Fools and their money…

From the NYT:

When a Dream House Becomes a Money Pit

Any buyer knows that a dream home can become a nightmare. But most people don’t expect it to happen to them.

Steven and Michelle Hicks found what looked like the perfect home: a two-story, mid-1920s Dutch colonial on three-quarters of an acre in Millburn, N.J. But months after moving into the 1,856-square-foot house, they realized just how elusive a dream home can be.

When a broker urged them to look at 264 Glen Avenue in Millburn in 2012, their long search ended. “It was gorgeous,” Mr. Hicks said. Bay windows let in glorious light, and French doors graced the living room. The front yard had a stream running through it with a footbridge, and the house looked out into the thick woods of the South Mountain Reservation, whose southern tip began just across the street.

They offered the seller’s asking price of $650,000, and “she just took it,” Mr. Hicks recalled. In retrospect, he said, “That should have told us something.”

Once they moved in, problems quickly mounted. New windows had been installed in some rooms, but haphazardly, without insulation. A contractor told them that the previous owner had removed a load-bearing wall without putting a hefty beam across the ceiling to make up for the missing wall. “Nothing was shoring up the second floor,” Ms. Hicks said. An electrician told them the wiring was not grounded, and that a fire could break out at any time.

The basement had a tankless water heater, a selling point for the Hickses. But shortly after they moved in, it stopped working. It was supplying water to a Rube Goldberg series of pipes that traveled all the way to the attic and then into the rooms for the radiators, looping throughout the house and covering so much distance that the water cooled by the time it got to where it was needed. During last year’s often bitter winter, the radiators couldn’t get the second floor warmer than 48 degrees. Ms. Hicks said she was working from home, “but with a hat on” and a space heater glowing.

The previous owner, Carol Royal, said that when she left the house, “everything was fine, as far as I was concerned.” She said she has bought many homes in need of repair, and said, “first-time home buyers, they expect everything to be perfect. But it’s not.”

Ms. Hicks’s favorite feature of the house had been the hand-laid tile on the floor of the master bath, which gave the impression of a riverbed. But by the end of their first summer, the tiles were cracking. The plywood subfloor was inadequate and incomplete; the floor was sinking.

That winter, they lost access to one of the showers when the pipes froze; the pipes ran along an outside wall over the covered porch and had not been insulated.

Some things simply seemed slipshod. When Mr. Hicks leaned against the granite countertop on the kitchen island, it slid. It had never been attached.

The Hickses had paid for an inspection, but many of the problems were hidden behind the redone walls. Mr. Hicks said he wished that he had picked up on subtle signals the inspector may have been sending. “He was a little bit more apologetic than he should have been,” he said. In the basement, the inspector noticed that the beams supporting the kitchen had been notched to run wiring and pipes, reducing the load-bearing capacity. “You are not supposed to do that,” he told them, “but are you going to have 40 people in the kitchen?”

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76 Responses to Fools and their money…

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. Captain Nom Deplume of the Adventure Men. says:

    “They offered the seller’s asking price of $650,000, and “she just took it,” Mr. Hicks recalled. In retrospect, he said, “That should have told us something.”

    Only in New Jersey

  3. What misery comes our way this week?

  4. plume (2)-

    Caveat emptor. The only real rule of the road in RE.

  5. Captain Nom Deplume of the Adventure Men. says:

    [4] splat

    I just found it odd that a seller accepting an offer that comes in at the asking price is somehow cause for suspicion.

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “If you can fix housing, you can fix the economy.”- Buffett

  7. grim says:

    The previous owner, interviewed in this article, purchased the house for $299k in 2009.

    Not a bad flip, feel sorry for the new buyers.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/realestate/05habi.html

  8. grim says:

    Some more gems from the old article:

    “As a former contractor, she knew how to get construction work done.”

    “Ms. Royal admits to having spent “probably $50,000, plus or minus — probably on the plus side” on renovating the place so far.”

    “He added, “at the end of the day, she did everything right.””

  9. D-FENS says:

    Who was the home inspector? I swear the majority of those guys just rubber stamp deals and overlook the obvious.

  10. The Great Pumpkin says:

    The buyers are at fault for being naive (aka suckers). This is what happens when you buy a 650,000 dollar house in Millburn. The realtor should have told them what comes with a $650,000 home in Millburn…..you get a piece of sh!t.

    “The previous owner, Carol Royal, said that when she left the house, “everything was fine, as far as I was concerned.” She said she has bought many homes in need of repair, and said, “first-time home buyers, they expect everything to be perfect. But it’s not.””

  11. chicagofinance says:

    Obama’s rudeness hits new heights with Scalia, Schumer

    By Kyle Smith February 20, 2016 | 3:00pm

    Gratuitous. Nasty. Petty. Spiteful. Insulting. Just plain rude. When the rhetoric of a major party’s leading presidential candidate falls to this level, we should be scornful.

    So, how is it OK when it isn’t just a presidential candidate, but a president, who does it?

    Donald Trump’s policy of demeaning and snarking his political opponents has been a favorite habit of President Obama for the last eight years. Obama is perhaps the first president who believes that leading the country and playing to the beliefs of the extremists in his own party amount to the same thing, and like Trump fans, Obama fans are motivated in large degree by sheer hatred.

    They love to hear their idol channel their rage by bashing people they don’t like.

    Obama’s latest, silent insult — leaving a spokesman to explain he had better things to do on a Saturday than attend the funeral of a 30-year justice of the Supreme Court — isn’t surprising when you consider the mean-spirited things he says virtually every time he steps in front of a microphone.

    This week Obama spokesman Josh Earnest bashed Sen. Chuck Schumer, who objected to cuts in counterterrorism funding for New York. Earnest said, in essence, why listen to this fool on anything if he opposed the Iran deal, especially since “most Democrats” were in favor?

    Police Commissioner Bill Bratton noted, accurately, that this was pure politics — the president was punishing New York to get back at Schumer.

    Obama was doing exactly what he accuses Republican members of Congress of doing, calling them “hostage takers . . . [of] the American people.” Except that his rhetoric was about a debate over tax cuts, not Obama’s actual cutting of money needed to keep the nation’s largest city safe.

    Meanwhile, when it comes to actual hostage takers, Obama can’t muster much outrage. At last year’s national prayer breakfast, he barely paused to obliquely refer to the Islamists who had just burned alive a Jordanian pilot so he could single out Christianity for bashing: “Lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

    If you recall Christian principles, as embodied by a minister named Martin Luther King Jr., being a crucial component of civil-rights victories, Obama thinks you’re a dope. If you can’t see how 11th century atrocities more or less cancel out the ones committed the day before yesterday, you’re not the broad historical thinker Obama thinks he is.

    Comparing Islamist fanatics to conservative Americans, and implying that he is more comfortable with the former, is a favorite Obama tactic. Dismissing extremists in Iran, Obama said last August, “In fact, it’s those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hard-liners chanting ‘death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.”

    Just two days after promising to scale back his attacks on Republicans at the 2013 Jefferson Dinner, Obama told George Stephanopoulos his opponents wanted to “gut Medicare or gut Social Security or gut Medicaid.” At the end of 2012, at a moment when Republicans thought they were on the verge of closing a budget deal with Obama, he instead staged a press conference and said the Republican policy was “we’re just going to try to . . . shove spending cuts at us, that will hurt seniors, or hurt students, or hurt middle-class families.” In 2012 he advised Latino voters to think, “We’re gonna punish our enemies.” In a 2012 chat with Douglas Brinkley for Rolling Stone, he called Mitt Romney a “bulls—-er.”

    All of this has come from a president who is forever bewailing the partisan rancor of a country that, he keeps sadly informing us, has let him down by proving unable to discuss its differences in a civil way.

    Obama fanboys often claim that their superhero has been subjected to an unprecedented level of attack and can only take so much. Couldn’t Trump justify his insult-based campaign on that basis? George W. Bush certainly took more than his share of abuse, but to fire back would have struck him as ungentlemanly. He ducked the insults as blithely as he ducked that flying shoe in Iraq.

    Besides, usually Obama fans are so desperate to come up with an example of “vitriol” directed against their superhero that they wind up quoting the last four words of a 2009 remark by Rush Limbaugh: “Look, what [Obama] is talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work . . . I hope he fails.”

    Limbaugh and Obama have more in common than either would like to admit. Except one of them is supposed to represent the entire country. One of them isn’t supposed to sound like talk radio.

  12. Ottoman says:

    Yes let’s feel sorry for the idiots who bought a starter home, at what they obviously think was a suspiciously low price, in Millburn and expected it to be the Taj Mahal.

    suspicious would be if the seller had struck out the “seller obtained all permits” language in the attorney review letter. btw, if she did everything right then she must have obtained a permit to remove that load bearing wall, correct? Not to mention the electric.

  13. Trump is the nominee (the good one) says:

    $650,000 in Milburn you are paying only for the land. one of the best school systems in America, upscale, liberal, 25 minutes to 34st/8 av

    new buyer could had sold it for $750,000, except that he decided to talk to the NYT for no good reason

  14. The Great Pumpkin says:

    10- The previous owner put lipstick on a pig and they fell for it. This woman def doesn’t have a conscience when it comes to business, but hey what do you expect, she fits right in with most of the people living in Millburn.

  15. D-FENS says:

    It’s about time our Governor started appointing people to the NJ Supreme Court…Democrats have stonewalled appointments in this state going on 6 years now.

  16. grim says:

    Who was the home inspector? I swear the majority of those guys just rubber stamp deals and overlook the obvious.

    Notched beams are a dead giveaway of shoddy work. If you see a notched beam – assume everything else is crap.

  17. The Great Pumpkin says:

    They thought by going to NYT that they would somehow get some money back with the sympathy card. Sorry, people now look at you like total idiots. lol

    Trump is the nominee (the good one) says:
    February 22, 2016 at 7:58 am
    $650,000 in Milburn you are paying only for the land. one of the best school systems in America, upscale, liberal, 25 minutes to 34st/8 av

    new buyer could had sold it for $750,000, except that he decided to talk to the NYT for no good reason

  18. Trump is the nominee (the good one) says:

    saving grace is that value in Milburn will never be $0

    they can sell the house as is for $500k,
    or tear it down and sell a clean lot for $800k

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    February 22, 2016 at 8:07 am
    They thought by going to NYT that they would somehow get some money back with the sympathy card. Sorry, people now look at you like total idiots. lol

    Trump is the nominee (the good one) says:
    February 22, 2016 at 7:58 am
    $650,000 in Milburn you are paying only for the land. one of the best school systems in America, upscale, liberal, 25 minutes to 34st/8 av

    new buyer could had sold it for $750,000, except that he decided to talk to the NYT for no good reason

  19. D-FENS says:

    Did the town not issue permits for the work on this home? I don’t see how the town in good conscience could approve removal of a load bearing wall without the proper beam in place.

  20. plume (5)-

    Old saying in RE: don’t sell in slow motion.

  21. Don’t worry, folks. I got a feeling all involved in that Millburn farce will get what they have coming.

  22. nwnj3 says:

    Sounds like a sob story. At the very least, without having any construction knowledge at all, they should have known the place sold for 299 just a few years ago. That should have sent them running.

  23. The Great Pumpkin says:

    A sucker is born everyday.

    nwnj3 says:
    February 22, 2016 at 8:51 am
    Sounds like a sob story. At the very least, without having any construction knowledge at all, they should have known the place sold for 299 just a few years ago. That should have sent them running.

  24. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Sure makes me trust the “organic” label when clowns like this are involved. If this couple was smart, they would go to this farm and go to work with some gasoline and some matches. Using the gasoline to spell out, “karma is a bi!ch.”

    “Ms. Royal, who now owns the organic Strawberry Fields Farm in Sherman, Conn., with family berry picking, said in a telephone interview, “I’m really horrified that they’re having all these problems.””

    Splat What Was He Thinking says:
    February 22, 2016 at 8:51 am
    Don’t worry, folks. I got a feeling all involved in that Millburn farce will get what they have coming.

  25. nwnj3 says:

    Yep, and they probably underestimated the expense and complexity of the massive addition they are adding on a 90 year old house. Why do they even need 2800+ sf for three people? And they claim they had no knowledge of the previous article on the place. They’re house poor and looking for someone to blame when they should be looking in the mirror.

  26. nwnj3 says:

    Granny giveth, granny taketh awawy.

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume, Newspeak Editor says:

    This from a Sandernista that I’m related to (by marriage):

    So the Department of Education intercepted [my] near $6K tax return, and do you know what I have come to terms with this morning after realising my blessed life the conclusion being: I don’t need you government, I’m waiting for Mr. Sanders, and until then and always I can do it on my own.”

    Priceless.

  28. Comrade Nom Deplume, Newspeak Editor says:

    [11] chifi

    When someone asks why I don’t consider Obama to be my president, I tell them, it isn’t just me–he doesn’t want the job.

  29. Bystander says:

    Web marketing professional and TV commercial production..hmm. Somehow they had afford 650k for a pile of sh!t then double down by investing 350k (at least) on repairs and reno. They also can afford renting a townhouse while paying a mortgage too. Lets not forget the taxes will probably double. No doubt Mommy and Daddy came to the rescue. Articles like this make me vomit. Sorry but little Jackson should be living under a bridge with his dumba$$ parents but instead they will probably profit when the loan fraud machine is turned up to 11 again.

  30. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Move along, nothing to see here.

    China is buying up American companies fast, and it’s freaking people out

    Here’s a story you’ll be hearing about a lot this year.

    Chinese companies have been buying up foreign businesses — including American ones — at a record rate, and it’s freaking out lawmakers.

    There is General Electric’s sale of its appliance business to Qingdao-based Haier, Zoomlion’s bid for the heavy-lifting-equipment maker Terex Corporation, and ChemChina’s record-breaking deal for the Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta, valued at $48 billion.

    Most recently, a unit of the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group on Wednesday said it would buy the technology distributor Ingram Micro for $6 billion.

    And the most contentious deal so far might be the Chinese-led investor group Chongqing Casin Enterprise’s bid for the Chicago Stock Exchange.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-outbound-acquisitions-concerns-2016-2

  31. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    So familiar, where have I seen this before?

    B of A Teams with Freddie, Credit Union to Offer Low Down Payment Mortgage

    Bank of America on Monday will launch a 3% down payment home loan in partnership with Freddie Mac, but the bank will not retain any risk if the loans default.

    Borrowers seeking loans under the new program must have a minimum Fico score of 660, which is higher than B of A’s current minimum 600 Fico score for Federal Housing Administration loans. Borrowers also must have a minimum debt-to-income ratio of 43%, in line with ability-to-repay requirements.

    The program will also consider nontraditional forms of credit. Loan amounts are limited to current conforming loan limits of $417,000. Borrowers also are not required to have any reserve funds and they can use secondary financing.

    Last year, B of A launched an online down payment resource center that lists more than 1,000 down payment and closing cost assistance programs. Homebuyers are encouraged to tap those resources to help with the hurdle of coming up with a down payment.

    Freddie has been tweaking its 3% down payment program, known as Home Possible Mortgage, since its launch in early 2015. (Fannie Mae has a similar program, called HomeReady, that it launched in December 2014.) In October, Freddie announced a partnership with Quicken Loans, the second-largest U.S. home lender, to co-develop products for millennials, first-time homebuyers and middle-class borrowers.

    http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/origination/b-of-a-teams-with-freddie-credit-union-to-offer-low-down-payment-mortgage-1072436-1.html

  32. Captain Nom Deplume, Besotted Rummy says:

    [30] FKA

    Not like this wasn’t predicted. Any of these companies that are multinationals and have untaxed (by the U.S.) profits offshore will be targets–if they can’t be acquirers because the U.S. won’t let them leave, they will be acquired because they are tempting targets. Thus, when the Treasury threatened a clampdown on inversions, they ironically made them more tempting as targets, and with predictable results.

    Of course, most of this is the ebb and flow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKkRDMil0bw

  33. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Oh lord, they just don’t get it. That’s why you can’t offer free stuff, no one appreciates it and they just look to take advantage of the system put in place.

    Comrade Nom Deplume, Newspeak Editor says:
    February 22, 2016 at 9:41 am
    This from a Sandernista that I’m related to (by marriage):

    So the Department of Education intercepted [my] near $6K tax return, and do you know what I have come to terms with this morning after realising my blessed life the conclusion being: I don’t need you government, I’m waiting for Mr. Sanders, and until then and always I can do it on my own.”

    Priceless.

  34. plume (27)-

    That’s a pretty lame reaction to garnishment.

  35. Bitch thinks Bernie’s gonna personally forgive her student debt?

  36. walking bye says:

    we should all have the good fortune of having one of our homes in the NYT. This home was profiled not once but twice (current and former owner) Wow.

  37. Statler Waldorf says:

    These home buyers are unrealistic whiners. When you buy an old house, be prepared for issues. Their “repair” project looks more like a massive expansion to me, moving from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. Next year they’ll be complaining when the property taxes (and utilities) have increased due to the larger house size they’ve created.

  38. leftwing says:

    38. The ultimate liberal shame – being castigated by the NYT. The seller will be so embarrassed and ostracized that she will make the buyer whole just to stay on the good side of the left.

    I, personally, would wear a criticism by the NYT as a badge of honor and I use its editorial pages (ie, page one these days) as a litmus test – whatever they believe take the polar opposite position quickly and fiercely. Always a safe bet to get to reason.

  39. Statler Waldorf says:

    The article shows a brand new Volvo sitting in the driveway, too.

    “Web marketing professional and TV commercial production..hmm. Somehow they had afford 650k for a pile of sh!t then double down by investing 350k (at least) on repairs and reno. They also can afford renting a townhouse while paying a mortgage too. Lets not forget the taxes will probably double.”

  40. leftwing says:

    LOL. Money bet is a Suburu Outback in the garage.

  41. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s the best part. You can guarantee they will complain about their taxes. Who told you to build up the value of your property? People are their own worst enemy. Always blaming someone else besides the person in the mirror.

    Statler Waldorf says:
    February 22, 2016 at 12:14 pm
    These home buyers are unrealistic whiners. When you buy an old house, be prepared for issues. Their “repair” project looks more like a massive expansion to me, moving from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. Next year they’ll be complaining when the property taxes (and utilities) have increased due to the larger house size they’ve created.

  42. walking bye says:

    @39 – I also feel they used this as an excuse to upgrade the home.

  43. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I know this a re-post from yesterday, but this hits the nail on the head for this couple. You can make all types of excuses, but it comes down to the individual. If these people go bankrupt from buying this house, they have no one to blame but themselves. The seller did not put a gun to your head to buy their house. Hope they understand this.

    “What makes you middle class? It starts with you.

    Some of what determines the size of our middle class isn’t in my power or yours to change. We can’t fix politics, the employment outlook or the economy, except to vote for those who best represent our economic interests.

    Yet many of the decisions that improve your odds of a good financial life are yours alone, and they are independent of the next election or the price of gasoline.

    No one will step in to prevent you from taking actions that ultimately sabotage your financial security.

    No one can make you buy the house you can afford rather than the house you want. No one can force you to contribute to your 401(k) or tuck $20 out of every paycheck into a savings account. No one can require that you shop around for car insurance or that you pay off the balance on your credit card every month.

    But if you want to move up to, or stay in, the middle class, those are the kinds of decisions you’ll need to make. Every dime you put away is an act of faith that you can change your financial destiny. (A good example: “5 Ways to Build Your First $1 Million.”)

    We’re here to help. I don’t believe the American Dream is the impossible dream, and neither should you.”

    Are you middle class?

    http://usat.ly/1TxUqSX

  44. The Great Pumpkin says:

    I guess I’m voting for Trump. Do I even have a choice?

    “Only suckers bet on presidential politics or professional wrestling, especially in this most tumultuous campaign cycle in recent memory. But if you were playing the odds, you would have to say that the weekend’s electoral results have, for now, put Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in extraordinarily commanding positions to become their parties’ de facto nominees as early as mid-March.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-02-22/clinton-trump-now-on-parallel-glide-paths-to-nomination

  45. D-FENS says:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/cspan/status/701828664342630400

    Sen. Joe Biden in 1992 says President Bush should “not name a nominee until after the November election…” #SCOTUS

  46. Captain Nom Deplume, Besotted Rummy says:

    [35] splat

    She isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

  47. Re [38];

    we should all have the good fortune of having one of our homes in the NYT. This home was profiled not once but twice (current and former owner) Wow.

    I’d be willing to bet the house sits on some NYT Jr. editor’s blue-ribbony Madison block. Amid round after round of bloodletting on the Times’ staff, look at where their (remaining) staff lives. Should tell you something about how overvalued their middle management is.

  48. Captain Nom Deplume, Besotted Rummy says:

    [48] DFENS

    Damn. I guess I won’t hold my breath waiting for it on MSNBC.

    Of course, it will be on Fox on an endless loop.

  49. Redux [50];

    And how lazy they are. I’d bet if it sat the opposite direction from the train station rather than the same direction, we’d never know about it.

  50. Captain Nom Deplume, Besotted Rummy says:

    [40] leftwing

    And then there is this . . . .

    http://www.salon.com/2016/02/19/paul_krugman_for_wonks_like_me_bernie_sanders_is_frankly_horrifying/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    It reminds me of the intense (yet pointless) debates that soc1al1sts of various stripes used to have, castigating each other for their lack of purity or lack of vision.

  51. The Great Pumpkin says:

    You must have to take a shot before family events. God bless.

    Captain Nom Deplume, Besotted Rummy says:
    February 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm
    [35] splat

    She isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

  52. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Now I know why the participants of this blog used to get so mad at me. I can’t believe I used to believe in the philosophies of fools. Yes, let’s make everything equal and fair, that might happen. If you give people more free stuff, you get a better society. When will they learn to promote a work ethic and realize that is the only way to have a better society…..when everyone has a stake in the production of society.

    Everyone wants to get rich without any hard work and they want it fast. Talk about backwards thinking.

    Captain Nom Deplume, Besotted Rummy says:
    February 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm
    [40] leftwing

    And then there is this . . . .

    http://www.salon.com/2016/02/19/paul_krugman_for_wonks_like_me_bernie_sanders_is_frankly_horrifying/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    It reminds me of the intense (yet pointless) debates that soc1al1sts of various stripes used to have, castigating each other for their lack of purity or lack of vision.

  53. D-FENS says:

    Taylor Swift donated $250k toward her legal expenses. I hope she wins.

  54. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “One of the loudest creaking sounds coming from the markets right now is the global economy straining under a record pile of debt. The world has continued to borrow hand over fist since the financial crisis, adding nearly $60 trillion since 2007 in the process of pushing the worldwide debt load to $200 trillion, or nearly three times the size of the entire global economy. And that figure takes us only to 2014; we don’t yet have fresh debt tallies from last year.

    Hard data are often hard to find and arrives late. But no matter how you measure, global debt levels are raising alarms over whether we’re on the brink of another debt-fueled economic meltdown. The potential for disaster depends on how contagious a new round of defaults would prove and whether writedowns in one part of the world could cause losses in others. That’s what happened in the last two major debt crises, which rippled through the global economy.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-22/the-world-s-debt-is-alarmingly-high-but-is-it-contagious

  55. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Here comes the next rd of bailouts. It never ends.

    “After the 2008 financial crisis, investors poured money into China, Brazil, and other emerging markets to take advantage of recovering commodity prices and faster-growing economies. Banks in these places turned on the spigots and unleashed a wave of new credit to households and local companies. Since 2009, the average level of private debt in emerging economies has gone from 75 percent of GDP to 125 percent, according to the Bank for International Settlements. Private debt levels in China and Brazil are now double the size of the national economy.

    The hand-wringing right now concerns mostly China’s debt, which has tripled since 2009 from $10 trillion to $30 trillion, according to McKinsey’s latest estimates. The biggest increases are in China’s corporate sector, where big state-owned companies gobbled up loans from big state-owned banks. Hedge fund billionaire Kyle Bass, who made a fortune betting against the U.S. subprime crisis, is telling his investors that China’s state-owned banks may take losses upward of $3.5 trillion—four times more than what U.S. banks got hit with during the 2008 financial crisis.
    Yet lending in China continues to set records. In January, for instance, the broadest measure of credit in the country soared past expectations as banks front-loaded their 2016 lending targets in hopes of goosing short-term growth. The trouble is that no matter how much credit gets added to its economy, China’s slowdown is inevitable. Adding leverage to an already leveraged system may only make the reckoning more painful. “

  56. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Why didn’t you go to the police? Hard to believe you now.

    “In the suit, she alleges years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse from Dr. Luke, and asks to be freed from these record and publishing contracts. Gottwald, in turn, summarily sued her for (among other things) defamation, and accused her of using legal action to try to get out of her deals.”

  57. Captain Nom Deplume of the Adventure Men. says:

    [54] splat

    She isn’t bad. Her parents are flakes.

  58. walking bye says:

    @50 -I have a feeling the Millburn couple may have also been scared by the various contractors into making rush decisions. Not having grounded circuits not great, but there are some better practical solutions instead of rewiring the house.

  59. Ragnar says:

    I like the new Pumpkin better than the more recent pumpkin.
    I hope it lasts.
    Now almost bearable.

  60. anon (the good one) says:

    from the New Yorker:

    “Antonin Scalia, who died this month, after nearly three decades on the Supreme Court, devoted his professional life to making the United States a less fair, less tolerant, and less admirable democracy.

    Fortunately, he mostly failed.

    Belligerent with his colleagues, dismissive of his critics, nostalgic for a world where outsiders knew their place and stayed there, Scalia represents a perfect model for everything that President Obama should avoid in a successor. “

  61. The Great Pumpkin says:

    It will. I owe you guys for helping me to see the light. I was a stubborn fool, but even a stubborn fool can change. Who would have thought.

    Ragnar says:
    February 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm
    I like the new Pumpkin better than the more recent pumpkin.
    I hope it lasts.
    Now almost bearable.

  62. leftwing says:

    Holy sh1te. Want the winning strategy against hillary? Hi Def. I’m two martinis in a meeting and she just popped up on a real HD big screen. Sweet j3sus. Looks like fcuking ET. Yikes.

  63. Hughesrep says:

    67

    I noticed that a debate or so ago. May have been the Chinese waiter jacket one.

    We are so hosed.

    Like The R’s aren’t a caricature of a used car salesman on SNL in the 70’s.

    May just be time to rip the band aid off and watch the yugest, most luxurious, blow up ever.

  64. POS cape says:

    Initially I felt bad for the couple until it said they’re putting on a 1000 sq. ft. addition. So they’re not hurting. And what kind of home inspector would miss an ungrounded electrical system?

  65. Libturd says:

    I heard from a bunch of friends in Vegas that a big wealthy friend of the Dem machine out there paid for a sh1tload of casin0 personnel to take the day to caucus on behalf of Cankles. One of my friends is a huge machine supporter and admitted that he was surprised by how many members of the dealer’s union were out there. He said they never showed up in the past. I expect 4 to 8 more years of the same shite we just experienced. Stagnant wages everywhere except on Wall Street and in the executive positions of public companies. On the bright side, gays can hump with impunity and Mexican’s will overcrowd the clinics instead of the ER. Yay Cankles! Dumb sheep.

  66. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Truly sad. At least the people voting for her will get what they deserve. Another 8 years of getting shi!ted on by the person you voted for. Just wish the people that didn’t vote for her didn’t have to suffer the same fate.

    Libturd says:
    February 22, 2016 at 8:05 pm
    I heard from a bunch of friends in Vegas that a big wealthy friend of the Dem machine out there paid for a sh1tload of casin0 personnel to take the day to caucus on behalf of Cankles. One of my friends is a huge machine supporter and admitted that he was surprised by how many members of the dealer’s union were out there. He said they never showed up in the past. I expect 4 to 8 more years of the same shite we just experienced. Stagnant wages everywhere except on Wall Street and in the executive positions of public companies. On the bright side, gays can hump with impunity and Mexican’s will overcrowd the clinics instead of the ER. Yay Cankles! Dumb sheep.

  67. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Her husband couldn’t get rid of her even after cheating on her. Now you know why.

    leftwing says:
    February 22, 2016 at 5:47 pm
    Holy sh1te. Want the winning strategy against hillary? Hi Def. I’m two martinis in a meeting and she just popped up on a real HD big screen. Sweet j3sus. Looks like fcuking ET. Yikes.

  68. Libturd says:

    HC phone homo?

  69. Fabius Maximus says:

    Video of the year. Winter is Trumping!
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/game-of-trump#.kt5NvAr5X3

  70. The Great Pumpkin says:

    From comment section.

    “Every day and we get same recycled stories. imaginary obstacles and not enough funding are the reasons for chronic absenteeism and a failure to do well on state tests. Followed by the solutions of more money needs to be invested or “hey lets ruin working schools by busing the problems out.”

    Shanell it’s not a “black” thing, it’s a lazy thing. The dozens of working age “fathers” hanging in the corner in the middle of the day and the single mother welfare line parading in at drop off and pick up are the root cause of this cycle. I am sorry but like the rest of jersey I don’t have a solution just a desire to see the blame placed properly and squarely on the community from which it breeds. Once that is done maybe just maybe the solutions will start to appear.”

    http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/02/how_njs_urban_communities_benefit_when_parents_and.html#incart_river_home

  71. Fabius Maximus says:

    #11 Chi

    Why do you read that Rag? It’s the Dirty Digger at his finest, Fox News in Print!

    That aside. O went to the visitation at the weekend. There was a private meeting with the family, and from the family side they put up one son from nine kids and a grieving widow.

    I will give O a pass on “Do you think they did not want him there?”
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2016/02/most-of-scalia-family-absent-during-obama-visit-219545

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