The worst still to come

From the Jersey Journal:

Prediction for Hudson: Housing crisis will get worse

The subprime mortgage crisis has not hit Hudson County as hard as other parts of the state, but analysts say there could be more pain – and more foreclosures – in the near future.

According to a report released earlier this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New Jersey had the fifth highest ratio in the country of subprime mortgages in some stage of foreclosure as of June – three out of every 1,000 housing units.

udson’s ratio is slightly lower than the state’s, but the county ranks fifth in absolute number of subprime mortgages in foreclosure with 695, or 6.7 percent of the statewide total, the report said. Essex and Union counties account for a combined 25 percent of the subprime-related foreclosures.

Subprime mortgages, typically given to borrowers with poor credit histories, carry adjustable rates that can lead to rapidly escalating payments.

The Fed’s study found that most foreclosures are clustered in low-income neighborhoods. That’s no surprise to Emad Nairooz, a broker with Top Quality Realty, a Jersey City real estate company that specializes in foreclosed properties.

“In my opinion, in Hudson County the area that is getting hit bad is Jersey City in the Greenville area,” Nairooz said. “And it’s growing like crazy.”

Nairooz said that one typical Greenville property, a three-family home that was purchased for $400,000 at the end of 2006, now can’t find a buyer at an asking price that is less than $140,000.

RealtyTrac, a company that tracks foreclosures across the country, reported this week that there were 4,622 filings in New Jersey in July, 11.2 percent more than a year ago. There was an 8 percent increase nationwide.

Meanwhile, foreclosure sales conducted by the Sheriff’s Office jumped from fewer than 200 from January to July in 2007 to 519 over the same period this year, according to spokesman Bob Knapp.

Still, Jeff Kaplowitz, an agent with Century 21 Plaza Realty in Jersey City and former chairman of the Jersey City Planning Board, says the worst may not have arrived.

“We’re not being affected that greatly,” he said, adding that the local housing market could dive early next year because of layoffs in the financial industry.

“As New York City goes, we will go,” Kaplowitz said. “All those brokers who get 40 to 100 percent bonuses in December and January won’t have that disposable income, and that will ripple through the New York economy.”

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

313 Responses to The worst still to come

  1. cooper says:

    woohoo frisk! frist! first!

  2. lostinny says:


  3. lostinny says:


  4. lostinny says:

    Pat 391 Previous thread

    Anybody know anyone with oceanfront, Dewey, Rehoboth, etc.?

    My friend’s in-laws have a house in Rehoboth. She and her husband try to use it when they get a chance. She loves it. From what she’s described it sounds like a lovely area.

  5. cooper says:

    can’t believe it’s 7 yrs this morning… a moment of silence.

  6. Pat says:

    lost, do you know if they rent it out in October? We found some nice places, but they seem to close up shop early.

    On LBI, we never had trouble finding a bunch of rentals after Chowderfest.

  7. lostinny says:

    7 Pat
    I don’t know but I can ask. I’ll let you know what I find out.
    I really miss going to LBI. I’d like to go but I can’t get DH to agree.

  8. jack says:

    note today in the record about the cutting
    of heloc credit lines. my oh my.
    how bad is this going to get?

  9. Clotpoll says:

    Just in case you thought losing tons of money on CDOs & MBS was the only thing happening in financials:

    There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned tax dodge.

  10. kettle1 says:

    a NYtimes OPed piece from the other day

    so i see deflation is starting to leak into the mainstream media, albeit in a round about way.

    The Power of De

    Published: September 7, 2008

  11. Yankee Gal says:

    Hey Grim. If you get a moment could you tell me the sales history of 12 Highland Ave, Whippany 07981? I saw that it sold for $480K and I could swear it was listed for over a year for around $800K! Thanks!!!

  12. LEH & WM both down big in after hours trading. Futures down too.
    Of course, it could be an up day. I’m just wondering how much the Fed and Treasury have left in their arsenal.
    Can they strong-arm GS into buying LEH?
    Is there anyone left to acquire WM? Do they have the political will power to allow a foreign take-over if necessary?

  13. HEHEHE says:

    Why isn’t this story front page news on every paper an tv newscast in the country:

    Fannie, Freddie spent $200M to buy influence

    If you want to know how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have survived scandal and crisis, consider this: Over the past decade, they have spent nearly $200 million on lobbying and campaign contributions.;_ylt=Aqra8AQGuKZ7chQBIo7D5e2s0NUE

  14. HEHEHE says:


    from Krugman’s piece, it pretty much explains what I think is going on with commodities/energy:

    “As the economist Irving Fisher observed way back in 1933, when highly indebted individuals and businesses get into financial trouble, they usually sell assets and use the proceeds to pay down their debt. What Fisher pointed out, however, was that such selloffs are self-defeating when everyone does it: if everyone tries to sell assets at the same time, the resulting plunge in market prices undermines debtors’ financial positions faster than debt can be paid off. So deflation in asset prices can turn into a vicious circle. And one consequence of what he called a “stampede to liquidate” is a severe economic slump.”

    Essentially hedge funds/banks etc have to pay margin calls on the underlying asset that they’ve leveraged up 20-30 times so they sell out of the few investments they’ve seen serious gains in to cover. Might also explain some of the dollar strength as more hands are seeking dollars to pay down their debt.

  15. victorian says:

    14 – HEHEHE

    – Has the mystery of the lipstick and the pig been solved yet?

  16. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (13)-

    “Is there anyone left to acquire WM?”

    Sure. The FDIC.

  17. chicagofinance says:

    victorian Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 8:13 am
    14 – HEHEHE

    – Has the mystery of the lipstick and the pig been solved yet?

  18. #17 – clot – Yeah, that’s what I think will happen, and wipe out the FDIC. Leaving nothing for NCC or DSL or WB or god knows which of the small regionals.
    Wouldn’t it just be easier for the US to default on its debt now and get it over with. I mean, we can all see where this juggling act is going to end, right? Why prolong the inevitable? Other than trying to get me to foot the bill for it all that is.

  19. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    The Russians repudiated their debt in 1998 and look where it got them. Ten years after and they’re a superpower again.

  20. bi says:

    pre-open: lehman at $4.08 down from $7.25 yesterdays close

  21. Sean says:

    re: #10 Levin and Coleman were out in front over the UBS Swiss banking scandal and offshoring in Liechtenstein at LGT Group owned by the Royal Family there.

    The Senate is still investigating these tax dodgers, and would be nice to see a few people do some time in the clink ala Leona Helmsely.

  22. #22 – Dips below $4. WM under $2. should be a fun day.

  23. grim says:

    As the economist Irving Fisher observed way back in 1933, when highly indebted individuals and businesses get into financial trouble, they usually sell assets and use the proceeds to pay down their debt.

    Not to mention the fact that it is also likely that the only assets that can be sold are the higher quality liquid assets, leaving the toxic sludge behind.

  24. bi says:

    for the last 7 years after 9/11/2001, we haven’t hit by a single terrorist attack. for this alone, we have to take hat off for president bush for his great leadership.

  25. John says:

    LEHMAN BROS HLDGS INC 7.87500% 08/15/2010 Price (Ask) 85.511
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 17.049%

    I guess Lehman can’t issue new bonds if the current bonds are paying over 17%.

  26. Shore Guy says:


    In Rehoboth, the Blue Moon has great food and even better martinis. Just make sure you turn left upon entering the door, otherwise you end up in the bar with drag karaoke.

  27. HEHEHE says:

    So would it be better to pull out of the market now and put your money into treasury’s?

  28. Shore Guy says:

    # 16 “Has the mystery of the lipstick and the pig been solved yet?”

    It sounds like something I once heard uttered the morning after a bachelor party.

  29. Stu says:

    “for the last 7 years after 9/11/2001, we haven’t hit by a single terrorist attack. for this alone, we have to take hat off for president bush for his great leadership.”

    Or, one could say that the world’s most horrific terrorist attack occurred on GWB’s watch. After a plane hit the first tower, he just kept on reading nursery rhymes to 5-year old’s. I guess he felt more comfortable surrounded by a group of his peers.

  30. rhymingrealtor says:

    14 HEHEHE,0,2295346.story

    This is crap, I guess he is going to have to fight the way the republicans do, dirty.
    why do Americans love this nonsense? The talk this morning was mugslinging is how the American people can judge how the President will react WHAT! Thought out responses are not welcome, gives us some nasty jabs, some rhetoric, some sound bites, now that’s how to chose a president.DOH!

    Hanging my head in shame


  31. Joeycasz says:

    for the last 7 years after 9/11/2001, we haven’t hit by a single terrorist attack. for this alone, we have to take hat off for president bush for his great leadership.


  32. stan says:

    Bi- it would be nice if today, if for one day only we could leave all discussions of politics off the board

  33. 3b says:

    #34 agreed.

  34. lostinny says:

    You don’t know me very well. I’d have more fun with drag karaoke.

  35. bi says:

    34#, i haven’t started to talk politics. my post of 26# has nothing to do with politics. it is just common sense for citizens

  36. lostinny says:

    They don’t rent out the house. I got an emphatic no from my friend.. I’m sorry.

  37. John says:

    I asked my wifes opinion, what was going to be a used auction caddie still under warranty as they have very high depreciation and there is a glut of them so I can get them cheap became a BMW which has low depreciation so I had a hard time getting a mint one under warranty at a good price. Right now since my Sable got totaled I actually pulled my 1975 450sl out of garage after seven years of storage and are driving it, a 33 year old station car with an odometer that broke at 127K back around 1996 ain’t going to be happy in the snow. If it was up to me I would have waited to auction day and just got whatever was cheap. My friend said a dealer had a trailor of late model Caddie SRXs they were almost giving away and I would have jumped on that. but women seem to fall in love with a model, exterior color and interior color. Last time at auction I bought a two year old Black Sable wagon for a song with 9K, a black station wagon looks like a hearse so resale is terrible. When I used to take car service to train station when I worked late I always get a comment about the hearse, a true millionaire next door would buy a black station wagon cheap and use is for his own funeral. In a month driving the 1975 I already fixed a window and hazzard switch and have a attenna on order. The old benz is expensive to fix so I am on ebay ordering little parts every week and putting them in on the weekend. The BMW I have a three year warranty including oil changes. I will flip for around 20K in around four years so paying 9K to drive a mint late model BMW with no repairs is not bad. I still want my Caddie but of course my wife has already told me she is next in line for my BMW!!!!

    Laughing all the way Says:
    September 10th, 2008 at 6:41 pm
    john, 28k for a car? what happened to the millionaire next door logic?

    ah, to each his own.

    when my 1997 mazada (free!) craps out, i plan on buying a lexus … from a relative. 2001, i think. i think i’ll pay 8k.

  38. Shore Guy says:


    The president may or may not have led well with respect to counterterrorism; it is not something that I am going to get into with anyone today of all days. Nevertheless, even if one gives kusos to him on that front, the president has utterly failed to lead in areas that will have far-greater ramifications for the nation than any single terrorist attack can ever have.

    * The president’s disregard for the Constitution is despicable;

    * The president’s failure to commit sufficient forces to combat in Afghanistan allowed public enemy number 1 to escape;

    * The president’s shift from Afghanistan to Iraq caused international good will towards the United States to evaporate, thus hampering our ability to bring terrorist heads to Washington on top of bloody pikes;

    * The president’s mismanagement of the Iraq War, including the deployment of troops without proper equipment and self-protection gear, has resulted in extra deaths of American fighting forces and a degredadation of our militar forces anq equipment;

    * The president’s abdication of sound fiscal policy is without precedence and has the potential to bankrupt the nation; this mismanagementprecludes the nation from making necessary infrastructure improvements to compete in the world economy and has hastened a shift of the world’s economic center from the atlantic basin to Asia.

    I can see how some may admire the president for his counter-terrorism activities; however, when looking at the totality of his presidency, Geoege W. Bush has been an unmitigated disaster. One may admire the James Gang for their “Moxie,” as some admire the president for his, but, in the end,the James Gang was just a gang of immature, impulsive, murdering thugs. The president may bot be a murderer, but the rest seems to fit. I do not admire him, and can’t wait for Mc-Ca-in to take over the reigns. A one term Mc-Ca-in administration may feel free to take the drastic action necessary to bring the budget back to ballance and allow the next president to start paying down the debt.

  39. Stu says:

    May the victims of 9/11 rest in peace. The lives they lost were not for naught. They served heroically as a strong reminder that we can never take our existence for granted. Live your life to the fullest and in the kindest way. By doing so, future acts of terror will never get the chance to develop.

  40. bi says:

    41#, stu, i don’t see the logic here. we had been doing the same thing as of 9/11 2001. but we did get the attack that day.

    >Live your life to the fullest and in the kindest way. By doing so, future acts of terror will never get the chance to develop.

  41. John says:

    On 9-11 the general public should not be critizing George Bush about WTC. He was a brand new President and since the original WTC bombing this was planned, mainly on Clintons watch who cut back on defense spending. Another thing I had a very close family member killed that day, my aunt who lost her husband was actually briefed one on one by senior members of DC and had a one on one meeting with Bush. She could not discuss the contents of the meetings but she was satisfied with what was being done. Since I don’t know what actually transpired and unless you have a very high govt level clearance or were a 9/11 widow who was part of 9/11 fund and signed the NDA, accepted the check and was privately briefed you will never know the real events and what happend.

  42. Shore Guy says:


    It was, in fact, a scream. The “hostess” called himself “Mona Lott.” I had been wondering what Trent got up to after being thrown out of the Senate’s top job.

  43. Shore Guy says:

    # 41 Stu, Amen.

  44. Stu says:


    I will not explain. Perhaps your immature mind might actually take the time (for once) to understand the point of what I was trying to say.

  45. lostinny says:


  46. Shore Guy says:

    h all that building and rising housing values these past years, how did Hoboken get into such a mess. And, with things going somewhat south, how much harder must it be to clean-up things?

    HOBOKEN — State officials have taken control of Hoboken’s finances after the city failed to pass a budget due to political infighting.

    New Jersey’s Local Finance Board voted unanimously Wednesday to place Hoboken’s government under the control of the state Division of Local Government Services for one year.

    The state agency will have final approval over fiscal matters, employee hiring and firing, and union contracts. Hoboken’s mayor and city council will retain the power to vote on other municipal matters.

  47. Sean says:

    re# 26 Wake up already binomial, some times I think you are either being disingenuous or as I suspect you really are a simpleton.

    You aren’t including our NATO allies and you are not including the Iraqis under our Military protection or those poor folks in Afghanistan, or even our ally Israel.

    Terrorism is alive and well, just take a look at the last 9 months of terrorist incidents.,_2008

    I can also easily google dozens of Americans who were killed over the last 7 years by terrorists.

    So if you mean “we” as in US citizens not living or travelling abroad, then sure you can hide under your bed in the burbs of New Joisey anytime you want.

    I for one travel abroad, and I won’t be hiding under my bed. I just in Europe and I will be heading to Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey at the end of the month. Don’t think for a second that I won’t be worried about some crazy extremist who decides he wants to blow up a market full of American tourists.

    All is not well in the world and won’t be for perhaps won’t be for as long as any of us shall live. The main lesson from 9/11 is that America is not impervious, our generation had never experienced terrorist attacks until then, other than the home grown version. Today should be a remembrance of those who were lost and to also serve as a reminder to be vigilant.

  48. Pat says:

    Lost, thanks for checking.

  49. Stu says:

    Interesting article pointing out some stark differences between Japan’s prior economic meltdown and ours today:

    Get Shovel, Dig Deeper, by Tim Duy: The US is not Japan.

    “Indeed, in my opinion, the US can only wish it were Japan. This idea was driven home to me in the wake of the Fannie/Freddie bailout/nationalization.”

  50. Stu says:


    One-finger salute

    Mike Oxley, we hardly knew ye. An amazing report from the FT:

    The Ohio Republican who headed the House financial services committee until his retirement after mid-term elections last year, blames the mess [at Fannie and Freddie] on ideologues within the White House as well as Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    The critics have forgotten that the House passed a GSE reform bill in 2005 that could well have prevented the current crisis, says Mr Oxley, now vice-chairman of Nasdaq.

    He fumes about the criticism of his House colleagues. “All the handwringing and bedwetting is going on without remembering how the House stepped up on this,” he says. “What did we get from the White House? We got a one-finger salute.”

  51. Stu says:

    Washington Post Hires Minimum Wage High School Students for Coverage of Drilling Issues

    That must be the case because real newspaper people wouldn’t just report what the Democrats and Republicans say about drilling, they would actually tell readers what the facts are. This article reports Republican complaints about the Democrats reluctance to open areas to offshore drilling, but it doesn’t bother to tell readers that opening these areas to drilling will have about as much impact on the price of gas over the next decade as having Sarah Palin go out and shoot a moose.

    Even in the longer term, the impact of additional drilling would have only slightly more impact on the price of gas than shooting moose in Alaska. The Energy Information Agency estimates that the amount of oil in these areas could eventually supply about 0.2 percent of world production, which could lower the price of gas by 3-4 cents a gallon in 20 years.

    The article does tell readers that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “worried about the effect of offshore drilling and conservative Democrats concerned that $4-a-gallon gasoline prices this summer have left them vulnerable to GOP opponents in the November elections.” This statement is a testament to the incredibly bad reporting on this issue, since everyone should know that drilling offshore will no have effect on the price of gas for a decade and only a trivial effect even in the more distant future.

    –Dean Baker

  52. Stu says:

    And now, I return to work ;)

  53. Shore Guy says:


    A way to get EVERY American into a house of their own, even the guys living under overpasses:

  54. bi says:

    49#, sean, this is exactly my point. checking out your list, there are so many happened around the world.

    don’t you think these terrorists stopped trying to attack us here after 9/11. i would think there must be massive efforts inside homeland security department to prevent it happen here.

    >Terrorism is alive and well, just take a look at the last 9 months of terrorist incidents.,_2008

  55. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #43..John, I appreciate your position, I think it is because we are approx same age, have seen a lot in our lives and paid attention to the situation at the time. Although I lost no direct relatives, my 2 brothers were and are FDNY Battalion Chiefs, first due at WTC on that day, they are alive today because of a 1 in 16 chance they were both off duty, they attended well over 40 funerals each after 9/11. They were and are part of continuing anti-terrorism efforts.

    I’d hope people keep an open mind and realize that if errors were made, perhaps intentions were well placed.

    Also, as a former History major, please note that CONGRESS authorizes spending bills, not the President…and note Americans have not voted for a US Senator for President since Kennedy.

  56. John says:

    Last [Tick] 1.8099[ + ]
    Change -0.5101
    % Change -21.99%

  57. stan says:

    Re hoboken: living hear and seeing what goes on… really defies belief….I mean it is remarkable how people just go about there daily lives indifferent to how this place is run. I have lived here for 7 yrs and I think the budget ballooned fron 50+ million when I arrived to 100 million. Put it this way, everyone I have voted for at every level, school board-town council and mayor has gotten clobbered, not even close, one party town….buying a money losing hospital, the sale of valuable city assets, although something that is needed, the talk of bonding for 4 million for a memorial to 9-11 when the current deficit is in the millions…..its like the place is a satellite office of lehman brothers

  58. John says:

    Lehman is around 4 and change and wamu is a buck and change. Sweet.

  59. Secondary Market says:

    Right on Stu: I’m extremely grateful that I’m still here to talk about my experience (as I’m sure others on the board are too). It was my first job out of college, I was a paralegal working for Cleary Gottleib at 1 Liberty. I suppose being young and experiencing 9-11 and NYC for the first time as an adult shaped me for the person I am today. I realized life was in fact short and precious and that apprehension involving risk in life decisions should be tackled head on. As result, I moved to Los Angeles that May to explore an opportunity building and starting a restaurant. Well, it failed miserably and I lost every penny (albeit not much) I had. Sure it stung and it was tough to take it on the chin but the valuable life lesson learned from that is immeasurable. Besides, I got into the mortgage business when I moved back to the East Coast so I was able to recoup my losses; somewhat. ;-)

    # Stu Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    May the victims of 9/11 rest in peace. The lives they lost were not for naught. They served heroically as a strong reminder that we can never take our existence for granted. Live your life to the fullest and in the kindest way. By doing so, future acts of terror will never get the chance to develop.

  60. John says:

    WASHINGTON MUT INC SUB NT 7.25000% 11/01/2017
    Price (Ask) 45.000
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 21.033%

  61. kettle1 says:

    all i want for christmas is for people to put things into perspective.

    -red scare russians
    – evi;l middle east terrorists
    -tunnel dwelling viet cong

    what do they all have in common? They are all events/groups that while real were blown out of proportion and used as propaganda in order to justify the violation of US constitution and individual rights.

    anyone recognize?

    Yes I know my enemies
    They’re the teachers who taught me to fight me
    Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
    Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
    All of which are American dreams

  62. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #60…2 things blazed into my memory growing up…watching the completion of the Verrazano Bridge (the “bridge towers”) and going back and forth each Sunday from SI to Queens on the way to my Grandparent’s house and watching the Twin Towers go up while riding on the BQE! Never thought I’d live to see them come down…

  63. John says:

    I actually as a consultant did work at KBW after 9-11 literally replacing dead people until they ramped up staff. KBW was one of the hardest hit companies and was a one location company. One KBW girl I was working with at the time literally a few weeks after 9-11 still had fresh burn marks on her back told me she was trapped in a pitch black stairwell full of smoke that came to a full stop and she knew the building was about to come down. She made it just a few hundred feet from the building and ducked and thought she was dead but survived with burns up and down her back. She said she gets upset when people say they were there who worked downtown, who got out earlier, she said until you were at a standstill on that staircase saying prayers knowing you are about to die you were not there, watching from down the block is not being there. I thought it was pretty moving. Another sad thing was people would barge in who lost relatives to meet co-workers and there would be these huge emotional outbursts. Also once I brought on another counsulant and when I showed her where she can get her free lunch one of the survivors started screaming at me, People died for that free lunch!! You people come in here and all you care about was free lunch. OMG

  64. kettle1 says:

    if Wamu is 1$ and change, how about we all pitch in and we can have the NJREreport Fund buy a controlling stake! Thats what, about 50 bucks each?

  65. still_looking says:

    while you were sleeping…

    The death of OPEC
    Posted Sep 11 2008, 07:01 AM by Douglas McIntyre Rating: Saudi Arabia walked out on OPEC yesterday. It said it would not honor the cartel’s production cut. It was tired of rants from Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and the well-dressed oil minister from Iran.

    As the world’s largest crude exporter, the kingdom in the desert took its ball and went home.

    As the Saudis left the building the message was shockingly clear. According to The New York Times, “Saudi Arabia will meet the market’s demand,” a senior OPEC delegate said. “We will see what the market requires and we will not leave a customer without oil.”

    OPEC will still have lavish meetings and a nifty headquarters in Vienna, Austria, but the Saudis have made certain the the organization has lost its teeth. Even though the cartel argued that the sudden drop in crude as due to “over-supply”, OPEC’s most powerful member knows that the drop may only be temporary. Cold weather later this year could put pressure on prices. So could a decision by Russia that it wants to “punish” the US and EU for a time. That political battle is only at its beginning.

    The downward pressure on oil got a second hand. Brazil has confirmed another huge oil deposit to add to one it discovered off-shore earlier this year. The first field uncovered by Petrobras has the promise of being one of the largest in the world. That breadth of that deposit has now expanded.

    OPEC needs that Saudis to have any credibility in terms of pricing, supply, and the ongoing success of its bully pulpit. By failing to keep its most critical member it forfeits its leverage.

    OPEC has made no announcement to the effect that it is dissolving, but the process is already over

    Top Stocks blogger Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.


  66. Stu says:

    March 28th 2007: M says: “The surge is so encouraging that General Patraeus now travels around in unarmored Humvees and American soldiers can walk around the streets of Bahdad safely.

    January 7th 2008:
    Baghdad. Six bombings 19 dead 50 injured.

    February 7th 2008:
    Baghdad. Two mentally disabled women were strapped with explosives and sent into busy Baghdad markets, where they were blown up by remote control. The bombs killed at least 98 people and wounded more than 200 at two popular pet markets.

    March 6th 2008:
    Baghdad. 54 dead 130 wounded In a popular market in the Karada shopping area, a roadside bomb detonates. As a crowd gathered around the site of the blast, a few minutes later a suicide bomber blew himself up which killed dozens and wounded scores.

    June 17th 2008:
    Baghdad. 63 dead 75 injured. A minibus packed with explosives detonated near a marketplace in the Huriya district during the evening business rush. The predominantly Shiite crowd blamed Sunni extremists although the U.S. military believed that radical Shiite militants caused the attack in an attempt to reignite sectarian tensions or to target nearby coalition forces.

    July 28th 2008:
    Baghdad 32 dead 102 injured. Three female suicide bombers and a roadside bomb targeted Shi’ite pilgrims headed towards Kazimiyah.

    This is just Baghdad!!! This is where we have massive military representation.

    Bi. You once again prove to be hero of the imbeciles.

  67. bi says:

    69#, as sean suggested, i would not participate any political discussion today.

  68. Victorian says:

    70 – Bi.

    I thought this was just common sense for citizens.

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Imagine, federal regulators asleep at the wheel.

    By Tom Doggett

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Interior Department employees who oversaw oil drilling on federal lands had sex and used illegal drugs with workers at energy companies where they were conducting official business, an internal government report said on Wednesday.

    Employees at the department’s Minerals Management Service “socialized with, and received a wide array of gifts and gratuities from, oil and gas companies,” according to the department’s inspector general, Earl Devaney.

    “When confronted by our investigators, none of the employees involved displayed remorse,” Devaney said.


  70. Stu says:

    “Drill baby drill!”

    “When confronted by our investigators, none of the employees involved displayed remorse,” Devaney said.

  71. Shore Guy says:

    # 74

    “Drill baby drill!”

    Yea, but this has a different meaning in an oil patch than it does at a Holiday Inn.

  72. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    Back to Real Estate??, anyone post the link to the article the guy wrote in WSJ today about house hunting in NJ?

  73. chicagofinance says:

    Wall Street Journal

    House Hunting, Or How I Made My Wife Cry
    September 11, 2008; Page D1

    I’m the proud new owner of a house with two full bathrooms in New Jersey. It’s a good thing, because after going through the home-buying process in the Garden State, I feel like I could use a couple of long, hot showers.

    I was transferred recently by The Wall Street Journal to New York from Dallas, which is considered one of the country’s stronger real-estate markets. But selling our house there proved more difficult than my wife, Clarissa, and I expected, and we had to knock the price down several times before finding a buyer this summer.

    I figured that New Jersey would be full of discounts, and that I would be able to drive a hard bargain. I soon found out that wasn’t necessarily so, at least among houses near commuter-train lines into Manhattan.

    We had two agreements to buy houses blow up. We lost one of those houses when we decided we didn’t want to participate in a bidding war. And we weathered a mini-marital crisis when I resisted buying another house apparently owned by, of all people, a marriage counselor.

    This is the fifth move I’ve made for the Journal since being hired in 1989. So my wife and I know the drill. Figure out the community where you want to live. Study listings of homes for sale. Hit the ground running.

    We set our sights on three or four leafy towns that are a 30- to 40-minute train ride from Manhattan. Clarissa arrived on a Monday afternoon in late July for a weeklong house-hunting trip.

    We must have seen a dozen houses on Tuesday. Some were in appalling shape, considering they cost upward of half a million dollars. But one interested us: a three-bedroom rock-and-wood-shingle house only half a mile from the train station.

    After viewing the house, we learned of a weird twist. Another buyer had signed a contract to buy it, contingent upon selling his house. The real-estate agent representing the sellers assured us they still had the right to sell the house to us because of the contingency. Our agent, Rick Lodato, thought it sounded highly irregular, but we decided to go for it.

    Raising Our Offer

    The house was listed at $599,000, and it had been on the market for about a month. I figured the owners were getting ready to discount, so we bid $565,000. The seller countered with $595,000. That wasn’t much of a drop, so we decided to look at other houses. But we soon decided the rock-and-shingle house was still our best bet. So we returned to the table, and negotiated a deal to buy it for $585,000.

    Phew. We had pulled it off again.

    There was one complication. The sellers needed to send out a letter rescinding the first contract with the other buyer, and then they would sign our contract.

    As a precaution, we looked at a few more houses. Still, we went so far as to show our new house to our daughter, a recent college graduate, who was visiting us for the day. And we emailed a link with pictures of the house to our 16-year-old son back in Dallas.

    On Saturday afternoon, Rick, our agent, got a terse call saying the sellers had decided to go with the earlier offer instead of ours. The sellers’ agent later explained that the first buyer had agreed to drop the contingency clause from his contract, and it then had been accepted instead of ours.

    It sounded as if we had been used to force the first buyer to cough up the money. Lovely.

    Back in the Fray

    We had two days before Clarissa’s house-hunting trip ended, so we threw ourselves back into the fray. We began focusing on houses on the other side of the railroad tracks, farther away from the train station. There was a bigger backlog of homes there, prices were lower, and owners were doing more discounting.

    Clarissa became quite taken with a sprawling five-bedroom stucco house there. A huge office had been added to the side of the house. Marriage-counselor and sexologist diplomas were mounted on its walls. Clarissa thought the office would make great quarters for our elder son, who planned to stay with us for a bit. And it had a huge yard — a big plus for Clarissa, who loves gardening.

    I was getting a queasy feeling. The house sat on a busy street. It was nearly a mile from the train station. Plus, I thought the two halves of the house looked like they had been put together with pliers. I worried all this would make it difficult to sell in the future.

    “I don’t think I can do this house,” I told my wife. Clarissa lost it. She reminded me that I had dragged her all over the country for my career. And now I was backing down on our agreement that she would get to pick this house, the one where we might live for many years. She started crying as we drove back to the hotel. “Just pick out the house you want,” she told me. “And I’ll sign the paperwork.”

    I decided I was better off buying a white elephant than upsetting my wife. “OK, I’ll do it,” I told her.

    I went to sleep that night resigned to living in the stucco house. Clarissa stayed up surfing the Internet and reading up on sexologists. When I woke up in the morning, Clarissa told me that she didn’t want the stucco house after all.

    The next day, Clarissa got on the plane back to Dallas. For the first time in all our house-hunting trips over the years, we had failed.

    “Where will we live?” she asked. “What do I tell the children?”

    We spent the next few weeks continuing to study New Jersey listings. I decided we would have to move up in price to $650,000, or even a bit higher, if we wanted to buy a home before the school year started. So I scraped together every dollar I could.

    We arrived back in New Jersey in early August. We booked ourselves into an extended-stay hotel with our two sons and three dogs, motivated to do a deal as quickly as possible.

    We took a hard look at three houses the day after we arrived. The first one charmed me, but Clarissa didn’t like the open floor plan, and it had a steep staircase that might be problematic as we got older. The third one simply bored Clarissa.

    But she loved the second house, a three-bedroom Tudor selling for $675,000 only a third of a mile from the train station. It was different. It had a stucco-and-stone exterior and a prominent wood-shingle roof.

    I had some reservations, but fewer than I did with the sexologist’s house. There was no denying it was in a lovely neighborhood, and it was about as close to the train station as we could possibly get. I agreed we should put in a bid for it.

    The house had been on the market for about a month, and I was once again inclined to offer well below the asking price. Rick thought that would be a mistake in a tight market. He suggested we bid $660,000, and predicted the buyers would go for it. He was right. That night we signed a contract.

    At that point, the home went into attorney review, where lawyers make sure everything is kosher. The contract isn’t really binding until it clears this process. During the go-go years, buyers would routinely lob in higher bids and wrest away properties.

    That’s exactly what happened here. On the second day of attorney review, the sellers’ agent informed Rick that her clients had received a substantially higher offer — she wouldn’t say how much. Were we interested in raising our offer to try to keep the house?

    Rick thought we would have to go up to $680,000 to beat the other bid. But could we afford that much? I had gotten approval to borrow up to $417,000, the maximum amount you can get without getting a jumbo loan. We had more than $200,000 in equity, but not enough to get us to $680,000. The only way to get there was to borrow money from my parents, and repay that money in the next year or two.

    Even at $660,000, I would have had a monthly house payment over $4,100, including the hefty local property taxes and insurance. Now, on top of that, I would have to repay money to my parents. But I loved the neighborhood, and we needed a house now. I steeled myself to raise our bid.

    ‘Stretching Too Much’

    Clarissa, to her credit, said no. We would already be stretched with this house, and having a side agreement to repay my parents was too much, she said. “Everybody has been stretching too much to buy houses,” she said. “That’s why this country is in trouble.” She was right.

    The next morning, I called up Rick to tell him to give our best wishes to the sellers, but we couldn’t raise our bid. We had to find another house.

    Lucky for us, we knew that a couple of days earlier, Rick had been contacted by the real-estate agent representing the rock-and-wood-shingle house we had tried earlier to buy for $585,000. She told Rick that the other buyer had failed to get a mortgage. Were we still interested in the house at the same price?

    With the other deal evaporating, we were still interested. This time, the deal went through attorney review without incident. We met the sellers, who turned out to be sweet people. Last week, we took possession of the house.

    Now, for those showers.

  74. John says:

    btw gs vp & up meeting monday asked for names of bottom 25% of performers as layoffs are coming and they need names to pull trigger also was told don’t count on same bonus as last year as bonus will be less. Guess GS no longer cares about flight risk, where the heck are they going anyhow?

  75. bi says:

    anybody here noticed that REITs such as IYR are pretty strong in the last few days during the sell-off. commondity is worse than financials.

  76. John says:

    WASHINGTON MUT INC NT 4.00000% 01/15/2009
    Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 78.500
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 87.199%

    Yes that is a 87% yield.

  77. Secondary Market says:

    NEAL TEMPLIN should be fired immediately!

  78. Stu says:


    From my perch, I don’t see it at all. IYR and DJIA are running hand in hand over the last 5 days. I’m not sure what you mean by commodities though. IYR is ETF investing in US real estate REITS.^GSPC&c=^IXIC&c=^DJI

  79. Shore Guy says:

    Mrs. Shore and I are considering moving some business assets from where they are currently deployed and move into the landlord business by purchasing a smallish multi-family property (3-6 units, we expect).

    If anyone here has experience with this and is willing to offer a heads up of what to consider, I would appreciate the input.

  80. bi says:

    82#, look at gold, oil, mining companies, basic material sector. all got killed.

  81. Stu says:

    83: Shore Guy

    When picking up the rent checks, drive a jalopy as per John’s advice.

  82. Shore Guy says:


    Probably some wisdom to that.

  83. Happy Camper says:

    Prof Roubini on Fannie and Freddie:


    This biggest bailout and nationalization in human history comes from the most fanatically and ideologically zealot free-market laissez-faire administration in US history. These are the folks who for years spewed the rhetoric of free markets and cutting down government intervention in economic affairs. But they were so fanatically ideological about free markets that they did not realize that financial and other markets without proper rules, supervision and regulation are like a jungle where greed – untempered by fear of loss or of punishment – leads to credit bubbles and asset bubbles and manias and eventual bust and panics.

    Like scores of evangelists and hypocrites and moralists who spew and praise family values and pretend to be holier than thou and are then regularly caught cheating or cross dressing or found to be perverts these Bush hypocrites who spewed for years the glory of unfettered wild west laissez faire jungle capitalism (and never believed in any sensible and appropriate regulation and supervision of financial markets) allowed the biggest debt bubble ever to fester without any control, have caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression and are now forced to perform the biggest government intervention and nationalizations in the recent history of humanity, all for the benefit of the rich and the well connected….”


  84. 3b says:

    A friend tells me that word is GS will be taking over, you know who. The deal to be announced over the weekend of course.

    Just cannot see what GS would want with them, but who knows.

  85. Stu says:

    I’ve noticed that as well. So what you are pointing out is a bit of what ChiFi was discussing yesterday. There are various debates about what is happening. It is an unusual disconnect compared to what we have witnessed over the last couple of years, but could easily be chalked up to over speculation in the commodities. That would be my next best guess. Keep in mind, commodities are a completely different beast then stocks. They don’t require a buyer and seller to go up and down like stocks. A lot of newbie investors jumped on the commodity train as the market went sour last year. Well guess what? Slowing economy also equals slowing demand for commodities. In the short term, commodities pop since there is a limited supply of them, but in the long run alternatives are frequently found and demand destruction doesn’t help the situation either. This is just my 2 cents on the situation though.

    Personally Bi, I think you focus too much on patterns and relationships in sectors too much. You stand to do better by learning how to research the fundamentals of individual stocks. Even when a sector gets beat up, holding the strongest company in that sector tends to give you the advantage over the sector peers and the ETF holders. When the sector rebounds, your holding will stand to gain much over its competitors.

  86. Stu says:

    91 is a response to Bi’s question at #84.

  87. Shore Guy says:*ama-edges-ahead-of-mc*cain-in-ohio/

    Remove *s to activate link

    Hey Stu,

    It looks like your guy has pulled ahead of mine in Ohio. Any connection to your trip?

  88. Stu says:

    “It looks like your guy has pulled ahead of mine in Ohio. Any connection to your trip?”

    Absolutely! I promised all the Buckeye’s a national championship if they voted for O.

  89. Major Bloodnok says:

    40 Shore
    Great post

  90. Shore Guy says:

    THIS should be good for our credit rating:

    Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) — The Bush administration is considering whether to fold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s $5.2 trillion in debt into the federal budget, the White House budget office and the U.S. Treasury Department said.

    “We’re discussing how to present this in the federal budget with Treasury and stakeholders right now, but a conclusion hasn’t been determined,” said Corinne Hirsch, a spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget. The Government Accounting Office and other federal agencies are also weighing in on the issue.


  91. chicagofinance says:

    Wall Street Journal
    Schools Cancel GMAT Scores
    September 11, 2008; Page D6

    Top U.S. business schools canceled the admissions-test scores of 84 applicants and students — including two enrolled at the University of Chicago and one who has graduated from Stanford University — who allegedly supplied or accessed live exam questions posted on a Web site.

    In June, the Graduate Management Admission Council, which represents the business schools and oversees the GMAT admissions test, obtained a federal court order that shut down the Web site and won a $2.3 million judgment against its operator. The site had been selling questions from recent exams to subscribers who paid a $30-a-month subscription. The operator of the Web site, believed to be in China, didn’t defend itself in court, and it wasn’t known where any representatives could be reached.

    The latest episode has rattled the schools, and it comes as they have been trying to increase security.

    The business-school council recently announced that it would require those taking the GMAT to undergo a “palm vein” scan, which takes an infrared picture of the blood coursing through their hands. Officials said it was designed to wipe out “proxy” test taking, in which applicants hire high-scoring imposters to take the exam for them. Previously, the administrator had used digital fingerprinting. Five years ago, federal authorities broke up a ring of six fraudsters who took more than 590 exams, including GMATs, for customers who paid at least $3,000.

    Donald L. McCabe, a Rutgers University professor of management, has surveyed 200,000 students over 19 years and concluded that those in business school cheat more than those in other disciplines.

    Prof. McCabe said schools will have to evaluate the evidence against each student they had admitted with canceled test scores. But he said business schools have “got to do something” to protect their programs’ integrity, though he suspects “some may tend to whitewash it and do something mild.’

    Judy Phair, a spokeswoman for the admissions council, said a computer hard drive seized through court proceedings found 5,000 to 6,000 subscribers to the Scoretop Web site. But the group decided to cancel scores only of those “against whom we felt we have airtight cases,” Ms. Phair said. In many cases, she said, it wasn’t clear the students had used the service or knew that they were improperly gaining access to current questions.

    Ms. Phair said her group had evidence that 12 students whose scores were canceled actually posted questions themselves. In those cases, which she said the organization considered a theft of intellectual property, the students won’t be eligible to retake the test for at least three years, effectively keeping them out of business school for that period.

    The other 72 students wrote a message on Scoretop confirming that they had seen items on their GMAT exams. Those students will be allowed to take the exam again. The admissions council also recently notified schools about their determination that these students had prepared improperly for the exam.

    The business-school group didn’t identify the students or the schools where they applied or enrolled. Representatives at several business schools said their administrators would consider penalties, including expulsion, in such cases.

    Two of the students who acknowledged viewing live questions — but not the more serious category of posting the questions themselves — are currently enrolled at the University of Chicago’s business school, said Rosemaria Martinelli, the school’s associate dean for student recruitment and admissions. Ms. Martinelli said Chicago is considering action against the students, but “we haven’t decided anything.”

    Stanford’s business school said scores of 11 applicants had been canceled. Ten of them were denied admission, and one had already graduated. The school said it will meet with the student “to discuss this situation,” Derrick Bolton, Stanford’s MBA admissions director, said in a statement. If any applicant reapplies, he or she, “at minimum,” will have to supply an explanation. He urged that those whose scores were canceled “might learn from the experience by reflecting on their actions and taking ownership for their errors, then sharing those explanations and insights with us.”

    Representatives at the business schools of Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale said they had no students enroll with the tainted test scores. In an email, Peter Winicov, a spokesman for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said officials were still “analyzing the situation are not yet prepared to discuss next steps.”

    Showing how much the scandal has shaken some in business school, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business plans to hold an “ethics fireside chat” this month on campus to discuss the Scoretop cheating scandal, including officials from the business-school council.

    About 4,000 business programs at 1,800 universities, including most top-ranked institutions, require the GMAT for admission. The business school council gives 230,000 tests annually and charges $250 for each exam.

  92. chicagofinance says:

    grim unmod

  93. 3b says:

    #77 cf: My thoughts for what they are worth.

    1. I am amazed this guy had so much trouble in this environemnt buying a house in NJ at this time.

    2. Even considering borrowing money from his parents, at this stage, pathetic.

    3. Clarissa, spare me with the tears, with grown/almost grown children, crying at this stage is in a word pathetic. Not like this was your first house.

    4. Never buy a house on a busy street (they did get that one correct).

    5. As a writer for the WSJ, it is my belief with all that is transpiring, Mr. Templin should have been much more savvy, and not to say cynical with the whole bidding we have other buyers interested nonsense.

    6. In this environemnt and with a history of moving around, Mr. Templin and his family would have been perfect candidates to rent for a while. If they were settled, in a rental with a 1 year lease, or month to month, they would have been in a much less stressful environment, and the realtors would have known that.

    7. All in all, a pathetic article, and again written by a writer from the WSJ.

  94. NJGator says:

    93 Shore – The economy is pretty crappy in Ohio. Or maybe they just hate seals:

    So What Did SP Request in Federal Earmarks? Seal DNA Research!
    By Kate Klonick – September 10, 2008, 8:34PM
    As we’ve mentioned elsewhere on TPM, S P was not quite as conservative as she claims in her requests for earmarks. And here’s a great example from just this year.

    According to Ak’s 2009 catalog of earmark requests the state’s sea life are in great need of federal money. As Politico points out, P’s office requested $2 million in federal monies to study crab mating habits; $494,900 for the recreational halibut harvest and $3.2 million for seal genetics research.

    Those requests for the study of wildlife genetics and mating habits seems pretty antithetical to the long-standig views of P’s running mate, John McC.

    “We’re not going to spend $3 million of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana,” McC said earlier this year, referring to a request from Montana for federal money to study the endangered grizzly bear. “I don’t know if it was a paternity issue or criminal, but it was a waste of money.”

  95. chicagofinance says:

    3b Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 10:57 am
    #77 cf: My thoughts for what they are worth.

    3b: Assuming that the WSJ has standards, this article is a real story with real people adnd real events. It provides and example of what people do and how people think. Given the pitch of the discourse here, I find it a nice visceral breath of fresh air amidst OUR (including me) intellectual blathering…..

  96. Stu says:

    Cramer: Where Was the Foresight?

    “The idea of a “plan” for these two, so obvious after Bear and IndyMac, isn’t even on the table, let alone something to execute. We know that the books of both are so meaningless — thanks to an SEC that has pretty much given up its mission — that we must experience a huge amount of pain as these two are sorted out. Then we will have to be ready for AIG’s (AIG Quote – Cramer on AIG – Stock Picks) collapse, which won’t be long.

  97. Sean says:

    re: #97 – yikes why can’t they just leave the junk paper rot like the Japanese did?

  98. Victorian says:

    103- Stu

    Didnt Cramer list LEH as a buy a short time ago?

  99. 3b says:

    #102 CF Intellectual blathering, true much of that goes on here. But also what is discussed here is a lot of just plain old common sense.

    Something I hubly submit the writer of the article did not engage in.

    But at the end of the day his decesion.

  100. Shore Guy says:


    C’mon. Of course they couched it in the following terms: $2 million in federal monies to study crab mating habits. If they asked for the money to make crustacean p0rn, the feds would never have given them the money. Remember, it gets mighty cold in Alaska in the winters.

  101. Shore Guy says:

    Legislator and public official in one. Kinda like New Shimmer.

    What are the odds anyone in Trenton is doing this?

  102. 3b says:

    There is a house in my town on the market for months now (njmls), multiple price reductions. Yesterday I happened to drive buy, realtor sign still on front lawn, with an additional sign stating that auction would be held today for house.

    Is that something that we are going to start seeing more of??

  103. kettle1 says:


    interesting stuff about the opec meeting. even be more interesting is the fact that Saudi is forming new ties with russia while russia is a traditional partner of iran. so now we are looking at russia-iran Vs Russia-Saudi (not war, but politics). And laid on top of this is the traditional conflict between Sunni(Saudi) and Shia (iran) sects.

  104. Clotpoll says:

    From Dan Oppenheim, Credit Suisse, August Housing Report:

    New York-Northern NJ – Buyer Fears Continue to Drag on Market

    (12,318 single-family permits in 2007, 12th largest market in the country)

    Buyers remain cautious, waiting for prices to fall further. Buyer traffic was unchanged
    at weak levels in August, as our traffic index came in at 27 (from 26 in July), with any reading below 50 indicating traffic below agents’ expectations. Agents said buyers continued to hunker down and assume a wait-and-see approach as they expect prices to come down further but are uncertain of how bad things will get given the weakening economy. According to one agent, “Buyers are afraid to make offers. They don’t know where this real estate market is going.” Adding to fears is the tight lending criteria and elevated jumbo mortgage rates. With caution in the air, agents say any offers they have seen from buyers are very low.

    Prices continue to fall as inventory grows, but more declines likely. Home prices
    continued to fall in August, as our price index slipped to 16 from 20 in July, with any reading below 50 suggesting lower home prices over the past 30 days. Still, prices havenot declined enough, according to buyers, as sellers have become more willing to negotiate but still are reluctant to meet buyer demands. Meanwhile, inventory continued to grow as a result of this standoff, as our home listings index came in at 35 (up from 32 in July) and our time to sell index fell to 15 from 20 in July, with readings below 50 indicating
    higher inventory and a longer time to sell, respectively, and suggesting further price
    declines are likely in the coming months.
    Comments from real estate agents:

    “It seems like the little activity we were seeing has stopped and buyers are back to
    waiting again.”

    Toll Brothers and Hovnanian have the greatest exposure. Toll Brothers and
    Hovnanian have the most exposure to the New York-Northern NJ area market and hold a
    significant supply of land to fuel their growth in the area. Toll Brothers and Hovnanian generated the largest percentage of sales in the area with 5% each.

  105. Stu says:

    “Didnt Cramer list LEH as a buy a short time ago?”

    I rarely ever watch, read and definitely do not follow his advice. Barron’s did an in-depth article on his picks and he very much underperformed the indexes. Just recently, he has been encouraging people to invest in one my (land) driller holdings. Since his call, the driller has dropped about 40%. He is a buffoon and his evangelical followers should be called Cramorons instead of Cramerican’s. Or perhaps Cramerican’s is more appropriate?

    I didn’t think LEH would beat WM on the race to the bottom, but think they are dead by Monday. If you are shopping your firm around to foreign buyers one would have been much smarter to have waited to see if anyone was interested prior to making the announcement public. How much are these fools paid?

    Victorian: You are correct about Cramer’s long LEH call, although for the entire period prior he said to short it.

    He said to start inching in at 31 Cramorons. I can’t wait until he has to eat crow about his market bottom call.

  106. Nicholas says:

    With Fannie and Freddie spending 200 million in lobbying over 10 years…

    355 congressmen and 100 senators

    That results in about 38,000$ per person in the legislature. On a per year basis that is 3,800$.

  107. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re: WSJ House Hunter….

    I’m shocked that thru the whole process they never even considered renting for the short term, til they got a better handle on the market.

    They were willing to spend part of the parent’s nest egg to get into a house they didn’t really want.

  108. NJGator says:

    108 Shore – I’m just saying it doesn’t look like the lady hates earmarks as much as she claims. I’m not going to debate the merits of federally funded crustacean p0rn.

  109. 3b says:

    #112: clot: Battipaglia and Kudlow went at it last night over among other things the rise in jumbo rates.
    Battipaglia says they have risen, Kudlow say that is not correct, and insists they have fallen.

    In addition Battipaglia was incredulous over Kudlow’s insistence that all the furor we are seeing is really not all that bad, and a bull market is around the corner. The consumer will be fine etc.

    IMO Battipaglia is one of the few guests on that show that has a clue.

  110. chicagofinance says:

    FYI – Palin…when the WSJ writes an article about cronyism and questionable ethics, I pay attention. ARTICLE not editorial…

  111. CB in SJ says:

    Unless she gets lucky like Jed Clampett….

    Re: #53 Stu: but it doesn’t bother to tell readers that opening these areas to drilling will have about as much impact on the price of gas over the next decade as having Sarah Palin go out and shoot a moose.

  112. Clotpoll says:

    3b (100)-

    The market never goes to zero.

  113. 3b says:

    #120 clot: I understand. I just would have expected better from a WSJ writer. Just my opinion.

  114. Nom Deplume says:

    [77] ChiFi,

    sounds like my experience, though I was not getting F*cked around as much (and did my share as well).

  115. kettle1 says:

    oh oh oh do the lobsters where latex or PVC?????

  116. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (64)-

    Just like Tom Friedman says: we’ve devolved into the United States of Fighting Terrorism.

  117. Nom Deplume says:

    Gator [from yesterday]

    A fellow Hen-Hater??? All right! Mrs. Deplume will approve of my running mate (and won’t object to me hanging out with a hottie—esp since Stu will be hovering like a Blackhawk full of Marines ;-))

    To clarify, I don’t hate DE, just UD. In fact, I love a state that helps keep the others in line, just as NH did when I grew up in Mass. But I think DE drivers are worse than NJ (if that is possible), and the native population is truly scary. And Fiddy, no one takes a UD grad seriously, so unless Lil Fiddy is going to grad school, think about Jr. Yr transfer opportunities.

  118. Qwerty says:


    Willfully and methodically executed millions of people and were working on a nuclear weapon…

    red scare russians [i.e., Soviet Union]

    A hostile empire that murdered 75 million people and had nuclear weapons aimed at the United States…

    evi;l middle east terrorists

    Actively seeking to detonate a nuclear weapon in a US city…

    “Blown out of proportion”? What stunning ignorance/willful blindness. Is history no longer taught in school?

  119. Clotpoll says:

    3b (121)-

    Focus on “writer”, not “WSJ”.

  120. Clotpoll says:

    That guy could be writing for the Wine Advocate in six months.

  121. Nicholas says:

    I wonder if you bought an animal on store credit do they come and reposess your critter?

    That would be a hillarious reality TV show if it was true.

  122. 3b says:

    #127 clot: Point taken.

    Any thoughts on my house auction question in an earlier post? And have you ever attended/conducted one of these?

  123. kettle1 says:


    As i said, each was a real enemy at some point. But look at McCarthy did with his red scare witch hunts. Look at modern day no fly lists and warrantless searches….

    i am saying that each was co-opted and turned into a bogey man outside of their real aspects and used for political gain. i never claimed that nay of those events were not real or significant. try learning to see in shades of gray.

  124. What are the chances the Fed cuts in the coming meeting?
    The strengthening dollar isn’t helping all this debt.
    The market is pretty shaky.
    GS could use some cheaper cash if the acquire LEH.

  125. skep-tic says:

    I liked the WSJ piece. Who knows the details of those houses? There will always be competition for well priced, move in ready houses in nice neighborhoods. And I’m sure it was traumatic moving from someplace cheap like Texas to someplace expensive like NJ. I can remember as a kid going through a similar move and my parents being stressed out as they realized that our lifestyle was going to be substantially worse than it had been.

  126. #129 – I’d watch to see someone try to repo a cat that didn’t want to go.

  127. Clotpoll says:

    They are mostly pseudo-auctions. The agents shows up for a few hours, during which offers can be tabled. The idea is to generate some urgency for properties that cannot generate any urgency on their own.

    It’s a cheap trick and more often than not, reveals a very desperate seller.

    IMO, the only auctions that get my attention are absolute auctions…like REOs and sheriff sales.

  128. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (134)-

    That’s why God created shotguns.

  129. kettle1 says:


    the US has also committed its fair share of atrocities. Most nations have. wake up and smell the napalm my firend

  130. Shore Guy says:

    #134 It sounds likd fodder for a Far Side comic.

  131. jcer says:

    Kettle, while I think many can agree the US has done some evil, compared to the NAZIs and Stalin we look like soft little kittens.

  132. Shore Guy says:


    A job our soon-to-be-ex-pres might be able to handle.

  133. Victorian says:

    Well, here is a perspective from a first time homebuyer.
    I work in the financial services industry and have saved up a decent downpayment with no debt (except a car loan which is paid off next year).

    With the way things are going, I would not buy a home in these conditions irrespective of how cheap it is, because I am not sure whether I will have a job left a month/year down the road. Why would i take on this huge responsibility with such an uncertain future?

  134. skep-tic says:

    The detail about the WSJ guy not wanting/able to get a jumbo mortgage was also revealing. I am sure that there are many people who have scaled back their price range in light of the difficulty/cost of jumbos now.

  135. skep-tic says:

    #142 but if you don’t buy, you won’t be eligible for a bailout

  136. #138 – Kitty fun, old link, annoyed cat, filled with LOL.

    #136 – Live cats are much preferred. Dead kitties are of limited fungable value.

  137. Victorian says:

    Looks like someone put a rocket booster under the homebuilders.

    Why?? BAC just comes out yesterday with a statement that its homebuilder portfolio does not look pretty, and the builders are up today??

  138. Hard Place says:

    How many jobs in the area will be wiped out following the Leehman implosion? How are those blue ribbon train towns looking now?

  139. HEHEHE says:

    NY Post had article saying Lehman would lay off 7000-8000 even if they survive.

  140. ben says:


    the problem is, the U.S. is in the 5th inning of their tyrannical reign. In the past 10 years, the government has morphed into an ugly monster on all levels. We’ve yet to see what they are going to do. Furthermore, the government is so far in debt that they are on life support from foreign money. It’s only a matter of time before they become a 100% puppet government (they may already be) or the rest of the world lets them go bankrupt.

  141. Laughing all the way says:

    so i guess skf gains over the last three days are gone on the GS taking over lehman rumors?

  142. kettle1 says:


    i am not saying that the US is the same as stalin or hitler. The point is that time and again real and tragic events have been co-opted for politic gain. For example 9/11 was used to ram through the patriot act. WWII russians were used as bogey men during the red scare.

    end of debate. If my point isnt clear then i suggest everyone ignore it.

  143. electricsheep says:

    It was good to get out of SKF this morning at 124

  144. kettle1 says:


    Dead kitties are of limited fungable value.

    i disagree, what about the asian markets?

  145. 3b says:

    #135 clot: Thanks as always.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    Sick. SICK. SICK!!!!!

    It makes Latex Luv’n Lobsters sound downright mainstream.

  147. Hard Place says:


    The impact on the local area would be somewhat smaller. Those are probably global numbers. I’d imagine the NYC local area numbers to be about 1/2 of that.

  148. Laughing all the way says:

    victorian – true, you dont know if you’ll have a job. that’s why we’re putting down 200k on a house around 500 (max 550). so we can keep our mortgage paymnt relatively low.

    in the event one of us is out of work for 6 months, we wont have to completely panic about losing the house.

    i think chi-fi will back this up: when you buy, make sure you have 6 months lIVING expenses in the event of job loss. so basically 5k (too generous?) x 6 months = 30k.

  149. HEHEHE says:


    Ask the native americans

  150. HEHEHE says:

    there was that whole slavery thing from what I remember too

  151. Shore Guy says:


    Are you sure they are not just going to go ahead and maximize the use of technology and eliminate nearly every office and just deploy their staff to Statbucks around the city and take advantage of the wifi connections?

  152. skep-tic says:

    LEH is scary, but I think WM is scarier. They have roughly $180B in deposits.

  153. Rich In NNJ says:

    Bergen County NJMLS Median Price, Sold and Under Contract Data for August

    Year Med$ #Sold #U/C
    1991 $198,000 803 618
    1992 $215,000 716 735
    1993 $217,000 884 887
    1994 $210,000 899 760
    1995 $209,600 934 773
    1996 $210,000 946 803
    1997 $210,000 941 681
    1998 $224,000 1068 784
    1999 $247,500 1087 779
    2000 $270,000 1019 891
    2001 $311,250 1138 862
    2002 $350,000 1109 844
    2003 $391,000 1140 895
    2004 $425,000 1065 972
    2005 $499,000 1305 986
    2006 $499,999 916 842
    2007 $500,000 863 727
    2008 $465,000 688 612

  154. Shore Guy says:

    So LEH is looking to sell the whole company as one entity now. Humm, after people passed on the individual parts, that must make potential buyers fel warm and fuzzy. The good news, I hear they will throw in a weekend at the Board Chairmans house for the successful buyer.

  155. skep-tic says:

    #162 sales 40% off peak. the buying frenzy just looks amazing in retrospect

  156. Laughing all the way says:

    It was good to get out of SKF this morning at 124

    you’re out? really? already? are you going to buy back in?

    i guess when you play with that much money, have to fear getting burned … we’re staying in this one for a few months

  157. Rich In NNJ says:

    Prices ARE coming down but you’ll never tell from list prices. You have to look at sold prices.

    Bergen County NJMLS Avg List and Sold Price for August

    Year AvgList$ AvgSold$
    1991 $280,976 $255,338
    1992 $275,632 $257,801
    1993 $273,252 $255,338
    1994 $274,145 $260,390
    1995 $278,168 $254,445
    1996 $269,416 $254,070
    1997 $277,449 $263,353
    1998 $290,395 $278,676
    1999 $319,426 $310,101
    2000 $362,676 $352,615
    2001 $389,726 $380,314
    2002 $434,726 $424,061
    2003 $491,960 $479,323
    2004 $503,811 $494,033
    2005 $608,640 $597,413
    2006 $689,667 $635,707
    2007 $676,080 $625,709
    2008 $652,356 $591,298

  158. 3b says:

    If Gs does buy you know who, I do not see what they are getting. You know who has a big fixed Income operation, as does GS. Perhaps they pick up some high net worth clients, but GS’s high net worth client list is the envy of the street.

    I do not see Neuberger Berman as a neat fit as GS already has GSAM.

    Ironically when I worked there GS always had the reputation as being a follower and not an innovator.

    They waited for new products to come out and than improved on them.

  159. HEHEHE says:

    Still 3500 well paying jobs is nothing to sneeze at

  160. NJGator says:

    Nom 125 – You read back to yesterday? I’m impressed. If my morning is so crazy that I can’t peruse what’s posted here by 10:30, I just throw my hands up and give up!

  161. Shore Guy says:


    Correct me if I am wrong but it looks like the median price is now BELOW the 2004 numbers, in inflation-adjusted numbers. Even at just 3% inflation $425,000 in 2004 becomes $478,000 in 2008. Heck, at 3%, we are close to 2003 numbers.

  162. 3b says:

    #162 Rich: Welcome back!! Your information as always is greatly appreciated.

    So from what you have posted, it looks like 05 was the peak, 06/07 flat, and the declines starting in 08.

  163. Rich In NNJ says:

    ShoreGuy (170),

    No correction necessary.

  164. Hard Place says:


    especially when there is little new hiring

  165. Rich In NNJ says:

    3B (171),

    For August, yes. So far for the year it is trending that way as well.

  166. Hard Place says:

    Also from Rich’s data it shows that Avg Sold prices are 90% of Avg List prices. Therefore buyers should feel free to lowball away and not fear having to “insult” the sellers.

  167. skep-tic says:

    #176 great graph. really illustrates the degree to which asking prices are out of touch. correct me if I am wrong, but these are final asking prices, so initial asking prices must be way off

  168. 3b says:

    Apparently GS is denying that they are going to buy you know who.

  169. kettle1 says:

    opinion from another blog that i haunt,

    Internationally, the relative values of various currencies will depend on which are deflating most rapidly. I think we’ll see at least a temporary spike in the dollar on a flight to safety. As improbable as it sounds at the moment, the gut reaction of investors is to revert to previous safe havens, such as the global reserve currency of long standing, in times of great uncertainty and upheaval. Over the longer term, the prospects for the dollar look very much less good on the international stage.

  170. Dink says:

    Ketle #64,

    Nice quote from RATM. Did you catch their acapella performance in St.Paul? Cool stuff.

  171. electricsheep says:

    laughing – yes, we took profits at 124 and reloaded at 116.

  172. CB in SJ says:

    From NYT: “…now at 40 has all the trappings of a successful homeowner: in-ground pool, maid service, a yard landscaped with Japanese black pine bonsai trees. His 1,800-square-foot home in Fair Oaks, Calif., a one-story model by Streng Brothers, midcentury builders in the Eichler mold, is of a kind coveted by fans of modern design. So why has Mr. Janzen spent the summer building an 80-square-foot “tiny house” out of free stuff he found on Craigslist?

  173. John says:

    Even funnier was they brought old Peter Cohen out of the grave for squak box this morning to talk about Lehaman. When that scum took over EF Hutton to make it Shearson Lehman Hutton I got to shake his hand and I swear I felt like I shook hands with the devil himself, very creepy.

  174. Shore Guy says:

    # 175 “Also from Rich’s data it shows that Avg Sold prices are 90% of Avg List prices. Therefore buyers should feel free to lowball away and not fear having to “insult” the sellers.”

    Heck, if current prices are 10% off list, and home values are going down. Anyone who does not get an additional 10% below the current 10% of list, would seem well poised to get hurt — that puts one at .81 of LP, just to prevent one from taking a loss from another 10% decrease in home values. Are we about to enter the land of 25% off list is normal?

  175. Shore Guy says:

    CB, that is where the picture came from that I posted the link to earlier. I don’t mind 1,800 ft. sq. but 100 seems a bit small, even for a decent walk-in closet.

  176. Shore Guy says:

    # 176


    Just look at how those lines diverge in ’06. At the far right of the chart it looks like the top of a roller coaster hill, just waiting for a push, or gravity, to take over.

  177. 3b says:

    #184 shore: Well I believe clot said some time back, that the initial declines in asking prices would be small, but than they would start to snow ball into large rapid declines.

    I believe he also said that one the declines did start, they would become larger and more rapid than during the last down turn in real estate.

    Please correct me clot if I have misquoted you.

  178. Tom says:

    And the fun continues…

    One NJ foreclosure consulting firm, Davis Mitigation, Inc. contacted me about one of my postings and informed me that using the word “defraud” was not accurate in their case.

    I told them I’d look into it and they were welcome to leave comments presenting their side in the meantine.

    So after talking with the AG’s office and getting the full copy of the complaint, it turns out they are being charged with fraud. Pretty interesting account alleged by one of their clients. I posted an update on the Davis Foreclosure Assistance fraud lawsuit with the new info I received.

    Turns out they took me up on my offer to leave comments and used 4 sockpuppets to pretend to be clients in the original blog entry.

  179. CB in SJ says:

    Shore: My apologies; I did not see that posted. My favorite quite from the sidebar article: “For certain buyers, the shed may be an outlet for baby boomer remorse. Encumbered by mortgages and 5,000-square-foot homes, some Americans of means are looking for ways to reconnect with lost values of simplicity, sustainability and forthrightness —”

  180. SC says:

    bi Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 8:46 am
    for the last 7 years after 9/11/2001, we haven’t hit by a single terrorist attack. for this alone, we have to take hat off for president bush for his great leadership.

    Too bad he didn’t pay attention to any warnings before it happened. you are both jacka$$es

  181. bi says:

    Anyone here knows if hurricane ike will have impact on the refineries in gulf coast?

  182. Shore Guy says:

    190, What, no hair shirts or self flagellation?

  183. Shore Guy says:


    At a minimum, if it hits far enough north, I suspect the refineries will cut production to prevent problems from arising if a hit should come.

  184. 3b says:

    #188 Tom: Question for you. There was a house in my town that was listed for short sale by the bank through a realtor, now it looks like it is going to foreclosure sale on 10/10, Sheriff #762003.

    Does that typically happen?

  185. gary says:

    When Gary finds the house he’s looking for and his offer is accepted, then you’ll know the sh*t has hit the fan.

  186. 3b says:

    #196 gary: You know things have changed, because nobody I know, family, friends, neighbors etc., even the bullish of the real estate bulls, wants to talk about real estate any more.

    The silence is deafning. Very telling IMO.

  187. electricsheep says:

    3b –

    Same thing here. My husband and I started looking to buy in 2004. Floored by what you got for what they were asking. Liked our rental enough to stay put. Everyone and their brother either

    a) thought we were bitter renters
    b) poor
    c) stupid

    And even though we tried to talk about “the bubble,” the economy , we heard the same thing over and over “real estate is always a good investment.”

    We heard this through about last summer, and now suddenly everyone is mum.

    Funny thing is, we were *this* close to closing on a house in Glen Ridge, but the deal broke down during inspections. While we were going through the process, people told us we were “nuts” to be buying a house.

    Times change, no?

  188. Shore Guy says:

    Thanks, Ket. It is a thing of beauty.

  189. Shore Guy says:

    Thinking about it, that chart should be sent to every editor and reporter in the state who covers RE. It is so simple, even the donnerkopfs should get it.

  190. Tom says:


    I don’t know if it’s typical as I don’t track that, but it doesn’t seem unusual. I suspect it happens quite a bit.

    There’s one property that was scheduled for foreclosure auction that was sold short a month before the auction. You can see the details in that link.

    Think of it this way. There’s a homeowner facing forclosure, the bank doesn’t expect to be able to get their judgment and doesn’t want to add it to their growing portfolio of REO’s. If the homeowner wants to sell, the bank has incentive to approve a short sale in this market.

  191. Clotpoll says:

    sheeps (152)-

    The party with SKF only reaches full boil in the $125-$135 range.

    Tempting to bail @ $124 if you bought on Monday @ $103, though…

  192. gary says:


    Understood. But, I would still love to smell blood (I’m such a bast*rd). Regardless, this winter/spring is when I’m going to pull the trigger and I know I’m going to be putting lenders, realtors and sellers through f*cking heII.

  193. kettle1 says:

    Bi 192,

    yes, question is how much. current sotrm surge is expected to be 15+ feet unless hurricane weakens

  194. kettle1 says:


    storm track and damage st. as of 9/11

  195. kettle1 says:

    Within the current NHC storm path lies about 5 million bpd of US petroleum refining capacity. (Perspective: 5 MMBBL is about 30% of US capacity (about 15 MMBBL), and a bit less than 6% of global capacity (~85 MMBBL). Also, the MMS reported Wednesday that staff has been evacuated from 452 production platforms (63.0%) and 81 rigs (66.9%) – (95.9% of the oil production and 73.1% of the natural gas production has been shut-in as a precautionary measure for Hurricane Ike.)

  196. 3b says:

    #204 gary: I am with you. I plan to do the same. It’s just business.

  197. Shore Guy says:

    “But, I would still love to smell blood (I’m such a bast*rd). Regardless, this winter/spring is when I’m going to pull the trigger and I know I’m going to be putting lenders, realtors and sellers through f*cking heII.”

    It is good to see you keeping some “emotional distance” from this :-)

  198. HEHEHE says:


    Fed and Treasury Working On Solution For Lehman Purchase

  199. Clotpoll says:

    3b (187)-

    You are correct.

  200. electricsheep says:

    Clot –

    We are going to participate in that 130+ party.

    We just learned to take some profits along the way and play the daily swings. That’s how we’ve done so well with it.

    But again, it is the only individual stock we play, and we watch it like a hawk. We’ve done okay (so far!). And we’re playing with profits.

  201. bi says:

    206#, kettle, thank you for the chart. if it follows the path exactly, it will miss most of the refinaries. but who knows.

  202. 3b says:

    #199 electric:Times change, no?

    They sure do, and as always patience does pay off. I could be a hard@ss, and start in with some of these people, but my wife won’t let me. She truly is my better half. And she is right, what is the point, and gloating is not very mature. Although sometimes I I do say to myself I told you so.

  203. Stu says:

    Comment from Dealbreaker on Lehman issue:

    I think the Fed should step up and buy it. Then they would have not only 80% of mortgage originations but the machine needed to churn out structure paper to offload the mortgages. Perfect marriage.

    I’d then suggest they talk BofA out of countrywide, they would have a fully integrated platform.

  204. Clotpoll says:

    sheep (212)-

    Just beware the PPT on late Friday afternoons. My fervent hope (and growing belief) is that Klink, Bergabe, et al have fired the last of their bazookas.

    LEH, WM, etc…this is going to be a fun weekend!

  205. Shore Guy says:


    You got it.

    Remember, as Peter Clemenza said, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

  206. RayC says:

    Shore Guy,

    Thanks. Now I’m hungry. Where the heck am I gonna find a cannoli in Washington Heights? (Guns – yes)

  207. Shore Guy says:


    If it were a brick wall, it would lok like a firing squad. Well, probably was anyway.

  208. Shore Guy says:

    look, even

  209. John says:

    A lot of your fence sitter out there I don’t think you will able to pull the trigger like you say you are. Cash will be king and you will need to know what you are doing. I saw one house very recently that the seller priced 200K below 2008 comps, house was 700k on a block where similar homes were 900k. Seller wanted 50% down, non contigent on morgtgage or sale of another house. A lot of you forget when mortgage deals fell apart left and right and sellers were willing to sell it for less to people with the cash and equity from a sale of a home is nonsense. That said unless you can knock down 25% on your trade up without selling your current home your are hunting with a pea shooter. Also what is this spring nonsense, 2010 or 2011 is when we are getting near bottom, 2009 will be a fools bottom.

    At the last bottom when I bought from RTC at auction, no attorney client review you gave a check for 10% at auction non refundable and you had 60 days to close and banks wanted 25% down. Also no home inspection. When the bottom comes it will be like a car auction, you need cash and balls to make a quick decision with limited information or guarantees.

  210. Nicholas says:

    I have been thinking about list/sale ratios for the last 6-8 months and have determined that although interesting they dont provide much in the way of ammo for the homebuyer.

    After scratching my head and trying to glean some useful information from the data the best I was to come up with was something I knew already. If you pay full price for the house your an idiot, nobody pays sticker price. Same with automobiles, its the American way.

    Americans just always list their house for more then they can get for it in hopes that they will squeeze someone for the dough. Even during the highs of the housing bubble, the ratio comes close to 100% but never tops it.

    LP/SP ratios are also very highly seasonal. Bowie MD (21075) saw 86% this last January but 93.5% in April. I expect something evil to happen to LP/SP ratios this winter too :)

    I imagine that there is probably some useful data that could be mined from LP/SP, such as above 90% has high correlation with rising RE prices and below 90% has high correlation with falling RE prices but I am not inclined to do that much work for a statistic that is more based on consumer greed then RE trends. Besides that, I’m almost sure that it would only reveal something already shown by other data, months of inventory.

    Months of inventory is pretty solid indicator of where your RE market is headed. At 0-4 months of inventory it is considered a sellers market with upwards pressure on house prices. At 6 months of inventory there is a stable market and prices stay pretty much the same. At 8 months of inventory you start to see downward pressure on house prices.

  211. 3b says:

    Many of us have cash.plenty of it, with nothing to sell and no debt.

    Any yes I belive 2009 there will be bargains out there. Will it be the absolute bottom? No.
    But 1. because of that my bids will be reflective of that, and

    2. Since I will than be there for the long term, the additional decline will not be an issue for me.

  212. gary says:


    My cash WILL come mostly from the sale of my current home, there WILL be a contingency favoring my interests and I WILL close for the price I’m satisfied with based on the house I’m getting.

  213. Hard Place says:

    Given the fact that this credit situation is starting to look unprecedented in terms of the carnage on Wall St, I’m inclined to lean with John here. I will go further out to say bottom will be more like 2012. FNM/FRE pulling back the amount of loans they will buy. It’s already laid out in the Treasury’s plan (10% per year). Consumer’s will need time to bring up their savings to be able to buy homes when job losses are occurring and income growth is limited. Until than prices will fall. I was planning to start looking fall of next year, but I’ve revised my time frame to fall of 2011. I still haven’t found my data about rent prices, but I’m willing to bet it tends to go down slightly during recessionary periods.

  214. #219 – Thanks for that !

  215. 3b says:

    #226 gary: You are simply evil.

  216. chicagofinance says:

    great post!

    Posted by guest, Sep 11, 2008 1:20PM
    Black Thursday 2 Electric Boogaloo…I Bet Sarah Palin would just put Lehman on ebay

  217. Nicholas says:

    I got a lease/purchase agreement signed on my home, essentially locking in the Sale Price and a renter for one year.

    You lose your security deposit if you don’t by my depreciating asset for last years prices.

  218. Nicholas says:

    by = buy

  219. 3b says:

    #227 hardplace: That is exactly why I expect much of the decline to take place next year, (not all of it).

    Those that have to sell, or want to sell, or need to sell, will sell, and they will price aggressively enough to move their houses.

    The job transfers, divorces, old folks retiring, inheritances they IMO will want to get on with their lives, and will not sit month after month with their house rotting on the market.

    Those who have not sucked the equity out of their homes over the last few years will also be able to move on, relocate whatever. There will of course be those who will sit month after month hoping they can sell at some 2005/06 fantasty price.

    Wny they would torture themselves like that, and why realtors do like wise, I have no answer for.

    And there are simply others will have their houses taken from them;simple as that.

    The Wall St big bucks, bonus train town close to NYC myth is over, NJ’s economy is in the tank, and on and on.

    All of this taken together will IMO see the declines happening sooner rather than later.

  220. Laughing all the way says:

    mr. chicago has his criminal buddy in the dude who tried to blow up the WTC …

    and know Mr. arizona has his

    who shows up on the dude’s boat the day after said dude plead guilty?

  221. kettle1 says:

    a fun little chart of Fed balance sheet.

    see the following link for a full explanation (PDF)

  222. kettle1 says:

    “Standard & Poor’s said it’s removing Freddie Mac from its S&P 500 index after the close of trading on Wednesday, and replacing it with Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).com, the 9-year-old company largely responsible for the growing software-as-a-service movement, and in important player in the broader, emerging market of cloud computing.”

  223. Stu says:

    # 3b Says:

    “Any yes I belive 2009 there will be bargains out there. Will it be the absolute bottom? No.
    But 1. because of that my bids will be reflective of that, and

    2. Since I will than be there for the long term, the additional decline will not be an issue for me.”

    Sounds a lot like my justification to buy my Montclair home in September of 2004. After renting for ages and watching rental rates continue to rise as well as home prices, our justification was that if we don’t buy now, homes will soon be completely out of our price range. It certainly helped that we were able to score a home with about $75,000 worth of downside protection due to unique circumstances and good karma (about 15% of the true value when we purchased it).

    I remember telling the gator that in another 2 years at the current pace, our home will be worth a million. She just started laughing. She was right of course. Just keep in mind that when you use the excuse that it will be near the bottom, the bottom might still be significantly further away then you thought. For example, Cramer was pretty certain that Lehman bottomed at $31 in March. After all, it was down about 60% from it’s 52-week highs. Had you listened, you would have still lost 85%.

    Personally, I think the bottom will be in 2010-2012 range. We could very well be near the beginning of the drop, even in CA, FL, MI, etc. Just cause a few impatient slubs bought a few homes this Summer does not mean the prices will not stop dropping in earnest when the option arms hit.

    If initial claims reaches 500k, it won’t be until 2011 at the earliest for a bottom.

    Of course, you do what you have to do. That’s what the Gator and I did. I’m real glad we bought a multi-family though. If we did not, we would be screwwwwwwwed.

  224. Hard Place says:

    3b – I agree w/ you about the jobs and displacement. Housing and it’s costs are primarily underpinned by employment. Once that goes, all will tumble. That’s the main reason things have been stubbornly high in this area. Not enough jobs have been lost. While I may be practicing a bit of schadenfraude, I am keenly aware the axe could fall on me as well.

    I may pull in my timeframe if there is a substantial drop as you mention. I don’t need to be in at the ultimate bottom, but I’m preparing myself for a case where I may need to go out further.

  225. PGC says:

    #235 Kettle

    Now here is one to watch. Whenever they announce the replacement company, it is interesting to look at the stock movements before the announcements. While most people will say it is obvious company X would be picked, I think some people make a boat load off these listings.

  226. Qwerty says:

    @ 12:01 pm

    RE: McCarthy and “red scare witch hunts”

    Again, please learn about the facts of history:

    Nova (PBS Television)
    February 5, 2002

    “Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies”

    In 1995, the U.S. National Security Agency broke a half century of silence by releasing translations of Soviet cables decrypted back in the 1940s by the Venona Project. Venona was a top-secret U.S. effort to gather and decrypt messages sent in the 1940s by agents of what is now called the KGB and the GRU, the Soviet military intelligence agency. The cables revealed the identities of numerous Americans who were spies for the Soviet Union.

    Ultimately the code breakers found cover names for more than 300 Americans who spied for the Soviets in World War Two.

    One who had the cover name “Quantum,” provided the Soviets at a very early stage, the actual scientific formula for separating U-235 from U-238, which is a very key step in developing a working atomic bomb.

    American counterintelligence was able to identify only about 100 of these Soviet agents.

    But even this incomplete list is remarkable: Harry Dexter White, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, cover name “Lawyer;” Larry Duggan, Chief of the Division of American Republics at the State Department, cover name “Prince;” Lauchlin Currie, Senior Administrative Assistant to President Roosevelt, cover name “Page.”

    There was not a single agency of the American government that the Soviets had not infiltrated, ranging from the OSS–the forerunner of the CIA–to the Justice Department, to the Treasury Department, to the State Department, to all of the wartime defense agencies.

  227. HEHEHE says:

    Dealbreakers on a roll today:

    With A Bow On Top

  228. kettle1 says:


    30 min interview (cnn) with Putin that was never aired

    can we get him on the US presidential ticket? at least he knows how to strengthen a country and not run it into the ground

  229. 3b says:

    #236 Stu: Bought at the peak and lived through the last housing bust, and this one will be worse.

    I am failry certain that things will unfold the way I envision, but as I say, if I do not reach absolute bottom, that is OK. I would rather be another 10% below from where I purchased, than 20% or more.

    Plus there will be plety too chose from and we can take our time, as opposed to those folks who were buying during the frenzy.

    The difference between this time and last time is that I believe we are in a much weaker state financially as a country/society than we were last time around, which is why I suspect the unwinding will be quicker.

    There are still many people out there desperately seeking prices that are 2 years or more out of date. Seems to me like the last time around, sellers accepted the declines more easily, than this time around.

  230. #239 – It should be noted that that Nova episode is largely a cut down retelling of Richard Rhodes’ books Dark Sun and Making of the Atomic Bomb, both are good reads.

  231. John says:

    Gary you have NO CASH. YOUR HOUSE IS WORTHLESS. You have to assume when bottom comes your house will be worthless and you may have to rent it out till market recovers. No one who has been trying to sell a house for three years will sell you a home at a good price when you say it is contingent on your sale. Also when it is contingent upon your sale it leaves the house on the market, seller has a right to sell it to someone else even at a lesser price. I would like to buy a house 3x my current home price so I hope my house falls to one dollar so I can buy a mansion for three dollars. Equity in home is a joke, it is a myth a fantasy, housing is dead and your kids kids might see that money one day.

    gary Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    My cash WILL come mostly from the sale of my current home, there WILL be a contingency favoring my interests and I WILL close for the price I’m satisfied with based on the house I’m getting.

  232. kettle1 says:


    all i have is my stash of hookers and blow. given that is a substantial stash, could i use that to buy a house at the bottom? or should i just use up said stash immediatly

  233. Senate banking committee is asking FNM and FRE to halt foreclosures; via Bloomberg.

  234. 3b says:

    #244 kettle: More fun if you use the stash immediately.

  235. 3b says:

    gary: I have to agree with John on the contigency part. I cannot see many sellers entertaining that kind of contigency in this type of environemnt.

    The people with nothing to sell will be in a better position.

  236. Hard Place says:

    Gary – Join us. Sell now and rent. Than you will have the freedom to lowball as you please w/out contingency.

  237. max says:

    how would halting foreclosures help us?

  238. PGC says:

    What’s wrong with this picture? Pass the KoolAid

    6:01am In a few years I will retire. We will have to move as I won’t be able to afford the $10K taxes on my (BC) home.

    6:05pm We are looking for a little place around Myrtle Beach. I’d like a place close to golf, but near the beach so that kids have something to do.

    6:06pm Although it would be empty most of the year, I could never rent it out.

    6:08pm This town will be immune from the price drops. We are not as expensive as neighboring towns, and we as close to the train and the bus and have great schools.

  239. kettle1 says:


    the point would be to prop up housing prices and hence all of the alphabet soup financial instruments based on it.

    It wont work, will drag out the correction, and will cause said correction to be worse.

  240. 3b says:

    #250 PGC: Some background please.

  241. electricsheep says:

    Clot – no way would I hold into the weekend. No WAY.

  242. gary says:


    That’s doable. I’ll list mine below what other comparables are at and get my house under contract first, if that’s the case. I’m willing to bite the bullet on my end, also… without question. I know I can’t have the cake and eat it, too. Whatever I gotta do to sell me house, I’ll do.

    However, I’m not funding someone elses retirement either. My buy price is going to be to my liking or I’ll f*cking rent. I’m not bending on the sellers end. No f*cking way. If I gotta bite hard when I sell, so do they.

  243. chicagofinance says:

    Who hit the happy button on the market in the last 30 minutes?

  244. Victorian says:

    255 Chifi-
    Must be the Staples guys.

  245. John says:

    Actually, 10K taxes in retirement is cheaper than 10K taxes when you are working as by then you will be out of AMT and you can write them off.

  246. Shore Guy says:

    “all i have is my stash of hookers and blow”


    In tough economic times it makes no sense to pay hookers, especially not when slu-ts are a reasonable and less-expensive alternative.

  247. Barbara says:

    Agree with everything you said with the exception of your disbelief that it was so hard in this market to find a house. I am still finding it impossible and have bailed out for now untill next summer.

    Spot on about the whole “there’s another offer, would you care to bid higher” senario. This IME has become the norm and its a total yank.

  248. 3b says:

    #259 Barbara:I am still finding it impossible and have bailed out for now untill next summer.

    Impossible in terms of finding a suitable house, or in finding a suitable house at the right price?

  249. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #241, I think Putin has done a good job of running Russian into the ground, at least a good start…his stock market decline has accelerated, they are being given the cold shoulder by Europe and EVERYONE, now knows for SURE, what they are capable of and how they will react. He played his cards, perhaps, a bit too son.

  250. Hard Place says:

    From Bloomberg…

    New Jersey Pension Fund Lost $50 Million on Lehman (Update1) New Jersey’s state pension fund lost $50 million on the sale of about 3 million shares of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. during the past two months, fund director William Clark said.

  251. Hard Place says:

    From the NJ pension fund article. What an arrogant SOB…

    “When you have a portfolio this big, you are going to have losses on certain securities,” Clark said. “I can guarantee you I can go through the portfolio and find securities we lost more on than on Lehman. If you can’t accept that fact, you shouldn’t be running a pension fund.”

  252. John says:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH:Lehman Brothers BAC 33.06, +0.68, +2.1%) , The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday on its Web site, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares of Lehman dropped more than 40% on the day as it struggles to shore up confidence with investors and clients. Potential buyers are looking to the U.S. government to help backstop future losses at Lehman, according to the Journal

  253. kettle1 says:

    from WSJ

    BofA in talks to buy LEH

  254. kettle1 says:

    Reuters) – Bank of America Corp is in talks to buy Lehman Brothers, the Wall Street Journal, citing a source, said on Thursday .

  255. Hard Place says:

    BOFA/LEH, that would be an interesting combination.

  256. HEHEHE says:

    Is BoA going to roll them into a sub so they aren’t liable on any of Lehman’s debt like they did with Countrywide?

  257. kettle1 says:

    what size line of credit is the FED/Treasury offering BofA for this shotgun marriage?

  258. HEHEHE says:

    That’s a good question, how much of the stinky stuff do the taxpayers have to backstop.

  259. HEHEHE says:

    What happened to BC Bob?

  260. kettle1 says:


    BC bob isnt a fan of the politics. figured he’d go hang out on a politics blog and discuss real estate

  261. kettle1 says:

    all is well with him though

  262. kettle1 says:

    HEHE 270,

    o,h only 50-100 billion, not much

  263. Secondary Market says:

    any questions the board would like me to ask robert schiller tonight? i’ll be hearing him speak in 2 hours.

  264. dhickey says:

    Ask Shiller why he forgot to include Philadelphia in his index.

    He includes Las Vegas which has 1 million people. He excludes Philadelphia wich has 6 million people.

  265. Secondary Market says:

    that was already number 1 on my list!

  266. chicagofinance says:

    Secondary Market Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 5:32 pm
    any questions the board would like me to ask robert schiller tonight? i’ll be hearing him speak in 2 hours.

    SM: Here is a copy of the presentation if you want to prep in advance……

  267. Secondary Market says:


  268. jack says:

    sure, what does the guy running the portfolio care ,,, loseing our money ,not his..

    does anybody ever get fired? not in NJ

  269. chicagofinance says:

    Oh my…..what a f#(#(#ing load of crap….do these people think we are stupid? (DON’T ANSWER!)

  270. Barbara says:

    #360 3b
    Right house at the right price. Plently of lovely fixers out there but the prices STILL reflect that AFTER reno values. arrrgh.

  271. Secondary Market says:

    i more concerned with her jazz hands while talking. sheesh

  272. lostinny says:

    281 Chifi
    “Enjoy the Silence”

  273. BC Bob says:

    he [271],

    Thanks for asking. Was away and then buried upon my return. That’s OK, having a blast.

    Kettle is right, it seems like, from my departure to return, this site has reinvented itself, The NJ Political Blog. Certainly understandable. However, not my cup of tea.

    One of the first articles I read, upon my return, was pertaining to Volcker, how the financial system was broken. Much to my dismay, there was not one reference to that here. However, there was a pissing match regarding a tax and spend administration versus a borrow and spend administration, both in the pocket of the Fortune 100. In the meantime, the worlds financial markets are getting obliterated and the fed/treasury is in deep panic. Go figure? At this time, I ventured to a political blog. Funny thing, there is no discussion regarding politics; strictly RE, the credit bubble, deleveraging and the markets. Pretty cool.

    If the blog wants to discuss politics why not start with the corrupt malcontents in Congress who pushed to lower requirements for f/f and increase their leverage.

    By the way, while I’m here; who the hell did Dick Fcuk, I mean Fuld, bring out of the bullpen in that infamous 9th inning?

    Regarding the NJ Pension Plan’s 50m loss on Lehman; how about their $700M investment in Citi and Merrill’s preferred’s back in Jan. Oh, also at the same time, they already owned 13M shares in Citi. Remember, if the NJ Pension plan does not hit it’s target return, [I think 8%], taxpayers are then bent down.

  274. Tom says:

    Hi, I’m running for office. Do not judge me by what I said that I cannot defend with a straight face but please allow me to say that I said something completely difference and let me invoke the words of someone we can’t criticize for saying the complete opposite of what I said and pretend that’s what I said.

  275. scribe says:


    You’re back!

    Welcome back!

  276. victorian says:

    285- BC Bob
    Welcome back! We missed your insightful commentary over here.

    “If the blog wants to discuss politics why not start with the corrupt malcontents in Congress who pushed to lower requirements for f/f and increase their leverage.”

    – Now they want to halt foreclosures for 90 days.

    Also, the treasury is in the matchmaking business again.

    “The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are helping Lehman Brothers put itself up for sale. The details are not finalized, but sources familiar with the matter say the purchase is expected to be completed and announced this weekend before Asian markets open Monday morning. ”

  277. priced-out-in-2008 says:

    #64 kettle1 Says:

    “September 11th, 2008 at 9:46 am
    all i want for christmas is for people to put things into perspective.

    -red scare russians
    – evi;l middle east terrorists
    -tunnel dwelling viet cong

    what do they all have in common? They are all events/groups that while real were blown out of proportion and used as propaganda in order to justify the violation of US constitution and individual rights.

    anyone recognize?

    Yes I know my enemies
    They’re the teachers who taught me to fight me
    Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
    Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
    All of which are American dreams”

    Do you even see the irony in you posting (1) song lyrics, (2) on a public blog, to prove your point about an alleged erosion of constitutional rights? Did you know that each of the groups you cited fiercely suppressed free speech?

    Also, I’m having a little trouble seeing how each of these threats were blown out of proportion. Please explain if you can.

  278. Jaywalk says:

    “bi Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 8:46 am
    for the last 7 years after 9/11/2001, we haven’t hit by a single terrorist attack. for this alone, we have to take hat off for president bush for his great leadership.”

    We haven’t been hit by a single terrorist attack since 9/11/2001??? What about the anthrax attacks?

    Oh, that’s right, it was just those pesky liberals who were targeted. They don’t count.

    Gimme a break.

  279. Secondary Market says:

    I’m here at the lecture and actually shocked at the least 100 people so far.

  280. Orion says:

    (255) chifi

    Answer: Hedgies!

  281. Tom says:


    Ask Shiller why we should listen to any economists about what to do after the bubble has burst when so few were willing to speak out about it at the time. His last book on the tech bubble didn’t come out until 2000 when it was bursting and he seems to be able to explain why people couldn’t see the real estate bubble at the time.

    Why is it so hard for highly paid financial executives to see a bubble and for economists that monitor the market to not sound an alarm when we just went through another one?

    And ask him if he ever invested in beanie babies.

  282. Orion says:

    re: New Jersey’s pension boss investing your money.
    Article dated 8/17/08.

  283. 3b says:

    Kudlow does not understand why all this obsession with Lehman, its just a mid-tier investment bank.

  284. 3b says:

    #285 BC Bob: Welcome back!! You have been sorely missed!!!

  285. Cindy says:

    Hi BC Bob – I’m not much for politics either…I’ve been doing a lot of skipping. Great to hear from you.

    Do you have some news to share about Volcker? A current article you can recommend?

  286. Clotpoll says:

    3b (295)-

    Yeah. A mid-tier IB that’s been dumping body parts at the window since Day 1 of the self-serve Treasury note swap.

  287. victorian says:

    298 – Clot

    When does the FED HAVE to take stock/ mark to market the crap that it is holding?

  288. Laughing all the way says:

    grim 234 in mod?

  289. HEHEHE says:

    BC good to have you back, I was getting worried.

    I heard they found Dickie in the fetal position on the corner of 7th and 48th babbling over and over “We’re well capitalized, we’re well capitalized, why won’t anyone believe me, first inning, first inning!!!”.

  290. Laughing all the way says:

    just eight more weeks of this political talk and then nobody will care for three more years.

  291. Confused In NJ says:

    Interesting, soon Foreign Countries will own Wall Street, Main Street Banks, most Commercial & Residential Real Estate, Infrastructure like Bridges & Highways, Farms, Fort Knox, etc. But all is O.K. as long as Abortion & Same Sex Marriage is Allowed. God Bless America!

  292. Laughing all the way says:

    Clot, you bailing on SKF prior to the weekend like electric?


  293. Cindy says:

    This is what I could find reguarding recent Volker appearances…Bloomberg by Doug Alexander and Steve Matthews
    Volcker Says Financial System “Broken” Losses May Rise (update 1)

    “Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said U.S. financial system, dependent upon securitization rather than traditional bank loans, is broken, and may contribute to the weakest expansion since the 1030s.”

    “This bright new system, this practice in the United States, this practice in the United Kingdon, and elsewhere, has broken down,” Volker said today at a banking conference in Calgary. “Growth in the economy in this decade will be the slowest of any decade since the Great Depression, right in the middle of all this financial innovation.”

    The former Fed chief projected “a lot” more losses from the collapse in the mortgage-backed debt market, after the more than $500 billion tallied so far, should the U.S., European and Japanese economies fail to pick up. He urged changes in the financial regulations, echoing calls among sitting officials and legislators.”

    “It is the most complicated financial crisis I have ever experienced, and I have experienced a few,” said Volcker….”

    …”Changes are going to have to be made” to the financial system Volcker said. Banks three decades ago accounted for about 60 per cent of U.S. credit; that later declined to about 30 per cent as securitization – where financial firms package assets into bonds and other instruments and sell them on to investors and other companies – spread.”

  294. Theo says:

    #303 Confused

    don’t you mean as long as abortion and gay marriage are banned?

  295. stu says:

    Rutgers sucks! Worst game of the Schiano era!

  296. Clotpoll says:

    Laughy (304)-

    Nope. I have been a holder of SKF since March. However, I use SKF, SRS and some other short/ultra-short ETFs as a hedge against my RE business. That might not be the best play for someone else.

    So…all disclaimers.

  297. Clotpoll says:

    stu (310)-

    You guys got some real problems. Believe me, our expectations for the Heels this year are modest, at best. We looked like USC last night, though.

  298. NJGator says:

    I think last night the fearsome Blue Hens could have beaten Rutgers.

    If Sciano coached in a real conference like the SEC, he’d already be fired.

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