Prices Up! No Down! No Up! More Declines! Recovery! Arrrrggghhh!

From CNBC:

Home Price Headlines Hide the True Picture

How do I loathe home price day?

Let me count the ways.

The rash generalizations, the seasonal vs. non-seasonal adjustment confusion, the month-to-month vs. year-over-year, the contention among all the varied home price reports from the various and varied entities that track them.

This month is particularly frustrating, because the big headline from S&P/Case Shiller was that home prices rose for the first time in eight months. Okay, yes, from March to April, with no seasonal adjustments, home prices rose barely, less than one percent, in the nation’s top 20 housing markets. When you seasonally adjust those numbers, the prices fall. Why?

Because in different seasons, different types of buyers buy different types of homes.

The Spring market is historically replete with families; these are move-up buyers, purchasing larger, more expensive homes. That skews the overall prices higher. They buy in the Spring because they want to move over the summer, when school is out. You tend to see more single and first-time buyers in the fall.

(jb’s note – This is incorrect, the repeat sales methodology used by Case Shiller will correct for this seasonal skew)

This is why I judge prices year over year, because you are comparing apples to apples. Prices are down in 19 out of the top 20 markets year-over-year, with six markets hitting new lows on the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index.

From the WSJ Developments Blog:

Don’t Jump at Case-Shiller Bounce

There’s a good reason not to get too excited about Tuesday’s report from Standard & Poor’s on the Case-Shiller home price index: As sure as the sun comes up in the morning, home prices will rise in April.

The latest Case-Shiller report said that home prices on a non-seasonally adjusted basis gained for the first time in eight months. On a monthly basis, it did the same in 2009 and 2010 — and both times it raised hopes that home prices would hit bottom “later this year.”

After accounting for seasonal factors (more homes tend to sell in April versus March), the index was virtually unchanged from April.

That’s less exciting, but it’s still good news. It means that home price declines are moderating. Consider: Prices fell by 0.1% in April; 0.3% in March, February and January; 0.4% in December; 0.5% in November; a nearly 1% in October. In addition to normal seasonal factors, such as warmer weather, home price indexes such as Case-Shiller, which measure repeat transactions of existing homes, can be skewed by the share of distressed home sales.

What Tuesday’s report suggests is that “some of the declines we saw in the winter were overstated. We’re now going to see a bounce,” says Thomas Lawler, an independent housing economist in Leesburg, Va.

“There’s no evidence yet that we’re in any material rebound,” he says, before making a bold prediction: “We will be in one next year.”

Mr. Newport expects prices to fall by another 5% over the next year, but he says “you could quite possibly argue that [prices] are nearing a bottom, and that they may not drop another 5%.”

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146 Responses to Prices Up! No Down! No Up! More Declines! Recovery! Arrrrggghhh!

  1. grim says:

    From NPR:

    Experts: Housing Price Rise Isn’t A Trend (Yet)

    Realtors are hoping an uptick in home prices reported on Tuesday is the beginning of a turnaround, but industry experts say it’s too soon to tell if the improvement is anything other than a seasonal blip.

    The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index reported that prices in April rose in 13 of the 20 cities tracked. Washington, D.C., saw the biggest price increases, followed by San Francisco, Atlanta and Seattle.

    The index, which covers metro areas that include about 50 percent of U.S. households, rose 0.7 percent, the first increase since July 2010.

    David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices, said in a statement that the price rise is “a welcome shift from recent months,” but he cautioned that seasonally adjusted numbers reflected an expected increase at the beginning of the spring-summer home-buying season.

    “It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather,” Blitzer said in a statement.

    Patrick Newport, an economist who tracks the housing sector at IHS Global Insight, said “the fact that housing prices seem to be settling down is very good news,” but he cautioned that “there’s always a seasonal kick that starts in April and goes away in October” and that the market has yet to bottom out.

    “If you look at [prices] over a two-year period, they really haven’t changed that much,” Newport said, adding that he expects prices to drop another 5 percent between now and the first half of 2012.

  2. Essex says:

    Guten tag New Jersey.

  3. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Champagne Wishes and Condominium Dreams

    Gary Foster may have been a mid-level accountant in Citigroup’s office in Long Island City, Queens, earning $100,000 a year. But his real estate holdings were more fitting for a high-flying mogul.

    On Monday, Mr. Foster, a 35-year-old former assistant vice president in the bank’s internal treasury finance department, pleaded not guilty to charges that he embezzled more than $19.2 million from Citigroup. He was set free on $800,000 bail.

    At work, Mr. Foster toiled away in an obscure department of the bank, supervising the accounting of the derivatives contracts the bank used to hedge its financial position. Outside the office, he appeared to live a life more fitting for Jay-Z, the flashy hip-hop star and businessman who was listed on his Facebook page as one of the artists he most admired.

    As The New York Times reported on Monday, the corporate bean counter had an affinity for real estate. He owned six properties: an apartment in Midtown Manhattan; two luxury apartments in Jersey City; a $1.35 million house in Tenafly, N.J.; and a $3 million home in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., that had a $500,000 entertainment system and bathroom mirrors that turned to video screens when touched, according to a law enforcement official.

  4. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    New Jersey Borrowing a Sign of Coming Muni Crisis: Whitney

    New Jersey’s move to take out a short-term $2.25 billion loan to pay its bills is symbolic of how difficult state and municipal financing will be in the year ahead, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC Tuesday.

    Whitney, who has predicted a wave of municipal defaults this year worth upwards of $100 billion, said the move in the Garden State is not highly significant by itself.

    But she said it is “endemic of the larger issues” when taken in conjunction with how much trouble the state and others like it across the nation will have in meeting their basic debt and pension obligations.

    “I wouldn’t read too much into this one financing. It could be business as usual. That’s not the issue,” Whitney said in a live interview. “New Jersey’s fiscal woes are far bigger than them accessing a line of credit or a new loan.”

    Rather, she said these types of moves will be mere warning shots as states approve their spending plans for the fiscal year ahead—running from July 1 to June 30—and balance those budgets by cutting local aid.

    “That’s what’s really going to hurt. So the pain of the states is just upon us,” said Whitney, famous for her warning about Citigroup’s exposure to subprime loans back in 2007, a call that would foretell the ensuing financial crisis. “What you’ll see now is as the states are submitting final budgets, you’ll see the real pain at the municipal level start happening July 1. That will intensify and that’s where you’ll see the fallout.”

  5. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Campbell’s Soup eliminating 130 workers in Camden as part of global cost-cutting plan

    Campbell’s Soup said yesterday it plans to cut nearly 770 jobs, including 130 workers from its Camden-based headquarters, in an effort to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of its operations.

    The cuts in Camden, where the company employs a total of 1,200 people, will impact workers in marketing, human resources finance and will include middle management positions, according to spokesman Anthony Sanzio.

    As part of the intiative, Campbell’s intends to outsource its U.S. retail merchandising — the practice of designing eye-catching supermarket displays for the company’s products — to Florida-based Acosta Sales and Marketing. The outsourcing will cost 190 employees their jobs.

  6. I ain’t betting against Meredith Whitney until one of her calls goes wrong. She’s called her shots- and called them correctly- so far.

    IMO, the Greek thingy is going to hop the pond, and we’re gonna be knee-deep in it.

  7. I guess this means Camden’s bike paths will be even more accessible and uncrowded.

  8. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  9. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    $8.5 Billion Deal Near in Suit on Bank Mortgage Debt

    Bank of America is completing an agreement to pay $8.5 billion to settle claims by investors that purchased mortgage securities that soured when the housing bubble burst, according to people briefed on the deal. It represents what is likely to be the single biggest settlement tied to the subprime mortgage boom and the subsequent financial crisis of 2008.

    The settlement would wipe out all of the company’s earnings in the first half of this year, and it could also provide a template for deals with other big banks that face tens of billions in similar claims.

    “I think this is huge,” said Michael Mayo, a bank analyst with Crédit Agricole in New York. “It’s about time the industry resolves issues from the financial crisis and focuses more on righting their companies and improving the economy. This is the most significant step since the financial crisis that helps do that.”

    The proposed settlement is with a group of more than 20 investors that include the asset managers Pimco, Metropolitan Life and BlackRock, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Together they hold mortgage-backed securities that represent more than $100 billion in home loans from Bank of America, the nation’s biggest bank by assets.

    The securities affected by the deal come from Countrywide Financial, the subprime mortgage lender whose practices have come to symbolize the excesses of the housing boom. Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008.

  10. NJ Toast says:

    Grim, from your post #10

    “On Wednesday, the bank is expected to announce plans to set aside even more money, in addition to the $8.5 billion. Those funds will be earmarked to cover future losses on mortgage securities as well as other mortgage-related expenses not covered by the deal disclosed Tuesday. Some of that will be offset by one-time revenue gains.”

    So am I to understand that BOA basically sends $8.5 B to cover losses on mtg securities to the institutions that bought them? If so, as BOA continues to liquidate their foreclosed real estate inventory there will be an additional economic hit due to this above and beyond the $8.5B?

    I also understood that once they sold the Balboa forced placed insurance unit, they would begin to accelerate their foreclosures as they were no longer making the big premium $ on the forced placed insurance.

  11. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Christie: N.J. homeowners will begin to see property tax relief due to benefits overhaul in late 2012

    Putting his pen to legislation heralded as a money saver for taxpayers, Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday signed into law a sweeping overhaul of public employee benefits.

    But that doesn’t mean New Jersey homeowners should expect their property tax bills to drop this year.

    “The first time folks on the property tax side will really see a benefit is in the August 2012 bills,” Christie said at a bill signing ceremony Tuesday at the War Memorial in Trenton.

    The overhaul of pensions and benefits was the final piece of Christie’s three-pronged plan to bring down property taxes. The first piece was a 2 percent cap on property tax collections, followed by an identical cap on contracts with police and firefighter unions.

    Both of the caps exempted health insurance and pension costs, adding to the push by Christie to get the final piece completed.

    The chairman of the Republican State Committee, Sam Raia, who is also the mayor of Saddle River, said the bill will be a “tremendous help” for local leaders

    “(Christie) has put the ball in the mayors’ court and said ‘OK, you have a 2 percent cap, go make it work,’” Raia said. “It’s bringing to the forefront mayors who are able to negotiate better contracts and cut costs.”

  12. grim says:

    From Patch:

    Tax Protestor Arrested After Pulling Gun On Sheriff’s Officer

    The man who pulled a shotgun on a Passaic County Sheriff’s officer who tried to evict him from his home Tuesday morning had a longstanding dispute with the township over his school tax bill, authorities said.

    With no children in the school district, Stephanatos argued he simply shouldn’t have to pay it, according to lawsuits he filed against Wayne Township. The suit was dismissed by a state appeals court.

    Stephanatos, 53, is in custody after an hours-long standoff with police that began at 9 a.m., when a sheriff’s officer went to his home at 687 Indian Road to serve an eviction notice, Wayne Police Chief John Reardon said.

    Stephanatos became upset and leveled a shotgun at the officer, Bill Maer, a spokesman for the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, said.

    Authorities said Stephanatos was being evicted because of his failure to pay taxes. Reardon said the man has been involved in a longstanding dispute about paying the portion of his tax bill that funds the school district.

    A lawsuit Stephanatos filed against Wayne Township was tossed out in 2008 by a state appeals court, which said his arguments were without merit, according to a report published at the time on NJ.com.

    Stephanatos had argued in the suit that he shouldn’t have to pay his school tax bill of over $6,000 because he had no children in the Wayne school system, according to the story.

    Representing himself in court, he raised 19 arguments, including “that his constitutional rights are violated by financing public education through his property taxes,” according to published reports.

  13. Burn, mf’er, burn!!!!

  14. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “I ain’t betting against Meredith Whitney until one of her calls goes wrong.”
    She will definately be wrong about making a rediculous claim ‘of hundreds of billions of dollars of defaults in 2011.” Every veteran muni analyst on the street was in agreement that munis we’re facing huge challenges but nobody was so egotistic to make an assenine shock claim like that just for a sound bite on 60 minutes. And now its totally destroying her credibility. In fact even if the defaults occur, but only one year later, she will still have been wrong.

  15. Dissident Hehehe says:

    “In fact even if the defaults occur, but only one year later, she will still have been wrong.”

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion; no matter how stupid.

  16. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Hehe absolutely. That’s my beef with zerohedge and the like, although its very entertaining and every article keeps you on edge of your seat because there is always a rewarding little nugget of doom but its short on facts and if anyone ever took score, maybe 2% of the forecasts would turn out to actually be accurate.

  17. Dissident Hehehe says:

    Neanderthal,

    You need to sit down and watch 24 hours of CNBC again and then come back to me about who has a better perspective on the world – those people or the likes of Zero Hedge or Whitney.

  18. whipped says:

    can someone finally explain transfer taxes to me in NJ
    I am aware that the seller pays about 1% transfer tax and the buyer pays a 1% mansion tax.
    As a buyer, are there any other big taxes that I’m not including?
    I don’t think there’s a mortgage tax in Jersey (in NY – yes)…
    also- the GFE I got from the bank looks kind of nuts
    they’re including title services with insurance AND owners title insurance (why?)
    thanks in advance

  19. Neanderthal Economist says:

    I would say they’re both on opposite extremes of the spectrum.

  20. Shore Guy says:

    From a CNN e-mail:

    In the biggest reckoning of the 2008 financial crisis, Bank of America said Wednesday it will pay $8.5 billion to investors burned by fraudulent mortgage securities.

    The securities, which packaged numerous home mortgages and sold them to investors, faltered after the housing market collapsed.

    Investors said they had been misled by the packages, many of which were highly rated even though they included mortgages from borrowers with questionable credit.

  21. Shore Guy says:

    Since the cap excludes health costs and health benefits are not taxed, I suspect we will see the same thing we had during WWII and the years of the War Labor Board when wage increases were not allowed: employees will forgo wage increases in favor of sweetened health benefits — this will net them more money in their pockets and the governments involved can pass along the increases to taxpayers, all while “cutting” other parts of the budget and coming in under 2% in the non-benefit bedget. A pony for everyone. Well, not the taxpayer, but there must be one here somewhere.

  22. 3B says:

    So Tommy Lawler says in one year prices are going to go up. I better get cracking.

  23. 3B says:

    #18 There is much more truth in the doom and gloom scenario than anything that comes out of CNBC.

  24. 3B says:

    #21 There will be layoffs at BOA after this settlement absolutely Apparently it will wipe out their entire earnings for the first half of the year,

  25. Kettle1^2 says:

    Coming to a country near you!

    British consumers starting to ration, says Asda boss
    Consumers are suffering from a “toxic mix” of “facts and fear” about household incomes, eurozone debts and rising prices, Asda’s chief finance officer has said.

    Judith McKenna said the true cost of living was only now “beginning to take its toll on British families” and was worried that policy-makers in Whitehall had little grasp of the impact on low income households.

    She revealed Asda’s own “average household” income tracking showed families’ disposable incomes were falling fast, dropping 8pc year on year in May – the largest decline “ever”.

    It estimates the average family now has £165 a week in discretionary spending power and are facing a £14 “gap in their pockets” forcing many to ration.

    “If you are an average family then £14 is a lot of money every week,” she said. “Things are only just starting to bite,”

  26. Kettle1^2 says:

    NJ Toast 11

    read this:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/bank-america-pay-85-billion-settle-mortgage-misrepresentation-suit-blackrock-pimco-new-york-

    The 8.5 billion is probably the tip of the iceberg. BOA is still open to a multitude of lawsuits of fraudulent foreclosures and the multitude of other mortgage shenanigans they played over the last decade.

  27. Kettle1^2 says:

    Property tax relief??? LMAO!

    As Whitney pointed out:

    Rather, she said these types of moves will be mere warning shots as states approve their spending plans for the fiscal year ahead—running from July 1 to June 30—and balance those budgets by cutting local aid.

    “That’s what’s really going to hurt. So the pain of the states is just upon us,” said Whitney, famous for her warning about Citigroup’s exposure to subprime loans back in 2007, a call that would foretell the ensuing financial crisis. “What you’ll see now is as the states are submitting final budgets, you’ll see the real pain at the municipal level start happening July 1. That will intensify and that’s where you’ll see the fallout.”

    We wont be near bottom until we see NJ towns declaring bankruptcy to void the insane obligations they have happily promised while knowing that those making the promises wont be in office when the bill came due.

  28. JJ says:

    Most of her calls are wrong. She correctly stated Citi Dividend would be cut and its stock would fall. She has been wrong ever since. If your recall I bought tons of citi bonds when nutty Whitney was claiming they were broke some for 50 cents on a dollar, she created a panic then that caused people to sell citi bonds and take a 50% loss that went back to par two years later, she later iniated a panic in Muni bonds where people sold bonds at 89 in January that are now par. I am right most of time, she was right once.

    turn her upside down and she is just a brunette with bad breath.

    Neanderthal Economist says:
    June 29, 2011 at 7:19 am
    “I ain’t betting against Meredith Whitney until one of her calls goes wrong.”

  29. chicagofinance says:

    and yet clot eats up that stuff like cornflakes…..

    Neanderthal Economist says:
    June 29, 2011 at 7:45 am
    Hehe absolutely. That’s my beef with zerohedge and the like, although its very entertaining and every article keeps you on edge of your seat because there is always a rewarding little nugget of doom but its short on facts and if anyone ever took score, maybe 2% of the forecasts would turn out to actually be accurate.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    FUKING METS!

  31. JJ says:

    according to whitney the Friday July 1st will be the end of the world in the Muni Bond Market.

    Anyone who has ever looked at a school budget will know it clearly states bond holders and union negoiated contracts must be honored. Cuts be turning down budget will result in canceled classes, larger class sizes and/or teams/clubs canceled. Unless a school, town, water, fire etc. has cut every single thing to the bare bones and we are in a depression you won’t see things defaulting. Remember Muni is talking “techinical defaults” For instance the biggest default Orange County was a techincial default, they were late in interest payments, but in end 100% of Principal and Interest was paid. She also calls not doing a prerefunding, not having bond insurance, getting downgraded all as defaults, as well as social defaults. If a school district kills football team to make bond payment it is a social default. As if the senior citzen who owns bonds cares. She is a kook.

  32. Anon E. Moose says:

    Ket [28];

    BOA is still open to a multitude of lawsuits of fraudulent foreclosures

    I’m racking my brain for a cause of action to support a class action by the deadbeats against the banks for robosigning, but having a hard time. Millions of people whose mortgages were transfered under false signatures suffered how exactly? They didn’t get a mod or forebrearance becuse it wasn’t clear who owned the mortgage? They had no legal right to one anyway. The foreclosures weren’t fraudulent because the debts and the defaults were very real.

  33. Anon E. Moose says:

    Bleg [2d]: For the name & contact info of that b@ll-breaker/deal-killer house inspector used by some on the board with success. Post here or through grim. Thanks.

  34. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    grim, you only own your home at the leasure of the local government. Freedom my sun burnt a$$. I’m sure when they liquidate it on the steps of the county courthouse he will get the difference after the taxes are paid

  35. jj (30)-

    Citi IS broke. They are just being propped up (a la Weekend at Bernie’s) by their fascist sycophant gubmint benefactors.

  36. chi (31)-

    It’s a nice, sunny day in Greece. What better time to begin the asset-stripping phase of their imminent financial demise?

  37. joyce says:

    34
    And if they foreclosed on some ‘deadbeat’ whose loan they didn’t own… that’s not fraudulent? Where was their standing to foreclose?

  38. moose (34)-

    By the same logic you employ, it would also be OK for the foreclosing parties to send goon squads into properties subject to FK in order to crack skulls and toss personal effects into the street.

    Anything a bankster does is OK? A bankster can commit fraud in the process of foreclosing, simply because there is an underlying default?

    I really hope you get to live the consequences of the fascism you cheerlead.

  39. MS walks away from skyscrapers. Who wants to go with me to their HQ and bust some heads?

  40. joyce (39)-

    Please do not waste your time advocating rule of law. That’s soooo 20th century.

  41. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    Harrisburg moving closer to Chapter 9 so the Pennsylvania legislature’s response – legislation to ban Chapter 9 in Pennsylvania:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-pennsylvania-harrisburg-idUSTRE75S0SV20110629

  42. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:
  43. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    How long does this Greece package buy? They get $15B in bailout or something right? How long until the next “crisis”? Three months? Six?

  44. jamil says:

    Sounds familiar?

    “The Greek Way of Sorrow. How the Slogan “Change” Launched Greece on the Path to Ruin”

    Thirty years ago this fall, on October 18, 1981, a charismatic academic with rather limited government experience and with a one-word slogan, “Change,” was elected prime minister of Greece. His name was Andreas Papandreou. Greeks may now wish that 30 years ago they had had a Tea Party movement. Things could have turned out differently.

    Thirty years ago, Greece was in an enviable position on the matter of national debt, with its debt just 28.6 percent of GDP. Few advanced countries can manage that kind of debt-to-GDP ratio. By the end of Papandreou’s first term in office, that ratio had nearly doubled, with debt at 54.7 percent of GDP. By the end of his second term, the figure was in the mid 80s.

    The 1980s in Greece were a time of dramatic expansion of government. Papandreou and his Sosialist party created a new government-run health-care system, dramatically expanded employment in the public sector, nationalized failing companies, and increased government handouts of every shape and form.

    It was a government expansion so large and many-sided that in the end it generated a revolution of expectations and attitudes about the role of government in society. No government since then has been able to reverse that revolution, no matter how willing it was or how pressing the circumstances.

    It is in this detrimental position that the current prime minister, George Papandreou, son of Andreas, finds himself.

    Now the Greek government finds itself with a debt-to-GDP ratio somewhere north of 140 percent and quickly rising.

    The absolutely dismal results of those tax increases have not persuaded the younger Papandreou and his colleagues to reduce the size of government and its tax, regulatory, and corruption burden on the economy. The Greek government employs lots of people, even by European standards; the increase in unemployment since the crisis started has come exclusively from the private sector. Finland may have the best educational system in Europe, but its ratio of students to teachers is double that of Greece, which has one of the worst educational systems. In area after area of governmental activity, Greece has the most people employed per population but also the worst results: a way-above-average number of tax collectors but very poor tax collection; an above-average number of policemen but dismal public order; a record number of local courts but perhaps the slowest justice system on the continent; a record number of hospitals but one of the worst systems of health care.

    There are hundreds of governmental organizations that employ thousands of people and no one knows what they do, how they do it, or indeed if they do anything at all. Recently it was found that there was a government agency for the preservation of a lake that was drained decades ago.

    Greeks like me cringe when we hear people like Paul Krugman lecturing Americans on how a government takeover in a certain sector of the economy will facilitate in the future reforms that are necessary now.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/270582/greek-way-sorrow-napoleon-linardatos

  45. A.West says:

    HeHe,
    I guess it’s designed long enough for banks to sell their trash to taxpayers.

  46. Anon E. Moose says:

    Hobo [40];

    By the same logic you employ, it would also be OK for the foreclosing parties to send goon squads into properties subject to FK in order to crack skulls and toss personal effects into the street.

    You mean police/sherrifs serving eviction warrants? Those goon squads? Try getting physical with a uniformed officer on duty and see what happens (skull cracking, etc.). That’s exactly the way its always been done — the only difference now is that there is more of it. Your hyperbole and invective notwithstanding, you’re arguing a distinction without a difference.

    Anything a bankster does is OK?

    Straw man. Next.

    A bankster can commit fraud in the process of foreclosing, simply because there is an underlying default?

    Not without conseqences to the bank. However those consequences are payable to the court they defrauded, not the deadbeat. And those consequences should not bestow a windfall on the deadbeat via forgiven loans, years on end of rent/payment-free living, etc.

    I really hope you get to live the consequences of the fascism you cheerlead.

    Limiting the discussion to residential real estate, how do you think it will differ from the utopia that the used house sales racket has led us into today?

  47. joyce says:

    49
    “That’s exactly the way its always been done — the only difference now is that there is more of it.”
    Yes, and because there’s more of it right now, that’s why the people are living rent/mortgage free for years. It takes a while to process all of them through the system (without even mentioning robo-signing, perjury, fraud).

    “Not without conseqences to the bank. However those consequences are payable to the court they defrauded, not the deadbeat. And those consequences should not bestow a windfall on the deadbeat via forgiven loans, years on end of rent/payment-free living, etc.”
    How about some consequences to the individuals who are doing the unlawful actions? A bankster does not equal the bank.. it’s referring to the person. If an entity without standing, or even with standing but with fraudulent evidence/documentation tries to foreclose/evict, the person should be back in the dwelling until the true creditor comes to court. What’s wrong with that?

  48. Why fret over Harrisburg? It’s just the capitol of the 7th biggest state in the US…

  49. Juice Box says:

    re #33 – JJ Whitney is wrong on Munis, we get it. The cities and towns will layoff everyone to make the payments on time, that is until they don’t and nobody can predict exactly when that will happen. But don’t for a second think the Fed Gov’s polices aren’t going to trigger a bond crisis. Massive deficit spending coupled with high unemployment creates a tremendous output gap, combined with expensive oil and then we get even modest inflation in the range of 5% to 6% and the foreign bond buyers are going to run for the hills.

  50. moose (49)-

    Just so I have this straight: you’re basically saying that you are a fascist, correct?

  51. Greek finance ministry building has been set on fire.

  52. juice (52)-

    Seems like any mention of the fact that there will not be an endless bid under muni debt of questionable quality provokes an outsized response here.

  53. Take a look at CNBC, folks. Coming soon to a town near you.

  54. gary says:

    ChiFi [32],

    I can’t remember the last time I smiled while watching this team!

  55. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    I am trying not to be pessimistic;

    Goldman Sach hiring 1000 new employees

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/27/goldman-sachs-outsources-singapore_n_885549.html

  56. Anon E. Moose says:

    Hobo [53];

    I recommend that you take your lithium and self-medicate with alcohol until that kicks in. You’re particularly ornery off your meds.

  57. homeboken says:

    59 – And per dealbreaker, GS is laying off circa now. More than the annual 5% of the bottom cuts, biggest area hit is Ops.

  58. JJ says:

    what people forget is crap rolls downhill and Munis are at the bottom of the hill. Take Detroit, its munis are finally shakey. Every bit of meat on a bone has been picked clean first. I know people who will say stuff with a straight face I think NJ munis are too risky so I am buying a house in NJ as an investment instead. If NJ munis go BK that means there is massive unemployment, sky high RE taxes and we are back into a even great depression. Bottom line you already got foreclosed on your house.

    Also people forget a BK can be a wonderful think. Yankee stadium parking muni bonds are trading now at less than the value of the underlying asset. If the bonds BK the bonds will rise in value overnight. The bondholders sieze the garages. Harrisburg and Jefferson County are horrible cases of mismanagement.

    Juice Box says:
    June 29, 2011 at 11:05 am
    re #33 – JJ Whitney is wrong on Munis, we get it. The cities and towns will layoff everyone to make the payments on time, that is until they don’t and nobody can predict exactly when that will happen. But don’t for a second think the Fed Gov’s polices aren’t going to trigger a bond crisis. Massive deficit spending coupled with high unemployment creates a tremendous output gap, combined with expensive oil and then we get even modest inflation in the range of 5% to 6% and the foreign bond buyers are going to run for the hills.

  59. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [50];

    You talk (type) as if I picked some house at random, pulled the mortgage docs from the archaic research room in Newark, and proceeded to file a foreclosure action against the owner claiming that I was the beneficial owner of the mortgage. The plaintiff bank(s) were intimately involved with the origination and servicing of these debts, now undeniably in default — that’s how the bank/servicer knows enough about the default in order to bring the action in the first place. Does it really matter to the deadbeat which trust account the servicer was obligated to pass the proceeds of their (non-existent) mortgage payments on to?

    As for time, yes, it does take time. That’s why wer’re slogging down slowly in the fifth year of the housing collapse with various parties doing their best to avoid the inevitable price discovery. And it won’t turn around until the backlog is cleared. Which is why clearing the backlog quicker is better than slower. Foreclosures aren’t the problem — they are the solution.

    The individual(s) involved were giving the court what it wanted to move the pig through the snake. Which is not to mention that the rules (e.g., this or that certification must be signed by a vice-president or some other arbitrary title-holder in the organization) may have made sense when there were two foreclosures a month — now there are two hundred a day.

  60. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    JJ,

    Muni’s are a bubble.

  61. Juice Box says:

    Nice haircut for the Greek Gov workers. 15 percent cut in public wages, a solidarity levy of between 1% and 5% on income and a tax increases in VAT.

    Prob means 25% wage deflation if you don’t lose your job.

  62. jamil says:

    “Nice haircut for the Greek Gov workers. 15 percent cut in public wages, a solidarity levy of between 1% and 5% on income and a tax increases in VAT.”

    O wants to transform US into European-style country. I’m starting to think he is right after all. We should follow Greece’s lead. We have followed Greece in everything anyway (democracy, “Change” by inexperienced community organizer, parasitic expansion of government, and bankruptcy so let’s try those “Austerity” and “Living within your means” concepts next.

  63. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    I see you read the national review article Jamil, your boy GWB cetainly didn’y help with medicare part d and starting the currently useless wars

  64. Happy Renter says:

    [63] “Foreclosures aren’t the problem — they are the solution.”

    +1

    If that makes me a housing “fascist,” so be it. Clearing the backlog is the only way out of this mess. No sympathy for the deadbeats here; not because I care about the banks, but because ultimately the deadbeats are living rent-free in houses that many of their fellow, more responsible, citizens deserve the opportunity to live in (at a price) under any concept of a free-market. And the path to making those properties available to those fellow citizens is through enabling the banksters to foreclose and get these properties back onto the market ASAP.

    You know, like we used to do, back when failing to pay your mortgage actually had consequences.

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  66. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Something tells me that the revenue enhancers that Greece plans (all of which are or will be used here), the giant sucking sound you hear emanating from the mid-Mediteranean is the capital exiting the country.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43577308

    The numbered bullets are a blueprint–if we aren’t doing these things, we will, and if we are, we will make it more so.

    Now you understand why some US consulates have an 18 month waiting list for renunciations. I predict that this wait will be 2 years by the end of this year. If you have net worth over 15MM, and you don’t have an application for foreign citizenship filed somewhere, and an appointment (or several) scheduled at a US consulate, you are already in trouble.

  67. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    Nattering Na-Nom of Negativism

  68. joyce says:

    63
    This debate has happened in the past; you obviously don’t care. You wish to sacrifice decades of established laws/procedures for expediency. Does that sum it up pretty well?

    “Does it really matter to the deadbeat which trust account the servicer was obligated to pass the proceeds of their (non-existent) mortgage payments on to?”

    Yes, I think it does matter. This web of ownership, or lack there of, was all the banksters making. Now you want to bail them out of their own mess? They clouded thousands, if not millions, of property titles by not recording anything with the counties. F them, let them figure it out… oh, and I’m still waiting for the prosecutions for their transgressions, no more of this civil suit/settlement b.s.

    Yes, clearing the market is the solution, but I would rather follow the law (and have it take however long) than do it overnight. What a horrific concept, following the law.

    “The individual(s) involved were giving the court what it wanted to move the pig through the snake. Which is not to mention that the rules … may have made sense when there were two foreclosures a month — now there are two hundred a day.”

    If the law doesn’t make sense or the rules are (stupid, unlawful, overly-burdensome, etc), then there are ways to change them. You think it’s OK to ignore them. That’s great.

  69. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “#18 There is much more truth in the doom and gloom scenario than anything that comes out of CNBC.”
    Everyone is negative now even cnbc has turned drastically more negative compared to how they used to be. Its the in thing to do is to be hopeless but whitney took it a step further and really got herself in a pickle for a short term jump in name recognition. For example if im a sovereign economist and I think usa is facing huge pressure with treasury market, im not going to claim and promise that usa will default in 2011 because then if it doesn’t happen and usa kicks can for a few years then im labeled a moron with egg dripping all over my face. So its not about her being negative, its about her being wrong and a shamelessly desperate self promoter.

  70. 3B says:

    #73 Not disagreeing in general with you, regarding Whitney. But the doom and gloom scenario in general has been far more right then wrong.

    Had CNBC perhaps been more responsible earlier, perhaps things might not have been so gloomy and doomy if you will. I see nothing on the horizon that would indicate any real turn around any time soon to lessen the doom and gloom.

  71. joyce says:

    As economist Hernando de Soto observed in The Destruction of Economic Facts, the ForeclosureGate mortgage mess is not just a series of petty paperwork mistakes–it is the destruction of the entire system of trustworthy transfer of property rights for non-Elites:

    Knowing who owned and owed, and fixing that information in public records, made it possible for investors to infer value, take risks, and track results. The final product was a revolutionary form of knowledge: “economic facts.”

    Over the past 20 years, Americans and Europeans have quietly gone about destroying these facts. The very systems that could have provided markets and governments with the means to understand the global financial crisis—and to prevent another one—are being eroded. Governments have allowed shadow markets to develop and reach a size beyond comprehension. Mortgages have been granted and recorded with such inattention that homeowners and banks often don’t know and can’t prove who owns their homes. In a few short decades the West undercut 150 years of legal reforms that made the global economy possible.

    The results are hardly surprising. In the U.S., trust has broken down between banks and subprime mortgage holders; between foreclosing agents and courts; between banks and their investors—even between banks and other banks.

  72. renter (68)-

    The end justifies the means? Is that basically what you’re saying?

    Should the solution you suggest actually be implemented, how would you feel about purchasing a property whose previous mortgage notes have questionable provenance? How would your title insurers feel? Will title even be insurable?

  73. chicagofinance says:

    Best post from DealBreaker:
    GuestToday 10:24 AM
    Lloyd:
    Goyem only, right?
    The Tribal Council

    homeboken says:
    June 29, 2011 at 11:20 am
    59 – And per dealbreaker, GS is laying off circa now. More than the annual 5% of the bottom cuts, biggest area hit is Ops.

  74. When you peel the onion, banks and their electronic accomplices (MERS) created a giant shitpile of confusion and clouded note ownership issues by setting up a system (aka the sausage grinder) that abetted their mortgage fraud, allowed them to quickly construct MBS from garbage and assisted them in avoiding millions in transfer taxes and recording fees.

    Yet, somehow, all this is supposed to be overlooked…in the name of “expediency”. If this comes to pass, it will be no less than an expedient coverup of crimes that were committed in haste.

  75. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [72];

    You wish to sacrifice decades of established laws/procedures for expediency. Does that sum it up pretty well?

    No, it doesn’t.

    Like so many ivory tower academics in profession or in spirit (including our current President), you completely ignore the value of time. Sorting the mess out 5-10 years from now (your words “have it take however long”) is not just as good as doing so more quickly. In the real world, when only results will do, getting it 90% right when you need it is worth more than getting it 99% right when you don’t.

    What a horrific concept, following the law.

    You have a very selective view of what “the law” is. It is “the law” that contracts are binding and enforceable by the courts. Including contracts which say if you don’t pay money owed, your creditors can take your stuff — such as a house that the deadbeat specifically offered up as security for the debt. You don’t seem too concerned about that part of “the law” going unenforced forever on the installment plan.

  76. JC says:

    chifi (32): So what would YOU do with Reyes?

    1) Go for the wild card, then lose him for nothing when he hooks up with Boras at the end of the season and the Phillies pay him $300 million for 7 years;

    2) Trade him for a team full of very good prospects

    Since you KNOW that the Wilpons don’t have enough money to keep him, and Einhorn is the Mitch McConnell of baseball owners right now — wanting the Mutts to s**k so that he can kick the Madoffs Wilpons out on their ears.

    On the one hand, Reyes is this year the player he was always expected to be. On the other, is this just a show for his walk year?

    Hmmmmm…..

  77. Happy Renter says:

    [77 / 79] Confessing my own ignorance here because I haven’t bothered to follow the minutia of the “issues” with the foreclosure process: what, precisely, are the “means” we’re talking about here? Sincere question — I haven’t been following the details, but from what I do recall hearing/reading it seems much ado about nothing. What exactly is going to be the resulting problems with title, and how would it affect a bona fide purchaser for value downstream?

    What purpose, exactly, is served by putting the brakes on all of these foreclosures? What crime is being uncovered? What justice is being served? How is the outcome going to differ in the end? All I see are deadbeats living rent-free (in housing that no one seems to dispute they aren’t entitled to) for years now while business interests argue about paperwork and title and whether all the i’s were dotted and T’s crossed, politicians pander to the deadbeat masses, and lawyers look for class-action lawsuit money.

    And meanwhile, the economy continues to suffer because of it. And the fraud continues, because nothing is cleared and banks can keep the “assets” on their books at phony values instead of having to mark-to-market when they are unloaded.

    If there is some egregious example of innocent homeowners paying their bills on time and somehow getting sucked into foreclosure due to negligence or fraud, yeah that’s a major problem, but I also have faith that under those circumstances our justice system can sort that out without needing to put the brakes on ALL foreclosures.

  78. joyce says:

    80-
    I’m sorry, but you’re pathetic.

    “In the real world, when only results will do, getting it 90% right when you need it is worth more than getting it 99% right when you don’t.”

    Call me an idealist if you want, but I believe in a free country (supposedly) that not one innocent person should be in jail, even if that means some guilty ones fall through the cracks. You said earlier, “I’m racking my brain for a cause of action to support a class action by the deadbeats against the banks for robosigning, but having a hard time. Millions of people whose mortgages were transfered under false signatures suffered how exactly?” How exactly are you and I suffering by having to wait a very long time for the foreclosures to make it through the system?

    “You have a very selective view of what “the law” is. It is “the law” that contracts are binding and enforceable by the courts. Including contracts which say if you don’t pay money owed, your creditors can take your stuff — such as a house that the deadbeat specifically offered up as security for the debt. You don’t seem too concerned about that part of “the law” going unenforced forever on the installment plan.”

    Ha, you said it. YOUR CREDITORS take your stuff (it doesn’t say ANY creditor) When the true creditor presents themselves, they of course should foreclose. Are you listening?

  79. Juice Box says:

    wow – Last year, the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips for use in everything from missiles to transponders and all of them turned out to be counterfeits from China.

    Wired reports the chips weren’t only low-quality fakes, they had been made with a “back-door” and could have been remotely shut down at any time.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/navy-chinese-microchips-weapons-could-have-been-shut-off-2011-6#ixzz1QfhXjEYD

  80. JJ says:

    Hobo, actually MBS’s were risky and complicated to create which is why it caused Lehman, Bear, Wamu, Soverign, Wachovia to collaspe.

    First to create a MBS first it needs a CUSIP and be eligible for MBSCC clearing. However, MBS’s are usually a minimun of 100 million.

    How do you get $100 million in whole non Fannie/Freddie loans, you got to American Home Mortage, ISTAR, Countrywide etc and buy them. You actually get the actual loan documents and you own the loans. You have to negoiate prices and get all the loan documentation, check it is all there, run income checks on people or appraisals and make sure properties are collaterialized. Then you need Phds to slice and dice the tranches to come up with the prices.

    Then of course you can then apply for CUSIP and MBSCC clearing. Now you need a prospectus get legal and compliance sign off and then on to marketing to sell the thing. Of course you need to find a mortgage servicers to manage after sale the P&I payments. You are lucky from start to finish you are done in 90 days.

    Meanwhile you are sitting on a stack of worthless subprime mortgage paper that both Fannie, Freddie, SONYMAE, VA etc refused to write and this is back in 2003-2007 when they pretty much took everything.

    Places like Merril would litterally have dozens and dozens of MBS deals in the pipeline at one times for many billion dollars. When the game of musical chairs ended they were screwed. There was big reward and huge risk bringing MBS to market.

  81. Confused In NJ says:

    The Greek Charade, Act II: Europeans Keep Kicking the Can, Stocks Rally
    By Aaron Task
    PostsWebsiteRSS..By Aaron Task | Daily Ticker – 1 hour 39 minutes ago

    Financial markets exhaled Wednesday as the Greek parliament passed a $40 billion austerity package. A second vote on implementing the package is set for tomorrow and ongoing protests in Athens could change the political calculus. But the expectation now is Greece will receive a $17 billion tranche of its EU-IMF bailout package and avoid a short-term default.

    That’s the good news, at least as far as the markets are concerned. European stocks rallied sharply overnight as the euro climbed vs. the dollar. The Dow was recently up 0.6%, on track for a third-straight gain.

    The bad news is Greece is going to be unable to pay its debts beyond next month and the austerity package will likely cripple its already struggling economy.

    “No country in modern economic history has faced similar debt levels to those of Greece — a debt-to-GDP ratio above 150% – and avoided a default,” write analysts at Open Europe, a London-based think tank. “Even with the help of a second bailout and a debt rollover, Greece is still likely to default within the next few years, as the country’s poor growth prospects and growing debt burden mean that it will be unable to fund itself post-2014.”

    Given that, Open Europe believes it’s better for Greece to restructure its debts now, estimating the cost of such a move will only increase with time; the firm predicts the haircut taken by Greece’s lenders will rise from 50% today to 69% in 2014 following a presumed second bailout.

    No Simple Solution

    As you’ll see in the accompanying video, Henry Blodget couldn’t agree more. “To simplify a situation that has become grossly complicated…banks made dumb loans to a country that could not pay them back,” he says. “What happens in that situation? You restructure the debt.”

    If only it were that simple.

    Unlike Argentina, Russia or other sovereign deadbeats of the recent past, what happens in Greece has ramifications far beyond its borders. Because it is a member of the EU, Greece cannot “simply” default on its debt and/or devalue its currency and start over. (See: Europe on Edge: What Happens in Greece Will NOT Stay in Greece, Minton Beddoes Says)

    So from the beginning of the crisis, some 18 months ago, the goal among European policymakers was to put a “ring-fence” around Greece in order to buy time for Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain. (See: Greece Is the Word: “I Think They’ll Be Able to Control This,” Dow Says)

    Moreover, European banks would be unable to handle the hit of a near-term write-down of their Greek debts. In mid-July, regulators will announce the results of new stress tests on European banks and there’s already speculation many banks will fail — and that’s before a Greek haircut or the new Basel III capital requirements kick in.

    “It cannot be emphasised (sic) enough that the main cost from a debt restructuring comes in the form of contagion and the knock-on effects of losses throughout the European banking system,” Open Europe says. In addition, many banks exposed to Greece, including Belgian-French Dexia and Germany’s Hypo Real Estate, are already largely taxpayer owned, the firm notes, meaning taxpayers would foot “a huge chunk of the bill” for write-downs.

    Even if there were the political will in Europe, it’s unclear whether there’s enough money to recapitalize Europe’s banks after forcing them to take a haircut on Greek debt, as Henry suggests. The European Central Bank is already in tightening mode and the Fed under pressure to shrink its balance sheet — although (surprise!) it has approved the extension of special lending facilities to foreign central banks, The WSJ reports.

    China has pledged to keep buying EU debt and has some $3 trillion of foreign currency reserves. But if bailing out Greece is a tough political challenge for German politicians, imagine trying to convince voters selling out to China is a good idea? (Yes, America is doing the same thing…but it’s been subtly over time vs. in an emergency-type fire sale. Plus we’ve got cheap Chinese goods in exchange, which served to appease the masses during the debt bubble.)

    In sum, the EU and IMF giving more money to Greece so that it can pay off its lenders is indeed a “charade,” as Henry says. But, to borrow from Hyman Roth, this is the (nasty) business the Europeans have chosen. (Up next: America’s debt-ceiling vote!)

  82. Juice Box says:

    re: #83 – Joyce we beat that horse bloody and dead ages ago. There should be no unjust enrichment for either party. Moose is just being difficult, he has a constipated personality and you have to squeeze him till he bleeds to get any kind of agreement from him on this subject.

  83. Happy Renter says:

    [83] “How exactly are you and I suffering by having to wait a very long time for the foreclosures to make it through the system?”

    Well I can think of at least two ways: (1) the uncertainty and slow bleeding to death of the housing market is dragging down the economy and making things worse for society at large and (2) the rest of us are paying phony/inflated housing costs (whether in rent because fewer rentals are on the market, or for people buying homes that are still inflated, both resulting from halting foreclosures) or as has been said here many times, the “only suckers pay” issue.

    I agree with your “not one guilty person should be in jail even if some guilty people go free” theory, but I think that any innocent person who somehow gets caught up in a foreclosure process could pretty easily put forward the proof needed to straighten things out pretty quickly. It’s not that hard to get out your copy of your mortgage agreement and your payment statement/receipts showing you paid your mortgage on-time etc. How difficult can that be?

    And any other scenario beyond that … doesn’t seem to me that there is any issue with moving ahead with foreclosure, as agreed.

    Remember, the people on the other end of the mortgage agreement aren’t just big fat cat bankers sitting on piles of money … they are institutional investors, pension funds, etc. and a whole bunch of little people who are getting screwed while the deadbeats live in free housing.

  84. Mike says:

    Number 6 Campbells outsourcing their retail merchandising group Number 59 Goldman outsourcing 1000 jobs to singapore On Grim’s predictions for 2011 I only made one prediction, and that is outsourcing will pick up speed

  85. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Juice the Chinese doesn’t need to criple our military with faulty technology just let us keep driving ourselves into debt and poof our navy looks like the russian navy circa 1999.

    America is like a trust fund baby, inherited mountains of wealth and resources only to be squandered on blow (wars) and ho’s (social welfare programs). Eventually the only thing that is left is the illlusion of wealth, cripling debt, and no ability to get it back.

  86. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    You trade Reyes while you can get top talent for him because you know he’s never going to have another season like this because he’s always injured.

  87. 3B says:

    #89 Well that that it means anything to the employees affected, but at least it (camplells) is being outsourced to an American company, and not overseas.

  88. nj escapee says:

    Hey Jamil, after 6 years of working remotely my official work location finally changed from NJ to Florida. I guess Christie and co. don’t have a prayer to tax my salary now.

  89. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [83];

    I hope you like your house. You’re going to be owning it for a very long time.

  90. joyce says:

    88
    Can’t you also say that the fraud in the beginning as well as now during the foreclosure process by these lenders is the reason for them being halted… and slowing the recovery? If everyone who tried to contest their foreclosure had nothing to contest, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    And also, if you’ve been paying the wrong person every month, even if you’re paying your full P&I or PITI (or even paying more than the min)… that doesn’t release you from the obligation of paying the true creditor?

  91. joyce says:

    94
    Ha, good one… I’ve rented in Morris County my entire adult life

  92. evildoc says:

    Anon E. Moose says:
    June 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Joyce [72];

    You wish to sacrifice decades of established laws/procedures for expediency. Does that sum it up pretty well?

    ====No, it doesn’t.=====

    (sounds like that does sum it up)

    ====Like so many ivory tower academics in profession or in spirit (including our current President), you completely ignore the value of time. Sorting the mess out 5-10 years from now (your words “have it take however long”) is not just as good as doing so more quickly. In the real world, when only results will do, getting it 90% right when you need it is worth more than getting it 99% right when you don’t.=====

    (Ad hominem insult (ivory tower) rather than addressing point. Whether time has value or not, following law has more value. Economic cost of following the law will be lesson to those who tried to skirt it.)

    What a horrific concept, following the law.

    ====You have a very selective view of what “the law” is. It is “the law” that contracts are binding and enforceable by the courts. Including contracts which say if you don’t pay money owed, your creditors can take your stuff — such as a house that the deadbeat specifically offered up as security for the debt. You don’t seem too concerned about that part of “the law” going unenforced forever on the installment plan====

    (The owners it seems must be able to prove then own- under the law- what they would take back. If they cheated on documentation of ownership then they have a problem)

  93. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Talk about telling me something I don’t already know.

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/06/ny-times-the.html

    Admittedly, this is a ham-fisted study. Many folks that take and pass the NJ/NY bars have no intention of practicing in both states. Same for Mass. But the correlation is more right than wrong (except perhaps for DC–almost no one takes the DC bar and I don’t know if the study includes waive-ins).

    Note New Jersey’s place–3rd most overlawyered place in America. And note DC–most underlawyered. And yes, I am a member of the DC bar. So, no honey, I am not paying for remodeling the house in Westfield cuz I don’t know how much longer we’ll be here.

  94. Happy Renter says:

    [95] “If everyone who tried to contest their foreclosure had nothing to contest, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

    Well, I’m not sure about that. And I guess that’s where opinions differ on this issue.

    It seems to me that most people who are contesting foreclosure really have nothing to contest other than scrambling to find some paperwork loophole or other trivial issue that can throw a wrench in the process and keep them living in free housing. At bottom, they aren’t paying as agreed, yet still want to live in the house they feel entitled to. That, to me, doesn’t counts as “nothing to contest.”

    And I include any of this “well I called the bank and asked them if they could lower my principal or my interest rate and they said I had to stop paying my mortgage before I could be eligible and then when I stopped paying they foreclosed on me” nonsense. That’s not an excuse as far as I’m concerned; that’s a failed attempt to get away with breaching the original contract you entered into because you heard on the news that everyone else is doing it. No sympathy here. It’s just a house, if you can’t afford it put your big boy pants on and move and deal with it like an adult.

    “And also, if you’ve been paying the wrong person every month, even if you’re paying your full P&I or PITI (or even paying more than the min)… that doesn’t release you from the obligation of paying the true creditor?”

    It very well could; and it could mean that the “true” creditor’s recourse is against the fraudulent creditor.

    Anyway, in that scenario — which I have yet to see any evidence of ever having happened — I have full faith in our justice system that when you walk into court with a copy of your mortgage and records of your past X years of paying your monthly mortgage as agreed to Creditor #1, that no matter what the issue is between Creditor #1 and Creditor #2, the court is going to prevent foreclosure and tell the two creditors to sue each other and duke it out. It’s an issue that seems to be both extremely rare and easy to deal with if/when it does occur, without the need for halting all foreclosures.

    Again, this is my opinion based on what I have read; if there are some mass abuses of innocent homeowners that I’m just not aware of, then I would probably change my mind. But I am just not seeing it.

  95. Happy Renter says:

    [99] doesn’t counts as = counts as

  96. freedy says:

    if you have faith in our justice system i feel sorry for you .

  97. joyce says:

    99
    If the lender or whomever is trying to foreclose had what they needed to have in terms of documentation, and not some ‘lost note affidavit’ (all of sudden these lenders lost 100,000s notes?!?!) or whatever else they’re claiming is just as good as the original copy [of course I’m generalizing a lot here] … whenever some ‘deadbeat’ tried to pull this or pull that in court, the judge would just say “without merit” or whatever and move forward with the foreclosure.

    The judges could not proceed and in some states (like NJ) apparently the crap the banksters were trying to pull was so egregious they had to halt all foreclosure proceedings from the big lenders.

    Foreclosures are the solution, ‘lower prices’ is the recovery… but you know what, escaping the Plutocracy, returning to the rule of law, breaking up and jailing the banksters who have captured every aspect of the economy… THAT is also part of the recovery. Top of the list in my opinion.

  98. Dan says:

    Grim,

    I would find it even more classic if the guy that embezzled all that money from Citi didn’t pay cash but got mortgages through Citi.

  99. Happy Renter says:

    [102] “in some states (like NJ) apparently the crap the banksters were trying to pull was so egregious they had to halt all foreclosure proceedings from the big lenders”

    That’s what I’m genuinely curious about; so far I haven’t heard of any large-scale “egregious crap” the lenders were trying to pull. From what I remember reading, it’s technicalities and small stuff, nothing that takes away from the basic fact that the deadbeat isn’t paying on the note. There may be some confusion as to which lender/servicer is entitled to what etc., but no confusion as to the fact that the deadbeat isn’t paying as agreed. In that case I say go ahead with the foreclosure get the property into the hands of someone who will buy or rent it and actually pay for it, and let the lenders/servicers fight it out in court if any of them feel they got a bum deal.

    I just don’t see anything that justifies halting foreclosures on a massive scale as we seem to be doing.

  100. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Happy happy joy joy

    “Greek protesters hurled projectiles at a ruling party lawmaker outside parliament on Wednesday after he backtracked and voted in favour of austerity measures.

    A group of around 20 demonstrators threw bottles and a chair at PASOK deputy Alexandros Athanasiadis as he was escorted by five policemen after leaving the parliament building following a vote which approved the unpopular austerity law.

    TV images showed him holding his ear but police sources said he was not injured in the attack.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/member-greek-parliament-assaulted-flip-flopping-austerity-vote

  101. joyce says:

    104
    I’m not throwing insults here, but every single article (minus zerohedge and the like) calls these things “technicalities” and “minor paperwork errors” and I say that was a campaign to influence public opinion and it’s working on some levels.

    I, on the other hand, call it fraud, perjury, etc. If you or I lie to the court, it’s perjury… if the bank does, and does it a couple 100,000 times… it’s minor technicalities.

  102. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    “I say that was a campaign to influence public opinion and it’s working on some levels.”

    Bingo, downplay culpability – right up there with “nobody could see this financial crisis coming” and “the government needs to bail out these companies to save the system”.

  103. JJ says:

    Xenia Tchoumitcheva is my favorite summer intern at JP Morgan Chase this summer. I love Banking.

  104. 3B says:

    #05 And the market is up today. Do they really belive that Greece is not going to ultimately default??

  105. Anon E. Moose says:

    HR [104];

    You’re right (“it’s technicalities and small stuff, nothing that takes away from the basic fact that the deadbeat isn’t paying on the note.”)

    ATEOD, even if all the ‘paperz vere in order’ to Joyce’s satisfaction, you still have a deadbeat squatting indefinitely, not making payments on a house they not only can’t afford, but never could have hoped to afford, and who were betting on continued equity appreciation to bail out their sorry @$$es.

    The banks were trying, after the fact, to re-create the paper trail, to the satisfaction of rules written for Jimmy Stewart’s banking days in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, which corresponded with what was happening electronically in real-time but didn’t have every form signed in triplicate.

  106. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [111];

    “Fake but accurate” was good enough for Dan Rather, wasn’t it?

  107. joyce says:

    111
    Well done, back to your one line… ignore everything else that was said to which you have no logical or lawful reply.

    They lost (destroyed to cover their tracks) the evidence of their ownership, and they created MERS. They did not comply with the law… but let’s that let that stop them.

    After all, those deadbeats are in your house, remember.

  108. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Who’s more culpable:

    1) the person taking on a loan larger than they can afford or the bank making such a loan knowing they could shove it out the back door on somebody else via securitization?

    2)the deadbeat staying in the house they can’t afford while not paying the mortgage due to robosigning etc or the bank setting up the MERS system in order to avoid paying recording and transfer fees to municipalities?

    the deadbeat home owner vs the deadbeat bank? Tough choice.

    Why don’t the bank employees who cashed those boffo bonus paychecks from 2000 onwards pay them back to the banks first and then we’ll let the deadbeat home owners get kicked out?

  109. Kettle1^2 says:

    Hobo

    Party on!!!!

    Member Of Greek Parliament Assaulted By Angry Mob For Flip-Flopping On Austerity Vote

    When two weeks ago we wrote about a (short-lived) mutiny within Pasok, we noted the name of one Aleksos Athanasiadis, who had decided (brefly) to vote with his conscience and against his ruling party (and proxy for European banking interests) against the austerity measures. Another mutineer MP we cited, was Giorgos Lianis, who had declared his intention to leave politics in order to be able to safely “walk the streets” and not vote for the austerity. He stuck to his word. As was discovered yesterday, Athanasiadis subsequently recanted and backtracked on his promise to vote with the people. Alas, he should have listened to his buddy Lianis. As Reuters reports, Athanasiadis was attacked shortly following the austerity vote which, among other things, passed with his blessing. Ironically, he was walking the street. This time he got away. But something tells us Greeks never forget. And the one thing they hate more than being a slave to the central banking cartel, is being a slave to the central banking cartel and a traitor.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/member-greek-parliament-assaulted-flip-flopping-austerity-vote

  110. Shore Guy says:

    “Looks like the Gov may be falling out of favor for some NJ residents”

    When he is unacceptable to the vast majority of state residents, then, and only then, can you be assured that he has taken the right actions to protect the future of the state. A couple years ago I said that, the only way for the next governor of NJ (and NY as well) to save the state from ruin is to push through changes that make him/her un-reelectable. Anything less, I hypothesized, would indicate incremental change, which is unlikely to stanch the bleeding.

  111. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    She is much more impressive than that “singer” who married the 51 year old the other day.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    Joyce,

    When the USG wiped out bondholders in favor of other constituancies, when they rescued the car companies, the game changed everywhere.

  113. Shore Guy says:

    Escapee,

    Wait for the “Ahh ha, you-looked-in-our-general-direction tax.” As a former resident who glances towards the northeast, the state will then declare you under their tax jurisdiction. It is not much more absurd than what NY is doing to vacation-home owners.

  114. Kettle1^2 says:

    Joyce,

    you must have missed the memo. The law is only for the little people.

  115. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [113];

    Well done, back to your one line.

    Keep your eye on the ball. The mortgage system doesn’t exist to keep scrivners and judicial clerks off the streets and gainfully employed. It’s about the loaning of money and paying it back with interest. Everything else is just details, and was created to further the underlying goal.

    “Its possible that horse racing would exist without gambling… for 30 minutes.”

  116. Happy Renter says:

    [120] “you must have missed the memo. The law is only for the little people”

    Apparently the law is only for some little people, i.e. those who pay their inflated rent/mortgage as agreed. They are known as suckers. The rest of the little people are entitled to free housing.

  117. Anon E. Moose says:

    Ket [120];

    If we banded together and called ourselves the “United Brotherhood of Taxpayers and Pipelayers, Local 1” maybe the administration would grant us a waiver.

  118. chicagofinance says:

    How about a Fresca?
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=V

  119. Anon E. Moose says:

    Shore [119];

    What bugs me is the hypocricy of the party pushing such policies that they are allegely in favor of reducing the disparity between the rich and the poor. The millionaires simply put the Hamptons estates in a Trust or a Cayman shell corporation, and “rent” it from that entity. The added expense of this overhead isn’t much in their world. The CT business owner with a Gardiner’s Bay beach bungalow that his retired in-laws live in year-round gets pinched. (How I’d love to be a fly on the wall at THAT family’s Thanksgiving dinner table this year!).

  120. chicagofinance says:

    (1) You have to keep Reyes. He is on track for a potentially historic season, and will certainly set a bunch of team records. To trade him now would be a public relations disaster.

    The Einhorn thing? It is simple…Picard says $1B and the Wilpons say $300M….if the settlement is closer to the Wilpon’s number, then they keep the team, if it is closer to Picard’s number then Einhorn gets it……ETA? 2014.

    JC says:
    June 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    chifi (32): So what would YOU do with Reyes?

    1) Go for the wild card, then lose him for nothing when he hooks up with Boras at the end of the season and the Phillies pay him $300 million for 7 years;

    2) Trade him for a team full of very good prospects

    Hmmmmm…..

  121. chicagofinance says:

    BTW – you have to let Reyes walk….someone is going to give him 7 years…you cannot go more than 5 with a player like him…..

  122. renter (104)-

    IMHO, forgery and robosigning are “egregious crap”.

  123. Happy Renter says:

    [128] Hobo — that’s where we disagree.

    I looked up “robo signing” and here’s one summary from what we can probably agree is not a bank-owned media source:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/10/faulty-paperwork-lending-institutions-have.html

    Reading through it, to me it’s all about a dispute (or potential dispute) between different owners of the loan. I don’t see anything about “robo signing” that makes it egregious in terms of harm to the homeowner. The article cited above uses this hypothetical example of harm to the homeowner:

    “What does this mean for our jobless and health problem-ridden couple? They don’t know who owns their mortgage, which means payments could have been going to the wrong company. And now that they’re in trouble and need help, such as a loan modification, they don’t know which company to turn to.”

    OK as to the first hypothetical point — show me one example where someone was paying their mortgage responsibly and was foreclosed upon because the payments were going to the wrong company. I just don’t think that happens, and I think that anyone finding themselves in that situation could easily clear things up and no court would disagree. Simple matter of presenting your evidence of the mortgage note and your payments over the past X years. Nobody is going to get foreclosed on for that.

    The second point is clearly more common. But so what? I don’t buy into the idea that deadbeats are entitled to “help” such as a “loan modification” — pay the loan, or pick up and move out and go find housing that you can afford. Period.

    Really, all this is a dispute that the business interests who have some ownership in the mortgage should be fighting over, i.e. fighting over the money received when the house is foreclosed upon and sold.

    As the PBS article concludes:

    “The reality, she said, is that most people signed a note, owe the money, and cannot pay.”

    All this phony indignation about robo signing is all about a futile effort to buy time to try to prevent what we all know must happen — housing price adjustment back to reality. In the meantime, the suckers, the little people who actually pay their bills responsibly, subsidize the freeloading deadbeats.

  124. willwork4beer says:

    HEHEHE,

    Reyes averaged over 155 games played from 2005 through 2008. Hurt in 2009 and 2010, he still played in 133 games in 2010 and had over 600 plate appearances. He has played in 76 of 79 games this season. He missed time due to grandmother’s death.

    Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:
    June 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm
    You trade Reyes while you can get top talent for him because you know he’s never going to have another season like this because he’s always injured.

  125. Anon E. Moose says:

    All this phony indignation about robo signing is all about a futile effort to buy time to try to prevent what we all know must happen — housing price adjustment back to reality. In the meantime, the suckers, the little people who actually pay their bills responsibly, subsidize the freeloading deadbeats.

    That there needs to get written in needlepoint on every deadbeat’s @$$.

  126. Thundaar says:

    For Reyes how about a five year- $110million deal?

  127. Dissident Hehehe says:

    Reyes = big softie

  128. willwork4beer says:

    Hehehe

    Make your point through statistics. Otherwise, you’re just jacking off.

  129. Barbara says:

    This was in mod so I changed the naughty words.

    What does it all boil down to? Who’s the bigger low life? That’s pretty much what you all are debating. Let pragmatism be your guide. If squatting works for you, then squat. If buying works for you, then buy. 10 plus years of grotesque consumerism and waste and net pron and weight gain and gluttony and….well, a mediocre middle class that decided its too exceptional to clean its own sh*t stains out of its toilets….nobody wants to look in that mirror.

  130. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “I see nothing on the horizon that would indicate any real turn around any time soon to lessen the doom and gloom.”
    3b. Ok ill assume your statement is true, even cnbc and bill gross are admitting this much. But…. Whitney promised hundreds of billions in defaults, immediately. Now, as in this year, and budgets are already set, in concrete. Where the fck are the g’dam defaults? Instead this has been the lightest muni default year in a decade.

  131. Dissident Hehehe says:

    Reyes fans = fans of big softies

  132. Shore Guy says:

    NJC and BC. FYI:

    By Rolling Stone
    June 29, 2011 1:35 PM ET
    Bruce Springsteen has released the text of the eulogy that he delivered at the funeral of Clarence Clemons on June 21st at Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach, Florida. He also performed an acoustic version of “10th Avenue Freeze-Out” and ended the ceremony by performing “You’re A Friend Of Mine” with Jackson Browne and members of The E Street Band. “This is a slightly revised version of the eulogy I delivered for Clarence at his memorial,” says Springsteen. “I’d like to thank all our fans and friends who have comforted us over the past difficult weeks.”

    I’ve been sitting here listening to everyone talk about Clarence and staring at that photo of the two of us right there. It’s a picture of Scooter and The Big Man, people who we were sometimes. As you can see in this particular photo, Clarence is admiring his muscles and I’m pretending to be nonchalant while leaning upon him. I leaned on Clarence a lot; I made a career out of it in some ways.

    Those of us who shared Clarence’s life, shared with him his love and his confusion. Though “C” mellowed with age, he was always a wild and unpredictable ride. Today I see his sons Nicky, Chuck, Christopher and Jarod sitting here and I see in them the reflection of a lot of C’s qualities. I see his light, his darkness, his sweetness, his roughness, his gentleness, his anger, his brilliance, his handsomeness, and his goodness. But, as you boys know your pop was a not a day at the beach. “C” lived a life where he did what he wanted to do and he let the chips, human and otherwise, fall where they may. Like a lot of us your pop was capable of great magic and also of making quite an amazing mess. This was just the nature of your daddy and my beautiful friend. Clarence’s unconditional love, which was very real, came with a lot of conditions. Your pop was a major project and always a work in progress. “C” never approached anything linearly, life never proceeded in a straight line. He never went A… B…. C…. D. It was always A… J…. C…. Z… Q… I….! That was the way Clarence lived and made his way through the world. I know that can lead to a lot of confusion and hurt, but your father also carried a lot of love with him, and I know he loved each of you very very dearly.

    Remembering Clarence Clemons: His Life and Career in Photos

    It took a village to take care of Clarence Clemons. Tina, I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for taking care of my friend, for loving him. Victoria, you’ve been a loving, kind and caring wife to Clarence and you made a huge difference in his life at a time when the going was not always easy. To all of “C’s” vast support network, names too numerous to mention, you know who you are and we thank you. Your rewards await you at the pearly gates. My pal was a tough act but he brought things into your life that were unique and when he turned on that love light, it illuminated your world. I was lucky enough to stand in that light for almost 40 years, near Clarence’s heart, in the Temple of Soul.

    So a little bit of history: from the early days when Clarence and I traveled together, we’d pull up to the evenings lodgings and within minutes “C” would transform his room into a world of his own. Out came the colored scarves to be draped over the lamps, the scented candles, the incense, the patchouli oil, the herbs, the music, the day would be banished, entertainment would come and go, and Clarence the Shaman would reign and work his magic night, after night. Clarence’s ability to enjoy Clarence was incredible. By 69, he’d had a good run, because he’d already lived about 10 lives, 690 years in the life of an average man. Every night, in every place, the magic came flying out of C’s suitcase. As soon as success allowed, his dressing room would take on the same trappings as his hotel room until a visit there was like a trip to a sovereign nation that had just struck huge oil reserves. “C” always knew how to live. Long before Prince was out of his diapers, an air of raunchy mysticism ruled in the Big Man’s world. I’d wander in from my dressing room, which contained several fine couches and some athletic lockers, and wonder what I was doing wrong! Somewhere along the way all of this was christened the Temple of Soul; and “C” presided smilingly over its secrets, and its pleasures. Being allowed admittance to the Temple’s wonders was a lovely thing.

    Jackson Browne, Bob Weir, Tom Morello and More Pay Tribute to Clarence Clemons

    As a young child my son Sam became enchanted with the Big Man… no surprise. To a child Clarence was a towering fairy tale figure, out of some very exotic storybook. He was a dreadlocked giant, with great hands and a deep mellifluous voice sugared with kindness and regard. And… to Sammy, who was just a little white boy, he was deeply and mysteriously black. In Sammy’s eyes, “C” must have appeared as all of the African continent, shot through with American cool, rolled into one welcoming and loving figure. So… Sammy decided to pass on my work shirts and became fascinated by Clarence’s suits and his royal robes. He declined a seat in dad’s van and opted for “C’s” stretch limousine, sitting by his side on the slow cruise to the show. He decided dinner in front of the hometown locker just wouldn’t do, and he’d saunter up the hall and disappear into the Temple of Soul.

    Of course, also enchanted was Sam’s dad, from the first time I saw my pal striding out of the shadows of a half empty bar in Asbury Park, a path opening up before him; here comes my brother, here comes my sax man, my inspiration, my partner, my lifelong friend. Standing next to Clarence was like standing next to the baddest ass on the planet. You were proud, you were strong, you were excited and laughing with what might happen, with what together, you might be able to do. You felt like no matter what the day or the night brought, nothing was going to touch you. Clarence could be fragile but he also emanated power and safety, and in some funny way we became each other’s protectors; I think perhaps I protected “C” from a world where it still wasn’t so easy to be big and black. Racism was ever present and over the years together, we saw it. Clarence’s celebrity and size did not make him immune. I think perhaps “C” protected me from a world where it wasn’t always so easy to be an insecure, weird and skinny white boy either. But, standing together we were badass, on any given night, on our turf, some of the baddest asses on the planet. We were united, we were strong, we were righteous, we were unmovable, we were funny, we were corny as hell and as serious as death itself. And we were coming to your town to shake you and to wake you up. Together, we told an older, richer story about the possibilities of friendship that transcended those I’d written in my songs and in my music. Clarence carried it in his heart. It was a story where the Scooter and the Big Man not only busted the city in half, but we kicked ass and remade the city, shaping it into the kind of place where our friendship would not be such an anomaly. And that… that’s what I’m gonna miss. The chance to renew that vow and double down on that story on a nightly basis, because that is something, that is the thing that we did together… the two of us. Clarence was big, and he made me feel, and think, and love, and dream big. How big was the Big Man? Too fu-cking big to die. And that’s just the facts. You can put it on his grave stone, you can tattoo it over your heart. Accept it… it’s the New World.

    Clarence doesn’t leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.

    So, I’ll miss my friend, his sax, the force of nature his sound was, his glory, his foolishness, his accomplishments, his face, his hands, his humor, his skin, his noise, his confusion, his power, his peace. But his love and his story, the story that he gave me, that he whispered in my ear, that he allowed me to tell… and that he gave to you… is gonna carry on. I’m no mystic, but the undertow, the mystery and power of Clarence and my friendship leads me to believe we must have stood together in other, older times, along other rivers, in other cities, in other fields, doing our modest version of god’s work… work that’s still unfinished. So I won’t say goodbye to my brother, I’ll simply say, see you in the next life, further on up the road, where we will once again pick up that work, and get it done.

    Big Man, thank you for your kindness, your strength, your dedication, your work, your story. Thanks for the miracle… and for letting a little white boy slip through the side door of the Temple of Soul.

    SO LADIES AND GENTLEMAN… ALWAYS LAST, BUT NEVER LEAST. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE MASTER OF DISASTER, the BIG KAHUNA, the MAN WITH A PHD IN SAXUAL HEALING, the DUKE OF PADUCAH, the KING OF THE WORLD, LOOK OUT OBAMA! THE NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES EVEN THOUGH HE’S DEAD… YOU WISH YOU COULD BE LIKE HIM BUT YOU CAN’T! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE BIGGEST MAN YOU’VE EVER SEEN!… GIVE ME A C-L-A-R-E-N-C-E. WHAT’S THAT SPELL? CLARENCE! WHAT’S THAT SPELL? CLARENCE! WHAT’S THAT SPELL? CLARENCE! … amen.

    I’m gonna leave you today with a quote from the Big Man himself, which he shared on the plane ride home from Buffalo, the last show of the last tour. As we celebrated in the front cabin congratulating one another and telling tales of the many epic shows, rocking nights and good times we’d shared, “C” sat quietly, taking it all in, then he raised his glass, smiled and said to all gathered, “This could be the start of something big.”

    Love you, “C”.

  133. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    Nuke Plant Inspections Find Flaws in Disaster Readiness

    by John Sullivan, Special to ProPublica June 29, 2011, 11:25 a.m.

    A special inspection of U.S. nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster in Japan revealed problems with emergency equipment and disaster procedures that are far more pervasive than publicly described by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a review of inspection reports by ProPublica shows.

    While the deficiencies don’t pose an immediate risk and are relatively easy to fix, critics say they could complicate the response to a major disaster and point to a weakness in NRC oversight.

    The NRC ordered the inspection in response to the March earthquake and tsunami that crippled Fukushima’s reactors. The purpose was to conduct a fast check on the equipment and procedures that U.S. plants are required to have in place in the event of a catastrophic natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

    Agency officials unveiled the results in May, stating in a news release that “out of 65 operating reactor sites, 12 had issues with one or more of the requirements during the inspections.”

    But ProPublica’s examination of the reports found that 60 plant sites had deficiencies that ranged from broken machinery, missing equipment and poor training to things like blocked drains or a lack of preventive maintenance. Some of the more serious findings include:
    • At the Arkansas Nuclear One plant outside Russellville, several portable pumps dedicated to flood control didn’t work.
    • At the Clinton plant outside Bloomington, Ill., a fire pump broke down during a test.
    •At the Sequoyah plant outside Chattanooga, Tenn., inspectors couldn’t find drain valves needed for flood control.
    •At the Diablo Canyon plant in California, a fence blocked the path for a hose to pump emergency water.
    snip

  134. Shore Guy says:

    Unless one has looked at this in person, it is hard to grasp the beauty of Cherenkov radiation:

    http://www.btlonline.org/2011/i/110708c-nuclear.jpg

  135. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [141] shore

    I have seen it (not live–they don’t let civilians in the containment bldg) and it is just freaky how the object seems to give off the glow but isn’t lit.

    I also remember when I could not remember Cerenkov. So I asked a nuclear engineer my sister was dating and he reminded me. Then he asked me why I asked, saying “no one ever asks about that.”

  136. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Something tells me that Hobo is one of the seven.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43586724

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