Thank you William!

A letter to the editor printed in the Mahwah Suburban News, written by William P. Deegan Jr.

Letter: Question accuracy of real estate story

After opening the [Aug. 19] Mahwah Suburban News, your [real estate section] item’s large headline, “Local real estate market sales jump 17 percent” took me by surprise. The day before, The Record’s headline (and widely reported elsewhere) read “Sales of Existing Homes Plummet 27.2 percent fall in July largest since 1968.”

Why the discrepancy? Your article quotes statistics from May 2010 when the effects of the government tax credit were just starting to wane. In other words, coming on the heels of the very different and widely reported national July figures the day before, the information you report is very misleading. I doubt that northern New Jersey was immune to the realty downdraft. USA Today reported that the New York/New Jersey/Long Island area was down 24.9 percent in July compared to 2009.

Looking further at the “news article” one can see that it is really an promotional piece for a New Jersey realtors association seeking to drum up sales with their ever popular “it’s a great time to buy real estate.”

Mahwah Suburban News should practice better journalism and label advertising and promotional pieces as such.

From the Big Picture:

Attention RE Agents: NAR Spin is Counter-Productive !

We have had a god-awful run of Housing data. New and Existing Home Sales, Defaults and Foreclosure data, even the Case Shiller report — all have been utterly horrific.

In light of this, I want to make the following announcement: Attention RE Agents! The National Association of Realtors are doing you a terrible disservice.

In other words, mislead the public with spin. Create false hope. Lie. This agent was defending the National Assocation of Realtor’s blatant dishonesty — a mistake on its face — just as the damage they did began to have an effect.

What the NAR was offering to buyers, sellers, their agents, indeed, anyone involved with Housing, was the blue pill.

The sort of nonsense the Realtor’s group peddles helps explain why sellers have incorrectly believed a recovery was imminent, even as housing went through a historic collapse. It is why home owners incorrectly still expect their homes to go appreciate by 10% a year.

These false beliefs have real world consequences. They create ridiculous expectations among sellers, who selectively grab onto any positive news they can. They choose the temporary blissful ignorance of illusion — that damned blue pill — versus embracing the painful truth of reality (i.e., the red pill).

This confirmation bias leads sellers into mis-pricing the value of their homes. They have been a season or even a year or more behind the pricing curve the entire way down.

Ask any listing agent how difficult it is to get sellers to become realistic in their asking prices. Real Estate agents would be moving a helluvalot more houses if they were not fighting misinformation that the NAR has put into the marketplace. Many, many agents have confirmed that, even in this crummy environment, a good house properly priced will sell.

Here’s a question for you reality (vs NAR realty) agents. Ever wonder why you seem to be having such a hard time convincing sellers to set reasonable asking prices? Ever ponder why they have such a distorted sense of the true value of their homes? Ever try to get them to set reasonable asking numbers that are competitive with current market prices?

The short answer: NAR spin.

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179 Responses to Thank you William!

  1. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Hurricane Earl likely to spare Jersey Shore

    The Atlantic Ocean is in an uproar and North Carolina remains in a state of anxiety, but it appears Hurricane Earl will spare New Jersey’s beachfront real estate and the plans of hundreds of thousands of Labor Day weekend revelers in the region.

    After causing up to $150 million in damage in the Caribbean and generating waves as high as 49 feet, Earl was headed northwest toward the Carolinas late Wednesday, forcing evacuations along the Outer Banks barrier islands.

    It was a frightening-looking storm, with peak winds of 135 m.p.h. But computer models suggested the season’s first bona fide East Coast hurricane scare would not end in catastrophe.

    Although the National Hurricane Center posted a hurricane watch for the Delaware beaches and tropical-storm warnings from Virginia Beach to Sandy Hook, N.J., they were more a function of Earl’s unusually large coverage area than fears that it would jog westward.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Hovnanian Enterprises Has Quarterly Loss Bigger Than Estimated by Analysts

    Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., the largest homebuilder in New Jersey, reported a third-quarter loss that was bigger than analysts expected as sales fell following the expiration of a homebuyer tax credit.

    The net loss narrowed to $72.9 million, or 92 cents a share, for the three months ended July 31 from $168.9 million, or $2.16, a year earlier, the Red Bank-based company said in a statement yesterday. The average estimate of seven analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for a loss of about 50 cents a share.

    Orders declined after the government stopped offering a homebuyer tax credit worth as much as $8,000 on April 30, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ara Hovnanian said in the statement. Persistent unemployment and sagging consumer confidence also hurt orders, he said.

  3. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Communities to Get First Look at Foreclosures Before Investors

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is launching a first of its kind agreement with the nation’s largest mortgage lenders to give selected state and local governments and non-profit organizations priority over individual investors to buy foreclosed properties.

    Communities and organizations receiving government funding under HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program will be given a first right of refusal to purchase bank-owned properties in certain neighborhoods. The goal of the program is to rehabilitate, rent, re-sell or demolish these homes.

    HUD’s NSP grantees,”often find themselves competing with private investors for real estate-owned (REO) properties, which can hinder their efforts to stabilize neighborhoods with high foreclosure activity,” notes the HUD release.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Toxic Debt Returns to Fashion

    Private mortgage securities backed by risky Alt-A and adjustable-rate home loans—once the most noxious of the toxic waste in the financial system—are regaining favor with investors.

    These securities—also called nonagency bonds because they aren’t guaranteed by government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae—offer portfolio managers as much as twice the yield of comparably rated corporate bonds yield and three times the payout on Treasurys.

    The strong demand and lack of new supply in the $1.36 trillion market boosted these bonds over the last couple of weeks, even as agency-guaranteed mortgage securities fell in value.

    The prospect of yields ranging between 7% and 9% led investors Wednesday to bid up the price on bonds back by fixed-rate, Alt-A loans, to 78 cents per dollar of face value, almost a 5-cent increase in the past two months.

    Alt-A mortgages became infamous during the financial crisis for their inadequate or inaccurate documentation; many failed quickly because home buyers couldn’t afford to make the monthly payments. The same fate met other private mortgage securities, which often held nontraditional assets—such as interest-only loans and loans for a home’s full appraised value—that didn’t qualify for agency guarantees.

  5. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Rutgers survey finds most Americans expect economy to stay in recession or worsen

    Most Americans believe the nation’s economy has undergone a lasting change for the worse, according to a Rutgers University survey released today.

    Two thirds of those polled believe the economy will remain in a recession through next year, while 18 percent fear it will worsen into a depression.

    The report — titled “American Workers Assess an Economic Disaster” — painted a sobering picture of American public opinion, which reflects great skepticism about the federal government’s ability to create jobs and diminished expectations for a better economic future. The report, prepared by professors Carl Van Horn and Cliff Zukin of Rutgers’ John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce and Development, was based on a sample of more than 800 people across the country, 14 percent of whom lost a full-time or part-time job.

    “The news is grim and the outlook from what people can see is grim,” Zukin said today. “And they think it’s permanent,”

  6. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Property tax hikes in New Jersey will hit 23.5 percent factoring in loss of rebate

    The average property tax hike in New Jersey will be 3.3 percent this year — and will hit 23.5 percent after the loss of the homestead rebate is factored in, a statewide review of new tax rates show.

    The changes in the average property tax bills will range from a $6,313 increase in the tiny village of Loch Arbour to a $1,329 reduction in Penns Grove, Salem County, according to an Asbury Park Press review of tax rates in 415 out of 566 towns.

    All totaled, the average homeowner tax bill went up in 379 towns, down in 35 and remained unchanged in just one municipality.

    This year’s NJ SAVER homestead rebate was eliminated under Gov. Chris Christie’s budget plan. Homeowners who qualified for the rebate last year saw an average check of $1,037 to offset a statewide average tax bill of $7,291.

    Of the 415 reporting towns, the average property tax bill will be $7,694 this year, according to the Press review.

  7. Confused in NJ says:

    Rutgers got it right, unfortunately.

  8. Final Doom says:

    Real estate and car dealers are newspapers’ two biggest advertisers. Go figure.

  9. Mike says:

    Grim No.3 How are these state and local governments to pay for these bank owned properties when they’re broke? Why should they get a first shot at it too before the private investors. Screw them they need to go to the Sheriff sales like the rest of us.

  10. Final Doom says:

    Want to have some fun? Visit at Facebook. The agent comments are priceless; they even write in sales platitudes.

  11. Final Doom says:

    “Historic low rates”, “why pay landlord’s rent?”, “RE makes more millionaires than anything else”…

  12. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Are Existing Home Prices Overrepresented By Up To 40%?

  13. yo'me says:

    Last one to leave holds the baggage

  14. Final Doom says:

    Donald Kohn: Fed did everything right during the ’08 crisis.


  15. grim says:

    11 – what possessed you to even try?

  16. Final Doom says:

    Whoops. Moderated @ #15.

  17. tbiggs says:

    #8 Doom –

    That is very true. Also, I have a friend who’s worked as a reporter or editor for 20 years. He got laid off last year from his editor’s position, then hired back a few months later at reduced pay *and* reduced hours. He said that 5 years ago, they read and edited most articles. Now, with greatly reduced staff, only the section leading articles get read by the editor, and usually it’s a quick skim to look for egregious errors; not much time for actual editing. While PR puff pieces have always been printed in the papers, I suspect it’s going to get much worse. One, they’re happy to have more content that they didn’t have to write, and two, the editor won’t have the resources to say “this is bullshit, I’ll get a reporter to do some research and balance this somewhat.”

  18. renter says:

    Who is paying the paying the property taxes on foreclosures? What about these people who are years behind in payments. Are towns simply putting tax liens on the house and nothing else?

  19. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is launching a first of its kind agreement with the nation’s largest mortgage lenders to give selected state and local governments and non-profit organizations priority over individual investors to buy foreclosed properties. ”

    Another vehicle for massive fraud, corruption amd back door deals. Sounds like a bull market for community organizers.

  20. Final Doom says:

    biggs (18)-

    Imagine articles coming to that editor from some gubmint agency promoting endless war, brainwashing in schools, crippling taxation, etc.

    We are but worker drones in a giant hive controlled from afar.

  21. Final Doom says:

    rent (19)-

    The lenders pay. They fund escrows for taxes, maintenance, etc. and add those costs to the payoff number at closing.

    If the borrower was paying taxes himself, tax certificates on the property eventually get sold.

  22. Final Doom says:

    BC (20)-

    Favoritism and self-dealing are the American Way.

  23. Juice Box says:

    Bye bye LBI, Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach etc. Check
    For the different path projections.

  24. Cindy says:

    Grim – More on NAR spin…Barry Ritholtz

    “Attention Realtors: NAR Spin is Making the Housing Situation Worse”

  25. grim says:

    Jobless claims still ugly

  26. yo'me says:

    Today’s numbers are close to expectations. At the same time, initial jobless claims barely missed analysts’ median forecast. Markets are little changed on the release.

    Another ^ 3% day

  27. yo'me says:

    10 yr 2.61

  28. satara says:

    Last one standing does the merengue

  29. Painhrtz says:

    To build on yesterday’s fcuked theme read the comments in this steven Hawking article

  30. J. says:

    Re #6:

    How’s that budget-cuttey thing working out for ya?

  31. SG says:


    Christie Romer: The Only Surefire Way for Policymakers to Substantially Increase Aggregate Demand in the Short Run Is for the Government to Spend More and Tax Less

    In a report that Jared Bernstein and I issued during the transition, we estimated that by the end of 2010, a stimulus package like the Recovery Act would raise real GDP by about 3 1⁄2 percent and employment by about 31⁄2 million jobs, relative to what otherwise would have occurred. As the Council of Economic Advisers has documented in a series of reports to Congress, there is widespread agreement that the Act is broadly on track to meet these milestones….

    What the Act hasn’t done is prevent unemployment from going above 8 percent, something else that Jared and I projected it would do. The reason that prediction was so far off is implicit in much of what I have been saying this afternoon. An estimate of what the economy will look like if a policy is adopted contains two components: a forecast of what would happen in the absence of the policy, and an estimate of the effect of the policy. As I’ve described, our estimates of the impact of the Recovery Act have proven quite accurate. But we, like virtually every other forecaster, failed to anticipate just how violent the recession would be in the absence of policy, and the degree to which the usual relationship between GDP and unemployment would break down.

  32. Xroads says:

    Chris Whalen was on Bloomberg this a.m. And said freddie and fanny are rejecting 2 out of 3 refi’s so as not to lose their %5-6 portfolios. Low rates aren’t getting to the consumer just the banks. For the people!

  33. Mr Hyde says:

    I consider my fellow bloggers here at NJREReport to be bubble connoisseurs of sorts. As such I offer you this fine gem:

    Apparently Vancouver has gotten quite envious of the fine economic and finanial bubbles he US has mastered producing.

  34. freedy says:

    so much for A&P’s deal with pathmark. most of them are dumps anyway .

  35. Mr Hyde says:


    As we all lament the onerous events that have fallen upon our shoulders, it would serve us well to consider that virtually all of the existing and coming misfortune is of our own making. This was not rained down upon us by some angry god, but bred of hubris and apathy.

    Our best hope at this point is that we learn from our ongoing fall from grace instead of walking down the road that Argentina has followed ever deeper into oligarchy and tyranny

  36. Mr Hyde says:


    How do you short vancouver RE????

  37. joyce says:

    Housing Numbers – Are They Being Cooked?
    (regional MLS reporting prices 25% higher than actual sales)

  38. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde agreed, Sadly those of us who see the inevitable are Cassandra’s. pessimists and nattering blowhards to the rest. When they are happy to be eating friskies or the family cat they may learn that valuable lesson. Unfortunately, it will be too late by then.

    My new take on an old axiom ” a fool and his country are soon quickly parted”

  39. Mr Hyde says:

    Pain 42

    Got Whiskey?

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    Back from a week at the beach. Surprisingly restful, considering I had two or three small children under my charge at any given time. No email or internet for a week. And no withdrawal symptoms (had cable at least, otherwise I would have gone bonkers).

    Came back with a nasty headcold. So much for alcohol killing germs—didn’t work at all. Maybe I should have used more alcohol.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [42] painhrtz

    “My new take on an old axiom ” a fool and his country are soon quickly parted”

    My take: A smart person and this country may soon be parted. BTW, I have to see if they posted the 6039G number. If not, I expect it means bad things.

  42. homeboken says:

    41 – Joyce, I am not sure why this didn’t occur to anyone (myself included) before. The data is controlled by those with perverse incentives and held under double-secret lockbox fashion that only Realtors (R) can obtain. It is a pretty aggressive assertion, but I don’t think it would surprise anyone one bit.

    Question to the realtor’s – Is there any verification of closing prices in the MLS inputs? Any penalties for mis-reporting data?

  43. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    No sign of the quarterly expatriate numbers, even though it was supposed to be published by now.

    Rut roh.

  44. joyce says:

    I’m watching the streaming Financial Crisis inquiry and Bernake. It is sickening. The senators/traitors are still asking “what inflated the housing bubble?” and still blaming the Lehman failure as THE reason for this mess.

    I dk why I still care

  45. jamil says:

    47 comrade: btw, it looks like people who give up GC are in not the list.
    It is only US citizens who give up (or maybe GC holders who do it in the US, but not those who do it abroad?).

    I checked one GC holder person who gave up GC and his name was not in any of the lists.

  46. Painhrtz says:

    Nom wife is a German citizen, I work in pharma. I’ll put the guns in storage and plan my next move from Europe. At least their riots will be using clubs, stones, and firebombs. I expect ours to be like Mogidishu, circa mid nineties.

    hyde unfortunately no, but the beer has been plentiful. Wife was laid off, so I have had to cut back on certain luxuries. I just can’t drink the cheap stuff.

  47. Clotpoll says:

    We are so fcuking fcuked.

  48. Painhrtz says:

    Too bad Stu is on vacation he would love this one

    We don’t buy you are stuck with a lot full of cars. Who do you think will blink first consumers with no money, or automakers with no profits and rotting supply. Incentives will be back, it is the only thing keeping the junkie on the drug

  49. Anon E. Moose says:

    Hyde [39];

    I disagree. I was teed up to buy a house in 2005. I just graduated from grad school, had a decent, stable and long-term job, first kid just born, large downpayment. Only problem was that shit shacks was selling for $600k because interest only 80/20 mortgages were being handed out on every street corner. The bitch of it was that I could have afforded to do it, but would have gotten far less than my money’s worth and foresaw that it was destined to tank.

    In my decision not to, I ended up dealing with the menopause-addled homeowner who lived below my rental and seemed shocked and offended that my children wanted to walk on accross the floor and that this might not be silent, in addition to the curious interpretation that “heat included with rent” meant included when she felt like turning it on.

    None of that would have been necessary but for the bubble. What did I do to cause the bubble? I didn’t take out a mortgage I couldn’t afford, or fail to pay it back. I didn’t work on Wall Street banking huge fees and boni (plural of bonus among some circles) for assembling these tanking mortgages into bonds and selling the same. I wasn’t a used house salesman lying suckers into historically overpaying for derelict slums; nor an appraiser who “hit the number” without fail, nor the mortage broker on the front line of this sausage grinder.

    If there was something I did to cause the bubble, I’d love to know what it was.

  50. Yo'me says:

    I will take my shot now.My head is spinning without it

    The number of contracts to purchase U.S. previously owned houses unexpectedly rose in July, a sign the market may be starting to stabilize after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

  51. Yo'me says:

    H-P is the big Sucker

    Dell pulls plug
    H-P’s $33 bid wins 3Par war

  52. jp says:

    I feel bad for realtors. I see them working so hard with their open houses and trying to please their clients.

    but the NA-FREAKING-R leaves such a bad taste in my mouth when it tries to stuff garbage information down people’s throats. It’s such a deceptive practice, and I have no idea why the those folks aren’t thrown in jail. if I were to recommend a stock in the same fashion, I’d be heading to jail as a security analyst.

  53. Yo'me says:

    Not everyone has been doing badly during the economic turmoil of the last few years. In fact, there are some Americans that are doing really, really well. While the vast majority of us struggle, there is one small segment of society that is seemingly doing better than ever.

    This was reflected in a recent article on CNBC in which it was noted that companies that cater to average Americans are doing rather poorly right now while companies that market luxury goods and services are generally performing exceptionally well. So why aren’t all American consumers jumping on the spending bandwagon?

    Click here to see the statistics >
    Well, it seems that there are a large number of Americans who either can’t spend a lot of money right now or who are very hesitant to. A stunningly high number of Americans are still unemployed, and for many other Americans, there is a very real fear that hard economic times will return soon. On the other hand, there is a significant percentage of Americans who are blowing money on luxury goods and services as if the economy has fully turned around and it is time to let the good times roll. So exactly what in the world is going on here?

    Well, in 2010 life is very, very different depending on whether you are a “have” or a “have not”. The recent article on CNBC referenced above described it this way….

    Consumer spending in the U.S. has turned into a tale of two cities in 2010, with an entire segment of consumers splurging confidently on the finer things in life, while another segment, concerned about unemployment and with little or no discretionary income, spends only on bare necessesities.

    So why is this happening?

    It is happening because the rich are getting richer and they have plenty of money to buy stuff and the poor are getting poorer and have less money to spend than ever.

    In case you haven’t been paying attention over the past couple of decades, what we have in America today is a system that is designed to funnel as much wealth into the hands of the elite as possible.

    This isn’t capitalism that we have in America in 2010. Instead, what we have created is a system where the laws are set up so that the power elite and their big, dominant corporations always win.

    Why do you think so many of America’s largest corporations pay so little in taxes?

    Why do you think so many of them are showered with government subsidies, tax breaks and bailouts?

    It’s not about competition anymore.

    It’s about rigging the game in your favor.

    The power elite and the giant corporations they control spend millions and millions on lobbying and campaign contributions and they expect a big return on that investment.

    Let’s take a look at one example. Many people think that Barack Obama and the Democrats are supposed to be anti-business, right?

    Well then why are some of Barack Obama’s biggest donors the very same corporations that are receiving giant bailouts, making record profits and paying their employees billions in bonuses?

    Goldman Sachs was Barack Obama’s second biggest donor. Microsoft was number four. Citigroup was number six. JPMorgan Chase was number seven. Time Warner was number eight.

    Are you starting to get the picture?

    Every single year, the U.S. Congress passes law after law after law that makes it easier for big corporations to dominate and makes it easier for the rich to get even richer.

    America’s economy is not about competition anymore.

    It is about eliminating competition.

    And unfortunately for middle class Americans, the giant predator corporations that now dominate our economy are realizing that they don’t really need nearly as many American workers anymore.

    Instead, they are slowly but surely shipping our jobs off to the other side of the world where workers are willing to work for about a tenth as much.

    And yet we still run out to the “big box” stores and fill up our carts with a bunch of plastic crap made on the other side of the world by these giant corporations.

    Meanwhile, those giant corporations are taking the profits they make out of our communities and they are taking our jobs and are shipping them overseas.

    So in the final analysis, is it any wonder why the income inequality gap is growing?

    Without small businesses having a legitimate chance to compete and without good jobs for American workers, the middle class in America is going to continue to get chewed up and spit out.

    The following are 30 statistics that prove that the elite are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is being destroyed in 2010….

    Read more:

  54. Mr Hyde says:

    Moose 53

    Individual innocence is irrelevant. If you have a pulse you are guilty, as you are part of the society. The only question is degree of guilt. You unfortunately may only be guilty due to association with our degenerate society, but your guilt stands. The flip side of the coin is the politicians and CEO’s who are directly guilty and should be charged with treason prior to public execution.

    If individual innocence mattered in societal scale actions then society would have happily provided you with the opportunity to purchase a home for 2.5X median income for your area. Welcome to the tyranny of the majority.

  55. Mr Hyde says:

    Moose 53

    Re your guilt:

    America’s economy is not about competition anymore.

    It is about eliminating competition.

    And unfortunately for middle class Americans, the giant predator corporations that now dominate our economy are realizing that they don’t really need nearly as many American workers anymore.

    Instead, they are slowly but surely shipping our jobs off to the other side of the world where workers are willing to work for about a tenth as much.

    And yet we still run out to the “big box” stores and fill up our carts with a bunch of plastic crap made on the other side of the world by these giant corporations.

    Unless you deny them all aid you are guilty by association. Not many of us are willing to go to the lengths needed to avoid aiding the perpetrators in some for or fashion. I know I haven’t and as such share the same guilt by association even though i have been financially responsible for the most part.

  56. jamil says:

    57: “Not everyone has been doing badly during the economic turmoil of the last few years. In fact, there are some Americans that are doing really, really well.”

    Yes, they are called public sector workers.

  57. Painhrtz says:

    Hyd I have been getting better at avoiding them after the last of the home depot/lowes projects are done (molding, doors, etc) I’ll be hitting local lumber yards small and on line retailers for housing needs. I have not bought from anyother box store in ages.

  58. Anon E. Moose says:


    Many ‘ideologically pure’ movements fail to achieve anything because they make enemies of what should be natural allies. If I’m the cause of the housing bubble simply because I’m living here, than any change of the predominant mindset that permitted the bubble to form is doomed to fail.

  59. Mr Hyde says:

    Moose 62

    I am not suggesting that we stay in lock step to any given dogma. Our society has chosen a poor path to follow and we will all suffer consequences of one sort or another regardless of how much any given individual may or may not have taken part. Nothing will change until a critical mass of people experience a high enough level of discomfort to wake them up from their zombie consumerism. The situation isnt helped by the general lack of critical thought in public discourse.

  60. Clotpoll says:

    jp (56)-

    The Realtors who are stupid enough to parrot NAR’s line (which is pretty much all of us) are just as guilty of deceptive practices as the guy at the home office who writes this bullshit.

    All NAR has done for its membership is co-opt us into being willing participants in our own demise.

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sorry, Hyde, I’m not following – and I don’t dispute that chasing the lowest cost to the exclusion of value is foolish. But how is J6P’s natural instinct to pay less for something he needs (which leads him to WalMart, et al.) realted to the fact that a generation of people vastly overpaid for their shelter?

  62. Shore Guy says:

    A quick hello from St. Louis.

    Stu, this is for you (given your various battles I seem to recall you having with cable companies):

  63. Shore Guy says:


    This is for you and the other geeks here (and I mean geeks in the best possible way):

  64. Clotpoll says:

    chi (68)-

    Should be good for a 3% rally in the S&P.

  65. Clotpoll says:

    Rig explosions in the Gulf are no big deal anymore. We’ve basically turned the thing into a giant basin full of rancid bathwater.

  66. Clotpoll says:

    How long will it take us to destroy the entire Atlantic Ocean?

  67. Mr Hyde says:


    But how is J6P’s natural instinct to pay less for something he needs (which leads him to WalMart, et al.) realted to the fact that a generation of people vastly overpaid for their shelter?

    We are not cattle, both you and I chose to forgo buying over priced property even though we were offered the loans and encouraged by those we know to do so. Every other person out there had the same opportunity to turn down excessive debt and overpriced RE. Bubbles are simply examples of mass herding behavior. We each have the choice of following the heard or not.
    J6P’s natural instinct to pay less for something is the classic example of the road to hell paved with good intentions. J6P paid “less” for a product that will only last for a fraction of time that the “expensive” quality version will. In the end J6P paid more then they would have if they had chosen quality over price. Of course this road quickly leads into some interesting debates about free will and market psychology.

  68. jamil says:

    another bank failure..

    “As depositors thronged branches of Afghanistan’s biggest bank, Mahmoud Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a major shareholder in beleaguered Kabul Bank called on Thursday for intervention by the United States to head off a financial meltdown. “America should do something,” said Karzai in a telephone interview, suggesting that the U.S. Treasury Department guarantee the funds of Kabul Bank’s clients, who number about a million and have more than a billion dollars on deposits with the bank. “

  69. homeboken says:

    73 – insuring deposits in another country is such an absurd idea that it will probably happen

  70. Clotpoll says:

    Yeah, we should get all our troops out and airburst 10 megatons or so over that slum full of poppy dealers.

    “America should do something,” said Karzai in a telephone interview…”

  71. Clotpoll says:

    boken (74)-

    If it means we have to send Sheila Bair over to calm down AQ when they try to make withdrawals, I’m all for it.

  72. Clotpoll says:

    The Afghanis will make full restitution to us…in yak butter.

  73. Painhrtz says:

    Clot we should just get worldwide agreement to glass that centuries old sore on civilization

  74. joyce says:

    If this has been noted before, or if there has been articles on this … sorry for the redundancy.

    I spoke to an agent in Florida recently. When we discussed a couple of properties (all short sales, all same listing agent), he said I might not want to get involved with them. He said this guy was notorious for flipping the property to you in the following fashion:
    if we agree to buy for 100k, and the agent knows the bank’s minimum is 90k; he would have a friend or someone buy and sell it to me without anyone else knowing and pocketing the 10 grand.

    Anyone hear about this kind of fraud recently?

  75. DL says:

    “Realtors are not reporting the true sold prices on homes. Here are 2 examples. If a home is listed on the MLS and then sells at a auction like Hudson & Marshal or RealtyBid, you can see the sold price online or if you attend the live auctions, see the house sell at open outcry auction. The next day the houses are reported sold on the MLS but always at full price.”

    I’m shocked!

  76. DL says:

    Actually, I’m shocked and drunk. Leaving tomorrow for Mykonos where I plan to do nothing more than sleep. eat, drink, snorkle and tan. See you after the 12th.

  77. Mr Hyde says:

    Pain 78

    Centuries how about millenia? Alexander the great ran into problems in Afghanistan in about 300 BC or so. He also founded what is now known as kandahar.

  78. homeboken says:

    DL – My jealousy of you could fester into hate if you post again.

    Enjoy the trip, report back on how the Greeks are taking to austerity.

  79. sas3 says:

    joyce, #79… I think it will be very tough to pull off. Don’t know about FL, but I would assume all transactions are recorded, and a lawyer would be able to easily figure out if there is something amiss. I would ask some more detailed explanation from the first agent, and dump him if things don’t compute. It is a big allegation, so he better have some good supporting information.

  80. Anon E. Moose says:

    Hyde [72];

    I’ve been shocked that NO ONE in the financial media has made the connection between inflated housing and reduced consumer spending. Boil it down and J6P can’t fund recovery in the consumer economy because all his money is going towards PITI on his house.

    Little Bobby sleeps in a leaky bedroom without air conditioning all summer because that’s all $750k will buy in a school district not resembling Beruit c. 1980, and there’s no money left over for upgrades or even repairs. He can’t have a new bicycle either because Mommy and Daddy had to fund Ma & Pa kettle’s beachfront retirement condo in Boca. BTW, Ma & Pa kettle are paying the common charges on that condo out of the social security money stolen from Mommy & Daddy’s paychecks, before they feed the rest of it into the slot machines.

  81. Samivel says:

    the municipalities hard up for cash; code inspectors trying to
    Justify their existence & avoid layoff- hand violations to mortgagees
    Pre sheriff sale for over $50,000- $75,000 for … Weeds & debris.

  82. Mr Hyde says:

    Speaking of Alexander the Great. Some of his tactics against the Persians could be great for breaking up riot police formations if some industrious rioters ever put forth a little prep beforehand. Heck modern day rioters even have the advantage of instantaneous communication through encrypted twitter like services. What are modern riot forces besides phalanxs, calvary, and war elephants ( APC’s).

  83. Mr Hyde says:

    85 Moose

    Oh, how deep the rabbit hole goes……

  84. sas3 says:

    Might run counter to the narrative, but…

    Hyde, Afghanistan had major Buddhist influence, and prior to that it figures prominently in ancient Indian history (Gandhar kingdom in Mahabharata).

    It was a more normal country till the soviet invasion [Kabul figures prominently in old Hindi movies, 70’s and earlier — just like Kashmir did too :( ]. Later on it became more “commie-liberal” and the US supported AQ’s predecessors [who marched into Kashmir after the soviets left Afghanistan].

  85. wtf says:

    Re: Vancouver

    I think Vancouver has a large Chinese population with a large amount of cash driving up RE prices

  86. sas3 says:

    Despite the prevalent jingoism, “My country, right or wrong! My mother, drunk or sober!”, no one is a saint…

  87. Mr Hyde says:


    I am not denigrating Afghanistan in that manner. I was simply pointing out that Afghanastan has a history of being a place where outsiders get bogged down.

  88. Mr Hyde says:

    SAS3 91

    I dont think many, if any of the regular posters here have ever claimed to be a saint.

  89. Clotpoll says:

    Afghanistan’s two major exports:

    1. Heroin
    2. Terror

    Blow the mf’er up.

    BTW, J6P’s fueled a lot of the consumer comeback…through retail-spending the mortgage payments they stopped making in April.

  90. sas3 says:

    #93 Hyde… Agree.. badly worded — meant “countries/administrations”, not people. Even then, no one here (even non-regulars) have said anything remotely to that effect (either w.r.t. individuals or w.r.t. groups).

  91. Clotpoll says:

    This week’s Krieger screed:

    “The past couple of weeks have been extraordinarily interesting and some of the moves appear to be extremely important. Although a lot of people like to point to the treasury market and then extrapolate out as to what this means to equities and the ability of the government to increase spending, I think this is the most USELESS market in the world to watch. If anything is a hologram and a PR tool it is the U.S. treasury market. How can people with a straight face come out and extrapolate anything from a market where the Federal Reserve is buying the debt of its own government! The Fed is merely the fiat drug dealer to a government addicted to spending and false promises. The equity market is the second most useless market in my opinion. There is no doubt in my mind that a huge part of the government’s “strategy” to build confidence is to keep this thing from doing what it should be doing. Thus, I am not surprised at all that since I last wrote the S&P500 was +1.6%, -1.5%, flat, and then +3.0%. So what you have seen is high volatility with no real direction. How can anyone have confidence this that thing is for real?”

  92. sas3 says:

    #93… though the wingnuttistan pretends (at least on TV) that they are saints, the former GOP administrations are saints, and the founding fathers were definitely saints.

  93. Clotpoll says:

    Another swing for the fences from Krieger:

    “This brings me to silver which potentially experienced a game changer last week. I can’t remember the last time silver bounced back almost immediately after every attempted raid. I am starting to wonder how much physical silver is available. What we do know is that Central Banks do not store silver to manipulate markets. Even if it doesn’t break out right now, there is no asset in the world that has more upside than silver. Don’t buy SLV either. Buy physical silver, not something with JPM as a custodian.”

  94. sas3 says:

    I fed the troll…
    “… we should get worldwide agreement to glass that centuries old sore on civilization”.

  95. chicagofinance says:

    Wouldn’t blowing up A-stan be considered a capital improvement?

    94.Clotpoll says:
    September 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm
    Blow the mf’er up.

  96. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    To the artist formerly known as Doom [99],

    IMO, it was a game changer. It was the first time in awhile that Hi-Yo was not slammed at OTC option expiration; it broke out of a long term consolidation pattern. When this thing explodes, the lone ranger will be leading shiny. Silver is the 4 horseman, gold is the 7 mules.

  97. Confused in NJ says:

    Be interesting to see if they are going to have Health Inspectors check your kitchen at home, otherwise what is the puropse of the study?

    Study: 1 in 7 home kitchens would flunk inspection
    By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe, Ap Medical Writer – 1 hr 7 mins ago

    ATLANTA – A new study suggests that at least one in seven home kitchens would flunk the kind of health inspection commonly administered to restaurants.

    The small study done in Los Angeles County found that less than two-thirds of home kitchens would get an A or B if put through the rigors of a restaurant inspection. At least 14 percent would fail.

    In comparison, 98 percent of restaurants in the county get A or B scores each year.

    The study is believed to be one of the first to offer this kind of look at food safety in private homes.

    Food poisoning outbreaks in restaurants often get the most attention. But experts believe most illnesses may stem from meals prepared at home

  98. Clotpoll says:

    BC (102)-

    I’ll take any mule, as long as it’s not a gubmint mule.

    “Silver is the 4 horseman, gold is the 7 mules.”

  99. DL says:

    Home: Nothing to be jealous of… It compensates for the time I spent in Afghanistan, where you can have anything you want as long as its made of dirt.

  100. homeboken says:

    DL – My cousin just returned (to US soil anyway) from A-stan. Thrilled that he is back home safe.

  101. Confused in NJ says:

    NEW ORLEANS, La. (AP) — The Coast Guard is saying that a mile-long oil sheen is spreading from the site off an offshore petroleum platform that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.

  102. Mr Hyde says:

    hell, whats one more oil spill in the GOM?!

  103. yo'me says:

    Did we forget Ford.He raised his workers salary,build the middle class up and they were able to afford to buy his cars.

    Those are the entrepreneurs we are missing nowadays.Everybody looks out at the investors well being..Every company wants to be public and owned by investors

  104. Final Doom says:

    hyde (109)-

    Hey, in a few weeks they can make an announcement that all the oil is “gone”.

    No big.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    Updated: Thu., Sep. 2, 2010, 3:13 PM
    Divers discover 200-year-old beer in Baltic Sea shipwreck
    Last Updated: 3:13 PM, September 2, 2010

    Posted: 2:31 PM, September 2, 2010

    Divers salvaged the world’s oldest drinkable beer from a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea Thursday, just days after work began to retrieve dozens of bottles of 200-year-old champagne, local officials said.

    “We believe these are by far the world’s oldest bottles of beer,” Rainer Juslin, a spokesman for the local government of Aaland, said in a statement.

    The beer bottles were unearthed from a shipwreck believed to be about 200 years old — as divers were recovering bottles of what is thought to be the world’s oldest drinkable champagne, discovered in July.

    The haul, found intact on the seabed at a depth of 50 yards, comes from an unidentified wreck that the Aaland authorities believe sank off the coast in the early 1800s.

    “The constant temperature and light levels have provided optimal conditions for storage, and the pressure in the bottles has prevented any seawater from seeping in through the corks,” the statement said.

    The champagne bottles alone are estimated to be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

    Aaland, a semi-autonomous province of Finland, legally owns the contents of the wreck, but has yet to determine what to do with it.

  106. leftwing says:

    Today’s edition of the NJRE Non-Sequitur, Tautology, and Unintended Consequence watch (and I only read up to post 3 so far):

    “Communities and organizations receiving government funding under HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program will be given a first right of refusal to purchase bank-owned properties ”

    A right of first refusal is an ideal way to stimulate activity. Because, as everyone knows, a serious bidder is very interested to invest time, resources, and due diligence to make an offer on an asset where another party reserves the right to match the bid and take away the property at the same price.

    Sidebar: Must have originated in Schumer’s office, the King of Unintended Consequences. My personal favorite was his legislation mandating that ATMs in Harlem could not charge ‘excess fees’. Which, of course, resulted in 90% of the ATMs in Harlem being removed, the residents taking up to a 40 block subway ride to find one, and a doe-in-the-headlights press conference by His Eminence Schumer explaining it was everyone else’s fault and who would have known?

  107. Final Doom says:

    left (114)-

    tautology = so fcuking fuct

  108. willwork4beer says:

    #113 ChiFi

    They’re right about the optimum conditions for storing beer, as long as there was no seawater seepage. 200 years sounds like a very long time, though. Might taste like roadkill skunk.

    Morpheus: Opinion?

  109. spyderjacks says:

    Wine and beer simply do not age on forever. Even a great wine has a peak and its something shorter than 50 years, let alone 200. Harder spirits might have some advantage if they remain in the cask but once it hits the bottle, no more mellowing occurs. I expect they will taste like crap but there will be many high bids and extravagant uncorking galas as TPTB finally find something that they don’t already own…

  110. cobbler says:

    hyde [40]
    Vancouver RE situation is more or less an overflow extension of the Hong Kong market (large majority of the new owners are ethnic Chinese, many directly from Hong Kong) . There are multiple property developers over at HK, so you may look at betting against them – but the market there is so rigged by the local government (which manipulates it via releases of more or less land for development) that there can’t be a sure bet.

  111. cobbler says:

    leftwing [114]
    Total funding possibly available under the HUD NSP program is only $7B – so at $70K a pop it would allow the purchase of 100K houses. This number is so much less than the number of the houses already bank-owned and soon to be bank-owned, that investors will not suffer much from a few properties not getting acquired/flipped via the 1st refusal rights. Argument that the investor spent DD, time and resources to make an offer on asset is a red herring – if he got it via auction there is no reason to believe that the other bidders didn’t spend the same; also, auction can be cancelled or annulled at any time, anyway.
    Ideally, I’d like to see a large part of the bank-owned RE bulldozed… this is the shortest path to the stabilization of the market, and neighborhoods, as well. In NJ, we are probably 10-20% overbuilt in the cities and maybe 20-40% in the faraway suburbs (there, essentially everything put in place after 2000 is in excess to the need, and was justifiable only by the bubble prices closer to the metropolis).

  112. Thundaar says:

    Legal question for brokers/attorney’s.

    Was teminated in June by my broker. Started working for a different firm in mid-august, old broker got wind of it and says I signed a no-solicitation/no compete form. I requested the document it is a policy manual that talks about no smoking in the building, insurance, floor time, etc…but mixed in is a no compete which was never spoken about(and looks like it was added recently). They are holding my commisions until I sign another form saying I will not contact any of their clients.
    I am calling re commision this a.m.
    Any other suggestions?
    I believe they cannot hold my commisions as ransom, correct?
    Has anyone ever run into a no compete/no solicit in real estate?

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