“I wouldn’t be overly influenced by the idea that home prices are low, and they might suddenly take off”

From CNBC:

Home Ownership May Be for the Few, Not the Many

Homeownership has long been associated with investment savvy.

Tax breaks, equity growth and the sanctity of the American dream — the real estate community has made a pretty compelling case over the years for the merits of purchasing property versus throwing your money away on rent.

But as the housing market redefines itself in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis and the ensuing industry recession, a number of economists who follow the industry suggest the benefit of buying no longer applies. Others say it never did.

Yale economist Robert J. Shiller, whose book “Irrational Exuberance” accurately predicted the stock market collapse in 2000, notes that U.S. housing prices posted roughly a zero percent gain between 1890 and 1990, after adjusting for inflation.

“That’s the remarkable thing that most people don’t realize,” he says. “This is not a financial investment. It’s an investment that provides you services and you have to answer for yourself how you value that.”

The biggest dividend of real estate, says Shiller, is the lifestyle it affords. Some are willing to pay a premium for kid-friendly neighborhoods, quiet streets, a historic home or a condo close to work.

But taking the plunge today is a bigger financial gamble than it once was.

“If you’re doing it more with investment motives, then I think you have to be careful,” says Shiller, who co-founded the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index for housing prices. “I wouldn’t be overly influenced by the idea that home prices are low, and they might suddenly take off — that’s what’s coloring some people’s thinking now. It might be more accurate to wait another five years.”

Or not at all.

Research by Jack C. Francis, a former Federal Reserve economist and professor at Baruch College at the City University of New York, reveals that residential real estate has consistently failed to measure up with other asset classes over the last 30 years.

From 1978 to 2008, he found, the S&P 500 returned an average of 11 percent a year, while U.S. small-cap stocks produced an average return of roughly 13 percent. Single-family homes posted less than a 6 percent gain.

“For generations, parents and grandparents have been telling us that the way to get ahead was to buy a house and keep making payments with a fixed interest rate and after 20 or 30 years it would be way up in value and that was your nest egg in old age,” says Francis. “You could either live in it rent free or sell it and use the proceeds to rent an apartment.”

That was good advice until 2006 when home prices collapsed, he says, and it “may become good advice 10 years from now, but right now it’s not.”

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267 Responses to “I wouldn’t be overly influenced by the idea that home prices are low, and they might suddenly take off”

  1. grim says:

    From the Washington Post:

    A foreclosure settlement plan might make matters worse

    THE NATION’S mortgage companies have engaged in questionable practices – or worse – regarding loan modifications and foreclosures. Even now the banks have not entirely conquered the scandal that erupted last fall over alleged widespread errors, procedural irregularities and outright misrepresentations – including the notorious “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents. The resulting confusion and controversy forced some banks to halt foreclosures, then start them again, adding a new element of uncertainty to an ailing housing market.

    The question is what to do about it. At the moment, state attorneys general and some within the Obama administration are pushing for a settlement that would, appropriately enough, force the banks to fix the foreclosure process and streamline loan modifications. More controversially, they are also trying to extract a large cash amount – $20 billion is under discussion – to help write down the principal balances of the 22.5 percent of U.S. homebuyers who owe more than the market value of their homes.

    There is a certain appeal to the proposal. The government’s loan modification efforts to date, though helpful to hundreds of thousands, have fallen short of their most ambitious targets; additional resources might remedy that. Banks are partly responsible, insofar as they failed to invest in the capability to deal with distressed loans. And, compared to the interest-payment adjustments in most loan modifications thus far, principal reductions promise greater and longer-lasting relief to those who get them.

    Here’s the problem – several problems, actually. As flagrant as the mortgage companies’ procedural violations might have been, they did not actually cause many foreclosures. John Walsh, the acting Comptroller of the Currency, told a Senate committee last month that federal banking regulators found only a “small number” of people who could have kept their homes but for the banks’ misconduct. As Mr. Walsh testified, his agency concluded that “loans subject to foreclosure were, in fact, seriously delinquent, and that servicers had documentation and legal standing to foreclose.” Modifications had been tried and failed. Looking back, the $20 billion remedy would have been of no use to these “victims.”

  2. grim says:

    4 reactors at Fukushima now compromised, Nikkei down 10.5% last night.

  3. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  4. Mike says:

    Number 1 They could push the settlement right up their arse. What about the people that paid for 30 years.

  5. 30 year realtor says:

    As much as the banks should be punished for their behavior related to foreclosure procedures, the punishment has nothing to do with the borrower’s non-payment. Trying to solve an unrelated issue through a settlement will just complicate an already complicated issue. Banks must pay the legal price for their fraud, do the proper paperwork on their foreclosure files and get on with business.

    Homeowners in foreclosure will (have) receive extra months (if not years) in their homes without debt service as an unintended consequence due to the foreclosure scandal. Any homeowner with an affirmative defense will be able to pursue their defense in court.

    How can the government decide that underwater homeowners are entitled to be paid a settlement by banks? What is the settlement compensation for? Do all underwater homeowners qualify for the settlement, including those who are current on their mortgages? If those who are current do not qualify, why not?

  6. Mike says:

    You made your bed now lie in it! To bad if you have to wear a scuba suit.

  7. Mike says:

    1 & 5 I would love to hear our govenor talk about this subject. Can you imagine

  8. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Futures down 3%

  9. #2 – 4 reactors at Fukushima now compromised, Nikkei down 10.5% last night.

    Dow futures off 275 pts right now.
    BBC is reporting that large numbers of people are fleeing Tokyo.
    On a slightly less serious note Sendai is home to Nikon’s (as well as Canon, Sony and Olmpus’) pro camera and lens manufacturing facilities, all of which are now shutdown. Nikon was expected to announce successors to both the D4 and D700 this year, and I was planning on buying the latter. I’m going to guess these releases are on hold.

  10. #9 – announce successors to both the D4
    That should be D3, not D4. The D4 is the expected model, the D3 is the current model.

  11. jamil says:

    “BBC is reporting that large numbers of people are fleeing Tokyo.”

    I guess apartment prices in Okinawa and Taiwan are going up..they are the places where people from Tokyo would be moving.
    Okinawa and Taipei are of course still close, but at least a bit farther away and not everybody can emigrate to US or Europe.

  12. mike (4)-

    Pandora’s Box was opened long ago. Now, the only intelligent thing to do is lever up, then default.

    No big; we are in the middle of watching the biggest economy on the planet default via buggery of the currency.

    People who pay on time are pawns and bagholders.

  13. gary says:

    It’s really not difficult to understand. Over the long term, housing appreciated at the rate of inflation or slightly above. However, we all know that from the years 2002 through 2008 or so, housing transactions were used as a device for fraud and deception. The sellers were used as the prop or setup and the buyers were the victims of the sting. You can’t walk into a bank with a gun and demand money so the sharks created a process that accumulated inconceivable amounts of loot with the illusion of a normal transaction.

    Now, the unwinding is taking a long time – at least in our area. I have targeting specific homes previously with a six tag now with a five tag and still lingering. They still have a way to go. We have about 15% to 20% to go before we’re back to pre-fraud levels.

  14. 3-15-11 (AP)- ATHENS, Greece — The government is backing a shakeup of Greece’s soccer league as prosecutors begin an investigation into allegations of corruption and attempted match-fixing.

    The government has requested the Greek Football Association intervene and take authority from the Superleague, the body that currently runs the country’s top league with little regulation.

    The GFA has also been asked to consider using foreign referees for certain domestic games.

    “The Superleague is not suitable to organize the championship, given the current circumstances, the way it works and the behavior of some of its senior members,” the government’s general secretary for sport, Panos Bitsaxis, wrote. “The government respects the self-governing nature of football. … But the government will take the decisions necessary to restore the credibility of professional football.”

    He warned that state-controlled betting company OPAP could withdraw funding for soccer unless serious reforms are made.

    On Friday, prosecutors began hearing testimony from referees after a prominent lawyer handed judicial authorities what he said were taped conversations providing evidence of attempts to bribe a Greek referee and others.

    The lawyer on Wednesday said the allegations included a failed attempt to influence an Aug. 5 Europa League match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Greek league leader Olympiakos.

    Olympiakos flatly denied the allegations, while other clubs applauded the government’s initiative.

    AEK Athens wrote an open letter to Prime Minister George Papandreou, comparing the soccer scandal to the lack of public accountability that helped create Greece’s financial crisis.

    “Professional Greek football is rotten, an area in which parasitic and criminal elements are served by an orgy of corruption with the complete inability of football institutions to react,” AEK wrote.

    “It is a product of the pathologies of Greek society that have brought us to the state of collapse that we live in today: lawlessness, nepotism, money laundering, tax dodging, corruption, blackmail, and the assurance of impunity provided by a web of diffused complicity.”

    Investigative magistrate Constantine Simitzoglou, heading the soccer corruption probe, is due to hear testimony Monday from more acting and former referees, sports reporters and the head of the Greek FA, Sofoklis Pilavios.

  15. Confused In NJ says:

    Ben is having GMC install a turbo charger on his printing press.

  16. jamil says:

    “Professional Greek football is rotten, an area in which parasitic and criminal elements are served by an orgy of corruption with the complete inability of football institutions to react,”

    I think you can remove the word “football” in this sentence and it still applies 100%.

  17. Shore Guy says:

    Neanderthal,

    Late last night/ early this morning, I posted the information you requested.

  18. JJ says:

    Radiation is not that big a thing. Bigger issue is food shortages, no power and work grounded to a halt and transportation is still a mess. I just upped my 401K contribution amount and shifted a lot more of my future contributions going international with Japanese exposure. If you want to help Japan that is more helfult than sending a check for $25 bucks. Plus old buy low sell high.

    Also looking at XL bonds today. Any bond that has been beaten for fear of stuff like GE is good. Other good thing for most the 1st and 15 are 401K deposit days. Today is a good day to go into market on 401K. Bad thing is treasuries and cash is not once again at near zero rates.

    Also Bill Gross big time wrong getting out of treasuries. Smartest man in the world jumped out of plane with a back pack instead of a parachute.

  19. Al Mossberg says:

    Im having September 2008 flashbacks. Wheres my gas mask?

  20. We are headed right back to Sept, ’08, and we will continue to go back until the bad debt is acknowledged and written down. No amount of money printing and fraud can erase the consequences; they can only be delayed.

    Investment in anything other than iodine pills and ammunition is money down the tubes.

  21. #19 – Bigger issue is food shortages, no power and work grounded to a halt and transportation is still a mess.

    The lack of power will prove to be a very headachy issue once the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi are contained. Fukushima Daiichi is being hosed down with seawater, meaning that the plant is no longer operable even without a meltdown and no damage. They now need to rebuild the plant. Remember the Fukushima Daiichi plants weren’t the only ones shutdown or hosed with seawater, the Daini plant had at least one reactor with seawater pumped in.
    No power (or extremely limited power) means limited production lines (Nissan announced yesterday it was halting 6 plants) which means less product, means less revenue, etc.
    The potential economic fallout is very serious.

  22. JJ says:

    Down 262- Buy when we hit 500!

  23. gary says:

    6.2 earthquake just occurred in Tokyo.

  24. Al Mossberg says:

    Geiger counter in Tokyo is 28 and change CPM. Thats up from 12.22 CPM from last night. Still normal but up significantly.

  25. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Beware the Ides of March.

  26. NJ Toast says:

    22 – any info on how far from the reactors the grid is damaged or contaminated? Does Japan have excess electric capacity they can reroute to this area and if not, what about bringing in natural gas fired turbines at least for the most critical / current needs?

    The folks at Bloom Box should ship some of their toys over there. Perhaps some alternative energy products that are in their infancy will be put on the world stage and prove their worthiness.

  27. Juice Box says:

    Margin calls anybody? Leverage is around pre-Lehman collapse is it not?

  28. Kettle1^2 says:

    This is quote the flock of black swans we have going.

    - from zerohedge
    Meanwhile, after tracking all the manifestations of the black swan clusterflock, and taking a quick look at that “other” crisis, shows that the Gulf, and thus the oil supply picture, are about to be impacted. The AP reports that according to a security official, a Saudi soldier shot dead by opposition protester in Bahrain

  29. Al Mossberg says:

    Bernanke now has the political cover he needs to fire up QE 3 announced or unannounced.

    Martin Armstrong has been released from jail. The bigger the gold correction now the higher we go long term.

  30. Juice Box says:

    re # 25 – Depends on which way the wind blows. The storage pool fire released allot of radiation.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency said it was informed by Japanese authorities that the fire took place at a storage pond for spent fuel rods at the plant’s number 4 unit, and that radioactivity was released directly into the atmosphere at dose rates equivalent to 4,000 chest X-rays every hour.

    http://www.iaea.org

  31. JJ says:

    I recall from the past, a company I delt with called Mitsubishi Nuclear Solutions are like a HazMat Nuke swat team. They go to plants when core is being replaced, do servicing, three mile island, leaks and this stuff. Those nuts should have been on a plane to Tokyo and are working on it. What a crazy job. I recall I was checking out a Nuke plan in PA and they said they shut down for maint when they remove spent uranimun and it is too dangerous to handle these guys come in. When Nuke plant workers are scared to do something why would you want to be the guy who does it?

    NJ Toast says:
    March 15, 2011 at 8:43 am
    22 – any info on how far from the reactors the grid is damaged or contaminated? Does Japan have excess electric capacity they can reroute to this area and if not, what about bringing in natural gas fired turbines at least for the most critical / current needs?

    The folks at Bloom Box should ship some of their toys over there. Perhaps some alternative energy products that are in their infancy will be put on the world stage and prove their worthiness.

  32. #27 – No. I’ve been reading lots of stories about the rolling black-outs which hint to what levels of excess capacity there may be, but as for an actual account of how damaged the electrical infrastructure is and where, etc…. I haven’t seen anything yet. I suspect this is largely due to other concerns right now on the part of both the varying govt agencies as well as the power companies themselves.

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    More literary portends.

    This morning, I saw a dead rat on my back patio. Perhaps the dog killed it, perhaps it just died there. But my second thought, after wondering how it got there, was of Camus.

  34. Kettle1^2 says:

    Tosh

    the Japanese are supposidly one of the best prepared populations for natural disasters. Yet there are already reports of food and water shortages.

    The permanent lossof power generation at atleast 5 reactors is a huge problem and will take years to correct. On top of that the 4 reactors at fukushima will have to be completey dismantaled instead of entomded as the are built on mudflats not bedrock.

    If the Japanese, the most prepared population in the world already has shortages what would a major event in the US look like? It would make Katrina look like a casual block party.

    One other item, JIT. What happens to the global supply chai s that rely on Just In Time components from the Japanese market?

  35. #34 – I should add here that Sendai is no where near as heavily industrialized as southern Japan, which may alleviate and fall-out (sorry!) economically from the loss of these reactors.

  36. Kettle1^2 says:

    Tosh
    GDP roughly correlates to electric consumption. If that correlation holds on japan then watchout below, a nontrivial xhunck of their GDP just experienced a meltdown

  37. Kettle1^2 says:

    Those 5 reactors that have been pumped full of sea water will take years and huge amounts of money to dismantle and remediate

    they also expect another 7.0+ quake and associated tsunami.

  38. Al Mossberg says:

    39.

    Ket,

    Im thinking Japan is pretty well f-cked here. This will catapult them into the 3rd world status they were destined for. Maybe Christie could go over there and talk Nissan into manufacturing cars in Camden?

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Kettle,

    China, Korea, and US gets business?

  40. Al Mossberg says:

    Bargains on silver miners abound.

  41. Al Mossberg says:

    TV station NHK told people to stay inside and breathe through a wet cloth in case they need to get out. Not to drink tap water.

    Sounds like a great vacation spot.

  42. #36 – What happens to the global supply chains that rely on Just In Time components from the Japanese market?

    Very good question; same for raw material suppliers for those component manufacturers.

    As for the best prepared people, and what the US would look like: Fortunately only California is in a similar situation in terms of seismic activity, etc. In which case the valley and Hollywood would be gone. The valley would be a loss but no more Michael Bay movies would be a positive.

  43. Kettle1^2 says:

    Nom

    taking my new AR to the range tonight!

    Ag/Au/Pb

  44. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (1) grim

    Obama can’t push this very hard. If he does, the voters that aren’t getting bailed out will crush him.

    This will be much like the tobacco settlements.

  45. Al Mossberg says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk

    “A Japanese nuclear safety official has confirmed reports that the water inside the waste fuel storage pool for the number 4 Fukushima reactor may be boiling, AP reports”

  46. Kettle1^2 says:

    Nom 41

    it will be a race to see who can ramp up the fastest. However it won’t be a seamless transition

    tosh

    Don’t forget the new Madrid fault which is supposidly overdue.

  47. Al Mossberg says:

    45.

    Ket,

    Bushmaster? Ill be testing my geiger counter as soon as I get it. I’ll also be bringing my tomato plants back inside.

  48. Kettle1^2 says:

    Tosh

    the US power grid is very fragile and you could see wide spread regional power disruption if multiple large generating stations were lost

  49. Kettle1^2 says:

    Al 49

    I custom built it myself. It’s similiar to some of the builds Sabre Defense offers

  50. gary says:

    Bahrain, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Japan crisis, U.S. economy, Afghanistan, Iraq, European debt crisis… but not to worry… because this will get us through –> http://tinyurl.com/o5udk8

  51. Al Mossberg says:

    52.

    Where the h_ll has the Kenyan been hiding these days? What an empty suit that guy is.

  52. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Looking for bargains but only for the dead cat bounce. As for Ag, I think it will sag more on industrial demand, then I may get back in. I am looking for Au though.

  53. Ket – Don’t forget the new Madrid fault which is supposedly overdue.

    You’re right. I keep forgetting about that.

    the US power grid is very fragile and you could see wide spread regional power disruption if multiple large generating stations were lost
    We already have in 2k3, and still haven’t done too much to correct it.

  54. yo'me says:

    ” not everybody can emigrate to US or Europe.”

    No visa needed for Japanese to come to the US.More illegal immigrants?

  55. Confused In NJ says:

    Interesting, the US naval base 175 miles from the reactors is detecting radiation.

  56. gary says:

    Al [53],

    When campaign season kicks in full blast, he’ll be front and center again.

  57. Juice Box says:

    BREAKING NEWS: JUST IN
    Spent nuke fuel pool may be boiling, further radiation leak feared
    TOKYO, March 15, Kyodo

    A nuclear crisis at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant deepened Tuesday as fresh explosions occurred at the site and its operator said water in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods may be boiling, an ominous sign for the release of high-level radioactive materials from the fuel.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said water levels in the pool storing the spent fuel rods at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 4 reactor may have dropped, exposing the rods. The firm said it has not yet confirmed the current water levels or started operations to pour water into the facility.

    Unless the spent fuel rods are cooled down, they could be damaged and emit radioactive substances. The government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency urged TEPCO to inject water into the pool soon to prevent heating of the fuel rods.

    At 6:14 a.m., a blast occurred at the No. 4 reactor and created two square holes sized about 8 meters by 8 meters in the walls of the building that houses the reactor. At 9:38 a.m., a fire broke out there and smoke billowed from those holes.

    The utility said it cannot deny the possibility that the early morning explosion was caused by hydrogen that was generated by a chemical reaction involving the exposed spent nuclear fuel and vapor.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a press conference, ”We believe very-high-level radioactive substance has not been emitted continuously from the No. 4 reactor,” citing radiation monitoring data at the plant.

    The nuclear agency said water temperature in the pool stood at 84 degrees C as of 4 a.m. Monday, higher than the normal level of 40 to 50 degrees. Usually, the upper tip of the fuel rods is at a depth of 10 meters from the surface of the pool, it said.

    Agency officials said the fuel rods will not reach criticality again as they have been stored in racks containing boron to prevent the phenomenon.

    Edano said water temperature in the pools at the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors in the Fukushima plant has been rising as well.

    The three reactors were not in service when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake jolted Fukushima Prefecture and other areas in northeastern Japan on Friday.

    The agency said among the three, the situation is the severest for the No. 4 reactor because all the fuel rods are stored in the pool due to the change of the reactor’s shroud. At the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors, up to one-third of the rods are kept in the pools.

    The new development followed a critical situation at the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima plant earlier in the day, in which part of the reactor’s container vessel was damaged following an apparent hydrogen explosion at 6:10 a.m.

    TEPCO said the problem could develop into a critical ”meltdown” situation, in which fuel rods melt and are destroyed, emitting massive radioactive materials in the air.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged people living between 20 and 30 kilometers of the plant to stay indoors, after radiation equivalent to 400 times the level to which people can safely be exposed in one year was detected near the No. 3 reactor in the plant.

    Residents within a 20-km radius have already been ordered to vacate the area following Saturday’s hydrogen blast at the plant’s No. 1 reactor.

    ”The danger of further radiation leaks (from the plant) is increasing.” Kan warned the public at a press conference, while asking people to ”act calmly.”

    Edano said the high radiation level detected at 10:22 a.m. after the explosions at the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors ”would certainly have negative effects on the human body.”

    The top government spokesman said later in the day the massive radiation amount may have been recorded around the debris of the building that housed the No. 3 reactor. The building was blown away by the hydrogen explosion Monday.

    TEPCO has been continuing operations to pour seawater into the troubled No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors to prevent overheating and further damage to their containers. But despite the water injection, fuel rods in the three reactors remain partially exposed.

    The cores of those three reactors at the plant are believed to have partially melted following the devastating quake.

    The country’s biggest recorded quake, which is also one of the largest in global history, caused the three reactors, which were all operating at the time, to automatically shut down.

    ==Kyodo

  58. Juice Box says:

    Which way the wind blows.

    U.S. Navy personnel began limiting outdoor activities and securing external ventilation systems after instruments aboard an aircraft carrier docked in Japan detected low levels of radioactivity from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the Navy said.

    The USS George Washington was docked for maintenance in Yokosuka, about 175 miles (280 kilometers) from the plant, when instruments detected the radiation at 7 a.m. Tuesday (6 p.m. ET Monday), the Navy said in a statement.

  59. jamil says:

    “the Japanese are supposidly one of the best prepared populations for natural disasters. Yet there are already reports of food and water shortages. ”

    note to myself: don’t keep emergency food and stuff in the basement
    (at least some protection against flooding and hurricane aftermath)

  60. Kettle1^2 says:

    Juice

    It sounds like the initial fire was due to the spent fuel rods at reactor 4 being exposed to air. I would guess that there is a better then average chance that they lose full control of those.

    They way things ate going this could surpass Chernobyl. Now we have to see if the MSM will talk about the fallout that is going to hit the west coat, probably in the next few days.

  61. Kettle1^2 says:

    Watch the dairies on the west coast. If they stop producing milk for human consumption, it is probably due to a radiation concern

  62. Juice Box says:

    re # 62 – Kettle1 Fuel Pond #4 that caught on fire was fully loaded. Perhaps 200 tons of the stuff.

    For a point of reference.

    According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), only 3 to 4 percent of the nuclear fuel used in the reactor escaped in the Chernobyl explosion. However Russians still don’t know the whereabouts of 180 tons of radioactive material, estimates could be as high as 50% of the Nuclear Material escaped into the Atmosphere.

  63. JJ says:

    I like the Japanese. Would love to have a hot helper around the house. I love when they use the little hot towel to clean you up.

  64. Juice Box says:

    Kette1 – The plant operator pulled out 750 workers, leaving just 50.

    The Japanese better be willing to sacrifice allot more than 50 to get this under control.

  65. Kettle1^2 says:

    Juice

    whatever they publicly acknowledge should be assumed to be an understament of the real situation. There are probably 100,000′s of people in the way of the plumes who can’t be moved in time, and the government would rather deal with exposure then with mass panic as everyone tries to run.

  66. Shore Guy says:

    Fuel rods in a storage pool should not have any reason to lose coolant water — unless, I suspect, the earth quake cracked the pool itself. This makes one wonder about the subterranean structures of the other reactors.

    This situation, both health, and economic, may make Chernobyl look like the good old days.

    Death and misery aside, Japan did not need this. They are up to their eyeballs in debt (although not to foreigners), their auto industry is under severe pressure, and China stands ready to ramp up production of all manner of products. This may prove to be an almost-Biblical setback.

  67. Kettle1^2 says:

    Juice

    they need “biological robots” like they used at Chernobyl.

    - biological robots, was the term used for people who volunteered to go intonareas likely to cause a lethal dose

  68. Shore Guy says:

    Anyone have a prevailing wind map of the Pacific? Is CONUS in the cross hairs or is it more likely someone else?

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Anyone know any good solar or wind stocks?

  70. Shore Guy says:

    ““biological robots””

    Ahh, a new job for Somali Pirates, etc.

  71. Juice Box says:

    re # 70- Shore Accuweather has been covering the wind trajectories for a few days now.

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/46984/japan-nuclear-incident-and-the.asp

  72. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    they reported that the pool at reactor was boiling. That suggests to me that the fuel there is recent spent fuel. Last night they described the fuel in that pool as “hot”. The water could be boiling due to decay heat as well ad a partial loss of cooling water.

    Also consider the 3 major shock waves that have hit these structures. Anyone one of those shockwaves could have caused problems

  73. Shore Guy says:

    Just ask the Minoans what an earthquake can do to a civilization.

  74. jamil says:

    53 al,

    re kenyan. He is busy
    President Obama is taping his NCAA picks today, and they’ll be revealed tomorrow on ESPN.

  75. d2b says:

    Nom-
    Quick lawyer question for the lawyers…. Is witholding evidence in a civil case a violation of the plaintiff’s civil rights?

  76. Shore Guy says:

    Obama doesn’t have a clue how to LEAD in a difficult situation. He knows how to give a prepared speech, and “look presidential.” Behaving presidential, has eluded him.

  77. Kettle1^2 says:

    Juice

    I would seriously consider avoiding pacific tuna after this.

    In terms of Chernobyl, the benefit here is that much of the fallout will fall over the ocean

  78. Shore Guy says:

    Were they sought via subpoena?

  79. Shore Guy says:

    Or requested in discovery?

  80. Kettle1^2 says:

    Al 53

    he’s in a bunker somewhere in Virginia right now.

  81. Shore Guy says:

    ” much of the fallout will fall over the ocean”

    bacteria-free, ready-to-eat seafood?

  82. Shore Guy says:

    Or shivering in the fetal position under a bed in the Lincoln Bedroom.

  83. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yr7odFUARg

    This ad comes to mind when thinking about our empty-suit in chief.

  84. Shore Guy says:

    It looks like the winds trend towards AK and BC, mainly. Still, CA Dairies must be fretting.

  85. gary says:

    The Community Agitator is completely baffled. The debate regarding his legitimacy has been decided long ago.

  86. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    77, d2b

    Possibly.

  87. Kettle1^2 says:

    Escape From Tokyo, baby!!!!

    “…the International Nuclear Accident Emergency Level now upgraded to 6 out of a possible 7, with 7 being a Chernobyl-like disaster, most major airlines have decided to cancel flights to and from Tokyo. The president of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), Andre-Claude Lacoste said “We are in a disaster quite obvious.”"

    Too late to fly, better start walking, and don’t breathe the air!

  88. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDVUPqoowf8&feature=related

    Biden on Obama not being ready for prime time.

  89. Anon E. Moose says:

    30-yr [5];

    I think someone named Diogenes was looking for you…

  90. Shore Guy says:

    READ this last sentence

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/16/3164949.htm

    ***
    Andre-Claude Lacoste of France’s Nuclear Safety Authority said: “The order of gravity has changed.”

    “The incident has taken on a completely different dimension compared to yesterday. It is clear that we are at level six.”

    The 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania rates five on an international scale of zero to seven, while Chernobyl is put at seven, the highest.

    Level 3 indicates a “serious incident” according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) scale, while level four means there has been an “accident with local consequences”. Level 6 is a “serious accident”.

    The 1986 explosion at the Soviet nuclear power plant in Chernobyl – rated a maximum 7 – was the world’s worst nuclear disaster, with death toll estimates ranging from 4,000 to tens or even hundreds of thousands.

    Mr Lacoste also said the concrete vessel around reactor No.2 at the plant, designed to contain radioactive debris, was “no longer sealed”.

    ***

  91. jamil says:

    35 years ago..Jimmy Carter era..
    Unfortunately, the 4-year disaster known as Carter era is now the best case scenario.

    abc:
    Confidence in the U.S. system of government has dropped to a new low in more than 35 years, with public attitudes burdened by continued economic discontent, soaring gasoline prices, record opposition to the war in Afghanistan — and a letdown in hopes for political progress after a bout of bipartisanship last fall…

  92. Shore Guy says:

    Either Sisypus or Prometheus nseem more appropriate in Japan right now.

  93. Shore Guy says:

    from the very end of that last article:

    Trouble at the nuclear plant has sparked a rout on the stock market and panic buying in supermarkets.

    Japan is struggling to cope with the enormity of the damage from Friday’s record quake and the tsunami that raced across vast tracts of its north-east, destroying all before it.

    The official toll of the dead and missing has topped 10,000, with 3,373 confirmed dead.

    The total number of people unaccounted for stood at 6,746, the national police agency said in its latest update – more than double the estimate it offered earlier in the day.

    The number of injured stood at 1,897.

    On Sunday, the police chief of Miyagi, one of the hardest-hit prefectures, said the number of deaths was expected to exceed 10,000 in his region alone.

  94. sas3 says:

    Shore/Ket:

    Do you think shelter-in-place is better for Tokyo residents instead of evacuation? The radiation levels should go down a bit as the plume dilutes.

    The only guys that can do something about the situation are the workers at the plants, monetary/material aid [US is broke; after the quake, and one senator -- was defending why US should cut foreign aid], distribution of supplies [Japanese military can do it], etc.

  95. gary says:

    Shore,

    Isn’t Sisypus the name of an ice cream cake from Carvel? Or is that Cookie Puss?

  96. make money says:

    Geithner: Japan won’t need to sell U.S. Treasuries

    translation: Japan threatning to sell treasuries and risk throwing USD over the cliff.

    Treason?

  97. cobbler says:

    According to http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/japan_nuclear_crisis/ block #4 currently carries the most disastrous potential as the fuel is in the pool that is open to the environment, not in the containment. I guess they should use 25×25 ft windows formed by the explosion to shoot in water from the fire hydrants and keep the rods wet…

  98. Anon E. Moose says:

    RE: Japan Nuclear Mess;

    Isn’t the lesson here not to site multiple reactors together? I know it seems simple enough with all the NIMBYism that once you have a nominally acceptable site to squeeze whatever you can fit onto it, but doesn’t a problem at reactor no. 1 inhibit the ability to service all other reactors onsite? There are dozens of nukes around Japan; they all scrammed when the quake hit; but other sites are at least stable if not already recovering.

    And WTF is with the control room being uninhabitable now? Of all the places onsite to thoroughly shield, I’d think that was it. I’d want the control room being a damn neutron-proof bunker, with isolated air supply, emergency sleeping quarters and 30-60 days’ provisions.

  99. gary says:

    Gee, the Arizona shooting, the Gulf oil spill and border security seem like such a distant memory, don’t they?

  100. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore 93

    not surprising, and an expected probable outcome given the series of events.

    This is rapidly approach true worst case scenario, as we now have buring spent MOC fuel as well as a fully compromised reactor. If the meltdown breaches the bottom containment catch basin watch for one heck of a steam explosion that carries pulverized core material into the air.

    That is about the last worst case we have yet to see. That should only happen if the catch basin was structurally compromised by the quake or previous explosion.

  101. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    If I were in Tokyo right now and had means, I would have my family head out on an extended vacation. The plume may well dissipate in the short term, as winds change, etc; however, were I a betting man, I would guess that we are in the early stages of things and that they will get far worse. I am hoping they do not, and I am not predicting thay will get worse but, just looking at probabilities, I suspect that this time next week Japan will be wishing things were back to where they are today.

    I wonder what flight statistics show for private/corporate jet travel out of Japan?

  102. Double Down says:

    Throwing away money on rent? Owning a house is an endless series of throwing money away:

    - property taxes
    - mortgage interest
    - leaking pipes
    - leaking roofs
    - replacing old carpets
    - lawn maintenance
    - clogged gutters
    - clogged toilets
    - broken dishwashers
    - replacing doors
    - replacing windows
    - replacing cracked sidewalks
    - replacing settling driveways
    - replacing leaking faucets
    - replacing leaking tile walls
    - replacing sump pumps
    - repairing clogged sump pump drains
    - replacing water heaters
    - replacing the furnace
    - replacing central AC
    - replacing old and cracked wiring
    - replacing outdated electrical panels
    - snow removal
    - stripping and painting the exterior
    - painting the interior

    These are just the normal carrying activities — before you even get to enhancing the place by installing granite counters, which will in turn raise your property taxes 15%.

    Throwing away money indeed.

  103. Shore Guy says:

    “That should only happen if the catch basin was structurally compromised by the quake or previous explosion.”

    Or an aftershock that already occured or will occur.

  104. Kettle1^2 says:

    Sas3

    in my lay opinion, given the current situation, an orderly evacuation of Tokyo makes mire sense for the peoples well being, but the logistics may be beyond the current ability of the Japanese state. The huge risk with that is that it turns disorderly and you create a larger mess then if you told people to stay put.

    From the states point of view it probably makes more sense to NOT evacuate

  105. Shore Guy says:

    Double,

    The BBC World Service did a piece last night about the worldwide move from extended families to nuclear families (no jokes, please, Gilbert Gotfried already used the quota poor-taste jokes about a nuclear disaster). One of the key points was that smaller family units allow people to rent instead of buying and this allows for greater mobility and, thus, upward economic potential.

  106. gary says:

    The world’s current woes can all be traced to Haliburton.

  107. Shore Guy says:

    Evacuating Tokyo is a GIANT flag of surrender, and I doubt that any elected government could survive such a move. If they move to do so, I suspect that, it is game over for the Japanese economy for many, many years.

  108. Juice Box says:

    Cobbler and SaS3. – The plant operator pulled out 750 workers, leaving just 50 brave souls to deal with the situation, these brave souls are charged with keeping the fire apparatus running on diesel fuel and pumping sea water into the reactors to cool them and I would also gather if the fuel ponds catch on fire again they will need to put it out if possible. These brave workers probably have all resigned themselves to fight until their last breath in a heroic attempt to keep Japan from becoming the Pompei of the Nuclear age.

    Unless Japan is willing to sacrifice allot more this is only going to get worse.

  109. Confused In NJ says:

    The old Gregory Peck movie “On The Beach” seems to be occuring, in which case Australia is the place to hang out, if you have a nuclear sub to get there.

  110. Shore Guy says:

    Again, I say, it may require the Dirty Dozen approach. Give some SOBs who are facing life in prison an opportunity to render service to society in exchange for freedom. Some would take the deal even if it meant certain death.

  111. Kettle1^2 says:

    Q for all

    I need to go to hillside from boundbrook tonight at 5pm

    is 22 a viable route or does 78 make more sense?

  112. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [46];

    The foreclosure “settlement” is shaping up (or more precisely, shaking down)EXACTLY like the tobbaco settlements.

  113. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    they will have to sacrifice people to stop this. The contamination is too high and the situation still has potential to escalate!

    Now a scary question: could a 7.0+ after shock generate a tsunami that could swamp the compromised reactor???? That could cause a very unpleasant steam explosion

  114. Shore Guy says:

    I have been thinking the same thing the past couple days.

    Anyone ready to nuke the place yet?

  115. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [88];

    I thought the correct answer was supposed to be “It depends.”

  116. Juice Box says:

    re #113 – Yes but what does a prisoner know about loyalty and patriotism other than from the threat of getting shot by a guard?

    I would suggest perhaps a few hundred patriotic volunteers from the rough and tumble political corps.

    http://interestingtimes.blogspot.com/capt.1059132117.japan_politics_xits104.jpg

  117. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    they should provide each of the workers a large caliber pistol with a single round or a syringe with a lethal dose of morphine. They do not want to experience the radiation sickness they face after working around potentially lethal doses.

  118. Shore Guy says:

    As bad as it was — and, like I have said, I knew someone in Ukraine who lost a spouse to Chernobyl — Chernobyl mainly affected a moribund economy that was not intergrated into global trade. THIS is different, and, whilst the loss of life may be a fraction of what happened at Chernobyl, the economic effects will, I trust, dwarf Chernobyl.

  119. JJ says:

    Of course Japan does not need to sell treasuries. Safe investment with an income stream. However, Japanese Primary Treasuries dealers such as Mizuho and BTM make big purchases of treasuries and are very active in repo market. Not buying more is a huge problem. Entering run-off and not buying more or reinvesting interest income in tresuries is a big issue

    make money says:
    March 15, 2011 at 10:34 am
    Geithner: Japan won’t need to sell U.S. Treasuries

    translation: Japan threatning to sell treasuries and risk throwing USD over the cliff.

    Treason?

  120. Shore Guy says:

    “a few hundred patriotic volunteers from the rough and tumble political corps.”

    Likely too many gutless people there.

  121. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    are you serious about nuking it??????

    If they want to go balls to the wall, assemble a suicide squad to pump boron laced cement into the cores of all 4 reactors and storage pools immediatly. Guatentee the squad members families substantial payouts and immediate transport to a safe haven in return

  122. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (79) kettle

    Looks I will quickly be adding a few cans to the stockp, er, pantry.

  123. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    google for the freeze frames of the 2nd reactor explosion ( reactor 3). There is a VERY large piece of debris that looks like it could be the reactor cap (an alpha mode failure).

    They will never admit to it if that is the case as it would result in panicked exodus from nearby cities such as Tokyo.

  124. Shore Guy says:

    Not entirely. Still, Japan has recovered from two nuclear attacks. They were quick, and horrible, and caused death and destruction, and very quickly the Japanese people rebuilt. These reactors are reminding me of the housing bust and with only 50 people there to fix the problem one can easily envision things going very badly for quite some time, and the land and water being polluted for decades, with the economy suffering for God knows how long. As such, is there any benefit to excising the entire site in one fell swoop? The populace could be prepared and protected from a single event far more effectively than years of mini events. I am not advocating it, just wondering.

    If it was a good enough idea for an oil spill….

  125. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (118) moose

    Distinction w/o a difference.

  126. Shore Guy says:

    “alpha mode failure”

    Egads! THAT is a complete game changer, if it is what happened.

    Do you have a link handy, searching on a handheld sucks.

  127. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    OT Alert

    2nd fatal bus crash in area reported.

    I used to be a bus driver. I will NEVER use intercity buses if I can avoid it.

  128. gary says:

    They are reporting 400 MSV per hour.

  129. wtf says:

    (94) At least Carter encouraged development of solar energy. He called for the US to get 20% of its energy from solar power by the year 2000. Then Reagan got elected and kept us hooked on foreign oil. Who’s the bigger disaster?

  130. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    if you used a ground burst nuke you just aeosalized several hundred tons of highly radioactive material and dispersed it over a massive region, including the US.

    The only real option is to quench the reactors as fast as possible. That would also minimize environmental contamination. Any “quick” action will require a number of people to give up their lives.

    The concept of intentionally putting hundreds of to s of radioactive isotopes into an aerosalized form is both mind numbing and terrifying

  131. DL says:

    Worst case: 80 million Japanese need to be evacuated through a radioactive cloud. How many ships will that take? Like I said, Black Swan. The world has changed.

  132. Shore Guy says:

    “Any “quick” action will require a number of people to give up their lives.”

    Same, for a slow reaction, just over a longer period.

  133. gary says:

    No need to worry here, we have granite and stainless steel. And besides, it’s contained to subprime.

  134. DL says:

    BTW, have you noticed that a middle east in flames, threats to oil supply, Arab regimes on the verge of toppling, and Japan burning and threatening to make a significant portion of the world uninhabitable, not to mention bring down the world’s third largest economy, have not even bumped the dollar? These are end times. Clot, it’s no longer hyperbole.

  135. gary says:

    DL,

    Stop worrying, we’re insulated here. Sue Adler said so.

  136. Painhrtz says:

    DL Clot is our own Edgar Casey, didn’t you get the memo.

    Ket suicides squads are about the only thing that is going to save they day. A nuclear event is bad enough when it happens on its own, throw complete destruction of infrastructure into the equation and I have to agree with whoever stated it black swan event, outcomes uncertain.

    Got Iodine?

  137. Kettle1^2 says:

    Dl

    I see it in terms of thermodynamics. One you push a system to far by propping it up, the excess entropy generates rapid, unpredictable, cascading failures throughout said system, until a stable lower energy state is reached.

    Black swan is just our name for the entropy we must finally payback

    Shore

    on a mobile as well. I will have to dig it up tonight

  138. DL says:

    Gary, We ought to start drinking together. Between you and Clot, I’d feel like an optimist. When I’m ready to buy the smoldering embers of the shell of what used to be a house, I want you to be my attack dog negotiator.

  139. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.ne.doe.gov/np2010/pdfs/6%20%20US-APWR%20SA%20Mitigation.pdf

    For those who want more information on reactor accidents.

  140. DL says:

    Zero Hedge has a link to a real time geiger counter in Tokyo.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/live-tokyo-geiger-counter-video

  141. Shore Guy says:

    Gary we are NOT all insulated…

    only those in towns with bike paths or on a direct train line to Midtown.

  142. Shore Guy says:

    If an energetic FCI causes an alpha-mode failure in one of the reactors, what are the odds of it being limited to one?

    It may be time to start building concrete plants on site.

  143. gary says:

    Shore,

    If you have a Bugaboo stroller and Fila Racer K1 running shoes, you’re insulated.

  144. DL says:

    Lufthansa has stopped flying to Japan. How far a swim is it to Korea?

  145. gary says:

    DL,

    Just show up at the seller’s house with a hazmat suit and a geiger counter and blurt out the words, “Oh my g0d, haven’t you people heard the news?” I guarantee the sellers would be willing to “negotiate”.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    Be sure to hold the detector over the granite countertops.

  147. Shore Guy says:

    “Bugaboo stroller and Fila Racer K1 running shoes”

    I am soooo unworthy.

  148. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle (and other geeks),

    This is from a OECD report I have. I will need to see if I can find an online link:

    “The interaction of the reactor core melt with water, known as Fuel-Coolant Interaction (FCI), is one of the most complex technical issues involving a number of thermal-hydraulic and chemical phenomena. FCI’s may occur in-vessel, during flooding a degraded core or when a molten core relocates into the lower head
    filled with water. They may also occur ex-vessel, when molten core debris is ejected into a flooded reactor cavity after the vessel failure or when the molten debris is flooded in the containment. Each of the scenarios may lead to an energetic FCI, commonly known as “steam explosion”, which represents potentially serious challenge to the reactor vessel and/or containment integrity. “

  149. JJ says:

    Our friends from GE and the USA have been blowing up Japan with Nukes for 70 years now. We should offer them some advice.

    Shore Guy says:
    March 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Not entirely. Still, Japan has recovered from two nuclear attacks. They were quick, and horrible, and caused death and destruction, and very quickly the Japanese people rebuilt. These reactors are reminding me of the housing bust and with only 50 people there to fix the problem one can easily envision things going very badly for quite some time, and the land and water being polluted for decades, with the economy suffering for God knows how long. As such, is there any benefit to excising the entire site in one fell swoop? The populace could be prepared and protected from a single event far more effectively than years of mini events. I am not advocating it, just wondering.

    If it was a good enough idea for an oil spill….

  150. Kettle1^2 says:

    Dl

    bull market for Japanese fishing vessels!!!!!

    Ferry people off the island for a fat fee.

    Dl

    that Geiger counter is showing CPM, a relative value that you cannot directly convert to a standard measure of dosage unless you specifics of the gieger counter. It is useful for showing the relative change in radiation level.

    That Geiger counter was reading about 15 yesterday

  151. Shore Guy says:

    If Obama wants to show leadership, he should fly into Narita, meet with Kan over sushi and show confidence in Japan’s ability to deal with the issue.

  152. gary says:

    Shore,

    Oblama is chain-smoking kools and having a 128 inch LCD installed in the media room at the Whithouse in anticipation of March Madness.

  153. Shore Guy says:

    I just love the understated way in which the report makes this statement: “which represents potentially serious challenge to the reactor vessel and/or containment integrity.”

    It is like a flight attendant telling people that: “We have experienced an unexpected loss of our wings and this represents a potentially serious challenge to the quality of our landing.”

  154. Shore Guy says:

    He hasn’t even had the presence of mind to call for a day of prayer, or whatever. He is just MIA.

  155. gary says:

    Shore,

    The dude is so oblivious to anything that doesn’t concern his interests. He brings narcissism to whole other level. At least f*cking fake it like you’re the president.

  156. Kettle1^2 says:

    Tosh

    Re power generation

    Fukushima 1 reactors 1 – 4 have the following ratings:

    1 439 MW
    2 760 MW
    3 760 MW
    4 760 MW

    total = 2719 MW

    1 reactor at Fukushima 2 is reported to have been flooded with sea water and is now permanently dead. All reactors at Fukushima 2 are rated at 1067 MW.

    Japan is facing a minimum loss of 3786 MW of electric generation.

    However Reuters reports that a total of about 9,000 MW of nuclear and 10,000 of thermal power generation has been lost. The latest stats show japans gross power generation capacity at about 290 GW (290,000 MW). So it appears japan has just lost about 7% of its power generation capacity that must be rebuilt.

    if those power losses are near major industrial/commercial areas then even the relatively small amount of generation lost, percentage wise could be a very big problem. Look at what happened in the US when our grid lost balance.

  157. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore,

    “energetic FCI” doesnt sound at all like a catastrophic explosion, even though that is exactly what they mean.

  158. Juice Box says:

    Shore Leaky Pool?

    Radiation leak feared at spent fuel pool, water injection ordered

    TOKYO, March 16, Kyodo

    A nuclear crisis at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant deepened Tuesday as fresh explosions occurred at the site and its operator said water in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods may be boiling, an ominous sign for the release of high-level radioactive materials from the fuel.

    The government ordered the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., on Tuesday night to inject water into the pool at the No. 4 reactor to cool it down ”as soon as possible to avert a major nuclear disaster.”

    TEPCO said the water level in the pool storing the spent fuel rods at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 4 reactor may have dropped, exposing the rods. Unless the spent fuel rods are cooled down, they could be damaged and emit radioactive substances.

    The firm said it has not yet confirmed the current water level or water temperature in the pool and will try to pour water into the facility from Wednesday through holes that were created following an explosion earlier Tuesday in the walls of the building that houses the reactor.

    Due to high radiation levels at the No. 4 reactor, workers on Tuesday were unable to prepare for the pouring of water into the troubled pool. Difficult conditions have led the utility to evacuate around 730 of the 800 workers from the site, according to TEPCO.

    The firm said its workers were only able to remain in the central control rooms at the Fukushima plant for 10 minutes to avoid exposure to excessive radiation levels. They have retreated to a remote site to monitor data on the reactors, it added.

    At 6:14 a.m. on Tuesday, a blast occurred at the No. 4 reactor and created two square-shaped holes about 8 by 8 meters in the walls of the building that houses the reactor. At 9:38 a.m., a fire broke out there and smoke billowed from the holes.

    The utility said it could not deny the possibility that the early morning explosion was caused by hydrogen generated by a chemical reaction involving the exposed spent nuclear fuel and vapor.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a press conference, ”We believe very high-level radioactive substances have not been emitted continuously from the No. 4 reactor,” citing radiation monitoring data at the plant.

    The nuclear agency said the water temperature in the pool stood at 84 degrees C as of 4 a.m. Monday, higher than the normal level of 40 to 50 degrees. Usually, the upper tip of the fuel rods is at a depth of 10 meters from the surface of the pool, it said.

    Agency officials said the fuel rods will not reach criticality again as they have been stored in racks containing boron to prevent it.

    Edano said water temperatures in the pools at the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors at the Fukushima plant have been rising as well.

    The three reactors were not in service when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake jolted Fukushima Prefecture and other areas in northeastern Japan on Friday.

    The agency said among the three, the situation is the severest at the No. 4 reactor because all the fuel rods are stored in the pool due to the change of the reactor’s shroud. At the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors, up to one-third of the rods are being kept in the pools. The more fuel rods are kept in a pool, the more radioactive substances could be emitted.

    The new development followed a critical situation at the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima plant earlier in the day, in which part of the reactor’s containment vessel was damaged following an apparent hydrogen explosion at 6:10 a.m.

    TEPCO said the problem could develop into a critical ”meltdown” situation, in which fuel rods melt and are destroyed, emitting massive amounts of radioactive materials into the air.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged people living within 20 to 30 kilometers of the plant to stay indoors, after radiation equivalent to 400 times the level to which people can be safely exposed in one year was detected near the No. 3 reactor at the plant.

    Residents within a 20-km radius have already been ordered to evacuate the area following Saturday’s hydrogen blast at the plant’s No. 1 reactor. The transport ministry also banned aircraft from flying within 30 kilometers of the nuclear plant to prevent possible radiation exposure.

    ”The danger of further radiation leaks (from the plant) is increasing,” Kan warned the public at a press conference, while asking people to ”act calmly.”

    Edano said the high radiation level detected at 10:22 a.m. after the explosions at the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors ”would certainly have negative effects on the human body.”

    The utility firm said later in the day the massive radiation amount of 400 millisievert per hour, or 400,000 microsievert, was recorded around debris in front of the No. 3 reactor and that the material may have come from the nearby No. 4 reactor.

    TEPCO has been continuing operations to pour seawater into the troubled No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors to prevent overheating and further damage to their containment vessels. But despite the injection of water, fuel rods in the three reactors remain partially exposed.

    The cores of those three reactors at the plant are believed to have partially melted following the devastating quake.

    The country’s strongest recorded quake, also one of the largest in global history, caused the three reactors, which were all operating at the time, to automatically shut down.

    ==Kyodo

  159. morpheus says:

    should we expect a conversation on Kannekt that since they are very far from Japan, as opposed to the west coast, the value of their condos has increased?

    Nom: sorry. . .been busy. I dont recommend corrado’s for malt extract. I personally like Williams Brewing’s malt extract in pouches.

    regards to your last brew: I am experiencing similar problems—long lag time. Air stone was not expelling enough air. Made some adjustments. Temperature 4 degrees below rec. fermenting temps. I think I need a new air stone or a new air pump.

  160. Juice Box says:

    update on #2

    A portion of fissionable material in reactor #2 was exposed to air for long enough that it melted onto the bottom of the containment vessel.

    The danger now is that if the material melts through the containment vessel of #2 today or tomorrow, on-site workers will be exposed to fatal levels of radiation if they remain on site. They will have to choose between staying to man the reactors #1, # 3, and #4, which require constant attention to maintain the operation of diesel pumps that are maintaining water levels in the other reactors. They will need to stay on site for two or three more days before the cooling can continue without a continuous injection of new water. Even if they do choose to stay for the suicide mission of manning the pumps in the other reactors after the containment vessel of plant #2 is breached, they may not survive long enough to accomplish the task. In that case, then more than one reactor may experience a Level 7 event, and possibly all four.

  161. Painhrtz says:

    Juice source? If that is the case, smoke em if you got em Japanese population! cause the cancer scare is going to have nothing to do with cigs.

  162. Anon E. Moose says:

    Doesn’t this explain so much: Obama just an O’Keefe hoax.

  163. jamil says:

    “(94) At least Carter encouraged development of solar energy. He called for the US to get 20% of its energy from solar power by the year 2000. Then Reagan got elected and kept us hooked on foreign oil. Who’s the bigger disaster?”

    Yeah, if only Carter had been re-elected we would all have solar powered cars by now. /sarc

    Seriously, it is one thing to promote unicorn-fueled energy (lets do 33%, nah 102%!) and doing something useful. Industry have had billions of gov subsidies for solar power and we had Monica, eh I mean Bill there at White House too.

  164. A.West says:

    Kettle,
    If you’re leaving at 5 then take 78. If to arrive at 5, 22 may be ok, but gets erratic

  165. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    The PPT in full effect this afternoon. God bless Skynet and HAL9000.

  166. Anon E. Moose says:

    H-Train [170];

    The PPT in full effect this afternoon.

    Whoomp, there it is…

  167. sas3 says:

    “He hasn’t even had the presence of mind to call for a day of prayer, or whatever.”

    Day of prayer is pushing it too much. I think what Obama is doing so far is in the ball park — I wish he did more, but…

    Not to be a partisan hack, but W did far less after the 2004 Tsunami. We sent some money through someone that had a company match and that could get tax return (effectively making X dollars close to 2.6X), and I remember they couldn’t get back the return right away, so it was a bit awkward — we asked them to give 1.3 X and that they’ll get back 0.3X later on…

    Obama gave retro-tax write-off for Haiti, so we could send in 1.3X of whatever we could have last Jan…

    “The United States will continue to offer any assistance we can as Japan continues to recover from multiple disasters,” he said.

    “We will stand with the people of Japan in the difficult days ahead,” Obama said. He explained that he has been in contact with Japan’s prime minister Naoto Kan and called the people of Japan “some of our closest friends and allies.” The U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance has already committed $100 million to help with this emergency and several different teams of experts have been sent to Japan help out there. The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, a navy aircraft carrier, has been stationed off the coast of Japan as well.

  168. Painhrtz says:

    Sorry if this was posted

    Umm no they left, last one out don’t forget to send the parasites their last IOU

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/small_nj_towns_question_us_cen.html#incart_hbx

  169. Kettle1^2 says:

    Juice

    the Japanese could still control the reactors but you would have to do what the russians did and cycle through multiple suicide squads so that they remain viable for a few days before the radiation sickness kills them. You would probably need a few hundred people in total given the 4 reactors.

    If they abandon the reactors then things could get much worse!

    They either choose to kill a small # of voluteers right now (relativly speaking) or they may face a much higher human cost in the hear future

    don’t forget that the spent duel pools at reactor 5 & 6 are reported to be heating up now as well.

  170. Juice Box says:

    re # 174- “if they abandon the reactors”

    Dead men don’t abandon anything.

    Chernobyl The Lost Film

    This film shows the terrifying images captured by the Russian filmmaker Vladimir Shevchenko on scene at Chernobyl those dreadful days in April 1986. Shevchenko later died suffering from the radiation he exposed himself to. Sadly, his name is not among the official casualties of the accident.

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

  171. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain [173];

    Lets see if I have the timeline straight:

    2009: Republicant elected governor of previously reliably blue-leaning NJ, over the direct and frequent political asistance of President Obama;

    2010: Direct oversight for 2010 decennial census removed from Dept. of Commerce where it had previously resided and taken under White House control and supervision;

    2011: Census results published that appear to overestimate the population decline in New Jersey, which will reduce the number of electoral ballots afforded that state in the next presidential election in which the current occupant of the White House is presumptively running for re-election.

    Any facts missing?

  172. Kettle1^2 says:

    Why no images of reactor 2? Satelittes have had enough time to orbit and get hi-res
    images.

  173. Kettle1^2 says:

    They have instituted a no fly zone around the reactors.

  174. cobbler says:

    moose [176]
    As all the states that gained electoral college votes are reliably Republican, your argument doesn’t hold much water.

  175. A.West says:

    Obammy’s joke last weekend, while the world is burning, laughing at how he can fool the world into thinking that spending is investment:
    “And for all those who think I golf too much, let me be clear. I’m not spending time on the golf course — I’m investing time on the golf course.”
    Someone call up Bartlett’s and ask them to make space for this great orator in their next edition.

  176. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [180] west

    He did not say that, did he? That’s the height of hubris.

  177. Tigerblood says:

    Me like my new name.

  178. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Seems I found a niche . . .

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/42077843

    Except, this story is about real Armageddon, not the financial kind. Still, a nice source for future Nompounders.

  179. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [182] tiger

    Shouldn’t it be TigerbloodWinning?

  180. Anon E. Moose says:

    Cobbler [179];

    Good point. The total electoral swing of the 2010 census gives +7 votes to McCain ’08 states; most of which are controlled by Republican government which will regigger the districts. That really doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme; Obama won 365-173. The big ticket state is Texas, +4. On the other hand, NJ (was 15, now -1) had been considered “Solidly Democratic” in 2008, then went on to elect Christie in ’09 over Obama’s direct and substantial support. It may be the case that re-jiggering the 2012 electoral map will have been “overcome by events”, which is to say nothing can help Obama get out of his own way. However, many times in recent presidential elections I have been amazed at how the parties nominate the seemingly worst possible candidates (byproduct of ‘concensus’) who go on to lose elections that are uniquely theirs to lose.

  181. Kettle1^2 says:

    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 7:10 PM on 15th March 2011

     Radiation leaking directly into the air from stricken Fukushima nuclear plant

    Power station has now suffered three reactor explosions and one fire
    One reactor core ‘exposed to the atmosphere’ through crack in containment wall
    Radiation levels up to ten times higher than normal in Tokyo
    Mass exodus as  thousands residents flee towns close to reactor
    Experts warn of cancer risk
    Japan seeks help from U.S. to spray water on over-heating reactors from helicopters
    Scores of terrified residents began to flee Tokyo today as a nuclear power plant destroyed by the tsunami threatened to send a cloud of radioactive dust across Japan.

    The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant suffered a third reactor explosion last night, another reactor on the site caught fire  – and officials today announced the wall of one reactor was cracked.

    Radiation levels have soared acoss the country as radioactive material spewed directly into the atmosphere while emergency crews fought to avoid a catastrophic meltdown.

    Levels of radiation were ten times higher than

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366308/Japan-earthquake-tsunami-Meltdown-3rd-reactor-blast-hits-nuclear-plant.html#ixzz1GhI7dFDc

  182. Kettle1^2 says:

    Nom 181

    I here they are looking for volunteers at fukushima!

  183. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [181];

    See http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2011/03/15/media-quiet-obama-makes-his-ncaa-tournament-picks-plays-golf-during-

    The “investing” quote is apparently from the Gridiron Dinner (which I thought was strictly off-the-record). W addressed that group with a slide show of him searching the White House for WMD after the Iraq invasion. A bit of the same tongue-in-cheek.

  184. Galvin says:

    “roughly a zero percent gain between 1890 and 1990, after adjusting for inflation.” That is unbelievable… but makes sense when I think about it.

  185. A.West says:

    Moose,
    Yes, it’s a joke at a comic dinner. But it shows that he’s very aware of the game he’s playing.

  186. A.West says:

    That joke won’t be funny anymore when the government has to issue t-bonds at 10% yields.

  187. Outofstater says:

    Reactor #4 roof cracked.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/42097059

  188. safe as houses says:

    “The prime minister reportedly ordered the company not to withdraw its employees from the power plant”

    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_645316.html

  189. safe as houses says:

    #193

    if that’s true, how were the 50 picked? Volunteers, drawing lots, seniority, single?

  190. Shore Guy says:

    If 7 7 7 is a win at a slot machine what is 7 7 7 7 at a nuclear site?

  191. Shore Guy says:

    One thing that the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns shows us is the need to have slack in budgets to deal with major emergencies. As I listen to the White House and Congress debate budgeting, they both seem to think that their own projections are the last word on what will happened. Thus, should a disaster strike it another war pop up we need to deal with the event by going further into debt.

  192. Outofstater says:

    7777 is an aircraft transponder code to indicate military interception.

  193. Shore Guy says:

    Bloody android: amazing

  194. Shore Guy says:

    Interceptor, no?

    And 7500 is hijack as I recall.

  195. Shore Guy says:

    Hey, having tiger blood, maybe Charlie sheen can go fix things.

  196. Barbara says:

    193. But….but……the Japanese have their honor…..they won’t need to be locked in a gunpoint to do the “right thing….”

    Bullshit. The Prime Minister ordered……that’s a threat. Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.

  197. Confused In NJ says:

    Fed Comments Rescue Wall Street From Deeper Japan Selloff- Reuters
    Stocks fell 1 percent but ended far from session lows on Tuesday on the Federal Reserve’s more upbeat economic view and growing sentiment that Japan’s nuclear crisis would only temporarily depress shares.

    Evidently they have determined that the Hot Air created by Bernanke at the Fed meetings would create a Hot Air barrier to any Radiation blowing towards the US from Japan. That probably is True.

  198. Confused In NJ says:

    Given that fighting the Radiation Core melt downs is “For The Children”, we should send them some of our Teachers.

  199. Anon E. Moose says:

    Shore [200]

    It goes like this: Hi Jack (hijack – 7500), I can’t talk now (communication failure – 7600), I have an emergency (emergency – 7700).

    “Under no circumstances should a pilot of a civil aircraft operate the transponder on Code 7777. This code is reserved for military interceptor operations.” [AeM - Usually supersonic capable with hot weapons.] Transponder digits only go from 0-7 because of their basis in analog octal technology. Legacy tech units are set by four dials, one for each digit. Though each dial can freely turn over 7 to 0 and vice-versa, pilots are taught to set their transponder by not crossing over that way, to avoid the possibility that an emergency code would be transmitted, even briefly in the transition.

    when changing from 1200 to 6501 (an assigned ATC squawk), one might turn the second wheel to a 5 (thus 1500), and then rotate the first wheel backwards in the sequence 1-0-7-6 to get to 6. This would momentarily have the transponder squawking a hijack code (7500), which might lead to more attention than one desires. Pilots are instructed not to place the transponder in “standby mode” while changing the codes as it causes the loss of target information on the ATC radar screen, but instead to carefully change codes to avoid inadvertently selecting an emergency code.

  200. Juice Box says:

    Fire in Reactor #4 again!

  201. Al Mossberg says:

    Just FYI. Almost all potassium iodide is backordered until April or June.

  202. Al Mossberg says:

    The bad news just doesnt stop.

    “The BBC’s Matt Frei in Tokyo says spent fuel rods in reactors five and six are also now believed to be heating up.”

  203. Al Mossberg says:

    The geiger counter in Tokyo is reading 33.46 CPM now.

    Was 22 last night. Same geiger counter was reading around 13 on Sunday.

  204. Confused In NJ says:

    208.Al Mossberg says:
    March 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm
    The bad news just doesnt stop.

    “The BBC’s Matt Frei in Tokyo says spent fuel rods in reactors five and six are also now believed to be heating up.”

    Amazing that they still don’t have auxilliary mobile power to the reactors that weren’t damaged?

  205. Juice Box says:

    Re:211 – it was reported that the connectors on the ends of the generators cables did not fit, hense no power to the pumps and the need to use fire fighting apparatus to pump seawater in. I gather they could not find an electrician to splice it, since they may have all died or fled.

  206. Juice Box says:

    Also may have not mattered, the heat exchangers and their pipes to the seawater were either clogged or destroyed by the 250 mph 30 ft wall of tsunami.

  207. jamil says:

    “Just FYI. Almost all potassium iodide is backordered until April or June.”

    I smell ebay business opportunity. I can finally get rid of all my expired aspirin pills.

  208. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Shore thanks saw that last night. Nice summary. Let me ask a dumb question… is there any chance of a huge mushroom cloud explosion, or is a meltdown just a leaking of radiation?

  209. grim says:

    is there any chance of a huge mushroom cloud explosion

    None

  210. Shore Guy says:

    No mushroom cloud is going to come if this. It is a good conversation over drinks but, a discussion of nuclear weapon design, as fascinating as the topic is is probably something Grim would like to avoid on this site.

  211. Shore Guy says:

    Suffice it to say that in a nuclear weapon one compresses certain isotopes and the conditions do not an will not exist at the accident site.

  212. Shore Guy says:

    Grim beat me to the punch while I moved between stop lights I see.

  213. grim says:

    If a radioactive pile of steaming crap were all that were necessary, Curie would have invented the atomic bomb in the 1800s.

  214. Shore Guy says:

    Same for the MLS in many towns.

  215. dl (142)-

    At that point, you do all your negotiating at gunpoint. The contract you present the inhabitant reads, “GTFU by tomorrow, or I will shoot you and your mangy dog.”

  216. All Hype says:

    Nikkei up 6.42% with 1 nuclear reactor with 70% damage and the another with 30% as well as a third reactor on fire. I cannot wait for the total meltdown of all the reactors so we can get a 1000 point up day on the DOW. What a total farce. Did Japan print up 500 billion dollars and told the banks to buy? I cannot wait for Tokyo to be evacuated then we can get an all time high on the Nikkei.

  217. gary (156)-

    Wish you would’ve fleshed out that racial slur with a reference to Olde English and pork rinds.

  218. I also hear Bojangles is buying the kids retro Marquette jerseys, Flavor Flav chains, Fila warmups and vintage Air Jordans.

    And he’s paying for all of it with counterfeit food stamps.

  219. shore (158)-

    He’s on a crack bender in SW Washington with one of his cousins from Nigeria.

  220. hype (224)-

    This is what Japan has been doing for the last 21 years.

    “Did Japan print up 500 billion dollars and told the banks to buy?”

  221. hype (227)-

    Admirable restraint. Kudlowesque, if I might say so.

  222. All Hype says:

    Doom (229):
    I know I should not be surprised but this is over the top. Seriously, 325 billion! How much are they going to print when the reactors melt? 2 trillion? At what point do people wake up and realize that all that is going on is countries adding electronic zeros to their balance sheets. We truly are a global Zimbabwe ponzi financial system.

  223. sas3 says:

    Hype, what would you have the BOJ do?

  224. All Hype says:

    sas3 (232):

    How about the BOJ lending money to people and business to rebuild instead of the squid primary dealer banks making money in a quick trade in stocks.

  225. sas3 says:

    Hype, I think some urgent disaster relief should come from the PM and parliament. Pumping money to prop up the stock markets is probably a necessary evil. Direct lending now, with people displaced, will be tough to implement.

  226. Juice Box says:

    not on CNN, streaming video from Japan at the Reactors

    http://wwitv.com/tv_channels/6810.htm

  227. Shore Guy says:

    So, in 1945 we have Hiroshima and now Fuk-u-shima. It may be time to stop using shims in city names.

  228. Kettle1^2 says:

    until the Japanese get more resources on sight, including more Biological Robots this isnt going to get any better. of course it should be volunteer only. Their lack on monitoring equipment so far is astounding. With all the tech we have the Japanese could scrounge up a few remote cameras to place in critical spots, or other remote sensors? The japanese nuclear industry has a history of ignoring uncomfortable situations to save face.

    The workers on site are heroic, the government and company seem to be woefully inadequate so far.

    Its likely, from the radiation levels being reported that many of the 50-70 people who stayed behind have already received lethal doses

    AL,

    i would bet a silver eagle one of the pools in 5 or 6 ignites if they dont drastically step up their game.

  229. Al Mossberg says:

    238.

    Ket,

    No doubt. Tepco is reporting steam is coming from reactor 3 although MSM is saying reactor 4. Reactor 3 has the MOX fuel right?

  230. Kettle1^2 says:

    Veto, Grim, Shore

    regarding an explosion:

    No, i agree with grim and shore its not possible to get a nuclear explosion in this situation. BUT, if there is a total core meltdown and the molten debris breaches the final containment “catch basin” it is likely to contact ground water and would probably produce a very significant steam explosion. If water has pooled int he catch basin and the molten cores pours into the catch basin, a major steam explosion producing significant fallout is still a very real threat.

    In terms of fallout, the spent fuel rods burning is one of the greatest risks, short of a molten core steam explosion.

  231. Kettle1^2 says:

    Al,

    I believe that both 3 and 4 have MOX fuel

  232. Shore Guy says:

    “Woefully inadequate government ”

    Wow! After WWII, we really did export our democracy to Japan.

  233. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    Hence my reason to bring up FCIs earlier.

  234. chicagofinance says:
  235. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore,

    The really dont have remote robotic systems to observe these pools? They cant fly them in from anywhere int he world right now?

    From juices link: A discussion of having helicopters dump water/boron on reactor 3. Probably suicidal for the pilot.

  236. Al Mossberg says:

    Great news. All the workers have evacuated the site.

  237. Confused In NJ says:

    BREAKING NEWS:Japan spokesman: Nuclear plant workers forced to leave due to radiation risk AP

  238. Shore Guy says:

    All the workers are out? Giving up really is not an option.

  239. chicagofinance says:

    Clot: alto in here…sorry…

    NYC eateries biting the dust

    REALTY CHECK

    The eerie death toll of large, high-profile restaurants this year is likely to grow larger: Angelo & Maxie’s steakhouse at 233 Park Avenue South and its sister eatery, Maxie’s Grill. Landlord Orda Management “expects to have the space back in about 60 days,” an insider told us.

    An Angelo & Maxie’s manager said it was news to him, and the owners couldn’t immediately be reached. But Orda is said to be already deciding on how to market the eateries’ combined nearly 10,000 square feet.

    This year has already seen the closings of Tabla, Matsugen, Japonais, Montenapo, and, most buzzed about, the abrupt shutterings of Convivio and Alto, high-end Italians owned by Chris Cannon. All were big (more than 200 seats including bars and lounges). Most were helmed by big-name owners or chefs, and/or occupied prime locations.

    THE LAST CALL: Alto, the high-end Italian eatery owned by Chris Cannon that closed suddenly a month ago, was located on East 53rd Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues. Its two-level space seated more than 200 people.

    “I wouldn’t identify a theme to it, because all the closings happened for completely different reasons,” said JDF Realty’s Leslie Siben, a prominent restaurant broker.

    Nor do the closings indicate a crisis: more places continue to open than to close, and there probably are more seats than ever.

    Even so, the tightly clustered closings of so many highly visible places has restaurant and real estate insiders buzzing. “All of a sudden, there’s a lot of spaces on the market,” said a well-known chef owner who’s been offered several but didn’t want to be identified.

    Among general theories being floated, Cushman & Wakefield’s Gene Spiegelman said, “There’s not room for every single concept and there’s repetition within concepts.”

    Independent broker Steven Kamali, who specializes in restaurant-lease sales, said the closings reflected that “fine-dining is toppling” in favor of more casual concepts including eatery-club hybrids.

    “The big ones have double-edged swords,” said BR Guest President Stephen Hanson. “When the economy’s great, you can do very well. When it’s not, the expense of running such a large operation can eat you up very quickly.”

    But sheer size has never deterred Hanson — and sources told us he’s already “onto” the former Japonais space at 111 E. 18th St. “The deal isn’t done, but it looks likely,” one said. Hanson declined to comment. Ironically as well, the building is also owned by Orda, Angelo & Maxie’s landlord.

    The shuttered places indeed fell to different causes. Danny Meyer said last fall that Americanized-Indian Tabla simply ran out of steam after 10 years and was too big for its specialized cuisine.

    Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s very Japanese Matsugen — which served the best soba noodles in town — was on a Church Street corner that saw little traffic. A bland design that “looked like where you went to do yoga,” as Kamali called it, didn’t help.

    Japonais “never drew the necessary crowds,” a different broker said, in a market saturated with jumbo, lavishly decorated Asian-esque eateries.

    Montenapo, which flopped under two different ownerships, occupied a sunken space in the New York Times building — “no matter what anyone says, not a destination for dining,” Siben observed.

    But no closings in memory generated as much mystification and buzz as the shutterings of Convivio and Alto, which seemed to be running at full tilt even after Cannon’s recent split with former partners, including both restaurants’ uber-chef, Michael White.

    Only a month ago, Cannon announced the hiring of two new chefs and new menus to come soon. The closing came out of the blue. The next day, furniture and fixtures were being wheeled out of Midtown’s Alto for auction. Landlord Tishman Speyer is evaluating options for the difficult, two-level space set back far from the East 53rd Street sidewalk.

    Cannon’s been unreachable. Brokers and restaurateurs dismissed suggestions the closings were due to a lawsuit over tips and wages — “dozens and dozens of places got sued and none of them closed,” one industry player noted. Some characterized the situation as “bizarre,” “cloak-and-dagger” and “something very dark.”

    Of course, plenty of new restaurants are coming. Cushman & Wakefield’s Brad Mendelson sees lots of activity in Midtown. But, “It’s kind of funny,” he said, “We’re seeing tenants out of Florida and other parts of the country, not local.”

    Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope Consolo said landlords want chain “Fig & Olive types.” “Every time I get a space that’s fit for a restaurant, the landlord calls and says, ‘I don’t want a typical restaurant — I want Pret a Manger,” she said. “Or, ‘Bring me another Olive Garden.’ ”

    Many upcoming serious restaurants will be in hotels or other projects where restaurateurs forged joint ventures with landlords who pay for buildouts. Danny Meyer’s North End Grill, for instance, with former Tabla chef Floyd Cardoz at the helm, is part of a Goldman Sachs hotel conversion project next to the firm’s new headquarters.

    “I don’t know how much busi ness there is in Battery Park City,” one broker snarked. “But at least Lloyd Blankfein will have a good place for lunch.”

  240. Kettle1^2 says:

    anyone taking odds which reactor goes full meltdown first?

  241. Juice Box says:

    re#245 – did not want to post it but the Japanese I have been following say the salt from the sea water is causing valves pressure relief valves to stick.

    Anderson CooperLIVE is saying now on CNN efforts have suspended and workers evacuated.

  242. Kettle1^2 says:

    now that they are talking boron, they must be really worried about the molten fuel seeing a criticality event

  243. Kettle1^2 says:

    juice 251

    the salt combined with the heat and the radiation is probably heavily corroding all of the cooling system especially the valves

  244. Al Mossberg says:

    250.

    Kettle,

    I got a silver eagle on #3 reactor.

  245. chicagofinance says:

    Former NPR commentator Juan Williams writing in the New York Post, March 15:

    The recent videotape showing NPR chief fund-raiser Ron Schiller . . . is just an open microphone on what I’ve been hearing from NPR top executives and editors for years. They’re willing to do anything in service to any liberal with money, and then they’ll turn around and in self-righteous indignation claim that they have cleaner hands than anybody in the news business who accepts advertising or expresses a point of view.

    Ron Schiller’s performance on videotape—which included lecturing two young men pretending to be Muslims on how to select wine—is a “South Park”-worthy caricature of the American liberal as an effete, Volvo-driving, wine-sipping, NPR-listening dunderhead.

    NPR’s many outstanding journalists are caught in a game where they are trying to please a leadership that doesn’t want to hear stories that contradict the official point of view. . . . This just confirms my belief that it is time for our government to get out of the business of funding NPR. The idea, to me, of government-funded media doesn’t fit the United States.

  246. Al Mossberg says:

    Might be a good idea to close the Nikkei for a few months.

  247. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ Editorial:
    The Federal Reserve has been on a media campaign to sell its monetary policy to average Americans, but this hasn’t always gone smoothly. Witness last week’s visit to Queens, New York, by New York Fed President William Dudley, who got a street-corner education in the cost of living.

    The former Goldman Sachs chief economist gave a speech explaining the economy’s progress and the Fed’s successes, but come question time the main thing the crowd wanted to know was why they’re paying so much more for food and gas. Keep in mind the Fed doesn’t think food and gas prices matter to its policy calculations because they aren’t part of “core” inflation.

    So Mr. Dudley tried to explain that other prices are falling. “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful,” he said. “You have to look at the prices of all things.”

    Reuters reports that this “prompted guffaws and widespread murmuring from the audience,” with someone quipping, “I can’t eat an iPad.” Another attendee asked, “When was the last time, sir, that you went grocery shopping?”

    Mr. Dudley has been one of the leading proponents of negative real interest rates and quantitative easing, so this common-man razzing is a case of rough justice. If Mr. Dudley were wise, he’d take it to heart and understand that Americans aren’t buying the Fed’s line that rising commodity prices are no big deal. Unlike banks and hedge funds, they can’t borrow at near-zero interest rates, and most of them don’t have big stock portfolios. Wall Street and Congress may love the Fed’s free-money policy, but Mr. Dudley and Chairman Ben Bernanke ought to worry about losing the confidence of the middle class.

  248. Confused In NJ says:

    256.Al Mossberg says:
    March 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm
    Might be a good idea to close the Nikkei for a few months

    Not necessary, Bernanke will also pour US dollars into Japan’s market to Ponzi it up.

  249. Dan says:

    A lot of talk on Japan for obvious reasons. So what the temperatures of these exposed rods, how fast do they drop in temperature and what does it mean when the temperature is high compared to low.

  250. safe as houses says:

    #257 Chifi,

    That genius doesn’t realize people don’t need Ipads and other doo dads, but people do need food and energy.

  251. Juice Box says:

    all is well!

    reactor#3

    http://tinyurl.com/4gkvmsj

  252. Barbara says:

    How soon before we see the “boat people?” I give it a couple more days. I’m sure there will be a chilly reception on the Chinese and Korean coasts.

  253. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [188] moose

    The Gridiron is not off the record, and the President is expected to poke fun at himself. Still, Bush’s “base” joke was used by democrats. Turnabout is fair play.

  254. cobbler says:

    Daiichi workers are back at 0230 GMT as the radiation subsided some and…. strong quake hits East Japan (preliminary magnitude 6.0)

  255. Fabius Maximus says:

    #263 Nom

    It should be taken in the spirit. GWB is taking heat over his WM D under the sofa gag as he is pumping a picture of a soul searching president to sell his book. For me that is fair game.

    For me the O speech was a good one and I put this up as the best line.

    I do have a couple of regrets to pass along. My Secretary of State could not be with us. I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject. (Laughter.) These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.

  256. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    15 month wait to expatriate at the US Embassy in Berne (and elsewhere).

    http://genevalunch.com/blog/2011/03/14/us-citizens-bank-dilemma-growing/

    At this pace, I suggest that one books the appointment in Zimbabwe. Fly in, fly out (on a different passport).

    In fact, given Zimbabwe’s situation, getting a 2nd or 3rd passport can be done while you drive to the Embassy, probably.

  257. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Also from TaxProfBlog:

    World University Rankings by Reputation (For Research and Teaching)

    London-based Times Higher Education has released a new world university ranking based exclusively on reputation for research (66.7%) and teaching (33.3%) from surveys of 13,000 academics from 131 countries (methodology).

    Top 25 — Overall Reputation:

    1.Harvard University (United States) (100.0)
    2.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States) (85.0)
    3.University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) (80.7)
    4.University of California Berkeley (United States) (74.7)
    5.Stanford University (United States) (71.5)
    6.University of Oxford (United Kingdom) (68.6)
    7.Princeton University (United States) (36.6)
    8.University of Tokyo (Japan) (33.2)
    9.Yale University (United States) (28.3)
    10.California Institute of Technology (United States) (23.5)
    11.Imperial College London (United Kingdom) (22.6)
    12.University of California Los Angeles (United States)
    13.University of Michigan (United States) (19.8)
    14.Johns Hopkins University (United States) (19.4)
    15.University of Chicago (United States) (17.8)
    16.Cornell University (United States) (17.5)
    17.University of Toronto (Canada) (17.0)
    18.Kyoto University (Japan) (15.5)
    19.University College London (United Kingdom) (14.2)
    20.University of Massachusetts (United States) (14.2)
    21.University of Illinois (United States) (13.6)
    22.University of Pennsylvania (United States) (13.4)
    23.Columbia University (United States) (13.3)
    24.Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland) (12.3)
    25.University of Wisconsin (United States) (11.7)

    Top 25 — Reputation for Research:

    1.Harvard University (United States) (100.0)
    2.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States) (88.4)
    3.University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) (80.1)
    4.University of California Berkeley (United States) (78.7)
    5.Stanford University (United States) (74.2)
    6.University of Oxford (United Kingdom) (66.1)
    7.Princeton University (United States) (37.5)
    8.University of Tokyo (Japan) (34.5)
    9.Yale University (United States) (28.0)
    10.California Institute of Technology (United States) (24.8)
    11.University of California Los Angeles (United States) (24.2)
    12.Imperial College London (United Kingdom) (22.9)
    13.University of Michigan (United States) (21.0)
    14.Johns Hopkins University (United States) (19.9)
    15.University of Chicago (United States) (19.9)
    16.Cornell University (United States) (17.7)
    17.University of Toronto (Canada) (17.3)
    18.Kyoto University (Japan) (16.3)
    19.University College London (United Kingdom) (14.7)
    20.University of Illinois (United States) (14.6)
    21.University of Massachusetts (United States) (14.4)
    22.University of Pennsylvania (United States) (14.3)
    23.Columbia University (United States) (14.0)
    24.Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland) (13.6)
    25.University of Wisconsin (United States) (12.6)

    Top 25 — Reputation for Teaching:

    1.Harvard University (United States) (100.0)
    2.University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) (81.9)
    3.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States) (78.1)
    4.University of Oxford (United Kingdom) (73.6)
    5.University of California Berkeley (United States) (66.7)
    6.Stanford University (United States) (66.1)
    7.Princeton University (United States) (34.8)
    8.University of Tokyo (Japan) (30.7)
    9.Yale University (United States) (29.0)
    10.Imperial College London (United Kingdom) (22.0)
    11.California Institute of Technology (United States) (21.0)
    12.University of California Los Angeles (United States) (18.9)
    13.Johns Hopkins University (United States) (18.3)
    14.University of Michigan (United States) (17.4)
    15.Cornell University (United States) (16.9)
    16.University of Toronto (Canada) (16.5)
    17.University of Massachusetts (United States) (14.0)
    18.Kyoto University (Japan) (13.9)
    19.University of Chicago (United States) (13.5)
    20.University College London (United Kingdom) (13.2)
    21.Columbia University (United States) (12.0)
    22.University of Pennsylvania (United States) (11.7)
    23.University of Illinois (United States) (11.4)
    24.Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russian Federation) (10.6)
    25.National University of Singapore (Singapore) (10.6)

    Why is this here? Cuz UMASS made top 25 worldwide in all three categories.
    Decent neighborhood, wouldn’t you agree Chifi?