LoanPerformance October 2007 House Price Index

From LoanPerformance:

First American LoanPerformance Releases October 2007 House Price Index

12 Month Change By Top 30 CBSAs (Core Based Statistical Areas) As of October 2007
Honolulu, HI 17.91%
Salt Lake City, UT 11.63%
Austin-Round Rock, TX 8.62%
San Antonio, TX 7.89%
Raleigh-Cary, NC 4.56%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 4.52%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC 4.47%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 3.92%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 2.18%
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA 1.73%
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI -0.22%
Philadelphia, PA -0.61%
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA -1.83%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA -2.13%
St. Louis, MO-IL -2.76%
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI -3.16%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI -3.33%
New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ -4.13%
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL -4.85%
Boston-Quincy, MA -6.01%
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH -8.10%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV -8.11%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL -9.21%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ -10.08%
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL -10.16%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA -10.45%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL -10.89%
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA -11.44%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV -11.65%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL -14.01%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA -15.70%

Source: First American LoanPerformance HPI, Single Family Detached Series

This entry was posted in Economics, National Real Estate, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

301 Responses to LoanPerformance October 2007 House Price Index

  1. HEHEHE says:

    Wait a minute, that NYC area number is negative, there must be a mistake!!

  2. Richie says:

    wtf is going on!! what happened to the layout!!

  3. grim says:

    Trying out a new layout. This template has too many CSS errors for me to figure out.

    It doesn’t display properly on Safari, Firefox, or Opera (mobile).


  4. syncmaster says:

    What is the story with Utah, NM and TX?

  5. vmc says:

    Holy crap! The developer for Trump and Gulls Cove in JC (and Metrostop in Hoboken) can’t get banks to lend him money for his Esperanza project in Asbury Park. From the Star Ledger, Dec 12:

    “Geibel declined to discuss specific market conditions that forced him to reach the decision to halt construction, but Councilman John Loffredo said that in previous conversations with Geibel, the developer said banks were leery about lending money because of the softening market.”

    Doesn’t look good…I wonder how sales are in JC and Hoboken. Can he get the money he needs for those places? Anyone know?

  6. CAIBC says:

    wait till next year this time – either all red or they will have to insert a new color to show categories within >10%!!!!

    can someone try and match this chart to the % rate of increase of prices over the last 5 years? – i bet there will be a lot of correlation!

    everyone seems to forget that its the high prices thats stalling the market and not the credit crunch, lack of mrtgs, …..

  7. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Asbury Park could go to court over stalled high-rise

    The Asbury Park mayor and city council today gave the developer of a stalled ocean-front high rise 30 days to get the project restarted, and five days to answer a litany of questions about the financial status of the project.

    The developer of the Esperanza complex abruptly stopped construction and sales last week because of the cooling real estate market. Asbury Park officials said today that if the complex’s developer, Hoboken-based Metro Homes LLC, does not comply with the city’s deadlines to resume work, the city could go to court to have Metro Homes legally removed as the developers of the property.

    The 224-unit luxury condo complex was to many a symbol of the city’s rebirth, to rise in place of a rusting hulk that stood deserted on the oceanfront for years of stalled growth before it was torn down in 2006. Officials said last week that halting the Esperanza’s construction could have a wider effect in slowing Asbury Park’s redevelopment.

  8. Clotpoll says:

    My comment from September 3, 2007. It smelled bad then; it smells worse now:

    Clotpoll Says:
    September 3rd, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Joan Hamburg was on WOR Friday AM, hawking and spinning Asbury Park like it was the Hamptons. The Esperanza guy and a couple of other local bigs were there, pumping like mad.

    Like what Asbury Park needs is a bunch of overpriced condos and goofy restaurants that sell rancid tuna tartare and $12 blue martinis. Friggin’ Soho at the shore. Yeah, we need another Soho. Let’s go to Abercrombie.


  9. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    S&P Cuts Alt-A Mortgage Bonds; Analysts Warn on Prime

    Standard & Poor’s reduced its ratings on about $7 billion of Alt-A mortgage securities, citing a sustained surge in delinquencies during the past five months on loans considered a step above subprime.

    The lowered bonds represent about 1 percent of the $694 billion of securities backed by Alt-A mortgages created in 2005 and 2006, the largest ratings company said today in a statement. Countrywide Financial Corp., Bear Stearns Cos., and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. issued the most debt downgraded, S&P said.

    “These actions reflect a persistent rise in the level of delinquencies among the Alt-A mortgage loans supporting these transactions,” along with S&P’s expectations for further home price declines, the New York-based unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. said.

    The downgrades underscore how loosened lending standards across the mortgage market and borrower fraud are mixing with the first nationwide declines in home prices since the Great Depression and a tightening of credit to sour a wider range of home loans, not just subprime mortgages to borrowers with poor credit. Alt-A loans are sometimes called “near-prime.”

    Prime “jumbo” mortgages from recent years packaged into securities also have rising delinquencies that may create losses among some bonds with investment-grade ratings, according to reports yesterday by New York-based securities analysts at Credit Suisse Group and UBS AG. UBS called increases in late payments on adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, from this year “alarming.”

    “It’s not just a subprime problem,” Joshua Rosner, managing director at New York-based research firm Graham Fisher & Co., said in a telephone interview today.
    (emphasis added)

  10. grim says:


    Since July, late payments on Alt-A loans in bonds issued in 2005 have increased 37.3 percent to 8.62 percent, while delinquencies for such mortgages in 2006 securities rose 62.1 percent to 11.64 percent, S&P said. Moody’s Investors Service late last month completed a review of certain Alt-A bonds, downgrading or placing under review a total of $11.7 billion.

    While late payments and defaults on prime jumbo loans remain relatively low, the mortgages are “deteriorating at almost the same pace as other mortgage products: a down-turn in the housing market has revealed a higher correlation in mortgage credit performance than most anticipated,” UBS analysts led by Laurie Goodman in New York wrote yesterday.

  11. njpatient says:

    Times are tough in Brigadoon:

    1) Folks are now target-marketing the acid-dropping set; check out these lovely photos:
    2) Even better, if you’re in the market for a car, all you need to do is buy a house: see MLS #2440377

  12. Richie says:

    Wow! What a deal!

    I could just goto the BMW dealer and save $1.2 million bux.

  13. chifi - CFAs do it better says:

    grim: can you give us a cross section of this map that includes the number of CFAs in each region?

  14. njpatient says:

    essex – you’re not selling your bimmer are you?

  15. njpatient says:

    13 chi
    That’s be all the places that prices are rising. Duh.

  16. chifi - CFAs do it better says:

    Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI -3.16%
    New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ -4.13%

    How can this be? Don’t they realize how many people work in finance in NY?

    In all seriousness…WTF?

  17. chifi - CFAs do it better says:

    njpatient Says:
    December 19th, 2007 at 11:15 pm
    13 chi
    That’s be all the places that prices are rising. Duh.

    njp: ah yes….please pass the Gray Poupon…

  18. Portland is looking pretty good. Washington even better. Good news.

  19. njpatient says:

    17 chi

    but of course

  20. dreamtheaterr says:

    Grim, can you show the graph displayed in EUR and GBP? It’ll provide marketing fodder for our transatlantic pals on the other side to come shop in the US instead and bolster our RE values. As opposed to a privileged few here who going shopping there with our Dollaz..

  21. MrT says:

    1.8%..and 4.1% down..after a historic run up in prices that ballooned most homeowners net worth…and all the hype about arm resetting and mortgage problems…not exactly a number that will make you mail in the keys and line up to be a tenant….so far the housing more like landing on a featherbed……what a dud.

  22. lisoosh says:

    From Yesterday:

    3b, I believe you are talking about this quote from Pret concerning the hordes of Ivy Leaguers who come here:

    “pretorius Says:
    September 28th, 2007 at 10:55 am

    Among people whose circumstances enable them to choose where they live, the common denominator in the New York City area is these people tend to be very rich or very smart.

    Take the richest 10% of the New York metro population and compare this group to their counterparts in North Carolina, and there is simply no comparison. It is the same with the smart people. Thousands of Ivy League graduates head to New York each year. The same cannot be said for anyplace in the South.

    Why do the richest and smartest people choose to live in New York and a few other places, such as San Francisco? Because today they prefer places with character – particularly dense, older neighborhoods having locally owned shops which you can walk to, along with transportation options besides the car. Bust most of all, they like to be around other very smart or very rich people, and the New York metro has plenty of both.

    On the other hand, North Carolina attracts people having mainstream American tastes. These ideals include large single family houses located in massive subdivisions, automobile dependency, and a preponderance of national chain retailers and restaurants. The growing cities of North Carolina fit this description, making them very attractive to the typical American middle manager or bureaucrat. It is not surprising that many people in these roles relocate to North Carolina from New York and New Jersey.”

    I believe the comment generated quite a debate that day.

  23. lisoosh says:

    And here is one of the comments about wealthy Asians buying up real estate.

    “pretorius Says:
    July 3rd, 2007 at 9:33 am

    People seem to be ignoring the surge in American household net worths that has taken place during the past several years. This is one of the fundamental factors behind the recent rise in home prices, I believe.

    Although I don’t have state-by-state figures, it is fair to assume that New Jersey household net worths are significantly higher than the national average.

    In New Jersey, home prices have increased faster, equity portfolios are larger stemming from higher incomes (high earners own more stocks), and the states high immigration level has produced above-average entrepreneurship and small business ownership.

    There is a enormous amount of family wealth in the New York City and North Jersey areas that can be used to finance home purchases. In my view, this affects Hudson County more than other parts of North Jersey because wealthy immigrant families, particularly of Asian heritage, are helping to finance the purchase of
    their children’s first homes.”

    Don’t thank me, I’m a giver.

  24. grim says:

    1.8%..and 4.1% down..after a historic run up in prices that ballooned most homeowners net worth…and all the hype about arm resetting and mortgage problems…not exactly a number that will make you mail in the keys and line up to be a tenant….so far the housing more like landing on a featherbed……what a dud.

    Two years ago you told us that real estate had forever changed, a new paradigm. We would continue to see double digit growth into the (un)forseeable future. It was imperative that we all purchased homes, otherwise they would be forever unaffordable.

    A year ago you told us that while your prior prediction was incorrect, and real estate was no longer skyrocketting, it would never, ever, fall. The worst possible case was flat prices. Again, we should purchase homes immediately, lest we lose out on the double digit appreciation that was sure to resume.

    Now, you come here to tell us that while prices are falling (which you assured us could never, ever, happen), the drop will only be minor.

    What’s next, a forecast based on a return to double digit appreciation?

  25. pretorius says:

    Thank you Lisoosh for unearthing those posts. Where is this stuff about parents buying unemployed children $700k homes? I think it is safe to say that it is nowhere to be found.

    So, Lisoosh, do you disagree with what I wrote in those posts?

  26. Clotpoll says:

    lisoosh (23)-

    Nothing’s as cool as a tough chick giving some guy the treatment. Very Uma Thurman/Kill Bill.

  27. grim says:

    From Newsday:

    Nassau foreclosure filings down, Suffolk up

    The latest RealtyTrac foreclosure filing figures are out, and they are surprising: Nassau’s rate is down.

    Nassau had 350 filings in November, down 34 percent from a year earlier, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based online marketplace for foreclosure properties. There was one filing per 1,309 households.

    Less surprising are the figures from Suffolk and Queens. Suffolk had 500 filings last month, up 54 percent from November 2006. There was one filing per 1,078 households. In Queens there were 1,338 filings last month, up 55 percent from a year earlier. There was one filing per 622 households.

    The Nassau numbers don’t jibe with what area industry insiders are seeing. Local housing counseling agencies are reporting 10-fold increases in calls from people seeking foreclosure prevention assistance.

    “There’s something wrong with those numbers,” said Todd Yovino, who runs Huntington-based Island Advantage Realty, which specializes in selling foreclosed properties for banks. His inventory in the metropolitan area is up more than threefold this year.

  28. Essex says:

    #15…………hahhaha! Not yet! We dodged a few bullets around here this last go round, but for now…the Bimmer is safe.

  29. mikeinwaiting says:

    GRim Any info 2459756 Looks like flip gone flop or someone running will they have a chance.Which they don’t at 398 + 10k taxes in the sticks oh I forgot maintance.

  30. thatBIGwindow says:

    From the Southbergenite
    Dormant home stirs concern

    Residents of West Gouverneur Avenue in Rutherford are concerned about the state and safety of a currently empty house on the block. After being sold in the summer, the new owners performed an internal demolition on the house, completely removing the insides and in the process leaving the house open and exposed to the elements for several months


    The last paragraph is an LOL moment:

    “They would be heartbroken if they ever saw the house [in its current state],” said one neighbor about the former owners. The former owners were longtime Rutherford and West Gouverneur residents who moved out fairly abruptly this summer, claiming they could no longer afford to pay the taxes

    And now the town has an eyesore on its hands!

  31. grim says:

    It’s a flip, never lived in, never furnished. However, they’ve not yet hit “flop”.

    Purchased: 10/17/2006
    Purchase Price: $319,950

    MLS# 2351615
    Listed: 12/08/06
    OLP: $465,000
    LP: $449,900
    DOM: 193

    MLS# 2459756
    Listed: 11/07/07
    OLP: $420,000
    LP: $398,000
    DOM: 43

  32. njrebear says:

    Holiday Sales in U.S. Fall for Third Week After Winter Storms

    Sales in the seven days through Dec. 15 fell 0.4 percent from a year earlier, following declines of 2.7 percent and 4.4 percent the previous two weeks, Chicago-based ShopperTrak RCT Corp. said yesterday.

  33. Confused In NJ says:

    Ben Stein got the “No One is Indicted Part Right”

    Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007, 12:00AM
    If I were to choose a cartoon to represent the financial events of 2007, it would be the familiar one of Lucy promising Charlie Brown that this time, definitely this time, despite all the lies in the past, she would hold the football firmly in place while he practiced placekicking. Then, of course, she snatches it away and he goes flying onto his backside.

    In the case of 2007 and investors, Lucy is, as always, Wall Street. The football is collateralized mortgage obligations, and the placekicking dupe is you and me. But the smart observer is the guy or gal or who knows this crisis won’t go on forever, and the time to buy stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs is when everyone is worried — not when they’re chirrupy and happy.

    What Went Wrong

    Let’s start at the beginning.

    It’s not even six years after the catastrophe of the high-tech fraud and stock collapse, and, after endless professions that Wall Street would stick to the highest levels of probity and honesty, it’s back to the same old tricks. The trick is — as always — to sell “securities” that are not at all secure and are worth far less than the con men on Wall Street say they are.

    This time around, the “securities” were immense pools of mortgages issued often with minimal or no credit checks on the borrowers, often on the collateral of homes that were worth less than the loans. Very often, the borrowers had little or no equity in the house, so that as soon as the real estate market went into a cyclical correction of extra-large size (to correspond with the real estate boom that was also of uniquely large size), the borrowers simply left the keys in the mailbox and went back to renting.

    In many cases, the borrowers were themselves deceived about the terms of the loans and the likelihood that they could refinance their way out of any problems that occurred.

    Crunching the Numbers

    No one, and I mean no one, knows how large the losses have been as the buyers of the mortgage pools have seen their investment dry up and blow away. By my rough calculation, with help from the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, about 6 trillion dollars of new mortgages were issued between 2005 and mid-2007. Of this, about 20 percent might have been subprime. That makes $1.2 trillion.

    Of that, about a third might default (many more from the last period of the lending binge, when standards simply vanished), which would indicate losses of about $380 billion. Of that, about 60 percent will be recovered when the houses are seized in foreclosure and, after the legal fees are paid, sold to shrewd buyers. That leads to a net loss to pension funds, municipalities, labor unions, hedge funds, and wealthy foreigners of about $150 billion, as a very rough number.

    That number may be even greater when upwards of $40 billion in losses on mortgages call Alt-A’s — where the borrowers didn’t have poor credit, but the interest rates reset too high for them to afford — are added. If we also assume that defaults might be even greater on mortgage pools sold since the middle of 2007, the total unrecoverable losses will be about $200 billion to $250 billion. Ouch!

    On top of that, there are losses on structured investment vehicles, in which speculators basically borrowed short-term money to buy long-term debt — always risky — and possibly some losses on car loans as well, but that’s not yet clear. There are also losses to hedge funds, which are loosely regulated pools of investments, but their accounting is generally murky.

    Still with me? Because there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

    The Usual Suspects

    But first, here are some amazing facts about this debacle: As far as I know, not one person on Wall Street has been even indicted for, let alone convicted of, fraud. Not one. In fact, the leaders of the major investment banks, banks, and brokerages that sold this worthless stuff — and kept some of it in-house, leading to immense losses for their firms — have been retired with immense severance bonuses.

    The former head of Merrill Lynch — who led his firm to near ruin by selling this garbage, and led his clients (whom he had a fiduciary duty to always put first) to disastrous losses — was given a retirement package of about $160 million. The people at the banks who supervised this meltdown were routinely paid multimillion dollar wages per year.

    A Peek Ahead

    Here are two even more amazing facts: Despite this massacre — which went far beyond where I originally thought it would go — the stock market is still up for the year by a few percentage points, even though financial stocks are by far the largest sector of the S&P. Even more amazing, the economy is so large and so resilient that the losses will not be enough to cause lasting damage to the nation as a whole. (Some individuals, however, will be ruined.)

    The losses of $200 billion or so amount to only about 2 percent of bank credit, and far less than the percentage of total credit available domestically and from foreign investors. The Federal Reserve is available at the flip of a switch to replenish the lost liquidity of banks, and new, wealthy foreigners are still lining up to invest in our financial entities.

    There will obviously be an economic slowdown, and possibly even a shallow recession. But we’re extremely blessed to have good fiscal stewardship from our government and top-flight guidance at the monetary-policy pentagon (the Fed). Unless they make major mistakes, we’ll get through this in halfway decent shape.

    Get Over It

    Still, the lessons for us are keen and cut like a knife. But be brave — these periods of crisis are inevitably the time to buy, even if you have to wait years for the crisis to sort itself out. It takes guts and counterintuitive thinking, and if you don’t have the stomach to do it, no one will blame you.

    If you do jump into the pool, be sure to diversify, give yourself guaranteed income from variable annuities and annuities, and stick with proven entities like very largely varied index funds at home and abroad. As you all know, I particularly love the emerging market funds and ETFs for the long haul.

    Oh, and the next time Lucy offers to hold that football, kick her instead.

  34. njrebear says:


  35. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Bear Stearns posts loss on mortgage write-downs

    Bear Stearns Cos. Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $854 million, or $6.90 a share, compared with net income of $563 million, or $4 a share, in the year-ago period. The company said it wrote down about $1.9 billion in mortgage inventory net of hedges, which reduced fourth-quarter earnings by $8.21 a share. Bear Stearns said members of the executive committee will not receive any bonuses for 2007. “We are obviously upset with our 2007 results, particularly in light of the fact that weakness in fixed income more than offset strong and, in some areas, record-setting performance in other businesses,” said James Cayne, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

  36. BC Bob says:

    “said James Cayne, chairman and chief executive officer”


    He’s still dancing? Now an insolvent Barclay’s is suing Bear. Great drama unfolding.

  37. scribe says:

    From the WSJ:

    Barclays Sues Bear
    Over Failed Funds
    December 20, 2007

    Barclays PLC, stung this summer when two big hedge funds run by Bear Stearns Cos. collapsed, is suing the Wall Street firm and two of its fund managers, claiming among other things that Bear misled it about the performance of the highly leveraged funds.

    In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Barclays alleges that Bear, its money-management unit Bear Stearns Asset Management and two senior BSAM executives, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, defrauded it in borrowing and investing capital.

    The two funds that Messrs. Cioffi and Tannin managed, known as the High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund and the High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, collapsed in July, wiping out $1.6 billion in investor capital. Their failure is now under examination by regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the state of Massachusetts and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Barclays lent roughly $400 million to the BSAM enhanced fund, which started operations in September 2006. But less than a year later, both funds faced a cash shortage that rendered them unable to meet investor or lender requests for their money back when risky bets on the market for loans to borrowers with weak credit went bad.

    The United Kingdom bank’s suit — which people familiar with the matter say comes after months of failed settlement talks — is seeking unspecified damages, in an amount to be determined in a jury trial.

    In a statement, a Bear spokeswoman said the suit was without merit. “While we do not like to see investors or counterparties lose money, we believe this lawsuit is an attempt by Barclays to avoid taking responsibility for its own actions,” she wrote in a statement.

  38. njpatient says:

    28 essex

  39. 3b says:

    #25 pret: You did say it. Again I would say go back and check, if you feel you must defend yourself.

    Think hard, 700k condos Wall St layoffs, I said what happens then, you said even if they were unemployed they would still come to NYC, creative, innovative, I said even without jobs, you said yes their parents would buy 700k condos for them.

    Surely you must rememebr that converation.

  40. Kettle1 says:

    21 mrT

    real estate bubbles do not pop in a rapid manner like stock bubbles do. RE bubbles take years to deflate. Look at the bubble from the late 80’s early 90’s. JB has the charts and has posted them numerous times. If i remember correctly it took about 3-5 years for things to bottom out then. We have run much higher this time and have further to fall. You can argue that we may fall faster or slower then the previous RE bubble, but my personal opinion is that it will take longer, my first guess would be 4-6 years for the whole shebang to get worked out and then prices will sit stagnant for while….

  41. syncmaster says:

    Edison station to add 350 spaces

    Commuters using the Edison train station will be able to use 350 new permit parking spaces starting in February.

    The township announced a deal yesterday with Manhattan-based Central Parking Systems to offer a 350-space parking lot about a mile from the Edison train station for use by permit-holding commuters.

    Central Parking Systems will offer the spaces at a cost of $60 per month for Edison residents and $75 per month for nonresidents. The lot will come complete with a fleet of three 14-passenger shuttles that will bring commuters back and forth from the train station to the lot from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    Choi said the township will soon begin seeking public input regarding economic revitalization of the north side of the train station to provide some long-term parking for commuters.

  42. syncmaster says:

    3b #39,

    I do remember reading that on here, I don’t recall who said it and I don’t remember the figure 700k.

  43. 3b says:

    #23 lisoosh Thanks for checking, it might have been on that day, or perhaps later in Oct, and yes it caused quite a lively debate.

    And I stand. by the fact that he said what he said about 700k condos etc.

  44. pretorius says:

    3b, I checked, lisoosh checked. Nobody can find the post that has fueled your insults and hostility, the same way nobody found the book I plagiarized.

    It is your turn to search. Either find it or concede it doesn’t exist except inside the head of a few njrereport posters with excellent imaginations.

  45. thatBIGwindow says:


  46. grim says:

    Most important story of the day…

    From Bloomberg:

    MBIA Bond Risk Soars on $8.1 Billion Subprime CDO Disclosure

    The risk of MBIA Inc. defaulting on its bonds rose after the company disclosed it had insured $8.1 billion of a complex security linked to repackaged subprime mortgages.

    Credit-default swaps tied to Armonk, New York-based MBIA’s bonds soared 115 basis points to 595 basis points, the widest on record, according to CMA Datavision in London. The contracts are used to speculate on the company’s ability to repay its debt or hedge against the risk it doesn’t.

  47. pretorius says:

    I think I found the post that is causing the fuss. 3b, do you think this is the one? Do you disagree with what I wrote?

    Here is the post.

    “There is more to New York than a high-paying job market.

    Smart people enjoy being surrounded by other smart people, and smart people prefer older cities with personality to newer cities where everyone lives cookie cutter suburbs. That is why the New York and San Francisco attract so many smart people. And that helps explain why $700,000 buys a small apartment in New York and San Francisco but a Toll Brothers McMansion in successful, boring cities like Phoenix and Charlotte.

    In addition, many Ivy Leaguers come from rich families, and these families are as rich as they’ve ever been. That family wealth can make a $700,000 condo affordable for couple on only $250k per year.”

    I was responding this post from a guy who debuted the $700,000 amount stuck in people’s heads.

    “not sure why you think all of those ivy leaguers move here except for the jobs. even for those who are just dying to move to NY under any circumstances, if your job option now becomes consulting rather than banking, do you still buy that $700,000 1 BR two years out?”

  48. thatBIGwindow says:

    I think I was an ivory leaguer in a previous life.

  49. pretorius says:

    The posts in #47 are from November 21st.

    3b, I don’t believe you knowingly lied. But you and others have clearly misrepresented what I wrote, blatantly and repeatedly.

  50. t c m says:

    pret –

    in my opinion, people move here because of job opportunities – all the rest is great, but many people can’t stand the hassle, and would love to have the same jobs somewhere else – but, they’re here.

    of course, not everyone – there are some woody allens of the world – ny or nothing – but face it, it’s the jobs that keep most people in ny, not the people that keep the jobs in ny.

  51. syncmaster says:

    tcm #51,

    A lot of my peers when I graduated wanted to live in the city because it was the cool thing to do. Some of them had shyte jobs but that wasn’t the point for them at all. Being able to say they live in Manhattan was the point. A lot of them are still there, almost ten years later. Some of them still have shyte jobs, some have done incredibly well.

  52. 3b says:

    #47 pret: I am not going to get into a pssing match with you,and no that was not the post I am refering to.

    The post that started this pointless exercise was where you said (this is the last time I am going to discuss this), that even if people do not have jobs (Wall Street layoffs), they will still come here,and their wealthy parents will buy them 700k condos.

  53. grim says:


    I’ve seen some properties in terrible disrepair, but very few actually bothered to show interior photos. At the most these listings would include a shot of the lot, and potentially the exterior. Most times you would find these listed as land/property for sale. They made it clear that the structure was not inhabitable nor able to be repaired.

    I remember seeing one listing that carried interesting showing instructions:


  54. njrebear says:

    MBIA discloses $8.14 billion in CDO squared exposure

    Morgan Stanley analyst ‘shocked’ that MBIA withheld info.

    How many times can you be shocked and surprised in 24 hours?

  55. lisoosh says:

    Pret – I looked those posts up as a favor to 3b, because I remembered those conversations too. He paraphrased many of the posts you have made, yes, but from others perspective he did a pretty fair job of it.
    I’m not going to dig around for more $700k posts or the tales of your flips where the parents paid for the kids housing, but they exist.

    The reason why all of this annoys is because you seem to continually and consistently confuse the NY/Tri-State premium with the bubble. And when people show consistent evidence of the bubble, you dismiss it as jealousy/bitterness/a lack of understanding/blindness whatever, you just don’t provide hard evidence to the contrary.

    Everyone here knows this area is more expensive than B*mf*ck Kansas. Duh. Everyone knows that salaries here trend higher and prices are higher. It’s not a surprise that a shack in Mississippi is less than a years salary, a ranch in Oklahoma a couple years and USUALLY a colonial in NJ 3-4 times New Jerseys inflated wage. You’re not educating anyone there.
    But when those numbers climb to 6,7,8…11 times the regular salary and people start questioning the basis for that, to continually insist that they just don’t UNDERSTAND how SPECIAL this area is and to throw out 2 or 3 anecdotes rather than some hard evidence, smacks of arrogance and obtuseness.

    You have a goldmine here of relatively well paid, well educated middle class individuals talking about how unaffordable things have become in a very short time span. Seems to me a smart investor would view that as the canary in the coal mine, however you’ve been constantly and consistently dismissive of other peoples life experiences.

    Oh well. More fool you.

  56. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Would you buy my CDO?
    I do not like them, Broker Joe
    I do not like your CDO!
    Would you like it here or there?
    I would not like it here or there
    I would not like it anywhere
    I do not like your CDO
    I do not like it, Broker Joe

    Our SIV has had a few rough knocks
    Get in now, you sly old fox!
    I am slyer than a fox
    And I don’t think you have the docs
    That you must have if you foreclose
    And so a judge will thumb his nose
    At you, your SIV, and CDO
    Who owns the mortgage?
    I don’t know
    And you don’t either, Broker Joe
    I would not know it here or there
    I would not know it anywhere
    I will not buy your CDO
    I will not buy it, Broker Joe!

    But you can trust the agencies
    They’ve rated this stuff Triple-B!
    This tranche is still investment grade
    You buy it here, your year is made!
    The agencies have been asleep
    Their ratings are just like ‘Bo Peep
    That is, they’re from a fairy tale
    As fiction goes, they’re off the scale
    And I do not believe them, Joe
    And so your tranche is a no-go
    You think at 50 it’s a do
    Until it falls to twenty-two
    I do not like your CDO,
    I will not buy it, Broker Joe!

    Have you met our in-house quant?
    He’ll model anything you want!
    Except, that is, transactions costs
    No thanks, I do not want the loss
    From any quant’s sexy black box
    Or mortgages unbacked by docs
    Or mindless buys of kiwi-yen
    Or ABX headed to 10
    Or any other credit turd
    I’ve spoken, Joe, so hear the word
    I do not like your CDO,
    I will not buy it, Broker Joe!

  57. lisoosh says:

    Clot – I think Pat wins the tough chick smackdown prize.
    She does it with a more acerbic wit and shorter sentences. I tend to verbose. Stubborn though.

  58. lisoosh says:

    Clot – I think Pat wins the tough chick smackdown prize.
    She does it with a more acerbic wit and shorter sentences. I tend to be verbose. Stubborn though.

  59. BC Bob says:

    JB [58],


    No link, came across my desk.

    Bernanke: There you go. I got nominal interest rates down to zero. Now its your turn.
    Wall Street: So what happens now? Nobody wants to invest in assets because they think they can only go down in value.
    Bernanke: Well you can all lend to each other and keep the markets liquid.
    Wall Street: You must be kidding. We are in a liquidity trap. We don’t want to lend because it is too risky.
    Bernanke: Then I will fly around in my helicopter and drop dollars onto the streets of New York. If I can’t then I will buy subprime houses … oops that is what I am doing already.
    Wall Street: Rates are zero so we will wait for they can only go up. That is why the Bond market is collapsing.
    Bernanke: But according to Milton Freidman and Keynes, I am doing the right thing.
    Wall Street: Look at Japan in the 90’s. You need to build more freeways, hospitals, start another war, that sort of thing. Get the budget deficit up a bit more and provide meaningless jobs for people. Until you learn from the past, we will just sit here.
    Bernanke: My job is over. I am off to be Goldman’s next CEO. Bye, bye

  60. t c m says:

    #52 – sync –

    well, it’s hard to respond to what your friends are doing, because i’m not sure what you think a “shyte job” or doing” incredibly well” means. i also don’t know if there are any other things holding them here or not, or if in the privacy of their own home, they wish they were somewhere else ( i mean the one’s who stay regardless of the fact they have shyte jobs). or if the one’s doing incredibly well would be very happy doing incredibly well somewhere else – maybe they’re doing incredibly well here, because the good job is here – which was my point.

    having said all that, i do agree that a lot of college kids want to move here – i don’t blame them – what i was trying to respond to was the implication that smart people move here because they want to be near smart people – i’m sorry, i think there are lots of smart people in the world who like open space, outdoors, nature, short commutes, family time etc. who would love to move out of ny to a place that was less of a hassle IF they could find a job there.

  61. thatBIGwindow says:

    #61: The so called “enlightened”, open minded, holistic society that lives in the NYC Metro area in reality have loud mouths, closed minds, expensive taste (and CC debt to go with) and will personally attack those who disagree with them.

  62. rhymingrealtor says:

    BC Bob,

    I just had my first experience w/repercussion of the falling dollar. Went to buy the Irish import cologne/perfume from the local Irish shop, big price increase. I mentioned it to her, because I have been buying for quite a few years, sorry dear the falling dollar!

  63. Ann says:

    I thought people lived in NJ/NY because of the jobs. Period. Why would you live here if it wasn’t for your job? The weather kind of sucks. The traffic definitely sucks. And the people are slightly rude.

    I also live here because my entire family is here and that’s important to me. But other than those two things (family and jobs) I don’t know why anyone would live here, especially with the outrageous prices.

    Now moving to NYC after college, that’s a whole different animal. Not related to NJ at all. And many of them will leave, a few will stay.

  64. pretorius says:

    I agree that economic opportunity is the New York metro’s biggest lure.

  65. thatBIGwindow says:

    Wife’s job and our families anchor us to this horrible area. I would love to move to upstate NY…but stuck in Bergen County for now :(

  66. John says:

    Since when is 700K a lot of money?

  67. Bystander says:

    Scribe #50,

    Wow, that takes cajones to ask $249,000 for an inhabitable dump in Colonia. At least there was no realtor propoganda about “hidden gem” or “needs TLC”. I guess they are looking for flippers. Reminds me – I was watching Flip That House on Saturday and they had an episode with some male model types who decided they were so smart and good looking that it was time to form a flipping company. They bought and flipped a place last May and said it would be the gem of Hamden, CT. Well, I checked on zillow. The house is still unsold. Hilarious..

  68. Rich In NNJ says:

    John #67,

    I must have missed it. Since when is $700,000 NOT a lot of money?

  69. MrT says:

    [i]A year ago you told us that while your prior prediction was incorrect, and real estate was no longer skyrocketting, it would never, ever, fall. The worst possible case was flat prices. Again, we should purchase homes immediately, lest we lose out on the double digit appreciation that was sure to resume.

    Now, you come here to tell us that while prices are falling (which you assured us could never, ever, happen), the drop will only be minor. [i]

    Actually I recall even mainstream media talking incessentaly about a housing bubble even 2 years ago…and most experts talking about either a pause or soft landing because the rise in prices had been above average…and then of course there was a crazy fringe talking about a crash and to save yourself a place in line at your nearest soup kitchen.

    Example of just one article from mid 2006..note the opening sentence.

    Everybody agrees that the housing market is drifting down from record highs. But is it coming in for a soft landing, or is it about to crash?

    That’s what economists debated at the National Association of Home Builders’ spring construction forecast conference, held on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Attended by building-product manufacturers, builders and others involved in the housing industry, the semiannual event covered the likely trajectory of housing prices, starts and sales over the next year or two.

    Although most of the economists on the panels have close ties to the industry, none was projecting a continuation of the five-year housing boom, which peaked last July. Nearly all described the housing market as “in transition,” although they couldn’t agree on how much favorable factors like strong overall job growth, low unemployment and moderate inflation will be able to mitigate the drag of rising mortgage interest rates, lack of housing affordability and wage stagnation.

  70. Rich In NNJ says:

    lisoosh #56,

    Verbose? I found your last post to be… perfection.

  71. syncmaster says:

    700K is only about 15 times the per capita personal income for the Edison NJ metropolitan division.

  72. Rich In NNJ says:

    Mr T,

    I believe Grim’s response was about YOUR prior prediction, not the NAR’s or NAHB’s.

  73. Kettle1 says:

    Unfortunately the kettle family in tied to NJ because we have a lot of family here as well. I agree with the sentiment that if you dont haver family or one heck of a job tieing you to NJ, then why are you here???

  74. 3b says:

    #56 lisoosh: Thank you for the support, I am glad to know that I am not imagining things.

    On a happier note, I received an early Christmas present lat night.

    A Christmas CD by a group from Cape Breton called the Barra McNeills, they had what I consider to be the best version/interpertation of Auld Lang Syne, a truly beautiful song if performed in the traditional style.

    I will be Cape Breton in April, and in the summer I will be going to Ireland (again).

    I will also be visiting Scotland, I had been to Edinburgh when I was a teen, so have not been there in quite some time, I will also be visiting Inverness in the Highlands including the Isle of Barra. I am of course looking forward to the trip.

  75. Jamey says:

    Money quote: “So, in a nutshell we have 90% fewer qualified buyers for five-times the number of homes.”

  76. BC Bob says:

    “I agree that economic opportunity is the New York metro’s biggest lure.”


    Do yourself a favor, make some adjustments regarding the financial sector, Mayor Bloomberg has.

    MS- China
    UBS- Singapore
    Citi- Dubai

    You have London taking the lead in IPO’s, hedgies and syndicated finance. The recent explosion in derivatives puts Chicago in the lead in this area, [the merger of merc and bot].

    There is a power shift taking place from west to east, except for derivatives. Come down to Wall Streer someday and visit Hermes, Tiffany’s, apartments and condos. Oh by the way, all former finacial offices.

    This is a major shift taking place. Open your eyes. One other point, it might be prudent to carry some dirhams in your pocket.

  77. grim says:

    so far the housing more like landing on a featherbed……what a dud.


    Tell that to the folks on Briar Court..

    39 Briar Court, Hardyston NJ
    Purchased: 3/25/2005
    Purchase Price: $452,611

    MLS# 2446411
    Sold: 12/14/2007
    Sale Price: $400,000
    (12% Loss)

    55 Briar Ct, Hardyston NJ
    Purchased: 5/25/2005
    Purchase Price: $460,148

    MLS# 2446223
    Sold: 11/1/2007
    Sold Price: $420,000
    (9% Loss)

    82 Briar Court, Hardyston NJ
    Purchased: 10/18/2004
    Purchase Price: $524,486

    MLS# 2427383
    Sold: 12/17/2007
    Sale Price: $395,000
    (25% Loss)

    28 Briar Court, Hardyston NJ
    Purchased: 01/23/07
    Purchase Price: $556,015

    MLS# 2465060
    Currently Active
    Asking Price: $495,000
    (Potential Loss 11%)

    37 Briar Court, Hardyston NJ
    Purchased: 12/8/2005
    Purchase Price: $456,725

    MLS # 2433854
    Currently Active
    Asking Price: $418,999
    (Potential Loss 8%)

    68 Briar Court, Hardyston NJ
    Purchased: 1/27/2005
    Purchase Price: $551,206

    MLS# 2451979
    Currently Active
    Asking Price: $529,000
    (Potential Loss 4% – Won’t ever sell at this price)

  78. 3b says:

    #78 njbear: And my sources tell me they are not done. Teh Bear has always been notorious for cost cutting, etc.

  79. gary says:


    What the h*ll is on Briar Court, nuclear waste?

  80. skep-tic says:

    NYC is like a revolving door. Tons of people move in every year straight out of college, most of them doing pretty crappy jobs. They share crappy apartments for a few years, often with big parental subsidies, before burning out and moving away. The shared 5th floor 1 BR walkup isn’t so cool anymore when you’re 28. Mom and Dad get less and less inclined to pay the bills. You start to think about whether you’ll be stuck in the same situation or worse at 30, 35, 40… More and more of your friends start to bail out. You realize that you don’t even do a lot of the things NYers are supposed to do. You don’t go to cultural events (too expensive) and are tired of feeling inadequate at the “cool” bars. All of the men / women you meet are crazy / egomaniacs/ philanderers/ goldiggers. Your mom talks about people you went to high school with who have spouses and children and houses and cars. It sounds nice. Maybe those people aren’t as dumb and lame as you thought. You are supposed to be a real adult now, but you don’t feel like it. The people in this city are really a bunch of children who refuse to grow up. Graduate school might be a nice way out…

  81. grim says:


    The Crystal Springs development in Hardyston. I’m about ready to dub that development ground zero of the real estate collapse.

    That was only 1 street.

    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  82. gary says:


    I remember a few years ago the RE sections of the Sunday papers pumping up that area big time. Of course, it’s a pretty area but the commute is deadly.

  83. syncmaster says:

    Asking prices are out of wack. Check this out. Two 3 bedroom + basement + 1 car garage townhomes in piscatway, they’re both about 30 seconds apart (by car), different developments, one is 10 years older than the other. Asking price difference is 170k. – asking 319,900
    – asking 489,900

  84. grim says:

    It’s a nice drive on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    So scenic, in fact, that you barely notice that the highway narrows to 1 lane.

  85. syncmaster says:


    syncmaster Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    December 20th, 2007 at 11:48 am

  86. gary says:

    So, when do the congressional hearings start on deceitful and fraudulent lending practices, schemes, scams and mis-representation? And who will be called to give testimony?

  87. #78 – Jamey – Thanks for that post, interesting read.

    #79 – Bob – Regarding Chicago, some of that business may be coming back to NYC. I’ve been hearing lots of nastiness coming out of Chi-town.

  88. gary says:

    And I have another question; does anyone know if Suzanne is still doing research?

  89. grim says:


    I too wonder about who will be called upon to play the role of Michael Milken in this charade.

    When they held auditions for the part of Henry Blodget, I hear the lines wrapped around the block. Passersby mistook the crowd for a new condo conversion opening.

  90. John says:

    My 700K comment is a little sarcastic and a little true as I went to a few condo/coop sales in downtown NYC and that is the absolute bottom price for a fresh college graduate starter place and out in the surburbs that is the bottom price for a livable home. Yet plenty of people are buying. My co-worker who is a 35 girl was told by the male model RE broker at a new wall street condo downtown, that he will take her to the 1-1.5 million condos first even though her price range is 750k to 950K as he wants her to see what real condos look like so she does not get a bad impression of the building. After seeing the beautifull 1.3 million dollar + units we then went to the third floor 850K small one bedroom condo that faced a brick wall and was told that if she feels uncomfortable with her financal situation he could get further information on the small unit but he recommends she come back after bonus time when she can afford a nicer unit. With that he said he had another appointment and gave us his card. She had a $950K budget and we were treated like trash. WOW. That was only two weeks ago.

  91. #91 – Gary – Yes, on how to clean a Frialator.

  92. syncmaster says:

    John #93,

    … out in the surburbs that is the bottom price for a livable home.

    Which suburbs do you mean by ‘suburbs’? We clearly have different definitions of the word in mind, because I know of plenty of suburbs where one can find livable homes for well below 700k.

  93. John says:

    We have the same amount of QUALIFIED buyers.

    Last year we had unqualified buyers who were able to get loans.

    Jamey Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Money quote: “So, in a nutshell we have 90% fewer qualified buyers for five-times the number of homes.”

  94. BC Bob says:


    Futures are not coming to NY.

  95. #97 – Are they staying in Chicago then at reduced staffing?

  96. John says:

    I always laugh when I think about Mike Milken. Many years ago when I was a junior auditor Drexel intraday in the afternoon was in violation of Net Capital (Last Day), Legal at DTC needed an auditor to observe as they were going to KILL their DTC number and use the reverse wire and demand of collateral feature to suck up all their available cash they could get a hold of to cover their net capital violation. As soon as the head of legal hit that button on her PTS terminal everything stop mid trade at Drexel!!! I went over to 55 Broad an hour later and saw all the Drexel people out on the street looking like 9/11 surviors all dazed. The reporters were all sticking their mikes out to get interviews and people were trying to figure if they were going to go to work the next day. I felt like the guy who flips the switch in the electric chair that day.

    On a funny not a few months ago I heard that Dennis Levine has a consulting company up in midtown and is not that busy. My friend was in contact with him to hire him on a project as we thought it would be a hoot to hang out with him. Too bad my friend got canned for something non related to that so we never got to hang with Dennis.

    grim Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 11:59 am

    I too wonder about who will be called upon to play the role of Michael Milken in this charade.

  97. ADA says:

    Skeptic #83,

    hilarious and I couldnt agree more. And that’s especially true for young women looking for love in a city that 65% female and 15% gay men. Alot of women I know have come do the NY thing, find that its not all great, then go home to marry their high school/college boyfriends.

  98. BC Bob says:


    Not in S&P, 10 year, eurodollar futures. Of course, as hedgies leverage is cut there may be repercussions. In addition this, the grain side of the floor is exploding.

  99. TJ says:

    #66 Ann and #77 Kettle,

    Have you lived anywhere else in the country (Note: Not critcizing)? I have and I will tell you that every place has its good and bad. Also NJ traffic is not that bad compared to the places in my list.
    For the most part, those who live outside of the NY Metro area are pretty unintelligent and ignorant. Not that New Jersians are the epitome of intelligence, but we have a larger percentage of intelligent/non-ignorant people vs. non-intellignet/ignorant.

    Phoenix – Dumber than boxes of rocks, traffic

    Atlanta – Transient city, educated, but not from Georgia. Locals – uneducated and violent, ridiculous traffic

    California – Soulless, ridiculous traffic
    St. Louis, KC, Minneapolis, Denver – It’s the Midwest people – Nothing to do, Nothing special about the weather

    Dallas – Transient city, not bad, better than Hotlanta, traffic.

    Florida – Wow, dumb.

    Pennsyltucky – Much like Southern NJ

    Raleigh – Transient, educated, epitome of the burbs outside of city is the dumbs

    Hawaii – The locals hate you, lots of petty crime, expensive

    New Jersey – rude people, expensive

  100. Clotpoll says:

    3b (44)-

    I think it doesn’t matter. The takeaway is, pret has been exposed as a modern-day Pangloss and world-class blowhard.

  101. TJ says:

    Wow, Pangloss is a great descriptive noun.

    I think I will add that to my book entitled “How to end baseless arguments with an idiot after mounding frustration”

  102. SS says:

    Gary #89

    Congress has to address more important things first like steroids in baseball, etc…

  103. TJ says:

    or mounting frustion, or a mounting mound of frustation.

  104. John says:

    Now the hometown guys sure are some dumb country bumpkins. Girl leaves at 21 years of age,does the NYC party scene, hamptons/NJ shore, ski house thing and basically maxes out her CC for 3-5 years while hooking up with guys who are out the door by date three. Dumb country bumpkin is sitting home saving and saving and maybe dating the one other girl in town. I don’t get it. My friend from the rural south with male model looks came up here at 21 with plans to stay till 30, after 200+ girls he went back down south to marry his 23 yo old virginal bible thumping beach blond dimm witted traditional baptist wife and stopped working out, last I saw he was 35 with a beer belly from all that good old boy cooking and driving everywhere.

    I hope those down home guys have some industrial grade deutchs they can use on their high mileage hometown sweethearts.

    ADA Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 12:19 pm
    Skeptic #83,

    hilarious and I couldnt agree more. And that’s especially true for young women looking for love in a city that 65% female and 15% gay men. Alot of women I know have come do the NY thing, find that its not all great, then go home to marry their high school/college boyfriends.

  105. Kettle1 says:

    SS # 106

    If anyone thinks that our society has not slipped into bread and circus need only consider the following statement

    # SS Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Gary #89

    Congress has to address more important things first like steroids in baseball, etc…

    when performance enhancing drugs in professional sports is a congressional issue you know that there are VERY serious issue going on. “just ignore the man behind the curtain”

  106. Ann says:

    83 skeptic

    Awesome depiction of the post-college NYC scene.

  107. Kettle1 says:

    TJ #103,

    for alittle perspective, beefore the age of 20 i had lived in the following

    New jersey
    North Carolina
    New Hampshire

    Since the age of 20 i have lived in:


    Ultimatly, its about perspective, but i feel that i have a good sampling of the east coast and generally dont romanticize towns/states. Ultimately its about where do you feel that you fit best. its a different answer for everyone

  108. Clotpoll says:

    lisoosh (57)-

    The volume of hard facts pret offers to bolster his arguments move in direct correlation to the strength of those arguments.

    When one drinks the Kool-Aid, the flavor doesn’t really matter (although I’m partial to cherry).

  109. Kettle1 says:


    but for those who argue that current oil prices are not an issue might suggest you take a look at this

    All Things Considered, December 19, 2007 · Heating oil prices are up sharply this winter. In Maine — where 80 percent of homes are heated with oil or kerosene — people are struggling to heat their homes.

    The state’s low income heating assistance programs are helping, but because of the rising prices and high demand, they are running low on funds.

    Meanwhile, the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is receiving a record number of applications from the state.

    when the poor start to freeze in large numbers you are going to see some serious unrest start to develop.

  110. Ann says:

    103 T J

    Yes, I have lived other places. I’m actually not a big NJ hater, but you have to admit that there aren’t that many reasons to live here if it wasn’t for the jobs and of course, family ties if you have them.

    Personally, the weather is the biggest drag here for me. We go from cold to hot. Not much else. Even if I was going to live somewhere that has a winter, it would be somewhere a little bit prettier.

    There are pockets of intelligent people everywhere and pockets of not-so-bright ones.

    Southern NJ is actually not-so-bad in my book. Parts of it anyway.

  111. Clotpoll says:

    ADA (101)-

    I’m one of those who came to NYC from college and- by working far too hard and having some blind-ass luck- stuck.

    Funny thing is, I’m not a regretful person. But as I approach 50, I increasingly wonder whether any of what I did was worth it.

  112. BC Bob says:

    The finger of suspicion
    Dec 19th 2007 | NEW YORK
    From The Economist print edition

    “In America and elsewhere trial lawyers, state prosecutors and regulators look for the crime in subprime”

  113. Clotpoll says:

    John (108)-

    Is “deutchs” how you spell “douche”?

    Thanks for the soup all over my desk.

  114. 3b says:

    #104 clot: Oh that he is. But in the spirit of Christmas, and for my own sanity, going forward, I am just going to ignore him.

  115. TJ says:


    You are right; it is what fits you best. Personally I love the change of seasons and the geography. The fall is great in the harvest months (Pumpking, apples, peaches, etc.) I love a cold winter, snow, a fire and a homemade chocolate porter. The beach is an hour away during the summer and the fishing is great and we have great mountains for hiking in the spring.

    Things I can not live with: conversations with ignorant people, homogenous cookie cutter neigborhoods, excessive traffic, “fake” people.
    Things I love: Overall convenience of the state, close proximity to the ocean and the mountains (geography), great education system, diversity, and culture (food, festivals, etc.)

    And even though I do not like rude people, horrible customer service and high cost of living, I am willing to sacrifice that for all of the other things you can not find in any other part of the country.

    Ann – I am sorry to hear you don’t like the weather. I think that is one of the reasons NJ’ers like Virginia and North Carolina. The climate is a bit more moderate and consistent. However I also feel that one of people biggest factors for not leaving is proximity to family, which makes it sound like you are “stuck” here. But I think family is another great quality our state possesses. Those are just my thoughts and rambalings.

  116. New in NJ says:

    I’m a fan. Instead of an easy button, you have a bs button on your desk.

  117. Ann says:

    119 T J

    I would LOVE a more temperate climate, although I like your description of the pleasant parts of living in Jersey and the changing of the seasons.

    Maybe I wouldn’t appreciate spring so much if we never had a winter.

  118. bi says:

    grim, is this 2008 election map? i figure republicans will take green (blue) state and democrats will take red (yellow) state. the key is how the color will change in next few months.

  119. Ann says:

    Questions for everyone:

    1. How can you find out if a homeowner got the right permits for a basement that they finished themselves? Can you call the town yourself?

    2. What’s the difference between real price and nominal price?

  120. lisoosh says:

    I can get the whole NY thing out of college – in fact, it’s probably better to do it then and get it over with than to drag a family to this region in order to chase some dream.

    I like the New Hampshire ethos, love Montreal, like the sound of Ithaca upstate and so on, but REALLY hate the long cold dry winters. The UK is much more temperate.

    There is some website that allows you to enter in your requirements – town or city, weather, culture etc. For me, Eugene, Oregon came out tops. In fact something like 7 of the top 10 for me came out on the West Coast, which has the same wet weather Scotland enjoys, lots of culture and a hippy vibe.

    Keeping me from moving to the West Coast is familiarity (I’ve emigrated and moved plenty and am just plain fed up with it) and the proximity to easy and cheap air routes to family and friends. Can’t say I haven’t been tempted, but the West is just as bubbleicious so there are no cost advantages there.

    I agree with Ann, the weather sucks. I don’t think it is so bad though – the Western part of the state is pretty, education is decent, the area is diverse and outside of the NY city circle, it can be pretty decent. Just need to allow this bubble to deflate to make it reasonably affordable again and it would be quite livable. :-)

  121. scribe says:

    Hot off the wire from the AP:

    Bush Signs Mortgage Legislation
    Posted: 2007-12-20 13:28:50

    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush on Thursday signed a measure to provide financial relief for financially strapped homeowners facing foreclosure or in bankruptcy.

    The bill gives a tax break to homeowners who have mortgage debt forgiven as part of a foreclosure or renegotiation of a loan. No taxes would be owed on the value of any debt forgiven or written off. Currently such debt forgiveness is taxable income.

    “When you’re worried about making your payments, higher taxes are the last thing you need to worry about,” Bush said in a bill-signing ceremony. He stood along side members of his Cabinet and lawmakers who pushed the measure.

    While the measure is anticipated to reduce taxes of some strapped homeowners by $650 million, the cost to the government would be offset in part by limiting a tax break available on the sale of second homes.

    The bill was in response to a mortgage crisis touched off this spring by a blowup in high-priced home loans for risky borrowers, throwing a pall over the economy. Foreclosures are at record highs and late payments are spiking. Lenders have been forced out of business and investors have taken huge financial hits.

    “This is going to make a happy holiday for many homeowners,” Bush said of the bill moments before signing it into law.

    An estimated 2 million to 2.5 million adjustable-rate mortgages – worth some $600 billion – will jump from low initial “teaser” rates to higher rates this year and next. Steep prepayment penalties have made it difficult for some to get out of their mortgages, and some overstretched homeowners can’t afford to refinance or sell their homes.

  122. John says:

    Fannie Mae faces huge risks from several areas combined:
    1) Falling home prices that will greatly drive up foreclosures (causing huge credit losses)
    2) Large exposure to Alt-A, interest-only, subprime and high loan-to-value mortgages
    3) Dependence on foreign purchases of short-term debt to fund operations
    4) Dependence on shaky mortgage lenders for revenues (i.e. Countrywide)
    5) Dependence on shaky mortgage lenders to service mortgage delinquencies (foreclosure credit losses)
    6) Dependence on shaky mortgage credit insurers to cover credit losses on high LTV loans
    7) Huge derivatives exposure concentrated among few counter-parties

  123. Kettle1 says:


    I actually think that northern MA and southern NH fit a lot of the things you like about NJ. northern MA or Southern NH would probably be my 1st choice of a place to settle if not for the family ties in NJ. My family is scattered to the four winds, but all of the wifes family is here, and for the kettle family its a priority to raise baby kettle around the rest of the family, which in this case means staying in nj by Mrs kettles family (fortunately we all get along very well, even with the crazy mother-inlaw). Also, just being realistic, no place is perfect. When the wife and i have discussed what our primary factors are we find most of them put us in the MA, NH area, but as i said before the trump for us is family. And yes i dont thing that MA is too much of a nanny state but as i said before no place is perfect

  124. Kettle1 says:

    Grim, why is my # 126 in moderation??? what was the no-no?

  125. t c m says:

    #103 tj

    wow! everyone you meet is dumb? everywhere?

    i was born in nyc and so were all my family members: parents, children, grandparents etc, and i’ve never lived in those places, so i have no personal reason to defend them – but i do know people in some of those cities and they’re not idiots.

    you know, a lot of people in those other places look down their noses on nj. i moved from boston a while back and when i told people i was moving to nj, i got a wrinkled nose and ewe!! look on their face. i think everyone was thinking elizabeth. i had to convince them that there are actually some nice spots in nj!

    and forget ny’ers, they don’t consider nj part of ny anyway.

  126. TJ says:

    t c m,

    Not everyone, but a greater majority. The ratio of intelligent to mind numbingly dumb is a lot greater in NJ. So, you are more likely to run into an idiot or a group of idiots elsewhere. It is really truly weird and scary when you find out what people think and actually know in other parts of the country. I can discuss about so many experiences:)

  127. Kettle1 says:

    TJ, #130

    I know i sound elitist, but i do agree with you somewhat. I suppose it comes down to the saying “consider a person of average intelligence; no consider that half of the people out there are dumber then that!” it is kind of scary that in a world as technology based as ours that the average individual has little idea how most of the tech the use actually works. I am not saying you should be able to build your own 747 to fly to the UK, but you really should have at least a functional concept of how the tech you use every day works…

  128. Aaron says:

    Once you realize that spewing bs about ‘interpretive dance’ or some other NYC mainstay is no ‘smarter’ than talking about NASCAR, you will discover that the rest of the country really isn’t that stupid.

  129. John says:

    I don’t even consider Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens part of NYC. Lots of those BBQ tunnel rats in the city on Saturday nights ruining the place.

    and forget ny’ers, they don’t consider nj part of ny anyway.

  130. TJ says:

    t c m,

    Also, do you not find it weird that everyone else has an issue with NJ/NY, but we really do not have issues with anyone else? Do we scowl when people say they are from Boston, Chicago, California? Chicago is ultra competitive with NYC, yet I never knew we were their competition until I worked there. I think that everyone who lives elsewhere perceives NJ as, essentially, a crap hole. This is good because it will keep those ignorant idiots from moving here and reaping the benefits.

  131. John says:

    You should really compare NASCAR to the US Open, both places empty head fools just shake their heads back in forth for a few hours. The Tennis folks are slightly smarter as they must have a bigger bean in their head cause I don’t hear it shaking.

    Aaron Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 2:32 pm
    Once you realize that spewing bs about ‘interpretive dance’ or some other NYC mainstay is no ’smarter’ than talking about NASCAR, you will discover that the rest of the country really isn’t that stupid

  132. John says:

    I thought NJ was just a surburb of Fresh Kills, at least it appears that way on the cab ride from NYC to Newark airport.

  133. Kettle1 says:


    you have a good point, a dance aficianado is at the base level no different then the nascar fanatic. The issue (for me anyway) is not an individuals tastes, but their quality of thought. I would much prefer to interact with someone who did not know much about a given subject but was an “intellectually curious” person. Then someone who is sure they know everything and is not interested in new ideas/concepts/experiences.

  134. t c m says:

    #134 –

    yes tj, i have to agree with you there. i found a lot of that in boston! my sister lived in washington dc out of law school, and she found a lot of that, and i went to school upstate and found it also.

    ok, i agree, we are smarter.

  135. TJ says:


    That was a very bad if not horrible analogy to prove a point. As acting ignorant in an elitist manner is just as bad if not worse than being plain ignorant. And how many people actually watch or discuss interpretive dance vs. those who watch NASCAR.

  136. chifi / children are -(NPV) says:

    I hate to generalize, but basically any place that is within a 90 minute drive of Boston is subject to some of the most blatant racism I’ve ever seen. The only exceptions seem to be Cambridge and some suburbs that have a ton of high-tech/biotech workers.

    As far as the weather? It’s really had to top this area, because (regardless of what you say) it just doesn’t get that cold, and the summers are so much more tolerable than anything south of here.

    FYI – the is a reason for the Hamptons by the way…..if you look all over the entire country, there is simply no other place that has the same combination of beach, comfortable water and moderate temperatures in July and August, except maybe Hawaii or San Diego. San Diego is boring and Hawaii is too far away.

  137. Aaron says:

    Kettle I have lived all over the country and have met all kinds of people, many of whom were interesting to talk to if you care to listen.

    Once you put your cultural biases aside I haven’t seen a big difference in ‘intelligence’ between the places I have lived.

  138. scribe says:

    grim, #55

    Yes, I thought it was odd that the agent did a photo layout of the interior.

    But maybe he wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t a “bargain,” it was a knock-down.

  139. Aaron says:

    TJ, you understand exactly what I was saying, but I can’t figure out what you just said.

  140. TJ says:

    t c m,

    Good point. I believe those who take the time to watch or discuss interpretive dance may be a little more open to watching NASCAR than vice versa. But that is purely an assumption as I have not surveyed any of these people or will not likely find any statistics that will ever exist on that subject.

  141. chifi / children are -(NPV) says:

    chifi / children are -(NPV) Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    One caveat about the weather…..if you live near or within 20 mintues west of I-287 in NJ, for some reason you seem to get a hell of a lot more rain and snow…..I think it has something to do with the Watching Mts., but back when I drove from Hoboken to Basking Ridge/Bedminster, I would always marvel at how any system seemed to piss all over this area….sorry clotsoi

  142. Kettle1 says:


    I am not being specific to one location there are both smart and dumb people anywhere you go. I personally enjoy hoping into cultures i am not familiar with, both local and international. It usually makes for an interesting learning experience. One of the most memorable experiences i had was just sitting down with a carpet seller in istanbul when he invited me for a cup of tea. 3 hours later he invited me to dinner with his family. It was a phenomenal experience and really showed me that people are the same where ever you go once you get past any superficial differences and that different is not always bad.
    So if you are ever in istanbul and a carpet dealer offers you tea, accept and enjoy a conversation!

  143. TJ says:


    Sorry, I will put it this way.

    How many NASCAR fans are there? Millions right.

    How many interpretive fans are there? 4 maybe 5.

    So to say the interpretive dance fans sufficiently describes NJ’ers vs. NASCAR fans, which does indeed describe the majority of non-NJers (based on the amount of NASCAR crap I had to buy my nephews in PA), makes your agruement weak. So if you can find an effective hobby that is as “average intelligent American” as NASCAR that would describe NJ’ers then I would have to agree with your statement.

  144. TJ says:


    If you are ever in Amsterdam and someone offers you tea, you are in for a much more interesting experience.

  145. syncmaster says:

    I live in Jersey and hate interpretive dance and mildly tolerate NASCAR.

    WWE.. now that I like!

  146. Mitchell says:

    Adding to your list and agreeing with some and repeating what some of my friends have said about outside areas.

    Atlanta – You might be able to find another job but you might not be able to get to it. Your job is based on what side of the highway you live on going across the highway is commute suicide.

    California LA – Soulless, Self hyping, and will remind you of Newark only bigger. Put a desk in your car your going to be working from there.

    Dallas – What Atlanta should be, manageable traffic, overall I think Dallas is a great place but a lot of people have allergy problems moving to Dallas. Lots of NJ people moved there. All said they would never return if they don’t stay they go to Florida.

    Florida – Dumb doesn’t begin to describe it all. Mix of seniors with pure trailer trash and thieves. Be sure you are too old to notice if you move here. If you work in the Mail room in NY/NJ you can be a manager in FL so for some its career advancement. The speed limit is 65 but everyone is going 55.

    Raleigh/Durham – Outside of city is the dumbs. Limited number of things to do.

    Chicago – Rude and cold.

    Ohio – Paid for everything with cash but there isn’t a thing to do. Boring. Depressing. Cheap yes. Roads need work.

    Oklahoma City – Dont ever think of going there its not for anyone from NY/NJ. You will hate it within a week.

    Virginia – Your in the military or working for a militarily company. Gives the Half Abandoned feeling wherever you are. In some places its stuck 20 years ago in others its like its been abandoned 20 years ago.

    Charlotte – New Yorkers and New Jersey people who were tired of the rat race. Traffic is random. One day clear the next day 20-30 mins more with no reason why. Its as if PA had NJ jobs in one state. Still small but growing fast. If you like the suburbs of NJ you will love Charlotte. If you need real city life you will starve to death or go stir crazy. You drink beer and go out to eat with several couples from your development.

    South Carolina – Like people in PA that work in NJ you live there but you work in Charlotte. Lots of outdoor things to do very similar to PA with a better climate.

    New Jersey – road rage, expensive, overtaxed, nothing is free not the roads, parks, or beaches. A friend in NJ is a friend for life, good food in a lot of places. Your bosses think you should work more than 60 hours a week and you will not get any credit for doing it. Bosses micro manage their people and don’t want you to take time off. The wrong people are fired all the time. Its the CYA state. Your friends live 30 mins apart from each other. You don’t know more than 2 of your neighbors. In some instances you didn’t know any neighbors.

  147. pretorius says:

    Lisoosh, I read your comment in which you accuse me repeatedly of failing to provide “hard evidence” and call me a “fool.”

    My views have been that the NJ home price boom that just ended was similar in scale to the one before it, and that this boom will also end in long period of stagnant prices instead of a complete bust. People fell over themselves to rubbish these views. They supported their positions by repetitively posting a chart purporting to measure US home prices across 3 centuries, by calling me slurs, or by producing evidence that was interesting but anecdotal.

    In response, I built a chart that illustrates NJ home prices across the past 2 cycles, in real and nominal terms. I disclosed the data series I used. In addition, I identified the peaks and troughs and measured them. When new data becomes available I update the file and ask grim to post it.

    If that isn’t hard evidence that helps support my view while also adding to the debate in a constructive way, what is?

  148. TJ says:

    This board seems kind of boring today without Trolls making controversial statements. Can we dedicate someone to make horrible or broad statements and post unsubstantiated facts for the sake of arguing?

    Example. Did you know water is actually bad for you?

  149. ithink_ithink says:

    Ann, was just looking that up myself a week ago. is a great tool.

    Definition 1
    Not adjusted for inflation.
    Definition 2
    The par value of a bond.

    nominal asset
    An asset that does not have intrinsic value. One example is currency. opposite of real asset.

    Adjusted for inflation.

    real asset
    An asset that is intrinsically valuable because of its utility, such as real estate or physical equipment. opposite of nominal asset.

  150. Hehehe says:

    Re this bill Bush signed, since there’s no longer any tax consequences does that mean they’ve just invited people “to put the keys in the mailbox and leave”? These people’s credit histories are already shot from the late payments etc.

  151. grim says:


    The barrier to exit has been removed.

    Short sales and “Deed in Lieu” no longer involve a tax implication.

  152. ithink_ithink says:

    are COs hard to get? what other ‘certs’ are there to consider & their cost?

  153. TJ says:


    That is great. NJ friends are friends for life. On the west coast, they act like they your best friend from day 1, but they will walk on you in a heartbeat for any selfish decision. I never say anything out of line in front of a co-worker from the west coast. It will come back to haunt you.

  154. Kettle1 says:

    hmm troll you say…

    Well, if we tasked the NJ state police with finding all illegal immigrants and promptly deporting them a huge portion of the states social program costs would go down and the overall employment situation for low wage earners (who are legal us citizens) would drastically improve. Statistics show that hispancis are taking jobs from the blacks. White people have held down black people even to this day through back room promotions and racist school funding, so why do blacks need another race holding them down like the illegal hispanic immigrant are doing by competing for the low skill jobs! Oh and then the cops would be to busy to give me speeding tickets and harass innocent black men who are guilty of nothing other then DRIVING WHILE BLACK!!!!

  155. grim says:

    OFHEO NJ – Nominal
    Peak 1989.Q4 (245.3)
    Trough 1991.Q3 (226.1)
    Nominal Home Price Decline 8%

    Recovery 1997.Q3 (243.8) – ~8 years

    OFHEO NJ – Real
    Peak 1988.Q2 (162.4)
    Trough 1996.Q4 (115.8)
    Real Home Price Decline 29%

    Recovery 2003.Q2 (161.0) – ~14 years

    S&P Case Shiller NYC – Nominal
    Peak 1988.September (85.54)
    Trough 1991.April (72.29)
    Nominal Home Price Decline 15%

    Recovery 1998.May (85.52) – ~10 years

    S&P Case Shiller NYC – Real
    Peak 1987.October (80.44)
    Trough 1997.March (54.59)

    Real Home Price Decline 32%
    Recovery 2002.June (80.59) – ~15 years

  156. grim says:

    S&P Case Shiller Tiered Price Index for the NY Metro Area

    Nominal Single Family Home Prices
    Low Tier (Under $354,768)
    Peak 1988.10
    Trough 1992.3
    Decline 14.95%

    Mid Tier ($354,768 – $512,608)
    Peak 1988.9
    Trough 1991.5
    Decline 15.22%

    High Tier (Over $512,608)
    Peak 1988.9
    Trough 1991.4
    Decline 15.36%

    Peak 1988.9
    Trough 1991.4
    Decline 15.49%

  157. pretorius says:


    Don’t know if I’d call Boston-area racist. But I do feel like I fit in more here than in Boston area, and I’m one of them – I grew up in part inside 90 mile radius you suggested.

  158. Kettle1 says:

    Did i also mention that crime in general and specifically gang activity would be noticeably reduced by actively seeking and deporting illegals? once again there are stats showing that latin american gangs are expanding into many major US urban centers as the illegals for local enclaves. A perfect example is the illegal who killed to college kids and shot a 3rd in newark recently. 3 families were destroyed because our pansy politicians are not willing to secure our borders because their buddies in big business might have to actually pay a fair wage !

  159. Mitchell says:

    #157 thats why all the popular reality shows are based out of California.

    Trailer parks only help out Jerry Springer but the self centered style of LA feeds every network with one reality TV show.

  160. gary says:

    Every single time John Madden does an NFL game in the Meadowlands he says that Giants’ fans are the most knowledgable and sophisticated fans in the league. There’s a certain “moxie” in NJ that doesn’t exist in any other part of the country. In fact, about 15 years ago, the Star Ledger did a two parter describing the reasons why NJ was “hip” without even trying.

  161. Aaron says:

    TJ, thats the dig isn’t it? You have millions of people trying to be ‘different’, and feeling superior because of it.

    BTW my only friend who likes NASCAR races a modified in NJ.
    The last time I saw in ‘interpretive dance’ was at a Michael Hedges concert, may he rest in peace.

  162. Kettle1 says:

    And hey while we are on the subject, NJ state college aid should be determined by aptitude testing. if you test below say the 70th percentile in intelligence/aptitude testing then you should not eligible for aid. Why would you waste money on someone who will most likely only ever be a middle manager in central NJ. By focusing on the intellectual prospects that the state has to offer we can become known for being the source of goldmans/merrils/ etc top recruits. Then when they are getting 500Kbonuses they can support elevated NJ RE prices as they will most likely have multiple homes and will have the money to buy condos and townhomes for their children while they attend college here. The people who cannot pass the aptitude test for college aid should be directed into a strictly trade program, in this way we make efficient use of the lower level of skills available in this portion of the states population.

  163. TJ says:


    I have no idea where to start. So overwhelmed:)

    Oh..and to add to that list racism, sexism, al the ism’s. It exists everywhere; it just depends on what level it is expressed to effectively gauge it. Boston has some angry racists, Atlanta has some join my club along with angry ones.

    When I lived in Atlanta, our friends owned a bakery, in Alpharetta (nice suburb). The clan called to order a birthday cake. Nothing racist was to be put on the cake, but it was wishing the person a happy birthday from the KKK blah blah division. Well our friends refused and after some words, two clan members showed up the next day and picketed with signs saying they were un-American and anti-first amendment.

  164. grim says:

    Rob Gebeloff at the Star Ledger has an interesting criticism of the BusinessWeek “Best affordable suburbs” index that was released a few days back.

    Oddly, they included Clifton, NJ.

  165. mr potter says:

    #150 Mitchell (AKA the Charlotte Shill)

    Mitchell, how come you only say good things about Charlotte. BECAUSE YOU ARE PUSHING CHARLOTTE REAL ESTATE. STOP ALREADY !!!!!!!!

    That BS might work south of the Mason Dixon but not here.

  166. Kettle1 says:

    troll off…..

  167. Mitchell says:

    #164 I guess if you keep telling yourself something it eventually you believe it to be true.

    Howard Stern called himself the king of all media and I guess it worked to a certain degree.

  168. TJ says:

    Business Week, Newsweek, pretty much anything week has fallen to the level of entertainment that People magazine now provides. Intellectual fluff for the non-intellect.

    I heard the next release was going to include a peice on teen pregnancy and uses Britney Spears family as the sample data set.

  169. Pat says:

    We mail rye bread to our friends who moved to Alpharetta last year.

    It sustains them.

  170. BC Bob says:

    “Every single time John Madden does an NFL game in the Meadowlands he says that Giants’ fans are the most knowledgable and sophisticated fans in the league.”


    Try to tell that to a cheese head.

  171. Mike NJ says:

    Hey, for all who trash NJ, it could be worse. We could be stuck in Long Island! (where I grew up)

  172. Hehehe says:

    This may be subprime related, a co-worker just asked me if the Knicks are still paying Allan Houston or if his contract is finally off the books? Anybody know?

  173. Kettle1 says:

    Pat 173,

    I lived in alpharette for 2 years. if you enjoy “desperate house wives” (the evening TV show, not the real thing) and constant neighbor drama just like Highschool all over again; then i highly recommend it. Otherwise, STAY AWAY

  174. TJ says:


    Well, well, well Gary, you see, I believe, I believe that sophisticated and sports fan is an oxy, oxy moron.

    Is it possible to do a textual John Madden impression.

  175. Mitchell says:

    #169 I push all real estate in all locations and I do it for free. Stop your allegations.

    Really there is nothing wrong with loving where you live. I loved NJ back in the day before the govt/insurance/etc messed everything up. It will be back but unfortunately I don’t see the state ever reducing the taxes and insurance enough to be sure. You really wont know how much is wrong in NJ until you don’t live there any more. You might find that offensive but while the move for me was a bit scary for my family it was like lifting a huge weight off my shoulders.

  176. chifi / children are -(NPV) says:

    TJ Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 3:27 pm
    When I lived in Atlanta, our friends owned a bakery, in Alpharetta (nice suburb). The clan called to order a birthday cake. Nothing racist was to be put on the cake, but it was wishing the person a happy birthday from the KKK blah blah division. Well our friends refused and after some words, two clan members showed up the next day and picketed with signs saying they were un-American and anti-first amendment.

    Teej: The Klan guys (the scum they are) are correct in principle despite the stomache turning details of it.

  177. Kettle1 says:

    Guys, come on now, all that effort put into my trolling and not 1 bite???? I lobed that right for you too :(

  178. Kettle1 says:

    I have come across the KKK in hunterdon county. its surprising where they pop up sometimes

  179. TJ says:


    I completely agree. But at a first glance, you would think our friends were complete jerks for refusing to make their cake. If they wanted people to make a proper assessment of the situation, they should have showed up with their outfits on. Or at least put on the sign “Un-American because they refused to make our KKK Cake”

  180. gary says:

    TJ [178],

    Yes , it is possible and you did just fine. :)

  181. TJ says:


    Your statements are too overwhelming. Keep it simple.

    Example: NJ RE is bullet proof because the illegals that work at the diners need housing.

  182. Mitchell says:

    #175 NJ was a great state with great people but the state govt screwed so much of that state up and the people are the ones paying the price.

    Put the housing market aside can you say that your taxes are justified, roads well maintained, tolls are worth it? Ez pass just made it easier to get your money you shouldn’t even have toll roads.

    South Carolina just reduced peoples property taxes because of the money coming in from the lottery going into the local school systems. Before you compare school systems Imagine if NJ actually did things with a mild sense of morality behind it to benefit the people who spend tons giving their money to the state. Who owns who? Your the states biatch now fork over your hard earned cash and next year we want more. What are you going to do your just a tax payer.

    Beaches and Parks should be free!

    I guess I didnt like being robbed of my money. Why do you put up with it?

  183. chifi / children are -(NPV) says:

    pretorius Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 3:18 pm
    Chifi, Don’t know if I’d call Boston-area racist.

    pret: I think many “people of color”, and also south asians, would strongly disagree.

    My most vivid example is being in Chipwich (Ipswich)….middle of the summer at a stop sign. I was sitting in the passenger seat and my friend from Trinidad was driving. A car turns left into our road and stops in the crosswalk. The driver lowers his window and says, in front of his wife and son, to my friend “don’t you think you have been spending too much time in the midday sun?” My friend is one of the most quick witted people I know, and he was just stunned silent.

  184. gary says:

    BC Bob,

    The cheeseheads wouldn’t know the difference. :o

  185. TJ says:


    No, taxes aren’t justified. The state pisses it away because they are extremely incompetent.

    But if the state fixed all that, what would we have to complain about? And then the idiots would come flocking to this paradise.

  186. Confused In NJ says:

    Racism comes in all flavors, some very subtle. Indian River Central School (IRC) in upstate N.Y. was a quiet rural school in a Dairy Farming Community through the mid 1980’s. Biggest problems that existed were Prom Night Hank Panky. With the creation of Fort Drum (from Camp Drum), the expanding Military presence changed the environment dramatically. The current Indian River Central School has metal detectors, drug testing, a sheriff’s deputy patrolling the hall’s, etc. What is perplexing is a news article, two years ago, which stated that inspite of the aforementioned problems, the school was much better then before, because it was now Diverse. This statement indicates that the previously, less diverse school, was inherently evil. That statement is a subtle form of racism. Personally, I don’t think Chinese restaurants are racist, even though you rarely see a non Chinese employee. I also have no problem with Greek restaurants employing Greeks, or Italian Restaurants employing Italian, or Black only Colleges like Howard. If we took the IRC statement literally, then all exclusionary institutions would need to be eliminated, not just White ones.

  187. Mitchell says:

    Grim have you considered expanding the site beyond NJ as the housing bubble is more of a national issue and concern even if it hasn’t reached every state.

  188. Kettle1 says:


    sorry, i got carried away =]


    speaking of boston; the boston accent is one of the ugliest i have heard. And really people worcester is NOT pronounced “wuster”!!! OH and peabody. most people would see that towns name and say “peas”-“body” but not in boston, they say “pibidy”. Um english do you speak it??????

  189. pretorius says:

    Mitchell, it is easier to pay for schools when half of the kids drop out. According to this report, the high school graduation rate in South Carolina is only 53%. NJ had the highest graduation rate, 89%.

    The evidence in this report supports the claim that people from NJ are simply smarter than people in many southern states. I envisioned rural South Carolina to be something like Cumberland County, NJ. But after a recent trip through South Carolina, I was proved wrong – Cumberland County shows pretty well compared to rural SC.

  190. Kettle1 says:

    Confused has a point, if you skin color is anything but white you apparently cannot be racist

  191. pretorius says:

    Chifi, ironic you mentioned Ipswich. My uncle lives there and he’s dating a Cape Verdean woman.

    Not trying to dismiss you point, just funny you had that example.

  192. 3b says:

    Some words from Wall St.

    I just spoke to a friend who works for a very prominent municipal bond firm. They had their worst 2 months (Nov/Dec),since end of 98/99.

    Insured paper is getting hammered,and the spread between A/AA rated paper and insured AAA is widening dramatically.

    Their customers do not want the MBIA/AMBAC paper.

    So far a good few small to mid-size fixed income speciality firm’s have already been told no bonus this year, as in your bonus is your job.

    He also confirmed the mid January blood bath at Citi is what he is hearing as well.

    Finally another friend at a very well known Wall St recruiting frim told me that although this time of year is traditionally slow, they are absolutely dead.

  193. BC Bob says:

    Chi [187],

    Was your friend wearing a Yankee hat? Racism in Boston. I would be concerned walking around Southie with a slight tan.

  194. TJ says:


    You are right. Look at how friendly African Americans are when white people give them the opportunity to befriend them.

    Note: For the newbies to the site this is boring humor at no ones expense.

    But in all seriousness, ism’s work on all levels. Anything that defines a group and makes this different is going to give rise something negative to embrace. As cheesy as this sounds, I was happening to watch an episode of CSI that described how little people have classes based on the type of little people disorder they have. Some are “better” than others. Who would have knew?

  195. BC Bob says:

    kettle [192],

    NJ- Roof
    Boston- Rough

  196. TJ says:

    I really have to start proof reading all of these on-the-fly posts. My verb tense is horrible.

  197. BubbleYum says:

    Confused In NJ Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 3:53 pm
    “Racism comes in all flavors, some very subtle . . . I also have no problem with Greek restaurants employing Greeks, or Italian Restaurants employing Italian, or Black only Colleges like Howard.”

    Howard isn’t black only and doesn’t bar black students. And it is not a violation of the First Amendment for a bakery to refuse an organization’s business on ideological grounds, so the the local Klan was not correct in asserting a violation of the First Amendment or their free speech rights in a private party’s refusal to make their KlanCake.

  198. syncmaster says:

    As a south asian (indian), I avoid communities that are predominantly white, black or hispanic. Mixed race communities work well, as do predominantly indian ones. It’s just how it is. I don’t want to be “the indian guy” in any neighborhood.

  199. chifi / children are -(NPV) says:

    Town in MA…..bill-RICK-ah….

    Kettle: in all fairness, there are some serious fresh-off-the-boat Dublin honeys…that call you “dar-lun”…..when I worked downtown, I went out of my way to my coffee at a hole in the wall on Batterymarch…..

  200. John says:

    Only in America can a black person only help black people, go to a black only school, a black only church and only hire black people and be called a great man.

    The NAACP and the KKK really have the same mission statement.

  201. John says:

    Aren’t indians part white, black and hispanic already?
    syncmaster Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 4:17 pm
    As a south asian (indian), I avoid communities that are predominantly white, black or hispanic. Mixed race communities work well, as do predominantly indian ones. It’s just how it is. I don’t want to be “the indian guy” in any neighborhood.

  202. chifi / children are -(NPV) says:

    Technically…my brothers friend who is Sudanese, and appears effectively African-American, is supposed to list himself as “caucasian” since he is Arab.

  203. syncmaster says:

    John, if you know something about the history of our people that I don’t, please enlighten. I’m listening.

  204. Kettle1 says:

    chifi 203

    It two weeks for people to figure out i was asking where BILL-RIC-A was because silly me, i pronounced Billerica (the towns real name) as BILL-ERICA. Oh and dont forget Waltham. or as the bostonites say WALTHAAAAAAAAAAAAAM

  205. t c m says:


  206. lisoosh says:

    “syncmaster Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 4:17 pm
    As a south asian (indian), I avoid communities that are predominantly white, black or hispanic. Mixed race communities work well, as do predominantly indian ones. It’s just how it is. I don’t want to be “the indian guy” in any neighborhood.”

    Sync, I live in Franklin, which is rapidly switching to Indian. My daughters pre-K class was 11 kids, 6 Indian, 1 Black, 1 Hispanic, 2 Asian and my daughter, the only “white” kid. I’ve lived in many places but it was my first experience seeing what it was to be the only person (vicariously) of a different color. Definitely freaky.
    I had the same experience driving through Trenton, of being the only visible white person around. It was a very exposed feeling and I would imagine it is the same if you are the only black/tan face around.

  207. Kettle1 says:

    Well since we are way off topic… I find the majority of the race arguments funny. A family memeber had several of us genetically tested so that he could trace our deep family history. It turns out that my family who is blue eyed blonde and would be the pride of any aryan parade had a female in the family within the last 5 generations who was from africa (ooppppsss). So technically i can claim african american status. For example Obama is half and half but is considered black…..

  208. lisoosh says:

    Found the website for finding areas:

    This was the top of the list I got. Think I should check out Oregon?

    Eugene Oregon
    Corvallis Oregon
    Charleston West Virginia
    Providence Rhode Island
    Frederick Maryland
    Salem Oregon
    Portland Oregon
    Hartford Connecticut
    Olympia Washington

  209. TJ says:

    Technically, if you all really want to get down to it, white people are a mix of all colors according to the laws of the visible light spectrum.

    If you mix all colors of light together you are supposed to get white light. I believe the same applies to people; No?

  210. lisoosh says:

    “chifi / children are -(NPV) Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 4:24 pm
    Technically…my brothers friend who is Sudanese, and appears effectively African-American, is supposed to list himself as “caucasian” since he is Arab.”

    Because of location or ethnicity? Because the Arabs consider themselves superior to Black Africans, which in Sudan would mean Nubians. They are very careful to make that distinction at home in countries such as Sudan, Egypt, Djibouti.

  211. bi says:

    syncmaster, why you keep accusing other people racist? here is my poor translation of your post:

    As a south european (white), I avoid communities that are predominantly asian, black or hispanic. Mixed race communities work well, as do predominantly white ones. It’s just how it is. I don’t want to be “the white guy” in any neighborhood.

    syncmaster Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 4:17 pm
    As a south asian (indian), I avoid communities that are predominantly white, black or hispanic. Mixed race communities work well, as do predominantly indian ones. It’s just how it is. I don’t want to be “the indian guy” in any neighborhood.

  212. 3b says:

    3207 sync: A colleague of mine is Indian, born here of Indian parents. Her fiance is also of Indian descent, but surprising is Mormon.

    I asked her if her paretns were OK with that, sincee they are Hindu, and she replied they were.

    However if he or his parents had come from southern India, that would have been a problem, as they are darker.

    Racism is not just prevelant to any one group, and even some people in the same groups practice racism or discrimination among themselves.

    PArt of the flaws I guess of human nature.

  213. Mitchell says:

    #193 where I live the graduation rate is extremely high and double the national average go on to get 4 year degrees. We also make the top schools in the nation. While as a whole NJ might be higher it all depends on where you live.

    Top 100 best places to live 2007 rank: 65

    The Best Places With The Best Education
    #1 Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.

  214. TJ says:

    And this brings it all back to that CSI episode with little people. :)

  215. 3b says:

    #214 lisoosh: And of course look at what is happening in Darfur?

  216. BC Bob says:

    If Jim Rice looked like Freddy Lynn, there would have been parades thru Kenmore Square.

  217. John says:

    Actually, the most interesting Asian thing I have learned lately is that one of the Three wise men traveled from Asia to bring baby Jesus a gift. Of the other two wise men, one was from the middle east and the other was from somewhere around India.

    So you guys invented Christmas yet you generally don’t celebrate it!!!

    syncmaster Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 4:25 pm
    John, if you know something about the history of our people that I don’t, please enlighten. I’m listening.

  218. John says:

    In regards to white neighborhoods there is no such thing. People look for Jewish, WASP, Catholic, uppper middle class, blue collar, middle class, wealthy etc. I love it when realtors tell you what type of neighborhood you would be comfortable in but can’t tell you why cause that would be illegal.

    If a middle class white wish family is looking for a house they certainly are not steered to the same neighborhood as the white wealthy wasp or white blue collar mechanic. That is why house hunting is hard.

    BTW there is only one single mixed neighborhood in the tri state area. Valley Stream Long Island has a population diversity that mirrors the national diversity of america as a whole. In general mixed neighborhood is a real estate term for a slum getting gentefied or a neighborhood on the way down.

  219. bi says:

    220#, john, acctually more and more asians celebrate Christmas: there are growing number of christians in korea, philipine, hong kong, china, taiwan and other part of asia. for example, current of former president of taiwan is christian.

  220. Ann says:

    221 John

    The main color that matters is green.

    I think neighborhoods are more segregated by cash than race. Ex: If you are uber wealthy, welcome to Saddle River, no matter what your color.

  221. John says:

    Hindus are allowed to celebrate Christmas. Shiates In England last week made it official. They just don’t.

    bi Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 4:55 pm
    220#, john, acctually more and more asians celebrate Christmas: there are growing number of christians in korea, philipine, hong kong, china, taiwan and other part of asia. for example, current of former president of taiwan is christian.

  222. John says:

    That is and isn’t true. Wealthy neighborhoods in my area have no problem selling to asians, indians, hispanics, middle eastern people but my friends with some bucks who are african american still can’t even get a realtor to show them the house.

    Ann Says:

    December 20th, 2007 at 4:57 pm
    221 John

    The main color that matters is green.

    I think neighborhoods are more segregated by cash than race. Ex: If you are uber wealthy, welcome to Saddle River, no matter what your color.

  223. Ann says:

    202 syncmaster

    Interesting comment. Many white people leave neighborhoods for the very same reason.

    We chose not to buy in Plainsboro back in 01 (where we had been renting) because it was getting so Indian we starting feeling out of place. When they converted the supermarket to an Asian market, that’s when I knew our days were numbered.

    So I get what you are saying.

  224. Ann says:

    226 John

    Yeah, I believe that would be true. Good point.

    OTOH, I used Saddle River because that’s where Rev Run and his brother Russell Simmons live. Money talks. But maybe you need a lot of it.

  225. John says:

    Strictly by the numbers If you plan to stay put for at least a decade, buying wins, even if your monthly cash flow is more flush with renting. Over time, rising prices reward home ownership.

    Let’s say you’re 65 and own a $350,000 home in Edison, N.J., mortgage-free. You’re moving to the warmer climes of Albuquerque, where similar homes go for $175,000. After commissions and closing costs on both sales, you’ll net $152,000. Buy a fixed immediate annuity with that money, and you and your spouse will get $10,500 a year for life.

    What if you instead decided to rent in Albuquerque? With the $329,000 you’d clear on the sale of your New Jersey home, you could buy an annuity that pays about $23,000 a year. Even after spending $6,500 a year more in rent than you’d pay in property taxes and upkeep, you’d be ahead by $4,250 a year after taxes.

    But if you had bought a home, you can cash in on any future price gains. If you stayed in the new house for 10 years, the price would have to increase by 3.3 percent a year for buying to beat renting (assuming you invest the extra money you would have spent on rent). That’s a low bar considering that home prices nationally increased by an average of 6.4 percent a year between 1963 and 2005, according to the research firm Winans International.

    • But wait What if housing prices keep tanking? No question, that could happen. That’s why you need a long time horizon to ride out the ups and downs. Between 1963 and 2005, the worst 10-year home-price return was 2.5 percent.

    • You do the math Use the Rent vs. Buy calculator at

  226. 3b says:

    #228 Ann; I heard his house is for sale.

  227. John says:

    Yea but there just vanila rappers, Run DMC grew up in rich Holliswoods Queens with Rich Dads, LL Cool J lives in Manhasset LI and he is just another Studio G from Dix Hills Long Island, Dad had a big ass house.

    Ann Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 5:03 pm
    226 John

    Yeah, I believe that would be true. Good point.

    OTOH, I used Saddle River because that’s where Rev Run and his brother Russell Simmons live. Money talks. But maybe you need a lot of it.

  228. Frank says:

    Some words from Wall St.,
    I just had 2 best months (Nov/Dec) since the end of 98/99. With puts from MBIA/AMBAC to HOV and CFC, I am making money by the truck load.

  229. Mitchell says:

    #189. I know a lot of people who moved out of NJ be it for work relocation, couldn’t afford it, the stress, retired, etc. Sadly I know of no one wanting to go back to NJ. I know of maybe 7 couples in my development alone from NJ. If you ask any of them they will only say they miss their family or they miss the food. Die hard Italians NOPE. None of them would move back. Even the people I know who moved to TX, IL, and FL. Would you move back to NJ. Never.

    If I had to sum it up I would say NJ taxed its residents to move elsewhere. If they didn’t get enough of you the insurance companies did.

    #177 Its funny you say that. We do get the Desperate Housewives issue with a few people here. NC is much more social than up north. A lot happens at the community pool and bus stop. You can tell who is from NJ/NY because they pretty much walk away from the drama queens.

    The desperate housewives seem to come from Maryland, Baltimore, and the Washington D.C. areas to NC. Its more the wives than the husbands.

    NJ/NY clump together down here I guess because we are all fast paced and tell it like it is to your face. Locals find it offensive. Luckily there are lots on NY/NJ people here.

  230. vmc says:

    #229 – You are right in the aggregate. Where it might not work is buying at the top of the market in an overbuilt area. I think JC/hoboken is headed there, with tens of thousands of units slated to hit the market in the next few years, and RE conditions increasingly poor. Buy at the top, and it might take 15, 20 years or more to sell for more than you paid.

    Stocks make money over the long run too, but if you bought the NASDAQ composite on March 31, 2000 and held it until November 30, 2007, you would be down 40% – that’s with a holding period of more than 7.5 years. The same could happen with real estate.

  231. PeaceNow says:

    All the people who posted that moving away from metro areas would be the equivalent of stranding yourself in a cultural wasteland should read through this thread from the beginning (as I just did). Then you’ll realize that—surprise—we seem to already be there.

  232. syncmaster says:

    Wow, lots of responses while I drove home :)

    lisoosh #210It was a very exposed feeling and I would imagine it is the same if you are the only black/tan face around.

    Exactly. Although, my parents immigrated here in the early 70s when being the only Indian in a neighborhood was just how it is and they lived through it. So I’m not saying I can’t if I had to. Just saying I’ve gotten accustomed to living in communities where my ethnicity doesn’t make me stand out.. and I like it.

    bi #215 – I have no problem with that.

    3b #216 – Yes, skin color is a big deal in traditional Indian families. Lighter is good, darker is bad. It’s all relative though, skin tone that is considered beautiful in a south indian family will probably be considered hideous in mine. Sad, but true.

    John #220 – I’ve heard that, but I don’t believe there’s any real academic consensus around that. Is there? For the record, even though I don’t (and never have) celebrate Christmas, my wife (also Indian) was raised with the tree and presents and all that (minus the religious element) and she’d like us to do it too. I think we will, starting next year. I just don’t know how.

    Ann #227 – Exactly.

  233. Jamey says:

    Why I came to NYC: for the punk rock. Why I’ve stayed in the area: For the buffet.

    DMC are vanila [sic] rappers? Interesting theory, John, since they long predate “gangsta” rappers whom (I infer) you believe to be more “real.”

  234. dreamtheaterr says:

    #210 Lishoosh, maybe we just might have crossed paths in Colonial Park?!

  235. pretorius says:

    VMC, I don’t expect a “down 40%” scenario will happen. But I agree that the new supply situation in waterfront Hudson is getting silly.

    Look at this crazy condo conversion in Weehawken. Located at mouth of Lincoln Tunnel at very busy intersection that is loud 24 hours a day. Nearest place to get something to eat? Not the convenience store at the gas station across the street, but a strip club located 50 feet from your front door.

  236. t c m says:

    #214 – lisoosh –

    did you see “the devil came on horseback”?

  237. lisoosh says:

    dream – not in colonial park often. I am right off 27, aren’t you basically across the street from me? Go to Woodlot Park a fair amount with the kids.

    240 – No, never seen it.

  238. chifi / children are -(NPV) says:

    Mitchell Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 5:23 pm
    #189. I know of maybe 7 couples in my development alone from NJ. If you ask any of them they will only say they miss their family or they miss the food. Die hard Italians NOPE. None of them would move back. Even the people I know who moved to TX, IL, and FL. Would you move back to NJ. Never.

    Da’ Mitch: ever heard of adverse selection tainting your sampling data?

  239. Bru says:

    I have so much to say about this thread…

    First, here’s my theory as to why people want to move to the NYC area.

    As New York is the center of media, it’s easy for anyone in the remotest spot of America to be exposed to glimpses of how fabulous it is. The many TV shows set in Manhattan sell the dream (everyone knew “Friends” was crap, but that didn’t stop real people from trying to live the life presented there). Young women reading magazines are seduced by tales of incredible shopping and the chance to snag a wealthy man who works downtown.

    When I was growing up, Los Angeles was the hotbed; I had L.A. Gear sneakers and watched “90210.” The kiddies today have “Gossip Girl.” Just as women’s magazines this decade have consisted entirely of advice that only applies if you are living the “Sex and the City” life in Manhattan, magazines for teenagers run stories of Park Avenue princesses living the “Gossip Girl” life.

    So I believe the role New York has in the media has a lot to do with people wanting to be there.

    The other lure of New York is that there’s so much going on. I went to BU, and found Boston very limiting in what it had to offer in terms of entertainment and culture. I also found Bostonians meaner than New Yorkers.

    I’m sure parents would love their kids to go on field trips to the UN and Broadway shows, or a TV show taping, just as I did. Raise your kids in Scranton, and all they’ll get is the Anthracite Heritage Museum. ;)

    Stay tuned for my next post, on young people being sold on the post-college Manhattan life.

  240. syncmaster says:

    We are writing to inform you that based on the recent drop by the Federal Reserve, HSBC Direct has adjusted your Online Savings Account rate to 4.25% APY*.

  241. Clotpoll says:

    scribe (125)-

    “This is going to make a happy holiday for many homeowners,” Bush said of the bill moments before signing it into law.”

    Read: “God, I hope this delivers Ohio and Florida to my party next year.”

    Some homeowners might be happy now. However, I’m certain my kids won’t be so thrilled when they’re adults…and the bill for this pandering giveaway comes due.

    Costa Rica is looking better all the time.

  242. pretorius says:

    Fresh note out from Merrill analysts on Wall Street jobs.


    “NYC I-bank headcounts firm”

    “We expect headcount reductions to fall well short of 50,000 jobs lost after the ’87 crash, and ~30,000 Wall Street jobs lost post 9/11 and the tech bubble.”

    Interesting anecdotes that defy conventional wisdom:

    Bear Stearns headcount “up 3.5% Y/Y.”

    Lehman headcount “up 10% Y/Y.”

  243. pretorius says:

    Note 2nd quote was about Wall Street jobs overall, not investment banks only.

  244. Clotpoll says:

    grim (155)-

    They’re singing “Jingle Mail” at the mall.

  245. grim says:

    Keys in lieu of mortgage.

  246. Clotpoll says:

    gary (164)-

    “Every single time John Madden does an NFL game in the Meadowlands he says that Giants’ fans are the most knowledgable and sophisticated fans in the league.”

    If they’re so “knowledgable” and “sophisticated”, why do they keep turning out to watch the botchery that gets thrown onto the field every Sunday?

    I guess they share the same kind of intelligence displayed by people who pay women big $$$ to dress up in leather and beat the crap out of them.

  247. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (166)-

    And while we’re at it, a little eugenics might give us some bang for the buck. :)

  248. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (182)-

    Where’s the klan in Hunterdon? There’s a klavern across the county line in Oxford (Warren Co), but I’ve never met a klansman here.

  249. ADA says:

    clot #250,

    But unbelievably they are 9-5, although the worst 9-5 team ever. I’m a Packer fan and I’d love a playoff game with them in Lambeau.

  250. Clotpoll says:

    Mitchell (186)-

    “South Carolina just reduced peoples property taxes because of the money coming in from the lottery going into the local school systems.”

    Of course, 80% of the people in South Carolina think a lottery ticket is an investment.

  251. Bru says:

    As promised in #243…

    When you’re smart, attractive and have ambition, you are told that NYC is the only place to be. Once again, media – magazines, movies, TV shows – play up how fabulous living there is. It’s what you’re supposed to do – graduate college, get the hell out of your hometown and be the envy of everyone there.

    After I graduated college, I moved back with my parents in Union City. Perhaps you may find that pathetic. Much ink and vitriol has been spilled on the “boomerang generation.”

    But then, why isn’t society up in arms when parents pay their kids’ Manhattan rent? Because those kids at least APPEAR to be independent? Sure, it’s only on the surface, but we all know how superficial Manhattan is.

    Skep-tic at #83 mentioned the young adults having their NYC lives subsidized by their parents. Really, it’s a phenomenon we don’t hear anything about. I talk a lot about those kids in my blog – I call them Gucci Little Piggies.

    Then again, New York is the perfect place for them to live – the streets are paved with superficiality. Really, read Gawker. You must live in Manhattan to be respected, although certain parts of Brooklyn are somewhat acceptable. Jersey is a foreign country, its flag made of acid-washed denim. I remember the time I chatted up a hot guy in a Manhattan bar several years ago, but he fled as soon as he heard “201” as I was giving him my number.

    I suppose you can say I am bitter. I thought I was smart, attractive and ambitious – and therefore HAD to live in Manhattan. Instead, I couldn’t afford to move there, and at times I feel I wasted my 20s because I failed to live the life I was “supposed to.”

    I’ve accepted that Jersey is my destiny, and so I plan to stay because it’s my home. And New York is great to have nearby. Unfortunately, that means that my boyfriend and I have to continue living with our respective parents so we can put a downpayment on a POS cape or plywood town house five years from now instead of 10 (and we’ve been saving for years). Sigh.

  252. Clotpoll says:

    grim (249)-

    …Affadavit of Title roasting on an open fire…

  253. Clotpoll says:

    Bru (255)-

    You’re more of a downer than Britney’s sister and Marie Osmond rolled into one.

  254. pretorius says:

    Bru, great post. I share your opinion. Are you looking in North Hudson or only more suburban towns?

  255. Confused In NJ says:

    Taj Mahal Won’t Accept Bush Dollars as India Laments Lost Value

    By James G. Neuger and Simon Kennedy

    Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — The Taj Mahal, one of the world’s architectural masterpieces, welcomes about 2.5 million visitors each year — provided they don’t try to buy tickets with dollars. India’s most popular shrine announced in November that it would stop accepting the U.S. currency and take only rupees, hurling yet another insult at the once mighty greenback.

    The dollar, which has been snubbed by everybody from government officials in Kuwait and South Korea to top-earning Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, may not recover its luster. Economists say the currency, which has declined in five of the past six years against the euro, is caught in a downdraft as investors pour into Asia, prompting a tectonic shift in economic power from the U.S.

    “Can it be turned around? Probably not totally,” says Riordan Roett, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “The century of Asia has arrived, and the U.S. and its European allies will need to adjust to that.”

    In Asia, an investment boom has boosted local currencies. China’s roaring economy has grown an average of 10.4 percent in the past four years, fueled by record exports and a flood of foreign funds. That’s pushed up the yuan since the government ended the currency’s peg to the dollar in July 2005. As of Dec. 19, the yuan — managed against a basket of currencies — climbed 12 percent against the dollar.

    In India, the economy has grown at its fastest pace in the past four years since independence in 1947. That’s helped lift the rupee 12 percent against the U.S. currency in 2007 through Dec. 19.

    Dollar Bulls

    Dollar bulls say the currency, which rose to its highest in seven weeks against the euro on Dec. 17, could rally further in 2008. They cite the fiscal 2007 U.S. budget deficit, which fell to $162.8 billion compared with $412.8 billion three years earlier. And the current account deficit narrowed to $178.5 billion in the third quarter after reaching a record $217.3 billion in the 2006 period.

    Deutsche Bank AG, the world’s largest currency trader, predicts the dollar next year will rise about 2 percent more versus the euro, a currency shared by 15 nations as of January.

    Longer term, the slowing U.S. economy — hurt by a banking and consumer credit meltdown that’s only getting worse — will weigh heavily on the dollar. Since August, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates three times to 4.25 percent in December, and traders in federal funds futures see about an even chance the rate will be 3.75 percent by May.

    The Fed’s moves, coupled with the European Central Bank’s threat in December to raise rates, have tilted the odds against the U.S. currency. In 2007, it fell 8 percent against the euro and 2 percent versus the British pound through Dec. 19.

    Shift $1.2 Trillion

    Asian and Persian Gulf nations are concerned that the flight from the dollar is feeding on itself and may spur a crisis of confidence. Kuwait abandoned a dollar peg in May due to its weak buying power. South Korea’s central bank in November urged shipbuilders to issue invoices in won, the country’s currency, and take out more hedging policies to guard against the weakened dollar.

    Peter Kenen, a professor of international finance at Princeton University, raises the possibility that the dollar’s role as the world’s dominant reserve currency may be coming to an end. The dollar’s share of central banks’ currency portfolios slid to 64.8 percent in the second quarter of 2007 from 71 percent in 1999, the year the euro debuted, the International Monetary Fund says.

    Cash-rich governments, mostly in Asia and the Middle East, may shift as much as $1.2 trillion in dollar holdings to other currencies in the next five years, Merrill Lynch & Co. economists say.

    China in 2100

    “The dollar will not recover completely its dominant role in the system, although it may well share that role with the euro and even the pound,” says Kenen, a former Treasury adviser. “What some of us thought could happen in the distant future may be upon us now.”

    Lester Thurow, a professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, disputes the assertion that the dollar has lost its clout. Historical trends of developing nations suggest China’s economic output and per-capita income may not catch up to the U.S.’s for about a century.

    “A reserve currency needs to be the currency of a world power,” Thurow says. “China may pass the U.S., but not until 2100.”

    China, with $1.46 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, is a wild card. It’s combing the world’s markets for investments that pay more than the return of about 4 percent on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds.

    Paulson’s Rhetoric

    Chinese investors reduced their holdings of U.S. Treasuries by 8 percent to $388.1 billion in October from a peak in March. Then, in early December, China’s Ministry of Commerce gave a boost to the dollar, saying it would encourage more businesses to buy American assets.

    Morgan Stanley, the second-largest U.S. securities firm, yesterday said it received a $5 billion infusion from the state- controlled China Investment Corp. The firm lost $3.56 billion in the fourth quarter amid the subprime mortgage market collapse.

    Economists debate whether the administration of President George W. Bush wants the dollar to appreciate. After U.S. trading partners in Europe and Japan criticized the currency’s decline, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in November stepped up his rhetoric about the economy’s long-term growth prospects to instill confidence in the dollar, says Jens Nordvig, an economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York.

    With the weak dollar spurring U.S. exports — one of the few bright spots in the economy — some economists don’t take Paulson at his word.

    “The Bush administration is not sincere in saying it wants a strong dollar,” says Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson, a professor emeritus at MIT. “The long-run trend for the dollar is very likely to be downward.”

    The currency will be barred from more places than the Taj Mahal in the event Samuelson is right.

  256. Pat says:

    Bru,I’m glad you posted. Even tough chicks regret things. I thought I scared you away.

    So you read.

    Tell me you’re not one of JB’s other cousins.


  257. BC Bob says:

    “Interesting anecdotes that defy conventional wisdom:”

    “Bear Stearns headcount “up 3.5% Y/Y.””

    Pret [246],


    Are you that naive, listening to a Wall St analyst? Brian McNamee is more credible.

    Approx 10% at Bear, has been cut by the end of this Nov, more will be coming. Do yourself a favor, talk to people at Merrill, Hopewell, NJ. Go right to the Marketing Dept and bring up this same topic.

    “Since mid-August, Bear Stearns has announced the elimination of about 1,490 jobs amid a subprime lending crisis that has forced billions of dollars of write-downs on Wall Street.”

  258. Ann says:

    255 Bru

    Interesting post, I agree on the media dominance from NYC.

    Lived there for a few years during grad school (subsidized housing, yes!)

    I do find that some people who stay in the city, after their 20s, become self-centered or something. I really don’t say that to be mean. Perhaps it’s impossible to remain down-to-earth living in Manhattan.

  259. chifi - CFAs do it better says:

    pret: you call yourself a CFA candidate? Where the f– are your research skillz….

    Worldwide headcount as of November 30, 2007 is 14,100 up from 13,600 in November 30, 2006, were down from the 15,500 level reached in the sequential quarter.

    The overall headcount increased we have experienced, as compared to November 30, 2006 reflects the expansion of our fixed income, wealth management, global clearing and derivative areas, which are attributable to increased business activities and growth initiatives particularly internationally. However, during the fourth quarter, headcount was reduced by action and attrition of approximately 9% in 1400 employees reflecting the difficult global credit markets.

  260. pretorius says:

    BC bob,

    I’m simply sharing key points from the latest analysis on the topic. The database behind it is one of the best I’ve seen. Certainly more informative than the random assortment of mainstream media links posted on njrereport.

    My view is that layoffs on Wall Street will be modest during this financial crisis compared to 2001-2002.

    Plus, the Bear layoff info I have in front of me shows that the layoffs in that company are concentrated in Southern California, which makes sense because its the epicenter of the mortgage industry. How many people do expect Bear to let go anyway? 30%? 50%?

    I don’t have a link to the Merrill report but e-mail grim, he might have it.

  261. pretorius says:

    Chifi, I’ve been following this stuff. Orange County is where the mortgage finance layoffs are concentrated.

    Local paper there updates the mortgage layoff data regularly.

  262. grim says:

    Don’t make me post the Chunky Pam video again…

  263. schabadoo says:

    We do get the Desperate Housewives issue with a few people here. A lot happens at the community pool and bus stop. You can tell who is from NJ/NY because they pretty much walk away from the drama queens.

    To people with fast-paced lives, it seems petty and childish.

    For example: did you hear about the rinky dink condo development that has competing websites fighting with each other down there? The message board is hilarious.

  264. t c m says:

    #214-240 lisoosh –

    i ask because it is about the conflict between the arab africans and the black africans in darfur.

  265. BC Bob says:


    This is what your post stated.

    “Bear Stearns headcount “up 3.5% Y/Y.””

    I proved that was pure BS.

    “My view is that layoffs on Wall Street will be modest during this financial crisis compared to 2001-2002.”

    Your view. Before I comment can you elaborate? What’s the basis for your viewpoint?

  266. Confused In NJ says:

    U.S. Stock Funds Become `Tough’ Sell in Europe Amid Dollar Drop

    By David Clarke

    Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — Making money for European clients isn’t easy when you’re investing in U.S. stocks and the dollar is close to a record low. Selling funds is even harder, according to managers at F&C Asset Management Plc and DWS Investment.

    “It’s been a tough time,” said Volker Dosch, who is in charge of U.S. investments at DWS, a unit of Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt. “The relative performance has been very good but the overall performance has not.”

    Investors in U.S. securities who translate their returns into currencies such as the euro can see gains they make for clients wiped out by a decline in the dollar. The U.S. currency dropped 8.7 percent against the single currency of 13 European Union states this year and 2 percent against the British pound.

    Dosch’s U.S. Aktien fund has risen 7.8 percent in 2007 when measured in dollars, beating the 2.6 percent gain for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. When converted to what Dosch’s German clients get in euros, that works out to a loss of 1.3 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Over the first 11 months of the year, returns from the 197 North American stock funds sold in Europe and tracked by Bloomberg were little changed, compared with a 4.4 percent gain for the S&P 500 Index.

    “You have to compete against high-profile gains in emerging markets,” said Simon Clinch, who oversees the $4 billion of North American stocks held by F&C Asset Management in London. China’s CSI Index has more than doubled this year.

    Not Convinced

    The dollar’s decline means it may be time to start buying into U.S. stock funds again, according to Dosch. The dollar may have reached a nadir, which would allow clients to benefit from a turnaround in the currency, he said.

    Both UBS AG and Deutsche Bank, the world’s biggest foreign- exchange traders, are forecasting the pound will weaken at least 6 percent against the dollar in 2008. The euro fell 1.4 percent against the dollar on Dec. 14, its biggest decline this year.

    Retail sales in the U.S. rose twice as much as analysts estimated in November, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report on Dec. 13, a sign the collapse of the subprime mortgage market may not cut into consumer spending as much as some experts had expected.

    “The bad news for the dollar is priced in, while the euro is overvalued,” Dosch said.

    So far investors aren’t convinced. Germans withdrew a net 786 million euros ($1.1 billion) from funds investing in the U.S. and Canada so far this year, after adding a net 6 billion euros in 2006, according to the Frankfurt-based BVI, which measures flows to funds sold in Germany.


    U.K. investors removed a net 5.9 billion pounds ($11.9 billion) from North American stock mutual funds in the first 10 months of the year, compared with an inflow of 1.4 billion pounds in 2006, according to the Investment Management Association, a London-based trade group.

    “It’s making it very difficult to get your clients to give you money,” said F&C’s Clinch.

    The reaction to the dollar’s drop may be different for institutional investors, such as pension funds and private banks, than for individuals, according to Hubert Goye, who oversees about $9 billion invested in U.S. stocks at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Paris. Institutional investors tend to hedge against swings in foreign-exchange markets. Individuals may be reluctant to buy U.S. securities because, without any hedging, they are more vulnerable to currency movements, he said.

    “We advise people to hedge currencies,” said Iain Beattie, who advises pension funds on their strategies at Watson Wyatt Worldwide Inc. in London.

    The outlook for the economy may also have prompted some institutional investors to avoid U.S. stocks, said BNP Paribas’s Goye. Institutional flows into Goye’s own funds have slowed over the past year. “People are anticipating a slowdown,” he said. “They are just more cautious about the market there.”

  267. Rich In NNJ says:

    Chunky Pam, Chunky Pam, Chunky Pam, Chunky Pam…!!!!!

  268. kettle1 says:

    #252 clotpol

    Well yes if you really want to super troll you could suggest that….

  269. kettle1 says:

    CLott poll # 253,

    met a fella with a white hood that he was rather proud of in high bridge. It was quit surprising/disappointing as he was one of the last people i would suspect, he you never really know do you?

  270. gryffindor says:

    Bru – I like to call them “post-college with a paycheck” since they essentially behave and live the same way they did in their sororities/frats, but upgraded their lifestyles a bit since they now have paychecks to spend. But “Gucci little piggies” conjures up a pretty funny image, LOL. Even though I am still in my 20s, I find them mostly irritating and dumb when I am forced to make small talk with them. Forget talking sensible money with them, even though they work on Wall Street, they usually haven’t heard of the word “save.”

  271. 3b says:

    #270 BC: Don’t do it to yourself.

  272. 3b says:

    #276 BC Bob: He might also want to talk to some of the people at Bear’s facility in Whippany.

  273. HEHEHE says:


    I’d respect somebody taking an opposing view regarding the economy etc if they were at least realistic. “Modest layoffs”? You sound like Ben Stein or Larry Kudlow.

  274. chifi - CFAs do it better says:

    SEC Probes WaMu on Appraisals
    Regulator Checks Handling
    Of Loans Possibly Based
    On Inflated Valuations
    December 21, 2007

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how retail bank Washington Mutual Inc. handled and reported on mortgage loans that may have been based on inflated home appraisals.

    The SEC’s inquiry is in its infancy and involves several possible issues, including whether WaMu accurately disclosed to investors of mortgage-backed securities how its loans were appraised as well as whether the company properly accounted for its loans in financial disclosures to investors of the company, according to the people familiar with the situation

  275. mikeinwaiting says:

    Bush has just done us a favor.Jingle mail on the rise,short sale no tax.But seriously
    if this will help market bottom & correct faster we will be better off.
    Gary As to your wondering wants up at Crystal Springs.I would say the nicest development up here.Golf,great club house,5 star restaurant,beautiful tree lined streets
    great views.
    The problem is it is up here.Gas,travel time,& bad economics will
    hit the sticks like a ton of bricks.

  276. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (274)-

    High Bridge. That explains it.

    High Bridge is actually a NJ colony of Alabama.

  277. Clotpoll says:

    HE (278)-

    Ya know what really kills me? Look at any market in the US: stocks, bonds, RE, whatever.

    The one constant that runs through all these markets is that they are, at the moment, needle-eye narrow and offer opportunity for only a few players. The educated bear would do well to take the other side of the trade, or sit out the dance entirely.

    The proof of the above is when anyone on the bull side- whether it’s Kudlow or Pretard- tries to make a blanket statement, and comes off sounding like Jim Jones.

  278. Shore Guy says:

    193 “According to this report, the high school graduation rate in South Carolina is only 53%. NJ had the highest graduation rate, 89%.”

    Another thing in all the southern states is that just about anyone who can afford private school sends their kids to one. Teh public schools are starved for funds because the middle class has abandoned them.

  279. mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore is that % just for public schools.

  280. vmc says:

    #240 Condo w/a strip club 50 feet from the door – this might be a major selling point to WS trader types, maybe they have something there. Not emphasized in their ad though, go figure.

  281. mikeinwaiting says:

    VMC Puts a whole new meaning to” close to everything”.

  282. Shore Guy says:

    mikeinwaiting Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 9:40 pm
    Shore is that % just for public schools.

    I dont know. The percentage was part of the original post, to which I was reacting.

  283. mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore I was just thinking if middle class up kids go to private schools & they aren’t in the #s that may be why they look so bad.

  284. kettle1 says:


    I would consider the exodus to private school a good thing. why do we want children locked into school systems that do not perform. In most places private school is prohibitively expensive. when private school becomes a common choice, you might see improvement

  285. Outofstater says:

    #283: Not quite the whole story. Most middle and upper middle class people I know send their kids to the public schools but some southerners prefer a Christian school, not because they are necessarily better than the public schools but because they offer religious education in the curriculum. But heck, what do I know? I’m just a Jersey kid living once again in a place people make fun of. You get jokes about how bad the air smells. I get jokes about how teeth are considered bling.

  286. PeaceNow says:

    Hey–Shore guy, Kettle, Outofstater: No mention of home schooling, which is much bigger trend in southern states than here. Also, graduation rates from home-schooled kids are probably harder to track.

    Kettle1—I don’t want students locked into underperforming schools either. But the solution isn’t to make private education the norm, it’s to improve the performance of public schools.

  287. ADA says:

    While natives remain wary about real estate and worry about bonuses and the economic climate, foreign tourists are keeping brokers busy with their eagerness to buy up Manhattan apartments, which many see as investments.

    These buyers are transforming a traditionally slow month for Manhattan real estate brokers at a time when brokers nationwide are struggling to sell homes.

    The number of foreign buyers has doubled in the last two years, according to data from the research firm Radar Logic. In just the last 18 months, they have bought one-third of all new condos that were up for sale, said Jonathan J. Miller, an executive vice president at Radar Logic and its director of research.

  288. mikeinwaiting says:

    Peace Now Home school,private & vouchers plus maybe some divine intervention will be required to break the back of the teachers union.Without that public schools are doomed to mediocrity as are our children.

  289. mkfinancial says:

    Can someone explain this. MLS #20748061 was listed and under contract in the same day. How is this possible. I have seen this a few times and beginning to wonder how realtors are gettoing away with it. Do they take advantage of elderly people looking to sell by lowballing the initial price? Do they have preferred buyers? How does this happen? Something is not right?

  290. sas says:

    Why does NJ’s situation remind of years leading to the economical collapse Argentina??



  291. lisoosh says:

    “t c m Says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 7:57 pm
    #214-240 lisoosh –

    i ask because it is about the conflict between the arab africans and the black africans in darfur.”

    I saw, I looked it up.
    From what I understand from people who are far more knowledgable about the reality on the ground in Darfur is that it is far more complicated than just an Arab/Black conflagration, it is about land/food/water and all sorts of tribal issues from way back.

    In places with little, people frequently have very, very long memories.

  292. lisoosh says:

    #292 – Foreign “investors” are coming. Ha.

    I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago – large scale buying up of property in Manhattan by foreign individuals.
    Might seem like a RE bonanza, but if their units sit empty for most of the year, they add nothing to the NY economy, price out locals and will start to create a ghost town.

    Hopefully their own currencies will tank shortly – Sterling is already struggling.

  293. ADA says:


    I dont think the units have to sit empty, people often live there for most of the year and if not, rent them out. And to the extent units are empty then foreign buyers are pay taxes without using any services.

  294. gryffindor says:

    PeaceNow, I went to high school in NJ and NY. I have 1.5 more years left to work here in TN with mostly kids age 6 – 18. I’m shocked at how many of them are home schooled, the parents aren’t always the most brilliant and some of the moms even hold part-time jobs while home schooling the kids. I’ve had parents cite “the schools are really bad” as their reason for home schooling. Prior to moving to TN, the only time I had heard of homeschooling in NJ was that girl from Moorestown who made the news because she sued to be valedictorian.

    The kids are all busy this week with finals because they all run on a block system here – 4 courses per semester, 2 hours per course per day, with a final at the end of the semester. In NY & NJ, we had 8 courses per year with 1 hour per course per day with a final in June. Some of the middle schoolers are on year-round school schedules. From the stories the kids from the county high schools tell me, it doesn’t sound like there is much solid education going on. Parents don’t hesitate for a minute to pull middle/high school kids out of school to bring them for 10:30 am appointments with us and then they don’t bring them back to school for the rest of the day. In NY, parents demanded afterschool/afterwork appointments with us. With the exception of a few public schools around here, I would send my kid to a private school too if I had kids in TN.

  295. Rich In NNJ says:

    Go Chunky, Go Chunky, Go Chunky…

Comments are closed.