November Case Shiller

From Bloomberg:

Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Increased 4.3% in November

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a slower pace in the year ended in November, a sign the industry struggled to find momentum even amid low mortgage rates.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 4.3 percent from November 2013 after rising 4.5 percent in the year ended in October, the group said Tuesday in New York. The median projection of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 4.3 percent year-over-year advance. Nationally, prices rose 4.7 percent after a 4.6 percent gain in the year ended in October.

Property prices slowed over the last year as home sales cooled, with demand stymied by sluggish wage growth and less household formation. More moderate price gains, combined with improvement in the labor market and low borrowing costs, may enable a wider swath of Americans to become buyers, providing a needed jolt to the industry.

“Home-price appreciation continued last year, but at a slower pace compared with 2013,” said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. in New York and the second-best forecaster of the Case-Shiller index over the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Going into this year, we’ll see a moderate increase in home prices. Mortgage rates have fallen, and that may help sales pick up a bit.”

All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year increase, led by gains of 8.9 percent in San Francisco and 8.6 percent in Miami. Among cities whose annual growth rates climbed the most in November were Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Portland, Oregon. Cleveland showed the smallest increase, at 0.6 percent.

“Strong price gains are limited to California, Florida, the Pacific Northwest, Denver, and Dallas,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “Most of the rest of the country is lagging the national index gains.”

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160 Responses to November Case Shiller

  1. (not) still-looking says:

    First!

  2. grim says:

    For the NY Metro:

    (Under $285293) – Up 1.86% YOY
    ($285293 – $455152) – Up 2.83% YOY
    (Over $455152) – Up 1.15% YOY
    (Overall Market) – Up 1.51% YOY

  3. grim says:

    From Housingwire:

    Redfin: January home prices up, demand at record level

    The 2015 housing market is off to a very strong start, according to Redfin, the customer-first real estate brokerage.

    Redfin reports home price data early using its proprietary models and projections based on sales in the first three weeks of the month and from its own brokerage activity.

    This month, the median home sale price has fallen just 1.2% from last month, a mere third of the price decline seen a year ago, and the smallest January home-price decline in at least the past seven years, Redfin’s data shows.

    January’s median home price is actually up a solid 7.6% year-over-year.

    Elements that contributed to this, according to Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson, are inventory, increased demand, and growing interest from first-time buyers.

    In December, the number of homes for sale increased 4.8% year over year.

    December saw a 9.5% increase in new listings, more than any other December since 2008.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    New-Home Sales Hit Highest Level in Over Six Years in December

    New-home sales rose to their highest level in more than six years in December, finishing the year on a strong note and suggesting renewed momentum for the sector.

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes increased 11.6% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, the best showing since June 2008. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected sales to reach a pace of 450,000.

    Adding to the brighter picture, figures for October and November were revised up by a combined 11,000.

    New-home sales represent about one-tenth of the overall housing market, and monthly figures are frequently revised. December’s advance came with a margin of error of 16.5 percentage points. So it will take time to see if a new trend is in fact emerging.

    “On the whole, the combination of lower mortgage rates and solid labor market activity appear to have ignited a meaningful pick-up in sales activity,” Millan Mulraine, deputy head of U.S. research and strategy at TD Securities, said in a note to clients.

    December was warmer than usual across the continental U.S., possibly contributing to the uptick. But mortgage rates have been heading lower, employers are adding jobs at the fastest clip since before the recession and consumers appear confident, factors which may continue to support the sector.

  5. grim says:

    From Forbes:

    Obama Flip-flop Spares 529 College Savings Plans

    In an article discussing the proposal, I profiled a middle class family, the Crabills, who share six ways to boost your 529 account balance. One reader wrote in: “The proposal to essentially eliminate the 529 plan may very likely result in my voting Republican for the first time in 3 generations. While I deplore the social policies of the Republicans, I find the current administration’s recent hostility towards those who have worked and sacrificed to build personal savings to be far too destructive to support with my vote. This current 529 proposal is another example of it.”

    While the backlash was mounting against the proposal, the conservative Americans for Tax Reform pointed out that when President Obama was a Senator representing Illinois, he voted in favor of making the current tax treatment of 529 plans permanent as part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. And then in 2007, he and his wife contributed $240,000 to 529 accounts for their two daughters, as the Wall Street Journal originally reported here.

    So take it from their playbook: if you have kids, stuff your 529 accounts. With the annual exclusion amount indexed to $14,000 in 2015, under a special rule that lets you frontload five years of gifts into a 529 account, a married couple could gift $140,000 per child. Or you could start off like the middle class Crabills with an initial contribution of $1,000 and take it from there.

  6. grim says:

    So Obama votes in favor of a tax treatment that benefits him, front loads $240k into those accounts, and then wants to tax withdrawals on a go-forward investment basis, meaning his own daughters would not be paying tax on the gains from the initial huge $240k investment?

    Good grief, this guy is a god damned dictator.

  7. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [6] grim

    Yup. And the irony is that it’s only the wealthy that would front load them ahead of the grandfathering date. that grandfathering sets up lots of ways to game this so I was sorta looking forward to it.

  8. grim says:

    Perhaps Obama should raid wealthy pensions to pay for his schemes?

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    There’s been a few times in the past six years when Obama has spoken and I thought “oh you just stepped in it.” Hearing about the 529 plan tax was one of those times.

  10. anon (the good one) says:

    @conradhackett:

    Highest % of children in poverty in developed world

    1 Greece
    3 Spain
    4 Israel
    5 Mexico
    6 US
    11 Turkey
    16 UK
    41 Norway

  11. anon (the good one) says:

    @chrislhayes:
    Making more money has, for me, brought into *incredibly* sharp relief how much the tax code is designed to aid the affluent.

  12. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Disgusting. Any difference between the left and right? I think not.

    grim says:
    January 28, 2015 at 6:26 am
    So Obama votes in favor of a tax treatment that benefits him, front loads $240k into those accounts, and then wants to tax withdrawals on a go-forward investment basis, meaning his own daughters would not be paying tax on the gains from the initial huge $240k investment?

    Good grief, this guy is a god damned dictator.

  13. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Amen!! Thanks for the share.

    “Facts do NOT trump feelings, wishes, hopes, and fears. As any sales professional knows, when dealing with human beings, facts ALWAYS run a distant fifth. That’s particularly true when dealing with people who are operating under the fantasy that their decisions are based upon “fact.” Emotion trumps reason every time, and nobody is easier to influence emotionally than those who are so unaware of that their emotions that they think they’re making “reasonable” decisions.
    Every man does NOT exist for his own sake. While Rand believed that pursuit of one’s own rational self-interest and one’s own happiness is his life’s moral purpose, the scientific fact is that man evolved as a communal creature, with bonds of family and community being tightly tied to health, happiness, longevity, and pretty much everything that makes life pleasurable. Objectivism thus runs counter to demonstrable scientific fact.
    Reading Rand creates instant jackasses. Anyone who’s been subjected to a friend who suddenly “discovers” Rand knows that reading her works causes people to act like selfish idiots. They combine a patina of “reason” over a self-righteous justification of whatever their “id” happens to want at the time and then insist that they’re just pursuing their own self-interest. They also become incredibly boring, about on the level of a newly converted Scientologist.
    Rand is the CEOs’ favorite philosopher. Most CEOs already have CEO disease, which the medical profession defines as “the enlargement of the sphincter so that it covers the entire body, creating an overwhelming itch that can only be calmed by the frequent osculation of underlings.” Let’s face it: if there was ever an human ilk who don’t need a philosophy that drives them to be even more selfish, it’s the overpaid and overpampered CEOs of the world.
    IMHO, it’s long past time to consign Objectivism to the same intellectual dustbin where we’ve thrown Marxism and Absolute Monarchy.

    As a bonus, we won’t be forced any longer to listen to newly minted Rand fanboys drone on and on and on and on about how much more enlightened they are than the rest of us hoi-polloi. Puleeze! (eye roll)”

  14. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Exactly!! Wish the people who believe in this crap could open their eyes.

    “Everything I know about life and business says that the above philosophy is a total crock. Here are my top ten reasons why:
    Laissez-Faire capitalism doesn’t work. Laissez-Faire capitalism is a utopian fantasy. And like all utopias, it cannot actually exist. Therefore, as a philosophy, it needs to be judged on how it gets implemented in the real world, with all the real world’s inherent inconsistencies. Just like Marxism, in the real world, produced the Soviet system in Russia, the real world implementation of laissez-faire capitalism, led by Rand-disciple Greenspan, produced the great recession.
    Reason has real-world limitations. While I’m all for valuing reason over superstition, the notion that one can use reason without emotion is science fiction. Maybe that works on the planet Vulcan, but human beings swim in a vast ocean of emotion. Emotion governs the “why” behind every exercise of reason, determining our choices of interest and intention. In the real world, people use reason as a way to buttress what their emotions desire.
    Ayn Rand was a emotional nut case. Regardless of what you think of her philosophy and writing, Rand’s personal life was a complete shambles. She became involved in an adulterous affair with a disciple (a “reasonable” decision on her part, of course), and then went all “old bat of out hell” when he made the “reasonable” decision to start boinking some younger woman. The resulting emotional pyrotechnics were a perfect example of the impotence of Objectivism as a life creed.
    Her philosophy is devoid of gratitude. While individualism has some value, Objectivism largely discounts the fact the every successful person stands on the shoulders of those who have come before. In addition, success always involves an element of luck, often consisting of having had the luck to be born into a rich family with plenty of connections. Success devoid of gratitude and the noblesse oblige to help others brings out the worst in people.”

  15. Sima says:

    Grim – I’m older than you, but I absolutely and totally agree with your comments of yesterday. With each passing decade and generation I am seeing that it is more difficult to achieve what could be done quite easily years ago.
    For example, my parents went to City College of NY for FREE (they were immigrants), my tuition was reasonable at Rutgers College, but my sons’ generation is having massive problems paying for college and most (that we know) have student loans.
    My parents had pensions, my generation – some still have them, but I know my sons won’t have pensions. How will they save for retirement if they have difficulty even living on what they make in their 20s or 30s?
    The job situation is getting worse and worse: my parent’s generation had “secure jobs” until they retired, the current boomers – some have those great secure jobs, but so many were laid off in their 50s and now are contract workers (if they can even get a contract job), but my sons have it worse with jobs from day one.
    And NJ is over and done – with so many good pharma and finance jobs being outsourced and not coming back. Is any other industry filling the gap? I think not.

    grim says:
    January 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm
    You clearly don’t share my world view where it will become increasingly difficult for US workers to maintain even a semblance of the quality of life their predecessors enjoyed.

    Part of this means needing to invest more in education despite yielding lower returns than what previous generations enjoyed.

    Sorry, but in my world it gets harder, and the gap between haves and have nots increases, specifically because of these things.

  16. Essex says:

    15. NJ is done? Whoa.

  17. leftwing says:

    Wealth and inequality….

    10. conradhacket. Why bother with data when you can manipulate the measure?

    I have spent a lot of time business and pleasure in countries on that list and it made no sense. So went to his website. His definition of poverty is priceless: living at less than 60% of the median income *for your country*.

    By his reasoning we should all move to Croatia (much better than the US). We will eat roots, burn brown coal, half of us will live in a home with only one or two rooms, 20% of our children will not make it out of primary school, only a third of us will own a vehicle, and only slightly more than half of us will have internet connectivity. But by his measure Croatian children are much better off as only 25% of them live in poverty, while 33% of Americans do.

    Oh, did I forget to mention the median income in Croatia is 300euro a month? I’m sure all those Croatian kids at the 60th percent level are putting their heads on their pillows tonight with a well earned feeling of superiority over their American peers knowing that *their* family earned 180euro that month. Those feelings assume of course they actually have pillows and can feel anything over the hunger pangs.

    This guy should be summarily fired. The piece is the most intellectually lazy, analytically void garbage I have seen come out of a “reputable” research institute like Pew. They should be embarrassed to have him on staff.

    We discussed schools the other day and I poked my kids’ own multi-ribbon (yay!) district. I will give our school district this: if my son handed this type of research in to his 11th grade Statistics class he would summarily flunk, as he should.

    Comforting to know Pew researchers are below failing 11th graders intellectually.

    Source data Croatia is World Bank and: http://eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_files/pubdocs/2007/291/en/1/ef07291en.pdf

  18. 1987 Condo says:

    The U.S., unlike other countries, and the EU, is that we have 50 diversified states and our population and businesses can usually find a few that are operating well given the current environment…imagine if NJ was a nation, be pretty dim…

  19. chicagofinance says:

    I actually thought the Obamunist was going to create a sales windfall for me in 2015……

    Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:
    January 28, 2015 at 7:46 am
    [6] grim

    Yup. And the irony is that it’s only the wealthy that would front load them ahead of the grandfathering date. that grandfathering sets up lots of ways to game this so I was sorta looking forward to it.

  20. chicagofinance says:

    …not that I thought this crap would come into being….

  21. chicagofinance says:

    Next ad campaign following Stronger Than The Storm…..

    Essex says:
    January 28, 2015 at 8:43 am
    15. NJ is done? Whoa.

  22. Sima says:

    Essex: YUP – over and done. Unless some industry takes pharma’s place with thousands of good-paying jobs to buy all the expensive “middle-class” NJ houses and pay the property taxes.

    I’m still seeing lay-offs galore at big pharma. How small can it shrink in NJ?
    For example, Merck has been quietly laying off at least 50% of all IT related employees this past month and will be sending the work to Prague (the programming work is already in India). As projects finish up, people are shown the door- you did a great job, nothing personal, good-by. Speculation is that in many departments/divisions (such as IT) all jobs from director and below will be outsourced. And this is NOT an improvement for the company, even though short-term it may be good for stock values.
    Whatever happened to NJ being a biotechnology center? Or___?

    The film industry also left during the recession when Gov. Christie took away tax breaks. Instead of Secaucus and elsewhere, filming is taking place in such places as Yonkers!

  23. JJ says:

    What a non-event yesterday. I was at work blizzard of 1996 and this was nothing. No work done at home. You try working with a wife and kids at home in the snow in a small house.

    Got bored around 11am when I heard idiot neighbors with their snowblowers. Drag them out of garage, try multiple times to start them, try to get them down driveway between cars, and folks with idiotic electric ones that have a big cord where they do multiple passes.

    I went out with a shovel, brought out my 8 year old for small stuff. Me and her back inside 45 minute later while neighbors were still “blowing” snow. When I went out this morning mysidewalk was perfectly clear. The snowblower crowd did not get the last 1/2 inch too lazy to go back with shovel and it all iced over.

    Same group of idiots with generators. Yet none of the schmucks own a lawnmower. Somehow on a sunny 80 degree day in shorts with a beer too much work to run a mower but in zero degrees they love to pull out snow blowers. And no neighbor offered to do mine. They stop right at the line. Heck my neighbor to left his older cousin who is like 85 lives three hours away and he did not do hers. He is like 60 and son is 30. Lazy shits

  24. Fast Eddie says:

    I’m reading how hard this generation has it expense-wise yet some of you are justifying the house prices. I have a family member who bought a newly built, 3600 sq. ft. brick Center Hall Colonial in a tier one town in Bergen County for $695,000 in 2001.

    14 years later, the salaries are basically the same, property taxes have doubled but it’s justified that this same house has doubled in price. So, this generation is getting hammered with debt yet to live in a tier one town, they’ll have to pay up.

    It sounds like a lot of you are bashing the boomer generation only when convenient and relevant to your argument.

  25. Essex says:

    22. IT definitely under pressure — i agree also in the mass layoff mentality. Which is why I believe the best bet in real estate is a furnished yert in a 1/4 acre lot on the border of haughty town…

  26. Essex says:

    yert=yurt

  27. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Today’s Privilege News: Going to the voting booth is so passé, why vote when you can own the politician? How many people know about the Koch Party? Wonder what their ROI was on the last 2 Presidential elections were? Sort of ironic that they will funnel the majority of these funds via dark money spending.
    —————–
    Koch-backed network aims to spend nearly $1 billion on 2016 elections

    RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — A network of conservative advocacy groups backed by Charles and David Koch aims to spend a staggering $889 million in advance of the next White House election, part of an expansive strategy to build on its 2014 victories that may involve jumping into the Republican primaries.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/koch-backed-network-aims-to-spend-nearly-1-billion-on-2016-elections/2015/01/26/77a44654-a513-11e4-a06b-9df2002b86a0_story.html

  28. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    [5] Grim

    President Obama is proving he knows how to flip flop for sure. Not sure who is pulling the strings but his stance on various issues are all over the place.

  29. Essex says:

    27. It’s for the children…

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume, The Snowless One says:

    [19] chifi

    It would have been beautiful. I love when Obama shows his true self.

    The 529 thing would have been a nice one time pop to planners and mortgage bankers, and I could envision how it might have actually decreased tax receipts in the short term.

  31. jcer says:

    Eddie, housing prices in the US both rental and purchase are out of control. The difference is in 2001 a 30 year fixed was 6.5%, today it is 3,5%. Compared to rents 1.4m looks like a good deal, poorer Americans now more than ever are paying very high rents, I personally think it is a function of WS driven REITS/Investment firms buying up all the good rental property and in lock step they are demanding the highest rents possible given salary in an area it’s almost like price collusion.

    IT is under pressure but I see the tide somewhat reversing, a good technologist is worth their weight in gold, they save companies tons of money and can eliminate head aches down the line. Fundamentally I think in India it is too difficult to find the really good talent(competition is fierce and employees only avg 10 months at an employer) and in Eastern Europe political instability and language issues scare people off, also Poland as an EU country is sending all of their best engineers to the UK. Realistically the bulk of your IT and development teams need to be where the users are, they need to understand the vernacular language and understand why they are doing what they are doing(Also it’s not so cheap anymore, especially office space and the necessary payoffs needed). Offshore india teams are great for supporting the domestic developers and can be very talented but I see the optimal state as 80% onshore 20% off or 70/30 that way you can have teams working 24/7 but still have local presence. Where I work we have an almost completely offshore team, but somehow every time I look they keep sending guys here, there is a reason for that pure remote work is simply impractical for many things in IT.

  32. grim says:

    In my universe it doesn’t get less expensive, and it doesn’t get easier.

    Significantly dropping house prices mean a generation gets a higher standard of living.

    So no, I don’t see house prices getting cheaper unless you live where nobody else will.

  33. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Good post, but I think you are a little off here. The poor in our country are not better off than these people in Croatia. Go look at some of the poor neighborhoods in our country and you will see the same exact thing. They don’t have internet. They don’t make money. They are starving. They live in straight up disgusting conditions with sometimes as many as 5 to 10 people in a little 1 bedroom apartment. America is a divided society. Most avg citizens never step foot inside the areas of america where the people below poverty are living, but trust me, it’s there.

    What scares me, is how fast this segment of the population is growing. Never a good thing when your population of extreme poor and extreme wealthy are the only populations growing in your economic system.

    “By his reasoning we should all move to Croatia (much better than the US). We will eat roots, burn brown coal, half of us will live in a home with only one or two rooms, 20% of our children will not make it out of primary school, only a third of us will own a vehicle, and only slightly more than half of us will have internet connectivity. But by his measure Croatian children are much better off as only 25% of them live in poverty, while 33% of Americans do.

    Oh, did I forget to mention the median income in Croatia is 300euro a month? I’m sure all those Croatian kids at the 60th percent level are putting their heads on their pillows tonight with a well earned feeling of superiority over their American peers knowing that *their* family earned 180euro that month. Those feelings assume of course they actually have pillows and can feel anything over the hunger pangs.”

  34. clotluva says:

    Not that these will go anywhere, but it’s always interesting to see what is served up at the beginning of a new Congress.

    HR 402 | Outline
    Sponsor: Nugent (R-Fla.)
    A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.
    Bill Text (Version: Introduced in House; 1/16/2015; 794 words)

    HR 381 | Outline
    Sponsor: Kaptur (D-Ohio)
    A bill to repeal certain provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and revive the separation between commercial banking and the securities business, in the manner provided in the Banking Act of 1933, the so-called “Glass-Steagall Act”, and for other purposes.
    Bill Text (Version: Introduced in House; 1/14/2015; 2,920 words)

  35. The Great Pumpkin says:

    33- What’s interesting is how everyone associates themselves as “middle class”. I’m calling it now. The future generations in america, if we keep heading down the current path, will be the first generations to not describe themselves as “middle class”, they will instead state they are either rich or poor. Is this what we want for this society? Should we keep following the rand types towards the creation of a society based on the “self”, where nobody is really happy and everyone only cares about themselves?

  36. jcer says:

    Actually closer to 7% and in 2000 it was close to 8%, the market is payment driven. How much per month am I paying. Based on current rates I’m astounded how much I could really afford to buy, notionally it is a huge sum but payment wise a house that costs 4x gross income isn’t really all that affordable even with the outrageous property taxes. Going forward, yes there will be millennial trouble, I make a nice income as does the wife, but I am astounded at the fact that I am frequently the youngest person in any office I work in….where is the youth? They are certainly not represented in the careers that pay well, how will the next generation have the income to purchase the homes at the inflated prices and additionally do they even want to, I’m not sure of the long running suitability of 4000sqft poorly constructed brickfaced shacks that seem to be so popular.

  37. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Exactly!!!!! Lower standard of living does not mean things get cheaper and easier. Quite the opposite.

    grim says:
    January 28, 2015 at 10:04 am
    In my universe it doesn’t get less expensive, and it doesn’t get easier.

    Significantly dropping house prices mean a generation gets a higher standard of living.

    So no, I don’t see house prices getting cheaper unless you live where nobody else will.

  38. jcer says:

    33 pumpkin you have no clue, the poor in America tend to be fat, the poor in 3rd world countries tend to be starving. It is much better to be poor in the USA than to be poor in Croatia. The poor in the US get food stamps, free cell phones, subsidized housing, medicaid, etc. It isn’t easy being poor anywhere but having seen the poor in America and the poor overseas, there is no comparison. I’m not going to disagree with the squalor the poor live in but much of that is through their own doing and lack of respect for where they live. In America the poor at least has someway out in a country like Serbia, even the median wage earner would be considered poor by US standards.

  39. The Great Pumpkin says:

    They can’t keep this up. They will soon realize if they keep outsourcing and cutting american jobs, they will have single handily destroyed the greatest market in the world.

    I truly believe nj is just going through an adjustment phase. It will adjust to the new economy and will succeed. Its location says so. So the old economy businesses will leave, but new ones will replace them. Just give it some time. This is too good of a location to just go to crap.

    Sima says:
    January 28, 2015 at 9:07 am
    Essex: YUP – over and done. Unless some industry takes pharma’s place with thousands of good-paying jobs to buy all the expensive “middle-class” NJ houses and pay the property taxes.

    I’m still seeing lay-offs galore at big pharma. How small can it shrink in NJ?
    For example, Merck has been quietly laying off at least 50% of all IT related employees this past month and will be sending the work to Prague (the programming work is already in India). As projects finish up, people are shown the door- you did a great job, nothing personal, good-by. Speculation is that in many departments/divisions (such as IT) all jobs from director and below will be outsourced. And this is NOT an improvement for the company, even though short-term it may be good for stock values.
    Whatever happened to NJ being a biotechnology center? Or___?

    The film industry also left during the recession when Gov. Christie took away tax breaks. Instead of Secaucus and elsewhere, filming is taking place in such places as Yonkers!

  40. jcer says:

    Based on rates and general economic conditions most markets in the US are not significantly overvalued. NY Metro and certain other markets are the exception, we are in a funny zombie market where there is still some froth and town by town it varies. The closer you get to Manhattan the crazier it gets, I don’t see how it doesn’t long term become stagnant or even we see some softness in prices. The only thing I agree with Pumpkin on is that inflation is the plan, so in reality the assets will get less valuable because the prices aren’t moving but the currency is being debased. There is a considerable amount of support being given to housing prices now, if the government wasn’t propping up asset values, they’d be falling, it is a massive game of extend and pretend. Looking back some people myself included bought property at good prices from an affordability standpoint in 2009-2012, and passed on some good deals, nothing like that is out there now. Without the rate crutch a whole lot of the housing becomes fundamentally unaffordable to the occupants.

  41. joyce says:

    Depends on where real wages go. The cost of owning a house could fall, could fall a lot… and if wages fall in real terms as well it hasn’t gotten easier for anyone.

    grim says:
    January 28, 2015 at 10:04 am
    In my universe it doesn’t get less expensive, and it doesn’t get easier.

    Significantly dropping house prices mean a generation gets a higher standard of living.

    So no, I don’t see house prices getting cheaper unless you live where nobody else will.

  42. jcer says:

    Not sure about wages but houses will cost less in bushels of wheat going forward.

  43. Toxic Crayons says:

    27 – Why is it a bad thing exactly? Koch brothers are libertarian…and pro-individual rights…..and pro free market….which just so happens to be something our country was founded on.

  44. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “Name the poorest nations in the world, and you get a very long list. Now, according to research done by Brookings, we can add the poor from the United States to that list.

    The United Nations lists poverty as “when a family’s income fails to meet a federally established threshold that differs across countries.” In the United States, this is $16 per person per day. In addition, extreme poverty is defined as $1.25 per day per person, with just plain poverty as $2 per day per person.

    And, according to numerous research, the United States has people living in poverty at the level found among the poorest nations in the world. The Brookings research found that the US has between 2% and 5%, or roughly 6.6 and 16.5 million Americans. So much for the claim that the poor in the US have it well-off compared to other nations. They can appear to be better off thanks to the widespread waste culture combined with scavenging.

    Simply put, because we waste more goods, there are better goods to scavenge. Everything from cars to appliances can be scavenged for little effort and turned in to something useful again. This gives the false impression that our poor are doing better than those in other countries. They are not, they just have better material to pick over. And it is now so popular in the US that it has been given its own name, “Freeganism.”

    The one good note about the Brookings findings is that for most people, their time at the bottom rung is temporary, with most growing from the sub-$2 per day per person point to the more established poverty rate within a year. But it becomes a revolving door, with our rates staying stable, and up to 16 million fellow Americans consisting of wages which would be considered unthinkable in nations like North Korea and Vietnam. It is only through the safety net, as threadworn as it is, that the United States simply does not have the bottom fall out from under its economy.

    Our nation is reaching a dire point if we have more people in poverty than we do in the top 1%. It indicates a slow motion implosion. And this is the result of decades of Republican anti-poor rhetoric. From “Welfare Queens” to “Thugs,” an entire political party in this country has made it their goal to demonize the poor, while ensuring the growing ranks for those who are in poverty. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for them.

    The issues of systemic poverty were ignored when it was the minority communities trapped within it. From African American ghettos to Native American reservations, the problems of minority poverty were all but ignored by the majority in this country. But now, we have hit the point where it is effecting the majority, and awareness of it is starting to creep in.

    How much more before the people face the reality that we are now a third world nation? And then, what will we do about it?”

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/08/26/american-poor/

    jcer says:
    January 28, 2015 at 10:18 am
    33 pumpkin you have no clue, the poor in America tend to be fat, the poor in 3rd world countries tend to be starving. It is much better to be poor in the USA than to be poor in Croatia. The poor in the US get food stamps, free cell phones, subsidized housing, medicaid, etc. It isn’t easy being poor anywhere but having seen the poor in America and the poor overseas, there is no comparison. I’m not going to disagree with the squalor the poor live in but much of that is through their own doing and lack of respect for where they live. In America the poor at least has someway out in a country like Serbia, even the median wage earner would be considered poor by US standards.

  45. Fast Eddie says:

    … and if wages fall in real terms as well it hasn’t gotten easier for anyone.

    They’ve been the same for a decade and a half. But depending on the argument, it doesn’t matter.

  46. Juice Box says:

    History Rhymes we are firmly 9 years now from the last housing bubble peak which was early 2006. They will just keep chipping away at “mortgage standards”, so we are now headed back to fog a mirror. Fannie and Freddie are offering 3% down now, credit score of 620 min and borrower can cancel PMI after 5 years. For a measly 12k down you can by a POS in any-town New Jersey.

  47. grim says:

    Only in America can you so easily consume your way into poverty.

  48. Liquor Luge says:

    If I owned a clowngressman, I’d force him to be in besti@lity movies.

  49. JJ says:

    Interesting part is current home owners who are not selling want no part of this. I noticed the majority of condos are not fannie/freedie eligible on purpose. Why it blocks 3% down, PMI loans, VA loans, etc. Condos and Coops with decent financials banks lend to no problem they lending to primary condo owners at 20% down. Short Sales and Foreclosures are a nightmare and best way to prevent it is to now allow less than 20% down.

    Juice Box says:
    January 28, 2015 at 10:51 am
    History Rhymes we are firmly 9 years now from the last housing bubble peak which was early 2006. They will just keep chipping away at “mortgage standards”, so we are now headed back to fog a mirror. Fannie and Freddie are offering 3% down now, credit score of 620 min and borrower can cancel PMI after 5 years. For a measly 12k down you can by a POS in any-town New Jersey.

  50. Toxic Crayons says:

    48 – Sick part is, you’d probably be doing them a favor.

  51. clotluva says:

    47 Grim

    Particularly by consuming massive loans to fund your education, housing, healthcare, etc. etc.

    Only in America can you so easily consume your way into poverty.

  52. Libturd in Union says:

    “Most avg citizens never step foot inside the areas of america where the people below poverty are living, but trust me, it’s there. ”

    Oh, poverty exists. All you need to do is look for the turfed football fields and the schools that could pass as small private colleges. Waze takes me through the hood anytime the GSP backs up between the Union and Bloomfield tolls.

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

    [34] clotluva

    Properly drafted, they could both get through the Senate and onto Obama’s desk. Kaptur’s bill is less likely because the banks will kill it and Kaptur is not exactly mainstream.

    ATEOTD, Obama would veto both though.

  54. Fabius Maximus says:

    #43 Toxic

    This article pretty much answers your question. Money and Power.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?_r=0

  55. Libturd in Union says:

    “If I owned a clowngressman, I’d force him to be in besti@lity movies.”

    Some of them do it free.

  56. Toxic Crayons says:

    54 – Thanks so much for your unbiased opinion.

  57. Anon E. Moose says:

    FKA [27];

    In my experience anyone who rails against the Koch brothers (including FORMER — damn I love the sound of that– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) without even a mention of Soros is either willfully stupid or on Soros’ dole. Meh.

  58. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [57];

    Exhibit A: Fabu post [54].

    Thanks, Fab. If we didn’t have you, I’d have to invent you.

  59. The Great Pumpkin says:

    44- Also, you can’t judge the poor as doing better due to being fat. Fat has everything to do with poor today. Cheap food makes you fat this day and age. Fill up on 10 dollars worth of mcds everyday and you will get you fat on a limited budget. The world has become obese due to the diet of the poor. The only countries with skinny poor people are places where processed foods have not become a part of their diet yet. Hard to get fat on a limited supply of “real food”, as opposed to the food we feed our poor.

  60. The Great Pumpkin says:

    You are right. I’m going to stop working. I live in America where our poor live like the rich in other countries. Why should I strive to work hard and stay wealthy, when the poor are living so great in this country?

    Btw, who advocated for those fields and who profited from those fields? The poor?

    Libturd in Union says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:10 am
    “Most avg citizens never step foot inside the areas of america where the people below poverty are living, but trust me, it’s there. ”

    Oh, poverty exists. All you need to do is look for the turfed football fields and the schools that could pass as small private colleges. Waze takes me through the hood anytime the GSP backs up between the Union and Bloomfield tolls

  61. Juice Box says:

    re # 59 – Really $1,200 a month on McDonald’s?

    If you have $10 a day to spend on McDonald’s you aren’t poor. You are just stupid and lazy.

  62. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    [59] Anon

    Agreed, Soros is just as bad.

  63. JJ says:

    People seeking a permanent residence at the Jersey Shore might want to take a look at One Ocean Boulevard in Seaside Heights.

    The new condominiums, located at 1 Boulevard, are said to be a four-story, upscale property featuring 15 units that sit one block from the beach. Sale prices are $299,900 to $549,900, according to a news release.

    The exterior has a CertainTeed roof and copper turrets, white stucco siding and custom-designed deck railings, according to the release. Building features also include expansive interior foyers, a rooftop pool and tanning deck.

    “One Ocean Boulevard’s design is reminiscent of famed Florida landmarks such as the Grand Floridian,” said John N. Hale of One Ocean Boulevard, LLC., co-builder and partner of the condo complex, in a prepared statement. “Every detail was designed to create an upscale environment both inside and outside our benchmark building.”

    The interior of most units include 9-foot ceilings; all include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and Anderson StormWatch windows and doors.

    “The rooms are designed to reflect today’s preference for open floor plans,” said Michael L. Loundy of Seaside Realty, broker for the property, in a prepared statement. “Buyers can choose from either one story floor plans or expansive two-story penthouse units. With 15 units to choose from, a buyer can select the plan that perfectly fits their lifestyle and budget including a municipal five-year tax abatement.”

  64. joyce says:

    Every time I want to criticize someone such as Obama, do I have to drop in a quick criticism of Bush to avoid being called a Conservative/Republican?

    Anon E. Moose says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:16 am
    FKA [27];

    In my experience anyone who rails against the Koch brothers (including FORMER — damn I love the sound of that– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) without even a mention of Soros is either willfully stupid or on Soros’ dole. Meh.

  65. joyce says:

    63
    http://www.oneoceanboulevard.com/n.htm

    Check out the floor plans… I particularly like the bathroom doors that open to outside so you fall like in a cartoon

  66. Juice Box says:

    My bad math skills, more like $300. Still makes you dumb and lazy.

  67. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    [66] Joyce

    We are so tuned to argue Republicans vs Democrats so you have comments like that but never want to discuss that they both are bending you over.

  68. The Great Pumpkin says:

    54- No kidding that the koch agenda is morphing into the GOP agenda. They are buying the govt, why would you think that the GOP would not follow the Koch agenda? It’s common sense, as the great Thomas Paine would say if he was alive today. Paine was pissed at a king with limited power, I wonder how he would feel about a corporate oligarch with unlimited power? Yes, unlimited money = unlimited power in America.

    “This is hardly true of the Kochs. When David Koch ran to the right of Reagan as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket (it polled 1 percent), his campaign called for the abolition not just of Social Security, federal regulatory agencies and welfare but also of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and public schools — in other words, any government enterprise that would either inhibit his business profits or increase his taxes. He hasn’t changed. As Mayer details, Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries’ vast fossil fuel business. While Koch foundations donate to cancer hospitals like Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, Koch Industries has been lobbying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from classifying another product important to its bottom line, formaldehyde, as a “known carcinogen” in humans (which it is).

    Tea Partiers may share the Kochs’ detestation of taxes, big government and Obama. But there’s a difference between mainstream conservatism and a fringe agenda that tilts completely toward big business, whether on Wall Street or in the Gulf of Mexico, while dismantling fundamental government safety nets designed to protect the unemployed, public health, workplace safety and the subsistence of the elderly.

    Yet inexorably the Koch agenda is morphing into the G.O.P. agenda, as articulated by current Republican members of Congress, including the putative next speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Tea Party Senate candidates like Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, and the new kid on the block, Alaska’s anti-Medicaid, anti-unemployment insurance Palin protégé, Joe Miller. Their program opposes a federal deficit, but has no objection to running up trillions in red ink in tax cuts to corporations and the superrich; apologizes to corporate malefactors like BP and derides money put in escrow for oil spill victims as a “slush fund”; opposes the extension of unemployment benefits; and calls for a freeze on federal regulations in an era when abuses in the oil, financial, mining, pharmaceutical and even egg industries (among others) have been outrageous.

    The Koch brothers must be laughing all the way to the bank knowing that working Americans are aiding and abetting their selfish interests. And surely Murdoch is snickering at those protesting the “ground zero mosque.” Last week on “Fox and Friends,” the Bush administration flacks Dan Senor and Dana Perino attacked a supposedly terrorism-tainted Saudi prince whose foundation might contribute to the Islamic center. But as “The Daily Show” keeps pointing out, these Fox bloviators never acknowledge that the evil prince they’re bashing, Walid bin Talal, is not only the biggest non-Murdoch shareholder in Fox News’s parent company (he owns 7 percent of News Corporation) and the recipient of Murdoch mammoth investments in Saudi Arabia but also the subject of lionization elsewhere on Fox.”

  69. jj says:

    But a five year break on most property taxes and built to post Sandy standards so no need for individual owner to have flood insurance.

    Second home flood insurance is expensive and the property tax break is big. I bet they have buyers.

    joyce says:

    January 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

    63
    http://www.oneoceanboulevard.com/n.htm

    Check out the floor plans… I particularly like the bathroom doors that open to outside so you fall like in a cartoon

  70. clotluva says:

    (53) Nom

    Agree.

    I suspect that getting his signature on anything is going to be contingent on some sort of (likely entirely unrelated) concession. But I suspect he is going to be squirming a lot this session; his flip flopping on the 529 issue was just an appetizer.

  71. jcer says:

    Food stamps don’t pay for mcd’s. It’s the frito lays products, soda, fatty meat and simple carbs which are doing it. My point is that I’d rather be fat and unhealthy than hungry. Yes throughout the developed world the working poor tend to be fat. What I’m talking about is in the hood, through benefits you can exceed 40k per year without ever working. Even countries with processed foods have staving poor, try India for starters or even worse Bangladesh. I’m not saying it’s easy to be poor but in America it’s easier than in other countries. I’d argue that it is easier to stay poor than to try to better yourself because of the high costs when you no longer qualify for assistance thus creating multi-generational families that are wards of the state. Try talking to a Greek, they’ll tell you about dire situations, their middle class doesn’t live as well as our poor.

  72. Toxic Crayons says:

    69 – They’d be worth it if they were built in seaside park and not the heights. It’s a completely different class of people that rent in seaside heights.

  73. Libturd in Union says:

    Tom Steyer is no different than the Koch brothers. Baa. Dumb, dumb cheerleaders.

  74. jcer says:

    I know firsthand the shopping habits of the food stamp crowd, I go to the Marin Blvd ShopRite in JC often, always an unpleasant experience. Also the PathMark on Grand Street in JC is a pretty bad place as well(used to be 24hr though), not a green vegetable in sight, you have to sell what sells I guess and that tends to be 3L bottles of kountry klub soda and pork rinds.

  75. Fabius Maximus says:

    #57 Moose,

    Did you actually read the piece and just skipped over this?

    “Many of them tried to change the subject to George Soros, the billionaire backer of liberal causes. But Soros is a publicity hound who is transparent about where he shovels his money. And like many liberals — selflessly or foolishly, depending on your point of view — he supports causes that are unrelated to his business interests and that, if anything, raise his taxes. ”

    Take time to read the article in full, describes more than a few of the posters in here.

  76. Libturd in Union says:

    jcer…That is, if they are not bartering their WIC for booze and smokes at a local bodega. I used to live on 6th Street. I know all about that ShopRite.

  77. Libturd in Union says:

    Fab…tell us about Tom Steyer and how he spends his hard earned money on voter suppression. They are ALL the same. You are being played the fool.

  78. joyce says:

    What are the details of the abatement? And unless they’re paying cash, sure they’ll need flood insurance… it will be cheap either way if it’s build above the height requirements.

    Does the article mention anything about multiple near-identical condos (4-5 stories) have been (over)built in Seaside within the past 8 or so years? No need at all for more of them… but there was plenty of need for the connected friends to keep making money.

    jj says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:40 am
    But a five year break on most property taxes and built to post Sandy standards so no need for individual owner to have flood insurance.

    Second home flood insurance is expensive and the property tax break is big. I bet they have buyers.

    joyce says:

    January 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

    63
    http://www.oneoceanboulevard.com/n.htm

    Check out the floor plans… I particularly like the bathroom doors that open to outside so you fall like in a cartoon

  79. phoenix says:

    63. Five year tax break– shifting the burden of taxes to someone else again.

  80. joyce says:

    Somehow Soros was able to sell off his positions right before the Swiss currency peg ended… yeah I’m sure supports ending the policies that made him filthy rich

    Fabius Maximus says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:56 am
    #57 Moose,

    Did you actually read the piece and just skipped over this?

    “Many of them tried to change the subject to George Soros, the billionaire backer of liberal causes. But Soros is a publicity hound who is transparent about where he shovels his money. And like many liberals — selflessly or foolishly, depending on your point of view — he supports causes that are unrelated to his business interests and that, if anything, raise his taxes. ”

  81. Toxic Crayons says:

    Kochs vs Soros….Their philosophies boil down to a choice between freedom or free stuff……

    And the “free stuff” isn’t really free….it was really paid for by debt or tax money taken from someone else……after the government gets its cut.

    I’ll vote for the guy who offers freedom and I’m glad to see money and attention thrown in their direction….

    Fabius Maximus says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:56 am
    #57 Moose,

    Did you actually read the piece and just skipped over this?

    “Many of them tried to change the subject to George Soros, the billionaire backer of liberal causes. But Soros is a publicity hound who is transparent about where he shovels his money. And like many liberals — selflessly or foolishly, depending on your point of view — he supports causes that are unrelated to his business interests and that, if anything, raise his taxes. ”

    Take time to read the article in full, describes more than a few of the posters in here.

  82. phoenix says:

    Anyone know when the American Sniper version starring bronson will be showing in the movies?

  83. jcer says:

    The food stamp trade is interesting, you have to see what happens in the store when they have $300 of food and 4 people with various different types food stamps(WIC,Families First, SNAP) trying to piece together the money for the purchase, it takes like 20 minutes and is arguably more complicated than the Louisiana purchase. There used to be a liquor store in that Grand St. shopping center that was truly frightening, also tended to be open when nothing else was, once went at midnight to restock during a party at my place in my younger years. I saw two crackheads trading crack for vodka with each other and drinking in the store, who were then kicked out of the store for doing that in the store, and people who I am fairly certain were bloods. Thankfully that is a TMobile store now, JC has gotten much cleaner in recent years, esp downtown, I remember when the wine store on Jersey Ave was Uncle Willies Liquor and there was an open air drug market on wayne st by grove in the little park…ah the old days.

  84. Libturd in Union says:

    I decided to look through the Montclair budget ledger last night just for sh1ts and giggles. In about 30 seconds, I found multiple examples of waste. Though Montclairhas a public works with a huge machine shop, all of the oil changes to their 300 or so vehicles are performed at a local shop at an average of $50 per oil change. I don’t pay that much for a full synthetic oil change without a coupon. They also seem to print business cards like they are going out of style from a local printer. $80 per person. You can order the same thing online for $10. I bet that if someone cared about actually looking for savings, you could cut the daily ledger in half. But then again, all they would probably do is put the savings towards hiring more unnecessary workers. Man is working for the government the greatest gig going.

  85. joyce says:

    Libturd,
    What do you think the council would say if you asked them in an open meeting about $10 vs $80 business cards?

  86. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Well said. I def agree with that.

    jcer says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:49 am
    Food stamps don’t pay for mcd’s. It’s the frito lays products, soda, fatty meat and simple carbs which are doing it. My point is that I’d rather be fat and unhealthy than hungry. Yes throughout the developed world the working poor tend to be fat. What I’m talking about is in the hood, through benefits you can exceed 40k per year without ever working. Even countries with processed foods have staving poor, try India for starters or even worse Bangladesh. I’m not saying it’s easy to be poor but in America it’s easier than in other countries. I’d argue that it is easier to stay poor than to try to better yourself because of the high costs when you no longer qualify for assistance thus creating multi-generational families that are wards of the state. Try talking to a Greek, they’ll tell you about dire situations, their middle class doesn’t live as well as our poor.

  87. Toxic Crayons says:

    84 – are the oil changes on gasoline powered passenger vehicles….or full size and heavy duty trucks with diesel engines. There would be a significant difference in price.

  88. Libturd in Union says:

    Joyce,

    They would say they’ll look into it. Their effort would end there.

  89. Libturd in Union says:

    Toxic,

    Fleet vehicles only. You should see the specialty vehicle repair pricing.

  90. leftwing says:

    Bond Math.

    “[30 year mortgage rates] Actually closer to 7% and in 2000 it was close to 8%….. Based on current rates I’m astounded how much I could really afford to buy, notionally it is a huge sum…”

    There is no difference today between buyers of 30yr T bonds and buyers of houses financed over the same term.

    If you’re buying a house at 4% rates today be prepared to roll your investment quickly. Or to like to live there for a decade.

    A $1.25m house with 20% down, a $1m mortgage, 4% rates, and $20k taxes has a monthly carry cost of $5k (ignore loan amort). Attainable for many people in NJ.

    Take the mortgage rate to 8.25%. Monthly carry is now $8,500 on a $1m mortgage. Not that attainable and a much smaller buyer pool. Or, if we were to tap the same buyer pool the principal on the mortgage for the payment to stay the same would have to decrease to $485k to hold the monthly at $5k.

    Let’s repeat that. To keep monthly payments the same if rates were to go from 4.0% to 8.25% requires the mortgage amount to be cut from $1.0m to $485k, and the purchase (sale) price from $1.2m to $735k.

    Nothing wrong with locking in cheap money. Just know the potential downside for a medium term exit if the cheap money disappears.

  91. Toxic Crayons says:

    90 – Hey at least they’re changing the oil (we hope). The postmaster here had a pretty good scam going where he would have a local mechanic do the work on the PO vehicles. They were billing for tons of work that no one ever did then splitting the “profits”. He went to prison for it.

  92. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I’m coming from a different angle. I would rather the govt give these people pointless jobs, then just give them welfare.

    Let’s face it, we are getting to the point where we have to accept that a good portion of the population will not be able to find a job. They are no longer needed to keep the economy running. I’m guessing that in 50 years, over half of the population will no longer be able to participate in the economy. So we need to figure something out. Can’t keep on the same path that we have been on. Things are going to change dramatically to the workplace and to the social fabric of our society. We might finally be getting to the point where humans really need not do much work, where technology has truly replaced most human labor. If most humans can no longer barter their labor for goods to survive, how will the economic system function? What will it look like? Can’t look like the current system, that’s for sure. How will we divide up the value of a society without the use of jobs?

    Libturd in Union says:
    January 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm
    I decided to look through the Montclair budget ledger last night just for sh1ts and giggles. In about 30 seconds, I found multiple examples of waste. Though Montclairhas a public works with a huge machine shop, all of the oil changes to their 300 or so vehicles are performed at a local shop at an average of $50 per oil change. I don’t pay that much for a full synthetic oil change without a coupon. They also seem to print business cards like they are going out of style from a local printer. $80 per person. You can order the same thing online for $10. I bet that if someone cared about actually looking for savings, you could cut the daily ledger in half. But then again, all they would probably do is put the savings towards hiring more unnecessary workers. Man is working for the government the greatest gig going.

  93. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Nice write-up. You must have been speaking directly to me. I bet pretty hard on taking advantage of that cheap money.

    I seriously see almost no chance of rates going up to 8% in the next 5 years, just like I see almost no chance of housing prices dropping any further. Both situations will result in the economy going up in smoke. If these circumstances do occur, hit the reset button on the economy, it’s over. So I’ll take my bet. If I am right, I will benefit tremendously. If I am wrong, everyone is screwed, so what is the difference?

    “Nothing wrong with locking in cheap money. Just know the potential downside for a medium term exit if the cheap money disappears.”

  94. Libturd in Union says:

    Passion Fruit.

    When one decides that it’s better to pay someone to work for the government than it is to pay for their welfare, then you are being an eternal pessimist. Could you imagine the money that could be spent on skills training or handed back to the consumer (tax payer) that would grease the wheels of the economy that would create necessary jobs?

    The Dems have reached the point where to maintain their base of slackers they are actually purposely keeping them down. They would rather see Liptessa collecting welfare than flipping burgers and paying payroll taxes. This way, Liptessa will continue to have a cause to vote blue. Deep down they know the status quo is not working for their constituents, but it shore is helping them maintain their power.

    The mistake voters make is thinking that their politicians are interested in the well being of their constituents. Once you learn that they are only interested in their own personal well being, then can you understand how much of a fool you have been played.

    I’ve voted for “none of the above” for over a decade now. Until a politician runs who does not accept campaign contributions, I will continue to do so. Otherwise, pulling the lever would have me showing support for a criminal. This is something I am not willing to do. Neither should you.

  95. JJ says:

    condos are for the newly wed and the nearly dead.

  96. JJ says:

    Even with a mortgage they wont need flood insurance. It looks like first floor is parking, lobby etc. No units are ground level. The condo association maintains flood insurance for that. Mortgage companies accept a copy of that policy. These are brand new condos built to brand new codes. Flood insurance at association level might be as little as $300 bucks a unit. Baked into maint.

    Secondary home owners of beach front properties single family properties that are pre-firm (AKA subsidized flood policies) face a mandatory 25% increase each year till they are full risk rated.

    FEMA/NFIP has exempted secondary home owners via a condo association from these increases. Part of reason I bought a condo and not a house at beach was I was away of this. Some of the pe-firm houses at beach are only paying 800 bucks a year. However, full risk rate is like 3k to 5k a year. 25% of 800 bucks does not sound like a lot. But compounding will make that $800 bucks a huge amount in just ten years at 25%.

    Soon, primary homeowners, second homeowners paying cash, second homeowners buying new construction or raised houses, or folks in condos/coops will own at the beach.

    Second homeowners with a mortgage owning a flat on the ground old bungalow wont exist in five years.

    joyce says:
    January 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm
    What are the details of the abatement? And unless they’re paying cash, sure they’ll need flood insurance… it will be cheap either way if it’s build above the height requirements.

    Does the article mention anything about multiple near-identical condos (4-5 stories) have been (over)built in Seaside within the past 8 or so years? No need at all for more of them… but there was plenty of need for the connected friends to keep making money.

  97. JJ says:

    Standard & Poor’s Drops Atlantic City to Junk
    BY ANDREW COEN
    JAN 28, 2015 1:30pm ET
    Standard & Poor’s dropped Atlantic City, N.J. to a junk-bond rating with a four-notch downgrade and placed the rating on credit watch with negative implications.

  98. leftwing says:

    93. Pumpkin

    I’m not smart enough to have all those answers, if I were I’d have my own Caribbean island by now.

    The right decision depends on your view of the macro environment and your personal circumstances. Inflation/stagflation/deflation views certainly play into it, although there are easier and more liquid ways to play any one of those scenarios.

    If one is at the lower end of earnings in an area (maybe newer to the workforce) and can find a place you will be happy in as your life changes over the next 10 years go for it. There are more buyers to take you out at the median wage or higher and worse case it may be an inflation angle that makes you ‘whole’ if you want to view it that way.

    Probably would advise against in most scenarios using the free money to buy into a 1%er house with a 25%er income and a 75%er liquid assets and a move on the horizon. Don’t think that ends well.

    Me, I’ve liquidated most secondary real estate assets other than a piece of land I really like out toward Far Hills. With my medium term view of rates and wages I can’t see trying to squeak out the last dollar of upside by holding any longer, the downside is too large. I’m actually seriously considering buying a local 3BR condo to move into now. If I put 50% down the current LT rent less the carry costs is a 10% return on the DP. Hard to get hurt on that one regardless of where markets (or I) go and I’ll hold that for 30 years. Plus it drops an additional $5k monthly into my pocket, net, from my current home. Just need to make sure that the last boy doesn’t feel too much ‘stigma’.

    I’m sure I have more grey hair than most and my time in NJ is measured by my youngest’s HS term so it makes sense bigger picture. Again, it comes down to personal circumstance.

  99. leftwing says:

    95. JJ, haha. Not that grey. Yet.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    I been working at my public facing job for over 10 years and I have yet to go through one box of business cards. In fact, the only reason I ordered a new box about 3 years ago was due to compliance forcing extra disclosures. Why would anyone in muni govt need business cards…especially now?

    joyce says:
    January 28, 2015 at 12:31 pm
    Libturd,
    What do you think the council would say if you asked them in an open meeting about $10 vs $80 business cards?

  101. Toxic Crayons says:

    You buyin?

    JJ says:
    January 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm
    Standard & Poor’s Drops Atlantic City to Junk
    BY ANDREW COEN
    JAN 28, 2015 1:30pm ET
    Standard & Poor’s dropped Atlantic City, N.J. to a junk-bond rating with a four-notch downgrade and placed the rating on credit watch with negative implications.

  102. Toxic Crayons says:

    Prolly not though eh JJ? That’s like going balls deep in a VD infested hooker.

  103. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I agree with everything you say except for the job situation. I truly believe that there are not enough jobs to go around for everyone in the world. The population is pushing 7 billion and automation has destroyed most jobs. Just think how many people it took to grow our food during the 1800’s and compare it to today. It’s insane. Sure technology created jobs in the early stages of this development, but we are slowly approaching the point where machines will be performing everything from picking up trash to performing surgery. Hell, machines will be fixing other machines. What will people do to have the ability to trade for goods when machines have taken over most of the work?

    This is why the 1% have become so much wealthier than everyone else in the past 30 years. In this type of environment, people with the capital make all the profit (money). They have the money for the machines, hence, they are the one’s that profit from the machines’ work. So they have created an artificial device to replace the costs of a worker, which means they have taken all the profit of production and sent it in one direction, to themselves. How long can we stay on this path without a full out revolution?

    Libturd in Union says:
    January 28, 2015 at 1:05 pm
    Passion Fruit.

    When one decides that it’s better to pay someone to work for the government than it is to pay for their welfare, then you are being an eternal pessimist. Could you imagine the money that could be spent on skills training or handed back to the consumer (tax payer) that would grease the wheels of the economy that would create necessary jobs?

    The Dems have reached the point where to maintain their base of slackers they are actually purposely keeping them down. They would rather see Liptessa collecting welfare than flipping burgers and paying payroll taxes. This way, Liptessa will continue to have a cause to vote blue. Deep down they know the status quo is not working for their constituents, but it shore is helping them maintain their power.

    The mistake voters make is thinking that their politicians are interested in the well being of their constituents. Once you learn that they are only interested in their own personal well being, then can you understand how much of a fool you have been played.

    I’ve voted for “none of the above” for over a decade now. Until a politician runs who does not accept campaign contributions, I will continue to do so. Otherwise, pulling the lever would have me showing support for a criminal. This is something I am not willing to do. Neither should you.

  104. JJ says:

    – Fed announcment on interest rates due out at 2:00 p.m.

    any bets on what will happen?

  105. JJ says:

    Ashley Madison customers dont like to give out cards I guess

    chicagofinance says:
    January 28, 2015 at 1:47 pm
    I been working at my public facing job for over 10 years and I have yet to go through one box of business cards. In fact, the only reason I ordered a new box about 3 years ago was due to compliance forcing extra disclosures. Why would anyone in muni govt need business cards…especially now?

  106. JJ says:

    rate hikes off the table for next two meetings. Bond Market rally on

  107. Libturd in Union says:

    PF,

    The 1% have been able to increase their wealth steadily due to how we tax wages vs. gains. They want you to believe it’s due to wage disparity, since it’s an easy cop out that is harder to pin on them. And believe me, this is not going to change as long as our politicians continue to suck the c0cks of the highest bidders, whether it be Soros, Bloomberg, Corzine or The Koch’es. But send in your $100 if it makes you feel good.

  108. jcer says:

    Pumpkin it’s not just the capital, those with skills and a brain become more valuable. Automation reduces the number of jobs and increases the need for more capable employees. This is why wage inflation and the increased minimum wage are not really happening and a bad idea. The labor market has no place for $15 per hour burger flippers at $8.50 an hour you can support have those people they are cheaper and easier than the installation of the machines. At $15 per hour, you get rid of the bodies pay a little more for quality employees($20-$30 per hour) who have half a brain and can be trusted to oversee the machines. I view automation as replacing the mundane processes with technology thus necessitating the required support system behind them. Just think of the good jobs created by automatic fast food, you now need mechanics who can fix the machines, technicians to maintain and install the machines, people to oversee the business who are technically astute and can troubleshoot day to day. Technology is inherently imperfect and requires people to run it, unfortunately the number of people is far smaller and their pay correspondingly is way higher. Someone has to sell, design, build, and install all the automated machines. A rising tide raises all ships….the more efficient humanity becomes the better off the human race is…at some point they’ll pay you to stay home. The easy answer is European style work hours, the issue is the developing world not being on board with this. Unfortunately with regards to efficiency manufacturing in the developing world is a step backwards, as are offshore call centers, instead of improving the processes we just move to a low cost locale and usually require more labor, not less. I recently read an article about GE bringing jobs back and one example they gave was a water heater that required 10 man hours of labor in China, that when assembled in the US they got down to 2 largely because the engineering product people could actually get involved in tweaking the manufacturing process. When wages are $8 a day there is little incentive to automate and be efficient, the same goes for the call center operators in data centers, so tasks remain manual because the people doing the work are so cheap.

    The future you propose with automation may happen but at that point, and it is some way off there still are many things requiring human labor, the overall resources of humanity as a whole should go up to the point where it won’t take much to provide for everyone.

  109. jcer says:

    107, bingo Republicons and Democrooks booth really answer to their billionaire paymasters and garner the support to get elected by playing people off each other and have a base of support. The only thing that is constant is that if you are in the 5%-the lower part of the %1 they want to make sure you don’t move up. You are the most productive members of society, small business owners, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers. Working professionals make the economy move and they are continually assaulted by the Democrats as rich, somehow something that gives the 250k crowd the ability to shelter some money and build some wealth will always be attacked by the Democrats. Similarly things that are unfair to the 250K crowd will not be changed by the republicons and they only throw the big gifts to the 100m dollar crowd. A dollar earned through work will always be taxed more than gains from capital it is a matter of practicality, but there must be a better way to make the system fairer and allow the lifeblood of our economy to be rewarded..

  110. Fast Eddie says:

    jcer [108],

    Exactly. It’s the transformation of the workplace and the reason why education and a flexible skill set is a never-ending process. In the early to mid 90s, I was working as a field engineer for construction firms. Prior to online job searching, the Sunday NY Times and Newark Star Ledger was the place to go to search for job listings.

    When I saw 5 pages of jobs in the IT field as opposed to one column of Civil Engineering jobs, I realized I needed to make a switch. It paid off enormously. My IT role has morphed and adapted along the way. If automation becomes the hottest thing out there, you can bet I will go in that direction. The old saying holds true: for every door that closes, another opens.

  111. Toxic Crayons says:

    January 23, 2015
    Alone and Defenseless: A UK Citizen’s call for arms
    By Ciaran Brady
    In August 2014 the independent government advisory group in the UK known as JTAC (Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre) raised the threat level for the entire UK (including Northern Ireland) to “Severe,” one step down from the maximum Critical level, where it has remained to this day some 5 months on. In the words of the conservative home secretary two days ago — attacks in the UK are “very likely.”

    The threat of marauding gunmen in a city, so vividly illustrated at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher supermarket, has been clearly apparent to western nations since the horrific Mumbai attacks in 2008. MI5 have confirmed that the Syrian arm of a resurgent al-Qaeda is planning similar attacks against the UK, possibly by British jihadists who have already returned from fighting in Syria or Iraq. They include plans to blow up a passenger jet, employ Mumbai style shootings in crowded places or even hit-and-run attacks using vehicles (an attack style employed in France in Christmas 2014). Andrew Parker (Director General of the security service MI5) said the number of random “crude and potentially deadly” plots from “lone wolf” extremists was increasing. In a stark warning, he said: “Although we and our partners try our utmost, we know we cannot hope to stop everything.”

    This is where we find ourselves now. Every citizen in Europe and the UK faces the risk of an Islamic attack merely while going about normal day-to-day business. UK citizens in particular face this risk whilst being denied weapons of self defense. In the past I have fully and enthusiastically supported the UK’s complete ban on hand guns. But immediately after the killing of Lee Rigby I began to reconsider the wisdom of that ban and I now utterly oppose it. As things stand in the UK, hand guns are illegal. For those shotguns you could own, extremely strict licensing specifically disallows self defense as a motive for ownership and so the old adage “In countries where guns are illegal, only the criminals have guns” is the frankly mad situation we now have in the UK.

    Once illegal guns are used in anger, you then have to consider how long it takes armed police to respond. The three sprees most responsible for framing the gun laws we now have in the UK reveal a rather worrying problem, given it took 2 hours for armed police to arrive on the scene in Cumbria in 2010, by which time Bird had killed himself and 18 others. In Hungerford in 1987, Ryan had 6 hours to kill himself and 16 others before armed police arrived. In Dunblane in 1996, armed police again never made it to the scene before Hamilton killed himself and 17 people.

    The reality is that small crack teams of armed police can never be relied upon to make it to the scene of a crime until after some undefined but inevitably critical delay. In London on the 22nd May 2013, it took over 15 minutes for armed police to arrive when the soldier Lee Rigby was killed by two supporters of Islam who first ran him down with their car and then hacked him to death with knives and a meat cleaver. They later claimed to be “…avenging the killing of Muslims by British armed forces”.

    When these events occur in the UK, members of the public armed with nothing more than smiles and harsh language will inevitably be the first responders. In the Cumbrian shooting spree Bird encountered literally dozens of people on his route, all of whom were unarmed and many of who died as a result. The same applied in the case of Ryan and Hamilton. In the Lee Rigby killing all of us in the UK watched videos showing Ingrid Loyau-Kennett take on this first responder role… but seeing the killers’ hands literally dripping with blood left me aghast at just how vulnerable and utterly defenceless she and all the citizens in the vicinity actually were.

    In direct and stark contrast is a recent UK shooting incident that occurred on the 23rd May 2014 when a young man (Sedat Meric) in West Green Road London walked to the front of a snooker hall and opened fire into the doorway with a 9mm semi automatic hand gun, discharging four shots. This could have been just another example of a criminal with a gun in the UK were it not for an armed NCA firearms officer who happened to be nearby and had the sense to intervene and return fire. Meric ran out of ammunition after firing a set of random shots as he ran down the road to escape and was promptly arrested and subsequently convicted with the help of CCTV footage.

    One good person, experienced in the use of firearms and armed with a handgun, could have ended each of these attacks with immediate effect — an example demonstrated to great effect by the brave NCA officer.

    It is for this reason that UK authorities routinely protect politicians and dignitaries with armed escorts, but when it comes to us ordinary citizens, the state appears to consider our defense rights as almost irrelevant and then goes on to reinforce that policy by removing any and all tools that the law abiding citizen could realistically use to that end.

    Given the seriousness of this threat and how much worse it is liable to become as more and more battle hardened jihadists are allowed back into the UK, it is abundantly clear to me that unless the law is changed, we humble citizens will continue to find ourselves alone and defenseless whenever these attacks occur. God forbid, should that happen: I wonder if you, like me, would want the ability to actively defend your family with something more than a cricket bat and if need be, go down with a fight. I’m pretty sure that the Muslim policeman shot on the ground in Paris would… if he could!

    Ciaran Brady is Technical Director of a small software engineering company, living in the UK with his wife.

  112. jcer says:

    Eddie, IT is the precursor and the low hanging fruit in the automation world. I spent the early part of my career in technology building software to handle workflows and processes(Document management) and largely reduce what would require an hour of a competent persons time to 5 minutes of someones time who has had minimal training. Mind you largely the replacements were not the drone like people, they still kept the competent people they just laid off 80% of them and used this threat of being able to hire burger flippers to do the job to keep wages down. Meanwhile the engineering jobs created are good, so we created 20 high paying jobs that eliminated 1500 white collar office jobs. IT skills will be huge in automation, who is building the self service kiosks, managing the networks and security in the inevitable local installations. If automation takes off wages for Sys Admins, Network Engineers, and Developers will go up because now they really need to be local. Tech is the future and fortunately or unfortunately(Depending on who you are) most people are not good at it.

  113. JJ says:

    IT sucks it is just a fad

  114. chicagofinance says:

    Man turns speed camera ticket into a proposal

    By Chris Perez

    Take notes, fellas.

    A man in Germany purposely drove through a speed-trap camera while holding a sign saying “Will You Marry Me” — and then police delivered the photo to his girlfriend as a marriage proposal.

    “After I’d read it, I looked up and saw Christian down on one knee holding out the ring,” Anja Thomas told Central European News. “And of course I said yes.”

    When someone is caught on camera speeding in Germany, police routinely send a photograph of the driver together with a ticket notice, to prove who was behind the wheel at the time of the offense.

    “If you are planning to propose, you had better make it memorable,” said Christian Brejer, 31.

    Although he had been worried that officials might not like what he did, cops apparently saw the funny side — and they included a separate page with a blown-up version of his photo, according to CEN.

    But the ingenious German admits his stunt was a lot harder than it looked.

    “Getting a speeding ticket isn’t as easy as you think,” Brejer admitted. “It took me five times until I actually saw the camera flash.”

  115. Ragnar says:

    See, Pumpkin, Essex, et al prove my prior point. I can lead horses to water, but they usually just shit in it.

    I’ll go with the philosopher popular with CEOs, upholding reason and Aristotelian ethics involving good habits and achieving excellence and happiness in life. The lefties can stick with the Kantians who believe reality is unknowable, and that the individual lives so serve as human sacrifices to some collective.

    …”values imply and require all of man’s virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.”

  116. jcer says:

    113, JJ without us you couldn’t go to work, you’ve never worked on the street without IT. Chances are you wouldn’t be doing what you do without the technology. Computers have made what wall street does possible, without the machines many market participants would not be able to afford to be involved. That is why at major banks the tech budget usually ends with billion.

  117. JJ says:

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The 30-year Treasury yield fell to a record low Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept its “patient” guidance, but analysts were conflicted over how to interpret the references to economic growth and inflation.

    Amazing 30 year bond is now at under 2.3%. Meanwhile just five years ago that was a one year cd.
    2.295%,

  118. JJ says:

    I did not get my first computer at work until 1996. Still dont like to use it. When I telecommuted yesterday I printed a bunch of stuff out and edited them at home. I do like netflix and p0rnhub

    jcer says:
    January 28, 2015 at 3:31 pm
    113, JJ without us you couldn’t go to work, you’ve never worked on the street without IT. Chances are you wouldn’t be doing what you do without the technology. Computers have made what wall street does possible, without the machines many market participants would not be able to afford to be involved. That is why at major banks the tech budget usually ends with billion.

  119. JJ says:

    COUNTRYWIDE CAP III SB CAP-B
    8.05000% 06/15/2027

    Basic Analytics
    Price (Bid) 122.000
    Price (Ask) 124.000

    Amazing the thirst for long term yield. Legacy Countrywide Bank bonds are trading at 124. Love it. I own these at 99.

  120. Hughesrep says:

    108

    Got a source by chance? Maybe one of the new heat pump style water heaters (they $u k).

    GE hasn’t made a standard water heater since the mid 90’s. Rheem makes them for them in Mexico.

  121. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I definitely agree. I just believe that the off-shoring of labor and the automation of jobs in the past 30 years has been the biggest factor in the 1%’s ability to increase their wealth. Products didn’t get ever get cheaper. The costs in the production did. Where did this profit go? Nik3 sneakers cost less to make today than they did 20 years ago, yet the product costs 200 dollars today. Where did the profit go?

    Libturd in Union says:
    January 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm
    PF,

    The 1% have been able to increase their wealth steadily due to how we tax wages vs. gains. They want you to believe it’s due to wage disparity, since it’s an easy cop out that is harder to pin on them. And believe me, this is not going to change as long as our politicians continue to suck the c0cks of the highest bidders, whether it be Soros, Bloomberg, Corzine or The Koch’es. But send in your $100 if it makes you feel good.

  122. Liquor Luge says:

    Always a red letter day when Gluteus starts sucking Soros c0ck.

  123. nwnj says:

    Automation was the trend of the past 20 years, the buzzwords of the next 20 will be AI and machine learning. Millions of repetitive white collar jobs(processors, analysts, supoport reps) will be made obsolete.

    Of course IT will still need loads of code monkey’s to maintain the stuff.

  124. Fast Eddie says:

    nwnj,

    What exactly is a “supoport” rep?

  125. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I have to read up more on this issue. I def think machines will be taking over sooner rather than later. It’s going to be a world that we are incapable of imagining. That’s how different this world will be 50 years from now.

    jcer says:
    January 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm
    Pumpkin it’s not just the capital, those with skills and a brain become more valuable. Automation reduces the number of jobs and increases the need for more capable employees. This is why wage inflation and the increased minimum wage are not really happening and a bad idea. The labor market has no place for $15 per hour burger flippers at $8.50 an hour you can support have those people they are cheaper and easier than the installation of the machines. At $15 per hour, you get rid of the bodies pay a little more for quality employees($20-$30 per hour) who have half a brain and can be trusted to oversee the machines. I view automation as replacing the mundane processes with technology thus necessitating the required support system behind them. Just think of the good jobs created by automatic fast food, you now need mechanics who can fix the machines, technicians to maintain and install the machines, people to oversee the business who are technically astute and can troubleshoot day to day. Technology is inherently imperfect and requires people to run it, unfortunately the number of people is far smaller and their pay correspondingly is way higher. Someone has to sell, design, build, and install all the automated machines. A rising tide raises all ships….the more efficient humanity becomes the better off the human race is…at some point they’ll pay you to stay home. The easy answer is European style work hours, the issue is the developing world not being on board with this. Unfortunately with regards to efficiency manufacturing in the developing world is a step backwards, as are offshore call centers, instead of improving the processes we just move to a low cost locale and usually require more labor, not less. I recently read an article about GE bringing jobs back and one example they gave was a water heater that required 10 man hours of labor in China, that when assembled in the US they got down to 2 largely because the engineering product people could actually get involved in tweaking the manufacturing process. When wages are $8 a day there is little incentive to automate and be efficient, the same goes for the call center operators in data centers, so tasks remain manual because the people doing the work are so cheap.

    The future you propose with automation may happen but at that point, and it is some way off there still are many things requiring human labor, the overall resources of humanity as a whole should go up to the point where it won’t take much to provide for everyone.

  126. Fast Eddie says:

    Machine Learning – Is that like teaching my Uni-blab 2000 to sit up and beg for a punch card?

  127. nwnj says:

    Anyone who sits at a desk and waits for a phone to ring.

  128. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Exactly!!! We are quickly approaching the point where the Luddite fallacy will no longer be false. It’s coming. What happen to the horse when we found a machine that can create horse power? Why do people think humans are any different than horses in the battle vs technology. What are we special? You are telling me that we are going to keep creating more and more “high skilled” jobs off of the process of creating technology to replace things that humans used to do? Just think about it. It ends the same way as the economic model based on infinite growth.

    nwnj says:
    January 28, 2015 at 4:20 pm
    Automation was the trend of the past 20 years, the buzzwords of the next 20 will be AI and machine learning. Millions of repetitive white collar jobs(processors, analysts, supoport reps) will be made obsolete.

    Of course IT will still need loads of code monkey’s to maintain the stuff.

  129. JJ says:

    Banksky is selling his grafiti “art” now for like $6,000 grand a shot. Damm it some of my best work has long been painted over in the Bronx.

    I am bringing back my “art” work. Try to automate that!!

  130. JJ says:

    That would be at least 1,000 girls the day after Happy Hour at Ryan McFaddens I would owe a paycheck to

    nwnj says:
    January 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm
    Anyone who sits at a desk and waits for a phone to ring.

  131. Fast Eddie says:

    Anyone who sits at a desk and waits for a phone to ring.

    Dear First Responders, Paramedics, Police and Fire personnel,

    Your jobs are now obsolete.

  132. jcer says:

    JJ I don’t care if you have a computer, it’s just that in order to support the securitization of billions of dollars of debt into instruments, while complying with all mandatory regulations doesn’t happen without computers, nor are trades executed at a low cost, it doesn’t happen.

    The automation we’ve seen in the last 30-40 years has been the low hanging fruit it will go further. We are going to see a decentralization of manufacturing, with regional automated manufacturing becoming far more prevalent. We are going to see loads of things being done by people today being done by machines, what we have seen so far has largely been in large scale manufacturing, it will go beyond that. As for AI and machine learning, good luck, we are a ways off. Traditional AI has been a flop, most successful things today use Bayesian statics to determine things like human speech, it has been iterative and improved by trying to determine what you have likely said. Machine learning at this point is rudimentary and a buzz word that usually indicate that it improves it’s statistical abilities by utilizing past data in it decision making process. We are many years away from AI and machine learning being a reality with practical implementations. The truth is it is the code monkeys programming the logic into the systems that eliminate the need for the workers. Technology tends to be such a clusterf*ck that the truth is it has been avoided in favor of outsourcing and offshoring. Nobody wants to do an automation implementation, there is a lot of risk and it is always late and over budget.

  133. nwnj says:

    #131

    911 switchboard people, yes. A machine can look up and make recommended instructions to a caller and route help faster is less mistake prone than a human.

  134. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Rags, the human species has never been successful surviving as an individual. Any great achievement in human history was not achieved by an individual, but rather a community. Of course individuals with your type of philosophy try to take sole credit for these achievements in the history books, but you know damn well everyone has had help from someone along the way.

    Ragnar says:
    January 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm
    See, Pumpkin, Essex, et al prove my prior point. I can lead horses to water, but they usually just shit in it.

    I’ll go with the philosopher popular with CEOs, upholding reason and Aristotelian ethics involving good habits and achieving excellence and happiness in life. The lefties can stick with the Kantians who believe reality is unknowable, and that the individual lives so serve as human sacrifices to some collective.

    …”values imply and require all of man’s virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.”

  135. Fast Eddie says:

    911 switchboard people, yes. A machine can look up and make recommended instructions to a caller and route help faster is less mistake prone than a human.

    See jcer’s post #132.

    I could see it now:

    Person: “Siri, my house is on fire, help!”
    Siri: “Did you say, ‘Timmy fell in the well?'”

  136. nwnj says:

    Eddie, you must be one of those guys who swaps computer parts all day and calls your self and IT worker.

    If you don’t recognize the value that AI will bring to white collar businesses then you’re obsolete. Of course the technology hasn’t fully matured but it will.

    And yes the systems can tell the difference between those two sentences or it will ask for a clarification if it’s not absolutely certain. Machines are ruthlessly dogmatic and persistent. I don’t remember Watson having a problem with speech recognition when it knocked out all of those former Jeopardy champions.

  137. jcer says:

    Technology isn’t taking over, we have such a hard time even building simple logical systems like healthcare.gov that lets be honest we’d be hard pressed to build something that good and somehow people are always involved. Most people outside of technical fields don’t realize how rudimentary AI really is today. The bigger news is the connected world and the omnipresence of computers in all things and how everything will be connected data is the future. Just think about a car that can provide data about it’s operation to centralized systems that cannot only tell when you are likely to have a problem but can somewhat reliably diagnose the problem. Now imagine your body does the same thing, we can gather data and statistics and mine them for patterns and develop probabilistic models that will give us insight into problems people may have early, and data that will help doctors and surgeons more effective treat people. Imagine a refrigerator that “learns” what you tend to buy and recommends what you need when you go to the store or even better goes out orders it for you. Maybe with the data about what is in your fridge and cupboards it even suggest recipes you can make. There are so many inconceivable things that can be developed and all of this would require massive number of engineers and employees to make work, so I think the possibilities are endless and the number of jobs created could be astounding. Just look at the iOS app market, it was 10 Billion dollars last year(money paid to developers minus apple’s cut) and 627,000 people were employed, 10 years ago it didn’t exist and that is just apple alone not android or crackberry. Just one example of how a simple piece of technology, the smartphone created a new market and jobs. Imagine if we need to start creating apps for our lawnmowers and car infotainment systems. that being said about 50% or more of the earths population are not intelligent enough to be employed in high tech fields which creates a whole other problem.

  138. Fast Eddie says:

    I don’t touch hardware, never did. What I do is analyze the science behind models to calculate risk. That’s the broad definition.

  139. grim says:

    I don’t remember Watson having a problem with speech recognition when it knocked out all of those former Jeopardy champions.

    Watson didn’t use speech recognition, the questions were submitted to Watson as text as the question was asked.

  140. Fast Eddie says:

    It will ask for a clarification… nice.

    By that time the dying individual will be screaming for a live voice. Representative! Representative!

  141. grim says:

    The other important trend is companies pushing effort and workload onto it’s consumers. This is not technically automation, but very clearly results in fewer employees being necessary to deliver a product or service. This is actually as impactful as automation in many cases, but can be hidden much more easily.

    What do I mean?

    Rebooking airline flights using your mobile phone app

    Making an online payment using a checking account

    Filling your own frozen yogurt cup

    Checking out your own items

    Filling out an application online

  142. The Great Pumpkin says:

    137- I disagree with your premise that technology isn’t taking over. You are underestimating the power of compounding in technological innovation. You stated data will be kept for everything by “smart products”. All this data will drive tech innovation at unbelievable speeds. Combine the human mind with increasing technological intelligence along with massive amounts of data and you have yourself an equation for some pretty fast tech growth.

    I think humans role will focus on “imagination” and “creativity” and the machines will do the rest. So basically humans will focus on the design/engineer of new/existing things.

    I just had a crazy thought come to my head. When ai arrives, will it be the creation of a new life form? Could this be the end for all organic life as we know it?

  143. grim says:

    I can give you an estimate and say allowing rebooking, flight changes, and seat changes through mobile phone apps resulted in well over a thousand on-shore job losses for the airlines.

  144. jcer says:

    nwnj, what I have an issue with is even calling it AI. Watson and it’s ilk are doing data analysis and applying advanced statistical models. Watson is also a super computer, not quite representative of what really exists. Winning at Jeopardy and making real critical decisions in place of a human are two totally different things. It is complimentary, and I think of it like search on steroids. Speech recognition has gotten far better and IBM’s is among the best, it is using words from the question to identify. Just realize it guessed Toronto for a final Jeopardy question about a US city, the algorithm isn’t actually learning only associating likely answers. That is why it will aid decision making not replace it. Things like technical support don’t even require these kinds of capabilities, and front line support has already gone to bots. Just an FYI human speech is a BIG problem for machines, which is why automating certain things in the investment space has proven very difficult.

  145. jcer says:

    Absolutely self service has been a huge advantage of technology. Yes jobs are lost, the ones created to support and build the systems are much better jobs than call center work but there are far fewer jobs.

    Eddie, do you work on credit risk models, CVA et al?

  146. homeboken says:

    Took a trip to Disney in the fall with the kids and had to check bags. That was the first time in 3 years that I spoke to anyone at the airport ticket counter.

    The smartphone App for airlines is the best. Marry that with TSA Pre-Check and you really start to minimize the hassle of air travel.

    Hell – United offers in-flight entertainment on the smartphone app. The variety of movies and TV shows is great, compared to the 8 month old crappy flick shown on the 8 inch screen hanging from the ceiling of the plane that existed 7 years ago.

  147. Grim says:

    Gotta go to Copenhagen, drat,

  148. jcer says:

    Pumpkin, you miss the point, inherently computers are dumb. It is people who make them smart and it requires a lot of work to make them do what they do, it will be an incredibly long time, probably not in my lifetime that algorithms get so good they can be general purpose and actually work in an acceptable way. Until that time we need people to build one off algorithms that work for a certain family of problems.

  149. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Fair enough. You seem to have a lot of knowledge and experience in the field.

    jcer says:
    January 28, 2015 at 5:45 pm
    Pumpkin, you miss the point, inherently computers are dumb. It is people who make them smart and it requires a lot of work to make them do what they do, it will be an incredibly long time, probably not in my lifetime that algorithms get so good they can be general purpose and actually work in an acceptable way. Until that time we need people to build one off algorithms that work for a certain family of problems.

  150. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Only one in a hundred can join the club. And in New Jersey, it takes a bit more than most places.

    It’s the Top 1 percent of earners, and in the Garden State, you (or you and your spouse), must earn $538,666 annually to join, according to a report released this week by the progressive Economic Analysis and Research Network.

    http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2015/01/what_it_takes_to_join_the_club_that_excludes_99_of_nj_residents.html#incart_m-rpt-2

  151. NJT says:

    I’ve been in IT since 1987 and have worked every job across the industry in both the private and public sector as a consultant, small business owner and full-time employee (Bench tech., phone tech/help desk., field tech., Programmer/developer/engineer – hardware and software, QA analyst, manager, project manager and once, a Director) and we are FAR from AI. Others above have typed why.

    I would NOT recommend it as a career to any kid these days and I’ll be done with it in a couple years (going to become a full-time landlord). Why? There’s not much that can’t or won’t be outsourced (offshored or bringing H1Bs here) eventually.

  152. Liquor Luge says:

    grim (147)-

    Try to book a table at Noma. The tree bark is to die for.

  153. Grim says:

    Too bad, closed till march.

  154. Liquor Luge says:

    A little truthiness about the sham that is the current job market. Extrapolate some wage inflation out of this, Punkin’:

    “The latest corporate scam is to blame workers for the high unemployment rate. They say there is a skills gap. Even President Obama is in on the joke. In his most recent State of the Union address, Obama called for Congress to make community college free. Because nothing will get you a job more than an associate’s degree from your local college.

    The real skills gap is the other way around: too many skills for the low-wage menial jobs that pervade the labor market. The person who makes your coffee or your Big Mac might be able to design the next major bridge or write for The New York Times. Instead of high school kids cooking up your lunch, true professionals are behind the counter, and the future of the country is behind it too. The longer they stay there, the odds increase that America will take a permanent backseat in global power. In one short century, we have gone from superpower to super size me, a plutocracy, a nation that wasted its most valuable resource: the energy and innovation of its own people.

    As you send your resume for the latest job ad, do you ever feel like the labor market is rigged against you? The job boards have turned into such black holes that we need Stephen Hawking to come work out the equations for us. You send your resume in, and it disappears.”

    http://www.dark-bid.com/rigged-job-market.html

  155. The Great Pumpkin says:

    154-

    I don’t know how Credit Suisse came up with this #, but that is pretty insane.

    “And if community college becomes free, then even more uber-educated Americans can make Big Macs. 30% of college graduates are consistently underemployed. They can calculate the volume of your supersized drink, but they can’t make more than minimum wage while doing it because there is a “skills gap.” I think I know where the real gap is: According to Credit Suisse, if wealth were evenly distributed across every adult in America, each adult would have $301,140.”

  156. The Great Pumpkin says:

    154- If this is truly the case, wage inflation is not coming. My main factor for believing that wage inflation will occur is that the economy will collapse without it. Reading articles like this do cause me to question my belief. I really don’t know of any great jobs being created out there when I think about it.

  157. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Right from your source. This is exactly why I believe wage inflation has to come. The alternative is not an option.

    “Adam Smith was a critical proponent of capitalism, and his concept of “The Invisible Hand” is a perpetual rallying call for the parishioners of the Church of Capitalism. The Invisible Hand says what is good for me is good for everybody. The Invisible Hand will allow the market to self-regulate without the need for government intervention. Anyone with half a brain can see that reality is obviously much more complicated than this, but the hard line capitalists are always ready to punch you in the face with their Invisible Hand. Adam Smith wasn’t as stupid or dogmatic as his followers. In his defining work, The Wealth of Nations, he said,
    “When the regulation, therefore, is in support of the workman, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters…No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.”
    This sounds like a pro-labor quote from Karl Marx, but it’s actually straight from the original capitalist himself.

    The parallels of ancient Rome and modern America are startling and undeniable. The middle class is truly the life source of society. Without it, nothing is left but kings among slaves. These are the conditions that lead to uprisings. One day, there will be a new American Revolution, and it could be quite violent. US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said,
    “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.””

    http://www.dark-bid.com/middleclass.html

  158. The Great Pumpkin says:

    157- From the same source.

    “Wealth inequality isn’t just a political issue – it’s a survival issue. When a society hits a certain level of economic disparity, it is set on a path towards destruction. It happened to the Roman Empire, and it will happen to the United States.

    If you look at the events leading up to the downfall of the Roman Empire, you would have a hard time not noticing the similarities to the United States. Members of the wealthy classes in ancient Rome fled to the countryside to set up independent fiefdoms for tax evasion purposes. Just before the Facebook IPO in 2012, Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co-founder of Facebook, renounced his American citizenship and headed to Singapore. This was part of a not so elaborate scheme to avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of Facebook stock. And he’s not the only one. In 2004, 158 people renounced their citizenship every 3 months. In 2014, 789 people were leaving every 3 months.

    Expatriates

    In the fifth century, the Vandals claimed North Africa and began disrupting the Roman Empire’s trade by engaging in piracy in the Mediterranean Sea. In modern America, piracy has gone digital. We may be able to incinerate entire cities with nuclear reactions, but we can’t stop someone from hacking into your bank account – someone who can take your money without actually having to deal with the hassle of guns, masks, and high speed police chases. This electronic piracy poses just as large of a threat to the country as the Vandals did to the ancient Romans. And just like the ancient Romans, we probably won’t be able to stop the pirates from overtaking us.

    Rome’s economy depended on slaves to till its fields and work as craftsmen. Similarly, the modern American economy depends on the wage slave labor of Starbucks baristas with master’s degrees, middle-aged McDonald’s workers who can’t feed their families without food stamps, and Walmart greeters with AARP memberships who can’t live on their social security income. The American consumer drives the economy, and the retail slaves grease the wheels. American society has already far exceeded ancient Rome in its wealth inequality. Historians Walter Schiedel and Steven Friesen estimate that the 1% in ancient Rome controlled 16% of the wealth. In modern America, the 1% control 40% of the nation’s wealth.

    Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist, said the top 20% control 87.2% of wealth, and the bottom 80% control 12.8% of wealth. But this doesn’t begin to tell you the full picture of the disparity. The combined wealth of the 6 children of the Walmart founders was $69.7 billion in 2007, which was equal to the total wealth of the entire bottom 30% of the country. However, that was in 2007 when Walmart stock was at $40. Now it’s at $87. So that means that 6 people have over $140 billion and more than twice the wealth of the bottom 30%. Ironically, they have a charity called the Walton Family Foundation, but they don’t seem interested in contributing to their own foundation. The contributions have been relatively small, and two of them haven’t contributed 1 cent.”

  159. grim says:

    Looks like Apple had a decent quarter.

  160. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    A man after Punkins heart.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102377856

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