The rich are alright

From the NY Times:

In Market Reports, Some Affluent Towns Do Better Than Others

AFFLUENT towns are different from other towns. Their citizens have more money, of course, and their homes have more value.

But some affluent towns are different from other affluent towns, in that their median home values rose significantly last year.

In the last quarter of 2010, the median sales price for the entire state rose by 1 percent from the year before, according to a new market report from the Otteau Valuation Group in New Brunswick. To this somewhat surprising news, the group’s president, Jeffrey G. Otteau, hastened to add that even that faint increase was unlikely to continue.

The rise after a long-term decline was most likely the result of a court-ordered moratorium on foreclosures at the end of the year, and will be reversed when the moratorium is lifted, which is expected to be soon, Mr. Otteau said.

Yet, throughout 2010 and much of 2009, there was a small group of communities that seemed impervious to the overall trend of declining prices — or else extremely resilient if dips occurred.

In the Bergen County village of Ridgewood, for instance, the median sales price (at which half the homes sold for more and half for less) rose 8.7 percent in the last quarter, versus the same period in 2009. The median price was $700,000, according to the latest statistics from Otteau. In 2009 it was $644,000.

Ridgewood, an attractive community with a charming shopping area and a train station, seriously outperformed its home county last year. There was a 1 percent rise in median value in Bergen County, in line with the state at large.

Why? Mr. Otteau said it was primarily because of Manhattan.

Like the handful of other communities that consistently deserve gold-star status for their market reports — including Short Hills in Essex County and Summit in Union — Ridgewood is “Manhattan-centric,” the analyst said. It has a train station with direct service to Manhattan, whose economy and housing market are picking up again.

“Federal stimulus funds are what’s driving the national economy right now,” Mr. Otteau said, “and much of the trillion dollars that was dropped out of the helicopter, in effect, by the feds in the form of grants, loans, discounts, bailouts — all of those — landed in New York City.”

Manhattan regained vigor as an employment center, while New Jersey continued a decade-long decline in the number of new jobs, he said. “This means Manhattan is becoming an increasingly potent force in the New Jersey market,” he added.

In a long-established suburb like Summit, where single-family homes predominate, the total supply of houses changes little year to year, although the sales pace may fluctuate a lot. There were 274 houses sold in Summit last year, up from 221 in the lean real estate year of 2009.

And median home values increased by 6 percent, to $794,500 from $749,000.

In Union County the median price was down 2 percent, to $310,000.

In Millburn, which includes the exclusive Short Hills section, the median price rose 7.4 percent, to $999,000 from $930,098. The median price in Essex County was up as well, by 8 percent.

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

260 Responses to The rich are alright

  1. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Wayne company may leave N.J., Guadagno says

    Defense contractor BAE Systems is mulling whether to move some or all of its 1,000 jobs from its Wayne and Totowa locations to another state, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said Thursday.

    Guadagno, after a tour of the global defense and security contractor’s facilities, said “they are actively looking for other opportunities around the country.”

    “What I just heard was that they are actively being pursued by other states,” said Gaudagno, adding that Texas is among them.

    BAE, which receives millions of dollars in defense contracts and has its headquarters in Arlington, Va.

  2. grim says:

    No worries, let’s hand our state coffers over to build casinos and shopping malls.

  3. Juice Box says:

    No wonder the malls and restaurants are full. The plan is to run the economy on unemployment checks and credit cards! Hundreds of Billions in new Credit Cards purchases with sky high rates too! This is not going to end well.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CONSUMER?cid=100

  4. Confused In NJ says:

    The Summit/Chatham/New Providence triangle is nice for NYC commuting. Chatham has the advantage of Jury Duty in Morristown versus Elizabeth.

  5. grim says:

    Because the headline piece is using median pricing, not a paired-sales analysis, it is more sensitive to changes in the mix of homes sold. As the tax credit expired, towns with high comparative prices likely saw their medians rise as lower priced sales (those which had a higher likelihood of having used the credit) were removed from the mix.

    Ex:

    You have 3 homes, one worth $100,000, the next worth $200,000 and the last worth $300,000.

    The median of the set is $200,000.

    If the $100,000 home is removed (did not get sold), the median moves upward to $250,000, a huge jump. Yet the value of the other two homes didn’t change at all. Heck, the value of the other two homes could have actually fallen, yet the median would still be reported higher.

    This is why using simple descriptive statistics to judge the overall value of the entire real estate market based on a few sales just simply sucks. Especially when we know the overall sample sizes are significantly lower than they were a few years back. As the number of samples (sales fall), the less we can actually trust (have high confidence) that the statistics are representative of the overall market

  6. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    RadarLogic home prices revert downward

    The stability in home prices seen in RadarLogic’s November RPX Monthly Housing Market Report was short-lived.

    For December, RadarLogic reported a 1.6% decrease compared to the month prior, as well as a 3.6% drop compared to 2009.

    “The only time the RPX Composite price has declined more from November to December was during the housing bust of 2007 and 2008,” RadarLogic said.

    The year-over-year drop also constituted the third largest decline in December home prices throughout the last decade.

    On an annual basis, home prices decreased the most in Atlanta for the second consecutive month, down 14.1% compared to 2009. Last month prices dropped 12.7% from a year earlier.

    Although none of the 25 metropolitan areas tracked by RadarLogic experienced gains in home price on a year-ago analysis, prices in San Diego, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, San Jose, Calif. and New York stayed relatively flat.

  7. NJGator says:

    T C M – reposting my response to you from previous thread…

    Tcm -downstairs apt. Other tenant has 2nd/3rd floor unit. They are committed through June and it’s quite possible will stay. They’ve been here since 2004, so I guess we can’t be too bad of a landlord.

  8. Lone Ranger says:

    If you are front running the fed or trading commodities you are in the chips. If not, a good % receive food stamps and extended unemployment benefits. Who’s making stuff?

  9. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Report: We’ve ‘turned the corner’ on foreclosures

    The Mortgage Bankers Association’s chief economist said Thursday that the nation has “clearly turned the corner” on the foreclosure crisis, citing new statistics that show declining delinquency rates.

    The percentage of homeowners falling behind on their mortgages dropped in the fourth quarter of 2010 in New Jersey and nationwide, the association said.

    Nationally, the percentage of homeowners 30 days behind on their mortgage payments is back to pre-recession levels of late 2007, the MBA said.

    “While delinquency and foreclosure rates are still well above historical norms, we have clearly turned the corner,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s chief economist. As long as the economy and job market continue to recover, he said, the mortgage picture “should continue to improve during 2011.”

    In New Jersey, a smaller percentage of homeowners were late on their mortgages in the fourth quarter than a year earlier. But the percentage of mortgage holders in the foreclosure process hit a record — the result of lenders halting foreclosure activity in the face of concerns about their legal procedures. That has slowed the sale of distressed properties.

    In December, N.J. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner ordered six large lenders to show why their foreclosure activity should not be suspended in light of allegations of “robo-signing,” or employees signing foreclosure affidavits without reviewing them. The six are due in court in Trenton next month in that case.

    Despite the MBA numbers, Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, head of N.J. Citizen Action, sees little evidence that the foreclosure crisis is ebbing. She said there has been no let-up in the number of homeowners seeking her group’s help in getting their mortgages modified to more affordable terms. The number of clients has quadrupled since home prices began sliding in 2007 and 2008, she said.

    “We have more people coming in than ever before, and we have fewer permanent modifications than ever before,” Salowe-Kaye said. She said few lenders are reducing the amount of principal owed on the mortgages, a step she said is necessary to help distressed homeowners keep their homes.

  10. wheaties says:

    grim, I was just about to chime in with you on [5]. Median is a terrible value. Who cares if the median goes up? If you have to sell your million dollar home for half of what you paid and nothing else but 300k houses are selling, median goes up. Value, on the other hand, goes down. I’ve been watching Ridgewood on Zillow and besides the fact that nothing is selling (winter,) the prices *are* dropping.

  11. Al Mossberg says:

    NJ is better off reverting to its roots as a transportation hub and agrarian society. NJ is doomed.

  12. Al Mossberg says:

    Poultry anyone?

  13. jamil says:

    Teachers called in sick in WI for a third day in row so they can go (with full pay) menacing politicians (who want to cut spending) and their families with death threats and intimidation.

    It is like Greece with snow.

    Naturally, Obama-founded and Soros sponsored OFA is driving the efforts. If Wisconsin falls to the parasites, NJ is doomed too. Similar spending cut proposals are being introduced in several other states (OH, TN, PA). If the mob can prevent the cuts in WI, others will fall too.

    I guess WI teachers don’t care about the children. They missed their gov-sponsored food again!

  14. Al Mossberg says:

    13,

    Here are the parasites that are trying to loot my wallet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdREEcx0-Qc

  15. jamil says:

    14, i hope bounty hunters are on the case. 14 Dem lawmakers made an oath, and are wanted in the state of WI. I would love to see the scene when some heavily tattood bounty hunter team shows up, shackles the dems together and drives away in a pick-up truck.

  16. chicagofinance says:

    The kids are alright………….

    ‘Kidnap’ snack in the face
    Gal’s Hot Pocket ‘motive’
    By DOUG AUER
    She’s in hot water over a Hot Pocket.

    A teenager angry at being smacked by her Staten Island lover on Valentine’s Day for eating his last microwaveable munchie retaliated by kidnapping the man’s 3-year-old daughter, law-enforcement sources said.

    Aliyah Austin, 16, allegedly swiped the little girl from her Mariners Harbor home on Mersereau Avenue on Tuesday at about 7 p.m., four hours after the tot’s dad, Steven Fleming, 29, had left for work.

    She was tracked down the next day in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, after taunting her man via text message and Facebook, and was busted for kidnapping.

    The two met earlier in the week on a Brooklyn subway, and she began crashing at his house on Staten Island. But it all fell apart Monday night.

    Fleming came home hungry after a hard day’s work at a construction site ready to sink his teeth into a Hot Pocket.

    To his dismay, the last one was gone — and the culprit was asleep.

    Austin told cops that Fleming woke her up, confronted her about scarfing down his snack, and smacked her, sources added.

    In a cold dish of revenge, Austin waited until her beau went to work, then allegedly snatched his baby daughter, first taking her to Manhattan on the ferry.

    “I want my daddy! I want my daddy!” the scared toddler pleaded, sources said.

    Fleming returned home Wednesday at about 12 a.m. to find his child missing. He notified cops, and a massive search using K-9 units was launched on the borough’s North Shore.

    “If you want your baby back, meet me at the rock,” Austin allegedly threatened Fleming through text messages.

    Investigators are unsure if “the rock” was slang for Staten Island, the Rockaways or another locale.

    She also taunted him with Facebook messages, sources said.

    “She stole a kid, and she’s acting like it’s a joke,” said one source. “It’s disgusting.”

    Cops tracked Austin’s cellphone signal, and found her Wednesday at a friend’s pad, sources said. The child was unharmed.

    Although investigators believe the two are romantically involved, Austin has denied having a sexual relationship with Fleming.

    She is charged with kidnapping and acting in a manner injurious to a child, said a spokesman for DA Dan Donovan.

    Her lawyer, Carol Siegel, said she took the baby because Fleming was late coming home.

    “When he didn’t come back at the designated time, Aliyah knew she had to go home, and rather than leave the baby alone, she took her home,” she said.

    Austin, sporting pink highlights in her hair at Staten Island Criminal Court, was ordered held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

  17. 30 year realtor says:

    This NYT story and Otteau create the need for a Ridgewood Comp Killer! Let’s take a look at 280 Lotte Rd. Primo location in the Old Country Club section. House was bought by a speculator in 2003 for 1,060,000 and renovated. Listed in NJMLS #2401285 and closed 6/2/04 for $1,900,000.

    House was listed again on 2/15/10 NJMLS #1006150 for $1,949,000. After 242 days and a few reductions this one closed for $1,400,000.

    It’s different in Ridgewood?

  18. ditto says:

    Ridgewood has a direct train service to Manhattan? This analyst is on the ball.
    What other tips does he have?

  19. NJToast says:

    Can’t there be a federal order telling teachers to show up for work or risk termination? Didn’t something similar happen to the air traffic controllers back in the 80s?

  20. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Acc. to CNBC, farmland values up 12%, highest rise in 30 years.

  21. ditto says:

    free grant applications? wow.

  22. Wake me up when they shoot the teachers with water cannons.

  23. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    As if there was any doubut . . . .

    China Flexes Muscles With US As Biggest Creditor: WikiLeaks

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/41643598

  24. Juice Box says:

    Stirring the POT over at Fox news.

    Headline “Wisconsin Labor Unrest Could Go National”

    What is the over under on when they cut off the internet here?

  25. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    And here’ something to make Debt Supernova smile. . . .

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/41372364

  26. Anon E. Moose says:

    Debt [99, yesterday];

    Where is the integrity in an attorney that will charge a broke debtor to avoid a foreclosure, when a good RE agent can do it for free? (emphasis added)

    I inexcusably missed this yesterday, but worth pointing out today that you’re still perpetuating the myth, and to me of all people, that used house sales flacks “work for free”. Paragon of truth to the last.

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [25] Juice,

    TEA parties could get some more traction (and some good video when the union thugs set upon them), by launching counterprotests whenever the unions show up.

    Of course, taxpayers by their very nature will likely be at work.

    Maybe that is one reason unions won’t protest on a weekend.

  28. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    “Wake me up when they shoot the teachers with water cannons.”

    Seriously, wake me up, I want to be there with a lawn chair and popcorn.

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [[27] moose,

    The author probably also assumes that the agent is working in the client’s best interest, a dangerous fallacy. Unlike an attorney, who must act in the client’s best interest, a real estate agent is under no such obligation. And the case law bears this out.

  30. Libtard says:

    Shoreguy linked to an article last night where a gubmint worker in Florida died in her cubicle and noone noticed until the next day.

    Is this any surprise?

  31. jamil says:

    DC RE is booming..

    “Investor’s Business Daily reports that due to ObamaCare, Health and Human Services is on track to become “the first $1 trillion federal agency.” This expansion of government leads to new hiring (e.g., 650 new employees to work in the Medicare/Medicaid Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight), and these new federal employees need desks and cubicles. Thus it’s not surprising to read in the Montgomery County Gazette: The federal government proved the savior for commercial real estate in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., last year and 2011 is shaping up the same way”

  32. NJGator says:

    In our school today, the students were all told to wear blue in support of the teacher’s aides who will soon be eliminated or outsourced. The staff will be doing this, even though their union refused to reopen their contract to save the jobs of same aides, who are also dues paying members of their union.

  33. This is useful and I will use in my report too.

  34. Libtard says:

    Actually, people in Montclair are finally starting to wake up. There are a heck of a lot of new posters on the local blogs and they are pissed. Does Wall Street have popcorn futures?

  35. Anon E. Moose says:

    Relo [16];

    Man Bites Dog

    Nice.

  36. Outofstater says:

    #33 Gator – Whattt???? The STUDENTS were told to wear blue in support of the aides??? That is outrageous. The students should not be instructed to take one side or the other. Disclaimer – I’ve disliked the NJEA since my town’s teachers all called out sick when I was in jr. high. Yeah, they said they were sick during contract negotiations. They lied. All of them. Nice message to the students – it’s okay to lie to get what you want. Buncha thugs.

  37. JJ says:

    The rich are also alright cause they did not panic. Think of this we are up 100% off the March 2009 low. Also to have stayed rich means you did not get laid off.

    So lets say you managed to keep your job from 2007-2011, well if you were putting the 16,500K a year in the 401k and lets say 10K in the 529 and got a match on your 401K and got some incentive comp in restricted stock lets say Jan 2009, Jan 2009. Jan 2010 and Jan 2011 you are feeling very good after the 100% run up as although you took a heck of a beating from the 2007 highs you re-stock completely during lows of market and rode comback.

    However, many people I know lost their jobs in 2008 and did not get back to work till 2010. They missed the key 401k deposits, 401K matches, got no stock grants during the low price time periods and even worse was selling stock or making 401K withdrawls at the lows of 2009. Insult to injury. These folks will need a good ten years to recover if ever from the recession.

    Heck I got one single friend who worked at Goldman in who got let go in October 2008 was out of work for almost one year. She did not get a Jan 2009 bonus, no 2010 bonus lost out on the 401k match for 3 years and sold her GS stock not far from the lows. If she did not get let go and was still at GS she would be laughing about the scare we all had in late 2008. Instead she is still living it.

  38. Libtard says:

    (38) OOS:

    Our teachers did a sick out when I was in Junior High as well. You didn’t grow up in East Brunswick did you?

  39. relo says:

    25: Not until it’s already underway. Cutting off access to pr*n and PS3 updates is one of the few acts that our youth would be moved to action about.

  40. relo says:

    36: Moose,

    Woof.

  41. Al Mossberg says:

    Maybe those cake eating teachers should spend more time buying silver instead of begging the g_v for handouts. Its really pathetic watching grown adults grovel at the statehouse because they are too fat and lazy to survive in the real world.

    The silver liberation army is on the move.
    Silver $32.28 $32.33 $0.68

  42. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Debt

    My prediction is gonna come true, folks: the public sector parasites will bring the ultraviolence that topples the country. We can all sit back with fruity drinks and cheer for casualties on both sides.

    You have been calling this for a while. Good call. It really is one of the more efficient methods when you think about it. Its a sort of classical divide and conquer.

    The interesting question is on what side do law enforcement come down on? They face the same cuts as the other public sectors ( although the GOV may try to spare them some to maintain their support). Do the cops end up firing rubber bullets on the protesters, or walking away? If they actually joined the protesters you are on the path to civil war.

  43. homeboken says:

    At some point the union workers in this country have to realize that they represent the minority and as such, they become aware that they do not have the ability to control their future. This is happening in WI right now. When you don’t have any leverage you start to resort to any alternative that keeps the majority from acting in a manner that adversely affects you. Picking up and leaving the state, not showing up for work, etc. these are all tactics that the truly desperate resort to. The end is in sight, but they are not going down without a fight.

  44. Outofstater says:

    40 – Lib – No, not East Brunswick but not too far from there.

  45. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Moose,

    You’ll enjoy this;


    The Utah Attorney General’s Office says the entity responsible for 4,000 home foreclosures yearly in the state is violating the law.

    In a filing with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Assistant Attorney General Jerrold Jensen said the ReconTrust Co., a unit of Bank of America, is not allowed under Utah law to conduct foreclosure sales.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/51264571-79/utah-state-law-attorney.html.csp

    It only effects Utah but is still popcorn worthy!!!

  46. Juice Box says:

    JJ – A Wall Street friend of mine a Woman was approached at the Gym a few times in the last year by other Women who were laid off from their Wall St jobs asking what she does and are they hiring etc. Once you are out and have a 2-3 year hole in your resume you are doomed since the first year and junior associates that they kept when you got laid off are now working their way up through the ranks.

  47. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Debt,

    IS that the smell of oblivion in the air?

    The situation in Bahrain is now critical, with live fire raining (literally: the army is shooting from helicopters on citizens and journalists) on protesters, resulting in dozens killed, even as Libya (9th largest crude reserves in the world) is rumored to be in a comparable situation. The countdown on Saudi Arabia is now on. Watch the latest development at Al Jazeera which is now broadcasting live from Manama.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/follow-news-live-shooting-bahrain-al-jazeera

  48. Juice Box says:

    re: # 44 – according to JJ all cops are married to teachers. So I doubt the cops
    will be clubbing their wives and sisters etc.

    The National Guard on the other hand has no qualms about opening fire on crowds.
    Perhaps they will bring out that nifty device they have been wanting to use Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System (V-MADS) .

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/pain-ray-recalled-from-afghanistan/

  49. sas3 says:

    Lib, #31…

    Spare a thought for her and her family [she had a grand child recently]. She could have died late evening on a Friday working, and was discovered on a Saturday! Coworker went to do some work and found her. In some “fast paced small businesses”, it could easily be Monday Morning before the cleaning staff notices! Could happen to any of us but for the frantic calls from spouses.

    I was stuck at work in ’96 blizzard for three days, had plenty of work, internet, plenty of coffee, and a vending machine. Of course, if something happened, no one would have known till the janitors came up for cleaning. Same with grad school dorms — no one would notice for a while.

    From the article…
    When she passed away, Wells, who worked in risk management, was performing an audit. Despite not noticing the deceased, one of her coworkers remembered, “She was always working, always working.” Maybe, after this event, her coworkers will check on one another more often.

    Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/02/17/woman-dies-in-her-cubicle-%e2%80%94-but-nobody-notices-until-the-next-day/#ixzz1EKTZTLoc

  50. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Juice 51

    Some tinfoil and a cardboard box, and you can reflect the ray back where is came from. I would also image that the secondary injuries wouldn’t fly so very well on American TV ( its not brown people, speaking a funny language on the receiving end anymore). Glasses, contact lenses and any metal on or against the body will cause some very unpleasant injuries. Those stuck in the middle of the crowd and unable to retreat could receive some very nasty burns.

  51. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Juice

    How much did they spend on developing that pain ray, billions? And it can be defeated by a $10 roll of aluminum foil……

  52. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Juice,

    a Direct TV type satellite dish, and a homemade HERF made from the parts of a microwave and you can shoot an EM beam right back at em. You’ll need an electrical engineer to really do it right though.

  53. Nurburgringer says:

    It’s not NJ (I moved out 2 years ago, parents still live in Ringoes), but to give yall an idea what $285k or less will buy in Milwaukee here’s a place we’re planning on making an offer on in the next week. Unless Grim can talk me out of it….

    The owners built a cape cod on 1/2 acrea in 1973, raised a family, then in ’97 expanded it to ~2500sq ft and (tastefully) added a 4 car garage. Award winning backyard garden, Anderson windows, Vela skylights, mid-to-high end cabinets, granite, natch, just nicely done work all around.
    They put it up for sale ~2 years ago at $370k when they bought a plot outside of town to be closer to the grown kids. Moved out early last year. Dropped the price about $20k every 3 or 4 months. Supposedly had a conditional deal to sell it at $309k last year but the buyer lost their job and took their house off the market.
    Now it’s listed at $285k, thinking my first offer will be $260k no strings attached. Pre-approved for 4.875% 30yr fixed, 20% down. Only issue may be finding comps for the appraisal. $9k taxes but hoping to knock the assessment down in May from $350k closer to a PP of <$270k.
    Location could be better (close to a major highway so there's some constant traffic noise outside) but the heated garage for all my toys, dream kitchen, and kick ass LR will ease any pain.
    Would be my first house. If and when the riots start at least I'll have plenty of storage space for guns, ammo and dry goods right?!
    http://s180.photobucket.com/albums/x155/kedelbach/MKE%20home/?start=all

    What do you think??

  54. Libtard says:

    Sas3:

    “She could have died late evening on a Friday working.”

    Not an effin’ chance in hell. I can’t think of a single public worker that is not standing by the punch clock with their car keys in hand fifteen minutes before closing time. There is little reason to work late, unless you are near retirement. Then there’s every reason to work late. And the reason no one found her is because there probably wasn’t a soul insight at 4:45pm. I guarantee you, it was a cleaning crew that found her.

    I do sympathize for her and her family. But I really doubt she worked herself to death. The union wouldn’t allow it.

  55. Libtard says:

    Sas,

    When you were stuck, were you working in the private sector?

  56. sas3 says:

    #56…

    If and when the riots start
    What do you mean? You are in Wisconsin. Fox says that the union thuggery already spread, and kids are being used as human shields by teachers!

  57. Al Mossberg says:

    Re: Silver and the March delivery on the Comex

    “If the March longs stay resolute, she’s screwed. Even if only 20,000 stand for delivery, thats 100,000,000 ounces that the Comex has to deliver. By most estimates, that’s their entire inventory. She and The Evil Empire must, somehow, convince/force March contract holders to close their positions but if they can’t scare them by crushing price, how do they do it? They could get the CME to raise margin requirements but if you’re ready to stand for delivery by putting up 100% of the cost in eight days, a margin increase today is of zero consequence.”

    Should get real interesting over the next week.

  58. Libtard says:

    kids are being used as human shields by teachers!

    Thank the lord, I only had to dress my son in blue today.

  59. sas3 says:

    Lib, I was a grad student trying to get my computer simulations working…

    I’ve seen some people work their @sses off in univs and startups (that’s all the experience I have), and I’ve seen people slacking off in both places. I believe motivation and drive are intrinsic, and are not greatly influenced by where the paycheck comes from.

  60. Nurburgringer says:

    61: I assume you mean “human shields” figuratively i.e. all MKE schools are closed today because teachers took a sick day.
    Nothing reported otherwise on the conservative MKE Journal Sentinel online.

  61. Libtard says:

    “I believe motivation and drive are intrinsic, and are not greatly influenced by where the paycheck comes from.”

    I disagree. There is no incentive for someone to work harder or efficiently in much of the public sector. Guaranteed raises and tenure work against this motivation. When you work in the private sector, maintaining your job and obtaining promotions are dependent upon it.

    And I have more first-hand evidence than you could shake a stick at. I know someone (very close to me) who was told at an annual review that he needs to slow down or he will put people out of work. Ever here that in the private sector?

  62. Lone Ranger says:

    “The silver liberation army is on the move.
    Silver $32.28 $32.33 $0.68”

    Tonto, we busted thru that 31 obstacle. We may go back to visit but not for long. Get your things packed, we’re going for a long ride.

  63. Al Mossberg says:

    65.

    Lone,

    Whats your take on the miners.? They are lagging way behind.

    Re: Libya,

    I was watching Al Jazeera and they seem to be slaughtering people in the countries second biggest city. A Dr was interviewed and he said the hospital is filled with casualties. Not sure what to make of all the uprisings

  64. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Lone ranger, Debt

    It’s a good thing that the PIGS have been dealt wiht, no contaigon there.


    IRISH BANKS are issuing bonds to themselves under the Government guarantee to borrow cheaply from the European Central Bank and to avoid drawing more heavily on emergency lending from the Irish Central Bank.

    Four banks issued bonds worth €17 billion to themselves last month under the Government’s extended guarantee, the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee, to use as collateral to borrow from the ECB.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2011/0217/1224290024749.html

  65. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Al,

    Shiite V Sunni. Coming soon to a Saudi kingdom near you!

  66. sas3 says:

    Lib, context? Law firms come to mind — slow the work and increase the billing hours :)

  67. wtf says:

    Libtard,

    Not every public sector employee belongs to a union. Only 36.2% of them do according to BLS versus 6.9% private sector. Maybe you assume it is 100%?

  68. sas3 says:

    #63… Faux news was comparing WI to Egypt — in the hyperbole, some commentator used the term “human shields” (and the governor to Mubarak?)

  69. Anon E. Moose says:

    wtf [70];

    I previously worked for the federal gov. at a n office in Virginia. Because Va. is a right to work state, I wasn’t forced to join the union (read, pay dues). So, I wasn’t a “union member” nor could I vote in union elections (pretty much the only benefit of paying). Only about 35-40% of my colleagues were (big split mostly based on old-timers/new-timers).

    However, I was part of the barganing unit and subject to the same benefits, protections negotiated under the contract. So while I wouldn’t have been counted as a union member, for all intents and purposes I was.

  70. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    WTF

    I cant speak for libtard, but i dont believe that it is just a union issue. I have family members in public sector jobs and that seems to be the attitude regardless of whether there is union or not.

  71. Libtard says:

    Sas3: context…person I know is not in the union although he has all the benefits without paying for it (making Captain Cheapo proud). Works as a clerk for customs (federal).

    WTF: I am aware that not every public sector job is unionized. Mainly it’s the really good paying ones with the excellent benefits that are.

    Don’t blame me…I’m just frustrated I chose my current career path. I am seriously hoping my kid wants to do a craft (plumbing/electric). I would push for him to obtain a public sector job, but our corporatocracy will make sure that these jobs will compensate their workers as poorly as the average private sector schlub. Must increase the income gap at all costs!!!

  72. young buck says:

    Clot/Grim/30yr

    Part-time Realtor here with a question. There’s a Fannie Mae REO in Elizabeth I’m interested in. According to Fannie’s website today, there’s still 7 days left in the “First Look” marketing period (only offers from owner occupants are accepted). It was listed on GSMLS on 2/9/11, and according to the listing, “BEST & HIGHEST DUE 2/16/11 2PM.”

    I called the listing office yesterday to get the lockbox combo. Agent tells me, “there are multiple offers on this property, and best & final bids were due yesterday.” So I tell her what Fannie’s website says, and she reluctantly agreed to give me the lockbox combo. I go there today and there’s no lockbox!

    I’m guessing the office wants to keep it to themselves and probably found a buyer internally. Is there anything I can do? Is there any way to notify Fannie of what’s going on? Would they even care?

  73. JJ says:

    According to the book Millionaire Next Door the number one profession of male millionaire wive’s is teacher.

    Also majority of teachers are women whose husbands have full time jobs. 100K is a huge salary for a part time job. Most women try to marry a man who makes more than them. So the lowest household income a teacher makes is 201K with most having a millionaire for a husband

    Juice Box says:
    February 18, 2011 at 11:47 am

    re: # 44 – according to JJ all cops are married to teachers. So I doubt the cops
    will be clubbing their wives and sisters etc.

  74. 30 year realtor says:

    #75 young buck – FNMA cares! If you get your buyer to call their congressman you will start a sh*t storm for the broker. Won’t help you with the house, but they will hear about it!

    Reality is that a hot house eventually has to be “cut off”. You end up with a dozen offers, pit them all up against each other and set a deadline. Broker should have told Asset Manager at FNMA, I am changing my MLS comments to indicate a highest and best deadline and obtained their agreement.

    Another reality of the REO world s that every highest and best is subject to a better offer, if the listing brokers office has a buyer who will pay more. (for moose) After all we have a fiduciary obligation top our client to get the highest price available. Brings added value to the transaction so brokers can earn their keep.

  75. Bubble Disciple says:

    Places like Ridgewood have always been out of reach for the middle class. My parents were looking at houses there 40 years ago and couldn’t afford it. At that time, my father was self employed in a trade and my mother was not working since we were little.

  76. sas3 says:

    #74

    I am seriously hoping my kid wants to do a craft (plumbing/electric). I would push for him to obtain a public sector job, but our corporatocracy will make sure that these jobs will compensate their workers as poorly as the average private sector schlub.

    You make it seem like the govt salaries are high. They have better job security [not anymore at the state level it seems], but the salaries are low except for the lower end of the distribution.

  77. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    SAS3

    The recent stats show that if you include the value of benefits for both private and public sector jobs, public sector jobs pay better on a like for like basis

  78. sas3 says:

    Lib, the discussion is probably going to devolve into the standard GOP mantra:

    “The rich have too little money and the poor have too much money”.

    S

  79. Anon E. Moose says:

    Young Buck [75];

    Another nation heard from!

    I called the listing office yesterday to get the lockbox combo. Agent tells me, “there are multiple offers on this property, and best & final bids were due yesterday.” So I tell her what Fannie’s website says, and she reluctantly agreed to give me the lockbox combo. I go there today and there’s no lockbox!

    Honesty and integrity in the real estate business! Maximum exposure! They’re just out for their principals, to get the highest dollar sale possible!

  80. ditto says:

    “the standard GOP mantra:

    “The rich have too little money and the poor have too much money”.”

    I remember that mantra being printed on Bush’s campaign pins in 2004

  81. young buck says:

    Thanks, 30 year. I understand that a “hot house” has to be cut off….but they cut it off after only 5 days on the market….it couldn’t have been THAT hot!

    And my suspicion was confirmed. My buyer is actually my cousin, so I told him to call the listing agent directly and I cut myself out of the transaction. And what a surprise, he spoke to the agent today and has an appointment to see the property today!

    At the risk of revealing my naivety, it’s shocking to me that this type of anti-competitive market manipulation occurs everyday…and no one seems to mind much at all. This hoarding by real estate brokers of “hot” listings dramatically reduces the pool of potential buyers. So much for our “fiduciary obligation to our client to get the highest price available.”

    #75 young buck – FNMA cares! If you get your buyer to call their congressman you will start a sh*t storm for the broker. Won’t help you with the house, but they will hear about it!

    Reality is that a hot house eventually has to be “cut off”. You end up with a dozen offers, pit them all up against each other and set a deadline. Broker should have told Asset Manager at FNMA, I am changing my MLS comments to indicate a highest and best deadline and obtained their agreement.

    Another reality of the REO world s that every highest and best is subject to a better offer, if the listing brokers office has a buyer who will pay more. (for moose) After all we have a fiduciary obligation top our client to get the highest price available. Brings added value to the transaction so brokers can earn their keep.

  82. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [76];

    MND also emphasised that most of these millionaires were self-employed. SE is much easier to do when your spouse has a platinum benefits package.

  83. Anon E. Moose says:

    Young Buck [84];

    Thank you, thank you.

  84. [url=http://designerbagss.org]Designer Bags Online[/url]

  85. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [77];

    Another reality of the REO world s that every highest and best is subject to a better offer, if the listing brokers office has a buyer who will pay more. (for moose) After all we have a fiduciary obligation top our client to get the highest price available. Brings added value to the transaction so brokers can earn their keep.

    Does that ‘fiduciary duty’ include deterring represented buyers like Buck’s cousin (where there would a commission split), but having no problem showing it when they think the same person is unrepresented (and they would pocket the full commision)? How many higher better offers don’t bother calling the listing broker and walk because of such BS? How many times does the listing agent have a buyer lined up (perhaps even themselves), and drive off any and all competition with the cr@p Buck relates to get it for themselves at a song, or for their prefered customer with a sweetheart deal and a full commision? You’ll have me beleive that this is a rare anomaly?

  86. JJ says:

    I agree the fiduciary obligation should be taken seriously, that is why realtors should charge zero commission. Best way to maximize the sellers profit or minimize his loss.
    Anon E. Moose says:
    February 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    30-yr [77];

    Another reality of the REO world s that every highest and best is subject to a better offer, if the listing brokers office has a buyer who will pay more. (for moose) After all we have a fiduciary obligation top our client to get the highest price available. Brings added value to the transaction so brokers can earn their keep.

    Does that ‘fiduciary duty’ include deterring represented buyers like Buck’s cousin (where there would a commission split), but having no problem showing it when they think the same person is unrepresented (and they would pocket the full commision)? How many higher better offers don’t bother calling the listing broker and walk because of such BS? How many times does the listing agent have a buyer lined up (perhaps even themselves), and drive off any and all competition with the cr@p Buck relates to get it for themselves at a song, or for their prefered customer with a sweetheart deal and a full commision? You’ll have me beleive that this is a rare anomaly?

  87. Juice Box says:

    I need a new folding chair and do they still make those huge bags of popcorn? What is the best corner to camp out on in Trenton. I better get a new lens for my camera to record the knight stick blows.

    “Union leaders are pouring resources into Wisconsin but are also planning for battles in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and other states facing budget crises. They have put aside $30m for the campaigns.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/18/wisconsin-union-protests

  88. make money says:

    JJ, is the only guy I know that might be able to handle this…She’s crush teh Dos Equies commercial old man.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/fashion/2011/02/18/2011-02-18_supertall_model_amazon_eve_hopes_to_win_guiness_world_record_title_.html

  89. Bystander says:

    #78,

    I don’t know. Ridgewood has middle class people. There are financial depths that people explore just to get into that town. In 2009, a very good friend of mine bought a decent house for $680K with $13K in taxes. He probably makes under $150K total a year. I know he sold a studio in Manhattan for over $200K profit. Still, he must be carrying a $500K mortgage plus taxes, maintenance. Wife is part time teacher with 3rd kid on the way. He spent thousands on remodeling, landscaping, CAC etc. I don’t know how we got approved for that loan nor how he goes it alone..nor how he sleeps a night.

  90. Libtard says:

    Sas:

    “The recent stats show that if you include the value of benefits for both private and public sector jobs, public sector jobs pay better on a like for like basis”

    Depends on which study you look at.

    I ask you to do this and then decide for yourself.

    Go online and look at the average teacher’s salary in your district. I think a teacher is a fairly average representation for a public sector employee.

    Now, calculate their salary based on a 12 month year (to be fair).

    Now, compare their healthcare coverage to yours (no copays, no networks, etc.). Keep in mind, their coverage is for life and includes their partner as well as any children up to age 30 who are still in school. Studies show that average healthcare costs (not gold-plated) will run $250,000 per couple (out of pocket) if you were retiring today. As of last year, teachers didn’t pay a penny in. Today they contribute 1.5% towards the cost of the plan. The average private sector employee pays 27% towards the cost of their lower grade plan.

    Now, compare retirement accounts. The average teacher receives years of service divided by 55 * average salary of their last three years. Even if we are conservative and say the teacher started at age 25, retired at age 55 with an $80,000 salary (most make much, much more than that) it’s $43,600 per year for life, guaranteed. So what do they pay in? 5.5% of salary. Figure in the example above 30 years * $60,000 per * 5.5% = $90,000 paid in. $90,000 paid in, $1,090,000 paid ou if you manage to live till 80.

    OK, now for the rest of us. Figure the average private sector employee get’s a salary that is $20,000 better than that teacher. They start working at 25 at $60,000 per year and retire the same 30 years later at $120,000 per year (I may be to liberal here, but it doesn’t really matter). The average 401k corporate match is .50 per $1 up to 6%. So let’s use these numbers.

    6% per year contribution, starting salary of 60K with a 3% increase every year for 30 years. Figure a very generous 8% return in the market. This will leave you with $905,400. Better make sure it lasts. If you live past 80, you better have some rich grand kids to bail you out.

    Then there’s other benefits like more holidays off, paid sick (for some) etc.

    So which deal would you take and which study do you want to believe?

    There’s a reason my son doesn’t have a librarian in his school.

  91. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Juice

    how about a nice 50mm f1.3

    it captures thenatural light and shows the knight stick blows is incredible clear detail. Og course a 50-200mm may be preferable for those who want a little more buffer between them and the action. Unfortunatly that buffer won’t cone cheap if you want a reasonable fstop

  92. 50-200mm

    200mm on a 35 (even counting 1.5/1.6 crop from an APS sized sensor) still leaves you mighty close to someone should they start swinging. If you really don’t want to get lumped go 200-400 f4, but then you’re not going to be able to run much should they charge at you**.
    If you don’t mind getting close you might want a 35mm over the 50mm, as it offers a bit more versatility in terms of angle while still having workable depth of field.

    ** I can tell you that a 70-200 f2.8 gets pretty tiring after a while as well.

  93. homeboken says:

    Then there’s other benefits like more holidays off, paid sick (for some) etc.

    Are you saying the teacher or the private employee gets more? You can’t forget the fact that the teacher works 180 days per year and likely gets some job during the summer to further increase income. Every teacher I know works some sort of job during the summer, the smart ones work for cash.

  94. 30 year realtor says:

    #88 Moose – You are right, it is an absolute disgrace! These complaints get investigated, but usually only on FNMA & FHLMC properties. Banks have taken steps to make it more difficult for the abuses to continue, but they do.

    I have been investigated many times by FHLMC (I was one of their brokers), HUD and NJREC. Fair practices and good record keeping have kept my record spotless.

  95. Libtard says:

    Here are some more stats for ya.

    My son’s class has 25 kids and our schools budget per pupil is $16,324. Hmmm… $408,100 per classroom. My son’s teacher makes $105,000 or so per year. Where the heck does the other $303,000 go? These are the kinds of questions that need to be asked.

  96. Libtard says:

    The teacher’s salary is extremely competitive. You’ll also never find a benefit package like their’s in the private sector unless you’re executive level and then you might even struggle unless your at a publicly traded company.

  97. Libtard says:

    Talk to the average teacher and they’ll tell you that they gave up the right to make Wall Street type money. Like any of us will.

  98. dan says:

    Stu,

    That’s right. It does seem every teacher thinks they would be on Wall Street making a million a year if they weren’t teaching because of course, they’re doing it for the children. Funny how that attitude takes place in a world where everyone gets tenure and notice how none of them say “You know, I could be working a private school making twice as much…” because they can’t.

  99. cobbler says:

    libtard[99]
    Only one of my daughter’s 8 HS teachers is making more than 65K. Probably 70% or so of the new teachers get wahsed out of the field before they accumulate enough tenure (about 15 yrs in our district) to get above the 80K threshold. If you look at the alternatives for someone with say math and science background, they generally pay meaningfully better. FYI, in Wisconsin where the current mess is taking place, the teachers are paid about 25% less than here.
    The problem as I see it is essentially a “buyers’ remorse” of the private sector workers who happily accepted a trade-off from the pensions to 401K during the go-go stock market era, thinking they would easily self-manage themselves to the riches. Now when people are closing on the retirement age and see that all they have to live on is only 25% above the Social Security payments, get pi$$ed off – but not at themselves but at those who never wanted to have anything to do with 401K. Regarding the health benefits – as we all will eventually switch either to a single-payer, or to the Brazilian system (not possible to match the limited supply with the unlimited demand otherwise), not much of a point talking about it.

    Please note that I’ve never worked for anything government-related, and my only hopefully guaranteed (PBGC) future income is $280 a month from one of my old employers when I get to 65.

  100. homeboken says:

    cobbler – while what you say may be true, it doesn’t change the math.

    There is a finite pool of funds. You can slice the pie anyway you like, but the pie is not getting bigger and there isn’t a second pie hidden in the kitchen in case of an emergency.

    The only way to keep the stream of cash flowing is to increase taxes, and it has been made clear during the recent elections, that the MAJORITY do not want to be taxed further.

    The entire scene in WI (that will be duplicated elsewhere) makes no sense. It will only add to the number of fiscal conservatives that are elected in the next campaign. Which will result in more and more spending cuts. The teachers in Wisconsin know they have lost this fight, so they are pulling out the last resort. Protest.

  101. cobbler says:

    ‘boken [103]
    The thing is that WI teachers generally understand and accept the cuts in pensions and healthcare. What they are protesting is the neutering of the collective bargaining rights.
    Regarding the “stream of cash” – it moved from my non-existent pension plan to the bottom line of my employer, as well as to the Chinese government. I’d actually appreciate it being reverted.

  102. JJ says:

    First of all 100% Teachers are overpaid. It is irrelevant what their salary is. One is overpaid when there are people equally qualified who will do the job for less.

    Case in point my oldest sister got a job as a teacher back when it was very hard to get a teachers job. There was 3,000 candidates for the one job. If you have 3,000 candidates you are overpaying. For instance when I worked in big four they felt for new hires out of school the right salary to pay was a salary to attract 100 resumes per job opening. They would then bring in the ten best people for interviews and hire the best of that ten. When he had Y2K or SOX etc they raised starting salaries to keep the 100 per job opening, when we had 9/11 or 2008/2009 melt down they lowered starting salaries. The went for 100 resumes per job opening as they wanted quality candidates. I assume teaching is same thing. You have to pay enough to at least attract a large enough pool to find a good candidate. But 3,000 per job is crazy.

    Another instance is unpaid internships. My friend was a cameraman at MTV for free one summer a very very hard job to get. Why should MTV pay if people would do it for free. Another extreme example was in 2009 Morgan Stanley was charging parents $3,000 a summer for your kid to have the right to have an unpaid internship. Looked great on resume and helped kid land a job when he graduated. People were paying to work at Morgan Stanley.

    Substitute teachers, catholic school teachers, adjunct professors would gladly teach full time with benefits for 40K a year. Should a teacher with a masters living in expensive NJ be paid 100K? Sure, but should my tax payer dollar be paying 100K to teachers when people will do the job for 40K? NO. Teachers also have a FIFO method to lay-offs, keep the burnt out 25 year 130K teacher and instead save 130K by firing two energetic hard working younger teachers making 65K each. In the end you have to lay-off twice as many teachers and to boot kept the older burnt out teachers.

    Remember you could earn one nickle an hour with a masters degree and still be overpaid as long as someone just as good as you will do it for less.

  103. moose (27)-

    Dolt, in a short sale, the BANKS pay the agents.

  104. cat (67)-

    Don’t look now, but Portugal is blowing out.

  105. buck (75)-

    Move on. Phony couldn’t care less. That office is working an inside job, most likely.

  106. Confused In NJ says:

    102.cobbler says:
    February 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    libtard[99]

    The problem as I see it is essentially a “buyers’ remorse” of the private sector workers who happily accepted a trade-off from the pensions to 401K during the go-go stock market era, thinking they would easily self-manage themselves to the riches. Now when people are closing on the retirement age and see that all they have to live on is only 25% above the Social Security payments, get pi$$ed off – but not at themselves but at those who never wanted to have anything to do with 401K.

    I’m not aware of anyone in the Private Sector who wanted their Pensions changed from a “Defined Benefit Plan” to a “Cash Balance (401K like) Plan”. ACER has been in litigation with AT&T over this since 1997. It was pushed on them with Government sanctions and ERISA bypasses. Likewise I don’t know of anyone in the Private Sector that was in favor of the High Deductible Medical Plans put in place by the Government in 2003 along with Medicare Part D. Interesting, these changes only affected the Private Sector, not the Golden Public Sector. Personally, I could live with both onerous changes, if they were applied equally across the board. I have a real problem with paying for substandard benefits for myself, while being taxed for High Benefits for someone else.

  107. joyce says:

    Moose- why do you act like Realtors are the only (and I’m not saying all of them, or even the majority because I just don’t know) scoundrels out there?
    Have you every said one bad thing about banksters committing fraud every day or lawyers without principles?

    (crickets)

  108. Bystander says:

    Lib,

    Here’s my favorite from public union cry babies this week (there are many):

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110217/us_nm/us_usa_pensions

    “It’s ridiculous the way they’re attacking the pensions,” said Dennis Ahern, 69, a retired New York City transit police officer who had a gun pulled on him twice and lost seven friends who were killed on the job. “They have us on the beach of Bermuda because we have a pension. No. You’re paying your bills. I live modestly. I can buy a Hyundai.”

    In 21 years on the job, Ahern said he never made more than $36,000 a year and retired in 1987. He collects a pension of $26,000 a year plus a variable supplement that amounted to $12,000 last year. Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to eliminate that supplement.

    “That isn’t fair. That wasn’t the agreement. It wasn’t a bonus. We paid for it. It was negotiated. It’s fair and square,” Ahern said.

    This freakin’ guy retired in his forties after only 21 years on the job (a transit cop ; not even a tough beat). He has been collecting $36K for 23 years and he is complaining about cuts. How many private sector employees could stop working in their forties and live on their 401K? Let’s see 36K/yr. *23 years = 828K & not counting inflation, health care expenses etc. How about almost no one? Good riddance to all this horesh*t. Waiting for it all the boil over then break out the popcorn.

  109. A.West says:

    JJ, 105
    Right you are. Wages are determined by supply and demand, just like most other prices. The customers and employers need to exert some bargaining power back to the government unions, and start asking why we want to forego the services of 2 eager teachers in return for one crusty and expensive one.

    In the real world, people have to worry when they’re overpaid for what they produce.

  110. cobbler says:

    confused [109]
    If people didn’t like the move from the defined benefit to defined contribution plans, nobody except unions ever made a fuss about it. Besides, even now, when there was a chat on this board a while ago about the possible and voluntary annuitization of 401K plans, the proposal had been treated almost as a high treason. Everyone thinks he is a as good an investor as Warren Buffett until he is 5 years away from the retirement, then he gets pissed off at the teachers for having a better pension plan.

  111. cobbler says:

    A.West [112]
    Highly likely, I can very successfully do your job for half or a one third of your current pay (based on what I think your pay is). So what?

  112. leftwing says:

    “Teachers called in sick in WI for a third day in row so they can go (with full pay) menacing politicians (who want to cut spending) and their families with death threats and intimidation. ”

    PATCO them.

    Bust public employee unions. Starve the beast.

  113. Juice Box says:

    From a Wisconsin Teacher part of the sick-out strike. We teach our kids that when somebody bullies them, they need to stand up for what they believe in,” he said. “I think this is a lesson for the students.”

    A lesson on Bulling and not Democracy?

  114. d2b says:

    Not sure if this was posted. It’s been too nice to read today. This is what is wrong with America.
    http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Granite_Run_Mall_owners_may_walk_away.html

    Simon is a $30B company. The fact that they can mail in the keys on a shopping mall is disgusting. We are not talking about a company that can’t pay it’s bills here. Why should the lenders take a haircut here?

  115. Libtard says:

    Cobbler…none of your arguments are terribly convincing. Believe me, if I could get what the deal my son’s teacher has, I’d take it in a minute. This argument alone speaks to their compensation levels. And no one in any of these unions bargained fairly. Not when the person who needs your vote is on the opposite side of the table. Sorry, but we are not living in the days of Norma Rae anymore.

  116. Bystander says:

    cobbler,

    They have been unloading pensions for 25 years. No one I know had a ‘choice’. Most workers today have been working 15 – 20 years without the vaguest notion of a retirement other than 401K. If anything, the problem is that people who are not financially savvy are forced into a world of crooks who build complex & fraudulent products while taking money on both sides of the coin flip. Unfortunately, govt. (at all levels) signed the private sector people up for this but now thumbs their teeth at us by not putting themselves in the same game. Outsourcing of manufacturing and service jobs, illegal immigration for cheap labor jobs, H1 visa immigration for high level tech/finance jobs, and streamlined internet technology – these things have completely destroyed good paying jobs in this country. Waiting for e-government to have its day.

  117. leftwing says:

    “In our school today, the students were all told to wear blue in support of the teacher’s aides who will soon be eliminated or outsourced. ”

    …..the political propaganda machine continues.

    So, month my youngest (age 10) has a project due for Black History month the week after next. I told him that before he can hand in the project he needs to research and give me a short report on three Germans/Austrians of historical significance. He’s completed Einstein and Mozart.

    He asked why. In explained to him that all cultures have contributed to what America and the world is today and that while the school may choose to focus on certain cultures I wanted him to also be aware of the contributions of his culture.

    He came home yesterday and said the teacher asked how his BHM project was going. He told me he said ‘OK, but I need to finish my German project first’. Apparently he then explained to her what he was doing and, in his perception, why.

    Awaiting the phone call or note.

  118. NJ Toast says:

    With all this pension tension, and tax increases as a way to pay these obligations, does anyone think that some home owners will start to with hold their property taxes in protest? Teachers can strike, taxpayers my opt to strike as well?

  119. Al Mossberg says:

    Blah. I see no point in arguing over gov employees benefits packages. Its over and they know it. Sure, they will go down kicking and screaming but its a done deal. They bought into the BS and now have to face the harsh reality. Eventually, when they are done clinging on to what they believed in, they will identify the real enemies. When they figure it out and stand against the real enemy they will garner the public support of the majority.

    At that point I would suggest those on Wall St. double up on the Kevlar.

  120. Anon E. Moose says:

    leftwing [120];

    You won’t be getting a note or call. Know, however, that your kid’s teacher (and likely any others for as long as he stays in that school) now have you and s/he marked as at least closeted skinheads. [I’m not calling you a skinhead or racist in any way – I’m just placing myself in the mind of your kid’s red-diapered, blue-armband wearing teacher.]

  121. leftwing says:

    “In 21 years on the job, Ahern said he never made more than $36,000 a year and retired in 1987. He collects a pension of $26,000 a year plus a variable supplement that amounted to $12,000 last year. ”

    Am I mistaken or is his pension 100%+ of his best salary?

  122. leftwing says:

    Moose

    I’m OK with that. I was raised by parents who didn’t back down from petty intimidation or conflict and we sometimes paid the price.

    I feel I’m a better and stronger person for it. I would like to instill those values and courage in my son.

    My ace in the hole is that both he and his older brother are exceptional students so it is a bit harder for the powers that be in the school to screw with them.

  123. sas3 says:

    #124… inflation from ’87?

  124. SoccerDad (aka DeepThroat) says:

    It is amazing how the right defines all the issues in America. I worked my entire career in the private sector. Did I want my pension to be dropped? No. Did I want my job outsourced ? No. Now that the private sector has become an insecure wasteland to all but top executives, this has become the model for employment in the US? So the public sector should share the pain? That the unions “buy” elections is wrong but is this any different than the banksters owning the Repubs/Dems to do their bidding?The main focus should be on how to improve working conditions in the private sector, not to turn everyone into a “competitive contract worker.”

  125. Libtard says:

    I started professional work in 93. That’s 18 years where a pension was not an option. Shoot, my first 6 years, I didn’t even have a 401K available to me. At least I frontloaded my 401k and IRA by doing the max every year before I got hitched. Lets see…what’s my 401k worth 12 years later? $280,000 and that’s with me getting out of stocks long before the tech bubble burst and also avoiding much of the recent so-called financial crisis. I hope some silly state police worker accidentally goes Kent State on some of those protesters.

  126. leftwing says:

    sastry

    is that what the supplement is?

    still seems high…eyeballing the cpi at about 3% p.a. would yield an inflation adjusted 50+% ratio of pension:best salary.

    do these people really get 50% of best salary inflation hedged after 21 years of work?

  127. Libtard says:

    Soccerdad,

    I agree with you, but our government is now owned by the corporations who have paid their lobbyists enough to make sure they are not even fairly taxed. Many are not even taxed at all. Likewise with the uber-millionaires. It’s really sad, but the only people left to try and get some of our money back from are the public sector workers since none of the other options are at all obtainable. So ultimately, I agree with you and I bet many of the other haters here do as well. Unfortunately, it’s either they win, or we do. Sorry, but that’s all that’s left.

    I ran some numbers on my son’s kindergarten class. The teacher gets $105,000 and the school receives over $400,000 in taxes to run that classroom. Something is wrong with this equation. It really shouldn’t be long before people refuse to pay these taxes. And you thinks it’s bad for us, just imagine how bad it will be for the current generation of college graduates.

  128. Libtard says:

    Leftwing…The NJ teacher’s pension is one of the cheapest. Even so, the payouts are incredible.

    There are PDFs for all of the state pension plans here. All of them are absolutely, unequivocally unsustainable. If our mega caps didn’t switch over to the 401K model, many of them wouldn’t be here today.

    Here…do the math yourself…it’s simply mind-boggling. And when these public sector workers claim they paid into them, be very aware of how little they pay. If they get 1/4th of what they were promised, they’re still doing quite fairly. Where else do you pay in $90,000 and easily get out millions.

    http://www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions/

    Go to the Our Programs pulldowns and then find a barf bag as you’ll have trouble keeping it down. I’m pretty liberal on lots of issues, but this is one where the math simply doesn’t add up.

  129. Al Mossberg says:

    125.

    Libtard,

    Your son is being held back because the public education morons teach to the mean. You wonder why our society is so f_cked up? The intelligent are held back in the name of fairness. I feel bad for your kids.

    Personally, I would rather die broke than have my kids live as slaves.

  130. Al Mossberg says:

    127.

    Soccer Dad,

    Fair points. Lets face it. The public sector is a parasite not a benefit to prosperity. If establishing a strong middle class is your goal then I am all for it. If the middle class you support is taking from the hardworking and productive Americans then I am against it.

    Give up those retarded government jobs. Be a f_ckin man and start your own business. Real men live or die based on the quality of their work.

    Take you gov cronies and identify the real enemy. Then you will see everyone join in and f_ck them up. Wise up.

  131. cobbler says:

    libtard [131]
    Private sector pension plans had been perfectly sustainable for most companies, they are much less rich than the public sector plans – had I stayed with my then employer for 30 years, i’d be pulling 36% of my average pay for the last 10 years on the job when I’d be 65, and no inflation adjustment, and a major penalty if you start before 65. The problem is that with the money largely invested not into the stable value products (like they used to, but returns are not high enough for the MBA types) but equities, commodities, etc., the value fluctuates widely, and based on the very rigid regulations companies are forced to add a lot to the plan assets when the economy is at its worst, affecting their earnings most severely. On the other hand, in flush times the pension funds are “overfunded” and make the companies into the takeover lures.

  132. Get this. My daughter just walked into the house an hour ago with her plaque for making the All-State team in field hockey.

    Problem is, the plaque- along with an invitation to the awards banquet on JANUARY 8- was sent to the AD at our “Blue Ribbon” HS in fcuking DECEMBER. The 300 lb. retarded gorilla then “forgot” about it until last week…at which point, he began to feel bad about it (but not bad enough to call my daughter into his office, give it to her, and apologize in person).

    So, after a week of agonizing, he handed it to my daughter’s coach to give to her today…IN THE MIDDLE OF A CLASS!!! The coach also conditioned the whole deal on my daughter’s agreement to keep quiet about the AD’s gaffe.

    I am bound by no such agreement.

  133. soccer (127)-

    Big problem: the gubmint does not produce anything of value. It also produces no goods and delivers a second-rate, overpriced facsimile of service. It also sucks up money, destroys wealth and curtails personal advancement and freedom.

  134. joyce (110)-

    Bingo. Where Moose sits is where he stands.

  135. Al Mossberg says:

    134.

    Cobbler,

    Its all BS. If you had invested in bullion since 2001 you would be up almost 1000%. 401k’s and IRA’s are obsolete. No one knows what the tax rate will be when we are 59. The youth aren’t buying into the bullsh_t so either way its going to end. Sucks to be an old timer banking on Medicare. That I can assure you.

  136. wing (120)-

    You should just send that teacher a nice little note…wrapped around a 30.06 round.

  137. Al Mossberg says:

    140.

    Debt,

    At this point it all ends the same way no matter how you paint it. History always repeats itself. Ill have no part of it but I have plenty of popcorn to watch.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d0TOvo3CF8

  138. al (141)-

    I’m composing a short list of human trash that I can easily get rid of when the local skirmishes get a little hairy and the media might not exactly be paying attention to detail.

  139. Hey, guys…while we’re railing on here, MERS has pretty much circled the drain.

    Kaput. Defunkt. Dead. Gone.

  140. Bystander says:

    Lib,

    Crazy huh? You’ve been working almost as long as that d-bag in #111 yet you’d be cleaned out in under 8 years if you pulled that meager $36K/year from your 401K. I have been contributing for almost 15 and got wiped out in 2000 – 2001. Smartened up by 2007. Still, you are $100K ahead of me. Mixture of sh*tty company match (meaning zero company match a couple years) and trying to save outside my 401K. Still, 40 is on the horizon..

  141. Whoops. Moderated at #144. Here it is again:

    Talk about a nice final destination for a 30.06 round…here’s a fun little ZH reader’s letter to the Bernank:

    “Having managed money for a while, with all the implicit strategic and tactical decisions, I also understand thesis drift – where you make a decision based on a set of factors, but then continue the policy, or hold the position, based on new reasoning (excuses) that were not part of the original thought process, even after those factors change. An easy example is when a portfolio manager buys a position based on a chart, then, when the chart breaks and he has a small loss, convinces himself that there are other, fundamental factors (it’s cheap now), which support holding the position until it gets back to even. This usually leads to a larger loss. It’s not the sort of lesson you learn in a classroom.

    And so it is with you. I understand how it started – the raw panic that you must have felt over some of those weekends in 2008, after belatedly becoming aware that most of the financial system teetered precariously above a fragile foundation of leverage, artifice, obfusc@tion, and outright fraud – and how emergency conditions justified extreme action in 2008, as distasteful as it must have been for an economist to allocate the capital of honest savers to those that had, in fact, proved to have been the biggest destroyers of capital. I even understand, though I disagree with, the reasoning beyond your latest tactical success / potential strategic disaster – QE-FOREVER.

    And now, on the horizon, I see the thesis drift coming: ‘How,’ you ask yourself, ‘will the US possibly roll all these treasuries, to support the ridiculous politicians’ deficit spending, without me in there as an unnatural source of demand? And, if I don’t keep interfering, day by day and auction by auction, MY GOD, what will happen to the value of the enormous, leveraged debt portfolio that the Fed just purchased at a generational top tick, when the auctions struggle and rates begin to take the fast train up? WHAT HAVE I DONE??’ Late at night, when it’s just you, the ceiling, and the ghosts of the Princeton lunchroom, you must worry: ‘At a 5% 10 year, I’ll have one of the largest paper losses in the history of global finance, and, my own obfusc@tion aside, sooner or later people will clue in, realize they never pulled a lever for my manifesto, and put my head on a stick!’”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/readers-letter-ben-bernanke

  142. SoccerDad (aka DeepThroat) says:

    Libtard,

    The last two democratic Presidents, Clinton and Obama, have basically followed Republican scripts. When Clinton lost his re-election bid for govenor the first time, he realized that without power everything else is irrelevant. He became a pure politican and the bond vigilantes kept him from implementing any democratic initiatives. Obama took everyone by surprise but it didn’t take that long to see he’s a stuffed suit beholden to the money men.

    I spent my career in the mortgage-backed securities field. IN the early 80’s mortgage rates were in the double digits and a slew of articles came out about how local banks would be demanding such a risk premium that you would never see single digit mortgages again. What happened? We created a mortgage capital market, a wonder to behold. A bank in Phoenix wouldn’t buy a mortgage from Philadelphia but for 25 basis points FNMA would insure the mortgage and we got liquidity. The early bankers, First Boston and Salomon, earned great profits and they deserved them. I was proud to work in the industry.Where else in the world could you get 30 yr. fixed rate mortgages for 6%? ( Most of the world does 5 year adjustables where the bank takes no interest rate risk>)
    I don’t know when exactly the MBS industry veered into the fraudulent but the repeal of Glass Stegall certainly didn’t help.
    Glass Steagall forbad the dumping of securities into a bank’s trust department by the bank securities unit. IN 2005, Merrill Lynch couldn’t sell the go-go paper, mezzanine and residual on their CDO’s. The pension funds and asset managers had had enough. So Merrill “bought” these pieces themselves, creating an artifically high price for these pos. The real estate decline would have visible earlier if not for these moves. Wasn’t this exactly what GS was supposed to prevent. No one even talks about these Merrill guys doing perp walks.

  143. jamil says:

    “[Milwaukee, Wisconsin] MacIver News Service – For the first time in history, the average annual compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system will exceed $100,000.
    That staggering figure was revealed last night at a meeting of the MPS School Board.
    The average salary for an MPS teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.”

    http://maciverinstitute.blogspot.com/2011/02/average-mps-compensation-tops-100k.html

  144. leftwing says:

    Interesting thought, although your commentary belies the politics you bemoan in the ‘Right’.

    Another thought….what would Smoot-Hawley look like today?

    In 1930 exports were $5.4B, imports $4.4B. Both contracted by about 2/3 inflicting more pain on the US than its partners since we were a net exporter. Overall though the trade balance was less than 1% of GDP, as was the net contraction.

    Today we are obviously in a net deficit and I suspect it is a larger portion of GDP. What if a regulatory framework pulled production back into the US?

    Don’t mistake me, I’m a free trader and free marketer but I will agree with one view – I don’t anymore want to compete with labor where the average daily wage is dollars a day than the guy who’s already been outsourced.

  145. leftwing says:

    Ooops, for Deep.

  146. leftwing says:

    “Lets see…what’s my 401k worth 12 years later? $280,000 ”

    It kills me when some firefighter/cop argues ‘but we pay 9% towards our retirement each year’. Yeaah, and you get about three times as much back annually.

    Just like the teacher that was on the news the other night. ‘It’s not like tenure is just handed out. We have to wait three years.’ And in the real world we get job security to retirement after one year, right? Jack@$$.

    These people don’t realize how far down the rabbit hole they’ve tumbled.

  147. leftwing says:

    “I ran some numbers on my son’s kindergarten class. The teacher gets $105,000 and the school receives over $400,000 in taxes to run that classroom. ”

    Before or after the vig to the Abbotts?

  148. gary says:

    “Union leaders are pouring resources into Wisconsin but are also planning for battles in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and other states facing budget crises. They have put aside $30m for the campaigns.”

    Bleed the m’fers to death. The Unions are f*cking dead. Get over it. The fuse is already lit. There’s nothing to do now but lay the plans for reconstruction. We’re all temp workers now.

  149. Barbara says:

    Public sector vs private sector and its relation to benefits and taxation has become another log jam debate, just like illegal immigration. A whole lot of puffed up tales of heroism and fictional sacrifice muddies the discussion just enough to keep the facts from clearing the hot air.

  150. Barbara says:

    Also, I call BS on the strawman “private sector is just jealous because its down” argument. Nonsense, as a self employed person in NJ, I have benefited very little from the bubble and have been hit hard by tax increases and major increases on my health care. Been bitchin’ since 2003 or so. Meanwhile, I have to watch public sector family members eat out every night at 70 a clip and then bitch that their copays went up to 15 dollars a visit and they are just broke. Every weekend is a park n’ shop haul-a-thon. NO money set aside for retirement, no money to pay for healthcare, no investment for kid’s college. That’s a lot of extra cash to play with. I calculate about 2,000 a month conservatively. Boo freakin hoo.

  151. cobbler says:

    Some Manhattan RE pro on Bloomberg TV this morning: 4 to 10 Mln $$ range selling like hotcakes, bidding wars, all-cash, largely foreign buyers; 1 to 4 mln so-so; less than 1 mln bad.

  152. gary says:

    I just told my wife, a Catholic School teacher, that the average salary for a teacher in the Milwaukee public school district has just topped $100,000. She said, “Where did I go wrong?” I said, “You’re problem is that you care too much. Instead of worrying about the success of some kid at a salary of 29K per year, you should’ve became tenured and pigged out at the trough.”

  153. chicagofinance says:

    METRO MONEY
    FEBRUARY 19, 2011
    Uncovering Penn’s Charms
    By ANNE KADET

    If there are two New Yorks, they are surely epitomized by our two Midtown train stations. Grand Central seems to embody everything we love about our city: history, magnificent architecture, great food. Then there’s Penn Station, with its underground mall aesthetic, dueling Taco Bells and snarling crowds. If Grand Central is the formal family portrait, with everyone scrubbed and smiling for the camera, Penn is the candid snapshot showing dad shouting in his boxers while mom cries over a burnt TV dinner.

    Penn regulars wonder why their depot can’t be more like its classy cousin across town with the high-end shops. After all, 600,000 passengers rush through every day, and lots of them have money. The MTA, which manages both Grand Central and parts of Penn, says it’s partly a matter of location—Midtown East has more money than Penn’s corner of town. Then there’s the tourist factor. Millions flock to Grand Central from around the world, and unlike harried commuters, they value quality over convenience.

    So like it or not, Penn probably reflects the “real” New York better than its rival. And while it’s frustrating and hard to love, those who learn to navigate it find it perfectly habitable—you can almost enjoy a Grand Central experience on a Penn Station budget.

    It helps to think of Penn as several depots in one. Amtrak manages the upper deck, which includes NJ Transit; the MTA oversees the lower level, which houses the LIRR and that long, wild corridor connecting the subway entrances. Each has its strong suits, and passengers can pick and choose from the options, whether they buy a $5 ticket to Newark or a $200 round-trip on Amtrak.

    Take the waiting areas. Amtrak, NJ Transit and the LIRR all post signs demanding tickets for lounge entry, but I sailed inside offering nothing more than a smile. The best option? Amtrak’s spacious, glass-enclosed waiting room.

    In a society where billionaires wear jeans and waiters wear tuxedos, travel outfits still struggle to maintain class distinctions, and no one tries harder than Amtrak. Its waiting room provides separate seating for Acela passengers and the hoi polloi. Both offer comfy chairs and an airy feel, but the Acela side adds three potted plants, plastic end tables and a television running a hit classic, “Amtrak: Focus on Security.”

    Amtrak’s best customers enjoy ClubAcela, which I wasn’t allowed to visit without an escort from the PR office. Once we were buzzed through the gold double doors, I could see why. There are strolling violinists, chocolate fountains and trained peac-cks serving Dom Perignon. Actually, it looks like the lobby of a mid-price business hotel: comfy club chairs upholstered in Amtrak blue, an office with a fax machine and a snack bar offering chips and soda.

    When it comes to bathrooms, avoid NJ Transit (trash galore, blood in the sink, no soap). Amtrak’s new restrooms are clean, but resemble the facilities at the local community pool. Better to head downstairs. “We have the best bathrooms!” says LIRR President Helena Williams. Thanks to a $5 million renovation, the ladies’ room was expanded to 25 stalls while the men’s room got a new ventilation system. Both were redone with smell-repellent surfaces. “No odors,” Ms. Williams promises. Bonus: 24-hour attendants keep the rooms clean and stocked with TP.

    Penn Station seems to offer retailers a fantastic opportunity. It combines a Midtown crowd with rents comparable to those found in Harlem or the Lower East Side—$130 to $250 a square foot. Still, some tenants believe the station could support a tonier mix. At Tiecoon, the tiny accessories shop, co-owner Biana Todorovic says well-heeled commuters are snapping up the pricey neckwear. Her best seller: the $90 Lee Allison “Foxes” tie featuring silhouettes of the four-legged and pin-up variety. Ms. Todorovic flipped the tie over to reveal the label. It said, “Remove Before Sex.”

    The station’s real retail showstopper is Kmart. Beyond the modest entrance, the store spreads on and on in all directions like a crazed, three-story amoeba. If you found an exit on the far end, you’d probably emerge in Central Park. For a New Yorker, it’s a wonderland of suburban exotica: patio furniture, Justin Bieber posters, Weber grills. There’s a whole section of lawn ornaments, including a set of “solar lighted toads” in leather biker garb.

    Many say Penn’s main entertainment is booze. There are a half-dozen stands along the corridors selling cold beer by the can; Linda Frankel, project director for Amtrak real estate, says these stops are among the station’s highest-revenue tenants. Officially, you’re not supposed to drink in the public areas, but unofficially, there are a lot of commuters trying to drink away the fact that they’re at Penn Station. Frugalholics say the best prices are at the Duane Reade.

    If you’re hungry, regulars recommend Don Pepe, the pizzeria on the upper level—it bakes a tasty, compact slice that won’t drip on your shirt. Tracks, the oyster bar on the lower level, offers a cozy ambiance and decent, straightforward fare for folks who want a sit-down meal. And while raw fish at Penn Station sounds like a punch line, a surprising number of regulars praise Penn Sushi for its quality and freshness.

    Personally, I prefer the “die before you die” strategy—embracing the idea that you’re in a fast food jungle, and going native. For my final Penn Station meal, I bought a $3.39 Cinnabon “Classic Roll” and washed the 880-calorie monstrosity down with a large coffee. First I felt sick, and then I felt high, and then I realized that Penn Station is absolutely wonderful. I ventured into the main corridor. Everyone looked beautiful. The Muzak sounded like songs from heaven. Never mind the trains, I was already right where I needed to be.

  154. cobbler says:

    barbara [154]
    Poor money habits are bad for public AND private sector workers. The kid that works for me and is paid 2.5x less is spending an impressive share of his income on leasing the second 5-series already and usually buys sushi for lunch. When I told him my cash-for-clunkers Civic is the first new car I’ve ever bought he had been totally shocked.

  155. Confused In NJ says:

    You have to give Ben a hand, the entire middle east is in flames, and no impact at all on wall street, now that the US Treasury owns it.

  156. Confused In NJ says:

    113.cobbler says:
    February 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm
    confused [109]
    If people didn’t like the move from the defined benefit to defined contribution plans, nobody except unions ever made a fuss about it. Besides, even now, when there was a chat on this board a while ago about the possible and voluntary annuitization of 401K plans, the proposal had been treated almost as a high treason. Everyone thinks he is a as good an investor as Warren Buffett until he is 5 years away from the retirement, then he gets pissed off at the teachers for having a better pension plan.

    I can only tell you what happened in the Real World with major Corporations like AT&T and IBM. Non Union folks had no say in the the conversions. Ma Bell before it broke up and still had a regular pension plan created a frozen window for it’s calculation back in the early 80’s. They also froze the amount they would ever pay into Medical. Actually, from the time that IBM and AT&T started their Benefits pull back because of projected future cost, the Public Sector went the complete opposite way as though the Private Sector was wrong.

  157. Barbara says:

    There is absolutely no logical or ethical reason to assume that the public sector should be sheltered from market forces. None.

  158. cobbler says:

    barbara [161]
    Historically, public sector job was a way to get sheltered from the market forces in exchange for an honest day’s work and a somewhat lower remuneration. There is nothing wrong with this choice as long as (a) the work is honest and (b) “somewhat” is defined.

  159. Anon E. Moose says:

    Barb [161];

    I agree with Cobbler’s explanation, though I differ that the problem point is not “somewhat” but “lower”. By building in platinum benefits packages, both in service and in retirement; generous vacation and holidays; endless accrual of sick days payable on retirement at the last and highest salary; ample overtime (calculated into the pension, nach) — all of which lets the “sticker price” appear low enough for politicians to pass off to their constituents. The problem is that the bottom line shows up in the tax bill, and can no longer be hidden.

    The reasoning behind job protection was to prevent an ordinary ministerial worker from being fired on political whims to make way for a patronage job to the current politician’s favored party. At a certain level it makes sense – as LaGuardia said, there’s no such thing as a Republican or Democratic way to pick up the trash. Two problems have emerged, however. 1) The patronage has become simply getting hired for the job, rather than keeping it. As a result, each administration simply adds to the problem by bloating the bureaucracy. 2) Related, protection from being fired for a mere political whim became protection from being fired full stop. Which means that there is almost no reasonable way to trim the bloated bureaucracy in point 1.

  160. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [110];

    I said all I needed to about the banksters when I opposed the endless bailouts. The punishment for making stupid decisions with money is that you lose the money. If it was someone else’s money and you were working for them, you get fired. Except that didn’t happen in this case.

  161. grim says:

    From the FDIC:

    Bank Closing Information
    February 18, 2011

    San Luis Trust Bank, FSB, San Luis Obispo, CA
    Charter Oak Bank, Napa, CA
    Citizens Bank of Effingham, Springfield, GA
    Habersham Bank, Clarkesville, GA

  162. barb (155)-

    As a fellow self-employed person, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that you and I belong to the class that the gubmint really wants to obliterate.

  163. Note to self: never bank in Georgia.

  164. gary says:

    Good morning: I just got word two days ago that my contract is ending in two weeks. I’m so glad that $1,400,000,000,000 stimulous package was effective. Oh well, I guess that means I will be huffing Starbucks and x@nax as part of my daily dietary requirement again. And here’s an added kicker; I just opened up an IT positon sent to me by a recruiter named Pradeep and I quote: “Open for EAD and Green Card Holders Only.” Yup, you read it correctly. Ahhhh…. I love the stench of death in the morning.

  165. grim says:

    Note to self: never bank in Georgia.

    You might just be better off skipping the whole of it.

  166. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Libtard

    one of the younger guys I work with drives a pimped out 3 series (1000/month with his insurance) eats out every day, admits to regularly dropping a few hundred on regular dates in NYC and just finished racking up 100k in student debt for his MBA, and makes about 48k per year.

    If your wondering how those numbers work, he lives with his parents and blows every paycheck. His grand plan is to start saving after he gets married so that he can experience life now.

    Oh and he mentioned that he has an 8 yr old civic sitting in the garage at home given to him by his father but doesn’t want to drive it because it doesn’t have gps or voice activated controls

  167. sas3 says:

    “Open for EAD and Green Card Holders Only.” Yup, you read it correctly.

    It is poorly worded, but it means something different than what you interpret it. It is a minimum requirement (i.e. no H1 visas). You should be happy to see such ads versus (“we will sponsor visas”).

    However, given how you direct your disappointment at the long-expired stimulus program instead of the company that laid you off (chances are they are making good profits and outsourced some jobs recently).

    Who can wake a person up that pretends to sleep?

  168. sas3 says:

    #161…

    “There is absolutely no logical or ethical reason to assume that the public sector should be sheltered from market forces. None.”

    Should they be open to outsourcing, take foreign workers, and drive down wages?

  169. gary says:

    sas3,

    Save your sanctimonous bullsh1t for somebody else.

  170. grim says:

    Should they be open to outsourcing, take foreign workers, and drive down wages?

    They should be open to the idea of eliminating jobs entirely. They should embrace productivity and a more efficient workforce.

    As far as outsourcing goes, absolutely. I have no doubt that the private sector can execute better and cheaper than the public sector. If not outsourcing, than in-sourcing combined with shared services. With scale comes efficiency.

    Public sector is the only place where increased productivity is a negative, bad, something to be avoided. At my company, if I can reduce my budget and achieve the same level of revenue, output, or production, it makes the company successful, competitive.

    In the public sector, reduction in budget with the expectation that the same level of work be performed is EVIL. In fact, so evil that even the mere whisper of not allowing budgets to grow at multiple points per year is met with outrage.

  171. NJCoast says:

    46.chicagofinance says:
    February 18, 2011 at 11:30 am
    Chifi-

    Yes!

    #45
    NJ COAST!

    Is your daughter a panelist here?
    http://entrepreneurship.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/users/nle2/draft%20agenda%202-17-11.pdf

  172. House Whine says:

    170- What’s up with this guy’s parents?? They are enabling their son and this is no way to treat a grown man. I wonder if the 24 yr. old lifts a finger around the house to help out his folks. It’s good to have a bit of hardship when you are young, if nothing else to teach you about resiliency.

  173. sas3 says:

    Stu, what do you think the advantage of 401k type plans? There is flexibility in investing, liquidating, and passing money to children… No one complains about defined contribution while people make a big deal about defined benefits even in case of private companies.

  174. safe as houses says:

    Argh! I’m surprised the interviewees aren’t from Montklair.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/02/westfield_woman_gives_breast_m.html

    Swapping brea$t milk is the new stainless in hoightyville.

  175. chicagofinance says:

    cool!

    I’m may go…..but only if several things come together and I have business purpose. If so, I will watch her panel…….

    NJCoast says:
    February 19, 2011 at 9:07 am
    46.chicagofinance says:
    February 18, 2011 at 11:30 am
    Chifi- Yes!

  176. grim says:

    Was listening to NPR or something the other day and they mentioned how important it was for children to have health care. Ok, I agree.

    Children under 26.

    Huh?

    Children … under 26?

    Why does that phrase induce so much cognitive dissonance that my head feels like it is going to explode?

    Children <= 26 years? Although given the case in #170 - I guess it makes perfect sense.

  177. relo says:

    180: Veal.

  178. sas3 says:

    gary, something wrong I said?

  179. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Grim

    the guy I referenced in 170 is 26. His financial plan is to be a high paid executive By 35. Hence no savings needed.

  180. NJ Toast says:

    Safe – Breast Milk

    Taxable income perhaps?

    How much milk is produced in a day, a whole new meaning for dairy farm!

    “Had Richter purchased breast milk from a milk bank, she would have paid up to $250 for 60 ounces. The nation’s nine milk banks can charge up to $5 per ounce.”

  181. relo says:

    135: Clot,

    Comgrats, that is an amazing achievement by your daughter. I’ll bet the rank and file feel for the poor AD rather than your daughter. Accountability is for suckers.

  182. Lone Ranger says:

    There’s a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
    I packed my bags and I’m heading straight into the storm
    Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
    That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground
    Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
    Blow away the dreams that break your heart
    Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted

    Da Boss

  183. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    My co-worker from 170 is vert book smart but a child in all other respect. Nice kid though

  184. Juice Box says:

    Going to look at another REO today. I am praying that this one has no mold.

  185. Essex says:

    I actually think teachers are not paid enough. they actually contribute something to society unlike virtually every one of you posters.

  186. Beyond Thunderdome says:

    NJGator says:
    February 17, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Looking through the Glen Ridge closed sales last month. 21 Lorraine went for $479k – $50k over ask. Not bad for a 1562SF 3/1.5 on a 40×100 lot on a former Superfund site.

    479 for that? Someone must have been hard up/desperate to buy. Why not just save for another year and buy something bigger/better?

  187. Fermin says:

    Quality posting, I really watch for posts by you.

  188. Beyond Thunderdome says:

    had a leak in the master bathroom from one of the ice storms. kind of pissed about it since we only bought 2 yrs ago. but the wife has always wanted to re-do the bathroom … so i caved and we’re doing it.

    got 3 quotes (Angie’s list is a great resource). took the one in the middle. got a sense from 2 of the contractors that work is picking up for them as their schedules were quite busy.

    best way to save $ on a job like this? cash in your amex points for home depot gift cards. That’s like a free $1500-2000.

  189. gary says:

    Hey! I think I just found one of those shovel-ready jobs!!

    http://tinyurl.com/46wppws

  190. Juice Box says:

    re: #189 – Essex tossing blanket insults will make you no friends. Perhaps you need a new hobby since you seem to soar way above the rest of us posters here on this blog?

    Why don’t you give this a try? I heard it is quite exhilarating and since you and your teacher friends have all summer off why not head off to Monte Brento Italy for a few months?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl-eBCUb7hI

  191. BlindJust says:

    Most firms annually assess their employee’s job role, competitor relative pay and whether that role can be effectively filled at a lower cost. If so, then it will be eliminated in the high cost location.

    The problem is in role definition. Anyone who has managed to remain employed over the past few years has likely had to absorb the responsibilities of dismissed colleagues.
    Therefore, there is an element of management discretion on whether to retain employees at the top tier of their level’s salary guide. If a manager decides to retain employees whose role can effectively be filled at a lower cost elsewhere, then their days are numbered if they don’t have a guardian angel.

    cobbler says:
    February 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    A.West [112]
    Highly likely, I can very successfully do your job for half or a one third of your current pay (based on what I think your pay is). So what?

  192. Dick Schwartz says:

    194. I would make you wimper.

  193. Richard Hurtz says:

    Wimper? Isn’t that German for eyelash? Or, perhaps that grammatical error is the result of a public school education?

  194. gary says:

    Wait! I found another shovel-ready job! Work abounds!

    http://tinyurl.com/4oxewqk

  195. DL says:

    Tin soldiers and Nixon coming. Does the WI NG come with Ma Deuce?

  196. VeggieMite says:

    197. You have an eyelash in your anus.

  197. cobbler says:

    blindjust [195]
    Most firms annually assess their employee’s job role, competitor relative pay and whether that role can be effectively filled at a lower cost. If so, then it will be eliminated in the high cost location.

    Yes and no. Wages are sticky (sorry for the Keynesian language). We’ve recently hired a guy whose previous employer was a sort of a sweatshop run by the Orthodox someplace in upstate NY. His pay with us is 50% higher than he’d been getting there, and it is still less than any of his peers here. OTOH, I am 100% sure he would have agreed to move to us even if we offered just a 20% increase.

  198. Barbara says:

    Political whims and public/city employees….I have a few stories, yes I do. Maybe for a meet up, but for now all I can say is that our city has 60,000, but only 5,000 or so turn out for mayoral elections. The mayor wins every year, 35 plus years and going (same families, insiders). They mayor wins elections with 3,000 votes, most coming from public employees living on the sec 8 vouchers that the city controls. Bread is buttered. I don’t see how any of the “original intent” was ever going to stop this level of patronage.

  199. Punch My Ticket says:

    In a surprising turn of events, the Tan Man goes scot free.

  200. Jim says:

    ESSEX, #189
    Entitlements are not a contribution to society….sorry. We now rank 27th compared to the top 30 industrialized nations. Although we are #1 with pay and benefits.

    Ironically your wife will be paying a higher amount in to her pension, so the current teacher retirees can continue their good lifestyle. I cry for you Essex, not hardly.

    Jim

  201. relo says:

    203: Dare I say: unexpected.

  202. sas3 says:

    Clot, is it possible that your coworker takes your talk of oblivion very seriously and is just spending everything now to enjoy the life now instead of wasting money by saving?

    S

  203. sas3 says:

    Grim, running public schools (or general public services) like a corporation will have some unique problems. For example, the same guys that push for outsourcing will resort to xenophobia in the next election cycle if things don’t work out in their favor. They will succeed more often than acceptable. Voters can be worse than politicians sometimes.

    Talking about voting on school budgets, many residents can’t vote because they are not citizens . Even though they have been staying in the same house and paying property taxes for decades and have their kids in the public school system, they don’t count.

  204. VeggieMite says:

    204. Sure they are Jim — money earned doing good work. Money spent supporting a retired woman or man. What planet are you on ya flaming turd?

  205. relo (186)-

    Amazingly, the AD has already told my daughter and her coach he will not have it mentioned as part of the announcements during homeroom period before school starts.

    I’m gonna wait until one day this week when my personal irritation meter is at “homicidal rage”, then make a nice little phone call to that fat fcuk.

  206. punch (204)-

    Not surprising at all. None of the people who committed crimes in the financial debacle are going to jail.

    That’s why we’re gonna have to eventually dispense some summary justice to them.

  207. sastry (203)-

    What the hell are you talking about?

  208. sx (190)-

    GOOD teachers are not paid enough. This occurs because their collectivist union believes that rewarding superior performance is unfair and that everyone in the union deserves a job for life.

    Unless, of course, the budget ax falls. Then, it’s FIFO…regardless of talent or effort.

  209. I meant last in, first out in #213…not FIFO.

  210. Schrodinger's cat says:

    SAS3 207

    Talking about voting on school budgets, many residents can’t vote because they are not citizens . Even though they have been staying in the same house and paying property taxes for decades and have their kids in the public school system, they don’t count.

    And the problem with that is what exactly????

  211. sas3 says:

    Clot #214… taxation without representation is a problem.

    Re #212, see #170.

  212. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Sas3

    I’m not clot/debt/doom.

    If they are not citizens then they are most likely illegal immigrants as only a very small percent of green card holders would fall into that catagory.

    In the case of illegals, what’s the problem? If they want representation try entering the country legally.

    Regarding 170, my co-worker is up to date on all the latest MSM propaganda and has no concept of what’s going on with the fiat race to the bottom.

  213. sastry, I’m not Cat.

  214. Spending all your money in a nihilistic spasm as a reaction to the corruption and thuggery of Bernank, Eraserhead, et al is a logical reaction.

    Smoke ’em if you got ’em, boys. The ultraviolence will commence soon enough.

  215. What if a bunch of fat, aggrieved, mediocre teachers start capping gubmint thugs for us?

    Again, we just have to cheer on as many casualties as possible for both sides.

  216. Note how the gubmint does not yet touch police and fire unions, so that they will defend these crooks against the teachers.

    Little do those rubes know that once the teachers are quelled, the rug will be pulled out from under them.

  217. Schrodinger's cat says:

    Debt 220

    Once again, just look at argentina…..

  218. sas3 says:

    Clot/cat… my bad. thx for clarification.

  219. VeggieMite says:

    My wiener itches.

  220. Juice Box says:

    Why oh why do I keep looking at REOs.

    Today’s mess was a 1970s 4,000 sq ft monstrosity that the bank has been trying to unload for a while now. I was told make an offer of 600k on a house that was assessed at 1.5m. This place was on great waterfront property and had a tax bill of 27k! The house? It was a throwback to polyster and key parties and had not been updated since. A sunken living room with black leather benches with a round white stone fireplace too boot. Lime Green carpet everywhere, mirrors on every wall and closet door, see thru opaque plastic kitchen cabinet with white formica and florecent lighting. I would say 300-400k to update it (gut renovate) and then you would still want to knock it down. UGH!

  221. Barbara says:

    Juice,
    I’m actually finding that I’m more offended by the pale peach tile/beiged 1990s remodels all over the place. They are marketed as “remodeled.” 1993 was a long time ago….and it shows.

  222. Confused In NJ says:

    N.J. home foreclosures expected to rise 20 percent this year
    Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 7:00 PM

    Home foreclosures are expected to jump 20 percent in New Jersey this year, despite some improvement in the economy, according to a report from CBS New York.

    Kevin Wolfe, of New Jersey’s Administrative Office of the Courts, said foreclosure filings climbed to 65,000 in 2009 — from about 25,000 in the years before the subprime mortgage crisis, the report stated. The anticipated rise is due to the unemployed still trying to find jobs

  223. Pat says:

    Clot, the situation regarding notification to your daughter is irretrievable and must be dealt with swiftly by allowing your daughter to effect change.

    Accuracy, Timeliness and Responsiveness: the keys to success by written bullet. Or Youtube. Obviously, there is a process that must be changed – how your daughter changes it for other achievers will define her. Not you. Her.

  224. Libtard says:

    Montclair CFO suddenly resigns.

    Hmmmmmm.

  225. I think veggiemite is Borat Obama.

  226. Pat (228)-

    Sadly, my daughter has decided that this incident is business as usual at her HS. She is a senior, and four years of watching stuff like this happen to other girls has desensitized her to how little many administrators and teachers care. The only day she has circled on her calendar for this year is the day she graduates. She already swears she’ll never set foot on that campus again.

    My daughter’s year to be a change agent in the school was last year. She and her co-captain very methodically went about having an unstable and unreliable head coach removed at the end of the season. No tears, no ultimatums, no tantrums…just a few good letters and a review of the most egregious incidents of poor coaching, in writing.

    In return, the fired coach blackballed her at three schools (of which we are aware) that were recruiting her.

    I have kept myself way in the background with all this stuff for the past four years, but at this point, I don’t mind fighting a battle for my kid. She’s more than earned the help.

  227. JJ says gold is dead money, but even a Third World dictator knows better.

    “Even as Ben Ali was fleeing his country, his presidential palace continued to be a hoard of all the items he had “borrowed” over the decades. As Al Arabiya reports, “Tunisia’s ousted president stashed diamonds, gold and wads of cash in secret spots around his palace in the impoverished country’s capital, according to video shown by state television on Saturday.” The clip below shows the objects Ali was in too much of a hurry to pick up. Among these: wall safes full of cotton fiat, necklaces and other trinkets. Alas: not a single bar of silver or gold anywhere. It seems the dictator may have lacked in PR skills, but he sure knew what to pick when fleeing the country.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/meet-objects-tunisias-ben-ali-did-not-have-time-steal

  228. 30 year realtor says:

    #224 Juice Box – Even in this time of mass foreclosures REO is a different product than typical real estate. Most existing housing stock is flawed is some way and with REO the flaws are usually magnified exponentially.

    Due to the clog in the REO pipeline the only fresh REO hitting the market are properties sold at sheriff sale more than 2 months ago that have recently vacated. The rest of what is currently available is overpriced trash.

    Whenever I was seeking an REO to live in, I was looking for 3 criteria. First was location, second was floor plan and third was that it had to be in poor enough condition that I didn’t pay for anything of value that I planned to put in a dumpster. There isn’t much else about a house that a wrecking bar and a boat load of money won’t cure.

  229. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [189] Essex

    ‘I actually think teachers are not paid enough. they actually contribute something to society unlike virtually every one of you posters.”

    In the case of my daughter’s teacher, she is contributing by honing my editing skills as I correct her atrocious grammar, improving my logic skills as I decipher her convoluted and contradictory homework instructions, and sharpening my advocacy and diplomacy skills as I routinely meet with the principal and teachers to try to get them to do their jobs while appearing to support them for their desultory efforts.

    I have YET to meet any teacher that I thought was anywhere near as intelligent as most people I know, and neither they or I are Einsteins. Hopefully your spouse is the exception.

  230. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [209] debt

    Pointless unless you name names. At least the school district. We can fill in the blanks.

  231. Name is John Deutsch. North Hunterdon district.

  232. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Shoreguy

    theme song the day:

    babylon plan by Jah Creation

  233. jamil says:

    any docs here?
    Some doctors in WI mob hate rally were handing out medical notes for sick leave, for anybody who asked. They were official notes, signed by the doctor and apparently as such must be recognised by the employer. So WI taxpayers must pay for the strike, eh sick-day I mean.
    It was obvious that no medical check-up was done, no patient records prepared (doesn’t law require such?) during that 10 seconds it took to write the note. Even Andrew Breitbart got himself one such fabricated doctor’s note.

    How would medical licensing boards treat incidents like this? (Assuming the boards are not hard core liberal activist themselves). Is doctor allowed to hand out fake notes or isn’t this straighforward case when the medical board should act and permanently remove the medical license from these fraudsters? Political activity and solidarity are ok, but I think there are some rules how doctors should conduct their profession. (On a side note, this is how ObamaCare would look like – political activism rules, no doubt treatment is given based on politics).

    Also, this looks like textbook case for fraud (sickleave pay) so criminal prosecution should be coming too.

  234. yo'me says:

    To the guru’s on this blog;Veto,Ket et al
    I see alot of bloggers are starting to get in the market looking at Schillers history of home values converted to todays dollar, is 130 to 140 the fair price converted from previous inreases of home values?Or this author suggest 110 away from previous increases.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/07/updating-the-case-shiller-100-chart-forecast/

  235. Juice Box says:

    Jamil – ain’t see nothing yet, google sit down strikes of the 1930s. History does rhyme sometimes.

  236. jamil says:

    240: Hmm 1930s..

    – community activist with oratory skills emerge: check
    – said community activist establishes violent mob stormtroopers in the style of Organizing For Germany: check
    – mob storms the parlamentary buildings in order to force the mob will: check
    – election fraud, intimidation and preventing people of wrong color to vote by armed guards: check

    Yep, some pesky elections are not going to stop these people.

  237. Outofstater says:

    #236 And with nine years of experience, the taxpayers pay him over $107,000 for about 180 days of work. Nice.

  238. VeggieMite says:

    234. My boner bleeds for your friends.

  239. grim says:

    Anyone a direct buy member, or know someone who is? Looking to buy something that I can use the discount on.

  240. jamil says:

    Fannie Mae update.

    It looks like Journolist has come up with a new excuse why Fannie Mae must be kept alive and its executives from unnamed political party must continue receiving millions by cooking the books. Oh, I love the “Obama admin is proposing” angle.

    “Dialing back government support for District-based Fannie Mae and McLean-based Freddie Mac could have far-reaching implications for minority financial professionals in the Washington region.

    Not only are the mortgage finance giants two of the largest employers in the area, with a total of 10,000 workers, but many of those positions are held by people of color. Were the government-sponsored entities (GSE) eliminated, as the Obama administration is proposing, that may leave thousands of these professionals looking for a place to land.

    “The private financial industry has not historically been as open to minorities as the GSEs,”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/18/AR2011021805748.html

  241. Confused In NJ says:

    Planet could be ‘unrecognizable’ by 2050, experts say

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

    The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

    To feed all those mouths, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    “By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” if current trends continue, Clay said.

    The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

    But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years — tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations — and add more strain to global food supplies.

    People tend to move up the food chain as their incomes rise, consuming more meat than they might have when they made less money, the experts said.

    It takes around seven pounds (3.4 kilograms) of grain to produce a pound of meat, and around three to four pounds of grain to produce a pound of cheese or eggs, experts told AFP.

    “More people, more money, more consumption, but the same planet,” Clay told AFP, urging scientists and governments to start making changes now to how food is produced.

    Population experts, meanwhile, called for more funding for family planning programs to help control the growth in the number of humans, especially in developing nations.

    “For 20 years, there’s been very little investment in family planning, but there’s a return of interest now, partly because of the environmental factors like global warming and food prices,” said Bongaarts.

    “We want to minimize population growth, and the only viable way to do that is through more effective family planning,” said Casterline

  242. Al Mossberg says:

    Check out this elite public education teacher and union member molding the minds of America’s finest. Remember this when you pay your absurd quarterly property taxes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aZ6bj_EO_o&feature=player_embedded

  243. Al Mossberg says:

    Silver busted through 33 and gold knocking on 1400.

  244. VeggieMite says:

    Buncha Rush Limbaugh c*ck lickers on this here blog.

  245. leftwing says:

    Grim, I am, out of Randolph. Email me.

  246. still_looking says:

    leftwing,

    could I tag along?

    sl

  247. A.West says:

    Grim 174,
    Great point, that’s the heart of the matter, and why the government should be responsible for nothing more than the necessities in our economy (e.g. courts, police, national defense). The government has no incentives to reward efficiency other than the threat of elections.

  248. A.West says:

    Cobbler,
    If you think can do my work for 1/3 my pay then by all means apply away. Investment managers love analysts and portfolio managers who consistently outperform their benchmarks, and contribute to superior risk adjusted returns of global investment portfolios, plus help them acquire and retain clients and billions of dollars of assets. In fact, they’ll be so worried about losing that rare talent of yours, they probably won’t be willing to pay you only 1/3 of my comp, because they’d be too fearful of you leaving for a higher-paying role at a competitor.

    Just like the schools and schoolteachers, right? The schools pay so much because the teachers are so great, and the customers are so happy, and the teachers could make so much more working for someone else, and there’s nobody who can replace them working for less?

  249. sas3 says:

    #254…

    “who consistently outperform their benchmarks” … “contribute to superior risk adjusted returns of global investment portfolios”… “rare talent”… “higher-paying role at a competitor”…

    Nice to see that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong and all buzz words are intact! God’s work carries on unimpeded (though S&P 500 beats active portfolio management [S&P 666?] 80% of the time).

  250. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [232];

    Whenever I was seeking an REO to live in, I was looking for 3 criteria. First was location, second was floor plan and third was that it had to be in poor enough condition that I didn’t pay for anything of value that I planned to put in a dumpster. There isn’t much else about a house that a wrecking bar and a boat load of money won’t cure.

    How might one contact you?

  251. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Sas.
    Heck yea guvmt should outsource but not to foreign companies, for the same reason they should only procure us made cars, buses, trains, etc where possible. Keep in mind that the end goal for govt is not to decrease costs, like a profit seeking corporation, in fact the exenditures in public sector are the services themselves. Having said that, the employees were never meant to be paid as much as private sector. It was supposed to be a tradeoff, less pay for more stability, but somehow they became expectant of and entitled to both.

  252. Neanderthal Economist says:

    189 Essex,
    Would more money result in better education for the children, or just nicer cars and vacations for the union workers?

  253. Neanderthal Economist says:

    239 yome. Real prices traded in the same range (100-125) for fifty years. I don’t see why that trend should be broken toward the upside going forward. As shiller notes, there is no cycle or repetitive patterns over the very long term (50-150 years). Price trends seem to shift all over the place depending on tax rates, guvt policies, credit, commodities, population, cultural and demographic shifts. Also that chart is national, which we all know you can’t apply the same analysis to new york as you do in pheonix and vegas and florida.

  254. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Did my taxes this weekend, ouch. I need a mortgage to write off badly.

Comments are closed.