Weekend Open Discussion

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

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

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

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

504 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. bairen says:


  2. grim says:

    Guess who gets to cover the shortfall?

    From the Star Ledger:

    New Jersey pension funds lost $23B so far this year

    New Jersey’s pension fund has lost more than $23 billion this year, dropping to its lowest level since 2003 as a collapsing financial market battered its investments, a new state report shows.

    The latest losses — nearly $9 billion in October, and another $3 billion so far this month — mean the fund is now worth $57.8 billion, or less than half the $118 billion in benefits it is due to pay out over time.

    “I don’t think any of us in the division have ever seen anything like it,” Bill Clark, Director of the state’s Division of Investments and the chief steward of the fund, said today as presented the report to the State Investment Council in Trenton. “I’m not sure anyone alive has seen anything like it.”

  3. grim says:

    Unfunded Pension Bomb

    From the Record:

    Corzine pushes to delay payments to state pensions

    Covernor Corzine is delivering some good news today to officials who represent New Jersey’s cities, boroughs and municipalities.

    The governor, in a speech he’s delivering to the New Jersey League of Municipalities annual convention in Atlantic City, said he is urging state lawmakers to allow county and municipal officials to temporarily defer payments into the public employee pension system by 50 percent.

    The move is designed to help the counties and municipalities contend with looming budget problems brought on by the ongoing economic downturn. Corzine believes it should also reduce local tax bills.

    “As much as I prefer another course, I proposed this deferral simply as a practical bridge over today’s economic circumstances while reflecting the state’s reduced fiscal capacity for direct aid,” he said.

    Corzine is stressing in the speech that his proposal is only temporary and that he expects counties and towns to be fully meeting their pension obligations again by 2012.

  4. bairen says:

    #2 grim

    Maybe our ex-GS ceo should replace Klink. He could get some of that TARP $ for our pension and infrastructure. If San Jose is trying to get 14 billion, NJ should be eligible for a lot more.

  5. bairen says:


    I now retract my comment on #4.

    Letting municpalities defer their contributions to an already woefully underfunded pension plan be stoopid.

  6. grim says:

    From the Asbury Park Press:

    Economist sees recovery longer for N.J. than U.S.

    While the U.S. economy may experience a recovery by the end of next year, New Jersey may not see an improvement until the second half of 2010, given the turmoil roiling the financial sector, among other factors, economist Joel Naroff told a business group on Thursday.

    “This is going to be a deep recession for New Jersey, no way around it,” said Naroff, chief economist at TD Bank, in a speech before an Ocean County Business Association open house luncheon at the Quality Inn in Toms River.

    Naroff pointed to the state’s dire fiscal condition, coupled with layoffs in the financial sector, which brings huge amounts of income into New Jersey.

    “The state is in very dire straits as far as the fiscal situation is concerned, and it is being hit by a nationwide steep recession, and it’s got the problem of Wall Street laying off workers left and right,” he said. “The state is in a very, very difficult situation.”

    Naroff ticked off the problems in the economy. Consumer confidence has collapsed as people and businesses become cautious in their spending. Unemployment is rising. There’s a credit crunch. “There’s no doubt the next six to nine months are going to be extraordinarily difficult,” Naroff said.

  7. Tom says:

    Been a little busy so haven’t been by in a while.

    Had to come back and say I called Citi on here a while ago.

    Sad though.

  8. grim says:

    It is worth noting that Naroff received 2008 Lawrence R. Klein Award for economic forecasting accuracy.

  9. Cindy says:


    “What the TARP just happened?”

    Dr. Housing Bubble Blog – focused on CA – but usually a good read…

    Not soup lines this time – employment fair lines…

    “Unemployment insurance claims are at 16 year highs which only means the next jobs report is going to be brutal.”

  10. Cindy says:


    Bloomberg – “Financial Job Losses May Double to 350,000 by 2009”

    They said on CNBC that Corzine was scheduled this AM…

  11. grim says:

    From DealBreaker:

    Layoffs Watch ’08: JPMorgan

    Bearpont Morgan Mutual will be laying off about ten percent of its investment bank staff. Carry on.

  12. grim says:

    Another nail in New Jersey’s coffin?

    `Unprecedented’ Biotech Bankruptcies Erupt Amid Finance Crisis

    The global economic crisis has cut funding for biotechnology companies to the lowest level in a decade, triggering bankruptcies and threatening development of drugs based on biomedical breakthroughs.

    In the past month, at least five biotechnology businesses have sought bankruptcy protection, according to company news releases, and others may be heading toward a similar fate. Those at highest risk have experimental compounds moving into costly human research.

    “For the first time in the history of the biotech industry, you’re going to see unprecedented levels of bankruptcies and dissolutions,” said David Strupp, managing director in the life sciences group at Canaccord Adams, a research and investment bank in New York. “This all will play out in the next six to nine months.”

    Bankruptcies in biotechnology have been rare because struggling companies often dodged trouble through mergers, licensing or development deals, or through investors willing to make cash infusions, Strupp said in an interview.

    Now, a large number of companies are “not cycling out of this queue,” Strupp said. “Wall Street won’t finance them, and the pharmaceutical industry can’t buy all of them. They keep marching forward without the ability to get saved.”

  13. DL says:

    This is a classic. Place all beverages a safe distanc from your computer before reading this. A taste:
    “The fundamentals are sound, and homes will retain their value,” she said. “Why should I lower the price $10,000 when I can keep it and rent it and make that much and more in a year?”


  14. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Morristown unveils massive development plans for Speedwell section

    Morristown Mayor Donald CresitelloThursday made public a redevelopment agreement which, if adopted by the town council on Tuesday, would change the face of a predominantly Hispanic section of the downtown, according to a report in MorristownGreen.com.

    The agreement calls for 650 residential units, 35,000 square feet of retail and office space, 822 parking spaces, and major road work along Speedwell Avenue, Early and Spring streets and Clinton Place.

  15. Cindy says:


    A little bit of everything from the Market Oracle..Kettle – shipping as well…

  16. DL says:

    What? NJ state workers share the pain? Not on your life.
    Corzine calls for sacrifices by state’s employees

    “We understand that this is by far the most dire economic crisis New Jersey or the nation has faced in 70 years, but we think the governor needs to understand that he has to abide by the principle of equality of sacrifice, and that means it’s got to be a combination of tax increases on the wealthy and other efforts to find revenue before we start asking for cuts in jobs and wages for middle-class state workers,” said Robert Master, legislative director for Communications Workers of America.


  17. SAS says:

    “I never made an oil call. I’ll give you C, but I pegged WaMu on the button”

    hogwash bloke. I made that WaMu call!
    we have to share that one.


  18. SAS says:

    but, I will buy the first round..

  19. SAS says:

    Lets see how CBS plays out in the next few weeks.


  20. DL says:

    “Come Dec. 1, base salaries of (PA) state House and Senate members will increase 2.8 percent, or $2,152, to $78,315. Legislative leaders will see even more of a pay bump.”


    Doesn’t seem like a lot for a state senator. Anyone know what a NJ state represenative makes?

  21. SAS says:

    but $50 crude…
    I didn’t see that once coming.
    thought 200 would happend before 50.


  22. DL says:

    As far as calls go, Kettle1 called deflation a while ago and for my money (figuratively and literally) he was months ahead of the WaPo.

    “Falling Prices Raise a New Fear: Deflation.”

  23. Cindy says:

    Galbraith just on CNBC:


    WE NEED A HOLC – sound familiar (Roubini) – The housing problem is long term and will not be solved with programs we now have in place..

    Stabalize State/Local governments – revenues are off – no need to be doing so many cuts here – they need the support now.

    Maybe: Cut payroll tax, let the government pay the SS tax for a few years…

    Sorry – all I could catch…

    Corzine on for “an extended interview” they say…

  24. stan says:

    Contributions will be halved….is that a joke. My lord, can’t anyone cut spending, we’re just pushing off this pension disaster and creating a calamity…..unbelievable. Corzine has no guts, I thought he would be the man for the job until I realized anyone can run an investment bank during the good times…..

  25. Cindy says:


    “The Global Economy is Being Sucked into a Black Hole”

    Mike Whitney

    “The global economy is being sucked into a black hole and most Americans have no idea why. The whole problem can be narrowed down to two words: “structured finance.”

    “…So why weren’t the these structured debt instruments “stress tested” before the markets were reworked and the financial system became dependent on them? Greed.”

    “Rome is burning. It’s time to stop tinkering with a failed system and move on to “Plan B” before it’s too late.

  26. Clotpoll says:

    grim (8)-

    “It is worth noting that Naroff received 2008 Lawrence R. Klein Award for economic forecasting accuracy.”

    It is also worth noting that Frank won the 2008 Lawrence Yun award for douchebaggery.

  27. Clotpoll says:

    DL (13)-

    That article is a great argument for a nationwide eugenics program.

  28. Stu says:

    Agree with DL.

    All of us saw the demise of Wamu and C coming. The deflation call made by Kettle1 was the tough one.

    My call is Sears Holding. The value of their enterprise was always in its real estate. Well now that commercial real estate value has fallen off a cliff, I think they are in for some serious pain from a valuation standpoint. They can still sell off some of their locations, but I have no idea how they can grow. They already played the reduce your profit margin to zero game to drum up revenue, but I think that Target, Costco and Walmart are going to eat KMart and Sears for lunch.

  29. Secondary Market says:

    @13 & 27

    it’s so pervasive in this area. there is such a strange entitlement mindset to owning in philly because for whatever reason people swear that “philly is different”. there is absolutely nothing empirical to back that up outside of “top” real estate agents telling them so.
    i tend to agree with my boy shiller who claims real estate is NOT local and is able to chart historical avgs in boston and london that are almost identical.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    Stu Says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Stu: as a general comment…anything based on a the concept of commercial real estate is going to have serious issues.

  31. chicagofinance says:

    grim: thanks for that Bloomberg article on biotech bankruptcy…..I have been a holder of CVD, and have watched it get shredded from 99 to 33. Several weeks ago, I was talking to my friend who runs several pipelines for BIIB, and he was incredulous that CVD was getting hammered, because they have a backlog of several years. The answer must be more in line with what you posted.

    CVD is a Princeton based shining star for NJ…not good….

  32. Sean says:

    Corzine – which I could short him too. FYI the NJ pension fund was over 90 billion in 2001 and now it is 57 billion. I believe they just recently bought some additional stock in a Blackrock Hedge Fund, nothing like tripling down on another investment bank after blowing the Lehman investment etc.

    Having a clueless investment banker at the helm and a board of cronies on the pension fund has sunk the pensioners and now they will be down in Trenton protesting for a bailout.

    The Republicans smell blood in the water and are going to make a run for his job. Too bad NJ is already destroyed.

  33. John says:

    Crazy times – It smells like GS and C will merge by Thanksgiving. The new name will be GSC (Govt. Sponsored Company).

  34. HEHEHE says:

    Speaking of structured finance, Cadwalader, or “the law firm that structured finance built” just canned its managing partner.

  35. Stu says:

    Roubini at his finest. So far, this is the best description of deflation I have read. Nouriel is educating instead of spooking today and I don’t know why he has not been tasked to help out the feds. This one is definitely worth reading.


  36. BC Bob says:

    Chi [30],

    Bingo. Any rally, in this sector, short the sheet out of it, especially malls.

  37. HEHEHE says:

    I have a co-worker who said her and her husband put a big chunk of their savings into Citi a few weeks ago after Cramer, or as she put it “that stock guy on tv” said something to the effect that in five-ten years it will be the best investment you ever made. I am not making this up.

  38. gary says:

    I can’t wait to see the street announce another year of record bonuses. I mean… hey, it’s not their fault. They all worked hard and were just doing their jobs.

  39. Stu says:

    Interesting comment from the Roubini entry (sorry about the length of it).

    The Professor’s deflation post in terms that are easy for all to understand (and shorter)

    Professor, to put in in simple terms, what we are seeing is the failure of capitalism. The top capitalists grabbed to much of the pie, they own the commodity providers, they own the manufacturers, they own the land where houses are build, they own the services (including banks, hospitals etc.), they own the banks that lend the money so that consumers can consume and they can even make more money.

    The system created a huge production apparatus that needs affluent consumers buying all the junk capitalists produce, from ipods, to blackberries, to the latest laptop, car, McMansion etc. But the problem is that as they were expanding instead of letting their employees share on the bonanza capitalists cornered them. Your workers are my consumers and even the consumer of the stuff you make and vice-versa. So consumers are not just people living on savings like me; consumers are people who work for a capitalist. These workers have been cornered more and more in terms of salary reductions, layoff, that result from moving jobs overseas, technological improvements,etc.

    So the net result is that consumers don’t have enough income to buy all the junk they watch on TV. So what do the smart capitalists banksters did? They lent they money at high interest so that the little guy could spend future consumption upfront and they could make even more money on top of that (think the profit on a GM car plus the profit from the financing).

    For a while Diz worked like a charm. AG provided the cheap source of funds so that consumers got reasonably low rates and banks made a killing on the spread. But eventually debt levels got too high, conscious people stopped leveraging to the extreme so they started targeting the bottom of the heap: sub-prime folk. SO most folk, sub-prime and most others, reached a point in which they mortgaged their lives since their debt surpassed the present value of their lifetime earnings (i.e., they became insolvent and now they cannot neither consume nor pay all their debts – but they can and should pay some).

    The recession cycle is making matters worse since people who were living close to the edge but doing well in good times also start becoming insolvent.

    An economy in which a huge chunk of the population is insolvent cannot consume. In order to consume you have to produce. You can only consume what you can produce. You can consume a portion of your future income up-front but that has got to have a limit.

    People cannot go on mortgaging their lives to banks like they have in the past. Situations in which the paycheck is gone by the time you service your debt are unacceptable, is this a way to live?, there has to be money left even for rainy day savings. This is the way people who have been through hardship (WWI &II, holocaust for Jews and Armenians) learn to live; they are smart, they have learned the lesson.

    People have to learn not to be tricked by the TV lady with the cute face and nice bare ass that tells them: “buy this car” “drink this beer”, “wear this hat” and “this watch” “go to this place”; “and only them you will be cool”. You can be who you are even if you only own two pairs of jeans, a set of snickers, four T shirts, a salvation army coat, and some underwear. It is what is inside your brain that REALLY matters.

    Let me give you an example, the Great Houbini: He became cool just using the gray stuff is his brain. He doesn’t wear extravagant outfits, till recently his hair was a mess, he probably doesn’t even drive a fancy car, and look at all the CNBC and Bloomberg babes chasing him!:-) SO you see a boring, absentminded, unfashionable (until recently) economics professor has now become a good candidate to be a trophy husband or for him to get a trophy wife!

    The little guy overseas cannot pickup the slack for the until recently “rich” McMansion-Hummer-gold-chain amerikan consumer. He makes very little money and even though the banks are starting to lend to him to play the same game they did in the US they cannot make up the US decline in consumption.

    SO here they are capitalists with their huge factories, car, houses, electronics, etc. which people cannot afford to buy. Diz is the deflation the Prof. is talking about. Just basic supply and demand stuff they probably even teach in HS economics.

    The solution to the problem is to train the workers in industries that have a future and more or less equalize workers salaries and rights across the world so that they make enough money to buy a decent house, (car if possible and really needed), health insurance, and eventually a 1-2 vacation somewhere without having to jump on debt except for a conservative mortgage. Banning CCs would not be all that bad. Business will slow initially but then it will stabilize.

    I don’t like it but the idea of some king of “system reset” like when your computer freezes is need. I hate it as it will involve debt forgiveness for irresponsible people who, if uncontrolled, will do it again. It will involve debt forgiveness to banks owned by vary rich people who took lots of money out and are now wealthy even at the billonare level, and where the ones that created this mess. Their fortunes should be confiscated.

    Drastic changes and lots of hand, even face slaps, will be needed. I hope Obi will be up to the task in a way that minimizes the free rides for the sinners because guess what? When you throw so much money on the streets. You know what happens? the 10% of the people who already own 90% of the assets are the ones that are smart enough, and have the resources to corner 90% of the money the government puts in. This is the way life is folks; the rich get richer.

    The cornering of the US consumer by capitalists-bankster complex and the eventual demise of the pyramid scheme is something I saw around the irrational exuberance AG speech and thus pulled out of the market in the fall of 1997

  40. Yikes says:

    not an econ guy, not on the street, but i’ve become friends with a hedgie. im still about 100 comments behind from last night’s reading, so it’s entirely possible (likely?) that this has already been written.

    hedgie’s boss’s thoughts: Citi and GS will merge. all Citi management will be let go, and Warren wins.

  41. Stu says:

    Grim, 39 in mod

  42. Sean says:

    HEHEHE – Krammer will be lucky if someone does not take him out. He is still stock pitching like the mad man that he is and I hope he ends up living in a cardboard box on wall st.

  43. stan says:

    Biggest problem with cramer, or any of these guys for that matter, is they never seem to remember their awful calls……and there are a ton of them…

  44. Stu says:

    Gold is off to the races this morning.

  45. 3b says:

    #13 DL Astounding!!. One thing to be in denial.

    It is quite another to be in denial and stupid, or like some these home sellers, stupid, but think they know what they are talking about.

  46. BC Bob says:

    Stu [43],

    First notice day, next week, for Dec delivery. It could be a blood bath.

  47. Cindy says:

    (35) Stu

    “..I don’t know why he has not been asked to help out the feds..”

    As you all know – Nouriel is my hero…HE is a problem solver…

    HOLC – NOW!

  48. 3b says:

    My frined at BONY, told me that the firm made an announcement yesterday, that in addition to the already announced layoffs, there will be no raises across the board this year for the entire firm.

  49. HEHEHE says:

    Schiff last night on Fast Money:


  50. HEHEHE says:

    The stupid clip isn’t of him. CNBC morons.

  51. 3b says:

    #33 John: WOW!! Than I can get myself a GS ATM card. John Weinberg must be rolling over in his grave.

  52. HEHEHE says:

    Also Louise Yamada was on there last night predidicting S&P 500 settling in the 400-600 range:) I love that lady.

  53. DL says:

    On the one hand you have the denyers, and then you have the clueless. Most of my friends tend to be political junkies and they have no idea what’s going on in the financial markets. All they talk about is the election and (as if it mattered) and believe it will be possible to legislate our way out of this mess. One office mate just bought AMEX and another friend was proud of the price he got AIG for. Need more proof? I asked the first if he had seen any charts on credit card defaults and he looked at me like “why would that matter?”

  54. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Well…guess what?

    I just placed an offer (for full asking price…) on a small commercial bldg and it was accepted.

  55. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (35)-

    They can’t handle Roubini, because they can’t handle the truth.

    Also, Roubini would probably make some mention of the billions of dollars that are being stolen.

  56. 3b says:

    Stu: I never really saw the value in Sears real estate, as most of their stores are in malls that are already filled with big box stores.

  57. Clotpoll says:

    BC (36)-

    Got an itchy trigger finger today.

  58. the crazy man in the corner says:

    waiting for the dead bounce today.. and then full steam roll into the depths.

  59. Clotpoll says:

    HE (52)-

    She should know.

  60. HEHEHE says:

    Amen. I am praying for a 5% pop so I can short it right into my wallet.

  61. John says:

    United States Oil Fund Lp. USO (NYSE-Alt) $39.55Change:-3.71 -8.58%

    Wonder when oil will bottom, this is a good way to hedge your heating oil from price rises but the 64K questions is what is a bottom. Maybe I should call Richard Simmons as he knows a lot about oily bottoms.

  62. Clotpoll says:

    BC (46)-

    Worst case, what do you see happening if there is even a suspicion of non-delivery on first notice day?

  63. Clotpoll says:

    spam (54)-

    Congratulations! Hope the bldg is everything you need + more.

    I also suspect “full price” represents a highly-discounted price. :)

  64. Outofstater says:

    #54 Congrats, Spam.

  65. DL says:

    Stu, Ref 39. My gut told me early this year, after repeated trips to South Jersey (official motto: “Your next mall could be here”) that the consumer market was saturated. There was just too much stuff being produced and not enough people and income to buy it. TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Syms, Franlkin Mills (in PA,) and the dozens of department stores were I was finding $1000 sport coats for $99 and European designer stuff for less than I could find it in Europe told me the apolypse had arrived. In Europe it took longer because they tend to live off exports rather than consumption but when outlet malls, year long sales, and vacant store fronts started to appear, it was a sign we had gone over the edge. I read an article on MSN Money last September by someone who said for every real dollar we were leveraged 20 to one (probably a conservate estimate by now) and when the defaults started we would be in for the economy of a lifetime. Wish I could remember his name. That’s when I went 100% into cash.

  66. Secondary Market says:

    OT: any one picking up the blackberry storm today? interested to see those figures….

  67. HEHEHE says:

    Louise Yamada on CNBC:


    Seriously if I was 20 years older I’d marry that woman.

  68. BC Bob says:

    Clot [62],

    If there is even a slight scent, watch out. Gold.com? The commercials/bullion banks are long, the large and short spec is short. In addition to this, 350,000, open interest, has evaporated. I wonder why Gold isn’t under $500?

  69. Cindy says:

    (67) HE – Chicago posted that last night, too. Maaannn…

  70. BC Bob says:

    are short.

  71. Stu says:

    Read a review of the storm this morning. Speed of touch screen makes typing quickly impossible. Lack of WiFi also hurts it. Cell phone supposed to be very good, but iPhone kicks its butt. I would wait until touch screen speed issue is resolved.


  72. Shore Guy says:

    “Doesn’t seem like a lot for a state senator. Anyone know what a NJ state represenative makes?”

    Above the table or below?

  73. Shore Guy says:

    Interesting thing abouit the Cadwalader issue:

    “the firm will stop paying severance–one of the factors contributing to the anticipated profit drop–to laid off associates in December.”


  74. Shore Guy says:

    No severance — at this time of year? Ouch! Most Big Law law firms are really good about not casting people to the lions. It shouldn’t be too hard for them to attract good lawyers when things pick up again — chuckle, snort.

  75. Originally from some scurrilous poster at dealbreaker;

    November 20 (Bloomberg) — The Somali pirates, renegade Somalis known for hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup.
    The pirates would buy Citigroup with new debt and their existing cash stockpiles, earned most recently from hijacking numerous ships, including most recently a $200 million Saudi Arabian oil tanker.
    The Somali pirates are offering up to $0.10 per share for Citigroup, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said earlier today. The negotiations have entered the final stage, Ali said. “You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to offer the shareholders anything,” said Ali.
    The pirates will finance part of the purchase by selling new Pirate Ransom Backed Securities.
    The PRBS’s are backed by the cash flows from future ransom payments from hijackings in the Gulf of Aden. Moody’s and S&P have already issued their top investment grade ratings for the PRBS’s.
    Head pirate, Ubu Kalid Shandu, said “we need a bank so that we have a place to keep all of our ransom money.
    Thankfully, the dislocations in the capital markets has allowed us to purchase Citigroup at an attractive valuation and to take advantage of TARP capital to grow the business even faster.”
    Shandu added, “We don’t call ourselves pirates. We are coastguards and this will just allow us to guard our coasts better.”

  76. Cindy says:


    (67) He – You think 600/6000 is gloom and doom – read Denninger @ Market Ticker…

    “The credit market is telling you that we are headed for an S&P trading at 300 and a DOW under 3,000. That we are headed for unemployment north of 20% in the U6 (broad) measure, and GDP contraction of twenty percent cumulatively from top to bottom.”

  77. DINJ says:

    Greetings all,
    Is there some trick to getting the “More Media” function in the new GSMLS to work?

    Any help is appreciated….

  78. BC Bob says:

    Cindy [76],

    We are already at 11.5% in the broad measure[U-6]. Yikes!

  79. John says:

    Funny stuff, I hear 529 providers are getting screamed at. For instance they became started around 1998-2000 depending on states and are geared to be around 100 stocks at birth and around zero stocks by the time the kid is 25. If you kid was born in 1999 each year you have been putting in it has beeen nearly all stocks and now as your kid hits ten they are moving it toward bonds while rates are at record lows so if the stock market does come back before your kid turns 18 it won’t matter as by then you will be 80% short term low interest bonds. The money is lost and the time horzon has shrunk. Even a 65 year old can last long enough to hope his investments come back but the 529 savers who put asided for their kids education while neighbors were buying mcmansions and caddies are crushed.

  80. still_looking says:


    isn’t it about time for Cramer to get on TV and start screaming, “Sell!! Sell!!” again??

    I’m going back to bed. Wake me up when the bomb goes off….

    ..better yet, don’t bother.


  81. Stu says:

    “but the 529 savers who put asided for their kids education while neighbors were buying mcmansions and caddies are crushed.”

    John, that is why I would never use those age based plans. It’s too easy to just manage it yourself. Problem is that 99% of the population is clueless. Still I think it is better that parents are saving for their kids college than blowing it on fancy cars and large screen TVs where their return is less than zero.

    Of course your theory is all predicated on the market not coming back. Although I am still quite bearish, no one knows what will happen in the future. No one predicted the last two bubbles (.com/housing) nor can anyone predict the next one. Usually, when stupid predictions of the S&P at 300 come out, the market tends to run in the opposite direction. Just four months ago, there were calls for oil to hit 300 to 500 from many of these so-called experts. Today it can’t hold 40.

    I don’t believe in a lot of the Buffetism’s, but when everyone is heading to the exits in mass, it is usually the best time to sneak in. I really doubt this time will be different, since every time someone says this time is different, it ends up being the same.

    Recoveries tend to be swift and if you are not in the market for it, you will get double whammied. This is what happened in late 2002. All those suckers who got burned when the dot-coms busted missed the significant recovery. The same fools who got killed searching for the top will get murdered again seeking the bottom. The smart money bailed at 1200 or 1300 on the dow and will start averaging back in at the current levels. Greed will kill you at the top just as much as it will burn you at the bottom.

    Disclaimer: My lobotomy operation was successful last night.

  82. Stu says:

    Speaking of Cramer. I never watch that doofus so I’m curious if his bottom calendar is still on the wall. What was market level when he called it and what day does the recovery begin?

  83. Stu says:

    Please add a 0 to my 1200 to 1300 in my diatribe 2 posts ago.

  84. Yikes says:

    John – just curious. how much lower do you think we can go on the Dow?

    and how puzzled are you that hte Big 3 haven’t gotten their taxpayer money yeT?

  85. spam spam bacon spam says:


    Don’t ever believe all those stories about you being an idiot. They’re just mostly not true. :)

    It is a FSBO. I found it on (gasp!) Craigslist.
    It was “listed” 2 days. I almost threw up at the price .

    I need to practice my poker face more…

    Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But it works, it’s cheap, the taxes are retardedly low and I’ve been boostrappin’ since Hector was a pup-this’ll be no different…

    Mortgage + taxes = 1/2 my current rent.

    Man, I feel goooooooooood today.

  86. spam spam bacon spam says:

    64 OutofStater:


    I’m just tryin’ to do my part to keep the economy churning.

    Or somethin’.

  87. John says:

    I think worse case the big three may end up with a GM prepackaged bankruptcy backed by the US for the Chap 11 funding and Ford will get some stuff and Chrysler will end up Kaput, but if this train wreck of unemployment keeps piling up the US may give them some cash straight up in a almost govt jobs program mindset and put off their collaspe to when the overall economy is better.

    I will tell you one thing I think Chase at 20 is a buy. In Oct 2002 when it hit 18 Jamie Dimon plunked down a large amount of his own cash and made his Senior Management Team jump in and they bought a boatload of stock. I think we are getting near that. The one think that scares me is that stock pickers are saying is a disfunctional market buying stock on balance sheet financial statement info is foolish as the bottom will be when the panic stops. A few funds that can buy stocks and bonds are saying if all I can really say at this time is I am pretty sure the company won’t go bankrupt why buy the stock. The bonds are trading at 11% and the Pref Stock is 13%. With long term gains at 10% in stock, why take on huge risk when I can take on a lot less risk on the bond or pref stock with at least a income stream for the time being. So unless the bond market normalizes those people may be willing to buy a three year senior citi bond at 11% but they aint swinging for the fences wit the common stock. Dow could hit 6 soon.

  88. still_looking says:


    ever notice how when the economy is sucking the life out of everyone how a new Vampire movie comes out?

    1930’s: Dracula
    1987: Lost Boys
    1990’s: Interview with the Vampire

    OK, ok, I know….vampire movies are coming out all the time… but the best ones come out when times are bad…. :)


  89. still_looking says:

    Stu 82,

    Dunno, I don’t watch him either.. only watched the youtube video…


  90. still_looking says:


    Congrats! Craigslist, eh? Wow.


  91. Victorian says:

    Stu –
    Looks like your SRS @ 300 call will come true. Congrats!
    Sucks to have missed that boat.

  92. All Hype says:

    Goodbye Citi!!! Maybe you will get smart and dump your CEO before your stock gets shorted to zero…


  93. Herring123 says:


    Re “the bonds are trading at 11% and the Pref Stock is 13%. With long term gains at 10% in stock, why take on huge risk when I can take on a lot less risk on the bond or pref stock with at least a income stream for the time being.”

    On average, the long term return of the stock market is 10%. I’d imagine long term return on equities when you invest when the market is 50% off peak is quite a bit higher.

  94. Stu says:


    I am out at 195. When this market bounces (and it will), URE will skyrocket.

  95. Hard Place says:

    Guess who gets to cover the shortfall?

    From the Star Ledger:

    New Jersey pension funds lost $23B so far this year

    F’ that. I’m starting a tax revolt if we do.

  96. Stu says:

    “I’d imagine long term return on equities when you invest when the market is 50% off peak is quite a bit higher.”

    Indeed it is and is the premise of my long-term strategy. I have sat in cash (and bonds in the old 401K) for multiple years at a time. I always increase my contributions when the market is down and tend to spend more when the market is up. Sad thing is, the herd mentality is pulling out exactly when they should be putting in and vice versa when the market is overheating near the top.

  97. BC Bob says:

    “Citi Presses to Bring Back Short-Selling Ban”

    AH [92],

    Bunch of idiots. Their short float is probably a little above 3-4%. How about they are insolvent.

    Hey, at least Victor conned them into paying him ridiculous amounts for his hedge fund. Did Victor ever short stocks at his hedge fund?

  98. Stu says:

    If tax payers are expected to make up pension shortfalls due to poor investment performance, then we should be rewarded when they are performing well. I suppose, the politicians will say that we are rewarded already as the poker is shoved a little less deeper into our rectum during prosperous periods!

  99. twice shy says:

    re: 529 plans

    Fortunately I’m old enough to have started saving in UTMAs before 529s were available. I considered opening a 529 for additional savings, but didn’t like the restrictions, and the rather limited investment options. I think they only allow you to make changes once a year! Sure, they wanted to encourage buy ‘n hold, but tough luck with that.

  100. BC Bob says:

    Stu [98],

    The benchmark is 8%. Below that, taxpayers bend over.

  101. Stu says:

    Isn’t it funny how whenever the truth about their insolvency surfaces at these financial firms the short ban request is always made. Bunch of greedy crooks. Every one of them! Jump Pandit!

  102. Hard Place says:


    I think worse case the big three may end up with a GM prepackaged bankruptcy backed by the US for the Chap 11 funding

    We are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I think this is the best case for America. Stockholders get shafted and mgmt and unions get slapped silly by the govt until they come to a consensus.

  103. twice shy says:

    Any taxpayer in NJ who is still solvent and employed over the next year or two will get royally fleeced by 1) NJ state and local tax authorities and 2) the IRS. (Not necessarily in that order.)

  104. Stu says:


    Isn’t it funny how the benchmark is the average market return for the past 80 years on the dow?

    I’ve got a better strategy. Have the state workers make up the shortfall with their guaranteed salary increases, since ours are all getting frozen. Then when the market returns, they can lower their contribution and call it a raise.

  105. BC Bob says:

    HOV, a 1 handle. Is the fountain still flowing?

  106. PGC says:

    Any recommendations on a good local bank.

    Is Hudson still sound or did they start getting hit with commercial builder loans

  107. Victorian says:

    Stu (81)-
    “I really doubt this time will be different, since every time someone says this time is different, it ends up being the same.”

    – I agree. But it is important to draw the correct parallel with history. We just had the biggest credit bubble in history which pulled all assets upwards (in nominal terms)- gold, RE, stocks, commodities etc.
    We are just now starting the de-leveraging process. Most of the earnings of companies were fueled by this credit bubble and IMO it will take time for this de-leveraging process to complete.

    I will be happy to miss 10-15% of the upside if it protects me from the downside. For evidence that the stock market does not always go up, look at Japan. 20 years and no end in sight. Even if bought 50% off – there was still 30% more to go.

    However, I agree that this is a good time to be averaging in – but I think buy and hold for a long time is dead, at least until this secular bear is over. We had the longest bull market in history (1980 – 2000) and that was probably the buy and hold period and which triggered this meme. If you look at the period between 64-80, the market was essentially flat.

    I think it will be important to have a sell discipline going forward.

  108. Sean says:

    Mod in a Box

    Here it comes folks, a little late but may help a few people keep their homes.


  109. BC Bob says:

    vic [107],

    I asked, a very successful trader, his secret. “I always buy too late and sell too soon”

  110. Stu says:

    107 Victorian:

    I agree with you about the need for the leverage to wind down, but impetus comes out of nowhere. Who knows where the next one will come from and when? I do compare our economy to that of Japan’s quite frequently, but our bubble was no where near the size of theirs. They also have a cultural tendency to save where we have a cultural tendency to blow every last penny on useless cr*pola like fancy cars and tvs.

    The vultures have already started circling the carcasses in Cali. Albeit, a little early for my taste. Eventually the bargain hunters will jump in and equities will turn out to work the way they were always intended to.

    The real question one must ask is if the value of the equities today are correct. If you feel they are, then I would expect some easy P/E expansion in the near future. If you feel they are still overvalued, then you are in the depression camp.

    I’m still in the severe recession camp, but don’t expect apple carts. Just a repeat of the 70s.

  111. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob Says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 11:27 am
    HOV, a 1 handle. Is the fountain still flowing?

    As of 7PM last night…YES

  112. Sean says:

    If this does not scare the bejebus out of you then I don’t know what will.


  113. John says:

    HOV Pref stock is pegged at a 300% dividend. Nuff said.

  114. Sean says:

    Tonight’s Mega Millions annuity jackpot before taxes is $86 million ($3.3 million a year for 26 years) – or $52.6 million for the cash jackpot.

    Don’t tell me about the odds I would rather believe in the dream.

  115. Sean says:


    The Pentagon has suffered from a cyber attack so alarming that it has taken the unprecedented step of banning the use of external hardware devices, such as flash drives and DVD’s, FOX News has learned.

    The attack came in the form of a global virus or worm that is spreading rapidly throughout a number of military networks.

    “We have detected a global virus for which there has been alerts, and we have seen some of this on our networks,” a Pentagon official told FOX News. “We are now taking steps to mitigate the virus.”

    The official could not reveal the source of the attack because that information remains classified.

    “Daily there are millions of scans of the GIG, but for security reasons we don’t discuss the number of actual intrusions or attempts, or discuss specific measures commanders in the field may be taking to protect and defend our networks,” the department said in an official statement.

    Military computers are often referred to as part of the Global Information Grid, or GIG, a system composed of 17 million computers, many of which house classified or sensitive information.

    FOX News obtained a copy of one memo sent out last week to an Army division within the Pentagon warning of the cyber attack.

    “Due to the presence of commercial malware, CDR USSTRATCOM has banned the use of removable media (thumb drives, CDRs/DVDRs, floppy disks) on all DoD networks and computers effective immediately.”


  116. John says:

    Pete Wentz, Ashlee Simpson have boy named Bronx

  117. BC Bob says:

    John [116],

    Did he direct his middle finger, Bronx Cheer, at m/d yet?

  118. RentinginNJ says:

    “but the 529 savers who put aside for their kids education while neighbors were buying mcmansions and caddies are crushed.”

    Yes they were getting crushed, but getting crush is relative.

    A person who plunked $10k into a 529 in an S&P fund in early 2005 now has about $6,500. Ouch, that sure does hurt.

    However, a person who plunked their $10k on closing costs for a $1,000,000 McMansion is now in the hole for $250kand has a whopper of a monthly payment.

    Neither one is great, but I’ll take what’s behind door no. 1 any day.

  119. SG says:

    I guess with all Retirement funds evaporating, lot of Baby Boomers will have to move back in with their kids or move to very cheap part of US. The POS cape being held by boomers will have to be sold and younger generation cant afford it due to high property taxes.

  120. John says:

    It has been a tough year for the Bronx, first tearing down Yankee Stadium, the George Steinbrenner retiring and now Ashlee Simpson naming her kid Bronx

  121. John says:

    SG your are a funny man, most of the retirees I know live in paid off POS capes and blew threw their 401K money already and are living off SS and their pension, they still have one we don’t.

  122. comrade nom deplume says:

    [13] DL

    I read the article, and she was not asking much at all for a QV rowhome. Depending on where it is in QV, and what it has, it could be a steal at that price, which, I am guessing, is a 2002 price.

    I bought a Philly rowhome, comparable area, for 365K in 2003, and sold it for 469K this year. At peak, I probably could have gotten 515K (because of a relo package, I had no costs, so I came out the same as a peak sale).

    So her statement about being able to rent and sell in a year at that price or more is not as delusional as it sounds unless the economy stays in the turlet.

    Of course, we know that there are delusional sellers. Nothing will change that. But that one may be correct. Just maybe.

  123. comrade nom deplume says:

    [73] shore,

    That sounds harsh, but it means that the 2 or 3 month severance pay to the laid-off associates will stop as of the EOY, not that they did not get severance.

    If a BigLaw firm stated that they would not give severance to their laid-off associates, it would cripple their recruiting. Firms that quickly and aggressively raised the meat axe will have a hard time when (if?) the legal market turns.

    For my part, I got my review today. Largely positive (glowing even), and the crits were described as “constructive.” Yet at my review last year, I was told what my raise would be. This year, no mention of a raise and when I asked, much equivocating in the room.

    Still in a good place within a good place, so I can’t really complain.

  124. Stu says:


    Go into a review when the company has already announced that all wages are frozen as is. It really takes the helium out of the balloon regardless of how well you performed.

  125. John says:

    “The safest way to double
    your money is to fold it over
    and put it in your pocket.”
    -Kin Hubbard (1868 – 1930)

  126. comrade nom deplume says:


    I guess. Though it also makes for a quicker process.

    In light of this economy, I can’t complain. I like what I do, and who I work with, and the review reflected that. I feel relatively secure in that sense, but at my age, I should know how this game is played. Further, I did not have a productive year at all, and I can’t complain much about not getting a higher salary when the firm isn’t making squat off of me.

    Much as I don’t like the idea of what O-drama and Corzine are gonna do to my paycheck, I am still happy to have one.

  127. 3b says:

    #122 Non: I do not think so. Much has changed form teh begining of this year.

    Actually forget the begining of this year. What has transpired over the lst 3 months is unprecedented, and has almost bough the entire financial systm (and may yet do so) to its knees.

    The seller in the article is deluisonal just like so many other sellers out there.

    Real estate is dead, in Philly, here, and probably most places in the country.

    Sold comps from the last few months are absolutely worthless in trying to determine what a house should sell for now, and where it may sell going forward.

  128. John says:

    It is crazy quiet today on the street, when the sell orders come at 3:45 I hope the buyers haven’t already picked up all their toys and went home for the weekend.

  129. Stu says:

    “It is crazy quiet today on the street,”

    Denial has morphed into disbelief?

  130. John says:

    Even crazier companies like Suntrust that is pre x date with a high dividend and no news dropped 4 points, you usually get the dividend capture folks jumping in and out of that stuff but not today.

  131. Barbara says:

    118. I opened my sons 529 in 2003 when he was 7 months old. Yes its taking a hit but its long term, I see this as an opportunity to pick up cheaper shares for a later (much) gain.
    Some things you just can’t worry about.
    Now if my son were 15 years old now, yeah I’d be pretty stressed.

  132. Stu says:

    Gold is close to 800. I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen under deflation?

    Or was it?


  133. Stu says:


    I’m with you on the 529. Either the rules of the game have changed (which I’ve heard before), or they have not.

    I am cautiously optimistic.

  134. Hard Place says:

    Obama Team Said to Explore `Prepack’ Auto Bankruptcy


    If Obama does go this route, than I think there is hope under his presidency. If he is a true agent of change, he needs to break free from the Democratic ranks on the auto bailout. As prez he needs to do what is best for his country. I’m a big proponent and think prepack is the way to go. It may be painful, but it will be quick. Instead of a long drawn out bankruptcy, or a long drawn out auto industry on life support.

    Too bad they did not decide to do this with the real estate industry.

  135. Nicholas says:

    That Rene Margritte guy was a phycho. Some seriously messed up paintings, sheesh.

    This guy gives me the heebeejeebees…

  136. Hard Place says:

    134 modded.

  137. kettle1 says:


    Re gold/deflation:

    Normally yes, you are correct, but we are also facing a potential collpase of the US dollar along with a bifurcated gold market. paper gold at one price and availability and physical gold at a different price and availability.

    This distorts gold, as there most likely isnt not enough physical gold to cover all of the paper that exists.

  138. Orion says:

    As a special holiday spirits lifter, CNBC should play Yamada & Roubini back to back, all day, all night, all weekend.

  139. Sean says:

    “At Smith Barney, we make money the old-fashioned way. We steal it.”

  140. randy says:

    122 Queen Village?

    New Wave Cafe … great pub! nice crowd and good food.

  141. Barbara says:

    How low would America need to go % wise in terms of unemployment before we see real unrest. The kind of unrest never seen here before on a broad scale. I have a feeling that in this country unrest will take the form of crime, organized and not so organized, because we are by nature, after all, opportunists more than complainers.

  142. Barbara says:

    speaking of deflation, it was finally mentioned and explained on CNN last night. I’ve never heard the term mentioned on mainstream media.

  143. Stu says:


    Hate to say it, but protesting the current government wouldn’t get you anywhere. The rich have them under complete control through their lobbying and campaign finance. The evidence is Paulson’s actions which have attempted to only protect the wealthy. Seems like that is the direction where the angst should be projected. How? I have no effin clue. It will require a brave government to return the income tax rates to 80% or more as was part of the solution during the 30s. It’s funny how forced redistribution of wealth is making the rounds again. The greedy never learn, do they?

  144. Barbara says:

    you know what I hate most about all this? I will feel like a loser if I don’t make cash daily. I know, this is a character flaw but it is what happens when you grow up hard knocks. Weird, eh? With all that should be bothering me, this is what bothers me.

  145. Sean says:

    Anyone still think gold is a bad investment? Now we are begging for money, hope you got some shiny stuff.

    US seeks 300 billion dlrs from Gulf states: report

    UWAIT CITY (AFP) – The United States has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to 300 billion dollars to help it curb the global financial meltdown, Kuwait’s daily Al-Seyassah reported Thursday.

    Quoting “highly informed” sources, the daily said Washington has asked Saudi Arabia for 120 billion dollars, the United Arab Emirates for 70 billion dollars, Qatar for 60 billion dollars and was seeking 40 billion dollars from Kuwait.

    Al-Seyassah said Washington sought the amount as “financial aid” to face the fallout of the financial crisis and help prevent its economy from sliding into a painful recession.

    The daily said the United States plans to use the funds to help the ailing automobile industry , banks and other companies suffering from the global financial turmoil.

    The four nations, all members of OPEC, produce together 14 million barrels of oil per day, around half of the cartel’s production and about 17 percent of world supplies.

    The four states are estimated to have amassed close to 1.5 trillion dollars in surplus in the past six years due to high oil prices that rocketed above 147 dollars in July before sliding to just above 50 dollars.

    The daily also said that the United States has asked Kuwait to forgive its Iraqi debt estimated at around 16 billion dollars.


  146. Barbara says:

    I guess I’m thinking about things like massive and organized tax evasion, a large wave of independent candidates gaining seats at local and state and of course your garden variety riots and whatnot.

  147. kettle1 says:

    stu, barb

    Think of deflation as the great liberator. It is the lion that takes down the fat diseased wildabeast.
    The herd will be stronger for the removal of the wasteful economic excess.

    This could have been avoided if the last several recessions had been allowed to actually remove the excess, instaed of the government propping up failed businesses and wasteful capital allocation.

  148. Barbara says:

    146. Kettle

    agree with all that you posted.

  149. Sean says:

    How soon before we start the Telethon?


  150. max says:

    has anybody here tried a loan modification?

  151. DL says:

    Ref 122; Comrade Nom: We looked at QV and some other areas in center city. As long as you were north of Catherine Street I think you were in a good area. It also sounds like you hit the sweet spot considering when you sold. The newer places with the tax abatement are probably selling at a premium compared to some of the 16 feet wide 40 feet deep row houses with no parking that we looked at.

  152. kettle1 says:


    You made a call the other day, fall of the uro. I disagree to a point. I think we will see the fringe members of the eurozone fall out of the euro. But i think we will see the euro survive within the cire european nations such a france germany spain etc.
    I agree with the idea that the euro has significant underlying flaws in its current form, but the euro is a very attractive counter to the US dollar for the rest of the world. ANy basket of currencies that will replace the US dollar as the global reserve currency will need to include a western currency for many reasons.

  153. DL says:

    It will be interesting to see how the euro zone contries deal with euro members who cross the budget deficit trip wires. Germany was hit with fines for exceeding 3% deficit of GDP for two years running a while back. If the downturn is protracted, some of the more fragile economies will be in trouble.

  154. comrade nom deplume says:

    [150] DL,

    I actually sold late, and we did have to give some because we were able to get a strike right away and did not want to let the buyer off the hook. Recall now that we listed for 479, got offered 475, closed for 467. But since we avoided the commission and fees, it was really like selling for 500. In that sense, we made out. Probably put about 20K into the place.

    Right about being north of Catherine. In fact, I would not want to be much below Bainbridge. I have former neighbors that went from Catherine (nr fitler) to Headhouse Court (1/2 block off South).

  155. comrade nom deplume says:

    [145] barb,

    We should talk, re: taxes and unrest. Not here though. Stu will report me for antiparty activities ;-)

  156. John says:

    Shearson Smith Barney old slogan was once Mind over Matter and the employees used to joke it should be We don’t Mind and you don’t Matter”

  157. kettle1 says:

    comrade Nom

    Had an interesting anecdotal experience yesterday…

    ended up in a random chat with a small group of people who are lower middle class; generally no college education and most definatly live paycheck to pay check.
    The general consensus was that they were hurting. prices high, wages low and jobs getting scarce. The discussion turned to how a few f them were concerned about buying winter clothing for them and/or their kids.

    The point of all this is that there was a general consensus that everything would get better now that O won the election.
    O no has an almost impossible task infront of him if the expectations i saw in this group are representative.
    The scary thing is that there was a lot of angst and frustration built up in these people as they see no way out of their current situation. A cornered animal can be very dangerous. and from this and other discussions it isounds like people are starting to feel cornered.
    It put Q as “messiah” in a new light for me, in terms of what some people expect of him,

    Listeniing to someone tell you they had to choose between buying groceries r paying rent brings you back down to earth :(

  158. John says:

    So Hillary is fourth in line to be President, better check if the fuel tank has a hole in air force one and keep her away from the limo’s brake lines.

  159. Stu says:


    “Stu will report me for antiparty activities ;-)”

    I ain’t reporting nobody, unless I can do it anonymously ;)

  160. RentinginNJ says:

    Tim Geithner Pres of NY Fed for SEC TREASURY

    Looks like were stuck with Corzine

  161. Stu says:


    We can only hope that O makes decisions that will allow us all to share the pain and benefits of sacrifice. The current administration seems to still believe in supply side economics to the point where they think that saving the wealthy will somehow trickle down to sparing the rest of us. Oh how quickly they forget who makes it possible for them to pay their bills.

  162. Stu says:

    “Looks like were stuck with Corzine”

    That’s one small step backwards for New Jersey, one giant leap for America.”

  163. Victorian says:

    Stu (162)-

  164. prtraders2000 says:

    FYI – on the 529s. If you have an unrealized loss in a 529, you can close out the account and take the loss as a misc. deduction on your schedule A subject to 2% limitation. This could be a significant tax savings for some.

  165. Stu says:

    “This could be a significant tax savings for some.”

    And then we can blow it on hookers and beer.

  166. BC Bob says:

    Sean [145],

    Third world country.

    Pretty soon we’ll be asking the Chinese, who earn $2.00/hr, to finance our lifestyle. Sorry, bad dream.

  167. BC Bob says:

    “And then we can blow it on hookers and beer.”


    Bull market;

    -Lap Dancer’s
    -Knitting wool
    -Cook Books

  168. RayC says:


    Don’t think of it as on “blowing it” on hookers and beer, think of it as a short term investment with a guaranteed return. And when it comes to hookers and beer, past performance is a REALLY good indicator…

  169. All Hype says:

    Is this the Tim Geithner rally today?

  170. kettle1 says:


    you might have stumbled onto something…..

    The next stimulus package should be handed out in the form of vouchers for hooers and beer/blow.

    Trickle up economics; and past performance IS an indicator of future returns as you pointed out. Now that would help the ecoomy and the general happiness level of the US would significantly improve.

  171. Outofstater says:

    Guys, it’s “hookers and BLOW” not hookers and beer. Just like it’s “pant up demand” “crush valor” and “frist!” Let’s stick with the program here.

  172. Stu says:

    “Trickle up economics; and past performance IS an indicator of future returns as you pointed out. Now that would help the ecoomy and the general happiness level of the US would significantly improve.”

    I wish I was better looking so I could profit from the opportunity.

  173. Stu says:

    Blow is so 80’s. I’m modernizing to account for the depression. After all, who amongst us can still afford blow these days?

  174. kettle1 says:


    come now, what do you have against a guy enjoying an ice cold berr with his hookers and blow?

    BBB, Blonde/Budweiser/Blow

  175. kettle1 says:


    according to recent government stats blow is cheaper and purer then any time before.

    The CIA has apperntly been consulting with big pharma….

  176. Stu says:

    It may be pink slip Friday for me. Just received a meeting invite for a mandatory managers meeting at 6pm tonight. This has never occurred here before, especially on a Friday night after most have gone home. Time to call the Gator. Thank the lord I save. Wish me luck ya’all.

  177. Victorian says:

    Stu, did you look at FXP today?

  178. Sean says:

    GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said GM decided to return two leased corporate jets because of a “really aggressive cutback in travel.”

    Day late and a dollar short boys better luck next time.

  179. Victorian says:

    Good luck Stu.

  180. RayC says:


    Good luck. I’m going home, will have to check posts later.


  181. kettle1 says:

    best of luck stu,

    Been there before and it sucks :(

  182. skep-tic says:


    “No severance — at this time of year? Ouch! Most Big Law law firms are really good about not casting people to the lions. It shouldn’t be too hard for them to attract good lawyers when things pick up again — chuckle, snort.”

    old days of relative job security at law firms (vs. wall st banks) seem to be rapidly disappearing. lots of announcements of layoffs this week at big firms

  183. Stu says:

    I’ll be alright. I could always start a handyman service and make the same money. A graphic design concentration makes it really easy to self market. I’ll report the lowdown later tonight. Gator thinks I’ll be fine because she says there is no way they will terminate people over a conference call. I hope she’s right. And I was just about to make Open Enrollment changes to my benefits (what is left of them).

  184. comrade nom deplume says:

    [173] stu,

    “I wish I was better looking so I could profit from the opportunity.”

    Being good looking never made me any money (least, I don’t think it did).

    BTW, good luck tonight.

  185. skep-tic says:

    Stu– sucks. hope all goes well. no one is safe these days.

  186. John says:

    Wow talk about nuts, this pref citi stock swung from 17 to 10 and back to 12 in one day.

    Last [Tick] 12.00[ – ]
    Change -4.10
    % Change -25.47%
    Volume 8,263,568
    Day High 17.25
    Day Low 10.28

  187. comrade nom deplume says:

    FWIW, I am calling the stock market bottom.

    How do I know this? By relying on a little-known indicator, the DePlume Contramarket Indicator. It works this way: If I buy, the market will go down, and if I sell, it will go up. Yesterday, I went and checked 401(k) balances and found I still had some equity and bond investments. So I put in orders to move everything that I could without incurring excessive fees into cash today.

    Now, because my overall 401(k) allocation is over 90% cash, and I have locked the drawer on my remaining taxable account investments, the bottom should be in. I have set it by getting out.

    Feel free to get back into the pool. The water should be fine.

  188. John says:

    Comrade just tell us before you get back in so I can buy some puts.

  189. zieba says:

    This is priceless!
    I saw this as I was driving through Staten Island today:


  190. skep-tic says:

    on point for an old man…

    “Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”

    from “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”, by Kipling

  191. Mitchell says:

    #145 Sean
    A one day run-up of gold and your preaching like the NAR.

    Nov 21st Gold went up – Recession ended.

  192. Clotpoll says:

    Schiff on Bloomberg, going apeshit on all the other talking heads.

    He keeps using the words, “phony, rigged economy”, and “money that has no value”.

    Great stuff.

  193. Sean says:

    Mitchell isn’t there a muddin festival or a noodlers convention you have to go to?

  194. BC Bob says:

    “#145 Sean
    A one day run-up of gold and your preaching like the NAR.”

    Mitchell [192],

    Wrong. It has been a 7 year bull market with, approx, a 50% retracement. The long term technicals are still bullish. Early this week, the market went into backwardation.

    If you are so bearish, step up to the plate and sell Dec gold. First notice day is next Friday. If you sell, I recommend you buy Feb calls. Good Luck.

  195. BC Bob says:


    Good luck.

  196. Clotpoll says:

    BC (195)-

    Methinks Mitchell is afflicted with the same truncated attention span as bi has.

    Raging deflation, coupled to a gold rally. It doesn’t get more interesting than this.

  197. Clotpoll says:

    Stu- will there be anyone available for you to hit?

  198. skep-tic says:

    Noodling has far more potential than bass pro, IMO.

  199. BC Bob says:

    Some of our tax $ at work. No link.

    $219,000 to fund a “curriculum package” to teach college students how to watch television.

    $1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck.

    $150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
    $1,500,000 to buy a statue of the Roman god, Vulcan, in Birmingham, Alabama.

    $50,000 to fund a tattoo removal program in San Luis Obispo County, California.

    $26,000 to study how thoroughly Americans rinse their dishes.

    $90,000 to support the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas.

    $150,000 to promote “Therapeutic Horseback Riding” in Apple Valley, Californ

  200. kettle1 says:


    we can step up the entertainment factor by randomly mining certain holes.

  201. kettle1 says:


    Where is my 250K blogging grant????

  202. skep-tic says:

    “we can step up the entertainment factor by randomly mining certain holes.”

    absolutely. and for added entertainment, every once in a while a noodler would get mauled by a muskrat or something similar

  203. kettle1 says:

    Paulson Trying to Rewrite His Own History

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson spoke at the Reagan Library this afternoon, and judging by the speech, it appears as though Mr. Paulson is embarking on a PR campaign to rewrite the history of his handling of the credit crisis. One line that stood out was when he said, “By pro-actively addressing the problems we saw coming…” Judging by excerpts of prior comments the Treasury Secretary made during 2007, if Mr. Paulson saw the problems coming, he wasn’t telling anybody:

    Marketwatch 3/13/07: Paulson also said the fallout in subprime mortgages is “going to be painful to some lenders, but it is largely contained.”

    Reuters 4/20/07: “I don’t see (subprime mortgage market troubles) imposing a serious problem. I think it’s going to be largely contained.”

    Bloomberg 5/22/07: Paulson, also speaking to CNBC, said the housing slump was “largely contained” and that market’s correction was mostly “behind us.”

    Bloomberg 6/20/07: Subprime fallout “will not affect the economy overall.”

    Forbes 7/27/07: Appearing on CNBC with other members of the Bush administration’s economic team, he again said mortgage industry problems would be ‘largely contained.’

    Boston.com 8/1/07: Paulson added that he did not see anything that caused him to reconsider his view that the economic damage from the housing correction was “largely contained.”

    Another classic line from today was, “As I assess our current situation, I believe we have taken the necessary steps to prevent a financial collapse.” Mr. Paulson, what is it going to take for you to consider this a financial collapse? Given that the extent of the credit crisis was underestimated by almost everyone, you can give Paulson somewhat of a pass for missing it. But to try and rewrite history through speeches even while the credit crisis is still playing out is inexcusable.


  204. SAS says:

    “Timothy Geithner”

    a total joke.

    THe banker hijacking is just starting.

    Dead cat bounce. Go back to eating your oatmeal while you think how to pay your mortgage.


  205. John says:

    The BC in BC Bob stands for Before Christ, in those days Gold was king, Gold was the old standard of money. Plus BC is a big fan of the A team. Finally, as a GS alumni he loves to say buy Goldman, well the broker thought he said please buy gold man, and since those buys made in error made much more money that GS stock he has stuck with the strategy.

  206. John says:

    A 250K grant for rub and a tug places could both fight deflation and be a stimulus package.

  207. kettle1 says:

    Onama Team Said to Explore ‘Prepack’ Auto Bankruptcy

    President-Elect Barack Onama`s transition team is exploring a swift, prepackaged bankruptcy for automakers as a possible solution to the industry’s financial crisis, according to a person familiar with the matter. Onama’s team has already contacted at least one bankruptcy- law firm to say that Daniel Tarullo, a professor at Georgetown University’s law school who heads Onama’s economic policy working group, would call to discuss the workings of a so-called prepack, according to this person.


  208. Clotpoll says:

    Yamada coming up on Bloomberg. Will be nice to see hosts who can speak to her in complete sentences.

  209. skep-tic says:

    O would gain massive reagan-like cred if he broke the auto union right off the bat

  210. kettle1 says:

    I wanted to be hanible when i grew up

  211. John says:

    Stanley O’Neal used to work at GM before Merril maybe he can replace Rick as CEO it takes a crook to catch crooks.

  212. kettle1 says:

    3 days after Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac also gets delisting notice from NYSE


  213. kettle1 says:

    How Dubai’s fantasy skyline tumbled to earth

    The fireworks have fizzled out, 4,000 lobster shells are being scraped into the bins, and Lily Allen’s probably reaching for the paracetamol – but, she won’t be the only person in Dubai with a hangover today. Yesterday saw the opening of the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Beach, yet another flash new architectural marvel in Dubai, augmented by yet another onslaught of superlatives, celebrities, and headlines across the world.

    Come this morning, it’s not just the champagne that’s gone flat. It has finally happened: the Dubai bubble has burst. Architecture-spotters like myself have looked on in amazement, or rather incredulity, at the way the tiny emirate has continued to unveil ever grander construction projects – taller skyscrapers, huger hotels, vaster artificial islands – in apparent defiance of the global credit crunch. Now, that crunch has hit home. This week’s Architect’s Journal reports that “architects and developers in Dubai are freezing recruitment and making redundancies as the emirate’s real-estate market begins to crumble.” Large developers in Dubai are laying off staff, including Emaar the company behind the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest structure, the magazine reports.


  214. kettle1 says:

    California median home price drops 34 percent

    Despite an increasingly uncertain economy, homebuyers in California kept snatching up foreclosed homes last month, dragging down the median home price by 34 percent from a year ago, a real estate tracking firm said Thursday. The statewide median home price plunged to $278,000 in October, compared with $424,000 in the year-ago period, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick. Last month’s median price was down 1.8 percent from September.


  215. kettle1 says:

    2025: the end of US dominance

    The United States’ leading intelligence organisation has warned that the world is entering an increasingly unstable and unpredictable period in which the advance of western-style democracy is no longer assured, and some states are in danger of being “taken over and run by criminal networks”.

    Correct Pres O’s nae in link to follow


  216. skep-tic says:

    Ice Noodling

    Whitewater Noodling

  217. kettle1 says:

    The Real Great Depression

    The depression of 1929 is the wrong model for the current economic crisis. As a historian who works on the 19th century, I have been reading my newspaper with a considerable sense of dread. While many commentators on the recent mortgage and banking crisis have drawn parallels to the Great Depression of 1929, that comparison is not particularly apt. Two years ago, I began research on the Panic of 1873, an event of some interest to my colleagues in American business and labor history but probably unknown to everyone else. But as I turn the crank on the microfilm reader, I have been hearing weird echoes of recent events.


  218. BC Bob says:

    “The BC in BC Bob stands for Before Christ”


    I first came on this site in the latter part of 2005. It actually stands for Before Crash. Some think it’s my school affiliation. Before all John’s friends went 100% long, I was simply Bob. At the same time, BOOYAAA was going hot and heavy. The bloggers were confused. Therefore, I changed my logon to BC, Before Crash. However, do luv your entertainment.

    Stop looking at the rear view mirror. Sometimes, I wonder if you are stuck on the LIE, pinned between 2 tress, next to Billy Joel.

  219. Pat says:

    Stu’s going to survive. Someday, Fonziegirl and the lilgator are going to be on this blog competing in a weekend “Who’s Parent was Cheaper” contest with John’s kids.

    Today, I was at the ***Mart. In the girl’s department was an odd dating couple – a 40-ish, but immature-sounding woman and a quiet older man. They were wearing designer jackets and clothes and had The Look. They were picking out lots of little girl clothes that were all five to ten bucks a pop.

    The cell phone rings. She says, “Hi, XXX. ?Oh, we’re all doing O.K….well, it could be a little happier for the holidays, I suppose.

    “Equity? You mean ‘cash?’ I don’t know.”

    “Yes. Yes. Yes. Well, we know an older couple who recently retired from M.S. and can you imagine them? We don’t know. You do everything right, and then look what happens.

    “You do everything right, and then look.”

  220. #219 – I always thought BC was for Bergen County…. And I was around then too.

    Where has BOOYAAA been? No one has decried the “greedy grubbers” in a long time, predicted a boom market in kibble for the holidays.

  221. BC Bob says:


    One other item. No GS alumnus here.

  222. #221 – in a long time,or predicted a boom

    Ugh, commuting to Stamford and 13hr days are starting to get to me.

  223. Rich52 says:

    221, That’s what I thought too, “BC” for Bergen County Bob. Whatever happened to booyaaa bob? Seems like he just fell off the face of the earth one day.

  224. BC Bob says:

    tosh [221],

    Bergen County, no. I agree, we need a coming out party for BOOYAAA.

  225. Confused In NJ says:

    “O” needs to outlaw Public Employee Unions.

  226. skep-tic says:


    everything right:

    $300 jeans
    time share
    pomegranite mojitos
    equity forwards
    organic greek yogurt
    brunch date

  227. Pat says:


    They should have named that Mii.

  228. Stu says:

    On the call now.

    I think I’m saved for now. All of our direct reports (and managers) are required to take 80 hours of vacation between now and January 15th even if it means employees are going negative in accruel. This seems like a fine time for some much needed home improvement.

    My question on the conference call was, “Does anyone want to go skiing?” It worked well to break the tension.


  229. NJGator says:

    President-elect Barack Ob*ma picked up lunch at the iconic South Loop deli Manny’s Friday.

    As he made his way through the throngs of well-wishers, Ob*ma stopped to hug a woman he seemed to know. Asked how he was doing, Ob*ma said, ‘Well, you know,’ to which the woman replied, ‘Well you asked for it. I remember 12 years ago …’ then her voice trails off before she can offer any more than a hint of insight into Ob*ma’s early presidential ambitions. Ob*ma also mentioned to the woman that his family is keeping its Chicago house:

    ‘We’re staying in there for awhile. Now’s not the time to sell.’


  230. lostinny says:

    190 zieba
    Thanks for posting that! I drive by there a lot but I could never see what it said.

  231. njrebear says:

    from 231 –

    Obama left with 2 cherry pies and 3 corned beef sandwiches. The bill was $48.34. He paid cash.

  232. Outofstater says:

    #174 & #176: Stu and Ket – Okay, okay, you’ve got me laughing now. I relent – it’s now hookers, blow AND/OR beer. How’s that? Stu – glad you still have your job. Scary times out there and getting worse.

  233. HEHEHE says:

    Wow what a short squeeze. Everything must have changed today. To the moon!!! Dow 10000 here we come!!!

    We have a replacement named for Paulson who likes bailouts as much or more than Paulson likes bailouts. A guy who’ll be more of a yes man to Bergabe than Paulson has been and I don’t know if that is actually possible.

    The Oscar winner for 2009 will be Dawn of the Dead Dow a tale of zombie banks and zombie companies wreaking havoc on the country.

  234. Barbara says:

    health insurance rant. Just read over the itemized bill for my 5 yr olds check up and immunizations for school. We have “insurance” but still had to pay 85 out of pocket. In the bill they not only charged 120 for the visit with the doctor (all or 15 minutes long) but on top of the cost of the vaccines, they charged for their “administration.” My kid sat still for 4 shots. Wow, not included in the 120, an additional 35 dollars.
    Do these people walk on water?
    Time for some DIY medical care.

  235. Barbara says:

    Oh, that’s 35 dollars for each shot’s administration. Plus the cost of each shot.
    So just to push the needles in, about 1 minutes max, 140.00.

  236. Outofstater says:

    Barbara – I wonder how much of your bill was due to all the paperwork the MD’s office has to go through to file the insurance claim. If we all paid in cash on our way out the door and then filed our own insurance, what would that do to the cost of health care? I don’t really know but I’d like to.

  237. reinvestor101 says:

    What?? This woman gets on TV talking about doom and gloom and you get so damn excited that “rigor mortis” sets in.

    You are one very sick puppy. You’re worst than 3b with his corn cob fixation.

    #67-HEHEHE Says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 9:24 am
    Louise Yamada on CNBC:


    Seriously if I was 20 years older I’d marry that woman.

  238. bairen says:

    Can we get this guy to run one of our imploding companies?


    He rides a bus to work, gave up all his perks, eats in the cafeteria off a tray, and makes about 90k a year. He thought since he asked older workers to take early retirement, it was the right thing to do.

    He only runs one of the largest airlines in the world.

  239. Pat says:

    We have some good insurance as well.

    Moved to MD. Next night, fell down the steps. No doc yet. Hit the ER after a couple of days of limping and seeing stars. Part of the network. No prob, right?

    There was a chick in the bed next to me moaning in Spanish. So I asked her, in my best Trenton all-u-can eat buffet Spanish, “por qua, ma chico Senorita?”

    She tells me, I think, that she has ovaries busted. Pain, oh the pain. And guess what? No insurance. She got it for free.

    I paid $100 deductible, $350 for the ER docs (not included) and some other bills.

    My husband said I should’ve pretended to speak Spanish better. But I was worried they’d bring over a translator.

  240. Barbara says:

    Pat, I’m furious about the NJ insurance situation, I pay 800 a month for a healthy family of three, huge deductibles and virtually NOTHING preventative is covered. I now refer to it as catastrope insurance. We pay for it because we have assets that they would take away in a heartbeat were we to have a bad accident of health crisis. People who have nothing to lose can do without insurance,someone else will pick up their bill.
    America the beautiful.

  241. Orion says:

    Schiff, Yamada & Roubini. They make me want to start wearing Depends. And I have much respect for all three, but dang, their forecasts are depressing.

  242. Cindy says:

    (85) Spam –
    “Mortgage + taxes = 1/2 my currant rent.”

    Man – that IS goooooood.

  243. Cindy says:

    (230) Stu

    “Does anyone want to go skiing?”

    Stu – I forget to tell you – I so enjoy your posts. Both for content and levity.

    I have two 529’s for the grandkids and I feel fine about it. They are 2 and 3 1/2. This is the USA – not Japan.

  244. 3b says:

    #236 rebuttfixation:You’re worst than 3b with his corn cob fixation.

    Don’t make me have to shut you up again. You are the one who is clearly obsessed with butts and corn cobs, as I so clearly pointed out to you a few weeks ago.

    Please get help your family will appreciate it.

    Now climb back in your hole.

  245. Sean says:

    News from the North Pole.


    Santa to lay off 3500 elves, 2/3rds of his staff, and shuttering 70% of his toy making operations. The remaining staff is mostly administrative, kept around to manage the shut down,their pleas to Congress are going unanswered since the postal service due to layoffs is no longer picking up the mail on rural routes.

    When asked why he was doing this, Santa replied “F**k this economy. No TARP, and FED won’t let me become a bank holding company. It’s always cold up here. Do you know what the energy bills were like when Morgan Stanley cornered the heating oil market! You can’t run a proper nuclear power plant on ice you know. Now they won’t roll my CP before Thanksgiving. Screw ’em.”

    We talked to several elves about to go unemployed.
    Adam the Dollmaker:

    “What are we supposed to do now? Go to the Eskimo Casino and become dealers? Who’s going to play the Beancounters?”

    Julie the Doll Dressmaker:

    “I always thought if things got tough I could go back to Iceland. Yeah, that’s gonna happen, now. I’m checking on jobs for dog grooming in Sweden right now.”

    Tough time, indeed. But is Santa hopeful about the future?

    “Hell no. The Easter Bunny is having trouble getting money for the Easter egg runup at his ranch, and the Tooth Fairy’s Tooth Backed Securities have CDS rates at like 10000 bps. This thing is going into a hole. I might have to eat Donner this winter.”

  246. Stu says:

    Thanks Cindy!

    Everything I say is straight from my heart. Thanks for putting up with my terrible grammar.

  247. Cindy says:

    (245) Stu – I’m a “straight from the heart” gal myself. I appreciate your broad knowledge base…

    The new In-and-Out around the corner and down the street from me (I’m remembering when Gator had to go to an In-and-Out – your call- when you vacationed here) has a line day in and day out. I checked (since McDs is supposed to be so great, along with Wal-Mart in a bad economy) thinking that In-and-Out would be a good buy for someone. Turns out they aren’t traded – privately owned. Oh well.

    They sure do some kinda business.

  248. RayC says:


    please FedEx me a DoubleDouble and a chocolate shake.

  249. Cindy says:

    (247) RayC

    “Please FedEx me a DoubleDouble and a chocolate shake.”

    Ray – Would that be “animal style” (grilled onions and pickles) or straight up?

  250. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


    We don’t always agree, but glad to hear you are still gainfully employed. Would hate to hear that my former running mate would be carrying the ball alone.

  251. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [189] john

    for a small fee, I will give you advance warning.

  252. Yikes says:

    The rich have them under complete control through their lobbying and campaign finance. The evidence is Paulson’s actions which have attempted to only protect the wealthy.

    But arent the govt actions just temp fixes? Delaying the pain? Ultimately, the rich white guys are going to get it hard and fast right where it hurts.

    i really liked that comment you posted from another board earlier about how the small guy (middle class) isn’t seeing an increase in wages, yet everything they ARE TOLD to consume is going up.

    eventually, profit margins will have to be trimmed, nobody’s going to lend the consumer anything, and the US is going to have to go back to producing stuff (what? i have no clue).

  253. Yikes says:

    took a usair flight friday and was sitting next to some young punk. well, he seemed to be a young punk based on the way he wore his hat.

    so he breaks out his macbook (with a mccain sticker on it), i-phone (odd, all 3 of us in the row had i-phones), and then starts to work on his resume.

    im nosy, so i take a look … upenn. i was surprised. didn’t go to wharton, though.

    guess what his first job listed was? LEHMAN Brothers. i think he started there in aug 2007 or something.

    the rest of the time he spent watching movies on his cpu until the battery died, and reading high-end car magazines

  254. PeaceNow says:

    A snippet of tomorrow’s NY Times, re: seniors and real estate:

    As stock markets have slid in the last year, homes have become a more critical source of wealth for retirees who have watched their mutual funds and 401(k) accounts hollow out. Next to accrued Social Security benefits, housing is the single greatest asset for people 60 to 70 years old, making up 22 percent of their total wealth and outweighing investments and pensions, according to the Center for Retirement Research. For retirees like Herman McHan, who watched the value of his mutual funds fall to $35,000, from $70,000, or Sylvia Merlin, whose portfolio has lost nearly $200,000 of value, owning an interminably on-the-market home compounds the worries of their dwindling investments.

    For Ms. Merlin, it is a disconcerting place to be at age 93. She said she and her late husband, Al, had lived modestly to raise their four children, taking one vacation a year, to the Jersey Shore. She is on oxygen now, and finds it harder to get around her fifth-floor apartment outside of Philadelphia. The doorman’s wife takes her to the hairdresser on Fridays, but Ms. Merlin said she wanted more consistent care.

    “I’m going to be 94, and I need help,” she said. “Making the bed is difficult. I need a little help taking a shower. Those things are difficult. I was a great cook, but I really don’t cook anymore. I bought the TV dinners, and they’re pretty lousy.”

    No one has made an offer on her condominium, and Ms. Merlin said the retirement home had refunded the $1,000 deposit on the $130,000 unit she hoped to buy. Now, instead of moving, she said she had decided to stay.

    “I just couldn’t go anywhere until I sold my apartment,” she said. “I and a lot of other oldsters are stuck.”

    Full article here:


  255. bairen says:

    A relative of mine talked to the mail man today. Was told there are a lot fewer catalogs being mailed out this year.

  256. bairen says:

    Hong Kong’s luxury car and housing market is tanking.


    But it’s an island and next to China, how can this happen? / off sarcasm

  257. Jersey Jim says:

    We are in for a long cold winter. I suggest circling the wagons, saving money, and hiding wealth. Once Big O hits DC it will be the end of the end. I believe we have already passed the beginning of the end.

  258. grim says:

    Three banks taken into receivership yesterday? I think that might be a record number of banks in a single day this go-around.

    Community Bank, Loganville GA
    Downey Savings & Loan, Newport CA
    PFF Bank and Trust, Pomona CA

  259. grim says:

    Could be four I suppose, who knows what will happen to Citi come Sunday night.

  260. grim says:

    Ouch, Downey and PFF cost the FDIC more than $2 billion.

  261. SG says:

    New way of selling, Reverse Auction !!


    The idea is pretty simple – significantly lower the price of the house I’m selling on a weekly basis until a potential buyer thinks the current price is a fair. Once we find that price point, everything else is the same as a traditional real estate transaction.

    The first price drop is scheduled for June 13th although nothing is set in stone. Be sure to sign-up for the email list (above) so you’ll know as soon as the new price is announced. Btw, I hate spam too so rest assured, I won’t be giving our email away to anyone else.

    Agents are more than welcome to participate! This initiative is in no way, “anti-agent.” In fact, I’m offering the full 3% commission to the buyer’s agent.

    I do have a limit for how low I’ll drop the price of the house, but we’ve got a ways to go before we get there. I have a lot of faith that the free market will help us find the right price.

    In the event an offer is made but falls through, we’ll pick up where we left-off in the countdown.

  262. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Downey Seized, Sold to U.S. Bancorp as Mortgage Fallout Spreads

    Seizure and sale of Downey Financial Corp. and two smaller lenders may cost the FDIC more than $2 billion as foreclosures rise and home prices extend declines in the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.

    U.S. Bancorp acquired Downey and smaller PFF Bank & Trust, California thrifts crippled by bad mortgages, yesterday in a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Community Bank of Loganville, Georgia, was also closed and its $611.4 million of deposits taken over by Bank of Essex in Tappahannock, Virginia.

    Regulators this year have closed the most banks since 1993 as mortgage defaults and tightening credit froze markets. The collapse of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. was among the biggest in history, costing the FDIC $8.9 billion. The agency expects Downey’s demise to deplete its Deposit Insurance Fund by $1.4 billion, with PFF costing $700 million and Community $240 million.

    “The restructuring or consolidation of the U.S. banking industry has probably just begun,” said Neil Katkov, senior vice president of Celent, a Boston-based financial research firm. “There’s a whole world of potential mergers and acquisitions that will continue to emerge like these one.”

    Downey Financial, based in Newport Beach, California, lost about $680 million on mortgages in the past five quarters. The lender is the last of the five biggest sellers of option adjustable-rate mortgages to fail or be sold.

  263. SG says:

    Housing slowdown spurs auction of construction equipment

    Sellers dump equipment to pull in capital. Buyers are lured by cheap prices, although some are reluctant to spend on equipment that could remain idle for months.

  264. HEHEHE says:


    I just spoke to Louise. Since you always have such a rosy view of things she’d be honored if you’d be flower girl for the ceremony.

  265. Cindy says:


    UK – Prospect Magazine – Global economic order articles, essays, debate and features


    Pay-as-you-go finance
    A Tobin Tax

    How to stop the next bubble

    End of the cult of finance?

    Fixated on Friedman

    What Crisis? This is creative destruction

    Are we turning Japanese?

    Tons of content. I have been reading it for hours..

  266. Cindy says:


    You have to admit, the title of this one captures the imagination..

    “Bail Out Capitalism, Not Detroit”

  267. Confused In NJ says:

    266.SG Says:
    November 22nd, 2008 at 6:52 am
    Paddock Street couple auctioning their home

    Coming to NJ soon?

    That particular house is an excellent buy for around $200K, current asking price $439K. Paddock & Flower W are best streets in Watertown, walk to Hospital & downtown.

  268. Stu says:


    I checked In & Out for investing purposes a decade ago. I was really hoping that ‘fit flops’ was publicly traded as well. $50 for flip flops? Could you imagine the profit margin in them? I’m guessing that the cost to manufacture a shoe in India is probably about 50 cents. I can’t tell you how many suckers fall for them. It’s CROX reincarnate.

    Many of my best stock purchasing ideas derive from simply acknowledging where people are literally wasting their consumer discretionary dollars on sucker items. I made a ton off of Chipotle Mexican Grill. $8 for an assembly line burrito (with McDonald’s management) when others were doing it for $3. This is a no brainer. I don’t care if the beans were organically grown and harvested by Fair-Trade Tibetan Monks. No way a Burrito goes for $8 in a fast food joint.

    I constantly ask the Gator if she sees similar discretionary wastes all of the time.

    Oh yeah, Whole Foods was another good one for us a few year’s back. They charge $8/pound for prepared items like mashed potatos. For that kind of scratch, I’m going to ShopRite and buying lobster tails.

  269. Stu says:

    271 in mod Grim.

  270. NJGator says:

    Nom 252 – Thanks. This is actually not all that bad. Not only does Stu keep his job, but he is forced to take off so much time that he can work on the house!

  271. Cindy says:


    Coming to a neighborhood near you…

    “Fresno County home sales take off
    -foreclosures make up an increasing share of resales as prices fall” Sanford Nax – Fresno Bee

    “Investors and first-time buyers were out in force last month, snapping up foreclosures and driving up sales of existing homes in Fresno County by 87% from a year earlier, a market trading company reported Thursday.”

    Analysts say it is no coincidence that sales are soaring in regions where prices have plummeted. The median price of an existing home in Fresno County tumbled almost 32% to $168,000 last month from a year ago and on new houses fell 12.7% to $248,000.

    Bank-owned houses are increasingly the product of choice, totaling 56% of the 799 resales in October, said MDA DataQuick of La Jolla.

    They comprised 15.4% of the market in October 2007.

    …The traditional sellers are having to drop prices to compete….

    …30% of sales to investors…

    “Lenders are more willing to pay for repairs required by the Federal Housing Administration, which has emerged as the major lender in this economic climate, Gavin said.”

    “For example, he said Countrywide Financial agreed to spend $2,000 to paint the exterior and window sills of a foreclosure in addition to paying $6,000 in closing costs. That was on top of slashing the price $6,000, he said.”

  272. Clotpoll says:

    Rich (224)-

    Booyah Bob is stuck at the Super Bowl.

    The Colts/Bears Super Bowl.

    Although, I’ve heard he may have gotten a job in Broward County, duct-taping foreclosure notices to garage doors and enforcing evictions.

  273. Clotpoll says:

    No matter where Booyah is, one thing I know for sure is that Listen is still his personal toady/lickspittle.

  274. Clotpoll says:

    skep (228)-

    The new “right”:

    bolt cutters
    attack dog
    kitchen garden
    stealing cable
    getaway plan
    haggling with retailers
    Xmas shopping in Jan ’09

  275. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (230)-

    My question would’ve been “who farted”?

  276. Clotpoll says:

    HE (235)-

    The vampire JPM is circling the zombie C. JPM needs cash…and a new victim to jam with billions of worthless derivatives as they lay dying.

    Don’t be fooled by a C/GS “merger”. It’s all about JPM. Klink pulled the TARP’s CDO purchase off the table in order to pull the plug on C.

  277. Clotpoll says:

    Tard (239)-

    “What?? This woman gets on TV talking about doom and gloom and you get so damn excited that “rigor mortis” sets in.”

    As far as I can see, you’re the only necr@philiac here, Tard. Still clinging to the hope that your dead RE investments will ever rise again.

  278. willwork4beer says:


    The weekly hinterlands report:

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded 12 sales in Hunterdon County this week. Three made this list. The first and last are real prize winners…

    MLS#: 2560146

    179 E MAIN ST
    Clinton Twp

    SLD: 07/18/01 $173,000
    OLP: 07/29/08 $219,000
    SLD: 11/21/08 $165,900

    DOM: 114

    ($7,100 off 2001 price!)

    MLS#: 2580482

    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 04/13/06 $347,000
    OLP: 09/20/08 $339,500
    SLD: 11/15/08 $320,000

    DOM: 48

    MLS#: 2465092

    117 Cole Road
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 11/08/05 $545,000
    OLP: 11/30/07 $550,000
    SLD: 03/10/08 $300,000

    DOM: 101

    ($245,000 off 2005 price!)

  279. Clotpoll says:

    Downey Financial’s failure was one of Mike Morgan’s earliest calls.

  280. bairen says:

    #280 beer

    I’m stunned by 1 & 3.

    On the bright side I’m getting my local liquor store to order a case of James Boag.

  281. rhymingrealtor says:

    “For Ms. Merlin, it is a disconcerting place to be at age 93. She said she and her late husband, Al, had lived modestly to raise their four children, taking one vacation a year, to the Jersey Shore

    I’m going to be 94, and I need help

    Where are her four children?


  282. willwork4beer says:

    283 bairen

    Both were short sales.

    On the beer front, good move on ordering the case of Boag. I had a visit from my niece, alias the Beer Muse, two weekends back. She works in a Central PA beer store. She brought me a case of Chimay Blue and two cases of Troegs Mad Elf.

    Its like Christmas came early here at the Beer house… :)

  283. rhymingrealtor says:

    How many times have I heard of the parents putting everything in their children’s name impoverishing themselves so they won’t have to pay for medical and long term care Why? Why do I have to pay for their parents care? My husband’s uncle was in a nursing home for almost 5 years. His wife had to allow a lien on half of her home payable only when she died or it was sold. What’s wrong with that? He was given the care and it was paid for by them without hardship to her, of course the kids get less.. SO?


  284. bairen says:

    #285 willwork4beer

    You are a lucky man.

    I may have spoke to soon about the James. Liquor store says might be 10 case minimum. If that’s true, I’ll just go over to the place in P-way you told me about.

  285. bairen says:

    I wonder if we’ll get some form of national healthcare as a way to bail out the old industial companies and public employee retirement plans.

  286. bairen says:

    #285 both were short sales? a 6k drop in sale price over a 7 year period causes a short sale? wow. I’m guessing there was a refi or 2 involved.

  287. willwork4beer says:

    287 bairen

    10 cases?!? Yikes. That’s a lot of beer.

    BTW – Oak Tree Buy Rite is in South Plainfield. Isn’t that the store I mentioned?

    Good luck with your search if it comes to that.

  288. willwork4beer says:

    289 bairen

    Yup, I figure they HELOC’d the crap out of the place. I did a search and found a number of previous listings. All expired. Started at about 300K in 2006 and chased the market down…

  289. bairen says:

    #291 willwork4beer

    South Plainfield. That’s the one.

    I drive through P-way everyday. I think Oak Tree Rd in south Plainfield is only a 10 minute detour on the way home.

  290. tom3000252001 says:

    OMG …Now they are saying 350,000 financial industry jobs will be lost. NJ is going to look more like Detroit. Median home price $40,000 in 2009!!!


  291. Cindy says:

    (271) Stu – “Wasted discretionary dollars” – I’ll keep an eye out around here, too.

    Jamba Juice fits into that category doesn’t it? $4.00 for an ICEE with wheat grass?

    Funny thing about Crocs. I know a guy (sailboater) who was wearing Crocs year before they were the fad. Reminds me of Sperry Topsiders from years ago – boat shoes gone cool.

    In and Out has a limited menu – easy to execute and the whole “make the fries right there” thing is a bit of a show like the old pizza parlors… Food and entertainment – Chuckie Cheese!

    For some reason, the broke folks around here seem to think it is cheaper to go for fast food than to cook at home…um – don’t know how long that will last.

  292. renter says:


    We were at dinner a few months ago with some friends. She had a daughter at Franklin High a few years ago in a home ec class. The teacher asked what the main ingredient in soup was. Her daughter was the only one who could come up with water. Imagine?
    True Story.

  293. Cindy says:

    (296) Renter – OMG – I’m sorry.

    My biggest problem is trying to convince my students that Mexico and Canada are not states. I have to constantly pull down my map and reiterate the terminology –

    “This is North America. Here is the United States of America – To the north you will see the COUNTRY of Canada and Mexico is a COUNTRY to the south.

    Geez –

    I try to focus on the continents at least. I say “Now you just have to remember 6 A’s and one E.”

  294. NJGator says:

    Cindy 295 – Have you ever read “Fast Food Nation”? Other cool thing about In n Out Burger is they actually have safety standards for the food they serve and also treat their employees relatively well.

  295. Cindy says:

    (298) “Have you read “Fast Food Nation?” No, I haven’t. Good read, huh.

    Starbucks has treated my niece very well – insurance etc. They should not have overbuilt – didn’t Krispy Kreme over build, too? I just remember that at one point that stock was sky high. Now we no longer have a Krispy Kreme – kaput.

    Do you folks have See’s Candy there? They have been around here for years….have a quality product and have only slightly increased prices with the changing times.

  296. Cindy says:


    This is apparently Trader Joe’s – Now they have a great business model -IMO.

    Folks I know who live near the Whole Foods here won’t even shop there. They say the produce isn’t fresh – and we live in the San Joaquin Valley.

  297. Cindy says:

    (RE 299 – Sees) Duh! I should check things out before I run off at the mouth. It’s a Buffett deal now – thought it was a California thing.

  298. lostinny says:

    Staten Islanders will get a kick out of this-
    St. George is the next Park Slope! Get in now before prices skyrocket! So what if they want $750K for a waterview? Oh and btw, The Pointe was supposedly sold out. Today they say it’s only 10-15% sold. It’s been on the market for 2 years! God I hate it here.


  299. lostinny says:

    300 Cindy
    I go to Wegman’s. Today I walked out wondering what I spent $87 on. I can’t wait to go back Wednesday for the Thanksgiving shopping.

  300. Cindy says:

    (303) Lost – Crazy isn’t it. I am so frugal with my shopping these days….$87 – that’s two weeks for me. I will be in Oregon for Thanksgiving and shop on Wednesday with my daughters for our TG meal. I’ll probably pass out at the register.

  301. lisoosh says:

    From #294 –

    “That may spell bad news for the mathematical engineers — so-called “quants” — who concoct exotic derivatives products or devise computer-driven trading strategies. They were among the most sought-after professionals before the credit freeze.”

    Who was it who used to yak on about quants? Pret?

  302. lisoosh says:

    Other items

    Grim – almost finished the MBA? Didn’t you just start it or have I been around WAY too long?

    Spam – congrats on the purchase.

    Stu – glad you are still gainfully employed.

    Cindy – read an article where it was claimed people less prepared to deal with depression this time around because so many people don’t know how to cook from scratch.

    s-l – Hi.

    beer – looking for Orkney Dark Isle (Scottish porter) I know it’s out here somewhere. Seen it around?

    Chi – did you know that Laphroaig is sold in Asda (Walmart) in Scotland?

  303. Cindy says:

    (306) Lisoosh – I totally can believe people can’t cook from scratch anymore. I hear the student stories about what they have for dinner. They compare their favorite meals from fast food places.

    Maybe since all we will be able to afford to do is stay in and watch TV, they can start to gear the Food Channel to survival cooking strategies….

  304. reinvestor101 says:

    What is going on here?? First we have “HeeHaw” falling in love with a geriatic patient who looks like she has only a few minutes to live while moaning that the damn world is going to end tomorrow. Hell, I guess the world will end for someone who is a foot away from the grave….come on now, look at that video of Louise that HeeHaw posted and try to tell me that’s she not knocking on death’s door. HeeHaw here wants to commit suicide so he can meet and marry her in the afterworld.

    Then we have 3b who has developed what appears to be a relationship with a corn cob. We’re in polite company, so I won’t get into how this particular relationship evolved. Suffice it to say that we all just saw California’s rejection of a proposed marriage amendment and if you think for one minute that this center right nation is going to go for some proposal for marriage between a man and a corn cob, you got another think coming.

    Both of you guys need serious help.

    3b Says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 9:40 pm
    #236 rebuttfixation:You’re worst than 3b with his corn cob fixation.

    Don’t make me have to shut you up again. You are the one who is clearly obsessed with butts and corn cobs, as I so clearly pointed out to you a few weeks ago.

    Please get help your family will appreciate it.

    Now climb back in your hole.

  305. gary says:

    Some advice needed: I’ve been living on a steady diet of Starbucks and x@nax for about three weeks now. Can anyone tell me of the long term effects of this type of diet?

  306. 3b says:


    Please get help, you owe it to you spouse.

  307. Al says:

    tom3000252001 Says:
    November 22nd, 2008 at 10:45 am

    OMG …Now they are saying 350,000 financial industry jobs will be lost. NJ is going to look more like Detroit. Median home price $40,000 in 2009!!!

    It really would not matter what house prices will be, BECAUSE YOUR MEDIAN RE taxes will be 40K/YEAR by 2011!!!!

  308. Steve says:

    Maybe we should invite this guy to start posting here, he’d be in good company. Interesting discussion:

    “All US Financials Will be Nationalized in a Year: Manager”

  309. Outofstater says:

    #309 Gary – No clue but it can’t be good. Something will come along for you – it always does. Took me a year and a half once and it totally s#cked but I loved the job I got at the end of that trial. I think part of what is adding to your anxiety is your language. You aren’t cursing anymore. Try cursing like you used to, even if you don’t feel like it. Really let it rip. And post it here so we all can enjoy it.

  310. lostinny says:

    Get my email from Grim or send me yours. I just found out someone I work with does some headhunting.

  311. spam spam bacon spam says:



    The best is I’ll OWN it. I can move walls, plant flowers, whatever!

    No more stinkin’ landlord saying NO NO NO.

    Heck, I rent an industrial building in an industrial park. The LL won’t allow tenant signs at the road entrances to denote who occupies what. (we have about 30 buildings and about 200 tenants) The reason? They want to “keep it neat”. So now we have all bought our own signs and placed them at the entrances, all sizes of signs, all types of signs, stabbed into the grassy areas at odd angles and jockeying for position… scattered pellmell…like a friggin’ ransome note except with signs.


    The truly crazy.

  312. spam spam bacon spam says:

    grim-unmoderate me pls
    what’d I say?

  313. spam spam bacon spam says:


    The starbucks might kill you, but the x@n@x will ensure that you really don’t friggin’ care :)

  314. RentL0rd says:


    Not sure how to say it, but I will say it.

    Stay away from this blog my friend. There’s still a lot of ways to make money… even though it may not be what you used to do or make.

    It’s not the end of the world.

  315. spam spam bacon spam says:


    I have a lot of thoughts about health insurance, but I should keep it short.

    By requiring the doctor get paid not from you, but from a [FOR PROFIT] company, you put an intermediary in your healthcare.

    Understand this: you picked the insurer, not him. The insurer you picked wants to screw both you and him. Now, instead of getting a check or credit card, the Dr will have to fight to get paid.

    You know what your doctor wants?

    To help people feel better.

    Not fight some ins. co. for his money.

    He’s had to hire extra staff to get his money. And now, when you use “your” ins, he has to utilize the staff to get “his” money. You are paying for that middleman.

    Uninsured care is cheap(er).

    I “self-pay” a LOT.

    I’ve got a doctor who will sit with me for 30 minutes and charge $50, payable at the front counter.

    I tell them upfront: no middlemen, no holding back. You do EVERYTHING you need to do and charge ME. I get first class service (I get a doc instead of nurse, phlebotomist, etc) whatever tests I want and a cheap bill.

  316. Diane says:


    What field of work are you in?


  317. jamil says:

    there won’t be enough doctors on this planet if we have the nationalized healthcare libs dream of. Canada tried to solve the lack of doctors by criminalizing private care by doctors (ie if doctor accepts patients on his own, he’ll be thrown to jail).

    Health care insurance mess would be relative easy to solve: Get rid of illegals and ambulance-chasing slick lawyers (think of John Edwards).

  318. Essex says:

    320. Jamil my guess is that the government has enough on their plate right now trying to save the economy and that the issue of healthcare will be something in the distant future. If at all. I cannot see a broke government taking on that responsibility.

  319. Outofstater says:

    At what point are pension funds and mutual funds required to dump GM, C, etc because they are under $5/share or can they go right to zero?

  320. Sunny Florida says:

    Anybody notice the homebuilders have taken a prolonged dive this last week. Incredible, one would expect companies like tol, ryl & ctx to at least rally back a few bucks from the latest train wreck, but I do believe the party is over. This five percent rally on the DOW on Friday was so predictable, as, it seems that is in the same spirit as the pre-Obama rally, and these rallies are becoming more and more short lived. I expect next week to be more red for the market.

    We were in a ‘GL’ show room today in Boynton Beach, FL, GL must be a regional builder, but man oh man their stuff, at least their model homes were fantastic. But, looked on the internet, a few adjacent developments have pages and pages of foreclosures selling that 4k sq ft house now going for $650kish for around $400k. I imagine things will get worse.

    The reason why I moved from NJ to FL was to escape the personal income tax. A few gold miner stocks that we owned were taken over and we got 500% gains, so, with FL we save about $300k plus in taxes, which is a good chunk of a new home purchase.

    All’s I want to do is cash out/cover on short positions and start buy 100 oz gold bars, store them in some hiding place in that three car garage.

  321. true sue says:

    Essex says “I cannot see a broke government taking on that responsibility.”…..why not ? New Jersey does it all the time ?

  322. stu says:


    If the economy improves under O, will you claim that it was 8 years of W that lead up to it? Or will you simply just regurgitate what ever Drudge says?

  323. kettle1 says:


    cheaper w/out INs??????

    I was without Ins for about 3 months and of course my son needed to go to the doctor. the same care that he has had before w/ ins was much more expensive for me without.

    I understand your overall point and agree with the premise, but havent seen it work in person.

    what did i do wrong?

  324. lisoosh says:

    healthcare – I agree with spam. All that would really be needed would be true catastrophic health insurance to prevent home loss etc.. Otherwise, cheaper to just pay the doc.

  325. kettle1 says:

    comment from another blog.

    Point on!!!!!!!

    We need to start looking much closer at what’s going on beyond the big numbers. Because if we do, we can find out what is happening to all the millions of people whose purchases and tax revenues combine to make multi-trillion dollar economies possible. WIth that idea in mind, what we see in the real world should be a wake up call, a realization that we can indeed predict what will be the future of large banks, insurers and carmakers.

  326. kettle1 says:

    Is this why the market surged yesterday as opposed to the announcement of Geithner’s appointment?

    How in the world do they actually pull this off, they only have about 45 billion.

    FDIC pledges $1.4 trillion backing for bank debt, deposits

    The FDIC will guarantee up to $1.4 trillion in U.S. banks’ debt for more than three years as part of the government’s financial rescue plan. The directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. voted Friday to approve the plan, which is meant to break the crippling logjam in bank-to-bank lending. The FDIC will provide temporary insurance for loans between banks — except for those for 30 days or less — guaranteeing the new debt in the event of payment default by the borrowing bank.


  327. kettle1 says:

    Citi slammed, but J.P. Morgan in greater need of capital

    Investors may be punishing Citigroup, but according to one analyst, J.P. Morgan Chase may need even more capital than Citi to shore up its balance sheet. Indeed, Paul Miller at Friedman Billings Ramsey calculates that J.P. Morgan may require at least $188 billion in additional equity capital, compared with $160 billion for Citi.


  328. Cindy says:

    (312) Steve
    “All US Financials Will Be Nationalized in a Year”


    “Citigroup May End Up With U.S. Government Rescue” – Bloomberg

  329. kettle1 says:

    Goldman Falls Below IPO Price, Erasing Almost 10 Years of Gains

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dropped below $53 for the first time since it went public almost a decade ago as the earnings outlook dims for a company that last year set a record for Wall Street earnings. The stock fell as much as $2.83 to a low of $52.35 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading this morning, giving Goldman a market value of $25 billion. At 9:38 a.m. the stock was down $1.89 to $53.29. The New York-based company’s value reached a high of $105 billion, or $248 per share, on Oct. 31, 2007.


  330. kettle1 says:

    Buffett’s huge derivatives bet proves costly

    Shares of Warren Buffett’s insurance holding company are on the ropes this month, plunging 30% in part because the famed investor dabbled in an area of the market he has long publicly derided: derivatives. And due to a tangled web of financial relationships, they may be taking Goldman Sachs shares down with them.

    Investors are concerned about a $37-billion bet that Buffett made last year that U.S. and world equity values would be higher in 15 to 20 years than they were then, when the Dow Jones Industrials were trading around 13,000. Through his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett sold option contracts, known as “naked puts” to an undisclosed group of investors for around $4.85 billion, reportedly using Goldman as broker. The buyers saw the puts as a type of insurance that would pay off royally if stocks fell over the next decade. They were seen by Buffett as an easy way to pocket a quick $4 billion-plus, which was booked much like an insurance premium, even though he is famous for scoffing at derivatives as “weapons of mass financial destruction.”


  331. Barbara says:

    spam, realistically that will get you buy on basic, testing but once the chit hits the fan, you won’t find Sloan Kettering giving you 50 dollar 30 min face time let alone the litany of tests, surgeries and followups that incure during a serious illness.
    I lot of brovado on the internet concerning self pay but at the end of the day, if you are uninsured and seriously injured or ill, you are royally screwed.

  332. kettle1 says:

    More California cities hurtling into fiscal void

    When the city of Vallejo filed for bankruptcy protection in May, the logical question was: Is this a sign of things to come? Now two more California cities – Rio Vista and Isleton – are considering bankruptcy protection as an option as they face large budget shortfalls and staggering debt. While experts caution against ringing the alarm bells just yet, they do say tough economic times could push municipalities already on the brink over the edge.


  333. Barbara says:

    buy = by

  334. kettle1 says:

    Jersey pension fund down 20% in four months

    Losses in the stock market have knocked New Jersey’s pension investment funds from $82 billion last June to less than $58 billion now, prompting one state senator to call for twin probes into how the funds lost so much money. The State Investment Council heard about the losses at a public hearing Thursday. Sen. Bill Baroni Jr. said legislative leaders should appoint a bipartisan panel of lawmakers to look into the pension fund, and he wants state Attorney General Anne Milgram to investigate if the pension fund may have fallen victim to fraud.


  335. kettle1 says:

    Massachusetts state pensions lose $5 billion, 13.3%, in one month

    Massachusetts’ pension system fell by a staggering 13.3 percent last month alone, losing another $5 billion amid a Wall Street free fall that’s hammered investors across the nation. So far this year, the pension system for state employees has lost about $13 billion, down 26.9 percent. It ended October at about $40 billion.

  336. kettle1 says:

    Fields of Grain and Losses

    The farmers said it would not last, and they were right. When the price of wheat, corn, soybeans and just about every other food grown in the ground began leaping skyward two years ago, farmers were pleased, of course. But generally they refused to believe that the good times would be permanent. They had seen too many booms that were inevitably followed by busts.

    Now, with the suddenness of a hailstorm flattening a field, hard times are back on the American farmstead. The price paid for crops is dropping much faster than the cost of growing them. The government reported this week that the cost of goods and services nationwide fell by a record amount in October as frantic businesses tried to lure customers. While lower prices are good for consumers in the short run, a prolonged stretch of deflation would wreak havoc as companies struggled to stay afloat.

    In this lonesome stretch near the Texas border, farmers are getting an early taste of a deflationary world. They have finished planting next year’s winter wheat, turning the fields a brilliant emerald green. But it cost about $6 a bushel in fuel, seed and fertilizer to put the crop in. That is $1 more than they could sell it for today, and never mind other expenses like renting land. This looming loss sharpens their regret that they did not unload more of this year’s crop back when they harvested it in May. They knew the boom would end, but not so soon. “I waited all my life for wheat to go from $4 to $5,” said Jimmy Wayne Kinder, a fourth-generation farmer. “Then it hit $10, and we were all asking, ‘What are we going to do?’ ”


  337. kettle1 says:


    you said it better then me, and i agree with you….

  338. jamil says:

    324 stu: “If the economy improves under O, …regurgitate what ever Drudge says?”

    I’m not sure what is your obsession with Drudge. At least it is more honest and reliable than partisan rags like, say, NYT or CBS “News”.

    Anyway, I’m warming towards O. His rumored staff/cabinet picks (VP, SecState, SecDef, NSA, CIA) are all warmongering hardliners and early Iraq War supporters. O and his staff are now indicating that his campaign promises wrt NAFTA, FISA, Patriot Act, “don’t ask, don’t tell” were just lies (apparently needed to get the votes from low-IQ masses.
    He railed against old DC insiders, but his staff/picks are exactly those very people, mainly from BillC era.

    Meet the new boss – same as the old one!

  339. Barbara says:


    just sayin

  340. kettle1 says:


    You posted the article the other day about shipping…

    Dont take your food supply for granted. All the signs are out there, that we will see shortages for a variety of reasons, scattered about the nation

  341. kettle1 says:


    344 in mod?

  342. kettle1 says:


    un/fortunately not. Armageddon would be much more exciting. this is just going to be a long slow slog while excess is cleared from the global system.

  343. kettle1 says:


    You posted the article the other day about shiping…

    Dont take your food supply for granted. All the signs are out there, that we will see shortages for a variety of reasons; scattered about the nation

  344. Cindy says:


    “Gottschalks sells stock to Chinese: Deal Will Give 75% to overseas firm, bring $30m cash infusion on”

    This of course doesn’t mean anything to all of you – but this outfit (now 54 stores in the Valley) was opened in 1904 as a dry goods store by Mr. Gottschalk.

    It is mentioned in the article that buying a retail store fits with the Chinese strategy because they have a direct route for their products. Wow…

  345. Barbara says:

    I was just kidding

  346. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (329)-

    At first glance, it appears that this doesn’t address short-term LIBOR.

    Overnight out to 30-day LIBOR really gives you the gauge of banks’ confidence in one another.

    Seems to me that once you peel that onion, the confidence still isn’t there.

  347. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (330)-

    Great snag! THIS is the vampire JPM I keep banging the table about. Their need for greater and greater amounts of cash- and victims to pin worthless paper onto- is boundless.

    And…Paulson, Bergabe, et al know it and are in on setting up victims for Dimon.

  348. Clotpoll says:

    Sorry. I’ve had a couple of drinks with dinner, and just now realized that if you take my premise from #347 and marry it to the article referenced in #330 and #348, you have the seeds for an entire collapse of the US financial system.

    Good times.

    I think I’m going back to drinking now.

  349. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (344)-

    The victim is only now being strapped to the table for the treatment BC calls Chinese water torture.

    A Biblical generation of torpor is coming from this.

  350. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (345)-

    Great. Now they can jam us full of melamine and lead paint, with no middleman.

  351. Cindy says:

    (351) They are cutting out the middleman on this one Clot…

    I’m actually surprised I haven’t heard of more retail activity – direct line…

    I’m actually headed out to dinner. I won a $100.00 Flemmings card from the PTA membership drive – whoopee….

    (My friends and I thought we should go right away – with our unemployment rate up to 11.6% – we weren’t sure how long Flemmings would be in town….)

    Have a great night..

  352. bi says:

    333#, kattle,
    not necessarily the case. from what i know, the option he wrote is “european style”. it means that the buyer cannot exercise before maturity, which is over 10 years away. likely the option will end up worthless by that time.
    >Buffett’s huge derivatives bet proves costly

  353. bi says:

    now we have another Messaih coming. He triggered 500 pts rally Friday even though I thought his education background makes him fit well for the position of the secratary of state.


  354. spam spam bacon spam says:


    Nice try, but I’m not that stupid. I may look it, but the voices in my head say otherwise….

    At 236, you give an example of a “wellness” checkup”

    Just read over the itemized bill for my 5 yr olds check up and immunizations for school. We have “insurance” but still had to pay 85 out of pocket. In the bill they not only charged 120 for the visit with the doctor (all or 15 minutes long) but on top of the cost of the vaccines, they charged for their “administration.” My kid sat still for 4 shots. Wow, not included in the 120, an additional 35 dollars.
    Do these people walk on water?
    Time for some DIY medical care.

    You gave a completely different scenario than the critical care/catastrophic care you now give in comment 335.

    Insurance was originally BUILT for Sloan Kettering types of illnesses….

    “INSURANCE”. To insure oneself against the catastrophic occurence.

    When people started to want these same insurance companies to pay for wellness care, then healthcare got obscenely expensive.

    You know what? The doc did his years in school and practice, the drug companies developed your vaccines, produced them, distributed them follow enough protocols to document nuclear waste, and are just waiting for someone to sue them over a bent needle, the doc’s insurance is sky-high, he’s gotta hire extra office people to get paid for care he provided to your jr and for all this you want to pay HOW MUCH?

    You said $85.00 was too much.

    So what’s your price?

  355. bi says:

    the current financial crisis is easier to solve than most people thinnk: re-set dow (and other indices and stocks) to 11500 and stop stock trading for 2 years. by then, O will have created 2 million new jobs.

  356. victorian says:

    Bi –

    Have you become a bear now that O is going to be in Office?

  357. spam spam bacon spam says:


    I can’t say what you “did wrong”, but here’s what I’ve done, maybe you can see something that may help:

    Tell office at appt and doc in exam room you are self-pay. Be sure: don’t tell just one, but both.

    Politely ask if they offer self-pay discounts. Most offices do, but I’ve met two that didn’t. It happens.

    Back when we were without insurance, we were hit with 28K in bills for St Peter’s in New Bruns. 13 days in surgical ward, a $9,900 surgery, ER charges, ambulance, daily x-rays, pathology, the works….

    We paid 6K TOTAL, took 2 years to pay.
    MOST offices either zeroed out our bill or lopped it in half when I called to ask about payment arrangements.

    The Hosp and surgeon both asked for steady payments before giving any discounts… We paid both $125/month each and the hosp gave us a credit to zero after 18 months and the surgeon mailed us a ZERO bill after 2 years.

    They got paid, and $2500 was probably low for the hosp but I think $2500 was fair for a 3 hour operation by the surgeon.

  358. Clotpoll says:

    bi (356)-

    This post may be better than your $40 oil call:

    “…the current financial crisis is easier to solve than most people thinnk: re-set dow (and other indices and stocks) to 11500 and stop stock trading for 2 years.”

    Keep it up. Stuff like the above is why I always look forward to coming here.

  359. Clotpoll says:

    bi, my only hope is that the dogs barking in your head are a different breed than the ones barking in mine.

  360. spam spam bacon spam says:

    And yes, we have health insurance.

    Pretty good, too…BCBS with no referrals, 80% copay to 1K max, dental, etc. And we require no contribution. (We provide it free of charge.)

    But mostly it’s for my employees.

    I pay my own doc(s) with a personal check.

    I don’t look at my health insurance plan like it’s a gift card. eg: “I got it, I gotta use every last penny up”… If I need an expensive treatment, I’m OK. But I’m not making my doctor fight like a pigeon over a $50.00 french fry….

  361. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Clot: how can you even wrap your brain around this?

    “…the current financial crisis is easier to solve than most people thinnk: re-set dow (and other indices and stocks) to 11500 and stop stock trading for 2 years.”

    I’m not drunk and I can’t even begin to understand the idea, or …arghhhh…see? I can’t even contemplate the idea.

    It causes brain-freeze.

    Ow. Ow.. Owowowowowowowowo!

  362. bi says:

    citi would be interesting to watch next week. Reading between lines from the article, I doubt it will become a turkey by Thursday.


  363. bi says:

    357#, vic, even W stays in the office for next 4 year, the market will recover by its own force. on the other hands, we have to recognize that the market moves up and down much faster than ever.

  364. prtraders2000 says:

    New source of funds for the market! My brother works at Etrade opening up new accounts. He said he’s seeing a lot of new accounts being funded with unemployment checks.

  365. stu says:

    Bi is drinking obviously. No other explanation for it.

  366. chicagofinance says:

    gary Says:
    November 22nd, 2008 at 2:22 pm
    Some advice needed: I’ve been living on a steady diet of Starbucks and x@nax for about three weeks now. Can anyone tell me of the long term effects of this type of diet?


  367. chicagofinance says:

    lisoosh Says:
    November 22nd, 2008 at 12:49 pm
    Chi – did you know that Laphroaig is sold in Asda (Walmart) in Scotland?

    lisoosh: I always thought that Laphroaig was Islay for bottled water….

  368. chicagofinance says:

    First Geithner is appointed….

    Then the Knicks clear cap space for LeBron…

    and now this….

    Do not mistake the signals of the apocalypse…

  369. SG says:

    At party yesterday evening, met 3 guys working in Citi. Everyone blamed Short Sellers. Most think if SEC bans short selling again, stock will go back up in no time.

  370. SG says:

    From Robert Reich’s blog,

    Why CitiGroup is About to Be Bailed Out and Not General Motors

    Why the difference? Viewed from Wall Street, Citi is too big and important to be allowed to fail while GM is simply a big, clunky old manufacturing company that can go into chapter 11 and reorganize itself. The newly conventional wisdom on the Street is that the failure of the Treasury and the Fed to save Lehman Brothers was a grave mistake because Lehman’s demise caused creditors and investors to panic, which turned the sub-prime loan mess into a financial catastrophe — a mistake that must not occur again. But GM? GM is only jobs and communities. Citi is money.

    Nonetheless, Citi is about to be bailed out while GM is allowed to languish. That’s because Wall Street’s self-serving view of the unique role of financial institutions is mirrored in the two agencies that run the American economy — the Treasury and the Fed. Their job, as they see it, is to keep the financial economy “sound,” by which they mean keeping Wall Street’s own investors and creditors happy.

  371. SG says:

    From the blog mentioned above,

    At the time of its failure, Lehman Brothers was counterparty to $729 billion in derivatives trades.

    As of Sept 30, Citigroup was counterparty to $36.8 trillion in notional derivatives trades (10-Q page 40, last line). If there is any company whose bankruptcy would destroy the global financial system, Citigroup is it. With the possible exception of JP Morgan.

    Institutions of this scale never should have been allowed to exist. But they do, and they are failing, and now the government has to decide how to respond.

  372. Cindy says:

    (374) SG – I was just reading a similar story RE Citigroup where they are calling for a return of the up-tick rule and blaming short sellers…


    I am also questioning whether the timely announcement of Geithner wasn’t centered around a Citigroup decision this weekend…

    “After a board meeting early Friday morning, Citigroup management and some board members held several calls with Henry Paulson, the Treasury Secretary and with the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner, who later emerged as president-elect Bara*k Omama’s choice to be Treasury Secretary.”

  373. lisoosh says:

    spam spam bacon spam Says:
    November 22nd, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    “And yes, we have health insurance.

    Pretty good, too…BCBS with no referrals, 80% copay to 1K max, dental, etc. And we require no contribution. (We provide it free of charge.)”

    Wow. In another life, I’m coming to work for you. We pay over $650 a month for a family of 4. Not bad insurance, but not the greatest either.

  374. lisoosh says:

    # chicagofinance Says:

    “lisoosh: I always thought that Laphroaig was Islay for bottled water….”


  375. Outofstater says:

    Is it just me or does Citi seem to be the General Motors of the financial world – big, unwieldy with clueless management and the unparalleled ability to screw up anything that is put in front of them. AND they’ve been doing it since the seventies. Anyone remember the move into Argentina and how well that turned out? Nothing like having your operations nationalized. Oh wait…. Maybe I just need more coffee.

  376. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Thanks, ‘Soosh…

    When I was young(er), I worked for company that provided Guardian insurance.

    Apparently it the “Cadillac” of insurance.

    I never used it.

    (Cadillac does not mean what it used to; see “Cimmaron”, Allante” and “Catera” ;)

  377. willwork4beer says:

    #306 lisoosh

    I think I have, as a matter of fact. I will check my local (Flemington) beer store later today.

    Have to reiterate, however, Oak Tree Buy Rite in South Plainfield is the mother of all craft/import beer stores. If you are looking for something difficult to find, try there.

    Note to Sybarite (wherever you are):

    There was a DFH Palo Santo sighting in Flemington yesterday. First time in months. That means it could be at a store near you. Somewhere…

  378. bi says:

    re: short sell. in my expert opinion, short sell ban is bad; up-tick (bid) rule should be restored.

  379. Cindy says:

    (381) Outofstater

    Here’s another article on Citi – the name “Rubin” comes up frequently… -6 pages Herald Tribune – a few higlights..

    “According to a former Citigroup executive, Prince started putting pressure on Meheras and others to increase earnings in the bank’s trading operation, particularly in the creation of collateralized debt obligations, or CDO’s…”

    “Chuck Prince going down to the corporate investment bank in late 2002 was the start of that process , “A former Citigroup executive said of the bank’s big CDO push, “Chuck was totally new to the job. He didn’t know a CDO from a grocery list, so he looked to someone for advice and support. That person was Rubin. And Rubin had always been an advocate of being more aggressive in the capital markets arena. He would say, You have to take more risk if you want to earn more.”

    “But while Rubin certainly did not have direct responsibility for a Citigroup unit, he was an architect of the bank’s strategy.”

  380. Outofstater says:

    Thanks, Cindy. Whata buncha buffoons!

  381. John says:

    BC needs to chnage his name to AD. I still don’t think GM is going bankrupt. Old Rick will pull some magic cash out of somewhere till the new prez gives him cash. I hate to be that union leader, he is going to have to give something up now or even more later. Interesting GMAC was up last week as they are moving to a bank to steal TARP money. Wonder if GMAC the parasite can survive without its host GM for more than a few weeks.

    Barrons had an interesting article that luxery homes in the Tony bedroom communities of NYC have another 20% to fall. Given that homes are currently selling for 10% less than asking they said 2010 selling prices should be 30% off todays asking price. Well a listed 2 million dollar upper saddle river home today will be an actual sale in 18 months of 1.4 million. People did not put much money down so they better take what they can and run today. The truly rich just won’t sell, but a lot of first generation wealth from wall street at the VP or SVP level with a stay at home wife who overextended themselves and either have already lost there job or are now looking at an 80% bonus but when the bonus was 50% of their pay and they were spending 99% of their income already is going to look ugly. Good news someone who wants to spend 800K on a house in 2010 should start looking at 1.2 million dollar homes today as they will be 800K homes in 18 months. BC Bob thinks I over extend myself, I own three cars outright and have a 80K mortgage and my trade up house downpayment all in cds and bonds. I only jump in an buy junk bonds with no more than 5K per company when it is just stupid cheap, like the 5K Genworth bond I bought last week for 2K. As long as they don’t go under for at least a year it is ok, but I am hoping they don’t/ If we really think we are in for deflation and high taxes, I tell you State GO bonds are the way to go, the 5K you get back at maturity will be worth more than the 5K you put in today and you can get 5% tax free while waiting.

    There are a lot of realtors on here, and they know the folks who bought high end homes since 2002 are leveraged at the high end as their wealth is a mirage. Ain’t many who bought since 2002 that can sell for 30% off asking without a short sale or dipping into their savings.

  382. Cindy says:


    Here is an oped today from Thomas Friedman where he advocates installing Timothy Geithner by Thanksgiving. Just make him a Bush appointee and let him take over next week…

  383. John says:

    I like when in pretty women Julia Roberts calls a Rolls the Cadilac of Cars.

  384. kettle1 says:

    Markets wary of Irish debt as fresh rescue looms

    Ireland’s bank rescue has begun to unravel despite a blanket debt guarantee for the country’s top lenders, prompting concerns that Europe’s credit crisis may be entering a second and more menacing phase.

    While talk of a fresh bail-out has helped revive the battered stocks of Anglo Irish, Bank of Ireland and other lenders, it appears merely to have shifted the risk to the Irish state itself.

    Michael Klawitter, a strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort, said the cost of insuring Irish sovereign debt through credit default swaps (CDS) has surged to 133 basis points. “The markets have begun to see a risk to the solvency of the Irish government. They are questioning whether it has the financial muscle to back up the guarantees,” he said.


  385. victorian says:

    I thought that the “BC” in BC Bob stood for Boston College, his alma mater(?).

  386. Cindy says:

    (394) Vic – Me too – We had an entire conversation last year centered around the fact that the Seattle Seahawks quarterback – Matt Hasselbeck – played for BC. But he set us straight a few days ago – it was because the “Bobs” – Booyah and BC – were getting confused – That is if I understood BC’s post correctly.

  387. Cindy says:

    So BC means – before crash…

  388. Cindy says:

    (388) John – What are state GO bonds? Is that like what CA just sold???

  389. Clotpoll says:

    John (388)-

    You are sounding less and less Master of the Universe. Leave the magical thinking to the New Age dopes…it doesn’t fit you:

    “Old Rick will pull some magic cash out of somewhere till the new prez gives him cash.”

  390. Cindy says:


    Omama May Delay Tax-cut Rollback for Wealthy

    “His aides’ comments suggest Omama may be wary of imposing any additional tax burden at a time of deep crisis, despite the outlook for record budget deficits and mounting national debt.”

  391. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (389)-

    Add Friedman to the long list of people who just don’t get it.

    When a writer states that something needs to be done to stabilize housing prices, I immediately cross that guy off my list. As Schiff has properly noted so many times, all the efforts to put an artificial floor under RE prices just makes things worse.

    Once again: why are sales up in CA, NV, AZ and FL? Duh.

  392. DL says:

    I always thought Cadillac was the name of a town in France.

  393. Cindy says:

    Clot – The best part of that article was when he was out eating and felt compelled to shout to the diners “Don’t you realize how aweful the economy is?” I felt a bit like that last night. The restaurant was packed. We had gift cards and cash but – are these folks out there running up their CC on $50. meals? Man alive.

    I didn’t follow the wines poured very well last night but one pleasant surprise was an Australian Shiraz – Two Hands.

  394. kettle1 says:

    stater 381,

    my understanding was that argentina was a net profit for citi BOA dn others despite nationalization. It was corporate gangr@pe of the existing business and physical infrastructure.

    I know BOA offshore a lot of the argentinian deposits and then played shell compnay games when nationalization happened.

  395. Cindy says:

    Grim (399) in mod – regarding Omama reconsidering his call to tax the wealthy.

    “Omama may delay tax-cut rollback for wealthy” Yahoo news – just a bit ago…

  396. kettle1 says:


    The scary thing is that the geneal public wont realize what caused all of this until it is in the history books 20 years from now….. And then it still depends on who writes the history book….

  397. kettle1 says:


    can we lift the ban on O’s name given that he is now president and making a lot of economic news????

  398. BC Bob says:

    In 2005, it was Before Crash. When BC wins, it stands for Boston College. When I buy at 40-50% off it will change to Bergen County.


    If BOOYAAA is not tap dancing on Listen’s grave, I want to hire Listen. I can’t dig fast enough.

    Kettle [335],

    So, all along, it was WB swimming naked?

  399. kettle1 says:


    Government Protests Turn Nasty in Iceland

  400. BC Bob says:


    Regarding Gold and Before Christ;

    9/07- S&P’s- 1500, Gold 700

    Friday, Dec Futures; S&P’s 792, Gold 791.80

    From over 2/1 to 1/1. On Monday, ask your lackeys to do the math, net change in futures value. Come to think of it, Mitchell and Jamil should also get out their calculators.

    Got paper?

  401. BC Bob says:


    Forget about your lackeys, would you like to know? Thankfully, you are counting beans and not constructing spread trades.

  402. kettle1 says:


    November 20 (Bloomberg) — The Somali pirates, renegade Somalis known for hijacking ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden, are negotiating a purchase of Citigroup.

    The pirates would buy Citigroup with new debt and their existing cash stockpiles, earned most recently from hijacking numerous ships, including most recently a $200 million Saudi Arabian oil tanker. The Somali pirates are offering up to $0.10 per share for Citigroup, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said earlier today. The negotiations have entered the final stage, Ali said.

    “You may not like our price, but we are not in the business of paying for things. Be happy we are in the mood to
    offer the shareholders anything,” said Ali.

    The pirates will finance part of the purchase by selling new Pirate Ransom Backed Securities. The PRBS’s are backed by the cash flows from future ransom payments from hijackings in the Gulf of Aden. Moody’s and S&P have already issued their top investment grade ratings for the PRBS’s.

    Head pirate, Ubu Kalid Shandu, said: “We need a bank so that we have a place to keep all of our ransom money. Thankfully, the dislocations in the capital markets has allowed us to purchase Citigroup
    at an attractive valuation and to take advantage of TARP capital to grow the business even faster.”

    Shandu added, “We don’t call ourselves pirates. We are coastguards and this will just allow us to guard our coasts better.”






    *Moody’s upgrade Somali Pirates to AAA





  403. Outofstater says:

    #393 Thanks, Cindy. Moe, Larry and Curly, right there. And Rubin, the arrogance of that guy is stunning but he can’t hold a candle to Rick Wagoner. To this day, Wagoner has no clue of how the rest of the world sees him. He looks in the mirror and sees a real live master of the industrial universe while the rest of the world sees him for what he is – a self-absorbed empty suit.

  404. still_looking says:

    for the record.

    I hate nearly all insurance companies including the largest insurance company, Medicare.

    If you only knew what I’ve gone through in life to get to have the “privilege” of taking care of people.

    There are days I am jealous of our secretary’s job and would quit if I could.

    I have stories you just wouldn’t (couldn’t!) believe that you’ll only pry out of me after 3 or 4 scotches [straight up.]


  405. BC Bob says:

    Heads should be chopped in Trenton. Taxpayers bend over and stay in that position.

    “Managers of New Jersey’s embattled pension fund, criticized by lawmakers for bailing out a struggling BlackRock hedge fund in October, secretly gave two other hedge funds the same deal, records from the state investment council show.”

    “The Canyon Special Opportunities Fund and GoldenTree Credit Opportunities Fund were each awarded $49.5 million in state funds on the same day the controversial $49.5 million bailout of a BlackRock Inc. fund took place, according to a memo released by the investment council this week.”

    “The cash infusions were a shade below the $50 million threshold that triggers public scrutiny. The BlackRock deal riled prominent Statehouse lawmakers. So does the new revelation that there was not just one such deal, but three.”


  406. kettle1 says:


    Perth Mint suspends orders amid rush to buy gold bullion.


  407. kettle1 says:

    citi’s volume was over 1 billion transactions on friday……


  408. kettle1 says:

    ehy us automakers need to be ;left to their own fate…

    Ford needs 13 months and $75 million to change the type of car a factory produces. Honda? 5 minutes.

  409. lisoosh says:

    Now that I have a couple of months working in the WS commuter towns and with Bergen Counties Prestigious people I have a couple of observations:

    1. The wannabe’s are the worst. A lot of the richer people (not all of course) are much more pleasant than the people who hang off of them. Damn place is full of clique’y “Heathers” for whom the ultimate condemnation is that someone doesn’t spend all their time and money on manicures. I try not to wish ill on people but the chippies looking to land big money make me seriously hope they hit 40 still single and bitter. And for that I bow my head in spitefull but gleeful shame.

    2. The big WS guys – IB’s and Hedgies (and I am talking the big boys here) are particularly cranky and many of them cheap if it isn’t about their houses, horses or country clubs.

    3. I’m really beginning to appreciate my lower tier town and may start embracing my inner white trash. I spent part of yesterday at Walmart, a store I generally avoid like the plague (I usually go to Target), and I LIKED it.

    Maybe Jung was right about the collective unconcious and the bad economy is spreading into my psyche by osmosis.

  410. lisoosh says:

    So to that end I’d like to ask the Hunterdon county crowd – beer, Clot, spam etc. if it is still worth my looking there.
    Is it still the kind of place where you can be less homogenous? Wear boots and get muddy on the weekends? Be a little eclectic? Like nice wine and not be too poncy? Or has it been Stepfordized just like everywhere else?

    Warren county just doesn’t appeal much. And it is too far.

  411. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Barbara: I refer you to comment #411.

    And SL: If it was up to me, I’d make sure you’d never see another for-profit insurance company form ever again. (sadly it’s not up to me….sigh)

    Thanks for making us better.

  412. spam spam bacon spam says:


    Still good here.

    Lots of boots and carharts and stained breechs…

    We’ve got pockets of serious money, but there’s still plenty of normalsville…

    If you are SERIOUS, I can drag you out sometime and show you where to look and where to stay away from. (Avoid Raritan/Readington for pop growth)

    Lots of GORGEOUS properties in simple areas….

  413. spam spam bacon spam says:

    There are jokes about there being only 1 tooth in Warren Cty and you never know whose day it is to have “it”…

    Also, another Warren Cty joke is its populated by Waynes and Brendas, but I prefer to think its more of Waynes and Krytals…

    Warren County is home to Oxford Twsp.

    Ahhhhh. Warren Cty.

  414. BC Bob says:

    kettle [413],

    I would venture to guess that Make is sitting on top of the pile, not buried underneath.

    If the futures specs, shorts, and call collecters get stopped this Friday, there will be additional stuffing for the turkey leftovers.

  415. BC Bob says:

    lisoosh [416],

    I couldn’t say it better.

    I am around many of these fakes. Let’s just say there has been a major attitude adjustment. There is a lot more coming. Although they are just a bunch of hypocrites/carnival barkers/insecure nitwits, I must say, do enjoy spinning their heads at their parties. Then again, I have been soft on them lately. There is too much pain.

  416. still_looking says:


    Thanks. My own f\/cking insurance company who we have finally canned (meritain) has f\/cked me over on my own insurance claims innumerable times. I hope the sc\/mbag that handled my claims gets the same treatment and then some.

    I would like to report them to the state board of insurance but somehow I get the feeling it’d be p1ssing in the wind.

    Sorry… I had a bad night last night and I haven’t slept yet, so I am not a nice person right now.

    ….but if you or Clot could find us a nice large tract of land with a decent house on it…maybe I’d be happier.

    Or I could just screw myself and buy a place in hell, right here in Bergen, and commute 102 miles round trip forever (or until I die.)

  417. lisoosh says:

    spam – I think I’ll seriously take you up on that. Seriously. I used to like Whitehouse, but the increase in population has really ruined it. I don’t mind the serious wealth actually, just the wannabes.
    I want some space, to be able to put a barn and workshop into the back and not get a snotty response from neighbours. A couple of dogs, couple of goats and a couple of chickens, fruit trees and a vegetable patch and nobody giving me the evil eye because they don’t like my choice of flowers.
    And unfortunately not in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

  418. lisoosh says:

    BC – I’m definitely feeling some Schadenfreude in some cases.

    Funnily, when I took this job (fund raising in a wealthy community) I was warned I would be dealing with big egos – many of my constituents have tens of millions a few, billions (well until a month ago). And yet the biggest egos I have seen have been at the lower end – the fakes. The Gen Y ones appear to be the worst. Overpriveledged, overindulged and up to their eyeballs in unwarrented self-esteem.

  419. lisoosh says:

    still – I think you, spam and I need a special mini-farm tour and lunch afternoon one weekend. You are in a higher range than I so we wouldn’t even be competing.

  420. kettle1 says:


    I agree,

    I think make will be sitting very pretty in due time.

    just thought that article was interesting since he mentioned he does business with them

    One question is if/when they world community really starts getting serious about collapsing currencies, will there be a national/international action against gold holders? If so does having ones holdings in a foreign nation protect ones self?

    i dont know

  421. kettle1 says:


    AFter i register with the volunteer office what should i do, just let you know???

  422. comrade nom deplume says:

    [341] Kettle,

    Much as I fear what it means generally, I think that the deflation in ag commodities, particularly row crops, bodes well for my compound concept. More farms on the block means less $$ for acreage, at least until some semblance of equilibrium sets in.

    I really have to put together a business plan for this soon. Unfortunately, a portion of money that came out of WS will go into hobby farms for those with 8 and 9 figure portfolios at some point. That will keep land prices up.

  423. still_looking says:

    lis, I agree… although after paying for 2 (failed) cycles of IVF out of pocket (courtesy of my f’d up shitty insurance) and still probably in line for cycle #3, we are yep…..wait for it…. still_looking.

    but I would definitely love the tour and lunch… Some days I can’t even see staying in the US or at least, NJ.

    But I can’t see leaving either — that is unless nom opens his commune or Clot finds a good ex-patriate locale.


  424. still_looking says:


    Yep – just let me know. If/when they ask why tell them you are [interested in medicine and are thinking of being a physician or physician assistant…etc.]

    Don’t tell them “I wanna see just how bad “still_looking’s” job is. and I am here to gawk.”

    The ED nurse manager knows and Wednesday I have to skid it by my director.

    Grim, if you are reading this… same stuff applies….contact volunteer office. etc etc…


  425. lisoosh says:

    still- sorry about that.

    I know what you mean about not being sure about NJ or the US. Keep wondering what Colorado is like, but I hear their water situation is dire.

    There is something rather reassuring about not having a housing committment right now.

    And sure glad for the multitude of passports I’ve managed to accumulate.

  426. Outofstater says:

    #425 “up to their eyeballs in unwarranted self-esteem.” What a great phrase! Thanks, Lisoosh. And your idea of land with dogs and goats sounds great to me. Oh and go for embracing your inner white trash. My son gave me ammo for my birthday can you think of anything more touching?

  427. kettle1 says:

    was this posted b4?

    All US Financials Will be Nationalized in a Year

    ”It’s not preferable, but all major U.S. financial companies will eventually be under government control because the alternative is so much worse, Hugh Hendry, chief investment officer at hedge fund Eclectica Asset Management, said Friday. “All financials will be owned by the U.S. government in a year,” Hendry said. “I bet you.”

    Nationalizations take dramatic losses from the private sector and places them on the larger balance sheet of the public sector, he said. “It’s not good,” but society is vulnerable and society is going to have to intervene, Hendry said. Because the taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for bailout out the banks, shareholders shouldn’t be compensated, Hendry added.


  428. kettle1 says:

    TARP and ADD: Unconstitutional bail-outs

    Congress has made bureaucrats into legislators; or perhaps it has made Hank Paulson into the fourth branch of government.

    It is futile, but not pointless, to note that the federal government’s blizzard of bail-outs is unconstitutional. At least that would be the correct judgment were the policy brought before the Supreme Court to be judged with reference to the doctrine of “nondelegation.” That doctrine, a necessary concomitant of the Constitution’s separation of powers, usually concerns improper delegation of legislative powers to the executive branch. Robert Levy, chairman of Washington’s libertarian Cato Institute, notes that although the court has condoned some forms of delegation, it has stipulated that Congress “shall lay down … an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized … is directed to conform.”


  429. kettle1 says:

    regarding the newsweek article. It seems to me that if that line of thought (nondelegation) was acknowledged, then the FED instantly becomes unconstitutional….

  430. kettle1 says:

    Food crisis leading to an unsustainable land grab

    The world map is being redrawn. Over the past six months, China, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other nations have been buying and leasing huge quantities of foreign land for the production of food or biofuels for domestic consumption. It’s a modern day version of the 19th-century scramble for Africa. This year’s bubble in food prices – driven by financial speculators, biofuels and compounded when some countries halted food exports to ensure their own supplies – led to pain for nations dependent on imports.

    Alarm bells rang, with many governments alerted to what might lie ahead as climate change and soil destruction reduce the supply of food on the world market. The result, a huge international land grab, raises many troublesome issues. Although governments are encouraging the trend, the acquisitions are generally made by the private sector. Along with agribusiness, corporations and food traders, investment banks and private equity funds have been jumping on board, seeing land as a safe haven from the financial storm.


  431. kettle1 says:

    someone asked what the next bubble was. Lets watch the price of farm land. I think arable land could quickly become a bubble. just look at the land grab going on in africa. South Korea just bought a few million+ acre mega farms with 99 yr leases

    Rising food prices have already set off a second “scramble for Africa”. This week, the South Korean firm Daewoo Logistics announced plans to buy a 99-year lease on a million hectares in Madagascar. Its aim is to grow 5m tonnes of corn a year by 2023, and produce palm oil from a further lease of 120,000 hectares (296,000 acres), relying on a largely South African workforce. Production would be mainly earmarked for South Korea, which wants to lessen dependence on imports.


  432. alia says:

    lisoosh: bunnies.

    (we talked about dwarf nigerian goats already, right?) angora bunnies. food and clothing in one cute package–and their poop is a great fertilizer. (or make your worms really happy and place the rabbit hutch directly over the vermiculture bin)

    …and petfinder has several listed in the tristate area from rescue groups…

  433. SG says:

    Plan Begins to Emerge to Rescue Citigroup

    Under the proposal, the government would shoulder losses at Citigroup if those losses exceeded certain levels, according to thesepeople, who spoke on the condition that they not be identified because the plan was still under discussion.

  434. BC Bob says:

    kettle [438],

    The next bubble?

    Campbell’s soup.

  435. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 Says:
    November 23rd, 2008 at 4:16 pm
    someone asked what the next bubble was. Lets watch the price of farm land. I think arable land could quickly become a bubble. just look at the land grab going on in africa. South Korea just bought a few million+ acre mega farms with 99 yr leases

    ket: the next bubble is going to be a bubble of savings….

  436. victorian says:

    So, it looks like Citi is going to get its pound of flesh from the tax payer. Funny, how the Big 3 were asked to provide a plan of how they are going to make themselves viable in the future, but Citi gets money over a weekend with no hearings. This was the double standard I was referring to earlier.

    This is a government of the rich, for the rich and by the rich.

  437. chicagofinance says:

    Reiterating: risk taking will underperform….

  438. victorian says:

    I am curious about your take on this. Which period is history do you think our current situation has most in common with?

  439. chicagofinance says:

    vic: it is no double standard, nor is it a defense of that scumbag Robert Rubin, who knows as much about finance as Rick Rubin…
    GM is untreated sewage with no business model. Citi is a handful of clowns who managed to pull a Chernobyl….

  440. chicagofinance says:

    victorian Says:
    November 23rd, 2008 at 6:07 pm
    I am curious about your take on this. Which period is history do you think our current situation has most in common with?

    At this juncture? The Great Depression, but we aren’t that f—ed….

  441. chicagofinance says:

    To be clear…in case you didn’t notice 2008 is the worst year on the stock market IN HISTORY. period….impressive.

    Not only that, according the WSJ the corporate bond market has (in aggregate) UNDERPERFORMED (??!!!???) the stock market…

  442. chicagofinance says:

    Holy crap….Citigroup has turned into a Star Trek Episode…..


  443. Steve says:

    Per WSJ, C considering a “bad bank” structure, however this would hold only $50bil, and govt would guarantee only a part of that.

    Hmmm, the same article references the $1.23 trillion of off balance sheet assets.Let’s do the math, shall we?

    And this of course isn’t even accounting for the future defaults e.g. auto loans, credit card defaults etc. etc.

    They are truly clueless, all of them, if they think this is going to save their a–. I agree with Hendry, we are going to see at least some of them nationalized.

    C will be the first.

  444. Sean says:

    Next bubble will be bums, hopefully they will all be living in a Bushville down on Wall St, perahps they can build their shanty town out of all that crappy paper the managed to generate.

  445. victorian says:

    Chi (448)-

    Yes, truly horrific. Every asset class has been dragged down except UST and Gold (to an extent).

    RE: Depression. I do not think that we will see depression as in the 30’s, but a different kind of depression. We are light years advanced in terms of technology and awareness and the time-to-market for a new groundbreaking tech is much lesser.

    This depression might mean – no cable TV, no eating out, no second cars (or new cars) – in general, a much lower standard of living than in the previous 2 decades. At least I am hoping that this would be the case.

  446. chicagofinance says:

    Now good a Shatner can Vikram pull off?

  447. chicagofinance says:

    How good…

  448. spam spam bacon spam says:

    ‘Soosh, S_L,

    Get a hold of me thru Grim.

    Of course you can see my place, (we bought it w/o running water, so it’s not done, but we’re having fun doing it :) and I’ll take you to some areas that are commutable and nice.

    You can start looking at listings on realtor.com knowing exactly where it would put you…

    I’ll also explain the highlands act and how to avoid having it impact you by mistake :) (it’s easy)

    I made the best decision ever moving out here from Edison. I have a friend who just moved here from Teaneck (in June) and my next door neighbor is from Bergen County, also.

    If a laid-back life is in your blood, you won’t miss the urban-burbs.

    It took me over a year to realize no one was going to steal my lawn furniture / BBQ if it wasn’t chained to a tree…

  449. willwork4beer says:

    #417/423 lisoosh

    Hunterdon can be still be that place. That’s why I stay here. I see lots of muddy boots and there are lots of off-center, eclectic kinds of folks.

    There are places where you could have a small farm. Affordability depends, in part, on how far away from homogenous “civilization”.

    PS. No Dark Isle but I’ll let you know if I see it.

  450. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Short story!

    Just hacked out with a friend (“trail ride”) and we were talking about a mutual friend that my friend knows much better than I… I asked how “he” was doing since “his” employer (bank) was circling the toilet…

    She said “Oh, he’s moved to ‘x-bank’ (another bank circling the toilet, this one actually closer to the drain pipes…) …so he’s OK…and besides, when something happens, they still have his portfolio…”

    I commented “noone really has a portfolio now…” and she looked up at me, laughed and agreed…said she thought he’d be immune.

    This family bought a house 5 years ago for 900K, put about 100K into it (pool, barn, fencing, etc) and just bought another house for 1.2MM They listed their old home for 1.2, dropped it to $889K about a month after listing it and now it sits…maybe 6 months?

    They JUMPED at their new house, paid TOP dollar and caught a falling knife.

    They have 2 mortgages now.

    Funny thing is, reading this blog, I wondered why a family with just 1 wage earner who derived that wage from “circling the toilet bank” would expose themselves to this much more debt?

    I should email him the link to this blog. He would’ve seen his employer’s name many times over under the “crappy” column…

  451. BC Bob says:

    “Not only that, according the WSJ the corporate bond market has (in aggregate) UNDERPERFORMED (??!!!???) the stock market…”



    Bonds are priced for another Depression. At this time, the stock market decline is similar to the 1973-1975 period.

    Are bonds oversold or are stocks overvalued? 90% of the time, the bond market is correct, as compared to the stock market. OUCH.

  452. lisoosh says:

    spam – I will connect through grim. Thank you. Seeing as how your lifestyle sounds a lot like the one I would like (minus the horses), I think you probably have a lot to teach me.

    alia – can’t do bunnies. We’ll have to diverge there. Bunnies just don’t do it for me. I’m more of a cat person. Unfortunately the AREN’T good fertilizers.
    Not bad at keeping the rodent population down though.
    I am however enrolling my soon to be 7 year old in 4-H. I told her she has to learn about dairy cows. She wasn’t too pleased.

  453. lisoosh says:

    beer- bummer about the Dark Isle. HOWEVER – I did stop by Super Saver discount liquors in Somerville and their collection isn’t half bad. Picked up some Belhaven, some English porter (prefer the Scottish, but this promised me malt over hops, I prefer the malt barley), some other Scottish Border ale and Fraoch Heather and Seaweed ale. Just for fun.

    If I didn’t have the kids out in the car (with my husband of course) I could have spent considerably more time in there. They did have other arcadian beers. Just no Dark Isle. I do know it is imported into the country so the search is still on.

    VERY impressed by the American small brewery finds in there though.

  454. willwork4beer says:

    #460 lisoosh

    Didn’t realize you were near Somerville or I would have suggested the Super Saver. Their Pennington location (31 circle) is even better for craft/imports…

  455. Steve says:

    Bonds are priced for another Depression.

    BCB (458),

    Exactly. Funny, one yr ago, I was discussing with a large institutional FI mgr, who kept trying to make the point we just “needed to wait a bit longer” for things to come back to “normal.”

    One of the main arguments “…but this just can’t be right – I mean – bonds are pricing in the next Great Depression.”


    Since then, time and time again, I’ve seen/heard the same refrain. Like a disoriented pilot, instruments saying the plane is going down – they simply can’t believe it.

  456. Steve says:

    chicagofinance Says:
    Vic: it is no double standard, nor is it a defense of that scumbag Robert Rubin


    I agree. However, have been a bit disturbed to hear O is planning to have him as an economic advisor.

  457. alia says:

    459: bunnies. it’s alright. if the choice was between cats and bunnies, i would choose cats, too. (grr, do not get me started on rodents and their populations. grr.)

  458. Cindy says:


    New Hope for Financial Economics: Interview with Bill Janeway

    I have been reading this for more than an hour – fascinated..

    “…We may actually need an asset purchase program after all, but not as originally envisioned by the Congress or B@sh administration. Instead of a vague voluntary program to allow banks to tender assets to the Treasury, we believe that the Congress must eventually legislate a mandatory exchange program to remove all extant CDS and complex structured assets from the global financial system…

    “As long as CDS exist in bilateral form there is structural uncertainty in what it means to have a balance sheet. For everybody. CDS should be DOA.”

    Janeway: “In bank loans now you are being priced not on LIBOR but on CDS.”

  459. Cindy says:

    I am so sick and tired of the bailout mentality centered around who has the CDS problems and therefore cannot fail. IF we didn’t have the CDS problem we could proceed like a normal, functioning, go-into-bankrupcy- economy.

  460. BC Bob says:

    “we believe that the Congress must eventually legislate a mandatory exchange program to remove all extant CDS and complex structured assets from the global financial system… ”


    When I was 13, I thought the Playboy centerfold would someday appear at the foot of my bed.

    I actually surprised the writer didn’t propose a plan to pay all pet.com stockholders, $100 per share?

  461. BC Bob says:

    Giants vs Jets, Super Bowl, with The Boss at halftime?? Now, that’s a bull market.

  462. Cindy says:

    (468) BC – I know, I know -But once you realize (that’s me here) just how much the CDS problem has screwed things up…well it’s just a bunch of crap….

  463. BC Bob says:

    Cindy [465],

    Let’s say you pay years of ins premiums, earthquake insurance. Subsequently, the big one hits. A congressional mandate has determined that the cost to the ins industry is catastrophic [no pun]. Congress declares that the agreed upon terms are null and void, favoring the insuror. Comforting?

  464. reinvestor101 says:

    Please live the ban in place. I don’t want to see That One’s name here or anywhere. Besides, he’s not president yet.

    kettle1 Says:
    November 23rd, 2008 at 11:12 am

    can we lift the ban on O’s name given that he is now president and making a lot of economic news????

  465. BC Bob says:


    How are you doing? Serious question, not being sarcastic.

  466. Cindy says:

    (471) “favoring the insurer” BC – earthquake insurance WOULD HAVE BEEN REGULATED.


    This is a clip about Brooksey Born who chaired the CFTC – she warned that “the unregulated contracts could pose grave dangers to our economy.”

    I know we cannot turn back the clock but we can get legislation in place that regulates these things….

  467. Cindy says:

    BC – Did you read any of the interview? Bill Janeway was very informative -Many historical reference that you might find interesting..

  468. Cindy says:


  469. HEHEHE says:

    I want to know why all these assets are being called “toxic”? They weren’t “toxic” when the I-banks & banks were making all the money creating them. Perhaps “fraudulent” assets would be a better description?

  470. alia says:

    one more for the armageddon watchlist: (from my UK garden blog) “according to the mole valley farmers november newsletter the eu has started the process of banning the majority of the pesticides used in agriculture, due to take effect in 2011, mvf is taking the line that this is due to the number of green party polititians in the eu parliament and is a case of idealism overriding common sense and will result in the halving of cereal yields, the doubling of potatoe prices etc….”

  471. bairen says:

    I worked for C for 6 years.

    My proudest moment came when I farted in front of the elevator bank. As I walked away I heard a ping, the door opens, and out walked our beloved Robert Rubin. Bullseye!!!

    Score 1 for the common man.

  472. bairen says:


    I also bumped into Sandy Wiehl going thorugh the turnstyles on 34th st.

    A few years later he was strutting around the fixed income trading floor. (This is right after pre-school gate scandal or whatever they were calling it). i turned to the guys sitting around me and said “Should I ask Sandy to help my nephew get into a good pre school?) They all looked like they had eaten a turd burger

  473. still_looking says:

    spam, lis and alia,

    Wow… like carbon copy quads….but we aren’t interested in horses (of our own) but certainly goats, chickens, sheep, vegetable garden, apiary and orchard…. I’d love 10 acres but willing to settle for at least 7.

    ….a bit optimistic, eh? :-)

    My only nod to Bergen is the HS (Highlands) is really good and we can’t afford private school.

    Would love to live in Hunterdon/Somerset though and have so many co workers with farmettes…

    it’s funny to be doing some medical procedure or exam while talking about benefits of guinea hens and the latest cow/sheep issue…

    definitely my kind of place!


  474. tom3000252001 says:

    Citigroup seeks ’emergency cash’!!!


    Close to $50bn might be needed.
    This is in addition to the $25bn injection it received in October from the US Treasury.

  475. Brint says:

    Usually lurk here, and missed some of the thread, but I’ll add my .02 anyway. Hunterdon is great – lots of open space, nice county parks, mix of incomes (if not races), usually adequate schools. The speed is definitely laid back – I can go out for a bike ride at 5:30 on a weekday and see five cars in 45 minutes on the side roads. The further west you go, the more it becomes culturally like PA. Where I am, it’s max 30 minutes to just about any store you can think of, but everything I need is available by a short bike ride if I choose. Love it out here.

  476. Clotpoll says:

    soosh (417)-

    Yes. If it wasn’t pretty much what you described, me and mine would’ve been run off years ago.

    You can let your freak flag fly here. The middle manager/lower exec drones are here, but they don’t have the numbers to run everything.

  477. Clotpoll says:

    chi (449)-

    How will the gubmint take onto its balance sheet the items that C is holding off its balance sheet?

    It’s like a a shotgun wedding of Enron and the US Treasury.

  478. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (466)-

    That’s what happens when you turn your country’s banking system into a giant casino.

  479. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (473)-

    More legislation?

    Barn door open; horses gone.

  480. Clotpoll says:

    Mike Morgan’s missive for the coming week:

    “As for what we are going to do, I have no idea right now . . . other than this is going to be one of the most interesting weeks we have yet seen. With Thanksgiving coming up, the trading should be light. That means the ability for traders to manipulate the markets either way. Then there is Citigroup. They could fail this weekend or they could continue the charade, as are thousands of other banks . . . and the FDIC, Treasury and White House. The FDIC only let three banks fail this week. One of the banks was Downey, and they have had their hand up for months now. It still amazes me that we are not seeing 50-75 bank failures a week. It would have been much better if they started this a year ago. Sheila Bair is the wrong person for the job, as are Paulson, Kaka Kari and so many other frat boys.

    This week we could see any number of news issues that rock the market or pop the market. We could see anything from pirates blowing up a tanker to a nuke going off in one of the third world countries from Eastern Europe to Pakistan . . . and anywhere in between or outside these areas. On the other hand we could see Obama come out with a Kool-Aid plan that includes cookies and party hats. But more likely we will see more bank failures, country failures, state failures and just about anything else you can dream of. Detroit, Korea, Thailand, Pension Funds, Hospitals, Florida, New York, California, Iceland, Dubai, Africa . . . and on and on. We are in perfect position to take advantage of anything that comes our way. But I do have one huge fear.

    My biggest concern is Obama. I have a premonition that he has a red X painted on his head. I don’t see how the Secret Service can protect him, and there are too many folks out there that see that red X as their ticket to financial riches, as well as throwing the US into the dark ages. I can’t stop thinking about the riots after Martin Luther King was assassinated. I had a lot of time in the car this weekend on my trip to Atlanta, and I kept on coming back to Obama. I remember what happened after King was assassinated. I was in Asbury Park NJ, when it was burned down. I was offshore on a boat working as a deckhand when the Captain said it reminded him of World War II bombings. He had tears in his eyes as we watched the smoke rise and listened to the radio. All we could see was thick black smoke and what looked like the end of the world. And, I was in high school when the schools were shut down because of the rioters came into the schools and started beating up students. I’ve also been to Newark and Camden.

    That was 40 years ago. One Biblical generation. I talk about Biblical generations quite often, and it always makes sense. Remember, we are two Biblical generations removed from the Great Depression. Just enough time to forget and repeat. Go back a few thousand years. The Exodus took 40 years, so God could eliminate one generation and allow a new generation to enter the Promised Land.

    As for what is coming. I simply don’t see how they can protect Obama and his family, unless they put them all in a Kevlar bubble. When people ask, how can things get worse? They can, and they will. We are going deeper into a Depression that everyone seems to underestimate. We still have buffoons like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in Washington, posturing for the devil only knows what. I’ve yet to see a single politician or business executive tell it like it is. Nardelli, Wagoner and Mulally are frauds that belong in jail. You had to want to smack Mulally as he testified with a grin and a smile, making sure to let everyone know he’s the new guy and he has no blame. WRONG. Take a look at the disaster Mulally left at Boeing. These frat boys are in control . . . until we see a revolt that will be ugly and violent. Let’s face it. Has the world ever come out of a financial crisis without some excruciating pain . . .and usually war and death. World War II killed millions and slowed the birth rate down worldwide for years. We also destroyed cities and resources throughout the world. But it was that pain, death and destruction that started us on the road up. Unfortunately, it looks like this time it will be much more severe than anyone is anticipating. We still allow executives and elected officials to grand stand as if they have magic dust to make it all better. Instead of damage control, we are witnessing viral damage creation for the near term . . . and the next generation. I’m going to cut it short with that.”

  481. Clotpoll says:

    487 moderated. Don’t know why.

  482. lisoosh says:

    spam, s-l, alia.

    Just hope we all accidentally fell here and there aren’t thousands and thousands more out there or else we’ll never get our peaceful spots (well, you have yours spam).

    s-l – schools around the areas you want are just fine and dandy.

    alia – you get extra points for loving Terry Pratchett.

  483. Nom Deplume says:

    [489] lis,

    I wouldn’t worry. I am hoping that the downturn has really taken the wind out of the sails of those that want to snap up small farm properties. Will give me some breathing room while I get a consortium together (can’t do it myself and it isn’t for primary residence).

    As for me, no competition there. I am seeking my compound across the Delaware at a minimum. NJ is up to its eyeballs in debt whereas PA isn’t as bad, and does not have sufficient population to turn it into a welfare state (and if it did, the folks in the Conservative T may just (1) secede, or (2) burn Harrisburg).

    Would considered something out west, perhaps within an hour drive to a major ski area, but the damn BLM controls so much, saleable land is limited. Besides, being in the Northeast means not having to rely on the Ogalla Aquifer.

  484. Nom Deplume says:

    [478] barien,

    Sounds like fun (not). Personally, I got to bill C up the wazoo for a few years. Thanks for the house, guys!

  485. Environmental Film Festival, 7-8:15 p.m. at Public Works Facility, 401 SW Fourth St., Deerfield Beach. Call 954-480-4454. St. Luke’s Ladies Club Card Party, 11 a.m. at Coral Springs Super Buffet, 2101 University Drive, Coconut Creek . $15.

  486. visit says:

    This is a great web site. I have some great web pages myself if you are interested to share. But I should not go on about my site too much, that is not fair, right?

  487. Inside a bronze-colored pyramid off Interstate 15 in Salt Lake City, Corky Ra, the founder of the homegrown spiritual group, Summum, is reportedly submerged in a vat of mummification fluids. The man who was born Claude

  488. Inside a bronze-colored pyramid off Interstate 15 in Salt Lake City, Corky Ra, the founder of the homegrown spiritual group, Summum, is reportedly submerged in a vat of mummification fluids. The man who was born Claude

  489. Please register to gain free access to WSJ tools. An account already exists for the email address entered. Chrysler LLC Chief Executive Robert Nardelli , in testimony before a Senate committee, said he would be willing to accept a salary of

  490. Straits Times Headlines Town councils’ exposure: $16m Traffic cameras to watch for flooding Inside Averting the next economic crisis View Points Minister assures MPs: Mis-selling probe is independent PSLE results out on Thursday

  491. Indian Navy stealth frigate INS Tabar has successfully repulsed an attack by pirates off the Somali coast and sunk their ship. See the map Another ship with Indians, hijacked off Somalia Podcast on Indian Navy’s attack Somali pirates

Comments are closed.