Families hit hard where it hurts … in the wallet

From Bloomberg:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-11/fed-says-family-wealth-plunged-38-8-in-2007-2010-on-home-values.html

The financial crisis wiped out 18 years of gains for the median U.S. household net worth, with a 38.8 percent plunge from 2007 to 2010 that was led by the collapse in home prices, a Federal Reserve study showed.

Median net worth declined to $77,300 in 2010, the lowest since 1992, from $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said in its Survey of Consumer Finances. Mean net worth fell 14.7 percent to a nine- year low of $498,800 from $584,600, the central bank said yesterday in Washington. Almost every demographic group experienced losses, which may hurt retirement prospects for middle-income families, Fed economists said in the report.

“The impact has been a massive destruction of wealth all across the board,” said Lance Roberts, who oversees $500 million as chief executive officer of Streettalk Advisors LLC in Houston. “What you see is an economy that’s really very, very stressed for the bottom 60 to 70 percent of the population that’s struggling just to make ends meet.”

The declines in household wealth in the course of the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression have held back the consumer spending that makes up about 70 percent of the economy. Fed policy makers led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke meet next week to consider whether the central bank needs to add to its record stimulus after employment grew at the slowest pace in a year in May.

“Although declines in the values of financial assets or business were important factors for some families, the decreases in median net worth appear to have been driven most strongly by a broad collapse in house prices,” the Fed economists wrote.

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. Home Price Index fell 23 percent in the three years through December 2010. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) lost 14 percent in the same period.

The proportion of families with retirement accounts decreased 2.6 points to 50.4 percent during the period, wiping out much of the 3.1 percentage-point increase over the prior three years, the report said.

“The most noticeable drops in ownership were among families in the middle-income, middle-wealth, and middle-age groups,” the economists said. “Retirement accounts had been growing in importance as a supplement to Social Security and other types of retirement income, and the decrease in ownership in the past three years may represent a setback.”

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145 Responses to Families hit hard where it hurts … in the wallet

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Before You Refinance, Modify Your Loan … If You Can

    A colleague who was looking to refinance his mortgage to today’s record low interest rates, just told me that he opted instead for a “modification.”

    No, he’s not behind on his monthly payments, nor even struggling to make them. He is current, and modifications on current loans have been around for years, though they are increasingly rare and consequently few people know about them.

    My colleague’s bank, New Jersey-based First Niagara, allowed him to do the modification to a lower interest rate. Here’s the best part: My colleague had to pay just $500 for his 7/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) to go from 4 percent to 3.125 percent, which is an eighth of a percentage point above the going rate, but still a great move. No principal payment, no new underwriting, no nothing.

    An article on Bankrate.com refers to this as “re-amortizing” a home loan to avoid the “hassle and expense of refinancing.” It says these can cost as little as $250 in some cases, but can require an additional sum of money to “substantially reduce the unpaid principal balance of the loan,” according to a quote from Bank of America’s Kris Yamamoto. The interest rate is unchanged, but the monthly payment is lower, due to the lower principal balance.

    A Wells Fargo spokesman told bankrate that recasts “are rare, in part because not all loans are eligible.” No FHA/VA and jumbos depend on each individual loan.

    “Years ago, there were some company’s offering automatic rate reduction loans, and I believe the language may have been written into the mortgage,” says Craig Strent of Apex Home Loans. “I have seen Citi do it on ARM loans in the past and other smaller ARM lenders use it regularly, but to my knowledge it’s not an industry wide practice currently with the big guys.”

    I called over to New Jersey based Hudson City, which my colleague said also did loan recasts. The agent I spoke with, however, says they stopped doing these in December. When I asked why, she just said, “It was discontinued.”

    Another expert I spoke with, Guy Cecala of Inside Mortgage Finance, tells me that while it’s not common, if the bank offers a modify, it could be a good option, assuming the servicer owns your mortgage.

    It seems both modifications to current loans and recasts exist on a loan-to-loan and lender-to-lender basis, but given the expense and paperwork involved in refinancing, it’s certainly worth asking about.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Home Refinancing Boosts Florida, Nevada: Economy

    Harold Fuller said he’s planning a cruise with his wife to Bermuda, their first vacation in two years, after cutting his mortgage payments by $400 a month after refinancing their $212,000 home in Apopka, Florida.

    “The key is to have cash flow to do some additional things,” said Fuller, 65, who’s also planning more weekend trips around the state. Fuller took advantage of the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program, which allows the refinancing of homes worth less than their mortgage.

    The combination of easier lending standards and record-low mortgage rates is beginning to shore up real estate markets in states where home values plunged. It has breathed new life into some regional economies as Americans spend the savings at malls and auto dealers, spurring a pickup in sales-tax receipts that is also helping replenish state coffers.

    “HARP and refinancing more broadly is providing a meaningful boost to homeowners’ cash flow, particularly in the stressed housing states like Florida,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who testified last month on the program before the Senate Banking Committee. “This is going to be a big plus for stressed homeowners in very stressed markets with negative equity.”

  3. grim says:

    From the FT:

    US homeowners shorten mortgages

    Homeowners in the US are taking advantage of record low interest rates to shorten their mortgages, paving the way for them to own their homes sooner but reducing the stimulating effects of the refinancing wave.

    Just under a third of householdsthat refinanced mortgages in the first quarter shortened the maturity of their mortgages, for example moving from 30-year to 15 or 20-year maturities, according to data from Freddie Mac, the government agency. That is 50 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

  4. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  5. serenity now says:

    Despite the lead article it is comforting to know
    that the bankers got their bonuses.

  6. A Home Buyer says:

    Just an FYI. From the ND Elections website, the Property Tax Amendment failed.

    http://results.sos.nd.gov/resultsSW.aspx?text=BQ&type=SW&map=CTY

  7. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Home Buyer #6 Can not imagine why.

  8. Jill says:

    grim #1: This sounds like exactly what I would be looking for, but my lender (Wells Fargo) is only offering that 15-year refi. Do you know of any banks that would do this for me instead?

  9. gary says:

    “The most noticeable drops in ownership were among families in the middle-income, middle-wealth, and middle-age groups,” the economists said.

    Sell? Sell to Whom?

  10. All this is irrelevant when we’re roaming the country in armed packs and sleeping in the open.

    Doom is imminent.

  11. Euro doom is upon us.

  12. gary says:

    I was in this one (below) a few weeks ago. It seems like a nice house… needs a few things but had no persona. It was just one of those houses that seemed luke warm. This is the one where the realtor asked the same canned questions like, “Where are you from?” I replied, “Paterson, G0d’s country!” I hate when they ask you where the f*ck you are from. Who cares? What does that matter? Do they think the money isn’t as green? And, why is it that when you ask a question about the house, the realtor never seems to have the information? I feel like telling them, “Do your fuking homework!”

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3085985046-10-Johnsvale-Rd-Park-Ridge-NJ-07656

  13. gary says:

    There was another house I went to in Washington Twp. this past weekend. The living room and dining room had hardwood floors but the edge of the flooring around the perimeter was lighter than the rest of the floor. I had to explain to the realtor that there was a rug here and was just lifted to show the house. Now, why did I have to explain this concept to the “professional?” What value or insight is she offering me?

    I had another realtor at an open house in Westwood; he claims to be an ex Goldman Sachs executive. Sure. He told me that no one will accept contingencies. That was all I needed to hear. I want on a 7 minute controlled steamrolling rant complete with numbers, data, scenarios and what-ifs that had his eyeballs rolling. I asked him who is going to buy this house with 800+ FICO and at least 20% down? He said, “Well, an all cash buyer could step in.” I responded, “Of course, I see them lining up at the door.” He had nothing else to say.

  14. Richard says:

    So Harold Fuller, 65, retired with a mortgage larger than the value of his house gets a few hundred dollars in his pocket, and what does he do? Go on a cruise. No wonder this economy is screwed.

  15. gary says:

    A vacuous adode, sans significance or character. I can hear the life being suck.ed from the owner attempting to keep this ship afloat:

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3050551610-17-S-3rd-St-Park-Ridge-NJ-07656

  16. J La says:

    #8. Check out Boiling Springs. Just modified my loan for $250.

  17. gary says:

    Retail sales down 0.2% in May. Carry on…

  18. 3B says:

    I would argue it was phantom wealth anyhow, so does it really matter?

  19. Richard says:

    JJ, did you see JPM is calling its TruPSs.

  20. 3B says:

    #2 He is 65 and still has a mortgage; just saying.

  21. JJ says:

    Refinancing mortgages are not all they are cracked up to be. First there can be fees, second your tax break is less on next year taxes and it does not change the value of your house. It is the equivalent of buying Facebook on Margin and Facebook has fallen 30% and the broker goes dont worry I will cut your margin rate from 5% to 3%.

    Also like the old guy in Florida who is using the extra cash to blow on a cruise. He is not saving any money per month by refinancing if he is blowing the money saved.

    The guy yesterday who scoffed at my saving 10K a month can be done and then created a budget of expenses to show it can be done left off the biggest reason it is hard to do. Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments. For me that is my largest annual out of pocket expense. Lots of people including me it is more than their housing, transportation, energy costs combined.

    Also lowering you mortgage rate should in near term add zero money in your pocket. For example if your could afford a 3k a month mortgage and refinance it down to a 2.5k mortgage you should continue to pay the 3k, the extra $500 a month principal will make a huge dent in your balance. Particularly if you choose a cheap 3-7 year arm option. You will need that mortgage paid off by the time ARM expires.

  22. Sima says:

    Gary #12 – that house (10 Johnsvale Rd)seems very nice from the photos, but I think what it is missing is the wow factor. All that is needed is to open up the view to the back – perhaps some mega-windows installed, or sliding glass doors to the back. But anyway, the house looks way better than the ugly McMansions seen everywhere.
    But… how did the interview go yesterday?

  23. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: most of the TruPS have gone ex…..usually they sell off into the close of the quarter…maybe pick up something?

    Richard says:
    June 13, 2012 at 8:41 am
    JJ, did you see JPM is calling its TruPSs.

  24. gary says:

    Sima [23],

    The interview went very well. It is a FT position with a Global Financial. I met three people and had a phone conference with a Senior Manager. It’s just a numbers game but I made my case passionately as I always do. We’ll see!

  25. 30 year realtor says:

    Gary #12 – Where are you from? Could be asked just to get you talking and to find out if you have something to sell in their market area. Seems innocent enough. Think you need to chill out a bit.

    As to open houses; those of us with an inventory of listings need warm bodies to sit open houses. Open houses are not effective for selling the house being held open, they are for finding buyers. The agents who sit other peoples open houses have little or no business and are looking for buyers. This should explain that vacant look in their eyes.

  26. Sima says:

    Just read this on cnn.com:
    http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/12/news/economy/food-stamps-middle-class/index.htm?hpt=hp_c2

    Tells story of family on food stamps in Morris County due to loss of good telecom job, but think of all the lost pharma jobs. Same scenario all over NJ.
    Who is going to buy their house???????

  27. 3B says:

    #17 gary: And April revised down, first back to back decline in 2 years.

  28. 3B says:

    More stimulus is coming.

  29. JJ says:

    Yep which is why I did not buy any JPM TruPS. Citi, BAC TruPs were gifts from God in the sense they had during financial crisis Trups with a par value of 25 and a 8% dividend trading for 10-15 dollars. JPM Trups got down to only maybe 24.Still nice to get 8% for four years and a little cap boost. But not a slam dunk.

    BAC is also getting aggressive in calling Trups. Said they are targeting Trups with coupons in excess of 7% starting with the high coupons.

    I own these Trups all bought between April 2009 and January 2012. None have been called yet. Trups have been a great place to get high yield with somewhat low risk the last few years. I bought these in a range of 79 to 102 .
    The Bankamerica CAP II at height of financial crisis I bought for 79. It is callable at 102. If called at 102, I get 23% appreciation and almost four years of interest at 8% which is another 32%. So total of 55% interest in four years. People brag about borrowing at 3% from bank of america, better to lend to bank of america at 13%

    Also at over 500BPs over same length treasuries rising interest rates wont hurt bonds and with duration of around 14 years not really locked in long anyhow.

    Turps, Bank Prefs, Kicker Munis etc. Have been a good hiding place for yield since 2011. The 2009/2010 Junk Fire Sale and Early 2011 Muni fire sales were great but since then yield is hard to get. I do feel Junk bonds in next few months with Europe jitters and election there might be some good buying opportunies

    BANKAMERICA CAP II INCME PFD 8.00000% 12/15/2026
    COUNTRYWIDE CAP III SB CAP-B 8.05000% 06/15/2027
    MBNA CAP A CAP SECS-A 8.27800% 12/01/2026
    NB CAP TR IV CAP SECS 8.25000% 04/15/2027
    NORTH FORK CAP TR II CAP TR PSTH 8.00000% 12/15/2027

    Richard says:
    June 13, 2012 at 8:41 am

    JJ, did you see JPM is calling its TruPSs.

  30. 3B says:

    #26 30 Year: Realtors ask that all the time, and I don’t have a problem with it. It is a conversation starter. Funny, when they ask me and I say River Edge, the first thing they say is wow the taxes are so high there. Not even nice town good schools etc.

  31. JJ says:

    Give me names!! Citi Pref J, BPOPP, TZK and JPMPRJ? Also saw some MBNA/Zions Trups that looked good. I will start hunting today .

    chicagofinance says:
    June 13, 2012 at 8:52 am

    JJ: most of the TruPS have gone ex…..usually they sell off into the close of the quarter…maybe pick up something?

    Richard says:
    June 13, 2012 at 8:41 am
    JJ, did you see JPM is calling its TruPSs.

  32. JJ says:

    I still think Realtors are not that interested in selling homes anyhow. Went to one home priced ok a few weeks ago, women had a mortgage broker card for me, some recommendations on a home inspector, said could provide lawyer, maybe recommend a contractor. I was like I like house, can you get it for a good price for me. I want to pay cash, close quick and not interested in any of your other services. She was not interested in my offer.

    30 year realtor says:
    June 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Gary #12 – Where are you from? Could be asked just to get you talking and to find out if you have something to sell in their market area. Seems innocent enough. Think you need to chill out a bit.

    As to open houses; those of us with an inventory of listings need warm bodies to sit open houses. Open houses are not effective for selling the house being held open, they are for finding buyers. The agents who sit other peoples open houses have little or no business and are looking for buyers. This should explain that vacant look in their eyes.

  33. gary says:

    30 year realtor [26],

    It’s not so much the questions they ask as much as the body language that tells me they really don’t care. The least they can do is play the role successfully. Some are very sweet and sincere; the majority are not. And I know open houses are generally a waste of time for a buyer. That’s why I need to schedule a time to see houses exclusively.

  34. Richard says:

    http://www.freesharedata.com/us-preferred-highest-yields

    Most domestic banks are trading at par. RBS & ING look only interesting ones and some of the RBS coupons are suspended.

  35. seif says:

    anyone have any recs for fun stuff for kids in the A.C. area? in A.C. or a short drive?
    (besides just beach, boardwalk, etc.)

  36. gary says:

    3B [28],

    #17 gary: And April revised down, first back to back decline in 2 years.

    No worries, we have hope and change.

  37. 3B says:

    Finally A useful I Pad app. Leave it to the Germans.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=6a8Eimr-fm0

  38. JJ says:

    STD = 13.5%
    Socgen – 12%
    Hartford Pref – 9.6%
    bpopp – 9.2%
    tzk 7.5%
    nyb 8.3%

    Chifi, check out these if we have another big down day. Actually only check out on a big down day. RORO, need a Risk Off day for these hospital patents. Suicide is nice, but feels better with a fat dividend. I think Ozzies banker once said that. .

  39. 30 year realtor says:

    These days I sit down with about 10 homeowners per week to discuss marketing their home. I am finding a very low percentage of these wannabe sellers are really serious about getting their home sold. Too many say, “I don’t have to sell. If I get my price, then I’m ready to go.” Trouble is their price doesn’t exist!

    I don’t blame those of you who are looking to purchase for being frustrated. Tough as the market is for sellers these days, there is little well priced inventory.

  40. Brian says:

    Gary, I saw a bumper sticker this morning that you would like:

    “BO Stinks. Help Deodorize our nation. Vote 2012″

  41. Jill says:

    gary #12 and 3b #22: Wow, look at those knotty pine kitchens! Are they seeing a resurgence, thanks to Mad Men? Perhaps so:

    http://retrorenovation.com/2012/05/18/knotty-pine-love-upload-photos-of-your-knotty-pine-rooms/

    http://knottyisnice.com/

    3b: That cape in WT is hilarious; gotta love that seafoam-and black bathroom (mine is the same color scheme, only the wall tile is black and only the trim is green) which makes it a lot more workable). According to Trulia, that house is on Devon Road, which is both good and bad. Good because you can walk to the strip mall (and more importantly, to the Dog House Saloon, home of the best damn bar burger in the county for $4.95), bad because a) it’s only a block off of Pascack Road; b) that area has been known to flood occasionally because it’s near the Pascack Brook (though I think it was only flooded badly in 1999 with Hurricane Floyd) and c) it’s right near the Bethany church. I’m not sure what this back lot could be if it’s on Devon Road. I’ll do a drive-by on my way home tonight and report back to you.

  42. Jill says:

    Brian #41: Funny how they don’t say to vote for Rmoney.

  43. Brian says:

    R-money….I like that. It is “R” money after all…not the governments.

    It’s also worth mentioning that it was a Ford F-350 pickup with chrome t@sticles hanging from the trailer hitch and PA plates.

    43.Jill says:
    June 13, 2012 at 9:22 am
    Brian #41: Funny how they don’t say to vote for Rmoney.

  44. gary says:

    30 year realtor [40],

    I plan to sell in the coming few months and mark my word, I will absolutely sell for what the market tells me, not what I think it should be. I will consider every single offer.

  45. seif says:

    44 – “with chrome t@sticles”

    the preferred nomenclature is ‘truck nutz”

  46. 3B says:

    #42 Jill: Thanks I appreciate it.

  47. 3B says:

    #40 30 year: How do they determine their price?

    If I get my price, then I’m ready to go

  48. gary says:

    3B [48],

    Their price is based on what is required to go on a Disney cruise, buy a new car and fund a retirement fund.

  49. All Hype says:

    RIP Henry Hill…..

    You know, we always called each other good fellas. Like you said to, uh, somebody, :You’re gonna like this guy. He’s all right. He’s a good fella. He’s one of us.: You understand? We were good fellas. Wiseguys. But Jimmy and I could never be made because we had Irish blood. It didn’t even matter that my mother was Sicilian. To become a member of a crew you’ve got to be one hundred per cent Italian so they can trace all your relatives back to the old country. See, it’s the highest honor they can give you. It means you belong to a family and crew. It means that nobody can fcuk around with you. It also means you could fcuk around with anybody just as long as they aren’t also a member. It’s like a license to steal. It’s a license to do anything. As far as Jimmy was concerned with Tommy being made, it was like we were all being made. We would now have one of our own as a member.

  50. Mike says:

    I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh?

  51. 30 year realtor says:

    3B – I’ll try to tone down my sarcasm. Sellers do some research of recent sales and current listings in their area. Most of them forget the details like condition, location and square footage or over estimate the quality of their product. The other pitfall is they base their value on sales that are dated.

    Right now the toughest thing to value is condos. Many of the complexes have no recent sales. Even prices of sales 3 or 4 months ago are stale and no longer attainable.

    Just listed a townhouse. Advised seller that he should list at no more than $629,000 to be competitive. His chosen list price, $689,000. Told the seller not to bother me if nobody shows it. In 2 weeks I will be up his a** for a reduction.

  52. All Hype says:

    Here is another classic Henry Hill quote…

    “For us to live any other way was nuts. Uh, to us, those goody-good people who worked sh!tty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, and worried about their bills, were dead. I mean they were suckers. They had no balls. If we wanted something we just took it. If anyone complained twice they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again.”

  53. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    I swear that f*cking helicopter is following us

    Rest in peace you f*cking rat

  54. toomuchchange says:

    Here’s one of our government employees with a recommendation that I thought I’d pass along: “Let’s at least insist on a rational and fact-based debate over these issues.” I guess we’ve reached the point where professors at the War College feel obliged to try to save us from ourselves.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/06/perspective-on-the-threat-of-terrorism-by-dr-christopher-bolan.html

    “Perspective on the Threat of Terrorism by Dr. Christopher Bolan

    Micah Zenko at the Council on Foreign Relations observes that based on the most recent USG official statistics on global terrorism for 2011, “the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks [is comparable to those] crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year.” So the inert television and chairs sitting around your house are every bit as threatening to your physical safety as the sum total of all terrorist organizations actively operating world-wide.

    In confronting this objectively miniscule but emotionally-compelling threat, the USG has undertaken the most extensive reorganization and expansion of its national security apparatus since WWII; conducted massive military interventions and enormous nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq at tremendous costs in American blood and treasure; and authorized ever-more intensive assassination campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen that include American citizens as ‘legitimate’ targets.

    The ‘global war on terrorism’ was a flawed strategic framework from its inception appealing primarily to the appreciable fear of the American public in the wake of the horrific attacks of 9-11 and eschewing an objective assessment of the scale and nature of the threat. Terrorism as a tactic of the weak will always be with us. It will never be eliminated. This report demonstrates that this threat has clearly been reduced to a manageable level. The Al-Qa’ida organization that attacked us on 9-11 is a shadow of what it was. Targeted attacks on its leadership and support networks wherever they operate can most effectively and efficiently be facilitated by close cooperation with local law enforcement, intelligence, and as needed, special operations forces.

    In these times of fiscal constraints and ‘tough choices’, U.S. citizens and taxpayers should demand a reality-based discussion of the military, security, and intelligence forces needed to defend critical American national interests here and abroad. Our political and military leaders should lead this rational debate. Nevertheless, many politicians, defense lobbyists, and those working in the national security and foreign policymaking apparatus (both government and civilian) will be tempted to employ hyperbolic exaggeration of the threats confronting us as a justification for continued U.S. interventions across the globe. The rise of China as a conventional military and economic competitor and the potential for Iran to develop nuclear weapons are prime candidates to replace terrorism as the next great security ‘threat’ demanding exorbitant expenditures of America’s treasure and resources. Let’s at least insist on a rational and fact-based debate over these issues.”

    The author is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army.

    [turcopolier.typepad.com is a military and defense blog in the same way this is a real estate blog. It's run by a Arabic-speaking retired colonel who lead troops in Vietnam and ended up later in intelligence. Highly recommend this one.]

  55. Mike says:

    Loved when they put the mailman in the pizza oven

  56. gary says:

    All Hype,

    Picture Joe Pesci saying the following: “Sell? Sell to f*cking whom?”

  57. Jill says:

    Brian #44: What is money? When you say it’s “R” money, what are you referring to? Dollar bills? Who issues those? It’s not Bain Capital. Is it the ones and zeroes that take place when you pay your bills or the bank processes a check?

    What do you mean it’s “our” money? Seems to me that money is issued by….the government.

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [44] brian,

    “It is “R” money after all…not the governments.”

    Uh, no, it isn’t actually. If you really get into the weeds on the concepts of property and wealth, we actually haven’t departed from the feudal notion that all property vests in the sovereign. The sovereign simply permits us to use it, accumulate it, and regulate the foregoing.

    Need proof? Take a note out of your wallet and read it. It is given to you by the Fed for the purpose of using and transferring the property rights (which are not absolute) that the sovereign has permitted you to have/use/transfer.

    There is nothing you have that the government cannot take away from you. Of course, we have “rule of law” so that the process of divestiture is predictable and “fair”, and, in theory, we are the sovereign so we are really only distributing and redistributing property we collectively “own” (really, possess).

    Need more proof? Go to the tax legislative histories and look at what deductions are called—-tax expenditures. In tax parlance, a deduction is money that belongs to the government that they permit you to keep.

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [53] all hype

    “If we wanted something we just took it. If anyone complained twice they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again.”

    That is also the business model of the Department of Justice.

  60. Jill says:

    I think the POS Cape is going to be the best configuration of housing for America’s Boarding House future:

    http://zillow.com/homedetails/57-Woodfield-Rd-Township-Of-Washington-NJ-07676/2119360788_zpid/

  61. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [55] TCM

    I have irked no small number of Jersey Drivers by calling them terrorists. I usually quickly follow up with “you’re more of a threat to me than Al Qaeda ever was.”

    That just pisses off the average Jersey driver no end. It’s fun to watch.

  62. All Hype says:

    Remember, it’s for the kids. On the plus side, no city funds were used. The money just appeared from nowhere…..

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/06/singer_ashanti_was_paid_20000.html

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [64] hype

    “School officials said the payment was typical for a celebrity speaker. “She was paid like any other vendor,” Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Donna Haye told the newspaper.”

    In New Jersey, that carries some unsavory connotations

  64. Juice Box says:

    Congress never really asks any tough questions but I wonder will it come out today at Jamie D’s testimony that Goldman Sachs was the prime broker for the JPM’s chief investment office? Hedge my ass with a reserve of 2 Billion for these trading accounts they were swinging for the fences just like AIG was back in 2008 by only selling CDS and never buying.

  65. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    “truck nutz”

    The first time I saw that was in DC years ago. There was a pickup (natch) with Texas plates that had it (them?). It was always parked in the same place, right on my commute to the office.

    The commute was across the Ellipse, on my way to my office next to Treasury. The Ellipse had been taken over for government parking. Everyone who parked there worked in the White House. And this was during the Bush Administration.

    Can’t make this stuff up (unless you’re JJ).

  66. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Still haven’t decided where I come down on this issue.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2072698

  67. NJGator says:

    All hype 64 – That’s peanuts. Montclair paid a motiviational speaker $65k in federal stimulus funds to talk to the football team back in 2009.

    http://kids.baristanet.com/2009/10/mhs_athletes_get_motivational_speaker-but_he_aint_cheap/

  68. Brian says:

    Take it easy Jill. Just messing around. Truth be told, I don’t really care for either candidate for President.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    No hard feelings all right?

    58.Jill says:
    June 13, 2012 at 10:09 am
    Brian #44: What is money? When you say it’s “R” money, what are you referring to? Dollar bills? Who issues those? It’s not Bain Capital. Is it the ones and zeroes that take place when you pay your bills or the bank processes a check?

    What do you mean it’s “our” money? Seems to me that money is issued by….the government.

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [55] TCM

    I predict a fatal car accident or sudden coronary in that professor’s immediate future.

  70. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    “European Union Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said “we need a United States of Europe”

    Some people in DC feel the same way. Wonder if Obama will be offering him a spot at Commerce anytime soon?

  71. Juice Box says:

    Former Arizona Govenor Gary Johnson is on the ballot in all 50 states. Not the the MSM will talk much about this fiscally conservative former Republican.

    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/

  72. freedy says:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cartel-horses-20120613,0,2069688.story

    Could never happen in NJ , we run an honest horse racing business . Above reproach

  73. freedy says:

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/06/singer_ashanti_was_paid_20000.html

    Yo, Ashanti be at the high school. she be talking to the Kids,,, its all for the kids

  74. gary says:

    Tell me what you like, what you don’t like and what the price should be:

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3009549558-264-Cambridge-Rd-Hillsdale-NJ-07642

  75. Lauren says:

    Can anyone tell me what a tank sweep should cost? Is there anything else to look for? I’m in Monmouth County. Lawes Environmental has been recommended at $375. Does this sound right?

    Thanks in advance for any comments.

  76. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    This was a trend I predicted years ago, but could not find a good pure play vehicle for investment.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/47692722

  77. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    Has Ashanti not been relevant for some years I’m sure they could have gotten her for much less. Like how about some good publicity for your dying career by coming and talking to kids. the government at all levels needs to die.

    nom your right we stopped by indivdually sovereign when consumption taxes and tariffs were replaced by property/income taxes. any government that can take what is mine is no friend of freedom.

  78. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Now THIS is they way to Nompound!!!!!!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/47692617 (slides 2 through 9)

    Surprisingly, many of these are not that expensive.

    clot, I know you will like the shotgun shell device.

  79. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [80] redux,

    FWIW, nompounding by the wealthy isn’t new. I had a client (Fortune 500 family) that had nompounds in the US and New Zealand.

    And if you think about it, all those ruined castles dotting Europe? Nompounds.

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [81] re-redux

    Forgot to mention that client was one I knew 20 years ago.

  81. Libtard in the City says:

    seif says:
    “anyone have any recs for fun stuff for kids in the A.C. area?”

    There’s always Lucy the Elephant in Margate and the amusement parks at Wildwood are great too. Otherwise, rent a boat at Sea Isle City and go crabbing.

  82. freedy says:

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/exclusive-travolta-male-pilot-lover-tell-all

    I ve now lost all faith in american and its icons . Travolta a fag

  83. hype (64)-

    The money for Ashanti came from the district’s hookers and blow fund.

    Duh.

  84. freedy (84)-

    FWIW, you may be the last person on the planet to know that. :)

  85. When the fighting starts, both sides should agree that all battles should take place only within the boundaries of Abbott districts.

  86. AG says:

    Greeks Withdraw $1 Billion a Day Ahead of Vote

    “Bankers said up to 800 million euros ($1 billion) were leaving major banks daily and retailers said some of the money was being used to buy pasta and canned goods, as fears of returning to the drachma were fanned by rumors that a radical leftist leader may win the election. ”
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/47793980

    This is coming here. We should consider ourselves fortunate to have a front row seat so we can prepare in advance.

  87. gary says:

    Meat [87],

    Isn’t the State of New Jersey all one big Abbott District?

  88. freedy says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/13/us-usa-states-salestax-idUSBRE85C0UP20120613

    But in NJ CC is beating that he can beat the trend . Whats the line ?

  89. Juice Box says:

    humm when I was young and single I did not go out until midnight.

    Point Pleasant Beach bars to start closing at midnight (unless they pay up).

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/06/point_pleasant_beach_bars_to_s.html

  90. seif says:

    83 – thank you.

  91. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    Freedy after Greese, Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive was there any doubt.

    Seems all those big hollywood actor types who are scientologists are suspected closet pillow biters. I mean who cares if they are but seems to be the norm see Cruise, Tom and his beard Katie Holmes

  92. Anon E. Moose says:

    Gary [12];

    why is it that when you ask a question about the house, the realtor never seems to have the information?

    1) The agent house-sitting the open probably isn’t the listing agent. Not to say they couldn’t do the homework all the same, but they likely have no specific connection with the house. This is because the open rarely gets a buyer. The purpose of the open is to provide the house-sitting agent a prospect list. 2) Even if the open produces an un-represented buyer, creating a dual-agency situation, some firms throw the buyer to another in-house agent anyway (i.e., not the listing agent), to spread the commission around and keep up appearances.

  93. JJ says:

    The agent knows. When home was for sale next to me I put a low ball bid in, agent asked why. Well I said roof leaks, basement floods, the fences are not to code and will need to be removed. She got a much higher offer, I said really, someone paid full market price for a house with those issues, she was like I am sure they hired an inspector. Ha. New basement den, yea new every ten years, new paint in master bedroom and new chucking on roof, sure, every three years, lots of privacy for a corner house, sure all the bushes and fences illegal. Some realtors dont know some know but hey they work for seller. In this case agent got in my opinion around 100K more than house was worth. But hey buyer beware a big shot lawyer bought house, bet he did closing himself. Guess wife saw new kitchen, den and paint and fell in love. Wait till they are selling in five years after sinking another 100K in house. They wont be passing on info either.

    Amazing to me, that on the internet when you search on address two prior owners names and phone numbers come up, wouldnt you be curious why house had three owners in seven years yet looks so nice. Is making a phone call a big deal

    Anon E. Moose says:
    June 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Gary [12];

    why is it that when you ask a question about the house, the realtor never seems to have the information?

    1) The agent house-sitting the open probably isn’t the listing agent. Not to say they couldn’t do the homework all the same, but they likely have no specific connection with the house. This is because the open rarely gets a buyer. The purpose of the open is to provide the house-sitting agent a prospect list. 2) Even if the open produces an un-represented buyer, creating a dual-agency situation, some firms throw the buyer to another in-house agent anyway (i.e., not the listing agent), to spread the commission around and keep up appearances.

  94. JJ says:

    But there’s some good news for Santander. It is about to get a new ticker symbol on the NYSE that is less likely to be mocked. Santander wasn’t doing itself any favors with the ticker symbol of STD. I’ve simply referred to this on Twitter as an “unfortunate” ticker symbol. (Get your mind out of the gutter and stop making jokes about the European debt “contagion.”)

    That will all change on Thursday June 14. Santander (STD) will begin trading instead as SAN. The bank announced the shift back in April. The move was made possible after Santander’s Chilean unit Banco Santander Chile (BSAC) said it was giving up the SAN symbol in favor of BSAC.

    STD was my favorite ticker on the NYSE, sad to see it go.

  95. seif says:

    anyone have a good car stereo shop or guy in the tenafly, englewood, closter area?

  96. Jill says:

    Pete #94: I think you are right, which makes me wonder why the Trulia listing had Devon Road on the map when I looked at it.

    664 Hickory is probably north of Washington Avenue. It’s arguably walking distance to the #11 Red & Tan bus to NYC (maybe 1/2 mile). Left turns out of there can be dicey. There are only two ways out of of Hickory up there, both of which empty up onto Washington Ave., and Koch Peak is at the top of a hill so visibility getting out of there is almost nil and left turns are pretty much impossible.

  97. 3B says:

    #62 Jill: Wow, surprised to see that in WT, but I have seen it in other (not to be named ) towns. Is it even legal?

  98. 3B says:

    #94 Pete: Thanks, will take a run by over the weekend.

  99. gak says:

    re: #22 and #42
    according to gsmls it’s on 664 HICKORY ST

  100. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [76] gary, Hillsdale house on Cambridge – Taxes pushing $14K (actual are $500 higher than in the Trulia ad), property a little small for the neighborhood and abutters on all three sides. Nice looking house, probably has good bones.

  101. 3B says:

    #02 Thanks.

  102. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [76] gary – Price, $500k? The owners bought it in 2002 for $484K and we’re back to 2002 prices, right?

  103. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [97] JJ,

    Hey, it was your favorite sorority, Sigma Delta Tau

    or

    Sorry don’t touch
    social disease transmitters
    scum, dogs and trash
    seldom dated twice

    There are probably more. Those are the only ones I can remember. And the name was doubly unfortunate because in Greek, STD looks like EAT. Needless to say, the boorish frat across the street from us painted “ME” underneath the sign.

  104. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [88] AG,

    There’s an opening for a new NatGeo reality-based show: Drachma Preppers.

  105. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [106] redux

    And no, JJ, I never nailed a STD. You probably did so we will look to you for impressions.

  106. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Having about 10K worth of deferred maintenance done. Yard overhaul, new carpet, interior and exterior painting, and masonry repairs. Contractors started today and will be running about for the next week. Place is gonna look damn good when it is finished. So good, I probably won’t want to move.

    And yes, I know, I hear you, but trust me; these were glaring things that would have just killed marketability.

  107. NJGator says:

    I thought everything was marketable in Brigadoon.

  108. Jill says:

    3b #100: I seriously doubt it. Woodfield road is Lake Community too, and they regard everyone NOT in lake community as riff-raff. I would guess no one knows about it.

  109. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    Gator don’t hate! you know we are jealous of noms imminent departure.

    nom – Seriously though carpet , next your going to tell us you have laminate counter tops and pine cabinets. You’ll make all those bugaboo wielding, 300 jeans wearing soccer moms crazy with that kind of talk.

  110. 3B says:

    #11 Jill:Eventually it will get out. Lake community who cares!!! Just means more bird and geese doo!!!

  111. Libtard in Union says:

    BSAC = Ball Sack

  112. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (Useless Fat Fcuk / Frankenfood Edition:)

    “Many people prefer boneless chicken pieces with irregular, rather than uniform shapes, which they say seems more natural.”

    “At the same time, snacking, especially between lunch and dinner, is more common. In surveys consumers said “they had a craving for something and they wanted some, but they didn’t want a lot,” says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at NPD. Whereas ice cream or chips used to suffice as a snack, people now want something more substantial like a small sandwich, Ms. Riggs says. ”

    ARE YOU FCUKING KIDDING ME?

    WSJ
    FOOD & DRINK
    June 12, 2012, 6:44 p.m. ET

    What Tastes Like Chicken But Dips Like Chips? .

    By SARAH NASSAUER

    Americans love fried chicken. Just like they love chips and dip. So what could be tastier, fast-food restaurants conclude, than chicken you can eat like chips and dip.

    Restaurants are rolling out new menu items to meet this logic. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen calls this food strategy “ip’ns,” referring to fried chicken dishes designed to be dipped or ripped.

    The “ip’ns” and other fast-food finger foods are the next step in the larger trend of creating items that are easier to eat in the car and on the go. Restaurants that promise quick, inexpensive meals are introducing dishes like bite-sized fried chicken in containers that fit in a car’s cup holder and tightly rolled sandwiches that are easy to hold and dip in sauce.

    Popeyes began selling Dip’n Chick’n last year after market research revealed people were very interested in a fried, boneless chicken snack that could be eaten “just like chips and dip,” says Dick Lynch, global chief brand officer for Popeyes. Popeyes cut chicken so it curls up into a small scoop when cooked, creating the best-selling limited-time menu item in company history at that time. “That was the birth of the ‘ip’ns,’ ” Mr. Lynch says.

    Popeyes introduced another riff on the concept nationally last month: Rip’n Chick’n, a fried chicken breast sliced to be easily torn apart.

    “Americans eat more on the go than anywhere else in the world,” and the trend is growing, says Wade Thoma, vice president of the menu innovation team for McDonald’s U.S.A. Drive-through orders make up around 70% of its sales, he says.

    Seventeen percent of all meals ordered at restaurants in the U.S. are now eaten in cars, according to NPD Group, a consumer research firm.

    At the same time, snacking, especially between lunch and dinner, is more common. In surveys consumers said “they had a craving for something and they wanted some, but they didn’t want a lot,” says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at NPD. Whereas ice cream or chips used to suffice as a snack, people now want something more substantial like a small sandwich, Ms. Riggs says.

    McDonald’s Corp. introduced Chicken McBites in the U.S. earlier this year. The small fried chicken pieces come in a container that fits in a car’s cup holder with a slot for dipping sauce. A limited time offer, it came in three sizes—”snack,” “regular,” and “shareable.” The company plans to introduce a spicy version nationwide next week.

    Chicken “doesn’t have a lot of flavor itself, but is a great flavor carrier,” says Mr. Lynch of Popeyes. It is “almost a canvas to paint on,” with marinade, spiced breading and dipping sauce.

    Many people prefer boneless chicken pieces with irregular, rather than uniform shapes, which they say seems more natural. “That was really noticed by our customers in testing,” says Rich Scheffler, group director of marketing and innovation for Whataburger, the San Antonio-based burger chain.

    In April, Whataburger introduced Whatachick’n Bites aimed at car eaters and snackers. Like most of the new bite-sized chicken meals, they are made from cuts of chicken, restaurants say, not reconstituted chicken, to create irregular shapes and sizes.

    Some fast-food chains have long sold bite-sized food like KFC’s Popcorn Chicken, White Castle’s Chicken Rings (think onion ring-shaped chicken), or Sonic’s potato Tots.

    Restaurants tend to offer their new bite-sized creations as limited-time offers. Consumers like the novelty of new products, but often gravitate back to their usual menu items after a while. The limited-time offers help keep customers interested, says Kurt Kane, chief marketing officer for Pizza Hut, which is owned by Yum Brands Inc. YUM -0.90% Last year, around the Super Bowl, the company sold a Big Dipper Pizza, a 2-foot-long pizza cut into 24 strips that could be torn off and dipped. It appealed to customers interested in sharing, Mr. Kane says.

    Last week Pizza Hut introduced a P’Zolo, a rolled, hot sandwich intended to be held in one hand. It comes with marinara or ranch dip.

    Consumers like dip because it lets them layer additional flavor on food, say restaurants. “A big part of our research told us that what you dip them in is just as important as the flavor of the chicken,” says Mr. Scheffler of Whataburger. When the restaurant introduced its new chicken dish it also added fat-free ranch and creamy pepper dipping sauce to its roster of classics like honey mustard, honey BBQ, and cream gravy.

    “I’m a sucker for condiments,” says Justin McDaniel, a 33-year-old marketer at an online shoe-repair service. “It’s always cool to have something new to dip,” says the Brooklyn, NY, resident who recently moved from Pasadena, Calif., where Popeyes’s Dip’n Chick’n sauce drew him in: “Probably the main reason I tried it was because I saw the blackened ranch sauce.”

    Cooks in the company’s test kitchen could easily cut one end of a chicken breast into strips to create Rip’n Chick’n, but “the challenge was to get it commercialized at speed and for the right price,” says Mr. Lynch. Two of the company’s poultry suppliers found consistently sized chicken breasts and adjusted their cutting equipment to make the unique shape, he says.

    Beef isn’t likely to get the bite-sized treatment soon. “I’m not sure there is a form that ever feels like it should fit in your hand,” says Mr. Thoma of McDonald’s.

  113. JJ says:

    Funniest STD was a girl who worked for my brother who had a serious boy friend in Suffolk LI she only saw on the weekends and she like to sleep around during week. Kinda a tramp keeping her options open by having a good nice marriage material BF, but since he lived 50 miles from her place in Harrison she was set. Anyhow that guy ended up being in a summer house by total coincidence and she gave him a nasty case of VD. Man was he mad even more mad girl lived at home and she claimed her Dad is tough so he cant stay over. Ha Ha. She was a female man. I and he was a female man in this story. Even worse he was howling when peeing and doctor informed him under NYS laws he must inform his GF she gave it to him as she may not know she has it, well she did not know, but gets test gets a shot and she is ok, meanwhile his dick was burning like a house in the bronx. Funniest she still kept working for my brother. Wonder if those two own STD stock. End of story she married some wealthy guy she also fooled, he married a high maint girl who divorced him and took him for tons of child support. What comes around does not always go around.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    June 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    [106] redux

    And no, JJ, I never nailed a STD. You probably did so we will look to you for impressions.

  114. JJ says:

    Jersey is like Oscar the Grouch’s Garbage Can. Sure some parts are better than others but all of it stinks.

  115. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    Funny JJ those of us in jersey feel the same about Long island

  116. JJ says:

    I dont think people in Jersey really know LI. They know huge amounts of traffic. They know getting their is horrible. They see houses on top of each other. All true. But beauty is I never drive anywhere and since I am never home does not matter, for men it is a place to sleep, for women Nassau is close enough to city so hubby does not have to leave at crack of dawn or get home to late, and for kids great schools and everything is walking distance so they have freedom.

    It is bad for someone who does not work in city, has no kids and likes land and is not going to city a lot. I go out in NYC a lot. Going to a party at Hilton for instance tommorrow. Go to shows, dinners out etc. I like having train to jump on and no driving. Jersey in parts of Bergan county has same advantage. But trouble is it is crowded and expensive too.

    If I had my way I would have a townhouse in NYC and a vacation home.

    Painhrtz – Oooh a Donut! says:
    June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Funny JJ those of us in jersey feel the same about Long island

  117. 3B says:

    #18 The only thing worse than Jersey is LI.

  118. yo says:

    Funds planning to invest more than $6 billion to buy and rent foreclosed homes are finding it easy to raise money. The difficulty is spending it.

    The number of low-cost foreclosed homes coming to market has dropped, bulk sales have been slow to materialize and prices are recovering in markets such as Phoenix, making it hard for private-equity firms, hedge funds and pension systems to buy as many homes as they need.
    “The folks that raised capital are worried about under- accumulating properties and how to get capital out in an efficient way,” Richard Ford, a managing director in the real estate investment banking group at Jefferies Group Inc., said in a telephone interview. “A lot’s being raised. Less than $2 billion of institutional capital has been spent.”

    Investors are trying to spend at least $6.4 billion on single-family rentals, including from funds such as Colony Capital LLC, GTIS Partners, KKR & Co., Oaktree Capital Group LLC (OAK), Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (OZM) and the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. They want to take advantage of U.S. home prices that are 35 percent below the 2006 peak and growing demand for rentals as the homeownership rate sits at the lowest level since 1997.

    The largest pending bulk sale is a portfolio of 2,490 properties by Fannie Mae, the Washington-based mortgage-finance company controlled by the U.S. government. Final bids, announced in February, are still being reviewed

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-13/private-equity-has-too-much-money-to-spend-on-homes-mortgages.html

  119. seif says:

    119 – “If I had my way I would have a townhouse in NYC and a vacation home.”

    do you need me to get your truck nutz back from your wife? what a girly-man.

  120. yo says:

    I know someone that keeps a rent control apartment in NYC and live and work in Jersey.Weekend getaway is NYC

  121. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: LI is a complete sh!thole and the people who live there are worse, especially the south shore…..they should burn everything in Nassau down to the ground and start over…..

  122. chicagofinance says:

    I think the JPM calls have spooked everyone…the prices are holding firm if not rising….I would wait two weeks……

    I bought some ML stuff at end of Dec 11 for under 19…

    JJ says:
    June 13, 2012 at 9:06 am
    Give me names!! Citi Pref J, BPOPP, TZK and JPMPRJ? Also saw some MBNA/Zions Trups that looked good. I will start hunting today .

    chicagofinance says:
    June 13, 2012 at 8:52 am

    JJ: most of the TruPS have gone ex…..usually they sell off into the close of the quarter…maybe pick up something?

    Richard says:
    June 13, 2012 at 8:41 am
    JJ, did you see JPM is calling its TruPSs.

  123. JJ says:

    The South Shore is suprising in how “blue collar” is a lifestyle decision not a monetary factor. My wife has friends whose husbands are doctors, dentists, CPAs, etc. And I know a few Managing Directors and SVPs at broker dealers who live near me. I always assumed in a town full of 60×100 3 bedroom homes it would be all middle class. But suprisingly people making 500k to one million a year live in homes that are worth 400K and drive used cars and shop at Kohls. I know a guy who lives in 60 by 100 split, not me who drives a beat up minivan to train station who talks about the rich people. Since he is on SEC filings and comp is public I noticed he makes 10 million a year. Judging from his age and years at the C-level I would say he took home close to 100 million in last 15 years. He is a middle class, guy coaches little league, drives an old chevy van. I think folks in big houses in NJ see the little houses on south shore and assume people are poor.

    Realtors are like this too. I notice they dress nice have a caddie and when I show up in my Jets hat old shorts tell them where I live they ask me if I am pre-approved.

    Larry Liebowitz once told me when he was the head trader at a large broker dealer he buys 50 cents cups of coffee off the coffee truck as only rich folks can afford starbucks. Larry and his brother Jon Stewart are both middle class guys.

    chicagofinance says:
    June 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm
    JJ: LI is a complete sh!thole and the people who live there are worse, especially the south shore…..they should burn everything in Nassau down to the ground and start over…..

  124. joyce says:

    (91)

    Juice (regarding point pleasant bars closing at midnight)

    Obviously, I think this is stupid… but let the residents lose all of that tax revenue created not just by the bars losing 2 hours of business but by all the people who just won’t go there at all.

    It will be short lived.

  125. JJ says:

    Why do the bars close at 2am? They should make it 4am like any real party town.

    joyce says:
    June 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm
    (91)

    Juice (regarding point pleasant bars closing at midnight)

    Obviously, I think this is stupid… but let the residents lose all of that tax revenue created not just by the bars losing 2 hours of business but by all the people who just won’t go there at all.

    It will be short lived

  126. Juice Box says:

    JJ – the voyage to LI alone is enough to make even a hardened truck driver cry. Most people I know that live out on the Island never leave, they are all townies, few venture in the NYC for a night out and fewer even go to the beach because of traffic and parking. Nobody relocates to long island intentionally. How many of the big banks have facilities and offices in Long Island? They closest they get is usually Queens. Isn’t Stop n Shop one of the top 10 employers next to the government and the hospital system?

  127. joyce says:

    128

    Allow them to set their own hours for all I care.

  128. jj (97)-

    In a few months, Santander can start trading as DED.

  129. Scott Fitzgerald had it right.

    LI = Valley of Ashes

  130. JJ says:

    My car rarely goes more than 3 miles from my house. In fact in 2012 I have yet to drive more than 3 miles from my house.
    Hospital, School District, Police Dept and Stop N Shop are most likely the three biggest employers in my town. All pay very well. Remember, they are just housewives, students and retirees for most part. Except of Cops who usually have a working spouse.

    I live around 5 minutes from beach at 30 MPH. So I have no traffic. I just dont go much as I am at work and have a pool. I do got to Manhattan every day and several weekends a year. Every minute further I live from the city or train is a big deal to me. I have 600 train rides a year to take, if you count round trip. Even ten more minutes will kill me. towns such as Bayside, Great Neck, Rockville Centre, Manhasset if you live walking distance from train have a short commute to city, trains run all the time and plenty of bars and restaurants. Trouble is you really have to live in first few miles into Nassau. Further you go out and even towns like Glenn Cove with no train is a killer. I also like walking distance to train in Long Beach. lots of bars, beach and somewhat easy commute given you live on the beach.

    Juice Box says:
    June 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm
    JJ – the voyage to LI alone is enough to make even a hardened truck driver cry. Most people I know that live out on the Island never leave, they are all townies, few venture in the NYC for a night out and fewer even go to the beach because of traffic and parking. Nobody relocates to long island intentionally. How many of the big banks have facilities and offices in Long Island? They closest they get is usually Queens. Isn’t Stop n Shop one of the top 10 employers next to the government and the hospital system?

  131. JJ says:

    STD is a great dividend stock and misunderstood. It is an international bank not a spanish bank.

    Gatsby used to drive down northern blvd to city and LIRR was coal back them. Around Bayside etc where swamp is between tracks and northiern blvd used to be stacks and stacks of Coke which is burnt coal and soot, that is what he is reffering to. Plus it is Queens, back then Queens and Brooklyn was often called Long Island

    New Improved Meat says:
    June 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    jj (97)-

    In a few months, Santander can start trading as DED.

  132. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (Port Authority Fascism Edition):

    THE A-HED
    At Famous Hudson River Crossing, Picking Up Hitchhikers Takes a Toll
    Commuters Unite as Cops Crack Down On Impromptu Shared Rides Over Bridge.

    By SPENCER JAKAB

    Kudret Topyan saw something out of his 14th floor window last year that so excited him he set up a video camera to capture the action while he was at work. He’s no Peeping Tom, though. He’s an economist.

    What intrigued Mr. Topyan from his apartment in Fort Lee, N.J., was the cat-and-mouse game being played out at the nearby George Washington Bridge leading into Manhattan. Carpoolers hoping to catch a ride were being intercepted by police—even though ride-sharing, as in other cities, is a legal way to save money.

    To many commuters who use the bridge, the pull-over practice smacks of highway robbery. Tolls rose in September to $9.50 for E-ZPass customers and $12 for those paying cash. They will each rise $3 more by 2015.

    “I remember when it was 50 cents,” to cross the famous suspension bridge, says saleswoman Marilyn Hamburg. “It’s outrageous!”

    She is one of the less than 4% of commuters using the little-known “carpool plan,” which offers a $6 discount for vehicles carrying three or more passengers. In San Francisco, a smaller discount on the Oakland Bay Bridge attracts 46% of vehicles during rush hour.

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey presides over seven bridges and tunnels in the region. The George Washington Bridge, which connects Fort Lee to Manhattan, is one of the world’s busiest spans and is the Port Authority’s main money-spinner, taking in a projected $625 million for 2012. It estimates that it loses some $7 million a year to toll cheats. A favorite technique is rolling through an unmanned E-ZPass lane without an electronic transponder and with license plates obscured.

    “They’ll use grease or spray paint. Changing a ‘C’ to an ‘O’ or a ’3′ to an ’8′ are very popular,” says Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the agency.

    With so much money at stake, the Port Authority’s police force is cracking down on all kinds of rogue rides. Claiming that impromptu shares are dangerous, police have also been issuing citations to drivers who stop for passengers—tickets for several hundred dollars.

    There are no official meeting points or matching services for carpoolers. So drivers approach the bridge and pick up pedestrians at a bus stop just before the toll plaza, giving a free ride to two commuters who would otherwise pay $2.00 to take a jitney into town.

    Mr. Della Fave says that the Port Authority police are only concerned with public safety. But one grass-roots organization doesn’t plan on applying the brakes.

    Leonor Javier was driven to form “the Carpoolers” when she received the first of two tickets last July 4. The woman she picked up, shopkeeper May Chin, has since become a friend and joined the cause. The patrolwoman’s reasons for giving Ms. Javier the first citation still anger her: “What she said is ‘Do you know this lady? You might get killed.’ ”

    All of 100 pounds, Ms. Chin is nobody’s image of a homicidal maniac. Indeed, there have been no documented crimes among carpoolers. And, though the police often issue citations only after quizzing the occupants to determine that they don’t know one another, there is no law against picking up strangers. The charges typically applied are for an illegal lane change or stopping at a bus stop. Many people plead guilty and pay a fine to avoid having points added to their license.

    Ms. Hamburg joined the Carpoolers to lobby against what the group views as harassment.

    These days, she trolls for passengers on a local road leading to the bridge—she won’t say exactly where in case the Port Authority cops catch on—even as passengers wait in vain by the more convenient bus stop. She does it for economic reasons. Also, it’s fun.

    “I love it, you meet people from all walks of life,” she says.

    But passengers are sometimes hard to find away from the bridge, and she often can’t find the minimum of two strangers. She has heard stories of some drivers putting dummies in the back seat to make the quota.

    Accountant Bill Migdal is a carpool convert. “At first I thought it was a terrible thing to do—I looked down on the people doing it,” says Mr. Migdal, who lives within walking distance of the bridge. “But a couple of years ago I came around to the idea. They save money, I save money and I get across faster.”

    A common carpooler complaint is that the police only target vehicles picking up passengers—not those dropping them at the bus stop or even those picking up people in the non-toll-paying direction. Though Mr. Della Fave denies that is the case, Mr. Topyan says his research—consisting of hundreds of hours of observation—seems to confirm the practice.

    Some people avoid the cat and mouse game altogether, choosing to pay zero by walking the picturesque 1.5-mile span.

    Probably nobody has admired the view as many times as 68-year-old retiree Tom Burderi, who says he has crossed the bridge more than 16,000 times on foot since 1975.

    But to those without the time or energy to walk, the crackdown on carpools smacks of a revenue-grab by the Port Authority, which has been criticized for lavish pay and benefits. With extensive overtime, some toll collectors make more than $100,000, while salaries for several officers working at the bridge topped $200,000 last year.

    Curious to see what would happen, Mr. Topyan recently picked up two passengers in plain sight of a police officer—and was promptly ticketed. Having researched the law, he spent six hours in traffic court and won his case.

    “The prosecutor was jumping up and down in disbelief,” he says. He didn’t have to pay.

    But such small victories can’t stop the police from discouraging potential carpoolers. Mr. Topyan notes that, while economics dictates there should be enough cars during rush hour, passengers line up in vain during the busy two-hour stretch when police hover near the stop “like clockwork.”

    The Carpoolers see it a different way.

    “In order to pad their pensions and lifestyle, they’re taking bread out of our children’s mouths,” says Ms. Javier.

    The Carpoolers have picked up one key advocate. Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich in October proposed a parking lot a few blocks away from the bridge entrance for riders to congregate. But drivers stuck in traffic are reluctant to leave the highway and possibly wait in vain for passengers.

    To Ms. Javier, the proposal proves that officials aren’t worried about the risk of crime. Says she: “How am I safer if I pick someone up in a parking lot?”

  133. JJ says:

    How does it work? Lets say I am going to a night Jet game and driving I will have people in my car, how do I get a car pooler discount, I see no lane for it.

    chicagofinance says:
    June 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    The End Is Nigh (Port Authority Fascism Edition):

    THE A-HED
    At Famous Hudson River Crossing, Picking Up Hitchhikers Takes a Toll
    Commuters Unite as Cops Crack Down On Impromptu Shared Rides Over Bridge.

  134. gak says:

    http://www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/e-zpass.html
    Carpool plan – half way down the page

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    Libtard in the City says:
    June 13, 2012 at 11:15 am
    seif says:
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    There’s always Lucy the Elephant in Margate and the amusement parks at Wildwood are great too. Otherwise, rent a boat at Sea Isle City and go crabbing.

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