy says:

    Well it must be over if they keep telling us its over. to much gloom and doom over here on this blog.

    unemployment , no problem, housing,no problem
    the malls, full. car sales, no problem.

    vacations , picking up.

    NJ, the teachers and Chris will get together and take care of the pension program.

    Local budgets, no problem , the homeowner will come around and eat the increases.

  13. Nomad says:

    Be interesting to see if we get blindsided by something in the next few months that rocks the economy.

  14. Shore Guy says:

    Nomad,

    Beyond the reality that at all levels, government is over extended, our citizens are in deep debt, interest rates may well spike due to our insatiablw demand for debt and others’ fear that we are over our heads, and the Mideast could explode at any moment, thus causing a spike in fuel prices? Something other than that, right?

  15. yo'me says:

    David Brooks Crusade of Denial

    To those who pay attention to the economy, it’s rather evident that the basic economic problems of the last two decades are the bubble driven growth of this era and the country’s broken health care system. But NYT columnist David Brooks apparently never allows the actual state of the economy to affect his pronouncements about the economy and our moral state.

    Therefore he describes the rise of personal debt from 55 percent of national income in 1960 to 133 percent in 2007 as being the result of the fact that: “life has become secure. This has eroded the fear of debt, private and public.”

    Let’s try an alternative hypothesis. Wages have stagnated for tens of millions of workers. I guess no one Brooks hangs out with caught this development. In a context of stagnating wages, many families have been forced to take on debt to maintain living standards.

    The other reason that borrowing has increased is that people spent money based on their stock and housing bubble wealth. Perhaps Brooks can’t be blamed for not knowing about the stock and housing wealth effects, after all you would probably need an intro econ class to know about these concepts, but perhaps he could have found an econ major who could have explained that consumption increases when wealth increases. This means that when a housing bubble creates $8 trillion of housing bubble wealth, we would expect consumption and debt to increase. After all, rich people can afford to borrow more than poor people and the wealth created by the housing bubble made many families feel richer. The same was true of the $10 trillion in bubble wealth created at the peak of the stock bubble.

    If Brooks wanted to discourage excessive debt, he might have called attention to these bubbles. But, Brooks would rather use his columns to call out the moral failings of the American people. Hence his comment that: “these days, voters want low taxes — about 19 percent of G.D.P. And they want high spending — over 25 percent of G.D.P. by 2020.” He later warns us that this has on a path to be paying $900 billion a year in interest by 2020.

    Yes, that $900 billion is really really scary. I don’t know anyone who has $900 billion. Serious people would point out that the projected interest burden is a bit more than 4.0 percent of GDP, about the same as it was in the early 90s.

    More importantly, there are not many people who have advocated spending 25 percent of GDP. They have expressed support for specific programs, like Social Security and Medicare. The latter costs way more in the United States than in any other country, not because we get better care, but because our health care system is hugely corrupt and inefficient. If we paid the same amount per person for health care as people in any other country then the deficits would quickly vanish.

    Furthermore, even if fixing our health care system is hard to do politically because the system is so corrupt, we could achieve enormous savings by just allowing for freer trade in health care. But Brooks is such a hard core protectionist when it comes to the interests of the health care lobby that he cannot even conceive of openings to trade that would hurt their interests.

    So, we instead get a lecture about the moral failings of the American people and the need for heroic actions to save them from themselves with carefully constructed commissions of experts. This is the best that American conservatism has to offer?

    –Dean Baker

  16. Libtard says:

    Enjoyed the empty roads during this morning’s commute. Maybe a double-dip wouldn’t be so bad?

  17. Shore Guy says:

    What kind of sprinkles do you want on it, Stu? With the lack of FED suppport for MBS, and the loss of the credit as a sales tool (to persuade the unwise that they must BUY NOW!), it is hard to see housing doing anything but declining for a bit and that taking a toll on any number of families’ spending.

  18. Shore Guy says:

    What is it with the blog bots?

  19. Jim says:

    2.
    Caterpillar Inc. is among companies adding staff,…

    Yea, the only staff they are adding are probably speak Chinese or Spanish. That giant sucking sound you hear are all the jobs leaving the US. Welcome to the new normal, where up is down, right is wrong, and that $10 gig might not look so bad after all.

  20. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Grim 5:

    Yeah, mommy and daddy stop paying the mortgage and now are back to making little Stacey into the next Snooki.

  21. Final Doom says:

    Buy into the recovery talk, sheeple. Just ease that needle in, and push gently…TPTB needs to suck in the last few reluctant fools, then the rug will be pulled out from under.

    Almost to oblivion. Lie back, tune out, and embrace it.

  22. Final Doom says:

    Big parent talk at soccer last night of jumping the river to PA…even DE. Tried to lay low & keep my mouth shut, but when they turned to me, I just said “Panama, Chile”.

    Suddenly, the topic changed.

  23. Jim says:

    23. Final Doom
    I wonder what they would have done if you had said, “If you have enough guns you’ll be fine. What to buy some?”

  24. stan says:

    I thinkg the next leg down unemployment wise, especially in NJ is a spike in public sector layoffs. As necessary as they are, should raise the numbers a bit.As well as slow down any hiring that has taken place, which always amazed me how the only job creation in NJ was taxpayer funded

  25. Unemployment unchanged.

  26. Private earnings down .1%, jobless rate 9.7%
    162k jobs added,
    82k service, 15k retail, 39k govt.

  27. Final Doom says:

    Jim (24)-

    Not even I’m crazy enough to deal guns.

  28. Jim says:

    Hey, I was only joking…

  29. Libtard says:

    The yield on the 10-year note maturing in February 2020 rose to 3.90.

    Ruh roh.

  30. safeashouses says:

    Hurry, hurry, hurry. Only 28 days left to get under contract before the buyer’s credit expires!!!!

    With that 8k you can pay for a fraction of the cost to replace the 60 year old wiring in your 450k cape, or replace the appliances and throw a BBQ with the left over change.

    Now I gotta spend this weekend making the world safe for democracy, one bucket of corn syrup and lard at a time.

  31. Essex says:

    Gorgeous spring morning.

  32. Essex says:

    I think I ‘ll rearrange some deck chairs.

  33. Fly-over says:

    I asked for opinions here on Microvision a week or so ago. I think that their laser Pico-projector is likely to be a game changing device.

    I suggest that those of you interested in the future of technology do some DD on MVIS.

  34. Painhrtz says:

    C’mon clot get your FFL then you can really be a full service agent. Every nompound in Hunterdon county can then be offered with an AK and 500 rounds of .223. think of the marketing posibilities!

  35. Painhrtz says:

    Sorry 7.62 not thinking today

  36. Final Doom says:

    Lib (30)-

    Where’s the graphic on the vertical bound that says “x2”?

    Methinks U3 is more like 17%, U6 is 25%+

  37. morpheus says:

    37:
    please, that is just unacceptable. Get your weapons straight!

  38. safeashouses says:

    “TRADE UP TO THIS HOME AND WE WILL BUY YOURS!!”

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/11-Dodd_Verona_NJ_07044_1116248093

    I have never seen a posting like that before in NNJ.

  39. yo'me says:

    This are the people we trust are lifes on

    http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/93533?fp=1

  40. njescapee says:

    Goldman Sachs: Don’t Blame Us
    When it comes to its role in the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs has a message for the world: Not guilty. Not one bit

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_15/b4173030234603.htm?campaign_id=mag_Apr1&link_position=link21

  41. Confused in NJ says:

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he did a full court press for a health care system remake because “this country was going to go bankrupt.”

    Need to Email “O” and tell him “that ship has sailed, the Country is Bankrupt”. Amazing how spending Trillions on non Healthcare issues doesn’t cause bankruptcy, but spending a Trillion expanding Healthcare avoids bankruptcy. What Universe do these aliens live in. I think “O” must be smoking those funny cigarettes, or he truely believes all Americans are functionally illiterate.

  42. Libtard says:

    “I think “O” must be smoking those funny cigarettes, or he truely believes all Americans are functionally illiterate.”

    It’s the latter, and for a change, he’s correct.

  43. Confused in NJ says:

    44.Libtard says:
    April 2, 2010 at 9:36 am
    “I think “O” must be smoking those funny cigarettes, or he truely believes all Americans are functionally illiterate.”

    It’s the latter, and for a change, he’s correct.

    The NJEA must be right then, we need to Quadruple the Teachers salaries and benefits so the children will learn.

  44. Jim says:

    43. Confused in NJ says:
    April 2, 2010 at 9:34 am
    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he did a full court press for a health care system remake because “this country was going to go bankrupt.”

    Need to Email “O” and tell him “that ship has sailed, the Country is Bankrupt”. Amazing how spending Trillions on non Healthcare issues doesn’t cause bankruptcy, but spending a Trillion expanding Healthcare avoids bankruptcy. What Universe do these aliens live in. I think “O” must be smoking those funny cigarettes, or he truely believes all Americans are functionally illiterate.

    You forget that Peloski said the health care plan is going to save the government money. You just don’t see the big picture my friend. In Washington they have a different view of things than all us ‘folks’.

  45. Jim says:

    I need to save some money too, just like B.O. I go out and buy a new BMW. That should save me quite a bit. Thank God for the new B.O. math.

  46. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    My Goodness, those employment figures look to be cooked to perfection !

    They spun themselves into a circle this AM over 162K additional jobs.

    But wait…48K temporary census workers — how much does that job pay?

    And an additional 39K gubmint jobs — how convenient. All to keep the published Unemployment rate below 10%

    At 9.7% they’ve given themselves some wiggle room next month, when this month’s figures are revised lower.

  47. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “All to keep the published Unemployment rate below 10%”

    I do not know what their hard-on is over that 10% but they will stand on their head to avoid getting above that number. Nobody believes it other than the incompetent boobs on CNBC anyway. I guess they just want to try and provide fodder for the retail investor to get in on the stock party so they can dump their shares.

  48. Anon E. Moose says:

    Belated, but appropriate given the discussion of Rand and specifically Atlas Shrugged

    Doctorow and Stross to Write Authorized Sequel to Atlas Shrugged

  49. NJGator says:

    The end is nigh?

    Editorial: Time to merge the police department?

    The borough has been a trailblazer over the years in terms of entering shared servicesagreements with neighboring municipalities in an effort to pare expenses. Its 1990 fire department merger with Montclair is considered a watershed moment as far as popularizing the custom statewide, with this particular agreement having grown into one of the largest in New Jersey from a financial standpoint.

    By March 2008, the borough had entered into 16 additional inter-local contracts, according to official minutes from a March 11, 2008 council meeting. So clearly, Glen Ridge has done yeoman’s service in terms of utilizing the practice.

    With one glaring omission: the Glen Ridge Police Department. In terms of scavenging the earth for additional shared service possibilities, the police department is one of the last fully-developed apple trees left in the grove. Given the fact that the municipal budget has reached a deficit that is almost unprecedented in borough history, while the GRPD accounts for a significant portion of the payroll, perhaps we’ve reached a point where merging Glen Ridge’s police force with Bloomfield’s or Montclair’s at least warrants some study.

    Now of course, the mere mention of this will elicit a visceral reaction from many. For a variety of reasons. The warm, personable relationship the community enjoys with the GRPD, the fact that Glen Ridge’s affluence makes it more noticeable and warrants strong protection, and the hurdles such a merger would entail, i.e. the police unions having a very strong say in how salaries and benefits for their members would be affected. The crux of the issue would likely pit the unions stonewalling re: the preservation of every slot on the payroll versus Glen Ridge’s dancing partner trying very hard to avoid taking on additional expenses. The council would also have to decide whether the potential savings are enough to justify the effort, not to mention the anticipated backlash from residents and the officers themselves.

    Let’s be honest. Everyone knows this scenario wouldn’t even be mentioned under normal circumstances. Glen Ridge has a good thing going in terms of enforcement, and it’s a shame we even have to raise the idea of disturbing one of the town’s strongest assets. But let’s face reality here. The effects of the worst economic downtown since the Great Depression, now plainly and painfully apparent on the local level (a 23.5 percent drop in state aid, a half-million dollar budget deficit, two police officers losing their jobs), warrant the examination of possibilities and situations that would normally be dismissed out of hand.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/89662687_Time_to_merge_the_police_department_.html

  50. Bystander says:

    He He,

    Sames reason a snuggie is $9.99 and not $10..or an overpriced POS is $799,999 instead of $800K. It is all about manipulating psychological barriers.

  51. blindjust says:

    [22] Yo’me – hiring may be robust for the revenue generators, compared to ‘2008/9, but they’re a fraction of total staff. My firm had 35 front office IT positions open on Feb 1st only to be frozen on the 15th. Had 2 internal offers fall through b/c the HC was not approved.

  52. Libtard Bot says:

    I really like what you are doing here. Well almost everything. There is still the problem of Jamil and Frank who could learn a thing or two from Borat Obama.

  53. Top Lyrics says:

    Thanks for sharing, I found this story while looking for rock lyrics, thoughtful comments and great points made.

  54. Final Doom says:

    Jamil and Frank are incapable of learning.

  55. Final Doom says:

    I really think we should try to make our next GTG and board-inspired flashmob.

  56. Final Doom says:

    That is, a flashmob started through this blog.

  57. njescapee says:

    we have lots of flashers on Duval Street.

  58. NJGator says:

    NJ college towns seek student fees to help defray police, fire costs

    When a game of Frisbee set off the fire sprinklers in a Ramapo College dorm recently, it was the Mahwah Fire Department that responded.

    And it was the Mahwah taxpayers who footed the bill.

    But in these tough economic times, some towns are telling the state they simply can’t afford to provide free municipal services — such as police, fire and ambulance — to the tax-exempt colleges within their boundaries.

    Several towns — including Wayne, Mahwah, Little Falls, Teaneck, Clifton and Montclair — have passed a resolution asking the Legislature to pass a bill charging all colleges and universities $100 per full-time student and $50 per part-time student. The money would go to the towns that house the schools, allowing municipalities to offset some of their operating expenses.

    Those opposed to the idea say paying tuition is hard enough. And many of the students at Ramapo College, and William Paterson and Montclair State universities are the children of taxpayers.

    “While the towns have revenue issues, so do the colleges and universities,” said John Wilson, president of the Association of Independent Colleges of New Jersey. Higher Education is “not exempt from the current economic issues — and the students are not exempt either.”

    Towns across the state would see roughly a quarter of their state aid disappear under the budget proposed by Governor Christie last month.

    After years of decreasing state aid, unfunded mandates and budget caps, local officials are trying to make up the difference any way they can.

    Greater urgency

    “It’s more urgent now than ever,” said Montclair Mayor Jerry Fried, whose town shares Montclair State University with neighboring Little Falls and Clifton. “Unfortunately, the municipalities are just not in the position to be that generous that we can give these services for free.”

    Fried initiated the resolution at the League of Municipalities convention last fall. His township has adopted it.

    He likened the plan to the township’s shared services agreement to provide fire services to neighboring Glen Ridge for $1 million per year.

    “It works great and saves [Glen Ridge] a lot of money,” Fried said. “For Montclair State, if they had to have their own fire department it would be very, very expensive.”

    More than 90 percent of Montclair State University is in Little Falls — the smallest of the three towns it spans.

    “If you look at it from our standpoint, Montclair State has more than 18,000 students. At $100 per student it could mean $1.8 million,” said Little Falls Mayor Michael DeFrancisci, adding his state aid has been cut more than $500,000 in the past three years.

    “Getting the money from college students is not something we’d take pleasure in doing,” DeFrancisci said.

    “But under the current economic situation, municipalities and cities have to look at ways that haven’t been looked at.”

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/89754427_No_Title_-_munifee0402_TR.html?c=y&page=1

  59. Bystander says:

    Final,

    First you have to fire up the ole’ Enigma machine.

  60. Bystander says:

    How about a flash open house on an absurd list? That would be hysterical. Put in 20 bidding price offers, get the realtor into orgiastic bliss then never contact them again.

  61. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/02/governors.extremists/?hpt=T2

    A follow-up to something someone posted last night.

  62. Shore Guy says:

    Their “Decleration of Liberty, demands for resignations and swearing of new oaths, their self-created “Grand Juries” makes me feel more confident in my initial reaction:

    “Sounds like a story Rep. Hank Johnson thought of after smoking a fat one with Jeff Spicoli.

    “Dude! Like, there is this Declaration of Liberty, man. And, these aliens, dude, stop looking at me like that man, I am totally, totally serious. So, anyway, these aliens… let me have another hit of that… they come swooping down in this intergalactic FedEx truck with these documents for like every governor dude. Man, this is some tasty stuff, man. Yo, Speaker Pelosi, you got any twinkies over there?””

    Still, the Nazis were widely though of as a joke even shortly before they took over, through constitutional means, so one would be wise not to underestimate the ability of such groups to cause real damage.

  63. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    30.

    Lib,

    Im showing 3.96 on 10 year treasuries.

    But I agree. Uh oh.

    Its almost here.

  64. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Shore,

    More media spin and fear mongering so these motherf*ckers can play victim after passing the biggest pile of unconstitutional sh#t ever.

    Its something to watch. They appear to have guidance from the military. The military doesnt want to fight corporate wars.

    Peaceful Military Coup?

  65. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    ASBURY PARK — At least 60 teaching and support staff positions will be cut under a reduced school district budget of $74.8 million for 2010-11 approved by the Board of Education.
    http://www.app.com/article/20100401/NEWS/4020335/Asbury-Park-schools-to-shed-at-least-60-jobs

    Say goodbye to 60 more tit suckers.

    Today was a good day.

    Time to launch the boat.

  66. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    At least one physician is starting to take matters into his own hands… I envy Dr. Jack Cassell

    They call it “Going Galt” I hope this policy catches on and runs wildfire through medicine.

    No tort reform? Allowing highschool grad auditors tell long practicing, board certified physicians what they can and cannot order? Socialized medicine for all?

    Good luck with that… I can only wish I had that choice (to not see or treat them.) Besides, most of those folks have been on the internet for an hour or so and are now full-on experts on their medical condition.

    “I’m just here to tell you what I think it is, what tests I want you to order and what medicine I want you to give me…”

    My answer? Fu.ck You Uh, sure.

    sl

    sl

  67. Confused in NJ says:

    ObamaCare: Will It Help the U.S. Avoid Bankruptcy, Or Speed Up Our Demise?
    Posted Apr 02, 2010 11:45am EDT by Peter Gorenstein in Investing, Recession, Politics
    Related: tlt, tbt, vz, t, cat, de, XLV
    President Barack Obama is out defending the newly signed healthcare reform law telling CBS News this morning that, without it “this country was going to go bankrupt.”

    Aaron and Henry react to this bold statement in the accompanying. The U.S. is in a precarious fiscal state but whether this $1.3 trillion program over the next 10-years will help or hasten our demise is still debatable.

    As Government Accountability Office David Walker told Tech Ticker earlier this week the only clear result from healthcare reform is “government is bigger, entitlement programs have expanded, spending has increased and taxes are higher.”

  68. Essex says:

    Al you seem especially bitter today.

  69. Essex says:

    But what do I know. I’m just a Jew from the Midwest. While I wouldn’t trust most of my classmates in flyover country to make any decisions impacting mine or my children’s future, in some ways you make them appear to be mensa members.

  70. njescapee says:

    Hey, SL, Here’s one for ya

    Doctor tells Obama supporters: Go elsewhere for health care

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-mount-dora-doctor-tells-patients-go-aw20100401,0,6040296,full.story

  71. njescapee says:

    oh sory same story

  72. Final Doom says:

    That doc could be a lot more effective if he got some of those putty-lipped collectivists with their nuts in a vise on his examining table.

    Maybe he could turn a few of those bolsheviks into the castrati they already are.

  73. Bystander says:

    Blog has talked about this for sometime. I wonder who is going to pay the bill for the gutting. Prepare for the next seller disclosure – Chinese drywall.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100402/ap_on_bi_ge/us_chinese_drywall

  74. Happy Daze says:

    According to some realtors,
    rotten egg smell is an amenity.
    That drywall deserves a premium.

  75. Bystander says:

    Yep, I can the listing now.

    “This home offers something special for the wordly buyer – fine Italian marble bath, English country kitchen and Asian-style drywall”

  76. veto that - Lawrence Yun says:

    “Interesting to see if life without some of the excesses really represents a lower standard of living or opens our eyes up to the fact that all the crap we bought was simply not needed in the first place”

    Exactly, the step back in living standard only will mostly apply to those who had the oversized mcmansion, 3 suvs per hh, wife and kids who collected $300 jeans and $2k purses, $110k cc debt, 2 vacations per year financed with 2 helocs and all of that on a middle-upper income job in a boom driven industry.

  77. veto that - Lawrence Yun says:

    “TRADE UP TO THIS HOME AND WE WILL BUY YOURS!!”

    Right.
    Another words.
    You pay full price for our and we will low ball you on yours.
    Sounds like a deal.
    Where do i sign?

    This is like the 2 quarters for 1 dollar trick that my grandpa used to play on me isnt it?

  78. Yikes says:

    rebeccaa jarvis, one of the few reasons to watch CNBC, has left for CBS

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_14802595?source=most_emailed

  79. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    You guys know my feelings about all this.

    “healthcare spending up”

    Yeah. Of course it is.
    We are victims of our own success.

    Newer, more costly treatments that we never had before are helping people to live longer (and require even more expensive, specialized care.)

    Some cancers are treating chronically. Hence people live longer. These treatments cost money. Ditto heart disease. We save many lives that years ago would have been grave sites. Again, costs money.

    That’s one facet. Another is the lack of tort reform. Talk to any doc that has been sued for malpractice and you’ll understand the genesis of defensive medicine.

    How many times in the main stream media do we hear the sound bite, “if doctor so-and-so had only ordered this $XX.XX dollar test, poor mr/ms/child so-and-so would be alive today.”

    I over-order testing on more than half the patients I see. I also know that despite doing a detailed history and physical, some patients are going to flat-out lie to me about illicit drug use, vices.

    You name it, they lie to me about it.

    Lack of coordination of care.

    I have an awesome article written by a urologist, Atul Gawande. He compares two Texas towns and the cost of care.

    His benchmark is Mayo Clinic, where he is. They coordinate care so well that there is little time delay, less confusion, and ultimately less expensive and better care.

    If I had the freedom to see and discharge folks with chest pain that I know is bullshit with only the minimum testing that I deem necessary: cost would go down.

    If every patient looking for a work note came in and simply said so? I’d write the note and be done with it. cost would go down.

    The real story with these? Invariably it’s a Thursday or a Sunday. They always have 5 or more varied complaints, none of which mesh or make sense. Their exam is completely normal. Every test is normal. After a five or six hour diagnostic journey, I am discharging them.

    The clincher? “Oh doc, by the way, I need a work note — can you write me for the next two or three days?”

    I admit this is when I have the urge to kill.

    We’re talking a $3000 or more ER bill. Then *my* bill. And the radiology bill. And the consultant’s bill, if I really think I am missing something.

    Are you starting to see the real problems?

    Maybe you’d like to enlighten our policy makers who are too stupid to understand shit.

    They suffer from the diagnosis that Clot brought to our attention:

    Dunning-Kruger syndrome. Yes, that’s them. *They* know what’s best for everyone medically and financially.

    I’ll shut up now… besides, I’m too tired to care.

    sl

  80. Bystander says:

    Looks like Frank was right, real estate in NJ is exploding.

    http://wcbstv.com/local/nj.home.explosion.2.1608417.html

  81. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re: [83];

    Wow did they miss the headline:

    UNDERWATER HOUSE EXPLODES

  82. Shore Guy says:

    SL,

    Docs do employees a real disservice when they write out of work or work limitation notes for employees who do not need them. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen people present notes that say the person cannot do X, Y, or Z activity. That is well and good but, if the listed activities are “essential job functions,” the note written “to help a guy out” becomes a termination letter. The job requires X, you cannot do X, we need to get the job done — bye.

    One only has to reasonably accomodate to a point and so many MD notes specify “NO lifting,” or “NO standing,” etc. If the thing the doc said the employee cannot do is an essential job function, rut ro for that employee.

  83. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    A.E.Moose,

    Read the description of the Atlas Shrugged sequel and it seems awful (just sayin’)

    Their kids grow up, rebel and now embrace all things socialized?? Egads.

    Maybe I’m missing the point of it?? I dunno…

    sl

  84. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Shore, I don’t have a preference for them – folks come in sometimes even demanding them.

    We’re ER docs. We don’t do “light duty” notes or back to work notes or any of that. We specify that they need to see their Worker’s Comp doc if it’s a work related injury.

    If it isn’t they are directed to their primary care physician (if they have one) or to our resident clinic if they don’t.

    Specific injuries ie Ortho, Ear/Nose/Throat, etc are directed to the on call doc of that specialty.

    I get folks who come in asking for two weeks off.

    I laugh at them. Then say, “sure I can give you a note for six months, but I don’t think it’s going to be honored. Two days is our limit. Sorry.”

    sl

  85. Shore Guy says:

    One thing folks don’t realize is that they can be fired for taking time off even for legitimate illnesses.

    So, picture a guy who comes to you looking for time off (likely because he has used his leave time) and he gets a note for two days off (and let’s evwn stipulate that this latest illness is real). When he is once again out of work due to illness he may well be gone, especially if there is an attendance-control program at his employer’s facikity. Even ifnot, the boss looks and says, “Yeesh, another absence? I can’t depend on this cat.” Boom.

  86. Anon E. Moose says:

    SL [86];

    Sadly, I think it was a date-appropriate hoax.

  87. Yikes says:

    whoops, saw that you guys posted on Jarvis yesterday.

    been a rough week, just catching up now.

    does anyone have a take on in-wall safes? you know, the type you’ve seen in movies, tucked behind a painting/picture.

    (this coming from the guy who bought a house in PA from some folks who never locked their doors in the 10+ years they lived in this place. a check w/ the police turned up no criminal activity at all in the last five years – didnt look back further than that.)

  88. Yikes says:

    feeling curious on good Friday … hey Clot/Nom, what’s a nice, safe, LEGAL way to throw a scare into an adversary?

  89. Yikes says:

    Mr Hyde says:
    April 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Yikes

    why do you need different tax brackets?

    15% of 1 million is more then the guy/family making 100K makes in total. if everyone pays the same % then everyone provides proportionately.

    wont work. guys at the top will find loopholes and scoot around paying … guys at the bottom have no money.

    i agree it makes some sense but that wouldn’t work in this country. has no shot of working.

    are more logical, likely answer is a sliding scale whether the “wealthy” ($1mil+ earners) paying more than those in the 250k/400k area.

    i dont think if you’re making 400k you’re ‘wealthy.’ esp in the northeast.

  90. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    89, AEMoose

    Yep. I missed it. Duh.

    sl

  91. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Yikes, 90

    Better off sinking a safe into a concrete floor. (not in a flood zone.)

    sl

  92. House Whine says:

    92- 400k is wealthy,even here. But then, it’s all about what one’s expectations are. Do you need/want a vacation home? Do you need/want to send your kids to prestigious private university v. state univ? Do you need/want to drive a new status vehicle or can you accept something less? Etc, etc.

  93. Yikes says:

    i know you guys are anti-krugman, but i thought he made sense here.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/opinion/02krugman.html?src=me&ref=homepage

    Curious: What is wrong with this idea? forgot how things are now, or Tall Paul’s idea (in the article), but specifically this point … where’s the beef?

    So what’s the alternative to breaking up big financial institutions? The answer, I’d argue, is to update and extend old-fashioned bank regulation.

    After all, the U.S. banking system had a long period of stability after World War II, based on a combination of deposit insurance, which eliminated the threat of bank runs, and strict regulation of bank balance sheets, including both limits on risky lending and limits on leverage, the extent to which banks were allowed to finance investments with borrowed funds. And Canada — whose financial system is dominated by a handful of big banks, but which maintained effective regulation — has weathered the current crisis notably well.

  94. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yikes[92];

    For well neigh a century the country ran on the idea the the income tax was unconstitutional. It was not just one man, one vote, but one man, one vote, one tax dollar (only taxes lain on an individual were to be proportional to enumeration). It was envisioned at the time, as described in the Federalist Papers, that the government would be funded largely by excise taxes.

    Oddly enough, those who wanted an income tax that was prohibited by the constitution solved the problem by amending the constitution (Shocking, I know. Makes me wonder if they didn’t have a Supreme Court back then, or at least not one nearly so willing to ‘interpret’ the penumbrae of the text. But I digress.)

    I see the 16th Am. as a seismic shift in the allocation of tax burden. When three people are in a room, and two of them mug the third, its a felony. When it’s three hundred million, it’s ‘progressive’.

    I often toyed with the idea that if we were going to scrap ‘one man, one tax dollar’, we should also scrap ‘one man, one vote’.

    What if political elections were like corporate shareholder meetings? Each person gets as many votes as dollars paid in taxes. It would discourage tax evasion, for one. It would also make the leaders responsive to those who pay the freight. It would be damn near impossible to round up a mob to vote one into office by promising them they’d get some government cheese paid for by the guys voting for the other side.

  95. Essex says:

    92. The best scenario is to shrink the obligations. But we all know ‘that’ aint happening. What I find so absurd is how angry i was when Bush II went to war and dumped all that money into the sand. No one said a word. Now that this guy wants to help with domestic investment everybody is up in arms. Either way we lose.

  96. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    98.

    Domestic investment? F$ck the political horse crap for the love of God. If you get your news from the Communist news network (Ted Turner) or Faux news (Rupert Murdoch) then you might as well be Helen Keller.

    The government is completely out of control and its our heads on the chopping blocks.

    Gravy train is over. Prepare for impact in the form of civil war, WW 3, military coup, economic armageddon or all of the above.

    Lets get it over with so the guessing game can end but dont think for a second you will see your lifetime benefits and pensions.

    You drank the Koolaid now you lose.

  97. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    SL,

    This is for you regarding how dumb are our Congressmen.

    Screw the Constitution its all about the kids.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2iiirr5KI8

  98. Mr hyde says:

    Juice

    SAS figured out we are a black ops hit squad. Hence why he refused to meet. He realized be had bought his contract for pennies on the dollar

  99. Mr hyde says:

    Moose

    I like your idea.

    Why does everyone get an equal vote if they don’t have to contribute proportionally.

    The founders were aware of these issues and new they would pop up at some point in the future

  100. cobbler says:

    Hackers Could Target Medical Devices

    By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
    Published: April 02, 2010

    Although no such attacks have yet been reported, medical devices could be susceptible to hackers, and a thorough security analysis should be done as part of FDA approval, researchers argue…

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/ProductAlert/DevicesandVaccines/19350

    Imagine your prosthetic arm strangling you…

  101. cobbler says:

    moose [97]
    Progressive income tax (together with being relatively untouched by 2 world wars, and tariffs) was a principal reason for the U.S. middle class coming into existence. Yes – the society left by the Founders, and for the next 140 years or so, was a society of haves and have nots with very little in between. There may be some that want to go back there (love to be able to afford a maid, a gardener, a cook, etc., and still have enough left for the debutante balls), but most of the tea party crowd will be sore losers.

  102. Shore Guy says:

    Wall safes:

    Unless the wall is concrete, I wouldn’t bother, as a chainsaw will extract it in no time. I vote for in a concrete floor. It is easy to put a throw rug and a potted plant, chair, etc. over and make it tougher to find. The concrete makes it harder to extract.

  103. Essex says:

    99. I’m not nearly as worried about it as you are chief.

  104. Essex says:

    It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…..

  105. Essex says:

    Shabbat Shalom Bitch.

  106. Shore Guy says:

    “Hackers Could Target Medical Devices”

    Even more frightening is the ability to hack aircraft systems. Currently one can download changes from the depot to an aircraft at a distant location, which opens the door.

    Beyond that, I believe it is the new Airbus (or maybe the 780, or both??) that have onboard networking for passengers. One would think that one would want to ensure that the public system shares no resources with the flight control system, wouldn’t you? But, the last time I looked, it was a single system. “Johnny, what are you hacking over there. Johnny? Johnny, please give the pilot control of the plane. Johnny!”

  107. Essex says:

    You should write a song about that.

  108. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (69) Still

    I told that one to my BIL the surgeon. He loved it.

    And here’s another tale from the dark side: my sis is an NP and works part time in the local schools. A kindergartner was sent to see her. Sis ezamined but found nothing wrong but deduced the girl was dead tired. She asked the girl if she got enough sleep.

    The girl said tha she did not sleep the night before. Sis asked why.

    Turns out that the kids mom was involved in pushing obamacare in Mass. And when the bill was signed, the staff had a party.

    And yes, this advocate brought her 6 YO daughter to the party. Only child there and up till the wee hours.

    Its for the kids. Yeah, right.

  109. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (51) Moose

    Yawn. That one get rejected by the Onion?

  110. gary says:

    A 3bd/1bth nothing house DROPPED to $598,000 which is why I’m probably gonna stay in my current house until I leave the state for good.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/424-Stevens-Ave_Ridgewood_NJ_07450_1115636599

  111. borat obama says:

    Last

  112. Essex says:

    Doctorow and Stross to Write Authorized Sequel to Atlas Shrugged
    by L. Ron Creepweans

    Today the estate of Ayn Rand announced that they had authorized science fiction writers Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow to write an official sequel to Rand’s bestselling novel Atlas Shrugged.

    “Given that the original novel features an amazing new metal alloy, a secret valley protected by force field, and an unlimited new energy source, we felt that a science fiction perspective was key to carrying forward Ayn Rand’s ideas,” said Rand estate spokesman Perry Leikoff. “And what better science fiction writers to chose than two collaborators who were also past winners of the Prometheus Award given out by the Libertarian Futurist Society?”

    Stross, author of the Prometheus Award-winning novel Glasshouse, said that he and Doctorow (author of the Prometheus Award-winning novel Little Brother) were hesitant at first. “But then we realized that both of us shared one important trait with Ayn Rand: all three of us really, really like money. That made it much easier for Cory and I to cash the seven figure check.”

    The sequel, Atlas Rebound, features the teenage children of the founders of Galt’s Gulch rebelling against their elders and traveling out into a world devastated by John Galt’s strike, where they develop their own political philosophy with which to rebuild. That philosophy, called Rejectivism, features a centralized bureau to rebuild and control the new economy, socialized medicine, compulsory labor unions, universal mass transportation and a ban on individual automobiles, collectivized farms, a tightly planned industrial economy, extensive art subsidies, subsidized power, government control of the means of production, public housing, universal public education, a ban on personal ownership of gold and silver (as well as all tobacco products), government-issued fiat money, the elimination of all patents and copyrights, and a cradle-to-grave social welfare system.

    “Plus strong encryption!” added Doctorow.

    After 1,200 pages (80 of which consist of Supreme Leader Karla Galt-Taggart’s triumphant address), a new Utopia is born. The final scene of the novel features the grateful citizens of the new world order building a giant statue of Atlas with the globe restored to his shoulders, upon the base of which is chiseled “From Each According to His Ability/To Each According To His Needs.”

    In other Rand-related news, editor David Hartwell (who lives in nearby Pleasantville) reported a weird humming emanating from the grave Rand shares with her husband Frank O’Conner in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. Said Hartwell: “I think she’s become a Dean Drive.”

  113. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (383) Morpheus
    (Prior thread)

    Jesus Christ morph, that had better be an April Fools post

    If not,email me dude. I have worked with the highly stressed before so I may be able to impart some wisdom. Also, that place will implode as the partners are all looking for the exit. Trust me on that.

    Also, I may know someone who is hiring for your sort of work.

    Nomdeplumenj@gmail.com

  114. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Regarding safes.

    Your mailman may be your worst enemy. He knows when the bullion is delivered. Seek the high ground on him. He or she may be a good person but you cant be too sure.

    I like the floor concrete idea but nothing is safer than the clickity clack of a mossberg chambering a round.

    Gary, thats an impressive POS cape. Dont even think about it. Those who have the gold will rule. Everyone else, including me, is a bag holding idiot. Unless, of course, you know how to farm.

  115. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Essex, 115

    Oh… eff me… yeah. Now I get it…

    Humming noise… (spinning in her grave…)

    Oh, for the love of Christ, I need a vacation.

    sl

  116. Shore Guy says:

    Vacation? SL, you? With the great satisfaction and pleasure you seem to get from your job, I am surprised thay the thought ever crossed your mind.

  117. cobbler says:

    Re. safes
    Any safe can be opened if there are shaped charges and enough time on hands. Unlike paper goods (which the safe can be programmed to destroy or deface in an emergency), gold is indestructible – so, tough luck, you have to stand by with RPG and protect it. Better off owning ETF.

  118. Outofstater says:

    Check out this video from the NJEA. It’s a little strange – its target audience is the union membership but it appears to be configured to the understanding of a six year old.

    http://vidego.multicastmedia.com/player.php?p=w3d1dp5a

  119. Bystander says:

    Yep, gary..I am packing it in also on the spring season. We could go listing for listing showing the insane prices still being asked. Each seller is in their own little world protected from the bad people who are telling them that there are no buyers. They are different. Only hope is 6% mortgage rates and the foreclosures coming on the market. I will stick my head out again in 2011.

  120. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Shore, 119

    I actually do *love* my job. Why else would I bother fielding questions, offering advice, attempting to debunk bullshit and keep current on as much new info as I can to be as good a doc as I can be?

    Because I hate it?

    No. I love my job. I hate the bullshit I have to wade through in efforts to do my job well.

    No different than anyone else in any other field. Problem is, if I fu.ck up? You or someone else might not live to regret it.

    Want stress?

    * Be wholly responsible for the lives of others in an emergency situation.

    * Know that the life in front of you is about to leave for good. [Worse is when they come in talking and die.]

    * Deal with the grief over seeing the dead kid in front of you and you know the outcome could have been prevented.

    I could go on and on and on. I’m almost 15 yrs into this… I’m better than I used to be. When I tell you it’s stressful? I’m really understating it exponentially.

    sl

    *

  121. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    minus the “*”

    Got a little asterisk-happy there…

    sl

  122. cobbler says:

    Detailed analysis of the health care reform law (if you feel wonkish):

    What’s in the Healthcare Reform Law

    …Here’s a summary of the key provisions dealing with coverage, quality improvement, and tax changes in the new law and its add-on bill. …

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Washington-Watch/Reform/19351

  123. Zachary Parm says:

    This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do so I will follow some of these tips.

  124. Pat says:

    still, there’s a 46 y.o. female in MD who got some skin cancer situations easily and inexpensively under control because you’ve felt free to occasionally rant about something.

    Oh, and a little kid who doesn’t have bad belly aches at night anymore because you were willing to look at her ringworm pic and she was taken to a Dr who spent some extra time asking her a couple of questions and then ended up fixing her reflux.

    I realize you didn’t profit in any way from these two cases, and understand your points regarding Web-based self-diagnosis.

    But there’s a potential for big money savings out there on the health care program, using a combination of social networking and referral.

    Wouldn’t it be delightful to remove the first hurdle to health care for so many people who delay treatment?

  125. Yikes says:

    why stop at a flat tax? why not a flat punishment?

    no matter how rich you are, or how good a lawyer can you afford, if you’re busted with drugs or for DUI or whatever the crime … same punishment.

    i wonder … all the people for a “flat tax” and equality for all … are you also for a salary cap in baseball? (just curious)

  126. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Pat,

    Thanks for that… It made me happy and proud and I feel redeemed.

    I can rant about health issues freely here — with the good graces of our host– as I am also free of malpractice worries.

    Our ignorant gov’t officials have no idea how incredibly expensive the lack of real tort reform is to everyone.

    May I digress?

    The still_looking’s have a friend with a daughter who already had ear infections requiring tubes.

    Tubes grew out and (allegedly) need replacing (not sure I agree.)

    ENT see her (she’s 4) and orders pre op bloodwork including a test for coagulation (PT-INR)

    To note: she has *no* evidence of any bleeding disorder: no bleeding gums, easy bruising, small red spots, tiredness, pallor etc.

    This is a test surgeons in my hospital would *never* even order on a child. In fact most surgeons wouldn’t ask for in an otherwise healthy person (with some exception.)

    Her test for INR is 1.13 The range listed on the lab test is 0.90 to 1.10

    We’re talking 0.03 – 3/100ths of the lab value (well within lab error.) In a completely ASYMPTOMATIC child.

    He insisted that she be referred to a Hematologist/Oncologist (blood&cancer doc.)

    Our friend freaked and called me. He’s already a bit neurotic/hypochondriac (his description, not mine.) and wanted to know how frightened he should be.

    I explained: lab error, healthy child, dumb ENT whose afraid he’d be sued if there were *any* bleeding complication, etc etc.

    This is the utter insanity that is being committed across this country a gazillion times a day.

    No one wants to address the 2 ton dead elephant rotting in the middle of the room.

    And people are determined to be allowed to sue for just about anything. To many of these folks its the lottery jackpot. Just ask John Edwards. I am convinced his punishment for what he did in medical malpractice courts has now finally come home to roost. The ObGyns whose lives he ruined in court are cheering on his downfall.

    I believe in “round world” karma. The ills you punish others with eventually comes back to get you and often with extra momentum.

    Sorry for the lengthy rant and gratitude. I love what I do, I honest-to-God do. I hate the misery inflicted on me in my attempts to help others.

    sl

  127. Lets see if I can reply to this on this with my new ipod touch…

  128. gary says:

    sl,

    You are a special breed… seriously. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to see someone pass and all the second guessing that would go with it. I would never be able to deal with it. You are as tough as they come… God bless you and all that do what you do.

  129. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Gary,

    Thank you. Even grizzled old ER docs need a pat on the head now and then…

    I kinda feel very hugged all of a sudden…thanks!

    sl

  130. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Al, 100

    We are doomed. Lemme get this straight. Did this guy really just say, “I don’t give a damn about the Constitution??”

    Oh God. Need a lobotomy right now. Maybe Clot will crack open a Knob Creek for me.

    sl

  131. cobbler says:

    sl – could we have a special malpractice court with a group of physicians as a jury? If a patient agrees in advance to use the court (waive the lay jury), insurance rate could be whatever %% lower than for those that don’t… And Medicaid/Medicare could default to malpractice court unless the patient pays extra… I think, though, that the defensive medicine is so ingrained that you need to force the people not to practice it… but how? A few years back I had a persistent nerve pain in the shoulder, neurologist sent me to MRI (for which insurance paid some 2K) to eliminate the very minor probability of sarcoma – he felt “something” during the physical exam. If I had to pay on my own I’d probably still have a procedure, though grudgingly; what about someone with $10/hr wage? Where does the defensive medicine end and proper care begin?

  132. chicagofinance says:

    127.Pat says:
    April 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Hey! where have you been?

  133. Shore Guy says:

    “I kinda feel very hugged all of a sudden…thanks”

    Get hugged here, a nice addition to having B.O. **** you.

  134. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Cobbler, I answered and I guess I got mod’d over something.

    When it circulates, I will try to edit is.

    sl

  135. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    that is… “edit iT”

    sl

  136. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    I wish we had medical malpractice courts.

    Hell, I’d settle for a system where every malpractice case was screened for it’s veracity and merit.

    This would straight away remove the “I’m mad at the doctor and I’m gonna sue him “because” (I want to punish him and get my revenge because I am an ignorant malicious malcontent.”) lawsuits.

    Do errors occur? Absolutely. I can tell you case after case on a continuum scale of zero: pure medical error to ten: doctor really didn’t give a shit and fu.cked up thus someone died.

    Rather than make plaintiffs and their lawyers rich, I’d propose that no less than 25% of the money awarded goes back to help correct the system that enabled the error (from 0 – 10) to occur.

    Medication error? Implement an improved check system targeted to the direct cause.

    Equipment left in patient error? Again, use part of the reward money to help prevent the error from happening again.

    Doctor error. Well let’s see. I can tell you for fact: Friday’s are deadly. Go to the doc on a late Friday appt (or worse yet simply call and have the nurse advise you?) and I’m sure the doc seeing you is 1) tired, 2) if smart, will likely refer you to the ER instead. If not, 3) will probably do a cursory exam and not ask the right questions.

    “Gee, sl, how do you know this?”

    Because at least of few (um, er, hypothetically speaking that is…) deaths that I may have seen, might have been folks that went to their doc late Friday and were truly ill, possibly might have ended up in my ER, too ill to save, or if saved (in one really hypothetical case of a toxic shock syndrome patient who was ‘over the phone’ diagnosed with a ‘stomach flu’ possibly was in septic shock. [the potentially life saving question was “do you have any sunburn-like rash or spotted rash.]

    Again. I’m just hypothetically speaking here.

    Yep just the rantings of an overtired ER doc.

    sl

  137. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Found it…. that fu.ck. Gets me in trouble all the time….

    sigh.

    sl

  138. Shore Guy says:

    People forget that even in cases where a doc does everything right, people sometimes do not respond to treatment.

  139. Shore Guy says:

    ” that fu.ck. Gets me in trouble all the time…”

    Bill Clinton and Elliot Spitzer say the same thing.

  140. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    123.

    Shore is a Neocon. He will wake up soon. Its a touch go when your reality is shattered.

  141. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Until you remove the “Jackpot Lottery!!!!! Win Win Win!!!” mentality from the equation, and make better, more sound use of the system at hand, expect physicians to over treat, over test, over chart (rather than take the time to ask the right questions) and cover their asses at every turn.

    Even when a lab test is 3/100 ths above the norm.

    NONE of those docs even *asked* our friend about the child with regard to bleeding problems or even family history of bleeding problems.

    Answer? Referred to Hematologist/Oncologist. Translates into $$$$$

    For a test that a well informed physician would never have even ordered.

    THAT is where your health care dollars are going (in part.)

    sl

  142. Confused in NJ says:

    The issue of Malpractice is a difficult area to correct. If you go to a Dermatalogist for a skin cancer check, and they fail to diagnose the skin cancer, is this malpractice? Probably more so then expecting a surgeon to be God and dying on the operating table through no fault of the surgeon, other then not being God Like. Do you sue your OBGYN for the Estrogen Related Breast Cancer you got from the HRT they recommended? The FDA seems to think it’s O.K. for medications to kill you, as long as they put a warning on the box. Many doctors are trapped in a terrible system, where the regulators are not regulating.

  143. Shore Guy says:

    I am not a neocon, they were Dems who came over to the side of right. I am conservative, fiscally and moderate with socal issues, leaning libitarian there. I have a deep reverence for the Constitution, and little faith in humans’ ability to be in power with out craving more — thus believe in strong restraints of official power.

    I do not believe in going around the Constitution because “we are acting in good faith and would never abuse our power.” I do not believe that everyone is entitled to equal rrsults for unequal effort or capabilities. I am fine with Lyndsey Vonn, Eric Hyden, and many others willing Olympic medals whereas I am resigned to never doing so; they were more gifted and worked harder for it than I did.

    I do resent people expecting my family to support them when they fail to take the necessary steps to advance their own condition.

    I believe in legal immigration, both for the best and brightest and for those who have done battle to make their homelands free or better, and who lost the fight and need a safe haven. I believe that no illegal deserves or should be given a path to citizenship thay does not include leaving the country and waiting in line for a visa, behind all the people who followed the rules.

    I believe that GW Bush will turn out to be ranked as one of the bottom 10% of presidents ever, and I believe that B.O. is recklessly spending and not holding responsible thise who nearly wrecked our economic system.

    I believe in equal opportunity for all and affirmative action for none.

    If that makes me some uber-con in your view, I believe I ca? live with that.

  144. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Shore, 141

    EXACTLY. But they’re angry and want someone to blame. These become meritless cases that still cost huge sums of money to defend even when the physician did nothing wrong.

    Sometimes despite every possible effort on the part of the entire staff involved, patients die.

    I give you John Ritter

    I had a patient exactly like this at my last hospital. I demanded a CT of the chest. The (prominent) cardiologist wanted it cancelled. I refused. He insisted it was a heart attack. I wasn’t convinced and insisted on CT. Patient had an aortic dissection, not a heart attack. It cost me my job as the “prominent” cardiologist was gunning for my removal after that.

    Life saved. Job lost. I came out the other end wiser and happier. No, I’m not kidding – it happens just like that.

    sl

  145. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    For clarity’s sake.

    The article is incorrect in that it names Dr. Joseph Lee as the ER doc. He was not the ER doc, he was the cardiologist involved in the case.

    I’m trying to find the name of the ER doc (he was cleared from any liability.)

    sl

  146. Shore Guy says:

    SL,

    The key it seems is checklists. If a doc follows a specified set of steps for a given set of presenting symptoms (and not every poossible test, just the ones most likely to reveal the nature of an illness) and properly interprets the tests (again within agreed-upon parameters), judges should be able to dismiss many more cases on summery judgememt.

  147. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/05/john-ritters-67m-medical-_n_85023.html

    Lee, cardiologist (cleared of wrongdoing)

    Lotysch, radiologist (did full body scan 2 yrs prior to Ritter’s death – also cleared of wrongdoing.)

    They do not name the ER doc that I can find so far. If s/he was a hospital employee, they might have settled collectively on their behalf (I’m guessing.)

    sl

  148. Shore Guy says:

    John Ritter is dead?

  149. Shore Guy says:

    WTF???

    “U.S. Navy Ship Grabs Pirates, Lets Them Go
    ABCNews — A U.S. Navy ship has sunk a pirate “mother ship” in the Indian Ocean and captured 11 pirates, and then promptly let them go. It was the second time within 24 hours that U.S. forces captured Somali pirates. Earlier Thursday, five pirates were taken into custody after they attacked a U.S. warship. While those five pirates remain in custody, the 11 captured Thursday were allowed to leave in small skiffs after the mother ship was sunk”

    That’ll show them. Pump a few hundred 50 cal rounds (or a 5″ shell) into their ships and sink them. Let them swim home. Enough of these schmucks running roughshod over shipping.

  150. still_looking says:

    for those interested in ancestry…

    THIS is riveting.

    sl

  151. Jim says:

    I have a wall safe. If you get one it needs to be in an out of the way area (not behind a picture in your den) and it needs to be in a concrete or stone wall or floor. As was pointed out any safe can be opened by a bad guy. The quality of the safe will determine how long it will take to crack. It is also handy to have a safety deposit box for the items you really need secured.

  152. Jim says:

    I forgot one thing about safes. Some of the newest gun safes are very well made and very hard to break into. They also can’t be carried off into the night. I have a gun safe that is maybe shoulder height for long guns. It is good to put paperwork, laptops, hard drives, small amounts of cash, etc. into as well. If the break-in is by kids or druggies looking for things to sell for drug money they won’t have the ability to get into these safes.

  153. Essex says:

    118. Some day we’ll all have a vacation. For now, sleep is for the dead.

  154. Final Doom says:

    yikes (91)-

    A nice, unrecorded, face-to-face death threat in an open, public spot where plenty of people can see you, but no one can hear you.

    Don’t ask me how I know this.

  155. Final Doom says:

    cobbler (103)-

    Isn’t there a Stephen King story along those lines?

  156. Final Doom says:

    Perhaps all the gubmint should ever be involved in payment for is your funeral, not your life or your health.

    If I could get NJ to guarantee me a little plot, some good mortuary science practiced on my freshly-dead bag of blood, a box and 5-6 paid mourners- and leave my life alone- I’d sign right now for it.

    At least this way, when they reach up my ass, I won’t feel it.

  157. Juice Box says:

    Who is going to pay for this?

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Thousands of U.S. homes tainted by Chinese drywall should be gutted, according to new guidelines released Friday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    The guidelines say electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers, gas pipes and drywall need to be removed.

    “We want families to tear it all out and rebuild the interior of their homes, and they need to start this to get their lives started all over again,” said Inez Tenenbaum, chairwoman of the commission, the federal agency charged with making sure consumer products are safe.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Feds-Homes-with-Chinese-apf-3307134453.html?x=0

  158. Shore Guy says:

    How many times have we seen that buying the least expensive product costs more in the end?

    Things generally cost what they cost because THAT is what it costs to make the product. When someone comes along with a much lower price, they have either revolutionized the production process or cut corners somewhere. I have yet to see much innovation emerging from China so, beyond slave labor, we are left with corner cutting on a massive scale.

  159. Mr hyde says:

    SL

    a great big thank you to you and your fellow MD’s that care and give so much of yourselves!!!!!!

  160. Pat says:

    Hey, cf. How’s tricks?

    I’m here, but in some kind of mental stasis. Haven’t been keeping up with every detail of economic events, so I don’t comment.

  161. Shore Guy says:

    From the Drywall article:

    “But Randy Noel, past president of the Louisiana Home Builders Association, said the Chinese drywall problem has been exaggerated. He called the new guidelines ‘overkill.’

    “‘Nobody has come up with a house yet that has caught on fire from the Chinese drywall, no one has come up yet with a house that leaks water or gas because of Chinese drywall,’ he said.

    “He has examined numerous homes containing Chinese drywall and found minor problems, he said.

    “‘It’s a black soot on top of the copper, brass and silver,’ he said. ‘You wipe the stuff off and it looks as good as new.'”

    Nice. So much for buying a home built by this character or any of his members. Awww, its just a flesh wound.

  162. Morpheus says:

    Nom at 116:
    It is not an April Fools joke. I do not possess enough creativity to do that.

  163. renter says:

    If people aren’t punished i.e. receive consequences for behavior then what of world do we live in?

    Help Paying Mortgages Elicits Anger
    By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD
    Published: April 2, 2010

    “It shouldn’t be something people should be punished for,” said Robert J. Shiller, the Yale economist who helped develop Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index of housing prices. “It was a national mistake. President Bush, in his weekly radio addresses, was extolling the benefits of homeownership. Implicit in this, he was telling people they were doing the right thing to take these highly leveraged mortgage loans. We can’t reasonably think people should be punished for doing that when there is a crisis that is not of their doing.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/your-money/03money.html?8dpc

  164. renter says:

    what kind of

  165. Mr hyde says:

    Shore

    that black soot is most likely metal oxides. In otherwords the metal is being eaten by the sulfide compounds. Copper oxides can be toxic.

    I wouldnt stay a day in a house that I knew had that issue

  166. Yikes says:

    floated this a couple days ago, will ask again: Anyone have experiences with Anthony Sylvan pools or Blue Haven pools?

  167. Morpheus says:

    nom:
    E-mail headed your way

  168. CAIBC says:

    so let me get this straight…
    you have until April 30 to get a contract signed but until June 30 to close? is the government extending this? i thought that it was April 30 for closing…
    i keep waiting for this government intervention to stop but it keeps getting extended??!??
    do we know if they are planning on extending it even further?
    also, that Cape in Ridgewood should be around 350K – lots of hurting going on in Ridgewood – it will be 350K pretty soon!

  169. renter says:

    The deadline for closing was June 30th since the inception of this latest credit.

  170. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    I used to know a chemist who belittled those of us who insisted on working with benzine, etc., in a hood, with: “Oh, get over it. We used to bath in the stuff. You don’t need a hood.”

  171. Shore Guy says:

    If I recall correctly, arn’t copper oxides used to preserve wood? I seem to recall they are potent fungicides and insecticides. Homeownercides, too it now seems.

  172. Dink says:

    Chi’s statement below confirms for me what my inclination was regarding the tax credit and what I’ve been telling people when they tell me to take advantage of it. I guess it begs the question then. Does the house that goes under contract for 400K on 4/30 go for 392K on 5/1?

    chicagofinance says:
    March 31, 2010 at 11:06 am

    yo: the ironic thing is that there is no net “credit”; once there is public knowledge of the credit, you will find that in order to close on a house, you will need to pay (on average) the amount of the credit MORE; so in reality the buyer is neutral (on average) and the public is handing a subsidy to sellers….and creating volume for the NAR…

  173. Juice Box says:

    Oh Oh Oh got my new iPad this AM, almost tacked the UPS delivery man when I saw him walking down the street.

  174. grim says:

    If I recall correctly, arn’t copper oxides used to preserve wood?

    There used to be some really wonderful old green copper stains that were used in craftsman furniture back in the 20s and 30s. I believe they were pretty toxic though…

  175. cobbler says:

    Water- or acid-soluble copper compounds are toxic if ingested, but only moderately so (compare with lead, etc.) – this is why copper piping is so widely used despite water from it containing a few hundred ppb of dissolved copper; also, mineral supplements contain some copper, check the label. I don’t see a way of getting poisoned by copper sulfides (these are sulfides, not oxides) from outside of the pipes short of cleaning them off with vinegar, collecting it and then using this vinegar in your salad dressing.

  176. Mr hyde says:

    Cobbler

    copper sulfide compounds probably are the main component along with some copper oxide. Chronic exposure to sulfur and copper compounds is not a good thing. This stuff is also found on copper HVAC coils and so is probably being somewhat aerosolized.

    And I agree, water in copper pipes isn’t going to kill you but isn’t a great idea either.

    As shore pointed out, people used to use pure benzene as a household cleaner because it smelled somewhat pleasant and was a great solvent….

  177. Morpheus says:

    grim:
    sorry, been preoccupied here. Hope your dad is “out of the woods”. Should have wished you that sooner.

  178. cobbler says:

    Mr hyde [180]
    Carcinogenicity is a game of numbers for something like benzene (I am not talking really bad stuff like dioxine or benzpirenes) – your chance of getting a particular cancer goes from say 1% to 2%, but you are still much more likely to die from something else; in fact, the air in the pine forest on a sunny and windless day in summertime contains fairly decent levels of isoprene (much higher than OSHA allows in the chemical plant air) which in assays is more mutagenic than benzene. Some 19th century chemists that had been essentially swimming in benzene lived till their 90s – some expired in their 30s.
    To me, the fact the house stinks is a good enough argument against the Chinese drywall – no need to augment this with the tox stuff. Btw, silver sulfide is what blackens the teaspoon if you use sterling silverware to eat an egg or two…

  179. Yikes says:

    Duke will win and cover.
    Michigan State will win.

    Go West Virginia!

  180. Mr hyde says:

    Cobbler

    agreed. We are surrounded by potentially toxic compounds. It’s all in the dose

  181. safeashouses says:

    I didn’t know Jamal could sing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W57aBMYKvU

    Is that bi playing guitar?

  182. Mr hyde says:

    Cobbler

    we are both correct:

    The atmospheric corrosion of copper by hydrogen sulphide has been followed during field tests using different sulphide concentrations, for 77 days, and during exposure to a well-defined synthetic atmosphere in a test chamber. The main components formed at the surface of the samples are copper oxides and sulphide

    – from the journal Corrosion Science

    the cost of having this stuff in your hous. Would be astronomical due to the potential damage to any electronics or other copper components exposed

    Hydrogen sulfide isn’t exactly healthy. High levels of strontium have been found as well. That’s probably not as mush of a concern if you don’t generate much dust

  183. cobbler says:

    Mr hyde, good discussion…
    Actually, damage to electronics is probably something measurable easy enough to go after the builders insurance company – though, these days electronics is only marginally more expensive than the drywall. Strontium… non problemo, it will be present as sulfate, and is as inert as it gets (don’t forget people eat pounds of barium sulfate for stomach X-rays) – it is not a radioactive variety. To me, the stench is still the deciding factor…

  184. Final Doom says:

    Just thought I’d interrupt putting a serious dent in a fifth of Knob Creek to deliver this little missive.

    Remember, Clotpoll called the FHA ticking timebomb/bankruptcy-bailout vehicle first. What I didn’t count on was seeing FHA paper being used in a swap for legacy toxic fermented subprime swill:

    “Whew. That was fast. It didn’t take long for Wall Street to figure out how to game Obama’s new mortgage modification program, did it? The plan was hyped as help for “struggling homeowners”, but it turns out, it’s just another stealth bailout for pudgy bank-execs. It’s funny, the program hasn’t even kicked in yet and, already, bigtime speculators are riffling through their filing cabinets looking any garbage paper they can find to dump on Uncle Sam. Take a look at this on today’s Bloomberg report:

    “Subprime-mortgage securities are rising at an accelerating pace as the U.S. begins to encourage reductions to homeowners’ balances, which may lead to fewer foreclosures and a quicker end to the housing slump….Senior-ranked bonds tied to borrowers with poor credit will mostly benefit after the Treasury Department said for the first time it would seek to cut the size of mortgages, reducing the likelihood that loan modifications will fail”, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc. (Bloomberg)

    What does it mean? It means that Obama’s mortgage modification extravaganza has touched-off a gold rush in toxic paper. Subprime securitizations, which had been worth next to nothing, are now the hottest trade on Wall Street. It’s a subprime bonanza! The investment sharpies are scarfing up all the crummy MBS they can get their hands on, because they know they can trade it in for Triple A FHA-backed loans when the program get’s going. It’s another swindle cooked up by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to keep the brokerage clan in the clover. Here’s how a Wall Street veteran explained it to me:

    “It looks like the investors in securitizations will be swapping underwater real estate for govt-insured paper… I think the scam here is just to provide some cover so the hedge funds and other high net worth individuals can trade their low grade paper for Triple AAA mortgages insured by the FHA at the taxpayer expense.”

    That’s it, in a nutshell. The faux-foreclosure prevention program has nothing to do with helping homeowners. That’s just diversionary gibberish to confuse the public. The real objective is to create a government landfill (aka–FHA) where the banks and other financial institutions can dump their toxic MBS-sludge and walk away with gov-backed loans.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-tim-geithner-sniveling-scamster

  185. Final Doom says:

    Yes, kiddies, Clotpoll beat Tyler Durden to the punch.

    From article above:

    “Geithner has figured out how to put together a bailout that will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars without any money actually exchanging hands. The value of the putrid mortgage-paper will soar because of the gov-underwriting, and the ginormous losses won’t be realized until the mortgages start blowing up sometime in the future. That’s when FHA will be put-to-pasture along with fellow-homicide victims, Fannie and Freddie. Pretty clever, eh?

    So, the cutthroat speculators and bunko artists who fleeced us all with their dogshit subprimes, have returned for another dip at the public trough. That means taxpayers will get scalped on the same investments a second time. Hey, it’s a double-whammy!”

  186. Final Doom says:

    Great thread at the ZH article referenced in #188. Many commenters also posit on scenarios in which the basic idea won’t work (which is entirely possible).

    What does seem clear is that even if the specific scam doesn’t work, only the US taxpayer will hold the bag for any losses.

    Brilliant.

  187. Final Doom says:

    Take another big pull on your favorite libation, then get ready to barf it up:

    “When I visited my hometown in 2009, I drove around many empty buildings, which are completely dark at night, and could not help thinking how can this possibly end well. The bubble will burst. Government will print money to bail out banks.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/04/email-from-chinese-on-chinas-real.html

  188. veto that - Lawrence Yun says:

    Doom, that china mish article is priceless. Because of it, i’m tempted to change my name to Panda.

    “When I visited my hometown in 2009, I drove around many empty buildings, which are completely dark at night, and could not help thinking how can this possibly end well. The bubble will burst. Government will print money to bail out banks.

    Chinese people are smart and hard working. On the other hand, look at the huge bubble. How can it possibly end well?

    My take is that in short term, China is likely to experience a depression.”

    “Panda”

  189. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    “The average apartment (1000 sq feet) will cost $90,000. This comparable with US condo prices in a second tier city. The price/income ratio is 25.7 for a single buyer! Even with a two-wage-earner family, the ratio is larger than 10.

    For Beijing and Shanghai, housing is much more expensive. In Shanghai for example, the price for decent area is around 30000-Yuan/sq-meter, i.e., around $440/sq-feet. And yes, they are only condos/apartments. Hence, a 1000sq feet apartment will cost around $440,000. Yet the average college graduate earns only $5,500/year.

    How can they afford it? Short answer is they cannot. For the few who managed to buy in recent years, they dipped into the life-time savings of their parents, or even grandparents. One house deprived several generation’s wealth in this case.”

  190. chicagofinance says:

    D: In theory yes, but obviously nothing is that cut-and-dried, so the evidence will be difficult to find and parse out. I will go one step further……the (theoretical) house will not go from $400 to $392, but rather some amount greater than $400..say $405 down to $387….why? The deadline for the program termination functions as an artificial additional stimulus drawing demand into the current period, and stealing it from future periods. In exactly the same way that artificial demand in 2004, 2005 & 2006 stole future demand from 2007-2010.

    176.Dink says:
    April 3, 2010 at 11:54 am
    Chi’s statement below confirms for me what my inclination was regarding the tax credit and what I’ve been telling people when they tell me to take advantage of it. I guess it begs the question then. Does the house that goes under contract for 400K on 4/30 go for 392K on 5/1?

    chicagofinance says:
    March 31, 2010 at 11:06 am

    yo: the ironic thing is that there is no net “credit”; once there is public knowledge of the credit, you will find that in order to close on a house, you will need to pay (on average) the amount of the credit MORE; so in reality the buyer is neutral (on average) and the public is handing a subsidy to sellers….and creating volume for the NAR…

  191. Final Doom says:

    chi (194)-

    The $64,000 question is what happens when all the stim is removed, and the prevalent mindset shifts from housing-as-investment to housing-as-consumption.

  192. Pat says:

    There’re diminishing returns (or in this case, less draw on future demand) based on reduced multiples of capital recycling (leverage).

    To get the same impact as pulling from future demand in 2006, you’d need to pull back three times the number of buyers from future quarters.

    Plus most buyers, even Y’ers, have caught onto the game and know the credit is for the seller.

    Went out to some open houses last Sunday. Niece is looking for a place near the Poconos. Tax Credit was a consideration…maybe (or maybe not, she said.)

    She didn’t even show. Her Mom and I ended up doing all the looking, using the various bathrooms, and phoning her when a house was billed as residential/4 seasons but had no closets in the bedrooms. She was out having Krispy Kremes.

    There is some stinky crap at some inflated prices up there.

  193. safeashouses says:

    I want to lowball a greedy grubber this week! Who’s with me!!!!!!!!!!!

  194. Pat says:

    Sorry. Have to score a ham.

    … I’m thinking that doesn’t have anything pleasurable related to it.

    Then I get to watch my daughter puke five pounds of Gertrude Hawks after trying out her new skateboard.

  195. safeashouses says:

    Maybe we should start sending water to China instead of dollars.

    http://www.chinasmack.com/2010/pictures/yunnan-drought-fish-trapped-in-dried-lake-bed-photos.html

  196. Shore Guy says:

    ” Niece is looking for a place near the Poconos. ”

    I have heard that there are real quality issues up there as well due to problems with building codes. I would be wary and would be inclined to have an inspection that looks at the basic construction as well as standard things.

  197. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Happy Easter everyone

  198. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Still here in Mass. Spent the entire say in NH yesterday, depriving Trenton of tax revenue. Also got the mossberg 835, a sweet 12 guage in mossy oak with the new lumo dot sights. Also got 100 shells, a 100 ox of 223 and another 500 box of 22.

    Also got a case of wine, scotch, rum, 2 cases of beer (much cheaper and no tax) and some new yard power tools.

    Spent nearly 900 bucks. Afer gas (and borrowed sister prius) I figure I saved about 75.

    Sorry Chris.

  199. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    BTW it is legal for sellers in NH to sell long guns to NJ residents. I wasn’t one but just so you know.

  200. Mr hyde says:

    Nom

    any documentation needed to bring the long guns back if a NJ resident buys in NH or just cash&carry?

  201. yo'me says:

    Doook!

  202. yo'me says:

    The NYT had an excellent piece on how private equity funds (e.g. Peter Peterson’s Blackstone Group) ripoff state and local governments by charging them large management fees. A standard arrangement will give the equity fund managers 2.0 percent of the funds under management and 20 percent of the profit. The article notes several cases where these investments have turned out poorly for pension funds and cites academic studies that show private equity funds, net of fees, provide on average no better return than broad stock indexes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03equity.html?ref=us

  203. NJCoast says:

    Easy cooking tip for when we’re all living on nompounds or if you want to eat something that’s sooo much better than store bought.

    Fresh Ricotta Cheese

    Boil 2 quarts milk with 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add 3-5 tbls. lemon juice or vinegar. Stir until curdling takes place- about 2-4 minutes. (Add more lemon juice/vinegar if curdling doesn’t begin). Pour into a collander lined with cheese cloth. Let drain for an hour or so. Makes about 2 cups. Voila!

    Happy Easter.

  204. safeashouses says:

    Cherry trees are in bloom at Branch Brook park. Largest collection of blossoming cherry trees in the nation. NJ is #1 in some good categories too.

    http://www.nj.com/insidejersey/index.ssf/2010/03/cherry_blossom_festival_in_bra.html

    Was there yesterday. Quite stunning.

  205. Jim says:

    Some of B.O.s cronies are on the Sunday talk shows today doing damage control/spreading misinformation. I just heard a little about how unemployment is down and another guy saying that the new national sozialist health plan isn’t sozialism at all. Oh well. The lemmings are continuing off the cliff following their fearless leader. Where did I put that bottle of Scotch? Things make so much more sense with this administration when you don’t think too deeply and or look at the facts. Note to self: buy more gold and ammo.

  206. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (204) Hyde

    Paperwork was all theirs. They did some kind of instant check but they also had a sign with states whose residents could purchase in NH. NJ was on the list.

    Now, that doesn’t mean NJ law doesn’t apply; it just means NH won’t enforce it. That said, I don’t know if they wouldn’t ask for the NJ purchase permit. I am a PA resident after all (but will be NJ by this weekend).

  207. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (207) Coast

    Forget nompounds, that sounds great.

    Was speaking to the BIL who has a nompound. Told him that if we had to shelter with them, at least they’d be well armed and equipped.

    And the spouse is even feeling the concern over TSHTF. Didn’t flinch about the shotgun and even said something about learning to use my guns at some point.

    When the wives who didn’t want guns around, come around, you know that the worry runs deep.

  208. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Arrgh. Its Easter, a time of faith and renewal. Time for some optimism. Will STFU about guns and enjoy this day and my family. Hope you all can do the same.

    Peace out.

  209. chicagofinance says:

    I stopped reading after “The NYT….”

    206.yo’me says:
    April 4, 2010 at 8:17 am
    The NYT had an excellent piece on how private equity funds (e.g. Peter Peterson’s Blackstone Group) ripoff state and local governments by charging them large management fees. A standard arrangement will give the equity fund managers 2.0 percent of the funds under management and 20 percent of the profit. The article notes several cases where these investments have turned out poorly for pension funds and cites academic studies that show private equity funds, net of fees, provide on average no better return than broad stock indexes.

  210. chicagofinance says:

    This story doesn’t totally add up, but I’m sure some know better than I would…..as an example, there is no such thing as a front row seat in Convention Hall. All this junk is my backyard…pretty funny…

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/an_under_dFoIwCZyS1kP73wg2jSQVL

  211. Jim says:

    213.
    Yes, NYT and ‘excellent piece’ don’t really go together, do they?

  212. still_looking says:

    chicagofinance says:
    April 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I stopped reading after “The NYT….”

    Chifi, Ditto.

    sl

  213. still_looking says:

    Happy Easter (and Passover, for us hebes.)

    sl

  214. still_looking says:

    Grim and Clot.

    NeeD Out NoW.

    Fairlawn rental? I’m even willing to throw in a bottle of scotch as a bounty.

    sl

  215. still_looking says:

    Nom,

    Gonna be available after April 15th? My schedule is a fu.cking gauntlet til the beginning of May but need some guidance.

    sl

    BTW… Thank you for not writing “that *being* said” It’s one of my worse grammar pet peeves.

  216. Yikes says:

    MS-13 in georgia.

    depressing that life is of no value to these people.

    http://m.ajc.com/news/its-a-dead-end-433983.html

  217. Essex says:

    Room 222 anyone remember that show?

  218. Barbara says:

    I do, I also rememeber 227, with that Sassy lady maid from The Jeffersons.

  219. Shore Guy says:

    222

    Karen Valentine :)

  220. Shore Guy says:

    NJC,

    That sounds good. I will give it a try. Do you have any experience making a low-fat version, either with just milk or skim milk?

  221. Shore Guy says:

    “in NH yesterday, depriving Trenton of tax revenue”

    Nom,

    I am sure that you will be reporting these purchases on your NJ tax form, right?

  222. Barbara says:

    221.
    Yikes,
    these “tragic” gang stories are as old as time. Rims and respect, baby….rims and respect. I don’t care. Let me repeat that, I don’t care. BTW MS-13 is large in NJ.

  223. Mr hyde says:

    Barb

    you cold heartless woman you!

  224. Final Doom says:

    Question: how does the Fed differ from the MS-13?

    Please discuss.

    “The recently (in)famous Michael Burry, writes a blistering op-ed for the NYT, in which he implicitly asks one simple question: just how dumb are Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke? The man who foresaw it all, subprime crisis, banking system collapse, counterparty risk, CDS scapegoating and emerged from the second coming of Great Depression 2.0 a much wealthier man, has so far had exactly zero invitations to share his insight with Washington’s Wall Street proxy legislators, and, in addition, has had his forecasting skills called a “statistical illusion” by the very same Greenspan who took the economy to the brink, and whose successor is now doing just that in the second doomed great reflation experiment. At this point one has to be an immaculate idiot (read Chairman of the Fed) not to see, that what the Fed is doing with the pursuit of the same catastrophic monetary policy which failed the first time around, and will fail now, is pushing us straight into the abyss, from where America just barely managed to crawl out in 2009 via $3 trillion in additional public debt issuance to date (a number which will likely hit $10 trillion within the next 5 years, to result in a debt-GDP ratio of approximately 200% when including the GSEs). It has gotten so bad that even Fed governors are begging Bernanke to stop the madness before it is too late: a first sign of internal mutiny. Alas, just like when everyone ignored Michael Burry, who laughed into the face of conventional groupthink in the mid-2000’s (which by definition is always wrong, and will be this time around as well), so will Wall Street and its proxy, Washington D.C., ignore that which is all too obvious until it is once again too late. Hopefully by then intelligent and very rich life on Mars will be discovered, cause there will be no one left to bail out not just the US, but the world.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/michael-burry-demolishes-feds-self-perceived-infalliblity-discusses-cost-extend-and-pretend

  225. NJCoast says:

    Shore-

    You can make a lowfat version of fresh ricotta with skim milk, but you’re better off with the full fat version (just eat smaller amount)

    All lowfat and skim milk products are heavily processed with fake vitamin D added back in.

    Nina Planck can explain it better. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/12/opinion/nyregionopinions/12CIplanck.html

  226. chicagofinance says:

    229.Final Doom says:
    April 4, 2010 at 7:36 pm
    “The recently (in)famous Michael Burry

    Doom: Anyone who wants their opinion taken seriously does not refer to Bernacke as an idiot. Unless the parenthetical phrase was inserted by Zero Value. Either way, the passage appeared on Zero Value so its “value” is self-evident.

  227. cobbler says:

    …Dr. Capozza, who is also a finance professor at the University of Michigan, compiles an index that gauges the default risk for borrowers in every ZIP code in the nation. The latest index, which Dr. Capozza released in March, reached 158, less than half its peak of 330 in early 2007.

    So a typical loan taken out today is less than half as likely to end up in default as one taken out in early 2007. Dr. Capozza said that shift should translate to improving loan terms.

    In the greater New York area, loans made in Connecticut pose the lowest risk, Dr. Capozza said, scoring a 146 on the index, compared with 225 in New Jersey and 206 in New York State.

    New York City, meanwhile, scored 410, which is down from a peak of 540 in 2007…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/realestate/04mort.html?ref=business

  228. plg says:

    I have a theoretical question for all you real estate experts.

    Let’s say hypothetically Chris Christie delivers on all of his promises and manages to reduce property taxes in a major way. (hypothetical, not likely) Let say real estate taxes are cut on half.

    Wouldn’t the value of the house increase such that your monthly payments would be roughly the same? In other words, the demand for housing would simply drive the purchase price up by whatever amount your property taxes are reduced. Buyers are willing to carry X monthyl payment, whether it is mortgage or taxes is basically irrelevant, no? (except for some marginal federal tax considerations)

    In fact, most of the high property tax areas of NJ are the most in demand. Just because property taxes go down, the monthly carrying costs of the house would not go down, or am I missing something?

  229. Final Doom says:

    chi (231)-

    Bernanke should have his first name changed to “Idiot”.

  230. Final Doom says:

    …or, “Criminal Genius”.

    Although I think it’s more aptly suited to Eraserhead.

  231. Final Doom says:

    (232, 233)-

    Classic. A cobbler/plg circle jerk.

  232. Geez, everytime I see blogs this good I just want mine to be there already! :) Great work.

  233. Essex says:

    Ask anyone how much tax he pays and he will probably say he pays too much. Probe a little further and he might get close to what he pays in property tax. But it’s likely he can’t tell you how much income tax he paid last year and he certainly won’t know what percent of his income that is. He might know that New Jersey’s sales tax rate is seven percent, but he probably won’t know what items are taxed.
    The point is that what many people claim to know about taxes isn’t reality. And making comparisons across states can be very tricky. Tax systems vary widely and simplistic analyses that look only at top tax rates don’t do anything but make people angry. And angry people tend to make bad choices.
    At least five times in his budget address, Gov. Chris Christie claimed New Jersey residents are the most over-taxed in the country with more state and local taxes taken as a percent of income than any other state in America. He apparently believes if he says that repeatedly with enough conviction it will be true. His words are carefully selected so his tax statements aren’t totally wrong, but are misleading.
    For some, this works. But facts, based on the latest Census of Government Finance and population statistics, do not support his rhetoric.
    Contrary to the governor’s message, New Jersey ranks fifth per capita and 28th as a percent of personal income in total state and local taxes paid by residents. The percent of personal income measure takes into account New Jersey’s wealth.
    New Jersey has high property taxes — the second highest (after the District of Columbia) in the nation on a per capita basis; third highest as a percent of personal income. Some of this is driven by high housing values and service levels; but more significant is the fact that schools, municipalities and counties in New Jersey cannot levy local sales or income taxes.
    Thirty-eight states have local sales taxes. Twelve states have local income taxes. Revenues from those two taxes are used to support local services, particularly schools. People who live in New York or Pennsylvania likely pay either local income or local sales taxes or both.
    On a per capita basis, New Jersey ranks 20th for state and local sales tax collections; as a percent of personal income, New Jersey ranks 39th and that is because the state has no local sales taxes and doesn’t tax food or clothes as many states do. Taking into account local sales tax rates, New Jersey’s seven percent state-only rate is surpassed by those in 31 other states. For instance, in Alabama people can pay up to 12 percent in sales tax on purchases.
    Gov. Christie also talks about marginal income tax rates and says at 8.97 percent, New Jersey has the highest in the nation. What’s misleading about that is no one pays 8.97 percent of his income to New Jersey as income taxes.
    Married taxpayers earning $550,000 in New Jersey pay $32,292.50 in state taxes, or 5.9 percent of their income. In New York state, they would pay $39,941 (7.3 percent) in combined state and local income taxes; in Philadelphia $38,775 (7.05 percent). And even middle-income people fare better in New Jersey because tax rates start at 1.4 percent instead of the 4 percent New York state rate and the 3.06 percent Pennsylvania state rate. And then, of course, New York and Pennsylvania schools, municipalities and counties often levy local income taxes which New Jersey does not.
    And of course Christie fails to mention the price of gas in New Jersey, which is rock-bottom cheap because our gas tax — last raised in 1988 — is the third lowest in the nation.
    Cutting school and infrastructure investments are the worst things New Jersey can do right now if it wants to preserve its future. Taxes must be part of the solution. It’s time to get the facts straight and have an honest discussion about the state’s financial options, not an anti-tax diatribe filled with misinformation.

  234. Essex says:

    My propaganda for the night from NJ.com

  235. Confused in NJ says:

    236.Final Doom says:
    April 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm
    (232, 233)-

    Classic. A cobbler/plg circle jerk.

    plg is obviously a closet NJEA representative trying desperately to ignore the fact that people can no longer afford them.

  236. cobbler says:

    Confused [240]
    I actually didn’t have a single word of my own in [232] – just a piece from the article very much on the presumed topic of this blog… I don’t know why the doomster feels the need to insult me after having a few drinks.

  237. Final Doom says:

    I insult you because it gives me pleasure, cobbler.

    I also haven’t had a few drinks, and I wouldn’t care about your article snippet if it didn’t perfectly reflect an insane, biased and specious rubric for its ridiculous study and conclusions.

  238. Final Doom says:

    cobbler, if an atomic bomb is dropped on your zip code, mortgage defaults will decrease thereafter.

    Therefore, an atomic bombing would represent a net positive event in terms of the housing market.

  239. cobbler says:

    The main point of the snippet I posted was that defaults are expected to be higher in NJ than in CT and NY state.
    As far as I remember, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover nuclear explosions, so the effect on foreclosures will be quite massive.
    And… sorry not to have realized you’ve run out of Knob Creek… withdrawal could be nasty…

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