Sound Familiar?

From the Record:

Apartment tower took long, troubled road to completion

The upscale high-rise in Hackensack where a parking garage collapsed Friday boasts fireplaces, a swimming pool, vaulted ceilings and views of Manhattan, amid one of Bergen County’s most expensive apartment rows.

But the path to its perch as a 203-unit edifice with rents surpassing $2,000 a month was far from a smooth one. Construction of its 18 stories atop a hill overlooking the expanse of North Jersey followed a boom-bust-boom saga that featured several owners and developers, a fight over a mountain of shale and years as a dangerous barbed-wire-encased eyesore that angered neighbors, kicked up dust storms and attracted swarms of bugs back in the 1990s.

The building was planned in the mid-1980s as part of a three-tower, 459-unit project on 1.6 acres during a frenetic period of upscale development on and near Prospect Avenue. Construction of the first tower was halted in 1989 because the developer could not sell the units as the real estate market went sour. The developer filed for bankruptcy the next year, according to city records, and plans for the two other towers also stalled.

In 1992, the project was taken over by the financing lender, which promptly failed and was taken over by federal investigators. The property was turned over to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which sold it in 1994 to new developers. The first tower was completed in 1995, according to court records. But the project remained dormant for several more years, with city residents complaining about its sagging fence, tarpaulin-covered foundation and mosquito swarms. A 60,000-square-foot mountain of shale created during excavation generated dusty squalls or piles of mud, depending on the weather, prompting the city to sue to force its removal.

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111 Responses to Sound Familiar?

  1. grim says:

    From the LA Times (Hat tip CR)

    Fannie Mae to prohibit lenders from changing home appraisals

    Picture this: You’ve signed a contract to sell your house. Your buyers say they’ve nailed down the right mortgage. All is well. But then the appraisal comes in low — $25,000 to $50,000 under what was agreed in the contract.

    The buyers refuse to pay a dollar more than the appraisal, you decline to go that low and suddenly the whole deal is off. You, the buyers and the realty agents involved are all left sputtering over the appraisal that scuttled the transaction.

    This scenario is not unusual in many markets across the country, say home builders, realty agents and appraisers. One little-publicized reason: Lenders unilaterally may be lowering the numbers on the appraisals submitted to them to avoid accusations that the loans they sell to giant investors Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are based on inflated appraisals — even slightly inflated. Such value inflations can expose lenders to “buyback” demands, forcing them to repurchase loans at huge costs.

    Typically, Gregoire says, the lender orders a low-cost electronic valuation — based on publicly available statistical data with no on-site inspection — to review the accuracy of what was submitted by the appraiser. If there’s a discrepancy between what the computer says and the appraiser’s report, the lender’s underwriters sometimes simply cut the number — even if this means knocking the real estate transaction off track. Or they demand an immediate explanation from the appraiser.

    But all this may be about to change. Effective Sept. 1, Fannie Mae is prohibiting lenders who sell it loans from changing appraisers’ numbers. In guidance issued June 30, Fannie Mae said lenders must contact appraisers to resolve any disagreements about the valuation. If that’s not possible, they should order a second appraisal — not just chop the value supporting the real estate contract.

    Appraisers applauded the new rule. “This is huge,” said Gary Crabtree, president of Affiliated Appraisers of Bakersfield and a member of the national government relations committee of the Appraisal Institute, an industry group.

  2. grim says:

    From Hughes and Seneca courtesy of the Record:

    Opinion: A jobs rebound for New Jersey?

    THE GREAT RECESSION of 2007 and 2008 was the most severe economic downturn and the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. No region of the country was spared its fury, and only one state out of 50 — North Dakota — managed to avoid a drop in private-sector employment.

    At the same time, a number of former economic low flyers such as New Jersey – which lagged badly during the 2003-2007 employment expansion – actually matched or outperformed the nation during the Great Recession by having much lower rates of job decline.

    Were the underlying economic, labor force and spatial assets of such states re-recognized? Conventional assumptions about their economic prospects – as consistent national growth laggards – may also come into question. Has the economic playing field been leveled by the Great Recession? Does the opportunity now exist for once-lagging areas such as New Jersey to regain economic competiveness with appropriate policy actions?

    Or will they, if such actions are absent or ineffective, again be relegated to the caboose of the American economic train when the recovery fully gains traction?

    Strategies of “muddling through” and incremental change – while hoping and waiting for old normals to return – may not be viable options. Those states that can strategically respond to the emerging post-recession and post-crisis realities will have a distinct economic edge as the second decade of the new millennium unfolds.

    Thus, New Jersey finds itself in an opportune situation. It has already started and made significant progress in the long and difficult process of getting its fiscal, business-climate and economic houses in order. It has begun to confront its fiscal problems head on.

    The new state budget for fiscal year 2011 simultaneously reduced spending and did not rely on tax increases to address a deep structural deficit that had been further exacerbated by a cyclical deficit.

    Instead, that approach led to making the state increasingly uncompetitive as a place to live and work and as a place for businesses to invest and expand. Without reducing the rate of increase in spending, the state was doomed to a treadmill of ever-higher taxes.

    The state is now taking this new fiscal approach of rigorous controls on spending to local governments as a symmetric prerequisite to control property taxes, the quintessential long-term bane of New Jersey.

    This new fiscal discipline, while both painful and a deep shock to many longtime comfortable consitutencies, is a necessary precondition for New Jersey to regain its role as a major economic player in an increasingly competitive post-recession America.

  3. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    New Jersey’s moribund racing industry lost millions of dollars last year

    New Jersey’s moribund racing industry lost tens of millions of dollars last year, and the year before that. It will lose even more money this year.

    A special governor’s commission is expected to release its recommendations soon on what to do about the tracks. Despite the heavy losses, they support thousands of jobs and generate millions in revenues — including $5 million in profits expected from off-track wagering this year and another $3.3 million in account wagering.

    The seven-member panel, headed by Jon F. Hanson — a former chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority — is looking not only at racing, but also what to do about the long-stalled Xanadu entertainment and retail shopping mall and the Atlantic City casino industry’s struggles. But the tracks — the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park — are the biggest concern. Once cash cows for the state, both continue to hemorrhage money. Gov. Chris Christie has so far given little hint as to what may come, but has said the days of state subsidies are coming to a close.

    The latest budget figures do not offer much hope.

    Losses, meanwhile, continue to mount. The Meadowlands lost $9.9 million last year and is well on the way to losing another $9 million this year. Monmouth Park lost $9.2 million, and will drop another $10.9 million in 2010.

  4. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Citigroup North American REO Up 81% from Last Year

    The amount of REO properties held by Citigroup reached $1.4bn in Q210, an 81% increase from the same time last year.

    In the second quarter of 2009, Citigroup held $789m in REO in North America. The latest total is a 10% increase from the $1.2bn in North American REO totaled in Q110. The bank did not break down the total among the continent’s countries.

    Citigroup defines its REO as the carrying value of all property acquired by the bank through foreclosure or other legal proceedings. Worldwide, Citigroup holds $1.6bn in REO, up 73% from a year ago.

  5. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    BofA Nonperforming Loans, Foreclosures Up 15% from a Year Ago

    Bank of America reported $35.7bn in nonperforming loans, leases and foreclosed properties in Q210, which is 15% above levels measured in the same quarter of last year.

    These loans and properties increased more than $5bn in total aggregate balance since Q209. The total did drop by more than $200m worth of these loans and properties from the $35.9bn reported in Q110.

    BofA reported $3.1bn in Q210 earnings despite losses in its mortgage division. BofA is continuing efforts to keep these troubled mortgages out of foreclosure. Since 2008, BofA and the acquired Countrywide completed nearly 650,000 loan modifications. During Q210 alone, BofA completed 80,000 modifications, including 38,000 trial modifications that were converted into permanent workouts under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

    If a modification does fail, BofA is putting an emphasis on selling the home through a short sale ahead of foreclosure.

  6. grim says:

    From CBS:

    Senate Panel Tackles Property Tax Measures

    The New Jersey Senate on Monday will begin considering nearly three dozen proposals to control the rate of property tax increases.

    Gov. Chris Christie says the bills are designed to help towns, counties and school districts contain costs and hold property tax increases to 2 percent a year.

  7. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:


  8. renter says:
    But Vernon said BofA will continue to make the short sale push when he spoke on a panel at REO Expo, being held this week in Dallas.

    “We’re going to do everything possible to liquidate property prior to foreclosure,” Vernon said. “REO will still be available, but we will do everything we can to do short sales.” Vernon said the goal is to get as close to market value as possible, or even over market value. “Short sales is not an investment strategy to get homes on the cheap,” he said.

    “…even over market value” Does this guy understand how markets work? Why would I involve myself in a lengthy, uncertain process to pay “over market value.” This is the corporate equivalent of “I ain’t giving my damn house away to these bottom feeders.”

  9. SG says:

    Gibson has reportedly sold his Tudor-style mansion in upstate New York for $28 million – $17 million below the asking price – and hopes to sell his Malibu, Calif., digs.

    Read more:

  10. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    Still looking — been trying to reach you for a week now. I realized I don’t have your email or phone number, at least not on my home machine. Please email me at so I can follow up.

  11. Final Doom says:

    grim (1)-

    Banks are forcing abnormally low appraisals on deals being done by their broker correspondents (mortgage brokers). Personally, I believe it is a coordinated push to squeeze brokers out of the market. Don’t be surprised if 3-4 years from now, four major banks do all the mortgage business in the US.

    The mortgage company that’s my tenant has 3-4 deals a week blowing up due to appraisal shortfalls. I’ve examined the deals, and the quality of the appraisal work is shocking. Of course, all appeals are denied.

  12. Mr Hyde says:

    Renter 8

    the goal is to get as close to market value as possible, or even over market value. “Short sales is not an investment strategy to get homes on the cheap,” he said.

    In other words, the homes are not really for sale!

  13. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re: [1] – Appraisals;

    Has the concept of buying something with one’s own money become so foreign? GASP! Bank won’t approve the extra $10k, buyer can’t afford the difference = buyer can’t afford the house. Let Granny strap the old cape on her back and move IT to North Carolina if its worth so much.

  14. Final Doom says:

    moose (15)-

    Once again, you display just shocking ignorance. This is not an issue of affordability, it is about using strongarm tactics to force competitors out of a market.

  15. Shore Guy says:


    Did I hear correctly that the well is “leaking some distance from the wellhead”?

  16. Shore Guy says:

    I just saw this. It does in fact look like they are heading down the road you predicted weeks ago.

  17. Confused in NJ says:

    The Gulf Floor has seepage @ 2 miles from the Well Head.

  18. Shore Guy says:

    This weekend, we got a “this is THE BEST time to buy” e-mail from a realtor we have talked with about buying a place on Captevia Island. For a variety of reasons, we have held back and the oil spill gave us even more reason to do so. Now with “‘undetermined anomalies’ at the wellhead,” seepage away from the wellhead, and the prospect that we could see seabed leaks thay cannot be controlled, the thought of buying property on a Gulf island seems less wise with each passing day.

    From above:

    In a letter to BP Chief Managing Director Robert Dudley, retired U.S. Coast Admiral Thad Allen said that monitoring of the seabed is “of paramount importance” due to the seep and to “undetermined anomalies” at the wellhead. The letter asked BP to notify the government of any seepage within four hours of detection, and requested a written plan for rapidly resuming the flow from the well if hydrocarbons are seen leaking from the sea floor.

  19. Shore Guy says:

    Two miles? That cannot be good.

  20. Shore Guy says:

    This could be a moment that makes “You’re doing a heck of a good job, Brownie” look like a minor-league error:

    If the seaafloor ruptures and we end up with a large secondry leak or seepage through a long crack, BO will rightly be assailed for not being forceful and ordering a partial opening of the cap.

  21. Shore Guy says:

    The question all this raises is whether all the potential issues in the Gulf increase demaand for RE on Florida’s east coast as people decide to stay away from the gulf coast?

  22. Anon E. Moose says:

    Doom [16];

    What I see is worshiping the infantile desires of the next wannabe Real Housewives of New Jersey (“I love that house… This listing is SPECIAL, John!” Like short bus ‘special’, but I digress), specifically the bankrupt and foreclosed ones.

    If the buyer had the money, they could prove the big bad mean banks wrong by spending the extra $10-25k and raking in all the upside later. But the buyer is tapped out. They are begging for money and calling daddy MEAN when he says no.

  23. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nostaligia link: “This listing is special, John.”

    Grim, hyperlinks stripped from comments?

  24. Confused in NJ says:

    If the seaafloor ruptures and we end up with a large secondry leak or seepage through a long crack, BO will rightly be assailed for not being forceful and ordering a partial opening of the cap

    Right now BP & the Government are playing Chicken. They could argue that 2 miles could be an unrelated occurrence. How does one prove it? Opening the CAP releases Millions of Gallons of direct BP responsibility to relieve pressure before oil can be diverted to ships during Hurricane Season. They want to leave it closed untill the relief wells, hopefully, contain it. Not to say once it’s hopefully contained you still won’t have sea floor leaks. But they would argue those leaks are not associated with the well. How does one prove it one way or the other?

  25. Cindy says:

    “Charters Derailed in Areas of New Jersey”

    Thought this might be of interest to some here….

  26. sas says:

    views of Manhattan from Hackensack?

    from where?
    you mean crackensack? ha..ha..ha..


  27. Final Doom says:

    Anybody get the feeling that in Moose’s perfect world, we become a giant Afghanistan of real estate, in which it becomes illegal to finance purchases, appraisals are rendered unnecessary and all transactions are done in cash?

  28. Shore Guy says:

    Can’t we use goats and poppies instead?

  29. Final Doom says:

    I don’t think we have to go there, Shore. Moose is the last of the bitter renters.

  30. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (27)-

    I live not far from the one proposed in Flemington. That thing has been a clusterfk since the day they started.

  31. Shore Guy says:

    Well, heck, if we can’t use them to barter, that leaves me with way too many goats. If anyone can use one — biological lawn mower anyone? — let me know.

  32. Juice Box says:

    re: #27 – Cindy – Perhaps they are prepping those students to be factory workers in a Chinese Factory City? Goes to show the stupidity of some of these educators, might as well teach those kids Latin. The Mandarin Charter School graduates will not even be able to communicate with the people running the local rice shop. For the last 150 years the Guangdong Province has been the place of origin of most Chinese emigrants to Western countries and they speak Cantonese not Mandarin. Most business done in Import/Export to the West is done via Hong Kong, San Francisco, London, New York and business is done in Cantonese or English not Mandarin.

    巴士 means bus in Cantonese and in Mandarin it is written like this 公车 which is not even close….

  33. Mr Hyde says:

    Shore, Confused

    There are ways to prove where the seep is originating from and there are ways to extensively monitor the see floor in the area for seeps. Neither action will be taken except for a token effort. Extensive data collection is not beneficial to either party (BP or GOV). Both parties have a common interest at this point in a dont ask dont tell policy and keeping things a “positive” as possible.

    While the GOV will certainly be handing BP a big fat bill in the end it is not in the governments interest at this time to bankrupt them which is what would happen if the government were to force full scale monitoring.

    A perfect example is the BS about not being sure about the flow rate. There exists a number of different technologies that are/were very capable of measuring the flow rate from the very beginning of the disaster. One example is a type of transducer based flow sensor. It can be strapped to the outside of a pipe and can read the flow within the pipe. These have been developed specifically for extreme environments in the oil&gas industry. However, it was once again not in the interest of the GOV or BP to have the data, because one the data is collected it is likely to become public eventually. By not collecting the data both parties can continue to play the “estimate” game.

    Its probably that there have been seeps flowing sat least since they tried the top kill with heavy mud and possible that the original blow out initiated seeps on its own.

    In regards to the new cap, BP will need that cap in place to facilitate the bottom fill when they start to pump in heavy mud from the bottom of the well. Without the cap in place its possible that the bottom kill could fail. The back pressure from the cap will be a critical factor. The catch 22 is that they are likely to create additional seeps and make existing ones worse int he process due to the compromised well casing.

    if/once the bottom kill is successful, then in theory the seeps should be killed as well, but this is a somewhat unique situation and only time will tell.

    Given the geology involved its also possible that the end result may end up being the well killed, but new permanent seeps created. You wont here that discussed though as it wouldn’t be politically acceptable and if it was the case, the solution could actually be to produce the formation as fast as possible. you can guess how well that would go over politically.

    The interesting thing is that i think they have already considered this. You may have heard that BP and the GOV have discussed piping the oil leak to a near by undersea production pipeline (not owned by BP) and either pumping the seeping oil into an old formation that has already been produced, our pumping the oil into normal processing chains.

    This is of course all the supposition of high school janitor and should be taken as such.

  34. Mr Hyde says:


    If the seaafloor ruptures and we end up with a large secondry leak or seepage through a long crack, BO will rightly be assailed for not being forceful and ordering a partial opening of the cap.

    it wouldnt be a crack. Remember that the sea floor in that area is the consistency of pudding for a depth of hundreds to thousands of feet. A minor seep would be very hard to see and would probably look very much like silt “wafting” up from the bottom. if it were a substantial seep then it could appear as “boiling” sediment. it would not look anything like what the leaking well head did. An in fact the location of the seep as observed at the sea bed could be unrelated to the location of the seep out of the formation due to the lfow taking the path of least resistance. In general, the only way to kill such a beast is to drill into the underlying formation and kill the formation.

    As i said above killing the main well may or may not kill the seeps depending on how they formed and if they have formed “wormholes” through the formation.

  35. Mr Hyde says:


    I linked this before…

    At about 1:20 in the video is an illustration similar to what could or could be happening to the macondo well.

  36. Mr Hyde says:

    Sorry grim.

    done with oil leaks.

  37. Juice Box says:

    Hyde – there are natural seeps all over the gulf.

  38. Cindy says:

    Juice @ 34

    “Perhaps they are prepping those students to be factory workers in a Chinese Factory City?”

    Some thought provoking information in ” The Secular Problem ” section of this piece.

    Also –

    “The Cyclical Problem” – ….until that credit cycle is played out we are not going to have a recovery no matter how many tax cuts and stimulus packages are created. Period. End of Story.

  39. Anon E. Moose says:


    I take it Afghanistan your target economy for perpetuating the Realtor model after your industry turns into Liberty Travel?

    Not ALL transactions have to be in cash, nor borrowing made illegal. I’m just acknowledging the golden rule, and if a bagholder want to use someone else’s gold, they have to live by that person’s rules.

  40. Mr Hyde says:

    Juice 39

    indeed there are. The wording of the press release by Admiral Allen was vague in what it had to say about seeps, but give the impression that they could be from the macondo well. That is all speculation at this point.

    Given the compromised casings, the pressures involved and the geology it would be surprising if there weren’t at least some minor seeps from this.

    But once again its all supposition and uneducated opinion…

  41. Nicholas says:

    I love that “Suzzane researched this…” commercial. It was definitely a high point for the NAR to be so bold as to come out with that piece of propaganda. Ahh, the good ole days.

    I found this gem in the comments section of the youtube video. Enjoy.

    Suzanne’s “research” indicated that should would definitely earn 3% of the transaction amount, or possibly 6% if she represented both sides of the trade.

  42. Eric A says:

    The principle-agent problem. Principle as in capital supplied by loans, that is.

  43. NJGator says:

    Something smells fishy in Montclair.

    Citizen Says Private Montclair Council “Retreat” is No-No

    Calling himself a concerned citizen, Montclair resident Michael Byrne today wrote to the press and members of the Montclair Town Council complaining about a planned closed-door “retreat” on Tuesday night. The town has hired a facilitator at $3,500 to run the session.

    The council retreat is the final item on Tuesday night’s agenda and is planned as an executive session not open to press or public.

    “This is not transparent,” wrote Byrne, who contacted John Paff, chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s Open Government Advocacy Project. Paff’s response is included in Byrne’s letter, in the jump.

    Cary Africk, reached by phone today, agrees with Byrne. “If it’s about goals for the town, that should be in public, not in executive session.”

    Here’s Byrne’s letter.

    Mayor and Council:
    I write you as a concerned citizen of the Township of Montclair. I am given to understand from the attached agenda for the up-coming July 20 meeting of the Township Council that you intend to hold a “Council Retreat” in executive session following the conclusion of regular business at the meeting. I also understand that the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the council’s goals and priorities. Furthermore, I understand that this discussion is to result from responses to a “survey” that will be seen and allegedly ‘destroyed’ by the facilitator of this “Retreat.”

    This is not transparent.

    I believe that you should have only one current goal — to pass a responsible budget that does not price the people of Montclair out of the Township of Montclair.

    Thereafter, I believe that your goal should be to begin assessing projected revenues and expenses for 2011 and then to begin planning to craft a responsible budget for 2011 long before seven (7) months of the fiscal year have elapsed.

    Now, concerning your “retreat” and the proposed manner by which you intend to conduct it, I have sought the opinion of John Paff, Chairman of the Open Government Advocacy Project in NJ. Mr. Paff is an expert in OPMA, the Sunshine Law, and transparency in government. In response to my inquiry on the validity of holding this Council “Retreat” in Executive Session, Mr. Paff responded as follows:

    “Mr. Byrne:
    I know of nothing that permits such a “retreat” to be held in private. If it’s a gathering of the council for the purpose of discussing municipal business, then it’s a Meeting” no matter what the council tries to call it. And, as a meeting, it has to be open to the public unless there is a valid reason for it to be held in executive session. And, “discussing goals and priorities” is not a valid reason.”

    Whether or not Mr. Paff – who is among those copied on this e-mail – is correct in his understanding of the law, it is utterly unseemly that this “Retreat” would be held at a time like this when economic uncertainties demand the judicious use of every single tax dollar no matter how small the expense. I hope, therefore, that you will cancel this “retreat,” save the $3,500 fee that is to be paid to the facilitator of this “retreat” and use your time to discuss how you might find further savings in the Township budget. As I have in the past, I stand ready to lend my time, assistance, and/or talent – if I have any – to any committee or task you deem expedient for this worthy, timely, and common end.

    Please advise if you intend to hold this meeting in Executive Session and, if so, when the minutes of the meeting will be made available to the public.

    Michael D. Byrne

    Byrne was a member of Montclair’s school board advisory committee

    Mayor Jerry Fried and town manager Marc Dashield have not yet returned our phone calls.

  44. grim says:

    Homebuilder confidence falls to a 1 year low.

  45. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nicholas [43];

    Which is why “buyer’s agents” are a dangerous misnomer to anyone who believes it.

    The motivation of the “buyer’s agent” is to make a deal happen – just like the seller’s agent.

    The “buyer’s agent” get paid a percentage of the sale price – just like the seller’s agent.

    If a deal doesn’t happen because the offer price is reality-based, the buyer’s agent gets nothing – just like the seller’s agent.

    The “buyer’s agent” has every motivation to inflate the offer price to be sure the deal goes through – just like a seller’s agent.

    Tell me again who the “buyer’s agent” is working for?

  46. Juice Box says:

    re #16 – Doom re: “force competitors out of a market.”

    How about cleanup fraud? The FBI has been awfully busy lately in New Jersey.

    There were a ton of Mortgage Broker bucket shops out there during the bubble and sure many have closed down but many have not and the FBI has been making the rounds, hopefully they don’t run out of plastic hand cuffs.

    FBI has been busting agents, brokers, accountants by the dozen lately.

  47. Mr Hyde says:

    Moose, Nicholas

    it would seem that a flat fee or time cost compensation arrangement makes sense for a “buyers agent” otherwise there is indeed financial conflict of interest

  48. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Testing Gulf Water: One Sample Exploded in Lab

    Time to buy those Vietnamese Shrimp stocks

  49. Anon E. Moose says:

    Hyde [49];

    I think a reverse scale commission would be workable. I don’t need anyone to help me overpay for a house. I can do that all on my own. If an agent could weed out the delusional sellers, and find me a great house at below-market price, that would be worth something. I would have the buyer’s agent get paid less as the price escalates. Let their comission reflect the value added.

    I made a similar observation about the agent who sold a relative’s house. He was getting “only” 5% of the sale price (A discount! Such a deal…). I told them that if you dropped the ask $100k you could sell it tommorrow. So what the agent(s) was really getting paid was 6% of the entire sale price, when their value-added was only $100k. Worked out to be a 20% commission on the value-added.

  50. Cindy says:

    Grim @ 46 – “Homebuilder confidence falls to 1 year low.”

    Consumer sentiment as well – “unexpectedly” fell.

    “…The consumer sentiment index unexpectedly plunged 9.5 points from 76 to 66.5 in July …..

    ” That decline in the index, based on the Reuters/ University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, brings the metric to its lowest level in 11 months..”

  51. Cindy says:

    Whatever you read today – Avoid Jesse’s Cafe. The postings for the last few days will get your blood boiling.

    1983 – increase social security to 12% – save those funds for the Boomers ……right.

  52. Yikes says:

    sas says:
    July 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

    views of Manhattan from Hackensack?

    from where?
    you mean crackensack? ha..ha..ha..

    Lived in Hackensack for a couple years after college (studio that was kinda big for like $660 a month). The only saving grace is that I was close to NYC. Yes, you can see some of the skyline from Hackensack (which is a dump). You could hop on route 80 and, depending when you left, be across the GW bridge in 10-15 minutes (not rush hour, obvs).

  53. Juice Box says:

    re #53 – Cindy your might remember this, the last major revision of Social Security back in the late 80s was sold to the public by the Greenspan “bi-partitian” Commission as the baby boomers were now going to “pre-fund their own retirement”.

    Beyond what was needed to keep paying SS to WW 2 generation it was stated in the that the Baby Boomers would “pre-fund their own retirement” – the exact words used at that time, so the Social Security Act 1990 was passed saying that these excess fund in Social Security Trust Fund could on be used only for SS benefits. These excess funds could be “loaned” to the Treasury, but the Treasury was obliged to pay back those loans. (these are the IOU’s or Treasury Notes in a Trust Fund file cabinet down in Virgina that can only been redeemed by the Social Security Administration.)

    Right now in effect, the Baby Boomers are creditors to the federal government, which does not have the money to pay back the SS loans to Treasury since it’s all been been spent – income tax cuts,paying for wars, the military excesses, farm subsidies, bridges to nowhere, etc., etc.

    Since the powers that be do not want to give up the income tax cuts they’ve received since the 1980’s or apply SS tax to incomes above roughly $110,000 all we get is propaganda. How often do you hear talk or read articles the boomers have “pre-funded their retirement”? Never Nada, it’s a government PONZI and propaganda is all we get.

  54. Mr Hyde says:


    SS is a ponzi scheme at its finest. It has been legally ruled a tax and not an entitlement fund.

  55. yo'me says:

    Did the Treasury missed a single payment on Treasury bonds that are being held by investors? It’s fear mongering when somebody say that the treasury will not pay SS when everybody else is getting paid. This is the first year that SS had a deficit on payments due to lack of revenue and have to take money from the treasury fund,which is how it suppose to be.It has 1.6 trillion dollars in surplas that fear mongerer are saying will not get paid. The US has 12 trillion $ in debt and unfunded liabilities but have not missed a single payment.
    I think the worst fear we should worry about is ,what can you buy with the promised entitlement when it is not catching up with inflation.We are paying for wars,military expenses,patrolling the middle eastern waters,policing the world but they fear us,no money for you.

  56. Final Doom says:

    Moose (41)-

    Sorry. I didn’t realize that you are actually as dense as you appear to be.

  57. yo'me says:

    14% of Americans are funding their retirement and the rest is relying on SS.Of the 14% they will exhaust their savings in less than 20 years.There is no savings,values of homes are depleted.Do you really see the Govt throwing 86% of boomers in the streets without consequences?

  58. Ben says:

    People should not worry about Social Security not clearing. They will clear, because they’ll print enough money to make sure of it. The fear mongering in Social Security is entirely misplaced. The big issue is, there is only one way to pay those benefits, and that way is through creating inflation.

  59. Ben says:

    54, Yikes

    “Lived in Hackensack for a couple years after college (studio that was kinda big for like $660 a month). The only saving grace is that I was close to NYC. Yes, you can see some of the skyline from Hackensack (which is a dump). You could hop on route 80 and, depending when you left, be across the GW bridge in 10-15 minutes (not rush hour, obvs).”

    The other saving grace is the White Manna.

  60. Mr Hyde says:


    SS is indexed for inflation. Inflation alone doesnt solve the problem. The SS problem should be kept in perspective, its just one of many funding issues we have.

    The point stands that SS is the essence of a ponzi scheme. It depends on more people paying in the drawing out.

  61. Ben says:

    “SS is indexed for inflation. Inflation alone doesnt solve the problem. The SS problem should be kept in perspective, its just one of many funding issues we have.

    The point stands that SS is the essence of a ponzi scheme. It depends on more people paying in the drawing out.”

    That problem was solved long ago. All they have to do is report inflation under the actual rate of inflation.

  62. Final Doom says:

    I think we can all agree- after reading #51- that Moose is part of the crew here that will never, ever buy a house.

    He will always have us evil, collding RE agents to blame for his failure.

  63. jcer says:

    62, Hackensack isn’t that bad, some parts of it are really crappy but by Summit ave is pretty nice and it is a pretty close to NYC, turnpike moves well at rush hour that far north. Now buying there is a real problem because of crap schools and ridiculous taxes, but a high rise rental isn’t bad at all. Also there is some decent ethnic food and it is close to the Paramus shopping corridor.

  64. Juice Box says:

    yo’me – You hit the nail on the head. ” somebody say that the treasury will not pay SS when everybody else is getting paid.”

    So then what we renege on payments owed to China, Great Britain etc all to pay for Social Security? Miss payment to countries and people who are lending you money or simply do not pay SS by raising the retirement age to 70+ and add in a means test.

    Which is it going to be becuase it cannot be both.

  65. Libtard and the City says:

    Anyone relying on SS for retirement is about as bright as Jamil.

  66. Confused in NJ says:

    Obama should meet the GOP halfway on Unemployment Benefit Extensions by imposing an Unemployment Extension Surcharge on all Public Worker salaries equal to the Benefit Dollar Extension Amount. He can start with all three branches of Federal Government. He should exmpt the Private Sector lest he hit the same issue Castro has with Cuba. Likewise, any dollars sent to the states to retain teachers or police, can be funded with a surcharge on all teachers or police in that State. As an alternative the Teachers or Police Unions can agree to cuts themselves to preserve jobs. That seems to satisfy both the need for unemployment & retention stimulus and the basis for paying for it.

  67. Juice Box says:

    re #68 – re: Anyone relying on SS for retirement is about as bright as Jamil.

    How about those folks that RECENTLY invested in Real Estate for a retirement nest egg?

  68. relo says:

    Re: HFT from JPM missive.

    With the advent of HFTs, cancelled orders have soared. Today’s ratio of 30 cancelled
    orders for each one executed means that 97% are cancelled. To curb abusive practices, some market participants recommend applying a fee to HFTs for an excessive number of cancelled orders. The increase in cancelled orders is one reason we do not agree that increased order depth on S&P 500 stocks at the NBBO is a clear indication of greater liquidity, as some market research alleges. Quotes pulled within a nano-second of being posted, and which are part of an algorithmic order detection exercise, don’t seem like liquidity in the traditional sense. Ameritrade’s representative on the recent SEC Roundtable referred to this as “opportunistic liquidity”.

  69. A.West says:

    Nah, Moose will eventually buy a cursed FSBO with hidden liabilities.

  70. Final Doom says:

    relo (71)-

    HFT is excellent at providing the ILLUSION of liquidity. Since the whole f’ing market is a rigged-up illusion anyway, it’s the perfect vehicle.

    The next flash crash, however, might just take the whole shooting match to 0.

  71. Mr Hyde says:


    Anyone relying on SS for retirement is about as bright as Jamil.

    I suspect a fair % of people 50+ plan on relying on SS and/or RE for their retirement. I know of 2 different boomer couples how plan on that exact combo.

  72. Libtard and the City says:

    We are simply hoping that our 480K home in Montlclair will cover Lil’ Gator’s college costs. For retirement we have 401Ks/IRAs, etc.

  73. yo'me says:

    juice: I have seen family members scream at each other for owing as little as $20.I will let you picture,what will happen if 86% of seniors are burning the streets of America and you got an order to shoot but will you shoot your mother your father ? SS has a different way of calculating for inflation which is less and have not increase in benefits recently.I agree,it is stupid to relly on SS but the fact tells,86% of Americans will rely on it.

  74. Libtard and the City says:

    “I will let you picture,what will happen if 86% of seniors are burning the streets of America and you got an order to shoot but will you shoot your mother your father ?”

    Which is why we should have all supported Obamacare and its inherent death panels. There is no better way to keep the Social Security fund solvent then to kill off its recipients. Man are those conservatives stupid.

  75. Knifecatcher - Painhrtz says:

    Doom you said the same thing about me, and I’m now enjoying my own depreciating and rotting anchor. I guess there is hope for even the most moronic of us ; )

    Hey Hyde wife is going to be away in a couple of weeks want to go kill a couple of clay pigeons at black river on a Sunday. I have plenty of extra birds and a thrower.

  76. Libtard and the City says:

    IBM Proft Beats Forecasts, Revenue Misses- AP

    IBM Corp. has raised its 2010 net income guidance to at least $11.25 per share. That represents an increase of a nickel per share over the previous guidance and reflects IBM’s confidence in its ability to squeeze more profit out of its workhorse technology services and software divisions.

    Translation – Fire more workers and let the remaining work twice as hard.

    Earnings look great so far this quarter, too bad none of them are the results of sales growth. Just more and more margin growth from less labor.

  77. Juice Box says:

    Yome – denying SS bennies is baked into the cake already. You only need to look back and see what was done in 1983, went from 65 to 67 and now is headed towards 70+ with a file cabinet full of IOUs to back it up.

    My whole point is if they are going to screw around this much might as well move elsewhere where retirement is 60 years old or less depending on where you live. Who wants to work another 10+ years in the coal mines of fast food anyway? Most people don’t make it past 60 years old in the corporate world and if they are even lucky to last that long then how does 70 sound? How many of the Fortune 500 are going to want to pay for the health care costs associated with an older workforce anyway? It’s gonna be allot of do you want fries with that shake or cleaning toilets for those old folks.

    Right now I am dealing with a laid off exec who at 62 expects to keep his lifestyle at all costs. He does not realize it yet but all he is qualified for now is to drive a cab or perhaps work the line as a fry cook.

    A memory I have from High School was the image painted for us by a Science Teacher that we would all one day be putting pillows over the heads of old folks. It will be called euthanasia a mercy killing becuase they are destitute and begging in the streets because our society could no longer support them. I have a feeling that may come true and what is worse is it won’t be the boomers but my Generation X that will have the younger generations killing us all off.

  78. Mr Hyde says:


    More fun….. We now have all these boomers who the corporate world doesnt want trying to find jobs. Where do they work? Would fast food joints and big box stores rather hire teens, illegals, or boomers? My guess is that the boomers are on the bottom of the list.
    Economists are saying we are set to see long term structural unemployment while at the same time we see retirement benefits cut, healthcare costs rise.

    should be fun.

    Do you know how many boomers i have heard say that they wont “give their house away” because its their retirement?

    Should we draft the boomers first for WWIII?

  79. Mr Hyde says:


    E-mail me and lets see if some dates match up.

  80. yo'me says:

    Juice: I agree with you! The minute I am qualified to collect,I will take it and be out of here.It does not change the fact that 86% of Americans will rely on it.They can increase the age to 70 or higher it will not change the fact,if the senior can not get a job. The riot theory is still on.

  81. Juice Box says:

    #81 – re: “Do you know how many boomers i have heard say that they wont “give their house away” because its their retirement?”

    Yes, the unemployed one in my family is sitting on his retirement fund, but does not want to “give it away”. Silver lining was a job offer out of state recently for about 2/3rds the pay. I said it was the perfect time to downsize and work a few more years saving for retirement. That went in one ear and out the other all I heard was my friends, family hobbies can’t leave them behind to start over.

    I may buy some new pillows next time I visit.

  82. Final Doom says:

    hyde (81)-

    Now you’re talking. We need to kill off 50mm or so of our own, and this would make an excellent start.

    “Should we draft the boomers first for WWIII?”

  83. sas says:

    “Should we draft the boomers first for WWIII?”

    lol..good one bloke.


  84. Confused in NJ says:

    WASHINGTON – Oil and gas are leaking from the cap on BP’s ruptured oil well, but federal officials intend to leave the cork in place for now.

    Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says Monday afternoon that the leaks are so far not a major concern.

    He also says seepage about two miles away is likely not related to the ruptured well.

    Allen says if there was a quick rise in pressure, they would open the well immediately to keep from creating leaks deep underground

  85. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [78] knife

    I’m hurt man. Sitting here with a brand new shotgun and a box of 12 guage all-purpose bird/skeet shells. Where’s the love???

  86. Mr Hyde says:



    feeling conservative today? thats only 1/6th of the US population

  87. Confused in NJ says:

    Soylent Green was on TV today. Edward G Robinson was very peacefull as he transitioned into food stock.

  88. jj says:

    Biggest Price cut I ever saw in a home in NJ. 30 million off original listing price

  89. Final Doom says:

    hyde (89)-

    Gotta start small and grow. If 80-90% of the first 50mm we whack are Boomers, the rest of us will cheer it on.

  90. Fabius Maximus says:


    Who needs Soyent Green. This is quite cool, we just fast forward into the Matrix.

  91. Barbara says:

    I have had three people I know sell and relocate for work, only to be laid off within a few months of that new position. Its not always wise to sell everything (loss and moving costs add up) and live far from a support network (doesn’t always mean cash handouts from relatives, sometimes some free kid sitting in a pinch adds up to real savings). I would be very careful about making a big move on a position offered by anyone, big biz or small. Check the health of the company, interview current employees, rent a cheap motel for the first few weeks and feel that sitch out.

  92. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re : Social Security

    What is the max salary that still contributes to the SS fund….I think it was around $106K last time I looked. That maximum should certainly be increased.

    And let’s institute a means test for retirees. Unpopular though it may be, if your retirement income is above a certain level… don’t need the $2K per month SS check.

    Some of these scoundrels retire with $150K per year pensions. Do they really need the gubmint cheese?

  93. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [95] fiddy

    I, and others, have long predicted that this is the direction things will take. Which is why nonrecognition and better estate planning are more important now than ever.

  94. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Nom —

    What does “nonrecognition” mean in that context ??

  95. Priceline Baconator says:

    Ok, random question, perhaps even silly – if this board had the real estate collapse and the economical tailspin pegged … what are the chances they could solve it?

    The End of Days bellyaching is funny. It has been funny for months/years.

    What about a solution? And a logical one, too. (I’m sure some will go the humorous route – it is the internet, that is to be expected.) It can’t involve death panels or the phrase “let it burn.” Who’s got the black swan answer?

    You’re suddenly added to Obama’s dream team. What’s your plan to get out of this malaise?

  96. Juice Box says:

    Priceline -you assume there is a palatable solution? Economic growth the only REAL way out has been plowed under with salt.

    The Black Swan is debt repudiation, and that won’t happen unless the unthinkable happens.

  97. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [98] fiddy

    Income that is not taxable, and, if possible, not reportable.

  98. Yikes says:

    The end of government subsidies resulted in a 33% drop in sales of new homes and autos last month.

    (If history were to repeat itself and stocks are in the 10th year of a 16-year secular bear market, as Rosenberg believes, the Dow, which closed Friday at 10,097.90, could fall to 5000.)

    Another reason to be upbeat about the market’s future is the fact that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is a student of the Depression, Luskin says. And that means Bernanke is unlikely to repeat the mistakes made in the 1930s that choked off growth.

  99. Shore Guy says:

    “What is the max salary that still contributes to the SS fund….I think it was around $106K last time I looked. That maximum should certainly be increaed”

    Only if you also raise the amount those of us who will be paying more in taxes can get in benefits. Instead of pretending SS is not a tax we should just fund SS via the income tax. At least it would be more honest.

  100. morpheus says:

    Sorry, we are all good at bitching and moaning. solutions? we don’t need any stinking solutions. . . .Hey, wait a minute . . .. If Iam on the dream team, do i get interns? I have some select hiring criteria.

  101. sas says:

    someone please pass the barbiturates…


  102. still_looking says: the barbiturates… I just need a normal sleep schedule.

    WTF happened to me this week???


  103. chicagofinance says:

    Priceline Baconator says:
    July 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm
    You’re suddenly added to Obama’s dream team. What’s your plan to get out of this malaise?

  104. chicagofinance says:


    too late for the Cup…sorry…

  105. cobbler says:

    Medicare expense will soon be greater than SS, and it is growing at much faster rate. SS is infinitely manageable with very small adjustments, Medicare will destroy us unless there is some meaningful rationing of care – but this well is so poisoned, there is not a single drop of potable water there. A 101-year old lady with moderate dementia (colleague’s grandma) fell and broke her hip, had been brought to the hospital, hip repaired, 2 days later had an emergency angioplasty, 8 days later had a stroke, in another 6 days passed away. Total charges to Medicare >$100K which actually would be enough to pay SS to an average recipient for ~7 years. Now you are talking about death panels.

  106. Final Doom says:

    Baconator (99)-

    Easy. Start another bigger, more lethal, more expensive war.

  107. Final Doom says:

    chi (108)-

    Divers are wankers.

Comments are closed.