Weekend Open Discussion

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

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671 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    More Home Rescue Plans? Let Prices Fall And Start Over Again

    It seems as if every day there is another mortgage rescue plan being bandied about the business pages and the cable waves, so why should today be any different?

    There are in fact two today: FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair’s plan to guarantee three million mortgages so as to give mortgage investors incentives to modify loans and another proposal in the New York Times editorial pages from Prof. John Geanakoplos. The professor wants to take the power to modify loans away from master servicers and give it to local trustees, thereby relieving the servicers of liability for losses. The theory is that servicers have been slow to modify because they don’t want the loan investors to sue them.

    Of course these ideas come on top of the FHA rescue program that just went into effect a few weeks ago and the TARP which has yet to decide how it wants to deal with all the bad loans it’s now allowed to buy.

    What I’m getting at here is that no matter how far we go in modifying, restructuring, writing down principal on loans in order to stop foreclosures, the bottom line is that most of the borrowers in trouble had no business being in the homes they bought in the first place. You can modify their loans for five years, but they will probably lose the home anyway.

    Is that mean? It’s not meant to be. I just think that in order to set the market right we need to let prices fall to where they must and start over again with mortgages, buyers and homes that make sense. We’re all losing money here, but that’s because so many people took advantage of free money during the housing boom (and don’t get me started on how those who didn’t take advantage of that free money still get screwed).

    I understand the need to restore the credit markets and stop the crash in housing, but keeping folks in homes that are way beyond their means is just prolonging the pain of the inevitable.

  2. grim says:

    Has the slump finally hit commercial?

    From the Record:

    Bankruptcy court for big-box construction company

    March Associates, Inc., the Wayne-based construction manager for big box stores, shopping centers and office buildings throughout North Jersey, filed for bankruptcy reorganization today.

    The company, which was started by Louis D. March Sr. in 1986 in a small office above a Fotomat store, reported assets of $5.9 million and liabilities of $4.8 million in the Chapter 11 filing.

    Daniel Stolz, a Millburn attorney representing March Associates, said the company was forced to file for bankruptcy to keep creditors at bay after a legal dispute held up a $6 million payment owed for building a luxury condominium community in Long Branch.

    The company web site says March Associates has annual revenues of $175 million and was listed among the top 400 contractors nationwide for the last four years. A company representative, however, said the site had not been updated for three years. Dun and Bradstreet reported March Associates revenue at $112 million, with 46 employees.

  3. grim says:

    From Newsday:

    Harrah’s cuts jobs at 4 Atlantic City casinos

    Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. is cutting employees at its four Atlantic City casinos.

    The casinos are Harrah’s Resort, Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and Showboat Casino Hotel.

    The gaming company won’t say how many are being laid off.

    The Press of Atlantic City reports employment figures compiled by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission show there were hundreds of job cuts at Bally’s and Caesars.

  4. grim says:

    Just when you thought the problem was contained to Subprime, ARM, Alt-A, Auto, and Plastic…

    `Panic’ Strikes East Europe Borrowers as Banks Cut Franc Loans

    Foreign-denominated loans helped fuel eastern European economies including Poland, Romania and Ukraine, funding home purchases and entrepreneurship after the region emerged from communism. The elimination of such lending is magnifying the global credit crunch and threatening to stall the expansion of some of Europe’s fastest-growing economies.

    “What has been a factor of strength in recent years has now become a social weakness,” said Tom Fallon, emerging-markets head in Paris at La Francaise des Placements, which manages $11 billion.

    Since the end of August, the forint has fallen 16 percent against the Swiss franc, the currency of choice for Hungarian homebuyers, and more than 8 percent versus the euro. Foreign- currency loans make up 62 percent of all household debt in the country, up from 33 percent three years ago.

    Romania’s leu dropped more than 14 percent against the dollar and 3.2 percent against the euro. Poland’s zloty declined more than 17 percent against the dollar and 6.8 percent versus the euro, and Ukraine’s hryvnia plunged 22 percent to the dollar and 11.5 percent to the euro.

    Plunging domestic currencies mean higher monthly payments for businesses and households repaying foreign-denominated loans, forcing them to scale back spending.

    Rafal Mrowka, a driver from Ostrow Wielkopolski in western Poland, says he became addicted to checking foreign-currency rates as monthly installments on his Swiss-franc mortgage jumped 25 percent.

    “I’ve even stopped getting nervous, now I can only laugh,” the 32-year-old, first-time property owner said.

    The bulk of eastern Europe’s credit boom was denominated in foreign currencies because they provided for cheaper financing.

  5. Rich In NNJ says:


  6. grim says:

    The race to ZIRP

    From MarketWatch:

    Three dissenters reportedly wanted bigger BoJ cut

    Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said three of the four dissenting votes against the 0.2 percentage point cut were from board members who had sought a larger quarter-point cut, according to a Kyodo report which cited comments by the central bank chief at a post rate meeting press conference Friday afternoon. The remaining dissenting voice against the rate cut had wanted to hold the lending rate unchanged at 0.5%, he added, without identifying the board member. Shirakawa also reportedly said uncertainty over the outlook for the Japanese economy had increased.

  7. Cindy says:


    The Disciplined Investor
    “Bruce Springsteen’s Economic Wisdom”

    for the fans…

  8. Cindy says:

    #1 – Grim – That was an excellent presentation of the problem.

  9. cooper says:

    #1 – “Is that mean? It’s not meant to be. I just think that in order to set the market right we need to let prices fall to where they must and start over again with mortgages, buyers and homes that make sense”

    Wow Diana your thinking is so smart and creative. What a novel idea! No it’s not mean it’s called being honest you dimwit…
    excuse me i need java

  10. Cindy says:


    Another problem..

    “When Consumers Capitulate.”
    Paul Krugman

    “No, what the economy needs now is something to take the place of the retrenching consumers. That means major fiscal stimulus. And this time the stimulus should take the form of actual government spending rather than rebate checks that consumers probably wouldn’t spend.”

  11. cooper says:

    Cindy- it’s easy to call a game play by play from the video tape. I agree it sums up nicely in the article but I want to scream “HELLO McFly!”

  12. cooper says:

    BTW- Cindy ur from Cali right?

  13. cooper says:

    Reason I ask is I’d love to end up in San Diego one day, any insight?

  14. Cindy says:

    (11) cooper “Hello McFly!” – good one.

    At this rate – they throw something out there and wait for everyone to explain to them what the unintended consequenses are.

    I do not know much about CA – Sad huh. I was born here, went to college but then moved to Oregon for 21 years. Since I’ve been back, I’ve had my nose to the grindstone – no travel except to the NW to see the kids – grandkids.

    San Diego – popular – nice weather – I know nothing…

  15. Cindy says:

    ooppss – consequences…

  16. cooper says:

    Oregon, I work with a former Oregoner, ever since I watched Goonies there has been a certain affinity… Thanks for the feedback.

  17. Clotpoll says:

    Diana Olick is hot. And, she wants to let it all burn down.

    Happily, I think we are safe from homeowner bailouts, at least for the time being. One thing you can count on from gubmint is that it will never do anything to help individuals. All this “help is on the way” stuff is empty, half-hearted pandering to voters.

  18. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    More U.S. Homeowners Have Mortgage Higher Than House Is Worth

    Almost 20 percent of U.S. mortgage borrowers owed more on their loans in the third quarter than their house was worth as foreclosures depressed prices and the economy weakened, according to First American CoreLogic.

    More than 7.5 million properties already have negative equity and another 2.1 million will follow should home prices decline another 5 percent, Santa Ana, California-based First American, a seller of economic and real estate data, said in a report today. Six states account for almost 60 percent of homes with negative equity, led by Nevada and Michigan.

    “As long as job losses continue and people face resets on their mortgages, the housing market will be under severe distress,” Sam Khater, a senior economist at First American in Tysons Corner, Virginia, said in an interview. “We’ve created an entire class of homeowner that is very sensitive to price changes.”

  19. grim says:

    From NYT:

    Mortgage Plan May Aid Many and Irk Others

    As the Treasury Department prepares a $40 billion program to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure, it confronts a difficult challenge: not making the plan too tempting to people like Todd Lawrence.

    An airline pilot who lives outside Norwich, Conn., Mr. Lawrence has a traditional 30-year mortgage that he has no trouble paying every month. But, thanks to the plunging real estate market, he owes more on his house than it is worth, like millions of other people.

    If the banks, which frequently lent irresponsibly, and many homeowners, who often borrowed irresponsibly, are getting government assistance, Mr. Lawrence says he believes sober souls like himself are also due a break.

    “Why am I being punished for having bought a house I could afford?” he asked. “I am beginning to think I would have rocks in my head if I keep paying my mortgage.”

  20. Cindy says:


    Keepin’ it real (estate): Banks Value Your Mortgage, Not Your Home

    “The best way to get the best deal is to think about what loan will be worth the least to your lender. Low rate, low fees, low risk…who wants that boring paper?

    The answer: You do.”

  21. Shore Guy says:

    Perhaps the aid should be a free moving van and three-months rent at an apartment. That avoids the moral hazard and puts folks into something thay can afford.

  22. Yikes says:

    haven’t read one comment, but i just saw this flash across the screen at GMA:

    THEY’RE GOING TO FORGIVE CREDIT CARD DEBUT? something about up to 40 percent? And people “on the brink of bankruptcy” will have up to 4 years to pay it back?

    * also, i didnt finish reading all the comments yesterday, sorry if this has been discussed

  23. BC Bob says:

    “The bulk of eastern Europe’s credit boom was denominated in foreign currencies because they provided for cheaper financing.”

    HAH, HAH! Well for Halloween, the world’s mortgage holders might as well be fx traders. They all hold a speculative forex position and they are clueless about it.

    Happy Halloween to all;


  24. BC Bob says:

    Cindy [7],

    Love it. However, very disappointed. The headline song should be Trapped, one of my fav’s. Didn’t see it on the list.


  25. RPatrick says:

    Forgive CC debt link:


    I have been feeling like a schmuck lately for living within my means.

  26. BC Bob says:


    OOPS, just saw it on the list. Thanks, it’s getting forwarded to about 250 friends, Bruce fans all over the world!

    You got me pumped!

  27. cooper says:

    [22] Yikes any article link on that?

    PS-Olick is hot…

  28. BC Bob says:

    “Diana Olick is hot. And, she wants to let it all burn down.”

    Her, along with Gartman and Santelli are the only ones worth watching on CNBC. The rest should be buried with their pom-poms.

  29. BC Bob says:

    “I am beginning to think I would have rocks in my head if I keep paying my mortgage.”

    Yes, the idiots are creating a monster. Beware of unintended consequences.

  30. cooper says:

    ….And as a country they took a deep inhale only to discover they had run out of air.


  31. grim says:

    The next revolution will be the easiest one to fight.

    No need to rise up and take up arms. No marches, no hate, no anger, no blood.

    Just stop paying our debt, and watch it all come down.

    This sucker is going down…

  32. BC Bob says:

    “Perhaps the aid should be a free moving van and three-months rent at an apartment. That avoids the moral hazard and puts folks into something thay can afford.”


    Exactly. Free the prisoners. They signed up for a free call for one reason, price appreciation. The call has expired worthless, move on and start spending. We are losing our title as the world’s greatest spenders. Gotta get back to the top. One other thought, I’d even allow for a stop at the local store and include free lottery tickets for the year.

  33. BC Bob says:

    “This sucker is going down…”

    And then, we all swoop in for the upcoming RISING, that’s for Cindy, # 7.

  34. John says:

    So according to this weeks Fortune mag the bottom 66% of taxpayers only pay $1,300 in income taxes each year. Is the taxes they pay really killing them?

    The HENRYS who make between $250K an $500K actually only on average make $287K a year and on average pay $57K in income taxes.

    So raising taxes on the people already paying 57K in income taxes and lowering taxes on those paying $1,300 in taxes will make it more fair?

  35. BC Bob says:

    News flash on CNBC; Frank has decided to be a hedge fund trader for Halloween.

  36. BC Bob says:

    “will make it more fair”


    You want fair? Move to France. OOPS, France has moved here.

  37. Clotpoll says:

    BC (23)-

    You get the feeling that Side A and Side B of that cross are both scrooged.

  38. Clotpoll says:

    BC (35)-

    I thought Frank was going to see if he could fit his head into a pumpkin for Halloween.

  39. grim says:

    Consumer spending down -0.3%, three year low.

  40. Clotpoll says:

    RPat (25)-

    I got three credit cards with no balances. That’s about to change.

    Better start warming up my card swiping wrist…

  41. HEHEHE says:

    You have to love this sh*t!

    Barclays Seeks $11.8 Billion From Investors to Bolster Capital

    Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Barclays Plc, Britain’s second-biggest bank, will raise 7.3 billion pounds ($11.8 billion) from a group that includes investors in Abu Dhabi and Qatar as credit-market writedowns deplete capital.


    Hahaha, the saviors of Lehman need their own saviors. It’s like the housing ponzi scheme in reverse.

  42. John says:

    Big Ben speaks on housing at 2pm today on last day of wild month, should make closing bell extra fun.
    United States : Chairman Speech
    speaks via satellite to the Symposium on the Mortgage Meltdown, the Economy and Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley

  43. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Consumer spending drops in September

    onsumer spending fell 0.4% in September, the Commerce Department reported Friday. This is the biggest drop since June 2004. Real consumer spending fell 0.4%. Income rose 0.2% in September after a 0.4% rise in August. Real disposable incomes rose 0.1% in September. The core personal consumption expenditure price index rose 0.2% in September compared with August and is up 2.4% in the past year. Wall Street economists had expected a 0.1% gain in incomes, a 0.3% fall in spending and a 0.2% rise in the core PCE. The decline in spending in September was foreshadowed in the third quarter gross domestic product report released Thursday. The U.S. economy contracted at a 0.3% annualized rate in the third quarter, as consumer spending declined at the fastest rate in 28 years, according to government estimated.

  44. 3b says:

    #5 Rich: I sent you an e-mail the other day. If you can respond when you get a chance. I would appreciate it.

  45. Clotpoll says:

    HE (41)-

    Don’t look now, but the Qatar and Abu Dhabi guys are a mite worried about their massive RE construction obligations. Half-finished 120-story buildings are a real byatch…especially when the prospective tenant pool has dwindled to just about 0.

    Besides, the Abu Dhabis have a football club (Man City) that needs more talent. It’s gonna take ’em another 700-800mm to crack the Champions League. The midfield and back four are still sorely lacking.

  46. John says:

    Top 20 Banks by Assets, Q1 08 and Q3 08 (Dollars in Millions)
    Assets Assets
    Top 20 Banks (Q1 08) ($ Bil)
    1 Citi 2 ,200 1 Bank of America 2 ,797
    2 Bank of America 1 ,737 2 JPMorgan 2 ,251
    3 JPMorgan 1 ,643 3 Citi 2 ,050
    4 Wachovia 8 09 4 Wells Fargo 1,386
    5 Wells Fargo 5 95 5 PNC 2 91
    6 Washington Mutual 3 20 6 Bank of NNY 268
    7 U.S. Bancorp 242 7 U.S. Bancorp 247
    8 Bank of New York 2 05 8 SunTrust 175
    9 SunTrust 179 9 Capital One 1 55
    10 National City 1 55 10 Regions Fin 144
    11 Capital One 1 51 11 BB&T 137
    12 Regions 1 44 12 Fifth Third 1 16
    13 PNC 1 40 13 Key 1 01
    14 BB&T 1 36 14 M&T 6 5
    15 Fifth Third 1 11 15 Comerica 6 5
    16 KeyCorp 1 01 16 Marshall & Ilsley 6 4
    17 Sovereign 8 2 17 UnionBanCal 63
    18 Comerica 6 7 18 Synovus 3 4
    19 M&T Bank 6 6 19 First Horizon 3 3
    20 M&I 6 3 20 Colonial 2 6

    First Column top bank Q1, second column Q3 Amazing to see that much change in top 20 banks in six months, heck Wachovia, Wamu, Sov and NCC bit the dust in those six months.

  47. BC Bob says:

    “You get the feeling that Side A and Side B of that cross are both scrooged.”


    When you are spread, [no comments John], you should never lift one leg of the spread. You then get what you deserve. However, this is pure genuis, the world is getting smoked on both sides of the spread. Even better, most don’t even know that they have side B on. The masters have reached new heights with this charade. The world’s carry will put in under. Happy trading.

  48. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Consumer Spending Fell 0.3% in September, Inflation Cooled

    pending by U.S. consumers dropped more than forecast in September, capping its weakest quarter in three decades and signaling the economy will continue to slump in coming months.

    The 0.3 percent decrease in purchases was the biggest in four years and followed no change in August, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation cooled.

    Job losses, increases in food and fuel costs and falling property values brought an end to the longest expansion in spending on record and made the economy the most important issue in next week’s presidential election. The collapse in lending and sentiment this month indicate Americans will keep retrenching.

    “It’s very telling that spending got progressively worse over the quarter,” Ellen Zentner, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said before the report. “It leaves us very little momentum coming into the fourth quarter. The tight credit market will damp chances of a recovery for several quarters.”

    Economists forecast spending would fall 0.2 percent, after a previously estimated no change in August, according to the median of 73 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from a 0.3 percent gain to a 1 percent drop.

  49. gary says:

    Just opened up some listings I received this morning; still not too far from peak asking prices. Un-f*cking-believable.

  50. BC Bob says:

    Another great call by pret;

    “Credit turmoil, costs and threat of a recession have left several Vancouver projects stranded or on hold”


  51. 3b says:

    #50 BC Bob: last year at this time he was in London putting real etstae deals together.

  52. Clotpoll says:

    BC (47)-

    We should call some Hungarian housewives and inform them that they are playing on the same court with the Masters of the Universe.

    Mrs. Watanabe is dead. Long live Mrs. Goulash.

  53. Clotpoll says:

    gary (49)-

    Do what the pros do. Ignore them.

    Of the total listings on market, my guys only focus on a fraction of them: the ones priced to actually sell. We don’t even bother e-mailing the rest to clients and don’t waste gas previewing or showing them.

  54. Clotpoll says:

    Maybe I can get in on the ground floor in the Hungarian and Ukrainian foreclosure inventory management biz…

    Does anybody know if the Ukraine is still contaminated from Chernobyl? Not worth risking my health there if it is.

  55. HEHEHE says:


    Yeah, I saw the problems they are having in the Middle East. Pretty funny they had all that oil money coming and they were still financing all that building with debt.

  56. HEHEHE says:

    “#50 BC Bob: last year at this time he was in London putting real etstae deals together.”

    This year he’s living above his parent’s garage putting legos together.

  57. BC Bob says:

    Clot [52],

    I read that 90% of the mortgages in Hungary are denominated in SF. Does the TARP extend to Hungary?

  58. 3b says:

    #53 Clot: Good Idea ignoring the listings). I guess gary, and myself just do not undetstafnd why realtors continue to take these listings.

    Surely you would think that most of them now know that 2005/06 has come and gone, and we are now almost in 2009, with a radically different landscape.

  59. grim says:

    I guess gary, and myself just do not undetstafnd why realtors continue to take these listings.

    You’ll be amazed at what you’ll eat if you are really hungry.

  60. BC Bob says:


    Take SKF off your screen and replace it with the forint.

    “The other problem is that many Hungarians have been borrowing money in foreign currencies to buy their homes, cars or even to support their businesses.”

    “Those borrowings in euros, Swiss francs and even Japanese yen had the advantage that they were at much lower interest rates than those in Hungarian forints, and when the forint was a stable currency they looked very attractive.”

    “But now that the forint is falling sharply the cost of repaying those loans is rising massively.”


  61. BC Bob says:

    “Does anybody know if the Ukraine is still contaminated from Chernobyl? Not worth risking my health there if it is.”


    No worries. The radon is worse in Hunterdon County.

  62. Pine_brook says:

    Looks like the new plan is not a bailout for homeowners but rather for the banks holding the loans. Under the new plan banks do not have to markdowm the loan amount, only the monthly payment. We all know that if the mortgage amount itself is not reduced, many homedebters will default anyway. In that case taxpayers will take the hit because government is going to insure the loans.

  63. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Deephaven Freezes Multistrategy Hedge Fund to Avoid Asset Sales

    Deephaven Capital Management LLC, the hedge-fund unit of stockbroker Knight Capital Group Inc., froze a $1.6 billion fund after investors asked to get back 30 percent of their money.

    Withdrawals from the Deephaven Global Multistrategy Fund were suspended so managers wouldn’t be forced to sell assets in falling stock and debt markets, the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based firm said yesterday in a letter to investors. Lenders and trading partners also imposed stricter financing requirements, according to the letter.

  64. Victorian says:

    This plan should be good for another bump in bonuses to retain all the wonderful “talent”.

  65. gary says:

    BTW, cousin house sale/purchase update:

    1) They closed on the new house two days ago

    2) The old house still doesn’t have an offer but they have someone coming back a 2nd time and they are (ahem..) very interested.

    3) They have a set price that they will “accept” if an offer is made as they need to use that money to pay down the new house. Again, they need to “get” a certain amount.

    I didn’t say a word when told all this yesterday.

  66. grim says:

    This plan should be good for another bump in bonuses to retain all the wonderful “talent”.

    Where, exactly, do they expect this talent to go?

    And if that talent does leave, I’m sure there are 100 others, newly unemployed but just as talented, salivating to take the position… Probably for less money too.

  67. Clotpoll says:

    HE (55)-

    A junkie is a junkie, whether he’s rich or not.

  68. Cindy says:


    bottom of page –
    “Where’s My Bailout?”
    Because all Americans should be protected from their own stupidity.

  69. 3b says:

    #59 grim:You’ll be amazed at what you’ll eat if you are really hungry.

    Except with those listing rpices you will continue to remain very hungry.

  70. Clotpoll says:

    gary (65)-

    Watch the shock on their faces as the “interested” party takes a second look…then decides to sit on their hands until your cousin comes to them, begging for an offer.

    I have a list of buyers a mile long. I also have their “wish list” homes on auto-search, so we can immediately track & notify when price changes happen.

    You should’ve seen the responses when the Clodwell Bunco listings that reduced for their “sale of the century” repriced to their former, higher asking.

    That “sale” probably ended up delaying the eventual disposition of those properties by 3-6 months, minimum. They are now stigmatized by the public perception that the owners are too stupid to warrant attempts to negotiate with them.

    Realogy is toast.

  71. Victorian says:

    Grim (31) –
    “The next revolution will be the easiest one to fight.
    Just stop paying our debt, and watch it all come down.”

    – The problem with this is that it sucks not be in debt right now. I am sure that TPTB will decree that only debt which was acquired during, lets say, the last 2 years will be forgiven.

    So, If you are a renter or a person who has already paid off your mortgage – get ready for the TRUE “Redistribution of Wealth”.

  72. Pat says:

    What’s the fastest way to rack up the cards, without attracting attention?

    Can you charge a house purchase to double down on the debt destruction?

  73. 3b says:

    #5 Rich: Got your initial response. Thanks.

  74. BC Bob says:

    Can you imagine the outcry here, send your child to boarding school, 22K a year, to get dirty?

    Why not send them to Iowa, learn how to cruise around on a John Deere?

    “Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Growing food is on the curriculum at Leaden Hall private school for girls in southwest England, and students can thank the credit crisis.”

    “Pupils are growing potatoes, tomatoes, runner beans and courgettes,” said Diana Watkins, the head teacher of the school of 231 students, including 40 boarders, in the town of Salisbury. Planting took place in the spring, crops are tended by children and staff, and “every patch of grass is being used,” Watkins said.

    “There’s a sense of a tidal wave coming towards us,” said Anthony Seldon, the head of the college. “We don’t know if it is going to be a large one, an unpleasant one, or a massive one. We think many of our parents will be adversely affected. Some of them will be very significantly affected.”


  75. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Oct. UMich consumer sentiment 57.6 vs 57.5 expected

  76. skep-tic says:

    If the government is going to do major stimulus, I agree with the idea that they shouldn’t just hand out checks to be spent on $300 jeans this Christmas. Wouldn’t it be great if instead they spent the money on something like improved public transportation?

  77. grim says:


    I say we build a New New York, ala Dubai.

    Grind up the Poconos and Adirondacks and pour the fill into the Hudson, East River, and New York Bay.

    We can do the same in JC, Hoboken, and Bayonne.

    Waterfront condos for everyone!

  78. Shore Guy says:

    “The HENRYS who make between $250K an $500K actually only on average make $287K a year and on average pay $57K in income taxes. ”

    We should be so lucky to pay just $57k. Those numbers are way too low.

  79. grim says:

    Chicago Purchasers Index way under consensus estimates. Came in lower than the lowest Bloomberg survey response.

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Chicago Purchasers Index Falls to Seven-Year Low

    A measure of U.S. business activity dropped to the lowest level since the last recession in 2001 as gauges of production and new orders plummeted.

    The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said today its business index decreased to 37.8 this month from 56.7 in September. Fifty is the dividing line between growth and contraction. The index averaged 54.4 last year.

    Businesses are paring production and investment plans as the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression makes credit harder to get and discourages consumer spending. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News early this month forecast the economy would contract in the second half of the year.

    “This is consistent with a pretty good-sized recession,” Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “What we’re debating now is when the recession began.”

    The index was projected to fall to 48, according to the median forecast of 58 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Estimates ranged from 43.6 to 54.5.

  80. Hard Place says:

    And if that talent does leave, I’m sure there are 100 others, newly unemployed but just as talented, salivating to take the position… Probably for less money too.

    Why are such bonuses being paid to the talent that lost billions of $$$ in the first place? Must be some talented decision makers there!

  81. DL says:

    Are there enough buyers for Philadelphia’s upscale condos?
    “Real estate broker Allan Domb is the so-called “Condo King of Philadelphia.” Right now, the king is hurting. His sales are off 25 percent to 40 percent this year compared with last year – mostly with $750,000-plus condos.

    “It’s been challenging selling the units and closing them,” he said candidly. “Many buyers do not go through with their transactions because their situations have changed, and they view the economy as not as strong as two years ago.

    “And by the way, they’re right.”

    There is a clear link between the local housing market generally and a slowdown in the purchase of expensive Center City condos:

    “A lot of those people buying over $1 million condos have to sell an existing home [usually in the suburbs], and that’s a problem for them,” Domb said. “They come and look, and say, ‘I will get back to you after I sell my home,’ and it doesn’t happen. You rarely hear from them again.”


  82. Shore Guy says:

    “Consumer confidence suffered its steepest monthly drop on record in October, a survey showed Friday, as the worst financial crisis in generations took its toll.”

    So, of course, the Dow rises. Gimme a break. The outlook for consumer spending and exports is dreadful for the next year and we are supposed to buy into these rising valuations?

  83. grim says:


    From the Baltimore Business Journal.
    (Note: You won’t read this in the Asbury Park Press)

    BRAC upside to the down economy

    More government workers than initially predicted are expected to come to Maryland during the next three years under the Pentagon’s base closure plan, due largely to a tighter job market, rising unemployment rates and plummeting pension values.

    An estimated 8,200 jobs are being moved to Aberdeen Proving Ground by September 2011 under the federal Base Realignment and Closure plan, the majority of them from Fort Monmouth in northern New Jersey.

    Initial estimates from the New Jersey base indicated about 20 percent, or 1,640, of the workers now in those jobs would elect to move, with the remainder planning to either resign or retire early. Now, as much as 42 percent, or 3,444, of those employees plan to move to APG, according to a recent survey of Fort Monmouth workers.

  84. John says:

    Because unlike Govt they fired all the biggest idiots already, plus the people already pegged for the next round of lay-offs are getting stiffed bonus time even if they are still employed on bonus day. Finally in financials most firms are just leased buildings and leased computer and some used office furniture. The stars get the clients, keep the clients and make the money. There ain’t many stars on the street but those 10% of employees that make it happen ain’t happy and walk you don’t have anything.

    Hard Place Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 10:10 am
    And if that talent does leave, I’m sure there are 100 others, newly unemployed but just as talented, salivating to take the position… Probably for less money too.

    Why are such bonuses being paid to the talent that lost billions of $$$ in the first place? Must be some talented decision makers there!

  85. John says:

    That is correct. That is Federal taxes only. Of course in NJ you would have another 15K state and another 15K RE taxes.

    Shore Guy Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 10:08 am
    “The HENRYS who make between $250K an $500K actually only on average make $287K a year and on average pay $57K in income taxes. ”

    We should be so lucky to pay just $57k. Those numbers are way too low

  86. bi says:

    Mr. Doom Morgan: where is my cake baked in with 1500 pts of dow? however, you are absolutely right on absolute numbers.


    bi Says:
    October 25th, 2008 at 5:56 pm
    540#, mark his words and check back next sunday. i wish all these big talk heads can publish their own brokerage accounts. by the way, i don’t pay any attention to them unless they put their own money to play. at this junction, i prefer what everybody’s warren said: when people have fear i am greed; when people are greed i have fear.

    “I will have updated closing trade numbers on Sunday. If things deteriorate over the weekend, we could see a 2000-3000 point drop this week. I believe 10-15% is already baked into this cake. And yes . . . on my ship we get our cake, and get to eat it too. But not yet. Sit tight, be quiet, and go for a walk on the beach . . . because the sun rises in about 20 minutes and I will be on the beach for a long walk today.”

  87. John says:

    The stock market is a forward indicator. We can me in the midst of a huge recession and it can be going up.

    Talent is important. BTW talk to any FS headhunter and they will tell you no matter what you do if you are good you can get a job in a second. There are tons of unemployed people who can’t get a job on the street but not if you are a rainmaker. In fact a headhunter friend was telling me he has a 7 figure job opened that a just ok guy currently has. The firm figures there is lots of talent opening up so they want to do secret interviews and if they can get someone better for same price or a little more they are going to trade up. That guy will lose his job. But hey if you had an ok short stop and Derrick Jeter opened up for the same price of course you would cut your current shortstop. Civil Service workers don’t have to worry about this stuff.

  88. John says:

    The Bank of England’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee is likely to slash its key lending rate by a full percentage point to 3.5% at its monthly policy meeting Thursday, Citigroup economist Michael Saunders said Friday in a weekly research note. Although the MPC has never cut by more than a half-point, the economic and financial crisis is “unusually severe,” Saunders said. “Under these conditions, the MPC probably will be ready to ease at an unprecedented pace unless worries about currency weakness and the ballooning fiscal deficit dominate.” Regardless of the outcome Thursday, the MPC is likely to cut the key rate from its current level of 4.5% to around 2% by mid-2009, he said.

    Time to Pound the Pound – Maybe London this summer ain’t a bad vacation.

  89. skep-tic says:


    “So according to this weeks Fortune mag the bottom 66% of taxpayers only pay $1,300 in income taxes each year. Is the taxes they pay really killing them?

    The HENRYS who make between $250K an $500K actually only on average make $287K a year and on average pay $57K in income taxes.

    So raising taxes on the people already paying 57K in income taxes and lowering taxes on those paying $1,300 in taxes will make it more fair?”

    totally agree. I understand that lower income people can’t afford to pay more, but the suggestion that upper income people (esp upper wage earners) are not paying their fair share is ludicrous

  90. Victorian says:

    “The stock market is a forward indicator”

    – Then, why didn’t it see this huge mess coming? The stock market right now is nothing more than a gambling den.
    Do you honestly think that companies are going to earn $90/share in the next year?

  91. BC Bob says:

    “Time to Pound the Pound”


    Thanks, it’s 20% off its high. Monday morning quarterback?

  92. BC Bob says:

    vic [92],

    I’m praying that the hope, new world vision trade will get it back to 10,400-11,000.

  93. Nicholas says:


    My company is hiring positions in Aberdeen for work that is being transferred there. Project managers and technical positions for Telecommunications work.

    There are alot of jobs that are being relocated to MD from everywhere. Sorry to hear of NJs loss.

  94. skep-tic says:

    here is what I see the political reality being: gov’t has to bail out banks because otherwise banking system would totally collapse. massive moral hazard in this, but that is outweighed by the consequences of banking collapse (i.e., second great depression).

    because people do not understand how vital a functioning banking system is, they view this as simply a bailout for “fatcats.” regrettably, this view is encouraged by the failure to put sufficient strings on the bailout money so far.

    if the “fatcats” are getting bailed out, the average citizen expects to be bailed out too. this means bailing out homedebtors and sending checks in the mail to most everyone else on top of this. responsible people will be pissed but placated when they get their little tax cut/welfare check.

    only a minority of voters will get really screwed on all levels because they rent and do not qualify for a tax cut / welfare check. they are too small of a group to matter politically.

  95. 3b says:

    #89 John: my head hunter friend on the street tells me the exact opposite.

    And she has had intimate connections with all the major players on the street. 25 years in the business.

    She tells me there may be opportunities by the end of next year, as many of the rainmakers will be starting their own firms,as they feel tarnished by their association with the big IB’s.

    She feels the IB model in its present form is finished.

    As far as the stock market being a forward indicator, yes that is true, but not that much forward.

    The recession is just really starting to pick up stream, and the market cannot start looking forward until more of the carnage from the recession plays out.

    I would not even consider the market as indicating a forward looking basis until the 3rd quarter of 2009 (minimum).

    This so called rally of the last few days is simply a bull rally in a bear market.

    I call it a hope rally in that they hope things won’t get that bad. Yet every piece of economic data released points to the exact opposite.

    One will get cut off at the knees participating in a hope rally.

  96. Nicholas says:

    Aberdeen is north of Baltimore just incase your wondering. It nearly borders on Pennsylvania and Delaware.


  97. skep-tic says:


    “They are now stigmatized by the public perception that the owners are too stupid to warrant attempts to negotiate with them.”

    I am contemplating visiting a newly listed open house this weekend in my neighborhood. It is massively overpriced (I think by about 30%). The only reason to go is to tell the agent as much. But the very fact that the asking price is so high indicates that it is probably pointless

  98. John says:

    The Reserve Primary Fund, the giant money market fund whose customers have been waiting more than six weeks for their cash, announced late Thursday night that it would begin mailing checks to shareholders on Friday — for half their original investment.

  99. BC Bob says:

    3b [97],

    Can’t take credit for this one;

    Sell and fold beats buy and hold.

  100. Victorian says:

    “here is what I see the political reality being: gov’t has to bail out banks because otherwise banking system would totally collapse. massive moral hazard in this, but that is outweighed by the consequences of banking collapse (i.e., second great depression).”

    – Government Intervention has never worked in History, why would it work now? Isn’t Japan enough of an example to not go this route?
    AIG has sucked 122 Billion and is coming back for more. When does this stop? On top of that, banks are still paying dividends. I would think that if they are on the verge of collapse, dividends would be the last thing on their mind. Of course, collapse and bonuses go hand-in-hand.

  101. HEHEHE says:

    Walked by Toll Bros sales office on Washington Street in Hoboken. It’s now closed. Did they move it or are they no longer killing emin Hoboken

  102. Hard Place says:

    I just discovered this new time machine. You open up a web browser. Type in http://www.gsmls.com and pick your favorite county and city. Zoom! You go back in time to 2005/2006. It’s amazing!

  103. Victorian says:

    “Sell and fold beats buy and hold.”

    – LOL! I am going to pin this up on my desk.

  104. Secondary Market says:

    off to the phillies parade; hope i survive.

  105. John says:

    3B, IBs are soooooooo 2007 you really are dating yourself.

  106. skep-tic says:


    Vic– the question is what would happen if gov’t did not intervene. Japan had a crappy economy for more than a decade, but people were not starving and overall maintained a pretty high quality of life. If the Japanese gov’t had just let the chips fall, who knows what might have happended.

  107. skep-tic says:


    agree with your point re: dividends, however

  108. BC Bob says:

    “Walked by Toll Bros sales office on Washington Street in Hoboken. It’s now closed.”


    Heard it was just for today. They could not afford to buy candy.

  109. cooper says:

    ” The problem with this is that it sucks not be in debt right now ”

    Dam straight! my better half an I both have 800+ FICO, we could have been sitting in a mil+ super-pad on tax payer dollars sipping crystal we bought on a CC waiting for a rebate check and tax break! But NOOOOO! we had to pay off ALL our debt and save for a down payment which wont be worth the paper it’s written on.
    -end rant

  110. HEHEHE says:


    Seriously, the door was open and the entire place gutted. Must have moved it someplace else.

  111. bklynhawk says:

    New source for those trying to keep up on bad biz news…


  112. BC Bob says:

    “Japan had a crappy economy for more than a decade, but people were not starving and overall maintained a pretty high quality of life.”


    One big difference. The Japanese had a huge surplus, the population was hard core savers. Comparing John Q, 2008 to Mr/Mrs Watanabe, 80’s/90’s, is akin to comparing Roseanne Barr to Giselle.

  113. ben says:

    “Vic– the question is what would happen if gov’t did not intervene. Japan had a crappy economy for more than a decade, but people were not starving and overall maintained a pretty high quality of life. If the Japanese gov’t had just let the chips fall, who knows what might have happended.”

    Had the Japanese not intervened, they would have had a moderate recession and their economy would have went gangbusters once it was over. Instead, they never went anywhere. It’s always worked this way. You clean out the weak and the strong take over. You build your economy on a sound foundation. You don’t prop up a house of cards.

  114. BC Bob says:

    he [113],

    Not even a TARP?

  115. Sean says:

    Ohh more fun next week.

    Depository Trust to Release Credit-Default Swaps Data (Update1)

    By Shannon D. Harrington

    Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., the operator of a central registry for the more than $47 trillion credit-default swaps market, will start releasing weekly data on the amount of trades linked to the top 1,000 companies and benchmark indexes.

    DTCC will begin publishing the data on its Web site starting Nov. 4, the New York-based company said in a statement today. The company will publish both the gross and net amount of contracts used to hedge against losses or to speculate on the creditworthiness of companies, governments and other borrowers.

    “When there is panic or near-panic conditions, that’s especially the case where greater transparency could provide some reassurance so that people don’t conjure up the worst-case scenario,” said Henry Hu, a law professor at the University of Texas in Austin who has pressed the need for a data warehouse spanning all privately negotiated derivatives markets to offer a better understanding of the risks.

    Credit-default swap traders have come under increased scrutiny since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed last month and the U.S. government was forced to rescue American International Group Inc., which faced bankruptcy after rating downgrades forced it to post more than $10 billion in collateral on credit swap trades that had plunged in value.

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox and New York Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo have called for increased regulation of the swaps. Dinallo, in an interview that aired Oct. 26 on the CBS news show “60 Minutes,” called the market “legalized gambling.”


    DTCC earlier this month began releasing some information on trades in the registry to clear “misconceptions” about credit- default swaps following the bankruptcy of Lehman, among the market’s largest dealers.

    After estimates from analysts that as much as $400 billion in credit swaps may have been tied to Lehman, raising concerns that hedge funds and others may struggle to make good on the bets, DTCC said only $5.2 billion had to be paid out from among the $72 billion of total contracts in the registry.

    “The market would benefit from the information that DTCC has,” said Brian Yelvington, a strategist at fixed-income research firm CreditSights Inc. in New York. Had data on Lehman been released sooner, “there would not have been as much fear- mongering,” he said.

    About 90 percent of credit-default swap trades are electronically matched and confirmed through DTCC, according to the company’s annual report, suggesting that most trades since the end of 2006 are recorded in the registry. DTCC has said it has backloaded “the vast majority” of outstanding trades into the registry, known as the Trade Information Warehouse.

    Misguided Criticisms

    DTCC is controlled by a board of members, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other dealers that created and control trading in the credit-default swap market. Trading exploded the past decade as the market went from being largely a tool for banks to hedge loans to a place where hedge funds, insurance companies and other asset managers could speculate on the creditworthiness of companies, governments and other borrowers including homeowners.

    Criticisms leveled at the market are misguided, according to Robert Pickel, head of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association in New York, the industry group that sets standards for traders. The contracts are an effective tool to hedge against losses, and the losses that toppled firms such as AIG were triggered by the underlying loans, not the derivatives, he said.

    “We do need to look at how more information, certainly to regulators if not to the general public, can be distributed,” Pickel said in an interview this week. “We certainly understand the interest now in having that more widely available, and the Trade Information Warehouse is probably the best source of that.”


  116. BC Bob says:

    Ben [116],

    Exactly. They propped up the dead, let the parasites hang on. As a result they were stuck in 1st gear for over 20 years. By the way, at that time, we advised them to blow out the dead wood, their soultion would only prolong the agony. Funny, who’s advising us?

  117. Shore Guy says:

    “The Reserve Primary Fund, the giant money market fund whose customers have been waiting more than six weeks for their cash, announced late Thursday night that it would begin mailing checks to shareholders on Friday for half their original investment”

    Half? Half! HALF! Has our 3% haircut turned into a 50% haircut?

  118. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Some Banks May Tell U.S. to Keep Bailout Cash

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

    The American Bankers Association complained on Thursday that bankers around the country were “extremely upset” about how the Treasury Department was trying to offer them billions of dollars in fresh capital.

    “These bankers believe they are being asked — in some cases pressured — to participate in a program they did not want and do not need,” wrote Edward L. Yingling, president of the American Bankers Association, in a blistering letter to the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr.

    Saying he had “deep concerns with the lack of clarity about the program,” Mr. Yingling said the confusion had grown sharply this week over what the government’s purpose was.

    But the focus on healthy banks has created baffling contradictions. Healthy banks have been reluctant to take the government money, in part because they feared being stigmatized as needy or vulnerable.

    Mr. Paulson essentially strong-armed several of the country’s biggest banks into participating when he announced the program earlier this month.

    To attract healthy banks into the program, Treasury officials also imposed as few restrictions as possible for those that received money. Banks could still keep paying dividends. They had only limited restrictions on executive bonuses and compensation. And the government would not force the banks to make loans they did not want to make.

    But that only raised the question: why was the government trying to give those banks money in the first place?

    Mr. Yingling said many healthy banks might want to take advantage of the Treasury’s offer, but not if they had to suspend dividends or accept restrictions on executive pay.

    “It would make no sense for a well-capitalized bank with solid earnings to agree to a program which would greatly lower the value of its stock,” Mr. Yingling wrote.

  119. John says:

    If you know your FICO score you don’t really have good credit cause otherwise why would you even care.

    Japan had a lousy standard of living in the 1990s, most lower level journey men I met lived in little tiny tiny one room apartments where they did not even have beds or toliet paper, they just rolled out little mats each night for their families and had their little water sprayers for their butts. They had long commutes at the crack of dawn and could only afford to eat lunch when the boss was not paying from a cheap cart and all it consisted of was a little bowl of soup, That was what they could afford after working 70 hours a week. In meetings they rank you by title and age. Some 60 year old guy who had the misfortune of being one title below me had to carry my bags and hail my cab, about the only thing he didn’t do was shake my thing in the mens room.

  120. paulnederland says:

    Any idea why banks are not lowering the price of homes they own?

    The bank may have refinanced a house in 2005 to the max and foreclosure has now transfered ownership to the bank. Would they sell that trashed home now at 30% loss? If the bank sells the house at market value, they are taking a huge loss. If they don’t sell, they could keep the house on their books an seemingly are not affected by the reduction in value.

    What are the accounting rules for the bank’s inventory of houses?

    I guess that there are some rules about how long they can keep a house on their books without having to reduce its book value? Any accountant that could answer this?

  121. grim says:

    From DealBreaker:

    Layoffs Watch ’08: Citi

    The Big C is said to be making cuts in convertible sales and trading this morning.

  122. John says:

    New head of audit at DTCC is from Merrill so I bet he will be an expert at setting up their CDS system.

  123. Sean says:

    re: #121 Apparently many banks are fine, the ones that need the cash are Paulson’s buddies.

    This article explores the subject using a Fed paper to back it up.


    Facts andMyths about the Financial
    Crisis of 2008∗
    V.V. Chari, Lawrence Christiano, and Patrick J. Kehoe
    Working Paper 666

  124. grim says:

    Direct link to the Krugman piece:

    Paul Krugman: When consumers capitulate

    The long-feared capitulation of American consumers has arrived. According to Thursday’s GDP report, real consumer spending fell at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the third quarter; real spending on durable goods (stuff like cars and TVs) fell at an annual rate of 14 percent.

    To appreciate the significance of these numbers, you need to know that American consumers almost never cut spending. Consumer demand kept rising right through the 2001 recession; the last time it fell even for a single quarter was in 1991, and there hasn’t been a decline this steep since 1980, when the economy was suffering from a severe recession combined with double-digit inflation.

    Also, these numbers are from the third quarter – the months of July, August, and September. So these data are basically telling us what happened before confidence collapsed after the fall of Lehman Brothers in mid-September, not to mention before the Dow plunged below 10,000. Nor do the data show the full effects of the sharp cutback in the availability of consumer credit, which is still under way.

    So this looks like the beginning of a very big change in consumer behavior. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

    It’s true that American consumers have long been living beyond their means. In the mid-1980s Americans saved about 10 percent of their income. Lately, however, the savings rate has generally been below 2 percent – sometimes it has even been negative – and consumer debt has risen to 98 percent of GDP, twice its level a quarter-century ago.

    Some economists told us not to worry because Americans were offsetting their growing debt with the ever-rising values of their homes and stock portfolios. Somehow, though, we’re not hearing that argument much lately.

  125. Outofstater says:

    #128 Please, NO! This is cruel – let these zombies die! They have been dying for decades, let’s let them GO already!

  126. NJGator says:

    Shore Previous 472 – Thanks again for the concern. No worries though, the CN masters are far from evil. And it seems like aside from Men’s Vogue and Portfolio, which will probably be blood baths, most of the 5% payroll cuts will be through eliminating open positions and attrition.

    Don’t believe the rumors though. This is a very decent place to work. They pay me well, I can have a life outside the office, and the benefits are fairly generous. When they do lay people off – which is a rare occurrence here compared to Time Inc, which has done significant layoffs each year for the past 3 years – they even offer a pretty generous package.

    That being said, this announcement shows how bad this recession is going to be. I was working here back in 2001, and the cuts back then were much less widespread.

    As for buying some extra copies of The New Yorker, don’t worry so much about them. They survived the Great Depression. There are a few other of our titles that probably need your patronage a little more.

  127. skep-tic says:

    American attitude is basically like that of the UAW– longterm sustainability irrelevant, bleed the sucker dry while you have the chance. This is the attitude politicians will appeal to. As long as the 95% get a taste, they will acquiesce.

  128. Barbara says:

    OT travel advice needed:
    Going into the city tonight (ugh). Should I take the train in from New Brunswick (little over an hour to Penn Sta) or should I drive to The Path and take that in? What would be better on time?

  129. BlindJust says:

    BC – are you waiting for Dow at 10.5/11 b4 you short?

  130. NJkiwi says:

    Clot #53

    “Of the total listings on market, my guys only focus on a fraction of them: the ones priced to actually sell. We don’t even bother e-mailing the rest to clients and don’t waste gas previewing or showing them.”

    Clot or others do you know of any agents in the south Boston (Scituate etc) area with a similar attitude? Is there a decent south shore Boston blog? I couldn’t see any really specific ones that come even come close to the utility of Grims- perhaps you need to franchise?

  131. BC Bob says:


    I’m short certain sectors at this time, lightly. I’m hoping it gets to that level, to get aggressively short. I’m looking for the hoopla, election, brand new day, etc.., for cash that is parked, short term treasuries, to move into the stock market.

  132. BC Bob says:

    Did Clot have a coronary today?

    “UNC’s Hansbrough out; no timetable for return”


  133. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [132] skep,

    Jeez, from my mind to your keyboard. Why can’t I say this as pithily and as concisely?

  134. Hobokenite says:

    Bailouts: Not just for the US


    Gulf Citizens Beg for Bailout as Stock Rout Signals End of Boom

  135. skep-tic says:

    the juxtaposition of the conde nast babes in times square amidst the fat, waddling tourists is kind of weird. it’s like when the NFL plays exhibition games in foreign countries: message is ‘look how awesome you could be.’

  136. william says:

    USA—the world mafia….sounds like a good movie title to me

  137. grim says:

    Interesting piece out of Vegas..

    Lowball appraisals are obstacle for new—home purchases

    At a time the new-home market remains weak, lowball appraisals are giving homebuilders another stumbling block in any sales rebound, according to the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association.

    Even buyers who are able to line up mortgages are finding that lenders are making them come up with a bigger down payment because appraisals are coming in lower than the home is selling for, says Monica Caruso, the association’s spokeswoman. Sales are falling through because of it, she says.

    Even homes with upgraded amenities and features such as granite countertops are being unfairly downgraded, Caruso says.

    “You have people who are working and struggling and saved 20 percent on a down payment on prices they thought were reasonable, but it is not enough, based on the appraisals,” Caruso says.

    The problem is nationwide and driven by falling median prices because of foreclosures and short sales, Caruso says.

  138. NJGator says:

    skep 141 – You think that’s weird, come on in for a visit in the CN Cafeteria. $30 million spent on a dining room for people who don’t eat. It is fun to watch people get plates piled with lettuce squirted with lemon juice.

    We’re a cashless cafe and we use a debit account on our id cards. I innocently asked a coworker if they thought big brother would spy on what employees were eating by checking their card usage. From that day forward, my colleague has only used a guest card to pay for purchases.

  139. Clotpoll says:

    kiwi (135)-

    All I know about Boston is that I don’t like it.

    Bad restaurants and ugly, pasty-faced women.

  140. Clotpoll says:

    BC (137)-

    Not to worry.

  141. grim says:

    JPM undertaking a “significant mortgage modification program”. Will hold off on pushing any more loans into foreclosure until the program is in place.

  142. BC Bob says:

    Now WS is cancelling their X-Mas parties and designating those funds to the needy? Why not forego your bonuses and assist those that are staring down the barrel of foreclosure?

    “As you know, in terms of the global economy, it now appears that the environment will remain challenging for the foreseeable future. In times like these, as difficult as it may seem for people in our industry, it is the charities and nonprofits that depend explicitly on donations, many from the financial services sector, that will come under the most pressure in the coming months.
    To help ease that pressure, we have asked all divisions to forego their Firm-sponsored holiday parties this year and instead help us apply those designated funds toward helping those most in need.”


  143. NJkiwi says:

    ooookkkk, I take that as a no.

    clot #146
    “All I know about Boston is that I don’t like it.

    Bad restaurants and ugly, pasty-faced women.”

  144. william says:

    149—gotta disagree there….smart girls are hotter

  145. skep-tic says:


    Gator– you may not believe it, but I actually interviewed at GQ once upon a time when I was in college. Didn’t make it to the cafeteria but quickly realized that I didn’t have what it took to make it there in my Syms suit, sans trust fund. Had a good friend from college that worked at CN Traveler for several years as well. She never lacked for “diva” stories

  146. Shore Guy says:

    “I can have a life outside the office,”

    WHAT kind of freak are you? lol

  147. Shore Guy says:

    I used to like reading traveler back in the day. It was what passed for a cheap vacation back in the ramen noodle days. Is it still around? It used to have wonderful photos.

  148. NJGator says:

    Traveler is very much around.

    Regarding the CN divas, you don’t find very many of them in unglamorous corporate departments.

  149. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    JPMorgan to Modify $110 Billion Mortgages Including WaMu Loans

    JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by market value, plans to modify $110 billion of mortgages, including some of those made to Washington Mutual Inc. customers.

    The bank won’t put any loans into foreclosure while it follows through on plans to open regional counseling centers during the next 90 days, the New York-based company said in a statement today.

  150. Shore Guy says:

    “Even buyers who are able to line up mortgages are finding that lenders are making them come up with a bigger down payment because appraisals are coming in lower than the home is selling for,”

  151. Shore Guy says:

    “Even buyers who are able to line up mortgages are finding that lenders are making them come up with a bigger down payment because appraisals are coming in lower than the home is selling for,”

  152. John says:

    If GM and the American Auto Industry go under all that is left is German Cars. The Japanese cars have no soul, just bland boxes. I had a toyota and it got me from point A to point B for a few years. As exciting as a NY City Bus ride.

    Driving fresheman year in my 1967 Firebird Convt going 80mph on the meadowbook. Smoking them up big time in my 1969 Black Dukes of Hazard style Mopar on Austin Blvd outside of Speaks, catching a dune offroading in my Jeep Wrangler top down out in East Hampton and going airbone, heck my 1968 Blue Buick GS with a jacked rear end and G60s with a bright red posi sticking out with tinted windows was amazing, every light someone wanted to throw it down. On rethreads once I dragged a guy straight off the light on northern blvd by Leonards and around 110 MPH I finally smoked him. Even my wife’s Monster GMC Truck with 3 rows DVD playing is a thing of engineering. Don’t get me started on the 09 CTS V, that is a car. The Japanese cars are so so horrible boring. The car valet, the gas station attendent, the mechanic no one cares about a Jap car. German cars are pretty good the other BMW drivers check out my BMW and when I had my 450SL on the road this summer it was great to get to talk to 3-5 people about my car just while running errands. For that alone give GM 25 billion. Heck the thought of the day my friend got his first Corvette and same night we hit Spies and as we were pulling out he saw some girls and to impress them as he turned right he floored it. That damm tripple black t top vette was no match for a 23 year old guy, it smoked and fishtailed and we ended up backwards on route 110 right in front of a cop. Damm Cop and his partner were only like 30 and yelled out “what did you just get that thing?” The girls and cops were just laughing so hard that my friend just pullled away at 20 mph the whole way home without a ticket. Can a Camry match that?

  153. 3b says:

    #156 grim: Forcing me to bid lower and lower.

  154. Shore Guy says:


    In honor of halloween, please kill the phantoms above. I did a full virus scan, stinger, etc and I am not infected. It must be a quirk in the new IE.

  155. John says:

    Once upon a time an appraiser came and appraised the value of your house. In that far away time the actual value of a house may actually have been less than you paid. In that magical time buyers sometimes overpaid and real estate sometimes feel in value. A bank that required 20% down often wanted 20% of the actual value of the house based on the appraisal. It realy was a magical time.

  156. skep-tic says:


    “Regarding the CN divas, you don’t find very many of them in unglamorous corporate departments.”

    but when they open the wrong door… catfight?

  157. Shore Guy says:

    ““Even buyers who are able to line up mortgages are finding that lenders are making them come up with a bigger down payment because appraisals are coming in lower than the home is selling for,””

    This would seem to be a big advantage for buyers, no? If one settles on a home at a price of $500,000 and one has a 20% downpayment of $100,000 and then the bank says, sorry, the house is only worth $450,000, the buyer now has a great bit of leverage. Either the seller drops the price to $450,000 to satisfy the lender or the buyer gets to walk away. If the seller drops the price, the buyer has now made a greater-than 20% downpayment.

  158. skep-tic says:


    “The programs are aimed only at homeowners who “show a willingness to pay,” the bank said. “Customers should continue to make mortgage payments to reflect their intent to honor their commitments.””

    preemptive measure to prevent walk-aways?

  159. Victorian says:

    I have stopped looking at listings and no longer concern myself with asking prices and such.
    With the economy in the state it is, and no job security, why would I saddle myself with a home and its associated expenses (taxes, maintenance etc.) ? Plus, I would not have the downpayment money available in case of a worst case scenario.

    I can always downsize to a lower priced rental if things get really bad, or just pick up and move to a different area in the hopes of finding a job.

  160. BlindJust says:

    BC 148 – some are …


    Now let’s see how our “little people’s” bonus’ fare…

  161. Shore Guy says:

    “lettuce squirted with lemon juice”

    Sounds like Guantanamo cuisine.

  162. Shore Guy says:

    “lettuce squirted with lemon juice”

    Sounds like Guantanamo cuisine.

  163. Shore Guy says:

    Mens Vogue? Yea, what are the odds of THAT going under. Even men who give a hoot about their appearance, and whatnot, are going to spend time bothering with a title like that?

  164. kettle1 says:

    how long before NJ gets this headline?

    SAN DIEGO, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The pension fund of San Diego, California, may have lost as much as $1 billion of its $5 billion in assets recently, potentially adding to the financial challenges weighing on the state’s second-largest city.


    does anyone really think that pensions will survive this?

  165. Shore Guy says:

    Hey John,

    It looks like congress is about to use some of our money to spread the wealth and give others a little rubbie tub, or whatever you call it.

  166. Shore Guy says:

    “does anyone really think that pensions will survive this?”

  167. Shore Guy says:

    “does anyone really think that pensions will survive this?”

  168. Shore Guy says:

    “does anyone really think that pensions will survive this?”

    Only the ones for elected officials.

  169. still_looking says:

    Happy Halloween everyone….

    I’ve finally caught up on sleep after some brutal nights…

    I don’t think I am gonna make it though all of yesterday’s posts…

    alia — thank you… ER nurses are some of the grittiest people you’ll meet. It becomes like a war zone at times, even in the ‘burbs. Treat them humanely and life will be a whole lot easier.


  170. william says:

    Why does Warren Buffett proclaim gold to be a terrible investment???

    Is there a motive there?

  171. Nicholas says:

    I say that anyone who gets a mortgage write down also have to submit that on their taxes at the end of the year.

    A windfall profit tax should be imposed on the amount that is written down. Instead of owing the mortgage company, you now owe the federal government. You should tax this “profit” at the same rate you would for lottery winnings.


  172. Jamey the non-licensed, tax scofflaw plumber says:

    Okay, since this is — nominally, at least — a RE blog, put on your prognosticatin’ hats: How big a haircut do folks heareabouts think housing prices will take?

    How much will 2005’s .5million POS 3br cape cost in, say, November 2009?

    How much will 2005’s $650k 2br shore condo cost in Nov 2009?

    How much will 2005’s $1million McMansion in Cliffside Park cost in Nov 2009?

    Tie breaker:

    2005’s 499k UWS studio apartment, again, in Nov. 2009.

    Winners announced 366 days from now.

  173. Nicholas says:

    The state governments should get thier cuts also.

  174. still_looking says:

    Ket or others interested –

    I can arrange for observers on a time limited, pre-arranged basis.

    Anyone interested should know:

    It will be on overnights only.

    4 hr minimum commitment.

    You will be assisting in a limited capacity.

    You will be asked to sign a HIPAA agreement.

    No one is approved until they are cleared by the nursing coordinator of the ER.

    [Unofficially: If you throw up, you get sent home early.]

    email grim to forward to me, if interested.


  175. Eeyore says:

    Oh how I dreamed of being a Condé Nasty! I’d write some front-of-the-book item about vitamins or Scotch tape, being sure to mention my fabulous NYC apartment and those Louboutins I wore to some hotspot last night. The girl who tormented me in high school would be reading that magazine in a waiting room or hair salon and flip out when she’d learn I turned out far more fabulous than her.

    Yes, I’d be fabulous – but miserable, trying to keep up with the other divas.

  176. grim says:


    I’m in.

  177. grim says:

    Oh how I dreamed of being a Condé Nasty! I’d write some front-of-the-book item about … Scotch tape

    A piece on triboluminescent radiation in Vogue? I might have an idea about why you weren’t hired. Then again, I’m wearing an orange shirt today and needed to google Louboutin.

  178. BC Bob says:

    Now our bankers expect us to travel in their planes?


  179. kettle1 says:


    buffet is concerned about buffet, not joe sixpack. your take on gold depends on why you want it. As an investment along the lines of an etf, as a collectors item (coins), or as “insurance” against fiat currency issues. each one would have a different strategy



    I am in as well, e-mailed grim

  180. chicagofinance says:

    > PIAC Members,
    > >
    > Attached to this message is a letter to America from FPA.
    > This full page ad
    > will be running on Monday (11/03), the day before the general election
    > in
    > USA Today. It will reach about 3-million.
    > > As you can see… many of the message points in this were derived from
    > our last PIAC meeting where we discussed the possibility of a national
    > message and what points FPA might adopt. You can see your own input
    > reflected in the letter.
    > > This was very much a crash project where we were up against a very
    > tight production deadline, thus our last committee meeting served me
    > well. I often feel like I don’t properly convey the value of our
    > discussions… and this affords a rare chance to actually show you the
    > benefit. This is what PIAC is all about.
    > >
    > Thanks for your help. It is, and always been, greatly appreciated.
    > November 3, 2008

    The Members and Staff of the Financial Planning Association

    “Plan for the future because that’s where
    you are going to spend the rest of your life.”
    – Mark Twain

    To All Americans:

    Tomorrow, we will elect the 44th President of the United States during one of the most troubled economic periods
    in our history.

    One of the top priorities of our new administration and our new Congress will be to wrestle with the ongoing financial crisis. It may be global in scope, but its effect is tragically personal. Too many Americans are losing jobs, homes, retirement savings and quite simply – confidence in the future. Collectively and collaboratively, we need
    bipartisan creativity and solutions to put Americans back on track.

    The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) represents more than 29,500 financial planning professionals who are dedicated to helping people come to terms with the crisis. We implore our next President and Congress to
    take this unprecedented opportunity to immediately correct inherent problems in America’s antiquated financial services system, with a sharp focus on protecting and serving the best interests of the consumer first in all
    financial advisory relationships.

    Many people have lost faith in various sectors of the financial services industry. A recent study indicates that those with a financial plan feel more on track and confident with the focus of their future goals and dreams, even during market turmoil. Our members’ clients understand that objective and thorough professional financial planning serves as a road map through treacherous economic terrain.

    Simply stated, we cannot invest our way out of the crisis, but we can plan our way through it.
    Please consider the skills and knowledge of a competent and ethical financial planning professional who puts your best interests before their own. As your partner in financial planning for your family or your business, a financial planning professional can offer you objectivity and insight about all the financial decisions that affect your life goals.

    To gain more insight on the value of financial planning and the resources offered by the Financial Planning Association, please go to http://www.FPAforfinancialplanning.org

  181. still_looking says:


    because Italian food is just so good….

    this one’s for you! :-)



  182. grim says:


    I have no idea what I just signed up for, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound interesting.

  183. kettle1 says:

    Comrade Nom, where do i report for re-education and indoctrination in support of the father land????

    so we clearly will be nationalizing detriot. And those darn unintended consequences….. why dont we just go ahead and nationalize all american industry in support of the fatherland and the workers?

    The Shipping News Suggests World Economy Is Toast.

    Volvo Truck Orders Decline 99.63 percent; Auto Industry Faces Crash in US

    If nobody is buying your trucks, you don’t need to rent a vessel to carry that shiny new 18-wheeler to its new owner. Hence the Baltic Dry Index, which tracks the cost of shipping goods and commodities, fell below 1,000 this week for the first time in six years.

    Put another way, it is now almost 90 percent cheaper to ship goods over the oceans than it was at the beginning of the year. And because the huge vessels known as capesize ships can’t currently charge much more than their daily operating cost of about $6,000 per day, their captains have slowed down to economize on fuel and save money, to about 8.68 knots from 10.33 knots in July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    It isn’t just the oceans that are emptying. Air freight traffic dropped 7.7 percent in September, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association. That’s the steepest decline since the trade group began compiling the data in January 2003.


  184. still_looking says:


    not to worry….[almost] everyone has survived and left in one piece… with a healthier understanding of just what it is we do.


  185. Hobokenite says:

    I’ll try anything once, if there’s a possibility of throwing up.

    OK, maybe not.

  186. kettle1 says:

    Observed a surgery once, One of the other observes passed out as soon as the surgeon made the first incision. Broke their nose when they collapsed and lost more blood then the surgery patient

  187. still_looking says:

    “I’ll try anything once, if there’s a possibility of throwing up.”

    Um… or being thrown up on? Or bled on or peed on [don’t get any ideas clot/lost/john] or swung at, cursed at, raged at… I could go on and on.


  188. BC Bob says:


    As we discussed. Actually, I’m surprised it took this long for the topic to surface. Where does the madness end?

    “Reporting from Washington — With defaults on credit card debt spiraling amid a global financial downturn, banks already reeling from the mortgage crisis are losing billions more from unpaid credit card bills.”

    “Big banks have formed an unusual alliance with consumer advocates to urge the government to allow huge portions of credit card debt to be forgiven, a turnabout from recent years, when the banking industry lobbied strenuously to make it harder for consumers to erase their credit card debts in bankruptcy.”


  189. kettle1 says:


    “or being thrown up on? Or bled on or peed on”

    Already deal with that, although a 27 pound mini-kettle isnt quite the same as an angry drunk bleeding all over the place… ;)

  190. still_looking says:

    ..or shit on.

    In residency, a fellow intern and I had to disempact [pull shit out of their butt] some guy…. she and I got sprayed when the enema that was in there finally uncorked.

    Thank god she lived in the apts across the street. We were coved in shit to the shoes.

    Went there, showered came back to the hospital in a dress — I never wore a dress in residency ever. And I had her shoes on while ours were drying after being scrubbed.

    Sneaked back to the hospital with some cross eyed looks…

    …we finally steeped in the realization of what the next 3 yrs were gonna be like…

    when you are almost 90K in student loan debt, you’re stuck.


  191. still_looking says:


    body fluids of the blood/marriage related doesn’t count

    I could’ve sworn that our kid was aiming at us…


  192. BC Bob says:

    sl [197],

    You’re sh*tting me?

  193. Shore Guy says:

    ment is awaiting moderation.
    October 31st, 2008 at 2:00 pm
    “That is correct. That is Federal taxes only. Of course in NJ you would have another 15K state and another 15K RE taxes. ”

    I was talking Federal taxes only. The number is too low, and must be skewed by folks who earn most from cap gains. Don’t even get me started on our total tax bill, including the various state, foreign, and RE taxes.

    I have a friend who sees it as fully justified that he should pay nearly no federal income tax, that we should pay six figures, and he gets a “rebate.”

    Mrs. Shore and I are not going to cry poverty, and we know we are in far bettr shape than most but, we still have to plan on how to pay for college and retirement, if we need a car or go on vacation, we need to give thought as to how to pay for it. The truely wealthy, need not, and they also have the means to hide money and income. We — and those like us, not the truely wealthy — are the turnips from which BO will squeeze the cash to pay for his soc-ial-ist agenda.

    To paraphrase:

    When they came for the ones earning more than $250k a year, I did not care because I did not earn that much.

    The, when they came for the ones earning more than $100k a year, I did not care because I did not earn that much.

    Folks, unless BO has a sudden conversion and turns into the great budget slasher, he will, of necissity, be coming to a wallet near you.

  194. Shore Guy says:

    necessity, even

  195. BC Bob says:


    Just be thankful that you weren’t working at Merrill, last year, on the day bonuses were announced.

  196. Shore Guy says:

    “showered came back to the hospital in a dress”

  197. Shore Guy says:

    “showered came back to the hospital in a dress”

  198. All Hype says:


    How the hell you been? I have been on the board lately looking for you, with no success. Give me a call on my cell later today.

  199. Shore Guy says:

    “showered came back to the hospital in a dress”


    You are male or female?

  200. still_looking says:


    No. It’s real. To this day….after being board certified for almost a decade, I still have to disempact people.

    You just can’t believe what I do. Glorious? Yeah.Right.


  201. still_looking says:


    Last I checked, I am female.


  202. Sean says:

    re: Wall St bonuses

    Barney Frank is the latest to chime in.

    “Any use of the these funds for any purpose other than lending — for bonuses, for severance pay, for dividends, for acquisitions of other institutions, etc. — is a violation of the terms of the Act,” he added.


    FYI, Frank’s “say-on-pay” bill passed overwhelmingly in the House in April 2007 but it has been stalled in the Senate.The bill would give shareholders some say over top executives’ pay packages. Might be different in the Senate for 2009.

  203. kettle1 says:


    had way to much forex fun last night. made a lot, lost a lot and broke even in the end (what time did the sun rise?). Its better then gambling as at least we all know its rigged and you have better odds. ;)

    could be addictive, it feeds the ADHD in me.

  204. NJkiwi says:

    my first time in the OR was 18 years old (I was a perfusion, cardiac cath tech). So it was a cardiac op. All was going well, felt a little seedy as they quarterized the flesh. This was an aortic anerysm so they were going in between the ribs, so I am told to go around behind the surgeon to get a better look. Starts to spread the ribs, little more queezy. Grabs a huge pair of pliers and snips off the posterior of one rib, little more queezy. Find straw which resulted in a rapid retreat into the set up room and a barf was the bending back of that aforementioned rib and bending it up and back about 10 times to get it off the sterum. Well that is what it looked like to me anyway. However returned several mins later and never looked back. Still, amputations were never fun, just personalized that too much, trying to imagine what it must be like to go into surgery knowing that you were absolutely guaranteed to be coming out one limb less.

  205. Shore Guy says:


    Just given the indignity of the moment you described and then describing going back to work in a dress, I figured I would ask.

  206. BC Bob says:

    kettle [210],

    Welcome to the land of the cowboys.

  207. still_looking says:

    All Hype,

    Little brother… where the hell have YOU been??

    It’s been a bad month, man…

    …I will call you tonight.


  208. kettle1 says:


    actually i was feeling balzy so i left an order open before going to work, did use a stop loss though even if it was on the large side….. the USDEUR was my friend and the JPYEUR kicked my butt.

    The really funny thing is that there was a text based game in the 90’s where you were a drug dealer and bought/sold various drugs as rates actively fluctuated depending on new suppliers, drug busts, and corruption.

    loved that game and was good at it!

    Apparently i have been trading forex for over a decade!!!!

  209. kettle1 says:

    here it is…..


    would download and play it again but forex is more fun

  210. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [178] Nick

    In a way, that used to be the rule. If your debt waa cancelled, you realized “cancellation of indebteness income” which was taxable under Section 108 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    This year, our Redistributive Congress and Dipsh1t in Chief relieved debtors of this tax consequence.

    So I don’t think your idea has much traction.

    Personally, I am always looking for ways to turn that to our advantage. We’ll see.

  211. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Guggenheim Fund Seeks Up to $300 Million to Meet Margin Calls

    Guggenheim Structured Real Estate Advisors LLC, the manager of commercial-mortgage funds set up five years ago by Ed Shugrue, asked investors in its second fund for as much as $300 million of new equity to meet margin calls.

    Shugrue went to the Oregon Investment Council on Oct. 29 to ask for $100 million to supplement Guggenheim Structured Real Estate II, a $770 millon fund raised in 2006. The Oregon council, which invests the state’s $54 billion Public Employees Retirement Fund, approved the additional investment “subject to a few caveats,” said Ronald Schmitz, Oregon’s chief investment officer.

    Slumping commercial-property debt prices are threatening more companies and funds after contributing to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s record bankruptcy. Funds that borrowed money to own loans and bonds must sell devalued assets or raise equity to meet banks’ demands. Guggenheim needs cash by the end of November to meet margin calls from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc., a person with knowledge of the fund-raising said.

    “We are in the midst of a galactic de-leveraging of the entire system,” John Klopp, chief executive officer of commercial-mortgage investor Capital Trust Inc., said on an Oct. 29 conference call. “The result of that will be that many, many assets, including commercial real-estate assets, will end up being owned by somebody other than who owns them right now.”

  212. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [190] Comrade Kettle,

    Was “Detriot” intentional? Should have been.

    Reeducation will be self-imposed. Conservatives are being outed in the blogosphere and liberal bloggers are being urged to shun them, refuse to hire them, and fire them if they are employed. I predict that, like closet racism, having a conservative bent will be frowned upon, and even espousing conservative ideals about individual responsibility, smaller, efficient government, lower taxes, etc, will be met with raised eyebrows in some quarters.

    Today, I went to the NJ MVC to register my cars in the PRoNJ. When I mentioned to the woman behind the first counter that I moved here, she asked “why?” When we started discussing O’s future regime change ideas, she looked around furtively, shushed me, and whispered that there were a lot of O supporters here and it would not do to be speaking critically of him. So, in a sense, criticism of O and liberalism will be punished in various ways, and will dissent will exist only on blogs and with talking heads who get paid to dissent and need not worry about being fired because of it (well, there is some threat there if your comment is too close to the third rails).

    This is another reason I am rethinking sponsoring the Brigadoon GTG at my house. Folks here know me as a libertarian-conservative and free market advocate, not to mention a supporter of the 2nd amendment, which can get some NJers panties in a bunch. I am certain it got me in some hot water with prior employers, who fear that conservative ideals are incompatible with the diversity message they are trying to send. Call me paranoid if you like, but I have a lot to protect and I am well aware of the grief folks can cause you, in very legal ways, when they are motivated to do so because they object to your views or even your status. So I would prefer to keep my true i.d. from some of the kool-aid drinkers on this board, which would mean not telling them where I live. In retrospect, it was an ill-conceived idea on my part.

  213. Essex says:

    219………I would say no one with a brain really thinks there is a giant difference between what the two parties can accomplish…but I for one am sick of the epic failure of the GOP.

  214. Dink says:

    BC, wondering if you ended up going to the Wellmont. If so, how was it?

  215. kettle1 says:


    You could always take it offline and keep it a cozy event if that was what you wanted.

    and yes detriot was intentional

    still interested in a road trip?

  216. kettle1 says:


    Where does the madness end?

    we both know the answer to that, more or less.

  217. still_looking says:


    Does that include all debt or just mortgage related debt?


  218. kettle1 says:

    Call this a crisis? Just wait

    David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General

    Actually, don’t wait, because we’ve got to stop a bigger economic disaster in the making: 78 million baby-boomers eligible for Social Security and Medicare.

    Staring into the abyss always focuses the mind, which can help you avoid falling in. So let’s take a look at the potential catastrophe that awaits us once we survive our current crisis. At the dawn of the 21st century the U.S. had $5.7 trillion in total debt. As we approach the end of George W. Bush’s presidency only eight years later, that sum has nearly doubled, thanks to war costs, tax cuts, spending increases, expanded entitlement programs, and now a welter of government bailouts and rescues.

    This year was particularly bad. The federal budget deficit for fiscal 2008 hit $455 billion, up from $162 billion last year. That figure does not include the cost of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which has an initial pricetag in the hundreds of billions of dollars. In fairness, some of that money presumably will come back to the Treasury, since the new rescue-related sums will be used to acquire preferred stock, mortgages, and other assets that someday could be sold at a profit.

    Yet any such calculations are penny ante compared with the fiscal disaster that is bearing down on America. It’s no longer an event in the misty future. It officially began earlier this year when teacher Kathleen Casey-Kirschling of Maryland became the first baby-boom retiree to collect Social Security benefits. She will be followed by about 78 million more boomers over the next 17 years.

    The entitlements due from Social Security and Medicare present us with that frightening abyss. The costs of these current programs, along with other health-care costs, could bankrupt our country. The abyss offers no assets, troubled or otherwise, to help us cross it. Yes, some have suggested less-than-revolutionary measures that could help. Among them: budget savings that would accrue from repealing the Bush-era tax cuts, ending the Iraq war, or expanding the economy after the current downturn runs its course. But even if the economy were to grow at the level of 3.2% a year, as it did in the 1990s, and these other savings were achieved, they wouldn’t come close to addressing our federal financial problem.

    Nor can we be complacent about timing. The costs of these programs start to threaten our solvency in the next several years. The only way to get across the chasm is to begin making tough choices now to change our current course. Delay will make the problem worse. In fact, the deteriorating financial condition of our federal government in the face of skyrocketing health-care costs and the baby-boom retirement could fairly be described as a super-subprime crisis. It would certainly dwarf what we’re seeing now.

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), noting that the federal balance sheet does not reflect the government’s huge unfunded promises in our nation’s social-insurance programs, estimated last year that the unfunded obligations for Medicare and Social Security alone totaled almost $41 trillion. That sum, equivalent to $352,000 per U.S. household, is the present-value shortfall between the growing cost of entitlements and the dedicated revenues intended to pay for them over the next 75 years.

    Why call it a super-subprime crisis? Besides its gigantic scale, there are very disturbing similarities between the current mortgage-related crisis and our next potential disaster. First, like the securitized investment vehicles that blew up, federal programs were launched without adequately thinking through who would bear the ultimate cost and related risk. Just as originators of mortgages let themselves off the hook by unloading packages of dubious loans onto others, lawmakers have increased spending, expanded entitlement programs, and cut taxes while expecting future generations to pay the bill.

    Second, just as a lack of transparency associated with mortgage-backed securities resulted in big surprises and large losses for investors, our nation’s huge off-balance-sheet obligations for Social Security and Medicare present a threat wrapped in camouflage. After all, the government’s “trust funds” don’t really provide much security since they don’t hold anything but more government debt.

    Third, in the same way that private sector “risk management” executives failed to prevent the subprime mortgage crisis, overseers in Congress and the executive branch have turned a blind eye to costs associated with entitlement programs and tax cuts. While lax regulation of banks fed the current subprime crisis, a lack of statutory budget controls has led to a widening gap between the government’s revenues and costs.

    At the heart of these problems is our leaders’ collective failure to act in the face of known challenges. Our country has veered from its founding principles, which held to individual responsibility and accountability today in order to create more opportunity tomorrow. When our constitution was written, the concepts of thrift and prudence were no less at the center of the American spirit than liberty and justice.

    During past financial crises and wars, the government went into debt because our nation’s survival was at stake. What has changed is that piling up debt has become business as usual, even during times of prosperity. Today we are headed toward debt levels that far exceed the all-time record as a percentage of our economy. In fact, by 2040 we are projected to see debt as a percentage of our economy that is double the record set at the end of World War II. Based on GAO data, balancing the budget in 2040 could require us to cut federal spending by 60% or raise overall federal tax burdens to twice today’s levels.

    Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security already account for more than 40% of the total federal budget. And their portion of the budget is expected to grow so fast that their cost, and the cost of servicing our debt, will soon crowd out vital programs, including research and development, critical infrastructure, education, and even national defense. The crisis we face is one of numbers and demographics but also of attitudes. Promises were made in an earlier time, when they seemed more affordable. Like homeowners borrowing against the value of their homes in the expectation that the values would go up forever, the American government borrowed against the future and assumed that the economy would grow fast enough to make that debt affordable.

    But our national debt is not limitless, and our foreign lenders are not fools. If we persist on our current “do nothing” path, our future will be jeopardized. Americans need to reconcile the government we want with the taxes we’re willing to pay for it. True, attempts at reforming Medicare and Social Security have foundered in the past, and there may be some Americans who think that if the government can bail out the financial sector, it can bail out our entitlement programs. But the political difficulty of tackling these problems, hard as they are, has to be overcome this time.

    The next President, working on a bipartisan basis with the Congress, must make sure that tough controls are put in place to get control of the budget, once economic conditions improve. (Example: We can require that all new spending programs, commitments, and tax cuts are paid for by comparable spending cuts or revenue increases in other parts of the budget.) We’ll need to make some tough decisions on which of the Bush tax cuts we can afford to keep, and resolve what to do about the alternative minimum tax.

    These problems are not beyond our ability to master them. Social Security can be made sustainable and secure with some modest changes over time in retirement benefits, the retirement age, and the tax structure, as Republicans and Democrats did in the early 1980s. As for Medicare, there are a number of good ideas that would introduce more cost sharing for the wealthy, increased competition, better cost controls, more use of technology, and other steps to curb the growth of health-care spending.

    I urge the government to set up a bipartisan commission that would begin working in early 2009. It should keep everything on the table – all entitlements, other spending, and tax programs – and make recommendations on both sides of the federal ledger. If we bring together the talent and expertise that abound in our great country, we can see our way through the current financial crisis and find solutions for the next one. From Washington we’ll need leadership rather than laggardship. The 78 million baby-boomers aren’t getting any younger.


  219. william says:

    kettle—if I’m going to be in the machine and learn how to play this game…what guide/book would you reccomend to look at? I want to invest but very conservatively…Don’t want to get rich…just stay safe….any help would be great.

  220. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [222] Kettle,

    Detriot. I love it. Wonder how Devil’s Night turned out? I was explaining it, and Mischief Nacht to my au pair.

    I thought about your suggestion previously though GTGs are never large and I did not want to appear too exclusive.

    Regardless, I was going to make it an RSVP event since I wasn’t going to just post details on the board, and I would need some idea of headcount. Interested folks could email me with their online socks and I could reply with the location info.

    So it could still work. I haven’t slammed the lid on the idea, but some recent exchanges gave me pause and there are a couple of folks out there that I just don’t want knowing who I am and where I live, and a couple of others whose on line personas seem responsible enough but I am a cautious guy when it comes to such risks. There is clearly an ethic of no outing on this board, but the only thing that keeps folks from breaching customs and obligations is the fear of being shunned and that doesn’t exist in the blogosphere.

    And yes, still interested in a road trip.

  221. BC Bob says:

    Dink [224],

    No, never made it. However, I plan to attend an event in the future.

  222. william says:

    I’m dressed up like a punk for Halloween today…lip/nose piercings…fake tattoos…spiked hair and all…..hilarious to see how people pre-judge me…it’s a very interesting social experiment.

    Actually had a lady she got scared I was going to rob her—-I replied that men in suits are much more likely to rob you…..WIZZ RIGHT OVER HER HEAD…..she’s dozed for life

  223. John says:

    Shore guy Mr. Commmie O ain’t going inflation adjust that 250K and like AMT which was once ment for the truly rich you too in a few years will be paying taxes out your wazoo to pay for WIIs and MJs for the boys in the hood.

  224. kettle1 says:


    I know just enough about finance and investing to cause a lot of damage. I am the last person to be advising on that. I do have my opinions on general economic trends but that should not be construed as investment advise.

    There are many other people on this blog who are light years ahead of me.

    Unfortunately, i cannot think of any one text, my philosophy is based on my belief of where the system is headed, how its going there and why.

    perhaps listen to t his guy (mike morgan)as a start.

    My opinion is similar to his. but as always take with a kilo of NaCl

  225. william says:

    kettle…thanx i’ll take a peak…

  226. william says:

    peek i mean :)

  227. kettle1 says:


    Also consider that at the point the market is at currently, and that if the general direction of thinks is indeed what many on this blog think, then now is probably not the time to be investing so much as focusing on wealth preservation.

    The market at this point is little more then glorified gambling, given all the shenanigans going on.

  228. John says:

    As a JP Morgan Stock Holder, Bond Holder, bank account holder and a person who has their mortgage at JP Morgan it gives me great comfort to know the flippers and overextended homeowners are getting paid out not only via my taxes but through my stock dividends.

  229. william says:

    listening to a song now by the Kaiser Chiefs—-It’s saying– It’s cool to know nuthin…

  230. grim says:

    Throwing good money after bad? Or is this the oh-so-savvy modified martingale?

    From nj.com:

    New Jersey invests $94M in struggling BlackRock fund

    New Jersey today added $94 million in pension funds to its stake in a beleaguered BlackRock Inc. hedge fund, hoping to reap double-digit returns and to protect about $450 million already invested in the account.

    The State Investment Council, the panel that oversees the state’s $71 billion pension fund, discussed the BlackRock deal during a special one-hour meeting this morning.

  231. william says:

    kettle—tx for the advice…I’ll just stick to my mattress for now

  232. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I wondered when this was gonna happen:

    Apparently, in the aftermath of Chad Morrisette’s art project (an effigy of Sarah P hanging from a noose), two U of K undergrads hanged an effigy of O.

    Complaints to police and the Secret Service about Morrisette’s Sarah P effigy got the “distasteful but not illegal” response (they did get a visit from the SS but nothing came of it).

    The two undergrads at UK that hanged the O effigy were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I note that there are some dissimilarities that may have legal weight. For one thing, the P effigy was hanged on private property. Second, the events occurred in different states, which may have a bearing.

    Ket. As I said previously, dissent will not be tolerated.

  233. skep-tic says:


    ““If it’s not associated with distress, then it’s probably not affecting a woman’s quality of life.””

    until her hubby pulls a Spitzer…

  234. skep-tic says:


    someone in my neighborhood just put up an equally distasteful holloween display involving Ms. P. It is sad that people forget that these candidates are human beings

  235. watergapnomad says:

    Are the looming Alt-A resets in 2010-11 still as much a threat as ever, or will their impact be mitigated by the various resources that the government is working into the economy and the banking system?

  236. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [246] Skep,

    true, but at least it won’t get you arrested for a crime. Actually, disorderly conduct is the least they can get charged with. Under current law, they can also be charged with a hate crime, and with threatening a candidate.

  237. skep-tic says:

    Nom– I think it makes sense for the secret service to keep an eye on people who put up threatening displays like this just in case they might be serious, but assuming they are not I think they should have the right to express themselves in whatever distasteful way that gets them off (whether referencing, P, O or the pope). They are also free to accept the scorn and ridicule from their neighbors as well

  238. Al says:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by market value, plans to modify $110 billion of mortgages, including some of those made to Washington Mutual Inc. customers.

    110 Billions of mortgages sounds like a lot… Untill you realize that it is 2200 500K NJ homes.What some on this site consider starter homes. (how many houses in NJ are listed total??) Or it is 4400 houses at 250 or about 5000 houses at nations average. Weren’t thy talking about 3at least a million homes in Foreclosure??? I guess we need 200x modificatio program size…

  239. Nom DePlume says:


    The authorities in ky don’t seem to agree. There have also been prosecutions lately of folks that have displayed nooses in their windows or on their cars. In fact, I can make the argument that the t-shirt I saw that read “rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required” could easily get you arrested, particularly if the graphic were added or if you changed journalist to democrat. This is the state of the law, not just public opinion.

    It remains to be seen if Brandenberg remains standing as this winds its way up the courts.

  240. Pat says:

    sl, I wonder if my new docs down here would do that as well. They should advertise for volunteers.

    My daughter’s school got rid of ten paras and is now using us as volunteers. I get to teach after school science (evil genius laugh inserted).

    I’d love it. My favorite ER experience is the time my daughter, then 2, needed to go. It was in Trenton, and there was one other patient waiting, big dude in an orange jump suit and cuffs. He entertained her and helped out a lot so they could work on her. Volunteers can be useful, if not cuffed.

  241. Rich In NNJ says:


    I sent you the information you requested.


    No way! You have my utmost respect for doing what you do.
    I on the other hand may panic and say things like, “OH DAMN! That doesn’t look good!”. Which I’m sure isn’t reassuring to the patient.

    Has there been talk of another GTG? I haven’t had the time to read that much as of late. I have to drop the axe on two team members this Wednesday.


  242. Sean says:

    Nom DePlume – some of the materials for the O effigy and were stolen, and one of those arrested wasn’t a student there.

    If you built your own effigy with purchased materials, and hung it up on your own property there is little the police can do about it. I am sure there are hundreds of O Pumpkin heads around that will get kicked about there will be more than enough disordely persons in NYC at the parade and the bars dressed up as both candidates. What is stiking sensational here is the fact that it is a Red state Redneck school.


    I will be at the Parade in NYC tonight, I will be sure to snap a few pics.

  243. Sean says:

    Nom DePlume – some of the materials for the O effigy and were stolen, and one of those arrested wasn’t a student there.

    If you built your own effigy with purchased materials, and hung it up on your own property there is little the police can do about it. I am sure there are hundreds of O Pumpkin heads around that will get kicked about there will be more than enough disordely persons in NYC at the parade and the bars dressed up as both candidates. What is stiking sensational here is the fact that it is a Red state Redneck school.

    I will be at the Parade in NYC tonight, I will be sure to snap a few pics of the disorderly.

  244. Clotpoll says:

    Just got my Halloween present this afternoon: a second chance at some SKF/SRS in the ‘teens/low 20’s.

    When the rug comes out from under this run, it’s gonna be nasty-plus.

    Lots of folks whacked off at the knees.

    Gotta run. Table of apples and razors waiting for me…:)

  245. 3b says:

    #253 Rich: Got it. Thanks.

  246. Nom DePlume says:


    I saw the theft fact. It is a separate charge. One doesn’t get charged with disorderly conduct for stealing. Was not aware 2nd perp wasn’t a student but fail to see relevance.

    FWIW, if you hung an O effigy in your own yard, I submit it is still possible to charge you with a crime.

    Further,and in light of the cases I saw, I have a bet with another attorney that it will be actionable to fly the confed flag in the future (Meaning you can be arrested or sued). Doesn’t frost my onions personally but what speech is next?

  247. John says:

    They moved up the ax at GS, heard Tuesday 10% of people gotta go.

  248. Looks like Circuit City is finally going belly up;


    Not really a surprise. I wonder if they’ll make to X-mas.

  249. Sean says:

    I am merely pointing out the sensationalism of this by CNN and other media. I sure there won’t be any coverage of the McCain and Palin effigies at the parade in NYC tonight.

    The school was right to investigate who did this, were the chages necessary? Depends on whether they were drinking. If they were than disordely might apply.

  250. Sean says:

    Nom – I am merely pointing out the sensationalism of this by CNN and other media. I sure there won’t be any coverage of the M and VPILF effigies at the parade in NYC tonight.

    The school was right to investigate who did this, were the chages necessary? Depends on whether they were drinking. If they were than disordely might apply, but since I don’t have any kind of legal experience other than my own numerouse runs in’s with College police in a Blue State I would say they overreacted.

  251. BC Bob says:

    “Gotta run. Table of apples and razors waiting for me…:)”


    Be careful out there. From BP;


  252. bi says:

    254#, it would be interesting to hear how mike morgan spins this weekend to his paying followers. he was so certain that dow would be down over 1000 pts. but it ended up almost 1000 pts. for the week.

  253. stu says:


    I was thinking the same thing about Mr. Morgan. Just as he predicts one of the roughest weeks ever, the VIX finishes 20 points down for the week. Perhaps he meant that the VIX would be volatile?

  254. stu says:

    Clotpoll: I’ll begin averaging back in at 105, but not before. I’ve been in SRS for so damn long that I’m used to the traders destroying any semblance of rationale in the ETF. I’ve witnessed it drop into the 70s with absolutely no impetus too many times. Only way to minimize your risk with this one is to get in below 100 and even that is no guarantee. I’d take 105 now since so many more people know about it and because commercial RE must be at least 5% worse today than it was when I averaged in at 90 for my first and second big returns. The other reason is that I still strive for long-term gains in this puppy. I got ’em last time around and that 15% difference is a huge one come tax time.

  255. chicagofinance says:

    stu Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 5:30 pm
    Clotpoll: I’ll begin averaging back in at 105, but not before. I’ve been in SRS for so damn long that I’m used to the traders destroying any semblance of rationale in the ETF.

    stu: I am not familiar with the pricing model of the SRS, but any instrument with leverage is likely impacted by implied vol. It may be floating all over the place (especially in these markets). You may wish to review the pricing of the related puts and calls on all the components of the index as a fair guess of what may be happening (????wild stab by me).

    Additionally, there may be many different influences on the pricing that may appear completely transparent to you. If you have the right inputs and are tracking them simultaneously, then any movement probably looks completely logical.

    The ultimate caveat: If you are using an instrument and do not understand its pricing moves at any point in time, then you do not fully appreciate the risk you are taking. Is that reason to avoid investing in that instrument? No, not necessarily. However, when you cannot measure all your risk, then you leave yourself open to the unexpected (e.g., Black Swan).

  256. chicagofinance says:

    If it is not clear, I have often considered implied vol a copout.

  257. skep-tic says:

    Life is a highway.

  258. yikes says:

    i know krugman is smarter than i’ll ever be, and he just won the nobel prize … but i disagree with his column in the NYT.

    fiscal this, stimulus that … not gonna work. at this point, i feel bad for America. we’re screwed. people aren’t going to change and live below their means … and we no longer produce enough to survive on our own without being propped up by foreigners.

    i have no answers … just fear.

  259. Shore Guy says:

    al Qaeda endorses BO (whilst saying they don’t, but the message is clear). Enough said:


    DUBAI (Reuters) – An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be “humiliated,” without endorsing a party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to an Internet video posting.

    “O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.


  260. Shore Guy says:


    Building bridges, etc., is a great idea. We need them and at least the money does not leave for offshore, at least not right away.

  261. rhymingrealtor says:

    Shore guy,

    Did’nt Al Qaeda endorse M*cain last week and the M*cain camp said they did that so that we would do the opposite and elect who they really wanted,


  262. Shore Guy says:


    I think it was di-ck cheney who endorsed Mc last week, but one may be excused for confusing the two.

  263. lostinny says:

    So who’s going to the Loop? :)

  264. Shore Guy says:

    lost, Chicago?

  265. lostinny says:

    I doubt it.

  266. Frank says:

    “New Jersey invests $94M in struggling BlackRock fund”

    Clotpoll, thanks for your contribution, it’s going to be a very good Christmas in my house.

  267. chicagofinance says:

    Lost/Shore: I grabbed lunch today at the Filling Station in Red Bank (renovated Broad Street Deli). They had G-Rock on in the background. I guess they had a holiday mix on G-Rock……in succession:

    It’s A Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo
    Theme From Pet Sematary – Ramones
    Psycho Killer – Talking Heads


  268. Pat says:

    Consumer Sentiment Report from Maryland

    We were shocked, shocked tonight to find our place to be one of only two on a block of 15 that was decked out like John on Prom Night.

    Tricked and Treated around a fairly mid/upper mid neighborhood – like the burb streets around Princeton or even Milltown. Two houses were fully tacky with fog machines, etc. But all the others were plain. Few people gave out candy.

    The 27-yr. old Mom I was hanging with was truly surprised. She said that last year, almost every house blazed with lights and there were impromptu block parties.

    “It’s got to be the economy. Things are really bad, you know,” she said. “They aren’t even springing for the 30 bucks for candy.”

    She works for a non-profit in a fund raising position.

  269. NJGator says:

    230 Nom – Is there a good local bar for a Brigadoon GTG? Nothing wrong with flying under the radar.

  270. jamil says:

    Nom: “Doesn’t frost my onions personally but what speech is next?”

    You should be fine, if you don’t ever question Dear Leader. Just think what happens once the government has your medical records and you question Dear Leader.

    “Niekamp didn’t know she just had checked on “Joe the Plumber,” ..Niekamp told The Dispatch she is unfamiliar with the practice of checking on the newly famous. “I’ve never done that before, I don’t know of anybody in my office who does that and I don’t remember anyone ever doing that,” she said today.

    Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland and Jones-Kelley, both supporters of Democrat B O, have denied political motives in checking on Wurzelbacher. ”


  271. jamil says:

    this is from the same article:
    “State employee says she was ordered to check out Joe the Plumber”

  272. jamil says:

    “This is consistent with a pretty good-sized recession,”

    I agree we are probably in recession, but it is hard to take it seriously from personal perspective. I got an email from HR today stating that we are starting a new employee referral program ($4k reward if you refer a new hire). 401k match has been raised to 8% and we have zillions in bank. We’ve hired 600 people in NY in the last 4 years (half are internal transfer from abroad) and we are still hiring (a lot of people from WS). If this is a recession, I can’t wait for the boom.

  273. d2b says:

    We just had a station switch to all Christmas music today in the Philadelphia market.

  274. lostinny says:

    278 Chifi
    I had Grock on right before I went to lunch. I heard Every Day is Halloween by Ministry and of course Bella Lugosi’s Dead from Bauhaus. Gotta love old stuff.

  275. grim says:

    From the FDIC:

    Fifth Third Bank Acquires All the Deposits of Freedom Bank, Bradenton, Florida

    Freedom Bank, Bradenton, Florida, was closed today by the Commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Fifth Third Bank, Grand Rapids, Michigan, to assume all of the deposits of Freedom Bank.

  276. jamil says:

    Hmm. Zogby is now reporting that MC is now having a lead of 48-47, first time in weeks. Other polls are also showing tight race.

    MC is going to win. Polls are already oversampling dems (polls are assuming party ID gap of 7-8% for dems, while history and gallup’s general party ID pref says it is 3-4%) and O’s support in primaries was always vastly overestimated.

  277. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (277)-

    I both hope it is your last Christmas on earth and the last one in your house. You are a filthy parasite on the ass of a defunct welfare state.

    Are you the Blackrock cafeteria barista?

  278. Clotpoll says:

    chi (278)-

    Used to always go to the Oingo Boingo “Day of the Dead” show when I lived out West.

    Good times…

  279. Clotpoll says:

    jamil (283)-

    Are you in the business of making and distributing meth?

  280. Clotpoll says:

    grim (286)-

    Failure Friday! Halloween! And…a marriage of zombies.


  281. victorian says:

    Jamil probably works for the FDIC.

  282. Clotpoll says:

    vic (292)-

    No way. Everybody knows the FDIC is broke.

  283. Clotpoll says:


    You even suck on Halloween.

    That’s hard to do.

  284. victorian says:

    Clot – But they are the only people who are hiring!

    BTW, Bank Failure Friday has now been promoted to Country Failure Friday – Pakistan is being bailed out by the IMF.

  285. Clotpoll says:

    Definite Halloween cutback in my little burg.

    We gave out about a gazillion pieces of candy, while half my neighbors locked up and left.

    We do an open house for friends & soccer folks every year. By 8 PM tonight, I couldn’t make it from my front door to my kitchen.

  286. victorian says:

    and by “zillions in the bank”, he probably meant “zillions of banks”.

  287. Clotpoll says:

    vic (295)-

    Great. I hear the IMF does a whiz-bang job of securing nuclear weapons in unstable Third World countries.

  288. Clotpoll says:

    vic (297)-

    He is probably posting from a bus station.

  289. jamil says:

    Clot: You got me. I’m selling meth from bus station. You are so smart! You must a realtor or something!

  290. Clotpoll says:

    jamil (300)-

    That could be the first post you’ve ever made here that doesn’t reference O.

    You’re slipping.

  291. NJGator says:

    296 Clot – Definitely scale backs in Montclair too. The “book house” is no more. There was a woman on Montclair Ave. who worked for Scholastic that used to give books out to the kids every year. Lil Gator used to get 3 new board books a year there. People would drive from all over town to that block. This year there was a mention on the watercooler that there would be no books due to “unforeseen circumstances”. We’re thinking layoff.

    Luckily the Elvis house is still going strong. Although Lil Gator was more scared by that than he was the haunted houses.

  292. jamil says:

    301 Clot: “You’re slipping.”

    Nobody is perfect.

  293. Clotpoll says:

    Gator (302)-

    That’s kinda sad. Hope she’s ok.

    I grew up in Elvis’ hometown. Abject fear is the only appropriate response to anything Elvis.

    Congratulations to your son. He is normal!

  294. Frank says:

    You are such a mean person, cheer up. Don’t worry be happy. May be you should go out and get laid.

  295. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (305)-

    Maybe you should go out and play in traffic.

  296. Frank says:

    Dude, you have lived in NJ for too long, go out enjoy life and learn to respect others.

  297. BC Bob says:


    Shut the fcuk up and get to the mall. We need a 9:00 AM mall report. I’m sure you will be seving up bagels at that time.

    By the way, you never answered my question; how is your hedge fund handling multi/cross leg arb strategies in an environment of deleveraging? Come to think of it, forget that one, just give us a mall report tomorrow.

  298. Pat says:


    If you don’t really care what search engine you use, why not try it?

  299. NJGator says:

    Shore 169 – Nah, if you want to make these women feel like they are in Guantanamo, then you have to force feed them carbs.

    “lettuce squirted with lemon juice”

    Sounds like Guantanamo cuisine.

  300. Clotpoll says:


    This, from someone who brags about robbing NJ blind.

    No respect for you. I really hope you are a barista or just a garden variety troll. At least we’d have the comfort of knowing you’re not a fully-weaponized idiot sociopath.

  301. BC Bob says:

    One other thought, forget about the bagels. Just serve up your run. I would luv to be your contra party.

    Come to think of it, I finally get it. Are you Frank Kovacs; piti and an fx position in SF?

  302. Clotpoll says:

    BC (312)-

    Take a peek on Monday AM and see what Blackrock is serving up to its basic 2/20 victims.

    Probably not dissimilar to Cramer’s booyah list.

  303. Clotpoll says:

    BC (312)-

    At least Hungarians play water polo well.

  304. BC Bob says:


    I can’t get an answer from Frunk, spelled correctly, regarding his arb strategies in today’s environment? Then again, he is the only hedgie on the planet that embraced the short sale ban?

    2/20? I’m moving to your office for a piece of this. How hard can it be; sell/fold vs. buy/hold. The greatest con game in the world. Except, of course, if you have $ with Paulson, that’s John not Hammerin.

  305. Nom Deplume says:

    [280] comrade running mate Gator

    The Jolly Trolley seems like a good option and the closest thing to a real bar. Haven’t been in it yet, but it seems like the kind of place for this crowd.

  306. Zack says:

    That BlackRock dude Toll is such a Polyanna, always sees the sun and never the moon. These are the parasites who live on fees and we have even greater morons in the US who listen to him. He comes inthe AM on CNBC and spews all this optimistic forecasts. If you ever listened to him, you will have to wait for 200 years to make a decent return.

    There are so many people who live in this world only on FEES.

  307. Zack says:

    freakin unbelievable

  308. SG says:


    The global financial situation is complex and wreathed in fog, but at least two things are clear.

    1. The financial crisis consists of fore-shocks before the main event.
    2. A new geopolitical order will mark the solution of this crisis; it lies far in the distance.

    This post examines the grim details of item #1. Click on number two for that post. There will be a long series of posts with good news on this site, but that time has not yet come. But it will.

    Quakes on Wall Street precede those on Main Street

    Financial markets (”Wall Street”) are a virtual reality, in which millions of people react to events — and the results seen instantaneously on screens around the world.

    In the real world (”Main Street) events move much more slowly. People make decisions to hire and fire, to spend and to save, more slowly than decisions to buy or sell financial instruments. Plans are made for periods of months or even years, and decision-makers (whether in households or corporations) only slowly change their thinking. And the results of these decisions are only known after delays of weeks or months, and then often imperfectly through surveys.

    The world is changing as deep subterranean forces move. The effects were felt first by the financial markets. The shock wave is just now hitting the real economy. I suspect it will be as large as that which has devastated so many financial markets.

    Do financial shocks cause real world recessions?

    Much of humanity’s reasoning consists of post hoc ergo propter hoc — the logical fallacy of belief that what comes first must cause what comes next. Since financial shocks tend to come first, they must cause the following economic shock. Sometimes, but not often. As we saw in the October 1987 stock market crash, which was a financial shock unrelated to any deeper event has little economic impact.

    How large an economic quake should we expect?

    Nobody knows, or can know. We do not have the necessary data; what we have is only moderately reliable and available after long lags. And the new world economy is too new, so that we do not yet understand its rhythms.

    Also, this is the first downturn in the first global synchronized business cycle — that is, a cycle in which the majority of the world’s people participate. Thanks to globalization and the spread of market-based systems, both the emerging world (most of it) and the ex-communist block participated. Unlike previous cycles, everybody is slowing at the same time — there are no out-of-step locomotives to act as brakes.

    My guess is that it will downturn will be long and deep. Perhaps -1% or even -2% sometime during 2009 or 2010. Global GDP has not gone negative since 1970 (there is not good global data before that). During the major slowdowns – 1975, 1982, 1991, and 2001 — it never dropped below 1%. Growth was unusally rapid during the recent expansion (almost an extraordinary 5%), and the downturn might be equally large.

    That is what the crash in commodity prices suggests. Oil from almost $150 to the $60’s. The 60% crash in scrap steel prices (roughly $600 lbt to $250). Likewise copper and the other industrial minerals, most of which now trade at prices below their marginal cost of production.

    The massive foreshocks in the financial system have further destabilized the global economy. Esp. the early October cardiac arrest of global financial system, which appears to have put an air bubble in the world’s bloodstream. For example, during the past few weeks shippers have had difficulty obtaining letters of credit — interrupting to some unknown degree the normal flows of trade. The collapse of the Baltic Freight Index tells the tale:

    The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), the most closely watched measure of shipping costs for commodities, has plummeted more than 90% from its peak at 11,793 in May, caused by the sharp fall in demand for cargoes. The index tracking transport costs on international trade routes fell 47 points, or 4.1%, to 1,102 points on Friday, the 15th consecutive session of declines and its lowest level since September 2002. (source)


  309. stu says:

    If this doesn’t represent a drop in prices, then I don’t know what does.

    MLS#: 2594420

    What are the realtor comments that the public can’t see Grim?

  310. stu says:

    Sold 08/11/2005:

    Listed for $525K

  311. NJGator says:

    318 Nom – I vote for the Jolley Trolley. Who needs the stress of home entertaining?

    BTW – even though Stu and I have been pretty open about who we are supporting this political season, we have not discussed this with Lil Gator. After all, he’s only 3. Well clearly they have been talking about politics at school. Stu’s probably one of the most conservative parents at Lil Gator’s school (this is Essex County, after all) to give you an idea of the political leanings. Well a few days ago, I was reading one of the big new sites online and Lil Gator points to a picture and says “Is that Darack Ob*ama? I want to see Darack Ob*ama. He’s going to be president.” He even sat through the 30 minute campaign infomercial. When he saw BO on the television he wanted to watch it. He got very excited when he started talking about education because it sounded like “my school”. Yesterday he came up to Stu and said “I don’t like John McC*ain.” Then again, he also said yesterday “I made poopy mommy. A little poopy and a big poopy and they’re friends now.” I think he is turning into Little Stu.

  312. willwork4beer says:

    BC Bob 32

    Throw in a 30 pack of Keystone Light cans and you got yourself a deal…

    BC Bob Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 8:23 am
    “Perhaps the aid should be a free moving van and three-months rent at an apartment. That avoids the moral hazard and puts folks into something thay can afford.”


    Exactly. Free the prisoners. They signed up for a free call for one reason, price appreciation. The call has expired worthless, move on and start spending. We are losing our title as the world’s greatest spenders. Gotta get back to the top. One other thought, I’d even allow for a stop at the local store and include free lottery tickets for the year.

  313. bairen says:

    #260 toshiro

    Looks like we won’t have to wait till Spring to get some shiny new toys.

    I miss Booya Bob

  314. lisoosh says:

    Gator – My 6 yo loves O and my 4 yo taunts her with “I like M, I like M” to make her scream.

    It amazing not only how much kids absorb, but how much they are able to raise the discourse.

  315. grim says:


    I’ve been watching 5 Upper Mountain for a bit.

    MLS# 2584682

    Purchased 10/13/2005 for $527,000

    Listed in May of this year for $585,000. Price was cut to around $545,000 where it was temporarily withdrawn. Back up on the market at $529,900.

  316. yikes says:

    # grim Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Oh how I dreamed of being a Condé Nasty! I’d write some front-of-the-book item about … Scotch tape

    A piece on triboluminescent radiation in Vogue? I might have an idea about why you weren’t hired. Then again, I’m wearing an orange shirt today and needed to google Louboutin.

    I worked at one of these fancy-schmancy magazines for two years (ratio of women to men was something like 7:1) and the women would wear those shoes to work. naturally, i got my wife a pair (they cost slightly more than a 32 in flat screen) and she wore it to the wedding of her fanciest friend and everyone was all surprised. weird how shoes have that kind of an impact on women.

  317. NJGator says:

    Grim – I think Stu is eager to find out what is wrong with that SO house so I stop nagging him to take a look at it :)

  318. d2b says:

    O is eliminating all video games and sending our kids off to war. Which is cool because if you don’t get dead, you get a free gun in the army. Then you can come back and shoot deer.

    – rumors from my eight year old’s school

  319. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    [snip] “Folks here know me as a libertarian-conservative and free market advocate, not to mention a supporter of the 2nd amendment, which can get some NJers panties in a bunch. I am certain it got me in some hot water with prior employers, who fear that conservative ideals are incompatible with the diversity message they are trying to send. ”

    There are many things you said I raised my eyebrows at, but this comment sticks out the most…

    I’m curious as to WHY your employers knew of your “conservative ideals” and your “support for the 2nd amendment”, etc…

    I think the answer to that question explains a lot…

  320. NJGator says:

    329 Yikes – I am not important enough to get goodies from the fashion closets (nor would I fit into them), but my fave perk is the twice annual beauty sale held by one of our magazines. The magazine takes all the high end makeup, skin care and hair care products that it gets to review and shoot for publication and sells it all off for charity. A lot of it is super premium expensive stuff made by the best labels. All products sell for $2 an item. At the end of the day, the promotion is fill a whole bag for $5. Now picture 100 starved women wearing expensive stilettos crammed into an over heated conference room fighting over beauty product. I am totally out of my element and can usually only take about 10 minutes of it before I have to leave. I pick up a few nice items for myself (best buy a $200 flat iron for $2) and a bag full of stuff to give out to Lil Gator’s teachers – they love it.

    The women in my office usually stay the entire morning. Then they come back and google the products they bought to see who got the best deals. I think the record was some sort of Japanese face powder that retailed for $300. I have been chided for buying perfectly good products worth $10 because they’re not as good a deal ($10 for $2 still seems pretty good to me).

    These sales are the CN High Holidays.

  321. william says:

    334 –the electoral college can vote any way they want and their vote is what matters…perceived Democracy= U.S.

  322. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Does anyone know why would GSMLS drop like 500 listings in 2(ish) days?

    I suppose they expired on the month’s last day, but I wonder….are sellers listed with an agent until exactly the last day of the month or are they listed for exactly 30-60-90-120 days from signed listing and so sellers are still listed with an agent, possibly, but their house is no longer on a (any) listing service?


  323. willwork4beer says:


    This week’s report from the Hinterlands…

    GSMLS recorded 11 sales and 43 new listings in Hunterdon County this week. None of the completed sales were comp killers but there were 10 future comp killers among the new listings:

    Hunterdon County FUTURE Comp Killers

    MLS#: 2597109

    59 NORMA RD
    Bethlehem Twp

    SLD: 08/20/04 $445,000
    OLP: 10/31/08 $399,000

    DOM: 1

    MLS#: 2596980

    Delaware Twp

    SLD: 06/09/06 $750,000
    OLP: 10/31/08 $748,500

    DOM: 1

    MLS#: 2596616

    312 Spruce Hills Drive
    Delaware Twp

    SLD: 05/26/05 $203,500
    OLP: 10/30/08 $199,000

    DOM: 2

    MLS#: 2595469

    277 ELLIS RD
    Holland Twp

    SLD: 05/09/06 $259,000
    OLP: 10/25/08 $174,900

    DOM: 7

    MLS#: 2594621

    511 SWIFT DR
    Holland Twp

    SLD: 09/01/06 $229,000
    OLP: 10/25/08 $227,900

    DOM: 7

    MLS#: 2596749

    18 STABLE LN
    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 10/29/04 $492,000
    OLP: 10/30/08 $489,900

    DOM: 2

    MLS#: 2595963

    1015 ROUTE 523
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 01/13/04 $410,000
    OLP: 10/28/08 $339,000

    DOM: 4

    MLS#: 2596625

    2307 S BRANCH DR
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 01/13/04 $412,000
    OLP: 10/30/08 $409,999

    DOM: 2

    MLS#: 2596247

    4 Forestdale Drive
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 07/07/05 $1,150,000
    OLP: 10/28/08 $1,100,000

    DOM: 4

    MLS#: 2597169

    3 Dairy Farm Lane
    West Amwell Twp

    SLD: 07/13/05 $795,000
    OLP: 10/31/08 $695,000

    DOM: 1

  324. bairen says:

    #280 chifi

    Do you ever go to the soup man? I think it’s on Front or Broad st.

  325. lostinny says:

    333 Gator
    I’d like to send you a few bucks to fill a couple of bags for me. :)

  326. jamil says:

    Ouch. AP is reporting that the Messiah’s aunt (Kenyan citizen) is living in the US illegally, ignored deportation order, lives on welfare in public housing project in Boston and donated money to The Messiah.

    Illegal campaign finance by illegal immigrant, probably voted too. Isn’t this a great country or what.

  327. bairen says:

    #337 beer,

    Maybe those 10 listings are all clever agents trying to trigger bidding wars?

    / off sarcasm

  328. william says:

    is a messiah a bad thing?

  329. bairen says:

    Was at the Bridgewater mall yesterday. Not much going on besides the kids trick or treating. many stores had run out of candy before 5:30.

  330. william says:

    from websters—-definition of messiah—-“a professed or accepted leader of some hope or cause”

    accepted being the key word here

  331. bairen says:

    #340 jamil


    Illegal campaign finance by illegal immigrant, probably voted too. Isn’t this a great country

    Do you have something you’d like to confess?

    And yes it is, well at least was a great country.

  332. bairen says:

    I spotted a sign for a bank owned Mcmansion in wonderful Warren over by the chubb building.

    The agent must have put the wrong sign up. Stuff like that can’t possibly happen in Northern Somerset County.

  333. lostinny says:

    Maybe all the kids here went somewhere else to go trick or treat. We did not have a single visitor last night. Who wants chocolate?

  334. rhymingrealtor says:

    I posted this late last night but we have touched the subject of kids and politics. This kid knows of where he speaks.



  335. NJGator says:

    Sorry Lost – we have 3 bags of our own. We took Lil Gator out and by the time we came back there were almost no kids out.

    Regarding the bags o beauty products, I’ll let you know when the next sale is announced. Will probably be sometime in the Spring.

  336. william says:

    “Ouch. AP is reporting that the Messiah’s aunt (Kenyan citizen) is living in the US illegally, ignored deportation order, lives on welfare in public housing project in Boston and donated money to The Messiah”

    –And REALLY why is this important? This is a detail….Look at the big picture and realize that…why does it really matter who gives him money if he can fix this broken country??

  337. william says:

    Do you really think because he takes money from an unnamed source…that that source is some sort of Muslim overthrow of the Government??

    That would never happen—this is all propaganda by the right wing radicals

  338. NJGator says:

    Another South Orange Comp Killer:

    This one is in the Upper Wyoming Section:

    GSMLS 2521601

    LP: $599,900
    OLP: $763,500
    DOM: 158

    2008 Tax Assessment: $728,500
    Sold 3/14/06 $785,000

  339. bairen says:

    In NJ how many days does the landlord have to return your security deposit once you move out?

  340. jamil says:

    william: which laws can be broken and by who? Can you give a list? At least this is more relevant that SP’s daughter’s love life.

    This is a federal crime (2 U.S.C. § 441e.), involving a candidate (and his relative). O’s campaign has received plenty of money illegally (ie from Gaza and big donors making many small donations exceeding the limits). I agree that this law (CFR) is stupid, but it is the law, and I would hope that presidential candidates obey the law. Clearly, this is not the case.

  341. stu says:


    You are beginning to sound more and more like a sore loser. But go ahead and tell me again how great of a choice that SP decision was.

    I saw your post the other day where you said that M will win and is closing the gap. This prompted me to look at the Gallup poll where O has built his greatest lead since the start of the campaign. I then looked at the polls of all polls and the only ones that are even remotely close are from Foxnews and Zogby. If I were a betting man, I would be all in on the wealth distributor.

  342. william says:

    355—you answered your own question by saying you agree it is ridiculous—–Just because something is written down who says it is a law? A man just like you or I…Except that person uses that law to run his/her agenda…

    It’s all details…all fluff…all non-important..designed to get people to look at the real truth…a diversion

    The real issue is turning this thing around and throwing a crowbar into the cogs of this tyrranical machine in which we live…..So we can all have our country back…”We The People” has been lost…we need to find it

    just my opinion

  343. william says:

    358— i meant look away from the real truth there

  344. stu says:

    SP’s daughter didn’t break any laws Jamil. It is a case where one must judge the potential leadership capability of SP in preaching abstinence to her constituents when a member of her own immediate family doesn’t practice it. If you can’t lead your own family successfully, how can you be expected to lead this country?

  345. jamil says:

    stu: Picking SP was the only wise decision by MC. Without SP, O would have double-digit lead. She gave MC major boost in polls and she is in many places getting bigger crowds than O. You think Ridge would have inspired? It is a miracle that R candidate still has a chance, with massive media bias, (illegal) campaign money edge and general dem edge.

    Yeah, polls look bad (but Gallup daily had O up by 2, and Zogby daily had MC leading by one – I think they usually release the 3-day tracking polls). I’m afraid MC is going to do Nixon’s..Admit defeat even if voter fraud was obvious, for the sake of the country (Kennedy’s voter fraud in IL – by the mob- is hardly news).

  346. stu says:


    Enjoy the next eight years!

  347. william says:

    jamil—361—-you really don’t believe what you wrote here do you? please say its just a little Saturday morning funny…..

  348. william says:

    jamil—-Do you believe Noah got all the terrestrial animals on the ark?

  349. william says:

    SP killed MC

  350. stu says:


    I respectfully disagree. M picked an unqualified and unvetted SP to desperately try to steal the dissappointed Hillary supporters. Surprisingly, it was working until most people realized that SP was not much more than your ordinary hockey mom.

    The whole move came off with the perception of M as a male chauvinist. Maverick yes! Many label Chavez a maverick as well.

  351. william says:

    He’s all Mavericky!!….Thank you so much Saturday Night Live

  352. jamil says:

    stu: You can’t be serious. SP’s executive experience and track record surely make her at least as qualified as O, who has never run anything in his life, and his judgment (Wright, Ayers, Khalid, “surge cannot work”) can be be questioned.

    R party base didn’t trust MC but SP re-energized it (pro-abortion Ridge or Lieberman pick would have destroyed MC instantly). This was the main reason for MC picking her. I know SP is not popular among latte liberals in blue states, but they would not for R anyway.

    This is a bad year for R, but MC still has a chance (and mainly because of SP).

  353. victorian says:

    Where did all the funny trolls go?

  354. Dink says:


    FYI, Jamil really does believes the stuff he writes. I’m sure his internet routine consists of visiting Drudge, confirmation of Drudge sources by visiting NewsMax, then a visit to FreeRepublic to confirm bias and develop talking points. At that point he is all frothed up and ready to post on this site and I’m sure others with his newfound “knowledge”.

    As Clotpoll so elegantly puts it, “Jamil sucks.”

  355. william says:

    370—well i agree with clot then….although not on some things…definitely that.

  356. william says:

    As kettle posted in here the other day it is rare that human beings can truly grasp logical concepts…that is why they are so good at being shepharded around by the people who do understand a higher plane of thought.

  357. lisoosh says:

    vic –

    I know, I feel like pulling my hair out.

  358. william says:

    vic and lisoosh—-u guys are buzzkills on this post

  359. william says:

    u both remind me of the 2 old guys in the balcony of the muppets show…grumpy and set in their ways

  360. william says:

    u both have no concept of discussing anything other than what you deem important–elitists

  361. Frank says:

    BC Bob,
    Thanks for your contribution to my bonus pool. Do you have an opinion on the new 2009 S class? my wife really wants it.

  362. Frank says:

    “Isn’t this a great country or what.”

    Jamil, this is the greatest country on the planet, if you have a problem with with us, move to Kenya and take 0bama’s aunt’s place.

  363. Frank says:

    No mall report this weekend, I am off to the Mercedes dealer trying to figure out how to spend my big bonus, thanks to the NJ Pension plan investment.

  364. victorian says:

    Frank –

    What are your views on the way Porsche killed the hedge funds?

  365. Stu says:

    NJREREPORT prep question # 1

    Frank:Hedge Fund as

    A) Bi:Einstein
    B) Jamil:Liberal
    C) Clotpoll:Optimist
    D) ChiFi:Technical Analyst
    E) All of the above

  366. Sybarite says:


    I think your wife really liked the leather in my BMW.

  367. Frank says:

    Only a jerk0ff like you would post something like this. No wonder NJ has jack@ass reputation.

  368. bairen says:


    You can get a nice Matchbox or Hot Wheels Mercedes for $1.19 at most grocery stores.

  369. Eeyore says:

    324/327 – Kids sure love the Big O, and the feeling is mutual.


    I try not to visit too often, since every time I go I get a pregnancy scare.

  370. bairen says:


    NJ also invested $180 million in Lehman. How did that work out?

  371. t c m says:

    stu Says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 10:24 am


    You are beginning to sound more and more like a sore loser…..”

    after tuesday, we are all going to be either losers or winners, it’s just that some of us will know it, and some won’t.

  372. Cindy says:

    (373) william

    Vic – lisoosh – buzzkills?

    Why don’t you watch what you are saying…

  373. william says:

    386—could you elaborate on that statement just a bit….?

  374. william says:

    cindy—I am entitled to an opinion

  375. william says:

    cidy—you may agree or disagree with me…then maybe discount my opinion and I’ll take it back…I’ve just seen them make a lot of posts where they don’t believe in free thinking over the past 2 days

  376. william says:

    cindy i mean

  377. BC Bob says:


    Hedge funds are not paid bonuses. They receive a management fee and performance fess. Unless you are John Paulson, your hedge fund, [yeah right], is probably down on the year. After all you are bullish, right? What’s your fund’s high water mark. Don’t spend all day on google.

    By the way, here is your Mercedes, available at your mall;


  378. Cindy says:

    william – Some of us are trying to respect our host’s edict that we not inundate this space with our personal political preferences.

  379. victorian says:

    William –
    Thank you for terming me as elite. Also, for bunching me with Lisoosh. She is one of the wittiest and most incisive posters around (whereas I can barely string a sentence together).

  380. william says:

    (393)william – Some of us are trying to respect our host’s edict that we not inundate this space with our personal political preferences.

    I don’t think voicing my opinion is disrespectful…I just made an observation

  381. grim says:


    MLS# 2594420

    Short Sale + Existing Lease

    Agent Comments: subject to 3rd party approval, Tenant has lease till Aug 09, $3300 mo and has right to stay

  382. grim says:

    Does anyone know why would GSMLS drop like 500 listings in 2(ish) days?


  383. william says:

    I mean if you want a blog where everyone thinks alike —wow that would be not only dangerous, but really just a waste of time

  384. william says:

    that’s why I don’t like when lishoosh threw around the troll reference, because it wasn’t a topic she wanted to talk about..so automatically people are trolls….because their thought process is not in tune with hers….

  385. grim says:

    I can’t wait until election day. At this point I don’t care who wins, I’ll just be happy to not have to read about it anymore.

    Stop interrupting the collapse of the real estate market and recession with this political chatter.

    Whoever wins is screwed anyway, his/her political party will be tarnished/associated with recession for the next 50 years.

    You’d be better off voting for the other guy.

  386. grim says:

    Or writing in ‘grim’

  387. kettle1 says:

    lets refocus, shall we? how long before we see this in the US?

    British house prices fall by more than average annual pay

    House prices have fallen in the past 12 months by more than the average Briton earns in a year, new figures show. The average home is now valued at £27,000 less than in October last year, while the national average salary is about £25,000. House prices fell by 1.4 per cent in October, pushing the annual decline to 14.6 per cent, figures from Nationwide show. This is the biggest annual fall since comparable records began in 1991 and the number of home sales looks likely to fall to the lowest level since 1974.euros and Swiss francs. Now banks are curtailing the loans as investors pull money out of eastern Europe’s developing markets and local currencies plunge.


  388. william says:

    I was going to write in my dog Trixie..but I’ll do Grim instead

  389. william says:

    i’ll shut up now sorry….

  390. lisoosh says:

    vic – Wow, though I’m not sure I deserve such a complement. Right back at ya too.

    william – Ever been at a party where a group is standing chatting pleasantly then some guy comes up and makes an inappropriate joke and then everybody else goes silent?

    That guy is you.

    jamil is the guy who starts arguing with you about the premis of the joke.

    In the meantime, the crowd has moved 20 feet away.

  391. william says:

    that’s usually because you are not interested in what we are discussing—therefore you have the freedom to walk but not call me a troll

  392. kettle1 says:

    how much will dubai’s “worlds tallest” building, the BurjDubai go for as steel scrap?

  393. lisoosh says:

    ket – what has been so interesting is that the crash started here in the US much earlier, but the correction is happening much more quickly in the UK.
    Probably partly a function of the size of the county, but I would also throw out that Brits have a more fatalistic mentality than Americans and thus capitulation and acceptance happen much more rapidly.

  394. kettle1 says:

    will dubai become the global symbol of real estate and financial excess 50 years from now

  395. stan says:

    I can take Frank much more that I can take William. Least valuable player right now

  396. kettle1 says:


    their banks are also in much deeper doodoo.

  397. william says:

    player? odd comment

  398. kettle1 says:

    well off to gamble in forex, cheers all :)

  399. lisoosh says:

    Actually william I didn’t call you a troll. Nor did I post much more than once or twice in the last couple of days as I was very busy with work.

    And if I had, freedom of speech would have given me that right too.

    And now, out of respect for my host. I am done with this exchange.

  400. william says:

    hmmmmm…i see now…im feeling a stepford feel….well off to a more open minded blog….

    actually i will salute kettle because he has knowledge on MANY subjects!

    kettle, shore, 3b, clot, SAS…all brilliant posters..

    many others very closed minded…g’day

  401. lisoosh says:

    ket – Lloyds seems to be on reasonably solid ground. Not long ago the subject of derision for being plain vanilla, now King of the Hill.

  402. bairen says:

    #408 lishoosh

    I thought the UK did mostly short term arms and variable(the rate can change month to month) rates.

  403. bairen says:

    #400 grim

    I’m with you. Will enjoy going back to re blog with some overall economy stuff tossed in.

  404. bairen says:

    Someone doesn’t realize it’s not 2006.


    This is a 2 bdr 2.bth.

    There’s a 3 bdr 3.5 bth in the same development for 20k less been sitting out there for a few months.

  405. lisoosh says:

    bairen – variable rate mortgages there. They have this weird system where it’s insurance/you get money back, I honestly haven’t looked at it closely enough to understand it properly. Not the standard 30 year fixed like here though.

    Interest only was popular there for longer too, as was shared ownership and other strange permutations.

    Also, private ownership does not really have a big tax advantage there but INVESTMENT does – the Buy-to-Let (rent) crowd really drove sales. Everybody and his mother got into real estate.

    So an interesting market, and quite different to here.

  406. bairen says:

    #420 lishoosh

    That’s how Australia was too. There was some kind of tax advantage for buying-to-let at a loss. Perhaps Australia will imitate the UK UK’s housing pattern? Not much going on in Australia besides commodities and finance.

  407. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [332] spam

    You make me sound postal. Thanks a lot.

    But, in fairness, and after the fact, I realized that my prose could have been better and had come out wrong—Fact is, I know better than to profess 2AD support at work as that is career suicide.

    Rather, I got the occasional thumbscrews simply for not drinking enough of the kool-aid. Simple as that.

  408. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [324] Gator,

    Truthfully, I don’t mind the entertaining, but if the screeds on the board are gonna carry over, I can see where it would be very easy for some disgruntled lefty to make my life tough. Ours is becoming an increasingly polarized society and I have seen quite a lot of this bile come from the left. I’m too old to put principle ahead of practicality, so, regardless of what spam thinks, I try to avoid controversy, and do what Berke Breathed suggested when he was asked why he never addressed race in “Bloom County”. He said, you can’t without igniting a flame session, so when the subject comes up, just smile, say that you love everyone equally, and slowly back out of the room.


    The kids story was funny. My daughter will sometimes bait me by cheering for the Yankees (knowing it will get a dirty look from daddy).
    On the political scene, she got on my lap and asked me “what’s a socia1ist”? This was made all the worse because we were sharing a beachhouse at the time with liberal democrat friends of ours, and I got the dirty look from them.

  409. Frank says:

    “recession for the next 50 years”??

    Since you are so negative about this country, does it mean you are moving back to Poland soon?

  410. zieba says:

    Are you Polish?

    I just got back from two weeks in Wroclaw and Krakow.

  411. NJGator says:

    396 Grim – That’s kinda interesting. Stu thought that house would move right away at that price, but now I am thinking not so much. No way any owner could break even on that lease even if they put 20% down. This one is going to sit and go for less.

  412. rhymingrealtor says:


    I think he meant the recession would not be forgotten about for the next 50 years.

    I agree, and feel sorry for the next canidate as the last 8 years will be forgotten about in the next 2


  413. Cindy says:


    “The Shallowest Generation”
    James Quinn – Seeking Alpha
    A scathing article on the Boomers.
    Okay, okay..I know I am a baby Boomer and this report is pretty grim. My goal is to be part of the solution and not part of the problem… a sampling…

    “Baby Boomers had the time, power, and ability to change our course.”

    “Meddling, tinkering, and non-enforcement of rules by Congress and other government bureaucracies caused the crisis that they are reacting to. Government creates the problems and then assumes even more power over our lives with their ridiculous “solutions.”

    “We must move beyond crisis management approaches and start to address some of the key fiscal and other challenges facing this country if we want our future to be better than our past.”

    “The baby Boom generation has one last chance to change the course of U.S. history, keep us from wrecking in a storm of debt on the approaching jagged reef and shed the title of “Shallowest Generation.”

  414. Cindy says:

    Grim – I’m in moderation @ 428 –
    It is an article title “The Shallowest Generation” by James Quinn – Seeking Alpha.

    “The Baby Boom generation has one last chance to change the course of U.S.history, keep us from wrecking in a storm of debt on the approaching jagged reef and shed the title of “Shallowest Generation.”

    There are some political references that must have shot it into moderation. – Sorry.

    After reading this 9-page article, I feel ashamed to be part of a generation that has so obviously made so many errors…

  415. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    This is sooo Philly:

    “”It was hardly on the scale of a wardrobe malfunction, but Chase Utley’s dropping of the F-bomb on live TV and radio yesterday caused a stir among some Philadelphians. After proclaiming “World champions!” at the Phillies’ celebration at Citizens Bank Park, the smiling second baseman leaned into the microphone and inserted a familiar two-syllable profanity between “world” and “champions.” The crowd loved it, erupting into cheers for several minutes.”

  416. NJGator says:

    Nom 423 – Completely understandable about being reluctant to have people you have never met in the house. I would definitely go for the Jolley Trolley meetup before deciding if you want folks in your home.

    Now that you have been to the DMV, have you received your official NJ Welcome Pack? You should be getting your Springsteen CD, package of Taylor Pork Roll and instructions on where to direct deposit the majority of your paycheck shortly.

    We are having a lovely post Halloween afternoon. Just sitting here watching the Florida-Georgia game with Lil Gator and the dog. Lil Gator is really starting to like to sat “Tim Tebow Touchdown”. I think we are going to have to put a 15 on the back of his jersey. Tomorrow is one last hayride and apple picking for the season.

  417. sean says:

    nom – if you haven’t seen this during the celebration/riot.


  418. kettle1 says:


    The end of deflationary trade

    Yesterday the Baltic Dry freight rate index fell below 1000 for the first time in six years and last night it fell another 40 points to 885. In June the index was 11,900, so it has fallen 93 per cent in a few months – a crash far worse than anything ever seen in the stockmarket. The spot daily rental for a Capesize ship is now $6365, down from $234,000 per day over the space of a few weeks. Maybe that previous price was absurdly inflated, but at $6365 it is just $365 above the average daily cost of crews and fuel.

    As a result the world’s ports are filling with empty ships because shipowners can’t afford to run them, as well as some full ships because the owners of the cargo won’t unload without a bank letter of credit, which banks are refusing to supply. Shipping companies are starting to file for bankruptcy in increasing numbers as they breach loan covenants, and a shipping researcher, Andreas Vergottis of Tufton Oceanic has told Bloomberg that a fifth of the world’s dry bulk companies may soon have negative net worth because the market for second hand ships has collapsed and the value of their fleets is below outstanding debt.

  419. kettle1 says:

    Investors Raise Their Bets on Defaults in EU Countries

    Investors are upping their bets that as the $12.2 trillion euro-zone economy heads into recession, costly bank-bailout plans could drive some European governments to default on their debt. In the credit-default swaps market — where investors buy and sell derivatives that pay off when a debt issuer defaults — the cost of swaps linked to euro-zone countries including Italy and Greece has doubled in the past month.

    For Ireland, which introduced a €400 billion ($518 billion) bank-guarantee program last month that is twice the size of its gross domestic product, investors’ cost of insuring against debt default has risen eightfold since the start of the year. “That the perceived probability of default for any industrialized country could be that high is extraordinary,” said Simon Johnson, a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management and a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. “Emerging markets go through this all the time. But these are rich, prosperous economies.”


  420. kettle1 says:

    regarding “Investors Raise Their Bets on Defaults in EU Countries”

    it seems like the media and finance world are desperately trying to ignore spain. I think spain is by far worse off then any other european country from a systemic point.

  421. kettle1 says:

    20% of U.S. Homeowners Have Mortgage Higher Than House Is Worth

    Almost 20 percent of U.S. mortgage borrowers owed more on their loans in the third quarter than their house was worth as foreclosures depressed prices and the economy weakened, according to First American CoreLogic. More than 7.5 million properties already have negative equity and another 2.1 million will follow should home prices decline another 5 percent, Santa Ana, California-based First American, a seller of economic and real estate data, said in a report today.


  422. kettle1 says:

    Massive Effort to Save Mortgages

    J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. launched an ambitious plan Friday to modify the terms of $70 billion in mortgages for borrowers who are behind on their payments or soon could be. The move by the New York bank will cover as many as 400,000 borrowers. They’ll be moved into loans carrying lower interest rates, smaller principal amounts or other more-affordable terms.


  423. kettle1 says:

    China Manufacturing Contracts as Crisis Trims Exports

    China’s manufacturing contracted as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression eroded export demand. The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a seasonally adjusted 44.6 last month from 51.2 in September, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in an e-mailed statement. That was the lowest since the gauge was launched in July 2005. A reading below 50 reflects a contraction, above 50 an expansion.

    China’s cabinet has pledged extra infrastructure spending to stimulate the world’s fourth-biggest economy amid the global slowdown. The government has already lowered rates three times in the past two months, increased export rebates and cut property transaction taxes. “The government needs effective stimulus measures to spur growth,” said Wang Qian, a Hong Kong-based economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “The external economic outlook is worsening rapidly.”


  424. kettle1 says:

    In some ways China is in a more precarious position then many countries. this is an explosions of civil unrest waiting to happen. So now they have no jobs and no wives…… thats a nasty combo from a civil stability standpoint.

    Chill winds blow through China’s manufacturing heartland

    The dislocated head of a baby doll stares blindly through the gate; WALL-E and Barbie Pet Doctor boxes are strewn across the yard. Two weeks ago, toymaking giant Smart Union was churning out goods for children across the United States and Europe. Now it is in liquidation and 7,000 former employees are in shock.

    Few in the west have heard of Dongguan, but the chances are that your shoes, your TV or your children’s toys originated here. Exports have built a city of up to 14 million inhabitants — twice the population of Greater London — almost all migrant workers from the countryside. Its economy has grown 15% annually in recent years. Now the global financial and economic crisis is proving the final straw for exporters already punished by rising costs and a stronger currency.

    “Impromptu protests by disgruntled workers left jobless and without pay are becoming more common; they have resorted to petitioning local officials for backpay because they have few other ways to remonstrate and be compensated. “They will complain more and they will go to local government offices more… You will see demonstrations and picketing. And probably there’s a risk of violence against bosses — especially foreigners.” Dongguan’s government stepped in to reimburse the Smart Union workers to the tune of 24,000 yuan (£2.2m) after thousands gathered at the factory gates and outside local authority offices.


  425. Shore Guy says:

    How does the election affect RE? Any thoughts?

  426. yikes says:

    # bi Says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    254#, it would be interesting to hear how mike morgan spins this weekend to his paying followers. he was so certain that dow would be down over 1000 pts. but it ended up almost 1000 pts. for the week.

    probably the only bi post ever that i read and agreed with. I realize Morgan has nailed most everything to date.

    But i worry that he’s had so much success, he feels the need to keep it up by making weekly predictions on the market. What if it goes down 2000 this week? Then he’s just a week off?

    Morgan has been sage-like through this mess, and I will continue to visit his blog.

  427. NJGator says:

    No one takes college football as seriously as they do in the SEC:

    Ga. school district closes day before Florida game

    ESPN.com news services (23 hours ago)
    Tired of struggling to find enough teachers to staff its classrooms on the Friday before the annual Georgia-Florida football game, the Clarke County (Ga.) School District decided to cancel school altogether.

  428. Shore Guy says:


    That goas a long way towards explaining the poor quality of public education in the south.

  429. Shore Guy says:

    goes, even.

  430. 3b says:

    #285jamil What line of business are you in??

  431. Stu says:

    I bet Jamil manages a hedge fund.

  432. 3b says:

    #400 grim: Stop interrupting the collapse of the real estate market.

    Not to be uncaring, but I wish they would finish collapsing already.

  433. 3b says:

    #402 kettle: Hopefullly the sooner the better in our area.

  434. Shore Guy says:

    Moving van and three months rent. Then let the prices fall.

  435. Shore Guy says:

    GA/FLA is looking like M/O.

  436. Shore Guy says:

    Yeesh, like they care what is best for us:


  437. Shore Guy says:

    And now a word on RE and loan modifications:


  438. 3b says:

    #438 kettle: Please do not usr the word modification, it enrages me.

  439. 3b says:

    #454 shore: Please see post 455. It goes for you too. That word makes me totally irrational, and has now forced me to drop multiple F-bombs, something I rarely used to do.

  440. Shore Guy says:

    “moved into loans carrying lower interest rates, smaller principal amounts or other more-affordable terms.”

    Should be offered a moving van and an apartment or rental home at more-affordable terms.

  441. Shore Guy says:

    modification, isn’t that part of “spreading the wealth around,” the best O’social-istic manner?

  442. Ketel1 (formerly kettle1) says:


    i must now change my name. i cannot have such unsavory associations being made.

    Kettle1 = Ketel1

    atleast now i shall be associated with a quality product that has real social value.

  443. Shore Guy says:


    Sounds like it is time for you to be reeducated. Soon enough. Soon enough.

  444. Shore Guy says:

    Hey, Ket. Not everyone here has a road named after them.

  445. Shore Guy says:

    or a psychiatric condition, either.

  446. NJGator says:

    452 Shore – :) Few things are as fun during football season as beating the cr*p out of GA! I hope for the R’s sake that M does just a little bit better on Tuesday.

    Public education is pretty mediocre across the South, but Floridians always liked to consider themselves academically superior to Georgia. My favorite Gator Growl skit had Herschel Walker returning back to Georgia to get an honorary degree. In order to get his diploma, he had to answer 1 question – What is 2+2. Herschel then went into deep thought and the Jeopardy theme music was played. At the end of the song, he answered very unsure “4”. The Georgia students in the stand were asked what they thought and their reply was “Give him another chance!”. Good times.

  447. Shore Guy says:


    You know how I have been saying I would not be surprised if O gets 400 EV votes? I saw a real clear politics map showing him with something like 311 solid and something on the order of 110 toss-ups.

    On the other hand, I read here that Zogby is showing it getting closer. Since Zogby was the one who was head and shoulders above the other pollsters in 2000 and 2004, I will not discount his numbers, even when they diverge from the herd. I will also pray he is correct, and that M can pull this out of the dust bin.

  448. Shore Guy says:


    Just so it is clear,I was not saying that kettle, in any of its spellings, is a psychiatric disorder.

  449. Shore Guy says:

    VP pick Sarah Palin hoaxed by comedy prank call
    57 minutes ago

    MONTREAL (AFP) — Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin on Saturday was the victim of a prank phone call by a French-Canadian comedian impersonating French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    After Palin realized the call was a hoax, her campaign staff admitted she was “mildly amused.”

    The prank tag-team from Quebec, “Justicia masques,” who have previously targeted heads of state and celebrities, posted the conversation on their website (www.justiciers.tv).

    In the recording, John M’s running mate enthusiastically takes the fake Sarkozy’s call.

    “It’s so good to hear you, thank you for calling us … we have such great respect for you, John M and I, we love you!” Palin said.

    She appeared unfazed by the fake president’s thick French accent and some outrageous comments.

    At one point the impersonator, comedian Sebastien Trudel, told the Alaskan governor he is following the US elections closely along with his special American advisor Johnny Hallyday — a famous French rock’n’roll singer.

    When the fake president told Palin his wife Carla Bruni is “hot in bed,” the governor chuckled and complimented him for his “beautiful family.”

    Palin also proffered to continue relations if she reaches the White House.

    “We should go hunting together,” Palin said.

    Palin laughed in response to Trudel’s comment: “I just love killing those animals … take away life, that is so fun!”

    The governor, who is making a whistle-stop tour through key states in the last weekend before the November 4 election, told the fake president that she is “very confident” about the Republican ticket’s chances, and said she thought “the race is tightening” ahead of Tuesday’s general election.

    “I see you as a president one day, too,” said the comedian.

    “Maybe in eight years,” replied Palin.

    The comedy duo have previously used their Sarkozy impersonation to target former French president Jacques Chirac, celebrities Mick Jagger and Britney Spears, and Sarkozy himself.

    “This was our most explosive coup so far,” comedian Marc Antoine Audette told AFP, adding that it was “difficult” for his accomplice Trudel to get their request for a phone conversation past Palin’s entourage and her Secret Service detail.

    The M campaign later released a statement about the phone call.

    “Governor Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C’est la vie.”


  450. Ketel1 (formerly kettle1) says:


    dont worry, my wife would agree ;) and she is a licensed psychologist

  451. NJGator says:

    Shore 467 – Ouch. Did you see SP on Fox mention that during the first 100 days of the McC admin that they would “really shore up the strategies that we need over in Iraq and Iran to win these wars”?


  452. chicagofinance says:

    bairen Says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 8:37 am
    #260 toshiro Looks like we won’t have to wait till Spring to get some shiny new toys.
    I miss Booya Bob

    bairen-it-all: For my money, he provided the #1 all time NJREReport quote “….READ MY LIPS YOU SCHMUCK…”….he was Gary without a filter…yes, I meant that….

  453. jamil says:

    Gator: Did you hear Joe Bliden lecture us in the VP debate how US drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon? I suppose this happened in Joe’s fantasy world in his favorite coffee shop (that was closed 20 years ago..)

  454. BC Bob says:

    “I bet Jamil manages a hedge fund.”


    Contra party with Frank?

  455. chicagofinance says:

    bairen Says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 9:39 am
    #280 chifi Do you ever go to the soup man? I think it’s on Front or Broad st.

    It’s on Broad at White across from the Starbucks. Actually, no I don’t. It is a good idea, but not executed well. Sorry to be negative if you appreciate the place.

    One of the problems with upscale/higher price point positioned/chain fast food is that the quality of food in NJ is too good to fork out $8-10 on a cup of soup. There are a lot of places that kind of get stuck in the same trap: Xando, Cosi, Quiznos, Panera, Soup Man, Baja etc….the concept is fine, but in NY Metro, it comes off as small portions, not-as-fresh-as-alternatves, lacking taste, extra sodium to compensate.

    I just don’t like the idea or dropping $10-$15 on a small portion, take-out, fast food in a faux gourmet style. Starbucks is one of the only places that actually delivers quality, but you need to carefully stick to the drinks. In Cleveland, I’m sure the Soup Man is a godsend. Einstein’s Bagels was for Chicago.

  456. jamil says:

    bob: sorry to disappoint you..we are not in financial services. Maybe I should be. The bonuses and high life of Frank sounds almost too good to be true.

  457. NJGator says:

    Shore 465 – I

  458. Stu says:

    Why M might be doing so well according to Zogby:


    also take the same link and try picture2.png, picture3.png and picture4.png

  459. NJGator says:

    Shore 465 – I know that Zogby’s sample includes less Dems than other polls. It will be interesting to see which of all the pollsters has the best model for this election.

    What say you if at the next GTG, I buy you a drink if O wins and you buy me one if M wins. Based on our beliefs we each think we’ll be worse off financially if the other’s candidate wins.

  460. nwnj1 says:


    20% of mortgage holders, not homeowners are under water.

  461. jamil says:


    O says he will create “Civilian National Security Force” that is just as strong as military. Yep, that’s what the country needs: Paramilitary forces swearing loyalty to The One. Why not just call it SA (or SS)?
    I suppose they will enforce the “He will not allow you to continue to be uninformed” policy Michelle talked about. Now I understand why he wants to release Gitmo folks. He needs it for something else..

  462. kettle1 says:


    at the core, i am against loan modification or forgiveness of any sort.

    However…… If the banks and corporate america are being handed money like a nor’easter just blew through, then the horse has left the barn. At this point i do not see, what amounts to appeasement offerings to the average joe, to be of any real significance.

    The damage done by any such offerings is no longer significant in the big picture, relative to the damage that the government is doing by trying to buy its way out of the financial collapse.

    home loan modification, credit card loan forgiveness….. its all irrelevant, as all it really is, is the panicked thrashing of a drowning man about to slip under the waves.

    The real and unfortunate impact is that if the government is going to spend trillions of dollars, it could have been spending them on infrastructure and on social aid programs that will desperately be needed as the collapse proceeds and the number of hungry families without shelter increases. Its in everyone’s interest that jack and jane have a warm bowl of soup in their tummy as opposed to a CEO getting his 20 million golden parachute from a failed company propped up with taxpayer funds.

  463. NJGator says:

    Clot – would be interested in your two cents on Gator/Stu:

    MLS# 2594420

    As per JB it’s a Short Sale + Existing Lease

    Agent Comments: subject to 3rd party approval, Tenant has lease till Aug 09, $3300 mo and has right to stay.

    Asking price is currently $525k. It sold in 2005 for $712,500. Assuming a 20%DP(and I think this is a generous assumption) the original loan was 570k.

    The current lease would not be break even unless a purchaser put down around 40%. Who is going to tie up over 200k in a house they can’t even live in for a year? Doesn’t seem like there would be a very big buyer pool at current ask. Do you think such a bank would be willing to cut a deal? Or do they foreclose since they have a tenant to defray monthly costs and carry the place until the end of the lease to sell at a potentially higher price?

  464. kettle1 says:


    I believe we will see something along the lines of “civil national security force” regardless of who is in office.

    As long as the current PTB are running the show we will continue down the path we are on.

    does any of this sound familiar?

    a nationalist ideology that is primarily concerned with perceived problems associated with cultural, economic, political, and social decline or decadence. It seeks to solve such problems by achieving a millenarian national rebirth by exalting the nation or race as well as promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.

  465. bairen says:

    #473 chifi

    try the turkey chili or any of the gumbos. You may want to reconsider your comment.

  466. Frank says:

    In Hoboken 8 1bd condos sold in an average of 84 days at an average sale price of $375,687 just this week.

    You call this a crisis? You call this a recession? Give me a break.


  467. Frank says:

    One for Jamil.

    Murdoch says 0bama win could worsen financial crisis:


  468. kettle1 says:

    which ever candidate wins will be so heavily indebted to the various backstage power brokers that neither will challenge the current corporatism. to do so would be biting the hand that feeds them.

  469. Frank says:

    The median sales price for Hoboken condos listed on the MLS was $485,000 September 2007. It was up to $489,000 as of the end of this September. Real-estate boom lives on.

  470. kettle1 says:

    The Chinese time bomb?….

    37% of China’s GDP comes from exports (source:http://tinyurl.com/58wsg4). Its likely that china will see serious social issues if growth drops below 5% (currently at 10%) due standards of living and employment needing a greater then 5% growth rate to maintain the status quo.

    Chin’a ability to act as a massive global creditor is largely based on its stunning growth rate and its domineering level of exports. Both of those will now drop. The question is how much, how far and for how long. it is likely that China’s ability to loan is going to rapidly come under pressure due to internal factors caused by the external slow down of international markets.

    So where is the time bomb? If china has trouble buying american bonds then how are our other credits going to continue doing so? and what is one to do with massive amounts of american dollars when the value starts to drop?

    the kettle1 musings of the day.

  471. BC Bob says:

    kettle [488],

    Another bull market, treasury supply.

  472. yikes says:

    but my fave perk is the twice annual beauty sale held by one of our magazines. The magazine takes all the high end makeup, skin care and hair care products that it gets to review and shoot for publication and sells it all off for charity. A lot of it is super premium expensive stuff made by the best labels. All products sell for $2 an item.

    hahaha. too funny. this was such a hit at the mag i was at, my wife came in last year to buy products because the year prior i didnt get enough “good stuff.” i sat near the beauty girl and was cool with her, so i got into the coveted first group.

    quite a scene, indeed.

  473. NJGator says:

    491 Yikes – Nice. I get my pre-vite by sucking up to the ME. He knows we will do anything not to get knocked off the list.

    You are so right. If you don’t get in first, you might as well not go.

  474. lostinny says:

    492 Gator
    Do you seek out the non-animal tested stuff or is it kind of a free for all?

  475. Outofstater says:

    Gator – Congrats on the win tonight. Lots of Dawgs fans around here are crying in their beer. 49-10 Yikes!!

  476. Stu says:

    Frank, do you trust everything Murdoch says? One day I would like to meet your parents. Then I would like to ensure their sterility.

  477. Shore Guy says:


    As I will be tapped out after O wins, I will galdly accept a drink from you – Stu too.

  478. Outofstater says:

    #488 Ket – Maybe China needs us more than we need it. Their people were slaves to the state as recently as 1979. They remember the really gruesome days of famine when they were eating bark (no kidding)and roots but that was before capitalism. They have no experience with economic downturns so when this one hits, they may not really believe it is temporary and they may panic. I bet no one ever told them that economies run in cycles and, like real estate, they thought the boom would last forever. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. There are so many pieces to this puzzle, it’s tough to put it together.

  479. NJGator says:

    494 Outofstater – Well they say in Gainesville that nothing smells worse than a wet Dawg! It was a fun game to watch. Hopefully all goes according to plan and we can take care of Bama in the SEC championship game.

  480. NJGator says:

    Lost 493 – It is a giant free for all. You grab what you can off the table and from the boxes. I usually do get to sort through it all in a corner before making final purchases. I always grab more than the cash in my wallet :)

  481. kettle1 says:



    Bernanke proposes bottom for MBS market

  482. bairen says:

    #500 kettle1

    He’s called helicopter ben for a reason.

    I don’t think there really is a safe haven to move to. This bubble is global, just about every country participated in it through bubbly re prices, making junk people could purchase by tapping into their new found equity in their homes, or by digging stuff out of the ground to sell to the manufacturing countries.

  483. bairen says:

    I’ve decided to vote for Booya Bob.
    His press conferences will be hysterical, and his policies would be much better than the powers that be will install.

    I imagine a cross between Teddy Roosevelt, Gary, and George Carlin.

  484. Nom Deplume says:


    Must be Beat Down Saturday. Saw yer gators open up a can of whoop ass on the dawgs. Couldnt believe the dawgs were ranked.

    And my alma mater pounded URI 49-0. Booya.

  485. scribe says:


    How are the banks in the U.K. in deeper doo-doo?

    Greater leverage?

    Less deposit insurance = greater risk of bank runs?

  486. Steve says:

    A few random anecdotes for the weekend, apologies for needing to be a bit stingy on detail:

    Large FOFs drastically extending redemption notice/lockup periods, not exactly going to inspire confidence once word gets out; those with some transparency may also create risk of runs on the underlying mgrs

    Recent conversation with w/ hedgie, Paulson came up, distinct impression that gig will prove to be a one-trick pony. But at 2/20, does it really matter?

    Hearing some of the biggest HF names in dire straits, due to incomprehensible bet-the-firm positions, trying to knock it out of the park, going horribly wrong. If one in particular goes bad, the unwind is going to be very big, very ugly.

    Quant funds also getting hit hard- imagine it’s pretty tough to black box the Sept/Oct action.

    Net net, if it makes your 401k feel any better – HNW crowd is getting decimated as well. Guess all those high priced advisors didn’t read this blog when they should have. Of course I don’t hear much about “decoupling” anymore…

    In terms of credit anecdotes, I witnessed a colleague attempt to get a slam-dunk refi (stellar great credit, huge LTV) on a NYC condo, categorically rejected. He was dumbfounded.

    Another friend, top tier credit high earning dual income couple, canceled one card to switch to another, they never carry a balance. Old limit on the card: $35k. Limit on new card, same bank- I sh*t you not – $3500. He was sure it was a mistake. It wasn’t.

    This credit shockwave is going to be like neutron bomb, few left standing. I keep looking for evidence to the contrary, but the road ahead, off the 1,000ft cliff, is all too clear.

  487. Steve says:

    Apols if my terminology was incorrect above- meant to say, the rejected refi was for only a fraction of the condo’s “value”, e.g. an outstanding loan of like 40%…

  488. kettle1 says:


    I believe that they carry a higher level of leverage. the last numbers i saw said they average 30:1 while US banks only average 15:1

  489. kettle1 says:


    decoupling???? hahahaha.

    -baltic dry index down 90+%

    -China closing factories

    -Australian Mining projects canceled

    -International Volvo Truck orders down 98% YOY.

    – Commodities falling through the floor.

    -bank failure friday renamed to NATION failure friday.

    -Farmers reducing production due to reduced commoity prices

    What is this “decoupling” you speak of???

  490. kettle1 says:


    thanks for the anec-data

    if there is any question where all this goes, you already answered it….. (when was the last time a “recession” caused an industrial nation to fail?)

    This credit shockwave is going to be like neutron bomb, few left standing. I keep looking for evidence to the contrary, but the road ahead, off the 1,000ft cliff, is all too clear.

  491. lostinny says:

    499 Gator
    If you are willing to grab some for me, I can give you a little extra so your wallet isn’t so lonely.

  492. grim says:

    Millburn? Impossible.. From the Star Ledger:

    Millburn bridal shop goes bankrupt without providing brides with dresses

    A handful of women — some just married, others soon to be — picketed outside a Millburn bridal shop today, claiming they paid thousands of dollars for wedding dresses that never materialized when the store went bankrupt.

    The women were joined by friends, fiances and husbands and said they paid up to $4,000 for designer bridal gowns but received no dresses and no refunds. Their only recourse, the group of about 10 picketers said, is to take to the sidewalks.

    “Bride in stress, where’s my dress?” read one sign. “Feel for the groom,” another implored, “I didn’t sign up for this.”

  493. Cindy says:

    Kmart ran an ad on TV yesterday for their new lay-a-way plan…for Christmas shoppers. Remember those? You know – you actually pay for the item ahead of time – then you get to take it home.

    Who knows – maybe Christmas Club accounts will come back into vogue. Save a bit each month, then when the holidays roll around you actually have the money to spend.

    Sort of a anti-credit card mentality. Instead of buy – take home – pay. You pay – then take home. Everything old is new again.

  494. bairen says:

    #512 grim

    Hope that makes t to a bridezilla show.

    Why do people spend so much money on a wedding dress? I don’t get it.

    Why don’t people rent a gown like guys rent tuxedos?

  495. bairen says:

    #512 looks like the future trophy wives of NJ have hit their first bump on the road.

    cry me a river

  496. bairen says:

    they are all weain black. are they in mourning or is that the uniform for wana be trophy wives?

  497. bairen says:

    #513 I haven’t seen lay-a-way plan in decades.


  498. bairen says:

    I shouldn’t be so judgemental, i’m sure they will all live happily ever after

    I just don’t understand why people will drop a year’s income on a wedding.

    One of my former co workers was spending over 50k for her’s, not counting the rings and honeymoon.

    She makes in the low 40’s.

  499. dblko says:

    In Germany the government came out with a new stimulus plan that includes tax credits for new car purchases.
    Would not be surprised to see something like this here too, given the speed our officials are trying to hand out money, why should it all go to homeowners, let a renter buy a new beamer too. More cars bring higher gas prices, then inflation up, stocks up, happy times again.

  500. bairen says:

    Here’s a cape for 499k in Chatham


    It actually looks nice. I was seeing dumpy capes (no work done in 30 years) listed for 10% more in the Spring of 07.

  501. bairen says:

    Here’s one at 399k in Chatham.


    It looks nicer then what I was looking at in Madison and Chatham Spring of 07 that were listed for 100 to 150k more.

  502. RPatrick says:

    518 bairen ~

    My sisters was 25K and my Mom ( who was paying the majority of it ) had to rein her in.

    I’d rather have that money to paying for a down payment.

  503. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (489)-

    So many ways to fail:

    “If china has trouble buying american bonds then how are our other credits going to continue doing so? and what is one to do with massive amounts of american dollars when the value starts to drop?”

    My bets are on currency as the spark that blows the silo. As BC has said, it started with the carry & may end there.

  504. Stu says:

    You guys don’t want to know what Gator’s dad spent on ours. Let’s just say it approached the 20% we put down on our Montclair home. 5 years later, he is going back to work because he is running out of dough. The sad part is, for the 7 years I dated Gator prior to our wedding, in passing conversation I always mentioned that I wanted a small wedding with just close friends in attendance. The father-in-law did compromise, he decided not to hire the sushi chef to serve the sushi, only to prepare it. Then he added 3 more people to the band my parents paid for bringing it up to 10 pieces. The wedding was fantastic and I had about 30 seconds per guest to thank them for attending (since half of NJ was invited). On the bright side, Gator and I had nothing to do with the planning or the paying. When we tried to alter the outcome we just upset Gator’s folks. We pretty much just showed up on our wedding day and left for our honeymoon (paid for mostly with miles and Starwood points).

  505. Clotpoll says:

    steve (506)-

    All coming to a neighborhood near you.

    And all some folks want to do is talk smack about Mike Morgan because he finally had a bad week.

  506. Clotpoll says:

    Of course, one bad week does not derail Mr. Morgan.

    Just posted on his site:

    “All Signs Point to Depression – Despite what you might think, there is no way for the world to avoid a Depression. We will discuss many of the issues that have developed this week and this weekend, as well as what surprises King Henry and the dark prince, Prince Kashkari have in store for us this week and this month. It is not pretty.
    I will hold a confence call at 7:00PM this evening, Sunday. That’s Eastern time and please remember the clocks were moved back today. The call will be recorded and posted for replay.

    I will also try to get caught up today and put out a rare written piece. It all depends on my work load.”

    I give Morgan credit. Most of his calls remain free of charge. Tonight’s is free & will be recorded and posted at his site. If you’ve never listened in to one of these calls, be warned that it’s very hard to get to sleep afterwards:


  507. spam spam bacon spam says:

    “bairen Says:
    Someone doesn’t realize it’s not 2006.


    This is a 2 bdr 2.bth.

    There’s a 3 bdr 3.5 bth in the same development for 20k less been sitting out there for a few months.”


    Silly goosie…. here;s why it’s worth, oh…sooo much more….

    “BEST VALUE! [snip] views of Fountain Sq…”

    It all make sooo much more sense now.
    The occupant can become the ruler of our nation. I understand “Fountain Sq” is communist territory and the birds that wash in the fountain often rear their ugly heads near the building and this townhouse, by virtue of it’s physical location, becomes an international military strategic zone.

    Gawd, it’s worth twice the asking price.

  508. bairen says:

    We spent about 6k on our wedding and honeymoon. I refused to go deeply in debt for 1 day and a vacation.

    People still talk about the fun they had, since it was more like a big party. We got married on one of those paddle river boats in Monmouth county.

    I’ve gone to those 50k+ weddings and been kind of disgusted by the waste of money. 50k is a 10% downpayment, even at the top of the bubble for a “starter home” in hoigtyville NJ.

  509. bairen says:

    #527 spam

    My mistake. Thank you for re-educating me without a prolonged stay at a nice camp.

    Wonder why the ad doesn’t mention you can walk to the train station in a few minutes. I’d think that would have more pull then the view of Fountain Sq.

  510. yome says:

    Anybody still looking for a tax cut after this election?

    Call this a crisis? Just wait
    Actually, don’t wait, because we’ve got to stop a bigger economic disaster in the making: 78 million baby-boomers eligible for Social Security and Medicare


  511. crossroads says:

    after reading that banks may forgive up to %40 of cc debt and the possibility of mortgage write downs i feel like a big jackass

    you can say I should be thankful to not be in debt up to my eyeballs but i had to sacrifice to be in this position. I watched family and friends spend like rock stars. My day should be coming but it seems like theirs will continue. hmm.

    Hee Haw!

  512. BC Bob says:


    Only the truly ignorant would have the b#lls to slam Morgan, one week call. The guy has been spot on for 3 years. Obviously, the ones crtitcizing are those that have been EnCapped.

  513. yome says:

    Why not let everybody qualified refinance their home loan to the fed at the teaser lower rate of ARM? At 30 year fixed.

    AIG’s fancy refinancing play
    Troubled insurer pays down pricey $85 billion government loan with cheaper Federal Reserve financing.


  514. Cindy says:


    Brad DeLong – Berkeley Housing Symposium: Discussing Leamer and Shiller

  515. scribe says:


    I heard that, too, though I can’t remember where.

  516. Cindy says:

    (530) yome

    “At the heart of these problems is our leaders’ collective failure to act in the face of known challenges. Our country has veered from its founding principles which held to indiviual responsibility today in order to create more opportunity tomorrow.”

    Absolutely – Our country now constantly runs on “crisis mode.” Banks have to focus on survival instead of investment. Politicians have to focus on CYB. The creativity of every indiviual is squelched when their bigger concern is whether they will have a job next week.

    This “crisis management mode” must end.It is no way to run a country.

    Foresight – vision – looking ahead for unintended consequences – Why can’t we run our country in that fashion….

  517. Steve says:

    Clot (525),

    Exactly – while no one can (or should be expected) to predict the exact future, the trend which he called is unmistakable.

    I’ve seen a number of charts of late highlighting the fact that some of the biggest bear mkt rallies occurred on the way down (e.g. 1929/30).

    The fact is, as if it’s not blatantly apparent, none of the professionals know where we’re heading from week to week, hence the crazy volatility….some of the hedgie trades I’ve heard of recently reek of desperation, just trying to throw darts and hope.

    If “hope” was my manager’s investment thesis, I’d be running for the exits!

  518. WickedOrange says:

    Georgia’s stud running back is a Middletown South Grad.

    Someone pinch me, syracuse won this weekend.

  519. Shore Guy says:

    Wedding costs are out of control. It is sad when people confuse what is important, the marriage, with what is not important, the wedding. Smal and intimate is far better than events designed to show off the apparent wealth of the family or to try to kep up with the Joneses, Kumars, or Lees. We had a prety small wedding and I still knew only a protion of the people there and, as Stu said, only got to spend a few moments with each. It is far beter to begin life as a married couple in a home with 20% equity, than to blow tons of cash on a party that is — in the final analysis — of little consequence.

  520. Steve says:

    Ket (509/510),

    Yep, I thought decoupling was a joke as well when I first heard it thrown out, actually was shocked how many were picking it up as the new mantra.

    Funny enough the biggest proponents were, hmmm, folks in the BRIC regions trying to make the case that their growth was unassailable.

    Sure, once the Cat 5 hurricane finally passes, they may well grow faster than mature economies- but what’s the rush to jump now??

    I’d rather wait and see how this all plays out. Just ask the sovereign wealth funds how being early in those bank investments panned out…

  521. Shore Guy says:


    The equivalent of the recent Wall Street bounce?

  522. Shore Guy says:


    I don’t know how a school with such great facilities, an excellent academic program, and so close to such a huge population base from which to draw players can have such a poor football program.

  523. DL says:

    Speaking of desperate hedge trades, would that be anything like the money the NJ State pension fund (and others) are throwing at hedge funds lately. Smells like the fourth quarter hail mary.

  524. DL says:

    We won’t get a tax cut after the election, instead we’ll get debt forgiveness, the cost of which will be a tax increase. Those of us who lived below our means get to pay twice.

  525. scribe says:

    From the WSJ:

    * NOVEMBER 1, 2008

    FDIC Plan Tests Limits of Leniency

    ANTIOCH, Calif. — When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized control of IndyMac Bancorp — the nation’s 10th-largest mortgage lender by loan volume — the agency vowed to ease terms for many of its troubled borrowers. In doing so, the FDIC wanted to show the mortgage industry how it could slash home foreclosures by making decisions both sensible and humane.

    The new entity, called IndyMac Federal Bank, has become a laboratory test of whether the FDIC’s program can keep people in their homes. While it has already seen some success, the agency has also run into obstacles familiar to private lenders and loan servicers. The upshot: there are no easy solutions to the foreclosure crisis.

    The FDIC launched its aid program in August, five weeks after the government took over IndyMac, which failed under the weight of its bad real-estate lending. The agency found plenty of bad loans to work with. IndyMac’s specialty was Alt-A mortgages, a category that frequently includes loans made with little or no documentation and exaggerated borrower incomes.


    Jaime Aguilar, a 37-year-old truck driver in Antioch, stopped making his house payments in August. In early October IndyMac offered to switch him from an interest-only loan into one that would permit him to pay off some principal — and cut his monthly payments by $336 for the next five years. He signed up immediately. He’s still delinquent on a second home loan from Wells Fargo & Co.

    Luis Flores, a 30-year-old bartender from Oakley, has watched the balance on his adjustable mortgage balloon from $424,000 to $463,000 in three years, while the value of his house dropped from $530,000 to less than half that. Twice he has sent proposals to IndyMac detailing how much he can afford to pay. But the bank, he says, hasn’t given him serious consideration. (A bank spokesman said he couldn’t comment on Mr. Flores’s specific situation, but said that IndyMac is able to do more for borrowers now than it was even a few weeks ago.)


    Bertha and Nicolas Bobadilla, of Brentwood, a town not far from Antioch, are making their payments but don’t think they can hold on for much longer. There’s not much the FDIC can do. Mrs. Bobadilla, 45, is an out-of-work house cleaner, while Mr. Bobadilla earns about $36,000 a year as a tree trimmer. In recent years, the couple borrowed heavily to buy houses for various family members, a bet that depended on ever-rising house prices. One home has already gone back to the bank.

    The Bobadillas are scraping together enough to make the roughly $1,607 monthly payments on a three-bedroom house in Redding, their likely fallback residence.

    Mrs. Bobadilla has unsuccessfully sought IndyMac’s help on several occasions. Trying again this week, she was twice disconnected. When she got through to a Spanish-speaking agent, he told her: “Your only option is to refinance, ma’am.” And he warned her that if the house is worth less than the existing mortgage — a certainty — she’d only be able to refinance if she paid the difference up front, something she can’t afford.

    “But I heard on TV that you have a new program” to help borrowers, she said.

    “That program is only for those who are behind on their payments,” the agent told her.

    Mr. Krimminger said the FDIC strongly discourages borrowers from skipping payments in the hopes they will qualify for aid. “We are taking every step we can to make sure that call center people are providing accurate information to consumers,” he said, “but we can’t control every conversation between call-center employees and borrowers.”

    Borrowers who are delinquent won’t qualify for a loan modification if the FDIC determines they can afford their payments, he says. Those who fall behind are likely to ruin their credit.

    Rafael Martinez is a 31-year-old stucco worker in Pittsburg, Calif. earning $3,600 per month at his union job. He has two IndyMac loans that ballooned to $420,000. He originally borrowed $400,000. His wife lost her job and he hasn’t made a payment on either loan since March. He figured the house was lost. In hopes of saving his credit rating, he arranged a $150,000 short sale in which the bank would agree to cancel his mortgage in exchange for the proceeds.

    Before the sale closed, a housing counselor contacted IndyMac on his behalf. On Sept. 25, the day after what was to have been his foreclosure date, IndyMac sent him a letter that read: “If you are eligible, we may be able to permanently modify your mortgage, bring past due amounts current, and provide you with an affordable monthly payment.”

    He’s optimistic the FDIC will accept his application. It is, he figures, in the bank’s best interest, too. His neighborhood is pocked with empty homes, their yards gone as brown as the wild hills visible over the rooftops. One family around the corner simply disappeared one day. Not long ago he saw someone break into a house vacated.

    More here:


  526. Sean says:

    NY Times article on pensions and CDOs.

    I wonder how many other pension funds are in the same dire straits as the school teachers in Wisconsin, they bought CDOs and borrowed money from an German/Irish Bank, acted just like a Hedge Fund.

    “Wisconsin schools were not the only ones to jump into such complicated financial products. More than $1.2 trillion of C.D.O.’s have been sold to buyers of all kinds since 2005 — including many cities and government agencies — an increase of 270 percent from the four previous years combined, according to Thomson Reuters.”

    “Selling these products to municipalities was pretty widespread,” said Janet Tavakoli, a finance industry consultant in Chicago. “They tend to be less sophisticated. So bankers sell them products stuffed with junk.”

    My comment -> It’s going to be one big Champagne Supernova when the taxpayers are forced to make up the difference. Trillions in Pension funds were lost folks, bear in mind the entire tax levy of all 50 states is about 1.6 Trillion. I consulted for the NYS Teachers pension system and like most states if the pension fund does not achieve at least 8% returns the law is written is the taxpayers must make up the difference.
    Get ready folks the tax collector is coming by and will be giving it to you it without any Vaseline.


  527. Sean says:

    Grimmy #546 is in moderation, it’s about Pension fund losses.

  528. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob Says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 10:48 am
    Clot, Only the truly ignorant would have the b#lls to slam Morgan, one week call. The guy has been spot on for 3 years. Obviously, the ones crtitcizing are those that have been EnCapped.

    BC Bob: I’ll say it. He sounds more like a sportsbetting scam-dicapper. For those that have to pony up anything other than their time to listen to the call, watch out for your wallet.

    The most egregious frauds are those that mix shrewd analysis and insightful content with dimestore hucksterism.

    NOTE: He has a very valuable perspective.

  529. chicagofinance says:

    Steve Says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 1:25 am
    A few random anecdotes for the weekend, apologies for needing to be a bit stingy on detail:

    Steve: I’m hearing the same.

  530. jojo says:

    K-mart always had lay away cuz I work for them—when times are tough people awaken

  531. jojo says:

    sad that people go back to sleep when they get a little cash in their pockets….

  532. chicagofinance says:

    grim unmod

  533. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Citi says credit card losses may rise through 2009

    Citigroup said that it lost $1.4 billion in the third quarter from credit card securitizations and that it expects such losses will continue, possibly reaching record levels in 2009.

    The result compared to a gain of $169 million from credit card securitizations in the year-earlier period.

    “Credit card losses may continue to rise well into 2009, and it is possible that the company’s loss rates may exceed their historical peaks,” the banking giant said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday.

  534. grim says:

    Just updated the time, expect odd things to happen.

  535. kettle1 says:


    your serves clocks have not updated fyi….

  536. grim says:

    Interesting rumor making rounds. From the Consumerist:

    Breaking: Circuit City Closing 155 Stores?

    According to an anonymous and unverified insider tip, Circuit City is closing 155 stores and withdrawing. This will be officially announced tomorrow at 8am, says our source. The tipster says that store employees were told this morning. No information was provided at that time about severance pay. Employees in certain departments, like car installation, will likely be out of a job within 48 hours. Warranties will still be honored. A Consumerist commenter on this post says this story is true, and a few posts in Google Finance forums also attest to the store closing. One post there says the store closings will be effective 12/31/08. The news wouldn’t be entirely unexpected as…

  537. Stu says:

    Gator says our wedding probably cost her pop a little over half our home downpayment, so I must officially rescind my earlier guess as to the cost. I still think the true amount was still in the ludicrous range though.

    ChiFi: You gave me some decent advice on a possible cause of SRS’ irrational behavior. I do watch the puts and calls on the underlying REITs in the ETF and they partially explain the massive moves. And yes, increased volatility juices the moves both upward and downward. I now have only 2 long stock positions in my entire portfolio which allows me more time than I need to continue my research of SRS. In a typical bull market, I will have 10 to 20 positions to track. I try to spend about 2 hours per day researching and learning. I do appreciate your advice as well as what others here offer and this site definitely helps one separate the noise from the real.

  538. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I am absolutely shocked that Indy Mac was making loans at these Debt-to-Income Ratios!!!

    The folks in that article posted above in #548 are making $36K – $45K per year….and they were qualified for a $400K mortgage?!?!?!

    After taxes (and with no other debt, yeah right) that’s like a 12 to 1 DTI.

    On what planet is that a good loan???

  539. kettle1 says:

    perhaps a little late but……

    movie of the year?.?.?.
    how about Brewsters Millions!


  540. Shore Guy says:


    12-1, I think those are within Greenspan’s guidelines.

  541. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:


    Loans like that don’t suggest bailout. To me they suggest prosecution for fraud!

  542. Shore Guy says:

    “Gator says our wedding probably cost her pop a little over half our home downpayment”


    The older I get the more strongly I come to feel that a low-key buffet luncheon or cookie/cake party, perhaps in the back yard under a tent, makes far more sense than a big and expensive sit-down dinner. I have been to some lavish wedding receptions but not one of them cracks the top 20 in terms of enjoyment had at a party.

    Those who use the size of the wedding they throw to provide them with a feeling of self worth, have issues that spending money on a party cannot solve.

  543. Shore Guy says:


    That is interesting news about Sony stopping deliveries to CC.

  544. Stu says:

    “Those who use the size of the wedding they throw to provide them with a feeling of self worth, have issues that spending money on a party cannot solve.”

    Nailed it!

  545. Shore Guy says:


    What I just LOVE, is people who follow the crowd in order to do, or buy, or wear things to “make them cool.” One cannot buy “cool,” and I am sure it would be a worthy thing to do if one could.

  546. Barbara says:

    I got married in Vegas with immediate family and close friends in attendance. It cost about 1600 for the wedding and a fancy dinner. We didn’t fly anyone out or put them up, we left it up to them whether or not they wanted to come out. We used the same week to honeymoon in Vegas. No regrets.

  547. Shore Guy says:

    Well, time to pay the leaf rakers.

  548. Shore Guy says:


    It sounds like a well-thought-out event. I know folks who have done similar things in Hawaii, in the islands, aboard cruise ships. It makes all the sense in the world to me.

  549. Barbara says:

    Shore, we had lived together and invested together for 8 yrs prior so I had no “pretty princess bridal fantasies” to grapple with. Plus, I hate being the center of attention. I even get nervous at OTHER PEOPLE’S weddings, imagining myself in their position.

  550. Shore Guy says:

    Bu-sh-it can’t leave office too soon for this Republican:


    “By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the U.S. presidential candidates sprint toward the finish line, the Bush administration is also sprinting to enact environmental policy changes before leaving power.

    Whether it’s getting wolves off the Endangered Species List, allowing power plants to operate near national parks, loosening regulations for factory farm waste or making it easier for mountaintop coal-mining operations, these proposed changes have found little favor with environmental groups.”


  551. Shore Guy says:

    “we had lived together and invested together for 8 yrs prior”


    One could make the argument that aftr 8 years one might safely spend the money — not that I am suggesting you should have. For the ones who have known each other for 2 years to have mom and dad plop down $50 grand, is abusurd, inasmuch as about 1/3rd of those couples will be divorced in 7 years.

  552. Stu says:


    My wedding concept was to rent out an entire local hotel in Rosarita (Baja Mexico) where rooms typically went for $10 night for a long weekend. Hire a local banda music band and a local caterer. I figured with the money saved from doing it down there, I could charter a small jet to pay to fly all my friends to San Diego and to rent a few passenger vans to drive them over the boarder and for the last hour. I figured it would be a group of about 30 friends and the rest would be family who would gladly pay their way. No gifts would be accepted.

    I figured this would way memorable and everyone could get a vacation to one of my favorite places on earth.

    Ended up in a temple in Springfield NJ with close to 250 in attendance. It was still memorable though. Not for its uniqueness but for its lavishness.

  553. Barbara says:

    as a child of divorce and now a mom, my kids are going to know from the get go…..we won’t be buying you an expensive wedding. Sorry kiddos.

  554. yikes says:

    Tonight’s is free & will be recorded and posted at his site. If you’ve never listened in to one of these calls, be warned that it’s very hard to get to sleep afterwards:

    Clot – i have had 2 nights where, after reading doom and gloom on NJ, i have had trouble sleeping.

    i dont totally fear for my wife and i as much as i do friends and family members who likely will be ill-prepared for the impending disaster.

  555. yikes says:

    re: Wedding –

    We too, got lucky and the wife’s family paid for 80% of it. i think my wife coughed up like 7k. it was a 50k affair, and i know that seems like a ton of money, but TOTALLY worth it. and we had a friend do photos for cheap; and a friend take video free.

    we talk about how awesome of a night it was at least once a month. im not advocating spending a ton on the wedding … but it was so much fun that anytime we go to a wedding, people are talking about how great ours was.

    only thing i’d do differently in hindsight would be to enjoy dessert. caught up in the whirlwind night and completely forgot to go and pig out on dessert.

  556. lisoosh says:

    It quite frequent for the parents to push for a big wedding – lots of favors and family issues to cover.

    Certainly was with my in-laws where the event is a matter of family pride.

    I made THEM pay for the excesses in ours.

    I didn’t enjoy it, but at least I wasn’t in debt after it.

    Later had a small civil ceremony – me, hubby and one witness in City Hall in Manhattan – absolutely awesome. It had 10 times the meaning of the big affair as it was actually about US.

  557. lisoosh says:

    yikes – what did the money go on exactly?

  558. kettle1 says:

    Ex-IMF chief economist: Emerging markets may need $1 trillion to deal with crisis

    A former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund is dispelling any notion that the global financial crisis will not have significant ripples for the developing world. Simon Johnson, former IMF chief economist, said emerging market countries may need as much as $1 trillion, given difficulty accessing money in international credit markets.

    “If we are really facing the problem I think we are, you need about $1 trillion,” Johnson said. This week the IMF announced it’s establishing an emergency loan program, an IMF Short-Term Liquidity Facility (SLF), that almost doubles borrowing maximums for emerging market countries. The goal is to prevent contagion, or the collapse of developing nation economies — including overcome short-term liquidity problems — due to the financial crisis.

    “Exceptional times call for an exceptional response,” IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement. “The Fund is responding quickly and flexibly to requests for financing. We are offering some countries substantial resources, with conditions based only on measures absolutely necessary to get past the crisis and to restore a viable external position.” Only nations in good standing with the IMF will be eligible for the program. Currently, the IMF has about $210 billion available for loans, with the typical loan term being 3 to 5 years.


  559. kettle1 says:

    wow, public acknowledgment. The instability that the Chinese face must be worse then i thought……..

    Chinese Premier Wen, writing in the ruling Communist Party’s ideological journal, warned of growing domestic social risks from a global economic downturn. “Against the current international financial and economic turmoil, we must give even greater priority to maintaining our country’s steady and relatively fast economic development,” Wen wrote in Seeking Truth (Qiushi). “We must be crystal-clear that without a certain pace of economic growth, there will be difficulties with employment, fiscal revenues and social development…and factors damaging social stability will grow.”


  560. Stu says:


    I have never had trouble sleeping regardless of market conditions, although I do jump out of bed in the morning and check market futures prior to the open. No matter how bad the doom and gloom, I’m pretty confident that the Gator family will be in better shape than most among our peers. That two hours a night of investing research has taught me a lot about risk aversion and the Gator and I are serious savers and coupon users. She recently received a major promotion. We have decided to put the full amount of the increase into our savings account. We have a plan and we stick to it. Such arrangements make it a lot easier to sleep at night I guess. Chances are, if you are having trouble sleeping, you are probably taking on more risk than you should.

  561. Essex says:

    Stu get the hell of the interweb and play with your kid. Geez.

  562. Stu says:


    Spent the morning with the Rye guy going on hay rides, escaping corn and hay mazes and doing apple picking. He just woke up from his nap, I fed him lunch and he is now playing Starfall.com. I swear he is going to know how to read by age 4. Mom is getting her haircut now so I have been preparing him to tell his mommy that she looks beautiful when she walks home. How ’bout those Jets?

  563. yikes says:

    what did the money go on exactly?

    it was in Philly. and we had about 180 people. checked with the wife and he says her fam spent 40k and her 7k so the total was a shade under 50.

    we also lucked out because the honeymoon was super cheap. did hawaii for two weeks, but a relative is a starwood employee and got us bargain basement discounts on both islands.

  564. yikes says:

    Stu – Nah, not really taking risk. just circumstances – we’re in a unique position that’s probably too convoluted to get into here.

    other than that run with SKF (thanks to this board), i’ve been extremely cautious. some of our stocks are down, but it doesn’t matter because we’re young and hadn’t planned to touch them until 20 years from now anyway.

    my only fear now is that all these clowns in homes they can’t afford quit lowering their asking prices because of the bailouts and CC help.

  565. Stu says:


    I know it feels like the those who should be punished are getting all of the breaks at times, but I’m fairly confident that this is about to change. I know there is a lot of talk of destroying one’s credit to get the same breaks, but I doubt one wants to be in that position when credit comes back. A bank with insolvency fresh in its memory is gonna think twice before they give favorable terms to someone who intentionally wrecked their credit for financial gain.

    The other thing that kills me is watching everyone go to cash in their investment portfolios AFTER suffering a loss of 40%. Or buying gold at 800 an ounce. It’s gonna absolutely kill these people when the market comes back (whenever that is). I just hope that the pension managers aren’t playing these stupid timing games as well. They probably are.

  566. jojo says:

    have you guys ever realized that all you do is talk about money?

  567. jojo says:

    hmmmm…a green piece of paper leads you around…

  568. jojo says:

    if you just stepped back as a 3rd party…as a stranger to this world…would you not see that this behavior is a bit strange?

  569. Cindy says:

    (589) jojo – are you really william?

    We come here to vent and get valuable advise… Usually about subjects our friends and family don’t want to discuss.

  570. jojo says:

    you’ve already got what you really need…it’s always been here

  571. yikes says:

    jojo – perhaps we talk about $ here because we don’t talk about it elsewhere?

    im not in the financial industry, nor is my wife. only one of my buddies is, and he lives in a different city.

  572. Stu says:


    I think what separates us from your run of the mill greedy bastards is that we discuss ‘money’ from a conservation point of view. Most others seem to spend much more their time worrying about how they will survive or retire because they didn’t spend enough of their time setting themselves up for a life of comfort and ease.

    If the majority of the people in the world behaved like most of us here, then there would have been no credit crisis and all of society would be in much better shape.

    Of course, we could choose not to focus on maintaining and growing our wealth and instead discuss who will be the ‘Biggest Loser’ or ‘America’s next Idol’ and ignore the reality that we can’t live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of our lives.

    If you have been around here for a while, you would have witnessed many conservations about how best to raise children or live minimally and environmentally. I’m sorry that isn’t obvious from this weekend’s topics, but you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover.

    So what is your MO? Are you a religious fanatic, survivalist, or just an underwater homeowner?

  573. jojo says:

    I’m just a guy that sees a bunch of people focusing on a lot of details

  574. Everything's Hobroken says:


    ‘buffet is concerned about buffet’

    This is way too strong. You should be aware that he has been a supporter of your side of the the Dems since Eugene McCarthy, though keeping his support low key.

  575. Stu says:


    The Devil is in the details.

  576. kettle1 says:


    ‘buffet is concerned about buffet’

    This is way too strong.

    perhaps, but i wasnt trying to start a debate on buffets motives.

    You should be aware that he has been a supporter of your side of the the Dems since Eugene McCarthy, though keeping his support low key.

    not sure what you mean, i do not support either party, 2 heads of the same serpent.

    although i have been annoyed with some of his public statements lately such as the one during the IOUSA Q&A saying that we wouldn’t have to worry about any serious slow down or other negative implications if the US switches from a consumer society to a saver society

  577. Cindy says:


    Dr. Housing Bubble

    “One of the new measures is massive loan modifications. But in the world of unintended consequences, many borrowers don’t want their loans modified. Why? It’s hard to determine how many people bought homes with the idea they were going to flip the property for a nice sum of cash. They may have no intention of staying in the place. IndyMac Bank, now under the auspices of the FDIC, is trying a massive loan modification program. There’s only one significant catch. People aren’t responding! Bwahaha!”

    You have to wonder how many people would have to admit fraud if they sought out modifications.

    He posts several houses from around the country – peak prices and current prices – very interesting.

  578. Shore Guy says:


    A wedding focused on the couple? How freaky; a real lack of understanding of what is important — impressing relatives, friends, and colleagues.

  579. kettle1 says:


    many on this blog strive simply to understand what is transpiring in the world around them without being “told” what is happening by corporate lackies.

    money is a fact of life and i doubt that money is the point for most of the regular posters on the blog. we have discussed the folly of basing your happiness on wealth or possessions many times here.

    it really comes down to “Knowledge is power” and the more you understand the world around you the more effective you are at achieving your goals, whatever they maybe.

  580. Stu says:

    Ketel1: I wish I was more eloquent.

  581. kettle1 says:


    if you are implying i am eloquent, then i must unfortunately inform you that you must be reading a post by an impostor Kettle….


  582. chicagofinance says:

    Stu: To clarify my implied volatility comment….I find that most people use implied vol as a PLUG to back into the justification of the market based option premium. You whip all the inputs into calculating a canned fair market price, and you come up with…let’s say $5. Then you pull an indication of mid-market bid/ask and it is $5.50…when you query market markers they invariably start pointing to the implied vol…..and my retort is “oh you mean the plug”. They usually laugh….

  583. scribe says:


    Way up yonder in #71, you said:

    I have a list of buyers a mile long.

    Pant up demand?

    How much more would it take to unleash it?

  584. chicagofinance says:

    Stu: By the way, before that 2Q drive to a missed field goal to end the half, I was about to make a permanent turn on Mangini thinking he had irreparably jumped the shark.

  585. chicagofinance says:


  586. bi says:

    Just a bad week? lost 30% in one day.
    to me he is just another gambler.

    “Today was very costly for all of our accounts, some suffering as much as 30% hits to yesterday’s closing prices.”

    >Clotpoll Says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 9:51 am
    steve (506)-

    All coming to a neighborhood near you.

    And all some folks want to do is talk smack about Mike Morgan because he finally had a bad week.

  587. Cindy says:


    Currency swaps..

    I have another post regarding the G-20 meeting – I am trying to see if these events are related to each other.

  588. grim says:


    Nothing stuck in mod, odd.

  589. BC Bob says:

    “have you guys ever realized that all you do is talk about money?”

    Quite the contrary. The winner is positioned correctly. It has nothing to do with $, it’s all about being on the right side of the tracks, right/wrong. Put on the trade/investment for its laurels. If you place the trade for the $, you will be wrong the majority of the time.

    Reminds me, what did the monkey say when he was peeing over the cliff? “Wow, a little goes a long way.”

    Moral of the story? Be like Stu, not Mike, worry about field position. Get on the right longitude/latitude, the $ will then follow. Otherwise, you’ll just be peeing in the wind.

  590. BC Bob says:

    “Currency swaps..”


    I’m swapping them all tonight. Gotta luv fiat currencies.

  591. BC Bob says:

    “Just a bad week?”


    Your logon is synonymous with bad week.

  592. BC Bob says:

    I luv tracking implied vol, it’s much more reliable than a quarterly, pom-pom, reports. If you tracked imlplied vol of the financials/consumer disc, you are in the chips.

  593. Cindy says:

    (613) BC – Regarding the BRIC nations and the G-20 meeting in November: I am trying to see if there is some Brazilian connection here. Some say China and India will be able to dictate terms to us in the future. Then I read that Hector Meirelles is our “Trojian Horse” in the room.

    There has been so much talk here recently regarding Forex, currencies, carry trade, etc. and I know nothing about it so I am attempting to learn.

    Earlier in the day – maybe yesterday, you said “It all began with the carry maybe it would end that way.” Didn’t you say something like that?

    I don’t know what you mean so I am trying to do some investigating.

  594. BC Bob says:

    Here’s some implied vol. If you don’t follow the options, you are pissing in the wind. Who’s kidding whom?

    “Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) is recently down $5.08 to $64.92 on unconfirmed liquidity problems chatter.”

    BSC call option volume of 12,607 contracts compares to put volume of 47,978 contracts. BSC March option implied volatility of 91 is above a level of 81 an hour ago; April option implied volatility of 78 is above a level of 62 from an hour ago. BSC average option implied volatility over the 17-weeks is 53 according to Track Data, suggesting larger price movement.


  595. Cindy says:

    I read – somewhere- earlier in the day that the U.S. dollar may remain the global monetary standard for years even if the US of A loses viability.

    People were using the Spanish dollar as a global standard currency for centuries after Spain was no longer a major world power.

    The fact that stocks were quoted in 1/8’s until 1997 was because people divided the Spanish dollar into “pieces of eight.”

    Now is that all a bunch of bull or what…

  596. BC Bob says:

    “Earlier in the day – maybe yesterday, you said “It all began with the carry maybe it would end that way.” Didn’t you say something like that?”


    Yes, I said it started with the carry trade, it WILL end with it. The whole charade has been one huge carry. Side A/Side B, both sides are now blowing up.

    Go into google and search, how AG and Bernanke devised the carry trade back in 2003, with Japan’s blessing. Forget about subprime, forget about FFR at 1%, the carry was the enabler. Now, the undwinding will be the demise.

  597. Cindy says:

    So BC/Chifi/Kettle/Stu – What is the skinny with all of the currency talk?

  598. Cindy says:

    (620) oops – Thanks BC – Saw that you just posted – I will follow your instructions…

  599. Stu says:

    Stu is not learned in the currency trade thang so Disco Stu doesn’t advertise.

    “Did you know that disco record sales were up 400% for the year ending 1976? If these trends continues… AAY!”

  600. Shore Guy says:


    Are you long Sister Sledge?

  601. Essex says:

    Stu….Just f’in with ya there……

  602. Shore Guy says:

    Or did you take a speculative position in Grandmaster Flash and the Sugarhill Gang?

  603. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (542)-

    It’s a lacrosse school. And most of their target group of athletes- male and female- are lacrosse players.

    Brave new world. Even in sports.

  604. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (557)-

    Learning how to track the options movements that are a tell on SRS is all fine and good. However, we’re in it (at least I am) because of the overwhelming fundamentals of the sector:

    – Fraudulent reporting of vacancies, delinquencies, profits and losses.

    – Horrible numbers and outlook (when visibility is even provided) for the financial components of the ETF.

  605. Pat says:

    Funny, but somewhere about the end of 2006, I realized this blog was not about money at all.

    Think about your favorite posts and how they made you feel.

    And jojo’s been around a while.

  606. Stu says:


    Awesome link on the carry trade. Learned more in that article than in econ 101. Scary how everything is playing out as predicted. Thanks for posting the link.

  607. Clotpoll says:

    stu (580)-

    I don’t lose sleep over market conditions. I lose sleep when I think that the underpinnings of society are falling apart.

    The worst days for me are the ones when all my short positions hit big. Until a year ago, I never shorted stocks (other than the occasional flyer).

    A person with a conscience can’t hit Daniel or Le Bernardin when SKF goes on a run. I’ve tried. I made the reservations, then cancelled them two hours later.

    It feels like eating somebody femur, just to stay alive.

  608. Stu says:


    I agree 100%. I think ChiFi was simply trying to provide me with some rational data to disprove my theory that the price was behaving irrationally.

    I do agree that the options game helps explain the short-term ups and downs, but it is the underlying fundamentals of commercial REITs that keep me buying SRS.

  609. Clotpoll says:

    jojo (586)-

    Just imagine when all the talk here gets focused on s@x…

  610. Clotpoll says:

    jojo (594)-

    Hey, Le Corbusier: God is in the details.

  611. Shore Guy says:


    In case anyone was feeling at all decent tonight. Give it a good 1:30

  612. Shore Guy says:


    When O is elected we will will lack money for any other form of entertainment.

  613. Stu says:

    Clot, my thoughts are similar. I recall clearly in 2005 when the bubble in housing began coming clear, turning to the Gator and saying there is no way the banks could stay solvent when they would end up owning so many homes. She can vouch for me. Since I never keep my mouth shut, I said the same thing to her folks and to mine. They all said I was crazy. I finally put my money where my mouth was in August of 2007 and have come through the crisis relatively unscathed, except that I may lose my job ;)

    I never shorted a thing in my life, except perhaps the cash register at the Home of the Whopper when I was 14-years old. The long term trend of the market is up unless our country is truly approaching the end of it’s empire status. I do not believe this to be the case so I anxiously wait to return to the side of the longs. Fighting the upward trend of the market requires great sureness and confidence. Both of which I still have in SRS. That pop to 200 sure was nice, but I look forward to reloading based on the same fundamentals that existed in August of 2007 that are still alive and intact today. I’m quite surprised actually that this ETF hasn’t found a floor much above 80 yet.

  614. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (597)-

    The unspoken thing here is that Buffett is- occasionally- wrong. He lost over a bil shorting the USD way too early, and some of his individual trades only began to pay off long after mere mortals would’ve been blasted out of similar positions.

    After witnessing his moves over the past few weeks, I’d say that Buffett is motivated by a healthy dose of self-interest, a desire to deliver a return to his shareholders and more than a little bit of pure, wild-assed optimism.

    I am troubled that he didn’t see how unseemly his little Sunday talk with Klink would come off in the court of public opinion…and I am even more troubled that he didn’t come clean with the details of exactly what was discussed when eyebrows were raised over his admission that the conversation even happened.

    In the grand scheme of things, getting his own class of pf shares in a sick pterodactyl like GS is hardly a world-shaking thing. However, getting a deal like that- after a little chat with Klink- doesn’t smell right to the average guy.

  615. Stu says:

    Grim, my 638 is in mod.

    Shore…give it a rest. The same arguments were made about BC in 92. Boy how wrong every conservative was back then. Can’t wait for O to hear how bad everything really is once he gets his first white house briefing.

  616. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (598)-

    I can assure you that fraud is off the table- for lender and borrower- for the time being.

    Every short sale package I do pretty much closes the loop on what I consider to be slam-dunk mortgage fraud cases. No lender or borrower I’ve worked with for the past two years has displayed a whit of care about any possible fraud prosecution.

  617. Shore Guy says:


    I actually contributed to and voted for BC twice — just 4 years after working to elect the smart Bush to his term and working on two Reagan campaigns.

  618. Clotpoll says:

    chi (603)-

    What could be goofier- or more patently manipulative or dishonest- than the SEC telling honest investors that they must either liquidate or stay locked into short positions?

    Implied vol? Plug? Puh-leeze. These are investments that are- and should only be- made based on sector fundamentals.

  619. Clotpoll says:

    scribe (604)-

    Only about another 10% drop in prices (in my area, that is).

    I do expect that drop to come fairly soon, and in one fell swoop.

  620. Clotpoll says:

    bi (608)-

    For one with a track record as stellar as yours (!?!?!?), you might consider discretion as the better part of valor.

    After the run Morgan has had, he’s earned a pass even if he’s lost 30% in an hour.

  621. Shore Guy says:

    “Can’t wait for O to hear how bad everything really is once he gets his first white house briefing.”

    Oh, he wil be getting those briefings within a week. The bushies are going to want the transition people sitting in various meetings YESTERDAY. I suspect that what might have waited for the first briefing after the inauguration will occur before Thanksgiving.

    I don’t know that there is any way for O to fund that which he said he is going to fund. That said, I am not persuaded that he will cut to the bone without concurrently taking flesh from “the rich” to redistribute.

  622. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 10:02 pm
    chi (603)- What could be goofier- or more patently manipulative or dishonest- than the SEC telling honest investors that they must either liquidate or stay locked into short positions?

    clot: Slapping an RIA on a business that has no financial background and then dispensing advice like a candy machine.

    Ever deal with a commercialized cult (not occult)? I have. Utterly amazing.

  623. Shore Guy says:

    “and more than a little bit of pure, wild-assed optimism.”

    It is easy to be optimistic when one is a 80-odd year old billionaire. Little can happen in the time one has remaining to seriously adversely affect ones’ life, under such circumstances.

  624. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 10:02 pm
    chi (603)- Implied vol? Plug? Puh-leeze. These are investments that are- and should only be- made based on sector fundamentals.

    Manolo: I was trying to help Stuey with regression analysis to provide a tighter fit for returns. If you have a loose fitting model with a heap of garbage considered noise, isn’t it better to remove some of the noise and provide a better form of prediction?

    I was talking the right stuff, because he was already taking care of the basics. He’s on the ball, that is why I make the effort to give second and third order suggestions.

  625. Clotpoll says:

    chi (646)-

    I know his thin credentials don’t carry weight in the rarefied world of pro investors. There is a more than a whiff of seat-of-the-pants strategy in what this guy is doing. When the RE and stock markets stabilize, he will be permanently out of work. However, he has a sound basic premise, and he’s made good coin from trading around that premise.

    That’s why I like him.

  626. Clotpoll says:

    chi (648)-

    There is no “looser fitting model” than the poor guys at State Street being forced, day after day, to make locked-down, double-short ETFs track the movements of the two worst sectors of the market.

    That this company was able to pull it off earned them my sincere admiration. If I could make Nobel nominations, I’d give the economics prize to the guys who run SRS and SKF.

  627. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 10:29 pm
    chi (646)- I know his thin credentials don’t carry weight in the rarefied world of pro investors. There is a more than a whiff of seat-of-the-pants strategy in what this guy is doing.

    clot: I think the second sentence explains the first. I don’t analyze the credentials, I look at the arguments drawn from a set of facts. If it sounds interesting, then I go and vet the source.

    The fact that I reviewed his background speaks volumes about his arguments. I am always concerned about intellectual curiosity. If someone has a washout track record, but a great point of view, I always get concerned about their willingness to continue challenging themselves in the face of dynamism in the subject matter.

  628. Everything's Hobroken says:

    ‘wild-assed optimism’

    Buffet, unlike most in the investing world, has been through severe down-turns before and apparently of the opinion that ‘the world can only end once and this ain’t it’.

  629. Everything's Hobroken says:

    That one has been excerpted in last-minute attempt to turn the election. While it seems clear from the context that his comments apply to a world where clean coal technology exists, the news item racing around cable news neglects to mention that.

    For the curious, here is the entire interview (change the @ to an ‘a’ to make the link work :


  630. Clotpoll says:

    chi (651)-

    I wouldn’t call Morgan a washout. And, when things change and the current unpleasantness is over, he’d probably be the first to call “game over” on himself (heck, he called “game over” last week) and walk away.

    I watched his progression from RE analyst to RIA not with the thought that he was trying to cash in…but rather, with the idea that this was a guy who kept getting more and more frightened as he continued to learn how interconnected all the rot really is.

    All disclaimers. I am not a Morgan subscriber, nor have I paid him a cent for any calls or advice. I read his blog and listen to the odd free call. I just think the guy has a good take on what’s happening right now.

  631. chicagofinance says:

    This page is utterly reckless and likely libelous…in addition to being hopelessly wrong…

  632. yikes says:

    eager to hear mike morgan’s call on tape tomorrow.

    and this carry-trade stuff (for a guy who never took one econ class in college) is fascinating.

  633. chicagofinance says:

    clot: you know I love ya’ man….

  634. Clotpoll says:

    chi (655)-

    He’s not your average graybeard RIA, is he? The invective is meant to get attention and cause commotion. I try to filter the noise and hear what’s at the core of his admittedly loud pronouncements.

    That being said, can you please direct me to anything I should spend more than .05 getting long?

  635. Clotpoll says:


    Nobody markets like beer companies.

  636. Shore Guy says:


    Indeed. Even if the world goes to hell, folks will still want beer.

  637. Pat says:

    Unless they’ve been drinking wine first.

    Ever tried to down three Miller Lites after a 1,5 of Bin 40?

  638. Shore Guy says:

    Was just listening to the clip of O and here he readidly admits wanting to raise the payroll tax. It may or may not be good policy to do so but, since raising it will affect everyone earning more than $107k/year, for him to pretend he is not raising taxes on anyone who is earning less than $250k is disingenuous at best.

  639. Pat says:

    What would it take to challenge every poster not to mention O or M or SP or JB until Wednesday?

    The thing is done. Let’s make like market. Recognize it’s priced in and move on to the next thing.

  640. lisoosh says:

    Cindy, that article you posted is fabulous. And scared the h@ll out of me.

  641. lisoosh says:

    Pat – how about Shrub? Can we talk about him?

    Remember 2000 when they said the “grown-ups” were moving into the WH?

    Ha. Ha. Ha.

  642. Pat says:

    Yeah, O.K. Shrub’s O.K.

    Here’s a bone to chew on.


  643. Shore Guy says:

    I can’t wait untill we never need to speak of George Herbert Hoover Bush again.

    That said, the period from Wednesday until New Year’s Day is going to be a dangerous period and nothing the shrub does will surprise me.

  644. Pat says:

    I used to feel like this:


    But I got a little excited over the whole Libya reparations thing. Tiny, baby steps.

  645. scribe says:


    fairly soon … as in, people trying to get deals done before the holiday season ..

    or fairly soon …as in, next spring?

  646. jamil says:

    662 shore:
    “him to pretend he is not raising taxes on anyone who is earning less than $250k is disingenuous at best.”

    He has been talking about 250k and 200k limits (while Bliden and other top-dems talked about 150k), Paul Krugman calculated that 250k means in practice 182k, but these are for families. Double-income families are labeled rich starting from 90k or so (depending on which O’s story you believe).
    In senate, O voted for every tax increase above 40k but maybe talk is this time more believable than actual track record.

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