Is the solution to reckless lending more reckless lending?

From Bloomberg:

Mortgage Bankers to Ask U.S. to Lift Home-Loan Limits

The U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association plans to ask the Federal Housing Finance Agency to increase the limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchases or guarantees of single-family mortgages to $625,500 to bolster the housing market.

The mortgage bankers’ residential board of governors is scheduled to vote today on the recommendation, which would call for an increase of 50 percent above the current limit of $417,000 in most areas, at the trade group’s annual conference in San Francisco.

“It will be stimulative,” Garry Cipponeri, senior vice president of Chase Home Finance LLC in Iselin, New Jersey, and head of the mortgage bankers’ capital markets committee, said in an interview. “This market needs liquidity.”

A higher limit guaranteed by the government agencies is needed to spur lending in the most expensive housing markets, such as California and New York, Cipponeri said. The availability of mortgages above $417,000, known as non-conforming loans, “has gotten worse” amid a tightening of credit standards, he said.

Congress approved raising the limit temporarily to $729,500. That increase expires at the end of the year and lawmakers would decide whether to raise the limit permanently, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency having oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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

304 Responses to Is the solution to reckless lending more reckless lending?

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Fannie and Freddie’s Regulator Suggests U.S. Backs Their Debt

    The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is taking on a new role: trying to help them sell debt on better terms.

    As turmoil in the debt markets pushes up the mortgage giants’ cost of borrowing, James Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said at a mortgage bankers’ convention here that the government has effectively guaranteed Fannie and Freddie’s debt. Later, in an interview, he added, “The U.S. government will be behind them short, medium and long term.”

    Investors’ confidence in Fannie and Freddie affects their borrowing costs and determines how aggressively they can purchase mortgages and related securities from lenders. That has a big effect on the rates that banks charge consumers on home mortgages. Both Fannie and Freddie have pledged to increase their mortgage purchases sharply over the next year.

    Investors in recent days have been demanding higher yields on debt issued by Fannie, Freddie and the 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks, which also play a big role in providing funds for home mortgages. For instance, says Jim Vogel, an analyst at FTN Capital Markets, five-year bonds issued by Fannie and Freddie were yielding about 1.4 percentage points above comparable U.S. Treasury bonds Monday, compared with less than 1.1 points early last week.

    That partly reflects unintended consequences of the government’s efforts to prop up banks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. recently said it would provide guarantees on bank debt for three years. That means investors who ordinarily buy Fannie or Freddie debt may switch to higher-yielding debt issued by banks and also backed by the government.

    Mr. Lockhart said investors needn’t worry about Fannie and Freddie’s ability to repay their debt, because the Treasury has agreed to provide as much as $100 billion of equity capital to each company, if needed. Even so, foreign investors have become wary of debt issued by such government-backed entities as Fannie and Freddie.

    The Treasury’s recent agreement to buy preferred stock in Fannie and Freddie, if needed, says the agreement “shall not be deemed to constitute a guarantee” of the companies’ debts.

  2. DL says:

    This is like giving an alcoholic a shot of whiskey to get over the DTs.

  3. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:


  4. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Feds arrest 3 in mortgage fraud, property-flipping scheme

    Federal authorities today arrested an Englewood man and two alleged accomplices in a mortgage fraud and property-flipping scheme involving more than $4 million worth of investment properties in Essex and Passaic counties.

    A one-count indictment, unsealed following the early morning arrests, accuses David Wynn, 42, of Englewood; Michael Kaufman, 39, of Reading, Pa.; and Andre Devieux, 43, of Amityville, N.Y., of conspiring with others to fraudulently secure mortgage loans for unqualified borrowers between May 2004 and June 2005.

    Many of the buyers defaulted on the mortgage loans, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to the lenders, which included Bank One Chicago, Long Beach Mortgage and Deutsche Bank, authorities said.

  5. grim says:

    From the Asbury Park Press:

    State workers at $100G on rise

    It’s an elite club with a mushrooming membership: state employees paid more than $100,000 a year in salaries.

    The club nearly doubled in size — to 4,422 members — from April 2006 to April 2008, according to an Asbury Park Press review of state payroll data.

    And while the number of state workers dropped from 84,627 to 79,982, or 5.5 percent, their salaries grew to nearly $4.9 billion, or 5.7 percent.

    The average compensation for all state employees — those in the executive, legislative and judicial branches — rose from $54,236 to $60,666 in two years.

    That’s an increase of 11.9 percent. A state official termed the increase as an “anomaly.”

  6. House Hunter says:

    #5 if we could see Barney Frank in cuffs that would calm the markets

  7. House Hunter says:

    not so long ago NJ told state employees they had to contribute to their benefits, then they raised their salary to cover the costs…I know someone who after the benefit charge came out of their salary, and they received the raise, her paycheck went down .21 cents. Also, a friend of mine just started a teaching job in Sept. She and her two children get health coverage for $0

  8. gary says:

    Hey all, guess who got pink-slipped yesterday! Yes, that would be me. A sign of the times, I suppose. I’m not worried, though.. I know something new and better is just around the corner.

  9. Cindy says:

    California Home Sales Revive but Not Without Intense Pain
    – WSJ


    There are some examples of what I see here, when the price is reduced enough – folks with actual money come in, buy them, then rent them out. The price drops bring in the buyers.

    A few here who are deciding whether to stop making payments and wait for restructuring or foreclosure say it is like a game of “chicken” because the lenders do not have to restructure. They can simply foreclose. – you have to be willing to take that chance.

    The lenders that are said to be doing some loan restructuring are Countrywide (lawsuit?) and Indymac.

  10. lostinny says:

    9 Gary
    Are you serious? No warning?

  11. victorian says:

    Gary (9)-

    Sad to hear, but Good luck! I too am expecting the axe to fall in the near future.
    You are in IT, correct? How is the job market looking?

  12. Secondary Market says:

    goood luck, gary. i experienced it just about a year ago and turn out to be the best thing to happen to me.

  13. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Mortgage Applications Fall 16.6%

    Demand for applications to buy homes and refinance mortgages sank 16.6 percent last week, a trade group said on Wednesday, in the heart of a financial crisis that has sapped consumer confidence.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, slid last week to 408.1.

    The trade group’s purchase index fell 10.9 percent to 279.3 in the week ended Oct. 17, while its refinancing applications gauge tumbled 23.5 percent to 1,158.8.

    “A recession appears to be under way, as evidenced in rising unemployment, contracting manufacturing activity and declining inflation-adjusted consumption spending,” Jay Brinkmann, the MBA’s chief economist, said on Tuesday at the group’s annual convention in San Francisco.

    “We expect residential investment to decline further through the first half of 2009, due to the excess of supply of houses and weakened demand from the recession.”

    The housing sector has more pain to endure, Brinkmann said, with the worst downturn in new home sales and construction still ahead and the foreclosure rate set to rise.

  14. gary says:

    Thanks all. Nope, no warning. They pulled us into a conference room 5 at a time, said they were sorry, split up us individually to explain the package, cleaned out the cubicle and out the door all within a half hour. I understand it was across all departments.

  15. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    ‘Under Water’ Mortgages are Growing Threat to US

    Long before she filed for bankruptcy, Ann Neukomm was “under water” — she owed more on her mortgage than her house was worth — a situation more and more Americans are finding themselves in.

    As the financial crisis hits Main Street America, nearly one in six U.S. homeowners are finding themselves in the same position, threatening the U.S. economy with a new wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies.

    About 12 million U.S. homeowners owe more than their homes are worth, compared with 6.6 million at the end of last year and slightly more than 3 million at the close of 2006, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s

    “At the root it’s ‘the’ problem,” said Zandi. “If you’re going to put your finger on the one thing that’s gotten us into this fiasco, it’s the fact that millions of homeowners are under water on their homes.”

    If, like Neukomm, these homeowners go into foreclosure, it would add to the oversupply of homes, delay a recovery in the housing market, and add to pressure on banks.

    Already, U.S. consumer spending is slumping as homeowners find they can no longer take equity out of their homes to fund their lifestyles.

    In a slowing economy, it doesn’t take much to push an underwater mortgage into default.

    “When you’re under water and you have some kind of hit to your income or some kind of unintended expense, that’s when you default. And so now we’ve got this noxious mix of millions of people under water and quickly rising unemployment,” Zandi said.

  16. NJGator says:

    Gosh, Gary. What crappy news :(

  17. gary says:


    Yup… indeed. I’ll just have to become a rock star, now! :)

  18. lostinny says:

    15 Gary
    That’s terrible. I’m sorry to hear it. I do hope you find something better.

  19. grim says:


    O and M discussions are banned today.

    -The Management

  20. Cindy says:

    Sorry to hear that news Gary. IT must be so far-reaching. What areas are open to you?

  21. Sean says:

    Going to be a Wheee! day, remember to raise your hands up!

  22. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:


    Good Luck to you…..expand your horizons and leave no stone unturned in your job search.

  23. chicagofinance says:

    gary: sorry to hear it….

  24. yome says:

    Gary- something better always open up.Good luck bro.

  25. BC Bob says:

    “O and M discussions are banned today.”

    Best post over the past 30 days.


    Get my email address from JB.

  26. grim says:

    Get my email address from JB.

    Already sent.

  27. stan says:

    Good luck Gary

  28. Cindy says:

    “Get my email from JB”

    “Already sent”

    You guys ROCK…

  29. chicagofinance says:

    State of the art equity analysis by Jeff Macke on Fast Money last night. He is commenting on buying McDonald’s shares in advance of the earnings announcement this morning.

    Play the video on this page.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    grim, unmod

  31. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I wonder if I can ask a favor from our Brethren and Sistren on the board??

    Does anyone have access to the Middlesex MLS??

  32. stan says:

    @6- an anomaly? Wtf?

    That’s not an anomaly, a carrot growing out of my head is an anomaly….

  33. Tom says:

    Is the solution to reckless lending more lending?


    That reminds me… Has NJP come back?

    So let me get this straight. Those nasty democrats made Fannie and Freddie force the bankers to give more loans and now they’re using jedi mind tricks to make them think they want the GSE’s to buy more and bigger mortgages?

    It’s a shame the crap is hitting the fan around an election. :(

  34. yome says:

    CDO Cuts Show $1 Trillion Corporate-Debt Bets Toxic

  35. BC Bob says:

    JB [27],


  36. BC Bob says:

    Cindy [33],

    The masters have not focused on the demand side of the equation. Lend? Lend to whom?

  37. gary says:

    Thank you all for the well wishes… very kind of you all, despite my incessant whining! lol!

  38. tbw says:

    Merck wants to reduce by 7k? Ouch! I wonder how many are NJ positions? all 7k?

  39. 3b says:

    #9 gary: So sorry to hear that. All the best to you.

  40. 3b says:

    #20 grim: AMEN!!!

  41. tbw says:

    Did anyone hear about Ogilvy & Mather? They are an international advertising agency in NYC which is owned by the WPP Group. They operate 497 offices in 125 countries around the world and employ 1,600 people

  42. lisoosh says:

    Gary – So sorry. Wishing you a short and successful job search.

  43. yome says:

    Gold, by the way, is taxed as a collectible — whether you buy it in the form of coins, ETF shares or an interest in a pool account. Your tax rate on long-term capital gains would be 28 percent, compared with 15 percent on other assets. Only a significant price gain (or currency collapse) redeems your bet.

    I did not know that

  44. PGC says:

    Sorry to hear Gary. Get my email from grim and send me a resume. I can pass it onto a few places.

  45. Tom says:


    What about them?

  46. Outofstater says:

    Gary – sorry to hear the news. When one door closes, another one always opens.

  47. lisoosh says:

    My advice to new college grads this year would be to join the Peace Corps (if it still exists), spend some time out of the mix till it all blows over and do some good (hopefully) too.

    tbw- what about Ogilvy and Mather?

  48. Cindy says:

    IndyMac restructuring – Reference to my acedotal @10

    “IndyMac’s efforts, which are designed to save FDIC by curbing losses on foreclosed homes, are being closely watched nationwide. In fact, Bank of America is taking a similar approach with newly acquired Countrywide Financial as part of an $8.4B, 12-state legal settlement reached this month.”

  49. Tom says:

    sorry to hear gary.

    I think a lot of people that aren’t directly involved with banking or housing are going to be in for a shock.

    I don’t know if i’m reading too much into it, but for the past year or so, it seems like a lot of film actors have been showing up in tv series.. I think that was one of the signs of the apocalpyse.

  50. Sean says:


    NEW YORK – Wall Street headed for a sharply lower open Wednesday as investors again shifted their focus away from improving credit markets and fixated on corporate earnings that are raising worries about a deep and protracted recession. Ahead of the market’s open, Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 250, or 2.76 percent, to 8,785.

  51. Cindy says:

    (38( BC

    “Lend, lend to whom?”

    No one – I hope! We need to OUT OF debt – in every way, shape and form.

    Maybe the gov/street want more easy money to flow – but the consumer – the demand side – not so much so…

  52. Secondary Market says:

    @44 More details TBW…

    in sort of related news, the company i am helping to expand is featured in the WSJ today; page c12.
    i only get the print version so if someone can post the link, i’d greatly appreciate it.

    page C12 – Property Report.

  53. 3b says:

    #52 sean: Amazing to me that with all that has happened, so many people were hoping that somehow we could avoid a recession. Now that fantasy has faded away too.

  54. yome says:

    Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England and a major player in Group of Seven nations’ discussions on the crisis, said that for the financial system the worst may have passed.

    “We are far from the end of the road back to stability,” he said late on Tuesday. “But the plan to recapitalize our banking system, both here and abroad, will I believe come to be seen as the moment in the banking crisis of the past year when we turned the corner.”

    His comments were underlined by U.S. dollar short-term funding costs falling further in London and Asia, a sign banks are beginning to regain trust in each other.

    Emerging powerhouse Russia, whose markets have been battered during the crisis, also signaled improvements in bank lending.

  55. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I ask again….

    I wonder if I can ask a favor from our Brethren and Sistren on the board??

    Does anyone have access to the Middlesex MLS??

  56. 3b says:

    I saw the post listed below on a marketwatch forum. The poster claims he got a mtg modification both on rate, and 75K kncoked off the principal.

    If true this will as I have been sayong ultimately destroy the housing market. What would be buyer today would want to commit to buying? If this is true,and becomes common place, than I will have to take that into Deep consideration when bidding on a house (insurance premium for my own protection).

    Actually there are some days where I seriously think that I do not even want to buy again. Why bother?

    Good Morning all, for those who were interested in the Loan Modification post I made the other day, well here is the final update to that short adventure, I received a great offer of which I accepted, my offer was as follows

    6.34% to 5%, and a Principal reduction of $75,000….and this is a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, no fees, just sign on the dotted line, and less than a 24 hour response and turn around. The banks do not want your home, call them write to them, and they will work with you, I am living proof of that.

    And you goody tissue mouths out there get over yourself, this is about affordability, for the next leg down, not about your tax money, its about keeping people in their homes long term, and to make it as affordable as possible.

    Best of luck.

  57. Pat says:

    Gary, your incessant whining is a breath of real life energetic behavior in a sea of uberpoliteness. I know it takes effort, but keep up the good work.

    Too many damn wannabe politicians or something around here.

    Maybe that’s why some people laugh a little too nervously when you’re on a roll.

    Now, combine your attitude, John’s morals and Clot’s firepower, and we have ourselves The Candidate.


  58. Frank says:

    What are “O and M discussions”?

  59. Cindy says:

    “Fresno County home sales surge 76%”

    “32% drop in median price of existing homes fuels a September buying spree.”

    “Inland markets have spoken, sales take off when prices drop 30% or more from the peak.”

    The article ends..

    “Supply and demand says prices should be going up, but there are so many foreclosures and banks are desperate to unload them. That is keeping prices soft.”

  60. Pat says:

    Frank, it’s like S&M.

  61. DL says:

    Re 58: So now we’ll be able to take out a mortage for say $200k and after we’ve closed, stop making payments and notify the bank we want a loan modification? That will prop up prices!

  62. danzud says:

    I saw the advice above to current/future grads. I graduated college back in 1992 and a good chunk of grads from 1990-1994 were going to Japan to teach English and get good pay for doing it. The more history changes…….

  63. Matt O says:

    Can someone with MLS access please give me sales history on MLS# 2563835? The house is in Branchburg. Thanks in advance…

  64. Frank says:

    Where’s the recession when dumb people keep buying $500 ipods?

  65. Secondary Market says:

    i found a link for my post at 54.

  66. Gary- Sorry to hear about your job loss. If it makes you feel any better my contract @ SocGen wasn’t extended and my final day was last Fri.

    I would suggest becoming a rock start, I keep hearing good things about it.

  67. NJLifer says:

    Anybody here suggest buying Yen based ETFs, or am I too late to that party?

  68. 3b says:

    #61 cindy: With all the supply, no reason for prices to be going up.

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [186][yesterday] skep,

    Have to say that, notwithstanding NoHo’s reputation, there were a lot more alt lifestyle types at MHC than there were at Smith. At least back when I frequented the grounds of each.

  70. Stu says:


    You will be fine. Immediatelly get a p/t retail job until you land the real job. This way, your severance combined with the additional salary will make you feel rich until you get a real gig.

  71. kettle1 says:


    sorry man,

    thats rough, i have been there before….

    what sort of IT background do you have?

  72. Stu says:

    Oh, and Gary, I would offer you a job at my workplace, but I think we are doomed as well.

  73. skep-tic says:

    you know the feds are going to raise the conforming limit permanently. There is already a proposal on the table from the dems to make the temporary raised limits permanent. hard to say which would be more “stimulative”, that or the plan to raise to $625,500 across the board. Personally, I think the former would be a better allocation of resources since there are not many $600k+ homes in most of the country. At least the current limits sort of recognize the differentiation in pricing regionally

  74. 3b says:

    #79 skeptic: What good is it going to do??

  75. Stu says:

    Oh how the markets have calmed. Who was saying that the other night?^VIX#chart3:symbol=^vix;range=3m;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

  76. RentinginNJ says:

    What are “O and M discussions”?

    O&M Operations & Maintenance
    O&M Operations and Management
    O&M Ogilvy & Mather
    O&M Orientation & Mobility
    O&M Owens & Minor (Fortune 500 company)
    O&M Oceanography and Meteorology
    O&M Organization & Methods
    O&M Ohio and Mississippi Railroad
    O&M Outline and Mounting
    O&M Ozy & Millie (comic)
    O&M Operator & Maintainer
    O&M Organization and Management

  77. grim says:

    #79 skeptic: What good is it going to do??

    Even at an insane 50% housing-only DTI, a $625,000 loan would require a $96k income. At a much more reasonable 28% DTI, that same $625k loan would require an income of $170k. Keep in mind that I haven’t even included property taxes and insurance. Factoring in NJ-level taxes on a home that would require a $625k loan, that minimum number would likely move up to roughly $120k and the upper to roughly $215k.

  78. kettle1 says:


    -Trichet Urges Return to ‘Discipline’ of Bretton Woods

    -The European Union is Pushing to Overhaul the Post-World War II Financial System.

    if we see a major world currency pegged back to gold in some manner then there would be a significant effect.

  79. #77 – Thanks for that link Pat. It brings up an interesting point. We’ve all focused on the financial fall-out of this mess; deflation, inflation, etc. There’s been very little discussion of the social implications of what’s happened.
    There have been an awful lot of people who were trampled over the past 10+ yrs in the mad rush for cheap cash. The dwindling middle class who were given debt in lieu wages. The working classes who had their jobs exported with no real substitute. Anyone trying to save who had that savings leeched away by the Fed. God only knows how pissed various pensioners are going to be when they find out they don’t have as much as they thought and it’s back to work @ 67. Well, you get they idea.
    The article brought up someone trying to effect a citizens arrest on K Rove for treason. I’m wondering if this is just the beginning. Is what we’ve seen so far in terms of societal acrimony just the calm before the storm. Someone is going o have to pay for this, both financially and in terms of taking the punishment. We know the monetary bill is going to be monstrous I’d expect the social one to be the same.
    Sorry for being so long winded, I’m just getting this uneasy feeling about the next few years.

  80. grim says:

    Debt in lieu of wages.

    I like that.

  81. Stu says:


    Did you see IOUSA and then Buffet’s opinion on the economy afterwards?

  82. #87 – No I didn’t. Did he address some of this?

  83. skep-tic says:


    Gary– that sucks, sorry to hear that. best of luck

  84. kettle1 says:

    Tosh, STu,

    I think buffet was somewaht insincere during the IOUSA Q&A. SOmeone asked him wether or note the economy would get worse before improving, if eveyone stoped spending and started saving. He sidestepped the question and said we would be fine. far from the truth…

    Tosh 85,

    There is a lot of unrest fomenting in ireland over reducing pensioner benefits (i.e free health care) and the unrest is growing rapidly. You will see the same thing in the US. Why do you think northcom has been setup and is on standby as of october of this year.

    Expect widespread unrest when it starts to become public knowledge that a lot of retirement funds were heavily involved in highly leveraged instruments that are now worth pennies. Those about to retire are depending on their retirement investments and are going to be very unhappy. They dont have 20 years for the market to revert to mean.

  85. ricky_nu says:

    gary –
    I will be joining you shortly, was thinking of buying an X-box for the occasion (something to do while sitting around in my boxers, not a pretty sight!). Last time I got laid off was in 1990, and I got pretty good at Super Mario Brothers during that 6 months!

  86. Stu says:


    It was pretty much the running theme of the film. Of course prior to the credit crunch.

  87. renter says:

    First Time Homebuyers, Renters May Be Priced Out of New Jersey
    New Jersey Future

  88. Diane says:

    Anyone know of any rentals available in the next month or so? I am looking for a 2 bedroom within an easy drive to the Willowbrook area.

  89. Al says:

    Diane Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 10:38 am
    Anyone know of any rentals available in the next month or so? I am looking for a 2 bedroom within an easy drive to the Willowbrook area.

    Check and local papers.

  90. Stu says:

    From Renter’s article:

    “But exporting young and/or lower-income households is not a sustainable practice. The state’s economy needs a certain number of lower-paying service-sector jobs in order to continue functioning, and it needs to accommodate the next generation of workers of all pay levels. As housing becomes less affordable near New Jersey jobs, workers will need to commute from farther across the river. Fueling longer commute times and increasing traffic is not a wise economic development strategy. And if these jobs start to go unfilled because potential workers cannot afford even to commute to them, let alone live near them, businesses may eventually decide it makes more sense to follow the workforce to eastern Pennsylvania and beyond.”

  91. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Fed Raises Rate It Pays on Banks’ Reserve Balances

    The Federal Reserve will raise the interest rate it pays banks for the excess cash they keep on deposit so it can keep pumping funds into the financial system without affecting the central bank’s monetary policy.

    Fed officials acted after the initial rate they set Oct. 6 failed to keep the benchmark U.S. overnight interest rate close to the target set by policy makers. The central bank will pay interest on excess reserves at the lowest target rate for a one- or two-week period less 0.35 percentage point, effective tomorrow, the Fed said in a statement.

    The previous rate was 0.75 percentage point below the target. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke wants to ensure that his efforts to flood the financial system with cash don’t interfere with the policy rate. The Fed started paying interest on reserves this month after gaining authorization under the financial-rescue bill passed by Congress.

    “We’re not quite sure what we have to pay in order to get the market rate, which includes some credit risk, up to the target,” Bernanke told economists Oct. 7. “We’re going to experiment with this and try to find what the right spread is.”

  92. grim says:

    “We’re not quite sure what we have to pay”

    Inspires confidence…

  93. Stu says:

    “We’re going to experiment with this and try to find what the right spread is.”

    Uh oh!

  94. 3b says:

    #96 Stu: Another reason why house prices are and have to continue to come down.

  95. Victorian says:

    What is the general opinion of economists on Ben’s thesis about the Great Depression? Anyone know?
    To a layman, it feels like he is throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.

  96. grim says:

    To a layman, it feels like he is throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.

    More like, “hoping that something sticks”.

  97. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 10:31 am
    Tosh, STu, I think buffet was somewaht insincere during the IOUSA Q&A. SOmeone asked him wether or note the economy would get worse before improving, if eveyone stoped spending and started saving. He sidestepped the question and said we would be fine. far from the truth…
    Tosh 85, There is a lot of unrest fomenting in ireland over reducing pensioner benefits (i.e free health care) and the unrest is growing rapidly. You will see the same thing in the US. Why do you think northcom has been setup and is on standby as of october of this year. Expect widespread unrest when it starts to become public knowledge that a lot of retirement funds were heavily involved in highly leveraged instruments that are now worth pennies. Those about to retire are depending on their retirement investments and are going to be very unhappy. They dont have 20 years for the market to revert to mean.

    ket: What do you mean by “unrest”? You allude to a lot of things all day long. Just say what you think, instead of making ominous vague predictions of mayhem. Do you recognize the broad implications of what you are proposing?

  98. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    General Growth falls 25% as investors worry

    Shares of General Growth Properties, a retail real estate investment trust that owns shopping centers, fell 25% in morning trade as investors continue to fret about its financial strength.

  99. Al says:

    For many years, New Jersey has been losing more residents to other states than it has been attracting from the rest of the country; the state’s modest increase in total population has been due primarily to immigration from other countries. Migration to the Sun Belt is nothing new for New Jersey or its neighbors in the Northeast, but net domestic out-migration from the region has increased steadily and dramatically in this decade—from a net loss of about 6,900 domestic migrants in 2000 to a loss of 72,500 in 2006.

    Over the same period, home values have been rising much faster than incomes in New Jersey. Between 2000 and 2006, the median household income increased by 16.9 percent while the median home value rose by 114.6 percent. Median home value thus increased 6.8 times faster than median household income. Only California and Florida had higher ratios

    Thats from link by renter – post#93

    There are quite a few here who are saying we did nto see huge run up here… We are #3 after FL and CA – and we know what is going on there.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    Bost: If you have a moment, I am looking for a degree of influence. Obviously, forex rates wax and wane for a whole host of reasons in this environment.

    What would you judge the impact on USD strength of USD sourced investment redemptions of international stocks, bonds, and financial instruments, and I guess the related repatriation of capital?

    For others, it can be as simple as executing an account transfer in your 401(k) from international stock fund to cash.

  101. skep-tic says:

    “79 skeptic: What good is it going to do??”


    3b– for one, people like me may reduce the amount they are willing to spend when they do buy. I do not want to get a jumbo mortgage

  102. randy says:

    BYD, Boyd Gaming, 50% owner of the Borgata… appears headed towards delisting. what the heck happens to the Borgata then?

  103. grim says:

    FDIC going long bank failures. 200,000 square feet? 600 employees? 3-5 years? All this for only “California and other Western states”?

    Does the FDIC know something that we don’t?

    FDIC seeking office space in Southern California

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plans soon to sign a major lease of office space in Orange County, probably in Irvine, where as many as 600 people would liquidate the assets of troubled banks and thrifts based in California and other Western states.

    The agency needs 200,000 square feet of space and has looked at locations across Southern California, FDIC spokesman David Barr said.

    “It’s a temporary office — three to five years is what we’re looking at,” Barr said Tuesday. “We hope to find the space within the next few weeks.”

  104. 3b says:

    3107 skeptic: Sometimes I am not even sure I want to buy anymore, but if I do it will only be if I get a deal. The longer I wait the less I am willing to pay.

  105. Nicholas says:

    Bad news fatigue

  106. Hard Place says:


    sorry to hear about your job loss. tell jb to send you my email. my company has some positions open.

  107. skep-tic says:

    3b– my wife said to me the other day that she doesn’t even care if we buy anymore. This is someone who thought I was loony when I insisted houses were way overpriced a couple of years ago and was really insistent on buying. Point is that I think the perception of buying as “the thing to do” once you reach a certain point in life has been punctured in a widespread manner. Of course, maybe I am reading too much into this.

    But back to mortgages, I do think keep the conforming limits high will have some effect on prices. Given the spread between jumbo and conforming rates (not to mention the higher DP requirement for jumbos), there is a big disincentive to get a jumbo. If above $417k is jumbo territory again, it will significantly raise the effective cost of buying in most commuteable/desireable areas surrounding NYC. Prices will have to drop even further to compensate for this.

  108. Essex says:

    My guess is that people who own…like me…and might have wanted to move on after a time…are stuck. Schools mean less as private schools are plentiful….taxes are always an issue….but the real deal is staying employed. Cash Flow is king. Sorry to hear about the losses here.

  109. Outofstater says:

    Kettle – What is your source on Northern Command? It is my understanding that they have a complement of fewer than 1,000 troops and they are to act in support of civil authorities in the event of attack or natural disaster. It is also my understanding that the National Guard would be called out first in either of those eventualities. In any event, training and “simulated real life” exercises are a regular part of military life, no matter what the mission. A unit can appear to be “stood up” when in reality it is just another in a long series of exercises.

  110. HEHEHE says:

    Good luck Gary. Sorry to hear.

  111. skep-tic says:


    Even though property taxes are pretty obscene, if you have a couple of school age kids it is still generally a better deal than if you had to pay for private school. Of course, you could always rent in a good school district also.

  112. Nicholas says:

    I entered inactive reserve about 18 months ago and Northcom and the rest of the military was already at elevated threat levels since the September 11th attack.

    ID checks at bases, armed security guards at every gate, and random vehicle searches existed during my whole time in the military.

    I haven’t heard of any change in the threat level nor have I receieved a recall notice :)

  113. kettle1 says:

    fun chart of the day…

    i will leave any commentary to local experts

  114. hi says:

    We have been taught wrong. It wasn’t our parents fault, because they too were taught wrong.

    We have been conditioned as humans to be dependent on others. The concept of freedom has been distorted over the past 100 years or so.

    Freedom is not owing anyone anything. Freedom is that feeling of standing on top of one of the smoky mountains and overlooking a beautiful morning sunrise. Freedom is a concept that we as Americans have been conditioned to not be able to grasp nor understand.

    We have been taught that dollars and material possessions make the man…therefore we let down our fellow men who may need our help for the sake of gain for ourselves. The concept of selflessness has been thrown out the door.

    Where does that leave us??? We are Soddom and Gamorra (spelling)..but you know what I mean. We have been brainwashed to need to look like celebrities to be shallow and greedy is not only accepted but desired. We have forsaken the truth. The truth is we are here on this earth for really for only 2 purposes…to help our fellow man and to save this precious Earth of ours. We are born into the world naked and clean and we leave it with distorted views and hatred for men and we fear and we are anxious and we are depressed……

    That is not what it’s all about. The answer lies within ourselves……We have to view the world in the micro (self) instead of the macro (the rest of the people that are asleep)

    What do we do? Well first we have to clean up our own houses starting with our debt…in order to be free we cannot owe…we must free ourselves from credit debt and mortgage debt and therefore the Government (50 fat guys with all the money) cannot exert its brand of slavery on us….we can take our road trip through life DRIVING…not being DRIVEN around.

    Stop complaining…help people…lets all try to start waking up and see past the amazing brainwash that has been placed upon us…lets be free

  115. 3b says:

    #113 skeptic: Point is that I think the perception of buying as “the thing to do” once you reach a certain point in life has been punctured in a widespread manner.

    I agree. My current rental is cheap (3beds 2bath), if the current down stairs living space was bigger, and better laid out, and if the house was in a better physical lcoation, I would probably be even less inclined to buy.

  116. Orion says:

    Best of luck to all loosing employment.
    My cousin got canned last Friday, advertising, Long Island.
    Wife, three kids, no savings. I got a desperate e-mail yesterday asking me for money, he doesn’t want to loose the house.

    OT- yesterday re: Genius or Fraud?
    True story. I went to the open house Sunday.
    House was neglected and needs major foundation work.
    Worth $650K.
    Countrywide is left holding $1M+ poop bag.

  117. NYtoNJ09 says:

    Sorry just started checking the blog..

    Gary …Sorry to hear about your situation…. Good luck in your search..

  118. kettle1 says:


    Former armor guy myself, I wasnt referring to threat level. I was refereeing to mission training and tasking. My only first hand knowledge is from my former unit and they have been training for civil unrest on and off for the last year.
    What i read was that the 800 people were those taking part in a training exercise. the average size of a US brigade is about 4000 people if i remember correctly. I do not know the actual size of 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade.
    I havent heard of recalls either, i am not sure what you are referring to.

    All speculation on my part….

  119. kettle1 says:

    Irish pensioners rebel over plan to cut their health care

    By David McKittrick, Ireland correspondent
    Monday, 20 October 2008
    The Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan before he delivered his budget, unaware of the storm about to break out over his proposed health care cuts

    The Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan before he delivered his budget, unaware of the storm about to break out over his proposed health care cuts

    The Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, has launched an emergency attempt to cope with a phenomenal wave of public and political criticism of health cuts for the elderly in his budget. Political turmoil erupted on a major scale after the government announced an end to the system of free medical cards for the over-70s, triggering anxiety among the elderly Irish population.

  120. kettle1 says:

    update….The 3rd Brigade, one of four in the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, has about 3,600 soldiers overall.

  121. Nicholas says:


    Nice of you to bring religious zelotry back into style. If anything, Americans should be criticized for being too concerned about the welfare of others. Try going to another country and being poor, good luck not starving to death.

  122. Orion says:

    3 Ford shares = 1 pack Marlboro
    Unfriggin’ believable.

  123. randy says:

    124 Orion–

    Fluff article… not your fault, just sayin’

  124. galgon says:

    Does anyone have info on GSMLS 2538983?

    It was a FSBO in March when I drove by and picked up a flier. I believe they wanted $399k at the time. It listed on GSMLS for 350 dropped to 329 at some point and then to 299 a few weeks ago. I figured at 299 it would be gone quickly and a week or so later it was no longer listed. Now it is back. Did the sale fall through or something?

    Purchased in 01 for 242K

    BTW this is a great future comp killer for Clinton. First livable 4 Bed 2 Bath house I have seen for under 300k.

  125. randy says:

    120 hi-

    well said

  126. hi says:


    I used to own a nice home, a nice boat, a nice car…I sold it all….I am debt free….I can tell corporate America to lick my balls if I want…..They want us in debt…they want us in a mortgage…we are theirs…we are slaves…

    If we let them

    They stay in your mind rent free…the worry…anxiety…fear…

    it would all be gone…DEBT FREE

  127. hi says:

    oh wait i didnt own those things…they owned me and the bank had a note on them….check that

  128. Nicholas says:


    Your chart is interesting but I don’t think it provides any information that we didn’t already know.

    The trend downward on GDP growth vs. debt just shows that for every dollar borrowed in 1960 we bought American products and GPD soared. Through globalization of good in the real world, that same dollar borrowed now proportionally buys less American made goods and more foreign goods, thus doesn’t bump GDP as much as it did.

    I disagree with the idea that “zero hour” will come in 2015 in which every borrowed dollar will not be spent on American goods. Although possible it would require that Americans not produce anything that could be bought by other Americans which is highly unlikely.

    My best guess for the next few years in this chart is a flattening or ‘leveling out’ of the trend line to look like a parabolic curve as efficiencies in globalization start showing diminished effect. Who knows, a recession may put more emphasis on US products over foreign again as the Federal government tries to bring products and jobs back to US soil.

    My two cents…

  129. NJLifer says:

    113 Kettle,

    My wife said the same thing to me recently. We were going to sell our house to move up, but now that 50 point difference between my current town’s SAP score and that of a blue ribbon school town just doesn’t seem as important. Especially not in this economy when you can be out of work in the blink of an eye.

  130. bklynhawk says:


    Got this in my email inbox from Stern yesterday. Thought some of you might like to see it (ChiFi – Roubini is in it).

    Market Pulse Series: Financial Crisis and the Government Rescue Plan: What Does the Future Hold?

    The event was moderated by Thomas F. Cooley, Richard R. West Dean and Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics, NYU Stern, and featured speakers:

    Dennis K. Berman, Deputy Bureau Chief for Money & Investing, Wall Street Journal;
    Mark Patterson(MBA 1986), Chairman, MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC;
    Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, NYU Stern;
    Lawrence J. White, Deputy Chair and Professor, Department of Economics, NYU Stern.

    Here’s the link to a recap. The link to the video is at the bottom of the page.

  131. skep-tic says:


    so first wave of foreclosures could be said to be those of speculators (whether outright flippers or people who lived in homes but couldn’t afford payments even if they remained employed).

    Second wave is people who would ordinarily be able to afford house but lost job. Feel really bad for this group because most of them were just trying to be responsible

  132. Nicholas says:


    The Army has been revamping their civil unrest training courses in response to efforts in theater. If anything I would think the training coincidental if there were unrest on US soil. Thier field manual was just updated to reflect new tactics and strategies for civil unrest scenarios.

    I was remarking that planned unrest in the US would certainly be met with mass recalls of those in the individual ready reserve (IRR). I’m would be willing to place bets that they would do the recalls if there was even a hint of massive civil unrest.

    I made those statements because I’m in the camp that isn’t planning on massive civil unrest.

  133. Orion says:

    130 randy – As it relates to the possible future of residential real estate foreclosures, I don’t think this was a fluff article, just sayin’.

    Can someone post that graph of Option ARMs to reset in 2009? Thanks.

  134. 3b says:

    #137 NJLIFER:but now that 50 point difference between my current town’s SAP score and that of a blue ribbon school town just doesn’t seem as important.

    It isn’t, it really isn’t. I think alot of people in the so called blue ribbon towns (like mine) who have spent themselves into oblivion on their schools this over the last few years, are finally going to realize that.

    I would expect to see many towns have theis schools budgets defeated next April, that in the past would have been approved.

  135. 3b says:

    #141 orion: Agreed, The aprt apart pricees rising in 2010, was puffy however.

  136. skep-tic says:

    Well, it only took the Irish about 15 yrs to get used to high livin. We in the USA have been doing it for 50+ yrs. Obviously there will be some turmoil there as their bubble deflates, but on the other hand, there are still plenty of Irish people around who remember what it is like to really struggle and can curtail their lifestyles accordingly. Much more difficult proposition in this country.

  137. grim says:

    #7 – Lock up Barney Frank? Who then would provide us with this kind of humor?

    From Bloomberg:

    Frank Calls for `Moratorium’ on Wall Street Bonuses

    House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said there should be a freeze on Wall Street bonuses until companies find a way to keep the year-end payouts from encouraging excessive risk-taking.

    “There should be a moratorium on bonuses,” Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told reporters yesterday in Washington. “They have a negative incentive effect because they are the ones that say if you take a risk and it pays off you get a big bonus,” and if it causes losses “you don’t lose anything.”

  138. the crazy man in the corner says:

    kettle (125)

    1BCT, 3ID – IIRC with Support Staff is approximately 4700 or so.. although they do have an inordinate amount of attached units though

  139. Nicholas says:

    This one talks about option ARM loans and what would happen if they were all pushed back 5 years on renegotiation.

  140. Nicholas says:

    Crude reached 65 dollars for December delivery. Wheee!!!

  141. skep-tic says:

    Just you wait –
    One of these days see me driving round town
    In my rock ‘n’ Rolls Royce with the sun roof down
    My bottle of booze
    No summer time blues
    Shouting out, “Look at me”
    In my rock ‘n’ roll voice
    Ain’t no fun waiting round to be a millionaire


  142. 3b says:

    #144 skeptic: Their bubble has collapsed, not just deflated. And they have been living the high life, and for many it was all they have known for a lot of their adult life.

    It is going to be very difficult for the younger crowd to adjust downward. The Celtic Tiger has been declawed.

  143. hi says:

    Ive lurked on this board for a while now and I realize that when I read these posts I rarely see any action…I see a lot of posts telling us what the problem is…when are we going to take some action and stop talking?

    When are we going to get viral? When are we going to get the message out to this sleeping nation that the problem lies within ourselves…Government is not here to placate you…they are here to keep us in economic bondage….

    We CAN make a difference…get youtube videos out there…pound the streets…tell a friend….LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS…


    I’m doing it I challenge you guys to do it too…

    Men like Shore and kettle speak a lot of truth, but I see it as stuff they are keeping for themselves….share the information…help people to understamd that as long as they stay in this slumber we will never be able to get out of the grip of this Demonic Machine!!!!!!




  144. hi says:

    grim please release my comment in mod…152

  145. kettle1 says:


    What is the current state of the IRR,

    They were pulling form there pretty heavily for Iraq for a while. How much of the IRR is readily available and how much has been “spent”. I dont know, just curious what you may know.

    Then again they are having a hard time coming up with more troops for Afghanistan, the military is stretched pretty thin right now.

    I am also not suggesting nation wide protests, but wouldnt be surprise to see some large localized ones if things continue down hill. But i think there is a fair chance we would see the military involved in any such large protest as law enforcement.

    regarding the chart.

    Currently the economy only grows at a rate of about 20 cents for every dollar of debt taken on. That is, it takes five dollars of debt to generate one new dollar of GDP. This is more then Americans buying american goods. it includes businesses taking on debt to in order to make money and the government borrowing money to run itself and government programs. the chart includes consumer public, and commercial debt.
    To some degree this chart illustrates debt inflation. But what it really shows is that the more money the government pumps into the market for debt creation, the less of an effect, each dollar of new debt has.
    Crossing into negative values would mean that debt will no longer generate any economic growth. loans would have a net negative economic impact.
    The behavior is somewhat volatile, so i agree 2015 is not a drop dead date, but it does give an idea of the general trend.

  146. Hobokenite says:


    Sorry to hear about your job. Good luck in your job search.

  147. kettle1 says:

    wow, “hi”, is like the inverse RE101…….. from terrorist to revolutionary….

    Hi, you can show some one the door but they must walk through it on their own.

    Oh and careful, or you might get a 1 way ticket to GITMO, you enemy combatant, you.

  148. Nicholas says:


    Hmm, you damn your country in one breath and call it a demonic machine in another.

    Other then these things, I’m not sure I understand what your actually aiming to do in the first place.

    If your for prosyletizing among the masses trying to spread the good word of fiscal responsibility then your a perfect candidate for the current incarnation of the R party. A perfect mix between the religious right and fiscal responsibility.

    I, however, will not be joining your religious reinvention of politics, sorry.

    If you are for writing your senators and congressmen and asking them to take careful consideration of the results of their actions and voting them out of office when you see corruption. Then I’m already with you.

    If your for more federal regulators (g-men) to start putting criminals behind bars for enabling the “Great Fraud Depression”, then I’m already with you.

    If your for having these discussions in an orderly fashion in an excellent exchange of ideas, ones in which negative feedback is used to strengthen your idea, then I’m already with you.

    But please, leave the zelotry…

  149. hi says:

    i’m standing outside of malls telling people to stop spending!!! I’ve nearly been arrested…but hey wtf??? I can afford to go to jail because I don’t have any bills to pay…Slowly I’ve got some of my friends to wake up…its starting to happen…its exciting

  150. Doyle says:


    Is that William Wallace?

  151. hi says:

    I’m not a religious person…I believe in God but Governments use religion to pass agendas…they pit people against people in the name of religion when we are really just under one God….It’s actually a brilliant strategy by the powers that be…but the jig is up

  152. hi says:

    I truly believe there will be a revolution…I have to do my part

  153. yikes says:

    late afternoon plunge: down over 400

    (still haven’t read yesterday’s posts, lotta catching up to do!)

  154. Nicholas says:


    I guess the state of the IRR has alot to do with which branch of military you serve in. I am an officer in the USAF. The USAF has never recalled anyone from the IRR since they separated from the Army in 1940.

    Yes, the Army has been recalling people for quite some time, they often don’t recall you if you have been out of the military for less then a year or have less then a year in the IRR left to serve. Your right in that the Army has had that behavoir during the last few years to meet engagement demands.

    I was paying close attention during the congressional hearings with the military leaders as they were talking about force projections. It seems that a draw down was in play among the USAF and the Navy while redistributing that money to the Army for protracted land operations. The USAF was pissed at this manuever since they were planning to use the money to recapitalize planes and instead just got it taken away from them. When I left active duty there was a large incentive pay to transfer to the Army and retrain, I declined.

    The only thing I can say for sure is that the Army seems to have enough forces, through enlistment and recalls so that other branches haven’t had to do forced recalls.

    If I get recalled I could only imagine another theater of operations opening up which could include Northcom.

  155. kettle1 says:


    Most people will fight tooth and nail to maintain the consumer dream. writing letters or holding signs up will not change someones mind. try telling a meth addict that it is bad for them, see how far you get. the only thing that changes most of them is a trip to the ER or death


    is this the fellow you are looking for?

  156. hi says:

    I’m a recovering addict…I know it can be done

  157. Nicholas says:

    Standing outside of malls telling people to stop spending?

    They cannot arrest you for talking with people but Mall property is private property and they can ask you to leave and not come back. They employ bacon bits that can put you in the mall jail after they ask you to leave and you don’t listen. They legally can only hold you there 1-2 hours before having to release you or turn you over to police.

    I’m sure you were in no real threat of being imprisoned for sharing your fiscal ideas even if they were against mall owners ideals.

    I would urge you to change your part from being a doomsayer to becomming a productive member of the economy. Slackjawing outside of a mall will not help us pull out of a recession. Try joining the military or something…

  158. kettle1 says:

    CDO Cuts Show $1 Trillion Corporate-Debt Bets Toxic

    Investors are taking losses of up to 90 percent in the $1.2 trillion market for collateralized debt obligations tied to corporate credit as the failures of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Icelandic banks send shockwaves through the global financial system.

  159. Sean says:

    Andrew Cuomo is making waves in the bonus pool.

    ew York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today confirmed American International Group Inc.’s agreement to freeze ex-CEO Martin Sullivan’s compensation package.

    Mr. Cuomo sent a letter to Edward Liddy, AIG’s new chief executive, to confirm the New York insurer’s cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office.

    The missive is the latest dispatch from the attorney general, who last week sent a letter to AIG’s board demanding that the company cease covering “extravagant” expenditures and recover unreasonable payments — or face legal action.

    Mr. Sullivan’s contract calls for some $19 million in payments, plus other benefits, according to the letter.

    The company has also agreed that no money will be distributed from the $600 million deferred-compensation and bonus pools in its financial-products subsidiary — the unit which Mr. Cuomo said was “largely responsible for AIG’s collapse.”

    He also said that he thinks that Joseph Cassano, the former head of the financial products unit, has a share of $69 million of the funds in that subsidiary.

    Five other top executives have a combined share of the funds totaling $93 million.

    “It is my position that until the taxpayers are repaid with interest the more than $120 billion that has been used in the rescue financing of AIG, no funds should be paid out of these pools to any executives,” Mr. Cuomo wrote in his letter.

    Nicholas Ashooh, an AIG spokesman, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

  160. hi says:

    Well I just wanted to post on here because I know you guys are really informed and intelligent. I want you to know that there is a movement and a wind of change is starting to blow…slightly, but any great cause has to get on a roll….I know you are skepitical now…but just wait and see…great things are coming and the real American Dream is ging to be presented instead of this mirage.

  161. kettle1 says:

    Argentina Default Looms, Pension Seizure Roils Market

    Argentina’s planned seizure of $29 billion of private pension funds stoked concern the nation is headed for its second default in a decade.

    President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s decision hurt markets already reeling from slumping commodity prices and slower growth. The retirement system, set up in 1994 to help bolster capital markets, owns about 5 percent of companies listed on the Buenos Aires stock exchange and 27 percent of shares available for public trading, data compiled by pension funds show.

    Argentine bond yields soared above 24 percent before the announcement late yesterday, and the benchmark Merval stock index tumbled 11 percent. The last time the government sought to tap workers’ savings to help finance debt payments was in 2001, just before it stopped servicing $95 billion of obligations. “It’s the final of many nails in the coffin from an institutional investor perspective,” Bill Rudman, who helps manage $3 billion of emerging-market equity at WestLB Mellon Asset Management in London. Argentina is “disappearing into irrelevance,” he said.

    The government’s proposal to take control of 10 funds, including units of London-based HSBC Holdings Plc and Bilbao, Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, still needs congressional approval. BBVA fell 6.5 percent in Madrid. Repsol YPF SA, Spain’s biggest oil producer, slid 13 percent in Madrid, the steepest intraday decline since 1997. Repsol owns YPF SA, the largest oil company in Argentina, and said last month it would announce in November a date for the delayed sale of a 20 percent stake in YPF on the local stock market.

  162. kettle1 says:

    That Natural Gas idea, running the US on Natural gas, doesnt look so rosey anymore ( never really did outside the hype)

    Russia, Iran and Qatar announce cartel that will control 60% of world’s gas supplies

    Western concerns about global energy markets hit new heights last night when Russia, Iran and Qatar said they were forming an Opec-style gas cartel. The move by the three countries, which control 60% of the world’s gas reserves, was met with immediate opposition from the European commission, which fears the group could drive up prices.

    Alexey Miller, chairman of Russia’s Gazprom, said they were forming a “big gas troika” and warned that the era of cheap hydrocarbons had come to an end. “We are united by the world’s largest gas reserves, common strategic interests and, which is of great importance, high cooperation potential in tripartite projects,” he explained. “We have agreed to hold regular – three to four times a year – meetings of the gas G3 to discuss the crucial issues of mutual interest.”

  163. kettle1 says:


    2 Argentinian defaults in 10 years??? Hope no one had a bugout plan that included argentina…… Oh and watch pakistan they look like they could be next, in the hole for 8 billion and the IMF is demanding a reduction in public spending and support programs in an already volatile country.

  164. Clotpoll says:

    gary (9)-

    Hoo boy! More time for you to post here!

    Good luck. Bet you won’t be idle for long.

    If you are, I have a funny feeling we’ll be reading about you in the paper.

  165. Clotpoll says:

    gary (9)-

    You can lure Realtors to vacant houses, then tie them up and lambaste them with profanities.

  166. Clotpoll says:

    Pat (60)-

    “Now, combine your attitude, John’s morals and Clot’s firepower, and we have ourselves The Candidate.”

    That wouldn’t make a candidate.

    It would, however, yield an excellent contract killer.

  167. Clotpoll says:

    Matt (66)-

    Didn’t look to see if anyone had answered your question yet, but that house has been on the market for a total of 138 days and started at 511K.

    I’ve been in it. It is a dark, dreary POS that has no backyard.

  168. NJLifer says:

    173 Kettle,

    Maybe another good time to buy a Malbec vinyard in Mendoza on the cheap.

  169. Lookin’ to be another -700 pt day.

  170. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (90)-

    Let’s see if this year’s “must have” Xmas gift is a high-velocity sniper rifle.

  171. Clotpoll says:

    “Head Shot” Elmo?

  172. scribe says:

    Tom #52

    Also, have you noticed that there are more public service ads on TV now?

  173. scribe says:


    Time for another GTG and a tasty Yuenling to drown your sorrows … !

  174. skep-tic says:

    wow, argentina to get really, really cheap again— that would be nice

  175. 3b says:

    clot:Any commen on myst (#59) would be appreciated.

  176. Victorian says:

    Uh Oh –

    “The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest public pension fund, said recent investment losses from the financial crisis could cause cities, counties and other state employers to pay more money to the pension fund, starting for some in July 2010.

    Calpers said that assets have declined by more than 20% from the end of the June 30 fiscal year through Oct. 10; total assets as of Oct. 20 were about $193 billion. It would lead to an estimated increase in employer contributions to the fund of 2% to 4% starting in July 2010 for some employers, and for the rest in July 2011, unless those losses are reversed, according to a Calpers memo.”

  177. Sean says:

    There was a write up in the WSJ about Calpers losing 20% from June 30 till now, and how employers and employees in California the system will need to kick in allot more.

    Well NJ Devision of Investment put out their numbers and they are down about 10% since August.

    Values as of 9/30/08.alues as of 9/30/08 only 70 Billion.

    Read it and weep and get ready to pay more taxes.

  178. Matt O says:

    Clot (177) –

    Thanks for the info.

  179. Clotpoll says:

    grim (104)-

    GGP is a house of cards.

    No disclaimer needed.

  180. lisoosh says:

    # Nicholas Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    “Crude reached 65 dollars for December delivery. Wheee!!!”

    Hate to bring up Bi here …..but closing in on that $40 oil of his ! :-)

  181. Clotpoll says:

    3b (110)-

    The deflationary mindset suits you to a “T”.

  182. House Hunter says:

    145 Grim…I don’t whether to laugh or cry about a moratorium on Senators pay and perks?

    by the way, can’t find the link you post on the NJ warn site…(where they post projected job losses) do you have that handy
    thanks Grim

  183. 3b says:

    #191 clot: Thank You, and my post #59?

  184. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (115)-

    I think that chart should be revised to show the “0” point being reached this March.

  185. Clotpoll says:


    That was #119…

  186. Stu says:

    Clotpoll (189): Can someone remind me which sector GGP is in?

  187. Clotpoll says:

    Grim, can you see if post #120 originated from a computer in Idaho?

  188. Stu says:

    “REIT stocks across the board have been taking a pounding in recent weeks, along with the broader market as access to all forms of credit has seized up.
    Earlier this month, Stifel Nicolaus analysts neatly summed up the problem in a research report, writing, “We remain negative on REITs because capital is in an unprecedented hiatus, forcing real estate values down by an amount that cannot be quantified, and fundamentals are pressured.””

  189. HEHEHE says:

    Yeah how about a moratorium on political donations from businesses and unions? What would Barney Frank say to that?

  190. Clotpoll says:

    galgon take me away (131)-

    The sale fell through. That festering POS is back on the market. 299K, still. My guess is that the next stop will be around 260K.

    What a miserable dump. The owner’s long gone, and the next door neighbor parks junk cars in the driveway.

    Looks like Dogpatch USA on the drive-up. Also, all the “improvements” in the house look like they were done by my 11 y/o. Probably no permits for any of them.

  191. House Hunter says:

    thx Grim

  192. Clotpoll says:

    hi (133)-

    What’s your opinion on the Mossberg 500? Regular or pistol grip?

  193. Clotpoll says:

    grim (145)-

    Misread that headline. Thought at first Frank was calling for a moratorium on boners.

  194. grim says:

    Real revolutionaries prefer the lesser known kung-fu grip.

    And remember kids, knowing is half the battle.

  195. Clotpoll says:

    hi (152)-

    Love the attitude. Keep it up.

  196. Clotpoll says:

    nick (157)-

    I like zealotry. We got us a spunky little guy here.

    One who could prove very, very “useful”…

  197. Confused In NJ says:

    If the people realize that their duely elected officials are violating their Constitution Daily, isn’t it legal for them to execute citizens arrests of the officials in question?

  198. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (171)-

    Nobody does default like Argentina.

    Good times! Pass the chimichurri!

  199. Wag says:

    Clot (203) – Benelli M4 with pistol grip for me, please.

  200. RayC says:

    One who could prove very, very “useful”…


    Is the Manchurian Candidate always on in the background?

  201. the crazy man in the corner says:

    kettle and nick –

    My understanding was that the IRR had already rotated through around 72k of its army contingent forces (out of approximately 131k) – although my understanding is that its around 20-23% of recalls don’t end up making it back into rotation for whatever reason (medical or otherwise) ..

    I’m just curious to know if they are would ever activate selective in order to fill shortfalls?


  202. d2b says:

    My head is on the block too. Our next gtg could be at the unemployment office.

  203. the crazy man in the corner says:

    grim (205) –

    been watching coming to america lately, have we? ;)

  204. Clotpoll says:

    3b (59)-

    There’s no doubt that IndyMac and Countrywide are doing principal reductions. The FDIC is actually running the IndyMac workouts.

    The question is: will this catch on across a bigger group of lenders?

    If it does, RE of all types is toast, for at least 20 years.

    Hell, it may be toast for that long, anyway.

  205. Hobokenite says:

    Or perhaps a moratorium on congressional pages?

  206. Clotpoll says:

    Story of the day (no shit):

    Prospective borrower comes into our office, looking for mortgage. Run FICO. FICO sucks (of course). Originator asks why. Borrower responds credit was ruined when her brother was kidnapped in Colombia and she had to make ransom payments.

    Unfortunately, DesktopUnderwriter doesn’t have a code for ransom-related debt…

  207. Sean says:

    re: #208 – re: “violating their Constitution Daily, isn’t it legal for them to execute citizens arrests of the officials in question?”

    A woman from Code Pink tried to arrest Karl Rove on Stage yesterday at the San Francisco Morgage conference.

    Next time Code Pink should send in few chicks with mullets.

    Here is the video.

  208. grim says:

    Borrower responds credit was ruined when her brother was kidnapped in Colombia and she had to make ransom payments.

    Columbian kidnappers take credit cards for ransom payments?


  209. Victorian says:

    Clot (204) 0
    “Thought at first Frank was calling for a moratorium on boners.”


  210. the crazy man in the corner says:

    i wonder what kind of percentages does one get for ransom payments? did they get reward points?

  211. Al says:

    About stock market…Price to earnings of 8 almost makes me take my downpayment and buy major 4-5 oil companies stocks…..

  212. Pat says:

    Ray, there are many qualified candidates who post. Lots of schemes and evil, mean streaks floating around.

    The problem is that we are dealing with a bunch of guilt-ridden Catholics and Jews or people married to them.

    A true candidate wouldn’t lie sleepless, staring at the ceiling afterward.

  213. lostinny says:

    217 Clot
    I’m sick of my job. I want to come work with you.

  214. Clotpoll says:

    stu (198)-

    Three letters: SRS.

  215. Clotpoll says:

    Ray (211)-

    Only when I can get the dogs in my head to stop barking.

  216. Al says:

    In general – Clot always complains about low credit scores….

    All I see is that a bit lower than average houses getting bought within a week.

    Not bargains, I see no bargains here. Just 5-10% below comps.

    As far as I know with some legwork people still getting loans no matter what their FICO’s are.

    And look, new Stimulus!!!

    I wonder at which point hyper-inflation will set. Looking at Government having no fiscal restraint I am now confident that we will see not just high inflation but runaway hyperinflation Weimar ‘s style.

    You simply can not continue pumping money into the system, with delining material goods production and not create inflation.

  217. Clotpoll says:

    crazy (212)-

    Good to see a few folks here who have some knowledge about troop movements.

    I’ll be sure to stop back at this site when TSHTF.

  218. Clotpoll says:

    crazy (221)-

    I’ve heard that from Xmas to New Year’s is a blackout period. You can pay the ransom, but they won’t give you back the hostage.

    You should’ve heard the jokes after this borrower left our office. I was laughing so hard, I nearly busted a rib.

  219. Clotpoll says:

    The originator was actually able to ask the borrower about her $800 Victoria’s Secret charge and how it related to a hostage release without cracking as much as a grin.

    She lost it the minute that lady was out the door.

  220. kettle1 says:

    Crazy 221,

    ask SAS he will know…..

  221. kettle1 says:


    what is resale value of a lace negligee in Cartagena?

  222. Clotpoll says:

    lost (224)-

    “I’m sick of my job. I want to come work with you.”

    Here are my parameters:

    1. Pull the PVC stuff off of EBay. You’ll be needing it again.

    2. Bring your best “Up With People” attitude. Up their arses, that is.

    3. You must participate in all office deadpools, no matter how tasteless you may find them.

    4. The only station on is Bloomberg. And, no, you may not have the remote.

  223. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (233)-

    May I refer you to my “donkey show” post of a couple of days ago…

  224. Clotpoll says:

    Wachovia lost 23.9 bn in a quarter?


  225. kettle1 says:


    would want to hire some one to make pretty charts detailing how F’d your clients are????

  226. skep-tic says:

    based on knowledge of paramilitary matters and general affinity for anarchy, many of the people on this board might feel at home in colombia

  227. kettle1 says:

    Why Wells Fargo Really Wanted Wachovia
    By Morgan Housel
    October 21, 2008
    Comment (1)
    Recommend (9)

    For Wachovia (NYSE: WB) shareholders, it may have seemed too good to be true. But it wasn’t.

    Just days after it essentially collapsed and Citigroup (NYSE: C) made an offer to buy its banking assets for $1 per share, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) came out of nowhere, offering to buy the entire company for $7 per share with no help from the government. No backstop from the FDIC. No taxpayer intervention. Nothing. Just a good ol’ fashioned buyout.

    But why?

    Why was Wells Fargo so eager to ante up a deal that was leaps and bounds sweeter than Citi was willing to pay? After all, Wells Fargo has a stellar reputation of keeping underwriting standards in check, so why would it want anything to do with a shoddy bank drowning in subprime mortgages?

    Taxes. It was all about the taxes.

    The day after Citigroup made its bid, the Treasury changed a tax rule that lets banks accelerate the losses and writedowns on banks they acquire against their own net income, offsetting the charges as tax write-offs.

    Wells plans on writing off some $74 billion of Wachovia’s $498 billion loan portfolio — an insanely large amount that reflects just how poisoned Wachovia’s books really were. With the new tax rules, it gets to use all of that $74 billion as a charge against its own net income, which means one thing: Wells Fargo’s going to be a tax-write-off machine for years to come.

    Just how much will it save? The Wall Street Journal, citing an independent tax analyst, estimates Wells Fargo could reap a tax savings of about $19.4 billion. To put that in perspective, the 0.1991 shares of its own stock Wells Fargo is offering Wachovia comes out to around $6.24 per share, or roughly $13.8 billion. Yes, Wells Fargo gets a $19.4 billion tax break for a company it’ll pay just under $14 billion for (if the deal closed today).

  228. Mitchell says:

    I was shopping the other day and when I went to pay for something they told me they don’t take American only Pesos.

  229. #217 – One of the few things I miss about the mortgage biz. is oddball stories like that.
    I don’t know why people were so compelled to lie. I didn’t know them, didn’t really care but they were driven to justify their bad credit with stories. They could have just said, “Our bad, we screwed up” or “We hit a rough patch” and it would have been fine. Instead people finally found a bit of imagination & creativity right when it wasn’t needed.
    The worst credit I ever saw was for a couple from Edison. They had so much debt and so many late payments that Experian reported their score as “incalculable, excluded from model”. It was the first and only time I saw something like that.
    The basic story was this; The husband worked for the city water dept., the wife stayed at home, income of around $48k, revolving debt of around $80k plus car loans and a first mortgage. The wife had been getting credit card offers and running up the debt and hiding the bills from her husband. He had no idea how bad they were until about 2 weeks before they came to us looking for some sort of help.
    We did a lot of refi work and that situation, the husband being unaware of the wife running up the bills, wasn’t uncommon at all. All in the same “empty nester” age range too.

  230. kettle1 says:

    how much has the government spent so far…… try 3.8 TRILLION! when does stimulus 2 start? i say we go for gold and try a trillion dollar stimulus.

  231. SG says:

    First-time homebuyers, renters may be priced out of NJ

    Migration to the Sun Belt is nothing new for New Jersey or its neighbors in the Northeast, but net domestic out-migration from the region has increased steadily and dramatically in this decade—from a net loss of about 6,900 domestic migrants in 2000 to a loss of 72,500 in 2006.

    Over the same period, home values have been rising much faster than incomes in New Jersey. Between 2000 and 2006, the median household income increased by 16.9 percent while the median home value rose by 114.6 percent. Median home value thus increased 6.8 times faster than median household income. Only California and Florida had higher ratios.

  232. Mitchell says:

    #242 SG
    Throw in a dash of Inflation and you get a Kaboom!!!

  233. lostinny says:

    233 Clot
    1- All pvc is gone. There is only latex.
    1a- Is that my uniform?
    2-Up your ass. No problem.
    3-No deadpool is distasteful enough.
    4- I was good until then. Can I listen to my iPod?

  234. kettle1 says:

    SG et al,

    How many malls,chains and indy stores fail after a none existent Xmas season? many depend on the holiday sales boost for survival.

  235. kettle1 says:

    Fed Raises Rate It Pays on Banks’ Reserve Balances

    The Federal Reserve will raise the interest rate it pays banks for the excess cash they keep on deposit so it can keep pumping funds into the financial system without affecting the central bank’s monetary policy.

    I would like to point out that 100% of reserves, as well as additional cash the banks hold are borrowed from the fed at the moment. There fore the FED is paying the banks interest on money that they borrowed in the first place. sweet deal

  236. Theo says:

    NJ real estate report get some love at the big picture

  237. skep-tic says:


    any stupid conversations you want to have, do it by phone!

  238. skep-tic says:

    i.e., not email or IM

  239. yikes says:

    let’s say the bank foreclosed on a house and they are asking 550.

    if you offered 200k in cash, think they’d take it for 500k? basically, im wondering if you make a significant cash offer, how much of an impact it would have on beating down the price.

  240. SG says:

    A World of Hurt
    Are real-estate prices set to fall around the globe?

    It’s been nearly three years since U.S. home values peaked at the height of what was, in retrospect, a bubble fueled by low interest rates, speculation and a general giddiness as millions of Americans began to look at their houses not only as a place to live, but as an asset that would make them rich. For years the experts assured nervous homebuyers that nationwide home prices had never fallen year-over-year since the Great Depression—a record that’s come to a painful halt as the average U.S. home has now lost more than 15 percent of its value.

    Meanwhile, a similar transformation has been taking place in other countries. In much of the world, home prices soared during the first half of this decade, rising far beyond the levels that you’d expect, based on traditional economic factors. In the last year, however, many of those markets have seen their housing bubbles burst, too. In fact, during the first six months of 2008, a host of economies—including that of Denmark, New Zealand, the UK, Spain, Sweden, Canada and Norway—have seen home prices fall at a faster rate than is occurring in the United States.

    Stroppiana says the overseas housing-bubbles were driven by many of the same factors that drove U.S. home prices so high—low interest rates and loose credit among them. (American lenders weren’t the only ones offering mortgages for more than 100 percent of the value of a home.)

    Loungani says that based on the IMF’s review of housing cycles going back several decades, the average country sees home prices escalate by 45 percent during booms (which last, on average, about 6 years), and then sees prices decline about 25 percent during busts, which last an average of four years. For people anxiously awaiting the bottom of this painful U.S. housing bust, those numbers may be encouraging. Says Loungani: “The U.S. is approaching the fourth year and has had cumulative declines getting close to 25 percent, [and] we’re trying to make the point that based on historical experience, the U.S. should be bottoming out mid-next year.”

  241. yikes says:

    make money Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I converted my rent money for the last three months to Gold today. I couldn’t resist at these prices.

    Make – what site did you purchase from online? And what was delivery like?

    Lastly – can you pay for Gold on your CC? LOL (but that’s how i’d pay – might as well get the amex points)

  242. Clotpoll says:

    lost (244)-

    1. Acceptable.

    1a. Only on the bad days.

    2. Glad to see we’re on the same page. “Up yer ass” is pretty much our mission statement. Anyone in the office who tries to write an actual mission statement will be fired summarily.

    3. Cool. Some of our deadpool candidates may change your mind as to when the line of human decency has been crossed. The lists do contain child actors.

    4. Just make sure you have good earplugs.

  243. gary says:


    You want to hire me? I got the “Up yer ass” thing down pretty well!

  244. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:


    President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is quite a good-looking woman. If you’re getting screwed by your president….you could do a lot worse than Queen Christina.

  245. Orion says:

    Saw a clip of testimony from S&P, Fitch, Moody big shots.
    Was so disgusted that I couldn’t watch the rest.
    Denials, didn’t see it coming, no one could predict, etc., etc.

    But the best was the Moody’s guy: we need more regulation, more oversight, more transparency. My gut churned n’ twisted.
    I turned tube off before I threw something at it.

    No wonder trust is trashed.

  246. alia says:

    gater, thread/house from yesterday:
    my realtor reeeeeally wants me to get pre-approved.

    i’m about to explain the case-schiller index to her. bwa ha ha ha!

    …but srsly… 50k is not bad. so very tempting. wonder if we could tear it down and build a passive solar house? hee hee hee…

  247. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 4:42 pm
    Story of the day (no shit):

    Prospective borrower comes into our office, looking for mortgage. Run FICO. FICO sucks (of course). Originator asks why. Borrower responds credit was ruined when her brother was kidnapped in Colombia and she had to make ransom payments.

    Unfortunately, DesktopUnderwriter doesn’t have a code for ransom-related debt…


  248. Pat says:

    Stop. I believe her.

    Really. The underwear were for cover only.

  249. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [217] clot,

    Priceless. Stupid sh1t like that has to make your day. It’s the reason we lawyers stay employed.

  250. alia says:

    gary- husband’s company hiring unix programmers. can get my email from grim if you haven’t already been inundated with job offers. :>

    (this is what i get, not reading until after dinner)

  251. lostinny says:

    254 Clot
    Am I on my own to get my license? Can I be the office cheerleader until I get my license? I have this great cheerleader outfit…

  252. alia says:

    50 lisoosh: bunac, baby! get a 6 month work visa for the cost of a return plane ticket. (er, if you’re not interested in the doing good for others aspect, but still want to try a different culture)

    there’s also americorps: do good in the states, and get part of your student loans forgiven. (and there’s no age limit/school requirement for americorps, unlike bunac)

  253. the crazy man in the corner says:

    clot (228) –

    yeah, i thought we were going to going to suspend the posse comitatus act at some point – although seeing as habeas corpus has been practically suspended, whats the difference?

    i feel like it doesnt even matter anymore when they break the law, because they will just goto the supreme court and/or the president to ask for either relief or executive order ..

    im curious to see when (not if) TSHTF if they would really do that, and for that matter, can we declare war on ourselves?

  254. the crazy man in the corner says:

    clot (229) –

    i dont know if i would have been able to keep myself quiet. would have definately had to find a closet or something to dive into.

    ive never heard of something so outlandish, but i did however, as part of my former work at a financial institution, do architecture work for a credit risk analytics platform for retail.. and had a chance to get some “live” scenarios to test – best i had ever heard (which apparently was something that had happened before..) – a person coming in for a house loan, had no income, but somehow had showed income due to flipping houses between themselves and their brother to show cash flow – they said that it should be a red flag when this occurs. my question to them was: its not a red flag that this guy hasnt showed any sort of income, but yet has bought and sold 39 properties within a span of 4 months?

  255. Clotpoll says:

    gary (255)-

    I see you as a director of community relations…:)

  256. Clotpoll says:

    plume (261)-

    The corners of my mouth still hurt from laughing.

  257. Clotpoll says:

    lost (263)-

    “I have this great cheerleader outfit…”

    Is it latex?

    BTW…the best way to get your license is to hire someone to take the course and the test for you. That way, you can spend your first, formative days hanging out in the office and picking up all kinds of bad personal and professional habits.

    I figure within 4-6 weeks, I can teach you how to short sell stocks, gamble on soccer, do RE short sales and drink beer for lunch.


  258. Clotpoll says:

    crazy (265)-

    Shrub and Cheney declared war on us…about eight years ago.

  259. Clotpoll says:

    crazy (266)-

    And they call YOU crazy???

  260. alia says:

    246, kettle:
    bought some birthday gifts at locally owned cute gift shop. chatting with owner. he says business had been at one level, and then between march and april it suddenly dropped by 20%. it has now stayed at that level with little fluctuation. i have no idea what sort of christmas he will have…

    have noticed more empty storefronts in my trendy, recently gentrified neighborhood. a year ago no space was empty for more than two weeks.

  261. bklynhawk says:

    A new site tracking and investigating the bail out…

  262. 3b says:

    #227 Al:All I see is that a bit lower than average houses getting bought within a week.

    Not bargains, I see no bargains here. Just 5-10% below comps.

    I do not know where you are, but that is not what I am seeing in Bergen COunty.

    Oh and we are in a recession which will be much more brutal than the early 90’s. Housing has only way to continue going, and that is down.

  263. lostinny says:

    269 Clot
    No its not latex. Those are a fortune. I’m actually looking to get a custom made uniform but I don’t think I can swing that for a while.
    Sure someone else can take the test for me. I like picking up bad habits.
    When can I interview?

  264. 3b says:

    #242 SG: Over the same period, home values have been rising much faster than incomes in New Jersey.

    They need to rvise that article,becasue yes incomes are not rising, but house prices are dropping.

  265. 3b says:

    #252 SG:in retrospect??? What a crock, simple common sense would tell one how this would end.

  266. Clotpoll says:

    lost (275)-

    This concludes your interview. You’re hired. Please bring a bright smile and a bad attitude into the office Monday at 10:30 sharp.

    “Sure someone else can take the test for me. I like picking up bad habits. When can I interview?”

  267. lostinny says:

    278 Clot
    Excellent. Email me. I’ll be right on that.

  268. Clotpoll says:

    lost (275)-

    Just because one has a habit, that does not make it “bad”. Necessarily.

    Please do not refer to my habits- or those of your co-workers- in a disparaging manner.

    Some of us really need to habitually engage in certain behaviors. That does not make us bad people. We’re just blowing off steam.

  269. Victorian says:

    Damn! That is some serious unwinding going on in Glod. Wonder how many hedge funds are going to blow up by the year’s end.
    Glod and Silver are the only big RED marks on my screen. Got in too early.

  270. alia says:

    Banking Crisis – Japanese Update
    Update on Banking crisis… news from Japan

    Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on HBOS in the UK, uncertainty has now hit Japan.

    In the last 7 hours Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

    Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.

    (got this from my favorite garden blog of all places)

  271. Bystander says:


    Sorry to hear about the layoff. Unfortunately you will be competing against the new indentured servants called visa holders from India and China. The government would have you believe that they are all programmers, engineers and scientists but I see a much different situation working in financial systems for an IB. Half of my group (or 15) are visa holders and they have no great technical skills. They are testers or business analysts making good money but some have learned to milk the system and some barely work 40 hours.

    They also make my work harder because of choppy English and grammar as I manage their projects. I may be narrow minded but studies confirmed that too many visas had been granted by US companies in the past decade and it all points to suppressing wages. I am sympathetic to their plight. It must be enormously hard to learn a new language and culture plus leaving your family behind..but everyday Americans could have these good paying jobs yet somehow companies are allowed to pinch both ends by importing normal talent and outsourcing normal jobs.

  272. lostinny says:

    280 Clot
    What makes you think I literally take them to be “bad” habits? Some might think the very nature of our conversation is bad. Is it?

  273. jojo says:

    We’re goin streaking!!! are you coming with us??

  274. Clotpoll says:

    lost (284)-

    We haven’t broken any laws, that I know of.

  275. Clotpoll says:

    Nikkei off 6%. Good times.

  276. NJGator says:

    258 -Alia good luck trying to tear something down in GR! My friends had a microscope put all the way up their *ss by the Historical Preservation Commisisson and all they wanted to do was add a basic porch to their house.

    Stu and I drove by 43 Hillside again this morning on the way to dropping Lil Gator off at school. He can see the holes in the roof. I think we’re going to need to limit ourselves to something that requires a little less work, since we don’t plan on selling our current place.

  277. sas says:

    there are some hell of alot of good deals floating around the stock market & commodities right now.


  278. sas says:

    its a good night too for my nightly usual:
    warm milk & cognac.

    damn I’m happy.


  279. jojo says:

    if it aint paid off you don’t own it

  280. the crazy man in the corner says:

    clot (271) –

    go figure, eh?

    but as glad as i am about getting out of that business… i sure do miss the renumeration scale when times were good though!!

  281. the crazy man in the corner says:

    SAS (290) –

    wow, and here i thought i was the only lucky bastard who uses warm milk and some vsop to help my sleeping habits ;)

  282. tom3000252001 says:

    Tomorrow’s jobless claims report shows we gained jobs significantly

    report by Green-Spin !!!

  283. Al says:

    # 3b Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    #227 Al:All I see is that a bit lower than average houses getting bought within a week.

    Not bargains, I see no bargains here. Just 5-10% below comps.

    I do not know where you are, but that is not what I am seeing in Bergen COunty.

    Oh and we are in a recession which will be much more brutal than the early 90’s. Housing has only way to continue going, and that is down.

    Well As I claimed before there are two different markets here, in NJ – one for 500K starter homes – that is not for “average people” and another for 300K starter homes which a person with average family income can “afford” possibly..

    So in central NJ 300K starter homes are still getting sold quickly -or at least go under the contract

  284. Shore Guy says:

    ” He can see the holes in the roof”

    THOSE are NOT common holes. They are environmentally-friendly passive cooling assist vents.

  285. Shore Guy says:

    Any recomendations for a place to get a GOOD cup of coffee and a bitr to eat around Bryant Park, other than the BP Grill?

  286. galgon says:

    Clot 210:

    Too bad the place is a cesspool, I was hoping the prices for nicer houses in the area were finally coming down. I noticed the house that was literally under 78 sold quickly (i forget the MLS #).

    Have you see this place 2522487. We went there for an open house. The guy moved down south somewhere and is taking all offers. The floor plan is completely senseless. They put an addition on at somepoint and half @ssed it royally. The doorway to the master bedroom was barely wide enough to fit a small dresser through and one of the bedrooms had a horribly covered up window. I think they just pulled the trim and slapped a thin piece of plywood directly over the installed window. Permits? what Permits?

    Also backs right to railroad tracks. The Realtor admitted that she had already heard the train go by and yes it was loud. 317K for that POS…

  287. Shore Guy says:

    .”how about a moratorium on Senators pay and perks?”

    Start with ending their pensions and making it a 401k.

  288. Shore Guy says:

    “.how about a moratorium on Senators pay and perks?”

    I sure hope those execs get big-enough bonuses this year. One needs to pay big bonuses to keep those high performing folks. Think of how bad it could have been without the current leadership?

  289. Shore Guy says:

    “A state official termed the increase as an “anomaly.””

    “Anomaly.” Is that the same thing as “fu(ked up”, I wonder?

  290. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy Says:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 10:40 pm
    Any recomendations for a place to get a GOOD cup of coffee and a bitr to eat around Bryant Park, other than the BP Grill?

    Shore: good coffee at the mini-trailer carts that sell bagels….bagel & coffee for $1…..bite to eat….two choices, Gray’s Papaya on 8th & 39th or else go to the Mid-Manhattan Library. They have every type of chewing gum imaginable stuck to the undersizes of the desks. The best part is that the flavor has already been extracted, so no calories unless you swallow!

  291. NJGator says:

    297 Shore – You’re coming to my hood!

  292. Clotpoll says:

    galgon (298)-

    Wouldn’t burn the gas to go look at that crapbox. And it’s only 2 minutes from my house.

    Seller is allegedly desperate. If so, they should reduce this dogpile to about 275K.

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