Are you feeling any wealthier?

From Reuters:

U.S. household net worth hits record high in Q3

U.S. household net worth hit a record high in the third quarter as home prices marched up and the value of stocks and mutual funds surged, a hopeful sign for the economic recovery.

The Federal Reserve said on Monday household wealth increased $1.9 trillion to $77.3 trillion in the third quarter, the highest level since records started in 1945. It was the ninth straight quarter of increases.

Though the surge in net worth was encouraging, economists cautioned against reading too much into the rise as it would have benefited only the portion of the population with access to equities and those who owned homes.

“From a consumption perspective, it is actually going to be limited to folks who hold equities that are feeling the biggest share of the increase in net worth,” said Jacob Oubina, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York. “Americans still have a long way to go to get to full financial health.”

The value of residential real estate rose by $428 billion between July and September, and corporate equities and mutual funds were up by $917 billion over the period, the Fed said.

The U.S. central bank has aggressively used ultra-easy monetary policy to foster a recovery in the nation’s housing market following a severe 2007-09 recession. That effort has helped propel U.S. stocks to record highs.

Household debt increased at an annualized 3.0 percent rate in the third quarter to $13.1 trillion. It was the sharpest run up since the first quarter of 2008.

“The deleveraging process looks to be slowing down,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

Mortgage debt increased at a 0.9 percent rate to $9.4 trillion in the third quarter. The last time it rose was in the first three months of 2009, when it edged up at a 0.1 percent pace.

“It’s interesting that household mortgage deleveraging paused in the third quarter,” said Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York. “It seems like the mortgage market might be starting to come out of the persistent deleveraging, maybe starting to normalize a bit.”

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to Are you feeling any wealthier?

  1. grim says:

    From BusinessWeek:

    Americans Say Dream Fading as Income Gap Shows Unequal Chances

    The widening gap between rich and poor is eroding faith in the American dream.

    By almost two to one — 64 percent to 33 percent — Americans say the U.S. no longer offers everyone an equal chance to get ahead, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. And some say the government isn’t doing much to help.

    “There’s a lot of policies that make it easier for the rich to get richer and the poor to go nowhere,” says Ryan Sekac, 26, a mechanical engineer in Westerly, Rhode Island.

    “Everyone on both sides of the aisle talks about the American dream,” says Sekac. “Right now, that’s not something everyone in this country can aspire to.”

    The lack of faith is especially pronounced among those making less than $50,000 a year: By a 73 percent to 24 percent margin, they say the economy is unfair. Even 60 percent of those whose annual income is $100,000 or more bemoan the absence of a fair deal while 39 percent say everyone has an equal shot to advance.

    In recent weeks, public attention to the rich-poor gap has mounted. Obama gave a speech last week saying economic trends have “jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain, that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.”

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Long Island Foreclosures Spur Looters Amid Home Limbo

    Brenda Clarke, a single mother of three on Long Island, New York, said looters at the foreclosed home next door stoked her deepest fears about getting evicted.

    Scavengers grabbed clothing, toys and furniture that were tossed to the curb by the sheriff’s department last month while the neighbors living in the home were at work. Clarke, who’s been fighting to keep her Islip home for the past five years, begged them to stop.

    “I felt like I was defending my own house,” she said. “They’re coming here too. It’s just a matter of time.”

    Long Island, the 118-mile-long (190-kilometer) stretch east of New York City that’s home to middle-class commuters, blue-collar workers and Hamptons socialites, is facing a foreclosure crisis as delinquent homeowners such as Clarke wait in limbo while courts work through a record backlog of cases. Abandoned properties dot neighborhoods in towns such as Brookhaven, Islip and Hempstead, holding back a housing rebound as prices surge across the rest of the country.

    Long Island’s rate of seriously delinquent mortgages, those 90 days or more past due, was 10 percent in October, according to CoreLogic Inc. That was behind only Tampa and Orlando, Florida, and Newark, New Jersey, among the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. While Tampa had the highest share of loans in foreclosure, at 8 percent, the rate tumbled from 11.1 percent a year earlier. In the Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk, it fell 0.4 percentage points to 6.5 percent.

  3. 1987 Condo says:

    I was in SLC most of last week, so I missed if you had discussion on the federal court ruling that Detroit’s pension, and seemingly all “guaranteed” pensions, including those guaranteed by State constitutions, are subject to modification through bankruptcy.

    While a negative for those holding such pensions, there has to be a tremendous amount of relief among municipalities as a result of this decision.

  4. No future. No more middle class.

    All downhill from here.

  5. grim says:

    4 – Actually, uphill from here if you are rich.

  6. charlie says:

    As a cyclist, I never understood that…I prefer downhill…

  7. Just 2-3 weeks before another fake budget crisis ensues.

  8. grim says:

    Another step in NJ’s concerted effort to seize the foreclosure pipeline:

    http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/13/12/05/aclu-nj-joins-suit-against-feds-seeks-facts-about-foreclosures/

    The state ACLU on Thursday joined its Northern California counterpart to file a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the Federal Housing Finance Agency on behalf of community groups around the country, including New Jersey Communities United.

    The suit seeks documents and files relating to the FHFA’s threats to take action against cities — and their residents — that consider the use of eminent domain to prevent mortgage foreclosures.

    The ACLU suit asks for information about the agency’s eminent dealings with four banking and securities organizations, the American Bankers Association, the American Securitization Forum, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Association of Institutional Investors.

    The request also covered interactions with other industry groups and major investment firms, the California Mortgage Bankers Association, the California Mortgage Bankers Association, the Investment Company Institute, the Financial Services Roundtable, the National Association of Home Builders, DoubleLine, BlackRock, and the Pacific Investment Management Company, several of which figure prominently in the California and New Jersey markets.

    The requestors also sought information about FHFA management’s discussions of eminent domain with representatives of the big banks that are most active in mortgage loans and foreclosures: Wells Fargo Bank, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Ally Bank, Chase Bank, and Citigroup.

  9. Essex says:

    Well duh.

  10. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Long Island just needs to prune the deadbeats for the next run up in prices.

    The blonde in the article behind in her payments, is decently pretty and healthy. I dont understand her problem. Get a job, Get on your knees, Get on the stripper pole. Do what you have to.

  11. Fast Eddie says:

    Though the surge in net worth was encouraging, economists cautioned against reading too much into the rise as it would have benefited only the portion of the population with access to equities and those who owned homes.

    Just a minor, inconsequential caveat.

  12. Grim says:

    To be a “crisis”, the situation needs to be such that it can create a sense if panic in the public.

    We’ve seen this crisis one too many times recently, and I suspect that this round will be perceived in an entirely different way by the public.

    Our inept legislature will be revealed.

  13. Essex says:

    13. The reveal has been years in the making.

  14. 1987 Condo says:

    #11…my closest “JJ Moment”..we are trying to rent our 1987 Condo, 2 “hot” girls show up, 1 with her mom and her older brother. Girls about 21-22, they fill out my application and each note income over $150,000…..occupation..”dancers”…. we give them a tour of the 2 bedrooms…they are both only interested in the master….brother and mother are asking the questions…..all looks positive….done deal right? Wife nixes deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Perhaps my comment that I would pick up rent each month was going too far….

  15. grim says:

    They need to go back and re-read Alinsky – They no longer have access to the extremely effective rule #9. Without #9 – there is no crisis to seize upon.

  16. Fast Eddie says:

    Even 60 percent of those whose annual income is $100,000 or more bemoan the absence of a fair deal…

    A $600,000 shabby sh1tbox w. $13,500 in property taxes is the new middle class norm. If you can’t hack it, pack up and move to Blandville, Indiana.

  17. grim says:

    Can we get an insiders take on the Volcker rule? Way I read it is lots of layoffs in NYC – with the lucky few going to a new set of hedge fund spinoffs.

  18. grim says:

    Or did I miss the loopholes?

  19. grim says:

    A $600,000 shabby sh1tbox w. $13,500 in property taxes is the new middle class norm.

    Hate to tell you this, but the $600k home in Saddle River isn’t for the middle class, it doesn’t matter if it’s a shithole or not.

  20. grim says:

    Decent houses in Saddle River were selling for $400-500k … in 1995. Nice houses on nice streets were selling for $600-700k … IN 1995. I rank 1995 among the best times EVER to buy a house in NJ.

    And still, even then the top tiers were incredibly expensive compared to other towns.

    Adjust it for inflation, and you are talking about $700k today to get in the door.

  21. Fast Eddie says:

    Hate to tell you this, but the $600k home in Saddle River isn’t for the middle class, it doesn’t matter if it’s a shithole or not.

    Believe me, if I could find a few $600,000 sh1tholes in Saddle River, I’d dive on one in a minute. If you have any to look at, by all means, send them my way. But, what’s the excuse for those wanting $600,000 for their dank rat h0les in the wannabe towns?

  22. joyce says:

    Gary,

    Weichert’s website has 8 properties in Saddle/Upper Saddle River below 650K… 5 of them are below 600K

  23. Fast Eddie says:

    joyce,

    I’m going to look as soon as I get off a conference call. Thank you.

  24. grim says:

    Eddie – I don’t follow – you keep trying to frame your argument around middle class affordability – but point to towns and properties that rank among the upper echelon of not only state incomes, but NATIONAL incomes, as examples of unaffordability.

    Of course they are unaffordable, why is this a surprise? Whether it was $1m for these during the bubble, or $600k for these now, they are unaffordable to the middle class.

    Yes, even shitholes are unaffordable, because when a vacant lot can easily sell for mid 6-figures, the “shithole” on the property is now an entirely irrelevant component of the transaction. It doesn’t matter how many formicas it has, how flocked the velvet wallpaper is, how disgustingly sticky the pine-covered walls are, how beaten down the green shag is in the hallways, it’s irrelevant. For those properties even stepping into the house is a waste of time, you can see everything you need to know on the tax plats – black lines on white paper (or dark blue on light blue paper) – that’s the meat of the transaction.

  25. grim says:

    http://curbed.com/archives/2013/12/10/rosie-odonnell-nabs-a-new-jersey-mansion-for-64m.php

    Possibly spurred on by the OWN Network’s cancellation of her talk show in late 2012, Rosie O’Donnell has been on something of a high-end real estate kick, finally unloading her Miami Beach estate, listing not one but two Manhattan penthouses over the summer, entering into and quickly backing out of contract for Olivia Newton John’s Palm Beach pad, and snatching up a plantation-style home in Florida for $5M. Well, the Queen of Nice is at it again, this time with a sprawling French country estate in Saddle River, New Jersey she nabbed for $6.375M in late October. There’s no telling with Rosie, but this place—all 5,200 square feet of pre-war luxury, ranging from gorgeous to garish—might remain the crown jewel in her coffer for quite some time.

    Built in 1928, the latest place to take on the title of Chez O’Donnell is a dizzying progression of over-the-top wallpaper and curtain prints, different families of tile and wood paneling, and bright, wine country–themed murals, with over-stuffed chairs everywhere you look: conspiring around the breakfast nook, holding court in the stately entryway. Surrounded by well-manicured gardens, with a fireplace in each of the five bedrooms and a pool equipped with waterfall, grotto, and hot tub, the estate is a real piece of work, especially considering that O’Donnell—ever the consummate negotiator, she wasn’t brought on The View for nothing—talked the original owners down from $8.2M.

  26. Street Justice says:

    Grim, how’s starting your own business in NJ going? Is it as tough as they say or what?

  27. Fast Eddie says:

    grim,

    What about the bland towns at $600,000 and 13.5K in taxes? That’s what I’m talking about. The mid level towns expect a certain price, yet the taxes are f.ucking absurd. I’ll say it yet again; this is not a normal market. Salaries are flat. Salaries are flat. Salaries are flat. Salaries are flat. They have been for years and the household is praying the two incomes hold up.

    One spouse loses a job? You’re dead. Forget the upper towns, I get it. The dirt is a fortune. Affirmative captain!! For the schlebs, the income to sustain is a daily drama and many are hanging by threads. You want $600,000 for the sh1t shack in Hootyville? Fine. The taxes are almost digestable in those towns.

    But $600,000 with additional $1000 plus in taxes for a skank house in Washington Twp. or Hillsdale that needs to be nearly gutted? They can go f.uck themselves.

  28. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Rosie’s new home is in A League of their Own

  29. Bystander says:

    Gary,

    You just don’t understand the order, salary is the last component to rise. You leverage then pray to the Fed overlords that a job bubble follows the stock bubble thus creating the income you need to stay in the home. Being in NY, it is guaranteed to come at some point. So much wealth afterall…

  30. AG says:

    17.

    Lmao. Classic

  31. AG says:

    The only thing I would do to long island is pave it into a giant runway to shorten transatlantic flight times.

  32. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Long Island was smart enough to figure how to get the Fat Blob Rosie to move from Long Island to New Jersey. That alone is something.

    Plus we have drive through Trader Joes.

    AG says:
    December 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

    The only thing I would do to long island is pave it into a giant runway to shorten transatlantic flight times.

  33. Fast Eddie says:

    Bystander,

    Be prepared to hear how these numbers don’t mean anything.

    Historical Real Median Household Income for New Jersey:

    Date New Jersey
    2012 $69,667
    2011 $68,867
    2010 $71,274
    2009 $73,158
    2008 $75,052
    2007 $74,234
    2006 $73,419
    2005 $72,535

  34. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    The median household income is commonly used to generate data about geographic areas and divides households into two equal segments with the first half of households earning less than the median household income and the other half earning more.

    Since the bottom half do not buy houses. We need the median income of the top half

  35. Rubbish, all rubbish. Hurry, bring your checkbook!

    The fleecing and gutting of middle Amerika is almost complete.

  36. 2014 theme: shelter in place

  37. grim says:

    34 – What your posting doesn’t factor in is what clot mentions in #36.

    The income of everyone didn’t fall, it’s the income of the middle class that fell, the incomes of the upper classes rose, in some cases substantially.

    The top 20% of NJ (Incomes of greater than $132k) is doing MUCH better than your data would indicate.

  38. grim says:

    In fact, they’ve done so well that a number of groups have done studies to point out this growing income inequality in NJ.

  39. 1987 Condo says:

    #39..I think we had a few generations of a manufacturing/union middle class, folks in Ohio and middle of the country able to have $60,000 – $100,000 household income with only a high school diploma, thx UAW. Due to globalization, NAFTA, whatever, those positions are going away and those that continue exist, current incomes have not kept up. Since most of the country expects to achieve middle class status by graduating high school, there will be a rude awakening. Cue ChiFi…

  40. grim says:

    JJ would probably classify $132k at being the lower bound of middle class in NJ.

  41. grim says:

    Dirty little secret about foreclosure stalling in NJ – if the pipeline were to open fully, it wouldn’t be NJ’s haughty taughty suburbs that take the brunt, it would be the inner cities. Camden’s remaining residents would be DECIMATED. Same goes for Irvington, Newark, Paterson, etc. Entire swaths of the neighborhood would be evicted en masse. For every 1 haughty foreclosure, there would be HUNDREDS of foreclosures in the inner city. We’re talking GHOST TOWNS. There are neighborhoods in Paterson where every 3rd or 4th house is in foreclosure, can you imagine? I don’t think there are enough Sheriffs in Passaic County to do all the evictions. Maybe clot will get his riots after all.

  42. Libturd in the City says:

    Hey Grim… How are the EV batteries holding up to the cold. I think I (really) get the next one at Planet Honda. If I don’t, I’m going to raise bloody hell.

    By the way, the Grabbers that came on our CX-9 are complete crap in the snow. This comes as no surprise as they suck in the rain too. I’m thinking about replacing them even though we only have 10K on them. Gator won’t even drive it on the snow. It’s that bad. Time to price out some Continental Cross Contacts from the Tire Rack.

  43. grim says:

    44 – Big range hit in the super cold – if I had to park it outside, and couldn’t warm up the car using the plug-in power, I’d be concerned. Maybe down 1/3rd based on the dash range indicator, could be a lie, but I wouldn’t test it.

    I do like the ability to turn on the climate control remotely. 15 minutes before you go, grab the fob, press the climate button – car gets nice and toasty – powered off the plug-in. Hop in and go, don’t need to pay the big penalty of running the electric heaters on full blast.

  44. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Way Way higher. For instance a guy I know has a dead end 100K job, almost 57. So that is pretty low. Anyhow last kid graduated college five years ago. So five raises and two promos he is at like 90K and still lives at home. Wife went back to work a few years ago at some BS office manager job making 60K.
    Household income wise he is at 250K.

    Guy two houses down has a double plot house. He has three sons between 23-29 all college graduates all single who live at home and have professional jobs. He still works full time. What is his household income? Most likely huge.

    Heck during Sandy I moved in with inlaws for a bit. WOW their household income went up!!!

    grim says:
    December 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    JJ would probably classify $132k at being the lower bound of middle class in NJ.

  45. grim says:

    Repost from a few days ago:

    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2013/11/15/middle-class-in-nj-sorry-to-hear-it/13774875-large/

    Take a good look at this, I mean really, take a good look.

    In just the past 3 years:

    NJ has 3% more households in the $125-149k income range
    10% more households in the $150-199k income range
    And 12% more households in the $200k+ income range.

    All told, 25% more households in the $125k range. In fact, the fastest growing number of households was the $200k+ group.

    Who took the brunt? $35-$125k families – Which there are actually 25% fewer of today.

  46. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    The folks in the 125k to 200K plus range were folks in the under 135K range three years earlier. So chart shows the poor getting rich!!!

    200K is easy to make. I like the see the chart of above 500K. That is when it starts to separate the dual income cop married to a teacher from folks making a lot.

    n just the past 3 years:

    NJ has 3% more households in the $125-149k income range
    10% more households in the $150-199k income range
    And 12% more households in the $200k+ income range

  47. Fast Eddie says:

    Of course. Everyone is upper class now and Ellery and Graydon are about to have a December to Remember. The middle class is gone and the shith0le 3/1.5 split level is about to double in price. Thank G0d we’re insulated!

  48. grim says:

    In the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn. MSA, approximately 11% of all households earns above $200k.

  49. Fast Eddie says:

    In the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn. MSA, approximately 11% of all households earns above $200k.

    And the win probability of a football team in the 4th Quarter with 0:29 remaining, trailing by 2, ball at the 20, 2nd down & 10 to go, is 3.8%. :)

  50. grim says:

    Here is another one that sucks for the middle class:

    http://njrereport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/neighborhood_segregation.png

    Neighborhoods across the US have become much more stratified by income since the 1970s and 1980s.

    This is actually a pretty good illustration of why some small towns across the US look to be more appealing than large metros – there has been much less income/wealth stratification among smaller metro areas.

  51. Bystander says:

    Is there a stat that shows shift from W2 income to 1099 over last 5 years? 200k with no bonus or benefits is not improvement from 150k base plus bonus etc.

  52. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Wanted: High-quality renters only, please

    Morningstar analyst Brian Grow released a research report surrounding the recent Invitation Homes single-family rental securitization.

    Grow brings up an excellent point in that not everyone holds the bandwidth to issue a large rental securitization and manage all of the individual properties as well. Invitation is a Blackstone (BX) subsidiary and the real estate investment trust spent year building the inventory up and out.

    However, the risk here is with the differing quality levels of management. Poor property upkeep could mean a greater tenant turnover. This drives up the credit enhancement levels need for an investment-grade rating.

    “Loose tenant underwriting policies and/or a track record of exceptions to the underwriting policies may result in higher cash flow volatility and credit enhancement requirements,” writes Grow.

    So the obvious balance to this is to simply tighten up credit requirements. The creation of a single form to have renters fill out and then verify would likely standardize this process to a degree more acceptable to a credit ratings agency such as Morningstar.

    This would also cutout potential tenants with a lower credit score. For those renters, the benefit of being in a securitized rental will carry the benefit of a well-financed landlord.

    But the new wave of rental securitizations will likely be reserved for only the high-quality tenant.

  53. 1987 Condo says:

    #49…everyone in northern NJ will be upper class apparently….

  54. xolepa says:

    (53) Wrong. It is a vast improvement if you know hot to play the tax game. You’re take home will be measurably higher on a 1099.

  55. Libturd in the City says:

    Speaking of high quality renters…I worked from home yesterday ONCE I heard that NJ Transit was routing to Hoboken (again). At 3pm, I went to shovel the driveway and walk at my multi. My tenants had already done it for me. I love Montclair.

  56. joyce says:

    Right. Less on the W2 vs investment income in this state as a whole does not bode well for the typical individual.

    Bystander says:
    December 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm
    Is there a stat that shows shift from W2 income to 1099 over last 5 years? 200k with no bonus or benefits is not improvement from 150k base plus bonus etc.

  57. Fast Eddie says:

    xolepa [56],

    How much is your healthcare insurance?

  58. grim says:

    #49…everyone in northern NJ will be upper class apparently….

    Only in the upper class towns – NY Metro ranks #1 in having the most economically segregated neighborhoods in the US.

    However, it’s nothing a quick ride from Short Hills to Irvington wouldn’t already tell you.

  59. 1987 Condo says:

    #60…I meant any town Eddie is looking at!

  60. xolepa says:

    (59) I was last self employed in 2003 my full family coverage then was $700 monthly. But since today I have significant participation in a sub-s and investment property, the tax picture is nearly identical. I do have a f/t w2 position.

  61. grim says:

    Wait – a budget deal was reached last night? No crisis? No fireworks? Really?

  62. chicagofinance says:

    My only point is that you cannot simultaneously complain about the middle class, while walking through Walmart/Target watching Netflix on your iPhone and driving a car not end-stage manufactured in Michigan.

    1987 Condo says:
    December 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    #39..I think we had a few generations of a manufacturing/union middle class, folks in Ohio and middle of the country able to have $60,000 – $100,000 household income with only a high school diploma, thx UAW. Due to globalization, NAFTA, whatever, those positions are going away and those that continue exist, current incomes have not kept up. Since most of the country expects to achieve middle class status by graduating high school, there will be a rude awakening. Cue ChiFi…

  63. Richard says:

    If you want to read about Volcker, Matt Levine is a great writer.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-10/now-there-is-a-volcker-rule.html

    This is actually from the day before the rule was out, is probably more interesting.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-09/if-we-re-lucky-volcker-rule-will-make-banks-less-transparent.html

  64. joyce says:

    Correct, sir. But when some slip from middle to poor, they have no choice but to switch to Walmart from other areas. And not to nitpick, but in terms of cell phones… is there a made in the us option?

    chicagofinance says:
    December 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm
    My only point is that you cannot simultaneously complain about the middle class, while walking through Walmart/Target watching Netflix on your iPhone and driving a car not end-stage manufactured in Michigan.

    1987 Condo says:
    December 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    #39..I think we had a few generations of a manufacturing/union middle class, folks in Ohio and middle of the country able to have $60,000 – $100,000 household income with only a high school diploma, thx UAW. Due to globalization, NAFTA, whatever, those positions are going away and those that continue exist, current incomes have not kept up. Since most of the country expects to achieve middle class status by graduating high school, there will be a rude awakening. Cue ChiFi…

  65. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Moto X phone made by google assembled in old Motorolla plant in Texas. Really good phone I bought one last week

  66. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    That 11% earning over 200K should be only folks looking at homes over 600K. The other 89% do not matter.

    Kinda like saying 99% of folks cant afford a Rolls Royce who cares, Rolls are only made for 1%

  67. Anon E. Moose says:

    Fncking MVC just got me again. Last time was $25+$15. This time $40 in one fell swoop. Apparently they will not transfer plates from a car registered in the name of one spouse to a car registered in the name of the other spouse. Better part of a year’s reg fees in their pocket.

    Damn Soprano state…

  68. grim says:

    Household Income of Home Buyers in NJ – This is statewide – These numbers likely SKEW HIGHER IN NORTH JERSEY:

    Less than $25,000 2%
    $25,000 to $34,999 3
    $35,000 to $44,999 4
    $45,000 to $54,999 6
    $55,000 to $64,999 6
    $65,000 to $74,999 8
    $75,000 to $84,999 8
    $85,000 to $99,999 10
    $100,000 to $124,999 18
    $125,000 to $149,999 10
    $150,000 to $174,999 8
    $175,000 to $199,999 3
    $200,000 or more 13

    Statewide – 52% of all home sales are to buyers with a household income above $100,000.

  69. joyce says:

    Did anyone post this would-be-hilarious if it wasn’t so damn scary true story?

    “An unarmed, emotionally disturbed man shot at by the police as he was lurching around traffic near Times Square in September has been charged with assault, on the theory that he was responsible for bullet wounds suffered by two bystanders, according to an indictment unsealed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday.”

    Just to be clear, the police shot the bystanders

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/nyregion/unarmed-man-is-charged-with-wounding-bystanders-shot-by-police-near-times-square.html

  70. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [71];

    Life in late New Mike City — next stop New Francisco under Sandanista-lite.

  71. Ragnar says:

    Regarding made in the US cellphones:
    A lot of the most valuable stuff like patents is made in the US. Chips have mostly moved to Korea/Taiwan, though some are in China. Assembly is probably the lowest value-added aspect of a cellphone. It’s a job on par with being a hamburger flipper in the US. Except to get non-screwup employees in the US to do that routine job, you have to pay more, so they don’t do that as much here.

  72. chicagofinance says:

    joyce: focusing more on the hypocrisy angle of enjoying the fruits of globalization, while complaining about the injustice…..poking a finger at limousine liberals…..

    joyce says:
    December 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    Correct, sir. But when some slip from middle to poor, they have no choice but to switch to Walmart from other areas. And not to nitpick, but in terms of cell phones… is there a made in the us option?

    chicagofinance says:
    December 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm
    My only point is that you cannot simultaneously complain about the middle class, while walking through Walmart/Target watching Netflix on your iPhone and driving a car not end-stage manufactured in Michigan.

    1987 Condo says:
    December 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    #39..I think we had a few generations of a manufacturing/union middle class, folks in Ohio and middle of the country able to have $60,000 – $100,000 household income with only a high school diploma, thx UAW. Due to globalization, NAFTA, whatever, those positions are going away and those that continue exist, current incomes have not kept up. Since most of the country expects to achieve middle class status by graduating high school, there will be a rude awakening. Cue ChiFi…

  73. chicagofinance says:

    poking a finger = pointing a finger

  74. chicagofinance says:

    My mom was the master of malaprops and mixed metaphors……she once said “I dropped it like a ten foot pole.”

  75. Street Justice says:

    Moto x android made in USA.

  76. Street Justice says:

    BB gun control: In New Jersey, kids’ rite of passage could mean felony

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/10/bb-gun-control-in-new-jersey-kids-rite-passage-could-mean-felony/

    The Red Ryder BB gun was made famous in the 1983 film “A Christmas Story.” (COURTESY OF DAISY OUTDOOR PRODUCTS/DAISY MUSEUM)
    Not only could you “shoot your eye out, kid,” you might also go to jail for owning that BB gun in certain states.

    New Jersey and other jurisdictions make little or no distinction between Daisy’s classic Red Ryder BB gun immortalized in the film “A Christmas Story,” and real guns. They must be registered and are subject to the same laws as any firearms.

    “In all honesty, kids who are charged are looking at mandatory jail time,” said New Jersey attorney William Proetta, adding that under the state’s Graves Act, a conviction could lead to prison time. “The only defense is to request a waiver but if that’s not granted, young kids can get a felony charge and their lives are basically over.”

  77. Dan in debt says:

    Grim,

    Regarding Volcker, all the banks knew June 30, 2014 as the date to have less than 3% of their equity in prop trading and have planned for it. Some are selling units to others and some are just dissolving groups. Today doesn’t change much as it just tells them how fast to get out of positions and I think they got some leeway rather than a get out of Saigon scenario.

  78. Volcker is a traitor to Amerika. Sound money is so 1979.

  79. Modern Amerika is a bum with an iPhone.

  80. chicagofinance says:

    a

  81. chicagofinance says:

    VERY NICE!

    MARKETS
    Pensions Make the Most of Stocks’ Surge
    One Estimate Has Company Funds Covering 96% of Retirement Obligations, Up From 77% Last Year

    By GREGORY ZUCKERMAN And MICHAEL CORKERY CONNECT

    A roaring stock market and rising interest rates are fueling the strongest recovery in the $2.4 trillion U.S. corporate-pension sector in more than a quarter century, giving companies new flexibility in dealing with some employee-benefit costs.

    Investments in the average company’s pension plan are expected to be at levels that cover 96% of future obligations at the end of the year, according to a new estimate by J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -1.11% & Co. A separate analysis by Milliman Inc., which provides actuarial products and services, puts the figure above 94%, while pension spec!alist Mercer says the figure was 91% at the end of October. Funding levels are up from 77% at the end of last year, according to J.P. Morgan—a figure that was essentially unchanged since the financial crisis of 2008.

    The news for pension plans could get better in 2014. If yields on bonds continue to rise, as many expect when the Federal Reserve eventually reduces its bond buying, the health of corporate pensions could be further bolstered. Funding levels are partly determined by interest rates on corporate bonds, which are used to value future retirement obligations.

    Rising stocks are the most important reason pensions are recovering. That aid may not last if the market slips from its current record level, of course. Such volatility in returns and funding levels is a big reason companies are looking for an opportunity to freeze pension plans and move the risk off their books. Until 2008, corporate funds were generally funded at more than 90% of their obligations, and they reached as high as 130% of obligations in 1999. But recent low interest rates and stock-market troubles from the financial crisis have been a challenge.

    The improvement in funding comes as fewer companies offer traditional pensions in favor of 401(k) programs. There were 45,258 so-called defined-benefit plans—those that provide traditional pensions—offered in 2011, the latest year data are available from the U.S. Department of Labor, down from 46,859 a decade earlier.

    The return to health of some pension plans is giving companies new options. Some are gaining financial flexibility because they now don’t have to spend extra cash on pension contributions. Others may consider shifting their obligations to insurance companies. These deals, which generally take place when a company’s plan is close to fully funded status, provide employees with the same retirement benefits from a different provider. The companies shift future liabilities to insurers, which in turn provide employees with annuities.

    Late last year, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -1.14% purchased an annuity from Prudential Financial Inc. covering $7.5 billion of pension liabilities owed to 41,000 retirees.

    The move has worried some retirees, because their retirement benefits no longer carry a backstop from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a federal agency.

    “We’ve lost federal protections and guarantees,” said Bill Jones, a retired worker at New York Telephone Co., which later became part of Verizon. Mr. Jones is among the workers whose pension benefits now are provided by Prudential.

    A Verizon spokesman said Prudential is a “highly rated and strong company that is well funded to meet these obligations,” adding that there are state guarantee associations in place to back up the workers’ annuities.

    Some companies may elect to hand employees lump-sum payments, moves that are subject to worker approval. For example, Ford Motor Co. F -0.73% offered voluntary lump-sum payments to employees last year.

    Pension decisions such as these are “on the radar screen of every person working on pension funds,” now that the plans are on firmer ground, says Karin Franceries, head of U.S. strategy at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, who works with corporate plans.

    Healthier pension funds may not have an immediate impact on employees but should give current and future beneficiaries greater certainty about pension payments to come.

    If more companies, however, consider offering employees lump-sum payments in lieu of future pension payments, future investment decisions related to employees’ retirement cash would be on their shoulders.

    The narrowing of the corporate retirement-funding gap over the past year is the most dramatic since 1986. The $2.9 trillion public-pension sector also is recovering, though analysts say those plans aren’t as healthy as corporate plans.

    Stock-market gains account for about 60% of the improvement in pension-funding status, according to an analysis by J.P. Morgan of 1,200 companies. The rest has come from rising interest rates, which effectively reduce the value of future benefit payments to retirees.

    “The wind is at everybody’s back,” says Jack Ciesielski of the Analyst’s Accounting Observer, referring to strong stock prices and higher bond yields. “It’s the best of all worlds.”

    Pension-funding details are disclosed at the end of each fiscal year, so most companies will share data in February, when many annual report are released. But analysts says both large and small companies likely will be helped this year. The pension plan of energy company Entergy Corp. ETR -0.73% was just 63% funded at the end of last year, for example. The company had about 64% of its plans in stock investments this year.

    As a result of the rise is stocks, Entergy’s plan now is more than 70% funded, according to estimates from spec!alists.

    The fund that may have been helped more than any other this year: the plan operated by Johnson & Johnson, JNJ -1.09% which was just 80% funded at the beginning of the year. The pharmaceutical giant had 75% of its plan in stocks at that time, however—the largest stock allocation in Milliman’s study of 100 large companies. A Johnson & Johnson spokesman wouldn’t comment.

    The plan run by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., led by Warren Buffett, also is likely a big beneficiary of this year’s market moves.

    The Omaha, Neb., company had assets covering just 74% of the pension’s obligations at the end of 2012, according to figures compiled by Milliman.

    But the plan had a 72% allocation to stocks—the second-largest in the universe of companies tracked by Milliman, meaning it is likely returning to better health.

    A Berkshire representative didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Corporate plans would have done even better if they had more money in stocks. The average allocation to stocks is just 52%, down from 60% in 2007, before the financial crisis, according to the most recent estimates from J.P. Morgan. About 25% of corporate pensions now are overfunded, or have more investments than future obligations, J.P. Morgan estimates.

    Public pension plans also are seeing a recovery, though not at the same rate as corporate pension plans, and many remained troubled.

    Illinois is trying to repair its broken state public-employee retirement system. Detroit has been given the green light by a bankruptcy judge to reduce its own pension benefits.

    Other plans are holding up better, however. Public plans are currently 76% funded, up from 66% at the end of last year, J.P. Morgan estimates. Public pension funds tend to smooth their returns over a period of five years, which means that, for accounting and reporting purposes, the gains will be phased in over time.

    Pension spec!alist Mercer recently held a webcast to help corporate clients decide on strategies to take advantage of funds that have become more flush.

    “With significant improvement in funded status over the past year for most U.S. pension plans, many plan sponsors are now in a position to execute on risk transfer strategies that may not have been previously feasible,” Mercer told its clients.

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:

    [83] chifi,

    For the folks who wonder why Obama cozied up to Wall Street, well, this was a big reason.

  83. カリフォルニューバランス M1300ニア州では、この最高の不妊治療センターでは、効果的なだけでなく、コスト効率の良い あなたの赤ちゃん、&#124

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