Strategic defaults on the decline

From HousingWire:

Signs show strategic default on the decline

The trend of borrowers choosing to default on their mortgage when they otherwise might have been able to afford payments is on the decline, JPMorgan Chase (JPM: 42.88 0.00%) analysts said Monday.

Definitions for what qualifies as a strategic default varies. But analysts took a deeper look in the report. One widely held requirement for strategic default is that the borrower stops making payments when the property loses equity, meaning the mortgage is worth more than the underlying home.

JPMorgan analysts used Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller indices and tracked prices against original loan amounts on a metro level. Then, analysts collected counts for all defaulted loans since 2007 and tracked those that started missing payments once the loan went underwater.

They found 60% of all defaults were strategic by the middle of 2009, more than double the percentage in January 2008. But analysts wanted to get more specific.

Using data from Equifax, the JPMorgan analysts looked at which borrowers did not experience a monthly payment increase before defaulting. Then, they added in which borrowers were still making payments on other debts after missing their first mortgage payment.

The final definition of strategic default used was the “percentage of defaults from underwater borrowers who started missing payments once underwater, continued paying their other debt, and had no payment increase on their mortgage.”

While the analysts admit they might still be overestimating the amount of strategic defaults when accounting even for all these variables, they noted the trend is going down.

“Overall, strategic defaults have stabilized as home prices flattened, and initial jobless claims declined,” analysts said. “A trend worth watching, no doubt, but we can comfortably say that strategic defaults are less than 30% of all defaults, and the pipeline of borrowers [delinquent more than 90 days] has even lesser strategic delinquencies.”

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143 Responses to Strategic defaults on the decline

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Piscataway man pleads guilty to scheme that cheated mortgage lenders out of more than $10M

    A Piscataway man who owned and ran foreclosure-rescue companies pleaded guilty today to his role in a mortgage-fraud scheme that cheated mortgage lenders out of more than $10 million, federal authorities said.

    Ronald Harris Jr., 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Schwartz in Newark to a one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

    According to documents filed in the case and statements made during the hearing, Harris admitted he duped mortgage lenders into believing they were lending money to credit-worthy people when, in fact, those people were straw-man” buyers.

    Harris owned and operated Harris Capital and Skyline Capital Group, both businesses that operated out of Newark — and later Maplewood — and that purported to be foreclosure-rescue companies, authorities said.

    Harris admitted that he and others — including Harris Capital employee Sterling Bruce, 37, of Newark — fraudulently promised to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and repair their bad credit by allowing their homes to be put in the names of “straw” buyers, who would help them obtain more favorable mortgages and improve their credit ratings, authorities said. The homeowners were told that titles to their homes would be returned to them, authorities said. Meanwhile, authorities said, the straw buyers were told they’d be helping someone save a home and would make money by selling the property back to the original owner after a year.

    Authorities said Harris, Bruce, and Pia Perkinson, 39, of Parlin – who was a mortgage loan officer at different mortgage loan companies – then had loan applications sent in the straw buyers’ names to mortgage lenders.

    Those involved in the scheme then submitted loan applications that misstated information about the straw buyers, including information about their employment, income and assets. In fact, many of the straw buyers’ loan applications falsely said they worked for one of Harris’ companies, making a substantial salary.

  2. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    US builders see little to like in housing market

    U.S. homebuilders are concerned that the struggling housing market won’t recover this year and some feel it may be getting worse.

    Builders’ outlook for the industry in May was unchanged at 16, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday. It has been at that level for six of the past seven months.

    Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn’t been above that level since April 2006.

    When asked about where they see sales of single-family home heading over the next six months, the builders offered their most pessimistic outlook since September.

    Last year the number of people who purchased previously owned homes fell to a 13-year low. Sales of new homes were even worse, hitting the lowest level on records dating back nearly a half-century.

    Builders are struggling to compete because foreclosures are forcing down prices for previously occupied homes. The median price of a new home was about 34 percent higher in March than the median price for a re-sale. That’s more than twice the markup in healthy housing markets.

    In response, builders are breaking ground on fewer homes. The seasonally adjusted annual pace in March was 549,000 new homes per year, less than half the 1.2 million units annually that economists consider healthy. The Commerce Department will release the April data on new-home construction Tuesday.

    “You can get existing homes at a much cheaper price now, mainly due to foreclosures,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “New homes really aren’t competitively priced.”

    Fewer new homes mean fewer jobs. Each new home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the builders’ trade group.

  3. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  4. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. to receive $913M more in tax revenue than expected

    New Jersey is projected to take in $913 million more than expected in tax revenue through June 2012, according to new projections by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.

    The revised estimate will likely spark a partisan battle over how to spend the unexpected windfall as lawmakers consider Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed $29.4 billion budget.

    OLS will be present the figures today to the Assembly Budget Committee, according to two sources familiar with the report who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. State Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff is also expected to give the committee the administration’s revenue estimates. A Treasury spokesman declined to comment today.

    The surge will come from an unexpected increase in income tax revenue, according to a section of the OLS report obtained by The Star-Ledger. All other taxes were below administration estimates for the 14-month period, according to the report.

    “While New Jersey is seeing signs of economic recovery, it is important to keep moving forward on a sound fiscal path and not revert back to Trenton’s out of control spending ways at the first sign of growth,” Drewniak said.

  5. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hopefully this UNEXPECTED windfall will not be squandered. Keep cutting.

  6. freedy says:

    i can’t wait for xanadu to open

  7. Jets12 says:

    Morgan Stanley set the standard when in ’09 they defaulted on five commercial San Francisco buildings back to their lender, Barclays Capital after the properties have lost as much as 50% of their value. And of course last month… TOKYO (Reuters) – A Morgan Stanley property fund failed to make $3.3 billion in debt payments by a deadline on Friday, handing over the keys to a central Tokyo office building to Blackstone (BX.N) and other investors, the largest repayment failure of its kind in Japan.
    _
    Everyone’s a free agent, you have to play like the big boys do, where you can, even when you’re the small guy. Of course Government tries to brainwash you to appeal to your higher morals, total crock! Millions of people are basically ‘pissing in the wind’ for a couple decades with their underwater mortgage. Strategic default makes all the sense in the world if you’re in that boat. America, we’re a forgiving country. Filing for chapter 11, 13, defaulting – the punishments are entirely recoverable in just a few years. Ethics, morals, principles? This is America and we don’t have those elements in business, remember. We’re about exploitation when and where you can for your personal gain.

  8. This is nothing more than the tide rolling out…to be incorporated into the tsunami that will come later.

    Fcuk it all. The stench of death is pervasive now.

  9. Yeah, strategic defaults are declining…since McD’s added 90K jobs, UE is probably only 22% or so, financial markets are a giant Ponzi that drives little old ladies into risk on trades and Treasury Secretary Eraserhead is now feeding federal pension money into an incinerator.

    Good times.

  10. Where do I get one of these Mexican quant jobs?

  11. mikey (5)-

    You really have to lay off the glue huffing before noon.

    “Hopefully this UNEXPECTED windfall will not be squandered.”

  12. AG says:

    How about reinstating the property tax rebate for those that paid that income tax. Let the useless eaters move to Canada.

  13. gary says:

    I saw a huge CHC in with vaulted ceilings and all the fancy bullsh1t that sucked in the wannabes 10 years ago listed for the low 600s. The house is in Mahwah just off of route 17 and not up in the Ramapo Mountains. This house would’ve been listed for 900K about 5 years ago. I’m starting to smell some blood.

  14. Embrace the oblivion.

    “The economic peril that we find ourselves confronted with, has been ninety-eight years in the making. The confluence of debt, demographics, delusion, and denial has left the country at the precipice of annihilation. There are two kinds of people in the world, those who control the money and those that are controlled by those who control the money. The last century has been marked by a methodical looting of the good (working middle class) by the bad (Federal Reserve & bankers) and supported by the ugly (Washington D.C. politicians). When historians pinpoint the year in which the Great American Empire began its downward spiral they will conclude that year to be 1913. In this dark year for the Republic, slimy politicians, at the behest of the biggest bankers in the country, created a private central bank that has since controlled the currency of the United States. This same Congress staked their claim as the most damaging group of politicians in US history by passing the personal income tax in the same year. These two acts unleashed the two headed monster of inflation and taxation on the American people.”

    http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=15246

  15. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo 11 But it goes so well with my coffee.

  16. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I am out of the market. No more stocks, bonds, gold etc. Wait for the plummet and QE3 then buy it all back on the cheap. This Summer is going to be a scorcher – primarily from the firebombs and riots. It’s all over folks. The final swirl around the toilet is coming.

  17. How do I get a message to DSK letting him know that it may not be advisable to put a move on his 6’5″ drug enforcer cellmate?

  18. HE (16)-

    We all know to buy the fcuking dip.

  19. chicagofinance says:
  20. Nothing like a good pinch of snuff with a tumbler of grain alcohol.

  21. NJ Toast says:

    Hobo #14:

    Wages have not kept up with inflation but, wages have also not kept up with American’s perceptions of needs. Once upon a time, a family of four could live in a 4br 1.5 ba or perhaps 2.5 ba home at 1300-1750 sq ft give or take a few. One car used to be enough and wardrobes were not as expansive (neither were our waistlines).

    My guess if that if Capt’n Cheapo had 5 million families attend his bootcamp for household economics and budgeting, there would be 5 million households with a lot less crap, improved quality of life, happier kids and marriages.

    That article I believe said that in 1960 there were 10 divorces for every 1000 marriages and today, its 17 for every 1000. That does not sound right.

  22. JJ says:

    talked to a RE agent near me who sells to builders/investors. Said he can sell a house in one day if he gets right house. He sold house next to me in four hours. So I ask what is right house?

    Builders want estate sales, divorces, reos, relocations, in other words motivated sellers. None want a short sale, too much paperwork. Then they want a house they get cheap that needs work. But not too much work. Kinda original owner, paint walls, sand floors, housekeeping repairs that they can throw cheap white cabinets up, a few new white appliances up and then rent out. Want stuff that only 5k-20K gets it rentable.

    Builders/Investors don’t want a house in too good shape or too bad shape. I then ask what is reason. Well builders want places to build their mcmansions when RE market turns around. But they don’t want to do it now in a weak market and they don’t want to carry land. They want a house they get cheap, throw 10K in it to make it rentable then in 2-10 years when RE market turns they will tear it down and build the mcmansion.

    The other thing builders want is ONLY houses that are selling for at or less than their current taxable value. Builders know they may sit on house for 2-8 years. Higher than expected property taxes will make renting a losing propostion.

    House by me was original owner house that had good bones, was priced cheap in estate sale, owner knocked money off. House already had a low assessment but home sold for 75K under assessment which gives new owner grounds to appeal taxes.

    However, RE agent said the biggest issue is getting listings like this. 95% of listings don’t fit this category. But when he gets it he sells same day.

  23. NJ Toast says:

    NJ Rental question:

    How do I find out if a potential landlord is current on the taxes and mtg? Lexis Nexis or is there another database / method to do this?

    I had read that if the landlord / owner defaults, tenant cannot be evicted but if the eviction crew does not know I am a tenant, I could come home to my stuff on the curb and I prefer to do some due diligence so I do not have to risk this from happening.

    Anyone know anything about a supposedly swanky new apartment building in S. Orange that is near the train station and a fancy grocery store? Would like to know if building is quiet and well managed – it is not too far from Seton Hall Univ and while I don’t think students would live in this building because rent is probably pretty high but with my luck, I would end up with a trust fund kid next store.

    Thanks for info.

  24. NJ Toast says:

    He He re 16:

    What indicators have you saying this? Is this coming from your gut? Nothing wrong if it is, just wondering. I had thought that 2012 is when things will get challenging.

  25. JJ says:

    Only time to get out of market is if it is a period of sideways movement. If you feel market is going to rise or fall rapidly in near future you should be in market either long or short. Or stay long and hedge. What I have been hearing is we should expect a summer sell off in stocks. I think treasuries and commodities may drift. Munis are off 24 days in a row. I think the best fruit has been picked there. Investment Grade and Junk are getting pricy again. Look Google just raised billions yesterday and they don’t need any money and already have too much. But they are taking advantage of historical low investment grade bond yields.

    Muni fund outflows in last 24 days still have been negative, but muni bonds have been up 24 days in a row. What? Muni bond investors are buying bonds directly and planning to hold to maturity. They don’t want the ups and downs of the fund. Therefore, munis may get pricy but not collaspe. Remember, what are you putting it into? My 6% coupon munis I was buying left and right between 95-99 in January- April if I sell now I get hit with short term taxable gains and I have to find a taxable investment that yields 10% to replace. I have a feeling most muni bond investors in this run-up are staying put.

    Keep your powder dry, wait till summer sell in stocks and then go all in. Also after Labor day a fall rally is going to happen. I would time my 401K match to hit max by September. To take advantage of buying low the next three months.

    There is always a bull or bear market somewhere.

    Dissident HEHEHE says:
    May 17, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I am out of the market. No more stocks, bonds, gold etc. Wait for the plummet and QE3 then buy it all back on the cheap. This Summer is going to be a scorcher – primarily from the firebombs and riots. It’s all over folks. The final swirl around the toilet is coming.

  26. JJ says:

    ment munis are up 24 days in a row!

  27. toast (21)-

    I agree somewhat, but the multi-decade death spiral of Fed/gubmint/bankster taxation, inflation and endless credit expansion has resulted in real wage stagnation…combined with a series of asset bubbles du jour…wedded to a deflation in leveraged assets…topped with a cherry of inflation in goods and necessities. As a result, all the real wealth in the US is now in the hands of about 12 people: those who both benefit from being the first movers in inflated assets and beneficiaries of credit expansion in bubble assets.

    I’m also afraid that Captain Cheapo’s boot camp would find him having all the attendees hit the default/reset button as their first act, since- just like our insolvent, Third World country- virtually all their debt can never be paid.

    Right now, our collective best hope as a country and as individuals is that the unpayable debt simply be acknowledged. If we can then write it down via either technical or absolute default, that would be a bonus.

    What cannot (but I fear will) be done is to continue kicking the can down the road. As someone pointed out yesterday, that can is now an IED.

  28. sas3 says:

    From yesterday night… last post, last thread

    From nj.com: N.J. to receive $913M more in tax revenue than expected…

    Cue the jokes on “the administration announces $1.5B tax cuts, and calls for cutting salaries of teachers and cops”.

    Now, looking at the posts here on that… Is there nothing that the government can do with extra tax money in a time of large deficits other than returning it? Especially after asking teachers and pensioners to make a sacrifice because there is no money. They raised NJ Transit fares by 50% last year, the roads are crumbling…

    Even as someone with no skin in the game, I find it sad to watch the majority, after targeting all possible combinations of “them”, start eating their own!

  29. You know Game Over is at hand when the only bubble the crooks in charge can blow is a bubble in paper. Smoke ’em if you got em, bitchez.

  30. We are Zimbabweans now.

  31. sastry (28)-

    Correct. Give it all the fcuk back…it is NOT theirs.

  32. 26% 30 Year Realtor says:

    JJ #22 – The product you describe is exactly what investors are seeking! Problem is 99.99% of listings do not fit that description. As far as the property taxes are concerned, if the deal shows adequate return investors are not concerned. They will appeal the taxes.

  33. Mike says:

    JJ 25 As for the munis NJ has some new issues coming out if they’re not out already something like a 15 year with a 3.80 coupon. You have to hold yours.

  34. JJ says:

    New muni issues are coming out only cause NJ has higher than expected revenue coming in as a result of higher than expected income taxes and the muni bond market has recovered and they now can come to market cheap.

    You can in secondary get a NJ bond paying around 5.8%. The difference between 3.8 and 5.8 over 15 years is huge if interest is tax free and you reinvest all interest.

    Mike says:
    May 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

    JJ 25 As for the munis NJ has some new issues coming out if they’re not out already something like a 15 year with a 3.80 coupon. You have to hold yours.

  35. Libtard says:

    “I’m also afraid that Captain Cheapo’s boot camp would find him having all the attendees hit the default/reset button as their first act, since- just like our insolvent, Third World country- virtually all their debt can never be paid.”

    Yup! When your debt far exceeds your ability to pay it off, better to follow the trail blazed by our banksters and their paid puppets in DC. Moral hazard is a real b1tch. Today, Bernanke, Paulson and Geightner look like miracle workers. Tomorrow they’ll be lucky if they get a larger prison cell than Madoff.

    Trust me when I tell you that I only put 10% down on the new house, when I realized that I erred in my ways when I put 20% down on my multi in Montclair. I would have strategically defaulted and killed my 800+ credit score since I would have saved enough money to pay cash for anything that I would and could have needed. Someone mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. If I defaulted on both of my properties, the multi would bring me in approximately $36,000 per year after insurance and taxes. Figure, to rent my new GR home would cost around 3K per month to rent (if not a little more), so after taxes figure I would save $24,000 per year. That’s $180,000 pocketed after 3 years. After renting for 3 or 4 years, I could easily have the cash to buy a 450K home in all cash. So which way am I better off? In 2018, I can either still owe probably close to $550,00o on my two homes. Or I can have $500,000 cash in my pocket with damaged credit and not owe any bank a shiny penny. Moral hazard is coming home to roost. I’d have to do some research on protecting my retirement money since I’m guessing the banks would go after it, but worst case scenario, I could convert it into shiny and hide it somewhere, like in a Swiss or Singapore bank. The only reason things aren’t nearly as bad they should be yet is because the populace is too dumb to do math. It’s much easier to watch Dancing with the Stars while simultaneously play Angry Birds.

  36. NJ Toast says:

    Hobo,

    I think somewhere in that piece it said we started the decline in 1913 which would be way early. Your comments in 27 are well taken in terms of too much debt. We have as a nation and society been living well beyond our means. Today, people think nothing of large home, car and credit card payments and once upon a time, your only debt was your house. Ask anyone < 30 yrs old and they think debt is the norm and don't bat an eye at the thought of it.

    Globalization and wage pressure from it are a contributor and if we as a nation could balance the playing field, it would obviously help.

    One small bright spot is that medical device manufacturing is supposed to start to return to this county. Too many quality and counterfeiting issues oversees so perhaps a small boost to semi-skilled labor.

  37. Libtard says:

    Ten year is down to 3.12!

    It might be time to refinance again soon. Wow!

  38. NJ Toast says:

    Hey Lib,

    How do you get an 800+ score? Mine is a sliver under 800 and everything is paid in full on time. Do they factor in my IQ to the score?

  39. Libtard says:

    NJ Toast.

    Two cars paid off. One mortgage and one refinance (to cut 5 years off that mortage), never a late payment or an interest charge on a credit card and I always buy everything I possibly can on credit cards for the rebates. In just the last month, Gator and I have earned 200,000 British Airway/American Airline miles. Everyone should have taken advantage of that once in a decade deal. I am essentially getting 20% back at 2 cent per mile on everything I purchase this year for an annual fee of $190.

  40. Libtard says:

    Repost from late last night so forgive me if you are forced to read it a second time…

    Speaking of Captain Cheapo, I just got quotes on my countertops. A place a good cheap and handy friend of mine used is called Marble.com. They estimated about $1,8o0 cheaper for granite than another guy quoted me for Caeserstone (Silostone but better). I’m going there tomorrow morning before work (opens at 7am, but near the GWB in Ridgefield Park) to get some numbers on other surface materials. It’s a Polish outfit and they work fast. Usually installed in 3 days from the time you pay. I’m not in THAT much of rush, but I’ll take it if they’ll give it. I’m not a huge fan of granite, but if it’s half the price of engineered stone, then I’ll probably join the rest of the Jones.

    Weather this morning sucked so I’ll try again tomorrow. So price/value wise, does it make sense to pay more for engineered stone than granite? Especially when granite costs almost the same as Corrian now? Would love some opinions on the matter.

  41. Lone Ranger says:

    JJ, He,

    I agree. I am 100% hedged metals and outright long puts on various stocks/sectors. Warning signals are flashing; BKX, OIH and SPX are indicating divergence with the general market.

  42. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    We did a kitchen remodel a couple years back and I went into it NOT wanting granite. I also did not want laminant counters. This left corian-type counters and engineered stone. My in-laws had one in one houes and the other in another house and I was fine with either. As we started looking around, we found that both of these choices — in mundane colors — cost more than wwhat we knew friends had paid for granite. We went and looked at slabs and were blown away by how much nicer a counter we could get at a lower cost. Go figure.

  43. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    Just from what I’ve been reading. Not saying any death plummet but they need to lay the groundwork for QE3. First the commodities get whacked, then stocks, then the iffy high yield bonds stuff. Just figure it’s better off getting out now and buying in late in the summer. I still have a couple things on in case I am wrong but sold most of the stuff.

  44. Nicholas says:

    Why are you worried about your credit score. It is just a number that represents how good of a debt slave you are. It is like you are saying “please teach me how to be a debt slave better”.

    Don’t worry about your credit score and focus more on the important things such as saving and spending in such a way that it makes sense for you.

  45. JJ says:

    A real captain cheapo would buy a used kitchen. People going BK put them on ebay. You just go rip out their stainless steel appliances and granite countertops and cherry wood for like 90% off. Just get some$100 a day mexicans to help you.

  46. grim says:

    It’s a Polish outfit and they work fast

    Stu – They are the undisputed leaders for quality, price, and selection. They get my thumbs up, and not just because I’m Polish.

  47. Libtard says:

    Shore (43):

    Your story is sounding exactly like mine. My only worry would be staining of the granite as we cook with a lot of berries and vegetables (think beets) with Gator being vegetarian and all. I suppose if I keep up with the sealing (which is really a piece of cake and I can’t believe people charge others to do it), then I’m probably just going to go the granite route as well. Could never do laminates and I like the Corrian, but it does scratch a little too easily, even though you can buff the scratches out. I suppose I’ll be picking slabs tomorrow morning.

  48. Libtard says:

    Thanks Grim…My friend who used them is very picky and equally cheap, so I knew I was in good hands. Surprisingly, Home Depot, who did my Corrian in the multi, were pretty good and pretty cheap as well. Of course, I probably just got lucky and my galley kitchen was an easy one.

    JJ, I would consider going your route and I know a friend who got tons of cabinets that way, but I’d be afraid that the Mexicans would leave turds in the dishwasher or oven as my bathroom is not yet done. (Not really, but I figured you would like that).

  49. Libtard says:

    Nicholas, you are correct about the credit score. For me, it was important to keep it up for my piggyback loan strategy as I already had a sizable mortgage on our multi. Since closing on the new home and converting the piggyback to a Heloc, we have been closing lots of unused cards and applying for new ones which offer the best rebates. This will definitely ding us a few points, but I don’t see us needing a loan for anything in the near future, unless of course, old reliable (the go-cart) does finally start entering the death march.

  50. Juice Box says:

    Buying Houses, talking about kitchen remodeling, where to get a granite counter top, Fico scores? Did I wake up this morning back in 1995?

  51. Libtard says:

    “Did I wake up this morning back in 1995?”

    Who knows, maybe Otteau is right and the bottom is in place. Even the ugly girl gets to go to the prom, unfortunately, usually with her daddy.

  52. grim says:

    My only worry would be staining of the granite as we cook with a lot of berries and vegetables (think beets) with Gator being vegetarian and all.

    Wouldn’t hurt to go a shade darker. But keep it sealed and don’t worry so much.

    Prep on cutting boards and don’t keep prepared foods or staged ingredients directly on your counters. Only makes sense since stone will destroy any good knife, and the fact that countertops aren’t exactly sanitary unless you wash them down first.

    Granite isn’t as bad as say, white carrera or something. White marble and kids has got to be a nightmare, 2 seconds and an uncapped marker and it’s all over. Even if you don’t have little ones, I’ve seen a glass of red wine left overnight leave a faint red ring on unsealed marble.

    You can always go soapstone if you want an alternative, it’s significantly more expensive than the baseline granite prices. If you go over to visit the polish continent, soapstones start in the double silver or single gold range.

  53. Libtard says:

    OK Grim…Would never cut on anything but wood. Our knives are too valuable to dull on stone. Also, I could never put a hot pot on the counter without a trivet. No matter what the manufacturer says. We have Cutco’s and J.A. Henckels and both will never see a surface harder than a bone.

  54. grim says:

    If you are interested in “used” kitchens, look up Green Demolitions. They have true used cabinetry (taken out of big $$ mansions), as well as display kitchens. They recently liquidated a number of Clive Christian kitchens for dirt cheap prices. I previously thought the brand was a bullshit ploy to take money from rich wives in Bergen county, but the quality of their stuff really was outstanding. The one piece I looked at had solid walnut drawers that looked to be something like 5/8ths or 3/4s, with fronts that were a full inch deep. No doubt those cabinets would last 100 years.

    Anyhow, I digress, if you want cabinets cheap and you have a very easy (read: noncustom) layout, you can save tens of thousands of dollars there.

    (They just sold an insane Snaidero display that was awesome, if you are into contemporary styled kitchens that is)

  55. Libtard says:

    Speaking of things Polish, have you frequented the Pierogi joint on Main Avenue in Clifton? Or is blasphemy to buy them from someone else? Their pot cheese and potato are the best I’ve ever tasted and I had a lot of Polish friends growing up. Their Pizzarogi are also the bomb, albeit not terribly authentic.

  56. grim says:

    #54 – I know, right. Seems like common sense to me, but I’ve seen folks do it.

  57. Libtard says:

    If you’re really cheap, Habitat for Humanity has used cabinets (that are usually brand new) donated from foreclosures and upgrades as well. They take the money and use it towards future homes for the habitat.

  58. scribe says:

    JJ, #22

    In planning for the estate sale of the house, my mother lectured me constantly that the house was worth more as a knock-down and not to flinch at the idea of demolition. Meanwhile, she had the whole thing painted, the yard cleaned up, and installed a sump pump in the basement for the first time – “if the house is in good shape, you kids will get more from a builder.”

    I didn’t understand it at the time, but the house has been part of a builder’s inventory for 5 years now, and it’s being rented. The original ad said: “3 bedroom ranch, perfect condition.”

  59. Bystander says:

    Just catching up on yesterdays posts..

    “lard-assed layabouts sunning themselves like bloated walruses at your town’s fetid water tanks.”

    Clot,

    Amazing..you should have gone into writing not RE or wine. You are a Bukowski incarnate..seriously.

  60. Libtard says:

    I liked the crocodile concept.

  61. grim says:

    Speaking of things Polish, have you frequented the Pierogi joint on Main Avenue in Clifton? Or is blasphemy to buy them from someone else? Their pot cheese and potato are the best I’ve ever tasted and I had a lot of Polish friends growing up.

    My mother would beat me with a wooden spoon.

    I used to own ePierogi.com

    Turns out e-commerce and dumplings don’t necessarily fit. I should have been the guy who started the pork roll website and made millions.

  62. Dan says:

    I think I saw that green kitchen place on route 46 in Fairfield. Meant to go in…..

  63. Confused In NJ says:

    Negative Rates of Return for Savers:

    The co-CEO of the world’s largest bond fund has warned America that it faces a combination of higher inflation, austerity and financial repression over the coming years as policy makers grapple with the impact of the financial crisis and the subsequent policy response.

    “Think of the debt overhangs in advanced economies where projected rates of economic growth are not sufficient to avoid mounting debt and deficit problems,” said Mohamed A. El-Erian in speech at a PIMCO forum on growth.

    “Some are already flashing red, and they will force even more difficult decisions between restructuring and the massive socialization of losses, like Greece,” he added.

    “Others are flashing orange, like the US, and already require future sacrifices, most likely through a combination of higher inflation, austerity and, importantly, financial repression,” said El-Erian, who classifies financial repression as seeking to impose negative real rates of returns on savers.

    This policy will undermine the real return contract offered to savers and, in El-Erian’s view, come instead of any bold moves to address structural problems and imbalances.

    “Secular baseline portfolio positioning should minimize exposure to the negative impact of financial repression, hedge against higher inflation and currency depreciation and exploit the heightened differentiation in balance sheets and growth potentials,” El-Erian added.

  64. Juice Box says:

    re # 64- El-Erian on his portfolio and how long he is holding cash:

    “[Our guidelines are] minimize your exposure to financial repression. Two, get ready for mightily higher inflation. Three, recognize that we are living in a global world which is a multi-speed world. While the advanced economies are going to hobble through, the emerging economies are going to continue to do well….Look for economies that are not going to impose financial repression because they are sound balance sheets and because they are growing. If you look around the world, there are many that meet that. You can go to Canada, you can go to Australia, you can go to a number of emerging economies.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mohamed-el-erian-the-odds-of-a-greek-default-just-shot-up-due-to-strauss-kahn-2011-5#ixzz1McqRt5BX

  65. Lone Ranger says:

    “You can go to Canada”

    Juice [65],

    Gotta own loonies.

  66. make money says:

    juice [65],

    “You can go to Canada, you can go to Australia, you can go to a number of emerging economies”

    I already did. This guy is on point but way behind the curve.

  67. grim (62)-

    This, from the man who unleashed splooge.com on the world.

    “I used to own ePierogi.com”

  68. Don’t look now, but the real estate market in Australia is crashing even worse than ours was at the outset.

  69. grim says:

    68 – In my defense, I was not the one who came up with the name, although I did go along with it, so fait accompli. Who could have known it would become a hotbed of porn trading?

    I credit the appearances in Newsweek and the WSJ circa Y2K for turning me into a media hound.

  70. JJ says:

    Thank you for the Muslim bond advice.

    Juice Box says:
    May 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    re # 64- El-Erian on his portfolio and how long he is holding cash:

    “[Our guidelines are] minimize your exposure to financial repression. Two, get ready for mightily higher inflation. Three, recognize that we are living in a global world which is a multi-speed world. While the advanced economies are going to hobble through, the emerging economies are going to continue to do well….Look for economies that are not going to impose financial repression because they are sound balance sheets and because they are growing. If you look around the world, there are many that meet that. You can go to Canada, you can go to Australia, you can go to a number of emerging economies.”

  71. JJ says:

    It is an interesting story how El-Erian got his job, he actually applied for a job to be in charge of bomb trading, but since his English wasn’t the greatest he ended up in charge of bond trading.

  72. gary says:

    GTG

    There is a get together at the home of still_looking tomorrow at noon. If you are going, please speak up so the still_lookings have a head count.

  73. ditto says:

    We’rte refacing our cabinets – which are already good quality, just the wrong color. I have no idea why cabinets cost so much, they are extremely low-tech and wood just ain’t that expensive (yet). We’re replcing the counters too. I know granite is 90s etc, but I love it so we’re getting some.
    So – reface (basically primer then paint and add new knobs/handles) then countertop or countertop installed then reface? The answer is no doubt obvious to everyone but me.

  74. Libtard says:

    Ditto…Did that in my multi and it came out great. Paint first, then countertop. Make sure you remove all of the grease with chemicals before priming. If your hinges are on the outside, you should replace them as well. Don’t be stupid and try to paint and prime your doors with them in place. Remove them, then paint them on nail boards.

  75. ditto says:

    I’ll try not to be stupid. You’re right about cleaning the cabinets – likely 5 years of kitchen grease on them. Thanks for the nail board tip – did ya make your own?

  76. Libtard says:

    Yup.

  77. Nicholas says:

    Cabinets cost so much because while it is cheap to buy wood in standard board widths and lengths it isn’t so cheap to buy them in the panel sizes that you need. So either you are going to pay alot or you are going to be spending countless hours trying to piece them together to create the panels which also cost alot.

    If you have ever seen someone build cabinets that look like crap then you can appreciate why you spend so much money to have them done right.

    I concur with Libtard on the cabinets, remove the doors and all hinges and set them aside. Then clean, clean, clean and clean them again with soap and water. When you think that you have removed all the cooking grease that gets deposited over the years then clean them again. That or use very powerful cleaners that can cut right through the deposited fat and oils from cooking. Then prime and check to make sure that no staining from missed oil is comming through or paint not adhering to the surface. A saying in the painting industry is that 90% of a painters job is prep work i.e. preparing the surface to receive paint, actual painting is a very small part of the job.

    I have seen beautifully done work by professional painters (my brothers) applied with a rented spray rig. It takes a lot of work but the results will be stunning. If done right it can look like glass when finished.

    My suggestion would be to find a professional painter to do that kind of work for you but you could save a few if you have the knowledge. I have a brother that is a painter in NJ if anyone is interested.

  78. chicagofinance says:

    uh-oh…better get MAKO
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=MAKO

  79. Galvin says:

    Ha! I love reading the comments on this blog!

  80. ditto says:

    Nicholas – we might be interested, we’re in NY though on the Rye/Mamaroneck border. I assume he’ll travel?

  81. Nicholas says:

    I think that anyone in construction industry right now will travel as they are pretty much sitting on their hands. If they tell you otherwise they are lying. I was talking with him this weekend, he is reduced to printing up flyers and distributing them locally in the community. I’m sure he will travel for work. I don’t recall his exact location but I know he is about a half hour away from Red Bank.

    I’m not sure if he has to be licensed in NY to do work though. He does custom installations and does fantastic work. Ask him for references and/or pictures of his work which he should happily supply.

    Have grim give you my email address and I will put you in contact with him or vice versa.

  82. NJ Toast says:

    Hobo, no word of your attendance at this event:

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Shareholders trying to get into JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s annual meeting held Tuesday in this midwestern city were greeted by heavy security and over 400 protesters shouting slogans outside every entrance.
    At least one person was handcuffed after a group of about 400 protestors marched up Chase’s property and placed a sign on a raft floating in a pond in the bank’s premises. The sign read: “Foreclosed: Chase sinks our economy.”
    Police had each entrance blocked ahead of the meeting, as protesters gathered in the rain and cold chanting slogans such as “Make Banks Pay” and carried signs that said: “Chase gets rich, we lose homes, jobs, services.” At least 20 police cruisers circled the building.
    Inside, several shareholders spoke out against the bank’s handling of mortgage foreclosures.
    “As a person of faith, my God believes you shouldn’t take advantage of people when they are down,” said Dawn Dannenbring of the community group Illinois People’s Action, addressing CEO Jamie Dimon. “Do you believe in the same God I believe in?”
    Dimon answered: “That’s a hard one to answer.”
    After another question on foreclosures, Dimon said: “We are doing everything we can to keep people in their homes that should stay in their homes.”

  83. Shore Guy says:

    Hurry! We better tax these people so much that they movive their residence to Florida, TN, etc.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/17/us-newjersey-revenue-idUSTRE74G64K20110517?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

  84. Shore Guy says:

    move, too

  85. Shore Guy says:

    “one person was handcuffed ”

    Yea but, this was one of the directors and was done for recreational purposes back at the hotel.

  86. The Original NJ Expat says:

    #35 – Lib
    Before you default on the mortgages, don’t forget to max out your credit cards buying more silver & gold. Even paying a premium for Silver Eagles on eBay is a steal if you aren’t going to pay the cc bills.

    Back in ’87 I defaulted on my second condo purchase, a 2BR 1.5 bath garden apartment in grim’s new town. I bought with 10% down and only made a single mortgage payment (lost my job the week before I closed). My at-the-time paralegal girlfriend helped me answer the summons and I dragged out the foreclosure for three years, all the time collecting rent on the unit, recovering my down payment the first year. I defaulted on all my credit cards during that time period as well as a $20K line of credit from one of the big NY banks (remember those fake checkbooks you used to get in the mail?). Never went BK, just went all cash using my Schwab 1 Visa card for things you needed a card for. I think I got my first post-default credit card in ’98, a car loan in ’99 and it was no problem building my credit score back up to the nearly 800 it is today. Looking back, I was young, it was fun, and probably the right decision.

    “…That’s $180,000 pocketed after 3 years. After renting for 3 or 4 years, I could easily have the cash to buy a 450K home in all cash. So which way am I better off? In 2018, I can either still owe probably close to $550,00o on my two homes. Or I can have $500,000 cash in my pocket with damaged credit and not owe any bank a shiny penny….”

  87. whipped says:

    The Original NJ Expat :87
    you’re a true role model
    how obvious is my sarcasm?!

  88. Libtard says:

    Wow…That quoted paragraph I wrote sure is an eye opener. It sounds so convincing.

  89. NJGator says:

    Ditto – And don’t take the easy way out like Captain Cheapo. Paint both sides of the doors. Our refinished cabinets look lovely….until you open them.

  90. Libtard says:

    Come on…who looks inside the cabinets?

  91. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    If anyone is going to the CPA trade show at the Meadowlands tomorrow, I will be there, in the IRS booth, to greet the public.

  92. Libtard says:

    “I will be there, in the IRS booth”

    Can I bring some tomatoes?

  93. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (37) kettle

    No surprise. I can tell you that it is unofficial (meaning you won’t find it written but it comes from the top) policy in the PPD to ha-rass legal gun owners and con-fisc-ate weap0ns whenever possible.

  94. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [94] stu

    Sure, as long as you aren’t throwing them.

  95. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [94] stu

    I should elaborate. It’s the taxpayer advocate’s booth.

  96. cobbler says:

    The end is nigh:
    Russia arrests man who ate human liver with potatoes
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police said on Tuesday they had detained a man who was caught eating an acquaintance’s liver.

    Police tracked down the suspect after a trail of severed body parts including limbs and a head were found across Moscow.

    “When the police came to arrest the suspect, he was eating a human liver with potatoes,” a police spokeswoman for the Moscow’s western district said by telephone.

    The rest of the human liver was found in a refrigerator in the suspect’s flat. The police spokeswoman said the cause of the acquaintance’s death was not clear.

    The suspect “admitted his crime and that he had eaten part of his acquaintance’s liver,” the prosecutor general’s main investigative unit said in a statement.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110517/od_nm/us_russia_crime

    From the comments section:
    “Russia arrests man who ate human liver with potatoes”
    Well, What are you SUPPOSED to eat with human liver? Evidently, not potatoes

  97. Libtard says:

    “It’s the taxpayer advocate’s booth”

    Well that changes everything. I’ll bring some basil and buffalo mozz to go along with it.

  98. Juice Box says:

    re #98 – Lying to the liars? Taibbi should have at least waited until the elections next year, then the there would be at least some politicians giving us lip service over it, this will blow over long before the 2012 elections.

    Convictions are far and few in between and none of them are Banksters or Baseball Players, and none since Clinton was in his first term.

    List individuals who were convicted of lying to Congress.

    • September 26, 1956: Harvey Matusow was sentenced to five years in prison for perjury after admitting in his book ”False Witness” that his testimony before Congress in which he named more than 200 people as Communist or Communist sympathizer was nothing but a pack of lies.

    • January 1, 1975: Former White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, along with former Attorney General John Mitchell, both who served under Richard M. Nixon were convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury stemming from testimony before the Senate Select Committee in the cover up of the break-in at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters.

    • January 9, 1984: Rita M. Lavelle, former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency’s toxic waste programs, was sentenced to six months in prison and fined $10,000 for lying to a Congressional investigative subcommittees surrounding the extent of her knowledge about her former employer (Aerojet General Corporation) disposing of toxic wastes at the Stringfellow Acid Pits near Riverside, Calif.

    • October 26, 1993: Deborah Gore Dean, an executive assistant at the Department of Housing and Urban Development was convicted of 12 felony counts, including steering HUD contracts to favored developers, lying to Congress and taking bribes

    • October 18, 1994: Jerry Weissman, the Chief Financial Officer of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges he lied to a Senate subcommittee and obstructed its investigation of financial regularities at the company. On March 4, 1997, Weismann was convicted of concealing $80 million in losses his company had suffered under his reign.

  99. Shore Guy says:

    I always thought onions went with liver.

  100. JJ says:

    Hunterdon County, N.J., Has Highest Taxes
    By Darrell Preston – May 17, 2011 3:41 PM ET

    Residents of New Jersey’s Hunterdon County pay the highest property taxes in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation.

    The annual median property tax in Hunterdon, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of Manhattan near the Delaware River, was $8,216, a report issued today by the Washington-based organization shows. Suburban Westchester and Nassau counties, both bordering New York City, ranked second and third, respectively, at $8,206 and $8,160.

    “The only source of revenue to pay for a broad spectrum of services in New Jersey is the property tax,” said William Dressel, executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. “The property tax in many states is not the dominant source of revenue for local services.”

    Hunterdon County’s seat is Flemington, whose courthouse was the site of the 1935 trial and conviction of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for kidnapping and murdering aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby son in 1932.

  101. Juice Box says:

    Fava beans and a nice Chianti

  102. JC says:

    Re: Green Demolitions: They just moved from Riverdale to the Fairfield location. Was there this week. Maybe it’s because their stuff is high-end, but I wouldn’t call them cheap. (They did, however, have a Jenn-Air electric cooktop that I would have taken a chance on if it had been 30″ instead of 36″.) And much of their stuff is of the Real Housewives of NJ category — Nouveau Riche.

    Was at the Habitat store in Mine Hill a couple of weeks ago. They also sell entire kitchens ripped from someone’s house. No pieces, just entire kitchens. Quality varies…and you have to have a good eye for what you can use. I’m looking to do a storage unit/pantry thing for a blank wall in my kitchen and I found I can do just as well buying RTA cabinets online.

    Interesting discussion about granite…I’m in the market for new countertops. I have 2 friends who have been happy with Marble.com, so I’m happy to see more testimonials here. I’ve had no idea how to proceed…granite looks good but is so stereotypical, and if a glass falls out of the cabinet you are screwed…but laminate is, well, laminate, and I don’t like solid surface. I want cheap and easy…and unfortunately everything is coming up granite. Resistance is futile.

  103. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    Also used the marble.com place 6 years ago. Their selection and pricing was great and they are fast! As far as choosing granite, I think it is akin to choosing wood for cabinets, makes a lot of sense.

  104. Barbara says:

    I have wood counter tops with about 6 coats of polyurethane, sanded between each coat. They look great, wear like iron and do not stain. Cost of about 8 dollars a linear foot with the finish. Of course, you never cut on finished wood. Also, if you consider wood, remember to put poly on both sides, otherwise the will warp. I even have a 10″ deep drop down sink with no problems around the wood so long as you have the poly finish.

  105. Barbara says:

    Also, if you are refurbishing old vintage cabinets and are removing the hardware, consider putting in a squirt of bathroom caulk into the screw holes when refastening the hinges. Just let it set up before screwing everything back. It acts as a custom fit plastic anchor.

  106. Barbara says:

    BTW make is adhesive caulk, not the supper soft stuff

  107. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    I hear you folks are moving to the WTC site.

  108. Shore Guy says:

    Condé Nast Publications, whose stable of magazines chronicles the American zeitgeist as meticulously as any anthropologist, has reached an agreement to lease one million square feet at 1 World Trade Center, giving ground zero a much-needed corporate anchor with a proven ability to attract other businesses.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/nyregion/conde-nast-to-anchor-1-world-trade-center.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

  109. JJ says:

    Gym questions. I am joining either New York Sports Club, NY Health and Raquet Club, Equinox or Crunch. All are walking distance from work.

    Do any have deals? I love Equinox, but of course most expensive.

  110. jj (103)-

    And, I have the Louima-type marks to prove it.

  111. chicagofinance says:

    NYHR offers happy endings in the tanning booth…

    JJ says:
    May 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm
    Gym questions. I am joining either New York Sports Club, NY Health and Raquet Club, Equinox or Crunch. All are walking distance from work.

    Do any have deals? I love Equinox, but of course most expensive.

  112. 26% 30 Year Realtor says:

    #97 What do you serve with human liver? Fava beans and a nice Chianti!

  113. NJGator says:

    Shore 110 – Old news. It’s just closer to official now.

  114. Confused In NJ says:

    115.26% 30 Year Realtor says:
    May 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm
    #97 What do you serve with human liver? Fava beans and a nice Chianti!

    Traditionally, Human Liver is served with Fried Onions & Chianti.

  115. Liver and Chianti is very old school, very Lutece.

    The new, Batali-style pairing would be a nice, rich Malmsey…perhaps a Lustau (a glass of Banyuls would be nice, too). Make sure the liver is picked over well, make sure the tranches are thick, and get a nice sear on both sides.

    A little compote of mango, figs, coconut milk, almonds and calamint should make a fine counterpoint…along with a dash of 100-year balsamic and a few drops of Malmsey reduction to play off the wine.

    Bon (gag) appetit.

  116. I’m guessing that a guy who leaves a trail of body parts all over Moscow probably isn’t worried about getting a nice sear on both sides of the liver.

  117. Probably did it tartare.

    Daring, but ultimately monochromatic, cloying and tiresome.

    The most exciting part of a dish like that is the police barging through the door.

  118. Barbara says:

    I hate liver. Vile, human or otherwise. I’m a bit of a foodie, but pate makes me wretch.

  119. Barbara says:

    The offal craze will pass me by. I just can’t….

  120. Fabius Maximus says:

    #121 Barbara

    There is nothing better than a good pate on hot buttered toast. For me to get decent bread here to make the toast, I have to go to the Mitsuwa Japanese supermarket on river Road in Englewood cliffs for the square pan loaf they bake on the premises. I miss back home were they have a full supermarket aisle dedicated to pork products. The Deli counter will have 15 different pates for sale scooped straight out of large turrines.

    I read reviews like this and it makes me want toto go back. Mmmm Marrow
    http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-0512-review-20110512,0,1119723.story

  121. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Fabius “There is nothing better than a good pate on hot buttered toast” now your talking. Read your link , my god I have to hit those places one day.

  122. Libtard says:

    I love the liver too, but in moderation. For me, the preferred pairing is a chocolate soda. I know it sounds incredibly strange, but whenever my mom made chopped liver, the U-Bet syrup always came out. Passover always included liver on matzoh and that too is a nice combo. There’s definitely something in the smokyness of the burnt unleavened bread combined with the darkness of the liver and the saltiness of the hard-boiled egg mixed in. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ll take an excellent Frogra to chopped liver, but it’s such a rare treat. My sister married a Frenchman and whenever their inlaws come in, they actually bring their own. Night night all. Off to pick granite slabs in the morning.

  123. Pat says:

    Did you butter the matzoh before you spread the liver?

    I might like that with a bit of s indian tomato mixed pickle.

  124. Pat says:

    But the S. Indians mess up the whole kosher thing, don’t they?

  125. Shore Guy says:

    Wow, Stu, that is repulsive.

  126. Shore Guy says:

    It almost makes hagis sound mouthwatering.

  127. Babs, you just have to get naked and guzzle a little ’76 Yquem before you tackle the foie gras.

    Both Yquem and tequila have a way of getting you past doing things you might otherwise take a pass on. Yquem is for the culinary heebie-jeebies, and tequila cures aversions to, er, the rest.

  128. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    I suspect that granite tasts better than liver and chocolate anything.

  129. If you’re feeling like a cheapskate, Vendage Tardive Gewurztraminer or Riesling fits the bill, too.

  130. I’m still looking for a braised iPad recipe.

  131. Shore Guy says:

    “Both Yquem and tequila have a way of getting you past doing things you might otherwise take a pass on. ”

    Cue John spring-break or bachelor-party story.

  132. The only thing I would do on granite is an autopsy.

    Not that I know how to perform one…

  133. Shore Guy says:

    A little Wagner Act, as amended, before bed.

  134. Shore Guy says:

    Increasing taxes on those with the income to afforded NJ houses should help the RE market in NJ:

    snip

    More remarkable still, Mr. Galston was jumping off from an article in National Review by Reihan Salam, who made the same point about the mathematical impossibilities of Mr. Obama’s present tax pledge. Mr. Salam, a policy adviser at the pro-market think tank Economics 21, observes that the revenues Mr. Obama needs to pay for his agenda fall in the rung just below the super-rich—that is, Americans earning between $100,000 and $200,000. The political problem is that this is a block that went Republican by 56% to 43% in 2010.

    “The President’s political advisers are keenly aware of the fact that Democrats need to improve their performance with these voters or face defeat in 2012,” Mr. Salam writes. “This helps explain the profound irrationality of the Obama administration’s approach to key public-policy questions.” By irrationality, he means what Mr. Galston means: the split between what the president needs to do economically to fund his programs and what he did politically to get himself elected.

    Mr. Galston, of course, is no Art Laffer, though his original piece was full of interesting figures illustrating that the U.S. tax regime is more progressive than the most popular clichés would have it. Mr. Galston cheerfully supports raising taxes on those with incomes between $100,000 and $250,000 to support progressive policies and help tame the deficit. He is simply honest enough to know that Mr. Obama cannot get the top 2% of income earners to pay for everything he has promised to do.

    snip

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703421204576327494104426776.html

  135. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    More Fuk-U-Shima (also, I thought I heard that 3 more workers from there have died):

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704322804576302553455643510.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  136. chicagofinance says:

    Great pate, but I’ve got to motor if I wanna be at that party tonight…..

  137. Confused In NJ says:

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that Dominique Strauss-Kahn “is obviously not in a position to run” the International Monetary Fund after his arrest on charges of attempted rape.

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn should issue a press release that Timothy Geithner is not in a position to run the US Treasury after economically raping the American Public.

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