New Jersey loses jobs in March

From the Record:

Loss of 8,600 NJ jobs clouds economic picture

Optimism that New Jersey’s economy is on the rebound took a beating Thursday with the release of figures showing the state lost 8,600 jobs in March, the first decline since August.

The state lost 11,600 private sector jobs, the most since the recession ended in June 2009, while adding 3,000 government jobs, according to the monthly jobs report by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Unemployment stayed at 9 percent, well above the national rate of 8.2 percent.

The sudden darkening of the state’s economic picture caught economists off guard, and raised questions about Governor Christie’s claim that the state is on a “comeback” fueled by strong private sector growth that will help balance the state budget by boosting tax revenue.

“This was a kind of a shocker,” said James Hughes, a Rutgers University economist. “This is really a break in trend. Hopefully, it’s a one month blip on the long term trend.”

Further bad news came in revised figures for February that showed the state added 7,000 jobs, not 8,700.

“Today’s job report for New Jersey was just plain ugly,” Rutgers economist Joseph Seneca said. “Almost all the private sector employment gains of the first two months were wiped out, leaving the state with a net gain of only 3,500 jobs for the year.”

The figures followed a prediction Wednesday by another Rutgers economist, Nancy Mantell, that the state’s economic recovery is lagging the nation’s, and that New Jersey would not recover all the jobs lost in the recession until mid-2016.

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129 Responses to New Jersey loses jobs in March

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    Nothing good about it!

  3. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Behind the Numbers: Existing-Home Sales Fall.

    The latest report on home sales certainly bolsters the case of all those housing-recovery skeptics out there.

    Existing-home sales decreased 2.6% in March from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

    Not all of the news was bad, however. Even with the monthly decline, the first three months of 2012 were the strongest start to the year for existing-home sales since 2007. And March’s sales were 5.2% above the same month last year.

    The inventory of previously owned homes listed for sale, meanwhile, increased to 2.37 million at the end of February. That represented a 6.3-month supply at the current sales pace, a pace considered healthy by economists.

    The median sales price in March was $163,800, up 2.5% from $159,800 a year earlier. One reason for the price increase, the Realtors group said, is a declining share of foreclosures and other distressed properties. Those made up 29% of March’s sales, down from 40% a year earlier, according to a monthly survey taken by the Realtors’ group.

    Patrick Newport and Michelle Valverde, economists, IHS Global Insight: “Existing-home sales declined in March mainly because fewer investors bought homes. Sales to those looking for a home to live in have been flat (and weak) for the past six months, despite low borrowing rates, low home prices and rising rents. A critical question is whether sales are set to take off soon, given the improving economy. Our view is that sales will improve during the course of this year, but unless credit conditions loosen significantly, a takeoff will not take place.”

    John Ryding and Conrad DeQuadros, economist RDQ Economics: “For the first quarter as a whole, existing home sales rose for the third straight quarter (and at a faster pace than that seen in the third and fourth quarters of 2011) but this was entirely due to January’s gain. The trend in the pending home sales data suggests that existing-home sales may rise modestly early in the second quarter. However, while there appears to have been some improvement, there remains an excess supply of housing (both reported inventory and shadow inventory resulting from foreclosures) which we expect will continue to provide a headwind for any recovery in home sales.”

    Joel Naroff, chief economist, Naroff Economic Advisors: “The big problem was in the West, where sales were down sharply. It may be that there are not as many distressed homes to buy and that is slowing investor activity. Indeed, inventories are down and the share of sales that were foreclosed or short sales is down as well. Since the West is ground zero for the housing problems, that dearth of supply may be at work. Still, sales moderated in the Northeast and South and were flat in the West, indicating there were no regions where the housing market picked up strength in March. Nevertheless, sales were still up solidly from last year everywhere but in the West.”

  4. grim says:

    Actually, I think the March EHS numbers were pretty darn good, I’m scratching my head about around all the negative sentiment.

    Existing homes sales in the Northeast are up 5.5% year over year (SA) and 4.9% (NSA).

    I’ll take any year over year gain I can. Yes, the pace in March may have slowed, but we are still showing year over year improvement.

  5. grim says:

    The jobs numbers on the other hand … ugly

  6. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    RealtyTrac: Growth spurt for short sales in 2012

    The national housing market shows favorable conditions for short sales in 2012, says RealtyTrac.

    According to a recent report, pre-foreclosure sales, which are typically short sales, showed a 33% increase in January over year-ago figures in 32 states. These states included Georgia, with a notably high 113% increase, Michigan (90%), Wisconsin (77%), California (52%), Texas (48%), Arizona (44%), Nevada (36%) and Florida (20%).

    Twelve states, including Arizona, California and Florida, had more short sales than REO sales for the month of January.

    The rise in short sales might be a factor in the number of foreclosures falling to 2007 fourth-quarter levels.

    More “aggressive” pricing for short sales might be evidence of a different outlook that lenders now have, the report said.

    Pre-foreclosure prices in January 2012 averaged $174,120, 4% cheaper than last quarter, and 10% cheaper from the previous year.

    “Short sales have long held great promise as a market-based solution to the nation’s foreclosure problem, but short sales transactions over the past three years have actually declined after peaking in the first quarter of 2009,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “January foreclosure sales numbers, along with first-quarter foreclosure activity, strongly indicate that downward trend is ending, and we believe 2012 could be a record year for short sales.”

  7. gary says:

    Optimism that New Jersey’s economy is on the rebound took a beating Thursday with the release of figures showing the state lost 8,600 jobs in March, the first decline since August.

    Now talk to me about house prices in our area.

  8. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gary 7 Yes we can! Oh wait a minute no we didn’t . Ah it’s Bushes fault no wait that will not float anymore, it’s congress hold it they can talk back lets go for the banks, Hmmmm maybe not need some campaign money. We will think of something god forbid we ever do anything but walk on water.

  9. Ten Swamps says:

    3 grim – WSJ:

    The latest report on home sales certainly bolsters the case of all those housing-recovery skeptics out there.

    Housing-recovery skeptics? They mean housing-recovery deniers.

  10. gary says:

    Mikeinwaiting [8],

    It’s all turning to sh1t.

  11. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Grim great list yesterday. We expect to be in attorney review on our first home on monday morning but there are two issues with the house that i’m hoping to ask to you and the board about… (1) roof is saggy in spots and there was a small water spot in cathedral ceiling so we think theres a leak or bad roof. They had roof put on in 2002, which may have been put over the original, but warranty says roof is fine and they wont fix or redo. I had my own professional go out there to take a look but he says you cant tell unless you remove roof first and loo underneath. So he wrote me an estimate for $17k to replace the whole thing and some plywood underneath. (2) the house was built in 1972 so it has aluminum wiring. They piggy backed the outlets and replaced the box but i have no idea what that means so i’ll wait to hear what inspector says. Thanks for any advice and please share uberinspector contact when you get a second.

  12. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Debt Burden Lifting, Consumers Open Wallets a Crack

    The bursting of the real estate bubble and the ensuing credit crisis forced American consumers to do something that they had little experience in trying: reduce their debt.

    It has been a painful process both for borrowers, who have faced foreclosures and bankruptcies, and for lenders, whose have had to take losses vastly in excess of what they thought possible.

    But the process is working far faster in the United States than in countries like Britain and Spain, which also faced plunging real estate prices. And now it appears to be contributing to an economic recovery that has gained a little momentum, despite facing headwinds from the European debt crisis. This week’s report that retail sales grew faster than expected in March was the latest sign that consumers — or at least a substantial number of them — are growing more optimistic.

    One measure of the financial health of householders is the level of financial obligations, like required mortgage and credit card payments, to disposable income. By the fall of 2007, those obligations took up 14 percent of disposable income, more than at any time since the Federal Reserve began calculating the statistic in 1980.

    But now the situation has turned around. The latest figures, for the final quarter of 2011, show that required debt service payments now make up just 10.9 percent of disposable income, the lowest proportion since 1994. A broader measure — which adds in such obligations as property tax and insurance premiums for homeowners, and rent for those who do not own their homes — has fallen to the lowest level since 1984.

  13. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gary 7 all kidding aside this is a simple formula to imput.
    Taxes- up
    Student loan debt-up
    Coast of living- up
    Jobs- good luck!
    Wages – if you do have one , flat
    Population mix- boomers on way to exits.

    Variable in question – home prices
    Catalyst for increase:
    Low rates
    Pant up demand (*TM njrereport)
    Home guide bullsh*t lines
    Sellers fantasies
    come on somebody help me out.

  14. borat the dictator says:

    Jj for president

  15. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Veto 11 , Hi long time. Something fishy there I would say fix or I walk. Get the uberinspector in there and most importantly do not fall in love it is business transaction (the biggest of your life). Not for nothing Veto the roof is sagging you can see it right and they say no it is just fine and there is some debate in your mind on course of action.
    I know you know this but sometimes we can get blinded by our emotions, be ready to walk like it is nothing.

  16. Mikeinwaiting says:

    JJ for Dictator

  17. Mike says:

    Mike 8 He promised change, but not for the better. Still kept his word

  18. Brian says:

    11 –

    You can’t see the layers of shingles? That was my Dad’s technique for repairing the roof for decades. He had my brother and I climb up on the ladder and add a layer of shingles one section at a time. Really bad areas we tore everything up. Quite often there would be a rotten spot and we’d cut it out and put new plywood in its place.

    One time he stopped my brother and I from working to make an announcement “there’s a rotten spot over here. You see this (as he pressed his foot on it and it gave way a bit) you boys make sure not to walk over heeeeeeeeeeere” as he fell through the roof into the dining room. Luckily he was okay and didn’t catch a nail or anything. Mom was pissed though. I also learned dryall work that day.

    My new place had a new roof put on six years before I moved in. I was in the crawlspace running duct work for the new bathroom and I could see that there were sections of wood cut out and replaced with new plywood. Seems to be a pretty standard occurance when replacing a roof. Commonly there are rotten spots. That’s probably why it’s better to replace the whole thing rather than just add a layer of shingles on top of the old.

    Eventually my dad broke down and had a pro do the whole thing. But he kept us dry for decades.

    The roof is sagging though huh? Worst case scenario the joists or framework or whatever is also rotten. If that’s the case I’m not sure what you’d do. Sister the joists maybe.

    Shame you can’t see for sure though. There isn’t a gable vent or something you can peek into?

  19. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Thanks mikey, im not emotionally attached to home but i do really like it and its the best of the 12 we looked at this month and its time for us to buy so we are certainly not going to walk due to a roof replacement. We would rather just negotiate the price a little more after inspection. The price is a 30% discount from 2005 price so i really dont care much about a few fix up projects because in my mind i already saved $130k by delaying the purchase.

  20. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Grim,

    How much of that year over year can you atttribute to once in a lifetime good weather for the months of Jan-Feb? Those are typically slow months primarily because of weather. Seems more of an anomaly than anything else but I guess we’ll have to if there is an actual “spring selling season” this year.

  21. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Feeling much better today Zpack working its magic. JJ if I go to your doctor in the Village do I get a discount if I give your name? Should I just ask for the JJ treatment?

  22. grim says:

    Visible sagging? Is the sagging between the rafters (looks like a valley)? Or does the sag span multiple rafters (distance between each is 16″). If the sag spans multiple rafters, it is a whole different kind of issue. If this is over a room with a vaulted ceiling (that isn’t too high), you might be able to get a straight edge or long level up to judge the drywall flatness, since if the sag telegraphs through to the drywall, it’ll confirm a rafter problem. Was the vaulted ceiling room an addition? Broken rafters and large sags are not a common problem. Even with a doubled up roof, you’d need some really major snow loads, or a party on the roof, to cause that kind of problem.

    $17k sounds high for a roof job, even if it includes repairing rotted sections, unless this roof is huge with multiple peaks/valleys/lines. Was that estimate for you, or the owner?

  23. grim says:

    Lumpy is a whole different issue, I’ve seen lots of lumpy second layers that were slapped on by shoddy roofers, what a waste of good shingles.

  24. 1987 condo buyer says:

    #11..I think that aluminum wiring is an issue, my brother is fdny and electrician and says that is an issue. Also for all, see article on schools and housing prices in new York times

  25. Neanderthal Economist says:

    The sags were smaller, 1- 2 ft, between the support beams but not very deep sags, and not long distance sags. And yes the estimate was for me. i think it was more of a worst case scenario estimate to help us negotiate since they basically said they couldnt tell how bad it will be until they get up there and rip off…

  26. Brian says:

    Joists = Rafters (obviously I’m no pro :) )

  27. grim says:

    It’s “pigtail” with aluminum, not “piggyback”, but you probably get the gist of what goes on there.

    Aluminum was a stupid idea, and most electricians will tell you to rewire the house. Pigtiling can improve the safety of aluminum wiring if done correctly, but it is not recognized as a permanent solution.

    Put AL wiring in the same camp with oil tanks. It’s rare you might have a problem, but when you do it is usually pretty serious.

  28. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Vits, 17K is nuts even with sheathing how big is the house? tell the f’d seller who you are about to bail out you would like to get three estimates on the roof one, of your choosing one of theirs and one mutually agreed upon, avg and ask for that back off the sale price if you must really have the house. Good Luck!

  29. I very impressed with the information that you provided about englewood hotels. Myself planning to have trip this summer to englewood. I like to spend my vacation on the beach with friends and family.

  30. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Veto the negotiated price today is what it is worth DO NOT let this color your decisions it is a common mistake of buyers today & a sellers mindset. You have saved nothing you are buying today and that is the price, in the inverse situation in 05 at 130 more it would not be a factor what it was selling for in 97, they would laugh at you if you brought that up at the table.
    “The price is a 30% discount from 2005 price so i really dont care much about a few fix up projects because in my mind i already saved $130k by delaying the purchase.”

  31. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    On the beaches of the hackensack where unicorns play and 40 year old shopping carts decay.

    Stupid bot

  32. Neanderthal Economist says:

    ok Thanks its not a huge house, its a 3/3 in an avg town with gangless schools. A recently retired realtor had it on the market for two years (most of that time with tenants) before she finally came to reality on price, partly due to her being out of state not wanting to deal with it anymore. I’ll keep u all posted on the highlights. Would be interested in using uber if someone doesnt mind fwding contact. Thanks

  33. R Patrick says:

    21- The JJ treatment is an IM dose of Rocepin.

  34. Neanderthal Economist says:

    I here you mikey, thanks i appreciate and you’re correct for the most part. As much as seller has capitualated, so have i. Renting offers freedoms but also sux in a lot of ways, especially if landlord calls u up and says were not renewing lease in 6 months because we want to move back in.

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Well, they figured out a way for me to watch MSNBC all morning:

    Live from Fenway Park!!!!

  36. Brass Balls says:

    Re 35 It is National “Get High” day. Today you are encouraged to introduce someone new to the fine art of Pot Smoking. So “Get High” today!!

  37. Brass Balls says:

    What is this with you being sick? Are you staff or something? Us real men in the high floor water view corner offices laugh at Germs, they know better then to come near us as we would downsize them and outsource them in a second.

    Dissident HEHEHE says:
    April 20, 2012 at 7:57 am
    Feeling much better today Zpack working its magic. JJ if I go to your doctor in the Village do I get a discount if I give your name? Should I just ask for the JJ treatment?

  38. Grim says:

    Why is it ok for a politician to have a sexual encounter and not lose his job?

    Clinton’s affair wasn’t a threat to national security?

    Love the double standard, especially when what took place was perfectly legal.

  39. Grim says:

    Rumor has it that O was pissed because he’d called first dibs

  40. seguro casa says:

    I’m extremely inspired with your writing talents as neatly as with the structure in your blog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to peer a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    IRS takes further steps to ringfence the US. Fabius, you might want to take note.

    http://hodgen.com/nonresidents-u-s-bank-interest-earned-to-be-reported-to-irs/

  42. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    And yes, I know you aren’t a nonresident, but you might be one someday.

  43. Brian says:

    Hello this is your bank calling to collect the $50,000 in student loan debt you owe us.
    Oh what’s that you’ve died? Well boo hoo too bad pay up sucker….

    http://www.change.org/petitions/key-bank-stop-forcing-my-family-to-pay-my-dead-brother-s-student-loans?utm_campaign=quPwLHtjvG&utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert

  44. Brass Balls says:

    Banco Popular – BPOP is an interesting bank to say the least. They have not repaid almost one billion in TARP, made loans to executives of company for Real Estate that went south, John Paulson is biggest stock holder on the long side, yet there are tons of short. Meanwhile all along they are making money and stock is stuck under two bucks a share. It is like a Telemundo Soap Opera.

    I own 56K (face value) of TRUPs in the damm thing. Only cause I am one level above govts one billion dollar loan. If they default and liquidate that one billion gets split up among creditors above Uncle Sam just like they did in CIT. Who took Tarp and never paid it back as it was wiped out in BK and issued new bonds to senior holders.

    But Paulson is long big time on the common with no dividend. Below Govt. His play is all appreciation of stock. he is up like 50% in once year. Not bad. I am suprised I go no tender offer on my bonds. Bonds mature 2034 and I got in at a yield of 11%. Making loans at 4% and borrowing at 11% till the year 2034 is an amazing business model.

  45. Brass Balls says:

    They have a moral not financial obligation. Banks often go after spouse when other spouse dies to pay off credit card debt. Legally not liable but banks claim morally your dead husband would have wanted you to pay.

    Brian says:
    April 20, 2012 at 9:16 am
    Hello this is your bank calling to collect the $50,000 in student loan debt you owe us.
    Oh what’s that you’ve died? Well boo hoo too bad pay up sucker….

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Student loans: I attended a bankruptcy CLE yesterday, and as in a prior session I attended, there was discussion on how to get student loans discharged. Apparently, it remains nigh impossible to get a bankruptcy discharge, but there are other methods to get them crammed down.

    The fact that this pro bono provider is focusing on student loans tells me that they expect this to be a growth area. Heck, I wish I knew this back then so I could have gotten out of much of my student loan debt (long since paid off).

    The problem here is, like tax expatriation, once the MSM gets wind of a trend, Congress will act to curtail what will be a HUGE loss to the UST. So anyone who is burdened by student loans (not the NJREReport readers, to be sure) ought to get with an attorney, and soon. Once that door closes, you don’t want to be on the other side.

  47. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I was giving some thought to marketing myself as a “Prepper’s Lawyer”. Figured I could develop a subspecialty here, but after further reflection, I decided it was not a good idea:

    1. Not enough prospective clients in states where I am admitted to practice.
    2. The only names out there are either commenting on discrete topics or come across as cranks (yes Fabius, I know you already consider me a crank).
    3. Unsavory association drives off other clients.
    4. Prepper legal issues no different than others.

    Still toying with idea of writing a legal guide for preppers but how to differentiate that from the prepper “noise” is an issue.

    Better to be a promoter, I suppose.

  48. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Nom enjoy the chowder, thanks to the IRS and our profligate spending ways we are going to intiate a new form of autocratic government. Taxocracy, freedom of movement, bleh, you want to leave you have to pay for the priveledge of doing so. I have an image of middle calss families being squirreled across the border by the Canuck version of coyotes to avoid the exit tax.

    good times, smoke em if you got em.

  49. 3b says:

    #12 I find it hard to believe that mtg and credit card debt only takes up 10 to 14% of disposable income, especially in our area.

  50. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [52] pain,

    If you have enough money, you already have to pay in order to leave. See Section 877A of the Internal Revenue Code.

  51. seif says:

    Stern did a great little bit as Clinton the other day, in reference to the Colombian prostitutes. Which I could find it to post here.

  52. I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. May just you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  53. 3b says:

    #20 Agreed. And according to the houisng bulls the market will come back if jobs come back, so we thought that jobs were coming back (even if alot of them are part time temporary, low paying etc.) So now it appears that jobs may not be coming back as quickly as we thought/hoped, so what happens to the so called housing recovery.

  54. seif says:

    57
    Forgive it all!

    You bought a house you can’t afford – wiped from the books!
    College loans that you are paying back – wiped from the books!
    Car loan? – screw it, wiped from the books!

    (our deepest regrets to all those suckers who paid for things they got and only got things they could afford)

  55. Libtard in the City says:

    Is it jobs coming back that will stabilize housing or virtually free and readily available credit? Me thinks it’s a lot easier to make the second happen.

  56. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Shore the answer to that should be a whole hearted no but they should allow it to be discharged in bankruptcy or adjusted through settlement in the courts. that would go a long way to to tightening the spigots on the loose money and make the banks evaluate amounts lent. Without letting Johnny sanskrit degree and Suzy women’s studies off the the hook entirely.

    doesn’t matter every one wants something for free these days, bread a circuses. history rinse & repeat

  57. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [52] pain,

    The Dems’ definition of middle class is pretty low, and none of them are hit by the exit tax. I am on the bubble but could avoid it easily enough.

    Paradoxically, the exit tax may be an incentive to leave. If the MTM tax of 15% substitutes for other taxes, then it is possible to arbitrage that and pay less tax on assets by expatriating than one might pay under normal rates.

    Now, I think that this is the case: treaty or nontreaty rates would still apply to post-expatriation sales subject to US taxation. Here, I would hope that the 15% either is a setoff or that the assets get a step up in basis. Haven’t looked at that yet to see if the IRS issued guidance. Conversely, if it is an additional tax, a pure exit tax, then it is avoided by taking gains before expatriating.

    But if the operation of the tax is that you pay 15% on the gains and take it with you, then certain assets are better off under expatriation than not, such as short term gains and commodities. Further, if this is true and cap gain rates go up but the exit tax doesn’t, that creates an arbitrage opportunity.

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [57] shore

    There is actually a process, similar to Chapter 13 in bankruptcy, that will allow you to reduce the payments and eventually get part of it discharged.

    Not easy to qualify for, but I learned about this in training a few weeks ago. Would be very good for medical and law school graduates as they would see meaningful savings. Others, not so much.

  59. seif says:

    61 – “Without letting Johnny sanskrit degree and Suzy women’s studies off the the hook entirely.”

    How about Johnny Finance MBA who destroyed the economy or Suzy Law Degree and her frivolous lawsuits?

  60. 3b says:

    #30 Mike: There are towns in Bergen Co now where you can get 1997 prices ( I cannot name them as it gets moderated), but everrising taxes means prices will continue to drop in many towns.

  61. 3b says:

    Meanwhile the house I was looking at, the Realtor told me there huge interest and shwoings etc. ANd yet they just lowered the price. Decesions, decesions.

  62. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    3b Garf!eld, elmw00d park, saddle br00k

    there I helped

  63. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    And Elmwood Park would be a perfectly acceptable place to live if it wasn’t for Route 4 (Burglars highway) and the passaic river crossings. Patterson is like friking Sherwood forest with EP being Nottingham

  64. Juice Box says:

    Bit of a bank run in Spain, “Target2” wire transfers outflows from bank accounts in Spain on the rise. Germans a a bit peeved, latest poll shows that 56pc of Germans want a return to the D-Mark.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9215232/German-tempers-boil-over-back-door-euro-rescues.html

  65. Happy Renter says:

    [51] Nom — Not “prepper law” per se, but Jack Spirko interviewed an estate lawyer in a recent episode of his “survival” podcast program.

    http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/mark-matthews-powers-of-attorney-advanced-medical-directives

    I haven’t listened to it yet, just saw the show info. Thought you might find it interesting.

  66. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Juice from that article

    Even if countries told each other to go to Hell, the euro would simply cease to exist and the Bundesbank could write a cheque to itself. There would be no inflation and no loss to the German taxpayer,” he said.

    “We live in a world of fiat currencies, not the Gold Standard. People making these claims don’t understand how a central bank works,” he said. His views are shared by ECB experts.

    If anyone needs an explanation on how this is a problem, your just a tarded as the central bankers. blow the whole mother f er up

  67. Happy Renter says:

    [18] Brian — great story, I almost spit my coffee out … “don’t step hereeeee . . . ” Glad he was OK. My dad was also Mr. Fix-It, fond memories of him falling from the porch roof because my 9 year-old sister got distracted and stopped holding the ladder (um, she was 9!) … thankfully, the azalea bushes broke his fall. I swear half of my childhood my dad was up on a ladder painting the cedar shake siding . . .

    [13] Please add unicorns and skittle droppings to the catalysts for housing price increases . . .

  68. JJ says:

    My Dad had a similar techinque. He would get lawn chair out, take off belt, get a bottle of whisky and a few tall boys bark out the orders on what you were fixing that day. Trouble was sometimes as an added chalenge he gave you no tools or a ladder or supplies. I like your Dad he was a Mans Man. Although he should not have hired a pro. I would have waited till night and found a similar house and swiped their roof tiles.

    Happy Renter says:
    April 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

    [18] Brian — great story, I almost spit my coffee out … “don’t step hereeeee . . . ” Glad he was OK. My dad was also Mr. Fix-It, fond memories of him falling from the porch roof because my 9 year-old sister got distracted and stopped holding the ladder (um, she was 9!) … thankfully, the azalea bushes broke his fall. I swear half of my childhood my dad was up on a ladder painting the cedar shake siding . . .

  69. Juice Box says:

    re: #71 – Pain – 400 million in the Euro Zone Federalist system now, and now some want secession. History sometimes rhymes, last time something similar happened it here in USA in 1861.

    More federalization now or later?

  70. Nicholas says:

    NE,

    Regarding aluminum wiring…

    I had a sister that bought a house with aluminum wiring. Not such a great idea because there are real fire hazards to people who don’t treat it properly.

    Aluminium is awesome because it conducts electricity better than copper and weighs less which makes it cheaper. The problem is that aluminum is more brittle than copper. Where copper can be bent repeatedly and not show stress cracking, aluminum will stress fracture if it is bent repeatedly. That means that it is very dangerous to work on the outlets because any tight repeated bending will cause issues. How are you supposed to determine how many times it was bent before you got there? Since electricity travels around the outside edge of the wire then any cracks can cause arcing of electricity, which can melt insulation, which can cause a fire.

    A second issue is that they don’t make aluminum wiring for residential households anymore and trying to modify or extend the wiring with copper wire is difficult. Placing these two metals against each other will cause the aluminum wiring to oxidize and turn into white rust very quickly. This also has the potential for causing fires. In order to join these two materials you have to use special connectors. That means experienced electricians only and many will turn the job down because even if they touch your wiring then they are liable for any resultant fires even if not their fault. They will only work on it if they replace everything with copper all the way back to the sub panel. A sub panel that has all copper connectors which you likely don’t have since you have aluminum wiring.

    The coefficient of expansion on aluminum and steel are very different and so plugs and switches could have a tendency to become disconnected after a while due to improper connections. This could cause a fire hazard where there was none previously.

    In some states it can be very difficult if not impossible to get homeowners insurance on the house if electrical wiring is present. They may also charge you extra because of the increased hazard.

    With all that said, my sister lived in the house comfortably for many years. She didn’t disturb or replace any plugs or switches. She updated the kitchen but didn’t move the position of appliances or lights and had no problems with power delivery or fires. She eventually sold the home and someone else lives there in comfort and safety (I assume).

    I think it really depends on how much you want to change the existing electrical in the house or how much electrical work you think you will need to do. Just don’t do your own shabby electrical work and make sure that the electrician that you select has experience with aluminum wiring.

  71. Shore Guy says:

    From a CNN e-mail:

    “A Florida judge today set bond at $150,000 for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.”

    How long before a would-be Jack Ruby takes a shot at Zimmerman?

  72. Brian says:

    As an added sidestory,

    My trip into the crawlspace running ductwork was a bit of an archeoligical find. Whoever finished off my upstairs seems to like to drink while he was working. It’s loaded with old school budweiser cans. Their heavy too. Looks more like a soup can than a beer can. I guess I’m young enough where I’m not used to seeing them liket that. They used a lot of metal on the cans and their the rip top type. Ya know, where you rip the little ring off the can and pull the tab off. Never seen that before.

    I threw in a few Pabst Blue Ribbon cans I was drinking just to make my mark before I sealed up the wall. Mabe in 100 years if I ever sell this house, somebody will find them.

    73.JJ says:
    April 20, 2012 at 10:58 am
    My Dad had a similar techinque. He would get lawn chair out, take off belt, get a bottle of whisky and a few tall boys bark out the orders on what you were fixing that day. Trouble was sometimes as an added chalenge he gave you no tools or a ladder or supplies. I like your Dad he was a Mans Man. Although he should not have hired a pro. I would have waited till night and found a similar house and swiped their roof tiles.

  73. Anon E. Moose says:

    Shore [76];

    How long before a would-be Jack Ruby takes a shot at Zimmerman?

    And collects his $10,000 reward from the Black Panthers, whose godfather in the DoJ is turning another blind eye.

  74. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    If I were Zimmerman i would remain in isolation in jail. Some crazed looney is going to shoot his cuban keister. Looking forward to the inevitable riots when he gets acquitted.

  75. Shore Guy says:

    I wonder how long it will be before GS is offering shares of life insurance policies on Zimmerman?

  76. Juice Box says:

    Who wasn’t an indentured servant to their parents in the burbs? When we left our small 2br walk up in the Bronx for a POS cape in Bergen County things really changed no more gang for me and my brother. I had no idea that I would then become indentured servant for the next decade until I escaped the burbs and back to the city.

  77. freedy says:

    Is Wallington a Bergen county town where prices have dropped to 1997?

  78. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    Sorry if already posted:

    Parents hoping to enroll their children in the best public schools have long known that where you live matters and that housing prices can be dictated by the quality of the nearby schools.

    A new study from the Brookings Institution quantifies that price gap, and the differences between the cost of living near a high-scoring public school and a low-performing one are striking.

    The study, by Jonathan Rothwell, a senior research analyst in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, found that housing costs in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas were an average of 2.4 times as high – a difference of $11,000 a year – for homes near schools whose average test scores put them in the top fifth of schools in the area, compared with schools in the bottom fifth.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/test-scores-and-housing-costs/?ref=education

  79. Shore Guy says:

    The real comparison is not top quintile and bottom quintile but top quintile and the next one.

  80. Juice Box says:

    Nothing like a race war to distract the people from from the class war.

  81. seif says:

    85 – not true. the “war on religion” is enough to distract the hillbillies from the corporations pumping legislation against them, funneling all their money away and trying to “put their government hands on their medicare!”

  82. Brass Balls says:

    JB in NY everyone is a minority. What race war. According to NYS law only hetrosexual white non-handicapped men between 18-40 are an uprotected class. Looking around any office in NY that rules out 90% of the company.

    Juice Box says:
    April 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm
    Nothing like a race war to distract the people from from the class war.

  83. Shore Guy says:

    “According to NYS law ”

    John,

    Actually, it is Federal law that sets 40 as the age for age discrimination protection. Under the New York State Human Rights Law, the age is lower — either 18 or 21. perhaps a NY L&E lawyer who is lurking can specify the age.

  84. gary says:

    Nothing like a race war to distract the people from from the class war.

    Oblama has a heavy hand in both.

  85. grim says:

    83 – That means that a family would have to pay more per year to move into a good public school zone than for their children to attend some private schools. Translated into an average home price, the gap works out to an average of $205,000 more for a home near a high-performing school.

    Sounds about right, probably a bit higher here.

  86. Bystander says:

    Nom,

    Can you expand a bit on the Chap. 13 like process for student debt? My GF went to college @ 30 through Columbia adult ed program. She racked up 170k and now in late 30s with pol. Sci degree and 45k job. She struggled 8 mos. to find that. Step-dad cosigned loans. She has SM and Citi Loans. I can handle our rent and bills but looking for a way out for her. I know there are some income based repayments but several loans don’t qualify.

  87. Juice Box says:

    Bystander – Strategic Bankruptcy? I read you can put off making student loan payments for five years when you file chap 13.

  88. Nicholas says:

    Bystander,

    Before you guys decide on defaulting have you looked at obtaining a direct loan from the federal government to cover your student loans? The rates can be very low because the governments borrowing costs are very low.

    I was able to pay off my higher interest rate student loans and roll the others over with the Federal Gov. I think I was able to secure like 2.5% interest rate or somewhere around there. Your milage may vary but at least it is worth a shot. At these rates I’m paying as slowly as possible because inflation is holding it at zero or eroding it slightly.

    http://www.direct.ed.gov/

    It took a lot of work to get through the approval process and then have them roll over the loans (2-3 months) so don’t expect them to work instant miricles. They give discounts for automatic bill pay and further discounts when you pay 24+ months consecutively ontime. No mailers or BS or selling your private data to other affiliates because the FEDs already have all your private data.

  89. Brass Balls says:

    Junk bonds may be up 5.2% on average so far this year, but not all junk bonds are created equal. The bond analyzers at Gimme Credit single out some of the names they expect to underperform the market over the next several quarters, and the list is heavy on housing, including such names as Hovnanian (HOV), KB Home (KBH) and Realogy.

    “Hovnanian is in trouble,” writes Gimme Credit’s Vicki Bryan. “Profitability is so weak that even with improving sales it hasn’t slowed the acceleration in cash consumption in operations, which has pushed cash to severe lows. Distressed debt transactions and even stock offerings have not staunched the bleeding.”

    Bryan’s take on KB isn’t much more rosy. “KB Home lagged most homebuilders throughout the recession and will likely trail in the recovery as sales and order trends remain disappointing and profit margins well below average,” she writes. “Cash has fallen to troubling lows on severely negative cash flow, and leverage is 42x.”

    As for Realogy, its leverage “remains unsustainably high,” writes GC’s Evan Mann. “Recent financial engineering buys more time to wait for a housing recovery. While we expect EBITDA to show some improvement in 2012, we don’t see sufficient growth over the intermediate term to bring leverage down to reasonable levels.”

    The still-weak housing market is also a key issue for two other names that make Gimme Credit’s list: exterior building products maker Associated Materials, and Ally Financial, which remains hamstrung by its ties to mortgage-lending unit ResCap.

  90. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [91] bystander,

    Love to help but once I start expounding, I am practicing law, and your gf could later argue that I undertook representation. That can happen so I have to be careful about opining on people’s situations.

    Also, this is Grims site, not mine, and he may be perturbed about any seeming co-opting by me. Not to mention that he does not have the disclaimers that an attorneys site would have, and I don’t think he’d appreciate the potential liability. Out of deference to him, I don’t post individual-specific legal analysis or solicit here.

    If you want to shoot me an email,I can try to look it up when I get to my computer, nomdeplumenj@gmail.com

  91. Brass Balls says:

    Easier way out is if you take a Federal Job after a set period they discharge your Federal Student loans.

    Bystander says:
    April 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm
    Nom,

    Can you expand a bit on the Chap. 13 like process for student debt? My GF went to college @ 30 through Columbia adult ed program. She racked up 170k and now in late 30s with pol. Sci degree and 45k job. She struggled 8 mos. to find that. Step-dad cosigned loans. She has SM and Citi Loans. I can handle our rent and bills but looking for a way out for her. I know there are some income based repayments but several loans don’t qualify.

  92. Nicholas says:

    I stumbled upon Federal Direct loans when I called all the commercial banks and lenders for refinancing student loans. Because I had variable rate loans the interest rate was below inflation at the time and not a single bank would even touch the loans. It was like I had a contagious disease and they didn’t even want to talk. “We are not refinancing variable rate loans right now. We can refinance your fixed rate loans though” WTF?.

    I then said well if they are not willing to touch the debt then someone must be out there that will do it…perhaps the federal government will do it. I began a search on Federal studen aid refinancing and landed on their website.

    Check it out.

  93. Nicholas says:

    BB,

    Hahahahahah. No. They don’t cancel your Federal Student Loans if you work for the Federal government.

    http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DCS/loan.cancellation.discharge.html

    I think that Obama proposed that change but it never made it into effect. What did make it into effect is if you become a teacher and teach in a low income struggling school district for five years.

    You can see the list of reasons why your Federal Student Loans can be discharged among them are death and permanent disability. Bankrupcy is not one of them.

  94. Brass Balls says:

    Sounds easy to get it discharged . If your school closed you can get it discharged, burn baby burn, you can join army for partial discharge, be a teacher in a bad neighborhood to or get disabled.

    Quickest is the join army and have your buddy shoot you in butt. Plus you get tons of verterns benefits. and a discount on your re taxes.

  95. Nicholas says:

    BB,

    Not as simple as it sounds. I joined the military in 2004 and I tried to get them to discharge my loans. No go. They loans that get discharged are only ones made by the federal government under a specific program. That means you would have had to “pre-enlist”, drill weekly, and participate in summer military camps while going to school. They call these programs ROTC or Reserve Officer Training Corps.

    If you don’t join after college then they make you pay all the money back. They do this by making it appear as a student loan and then paying them off when you sign on the dotted line. You just can’t do it post graduation.

    If you already went to college and want repayment then you have to go enlisted because military officers are not entitled to repayment programs unless you are recruited specifically for a hard to fill job. (Think about going in as enlisted for a short second… college degree sitting around with people with high school degrees doing menial work).

    Your best bet is to become permanently disabled, that or suck it up and repay the debt. Perhaps you could dedicate the rest of your life to building a time machine to go back in time and smack yourself in the face really hard so that you recognize what a heinous error you would make borrowing 175k for a political science degree.

  96. Libtard in the City says:

    Chi,

    Club has decided to sell CHSI today since price is so much higher than offer. Just letting you know.

  97. young buck says:

    Veto,

    Uber’s website: http://www.afullhouseinspection.com/

  98. Brian says:

    My dad gets free healthcare from the VA, pays zero property taxes, and gets a pension because they squirted agent Orange all over Vietnam which they say caused his diabetes.

    All he had to do was carry two white phosphorus rounds on his back in a combat zone as part of the unit of the marines that suffered the highest casualty rate in marine history.

    Luckily, he got bad grades in college and my grandpa kicked him out and forced him to join the marines.

    He says was a little more motivated in college when he came back.

    99.Brass Balls says:
    April 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm
    Sounds easy to get it discharged . If your school closed you can get it discharged, burn baby burn, you can join army for partial discharge, be a teacher in a bad neighborhood to or get disabled.

    Quickest is the join army and have your buddy shoot you in butt. Plus you get tons of verterns benefits. and a discount on your re taxes.

  99. POS cape says:

    99 BB:

    “be a teacher in a bad neighborhood or get disabled”

    I see a kill two birds with one stone opportunity here

  100. gary says:

    Student loan debt? College is a scam, unless you plan on becoming a doctor or go into research or have your sights on a high level speciality. Most undergrad degrees are an extension of high school. I went to an all male prep high school and had two years of college already under my belt at graduation. I took courses like Elementary Functions, Histology, Physics, Ancient Euro Studies in my junior/senior year. What more was college going to give me? More of the same? I found college to be a waste of money and time for the most part. It’s a business… in it to make money… like any other business. I’ve said it many times before, I would’ve obtaind my electrician’s license ASAP after high school.

  101. SRK says:

    Inspection went well, had a terrific inspector, discovering him is the best thing about this deal, of course the house is good too. Inspector took 4 hours on a 1000 sq feet ranch-style capecod with 7500 sq foot grounds, has a 9-5 job in construction, normally does inspections on week-ends only, he took a day off for us yesterday due to our special reasons. Bottom-line roof has 2 layers, no damage, but will need replacement in 2-3 years, ditto furnace that is already 32 years old. Driveway, walkways need replacement. Deck and its roof needs extensive work. Some windows reglazing and recaulking reqd. Radon remediation substand work, seems to work but advised to get it more professionally done. At a bird’s glance 20K all this. Foundation, plumbing, electrical no problems.

    House needs overall update in addition to the above. First bathroom new tub, new vanity and wall paper. New second bathroom shabby work – fibreclass stall shower does not even have a sheet rock around stall ! Old tiles with asbestos in partially finished basement, advised not to remove them but tile over. Kitchen is 1970s or earlier with lineleum floor, but fridge and stove recent. Need to remove old carpets and refurbish hardwood floors throughout.

    Accepted price 30% off 2005-6 highs. We are not overly disappointed with outcome of inspection. Actually might have even accepted as-is at our offer-accepted price if we were talked to properly and not given third-degree arrogance. BUT….. After inspection I talked to agent, I told her about the 20K and if buyer will me meet me half-way. She said ‘she wont give a dime or do a single repair’. I said ‘well, no harm in asking, is there, and perhaps may be negotiate’. And she said ‘no point in asking, I have already told seller about the inspection and she has said that she wont part with a dime.’ I told her well ‘you can tell her I asked, since you are also my agent’ and she said ‘well ask thru your attorney.’ and I said ‘well, you didnt wait for the inspection info to go to her via the attorneys, or for my permission, did you ?’ and she was quite stumped and said ‘I did for your benefit’. I didnt press on. She then said I was getting the house at rock bottom – a deal even for this market – even she had been shocked at the seller for accepting my offer, so how could I even think of asking for anything whatsoever. I showed her the comps I was looking at, and comparitively how my offer was quite market and not as big a deal as she was making it, and she replied ‘Oh what do you know, may be their foundations are cracked !’. And then added ‘guess what, may be this isint the right home for you, let me find you another home, OK ?’ And that is the arrogance I have to deal with in a dual-agency double commission situation where the buyer is bringing 30% down-payment and 6 months mortgage-tax escrow to the table ! Once again, imagine what I would have had to endure during those 2005 sellers’ days when I might have not been able to bring even 10% to the table and in bidding wars ! I dont want to buy ever ! :-( and be a happy renter :-), if this is the only way to buy a house !

  102. gary says:

    SRK [106],

    The reasons that you describe regarding your agent is the reason I found this blog. And it’s the same reason I will throw body blows upon the RE industry until infinity. I’ve listed here numerous times the battery of insults I’ve endured for nothing more than inquiring about houses for sale.

  103. chicagofinance says:

    Under the deal, Catalyst shareholders will swap each of their shares for $28 in cash and 0.6606 SXC shares.

    $95.51 x (0.6606) + 28 = 91.09 > CHSI at $89.43

    so WTF are you talking about? It is trading at a discount due to deal risk……

    Libtard in the City says:
    April 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm
    Chi, Club has decided to sell CHSI today since price is so much higher than offer. Just letting you know.

  104. seif says:

    106 – so are you saying you walked?

  105. Juice Box says:

    SRK – only 20k in “repairs” seems like a deal for a POS Cape.

  106. Libtard in Union says:

    Will check the math tonight Chi. Trusted other members of my club. No biggie either way.

  107. Brass Balls says:

    Honestly your inspector found nothing. If I listed my house for sale I already know my furnance is 55 years old, I most likely have absestos tile in basement under carpet, my basement shower has no sheetrock behind it, two of my bathroms are over 40 years old and cement on patio is cracked. WOW. if a buyer asks for money off for obvious it is tough. If a inspector found something like chimnny was about to fall down, I had termites, foundatrion was missing a beam I would fix or reduce price. My house is 55 years old. I fix things when they break. If they dont break I dont fix. I have a 55 year old shower in basement. Am I supposed to discount for 55 year old shower? When I bought house inspector found some stuff like broken outlets, leaky toliets, alum wires and broken gutters that owner fixed for me. But for instance the cracks in kitchen floor and puke yellow oven and green broken dishwasher, that was obvious to me when I bid so he was like I should have factored that into my bid. I can only get things fixed or reduced for things that are unexpected. For instance he was missing two COs and fence was off property line. That got 3,700 off price. Chimmy being dirty guy was like I never cleaned it ever so what. Actually I never cleaned it either.

    SRK says:
    April 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm
    Inspection went well, had a terrific inspector, discovering him is the best thing about this deal, of course the house is good too. Inspector took 4 hours on a 1000 sq feet ranch-style capecod with 7500 sq foot grounds, has a 9-5 job in construction, normally does inspections on week-ends only, he took a day off for us yesterday due to our special reasons. Bottom-line roof has 2 layers, no damage, but will need replacement in 2-3 years, ditto furnace that is already 32 years old. Driveway, walkways need replacement. Deck and its roof needs extensive work. Some windows reglazing and recaulking reqd. Radon remediation substand work, seems to work but advised to get it more professionally done. At a bird’s glance 20K all this. Foundation, plumbing, electrical no problems.

    House needs overall update in addition to the above. First bathroom new tub, new vanity and wall paper. New second bathroom shabby work – fibreclass stall shower does not even have a sheet rock around stall ! Old tiles with asbestos in partially finished basement, advised not to remove them but tile over. Kitchen is 1970s or earlier with lineleum floor, but fridge and stove recent. Need to remove old carpets and refurbish hardwood floors throughout.

  108. Brass Balls says:

    Before the govt took over student loans you had to go to local bank to get a loan. Loan officer studied your HS grades and what major you wanted. An A student in the 1930s or 1940s who wanted to go to St. Johns and major in Accounting or Pharmacy got a loan. A C student looking to study Art History did not. The bank took on 100% of risk. Back then Doctors, Lawyer, Pharmacy, CPAs, Engineers got loans. Banks would not finance nonsense degrees to second rate schools for C students. Now that govt takes risk you can go to Devry Tech to study finger painting what do they care.

    gary says:
    April 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm
    Student loan debt? College is a scam, unless you plan on becoming a doctor or go into research or have your sights on a high level speciality. Most undergrad degrees are an extension of high school. I went to an all male prep high school and had two years of college already under my belt at graduation. I took courses like Elementary Functions, Histology, Physics, Ancient Euro Studies in my junior/senior year. What more was college going to give me? More of the same? I found college to be a waste of money and time for the most part. It’s a business… in it to make money… like any other business. I’ve said it many times before, I would’ve obtaind my electrician’s license ASAP after high school.

  109. Juice Box says:

    4:20 p.m. on 4/20 can I light one up in the office?

  110. Juice Box says:

    re #112 – BB which model? See Below.

    http://www.capitalcentury.com/levittown.jpg

  111. Brass Balls says:

    Yes we Can

    Juice Box says:
    April 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    4:20 p.m. on 4/20 can I light one up in the office?

  112. Fabius Maximus says:

    #8 mikeinwaiting

    Don’t worry. Mitt the marvelous is getting the nod. He’s just a little right of center, but that’s ok.

    He’s a candidate in touch with the people.
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/04/mitt-romney-cookies-video.html

  113. AG says:

    Gary,
    Re: college

    Couldn’t agree more. Get a chicken coup ready all you feminine studies majors. You are going to learn poultry 101 next semester.

  114. AG says:

    I don’t think mittens can beat barry. I can’t vote for him. Where is he going to get the votes from?
    Disclaimer: Ron Paul write in here.

  115. AG says:

    It’s all going to sh-t in 2013 one way or another. Enjoy the next 8 months of election feel good stories. Reality is coming soon.

  116. SRK says:

    110 and 112, Juice and Brass, I fully agree. I said so too, that I would have taken it as-is. But there is nothing wrong in buyer asking and there is nothing wrong seller denying. That is all I say. The agents and attorneys cant insult either for either.

  117. Libtard at Smashburger says:

    Chi:

    Here’s the message I got from one of my benefit consultants, along
    with a piece from Crain’s.  They calc the purchase price at $81.02,
    still below the $89+ close today but considering the performance in
    the last few months, the premium may already be in the market price.
    Some of the articles I have read tout this as a merger of equals, but
    it looks like the CHSI leadership has sold their shares and has headed
    home.  That’s what is behind the investigation stories you may have
    seen from one of the class action securities firms – ambulance chasers
    in another form.

    Looking at the info below, SXC seems to have a very stable existing
    business from Medicaid and insurance companies and CHSI is the
    complement for the customer facing side.  Since the claim adjudication
    platform at CHSI and SXC are the same, the integration should be
    painless to customers.  It also is a pattern for their growth through
    acquisition.  Both of those facets have some prospects for growth that
    we might want to consider.

    I’m not opposed to selling, (Bernard Baruch said he made most of his
    money by selling too soon,) but I would like the club to consider
    selling 50% – 75% of our position for portfolio balance and let the
    rest ride.

    Mark

    *****************

    SXC has traditionally been known as generating the best adjudication
    system in the PBM industry…that has been their primary engine for
    growth.  They are the PBM platform for most PBMs, including Catalyst.
    They were also the system for the Walgreen’s PBM that Catalyst just
    purchased.  SXC has been on an acquisition binge the last few years
    with the most recent being HealthTrans late last year and NMHCRx about
    2 years prior.  They essentially have been flat in growth as it
    relates to Employer lives.  This flat growth is the primary reason
    they bought Catalyst…to get into the Employer space and also to
    expand their client facing staff which has been very slim.  Again, SXC
    is very large in the transactional space such as Medicaid and Blues
    plans.  Lastly, they are a Canadian company with US headquarters in
    Lisle, IL (near Chicago).  Professionally, SXC has not been
    competitive in PBM RFPs due to price and not having the traditional
    service offering and redundancy of other PBMs.  I spoke with Catalyst
    yesterday and they were very excited about the opportunity.  They feel
    SXC will leverage their expertise in the employer space, while
    Catalyst will no longer need to invest in claims processing and system
    upkeep.

    ************************

    Pharmacy benefits firm SXC in $4.4 billion deal; stock jumps

    By Andrew L. Wang and Todd J. Behme April 18, 2012
    (Crain’s) – SXC Health Solutions’ proposed $4.4 billion acquisition of
    a Maryland-based competitor would be the latest and biggest target in
    its acquisition spree of recent years.

    The Lisle-based pharmacy benefit manager has completed six
    acquisitions in CEO Mark Thierer’s tenure; the latest was the $250
    million cash purchase of Denver-based health benefit manager Health
    Trans LLC, which closed Jan. 1.

    Wednesday’s announcement, a merger with Catalyst Health Solutions
    Inc., outstripped that deal and would create a combined company that
    covers 25 million members nationwide.

    That would still be a fraction of the total pharmacy benefits
    marketplace, which is dominated by companies like CVS Caremark and the
    combined company formed by the merger of ExpressScripts Inc. and Medco
    health Solutions Inc.

    With the acquisition of Catalyst, SXC could join the biggest players
    in the industry.

    “You could start to say their name in the same breath,” said Charles
    Rhyee, a New York-based equities analyst at Cowen & Co.

    The merger mania that’s sweeping is likely to prompt insurers and
    large employers to switch prescription benefit managers, which could
    open the doors for SXC down the road, if not right away.

    “In our view, the companies saw an opportunity to generate value given
    the dislocation in the space – although the impact on this selling
    season remains a question,” according to a note by analyst Amanda
    Murphy of New York-based investment firm William Blair & Co.

    The combined company will remain based in west suburban Lisle, and Mr.
    Thierer will continue as CEO and chairman of the combined company, the
    statement said.

    The combined company expects $13 billion in revenue, rivaling the
    $13.9 billion in 2011 revenue reported by Deerfield-based Baxter
    International Inc.

    At that size, SXC would be the 15th-largest public company based in
    the Chicago area, according to Crain’s 2011 list of the largest local
    public companies.

    Shareholders of Rockville, Md.-based Catalyst are to get $28 in cash
    and 0.66 shares of SXC stock for each Catalyst share, according to the
    statement. That equates to a price of $81.02 for each Catalyst share
    and a premium of about 28 percent based on the two companies’ Tuesday
    closing prices.

    But SXC shareholders saw the price of the company’s stock climb about
    9 percent in late trading Wednesday on the NYSE.

    “This is an extremely compelling combination that brings together
    SXC’s industry-leading tools and technology with Catalyst’s
    full-service PBM, best-in-class service and growing client base to
    create a company that is even better positioned to compete in the
    marketplace,” Mr. Thierer said in the statement.

    The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of 2012. After
    closing, SXC shareholders are expected to own about 65 percent of the
    combined company, with Catalyst investors holding the remainder,
    according to the statement.

    SXC reported $5 billion in 2011 revenue.

    *******************

  118. Brian says:

    That’s why I keep a little desk fan. If I have to light one up during work hours, I just turn on thhe fan to dissipate the smell. I say fart at will no law against it.

    Juice Box says:
    April 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    4:20 p.m. on 4/20 can I light one up in the office?

  119. Libtard at home says:

    Chi…this is where it came from.

    Shareholders of Rockville, Md.-based Catalyst are to get $28 in cash
    and 0.66 shares of SXC stock for each Catalyst share, according to the
    statement. That equates to a price of $81.02 for each Catalyst share
    and a premium of about 28 percent based on the two companies’ Tuesday
    closing prices.

  120. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Nick, young, thank you

  121. Captain Sunshine says:

    Funny Story, I went to the doctors today and asked for the JJ treatment.

    He sent in a Columbian prostitute, who gave me a prostate examination!

    Surprise!

  122. scribe says:

    Brian, #77

    I’m pretty expert on collectible beer cans because I sold my late father’s collection on eBay.

    Those Budweiser cans are probably just plain label pull-tabs from the 1970’s, but if you ever have the opportunity to access those again – shoot me some pix. Some cans are worth thousands.

    By the way, they’re very often found in crawlspaces and inside walls. About 10 years ago, a woman was renovating her house. She opened up a wall and found a perfectly preserved “Clipper” can from the 1940’s – WW II can with a fighter plane and blue sky. She thought, well, this is pretty – put it on eBay for $19.95. It sold for $19,000 – perfect condition.

    Some of those pull tabs might be zip tabs – earlier versions of the pull tab, they were very often dangerous – caused cuts, etc. Those can be worth some real money, too, because some weren’t on the market long.

    Your description of the cans as being heavy – through the 1970’s the cans were still steel. The big transition to aluminum started in the early 1980’s.

  123. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [128] scribe

    When my parents converted the garage to a bedroom, they took down some interior planking and found an old can that had a conical top. The beer name was Dawson and it had a playing card motif label.

    Undoubtedly it had some value even though opened and rusty, but it has long since disappeared. Sigh.

  124. mike says:

    Scribe 128 At my parents house they had those old heavy metal Budweiser cans used to put pens and pencils & screw hardware in. Sorry I tossed them. Also still have some vintage bar lamps from mid to early 60’s, not sure if they’re worth anything

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