October Pending Home Sales Explode! (Or Not!)

From Bloomberg:

Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Increased a Record 10% in October

Pending sales of U.S. existing houses unexpectedly jumped by a record 10 percent in October, indicating the industry at the center of the last recession is stabilizing as the job market improves.

The increase in the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes followed a 1.8 percent drop in September, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.

Compared with October 2009, pending sales were down 22 percent.

From the Wall Street Examiner:

The Reported Jump In Pending Home Sales Is A Joke

Allow me to phrase this as delicately as I can.

That’s… just… cow patties.

Let’s focus on the actual, not seasonally adjusted number. In my housing updates in the Wall Street Examiner Professional Edition I convert the Realtors’ Pending Home Sales number to an actual number equating the index to the existing home sales number for the month that will be released late in the month. This number rose by 35,500 units or 9.2% m/m. Sounds good, right? Not so much when considering that September’s level of 385,500 is the worst September level in the past 15 years, including being the worst September since the housing collapse began in 2006-07.

Where does that leave the October number? At 421,000, it is the worst October since the housing collapse started, and the worst October level in the past 15 years. How is that recovery? To me, it looks like a dead cat bounce from an atrocious level in September, a simple reversion to trend, and a weak trend at that.

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

197 Responses to October Pending Home Sales Explode! (Or Not!)

  1. grim says:

    From Inman News:

    Real estate prices to fall at least 5% in 2011?

    For most metro areas, home prices peaked some time in 2006 and except for a few minor bumps, it’s been all downhill ever since. 2010 has been no exception. So, if we tally up all the annual sales data since 2006, it’s been a four-year run of bad news regarding the direction of housing values.

    Enough is enough, you say, and we should begin 2011 with renewed optimism and vigor. I got your back there, but it’s a weak defense, because intersecting trend lines, including an unexpected, but very strong post-tax credit slump and a shadow inventory problem will keep housing prices heading in the same direction — down. Expect another 5 percent to 10 percent decline in housing prices in 2011.

    Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Erkan Erturk tries to stay optimistic when it comes to reporting about the housing market. “Looking at where we are today as compared to the days of 2008 through mid-2009 when home-price indices (S&P/Case-Shiller) were showing over 10 percent declines on a 12-month basis, the market has, indeed, stabilized, even improved,” Erturk reported.

    However, that stabilization doesn’t diminish the fact that Standard & Poor’s analysts predict home prices will decline another 7-10 percent in 2011.

    One of the biggest obstacles to house prices moving higher and not lower is the unexpected aftereffects of the home-purchase tax credit that was successful for what it was designed to do: stimulate demand by enticing buyers into the market.

    “The problem was that in 2009 and 2010, we were pushing future demand forward,” explained Scott Sambucci, director of business development at Altos Research in Mountain View, Calif. “Some buyers would have eventually bought a home anyway, with or without the tax credit.

    “These are people who may have waited a year, perhaps to 2011, to buy, but because of the tax credit they were enticed into the market. Once you have exhausted that group of buyers, it leaves you a smaller pool of buyers in the future years. That’s one challenge for 2011 — some of those buyers of 2009 and 2010 were pulled forward.”

    Sambucci is another optimist with bad news. “We don’t like being bearish,” he said, before letting me know that he thinks home prices will decline another 7-9 percent in 2011.

  2. grim says:

    The steepest year-over-year declines in the Pending Home Sales index for October were in the Northeast, with sales down 27.3% (SA) or 28.1% (NSA).

  3. freedy says:

    spoke to a realtor husband. the wife just filed a chp. 7 . sad cc debt over 100k .

    welcome to the new america

  4. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Camden City Council approves massive layoffs

    Camden City Council voted unanimously Thursday to begin handing out layoff notices to municipal employees even as union leaders and city officials restarted negotiations in an attempt to save some of the 383 threatened jobs.

    After emotional and angry pleas from residents, business owners, firefighters, police officers and government workers, Council voted, 5-0, to eliminate nearly half the Police Department and almost a third of the Fire Department.

    “We’ll start buying weapons, because I don’t see any choice,” said Carmello Villegas, 65, owner of Villegas Laundromat in East Camden for three decades. “We’re going to have to defend ourselves. We’re going to have to defend our families. I really don’t know what else to do.”

  5. grim (4)-

    That laundromat guy needs to invest in some serious firepower.

  6. …unless, of course, his laundromat is located next to the new bikepath.

  7. grim says:

    That laundromat guy needs to invest in some serious firepower.

    The sad part about all of this is the Camden residents that just can’t afford the guns they need. Legal handguns just aren’t cheap anymore, a decent pistol will set you back at least $500, and “good” doesn’t start until the $1k mark. Handgun prices are a regressive tax and are an unfair burden on the poor. This in a world where the wealthy have more handguns than they can reasonably fire at the same time.

    We need a subsidy for Camden. It’s the right thing to do.

  8. Mikeinwaiting says:

    freedy 3 how in h*ll do you run up a 100k on cards.Insane.
    Clot 6 maybe they can build a half million dollar dog park to go with the bike path.
    Did that up here about 2-3 years ago. Sh*theads.

  9. Mike says:

    Hope they keep exploding, I’ll be looking for the pieces on the ground. A dead cat bounce? OMG is Schrod OK?

  10. mikey (8)-

    I thought “Sussex” meant dog park in the Native American language.

  11. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim should be able to pick up a .357 revolver for 400 or so. Just saw a Rossi one at $359.

  12. Mikeinwaiting says:

    10 Thanks buddy LOL.

  13. For any Camdenites who are interested, here’s a list of pre-owned (used) shotguns, beginning at $75.

    http://www.williamsgunsight.com/gunsights/807usedshotguns.htm

  14. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Time for the daughters school bus, off I go.

  15. Essex says:

    CC debt is all unsecured. Go figure.

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 13 better , hard to miss.

  17. grim says:

    So much for new RE business models..

    From the Oregonian:

    Layoffs loom at real estate, biotech companies

    Real estate agents and biotech workers are the latest to feel the sting of layoffs in the Portland area.

    California-based ZipRealty Inc. says it will no longer maintain an employee work force in Oregon, resulting in layoffs of 51 sales agents at the Tigard office on Jan. 31.

    “However, ZipRealty agents who choose to continue a broker-agent relationship with ZipRealty may be engaged as independent contractors,” the company’s human resources manager, Nancy Treolo, said in a notice to the state Community College and Workforce Development Department.

    From the South Florida Business Journal:

    ZipRealty to lay off 312 in Florida

    ZipRealty has notified the state that it no longer will keep an employee real estate agency workforce in Florida, and might close its real estate facilities in five cities, including Miramar.

    According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice, Emeryville, Calif.-based ZipRealty said it will lay off 312 employees, effective Jan. 31. In addition to Miramar, the company will lay off 42 in Bonita Springs, 44 in Jacksonville, 69 in Maitland and 68 in Tampa.

    The company said those who choose to continue working with ZipRealty might be hired as independent contractors. However, it noted that it might close its Florida facilities.

    Last month, ZipRealty said in a news release it was shifting all agents in the 35 U.S. markets it serves from employees to independent agents.

  18. grim says:

    Dow +300 today? +250k jobs? Unemployment down to 9.5%?

  19. grim says:

    From CNN/Money:

    Republicans to Fed: Forget about jobs

    Cries for changing the Federal Reserve’s job description are growing louder.

    For more than 30 years, the Fed has been tasked with a so-called dual mandate, which outlines two important goals: keep prices stable and maximize U.S. employment.

    But some critics are sick and tired of the Fed prioritizing job creation at the risk of rising prices. They say the juggling act of promoting economic growth while staving off inflation has proven ineffective, and has led to a policy of too much cheap money with dangerous consequences for the economy.

    “The American people have been witness to an era of unprecedented borrowing and spending by the national government,” said Rep. Mike Pence, a Republican from Indiana. “I know that the Fed can’t spend us back to prosperity.”

  20. Yikes says:

    Grim, in Mod at 20.

    Bergen County humor.

  21. Fast Eddie says:

    Where does that leave the October number? At 421,000, it is the worst October since the housing collapse started, and the worst October level in the past 15 years.

    And there are f*cking mor0ns bidding on $549,000 p1ss-smelling wrecks, convinced it’s a great time to buy. The house is still way over-priced, you f*cking idiots.

    I have a story that I’ve been wanting to tell but have held off. It has to do with a family house we sold this past fall. Maybe when I have time over the weekend, I’ll say more about it.

  22. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [7] grim

    handgun subsidies for Camdenites. Priceless!

  23. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [4] grim

    For the noncongnoscenti, the Camden city council is playing a game of chicken with the Fat Man, with the Camden residents tied to the car’s bumper. Christie should call the bluff by ignoring it.

  24. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “A dead cat bounce? OMG is Schrod OK?”

    Mike,

    LMAO.

  25. Nov. jobs +39K. By noon, the algos will decide this is today’s reason to gun the markets.

  26. JJ says:

    Well unemployment must be falling, my wife informed me today that there are a lot less stay at home moms in my neighborhood since 2009. Don’t know if that is a good indicator or a bad indicator.

  27. Jesus, what a God-awful jobs report. And, I’m assuming even this news is doctored.

  28. jj (27)-

    I thought all the wives in your neighborhood were so hot, they were working a pole at Scores part-time.

  29. CNBC shills grasping at straws right now.

  30. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Lamar,

    Print, print, print!

    Big gain in temp jobs. Can’t wait to dig and see how many B/D created.

  31. grim says:

    Darn, I was hoping for that +300 day to pay for Christmas presents.

  32. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    400K discouraged workers. Who cares, we don’t count them.

  33. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Excuse me 1.3M discouraged workers, increase of 400K from last Nov.

    QE3, QE4, QE5,……….

  34. JJ says:

    No those are the young teachers I am talking about.

    Actually, my wife told me that she too one day she might like to go back to work in around ten years. For some reason she was mad when I said I am sure in the year 2021 your experience planning for Y2K and knowledge of Windows 95 will come in very valuable for the company that hires you.

    Lamar Asperger says:
    December 3, 2010 at 8:32 am

    jj (27)-

    I thought all the wives in your neighborhood were so hot, they were working a pole at Scores part-time.

  35. make money says:

    400K discouraged workers. Who cares, we don’t count them.

    Wanta,

    Not sure we know how to count at all. I’m thinking we need a new, better and bigger stimulus/jobs bill. I say we plow ahead with a bazooka and call for $2T.

  36. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    If you are front running the fed or trading commodities you are partying like its 1999. The rest of the world, deleverage/downsize.

  37. BC (33)-

    Pretty soon, we’ll probably start shooting them.

    “400K discouraged workers. Who cares, we don’t count them.”

  38. Our bazooka is bigger than Trichet’s.

  39. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    25 Wantan

    Never fear! A quantam mechanical cat fears no bounce!

  40. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Cat [41],

    Just another cycle to pounce on.

  41. Days like today, I’m happy to be an independent contractor. Whatever I do or don’t do, it doesn’t get counted or measured. It’s like I don’t exist…plus I get to bear all the real-life downside consequences of the Ponzi economy.

    If three self-employed businessmen have a circle jerk in the woods, will anyone ever catch them?

  42. yo'me says:

    The Burden of the Deficit, Are Reporters Prohibited from Explaining It?
    Friday, 03 December 2010 05:36
    The Post continued its editorializing in its news section by gratuitously pointing out in a front page article that negotiations to extend tax cuts and unemployment benefits will:

    “would add hundreds of billions of dollars to future deficits, even as a bipartisan commission appointed by Obama is trying to build support for a plan to balance the budget.”

    If the Post was interested in informing its readers rather than pushing its budget agenda it could have pointed out that deficits during a period of high unemployment need pose no burden to the economy or future taxpayers since the Federal Reserve Board can simply buy and hold this debt. In Japan the central bank holds an amount of debt that is close the size of its GDP, which would be $15 trillion in the United States.

    This can be seen in the difference between the IMF’s estimate of Japan’s gross debt (227.2 percent of GDP) and its net debt (121.7 percent of GDP). In spite of these massive holdings of government debt by the central bank Japan continues to experience deflation instead of inflation.

    To some extent the Fed is already following a similar course. As a result of its holdings of government debt and other assets it refunded $77 billion to the Treasury last year, an amount that was more than one-third of the government’s net interest payments. A newspaper that was interested in informing its readers rather than pushing an agenda would have explained that deficits in the current context do not impose a burden rather than gratuitously pointing out that spending and tax cuts add to the deficit.

    Dean Baker

  43. BC (42)-

    Please refer to #38. Just buy the f’ing dip.

  44. Mike says:

    Sounds like Schrod is still purrring

  45. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Lamar, Wantan

    Your looking at this all wrong. That isn’t 400K discouraged workers, that’s an additional 400K infantry troops (1.3M troops so far) !!!! WWII solved the over production issue generated by the industrial revolution for a few decades. Our production has only gotten more efficient as tech has advanced. Hence, we are going to need a lot more productive capacity wiped out in the next great war.
    Just imagine the quantity of productive capacity that could be destroyed when you are throwing 400K infantry troops into the fray every month! That should should be good for at least an order of magnitude greater destruction then WWII.

  46. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    20 months into this bust; trillions spent, borrowed, levered and this is the net result? F-Ing Putrid. At this point, we should be creating 500-600K jobs a month and GDP should be increasing at 5-6%, compared to past recessions. Then again, this is no normal recession, it’s the Big Kahuna.

    If you have been on this site for a bit, you have all buckled up. Time to fasten the belt tighter. Mr Market is giving a loud Bronx cheer to the Fed and ECB.

    By the way, where do you send your resume if you want to become a vigilante?

  47. 30 year realtor says:

    Yesterday’s thread – “nobody grows up wanting to be a used house salesman”: I came from a real estate family. No RE sales, ownership and management. To get away from the family biz, I started buying houses at sheriff sales in the early 80’s. Crash hit in 87/88 and banks started taking back homes in huge numbers. I began soliciting banks and went into the REO biz. Minimum investment, no risk, no Mom and Pop homeowners, just basic management and property valuation, sales pretty much took care of themselves.

    Good solid work. Everyone needs a garbage man.

  48. JJ says:

    This whole house hunt will have to be put on hold for me until after the superbowl. Us men can’t concentrate on multiple important things at once.

    One thing of interest coming up is the annual 1/1/2011 reassessment of Nassau Properties, each year they do it to market value using this multi million dollar software and gives you five comps of very similar homes that were usually sold prior year. Houses in nassau country long island is like owning a stock you can only check the price once a year. In 2003-2006 people used to dance when they saw how much their neighbors were selling similar POS capes for, now the tool is for bubble buyers to know how much they have to cry. Nassau does not have to fake the assessments as they can adjust the tax rates. If you house falls in value does not mean your taxes will fall in value. Nassau County is a good proxy for Bergan Country home values. I see a lot of homes selling in Nassau this summer, wonder if they are just selling cause people finally took the loss rather than market prices rising.

    http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/mynassauproperty/main.jsp

  49. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Cat [47],

    See # 34.

  50. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    JJ [50],

    There is a common denominator.

    I’m putting my boots on now. Hope we are not bidding against each other.

  51. cat (47)-

    Thanks, once again, for helping ground me and make a complex issue simple. I don’t know what could have come over me.

  52. BC (48)-

    Just send Brian Sack a memo that your bid is gonna take a little nap.

    Be sure to cc Bergabe and Eraserhead.

  53. Shore Guy says:

    A shot across the bow of Kim Jong Il

    “SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s next defense chief threatened Friday that jets would bomb the North if it stages another attack like last week’s deadly shelling as he outlined a tough new military policy toward the rival neighbor.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101203/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_clash

  54. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [28] lamar

    ” I’m assuming even this news is doctored.”

    Sadly, I have concluded also that you cannot trust anything coming out of government.

  55. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Wantan

    Image the economic boost to building the infrastructure for sourcing all the materials needed to support a global scale war. You wouldn’t have enough people to fill all of the labor needed including all the illegal immigrants you could find. Of course we would need to promptly take full military control of (i.e LIBERATE) a few key nations/regions to ensure a steady supply of certain mineral resources critical to high tech warfare.

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [47] Cat

    People with whom I discussed potential secess-ion scenarios would ask me, where would a state insurgency get its members? To me, that was always an easy question.

    I see 400K potential militia members.

  57. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Lamar

    No problem, i aim to be of assistance.

    besides “Pretty soon, we’ll probably start shooting them.” why waste such a valuable resource. Your wasting both the bullets and the new recruits following that sort of crazy thinking.

  58. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Nom 58

    Indeed, I dont go to deep into those war games as i am probably on enough DHS watch lists already.

  59. JJ says:

    Dear Feared Rival, I don’t do bidding wars. Mr. Gotti and I only make one offer.

    Actually in Nassau County I have not seen any new listings since Thanksgiving and some people have pulled listings unsold to re-list in Spring. On top of that since it takes so long to foreclose in Nassau and a few months ago banks stopped the foreclosure process for a few weeks there are few bank properties coming to market. Oddly with less distressed homes on market in the next two or three months to they catch up on paperwork it might distort true property values as the lower priced distressed homes are off the market for a few weeks. I also would not want to lock into a home in December, given the uncertainty of RE taxes that change each January 1st. Rather bid once I know new tax rate and assessment rather than risk buying a low tax house in December that I find out a few weeks later taxes are going up.
    Mr Wantanapolous says:
    December 3, 2010 at 9:13 am

    JJ [50],

    There is a common denominator.

    I’m putting my boots on now. Hope we are not bidding against each other.

  60. yo'me says:

    Released on 12/1/2010 8:15:00 AM For Nov, 2010
    Prior Actual
    ADP employment 43,000 93,000

    FEDS Numbers
    Prior Actual
    Private Payrolls – M/M change 159,000 50,000

    Huge discrepancy!

  61. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    JJ [61],

    I’ll come to LI and lowball your bid; vice versa.

  62. Shore Guy says:

    Unemployment rose to what, even as the number of discouraged, and no longer counted, workers skyrocketed?

  63. yo'me says:

    # 62 Does this guarantee extension of Bush tax cut for the wealthy?

  64. make money says:

    Wanta,

    Your boots are on. What changed?

  65. ditto says:

    nevertheless, a place I was looking at in Glen Ridge last month got two offers – one over ask! It wasn’t a short sale either. The seller’s agent asked me if I was also going to make a bid. I told her that on account of not currently being on neuropharmaceuticals, I wouldn’t be making an offer.

  66. JJ says:

    I bid 400K, you counter with 390K and then I counter with 380K until we are at zero.

    #
    #
    Mr Wantanapolous says:
    December 3, 2010 at 9:36 am

    JJ [61],

    I’ll come to LI and lowball your bid; vice versa.

  67. yo'me says:

    Released on 12/3/2010 8:30:00 AM For Nov, 2010
    Prior Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    Nonfarm Payrolls – M/M change 151,000 168,000 100,000 to 200,000 39,000
    Private Payrolls – M/M change 159,000 50,000
    Unemployment Rate – Level 9.6 % 9.7 % 9.5 % to 9.7 % 9.8 %
    Average Hourly Earnings – M/M change 0.2 % 0.2 % 0.1 % to 0.2 % 0.0 %
    Av Workweek – All Employees 34.3 hrs 34.3 hrs 34.3 hrs to 34.3 hrs 34.3 hrs

  68. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Make [66],

    Need storage for shiny.

    The boots on doesn’t mean I’ll be buying. I will be bidding; fill or kill.

    I said, back in 2005, that I would be buying at 30-40% off peak. Most, on this site, said I was delusional. If I buy it will be at a minimum of 30-40% off. I like to hunt after the competition, other hunters, shot themselves in the arse.

  69. yo'me says:

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks on Friday opened modestly lower after a disappointing November jobs report that had some questioning the data and forecasting an upward revision in coming weeks.

    “The jobs number was surprising and I’m wondering if next month we get a revision. I mean retail losses in November? The market is going to react to it, but you do have to take it with a grain of salt,” said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald, of the Labor Department’s report.

    It showed payrolls growth of only 39,000 last month, far fewer than the 155,000 gain predicted by analysts surveyed by MarketWatch.Read more on jobs report.

    “There are definitely things that don’t smell right about it,” said Pado, who points to the government’s finding that jobs were lost in retail, a sector that has in recent months been reporting robust sales, starting with back-to-school buying and continued into the holidays, starting with Halloween.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-modestly-lower-as-jobs-data-questioned-2010-12-03

  70. yo'me says:

    ISM services index climbs in November to 55%

  71. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [60] cat

    You and me both. Although I already know what is in my file as I put a lot of it there.

  72. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [49];

    If I can boil that down, I heard you say “Plastics”.

  73. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    One of the groups I jousted with regularly years ago is going to allege that banks are engaging in racist lending standards.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/40476508

    NCRC and their ilk are always yelling racism. But their act is going to fall on deafer ears than usual. No one is going to beat the drum for banks to ramp up lending to less creditworthy borrowers regardless of the social reasons for doing so.

    (a funny aside—I knew I got under their skin once when a friend who works for NCRC said that I was being discussed at one of their board meetings).

  74. make money says:

    Need storage for shiny.

    Wanta,

    I would keep some at home too, but can’t. Don’t trust my “Wife”.

  75. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Make,

    Just keep taking Truti to dinner, keep her out of the house.

  76. dan says:

    Well if Camden doesn’t doesn’t have the manpower to clean up the streets in the future from the burned out cars caught in the crossfires, the whole town will be full of bike paths.

  77. dan says:

    I know we all think the BLS numbers are rigged but what if they were rigged this time downward so Obama and Pelosi get to keep their 99plus weekers/voters on the dole? I mean, they are voting on that now right?

  78. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Fun thought for the day.

    Chat the % of Non-Institutional Population Not In labor Force.

    Data available here, cant post charts from my current location (ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/lf/aat1.txt)

    Note that until 1970 at least 405 of the population was out of the work force. A large component of this was probably women being home makers as has been discussed by Elizabeth Warren. Corporation leveraged that “idle” work force with the integration of woman into the work place.
    My guess is that the current population is massively “over-employed” based on the increased efficiency of production. This is not to say that woman shouldn’t be in the work place. Gender is ultimatly irrelevant in this trend. The issue at hand is that in the modern world with advanced manufacturing and increasing computerization/automation, you need fewer people to do the same amount of work. In order to maintain the % of people working you ultimatly need greater and greater levels of consumption.
    Unfortunately these two factors are roughly inversely proportional with an equilibrium somewhere in the middle of the two and the % of population employed shows that we have been increasing efficiency while INCREASING the net size of the work force while simultaneously increasing or maintaining output levels. This is unsustainable and guaranteed to collapse. If you want to increase % employment in a long term stable method you must decrease output per worker. In theory that could be done by decreasing the net # of hours worker per worker.
    Its no different then a basic thermodynamic equilibrium and the end consequences are the same.

    If you chart the employment data notice that even though production AND efficiency were increasing during the period of 1945 – 1960 that there wasn’t a problem with over production. The thermodynamic equilibrium was being balance by the growing external (external to the US, i.e. foreign consumption) consumption that was preventing a stagnating system. Once we hit the period around 1970 our production/efficiency equilibrium became unbalanced and i would suggest that this is a large factor in what drove women into the work place. Since the system was becoming saturated a increase in local consumption was needed to adsorb the excess production and in order to generate the local consumption you need to engage the “idle” portion of the population in the work force. equilibrium would require that each increase in employment of X would require an increase in consumption of X+N

    Of course the problem with that tactic is that it’s not much different from completely pulling the control rods out of a nuclear reactor. you rapidly build up a self-reinforcing reaction that overheats the system until it melts down.

  79. yo'me says:

    #81

    How about guaranteed extension of Bush tax cuts for above$250K?

  80. JJ says:

    O does not like tax cuts for millionaires. He should just permantly extend the Bush tax cuts for people making under one million a year. Case Closed.

  81. ditto says:

    I thought O said people making $250K were millionaires

  82. yo'me says:

    Is $250K gross income or adjusted gross income?After deductions.If it is after deductions,the gross on that income could be above $350K

  83. yo'me says:

    Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said the Senate would follow yesterday’s House passage of a measure to extend lower rates only for middle-class Americans. The Senate proposals include a version of the House bill, which sustains lower rates only on the first $250,000 of a married couple’s annual income, and another that would extend the lower rates on the first $1 million of income.

    Reid earlier yesterday had been prepared to allow votes on two competing Republican proposals, senators said. That plan changed suddenly when an unidentified Republican senator objected to having all four votes today, Reid said.

    New York Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat who proposed the $1 million threshold, said Democrats’ message would carry the day.

    “They are standing by their millionaires’ tax break, and I don’t think the American people are going to like that very much,” Schumer said of his Republican colleagues.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-03/senate-to-vote-on-extending-bush-era-tax-cuts-as-talks-continue.html

  84. JJ says:

    Scobee Dinner how sad. All my friends from Jersey who went to Hamptons loved Scobbee!!!!!! On Sunday nights on drive home they would get off exit 32 of LIE go down little neck parkway to corner of Northern, get a bit to eat use bathroom the continue down Northern one mile and get on Cross Island. Perfect short cut and last good place to eat until you were almost home.

    Same for many a Nassau County person headed back from city or Bell Blvd. Many a night after hitting Camoflauge, Dublin Pub, Sly Fox, Beggars Opera, Speaks, Maibus, in college would be eating the Scobee burger platter at 4 am. Of course occassionally would cross Throggs Neck and go to the ArchWay in the Bronx which was open till 8am. Remember driving there in my friends Chevy Citation who was so drunk he was afraid the toll booth guy would call cops and tried to do a “Lucy Ball” type u-turn on bridge, we had to grab wheel midway, well got to Archway triple parked drank till six am and headed back over bridge to Scobbee and on to Great Neck.

  85. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Dan [80],

    Good point. They may need to build the case for QE 3 or start planting the seeds for another robbery; Tarp 2.

  86. Juice Box says:

    Chuck Schumer’s bill to raise to raise the tx increase threshold to $1 million a year will be voted on tomorrow.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/tax-cuts-votes-senate-unemployment-rises/story?id=12303316

    Call and contact your Senator !!!

    Lautenberg (202) 224-3224

    Menendez (202) 224-4744

  87. Shore Guy says:

    So, B.O. is in Afghanistan, huh?

  88. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Dan [80],

    One other point; not a bad game plan to catch up in the great race to the bottom, for paper.

  89. Shore Guy says:

    “Chuck Schumer’s bill to raise to raise the tx increase threshold to $1 million a year”

    The GOP leadership should be smart enough to declare victory and go home. If so inclined, they can raise the issue for $1mm+ after beating B.O. in ’12.

  90. Shore Guy says:

    The Fed should skip the middleman and just hire companies to build high-speed railroads, solar and wind farms, etc. Since Uncle Sam is now mostly using the Fed’s money anyway, the Fed can reduce overhead by contracting directly.

  91. Juice Box says:

    JJ – Dublin Pub went there are few times think it used to be on Sunday nights with a friend who swore on that meat market. Like shooting fish in a barrel, very easy to pickup women from St. John’s and Hofstra. As long as you were not from Long Island you were in. Think we hit the Scobee once or twice before high tailing it 100 mph down the Cross Island to the Cross Bronx back over the bridge to o NJ. Was not impressed with the Scobee, it was a poor imitation of the Tick Tock bunch a momma boy gavones hanging out there looking to pick up stragglers.

  92. Juice Box says:

    re: #94 – Reid is holding two votes tomorrow on extending the Bush Tax cuts so Obama will have something to sign before Christmas, it will get reconciled in committee and lowered to perhaps $400k?

  93. JJ says:

    But the Head of the CIA once worked at Scobee!!!

    CIA Director George Tenet ‘s father owned what was known as the Twentieth Century Diner, which later became the Scobee. Tenet grew up there, working as a busboy in a gold-lame vest and black bow tie, cursing a blue streak in Greek when things got busy.

    “Oh boy, the mouth on that kid. He never stopped talking,” said Scobee’s owner Sol Winder. “I wish his father was here to see this. I’m so proud of him.”

    Tenet and his brother later worked their way through college waiting tables at the storied Patrick’s Pub on Northern Blvd.

  94. JJ says:

    Even better George Tenet went to school wtih Ron Jeremy “the hedgehog” who also hung out at Scobee. And he still made head of the CIA!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Jeremy

  95. JJ says:

    BTW just had lunch with one of those Senate type guys, word on the street is they are extending the Bush tax cuts temporially and the issue is to they do it for 1,2 or 3 years. The Democrats are on board as long as the 99 week unemployment is continued. ALso they are going to do a 1-3 year AMT patch extension and they also agreed in principal to cut back on some transist breaks. They are coming in this Saturday which is a rare thing. Also merger of SEC/CFTC totally off the table.

  96. make money says:

    Wanta[78],

    All she does is eat and poop. Goes to the gym to get a healthy protein shake and comes home in 30 minutes! She’s +40 on the pounds and I’m not talking sterling.
    Took away the Amex as a motivational tactic last night. Can’t stand the Jelly and the cottage cheese anymore.

    JJ,

    Any suggestions?

  97. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Make,

    LMAO. Bring her to Score’s, tell her when she look like that the Amex will return.

  98. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    looks

  99. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Make,

    You can also tell her we are fighting inflation not deflation.

  100. JJ says:

    Funny as all heck, I saw a house advertised for $1.399,999 in a rich neighborhood that owner bought in 2004 for 999K, interesting all new bathrooms and kitchen, but kinda guady with lots of gold and silver etc. Anyhow I punch address into my computer and up pops the address under Escort Services classified add in Newsday. WOW.

  101. make money says:

    Wanta[103]

    I also mentioned last night that since we have the luxury of reserve currency, we tend to export inflation. I guess will see if the message resonates in the next couple of weeks.

  102. JJ says:

    Put a playboy centerfold poster above your bed and throw a blanket over her from the waist up, beats giving her the amez back

    make money says:
    December 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm
    Wanta[78],

    All she does is eat and poop. Goes to the gym to get a healthy protein shake and comes home in 30 minutes! She’s +40 on the pounds and I’m not talking sterling.
    Took away the Amex as a motivational tactic last night. Can’t stand the Jelly and the cottage cheese anymore.

    JJ,

    Any suggestions?

  103. make money says:

    but kinda guady with lots of gold and silver

    JJ,

    Send the listing to Wanta.

  104. make money says:

    Put a playboy centerfold poster above your bed and throw a blanket over her from the waist up, beats giving her the amez back

    JJ,

    That will only work for a couple of weeks. What’s next, bring the centerfold in the bed?
    No one here, married for a while, two kids later. had this problem and resolved it succesfully?

  105. Marilyn says:

    still here, still reading, still learning but not laughing!!

  106. Marilyn says:

    everyone this year is getting a cheesy gift certificate and should be grateful for that!

  107. Marilyn says:

    except the boss, got to get those ass kissing points in while we can get away with it.

  108. AG says:

    Ga Ga Ga Ga GOLD Bitchez!

    The crash JP Morgan buy silver campaign is going mainstream and global.

    Im in a good mood today. No doom for me and the adult diapers are going back in the box.

  109. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Make,

    Another present, book for 7/11. Tell her she has 6 months to get ready;

    http://www.barebeaches.com/

  110. AG says:

    22.

    Camden is our own Mogadishu. Time to air drop machetes to the surrounding municipalities.

  111. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    AG [113},

    Is it true that Bergabe is releasing Whip Deflation Now buttons?

  112. AG says:

    Wantan,

    Look at our most recent victim by the naked shorters. Then look at what the vigilantes did to them today. Easy money baby. God this is great.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=HLLXF.PK

  113. AG says:

    118.

    There were 250,000 shares stacked up at .35. Score one for the good guys.

  114. hi, One other point; not a bad game plan to catch up in the great race to the bottom, for paper..

  115. Shore Guy says:

    “CIA Director George Tenet”

    Former. Former. Leon is CIA chief now.

  116. zieba says:

    I simply don’t have the time to be glued to a terminal these days.

    Back in the the day, I would stroll down 23rd past Madison, throw and ill-intentioned ogle towards the blondes on treadmills, on my way to the trading floor of the financial center at Zicklin Business. I would then set up in front of a tradestation terminal and milk that educational non-for-profit software license for all she had to give. Good times!

  117. Juice Box says:

    re: #108 – Make – It has to do with her mental compass. Women like to take care of themselves or they don’t. You can’t cajole with the loss or a credit card, or counsel her into it, or guilt her into it and because you are her husband you can’t generate the internal motivation for her to want to take better care of herself.

    If you wife is willing to go to the Gym by herself then she needs another fit woman to straighten out her mental compass. Best thing you can do is get her to use a personal trainer at the Gym. Some women are reluctant to hire a trainer so it would be a good idea for you to sign her her for a 10 training sessions to get started. If she meets the right trainer and sees results after a few sessions then her compass will begin to point straight again and you will notice the difference.

  118. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Que JJ’s female trainer story…….

  119. Shore Guy says:

    Blondes on Treadmills:

    Great first album, the second one was just okay.

  120. JJ says:

    No personal trainer issues. I was born with a perfect body. No need for me to ever go to a gym. Those trainer girls are all former fatties who envy us born with perfect bodies.

    In fact one night after meeting George Tenet in the Scobee diner I was hired to do black ops for the CIA. It would get super hot female double spies to full climax then after I gave them a sticky waterboarding and they were at the consistancy of a freshly made krispy cream donuts they would tell me all types of secrets. Now that is a made up story.
    Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    December 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Que JJ’s female trainer story…….

  121. JJ says:

    Just roll her in flour and look for the wet spot. A lot cheaper than a trainer.

    #
    Juice Box says:
    December 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    re: #108 – Make – It has to do with her mental compass. Women like to take care of themselves or they don’t. You can’t cajole with the loss or a credit card, or counsel her into it, or guilt her into it and because you are her husband you can’t generate the internal motivation for her to want to take better care of herself.

    If you wife is willing to go to the Gym by herself then she needs another fit woman to straighten out her mental compass. Best thing you can do is get her to use a personal trainer at the Gym. Some women are reluctant to hire a trainer so it would be a good idea for you to sign her her for a 10 training sessions to get started. If she meets the right trainer and sees results after a few sessions then her compass will begin to point straight again and you will notice the difference.

  122. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    make,

    How much does a secretary with benefits run now a days?

  123. Juice Box says:

    JJ – I know you squeak when you walk but please already a trainer at a gym is not allot of money cost about $30-$100 a session and can do wonders for motivation and makes for a nice Christmas present.

  124. JJ says:

    The Ugliest Person in the World

    Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb and Quasimodo were talking one day. “I believe I’m the most beautiful girl in the world,” said Sleeping Beauty.

    “I must be the world’s smallest person,” said Tom Thumb.

    “Well I absolutely have to be the ugliest person in the world” added Quasimodo.

    They decided to go and get their claims verified by the “Guinness book of Records”. Sleeping Beauty went first and came out looking deliriously happy. “It’s official, I’m the worlds most beautiful girlin the world!” she beamed.

    Tom Thumb emerged triumphant: “I’m officially the smallest person in the world!”.

    But then Quasimodo came out looking seriously pissed off and asked: “Who the f*ck is
    Camilla Parker Bowles?”

  125. JJ says:

    Actually, I just tell chicks I used to weigh 300 pounds and they marvel at how great I look.
    Juice Box says:
    December 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    JJ – I know you squeak when you walk but please already a trainer at a gym is not allot of money cost about $30-$100 a session and can do wonders for motivation and makes for a nice Christmas present.

  126. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Obama had traveled to Afghanistan to thank the troops and to deal with frayed relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.”

    “But plans for a face-to-face meeting with Karzai were abruptly scrapped. The White House and Afghan officials blamed the last-minute cancellation on rough weather. Instead, the two leaders spoke by phone, Obama at the air base and Karzai in Kab”

    Are you kidding? O flys to Afghanistan and Karzai blows him off? Rough weather my arse. What a disgrace.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40492083/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/?GT1=43001

  127. Juice Box says:

    re: #132 – Wikileaks released State Dept wires paint Karzai as weak and ineffective and paranoid.

  128. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Juice,

    But strong on bribery and embezzelment.

  129. Outofstater says:

    #81 Interesting. Real wages for adult males started to freeze in 1973. I thought it was related to recession after the oil embargo but you’re saying that would have happened anyway. Warren’s thesis is that it was the stagnant wages that drove women into the workplace just to keep the standard of living up and it was their wages that started the housing bubble as parents bid up the cost of housing in good school districts. Your thermodynamic equilibrium model makes more sense to me. It’s a different way of saying, “Mr. Market always wins.” Funny how going back to physics can explain just about anything.

  130. Shore Guy says:

    “weak and ineffective and paranoid”

    Sounds like an awful lot of elected officials in this nation.

  131. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Stater 135

    I am saying both your and Warren’s ideas are results of the imbalance not the cause.

    In a hypothetical “steady state” version of such a system you would need to see deflation grow at a comparable rate to the increase in production. Of course such an economy would look nothing like what we see today and it would be very difficult if at all possible to realistically run a pure fiat currency in such an environment. If the system was really run at steady state then any attempt to “juice” the fiat currency would collapse it. In fact in a steady state system a fiat currency should function more or less the same as a commodity currency.

    The inverse applies as well. Attempt to run a commodity currency in a non-steady state growth economy and you will collapse it. A hybrid should be possible if certain hard growth limits were kept in place.

  132. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Stater,

    if you are familiar with thermodynamics, I believe that you can model most human economic systems as a modified heat engine.

  133. Outofstater says:

    I know an engineer who wonders if human emotions can be modeled in the same way. If we are all subject to the laws of physics, and if thoughts are electrical impulses triggered by electro-chemical reactions, then it is theoretically possible to predict human behavior. If human behavior can be predicted then there is no such thing as free will – everything was determined at the moment of the creation of the universe. (The guy never got many dates.)

  134. make money says:

    Who Needs Jobs When Wall Street Has the Fed?

  135. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Sounds like an awful lot of elected officials in this nation.”

    Shore,

    Unfortunately, they care about one thing, their ass. They will destroy the long term fabric of this nation to better themselves. Pass the bomb to the next. Problem is we are walking hand in hand with Europe over the deep end. Morons think you can solve a debt problem by producing more debt. Save the banks and bury John Q with higher food, energy prices, taxes in conjunction with lower wages.

    In the meantime, world paper is being devalued on a daily basis. One day the Euro is slammed, then the dollar plays catch up. Sorry to beat an old drum; there is only one store of value/wealth, gold. If you hold paper you are a creditor of fabric; one in which the weak, ineffective and paronoid (Thanks Juice) are spending like there’s no tomorrrow and digging a deep, bottomless pit.

    Screw the bankers, the market and inflation. Raise rates, let the dollar rise, create inflows of capital and repatriate overseas capital. At the same time, bury the dead and build back up thru savings and real production rather than fraud and financial engineering.

    Sorry, it won’t happen. Only one solution, buy more gold.

  136. Juice Box says:

    Nein Nein Nein!

    Talk about shorting the Euro!

    Angela Merkel warned that Germany could abandon the euro

    German chancellor said to have made comments during an EU summit dinner in Brussels at the end of October

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/03/angela-merkel-germany-abandon-euro

  137. JJ says:

    Human nature can be predicted there is no free will. Just buy a Porsche 911, place in the city and a Hamptons house and you will become the Brad Pitt of Engineering.

    Outofstater says:
    December 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I know an engineer who wonders if human emotions can be modeled in the same way. If we are all subject to the laws of physics, and if thoughts are electrical impulses triggered by electro-chemical reactions, then it is theoretically possible to predict human behavior. If human behavior can be predicted then there is no such thing as free will – everything was determined at the moment of the creation of the universe. (The guy never got many dates.)

  138. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Juice,

    The are carefully and methodically arranging their departure. First, they will protect their banks. Then it’s a good old fashioned Bronx Cheer.

  139. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    They

  140. Juice Box says:

    re: #144 – Want – been trying to close out a Euro account for a few weeks now. I would hate to see a 1997 currency event before then…

  141. Juice Box says:

    Asceticism JJ just like riding a bicycle free will requires it.

  142. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Juice,

    The worlwide currency market is a keg of dynamite. Once it blows, there will be contagion. At that time, the pundits will claim that nobody could have seen this coming.

  143. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice, Want:

    Cool! I’ve got a DM note I never cashed in after the Euro transition. Think it will be worth something again?

  144. relo says:

    141: Reminds me of the “drink yourself sober” experimentation in college.

    Morons think you can solve a debt problem by producing more debt.

  145. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Stater

    if his premise is accurate there is midterm likely still limited degrees of freedom on the basis that many of the intermediate steps are statistacl I nature

  146. Juice Box says:

    re # 149 – Moose – if they will honor it.

    Bear in mind last time Germany had a currency crisis in 1922, the largest denomination of the Mark was 50k. A year later it was 100 Trillion!

    That would make the exchange rate with the US Dollar 4.2 Trillion to 1.

    If the reverse happens this time and they honor your note would it be worth Trillions??

  147. dan says:

    JJ,

    Today would have been the better day for the Wire reference.

  148. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [152];

    Completely joking. I was in DE in ’07, but by then only Bundesbank was exchanging them. Only spent one mid-week day in a city with a Buba branch (Bremen), but they kept real bankers hours: closed and gone by 13.00 (that’s 1PM, y’all – felt like I was in the land of Oz). Now I’ve got a nice conversation piece.

  149. Libtard says:

    Ditto (67):

    Roswell?

  150. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Moose,

    If they split the DM will soar vs the Euro and Dollar.

  151. Mike says:

    build America bonds? Anybody? singning off niece is doing a Christmas recital will chech back tommorow

  152. Confused In NJ says:

    Who Needs Jobs When Wall Street Has the Fed?

    Pay no attention to those 15.1 million unemployed people-Wall Street instead is more focused on the man behind the Fed curtain and what he’ll be doing to fire up the equity markets.

    Friday’s significantly disappointing jobs report, which under normal circumstances would have sparked a significant selloff in the stock market, instead was greeted only with more expectations that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will continue aggressive monetary easing policies.

    Stocks were down mildly through the day, but the 9.8 percent unemployment rate seemed to take a back seat to other issues.

    In other words, it was business as usual for a market that has come to rely on the dual hopes of gradual improvements in economic data along with accommodative policy from the central bank-like the Great Oz orchestrating a recovery

  153. D2b says:

    I worked with a personal trainer for a while and it was great. I dropped 27 pounds. My friend goes twice a week. It does wonders.
    That being said, this is A change that your wife needs to make. If you try to force it, it will not happen. Maybe a healthier lifestyle would be the key. It will give her more energy to be with the kids. You can also help by changing your diet together. Lower calorie consumption, drink more water, and stay away from saturated fat.
    But like I said, be careful with the criticism. Nobody needs to be attacked when doing this. It will backfire.

  154. AG says:

    Re: Trainers,

    Good ones are worth their weight in gold. I used to goto the gym 6 days a week and some new trainers took over the gym. They asked why are you here so much? They wrote up a new program that limited the work outs to 3 days a week and my strength went through the roof. Lift heavy and less often and with the appropriate protein and rest your strength will go through the roof.

    Aerobics is for Eurotrash.

  155. safe as houses says:

    Make money

    Get your wife p90x and the gear to go with it. if you make it past the first 2 weeks you get addicted to it.

  156. Make-

    Sign your wife up for a good adult club soccer team. No better workout on the planet. It will also turn her mind to mush.

  157. You can easily do 7-8 km in anaerobic, explosive running in a good scrimmage or game of soccer.

  158. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Feds Warrantlessly Tracking Americans’ Credit Cards in Real Time

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/12/realtime/

    I just bought an I-phone a couple weeks ago so I am now a good little boy. Ain’t that right Uncle Sam? I have nothing but positive things to say about our government and the corporations that own it.

  159. Fast Eddie says:

    The current place where I’m contracting (temping) let go of 10% the permanent workers on my floor this past Tuesday. I think they were Merrill Lynch holdovers before the Bank of America invasion. The floor is split into north and south wings and is rather huge. It was sparse to begin with but now it looks like sections of Detroit with no life forms to be found. The other floors look just as “sparse” as well. Many empty cubicles. It’s 99% Asian Indians working now and I have no idea where the American young-uns are coming out of college. I have nothing against the Indian folks, I work well with them but there is absolutely no such thing as a sports discussion or someone bringing in a cake for someone’s birthday nor one single holiday object hanging anywhere. It’s all transient temp workers in a very sterile environment. You bring a briefcase or back pack with you as that is your portable desk. If it hasn’t happened in your industry yet, it’s about to. Welcome to the new normal. Just saying.

  160. Confused In NJ says:

    N.J. municipalities are scaling back holiday decorations, festivities in light of budget cuts

    David Gard / New Jersey Local News ServiceIn a move that will save the city of Newark tens of thousands of dollars, the city will not light the 40 foot spruce tree that lives in front of city hall. A 7 foot tree will be decorated and lit in the rotunda of city hall.

    Newark City Hall is scrapping its 24-year outdoor tree-lighting tradition to save $40,000 on a crane and operator.

    Downtown Denville is lighting up only about a third of its snowflakes.

    East Brunswick’s mayor said he’s prepared to be called “the Grinch who stole Christmas.”

    Times are lean, and municipalities as big as Newark and as small as Netcong are scaling back holiday decorations and festivities this year in the face of budget cuts and layoffs.

    “I’m not trying to dampen the holiday spirit,” said Mayor David Stahl, but he noted East Brunswick will forgo Santa and the annual celebration surrounding the town’s tree and menorah lighting. The holiday centerpieces will be lit with the flip of a switch and no fanfare, said Jeff Litt, East Brunswick recreation supervisor.

    Christmas cutbacks follow widespread cuts to Fourth of July fireworks displays this past summer in many towns throughout the Garden State.

    “There are certain things that towns have to pay for — public works or police,” said Matthew Weng, of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. “Anything that is not absolutely necessary gets dumped by the wayside.”

    Newark’s 30-foot Norwegian, previously strung with 20,000 solar-powered lights, will stay dark this year, according to city spokeswoman Esmeralda Diaz Cameron. Instead, a 7-foot tree will be lit inside the city hall rotunda.

    There will be no giveaways like reindeer antlers or Santa hats, as in years past, she added. “This year we’re trying to keep things smaller,” said Cameron, noting 167 police officers were laid off earlier this week.

    Also noticeably absent this year are the lighted holiday decorations that used to adorn the utility poles up and down Broad Street in downtown Newark.

    In Denville, the 85 lighted snowflakes that glowed in the township racked up a $14,877 electric bill last year, according to Kristin Pamperin, president of the Denville Chamber of Commerce. This year, the town will light just 35 snowflakes until Jan. 3, ending a month earlier than last year.

    The township will split the estimated $5,000 electricity bill with the chamber. “We’re definitely still trying to keep the pageantry of our town alive, but we’re not able to do it at $15,000,” Pamperin said.

    Volunteers in Netcong pulled together to save the holiday spirit, according to Councilwoman ToniAnn McCullough. Girl Scouts and high school volunteers met in the Knights of Columbus hall to trim evergreen wreaths donated by a local farmer with old ornaments and a plaid bow.

    The town’s $4,500 lease on decorative lights ended this year, McCullough said. The wreaths cost $750.

    “It’s really going back to an old-fashioned Christmas,” she said.

    Old Bridge Mayor Jim Phillips said his town axed Halloween and “Old Bridge Day” this year, but will keep its traditional holiday festival. It’s the one time of year that community members of all faiths join together, the mayor said.

    “The services always center around peace on earth and good will towards men,” Phillips said. “We ask them all to come and participate at this time of year.”

  161. Fast Eddie says:

    Confused [166],

    This is not an issue. We’re affluent here in NJ. I think everyone forget that it’s different here. The rest of the country is suffering, not us. Just raise property taxes to cover the increase in equipment, overtime and resources.

  162. Fast Eddie says:

    This one’s a steal! A drastic reduction! I think it could be had for 639K! This one won’t last!!

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1043454&dayssince=&countysearch=false

  163. grim says:

    Newark City Hall is scrapping its 24-year outdoor tree

    Scrap the tree, save a job.

    Should be the rallying cry of municipalities across NJ this year.

  164. Essex says:

    168. Stately. *cough*

  165. Essex says:

    165. That has been the case since 1996 or so. Firms simply rent office space and hire sales staff in some anticipation of winning engagements. Sucks I know. But not new.

  166. Essex says:

    160. Went from 240 lbs to 210 or so now. two pant sizes. Feels really nice. Diet and metabolism mixed with a little mojo.

  167. xroads says:

    I don’t know where the workout discussion for someone’s wife started but try Zumba classes. If they find one thing they like they might expand upon it its like smoking pot the gateway drug your bound to experiment with other drugs? I like cycling/mtb because its fun other then that I wouldn’t workout

  168. Fast Eddie says:

    [171], In 1996, it was just the opposite. Opportunities were plenty, there was far less turnover, the great majority of the workers were American born and someone always had a March Madness office pool going on. Now, flip it the other way. Almost every day, an inter-office email bounces back with a “not found” message as the user either got terminated or their contract was not renewed. Every other side office is empty as the business and technology managers either retired or got canned. If I need approval for a production deployment, I’m emailing either Sanjeev or Vijay located in Mumbai or Bangalore. Again, I’m just stating the way it is and continues to be.

  169. Fast Eddie says:

    Let me spell it out: if it can be outsourced, whatever it is, it will be outsourced. Public sector jobs or any job that is absolutely not necessary, will be eventually eliminated. Retail shops and a half a zillion eateries will be evaporated. Anything that has a “middle” person involved, i.e.: real estate agents, sales people in many fields will be extinct. Austerity has begun here but the masses are not savvy enough to realize it. This morning, on the news, they were reporting a story on personality traits depending on which part of a ginger bread man cookie you bit off first. Need I say more?

  170. grim says:

    Was on the phone with engineers at the AT&T noc a few weeks back at 2am. Was a bunch on Russians and I swore if someone said ping again I’d start quoting Hunt For Red October.

    One ping Vasily, one ping only.

  171. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Interesting article here. A scholarly gentlemen, who introduced himself as ‘veeto that’, passed it on to me.

    WSJ OPINION DECEMBER 1, 2010.

    What Ben Bernanke May Be Thinking

    The Fed’s easy money could help banks reset underwater mortgages and start lending again..

    By VERNON L. SMITH

    There has been a firestorm of criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s new monetary easing initiative, and much speculation as to why he did it. I want to suggest—to paraphrase Mark Twain—that Mr. Bernanke is worried that rumors of the of death of the Great Recession have been greatly exaggerated.

    In both the Depression and the post-World War II era, recovery from a recession has been regularly signaled by an increase in housing investment. But new housing construction expenditures have remained stubbornly flat since the Great Recession was declared over in the second quarter of 2009.

    Housing and aggregate demand have not recovered because nearly 15 million owners are estimated to owe about $771 billion more on their homes than they are worth. The banks are on the other side of this crunch, holding overvalued mortgage assets. This fuels doubt about the balance sheets of the big banks.

    Consider what happened during the Great Depression. Housing investment plummeted steadily from 1926 to 1933. New housing expenditures started to recover in 1934, buoyed perhaps by Congress’s creation of the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC). This agency bought underwater home mortgages and reissued them at values that were based on prevailing home prices.

    This experience was not forgotten: In September 2008, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton proposed reviving HOLC, and Sen. John McCain offered the same proposal in the second presidential debate of October 2008. This fledgling bipartisan movement failed to attain traction.

    Yet both proposals recognized an important principle: A solution to the negative-equity problem in the housing market would also reboot bank balance sheets and enable new lending to be resumed. By implication it would allow home prices to return to their long-lost equilibrium. Three birds with one stone.

    Instead, a revival of HOLC lost out to the hoopla of a trillion dollars in blunderbuss stimulus spending and new subsidies to new home buyers to prop up declining home prices.

    That has not worked very well. But QE2 just might work if it is implemented as a surgical strike at the still-unresolved problems of negative equity in housing and banks. Mr. Bernanke’s first round of quantitative easing in 2008-09 lifted about $1.2 trillion of shaky assets off the balance sheets of banks, replacing them with nearly a trillion dollars in excess reserve deposits. The second round will further expand these deposits.

    So perhaps the Bernanke message here is for the banks to deploy those excess reserves to reset the value of their loan assets to current housing prices. They could do so by issuing new mortgages with lower principal amounts. While they would take short-term losses, this action could allay doubts about the value of the assets on bank balance sheets and would help the balance sheets of homeowners as well.

    Is this what Mr. Bernanke is thinking? The rollout of QE2 was coupled with a Nov. 17 Fed announcement requiring the large banks to undergo another review of their capital and ability to absorb losses.

    There is good reason for Mr. Bernanke to be worried.

    Mr. Smith is a professor of economics at Chapman University and the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

  172. Fast Eddie says:

    $559,000, over $10,000 in taxes and the washer and dryer is in the kitchen:

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Hillsdale_Nj_07642_M68139-00771

  173. relo says:

    No holiday party this year, just departmental lunch/dinner. No complaints here, last one was a snooze fest. The job it saves may be your own.

  174. BlindJust says:

    165 – Fast
    Most IBs trim 10-15% each year. Though we did 25% in ’08, we’ve averaged 15% in ’09 and this year. The net hiring, however, is positive. US staffing levels at my firm increased 20% per year in ’09 and ’10. 60% of staff are external. Word is they want to decrease external hc. Time will tell as hiring freeze is back on.

  175. House Whine says:

    Tick, tock, tick, tock.. there goes the American middle class.

  176. safe as houses says:

    North Bergen man gets drunk and lock in a porta potty

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/12/north_bergen_man_spends_drunke.html

    1) Was he celebrating unloading his pos cape for 600k?

    2) Since it was a municipal employee that padlocked him in there, how much will he win if he sues?

  177. BlindJust says:

    Relo – we’re getting holiday ‘drinks’ (2 hrs open bar)

  178. BlindJust says:

    I’ve been wondering why my LBOs weren’t accepted. Just wondering if that’s a house or a resort in the Caribbean.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/39386540?slide=3

  179. BlindJust says:

    Juice – If I had $6, I’d buy the book.
    Most were news to me …
    http://www.abacon.com/socsite/careers.html

  180. safe as houses says:

    #178 Fast Eddie

    I think in Europe it’s very common to have a washer/dryer in the kitchen. The agent blew this one. It should be described as a parisian kitchen and jack the price up another 20k.

    What’s up with the wood paneling in the bedrooms, the green tiles in the bathroom with the purple trim, tons of fugly wall paper, and that exterior door screams 1960’s.

    Seriously. If you are going to ask 559k, how about at least removing all the wallpaper and repainting those rooms in earth tones, and at least painting that wood paneling. I would think a rookie DIYer could do that in 100 to 150 hours of work and less then $300 in paint, supplies, and equipment.

  181. Essex says:

    174. Telecom was ahead of the curve then, cause your office sounds like many then.

  182. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Fast Eddie [165],

    No sports discussion? No talk about Ali Haji-Sheikh [Shank]? The ball is in your court, bring in a case of Kingfisher and brush up on your sports.

    http://www.essortment.com/all/cricketrule_redn.htm

  183. Wildie says:

    #185
    $49,452 for Northeastern no less. Not exactly a top-tier school for that sociology degree.

  184. sas3 says:

    Make, have you considered asking her to look at this blog? She’ll make sure that a lot of pounds will be shed (though you will be shedding the pounds, both sterling and real). You’ll be singing the The Who’s song “My life’s in jeopardy. Murdered in cold blood is what I’m gonna be….”

    On a serious note though, why not look at it as process towards a positive goal rather than as a “fix” for a major shortcoming?

    Anec-datum: someone I know lost quite a bit of weight through exercise in order to make sure that she is fully fit for pregnancy — didn’t have to lose it but went through a serious regimen just to be fully fit. Her motivation came from concern for her yet to be conceived child.

  185. onthebrink says:

    Am currently seriously worried about the Mortgage Interest Tax deduction Repeal MITDR. I dont think it will get passed right now, but Im concerned that it will get passed 3-4 years down the line. What do you think? What are the chances that the bill which theyve proposed all the way (at least) from 2005 will get passed sometime in the next 5 years?
    Im seriously considering changing my search criteria to account for no deduction and reduce my budget further. which means changes to the towns I target. Uggh. 10-12K additional burden wont be miniscule, though, if the repeal happens.
    need clarity of thought. anyone got some to spare.

  186. Shore Guy says:

    “Am currently seriously worried about the Mortgage Interest Tax deduction Repeal MITDR.”

    We would all be better off eliminating the various deductions and just lowering the tax rates. Right now, there are HUGE costs tryingto comply with the tax code. It has become a game. A tax code without the crazy complexity would save people time and money. Besides, if you have a $200,000 mortgage and I have a $500,000 mortgage (at the same interest rate) why should I get a huge deduction reltive to you. If I want to take out a bigger loan, I should pay for it — nott you and not some renter.

  187. yo'me says:

    MI tax deduction works out good if it brings your tax bracket lower.You pay more in taxes if they eliminate it and lower tax bracket.Then consider how many more middleclass will get hit with AMT.They will never get rid of Alternative Minimum Tax it will be a big lost of tax revenue.Yearly patches.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_Minimum_Tax

  188. yo'me says:

    Example:

    If income is $150k filing jointly with $30k in tax deduction brings my AGI to $120k
    Tax bracket from 28% to 25%.I am paying 25% of the $120K in taxes.
    If they just lower my bracket to 25% from 28% and let me pay full tax on the $150K,I am paying more on taxes.

  189. yo'me says:

    $150K is at 28% bracket,to get my tax payment after deductions to what I was paying before $120k x 25%=$30k
    they have to lower my bracket to 20%. $150k x 20%=$30k

  190. Shore Guy says:

    Here is a reason not to be a renter (or to have a mortgsge on one’s land):

    http://www.ktre.com/Global/story.asp?S=13603738

    Judson Phillips, President of “Tea Party Nation,” recently stated that restricting voting to property owners “makes a lot of sense.” Phillips’ comments have stirred a huge debate among political activists, as well as, non-property owners.

    Phillips made the comment in his weekly Tea Party radio program on November 16, 2010 and said, “The founding fathers originally said they put certain restrictions on who got the right to vote. It wasn’t you were just a citizen and you automatically got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of them was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. And if you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested stake in the community than non-property owners do.”

    snip

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