Fed: NJ economy outpacing NYC

From the Record:

NJs economy picks up as NYCs slows

As New York State’s economic activity has leveled off, New Jersey’s has picked up — and the state job market is stronger than the unemployment rate of 9 percent suggests, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

New Jersey’s economy has generally been less healthy than that of New York City and state since the recession ended. In July, the city’s jobless rate was 8.6 percent, and New York State’s was 8 percent, compared with 9.5 percent in New Jersey.

New Jersey’s growth was “quite robust” in the last three months of 2011, while New York State has seen only “minimal job gains” since August, William C. Dudley, the bank’s president, said at its quarterly briefing on Friday.

“In contrast, New Jersey’s economy, which was sluggish throughout 2010 and into the first half of 2011, has picked up noticeably,” he said.

The unemployment rate in New Jersey and New York City is the same — 9 percent for December — and New York State’s is 8 percent.

The bank president’s comments came a week after New Jersey released figures showing the state added 39,400 private-sector jobs in 2011, the largest annual increase since 2000. The state’s jobless rate still lags behind the national rate of 8.5 percent.

Jason Bram, an economist for the federal bank, said New Jersey’s unemployment rate would likely be lower, except for the strong influx of people into the state labor force.

“In New Jersey, it’s really much better than it would appear,” Bram said. “More people who weren’t in the labor force are looking for a job.”

People who had stopped looking for work are now more optimistic and are looking again, Bram said.

He said Bergen, Hudson and Passaic counties added jobs at a faster rate than the national employment increase of 0.7 percent from June to December last year. New York City also increased employment faster than the nation in that period, he said.

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180 Responses to Fed: NJ economy outpacing NYC

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Probably Fell at a Slower Rate

    Home prices in 20 U.S. cities probably fell at a slower pace in the year to November, pointing to limited improvement in the residential real estate market, economists said before reports today.

    The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities dropped 3.3 percent from November 2010, the smallest decline in 10 months, after decreasing 3.4 percent in the year ended in October, according to the median forecast of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Consumer confidence in January climbed to the highest level since February 2011, another report may show.

    More stable home prices may help persuade Americans to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates, supporting the industry that precipitated the last recession. At the same time, the recovery in housing may be slow to develop as foreclosures put more properties onto the market.

    “There’s still a lot of uncertainty about what kind of gains there will be for home prices over the next couple of years,” said Michelle Meyer, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York. “In the near term, home prices will see a modest drop, but once market clears the foreclosures, a nice rebound will start to kick in.”

    The S&P/Case-Shiller index, based on a three-month average, is due at 9 a.m. New York time. Survey estimates ranged from declines of 3.9 percent to 2 percent.

  2. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Home prices drop 2.4% in Phila. for fourth quarter

    After holding steady during most of 2011, single-family house prices in the city fell 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter, an analysis by economist Kevin Gillen shows.

    That means that since the housing downturn began in the eight-county region in August 2007, Philadelphia single-family prices have fallen a cumulative 18 percent, Gillen, vice president of Econsult Inc. of Philadelphia, said.

    Prices of houses in the city – excluding condos, which technically fall into the multifamily category – are now at 2005 levels, Gillen said.

    Prices for the entire Philadelphia region also showed a downward trend. They had fallen 3.9 percent in the previous 12 months and were expected to drop an additional 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the Fiserv-Case Shiller Indexes for the third quarter of 2011, released Monday.

    On the up side, however, Fiserv predicts that the region’s prices will rise 5.8 percent between the third quarter of 2012 and the same three months of 2013, below the 3.8 percent projected for almost half of the other 379 metro markets in the country

    There are, however, a lot of houses for sale in the city – more than 9,000, Gillen said.

    “While this is down modestly from its peak of over 12,000 back in 2006, it is still well above the pre-bubble historic average of approximately 5,500,” he said.

    “When you combine this above-average supply of homes for sale with the below-average level of sales, this supply-demand imbalance would appear to be continuing to exert downward pressure on prices,” Gillen said.

  3. Confused in NJ says:

    The count of who “is and isn’t” looking for work is very subjective, i.e. B.S.

  4. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Homeowners in limbo as mortgages go upaid, foreclosuers drag on

    Almost three years after she last paid the mortgage, Linda Ganguzza remains in her New Milford home — one of thousands of troubled New Jersey homeowners caught in a drawn-out foreclosure process.

    “I have no idea where I stand, how much longer I have,” said Ganguzza, a 58-year-old nurse, who says her divorce left her unable to afford the home where she raised three children. “Do I move, do I hang tough, do I talk to the bank?”

    The home-foreclosure process is taking so long in New Jersey that homeowners in distress now have more than 2 1/2 years, on average, from the time the lender first initiates the process to the time they actually are forced out of the home. Foreclosures in the state dropped 80 percent last year in the wake of the 2010 robo-signing scandal, in which lenders were accused of rushing through foreclosure documents without proper review — an issue that is still unresolved.

    The delayed foreclosure process has created an ambiguous situation for homeowners and lenders. Homeowners are free of monthly housing payments while they await eviction, allowing many to pay other bills. But they live with the stress of knowing they ultimately will lose their homes, and the knowledge that their credit rating has been badly damaged. At the same time, lenders are stuck with assets that are losing value and are not producing any income.

    In interviews recently, five of these homeowners said they are not trying to game the system — just working with the situation they’ve got.

    “I decided to stay in the house until the bank takes it away,” said a Clifton homeowner who bought his house about six years ago but can’t pay the mortgage because his trucking business failed. Like most of those interviewed, he asked for anonymity to protect his privacy.

    There are wider implications, he added. “Until we get rid of the backlog in foreclosures, the residential real estate market will continue to be in the tank,” he said. “That affects our entire economy.”

    Having properties sit in foreclosure for years can also harm neighboring property values, because financially distressed homeowners often fail to maintain their homes, said David Stevens, chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

    The homeowners interviewed by The Record either borrowed too much to buy homes, or borrowed against their home equity as credit standards loosened and home values ballooned during the housing boom. Stuck with high monthly payments, they had no margin for error when they lost their jobs or marriages as the economy tumbled into recession in late 2007.

    “Anybody who’s not paying their mortgage can’t afford to,” said Ron LeVine, a bankruptcy lawyer in Hackensack. And, he said, lenders generally won’t accept partial payments once a borrower has missed several months of mortgage payments. According to Stevens, that’s because accepting partial payments could force the lender to keep restarting the clock on the foreclosure process.

    After topping 50,000 in 2008, 2009 and 2010, foreclosures filed in the state dropped to about 11,000 last year, according to the New Jersey Judiciary. That suggests there are tens of thousands of foreclosures waiting to be filed, once the robo-signing issue is resolved.

    Ganguzza has lived in her house for three decades. She said she and her ex-husband borrowed against the house to help pay for their children’s education and pay down credit card debt. After they split, her income and alimony were “definitely not enough for me to carry the house,” she said.

    She owes almost $400,000 to Wells Fargo, but has not made a payment in three years.

    One time, during a contentious call with the lender, she asked whether they wanted her to leave immediately. She said they told her no. “We would prefer that houses have people living in them,” she said she was told. Vacant houses are subject to vandalism, burst pipes and other problems, and they tend to lower property values in the area.

    One Passaic County homeowner got into trouble after refinancing his house to pay for an addition. His monthly payments jumped to almost $5,000 a month, just as the economy slid into recession, leading to the loss of his job. His lender gave him temporary loan modifications, but when they expired, he couldn’t qualify for a permanent one. Now he’s hoping to hang on till the end of the school year, so his children don’t have to switch schools in midyear.

    “It’s incredible to be in a place for more than two years and not pay anything,” said Sylvine Marabotto, head of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of New Jersey in Cedar Knolls.

    The people her agency works with have typically tried to work out a loan modification, often calling the lender repeatedly and sending and resending payroll stubs and other documents.

    But once those efforts fail, they can only wait to lose their homes, she said.

    “It’s a very stressful way to live,” Marabotto said.

  5. NJ is just the wildebeest who’s a little less sick than others in the infected herd.

    Doom is imminent.

  6. funnelcloud says:

    Morning NJ, Morning Mike,
    To the people that really know real estate on this site, Have a question, “how is this real estate market going to rebound ??? (I tend to agree a little more with “there went meat” about Jersey just being a little less sick that the other beast in the herb,)
    Maybe Jobs are being created but where are the jobs that pay the kind of salaries to buy a home a support it? Didn’t the big banks and Pharma in NY/NJ just lay off people, As interest rates rise don’t home prices fall? We can’t stay at 2% forever, and what about the property taxes? $1000 month in most cases, So how can there be any type of recovery when it seems like all basic economic factors point to a continuing downtrend. Is it just wishful thinking on those who wish to sell out and escape?

  7. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    CNBC – LOL – They just censored John Sununu debating Howard Dean. The funny part was after they cut it out (7 or X second delay, I guess?), you could hear Joe Kernan yelling good naturedly as the camera switched to Sorkin, “What did you do? What did you do? Put that back in!”. Quick cut to Aflac trivia question and Sununu not even mentioned again after the commercial break.

  8. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [8] I just replayed the segment using the DVR and it went like this:

    1. John Sununu(video link from NH) stating that there was “money on the sidelines” in business, ready and willing to create jobs, but that money is afraid about the possibility of the continuation of this administration. “As soon as it’s clear…”
    2. Sorkin on camera laughing while Joe Kernan says off camera “What did you do? What did you do? Put that back in!”
    3. cut to Howard Dean (in studio) laughing for a second.
    4. Aflac trivia question, cut to commercial.

    Pretty funny.

  9. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    NJ is just the wildebeest who’s a little less sick than others in the infected herd.

    If you travel North of Butler or South of the Raritan you might find that the disease is closer than you think.

  10. J La says:

    Re: “…a very stressful way to live”. Are you for real?? Here’s the recipe for “stress” relief, pay your debt, or, get the hell out of a property that doesn’t belong to you. These people should be arrested for illegal possession.

  11. Brian says:

    7 – Funnel

    I’m an owner who bought at the peak (just crappy timing…it was around when I was married). I don’t really wish to escape anywhere. Yeah, as someone who already owns, I do hope home prices appreciate again at some point so I’ll have enough equity in the house so I don’t have to bring cash to a closing. If they don’t appreciate well, no big deal I planned for that too.

    As for jobs, I don’t know about the rest of the state but I do see a new 125,000 square foot building in the middle of my town built on a vacant lot that was abandoned in the 90’s. They are a photonics, optics and laser supplier that sells goods to customers worldwide. They chose NJ as their world headquarters. now the building will be filled with engineers, skilled manufacturing jobs, sales jobs, customer service, day evening and night warehouse management jobs etc. The owner also has 3 other warehouses and buildings in the area too. From that I would expect to see people buying homes in the area that work there. Restaurants might pop up around town to supply breakfast, lunch and dinner to all of the people in the new building. Contractors (who already seem busy in my area) might be getting calls to fix up the delapidated houses in the area. Small businesses might start businesses to sell goods and services to the people that work there etc. So there’s your demand for housing.

    As for supply, thanks to the highlands act, it’s harder and harder to build any new houses near me. The Nimby’s fight it with all of their energy. There might be some foreclosures to clear out in my area but, just in my own neighborhood, a lot of them have sold and I see people gutting them and fixing them up. (funny, a few of them have fled the Bergen county, hudson county, and staten island area).

    NJTransit is also busy resurecting a rail bed that was abandoned in the 80’s nearby. They plan on putting in a few new stations and connecting it with the Montclair-Boonton Line and the Morristown line. Young people who want to work in Manhattan and brave the commute will have another way to get there from an area that has plenty of “starter homes”.

    And hey, I heard our governor and the dems in the state legislature are going to lower all of our income taxes and property taxes. So what are we worried about?

    It’s either that or doom is imminent. Either way, you might as well have fun while it lasts.

  12. grim says:

    Stress is worrying how to pay your mortgage, your bills, put food on the table.

    While I can understand the uncertainty about when moving day will come, i dont see how not paying the mortgage is anything but a huge relief for most everyone.

    Completely don’t understand how the elimination of the mortage payment doesn’t result in a huge windfall of savings for anyone still employed.

  13. JJ says:

    People chase the car repo man, curse at the pawn borker and yell at the bank. Bottom line you as an adult borrowed money collateralized by an asset and did not pay back the loan. You are lucky you are living in 2012 as 100 years ago the person loaning the money would have siezed the collateral, broken your knee caps and sent you to debtors prision. Only thing wounded today is your pride.

  14. J La says:

    14 & 15 Bravo gentlemen. Well put.

  15. 3B says:

    #12 That should be a nice shot in the arm to the areas economy, but how many of the 39K jobs created were good paying jobs like the new jobs coming to your area?

  16. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    While I can understand the uncertainty about when moving day will come, i dont see how not paying the mortgage is anything but a huge relief for most everyone. Completely don’t understand how the elimination of the mortage payment doesn’t result in a huge windfall of savings for anyone still employed.

    Nail on the head. I defaulted on my first property, a 2BR 1.5bath in Wayne, NJ, Jan. ’88. I lived very well there for about 2 years after defaulting, even had room-mates some of the time paying me rent. I closed on the property in October ’87 one week after losing my job and one week after the ’87 crash. I figured things would work out somehow. I think I made my first mortgage payment and never made another one. It was my biggest bill and the most logical to jettison. I bought the property as an insider, converted condo. I figured I would be able to get out from under by selling. Real Estate always goes up, after all. I was so confident in RE that instead of getting another engineering job I got my RE license while I was 3 months delinquent on my mortgage. That didn’t work out too well either. Well maybe it did, JJ would like this part. I started dating a girl from my RE office who was previously a paralegal and also a bit, shall we say, connected? She wrote the answer to my foreclosure for me which allowed me to stay there two years rent free and rent collecting.

  17. gary says:

    JJ [73] – from yesterday’s thread:

    BTW the economy is just fine. People will pay for talent. This is not the depression. A young guy, stay at home wife two kids to support you are what some bosses want. Stabile and had whole rock on his back so you will do what it takes. A corner office with a waterview is like five years away.

    Not anymore… not even close. Broker’s and IT staff have continued to move to India, Singapore and Ireland. Everyone’s getting thrown out the window and under the bus. I don’t know what world you live in. It’s all about money and if you can find someone to do the same job for a fraction of the price, then it’s a done deal. Here, if you’re willing to be a “team player” for 60% of your last base with no benefits, then you’re “loved.” The days of working hard and advancing up the ladder went out with the Betamax. After 5 years of 55 hour weeks and falling on the sword, that youngster will feel like he/she’s been snookered.

  18. Wendy says:

    They are stressed because they don’t understand the process like we do. They literally think, any day, even today, someone could show up at their door and kick them out. Those who are familiar with the process, KNOW they are getting a huge free ride, and in fact advance notice will be provided of moving day.

    That said, debt is not moral. It is a business arrangement. The interest payments you get when you lend money (eg buy bonds), that’s for the risk you take, that your principal might not be returned. It’s a contract, that’s all, and the contract has no provision allowing bodily harm in the event of non-performance. Both parties specifically agree, in advance, what will happen in the event of failure to pay – assemble your loan docs and take the house. Oh, what? You don’t have them? Too bad. The TITLE OWNER is in fact the owner of the property, unless and until the lender gets its act together and forecloses.

  19. Mike says:

    Funnel No. 7 Good Morning! you stated that “how is the real estate market ever going to rebound?” One of the definitions of “rebound” is to return to a former condition. So we have a rebound going on now and it’s not the 2006 condition but the 1986 condition.

  20. gary says:

    Brian [12],

    …now the building will be filled with engineers, skilled manufacturing jobs, sales jobs, customer service, day evening and night warehouse management jobs etc. The owner also has 3 other warehouses and buildings in the area too. From that I would expect to see people buying homes in the area that work there. Restaurants might pop up around town to supply breakfast, lunch and dinner to all of the people in the new building. Contractors (who already seem busy in my area) might be getting calls to fix up the delapidated houses in the area. Small businesses might start businesses to sell goods and services to the people that work there etc. So there’s your demand for housing.

    It worked like a charm in Atlantic City when the Casinos were built. :o

  21. JJ says:

    I like, but only once my connection back fired on me. I got home insurance from my old connected GF and car insurance with a $500 deductable. She told me take higher deductable as “wink wink” if car is ever stolen I will put down you had $500 in golf clubs in car so you pay lower insurance and still paid out 100% if car is stolen. Well we broke up after her frined saw me with a Marilyn Monroe impersinator, Evander Holyfield and Sugar Ray Leonard at the China Club at 3am on a Monday. For some reason I said what is wrong with that. She was like you get off phone with me at 9:30pm and say good night and then you are out partying with a Marilyn Monroe impersonator and the Heavyweight champion of world and you don’t mention it, I go things happen. Anyhow care was stolen a few weeks later and before I could switch agents she nailed me by putting nothing in my trunk and I ate a $500 loss. Even then I did not switch policy as she made commisssion off me and I was like due to other minor issues on the edge of having her uncle wack me so I was scared to switch.

    Although for some odd reason I did date another girl who was slightly connected her uncle owned a chop shop and she did actually try to place a hit on me. But luckily her uncle declined.

    Original NJ ExPat says:
    January 31, 2012 at 8:52 am
    While I can understand the uncertainty about when moving day will come, i dont see how not paying the mortgage is anything but a huge relief for most everyone. Completely don’t understand how the elimination of the mortage payment doesn’t result in a huge windfall of savings for anyone still employed.

    Nail on the head. I defaulted on my first property, a 2BR 1.5bath in Wayne, NJ, Jan. ’88. I lived very well there for about 2 years after defaulting, even had room-mates some of the time paying me rent. I closed on the property in October ’87 one week after losing my job and one week after the ’87 crash. I figured things would work out somehow. I think I made my first mortgage payment and never made another one. It was my biggest bill and the most logical to jettison. I bought the property as an insider, converted condo. I figured I would be able to get out from under by selling. Real Estate always goes up, after all. I was so confident in RE that instead of getting another engineering job I got my RE license while I was 3 months delinquent on my mortgage. That didn’t work out too well either. Well maybe it did, JJ would like this part. I started dating a girl from my RE office who was previously a paralegal and also a bit, shall we say, connected? She wrote the answer to my foreclosure for me which allowed me to stay there two years rent free and rent collecting.

  22. JJ says:

    Do any of those jobs pay anything? Other than the engineers the other jobs don’t even pay enough to move out of moms basement

    gary says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:00 am
    Brian [12],

    …now the building will be filled with engineers, skilled manufacturing jobs, sales jobs, customer service, day evening and night warehouse management jobs etc. The owner also has 3 other warehouses and buildings in the area too. From that I would expect to see people buying homes in the area that work there. Restaurants might pop up around town to supply breakfast, lunch and dinner to all of the people in the new building. Contractors (who already seem busy in my area) might be getting calls to fix up the delapidated houses in the area. Small businesses might start businesses to sell goods and services to the people that work there etc. So there’s your demand for housing.

    It worked like a charm in Atlantic City when the Casinos were built. :

  23. gary says:

    NJTransit is also busy resurecting a rail bed that was abandoned in the 80′s nearby. They plan on putting in a few new stations and connecting it with the Montclair-Boonton Line and the Morristown line. Young people who want to work in Manhattan and brave the commute will have another way to get there from an area that has plenty of “starter homes”.

    Ask the folks in Stroudsburg how that one worked out.

  24. gary says:

    JJ [24],

    I agree; thus, that’s why I highlighted it.

  25. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [18] Actually, I lived there rent free for over 2.5 years, I think I was evicted July 1990. Bank went after me for a deficiency judgement, too. Too bad for them they missed the filing deadline by two day. I wrote one letter and that was the end of that. While I was defaulting on my home, why not default on everything else too? I defaulted on all my credit cards, a high interest line of credit from Chase (remember those checkbooks the used to send you in the mail, looked like real checks). Never had to go BK, never paid any of my creditors back. Just stayed all cash and kept my money in a Schwab account (when I actually made some again). Used my Visa card from the Schwab account as my only “credit” card for years. Got a Sears card (again) in 1998 and it was actually pretty quick work to remove everything off my credit report after no activity for nearly a decade. A lot of people don’t know that. Default should be a binary choice, do it or don’t. Don’t ever make a payment or talk to a creditor again if you do as every time you have contact it restarts the clock. Wait it out and you’ll be good to go again in no time, if that’s the way you decide to roll.

  26. JJ says:

    Every home purchased since 2003 is worth less than the purchase price in New Jersey!!!!! When you finance for 30 years you pay 3x amount borrowed. Leverage baby, except in this strange world you lost big time baby.

    When will 2004-2010 home prices rebound, never. The purchase price, the remodeling, home equity loans, 3% down and paying mortgage and taxes for 7 years on an underwater asset there is no way you will ever be whole again.

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. house prices slumped 1.3% in November, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite house price index released Tuesday. Year-on-year, prices fell 3.7%, with 13 of 20 areas seeing annual returns decrease. Atlanta prices are down 11.8% year-on-year, and Detroit and Washington D.C. were the only cities with positive returns. The peak-to-current decline for the 20-city composite is -32.9%

  27. 3B says:

    #26 gary: I know people who moved to Strasbourg 30 years ago because rail service was coming back. They gave up waiting after 10 years.

  28. Brian says:

    17.3B says:
    January 31, 2012 at 8:49 am
    #12 That should be a nice shot in the arm to the areas economy, but how many of the 39K jobs created were good paying jobs like the new jobs coming to your area?

    The Press Release:
    http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/pub/emppress/pressrelease/prelease.pdf

    A lot of “service providing” and “private sector service providing” jobs. Not sure if that means MacDonalds or not.

    “Information” is down. Again, I’m not sure how that’s defined but maybe that’s IT jobs? Probably why Gary is so mad.

    Other sectors with a slight jump were
    -Professional and Business Services
    -Education and Health Services
    -Trade, Transportation & Utilities

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [23] JJ

    ” she did actually try to place a hit on me”

    Quel surprise.

  30. Brian says:

    24 – JJ

    Dunno for sure but I do know cost of living is much lower near me. You can get a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house sometimes for well under 200k near me. Property taxes are half of what the guys in Bergen/Hudson/Essex/Morris counties are paying.

  31. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    The spouse interviewed for a position in CT. Not sure if she is interested, more to see what is out there. Discussed what would happen if she decided to take job, and I said “We move. If you are gonna work in CT, might as well live in CT.”

    One thing is clear though: She hates NJ; really, really hates my old firm for bringing us here; and isn’t loving the soccer mom culture here in the ‘brig. If she got a decent offer in Philadelphia or Boston, she’d probably order me at gunpoint to move.

  32. gary says:

    Brian,

    Why should I be angry? Those “service” jobs are so plentiful that I could easily transfer my engineering/IT background into one of those illustrious career moves. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a milk shake but I’m sure I could learn quickly.

  33. Brian says:

    29 – 3b

    It probably wouldn’t be wise to move near me just because they are restoring rail service but, They are doing it.

    http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/277882

    I’m sure it will take twice as long as they say and cost twice as much but they’ve broken ground.

  34. 3B says:

    #33 Brian: IMO the coomute form your area is a killer, just not worth it. I know soem oen who is commuting from the Delaware water gap to downtown NYC every day; it is a horrible grueling commute.

  35. 3B says:

    #34 GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. gary says:

    The peak-to-current decline for the 20-city composite is -32.9%

    Thank goodness it’s different here in the NJ/NY metro area. Right? It is different here, right?

  37. gary says:

    3b,

    Where am I going?

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [39] gary

    He means me.

    3b: Working on it.

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    And now to stir the pot a bit (listen for sound of eyes rolling at Schabadoo’s and Fabius’ offices):

    Tax Foundation calls what I deem a “partial BS” on inequality claims:
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/27939.html#_ftn3

    Actually pretty esoteric, and predictable considering that econ downturns erode wealth so the wealthy guaranteed to feel an outsized income hit. Also this is a tax discussion, which is not the economy, so I consider it only a “partial BS” measure.

  40. Brian says:

    34 – Gary

    I’m in the same industry. I manage the equipment in a small datacenter for a financial institution. We’re owned by a company that manages mutual funds and has a global presence.

    I know exactly what it’s like. One of our most populous locations is now Hyderabad, India.

    Every day I try to come up with new ideas to help the business streamline and save money. Everything I propose has a “how much we can save” attached to it. Technology execs have attempted to outsource us multiple times. I keep having to reinvent myself. I make friends with the CEO’s CTO’s VP’s etc. Make sure they see the good work we’re doing. All the while taking advantage of the tuition reimbursement, and renewing my certs (just in case).

    It’s incredibly competitive and I have to stay on my toes but I do still have a career. I even found a better job during the height of the financial crisis in December 2008. The stress couldn’t have been any greater as we were drowning in mortgage debt, my son had just been born and I wasn’t getting any sleep etc.

    The harder things got, the harder I worked.

    It’s discouraging but I continue to do it. I even posted for jobs in Chennai India. I knew it was nuts but I wanted to make a point to the head of engineering that I was here, and I would do the job of 3 of them.

  41. 3B says:

    #40 gary I mean Comrade, as he noted. As for you, Jersey is in your blood, you ain’t leaving. But you could move to the town of Unicorns!!!!

  42. JJ says:

    1) tried to place hit, backfired as I bluffed I would do a cross-hit
    2) FBI Investigation, backfired as I had relatives
    3) NYPD backfired as I had realtives
    4) Tried to Excommunicate me, I know peope in the Vatican
    5) Tried to get me fired.
    5) A good layer and restraining order finally got rid of her

    The oddest part is I never dated this girl, we met up two or three times and all at once she became fixated on me stalker like. Outside me door, ringing door bell three am calling at two am drunk. Thank got this was before cell phones and internet. Even more amaizing girl had MBA and a big big job at an Investment Bank. It was very Bachelor like. In the end nothing happened, all threats. Good Lesson learned. Nothing is more dangrous in the entire world than a 29 year old girl about to turn 30 looking for a husband. Hopefuly, she has found someone and moved one. If the bachelor show was around back then she would have made an excelent contestant.

    I got off lucky as a friend of ours the stalker filed rape charges on a Friday night after he broke up when she was expecting a ring and he spent the weekend in rikers. She never showed up to Court Monday morning as she did not want to lie under oath.
    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:18 am
    [23] JJ

    ” she did actually try to place a hit on me”

    Quel surprise.

  43. JJ says:

    Ellen Zentner is the senior economist making this call. Very nice lady. Presented with her once at a conference. Every prediction at that conference came true. So I attended another conference of hers and once again great accuracy. She is like a magician her knowledge base. She took questions from the audience of several hundred and said she will take any topic. People asked her about autos, stocks, interest rates, housing, job market and was amazing the detailed correct answers she gave.

    “We’ve seen home prices take a turn for the worse after showing some signs of a bottom, and we do think that there is more downside from here,” said , a senior economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, who correctly forecast the price decline. “If you get stronger jobs and wage growth, it’ll go far in alleviating some of the pipeline foreclosures that have yet to happen

  44. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [5];

    Like I’ve said — forever on the installment plan. Deadbeats.

  45. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Not sure if this was posted but Jonny C is selling in Hoboken:

    Sleep Where Jon Corzine Hath Slept

    http://dealbreaker.com/2012/01/sleep-where-jon-corzine-hath-slept/

  46. expat (18)-

    Fight the power!

  47. All Hype says:

    Gary (38):

    Any questions?

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/01/case-shiller-house-prices-fall-to-new.html

    On a personal note, the asking prices for houses in NJ are still too high. I have been out looking and the asking prices for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath houses in northern NJ are ridiculous. It is all a game of finding the greater sucker.

  48. gary says:

    Brian,

    30% of the floor I’m on is vacant. The remaining part is dominated by those with names I cannot pronounce, as hard as I try. The only thing that identifies an empty cubicle from one being used is the name plate. Other than that, there is nothing of a personal nature that would indicate someone lives there. There are a few cubicles dotted in the sea that have a plant and a few pictures of kids on the cube wall. They are the business unit, what’s left of them, as you know they eventually will be canned as well. The accounting, billing and claims people have been outsourced along with the IT personnel. I say it time and time again: we all will become “contractors” in every corporate environment spanning every role. The term “contractor” is just a bullsh1t term for a temp worker on an “as needed” basis.

  49. gary says:

    All Hype [49],

    When one holds their breath for an extended period of time, one eventually dies.

  50. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    CBO economic prediction out: at least 2 more years of flatlining.

  51. The Original NJ Expat says:

    JJ – Re:connected GFs. Luckily my paralegal Sicilian broke up with me, I don’t think it would have gone too well if it went the other way. She was pushing 30, on the hunt for a husband. Lucky for me I was a deadbeat at the time. She told me her grandmother said, also wanting her to get married, “If he’s not the *one*, don’t waste too much time with him”. She did keep my 25″ TV (back when that was big) that I brought over her house for a Super Bowl party. I never asked for it back, so I guess you can’t really say she kept it. I didn’t think it would be worth it, after all I bought it on a credit card I wasn’t going to pay any way, I just bought another.

  52. JJ says:

    Interesting consumer confidence fell solely based on lower home values and higher oil. However, we had an amazing month in stocks and bonds and mortgage rates have fallen. Either data is stale or we have a lot of people who have 100% of assets in RE and drive a lot. If people have 401Ks, IRAs, 529s and Fidelity accounts one would think opening their January statements tommorrow will put a smile on their face!

  53. All Hype says:

    Gary (51):

    I have no doubt that the sellars are facing a huge loss and need to get as much for their houses as possible. But when you go in the basement and there is a water mark 2 feet up the walls thanks to the last round of flooding, I am not going to pay 399k for your house that needs 50k in repairs and upgrades.

  54. gary says:

    “Despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter, home prices continue to fall. Weakness was seen as 19 of 20 cities saw average home prices decline in November over October,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “… Nationally, home prices are lower than a year ago. The 10-City Composite was down 3.6% and the 20-City was down 3.7% compared to November 2010. The trend is down and there are few, if any, signs in the numbers that a turning point is close at hand.”

    Dear Realtors and Sellers,

    Let me know if you’re having any trouble with the big words. I’ll highlight them in red crayon and we can discuss them over milk and cookies.

  55. Thundaar says:

    I don’t know if anyone saw this (or cares really)…..what a scam Kushner pulled off…..

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/01/council_president_waterfront_p.html

  56. 3B says:

    #57 gary: It always amazes me when they talk about low rates and stronger GDp, that the first thing people are going to do is run out an buy a house.

    I have a news flash, I know lots of these mid 20’s to early 30’s kids, they will not be out buying houses any time soon. Repeat they will not be doing it any time soon!!!

  57. joyce says:

    54

    JJ,
    For a seemingly smart person, you do realize like, what is the figure, the bottom 85% of the people in this country in terms of wealth own zero stocks/bonds? And it’s a combination of things, but the main reason being they have little to zero income reamining after food/shelter/transportation. Call them crazy, they’d rather eat then own a piece of paper.

  58. 3B says:

    #57 over milk and cookies

    Low fat?

  59. Brian says:

    50 – Gary

    I hear you. You could smell the “stench of death” at my last company. I didn’t wait around. It sounds like management at your compant f@cking sucks. And I absolutely won’t even talk to the recruiter about contract jobs. I’ll switch career’s and default on my mortgage before I deal with that crap. They treat the contractors here terribly. It’s not right.

    You should be mad about it. I am. I continue to do the best I can in my career but, some days, I do hope something opens up on the trading floor here. There are stories of guys that worked their way up through customer service to there. Most of them on the finance side leave the job smiling…good paychecks, plenty of savings. I leave the job pissed of and tired. I just keep working…looking for any opportunities.

  60. 3B says:

    #60 joyce; They violate a couple of fundamnetal rules.

    1. Live within your means.
    2. Pay yourself first.
    3. Don’t get into debt.

    My immigrant parents with 6 grade educations understood that,

  61. gary says:

    Brian [61],

    I’ve been doing “contract” work for three years now after the 2008 slide. I know all about the treatment but they love me here because I’m doing the job of two people for less money and no benefits. What’s not to love? I even logon sometimes during the weekend to do QA work but will only be paid for 40 hours max. The transition will continue as those who deem themselves untouchable will be eventually be touched.

  62. gary says:

    3b [58],

    When ones living depends on ones ability to snooker people, one will continue to try using every object at ones disposal.

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Wasn’t I saying something about a rush to the exits? This is from a tax attorney who does a lot of expat work:

    “Our office is doing a startlingly large volume of business in helping people terminate their U.S. citizenship or green cards. People are voting with their feet.

    The process is complex — not only do you log out of the citizenship/residence system, but you also have to log out of the U.S. tax system properly. That can get expensive. The IRS behaves somewhat like a lover scorned, wanting to land one last kick in your derriere as you’re walking out the door.

    When I go to the Middle East (and I go a lot) people grumble about U.S. foreign policy. But people don’t terminate their U.S. citizenship for that reason, in my experience. They cite U.S. tax policies. Reflexively you think, aha! They don’t want to pay income tax. Well, not exactly. Our best salesman is IRS Commission Shulman and his holy war on U.S. taxpayers who have foreign bank accounts. Bluntly, it is the prospect of facing dozens of required tax forms — sometimes obscure — with monster penalties if you screw things up. This has been the pattern since 2008 when the IRS started gearing up to pursue offshore bank accounts held by U.S. persons. Living a normal life and unintentionally subjecting yourself to gigantic (as in hundreds of thousands of dollars) penalties for a paperwork foot fault strikes most people as unfair.

    The second tax reason given is the estate tax. For multinational families with assets abroad, with some family members U.S. citizens and some not, the U.S. estate tax can eviscerate the family firm, or the family real estate holdings. If the wealth was created outside the U.S. with significant non-U.S. inputs (human or capital) it strikes many as unfair to sacrifice 35% to the United States Treasury.

    The U.S. passport is too expensive. What you get for what you pay is out of balance.
    That’s why people give up citizenship and permanent resident status.
    And the people who are doing this are precisely the people you’d want as productive, contributing members of the U.S. society.”

    FWIW, this guy is in California but spends a lot of time in the ME, particularly Dubai. So I have to figure he is there because that is where the money is going.

    And this final aside: Has anyone yet figured out if there is a link between all of the outsourcing of jobs and capital (which is today’s theme), and the outsourcing of wealthy americans/PRs through renunciation? You gotta figure, if you are turning your back on the US individually, you are also going to move your business. And vice versa. I have to figure that it is still a fraction of overall activity, but I wonder if there are any studies on that?

  64. thundaar (57)-

    That POS development was DOA even when the market was booming. You could sense the flop sweat on their sales hyenas before you even got in the door.

  65. Luxury. Perth Amboy. Oil. Water.

  66. 3b (60)-

    Melamine milk and Chinese cardboard buns.

  67. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [33] Nom – I’m in the reverse boat up here. I love Boston, but my wife dreams of returning to NJ some day. Of course she envisions all of the niceties of the Blue ribbony BC town she grew up in without contibuting a cent personally towards it. Cut the taxes or prices in half and I *might* consider it, but as things are now, I’m with gary.

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [65] redux,

    Interestingly, Phil Hodgens’ observation also jives with my own: What we are seeing is the low-hanging fruit of expatriation. Expat americans who are really american in name only, and dual citizens/foreign nationals are the ones in the best position to bail. And so they probably make up the vast bulk of the wave of expatriates listed each month on the 6039G quarterly report.

    And their reasons aren’t tied to the income tax per se. Rather, it is (1) a combination of taxes and compliance issues, and (2) the estate tax. As Fabius (I think it was Fabius) pointed out, people don’t expatriate for that reason, and to a large extent, I agree. That is, as tax wonks say, the tail wagging the dog. We aren’t seeing american business owners with presence and assets in the US picking up and moving to Canada or London. Not yet.

    But as we get closer to doom, our “allies” will undoubtedly seek to take advantage of our plight and poach american businesses and wealthy individuals to their shores. This is beginning. As Lord Cutler Beckett would say “[t]he enemy has opted for oblivion. Prepare the fleet.”

    He’d justify it with “It’s just good business.”

  69. joyce says:

    62

    3b, you’re correct. that doesn’t negate the fact that they don’t own any of those and therefore wouldn’t be happy when the market goes up

  70. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Finally on this subject, someone gave me a link to this website:

    http://isaacbrocksociety.com/

    Phil Hodgen, the California tax attorney I mentioned above, gave it his stamp of approval. Says it is spot on, particularly when it comes to the drudgery of dealing with the IRS’ OVDI.

    To me, many expat sites, particularly the escapeartist or sovereign society sites, had a whiff of carny fraud to them. I am coming to realize that it isn’t necessarily so, and that there are sites that are more or less decent sources of reliable information. Phil thinks this is one of them.

  71. 3B says:

    #70 She is living in the past.

  72. joyce says:

    another question 3b

    (not trying to be snarky), but when you say “don’t get into debt” are you counting all forms of debt other than the mortgage? because i’m pretty sure the majority on this board violated that rule

  73. The Original NJ Expat says:

    JJ The oddest part is I never dated this girl, we met up two or three times and all at once she became fixated on me stalker like.

    The recently deceased Patrice O’Neil had a great line:

    “I’ve been with my woman for 5 years now. She’s been with me for 8.”

  74. 3B says:

    #75 If you use credit cards, pay them off every month.
    If you need a car loan, save enough to put 50% down, and then take a loan for no longer than 36 months; pay extra on the loan if you can.

  75. 3B says:

    Anyone know what 500 year flood insurance means?

  76. Confused in NJ says:

    S&P Warns of Cuts; Another US Downgrade Coming?

    CNBC – 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    Concerns over the size of United States debt reared their head once again as ratings agency Standard & Poor’s warned that health care costs for a number of highly-rated Group of 20 countries, including the U.S., could hurt growth prospects and harm their sovereign creditworthiness from the middle of this decade.

    S&P downgraded the United States credit rating for the first time ever in August of last year.

    “Governments’ fiscal burdens will increase significantly over the coming decade, with the highest deterioration in public finances likely to occur in Europe and other advanced G-20 economies, such as Japan and the U.S.,” S&P said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Health care costs for a typical advanced economy will stand at 11.1 percent of gross domestic product by 2050, up from 6.3 percent of GDP in 2010, S&P said.

    “Population aging will lead to profound changes in economic growth prospects for countries around the world as governments work to build budgets to face ever greater age-related spending needs,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Marko Mrsnik in the statement.

    The August downgrade of the United States rating was an embarrassment to the country, but fears that the move would hurt investors’ confidence in the country proved unfounded.

    David Owen, Chief European Economist at Jefferies International believes the U.S. will face another downgrade, but that its impact will again be limited.

    “Is the U.S going to be downgraded again? We think so,” he told CNBC on Tuesday. “Our general perception is it won’t have a material impact. It could even lead to more money flowing to the U.S in the way we saw following the initial downgrade.”

    S&P’s first downgrade has not driven up the United States’ borrowing costs and the dollar appreciated relative to other currencies in the months following the cut as investors sought out safe havens to escape the European debt crisis.

    “The U.S. [dollar] is a reserve currency. It’s able to retain all the confidence of international investors,” Owen said.

    He pointed out that most rating agencies take a short-term view about where the ratings should go.

    Aging, in increasing pension provisions and health care costs, will weigh on public finances for years to come, he said..

    “If the rating agencies took a view out to 2030, 2040 or even 2050, you’d have no triple-As at all because obviously increasing healthcare costs will bear down on the public finances,” Owen added

  77. Juice says:

    JJ – you should friend her on Facebook just to see the reaction.

  78. Shore Guy says:

    Show of hands, who is voting for the merger and who is voting against?

    Dear Member,

    This weekend, the SAG and AFTRA National Boards took a decisive step to strengthen our future by overwhelmingly endorsing a plan to merge Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. If members approve the merger, the new union will be called SAG-AFTRA.

    The vote of the unions’ National Boards came after more than a year of focused effort to hear from members about their needs for stronger union representation and to develop a merger plan to meet those needs. With the enthusiastic approval of our boards, the decision now rests in the hands of AFTrA and SAG members.

    Merger referendum ballots are scheduled to be mailed on or about February 27th – but all members of both unions will have access to the complete merger documents within the next couple of days on the SAG and AFTRA websites. Full printed merger documents will also be mailed to each voter with the referendum ballot, which will be due for return on March 30th. This will give each member ample time to make a thoughtful and well-informed decision.

    We’re also excited to announce that on Friday, February 3rd, we will launch a new joint website to provide members all the information they’ll want to consider before casting their votes. The website will include complete merger details, FAQs, and a comprehensive calendar of events to alert members nationwide to informational meetings and other opportunities for learning about the plan. Watch your email later this week for details of the website launch.

    After more than a year of intensive work, we are extremely proud to bring you this historic opportunity. We also want to acknowledge the ceaseless dedication of the AFTRA and SAG members and staff who came together as the Group for One Union (G1) to produce this remarkable plan. We look forward to sharing all the details and answering any questions you may have. Finally, we are confident that SAG and AFTRA members will embrace this singular chance to harness the true power of unity, and that SAG-AFTRA will protect members and shape the entertainment and media industries for decades to come.

    In unity,

    Ken Howard
    SAG National President

    Roberta Reardon
    AFTRA National President

  79. grim says:

    Not an expert on flood, but I believe 500 year is Zone X, which typically means flood insurance is not required by the lender. You can buy it if you want the coverage.

    I beleive most everywhere that isn’t “flood” falls into the 500 year range.

  80. Shore Guy says:

    “S&P Warns of Cuts; Another US Downgrade Coming?”

    But Obama said that the state of the Union was strong.

  81. Shore Guy says:

    Zone X? Or is it Zone B, for Biblical?

  82. Juice says:

    re: Corzine’s Pad in Hoboken.

    $2.9 million ask? for a 2 BR Maxwell Pl condo in Hoboken? I want whatever he is smoking. He paid $3,2 million in 2008. Out of the gate a nice loss, too bad the place ain’t even worth anything close 2.9 m.

  83. Confused in NJ says:

    Flood Zones
    NFIP Policy Index

    •Definition/Description
    •Guidance
    •Related Keywords
    Definition/Description
    Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (shaded) are also shown on the FIRM, and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X (unshaded).

  84. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/31/us-usa-economy-idUSTRE7BM0AB20120131

    (Reuters) – Home prices fell more steeply than expected in November, and consumer confidence soured in January, highlighting the hurdles still facing the economic recovery.

    The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of single-family home prices in 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, a survey showed on Tuesday, a bigger drop than the 0.5 percent economists expected.

    The decrease added on to the 0.7 percent decline seen in October from September.

    Separately, a report from The Conference Board said an index of consumer attitudes fell to 61.1 in January from a revised 64.8 the month before, as Americans turned gloomy about the job market and their income prospects.

    The data frustrated expectations for an increase after sharp gains in November and December.

    “We are braced for a more bumpy picture over the next few months. A lot of expectations probably ran away or got a little too lofty coming into the end of the year,” said Sean Incremona, economist at 4Cast Ltd in New York.

    “We are still in a very modest recovery, and we do see consumption slowing this quarter, and data like this supports that picture.”

    The economy accelerated at its fastest pace in 1-1/2 years in the final months of 2011, but early 2012 could see weaker growth. A beleaguered housing market and lackluster consumer spending remain among the biggest challenges for the fragile recovery.

    Separate data showed business activity in the U.S. Midwest grew more slowly than expected in January, hurt by a weaker labor market.

    Wall Street erased gains following the manufacturing and consumer confidence data, leaving stocks trading flat at mid-morning.

    On a seasonally adjusted basis, 17 out of 20 cities racked up monthly home price declines, and average national prices were around levels seen in mid-2003, according to S&P/Case-Shiller.

    Prices in the 20 cities also steepened their year-over-year decline, falling 3.7 percent compared to a 3.4 percent decline in October.

    Recent data has lead to optimism the housing sector is in the early stages of the healing process, with some economists looking for prices to find a bottom

    snip

  85. Juice (84)-

    Corslime can afford to sell at a loss. He’s got a little “rainy day fund” he can tap to bring a check to the closing.

  86. What? Huh? You mean, Jamie Dimon stole Jonny’s secret stash?

    Oh, the humanity…

  87. Why is it that every time money goes to money heaven, Jamie Dimon is the undertaker?

  88. JJ says:

    Most people have 401Ks, Annuities and Pensions and are in stocks and bonds. People just seem fixated on property values. Most poor people rent anyhow.

    joyce says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:40 am
    54

    JJ,
    For a seemingly smart person, you do realize like, what is the figure, the bottom 85% of the people in this country in terms of wealth own zero stocks/bonds? And it’s a combination of things, but the main reason being they have little to zero income reamining after food/shelter/transportation. Call them crazy, they’d rather eat then own a piece of paper.

  89. JJ says:

    Flood Insurance is a scam. It only covers parts of house above water table and does not cover contents of house. You have to get a separate flood insurance policy for contents. That is why I don’t have flood insurance.

  90. 3B says:

    #82 /86 Thanks grim and confused. We made the mistake of giving contact information, and now the Realtor is flooding us with listings. I would just like to put a bid in on whatever house we might be interested in, and go form there.

  91. Libtard in the City says:

    Arrgh. Finally finished writing my reviews and will spend the better part of the next three days sharing them with the two round the clock teams I manage. My favorite part is when I tell them there will be no increases again this year. The same story I’ve been repeating since October of 2007. I suppose it get’s a little easier for them each year. I have come to peace with the US slipping into the 2nd world. They are having a harder time accepting it. Then again, most of them forgot to save along the way.

  92. 3B says:

    #94 4 years in a row!!!! Why even bother with the review, if there is not even half a carrot at the end!!!

  93. JJ says:

    It gets worse I did that for awhile and then we gave 40% increases. Meanwhile staff was moaning it is not really 40% as you have to count back in all the raises and bonuses we missed.

    Libtard in the City says:
    January 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Arrgh. Finally finished writing my reviews and will spend the better part of the next three days sharing them with the two round the clock teams I manage. My favorite part is when I tell them there will be no increases again this year. The same story I’ve been repeating since October of 2007. I suppose it get’s a little easier for them each year. I have come to peace with the US slipping into the 2nd world. They are having a harder time accepting it. Then again, most of them forgot to save along the way.

  94. gary says:

    JJ,

    40% increases? C’mon, stop the bullsh1t already.

  95. Juice says:

    Superbowl tickets are down to 2k for the cheap seats now.

    Lots and lots still for sale.

  96. Libtard in the City says:

    “Why even bother with the review”

    And trust me, some of my staff will still argue the critiques I share with them, even though the person who does the least is rewarded equally to the person who busts their @ss.

  97. JJ says:

    not on base. on bonus and base combined since prior year. money I find is a short term solution. I can pay a staff big money but amazingly after a few years they become immune to the money and start to slack off.

    SB tickets are becoming cheaper as cheapest flight from NY is $1,700 and cheapest hotel room is $800. The last minute crowd unless they are driving in a van and sleeping in it is realizing the ticket is the cheapest part.

    I am 100% going to game when it is in Meadlowlands as last minute seats always fall to 2K and if 2k is my only cost good time to go.

    gary says:
    January 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    JJ,

    40% increases? C’mon, stop the bullsh1t already.

  98. JJ says:

    According to HR money is not the main motavator for staff.

  99. Juice says:

    JJ – Superbowl tickets will go down to perhaps $1200. There are no rich folks in Indy to buy them at the last minute.

    Stub hub is renting a hotel space to have a party and to deliver tickets to last minute buyers. There are 3500 seats on that site alone.

    I will drive the ten hours. I can do it in my sleep….

  100. V.I. Lenin says:

    “even though the person who does the least is rewarded equally to the person who busts their @ss.”

    As it should be Comrade. As it shoud be.

  101. joyce says:

    90

    No, you’re wrong. Most people do not have those investments. And whether renting or owning, the price of oil matters for transportation, potentially heat source, and is embedded in the price of food. It matters to almost everyone.

  102. JJ says:

    the majority of americans own stock. They say they don’t but they have it. Oil never mattered to me when I was poor. I had a dumpy apt in NYC and no car. I never bought gas or oil, That was for the rich folk.

    joyce says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:09 pm
    90

    No, you’re wrong. Most people do not have those investments. And whether renting or owning, the price of oil matters for transportation, potentially heat source, and is embedded in the price of food. It matters to almost everyone.

  103. chicagofinance says:

    Is Zentner good looking in person?

    JJ says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:52 am
    Ellen Zentner is the senior economist making this call. Very nice lady. Presented with her once at a conference. Every prediction at that conference came true. So I attended another conference of hers and once again great accuracy. She is like a magician her knowledge base. She took questions from the audience of several hundred and said she will take any topic. People asked her about autos, stocks, interest rates, housing, job market and was amazing the detailed correct answers she gave.

    “We’ve seen home prices take a turn for the worse after showing some signs of a bottom, and we do think that there is more downside from here,” said , a senior economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, who correctly forecast the price decline. “If you get stronger jobs and wage growth, it’ll go far in alleviating some of the pipeline foreclosures that have yet to happen

  104. chicagofinance says:

    best comment is “possibility of finding $1.2B in the drywall”

    Dissident HEHEHE says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:03 am
    Not sure if this was posted but Jonny C is selling in Hoboken:
    Sleep Where Jon Corzine Hath Slept

  105. 3B says:

    #99 And trust me, some of my staff will still argue the critiques I share with them, even though the person who does the least is rewarded equally to the person who busts their @ss.

    But in the case of your place, no one is getting any increase, right?

  106. joyce says:

    JJ

    If you own no stocks and have no 401k or pension, how do you own stocks?
    And considering every city in the country is identical to NYC with unbelievable access to mass transit, the price of oil shouldn’t matter to anyone else either.

  107. cobbler says:

    Flood insurance for Zone X (shaded) is pretty inexpensive – about $300/yr, and limited to $250K I think. Contents of the house are covered but only above ground level. Irene didn’t flood almost anything in Zone X.

  108. joyce says:

    89
    Meat,

    My company just rolled out an HSA (I also know a few people in other firms who now have that as well). They are all run by Chase, should I be surprised? They come with debit cards (so they can get their % with each swipe) and unavoidable monthly maintenance fees… love it

  109. JJ says:

    “Relentless” pressure from foreclosures could soon send the S&P Case-Shiller index of home prices to a new low for the past decade, says Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services. But he thinks falling prices and low mortgage rates are getting buyers back into the market.

    However, municipal bonds are also having a great start to the year, rising 2.41% this month. Over the last 12 months, they’ve returned more than 15%.

  110. JJ says:

    Ha Ha it is unavoidable. State and Federal Pension plans invest in stocks and taxpayers make up difference. Uncle Sam owns AIG and GM. If you pay RE taxes, Federal or State Taxes you are exposed to stock. Civil service workers ride on the backs of wall street bad bonus years effect rolls downstream.

    I would say a lower income person who owns no stocks directly is more impacted in a stock market collaspe than a rich person. I saw restaurants, shoe makers, home owners all go under in 2008-2010. However, people at MS, JPM and CS who kept jobs kept buying stock in lean years made a huge profit in last two years. My friend and I were boasting how much are 401Ks have gone up since January 2009 to January 2012. If you get putting max in the returns are amzing. It is a got to believe thing. Most people dont believe.

    joyce says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm
    JJ

    If you own no stocks and have no 401k or pension, how do you own stocks?
    And considering every city in the country is identical to NYC with unbelievable access to mass transit, the price of oil shouldn’t matter to anyone else either.

  111. JJ says:

    As a stock holder and bond holder of Chase I am lovin it.
    On behalf of the other owners of Chase I thank you.
    joyce says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    89
    Meat,

    My company just rolled out an HSA (I also know a few people in other firms who now have that as well). They are all run by Chase, should I be surprised? They come with debit cards (so they can get their % with each swipe) and unavoidable monthly maintenance fees… love it

  112. JJ says:

    Yes she is hot. She dresses a little fuddy duddy when she speaks but she has a hot little body.

    chicagofinance says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    Is Zentner good looking in person?

    JJ says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:52 am
    Ellen Zentner is the senior economist making this call. Very nice lady. Presented with her once at a conference. Every prediction at that conference came true. So I attended another conference of hers and once again great accuracy. She is like a magician her knowledge base. She took questions from the audience of several hundred and said she will take any topic. People asked her about autos, stocks, interest rates, housing, job market and was amazing the detailed correct answers she gave.

    “We’ve seen home prices take a turn for the worse after showing some signs of a bottom, and we do think that there is more downside from here,” said , a senior economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, who correctly forecast the price decline. “If you get stronger jobs and wage growth, it’ll go far in alleviating some of the pipeline foreclosures that have yet to happen

  113. Brian says:

    I had the b@lls to ask for a raise. My boss nearly cr@pped his pants in laugher.

    Of course, he had just been promoted.

    96.gary says:
    January 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    JJ,

    40% increases? C’mon, stop the bullsh1t already.

  114. JJ says:

    I have to get pre-qualified for a Bank of America Mortgage to bid on a BOA REO today. I wonder what crazy loan limit they will give me? Back in the 1990s Chase once prequalified me for a 500K mortgage on 61K income.

  115. chicagofinance says:

    shut up!

    JJ says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm
    Yes she is hot. She dresses a little fuddy duddy when she speaks but she has a hot little body.

    chicagofinance says:
    January 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    Is Zentner good looking in person?

  116. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: I trade you two Zentners for one Vonny Quinn…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/58026732/

  117. joyce says:

    112
    Now you’re off on a tangent talking about exposure to stocks.

    The Federal Govt/taxpayers own GM… not quite the same thing as being a shareholder now is it? Can I sell my share of GM?

    And because the markets tanked, dragging down the economy and therefore the shoe maker and restaurant owner went under, yet the govt forced taxpayers to bail out MS, JPM, CS et al … you also consider that “owning stocks”? mind boggling

  118. Brian says:

    Googled Ellen Zentner. Kinda cute.

    I’d hit that bottom.

  119. New in FL says:

    Related to flood risk thread…

    FEMA now has an interactive flood map online. Just put in your address and zoom in / out as you please. It’s based on a GIS engine, so you can choose your layers.

    https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/wps/portal

  120. JJ says:

    Some old people not happy.

    Leucadia National Corporation to Redeem Its 7-1/8% Senior Notes and 8.65% Junior Subordinated Deferrable Interest DebenturesBY Business Wire
    — 12:17 PM ET 01/31/2012
    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Leucadia National Corporation (LUK
    ) announced today that it intends to call for redemption on March 15, 2012 (the “Redemption Date”) all of the aggregate principal amount outstanding of its 7-1/8% Senior Notes due 2017 (the “Notes”) and all of the aggregate principal amount outstanding of its 8.65% Junior Subordinated Deferrable Interest Debentures due 2027 (the “Debentures”).

    The Notes will be redeemed in accordance with the terms of the Indenture dated as of March 6, 2007 between the Company and The Bank of New York, as Trustee. The redemption price for the Notes is 103.563% of the principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest (the “Notes Redemption Price”).

    The Debentures will be redeemed in accordance with the terms of the First Supplemental Indenture and the Indenture, each dated as of January 21, 1997, between the Company and Chase Manhattan Bank, as Trustee. The redemption price for the Debentures is 102.1395% of the principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest (the “Debentures Redemption Price”).

    Amazing bonds issued at par on 01/15/2004. The difference between buying 200K of this bond and putting 200K down on a house on 1/15/2004 is amazing.

  121. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Barry Ritholtz: A Housing Bottom Is Nowhere In Sight

    he heard it from gary

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/barry-ritholtz-housing-bottom-nowhere-sight-181259409.html

  122. Brian says:

    Not much further to go for the US.

    http://www.jparsons.net/housingbubble/united_states.png

    http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller/data/Fig2-1.xls

    Except for Bergen County. You guys are special. Your prices (and taxes) will never go down.

  123. JJ says:

    Fantastic gloom and doom in housing today. You need everyone to throw in the towel on an asset class to find a bottom.

    Look at newspapers from December 2010 on Munis, Junk Bonds in March 2009, Stocks December 2008. Negative Negative news is where you find a bottom. This is great news for housing. We need to flush the people out in a rapid quick set of fire sales.

    People are awash in a sea of cash. We need a bottom in RE to get things rolling, investment grade, junk, munis being called and matured and CDs maturing mean cash is coming in to accounts with no where to go. For instance I got called on 25K of LUK bonds today and I lost my 8.65 coupon bond. That cash can’t sit in savings or checking too long it has to go to work. Bonuses, raises, rising stock market, Called Bonds people don’t talk about it but cash is building. I have heard talks of a big Melt Up coming. Don’t know where, RE, Commodities, Stocks etc. It wont be in bonds as that asset class is inflated. But I do see a bond ETF bubble brewing that is going to pop big. Ouch. Melt up and Bond ETF bubble popping in next six months is a gimmie.

  124. All Hype says:

    the majority of americans own stock.

    Seriously JJ, have you ever traveled west of Allentown, PA to the Oregon border?

  125. Brian says:

    125 – JJ

    JJ seriously if I had your money, I’d be buying up stuff. Maybe a place down the jeresey shore. I’m working on booking a place for the summer now in the Seaside Park area. The lady I spoke to is sending me her rental agreement. Bayfront Townhome. Place looks fantastic. She says she bought it in early 2000’s and it’s almost paid for itself. Renters are nuts too. She says she gets the same people every year and they buy stuff and leave it there for other renters (bycicles, fishing poles, crabbing nets, charcoal grill etc). One lady even cleans her house and organized her closet when it rains. My uncle told me a similar story. He says he gets the same renters every year, never changes the weekly rent, and people love the place so much they sometimes fix stuff for free for him before they leave. He practically gives his place away for like $1500 a week. I called about similar houses and they wanted $3000 a week….for bayside not even on the ocean.

  126. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Ellen Zentner

    Not bad, but no screaming hottie. I did however find some interviews including Bloomberg Surveillance, which was pretty funny. To the extent she has a lot published, I will have to read up.

  127. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    to wit:

    http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2010/08/ellen-zentner-on-marketplace-feel-or-geniu.html

    The article was actually “fool or genius” But I suspect JJ was involved in this URL.

  128. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [124] Brian Not much further to go for the US.

    You may want to Google “regression to the mean”

    The peak may be almost over, but now starts the trough (hit the snooze button for 6 or 7 years and then check back).

  129. Marilyn says:

    with the seniors that I know staying in their homes and hanging on for dear life in Nj, they are so happy for that property tax freeze at 80K. One told me yesterday, he was thrilled to have his taxes frozen. Someone else has got to pay for them too remember 80K!!!! Not a bad deal for him but a crappy deal for someone like us who own homes. Look I understand seniors need a home and worked hard but 80K? I think thats a bit high???? I dont know maybe Im out of touch. Maybe its me. I thought he would say his income was more like 65 K and under.

  130. Marilyn says:

    I thought the seniors were struggling with that bill 80K get your taxes frozen????

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  132. Marilyn says:

    i know they have no kids in school, they worked hard, they deserve it, IM OUT OF TOUCH, I was just shocked. I thought the little old lady next door was pulling in 30 K but she said her income was 80 and her taxes are frozen. WOW.

  133. gary says:

    “If this is the bottom then this will be the first time that a major boom and bust hasn’t careened past fair value,” says Ritholtz.

    There’s no secret here at all. He’s absolutely correct. Somewhere around 2016 is the bottom followed by a period of flatline activity. I keep saying it: it’s only half-time.

  134. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [135] gary There’s no secret here at all. He’s absolutely correct. Somewhere around 2016 is the bottom followed by a period of flatline activity. I keep saying it: it’s only half-time.

    If there is no strong job/wage growth by years before then, it will be later still. Strong job growth usually precedes a housing rise by several years.

  135. Juice says:

    wooHOOOO! Just scored super bowl tickets FREE from a stupid stupid exec here who hates sports and did not want to go even though he told the vendor he would. Flying from LaGuardia on Friday night for $222.00 round trip to Chicago and then driving three hours to Indy. Staying in a cheap hotel an hour north of the city for $125 a night.

    I love it when a cheapo plan comes to together… This whole weekend won’t even cost me more than $600 bucks.

  136. chicagofinance says:

    AMZN getting thrashed after-hours

  137. Confused in NJ says:

    MF Global Funds “Vaporized”? Another Blow to Investor Confidence
    By Jeff Macke

    The MF Global story may have fallen off the front page but the hits keep coming for those waiting for justice to be done. This week’s insults include a Wall Street Journal story suggesting the $1.2 billion in missing client funds may have been “vaporized” and an admission by ratings agency Moody’s (MCO) that MF’s investments in European assets came as a surprise.

    More damning than Moody’s ignorance is an assertion from fellow credit ratings group Standard & Poors that the firm received an email from former MF CFO Henri Steenkamp claiming the company’s financial condition had “never been stronger.” That email was sent on October 24th of last year, just one week prior to MF’s bankruptcy.

    The House Financial Services Committee will continue grilling the ratings agencies this Thursday, but is unlikely to produce anything to assuage investors already skeptical of Wall Street being a den of thieves living off the money of the unsuspecting masses. Breakout welcomed Hank Smith, CIO of equity of Haverford Trust to explore the issue of investor confidence and the MF debacle.

    “This is really quite a disgrace,” says Smith in the attached clip. Speaking specifically of former MF Global head Jon Corzine Smith says, “You’re talking about an ex-Goldman (GS) CEO, ex-U.S. Senator, New Jersey Governor taking a company and playing roulette with it.”

    Noting that the “lawyered up” Corzine is likely to lay low for as long as possible, Smith speculates that Corzine was “trying to take a fledgling company and essentially rolled the dice” in an effort to make MF a player in financial circles.

    “Did Corzine do anything illegal? I’m not sure. Was he bad manager? I’m 100% sure of that,” says Smith.

    The concern here about MF isn’t making sure a bad guy gets caught. Criminals go free all the time; even on Wall Street. The issue is one of trust in financial markets. Without trust you can’t have markets and it’s getting ever more difficult to defend this system against accusations of rampant corruption.

    Smith, who helps manage over $6 billion says distrust in the system is resulting in investors voting for other asset classes with their feet, regardless of traditionally compelling valuations.

    “Almost three years off the trough of the recession we’re some 100 percentage points off the March 2009 lows yet we have sentiment and confidence that is reflective of where we were three years ago,” he states.

    Would the Department of Justice getting involved in the case of MF Global restore trust? Not in and of itself, but it would be a baby step. $1.2 billion in client funds has gone to money heaven and MF Global had it last. You don’t need to be a $1,500 an hour lawyer to know a crime has been committed.

    If we can find politicians and prosecutors with the guts to enforce existing laws then maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to start building trust between Main Street and the financial industry.

  138. Marilyn says:

    what are people on? I just had to get home heating oil so I am complaining to my neighbor about the price and the price of gas, he just looks at me and says ohh. OHH what wake the hell up you idiot. Then I ask him what are your electric bills, ohh I dont know we just miss months and its always behind so I really dont know what we pay he tells me. I mean this guy is in a fog. He is over 300 lbs , his wife is 350 lbs and now the 13 year old daughter has a bolo belly the size of a beach ball. I mean maybe you should stop eating and wake up. What the hell are people on, because I would really like some of it. I am tired of being the only one in reality, it stinks. I need the drugs that these people are on.

  139. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Excellent Alt Finance Blog List (At least 4 I didn’t know about):

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/01/cnbc-best-alternative-financial-blogs/

    Hell, I’m just bookmarking this page, it has almost every place (except here) I go.

  140. Punch My Ticket says:

    JJ [100],

    According to HR …

    No money is, however, a serious demotivator.

    As for your “everyone owns stocks even if they don’t know it” schtick, its not even close to true. Forget the inhabitants of this blog. In the country as a whole, median net worth of adults excluding residential equity but including private pensions is ZERO.

  141. Punch My Ticket says:

    Nom [70],

    For most people, it’s not tax. Not even estate tax though that hits some. The problem is the ever increasing burden of complying. 40 years ago you filed taxes as an expat resident of some other country and filled out a 1040 too. The other country’s tax bill was always higher or FEIE covered everything so the bottom line on the 1040 was nada.

    Then the fatcats started shuffling big money into Switzerland and that had to be stopped, so millions had to mail a TD90F to Detroit every year to cover their $300 savings account at the Lower Slobovian Postbank.

    Then 20 years ago Dart bugs out to Belize with a billion stashed in his Learjet, gives Uncle Sam a Bronx cheer, so the 10 year expat tax regime begins. Along with half a dozen new forms which change every 18 months so you don’t know if you’ve dotted the right i’s in any given year. And the start of the enlistment of financial institutions as spies so no one can escape the net. Except somehow the fatcats seem to be fine and only the rabble have to file all this paperwork.

    Now we have HEART and HERO and FATCA and delays plus fees to renounce. Tax due on unrealized gains and big chunks of retirement / deferred comp accounts seized before you can leave the country. More forms. More reporting. More fines and penalties. Aggravation for all in the name of catching the big fish.

    So why are there no tuna in the net, just us herring?

  142. JJ says:

    I think people don’t understand that 1.2 billion is not that big a number. When I worked in the back office 20 years ago I would round off to one billion when I balanced out. It is very easy to lose one billion. Heck an old company of mine in 1988 lost 400 million. in sloppy accounting. I once worked on a project at a transfer/paying agent that had a missing billion and it took us months to reconcile. In the mid 90s right before PCs became super popular I got a new calculator at work that went to one trillion. Yes back in the 1990s we had one trillion dollar days usually first day of the year. I seen stocks dk, bonds DK, fed wires to balance out, heck when Chase merged with Chemical they sent me 500 million to balance out and stuck me with escheatment as they did not want it back. There is an old saying a billion here a billion there and soon it equals real money.

  143. JJ says:

    814 credit score is that good.

  144. marilyn (14)-

    Check out the humans in Wall-E. That’s what these dunces resemble most.

  145. Punch My Ticket says:

    One more thing about the expat circus and then I’ll shut up.

    To assure the continued dedication of the United States to fundamental human rights, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, on or after January 3, 1975, products from any nonmarket economy country shall not be eligible to receive nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations), such country shall not participate in any program of the Government of the United States which extends credits or credit guarantees or investment guarantees, directly or indirectly, and the President of the United States shall not conclude any commercial agreement with any such country, during the period beginning with the date on which the President determines that such country—
    (1) denies its citizens the right or opportunity to emigrate;
    (2) imposes more than a nominal tax on emigration or on the visas or other documents required for emigration, for any purpose or cause whatsoever; or
    (3) imposes more than a nominal tax, levy, fine, fee, or other charge on any citizen as a consequence of the desire of such citizen to emigrate to the country of his choice,…

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode19/usc_sec_19_00002432—-000-.html

  146. SX says:

    (LONDON) — Former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Fred Goodwin, who led the bank into near collapse, has been stripped of his knighthood, the British government said Tuesday.

    The Cabinet Office said the knighthood had been “canceled and annulled” because Goodwin had brought the honors system into disrepute. 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis: Fred Goodwin.

    Revoking knighthoods is rare, but the government said “the scale and severity of the impact of his actions as CEO of RBS made this an exceptional case.”

    Since he left RBS in 2008 with a multimillion-dollar pension as the bank was foundering, Goodwin has become, in the view of many Britons, a high-profile public villain of the financial crisis.

    Goodwin built the Royal Bank of Scotland into one of the world’s largest banks and was knighted in 2004 for services to banking. But he led the bank to disaster four years later with a takeover of the Dutch bank ABN Amro, paying a high price just as the credit crisis was starting to bite. (Magazine: The TIME at Davos Debate, Capitalism Under Fire)

    Goodwin resigned in October 2008 as the bank was failing, provoking the public’s ire by leaving with $25 million in pension benefits.

    The British government spent 45 billion pounds bailing out and nationalizing RBS, and taxpayers now own an 82 percent stake.

    The government said that under the circumstances, “the retention of a Knighthood for ‘services to banking’ could not be sustained.”

    The decision was made on the advice of the Forfeiture Committee, which usually acts only against people sentenced to more than three months in prison for a criminal offense, or who have lost their professional license or been censured by a regulatory or professional body.

    A report on RBS published last year by the Financial Services Authority blamed the RBS debacle on bad decisions, rather than dishonesty or any violation of regulations.

    In losing his knighthood, Goodwin joins a group that also includes the spy Anthony Blunt, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and former Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu.

    Goodwin, 53, is likely to retain his other title — “Fred the Shred,” a tribute to his aggressive cost-cutting while expanding RBS.

    Public and political pressure has been mounting on the current executives of the bank to renounce hefty bonuses they were awarded at a time when many Britons face painful spending cuts and tax hikes.

    Goodwin’s replacement, Stephen Hester, announced Sunday he would not accept a bonus of 1 million pounds in shares. The day before, RBS chairman Philip Hampton waived his own bonus of 1.4 million pounds in shares.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2105799,00.html#ixzz1l5P99zpR

  147. These are really fantastic ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  148. Brian says:

    Yes thanks for the brilliant advice. I understand that and said that very thing in an earlier post a few weeks ago.

    Here’s the trouble with Barry Ritholz’s predictions.

    I like Barry Ritholz, I think he is right conceptually but I wonder about the accuracy of his timing and data that he may have in mind.

    In April 2011, he posted this:

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/case-shiller-100-year-chart-2011-update/

    It’s a graph from a reader of his blog which uses Robert Schiller’s data to map the pricing of housing over the course of 120 years. The trouble is, after 2006, the reader accidentally uses data from the Case/Schiller 20 city index instead of Robert Schiller’s data. Also, Robert Schiller’s data is adjusted for inflation while the Case/Schiller 20 city index is not. This makes the 2006 – 2011 portion of the graph look more dramatic than it should.

    If Barry Ritholz has this graph in mind when he makes his predictions, you may want to take it with a grain of salt.

    Anyway, it wasn’t me that discovered this, it was this guy:

    http://blog.jparsons.net/2011/04/housing-bubble-graph-fail.html

    The Original NJ Expat says:

    January 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    [124] Brian Not much further to go for the US.

    You may want to Google “regression to the mean”

    The peak may be almost over, but now starts the trough (hit the snooze button for 6 or 7 years and then check back).

  149. Fred Goodwin should be beheaded. Taking away his knighthood is getting off easy.

  150. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    JJ 814 credit score is that good.

    I used to have a Providian/Capital One credit card that I never used, but it gave me my credit score from one agency (Experian, I think?) every month. I loved it. I never got above 742 or so a couple years ago, buy my wife was really high. We bought a car in September and they ran my wife’s credit score, I think it was 787 or so. In front of the salesman I quipped, “I thought you used to be a lot higher than that.” Without missing a beat, she retorted, “That was before I married you.” Gotta love her.

  151. Shore Guy says:

    “Taking away his knighthood is getting off easy.”

    I wonder if they also took away his allowance and TV for two weeks?

  152. njescapee says:

    Hey Jersey, Our Florida AG is pretty hot. don’t ya think?

  153. Fabius Maximus says:

    I think I saw a pig fly past today. It had Eddie Ray on it backpeddling on his assertion that the consulates were getting overrun with the high net worth 1% Marc Rich wannabes trying to renouce.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfWMHhdMF5M&feature=related

  154. Fabius Maximus says:

    I came across a facinating new site. It puts a new perspective on a few things.

    http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/to-my-old-master.html

  155. Fabius Maximus says:

    So many ways of looking at this one. Thankfully it was not needed.
    http://www.lettersofnote.com/2010/11/in-event-of-moon-disaster.html

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