What Recovery?

From MarketWatch:

Americans are 40% poorer than before the recession

The Great Recession is officially over, but Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.

The net worth of American families — the difference between the values of their assets, including homes and investments, and liabilities — fell to $81,400 in 2013, down slightly from $82,300 in 2010, but a long way off the $135,700 in 2007, according to a new report released on Friday by the nonprofit think-tank Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.

“The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families,” the report found.

The wealth of most Americans has stood still. In November 2014, the average weekly wage was $853 versus $833 for November 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But things are improving somewhat when it comes to housing. Nationwide, only 8% of borrowers have homes that are underwater as of October 2014, down from a peak of 35%, or 18 million homes, in February 2011, according to Black Knight Financial Services in Jacksonville, Fla., which tracks mortgage performance. But 8% still impacts 4 million homes.

Stagnant wages and rising property prices don’t bode well for first-time buyers without wealthy parents. The homeownership rate for non-Hispanic white households fell to 73.9% in 2013 from 75.3% in 2010, Pew found, and fell to 47.4% in 2013 from 50.6% in 2010 for minorities. It takes an average of 12.5 years to save up a 20% down payment — the usual requirement by banks — with a personal savings rate of 5.6%, according to real-estate firm RealtyTrac.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, Housing Recovery. Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to What Recovery?

  1. Fabius Maximus says:

    Friskies

  2. Liquor Luge says:

    The Great Swindle continues. TPTB have declared war on us- and are waging it very successfully- yet we still walk toward our slaughter like sheep.

    “The Great Recession is officially over, but Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.”

  3. Liquor Luge says:

    “… America has followed the Soviet Union down the path of re-engineering its ideological culture… shifting towards a new social!st middle ground where centralization has woven the macro economic system tighter around a supra-sovereign statehood… They will say no one saw it coming…The sad reality is that the disorganized masses will remain ignorant to the whole process as they become consumed with television news drama that hides the structural truth behind the engineered cultural implosion of the American identity.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-14/implosion-american-culture

  4. Fabius Maximus says:

    #13 Clot yesterday

    Check you watch I posted 10 mins before the first goal.

    You file it under “No Big” I’ll file it under “Result as expected”. Next up, get the Hammers and the Reds out of my third sport and nice draw in the Champions League.

  5. Fast Eddie says:

    The Great Recession is officially over, but Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.

    Except in the areas that have any relevance to our discussion. It’s strange to me though; I’m told it’s different here yet these higher earners are stuck in houses that are worth less than what they paid for them. But then again, what’s a hundred grand or so to those that earn well above the mean? Right?

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I agree, what is a 100 grand or so to someone that makes well above the mean. It hurts, but it is isn’t inflicting a kill shot on their livelihood. They will be fine.

    Fast Eddie says:
    December 15, 2014 at 7:28 am
    The Great Recession is officially over, but Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.

    Except in the areas that have any relevance to our discussion. It’s strange to me though; I’m told it’s different here yet these higher earners are stuck in houses that are worth less than what they paid for them. But then again, what’s a hundred grand or so to those that earn well above the mean? Right?

  7. grim says:

    If being in the hole $100k on a house is a major psychological issue, how does anyone cope with buying a car, let alone owning two of the damn things? I mean, you’re in the hole as soon as you drive off the lot, and in 7 years the thing is nearly worthless. It’s pretty easy to spend nearly $30-40k on a non-luxury car these days. Make 1 of them an SUV and the average family probably has close to $70k invested in a “asset” that is guaranteed to be worthless.

  8. anon (the good one) says:

    George Bush’s advice:
    Don’t paint your mom or wife

    DEC. 14, 2014 1:40 PM EST

    WASHINGTON (AP) — George W. Bush doesn’t readily offer political opinions, but when it comes to portraits, he has some broad-brush advice:

    “Never paint your wife or your mother.”

    Bush’s new book about his father includes a portrait he painted of his dad, the 41st president.

    Bush tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that “I think it’s nice,” but his tough-to-please mother “kind of wasn’t” happy with it.

    The 43rd president also painted his wife, Laura. The verdict?

    She didn’t like it and neither did one of their daughters, “so I just scrapped it.”

    Well, maybe not.

    “I may have saved it although they probably think I destroyed it.”

    Bush has said that an essay by Winston Churchill on painting inspired him to take lessons after leaving office.

  9. Fast Eddie says:

    You are making the comparison of a car to being underwater by six digits or more? People are underwater and then they’re going to turn around and purchase a car? With what? And two cars? This is all justified? Are we assuming that they paid cash for the car? They didn’t lease? Where did they get it? From the HELOC? How do they cope from a psychological standpoint? They will after the short sale is behind them.

  10. Anon E. Moose says:

    Eddie [6];

    Except in the areas that have any relevance to our discussion.

    Like Panem (Hunger Games) — everyone lives high in the capitol.

  11. chicagofinance says:

    Tailwind for NNJ real estate…….

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has again spit in the face of city cops — using the word “allegedly’’ to describe the vicious mob attack on two NYPD lieutenants, outraged police reps said Sunday.
    Bending over backward to praise the city’s anti-cop protesters for their “peaceful’’ behavior — even as some chanted on Saturday night, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” — the mayor said the attack was “an incident . . . in which a small group of protesters allegedly assaulted some members of the NYPD.”
    “When cops are the accused, the word ‘alleged’ never enters into the discussion,” fumed Michael Palladino, president of the NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association.
    Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association called de Blasio a “total nincompoop” for his handling of the situation.
    “His actions are contributing to the injuries that are being received by the NYPD,” Mullins said.
    “Maybe he should be out there to take the broken nose for the lieutenant. Ask him if he’d be willing to stand out there and take the punches for the cops,” he added.
    Modal Trigger
    Photo: Paul Martinka
    Some cops were even comparing de Blasio to his political mentor, ex-Mayor David Dinkins, who was reviled for apologizing to the family of a drug dealer killed while resisting arrest, and then paying for the thug’s funeral, in the early 1990s.
    “[De Blasio] is at a crossroads right now where he’s going to have to figure out what side he’s standing on,” a source said. “With cops ending up in hospitals, he can’t play both sides forever.”
    The two lieutenants who were beaten on the bridge work in the department’s Legal Bureau — and were on the scene to ensure that protesters’ civil rights were respected by cops.
    They were punched and kicked in their faces and heads when they went to arrest a CUNY professor, Eric Linsker, 29, of Brooklyn, as he tried to heave a garbage can onto other cops from an elevated walkway.
    “You throw that from the upper level to the lower-level roadway, and you could kill someone,” said a police source who estimated that the can weighed “at least 40 pounds.”
    The incident was among several outbreaks of violence and hostility toward the NYPD during Saturday’s massive protest over recent police killings, including the July 17 chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island.
    ‘WHEN COPS ARE THE ACCUSED, THE WORD ‘ALLEGED’ NEVER ENTERS INTO THE DISCUSSION.’
    – Michael Palladino, NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association president
    Last week, a grand jury cleared NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo of criminal wrongdoing in Garner’s caught-on-camera takedown for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
    In addition to the bridge beating, a group of protesters shattered the rear window of a marked NYPD car with two traffic agents inside on Madison Avenue near East 28th Street.
    A group of men wearing masks and black clothing surrounded the vehicle around 4:45 p.m. and began kicking it before someone hurled a garbage can at the rear window, which was then destroyed by someone wielding a metal pipe, cops said.
    A video posted on YouTube also showed activists marching through Murray Hill while chanting the anti-cop vitriol, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”
    A de Blasio spokesman wouldn’t say why said the mayor chose to include the word “allegedly” while describing the Brooklyn Bridge attack.
    “Last night, the mayor could not have been more clear that violence in protests will not be tolerated and that our police should be commended for the professionalism and service they have displayed throughout these marches,” spokesman Phil Walzak said.

  12. Liquor Luge says:

    grim (8)-

    Pretty sure no one at a car dealership is telling buyers the “asset” they’re about to purchase will only increase in value, make their children smarter or provide stability and prestige for their families.

  13. Liquor Luge says:

    Can’t wait until one of these dumbass white liberal guilt types gets offed by somebody participating in the same protest. Gonna require some real verbal thread-the-needle from sanctimonious PC idiots like De Blasio.

    I agree with chi: I do think De Blasio is stupid and ignorant enough to single-handedly destroy NYC’s property bubble. OTOH, I look forward to places like Port Authority and Times Square reverting back to the real-life S0dom and G0morrahs they were meant to be.

  14. Essex says:

    8. You deal in two ways….by really liking the item that you are paying for every month. Two, the number itself is an abstraction.

  15. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    The 15 Schools With The Most Alumni At Goldman Sachs

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/15-schools-most-alumni-goldman-162314765.html

  16. Fast Eddie says:

    You can’t disguise and erase a loss. Only the big boys with the FED in their pocket know how to pass the pain along to the muppets. Apply as many layers as lipstick as you want, the pig is still ugly.

  17. Fast Eddie says:

    It takes an average of 12.5 years to save up a 20% down payment….

    Sell? Sell to whom?

  18. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    I bet these parents never guessed that their little princess would turn out this way. Oh the lives of privileged kids…

    NJ judge rules girl’s parents must pay college tuition

    HADDONFIELD, N.J. – A judge has been clear that Caitlyn Ricci’s parents must pay her tuition to Temple University, even though the divorced couple agrees that they do not want to foot the bill to an out-of-state college they had no role in selecting for their 21-year-old daughter. Now two New Jersey lawmakers are weighing new legislation in reaction to a case that has sparked outrage over the role of courts and the rights of divorced parents.

  19. Happy Renter says:

    [20 / 21] Can’t say I’m surprised, here in the People’s Republic of New Jersey. You reap what you sow, libtards. Your government knows what’s best for you.

  20. jj says:

    GM does not let folks do short sales or loan modifications. They just flip the onstar switch remotely kill car, then use the GPS to track it and pick it up. Plenty of folks who can make their payments will be happy to buy the car or truck and GM keeps what you paid to date.

    Maybe housing should do the same.

  21. jj says:

    SBA Loan is a DOB for disaster relief. I actually applied for one but with my income and assets they only qualified me for a small amount at a higher interest rate so I said forget it as I dont want a lien on my house and I used the cash in my bank to fix my home. If they actually gave me a super low rate I would have taken it.

    Then one year later I got reimbursed for the money I spent. Granted I did basic cheapskate repairs and they only pay for basic cheapskate repairs so in my case I did just fine.

    Folks should read the fine print. I actually right when I was deciding to decline loan I noticed in fine print it cuts you off from future relief and honestly even at zero percent I was going to turn it down.

  22. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    There are some customers that will be the creditor that calls them first…8/10, GM makes the call before Wells.

  23. Ottoman says:

    Of course, the wooliest sheep continue to be the regulars on this page who spout on and on about personal responsibility and free markets as they vilify the poor, the other, the dark, etc. Nothing ensures the stability of those in charge like people who will not or cannot empathize beyond their personal circumstances. And that’s exactly what those in power are fostering–a world where everyone fights their own battle against a corporatocracy that could have any of you hauled away and slaughtered at any moment and no one would care. It’s quite funny how many of you fancy yourselves 1% of the 1% material as you happily let TPTB slice off another mutton chop from your ever dwindling hind quarters.

    Nothing threatens power like people banding together. But that of course requires introspection and caring beyond yourself. Qualities that are beneath most of you.

    “The Great Swindle continues. TPTB have declared war on us- and are waging it very successfully- yet we still walk toward our slaughter like sheep.”

  24. Liquor Luge says:

    Idiot ottoman, the problems we are in are mostly down to policies and programs that are cloaked in empathy, yet emanate from vicious selfishness.

  25. Liquor Luge says:

    Examples:

    1. Bommacare
    2. Immigration reform
    3. Foreclosure “rescue”
    4. Student loan “accessibility”

    I could go on.

    Any questions?

  26. Liquor Luge says:

    The way to deal with the corrupt gubmint, fascism and corporatocracy is not to plunge into the easy s0cial!sm that TPTB actually would love for us to embrace.

  27. phoenix says:

    #27. The post of the day.

  28. JJ says:

    Federal 25.00%
    SS 6.20%
    Medicare 1.45%
    Medicare 2.35% earnings for single earning more than $200K and for married filing joint earning over $250K
    NYS 9.62%
    NYC 4.25% NYC residents only

    Ahhh bonus time where working folk send case to welfare mamas

  29. Fast Eddie says:

    Ottoman,

    What percentage of your post tax income do you contribute to support your fight? Also, how much time to you dedicate on a regular basis to assist the less fortunate?

  30. anon (the good one) says:

    indeed

    Ottoman says:
    December 15, 2014 at 11:21 am
    Of course, the wooliest sheep continue to be the regulars on this page who spout on and on about personal responsibility and free markets as they vilify the poor, the other, the dark, etc. Nothing ensures the stability of those in charge like people who will not or cannot empathize beyond their personal circumstances. And that’s exactly what those in power are fostering–a world where everyone fights their own battle against a corporatocracy that could have any of you hauled away and slaughtered at any moment and no one would care. It’s quite funny how many of you fancy yourselves 1% of the 1% material as you happily let TPTB slice off another mutton chop from your ever dwindling hind quarters.

    Nothing threatens power like people banding together. But that of course requires introspection and caring beyond yourself. Qualities that are beneath most of you.

  31. Anon E. Moose says:

    Tool [26];

    as they vilify the poor, the other, the dark, etc.

    You’ve got nothing left but to play the race card? Your surrender is noted, thanks for playing.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    jj…..keep up the antenna…

    By KATY BURNE, GREGORY ZUCKERMAN And ROB COPELAND

    The oil bust is exposing cracks in the $1.3 trillion junk-bond market, putting pressure on a key source of corporate financing and potentially crimping economic growth.

    U.S. junk-bond prices have fallen 8% since late June, according to data from Barclays PLC. One-third of that drop has come this month alone, putting the market on track for its worst annual performance since the financial crisis.

    While much of the stress has been in the energy sector on the heels of the sharp decline in oil prices, lately the woe is spreading across the junk market.

    Each of the 21 high-yield sectors in a U.S. junk-bond index tracked by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. registered losses in the five days ended Dec. 9.

    “Oil prices have crushed the energy sector and it’s leaking elsewhere,” said Andrew Herenstein, co-founder of Monarch Alternative Capital LP, which manages $5 billion and is among the largest investors in distressed debt.

    Debt is generally deemed to be distressed when investors view it as at high risk of missing bond payments or of a restructuring, at least at some point.

    A pullback from junk bonds is often a harbinger of a broader reassessment of risk across financial markets, raising the possibility that investors could turn more wary of stocks and other assets.

    Skeptics warned earlier this year that the junk market was becoming overheated, pointing to the risk of a larger-than-expected retreat.

    A raft of postcrisis rules have hit securities-dealing banks, hampering the ability of those middlemen to cushion a selloff, especially in risky assets. Many say the changing role of those dealers is exaggerating the price drops, raising the risk of indiscriminate selling, or “fire sales.”

    “The problem with high yield is often that investors have to sell what they can, not what they want to,” said Peter Tchir, managing director at Brean Capital LLC, an investment bank and asset manager.

    The junk selloff comes as investors are uneasy about the global economy and Federal Reserve interest-rate increases that many expect to begin next year.

    Junk bonds, like stocks, have mostly proved resilient, bouncing back after modest pullbacks. Both these bonds, and stocks, could again resist a deep drop.

    But some are betting this current junk-bond decline will deepen, if investors are caught off guard by a slowdown in growth, a corresponding rise in defaults and dealer difficulty in absorbing all the selling.

    Joshua Birnbaum, the ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trader who made bets against subprime mortgages during the financial crisis, now has more than $2 billion in wagers against high-yield bonds at his Tilden Park Capital Management LP hedge-fund firm, according to investor documents.

    Some investors worry the selling could feed on itself, sending up yields, stalling issuance and prompting restructurings or bankruptcies, analysts said.

    Weakening demand for junk bonds has investors demanding a more generous yield to purchase these bonds rather than safer debt. Junk bonds now trade at a yield of 5.28 percentage points above yields of comparable U.S. Treasurys, up from 3.23 points at their June low for the year.

    Investors’ “panicky logic” also includes some “nervousness” ahead of a meeting this week when the Fed may provide updated signals on interest rates, said Anthony Valeri, investment strategist at LPL Financial, which directly oversees or advises on $415 billion of assets.

    U.S. high-yield bonds have returned just 0.78% this year, including price action and dividends, according to Barclays, putting the debt on track for its worst showing since 2008. Junk bonds returned 7.44% last year and 15.8% in 2012, Barclays said.

    Since June, investors have yanked more than $22 billion from funds dedicated to junk bonds, according to fund tracker Lipper. Investors withdrew an additional $1.9 billion in the latest week ended Wednesday.

    To be sure, the factors that have supported the junk-market rally since 2009 remain largely in place. The U.S. economy is growing, with job creation expanding last month at the fastest clip since the tech boom of the late 1990s, and interest rates and defaults remain low. Despite the issuance slowdown, financing remains broadly available and defaults are low.

    What’s more, high-returning investments remain scarce amid low yields on safer bonds, meaning that many investors retain the “reach for yield” mentality that favors risk taking in income-generating securities.

    “These bonds have been beaten up tremendously and they’re not all going to default,” said Brendan Dillon, senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management Inc. Mr. Dillon said he has added 1% to 2% to the firm’s energy exposure within its high-yield funds because those bonds were oversold. Still, traders are scurrying to reposition.

    Daily high-yield trading volumes earlier this month reached an average of $8.2 billion, said J.P. Morgan, just shy of their October record and up from the daily average of $5.6 billion in 2013.

    Junk-bond issuance has slowed. Companies such as Dallas refiner Alon USA Energy Inc. have pulled deals. Units of cas!no and resorts operator Parq Holdings LP and food and beverage giant JBS USA also canceled planned bond sales this month, according to Leveraged Commentary & Data.

    JBS didn’t respond to a request for comment. Parq had no comment.

    Still, some see a buying opportunity at hand. Investors will “try to sell all or a lot of their energy holdings somewhat indiscriminately…and when the dust settles some investors have an opportunity,” said David Breazzano, chief investment officer at money manager DDJ Capital Management LLC, which oversees about $8 billion.

    —Matt Wirz contributed to this article.

  33. Diogenes of Jerzy says:

    About the cops issue.

    The tide is now starting to go the other way. In the late 70/80’s you had dirty Harry/ Charles Bronson. The Authoritarian streak started to peak with Waco, and now is at full blast and annoying people. All people.

    I put down 3 reasons:

    1- They always did it, cops’ work was always a contact sport, but technology now is making it public and showing the bad side and its abuses.

    2-Cops are now in the highest 10% of salary in NJ. It’s one thing to have a PBA shield. But if you are making $150,000 for a job you got through nepotism or politics, having a PBA shield on an expensive luxury car, while driving like a douche with tinted windows. Where the average citizen will have to pay fines looks bad, and smell bad.

    3-We have become a soft police state, and they have not yet adapted to what it means.

    What I mean is that Merle Haggard said some times in the 80’s, that an ex-convict in the 60’s had more freedom then a regular citizen in the 80’s. We have lost the ability to forget and allow people to reinvent themselves after a mistake.
    Take drunk driving or under 21 drinking, no doubt is bad. But the penalty are too harsh. Around 1988 the North Bergen Police Dept has 2 cops that got caught that were pulling over drunk drivers in the strip club area, mugging them, roughing them up a bit, parking their car in a spot, locking the keys in it and telling them to walk home. This treatment would be more acceptable to 99% of the people that what they do now.
    Add to it the Asset Forfeiture/Legalize thievery, where as the videos from the Washington Post and New York Times’ investigations shows the deputy’s first question of “how much cash do you have on you?” vs the reason I pull you over.

    In short, as they behave more and more like muscle for the mob, during a time where economic advancement has essentially stop, where more and more no matter where or what you look at you see that what matter is who you know; more people, let me re-phrase it as more white people are starting to have issue with their behavior, and learn to distrust them.

  34. Bystander says:

    Gary,

    I have no ideas who is buying but it is apparent that they are out there. I have been outbid 3 times in last two months. Of course, all houses had significant price declines and were tip-top shape when I made my offers If you have a good product, priced correctly then it goes. Key part is priced correctly which 99% of muppets are not doing. The crummy inventory piles up for months and months but no price declines. Amazes me. I saw one in Ridgefield yesterday. Owner was not supposed to be home. Old man lived there for 40 years and has updated all mechanicals, new roof/siding, new generator, new pool liner, tons of fruit trees and nice landscaping..yet 6 months on market. His sin? Not updating his kitchen and baths though they are clean. He practically begged me to buy it and would take 25% less than ask. He actually told me this. I felt sad for him as he can’t move on at 75. It is a funny market alright.

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [26] otto

    We’ll vilify you in person and with extreme prejudice once we find you.

  36. clotluva says:

    From the lead article:

    But things are improving somewhat when it comes to housing. Nationwide, only 8% of borrowers have homes that are underwater as of October 2014, down from a peak of 35%, or 18 million homes, in February 2011…

    So wait. On the one hand, the author acknowledges that incomes are flat. But then why would he imply that rising (home) prices are a good thing? Is he cheering stagflation and the loss of purchasing power?

  37. clotluva says:

    I suppose I’m supposed to cheer the coupling of stagnant wages with rising health care and education costs as well.

    I wonder what % of education mortgages are still underwater?

  38. clotluva says:

    The only demographic assisted by rising RE prices in the northeast are people who are looking to cash out and move to a retirement tax haven.

    The folks who took on a crazy amount of debt during the bubble already got their bailout in the form of a window in which to refinance their interest rate. So, assuming these folks need to stay put, what good does rising prices do for them? Provide them the ability to re-tap a HELOC?

  39. jj says:

    I am holding onto the energy bonds I have as it is not that big a part of my bonds. But I am looking at end of year tax loss bonds of oil related companies to buy and perhaps Exxon or Cheveron stocks for div plays.

    I spoke to my buddy today who sell oil full time by the tanker. He said fracking for most break even is 45 and for Exxon break even is around 35. He said oil prices will hit a wall of resistance at 45 as Frackers just stop producing and the bottom is 35 as Exxon will then stop. So pretty much he said it is still falling but we are like 12 bucks a barrell from bottom.

    Exxon had a rare bond issue this spring first in 20 years and if we get a full blown capitulation those are rated AAA and that is money in the bank. Also like GDP if yields on bond hits 40 as executives in firm have been buying bond a lot lately and they hedged a lot. When bond hits 50 eveni n BK you got a lot of recovery.

    Also like Sandridge convertibles bonds if that baby falls a bit more.

    Finally in a real panic everything for sale I like the GM Pref stock. Nice yield.

    chicagofinance says:

    December 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    jj…..keep up the antenna…

    By KATY BURNE, GREGORY ZUCKERMAN And ROB COPELAND

    The oil bust is exposing cracks in the $1.3 trillion junk-bond market, putting pressure on a key source of corporate financing and potentially crimping economic growth.

  40. jj says:

    Coops near me are actually holding up somewhat. I have one near my house that a lot of folks with older kids actually buy into. Not a senior complex. This one maint on a two bedroom with a garage is 900 a month. That includes, heat, hot water, gas, property taxes, and it has two pools, tennis courts, kids playground etc in a gated community. Most are sold cash for like 300K. Think about it bought a POS cape for 230K now worth 350K and since you put down 20% and have been paying down mortgage you got around almost 300K equity. The junk box needs a ton of work and has 10K taxes. Screw it buy the coop cash and call it a day

  41. Anon E. Moose says:

    The Great Recession is officially over, but Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.

    I recognize that as English, but it is quite incoherent. If the recession is “over”, why are people as a whole still getting poorer?

  42. Ragnar says:

    So Bridgewater NJ is spending $7.5 mn to set up a mosque and end a lawsuit. Montclair must be really jealous. Will Ottoman be attending?

    The site they were originally hoping to set up at was an insane location – a narrow winding residential road on the site of a long-closed tavern. Not that I’m a fan of zoning and what it does to property rights.

    http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/somerset-county/2014/12/02/bridgewater-mosque-reach-settlement-million-land-swap/19775661/

    Wife asked me if we need to move out of town now.

  43. JJ says:

    heating oil on Nymex at two buck a gallon. SOOOO Long Solar and oil to gas conversions.

  44. clotluva says:

    (44) Moose

    The key word here is “officially”, which in this context can be translated to:

    “As defined by the loaded metrics developed by the federal government for the explicit purpose of enabling us to pronounce it as being over, the Great Recession is over.”

    I’m not sure whether it is more George Orwell or Monty Python, but it is somewhere on the continuum.

  45. chicagofinance says:

    Monetary Policy (clot edition):
    Russian Central Bank Raises Key Rate to 17% from 10.5%
    Russia’s Central Bank, in a bid to stem a sharp decline in the ruble, raised its key interest rate to 17% from 10.5%.
    Earlier Monday, Russia’s currency lost more than one-tenth of its value, collapsing to a record low and raising fears that the Kremlin wouldn’t be able to stop the slide as the price for oil, its main export, also continued to fall.

  46. chicagofinance says:

    something tells me that there is a sh!tstorm out there ….. category 5?

  47. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Thought you guys might enjoy this.

    “You are going to hear some stupid stuff about the stock market. Not from me. Not here. I don’t write stupid stuff.
    Other people write — and say, in the case of CNBC — stupid things.
    In particular, you’ve already started to hear the argument that the decline in the stock market recently has something to do with the drop in oil prices.
    It’s true that both oil and stocks have been down recently. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index on Tuesday declined 268 points to close at 17,533.
    And it was only last week that market cheerleaders predicted the blue-chip index would pass the 18,000 mark and it would be onward and upward from there.
    That hasn’t happened, although it’s still possible because soon professional traders will begin to jazz stocks to make their year-end performance look better.
    Oil’s drop has been more substantial. The price of crude declined $2.52, or about 4 percent, to just over $61 a barrel on Wednesday. That’s nothing compared to the 40 percent drop in the price of oil since the peak for this year.
    So stocks have been weak and oil has been weaker.
    But oil isn’t causing the drop in stocks. Nope. Instead, both of these markets are declining on the same news: The world economy is weak.
    Except for energy companies, the nations that profit from high oil prices and the traders who bet on them, everyone else benefits from cheaper fuel.
    Drivers have more money to spend on other things. That helps the profits of the companies that make those other things.
    Companies also benefit because they are huge consumers of energy. Gassing up company trucks will cost less, meaning products won’t be as expensive and travel costs will eventually come down.
    True, the stock market is weakening a bit because big-name energy stocks — among them Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips — are declining on the expectation of lower profits.
    But those few companies are insignificant to all the other companies that will benefit and all the stocks that will rise — eventually — because of those benefits.
    So why are stocks declining?
    Because the world economy is very weak. It’s that simple. Japan is a mess. Europe is a wreck. China is starting to worry about its economy, and America …
    Ah, America.
    Washington would have you believe that the US economy is doing just fine. And compared with the rest of the world, it is doing better.
    But it isn’t doing well, or even fine. Even if you accept our government’s economic statistics as fact, the economy is only growing moderately.
    And after six years of waiting for a full-blown economic recovery, moderate growth just isn’t good enough.
    In addition, the weakness in all those other countries will eventually take its toll on the US, since there truly is a global economy.
    But you also need to consider what I’ve been saying recently: The US economy really isn’t growing as much as Washington would have us believe.
    Take last Friday as an example. The Labor Department reported that 322,000 new jobs were created during the month of November. That, of course, is great news on the surface.
    But I scratched beneath that surface and found that one-third of that gain was likely due to nothing more than an odd seasonal adjustment. Take away that adjustment, and the growth would have been a lousy sub-200,000 jobs.
    Self-deception is never good. I used to go around pretending I was 6 feet 4 inches. But my imagination didn’t make me that tall.
    And pulling and tugging economic data to make them look better doesn’t make them better.
    I’m not even going to get into the issue of data falsification, which is being investigated now in Congress and elsewhere. Add that to the normal adjustments that economists encourage, and you have economic data that doesn’t reflect reality.
    Is the US economy as bad as that of the rest of the world?
    No. But a weaker-than-advertised economy here isn’t going to pull up the rest of the world, either.
    So poor economic news is also dragging down oil prices. And poor economic news is weighing on stocks. Both markets are reacting to the same thing.
    The Federal Reserve already understands what’s going on. It just, intentionally, doesn’t express it very well.
    For months, the Fed has been talking about “inflation” being too low. People have to be asking themselves why the Fed would want prices to rise.
    Well, it doesn’t. At least not in the way we think.
    Prices rise when economies are healthy. What the Fed is really saying — in its own coded language — is that it’s worried that the economy is not strong enough to cause prices to rise.
    But the Fed can’t express this opinion so clearly, because it will soon need to raise interest rates, and it can’t do that if it is also admitting that the economy is too weak to tolerate higher borrowing costs.”

    http://nypost.com/2014/12/11/oil-is-not-whats-greasing-the-stock-markets-skid/

  48. Hello, I enjoy reading through your post. I wanted
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  49. Toxic Crayons says:

    Happy Bill of Rights Day.

  50. Liquor Luge says:

    You have no rights, serf. Bow down to your master.

  51. Liquor Luge says:

    chi (49)-

    I’m glad I don’t have a lot of Burgundy and expensive Bordeaux to sell over the next year or so. That about sums up how I see it shaking out.

    “something tells me that there is a sh!tstorm out there ….. category 5?”

  52. Liquor Luge says:

    chi, would this be the sign of some kind of sh!tstorm?

    “Run away… just 6 weeks ago when we first highlighted the FBI was probing multi-billion-dollar REIT American Realty Capital, the company’s stock crashed, wiping out billions leading the CEO to note, “we don’t have bad people, we had some bad judgment there.” Now, as The WSJ reports, it appears the CEO David Kay, COO Lisa Beacon, and founder & Executive Chairman Nicholas Schorsch have all decided to “stabilize the company and… strengthen future leadership and strategy,” by jumping ship. We are sure their jets will be fueled up and ready for the nearest extradition-free nation…”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-15/when-tide-rolls-out-coo-ceo-chairman-flee-fbi-probed-reit

    PS- I always thought this REIT was a piece of shit.

  53. NJT says:

    # 37 Bystander

    ” If you have a good product, priced correctly then it goes. Key part is priced correctly which 99% of muppets are not doing. The crummy inventory piles up for months and months but no price declines. ”

    In the town where I live (Belvidere) houses that are priced realistically sell in days. The others sit…for years.

    Those who bought during the bubble and are underwater tend to try for a while to get enough to break even and when they discover they can’t…abandon.

    Others near their appointment with the Grim Reaper hold out. Why? Well, as one told me “Joe down the block got X for his seven years ago. This house is bigger and in better shape”. I dunno about you guys but if I was a seventy plus widower with grown, married, successful kids in good physical condition with a paid off house I wouldn’t be wasting my money on ever increasing property taxes, paying oil bills and shoveling snow…

  54. Liquor Luge says:

    Folks in Belvidere ain’t so good at numbers.

  55. Liquor Luge says:

    This is the best blog ever, but sometimes the threads at ZH are just laugh out loud funny:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-15/bloodbathery-continues-some-folks-were-selling-everything

  56. Liquor Luge says:

    1. Which country is the world’s largest sovereign miner of gold?
    2. Which country doesn’t allow an ounce of that gold to be exported?
    3. Which country has advised its citizenry to purchase gold?

    Three questions. One answer.

    http://www.sovereignman.com/finance/yes-its-possible-for-a-gold-backed-renminbi-to-dethrone-the-dollar-15760/

  57. grim says:

    Just picked up a nice used Roth oil tank for $300, and it still had about 30 gallons of oil in it. At $2 a gallon, it doesn’t pay to convert the boiler to gas.

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  60. Juice Box says:

    Re: #61 – Grim are you trolling? Dirty oil from Canadian openen pit mines or fracked from pristine high plains where the Buffalo once roamed, or communist oil from Venezuela or heck from our “friends” who’s citizens one flew planes into buildings in lower Manhattan?

  61. chicagofinance says:

    clot…opinion?

    BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Chanie Apfelbaum has been busy preparing for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights known for simple old-fashioned pleasures, including lighting a menorah, spinning a four-sided top called a dreidel, and eating lots of latkes, or crispy fried potato pancakes.

    In her spacious kosher kitchen, Ms. Apfelbaum, a food blogger and gourmet cook, stays true to tradition. She grates onions and potatoes by hand, then cracks eggs and adds matzo meal to make batter that she doles out carefully into a pan filled with sizzling oil. The result: a tray of round golden brown latkes like her Bubbe, or grandmother, made.

    But tradition ends there.

    “I want to take latkes to the next level—I want a gourmet latke,” declares Ms. Apfelbaum, reaching for a pot of thick flavorful brown gravy that she proceeds to slather on top of the pancakes. She sprinkles ringlets of cheese that melt into the sauce and voilà: “poutine latkes”—a variation of the popular Quebecois french fries.

    Hallowed Hanukkah traditions are spinning out of control faster than a whirring dreidel. Even the venerable menorah, shaped like a candelabra, has been reinvented with families buying some that resemble their favorite pet dogs, a moose, or in the case of car lovers, a pink Cadillac. Dreidels are showing up as decorations on “Hanukkah sweaters” that rival the “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” made by My Ugly Christmas Sweater Inc. and other purveyors

    Then there is the most radical change of all: The extreme makeover of the latke.

    The humble, centuries-old dish, popular among Eastern European Jews, is made with three basic ingredients: eggs, potatoes and flour, with maybe some onion thrown in. These days, Jewish gourmets are determined to give it a makeover.

    “My grandparents are rolling over in their grave,” says kosher food maven Jamie Geller, who oversees a cooking empire called Kosher Media Network that includes cookbooks, a magazine, and an online kosher cooking network that features 40 bloggers, including Ms. Apfelbaum.

    “Welcome to the 21st Century,” says Ms. Geller. “No longer is a classic latke enough.” She opines that as American Jews have become “foodies,” they are no longer satisfied with grandma’s beloved potato latkes.

    Ms. Geller can rattle off all the newfangled latkes that align with one trendy diet or another. There are vegan latkes, made without any eggs, and low-carb latkes. There are gluten-free latkes. There are even “Paleo” latkes—named after the fashionable Paleolithic Diet—and which are both low carb and Gluten free, and don’t allow the use of white potatoes. (Sweet potatoes are permitted, but there is some debate about that too.)

    For Nina Safar, a Los Angeles-based kosher food blogger, the liberation of the latke is a godsend. “By the second night everyone’s bored with traditional latkes, and I want to spice it up to keep it exciting,” says Ms. Safar.

    That is why she has spent weeks trying out new recipes on her family. For Hanukkah, Ms. Safar has devised a menu consisting of eight different latkes—one for every night of the holiday. They include grilled cheese latkes; sausage hash brown latkes; latke “sliders” made with barbecued chicken; and of course poutine latkes.

    “The world is upside down and inside out,” exclaims Rabbi Gerald Skolnik of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in New York. To Rabbi Skolnik, a prominent figure in Conservative Judaism, the latke represents a small but oddly significant manifestation of the struggle between tradition and change under way among Jews.

    “It is the idea of taking what is incredibly traditional and then subverting it,” he says. He personally favors the traditional potato latke.

    Back at the Apfelbaum household, Chanie Apfelbaum says she is sticking to tradition—except for the food.

    Ms. Apfelbaum says making poutine latkes was fraught with challenges.

    One major problem: Traditional poutine isn’t even kosher. It is made with a meat-based gravy, and then combined with cheese curds—which violates kosher dietary laws that prohibit mixing meat and milk.

    Ms. Apfelbaum, who is ultra-Orthodox, says that she first tasted poutine fries at a kosher fast-food restaurant in Montreal. It was love at first bite. Determined to adapt it to latkes, she struggled trying to produce a zesty vegetarian gravy. Her secret: She added soy sauce and Parmesan cheese. Unable to get kosher cheese curds, she settled on Mozzarella curls.

    But all the effort was worth it, she suggests as she devours her creation.

    Maybe not for the rest of her family. Her two young daughters, who gobble up the plain latkes their mother offers them, mysteriously vanish from the kitchen once she serves poutine latkes.

    Asked why she won’t have the poutine latke, six-year-old Esther replies: “I don’t like sauce.”

  62. Liquor Luge says:

    An abomination of both latkes and poutine.

  63. Liquor Luge says:

    The only acceptable sauce for latkes is grocery store applesauce.

  64. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    While I am not inclined to eat it, I don’t have an issue with it. I’m extremely libertarian when it comes to food.

  65. Edwardo says:

    This is a topic which is near to my heart… Thank you!
    Where are your contact details though?

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