Small is the new black

From the Star Ledger:

Homebuilders have a new mantra: Small will sell

The pair of new houses that sit at the top of Truman Place off Route 1 in NorthBrunswick fit right in with the upscale style that has dominated residential architecture for the past decade.

Brick-and-vinyl facades with contemporary lines. Hardwood floors, oak railings and 9-foot ceilings.

But the twin colonials have one feature that proves they were built for the next generation homeowner: Each has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, all packed into 2,000 square feet — a third less space than the definitive McMansion of the past, and three-quarters the size of the typical home built in 2008.

Call it a McBargain.

“The idea was, in this economy, the most important thing is probably the price,” said Gregory Ginzburg, who bought the lot in 2008, aiming to build two houses on a space that earlier in the decade would have held just one. “From the reply from the public, from the calls, I had so many offers on that house you can’t even imagine.”

The two homes are reflective of the new mantra among homebuilders trying to get the market started again in New Jersey: Smaller will sell.

The recession destroyed the new home industry, which
had been chugging along by churning out big-footprint, big-ticket homes. Builders are retooling by downsizing, with floor plans that use less space and smart design. New homes will continue to shrink, according to the Otteau Valuation Group in East Brunswick. Homes that are being planned now are about 200-square-feet smaller on average than at the height of the housing boom at 2,650 square-feet in 2007, the appraiser said.

Price has a lot to do with it, builders say, and it has led to a shift in home design, as well. A separate living room is out, replaced by a “great room” that sits in a central location in the house, said Andrew Zastko, a real estate agent who sold one of Ginzburg’s homes. Lower property taxes also entice buyers to smaller homes, he added.

“I honestly got a great deal,” said Narsinghani, 28, who paid about $360,000. “For a 15-year-old home with the same amount of rooms, it was costing me $450,000 — maybe even $500,000. I mean, I’m getting a brand new home with a brand new bath and a basement.”

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331 Responses to Small is the new black

  1. Nomad says:

    First?

  2. Nomad says:

    And maybe the guy in the article that bought this new home and others will finally realize that you can live with a lot less, not be maxed out financially and get a much better nights sleep by doing so.

    As a side note, if you want to check out the Goldman hearings, go to Cspan’s web site. Interesting to hear them answer questions, also interesting to hear the folks who ask the questions. Interesting to observe what is in some cases, a significant mismatch in horsepower between the ears.

  3. Nomad says:

    From Housing Wire

    In a meeting yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a public policy thinktank, the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (SFRC) urged quick action to unwind the massive amount of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) held by the Federal Reserve.

    The Fed program ended last month with $1.2trn in MBS acquired from Fannie Mae (FNM: 1.21 0.00%), Freddie Mac (FRE: 1.47 0.00%) and Ginnie Mae.

    The SFRC is arguing that these purchases, coupled with US Treasury Department obligations, is contributing to large amounts of excess reserves being held by banks at the Fed.

    “[These] associated reserves will ultimately have to be extinguished before they result in a potentially huge increase in bank credit and money supply, which could lead to a serious inflation problem,” said the SFRC in a statement.

    The SFRC is made up primarily of academics and financial advisers. They conclude that the best option for combating this potential inflationary threat is to capitalize on the conservatorship status of government-sponsored entities Fannie and Freddie, since GSE debt is guaranteed by the United States.

    “The Treasury could simply issue Treasury debt to Freddie and Fannie with the offsetting accounting transaction being an IOU to the U.S. Treasury,” the SFRC recommends. “Freddie and Fannie could then swap the acquired Treasury debt for MBS held by the Federal Reserve.”

    The result would put these assets back on the GSE’s books, thus freeing the Fed from the Treasury and related fiscal policies, in order to focus on its monetary responsibilities. The end result, in this scenario, would be a de-politicized Federal Reserve.

    Other options, such as repurchase agreements, only temporarily reduce the debt burden on the Fed, they say. Also, the private market, for selling these securities off, is relatively thin given the size of the MBS purchases.

    Under this last option, “sales would have to be gradual to avoid raising mortgage rates that might adversely affect the housing market,” the SFRC said.

  4. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Area home prices fall 4.1 percent

    Home prices continued to drop in the New York metropolitan area, while showing signs of steadying nationwide in February, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Index reported Tuesday.

    What’s new: Home prices declined 4.1 percent in the New York metropolitan area, which includes North Jersey, in the 12 months that ended in February. Nationally, prices rose 0.6 percent in that period — the first such increase since December 2006.

    What it means: The decline in home prices has slowed. Values are about 21 percent below their peaks in the New York area, and about 30 percent below their peaks nationally. But in this region, prices are still 70 percent higher than their levels in 2000, compared with about 44 percent higher nationally.

    What’s happening in North Jersey: Case-Shiller does not break out price data by county. But the median home price in Bergen County was $397,500 in February, unchanged from a year earlier, according to data from the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service.

    In Passaic County, the median price declined 7 percent to $270,806, according to the Garden State Multiple Listing Service.

    The volume of sales rose 27 percent in Bergen, to 334, probably reflecting the federal tax credit of $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers. But sales were flat in Passaic, with 107 properties sold for the month.

    What they’re saying: “It is too early to say that the housing market is recovering.”

    — David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s

    “Going forward, we expect the housing glut and foreclosures to drive housing prices down another 3-5 percent.”

    — Patrick Newport, economist, IHS Global Insight

  5. Rusty Trombone says:

    I would agree and then you find a 1963 what-ever-the-heck and the impulses start. We avoid our own reality with acquisitions. It is an end unto itself. We enhance our experiences with accessories.

  6. Rusty Trombone says:

    and then there are the taxes.

  7. WTF says:

    Taibbi: The Lunatics Who Made a Religion Out of Greed and Wrecked the Economy

    When Britain and other countries were engulfed in the flood of defaults and derivative losses that emerged from the collapse of the American housing bubble two years ago, few people understood that the crash had its roots in the lunatic greed-centered objectivist religion, fostered back in the 50s and 60s by ponderous emigre novelist Ayn Rand.

    While, outside of America, Russian-born Rand is probably best known for being the unfunniest person western civilisation has seen since maybe Goebbels or Jack the Ripper (63 out of 100 colobus monkeys recently forced to read Atlas Shrugged in a laboratory setting died of boredom-induced aneurysms), in America Rand is upheld as an intellectual giant of limitless wisdom. Here in the States, her ideas are roundly worshipped even by people who’ve never read her books or even heard of her. The rightwing “Tea Party” movement is just one example of an entire demographic that has been inspired to mass protest by Rand without even knowing it.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/146611/taibbi:_the_lunatics_who_made_a_religion_out_of_greed_and_wrecked_the_economy__

  8. yo'me says:

    Wondering the difference between chinesse and american consumer?

    •Ford, GM Promote Auto Loans in China as 90% of Drivers Prefer to Pay Cash.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOaHDV3aO0lA&pos=7

  9. Cindy says:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/04/28/looking-to-live-better-move-to-new-jersey/

    Here ya go…

    “Looking to live better? Move to New Jersey”

  10. yo'me says:

    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Council Told to Consider Bankruptcy Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which has missed $6 million in debt payments since Jan. 1, should consider seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, City Controller Dan Miller told a three-hour special committee hearing.

  11. yo'me says:

    “I have been cautious since the third week of April, thinking that we were setting up for a correction of somewhere between 5 and 10 percent,” said Jeff Saut, the chief investment strategist at Raymond James & Associates, which manages $230 billion in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Greece, Goldman don’t change my long-term view at all. We’re in a profit cycle recovery. Profits are exploding at the biggest ramp rate in decades and we’re playing to that tune.”

    “On the Greece file, the big concern now is contagion risks,” Rosenberg said from Toronto. “The headlines were all about Greece, but the real action was in Portugal — and it’s not pretty. So what we are talking about is heightened risk premiums at a time when a 17 VIX index was underscoring a very high level of confidence over the outlook for the economy.”

    Almost 80 percent of S&P 500 companies reporting results this earnings season have topped analysts’ forecasts, data compiled by Bloomberg show. While profits may be outstripping projections, sales are matching analysts’ predictions when bank and brokerage results are excluded, according to Rosenberg’s data.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20603037&sid=aiJYV2b24sMw

  12. Final Doom says:

    Wait ’til it’s time to put your kids into the N Brunswick school system. Then tell us what a great deal you got.

    Please also let us know when your kid goes Blood, Crip or MS-13.

    “I honestly got a great deal,” said Narsinghani, 28, who paid about $360,000. “For a 15-year-old home with the same amount of rooms, it was costing me $450,000 — maybe even $500,000. I mean, I’m getting a brand new home with a brand new bath and a basement.”

  13. Final Doom says:

    nomad (3)-

    Let’s further pack the nuclear time bombs of Phony/Fraudy with medical waste, spent uranium rods, tacks, nails and biohazards.

    Like I’ve said 1,000 times here, the GSEs are blatant bankruptcy/bailout vehicles and are nothing more than Enron-like entities for the disposal of financial garbage.

    Expect something like this to actually happen and to then blow sky-high. Pathetic.

    “The Treasury could simply issue Treasury debt to Freddie and Fannie with the offsetting accounting transaction being an IOU to the U.S. Treasury,” the SFRC recommends. “Freddie and Fannie could then swap the acquired Treasury debt for MBS held by the Federal Reserve.”

    The result would put these assets back on the GSE’s books, thus freeing the Fed from the Treasury and related fiscal policies, in order to focus on its monetary responsibilities. The end result, in this scenario, would be a de-politicized Federal Reserve.”

  14. Final Doom says:

    rusty (5)-

    I figured- given your handle- that your primary source of enjoyment came from rump-rangering. Sorry for not surmising there might be more depth to your personality. :)

    “We avoid our own reality with acquisitions. It is an end unto itself. We enhance our experiences with accessories.”

  15. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    12. Doom
    North Brunswick is steadily tipping from Mexican to Indian. I think its actually going to improve significantly (the schools) within the next few years.

  16. Final Doom says:

    Blimey.

    “The CDS market, as always, is prophetic to the dot: after main deriskers in the past two weeks were Spain, Portugal and France, so far the spread blow out in these markets has materialized like a Swiss watch. Which is why Ambrose Evans-Pritchard better be looking at this week’s DTCC data, because the credit market is flashing a bright red warning light over his favorite bankrupt country – the UK (incidentally, the week’s largest net derisker, just after Goldman Sachs). Second in order of sovereign implosion – Ireland. The British Isles, at least according to CDS traders who time after time prove they have far more sense than their equity equivalents, are about to become a hotbed of credit activity, and not in a good way. The other countries that fill out the top 10 deriskers in the prior week: Brazil, Germany (yeah, failed auctions do that), Argentina (yeah, persistent threat of default does that too), Mexico (yeah, living next to a money printing terrorist does that), Ukraine, Korea, Belgium and China.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/red-lights-flashing-uk-credit-spreads-according-cds-market

  17. Final Doom says:

    babs (15)-

    Not at this time willing to bet that No. Brunswick will be a real up-and-comer school district…regardless of ethnic makeup.

    Gonna be hard to draw a critical mass of people to a relatively small municipality that is, quite frankly, a grossout.

  18. yo'me says:

    The European Central Bank Is Strangling the Eurozone
    Wednesday, 28 April 2010 04:29
    It would have been helpful to point this fact out in an article reporting on the Greek and eurozone financial crisis. While Greece did have serious fiscal problems prior to the economic crisis, the other countries now facing difficulties were not similarly troubled. Spain, the most important of the troubled countries, actually was running surpluses prior to the crisis. The difficulties now facing these countries is largely the result of the economic downturn, which has seriously worsened their fiscal situation.

    The European Central Bank (ECB) could make the money available to these countries to sustain their economies through this downturn. (They would print it.) The ECB has opted not to go this route because of peculiar superstititions about inflation. It would be worth pointing out to readers that this crisis is largely the result of superstitions by Europe’s central bankers, not fundamental economic problems

    Dean Baker

  19. Final Doom says:

    When virtually every school district in NJ is on a subsistence budget and struggling to deliver a bare-bones product, it’s going to become impossible to provide the sparkling facilities and cutting-edge services that are sexy to young families looking to choose a school district on the come.

  20. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    “When virtually every school district in NJ is on a subsistence budget and struggling to deliver a bare-bones product, it’s going to become impossible to provide the sparkling facilities and cutting-edge services that are sexy to young families looking to choose a school district on the come.”

    North Brunswick HS is brand new and state of the art with an olympic sized swimming pool in the basement. Just sayin.

  21. House Whine says:

    21- Check out Montgomery High School- it resembles a small college campus and attracts many families who can afford the pricetag of a home there.

  22. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    More pharma job cuts coming to NJ. This time it is Merck…..

    http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2010/04/merck_will_close_three_nj_faci.html

  23. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    21. I’m not interested in North Brunswick, just commenting on the shifting demographic. Montgomery looks like a lot of new construction, miright?

  24. Mr Hyde says:

    Yome 18

    .not fundamental economic problems

    BS. look at spain, their boom over the last 10 years was a RE bubble that is probably bigger in relative magnitude then the one in the US. On top of that they have little economic growth outside of RE over that time period.

    Thats a pretty fundamental economic problem. As is 40-50% youth unemployment

  25. Mr Hyde says:

    Hype 23

    Telcom, finance, and pharma. All previously NJ’s high income industries that drove home values and income. All three gone or well on the way out the door. Its not just NJ either its regional to the NY/NJ/PA area.

    If the government had a brain, they would start working hard to pull industry into the state. Unfortunatly untilt hey solve the tax issues they wont be able to do so.

    If you were an industry, would you rather site your business/facility in a high tax high labor cost state or a low tax low labor cost state (i.e. Teva moving from PA to Virginia)

    I guess the major industries in NJ will be government jobs and service jobs (i.e. walmart greeter). That bodes well for RE in NJ

  26. yo'me says:

    Spain, the most important of the troubled countries, actually was running surpluses prior to the crisis

    Now the crisis is here,it will be helpful for to the PIIGS,the ECB print useless paper that can be destroyed as it gets paid.The euro zone is the largest economy in the world.Debt to GDP is alot smaller than the US.If the US can do it why not them? That is the problem with multiple countries bundled into one.When the going gets tough nobody wants to help,considering this is the first economic test of the Union.Next stop break em..

  27. Mr Hyde says:

    Yome,

    Spain was on economic speed. it looks all good until you crash into the wall.

  28. speedkillsu says:

    Lets not forget the new EPA lead paint rules that go into affect 4/22/2010….We all know that common renovations can disturb lead-based paint, causing a serious health hazard. That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency issued a ruling that beginning on April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects in homes, rental facilities, child-occupied facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

    April will be here before you know it. Scott Reach Builders is currently offering training courses by NCHH, an EPA-accredited training provider. This training course is available nationwide and covers all you need, so you’ll be done!
    this should add about FIVE THOUSAND dollars to a 20K kitchen/bath renovation http://leadrrp.com/

  29. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Anyone who sold off their stocks in the face of yesterdays pull back is having serious regrets this morning.

    When germany is finally forced into agreement on the bailout this afternoon, prepare yourself for a massive upward explosion in world stock markets.

    Do you really think the DOW can’t double in one afternoon?

  30. yo'me says:

    Spain was on economic speed. it looks all good until you crash into the wall.

    agreed.What is next?The union had the duty to look out the member state.They could have set up monetary policy when the bubble was happening but decided to close their eyes,for real estate only goes up

  31. Ben says:

    “Anyone who sold off their stocks in the face of yesterdays pull back is having serious regrets this morning.

    When germany is finally forced into agreement on the bailout this afternoon, prepare yourself for a massive upward explosion in world stock markets.

    Do you really think the DOW can’t double in one afternoon?”

    I disagree. They probably should have sold months ago. If the DOW doubles in one afternoon, Gold will quadruple.

  32. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Stocks Plummet as Market Wakes Up to “Real Crisis,” Says Peter Schiff

    Apr 27

    “A lot of people were confused – they thought the market going up was somehow ratifying what the government had done – that the stimulus and bailouts were good and the economy was improving – it’s not,” Schiff says. “The economy is in worse shape than in 2008.”

    Rather than resolved the crisis, all we’ve done is papered over problems in the banking system with “phony accounting” and “dug ourselves deeper into debt,” says Schiff, a longtime deficit hawk.

    The crisis of 2008 was merely the “overture” to the “real crisis” Schiff (still) sees coming: “The real crisis is going to be a currency crisis, a funding crisis, a sovereign debt crisis – and that’s when we have to pay the piper,” he says. “We’re in very bad shape. Sovereign credit risk in the U.S. is just as great — if not greater than [in] Greece.”

    Even the most casual watchers of financial media know that Schiff has been saying much of the same thing for a long time now. Clearly, the U.S. stock market and the dollar have fared better in the past year than Schiff expected.

    But, as always, the Senate candidate and author remains undaunted and unbowed, as revealed by the following quotes:

    — “The market has rallied because it dropped so substantially,”. The Dow lost 50% from its 2007 peak so “you’re going to get some kind of short-covering bounce, especially when you have the Federal Reserve throwing money at the market.”

    — “In the short run, markets are typically wrong – they do the wrong thing. In the long run, the fundamentals win out.” — “The fact the dollar is rising when it should be collapsing doesn’t surprise me

    — it makes perfect sense; they same thing happened with dot.com stocks and condos in Vegas. The dollar is just as flawed and will collapse – it’s only a question of when. The longer it takes to fall, the bigger the drop.”

    Like his warnings about America’s coming demise, Schiff’s investment thesis also remains the same: He’s “trying to capitalize on better opportunities that exist abroad” by being long commodities like gold and sliver, agriculture, global resource producers and emerging market stocks, notably in China.

    Schiff admits some of his stocks “have gotten beaten up in the last couple of days” as the global market, including in China, has shuddered. “But I’m not short-term focused; I’m looking at the big picture so I’m not too concerned,” he says.

  33. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “If the DOW doubles in one afternoon, Gold will quadruple.”

    Ben, your comments are perfect reason why gold is not an investment, its a cult.

  34. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    I hold gold as a hedge and to stay diverse.
    But no, I am not in love with gold. nor do I think it is the end all and be all one true G*d.
    Listen people. Gold will not save humanity.
    Stop making love to your gold bars.

  35. borat obama says:

    Last

  36. borat obama says:

    Hii fiveee

  37. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    General Motors has announced that it will invest 890-million dollars in five North American plants.

    The investment will create 1,600 jobs, according to the automaker.

    The investment is designed to improve GM’s ability to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles in anticipation of a 35.5 miles per gallon fleet-wide standard in 2016.

    Other plants receiving investment dollars include Defiance, Ohio; Bedford, Indiana; Tonawanda, New York; and Saint Catherines, Ontario, Canada.

  38. renter says:

    Franklin Park Elementary School

    My daughter comes home and tells me her teachers said the school has run out of paper. They asked for donations.
    My husband went today with a box of paper and was asked by three teachers for some and he said “I’m sorry but this is for my daughter’s classroom.”

    Unbelievable

  39. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    39
    I vote Borat one of the funniest people on the board.
    I mean, this guy never breaks character.

  40. Final Doom says:

    speed (31)-

    I can’t tell you how many buyers my office has had over the past few months reject older, “fixer” type houses because of the new lead paint testing rules on renovations.

    All a bunch of total BS. Something also gives me a funny feeling these rules are going to be heavily enforced.

  41. Final Doom says:

    veets (32)-

    It’d better happen this way. I doubled up all my bets vs. the yen overnight. IMO, the carry will be on all the way to the collapse of civilization.

  42. Final Doom says:

    Yen as $2 10th Av. whore.

  43. Final Doom says:

    veets (37)-

    I tried to bang one of my gold bars, but when I cut into it, it was tungsten. Lost my damn woody when I saw that.

    “Listen people. Gold will not save humanity.
    Stop making love to your gold bars.”

  44. Final Doom says:

    rent (41)-

    Wait ’til it’s food they’re asking for.

  45. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto

    Stop making love to your gold bars.

    ouch.

  46. Final Doom says:

    This, on a board where posters talk about conjugal visits with onions.

  47. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “I doubled up all my bets vs. the yen overnight.”

    da mn doom. thats cajones.
    My idea of ‘all in’ is transferring the unused portion of my dda into the mmkt.

  48. Final Doom says:

    Curiouser and curiouser…

    “And so the Abacus fallout is about to hit precisely where the culprit for it all resides: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Could there be justice in this world after all?

    From Bloomberg: “Barofsky says the question of whether the New York Fed engaged in a coverup will result in some sort of action. “We’re either going to have criminal or civil charges against individuals or we’re going to have a report,” Barofsky says. “This is too important for us not to share our findings.” He won’t say whether the investigation is targeting Geithner personally.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/barofsky-likely-seek-criminal-or-civil-charges-against-new-york-fed-geithner-targetted

  49. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    hyde, doom,
    okay you can still hug the bars – but please keep the pants ON. thanks,

  50. Final Doom says:

    veto (50)-

    The sickest wildebeest always gets eaten first.

  51. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    be careful for the wildabeast who is tbtf.

  52. Outofstater says:

    #41 That’s the way it’s going to be for the next few years. We’re all going to have to volunteer to contribute time and supplies to our local schools. We’ll all be making lunches for our kids too as the quality of the school lunches declines. Our school district has to make up a 15% budget shortfall for the next school year so they are increasing class size to the max permitted by law (23 in grades 1-3; 30 in grades 4-8), and laying off teachers, administrators and staff. School employees, including teachers, are not unionized so those who have received an unsatisfactory annual evaluation will be the first to go. “Documented performance concerns” and seniority will be other factors in deciding who will go.

  53. renter says:

    FPS

    They already have the maximum number of kids in each class room. My daughter has 30 kids and two teachers. I can’t imagine if they only had one teacher. (where this is heading)
    Last year my daughter had a kid who didn’t have lunch money or food for days. My daughter said she would sit in the back of the classroom distracted and uncomfortable after lunch. I sent the teacher some money to buy the kid lunch at the end of the month when this was happening. (food stamps ran out)
    Parent of this kid must have been a real piece of work if they couldn’t even fill out the reduced/free lunch paperwork.

  54. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom,

    i am playing loose and fast with the yen,

    I am short at 94.06 with an exit at 92.1

  55. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    ok, fed is done. They have dedicated themselves to pump the market up to 11k for the last 2 years and now they will walk away and let it collapse down to its true value, 6k. They changed their mind and dont care anymore. PPT has been disassembled.
    Its over. They have packed it in.

  56. Mr Hyde says:

    52 veto,

    Can I stare longingly at their shimmering beauty as i pleasure myself?

  57. Final Doom says:

    150 yen, or bust!

  58. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    I’ve commited my entire portfolio to a sophisticated iron condor position, where if the dow doesnt double buy 4pm today, i will have basically lost everything.

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [58] veto]

    I think Veto is right. Not much of a dead cat bounce from Mr. Market today.

  60. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom,

    I agree with the 120-150 range int he long term. but am playing the short term moves at the moment.

    Besides this form of gambling is way more exciting then horses!

  61. Outofstater says:

    #56 Sending money to the teacher – that was good of you and observant of your child to notice what was going on. We’re all going to have to watch out for each other and teach our kids to do the same.

  62. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Nom, the reason that PPT has been absent the last two days is because the entire executive management are testifying down at congress.

  63. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “My daughter comes home and tells me her teachers said the school has run out of paper.”

    renter, is it the same if i send my child to school with a switch blade?

  64. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Veto 65 Funny , sad & true.

    European markets getting smacked going into the close.

  65. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    another 200-400 point drop then a nice rebound perhaps?

  66. NJGator says:

    Just went through the excercise of going through the last 2 months of daily GSMLS emails in Montclair/Glen Ridge. It’s amazing what crap managed to go UC in the run up to the expiration of the tax credit.

  67. Libtard says:

    Now just imagine the drop that is likely to come as the demand was pushed forwards. Just like Cash for Clunkers. Look for the articles espousing the failure that the program was in about a month and one half.

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [64] stater

    On a nonmonetary note, my 6YO declined a PB sandwich for lunch today. She explained that one of her friends is allergic so she doesn’t want to eat PB near him.

    As I basked in her altruism, she then pointed out that she could bring PB, but then she’d have to sit at the PB table. Apparently, it isn’t the cool table, so she’d rather not have the PB and sit with her friends.

    *Sigh*

  69. Final Doom says:

    lib (70)-

    Nah. I think everyone will declare victory, even in the face of imminent collapse. However, after a few months of complete RE market torpor, the tune will change. I bet by 1/1/11, a newer, bigger and more toxic program will be put in place. Since we now live in a nation whose first concern is what’s “fair”- and adverse financial consequences of any type (other than one that destroy the middle class) are not tolerated- some new, magical “rescue” will be cobbled together.

    When people feel the pain of what’s about to come, they will do anything to kick the problem down the road.

  70. Final Doom says:

    Nut allergies are a sign of the degeneracy of the human race.

  71. NJGator says:

    Nom 71 – In “tolerant” Montklair, we do the opposite. We single out the kids with allergies for social ridicule. They must always eat at the “Allergy Table”.

  72. Painhrtz says:

    Nom grammar school peanut butter clique, priceless. At least your daughter is learning a lesson in the stratification of society. ; )

  73. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 71 it gets better & better with 2 in college & one more to go (13) believe your are in for an eye full.

  74. sas says:

    “I vote Borat one of the funniest people on the board”

    agree. He is one of my favorite blokes.

    SAS

  75. sas says:

    “Nut allergies are a sign of the degeneracy of the human race”

    or lack of women breast feeding, and quick to use melamine tainted formula.

    back in the 70s (or early 80s), there was a major campaign/ad blitz to make breast feeding “not cool” and to reach for formula instead. sponsored by formula companies.

    SAS

  76. Mr Hyde says:

    SAS

    got any good stories today? Have you put a hit out on sastry (SAS3) for hijacking your name?

  77. Painhrtz says:

    Hmm economy fixed, health care passed let congress turn to something important Cetacea oversight hearings

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-04-27-seaworld_N.htm?csp=34

  78. tbiggs says:

    Two stories on the Philly news last night about schools. One was the kids walking out to protest cuts. (Somehow I think the teachers might have inspired that.) What do the kids really want? Shall we forget the cuts and keep borrowing money so we can stick them with the bill?

    The other was about a district near me in SE PA, saying they had to cut bus service for elementary school. I said to my wife, “soon we’re going to see stories like this every night of the week…”

  79. Mr Hyde says:

    SAS

    I love how many people get offended by women breast feeding in public, yet are fine with the muffin tops and the 400 lb fatties that need scooters to get around.

    -AM bitter. Had to have chat with a few different idiots while my wife was breast feeding.

  80. NJExPat says:

    “New Jersey Asian Americans live, on average, an astonishing 26 years longer, are 11 times more likely to have a graduate degree, and earn $35,610 more per year than South Dakota Native Americans,”

    Is that the best out-of-context sentence ever, or what?

    From Cindy’s Link, Comment #9.
    thanks

  81. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    You really have to question whether Germany will come through for Greece. There’s no deal absent Germany, and the fact it’s not going to be a one off deal with Portugal, Italy, Ireland etc. waiting in the wings really makes it unlikely.

  82. Outofstater says:

    Yeah, what’s up with all the peanut butter allergies? I don’t remember it ever being an issue til about ten years ago. Our school doesn’t segregate the kids – the kids who have pb&j just remember to sit a few seats away from the kid with the allergy. No big deal.
    “The cool table” – it starts earlier and earlier, doesn’t it?

  83. NJGator says:

    Stu’s mom completely bought into the whole anti-breastfeeding campaign. In her mind, this was only something you would do if you were poor. The whole time I was nursing Lil Gator, she would constantly harp on me “I don’t know why you would do that, especially since you can get the formula for free. Grrr…

  84. Mr Hyde says:

    HEHE 85

    I would bet money, that germany doesnt sign on. if they dont things get ugly, but if they do, it gets even uglier. The seem to be choosing slightly F’d over royally F’d

  85. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Looks like the EU talked to the PPT this morning. Market up and rising. The question will be is how many more times can they talk up this Greece bailout. Sooner or later Greece is going to go belly up.

  86. Mr Hyde says:

    Gator,

    watching a newborn who is about 2 minutes old know exactly where to go and what to do once he is set on mom’s chest is one of the coolest things to see even if you know all the science behind it.

  87. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ket 82 Gator 87 it is/was rare (in public) so people (men mostly) are uncomfortable. My wife was always like no biggy , I on the other having come from a generation that it just wasn’t done, took a little getting used to. Now I don’t even blink.

  88. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “I think everyone will declare victory, even in the face of imminent collapse.”

    yep. big media will turn the greek debt collapse into a win win.

  89. Libtard says:

    I don’t have anything more than anecdotal proof, but the cause of these allergies is most likely due to us protecting our children from so many foods during their first two years when their bodies should be building up resistance to allergy prone foods. Don’t drink milk for two years and you’ll likely develop lactose intolerance. I remember eating at a restaurant across the street from a hospital and giving Gator Jr. nuts and shrimp. Of course he was fine, but my guess is that the hippy dippy anti-vaccination crowd doesn’t want to take such risks.

  90. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany “will make its contribution” to bailing Greece out of its financial crisis — but only if its government agrees to new austerity measures in the next few days.

    Greece says it can’t pay debts coming due May 19 without euro45 billion ($59.8 billion) in loans from the countries that use the euro as well as the International Monetary Fund.

    Markets are worried that Germany’s demand for strict conditions will prevent Greece from getting the money.

    Germany would be the biggest single contributor with some euro8.4 billion.

    Merkel said after meetings with IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Wednesday that “Germany will make its contribution but Greece has to make its contribution.”
    ____________________________________________

    Time to place your bets. Can the “Nanny Country” of Greece agree to the austerity measures or do they just lie to get the money????

  91. Libtard says:

    I remember my mom specifically saying, “Breast feeding is for the poor people who can’t afford formula.” She might have replaced poor people with something I will not repeat here.

  92. Mr Hyde says:

    Hype:

    Time to place your bets. Can the “Nanny Country” of Greece agree to the austerity measures or do they just lie to get the money????

    I bet NO. Then again my track record of calling bailouts so far is dirt poor

  93. sas says:

    “got any good stories today?

    well, I guess I can tell about the story, when we were following a lead, took me out all the way to Brooklyn to one of them “free love s-ee-x” parties, where they serve the onion dip right next to a bowl of condoms (and i don’t mean condiments) and when you have a few drinks they take you to the back room.

    and the host of the joint was by a couple: Kenny Blunt & Shelly Sunshine
    and this Kenny Blunt guy wore a hat, that was in the shape of a chimney with actual smoke coming out of it, don’t know how he did that one? and off to the side, there were people paid in gold & bronze body paint… yikes!!

    SAS

  94. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany “will make its contribution” to bailing Greece out of its financial crisis.”

    Surprise surprise.

  95. sas says:

    “Have you put a hit out on sastry (SAS3) for hijacking your name?”

    i see someone is using my handle…with a little butt on the end, hugh? what does that mean?

    SAS

  96. Libtard says:

    SAS3 is Sastry no?

  97. Mr Hyde says:

    VETO

    Merkel already gave herself a way out:

    “Germany will make its contribution but Greece has to make its contribution.”

    If greece refuses germany’s austerity demands then no bailout. The catch 22 is if greece agree’s to the measures then the current government is toast as the measures would take away a fair portion of the current bread and circus the people are habituated to.

  98. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “but only if its government agrees to new austerity measures”

    I picture merkel in leather saying this:

    Repeat after me,
    I, State your Country [Greece],
    Will not swindle national health care funding.
    Will no longer accept bribes for govt positions.
    As an elected govt official, will never use tax payer money to by a mercedez for my family members.

    Ok, bailout granted.

  99. sas says:

    “SAS3 is Sastry no?”

    2 different people.

    SAS

  100. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    NOW SPAIN DOWNGRADED

  101. Justin says:

    Just one day after roiling global markets with downgrades for both Greece and Portugal, Standard & Poor’s Corp. on Wednesday downgraded Spain’s longterm credit-rating to double-A with a negative outlook.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212104219854716.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories

  102. Mr Hyde says:

    Are we taking bets for when Portugal gets downgraded as well?

  103. Mr Hyde says:

    ops,

    forgot Portugal already got downgraded.

  104. Mikeinwaiting says:

    105! this just keeps getting better & better.

    Ket 101 this is political suicide for present Greek gov, but the right thing to do for their country. No brainer answer on that one no.

  105. Mr Hyde says:

    There will have to be some form of bailout for the eu PIIGS. They will not let them all crash and burn.

    I have no idea how they do that though unless someone has the leverage to seriously strong arm germany.

    perhaps merkel in a GGG film?

  106. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    What’s a GGG Film?

    Oh boy, maybe I do not want to know. Forget I asked.

  107. Mr Hyde says:

    EU bailout by the end of the week?

  108. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “perhaps merkel in a GGG film?”

    John where are you?

    Painting very scary pictures ket.

  109. Confused in NJ says:

    Whether Goldman (NYSE: GS – News) is bad, very bad or very, very good depends on what business you think it should be in. But its troubles have also brought out the dime-store Jeremiahs declaiming on the perniciousness of “derivatives.”

    First off, no security is more derivative than a share of stock, which is not really ownership of a company (though it’s usually claimed so) but merely a right to whatever cash management deigns to share, plus a right to whatever is left over in a bankruptcy, plus a right to participate in corporate governance in whatever limited ways a company’s bylaws permit.

    Only an infinitesimal fraction of share sales actually finance something “real.” Most are exchanges between one punter and another. Too, any serious person knows that the best guarantee of performance is not a company’s bylaws or the SEC, but making sure the CEO owns a large chunk of stock

  110. Mikeinwaiting says:

    112 either that or it all goes very bad over there. I like the no bailout option, just for sh*ts & giggles.

  111. Confused in NJ says:

    95.Libtard says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:34 am
    I remember my mom specifically saying, “Breast feeding is for the poor people who can’t afford formula.” She might have replaced poor people with something I will not repeat here.

    Last week they released a study which indicated breast fed baby’s are less likely to develop SIDS, then formula fed baby’s. Of course breast feeding is a problem if you intend to use birth control pills, not so if you use other methods like IUD.

  112. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    If Germany had any guts, they would initiate a massive short position on greece and pull their support of the bailout.

  113. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Veto 117 Germany = GS !

  114. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    Mikey – any country who can’t pump and dump on every available occasion will never attain world super power status.

  115. Shore Guy says:

    This listing ( http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/23009-Ga-Kohler-Court_Rodanthe_NC_27968_1095835747 ) reminds me of one I saw last summer in the OBX where the RE agent told me “Hurry, this one won’t last.” The funny thing was I was thinking the same thing, as the waves lapped at the pilings as the dunes had already been washed away. I don’t understnd how anyone can buy on the Virginia Dare Trail (especially east of it.

    Under “features,” I would feel better if they listed “lifeboat.”

  116. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    Short the PIIGS, refuse any bailout, and next thing you know germany owns half of europe! No tanks required!

    Well perhaps a few to enforce collections rights ;)

  117. sas says:

    “GGG film”

    comes right after DD.
    reminds me of that playboy playmate I use to date out in Seattle in the late 70s.

    Space needle baby!
    SAS

  118. Mr Hyde says:

    No need for the NG in chicago, the local police seem quite capable

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/04/key-evidence-thrown-out-in-cops-dui-arrest.html

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [73] doom

    So is soccer hooliganism.

  120. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    News flash: Bidenisms not confined to american politicians. . .

    “Apparently unaware that his microphone was still on as his motorcade sped away from a stop on the campaign trail on Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was overheard telling an aide that a woman he had just sparred with on the campaign trail was “bigoted.” Mr. Brown’s remarks, made in Rochdale, England, about a woman named Gillian Duffy who complained to him about immigrants from Eastern Europe, can be heard near the end of video posted on the Web site of Britain’s Channel 4 News. . . .”

    /snip

  121. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    Fromt he toher day regarding Darpa and OD’s new toys.

    A weapons version

    http://www.physorg.com/news191649805.html

    I’m still waiting for Project Thor to be deployed…. Kinetic bombardment, all the fun of nukes, but none of the messy radioactivity

  122. make money says:

    If I’m Greece gov’t. I default on debt. get booted from Eurozone. Start my own currency backed by souvlaki and windex.

  123. Shore Guy says:

    Dunes? Dunes? We don’t need no stink’n dunes!

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/9810-Surf-Side-Drive_Nags-Head_NC_27958_1115019367

    Given the price, I knew there was something seriously wrong her. And, oh there is. One has to wonder if this one survives the end of summer let alone any major winter weather. Zoom in on the map then switch to the bird’s eye view.

  124. Shore Guy says:

    I think it is a safe bet that there were recently houses on the empty beach across the street.

  125. Shore Guy says:

    http://obxcommonground.org/2009/12/09/tides-tears-taxes-south-nags-head-beaches-gone-sentinel-staff/

    I would say anything above a weekly rental fee is too high for those Naggs Head houses.

  126. Shore Guy says:

    “In the last storm, one house fell in and part of it drifted down the beach until it found a cut in the dunes. It washed down the street and was “dumped in a lady’s yard,”

    Anyone want to go in on a house in Naggs Head?

  127. Shore Guy says:

    Buy now! These houses won’t last long.

    http://outerbanksvoice.com/2010/03/21/hedge-the-bet/

    Ride down to South Nags Head and Surfside Drive — what’s left of it — and you’ll see a virtual disaster area: exposed pipes and septic tanks, crumbling driveways and houses collapsed or on the verge of collapsing.

  128. Shore Guy says:

    Beach Bum,

    There is NOTHING this “oceanfront” in Belmar. Maybe you want to consider an OBX property. You could be Beach Bubba.

    http://outerbanksvoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Beach0428.jpg

  129. Shore Guy says:

    Well,

    Msybe all that reloction from NJ to NC is bringing changes to NC:

    I find it totally incomprehensible that the Dare County Board of Commissioners wants to use a valuable resource such as the occupancy tax to help bail out oceanfront property owners AT THE SAME TIME they will be increasing property taxes on the people in this county. This should not be allowed to happen. I say, USE THE OCCUPANCY TAX INCREASE TO BAIL US OUT OF THE WORST BUDGET CRISIS THIS COUNTY HAS EVER EXPERIENCED, ALL CAUSED BY OVERSPENDING ON THE PART OF THE VERY OFFICIALS WHO CAN’T CONTROL THE COUNTY BANK ACCOUNTS!

    http://outerbanksvoice.com/2010/04/26/whats-next-for-the-dare-county-occupancy-tax/

    Maybe NC needs to be crossed off the list.

  130. Final Doom says:

    hype (94)-

    I wonder if “austerity” means eight Panzer divisions stationed all over Greece.

    Kinda like the good old days. Nobody knew how to impose auterity measures like the krauts.

    “Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany “will make its contribution” to bailing Greece out of its financial crisis — but only if its government agrees to new austerity measures in the next few days.”

  131. Final Doom says:

    A few Waffen SS could whip those slackard Greeks into line.

  132. Final Doom says:

    EUR:USD parity means Clotpoll gets to fly over and watch EPL/Serie A/La Liga.

    Burn, baby, burn!!!!!

  133. Juice Box says:

    Hyde -scramjets are nothing new, just a huge NASA, DARPA, Air Force money hole.

    Regan actually used it in his 1986 State of the Union address, if you remember two hour flights to Toyoko.

  134. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom,

    I say long EUR for the next month or so.

  135. Mr Hyde says:

    Juice, 139

    I know, Just sharing with veto. We now seem to be trying to use them in place of ballistic missiles as kinetic kill vehicles and/or delivery systems as it apparently avoids the issue to causing a false nuclear launch alert.

  136. Painhrtz says:

    Doom the Germans would just be happy with a path to the Caucuses, and their rich oil fields.

    I think the Germans should foreclose on Greece when then default on their promises, evict the Greek population and turn it into a tourist destination. Maybe they can turn management over to Disney. I’m sure they would rehire some greek actors to give it that old world charm.

    Hyde – rods from God huh, thoretically carpet bombing with tungstens does not constitute a war crime.

  137. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [137] doom

    “A few Waffen SS could whip those slackard Greeks into line.”

    I thought they already did.

  138. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [142] pain

    Greece is already a German tourist destination. Why own when you can rent?

  139. Mr Hyde says:

    Pain,

    a 20ft tungsten rod has the theoretical yield of a small to medium sized nuke, without the radioactive fallout and minimal launch signature.

    Project Thor, The new and improved toll for wiping out a small city in a single shot.

    of course you could use the same principle as the peacemaker nuclear warhead and ring the city with rod strikes, vaporizing everything within the circle. perfect for those hard to kill capital/ heavily fortified cities.

  140. Painhrtz says:

    Nom they are going to end up like one of the propped banks and end up owning either way. Will just hide it off the books for charges to be taken at a later date

  141. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [126] hyde

    I had paper airplanes that stayed aloft longer . . .

    “US military scientists lost contact with a hypersonic glider nine minutes into its inaugural test flight last week, a defense research agency said on Tuesday.”

    And as for project thor, what is that, exactly? God’s Own Claymore?

  142. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    93.
    Libtard
    ” Libtard says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I don’t have anything more than anecdotal proof, but the cause of these allergies is most likely due to us protecting our children from so many foods during their first two years when their bodies should be building up resistance to allergy prone foods. Don’t drink milk for two years and you’ll likely develop lactose intolerance. I remember eating at a restaurant across the street from a hospital and giving Gator Jr. nuts and shrimp. Of course he was fine, but my guess is that the hippy dippy anti-vaccination crowd doesn’t want to take such risks.”

    I BFed both, but my first – 6 yrs ago – the peds told me to hold off all food for 6 months, then introduce foods SLOWLY…one at a time, etc – you knw the drill. My daughter, born last year, was giving completely different feeding instruction by the peds (same ones!). At 4 months they told me I could feed her anything that she took interest in that was mushy. ANYTHING. Their new reasoning was that since so many Indian infants eat early and eat a variety of foods, they are healthier and less picky eaters. This was also my observation. So far, daughter eats better than son.

    Nice to see all the pro breast feeding in public men on the board. I always found it easy and always used the baby’s blanket over my shoulder just to be a little modest and not freak out any rubes nearby.

  143. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    giving = given

  144. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [132] shore guy

    A couple of decades ago, when storms were pounding cape cod into submission, and beach houses in Chatham were disappearing, I joked that I was going to buy a house 3 blocks from the beach so my grandkids could have beachfront property.

  145. Outofstater says:

    Good ol’ Ambrose Evans-Pritchard isn’t too happy about this whole debt thing.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/

  146. Mr Hyde says:

    Pain,

    I just had an epiphany!!!!

    We are going to need tungsten for our new toy. I hear that some central banks have a bunch of yellow tungsten they would like to repurpose out of public view…..

  147. Ben says:

    “Ben, your comments are perfect reason why gold is not an investment, its a cult.”

    No, it really isn’t. The fundamentals of the market are awful. If you pump primed a bad market to double, the real value of the market will still ultimately decline, which is why gold will continue to outperform the market in the long run. The fundamentals of the market are still getting worse.

  148. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom

    Project Thor, also known as Rods From God

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2005/050608-gods-rods.htm

  149. Ben says:

    “I hold gold as a hedge and to stay diverse.
    But no, I am not in love with gold. nor do I think it is the end all and be all one true G*d.
    Listen people. Gold will not save humanity.”

    I know, it will only save your bank account. A productive economy is what will save humanity. We cannot have a productive economy until we stop with the debasement of the currency.

  150. JJ says:

    sucks CBOE IPO underwritter is GS, sure thing. I hate and love those GS people.

  151. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom,

    The really fun part of Project thor is that it doesnt violate any of the existing space based weapons treaties and is considered a “conventional” weapon under current rules so doesnt have to worry about SALT II or similar regs.

  152. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “The unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) is designed to fly through the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 20, providing the US military with a possible platform for striking targets anywhere on the planet with conventional weapons.”

    Ket, how do you read that and not buy the S&P 500? Is there any way the ruskies or chinese have it too?

  153. JJ says:

    Here is some real NJ news. Mark Sanchez is knocking boots with Meadow Soprano.

  154. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “The fundamentals of the market are still getting worse.”

    Ben, Is this a fact or opinion?
    Depending on your defition of worse, it can also be stabilizing or starting to improve by some measures.

  155. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “We cannot have a productive economy until we stop with the debasement of the currency.”

    Ben, And you dont think the guys in the ivory tower have access to this incredibly insightful information?

    Preaching about irresponsible actions of central banks at this juncture is about as useful as citing the web site traffic count to justify the tech bubble of 1999-2000.

  156. Mr hyde says:

    Veto

    It tells me WWIII s going to be one heck of a show.

    Shore,

    does the US have deployable DIME weapons yet?

  157. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde so as a humble jantor i’m sure you are able to engineer geo synchronous delivery systems able to carry effective payloads. My math skills aren’t that developed hence the biology degrees.

  158. jcer says:

    When it comes down to it the USA has the old supremacy that matters. When it comes time to undo existence we have a huge lead over other countries.

  159. jcer says:

    only not OLD?doh!

  160. Mr hyde says:

    Pain,

    let me go check the math teachers room. She might have some books on that

  161. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Uncle Sugar comes through again. Once you reach ZIRP there is no way to get out.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/04/fomc-statement-economic-activity-has.html

  162. meter says:

    “No, it really isn’t. The fundamentals of the market are awful. If you pump primed a bad market to double, the real value of the market will still ultimately decline, which is why gold will continue to outperform the market in the long run.”

    I’ve asked this before and still have yet to receive a satisfactory answer other than the same answer my father used to repeat with regard to stocks and real estate.

    The question:

    What makes gold a good investment? What is inherently valuable about it that some other element couldn’t replace?

    If your answer is that “Historically, gold has been regarded as a store of value,” my answer to you is “So has real estate and over the history of Wall Street, so have stocks. See where that gets you today.”

    In my opinion, gold is in its own asset bubble. You’re better off owning something useful, like arable land where tangible goods can be produced (food), or land with water rights, or hording a resource that won’t go out of style. Gold doesn’t seem to be that resource as it’s not used for anything practical. It has little more inherent value than fiat currency, other than the fact that one can make fancy trinkets with it. If that’s your rationale you might as well invest in emeralds or diamonds.

    I understand it may be a good short-term hedge – then again the Dow has been better in 2010 – but why someone would park one’s life savings in gold (or equities or housing) defies logic.

    Gold as a store of value seems to be yet another human construct that has no place in reality, much like fiat currency. The fact that there is a limited supply doesn’t make it any more valuable. If and when perception turns, gold will be as useless as Zimbabwean currency. That may never happen, but I wouldn’t want to bet my financial future on it not happening.

  163. meter says:

    If the sh!t really does hit the fan, you’re better off with guns than gold anyway. As much as I hate to say that.

  164. meter says:

    Between the tungsten fraud, what is most certainly rampant gold certificate fraud, and this kind of fraud:

    http://geology.about.com/cs/mineralogy/a/aa042097.htm

    no thanks.

  165. JJ says:

    2,000 square feet is much bigger than my house so what is this article talking about.

  166. Final Doom says:

    hype (167)-

    Just another long pull at the crack pipe.

  167. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [169] meter

    That was why I had said before, most of the metals in my portfolio were brass, lead, and gun.

    Sure, there is some shiny too, but my investment in guns and ammo may pay off greater.

  168. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [168] meter

    “You’re better off owning something useful, like arable land where tangible goods can be produced (food), or land with water rights, or hording a resource that won’t go out of style. . . ”

    Got Nompound?

  169. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “What makes gold a good investment?”

    Meter. good rant.
    the answer to this depends on the criteria and what time period you are talking about. Since you only know that after the fact, then diverse portfolios are superior in the long term when considering returns relative to risk.
    Thats also why active Portfolio managers making 10 mill per year cant beat the dartboard or the passive index over the long haul.

  170. NJGator says:

    Word ‘bomb’ on mirror prompts flight diversion

    WASHINGTON – U.S. officials say a Continental Express flight bound for the Washington, D.C., area was diverted Wednesday morning when someone discovered the word “bomb” written on a bathroom mirror inside the plane.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

    The Transportation Security Administration says Flight 3006 veered off to Piedmont Triad International Airport near Greensboro, N.C., after the threatening message was discovered. The flight, carrying 45 passengers and three crew members, originated in Houston.

    FBI agents and local police were on the scene of the parked jet. There have been no reported arrests.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100428/ap_on_bi_ge/us_flight_diverted_north_carolina

  171. NJGator says:

    Confidantes: Fla. gov likely to run as independent

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will likely bolt the Republican party and seek election to the U.S. Senate as an independent, two close confidantes said Wednesday.

    Crist will announce his plans at 5 p.m. Thursday in his hometown of St. Petersburg. The confidantes spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made, but both said they had spoken directly with Crist. One cautioned that Crist can be unpredictable.

    The announcement will end weeks of speculation about whether Crist will abandon the GOP after falling far behind former House Speaker and tea party favorite Marco Rubio in polls.

    Crist has openly considered running without party affiliation. Top Republicans from former Vice President Dick Cheney to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have encouraged him to stay in the primary or drop out rather than risking a split vote that could benefit likely Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100428/ap_on_el_se/us_florida_senate

  172. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda', 'next fall' says:

    “2,000 square feet is much bigger than my house so what is this article talking about.”

    JJ,
    If my wife was faced with the offer to kill a small animal for 2,000 sq ft, im guessing she would give it some serious thought.

  173. yo'me says:

    “We cannot have a productive economy until we stop with the debasement of the currency.”

    Did you not get notified,it is a race to the bottom.All major currencies are over valued compared to the yuan.

  174. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [177] gator

    My amateur political prognosticating leads me to believe that it would be a bad move for Crist. It worked for Lieberman because of his gravitas and the fact that there was no meaningful GOP challenger. That race came down to Lieberman and Lamont.

    This race is closer to the PA race, where Benedict Arlen is running against Sestak for the dem nod. If he wins it, then the dems will lose some of their own support, and some indie support as well, but it will still be a 2 horse race.

    Here, Crist may pull supporters from the GOP, and will certainly garner a share of independents, but he may also siphon off votes from Meeks, and will certainly keep Meeks from getting many indies that would not vote for Rubio.

    Thus, if Rubio can command some center-right positions and force Crist to the left, Crist may be as big a spoiler for Meeks as he is for Rubio, if not bigger.

  175. JJ says:

    Reminds me of a job I had once once in a place where they injected cancer into mice, rabbits, cats etc and then tried to cure them with all crazy potions. Funding ending and I spent the day “redbagging” them. Throw Cat or rabbit in clay pot, drop ether soaked rag on head, close lid, wait a bit and pull out dead animial, redbag and tag it as medical waste, the old bag and tag. I did it for minimun wage when I was 16. Once you kill 5-10 in a row no problem, the next 50-60 is like a piece of cake. I did it for minimun wage. And I tell you it sure beat the Janitor job I had once when I had to empty the used tampon dispensers in the ladies room, I rather kill cats.

    veto that – lawrence yun ‘the panda’, ‘next fall’ says:
    April 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm
    “2,000 square feet is much bigger than my house so what is this article talking about.”

    JJ,
    If my wife was faced with the offer to kill a small animal for 2,000 sq ft, im guessing she would give it some serious thought.

  176. I found this post while surfing the net some free downloads. Thanks for sharing will come back regularly and will email this article to my buddies.

  177. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    168.

    Meter,

    Gold is mobile. Real Estate is not. What you may think is yours might not be if you cant defend it.

    Cant hide 3 acres of farmland. You could buy a few thousand gallons of gas instead but that is a b@tch to store.

  178. Pat says:

    jj is the only man alive who’s ever seen a used tampon dispenser.

    Did you have to insert a quarter to get used tampon, or was it more than a new one?

    John, nobody on here’s been able to beat my first job, yet. Or my second.

    So you’re in line for a possible bronze with the “used dispenser.”

  179. CC says:

    Hello,
    I have been a fan on this site for a long time now and I was wondering if anyone could advise me. I have been looking for houses in Wayne, NJ for sometime now. All the houses I have seen in the 450-550 range seem at least 30 yrs old without any upgrades. My realtor just told me yesterday that I am expected to make an offer almost equal to the asking price of these houses if I am interested. And I refused. since then things have gotten bitter and I was wondering if anyone knew of a Realtor who wouldn’t have a problem with presenting my offer which was at least 10% off the asking price, which seemed just given the amount of repair/upgrade these houses need. Also if I may ask, is it worth taking on the repair/upgrade project or settling for a ready to move in house?

    Thanks in advance guys for your replies and the information on this site.
    CC

  180. Final Doom says:

    plume (180)-

    I bet a reasonably well-trained gerbil could be a more effective US Senator than any of those three dolts.

  181. Final Doom says:

    JJ (181)-

    Classic post. Touched all the bases in 150 words or less.

  182. sas says:

    “Cant hide 3 acres of farmland”

    oh yes you can…
    its just a fine art.

    SAS

  183. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [181] JJ

    I had a similar janitorial job. I agree, lots of Mike Rowe-ish dirty jobs I would do before emptying those things again. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  184. Final Doom says:

    CC (185)-

    Make sure you let your new agent know you’re only interested in houses that flood 2-3 times a year.

  185. Outofstater says:

    #184 Laughing! Good catch, Pat!

  186. chicagofinance says:

    It’s the same as the school has run out of paper…..yeah, I’m sure….

    81.tbiggs says:
    April 28, 2010 at 11:11 am
    The other was about a district near me in SE PA, saying they had to cut bus service for elementary school. I said to my wife, “soon we’re going to see stories like this every night of the week…”

  187. Barbara "just wait till fall" Believer says:

    CC,
    forget getting a realtor, they know these sellers are in debt and can’t afford to bring the 100k owned to the closing table, that’s why they want you to offer the ask price – its the only way the will realize a commission. Start calling listing agents, have them turn a key – if you like what you see make an offer. If they don’t bite, move on to the next house and call that listing agent to come turn that key. Rinse, repeat. You may get one after about 8 tries.

  188. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [188] Al

    SAS is right. If it is rural enough, and off the grid, then no problem. Utilities can be plumbed through a “residence”, so that the back 40 aren’t really noticed. To get the property out of your name, subdivide it and deed off the farmland to a trust or other blind entity that cannot get into any legal trouble on its own. The only thing left to do is to kill the tax trail. If the area is rural enough that no one would b1tch or notice, and there are no county tax issues, pay off the local town clerk to “inadvertently” delete your property from the tax rolls. Once the land is completely off the grid, it can hide in plain view.

  189. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [184] pat

    I was saying WTF is she talking about, until I saw that JJ said dispenser when he should have said receptacle.

    Either way, ewwwwwwww.

  190. dan says:

    Just wondering if all the Turks that live in Germany are eligible to vote and if that’s why they’re having the conference to give Greece money the day after the German elections.

  191. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    194.

    Nom,

    Theres some property near me that actually did something like that.

    Anyhow, those who own the gold will make the rules.

    There is no recovery and there will be no recovery.

    12- 18 months until ultimate collapse.
    No more than 6 months cash in the bank for business 3 months for personal accounts.
    Better get a fold up bike if you live or work in the cities. Get armed if you live near train tracks.

    Im hoping JP Morgan gives me one more shot to load up cheap.

  192. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    This is a sort of litmus test case for liberal vs. conservative thinking.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-472.pdf

    To sum up, a liberal was able to get a district court to order the USG to take down a 70+ year old war monument located deep in a national preserve because it was a cross, and seeing it “offended” him.

    Congress subsequently passed a law that called for the park service to give the land away. The thinking was, if the cross was on private land, no problem. A local abutting rancher offered to donate property to the preserve, which was part of the impetus for the law.

    The liberal, who wanted a cross on government land, goes back to court to block the transfer, claiming that the gov. cannot give the land away because that would violate the order to dismantle the cross.

    The supremes, in a party-line vote, said that the law changed an underlying fact, so the district court had to review it again. That was the plurality conservative view (some thought it did not need to be remanded).

    The liberals on the bench sided with the litigant—they said that the USG would be promoting religion if they gave away the land with the cross, rather than dismantling it.

    An esoteric constititional interpretation, but one that signals just how far apart we are when it comes to our values. No one disagrees that it was improper to have a cross on public land, but the conservatives wanted to simply deed away the land (and the legal problem), while the liberals would settle for nothing less than dismantling the cross.

    In fact, I posit that, if the NPS did dismantle the cross, gave the pieces to the VFW, arranged a land swap with the VFW, and then the VFW re-erected the cross, the liberals would attack that as a subterfuge attempt at establishment.

    Surprised Montklair hasn’t started talking about rescinding property tax exemptions for churches.

  193. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    ugh, should say “The liberal, who wanted the cross on government land dismantled,

  194. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Pro amnesty landscapers….
    “We will not stop! We will take up our shovels and pickaxes and we…we will use them against you! Believe that!” screams an opponent of Arizona’s tough new bill addressing illegal immigration.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDlutO0KK7g&feature=player_embedded#!

    Its going to be a slaughter.

  195. libtardstu Von Glen Beck says:

    You know what this country needs in these difficult economic times?

    Amnesty for 100 million illegals so that the entitlement programs can be increased.

    Statehood for Puerto Rico (they are voting in a rigged vote as the ruling party has decided to become a state and permanent full-parasite state)

    Cap-and-trade job killing program

    CHANGE AND HOPE!

  196. joyce says:

    Don’t know if this has been posted – I watched all of the Goldman Sachs Senate hearings. Let me first say, that I am a Ron Paul supporter. I hate with a passion the frauds on Wall St as well as in the Congress. But after watching Congress put on a show (they all did but McCain just flat out embarrassed himself) and after watching Goldman do their best to tread lightly… I have to say that if I knew nothing going into this, I would say I lean towards Goldman, I would say they almost vindicated themselves.

  197. CC says:

    (193)
    Thanks Barb for confirming! Will keep trying.

  198. Confused in NJ says:

    TRENTON — New Jersey’s largest teachers’ union filed suit today against a new state law requiring all public employees to contribute at least 1.5 percent of their salaries toward health benefits.

    In the suit, filed in Mercer County Superior Court, the union claims the law violates teachers’ rights to negotiate their salaries and benefits at the local level.

    Previous coverage:

    • Court hearing scheduled for N.J. police, firefighter unions fighting pension, health benefits changes

    • Some N.J. lobbyists retain public-pension benefits, report says

    • Gov. Chris Christie’s pension, benefits cuts could prompt 29K N.J. teachers to consider retirement

    • N.J. police, firefighter unions sue to stop pension reform laws

    • Complete coverage of the 2010 New Jersey State Budget
    “We are asking the court to see this for what it is: a tax imposed selectively on public employees only,” said New Jersey Education Association President Barbara Keshishian, whose union represents 200,000 teachers and other school employees.
    The law was part of a package of pension reforms passed overwhelmingly by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law last month by Gov. Chris Christie. It is scheduled to take effect on May 21, or when current labor contracts expire. Lawmakers project it will save local governments $314 million this year.

    The suit claims the new contributions will cause “significant financial hardship” on teachers and school employees “who have provided long-standing, honorable and essential service to the public school students in the state of New Jersey.”

    The NJEA lawsuit comes less than a week after the state’s police and firefighters unions challenged the 1.5 percent law, plus the two other pension reform bills, on similar grounds.

  199. Ben says:

    “Ben, Is this a fact or opinion?
    Depending on your defition of worse, it can also be stabilizing or starting to improve by some measures.”

    It’s fact. Our short term “growth” is reliant upon an expanding trade deficit. Even if we manage to restore employment, we dig ourselves into a deeper hole. It’s not until the dollar is unwound and the government is forced to shrink itself that the fundamentals of the economy will be sound.

  200. Ben says:

    “Ben, And you dont think the guys in the ivory tower have access to this incredibly insightful information?

    Preaching about irresponsible actions of central banks at this juncture is about as useful as citing the web site traffic count to justify the tech bubble of 1999-2000.”

    No. The guys in charge are morons, which is exactly why investing in gold is rational. In fact, it’s one of the few rational investments you can make.

  201. Ben says:

    Meter,

    You seem to be rehashing all the gold bashing talking points that I’ve read over the years.

    Gold and Silver are the only two metals that have every successfully circulated as money. Yes, they are rare which is one of the requirements for money to work. Other forms of money that were not rare (like salt & tobacco) resulted in inflation rates of 40000%. The metals are easily recognizable, divisible, and cannot be easily mined to affect the above ground supply. Other metals are too common to circulate as money while more rare metals like Rhodium and Platinum are heavily subject to severe fluctuations in above ground supply due to their industrial catalytic applications. Gold has relatively little use in industry, which is one of it’s primary strengths in regards to its monetary value. We won’t have any supply issues with gold because we won’t be destructively consuming it with industrial applications. Your opinion of gold being in a bubble is way off base. Gold is still 50% below it’s inflation adjusted high (and this is using the governments fraudulent measure of inflation). I find it laughable that you badmouthed real estate as an investment yet in the next paragraph try to explain how land is a good investment.

    “Gold as a store of value seems to be yet another human construct that has no place in reality”

    I believe you should be referring to paper money there. The truth hurts, gold has stood the test of time in holding its value. This is reality. You seem to be writing your own reality.

    “It has little more inherent value than fiat currency, other than the fact that one can make fancy trinkets with it. If that’s your rationale you might as well invest in emeralds or diamonds.”

    Here again, you fail to recognize that you cannot counterfeit gold, unlike fiat currency. Furthermore, you do not understand the distinction between gold and diamonds. Diamonds are a market that has been controlled by a monopoly for a century. But, in the end, diamonds are simply made of carbon, which is not rare and can easily be counterfeited using modern technology.

    As far as rather owning a gun instead of gold, I’ve heard this for 5 straight years. Is it really that hard to own both? You don’t have to choose you know?

  202. Ben says:

    “Did you not get notified,it is a race to the bottom.All major currencies are over valued compared to the yuan.”

    No kidding. That’s why the best possible action, IMO would be to deliberately default on our debt to China and throw up some huge tariffs against them. Their economy is only set up to move in 1 direction and their economy would implode on itself because the Chinese are too stupid to pursue internal growth. The US would likely flounder for a while too given our dependence upon good from China but we’ve overcome worse in this country.

  203. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda', 'Next Fall' says:

    “My realtor just told me yesterday that I am expected to make an offer almost equal to the asking price”

    CC, sound like you should tell your realtor to take a hike? I had that same problem last year. Now the guy emails and agrees with me more than when he was working for me.

    also, asking price is just part of the negotiation process. You need to place your own value on the home using recent comps and your own personal preference. Asking price can be set high or low buy the sellers depending upon how greedy and stubborn they are so dont assume that asking price is a fairly appraised value.

    Whatever you do, dont use Final Doom as your realtor. He will get you the home for 35% off asking price and the selling agent will be crying at the closing table.

  204. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda', 'Next Fall' says:

    “the best possible action, IMO would be to deliberately default on our debt to China and throw up some huge tariffs against them.”

    Ben,
    This is something haiti might do.
    What is wrong with paying our debt as promised?
    We should not act like animals.

  205. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda', 'Next Fall' says:

    “Gold and Silver are the only two metals that have every successfully circulated as money.”

    Ben there are alot of problems with gold as currency. its an archaic financial technology from centuries ago. We are not going back to gold chips.
    The next generation of currency will be credit based using computer systems. not gold.

  206. Ben says:

    “Ben there are alot of problems with gold as currency. its an archaic financial technology from centuries ago. We are not going back to gold chips.
    The next generation of currency will be credit based using computer systems. not gold.”

    We already have a credit based computer currency. Most of the dollars you use are bits of data stored on a computer. Paper currency and irredemable currency is what is barbaric. Those the relics that have failed and are failing today on a global scale.

  207. Ben says:

    “Ben,
    This is something haiti might do.
    What is wrong with paying our debt as promised?
    We should not act like animals.”

    It’s not possible to pay it and China has been cheating in the trade game for 3 decades straight. Screw em. The only thing they’ve ever done for us is provide us with labor at slave wages as a means for us to send them all of our money and become indebted to them in return for some faulty consumer products that are always guaranteed to break within 2 years.

  208. Ben says:

    All the gold bashing, care to explain why gold is at $1100?

  209. Mr Hyde says:

    I love how the cost estimates of a Greek bailout have jumped from 28 billion to 159 billion to the latest estimate from GS and JPM of 794 billion

    No way germans agrees to 700 billion in aid when that is for Greece alone.

    They know that Greece is just the opening round. The other PIIGS are right in line for their own handouts.

  210. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto

    This is something haiti might do.
    What is wrong with paying our debt as promised?
    We should not act like animals

    Its not like the US has overthrown 50+ governments in the last 60 years, or put down 20-30 liberation movements.

    Its OK if we kill them, we just cant default on them. Gotcha

  211. Mr Hyde says:

    SAS

    this one is for you

    Amateur model known as ‘Katya’ revealed as Russian honeytrap bait :

    Ekaterina Gerasimova has piercing blue eyes, an innocent girl-next-door face, and likes to do a little amateur modelling.

    But if her “victims” are to be believed, she is the Kremlin’s most effective secret agent and a latter-day Mata Hari.

    Her mission, it is claimed, is to discredit prominent Kremlin critics by luring them into compromising situations using vintage KGB honey trap techniques.

    http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/amateur-model-known-as-katya-revealed-as-russian-honeytrap-bait-2155816.html

  212. stan says:

    chifi this ones for u:

    1500 HUDSON ST #4U
    More Info 07/16/08 685000
    More Info 06/29/06 646990

    closed this week for: $585000 mls # 90015530

  213. stan says:

    1025 maxwell lane, #510 Hoboken 07030
    Just reduced to 799k

    1025 MAXWELL LANE #510More Info 09/16/08 8612 235 880000

    I bet it sells in low 700’s

  214. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    214.

    Ben,

    Its denial. The world is about to crumble around them and millions will be financially wiped out or worse.

  215. afe says:

    Quick question re: breaking leases

    A friend is about to enter a 2-year lease. The landlord wants to sell the property too but has thus far been unsuccessful. If he happens to find a potential buyer can he break the lease and ask the tenant to move before the 24 months are up?

    Thanks!

  216. Stu says:

    afe:
    Generally speaking the new property owner takes the property subject to the lease. What this means is that the new owner must recognize and honor the terms of a pre-existing lease. Usually it is a selling point because the property is generating income and the new owner has reviewed the terms of the lease before agreeing to and closing the purchase. You have the right to remain in possession until the end of the lease period.

  217. chicagofinance says:

    Selling Greece to Disney Solves Europe’s Woes: Alice Schroeder

    April 28 (Bloomberg) — The following is this columnist’s look into the future of Europe’s debt crisis. A news story on Jan. 5, 2011, may look something like this:

    Morgan Stanley topped 2010 global debt-and-equity league tables and broke banking records by representing Walt Disney Co. in its $120 billion acquisition of Greece.

    Explaining why Morgan Stanley heavily discounted its fee to win the prestigious assignment, Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said underwriting the deal that brought Greece’s 179 years of independence to an end showed the world his own firm had recovered from the financial crisis.

    “When you come that close to a near-death experience, our only focus is to make sure our own company survives,” Gorman said. “How 3,000 years of somebody else’s history is managed is not my problem as long as our clients are well served.”

    As one of the terms, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou took a new role greeting visitors at the new EuroGreece Park located at the Acropolis. To acquire such cultural treasures for Disney, Morgan Stanley arranged the sale, which included $60 billion of common stock and $60 billion of assumed debt.

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was replaced by UBS AG as adviser to the European Union as part of Goldman’s consent agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which Goldman neither admitted nor denied civil-fraud allegations in its dealings with investors.

    Goldman Stake

    Goldman Sachs’s Private Equity Group took a 15 percent stake in Greece alongside Disney. One wing of the European Monetary Union, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, argued that Disney and Goldman underpaid compared with Greece’s $333 billion gross domestic product. Others point out that the former sovereign is worthless, because its obligations are growing faster than its citizens’ ability to ever repay them.

    In its fairness opinion, UBS said synergies between Greece’s untapped intangible assets and the execution skills of the world’s largest media and entertainment company could close Greece’s 13.6 percent budget gap. No other offers for Greece were received except a proposed merger with the Republic of Albania whose terms included no cash to repay the European Union.

    Disney’s decision to buy Greece has been credited to Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc. and Disney’s largest shareholder. In 2009, Jobs told Disney to “dream bigger,” setting into motion a deal that is generating a new series of Disney hit movies and product spin-offs, and transforming the theme-park industry.

    Theme Parks

    Already under construction are Space Mountain Olympus, the Pirates of the Aegean water theme park covering hundreds of nautical miles, the Little Mermaid Harpoon thrill ride, and “Trojan,” a multimedia adventure that the company reassured shareholders yesterday will not be adult-themed.

    Disney CEO Bob Iger has said his favorite idea to improve Greece’s margins is golf-themed cruises aboard three ships — Aphrodite, Artemis and Athena — which are scheduled for delivery in 2013 and will stop at many of the 1,400 private islands that Disney acquired in the deal. Experiences like these are expected to substantially increase the number of tourists beyond the 16 million who now visit Greece each year and plug a $45 billion annual revenue hole by wringing euros out of remote sea-locked acreage that had been thought to have no value.

    Greek Mythology

    Disney also is proceeding with its more controversial plans. “Our own brand, like Greece’s, is so powerful because of our heritage,” says Iger. “They have Aristotle, we have Mickey Mouse. But you’ve got to innovate.”

    In the past, Disney rarely attempted entertainment based on Greece’s mythology and early history, the exception being the film “Hercules.” The incest- and rape-filled origins of the Greek pantheon of gods and the prevalence of homosexuality in early Hellenic culture had been deterrents for the family- oriented company. According to the Morgan Stanley filing, Greece offered Disney the opportunity to extend its brand by creating the new “Disney Odyssey Division.”

    Not all agree with the move. “This is classic mission drift,” activist investor William Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management, said in a press release. “Modern-day Greece is nowhere near as good a brand as Target, and I nearly lost my shirt on that one.” After nominating himself to Disney’s board, Ackman posted a 40-minute YouTube presentation proposing an alternative, tax-free swap of Greek gaming assets with Wynn Resorts Ltd.

    Racy Version

    According to Disney spokeswoman Zenia Mucha, the company had already tested the waters successfully for a racier version of Disney with its ABC Family television network. ABC Family’s hit campus satire about sororities and fraternities, “Greek,” has now been renewed for a fifth season. Disney sees potential for cross-sponsorship arrangements from advertisers such as Nike Inc. and Apollo Investment Corp.

    The deal, which some say has the potential to outdo the East India Co.’s exploitation of India, also brought Disney a collection of iconic antiquities. Management of these works by the Odyssey Division will enable the company to display them without altering explicit elements.

    Disney is nonetheless anticipating protests from religious groups and possibly museums. People familiar with the company say it has bought statuary appendage insurance from Lloyd’s of London. Mucha wouldn’t confirm this, but said, “There are people who think we put subliminal messages of a sexual nature in our movies. At least with the statues there no long will be Internet debates over whether you can see the male parts.”

    “We are proud to be associated with this landmark transaction that reflects the changed global face of commerce,” Morgan Stanley’s Gorman said. “In managing Disney’s recently announced offering for Denmark, we believe our experience executing the Greece transaction will be indispensable to the company’s strategic pursuit of Tivoli Gardens.”

    The market was filled yesterday with speculation about similar deals, including reports that Diageo Plc is in discussions with Ireland, Spain and Portugal, three countries known for their alcohol production and consumption.

    Calls to a Diageo spokesman weren’t returned.

    (Alice Schroeder, author of “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” and a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

    To contact the writer of this column: Alice Schroeder at aliceschroeder@ymail.com

  218. Revelations says:

    Ben,
    You know gold is an excellent conductor.. you could always spool your bars into high-end wire for the rich. :)

    I have no investments in gold, but I now wish our currency was backed by it. The down side is that it limits central bank monetary policy. But with the fed’s political and wall street influences, I’ve come to realize that such policy limits are actually an up side. I think (wild speculation on my part) if we were to hypothetically return to the standard, our Franklins would be worth little more than monopoly money.

  219. Revelations says:

    BTW,
    Mtg rates down again to 5.13% for 30 yr fixed per bankrate.com.

    WTF?

    I hear a giant sucking sound, but can’t tell where it’s coming from.

  220. Revelations says:

    As long as I’m talking to myself, I’ll relay a story. Made an offer on a house recently. Owners bought it a few months ago, renovated, and jacked the price to ~250K from what they paid. Updates were not high-end and place is modest. We allowed 180K for the updates and were turned down. They felt they’d have better luck in the next couple months.

    I just don’t see a rush of buyers right after the 8K FTHB credit expires. Even if it wasn’t much of a deciding factor to begin with, who would want to effectively pay 8K more for something a few weeks into May/June? For this exact reason, the wife and I are boycotting the MLS until September.

  221. Revelations says:

    Last.

  222. safeashouses says:

    not even close

    last

  223. afe says:

    Thanks Stu!

  224. CC says:

    Thanks Barb and Veto. I will keep everything I have read here in mind next time…

    Now about this comment by Final Doom
    #
    Final Doom says:
    April 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    CC (185)-

    Make sure you let your new agent know you’re only interested in houses that flood 2-3 times a year.

    I was looking at houses in Wayne that dont flood at all. Were you implying that its a little unrealistic to make an offer atleast 10% off the the asking price for the houses in the safe areas.

  225. KeepFalling says:

    #41

    What did you think was going to happen when the cut the budget and eliminate positions? Schools & teachers will stop buying supplies, pencils, tissues for your kids & you can then take an active role in participating (while still paying your high taxes)…
    ********************************
    Franklin Park Elementary School

    My daughter comes home and tells me her teachers said the school has run out of paper. They asked for donations.
    My husband went today with a box of paper and was asked by three teachers for some and he said “I’m sorry but this is for my daughter’s classroom.”

    Unbelievable

  226. Honestly, (and I believe that many of us will agree) the bloated, over our means, against our better judgment way of doing business both within real estate and with all big purchases in the us has died. We have learned our lesson the hard way (again) and I hope that we wont forget the trouble we have caused by taking the American dream and turning it into a nightmare!

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