Pending home sales surprise in May

From Bloomberg:

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rise by 8.2%, Almost Triple Forecasts

The number of contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose almost three times as much as forecast as falling prices made properties more affordable.

The surprising 8.2 percent increase in the index of pending home resales from April followed a revised 11 percent drop the prior month, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Economists forecast a 3 percent gain, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

While the measure of contract signings has been volatile this year, last month’s index level is 0.1 point lower than the January figure, indicating residential real estate has made little headway. Foreclosures, unemployment at 9.1 percent and stringent loan terms are holding back demand even as a decline in home prices attract some buyers.

“The market for existing homes is still extremely weak,” said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Existing-home sales will probably improve in June based on this reading, but probably not a lot.”

From the WSJ:

Pending Home Sales Up 8.2% in May

The number of people who signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes in the U.S. rose last month, but was still low from a historical perspective, as the housing market remained a weak sector of the economy.

The National Association of Realtors’ seasonally adjusted index for pending sales of existing homes increased 8.2% on a monthly basis to a reading of 88.8, the industry group said Wednesday. It was the strongest monthly gain since last November.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected pending home sales would rise by 10.0% in May from an original April reading of 81.9. That month’s reading was revised up to 82.1.

The pending sales index for May was 13.4% above its level in May 2010, a month in which sales fell dramatically after the expiration of a federal tax credit.

The index was up 12.9% in the West on a monthly basis and 10.5% in the Midwest. It rose 7.3% in the Northeast and 4.1% in the South.

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197 Responses to Pending home sales surprise in May

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Banks May Soften Blow of Jumbo Loan Limits

    on and Jenny Clyman are eager to buy a new home near better schools in New York’s Westchester County before Oct. 1, when new limits on government-backed mortgages could force them into a more expensive jumbo loan.

    “I look at it like a deadline because right now I can get more house for my money,” said Jon Clyman, a 37-year-old real estate broker whose wife is a controller at a bank. “I’m seizing the opportunity while it exists.”

    The Peekskill, New York, couple may not need to rush. While jumbo mortgages used to buy pricier homes carry higher interest rates and require bigger down payments, the blow may be softened by banks seeking to expand their lending to affluent customers.

    As competition picks up, lenders including Citigroup Inc. (C), Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) are easing credit requirements and narrowing the gap on rates compared with government-backed loans. With deposits costing near zero and demand for commercial loans weak, banks and credit unions see an opportunity in high-end borrowers who haven’t suffered as badly as other Americans as foreclosures mount and unemployment hovers above 9 percent.

    “We have shrunk our balance sheet over the last several years, not on purpose, but because we weren’t going to compete with the government,” said Monte Redman, who next month becomes chief executive officer of Astoria Financial Corp. (AF), a Lake Success, New York-based bank with $18 billion in assets that specializes in jumbo and apartment-building loans. “There are a lot more community banks like us that are going to be there to take up the slack.”

  2. grim says:

    If the bust spread outwards, will the recovery encroach inward? Will the recovery begin in the periphery?

    From USA Today:

    Housing market turning around in several rural states

    The housing market is hurting nationally, but it appears to be marching toward recovery in a handful of mostly rural states, economic forecasters say.

    The states — including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Alaska — have economies more dependent on the energy, industrial or agricultural sectors, stronger parts of the U.S. economy. Their home prices, in general, didn’t rise as much as in other states in the boom years, so they’ve fared better in the wake of the crash. Their unemployment rates tend to best the national average.

    “Housing is a mess all over the place, but it’s less of a mess in some places,” says Jim Diffley, regional housing economist for IHS Global Insight.

    Several of the smaller Midwestern states appear “on the road to recovery,” says Jonathan Smoke, executive director for research for Housing IntelligencePro, which tracks real estate in 800 markets nationwide.

    The company compared sales of homes not hit or threatened by foreclosures for the 12 months ending March with sales in 2006, the peak of the national housing bubble. Excluding distressed sales gives researchers a better view of what normal housing markets look like.

    North Dakota, Iowa and Wyoming have seen the strongest rebound in numbers of non-distressed home sales, the data show. North Dakota was the only state where sales in the recent period rose from 2006, Housing Intelligence found. Iowa and Wyoming reached about 70% of their 2006 levels. In 34 of 47 states for which data were available, volumes were at less than half their 2006 levels.

  3. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Realtors Slam Lack of HUD Funds in Foreclosure Deals

    Today’s bullish report on pending home sales came with a caveat from the Realtors:

    “If banks would simply return to normal, sound underwriting standards and begin lending to more creditworthy borrowers, we’d get a much faster recovery in the housing sector,” said National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun.

    That part has been their mantra for months. No surprise there. But then:

    “In addition, a nonsensical situation has developed recently in some states with HUD unable to complete foreclosure deals because of insufficient funds to pay attorney fees at closing, even with buyers offering the full listing price,” Yun added.

    This was new to me, so I called over to HUD, and let’s just say they were not exactly thrilled with the Realtors’ statement.

    HUD says what the Realtors are talking about only affects sales of HUD-owned foreclosures in six states in the Northeast, and dare I say the Northeast is not where the greatest volume of home sales are taking place right now anyway.

    So this from HUD: “Closing on approved purchases of HUD-owned properties has been temporarily delayed in New England. Due to increased demands, funds for closing contracts in this region have been expended and HUD is currently negotiating new contracts. Once they are executed, closings will resume.

    Apparently everything in Connecticut and Rhode Island will be back on track in two weeks, Main and Vermont will take two to four weeks, and closings in Massachusetts and New Hampshire “were expected to resume yesterday.”

    So that makes the Realtors’ complaint sound at best a bit petty and at worst inaccurate. This, as they are releasing some really positive numbers that went beyond the street’s expectations.

    I’m wondering if they had the excuses lined up because they knew folks like me were going to poke holes in their 8.2 percent monthly jump in contracts signed for existing home purchases.

    Let’s start with the fact that this big monthly jump comes after a larger drop in April, so the index is still at its second lowest level since last November. Okay, but the index was up over 13 from May 2010. Right, and last April 30th marked the expiration for signing contracts to get the home buyer tax credit, so you had a big May drop-off, and therefore you have nowhere to go from that but up.

    I don’t mean to knock a bright spot in housing. Anything to the positive is better than the alternative. I just think we need to keep all these big numbers in perspective, especially since the volumes are so historically low right now, that any move in any of these “indices” may result in bigger percentage numbers than usual.

  4. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Early-stage mortgage delinquencies drop to 3-year low

    The amount of mortgages in the earliest stage of delinquency at the end of March dropped to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2008, federal banking regulators said.

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision studied delinquency levels on 63% of all mortgages outstanding in the U.S. in the first quarter — roughly 32.7 million loans held by select banks.

    The percentage of mortgages between 30- and 59-days delinquent dropped 16% from the previous quarter and 5.8% from one year ago.

    The percentage of loans current and performing reached 88.6% in the first quarter, up a full percentage point from the end of 2010 and up 150 basis points from the first quarter of last year. It’s also the highest level since the second quarter of 2009.

    Seriously delinquent mortgages declined for the fifth straight quarter, a 9.4% drop from the previous quarter and down 25% from last year.

    However, the foreclosure pipeline continued to balloon. More than 1.3 million mortgages are somewhere in the foreclosure process, according to the report, up 7.9% from a year ago and relatively flat with the previous quarter.

  5. Al Mossberg says:

    Westchester County is bleeding wealth.

    It’s close to Manhatten.

    Buy now or be priced out forever.

    Blue ribbons everywhere.

  6. Shore Guy says:

    “Blue ribbons everywhere”

    I don’t know where you’ve been lad, but I see you won first prize.

  7. Shore Guy says:

    If the sales volume rises while prices keep droping, it would just seem to provide more comps for those looking for lower prices.

  8. 2Cents says:

    Lots of people see the sense & wisdom that it’s a great time to buy in New Jersey, just like the founder of this blog. Those commenting otherwise are in denial that people as smart as they are, like the founder of this blog, make wise choices for themselves. This blog has become a circle jerk of malcontents. Positive achieving people don’t spend their time like the loser crowd around here does, singing the same tune, day after day. Psssssttt… get a life!

  9. Please tell us again how underwater you are, 2cent.

    Where you sit it where you stand. Unless and until you disclose who you are, what you do and your ultimate interest in RE, you’re just another Kannekt-addled troll here.

  10. Al Mossberg says:

    Its time for me to iron my pants and put my blue ribbons on my uniform.

    I live in NJ. Its close to Manhatten.

  11. Jose Reyes is a Softie Hehehe says:

    I don’t see a housing recovery spreading inwards. Alaska, Iowa etc just pockets of the economy benefiting from the rise in commodity prices.

  12. Jose Reyes is a Softie Hehehe says:

    Better trade Softie Reyes before he tanks in the second half or decides to bag the last two months of the season because his hamstring is sore.

  13. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hehehe Ding ding ding! Housing for 400 Alex.

  14. Mikeinwaiting says:

    June Year-Over-Year House Price Decline Is Least Since May 2007

    Consider two different scenarios by which house prices could still decline 25% in real, inflation-adjusted terms, from the present:

    nominal prices decline 5% a year for 5 years, and inflation is 0% over that time.
    nominal prices do not decline at all over the next 5 years, but inflation is 5% a year.

    Both of those give us “real” price declines of 25%, but with very different results, and very different amounts of pain.

    In the first scenario, more and more homeowners are “underwater” with houses not worth what they paid for them, and not even worth the outstanding mortgage amount. They are unable to sell, since they can’t bring cash with them to the closing table to make up the difference. More and more allow their houses to slide into foreclosure, thus increasing the shadow inventory of bank-owned houses.

    In the second scenario, however, no more homeowners whatsoever are “underwater.” Even better, mortgage payments – and purchases – are made with inflated currency. There is no further incentive to hand in the keys and walk away from the house, and shadow inventory is worked off.

    Needless to say, the second scenario is a lot less painful than the first one and yet accomplishes the same result.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/277267-june-year-over-year-house-price-decline-is-least-since-may-2007

  15. Jose Reyes is a Softie Hehehe says:

    Just like Singapore’s housing prices will benefit from 1000 new Goldman Sachs jobs.

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    My 14 which scenario do you think the fed will try to engineer. QE to infinity & beyond!

  17. Everything will devolve into complete and utter chaos before the retards at the controls can engineer steady, 5% YOY inflation.

    Much more likely we are seized with a massive hyperinflation event that stims universal bank runs and violence in every population center.

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Here is the updated chart of year-over-year (YoY)% change in asking prices from Housing Tracker’s 1,000,000+ home database:
    Month 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
    January — -7.5% -11.5% -5.8% -8.7%
    February — -7.8% -12.0% -5.2% -8.4%
    March — -8.3% -10.9% -5.0% -7.3%
    April -2.7% -8.6% -9.6% -5.0% -6.8%
    May -3.5% -9.1% -8.1% -5.0% -5.6%
    June -5.0% -9.8% -7.0% -5.0% -4.4%
    July -5.4% -10.4% -6.1% -5.1% —
    August -6.0% -10.6% -5.5% -6.1% —
    September -6.2% -11.1% -5.1% -6.6% —
    October -6.7% -11.4% -4.5% -7.0% —
    November -6.6% -11.7% -4.5% -6.7% —
    December -7.2% -11.4% -5.6% -7.8% —

    From my 14, nary a positive on the entire chart for 5 years. It’s getting better all the time, tick tick tick.

  19. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo 17 “try” was the operative word.

  20. 3B says:

    #8 2cents Why not come clean and just go back to your original hanlde of jets 12. Meanwhile prices in the land of Unicorns continue to drop.

  21. Mike says:

    Good Morning From Maine

  22. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “June ISM NY Report on Business: 52.6 vs. 67.9 in May. New York City business activity expanded at the slowest rate in two years.” That is gotta hurt.

    “Initial Jobless Claims: -1K to 428K vs. 420K consensus. Continuing claims -12K to 3.702M.” Still over that 4 handle.

    http://seekingalpha.com/currents/all

  23. grim says:

    Mike – slower expansion is still expansion, no?

  24. gary says:

    Dear 2cents,

    I’m a homeowner who can produce the motherf*cking note at any time.

    Any Questions?

  25. gary says:

    Bitch.

  26. 3B says:

    #23 grim: True. But it is two years later, and it looks like we are going back rather than forward.

    We were told that we would be in a strong recovery by now. It does not like we are.

  27. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 23 At this point in an economic cycle coming off a recession that is pretty anemic.

  28. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hi! Gary, I see your are in form this morn.

  29. 3B says:

    #24 gary Is it laminated? Or is it enclosed and forgotten behind a glass frame?Or is it like an old photgraph torn batterd and stained and faded to yellow in a brown leather frame?

  30. chicagofinance says:

    FUKING METS!

  31. chicagofinance says:

    Good morning New Jersey!

  32. AG says:

    Gary. Are you sure you don’t want to buy my crap shack? MERS told me my title is clean and there is no asbestos siding.

  33. Anon E. Moose says:

    Shore [6];

    ROTFLLM(MF)AO

    You’ve stumped the panel, let’s flip all the cards. I’m giving that one post of the day and heading out to the beach.

  34. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim to expand on my 27 , we need to be going gang busters numbers like this are not going to do it by a long shot. So yes it is expanding but at this rate we are not going to create enough jobs for a positive feed back to lead to more jobs. Welcome Japanese malaise for my lifetime. Can anyone give me a catalyst for job creation on a large enough scale to get us going again. I really would like it to happen.

  35. AG says:

    Mike, economic prosperity is not part of the plan. I just want to see gov leeches get laid off and food stamps for fat f_cks ended. Willing to pay more taxes if I can have those simple pleasures.

  36. Shore Guy says:

    “This blog has become a circle jerk of malcontents. Positive achieving people don’t spend their time like the loser crowd around here does, ”

    If living in a nice and well-decorated and fully-paid-off home in what is acknowledged as being one of the top town in the United States, having no debt at all, and seven-figure net worth is a failure to achieve, than the Shore family stands indicted.

  37. Shore Guy says:

    Finally! Someone pointing out what folks here havebeen noting for some time (again, ahead of the curve):

    The Deficit Is Worse Than We Think
    Normal interest rates would raise debt-service costs by $4.9 trillion over 10 years, dwarfing the savings from any currently contemplated budget deal..

    By LAWRENCE B. LINDSEY
    Washington is struggling to make a deal that will couple an increase in the debt ceiling with a long-term reduction in spending. There is no reason for the players to make their task seem even more Herculean than it already is. But we should be prepared for upward revisions in official deficit projections in the years ahead—even if a deal is struck. There are at least three major reasons for concern.

    First, a normalization of interest rates would upend any budgetary deal if and when one should occur. At present, the average cost of Treasury borrowing is 2.5%. The average over the last two decades was 5.7%. Should we ramp up to the higher number, annual interest expenses would be roughly $420 billion higher in 2014 and $700 billion higher in 2020.

    The 10-year rise in interest expense would be $4.9 trillion higher under “normalized” rates than under the current cost of borrowing. Compare that to the $2 trillion estimate of what the current talks about long-term deficit reduction may produce, and it becomes obvious that the gains from the current deficit-reduction efforts could be wiped out by normalization in the bond market.

    snip

  38. Shadow of John says:

    “This blog has become a circle jerk of malcontents. ”

    You are wrong. Usually we stand in a straight line. Get your facts straight before you insult my crush velour.

  39. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.app.com/article/20110630/NJNEWS10/306300015/Christie-annul-Council-Affordable-Housing?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage

    TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie announced Wednesday that he has submitted a plan to the state Legislature that would abolish the state Council on Affordable Housing by the end of August.
    snip

  40. Shore Guy says:

    Also from the WSJ piece:

    The second reason for concern is that official growth forecasts are much higher than what the academic consensus believes we should expect after a financial crisis. That consensus holds that economies tend to return to trend growth of about 2.5%, without ever recapturing what was lost in the downturn.

    But the president’s budget of February 2011 projects economic growth of 4% in 2012, 4.5% in 2013, and 4.2% in 2014. That budget also estimates that the 10-year budget cost of missing the growth estimate by just one point for one year is $750 billion. So, if we just grow at trend those three years, we will miss the president’s forecast by a cumulative 5.2 percentage points and—using the numbers provided in his budget—incur additional debt of $4 trillion. That is the equivalent of all of the 10-year savings in Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget, passed by the House in April, or in the Bowles-Simpson budget plan.

    Third, it is increasingly clear that the long-run cost estimates of ObamaCare were well short of the mark because of the incentive that employers will have under that plan to end private coverage and put employees on the public system. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has already issued 1,400 waivers from the act’s regulations for employers as large as McDonald’s to stop them from dumping their employees’ coverage.

    snip

    There is no way to raise taxes enough to cover these problems. The tax-the-rich proposals of the Obama administration raise about $700 billion, less than a fifth of the budgetary consequences of the excess economic growth projected in their forecast. The whole $700 billion collected over 10 years would not even cover the difference in interest costs in any one year at the end of the decade between current rates and the average cost of Treasury borrowing over the last 20 years.

    Only serious long-term spending reduction in the entitlement area can begin to address the nation’s deficit and debt problems. It should no longer be credible for our elected officials to hide the need for entitlement reforms behind rosy economic and budgetary assumptions. And while we should all hope for a deal that cuts spending and raises the debt ceiling to avoid a possible default, bondholders should be under no illusions.

    snip

  41. gary says:

    2cents,

    Some of us malcontents got some f*cking coin to backup our malcontentness. Just f*cking sayin’.

  42. gary says:

    ChiFi,

    METS! METS! METS!!

  43. Juice Box says:

    2cent – is that all you got? We have had some of the best Realtors in NJ like Sue Adler in come one here and told us that same tired line.

    Try explaining the shadow inventory in NJ. Aren’t there 50k + mortgage delinquencies in NJ only at the very start of the foreclosure process? Isn’t 1 in 4 purchases cash and or flippers? Aren’t the majority of foreclosures investment properties or second homes? There is somewhere around 4 years worth or shadow inventory that is going to come to market once Judge Rabner, the NJ AG, and the settlement with the big 5 banks come to an agreement and the forclosure process is finally allowed to proceed?

  44. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    There is no way to raise taxes enough to cover these problems. The tax-the-rich proposals of the Obama administration raise about $700 billion, less than a fifth of the budgetary consequences of the excess economic growth projected in their forecast. The whole $700 billion collected over 10 years would not even cover the difference in interest costs in any one year at the end of the decade between current rates and the average cost of Treasury borrowing over the last 20 years.

    Just tax the rich some more, they can handle it!!! When do they use this as a stepping stone to a single payer system?

  45. 3B says:

    #45 Juice: 2 cents I believe is jets12, and in jets beautiful mind none of those problems you mention are applicable in the land of the Unicorn, nestled gently on the rolling banks of the Hackensack.

  46. Shore Guy says:

    “nestled gently on the rolling banks of the Hackensack.”

    Ahh, River Edge. Where the men are men and the unicorns are nervous.

  47. homeboken says:

    1. California taxes the internet
    2. Amazon immediately severs contracts with 25,000 on-line CA based retailers
    3. Your move CA

  48. Mikeinwaiting says:

    3b 47 Ah yes I was waiting for the mythical beast to make an appearance to spreed skittles through out the backyards of that town of fable where prices rise magically 26% just by their presence..

  49. Jose Reyes is a Softie HEHEHE says:

    “The second reason for concern is that official growth forecasts are much higher than what the academic consensus believes”

    I am sure the academic consensus on growth rates is so rosy as to be laughable too.

  50. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Spreed = spread, more coffee.

  51. Mikeinwaiting says:

    boken 49 Get out the popcorn this will be a good one.

  52. JJ says:

    Is it high seven figures or low seven figures? If it is high seven figures how Hot is your wife and do you have a pre-nup as Daddy is looking for a new sugar momma.

    Shore Guy says:
    June 30, 2011 at 9:20 am

    “This blog has become a circle jerk of malcontents. Positive achieving people don’t spend their time like the loser crowd around here does, ”

    If living in a nice and well-decorated and fully-paid-off home in what is acknowledged as being one of the top town in the United States, having no debt at all, and seven-figure net worth is a failure to achieve, than the Shore family stands indicted.

  53. Mikeinwaiting says:

    JJ is always JJ. LOL John you are a card.

  54. Shore Guy says:

    What It Takes to Own a Private Jet 6/29/2011 6:34:52 PM
    President Obama calls people earning $250,000 a year ‘Jet Owners’ but does that add up? Kelsey Hubbard talks with WSJ’s Robert Frank about what it really takes to be among the jet-set at the heart of the tax debate.

    http://online.wsj.com/video/what-it-takes-to-own-a-private-jet/473E7070-9250-4688-8793-5D2140CC1184.html?mod=WSJ_Article_Videocarousel_3

  55. JJ says:

    Here are the basic Case-Shiller stats for the New York City commuter area* as of April:
    April 2011
    Month to Month: Up 0.8%
    Year to Year: Down 2.8%
    Prices at this level in: January 2004
    Peak month: June 2006
    Change from Peak: Down 23.9% in 58 months
    Low Tier: Under $275,683
    Mid Tier: $275,683 to $435,957
    Hi Tier: Over $435,957

    *[Case-Shiller defines the New York City commuter area as all of Fairfield, New Haven, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren, Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester, and Pike counties.]

  56. hoodafa says:

    The 15 Worst Housing Markets For The Next Five Years

    If you bought a home in Miami in 2005, we’re sorry: over the following six years it depreciated in value by more than 54.3%. And the rebound — if there is a rebound — won’t come soon.

    Between Q2 2011 and Q2 2016, Miami home prices will decline at an annualized rate of 0.7%, according to data provided by Fiserv Case Shiller. Fiserv identified 15 housing markets that will appreciate at an annualized rate of less than 1.5% — a pretty lousy investment. If you stay out of these markets, the national average is slightly better at 3.7%.

    More at: http://www.businessinsider.com/worst-real-estate-markets-2016-2011-6

  57. Shore Guy says:

    Anyone else see this?

    ATLANTA—The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed sweeping changes late Wednesday to retirement benefits for city employees, shrinking pension liabilities and establishing a 401(k)-type plan for workers.

    A late compromise, however, preserved the pension system from being set on a course for total elimination.

    The changes are expected to save the city about $25 million in annual retirement benefits payments, Mayor Kasim Reed said.

    Faced with $1.5 billion in overall pension liabilities, Mr. Reed had backed a proposal that would have prepared the way for the gradual elimination of pensions altogether, giving all new hires a 401(k)-type plan and Social Security, in which the city has never participated.

    snip

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304584004576416602448847660.html?mod=WSJ_article_LatestHeadlines

  58. Juice Box says:

    Update one Greek Wage Deflation or haircuts for everyone but the bondholders.

    I under-reported it yesterday, Bloomberg said today with the new liquor, cigarette and restaurant taxes it will be 30% Wage Deflation not 25%.

    From yesterday…

    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.

  59. Shore Guy says:

    Which one of you is Evan Newmark?

    “In the end, the folks I hear from in letters or meet when I travel across the country – they aren’t asking for much. They’re just looking for a job that covers their bills. They’re just looking for a little financial security. They want to know that if they work hard and live within their means, everything will be all right. They’ll be able to get ahead, and give their kids a better life. That’s the dream each of us has for ourselves and our families.”

    – President Obama’s weekly radio address, June 11, 2011

    At this point, it’s pretty amazing that President Obama can serve up these sugary homilies with a straight face.

    Our economy is choking on over $14 trillion of debt brought on by millions of middle-class Americans “not asking for much,” just their Medicare, Social Security and unemployment checks.

    But the president, now seeking re-election, still can’t bring himself to level with his citizenry.

    The truth? Most Americans want each and every entitlement society can offer. They don’t want “to live within their means.” They want more than just a “little financial security.”

    And, as long as this culture of entitlement pervades our society, there is no way everything will be all right.

    Yesterday, the New York Times published a fascinating piece on how a police ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx has lowered officer morale, creating an “atmosphere of fear and indignation” in the precincts.

    You should read the piece. It’s a nice case study in America’s culture of entitlement. Apparently, fixing traffic tickets among friends and family of the New York police force isn’t the exception, it’s the rule, even as some cops aren’t happy about it.

    snip
    Unfortunately, this entitlement mindset – the notion that my individual or group interests are special and more deserving than the interests of others – is deeply embedded in our society.

    Why do so many homeowners who face foreclosure flip out when losing their homes? They’ve convinced themselves that it’s unjust…that they’re somehow entitled to a home they bought with a 2% or 3% downpayment.

    The entitlement mindset is most destructive when it comes to Medicare and Social Security, the programs that are bankrupting our nation.

    Unlike fixing traffic tickets, Social Security and Medicare are offered to all Americans of a certain age. And because these entitlement programs are so universal, most Americans think that they must be “fair.”

    Of course, they’re not “fair.” As currently configured, Medicare and Social Security are transfer payments from younger and future generations of Americans to their elders.

    snip

    http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2011/06/17/mean-street-obama-wont-say-it-but-americans-are-corrupted/?mod=WSJ_article_onespot

  60. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (8) 2cent,

    Nice to see you back. You are becoming a regular.

  61. chicagofinance says:

    For fans of the 80’s band Erasure and Briggy Upon Hackey….
    http://games.adultswim.com/robot-unicorn-attack-twitchy-online-game.html

  62. Shore Guy says:

    “They want to know that if they work hard and live within their means, everything will be all right.”

    Well, Mr. Empty Suit in Chief, we as a nation are NOT living within our means so, why should we expect that everything will be all right? And, why should anyone be surprised when bad things happen because of living WAY outside our means?

  63. Juice Box says:

    re: California – Of all of the friends I have there this is the couple that take s the cake and is most likely to go down hard. One is a Water Polo Coach makes over 100k for a part time job wearing flip flops, shorts and blowing a whistle. Works perhaps 20 hours a week in the busy season and has the rest of the year off. Wife works for the city parks running the summer program, kind of like that sitcom Parks and Recreation. No worries they only have a 800k house a new boat a new Ford F25o and a new SUV and a few kids to put through college.

  64. 2Cents says:

    gary says:Dear 2cents,
    I’m a homeowner who can produce the motherf*cking note at any time.
    Any Questions?

    Yes.

    (1) Why and how is it that this forum ridicules, mocks, and rails on the stupidity of anyone buying a home in NJ these days, yet does not extend that same ridicule to the founder of this blog?

    (2) Do you agree that the founder of this blog buying a home in NJ in the Spring of 2011 is proof positive that this place is a collective joke on all you naysayers? Here the very founder of this blog did the very opposite of what 99.9% of you preach (buying a home today in NJ is stupid, for fools, idiots, dopes, etc.).

    (3) Do you agree that people drawn to immerse themselves in negative environments, day after day, preaching the same mono-toned note are social malcontents?

    (4) Do you believe anyone with anything of valuable to say on the economy and real estate is smart enough to know how to get paid for their speech? Do you understand professional and smart people with insight and intelligence in fact are paid for their commentary?

    (5) Do you understand in life, more times than not, you get what you pay for. That being the case, you pay nothing for content on this site, and that’s about what it’s worth. Do you agree?

    Those are my questions, thanks!

  65. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Is 2cent = Sue Adler????

  66. 3B says:

    #66 No 2 cents is jets.

  67. 3B says:

    #66 2 cents (jets) I addition to believing that prices have risen in RE 26% in the last year, so you really believe your question number 4??

  68. 2Cents says:

    3b, feel free to answer each question too. i don’t think u can. you’ll avoid several i am sure…

  69. Jose Reyes is a Softie HEHEHE says:

    Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose

    My leg hurts a tiny bit so I’m not going to play

  70. 2 cent (66)-

    You managed to compliment and insult grim within the same post.

    Kudos.

  71. 2 cent doesn’t seem to realize that trolls like him bear the burden of proof in the “it’s all getting better” debate.

    He also fails to realize most of us regular posters already own a home (although I wish I didn’t own mine).

  72. 3B says:

    #66 2cents (jets12) What the hay I will address questions 1 and 2.

    No one ridiculed grim and stu/gator when they purchased a home this year. The numbers worked for them, and from what I can gather they both plan to be in those houses a long time. Also I do not recall any of them stating that they looked at the purchase as an investment, and in fact indicated that prices will may continue to fall.

    I think that prices will continue to fall,a nd that perhaps the above posters may have purchased too soon, if they were basing their purchase simply on price.But again they are happy with their purchases, and I wish them all the best.

    I too will be purchasing sometime within the next year, for my own reasons. The main one being that it will simply be a long term rental;nothing more. And I too fully expect that prices will continue to decline from there. But it is what it is. As far as taxes will yes we are all insane for paying these taxes, but for various reasons we will. Of course the higher the taxes as in your beloved land of the Unicorns, the more prices will fall.

  73. JC says:

    Shore #61: I hate to burst your bubble, but $3.7 trillion of it is an unnecessary war in Iraq, a war in Afghanistan that should have been over years ago (but that the Repugs in Congress would never in a million years let funding lapse for that), and now in Libya, etc. The rest of it is the Bush/Obama tax cuts, which have NOT generated any jobs and should be allowed to expire.

    I don’t have a household income of $250 a year, mine is less than that by quite a large magnitude. But if I had to pay, say, $1500 a year more in taxes now (about what my reduction was) in order so that in 10 years the debt were under control, I’d do that in a heartbeat. So why is it that those who already have more than they can spend in 10 lifetimes can’t cough up even another nickel?

    All the talk about “You don’t get to raise your debt ceiling if you’re a household” is nonsense. If you rack up $25,000 in credit card debt, no one expects you to pay it off overnight. It takes some matter of years. And yet the Te@b@g Crusade thinks it all has to be paid by tomorrow.

    Heard an interview with Bernie Sanders yesterday. He said, and I think he’s right, that the Koch Bros. and their ilk — the ones fighting having to pay even one more nickel, have already given up on the US. They are going to s*ck every nickel they can out of it, then abandon it as a smoking ruin and go to the next opportunity, which is China.

    I can’t wait to see the hue and cry of the te@b@ggers when they are “Left Behind” — not by any deity, but by the corporate greedmeisters whose water they are carrying now.

  74. 3B says:

    #70 2cents I covered two for you. The rest of your questions/comments are silly. You could also be truthful, and admit that you are jets, and admit that your up 26% in a year comment made you look…… well lets just say uninformed.

  75. Jose Reyes is a Softie HEHEHE says:

    Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose

    The yellow streak on my back will not wash away

  76. Jose Reyes is a Softie HEHEHE says:

    How about the Federal Reserve hiring a guy from the EPA to be it’s new inspector general?

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/other/20110630a.htm

    I guess they couldn’t find anybody in the space program.

    Great track record on transparency too:

    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2009/2009-04-21-094.html

    A graduate of the might Antioch Law School to boot.

  77. Juice Box says:

    2cent – “yet does not extend that same ridicule to the founder of this blog?” Go back to the day Grim announced his purchase and re-read all of the posts, you will find my criticism. FYI I want an answer from you on the pending shadow inventory catastrophe NJ faces or perhaps I should take a Billboard Ad out on the corner of Kinderkmack Rd and Route 4 with a live digital clock showing the number of Shadow Foreclosures for zip code 07661. I would imagine the residents would take notice as it will only tick higher every month and after the foreclosure settlement talks are concluded perhaps next month there will be an avalanche of foreclosure activity. What is 30%-60% off loan amount for foreclose sales? That should bode well for recent comps right?

  78. Shore Guy says:

    Always remember that most of what goes on in an airport passenger screening area is about putting on a show to make people feel confident about flying, and bears little relationship to safeguarding aircraft:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/us-tsa-stowaway-idUSTRE75T3J920110630

    (Reuters) – A man charged with stowing away on a flight from New York to Los Angeles last Friday cleared airport security screening, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed on Thursday.
    snip

  79. Nicholas says:

    I return from the lurking internet shadows to answer some questions only because I have considered myself a part of this forum for the last three years.

    This forum mocks and ridicules and rails on those buying a house because often time the numbers are just not there and it is a bad deal for the buyer. Sometimes, the buyer comes in with delusions that they are getting a good deal only to come quickly to the realization that house prices are dropping and that they should take a more metered aproach. I, as a silent lurker, mocked Grim on my own thinking, “man house prices are set to drop another 15%? I would have waited since there will be deals next month and next year.” In general, those who have been around here long enough get a “congratulations and good luck” or “wish you the best with that” if they do hop the fence. This isn’t a blog about not buying a house it is a blog about paying attention to the right things when making the decision. Empowerment of the buyer.

    (1) Why and how is it that this forum ridicules, mocks, and rails on the stupidity of anyone buying a home in NJ these days, yet does not extend that same ridicule to the founder of this blog?

    Wow, question #2 is very loaded. I bet you thought long and hard about this one. Proof positive about this blog being a joke? I’m certain that the last three years of me participating in this blog has sure been funny. The only thing that it has been proof positive at doing is keeping money in my pocket and not clusterf**king my net worth. I AM paying attention to housing as an asset and there is value to be had in any market. I watched a house go on sale for 150k, flipped in 4 months for 300k does that mean that the RE is all better now? To me that means that RE is very very sick and ill right now and something I still don’t want to participate in. If the right opportunity comes along then go ahead and make the plunge. I’m sure everyone on this blog would agree but they would also say that there will be 1.3 million more opportunities in the near future and that they are likely to be better opportunites then the one you are thinking about right now.

    (2) Do you agree that the founder of this blog buying a home in NJ in the Spring of 2011 is proof positive that this place is a collective joke on all you naysayers? Here the very founder of this blog did the very opposite of what 99.9% of you preach (buying a home today in NJ is stupid, for fools, idiots, dopes, etc.).

    I agree that people who are negative gather together in negative crowds. They call that group the NJREREPORT crowd. I agree that positive people gather together in positive crowds too. They call that association the NAR. The reality is that yes that positive and negative outlooks are self-feeding. Don’t think for one moment that it is going to do you any good to have a positive outlook in a tornado that is destroying your life. DO something and get out of the way. Likewise, if the sun is shining make hay and don’t sit in the cellar afraid of a storm that isn’t happening. The real question to #3 should be is it storming or has the weather cleared. Those on this blog feel that the storm hasn’t yet passed.

    (3) Do you agree that people drawn to immerse themselves in negative environments, day after day, preaching the same mono-toned note are social malcontents?

    Many people get paid for their intelligence and commentary. Some people get paid a lot of money for their intelligence and commentary. Some of them label themselves as professional. I think the real question would be “how do we educate those who are not as smart or intelligent” The answer, in my opinion, is to start a blog, discuss relevant news articiles and strategies. Generally try to inform the John Q Public about what he should be paying attention to instead of propaganda.

    (4) Do you believe anyone with anything of valuable to say on the economy and real estate is smart enough to know how to get paid for their speech? Do you understand professional and smart people with insight and intelligence in fact are paid for their commentary?

    Yes, I agree that in life you often get what you pay for. Unfortunately I don’t think you are measuring the true cost. I contribute with informed commentary and I’m rewarded with informed commentary. I provide my time and energy to provide data and critical insight on a range of topics that I feel I’m better positioned to provide. Call it crowd sourcing if you will. In general, an organization (like the NJREREPORT community), has a better chance at survival by keeping more eyes out for important topics then they would individually. That speaks to the resilience of groups like this. It is the main reason why you would join an investing group, it is the main reason why home owners associations exist, etc. I think you are just nieve when considering the value of something based strictly on its cost to your wallet. Oh, btw, many people donate money as well, there is a little donation button in the top right of the page in case you missed it.

    (5) Do you understand in life, more times than not, you get what you pay for. That being the case, you pay nothing for content on this site, and that’s about what it’s worth. Do you agree?

  80. Shore Guy says:

    “$3.7 trillion of it is an unnecessary war in Iraq, a war in Afghanistan that should have been over years ago”

    I agree. Iraq was unnecessary and no nation-building effort imposed from the outside is ever going to work in Afghanistan. Now that we have UBL feeding fish, it is time to declare victory and come home. This family has experience with death caused by war and I have never had any patience with politicians who “honor their sacrafice” instead of taking actions to prevent unnecessary deaths. At this point, it is time to reduce the number of families who will have an empty seat at the Thanksgiving table, at a wedding, a christening, and on, and on.

    As for the cost of the wars, they will be far higher as we are wearing out hardware at a far faster rate than we anticipated when we put various systems into operation.

  81. Shore Guy says:

    “I don’t have a household income of $250 a year, mine is less than that by quite a large magnitude. But if I had to pay, say, $1500 a year more in taxes now (about what my reduction was) in order so that in 10 years the debt were under control, I’d do that in a heartbeat. So why is it that those who already have more than they can spend in 10 lifetimes can’t cough up even another nickel?”

    The problem with your proposed solution is this: unless we have a balanced budget, any increase in taxes will be used to save programs we cannot afford and will still leave a budget gap that continues to increase the debt. If we balanced our budget, I would not complain about an assessment to drive down debt. As part of the shared sacrafice, I am sure that you would be willing to go along with a flat tax, with no deductibles for things like private planes, mortgages, college tuition, etc.

    With everyone paying something, we would all be better off than a situation where 48% pay no net income tax. When someone else pays for dinner, who cares about the cost? There are many of us here who already pay our fair share, and the fair share of may of our fellow citizens.

    You propose paying an additional $1,500/year. By all means, send in the check. Nom can give you the address. If we were paying just $1,500 a WEEK in federal income taxes, we would be jumping for joy, in addition to investing it for our benefit, Little Shore’s benefit, and as a consequence, the benefit of our community, which, by the way, gets a solid five figures from us in charity each year.

  82. Shore Guy says:

    “All the talk about “You don’t get to raise your debt ceiling if you’re a household” is nonsense. If you rack up $25,000 in credit card debt, no one expects you to pay it off overnight. It takes some matter of years. And yet the Te@b@g Crusade thinks it all has to be paid by tomorrow. ”

    It is hard to know where to start with this fallacious reasoning. The ony way congress will ever have the guts to make the hard decision to cut spending — I admit that some or lots of what gets cut is good and beneficial — is with the debt-ceiling gun to its head. If we cannot make the necessary changes with the consequences that will face us in the event of a technical default, we will never, NEVER, be able to make them.

    We not infrequently put $25,000 on the credit cards; however, we then pay them off at the end of the month. If we were to run up several million in debt, any lender who did not require immediate and deep cuts to our spending would be insane. We have spent without any fear of consequence. Well, the chickens are coming home to roost. A technical default will drive up interest rates and, with increased rates, the debt. If congress cannot break out the budgetary meat cleaver under the current circumstances, we do not deserve to have anyone lend us a single dollar to cover new spending or existing debt.

  83. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    (4) Do you believe anyone with anything of valuable to say on the economy and real estate is smart enough to know how to get paid for their speech? Do you understand professional and smart people with insight and intelligence in fact are paid for their commentary?

    I thought it was the stupid and telegenic who received payments for commentary?

  84. NJGator says:

    3B – I’d go even further to say that Stu and I don’t view our purchase as an endorsement for others to buy in this market now.

    We fell into an opportunity where we felt we were able to purchase a property at a significant discount to current market that met our space and location needs. In our neighborhood, homes 600-700SF smaller than ours were selling for $70-100k more than we paid for our home during the time period of our purchase.

    We got a bigger property, in a better neighborhood than expected at a price point that allowed us to make improvements. We felt that gave us a little bit of a cushion against further price declines and we don’t expect to make any money off of our purchase….we just expect to live there and get a decent school system for Lil Gator and a reasonable commute to Manhattan.

    Despite all of the above, Stu has more than once said that it probably would have been a smarter financial move to rent.

    I still love my new kitchen and the dog loves his morning walk on Ridgewood Avenue.

  85. ricky_nu says:

    #41 – abolishment of COAH – does anyone know if the abolishment of COAH would mean that development fees collected by towns would end as well (typically 1.5% times the change in assessed value for any development or improveent activity)?

    who would know about this?

  86. 3B says:

    #87 Gator: understood. In my case, my rental situation is going to change in the next year. I had the luxury of having this rental (after selling) for a few years, with no rent increases. Also have/had the opportunity to purchase from owner, but don’t like the house enough to buy it; owner at this stage then wants to sell it. Could get another rental, but do not want to have to look at the possibility of having to move every couple of years if we did not want to buy. So we will buy but it will be nothing more than a long term rental, to avoid the potential of having to move every couple of years.

  87. NJGator says:

    3B – But if we had bought in that magical place on the majestic banks of the Hackensack, we’d probably be up at least 10% on our investment by now.

  88. A.West says:

    Shore,
    This is the biggest danger of the Fed manipulating interest rates down. Worse than the inflation resulting from monetizing debt, the Fed is distorting the interest rate signal to the US government. Government is getting the signal that debt and deficits are incredibly cheap and affordable. So they are expanding. Unfortunately, by the time rates move up to levels that aren’t distorted, government debt will be caught in a vicious cycle, with interest burden soaring and compounding the size of debt and deficit, resulting in yet more monetization. That’s when the paper dollar standard gets wiped out globally. If this happens, there would be few places to hide. Maybe precious metals, maybe offshore accounts with swiss francs, singapore dollar. It’s so horrendous to think about that even the financial pros who can picture it prefer to put it out of our minds, and hope that it doesn’t happen anytime soon. Like the way the banks decided not to contemplate a nationwide real estate decline.

  89. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    How do you think I feel gator? I moved to morris county, I must have been insane as there are no skittles pooping unicorns on my lawn just evil, tasty deer.

  90. 3B says:

    #90 And another 16% by next year, amking a grand total of……26%!!!

  91. JJ says:

    I try not to mock the people who recently bought houses as it is no longer politically correct to call retarded people retarded.

    (1) Why and how is it that this forum ridicules, mocks, and rails on the stupidity of anyone buying a home in NJ these days, yet does not extend that same ridicule to the founder of this blog?

    Wow, question #2 is very loaded. I bet you thought long and hard about this one. Proof positive about this blog being a joke?

  92. 3B says:

    #92 Unicorns do not liek deers, and they are not crazy about Geese either. They have however, agreed to work out their differences with the Geese on the bucolic banks of the Hackensack.

  93. JJ says:

    chifi my the end is neigh is better than your end is neigh

    http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/06/27/062711-biz-front-1-3/

  94. JJ says:

    Notice the founder of the blog no longer has time for us as he is too busy feeding his white elephant.

  95. A.West says:

    Here’s a bummer from Reinhart and Rogoff:
    …public debts in the advanced economies have surged in recent years to levels not recorded since the end of World War II, surpassing the heights reached during the First World War and the Great Depression. At the same time, private debt levels, particularly those of financial institutions and households, are in uncharted territory and are (in varying degrees) a contingent liability of the public sector in many countries. Historically, high leverage episodes have been associated with slower economic growth and a higher incidence of default or, more generally, restructuring of public and private debts. A more subtle form of debt restructuring in the guise of financial repression (which had its heyday during the tightly regulated Bretton Woods system) also importantly facilitated sharper and more rapid debt reduction than would have otherwise been the case from the late 1940s to the 1970s. It is conjectured here that the pressing needs of governments to reduce debt rollover risks and curb rising interest expenditures in light of the substantial debt overhang (combined with the widespread official aversion to explicit restructuring) are leading to a revival of financial repression – including more directed lending to government by captive domestic audiences (such as pension funds), explicit or implicit caps on interest rates, and tighter regulation on cross-border capital movements.

  96. Nicholas says:

    This is the money Grim could have saved if he had listened to bloggers on the NJREREPORT.

    http://goo.gl/mOHt7

  97. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    majorly off topic alert.

    I have been admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court

    You can be admitted too if you are a lawyer and have $35.

    One more engraved certificate to add to the stack in the corner of my office.

  98. JJ says:

    Grim is now in surbubia with the family this weekend where the big night out involves crushing peanut shells on the floor of The Ground Round or the never ending pasta bowl at the Olive Garden. Manja and don’t forget the coupons and put the bread sticks in your wife’ purse you now have a mortgage to feed.

  99. JJ says:

    Big deal, when you are done practicing and actually know what you are doing give us an update.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    majorly off topic alert.

    I have been admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court

    You can be admitted too if you are a lawyer and have $35.

    One more engraved certificate to add to the stack in the corner of my office.

  100. Nicholas says:

    If the link doesn’t work then you should shut your eyes really tight and think about the stack of money with eyes on top of it from the GEICO commercials.

  101. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [98] A.West

    Conjectured?????

    I will go further and say, heck yeah, it is already happening.

  102. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [103] JJ

    It is a well-settled truth that any professional who thinks he knows it all, doesn’t.

    How about you? You know it all, right?

  103. chicagofinance says:

    Manja? Reminds me of a personal ad this Irish chick I knew ran….she wrote CHOW BELLA….I almost shit my pants laughing so hard……

    JJ says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    Grim is now in surbubia with the family this weekend where the big night out involves crushing peanut shells on the floor of The Ground Round or the never ending pasta bowl at the Olive Garden. Manja and don’t forget the coupons and put the bread sticks in your wife’ purse you now have a mortgage to feed.

  104. chicagofinance says:

    Youth In Asia

  105. A.West says:

    Comrade,
    Tell me about it. You know it’s bad when you start getting junk mail about “high yield deposit accounts” with 1.0% interest rates. Brazil is about the only place on earth where you can get a decent yield. It’s been like that for a long time.

  106. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    At at least I know my Federal Tax dollars are being put to good use

    http://news.yahoo.com/photos/china-s-jiaozhou-bay-bridge-1309439624-slideshow/

    mom my Graduate degree is currently used as a coaster, Leather bindings keep my furniture nice from cold beer on humid days

  107. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    stupid blackberry Nom! unless I was thinking of The Avengers, British TV show, not the comic book

  108. JC says:

    Pain #92: We’ve got you beat up here in PBC. There was a bear in a tree on Kinderkamack Road by the Blue Moon in Park Ridge last week.

  109. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    JC, the state doesn’t allow me to shoot bears unless they threaten unicorns. Remember the Bear in Newark a few years back the cops had cornered and was shot. He had his paws up and giving up, the Newark cops acted on manual and gunned him down because he was a black bear.

    i’ll be here all week

  110. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    Check out this footage of Calhoun

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zosA6pPH_E&feature=player_embedded#at=86

    Water levels now reported at about 1007 – 1008 ft as of june 24.

    If levels exceeded 1,004 feet, water would reach the lower floodgates, hampering the welding of plates to door frames, the NRC said. At 1,008.5 feet, the technical support center used by emergency technicians would have been inundated. At 1,010 feet, water would begin to enter the auxiliary building, “shorting power and submerging pumps. The plant could then experience a station blackout with core damage estimated within 15 to 18 hours,” under a worst-case scenario, the NRC said.

  111. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    if you go the following website, it appears that the water level at Calhoun is over 1008 and at about 1009 ft at this time as of 1pm CDT June 30

    http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=oax&gage=blan1

    Base gauge height (zero flood stage) is at 977.44 ft above sea level and the last water level reading was 32.33 ft. 977.44 + 32.33 = 1009.77ft.

    The “Blair” guage is about 1 mi upstream from the reactor. I wonder if this has anything to do with Jackzo mentioning the 10 mi evacuation zone around the reactor in the interview?

    Check my math before getting to worked up…..

  112. JJ says:

    I know a girl once and I swear she must of have a Mark Spitz poster in her room and her IQ was so low she had to concentrate even when scratching her butt.

    Anyhow her classy thing she did was she was a spitter and a rinser. She would bring her own drink on date and after you pulled up behind her house to thank you for date she would do her thing with out asking, spit it out the window, and rinse her mouth out with her drink them kiss you good night. She was a Chow Bella type girl. She reminded me the the girls who did not spit and rinse before they kiss their fellas goodnight are low class and rude.

    God Bless non college educated women with an 89 IQ.

    chicagofinance says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Manja? Reminds me of a personal ad this Irish chick I knew ran….she wrote CHOW BELLA….I almost shit my pants laughing so hard……

    JJ says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    Grim is now in surbubia with the family this weekend where the big night out involves crushing peanut shells on the floor of The Ground Round or the never ending pasta bowl at the Olive Garden. Manja and don’t forget the coupons and put the bread sticks in your wife’ purse you now have a mortgage to feed.

  113. JJ says:

    I am like Regan what I don’t know I copy from someone who knows.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    [103] JJ

    It is a well-settled truth that any professional who thinks he knows it all, doesn’t.

    How about you? You know it all, right?

  114. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [110] pain

    Sad thing is that I didn’t order it. In the past, you had to pay extra for these, and I just decided I wasn’t gonna pay for more certificates that will never see a wall. I never ordered a New Jersey certificate or Mass. certificate. For some reason, I did order DC, which sits in the corner with my BA, JD, and LLM certificates.

    But I guess the Article I courts don’t charge for it. In fact, I was admitted to the Court of Federal Claims because I clerked there. I never asked for it and never brought a case there. And yes, I did get an engraved certificate.

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [117] JJ

    Then it sounds like you will be needing a lawyer soon. Keep me in mind.

  116. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    More fun:

    Notice the following flood forecast for the Blair gauge;

    LOCATION FS LONG-RNG FORECAST(FT) RECORD(FT) 2010 CREST(FT
    BLAIR 26.5 32 TO 34 33.50-1952 26.93

    the reactor blacks out at a water level of 1010 ft. base don a “Zero” guage of 977.44 that means that the reactor blacks-out at (1010-977.44) 32.56 ft

    Hydrologic Outlook

    000
    FGUS73 KOAX 220140
    ESFOAX
    IAZ043-055-069-079-090-NEZ015-034-045-052-053-067-068-091-093-
    302015-

    HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OMAHA/VALLEY NE
    840 PM CDT TUE JUN 21 2011

    …PROLONGED FLOODING EXPECTED ALONG THE MISSOURI RIVER…

    RECORD RELEASES AT GAVINS POINT DAM LOCATED TO THE WEST OF YANKTON SOUTH DAKOTA WILL RESULT IN RECORD OR NEAR RECORD FLOODING ALONG THE MISSOURI RIVER. IN ADDITION TO THE MAINSTEM MISSOURI RIVER…TRIBUTARIES ALONG THE RIVER WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO FLOODING THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER. THE HIGH WATER LEVELS ON THE MAINSTEM WILL LIMIT THE ABILITY FOR HEAVY RAINFALL TO EFFICIENTLY EMPTY INTO THE MISSOURI RIVER. PERSONS ALONG THESE TRIBUTARIES SHOULD REMAIN ALERT
    TO THIS FLOODING POTENTIAL.

    THE FOLLOWING TABLE IS THE LONG-RANGE MISSOURI RIVER FORECAST…
    ASSUMING NORMAL SUMMER PRECIPITATION ALONG WITH THE EXPECTED PEAK RELEASES OF 160,000 CFS FROM GAVINS POINT DAM. RECORD AND 2010 FLOOD CRESTS HAVE BEEN INCLUDED FOR REFERENCE. THIS PRODUCT WILL BE UPDATED FREQUENTLY AS THE LONG-RANGE FORECAST WILL LIKELY BE MODIFIED AS A RESULT OF RAINFALL EVENTS AND POTENTIAL ADJUSTMENTS TO RELEASES AT GAVINS POINT. ADDITIONAL RIVER FORECAST INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE
    HERE:

    LOCATION FS LONG-RNG FORECAST(FT) RECORD(FT) 2010 CREST(FT)
    ——– — ——————— ———- ————–
    SIOUX CITY 30 35 TO 37 44.28-1952 25.49

    DECATUR 35 40 TO 42 43.50-1943 31.42

    BLAIR 26.5 32 TO 34 33.50-1952 26.93

    OMAHA 29 34 TO 36 40.20-1952 28.74

    NEB. CITY 18 27 TO ABOVE 28* 27.19-1993 25.21

    BROWNVILLE 33 43 TO ABOVE 44* 44.30-1993 42.89

    RULO 17 25.5 TO ABOVE 27* 26.63-2010 26.63
    ——– — ——————— ———- ————–

    FS = FLOOD STAGE

    http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/ahps_warnings.php?wfo=oax&pil=OAXESFOAX&zone=IAZ055&productType=Hydrologic%20Outlook

  117. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [111] pain

    Did you lust over Diana Rigg? Heck, I knew nothing of sex, but knew I wanted her.

  118. 250k says:

    Random question about collecting unemployment. If you live in NJ, the company you work for is based in NYC but you work from home more than 90% of the time in NJ (visit Manhattan office 1-2 times per month) and you are laid off, do you file in NY or NJ? Can the case be made that you should be allowed to file in NJ? (more generous UE Benefits)

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [116] JJ

    I remember an old GF who said “you’re a b1tch if you don’t swallow.” And she was smart. So, were my standards too high?

  120. JC says:

    250K (122): I think it’s a question of where your employer is located, not where you spend your time.

  121. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    Diana Rigg was the stuff of dreams for this lad in the 1960s. Could still sit and listen to her read the telephone book.

  122. Kettle1^2 says:

    SHore,

    per the hydrological website the river gauge was at 32.7 feet on the 29th. my math may be off for whatever reason, but they are toeing the line either way at this point.

    NOAA flood warning:

    Statement as of 9:50 AM CDT on June 30, 2011

    The Flood Warning continues for
    the Missouri River near Blair.
    * At 9:16 am Thursday the stage was 32.5 feet.
    * Flood stage is 26.5 feet.
    * Moderate flooding is occurring and moderate flooding is forecast.
    * Forecast… the river will continue rising to near 32.5 feet by this
    afternoon. Additional rises may be possible thereafter.
    * Impact… at 30.0 feet… floodwaters will impact I-29 in areas north
    of The Crescent and I-680 interchange.

  123. 250k says:

    JC (124)
    That is the initial guidance I gave but have since heard some opinions that you should file where you were actually performing the work. Thus, if you work for Campbell’s and your paycheck says “Camden,NJ” on it but your sales territory is Southern California, and thus you spend most of your time in SoCal, you file in California. Interesting though that no one in my network of employment attorney’s can answer this one (granted they are mainly Corporate HR type labor lawyers.)

  124. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    Those MHC women are very concerned with cleanliness.

  125. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    I don’t expect things to go to hell out there but, I think there should be some discussion of how it coulf and plannng in case it does. Then we can fire the peoole who are responsible for the inadequate flood protection.

  126. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [128] shore

    That one was from UMass. But life at MHC was no different.

  127. JJ says:

    I love girls who swallow with runny noses.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    June 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    [116] JJ

    I remember an old GF who said “you’re a b1tch if you don’t swallow.” And she was smart. So, were my standards too high?

  128. Juice Box says:

    re # 115 – Why oh why did they not get the Army Corps, National Guard and or Contractors there to build dirt berms and sandbag the place? Instead they used a 4 ft giant rubber which burst anyway. Everyone knows rubbers eventually break!

    http://cryptome.org/eyeball/ne-npp-flood/pict2.jpg

  129. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [131] JJ

    Once again, you outdove me.

  130. Nicholas says:

    I’m pretty sure you claim unemployment in states which you worked. That means the state where you paid taxes.

    Some states where there is a lot of movement, such as NY/NJ or MD/DC/VA, you can work in the other state and not file taxes in the host state. This is due to pre-arranged agreements between the states. Thus if you live in MD and work in VA, I file only MD taxes and collect MD unemployment.

  131. Juice Box says:

    Kettle1 – it’s a bucket brigade to keep the pumps running with diesel.

    NY Times.

    […] At Fort Calhoun, where the river has risen gradually, the water seeps in through sandbag walls, electrical conduits and other places that workers had not thought much about before. There are so many small water pumps running to keep up with the leaks that keeping them supplied with gasoline and diesel requires something akin to a bucket brigade.

    Orange plastic fuel cans are rolled on a cart over the catwalks and then handed off to employees who are headed deeper into the plant. Climbing over the sandbags at the entrances, they carry them in, and workers on their way out pick up a few empties and carry them out for refilling. […]

  132. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Nom to this day I still dream of diana rigg in a leather one piece and heels

  133. freedy says:

    Timmy may be leaving. Anybody want to guess where he’s going?

  134. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    IMF or back to the fed. Has to be one of the monetary cabal of thieves

  135. Juice Box says:

    re: # 139 – Headed back to his underwater home in Larchmont? He was living in an old college buddy’s house down in DC rent free for a while. Perhaps his old buddy who is now at JPM convinced him they need someone over at JPM to run an Asian division?

  136. freedy says:

    he will be paid well for his efforts

  137. JJ says:

    I want to work at JP Morgan

    JPMorgan Gets Model Intern With Hedge Fund Experience
    Jun 27 2011 | 3:04am ET
    Xenia Tchoumitcheva is making a pretty good living as an actress and model. But it seems that the blonde Swiss beauty is preparing for her looks to fade.
    Tchoumitcheva is set to take some time off from the runway—and from her gigs as spokesmodel for the likes of Burger King and Audi—to intern at JPMorgan Chase this summer. It’s not Tchoumitcheva’s first financial gig, either: She formerly interned at hedge fund Duet Group in London, as well as at Merrill Lynch.
    The leggy runner-up in the 2006 Miss Switzerland pageant, who says she has been “compared to a young Brigitte Bardot” on her web site, holds a degree in economics and speaks five languages.
    The 21-year-old has been modeling since the age of 12.

  138. Shore Guy says:

    Why is the Empty Suit in Chirf afraid to talk to Republicans? Does he think he will catch cooties?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/usa-debt-idUSN1E75T0GK20110630

  139. Kettle1^2 says:

    Juice, shore

    if they have a station blackout, how long does it take for the SPF holdiong about 400 tons of fuel to begin boiling and then to expose the fuel to air? reactor 3 at fukushima which had the prompt criticality only held 80 tons of fuel.

  140. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    That is a big distraction at a traffic light.

  141. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    Long enough to get frim DesMoines to Miami.

  142. Kettle1^2 says:

    JJ

    Perhaps JPMorgan should also hire Debrahlee Lorenzana while they are at it

    http://www.businessinsider.com/debrahlee-lorenzana-citi-2010-6

  143. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    NRC getting a little nervous?

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20110630/NEWS01/110639977

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is asking for an explanation of the flooding that would occur should a dam break upstream of two Nebraska nuclear plants it monitors.

    Combined, the six U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams on the flood-swollen Missouri River comprise one of the largest reservoir systems in the country. The dams are releasing historic amounts of water during what will be a summer of managed flooding in the Missouri River valley.

    On Wednesday, the NRC regional office that oversees Nebraska sent an official request to the corps for its 2009 and 2010 analyses of what would happen if a dam fails.

    Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, 19 miles north of Omaha, has been taken offline because of the flooding. The river surrounds the plant to a depth of about two feet.

    About 70 miles south of Omaha, Cooper Nuclear Station remains online. On Thursday, the river was about three feet below the level that would require the plant to shut down.

    Anton Vegel, director of the division of reactor safety for the Arlington, Tex., office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission made the request to Col. Robert J. Ruch, commander of the Omaha District of the corps. The Omaha district oversees the dams.

    The dams themselves have had some issues, according to the corps, but nothing that affects their integrity, said John Bertino, head of dam safety for the Omaha district. While the amount of water being released from them is a record, the amount of water being held behind the is not, he said.

    Still, the corps is monitoring the dams 24/7, with both engineers and electronic surveillance.

    “They’re performing really well,” Bertino said Thursday morning. “We don’t see any concerns.”

  144. Juice Box says:

    Free Money first 30,000 need to apply by July 22nd.

    Emergency Homeowners Loan Program

    The Government is sending more money to struggling Homeowners – loans of up to $50,000 – that apparently don’t need to be paid back……now the really interesting part is the Money is being funneled through a “Non-Profit” Company Called Neighborhood Works – the Top 10 people at this Non-profit that funnels Tax Payer Money to under Water Home Owners are all paid $190,000 – $220,000

    “For the roughly four million homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, the federal government is offering yet another remedy: free money to catch up on their loans.

    The effort, called the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, is the latest in the federal government’s efforts to slow down the flood of foreclosures a necessary step to a meaningful recovery in the housing market, says a Department of Housing and Urban Development official. For people who have lost their jobs, the $1 billion program offers loans of up to $50,000 that don’t actually need to be repaid, if applicants meet certain requirements.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/loans/article/113040/more-money-for-struggling-homeowners-smartmoney?mod=loans-home

  145. Al Mossberg says:

    73.

    Hobo,

    I thought your home was going to burn down?

    2cent,

    If I knew then what I know now I never would have bought the home I live in now. Its a waste of money and an anchor around my neck. The mortgage is nothing. The property taxes is what makes it a stupid decision. Im the guy that had my taxes raised 50% in one year and destined for another 25% next year.

    I want prospective home buyers to know what a scam the real estate industry is.

    If I had it to do all over again I would pay more to rent a nice place in a nice town. Why should the stupidity and worthlessness of gov parasites effect my bottom line?

  146. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    “Anton Vegel, director of the division of reactor safety for the Arlington, Tex., office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission made the request to Col. Robert J. Ruch, commander of the Omaha District of the corps. The Omaha district oversees the dams.

    The dams themselves have had some issues, according to the corps, but nothing that affects their integrity, said John Bertino, head of dam safety for the Omaha district. While the amount of water being released from them is a record, the amount of water being held behind the is not, he said.

    Still, the corps is monitoring the dams 24/7, with both engineers and electronic surveillance.

    “They’re performing really well,” Bertino said Thursday morning. “We don’t see any concerns.””

    Have to ask my friends in New Orleans if that sounds familiar.

  147. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    This is something we considered right away. It is sad it takes givt. officials so long. I suspect it is fair to say that a rise of several feet is reasonable.

    If it happens, Mr. Murphy says it will happen during a huge rain storm.

  148. Barbara says:

    Al,
    yearly rent raises reflect property tax raises are 100% legal even in the most strident of towns with regards to rent control. If it wasn’t the case, you would be renting from an underwater landlord who would probably neglect the property and go into foreclosure. You will need a lawn mower, furnace tech, and a decent set of tools, as you will become the quasi homeowner. Everybody’s gonna feel the pain eventually, you may buy yourself 2 years if you squat, but you will no longer qualify for those nice apartments in the nice towns.

  149. I wonder how an Omaha Steak tastes when flash irradiated.

  150. joyce says:

    (150)
    From the article…
    “Payments go directly to the lender for a portion of the borrower’s monthly mortgage, including missed payments or past due charges.”

    Another bailout for the banks

  151. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “… ridicules, mocks, and rails on the stupidity of anyone buying a home in NJ these days, yet does not extend that same ridicule to the founder of this blog?”
    2cent, grim, like other posters here, is a highly educated buyer who bought for what seemed to be a deep discount (estimated 30% from 2006 peak). Not to mention he’s undertaking a full remodel renovation and has already owned a home since earlier in the decade anyway. Nobody rips on him because most understand his home to be an expenditure/personal interest to be consumed and enjoyed. He’s obviously well aware of possible further price declines but never taunted his purchase as a ticket to retirement or a get rich quick scheme.
    Now, what’s your excuse and how far underwater are you?

  152. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    got any government contacts to start risk consulting?

    The crazy thing is that given the projection of continued flooding for much of the summer, that they haven’t called in the corp of engineers to start building substantial dikes in a segmented/cellular fashin ASAP and pump each section dry as they close the individual segment off.

    Heck, if thy went with an “all cost” effort they could prefab concrete dike segments at multiple sites simultaneously then airlift thm into place. Start putting a coffer dam on the river side of the reactor.
    You should be able to encircle and seal off the site from flood waters high enough to account for an upstream dam burst, in 7 – 14 days.

  153. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    O could even tout the crash dike building as a breakthrough jobs program!!!!

  154. Kettle1^2 says:

    Hobo

    the cesium and iodine fallout would probably give it a mettalic taste ;)

  155. yo'me says:

    “If I had it to do all over again I would pay more to rent a nice place in a nice town. Why should the stupidity and worthlessness of gov parasites effect my bottom line?”

    Property tax cost does not get passed on to the renter?

  156. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [157];

    +1; and it sncks.

  157. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yo [162];

    Property tax cost does not get passed on to the renter?

    Not if its more than the market rent of the unit.

    Rents are constrained by income more than house prices. Nobody is loaning money for 30 years to anyone in order to pay their rent. So from that market-constrained rent, the owner has to pay their taxes, maintenance, maybe a mortgage – and they get to keep anything that’s left, or more likely if they bought in the last 5 years or so, feed the alligator another month.

    I figured my last landlord was making 0.5% return on the market value of the property just after paying property taxes. If they hadn’t owned it for 18 years, they would have been sunk.

  158. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shoreyou have 88 hours (72 to play it safe) to get to southern Florida once the reactor blacks out.
    more info on Calhoun…

    The Fort Calhoun fuel pool is in the auxiliary building (brown building to the right of the white containment building in photo above). The pool itself is about 30 feet above ground level. The pool currently contains about 670 metric tons of irradiated fuel. About 165 tons of irradiated fuel are stored in dry casks at the site (location in photo above unknown). Together this fuel contains about 100 million curies of radiation, 40% of which is Cesium-137. This single reactor’s irradiated waste thus contains more Cesium-137 than has been reported to have been released to date from the four Fukushima reactors.

    Two significant events have occured at Fort Calhoun since the flood waters began to rise. On June 7, a fire in an electrical switchroom knocked out power, and thus cooling capability, to the fuel pool for about 90 minutes. Utility officials claim it would take 88 hours of loss of cooling for the water to fully boil off. However, since some of the fuel in the pool has been loaded since April 9 and is thus quite hot, this may have been an overly optimistic estimate.

  159. Kettle1^2 says:

    And it gets better

    the Cooper reactor that is downstream is a GE Mark I, a fukushima clone.

  160. Barbara says:

    I just robo signed on all my property’s refis. And I feel fine.

  161. willwork4beer says:

    Wanker Hehehe,

    Last post until you stop trolling:

    Thank you for proving my point by failing to back your assertions with statistics.

  162. Screw it all. In the end, we’re gonna get cooked to a cinder.

  163. Which happens first?

    – Fort Calhoun becomes Fukushima II.

    – Fire reaches drums of plutonium-contaminated waste at Los Alamos.

    – Simultaneous SHTF events.

  164. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    The thing that happens is the thing that nobody sees coming.

  165. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    I know a number of people, especially at DHS, and what I know does not give me confidence.

  166. Shore Guy says:

    So, if the universities are full of full professors who never see an undergraduate classroom, I can’t bother to get worked up over other universities poaching them:

    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-brain-drain-20110629,0,3320287.story

  167. Shore Guy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304319804576389593090634256.html

    President Obama was right about his audacity, if not always the hope. Six months after he agreed to a bipartisan extension of current tax rates, he is now insisting on tax increases as part of the debt-ceiling talks. At his press conference yesterday he repeated this demand, as well as his recent talking point that taxes are lower than they’ve been in generations. Let’s examine that claim because it explains Washington’s real revenue problem—slow economic growth.

    Mr. Obama has a point that tax receipts are near historic lows, but the cause isn’t tax rates that are too low. As the nearby table shows, as recently as 2007 the current tax structure raised 18.5% of GDP in revenue, which is slightly above the modern historical average. Even in 2008, when the economy grew not at all, federal tax receipts still came in at 17.5% of the economy.

    Today’s revenue problem is the result of the mediocre economic recovery. Tax collections in 2009 fell below 15% of GDP, the lowest level since 1950. But remarkably, tax receipts stayed that low even in the recovery year of 2010. So far this fiscal year tax receipts are growing at a healthy 10% clip, so the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) January estimate of 14.8% of GDP is probably low. We suspect revenues will be closer to 16%, but even that would be the weakest revenue rebound from any recession in 50 years, and far below the average tax take since 1970 of 18.2%.
    But what about the liberal claim, repeated constantly, that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 caused today’s deficits? CBO has shown this to be demonstrably false. On May 12, the budget arm of Congress examined the changes in its baseline projections from 2001 through 2011. In 2001, it had predicted a surplus in 2011 of $889 billion. Instead, it expects a deficit of $1.4 trillion.

    What explains that $2.29 trillion budget reversal? Well, the direct revenue loss from the combination of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts contributed roughly $216 billion, or only about 9.5% of the $2.29 trillion. And keep in mind that even this low figure is based on a static revenue model that assumes almost no gains from faster economic growth.

    After the Bush investment tax cuts of 2003, tax revenues were $786 billion higher in 2007 ($2.568 trillion) than they were in 2003 ($1.782 trillion), the biggest four-year increase in U.S. history. So as flawed as it is, the current tax code with a top personal income tax rate of 35% is clearly capable of generating big revenue gains.

    CBO’s data show that by far the biggest change in its deficit forecast is the spending bonanza, with outlays in 2011 that are $1.135 trillion higher than the budget office estimated a decade ago. One-third of that is higher interest payments on the national debt, notwithstanding record low interest rates. But $523 billion is due to domestic spending increases, including defense, education, Medicaid and the Obama stimulus. Mr. Bush’s Medicare drug plan accounts for $53 billion of this unanticipated spending in 2011.

    snip

  168. Shore Guy says:

    As Emily Latella might say, “Nevermind.”:

    (CBS/AP) NEW YORK – The sexual assault case against ex-International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is close to collapse, the New York Times reported late Thursday.

    According to the Times, the accuser in the case lied to investigators, according to sources described as well-placed law enforcement officials. Despite the presence of forensic evidence of a sexual encounter, they said prosecutors dismissed much of what she described about the alleged encounter, according to the Times.

    “If this is true, if there are serious problems now with the alleged victim’s credibility, those problems aren’t likely to get better the closer the case goes to trial so I wouldn’t be surprised at all, again if this is true, if prosecutors were thinking of backing away,” said Andrew Cohen, CBS News Radio legal analyst.

    “The sourcing of this story is important– the leaks evidently are coming from law enforcement sources and not defense attorneys– and that makes the story more likely to be true, or at least partially true. We’ll know soon,” he added.

    Strauss-Kahn is accused of trying to rape a hotel housekeeper. He been under armed guard in a Manhattan townhouse after posting a total of $6 million in cash bail and bond. He denies the allegations.

    In what would mark a major reversal, officials from New York City’s District Attorney’s office are going to inform the court at a Friday hearing that their investigation has turned up “problems with the case,” according to the Times.

    snip

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/30/501364/main20075960.shtml

  169. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle, In the event of a disaster in Omaha, I would suggest people head west at least as far as Lincoln before heading south. After they get to Wichita, OKC, or Dallas, well, they can decide where to go next — south, west, oe the deep southeast.

  170. Shore Guy says:

    I, for one, would not consider KC. Great place but, too likely to be in the path of a plume. Not as likely as DesMoines, but too likely for my comfort level.

  171. Shore Guy says:

    “The crazy thing is that given the projection of continued flooding for much of the summer, that they haven’t called in the corp of engineers to start building substantial dikes in a segmented/cellular fashin ASAP and pump each section dry as they close the individual segment off.”

    It is not rocket science but, reasonably-prudent approaches seem beyond the utility and the government.

  172. Shore Guy says:

    I wonder how Oyster Creek is today?

  173. Confused In NJ says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare officials confirmed Thursday that the program will cover the $93,000 price tag for prostate cancer drug Provenge, an innovative therapy that typically gives men suffering from an incurable stage of the disease an extra four months to live.

    The inmates are running the asylum.

  174. A.West says:

    Shore,
    I wasn’t going to say anything, but I couldn’t figure out how DSK could rape someone’s mouth unless he had a gun or a knife involved. Perhaps he was just asking for more than he had bargained for? I suspect neither party is telling the whole truth.

  175. Shore Guy says:

    In mod, story about Oyster Creek. No bad words.

  176. Shore Guy says:

    Those of you who do not, or never did, live near Oyster Creek may have forgotten this:

    AC Press:

    A tritium leak at Oyster Creek Generating Station has prompted the federal government to take a closer look at leaks happening at nuclear plants nationwide.

    On Tuesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission released its inspection report on a leak found at Oyster Creek on April 15, days after the plant was relicensed for another 20 years.

    The full report did not reveal any new information about the tritium leak, but the issuing of the report has prompted more investigation into future leaks at nuclear plants, including another leak that happened at Oyster Creek in August.

    The leaks occurred 18 years after the underground pipes had last been recoated. In 1991, engineers reported that two underground pipes had been excavated and completely recoated. The recent investigation revealed that the coating was not applied thoroughly enough.

    Adjoining areas of the pipes that were not coated properly allowed moisture to seep in, causing corrosion
    snip

  177. Shore Guy says:

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare officials confirmed Thursday that the program will cover the $93,000 price tag for prostate cancer drug Provenge, an innovative therapy that typically gives men suffering from an incurable stage of the disease an extra four months to live.”

    Are they eligible for vi-ag-ra etc during that last 4 months? After all, we have to make it worth sticking around.

  178. Shore Guy says:

    AW,

    I suspect you are correct about the parties’ veracity.

  179. Shore Guy says:

    Yea, this is a bright idea:

    (Reuters) – Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a bill that allows gun owners in the state to carry concealed weapons into bars and other places where alcohol is served.
    snip

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/us-ohio-guns-idUSTRE75T7BX20110630

  180. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-halperin-obama-20110630,0,7593067.story?obref=obnetwork

    snip

    By James Oliphant

    June 30, 2011, 8:56 a.m.
    MSNBC suspended political analyst Mark Halperin on Thursday morning after he used an anatomical epithet to describe President Obama on the “Morning Joe” show.

    Halperin, an editor at Time magazine, was discussing Obama’s barbed comments aimed at Republicans made at Wednesday’s press conference and said that he thought the president was a being “kind of a dick”

    snip

  181. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ Blogs
    June 30, 2011, 2:03 PM ET
    Pimco’s Simon: There Was Never a Housing Recovery
    By Dawn Wotapka

    Bearish outlooks on housing aren’t hard to find these days, but one stands out even for this market.

    Scott Simon, a managing director and head of global asset-giant Pimco’s mortgage- and asset-backed securities teams, is credited with foreseeing the housing crash and helping his firm dodge losses that plagued Wall Street.

    In a lengthy Q&A posted on Pimco’s website today, Mr. Simon discusses everything from foreclosures to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Calling his outlook “dour” would be generous—home prices could fall more and the pain could drag on for a decade or more.

    Excerpts are below. (Both the questions and answers are from Pimco.)

    Q: Could you begin by framing the current state of the housing market? Do you see a double dip market?

    A: We are seeing signs of what we have long suspected: There never was a housing recovery. In fact, I argue the market is in a fragile state that is far easier to break than to fix. If policy makers alter the government’s current approach to housing and unwittingly break the market, they may not be able to repair the damage within the foreseeable future. … We anticipate an average decline from here of about 6% to 8% in prices across the country.

    Q: Are more foreclosures expected to hit the market?

    A: We see potential for a substantial number of foreclosures over the next three years – as many as 6 million to 7 million additional foreclosures, on top of the roughly 2 million we estimate have already occurred. Foreclosures may peak in about two years, but the numbers could still be high for a few years after that and then likely taper off.

    Q: Let’s switch gears to discuss housing finance. Is the home-loan market still reliant on government support?

    A: Yes, government is essentially considered the mortgage market today, but this needs to be put in context. Government has been involved in housing for some 70 years with pro-housing subsidies of all sorts, from homebuyer tax credits to guaranteeing loans to mortgage interest tax deductions. … If we ended government support in all forms, mortgage rates could rise significantly, because home loan investors would need to be compensated for greater credit risk, and loan availability could decline. Higher rates and less mortgage availability would put downward pressure on home values, with potentially negative consequences for the market and also for the economy as a result of wealth destruction and consumer confidence declining.

    Q: What are politicians and policy makers proposing to do about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Are there serious alternatives being discussed to provide liquidity to the market?

    A: From what I have observed in visits to D.C., when the conversation comes around to Fannie and Freddie it is very easy for people to get irrational. Fannie and Freddie seem to draw negativity like giant lightning rods because they lost so much money. But what is often overlooked is that the majority of losses have not come from their core business: 20% down-payment, prime mortgages. They got in trouble because they expanded beyond their core business to maintain market share. …But politicians from both parties look at the losses of Fannie and Freddie and think, “I’d better say Fannie and Freddie stink and we should shut them down and that they are evil.” But the market still relies heavily on Fannie and Freddie. If policymakers err in tinkering with that support while the market is so fragile, the unintended consequences could be extreme.

    Q: And when do you expect action on this issue?

    A: Despite the heated rhetoric, there appears to be no rush to kill Fannie and Freddie, from what I have observed. Initially, we heard talk of getting the government out of housing in two years, and lately the talk is five to seven years. I think in Washington-speak, five-to-seven years more likely means 10-to-15 years, which is actually a more realistic timeframe in my opinion – by then the housing market should hopefully be on firmer ground.

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