Weekend Open Discussion

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

For readers that have never commented, there is a link at the top of each message that is typically labelled “[#] Comments“. Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn’t know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

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

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360 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Citigroup to Record
    More Write-Downs
    June 20, 2008; Page C2

    Citigroup Inc. spooked investors Thursday when its chief financial officer warned that the New York bank’s second-quarter results will suffer from a fresh round of “substantial” write-downs from failing mortgage investments.

    Gary Crittenden, the finance chief, also predicted Citigroup will continue to rack up losses on its exposure to leveraged loans and bond insurers, and it will keep beefing up its reserves to cover bad loans, which “could have a meaningful impact on our results for the remainder of the year.”

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    A Bear Case for Smart Folks Who Write Dumb E-mail

    Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin are, presumably, a couple of smart guys. They have solid educations and for a while did well for themselves managing hedge funds on Wall Street. I’m thinking they’re the sort of men who keep up with current events.

    So, what’s with the e-mail?

    The feds arrested both yesterday at their homes, cuffed them for a perp walk and held a press conference to tout the case.

    This pair of collared white collars are charged with lying to investors about the value of the Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds they ran, the ones whose failures last June sent the subprime mortgage crisis into overdrive.

    Their crime, the indictment says, is that they urged people to keep pouring in money when they knew the bottom was falling out.

    The funds, once worth $20 billion, had invested heavily in subprime mortgages: a big mistake. Investors lost $1.6 billion, Bear Stearns collapsed and so did the subprime mortgage market, prompting almost $400 billion in writedowns to date.

    So, can we blame Cioffi and Tannin for that? Why do we think they lied? In large part because of e-mail, the indictment says.

    In those intimate, chatty electronic blips to each other, Tannin and Cioffi say one thing about prospects for their funds. When presenting to investors or brokers, they say the opposite, according to the charges.

    The subprime market is “pretty damn ugly,” Tannin typed into his keyboard in April 2007. He called it “toast.”

    “We’re very comfortable with exactly where we are,” Tannin said in a conference call with investors two days earlier. The fund’s structure “has performed exactly the way it was designed to perform.”

    Or Not

    “I’m fearful of these markets,” Cioffi wrote in March 2007, according to the indictment.

    That same month, that same man, Cioffi, called the fund an “awesome opportunity” when speaking to a Bear broker who had more than 40 clients invested in it.

  3. grim says:

    From Newsday:

    Update: ‘Why you should buy my house’

    As home buyers become an increasingly hot commodity, sellers are working hard to woo them – in some cases by giving them a taste of life on the inside by opening their homes for a newspaper story. But it’s rough all over, even with the extra exposure.

    Of the 52 homes featured in Newsday’s Why You Should Buy My House column for the past year, a dismal nine have managed to close the deal, and four are in contract. (At this time last year, 22 of 52 homes had closed or were in contract.) Twenty still are available at reduced prices, 13 are holding steady, and five have been taken off the market. One is on market for an increased price.

    “It’s not surprising at all. It’s very much in keeping with market conditions,” says Jamie Winkler, president of Winkler Real Estate in West Islip and co-owner of the Long Island Real Estate Report, which compiles the public information available on recent property sales, lis pendens and foreclosures on a weekly basis.

    Winkler cites the troubled economy as a culprit in consumers’ general hesitation to make big purchases. She says buyers are taking their cues from media predictions and waiting to see if prices will continue to drop before making an offer.

  4. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Layoffs Begin to Show on the Region’s Unemployment Rolls

    Week after week, Wall Street banks and other big employers have announced layoffs by the thousands, but month after month, the official gauges of the job market in the New York metropolitan area registered few signs of a downturn.

    Until now.

    By several measures released this week, unemployment is on the rise in and around New York City, and the increase is beginning to worry government officials and economists.

    The most concrete count, the number of people collecting unemployment benefits, rose by more than 10 percent in May in the city and the surrounding states, up sharply from the previous months. The unemployment rates for the city, New York State and New Jersey all jumped by half a percentage point to more than 5 percent in May, after adjustments for seasonal fluctuations.

    The rate of joblessness in both the city and the state is now 5.2 percent, up from 4.7 percent in April, the State Labor Department said on Thursday. A day earlier, New Jersey officials said their state’s unemployment rate had risen to 5.4 percent from 4.9 percent. The national rate rose to 5.5 percent, from 5 percent in April.

    Analysts attributed the sudden rise to a combination of a weakening economy and the end of severance payments for people whose layoffs were announced months ago. Layoffs on Wall Street tend to have less of an immediate effect on unemployment statistics because financial companies often hand out severance that tides people over for weeks or months, delaying their need to seek unemployment benefits, analysts said.

    Marcia J. Van Wagner, the city’s deputy comptroller for budget, said that although there have been layoffs on the order of 20,000 to 40,000 workers in recent months, the full impact is just now being felt. “It’s like the tsunami is still making its way across the ocean,” she said.

  5. me says:

    another night shift shot to hell… almost over….


  6. Tom says:


    you might find this interesting. I wanted to quantify some of the impressions I was getting regarding foreclosures.

    In Bergen County 28% of the recent foreclosures have judgments in excess of the purchase price. Not the fair market value. The price that the house was purchased and the average purchase date was November 2001.

    I wish I could compare all loans and not just the ones in foreclosure but it seems that as we were getting further into the bubble, lenders were banking on house prices inflating and giving borrowers loans based on future equity.

  7. R Patrick says:

    3: Grim

    Wow you would think with all that free advertising…

  8. R Patrick says:

    So read quickly though millionare by 30. And it brings up the “Equity is money lying fallow” argument.

    They are assuming that RE always goes up ect, so cash out and buy a rental ASAP.

    Any advice, comments about this? It seems like a ok idea in a “normal” market

  9. DL says:

    Fed Talks Up Interest Rates —And Housing Gets


    Damed if they do; damned if they don’t.

  10. Tom says:

    R Patrick,

    That seems related to the posting I linked earlier in #6.

    28% of the recent foreclosures in BC have judgments larger than the purchase price. This is an indication that the equity was borrowed against.

    I found 2 examples of people that seemed to use the equity to purchase other properties and they now have 2 homes in foreclosure.

  11. bairen says:

    #2 I’m really surprised that using tons of leverage to buy subprime mtgs with home prices being historically high and lending standards at unprecedented lows could have ended so badly.

    / off sarcasm

    What were the brokers thinking sticking their clients in that pos hedge fund doomed to failure from its conception?

  12. DL says:

    It’s not just real estate agents. Seems like every analyst on TV is an eternal optimist (salesman). We’ve either hit a bottom and it’s a great time to buy, or the market segment is poised to go up. When the Dow took a dive the talking heads insisted the U.S. downturn would not spread to global markets. Invest overseas. Anyone taken a look at what’s happened in Asia recently?
    “China Hikes Fuel Prices by 18%, Fuel Protests Spread”


  13. grim says:

    What were the brokers thinking sticking their clients in that pos hedge fund doomed to failure from its conception?

    Not exactly sure, but I’ll bet it starts with a dollar sign.

  14. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Lehman cuts Fannie, Freddie earnings estimates

    Lehman Brothers cut its earnings estimates on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying the housing market continues to deteriorate at an accelerating pace. It expects national house prices to drop 20% from the peak. “As the outlook for home prices continues to weaken, the outlook for the government-sponsored enterprises’ credit costs should follow, so we are increasing our estimates for credit costs to account for this,” the broker said.

  15. njpatient says:

    “Citigroup to RecordMore Write-Downs”

    That CAN’T be true!!! bi (and S&P) said there would be no more writedowns!!!
    bi, tell them it’s not true!!!

  16. Tom says:

    patient, they’re just write-downs. at least they’re not losses.

  17. me@work says:

    #15 :-D

    umm… anyone got the latest sales data in Bergen County, anyone? anyone? Bueller?


  18. grim says:

    So will the pitch-men on wall street tone it down this morning? Or just stop sending emails?

    Bear Stearns Fund Prosecutors Reveal `Lot of Evidence’ of Fraud

    E-mails, witness statements and a money trail may help convict two former Bear Stearns Cos. managers accused of misleading investors and lenders about two hedge funds that imploded, legal analysts said.

    Ralph Cioffi, 52, and Matthew Tannin, 46, were charged yesterday with falsely saying the funds were thriving while knowing investments in subprime mortgages could cause their collapse. U.S. prosecutors claimed the men lied about liquidity, redemption requests, and their own investments before the funds shut down last June, costing investors $1 billion.

    “This one is a shotgun of all sorts of facts,” said former federal prosecutor William Mateja. “They’ve got a lot of evidence to establish a securities fraud against hedge fund managers. Not having heard the other side of the story, it appears that they have a strong case.”

    “The subprime market is pretty damn ugly,” Tannin wrote in one e-mail to Cioffi. “If we believe the [CDO report is] ANYWHERE CLOSE to accurate I think we should close the funds now. The reason for this is that if [the CDO report] is correct then the entire subprime market is toast.”

    Tannin sent the e-mail from a personal account, not the Bear Stearns system, to the personal e-mail account of Cioffi’s wife, according to the indictment.

  19. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Death of America’s Suburbs Is Greatly Exaggerated: Joe Mysak

    Don’t write off the American suburbs just yet.

    With gasoline at $4-plus a gallon, lots of thinking people see the U.S. undergoing a vast demographic shift, with millions of people moving back to cities. The suburbs, and those places beyond the suburbs, the exurbs, will dry up and blow away.

    The notion appeals especially to people who like to think they’ll be in charge after the revolution. They would apparently love nothing more than for the population to be confined to Soviet-style concrete-block high-rises and be forced to take state-run streetcars to their little jobs at the mill.

    People will pay more to drive their cars.

    Some people will sell their houses and move to the city, or closer to a city. Some people won’t be able to sell their houses, and some people will lose their houses. Some towns may become ghost towns.

    Taxes will go up for the survivors who remain, and they will find fewer and fewer businesses to fulfill their needs. States that are more rural will find it in their best interests to try and pay people to live there, and offer subsidies for them to buy food and fuel. The implications for state and local credit ratings are profound.

    The high price of gasoline is a relatively short-term problem, not a catastrophe that is going to cause a massive population shift. When whale oil became scarce in the 19th century, people didn’t sit in the dark; they came up with new ways to light their lamps.

  20. grim says:

    Seems the moral of the story isn’t “don’t cheat investors”, it’s “don’t get caught”.

    From Reuters:

    Hedge fund arrests send chill through industry

    Pictures of hedge fund managers in handcuffs being led away to face fraud charges on Thursday have sent a chilling message to the $2 trillion (1 trillion pound) industry.

    The warning was clear: mind what you say in your e-mails if you are a manager

  21. thatBIGwindow says:

    So you mean I won’t be able to buy a house in Alpine for $30,000 in a few years?? Wah!!

  22. grim says:

    This might be a good time to announce a new venture I’m working on:

    A super-secure private email system with such a high level of encryption that it borders on absurdity. Servers are located far, far away in a country that won’t be pressured into releasing data. Wouldn’t matter if they did, it would take decades to crack. Messages are routed through tens of thousands of proxy servers around the world, with trillions of possible paths to take, making it impossible to trace. Making tracing even more difficult is the fact that traffic is disguised and embedded in a number of common internet protocols (and some uncommon protocols), which means monitoring a total number of ports, that if typed, would almost instantly deplete the world of zeros. Access is controlled not only through username and password, but through a key-fob that displays an ever changing code required for login. The key-fob has a ‘self-destruct’ button, which will erase the cipher key from flash memory, making access to the system virtually impossible.

    All for the low low price of $9.95 a month.

  23. Secondary Market says:

    this is why i always conduct my fraud via IM

  24. Pat says:

    I’ll take two.

    Wish I had them before.

  25. Pat says:

    Oh, you need to add a feature to that. If the end user prints and/or distributes email coded with an implosion sequence, then all typeface automatically fades after printing.

  26. thatBIGwindow says:

    Anyone watch the History Channel last night? They had a show on Tactical Tomahawks. Pretty cool, I think I will have to buy a few

  27. grim says:

    You can buy those? Makes me feel silly that I duct-taped a laser pointer to my Home Depot hatchet.

  28. grim says:

    Now we’re talkin’

    Carbon Footprint Be Damned, the Cannonball Run Is Back

    Of all the things gearheads making the 2,600-mile Great American Run through the West will worry about — avoiding the cops, keeping the car intact, finding a bathroom before their bladders burst — the size of their carbon footprint is at the bottom of the list.

    What a footprint it is. The 200 or so cars competing in the second annual race — an update of the famed Cannonball Run — will spew about as much CO2 in seven days as the average person generates in 16 years. Mention that to the drivers and they’ll probably ask, “Yeah? And?” They know they’ll take some heat from environmentalists, and they’re unapologetic.

    “How much more do they want to strangle the human race,” asks race founder Tim “Maverick” Porter. “Why can’t car enthusiasts have a little fun?”

    The Great American Run descended from the Cannonball Run, the celebration of unfettered speed moto-journalist Brock Yates founded in 1971. The only point was crossing the country as quickly as possible. It was blatantly illegal and wildly popular — it’s spawned two movies and several imitators – until the 55 mph speed limit and a lot of heat from the cops shut it down in 1979. (By the way, the current record for crossing the country stands at 31 hours and 4 minutes, set by Alex Roy and Dave Maher during a flat-out run that Wired wrote about.)

    Actually a bit surprised that Wired didn’t refer to the race by it’s official name, the “Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash”.

  29. kettle1 says:

    \Gary Mode on

    The high price of gasoline is a relatively short-term problem, not a catastrophe that is going to cause a massive population shift. When whale oil became scarce in the 19th century, people didn’t sit in the dark; they came up with new ways to light their lamps.

    people are idiots (90% anyway). instead of looking at the real situation they find a nice little anecdote tat makes them feel all warm and fuzzy and maybe it isnt so bad afterall.

    There are so many things wrong with this idiotic statement that all i can say is

    All these idiots who say “dont worry we’ll figure it out” will be first ones craping their pants when it really hits the fan. perhaps soilent green could replace gasoline. there certainly appear to be enough idiots around, AND ITS RENEWABLE!!!!!!

  30. kettle1 says:

    How will iran respond if we go to war

    How Iran would retaliate if it comes to war
    Military analysts say the Islamic Republic would strike back in unconventional ways – targeting American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  31. HEHEHE says:

    I think it would be interesting to see the parade of Wall Street CEO’s/CFO’s emails when one day they are saying they have plenty of capital and two days later they are raising $10 billion. Or better yet, how about the emails involving discussion of the value of their Level 3 assets. I am sure those would be highly interesting to read.

  32. Tom says:

    “people are idiots (90% anyway). instead of looking at the real situation they find a nice little anecdote tat makes them feel all warm and fuzzy and maybe it isnt so bad afterall.”


    You have to learn to read between the lines. I just picked up all the whale oil lamps I could find on ebay because I think he’s implying whale oil will make a huge comeback.

  33. galgon says:

    Could some one give me a listing history and address for MLS # 2536427.


  34. kettle1 says:


    here is another for you!

    Declassified “Simple Sabotage Field Manual” from WWII


  35. thatBIGwindow says:

    Whale oil? Maybe I can find a job dealing ivory…

  36. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (34)-

    Many thanks. Looks like it’s time to be kickin’ it old school.

    Back to basics!

  37. Clotpoll says:

    galg (33)-

    9 Hillside Dr, Clinton Twp (Annandale, 08801 mailing address). 4 DOM, not previously listed.

    This house is less than 100 yds from N. Hunterdon HS.

  38. Clotpoll says:

    New Jersey Hatchet Report?

  39. John says:

    Why you should buy my house!In 2007 Newsday decided to profile a house full page ever Friday for 52 weeks with a story with multiple pictures and interviews with agent and seller on why you should buy their house for sale. This was the begining of the weak market so Newsday was I guess trying to help people sell their homes. Anyhow today they gave the stats on those 52 houses with the full page articles from 2007, So as of today.

    Nine have sold
    Four are in Contract
    13 still on market at same price
    20 still on market at reduced price
    One is on market at increased price
    3 are off market
    2 are off market and rented.

    Wow Pretty much the nine that sold all sold at a discount. That is terrible those articles ran from Jan to Dec 2007 and as of June 2008 only nine out of 52 sold.

  40. galgon says:

    Clot 38:

    Thanks for the info. Looks like a future comp killer. Purchased in 2003 for the price of 300k. First potentially livable 3 bed house I have seen in the Clinton area under 300k. Amazing that a seller would actually start by putting the house on the market at what they bought it for 5 years ago. Perhaps they are looking for a bidding war?

  41. SG says:

    The $10,000 Atlanta Houses

    by Gary North

    I plan to buy a house next year in an Atlanta suburb. If prices fall enough, I will buy more than one. So, I sent my wife to the area in early May to see how the foreclosure market is doing. She found out.

    She went to the courthouse steps to view the auction for foreclosed properties. The sellers had all posted minimum bids. One by one, the houses were offered for sale. There was not one bid. This meant that the asking price was the high bid. Every house went back to the foreclosing lender.

    These houses were not priced to sell. They were priced to subsidize the local pharmaceutical trade. “You want free rent? You’ve got it!”

    One house that caught my attention was foreclosed last December. The bank is unwilling to drop the price below $250,000. So, it keeps buying it back.

    The government and its licensed monopoly, the Federal Reserve System, made possible the housing bubble. Now they must face the consequences. So must people who want to sell their homes. Nobody wants to face the consequences. But eventually reality intrudes.

    As for those of us who want to buy some bargains, the times are good and will get much better.

    People who lose their homes in a foreclosure will have to rent. It is a great time for people who have the credit ratings, the management skills, the negotiating skills, and the liquidity to buy houses from distressed sellers, as bankers will be before the year is over, and surely before 2009 is over.

    If you are such a person, your ship is about to come in. When it does, don’t be at the bus terminal.

  42. Tom says:

    Wow! I’m in shock the clinton listing is at the 2003 price.

  43. tom says:

    I wonder if Obama wants Americans to live in Soviet Style Concrete Block Houses. He did say that he is glad the gas prices are high, he just didnt expect them to rise so quickly. I dont think any of us had. I am hoping prices come way down in the suburbs, I have a pocket full of cash and looking to buy a good suburban home for no more than 300k.

  44. frank says:

    “I plan to buy a house next year in an Atlanta suburb.”

    Let me know how many you want to buy, we have hundreds for sale at less than $20,000 each.

  45. Tom says:


    The kitchen has that refaced look. I’m guessing they swapped the doors, drawers and hardware and applied a veneer to the carcasses. I saw that because the counters and appliances look to be mostly original. The fridge and cooktop might have been replaced around 10 years ago. Built in oven looks original.

    The refacing might have been done around the time the fridge was replaced.

    If you go look at it in person would you mind letting me know if it was indeed refaced, how long ago and how you think it’s held up? I’m not interested in buying, just wondering about the refacing. If you’d prefer to send that info privately I have a contact form on my site.

  46. Clotpoll says:

    galg (41)-

    I’d guess this thing will sell in 30-40 days. There’s more and more stuff around here listing @ ’03ish prices.

  47. thatBIGwindow says:

    Tom: What towns are you looking in?

  48. lisoosh says:

    tcm –

    Thank you very much for responding last night. I know you are in a similar situation and I was hoping to hear from you, it is just a different perspective than somebody would have who has never had a career break or needed extra flexibility.
    You are right too about advancement. In fact, with a couple of years experience there are lots of similar jobs in hospitals/universities and other non-profits offering a substantial increase in salary. And I live 10 minutes from several.

    How did your job search and transition go?

  49. grim says:

    Where does Mysak live, Eastern Europe? What tenement style concrete bloc housing is he talking about? There are some fantastic buildings going up these days. Hell, thre are some fantastic buildings that were built 100 years ago. Just look at the new buildings going up in Manhattan. Heck, look at JC or Hoboken if you want some local colour. I won’t bother talking about Dubai or Shanghai, and Paris? Paris is a slum.

    But equating city living to communist Europe? C’mon Joe, admit it, you are just looking to elicit a bit of a rise in readers.

  50. Tom says:


    and if you do buy that place, do me a favor and pick up a drawer front and screw it under the cooktop so it doesn’t look so odd :)

    The photo is a bit blurry so I can’t really tell if they’re real wood or RTF doors. The grain pattern makes me think RTF.

  51. Stu says:


    Thanks for the Montclair linear vs. exponential charts and information from your blog (last night’s comments). I will make some copies and will distribute them at the meeting. Of course, I doubt it will have any impact. We will see a 7.5% BOE increase. Nice research though.

    I just plan to go to shame our town manager and mayor.

  52. galgon says:


    I will probably be taking a look at the place assuming I get there before some one snatches it up. I will let you know about the refacing if I do see it. I am doubtful I will buy the place at this point but I am very encouraged at the prices.

    I wonder when the Beaver Brook townhouse sellers will get the memo that you can now buy a larger house with a yard for cheaper than they are currently selling the condo.

  53. John says:

    (Reuters) – U.S. large-cap regional banks’ stocks now appear to be in “capitulation mode” and will likely trade below fair value in the near term as more dividend cuts and capital raises, high credit risk and an uncertain earnings outlook all weigh on their share prices, an analyst at Merrill Lynch said.

    Analyst Edward Najarian said he does not expect credit metrics to recover until 2010 and forecast more dividend cuts and capital raising at banks, including Bank of America Corp (BAC) and Wachovia Corp (WB), in the second half of this year.

  54. bairen says:

    #18 grim

    “So will the pitch-men on wall street tone it down this morning? Or just stop sending emails?”

    They will get disposal phones and use forum handles to communicate with each other.

  55. #45 – I just looked at the realtor.com listings for Atlanta, you weren’t kidding!
    I haven’t paid much attention to that market but I’d heard it had been doing well, what happened?
    Seriously, it looks like Buffalo, NY. I know there were water shortages but this can’t be because of that. Am I missing something or has the downturn been that bad in GA?

  56. John says:

    my favorite sign of the times, I called snooty Daniel Gale twice this week to inquire about a short sale at 1.2 million and a estate sale at 1.1 million, both times they were ready to sell me home over phone basically with out asking me a question. Three years ago Daniel Gale of Manhasset made me fill out a detailed form and complete an interview including where I live, what I drive, how much I make, where are my parents from etc and make an appointment ahead of tme that I was required to bring my wife as kids too as she did not want to waster her the showing it a second time.

    Now it is about as hard as buying a white castle burger to buy a home through daniel Gale, now they are giving chaufered rides to the riff raff so they can buy yuppie short sales homes. Can’t wait to see my ten year scratched up mercury and my stained shorts from Kohls out front in my new mansion in 2010!!!! There goes the neighborhood.

  57. grim says:


    How was REM?

  58. John says:

    Atlanta is a hell hole. Take MARTA from the airport and you swear you were transported back in time to 1978 in the south bronx.

  59. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (56)-

    Atlanta is the mortgage fraud capital of the US. Also big in foreclosure rescue scams.

    Even in good times, foreclosures run higher there than the rest of the US. The subprime detonation turned entire neighborhoods into ghost towns.

  60. thatBIGwindow says:

    So I guess there ARE worse places than New Jersey…

  61. Clotpoll says:

    John (57)-

    You sound like a walking, talking comp killer.

  62. Tom says:


    Which one is the Beaver Brook one? is that 2506481? If that’s the case, don’t discount it too much. The kitchen and appliances look to be of better quality and newer than the the first one you pointed out. Those cabinets definitely look to be real oak as opposed to the fake cherry of the other house. I’m betting the bathroom is better too.

    It doesn’t look like they did too much to the first house, the roof and mechanicals would be the first thing I’d check.


    Would you mind looking up the address for 2520174? I want to find out more about it. Looks like a quick flip. They even forgot to put in the range hood vent. I’m guessing from the bedroom photo that they rest of the house had oak flooring too, the new stuff looks plasticy, probably laminate.

  63. grim says:

    From the Record:

    N.J. falls from Top 10 ranking

    Massachusetts remains the “gold standard” for mining economic growth from technology and science and California is losing its luster, according to a study released Thursday. New Jersey, once one of the destinations for technology and science, has fallen out of the Top 10.

    The report, by the Milken Institute, has ranked Massachusetts as the United States’ top technology incubator all three times that it has been compiled since 2002.

    But California slipped from second place for the first time, despite being home to Silicon Valley’s fount of innovation.

    New Jersey dropped to 12th after a No. 7 ranking in the Milken survey’s previous two studies.

  64. njpatient says:

    20 grim

    You learn your lessons well

  65. grim says:

    Oh well, we don’t need science or technology.

    We’re under a new paradigm; a permanent prosperity that is the result of selling each other houses.

  66. John says:

    WASHINGTON MUT INC SUB NT 8.25000% 04/01/2010
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 94.960
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 11.464%

    Wamu hitting near 12% in short term bond yield. CooCoo

  67. grim says:

    WaMu Boo Hoo!

  68. Tom says:


    Eat something that will allow you take a nice smelly dump at each place. If they think your shit still stinks we may be approaching a bottom.

  69. skep-tic says:

    ““Equity is money lying fallow” argument.”

    I think it makes sense for some people to have a mortgage even if they could afford to pay off their homes, but of course you have to recognize that you are in a sense gambling with you home when you choose to do this.

    Were I personally in this position, I would be more inclined to leverage the equity in my house to diversify, rather than to invest in more real estate

  70. njpatient says:

    “the current record for crossing the country stands at 31 hours and 4 minutes”

    Wow. Count me impressed!

  71. make money says:

    A trader in London, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “rumors that Merrill are guiding down” were largely responsible for the move lower.

    “There’s talk of Merrill announcing an Alt-A loss,” said an unnamed U.S. trader, referring to mortgages that are higher quality than subprime and include “jumbo” loans.

    A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Here comes Alt A

  72. Clotpoll says:

    Tom (63)-

    8 Hoffman Rd. Backs to Rt 31. Great for a deaf person.

  73. John says:

    Re The report, by the Milken Institute, has ranked Massachusetts as the United States’ top technology incubator all three times that it has been compiled since 2002.

    Well I guess if Michael Milken our favorite Felon said it why wouldn’t I beleive it. It if was not for Mike I would have never got my first place from RTC.

  74. NNJ says:


    Since when do you get Mansions on LI for 1.1 or 1.2 MM?

  75. grim says:

    I’ve got more respect for Milken than I do for Ralphy and Potsie above.

  76. njpatient says:

    30 kettle

    they’ll also target the saudis – if they do that and light their own fields and the iraqi ones, it’ll be instant global catastrophe.

  77. Secondary Market says:

    i better hurry and buy my place in philly.

    Zoning bill marks 1st step toward 1,500-foot skyscraper here

    Philadelphia Daily News

    A local developer took the first step yesterday toward building the tallest skyscraper in America when City Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced legislation for zoning changes needed at the 18th and Arch streets location….

    …The councilman and the mayor agree the commission should run the show on the proposed skyscraper, which Walnut Street Capital has named the “American Commerce Center….

    ….At 1,500 feet, the skyscraper would be more than 50 percent taller than the Comcast Center, which recently opened one block away. The Comcast Center takes up a full city block while the American Commerce Center would be built on a 1.5-acre half-block….

  78. Clotpoll says:

    make (72)-

    Faber just announced no Merrill pre-announcement today (“absolutely not” were his words).

    I’m with you…if not today, the news will come next week.

    Battle stations!

  79. njpatient says:

    “I just picked up all the whale oil lamps I could find”

    Tom, electricity will never (not ever NEVER) replace the warm glow of whale oil. Simple thermodynamics, my friend.

  80. njpatient says:

    36 tbw
    “Maybe I can find a job dealing ivory…”

    Does it burn?

  81. Clotpoll says:

    A little piece of anecdata for all:

    No surprise, Hunterdon/Somerset (my primary markets) have tons of Alt-A mortgages of the 2004-07 variety. There’s also lots of prime paper that’s actually pay option/neg am. I’m getting more and more seller inquiries from people I suspect are getting crushed by these instruments. In about 3-6 months, it’s going to get very bad here…and in some neighborhoods you’d never expect.

    Three 700K+ lis pendens have hit in Bridgewater since 6/1.

  82. grim says:


    Brock Yates published his account of the races back in 2003. I recommend the book, it’s a bit of a smutty historical romance novel for car geeks.

  83. #60 – I remember reading a few articles on mortgage scams in Atlanta on housingbubbleblog.com about 1 1/2 years ago. I had no idea it was this bad.
    It looks like it’s actually worse than Buffalo. I’m on pg. 115 of the listings and have just broken $30k asking. Almost all of these houses looking like they’re foreclosures/abandoned.

  84. njpatient says:

    49 lisoosh

    After a night of sleeping on it, I think your offer is a good one. I’d go for it.

  85. #83 – You’re the only other person I know that’s read that book! Good stuff.

  86. BC Bob says:

    “Here comes Alt A”


    Along with pay option only, a much bigger problem than subprime.


    They were great. A little too much politics. I thought I was on the NJRER. Geting too old for back to back. I wonder how Fuld feels. He has back to back to back on the horizon, with a depleted pitching staff.


    Drexel lives on. It’s now called the Fed.

  87. alia says:

    njpatient: i… don’t think so. but it would be cool if you did work at the same company. :)

    re: school boards, town councils. having been a small town reporter, it was shocking to see how few people came to observe the meetings who didn’t need to be there. if they had more oversight by community members, i think you’d see less stupidity and graft.

    best student teacher ever: 3rd grade. stopped in the middle of a lesson and said “do you know why you’re in school?” (um, so our parents can get a break?) “schools are publicly funded because it’s crucial to democracy that you become thoughtful voters.”

    made me feel all important, as an 8 year old, and gave education a purpose besides “get a good job when i grow up”

  88. Tom says:


    Thanks, I’m not interested in the property but who owned it. Haven’t found much else except there’s an agent in NY with the same name. Doubt it’s the same person. Surprised they picked it up in 2003. Pics made me think it was meant to be a quick flip. I’m surprised it didn’t sell in the boom.

    You’re not kidding, it’s right on 31.

  89. njpatient says:

    50 grim
    “But equating city living to communist Europe?”

    He’s basically quoting Reagan’s idea of flying over the US with Gorbachev and showing him that working class Americans live in leafy suburbs with two cars and a boat in the driveway, rather than Soviet workers who live in “concrete rabbit warrens” like in Moscow.


  90. bairen says:

    #82 clot

    I’ve been watching prices drop in Basking Risge and Warren for over a year. I’d swear ask is down 15 to 20%. I doubt the Plunge Protection Team can stop it the avalanche that’ picking up speed.

    My pos townhouse we are renting continues to drop at least $3 for every $1 in rent we pay.

  91. bairen says:

    BC Bob,

    Just sent you an email.

  92. gary says:

    Dear Realtors,

    Is it still a soft landing?

  93. make money says:

    Clot, BC,

    Did faber deny the report or did he just say that there will not be an annoucment today.

    These normally start on Fridays after closing.

    Just think the of the vandalism. Granite counter tops and marble tiles from the bath were here just last night.

    Cops in jersey will go from giving traffic violations to professional house sitters.

  94. njpatient says:

    57 john

    I love it.

    Just call me Captain Schadenfreude.

  95. Tom says:


    Just over 15% of the alt-a loans in jersey seem to be negam loans. Almost double that interest only.

    Fun times coming.

  96. njpatient says:

    59 john

    “you swear you were transported back in time to 1978 in the south bronx.”

    Now you’ve got me feeling nostalgic. I wish the Little Patients could have seen the sheer beauty of those colorfully painted subway cars.

  97. RayC says:

    Dow, below 12,000. Deja Vu. I fear in 25 years my small children will be complaining about corrupt politicians and bankers, and how the streets used to be safer for kids. But at least they can deride POS rundown McMansions instead of POS Capes. Progress.

  98. njpatient says:

    “Massachusetts remains the “gold standard” for mining economic growth from technology and science and California is losing its luster, according to a study released Thursday.”

    Must be the low taxes.

  99. bairen says:

    Yesterday I took the day off and went to NYC with my son. Wound up sitting next to a former mtg broker from Florida. She told me how crazy the market was for a few years. Builders could raise the price 50k and people wouldn’t bat an eye about paying 50k more on Sunday then they would have paid the previous day. She said it was a frenzy that suddenly stopped.

    I guess all that heat fried their brains.

  100. x-underwriter says:

    Atlanta is kind of like Washington DC. In the southern half of the city, it’s like Bagdhad. If you go to the northern part of the city… Buckhead, Vinings, Virgina Highlands etc and the outer northern suburbs its very nice. You can have two neighborhoods just a few miles from each other where a 3 bedroom home in one is $10,000 and $400,000 in the other. Check out these zip codes. 30306, 30022, 30076, 30319

  101. njpatient says:


    “a permanent prosperity that is the result of selling each other houses”

    It’s funny because it’s true.

    Who was it who was explaining sometime last summer that the obscene housing prices were reasonable because the population’s net worth had risen so high (because the housing values had risen so high (supported by folks’ net worth (which was the result of the rise in home values (which caused higher net worth (supporting higher home values (which made people richer)))))))))?

  102. bairen says:

    Looks like they were incubating more then technology in Mass


    17 pregnant classmates. Looks like they made a pact to get pregnant and raise their kids together. How sweet.

  103. njpatient says:

    78 secondary

    In just 18 months I’ll buy you a beer at Monks.

  104. make money says:

    You can have two neighborhoods just a few miles from each other where a 3 bedroom home in one is $10,000 and $400,000 in the other. Check out these zip codes. 30306, 30022, 30076, 30319


    In tough economic times you don’t want the 10K guy 2 miles away from you. I’d rather be in Dominica with Kettle1 and have Grim there with his American Tomahawk. Clot got the guns. BC got the alcohol and Gold and I’ll bring down Euros.

    now that’s living.

  105. njpatient says:

    83 grim

    thanks – I just ordered a copy for my bro, who has replaced the transmission and brake system in a 1974 Impala and whose 1993 Volvo and 1989 Escort both have over 300K miles. Guy hasn’t paid a mechanic for anything in his life. Gets his parts the way John does – junkyard.

  106. njpatient says:

    grim, OT (from Connonball) but as a dog guy have you ever read Gary Paulson’s book Winterdance? It’s about how he took up dogsledding and ran the Iditarod, but it’s mostly about the dogs. Great stuff.

  107. x-underwriter says:

    If you’ve lived off welfare and foodstamps and your dad’s been in prison for your whole life, who cares about the economy and the unemployment rate?

  108. John says:

    I bombed in da bronx under the elevated four line with the Spirit 196 tag in the early 1970s, good times. Toss me a few cans and I will do my tag for little patient, the 11 lines it took me to do the fancy S was a sight to see. Never bombed on private property and only where the wall was already done up. But if you covered someone elses tag you better be a big guy cause we tagged with cross streets and the guy you bombed over is going to kick you butt. There is coffee table sized book from around 25 years ago that has all the subway cars in it that was bombed you can get on Amazon, pretty amazing color.

    I guess I lived in an Urban Neighborhood like the lady from Hoboken with the fancy stroller, except my Mom had a bike chain she locked the stroller up when we went to the park, oh the good days.

  109. njpatient says:

    87 BC

    “A little too much politics. I thought I was on the NJRER.”

    Sorry ’bout that. I try never to start it, but sometimes I can’t help finishing it.

  110. BC Bob says:

    “Dow, below 12,000.”

    The fed juiced the markets back in Jan and then again in March. What now? I guess we have to wait for the next rogue trader to spook Benny.

    Hey Ernie, Let’s play two.

  111. # 102 – x-underwriter – I had no idea the disparity was that striking. Thanks for the info.

  112. njpatient says:

    110 john

    “There is coffee table sized book from around 25 years ago that has all the subway cars in it that was bombed you can get on Amazon, pretty amazing color. ”

    any recollection of the title?

  113. njpatient says:

    Putting my “Dow 10,000” hat back on…

  114. RayC says:

    115 nj patient

    It doesn’t have to be made of tinfoil anymore.

  115. Secondary Market says:

    lol – i’ll mark it on the calender njp.

  116. njrebear says:

    from washingtonpost


    The Associated Press reported that Reid [Senate’s top Democrat], gained a windfall from that sale of land in 2004 even though he had not personally owned the property for the previous three years. Reid also did not divulge the 2001 transfer of the land to a company he co-owned with a friend, a transaction that would normally call for a mention in Senate financial disclosure documents, the AP said.

    It looks like Reid did better than Dodd.

  117. BC Bob says:

    “She said it was a frenzy that suddenly stopped.”


    Yes. Classic bubble bust. There is not one sudden/particular event that you can pinpoint. One day, Bang, the phone stops ringing, the music stops and the floor begins its adjustment. It becomes eerily quiet. So damn quiet it is deafening. Classis textbook, every bubble in history, tops out in the same manner. It stops on a dime and subsequently crashes on the back of its own idiocy.

  118. njrebear says:

    Is it OK to quote an AP story indirectly, say through Washington post?

  119. lostinny says:

    114 Wasn’t called Subway Art or something like that?

  120. RentinginNJ says:

    Well, I may finally be joining the dark side.

    We found a house that we like. They owner bought it in 2005 for $457. They listed it in 2007 for $475. It didn’t sell. They supposedly had a buyer, but financing fell through. It’s now listed as a short-sale and the bank is asking $380. We may show them a $350 bid.

    The house is empty and the bank wants a July close, which we figure many buyers won’t be able to do.

    Well, we’ll see what happens.

  121. HEHEHE says:


    Yeah The National were one of the warm-ups, along with Modest Mouse.

  122. make money says:

    They definatly are borrowing massive cash at 2% to run shorts on the regional banks … after running up oil prices with BS predictions and working to get the Fed to screw the average joe, they should all be arested and given the perp-walk … They are just manipulators in a market dominated by only a few institutions that are left on WS …

  123. NNJ says:

    John, nice place, no mansion, but 5 car garage….nice.

  124. make money says:


    23% of 2005 is expensive unless the home has been upgrated for another 50K.

    However, if you made up your mind. Congrats and Good Luck.

  125. Tom says:


    That might be a good bid. $475k, assume 5% down, and 6.5% mortgage, depending when it went back to the bank they could have received around 30 payments totaling around $85k.

  126. Tom says:

    By good I mean one the bank might accept.

  127. skep-tic says:


    “Can’t wait to see my ten year scratched up mercury and my stained shorts from Kohls out front in my new mansion in 2010!!!! There goes the neighborhood.”

    urban hicks reprazent!

  128. make money says:

    Dow down 180

    That Analyst at RBS is looking like a genious right now. Is it possible that he’s that good?

  129. make money says:


    buy and bail is not a scam it just makes sense.

  130. Pat says:

    It’s very odd that John’s talking graffiti today. Just last night, for some unknown reason, I was perusing graffiti dot org.

    Hmm.. Group think.

  131. Stu says:

    bi’s short-term call on the bottom in the financials is looking pretty good right now ;)

  132. DL says:

    Too many negatives for the market to go anywhere but down. So when do money market funds start issuing warnings?

  133. John says:

    Lloyd Harbor is an island off the north shore of nassau country with their own private policy force and beaches. Has one of the highest incomes in the nations and two acre min zoning and nearly all houses are waterfront or waterview. That house you cross the beach and make a right and the first huge mansion you see at the right hand side belongs to Billy Joel. If I had it I would put in directions Cross Bridge, Make right at Billy Joel’s House. Nice

    NNJ Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 10:04 am
    John, nice place, no mansion, but 5 car garage….nice.

  134. njrebear says:


    I’m sorry if this question has been asked before.

    How do i find bank owned properties?
    Is there a service i can buy to get the listing or will my realtor be able to help?

  135. njrebear says:

    bi’s short-term call on the bottom in the financials is looking pretty good right now

    I missed it :(. grim should post bi’s calls on the front page.

  136. BC Bob says:

    “Make right at Billy Joel’s House”


    Is it easier if you took a left at the location where his Mercedes is stuck between two trees?

  137. John says:

    Wholecars. (Paperback)
    by Markus Wiese (Author)

    This one is good too.

    Hey at least I can invite Billy’s child bride and kid over to parties.

  138. BC Bob says:


    The Nationals were very good.

    The only problem, I had some “genius” from one of the IB’s next to me. Crying about his stocks and RE. He is getting hammered. He asked me what I owned. I told him I was long stuff and short bluff/fluff and puff. He looked at me like I had ten heads. He then actually asked what the symbol of stuff was. No s*it, pulling down big bucks, living pay check to pay check and totally clueless.

    Charts starting to form a triple bottom. What happens when that fails?

  139. Tom says:


    I don’t know where you’re looking but i have a site that focuses on foreclosures in bergen county.

    You can find foreclosure listings free in the local paper. I try and put together a bunch of public sources into one spot for free.

    I want to recommend that you look at homes earlier in the foreclosure process. Banks are more willing to negotiate short sales and you might be able to help out a homeowner by working it out so they pocket something as well.

    It’s a little more complicated but from what I’ve been seeing a lot of properties aren’t even making it to auction. For some it’s because the borrower worked something out with the lender, in others it might have been a private sale. People jump on the better deals early on, before they even have a chance to get to the bank.

    By the time it the bank gets it, it’s probably been 6-9 months. They owner most likely hasn’t been keeping it up and the banks usually don’t after they take possession. The sooner you get in, the less charges the bank will actually incur so you might be able to get a sweeter deal that allows you to help out a distressed homeowner so that he doesn’t walk away totally empty handed either.

    If it goes back to the bank, the homeowner gets nothing unless it goes at auction for more than the judgment, which isn’t going to be likely in most cases.

    A lot of the foreclosure notices now specifically say they are willing to negotiate a short sale.

  140. bi says:

    134#, today is the best time to load up financials and hedged by sds. betting period: 2 weeks.
    all disclaimers apply.

  141. Tom says:

    Didn’t Billy Joel sell, or wasn’t he trying to sell his home?

    You might only be able to say turn right at Billy Joel’s old house.

  142. Nom Deplume says:

    [444][yesterday] N


    “I don’t think that chart means what your agent thinks it means.”


  143. Stu says:

    So on July 3rd, we will see where the financials are. I’ll be watching bi!

  144. njrebear says:

    Thanks for the information. We are looking for something in Middlesex and Somerset counties. Where do you get data for your maps?

  145. HEHEHE says:


    “Charts starting to form a triple bottom. What happens when that fails?”

    Maybe the PPT will stop the markets for a month until everybody calms back down :)

  146. Tom says:


    I get different bits of information from different places.

    The middlesex county sheriff’s site is pretty good to find listings http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/sherifffc/ForeclosedHomes.aspx

    You can find somerset county sheriff sales here http://www.somcosheriff.org/Sales.htm

  147. SG says:

    Star athletes real estate investment sours

    New England Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light and about 20 other star athletes loaned more than $8 million to a California real estate company that teamed up with Fidelity Investments and Citigroup Inc. to invest in apartment complexes before collapsing and filing for bankruptcy protection.

    Light, Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay and Los Angeles Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero are among a who’s who of U.S. superstars who made unsecured loans to Irvine, Calif.-based Atherton-Newport Investments LLC. The real estate company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and is trying to reorganize. The company lists the names of the athletes and the amounts owed to them in schedules filed in federal bankruptcy court in California.

  148. njpatient says:


    Thanks, john

  149. grim says:

    From the NY Post:


    Credit Suisse is expected to hand out more pink slips in investment banking, The Post has learned.

    The Swiss investment bank is set to wield the ax in areas that include high-yield sales and trading as well as leveraged loans, due to slumping activity, according to people familiar with the situation.

    While the exact scope and timing could not be learned, one person familiar with the plan described this round of layoffs as cutting “muscle, not just fat.”

  150. njpatient says:

    142 bc

    “He then actually asked what the symbol of stuff was.”

    Under Neat that
    We will Miss you

  151. njpatient says:

    Here’s the reference, courtesy of Pat


  152. grim says:

    I wish I was creative enough to come up with those colorful layoff analogies.

    “While the exact scope and timing could not be learned, one person familiar with the plan described this round of layoffs as, “a monster enema, and not just your normal bowel movement.”

  153. njpatient says:

    144 bi

    “today is the best time to load up financials”

    I thought yesterday was the best time. What happened with that??

  154. skep-tic says:


    “The local zoning board, overruling a staff recommendation, granted the land’s reclassification and Reid’s share of the company was sold for $1.1 million to shopping-center developers in 2004, leaving him with a theoretical profit of $700,000.”

    funny how zoning boards make special exceptions when you’re a U.S. Senator. wonder whether Reid would’ve invested in the land at all if he wasn’t certain that the zoning board would come through

  155. bi says:

    157#, you cannot do it one shot. to reduce cost, you have to do it a few times a day and a few times a week. actually, al this week has been good time to buy

  156. grim says:

    Always a good time to buy a stock

  157. Nom Deplume says:

    [64] Grim,

    Mass on top again. Great teams, good prospects. And Patrick just inked a new tech initiative that gave oodles of money to my alma mater. Would so love to move back there someday.

    NJP — “Taxachusetts” is high tax for New England, but it is a virtual tax haven compared to NJ or Philly. Sales, income (personal and corporate) and property taxes are all lower. Still too high IMO, but lower than here. Also, a more vocal, anti-tax electorate there (Mass was one of only two states where there were genuine tax revolts).

  158. njpatient says:

    “Always a good time to buy a stock”

    That’s because they always go up.

  159. Nom Deplume says:

    “Always a good time to buy a stock”

    Prices are at historic lows!

  160. John says:

    I am VERY MAD AT THE JETS – they just emailed me the pricing for the new stadium and they have someype of PSA program they are pitching, after the 2008 season they will tell us where the seats will be in the new stadium and then to keep it I have to buy a personal seat licesnse in the range of $8,000 to $50,000 depending on where seats are and OH YEA they want to charge more for seats too. They haven’t decided if I have to pay up front or on instalments for my PSA. Stadium cost 1.3 billion and they want us to pay for it. The JETS suck Who asked for that new stadium. Maybe NYC, but this stupid thing is still in the meadowlands, yea the train is nice but who needs the stadium. The Yankees and Mets are not dong PSAs.

  161. njpatient says:

    161 nom

    grew up summers in the Berkshires between two cranky organic farmers (who fortunately loved for kids to vist and “help”).

    Although I find the part of the state east of Springfield and west of 93 completely uninteresting

  162. bi says:

    anybody here can confirm if this is true? it is very troubling…

    Living underground, Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn raised two children, Zayd and Malik, (Muslim names) before turning themselves in in 1981, when most charges were dropped because of what Ayers described as “extreme governmental misconduct” during the long search for the fugitives.

    The earliest known contact between Obama and Ayers was when the couple hosted a “meet and greet” for Obama at Ayers house in Hyde Park -– an upper middle class neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, where Obama now lives as a neighbor of Louis Farrakhan.


  163. Nom Deplume says:

    [165] NJP

    Had to know where to look for interesting life. Lots of it there. But I say the same as you about anything east of Quabbin Reservoir and west of Hopkinton. Worcester County is singularly uninteresting.

    Besides, I usually traversed the state at very high speeds (easy to do with a Mass. Police Assn. sticker in the rear window).

  164. make money says:

    That NJ pension investment in Citi and Merrill is not looking that great these days. Is it?

    Corzine using our retirement monies to help prolong the ineviatable is an act of treason. Why are we not hanging these SOB’s again?

  165. HEHEHE says:

    Re my earlier post on CEO/CFO emails and comments re I-bank liquidity thsi Dealbreaker post brings up the same point, essentially each one of those clowns that have been popping off about their not needing additional money could be opening themselves to prosecution and class action lawsuits:


  166. BC Bob says:

    “today is the best time to load up financials”


    Please, I’m waiting for your call to short gold.

  167. Nom Deplume says:

    [169] NNJ

    You showed me a per capita measure. Mass. is not as concentrated as NJ, so the per capita spreads total tax collections over less people. There may be other factors that I consider distortive in that chart, but I don’t have time to analyze it.

    That said, I stand by the fact that rates are lower (only marginally, but lower) in Mass. than in NJ on most broad-based taxes. Whether you are better off there or not depends on your own situation.

  168. Stu says:

    BI: (166)


    Keep looking ;)

    How about, every time you post a flimsy or false guilt by association for Obama, I’ll post a truth about McCain. Keep digging though. Them high yellas are all criminals dontchaknow? Eventually you will find his hidden crime.
    He’s a muslim, he’s a muslim. Lordy lord!

  169. Stu says:

    And bi,

    Where do you live? I’d love to see who I could associate with you, cause if you live in the same city as Farrakhan, then you must be a follower no?

  170. bi says:

    171#, financials show strength again today against broad market. you can take the rest of the day off if you noticed my post #144.

    i wont short gold. would long gold and short oil again.

  171. Stu says:

    And my very Jewish aunt who lived in the apartment above Obama was also a member of the blank panther party. They should have burnt that complex down due to all of those associations.

  172. bi says:

    173#, stu, i am not a member of pro-rep 527 group or any part of obama smearing campaign but just want to share some internet resource with bloggers here and you can make your own judgement.

  173. Pat says:

    Does anybody have a link to any real estate data for Bergen County, New Jersey? I came across this site and just want to say, Hi! and Thanks!

  174. DINJ says:

    #147 Nom…

  175. BC Bob says:

    Raising rates to fight inflation? They must be drinking too much tequilla? What inflation? The peso is kicking the dollar’s #ss. Yet nobody cares?

    “Mexico Central Bank Unexpectedly Raises Lending Rate”


  176. BC Bob says:

    “i wont short gold. would long gold and short oil again.”


    I guess I’m screwed.

  177. Stu says:

    My black box just finished it’s data analysis. It clearly revealed that the best investment is to be short gold and long oil. It also suggested a short term investment going short financials will allow you to take the rest of the day off.

  178. GetAClueNJ says:

    Speaking of e-mails, where the hell are the Corzine/Katz e-mails. Now those have to be full of stuff worth reading.

    If Jon is fighting this hard to keep them secret, they have to be extremely embarassing at a minimum and downright incriminating at the other end of the spectrum.

  179. Stu says:

    So who do you think will challenge Corzine in the next governor’s election?

    Will Cody have the cajones?

  180. Tom says:

    BC Bob,

    Maybe this is all someone’s idea of how to fix the immigration problem?

  181. Curmudgeon says:


    Not so hot with the numbers, huh?

  182. mark says:

    cody another zero,,, no balls at all

  183. make money says:

    I guess I’m screwed.

    I’m selling too. This guy is a jinx.

  184. GetAClueNJ says:

    #82 Clotpoll

    I’m looking to buy my first home in Somerset county, but I’m afraid of it getting much, much worse here, and it seems you are seeing evidence of that.

    I’m going to check out a house in Manville next week. MLS ID# 2516529 From looking at the picturs, the house appears to be exactly what I’m looking for, but I’m still afraid to pull the trigger because of the pending econmic collapse. If I were to put an offer in on this house, how much do you think I should undercut the asking price? I was thinking an initial bid around 80% of asking and not go any higher than 85%.

  185. PGC says:

    #23 Secondary Market

    “this is why i always conduct my fraud via IM chat.”

    Don’t do that on a corporate IM system

  186. thatBIGwindow says:

    Young people love Obama because he is young and understands issues that are important to us Generation Y’ers

    They should totally have our votes cast via text message. we can all join together and “lol” to the White House.

  187. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (91)-

    The PPT is out of ammo. Now, Mr. Market calls the tune.

    Wil E Coyote will hit the canyon floor…hard. IMO, things are moving fast and furious now. All the banks in denial about the value of their REO and crap mortgages are on the verge of realizing there’s no “hidden value” there.

    When all those players fully awaken to reality, look out.

  188. Clotpoll says:

    make (94)-

    I believe he said not today. Makes sense. Don’t need stuff like that @ quadruple witching.

    I think any Alt-A announcement is weekend news cycle material. And, it will still hit like an atom bomb.

  189. Stu says:

    Make that an Alt-Atom bomb

  190. thatBIGwindow says:

    I can see it now:

    Text “LOLBAMA” to 466453

  191. Clotpoll says:

    bi (175)-

    “i wont short gold. would long gold and short oil again.”

    bi, has someone removed the top of your skull and begun to scoop out your brains with a grapefruit spoon?

  192. Stu says:

    “scoop out your brains”

    Is that even possible?

  193. Pat says:


    Stuff like this takes me back. 1972.
    My brothers shoveling sand into bags. Watching the river.


  194. Clotpoll says:

    Clue (191)-

    Forget it. Don’t waste your time; it won’t fly (unless the owner is in trouble).

    Recent comps support a better offer than what you want to make. Can’t get tomorrow’s price today. If you’re afraid, keep renting and waiting.

  195. Tom says:

    I heard Lehman is finally looking for a buyer. What is a fair price for LEH ? $2 ? May be less than that.

  196. lisoosh says:

    njpatient Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 9:23 am
    49 lisoosh

    “After a night of sleeping on it, I think your offer is a good one. I’d go for it.”

    I think it is a good one too. Commute is the only thing still keeping me from making that call. And I have to make that call today.

    Ho hum.

  197. 3b says:

    #201 clot: How much better? Just curious.

  198. Tom says:


    I just noticed one of my replies to you is stuck waiting for moderation. Might have been the links that flagged it.

    You can google for somerset and middlesex county sheriff foreclosures and find the websites. The middlesex county sheriff site is pretty good. Hopefully this goes through without the links.

  199. photoalchemy says:

    Real estate slump felt but hardly devastating Realtors: Local housing market benefits from limited supply, easy access to New York City

    By W. JACOB PERRY, Staff Writer
    Published: Friday, June 20, 2008 7:19 AM EDT

    As home values plunge and credit tightens across the nation, the Somerset Hills is feeling some aspects of the slump but not others, according to several local Realtors.

    Home values here have declined after soaring for years, all agreed in recent interviews.

    But the situation isn’t as bad as it is elsewhere, they said, because the area’s appeal made it less susceptible to the type of high-risk loans that have fueled a national spike of foreclosures.

    “We’re not bulletproof but we’re somewhat insulated,” said Peter Cagnassola, broker and owner of Bedminster Hills Realty. “With the interstates, we’re still tied to the New York City marketplace.”

    Eric Nahm, broker and managing partner of Somerset Hills Real Estate Group in Basking Ridge, said home values in Jersey City and across the train line have not had as great a decline.

    “There’s an exodus from New York City,” Nahm said. “The prices in New York City are sky high, and people are cashing in.”

    Cagnassola said the Somerset Hills is also near full development, giving it a supply-demand situation that works against a deep slump.

    There was a consensus among those interviewed that local home sales are already starting to rebound.

    “January was a very strong month for us, and it isn’t always,” said Kathy Ullman, office manager for Coldwell Banker Realty in Bernardsville. “There’s a pent up buyer pool out there that’s been waiting for the interest rates to drop.”

    … more …

  200. Just me says:

    Just a lil FUNNY …someone wrote :
    “My Merrill Broker
    I tried calling my broker today. His secretary said that he was curled up in a fetal position under his desk and that he urinated in his pants. Said something about massive layoffs and more capital required! “

  201. Clotpoll says:

    3b (204)-

    Comps imply an offer near the ask. Crappier stuff has sold recently in the same range. This is not to say that this seller will get it, or that prices will not drop further as time passes.

  202. photoalchemy says:
  203. Clotpoll says:

    alk (206)-

    Every broker quoted in this article is a complete fool. What a collection of idiots.

  204. Tom says:

    I guess if you put something in bold it must be true.

    According to Feb data NJ had 77,137 sub prime loans, making it 12th in the nation. The alt-a picture is worse. 70,595 alt-a loans making giving it 5th place.

  205. Stu says:

    But we are near New York, so so what!

  206. 3b says:

    #207 clot:Thanks. How far down are the current ask prices from the peak sales prices (approximatley)?

  207. njrebear says:

    Thanks a lot!

  208. 3b says:

    #206 There’s a pent up buyer pool out there that’s been waiting for the interest rates to drop.”

    Jeez don’t they know its PANT UP!!! And interest rates falling, but now they are rising? Oh forget it!!

    And the NYC market place, and people are cashing out? You mean being cashed out as in losing their jobs.

    Who care about a train town, if they do not have a job?

    Oh what a bunch of KRAP!!!!Jeez I just despise these clowns.

  209. PGC says:

    From the BBC

    “George Bush shot a few hoops with schoolchildren during his visit to Belfast. A source tells me that all concerned were warned in advance not to encourage the President to take a shot. They didn’t want disastrous headlines. The President, though, couldn’t resist getting stuck in and gave us the most memorable images of his visit as he clowned around with the kids on the basketball court. The headline writers duly obliged the following day: “Irish Bid Farewell To Globetrotter Who Can’t Shoot Hoops” (Irish Independent) or “Slam Dunce!” (Mirror). It all demonstrates that peacemaker, warmonger, or lame duck – George Bush is at least a good sport.”

  210. BC Bob says:

    “We’re not bulletproof but we’re somewhat insulated,” said Peter Cagnassola, broker and owner of Bedminster Hills Realty. “With the interstates, we’re still tied to the New York City marketplace.”

    This is a positive? WS is in a depression.

  211. lostinny says:

    I told my husband we should move to Tampa! Maybe this will seal the deal. :)

  212. Clotpoll says:

    3b (212)-


  213. NJLifer says:

    Last week it was the leaf blower, now the death of the gas powered lawn mower???

    Push Mower Makes Comeback as Gas Prices Rise

  214. Clotpoll says:

    3b (214)-

    Cash out? How about cashiered?

  215. Tom says:

    219 lostinny

    You should start having your friends just come by your place and hang out naked so he understands what he’s missing out on in tampa.

    Feel free to youtube it. We may want to move to tampa too.

  216. Tom says:


    I was actually considering getting a push mower. Not so much because of the gas but I was looking up info regarding mulching mowers and ran across a few articles on push mowers. It may not be a bad idea for me.

    Or maybe an electric. I don’t like the noise of the gas and the maintenance.

  217. 3b says:

    # 216 BC Bob:This is a positive? WS is in a depression.

    These clowns do not have a clue.

  218. 3b says:

    #219 Clot: OUCH!!!,and thanks.

  219. frank says:

    “Mexico Central Bank Unexpectedly Raises Lending Rate”

    Mexican Central Bank has more brain than ours.

  220. NJLifer says:


    Me too, but as a cheap way to get a workout. Last year I saw my depression-era born neighbor swinging a sickle on his front law to cut down weeds. I thought he was nuts, but now I’m taking a liking to the idea.

  221. Stu says:

    Push mowers = flavor of the month

  222. Tom says:


    I remember using one a few years back at a friend’s vacation home. It wasn’t so bad. My current mower isn’t self propelled so I don’t think the push reel will be that much more.

    Only problem is it’s not so great with weeds and this year has been bad for me. Especially with clover. It was cool last night I should have spread some weed and feed. If it’s not going to be too warm this weekend I might do it tonight.

  223. Stu says:

    I’ve used one. You have to sharpen the blades more frequently than with a gas mower and a work out is what you will get. Trust me. Also, leaves quite a mess on your lawn as it doesn’t mulch like a gas mower with a mulch attachment. I have never bagged my grass, and to this day, I still don’t. But I would say that I’m in the super minority in households in Montclair that don’t bag. I’m also very much in the minority as I am not of latino descent, but I still do my own landscaping. I have the poison sumac welts to prove it as well.

  224. make money says:

    They’re admitting to inflation south and north of the border. Idiots. Good thing we’re insulated.

    They don’t need to raise rates to combat inflation they should just comeout and state that they’re in favor of a strong Peso and then run the printing press in the over drive behind closed doors.

    Eliminate the M3 so that none can track the money supply and blame the chinese, Iran, Iraq and India for high prices.

    Then come out and say that inflation is contained just like the subprime was.

    Go in front of congress and answer Ron Pauls question that weaker Peso means only paying more when you travel overseas and not paying more when you go to your local supermarket.

    What would happen if we raised our overnight lending rate to 7.75%? Wall Street will turn into a 20th century museum.

  225. Stu says:


    If your switching to a push mower for the environmental benefit, then you shouldn’t if you use weed & fed regularly. Fertilizer is terrible for the environment.

  226. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (232)-

    Shut up. Fertilizer is good for my portfolio.

  227. grim says:

    Push mower?

    I’m getting a goat

  228. make money says:

    Shut up. Fertilizer is good for my portfolio.

    mine too. I think I need a shower.

  229. make money says:

    I’m getting a goat.

    I know how to make fresh goat cheese.

  230. John says:

    buy a goat, they cut your lawn, give you milk and wool and if you get hungry enough you can eat them.

  231. thatBIGwindow says:

    It costs me so much to put gas in my Sears-Craftsman lawnmower. Yesterday I spent $35.00 filling up the tank. Not only that, but the attendant accidently spilled gas on my leaf green paint. Gotta love NJ, can’t even pump my own lawn mower gas :(

    Push mower for the win!

  232. Stu says:


    I was fully expecting you to mention something about the companionship they provide (sexual).

    I’m truly surprised.

    And if you sell $500 worth of their wool, there is a huge tax break in it for you!

  233. lostinny says:

    No youtube. It’s live or it ain’t happenin’.

  234. thatBIGwindow says:

    I can’t wait for Honda to come up with the HRX217K2VKA Hybrid Mower

  235. 3b says:

    #238 tbw: can’t even pump my own lawn mower gas

    Cause we are special.

  236. lostinny says:

    I love goat cheese. I bet its amazing when its that fresh.

  237. Stu says:


    $35? Do you have a mower or a Sherman Tank?

    I’ve got a little Honda self-propelled (first one still works after 18 years), and I use less than 2 gallons in a whole year.

  238. Clotpoll says:

    New Jersey Cheese Report?

  239. Stu says:

    New Jersey Real Estate Report:

    Real Estate, Economics, and Politics, Energy, Strollers, Lawnmowers, and bad market picks.

  240. thatBIGwindow says:

    I like the New Jersey Tomahawk Report

    sounds much more decapitating

  241. spyder says:

    hello all,

    is there a website to see current comps for a certain town/area?


  242. watergapnomad says:

    ***How much further are home prices likely to drop in Essex/Passaic/Bergen counties over the next few years?***

    I know it’s impossible to say for sure, but I’d appreciate any forecasts that can be backed up with facts, figues, and historic precedent.

  243. NJLifer says:

    “Bergen County Listing Request Report”?

  244. Pat says:

    I dunno, but this chart was pretty indicative nationally:


  245. Tom says:


    If I get a push mower it’s not for the environment. I think it would work fine for me, be quieter and take up less space so I can make room for a small snow blower.

    I’m also considering a couple rain water catchers and a compost bin. Not for environmental reasons either. It’s a pain to get water to the front lawn so it hardly gets watered. I got a couple impact sprinklers but I don’t have enough pressure to run two at a time and I don’t feel like getting a second timer. Plus I did some regrading in the front but still not happy with the drainage in one corner so collecting the water from that downspout might make sense on different fronts.

    The composting is just because you can’t throw out grass clippings anymore around here. Plus I heard the compost could help the lawn. I don’t have much brown stuff to composts but I think that I shred enough junk mail for that.

  246. kettle1 says:

    DOnt get a goat they are known to rip up the grass by the roots, get a sheep, they just nibble the gas, not rip it.

    NJ Live Stock and hatchet report?

  247. make money says:


  248. Tom says:

    watergap, this is my take on house pricing with supporting data.

  249. Stu says:

    Makes sense Tom. I have a snowblower as well. Pretty big driveway I have.

  250. John says:

    &NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Standard & Poor’s Equity Research on Friday downgraded shares of Bank of America Corp. (BAC) to sell from hold amid worries about the mortgage portfolio the bank will inherit when it acquires lender Countrywide Financial Corp. (CFC) on July 1.

  251. DINJ says:

    New Jersey Whale Oil Report

  252. Hobocondo says:

    #110 – John, actually, I lock up my stroller, too. Recently people had wallets stolen out of their diaper bags at a Hoboken park. Urban enough for ya?

    Regarding communication by IM – it is not safe, either. We used to regularly copy, save and forward IM messages as a CYA with a troublesome business colleague. I’m sure there are ways that professionals can get at the IM info as well.

  253. make money says:

    I should have known that Dow was gonna crash. jim Cramer said that we have entered a Bull Market 6 weeks ago.

  254. John says:

    Stu Says:
    You have to get them up to a cliff and put their hind legs in snow boots to make that work. But I love Ewe!

    June 20th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I was fully expecting you to mention something about the companionship they provide (sexual).

    I’m truly surprised.

    And if you sell $500 worth of their wool, there is a huge tax break in it for you!

  255. John says:

    Only if you swiped it yourself. Actually in the Bronx at one point half the neighborhood stole the same bike., I think I was able to hold onto one for four hours once. Who the heck leaves wallets in their baby carriage. What is this mayberry? My Mom chained her baby carriage up indoors as you never now when a crack head will bust in.
    Hobocondo Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 2:02 pm
    #110 – John, actually, I lock up my stroller, too. Recently people had wallets stolen out of their diaper bags at a Hoboken park. Urban enough for ya?

    Regarding communication by IM – it is not safe, either. We used to regularly copy, save and forward IM messages as a CYA with a troublesome business colleague. I’m sure there are ways that professionals can get at the IM info as well.

  256. watergapnomad says:

    Thanks Tom, that’s exactly what I was looking for – very informative.

    So, how long do you think the correction will take before we hit the floor?

  257. Stu says:

    I know what is wrong with Bank of America. I just went on line to check a credit card statement so I can pay it and I can’t get in. Perhaps that is why they have so many non performing loans? Cause people can’t pay ’em!

  258. Stu says:

    Hell of 12 month return to be locked into the U.S. Markets.


  259. John says:

    Funny it is banking capitulation day and Sovereign Bancorp Inc is up 5% on no news, does someone in the know, know something.

  260. Tom says:

    watergap, sales started to slow in 2005-2006 but the difference has been more pronounced recently. Lenders seemed to have been able to keep prices going through 2006 by giving out even more bad loans. Lawrence Yun went from saying there’s no problem in housing to saying we’ve hit bottom in 2 seconds.

    Lenders can no longer give out the types of loans that caused the bubble. Hell they’re going to have to crack down and actually give out traditional loans to people that qualify under traditional standards. I think in two years prices might stabilize because people are going to keep them from falling to fast. WIth oil and other consumer goods on the rise, and with so many people in bad shape because of what they’re overpaying for their homes a whole bunch of stuff is going to happen financially. It’s hard to say for sure, and I’m no expert, but if banks start getting bailed out/bought out they might be willing to go back to normal lending practices and NAR won’t be able to resist the impact that will have.

    For the next year or so I think banks will try to keep prices up as much as they can while they unload their foreclosures. All the other times housing prices have risen at an abnormal pace, they eventually come back down and continue on a fairly steady trend so you could draw a straight line from one point to the other and just ignore a few little bumps. Sometimes they fall below that for a while too as the market over corrects. In 4-5 years I expect house prices to be where house prices would be if the bubble never happened if that makes sense.

  261. BC Bob says:


    Asking prices 20% off peak or closed sales at 20% off peak?

    Cheese report? To coincide with the RE market; Swiss Cheese.

  262. kettle1 says:


    givem hell at the board meeting tonight!!! let me know how it goes.

  263. RentinginNJ says:

    But the situation isn’t as bad as it is elsewhere, they said, because the area’s appeal made it less susceptible to the type of high-risk loans that have fueled a national spike of foreclosures.

    …”area’s appeal made it less susceptible to the type of high-risk loans”…

    What does that even mean? The area is so nice that people DIDN’T use risky loans to live there?

    I was thinking about buying a home in Somerset Hills using an Option-Arm, but there are was just too damn desirable!

  264. Hobokenite says:


    I believe zillow.com shows you comps for a specific address. i.e. you enter an address for a house you’re looking at, and it will also display houses that it THINKS are comps for that particular house in the area.

  265. kettle1 says:

    re e-mail and IM,

    you should consider any electronic communication insecure. There are ways, but they all have holes, the biggest being the message being read in plain text after the recipient opens it.

    If you have a private message do not put it into electronic media of any sort

  266. SG says:

    WaMu Nixes Option ARMs, Adds $1 Billion to Borrower Assistance Fund

    WaMu said it would discontinue all negative amortizing loan product options, in an effort to refocus its lending operations on more traditional mortgage products.

    The bank’s portfolio includes some $57 billion in option ARM mortgages; and credit quality among negative amortization loan products has been quickly deteriorating among lenders that once specialized in the product.

  267. Laughing all the way says:

    Down in Central Florida visiting family. One bought new construction in a nice community – gated and on a lake, though this house isnt on the water – in late 2005, but it wasn’t complete till fall of 2006.

    There have been some foreclosures in the neighborhood … but nothing too alarming.

    (But here’s one great anecdote: My relative’s friends from Canada visited – they’re wealthy. They love the community and being on the water, and liked the idea of getting a place in the States. So they went to look at a house for sale in the same neighborhood. house was for sale at 400, and the Canadians offered 380. The sellers said no. Then, the sellers CALLED the Canadians two days later and said yes. Fortunately, i had got to the Canadians first and said don’t do it, at all, who knows how things will go. The sellers said they were willing to go as low as 360 because at that point, they’d break even. Canadians passed.)

    Long story short: Relative’s NEIGHBOR just said they are moving and the house likely will go into foreclosure. Neighbor just came clean – they put NOTHING DOWN (bought for about 500k) AND had an ARM and they payments recently went up to 7k a month, so they’re going back to their old house, which they wisely kept as a rental. Here’s what’s terrible (smart?) – as soon as the payments ballooned, they just stopped paying the mortgage. My relatives are praying it doesn’t go for real cheap (corner lot, pool, pretty big house).

  268. SG says:

    Wachovia to advise those seeking option ARMs

    Wachovia acquired $120 billion in option ARMs– which it calls Pick-A-Payment loans –when it acquired Golden West Financial Corp. two years ago, for $24 billion, Bloomberg News reported today.

    Nearly 70 percent of Wachovia’s option-ARM borrowers chose to pay as little as possible, so their loans’ principal mounted over time.

    Now, Wachovia has begun contacting customers through independent mortgage brokers to ensure that each option-ARM applicant “understands the key features of the Pick-A-Payment loan product,” according to a June 11 memo from loan-origination chief Tim Wilson that was obtained by Bloomberg News.

  269. Nom Deplume says:

    [188] curmudgeon,

    doesn’t seem so, but there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    Having lived and worked in both states, I find it hard to see how NJ comes out lower or even equal. NJ has a tiered income tax with a top rate well over the MA flat rate (and the mid-tier is higher as well); NJ taxes deferred income (401(k) contribs) while I believe MA does not; sales tax is 7% in NJ v. 5% in MA. and the MA tax doesn’t hit services; and property taxes are growth capped in MA (and we all know that NJ leads the nation in property taxes). Corp taxes are about the same (MA may be 0.75% higher) There is a PPT on autos in MA but I can’t see that skewing by a lot.

    Hey, if someone wants to pay me my hourly rate, I will get into the weeds to figure it out, but until then, we agree to disagree. . . .

  270. John says:

    Hey MBIA downgrades are changing ratings on munis today causing pricing wackyness. I am seeing ten year 5% tax free bonds lighting up my screen for the first time in years. Jump into the pool and buy. You will be happy when Barrack is president

  271. Tom says:

    By the way, there’s a foreclosure auction today in Bergen County, I’ve been checking for updates. Normally the sales would have posted by now.

    Also, the usual traffic I get to the foreclosure listing section of my site is pretty much dead today. Only action I’m getting is on my blog.

    I wonder if today is an unusually exciting day in hackensack.

  272. John says:

    20% off today’s closing prices sounds about right.

  273. grim says:

    you should consider any electronic communication insecure. There are ways, but they all have holes, the biggest being the message being read in plain text after the recipient opens it.


    Text is displayed as image with variable font sizing, spacing, coloring, skewed chroma/luma, noise and figure overlay, making OCR impossible. Image representations are created on the fly in memory, and are destroyed after trasmission. There is no local caching of images.

    Keyboard can be used as input, but an on-screen shuffled key keyboard is provided as well to reduce the risk of key-logging. Key shuffling makes it difficult to track mouse movement to decipher the message.

  274. BC Bob says:

    “Now, Wachovia has begun contacting customers through independent mortgage brokers to ensure that each option-ARM applicant “understands the key features of the Pick-A-Payment loan product,”

    Just a bunch of buffoons. The horses have left the barn. The barn door is not only shut, it’s now locked. Akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  275. grim says:

    And when all else fails, you break out the Captain Crunch Secret Decoder Ring.

  276. grim says:

    Calling negative amortization a “feature” is like calling the bad side effect of a drug an “added benefit”. At least they aren’t saying something crazy like… “debt is wealth”.

  277. SG says:

    Credit Crisis Interview: Franklin Allen on Past Crises


    As in Japan, an underlying driver of the U.S. credit crisis was a housing price bubble, Wharton finance professor Franklin Allen tells Knowledge@Wharton in this interview. But Japan’s bubble was “much bigger than what we have had in the U.S.,” he says. “When it burst in 1991, property prices [in Japan] fell for about 15 years in a row. And they went down about 75% or thereabouts.”

  278. BC Bob says:

    Who’s the bigger fool, Killinger/The Board or Dreman? I propose that you, Dreman, rename your yacht; from Contrarian to Sucker.

    June 20 (Bloomberg) — Washington Mutual Inc. should fire Chief Executive Officer Kerry Killinger and replace its board after an 85 percent stock-price plunge in the past year, said David Dreman, the bank’s ninth-biggest shareholder.


  279. chicagofinance says:

    Stu Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 1:24 pm
    Push mowers = flavor of the month

    Stu: I have used my “push mower” my entire life to “mow the lawn”….never had to resort to anything motorized ;-)

  280. John says:

    every e-mail in the world can be read by the US Govt and the CIA has massive e-mail sniffer tools to check you out. SEC books and records rules made Bear back it up in an easily and retrievable manner using WORM technlogy with at least one copy of the email at a third party site for a period of no less than seven years.17a3/4

  281. chicagofinance says:

    According to James Hughes: “…there are 3 kinds of economists, those who can count and those who can’t…”

  282. chicagofinance says:

    John Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 9:44 am
    I bombed in da bronx under the elevated four line with the Spirit 196 tag in the early 1970s, good times. Toss me a few cans and I will do my tag for little patient, the 11 lines it took me to do the fancy S was a sight to see.

    JJ: White lines? You know they blow away?
    bass…sugar…don’t do it

  283. 3b says:

    #262 John; I grew up in the Bronx, what neighborhood did you live in that was that bad at the time?

  284. 3b says:

    #283 grim: crazy like… “debt is wealth”.

    They have stopped saying that?

  285. chicagofinance says:

    In NJ: First three months of 2008 eliminated all jobs added in 2007. 2004-2006 was anemic. Job growth was in the area of retail, restaurants, hotels….no leading edge corporate jobs.

    The most important types of companies to locate in NJ are those that draw economic activity into the state from outside. As an example, in its heyday, AT&T only derived 3% of its revenues from NJ, so it brought 97% into the state from outside. Local companies are good, but they do not create incremental economic activity, they only redistribute from the most part what is already here.

  286. Tom says:

    “#262 John; I grew up in the Bronx, what neighborhood did you live in that was that bad at the time?”

    3b, you’ve never been to the bronx have you?

  287. chicagofinance says:

    If NJ seceded from the U.S., it would be the country with the second highest per capita wealth behind Luxembourg.

  288. chicagofinance says:

    21% of NJ residents are born outside of the U.S.

  289. chicagofinance says:

    NJ is third in the nation in mass transit use and third in time of commute.

  290. chicagofinance says:

    NJ is #1 in the U.S. in population density with 1165 persons / sq. mile. India is 914.

  291. chicagofinance says:

    NJ has the highest percentage coverage of land by forest in the U.S….ahead of CA and Alaska.

  292. chicagofinance says:

    NJ has more horses per capita than any other state.

  293. still_looking says:

    #287 John

    Since we are on the topic…. and since my nut-case, severely bipolar, loose cannon sister is married to an FBI agent….

    What can they (G folks) access? phones, computers, mail? What? I have been trying to get this question answered but don’t have a primary point person (inside.)

    Anyone else know?



  294. mark says:

    #299 , where do we stand with illegals?

  295. chicagofinance says:

    39% of sales in CA are foreclosures or short sales….65% in Sacramento


  296. chicagofinance says:

    mark Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 3:18 pm
    #299 , where do we stand with illegals?


  297. SG says:

    From earlier link,

    Knowledge@Wharton: In addition to that, the Federal Reserve has done some things like: in order to improve liquidity, lending out treasury bonds and taking on mortgage obligations that are much riskier as collateral, and other types of things to make sure that there is money available to financial institutions. Have these been good strategies?

    Allen: I think again we are in the unknown. We haven’t done this before. On the face of it, it looks as though it helps the markets. But I think that we have to wait and see. I think there are some aspects of it, which are unfortunate. So, one of the things that financial institutions such as mutual funds have to do is they have to report their holdings at the end of quarter. What they try and do is to get as high-quality securities on their books as possible.

    By the Fed providing treasuries in exchange for low-quality securities, what they are doing is essentially helping financial institutions to make their books look better than they in fact are. So they hold high-quality securities provided by the Fed for a day or two. Then the rest of the time they are holding lower quality securities. Investors don’t know about that because the Fed is helping this lack of transparency.

    So Fed’s collaborating in hiding real information from the world !!!

  298. kettle1 says:

    Still looking:

    On a serious note,

    the G men can access any and all of the above if they are interested enough to commit the resources. Even high level encryption can usually be bypassed, as they have found that by doing a statistical search of your hard drive, they can guess your password.

    oh and grim, ever look at this

    if you can see it on your screen they can see what you are looking at.

  299. njpatient says:

    “I know how to make fresh goat cheese.”

    You can sit next to me, then.

  300. Usually the tin foil hat brigade cites project Carnivore as evidence of govt. nastiness. Carnivore is an FBI program though, not CIA as the CIA is not chartered for domestic espionage. The NSA isn’t chartered for domestic work either, but that hasn’t topped them.
    There is a lot of info/dis-info out there on these programs so read up and make up your own mind. Try Slashdot.org/yro for a lot of coverage of similar subjects.
    I can’t vouch for the accuracy of any of the info on these programs, but I also wouldn’t trust my of govt. as far as I can throw it.

  301. My previous should have been in response to #300.

  302. John says:

    GENERAL MTRS ACCEP CORP 7.250% 03/02/2011 GLBL BD ISIN #US370425RU66 SEDOL #2736518
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 83.490
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 14.919%

    15% GM Bonds – What is this the Great Depression?

  303. still_looking says:

    kettle and toshiro,


    ugh. hello Big Brother, huh?


  304. njpatient says:

    299 chi

    “NJ has more horses per capita than any other state.”

    And hence, more horses’ a$$es.

  305. njpatient says:

    300 still
    “What can they (G folks) access? phones, computers, mail?”


    Go back to bed.

  306. 3b says:

    #293 Tom: I grew up in the Bronx. In fact there are parts of Bergen County, that are just as bad and Krappy as some of the worst areas in the Bronx.

    My point to Jiohn was that back in t the 70’s/early 80’s there were still a fair amount of decent areas in the Bronx.

    Like the area I grew up in (it is not good any more).

    In addition there are still (believe it or not) some very nice enclaves left in the Bronx (City island, River Dale, Wood Lawn to name a few).

    I get a little testy when people knock the Bronx, especially people from NJ, what with all the delighful areas that NUJ has to offer.

    You know people in glass houses should not throw stones.

    One would be far safer in most areas of the Bronx, than they would in almost all areas of Newark.

  307. John says:

    I lived on the corner of 196th street and Morris Avenue, when I left it was crazy bad, crossing the eight lane grand concourse every day to get to school was a trip. We were right by all Lesibian Walton HS and Open Door hippie drug haven Lehman college. It was good up to the late 60s but in the 70s and early 80s it was a shooting gallery. No fun sleeping in an unairconditioned room when you can’t open the window for fear of your life. Lottsa street hockey and bashing con ed trucks with our sticks yelling TAPE!!

    Tom Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 3:08 pm
    “#262 John; I grew up in the Bronx, what neighborhood did you live in that was that bad at the time?”

    3b, you’ve never been to the bronx have you?

  308. photoalchemy says:

    Quit posting chain mail facts

    Based upon our previous rankings, one of our long-lived standard throw-away lines was that if New Jersey seceded from the United States and became a separate nation, we’d be the wealthiest country on earth, closely followed by Luxembourg (based on purchasing power parities). Even though we’re now number two, we’ll still continue to make that bold assertion. We’re assuming that Maryland is not smart enough to secede.


  309. gary says:


    Did you get any sleep? :)

  310. njpatient says:

    “The NSA isn’t chartered for domestic work either, but that hasn’t topped them.”

    At least they used to have the good grace to pretend they weren’t doing it.

  311. 3b says:

    #314 John: I know the area well. Some Fordham friends of mine who commuted, to college, (which is what most people who went to college back in the day in the city did, if they even went to college), used to ait for the HS kids from Roosevelt HS acroos the streett to go home, before they went home on the bus.

    I also used to hit some of the bars by Kingsbridge and Jerome (by the armory).

    I grew up on the other side of the Bronx, outside Parkchester.

  312. chicagofinance says:

    njpatient Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 3:36 pm
    299 chi
    “NJ has more horses per capita than any other state.”
    And hence, more horses’ a$$es.

    njp: are you aware of the Equine Paradox?
    There are more horses a55es in the world than there are horses.

  313. Doyle says:

    Grim – Rich – Anyone,

    Could you help out with an address / history on NJMLS: 2825032 ?


  314. chicagofinance says:

    photoalchemy Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 3:39 pm
    Quit posting chain mail facts

    Manolo: fine, my note taking wasn’t accurate….I was paraphrasing the damned author of the article you posted from first hand experience……I ain’t gonna shoot you….

  315. Bklynhawk says:

    Rich in NNJ, I must have misplaced your email. Could you somehow pass it to Grim and I’ll email you. I really did want to pick your brain some more about towns.

  316. mark says:

    name one area that is as bad as the bronx.

  317. mark says:

    besides wallington,garfield,lodi,

  318. NJLifer says:

    313 3B…

    “…there are parts of Bergen County, that are just as bad and Krappy as some of the worst areas in the Bronx.”

    About the worst area in BC I can think of is Hackensack, and to compare that to the worst areas of the Bronx is insane!!! You sure you are not lumping Newark, Paterson, and Passaic into BC?

  319. mark says:

    and of course our housing projects are nicer

  320. Arr Elle says:


    According to James Hughes: “…there are 3 kinds of economists, those who can count and those who can’t…”

    Who is the 3rd economist??

  321. mark says:

    nj also has portable consulates to help with any paperwork for welfare,s8 housing,
    food stampes, as well as charity health care .

  322. Pat says:

    Arr Arr Arr

    Under Neat That
    Ta Da Da Boom!

  323. chicagofinance says:

    mark Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 3:48 pm
    name one area that is as bad as the bronx.

    East New York
    North Philly
    South Side of Chicago

  324. John says:


    city island is nice, but riverdale is in the bronx and commute wise and RE tax wise it blows the doors off BC. Plus the bronx has yankee stadium, bronx zoo and botanitial gardens, what the heck is in BC besides a mall.

  325. chicagofinance says:

    I’ve also heard Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, East St. Louis are hard core.

    Remember New York is New York. It is hard to be that bad because of all the economic regeneration in the last ten years. When you have completely POS area with no reason to be there, you are in trouble. EStL, Camden etc.

  326. chicagofinance says:

    John Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    JJ: I used to play Pelham/Split Rock and Van Cortlandt because it was cheap and accessible.

  327. 3b says:

    #327/328 Mark/NJ Lifer: Parts of Hackensack are as bad as some of the worst areas in the Bronx, not to mention parts of Englewood.

    And as far as over all dumpy and ill maintained, yes Lodi, Garfield, parts of Teaenck and parts of Bergenfield and Farview.

    My whole point is people in Bergen County and NJ, should not throw stones at the Bronx.

    The Bronx is part of NYC with over 8 million people in it, which is about the size of the total population of the state of NJ.

    And yes one would be far safer in the Bronx than Newark as I originally said, not most parts of Bergen County.

    Than of course there is Paterson, and speaking of throwing stones about 10 years or so I was on the main line train from Hoboken going to Hawthorne,and the commuter train was stoned (literally with rocks) by teenagers as it went through Paterson;something I have never witnessed on the NYC subway.

    Then of course there is Passaic, Camden, Trenton, Asbuty Park, and many other areas in NJ that are as bad if not worse then the Bronx.

    There is not one decent city in NJ.

    My point in all of this stop picking on the Bronx, lots of choices to pick on if one chooses to in NJ.

    I am a long time Beregn Co resident, but I won’t knock where I came from. Many people in Bergen County really need to get over themselves.

  328. SG says:

    From earlier link,

    very recent votes in the Fed proposed rules that indeed you underwrite to the rate that that teaser rate adjusts to, which of course would have avoided a lot of the damage that we have. The other issue of adjustable rate mortgages [is that] you can’t have an adjustable rate mortgage which underwrites to any interest rate.

    Option-Arm and Teaser rate ARM,

    Are folks still getting such loans?
    Any measure on how much?

  329. 3b says:

    #333 John: City island is the Bronx too, but the commute is a hike.

    Also Wood Lawn, many people who work downtown,(and as you know coming from the Bronx it was always called downtown), take Metro-North to Grand Central, 20 minutes to Grand Central station.

  330. Tom says:

    3b, I’m not originally from NJ. I wasn’t being completely serious. I know there are some good parts of the bronx.

  331. Tom says:

    Someone asked earlier about the percent of non-prime loans in NJ.

    I threw up a chart with non-prime loans as a percentage of housing units at the bottom of that entry.

    It’s clear why NV, CA and FL are having such hard times. But saying NJ will be immune is a joke.

  332. Stu says:

    “name one area that is as bad as the bronx.”

    Camden…Anywhere in Camden. Even in front of the police station in Camden.

  333. spazz says:

    I thought it was Echelon, not Carnivore that is/was supposed to be the real gov’t nasty surveillance tool?

  334. njpatient says:

    321 chi
    I wasn’t, but I like it!

  335. njpatient says:

    332 chi

    “North Philly”
    ….and West Philly

  336. John says:

    Bronx, NY has many distinctions: it is the only borough of New York City on the mainland; 24% of its landmass of 42 square miles is parkland; it has more institutions of higher education than many foreign countries, making it the Borough of Universities; it is the home of Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, among many other cultural institutions and tourist attractions.

  337. RentinginNJ says:

    WaMu said it would discontinue all negative amortizing loan product options, in an effort to refocus its lending operations on more traditional mortgage products.

    Talk about closing the barn door after all the horses are gone.

  338. njpatient says:

    “it is the home of Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo,”

    You repeat yourself.

  339. 3b says:

    #346 rent:on more traditional mortgage products.

    Everything old is new again.

  340. bi says:

    there is no surprise that a lot of middle east money flows to obama campaign……

    “But Obama appears to have collected the most funds from overseas, at least $1.6 million, according to Federal Election Commission records. (McCain raised $196,000 from donors living abroad, the records show.) While McCain’s contributions are centered largely in London, with a handful from Bermuda, the Obama funds have come from addresses as eclectic as Kabul, Dubai, Palermo, and Sydney.”


  341. BC Bob says:

    “15% GM Bonds – What is this the Great Depression?”


    You’re on the right track. Welcome to the next bubble; the crack up bubble.

  342. BC Bob says:

    patient [347],

    The Bronx Zoo has been replaced by the Queen’s Zoo.

  343. John says:

    Well I bought some 5% NY Go bonds today and 9.3% two year Soveign bank bonds today. So if the world does not end in 24 months I should do ok.

  344. bairen says:

    #206 WTF are those realtors talking about?

    Maybe by stable and orderly they mean a 1% drop in asking every month since 4/07 instead of a 30% plunge?

    I don’t follow “The Hills” in Basking Ridge and Bedminster, but I would say every month the prices in Somerset Hills drop at least 1% from the previous month.

    I guess the thousands of people being transferred by Verizon didn’t create the right kind of bubble.

  345. Nom Deplume says:

    [353] John,

    Thanks for pointing that out. Going to buy more of the closed end NJ bond funds I had been buying although they are not off much more today (selling at serious discount to NAV). Right now tax-equiv yield is around 7.5; that might go north of 8.0 if Obama gets his way.

    BTW, did you see that Obama’s largest investment is in muni funds, and he passed up a deferral opportunity available to him (don’t recall exactly what) to recognize income in this year? Think he knows where taxes are going???

  346. Nom Deplume says:

    [345] Patient,

    Let’s not forget South Philthy, particularly Gray’s Ferry and that garden spot, Point Breeze.

  347. grim says:

    New thread, hold off.

Comments are closed.