Anything to be optimistic about in the January home sales numbers?

From Barrons:

Depressed Home Prices Boost Sales

Sales of existing U.S. homes rose a seasonally adjusted 2.7% from December to January, to a better-than-expected 5.36 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That figure is an eight-month high and the fifth rise in six months, as buyers were enticed by falling home prices.

Year-over-year, sales rose 5.3%, so that activity is now above the level when the home buyer tax credit expired in 2010, putting pressure on home sales.

Without season adjustment, sales would have fallen 30% from December, but that is not unusual for the slow winter season.

While a somewhat improved employment outlook and recent rosier economic outlook contributed to the gain, buyers are also likely taking advantage of depressed home prices, which some see as susceptible to further pricing pressure.

From Reuters:

US home sales rise, price slump points to weakness

Surging sales of distressed properties pushed prices for previously owned U.S. homes to a
near nine-year low in January, even as they helped to lift overall sales to an eight-month high.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday existing homes sales climbed 2.7 percent to an annual rate of
5.36 million units, marking the third straight month of gains. Economists had expected a fall to a 5.24 million-unit pace.

But foreclosures and short sales, which typically occur below market value, accounted for 37 percent of the
transactions and suggested further price declines ahead. The median home price fell 3.7 percent from a year ago to $158,800, the lowest since April 2002.

“What this shows is that there will be an ongoing adjustment to prices to the downside. Housing fundamentals are still weak,” said Neil Dutta, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.

From CNN/Money:

Foreclosures make up 26% of home sales

Home prices are down but sales are up, somewhat contradictory trends.

Home prices fell nearly 6% during the six months ended Dec. 31, sending values to their lowest levels in the post-bubble period, S&P/Case-Shiller reported on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose for the third straight month.

“At least it’s not a double whammy where both sales and prices are dropping,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services Group. “Deals are getting done.”

That’s because 26% of all homes sold last year were foreclosures and short sales, according to a RealtyTrac report released on Thursday. That’s down slightly from 2009, but a jump compared to 2008.

Homes already foreclosed on and repossessed by banks, called REOs (real estate owned), sold for an average of 36% less than normal sales, RealtyTrac reported. Meanwhile, the discount for homes sold while they were still in the foreclosure process (short sales) was 15%.

Foreclosed properties sold for the biggest discount — 50% off — in New Jersey.

These homes have attracted bargain hunters, including individuals or groups looking to buy and hold properties, according to Hoffman. They hope to buy at such a good price that they can rent out the properties and make a profit.

“These folks are cash investors who are going in and offering very low bids,” he said.

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

166 Responses to Anything to be optimistic about in the January home sales numbers?

  1. grim says:

    A graph of sales by month from Calculated Risk:

    http://cr4re.com/charts/charts.html?Existing-Home#category=Existing-Home&chart=EHSNSAJan2011.jpg

    Looks like much of the same for January, there hasn’t been a whole lot of movement in the past 4 years.

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Why Regulators Should Let Banks Foreclose

    On Capitol Hill last week, federal banking regulators suggested that the government may soon reach a comprehensive settlement with banks on foreclosure procedures and servicing. In theory such a settlement could unlock housing markets and boost the economy. But recent statements by Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh and FDIC Chair Sheila Bair suggest that they remain focused on using the settlement to extend, rather than end, ongoing foreclosure delays.

    Meanwhile, states including New Jersey and Hawaii are considering imposing their own moratoriums on foreclosure that, if they conflict with federal policy, may lead to protracted litigation. This approach is the wrong medicine for our ailing economy.

    For borrowers, delaying foreclosure only provides false hope. Today, a borrower faces a foreclosure sale only after failing to make a payment for more than a year. There is no reason to believe a brief additional time-out will allow such borrowers to become current. To the contrary, data from the Mortgage Brokers Association indicate that loans reaching the foreclosure stage almost never avoid default, and that borrowers who become 90 days delinquent cure their default only about 1% of the time.

    Similarly, recent research done for the National Bureau of Economic Research demonstrates that loan-modification programs have mixed effectiveness. Data suggest that many delinquent borrowers have the means to afford their mortgage payments, but are so deeply “under water” on their mortgages that they are simply no longer willing to pay. Others have insufficient income to afford any reasonable mortgage payment.

    The unfortunate reality is that efforts to lengthen the foreclosure process will not substantially alter borrower outcomes. They will only extend a painful time for borrowers and the economy. During that time, uncertainty will prevent borrowers from moving on with their lives, including starting to pay rent and make purchases that would inject money into the economy.

  3. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Joisey

  4. grim says:

    From Zack’s:

    Existing Home Sales Rise

    Sales by Region

    Regionally, sales were up on the month in three of the four census regions. The Northeast was the exception, with a 4.6% decline for the month and a 1.2% decline from a year ago. The West had the biggest month-to-month increase with sales rising 7.9%, and were up 7.0% from a year ago. The South, which is by for the largest of the four regions, posted an increase of 3.6% on the month, and are up 8.0% from a year ago. In the Midwest, sales rose 1.8% for the month and are up 3.6% year over year.

  5. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    MBA panel: Tread carefully when going after strategic defaulters

    While it is no easy feat to determine if a homeowner defaulting on a mortgage is a strategic defaulter, it’s also no simple decision for servicers to decide whether to pursue a deficiency judgment against the homeowner.

    Panelists on a strategic default session at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo warned the audience to tread carefully.

    Howard Crane, managing attorney for Fein, Such and Crane in New York, said the more financial information that a servicer has, the better equipped the company will be to determine whether it should seek a deficiency judgment — and whether it might be successful.

    Servicers will also have to prove — or assert — the fair market value of the property, depending on the state, to pursue a deficiency judgment, he said. This can become a battle of appraisals in the courtroom, and servicers will need to be sure they hire an appraiser who has the ability to testify successfully on the witness stand, Crane said.

    But to pursue deficiency judgment “the stars have to align perfectly,” said Roxanne Lockett, group vice president of loss control for SunTrust Mortgage. The length of time and the cost to obtain the judgment, combined with the cost to pursue the recovery, if successful, must be considered, she said. SunTrust also looks at the borrower’s ability to repay, she said. “You also have to consider whether the borrower might file for bankruptcy” to protect his or her assets, Lockett said. Some borrowers who do have the ability to pay will come forward and offer to settle before a prosecution for deficiency occurs, and that is often a preferred method, she said.

  6. chi (218, last thread)-

    That ‘Melo sandwich is missing a sprinkling of “herb” and an Olde English as a beverage accompaniment.

    albani:
    Carnegie Deli
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_dnainfo/carnegie-deli-introduces-21-95-carmelo-anthony-sandwich

  7. I hear the Nets are close to closing a package for Curly Neal and two Washington Generals.

  8. Feh.

    Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011, 6:20 pm (Housing Wire)

    The Federal Housing Administration held 60,739 properties repossessed through foreclosure on its books as of December 2010, up 47% from the year before.

    The current value of those properties is $9.1 billion, according to the FHA book of business report released Tuesday. Combined with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s third quarter numbers, the U.S. government holds roughly 360,000 REO properties.

    Reselling these properties is key to driving the housing market into recovery. Estimates are wide-ranging on the size of this shadow inventory of foreclosed homes and delinquent loans still in the process.

    Currently, the data provider CoreLogic (CLGX: 20.06 0.00%) estimates it to be at roughly 1.3 million properties for the entire industry. Capital Economics on Tuesday released a report estimating it to be closer to 5.3 million homes.

    More could be coming in the way from the FHA alone. According to the report, nearly 600,000 mortgages are in serious delinquency. That represents 8.78% of the FHA insurance in force.

    With such high levels of problem loans and devalued properties after foreclosure, house prices are expected to decline throughout 2011, Capital Economics said.

  9. wheaties says:

    Wait, the NAR said sales rose? Isn’t this the same people who are going to have to redo their sales figures for the past 3 years because they’re overstating it by 10-20%? Yeah, sales rose my ass…

  10. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Clot,

    The Nets just got Deron Williams. I’d take him over Melo any day.

  11. April delivery just south of $101.50.

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    So how high does oil go when the Saudia Arabian riots start?

  13. #11 …. Now just south of $102. Hard to say how long prices will stay this ‘elevated’, but the longer it is sustained the more downward pressure we should see on far flung suburbs with high commuting costs.

  14. safe as houses says:

    Gadaffi looks like Emeril after a 10 day bender.

  15. Painhrtz says:

    I’m optomistic that they are going to be bad or cooked. fully embracing oblivion

  16. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Lone,

    Is that the one that was being held up by litigation?

  17. he (10)-

    Agreed. Deron is a baller, straight up.

  18. Mike says:

    Dissident Number 12 Start drilling in North Dakota

  19. JJ says:

    The Nets would be so lucky, WILT CHAMBERLAIN started as a globetrotter

    One of the most famous and dominant players in Harlem Globetrotters history, Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain began his professional career in 1958 when the Globetrotters signed the University of Kansas standout to one of the largest contracts in sports.

    The 7-1 center was often quoted that his time with the Globetrotters was the most enjoyable of his career. He was a member of the first-ever Harlem Globetrotter team to play in Moscow in 1959. The team enjoyed a sold out tour of the USSR and prior to the start of a game at Moscow’s Lenin Central Stadium, the Globetrotters were greeted by General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev.

    Following his Globetrotter career, Chamberlain starred in the NBA from 1959 through 1973, playing for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
    BTW the Generals are looking for a new player, since I suck at Basketball I am thinking of applying.
    http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/contact/employcontact/
    Debt Supernova says:
    February 24, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I hear the Nets are close to closing a package for Curly Neal and two Washington Generals.

  20. safe as houses says:

    Here’s a place that according to Zillow went for 62% off original ask in Ocean City. I’ve also noticed many condotels being resold at 30 to 40% off previous sales. And even at those prices with 5% intereest rate, I don’t think they would be cashflow positive without a 30% or more downpayment. What were people thinking paying 250k in 2005 for a 450 sq ft hotel suite with a 3 month rental season?

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/924-Central-Ave-Ocean-City-NJ-08226/38368367_zpid/

    If SFH drop another 20% or more in Ocean City, would be tempting to buy a small 3 bedroom house, work as a part time barista at Starbucks or a local grocery store to have health benefits and food money, and enjoy the oblivion.

  21. Painhrtz says:

    Is basketball the sport were illiterate Kentucky farm boys and gangbangers throw an orange sphere into a hoop for 58 minutes, then take 25 time outs in the final 2 minutes to decide a winner. Never liked that game, I find watching grass grow more enjoyable

  22. JJ says:

    Thank you Ms. Whitney, please bash something new soon so I can start buying it.

    February 23, 2011 | 8:27 pm

    The rally in the battered municipal bond market continued on Wednesday, with benchmark tax-free yields falling to six-week lows.

  23. JJ says:

    I love college hoops myself better. If you play it you will find out it is a hard sport. Most likely you need to be in the best shape of any sport to play basketball as a starter. The few organized games I played back in my prime from 18-20 when I was in good shape I would be exhausted after ten minutes of court time. Meanwhile football, at best I played half the game as I was on defense, and 85% of plays I was not even in on as ball was elsewhere.

    Painhrtz says:
    February 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Is basketball the sport were illiterate Kentucky farm boys and gangbangers throw an orange sphere into a hoop for 58 minutes, then take 25 time outs in the final 2 minutes to decide a winner. Never liked that game, I find watching grass grow more enjoyable

  24. Basketball is the only sport where players’ athleticism and endurance matches up with soccer. Individual style, over-the-top skill and playing a crowd-pleasing game also matter.

  25. College hoop blows. Most of the buzz comes from watching 10 guys with modest talent make tons of mistakes and hustle to make up for them. The real excitement is only in the stands, because the top ballers all go to the Assn. within 1-2 years now.

  26. Time for a remake of Das Boot!

    “As we pointed out yesterday, while the US navy is seriously starting to amass in the Persian Gulf region, it has left the Mediterranean and more importantly, the Libyan coastline unguarded. With concerns that Gaddafi will follow through with what we speculated on Monday was a Saddam-like “after me the flood” act and burn his oil facilities, this may not be the most prudent thing. Luckily, here comes Germany. According to Spiegel, Germany has sent three warships to Libya which may possibly get involved in a “military engagement.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/germany-sends-three-warships-libya

  27. Lone Ranger says:

    “The few organized games I played back in my prime from 18-20 when I was in good shape I would be exhausted after ten minutes of court time.”

    Exhausted after 10 minutes at 18? You’re right, you don’t need a car. Time to invest in a hoveround.

  28. Painhrtz says:

    Debt, JJ Try playing 20 minutes of a hockey game, moving at 30 mph on razor blades, stickhandling while someone is trying to crush you moving at the same speed. Every sport has there own athletic hardships buy the only two I have found to be truly demanding are soccer and hockey. One easy way to measure the demands put on an atheltes body are water loss. Informal observation, I could drink a gallon of water 1 hour prior to either being on the pitch or ice and pee not once during the game while still shedding over 5 pounds of water weight. When I played basketball I would have to go twice within two hours of running up and down the court.

  29. JJ says:

    Nope, playground games no problem. Briefly I was a garbage time player. I only played in two real games in my life. Once at Pitt and once at Stonybrook The full court of gym, people in stands and bright lights. I was only on defense in Pitt game, we had three great shooters and a good center. I was the worse person by far out there on either team. My only job was to play rough, get ball and as soon as I got it pass to best scorer. I elbowed a ton of people got called for a few fouls and basically disrupted game, but when you have 9 other people who are running like track stars while you are trying to out run them, steal the ball and elbow them while looking for ref at same time so you don’t get caught it is exhausting. I only played ten minutes, in the end a ball came off rim right at me, I caught it swung my elbows around and caught a player from the other team in the temple and knocked him out and caused a near huge fight. I was ejected and our team won. The three shooters on my team said great job!!! As other team spent ten minutes focusing their frustrations on me and I got them all pissed off and out three guys scored like ten extra points. My guys were laughing when I got ejected. Of course five very large african american men from the projects with tattoo yelling they are going to kill me if they catch me after game ment I ran out of there even faster than my ten minutes. Second time playing garbage man other team was sissys, My job was easy as we had like a Michael Jordan guy on team and only job was to make sure I helped him get open and whatever rebound I got I gave to him, did a so so job and was back on bench in five minutes. But even then tired as that guy flew like Jordan and I was trying to run down court five feet ahead of him

    Football I could play all day.

    Lone Ranger says:
    February 24, 2011 at 9:22 am

    “The few organized games I played back in my prime from 18-20 when I was in good shape I would be exhausted after ten minutes of court time.”

    Exhausted after 10 minutes at 18? You’re right, you don’t need a car. Time to invest in a hoveround.

  30. d2b says:

    Safe 21-
    I’ve been in those houses and they are very old with 7 foot ceilings. They really are beach cottages with zero closet space, although I can’t speak for that particular unit. The NJ shore is really picking up steam on the way down.

  31. d2b says:

    So add D1 basketball to the list of JJ’s impressive accomplishments. I think that the most interesting guy in the world from TV has a poster of you on his wall. No need to write a book, go straight to the movie. I would suggest that Brad Pitt should play your lead, but you would probably think that he was too ugly.

  32. Lone Ranger says:

    The closest JJ got to D1 basketball was carrying the water cooler.

  33. This place is better entertainment than eating three tabs of blotter.

  34. Juice Box says:

    re: NAR and their lying numbers. More and more are at least as a whole country we are now reaching the cognitive dissonance stage where it’s beginning to register that, despite all of the baloney positive spin, something is very, very wrong.

    However actually coping with the implications of what’s happened is a different matter entirely… and there are still many who don’t get it and probably never will.

  35. safe as houses says:

    #32 d2b

    It has always been a dream of mine to own a piece of a cash flow negative former 1950’s motor lodge.

    I remember those beach cottages going for 50 to 60k back in 93 to 95.

    I wonder if those 2 bedroom condotels will fall to that range. I’m already seeing them listed in the 80’s, down from 200k+.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1120-Wesley-Ave-Ocean-City-NJ-08226/72387437_zpid/

  36. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I think they should combine the 2 winter sports of B-Ball and Hockey into one, in keeping with the impetus towards Consolidation of Services.

    They could do away with the expense of Making Ice, just have 5 guys on Roller Skates shooting the round ball into a Hockey Net suspended above the floor. The Hockey Puck is too small for TV anyway. Get rid of the Sticks, which cause most of the penalties. While we at it lose the Referees altogether…..the ridiculous fouls (and non-calls) slow both games down. No penalties, play like Aussie Rules.

    Wait a minute…..I’ve just invented Roller Derby !!

  37. safe as houses says:

    #38 correction

    I think the one I linked to is a 1 bedroom.

  38. Juice Box says:

    re # 32 – the jerseyshore is picking up steam on the way down.

    I remember when the waterfront home my family used to own was selling for about 550k in 2006. We sold it to the previous owner for $40k in 1981. What cost $40k in 1981 inflation adjusted should cost $87k in 2006 heck even double again to 180k, but 550k for a tiny shore cottage home built in 1955 that had not been updated since?

    I also looked at a waterfront foreclosure “estate” last weekend 1.3 acre prime waterfront 4k sq ft home. Assessed at 1.5 m needs perhaps 300k to update it, and the tax bill is 27k now. No takers, no flippers etc want it. Bank has dropped price to 700k and I was told to make offer of 600k!

    When all is said and done the jersey shore is going to be one steaming pile…..

  39. Ben says:

    JJ is pretending he is Dennis Rodman for a day. The best hoops players are the ones that can control the entire game without the need to shoot. No one knows how to play defense on a guy who can move through traffic and pass the ball.

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Oil is up, but I doubt it will stay high for very long. Cushman is a lake of oil right now, and US refiners cannot take any more. This has caused a large spread btwn WTI and Brent. One of them has to give, and it won’t be WTI.

    If the army controls the Libyan oil fields, and Quadaffi cannot blow the wells, I think oil will plateau, and even come down some. And if Libya gets resolved, it will come down even more, back to pre-crisis levels at least.

    Of course, the future is uncertain. Could spike to 115 for all I know, but that would require an event in the ME.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [41] Juice

    Whaddya mean “is going to be”? Parts I’ve seen are already steaming piles.

  42. Al Mossberg says:

    41.

    Jersey Shore waterfront is terrible from what I can see around me. Prices dropping, property taxes increased in the neighborhood of 50% and no buyers. I have even seen some dramatic price reductions and still no takers. The 25k property tax bill is too much for most people to swallow especially with it likely to increase more.

  43. Al Mossberg says:

    43.

    Nom,

    I think differently. This is more about the end of the petro dollar. Those Arabs are going back to riding camels and living like nomads once they realize their billions of T-bills are garbage.

  44. Orion says:

    I’ve become extremely cynical of data purged by gov’t., media, NAR, BLS, etc.

    Lies on top lies. Disgraceful. Lies becomes truth, ala “1984”.

  45. safe as houses says:

    I’ve seen a few condos on zillow in Sea Isle City and Ocean City sell at 70% or more off their previous sale price. And the amount of foreclosure listings is staggering. I wonder if we will see 10 cents on the dollar deals in a few years. I still am amazed prices got to such extreme levels at the shore.

  46. relo says:

    24: JJ,

    What, no cheerleader stories?

  47. Juice Box says:

    Here is somebody they should extradite instead of incarcerate on the taxpayer dime.

    U.S. authorities have arrested a 20-year-old Saudi national on charges he tried to use a weapon of mass destruction and potentially targeted former President George W. Bush, the Justice Department said Thursday.

    FBI agents arrested Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who was admitted into the United States in 2008 on a student visa, in Texas on Wednesday. The Justice Department accuses him of purchasing chemicals and equipment to make an improvised explosive device.

    Aldawsari, a student at South Plains College near Lubbock, allegedly referred to Bush’s Dallas home as “tyrant’s house” and possibly contemplated using dolls to conceal the explosives, the statement said.

    He is due to make his initial court appearance in Lubbock on Friday morning.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41758705/ns/us_news-security/

  48. relo says:

    28: Germany? Warships? Comforting.

  49. relo (52)-

    What could possibly go wrong there?

  50. Essex says:

    30. Hockey is by far the easiest sport endurance-wise as you can breath and glide. Your momentum keeps you moving while you catch a breath if needed. It really is not a super conditioned sport like most field sports. Soccer has by far the highest demands on players endurance.

  51. Essex says:

    50. I was fortunate enough to date a college cheerleader for a year plus. (UK) She was amazing. Currently married with 4 kids to a neurosurgeon in Texas. But I got her best year by far. A m a z i n g.

  52. relo says:

    55: British? What sports do they have that involve cheerleaders?

    (UK)

  53. Essex says:

    Oh relo….University of Kentucky baby. Lemme tell you…she was all that — baptist honey with blonde hair and green eyes. Gymnastic skillz and a pretty good mind. I like my current babe better though. She’s a PA gal.

  54. Juice Box says:

    re # 28 – Hillary is heading to Vienna and it’s not for the sausage. Why should the US do all of the heaving lifting for European Oil supplies? Libya is nothing that cannot solved with a few cruise missiles and a few well placed smart bombs. We have plenty of missile boats and subs in the region if needed to back up the Germans, French and Italian ships. The USS Enterprise Carrier Group and guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf transited the Suez on Feb 15th and are close enough. Once we get the remaining US citizens and European citizens out all bets are off when the missiles start flying and bombs start dropping. 1.7 million barrels a day is too important to the European economy which is already suffering from diesel shortages to leave it up the madness of a syphilitic despot who apparently already ordered the bombing of the oil production facilities.

  55. Libtard says:

    Essex…You are full of krap.

    The average shift for a hockey player is between 30 and 45 seconds. Anything longer and the player will be wasted. Most players end up on the ice for about 17 minutes per game. If you’ve ever looked excersize and conditioning regiment of a pro hockey player, it would make the average pro athlete blush. Now I can’t speak for soccer players and what they do between games, but I’m pretty certain there’s not a lot of coasting during a hockey game. Actually, at almost all times, players are sprinting. I watch a lot of soccer and there’s a heck of a lot more jogging than sprinting going on.

  56. chicagofinance says:

    59.chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    February 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    WSJ
    NEW YORK
    FEBRUARY 24, 2011
    Metropolis May Shrug

    By SHELLY BANJO

    Forget tea leaves: Wall Street is turning to Ayn Rand for guidance.

    Hedge-fund manager Barry Colvin has raised $60,000 to start a Greater New York outpost of the Ayn Rand Institute, the first chapter in the country for the Irvine, Calif.-based nonprofit dedicated to the late free-market philosopher and novelist.

    “The idea is on-the-ground reconnaissance,” said Mr. Colvin, vice chairman of Chicago-based Balyasny Asset Management. Mr. Colvin contributed the bulk of the funds but rallied donors for the rest.

    “It’s our civic duty to pound the table about making people challenge their own ideas behind what they think the role of government should be,” he said.

    As a kick-off, Mr. Colvin will co-host a series of debates next month on freedom, government and capitalism with Demos, a public-policy research and advocacy group based in New York.

    Rand has long had a place on the bookshelves of New York’s financial set.

    In 1985, former hedge fund manager Victor Niederhoffer started New York City Junto, a monthly meeting he continues to lead in Midtown Manhattan that focuses on libertarianism, objectivism and investing. Every year the group marks Rand’s birthday with a special tribute. Mr. Niederhoffer even named his third daughter Rand.

    In a nod to Rand’s philosophies on free markets, capitalism and independence, more than a dozen hedge funds and financial companies have included Atlas, Roark and Fountainhead in their names. Meanwhile, the New York City Ayn Rand Group Monthly Meet-up that started in 2003 now boasts nearly 500 members.

    “Ayn Rand has a disproportionate number of fans in the finance community,” said Yaron Brook, the president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. “Part of what attracts them to finance and hedge funds—independence, a sense of real capitalism and productivity—is why they find Rand’s ideas attractive.”

    Messrs. Brook and Colvin say they want to tap into the surge of interest in the financial community and among other like-minded New Yorkers who they said turned to Rand’s philosophies after the market meltdown.

    “There was something about this financial crisis with the growth of regulation and government that people responded to, and we saw a surge of interest in what we do as an institute,” Mr. Brook said. Some 500,000 copies of Rand’s 1957 novel “Atlas Shrugged” were sold in 2009, up from 200,000 copies the year before, according to Mr. Brook.

    If the New York chapter is successful, the Institute may open chapters in other cities, Mr. Brook said.

    Despite the resurgence, Mr. Colvin acknowledges that plenty of people don’t share Rand’s views—especially after the recession.

    “When people look at the wealthy they falsely think they’re protected in some way by corporations and government…but a rising tide does lift all boats if everyone has the same opportunities for success,” Mr. Colvin said.

    He extended an invitation to nonbelievers—with the one requirement that they don’t mind eschewing c-cktail parties and golf outings for debates, speakers and educational forums.

    “If you really want to get people thinking and strengthen their beliefs, you ought to get them to listen to people with whom they disagree with but who are thoughtful and intellectual about it,” Mr. Colvin said.

  57. relo says:

    56: Never heard of it, I think you’re making it up.

    University of Kentucky

  58. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    JJ drives the lane – REJECTED

    GM, Held By 112 Hedge Funds, Slides Below IPO Price

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/gm-held-112-hedge-funds-slides-below-ipo-price

  59. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ Op-Ed

    Frank Zeidler, the Socialist Party mayor of Milwaukee, Wis., from 1948 to 1960, writing on the consequences of collective bargaining by public employees, in the magazine Personnel, July- August 1969:

    This sharing of powers in wage determination and conditions of employment through the negotiation process has in turn diminished public officials’ authority in other areas of policy involving organized employees.

    The net effect has been to create what amounts to a two-chamber local government. One chamber is made up of elected representatives and chief executives—aldermen, councilmen, county board or commission members, mayors or other chief executives—the traditional decision-making body for local government. The other chamber comprises the organized public employees who have gained official recognition to negotiate. The public business on wages and conditions of work, and therefore indirectly on policy, cannot be carried on without mutual agreement between these two Chambers. . . .

    The implications of this new method of reaching decisions in local government put an entirely different aspect on the sovereignty of councils and executives and elected officials as well. The challenge of organized public employees can mean considerable loss of control over the budget, and hence over tax rates and over government programs and projects.

    The gravity of the challenge was recognized by some municipal officials at least ten years ago, but most of them took the position that to study the new phenomenon was to encourage it. As is usually the case, the ostrich stance was a mistake: When employee organizations suddenly burgeoned, municipal officials were not prepared with effective rejoinders before legislatures and in negotiations.

  60. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ Letters
    LETTERS
    FEBRUARY 24, 2011
    When Your 401(k) Doesn’t Deliver What You Expected

    The key to happiness in retirement isn’t so much in maintaining your pre-retirement lifestyle, but rather in trading material wealth for freedom (“Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short,” page one, Feb. 19). Unless one has experienced this trade-off, its value shouldn’t be underestimated. One can survive quite happily in retirement on 50% or less of pre-retirement income.

    The most important and most difficult step is to reduce or eliminate debt. Other things, however, are much easier, such as reducing gas and clothing costs; downsizing your house, furniture and possessions in general; and eating less, which is good for you too. Most importantly, though, is to change your philosophy from an employment-centric model to an experiential and experiential lifestyle. This will lead to gaining enjoyment from more simple pleasures. In sum, transfer the energies expended in working to the art of living.

    Jerry Doane
    Ocala, Fla.

    Your article fails to discuss a major problem with 401(k)s: the mandatory minimum-withdrawal schedule, which is structured so that retirees who live past age 85 won’t have enough left to live on. Contributing more to one’s retirement plan or delaying retirement doesn’t help because the more one has in the plan, the larger the mandated withdrawal.

    Unless mandatory minimum withdrawals are abolished, allowing retirees to tailor their withdrawals to their current and anticipated needs, it is a virtual certainty that long-lived retirees with little or no other assets will face poverty in their “old” old age.

    B.G. Rosenthal

    New York

    Assuming that both Social Security and Medicare benefits will be reduced, retirees will face a tragic reality of having to work longer. However, will jobs be available for those over 70?

    The future for retirees is very bleak. They will become a new class of citizen: the retired poor.

    Robert Pisapia

    Westlake Village, Calif.

    It’s frighteningly clear that too many Americans don’t have even the vaguest notion that sustainable retirement income, like any other good, comes with a pretty finite lump-sum price tag. For many older boomers, the time and math of wealth accumulation may not be on their side. However, for younger, pension-poor boomers like me, there is still time. Learning the retirement savings/income conversion math is a necessary exercise in expectations management and preparation.

    John Rafferty

    The Woodlands, Texas

    Many people never realized that they were losing 3% to 4% in 401(k) fees, which added absolutely no value and reduced their retirement savings 30% to 40% over a 30-year period. While the croupiers were skimming the cream off the retirement savings, the politicians were goosing the housing market through awful policies and then mismanaging the entitlement programs with absolutely no attention to demographics or the risks associated with the national economy.

    Unfortunately, the solution being followed by Carol Dailey, the former executive assistant at America Online who is mentioned in your article, is the same one being followed nationally by the politicians: increasing risk and chasing return. The Obama administration is doing it with leverage, and Ms. Dailey is turning to real-estate investment trusts.

    The boomers need to grow up, stop being delusional and get prepared to suffer during their old age.

    Samuel Burkeen

    Reston, Va.

    This article is just more of the same whining about investments from people who never actively managed their accounts to move to a defensive cash position, ride out the downturn in the economy and then, carefully and selectively, move back into the markets.

    I have co-workers who have no idea how to get into their accounts and then if they do, they have no idea what to do. Certainly there are seminars, financial planners, articles and other avenues available for people to learn from others’ knowledge and expertise. Instead of taking control of their own money and growing it, people put their heads in the sand, hope for the best and attempt to blame others for their financial morass when their retirement funds run short.

    Ted Fisk

    Naperville, Ill.

  61. Lone Ranger says:

    He,

    It traded up to 21;

    19.64 2.04 (11.59%) 12:16PM EST

  62. homeboken says:

    I played both soccer and hockey my entire life. They are both physcially demanding but in different ways.

    Soccer requires 90 minute endurance, with the ability to pepper in a 5-10 second sprint about every minute.

    Hockey is a totally different animal. 30-45 seconds of all out sprinting. Hockey players end their shift totally sucking wind. If you are coasting along, you aren’t playing hockey.

  63. relo says:

    56: Pakistani?

    She’s a PA gal

  64. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ
    NY REAL ESTATE
    RESIDENTIAL
    FEBRUARY 24, 2011

    Wealthy Areas Again See Rise in Home Prices

    By CRAIG KARMIN And JOSH BARBANEL

    New York area home prices have held up better than most other major metropolitan areas, with wealthy commuting suburbs providing the bulk of recovery while towns farther from the city have lagged, brokers and analysts said.

    Those mixed results came after a national survey this week found that December home prices in the New York metropolitan area hit their lowest level since 2004, according to the S&P/Case Shiller Index.

    For the more affluent towns in the tri-state area, last year’s slowdown may already be passing. Brokers say confidence is returning after the stock market touched a post-financial crisis high and Wall Street bonuses poured in.

    Jason Wachtel, who runs a small but booming executive-search business, decided to take a $10,000 loss on a co-op in Great Neck on Long Island and is now in contract to buy a much larger house for nearly $1 million in nearby Lake Success, after he fell in love with the area, and found prices reasonable. “Also,” he said, “business has been good to me.”

    In Westchester County, the number of signed contracts in 2011 for homes priced at $1 million or more is up more than 25% compared with the same period in 2010, according to real-estate broker Houlihan Lawrence.

    But for much of the rest of the area, the recovery has been more muted. “There appears to be a growing rift between the commuter towns and those further from the city,” says Chris Meyers, Houlihan Lawrence’s chief operating officer.

    Westchester home sales last year were up 20% over 2009, according to Houlihan Lawrence. But in Putnam County—home to fewer Manhattan commuters and more dependent on the local economy—sales were up only 5% in 2010; in even more distant Dutchess County, home sales declined for the fifth straight year.

    Overall, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed New York area home prices falling 2.3% in December from the year-ago period. That dragged the region’s home price index to its lowest level since March 2004.

    Some economists say the price dips here and nationwide reflect a rising number of distressed sales, plus the end in April of a tax credit for home-buyers of up to $8,000.

    The index, which measures re-sales of single-family homes and excludes condos, co-ops, townhouses and new homes, doesn’t catch most home sales in New York City. But it does capture the bulk of activity in the surrounding areas.

    Maureen Maitland, vice president of S&P Indices, said the New York area’s index annual decline was the sixth smallest of the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas covered by the index.

    She said New York home prices in December were still about 68% above price levels in 2000. It’s one of just five metro areas with prices more than 50% above their 2000 levels.

    Two factors largely influence home prices, Ms. Maitland said: the ability of the local economy to produce enough jobs and the number of homes on the market. Cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix suffered from a supply glut that depressed prices in a way that was less common in the New York area.

    In Fairfield County, Conn., home to many finance professionals and other Manhattan commuters, sales showed signs of rebounding last year, albeit after a sluggish 2009.

    For eight towns in lower Fairfield County, combined sales were up 26% in 2010 over the previous year, though most prices remain subdued, said Gregory Heym, chief economist for Terra Holdings, parent company of brokers Halstead Property.

    One of the best performers was New Canaan, where sales were up and the fourth-quarter median price rose 11% year over year. “No one here is talking about a double dip,” Mr. Heym said.

    The picture is cloudier in New Jersey, where the income ranges can vary more widely. Jeffrey G. Otteau, an appraiser and president of the Otteau Valuation Group, found that median prices statewide rose 1% between 2009 and 2010.

    But it rose by 5.7% in affluent towns like Glen Ridge, Chatham, Summit and Millburn that provide direct rail service to midtown Manhattan.

    Median prices fell the most, 8.2%, in what he called “the Gold Coast” towns along the Hudson—such as Jersey City, Hoboken and North Bergen.

    On Long Island, brokers told a similar tale. A report released a few weeks ago by Prudential Douglas Elliman found that median prices were down in the last quarter by 5.6% compared with the previous quarter, but still up overall by 1.6% from a year earlier.

    Mona Holzman, director of the Prudential Douglas Elliman office in Great Neck, said the market was busy but uneven, with some properties there were selling quickly for more than she expected, while others linger on the market.

    Her main worry now, is that a further rise in interest rates could put a lid on prices, or even push them down further.

    Write to Craig Karmin at craig.karmin@wsj.com and Josh Barbanel at josh.barbanel@wsj.com

  65. Libtard says:

    “But it rose by 5.7% in affluent towns like Glen Ridge, Chatham, Summit and Millburn that provide direct rail service to midtown Manhattan. ”

    Why isn’t Montclair on this list? Hmmmm.

  66. Libtard says:

    “She’s a PA gal.”

    She likes the WaWa hoagies apparently.

  67. Painhrtz says:

    Lib thanks for answering, I don’t think i have ever glided on a rink unless I was gassed and out there to long

  68. d2b says:

    I like watching hockey players come off the ice and do TV interviews, the guys are totally gassed.

  69. chicagofinance says:

    shouldn’t most gentiles around here know that putz = man junk?

  70. chicagofinance says:

    71.Libtard says:
    February 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    “She’s a PA gal.”

    She likes the WaWa hoagies apparently.

    If you’ve seen her picture…

  71. chicagofinance says:

    70.Essex says:
    February 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm
    60. http://www.cheersinc5678.com/1985-86squad_op_640x512.jpg

    WTHell is this? Seriously….yuck!

  72. dan says:

    Stu,

    I guess he should have said “Train towns without crack dealers getting arrested every other week outside the elementary schools.”

  73. sx (69)-

    So your college GF was a member of Up With People?

    I wouldn’t broadcast this.

  74. ricky_nu says:

    Juice Box #41 – do you have a link to that property?

  75. When you reach a certain age, does the state of Kentucky take your teeth?

  76. chi (75)-

    I bet there was enough hair spray used in that photo to puncture a hole in the ozone layer.

    I also bet that every single one of those guys is in a road company of La Cage Aux Folles right now.

  77. JJ says:

    So the rich have money?

    chicagofinance says:
    February 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    WSJ
    NY REAL ESTATE
    RESIDENTIAL
    FEBRUARY 24, 2011

    Wealthy Areas Again See Rise in Home Prices

  78. Lone Ranger says:

    Is that Wildcat cheerleader Karen Sypher?

  79. NJGator says:

    Despite Christie’s blustering, the Democrats are still eating his lunch

    The most accomplished graduate of Rutgers University famously stated, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

    It’s a good thing Milton Friedman’s not around to check out the way lunch figures in Jersey politics these days. The spectacle might force him to rethink the doctrine that has come to be known as TANSTAAFL to economists.

    I first became aware of the creative manner in which the pols in our cities maximize their receipts under the state’s free- and reduced-lunch program last year at hearings of the state Senate Budget Committee.

    State aid to suburban districts was cut drastically in Gov. Chris Christie’s budget last year. Among the reasons, said state Sen. Michael Doherty, was the way the school funding formula enacted under Jon Corzine rewards districts with high percentages of students receiving free or reduced lunches. Those districts can have their state aid increased as much as $5,000 per pupil annually for each kid on the free-lunch list.

    Doherty, a conservative Republican from Warren County, pointed out at the time that many of those districts seem to have rates of participation in the lunch program that seem to run well in excess of the U.S. Census figures for poverty in those towns.

    The new budget unveiled by Christie Tuesday doesn’t treat the suburbs much better. It restores only about a fifth of the aid he cut last year.

    Let us consider this phenomenon in light of the Union City schools. This paper carried an opinion piece by Gordon MacInnes the other day in which the former assistant education commissioner explained the great progress the schools in that city have made under the court mandates in the Abbott school funding case.

    MacInnes credited the teaching techniques, and I suspect there’s something to that. But there’s also the fact that this “poor” city really isn’t that poor. When I walk around there, which I do on occasion as part of my continuing study of the impressive Hudson County political machine, I see lively streets filled largely with Latin-Americans who do not, I suspect, see themselves as particularly poverty stricken.

    Census statistics bear that out. The average family income is listed at $50,055. That’s below the state average. But it’s well above the level for participation in the free-lunch program, which is $27,300 for a family of four. Yet 80 percent of the students in the district are enrolled in the free-lunch program. Another 10 percent are enrolled in the reduced-lunch program, which has a slightly higher income threshold.

    Doherty notes similar levels of free-lunch participation in schools all over Hudson County, with free- and reduced-lunch participation seeming to run well in excess of poverty levels. All of these kids are classified as “at risk” under the state school-funding formula, entitling the district to collect more aid. In Union City’s case, total aid per student is in excess of $17,000. Many suburban districts get less than $1,000 per student.

    “That’s the scam,” said Doherty. “By signing up a kid, you get five thousand bucks and nobody’s checking.”

    Well, somebody’s checking. Unfortunately, it’s the district itself. When I called the state Department of Agriculture to ask how these programs are audited, public information officer Lynne Richmond told me school district officials are required to check a sample of 3 percent of the lunch applications to determine their legitimacy.

    “How’d you like to self-audit your own tax return?” asked Doherty.

    You can hardly blame the Hudson crowd, however. When I ran this by Remberto Perez, an anti-Castro activist from Guttenberg with whom I speak on foreign affairs now and then, he offered this opinion of the way in which Union City Mayor Brian Stack runs the place.

    “You’ve got to give him credit,” Perez said of Stack, who is also a state senator. “I wish that a lot of the urban areas had gone the way Union City has.”

    Stack does indeed deserve credit. So do his fellow Democrats. Christie sends all that state aid to the cities, yet they still slam him for not giving enough to the suburbs.

    When I ran into the chairman of the budget committee in the Statehouse halls Tuesday, Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) said he’s gearing up to attack the governor for once again shortchanging the suburban schools in his district.

    And if that ain’t a free lunch, I’ll eat my hat.

    http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2011/02/post_74.html

  80. If we didn’t have Abbott schools, how else would these kids learn how to lie, cheat and steal?

  81. Confused In NJ says:

    Seems like the States need to have a Law that makes it illegal for State representatives to hide in another State and shirk their elected duty. The Governor should be able to impeach them for deriliction of duty, and replace them until the next election? Truely insane how Government is not working today.

  82. NJGator says:

    Paterson teacher paid two salaries as city, school district swap services

    State regulators of the city’s spending did not approve the mayor’s hiring of a former aide — an employee who now appears to be drawing salaries from both the school district and the city to a total $136,519.

    As part of a recent shared-services agreement, Kenneth Sumter, a technology teacher at Eastside High School, was given to Mayor Jeffery Jones by the district earlier this month to help the city run its technology department. Sumter would keep his teacher salary, paid for by the district. In exchange, the city would provide the district with partial police patrols around its schools. But Sumter had already been hired by the city on Sept. 23 to run the administration’s data processing division, earning a city salary of $50,000, according to payroll records.

    The district pays Sumter $67,340, as a teacher at Eastside. But with benefits that compensation is $86,519, which the district agreed this month to continue as he worked with the city, the shared-services agreement states.

    The dual salaries went unnoticed by City Council members until they read about the shared services agreement in The Record Tuesday. Most expressed anger.

    “This smells like favoritism; it smells like double-dipping, and we’re not going to be the Passaic Valley sewerage authority,” Councilman Julio Tavarez said, referring to the regional agency’s notoriety for alleged corruption.

    Also unaware was the state Department of Community Affairs, despite its instructions of no new hiring until after a layoff plan by the city was state-approved, according to spokeswoman Lisa Ryan. That approval came only Tuesday. The city has been under tight budget oversight by the DCA since the state awarded Paterson $22 million in state aid last fall.

    Ryan did not respond to an email seeking information on possible repercussions for the city.

    “This is why we look foolish and no one wants to deal with us,” Councilman William McKoy said of the city’s relationship with Trenton. “It looks like we don’t know what we’re doing.”

    Councilman Kenneth Morris said his main concern was the potential for taxpayers to be paying two pensions for Sumter.

    A message left at Sumter’s home Wednesday was not returned.

    Jones said he believed permission for the hire was sought: “As far as I know, all the requirements were submitted through all the channels,” he said.

    Jones said his impression was that Sumter was hired part-time for the city, clocking in after finishing his day of teaching.

    “We made it clear that when he’s with us, he’s not with them,” he said.

    His business administrator, however, said Tuesday that Sumter was working 35-hour, or full-time, weeks. Yet there seemed to be some confusion on the administration end as well. City attorney Paul Forsman said he was unaware Sumter was drawing from the city. Thomas said he was unaware of the district salary.

    As for Jones’ knowledge of Sumter’s second public salary with the district, he said, “That has nothing to do with me.”

    When asked if Sumter would keep his salary with the city, Jones did not answer directly, but said, “I think a whole lot of things might change after some discussion.”

    He added that he discussed the city’s hiring of Sumter with the district in September. But district spokeswomen Terry Corallo said Evans was not aware that Sumter had been hired by the city and “is looking into this.”

    Sumter and his wife, Shavonda, worked on Jones’ transition team last year. Shavonda Sumter was the mayor’s campaign manager during his run for office.

    Jones maintained in a phone interview Wednesday that the actions he took were appropriate.

    “In my decision-making, I think I did the right thing,” he said.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/022411_Teacher_paid_two_salaries_as_city_school_district_swap_services.html

  83. Libtard says:

    “Sumter and his wife, Shavonda, worked on Jones’ transition team last year. Shavonda Sumter was the mayor’s campaign manager during his run for office.”

    I wonder if the mayor also gets to bargain in good faith with Sumter when his contract comes up?

  84. NJGator says:

    All 2,000 Providence teachers told they could be fired

    Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Angel Taveras is sending layoff warnings to all 1,926 of the city’s teachers.

    They won’t all be dismissed, but state law requires the city to notify teachers by March 1 whether the district could lay them off before the start of the next school year. School officials say warning every teacher gives them the freedom to let go many of them later without having to single any of them out now.

    Providence’s school district is facing a $40 million budget shortfall next year.

    “Are there going to be less teachers? Yes,” Taveras told The Providence Journal. “Will there be less schools open next year? Yes. Do I know which teachers and which schools? No.”

    As you can imagine, the local teachers’ union is not taking the news well.

    “This is beyond insane,” Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith told The Providence Journal’s Linda Borg. “Let’s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7, 1941.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/all-2000-providence-teachers-told-they-could-be-fired;_ylt=Avg3V4k9eEzCwYijNCtMF6dbbBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTRuOWs2b3V1BGFzc2V0A3libG9nX3RoZWxvb2tvdXQvMjAxMTAyMjQvYWxsLTIwMDAtcHJvdmlkZW5jZS10ZWFjaGVycy10b2xkLXRoZXktY291bGQtYmUtZmlyZWQEY2NvZGUDbXBfZWNfOF8xMARjcG9zAzQEcG9zAzQEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNhbGwyMDAwcHJvdmk-

  85. Libtard says:

    “Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7, 1941.”

    Awesome! And you wonder why we rank 18th out of 36 industrialized countries?

  86. NJGator says:

    You gotta love this town…

    Psychic Children Support Group

    Most children up until the age of 5 are psychically open. At that young age, kids are comfortable with their abilities as they consider them natural (which they are) and aren’t yet aware that most other people are not seeing or hearing the things they do. They will talk about speaking with deceased relatives, of “imaginary friends”, and often know things before they happen.

    After the age of 5, when children become more self conscious, they start to realize that older children and adults are not seeing what they see. They are often told it’s only their imagination, there’s nobody there, stop making things up. As a result of this, they will turn off or deny their natural intuitive abilities and for the most part, forget about them. It usually stays that way unless there becomes a desire to explore intuitive abilities later on. For some children, however, it’s not possible to turn off these abilities. They come into the world so psychically open, that these abilities do not close off as they do for other children. As they grow older, they become aware of being different because of their psychic awareness and it can become an emotional burden.

    Both of us [Van Zyl and her partner Lee Ann LaRocca] having gone through these same types of experiences in our own childhoods, and also having children of our own who have experienced the same, decided to offer a forum for parents to meet with other parents of psychic children and for the kids to meet other kids like themselves. Not only will this group be able to offer support in allowing the parents and kids to know they are certainly not alone, but it will also give the children knowledge and resources to be able to gain control over their abilities and not live in fear of them. Hopefully, they will be able to look upon their intuitive capabilities as the wonderful, natural gifts they are, able to be used for the benefit of themselves and others.

    We have had requests for this type of group from many parents over the past two years,so we decided to offer this in answer to those requests. We’re hoping to establish an ongoing support group where kids can share with other kids about the ups and downs of growing up psychic, and learn how to work with their abilities in a positive way.

    Do you have a psychic child?

    Psychic Children Support Group
    Who: Children who are gifted with psychic abilities and their parents.
    What: This group is put in place for families to ask questions, gain some understanding and perspective about their psychic children. It will also teach you energy and psychic protection techniques and how to shut the psychic senses down when they are not required.
    Where: Montclair Metaphysical & Healing Center, 516 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.
    When: Friday, February 25 from 7 pm – 9 pm.
    Cost: $15 per family.

    http://kids.baristanet.com/2011/02/psychic-children-support-group/

  87. #92 – Nobody has confirmed it, but it whacked oil futures quite a bit.

  88. Confused In NJ says:

    LONDON (Reuters) – A specialist ice cream parlor plans to serve up breast milk ice cream and says people should think of it as an organic, free-range treat.

    The breast milk concoction, called the “Baby Gaga,” will be available from Friday at the Icecreamists restaurant in London’s Covent Garden.

    Icecreamists founder Matt O’Connor was confident his take on the “miracle of motherhood” and priced at a hefty 14 pounds ($23) a serving will go down a treat with the paying public.

  89. Essex says:

    Hey ChiFi….I thought at least you’d dig the dudes in the picture.

  90. Juice Box says:

    re # 79 – ricky_nu

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1-Jaywood-Manor-Dr-Brick-NJ-08724/39567221_zpid/

    Don’t let the pics fool you it is much uglier inside than out. I have videos….

  91. Juice Box says:

    Essex WTF are you bragging about a cheerleader in college? Whoop de dooo. By the time I finished high school I worked my way though all 4 grades of cheerleaders. College
    was like shooting fish in a barrel, easier than a night at DJs in Belmar and a fist full of dollars.

  92. NJCoast says:

    Cooking up a batch of blood and bile for GWAR.

  93. JJ says:

    Juice the male or the female ones?

    Juice Box says:
    February 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Essex WTF are you bragging about a cheerleader in college? Whoop de dooo. By the time I finished high school I worked my way though all 4 grades of cheerleaders. College
    was like shooting fish in a barrel, easier than a night at DJs in Belmar and a fist full of dollars

  94. Essex says:

    JJ I’d love to smash you in the face with a wet turd. And my fist.

  95. Essex says:

    Chip…you are truly the biggest dickhead in the state. Bar none.

  96. JJ says:

    Hey wait a minute, why are you mad at me for joking with Juice Box, Juice is a playa and he knows I love and respect a fellow playa.

    Are you and Juice the same person with different handles?

    Essex says:
    February 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    JJ I’d love to smash you in the face with a wet turd. And my fist.

  97. Juice Box says:

    Just a friendly reminder about what you write online. It can come back to bite
    you.

    Man who threatened “South Park” creators gets 25 yearsPostThu Feb 24, 2011 11:21 amOffline

    A 21-year-old man who admitted posting online threats against the creators of the animated TV series “South Park” was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison.

    Zachary Adam Chesser pleaded guilty in October to providing material support to terrorists, communicating threats and soliciting others to threaten violence. The three charges carried a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

    “I accept full responsibility for all of my actions, and I would like to take the opportunity to express remorse,” he said in court.

    Chesser, who was born in the United States, converted to Islam in high school. U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady told Chesser he had made a big leap from being a high school athlete to a traitor.

    Chesser admitted to posting online threats against the “South Park” creators due to a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed. He also admitted that he tried to go to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group that the United States considers a terrorist organization.

  98. Juice Box says:

    And for Entertainment..

    25 Guys to Avoid on Wall Street

    1. Avoid the guy who calls you ‘Chief’. He doesn’t remember your name.
    2. Avoid the guy who went to Hotchkiss and Yale and wears Nantucket reds during the summer. He doesn’t think you belong.
    3. Avoid the dim-witted back-slapping managing director. He’s not as smart as you are—but he’s been throwing guys like you under the bus since you were in grade school.
    4. Avoid the consultant hired by the dumb managing director to do his math for him. Not only will he throw you under the bus, he’s smarter than you are.
    5. Avoid the guy who always wants you to be his alibi when he cheats on his wife. (“Hey man, is it cool if I tell Kathy that we’re going fly fishing in Canada this weekend?”). No, dude: It’s not cool.
    6. Avoid the guy who keeps failing the CFA Level 1. He’s looking for someone to blame.
    7. Avoid the girl who cries at her desk. (You can ignore my advice on this one—but either way, you won’t make that mistake twice.)
    8. Avoid the guy who offers his clients ‘a very special opportunity’ to invest in anything. He has a problem with cocaine.
    9. Avoid any man who has floppy hair after age 30—he’s a complete toolbox.
    10. Avoid the guy who throws his phone across the trading floor whenever his positions go south. He’s an angry dude, and the more time you spend with him the more reasons he’ll find to dislike you.
    11. Avoid anyone who tells you that you should relax and have a couple of drinks—at 9:15 on a Tuesday morning. You’re not cool enough to hang out with this guy.
    12. Avoid anyone who won’t relax and have a couple of drinks—at 9:15 on a Thursday night. They’re not cool enough to hang out with you—and ultimately they’ll resent you for it.
    13. Avoid any broker who tells you his client is going to DTC in 50MM in securities from Europe and he needs to borrow a C-Note. Just for the weekend. And this is the last time.
    14. Avoid the banker who never seems to close a deal but still manages to remain employed. He’s got something ugly on somebody—and you don’t want to be involved.
    15. Avoid anyone who tells you to ‘take one for the team’. He got where he is by convincing dopes like you to jump in front of an oncoming train.
    16. Avoid the guy who tells you, “Seriously, all I do is work and then go home and lift.” He’s telling you the truth—and he’s as dumb as a stone.
    17. Avoid anyone who sits within eye-line of your desk: They know what time you show up and what time you leave—and chances are they think you’re a lazy punk.
    18. Avoid anyone who is ten years older than you are—and is still more junior in the reporting structure. He hates you more than you could ever imagine.
    19. Avoid the guy who posts Facebook pictures of himself getting arrested at the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. The guy is fearless—and he thinks you’re a complete coward.
    20. Avoid the guy who hangs his suit coat on the back of his chair to show off his suspenders. He either still thinks it’s 1985 or he’s trying to compensate for something.
    21. Avoid the guy who can drink all night, take a shower, and come into the office as crisp as a $100 bill. He’s got an oxlike constitution—and it will be fatal to your career to try to emulate his example.
    22. Avoid the guy who keeps telling you: “Without the back office, you overpaid clowns wouldn’t even have a job.” He’s right—but you don’t need to hear it.
    23. Avoid the guy who won’t share his Adderall: It just speaks to his character.
    24. Avoid anyone on Wall Street dumb enough to pick a fight with Bess Levin.
    25. Avoid the guy who gets drunk and loves to brag about never losing in arbitration: He’s going to get indicted. (Trust me on this one.)

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/41759013

  99. Essex says:

    108. So you really should not talk to anyone then. Right?

    Living in fear is pathetic.

  100. Essex says:

    JJ I don’t hate you….but bagging a college cheerleader vs. a high school cheerleader….big difference brother. big mofo difference. She was cool too.

  101. Essex says:

    Fortunately, I met and married an amazing and very attractive woman that puts up with me after nearly two decades together….she is my dream girl…..

  102. d2b says:

    103-
    She was on a talk show this week and they showed that trailer. Looks like a good one.

  103. chicagofinance says:

    off the charts nasty…..bloody hell

    95.Confused In NJ says:
    February 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm
    LONDON (Reuters) – A specialist ice cream parlor plans to serve up breast milk ice cream and says people should think of it as an organic, free-range treat.

  104. gator (91)-

    I bet Montklair has 3-4 budding Carries in its midst. Perhaps one of them can burn down City Hall with her mind.

  105. sx (102)-

    Now he’s turned on me, folks. A veritable fighting dog, set loose.

  106. sx, you should chill. You’re making me look reasonable by comparison.

  107. relo says:

    109: Yes, but is she A m a
    z i n g?

    Fortunately, I met and married an amazing and very attractive woman that puts up with me after nearly two decades together….she is my dream girl…..

  108. Essex says:

    It was the teeth comment. A couple of years ago a hedge fund exec (inlaws) made a crack like that to me at a party. It took all that I could for me not to separate him from his uppers and lowers. I am not what you would call a docile type doom. I’m real.

  109. Essex says:

    118. yep.

  110. relo says:

    99: Coast,

    Are you working either Deftones or Three Days Grace at the Starland?

  111. Essex says:

    Big front page story on Christie NY Times. Interesting. Comments even more so.

  112. I’m from Tennessee. I’ve heard every teeth joke ever coined. Call me immune to them.

    When you post a 25 y/o photo here of a bunch of f@g hags and closet queens, you may be correct to expect some serious treatment coming your way.

  113. relo says:

    108: Ket, Veto, Ben, Pain (resident math guys)

    Help me out with the math here.

    The former is largely a subset of the latter. Unless you happened to bag a statistically significant number of members of this subset at the respective intervals, I don’t think it would be accurate to express your opinion as fact.

    but bagging a college cheerleader vs. a high school cheerleader….big difference brother

    Also, did she tell you it was her best year or is that your estimation?

  114. Juice Box says:

    Debt I have to stop reading this blog while driving.

  115. Essex says:

    123. I know. I expected the sh*tstorm and was not disapointed. But damn. That big hair was something, right?! Full bush too.

  116. Essex says:

    124. It was ‘a very good year’ for both of us…..let’s just say.

  117. Laurence says:

    Seriously like the fresh look. I liked this content. Appreciation for your perfect write.

  118. Confused In NJ says:

    Rising gas prices: Retailers feel pain, too.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    The price at the pump keeps rising.

    .The national average Thursday was $3.23, according to AAA, and in Atlanta it was $3.15. Both prices were up 4 cents from the previous day.

    Pump prices haven’t been this high in two years. Atlantans are still paying far less than the record average price here of $4.11 on Sept. 16, 2008.

    But some experts speculate that prices could reach that level again this summer, and others say it could go even higher.

    If that happens, it could put the skids on spending.

    “Gas has a way of, unfortunately, dragging the economy down,” said Jim Tudor, president of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores.

    People tend to blame the gas stations when prices rise, but Tudor said they get squeezed by rising prices, too.

    They operate on slim margins, and typically roll the money from the preceding days’ gasoline sales into the purchase of the next shipment of gas, he said. That’s great when prices are falling, but when they rise it makes it difficult to bankroll the next shipment.

    “If prices continue to go up,” Tudor said, “it certainly puts a lot of pressure, especially on smaller retailers, to get enough money to pay for gasoline up front.”

    Some experts this week have speculated that gas could reach $5 a gallon this summer if the political turmoil in Libya spreads to other oil rich states and disrupts production.

    “If this thing escalates there’s a good chance that there’d be a shift in supplies, $5 gas isn’t out of the question,” Darin Newsom, a senior analyst at energy tracker DTN, told USA Today

  119. Confused In NJ says:

    WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton on Thursday warned farmers that using too much corn for ethanol fuel could lead to higher food prices and riots in poor countries.

    Clinton told farmers and Agriculture Department employees that he believes producing biofuels such as corn-based ethanol is important for reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But, he said, farmers should look beyond domestic production and consider the needs of developing countries.

    “We know that the way we produce and consume energy has to change, yet for farmers there are no simple answers,” he said. “There is a way for us to do this and to do it right.”

    Clinton’s foundation has worked to develop agribusiness in African countries such as Malawi and Rwanda. He said the United States needs to look at the long term, global effects of its farm policy.

    “I think the best thing to say is we have to become energy independent, but we don’t want to do it at the cost of food riots,” Clinton said.

    At the department’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, chief economist Joseph Glauber said food prices are expected to rise this year and corn use for ethanol will continue to grow. He said 37 percent of all U.S. corn production could be used for ethanol by 2012.

    The ethanol industry long has said that its production does not significantly drive up food prices and that the price of corn contributes to a tiny percentage of every food dollar.

    “The driver behind rising food prices has been and remains oil,” said Matt Hartwig of the ethanol industry group Renewable Fuels Association. “Rising oil prices, even before the unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa, have made everything we buy from food to clothes to oil more expensive.”

    Other industries have contended that ethanol contributes to food price spikes, affecting their bottom lines and consumers, too.

    After years of boosting ethanol production, Congress has taken an increasingly skeptical look at the fuel as food prices have fluctuated and cutting spending has become a legislative priority.

    More than $5 billion in ethanol tax credits were extended at the end of last year as a part of an end-of-session tax deal. But the new Republican House passed two amendments to a spending bill last weekend that would attempt to slow ethanol use.

    Even longtime supporters of ethanol in Congress have acknowledged that the country’s mood may mean less support for the ethanol industry. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said this week that he would have to “bite the bullet” if he has to decide between cutting the deficit and supporting the House amendments.

    Grassley said his priority is to show voters that Congress has gotten the message of fiscal responsibility after the last election.

    “I would have to sacrifice almost anything to get to that point,” he said.

    Glauber said Thursday that corn-based ethanol production is currently running at more than 13 billion gallons a year. Congress has required refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels, much of it ethanol, into auto fuel by 2022.

    Clinton said in his speech that biofuels have been debated in a “knee-jerk” way.

    “We need a balanced approach,” he said.

  120. Barbara says:

    I think Essex wants us all to know that he and the cheerleader f*cked A LOT. Just in case the 20 or so posts dedicated to this topic have not been made clear enough for the average NJRERE regular. Let me repeat, they F*CKED……..A LOT….and it was AWESOME, the way it just is for young, nubile college kids. AWESOME. Make a note of it.

    Ok, back to the doom and gloom and cannibalism.

  121. gary says:

    Barbara,

    LOL…. you’re killing me. :)

  122. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barb thanks for clearing that up , Essex got some in college. I’m with Gary LoL.

  123. Juice Box says:

    Babs could not have been that great with Mr Mister’s song Broken Wings playing in the background, Essex probobaly cried the whole time.

  124. Barbara says:

    Essex is still m’boy, he has demonstrated good taste in homes and architecture and low brow movies, so I can’t be a hater.

  125. safe as houses says:

    Maybe Revenge of the Nerds is based on Essex’s college years.

    Yo Essex, did you own a Darth Vader costume?

  126. Barbara says:

    I always wondered if DEVO got a cut or sued the producers of Revenge Of The Nerds for that battle of the bands scene…

  127. Ben says:

    Help me out with the math here.

    The former is largely a subset of the latter. Unless you happened to bag a statistically significant number of members of this subset at the respective intervals, I don’t think it would be accurate to express your opinion as fact.

    but bagging a college cheerleader vs. a high school cheerleader….big difference brother

    Also, did she tell you it was her best year or is that your estimation?

    I’m sure we could develop some type of gaussian distribution that exists within all cheerleading squads. I would wager that that gaussian distribution of the college squad would be centered a higher position and may also be narrower in width. We cannot draw conclusions on a single data point, but we can determine a relative probability of the former being better than the latter.

  128. Ben says:

    If we didn’t have Abbott schools, how else would these kids learn how to lie, cheat and steal?

    They don’t even learn that there. In my night classes, I actually got to know a lot of teachers in the Abbott districts. I really do feel for them. Most of them jumped into the profession because they were out of work and it was the only job they could get. Their job is so hard given their student populace. They get paid garbage. It’s kind of dishonest to say Asbury spends $30k on each student. They probably spend about $7k on each student and find ways to divert the other $23k through services, construction, maintenance, and unnecessary jobs out of the classroom. You can take a walk through a school that spends $12k per kid and you see all kinds of things (laptops, projectors, nice facilities, etc…). Take a walk through an Abbott districts doors and you see a school that has not been painted on the inside since the 1970s and the outlets are still 2 prong. The money never reaches the classroom. If an honest democrat actually had the balls to walk through the halls of an Abbott district, they would be appalled to see what a difference they are not making. That being said, I have no clue what Christie is thinking. He wiped out upwards of 80% of the state aid that goes to the schools of his entire voting base. If he were smart, he would institute some sort of minimum state aid per pupil to avoid that issue entirely. I’m pretty sure that no Democrat would fight the idea of creating a minimum state aid per township requirement.

  129. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ben the aid was wiped out for just the reasons you cited, not getting to the kids anyway.
    Minimum state aid, payed for by whom.

  130. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “paid for” – long day.

  131. d2b says:

    Disagree with Essex because HS cheerleaders are hotter. By the time you get to college you have been introduced to strippers and p0rn. College cheerleaders are somewhat ordinary. I’ve even seen some that never lost the freshman 15. But I did learn something today. I had no idea that people in Kentucky were smart enough to have a college….

  132. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “She is my dream girl…..”

    109- she must be a saint

  133. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Relo 122
    Definately. I wonder if we can create an algorythm and then chart out proof that the cheerleader he was referring to was the guy with tight sweater and feathered hair.

  134. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [56] relo

    KY babes are the real deal. Its what accounts for the smile on my face sometimes that my wife doesn’t understand.

    [58] libtard

    True dat. Anyone that plays hockey and isn’t winded after a routine shift is dogging it. Contrary to Essex’ assertions, hockey players have to be among the best conditioned athletes, not worst. Soccer? Please, trotting around from place to place on a field for the chance of kicking the ball to another player periodically? Sorry Essex, wrong again.

  135. Juice Box says:

    Blame the Swiss and Bin Laden?

    In a rambling appeal for calm on state TV, Gaddafi blamed the revolt on al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and said the protesters were fuelled by Nescafe spiked with hallucinogenic drugs.

  136. Neanderthal Economist says:

    As a lifelong dedicated soccer guy who also played a couple years house league and spent 2 years on hs ice hockey team, I agree with essex assessment of hockey vs soccer. The ice gliding thing is a huge optical illusion. Its pretty darn easy to look like you are sprinting on skates. But im not taking away from ice jockeys cardiovascual requirements. Its a hell of alot more enduring than baseball. Now as far as roughness goes, pads or not, id much rather have my body slide tackled out from under me on a soccer field than be hip checked into the boards by a damn bus on skates any day of the week.

  137. Libtard says:

    “Fortunately, I met and married an amazing and very attractive woman that puts up with me after nearly two decades together….she is my dream girl…..”

    Sure she’s your dream girl. She’s covering your medical costs for life.

  138. Essex says:

    148. Actually we are both covered by a Swiss Multinational. More comprehensive plan.

  139. Essex says:

    135. :-)

  140. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [135] barbara,

    probably protected as a parody. You don’t violate a copyright by parodying it.

  141. Juice Box says:

    Essex – Self loathing capitalist? That won’t go over well at the Che book club meetings.

  142. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [133] barbara,

    We don’t hate SX (well, I don’t anyway). He is noti rrational, merely out of step with the zeitgeist, and occasionally wrong, IMHO. Now, he may need some meds, but then again, I might too.

    And yes, I am envious that he nailed a U of K cheerleader. No mean feat, that.

  143. Barbara says:

    Comrade, depends on the nature of the parody…and how far a client wants to take on a big corp. Cease and desist letters stops many parodies, legally justified or not.

  144. NJCoast says:

    119.relo says:
    February 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm
    99: Coast,

    Are you working either Deftones or Three Days Grace at the Starland?

    Yep.

  145. Barbara says:

    Comrade,
    well that makes two NJRERE regulars who have had a UK cheerleader. What are the odds? ;P

  146. Barbara says:

    For the record Bring It On is one of my fav movies.
    *Spirit Fingers* ….classic.

  147. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Barbara,

    A lot of CD letters have more basis in bluster than law. Knuckling under to a spurious CD letter is a business decision. So is prosecuting one.

  148. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [155] Barbara,

    My daughter does competitive cheer. Some athleticism there, to be sure.

  149. Barbara says:

    156.
    Comrade, true. Unfortunately, if a corp has salaried lawyers on staff, its no skin off their backs to just go ahead with filing court papers. This is why C&D letters usually work. Just my experience. I think we are agreeing :)

  150. Barbara says:

    Comrade,
    its come a long way from the Toni Basil days, hasn’t it? My stylist’s daughter is also on a competitive squad. She is in great shape and its all very physically intimidating…and scary (she’s had a few bad falls).

  151. box (144)-

    You know anywhere I can get a cup of Nescafe right now?

    “…Gaddafi blamed the revolt on al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and said the protesters were fuelled by Nescafe spiked with hallucinogenic drugs.”

  152. plume (151)-

    The only woman from Kentucky anyone should brag about tapping is Ashley Judd.

  153. I really think there’s a chance that Barb could be Sasha Grey.

    But, I digress…

  154. All the cheerleaders around my area are hobbling around on crutches, with enough casts and boots and tape on them to make them seem like recently-embalmed zombie mummies.

  155. However, it is hilarious watching cheerleaders trying to get into the flow of a soccer game.

    At our Blue Ribbon HS, the crowd actually yells at them to shut up and throws the occasional object at them.

  156. Mike Krieger’s latest rant:

    How Long Until Obama Starts Writing Checks?

    “The big news this week from Saudi Arabia is that upon his return to the Kingdom after a three month medical absence, King Abdullah has decided to implement a massive $36 billion payoff to his people to stem off any revolt. Amongst other things: “The measures include a 15 per cent salary rise for public employees to offset inflation, reprieves for imprisoned debtors, and financial aid for students and the unemployed” according to the Financial Times. Interestingly, this is exactly what I said would happen in my recent interview with Max Keiser from last week. Please take the time to watch as it offers more detailed analysis on how I think this will all play out. It is in three parts and I have gotten great feedback so far. Link below.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/mike-kriegers-latest-interview-max-keiser

    So the payoffs have begun in earnest and the question is, when will banker puppet Obama will engage in similar tactics. My guess is very soon. More and more people are aware of the sham that is his presidency and as the people realize they have been sold out to make sure the financial oligarchs got their record Christmas bonuses and can fund his 2012 run he will need to give a pay raise to the 15% of Americans on food stamps. Interestingly, my friend Dave DeGraw at Ampedstatus recently put out an excellent report where he shows how poverty and inequality in the United States of Banana Republic are in many ways comparable or worse than in Egypt. The whole report is here. (Deleted to avoid multiple links)

    In it he also shows how JP Morgan is making some nice money on the food stamp business. Yep, it seems JPM is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. Here is a video interview with Bloomberg TV’s Margaret Brennan about JPM’s $5.47 billion in net revenue in this business. In the interview, this guy admits “the food stamp business is very important to JP Morgan.” Poverty is good business for these folks. You starting to get the picture of how this works? Thanks for the change Obama you gigantic fraud.”

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