Jersey’s relief package up for debate

From the Record:

Republicans cite “questionable” spending as Senate begins debate on $60B Sandy relief package

The debate over a $60.4 billion federal Sandy relief package began in earnest on Monday with Senate Republican leaders arguing that the bill includes “questionable” spending and officials from the hardest-hit states urging quick action.

Pointing to photos of destruction in Moonachie and at the Jersey Shore set atop an easel on the Senate floor, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said residents and businesses need a full commitment from the federal government before they begin the long process of rebuilding.

“You need the money in place to rebuild entire projects and entire areas to ensure that families and businesses devastated by the storm can recover,” he said.

“You can’t hire a contractor to rebuild half a house or restore half a community,” he added.

Debate is expected to continue Tuesday. Proponents have said that failing to pass the bill by year’s end, when a new Congress takes over, would delay the process by months and jeopardize the summer season at the shore.

In a statement Monday, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., listed eight areas of the bill that need to be addressed because of “questionable spending.” Those include $12.9 billion proposed for preventing future storm damage and $5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers. The senators said it was unclear where the money for damage prevention would come from and that there were not enough details on how the money destined for the Army Corps money would be spent.

The Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative advocacy group, said the money should be released in installments to make sure it is spent wisely.

“When a natural disaster occurs, there is a textbook response by Congress — they cobble together an overpriced bill that isn’t paid for, there’s no accountability or oversight, and it’s filled with pork,” the group said in a statement. “This proposal is no different.”

Governor Christie, a Republican, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, have estimated that the two states suffered nearly $79 billion in damages.

This entry was posted in Economics, New Development, Politics, Shore Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Jersey’s relief package up for debate

  1. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Barclays: Housing market to remain resilient

    Falling inventories, continued pick up in housing demand, low mortgage rates and improved affordability are key factors that will continue to underpin home prices, according to Barclays 2013 outlook report on housing.

    Housing starts for the first quarter are expected to be 944,000 and jump to 973,000 by the second quarter. Inventory supply is also projected to stabilize at current levels and even move modestly higher through the year.

    If the fiscal cliff were to hit, the housing industry would likely slow, but not enough to a point where it would become particularly vulnerable to a sharp contraction.

    Residential investment spending is a sector that would spring back quickly if the ‘cliff’ occurred because upward momentum in the spending remains strong, Barclays said.

    Real estate wealth, which has dragged on consumer spending since 2007, is expected to begin to boost consumer spending sometime in 2013.

    “This would mark an important turning point for household balance sheets, where net wealth effects from falling financial prices and the collapse of the housing market have been significant impediments to the strength of consumer spending and, in turn, the pace of the broader recovery,” Barclays said.

  2. Brian says:

    When the federal government sends money to NJ, they should just assume some of it goes to pork and corruption. There’s no surprise here. Crime family no show jobs and corruption should just be baked into the price.

  3. grim says:

    Why not cap or reduce the tax deductions associated with donations instead of touching the mortgage interest deduction?

    From the WSJ:

    Should We End the Tax Deduction for Charitable Donations?

    Washington is desperate for new revenue. And the charity deduction looks like a very tempting target these days.

    Politicians and pundits across the political spectrum have been calling for cutting back the tax break that people get for making donations to charities. With the country’s finances in such a mess, they say, we simply can’t afford to be so generous about rewarding charitable giving—especially when it’s mostly the very rich who claim the deduction. Even though trimming or eliminating the deduction won’t solve our fiscal problems, they say, the contribution will certainly help get us closer to making ends meet.

    Opponents of cutting back argue that things aren’t that simple. The deduction, they say, is a critical incentive that keeps much-needed cash flowing to charities. And donations have already fallen in recent years—at a time when the need for services is soaring.

    For all the praise it gets, there’s just no evidence that the tax break leads people to increase their giving—but it does lead them to make bad choices about giving. What’s more, it favors a segment of the public, the very wealthy, that can afford to give without a break. And cutting the deduction does a lot less economic harm than other ways of raising tax revenue.

  4. Brian says:

    New focus on gun legislation
    New Jersey legislators are trying to resuscitate a bill that pushes for a national ban on assault weapons and on high-capacity clips. The bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, has languished in committee. Both NJ Senators Lautenberg and Robert Menendez earned F’s from the NRA and F-’s from Gun Owners of America for their voting records on gun control. Menendez called for the ban on high-capacity clips from the Senate floor on Monday:

    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/evening_politics_roundup_shoot.html

  5. chicagofinance says:

    Christmas comes early for Menendez’s family……..the mother lode of graft as a crowning achievement to a career of stealing…….Ryan Lanza should channeled his brother and capped this scum in his home…..

    Pointing to photos of destruction in Moonachie and at the Jersey Shore set atop an easel on the Senate floor, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said residents and businesses need a full commitment from the federal government before they begin the long process of rebuilding.

  6. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    McMansions Return: Why Big Houses Are Coming Back

    After five years of downsizing, homeowners may be “upsizing” once again. A growing family and a need for more living space are the prime reasons across the generations, according to a new survey by national homebuilder PulteGroup.

    “There appears to be a renewed sense of optimism in housing. Homebuyers, regardless of their stage of life, still want and need larger homes,” said Pulte’s chief marketing officer Deborah Meyer in a release. “Consistent with our consumer research, the survey results show that today’s buyers are equally focused on more efficient use of the spaces within their homes.”

    Eighty-four percent of homeowners ages 18-59 surveyed by Pulte said they did not have plans to downsize, which was particularly surprising, given that Baby Boomers have been expected to downsize en masse; many have been unwilling or unable to sell their large homes, however, due to the huge drop in home prices over the past five years.

    The average size of a newly built home increased 3.7 percent in 2011 from 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That was the first annual increase since 2007 and indicates that home builders are seeing demand for larger spaces. The demand, however, is not where it used to be. Home buyers are less willing to head out to the so-called “ex-urbs” to get their larger space,” according to the latest findings from the American Institute of Architects.

    “In many areas, we are seeing more interest in urban infill locations than in remote exurbs, which is having a pronounced shift in neighborhood design elements,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker. “And regardless of city or suburban dwellers, people are asking more from their communities in terms of access to public transit, walkable areas and close proximity to job centers, retail options and open space.”

  7. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  8. JJ's B.Se says:

    Good times are here again. McDonald’s just announced all their restaurants will be open this Christmas and the McRib, a perennial favorite, will be on the menu that day!!!

  9. Brian says:

    The McRib is a delicious miracle of science.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/11-amazing-facts-about-the-mcdonald-s-mcrib-170212930.html

    The McRib is a product of “restructured meat technology.”

    Rene Arend came up with the idea and design of the McRib, but it’s a professor from the University of Nebraska named Richard Mandigo who developed the “restructured meat product” that the McRib is actually made of.

    According to an article from Chicago magazine, which cites a 1995 article by Mandigo, “restructured meat product” contains a mixture of tripe, heart, and scalded stomach, which is then mixed with salt and water to extract proteins from the muscle. The proteins bind all the pork trimmings together so that it can be re-molded into any specific shape — in this case, a fake slab of ribs.

  10. JJ's B.Se says:

    Makes more sense to keep charitable deduction and kill mortgage deduction. Mortgage deduction encourages people to over leverage themselves and encourages people to be selfish and get a tax break for spending money on themselves.

    Plus the mortgage deduction is a zero sum game. Most countries dont have it and in most countries similar homes on average go for 20% less as buyers pay less as they cant factor tax break in.

    They should kill it asap. Maybe grandfather existing people as long as they dont ever do a cash out refinance. Or maybe lower amount to like 250K. Average person only makes like 55K in the USA. People should only mortgage up to a max of 4x income so why are we letting people write off a one million dollar mortgage?

    grim says:
    December 18, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Why not cap or reduce the tax deductions associated with donations instead of touching the mortgage interest deduction?

  11. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Restructured meat technology – Fancy words for meat goo formed under heat and pressure.

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I’d be more keen to keep the charitable deduction if there was a much narrower definition of what qualified for the deduction. T Boone Pickens shoveling money into Oklahoma State University or Lloyd Blankfein giving $10K to his kids private pre-school is not my idea of a charitable contribution.

  13. JJ's B.Se says:

    f you’re looking to toast the holidays with a seriously fancy feast, New York steakhouse BLT Prime claims to have just the ticket item: a steak that runs $30 an ounce (yes, ounce) — or about the cost of the average American monthly car payment if you go the full-pound route. Of course, this is not just any old strip o’ beef, but a slice of Kagoshima imported from Japan — a type of beef that’s more prized (at least by some carnivorous cognoscenti) than the country’s famed Kobe, but much harder to find; BLT Prime says it’s only one of two restaurants in the United States currently offering Kagoshima. And even then, it’s not just any Kagoshima but grade A5, the Japanese equivalent of USDA prime — or arguably, a level beyond prime, according to BLT executives. “A5 is the highest grade in the world,” says executive chef Andrew Matthews.

    The beef doesn’t end up that way by chance. Kagoshima cattle, which come from the same Wagyu breed as Kobe, are fed a high-calorie diet and likely receive the kind of care that’s associated with the Japanese tradition for tending high-end cows, including regular massages and an occasional sip of beer, says chef Matthews. (The main difference between Kobe and Kagoshima has to do with where the cattle are raised — the names refer to localities within Japan.)

    As for the final product on the plate, Matthews says, Kagoshima is more about texture than taste: The meat is so well-marbled that the beef takes on a softness that almost makes it spreadable. “It’s not even meat. It’s something else,” the chef says of the boneless Kagoshima strip he serves. (And Matthews does very little to the beef other than season it with a small amount of salt and pepper, then grill it.) In other words, this is a steak that doesn’t require a steak knife, much less any knife. “It’s not really necessary,” says Matthews.

  14. Ragnar says:

    I’m surprised the populists aren’t calling for a credit card interest deduction. I’ve always thought the mortage interest deduction was an anomaly. The problem is that many people have made 20-30 year financial plans with that deduction embedded in their household budgets. Same goes for social security. It would take 20 to 40 years to phase out these stupidities.

  15. Juice Box says:

    re: # 10 – “Maybe grandfather existing people”

    Sure grandfather in the Boomers mortgage deductions and screw anyone else looking to buy a house in the future why not, and don’t use chained inflation to calculate the Boomers SS COLA.

    Pain should be shared not passed down to the younger generation to clean up the mess.

    Bernake has been warning Congress for over two years “We’re not going to monetize the debt,” yet that is exactly what they are doing, and now everyone younger is going to get shafted. This whole deficit and debt debate should end with a Wiley Coyote fall off the cliff with a giant rock around everyone’s neck.

    The Sun will still rise tomorrow either way, I rather it be without me having to fund the larger generations mistakes.

  16. Juice Box says:

    re # 14 – That was eliminated back in 1986. The Tax reform Act back then phased out all deductions for interest paid on car loans, charge-account purchases, vacations and anything else that fell under what the law termed ‘consumer loans.’

    I remember that was a pretty contentious debate back then but they got it done. This time around is will be a screw job. They should institute a cap on all itemized deductions, and share the pain across tax brackets.

  17. grim says:

    I’m surprised the populists aren’t calling for a credit card interest deduction. I’ve always thought the mortage interest deduction was an anomaly.

    This already exists and is likely used heavily. It works like this.

    Take out a home equity loan, pay off credit card balances.

    You’ve now “refinanced” your credit cards by changing the underlying asset that backs the debt in exchange for a lower rate, the cherry on top is the interest is now deductible.

    Magic!

  18. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    I have no problem with them cutting the mortgage interest deduction if they provide a 2% tax cut across the board up to the 28% tax bracket. You get the process of ensuring the lower middle class keep their tax burden the same. further drop the rate on lower income earners and catch more from higher earners. Since they are not scrapping the tax code this is the only managble way I can envision this working.

    Personally, I hate the income tax it is institutionalized theft of the fruits of someones labor. It also picks winners and losers through subsidization of some industries at the expense of others. Consumption taxes are the best despite the argument that they are regressive against the poor, they are the best way to rob fedgov of the trough they currently feed at and worked just fine limiting the size of fedgov until that nightmare the 16th amendment was ratified.

  19. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [6];

    Eighty-four percent of homeowners ages 18-59 surveyed by Pulte said they did not have plans to downsize, which was particularly surprising, given that Baby Boomers have been expected to downsize en masse; many have been unwilling or unable to sell their large homes, however, due to the huge drop in home prices over the past five years.

    Of course they don’t plan to downsize — they look around them and assume that no one will be there to buy the house. In my own situation, my seller was clearly bugging out to shed property taxes – just weeks after his youngest kid finished HS. Me on the other hand, I figure they’ll bury me here (My cousin used to say she’s buying the house where they’ll mail her SS checks, but I know better than to expect a SS check in 30 years.) Anyway, the money I spend on this place is sunk cost, and I doubt the market value will even keep up with inflation. I fully consider it consumption, I like living here at the price I bought better than I did renting where I moved from.

    Speaking of rent, a very similar 4BR colonial in my neighborhood just went up for rent. Probably represents an 8% gross (and gross is an appropriate adjective) PRR return on current value if they get their asking rent — 6% if you consider the bubbly price they paid in 2006. Funny thing is, according to the public records, they are not underwater.

  20. JJ's B.Se says:

    Home prices will fall 20% the year they stop the mortgage deduction. Most folks given a choice of buying a 500K house with a deductable mortgage or same house for 400K with no deductable mortgage will choose the 400K house. Homeowners when they sell will take a hit but while they own they will still get to deduct.

    My big tax pet peeve is the SANDY Causality loss deduction proposal.Right now lets say someone makes 200K and has $20,100 in damages not covered by insurance they cant write off anything. Casuality loss rules say you have to cover a hurdle of 10% of gross income plus $100 bucks.

    However, they are throwing around waving that rule so you can deduct it all regardless of gross income. But they have not decided yet what it is going to be.

    This will drive people nuts. Right now since tax rates are going up you want to sell your winners and save losses to next year. However, if the AGI rules apply to Sandy victims you want to sell your losers, prepay property taxes, give charitable deductions, max out 401K, flex spending etc. You want to do everything in your power to lower AGI. However, if you that and then they waive threshold rules you just took a bit tax hit by taking losses now that would have been more valuable next year.

    Also folks like me sitting on gains cant sell them at lower tax rates as it would drive up AGI and screw me. Most likely I wont sell and uncle sam will nail me with taxes in 2013 to get back an tax write off from 2012

    This
    Juice Box says:December 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

    re: # 10 – “Maybe grandfather existing people”

    Sure grandfather in the Boomers mortgage deductions and screw anyone else looking to buy a house in the future why not, and don’t use chained inflation to calculate the Boomers SS COLA.

  21. Libtard in the City says:

    You could probably eliminate the fiscal cliff by establishing a new tax on the McRib.

  22. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “You could probably eliminate the fiscal cliff by establishing a new tax on the McRib.”

    Don’t you dare!

  23. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [21] libtard,

    I think Bloomberg is already on it.

    FYI: Put in a call to Cabela’s today and talked to a phone rep that handles only gun sale inquiries. She told me that their phones are ringing off the hook. Ironically, they have the Bushmaster Carbon 15 at the store I frequent, but I’m not driving out there to get one (I liked the S&W better but it’s sold out). Wonder what S&W stock is doing now that Cerebrus is going to dump Bushmaster?

  24. Essex says:

    23. Small world – Cerebus founder’s father lines in Newtown, CT.

  25. Essex says:

    Lines…lives.

  26. relo says:

    20: JJ,

    Don’t disagree, but not all gains are equal in this scenario (LT/ST). Also, what is the benefit to accelerating the realization transaction if you were to otherwise hold (gasp!) for many years absent the prosepctive rate change?

  27. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I don’t know how much more I can handle listening to Bloomberg babble. Guy buys two mayoral elections then swings a back-door deal to overturn term limits so he can buy a third just to have a pulpit to tell everyone how to live their lives.

  28. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [24] essex

    This may be reputational, personal, or it may be business. When the last assault weapons ban went through, did shops like Bushmaster fold? Perhaps Cerebrus is getting while the getting is good.

  29. Essex says:

    The California Teachers Retirement System has also committed more than $700 million toward private equity funds managed by Cerberus Capital. Over the last six years, Cerberus has amassed a holding company, the Freedom Group, which has purchased some of the nation’s most prominent firearms brands. According to securities filings, the Freedom Group owns Bushmaster, the company that built the rifle that law enforcement authorities say was used in Friday’s shooting spree in Connecticut.

    UPDATE: Early Tuesday morning, Cerberus announced plans to sell that stake, calling the Connecticut massacre “a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.”

    That decision came on the heels of a Monday statement from the California State Teachers Retirement System that it was examining its $751.4 million investment in Cerberus, appearing to raise the prospect of a sale.

    “At this point our investment branch is examining the Cerberus investment to determine how best to move forward given the tragic events of last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut,” a spokesman for the public pension fund manager said in an email sent to Reuters.

  30. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    ““At this point our investment branch is examining the Cerberus investment to determine how best to move forward given the tragic events of last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut,” a spokesman for the public pension fund manager said in an email sent to Reuters.”

    How come it wasn’t an issue before the shooting?

  31. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Because with the Chairman O presidency sales have been booming. Also all these purchases bought forward the last 5 years gun owners don’t buy guns like cars they are bought and then used or upgraded for 25 to 30 years and then passed down. They forsee the peak in sales coming to an end tragedy gives them a noble reason to unload (gaining moral capital) when in reality it is probably just a sound business reason.

  32. Libtard in the City says:

    Pain…Couldn’t agree more. Been follow S&W since the IPO. Now seems like an appropriate time to bail.

  33. Yakov says:

    Reply to JJ’s B.Se (10)
    December 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Why not phase out the mortgage interest deduction for homes over a certain MSA inflation adjusted rate? Uber well off won’t do interest-only, local market inflating deals and will need to care about local value fluctuations. RE agents know of what I write.

    Why phase it out completely? It’s useful to the less well off for offsetting inflation not compensated for with wages or other item lower inflation.

    Why not just use the credit worthiness that applied prior to the bubble of the mid-90′s (or that of the 80′s when real estate was permitted to be margined against – a la China, now)? You couldn’t afford it means you can’t get it and the taxpayer won’t bail your arse out when you lose it!

    Most countries wrangle their sheep any way they can. This is one more way to be wrangled. Wake up and use phase outs.

    Grandfather?! Those are the SOBs who couldn’t afford what they purchased and relied on that deduction you’d intend to privilege them with.

    Max income?! Oh, so now you want housing controls based on wage controls. Credit worhtiness isn’t enough. Hmmm. Interesting.

    As for charitable donations, limit the corporate effect – it’s too political. Charity is a personal matter, not a state sponsored schema. Let corporations pay labor, or shareholders, more. Donate if it helps w/ marketing to your customers, or going the other way, your supply chain and your neighbors. Ever consider reducing the personal income tax (not investment entity’s tax) on those dividends so as to promote consumption and velocity of money through the economy (zero velocity now with supply being made infinite all in light of no credit worthy applicants).

    What a country!

    Yakov

  34. Yakov says:

    Not one tard here has mentioned REDUCING SPENDING?!?!!

    So, New Jersey of you all. Get back to your profligate spending, unaccountable ways…NOW!

    Yak

  35. Anon E. Moose says:

    Probably covered here already, but bears repeating: Gerard Depardieu expatriates France.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9748655/Gerard-Depardieu-to-return-French-passport.html

  36. Yakov says:

    Grim 17,

    That’s not refinancing your credit cards.
    That’s retiring your CC debt via adding debt.
    If the debt is a HELOC, then you’re not restructuring your mortgage, you’re just liening against the sale proceeds.
    If the debt is a 2nd mortgage, their are senior/subordinate issues.
    If the debt is a refinanced mortgage, then you’re refinancing your mortgage.

    Oh, and the cherry on the top isn’t the increase in deductible interest expense paid in any one year (not at these rates, anyway). The cherry is now you’ve put the taxpayers on the hook for your profligate spending, conspicuous consumption and refusal to live within your means.

    What a country!

    Yakov

  37. Yakov says:

    35 Moose

    At 70% tax, expat or lose the wealth you’ve accrued are your options.

    What a country that is!
    Au revoir!

  38. Yakov says:

    Eeeeh….is he gone yet?

    NOPE!

  39. Libtard in the City says:

    ” REDUCING SPENDING?!?!!”

    Good luck with that one!

  40. grim says:

    Mortgage deduction encourages people to over leverage themselves and encourages people to be selfish and get a tax break for spending money on themselves.

    Sure, and charity allows the rich to use their money to influence social, political, and religious initiatives that in some cases may provide direct benefit to them above and beyond the cost of contribution. Are you really assuming that all charity is noble and good?

    Benefits associated with the deduction are geared towards the rich, in the same way as the MID, as it applies only to itemizers, which favors the upper end of the income spectrum.

    It’s a loophole just the same, no?

  41. JJ's B.Se says:

    Because most gains I have are are in bonds. If I hold to maturity 100% of bond is taxed at ordinary income. If I sell now the appreciated cap gain part is taxed at 15%

    Bonds unlike stocks cant be held forever and passed on in estate tax free.

    relo says:
    December 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

    20: JJ,

    Don’t disagree, but not all gains are equal in this scenario (LT/ST). Also, what is the benefit to accelerating the realization transaction if you were to otherwise hold (gasp!) for many years absent the prosepctive rate change?

  42. JJ's B.Se says:

    No it isnt. I buy a mcmansion to show off to friends and hope it shoots up in value and makes me rich and I get a tax deduction for doing it.

    Charity even someone in a higher tax bracket like me I dont really give a lot. Lets say I have a 40% rate. I really dont feel like giving out 10K to get a 4k deduction. To me I am just out 6k. Mortgage on the other hand. I can borrow more than I can afford or just borrow at 3% get a tax deduction and keep money in the market making 10%. I am getting something out of it. Charitable deductions even for super rich make no sense. Even if you are in 99% bracket. Why give away one million to get back 990K in taxes.

    grim says:
    December 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Mortgage deduction encourages people to over leverage themselves and encourages people to be selfish and get a tax break for spending money on themselves.

    Sure, and charity allows the rich to use their money to influence social, political, and religious initiatives that in some cases may provide direct benefit to them above and beyond the cost of contribution. Are you really assuming that all charity is noble and good?

    Benefits associated with the deduction are geared towards the rich, in the same way as the MID, as it applies only to itemizers, which favors the upper end of the income spectrum.

    It’s a loophole just the same, no?

  43. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: Remember those VZ bonds that I was pissed they issued a lottery partial call…..it was exercising the fcuking make-whole provision?!?!?…..I just had the damned thing called at 140.2% of face……that is a huge EPS hit……WTF are they doing?

  44. JJ's B.Se says:

    Good for you, bad for stock holders. Get this last week my MBIA bonds I bought for 36 that was trading at 78 got a tender offer from BAC at 95. I of course tendered.

    I got a make whole call on this bad boy on 1-2-13.
    CAPITAL ONE CAPITAL VI
    08.87500% 05/15/2040MAKE WHOLE

    And a call on this bad boy in Jan 2013
    NORTH FORK CAP TR IICAP TR PSTH
    8.00000% 12/15/2027

    where are hard working folks like you and I going to find 8+% risk free going forward.

    chicagofinance says:
    December 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    JJ: Remember those VZ bonds that I was pissed they issued a lottery partial call…..it was exercising the fcuking make-whole provision?!?!?…..I just had the damned thing called at 140.2% of face……that is a huge EPS hit……WTF are they doing?

  45. JJ's B.Se says:

    GENERAL MOTORS ACCEPTANCE CORP 9.00000% 07/15/2015CALL

    Chifi watch this one if you like yield, low risk and low duration. Bonds pays interest monthly, technically it can be called anytime. However, it usually traders in a range of 100-101. That makes it appear a low yield as yield to call even at 100.5 appears very low given monthly call. However, GMAC aint calling any bonds. You can pay for instance 100,500 for lets say 1 100K bond and by the time 7/15 rolls around in 2.5 years you got 22.5% interest. Since uncle sam still owns gmac and bonds are up food chain almost zero default rish in the next 2.5 years.

    Not saying bet the farm, but saying special times calls for special situations one would not normally do in the bond world.

  46. Ernest Money says:

    Another sunny day in hell.

  47. Captain Sunshine says:

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

  48. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Hope Now prevented nearly 130,000 foreclosures in October

    Loan modification data released by HOPE NOW – an alliance of mortgage servicers, insurers and housing counselors – notes the month of October brought 88,583 permanent loan modifications and 38,518 short sales.

    Together, the numbers show 127,101 distressed homeowners received some type of escape route from foreclosure during the month-long period.

    And in the past five years, nearly six million loan modifications have been launched to save homeowners.

    Of those homeowners, 4.8 million received proprietary loan modifications, while 1.1 million received adjustments through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

    In October, proprietary loan modifications from financial firms accounted for 72,580 of the total loan mods, while HAMP modifications totaled 16,003. Comparatively, in September, 60,595 proprietary loan mods were completed.

    The number of short sales completed in the month of October also edged up 13% from 33,997 sales in September to a total of 38,518 sales in the most recent report.

    About 1.1 million short sales have been completed since 2009.

  49. Juice Box says:

    JJ – Fed plans to add 70% extra liquidity into the banking system next year starting in Jan.

    What is the bond play for that one?

  50. Libtard in the City says:

    “Fed plans to add 70% extra liquidity into the banking system next year starting in Jan.”

    Don’t lock in a refinance before then.

  51. Yakov says:

    Libby 39,

    Reduce it where it won’t be missed. Kind of like not over-eating.

    Grim 40,

    Disagree about MID effect on behavior of less well off vis a vis the charity deduction for well off. Phase out each. Can only hope no one wants erudite/pendantic types dictating how they’ll engineer the world’s behaviors.
    And equating effects on different classes – Really?!

    All ‘loopholes’ or deductions more specifically, are not created or applied or received equally. That’s fallacious reasoning. Are you sure you don’t work for the NAR?

    Chi-Fi 43,
    What, you didn’t read the small print? W/ bonds as hot as they are, the call could be a portent of deflation (and more bond demand)??? The EPS hit will be countered for the reporting period with…increased union wages or better, cost of O-care and possible FMP’s at VZ.

    What a country!

    Yak-a-doodle

  52. JJ's B.Se says:

    Why do you think bank stocks have done so great in 2012

    Libtard in the City says:
    December 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    “Fed plans to add 70% extra liquidity into the banking system next year starting in Jan.”

    Don’t lock in a refinance before then.

  53. Libtard in the City says:

    “Why do you think bank stocks have done so great in 2012″

    Had a buy on JPM at 30 earlier this year. I think it got down to 30.50 or so at it’s lowest. It’s at 43 today.

  54. JJ's B.Se says:

    I own a lot of chase. Although I personally never bought a share. In spouses account, she bought in very small increments via dollar cost averaging from 1987 to 2001. Think like 2K a year every year for 14 years. Since 2001 she has only been reinvesting dividends. Chase pretty much unlike other banks regularly paid a dividend. So years like 1988-1995, 2002-2002 and 2008-2012 the compounding was pretty good. She has like a 110K in that stock. Next time it hits 50 I will tell her to dump some. Since March 2009 dollar cost averaging into bank stocks was a strong move. Even if it was someone like my wife who did not panic in March 2009 and just let the dividends reinvest.

    Lucky for us storm victims that low mortgage rates, low loan rates combined with a bull stock and bond market makes paying for home repairs much easier.

    Libtard in the City says:
    December 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    “Why do you think bank stocks have done so great in 2012″

    Had a buy on JPM at 30 earlier this year. I think it got down to 30.50 or so at it’s lowest. It’s at 43 today.

  55. Libtard in the City says:

    Agreed JJ.

  56. JJ's B.Se says:

    So how many people are grieving their property taxes coming up? I figure entire Jersey shore, south shore LI, far rockaways and parts of SI will and will win.

    I have homes near me that are heavily damaged and empty. How can a home worth 500K preflood, be worth 500K post flood with no elec, heat, hot water and no sheetrock in lower level and a funny smell. I know I am grieving. I got some nice shots of home in full blown flood damage mode. Even if home is repaired it has to be worth less. I am going to shoot for 100K off my assessed value. Should be a slam dunk. However, if town starts claiming folks homes went up in value in flood zones in 2012 it will be a poop storm, if they start reducing values these towns have huge sandy expenses how do they pay with less taxes. Plus folks like me now have flood insurance. I need my property taxes lowered to cover flood insurance. Think about it a home with 7k taxes and $500 flood insurance is same as a home with 6.5K taxes and $500 flood insurance. I need my taxes to fall to cover flood insurance or my home value falls.

    You are going to have 100% of people with storm damage grieve their taxes.

  57. Libtard in the City says:

    “You are going to have 100% of people with storm damage grieve their taxes.”

    Unfortunately, if this is the case, you will all end up paying the same amount.

  58. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “Hoboken-33rd St PATH service returning tomorrow.”

    Does this mean the end of AREA X ?!?!?!?

  59. grim says:

    58 – I can just imagine the scenario playing out in the town hall, with a few hundred residents in attendance.

    “Mayor: Good news everyone, we’re going to be lowering everyone’s assessment by 20%. Thanks for attending, we’ll see you all another day.”

    (Crowd cheers, happy faces, mayor pauses while the residents file out)

    On to new business.

    (pauses)

    All in favor of raising the tax rate by 20% say “aye”.

  60. JJ's B.Se says:

    Very few towns had 100% of people hit. I say the hard hit homes may have a good chance with winning for instance my home as a result of my FEMA pay out now has a mandatory flood insurance requirement regardless if next owner has a mortgage. Although I did repairs. I left garage sheet rock half torn up, did not replace main living room floor so there is some evidence of warping and it wont take a home inspector long to realize the house had severe flood damage when they see everything new below the water line. That plus no receipts from a licensed plumber, licensed electrician or any mold certificates. Even stuff like my oil tank was changed, I know no oil spilled but how does next person.

    I bet at least 50K to 100k is off my home if I sold today. Although I know everything is done right, years from now people will forget about flood and no one will ask. But if they are asking what my home is worth now it is way less. Why should I pay taxes on more. Pretty much any house with a FEMA number and no flood is worth way less. People know folks without flood took shortcuts.

    I got dishwasher repaired yesterday and it still works, wife just bought it for 1,200 and it was under warranty, little things like door squeeks as salt water was in hinge, back door squeeks, when and if I sell I got to fix all those things, but for now I am like a car that from ten feet away looks mint but close up you see the bondo.

    Libtard in the City says:
    December 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    “You are going to have 100% of people with storm damage grieve their taxes.”

    Unfortunately, if this is the case, you will all end up paying the same amount.

  61. grim says:

    61 – Given the double whammy of reduced overall assessments and cleanup costs, raising tax rates is a given.

    Didn’t you see the sign on City Hall?

    F*ck you, pay me.

  62. raging bull jj says:

    I bought my house for 280K in December 1999. I am shooting for a market value of 250K assessment.

    Based on the fact everyone knows you cant make money in real estate so my house is only worth 280K and then back out 30K in unrepaired flood damage. Gets me to 250K.

    Only trouble is I won my grievance three years running. I think I took most of the meat off the bone already. Hopefull the assessor I get realizes that has nothing to do with the storm damage.

    NYS limits the amount one can raise assessments in most towns at one time to prevent folks from quickly being taxed out of homes. If one can strong arm town into a big reduction if and when RE recovers you will have locked in low taxes for 5-10 years. If I can get my home assessed at 1996 prices. Let them wail away at me in good times, it will be decades before I am back to market value. Let the games begin.
    grim says:
    December 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm
    58 – I can just imagine the scenario playing out in the town hall, with a few hundred residents in attendance.

    “Mayor: Good news everyone, we’re going to be lowering everyone’s assessment by 20%. Thanks for attending, we’ll see you all another day.”

    (Crowd cheers, happy faces, mayor pauses while the residents file out)

    On to new business.

    (pauses)

    All in favor of raising the tax rate by 20% say “aye”.

  63. raging bull jj says:

    Let the rich folks pay the bill, not us working stiff. I go hit so hard financially that instead of a BMW and a Mercedes I am just driving a Cadillac.
    I should really drive my Caddie to the assessors office or FEMA center to plead my case, the local cops and teachers in their range rovers and porsches may take pity on me and cut my taxes and give me some govt cheese.

    grim says:
    December 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm
    61 – Given the double whammy of reduced overall assessments and cleanup costs, raising tax rates is a given.

    Didn’t you see the sign on City Hall?

    F*ck you, pay me.

  64. Fabius Maximus says:

    If you want some FEMA Cheese. Take this online course it might help you some day.

    http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS907.asp

  65. NJGator says:

    Tennessee Considers Training And Arming Schoolteachers To Protect Against Shootings

    Tennessee has emerged this week as a center of the “the answer is more guns in schools” sentiment following the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting.

    A member of the Republican-controlled legislature plans during its upcoming session to introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms so, the sponsor told TPM, potential shooters don’t know who has a gun and who doesn’t.

    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) has said the idea will be part of his discussions about how to prevent a shooting like the one in Newtown from happening in the Volunteer State.

    As has been seen following other mass shootings, there’s a strong segment of the gun rights lobby that says the answer to events like the one in Newtown is more guns in more places. But they’ve said the recent massacre shows how important it is to put guns into elementary schools, where even gun-friendly states like Tennessee don’t currently allow them.

    State Sen. Frank Niceley (R) told TPM on Tuesday he believes it’s time for that to change. He plans to introduce legislation in the next session, which begins Jan. 8, that will require all schools to have an armed staff member of some kind. The current language of the bill — which is in its early form — would allow for either a so-called “resource officer” (essentially an armed police officer, the kind which most Tennessee high schools have already) or an armed member of the faculty or staff in every school in the state. The choice would allow schools that can’t afford a resource officer to fulfill the requirement without having to pay for anything beyond the cost of the training and, presumably, the weapon. But Niceley said schools should use the wiggle room to train and keep on hand armed staff not in uniform.

    That’s the best way to protect students, he said.

    “Say some madman comes in. The first person he would probably try to take out was the resource officer. But if he doesn’t know which teacher has training, then he wouldn’t know which one had [a gun],” Niceley said by phone. “These guys are obviously cowards anyway and if someone starts shooting back, they’re going to take cover, maybe go ahead and commit suicide like most of them have.”

    Niceley described himself as a person who as grown up around guns his whole life and a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights. He tussled with the NRA during his last election over the letter grade he received from the group, though for the most part he’s been rated A+.

    Niceley’s proposal has gathered some high-level interest. Tennessee’s governor told reporters Monday that he’s open to including it on the agenda for a January conference to discuss school safety. Nicely said he expect the governor “to be receptive” to his plan to use tax money to arm and train teachers.

    Asked about concerns from gun control advocates that putting more guns in schools in the wake of Newtown might make them more dangerous, Niceley said the sentiment was naive. Not only does an unarmed school leave itself unprotected, he said, it also presents a tempting target.

    “Look at it this way, you never see one of these whacko shooters go to a gun show and start shooting. They don’t go down to the police station and start shooting,” he said. “They go to places we advertise are gun-free.”

    School resource officers are paid jointly by the local sheriff’s department and the school district. Niceley’s bill would allow schools to pay for background checks and firearms training for teachers that woud allow them to be armed as well. Asked if the guns for the trained teachers would also be part of the taxpayer expense, Niceley laughed.

    “Well, that’s a minor detail in Tennessee,” he said. “We hoped the teachers would have them already.”

    The teachers that would be trained would be volunteers, he said, and would likely carry their own firearms to school.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/tennessee-armed-teachers.php?ref=fpa

  66. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Grim I thought it was “F*ck you that’s why”

  67. Essex says:

    64. Uh. K.

  68. grim says:

    67 – Shit, I thought that didn’t sound right.

  69. grim says:

    I blame that on today’s lack of Gary

  70. Libtard at home says:

    Great…arm 300,000 teachers. Can’t wait for the next George Zimmerman.

  71. Brian says:

    It’ll prolly keep the students from mouthing off too.

  72. Brian says:

    Interesting… Look what I found

    Tea Party Says George Zimmerman Would’ve Stopped the Sandy Hook Shooter

    http://www.policymic.com/mobile/articles/21024/adam-lanza-shooting-tea-party-says-george-zimmerman-would-have-stopped-the-newtown-killer

  73. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain [67];

    City Hall as Paulie your ‘partner’ running the neighborhood crew. Sure, you get the cheese, No, that fits.

    http://youtu.be/5ydqjqZ_3oc

  74. Ben says:

    Mortage deduction will never go away. Politicians are convinced that it is the only thing that keeps home ownership alive.

  75. Ernest Money says:

    Ben, homeownership is dead. The carcass has flatlined and is only breathing on life support.

  76. Ben says:

    Home ownership is alive an well. It’s just the irresponsible who are in trouble. Politicians are convinced that no one would ever buy a home again if they didn’t get a tax break.

  77. Brian says:

    What would it take to bring 2006 Chip back from the dead? Isn’t there any fight left in you man?

    Ernest Money says:
    December 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm
    Ben, homeownership is dead. The carcass has flatlined and is only breathing on life support.

  78. joyce says:

    more good news:

    http://www.paragoulddailypress.com/articles/2012/12/15/top_story/doc50cbbb312e241511092932.txt

    “[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”

    Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

    “They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it.”

  79. Ragnar says:

    Brian, have you seen that last Batman movie? Chip got thrown down into that prison pit like Bane did to Bruce Wayne. Wayne climbed out of that pit after he rediscovered his desire to live. Then Batman came back to defeat the plans of the nihilists. Which is why the movie was called “The Dark Knight Rises”. I hope Clot can climb out of that pit too.

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [82] joyce,

    If the government is going to disarm me, and take all my money, then I want this. At least my tax dollars will be spent on me.

  81. Ernest Money says:

    Brian (79)-

    Dead and gone forever. I saw too much of the fraud and cover-up. Unfortunately, I also know where the bodies are buried.

    “What would it take to bring 2006 Chip back from the dead?”

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