The Boring Plateau

From HousingWire:

Latest data shows housing economy sluggish

Sales of new single-family houses in January 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, down 0.2% from December’s big gains.

This is 0.2% below the revised December rate of 482,000, but is 5.3% above the January 2014 estimate of 457,000, considered a weak level.

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee, says she thinks this shows a housing market that’s flat.

“Coupled with a near 5% decline in existing sales, this morning’s decline in new sales suggests the housing recovery remains muted. Yesterday’s monetary policy testimony revealed a dovish Federal Reserve Chairman,” Piegza said. “Of course, given the slew of disappointing economic news including back-to-back months of negative retail sales, a one-year low on the ISM, and four months of negative durable orders in the last five, not to mention increasing concerns regarding a further decline in inflation and a still-sluggish housing market, and it’s hard to imagine why the Fed wouldn’t sound dovish in their assessment of the economy, as well as hesitant in their ability and willingness to initiate liftoff.

“This morning’s home sales report further confirms the Fed’s assessment of a ‘slow’ recovery in the US housing market and offers yet another reason for an extended timeline for liftoff,” she said.

Rick Sharga, executive vice president at Auction.com, told HousingWire he sees housing entering a “boring plateau.”

“That’s not a bad thing considering how bad the recession was — there’s a reason it was called the Great Recession,” Sharga said. “We’re entering a period of boring but slow, steady growth.”

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166 Responses to The Boring Plateau

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to a Seven-Year Low

    The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate fell to the lowest in more than seven years in the fourth quarter as the improving job market and stricter lending standards kept more borrowers current.

    Loans that were at least 30 days behind dropped to 5.68 percent from 6.39 percent from a year earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today. The rate was the lowest since the third quarter of 2007.

    Rising home prices and the lowest jobless rate since 2008 have helped to keep newer loans current while mortgages originated before the property crash work their way through the foreclosure process. The share of loans on which foreclosure actions were started in the fourth quarter was 0.46 percent, down from 0.54 percent a year earlier.
    “We’re at pre-crisis levels now,” Marina Walsh, vice president of Industry analysis for the Washington-based bankers group, said in a telephone interview. “We hope to see this improvement continue.”

    Of the loans that were 90 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure, 73 percent were originated in 2007 or earlier. States that require court approval for home seizures, such as New York, New Jersey and Florida, had 3.79 percent of loans in the foreclosure process, about three times the share in non-judicial states.

    New Jersey was the state with the highest rate of foreclosure starts, with 0.84 percent of loans, followed by Maryland, Mississippi, Florida, Illinois and New York.

    “It comes down to judicial versus non-judicial process,” Walsh said. “New Jersey is not getting worse. New Jersey has a lengthy foreclosure timeline. It’s just a matter of working through those loans.”

  2. DaBomb says:

    5.68%!!! but but Eddie sez 100%…

  3. 1987 Condo says:

    100% of the houses that Eddie is looking to buy that are for sale…

  4. grim says:

    I don’t see how the bottom is going to fall out of the housing market when every month we’ve got home prices and rents increasing (albeit slowly), we have employment improving, we have total delinquencies falling, we have new delinquencies falling (U3 AND U6), we have loans being refinanced resulting in significantly lower carrying costs, home prices outside of this area rising strongly reducing the benefit of housing arbitrage. We have remodels picking up again. Stock market is fantastic, retirement accounts are looking flush. Money still very cheap, and likely to be for at least the next few years. Wave of layoffs subsided, folks are starting to feel comfortable again, some indications that short term debt back on the upswing is positive for consumption. If my linked in is any indication, companies are hiring since more people appear to be leaving positions and making jumps (not talking about finding a new job after a layoff). I can tell you with absolute certainty that wage pressure on the low end happening, it is very real. I’ll share plenty of stories off-line if you’d like. But there are markets that in the past year have required hourly increases upwards of $2 to find equivalent talent. This is massive. The Walmart and other announcements are no surprise, seeing it on the ground. At a wage that 2 years ago would have resulted in hundreds of applicants, today can’t even find enough people to meet hiring demand.

    I see no impending event that is going to drive supply up to the levels needed to push housing down. Hell, in the short term, if supply pops upward, it’s going to have a positive impact on the market, not negative. So we’d need one hell of an increase to push over that. A 25% increase in inventory would be a welcome change.

  5. Comrade Nom Deplume, not as pretty as Grim says:

    You need only read the comments to know the level of hate and alternative thinking that is directed across the color line. At least no one confuses her with a journalist any more (except the people who also think Jon Stewart is a journalist).

    http://thegrio.com/2015/02/25/melissa-harris-perry-i-hope-trayvon-whooped-the-sht-out-of-george-zimmerman/

    We are closer to a civil war than at any time in the past 85 years.

  6. chicagofinance says:

    A risk…..the accelerator is already to the floor going up the hill…..the engine can’t give anymore to fight against gravity…….

    grim says:
    February 26, 2015 at 7:28 am
    Money still very cheap, and likely to be for at least the next few years.

  7. 1987 Condo says:

    Any recommendations for exterior house painters-?

  8. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Amen!!

    All you need to know is that Walmart gave a big raise to all its employees. If you think Walmart is in the business of giving, you are crazy. If they didn’t raise their wages, they would not have any workers. The writing is on the wall. Wage pressure is slowly building. I don’t think people are scared anymore that if they lose their job, they won’t be able to find another. The tides are slowly changing.

    Btw, my sister and husband, both turning 32 this year, have just had their offer accepted on a house in pines lakes. Of course Fast Eddie would not give this home a chance in hell, but that is why he will never buy a house. Btw, this is my sister’s second home. Their first was a two family. Millennials are def starting to make their moves into single family homes. My brother who is turning 33 this year, is closing on a condo in ocean city this week.

    Times are a changing. Get in now if you want to avoid the bubble rush in 5 years.

    grim says:
    February 26, 2015 at 7:28 am
    I don’t see how the bottom is going to fall out of the housing market when every month we’ve got home prices and rents increasing (albeit slowly), we have employment improving, we have total delinquencies falling, we have new delinquencies falling (U3 AND U6), we have loans being refinanced resulting in significantly lower carrying costs, home prices outside of this area rising strongly reducing the benefit of housing arbitrage. We have remodels picking up again. Stock market is fantastic, retirement accounts are looking flush. Money still very cheap, and likely to be for at least the next few years. Wave of layoffs subsided, folks are starting to feel comfortable again, some indications that short term debt back on the upswing is positive for consumption. If my linked in is any indication, companies are hiring since more people appear to be leaving positions and making jumps (not talking about finding a new job after a layoff). I can tell you with absolute certainty that wage pressure on the low end happening, it is very real. I’ll share plenty of stories off-line if you’d like. But there are markets that in the past year have required hourly increases upwards of $2 to find equivalent talent. This is massive. The Walmart and other announcements are no surprise, seeing it on the ground. At a wage that 2 years ago would have resulted in hundreds of applicants, today can’t even find enough people to meet hiring demand.

    I see no impending event that is going to drive supply up to the levels needed to push housing down. Hell, in the short term, if supply pops upward, it’s going to have a positive impact on the market, not negative. So we’d need one hell of an increase to push over that. A 25% increase in inventory would be a welcome change.

  9. grim says:

    6 – Sure, but don’t read my post as saying I think anything is going up fast, anytime soon, because that would need an economy going gangbusters, which we are very far from.

    That said, I firmly believe that a rate rise is going to result in reduced inventory and fewer sales, due to lock in on the supply side. If the 30 year was at 6% – I’d put a second level on my house and blow it out to 4500 square feet before I’d consider selling and moving up. I’m not trading in my sweetheart rate, it’s a glorious ball and chain.

  10. grim says:

    I actually didn’t need to see the Walmart announcement, we saw this trend start a year ago. Our employees are generally higher wage than WMT, and we aren’t direct competitors for labor. Only in rare cases, in small markets, for lower skill work is there any kind of direct competition, and more often than not people would rather work for us. We’re in the mid 5-figures headcount.

  11. Toxic Crayons says:

    Bailout of $88M solar project will cost counties $21M under settlement plan

    http://www.nj.com/sussex-county/index.ssf/2015/02/bailout_of_88m_solar_project_will_cost_21m_under_settlement_plan.html#incart_river

    By Ben Horowitz and Seth Augenstein | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
    on February 26, 2015 at 8:38 AM, updated February 26, 2015 at 8:45 AM

    0
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    The bailout of a solar project involving $88 million in public funds is mostly complete, as two of three counties have signed paperwork investing further millions to try and turn it profitable. But officials are only divulging details after the complex paperwork is a done deal – and there’s a good deal of outrage.

    “Those who sold us this mess have had their say in fashioning this settlement — the consultants, the counsels, the vendors, the county officials have all had their say,” said Gail Phoebus, the Sussex County freeholder. “The only people who have not had their say are the people who have to pay this bill: the taxpayers.”

    Two of the three counties have now finalized the solar bailout, which calls for pumping in an additional $21 million from taxpayers. Somerset and Sussex, which settled this week, are each borrowing roughly $7 million more to finance the project — in addition to the $26.8 million and $24 million they’d already respectively borrowed. Morris, which hasn’t yet formally approved the settlement, expects to add its $7 million from its surplus.

    Somerset County freeholders unanimously approved the settlement on Tuesday night. But administrators for the county would not give further specifics, beyond a press release — and refused to release finalized documents to NJ Advance Media.

    A split Sussex County freeholder board approved its settlement Wednesday night, 3-2, and released hundreds of pages of settlement documents. But not before a procession of local officials and mayors begged them to delay a vote and discuss the terms with the public first.

    “Two weeks isn’t going to make or break this,” said Tom Walsh, an Andover Township committeeman. “It’s a lot of money. The public is looking for some answers.”

    “Somehow we have to explain to the taxpayers what happened,” said Mayor Carl Lazzaro of Fredon. “Someone made a lot of money on this — and it wasn’t the taxpayer.”

    Morris was originally expected to complete the total settlement Wednesday night — but just hours before the meeting scheduled a special session for Monday. Freeholders said they received the information on Monday and hadn’t enough time to review it. The vote to release just what they were going to spend was split, 4-3.

    “People are playing politics with some very important long-term litigation,” said Douglas Cabana, a Morris freeholder who called it “reckless” to release the number before the document was signed.

    The “Morris model” project was signed at the end of 2011, and involved $88 million the counties borrowed on behalf of taxpayers. The plan was to use the borrowed millions, and with developer SunLight General Solar LLC and contractor Power Partners MasTec, develop 71 projects atop public buildings in the three counties. Selling back electricity was expected to pay off the cost of the projects, and to repay the bondholders.

    But the price of solar tax credits took a nosedive right after the deal was signed, and SunLight and MasTec began to litigate. Their litigation ended with a $66.3 million arbitration award last year. The counties, fearing they would absorb the full cost of paying back the bondholders themselves, intervened to settle the arbitration award.

  12. Toxic Crayons says:

    What the heck are “Solar Renewable Energy credits” and why did their price crash?

  13. joyce says:

    “” “People are playing politics with some very important long-term litigation,” said Douglas Cabana, a Morris freeholder who called it “reckless” to release the number before the document was signed. “”

    Nice

  14. Thomas says:

    Initial jobless claimes surge most since 2013.

  15. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    The DOJ continues to pull in billion dollar settlements.
    ————

    Morgan Stanley To Pay $2.6B In RMBS Settlement, Cutting 2014 Profit By 46%

    Investment bank Morgan Stanley MS -1.01% said on Wednesday evening it has reached a $2.6 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California to resolve civil claims surrounding its sale of residential mortgage backed securities. The pact will shave $1.35 a share from Morgan Stanley’s 2014 earnings, cutting profits by 46%.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/02/25/morgan-stanley-to-pay-2-6b-in-rmbs-settlement-cutting-2014-profit-by-46/

  16. Anon E. Moose says:

    FKA [16];

    Taxation by other means.

  17. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    MS Probes Leak of Hunger Games Parody

    Morgan Stanley has launched an internal investigation into the leaking of a parody video comparing the firm’s cost-cutting efforts in its massive brokerage department to the “Hunger Games” movies, with brokers killing each other in order to remain at the firm, FOX Business has learned.

    The video, which cost the nation’s largest brokerage firm about $100,000 to produce, according to insiders, and featured Morgan Stanley brokerage executives, was slated to be shown at the firm’s 2014 branch manager meeting, where executives who run the firm’s various wealth management branches from across the country meet annually. But the video was never shown because wealth management chief Greg Fleming believed it was in poor taste since the firm was undergoing a major round of cost cutting, people tell FOX Business

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2015/02/25/morgan-stanley-probes-leak-hunger-games-parody-firm/?cmpid=cmty_twitter_fb

  18. nwnj says:

    #13

    Akin to Pelosi’s Oblamercare comment, “we won’t know what’s in it until it’s passed.”

    “” “People are playing politics with some very important long-term litigation,” said Douglas Cabana, a Morris freeholder who called it “reckless” to release the number before the document was signed. “”

  19. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Nothing to see here, move along. Safe to say Mother Russia isn’t worried about global warming.
    ———–

    Russian Defense Minister Explains Why the Kremlin is Militarizing the Artic

    Since Russia’s new military doctrine was signed into effect on December 26, the Arctic has been one of three geopolitical arenas deemed by Moscow as vital to national security.

    Because of the new importance placed upon the region, Russia has undertaken a series of measures to militarize the Arctic ranging from building a military base on the Finnish border to developing a new military command to respond to threats.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-kremlin-is-militarizing-the-arctic-2015-2#ixzz3SrtuVS27

  20. joyce says:

    Please. It’s just like lobbying; it’s the cost of doing business. And it’s quite profitable.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    February 26, 2015 at 10:50 am
    FKA [16];

    Taxation by other means.

  21. Liquor Luge says:

    gluteus should be ashamed to post here after his side lay down and died yesterday. He did try some feeble comeback late last night by making reference to the Invincibles.

    Hell, even the Invincibles choked in the CL final that year. Wanker’s teams always spit the bit when the pressure is on.

    ShalalalalalaYids
    ShalalalalalaYids
    ShalalalalalaYids
    And Arsene Wenger touches kids

  22. NJGator says:

    Montclair School District’s preliminary budget shows $10.9 million deficit

    In any budget, there’s a bottom line that reveals profit or loss.

    The bottom line for the Montclair School District’s preliminary operating budget for the 2015-2016 school year is that there’s a $10.9 million deficit that needs to be filled.

    During a presentation at the Montclair Board of Education meeting this past Monday, Feb. 24, district Chief Financial Officer Brian Fleischer gave a PowerPoint talk to a sizable crowd as he outlined everything from what revenues would be needed to what cuts would have to be made to close the gap.

    Members of the public wanted to know how a deficit of this size was allowed to happen in the first place, and who bears responsibility for it.

    The budget, a significant matter as evident by the two hours devoted to the topic, gained more prominence as the last budget to be presented under the watch of Schools Superintendent Penny MacCormack, who announced on Feb. 18 that she was resigning (see related story on page A1).

    MacCormack did not attend the board meeting, and her absence was duly noted by attendees a number of times during the session.

    Monday night’s board meeting was just the beginning of discussions about the budget, as there are budget workshop meetings scheduled by the school board next week on Monday, March 2, and Thursday, March 5, both being held at the George Inness Annex of Montclair High School, and starting at 6:30 p.m.

    After the meeting, Fleischer told The Montclair Times that there is not an amount that has been determined about the upcoming budget. However, he said the exact amount will depend on the school board and Montclair Board of School Estimate’s determination of the final tax levy total.

    FINANCIAL SCENARIOS

    Fleischer started off his presentation with some comments about the deficit.

    “The costs of what we currently have are going up by an estimated $6.6 million, driven primarily by a large projected increase in the cost of our employee health benefits,” Fleischer said.

    “And we’re starting off with $4.3 million less in revenue to pay for it all.”

    The mention of the health benefits caused some attendees in the audience, many of whom were teachers, to howl in disbelief. Also during the meeting, a representative from Brown & Brown, an employee benefits consultancy firm that had recommended last year to the school district to change the health insurer for employees from Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Cigna, answered questions by the board about health insurance costs.

    Fleischer went through topics such as the use of the district’s fund balance, or a cash reserve to help school districts when there are cash-flow deficits, in past school year budgets, and recurring cost increases for teachers salaries, before getting to the 2015-2016 budget. He also discussed the costs incurred in the past school year budget such as the nearly $2 million spent on technology, much of it for the administering of upcoming PARCC tests.

    He said the revenues needed to fill the gap for the upcoming budget could come from a legally allowed maximum increase in the school tax levy to as much as 7.3 percent or $7.4 million as well as a $300,000 fund-balance contribution, or the use of surplus funds.

    Fleischer then laid out the proposed cuts, including a reduction of staff in the district’s 11 schools and in the Central Office, outsourcing of substitute teachers and paraprofessionals, and reductions of athletic and other student activities.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/10-9m-in-the-hole-1.1278890?page=all

  23. leftwing says:

    5. Nom

    Almost didn’t bother reading the link when I saw MSNBC but glad I did.

    The Cornell Daily Sun is a “conservative student newspaper”. LOLOL

  24. JJ says:

    Inflation trend turns negative for first time since 2009

    Dumb headline today. No such thing as Negative Inflation. It is called deflation.

  25. Juice Box says:

    It’s disinflation

    “The central bank views the steep drop in inflation as a temporary phenomenon that will soon be reversed.”

    Yup cheap oil won’t be around forever.

  26. phoenix says:

    23. The problem is the 3rd rail. Not the millenials. Millenials don’t have enough money or clout. If the problem is politicians, then the problem is with who the politicians are sucking up to most–yup, that wonderful age group that votes like crazy and never wanted to pay taxes, yet is sucking up resources faster than a roll of Bounty. You know the “cure” is to give the new guy nothing, yet protect the “grandfathered.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_rail_of_politics

  27. Ragnar says:

    NJGator,
    $11mn deficit? Wouldn’t they call it “insufficient resources relative to our investment in our childrens’ future”?

  28. Ragnar says:

    phoenix,
    As George Carlin says, don’t blame the politicians, blame the public.
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/rVXekzwkz10?autoplay=1
    H.L. Mencken — ‘Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.’

  29. The Great Pumpkin says:

    This is the problem for govt, not the cost of the employee, but the cost of health insurance. None of this money is going to the employee, it’s all going to the health insurance industry. But let’s yell at the teachers and leave the health insurance industry alone. Makes a lot of sense.

    ““The costs of what we currently have are going up by an estimated $6.6 million, driven primarily by a large projected increase in the cost of our employee health benefits,” Fleischer said.

    “And we’re starting off with $4.3 million less in revenue to pay for it all.”

    The mention of the health benefits caused some attendees in the audience, many of whom were teachers, to howl in disbelief. Also during the meeting, a representative from Brown & Brown, an employee benefits consultancy firm that had recommended last year to the school district to change the health insurer for employees from Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Cigna, answered questions by the board about health insurance costs.”

  30. phoenix says:

    From the article:

    1.For those who plan to renovate, age-friendly features are not a top priority. Three-quarters of the people polled suffered from a chronic condition or had experienced a major health problem. (no common sense, in denial)

    2.Most Baby Boomers plan to age in place. (they better keep their kids at home unless they have plenty of money for someone to wipe their buttocks) oh yeah, they won’t have no problem aging in place once they stroke out from all of the beef and lobster they have been eating.

    3.More than half of Baby Boomers (58 percent) said they want at least the same size home they have now, if not bigger, when they move. (along with increased S.Security bennies, free pills and free healthcare (along with free nanny to wipe butt as they want to age in place in their palaces) and last but not least they need a tax break.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/get-there/wp/2014/10/30/some-aging-baby-boomers-will-upsize-not-downsize-if-they-move-at-all-poll-finds/

  31. The Great Pumpkin says:

    30- That has nothing to do with the govt or employee. It’s a private industry fleecing the tax payer by lobbying the govt to hell. Eliminate lobbying now. It’s total bs.

  32. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Yup!! This cheap oil should provide a huge boost to the economy. Things are def getting better.

    Juice Box says:
    February 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm
    It’s disinflation

    “The central bank views the steep drop in inflation as a temporary phenomenon that will soon be reversed.”

    Yup cheap oil won’t be around forever.

  33. phoenix says:

    Ok, so it’s 2011. I’m sure it has not changed much. So why does gramps need a discount at Dunkin’ Donuts?

    Older Americans are 47 times richer than young
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/07/news/economy/wealth_gap_age/

  34. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Too funny.

    phoenix says:
    February 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm
    Ok, so it’s 2011. I’m sure it has not changed much. So why does gramps need a discount at Dunkin’ Donuts?

    Older Americans are 47 times richer than young
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/07/news/economy/wealth_gap_age/

  35. phoenix says:

    pumpkin,
    it would be funny if it weren’t true. Years ago I worked in a place where the old goats voted for a “two tier” wage system, they get a raise, keep their bennies and newer guys got shafted. Common theme is the “cutoff” date. A date where someone from corporate decides they will get enough votes to ensure the correct outcome. Very similar to when Romney (who by the way set the cutoff date too high) decided everyone over 55 gets medicare, the rest get a “voucher aka 20% off coupon” to see your favorite doctor. He might have won the election if he chose 50 or 45 instead.

  36. JJ says:

    Long-term investor: Irving Kahn, who shorted 1929 Crash, dies at 109

    He was my favorite and last real Old Timer on Wall Street. Worked on the street right to the end.

  37. phoenix says:

    also pumpkin,
    Expect the same thing from the pension plan– give granny all of the money (of course there CANNOT BE any money if there is a deficit, so basically it is TAKE all of the money from the younger worker and give it to granny) So as a young person, you need to give granny a tax break, give her free healthcare, free donuts, pay her pension, and give her 600k for her house that she paid 25k for in 1960 and has not touched it since Eisenhower was president (except for the new dishwasher, see Fast Eddies posts for these homes) all while saving money in your 401 k, paying your increased healthcare costs(these are up to pay granny’s bill as you don’t even see the doctor 1x a year) and paying your student loans (non dischargeable as you are not worthy of bankruptcy, you are still wet behind the ears). Remember to do this while steady work (granny got a gold watch and a pension at her job) gets outsourced or constantly transferred.

  38. The Great Pumpkin says:

    36, 38- Phoenix, great posts. You really hit this issue right on the head. You really provide some convincing evidence. I just hope that if I make it to an old age, they don’t go and reform the whole system right before it is my time to collect.

    My generation is taking it hard in the a$$, give us a break already. Is it too much to ask that they stop shipping away all the youth’s jobs? I don’t know what they are looking to create here, a country where every job sucks? If we only provide crappy jobs, what the hell will be the result of this on society? It will make for one crappy society.

    Yes, I blame boomers for taking the easy way to quick profit by selling out the youth by shipping all their jobs away to take advantage of slave labor. Terrible managerial moves. Sure, short-term the profit is great, but what affect does this have on the country long-term?

  39. Libturd in Union says:

    “I see no impending event that is going to drive supply up to the levels needed to push housing down.”

    What about all of Gary’s complaining? Does that not count?

  40. Fabius Maximus says:

    #22 Clot

    Where were you Saturday when Pellegrini invoked the Mercy Rule and pulled off Silva and Aguero?

    #singwhenyourwinning

  41. Libturd in Union says:

    Oh Great Blumpkin – I’m guessing that the insurers realize that with ACA in place and with more people covered, it will be harder in the future to find additional people to insure (lack of growth). So they have probably moved on to the easiest group to fleece. The public workers with the Cadillac plans who really could care less about what the plans cost as:
    1) The worker pays so little for so much healthcare that they have little to complain about.
    2) The HR teams responsible for choosing/developing the plan could care less as the majority of the increases will fall on the taxpayer.

    I could only imagine the margin these insurers make on these public plans. Maybe when I get a moment, I will look at some 10-Ks to prove my theory.

    ACA was announced March 23, 2010. The program officially started Jan 1, 2014.

    See if you can find these two dates on the stock chart of the largest health insurer in the country.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=UNH+Interactive#{%22range%22%3A%2210y%22%2C%22scale%22%3A%22linear%22}

    You won’t read about this on HuffPo. Sorry. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

    Baa.

  42. Libturd in Union says:

    I made Silva the captain of my PL fantasy team last week. Any of you guys play? I’m kicking the tails off of my overseas, funny talking, so-called experts.

  43. Ragnar says:

    Libturd, 42,
    Milton Friedman on how well government spends money:
    “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”

  44. Liquor Luge says:

    woops, Gooners rant moderated

  45. Liquor Luge says:

    gluteus (41)-

    Someone should invoke the mercy rule on you and put one between your eyes.

  46. Juice Box says:

    “Oil rigs signal bottom. Back to 90 -100 $ in 12 months.” Pickens

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

    [24] leftwing

    “The Cornell Daily Sun is a “conservative student newspaper”. LOLOL”

    Of course it is. It’s a white school, aint it? Besides, they obviously haven’t checked their privilege.

    I know a black writer who contributes to the Grio and posts their stuff often. He also has a radio show. Although he strikes me as quite reasonable in general, he lives in the same bubble as the commenters. He once said to me “we wouldn’t agree on the time if we were looking at the same clock.” I loved that line.

    At least he knew enough to stay off the subject of privilege. He attended Amherst College while I was across town.

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

    [46] luge

    Dibs!

  49. Not Libturd says:

    Lib your complain on 42 and notion to high profit margin is about:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Norcross

    His firm is notorious for doing big time pay to play. His game is to lobby each town to buy insurance, including health insurance for employees through him, instead of the State Employee Health Benefit Plans.

    Christie, DiVicenzo and Norcross, run the State.

  50. Libturd in Union says:

    NL,

    I am aware of this. The municipal employees in Montclair opted out of the state pool and purchased insurance from Joey Ds son’s outfit. Of course, when the mayor of Montclair was asked about the conflict as he was Montclair’s Essex County Machine candidate, he said there was no link. You gotta trust him I suppose.

    Baa.

  51. Libturd in Union says:

    Wait, isn’t Joey D a Democrat? Where’s Anon?

  52. Ragnar says:

    It’s for the children.

  53. jj says:

    Check out the bouncy GDPAN stock. Pref convert of GDP which is a fracker. People betting if div will or will not be suspended when earnings are released before the bell.

    Div Yield went from 40% to 25% in last four weeks, also converts on SD going wild too but not as much.

    Juice Box says:

    February 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    “Oil rigs signal bottom. Back to 90 -100 $ in 12 months.” Pickens

  54. John says:

    #4 is a very well reasoned argument – however something is amiss in the housing market and is not normal. The thing that will upset this trajectory is by it’s nature unforeseen and unexpected. Prices are set at the margins – oil was high not because 98% of it was expensive but because that last 2% was unavailable and the market was willing to pay a premium for that last 2% and bid up all of oil. So – it may well be possible that when housing supply does enter the market prices will moderate significantly as my experience has also been that the majority of homeowners are stressed and becoming more so with property taxes being a huge component. Did anyone one year ago predict this oil price collapse?

  55. Ragnar says:

    Who is excited about PARCC testing? Though my daughter is in 7th grade, she tells me she’ll be taking the 8th grade tests because she’s advanced.

    I see one group of lamebrains are against it for 12 reasons including the following:
    http://www.saveourschoolsnj.org/2014/12/23/the-12-reasons-we-oppose-the-parcc-test/
    9. PARCC & other high-stakes standardized tests are abusive to our children
    Reports of students throwing up during high-stakes standardized tests or inflicting harm to themselves as a result of test stress are already common.

    12. PARCC and Smarter Balanced Common Core aligned tests are designed to brand the majority of our children as failures

    I think it’s fully possible that PARCC isn’t a great test. It is after all something designed for government buyers, who buy crap textbooks year after year. But if it’s a bad test, it will probably be for reasons entirely separate from those of the NJ anti-test activists, who want school to be about hugs and trophies for all.

  56. JJ says:

    Why doesn’t NJ have a Regents Exam in HS like NY? It is loosey goosey out there. How can you tell a blue ribbon school if every school does not have take the same year end test, like Regents Algebra, Chemistry, Physics, Sciences or English. Maybe teachers in NJ make up stuff

  57. Libturd at home says:

    I especially like this fluffy argument.

    “and that schools have nurses on duty to keep kids from dying. How many dead kids is all this testing worth, given that it is, again, of no instructional value?”

    Could you imagine how many kids could be saved if we halved the salaries of teachers?

  58. chicagofinance says:

    A little history……

    Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 11:24 AM
    To: ‘wlaffert@gannett.com’; ‘dlyons1@gannett.com’; ‘jbowie@gannett.com’
    Cc: ‘wboroson@gannett.com’
    Subject: Letter to Publisher and Editors

    Walt Lafferty – Publisher
    Dennis Lyons – Executive Editor
    Jack Bowie – Managing Editor

    Copy: Warren Boroson

    Dear Sirs:

    I wish to state how surprised and utterly appalled I am to find Warren Boroson offering false statements against James Bednar (a.k.a. Grim) for the comments that have appeared on occasion in the North New Jersey Real Estate blog that Mr. Bednar authors.

    To be clear, I have no connection to Mr. Bednar, and have only corresponded with him briefly through electronic communication. I otherwise have no relationship with him.

    As a regular reader and contributor to Mr. Bednar’s website, I have found his research and commentary both enlightening and thought provoking. Additionally, the effort and dedication that Mr. Bednar offers is only surpassed by the quality of the end result. There are a multitude of real estate related discussion forums that are available to the general public. Clearly, the magnitude of the interest, and velocity of the expansion, is testament to the fact that the opinions expressed on the site strongly resonate with the audience.

    To review the content of Mr. Bednar’s site juxtaposed with Mr. Bronson’s commentary provides prima facie evidence of the questionable veracity of the claims that have appeared in your publication on April 18, 2006. To suggest that Mr. Bronson does not have ulterior motives strains credulity.

    In my opinion, it is appropriate to expect the following:
    (1) Have Mr. Bronson offer an apology in print.
    (2) Have your publication print a retraction.
    (3) Allow Mr. Bednar to rebut these comments in a forum of equal standing to the original piece.

    I hope you will demonstrate for the public the type of organization you represent.

    Sincerely,

  59. Hughesrep says:

    57

    Teachers hate it too. Good ones hate teaching to the standardized tests. The masters that be demand data.

    All teachers had to go through the PARCC testing administration program. Even a K teacher could be called in administer the test. It’s why your kid probably had a half day last month, to teach everyone the procedures.

    My wife’s district computer system crashed on the practice version a week or so ago.

    More actual learning time down the drain.

  60. Liquor Luge says:

    How is Gannett still a functioning company?

  61. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Totally agree with you. This was the point I was trying to make. Don’t attack the worker, it’s not their fault. It’s private industry using govt to profit. Govt is never the problem, people are. Greedy people, to be quite frank.

    Btw, I don’t read huff post. Just posted that article after coming across it in a search. I know how biased the huff post is.

    Libturd in Union says:
    February 26, 2015 at 2:11 pm
    Oh Great Blumpkin – I’m guessing that the insurers realize that with ACA in place and with more people covered, it will be harder in the future to find additional people to insure (lack of growth). So they have probably moved on to the easiest group to fleece. The public workers with the Cadillac plans who really could care less about what the plans cost as:
    1) The worker pays so little for so much healthcare that they have little to complain about.
    2) The HR teams responsible for choosing/developing the plan could care less as the majority of the increases will fall on the taxpayer.

    I could only imagine the margin these insurers make on these public plans. Maybe when I get a moment, I will look at some 10-Ks to prove my theory.

    ACA was announced March 23, 2010. The program officially started Jan 1, 2014.

    See if you can find these two dates on the stock chart of the largest health insurer in the country.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=UNH+Interactive#{%22range%22%3A%2210y%22%2C%22scale%22%3A%22linear%22}

    You won’t read about this on HuffPo. Sorry. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

    Baa.

  62. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (JJ Nightmare Edition):

    TV host wakes up castrated after making out with blond stranger

    By Yaron Steinbuch

    This was one ballsy heist!

    A Russian TV personality passed out after making out with a blond stranger in a sauna and woke up to find his testicles missing.

    Dmitry Nikolaev, 30, of Moscow was boozing it up at a bar when an attractive woman struck up a conversation with him, LifeNewsru reported.

    The couple took a cab to a nearby sauna, where he guzzled a beer before locking lips with the mystery woman.

    The married TV host then remembers coming to and feeling pain in his blood-soaked nether regions. Doctors later told him he had been drugged and had his testicles cut off by someone skilled in castration — perhaps a rogue doctor or even a veterinarian.

    “I thought I just had a cut, but at the hospital, they told me my test!cles were removed,” he said, according to a translation.

    Cops think Nikolaev — who underwent two surgeries — was victimized by gangsters selling organs on the black market, according to LifeNewsru.

    As far as Nikolaev’s marital situation, he gave his wife a nutty story about undergoing emergency surgery due to a sudden illness.

  63. The Great Pumpkin says:

    One of my favorite economists. Thought some of you might like enjoy this article by him.

    “Nobody is advocating the trickle-down theory that the Left attacks.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367682/trickle-down-lie-thomas-sowell

  64. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Also, read the article below his by one of his understudies. Basically calls out lefties as supporting trickle down economics. Def read both articles in their entirety. Enjoy.

    “The important point here is this: The argument that the government should spend on infrastructure because a certain piece of infrastructure is needed is one kind of argument; the argument that government should spend on infrastructure because doing so is good for the economy is a different kind of argument — specifically, it is a trickle-down argument. If you doubt that, ask yourself: What kind of firms get federal contracts? Do you think any of those unhappy people in Ferguson, Mo., own firms that are in line for Department of Defense or Department of Energy contracts? Do you think impoverished Appalachian pillbillies are in the running for upgrading Treasury’s computer networks? If so, I have a bridge I’d like to build you at a very reasonable price. Federal contracting is dominated, as one would expect, by large firms, often the dreaded multinational corporations of angsty soy-latte-liberal legend. Call the roll: In first place, we have Lockheed Martin, followed by those poor, Dickensian waifs at Boeing, who would be bereft without the support of the Export-Import Bank. Then we have the plucky upstarts at Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Raytheon. And, lest Wall Street feel left out, Cerberus Capital Management comes in at No. 11. Deloitte, Rolls-Royce, and our friends at the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation all make the list — because federal spending is all about Main Street, albeit Main Street in Abu Dhabi, where the national oil company does nearly $2 billion a year in business as a federal contractor. That’s a non-issue if your argument is that Uncle Stupid needs to build a spur on I-35 because it is having trouble getting trucks to Fort Sam Houston, or if you believe that it should buy its oil from whoever has the best price. Jim Bob’s Mom-and-Pop Interstate Highways, Aircraft Carriers, and Bait Shop (“No Job Too Small!”) is not a thing that exists. But that is a big, hairy Gordian knot of an issue if your argument is that infrastructure spending, and other federal project outlays, are a desirable form of economic stimulus in and of themselves. If the latter is your argument, then you have to believe something far stronger than even the cartoon trickle-down version of supply-side tax cuts: You have to believe that having the federal government literally write enormous checks to gigantic international conglomerates and the rich guys who own and operate them will create prosperity by, forgive me for noticing, trickling down through the economy to the guys who spread asphalt and the guys who sell those guys work boots and burritos and bass boats. “Deep voodoo,” as Paul Krugman would put it in another context. Inevitably, there are federal rules setting aside a portion of contracts and subcontracts — 23 percent, in fact — for small businesses. This works about as well as you’d expect: Large firms simply organize subsidiaries or make other arrangements to meet small-business rules — which are pretty flexible to begin with — or they fraudulently misrepresent themselves. And so “small business” awards to go firms with 150 employees and $400 million a year in revenue — or, in some cases, a hell of a lot more. By the American Small Business League’s count, 16 of the top 100 small-business contractors in 2013 were actually small businesses. It finds that many small-business contracts are in effect awarded to Apple, Bank of America, PepsiCo, General Electric, and all the usual suspects, through arrangements that made small businesses the names on the contracts while the majority of the revenues went to Fortune 500 companies.”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367682/trickle-down-lie-thomas-sowell

  65. grim says:

    Blast from the past.

  66. The Great Pumpkin says:

    60- Background story?

  67. NJGator says:

    Rags 57 – One of the reason’s Montclair BOE’s insurance costs are going up is because the teachers have been going to the doctor more often this year. Not many big claims, just lots of extra doctor visits and the like. I have seen more that one commenter on our local blogs try to pin this on stress over implementing the PARCC. The PARCC is responsible apparently for everything not rainbows and unicorns in Montclair.

  68. anon (the good one) says:

    @njdotcom: N.J. Chamber ‘incredibly discouraged’ by Christie’s lack of fixes for nearly broke transportation fund

  69. Toxic Crayons says:

    Start imprisoning politicians responsible for putting us in this predicament in the first place. I was a child when they Fcuked this up….and now is the day of reckoning. They expect to raise the gas tax and fix this on the backs of the middle class? The money was squandered.

    anon (the good one) says:

    February 27, 2015 at 8:16 am

    @njdotcom: N.J. Chamber ‘incredibly discouraged’ by Christie’s lack of fixes for nearly broke transportation fund

  70. chicagofinance says:

    It is a front for a heroin distribution network……

    Liquor Luge says:
    February 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm
    How is Gannett still a functioning company?

  71. leftwing says:

    Want a maraschino cherry with that?

  72. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Yup. It’s a shame, we have nothing to do with this, but because we are middle class and have no one to represent us, we are stuck paying the bill.

    Toxic Crayons says:
    February 27, 2015 at 9:10 am
    Start imprisoning politicians responsible for putting us in this predicament in the first place. I was a child when they Fcuked this up….and now is the day of reckoning. They expect to raise the gas tax and fix this on the backs of the middle class? The money was squandered.

  73. Libturd in Union says:

    We could start a middle class union. Everyone thinks they are middle class, so it would be huge. First point of order, collect dues and send them to the most likely candidates who will win in the next election. Second point of order, demand pensions for all, ignoring the fact that there is no way for them to possibly be paid. Third point of order, promise healthcare for 3% of our salary for our entire families for life. Fourth point of order, only raise taxes on the upper class to pay for all of this. Fifth point of order, put another rock in your crack pipe.

  74. Toxic Crayons says:

    75 –

    Sorry I already I skipped right to the crack part.

  75. Libturd in Union says:

    I don’t blame you. Realistically, it’s the best option for the middle class.

  76. Juice Box says:

    Breaking: Lois Lerner’s emails were found on back-up tapes. Back-up tapes were never even requested by the #IRS, per IG report.

  77. phoenix says:

    75. What do you mean pensions could not be paid? The oldest group of your middle class union would be paid, just like in the current system…..

  78. phoenix says:

    75. Look at the bright side. The grandmas and grandpas of the upper class will get the same free healthcare (aka medicare) as the middle class and the poor.
    Fair is fair.

  79. Libturd in Union says:

    Did Madoff die yet? He could help us design the necessary pension scheme.

  80. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    I thought with a GOP controlled House and Senate we would start to see some movement in the government but these clowns are fighting each other at the expense of Homeland Security. Crazy, DC is truly dysfunctional.

  81. Ben says:

    One of the reason’s Montclair BOE’s insurance costs are going up is because the teachers have been going to the doctor more often this year. Not many big claims, just lots of extra doctor visits and the like. I have seen more that one commenter on our local blogs try to pin this on stress over implementing the PARCC. The PARCC is responsible apparently for everything not rainbows and unicorns in Montclair.

    I haven’t met a single teacher that is stressed over PARCC. Annoyed? Yes. Stressed? No.

  82. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    This upcoming story on 60 Minutes must be really bad. I never used them before.
    ———-

    Lumber Liquidators Sinks…Upcoming 60 Minutes

    Shares of Lumber Liquidators fell more than 26 percent Wednesday after the company reported a big earnings miss and hinted at more negative news in the future.

    During the firm’s earnings conference call, management warned investors that an upcoming “60 Minutes” episode will be negative for the company.

    “We now believe the news program ’60 Minutes’ will feature our company in an unfavorable light with regard to our sourcing and product quality, specifically relating to laminates,” Rob Lynch, the company’s president and CEO said on the call.

    Lumber Liquidators missed on both the top and bottom lines, reporting earnings per share of 64 cents on revenue of $272 million. Wall Street had expected earnings of about 76 cents per share on $280 million in revenue.

    The company also reported that same-store sales were down 4.2 percent in the quarter.

  83. Ragnar says:

    Ben,
    It looks like the teachers really upset are in the low performing schools, where now they fear they will be held accountable for the illiteracy and innumeracy of their students.

  84. Libturd in Union says:

    I’m really undecided about what I think about PARCC as there are arguments on both sides of the table. Though, the hyperbole from the anti-PARCC crowd is getting so outrageous that it is starting to push me back towards supporting it. I really think that the majority of the stress and anxiety is being caused by parents making this a much bigger deal than it is.

    But claiming that high stakes testing is an attempt by Republicans to destroy public schools is as much hog wash as claiming that parents who are for reforming mathematically impossible benefits for teachers are anti teacher.

  85. phoenix says:

    Speaking of testing, time to have Parsons create a “PARCC” type driving test for those over 65….
    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/02/89-year-old_man_in_critical_condition_after_car_sl.html

  86. Ragnar says:

    If people are against high stakes testing, they should protest the SAT, ACT, GMAT, CPA, CFA, etc.
    Imagine not taking a “high stakes” test for 12 or more years and then suddenly taking one. From what I read, the “high stakes” are more on teachers, principles, and school administrators than the students.

    Anything this group is against is probably a good thing. Looks like a bunch of scared school administrators at low performing schools, who think that giving tests are about “punishing our communities”:
    http://www.saveourschoolsnj.org/aboutcontact/

  87. joyce says:

    FKA,
    (1) DHS is a bloated piece of crap. You wouldn’t notice a difference if it was gone.
    (2) I don’t want to see “movement in the government” … the less they do the better it will be.

    FKA 2010 Buyer says:
    February 27, 2015 at 10:37 am
    I thought with a GOP controlled House and Senate we would start to see some movement in the government but these clowns are fighting each other at the expense of Homeland Security. Crazy, DC is truly dysfunctional.

  88. Juice Box says:

    re # 85 – “held accountable”

    Teachers already teach to the test. They have been testing for decades nothing new will be discovered with this new test. Kids from low income families will not do any better even after this new test.

    For example nearly half of 11th graders at Asbury Park High School failed the old test the HSPA.

    Does anyone really think this new test will make any difference in their lives?

    The world needs ditch diggers, just because school is compulsory does not mean that everyone will go to college. More vocationally oriented schools for those that do not have the ability or means to do well in the basics should where they are steered to.

  89. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Amen!

    Juice Box says:
    February 27, 2015 at 11:11 am
    re # 85 – “held accountable”

    Teachers already teach to the test. They have been testing for decades nothing new will be discovered with this new test. Kids from low income families will not do any better even after this new test.

    For example nearly half of 11th graders at Asbury Park High School failed the old test the HSPA.

    Does anyone really think this new test will make any difference in their lives?

    The world needs ditch diggers, just because school is compulsory does not mean that everyone will go to college. More vocationally oriented schools for those that do not have the ability or means to do well in the basics should where they are steered to.

  90. homeboken says:

    Ben 83 – I invite you to take a random walk thru my facebook page that is now mainly comprised of family members/friends that are teachers and their constant/daily posts and articles decrying the unfairness of PARCC and Common Core curriculum. They bitch and moan about the testing, curriculum, government, governors (Christie and Cuomo), it is non-stop.

  91. joyce says:

    87
    phoenix,

    On the subject of “If we gave a damn about actual hazardous driving” :
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229832

  92. Ben says:

    Teachers already teach to the test. They have been testing for decades nothing new will be discovered with this new test. Kids from low income families will not do any better even after this new test.

    Suburban schools rarely do for these things. I’ve seen AP teachers teach to the test. But as far as Parcc goes, most of them could give a crap.

  93. Ben says:

    I invite you to take a random walk thru my facebook page that is now mainly comprised of family members/friends that are teachers and their constant/daily posts and articles decrying the unfairness of PARCC and Common Core curriculum. They bitch and moan about the testing, curriculum, government, governors (Christie and Cuomo), it is non-stop.

    There’s a difference between complaing about Christie, common core, or Parcc.. When you are being forced to implement common core from the state level, you have a right to complain.

    Common core took math and turned it from straightforward into stupid. Half the crap they are now required to teach doesn’t even make sense. One example….they teach friggin statistics concepts in Geometry. It doesn’t make any sense. Common core was written by a bunch of academics who never have been inside the classroom. They have a right to complain about it. It lowers the quality of you classroom when you are required to teach dumb crap or things that aren’t even related to your subject.

    They also have a right to complain about Christie. He made it so you have to contribue more to your healthcare. Did that save you a dime on your taxes? No. The local BOE took all that “saved money” and spent it giving it to some politically connected firm to install some solar panels on the roof that don’t work.

    Everyone bitches about the things wrong with their field, the people in it, and their job. I don’t understand why everyone throws a hissy fit when teachers do it.

  94. Juice Box says:

    re: # 94 – “most of them could give a crap.” Same goes for the parents of the underachievers. PARCC tests are meant to identify problem areas for teachers to work on. How about we give up on this fallacy already? The teachers cannot fix what is broken at home.

  95. phoenix says:

    Does common core apply to private schools?

  96. Ben says:

    It looks like the teachers really upset are in the low performing schools, where now they fear they will be held accountable for the illiteracy and innumeracy of their students.

    They have a right to be upset. You can’t expect them to get results you are expecting when they get no support from the administration they work for the parents at home. Meanwhile, they make less than all the teachers in the suburbs and all that Abbot money they have never made it to them or the classroom. It’s in the pockets of admins and politically connected firms. Yet, the sad part of it all is this, all the hatred gets directed at them. Not the guy who pockets 10 million dollars for putting on a “new roof” for the 5th time in 12 years.

  97. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    The tests are meant to assess what a student has learned in the classroom, which makes perfect sense. However the issue that the school district is also using those results as a way to assess the effectiveness of the teachers and school. To be honest I don’t know how you can measure a teacher’s skills because there are so many variables (classroom size, # of kids with IPs, etc).

    In a perfect world, there would ONE standardized test for school like the SAT, but we would never agree to a test that all 50 states would agree on.

  98. Ben says:

    PARCC tests are meant to identify problem areas for teachers to work on. How about we give up on this fallacy already? The teachers cannot fix what is broken at home.

    No they aren’t. The PARCC test was written by educational hipsters who are incompetent. The questions are poorly designed and poorly worded. I work for Pearson on the side. I’ve met people who write questions. The SAT was a standardized test that functioned well to test certain skills. Certain AP tests also have done a great job of doing so. The NY schools have had regents tests which were also thoughtfully designed. PARCC is absolute garbage.

  99. joyce says:

    Ben,
    Try not to get too frustrated. My hatred has nothing to do with the individual teachers… the system is broken, and the corruption is so blatantly in plain sight, my blood boils knowing nobody in positions of power will do a thing to curb let alone reverse it (they’re all in on it).

    Ben says:
    February 27, 2015 at 11:25 am
    It looks like the teachers really upset are in the low performing schools, where now they fear they will be held accountable for the illiteracy and innumeracy of their students.

    They have a right to be upset. You can’t expect them to get results you are expecting when they get no support from the administration they work for the parents at home. Meanwhile, they make less than all the teachers in the suburbs and all that Abbot money they have never made it to them or the classroom. It’s in the pockets of admins and politically connected firms. Yet, the sad part of it all is this, all the hatred gets directed at them. Not the guy who pockets 10 million dollars for putting on a “new roof” for the 5th time in 12 years.

  100. Juice Box says:

    Re: 100 – so the truth is the test is garbage. No test still will not change the results for lower income students.

  101. DaBomb says:

    Teachers MUST be accountable, same as realtors, bankers, financial advisors, etc.

  102. chicagofinance says:

    Stu: the next innovation after placenta encapsulation…….

    Alternatively
    The End Is Nigh (clot Landscape Architecture Edition):
    http://www.capsulamundi.it/progetto_eng.html

  103. chicagofinance says:

    Leonard Nimoy < Vigoda

  104. joyce says:

    Yes on both counts that’s why we should decentralize decentralize and decentralize again so that it can be decided upon locally so individuals can actually have input.

    FKA 2010 Buyer says:
    February 27, 2015 at 11:28

    In a perfect world, there would ONE standardized test for school like the SAT, but we would never agree to a test that all 50 states would agree on.

  105. daddyo says:

    I made Silva the captain of my PL fantasy team last week. Any of you guys play? I’m kicking the tails off of my overseas, funny talking, so-called experts.

    ——-

    I’m ranked 54,898 overall. A good recovery after a bad start. I had Silva but captained Hazard. Silva is notoriously poor from a FantasyPL perspective when Toure is on the field. He ends up playing the “assist the assister” role. Toure is back, I’m shipping Silva soon.

  106. NJGator says:

    Chifi – Not sure. Think it might be this (h/t to Montclair Mommies FB page).

    “Okay, this is going to sound ridiculous and I cannot believe I am asking BUT…our sweet guinea pigs Sugar Magnolia and Jerry Garcia are overdue to have their nails clipped. Apparently I can’t take them out of the house because of the cold. Who the hell knew guinea pigs were highly susceptible to respiratory infections? Right. So. Does anyone know of a pet-caregiver type who’d be willing to stop by and give the little varmints a mani/pedi? I’m terrified to try and do it myself.”

  107. daddyo says:

    For a good laugh, check out the Sunlight General Capital team…

    http://www.sunlightgeneral.com/our-team/

  108. daddyo says:

    Ha – they took down the team bios in the last 3 days. It was a bunch of SocGen investment bankers and traders.

    Now, why on earth would they take that page down?

  109. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Why would anyone sign up to be a teacher and be held accountable for kids that have no interest in education due to their upbringing? They are not students. They are forced to go to school by the law. Real students take an active role in their education. Meaning, they do more than just coming to class. They pay attention. They care about their grades. Most of all, they practice what they learned after school by completing their hw. What kid in Newark follows that pattern? Would you want to be held responsible for this? Responsible for getting these poor kids on the same level as suburban students? That’s tough.

    Nothing is wrong with our education system. It’s a lie. They claim it is failing only because our poor students are not on par with their suburban counterparts. Are you really expecting all poor kids to become college ready because the fed govt demands it? It’s a pipe dream. No other country counts the poor in their educational stats. America counts homeless kids, special ed kids, and English as a second language learners in their test scores. Never mind the ghetto gang-bangers who just ruin a school. No child left behind people. What other country does that? How can a kid that doesn’t even speak English, take a test in English, and have the results counted? I would hate to be the teacher being held accountable for these kids being college ready. That is insane.

    Ragnar says:
    February 27, 2015 at 10:42 am
    Ben,
    It looks like the teachers really upset are in the low performing schools, where now they fear they will be held accountable for the illiteracy and innumeracy of their students.

  110. Fast Eddie says:

    Teachers MUST be accountable, same as realtors, bankers, financial advisors, etc.

    Don’t forget house sellers, too. Well, most aren’t really sellers, they’re just hoping to pass off their ball and chain debt by commanding the same bloated price they got duped into signing for in the first place.

  111. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    [106] Joyce

    You know school districts can purchase any teaching material they like because it’s done at a local level. So schools in Texas probably have teaching material that would include more on sucession from the US than other states. Or Cali has material that includes more environmental issues. None of which matters in the real world but the kids are taught that. I get your point but not sure that decentralization is the answer either.

    But then again, maybe lower performing schools should be teaching more vocational skills so you might be right.

  112. Fast Eddie says:

    Chi Fi, Libtard and whoever else wants to chime in:

    Any individual stock holding I have is primarily a blue chip and I am an ultra-stubborn buy and hold guy. But, once and a while I see a stock and have a hankering to raid the change jar, have some fun and gamble a little bit. With that said, what do you guys think of Shake Shack (SHAK) for a short term ride? It seems like one of those places that is going to bust out for a few years, ride the wave and then eventually fade away. Any thoughts?

  113. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Of course you dance around a great point.

    Fast Eddie says:
    February 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm
    Teachers MUST be accountable, same as realtors, bankers, financial advisors, etc.

    Don’t forget house sellers, too. Well, most aren’t really sellers, they’re just hoping to pass off their ball and chain debt by commanding the same bloated price they got duped into signing for in the first place.

  114. JJ says:

    So I read in Leonard Nimoy’s Obit he was a cab driver before he got his big break and once drove JFK. My Dad drove JFK a few times when he was alive.

    That means I am three degrees of separation away from Leonard Nimoy via a JFK connection

    chicagofinance says:
    February 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm
    Leonard Nimoy < Vigoda

  115. Ben says:

    Ben,
    Try not to get too frustrated. My hatred has nothing to do with the individual teachers… the system is broken, and the corruption is so blatantly in plain sight, my blood boils knowing nobody in positions of power will do a thing to curb let alone reverse it (they’re all in on it).

    I know the system is broken. Parcc makes it more broken. If you want to hold teachers accountable, you must first hold the administrators accountable. They are the ones who are supposed to hold us accountable.

  116. JJ says:

    Shake Shack should buy some Radio Shack stores in the bankruptcy as big savings as they only have to chance half the sign on the door.

  117. chicagofinance says:

    Bob Benmosche < Vigoda

  118. Fast Eddie says:

    Pumpkin,

    I have zero tolerance for another’s financial f.uck-up. I’m not interested in becoming someone’s personal HARP.

  119. joyce says:

    117 yup

  120. Hughesrep says:

    116

    Live long and crush velour.

  121. joyce says:

    I wonder how many cabbies claim they’ve driven around a random famous person. Did your grandfather arm wrestle Wyatt Earp too?

    JJ says:
    February 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    So I read in Leonard Nimoy’s Obit he was a cab driver before he got his big break and once drove JFK. My Dad drove JFK a few times when he was alive.

  122. joyce says:

    But you do seem to adore some people who’ve had financial f.uck-up’s, as long as they employ you. Just a bit contradictory.

    Fast Eddie

    I have zero tolerance for another’s financial f.uck-up.

  123. Fast Eddie says:

    joyce,

    Do I understand correctly that you have a public establishment? :) If so, can you suggest how one can discreetly locate said establishment to meet the person behind the words?

  124. Fast Eddie says:

    joyce,

    I posted at the same time as you. :) I wasn’t replying to your post, was just interested in any chance of meeting you. And to reply to your reply, yes, I adore people who employ me whether they f.ucked-up financially or not because it’s my choice to not pay for their mistakes directly. Sure, perhaps throught taxes or price increases on goods. Otherwise, a big ticket item like a house, not doing it unless it jives.

  125. joyce says:

    126
    OK. I see non-stop significant FED intervention as the new normal. So if there’s another credit crisis in the system (and interest rates are already at 0%), what options do they have? Negative interest rates and/or larger asset “purchases” for many more years. Where I’m going with this is I wouldn’t want to be trading up into a new home and more debt unless some family member has one to give to me. No the first time someone has said this… but stay put. When there’s no clear or good option, do nothing.

  126. jj says:

    My top 5 of famous people off my head I hung out with.
    Paul Rieser in LA for like 30 minutes
    Joe Montana and me were sitting together talking for like 20 minutes in my friends bar.
    I went “drinking” with Evander Hollyfield and Sugar Ray Leonard. Hollyfield does not drink.
    Bruce Willis was my bartender on night in the China Club when I was in College shortly before he became famous.
    I sang with Naughty by Nature at the Pladium once. Dont Ask I was very drunk and I like to Rap. Think they got a kick out of white guy in a suit drunk knowing words to OPP. Suprised they let me on stage for whole song live mike.
    I had front row seats when Pope John Paul II was in town. I did not meet him but close enough so my disposable camera had great shots.
    Minor folk I met, Fabio, Joey Butterfuco (before he was famous), my old Girl Friends brother worked for him, I once dated a girl briefly who was on the cover of Cosmo. Also once dated John Gotti’s Neice.

    I have seen tons and tons of celebs in Hamptons, Manhattan and Night clubs. Did not talk to them. But I recall once I was at a charity thing and Paul Newman was near me and the minor celebs like Fox Five newcasters and Channel 12 and even a few models were taking pictures and working up their nerve to talk to him. I guess celebs worship other celebs. Also one guy in my Hampton house did Jennifer Grey once in a one night stand. Too bad I missed out on that I did not even recognize her as it was not long after that bad nose job.

    I also painted Mr. Smirnoffs basement once. Man he had the whole vodka fortune. His wife and daughter were super nice, paid very well and gave us breakfast and lunch and soda when we worked. House was way way way big.

    joyce says:

    February 27, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I wonder how many cabbies claim they’ve driven around a random famous person. Did your grandfather arm wrestle Wyatt Earp too?

    JJ says:
    February 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    So I read in Leonard Nimoy’s Obit he was a cab driver before he got his big break and once drove JFK. My Dad drove JFK a few times when he was alive.

  127. Ragnar says:

    Ben,
    I’m willing to trust you that the PARCC is shit. Looking at the shitty textbooks schools buy (and my daughter brings home) from allegedly reputable organizations has convinced me that public school administrators have really bad purchasing judgment skills.
    Nevertheless, I’m still in favor of “high stakes tests” being given to kids. So criticisms should be directed towards specific tests rather than testing in general.

  128. jj says:

    I dated a few teachers, I loved when they gave me a juice box and a sticker after I gave them an orgasim

  129. Fast Eddie says:

    When there’s no clear or good option, do nothing.

    It appears to be more and more likely. :)

  130. Fast Eddie says:

    JJ,

    Pumped Bruce Springsteen’s gas two weeks in a row at the first gas station on the turnpike outside the Lincoln Tunnel. He pulls in, I stare briefly, wash the windows as the car fills. I know it’s him but play stup1d. When done, I hand him the change and tell him he isn’t Springsteen, he laughs and pulls out a promotional album (Born in the USA) with a gold stamp on it. He signs the album and hands it to me. A week later, pulls in at around the same time, dark blue non-descript Camaro. I put a cone out to close my pumps, bullsh1t with him for 20 minutes. Fast-foward two years later… I had the album in a crate with bootleg albums from Zeppelin, Who and Floyd… Mom yells at Dad to clean the basement… Dad gets p1ssed and half the basement goes. Two weeks later, I realize the albums are gone…. they went in the trash. To this day, it still gets me sick.

    I met a lot of people through that gas station; Chubby Checker forgot his camara, had to come back and get it… hugs me for holding it, gives me a 20 for the trouble… really nice guy. I met Brook Shields, Storm Field, Rick James (high as a kite), Dom Deluise and a few soap opera stars.

    A few years ago in Manhattan… walking in midtown in the morning on the way to a training session, this girl turns the corner, carrying a coffee, wearing a hoodie, I almost knock her over. It was Kirsten Dunst. She smiles, I say hello, knowing she knows I know it’s her and tell her I’m sorry. She smiles again and says no problem, I continue on to my session.

  131. Fast Eddie says:

    Oh, I got Uncle Floyd shit-faced at a bar. I kept feeding him shots. Two girls start fighting over something, he starts singing to them Italian songs! lol!

  132. anon (the good one) says:

    indeed

    phoenix says:
    February 27, 2015 at 10:25 am

    75. Look at the bright side. The grandmas and grandpas of the upper class will get the same free healthcare (aka medicare) as the middle class and the poor.
    Fair is fair.

  133. joyce says:

    You get what you deserve America.

    You will get it. Long, hard, and dry.

    Reed Hastings’ Netflix has largely driven the hysteria about Net Neutrality through one of the most-common means of misleading the public that the government itself is known to use all the time: Create a crisis, then screw you in “solving” it.

    (cont.)
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229877

  134. anon (the good one) says:

    @Slate: There are some incredibly creative sore losers in the net neutrality decision

  135. anon (the good one) says:

    “As part of the new net neutrality rules, broadband would be reclassified as a utility, making it equally accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs. “

  136. Anon E. Moose says:

    When I was commuting on LIRR to midtown I would often have to stand just inside the train doors. So one day were waiting in Jamaica with the doors open and the conductor is on the platform waiting for the go signal just outside the door I’m standing next to. I usually simply don’t recognize ‘famous’ people, especially if they are out of their element. But to this day I would swear the conductor was Danny Aiello. So I’m looking at him, he doesn’t say anything to me, and I ask “Do you get the ‘Danny Aiello’ thing a lot?” He says “Yeah, I get that.” I don’t know what the deal was, maybe preparing for a role, or maybe it was his twin brother. He did check tickets without obvious help from another employee.

    Also ran into Paul Krugman on the platform at Jamaica once. Just after morning rush hour (I was running late) and he had apparently just come off of a JFR Airtrain.

  137. Essex says:

    JJ – what a specimen .

  138. Fast Eddie says:

    Moose,

    You should have asked Krugman if he wanted a milk bone.

  139. NJGator says:

    Best celebrity encounter of my life was flying first class EWR-LAS Thanksgiving Weekend of 2000. Got a last minute OnePass Elite upgrade to first class on the Continental flight out. I take the last seat in the cabin and find myself seated next to Peter Jennings….during the Florida recount fiasco.

    I sit down and say “How the heck did you get the weekend off?” Figuring it would be my one interaction with him and I would leave him alone for the rest of the flight. He mentioned that he was visiting his son at a small college in rural Arizona and it was supposed to be pretty quiet on the Bush-Gore front over the holiday weekend. He actually seemed like a very intelligent, nice guy and asked me a few questions.

    While we’re on the flight, they stopped counting ballots in Miami-Dade County and all hell broke loose. He was constantly on the air phone (remember those) getting updates from the ground and he even kept me in the loop about what was happening. He got off the plane before me and I saw that he left his boarding pass behind. I swiped it up as a souvenir.

    A genuine nice guy. Coolest flight ever. Way better than any of the lame celebrities I would see flying EWR-LAX on my flights to see Lib while he lived out there.

  140. Anon E. Moose says:

    Eddie [140];

    He was clearly uncomfortable at being recognized. If I had to guess, despite being most assuredly in the tank for publicly (deficit) financed urban mass transit, he’d have rather been dead than recognized actually using it. I took pity on him. I asked if his name might be “Paul”. He mumbled yes, and I just lied and said I enjoyed reading his work.

    Not exactly a man of the people.

  141. Ragnar says:

    Moose,
    Did krugmut measure up to his published 5 foot 7 height?

  142. Ragnar says:

    I suppose he towered over 5ft tall M. Friedman and 4ft 11 Robert Reich.

  143. Anon E. Moose says:

    Rags [143];

    That’s about right.

  144. JJ says:

    Springsteen was down to earth he had a recording studio at one point in 1990s not that far a walk from Penn and used to take train and walk over.

    When I lived in 26th and third Danny Aiello lived a few blocks from me and owned part of a buffalo wing/pizza joint near my apt.

    Hard to believe but back pre-internet and media and when NYC was not trendy you see celebs and never talk to them. Julia Roberts lived near me and used to eat at Petes Tavern as across the street from her coop, sometimes she eat by herself. Patrick Suezy lived by the Tex Mex Place on Third that had a good happy hour.

    No cell phones, or smart phones or even digital cameras back then and cameras were big and bulky celebs had it easier.

    And celebs made less. Lori Loughlin the hot hot wife of Jessie on Full House after show was canceled has a share in my friends summer house. When I met up with my friend when his house and my house was going to bar she was there. She was very beautiful, crazy actually. But imagine she was in a share house, she was a bit of a bitch the other girls told me. But she had a network run of many years and after show was canceled she was kinda out of work and catching rides to her share house. Granted it was a really nice share house. But today an actress in a TV show that long would own a house and would be scared to rent a house with strangers as they would be posting pictures of her naked in shower or something

  145. JJ says:

    I shook hands with Abe Beame the Mayor of NY when I was eight years old and I was taller than him.

  146. leftwing says:

    94. Ben

    “Suburban schools rarely do for these things. I’ve seen AP teachers teach to the test. But as far as Parcc goes, most of them could give a crap.”

    I told my HSer to figure out if PARCC hits his transcript. He told me no. Enough other kids must have asked, principal sent around an email clarifying it does not.

    Told my kid don’t sweat the test, who cares.

  147. leftwing says:

    123. Joyce

    LOL. “Now I’m starting to question whether the Amelia Earhart compass is real”

  148. chicagofinance says:

    Johnny Marr….this is great…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm1e4DnRiAM

  149. Ragnar says:

    I once shared an elevator in the Waldorf Astoria with Jack Black and his bandmates. About 5 years ago. He looked fatter than usual, and not very happy or friendly.

  150. Ragnar says:

    I had lunch 2 different times with Eike Batista, in his Rio restaurant, when he was allegedly worth 20 or 30 billion. Never invested in his companies, always suspected he was a con artist, now he’s bankrupt.

  151. chicagofinance says:

    A great con artist gets so deep and buried in their lies that they effectively become facts. They have to have an integrated fact pattern to make everything hang together, be locked tight, and difficult to decipher. Only at that point do they lose their grip on reality and begin to believe their own bullsiht.

    Ragnar says:
    February 27, 2015 at 6:08 pm
    I had lunch 2 different times with Eike Batista, in his Rio restaurant, when he was allegedly worth 20 or 30 billion. Never invested in his companies, always suspected he was a con artist, now he’s bankrupt.

  152. anon (the good one) says:

    Chris Farley his building around 14th st
    Christopher Walken walking somewhere downtown
    Woody Allen in Central Park
    Ed Koch in grand central
    VP Biden DC’s Union station
    Natalie Portman next row on Broadway show
    Julia Roberts and her husband Gramercy Tavern

  153. Essex says:

    I bumped into http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000518/
    once in an antique store. He was very cool.

  154. anon (the good one) says:

    Alex, Ayn Rand for $200

    chicagofinance says:
    February 27, 2015 at 6:31 pm
    A great con artist gets so deep and buried in their lies that they effectively become facts. They have to have an integrated fact pattern to make everything hang together, be locked tight, and difficult to decipher. Only at that point do they lose their grip on reality and begin to believe their own bullsiht.

    Ragnar says:
    February 27, 2015 at 6:08 pm
    I had lunch 2 different times with Eike Batista, in his Rio restaurant, when he was allegedly worth 20 or 30 billion. Never invested in his companies, always suspected he was a con artist, now he’s bankrupt.

  155. NJT says:

    My ‘star’ encounter:

    One evening back in 2002?… just got home from work (long commute) walk in the door exhausted and my wife says “J called (world renowned, master bamboo flyrod maker) and he want’s you to call him back right away!” (only used the cell for work and wife…and still do…well, now kids, too).

    He had been working on a restoration for me so I figured he hit a snag and before tacking on a big surcharge he wanted to get the go ahead. Nope, he wanted me to bring him one of the flies I had (I’ll spare you non-flyfishers the details but I had a bunch tied by a legend that had passed away recently) RIGHT NOW!

    No way did I feel like driving down to central Jersey but he was adamant. “You won’t regret it!”.

    The dude had done some excellent work for me over the years including emergency repairs so…

    Upon arriving I see a limo out front. Not unusual as he had some very wealthy customers. I walk in and his wife says: ‘They’re downstairs in his office. Did you bring the flies?”.

    Walking into the room there’s J and a guy I don’t know but that looks familiar. Both of them ask “Did you bring the flies!?”. Replied “Oh, sh-t, in the rush to get down here I forgot them! The customer started to say “no problem I’ll have…”. Before he could finish the sentence I pulled a case containing them out of my pocket.

    Thought they were going to start salivating. The customer asked if he could have one. I looked at J and he nodded.

    The ‘Customer’ was Eric Clapton.

    Felt like I was shaking hands with a bunch of bananas his are that big! Nice guy and a great flyfisherman.

  156. Essex says:

    157. Clapton!? You mean God don’t you?

  157. Ben says:

    I saw Krugman at Whole Paycheck err Foods in Princeton once. I wanted to ask him if he thought the $7.00 liters lemonade were a sign of inflation.

  158. Hughesrep says:

    Took low four figures off of Peyton Manning and a few of his lineman at Eagle Creek in Indy, must have been 98 or 99. Right down the road from the colts practice facility.

    I got placed as a single in a group that only had three. Everyone but Manning outweighed me by 100 lbs. Knocked it by them all day.

    Had a buddy that ran the desk, cost me 20%.

    Pacers players were marks too. Jeff George stiffed me.

  159. Hughesrep says:

    160

    Back off JJ. Jeff George didn’t pay the bet.

  160. Of the loans that were 90 days 7 years or more delinquent or in foreclosure, 73 percent were originated in 2007 or earlier.

  161. Liquor Luge says:

    Public education is much easier to understand when you realize its purpose is to render everyone stupid and servile.

  162. njescapee says:

    Met Jimi Hendrix at Mannys on 48th Street got his autograph on an Orbiter fuzz box for my friend’s birthday gift. Heard it was thrown away while he was away at school.
    Hung out smoked d0pe with Muddy Waters, HowlinWolf, Hubert Sumlin Detroit Junior and Eddy Cleanhead Vinsen and bumped into Woody Allen and Diane Keaton on E 84th street outside my friends apartment.

  163. Essex says:

    163. It’s truly frightening.

  164. Liquor Luge says:

    Frightening is what comes after publik education succeeds in its aims.

    I’d say we’re pretty much there now.

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