January pending home sales up 14.2% year-over-year in the Northeast

From Crain’s NY:

Northeast, South lead US pending home resales

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in January, indicating the industry that triggered the last recession is improving.

The index of pending home resales climbed 2% after a 1.9% decrease the prior month that was smaller than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said Monday in Washington. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 1% rise.

Buyers are returning to the market on the heels of faster job gains for three straight months, falling home prices and record low borrowing costs. At the same time, foreclosures are weighing on property values and construction, slowing the housing recovery.

“Affordability is keeping the market afloat,” Sean Incremona, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, said before the report. “We’ve seen a bottom for home sales. There’s a gradual upward trend in demand.”

Sales were projected to rise after an originally reported drop of 3.5% in December, according to the Bloomberg survey. January estimates ranged from a drop of 1.7% to an increase of 3.3%.

Compared with a year earlier, January pending home sales climbed 10.3%.

Two of four regions saw an increase in pending home sales, Monday’s report showed. That included a 7.6% gain in the Northeast and a 7.7% increase in the South. Pending purchases dropped in the West and Midwest.

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172 Responses to January pending home sales up 14.2% year-over-year in the Northeast

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    Looking at the unadjusted year over year numbers.

  3. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    IFR-Preview-major US economic data for release Feb. 28

    WHAT: Standard & Poor’s Case Shiller Home Price Index, December
    WHEN: Tuesday 0900 EST (1400 GMT)

    FORECASTS (pct) Reuters IFR Previous
    20-city, unadjusted -0.9 -1.0 -1.3
    20-city, adjusted -0.5 -0.4 -0.7
    20-city, year/year -3.6 -3.7 -3.7
    IFR COMMENTARY: “The December S&P Case-Shiller house price index
    should see its yr/yr pace (20 city) remain at November’s -3.7%
    pace, down from -3.4% in October. On a seasonally adjusted basis
    the month/month data should soon start to look less negative,
    and December should see a decline of 0.4% to follow three
    straight very weak -0.7% outcomes. There are some signs of life
    in several housing sector surveys, though as of December the
    response from sales was moderate and from price data even less
    convincing. The S&P Case-Shiller index tends to underperform
    some other house price series, notably the FHFA’s, given a
    stronger influence from distressed sales. December price data
    from Core Logic, which distinguishes between distressed and
    non-distressed sales, still shows continued slippage overall due
    to the continued weight of distressed sales. Before seasonal
    adjustment the S&P Case-Shiller data should see a 1.0% December
    decline, slightly slower than the 1.3% falls of October and
    November but still showing significant seasonal and underlying
    weakness.”

  4. grim says:

    From NJ Spotlight:

    New Jersey’s Looming Foreclosure Crisis

    Foreclosure irregularities are as common in New Jersey as they are in San Francisco, where a recent audit revealed problems in almost every case studied, according to homeowner advocates.

    But that’s where the similarities end.

    San Francisco went public with its foreclosure problems. In New Jersey, the county clerks and sheriff’s officers who are responsible for making sure that all aspects of foreclosures are handled properly have raised an alarm with the attorney general, governor, and the legislature.

    To date there has been no response.

    Even as residential foreclosure activity has resumed in New Jersey following a lifting of a court-ordered moratorium, county clerks and other officials said the validity of many documents being used here remains questionable.

    Both groups said many mortgage-related documents are still being filed privately, via an electronic system established by major lenders, rather than by traditional public methods at county courthouses throughout the state.

    As a result, there’s no transparency to the process. Evidence remains anecdotal, making it impossible to verify the extent of various irregularities.

    Still, problems have persisted despite last year’s court-ordered moratoriums and studies of foreclosure practices in New Jersey, according to observers. For the most part, they said, the state reviewers accepted assurances from banks that their current procedures adequately protect borrowers and have allowed them to proceed.

  5. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Buyers Face Higher Fees at F.H.A.

    Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration — which allows a smaller down payment and has less stringent credit requirements than traditional mortgages — are about to get a bit more expensive. But whether the higher costs will damp demand for these mortgages remains to be seen, experts say, since many borrowers have nowhere else to turn.

    The agency announced Monday that it would increase two types of fees that borrowers must pay. The goal, it said, is to help shore up its reserves, which had fallen sharply in the midst of the housing crisis, and to encourage private lenders to wade back into the still-struggling market.

    More prospective home buyers have been turning to the F.H.A. as other lenders tightened their requirements after the real estate market collapse in 2008. The agency does not make loans, but insures mortgages that meet its guidelines: people with credit scores of 580 or more can put down as little as 3.5 percent. As a result, the number of mortgages backed by the F.H.A. has ballooned, accounting for 40 percent of all new purchase mortgages in 2010, up from 4.5 percent in 2005, agency figures show.

    “We want to be there for the marketplace as it is needed, but we are also trying to step back some and encourage the return of private capital,” Carol Galante, acting F.H.A. commissioner, said in announcing the increases.

    The agency’s cash reserves have shrunk because of a sharp rise in borrower defaults, which raised concerns late last year that the F.H.A. could require a bailout if the market deteriorated further. But officials said that the increase in borrower fees would bring in about $1.25 billion during the rest of 2012 and through September 2013. The agency also expects to collect about $1 billion from the $26 billion settlement among 49 attorneys general, the Obama administration and the five biggest mortgage servicers. Taken together, officials said, that would put the agency on stronger financial footing.

    In its announcement, the F.H.A. said it would increase its annual mortgage insurance premium by 0.10 of a percentage point for loans under $625,500, which would now cost 1.25 percent of the loan amount, up from 1.15 percent. That change takes effect on April 1. And starting on June 1, the premium for larger loans would rise more, or by 0.35 of a percentage point, bringing the total premium to 1.5 percent. This annual premium is broken down in monthly payments.

    But the agency also said it planned to raise another fee, known as the upfront mortgage premium, by 0.75 of a percentage point, bringing the premium to 1.75 percent of the loan amount, which can be rolled into the mortgage.

  6. Young Buck says:

    Fines may increase for left-lane campers on N.J. highways Mike Frassinelli/The Star-Ledger 02/28/2012 6:30 AM

    Own up. In a hurry to get to work or a meeting, you’ve encountered a slowpoke hogging the left lane on I-80 or the Turnpike and secretly wished you had one of those monster trucks with 66-inch tires so you could roll over his sedan.

    Maybe you’ve even passed him on the right and displayed a hand signal letting him know you think he’s number one.

    Drivers who hate it when fellow travelers clog the left lane, take heart. The New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee Monday advanced a proposal to increase fines for drivers who fail to stay right except to pass — from $50 to $200 now, to $100 to $300, with $50 to go toward signs reminding motorists entering New Jersey about the stay right law.

    “Having conversations with law enforcement, they refer to this as one of the triggers for road rage,” state Sen. Donald Norcross (D-Camden), the bill sponsor, said of left-lane campers.

    He got to experience express lane obstructions first-hand on his way to Trenton Monday, saying, “Certainly, driving here today just reminds me why this is a good bill.”

    “It tends to be more the out-of-state drivers, who are not aware of our stay right law,” Norcross said. “So what we want to do here is raise awareness and make the roads a little safer.”

    Almost all states require slower traffic to stay right, but New Jersey is one of the stricter states when it comes to keeping the left lane open except to pass. Other states have variations. In neighboring Pennsylvania, for example, motorists traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow can stay in the left lane.

    New Jersey Senate Bill No. 530 passed the committee 3-1, with Norcross and state Sens. Nicholas J. Sacco (D-Hudson) and Robert M. Gordon (D-Bergen) voting to release it and state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris) opposing.

    Pennacchio agrees in theory with keeping the traffic flowing, but said increasing fines in a state where fees are already high can be seen as “draconian.”

    He said that last week, there was the “move over” measure, where drivers were required to move over one lane or slow down when approaching stopped emergency or highway safety vehicles that flashed their warning lights.

    “We had the move over law last week that said you’ve got to move from the right to the left. Now we get the move-from-the-left-to-the-right law,” Pennacchio said. “Eventually, we’re going to run out of lanes.”

    There were 5,127 tickets written for violations of the stay right law in the last calendar year, according to the state judiciary. It is a 2-point violation for New Jersey drivers.

    Norcross said that in talking with State Police, drivers usually aren’t cited for failure to stay right unless they camp out in the lane for three miles.

    “Some of them won’t get out of the left-hand lane until the lights of the state trooper cars” are flashing, he said. “They are completely oblivious.”

    Norcross, who encounters left-lane slowpokes during his frequent trips on the Atlantic City Expressway, is hopeful the increased fines and new signs will be approved by the full House by the end of the year.

    Steve Carrellas, New Jersey representative of the National Motorists Association driving rights group, said the association supports efforts by Norcross to foster smooth, safe and efficient flow of traffic on multi-lane highways.

    The association every year designates June as “lane courtesy month,” and Carrellas said the clogging of the left lane is always a “hot button” for the general motoring public.

    “We and all motorists who find poor lane courtesy a detraction from safe and pleasurable driving support the senator in his efforts to improve lane courtesy on New Jersey’s highways,” he said.

  7. grim says:

    6 -The necessity of this law speaks to the overall arrogance and sense of entitlement of the typical Jersey resident.

  8. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Supreme Court: foreclosure docs must name lender

    In a closely watched ruling that handed a victory to mortgage lenders, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that the absence of the lender’s name on a foreclosure filing is insufficient reason to throw the case out.

    The 5-0 ruling announced Monday said mortgage owners must be identified in the foreclosure documents. Mortgages are often bundled and sold to investors, while the originator of the loan continues to service the mortgage and is often the only lender listed.

    Yet the decision also said that in cases where the mortgage owner’s name is not stated, courts can remedy the problem in a variety of ways, including allowing the lender’s name to be inserted in the court records. Courts also could throw the foreclosure out.

    The ruling comes amid close scrutiny of foreclosure proceedings across the U.S. – in part due to so-called robo-signing in which documents were signed without proper review – and especially in New Jersey, where the number of foreclosure filings plunged last year.

    Some foreclosure attorneys say the decline was partly due to mortgage owners waiting for the Supreme Court decision.

    Michael Horn, a Newark attorney who filed a friend of the court brief for the Cranford-based New Jersey Bankers Association, called it a “partial victory for the banks.”

    Although the number of foreclosure proceedings that might be affected by the decision is unknown, Horn said there are “probably thousands and thousands” of foreclosure cases that don’t list the mortgage owners name, and would have had to be refiled if the court had ruled that the foreclosure proceeding in question be thrown out, he said.

    Rebecca Schore, an attorney for Legal Services of New Jersey, which argued the case for the homeowners, welcomed the court demand that the lender name be identified.

  9. grim says:

    Repost from the other day, January contracts for Northern NJ:

    January Contracts (All GSMLS except for Bergen which is NJMLS)

    Bergen
    2011 – 669
    2012 – 839 (Up 25%)

    Essex
    2011 – 198
    2012 – 241 (Up 22%)

    Hunterdon
    2011 – 55
    2012 – 61 (Up 11%)

    Morris
    2011 – 244
    2012 – 274 (Up 12%)

    Passaic
    2011 – 126
    2012 – 165 (Up 31%)

    Sussex
    2011 – 59
    2012 – 125 (Up 111%)

    Somerset
    2011 – 147
    2012 – 185 (Up 26%)

    Union
    2011 – 170
    2012 – 224 (Up 32%)

    Warren
    2011 – 45
    2012 – 70 (Up 55%)

    Overall
    2011 – 1713
    2012 – 2184 (Up 27%)

  10. BearsFan says:

    grim, i’d offer that this:
    http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/graph/Default.aspx?cat=2&ids=1,-1&state=zz&d=1095&t=MSLine&eco=-1

    combined with price reductions and some more time for buyers to save DP have contributed to some of this buy circuit closing….that 417K window seems to play a role too…am I way off?

  11. BearsFan says:

    I also have a list of UCs for the towns I’m hunting in for Dec/Jan that I’m tracking, but very few have closed yet, and they are creeping into that 45-60 day range. What’s the average # of days on a typical closing the last few years?

  12. gary says:

    Buyers are returning to the market on the heels of faster job gains for three straight months, falling home prices and record low borrowing costs.

    I spoke to four recruiters yesterday; all they have on their desk is temp positions. Show me the data that points to these job gains leading to a home purchase and I’ll sign up this week for classes and training to switch careers.

  13. grim says:

    I’d say 45 days is average around here, 60 isn’t outrageous either. Contracts with sale contingencies on either side can take much longer. I’ve seen buyers and sellers agree on closing dates 4 months out because timing was better for them.

    What are the MLS#’s? The listing includes the anticipated close date.

  14. grim says:

    Actually, the long tail associated with short sales probably makes lOoking at the average closing time a little bit misleading.

  15. 3B says:

    #12 gary: Don’t you know that as soon as people see an improvement in jobs numbers the first thing they do is go out and buy a house? I mean after all there has been gains for three STRAIGHT months!!! It does not matter what types of jobs or pay or benefits, as long as job numbers rise people go out and buy houses. It is written.
    ‘t

  16. tbw says:

    #6 – It is funny how tons of money have been poured into Click It or Ticket, or Under the Influence, Under Arrest commercials and billboards but the left lane lingerers are just ignored.
    I do not understand many of the people I see on the roads and highways like those who pull out into the right or center lane of a highway ignoring the shoulder and barely accelerating. Or those who need a little convex mirror on their Hyundai so they can drive (usually idiot mirrors are a good indication of a bad driver) I give large trucks, buses, and commercial equipment a pass on this. The best is when you see a really expensive vehicle (like over $40k) with a convex mirror stuck on it. Ugh, the engineers and designers of such an exquisite vehicle overlooked something you get at the dollar store. If you know how to adjust your mirrors properly, you wouldn’t need the convex mirror. They have become an epidemic lately. I guess when you have money to burn at Dollar Tree or PepBoys why not buy something for the car?

  17. 3B says:

    Durable goods orders for January drop 4% expected to drop 1.3%, just saying.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-hold-modest-gains-after-data-2012-02-28-841190

  18. JJ says:

    The other interesting thing is potential buyers downpayments are not growing at rate they should be growing. Remember the bliss of 1995 to 2000. Or even the bliss of the 1970s and 1980s. Bliss means in hte 1995 to 2000 range we were all in Stocks. Peter Lynch said just buy my Fidelity Fund or a S&P 500 fund sit back and your money grows 20% each year no problem.

    Plenty a friend who bought a home from 1995 to 2000 saved their whole downpayment fund in stocks. I myself had a quaint little Chase Vista Growth and Income fund I put $500 a month in and it grew 20% a year. rates were decently high in late 1999 so my money market accoutn grew at 5% a year. When I closed on my house in Feb 2000 it was great.

    Now back to the 1970s and 1980s. Old timers told me rates were sky high. So they bought five year cds or ten year treasuries at 17% interest each year for a few years while home prices fell each year. In a matter of five years you could almost buy a house cash.

    Flash forward to today. A shocking 50% of people in the USA in 2011 did not own any stocks. Also a low number of people in USA owned munis, investment grade, junk bonds or MBS. People hunkered down and put their DP money into savings accounts, money markets, short term treasuries. short term bond funds that all pay near zero.

    Chase Checking for instance pays 1/10 of 1% interests. Money doubles ever 1,000 years at that rate.

    Imagine newlywed couple 1. Got Married June 2008 and decided to save wifes income for a house. Wife makes take home 3k a month and they put it each month into stocks, munis and investment grade bonds. Couple two married same month and wife puts 3k a month into a savings account at 1/10 of 1 %. Couple number one has almost doubled their money.

    Couple one in four years have saved $144,000
    Couple two in four years have saved $216,000

    50% of people in US made a huge mistake not being invested in stocks, munis, junk bonds, investment grade bonds, commodities or MBS and staying in cash.

    That mistake will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Hopefully in next crash, we have one every ten years these people will learn it is always darkest before dawn.

  19. JJ says:

    I inverted my couples, But you know what I mean. Funny if couple got married in June 2005 the results would be 100% different!
    Couple one in four years have saved $144,000
    Couple two in four years have saved $216,000

  20. gary says:

    Mikeinwaiting [17],

    I’m not a cold fusion programmer. I have your email address. I’ll email you this evening. :)

  21. 3B says:

    #5 grim: I may have to revist this method of financing again.

  22. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ok Gary had no idea what it was or if you did it, talk to you later.

  23. JJ says:

    Home prices fall 4% in 2011 to the lowest level in nine years, S&P Case-Shiller says.

  24. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [7] grim,

    The law also points out the absurdity of the NJ driver insofar as we are irked by, and will penalize, drivers who are actually closer to obeying the law (at least one law) than the rest of us.

    And if you think it is bad here, try Maryland. There, the left lane is the slow lane. It took me forever to figure out why MDers always dogged it in the left lane, and I have one theory: MD state troopers invariably run speed traps from medians. So drivers in the “fast” lane don’t speed. Once I learned that, I usually did my speeding in the right lane as there was never anyone in it.

  25. JJ says:

    19 of 20 cities survey showed year-over-year declines…ouch.

    Prices stand at their lowest level since mid-2006, according to Case Shiller.

    Lets start discussing Case Shiller, great news for fence sitters. Bad news for those knife catchers who bought in 2009-2011

  26. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [6] grim,

    quel surprise. I’m shocked to discover that FHA is raising fees.

    I’m also shocked that people pay the NYT to learn things that they could have learned on this blog OVER A YEAR AGO when yours truly among others pointed out that loans would have higher and more fees, especially for those borrowers who actually need the loans.

  27. Mikeinwaiting says:

    3b 18 “U.S. stock futures take a dive after the worst durable goods report in three years”

  28. Mikeinwaiting says:

    More good news.
    “Adding to woes, home prices fell for the fourth-consecutive month in December, with 18 of the 20 cities tracked posting a decline. The S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index slid 3.8 percent, ending 2011 at the lowest levels since mid-2006.”

  29. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Not to worry all is well “O” told me so.

  30. 30 year realtor says:

    NJ Supreme Court says lenders can correct those bad notices of intent. There will be no lack of inventory next Spring! It may take 9 months to a year until the tsunami hits, but it is now only a matter of time.

  31. 3B says:

    #28 Mike: Like I have been saying I think it is way too early for those who may be popping the champagne corks on the so called economic recovery; just saying of course.

  32. joyce says:

    (6)
    stay right law

    If you’re driving the speed limit in the middle lane(s) or right lane… how is someone legally going to pass you on the left? It’s not OK to go over the speed limit to pass someone is it?

  33. 3B says:

    Echoming gary here, but below is a listing which demonstrates why prices in blue ribbony Bergen Co train towns are not done falling. This house woudl have sold at around 700k during the peak. The original listing price I belive was in the high 600’s now relisted at 595K Taxes are $17,000 a year!!! Any questions???

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1205433

  34. joyce says:

    (19)
    Weren’t you claiming that EVERYONE owned stocks a while ago? Now its about 50%?

  35. JJ says:

    The rare times I drive in NJ where there is no traffic I often stay in left lane. Normally left lane going speed limit, center lane going 5-1omph over speed limit and left lane going 10-15 mph over speed limit. I can only stay in left lane if speeding as if I go the speed limit or even 5mph over speed limit will get high beams.

    Also once or twice I honked on the highway at a slow poke in left lane and I get god awful looks. Why is honking a no no on a highway but we honk on side streets.

    The other thing I noticed is lack of respect in left lane for faster cars. In Germany in the Autobahn the saying is with a Mercedes SL the “right of way is built in” If you see a V8 Benz with a big star in rear view you move to right, and the Benz SL sees a Ferrari etc. in rear view you move to right.

    When I had my old Benz SL people with BMW 3 series or 5 series or Mercedes C class or E class knew to step aside. But somehow people in Japanese 4 cylnder cars would stay in lane. Way out by riverhead once this guy in a Lexus would not get over. Finally I passed him at 120 mph then me and him both slowed down so we would not get arrested back to 70 mph. The man pulled aside and gave me a nod. I swore my engine was going to explode. A new lexus vs. at the time a 19 year old SL with 110K miles. He should study his history books to WWII at how the Japs marveled at German engineering. Only a stupid american would think a jap car can beat a krout car. I guess the Lexus to Remember sales event caused mind rot.

    joyce says:
    February 28, 2012 at 9:48 am
    (6)
    stay right law

    If you’re driving the speed limit in the middle lane(s) or right lane… how is someone legally going to pass you on the left? It’s not OK to go over the speed limit to pass someone is it?

  36. JJ says:

    Everyone I know owns stocks. But surprising people between New York and California dont. Interesting article in NY times this sunday how people with high IQs always have better returns than people with low IQs. The people with high IQs know better leave investing to pros., stocks beat basically every asset class over time so sit back an invest in good funds and dont stock pick or time market. The low IQ folks try to invest on their own, buy and sell at wrong times or completely stay out of stocks which is a huge mistake as over long term it is only asset class that consistantly delivers positive returns after inflation and taxes. 50% of people in USA are apparantly too stupid to realize they are stupid. Only smart people realize they are stupid.

    joyce says:
    February 28, 2012 at 9:55 am
    (19)
    Weren’t you claiming that EVERYONE owned stocks a while ago? Now its about 50%?

  37. JJ says:

    While we’ve seen a stock-market boom that has made plenty of people rich, much of Main Street America has missed out. Instead of buying, they’ve been selling. The few moments when they’ve steeled themselves and turned buyers have been, on the whole, the worst times to do so.

    In total, over the last five years the investors in ordinary domestic mutual funds have withdrawn $490 billion from the U.S. stock market, according to data compiled by the Investment Company Institute, the industry trade group. There have been only a few brief periods during which they were buying. The first was the spring of 2008 — just before the market collapsed. The second was the spring of 2009, after the stock market had already rallied. The third was the start of last year, shortly before the market slumped again.

    I’ve tried to put some hard numbers on the results. The best I can do are some rough estimates. I compared the information on mutual fund net sales or purchases for each month with data from MSCI on the stock market’s average monthly returns since. I used MSCI indices covering the entire US market — large, medium and small-cap stocks.

    In October 2008, after Lehman, investors panicked and withdrew about $45 billion from their U.S. stock funds. That trade alone has cost them $25 billion in investment profits since, according to MSCI data: On average, the shares they sold for $45 billion would be worth about $70 billion (including dividends) now. In February and March of 2009, as the market slumped to its record lows, mutual fund investors sold another $29 billion worth of U.S. stock funds. That cost them another $26 billion in lost profits.

    In total, by my math Main Street investors have missed out on a staggering $106 billion in investment profits over the past five years by selling stocks at the wrong time. Nearly all of that, or $96 billion, has been since Lehman imploded. It has come during a five-year period when the stock market overall has made a small, 4%, profit.

    Wall Street is up — but Main Street is down. And I’m not even talking about job losses or home values. I’m just talking about stocks.

  38. joyce says:

    37
    So are you wrong now or were you wrong then?

  39. Libtard in Union says:

    JJ,

    Main Street is broke. I would venture to guess that the overwhelming majority of these stock withdrawals were made to pay for daily expenses now that that the home refinancing ATM is no longer open. You live in a different world than the rest of us. But don’t worry about your main street ignorance. As long as Uncle Sam keeps on changing the rules in your favor, Main Street will come to you…violently. And you’ll question if it was worth it.

  40. Nicholas says:

    I’m going to agree with Lib. From what I’m seeing on the ground around me for those who live on main street is that they are tapped out. They are not making withdraws because they are fearful they are making withdraws because they don’t have any other options left. The bills have to get paid and in certain cases it made sense to liquidate stocks/bonds to pay down credit card debt or mortgage debt.

    To refinance to the amazing rates that we have seen you have to have positive equity in the home. To get to positive equity you need to bring cash. You get that cash by selling other assets.

    Hindsight is always 20/20 but from where standing it looked like a good idea.

  41. Shore Guy says:

    Monarchies are absurd forms of government in the modern Western world. If the UK does not become a republic, Scotland would do well to say adios to the Queen, her progeny, and the cost of their upkeep:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/opinion/independence-for-scotland.html

    “THE Breakup of Britain”? It sounds like a fantasy fiction title. To many people across the world, including the English themselves, it is inconceivable that this deep-rooted United Kingdom, the oldest royal democracy in the world, could split apart.

    In the last few weeks, however, official London has panicked over the rising clamor of voices from all over the British Isles suddenly agreeing that the archaic structure of “Great Britain” is overdue for a shake-up — even a breakup.

    Nowhere are these voices in better harmony than in Scotland. If “Britain” is more than a word on a passport, why do most Scots now feel their primary identity is not British? What would it mean to be English if the Scots walked away? And should the Welsh follow them? A fresh wind of new ideas is blowing from Scotland and tempting all the queen’s subjects to reimagine their identities.

    snip

  42. Shore Guy says:

    I don’t know how any small “R” republican, or any free person for that matter, can stoop to ever call any so-called royal “Your Majesty,” “Your Highness,” or, worse yet “Your Royal Highness.”

  43. grim says:

    Tapped out? Try going out to eat on a Saturday night, 2 hour waits, everywhere. 3b, how does Riverside look on a Saturday night these days? Still 3 hour waits at Houston’s I bet. People literally fighting for bar tables at Cheesecake Factory. Cheap places, expensive places, no difference.

    LuNello in Totowa, Serenade in Chatham, better make your weekend reservations soon, $120 a head is a bargain these days. $15 rocks glass margarita at Rosa at Riverside, doesn’t matter because you can’t get within 5 feet of the bar.

    What recession? Average car prices at the Valet has got to be over $50k. Hell, I’ve got to go to the car wash before hand or the valet will wave me off and tell me to park on the street.

  44. Juice Box says:

    Lib or Gator – I am hearing of a bidding war reminiscent of the old days in Glen Ridge, my friend is interested but the noise coming from the Realtor involved is they need to bid up supposed bid is already 75k over ask in the last few days.

    Any info?

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/15-Hillside-Ave_Glen-Ridge_NJ_07028_M50912-16058

  45. Nicholas says:

    I think that the other thing that is driving the main street investor is lack of confidence in financial markets. There are so many sharks swimming in the water that the individual investor gets chewed up trying to get into the pool. Opaque management fees, high frequency trading, and lack of access to information become a real stumbling block making the resultant transactions akin to gambling rather than investing.

    We have just gone through a period where regulators were known to have been asleep at the switch and perhaps are still asleep. Where is the confidence that when someone steals that they go to jail? I’m still waiting for someone from MF Global to be put behind bars for theft.

    You want me to put my money on the line when hedge funds pay bribes to congressment to get access to investment information and trade out infront of you? I think that because main street has unfair access to information that they are choosing not to play the game.

  46. Libtard in Union says:

    grim,

    You might be correct. My friends, who are always too broke to go out with us drive fancier and newer cars, have the latest smartphones, every movie channel their cable company offers and their kids have more paid extra-curricular activities than I thought could fit in a week. I think the fact that the ATM is closed, combined with the mentality that the future will provide them with another opportunity to pay d0wn their debt, keeps them spending like the average Montclair town councilor. Or perhaps, they all invest in stocks? :P

  47. njescapee says:

    I knew it. All you north jerseans are rich. Please don’t bring your hot money down here as we really like our $4 merlots at happy hour.

    grim says:
    February 28, 2012 at 10:35 am
    Tapped out? Try going out to eat on a Saturday night, 2 hour waits, everywhere. 3b, how does Riverside look on a Saturday night these days? Still 3 hour waits at Houston’s I bet. People literally fighting for bar tables at Cheesecake Factory. Cheap places, expensive places, no difference.

    LuNello in Totowa, Serenade in Chatham, better make your weekend reservations soon, $120 a head is a bargain these days.

    What recession? Average car prices at the Valet has got to be over $50k. Hell, I’ve got to go to the car wash before hand or the valet will wave me off.

  48. grim says:

    Is it even possible to get a 7pm Friday reservation at Per Se?

    Table of four can easily surpass $1200.

    No chance.

    I saw three different Teslas around town yesterday. TWO bentleys at Starbucks last Saturday, and I live in the slums.

  49. Shore Guy says:

    “Tapped out? Try going out to eat on a Saturday night, 2 hour waits, everywhere.”

    Grim,

    I would not read too much into that. People have a certain need to take a break from the monotony and daily stresses of their daily lives. In good times, such breaks might be weekends on St. Barts or in Paris. Now, for some, the weekend in Paris might be replaced with dinner at the restaurant Daniel over by Hunter College and Central Park.

    Some, for whom dinner at Daniel once might have been the treat have moved to a less expensive place to dine. And so on. In the final analysis, going out to dinner becomes an affordable luxury, as can new shoes for women, etc. Even in the midst of extreme economic disruptions, or even wars, people will find ways to treat themselves to little luxuries — even if what constitutes a luxury shifts with the circumstances.

  50. Mike says:

    45 Cheescake Factory has awsome shepard pie!

  51. Shore Guy says:

    “we really like our $4 merlots at happy hour. ”

    Small consolation for living so far from Manhattan.

  52. JJ says:

    I doubt it the poor like being poor. Every poor person I know who wanted to be rich is now rich. Explain that. In the 1950s to 1980s CUNY schools were at one point free or almost free. Catholic HS and Catholic colleges gave free rides to poor kids. Plenty of kids from dead broke families in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens now drive in 5 series, have summer homes and go on cruises. Hard work, elbow grease and studying is key to success and then sucessfully managing your money. It is harder to make one million than it is to lose one million. Avoiding bubbles is another key and in last 30 years a mix of good old fashioned stocks and bonds consitantly dollar averaged into built great wealth.

    Think back to this very site in March 2009 when Citi bonds were 16%, AIG 20%, GMAC bonds were 30% and Ford Bonds were 40% and teh DJIA was like 7K. The buys of the century where even a poor man could get rich. Carpe per Diem was the key. And don’t say you had to be rich. A 10K ford bond was $1,500, a $10K Citi bond was 5K, a 10K GMAC bond was 4K etc. and put the rest in a S&P 50 stock fund. A 15K investment then would have even grown greatly. Then December 2010 we get 7% tax free munis and then come 4Q 2012 a screaming buy in Bank bonds as a result of Greece. The deals just kept coming and someone who started with as little as 10K in December 2008 could have turned it into a good sum. Main Street does not like money. They rather live it in Checking and complain they are making more money.

    Libtard in Union says:
    February 28, 2012 at 10:19 am
    JJ,

    Main Street is broke. I would venture to guess that the overwhelming majority of these stock withdrawals were made to pay for daily expenses now that that the home refinancing ATM is no longer open. You live in a different world than the rest of us. But don’t worry about your main street ignorance. As long as Uncle Sam keeps on changing the rules in your favor, Main Street will come to you…violently. And you’ll question if it was worth it.

  53. JJ says:

    I get barefoot by the case for $5 bucks a bottle. $4 bucks a glass is not bargain unless you are single. Bringing the wife to a bar is like watching a Nets game, pointless.

    Shore Guy says:
    February 28, 2012 at 10:51 am
    “we really like our $4 merlots at happy hour. ”

    Small consolation for living so far from Manhattan.

  54. Shore Guy says:

    “shepard pie!”

    Sounds like a dish dreamt up by Hannibal Lecter.

  55. JJ says:

    Beaches raised family vacation prices on average 3k to 5k a week and sold out nearly all of 2012 and 2013 already. What recession.

    Shore Guy says:
    February 28, 2012 at 10:49 am
    “Tapped out? Try going out to eat on a Saturday night, 2 hour waits, everywhere.”

  56. JJ says:

    Sheep have a hard life, they get banged by shepards, have all their hair cut off and end up in a pie.

    Shore Guy says:
    February 28, 2012 at 10:53 am
    “shepard pie!”

    Sounds like a dish dreamt up by Hannibal Lecter

  57. BearsFan says:

    grim, tough to pick a proxy…i hear ya on going out to eat. At the same time, in my area I’ve seen more large retail buildings vacant like nothing I’ve ever seen before, A&P, Great Indoors, few other buildings I’ve never seen empty in my life.

    There really are very conflicting signals of the health of the economy depending on what you choose to look at. I think there is also a socio-cultural element here that makes me hesitant to go all in on “bars & restaurants are packed, economy is fine”. WTFDIK.

  58. Nicholas says:

    Grim you are hillarious. I swear I read your last post about 10 times before I had to decide that it was sarcasm. If it isn’t sarcasm then let me read it a few more times because it is at least funny.

    Went to Cheesecake factory this weekend and had a 15 min wait and that wasn’t because they didn’t have enough seats, it was because they didn’t want to overload waiters. Saw a movie afterwards, theater had 30 people in it, seats 150. Went out for sushi the weekend before, regular place and top of the line chefs, the staff was overjoyed that we came and went out of their way to make us feel like familiy. There were 8 empty tables. Went to Chipotle with some nefews, line was nearly out of the store, wait time about 20 mins. Panera bread right next door had three people in the whole restaurant including the people working there.

    I’m seeing mixed retail sales on the restaurant front but nothing like what I have seen in the past. I do recall 45+ min waits at Cheesecake Factory and packed theaters but not anymore.

  59. grim says:

    One of my contacts down on LBI is telling me that rentals are really starting to pick up steam this year.

  60. JJ says:

    Nicholas all you have to do is look at restaurant bonds since 4Q 2011, they are way up. My dave and busters bonds went from 95 to 107 in just five months. Restaurant bonds are one of the hottest stocks and bonds in last few months. Sales are way up.

    Joes Crabshack is adding stores and each new one is packed!! Did not see that in 2009

  61. njescapee says:

    Living here in fly-over country is rough but somebody has to. :)

    http://seaventure.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/cimg1339.jpg
    Shore Guy says:
    February 28, 2012 at 10:51 am
    “we really like our $4 merlots at happy hour. ”

    Small consolation for living so far from Manhattan.

  62. Libtard in Union says:

    Juice,

    That area of Glen Ridge is particularly hot and has been for a while.

    http://www.baristanet.com/2011/02/hyper-hyper-local-south-central-glen-ridge/

    The house is also priced correctly to create a bidding war. It’s clean, has central air, 3 full baths and forced air heat (no oil). At 400K for 1900 square feet, you are talking $210 per square foot. We really got a steal on our GR fixer upper (needed to gut the kitchen and bathrooms) and paid $191 per square feet. Even after the renovations, it works out to $213 per square feet. Our house sat for nearly a year too, we made our offer in November (when there was no competition) and is a bit larger at 2250 square feet.

    The Hillside house last sold for 300K in 2001 and you can tell much of the home has been renovated. I doubt she goes for under 500K to be honest with you. I would put in an offer at $450K and pray the others aren’t qualified or back out. I personally wouldn’t pay more than $235 a square foot for it. Quite frankly, you’re not going to get it unless you are willing to overpay. The value in the current market is in the fixer-upper. Why pay double for someone else’s bad taste (look at that kitchen) anyhow.

    Ignore the taxes too as that house is ripe for an appeal.

  63. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    If you are looking to have a nice vacation, and an alternative to the Atlantis, Beaches, etc, resorts. I recommend sailing in a suite like this. We have taken this type of suite and larger a whole bunch of times and it really is a nice escape from reality. Our last Penthouse had a deck with something like 1,000-1,000 square feet. If you need additional room, just take the cabin next door and you end up with 3 bathrooms, which is great for a family. The dining room table means you can have the butler serve every meal as you look out at the ocean. You have no noise from anyone else. This particular suite has a relativly small jacuzzi. Our last one had a huge one and complete privacy. With $1,000,000 in your trading account, you may find $30-odd grand (it would likley add another $5,000 or so for the adjoining cabin) for two weeks in one of these a nice get-away. Given the quality of the food, the service, and the relaxation you can get in accomodations like this, I think you would find it a relative bargain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBUYfOvo5Vc

  64. Shore Guy says:

    This suite was very comfortable, John. Treat your family:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1909oFTEjeY&feature=related

  65. grim says:

    C’mon, I thought everyone knew about the Burgdorf pricing model these days? I know the Burg kicked the bucket, but their approach still defines Montclair and Glen Ridge pricing.

    I know it’s not as prevelant as during the boiling over market days, but anytime you see an obvious value in GR, expect multiple offers as its probably priced to create this situation.

  66. Libtard in Union says:

    Realistically, I think this is more John’s cruising style.

    http://tinyurl.com/jj-vacation

  67. BearsFan says:

    Quinn just wrote a piece detailing the imminent demise of some of our household names. http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=29848
    if anyone reads it…reactions?

  68. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Does it have crushed velour?

  69. Rob says:

    54 JJ – Hindsight is 20/20.

    Any recommendations going forward? I recall you were pretty good at picking bonds a couple years back

  70. Libtard in Union says:

    I think JJ hinted at buying real estate. :P

  71. Bystander says:

    Grim,

    We all know NYC metro and DC were prime recipients of bailouts. The recession impacts have been marginalized. There is a lot country west and south of us where people were not so lucky. JJs statement asking why ole joes don’t own stock is simple to answer.People were burned in 2000 and burned again in 2008. Now, with economy on fed support for years we are supposed to believe that market is stable and healthy? This is bull. We all know it. Propaganda campaign to get working stiffs money back in hands of the greedy. I graduated college in 95, started 401k in 97 and lost it all in 2000. Maxed out for years leading up to 2008 but was slightly smarter this time. Only lost 12% before stocks collapsed but I have basically no return from 2000 to now. It is all my contributions and company match. 40 is approaching fast but my previous experience does not allow me to trust a rally based on nothing but hope. Millions of people in 30s and 40s have never seen a stable market. Rug has been pulled twice already.

  72. Nicholas says:

    I saw an article that tried to reason that the stock market was booming while treasuries were languishing because if Greece defaults other countries will do the same thing. A Greece default will cause CDS’s to pay out which often are termed value of the S&P or other index. That means to unwind you have to hand over shares of an S&P index. Since the CDS owners are preparing for default they are hedging by buying index funds driving the stock market up.

    This results in net buyers of stocks. On default this will result in net selling of stocks.

    I’m not sure if this is correct but it seems like a plausible explanation of why were are seeing stocks disconnected from reality.

  73. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Errr, Captain Cheapo, have you seen this?

    http://www.recyclebank.com/live-green/cat/recycling/post/what-to-do-with-an-empty-toothpaste-tube/

    Have you ever thought about repurposing an empty toothpaste tube? Me neither, until today. Now, if you’re thinking I’m going to provide you with a list chock full of brilliant ideas, well then you may be disappointed. After scouring the Net, I found only 3 truly useful (or at least creative) ideas for reusing a cleaned, empty toothpaste tube:

    1.Knife and Scissors Protector
    This would be useful for the one-off knives lying in your kitchen drawer (as opposed to the ones in your knife block, if you have one), and is especially handy if your kitchen drawers are prone to rummaging by little hands. To make your knife or scissors protector, cut off the cap end of your toothpaste tube. Wash and dry the tube completely. Place the open end of the tube over your knife and voilà — instant protection!

    1.Pen Holder
    Following the same instructions as above, you can turn a toothpaste tube into a pen holder that works well when tacked to a cork board in your office or a peg board in your garage.

    1.Money Hider
    This one gets the prize for most creative. The next time you have a need to hide a wad of cash, clean out an empty toothpaste tube (do not cut the tube — it must stay in tact). Once dry, roll up your bills and insert them into the empty tube and replace the cap. To retrieve your money, you’ll need to cut off the end of the tube.

    snip

  74. JJ says:

    A small percentage of owners have CDS. And of that smal percentage CDS is bought for a time period, 1 year, 2 year, 3 year, 4 year etc. CDS is not bought for entire period of bonds life as owner may not own it whole life. CDS for Greek Bonds are in “run-off”, which means all valid contracts in place remain in place to they expire but no new ones are being written. By kicking the can down the road more CDS expire each month leaving bond holder with no protections. CDS is controlled by DTCC. The insurance is fully collateralized and DTCC through its demand of collateral function will take segregated collateral, normally treasuries, cash, AAA rated bonds that are extremely liquid and use that to pay CDS. DTCC never takes equities or riskier bonds as collateral. CDS that is specifically written on Greek bonds will not result in any stock sales. You sound like you never even used a DTCC Participant Terminal System or a Fed Wire Link.

    Nicholas says:
    February 28, 2012 at 11:32 am
    I saw an article that tried to reason that the stock market was booming while treasuries were languishing because if Greece defaults other countries will do the same thing. A Greece default will cause CDS’s to pay out which often are termed value of the S&P or other index. That means to unwind you have to hand over shares of an S&P index. Since the CDS owners are preparing for default they are hedging by buying index funds driving the stock market up.

    This results in net buyers of stocks. On default this will result in net selling of stocks.

    I’m not sure if this is correct but it seems like a plausible explanation of why were are seeing stocks disconnected from reality.

  75. Nicholas says:

    JJ, thanks for the education. I haven’t used a DTCC terminal or Fed wire link. So then that makes the argument less potent as you cannot unwind a CDS with stocks.

  76. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [67];

    Requires LA with brains and seller with brains and b@lls – not to mention that the seller must commit to selling at market value rather than 2005 wishing price. Just like the overpriced listings, the market is screaming at them what it is worth; does the seller have the b&b to accept it?

  77. BearsFan says:

    JJ, let me know if I follow correctly…so what your saying is, or rather, what I’m reading into it is, as long as they keep buying time and not declaring a technical “default”, eventually the banks that wrote these CDS’s will eventually be able to expire their exposure?

    Seems to rhyme with some of the folks I read who say no matter what, they will never let the CDSs get triggered. Even a 90% haircut would not be deemed technically a default, and that eventually the bondholders who hedged with them will get burned when the time is right and your employer deems it ok to finally call a default a default? Are these folks I read on the right track with that?

  78. JJ says:

    I cant look at youtube where is it. BTW I have never taken money out of my trading account. What I do is reinvest all dividends and interest. I pay the income taxes out of my paycheck so as not to disturb my account.

    Distressed real estate near your house easily rentable can be a good investment also high income people will have big tax bills this year due to rally in stocks and bonds. High Income people are big buyers of muni bonds. Historically in years the wealthy have large capitial gains muni bonds come under selling pressure between March 2nd and April 15 so wealthy can pay tax bills. Given Munis have had a big run up it would make sence to liquidate the munis first. Between March 2nd and April 15 buy into weaknes in Munis. Buy kicker bonds near term callable bonds with coupons of 5% or greater trading at under 103. Sure they will get called in 1-3 years. But you will get 5% tax free for 1-3 years. This door will open and shut quick. That is my next near term buying opportunity. Stocks, Junk and Investment grade too pricey and wont have a dip in March. Remember Junk and Stock latest big run up was November to March. The rich wont sale as all short term gains. Munis big run up was December 2010 to March 2011. All are now long term gains. The rich will sell that to pay tax bills. This pattern always happens when stars align.

    Shore Guy says:
    February 28, 2012 at 11:04 am
    John,

    If you are looking to have a nice vacation, and an alternative to the Atlantis, Beaches, etc, resorts. I recommend sailing in a suite like this. We have taken this type of suite and larger a whole bunch of times and it really is a nice escape from reality. Our last Penthouse had a deck with something like 1,000-1,000 square feet. If you need additional room, just take the cabin next door and you end up with 3 bathrooms, which is great for a family. The dining room table means you can have the butler serve every meal as you look out at the ocean. You have no noise from anyone else. This particular suite has a relativly small jacuzzi. Our last one had a huge one and complete privacy. With $1,000,000 in your trading account, you may find $30-odd grand (it would likley add another $5,000 or so for the adjoining cabin) for two weeks in one of these a nice get-away. Given the quality of the food, the service, and the relaxation you can get in accomodations like this, I think you would find it a relative bargain.

  79. JJ says:

    CDS is interesting. You can let the default happen in a very techincally way so from a CDS perspective is not a default, also every month some CDS expires so risk falls and in open market nothing to stop person who wrote CDS from buying paper at a discount if that occurs and finally person who wrote CDS has time to hedge. Remember, people paid for CDS and companies invested that premiumn. With a rising stock bond the prems and cap gains on prems rise each month. CDS on Greek bonds have not been written at low prices since late 2007. Pretty much all five year protection written pre-lehman will expire before the collaspe comes. Paying through the nose for CDS bought in March 2009 even if it pays out in March 2012 will be no windfall. Those three years of prem will be hefty.

    BearsFan says:
    February 28, 2012 at 11:47 am
    JJ, let me know if I follow correctly…so what your saying is, or rather, what I’m reading into it is, as long as they keep buying time and not declaring a technical “default”, eventually the banks that wrote these CDS’s will eventually be able to expire their exposure?

    Seems to rhyme with some of the folks I read who say no matter what, they will never let the CDSs get triggered. Even a 90% haircut would not be deemed technically a default, and that eventually the bondholders who hedged with them will get burned when the time is right and your employer deems it ok to finally call a default a default? Are these folks I read on the right track with that?

  80. BearsFan says:

    must be nice to be able to sell insurance, collect a premium, and then be the sole decider as what technically triggers a “claim”. quite the racket.

  81. Jill says:

    #6: My traffic pet peeve is the new pedestrian right-of-way law. I have no problem stopping if I see a pedestrian attempting to cross in a crosswalk…provided that it is either a) daylight, or b) pedestrian at least makes an effort to look and is wearing light colored clothing after dark. This d@mn law has created an unbelievable hazard for drivers, even careful ones. People are just crossing at crosswalks without even looking, and worse, darting out from between cars and assuming they have the right of way. I have had 3 separate instances recently of almost hitting people crossing right in front of my car, after dark clothing. This was NOT the intent of the law, but if you hit these clowns, it’s your fault anyway.

  82. grim says:

    79 – Doesn’t mean the seller has to sell at ask if higher bids don’t materialize. The approach has failed before, in no case does it force the seller to sell at a price they don’t want to.

  83. gary says:

    JJ [37],

    The people with high IQs know better leave investing to pros…

    Ridiculous statement.

  84. Nicholas says:

    Jill, the way to not hit people in your car is to stop driving and walk to your destination. Try it sometime, it is quite liberating.

  85. JJ says:

    Does that mean you have a low IQ?

    gary says:
    February 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm
    JJ [37],

    The people with high IQs know better leave investing to pros…

    Ridiculous statement.

  86. gary says:

    JJ [88],

    Yeah, my IQ is around 70; I just got lucky becoming debt free.

  87. Libtard in Union says:

    What does IQ stand for?

  88. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gary 86, JJ a “Ridiculous statement.” Which ones! LOL Nothing but love for you JJ.

  89. JJ says:

    I have only hit one person in my entire time driving. It sounds kinda like a large bag of wet laundry hitting your car. Fortunately for me she was drunk as a skunk running across street against the light in the rain and she actually ran into the side of my car as I slowed down to turn. So technically she hit me. But when stupid police got involved and I had to file an insurance claim Every idiot I dealt with when I told them I had a car accident with a women would keep asking what type of car was she driving. Every time I told them she was not driving a car she was a pedestrian they got all judgemental. Really, on foot in a car whats the difference she hit me. The really ironic part of it was her BF went nutso at the scene. So nutso that when cop said you GF is a minor you are not, you admited she was drunk you admitted you took a minor to a bar underage you admitted she was drunk and you admitted you were jaywalking you are lucky I don’t arrest you. And then the guy took a swing on the cop, oh what a joy. He was arrested as I drove off and his minor GF said to paramedic all I got is a bruise and a curfew I am going home. Bad Boys Bad Boys whatcha going do when they come for you. Somehow a girl hit my car and come 11pm she was home in bed, I was home in bed and the BF was shopping for soap on a rope. So Jill hit them and watch the fireworks. Although I do see why people hit and run. If cops were one minute slower in getting there I would have gotten beaten to death.

    Nicholas says:
    February 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm
    Jill, the way to not hit people in your car is to stop driving and walk to your destination. Try it sometime, it is quite liberating.

  90. Shore Guy says:

    indebtedness quotient

  91. JJ says:

    I have an IQ higher than Patrick or Gary but maybe not as high as Squidbert.

    gary says:
    February 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm
    JJ [88],

    Yeah, my IQ is around 70; I just got lucky becoming debt free.

  92. Juice Box says:

    re #64 – Thanks Lib and thanks # 67 Grim, I’ll pass it on.

  93. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Better fill up your tanks today, gas might be 20 cents higher tomorrow:

    http://www.oilngold.com/data/charts/nymex-rbob-gasoline-charts-200808191154/

  94. JJ says:

    Throwing cash at the housing market will make it worse
    By Nin-Hai Tseng, writer-reporter February 28, 2012: 11:42 AM ET
    Nearly half of current homeowners buying new homes by the end of 2012 are expected pay in cash, and that’s not a good thing for home prices.

  95. Confused in NJ says:

    Wyoming Republican state legislator David Miller has introduced a bill to prepare his state for a doomsday scenario in which the nation’s economy and social structure completely collapse.

    “Things happen quickly sometimes — look at Libya, look at Egypt, look at those situations,” Miller told the Star-Tribune. “We wouldn’t have time to meet as a Legislature or even in a special session to do anything to respond.”

    Miller’s bill seeks to create a state-run continuity force that would study and prepare Wyoming for potential national or worldwide catastrophes. One specific component of the bill calls for the state to look into the possibility of issuing its own currency in the event the U.S. dollar collapses.

    “If we continue down this course, this is the way any society ends up — with a valueless currency,” Miller told the Star-Tribune.

  96. JJ says:

    But while all-cash sales might reduce the glut of empty homes on the market, the unintended consequence is that the trend does little to support home prices. Because many sellers prefer all-cash transactions in hopes for a faster closing, buyers often enjoy a discount – approximately 10% on average.

    Interesting. Do mortgage even make much sense with the huge fees involved in obtaining one and the fact you have to pay 10% more for property? Who cares if rates are 4%. If I am financing 500K and paying 10K to close at 4% how is that better than paying 450K with a lot less closing costs. The interest rate deduction at 4% is only 20K a year of which most people can only get 1/3 of that back on their taxes or around 7K. It would take over 7 years of tax breaks just to make back the extra 50K you paid. And you would have paid 120K in interest. Which means you are at 620K into house after 7 years vs. only 450K for cash buyer. Mortgages do not make much sense when cash buyers get 10% off.

  97. gary says:

    When Aubrey and Preston’s Mom is standing on the corner of Franklin Turnpike and Crescent Avenue in stilettos, then I’ll know it’s time to buy.

  98. 3B says:

    #64 libe: 13 months on the market in Bloomfield?? Didn’t it used to be a decent town at one time?

  99. 3B says:

    #56 Ground chop meat, with peas, carrots, sometimes onions, topped with mash potatoes.

  100. 3B says:

    #54 JJ “and studying is key to success”.

    You have said many times in the past that studying is not necessary, now it is necessary. You can’t keep track of yourself.

  101. Nicholas says:

    My data suggests that everyone gets 10% off. Does that mean that all-cash buyers are getting 20% off?

  102. 3B says:

    #50 I saw three different Teslas around town yesterday. TWO bentleys at Starbucks last Saturday, and I live in the slums.

    I know quite a few people with super expensive cars and they don’t have a dime. Expenseive cars and all that don’t mean all that much today, it is all about the appearance.

  103. 3B says:

    #45 grim: Riverside is Always packed, the mall is empty, but the restaurants are crowded, that has been the case during the recession as well. We have had to Wait at times and stroll through the almost empty mall. Store owners are not getting the shoppers the restaurants have not helped them, and the stores are all high end.

    What is truly amazing is how crowded they are on a Saturday afternoon, for lunch.

    Now that being said, I can tell you that I have seen many over the years who quite frankly should not be eating there, 19 or 20 year old kids with a baby in a high end stroller eating at the Cheesecake Factory, makes no sense.

  104. 3B says:

    #42 Shore If Scotland leaves they plan to keep the Queen (at least for now) as their head of state. As far as British, the Scots and the English always identified themselves as such. British was what was listed on their passport.

  105. njescapee says:

    Based on the figures thrown around here recently, your costs for everything are 2 to 3 times more expensive except for groceries, gas, and some of the other basics. That must mean that your incomes are 250 to 375k which I have my doubts. Are you all senior managers and managing directors, independently wealthy or in hock up the wazoo? just saying.

  106. bears (69)-

    Reggie Middleton has been working this same line of thought since Lehman.

    Extend & Pretend/Kick the Can will eventually end in a day of reckoning.

    No one will be spared. No one.

  107. bears (83)-

    If every actual default were officially called as a negative credit event, the world (financial world, that is) would’ve ended some time ago.

    We’ll get to this point anyway. Only problem is, the longer that the insolvency of everything is denied, the more potent the eventual implosion will be.

  108. njescapee says:

    The wealthy people I know love their $4 merlots. and there are 19 billionaires at last count residing at least part time here in flyover country.

  109. Nicholas says:

    njescapee,

    It is hard to ferret out sarcasm but I certainly don’t drink 12$ glasses of wine or wait 2 hours for fancy dinners. I drive an 18k car and eat ramen noodles, hot dogs and stakums. About once or twice a month I go out to dinner and I usually complain if it is over 30$ a plate. I’m in the top 10% of earners in the country, according to JJ as I haven’t verified his sources.

    Don’t think badly about a lower salary as NJ is a very expensive place to live (as is Maryland). I ignore others consumer data and try to understand the methodology or reasoning behind it.

    Someone recommends a 120$ HDTV antenna and I recommend you make one for 6$ out of coathangers. Unless I can figure out why a “stationmaster” antenna is better or required then I’m going to look for alternatives.

  110. No time for TV in the days to come. Nothing to look forward to except pitched battle against TPTB and the occasional MRE.

  111. Better figure out who you want to have in your small cadre of friends who will be working with you on hit/run urban guerrilla ops.

  112. Libtard in Union says:

    3b (64):

    “13 months on the market in Bloomfield??”

    Bloomfield it ain’t, although it’s close by. I think we closed about 300 days past original listing. The house was marketed terribly and the tenant (yes it was rented at the end) did not want to leave so she sabotaged the open houses. I know I shared the story on here before so Google it if you want the juicy deets. Trust me, it was a steal.

    In other news, our tenants since September of 2004 are divorcing and moving out in May or June. Not a bad run. I supposed the hubby got sick of the whole rhythmic bongo drumming for homebirth recordings that his wife was going to make a fortune recording. I will miss them. Never did they pay late. Up goes the rent. :P If all goes well, we should be able to spin off a $1,000 month profit from the joint. I even signed a contract with a landscaping company to mow the lawn and rake the leaves (not very cheapo).

    On the negative side, I don’t think we can refi down to a 15-year on the multi without throwing cash into the deal. We no longer have 20% equity, even after making the mortgage payments for nearly 8 years. Damn those amortization tables and the all interest ration for the first few years. Sure we saved a ton out of pocket by shortening the loan by 5 years, but we really don’t see the savings until 2030. Might have to see if it makes sense to bring 2.5% to the closing on the 15 year refi. Or perhaps during Obama’s 2nd term, he will offer some stupid plan which makes refinancing possible with less down on investment property. We’ll see.

  113. gary says:

    I’d rather starve to death than eat at a chain restaurant. Simply horrible… all of them. Why people wait hours for a plate of dupont is beyond me. Start a chain and call it the “Sh1t and Slop Pancake House” and the masses will be lining up. At almost any diner, you can get a chicken or broiled filet dinner with a salad, homemade soup and dessert for about $15. Either that or go to a local high end place with a consistent rep. Chain restaurants are horrible.

  114. njescapee says:

    Would go the Candlewyck Diner in Rutherford when I worked across from Medieval Times. They had great lunch specials including soup and rice pudding.

  115. Jill says:

    Nicholas #87: OK, so I should walk the 24 miles to my job. At 3 miles/hour (I’m under 5 feet tall, and I have to be at work at 8, that means I should leave the house at midnight. Not sure about that walk along Route 80, though….

    Gary #118: Agreed about chain restaurants, and Cheesecake Factory is no better than any of the others. Give me a good kebab or Indian joint in a storefront and I’m happy.

  116. Medieval Times is where we’re all headed.

  117. Pretty sure the raspberry glaze from Cheesecake factory can be reformulated into a cheap facsimile of napalm.

  118. 3B says:

    #13 NJ: Some of the so called wealthy people I know, have tons of student loans out for their kids. Gone are the days when the kid can sign for the loan, the private student loan companies require co-signers now. If they are so wealthy why the student loans? We on the other hand pay cash, as long as our kids do well. Our gift to them; they are on their own come weddings etc.

  119. gary says:

    Meat [122],

    Mix the raspberry with gasoline and you have napalm. When I was a “youngster”, we used to mix liquid soap and gas, light it up and call it napalm. Hey, what can I say, I grew up in Jersey City. :)

  120. Gary, your ability to improvise incendiary devices is more valuable than you think.

  121. JJ says:

    Actually I ment education is key to sucess. I went to one of the best HS in country, have a BS and MBA and a couple of certifications. If you can get them without studying god bless you. I do recall once after Boardy Barn doing a school project drunk as a skunk while I sobered up. That should count.

    3B says:
    February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm
    #54 JJ “and studying is key to success”.

    You have said many times in the past that studying is not necessary, now it is necessary. You can’t keep track of yourself.

  122. Nicholas says:

    Jill, first it was a joke. I drive to work myself and I understand that transportation policy in this country has made it nearly impossible to walk anywhere.

    Second, why do you live 24 miles away from work?? That is a crazy commute and doesn’t make sense to me. I live 10 miles from work and it is great.

  123. 3B says:

    #27 It is easier and safer to cross a street in Manhattan than it is in Bergen co; just saying.

  124. 3B says:

    #18/20 Some of the local Pubs too have excellent food and not just pub grub. My kids liked Cheesecake Factory when they were younger. My better half and I no longer go there.

  125. Any multi-unit restaurant in the US (other than Chipotle or Panera) has a menu designed to trigger mass food addicti@ns and cause the fat sheeple to gorge themselves like geese being fattened for foie gras.

  126. The difference between John Q and a donkey is that the donkey knows when to quit eating.

  127. chicagofinance says:

    For board GTG?
    http://www.medievaltimes.com/lyndhurst.aspx

    There Went Meat says:
    February 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm
    Medieval Times is where we’re all headed.

  128. However, I do challenge moose to a joust.

  129. Bearsfan says:

    Meat, I like reggie and read him.

  130. Anon E. Moose says:

    Meat [134];

    Bag it. You couldn’t even bring yourself to show face at Nom’s GTG in Cranford, and that’s on your way home.

  131. moose (137)-

    Not doing any GTG where you show. I will, however, joust your ass into the ground.

  132. BTW, moose, Plume told me you’re not a bankster lackey. I’m only left to assume that whatever it is that you do must fully inform the blatant and myopic self-interest you display here.

  133. chi (135)-

    You, sir, are correct!

  134. freedy says:

    How about PFChangs in riverside , its like dog meat , and the prices forget it and the place is jammed

  135. Libtard at home says:

    Nom’s GTG was muy populare.

  136. Libtard at home says:

    I agree about the chains too. I can’t, for the life of me, comprehend how I used to like Macdonalds/Burger King burgers when I was younger as well.

  137. lib (143)-

    Was there jousting?

  138. Libtard at home says:

    Sure. All the participants finished up in a 3-way.

  139. reinvestor101 says:

    Santorum!! Looks like that RINO Romney is going down to defeat in Michigan. I love it. You don’t have me gorge myself on some damn tea during the mid-terms and then try to shove a RINO down my damn throat during a presidential election. I’m not stupid and I’ll be damned if I vote for a stinking RINO who’s actually Obama lite. That’s bullspit and the people of Michigan know it.

  140. reinvestor101 says:

    Dammit. The RINO wins in AZ. Somebody needs to recount those damn votes. The stinking liberal media wants to give the thing to Romney.

  141. Juice Box says:

    What me worry about taxes going up?

    Pension funds in NY run a different kind of Ponzi

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/nyregion/to-pay-new-york-pension-fund-cities-borrow-from-it-first.html?_r=4&hp

  142. Shore Guy says:

    “your costs for everything are 2 to 3 times more expensive except for groceries, gas, and some of the other basics.”

    That may be true but, think of how close we are to Manhattan. There you sit 1,500 miles away sulking in your sunshine.

  143. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [143] lib

    Well, popular in an exclusive way

  144. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 150 “Well, popular in an exclusive way”, yes indeed
    read everyday even if I am quiet never heard a peep till now.

  145. Fabius Maximus says:

    Mitt just called for the abolishment of the tax on repatriation of offshore income. Thats not a gaffe, that is a just a political landmine he just stood on.
    Who wrote that into a speech for him. It is just begs the question “Does that include your offshore income?”

  146. Fabius Maximus says:

    All these chains are just serving up variants of the Sysc0 Salt Lick. Everytime I get dragged to Outback, I wake up the next day with a raging thirst, even if I stick to the soup.

  147. Fabius Maximus says:

    I remember a night in Medieval Times. One of my buddies had a birthday and thought it would be a fun thing to do. The night was summed up by the comment “WTF do you mean there is no beer?” The food was a 3 cent turkey leg and a bowl of tepid vegetable soup.
    My mate hasn’t lived it down.

  148. njescapee says:

    I used to get a chuckle thinking about the Cable Guy everytime I drove past MT on my way to work.

  149. Firestormik says:

    fire [129]
    There are 3 main sources of LPG: natural gas liquids (NGL), lights from the crude distillation, and cat crackers. Refineries don’t make LPG on purpose, they just separate it – this is why the wholesale price may look good (supply exceeds demand). But – first, distribution costs are much higher than for gasoline or diesel (if you heat your home with propane it costs you more than #2 oil), and second, the total LPG production is less than 20% of gasoline and is mostly used for petrochemical production – if the demand for LPG jumps, you’ll have to pay through the nose to have it made on purpose.
    Actually, some Ford trucks are sold in propane/LPG version (no need for retrofit).
    ———————
    Did you own that Ford truck? How did you fill it with LPG? Excactly – no infrastructure at all! Given market, LPG here for cars would be 20% of the gasoline cost. I had retrofitted Peugeout 405 1998 with 1.6 liter engine. 17 gallon gasoline tank + 18 gallon LPG tank in the trunk. I could use any of them by pressing a button. 90% of the time it was LPG

  150. Fabius Maximus says:

    Clot,

    You have to admit this is pretty cool.
    http://store.arsenal-nyc.com/product/ny-redbulls-colorado-rapids-tickets

    The last event had about 450 fans show up from all over. I’ll see if I can fly my father in for it.

  151. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [157] fabius,

    don’t want to admit it but have to. There was talk of NUFC coming to Philly but it never came to fruition.

  152. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [152] fabius

    Only a land mine in the liberal spin cycle. He was talking about offshore profits by US multinationals, about going to a territorial system like your beloved Europe. His speech wasn’t directed toward offshore earnings which are taxed, and which he paid tax upon.

  153. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [151] mike

    Not sure I understood that.

  154. Marilyn says:

    the new chain is called Mama Monsantos and its suppost to be great!

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