There are no American soldiers in Baghdad

From the NY Times (Hat tip Cindy):

Widespread Fear Freezes Housing Market

You have to wonder sometimes what they’re smoking over there at the National Association of Realtors.

On Tuesday, the self-proclaimed “voice for real estate” released its “existing home sales” figures for July. They were gruesome. Sales were down 27 percent from the previous month, and down 26 percent from a year ago. Annualized, the July sales figures would translate into fewer than 3.9 million homes sold this year — a staggeringly low figure. (The record high occurred in 2005, when more than seven million houses were sold.)

The months-to-sale number was depressingly high; the Realtors group reported that it now takes more than a year to sell a typical house, compared with six months in a normal market. The amount of inventory is high.

Lest we forget, these awful numbers are coming out at a time when the financial incentive to buy could hardly be stronger: the fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage is at an incredibly low 4.36 percent, according to an authoritative survey conducted by Freddie Mac.

Yet here was Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, trying to turn lemons into lemonade: “Given the rock-bottom mortgage interest rates and historically high housing affordability conditions, the pace of a sales recovery could pick up quickly, provided the economy consistently adds jobs,” he said in a news release.

Mr. Yun also predicted that home values would not fall much further, since they were “back in line relative to income.” In other words, the July numbers were a mere blip.

Clearly, Mr. Yun needs to get out a little more often. Specifically, he ought to talk to people on the ground — like mortgage lenders or prospective borrowers. Talking to these people would probably give him a more sober take on the larger meaning of the latest sales numbers for existing homes. Sometimes, you see, lemons really can’t be turned into lemonade.

“In the financial markets, a lack of liquidity immediately leads to falling prices,” said Lou Barnes, the founder of Boulder West Financial Services. (Boulder West was acquired last year by Premier Mortgage Group.) “In the real estate market, something different happens,” he added. “Illiquid real estate markets freeze.” That is what is happening now. For months, the Obama tax credit had been the only grease in the housing market. Now that it is gone, the buying and selling of houses is essentially grinding to a halt.

The second reason is that, Mr. Yun notwithstanding, most people simply do not believe that housing prices are even close to hitting bottom. “In the Bay Area, a house that was worth $300,000 a decade ago became a million-dollar home,” said Greg Fielding, a real estate broker and blogger. “Now it is listed at $800,000.” That price, he suggested, was still unrealistically high. The seller, meanwhile, doesn’t want to face the fact that his or her home is too richly priced, and won’t sell at a more realistic price — which may well be below his or her mortgage debt.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Bubble, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to There are no American soldiers in Baghdad

  1. willwork4beer says:

    First!

  2. Cindy says:

    Grim – I’m claiming that one – # 194 – Saturday 8/28 – 8:22 A.M. –

    My favorite line: “Clearly, Mr. Yun needs to get out more often”.

    The July numbers were just a blip don’t ya know.

  3. Final Doom says:

    Lack of solvency is a real bitch, too, Mr. Barnes.

    “In the financial markets, a lack of liquidity immediately leads to falling prices,” said Lou Barnes, the founder of Boulder West Financial Services. (Boulder West was acquired last year by Premier Mortgage Group.) “In the real estate market, something different happens,” he added. “Illiquid real estate markets freeze.” That is what is happening now. For months, the Obama tax credit had been the only grease in the housing market. Now that it is gone, the buying and selling of houses is essentially grinding to a halt.”

  4. Cindy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/weekinreview/29goodman.html?pagewanted=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

    “What Can Be Done to Cure the Ailing Economy?” Peter Goodman

    Another article that clearly supports the need for a new term: “The Muddle Ages.”

    “The big question is, who’s going to swallow the losses, says Mr. Stiglitz. “It should be the banks, but they don’t want to. We’re likely to be in paralysis for years if they prevail.”

    The treasury sits in the middle, concerned by the continued weakness of housing, yet unwilling to pressure banks to write down mortgage balances.”

    “By default, muddling through has emerged as the prescription of the moment.”

  5. Mike says:

    Not to worry when the economy eventually gets better and thousands are hired by outsourcing companies making $10.00 an hour (which I do believe will be the new norm) they will be able to save up that 20% and start buying these homes.

  6. crossroads says:

    “The treasury sits in the middle, concerned by the continued weakness of housing, yet unwilling to pressure banks to write down mortgage balances.”

    if this ever comes to fruition everyone with a mortgage will want a discount especially
    fha, freddie and fanny 07-10. what will the fed/treasury do then?

  7. Cindy says:

    http://investorcentric.blogs.nuwireinvestor.com/2010/08/how-banks-profit-from-slow-economy.html

    “How Banks Profit From the Slow Economy”

    “There is another bank bailout program going on now – one that allows the federal government to recapitalize banks with public money, receive nothing at all in return, and somehow escape criticism for doing so. That bailout program is called the Recession.”

    “How does the Recession allow the government to bailout banks? With the recession going on, people are afraid to do anything risky with their assets, so they keep them deposited in banks, earning no interest. Banks can then invest their deposits in Treasury notes and credit the interest on those Treasury notes to their bottom line, thus improving their balance sheets. So the government pays to recapitalize banks while receiving nothing in return.”

    “So the success of their bailout program depends on avoiding recovery.”

    Nice….

  8. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hot sheet, nice 20% reduction (87k) on a good looking split this morn. Tick tick tick boom!

  9. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703669004575458203846437616.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

    “Paying Off the House in 15 Years” – Between January and June, 26% of the homeowners who refinanced chose a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to data from CoreLogic….

  10. Mr Hyde says:

    Mr. Yun also predicted that home values would not fall much further, since they were “back in line relative to income.”

    BS!!!! Not likely, the median household income is falling faster then home prices

  11. yo'me says:

    “Paying Off the House in 15 Years” – Between January and June, 26% of the homeowners who refinanced chose a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to data from CoreLogic….

    30 yr mortgage only make sense if you are selling with in 5 years and if values are going up.You want to reduce monthly payment as much as possible.Leverage as little as possible and take as much profit.

    More and more people are looking at homes as a consumption and thinking of staying put,getting rid of that monkey in their back as fast as they can.

  12. yo'me says:

    Mr Yun maybe right or wrong on the value of homes being inline with incomes.Depends were you live.Property taxes are becoming the major obstacle of purchasing a home. In most cases since RE values went down monthly payments on property taxes are more than the monthly mortgage payment of the home to start with and it can only go up.

  13. Final Doom says:

    It’s all over. The only thing we’re doing now is putting makeup on the corpse.

    Burn the mf’er down, and hit the reset button.

  14. Final Doom says:

    I just want to get out of the US before it turns completely to shit.

  15. Sas3 says:

    yo’me #11,

    “30 yr mortgage only make sense if you are selling with in 5 years and if values are going up. You want to reduce monthly payment as much as possible.”

    Monthly payments on 30 yr are much lower than the 15 yr loan (15 yr costs about 50% more than the 30 yr). So, it is a toss up — 1k here and there a month may not matter when things are normal, but can quickly add up if there is a job loss.

  16. Final Doom says:

    Let’s just keep shoveling fried Snickers into our pie holes and guessing who will be on next year’s Dancing With the Stars. Meanwhile, we keep turning into a giant version of Somalia.

    “Not China, not Russia, not North Korea, not Iran, not terrorists…According to Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the “single biggest threat” to American national security is the US national debt, which is either $8.85 trillion (public debt), $13.4 trillion (total national debt), $20 trillion (total debt including GSE debt), or $124 trillion (total debt including unfunded obligations), depending on one’s definition of the word “debt.” And as Zero Hedge has long been warning, the imminent increase in interest rates (sooner or later), will eventually put the country in an untenable funding position. “Tax payers will be paying around $600 billion in interest on the national debt by 2012, the chairman told students and local leaders in Detroit.” The Chairman (the real one, not his pale imitation over at Marriner Eccles) politely forgot to add that the successful rolling of nearly $600 billion in debt per month is likely an even greater threat to national security.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/chairman-joint-chiefs-staff-says-national-debt-biggest-threat-national-security

  17. Mr Hyde says:

    Yome

    You need a job to buy a house. Home prices are inversly related to taxes. Until we go hardcore protectionist incomes only have one way to go. And exactly how well, for how long do you think toxic Chinese plywood boxes assembled by unskilled illegal immigrants are going to hold up?

  18. nw says:

    Mr Wantanapolous says:
    August 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Hyde [269],

    By the way, I hope this site jumped in when the Aug/Dec gold spread collapsed. Probably not,

    Some did(+4%). Thanks. Bought the paper though.

  19. Cindy says:

    http://www.rcwhalen.com/pdf/2010-PB-03_Whalen.pdf

    from TBP

    Pretty long paper titled “I am Superman: The Federal Reserve Board and the Neverending Crisis” by R. Christopher Whalen

    …bank regulator or monetary authority?

    “Until the Fed is willing to support liquidation of a large banking institution for failure to manage risk, the central bank will have no credibility as a prudential regulator.”

  20. gary says:

    The monthly PITI payment using a 15 year mortgage on a $400,000 loan and $12,000 in property taxes with 20% down is $4,000 per month. That’s a $500,000 house which is basically a piece of sh1t. Now, let’s factor in the cost when the hot heater blows up, the cost to cool and heat the joint which will make you sick because you need new windows because the draft in the winter feels like the open door of the ice cream freezer in Stop N Shop.

    Or, how about when the roof has a teeny weeny little leak but causes a sh1t load of problems because your kids bedroom ceiling needs to fixed, primed and painted. Oh, and the roof still…. needs…. to…. be…. fixed.

    Did I mention that your monthly payment just to sleep in the joint is $4000/month?

    Go ahead, make that offer on that ridiculously over-priced sh1t box, Lawrence Yun said, “home values would not fall much further, since they were ‘back in line relative to income.’”

  21. Essex says:

    14. Why? The chaos should be worth the price of admission. Pure entertainment.

  22. Cindy says:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/29/ap/business/main6816256.shtml

    2 new programs planned to help homeowners – Donovan on CNN “State of the Union”
    this AM…

    He said “it’s too early to say” if the home buyer credit will be revived.

    Holy Moly

  23. jamil says:

    Sastry: I would love to hear you spinning this. (I’ll wait until you receive instructions from Journolist or whatever it is called nowadays). Not even Dems believe the propaganda polls by CBS “News” or the like.

    ““It’s hard to say the Republican economic policies were bad, [and] then continue them,” Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and former advisor to President Clinton, told The Hill. “That is a bit of a mixed message.”

    President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders want to extend all of the tax cuts initiated by President Bush with the exception of rates on individuals making $200,000 and families with incomes above $250,000.

    But there’s growing momentum within the party to extend cuts on those with higher incomes too given the stubborn recession. Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi, who has advised Democrats on the economy, this week said congressional leaders should extend all of the tax cuts to reduce the risk of a double-dip recession. ”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/116251-dems-cant-agree-over-killing-or-saving-the-bush-tax-cuts

  24. crossroads says:

    #5
    mike just had a conversation w/ friend at work who is chomping at the bit to buy a two family house he said he sees people turning to renting over owning therefore rent prices going up. I told him look around we’re starting to see wage deflation and nobody would be able to afford current rents never mind increases.

    “Not to worry when the economy eventually gets better and thousands are hired by outsourcing companies making $10.00 an hour (which I do believe will be the new norm) they will be able to save up that 20% and start buying these homes.”

  25. Mike says:

    Crossroads He’s partially right about more going the renting route, but’s it’s still going to be what people can afford. Buying a two family years ago you use to be able to put a percentage down and that would help with the mortgage and taxes, now your lucky if part of your taxes are covered. I know some people that made out well and some it’s been a nightmare. When I was growing up my friend’s father an Italian Immigrant had a six family and there was a tennant that was behind on rent he was chased out of the building by him and my friend’s mother with bats. We helped move the furniture on the sidewalk. I remember it like yesterday. Today the law is on the renters side, it can be 6-8 months before they’re forced out and not to mention the damage and loss of income. 485K 2010 740K 2005 http://www.weichert.com/33278699/?zip=07033&view=gallery

  26. crossroads says:

    Mike
    I agree that renting will become the thing to do (which will signal the time to buy)
    as far as my friend I don’t think he’s even put #’s on paper its just a fantasy. He has an uncle who owns several multifamily units and has done well( bought years ago ) but his cousin has a 2 family and rent doesn’t cover the monthly expenses mortgage/tax/insurance. he falls short by a hundred or 2.

  27. Sas3 says:

    Jamil, #24. Dems are (purposefully?) losing the battle by putting this arbitrary cut-off. They should stay on “undo W’s cuts” message. This may end up like HCR, with a watered down version that is still called a victory by the admin and a tragedy by Faux, and really it is close to a no-op.

    Increasing taxes is a better option than cutting SS/medicare — defense has a bit of fat still. I have no skin the game wrt SS and medicare — no close friends or family that receive them, and all close friends and family will have more enough resources so that the SS/medicare won’t make a big difference either way.

    My main worry is that if 50% of repubs believe that TARP started under Obama and 40% of them believe he is a Muslim, what all can they be made to believe? Especially if the economy sinks further…

    [Ok tin foil hat now… Despite all the “individual freedom” and “Any Rand cr@p”, when the SHTF, the ones that stand out will be targets, irrespective of how much they contribute to the economy/society. See this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expulsion_of_Asians_from_Uganda (something from before a few of us were born)].

    The best way to avoid SHTF scenario is to improve the finances of the country. The best way to do that is to undo policies that got us into this mess. Undo W’s tax cuts.

  28. Barbara says:

    I heard on CNN something is going to be rolled out by the Administration this week. God forbid housing finally gets that reality check. Cringe.

  29. Barbara says:

    Mike,
    20 years ago the squatters on this block would have been chased out by homeowners. Now they just get to squat for 1 -2 years and leave behind a roach invested flop house.

  30. Barbara says:

    all that happy happy 90s gentrification of once blighted urban areas is just about toast. I give it another 2 years before the gays start moving into the subburbs out of fear for their lives. Even aesthetic appeal has its limits. What for those rainbow flags in West Windsor.

  31. nj escapee says:

    sas3, I recall you mentioned way back that you are an educator. If you think your public pension and retiree healthcare benefits will remain sacrosanct, Ive got news for you buddy. It’s no wonder many of our young adults have no clue.

  32. Barbara says:

    what =watch

  33. Mike says:

    Another two family story- My Aunt had a two family she owned and lived in all her life. The elderly tenant lady who rented the upstairs forever was there until she could not make the stairs any more. Come to find out later she was only paying $350.00 a month for that 3 bedroom apartment! My aunt knew she could get more but did not want to take a chance on someone wrecking the place.

  34. House Whine says:

    28- I am leaning towards undoing the tax cuts but as someone else said it so well earlier this week on this board- How can we trust that the extra revenue won’t be wasted yet again by D.C.? Where is the accountability? Why are we still chasing rainbows in Afghanistan? Bailouts seem to lack any sense of scrutinization of the details. We are just going to throw more money at the problems?

  35. Essex says:

    32. No they will preserve the benefits for the folks who are already in the system. They will possibly gut benefits for the new teachers and further discourage anyone with a working brain stem from becoming an educator.

    Teaching is not the position that attracts the best and the brightest. Why would it? You can do much better in the private sector. And no I do not mean working at Walmart.

  36. Barbara says:

    You do not need the best and the brightest to teach. You need the well educated, responsible and capable. Leave the best and the brightest to cancer research and venture capitalism. Now that we’ve knocked down that cliche, teaching pays very well for the educated and capable.

  37. crossroads says:

    mike

    I got 1 more. my uncle has owned and lived in a 2 family for about 40 years he’s only had 4 tenants. thats not bad.

  38. crossroads says:

    37 Barbara

    you don’t need to be best, brightest, responsible or capable and I would say not even well educated just 4 year w/ teaching certificate and most important Tenured! I guess capable for the 1st 3 years. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve always heard teaching doesn’t pay well outside of the Northeast. Summer off would be the hook for me

  39. cobbler says:

    …WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans continue to believe their local schools are performing well, but that the nation’s schools are performing poorly. More than three-quarters of public school parents (77%) give their child’s school an “A” or “B,” while 18% of all Americans grade the nation’s public schools that well. …

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/142658/Americans-Views-Public-Schools-Far-Worse-Parents.aspx

  40. Dark Matters says:

    Reinvestor #203 (in Bergen and Essex County Mega Comp Killers!):

    Instead of being MAD at the “vultures,” why not be MAD at the “hucksters” who sold the property back in 2005? After all, vultures are simply carrion feeders that pick over the carcasses of the dead – they don’t prey on the living.

    And FWIW the buyer in 2005 might have been an INVESTOR – so they should have known the risks of real estate investment. Oh wait, now I see why you’re MAD!

    …as Emily Litella would meekly say, “Never mind.”

  41. Mike says:

    crossroads -yeah sometimes it works out, other times you need a cast iron stomach. read on some website about a month ago rental property will lead if we ever crawl out of this can’t remember where i saw it.

  42. A.West says:

    257 in the prior thread was a great post to read, quoting the observations of a NJ employer who notes the government barriers to creating jobs. Jobs are created where they can produce the greatest economic benefit at the lowest cost. The government has created a huge marginal cost to creating marginal jobs in the US (esp. NJ), which on top of the already high wage rates in a global context, is making it very difficult to justify new hires for a wide range of industries in the US. The left wants to address this by replacing economic value-added jobs with government jobs that eat capital. Some on the right (e.g. Pat Buchannan) imagine they can magically save jobs and income levels by turning isolationist and evicting immigrants and cutting off the US from the world economy.
    There’s only one solution though – free up the economy and work your butt off to compete where there’s a competitive advantage vs the world.

    One of the best ideas I’ve seen lately was promoting visas/citizenship for anyone willing to invest in a business that employes 10 or more people. Already, foreign capital is gushing into the US – but unfortunately most is going to the least economically useful area: US government treasuries. That just funds the least efficient side of the US economy. If the US encouraged global entrepreneurs to enter the US more easily, they’d actually get a number of takers – for now, the US still offers pretty good security, property rights, and a legal system that is decent – a better place to live than India, China, and a number of other places.

    But the US cannot become a growth economy by navel gazing (i.e. focusing on redistributing wealth). To grow, it has to break down barriers to commerce and provide incentives for wealth creation and preservation, the side-effect of which is job-creation. Sorry Sastry, but the US didn’t become the world’s biggest economy through group hugs, or tax and spend, or promising the most generous “social safety net”. It’s economy became great because people who those on the left like to curse as “robber barrons,” or greedy exploiters, pursued big ideas to create big profits for themselves, and in the process needed to hire a lot of people to help them do it.

    Looking around the world at global investments, I see more of this spirit in new companies located in other countries than in US companies, though the US tech industry may be a partial exception.

  43. Mike says:

    Dark Matters -Absolutely vultures help clean up the mess, I’m still circling

  44. BeachBum says:

    Hello everyone. This MLS just popped up and I was looking for any further information. NJCoast, I was wondering if this is the one from Fifth Avenue post foreclosure auction?
    $879,900
    5 Bedrooms
    2 Full | 1 Partial Baths Sq.Ft. Not Available
    Listing #: 21033546

  45. BeachBum says:

    #16 – why is a military person commenting on a political issue? IS he an economist? He should get the McChrystal treatment!

    “Not China, not Russia, not North Korea, not Iran, not terrorists…According to Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the “single biggest threat” to American national security is the US national debt, which is either $8.85 trillion”

  46. Yikes says:

    28 The best way to avoid SHTF scenario is to improve the finances of the country. The best way to do that is to undo policies that got us into this mess. Undo W’s tax cuts.

    you really think W’s tax cuts are that big of a deal? Compared to the the war & SS, Medicare/medicade, etc?

  47. cobbler says:

    West [43]
    I don’t care about the U.S. being the biggest economy in the world. I do care about me being able, if I do my work honestly and well, not to worry about mine and my children’s future. I do not see how globalization paired up with profit-seeking as the only driver of the economy, will allow the generation of my children to live even close to how we live today.

  48. yo'me says:

    you really think W’s tax cuts are that big of a deal?

    Clinton’s surplus was a pipe dream.The surplus was projected to the tech bubble to keep on going.When the tech bubble busted with no surplus and the tax cut was applied with over a trillion dollars in borrowed money that mostly benefited the top 5% earners and GOP want to make that extended or permanent with more borrowed money that will benefit the 5% rich,hoping trickle down economy will work this time all though it did not work the last 10 years.Add the 2 wars and increasing cost of medicare.SS was always funded.The 2.6 trillion surplus in the trust fund will last for 35 years if we stop contributing into it,but we still contribute into it.

  49. Essex says:

    Comment of the Day from a NY Times reader:

    Lest we forget, a major player in the demise of the middle class was Ronald Reagan who was the union buster in chief and enabler of the tax-averse wealthy. He also began the march to, “Starve the Beast!” – the Republican conservatives title for their plan to burden the federal government with so much debt it became a pauper and had to cut back on spending.

    We’re 13 trillion in the hole and counting due to the pretend-then-borrow-then spend-then-defend tactics of the Republicans. They pretend tax cuts self-finance. They borrow on the promise it will all work out, swearing,”Deficits don’t matter!” They spend money on wars, on Medicare, on privatizing, on tax cuts. Then the defend their fiscal mess by blame Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, Harry Ried and Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and Tim Geitner.

    In Kansas, the home state of the Koch brothers, the public schools had to sue the legislature to demand they follow the state constitution and supply “appropriate funding”. The “conservatives” financed a myriad of tax breaks for corporations and property tax cuts by underfunding the state pension system and raising sales taxes. Now they decry the “largess” of the benefits they gave workers instead of pay raises. And they pretend public employees are essentially evil – sucking dry the government, bad teachers, lazy workers, union stooges. Meanwhile, the Kansas Public Employee Retirement Fund is noted as one of two states with less than 60 percent funding. The other is Illinois. Odd company for Kansas conservatives to share!

    And so the old battle goes on. Conservatives tell us there is massive waste, fraud and abuse that they will root out. They never do. Conservatives tell us private enterprise works better than government. But they never recall that 19 of 20 businesses fail in their first five years. And they never discuss the corporate profit that must be squeezed from running things like schools. Or the transport systems in war zones. Or the collection section of the IRS. They don’t do the jobs any better – often worse. So why privatize?

    Republicans worship money. They have no problem impoverishing working Americans so long as it brings higher profits for their corporations. And they enlist the victims to do their bidding by stoking their anger at and hatred toward their fellow victims.

    Lincoln knew you can fool all the people some of the time. But even Abe might have wondered how long, “some of the time,” can last.

  50. satara says:

    But the US cannot become a growth economy by navel gazing (i.e. focusing on redistributing wealth).

    It has been redistributing wealth going up the ladder.The top 5% top earners have seen their income 3x in the last 15 years while the 95% have not grown at the same time.40% were classified poor in 2009 and did not have to pay federal taxes.that number was 20% in 2000.What will that number be this year?45%-50%.

  51. House Whine says:

    51- and 40.8 million in the U.S. are on food stamps. That I cannot fathom.

  52. cobbler says:

    From Simon Johnson’s blog:

    The distribution of income in the United States is undoubtedly becoming more unequal. Specifically, over recent decades, it has become harder for people with only a high-school education to build a secure middle-class future for their families.

    We can argue about proximate causes, including the relative roles of new technology and globalization, but there is no question that unionized jobs, well-paying assembly line work and prosperous small-business niches have all tended to disappear.

    The financial crisis may be behind us, but the link to the likely intense debate this fall regarding fiscal policy is direct — we are told that fiscal austerity requires outright and immediate further cuts in the benefits previously promised to people at the federal, state and local level.

    Never mind that this is simply not true – at least in the form currently presented (here are a primer on short-term issues and another on the longer-term perspective). A vocal class of people – including some at the upper end of the income distribution – incessantly insist that “entitlements must be cut” while refusing to address the real causes of both our recent surge in government debt (the financial crisis, caused by perverse incentives in the financial system) and the genuine longer-term issues we face (which are about controlling the future increase in health-care costs – not cutting the level of benefits today).
    http://baselinescenario.com/2010/08/26/fiscal-austerity-and-%E2%80%9Cthird-world-america%E2%80%9D-2/#more-7941

  53. sas3 says:

    nj escapee, I’m a computer lab rat (not an educator; all soft-money — all teaching I do is voluntary) with no guarantee of employment unless I get funds directly or via collaboration. My pension plan is a 401k type. Only thing I have going is my willingness to slog hard and do whatever work needs to be done, a few diverse problem solving skills, some decent degrees, and occasional flashes of a couple of neurons firing effectively. So, nothing different from a startup atmosphere, except that the “stock options” here are always going to be underwater. The great benefit is when one’s students go on to do some meaningful and big research breakthroughs.

    The only financial break we ever got was the purchase of the house. Everything else, we worked very hard for.

    I just happen to think there is something fundamentally wrong with W’s tax cuts, and Iraq war. I also happen to think that gay Muslim Mexicans should be able to marry, go on with their lives just like everyone else, get affordable health care, and get extended unemployment benefits by undoing W’s tax cuts. No skin in game either way.

  54. sas3 says:

    #35, “How can we trust that the extra revenue won’t be wasted yet again by D.C.? Where is the accountability? Why are we still chasing rainbows in Afghanistan? Bailouts seem to lack any sense of scrutinization of the details. We are just going to throw more money at the problems?”

    I think it is an easier problem than the case where the money isn’t even there in the revenue column. However, I don’t know the specific mechanisms, though it needn’t involve any drastic “vote with bullet” or “fire everyone” option.

  55. Hell is Frozen says:

    Does anybody know if Crumcast outsources online chat to India?

    I just disconnected with a guy ’cause he didn’t know who the largest competitor of Comcast was in the Philadelphia region.

    He was asking way to much info. for a stoopid account rec so I asked him a question and when he balked, I baled.

    Was I being too Jersey?

  56. Hell is Frozen says:

    my husband says I was being too hard on a guy named Jonathan who lives somewhere in Madhya Pradesh.

  57. maylook1day says:

    Hell – i bailed on crumbcast too, after losing service for over a week twice within three months. Are you a renter? I think their modus operandi is to cut all wires in a rental unit with more than one tenant and ask questions later. Both times i lost service was because a new tenant was being wired. Checked my wires to my service and they were cut. Too much of a coincidence if you ask me. I was paying. $170/month, now, i rent the series that i watch for me and the kids via itunes, i get PBS for free and a few other programs via the web. Good for you. I’ve saved over 1k so far and my kids spend much less time comatose to the tube. Got the world cup via ESPN. Basically, i just pay for bandwidth and get local and public television free, that’s all you need. Just do it people you’re being bilked!

  58. Hell is Frozen says:

    My husband would go all parapathetic (My own word. Why is that not a word?) if I were to deprive him of his weather channel. Can I get that without Crumcast?

    The sound rounds out the morning coffee smell.
    7 am
    He’s left for work.
    But the weather channel plays on and on as I circle down the steps.

    Da Da Doo Doo Dooooo….

  59. Hell is Frozen says:

    Apparently, it has taken them two years to realize we’ve moved and have taken our original e-mail addresses with us – which is somehow to their detriment. We’ve just been threatened with e-mail deletion after paying religiously on-time for at least twelve years for both internet and cable.

    They cannot compute.

    I should bail and do the internet only thing. I’m sick of it.

  60. jamil says:

    Sastry: “My main worry is that if 50% of repubs believe that TARP started under Obama and 40% of them believe he is a Muslim, what all can they be made to believe? Especially if the economy sinks further…”

    Not sure what is your point here. 35% of Dems believe Bush was behind 9/11. Probably same amount of people thinks Elvis is alive. Significant portion of Dems believe Obama is muslim too (Actually, since he was born to Muslim father, he is considered a muslim according to islam as there is no such thing as conversion from islam).

    As for TARP: TARP I was pushed by Obama and Dems in Senate. Bush signed it and left most of the money for Obama to spend (so the (mis)spending of TARP I is Obama’s responsibility). TARP II and other bailouts were pushed by Pelosi, Reid and Obama with strong GOP opposition so it is not unreasonable to blame Obama for bailouts (even if Bush signed TARP I).

    Btw, plenty of conservatives loudly protested Bush’s spending, especially prescription drug bill. The opposition at the time (Dems) wanted to spend even more.

    This is like (Bush) speeding 60 mph when the limit is 55mph and the next guy (Obama) comes in and is speeding 120 mph every day with your kids sitting in his car. Sure it is fair to criticize your idol.

    Obama bailouts have already cost more than Iraq war (and still counting) and unemployment has only got worse as no businessman with a half-brain wants to hire in this anti-business environment.

    November is the last chance for this country.

  61. Essex says:

    61. November is the what? Seriously man you suck. Big Time.

  62. Essex says:

    Jamil you anti-American piece of shit.

  63. sas3 says:

    “35% of Dems believe Bush was behind 9/11.”

    Really? Link to poll or article talking about the poll?

    I’ll give you one: A large majority of people (70%) believed that Saddam was behind 9/11. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm

    S

  64. jamil says:

    Sastry. Somehow I guessed you try to weasel your way out.

    Btw, Re Dems believing Bush knew about 9/11 ie must have been a participant:
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/bush_administration/22_believe_bush_knew_about_9_11_attacks_in_advance

    “Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know”

  65. NJCoast says:

    BeachBum-

    Re: MLS#21033546
    313 4th ave.
    No listing history on MLS
    block-42 lot-7
    bldg sq ft- 1916
    lot-50×150
    year built-1920
    assessed for taxes-$464,000
    Last sale-11/22/02- $672,500
    Previous sale-3/04/99-$230,000
    Mortgage history-8/04- $538,000
    5/05-$200,000
    12/06-$300,000

  66. Final Doom says:

    look (58)-

    If you live in a place with multiple tenants, you should be stealing cable.

  67. Final Doom says:

    hell (59)-

    Lobotomization by Maryland.

  68. Final Doom says:

    hell (60)-

    You should get an automatic rifle and shoot up your local Crapcast office.

    You might not even be the first to do it in that jerkwater burg you call home.

  69. Final Doom says:

    All in good fun, hell. :)

  70. Final Doom says:

    sx (62)-

    Every time I’m trending Jamil’s way, he reminds us all that he’s an absolute trilobite.

  71. Final Doom says:

    Here’s a poll question that might get a 100% response:

    Is Jamil an utter retard?

  72. Final Doom says:

    Time to go to bed and rest up, so I can be somebody’s stooge again tomorrow.

  73. BlindJust says:

    Hey Doom, et al,
    I understand from you and others that most properties are not for sale. What is it going to take (besides Armageddon) to break the call/bid spread on NJ homes? I’ve sold several properties over the past 5 years and I dropped my price until I found that sweet spot. (Yes, I wanted to sell. No, I didn’t need to sell.) I will live in a tent in my backyard, so my 3 kids can have their own room, before I pay these still ridiculous prices!

  74. BlindJust says:

    sorry for the rant – but my wife and I just had a chat about how long we’ve been looking (‘2005)…

  75. Sas3 says:

    Jamil:

    Btw, Re Dems believing Bush knew about 9/11 ie must have been a participant:
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/bush_administration/22_believe_bush_knew_about_9_11_attacks_in_advance

    “Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know”

    Knowing in advance (e.g. intelligence reports, “UBL determined to strike US”, or “Katrina will strike LA”) is different from being behind, right? The Rasmussen poll was short and vague… “Did the CIA Know About the 9/11 Attacks in Advance? Did Bush Know About the 9/11 Attacks in Advance?” You can’t compare the two — name some media figure saying something like, “I take W at his word that he wasn’t behind 9/11,” or “W’s problem is that he projects an impression that he is behind 9/11”.

    Dems and repubs aren’t some different species, and I’d worry as much about an ignorant xenophobic democrat as much as an ignorant xenophobic repub. GOP has been pushing the envelope…

  76. Sas3 says:

    Jamil, Rasmussen doesn’t provide details on how they got the 800 people for W & 911. The Pew research poll is over 3000 people. In general, Rasmussen doesn’t cut it. You have to get a better polling approach than that.

  77. me@work says:

    @ blind just,

    Patience is a virtue (and a valuable virtue at that.) Take my word for it ;)

    sl

  78. George Soros says:

    Lawrence Yun is a pumper and dumper. He kept pumping the home prices last several years.

Comments are closed.