Bye bye middle class burbs

Sound familiar? Where have all the middle class neighborhoods gone? Seems like in Jersey, it’s becoming more and more common to have to either stretch far above one’s income to afford a nice neighborhood, or have to settle for something much much worse. The middle ground still exists, but it seems like you need to move further out to find it.

Will the trend continue? If so, welcome to bizzaro-world, where stretching for the unaffordable home is a more fiscally sound option. Buying the affordable home, which exists within a neighborhood falling into disrepair seems like a sure way to lose money long term, as resale values suffer as a result.

From the NY Times:

Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds

The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

The study, conducted by Stanford University and scheduled for release on Wednesday by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the country’s 117 biggest metropolitan areas.

The findings show a changed map of prosperity in the United States over the past four decades, with larger patches of affluence and poverty and a shrinking middle.

In 2007, the last year captured by the data, 44 percent of families lived in neighborhoods the study defined as middle-income, down from 65 percent of families in 1970. At the same time, a third of American families lived in areas of either affluence or poverty, up from just 15 percent of families in 1970.

The study comes at a time of growing concern about inequality and an ever-louder partisan debate over whether it matters. It raises, but does not answer, the question of whether increased economic inequality, and the resulting income segregation, impedes social mobility.

Much of the shift is the result of changing income structure in the United States. Part of the country’s middle class has slipped to the lower rungs of the income ladder as manufacturing and other middle-class jobs have dwindled, while the wealthy receive a bigger portion of the income pie. Put simply, there are fewer people in the middle.

But the shift is more than just changes in income. The study also found that there is more residential sorting by income, with the rich flocking together in new exurbs and gentrifying pockets where lower- and middle-income families cannot afford to live.

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112 Responses to Bye bye middle class burbs

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    From CNN/Money:

    Will FHA be the next big government bailout?

    Continued trouble in the housing market has further eroded the Federal Housing Administration’s reserves, leaving it with a very thin cushion to protect it against future financial losses.

    And should housing values continue to plummet, the agency may have to turn to taxpayers for a bailout, according to its annual report, which was released Tuesday.

    The agency’s reserves fell to 0.24% in fiscal 2011, down from 0.5% the year earlier, according to independent estimates in the report. This ratio measures the net worth of the reserve fund compared with the value of the loans FHA has insured.

    If home prices continue to drop in the coming year, the agency’s losses could exceed its reserves, forcing it to either seek a bailout from the Treasury Department or once again increase the premiums it charges borrowers.

    Agency officials, however, downplayed the risk of it needing a government bailout. They pointed to forecasts from Moody’s Analytics, which call for home prices to rise 1.2% in fiscal 2012 under its baseline scenario.

    “It would take a very significant decline in home prices for the portfolio to require any additional support,” said Carol Galante, FHA’s acting commissioner.

    (noted)

  3. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Today we’ve seen probably the most worrying day of the crisis so far,” writes Mike Riddell, as the contagion spreads to France which “sees a full blown run on its debt,” the 30 year yield climbing to 4.43% (against Germany at 2.45%). A debt downgrade is near as French CDS are past the point at which Ireland and Spain received their first cuts.”
    This should put the nail in the coffin.

  4. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “It would take a very significant decline in home prices for the portfolio to require any additional support,” said Carol Galante, FHA’s acting commissioner.”

    Get ready Carol.
    “Will FHA be the next big government bailout?”
    Unless they can bailout something else first.

  5. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Homebuilders Target Extended Families in U.S. With Rooms for In-Laws, Dogs

    Kevin Barnes figures buying a newly built home saved him money. That’s because he chose a model with a second master bedroom for his mother-in-law.

    “She’s a free babysitter,” said the 42-year-old chemical salesman, who in June purchased a four-bedroom house in Orlando, Florida, built by KB Home. “Day care costs about $200 a week.”

    The Barnes residence is part of a growing line of new homes marketed to multigenerational families, a category that increased by 30 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. KB Home, Lennar Corp. (LEN) and PulteGroup Inc. are among the builders that offer models with second master bedrooms, kitchenettes and separate entrances.

    Those features may help lure buyers at a time when new homes are selling at a record slow pace and more Americans are living with extended families, said Megan McGrath, a homebuilding-industry analyst with MKM Partners LP in Stamford, Connecticut.

    “When builders are still fighting for every sale, hitting on something that resonates with your local demographic can make a difference,” McGrath said in an e-mail.

  6. grim (2)-

    As I think I’ve been saying for over three years, FHA will turn out to be the biggest financial garbage can/bankruptcy-bailout vehicle of all time.

    Should the US have not devolved into complete class/civil war at the time FHA goes bust and begs for their inevitable bailout, the FHA bust will be the kill shot to end us all.

    The stench of death is everywhere now. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

  7. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 5 Well somebody is thinking, IMHO multigenerational is a good thing.
    Then again I have no inlaws both dead by my second year of marriage.

  8. BTW…getting at least a call a week (and I’m not even an active agent anymore) from people defaulting on FHA loans that were taken during the 8K tax credit time.

    First question everyone asks is whether they’re on the hook to pay back the 8K.

  9. mikey (7)-

    I”d be happy to donate my MIL to you.

  10. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ah Meat, aren’t we just so rosey this morn.

  11. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Meat 9 no F**ken way.

  12. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Meat 8 Knew that was coming, schmucks up here lost their 8k 3 times over and it isn’t over by a long shot.

  13. yo says:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), among the world’s biggest traders of credit derivatives, disclosed to shareholders that they have sold protection on more than $5 trillion of debt globally.

    Just don’t ask them how much of that was issued by Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, known as the GIIPS.

  14. Bocephus says:

    It’s Mourning in Amerika.

  15. J La says:

    Fab Max, re 102, FL v. Wyk
    I responded in the previous thread.

  16. J La says:

    And comparing RHoNJ to Taylor ham is an insult, to taylor ham.

  17. Real Houseskanks much more like bladder bags of spoiled cottage cheese.

  18. I like the one who’s all mobbed up but plays holier-than-thou with her pals.

  19. Is the one who BKd and hubby went to jail turning tricks yet?

    I know of some guys in Bridgewater who can turn her into a “movie star”. Their version of Paramount Studios is the hot sheet motel on Rt 22.

  20. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “I like the one who’s all mobbed up but plays holier-than-thou with her pals.”

    Her hubby is a big wig with the Hudson County Sewer Authority among other “tings” – same place the guy who was convicted with the Hon. Peter Cammarano for taking Dwek’s cheese was a big wig too. Her daddy or uncle got whacked by the mob. Definately a REAL NJ housewife.

  21. J La says:

    Re 18. Even bigger the joke is that she thinks her husband is just as holy. Saw them out to breakfast with their BFF’s the Bernie Keriks before the show started, and Bernie’s ended. Both hubbies spent the meal texting their “goumads”. Priceless.

  22. J La says:

    Re 20. It’s Passaic, not Hudson. Residence was established with an apartment over the Brownstone. He dumped the post fearing even deeper investigation. Father that was whacked was husband’s. His name was Tiny, and he wasn’t.

  23. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Lowball – Penn State Edition:

    Paterno Passed On Home to His Wife for $1

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/sports/ncaafootball/in-july-paterno-transferred-ownership-of-home-to-his-wife-for-1.html

    Not to worry, he wasn’t protecting assets, it was just estate planning – HAHAHAHA

  24. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Gerald Celente Got Screwed Out of Gold Futures Positions with MF Global Wreck

    http://cryptogon.com/?p=25997

  25. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    DOJ: Fibbing on web sites should be a crime

    CNET) The U.S. Department of Justice is defending computer hacking laws that make it a crime to use a fake name on Facebook or lie about your weight in an online dating profile.

    In a statement obtained by CNET that’s scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, the Justice Department argues that it must be able to prosecute violations of Web sites’ often-ignored, always-unintelligible “terms of service” policies.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57324944/doj-fibbing-on-web-sites-should-be-a-crime/

    Any wonder why Blankfein and co. don’t have sh*t to worry about? You ARE the enemy not them.

  26. Mike says:

    Grim No. 5 That’s old news, I heard one of the builders who during the housing boom was building two families all over Elizabeth ran the plumbing and electric to the garages for an illegal third apartment and had them hidden with sheet rock until all was said and done.

  27. Mike says:

    oops did I just open up a can of worms?

  28. JJ says:

    Interesting stat from Census today about state relocations.
    People moving to Florida last year the state that sent the most was New York followed by New Jerseay
    People moving to New York the state that sent the most was New Jersey followed by Florida.

    Apparantly people in NJ relocate to NY for lower taxes and more nightlife once kids are done with school and then they move to Florida when they retire for super low taxes, then they get really old and can’t drive and need good hospitals they move back to NY where they don’t need a car and have access to good hospitals and then they die. But what happens to then when they die? Can we ship the bodies back to NJ?

  29. nj escapee says:

    Local homes showcased in new HGTV series
    BY ROBERT SILK Free Press Staff
    rsilk@keysnews.com
    UPPER KEYS — The Florida Keys, with its blue-green waters, tropical climate and all-around Caribbean aura, have already been featured on the popular Dream Home and House Hunters programs on cable’s Home and Garden Television.

    But over the past week HGTV has been back in the Keys again, this time filming two episodes of a new series to begin airing next fall called “Live Here Buy This.”

    Each episode of the program will revolve around three locales that a Canadian couple has designated as the places they’d most like to live if they could move anywhere. The film crew then goes to those sites and picks out homes that are worth the same as the couples’ current home in Canada. That way they get to see what type of abode they could afford in each of their chosen locations.

    Two of the couples, both from Toronto, designated the Keys among their dream home destinations. So last week, the “Live Here Buy This” crew spent a day each filming at $650,000 homes in Key Largo and Plantation Key. This week they planned to go back to Plantation Key to film homes listed at $1.6 million for the second episode.

    Those involved in the episodes said they can only be good for the Upper Keys.

    “It really kind of explains the lifestyle we have,” said Natalia Boblitt, owner of Shoreline Properties in Tavernier, which helped the HGTV production company select the filming locations. “It shows how everybody lives. It shows what you get for the money. It is national exposure and hopefully it will help the economy in the Keys.”

    Last Friday, Boblitt slipped on her acting clothes as she showed “Live Here Buy This” hostess Vivianne Collins a staged tour of a canal-front home located behind the mile marker 102.6 Tom Thumb in Key Largo.

    “There’s a mermaid on the side of the house,” said Collins for the camera, as they arrived at the olive green stilted home.

    “It’s very Keysey,” Boblitt responded.

    Gretta Ramirez, who purchased the home with her husband as a weekend getaway just this past March, watched the filming enthusiastically. She said they didn’t plan to flip the property so soon, but after fixing up the home, they’ve been told they can make a tidy profit. The home is listed with Re/Max Keys Realty.

    “It’s going to be kind of hard to let go of the house, but if the price is right …,” Ramirez said.

    If things go well for the couple, they’ll have sold the home long before “Live Here Buy This” begins airing next fall.

    But on the episode, the property will be paired with homes in Portugal’s Mediterranean port town of Lagos and in the famed French Riviera town of Nice.

    The camera crew kept rolling as Boblitt showed Collins around the Ramirez property, which features a boat ramp, a tiki bar and plenty of outdoor seating. Little more than an hour into the shoot, the HGTV team acted fast as a manatee came swimming through the canal — good Keys marketing if there ever was such a thing.

    “In the end of the day, that’s what we want to present, that this is an awesome place,” Boblitt said.

    rsilk@keysnews.com

  30. seif says:

    good for a chuckle this morning…this pretty much sums up the experience my wife and i have been having with Siri (video)

    http://www.cultofmac.com/130100/when-siri-gets-stuck-between-husband-wife-humor/

  31. gary says:

    The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

    Listen, all I know is that I’ve been told that if one could not afford the more desireable towns in North Jersey, then one should be looking out of state. We’re prestigious here and we live in the NYC area and that’s just the way it is.

  32. gary says:

    Meat [8].

    Top 10 post of the year. Simply f*cking beautiful.

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [23] HEHEHE

    Under certain circumstances, the house transfer could be set aside as a fraudulent conveyance. This is true even if JoePa had no inkling that the Sandusky mess was about to blow up in his face.

    There are already laws that literally or constructively result in such transfers being set aside, and assets put back into a party’s name, or the value counted against that party. For Medicaid planning, there is a lookback to keep people from divesting assets, then qualifying for benefits. When SS and Medicare are means-tested, there will almost certainly be similar provisions. And virtually every agency of government is going to start incorporating means-testing and lookbacks in their benefits structures to keep people from “gaming the system.”

    This is why it is all the more important for any person with an appreciable net worth to take steps in advance to protect their assets, whether it be from litigants or governments. That is perhaps why I am hearing ads on the radio for the first time by attorneys specializing in asset protection.

    Remember, the time to fix the roof is when the weather is nice.

  34. Shore Guy says:

    Buddy, can you spare a dime, and a Guinness?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwindurgy/2011/11/11/former-billionaire-declares-personal-bankruptcy/

    Once Ireland’s richest man with a personal fortune of $6 billion, Sean Quinn applied for voluntary bankruptcy in Belfast this morning. Quinn owed an alleged $3.85 billion to Anglo Irish Bank’s successor institution, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which he simply couldn’t repay.

    snip

  35. JJ says:

    Maybe he can get a job with Mark Brunell

    Shore Guy says:
    November 16, 2011 at 9:27 am
    Buddy, can you spare a dime, and a Guinness?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwindurgy/2011/11/11/former-billionaire-declares-personal-bankruptcy/

    Once Ireland’s richest man with a personal fortune of $6 billion, Sean Quinn applied for voluntary bankruptcy in Belfast this morning. Quinn owed an alleged $3.85 billion to Anglo Irish Bank’s successor institution, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which he simply couldn’t repay.

    snip

  36. JJ says:

    Are they?

    There Went Meat says:
    November 16, 2011 at 7:02 am
    BTW…getting at least a call a week (and I’m not even an active agent anymore) from people defaulting on FHA loans that were taken during the 8K tax credit time.

    First question everyone asks is whether they’re on the hook to pay back the

  37. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [33] redux

    BTW, asset protection law is one of those areas that is extraordinarily secretive. So when groups like CPBB and folks like Fabius deny it is happening, we are all too happy to go along.

    But when the topic starts to emerge, that suggests a problem. It is yet another canary developing a hacking cough.

    If it gets to the point that the NYT and CNN are talking about asset protection as a topic of interest to the broader country, and it has the attention of lawmakers and the media at the same time, we are already screwed. And the smart money is already gone.

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    should be CBPP. Feeling lysdexic today.

  39. Shore Guy says:

    “This is true even if JoePa had no inkling that the Sandusky mess was about to blow up in his face.”

    Once he was forced to raise his right hand and swear or affirm to tell the truth about Sandusky under threat of perjury, I think it would have been obvious to any reasonable person that the Sandusky mess was about to blow up in his face.

    If he and his wife were tenants in common, there would be no need to transfer the title to his wife, as she would get full title at his death. If this transfer were an estate planning tool, I doubt his lawyer would have waited until the guy was 85 to suggest the transfer in title.

  40. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    Maybe Corzine can go into partnership with Quinn.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [34] shore,

    Hmmm. Mortgaged to the hilt, fortune gone (or at least out of sight), and disputes over nationality.

    I’ll lay odds that Mr. Quinn turns up someday in a Carribean country with no extradition to the UK or Ireland.

  42. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [39] shore

    Don’t know when JoePa knew that this was going to be an issue. Haven’t followed it that closely.

    As for the house, that is true re: JTWROS, but the value may still count against his estate for estate tax purposes. Not sure, will have to look into it, esp. since they changed the laws (and changed them again, and may change them back).

    Fair point about doing that sort of estate planning at 85, but I never meant to suggest it passed the smell test, only that it was not likely going to shield him, depending on what transpires.

  43. Juice Box says:

    Nom – For Medicaid planning, there is a look back to keep people from divesting assets, then qualifying for benefits.

    Yeah Great Grandma was made bankrupt years ago and the house transferred out of her name, a common practice no?

  44. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Re 8,

    You mean that 8K tax credit didn’t work? I though O-man said it was part of how he and Bergabe saved the economy.

  45. Shore Guy says:

    What is the cap on the home-sale exclusion? By selling her the home for $1, instead of having the home pass at death, one certainly increases the opportunity for the IRS to tax the gains on the house.

  46. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Nom,

    I am sure the level of protection varies on the circumstances and the jurisdiction. The former Hon Anthony Russo in Hoboken transferred the family beach house in Belmar out of his name to his families name shortly before his indictment. A-hole still owes the city of Hoboken $300K. Of course he says he gambled away all of his ill-gotten gains so I take his word for that.

  47. Shore Guy says:

    “You mean that 8K tax credit didn’t work? ”

    If it failed, it is because the 1% put its jackboot on the throats of the 99% by not making the credit $16,000, or $20,000, or even more. If we just increased the credit, and provided government grants to cover a 20% downpayment, THEN you would see economic stability.

  48. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    If they were TIC, they both owned the house 100% and thus, at Joe’s death, she is not receiving anything from him — it was hers already, thus, I suspect it does not come into play when calculating estate taxes.

  49. Shore Guy says:

    And so it goes:

    “MANDURAH, Australia—One of the fastest-growing costs in the global mining industry are workers like James Dinnison: the 25-year-old high-school dropout from Western Australia makes $200,000 a year running drills in underground mines to extract gold and other minerals.

    “The heavily tattooed Mr. Dinnison, who started in the mines seven years ago earning $100,000, owns a sky-blue 2009 Chevy Ute, which cost $55,000 before a $16,000 engine enhancement, and a $44,000 custom motorcycle. The price tag on his chihuahua, Dexter, which yaps at his feet: $1,200.

    snip

    “Despite having earned roughly US$1 million since he started, he has no savings and doesn’t apologize. ‘The mines are so dull, that when you get back here, everything is stimulation and excitement.'”

    snip

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204621904577016172350869312.html?google_editors_picks=true

  50. 30 year realtor says:

    As I look at the offers I get on habitable properties currently listed in inner city areas it really makes me wonder how FHA can be anything but TOTAL DISASTER! Buyers have almost no skin in the game and these areas will shoulder the brunt of the coming depreciation from the influx of REO inventory.

  51. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [43] juice,

    Prevalent enough that the feds implemented, and later extended, the lookback in order to head off the financial planners who were advising families how to preserve Granny’s estate and qualify her for Medicaid.

  52. he (44)-

    Funny; I thought this was how Bojangles and Bergabe packed the trip-wired, random-timered dirty bomb with an outer layer of spent nuclear fuel, shrapnel and broken glass.

    Most of the suckers who fell for this scheme have already lost multiples of their illusory 8K come-on. The one thing that I see over and over again in this subset of borrowers is that they have the ability to pay the mortgages in most instances, but they got real strategic about defaulting once they realized their homes were underwater and probably not coming back anytime soon. I even counseled a couple of these people against buying at the time (did the math, showed them how much equity they would lose, showed them almost exactly when their properties would go upside-down, etc) and watched them go to other agents who were more than happy to blow sunshine up their arses and collect a closing check.

    The one common den0minator now is that I, the agents and these borrowers are all monumentally fuct. Perhaps the only diff is that I can sleep at night.

  53. 30 year (52)-

    The coming years of urban guerrilla combat should be quite exciting, too.

  54. Juice Box says:

    re #-51 – Shore – “I’m qualified enough now that I’ll always have a job”

    Actually underground drilling of holes for explosive charges is a real skill, you have to want to work up to two miles underground. It takes a certain amount of crazy to be qualified enough to do it.

  55. I think I am amazingly self-disciplined not to wake up in the morning and immediately start drinking.

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [46] HEHEHE

    It does vary. Also, the excuse of losing it at the track, or blowing it on hookers and blow, is the default for hiding your cash hoard in the coffee can out back. It cannot be easily traced or disproven. However, it is also hard to prove if challenged.

    If I could advise someone how to hoard cash (which I can’t), the better method is to fix the roof: Before you ever wind up in court, incrementally hoard small amounts of cash regularly, making irregular withdrawals from ATMs. One can accumulate a few thousand a year easily that way on a decent salary. Then, when queried in a deposition, you spent it on gas, lattes, massages, clothes, groceries, lottery tickets, lunch with friends, drinks after work, ammunition, etc. In short, it was”walking around money, and it went to fund my extravangant lifestyle, counselor.” Given today’s uncertainty and the fact that savings pays nothing, I don’t know why more folks aren’t doing this.

    Of course, this is fraud, so I have to say Don’t Do It, Dude!

  57. Juice Box says:

    re # 53- Nom – How far back is the lookback?

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [57] meat

    No, you can at least wait until you get to work.

  59. Dan in debt says:

    There’s plenty of acceptable middle class towns in New Jersey as long as you’re from Asia or a Spanish speaking country.

  60. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [59] Juice

    Five years.

  61. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [49] shore

    Haven’t done this in awhile, but my recollection is that for JTWROS property held by spouses, one half of value is reportable on Form 706 for estate tax purposes. TIC property is not reportable.

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Now I must leave you to put out a client’s fast-developing fire. This has been going on for over a week. The gift that keeps on giving.

  63. Captain Foresight HEHEHE says:

    Why is hoarding cash fraud?

  64. Shore Guy says:

    Capt Foresight,

    I believe that the point Nom was making was how someone with ill-gotten gains could hide the cash.

  65. Shore Guy says:

    A school volunteer that is right up John’s alley, replace * with o to activate link.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/sasha-grey-p*rn-star-read_n_1088017.html

  66. JJ says:

    Funny story guy I worked with wanted to leave wfe. Every pay day he took a few hundred in cash hid it under his carpet and next day would drop off at Moms house. Two years later he divorces wife and they agree to split assets 50/50. As he gets up to leave her lawyer pulls out 52 withdrawl slips with time stamped photos of the cash under carpet. Lady counted cash each week took a picture of it with rug lifted up. Funny he ended up giving her back half and he was mad. I was like big deal you only gave her the money you were supposed to give her in first place, he was like I got screwed, would have never split 50/50 if I knew she knew about my secret stash.
    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    November 16, 2011 at 10:29 am
    [46] HEHEHE

    It does vary. Also, the excuse of losing it at the track, or blowing it on hookers and blow, is the default for hiding your cash hoard in the coffee can out back. It cannot be easily traced or disproven. However, it is also hard to prove if challenged.

    If I could advise someone how to hoard cash (which I can’t), the better method is to fix the roof: Before you ever wind up in court, incrementally hoard small amounts of cash regularly, making irregular withdrawals from ATMs. One can accumulate a few thousand a year easily that way on a decent salary. Then, when queried in a deposition, you spent it on gas, lattes, massages, clothes, groceries, lottery tickets, lunch with friends, drinks after work, ammunition, etc. In short, it was”walking around money, and it went to fund my extravangant lifestyle, counselor.” Given today’s uncertainty and the fact that savings pays nothing, I don’t know why more folks aren’t doing this.

    Of course, this is fraud, so I have to say Don’t Do It, Dude!

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Someone sent this to me this morning, a commentary by sportswriter Frank Deford:

    As confounding as was the failure of Penn State officials to act, the consensus explaining the motives for their ignoble behavior is that, first, Joe Paterno didn’t want to scar the reputation of himself or his football program; and then, university executives wanted to protect the reputation of the dear old coach and his moneymaking team.

    Yet I must wonder, as well, how much the culture of the particular sport involved — football — abetted the conspiracy of silence, especially at the inception when neither the young assistant nor Paterno himself could bring himself to go to the police.

    Football, you see, is our proud American throwback showcase of men being at their best, most primitive masculine. Indeed, the question of whether the sport is too brutal has always been an issue, and nowadays, of course, the subject is as prominent as ever.

    And as always, always, the defenders of football are furious that the violence might be curtailed by do-gooders, that football will be sissified. The expression heard from the time little boys first play is that football “teaches you to become a real man,” to be manly. Nobody ever says that about even the most sublime basketball or baseball players.

    The only other North American school sport that approaches football in its meanness is ice hockey, and — yes, maybe just coincidentally — hockey has also experienced horrifying cases of pedophile coaches that went unreported for years. How could anyone believe an abused boy that such a manly sport could possibly produce such sexually perverted men?

    For football’s devotees, the sport is public proof that our American men are still tougher than anyone else. Because of that reputation of machismo — that conceit, that creed — it surely becomes painful, almost traitorous, for men who love football to accept such an abject contradiction of their sport’s manliness — the very rape of a little boy by a coach.

    Perhaps it doesn’t even matter why Paterno could be so insensitive and irresponsible. Even Paterno himself may not know what caused him to fail such a basic test of decency. But still, I cannot help but wonder that, no, it wasn’t primarily because of his own reputation or because of all the money Penn State football made that stopped him from acting. No, I wonder if, above all, Coach Paterno could not bear to see shame come to his beloved game of football.

  68. JJ says:

    OH CANADA

    Q: Do you think that is why we saw fewer subprime mortgages created in Canada than the U.S. in the lead up to the financial crisis?

    A: No. We had higher down-payment equity requirements for borrowers who bought a home. People who put lower down payments had to be insured, and the fact that a borrower is responsible for the debt was key. We also were under a lot of pressure to allow deductability of mortgage interest. We didn’t do it. What all that meant was that banks held onto those mortgages so they made sure those were good mortgages. In the U.S. with this idea of slice and dice and piece sell them off, the fact is that American financial institutions didn’t give a damn if you could buy your house. All they really wanted was a mortgage broker to get their share.

    Fundamentally we did none of that in Canada. We would constantly be hearing from the U.S., “Why don’t you do this, why don’t you do that.” To be quite honest it made absolutely no sense.

    Q: Who was pressuring you to allow borrowers to deduct mortgage interest payments from their taxes?

    A: I heard it at one point from the Conservative Party in Canada. I just said no.

    Q: Do you believe that deductibility of mortgage interest payments inflated housing prices and contributed to the crisis in the U.S.?

    A: I think it has. I think the deductibility of mortgages in the U.S. not only inflated housing values, but it inflated yacht values because people were mortgaging their homes to buy yachts. I think it is a problem. I’m not sure the U.S. is going to change that law.

  69. Shore Guy says:

    The twisted saga from Happy Valley keeps getting more and more twisted. Beyond the Judge volunteering for Sandusky’s charity, now we have this. I wonder if the money she received had any bearing on the low bail she set and the lack of a tracking bracelet for an alleged child rapist who lives next to an elementary school:

    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/report_jerry_sanduskys_charity.html

    State College district judge Leslie Dutchcot, who set Jerry Sandusky’s bail lower than what prosecutors asked for, benefited from a fundraiser organized by an official with The Second Mile, a children’s charity started by Sandusky, according to My Fox Philly.

    snip

    However, Rep. Mike Vereb, R-Montgomery County, who is asking for an investigation into Dutchcot’s connection to the charity, said that documents show Robert Poole, the chairman of The Second Mile, held a fundraiser for Duchtot in 2007 as she was running for office.

    snip

    Vereb sent a letter to State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille Monday, asking the judge to look into why Dutchcot ignored the requests of prosecutors when they sought bail of $500,000 and that Sandusky wear an ankle bracelet for tracking.

  70. Shore Guy says:

    His next book will be Touched Again: Tales from SCI Camp Hill

  71. JJ says:

    A series of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are scheduled to occur tomorrow throughout the five boroughs that includes disrupting the New York Stock Exchange and access to subways and bridges.

    The first event, “Shutdown Wall Street,” is scheduled for 07:00 AM with a demonstration starting at Zuccotti Park and a mass-gathering in and around the New York Stock Exchange prior to opening bell.

    The next advertised event is “Occupy the Subways” at 3:00 PM throughout the five boroughs, followed by mass-gathering at Foley Square and then marching to the bridges (one or more may be targeted).

    Advertising through social media sites state that tens of thousands are expected to take part in these mass demonstrations. Although the campaigns indicate “Non-Violent Action,” these events can quickly escalate to violent and confrontational situations.

    Access to the area may be compromised depending on what police actions take place to control the crowds. Crowd control methods we experienced in the past included subways bypassing Wall Street area stops, temporary closure of subway stations, and restricted access through barricades.

  72. Shadow of John says:

    Fcuk Occupy Wall Street and subways. What the city needs is occupy street walkers. it will clean up the streets and occupy the unemployed who are clogging the streets down here.

  73. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [74];

    The next advertised event is “Occupy the Subways” at 3:00 PM throughout the five boroughs…

    F*cking idiots. The subways don’t go “throughout the five boroughs”. I keep telling you, 99IQ.

  74. joyce says:

    I didn’t read any of the comments above, yet. With regards to the title article, the number one reason for growing income inequality is not income taxes or anything… it’s the inflationary debt/credit monetary system. This is the way the system is set up to work, and it’s worked perfectly as planned. All the other forms of Corporate Welfare just add to the mix.

  75. 3B says:

    #77 They go through 4 boroughs. And there is a subway that runs too only in Staten Island.

  76. joyce says:

    (48)
    How can you think that “regulators” (which are comprised of people rotating between the regulated firms and the bureaucracies) writing the rules is a good thing?

    All that is needed is continual and harsh punishment for common-law fraud/theft/etc and the business environment will be OK. But that is a pipe-dream as well.

  77. Barbara says:

    Joyce, citibank mo ey market I interest, .6 %. Citibank CC card, 16%. Why is there no blood in the streets. All the streets, not just downtown coolsville, USA.

  78. JCer says:

    Joyce, I agree what our government can’t grasp is like many other things sometimes prevention is too difficult or just not possible. The effort should be to dissuade unethical behavior through harsh penalties, instead we get steaming piles that no one understands and are ineffective. Marching banksters to jail would probably be more effective than much of the regulation being passed, the message needs to be sent unethical behavior will lead you to jail. Also we need to legislate a shutdown of the casino, fines and penalties for out and out gambling in derivatives markets. I think that would suffice in reforming our banking system.

  79. joyce says:

    82
    We have the Fed to blame for the low interest rates on savings, but he easiest way to break the banks (with regards to the CC interest and most things) is to not use their credit cards (use cash) and withdrawal your money from them.

  80. Barbara says:

    Joyce since there is no longer any benefit to keeping my cash in the bigs, I’m looking into locals.

  81. Anon E. Moose says:

    >3B says:
    November 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm
    #77 [You have a point there, Moose.]<

    Fixed that for you.

  82. Anon E. Moose says:

    YouTube video on Fannie/Freddie Bonuses:

    http://youtu.be/rSokGrpCoWA

  83. JJ says:

    considering our 401Ks and pensions are stuffed with bank stocks and the govt is inclined to spend taxpayer dollars to prop them up driving them out of business will hurt everyone but the homeless.

    Bank of America has bonds outstanding paying 9% interest, one can always get a 3% home equity loan from Bank of America then buy their 9% bonds and get a tax deduction for mortgage interest to boot if one wants to feel smug like they got over.

    Sadly little customers are loss leaders for bank. Citigroup for instance tries to hard opt out customers within under 100K in total balances or loans from bank.

  84. Juice Box says:

    Joyce – the article pointed out a previous little discussed Repo Fraud. A similar Repo Fraud happened at Lehman but on a larger scale. MF Global used arcane changes to take customer assets and actual customer cash Repo them and lever it up 50 to 1 in Euro Junk Bonds, to fund John Corzine swing for the fences bet on supposed TBTF Euro Sovereign Bonds. That should have never happened, and to anyone holding anything but a savings account these days you should be somewhat worried that your bank is not doing the same thing. I have accounts at several banks for just this reason.

    The recent Dodd-Frank Act is completely silent on how to reform the repo market.

    As far as jail time. Here is a recent NY times article on what is being done and not done as far as punishment for common-law control frauds in Finance.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/prosecutions-for-bank-fraud-fall-sharply/

  85. joyce says:

    83
    I couldn’t agree more with the “marching banksters to jail” and “harsh penalties”
    If you harm someone substantially via battery, rape, etc, you should go to prison for a very long time. When someone and/or their family is ruined financially, that deserves a similar stiff prison sentence.

    Also, amen with the fraudulent derivative contracts.

    The only thing I would disagree with is that the message I want to send is that UNLAWFUL behavior will not be tolerated. There can be some unethical behavior that is not against the law, nor should it.

  86. joyce says:

    89
    the repo fraud (and other similar frauds/theft) is made legitimate and legal BY the regulations

  87. Confused in NJ says:

    The ax continues to fall on Wall Street.

    Citigroup is drawing up plans to eliminate about 3,000 jobs, or 1 percent of its global work force, and on Wednesday, BNP Paribas announced plans to cut about 1,400 jobs, or 7 percent of its staff.

    While Citigroup has not settled on a final number, the staff reductions could exceed 3,000, with roughly a third coming from its securities and banking unit, said one person with direct knowledge of the plans who spoke anonymously because the numbers were not final. Citigroup has already notified some employees who will lose their jobs in the coming months. The timing of the layoffs is also uncertain, and could take place throughout the next year.

    At BNP Paribas, almost 400 jobs will be eliminated in France, with the remaining layoffs coming at the bank’s international operations.

    The moves reflect the broader austerity measures across Wall Street.

    Goldman Sachs has prepared to eliminate about 1,000 jobs, or roughly 3 percent of its work force. The bank also could cut up to $1.45 billion in costs, or 5 percent of its expenses, as DealBook previously reported.

    Bank of America, perhaps the most embattled American banking giant, has already shed 3,500 jobs in recent months, and that its only a starting point. The bank, which continues to labor under the weight of its troubled mortgage business, could yet decide on a broader round of job cuts resulting in 30,000 layoffs.

    New York is feeling the pain. Some 10,000 securities industry workers could lose their jobs through 2012, bringing total reductions to 32,000 since January 2008, according to a report by the New York state comptroller.

    Foreign banks are also trimming their rosters. UBS announced earlier this year that it would eliminate 3,500 jobs over the next next two-plus years, a move to rein in costs at the struggling Swiss bank. Credit Suisse also has plans to cut about 600 jobs in its investment banking operation.

    Nomura of Japan said on Wednesday that it had begun a new round of layoffs as part of the bank’s attempt to reduce costs by $1.2 billion. A Nomura official declined to give an exact figure, but said the majority of cost savings would come from Europe, where the bank employs about 4,500 people.

    Citigroup’s plan to shed around 1 percent of its staff was reported on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.

  88. JJ says:

    Just more year end pruning of dead wood. If NJ govt dumped the bottom 1-20% of employees every now and then you would of had electricity in storms and low RE taxes. But no you nancy boys like paying 25K property taxes and sitting in the dark.

    Confused in NJ says:
    November 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm
    The ax continues to fall on Wall Street.

  89. Juice Box says:

    re: #91 – Joyce – according to Chairman O the banksters committed no crimes, only made bad decisions. According to GWB Wall St got drunk.

    Nothing like trusting them with your money eh? Next time someone mentions a chinese wall make sure you knock their teeth out.. I am pretty sure FINRA will be taking a large line from the US Treasury any day now.

  90. joyce says:

    JJ, are you arguing that there should never be counterparty risk?

    JJ says:
    November 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    considering our 401Ks and pensions are stuffed with bank stocks and the govt is inclined to spend taxpayer dollars to prop them up driving them out of business will hurt everyone but the homeless.

  91. Confused in NJ says:

    93.JJ says:
    November 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm
    Just more year end pruning of dead wood. If NJ govt dumped the bottom 1-20% of employees every now and then you would of had electricity in storms and low RE taxes. But no you nancy boys like paying 25K property taxes and sitting in the dark.

    Confused in NJ says:
    November 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm
    The ax continues to fall on Wall Street

    How about $6K Property Tax and a GE 13K Natural Gas Power Station with auto transfer switch.

  92. JJ says:

    If they eliminated counterparty risk I would not argue. We have it in housing why not stocks and bonds.

    joyce says:
    November 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    JJ, are you arguing that there should never be counterparty risk?

    JJ says:
    November 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    considering our 401Ks and pensions are stuffed with bank stocks and the govt is inclined to spend taxpayer dollars to prop them up driving them out of business will hurt everyone but the homeless.

  93. joyce says:

    97
    Maybe we’re agreeing, and I’m not phrasing it correctly. I want there to be counterparty risk, always… just couple that with no bailouts

  94. JJ says:

    Re 96 6k sounds like cheap taxes until you realize in the Hamptons a house like this pays 5,600 in taxes.

    14 Michaels Way
    WESTHAMPTON BCH, NY 11978
    Post Modern, Detached, # Families: 1
    17.0 rooms, 5 Bedrooms , 4 Full Baths , 1 Half Baths
    School District: Westhampton Beach
    Year Built: 2008 , New Construction
    Construction: Frame
    Lot Size: 3 Acres
    Appear6000 Sq.Fft. Post Modern On 3 Acres…Custom Designed Showcase Estate In A Gorgeous Upscale Area Of Whb. Stunning Master Suite, 3 Additional Bedrooms With En Suite Baths. All The Baths Have Gorgeous Vanities And Fixtures. First And Second Floor Laundry. Formal Dining Room, 3 Gas Fireplaces, Media Room, Oversized Chef’s Gourmet Kitchen With Sub-Zero/Viking Appliances.
    ance: Mint

  95. toomuchchange says:

    More about Wall Street Layoffs:

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/15/markets/Wall_Street_jobs/

    “Wall Street’s shrinking job pool

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Will MF Global’s 1600 employees find gainful employment? Probably not anytime soon.

    During what’s left of 2011, Wall Street firms are expected to continue cutting employees.

    “The timing really couldn’t be worse, because firms generally don’t hire much, even in great times, at the end of the year,” said Alan Johnson, managing director at Johnson Associates, a compensation consulting firm.

    Still the question for many of MF Global’s employees — and the thousands of others who were laid off by financial services firms this year — is if they can ever find jobs on Wall Street again. Many of these lost jobs are unlikely to come back.

    “Wall Street will continue to shrink,” said Steven Eckhaus, chair of the executive employment practice at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman. “Three years from now, there will be half as many jobs as there are now.”

    Wall Street bonuses set to plunge 20%
    Roughly 20% to 25% of MF Global’s top performing employees will find employment by early next year. Same goes for the top quartile of the rest of Wall Street’s newly unemployed, according to conversations with a half dozen recruiters. But the rest may struggle to find work.

    “It’s the people in the middle that are being hollowed out on Wall Street. Middle level executives have the most to be concerned about,” said Eckhaus.

    Financial services firms employed roughly 166,600 individuals in New York as of August 2011. The Office of the NYC Comptroller predicted that 10,000 of those jobs will be gone by the end of 2012.

    Some of those will include Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) employees. The embattled bank has already announced anticipated cuts numbering 30,000 over an undetermined period of time coming not only from New York but from its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Most banks haven’t been as candid about layoffs. Barclays (BCS) reportedly got rid of 3,500 jobs by late October, but declined to comment on further job cuts. Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) declined to comment on potential layoffs. A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) said the firm has actually added a net 13,000 jobs this year and declined to comment on future plans.

    Still, anecdotally, their workforces appear to be shrinking, and few seem to have the fiscal positioning to add significant numbers of new hires.

    “We’ve seen fairly significant layoffs, and the numbers have been much larger than people anticipated,” said Eckhaus.

    The debt crisis in Europe and extreme volatility in the market has curbed activity in trading, mergers, acquisitions, and initial public offerings since August. Longer-term, many industry spectators expect that new financial regulations in the US and Europe will continue to force banks to cut staff.

    The Volcker Rule, for example, has forced banks to cut desks that trade banks’ funds. Ahead of an expected 2012 implementation of this rule, many banks have shuttered these so-called proprietary trading desks.

    The one bright spot for hiring on Wall Street: individuals who can help banks and hedge funds comply with the new regulations. “We’re seeing lots of hiring for outsourced compliance activity,” said Frank Carr, an independent Wall Street recruiter with MJE advisors.

    Meanwhile, the Wall street bonus pool is also expected to be scaled back 20% to 30% for 2011, according to Johnson Associates.

    For bond traders who normally operate in a lucrative trading niche, bonuses could drop as much as 45%.

    But there’s no need to shed tears for the employed bankers. Bonuses could be in the hundreds of thousands or even millions for Wall Street’s top performers.”

    ++++++++++++++

    This is what really jumped out at me: “Wall Street will continue to shrink,” said Steven Eckhaus, chair of the executive employment practice at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman. “Three years from now, there will be half as many jobs as there are now.”

    If he really believes this is true, still, doesn’t Steven Eckhaus have a lot of reasons not to be this blunt?

    What does everybody think?

  96. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [90];

    Also, amen with the fraudulent derivative contracts.

    You mean the unlawful bets. Wall Street swore on a stack of gold bars that these were NOT insurance contracts; because if they were, then they would be subject to state regulators and capital reserve requirements. If its not insurance, its a bet – and it has long been policy that the courts will not enforce an illegal contract (such as a gambling contract). That’s why bookies have legbreakers, they can’t sue to recover.

    So I said way the he11 back when that they should just have held the banks to their word that these were NOT insurance contracts, and let the chips fall where they may.

  97. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [99];

    That has to be the tax bill from before construction.

  98. chicagofinance says:

    Less than a week after an arson and hate crime in Brooklyn, vandals have struck again, defacing the Avenue J subway sign in Midwood by adding the letters “EW” so the station name read “Avenue JEW,” authorities said today.

    “Education and vigilance are our only weapons in fighting against this blatant hatred,” said State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn). “We must send a message to those who perpetrate these vile acts that we will not tolerate their behavior.

    “These cowards need to know that we will find them wherever they lurk, and when we do, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
    The vandalized Avenue J subway sign in Midwood .

    Hikind said the Q train station on Avenue J is just blocks away from the earlier car-torching.

    “It’s so disturbing,” Hikind said. “People are in shock.”

    Anyone with information about the assault are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

  99. reinvestor101 says:

    I hate Gerald Celente and I’m so glad that his damn money got lost and I hope he never sees it again. Celente has been a well known real estate terrorist and a stinking malcontent and yet he wants to speculate in some damn futures and was probably doing unpatriotic stuff like shorting damn stocks and talking negatively about house prices.

    Also, this whole MF Global scenario shows you what the hell happens when you let a stinking liberal run any damn thing. How in the hell could Corzine run a stinking brokerage firm if he couldn’t run a damn state and his time at Goldman Sachs doesn’t count. Hell they got rid of him before his liberal azz could do any real damage. Celente claims he’s a damn “political atheist” and yet he winds up investing with Corzine which shows where his damn loyalties lie. I’ve never believed that there are independents in this damn country anyway; just a bunch of wusses claiming to be independent because they don’t have the damn balls to declare what the hell they are.

  100. 3B says:

    #93 JJ #00 Says otherwise. The world’s changing JJ, you just have not accepted it, You are trapped in the 90″s, actually maybe even the 80’s.

  101. Jon Corzine says:

    Im going to steal your money b_tchez! Muahahaha!

  102. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Bye bye middle” and they were singing bye bye miss american pie ………………………….

  103. freedy says:

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/11/nj_sting_operation_indicts_gro.html

    Would someone please point out an american who was arrested . This is a disgrace and
    shows the end is near

  104. Commanderbobnj says:

    “…Would someone please point out an american who was arrested . This is a disgrace and
    shows the end is near…”
    Commanderbob answers:
    WOW !~ HAHA ! That’s eeasy ! It’s Charlie Brown

    Now, What do I win dude ?

    On another note, I truly hope that crooked, bearded-Ba$tard Corzine goes down Big Time !!!

  105. chicagofinance says:

    clot, comment?

    FOOD & DRINK
    NOVEMBER 17, 2011
    In the Culinary World, Savoring an Oil Boom
    Foodies Develop Taste for Speciality Varieties From Pumpkin-Seeds, Argan, Avocados and Even Turnips

    By J. S. MARCUS

    Tim Gruber for The Wall Street Journal

    Has your drizzle of olive oil lost its dazzle? Is your pat of butter just too pat?

    Premium grocery stores have an alternative—pumpkin seed oil, one of several slick new specialty oils meant for dipping, dabbing or, as the professionals say, “topping off” a dish.

    A dash of high-quality oil provides an intense burst of unusual flavor to a portion of vegetables, an ordinary salad dressing or even a piece of bread, chefs say.

    Reddish-green and nutty-tasting, pumpkin seed oil is among the fastest growing in popularity. Like pumpkin itself, it is suitable for both sweet and savory dishes. Avocado oil imparts a light fruitiness to salad dressings; macadamia-nut oil works on salads, too, and is ideal for baking. Amber-red argan oil, an expensive Moroccan import, has a deep, almost meaty flavor suitable for hearty dishes.

    At Whole Foods, sales of specialty oils are growing faster than overall sales of the stores carrying them, says Errol Schweizer, a senior global grocery coordinator.

    Pumpkin seed oil plays a major role on Austrian menus, including at Vienna’s famous restaurant, Steirereck.

    “When I do a salad, I have to use pumpkin seed oil,” says Heinz Reitbauer, the restaurant’s 41-year-old owner and head chef who grew up eating foods prepared with pumpkin seed oil at his childhood home in Styria, an Alpine region near Slovenia and home to much of the world’s high-quality pumpkin seed oil production. He especially likes the nutty flavor it gives traditional potato salad and warms it up together with meat stock to make sauces.

    Other chefs, though, don’t recommend heating the oil. Instead, they pour it on dishes as a finishing touch. Kurt Gutenbrunner, an Austria-born New York chef who owns four Austrian restaurants, including Café Sabarsky at Manhattan’s Neue Galerie museum, serves pumpkin seed oil in salads, squash soups and in a new cauliflower dish.

    High-quality flavoring oils are also starting to find their way into ordinary American grocery stores, says Neil Albert, vice president of sales and marketing at Olivado USA, which distributes cold-pressed avocado and macadamia-nut oil produced for a New Zealand company.

    Brad Farmerie, the 38-year-old executive chef at Public, a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York’s Little Italy neighborhood, learned about avocado oil about 10 years ago, when he was working in London with New Zealand chef Peter Gordon.

    Mr. Farmerie likes the “avocado aroma, viscous texture, and beneficial fats” and uses it regularly in his restaurant, in a pomegranate-molasses salad dressing and in a slowly cooked tomato confit.

    Mr. Farmerie likes argan oil “drizzled on grilled or steamed fish, or tossed through a grain salad with preserved lemon.” His favorite use, though, is an argan-anchovy mayonnaise for roast lamb.

    At Kalustyan’s, a Manhattan grocer that specializes in imported spices, oils and vinegars, co-owner Aziz Osmani says his best-selling specialty oils are argan, pumpkin seed and pistachio—neon green, with an intense pistachio perfume. Most are bought by professional chefs, Mr. Osmani says, although he is seeing more interest from “people who are really foodies.”

    Mr. Osmani has a soft spot for argan oil, a hand-crafted product made from the roasted kernels of the argan tree, a species found in southwestern Morocco. He describes it as having a flavor that is “fruity” and “toasty,” with “a little bitterness at the end” and says it is good in a salad dressing or a dip. It is especially costly— a 3.4-oz bottle sells for $39.99 at Kalustyan’s.

    Pumpkin seed oil and argan oil are just the beginning, says chef Brad Barnes, senior director of culinary education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Mr. Barnes has moved on to turnip seed oil, which he drizzles on warm vegetables. “It tastes just like cooked turnips—a little spicy, a little nutty,” he says.

    Mr. Gutenbrunner, the New York chef, has experimented with apple seed oil, red currant seed oil, and raspberry seed oil.

    Hay River Foods, based on a farm in northwestern Wisconsin, is one of a very few U.S. producers of organic pumpkin seed oil. The owners, Ken Seguine and Jay Gilbertson, who are also a couple, treat pumpkin seed oil like caramel sauce. They drizzle it on ice cream and on baked goods, like apple-cranberry crisp. However, Mr. Gilbertson says, “my favorite way to use it is on corn-on-the-cob.”

    Ten years ago, Mr. Seguine and Mr. Gilbertson decided to try their hand at farming and ended up growing “naked seeded,” or “Styrian hull-less” pumpkins, a mutation that was first noticed in Austria in the 19th century.

    These pumpkins—cultivated for their seeds rather than their flesh—are the main source of pumpkin seed oil world-wide because their thin seed coat allows for easy oil extraction.

    The partners experimented with different varieties of naked-seeded pumpkins and different seed roasts. They sold or gave away some 100 bottles of pumpkin seed oil after their first bottling in 2006 and have sold out every season since. In January, Whole Foods began distributing their product to select stores in the upper Midwest.

    Derek Simcik, executive chef at Chicago’s Atwood Café, roasts his own pumpkin seeds and cold-presses his own oil. Recently, after looking for a way to finish off a butternut squash soup, he decided to extract the oil from pumpkin seeds that weren’t so much roasted as burned. He did an Internet search, he says, to find out about oil extraction, then jury-rigged a press one night. The resulting dish appeared on the menu for the first time last week.

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