Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

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For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past year. The archives can be accessed by using the links found in the menus on the right hand side of the page.

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361 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. Johnny Boy says:

    Billions in housing wealth at risk as foreclosures soar

    More than $23.6 billion in California housing wealth will evaporate if real estate prices continue to decline and foreclosures on subprime home loans soar, according to a new congressional report that indicates the fallout from the national mortgage crisis is worsening… “State by state, the economic costs from the subprime debacle are shockingly high,” committee Chairman Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “From New York to California, we are headed for billions in lost wealth, property values and tax revenues.”…


    “Housing wealth” unbelievable…how can use lose something you never really had…

  2. thatBIGwindow says:

    All of the McMansions built recently in River Edge have sold. I guess there is still high demand for large, cheaply constructed houses. There does seem to be a large amount of money in this area willing to spend 900k on a new construction McMansion.

    People don’t seem to be too concerned about the high taxes in River Edge either. Could River Edge become the next Upper Saddle River?

  3. njpatient says:

    Mornin’, fellas.

  4. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Consumer Sentiment Index in U.S. Probably Fell to One-Year Low

    Confidence among U.S. consumers fell in October to the lowest level in more than a year as fuel prices rose and the housing slump deepened, economists said ahead of a report today.

    The Reuters/University of Michigan final sentiment index fell to 82 from 83.4 in September, according to the median forecast of 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The measure is trailing the 89.6 average for the first half of the year and is also lower than year-earlier readings.

    Declines in home values and increases in heating-oil and natural-gas costs have soured consumer attitudes on the economy. Still, more jobs and higher wages have prevented confidence from dropping even more, easing the risk that spending will collapse in coming months.

    “Housing is still weak, and we’ve been wondering for months about spillover into the broader economy,” said Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. “It’s almost inevitable that we’re going to see a slowdown at some point soon because more and more people are financially pinched.”

  5. grim says:

    Mornin’, fellas.

    So much for setting the alarm clock last night. Can’t believe I slept until 7.

  6. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Americans Turn Negative on Economy, Expect Recession, Poll Says

    Almost two-thirds of Americans say a recession is likely in the next year and a majority believes the economy is already faltering, according to a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times survey.

    By 65 percent to 29 percent, Americans say they expect a recession, the poll found. Fifty-one percent say the economy is doing poorly, compared with 46 percent who say it is doing well, the gloomiest view since February 2003.

    The negative sentiment on the economy contrasts with a June poll in which 57 percent of respondents said it was doing well. The pessimistic turn comes just before the Federal Reserve meets next week to decide whether to further reduce interest rates to try to head off a possible recession. The poll results square with the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer index, which showed confidence in October at its lowest ebb since August 2006.

    “I’m starting to think there’s a good possibility of recession,” said poll respondent Roger Sharp, a retired procurement analyst in Milwaukie, Oregon. “The housing industry is driving the economy down and people are starting to get laid off from jobs that have been around for a long time,” said Sharp, 63, a registered Republican.

  7. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Economists React: Bursting the Bubble

    The size of the downward revisions to the prior two months’ home sales data and the failure of the Commerce Department to track cancellations makes this series of very limited usefulness in tracking trends in the housing market. As a result, we would not read anything into the small increase in new home sales reported for September. Most housing data suggest that the sector continued to contract in September. –Bear Stearns U.S. Economics

    With the revisions, new home sales have been below the 800,000 level for four straight months, the longest stretch of sub-800,00 sales since July 1996. The inventory of unsold homes declined reflecting reductions in new homes for sale but not yet started and homes currently under construction. However, the inventory of completed homes for sale rose to a new record high as sales of completed homes in September were just 13.5% of all completed homes, the lowest since September 1991. The median sales price rose 4.4% reflecting a shift in the sales mix as sales of homes priced below $200,000 fell more than sales in other price categories. While slowing production is helping to reduce the inventory of homes for sales that are under construction or not yet under construction, the difficulties of selling finished homes will keep downward pressure on prices and discourage new production. –David Resler, Nomura Economics Research

    Not to burst anyone’s bubble (um, bad choice of words), but … consider that new home sales have been increasingly overstated in recent months, given that they do not account for cancellations after sales contracts have been signed. With many of the nation’s largest homebuilders reporting cancellation rates of 30% to 50% of late, actual sales are far lower than the top-line number reported by the Census Bureau each month, while the price data do not take into account the massive discounting being resorted to by many builders in order to move homes… And, those looking for the housing market to be “rescued” by either further cuts in the Fed funds rate or by Congress will be sadly disappointed… These things will do nothing to cure the issue at the root of the housing market — a lack of affordability. –Richard Moody, Mission Residential

    Look at margin of error. The monthly gain of 4.8% was within the “estimated average relative standard errors” of ±10.3%. This means the data point was “statistically insignificant.” The year over year number however, at 23.3% — ±8.0% — is greater than the margin of error, and therefore is statistically significant. –Barry Ritholtz, Ritholtz Research and Analytics

    The pace of new home sales is now close to where it was in the late-1990’s — before mortgage credit standards were lowered and before speculators jumped in with both feet. Thus, we are probably getting close to a bottom in sales. However, prices may need to come down a bit further in order to achieve the type of affordability levels that would be consistent with a sustainable equilibrium. –Morgan Stanley Research

    Our assessment of the September data is one of major skepticism. We are a little unclear how the median price increased to $238,000 for the month, purchasing activity increased and the monthly inventory declined to 8.3 during a period of climbing long-term rates. Moreover, when one looks at the regional data which indicated strong increased in purchasing activity in the south and west and declines in the Midwest and East — in direct contrast with the existing homes data for the same month — there is more than a bit of cause for a healthy amount of skepticism. We have a strong suspicion that we will see some major revisions to this data when it is released next month. –Joseph Brusuelas, IDEAglobals

  8. Pat says:

    Oh great. Roger is starting to think there’s a good possibility of recession.

    Doesn’t ANYBODY else think the recession started in April?

  9. grim says:

    From the Courier Post Online:

    Local economics discussed

    Joel Naroff, chief economist for Commerce Bank, said potential home buyers should wait until “we hit bottom” in the subprime mortgage fallout.

    Naroff said he sees a 50-50 chance of a national recession, but added the regional economy is stronger, driven by a wave of job growth.

    “This situation won’t disappear quickly because it is a process, not an event like 9/11,” he said. “Consumer spending is restrained, as well. At least folks have stopped using their homes as ATM machines.”

  10. AntiTrump says:

    Reports Suggest Broader Losses From Mortgages

    At this juncture, economists say the troubles in the mortgage market could, all told, cost financial firms and investors up to $400 billion.

    That is far more than the roughly $240 billion cost, adjusted for inflation, of the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s, according to estimates of the combined financial toll of that crisis on both the federal government and private sector. The loss in total real estate wealth is expected to range from $2 trillion to $4 trillion, depending on how far home prices fall, according to several economists.

  11. Tony says:

    “Chairman Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “From New York to California, we are headed for billions in lost wealth, property values and tax revenues.”…”

    I don’t believe there wouldn’t be LOST wealth and tax revenues if the home prices weren’t artificially so high due to the lax credit standards in the first place. Isn’t Schumer’s logic faulty here?

  12. thatBIGwindow says:

    Schumer is all emotion. 404- logic not found

  13. BC Bob says:

    “Subprime mortgage anxiety continued to spread on Thursday as a leading derivatives index hit a new low and fears grew that Merrill Lynch and other banks could be forced into even bigger asset writedowns.”

    “Trading in the riskiest slice of the ABX index of bonds backed by home loans made in the second half of last year hit a new low of 18 cents.”

    “We are looking at credit spreads, the ABX and how the financials and insurers are trading and things are not looking good,” said David Ader, strategist at RBS Greenwich Capital.”

    “Second, the TABX index, which we have been using as a proxy for CDO assets, has also deteriorated 18-35 per cent across all of the tranches with the most significant deterioration coming at the most senior levels.”


  14. Clotpoll says:


    I think your team used its quota of luck for the year last night.

    Tough sledding from here on.

  15. BC Bob says:

    From #13,

    “with the most significant deterioration coming at the most senior levels.”

  16. BC Bob says:


    I felt like were were foreclosing and the fed invited us to the window. That said, we have been losing big games, in that manner, for 20 years.

    I’m not worried about Fla St nor Miami. Clemson and Maryland on the road is troubling.

  17. BklynHawk says:

    Pat #8-

    Doesn’t ANYBODY else think the recession started in April?

    I have a suspicious feeling it did. It will take some time for the real numbers to come out.
    My guess is we’ll probably know for sure by early next year whether April was the start.

  18. bergenbuyer says:

    Countrywide reports $1.2 billion quarterly loss

  19. BC Bob says:

    “Credit squeeze – the disaster movie”

    “It is a worry, though, that Merrill can justify a writedown of $4.5bn one week and $7.9bn just three weeks later. The sense that valuation is still a matter of “pick a number and divide by the chief trader’s golf handicap”, more than anything else, explains why the “super-SIV” proposed by Citigroup and others has failed to reassure the market.”

    [Edit] What a great quote.


  20. bergenbuyer says:

    CFC 13.07, -0.76, -5.5%) , the top U.S. mortgage lender, reported a wider-than-forecast loss of $1.2 billion, but it said it would return to profitability in the fourth quarter, sending the stock surging 13% in pre-open trade .

  21. Clotpoll says:

    “Recession”? Other than the technical definition, what does it even mean? Is it a description of an economic condition…or is it really just an excuse to do nothing in the face of allegedly uncontrollable circumstances?

    IMO, the latest economic expansion in the US was 100% housing-based. We have such short memories; back in ’01, we were reeling from 9/11 and the aftershocks of the dotcom bust. No other sector of the economy was working. So, the powers that be cranked up the presses and leaned hard on the housing lever. What other industry exists in which a single transaction begets five more transactions? What other industry exists in which a single transaction puts 90-100 people to work? Housing is economic crystal meth.

    IMO, there was no way that this thing could end, other than badly. However, even ten seconds spent wondering whether we’re now in a recession are ten seconds wasted. All this situation is…is the progenitor of the next boom/expansion/opportunity. People make money and get rich in recessions, too.

    We were in a recession the minute somebody on Wall St asked the question, “hey, how can this MBS have a 14% default rate and still be investment grade?”. So what?

  22. x-underwriter says:

    Bank of America quits wholesale mortgage business


  23. Clotpoll says:

    BC (16)-

    Clemson is especially troubling. Your guys aren’t going to be able to hear themselves think.

  24. bergenbuyer says:

    Clot, what’s going on with your sellers? I’m surprised we haven’t seen prices drop further already. I saw lower prices last Oct for people that had to sell. This fall, the prices have dropped more overall, but I haven’t seen as low of prices. At least what I’m tracking. But nothing is selling either so prices have to come down. What’s your take on your clients and the clients of otehr agents you know?

  25. Clotpoll says:

    x (22)-

    BAC won’t need the wholesale division once they eat CFC’s.

  26. BC Bob says:

    “So, the powers that be cranked up the presses and leaned hard on the housing lever.”


    That was just a test run. Now the presses are affording the opportunity for the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclay’s to come up to Benny’s window. We are accepting mbs, abs, cp and structured products from RBS. Aren’t we special! We are now opening the window to the world.

    They in turn can extend credit to their clients, [hedgies], who are bombing [short] the crap out of our banks. Thank you US taxpayer.

  27. RentinginNJ says:

    Countrywide Earnings at high noon!
    Should be interesting

  28. Clotpoll says:

    bergen (24)-

    I’m whacking prices furiously. Even my most difficult seller is following my lead. Not much choice here, though; I only have one seller who has as much as $1 of equity in his home. Everyone else is somewhere on the road between NOD and Sheriff sale. Since Labor Day, my only message has been that it’s not enough to price-reduce in lockstep with the competition. We have to build in future months of decline and price BELOW the competition in order to sell. The few buyers that are out there are very aware of the “falling knife” syndrome.

    I disciplined myself a few months ago to avoid sellers who harbor delusions of grandeur, and there are other agents now declining unsellable listings (far too few, though). I had to “fire” one client several weeks ago, and he’s now dead in the water with his new agent (vacant home, financed by liquidating stock holdings every 4-5 weeks…amazing!). As we get deeper into this thing, I’ll probably become even more selective- and ruthless- in how much pushback I’ll tolerate from any seller.

    We’re squarely into a phase where there will be clear winners and losers, and the potential losers are easy to spot. Now, I’m compiling lists of those losers to circle back on later.

  29. gary says:

    Bloomberg radio reports that Countrywide will be profitable in Q4 and in 2008. Anyone care to explain how that’s possible sans working with pencils by candle light reminiscent of Bob Crachet?

  30. HEHEHE says:

    Re #11: I still remember Chuck Schumer having one of his inane Sunday press conferences a couple years ago re the price of milk being too high. He must have really had his head up his @ss during this RE bubble.

  31. bergenbuyer says:

    Clot, when you have some time will you come to Bergen County and teach a seminar to local agents? For every realtor like you, there is unfortunately 3 realtors that will accept the listing no matter what. A house near me jsut sold last Oct for $800, it’s now on the market for $1M. They did absolutely nothing to the house, just moved in. By comparing the pictures, the previous owners had nicer stuff too, so the house showed better and looked nicer. How can you look yourself in the mirror each morning and think you’re making a good decision pricing a house 25% higher in 1 year.

  32. gary says:

    bergenbuyer 31,

    I agree. Just by observation, ancedote and listings I receive daily I’m dumbfounded by the logic. POS 3/1 splits not updated in 30 years listing in the high 5’s. It’s a conundrum.

  33. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Had drinks with a friend I hadn’t seen a couple weeks. Rather not say where he works, but he said BOA will have many, many more cuts and LOTS of people are panicking.

    He himself said that as soon as he gets his bonus … 75% chance he’s leaving NYC. He’s not worried he’s getting canned, he just thinks lean times are ahead, and he’d rather not be in this area.

    Grim, any thoughts on starting a Pennsylvania Real Estate Report? You could own the region! And the wife and I can start to give you (hopefully) Bucks County updates.

  34. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Dollar Sinks to new low – Yahoo


  35. x-underwriter says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    I’m whacking prices furiously.

    I’ve been looking in southern Hunterdon county for something in the $350 – $400 range for some time now. It’s still nothing but crap from what I see. We still have a long way to go.
    Then again, I’m in no rush either. I’m lucky because my wife isn’t pushing me.

  36. Mike NJ says:

    # x-underwriter

    Just wait till you get the patented push. If I had to hear “all my friends own homes, why can’t we?” one more time I was going to go insane. I put it off for a long time but I eventually broke down. We all have our breaking point you know. You are in a good position in that even if the wife starts up now, you can easily hold off until late ’08/ early ’09. That will easily be another 10% off current prices.

  37. gary says:


    “Another” 10% off price? I’m still looking for the first 10%. Seriously. I’m still getting listings on a daily basis that are slightly off 2005 prices.

  38. Doyle says:



    The way this season has gone (College Football as a whole) you should be worried about everyone.

    Ya never know.

  39. bergenbuyer says:

    last year I made offers on houses of like 20% off and the people started off with “no.” But eventually they all lowered LP down to my offer. In some cases I said no after they came back and other cases someone else jumped in and “outbid” me by a grand or two. This year, I make an offer and I get a no and nothing happens. There’s a house I made an offer on in Feb 07. IT’S STILL AT THE OLP!!! Give it up people.

    It’s that whole mind frame of sellers that I’m losing housing wealth, you never had it to begin with.

  40. lisoosh says:

    That’s it, blame the wives.

    X – looks like you are my buyer competition. Not seeing much either, and told hubby not to get his knickers in a twist and fall in love with anything in the near future.

  41. x-underwriter says:

    Mike NJ Says:
    You are in a good position in that even if the wife starts up now, you can easily hold off until late ‘08/ early ‘09.

    We’re still on the fence on if we want to stay in Jersey or not. Reading all the stuff on this blog day in day out can seriously dampen your attitde on NJ. We’re visiting my inlaws outside Atlanta over Christmas and will make a go, no-go decision at that time. Bottom line, if I start looking for work down there and get a decent offer close to what I’m making here, there will be some very compelling reasons to make the move.

  42. njpatient says:

    “So much for setting the alarm clock last night. Can’t believe I slept until 7.”

    I am fortunate enough to have an alarm baby that wakes me up promptly at 6:15 every day.

  43. bi says:

    CFC up 15% to $15. I need bloodbeth in winter 2008 to fill my limit order @ $10

  44. dreamtheaterr says:

    From yesterday’s thread:

    John Says:
    October 26th, 2007 at 8:42 am
    In india they practice the caste system, the outcast in Hindu are treated like dirt in their own religion and if they try to switch religions to christianity or the muslim religion the govt will punish them by cutting off subsidies. The govt even tried to arrest Elizabeth Hurley for having a drink at her own wedding in India cause it is now allowed. The country is very racist, prohibits freedom of religion and in all is a hell hole. India would never let an American Women go their country and be CEO yet Pepsi is cool with it. I have no problem that she is an Imagrant, I just have a problem that she is really just a narrow minded racist.

    John, everyone in India (1 billion of them) are racists. You made your point first thing this morning….as to what your thinking is first thing you wake up. Now please shut the hell up.

  45. bi says:

    here is my thought of the day: the more trouble there is in other part of the country, the less likely new jersey real estate will fall further from here. why? the interest decision is mad by “national” fed but not regional fed.

  46. x-underwriter says:

    bi Says:
    here is my thought of the day:

    Your thoughts are total illogical garbage

  47. make money says:


    How’s your short on oil position doing. Margin call?


  48. lisoosh says:

    Dream – thanks for reminding me:

    John- “I have no problem that she is an Imagrant, I just have a problem that she is really just a narrow minded racist.”

    Pot meet Kettle. (Although I bet she isn’t a plagarist and knows how to spell).

  49. skep-tic says:

    I guess it’s the Red Sox, but I’ve been thinking about moving back to Boston during the last couple of weeks. So of course I’ve been looking at the real estate.

    I think the Boston area is about a year ahead of the NYC area on the bubble bursting train. Prices there are down pretty significantly and the situation continues to get worse for sellers (sales dropped 33% between Aug and Sept).

    While I think the Boston economy in general is not as strong as the NYC economy, I do think Boston is a harbinger of things to come down here. I believe that right now we are about where Boston was a year ago. Again, there are important differences between the two area, but I think you can look at what’s happened in Boston over the past year and a half and take some comfort that the same thing is likely to happen here.

  50. Kettle1 says:


    You may want to think long and hard about atlanta.
    recent Atlanta related headlines:
    -Atlanta Has 90 Days Left of Drinking Water
    -The city of Atlanta has 121 days worth of water in it’s reservoirs. There is no alternative plan in place to supply residents with water when they dry up.

  51. Kettle1 says:

    #50 Lisoosh,

    Hey now, what are trying to say about me????

    Pot meet Kettle. (Although I bet she isn’t a plagarist and knows how to spell).

  52. x-underwriter says:

    Kettle1 Says:
    You may want to think long and hard about atlanta.

    Couple of good rains and it wil be over. The main thing I’m worried about is some of the crime areas. We were looking north of the city in Alpharetta and its absolutely beautiful…like Basking Ridge only affordable. To the south of the city, its a different story. You can’t turn on the nightly news without hearing about someone else that got shot and killed.

  53. Kettle1 says:

    Regarding Schumer:

    He should walk around wearing this posted on his forehead


  54. JBJB says:

    This is pretty funny. It appears that today the Democratic Congress is set to vote on H.R. 319, a bill to create the Paterson Great Falls National Park in Paterson, NJ of all places at a cost of 20-34 million.

    Apprently the National Park Service doesn’t even want it there but that means nothing to Pelosi.

    The funny thing is, her Chief of Staff John Lawrence is from Paterson and his family still lives there. Coincidence?

  55. bi says:

    49#, why you guys always think i will get margin call? I bought dug at 37.50 last week and coverd monday morning. it is traded at $38.89

  56. syncmaster says:

    It just dawned on me that last year, the pundits on this blog were saying that the bottom might be near and it might be a good time to buy WHEN the media starts harping on how bad things are and how bad things are gonna get.

    Well… they’re doing it.

  57. JBJB says:

    “While I think the Boston economy in general is not as strong as the NYC economy”


    I tend to agree, but I do think Boston’s economy is a little more diversified than NY/NJ. They are not so tied to the financial industry as we are. I am not sure if this will have any effect but it may help in preventing a total meltdown which is always a possibility in NY since so much of the local economy depends on Wall St.

  58. Kettle1 says:


    Alpharette is one of the nicer areas of atlanta, i lived there for about a year…

    The water issue is actually pretty serious and not something a few rains will fix. The have massively over built atlanta with regard to the natural resources available to it. Scientists and and city planners have been telling atlanta for years that they are going to have a water issue because the city was not designed for supplying water to the level of expansion that has developed. They may have the pipes in the ground for delivery, but the supply source is entirely to small for the size of the city and its surrounding area.


  59. Hard Place says:

    Anyone attending open houses this weekend?

    (Tongue firmly in cheek)

  60. 3b says:

    #2tbw All of the McMansions built recently in River Edge have sold. I guess there is still high demand for large, cheaply constructed houses. There does seem to be a large amount of money in this area willing to spend 900k on a new construction McMansion.

    Do not know where you are getting your information from.

    There are currently 18 newly built McMansions for sale in RE, and most have of them have been sitting for months.

    In addition there are at least 3 or 4 more in various stages of construction. The McMansion era is over in River Edge.

    Now I will leave again.

  61. Kettle1 says:

    I agree, boston also has a very strong and growing biotech industry. I do work between nj and boston and biotech in boston is red hot right now plus they also have a financial sector

  62. bi says:

    46#, i disagree with john’s assertion that she hates americans and men because she used poor middle finger example and pushed a 58 years old guy away to get in CEO post. the argument is very weak IMO. that said, i agree with him on that this country is the least discriminating against different races or religions on the planet.

  63. skep-tic says:

    Here’s the Case/Shiller Index info on the last RE downturn comparing Boston and NYC. Note that Boston’s downturn started earlier and lasted longer, but that the two had nearly equivalent losses due to the steepness of NYC’s decline.


    Market – Downturn Start Date – Duration (months) – Cumulative % Price Decline – Average Annual % Price Decline

    Boston – July 1988, 43 months, -16.7% cumulative drop, -4.7% per year drop

    New York – September 1988 – 31 months, -15.5% cumulative drop, -6.0% per year drop

  64. x-underwriter says:

    Kettle1 Says:
    Alpharetta is one of the nicer areas of atlanta, i lived there for about a year…

    Any thoughts or reccomendations? Why did you move back?

  65. BC Bob says:

    Doyle [39],

    You’re right.

  66. bi says:

    62#, 3b, i thought you bought one of these mcmansions and started to post on konenka with handle b3 (busted berger bear).

  67. BC Bob says:

    bb [33],

    I’m hearing more and more of the same.

    Many wonder what the next boom will be. How about the crack up boom.

  68. BC Bob says:


    Where have you been hanging?

  69. HEHEHE says:

    For those interested in Oil:


    Personally I believe the Peak Oil camp.

    Grim made reference to the end of days types in that camp and I can’t argue with the fact that there are plenty of loonies out there, especially on the internet.

    That being said I would really suggest that if you are interested you read Matthew Simmons book Twilight In The Desert.

    If you think it’s hard to gauge how much $$$ the banks may have to write off try figuring out the reality behind how much actual reserves any of the OPEC countries actually have available or the quality of the reserves held by the big integrated oil co’s like Exxon.

    There’s more to world net supply and net demand of oil. From the US perspective what is going to force the continued rise of the price of oil in this country is the fact that there is going to be less oil for import with the internal demand in oil producing countries increasing and the continued growth of oil demand in the emerging markets. That is without a near term peak in oil. If peak oil is reached in the next five years then watch out.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a pullback into the $60’s-70’s at some point but the reality is that the long term trend is up and to the right.

    Ps. Final food for thought re oil: Kind of interesting the Russians send a sub down to the bottom of the arctic to claim energy rights?? If oil was abundant and easily accessible do you really think that would have happened???

    PPS. I own oil and energy related companies.

    PPPS. I am not a financial expert and anything I put on here is for educational purposes only.

  70. skep-tic says:

    NYC has a diversified economy too. I think we just tend to hear about Wall St so much that we forget that NYC is the center of huge industries like media, fashion and the arts. Can’t remember where I saw it (probably NY Times), but I read an article last week that calculated how much the art and fashion industries add to the NY economy and it was huge

  71. Hard Place says:

    John (44) – whoa those are some serious unrealized losses in CA.

    I have a friend in similar situation like me in San Fran. I’m renting a small 2BR in NYC w/ two kids (2nd on the way soon). I’m waiting until at earliest next year, before I even start seriously looking. My buddy in San Fran has 2yr old twins. He was renting than moved in with his empty nesting mother in law for almost two years. I guess the mother in law wore him out because he just purchased this summer a 3BR/2Ba fixer upper (no remodeling since being built in the 40’s) in Marin County for $750k and he’s starting to talk to an architect and looking at renovations in the 150k+ range. I tried telling him to hold out or even rent a larger place. Hope he’s not too overextended and declines are not as severe as that website you posted. I thought I was stuck between a rock & a hard place….

  72. Kettle1 says:


    I was there for a 1 year contract job. The money was generous and i am always up for an adventure. I left atlanta about 4 years ago and given how much growth the area has seen, i dont know how accurate any recommendations may be. When i was there both the alpharetta and Roswell areas were nice, but building up quickly, so i would imagine that they are definatly more dense by now. Ultimately atlanta wasnt a good fit for me. The HOA’s and the neighboor gossip train didnt sit well with me. It may be a good fit for you look around and best of luck

  73. bi says:

    from recent movement of oil price, i feel attack on iran is coming soon. after war starts, the oil price will start to move down.

  74. Theo says:

    I received a sold homes report from a realtor for her section of Bergen. For the Homes that I was able to fine the previous sale price, generally those previously sold in 1999+, and were purchased prior to 2004, the sales gave the previous owners modest to significant annual returns of between 4-13%.

    There were 4 sales of homes previously purchased from 2004 of later, only one showed any kind of real appreciation:

    384 Mountain Ave, Washington Twp
    Apr 2004 $369,900
    Sep 2007 $445,000

    694 Alexander Ct, River Vale
    Sep 2004 $775,000
    Sep 2007 $767,500

    25 Kaufman Dr, Westwood
    Sep 2004 $425,000
    Sep 2007 $435,000

    93 Standish Rd, Hillsdale
    Jan 2006 $587,500
    Sep 2007 $579,000

  75. HEHEHE says:


    I would not rule out a move on Iran at some point, but that’s only a short term “solution”.

  76. Kettle1 says:

    HEHE #71

    I agree with your thought. We have already found and tapped the majority of the easy stuff ( light sweet crude). Peak oil is really about diminishing returns. It doesnt mean we will run out of oil, it just means that we have reached/passed peak production/$. From here on out we will have to start moving to thing like tar sands and oil shale. it costs a lot of money to extract oil from these sources. “The Oil Drum” is an energy blog that focuses on peak oil. There is actually a lot of good analysis to found there, and yes there is some extreme peak oil points of view there as well, filter as appropriate.

    Interesting fact: The USA has oil deposits the size of Saudi Arabia’s but in the form of oil shale and tar sands located in the Colorado, Utah, New Mexico area. 50 years from now, if we decide to exploit these sources we could be one of the largest oil producers in the world. these reserves have been know since about 1920 it has just cost to much to extract, that will change as oil goes up….

  77. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Bi – i don’t know even know what CFC is. The financial mgr handles all that and all i do is login once a week to see how much money he’s made me.

    The only stock i have ever bought myself is Apple, and that’s doing just great.

    I’m a member of the media and the markets are hardly my forte. Let me revise that – i can count the # of times i have picked up the NYT/WSJ and looked at the stock tables. It’s less than 10.

  78. JBJB says:

    Skep [72]

    True, but I don’t see media and fashion as growth areas capable of maintaining NY’s economic superiority. Big media & publishing is a dying industry and fashion is basically only around due to the wealth created by the financial industry. Boston however is the epicenter of biotechnology and will be major hub for future growth industries like cleantech and nanotech. The latter areas could have been opportunities for NJ but since were are ranked 49th in the country for business friendliness we have essentially blown the opporutnity. I believe in the future when business historians look back on the late 1990’s and 2000’s we will really see what a disaster NJ has become. We will basically be like the rust belt cities of today.

  79. gary says:


    Where have you been?

  80. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Home Vacancies Rise to Record as Loan Foreclosures Surge

    record 17.9 million U.S. homes stood empty in the third quarter as lenders took possession of a growing number of properties in foreclosure.

    The figure is a 7.8 percent gain from a year ago, when 16.6 million properties were vacant, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. About 2.07 million empty homes were for sale, compared with 1.94 million a year earlier, the report said.

    New foreclosures have risen to a record, led by defaults in adjustable-rate loans to people with tainted or limited credit histories, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Home- price declines and tougher lending standards are making it difficult for owners who fall behind in mortgage payments to sell or refinance into better loans.

    U.S. home prices probably will fall 2 percent this year, Thomas Lund, an executive vice president at Washington-based Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage buyer, said last week in a panel discussion at a Mortgage Bankers Association convention in Boston.

    Adjustable-rate mortgages to subprime borrowers account for 7.3 percent of all home loans and 44 percent of all new foreclosures, according to the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers group. The 15 percent of all mortgages that are prime adjustable-rate loans, granted to borrowers with good credit, represents 15 percent of new foreclosures.

    Lenders began the process of seizing properties on 0.65 percent of U.S. mortgages in the second quarter, a record in a 35-year-old study, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a Sept. 6 report. The percentage of subprime borrowers making late payments increased to 14.82, a five-year high, from 13.77.

  81. 3b says:

    #70 BC: Richard told me to get anotehr job, so I left.

    No, just kidding, took a break for a while, as I thought the conversation was being dominated by a few individuals, and it just got tiring.

    We have bi, his ramblings are just insane. Now this morning we have the regional Fed vs the national Fed, so NJ real esate prices will not come down????

    Maybe I should check with my municipal Fed, and see what they say. And then there was buying a Mcmansion and posting on whatever as busted berger bear???? Bueller? Bueller? any one??? At least the Duck was entertaining.

    And what can one say when one says if we go to war with Iran oil prices will come down. Straits of Hormuz is what I would say.

    Then we have pret the boy wonder, not from the NYC Metro area, only on the street a few short years, yet has all the answers. NYC the culture, NYC the sophiscation, NYC everybody and anybody wants to be here, and blah,blah blah, and and every one makes 200K a year, and real estate prices cannot and will not go down.

    One of my biggest pet peeves is being lectured too by some one who is not from the area.

    When you have lived through a houisng crash before,and a couple of heavy recessions, its difficult to listen to people who have nver lived through those experiences, prattle on.

    So I took a break, but will post from time to time.

    With all that has transpired,and all that is continuing to unfold, the fact that we still have some going on and on about real estate prices not dropping, and all will be well, is just amazing to me. Denial, Delusion, Fear??

    Perhaps we need to change the name of our area from the NYC metropolitna area, to the Brigadoon metropolitan area.

  82. HEHEHE says:


    I’ve read that re the oil shale. The problem is that there’s no money currently being spent by government/industry re putting the technology etc in place for its extraction at the time it will be needed. I’ve read that it may take 15-20 yrs for that to be possible for conversion on a meaningful scale. Not to mention there’s chunks of it under the current best agricultural land in this country.

    It’s the typical “head in the sand/deal with problems when they become crises” leadership that you see being played out with this housing circus. Lets put regulations in place re subprime loans after all the deadbeats are going to be thrown out in the street. Lets downgrade the quality of these CDO’s after a few hedge funds go under and none of the banks want to lend.

    Credit and Cheap Oil = opiates for the masses

    The Government, Banks and Big Oil = the dealers

  83. Kettle1 says:


    We could get our buts handed to us in a conflict with iran. I say this as a former military person myself. We can easily achieve air superiority, however that does little for us if we cannot put boots on the ground ( this was tested in iraq as the airforce has theorized that you could control an area using heavy air superiority and few boots on the ground. It has since been acknowledged buy the generals and war planners that this does not work and you must have the boots on the ground.) Iran has extreme terrain in terms of land combat which would eliminate many of our tech advantages. we simply dont have enough troops to do it unless we put EVERYONE there. And if we go for the oil, the iranians are capable of poisoning the oil wells by injecting water or other contaminants. In most of the war game scenarios i have read about the only way we can really win in Iran is with a D-day type invasion or with nukes; although we still tend to loose in most of them. I think we know which way the commander in chimp is leaning.

    An article summarizing possible Iran conflict outcome

  84. Kettle1 says:


    I’ve read that it may take 15-20 yrs for that to be possible for conversion on a meaningful scale. Not to mention there’s chunks of it under the current best agricultural land in this country.

    It’s the typical “head in the sand/deal with problems when they become crises”

    Very true, but even with a 15-20 year lead time which can probably be cut to 10-15 with government backing, this is a huge strategic resource for the US to have available. The real question is will alternative fuel sources ( nuclear/geothermal/wind/solar etc) become more cost effective before the oil deposits do. who knows? i suspect it will be a mix of both

  85. skep-tic says:


    JBJB– Yes, Mass is fortunate that it has all of those great universities there, because the state is not governed much better than any other northeastern state and the people running it really can’t claim any credit for the tech industry.

    One thing that is amazing to me about Mass is that it has a big net out-migration of young people despite the fact that seemingly every third person in the country goes to college there.

    Just like all of the other northeastern states, Mass has a big problem when it comes to taxes and the cost of living in general. At the moment, it is beginning to seem like a better deal income to cost-wise compared to the NYC area, but I think it may just be because it is further along in its real estate downturn. When recessions hit Boston, they tend to hit hard, although since this one appears to be centered in the finance industry, maybe it will come out slightly ahead of NYC.

  86. stuw6 says:

    bi Says:

    from recent movement of oil price, i feel attack on iran is coming soon. after war starts, the oil price will start to move down.

    So does this mean that Iran will be our next Ally?

    Do Bi’s political theories work like his investment strategies?

  87. Joeycasz says:

    NJ has a nice little scam going…

    Off topic but last night i got pulled over for speeding 67(debatable) in a 50mph on Rt 31N in Washington NJ. I was going to a midnight showing of SAW IV with friends (pretty good by the way) But anyway I just hate the idea of going to court and paying $425+ for the ticket and in court fees to make it go away. I have a clean record and will probably go this route but doesn’t this just add to the aggravation that to avoid points they’re basically scamming you with these court fees? It certainly does for me.

  88. Kettle1 says:


    you want to change the ticket scam? change the laws so that all ticketing revenue collected by the police goes to a general state fund and not to the police!

  89. Joeycasz says:


    I’d vote for that.

  90. lisoosh says:

    Kettle1 Says:

    #50 Lisoosh,
    “Hey now, what are trying to say about me????”


    Regarding Iran – Iranian Revolutionary Guard are well trained and dedicated soldiers, not the unmotivated Iraqis, and there are lots of them. They would be difficult to beat on their home turf. They would also be very well funded and equiped – they have access to high tech toys and the Russians would probably be quite interested in giving them a helping hand.

    Add to that the simple fact that the US has NO soldiers to send over there (without a mass draft) and the other fact that there is not one country out there which would be willing to donate its soldiers to the folly (after our great leadership in Iraq) and the odds of a winable war are negligible.

  91. Kettle1 says:

    Re #87

    If you really think oil will go down due to war with iran i suggest you read the link i put in # 84. Iran can and will massively disrupt oil distribution out of the middleast in any conflict with the US. War with Iran is one of the dumber things we could do.

  92. stuw6 says:

    14mph over is the maximum. Anything after that and you’re risking a day or two in court.

    I’ve been driving for 20 years, speed 14mph over the limit (when it is safe to) and have never received a speeding ticket.

    Praise the lord for cruise control.

  93. Kettle1 says:

    yes, in case you didnt notice i dont have much work to do today…..

  94. dreamtheaterr says:

    The whole speeding limit issue is a huge revenue generating mechanism. Speed limits are kept low enough whereby 95-98 percentile of the people will drive 14 MPH over the posted speed limit, exercising reasonable constraint and caution. But it gives cops a larger sample of the audience driving through to potentially ticket. It doesn’t take much throttle to go from the safer ’14 MPH over’ to ‘you are a threat to society for doing 16 MPH over’ and get ticketed by the dozy Dunkin chompin cop.

  95. John says:

    Speaking on Atlanta you will get a good laugh if you ask the locals about that old joke? What does MARTA stand for?

  96. skep-tic says:

    Link to BostonBubble site which shows that Massachusetts median price is trending below 2003 level (coming to a neighborhood near you?):


  97. thatBIGwindow says:

    Yeah, go after the speeders instead of the people driving 45mph in the left lane of the highway with their left blinker on trying to text message someone or yapping about important events…

  98. John says:

    some good fool info.

    One of Warren Buffett’s early partner letters (with updated numbers) provides a great example of the irrational returns of today’s real estate market. Back in 1636, the Dutch purchased Manhattan Island for $24 worth of glass beads. In 2004, the assessed value of all the properties on Manhattan was $186 billion. What a steal, right?

    Well, hang on a minute. Do you have any idea what kind of annualized return you’d need if you wanted to turn that measly $24 into $186 billion? Just 6.37%. Real estate, or any other investment for that matter, will not increase at 20% per year for very long. Eventually, reversion to the mean kicks in.

    The 150 to 200 rule
    If a home is selling for 150 times the monthly rent (or less), it’s generally a good deal. If it’s selling for more than 200 times the monthly rent of a comparable property, you’re better off renting. I ran this little test for a house near Fool HQ in Alexandria, Va. House A has five bedrooms and 4.5 baths, and it sits on one pristine acre. You can rent House A for $3,900 per month. Based on comparable sales, this home would sell for approximately $2 million. Therefore, it’s selling for 512 times the monthly rent! Put another way, if you mortgaged the whole $2 million at 5.42% over 30 years, your monthly payment would be more than $11,000.

  99. Kettle1 says:


    I know there are several meanings. The only one i recall is
    “Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta”

  100. Kettle1 says:

    In the United States, traffic engineers may rely on the 85th percentile rule[3] to establish speed limits. The speed limit should be set to the speed that separates the bottom 85% of vehicle speeds from the top 15%. The 85th percentile is slightly greater than a speed that is one standard deviation above the mean of a normal distribution.

    The theory is that traffic laws that reflect the behavior of the majority of motorists may have better compliance than laws that arbitrarily criminalize the majority of motorists and encourage violations. The latter kinds of laws lack public support and often fail to bring about desirable changes in driving behavior. An example is the federally-mandated 55 mph (90 km/h) speed limit that was removed in part because of notoriously low compliance.

    Most U.S. jurisdictions report using the 85th percentile speed as the basis for their speed limits, so the 85th-percentile speed and speed limits should be closely matched. However, a review of available speed studies demonstrates that the posted speed limit is almost always set well below the 85th-percentile speed by as much as 8 to 12 mph (see p.88) (13 to 19 km/h). Some reasons for this include:

    * Political or bureaucratic resistance to higher limits.
    * Statutes that restrict jurisdictions from posting limits higher than an arbitrary number.

  101. HEHEHE says:

    Was Saw IV better than Cleaver?

  102. John says:

    NEWS of the week FROM REUTERS

    Merrill CEO Met Wachovia Over Merger – NYT

    Countrywide Posts $1.2 Bln Loss, Sees Profit Ahead

    Merrill Chairman Expects to Be Ousted – CNBC

    Ex-RBC Trader Says Colleagues Mismarked Bonds – WSJ

    ICBC to Buy 20 Pct of Standard Bank for $5.6 Bln

    Bank Mergers Reach New Scale in Global Expansion

    U.S. Financial Companies Cut Jobs

    Bank of America Quits Wholesale Mortgage Business

    Fidelity National to Spin Off Mortgage Services

    Merrill Lynch Reels From $8.4 Bln Write-Down

    Bank of America Cuts 3,000 Jobs; I-Bank Chief Exits

    National City Net Sinks 80 Pct, 2,500 Jobs Cut

    U.S. Cities May Lose $25 Bln From Home Foreclosures

    Banks Likely Underestimating Future Losses

    U.S. Housing Market Takes Turn for the Worse

    Japan Property Investment Hits Record in First Half – Report

    Countrywide to Modify $16 Billion Mortgages

    Bear Stearns, CITIC Set Alliance, to Swap Stakes

    NYSE’s Thain: Subprime Shows Need for Transparency

    Dresdner Says May Join U.S. Credit Crisis Fund

    Luminent Mortgage Says CFO to Resign, Names Replacement

  103. Kettle1 says:

    ICBC to Buy 20 Pct of Standard Bank for $5.6 Bln

    Bank Mergers Reach New Scale in Global Expansion

    AT what point does the level of global bank mergers become a concern given that a small number of banks will control the majority of the worlds money???

  104. x-underwriter says:

    John Says:
    What does MARTA stand for?

    Everybody duck!!!!

  105. Jill says:

    Theo #76: I’m frankly amazed that the Washington Twp. house you cited sold for $445K. Mountain Ave. is pretty busy for a side street and this is a smallish house on a very “tight”-feeling lot. I monitored this listing pretty carefully (I think OLP was like $479K) because it had turned over before relatively recently. Washington Twp. seems to be price-sensitive but moving. A REAL POS cape — worse than mine — on Calvin St. sold after the asking price had been reduced from $449K to $418K. Don’t know what the final sale price was, but I would bet it was probably around $399K. Another house a block away from the one you cited just sold in two weeks; listing price $525K, selling price unknown…but it had a lot of updates and expansion within the last 10 years. Aggressively-priced houses are moving like hotcakes while sellers who won’t budge on price are sitting with for-sale signs out front for months on end.

  106. John says:

    22237LPA4 COUNTRYWIDE FINAN GLBL 4.000 03/22/11 7.839(M) 88.750

    I am tempted, what are the odds they go bankrupt in four years.

  107. hoodafa says:


    From Bloomberg:

    China, Emerging Markets Can’t Fill U.S. Shoes

    Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) — China is among the world’s fastest- growing economies. Shanghai and Shenzhen are home to its hottest stock market. Now many investors regard the evolving Asian behemoth as the antidote to a slowing U.S. economy, picking up the slack in global growth as the American consumer retreats.

    They probably shouldn’t. China’s growth has been fueled by exports and investment, not consumers, whose share of the country’s gross domestic product is declining. From almost 80 percent in the first half of the 1980s, Chinese household consumption fell to 46 percent of GDP by 2000 and shrank further to 36 percent in 2006.

    More at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=auhSx4a0tgkY&refer=home

  108. John says:

    What does MARTA stand for?

    Moving Atlantians Rapidly Through Atlanta.

    Actually, last business trip to Atlanta the train from airport went straight to hotel so I took it. WOW, it looked like that scene from the movie “The brother from another planet” on the uptown four train after the doors closed at 86th street.

  109. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Most racist major cities in America

    1) Boston
    2) Atlanta

    Been to both, not a huge fan of either. But because Boston is on the water, I’m partial to it.

  110. bi says:

    with your military experience, do you think we can find all nuke sites in iran by satellite? if so, why don’t just strike them out by air force?

  111. John says:

    Re 111 They both hate New York so they have a lot in common.

  112. John says:

    I didn’t know we were at war with Iran?

    with your military experience, do you think we can find all nuke sites in iran by satellite? if so, why don’t just strike them out by air force?

  113. Joeycasz says:

    The road i was stopped on was rt 31N. I was stopped about 5 miles before it changed from a highway to a one lane street. What pisses me off is the highway portion was 50mph and then when it changes to a ONE LANE road it’s still 50mph. What the hell is that?

  114. Rich In NNJ says:


    SLD 977 HILLCREST RD $732,500 8/7/2001

    SLD 977 HILLCREST RD $999,000 8/25/2005

    SLD 977 HILLCREST RD $970,000 10/25/2007

  115. Homer says:

    From CNN MONEY

    For sale: 2 million empty homes

    The number of vacant homes for sale rose in the third quarter, according to the latest government reading that casts new harsh light on the weakness of the housing market.

    The Census Bureau report puts the number of vacant homes for sale at 2.07 million in the period, up about 2 percent from the second quarter, and 7 percent above year ago levels.

    The number is down 5 percent from the record high reading reached in the first quarter, though.

    For purposes of comparison for the current situation, imagine the Detroit metropolitan area, which the Census Bureau estimated had 2.08 million households in its 2000 Census. Now picture virtually every house or condo empty, with a for sale sign in the front yard of every home, from inner-city Detroit to its suburbs, all the way to nearby cities such as Flint and Ann Arbor.

    There are always some homes vacant and for sale, even in a booming real estate market.

    But the combination of overbuilding by home builders in the middle of the decade and problems in mortgage markets this year that made it more difficult for buyers to get the financing they needed to buy a home has swelled the inventory of vacant homes on the market.

    Because the mortgage market meltdown has thinned the ranks of potential home buyers some home owners have been forced to move out of homes before they can find a buyer. And those who bought homes or condos as investments during the real estate and building booms of a couple of years ago have found an exceptionally weak market for their property. That in turn has lifted the number of vacant homes for sale by 57 percent in just the last three years. And some see the situation only getting worse.

  116. mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle great link on options& outcomes on Iran war.Bi if read it you should be able to answer your own ?.I would say 100% is not possible with out useing nukes,which is not the way to go.Buy even leaving with any is very dangerous!

  117. skep-tic says:

    isn’t the answer for Iran to just let Israel off the chain?

  118. dreamtheaterr says:

    Joey, my wife got a ticket while waiting at a red light to make a left turn because her front left wheel was turned left and slightly across the double line in the center. That’s a 4 point ticket right there.

    What really is annoying is that after cops write the ticket, they say ‘now you have a good day’. why try to be polite while thinking ‘one less to meet my quota for the month…whew’. nice performance target for a year-end bonus, eh?

  119. Clotpoll says:

    bergen (31)-

    Thanks, but no thanks. Those agents wouldn’t listen, anyway.

    It’s all I can do to keep my own agents on track.

  120. Greg says:

    dreamtheaterr #121

    Be careful of the Bergen County cops on Route 17. Unless you are driving like Jesus, they will ticket you for sometihng. I guess the county is broke and needs to raise cash.

  121. Homer says:

    oey, my wife got a ticket while waiting at a red light to make a left turn because her front left wheel was turned left and slightly across the double line in the center. That’s a 4 point ticket right there.

    And I feel that is a well deserved ticket.
    How many times people who cannot handle making a left and turn and have to cross over the yellow line, I have almost got in numerous head on collisions because of that.
    Maybe your wife was not going to cut over the yellow lines but how many times I have been at a red light at the line to go stright, someone from the right of me trying to make a left almost hitting me because its to complicated for the to make a full left hand turn or when I am going straight and someone on the opposite side of me going to make a left is too impatient and has to cross so the double yellow line so they dont have to wait, mean while there arrow is long gone and I have started to go not realizing that they are gonna do that and almost getting in a head on collision. I think they need to start getting more people for that

  122. chicagofinance says:

    dreamtheaterr Says:
    October 26th, 2007 at 1:13 pm
    Joey, my wife got a ticket while waiting at a red light to make a left turn because her front left wheel was turned left and slightly across the double line in the center. That’s a 4 point ticket right there.

    yan: That is really dangerous. If someone hits you from behind, the car goes right into oncoming traffic.

  123. Kettle1 says:


    My understanding is that we have satellites that are capable of tracking pretty much any concentrated radioactive source such as enriched uranium/plutonium/thorium etc regardless of how deep you may bury it. The problem comes in how to destroy the target. Our best bunker busters can only destroy a target a couple hundred feet below the surface in best case conditions. most of Iran’s facilities are known to be heavily shielded and deeply buried. In other words we can probably damage them but not destroy them. This is why there was a big push for nuke bunker busters. with nukes, the shock wave itself would be powerful enough to destroy bunkers several times deeper then conventional bunker busters can.
    Personally i say who cares if they have a nuke. An individual state/country with a nuke is not an immediate threat because if they use it they will be nuked back. for a state/country a nuke is really only useful for defense (deterrence). The real threat from a nuke is a guerrilla group getting one. if a guerrilla group has access to a nuke, how do you deter them…. not an easy question.
    for as much as we may disagree with Iran, Iran is no more a threat as a nuclear state then Isreal is.
    if we go to war with Iran, i would guess that Isreal would be the ones to use nuke, they have already stated that they are willing to make a first nuclear strike on Iran ( no link or source take it for what you will). Currently the real threat of loose nukes is from russia or china

  124. John says:

    India’s treatment of its lower-class Dalits has been described by UNESCO as “India’s hidden apartheid”.According to Rajeev Dhavan, of India’s leading English-language newspaper The Hindu, “casteism is India’s apartheid which will continue in its most vicious and persistent forms for decades to come.” Eric Margolis has claimed that India “frantically tr[ied] to prevent its caste system, which is often called ‘hidden apartheid” from being put on the agenda of the 2001 World Conference against Racism in Durban.

    They were not allowed draw water from the same wells as those with caste, and they usually lived in segregated neighborhoods outside the main village. The majority of rural Dalits still live in segregation and experience atrocities to the scale of 110,000 registered cases a year according to 2005 statistics.Additionally, Anti-Brahmanist racial sentiments have been expressed by extremist fringe groups among Dalit Nationalists.

    In the Indian caste system, a Dalit, often called an untouchableis a person who lay outside the Indian Caste System. Historically, Hindu Dalits were forbidden to worship in temples and Muslim Dalits forbidden in mosques.

  125. Homer says:

    And what amuses me is I pull up to the white line and people making a left hand turn give me dirty looks because they cannot cross over the double yellow lines to make a left.
    One last question, how is it if there is 2 lanes that are fairly wide, and I am in the right hand lane, how is it someone to the right of me making a left hand turn still manages to almost hit me??? Need I say more

  126. syncmaster says:

    Has anyone seen the 2007 NJ State Police Gang Survey?

    It defines “Potential Conflict Zone” as a municipality that has identified “two different gangs as their most serious gang problem and most actively recruiting“. It goes on to say that these municipalities “could potentially become the site of active gang conflict”.

    It lists the following towns as “Potential Conflict Zones”, by county:

    Atlantic – Egg Harbor City

    Bergen – Bergenfield, Englewood, River Edge, Bogota, East Rutherford, Fairview

    Camden – Camden, Cherry Hill, Gibbsboro, Chesilhurst, Voorhees

    Cape May – Cape May

    Essex – East Orange, Irvington

    Gloucester – Swedesboro

    Mercer – Ewing, Washington Twp

    Middlesex – Sayreville, South Brunswick, Perth Amboy

    Monmouth – Interlaken, Hazlet

    Ocean – Stafford Twp, Little Egg Harbor

    Somerset – North Plainfield

    Passaic – Hawthorne

    Union – Plainfield

    The full survey is at http://www.njsp.org/news/pr102507.html

  127. thatBIGwindow says:

    “Be careful of the Bergen County cops on Route 17. Unless you are driving like Jesus, they will ticket you for sometihng. I guess the county is broke and needs to raise cash.”

    If the Bergen County Cops were eliminated, think of the savings!
    All they are is glorified traffic cops.

  128. John says:


    Amazing site. You can compare the cost of things in different time periods. Play with it.

  129. Kettle1 says:

    A link with an argument against nuclear bunker ( some good basic description of the physics involved) busters with seems to be pretty strait forward with little spin as far as i can tell


  130. skep-tic says:


    Kettle– isn’t this the main concern re: Iran having nukes– that they would give/sell one to terrorists to whom they have longstanding connections?

  131. John says:


    How come veterns in NJ don’t need to take RE test?

  132. dreamtheaterr says:

    Maybe I should have clarified a bit.

    My wife was waiting at the red light to make a left. A guy was driving out a dealership on her right and could not turn to the right completely, so my wife edged forward a few inches to the left so that he could complete his right turn and not block all the traffic backed up behind him.

    Also, there is no traffic that comes in the opposite lane since there is no right turn allowed there. My wife does not do this by habit – she edged up a few inches to let someone else through. I just feel a cop could have exercised a little restraint and common sense in handing out a ticket.

  133. Kettle1 says:

    Skeptic # 133

    I think that the argument that iran would give a nuke to a guerrilla group is BS. It is possible to ID the reactor that nuclear material came from that was used in a bomb. we can ID any nuclear bomb that has been or will be made. this works based on the different mixture of isotopes produced by different reactors. it acts like a finger print.
    This means ( and iran knows this) that if they ever gave a nuke to a guerrilla group, and the guerrilla group used it we would be able to tell as would any other country with advanced nuclear physics ( this is a quick and dirty simplified explanation). The point being is that they know that they cannot get away with “losing” a nuke. They also know that Isreal is just looking for a reason to nuke them.

  134. BC Bob says:

    Dec dollar index, under 77.

  135. Joeycasz says:

    Be careful of the Bergen County cops on Route 17. Unless you are driving like Jesus, they will ticket you for something. I guess the county is broke and needs to raise cash.

    I’ve been pulled over SEVERAL times because they think the van i drive needs commercial plates but then back down when i show them i work for a non profit organization. They don’t believe me at first and then because it’s also based in Bergen County you should see their face. It’s a looks of, “wow, we really can’t touch this one”.

    You’d think after they saw what the side of the van says they’d just KNOW.

  136. dreamtheaterr says:

    John, were you passed up for promotion by an Indian guy? Seems like you have some personal vendetta. Save it for outside a RE blog.

    You understanding of Indian (and perhaps other) cultures is completely devoid of a fundamental understanding of people. Hand-picking a few instances to comply with your archaic view rather what actually happens in a progressively modern-day India speaks of your stone-aged bias. Keep it up… it’s holding you in good stead.

  137. MJ says:

    best protection against tickets : get an insurance which has points forgiveness, and just pay 85$ fine. Points will go off after a few years. I have both points/accident forgiveness and it really give a peace of mind.

  138. syncmaster says:


    As another poster of Indian heritage, may I say I find your arrow-like zooming in on progressive, modern-day India a a bit convenient?

    Most of India is neither progressive nor modern. That’s the direction the wind is blowing, but most of India ain’t there yet.

  139. bergenbuyer says:

    #118- For sale: 2 million empty homes

    I know there are other variables and this is a simplistic view, but doesn’t this mean there are too many houses, about 2M too many as first time buyers have been priced out of many markets? Where are the buyers coming from? And if you say rentals, then won’t rents come down in price and then maybe more people put off buying because rents are cheap?

    It sure seems like simple supply and demand, the problem is the lines are not crossing paths because price is too high.

  140. Pat says:

    bi, how can you say the US is the least discriminating against ethnic groups? What is this based on – living around here?

    Besides, just from your experience on this blog, don’t you sense at least the veiled impatience thrown at immigrants? People are always making snide comments when someone leaves out a “the” like this: “In US there is …”

    Right away, I get this “hmmmmm” vibration from other readers out there. “Foreigner” “Different” and boom, the poster is flagged, bagged and tagged.

    Maybe I’m just imagining it. Too much caffeine.

  141. Pat says:

    I’m not talking about John type of stuff.

  142. skep-tic says:


    Kettle– I’m interested why you think Cold War-style deterrance would be successful with a country like Iran. Obviously, no country wants to be annihilated in a nuclear war, but some countries are more afraid of this than others. Also, when you deal heavily with terrorists, as Iran does, you are purposefully allowing some of your foreign policy to be handled by those who are really loose cannons and beyond your control. Maybe Iran wouldn’t really want Hezbollah to nuke Tel Aviv or NYC due to fears of retribution, but if Hezbollah got ahold of a bomb, would Hezbollah have the same concern? It seems to me allowing Iran to have a nuke is like putting the guy who has several psychotic, suicidal friends in charge of the gun vault.

  143. dreamtheaterr says:

    Sync, I fully agree with you.

    It’s just that the wind is blowing in the right direction of India becoming more progressive. So painting the whole country as racist and in a frozen state what is was hundreds of years, etc is blatantly self-serving a point of view.

  144. SG says:

    John: You really need to be sent to India.

    The difference here is as you have it in post: India frantically tr[ied] to prevent its caste system.

    In US, you have segregation till 1965. Now you have economic segregation in many parts of the country. In NJ, the government is not even Trying !!! If it had tried, you would not have predominant African-Americans living in few towns.

    The history is not kind to anyone.

  145. skep-tic says:

    another example would be in game theory, a dominant strategy in chicken would be to rip your steering wheel out of your car. If the car in our scenario is the A-bomb, then Iran is the driver and Hezbollah is riding shotgun. Who’s to say Hezbollah might not just lean over and rip the steering wheel out?

  146. John says:

    SIFMA’s president and CEO, Marc Lackritz, testified before the House Committee on Financial Services on Thursday, in a hearing entitled Legislative Proposals on Reforming Mortgage Practices. Speaking on behalf of SIFMA and the American Securitization Forum (ASF), Lackritz commended Chairman Frank for a fair and participatory process in the development of legislation, but expressed concern for several provisions of H.R. 3915, The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007. “The beauty of our housing finance system has been its continued ability to innovate and develop new techniques to best reach and serve all market participants,” said Lackritz during his oral testimony. “Occasionally, some of these techniques do not work as well as they are intended. Importantly, we cannot overreact in crafting legislation to address the abuses that have occurred in a very small segment of the lending market and to which the market has already adjusted. We urge the Committee to bear in mind that there are limits to the liability that loan purchasers will accept without taking their money and investing elsewhere, especially when it involves increasingly global capital flows.”

  147. John says:

    Actually a lazy hindu I know from NJ just married a rich good looking wife because even though he does not make much nor does his family makes much he is from the right caste and has the right sur-name.

    He has a great deal, he can loaf around and ride out what his family did several hundred years ago.

  148. John says:

    Actually I hate all countries as well as all religions and ethic backgounds including mine. That makes me totally non-racist. I think as soon as you come to america you should be american and love it. I hate people who have to keep bringing up their nationality every day. Who cares.

    Hindus when they die they can’t stay here, they have to be cremated and their ashes thrown back on the ground in India. Most other nationalities as soon as they become american it is forever and they would not dream of having their body or ashes shipped back to their old country.

  149. John says:

    FYI – I know their are a few indian guys on the post and now and then I like to put some curry in your shorts just to make sure you guys are awake. If it wasn’t for you guys there would be no america as Mr. Columbus would not have found us on his shortcut to India.

  150. Kettle1 says:


    Good questions, and these are my opinions only, i claim not extraordinary expertise here. But consider The USA funds and back terrorist groups in the same manner that Iran does. We are arming sunni and shia groups in iraq knowing that some of those arms are being used against us as well. We regularly arm south american rebel groups. We gave nukes to isreal. WE BUILT the north korean nuclear reactor!

    The deterrence comes down to this; Ultimately every government in the world, even Iran and North Korea, have self preservation as priority # 1. consider the cold war. if we hand let west germany get a hold of one of our nukes and use it on russian soil, russia would have held us responsible and fired on us! The same principle applies. Iran knows that no matter what it will be held responsible if hezbollah got a hold of an iranian nuke and used on isreal.
    In my opinion we are no different with regard to using terrorist ( what i prefer to more accurately call guerrilla fighters) then iran is. to use your car analogy…. the only thing that keeps the crazy mofo in the passenger seat from yanking off the steering wheel is the fact that i know that if i let the crazy mofo yank the steering wheel off, then we are both going down hard!

    On an interesting side note… we have mutual agreements with russia that if they/we ever accidentally fired a nuke and took out a US/russian city, they/we would be allowed to retaliate and nuke a similar size city. That way the government can say that they struck back at the evil commies/americans.

  151. Kettle1 says:

    One commonly acknowledged problem with game theory is that real humans often deviate from it because we usually react emotionally instead of logically.

  152. SG says:

    JB: Anyway to moderate John’s posts? Everyone else, feel free to ignore him.

  153. dreamtheaterr says:

    “Actually I hate all countries as well as all religions and ethic backgounds including mine.”

    Please don’t pat yourself, especially regarding the ‘ethic’ bit.

  154. x-underwriter says:

    skep-tic Says:
    Who’s to say Hezbollah might not just lean over and rip the steering wheel out?

    Agree. In their religion, being killed in a nuclear strike would be a good thing as long as they were fighting a Jihad. They’re moving onto the next/better one after that.
    Crazy F*cks!!!

  155. dreamtheaterr says:

    “I think as soon as you come to america you should be american and love it.”

    John, my daughter is almost 2 years. We will be celebrating Halloween. Can I bring her to meet you? Would you welcome us?

  156. Mike NJ says:


    Seems like a fair deal to me. An eye for an eye.

    I say let Iran have their bomb. We all know they can’t use it. If for any reason it even looks like they would then Israel would strike first. I actually think Israel will strike first regardless within the next year if some kind of diplomatic agreement is not reached soon. Iran just does not trust us enough to take a commitment from the US that we will leave them alone if they open up their program to inspectors. The distrust runs very deep. Frontline had a wonderful special this year on the Iran hostage saga that went into the politics of Iran and the US. Very interesting stuff and extremely pertinent to today’s situation.

  157. BC Bob says:

    In the past, we have have heard the preachers try to argue that world markets are much safer, the result of the onslaught of derivatives. Risk was now dispersed throughout the system, in every way, shape and form. Everybody was/is hedged. What a bunch of doo-doo.

    I have stated all along that the risk goes out the front door but it is then welcomed in through the back door. Sometimes they invite you in and don’t let you out. However, there are times they invite others in and don’t have a clue how to get it out.

    “Conventional wisdom held that the process of slicing debts into numerous structured products dispersed risk and thus reduced it, especially for banks. But it turns out that the risk that banks ushered out of their front doors sneaked in again through the back. This is because the new owners of structured assets are either big clients of the banks or have borrowed from them.”


  158. Kettle1 says:


    Both the US and Iran have some crazy a$$ doomsday mofo’s in power. The mitigating factor is that most people in power in both countries would very much prefer not to be nuked
    I am usually the one saying some of the more controvesial statements it seems, but in this case i would suggest not painting all iranians as suicidal extremists. You need to consider that at the end of the day the average iranian and the average american just want a roof over their head and for their family to be safe and warm. How is GW any less crazy then some of the iranian leaders since he has said that a non-provoked nuclear first strike is acceptable? Also consider that to my knowledge ( i may be wrong and am open to correction) Ahmenidinijad has never actually threatened to wipe out isreal, he was mis-quoted by the press (i have no illusion about the hostility between irseal and iran thought).

  159. x-underwriter says:

    Kettle1 Says:
    the average iranian and the average american just want a roof over their head

    Too bad they weren’t so stupid as to create a huge bubble with that desire like we did

  160. x-underwriter says:

    I know now to treat anything I hear in the press with extreme skepticism, including what our government says about other potentially hostile countries

  161. Kettle1 says:


    Isreal making a first strike is a real possibility. and could actually be a catalyst for WWIII according to recent US war game simulations.
    The funny thing is that Iran ultimately makes more sense as a strategic partner to us then the Saudi’s do if you take a neutral stance towards isreal. iran is far more progressive then just about any other middle eastern country and has a strong educated middle class, lots of oil and gas as well as strategic influences. The current debacle of the middle east is primarily based on financial relationships between the saudis and american politicians (i.e GREED)

  162. make money says:

    Someone I trust told me that CFC conference call was hacked and the person was shouting out “Mozzillo is a criminal” “Mozillo is a criminal”…

    If true that was funny…did anyone listen to call?

  163. make money says:

    We have a similar system in Albania. If you are an Albanian male you have it made.

    Why change. It’s been this way for centuries. Who am I to change it?

  164. Clotpoll says:

    John (150)-

    Change a couple of words, and you could be describing Dubya:

    “Actually a lazy hindu I know from NJ just married a rich good looking wife because even though he does not make much nor does his family makes much he is from the right caste and has the right sur-name.

    He has a great deal, he can loaf around and ride out what his family did several hundred years ago.”

  165. John says:

    Only if you don’t show up in that piece of junk 2004 Hyundai Elantra I have seen you driving around town in. Buy American baby.

    dreamtheaterr Says:
    October 26th, 2007 at 2:44 pm
    “I think as soon as you come to america you should be american and love it.”

    John, my daughter is almost 2 years. We will be celebrating Halloween. Can I bring her to meet you? Would you welcome us?

  166. dreamtheaterr says:

    John, it has a nickname ‘camel’ for a reason. I love my piece of junk…..

    But it would be embarassing to you to have anyone pull up in your driveway except in a shiny, leased car, right?

  167. Jamey says:

    re: 88

    Shouldn’t any sequel of “Saw” be called, “Seen”?

  168. lisoosh says:

    kettle – Israel isn’t about to nuke Iran. Just proximity makes it a particularly bad idea – those desert winds would send any radiation over in short order. Their bigger concern is Iranian support of Syria, Hizbollah and arms supplies to Hamas which are far closer and which serve a more immediate threat.

    The whole Israel bombing Iran scenario is a bit of a neocon wet dream. The well publicized connections between the US right and Israeli right aren’t mirrored throughout the entire Israeli political and social spectrum. And there would be an enormous price. The Shiites of Iran are considered a major threat by Sunni (and American ally and oil producer) Saudi Arabia, this allows Israel to press some Shiite buttons and get away with it (such as initially taking on Hizbollah) but a nuke would result in calls for “Arab Unity” across the region and for retribution.

  169. Pat says:

    No, Jamey, only in upstate NY.

    I seen that movie.

  170. RayC says:

    This Sunday’s NYT’s Sales Around the region has a lowball in Clifton.

    180 Chittenden Road
    LP $674,900
    SP $570,000

    Previous purchase – $372,000 in April of 2000

  171. Kettle1 says:


    I agree with most of you comments. But the best way to deal with iran/syria/hezbollah is through civil discourse, not armed conflict. There are no innocent parties in the conflict and all sides are guilty of transgressions upon the other.
    The US has overstepped our bounds and is current participating in what is essentially empire building ( i.e long term massive bases in iraq) and telling iran that they are doing bad things while we are doing essentially the same things they are (i.e supporting extremist groups for our dirty work).
    We would be much better off negotiating with Iran in good faith then waving our guns around and seeing who has the bigger “gun”

  172. BC Bob says:


    “Shares of Merrill Lynch & Co. leaped 7% early Friday, rallying after a report that Chief Executive Stan O’Neal expects to be forced out imminently amid a furor over supposed merger overtures he allowed the bank to make.”

    “Wall Street seems to love when anybody’s fired. They think all of a sudden Merrill’s fortunes will change,” said Richard Bove, a Punk Ziegel & Co. analyst.


  173. dreamtheaterr says:

    BCBob, (Courtesy Seeking Alpha) while Merrill was Writing Down $8 Billion, Stan O’Neal Was Playing Golf

    Check out http://www.ghin.com

  174. dreamtheaterr says:

    Seeking Alpha link to his Golf scorecards:


  175. lisoosh says:

    kettle -I think we pretty much agree, and I lived in the region for several years so it is a subject I actually know a bit about.

    To a certain degree actual negotiations with any of the groups you mentioned is problematic – Hizbollah act as a state within a state and Syria’s modus operandi is actually back door interference, they are notorious for saying one thing and doing another. Ahmedinejad is a crazy f*cker but has little direct power -the mullahs retain that.

    I don’t think that any foreign country can go in and change the political face of another, and in the Middle East, which is culturally VERY different, even less so. Most important I believe is to retain economic connections with those countries, allowing business to flourish, the middle class to grow and political change to happen from within. A good comparison would be Americas treatment of Cuba compared to post war Vietnam. With sanctions Cuba hasn’t changed and Castro certainly never lost power. With economic cooperation Vietnam is rapidly modernizing and the political landscape is opening up. Sanctions made Sudan worse and led to Chinese and Russian money and interference.

    I would highly recommend reading Fareed Zakharia of Newsweek on the topic of sanctions. I think he nails it on the head when he says that not only do they not work, but they actually increase internal xenophobia and strengthen rogue regimes (which control all of the money) while weakening internal opposition. Interesting stuff, and the direct opposite of the Bush administrations tactics.

  176. John says:

    Actually, I never buy foreign cars and I never take a lease or a loan on a car. Waste of money. I am sure the blue collar people of Detroit who are losing their homes at a record pace due to the rise of imports do not appreciate your purchase but the Koreans are more than happy to take your money to buy some nuclear weapons. American cars run better and are cheaper to operate than the junky Korean cars – the purchase of a Hundai is a poor economic and un-american decision.
    dreamtheaterr Says:
    October 26th, 2007 at 3:36 pm
    John, it has a nickname ‘camel’ for a reason. I love my piece of junk…..

    But it would be embarassing to you to have anyone pull up in your driveway except in a shiny, leased car, right?

  177. skep-tic says:

    Every sane person prefers diplomacy to war, but the questions is why would diplomacy work against Iran? What is our leverage exactly?

    Iran is making money hand over fist right now; they are very strategically located with respect to the world oil trade and with respect to the two theaters of the war we are conducting (Iraq and Afganistan); and they have much of the world’s sympathy since America is at an all time low in popularity.

    I honestly do not see any reason why they would stop trying to build a bomb other than threat of force from the U.S. or Israel. This is not to say that I would want the U.S. or Israel to attack Iran, but without that threat, there seems to be nothing that would stand in the way of Iran becoming a nuclear power.

  178. Clotpoll says:

    John (179)-

    GM is failing, because it’s turned into a giant HMO that builds cars as an afterthought in an attempt to defray legacy healthcare costs.

    People don’t buy GM cars, because they represent no value. Consumers tend to like value.

    Is it un-American for me to buy a car in which the manufacturer utilizes all its resources in turning out the best piece of machinery at the best possible price…or would I be a better American if I chose to help subsidize entropy, mindless entitlement and loss?

  179. profuscious says:

    A “what would you do” question:

    When you come home to find the surprise of not one but two Ron Paul for President signs in your front lawn, presumably placed by your wife who has recently become a Ron Paul supporter, would you:

    a) after removing Ron Paul, remind your wife that a house divided shall not stand;

    a) read some Maureen Dowd, have a tall glass of your wife’s new favorite fruity drink and put on your new Ron Paul for President Hat

    b) after heavy doses of your favorite liquid meds, repeat your marriage vows, and proceed to fall asleep on the couch


    c) secretly have the signs removed by your local Guliani “crew”

  180. dreamtheaterr says:

    “the purchase of a Hundai is a poor economic and un-american decision.”

    Maybe….but I bought it from an American dealer… does that qualify me to be less un-American?

    “Poor economic decision”:
    Not if it’s a depreciated piece of junk….I bought it battered and bruised, always confused.

    BTW, is it un-American to invest overseas too? Is it un-aMerican to buy anything ‘Made in China’? Just asking….

  181. Clotpoll says:

    prof (182)-

    No sweat. I’d let it all ride. If Paul’s candidacy ever picks up traction, somebody will whack him.

  182. syncmaster says:

    I also own an Elantra. It’s awesome. Anyone who calls it junk is an idiot.

  183. syncmaster says:

    My 2 cents on Iran –

    Let ’em have nukes. Let Israel be the master of its own foreign policy. Israel isn’t our 51st state, so let’s stop acting like it is.

  184. Essex says:

    Actually I recently heard that a marketing stidy found that a lot of the technology in the best Japanese cars is now found in the Korean cars as well….including the legendary durability of the engines. But the Korean’s were challenged with branding the cars.

  185. Essex says:

    I have no sympathy for American auto makers…the free market is all about choices….the US auto makers have been creating truly uninspiring, poorly designed, passenger cars for years.

    Since I am not into trucks, the last cash cow Detroit created, I haven’t bought an American car in years….

  186. Jamey says:

    Just wondering how John fits so much stupid into so many posts? I mean, if the “I are an equal opportunity hater” post (above in this thread) isn’t a “stop me before I breed again” cry for help, then I don’t know WHAT is.

    Just to broaden the discussion about who makes what, and where:

    Hyundai: http://worldwide.hyundai-motor.com/common/html/about/news_event/press_read_2005_07.html

    GM: http://forums.motortrend.com/70/6419071/the-general-forum/chevy-aveo-2-be-produced-in-americas-well-mexico-i/

    So who, really, is putting more money in American workers’ pockets.

  187. Jamey says:

    Kindly take 189 out of moderation. The links point to the whereabouts of various auto manufacturers’ assembly plants.

  188. Pat says:

    My POS 5-yr.-old American car is never going to make it through another winter. It just can’t start under 20 degrees and it makes creaking sounds under 10 degrees.

    I want a beater commuter for something under $22k cash that gets 35 mpg – recommendations?

    [Moving to NC is not an option.]

  189. BC Bob says:

    Pro [182]

    D) Tell her to allocate her time more wisely, tracking/trading her favorite hard asset.

  190. jmacdaddio says:


    I’ve had a Subaru Impreza WRX for 5 years and I have not had a single problem. I don’t drive it like the speed freaks we all see on the highway. You won’t beat their reliability. For a good 35 mpg commuter, consider the Toyota Yaris or the Nissan Versa.

    I don’t buy American because some insane portion of the price is going to pay for retirees instea of the car. If I’m going to drop 20k on a car, I want it to be for 20k worth of car, not 15k of car plus 5k to pay for retiree health care costs. The imports give you a strong ratio of car for the dollar, while the Big Three can’t even come close on value.

  191. lisoosh says:

    Sync – Israel isn’t driving US policy concerning Iran, even though plenty believe it and like to promote that idea. Irans biggest enemy in the area is Saudi Arabia, last I looked Bush & co. have plenty of connections there, and Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the arms to take care of itself.
    If anything Israel is being heavily pressured to act as the US’s proxy and the neocons have been directing money towards the Israeli right in an effort to keep it that way.

  192. Chuchundra says:

    I’d be happy to buy a car from an American car company…if American car companies made a car I’d like to buy. As it stands now, unless I’m in the market for a Ford Mustang, I’ll be buying imports for the foreseeable future.

    My current vehicle is a Suzuki SX4. I bought it because:

    1) It has AWD
    2) It gets decent mileage (26MPG avg)
    3) It was very inexpensive
    4) It has a great warranty

  193. Clotpoll says:

    I’m not into cars. I usually go away when talk turns to cars here.

    However, at the age of 47, I let my wife talk me into the first car I’ve ever owned that I truly enjoy: a Lexus 6 speed manual IS-250.

    Very sexy, very quick. And I feel like a secret agent when I hit the little power boost switch as I enter the 78 on-ramp.

    I am truly pathetic.

  194. BC Bob says:

    Pathetic [195],

    The only vehicle you should be driving is a Bobcat Excavator.

  195. Essex says:

    Funny story….I drove an old Porsche all through grad school…put money into and so forth…was cool. Girls liked it. I liked it. When i graduated I wanted something practical and less expensive to maintain. So I looked at a nice clean used Honda Prelude….one of their better ones for that time…early 90s. My dad, a great guy, insisted that I not buy a Japanese car so I went with a FORD. I bought it used (budgetary considerations) and it eventually had a serious cooling system issue…..I put almost a grand into that car….fixed it at a FORD dealer….6 months later the problem came back….the dealer told me that I was on my own….too bad. That, my friends was the very last American car I ever bought…..oh, and my dad….drives an Accord today. Go figure. Me? I’m back to German cars….an 05 AWD 3 series BMW…that puts a smile on my face whenever I get behind the wheel….and the service dept is exceptional.

  196. dreamtheaterr says:

    If your commute is long (as in excess of 40 miles each way), I’d say a Honda Fit is a great car. Compact, (yet spacious) enough to wiggle through traffic, loaded with safety features, great on gas, and paddle shifters for some pseudo fun.

  197. Richie says:

    Ahh yes.. I’ve been through 3 Porsche’s.. a ’91 944s2, a 2000 911 and most rcently a 2003 911 c4s. loved them all. gave the last one up for ‘practicality’ reasons. i barely drove it, and with the baby, it didn’t make sense to keep it.

    i gave up on Fords recently, after 5-6 years they rust which is ridiculous. The 944s2 I had was 7 years old when I got it and didn’t have a spec of rust on it.

    German engineering/manufacturing/materials are far superior to many of the American rust buckets i’ve had.

  198. dreamtheaterr says:

    This is going to be my next mode of transportation when Crude hits $100:


  199. Pat says:

    Clot, I like the carchat. It’s good to hear real people talk about their experiences, even though the sample is small. I can’t stand reading about a car on some site and then doing the digging and finding out which company pays the bills.

    Most of the people I know have a car so few years that I don’t trust their opinions.

  200. Essex says:

    Cars are a huge part of our culture…I certainly would love to own a few, but you know…a two car garage is all I can handle right now…so I need an ‘all arounder’…and in my mind the car, as personal a decision as it is, reflects one’s values and personalities in many ways. I am definately what one would call an enthusiast. I love autos. Always have.

  201. gary says:

    For me, if it has a f*ckin’ steering wheel and four tires, it’ll do. Seriously, I have a 98 Honda something-or-other and I put gas in it and it goes. The only time it gets washed is when it rains. If the thing gets me from point A to point B, I’ll take it.

  202. Pat says:

    Funny. I used to feel like Essex (growing up, I had 6 older bros with cute friends, a big garage and lots of ripped up cars to stand around). Now, I’m Gary all the way.

  203. Pat says:

    I like the things I’m out there reading right now about the Impreza WRX, macdaddio, but no go on the mph. I’m not budging.

    I’m taking my stand at 35 mpg.

  204. Clotpoll says:

    BC (196)-

    I drive the Excavator when I’m cruising for babes. The Lexus is my real estate car.

    And…I’m locked and loaded into my DeLorean for the Fed’s Halloween surprise.

    Digging. Furiously. But, I need some software and computers to count the stuff that gets dug up.

  205. Clotpoll says:

    And, I need some gene therapy to cure all the crap that gets into my lungs down in the mine.

  206. njpatient says:

    “IMO, the latest economic expansion in the US was 100% housing-based. We have such short memories; back in ‘01, we were reeling from 9/11 and the aftershocks of the dotcom bust. No other sector of the economy was working. So, the powers that be cranked up the presses and leaned hard on the housing lever. What other industry exists in which a single transaction begets five more transactions? What other industry exists in which a single transaction puts 90-100 people to work? Housing is economic crystal meth.”

    I was going to say that, but chifi said it first.

  207. Clotpoll says:

    patient (209)-

    Naw…I said it. I just forgot to say that if housing is economic crystal meth, what’s happening now is proof of what happens when you take the crystal meth away from the addict.

  208. JBJB says:

    I love cars as well. I’ve owned a Jeep Wrangler, Honda Civic, Audi A4, an old beat up Mercedes when I lived in So Cal. My dad got me started as he had a different car every year for most of his life. Cadillacs, a Corvette, an old crappy Porsche 944. He has some sweet pics of an old 57 Chevy he bought while in the Navy but sold when my Mom got pregnant with my brother (my dad has really never forgiven him!)

    I currently have a Toyota 4-runner which I absolutely love. We can back it up the garage, load up our stuff, the baby, the dogs, and just go.

    My better half has a nice little 2006 Honda Accord EX which is dollar for dollar probably the best car we have ever owned. If I didn’t have a car fetish we would probably just buy two of these and be done.

    Since we now work in the city we don’t drive to work so the horrible gas millage on the 4-runner is not a problem. But I am now considering taking a job back in Jersey and will have to commute again. Thus I am thinking of something more efficient. I already have a few offers on the 4-runner but I have no idea what to get. We like those little AWD wagons like the Subaru or the Volvo V50, anyone have experience with this class? I need something that can hold one baby and two dogs and get at least decent gas millage.

  209. Essex says:

    Well Gary, I actually have high hopes for my current ride…I am going to see how long it will run….people routinely get 100k plus on these german sixes…and the interior seems pretty well put together. Nothing would make me happier than to be driving this little car for the next 10 years. Then I think my midlife crisis will kick in…and look out!!!

  210. njrebear says:


    Numbers don’t include Alt-A. These are subprime only.

    Page 13- Estimated Subprime foreclosures in NJ – 35K.

    Projected economic cost of Subprime mortgage crisis in NJ – $6B ( I feel this number is low)

  211. kettle1 says:

    I drive an 02 A4 1.8T Quattro. Its a love hate relationship… I just hit 80K last week and hope to take it to 200K.

    what i love:
    the thing drives like a champ and will stick to the road in the worst conditions like i was driving on fly paper, oh and i average 28 mpg on the highway

    What i hate:
    Audi service sucks! i have caught them trying to rip me off in 2 different dealers. They tend to assume that you know nothing about cars until you call them on it :(
    The other thing is that once i hit 70K a lot of little bugs showed up. I has an incredibly annoying squeck that comes and goes, a brake light electrical bug, my CD changed died, and the dispaly on the radio is going bad….

    Would i buy another Audi? probably not, except that i am somewhat interested in the Alload ever since kettle Jr showed up as an A$ doesnt really ave all that much space once a kid shows up. I am also very interested in the Volvo V50(if it came in diesel i would buy it now)

  212. gary says:

    I’ve got 125,000 miles on this car, so I guess I’ll drive it until it stops. I used to have another Honda (Accord) and it had 260,000 miles on it and was still running strong. It didn’t tap or burn oil but somebody slammed into it in the middle of the night in a hit and run and put it up on the sidewalk. I liked that car but it was wrecked and would’ve cost more to fix it than it was worth…. (sigh).

  213. kettle1 says:


    I would guess that if you included the eventual Alt-A stuff, you would have a 1.5 to 2X increase in the projected numbers

  214. kettle1 says:

    Oh, and i only buy used cars, preferable 2 years old

  215. kettle1 says:


    would love to talk middle east politics if we have a get together!

  216. JBJB says:


    My bro has the Allroad, he loves it. He has an Audi dealer up near Boston that he says is quite good. He has two daughters and he claims the space is adequate.

    We share similar feelings about Audi. Their service is terrible. The dealer I had down in Eatontown was a disgrace . I sold my A4 Quattro the day the warranty expired and will never buy another.

  217. Everything's 'boken says:

    Toyota Matrix XRS; yeah, premium gas for the Celica engine, but I don’t drive fast. Really! Never had car with an 8300 redline before.

  218. cntdrv55 says:

    If you guys want a great car that is under rated sporty practical and usually not thought of….Check out the SAAB 9-5 SportCombi. I have a 2007 and love it. Has Space for large dog, its fast… you wipe the smurk off the S4 owners (accelerates faster than a 911 Turbo 70-100 MPH). It also has more luxury than an E series Merc or 500 series BMW. Also free 3 year routine maint. and a 5 year 70 k bumper-bumper I believe. Also more affordable, and get much better gas mileage. People knock it just because it is a 4cyl. and front wheel drive. It drives awesome and the 4cyl. is a 270 Hp high-output
    intercooled turbo by the company that invented consumer turbos way back in 1979. Super car highly recommended, and you will never see another on the road in NJ.

  219. Frank says:

    Today’s pop is just wishful thinking or a dead cat bounce.


  220. Rich In NNJ says:


    Hey, whoa, easy! You act as if this site is about the NJ real estate market…



  221. stuw6 says:

    95 Honda Civic hatchback w/ manual transmission. Bought it new for $13K. Still gets 40 mpg. Still have local Latinos offering me 3K for it frequently. Never a repair besides the standard maintenance stuff and that is rare too.

    Want to buy the same car today? It’s called the Honda Fit.

    I plan to drive my Civic until I die. Chances are, it’ll outlive me.

    Ever wonder why Honda stock doesn’t move, yet Toyota’s has done great? I think it’s because Honda hasn’t figured out the planned obsolescence thing as Toyota has mastered it.

    Wanna buy my car Gary? Offer me 4K. I’m dying to get the fit.

  222. kettle1 says:

    my 1981 VW Jetta Diesel( 78 HP) got 42 city and 58 highway, the best i even did was 60mpg on a 500 mile road trip. hmmm to bad it take such high tech to get high gas mileage …..

  223. rhymingrealtor says:

    I have been driving 30.5 years, do not care what I drive, buy used only ( slightly used) have had over25 different cars. I have never recieved a moving violation. I drive in bergen county all the time, and I have often driven route 31north as I have good friends in washington twp.


  224. lisoosh says:

    Kettle – Careful what you wish for :-). Some things are minefields.

  225. Rachel says:

    Does anyone know the details about the 3 condos on Sherman Ave in Berkeley Heights? I saw them going up a couple years back. The price has been lowered again for a grand total of $300K off original asking price. It’s an awful location and I still think they are overpriced.


  226. zieba says:

    I put in 11 and a half hours at the office today so it may just be my mind messing with me but…. were those zig-zag design dividers between posted messages always there?????

  227. zieba says:

    Cars are a always a polarized topic. 50% treat it as an appliance to get from point A to point B and the other half view it as an extension of their personality…

    So two years ago I bought a two year old 45K 2003 Saab 9-5 Aero on ebay for $13K from a gentleman with a heavy Russian accent. I paid for it over small fries and a coke in the back of a McDonald’s in Philly. Too much stress for my girlfriend who excused herself from the table to go hurl…she still thinks I was nuts but I’m a self proclaimed ebay ninja…I signed the documents, he handed me the keys and with that heavy accent informed that ze titel will be in mail soon…all worked out well, car was clean and running well since….

    What I really like about the landrocket is the 4 cyl engine, displacement on demand, on the highway I can get 35mpg cruising at 80…and oh yeah TopSpeed claims the Aero can outmuscle a 911 in third gear…

    back to real estate..

  228. Essex says:

    I know SAABs well….drove the 900 series ragtop and after that got a high output 9 3 convert…granted they are great cars but….outmuscle 911? Probably not. SAABs suspension and front wheel drive mean that it will get itself through all types of snow — but set it loose on some curves and add to that a few ripples in the road and the sachs suspension shows it’s weakness. Germans dial in suspension to perform on curves kind of like an f1 race car. truly sublime!

  229. Sassy says:

    Love my zipcar! It can be anything from a mini to a van, saab, bmw, etc… and it’s very inexpensive!
    Go zipcar!

  230. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (225)-

    What a moron. Getting short on the day of an earnings announcement like that, he should’ve lost 30K. That CFC rally was all short-cover. If he just got FK, how did he even have the money to play with?

    Too bad. If he didn’t cover his position, he’ll be fine in a week. That stock’s headed nowhere.

  231. Clotpoll says:

    Sass (235)-

    That’s like wearing somebody else’s socks.

  232. BC Bob says:

    “Hey, whoa, easy! You act as if this site is about the NJ real estate market…”


    LOL! Yeah, the bull/bear argument has been laid to rest. Who are the wannabes now? I would imagine if JB hunted, the chart, indicating how many times wannabe surfaced on this blog, would resemble a downward ski slope, probably mirroring yoy sales.

    It’s amazing how this has unwound in a short period of time. From there is no bubble, a much needed pause, a slight correction, and finally dancing along the bottom. Now, the only question is the damage/duration. Since, we are talking RE again. This will be the biggest bust in RE history. Much worse than dot com, multiplier effect. The declines will me much more severe and the duration much longer than most can imagine.

    Sorry, for the off topic post.

    To other topics;

    Clot [236],

    The idiot should have lost more than that. I guess he never thought about selling the rumor and buying the news. Let me know when the genius covers.

  233. njrebear says:

    A week if margin calls didn’t already kick in.

  234. njrebear says:

    I wonder what happened to all those people who “had to buy”. Remember those that were fighting for 10K cuts last year?

  235. gary says:

    Sometimes I stare at the price and the house many times and play ‘imagine if’…


  236. AntiTrump says:

    #93 stuw6:

    completely agree with you on cruise control. 14 mph over speed limit is my norm and I don’t believe in radar detectors in the age of laser. Cruise control is a better tool to drive over the speed limit.

  237. Clotpoll says:

    BC (238)-

    The argument on RE is over. Anyone espousing the bull case is either self-serving, disconnected…or both (e.g., Dick Cheney on Kudlow last night, pooh-poohing the severity of the crisis). The only interesting things left to discuss are: a) how long this mess will last; b) how much the tab will be; and c) which poor schmucks will get stuck with the tab (that would be you and me). Even more ridiculous than Cheney’s statement was Kudlow’s assertion that the market was “rewarding” CFC yesterday for “coming clean” and “taking responsibility” for their mess. Since when does running a publicly-traded company like a three card monty game constitute good behavior?

    The amazing thing about CFC’s report yesterday was the upbeat guidance for Q4. How do they go from a 1.2B bleed to profitability in an environment where nothing’s changed for them? Oh, right…offload all the toxic waste onto the bank. I have to think that 2-3 years from now, yesterday’s report will be an exhibit in Mozilo’s trial.

    Are these balance-sheet hijinks any different from what Enron did? If so, someone please show me how they are. Perhaps the only actual difference is that this time around, the Treasury Dept. is actually encouraging the balance sheet skulduggery.

    We can only hope that Merrill bounces O’Neil out onto the street- and, fast- to show that at least one company will not tolerate the perpetration of fraud as a viable strategy for dealing with investment losses.

    The talk here has gone to cars, stocks and football, because there’s nothing left to discuss. Guys like me are already in tow truck/meatwagon mode…just picking up the pieces and scrubbing away the road hash after the 10-car pileup.

  238. Clotpoll says:

    BTW, CFC announced yesterday that it WILL be hosting a part at this year’s NJ Real Estate convention.

    I think I’ll go in an orange jumpsuit.

  239. Clotpoll says:

    That’s “party” in #244.

  240. Essex says:

    243….Clotpoll nails it…what’s left to say? Now to watch the CEO’s get bounced….marvel at their severance (or hopefully lack thereof)–and casually observe the recession as it takes hold slowly…..a sense of schadenfreude….perhaps.

  241. AntiTrump says:

    231 Rachel:

    Those Townhomes in sherman avenue. Aren’t those the ones that have personal elevators in the units? Those hit the market in the upper 800s over two years ago. Now the most expensive end unit is available in the low 600s. The cheaper units in 570s.

  242. zieba says:


    Don’t whistle the party dead just yet!
    Where is the blood in the streets I’ve been promised. Isn’t this the part where we pat each other on the back for a job well done, nuke some popcorn and get comfy in our chairs?

    Where are my damn price cuts?

    Until I see one BMW per block, as opposed to three of four, belonging to the guy with a degree and exec position, things are not finished.

    Any chance Ben will crank the printing press to .50? I’ve got a lot of Euros and Polish Zlotys that sure hope so. So much for ECB’s treat of 1.4 being the ceiling.

  243. BC Bob says:

    “Charlie and I are of one mind in how we feel about derivatives and the trading activities that go with them: we view them as time bombs, both for the parties that deal in them and the economic system.”

    “…The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event makes their toxicity clear…”

    “…In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.”

    Warren Buffet, February 21, 2003

  244. zieba says:

    Topspeed’s claim was for straight line acceleration from third gear – that’s when the gear ratio and the Garret Turbo work their magic – probably the 30mph to 60mph drag.
    It’s a relatively light full size sedan but third gear is frightingly fast with the high output putting out 250lbs/ft.

  245. JBJB says:

    Clot (aka Mr. White)

    “The talk here has gone to cars, stocks and football, because there’s nothing left to discuss. Guys like me are already in tow truck/meatwagon mode…just picking up the pieces and scrubbing away the road hash after the 10-car pileup.”

    I think this is right on the mark. I can barely bring myself to read another RE article, bear or bull.

    Once I see real evidence of real price declines on the types of houses I am interested in the locations I prefer, I will begin the process of considering a purchase. Until then, I am hoarding cash and enjoying the low stress life of renting.

  246. zieba says:

    251 JBJB

    I’ll drink to that tonight!


  247. Essex says:


    yeah, I know….but my friend you must know that horsepower is nothing if the car is not on the road when said power is applied….thus my comment re: suspension.

  248. Clotpoll says:

    z (248)-

    “Where are my damn price cuts?”

    C’mon, man. You must be young. Compared to prior busts, this thing is moving lightning-fast. Most of the price drop of this whole cycle is going to come in one fell swoop/capitulation. Be ready.

    Also, there’s not going to be ANY time when anyone on either side of the argument can pat himself on the back. The party’s over…and the waiter is figuring the bill.

  249. gary says:


    That post is dead on but I agree with another poster; where are the price cuts? There is still much to be discussed and personally, the bitter taste has not subsided. I know I’m just taking a breather at the end of the first quarter. IMO, it’s 28 – 0 after one quarter with three to go and I hope the team that’s NOW winning runs up the score.

  250. gary says:

    I just read your post (254) as I was posting mine. I’ve been ready…

  251. Clotpoll says:

    gary (255)-

    Bitter is not going to help you. This bust isn’t ultimately about somebody “winning” over someone else (the SIV “Superfund” may be the guarantee that every single one of us comes out of this a loser). Remember, buying an asset at a distressed price has risks of its own. The prices are going to be cheap, because there will be little/no demand for the asset class.

    We also have to keep in mind that the removal of tax consequence for housing deadbeats (it’s passed the House & is now in front of the Senate) and other future sops to the dispossessed masses will certainly negate any reward to the financially-responsible person who has done the right thing the past few years. The US is undergoing a final and permanent transformation into a welfare state, and the best thing for us to do is figure out how to play the game…not rail against it.

  252. BC Bob says:

    “The ABX indexes measuring subprime debt – those infamous CDO packages of mortgages sliced and diced, and sold to German pension funds and Japanese insurers with a lot of lipstick — are still falling to record lows.”

    “In Britain, we have had the first bank run since the City of Glasgow Bank collapsed in 1878. Japan is in recession. Housing starts fell 23.4pc in July and 43.4pc in August.”

    “The US dollar has fallen below parity with the Canadian Loonie for the first time since 1976, and to all-time lows on the global dollar index.”

    “All it will take now for a full-fledged rout is a move by the Saudi and Gulf states to break their dollar pegs, which they may have to do to prevent imported US inflation causing havoc; or for the Asian banks stop buying US Treasuries – as Vietnam, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan, have gingerly begun to do.”

    “And for good measure, the Bank of England has just warned in its Financial Stability Report that lenders are still in serious trouble, that there is a risk of commercial property crash, and that equities are “particularly vulnerable” to a downturn. It is said there may well be a repeat of the summer crisis, “potentially on an even larger scale.”

    “What more do you want?”


  253. gary says:

    Clotpoll 257,

    I hear you and I understand that. I’ve always managed to stay ahead of the curve. A little pay back does taste good, though. Ask BC Bob, he knows, it’s that “Jersey City” attitude thing. :) lol

  254. suziehomemaker says:

    Rachal, AntiTrump, Regarding the T/homes on sherman ave, I just went to look at them, we were told one sold, not sure when, for over a mil., same end unit now selling for $629, I feel for that buyer. Very nice inside, although bad location, and the land right behind, they will be building more homes, so no privacy at all. Also taxes around $12k and maintenence around $350.

  255. zieba says:


    pounds/feet is a measurement of torque.

    at 30-40mph the object is already in motion and I there just isn’t enough body lean and weight shifted from axle to axle to justify the RWD vs FWD BMW angle….

    What’s sad is that most people who purchase these vehicles don’t even know what BMW stands for…then there’s the whole BMW drivers are latte toting a-holes thing…just a lot of bad mojo swirling there…

  256. Essex says:

    Naw Z….I’ve tested the BMW for the past 12 years….first with a 525e….then a 3 series e36 ragtop and the e39 M (which I probably shouls have bought in retrospect)….each time I passed, in favor of something else — then I tested the e46 which is a very well engineered machine and decided for a sedan (child carrier – practical car — it served the pupose — and it handles exceptionally….corners are a whole new ballgame with that car)….you read tests…but it is the seat of the pants which makes the decision for you. I’ve driven the 9 5 aero…a fine machine….confident and capable…no doubt…..As for latte….I, however, prefer tea.

  257. Essex says:

    And Z…regarding turbo…you want to find a new religion…fill up a latte go down to your nearest bimmer dealer and drive the 335….it is nothing short of astounding….I guarantee you that after you put your foot into the 335 and I mean stomp it a few times….but make sure no one is near you because that my friend is not your Saab turbo…..it is more like driving a nascar ford with a side oiler 427….

  258. syncmaster says:

    Where are the price cuts? Townhouses in Pway, apparently. Models similar to mine were between 360-380 in 2005. I saw one listed for 299.99 last week on realtor.com.

    Where are the price cuts? You’ve got to be kidding me.

  259. commanderbobnj says:

    Greg Says:(#124)
    October 26th, 2007 at 1:20 pm
    dreamtheaterr #121

    “…Be careful of the Bergen County cops on Route 17. Unless you are driving like Jesus, they will ticket you for something. I guess the county is broke and needs to raise cash…”

    Commanderbob sez: The Bergen County Police patrol heavily both Route 4 and Route 17….They usually target Commercial OR non-commercial PLATED commercially-used vehicles —-I just witnessed yesterday a pickup truck with a magnetic business sign on his door but with standard (non-commercial) license plates on his (ILLEGAL-USE) truck—He was pulled-over on the west-bound service road by the old Huffman-Koos building—-A FAVORITE place for those VULTURE COPS !!

    If you are ticketed by the County, They have a special court in the County Court Complex in Hackensack during the DAYTIME.–I had challenged a ticket received a few years ago and it was dismissed because I had shown (reasonable doubt) that I was Not using my vehicle for commercial (business) use…


  260. John says:

    Buick is number one in quality!! The new 2008 Caddy is a joy. It is unamerican to buy a foreign car without at least test drving an american car. The Corvette is at a level that you have to spend 100 grand more to get in a foreign car. GM has the best warranty of any car and on-star gurantees safety for your family.

    So you won’t buy GM cause it is paying health care costs for widows and orphans and of ex employees and retirees on a fixed income. That is kooky, the Koreans are using your money to start WWIII.

    I used to own a Toyota, Mercedes and a Fiat, all pure pieces of crap. My $100 dollar dodge dart from college made it to 163K miles running like a charm till an accident did it in. And the second car I owned a 67 Firebird which I sold in 1982 is still on the road and i ran into the owner a few weeks ago after 20 years and it is still running like a charm. Owner said he had the 40 year old car up to a 100 MPH a few weeks ago with original engine. Do your think your Korean crap car will be running in 35 years. It is like a disposable camera. All three of my foreign cars crapped out long before then.

    Go to the Guinesss book of world records and you won’t see a single toyota or mercedes or BMW under high milage cars. It is a myth they are high quality.

    The only foreign car on the list is a Vovlo out on long island, original owner, only owner driven, It has FOUR MILLION MILES. It is mint and never restord. By the way ford owns volvo. Two idiot friends who don’t drive american cars were bragging about their volvo and saab and did not even know that was GM and Ford. They felt better when they though it was foreign.

    Consumers are brain washed, they don’t know quality. The new Saturn and the new Malibu are better than a camry, but the camry folks like blind idiots don’t even test drive them.

    GM made crap cars from 1975 to 1995, Toyota made great cars from 1988 to 2005, but now Toyota is slipping and their cars are crap, just read consumers reports or JD powers on their ratings of Toyotas 2007 or 2008, they are slipping yet people are buying them in record numbers.

  261. CAIBC says:

    lets just talk about something else other than RE….Cars are a good topic…i am currently pushing an 01 Anniversary Edition Maxima…love the car..for the price it is a great buy! all the gadgets you can think of (in 01′)..the next one is probably going to be an 08′ Highlander. family is expanding and i need the room with more ground clearance than the maxima…

    regarding RE : the price cuts will come, please be patient…all these predictions of 08 or 09 recovery are just speculation (which is what got us here in the first place). think about the fundamentals like affordability and it will all correct itself…my belief is that this RE downturn will be so bad that it will no longer be refered to as the ‘great american dream’ but history will write it down as the ‘great american scam’ at the expense of us ‘great americans’

    lets get back to discussing cars…

    oh another good topic is alternative energy…i know most of us dont really like to talk about it but those saudi bastards are just waiting to turn the spicket off and make us pay dearly…


  262. PeaceNow says:

    John—you do know that Hyundais are made in South Korea…. It’s North Korea which is developing nukes.

  263. zieba says:

    I’m no Saab fanatic. It was that or an A6, I bought the 9-5 because I got a two year old sedan that fits my 6’1″ 250 frame, the girlfriend, her mother, her younger brother and a trunk full of camp crap in relative leather comfort….for $13K! Saab resale falls like a rock.

    I’d like to have an A8 at some point.

    I’m off to run errands….and clot I am young…when you guys were swapping vinyl or whatnot I was crawling around in a onesie playing with my communist made wooden toy blocks.

  264. Essex says:

    Z….6’3″-235 and the 3 series fit me…believe it or not……agree on the used Saab scene….I’d do the bimmer way before an Audi….drive both with an open mind and you decide. LOL at swapping vinyl….though you did miss the 80s imho the best decade to be decadent.

  265. zieba says:

    I agree.
    I am salivating over the 2009 Cadillac CTS! What a wonderfully finished product, with a much needed interior upgrade. It still however, remains Cadillac entry level model.
    I would much prefer the bigger moodel…(DTS?)…but for whatever reason they ripped the interior out of a Yukon SUV and just stuck it in there and are not developing it as much as the CTS…I want Caddy to answer the A6/A8 but keep it from going senior citizen..steering wheel gear lever and all…

    It’s not that American cars are crap, they’re not, it’s just that they insist on cutting pennies using shoddy interior materials and craftsmanship. Why does the dashboard have to be rock hard plastic? Why not take that $5 from healthcare and put in softer, tactile materials…why do the plastic molds still have color variations from where they are molded or whatnot…they’ve done absolutely amazing with their shapes and geometry! They crank out some sexy shapes but the interiors suffer…how much more can it be to bring the interiors up to par????????

  266. Essex says:

    John…my wife is on her 2nd volvo….so we are making a contribution to the FORD spiraling stock price. Not to mention the actual stock that my grandparents held onto from ‘F’ and lost a bundle on. I looked at Corvettes back before I bought my first Saab, when GM owned 50% 0f the company, drove a couple of vettes…marveled at the lax sales people at the dealerships, fattening themselves back then on SUVs…found the vette fun…But to be nothing more than a wonderful engine in front of an interior designed by Fisher price.

  267. syncmaster says:

    CAIBC #267,

    those saudi bastards are just waiting to turn the spicket off and make us pay dearly…

    Why would they do that given how central oil revenues are to their very survival as a nation?

    Saudi Arabia is run by businessmen. Not by al Qaeda. The draw of houris in heaven may take precedence in the superstition-addled mind of an al Qaeda terrorist, but to a member of the Saudi royal family only one thing matters – money.

  268. schabadoo says:


    If it wasn’t for you guys there would be no america as Mr. Columbus would not have found us on his shortcut to India.

    Giovanni Caboto would like to have a word with you.

  269. Rich In NNJ says:

    BC Bob / Clotpoll,

    You are correct, there isn’t much left to say about the market, it’s dead.
    Due to work and family I’ve been preoccupied so I haven’t had the time to check out the site. I guess I just had a hankering for some RE topics, not opinions on races, creeds, countries and vehicles.


  270. CAIBC says:


    only if you and the majority of americans knew what actually happens in Saudi Arabia…used to live in the area and yes, i agree money is end all for the current saudi kingdom, it is however not what is being taught to the next generation….most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi – coincidence? i dont think so…
    that al-queda mentality is starting to take root in most areas in that part of the world…go there and you will find out…

    its only a matter of time until the next generation of terrorists take over most of that part of the world and we will pay – its just a matter of time…


  271. suziehomemaker says:

    J.B, What has happened to this blog ? Once upon a time, I could come here and read about RE topics, and really enjoyed it, now its about cars and other topics that have nothing to to with RE.

  272. CAIBC says:


    RE is dead…nothing to talk about anymore…it was the biggest speculative bubble in history the bandits have left with a whole lot of overpriced homes and unsuspecting bagholders….its all over…

    lets talk about something else now, please


  273. zieba says:

    wait wait wait….

    Come Monday morning, I’m going to be on full blown RE withdrawal. That’s not good. Let’s keep beating the dead horse Mon-Fri and use weekend discussion as a more open venue for wherever the threat takes us…

    PS- all this talk about cars this morning….does anyone remember the 80’s flick “Gung Ho” with Michael Keaton…the american plant is taken over by the Japanese and they’re supposed to meet crazy quotas…culture clash and a good ol fashioned come together at the end….

  274. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Best thing about living in New York? No car needed. (Wife’s got a company car which i drive to Costco and my rec league basketball games when necessary).

    When we move to the burbs in Philly (Bucks County, where the taxes are cheaper than NJ and you get much more space/land for your buck), I’ll probably pick up a 5-7,000 used Honda or Toyota. I’ll be just a point A to point B car since I’ll be working from home (blogging, believe it or not!).

    I’m tempted to ask a relative (in a car-related field) to find me a Lexus for under 10k, but he maintains it is impossible, EVEN in Pennsylvania.

    Owned a Ford Explorer. Hit 100k miles and it fell apart. Never again will buy American. Last car was a brand new Jetta and LOVED it. Sold it when i got to the city.

  275. dreamtheaterr says:

    Can someone explain to me why the Big Three make great 6 cylinder engines, but their 4 cylinders sound so coarse compared to the Japanese?

    I’ve rented Buicks and loved their comfortable ride. Pity even Tiger Woods can’t get me to buy one. My brother had a 1994 Olds that he junked at 95,000 miles after 6 years.

    I’ve rented 4 cylinder Chevys, Fords, Dodges and the engines are begging me to have mercy on them when I hit the throttle. But the 6 cylinders counterparts are fantastic.

    Can some engineering folks please chime in?

    To chip in with some RE:
    RE will be dead for a decade, relative to other investments.

  276. Essex says:

    281 — without offending suzie…let me say that motors are not the weak point in the Detroit auto….sure they don’t make a Honda-esque Vtec that runs forever….but they make a decent engine…always have….in fact the transmission in my bimmer is made by….guess who….GM!!

    No Detroit just makes ‘ugly’ cars imho….and they fixated on high margin SUVs for so long they forgot everything else. Dumb.

  277. HEHEHE says:

    Re CFC:

    I do not believe a word of what they said yesterday. Kudlow cracks me up. The only time the market sucks to him is if there’s a Democrat in the White House.

  278. bi says:

    266#, john is right except he is confused by north with south korea.

    most japanese cars are made in america using the same asembely line as domestic cars but they are sold at least 20% higher.

    american cars had poor quality before 90’s but the things changed since then. if your criteria is just from point a to point b, buying domestic cars make more economic sense.

    I owned dodge colt, honda civic, nissan maxium, toyota corolla, dodge minivan and nissan pathfinder and did not find significant difference between domestic cars and japanese cars.

  279. Essex says:

    According to the Millionaire Next Store you should drive a late model FORD and buy your suits at SEARS….opportunity cost….ever getting laid. j/k

  280. t c m says:

    where does your wife get her volvo serviced?

  281. Essex says:

    ah….try Montclair Volvo…of the locals they are perhaps the best. We have tried a few….Paul’s is also supposed to be excellent.

  282. Happy Camper says:

    From USAToday

    Mortgage rates fall to lowest level in six weeks

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Rates on 30-year mortgages fell to the lowest level in six weeks as financial markets grew more hopeful that the Federal Reserve will boost the sluggish economy by cutting interest rates further.
    Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.33% this week, down from 6.40% last week.

    It was the lowest level since 30-year mortgages dipped to 6.31% on Sept. 13, which had been the lowest point since last May.

    Analysts attributed this week’s decline to rising expectations that the Fed, which cut a key rate for the first time in four years in September, will trim it again at a meeting next week to try to prevent a severe slump in housing and a credit crunch from derailing the economy in coming months.

  283. t c m says:

    #287 –

    thanks –

    i’ve only been to the dealer in summit since i moved here, and i feel like it’s so expensive.

    never heard of pauls, where is it?

  284. Johnny boy says:

    I drive a company car, luckily I work for a German automotive company.

    If I didn’t work there, I’d pick up a used Toyota Camry or Honda accord…

  285. Johnny boy says:

    re: the middle east, peace will be a little closer when (a) Israel adheres to international law (i.e. UN resolutions 242 and 338) and gives back the occupied land and (b) Arab neighbors agree to let Israel live in peace.

    I don’t see it happening in my lifetime, too much history, not to mention that big f’ing wall going up…

  286. chicagofinance says:

    I’d love to show you what two 18-wheelers did to my Honda Civic on I-78 in 2001. I have a digital video, but maybe grim can help me figure out how to yank a still-frame out of it.

  287. Johnny boy says:

    I’ve been keeping an eye on Orange County NY, and it’s like someone flipped a big switch! All the sudden they get it and now I’m seeing:

    Notice price reduction….Present All Offers! PRICED TO SELL! Price drastically reduced! BUILDER SAYS SELL! Priced for immediate sale. Great $ value. THE VALUE IS HERE..Priced to sell fast. Please present any offer.

    I could keep going and going…one mentioned they were close to foreclosure, felt sorry for that one. Most of the houses marketing this reality based approach are relatively new builds (owned by flippers I suppose)…

  288. schabadoo says:

    re: the middle east, peace will be a little closer when (a) Israel adheres to international law (i.e. UN resolutions 242 and 338) and gives back the occupied land and (b) Arab neighbors agree to let Israel live in peace.

    I don’t see it happening in my lifetime, too much history, not to mention that big f’ing wall going up…

    Interesting interpretation of the Resolutions. The author of 242 must’ve been high when he stated :

    “We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ’67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we did not say all the territories, deliberately.. We all knew – that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… We did not say that the ’67 boundaries must be forever.”

  289. Johnny boy says:


    like i said, not in my lifetime…

    principle 1(i) of the resolution, and i quote: “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”

    …of course “recent” being ’67, whups!

  290. dreamtheaterr says:

    #292 Chifi, Grim is slacking and hasn’t been around today.

    You can use a free media player like VLC Media player to capture an image from a movie. When your video is playing in VLC, from the top nav bar, do Video>Snapshot and the frame is saved as an image.

  291. kettle1 says:

    Re: Middle East

    I would suggest that one of the core problems in the middle east is the manner in which the current states such as Iraq, Syria, etc came into existence. Britian and france essentially just drew some lines on a map of the middle east and agreed that this area is iraq, ths area is jordan, this area is isreal etc…
    By arbitrarily dividing the regions, they ended up forcing together groups that would not have normally done so (i.e sunni and shia). On top of the the europeans betrayed all parties in the region by making backroom agreements with the National Zionist Party (the Balfour Agreement)in creating a jewish state in what was then know as palestine and populated primarily by arabs for the last several hundred years.
    Most of the middle east states are artificial, and by that i mean that they would not have created themselves, they were cobbled togather by a greater power (europe). Funny thing this is almost the same root issue that africa deals with…. go figure, maybe imperialism doesnt work

  292. kettle1 says:

    Re Cars and engineering

    A classic engineering rule of thumb is the rule of three i.e.


    choose any two, you can have a product/project done to high quality and quickly but it will cost a huge amount or you can have the project done quickly and cheap but with poor quality.

    This maxim applies to nearly all engineering tasks…..

  293. kettle1 says:

    Hey, dont worry about housing, if you are about 30 or under you are going to see some very intersting times, and probably not in a good way….

    New UN environmental report paints a very bleak future for humanity

    Everywhere you turn there’s more bad news on the environment. According to a new report released by the UN, it’s not just other species that are in danger, humans are too. The United Nations Environment Program has released the Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) report, and it doesn’t make for happy reading.

    Covering environmental news can be a bit depressing at times; you’re constantly reading about disappearing polar bears or fish or bees, or the fact that new data suggests that CO2 is rising faster than we thought and it’s going to get even hotter. Unfortunately for the optimists, GEO-4 compounds that stream of bad news. Complied by almost 400 leading scientists in their fields, the report paints a picture of a planetary population living well beyond their means.

    Although there have been a few notable successes, such as the Montreal Protocol that stopped the continued depletion of the ozone layer, they’re very few and very far between. On the other hand, crises are brewing anywhere one chooses to look.

    The seas, studies show, are rapidly being depleted of fish stocks by overfishing. At the same time, warming temperatures are eradicating the coral reefs, sources of massive biodiversity, and agricultural run-off is creating enormous dead zones of deoxygenated water, devoid of life. Consumption of sea food tripled in the 40 years following 1961, and subsidies for fishing fleets have created a huge excess capacity. Many fish stocks have been depleted to the point where they will never recover.

    The oceans aren’t our only water problem. Fresh water, an absolute necessity, is also in trouble. Water supplies are increasingly polluted; contaminated water is the leading cause of death worldwide. The report points out that 70 percent of all fresh water is used for irrigation, but meeting the food needs of our ever expanding global population would require doubling current output over the next five decades. With precipitation changes already being seen thanks to climate change, that’s a bleak prospect. Industrial pollutants, from heavy metals to organic compounds, abound in the biosphere, and that means they abound in our food supply. While all of these problems disproportionately affect the poorer regions of the planet, the industrialized world is hardly exempt.

    According to studies, our use of natural resources is unsustainable. We currently use a third more than the planet has to offer, and that’s with less than a 6th of the global population living in industrialized countries. Despite the rapid development of China and India, the resources simply do not exist to allow their billions of citizens to enjoy the same lifestyles seen in the US or Europe.

    The human population of planet Earth is, in effect, maxed out on its credit cards and soon will have problems paying the mortgage. Unless concerted global efforts are made to address these mounting problems, GEO-4 concludes that we shall shortly pass the point of no return.

    From where I’m sitting, that’s the most depressing part. Despite the stakes being so very high, a global consensus regarding how to tackle these mounting problems seems virtually impossible to come by. National interests and politics, vested interests and a degree of short-sightedness remain the order of the day. Populations are going to continue to skyrocket, with a predicted 9 billion by 2050. What kind of world will that be to live in, I wonder?

  294. t c m says:

    Essex – #294


  295. schabadoo says:


    like i said, not in my lifetime…

    Oh I agree.

    The way the goalposts keep moving, I can’t imagine a resolution to the issue. Be it land, or right of return, or compensation, it’s just too attractive a political tool for the arab states. The money paid to keep the conflict afloat is a pittance.

    To try and pin this conflict on land seems disingenuous at best. Jordan has most of the Palestinian Mandate and nary a word is spoken. How odd.

  296. lisoosh says:

    Saw this post on a forum, thought it would amuse (and bring back the topic to RE):

    “I bought a house before I got married and my wife is not on the title for either the first (owing 360,000) or the second (owing 95,000). I estimate the house to be worth around 300-350.
    We can’t afford the payments and can’t refinance due to my credit score. My wife doesn’t make enough to qualify for the 460,000 mortgage on her own. I’ve been begging with the loss mitigation people for 9 months for anything and have been told short sale or foreclosure are the only options. We are not past due on the mortgages yet, but likely will be starting in January. The well has run dry.
    A relative (who works in the industry) has offered to buy the property at a short sale, then turn around and sell it back to my wife at that reduced price. This has to be illegal. What do you think?”

  297. Pat says:

    suzie 277, don’t sweat.

    Real Estate addicts need the fix. Big human interest stories “boasting” lots of villans and victims, with great potential for staged tragedy and comedy – what else is this hot?. I’m not even in this industry and it hooked me.

    When the talk turns away in a lull, something big is coming. The grizzlies are quiet, listening, and pointing their noses in the air.

    Don’t you worry, honey.

    Clot’s right about the speed of the crash. A year ago on this blog, prognosticators were giving each other wedgies over the number of years this thing would last.

    This morning at the pool, a Dad lamented his housing situation. He sure picked the ideal smiling little lady, didn’t he? Picture Holly Hunter with her arms crossed and one eyebrow raised – that’s me. I didn’t show my fangs, though. His kid’s in my daughter’s class.

    “My RE buddy says my house is worth XXX,XXX. Doubled in value since we bought in in 98.”

    “Oh, how recent were the comps he used?”

    ” >8( ”

    “Rent it.”

    “Can’t. Need the equity. Subprime’s gone.”

    This is a ten-year owner. It ain’t just the subprime from ’05/’06.

  298. Mr T says:

    SAAB 9-5 SportCombi..?
    funny review ..


    Sigh. The General bought Saab in the early ’90’s to create “premium vehicles;” the 9-5 moniker is a throw-down to BMW’s 5-Series. Step inside the SportCombi and you’ll understand why the Germans and Japanese only have each other to worry about. From tacky vinyl sun visors, to an economy class “jet inspired” reading lamp, to plastics that are more B210 than BMW, all the SportCombi’s beans have been carefully counted

    by the way..the 0 to 60 time..is 1.5 seconds slower than an S4 Avant…

    Hmm..S4 owner here..still smirking…….

  299. Politely says:

    Hmm… took a break from looking at RE some months ago, primarily because of an uptick in work. Must say I’m a bit disappointed to find that it looks like all the same houses are on the market at the same prices. A bit surprising given all that’s been going on – and on that front, have to admit that CF had a better view as to how badly liquidity would be hit in the bond market.

    As for cars… I’ve heard recently that a trend among distressed borrowers is to let the home go in favor of keeping the car. In the past, the house was always the last asset to go. Given the number of zero equity and NINJA loans, I guess that shouldn’t be surprising.

  300. Essex says:

    Overheard at a car dealer recently…..customer: Yes, but my husband is saving for a house….Saleman: Yeah, but you can’t drive around in house!

  301. Johnny boy says:

    Beware of the Housing Fallout


    It looks as if there are still plenty of housing chickens out there, getting ready to roost.

    Basically pointing out the as yet to be felt impact to supporting manufacturers such as paint, appliance, carpet, furniture, tool, mattress, glass, tableware, etc., etc.

  302. John says:

    I did a risk assessment at Toyota two years ago and their number one concern was GM. Back when they were playing dead they were using it to gain huge concessions from the unions and try to get govt give-a-ways. Meanwhile they had a boat load of 2008 and 2009 knockouts in the pipeline like the new CTS and ACADIA. Right now I bet GM outsales Toyota 2009. Chrusler is going to reevent itself as a small boutitue type firm and Ford is in a daze and turn around is several years away.

    Toyota does not even fave a few line up. They are like chevy, (toyota), Lexus (Cadilac) and Chrysler (trucks)

    No-one talks about RE cause it is too soon to buy. The only person I know who bought lately figured he had to but hedged for a 20% loss by shorting ABX/CS/Homebuilders Index etc.

  303. Clotpoll says:

    lisoosh (303)-

    That’s a straw man transaction, and in the scenario you described, I think it’s most likely illegal (although anyone looking to buy or sell RE should always consult an attorney on such matters).

    Straw man transactions in which a Realtor is a principal are generally frowned upon as unethical.

  304. Pat says:


    “Growers say crackdown is causing workers to flee; now they want reform”

    Crackdown? Yeah. Right. It’s the economy, stupid.

    People walk through the desert with no water and sit for hours in closed up trucks to get here and then go home just because of a few raids? I’m not buying it.

  305. grim says:

    Surprised to read such a sobering piece in the Record this morning..

    Area housing slump echoes earlier slide

  306. grim says:

    If you haven’t yet had your morning cup of disgust, please allow me to serve it. From the APP:

    Thousands reaping farmland tax breaks

    Rock star Jon Bon Jovi is livin’ on a bee farm.

    He paid $71 in property taxes on 6.5 acres of some of the most exclusive real estate in the nation.

    Six Flags Great Adventure owns one of the largest farms in New Jersey, and, no, farmhands are not milking the tigers.

    The theme park operator sold 20 cords of firewood last year — and paid about as much in taxes on two square miles of woodland as most Jackson homeowners paid on their house.

    Judith H. Stanley Coleman, former head of the N.J. Highway Authority and a fixture in the Monmouth County Republican Party, has a farmland deduction on 5.4 acres off the Navesink River. Her property tax on that parcel is $125 a year.

    They are all beneficiaries of the state’s 43-year-old farmland assessment law, one of the least restrictive in the Northeast.

    The program, recently swept up in a political firestorm between two Monmouth County state Senate candidates, has been exploited for years by corporations, developers and millionaires seeking to cut property taxes on their sweeping vistas by up to 99 percent.

    The list of sideline farmers reads like a who’s who of New Jersey.

    Longtime state Sen. Robert E. Littell, R-Sussex, is part owner of 63 acres of farmland that tax records show produced $1,200 worth of alfalfa in the past year.

    The annual property tax on the land is $328.

    And multimillionaire Vernon W. Hill II, former head of Commerce Bank, lives in a six-bedroom, 10-bath mansion buffered by 43 farmland acres in Moorestown, Burlington County. Although he pays $270,000 in property tax on his home and seven acres, the farmland assessment cut his tax bill on the surrounding farmland to almost nothing: $296 for the 43 acres.

    But little has been done to change the farmland assessment law over the years

    Although the commission’s report does not mention the minimum $500 income requirement, there was discussion at the time that the amount was too low, said Henry A. Coleman, who was then the executive director of the commission and is now a professor at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, New Brunswick. (He is unrelated to Judith Stanley Coleman or her husband, James M. Coleman.)

    “I can tell you this, if $500 was an inappropriate amount in 1988, it would be inappropriate in 2007,” Coleman said.

    If adjusted for inflation, $500 in 1964 would be worth $3,362 today. But the prices farmers are paid for their goods have not changed in the last 25 years, according to the federal government.

  307. crossroads says:

    surprised to see Otteau so bearish it seems like pre spring he was very bullish.

    I think recession for NJ is riding on financial sector. Layoffs could be around the corner, bigger then what we’ve seen and of course smaller bonuses

  308. Frank says:

    Has anyone noticed increased number of NC license plates in NJ? Those are illegal Mexicans that can’t get a license in any other state but NC.

  309. Clotpoll says:

    sx (307)-

    True. And, one can live in a car.

  310. Clotpoll says:

    x roads (314)-

    Recession is already here. Financial sector layoffs and other economic events will determine the depth and duration of that recession.

    My call? This recession will be permanent, in the same way that upstate NY and the Rust Belt never recovered from the early 90s downturn. We’re close to the tipping point at which the state tax base has been whittled down to nothing, yet gubmint spending continues to spiral out of control. Any individual or company that can get out, will get out now.

    It will also be interesting to track where the freshly-foreclosed settle, post-sheriff sale. Rents in this area remain largely unaffordable…especially for families who’ve found themselves on a new austerity plan. Most NJ landlords who offer quality housing also still impose strict credit requirements, too. That means a tiny selection of substandard housing for a helluva lot of people.

    Not everyone can take the wife & kids and shack up with Mom & Dad for a few years. Where will these people go? My guess is, almost none of them will remain in NJ.

  311. crossroads says:


    I feel recession has arrived too. But it seems in some areas economy is still strong. Do you think this will catch most Jerseyites by surprise?

    I don’t think the economy will have anywhere to turn for jobs or growth as you stated gubmint is spent. no new jobs there. Financial about to layoff even w/ bailout. Construction going but not gone. there is still alot by me. but it can’t go on.

    we need technological innovation.( printing press ) oh wait thats not working

  312. njrebear says:

    We should outsource the printing press. China can print themselves a trillion and so can Japan.

  313. gary says:

    grim 312,

    I read the article in the paper this morning. Although, when you turn the page and look at the prices of these dumps, you ask yourself, “what slump?”

  314. Clotpoll says:

    x roads (318)-

    Just look at how Jerseyans continue to vote (that is, those who even bother to vote). The cruel reality is that the middle class and upper middle class regularly acquiesces to walletectomies that only the truly wealthy can afford. The surprise will be more like shock to many.

    I think that shock will come in many forms:

    1. The coming financial sector layoffs will hurt, but the real pain will set in when the telecom/pharma companies pick up their remaining NJ operations and head for fairer climes.

    2. Small business- and startup business formation- is at the brink of extinction in NJ. Rangel’s new tax proposals should seal the doom of anyone who owns a small business anywhere in the US, for that matter. From what I can tell, if I were to continue to operate my company, the best thing would be to recharter as a full “C” corporation. After the Fall ’08 election (which should confirm the US’ new status as a full-blown welfare state), no sane person should want to start a business of his own, as the Dems are loud and clear in declaring that they intend to fund the welfare state by disposessing the middle class and small business.

    3. As discussed here many times before, pretty soon thousands of Boomer kids will be entering the workforce en masse. When the realization hits that none of them will remotely be able to live and work in NJ (unless they bunk at home with the parents), any middle class that’s still left here will realize the folly of having drained our local tax base in order to educate kids who have no reasonable chance of ever being able to buy a home here.

    Keep in mind also that the vast majority of NJ homeowners have NO CLUE as to the depth and severity of the $hitstorm to come. Hundreds of thousands of owners who haven’t extracted all their equity and have no need/plan to move soon don’t pay attention to the things all of us here obsess over.

    However, in about a year- when even the nicest neighborhoods feature a few homes with knee high weeds and boarded-up windows- this thing will have everyone’s attention…guaranteed.

  315. WaitingToBuy says:

    What is interesting is that General Moters and Ford have some really nice cars they sell and make in europe. General Moters under the Opel/Vauxhall brands. General Moters has been bringing some Opel models and making them Saturn SKY, Aura, and now the Astra. These are nice cars that get great reviews in europe. Saturn is definalty worth looking at now. Ford needs to bring over a bunch of their euorpean cars. The Ford Mondero sold in europe is a sweet car. Car and Driver says “We get the Fusion, which we like. Europe gets the Mondeo, which we want.” http://tinyurl.com/2w5mby. Worth going to ford in the UK at http://tinyurl.com/2rcxma and General Moters in eruope at http://tinyurl.com/2suwqj.

  316. Clotpoll says:

    Come to think of it, how is the existence of 2.07 million vacant homes for sale in the US an indication of anything other than an incipient squatter/dislocation problem that might rival the Dust Bowl migration during the Depression?

    I couldn’t help watching the fires this week and wondering how many might have been accelerated by squatters, owners of vacant homes…or the mere existence of so many untended, vacant homes.

    I also wonder how many improperly-insured vacant homes burned last week.

  317. Clotpoll says:

    gary (320)-

    Those listings are tomorrow’s victims. Look at the pace of closed sales and the prices of those homes that actually manage to sell. A much different story.

    This will hit Bergen & the Gold Coast. It will just hit there last.

  318. bi says:

    322#, clot, where is the fire? watchung mountain area?

  319. lostinny says:

    Jesus Christ Bi- what planet are you on??!!

  320. JC says:

    Any recommendations for family-style italian in bergen county, fort lee area?

  321. bi says:

    151#, john: if his surname is jain, you may consider changing your last name to jain+ for next rich good looking girl but you may get color of tropicana.

    >Actually a lazy hindu I know from NJ just married a rich good looking wife because even though he does not make much nor does his family makes much he is from the right caste and has the right sur-name.

    He has a great deal, he can loaf around and ride out what his family did several hundred years ago.

  322. bi says:

    325#, i was think maybe clot had inside info that the wind was so strong that the fire 3000 miles away finally reached our neighborhood. selfishly speaking, the fire in california has little impact on our area. if any, it would be positive: we have less concern about earthquake or wildfire.

  323. scribe says:

    A truly sickening story about a Countrywide foreclosure – disabled guy, current on his main mortgage, lots of equity in the house, but he missed payments on a HELOC. The second was a small amount, but he has trouble keeping track of things because of his illness. And CF sold his house at an auction.


  324. marilyn says:

    #321 very good post and will come true!!

  325. Richie says:

    Keep in mind also that the vast majority of NJ homeowners have NO CLUE as to the depth and severity of the $hitstorm to come. Hundreds of thousands of owners who haven’t extracted all their equity and have no need/plan to move soon don’t pay attention to the things all of us here obsess over.

    You can just replace the “NJ homeowners” with “homeowners”. The problem isn’t strictly limited to NJ. Prices have gone insane everywhere.

  326. Richie says:

    A truly sickening story about a Countrywide foreclosure – disabled guy, current on his main mortgage, lots of equity in the house, but he missed payments on a HELOC. The second was a small amount, but he has trouble keeping track of things because of his illness. And CF sold his house at an auction.


    It’s not all sickening, they did try to contact him. He never picked up his registered mail, etc. Maybe what’s more sickening is that his family didn’t watch over him a little more.

    BTW: CF didn’t sell his house, the county did.

  327. BC Bob says:

    There will be no contagion. I know Tully will be happy.

    “Merrill CEO to step down amid board pressure”


  328. gary says:

    The Giants big today (I hope)
    eff the Eagles
    eff the Redskins
    eff the Jets

    eff the Yankees (bwaaa)

  329. dreamtheaterr says:

    #317 and #321,

    Clotpoll, why are you ruining some people’s gorgeous Sunday morning by talking about reality on Halloween weekend? Halloween is only supposed to be pseudo-scary, right?

  330. bi says:

    333#, o’neal was promoted to ceo from an ax-man (coo) because he axed more folks than other wall street firms after internet bubble burst. now it is his turn.

  331. Just me says:

    333 and 336

    Stan did good job for yeras….maybe he should give his bonusess back ??

  332. bi says:

    333#, but i won’t be surprised to see demostration tomorrow in the front of merrill headquarters from environmentist groups since they are killing a species in the safari of high finance.

  333. mac827 says:

    You don’t have to look for long in the mortgage databases to see that Countrywide (CFC) was the most aggressive of the predators, at least in my corner of Monmouth County. The vast majority of the carnage is yet to come. When Commerce’s “economist” says he’s relieved that “at least people have stopped using their houses as ATM’s…” is he really considering the ramifications yet to come. The vast majority of people are still spending that borrowed money and still living far beyond their means. What happens when this windfall is gone and the bills are due. Virtually every economist (industry shill or not..) has underestimated the almost exponential impact that this will have on so many families. Most of the folks that spent their equity are utterly screwed and they don’t know it yet. That typical $100,000 in bonus cash (!) is not only never to be replicated…it’s going to be paid back to the tune of at least $200,000 but more likely $300,000-350,000. If you think that last number is high, it’s not; I’ve seen several 2 year resets at LIBOR +6.5% in my relatively stable town of Atlantic Highlands. Many folks here seemed to keep from going off the deep end with lots of $50-75,000 loans but 5-10% of the folks in this area now OWE multiples of what they ORIGINALLY PAID for their homes for in the 1990’s. It’s pretty scary.

  334. scribe says:


    You said:

    It’s not all sickening, they did try to contact him. He never picked up his registered mail, etc. Maybe what’s more sickening is that his family didn’t watch over him a little more.


    But the machine that was churning along towards a foreclosure never had any human ask the question: Why would this guy go on paying his first mortgage, but default on $135 a month on his second?

    In ye olden days, there would have been a local bank officer who might have considered it strange, and done a little leg work by sending someone to the house. Now, it’s just a big, impersonal machine.

  335. Frank says:

    The point of this story, learn English.
    I don’t feel bad about this Chinese guy at all, most people are well aware of their problems and choose to ignore them. We try to contact borrowers all the time before we foreclose on them and the hardest thing is to get them to answer the phone. Weeeeeee, Weeeeeeeeee, how about one way ticket to Beijing?

  336. Frank says:

    Looks like NYC is getting ready for a serious slowdown. Get ready for more garbage and more homeless.


  337. Kettle1 says:

    CLot # 321

    See my post #300 Regarding a recent UN environmental report. If you consider the various forces coming together, we may be entering a “perfect storm”. The environment is degrading rapidly (NYC’s reservoirs in upstate are expected to start running dry in the next 5-10 yrs), we already use resources at an unsustainable rate, population continues to grow (although a large percentage of population growth in the US is from illegal immigrants),the US Dollar is rapidly inflating, and the cost of energy is going up as their is increased demand for a source that is ultimately limited.

    Is this the inflection point of our Consumer culture???? Simple math shows that the planet is not capable of supporting the world population in a first or even second world condition. The amount of resources needed for 6.5 billion (current population, and we are predicted to hit 9 billion by 2050) people is not there. China is already having a problem because they cannot support even a large percentage of their own population at anything other then a sustenance farmer level.

    Could the local conditions we are seeing in the northeast USA be a local results? to many people try to live at too high a level?

  338. Clotpoll says:

    scribe (329)-

    Something fishy there that the SF rag…er, paper, left out. A second tries to foreclose, and the holder of the first doesn’t come to the courthouse and bid the second into oblivion?

  339. scribe says:


    Story says that CF held both:

    But he evidently stopped making the $135 monthly payments on a $20,000 home-equity loan. The loan was with the bank division of Countrywide Financial, the same lender that carries his primary mortgage. Countrywide initiated foreclosure proceedings and sold the house to investors for a bargain price of $190,300 at an Oct. 2 auction on the Alameda County Courthouse steps.

  340. gary says:

    Goodbye London!! lol! Let’s hope Mr. Goodell’s next marketing brainstorm doesn’t involve the Giants.

  341. Orion says:

    Collect $159mil (no more Mylanta)


  342. Orion says:

    Oops! I mean O’Neal.

  343. Orion says:

    “I Love Sub-Prime” video (sing-a-long)


  344. Kettle1 says:

    Washington, Oct 27 (Prensa Latina) IMF (International Monetary Fund) director, Rodrigo Rato, forecast that the dollar is due for a disorganized and pronounced fall.

    In declarations to the press, Rato said that the greenback may continue to fall rapidly, which, he added, would complicate the credit crisis in the United States.

    Rato said there was a possibility of a worldwide recession in 2008 but this would not be his most important forecast.

    Additional coverage:
    PA Radio: Autoworkers, Globalization, and a Path Forward
    “There is another scenario. A lesser economic growth in the United States, which would have an impact on Europe and Japan,” maintained Rato who is soon to leave his post in the IMF.

    He also indicated that there is danger of a growing inflation as a result of the high oil prices, but also the hike in food product prices.

    World markets suffered strong turmoil during the past two months from the mortgage risk in the United States.

    “All these dangers come at a time when the world economy now confronts risks, unbalances, protectionism and high oil prices,” Rato concluded.

  345. ledwards says:

    You might see chinese car in US by 2009.


    Chery saw exports surge 178% in 2006 to reach 50,000 as total vehicle sales rose 61% to over 305,000. It has talked of more than matching this figure in exports alone come 2008. Rival Geely plans to export 33,000 cars this year, up from 12,000 in 2006, and have a foothold in the US and European markets by 2009.

  346. Just me says:

    hehhehe so “STAN THE MAN” took wimpy way out??? Well he should be able to repay good portion of shareholders back…give back all the many yearly bonuses’s and salaries.:)

  347. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Clot – As someone who just started a small business … your post (321) has me a bit worried. My business is actually slightly different – it’s an e-commerce business (a blog!) so perhaps it is slightly different from what you may be talking about.

    Care to elaborate?

    2. Small business- and startup business formation- is at the brink of extinction in NJ. Rangel’s new tax proposals should seal the doom of anyone who owns a small business anywhere in the US, for that matter. From what I can tell, if I were to continue to operate my company, the best thing would be to recharter as a full “C” corporation. After the Fall ‘08 election (which should confirm the US’ new status as a full-blown welfare state), no sane person should want to start a business of his own, as the Dems are loud and clear in declaring that they intend to fund the welfare state by disposessing the middle class and small business.

  348. Clotpoll says:

    scribe (346)-

    Didn’t have my reading hat on & missed that. Thanks…

  349. chicagofinance says:

    dreamtheaterr Says:
    October 27th, 2007 at 9:01 pm
    You can use a free media player like VLC Media player to capture an image from a movie

    yan: I installed this program, but it did not read the video stream of the file.

  350. Clotpoll says:

    bath (354)-

    Rangel’s plan lowers the rate on straight corporation taxes. At the same time, marginal tax rates and capital gains rates would rise.

    Sounds great, until one does the math and realizes that rechartering an LLC or Sub-S corp as a straight “C” is a quick workaround for many business owners.

  351. Clotpoll says:

    The day is nigh when the average American will do better by sitting at home, loudly protesting his victimization and demanding that gubmint make him whole.

  352. chicagofinance says:

    For all the whining here about the culprits that “need to pay a price” for what happened……Warren Spector and Stan O’Neal heads served on a plate…..that some gourmet…….Prince and Cayne to follow….

  353. Just me says:

    STAN and ORANGELO ?? Ha a nice ring to it???

  354. John says:

    stan the straw man!

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