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.

298 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. Essex says:

    Yes grasshopper…you are first.

  2. grim says:

    Anecdotes from the drive in.

    Kohls – Packed

    Best Buy – Parking lot overflow, line out the door

    Circuit City – Packed, line out the door

    PC Richard – Packed, line out the door

    Willowbrook Mall – I don’t think there is a single open spot

    Otherwise, roads empty.

  3. Yes grasshopper…you are first.

    Squee !

    #3 – … Otherwise, roads empty.

    That’s about what I saw on my way in. I passed Paramus, Palisades & bunch of others all very crowded. Nice and empty roads though.

  4. On a wider question….. Who actually does x-mas shopping today? Seriously, who are these people that put up with the obnoxious lines, traffic, etc. We’re (at least) 10 yrs. into the internet revolution, why bother with it?

  5. grim says:

    Big discount items, one day sales.

    I admit, I was tempted to pull over pick up a new flat panel TV this morning.

  6. Cindy says:

    Grim – I went into “mod” back on the “what are you thankful for” thread. It may have been my 32 letter word.

  7. #6 – Big discount items, one day sales.

    I suppose. I guess my loathing of crowds beats out any discounts I’d get.
    One good thing about the economic downturn; lot’s of good sales so far this year both on-line and for reals.

  8. PGC says:

    #6 grim

    Instore pickup?


    My drive was full of Soccermoms in minivans who are never on the road that early (and never should be).

  9. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Retailers Open Early, Discount Goods for U.S. ‘Black Friday’

    U.S. retailers opened their doors at midnight and discounted merchandise as much as 70 percent on the day after Thanksgiving to counter what may be the weakest holiday shopping season in six years.

    Individuals may spend an average of $616 on holiday gifts this year, down 29 percent from a year earlier, according to a Gallup Inc. poll. That raises the pressure on chains facing declining consumer confidence and the prospect of a recession.

    “We’re out to save money,” said 62-year-old Jeanne Molloy, who was taking a bus from New York City to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York, with a friend and an empty suitcase yesterday. “The economy is bad.”

    Retailers promoted “doorbuster” deals to attract customers on the day traditionally called “Black Friday.” The day after Thanksgiving was said to be when retailers started to make their annual profits, having paid off their costs from sales earlier in the year.

  10. rhymingrealtor says:




  11. 3b says:

    #6 grim PC Richards is selling 46 inch LCD (1080 HD) for 870$. i think I am going to have to buy it.

  12. Cindy says:

    (12) Rhyming – “Thanks” Do you have a marble nut in the family, too?

    My daughters tell me it was one of their “memorable” toys from childhood.

    Build then play…

    You used to have to buy them at Discovery Toy parties…

  13. Outofstater says:

    Cindy – What a story about your granddaughter! So glad things have calmed down for your family! Nothing like real life to offer a little perspective, huh?
    Al – street and shop signs – well, yeah, that’s another whole story. I cannot figure out why we don’t secure the borders. That is one of the FEW powers that legitimately belongs to the federal government.

  14. John says:

    I am thankful I am at work today and not stuck home with screaming kids and black friday crowds.

  15. Frank says:

    “Packed, line out the door”

    You call this a recession??? Give me a break.

  16. BC Bob says:

    You call this a recession???

    Turkey [16],

    You can start with $7.4 trillion in lending/bailouts/receivership, or half GDP.

  17. 3b says:

    #16 frank What do you call it? Oh never mind, I know;denial.

  18. spam spam bacon spam says:

    I was in Kohl’s last year, on Black Friday…

    It was NOT ON PURPOSE. I was riding and ripped my jacket, I needed a new ASAP and Kohl’s was on my way home.

    Anyhoo, by this time (9pm?) store was about deserted and I got in line to pay behind only one otehr person; the person in front of me checking out was talking to the cashier and telling her how she (the customer) was here for the THIRD time that day…that she had been there at 4am to get “the deals”…

    I looked at her items and she was buying “crap”. Utter crap. Like one of those mentally ill people who have to shop….

    knickknaks, dust collectables, etc… I thought what a miserable existence she must have to be shopping on the worst day of the year to buy “schitt”. And to be going home and then GOING BACK!!!!

    I spend the day with my husband and fat pony. Neither are free, but there are no crowds… :)

  19. Frank says:

    “You call this a recession???”
    If things are so bad why would people stay in line to get stuff? Unless it was a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. You are in denial, things are much better than the news reports it. Look at gas prices they are down to $1.5, another week they will be down to 80 cents. It’s time to get a big SUV.

  20. Victorian says:

    If you are real (I hope to God that you are), I wish that there are many more like you in the hedge fund world. It has been fun taking the other side of the trade.

  21. Frank says:

    We are making a lot of money and hiring a lot of people, things are not all bad out there.

  22. BC Bob says:

    “Look at gas prices they are down to $1.5”


    Why don’t you take a look at your brokerage account, if you have one. Bigger drop, gas prices or your equity?

  23. BC Bob says:

    “Look at gas prices they are down to $1.5, another week they will be down to 80 cents.”

    Yet, no recession. Just brilliant.

  24. John says:

    Frank the real issue is what does your firm pay? The job losses that have hurt lately were white collar job losses. Pretty much 120K is the min a man needs to support a stay at home wife and a few kids in the tri-state area. I am cheap so I could live on less, but a lot of folks leased a car and bought a house and took a HELOC during 04-07 and now are struggling. People save less than 3% so a person making 120K needs a job paying at least 116K. Yea they can cut back, but not quickly as debt servicing is most of their cost and a 30 year mortgage, ten year HELOC and a 3 year car lease doesn’t disappear over night.

    My brother lost his 300K a year job last spring and was lucky enough to find another one in three months, if he had to go back to 100K he would have been very depressed, but at least on 100K he wouldn’t have to eat dog food.

    What does your place do, is it a hedge fund?

    Frank Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 10:23 am
    We are making a lot of money and hiring a lot of people, things are not all bad out there.

  25. BC Bob says:

    “The gains drove 10-year yields to a record low of 2.91 percent after reports this week showed durable-goods orders fell more than twice as fast as forecast, consumer spending dropped the most since 2001 and the economy shrank in the third quarter more than first estimated.”

    “The primary driver behind the fall in Treasury yields this month was the deterioration in the economy and the sinking realization that deflation could be a factor of life going forward,” said Bulent Baygun, head of interest-rate strategy in New York at BNP Paribas Securities Corp., one of the 17 primary dealers that trade government securities with the Fed.


  26. 3b says:

    #25 BC Bob:Yet, no recession. Just brilliant

    And he claims to be on “the street”. I wonder of he is one of “the best and brightest” that the big firms on the street always said they hired?

    I still say he bought real estate in 2005,and is in complete denial.

  27. BC Bob says:

    3b [28],

    He’s simply a disturbed individual. He claims to work for a hedge fund, yet he embraced the short sale ban? If the govt restricted your businees, would you applaud? A total fraud.

  28. rhymingrealtor says:


    The thanks was for the uplifting Thanksgiving story from the previous thread. You must have posted that at the same time I was posting.


  29. grim says:

    Not to be outdone by US shoppers, the Brits went out and bought themselves a bank on Black Friday.

    RBS Shareholders Cede Control to British Government

    Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc will sell the government almost 20 billion pounds ($31 billion) of stock and a majority stake after shareholders bought just 0.2 percent of the equity offered in the U.K.’s biggest bailout.

  30. Rich52 says:

    “Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede”


  31. Frank says:

    “My brother lost his 300K a year job last spring and was lucky enough to find another one in three months.”

    300K job in three months. You call this a recession??? Give me a break.
    Our economy is strong, the job market is hot, NJ RE market is on fire, just look at Hoboken sales.

  32. grim says:

    Sorry, but Otteau’s monthly reports are no longer free, so I won’t repost them here.

    “Significant pullback, dramatic reversal”

    I will say that Jeff Otteau is reporting NJ October Contracts (aka pending sales) down 27% year over year. He described it as a dramatic reversal from what he saw during spring and summer and represented a significant pullback by purchasers.

  33. grim says:

    Judging from the graph he provided, it appears that October contracts are down about 45% from 2005 levels (peak) and down rougly 40% from 2006 levels.

  34. Frank says:

    Stampede at Wal-Mart during recession? I don’t think so.

  35. Sybarite says:

    Frank exists because we take the bait. You have to treat him like an annoying little kid; ignore him and he’ll go away.

  36. Frank says:

    I am the most popular kid on the block, admit it.

  37. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    U.S. stores court careful shoppers on Black Friday

    Retailers from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and Best Buy Co. opened their doors in the early hours of “Black Friday,” offering steep discounts to scores of shoppers who waited in line.

    “The recession is kicking in,” said Tammy Williams, 36, as she waited for a 4 a.m. ET opening at a Kohl’s in West Paterson, New Jersey. “I’m just looking for a bargain, anything to save a couple of dollars. I’ll save the rest for food shopping.”

    Natalie Diaz, 32, plans to spend about one-half of the $2000 US she shelled out last year for Christmas gifts, but said she would not cut down on presents for her twins.

    “They won’t get it,” she said of her children, while shopping at a J.C. Penney in Jersey City on Friday. “Santa does not have a recession.”

  38. 3b says:

    #30 BC Bob: I agree, a total fraud. I am not going to play with him any more;he is a joke.

  39. John says:

    Wal-Mart Worker Dies After Shopper Stampede, NY Daily News Says
    Email | Print | A A A

    By Stefanie Batcholino

    Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) — A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. worker died after hundreds of customers jammed into a Long Island, New York, store, knocking down the man and stepping on him shortly after doors opened early, the New York Daily News said, citing a witness.

    A woman also miscarried as hundreds of shoppers rushed through the doors, which were taken off their hinges to accomodate the surging crowd, the newspaper reported, citing another witness. Nassau County police said there were several injuries without elaborating, and wouldn’t confirm witness accounts, the New York Daily News said.

  40. Sybarite says:

    33, 42

    What is WRONG with people?!?!

  41. John says:

    Yea but his 401K went down 500K and now he has to re-build up restricted stock and he gets no 2009 bonus. All in all he he out a million.

    300K job in three months. You call this a recession??? Give me a break.
    Our economy is strong, the job market is hot, NJ RE market is on fire, just look at Hoboken sales.

  42. AntiTrump says:


    Again..What does your firm do? Just curious to to know how they side stepped the crisis..

  43. Sean says:

    My options are so far underwater right now I will need Auqaman to finds them.

    At least 80% of options and grants out there for most companies are far, far underwater right now, it’s going to be an ugly tax year.

  44. Frank says:

    “Yea but his 401K went down 500K”
    Do you realize that most people in this country, including myself, would love to be in his position?

  45. Frank says:

    “What does your firm do?”

    I would tell you but since I will be called stupid and dumb on this blog, I will not.

  46. willwork4beer says:

    43 Sybarite

    What is WRONG with people?!?!

    I’ve come to the conclusion that most people just suck. They’re too thoughtless and self-centered to avoid doing things like trampling pregnant women…

    BTW – Did you see my response to your post in yesterday’s thread? Little Brothers in Flemington has DFH Palo Santo in stock.

  47. John says:

    Most people are lazy and don’t like to save. Actually here is a question for the blog, the new 401K limit is 16.5K for 2009 how many plan to put in the full amount?

    Frank Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 12:29 pm
    “Yea but his 401K went down 500K”
    Do you realize that most people in this country, including myself, would love to be in his position?

  48. Sybarite says:



    yep, going to have my gf stop by and pick some up since she works near there.

    Thanks a bunch for the tip!

  49. Wag says:

    John (50) – Wag & Wagette will be fully funding 401K’s this year, barring catastrophe of course.

  50. Confused In NJ says:

    It was interesting that Walmart was also open Thanksgiving Day, but would not let you purchase from the Black Friday pallets, which were covered in black plastic. Guess they didn’t want to undermine the Friday AM stampede that killed an employee. Maybe thats a new downsizing ploy.

  51. John says:

    Great, my last question is who has the guts to take it out of bonus and go all in 16.5 in Jan. Or if you don’t get a bonus do the max 20% out of paycheck to frontload 16.5K That is the big debate. They raised FSA to 5K this year too. And they raised transist check a little. A married couple can hide like 50K on these things from Uncle Sam

    Wag Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 12:53 pm
    John (50) – Wag & Wagette will be fully funding 401K’s this year, barring catastrophe of course.

  52. danzud says:

    Plan to max out the 401k again in ’09.

  53. bi says:

    50#, john
    i always put full ammount and wish they can increase the limit further.

    >Most people are lazy and don’t like to save. Actually here is a question for the blog, the new 401K limit is 16.5K for 2009 how many plan to put in the full amount?

  54. Outofstater says:

    #50 Same here. We always max out the 401k and the IRA’s.

  55. Confused In NJ says:

    The 401K’s will be appropriated by “O” to pay for the Governments Debt.

  56. Sastry says:

    Confused #57… Your attempt at humor is … not great. Off handed remarks like that by people that are influential (read Faux News) are the reason that a significant chunk of US (read some red parts) believe that Saddam was behind 9/11, O is a muslim, and j*cking off makes one blind (unless you do it to priests)…

    Too much of real ignorance around that there is no need for fake ignorance.

  57. yikes says:

    # grim Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Big discount items, one day sales.

    I admit, I was tempted to pull over pick up a new flat panel TV this morning.

    Just ate leftovers and I’m stuffed. Haven’t left the house today, dont’ plan on setting for in a store all weekend. birthday party tonight, movies tomorrow, relaxing sunday.


  58. 3b says:

    #45 John:I will max out my 2009 401k as well.

  59. yikes says:

    # 3b Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 8:39 am

    #6 grim PC Richards is selling 46 inch LCD (1080 HD) for 870$. i think I am going to have to buy it.

    but what’s the brand? do you make impulse buys like that without checking out with pros say about the make and model?

  60. grim says:

    JP to disembowel WaMu

    From MarketWatch:

    J.P. Morgan plans to cut WaMu office jobs: report

    J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which bought Washington Mutual Inc.’s banking operations, will retain most of the giant thrift’s branch-banking staff, but plans substantial job cuts at its former headquarters and elsewhere, Thomson Reuters reported Friday. J.P. Morgan expects to keep about 9,000 employees who worked at WaMu branches, as well as 2,000 employees in the mortgage and wealth-management units, according to the report. J.P. Morgan is expected to tell all former WaMu employees by Monday whether they would have jobs and for how long, Reuters said.

  61. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Dell.com website has some righteous prices on HDTV’s. Top brands like Sony, Samsung….google it.

    Free shipping to, if I recall.

  62. yikes says:

    They raised FSA to 5K this year too. And they raised transist check a little. A married couple can hide like 50K on these things from Uncle Sam

    what is FSA?

    we maxed out our 401k the last two years, and will do so next year as well.

  63. lisoosh says:

    Working today. Commute was a breeze, nice and quiet in the office, only 4 of us here. Better to make money than spend it.

  64. Sybarite says:


    FSA is Flexible Spending Account. You set aside an amount of pre-tax dollars for healthcare/childcare expenses. The neat thing is that it’s not limited to Co-pays, medication and other obvious healthcare expenses. You can also use the FSA for all kinds of dental/preventative care items at your pharmacy.

  65. Clotpoll says:

    Went to a cousin of mine’s yesterday for turkey & football. Very successful periodontist. Has one office in Montclair, one in Bedminster.

    Says the Montclair office is down, but not terribly. Not surprising, his take is that the wealth base there is deeper & better.

    However, the Bedminster office is dead. He’s close to the Far Hills train station, and his once-popular 6 PM “off the train” appointments have dried up. It used to be a three-month wait for those slots.

  66. Frank says:

    “Yea but his 401K went down 500K”
    Is your brother going to give up his private plane and start flying first class because of recession?

  67. Frank says:

    Bad teeth is the first sign of recession.

  68. Sunny Florida says:

    Satry, I’d love to know the difference between ‘Faux’ News and all the other networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS & CNN….I’m sure the difference is monumental…sarcasm off.

  69. Sunny Florida says:

    Sastry, sorry to misspell your name. My bad.

  70. 3b says:

    #61 Yikes: Samsung, did all the research.

  71. sas says:

    ” I’d love to know the difference between ‘Faux’ News and all the other networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS & CNN”


    also, all are masters at “mockingbird” White House talking points.


  72. Confused In NJ says:

    58. Sastry Says:Confused #57… Your attempt at humor is … not great.

    No more humorous then 1st Bush (B)& Clinton (C)taxing Social Security. The last large pot of Middle Class money to draw from is 401K/IRA Savings. I was right previously, forecasting taxation of Social Security, when few believed it could happen. Believe I will be right this time with taxation of 401K/IRA against National Debt. If “M” had won versus “O”, would have been same jeopardy, just like when “B” & “C” conspired on SS. If you don’t believe that, figure out where the money is coming from.

  73. jamil says:

    “married couple can hide like 50K on these things from Uncle Sam”

    You really think this is hiding from uncle Sam? Or just postponing it and paying higher taxes on it in the future?

    Or alternatively, being confiscated by Uncle Sam? Powerful congresscritters with the letter D attached to them have been openly advocating this in congressional hearings. Last time I checked this happened in reality few months ago. Sastry probably believes everything NY Slimes and CBS “News” tells him.

  74. jamil says:

    “married couple can hide like 50K on these things from Uncle Sam”

    You really think this is hiding from uncle Sam? Or just postponing it and paying higher taxes on it in the future?

  75. startingover inNJ says:

    Clot (57)

    A friend in Far Hills reports that “half” the houses on her street are for sale and most are empty. She says people lost jobs on the street and have just left.

  76. SAS says:

    for you blokes talking about crowds at the stores during the black Friday.

    Volume of people does not equal % dollar sales.

    You can have 100 zit faced teens show up, and only one buys a 99cents soda, and just fill up the joint.


  77. SAS says:

    whats with these idiots running over this poor worker at the WalMart?

    Those people are god damn morons.

    another reason to not shop at SlaveMart….


  78. SAS says:

    so which ad agency wins the top prize this year for selling their brands?

    brand: apple computers

    brand: omama

    and you blokes thought you were getting change.

    Only change you are getting is a new paint job.

    No, I never was a fan of Songbird McStain.
    He was a walking corpse.


  79. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (69)-

    Bad brains is the first sign of a failed hedgie.

  80. Clotpoll says:

    sas (81)-

    Only thing to do is short everything and watch O’s retread bureaucrats take the sinking ship and deep 6 it right and proper.

    Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.

  81. zieba says:

    Sas tells it like it is.

    Went to a Walmart today to look for 0W40 oil for the land rocket. Place was PACKED! Lines of illegals with carts full of Chinese made crap all bumping into each other and speaking foreign tongues. I got the hell out of there quickly (sans oil).

  82. Clotpoll says:

    Omama brand has promised plenty. No way will they deliver…other than delivering a kill shot to any classic, capitalist middle class that still remains in the US.

    The man who promises 10 things and delivers 9 is an asshole in the eyes of his market.

    The man who promises nothing and delivers anything is king.

  83. bruiser says:

    If we are not in a recession, as Frank pointed out to us, will the Fed come out on Monday and repeal all the “temporary” lending facilities they have laid out?

    Frank, your business is doing well because it is likely that your firm is at the Fed Doorbusters Sale trampling the middle class for cheap cash to get you through the 4th quarter.

  84. chicagofinance says:

    I am logging out for the night…any other posts on my handle are bogus

  85. stu says:

    I wish someone would impersonate me some time!

    I am proud to say that I lost a total of $500 last night and today. Probably earned about $120 in comp back, but still a loss. See ChiFi? Some times I lose too!

    Did not buy a damn thing today. I really didn’t need anything so what good is 20% off?

    Have a great weekend folks!

  86. Frank says:

    Lack of sales is the first sign of a failed real-estate agent.

  87. Dink says:

    Stu, what are your comp strategies for Blackjack?

    Also, do you count?

  88. Frank says:

    “If we are not in a recession”
    The stock market just had it’s best week since 1974. You call this a recession?

  89. bruiser says:


    How about the 52 weeks that preceded that magical one week?

  90. SAS says:


    I don’t think the sky will fall, and I’ve lived long enough to know that things never get as bad as people think they will get (unless of course, you experienced Operation Hastings like I did).

    but, with that said, things aren’t as peachy out there as you may think.

    The econimical climate out there isn’t good for most people right now. Maybe not for you, and not for me, but for many it is.

    and if you really don’t think so, and keep asking “what recession?” I think you may be fooling yourself..with all due respect bloke.


  91. Sean says:

    The Walmart in Valley Stream Long Island where the worker was trampled was just on the news still long lines here since they kept the place open. Even the police were pushed around by the shoppers.

    There was also a Gang Banger shooting between two women at Toy’s R US in California.

    I am giving out books this year, and I am buying them online.

    Happy Holidays. :(

  92. Clotpoll says:

    sas (95)-

    He’s just a fair/middling troll. I was doing a decent job of ignoring him until he started buzzkilling the good mood yesterday.

    Now we’re past the holiday, so I can go back to ignoring him.

    You read a story like Cindy’s yesterday…and then this douchebag pops up with some snarky comment.

    The two things you can tell from all his posts is that: 1) he’s not who he says he is, and 2) something in his life is going terribly awry.

    I bought in ’05, and I don’t care. I’m not moving anytime soon.

    Frank, however, sounds like he bought in ’05 and spends a great deal of time conjuring up scenarios in which he hasn’t lost a giant chunk of paper equity.

  93. Al says:

    # Frank Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    “If we are not in a recession”
    The stock market just had it’s best week since 1974. You call this a recession?

    Can you please explain it to my 401k???? The part about best week since 1974…. Because my 401K still in red…. A lot….

  94. SAS says:


    I had ago with a flame out in Ireland, was out there in Dublin in the middle May of 74, it was my first time in the city. Great city.

    Until those knuckleheads let off those car bombs and blew me and my sweetheart at the time across the street. damn near 15 yards. We were ok, but many died that day. I got scared as hell, so we got out real quick like.


  95. syncmaster says:

    I drove by Finderne Av. today, there was a very loooooooong line of cars waiting to turn into the Manville Walmart complex.

    The Costco/BedBath complex on the B’water promenade was much emptier. Lots of great parking. This was all around 4-5pm.

  96. kettle1 says:

    China slashes interest rates as panic spreads

    The move came just one day after the World Bank predicted that China would grow by 7.5pc next year. The level of growth may appear robust by Western standards, but it would represent the slowest economic expansion in China for the last two decades. It is also perilously close to the 7pc minimum level of growth that Chinese economists believe is necessary in order to create enough jobs for the 6m university graduates who will enter the jobs market next year.

    In recent weeks, a series of riots across central and southern China have flowered as disgruntled employees aired their grievances at the downturn. Today, around 500 protesters rioted at the Kai Da toy factory in Dongguan in the Pearl River delta, flipping over a police car and trashing computers in a dispute over payoffs to 80 fired workers. Tens of thousands of factories across the region have already shut their gates.

    Yin Weimin, China’s Social Security minister, has revealed that employment is the Communist Party’s number one concern in the downturn and said the “situation is critical”. Unemployment is expected to rise from 4pc to 4.5pc by the end of the year and anecdotal reports have suggested that 3m people have already been fired in the industrial province of Zhejiang alone. Two major provinces, Shandong and Hubei, have already responded by banning companies from firing staff without permission from the government.


  97. kettle1 says:

    China slashes interest rates as panic spreads

    The move came just one day after the World Bank predicted that China would grow by 7.5pc next year. The level of growth may appear robust by Western standards, but it would represent the slowest economic expansion in China for the last two decades. It is also perilously close to the 7pc minimum level of growth that Chinese economists believe is necessary in order to create enough jobs for the 6m university graduates who will enter the jobs market next year.

    In recent weeks, a series of riots across central and southern China have flowered as disgruntled employees aired their grievances at the downturn. Today, around 500 protesters rioted at the Kai Da toy factory in Dongguan in the Pearl River delta, flipping over a police car and trashing computers in a dispute over payoffs to 80 fired workers. Tens of thousands of factories across the region have already shut their gates.

    Yin Weimin, China’s Social Security minister, has revealed that employment is the Communist Party’s number one concern in the downturn and said the “situation is critical”. Unemployment is expected to rise from 4pc to 4.5pc by the end of the year and anecdotal reports have suggested that 3m people have already been fired in the industrial province of Zhejiang alone. Two major provinces, Shandong and Hubei, have already responded by banning companies from firing staff without permission from the government.


  98. kettle1 says:

    Workers riot at Chinese factory producing Nerf toys for Hasbro

    It started as a pay dispute at a southern Chinese toy factory. But it quickly turned into a riot as laid-off workers tapped into a network of friends and unemployed laborers who flipped over a police car, stormed into the plant and smashed office computers. The latest violent protest to rock China’s export machine was still simmering Wednesday at the massive plant, which makes Nerf toys for the U.S. company Hasbro (HAS). The volatility underscored the urgency of China’s efforts to keep stoking an economy weakened by the global financial crisis.


  99. kettle1 says:

    Ruble Collapse Prompts Russia to Raise Rate on Currency Plight

    Russia’s ruble headed for its biggest weekly decline against the euro in at least five years as the central bank let the currency depreciate and raised interest rates to halt an exodus of foreign capital. Bank Rossii widened the ruble’s trading band for the second time this week by about 30 kopeks (1 U.S. cent), or 1 percent, on each side, according to Mikhail Galkin, head of fixed-income and credit research at MDM Bank in Moscow. The central bank said today it will raise its benchmark refinancing rate to 13 percent from 12 percent to help stem currency losses.

    Russia is among a handful of countries raising interest rates after it drained $148 billion from the world’s third largest foreign-currency reserves since August to arrest a 16 percent currency slide against the dollar. BNP Paribas SA estimates that investors pulled $190 billion out of the country since August as oil prices fell below the $70-a-barrel average required to balance Russia’s budget in 2009.


  100. kettle1 says:

    Dying of Consumption

    IT’S game over for the American consumer. Inflation-adjusted personal consumption expenditures are on track for rare back-to-back quarterly declines in the second half of 2008 at a 3.5 percent average annual rate. There are only four other instances since 1950 when real consumer demand has fallen for two quarters in a row. This is the first occasion when declines in both quarters will have exceeded 3 percent. The current consumption plunge is without precedent in the modern era.


  101. kettle1 says:


    there goes the Europeans keeping Manhattan afloat

    European unemployment soars

    Unemployment in the 15 nations that share the euro shot up to 7.7% in October – the highest level in two years – as growth dropped sharply, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said Friday. Prices also plunged with the annual inflation rate sinking to 2.1% in November from 3.2% in October, Eurostat said. Lower inflation gives the European Central Bank more room to reduce interest rates, which would help stoke growth.


  102. kettle1 says:

    Say Hello to the man behind the curtain of Omama’s economic team.

    Robert Rubin says he’s not to blame for Citi’s troubles.

    Former U.S. Treasury secretary Robert Rubin said the near-collapse of Citigroup Inc, where he is a senior counselor, was due to the buckling financial system and not his own mistakes, according to an interview published on The Wall Street Journal’s website on Friday.

    Rubin, who is also a director at Citigroup, acknowledged he was involved in a board decision to ramp up risk-taking in 2004 and 2005, according to the paper, and said if executives had executed the plan properly, the bank’s losses would have been less.

    The Journal said Rubin has earned $115 million in pay since 1999, excluding stock options. “I bet there’s not a single year where I couldn’t have gone somewhere else and made more,” said Rubin, according to the Journal.


  103. kettle1 says:

    Insomnia sucks :(

  104. kettle1 says:

    guess i’ll go clean the house. already looked at pron, checked on the progress of Armageddon, and stopped by youtube….

  105. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle Hope you are asleep, but when you get up. Update on that house you went to see in Vernon down another 20k to 329, if I remember correctly. You may see that 250 price in negotiation range by spring.

  106. still_looking says:

    ket, not alone.

    just watched the 1st through 8th episode of True Blood consecutively…..


  107. Cindy says:

    Kettle – Still – Now here’s what really s@cks – It’s only 3:14 for me here AND this is what time I get up everyday…

  108. Cindy says:

    I got back from Oregon last night. Travel on “Black Friday” works out well. Everyone else is out shopping. I need the W/E to recover from constant play with a 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old. But you know how that is. Constant activity – period.

  109. SG says:

    Don’t know if this was posted earlier,

    Meltdown far from over, new mortgage crisis looms

    WASHINGTON – Black Friday’s retail shoppers hunting for holiday bargains won’t be enough to stave off what’s likely to become the next economic crisis. Malls from Michigan to Georgia are entering foreclosure, commercial victims of the same events poisoning the housing market.

    Hotels in Tucson, Ariz., and Hilton Head, S.C., also are about to default on their mortgages.

    That pace is expected to quicken. The number of late payments and defaults will double, if not triple, by the end of next year, according to analysts from Fitch Ratings Ltd., which evaluates companies’ credit.

    “We’re probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem,” said Scott Tross, a real estate lawyer with Herrick Feinstein in New Jersey.

  110. willwork4beer says:


    This week’s report from the hinterlands:

    Hunterdon County Comp Killers

    GSMLS recorded a total of six sales in Hunterdon County this week. Three made this list:

    MLS#: 2570120

    High Bridge Boro

    SLD: 07/24/03 $240,000
    OLP: 04/20/08 $269,900
    OLP: 08/25/08 $236,900
    SLD: 11/25/08 $207,000

    DOM: 68

    MLS#: 2525555

    78 JUNCO CT
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 03/30/04 $165,000
    OLP: 06/03/08 $186,900
    SLD: 11/24/08 $155,000

    DOM: 140

    MLS#: 2596247

    4 Forestdale Drive
    Readington Twp

    SLD: 07/07/05 $1,150,000
    OLP: 10/28/08 $1,100,000
    SLD: 11/24/08 $1,037,000

    DOM: 17

  111. Cindy says:


    Came back to this article by James Quinn. He seems to speak for me only with charts and data.

    Americans need to live within their means – period.

    “Take a Stand Against Government Spending”

    Here ya go Kettle – 11 pages. This should take a while to read…

  112. Cindy says:

    Willwork – Beers at the daughter’s house: Thought they would be Oregon brews but no..
    Sierra Nevada – made in Chico CA
    Blue Moon brewed in Toronto Canada – a Belgian style – orange peel and coriander – quite nice

    (I thought of you and tried to remember what they were.)

  113. willwork4beer says:


    Hinterlands report, part two…

    Hunterdon County FUTURE Comp Killers

    Since I was unable to post the futures last week, this post encompasses the previous two weeks of new listings on GSMLS for Hunterdon County. There were a total of 66 new listings. Four made this list:

    MLS#: 2608054

    Clinton Twp

    SLD: 05/01/06 $375,000
    OLP: 11/21/08 $309,900

    DOM: 7

    MLS#: 2609261

    Milford Boro

    SLD: 06/29/05 $262,000
    OLP: 11/24/08 $219,000

    DOM: 4

    MLS#: 2609326

    Raritan Twp

    SLD: 09/29/06 $383,000
    OLP: 11/24/08 $329,900

    DOM: 4

    MLS#: 2606730

    Flemington Boro

    SLD: 04/25/05 $969,800
    OLP: 11/20/08 $900,000

    DOM: 8

  114. willwork4beer says:

    117 Cindy

    Awwww… Very sweet of you to think of me.

    I absolutely love Sierra Nevada, especially the Pale Ale and the Bigfoot Barleywine. The holiday ale they put out this season is also very nice.

    Blue Moon is a very good stuff, as well. Its a Belgian White, and while not brewed in Belgium, it is quite tasty and very accessible to the average person. The ladies really seem to like it in my experience.

    Good job on the beer report. Keep up the good work… :)

  115. willwork4beer says:


    Darn it. Future comp killers in moderation. Don’t understand what I did wrong.

  116. willwork4beer says:

    117 Cindy

    There are a few great Oregon breweries. Rogue Ales out of Newport is my favorite. I just finished some of their holiday ale called Santa’s Private Reserve, very good stuff. And of course there’s always Dead Guy Ale, brewed for the Mexican Day of the Dead and available all year round. Great brew and interesting art work…

  117. grim says:

    More news about those foreigners..

    London Luxury-Home Values Slide for Eighth Month in November

    Luxury-home values in central London, the world’s most expensive location for prime real estate after Monaco, fell for an eighth month in November as fewer sellers held out over prices.

    The estimated average value of a house or apartment in the city’s nine most expensive neighborhoods fell 3.6 percent from October, according to an index compiled by Knight Frank LLP. It was the second-largest drop since the index started in 1976. Property values declined 14 percent from a year earlier, the broker said today. The index covers homes mostly valued at more than 1 million pounds ($1.54 million).

    “The last few months have seen vendors gradually accepting that prices need to be cut if a sale is to be achieved,” said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research. “Further price falls are to come.”

    Prime central London real estate has taken longer to register declines seen elsewhere in London because of a standoff between sellers and buyers over price. That ended in September, when the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. caused demand to collapse from those employed in financial services, traditionally the mainstay of demand for expensive homes.

  118. Cindy says:

    (120) Willwork – I know for a fact that the son-in-law LOVES the Rogue Ale but did actually think of us girls with the Blue Moon purchase (one of my daughters favorites – she says it has a bit of citrus and likes that.)

    I will pass along the Dead Guy Ale info…and the heads up re the Santa’s Private Reserve. Sierra Nevada is sort of their “everyday” beer because it is reasonable. The daughters are the beer drinkers – funny huh. Maybe because beer is bigger in the NW and wine is a bigger deal here in CA.

  119. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    How the bubble’s burst is hurting Morris County

    The average price of a home in Morris County dipped back below a half million dollars in the first half of the year, according to a new data analysis that found the Morris housing market faring slightly worse than the rest of New Jersey.

    A Gannett New Jersey analysis of New Jersey Department of Treasury sales data shows that for the first half of 2008, the average Morris home sold for about $492,000, almost 7 percent below the sale price for the first six months of 2007. That compares with a statewide decline of nearly 5 percent in the average sale price to about $370,000.

    At the same time, the number of homes sold in Morris dropped by nearly 44 percent to 2,034, compared with a 43 percent statewide plunge.

    The analysis underscores the fact that Morris, which tends to fare better than New Jersey on most measures, has been hard hit by the downturns in the economy in general and in the real estate market in particular.

    “Morris County is going to be somewhat more vulnerable to the restructuring of Wall Street,” said James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. “People also could have overextended themselves.”

  120. chicagofinance says:

    willwork4beer Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 6:37 am

    I gave a bottle of Arrogant Bastard as a housewarming gift…..

  121. Cindy says:

    (105) Kettle – Excellent article – very similar to the concerns voiced by Quinn.

    “Crises are the ultimate in painful learning experiences. The United States cannot afford the squander this opportunity. Runaway consumption must give way to a renewal of saving and investment. That’s the best hope for economic recovery and for America’s longer-term economic prosperity.”

  122. grim says:

    Black Friday Death Toll ™ up to 3 now? 2 killed in a shooting at a Toys R Us in California.

  123. Cindy says:

    Folks – Last night @ 91 Chicago warned of some “bogus” posts. So I have no idea at 127 if that is really Chicago. Grim – Is there a way to check that?

  124. willwork4beer says:

    127 ChiFi

    We’re not worthy…

    That’s Stone Brewing Company out of Escondido, CA. They make my current favorite IPA. Plenty of hoppy goodness. Plus, you gotta love the gargoyles…

  125. grim says:

    I believe #124 is, but I’ve taken care of the other bogus posts.

  126. bairen says:

    117 willwork4beer

    Seems like the percent of closed sales making your comp killer list is creeping up. Yes, I know the sample pool is small and statistically insignificant, yet a trend is a trend (to paraphrase BC Bob)

    And Blue Moon is quite tasty. So is Hoegarden with a slice of orange or lemon tossed into the mug.

  127. grim says:

    Scary chart from the NYT:


    “Percentage of people saying they plan to buy a house or car in next six months.”

    The “Plan to buy a house” category has hit a low not seen since the early 80’s recession, at approximately 2% of respondents. It had hit a peak of approximately 5% in 99/2k.

  128. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Americans Have Lost Their Appetite for Spending

    Each month, the Conference Board asks Americans about their plans for purchases of major items over the next six months, and people have never been more reluctant to spend.

    This month, according to preliminary figures released this week and shown in the accompanying chart, just 1.9 percent of the respondents said they planned to buy a house and only 3.7 percent said they expected to buy a car.

    In the more than 40 years that the survey has been conducted, the previous low reading for car purchases was 4.5 percent.

    Moreover, the survey also asks whether the person plans to buy a new car or a used one, or is not certain. This month only 1.3 percent said they planned to buy a new car, also the lowest ever.

    The home buying figure was not a record low, but it was the lowest since 1982, when interest rates were in double digits amid a deep recession.

  129. Cindy says:

    (15) Outofstater (31) Rhyming

    Trauma = perspective – so true.

    It is simply a pretty intense part of my life so I had never shared the story. But you know…everyone has a story….

  130. waiting says:

    Kettle1 — November 29th, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Insomnia sucks :(November 29th, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Hi, Kettle1,

    If you can squeeze out 12 consecutive days, you can give this meditation a try:


    I took it many years ago. A very unique experience.

  131. willwork4beer says:

    130 bairen

    I was struck by the asking prices of the futures this time. I have seen a lot of pricing at nearly the same as 2005/2006 purchase price. Today’s futures are carrying heftier discounts.

    PS. If you like Hoegaarden and Blue Moon, you might also try Celis White. Brewed in Michigan from the recipe of a Belgian brewmaster.

  132. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (100)-

    The race to the bottom continues, unabated.

  133. lisoosh says:

    beer – I tend to prefer malty over hoppy.

    zieba – foreign tongues equals illegal? And what kind of name is zieba? Certainly not red white and blue.

    Clot – Mendham dentist says the same thing, deathly quiet.

    “The man who promises nothing and delivers anything is king.”
    Yup. Better to be a pessimist and pleasantly surprised than an optimist who faces daily disappointment.

    What recession? Well if there were lines outside of Nordstroms or Tiffany’s that would be a fair question. However when people are beating each other to death in WALMART in order to get a half price TV and attempt to maintain some semblance of the illusion of prosperity I think we can safely say it is a recession.

  134. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (103)-

    Get the feeling most Russians are too drunk or depressed to riot?

  135. Clotpoll says:

    sg (116)-

    And all my friends tell me I’m an idiot to be accumulating SRS again:

    “We’re probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem,” said Scott Tross, a real estate lawyer with Herrick Feinstein in New Jersey.

  136. Clotpoll says:

    beer (117)-

    The idiot agent mis-listed Morningside Ct. It is in Barton Hollow, which is Raritan Twp…not Flemington Boro.

    Wonder if the homeowner has noticed this yet?

    There are no homes in Flemington in the 900K range (hence no agents doing 900K searches), so this house probably won’t get shown until somebody fixes the mistake.

  137. Clotpoll says:

    beer (118)-

    I’m not a beer guy, but when I’m in the mood, nothing hits the spot like a Duvel…or, on a cold night, a Celebrator Dopplebock. I think I like them because they have a sort of wine-like quality.

    Are these considered beers for pikers, or do they have a good reputation? Whatever the case, I like ’em.

  138. willwork4beer says:

    137 lisoosh

    I love malty brews, too. Right now, there are no IPAs in my fridge, just a great dark brown ale, a magnificent Trappist ale and a wonderful holiday ale flavored with honey and cherries. Very yummy stuff!!!

    lisoosh Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 8:21 am
    beer – I tend to prefer malty over hoppy.

  139. willwork4beer says:

    140 Clotpoll

    900K in Flemington… Duh. I should have picked that up. And I drive Barton Hollow Road almost every day, too. There is a house that’s been for sale for at least 18 months on that road…

  140. Clotpoll says:

    grim (123)-

    Morris Co has been hit faster and harder than Hunterdon or Somerset. There are also a surprising amount of FKs in the 1mm+ segments.

    The biggest NJ short sale outfit, Ubid, operates in Morris Co and has been going great guns for over two years.

  141. willwork4beer says:

    141 Clotpoll

    Pikers…? Hardly. They are among the finest brews in the world. And just happen to be two of my favorites.

    Duvel means devil. Its a reference not only to the alcohol content (8%) but also to to the fact that its extremely addictive.

    Celebrator was my first Dopplebock. I think its one of the very best of a wonderful style.

    I know you like Stella Artois as well. Stella is one my everyday favorites. Very good, steady lager.

  142. Clotpoll says:

    beer (145)-

    Now I know it’s the head-splitting level of alcohol that draws me to Duvel. I always wondered why it was so weighty on the palate…

    Nothing beats a Stella on a hot day, after mowing the yard.

  143. Clotpoll says:

    Hey Stu:

    Mike Morgan’s latest:

    “MARKETS -Very briefly, I believe the Chinese markets will be hardest hit over the next 30-60 days as social unrest grows. This and other factors are also in our overall view that world markets are heading lower . . . again. Our investment approach is still 100% on the short side with the exception of a long position in Yahoo.”

    FXP in the 50’s? I may not be able to resist this one myself.

  144. willwork4beer says:


    I got to thinking about that Barton Hollow house, so I looked it up. Maybe I should lay off the beer for awhile. It been on the market a bit longer than 18 months…

    You’ll love it. Its a study on following the market down:

    MLS#: 2248703

    Raritan Twp

    02/21/06 OLP: 999,000
    02/21/06 LLP: 825,000

    DOM: 181


    MLS# 2319406

    Raritan Twp

    09/13/06 OLP: 759,000
    11/30/07 LLP: 729,000

    DOM: 443


    MLS# 2505261

    Raritan Twp

    04/05/08 OLP: 729,000
    11/30/07 LLP: 629,000

    DOM: 238



    According to tax records, the house was purchased 01/29/99 for $410,000.

  145. Clotpoll says:

    More of Morgan’s latest. Long read, but worth it:

    Mike’s News Recaps and Comments . . .

    Beijing Forecasts Grim Outlook Amid Factory Closures – The Financial Times
    “We must be crystal clear that without a certain pace of economic growth, there will be difficulties with employment, fiscal revenues and social development . . . and factors damaging social stability will grow.” – Wen Jiabao, Chinese Premier
    Mike Morgan – There is nothing more I can add to that, other than to say . . . if that’s what they are revealing to the public, we are in for a firestorm in China that will rock the world.

    QUOTE – “China’s economy is losing momentum faster than expected: the central bank needs to act,” said Tao Dong, chief Asia economist at Credit Suisse Group AG in Hong Kong.

    Reflating the Dragon – The Economist
    Can the world’s fastest growing economy avoid a sharp downturn?
    Mike Morgan – I love the line in this article . . . “Only China can save capitalism.” According to local newspapers, half of China’s toymakers and one third of its shoe firms have disappeared this year.

    Cruel Christmas: How Many Will Fall? – Business Week
    With sales diving and nowhere to borrow, a brutal holiday season may mean extinction for some chains.
    Mike Morgan – I’m not sure I have to expand on this. I am writing this early morning on Black Friday. Our research and mystery shopping notes, point to the worst Black Friday since TGD. That sounds better than The Great Depression, but it doesn’t change anything. The media showed all the lines outside Best Buy and Macy’s, but the media didn’t expand on why people line up at 3AM in 20 degree weather, when the store doesn’t open till 7AM. They line up for the half a dozen laptops that are being offered at $300 or the two plasma TV sets at half price. But they are NOT lining up for full price product. This year, the retailers will be selling a lot of product at less than their cost. This year, we will see retailers dumping product to monetize their inventory . . . at any cost. And for those that don’t get it . . . they will monetize inventory in bankruptcy. By the way, all of these troubles have yet to filter through to China. More on China below.

    Crisis in Paradise: Meltdown Leaves Ghost Resorts – Associated Press
    Sol Kerzner’s Atlantis resort in the Bahamas laid off 800 workers, citing low occupancy rates. Construction has all but stopped on the Ritz-Carlton Molasses Reef resort in West Caicos. Mike Morgan – I thought this piece was interesting, because I had just finished reading another article about the $20M party Kerzner threw in Dubai for the grand opening of his Atlantis resort in Dubai. What was he thinking? But that is not the heart of this story. The real issue from the article is just how bad things are at the high end. Resorts that commanded $2,000 per night with 100% occupancy, now can’t sell the rooms for half that rate . . . and they are running at 20-40% occupancy rates. The global meltdown is devastating local communities in the islands where the economy is tied to tourism.

    Paulson Plan: Truly Idiotic – The Wall Street Journal
    “This whole thing has been complete nonsense. We did it in the 1930’s to times better than this. This isn’t complicated.” – Charles Calomiris, the Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia.
    Mike Morgan – While Calomiris’ statement is on the money, his interview with Dennis Berman misses the mark. Calomiris, like everyone else thinks we can give people do-overs on their houses and mortgages. What he, and others, fail to realize, is there is no equitable way to do that. In fact, buying up mortgages or refinancing mortgages simply penalizes millions of people that have done it right, felt the pain, and paid the consequences when they made mistakes. So unfortunately, I must label the Calomiris plan as Truly Idiotic. A return to the Bible, is all we need because God tells us over and over and over . . . we are forgiven, but there WILL be consequences for our actions.

    Goldman First to Issue FDIC Debt – The Financial Times
    “Once banks raise that money, what do they do with it? Will it spur new lending?” asked Jay Mueller, senior portfolio manager at Wells Capital Management.Mike Morgan – You had to know it would be Goldman to be the first to suck up $5B under the FDIC backed debt. The problem is trying to figure out what Goldman and others are going to do with the money. Jason Brady, portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management notes, “What the government didn’t want was Goldman and the banks to benefit from cheap funding at the expense of the mortgage borrowers.” So you see . . . this is just another example of Paulson forcing another branch of the government (FDIC) to push piles of money to his friends . . . at Goldman Sachs and all of the other banks his Goldman Sachs buds have now infiltrated.

    Debt Struggles and Elderly Living – The New York Times
    Mike Morgan – Very briefly . . . we never had retirement homes and pensions and assisted living in the 1930’s. What is going to happen to the millions of elderly, when their assisted living and end of life care is gone? What happens when companies like Sunrise Assisted Living and Brookdale Senior Living go out of business? Do we shut down the buildings and tell the residents to leave? Go where? That’s what they will ask. Who will take care of me. It’s a double whammy, because they will lose their homes and their pensions and retirement plans are being systematically wiped out by guys like Paulson, Thain, Prince, Mozilla, Waggoner, Steel, Mulally, Dodd, Schumer, Frank et al.

    State Bail-Out Looms for Italian Banks – The Financial Times
    Mike Morgan – Just a few months ago, we heard that Italy was immune to the problems facing the rest of the world. No one is immune, and that is why the dollar will remain the world’s currency.

    Reykjavik Borrows $10B to Stave Off Economic Collapse – The Financial Times
    Mike Morgan – At the opposite end of the spectrum from Italy is Iceland. Here we have a country that has failed. The world has yet to admit the failure, but we are dancing around the corpse as if it is going to rise. Iceland just borrowed $10B which represents their total GDP. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

    Mortgage Rates Fall as Government Expends Bailout – The Wall Street Journal
    Mike Morgan – I’m so sick about hearing about mortgage rates falling, and how this is going to make it all better. The problem is not mortgage rates. In fact, they are at historical lows. The problem is: (1) housing prices that were artificially inflated in the bubble, and remain artificially inflated, and (2) unemployment and underemployment that directly effect what a buyer can afford. Those are two very simple principles, yet The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and The New York Times don’t get it. As an owner of a residential real estate business, I see the problems every day. I keep pointing out that the politicians need to take a real estate tour with me. If they spent a week with me in the field, they’d be able to appreciate the magnitude of the problem and what needs to be done. My first mortgage was in 1983 at 14% . . . and I was happy to get it! It is not the mortgage rate but the value of the underlying asset that has created the crisis and that continues to fuel it. One thing we can do that will help get us back on track, is to shut down all home builders. We don’t need more new homes, but we’re still building. When we had too much wheat, we paid farmers not to plant. I’m not saying pay builders not to build. But I am saying we need to stop providing them with the fuel to keep building homes that continue to bring our markets down.

    Dueling Headlines – The Financial Times
    1 – Paulson Gives Revival Plan Hard Sell
    2 – Pessimism is Still Order of the Day
    Mike Morgan – These articles appeared one on top of the other. The first article discusses how Paulson continues to pump the liquefied manure out of the useless hole in the front of his head. The second article discusses consumers and their extreme pessimism. You see, no matter how much money Paulson pumps out to his buds on Wall Street, Main Street is not buying. They are not buying goods and services, and they are not buying Paulson’s liquefied manure.

    Default Fears See Bond Insurance Hit Peak – The Financial Times
    Mike Morgan – Things are getting worse . . . not better, as Paulson and Bernanke would like you to believe. Corporate debt insurance is now higher than during the Lehman collapse. This is not good news. Stock markets are said to predict the future . . . and they are rising lately. However, the cost of insuring corporate debt is a more accurate predictor of what is yet to hit us. This is where the real money plays.

    The Subprime Wolves Are Back – Business Week
    Mike Morgan – Another excellent article with facts and truth. No one does it better than Business Week. This is a must read article . . . for regulators and politicians. The same guys that fed on the fat created during the subprime years, are back at it again. You see, none of these guys ever went to jail. In fact, only a handful were even threatened with prosecution. So they shut down their companies, walked away from their offices, and took a vacation. Now they are back. The same guys, in the same offices . . . but now they are operating with government backing. These guys are still making loans that should not be made, but this time the government is backing them up with FHA backed loans.

    Quick Thought – You’ve got to wonder what Citi was going to use to buy WAMU. And even if they were successful, what were they going to do with WAMU? But above all, I wonder how the FDIC and Fed even considered the deal . . . when just a few weeks later they are bailing out the very bank they wanted to saddle WAMU with. Oh . . . one more. What in the world was Wells Fargo thinking, and what’s in store for them when they find out Paulson and Buffet screwed them.

    Banks Back CDS Clearing Proposal – The Financial Times
    The initiative suggests that dealer banks are stepping up their campaign in Washington to head off proposals for a radical overhaul of the sector, including attempts to force the entire industry to move trading in contracts such as credit default swaps (CDS) on to an exchange.
    Mike Morgan – Holy cow. Can you believe that. The banks actually want to regulate themselves. But regulation is not the proper word, is it. More like, “hide the evidence.” So the banks want to set up a clearing house before Washington sets some hard rules and regulations. Two problems here. One, the banks can’t agree on what they are, what they owe or what they do, so how are they going to agree on a clearing house. And two, it is very unlikely that Obama is going to set any hard to swallow regulations for the banks. After all, he needs them, their money and their clout. He doesn’t have the gonads to rock the boat. Hillary does, but we elected Obama.

    Toxic Assets: Still No Takers – Business Week
    Meanwhile the government’s hasty retreat has only made the assets more poisonous. Some top-rated securities backed by home equity loans are valued at 40 cents on the dollar, vs. 67 cents when the rescue plan was announced two months ago . . .
    Mike Morgan – The article goes on to note that the value of some securities might be close to zero. Nothing new there, just that it is finally starting to make it to mainstream media. The big problem is Paulson. He hoodwinked Congress into giving him money to buy toxic assets, but when he realized just how toxic the assets were, he changed his mind. The bottom line for banks around the world, will be trillions of dollars in write downs. We have not even scratched the surface when it comes to marking these assets to market . . . and now what mark to market is dead, it will be interesting to see when we admit the inevitable.

    Paulson’s Hedge Fund Returns To Mortgage Securities – The Financial Times
    Mike Morgan – John Paulson has announced – again – that he is buying mortgage backed securities. He announced this a few months back, but I guess he realized he was too early, and he decided to re-announce, maybe hoping no one would remember he started buying six months ago. I have too words for John – too soon. Then again, if he is buying them for pennies on the dollar, and not dimes on the dollar, he might be making a wise investment. With $36B under management, he can afford to make a lot of mistakes . . . and still go home with a huge paycheck.

    Lands of Waste and Debt – Barron’s
    The states send signals that it will not be a happy spring.
    Mike Morgan – Yes, “spring,” because this piece was written in April by Thomas Donlan. I like to pull old articles and chuckle about how right or wrong they were. Donlan is one of the best when it comes to reality and telling it like it is. In this piece he points out just how dire things are for the states . . . and he did it eight months ago. Things are much worse now. Moreover, as Corzine, Patterson and Arrrrnolllld have pointed out, things are now out of control – in free fall – and the states are looking at the Fed for help.

    Our Spendthrift States Don’t Need a Bailout – The New York Times
    Governors need to learn to use fat years to prepare for lean ones.
    Mike Morgan – B-I-N-G-O and a great editorial from Steve Malanga, senior editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Malanga points out how politicians use the fat times to boost their own political careers by handing out jobs and increasing benefits and pension candy. Now that reality has set in, there is no way out other than a horrible Depression that wipes out much of the pension candy and friends-and-family benefits created over the past 20 years.

    Bucking the Trend – Florida Trend
    Government keeps hiring even as the private sector in Florida trimmed more than 100,000 jobs in a year.
    Mike Morgan – This is in the current issue of Florida Trend. On the one hand the states want the Fed to bail them out, but on the other hand, the states are still spending like there’s no tomorrow. Roll this down a notch to the county level, and you are witnessing cut backs of basic services like police, fire, emergency response and education! In the roaring 20’s we danced around and spent money just like we have been for the last 20 years . . . the only difference is the music. But just like the 20’s, the music will stop and there will be a lot of folks without chairs . . . or homes. By the way, the City of New York had about 240,000 full time employees in 2003. Now the number is north of 300,000. And the biggest jump . . . just last year. So much for the wisdom and fiscal management skills of Mike Bloomberg. Like Obama, Bloomberg speaks well and is great at marketing himself, but when it comes down to substance, there is a lot to be desired.

    States Cut Services for Elderly, Disabled – The Wall Street Journal
    As budget shortfalls force reductions in home care, low-income people may face nursing homes, advocates say.

    Florida Finance Chief Calls for Special Session – Scripps Treasure Coast NewspapersCalling Florida’s financial outlook “ugly,” the chief steward of the state’s dwindling finances said. Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink said legislators need to act quickly to figure out what programs to cut and whether to find a way to raise fees, taxes or find other sources of money.
    Mike Morgan – Duhhhhhhhhhhh

    Local Zeroes – The Economist
    Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia, commandeered the airwaves to announce spending cuts and tell citizens to “prepare for the worst.”

    Lawmakers Debate Pitfalls of Loan Modification – The New York Times
    Can securitized mortgages be revised?
    Mike Morgan -Interesting article that could have been summed up in one paragraph . . . Some hedge funds, including Greenwich Financial Services and Braddock Financial, told banks in October that they might sue the banks if they changed mortgages that were within mortgage bonds that the hedge funds have purchased. This really says it all. If you still think there are going to be loan modifications of mortgages that are in pools, you still believe in the Easter Bunny. The only way out of the mortgage crisis, is the pain of foreclosures and a complete collapse of the financial system that owns this toxic ka ka.

    Prices Post Rare Fall; A New Test for the Fed – The Wall Street Journal
    Mike Morgan – As prices fall so will earnings and so will PE ratios. I only offer that tidbit because so many of the experts are pointing to historically low PE ratios. First, they are not historically low. In fact, they are not even very cheap . . . yet. PE ratios will drop lower before we get anywhere near a bottom. But I have one question. What do you call a PE when there are no earnings?

    Chinese Regulators Ask Banks to Increase Capital Adequacy Rations – The Financial Times
    Chinese regulators have asked the country’s banks to increase the amount of capital they have on hand in anticipation of deteriorating growth and expectations that state-owned banks will be made to underwrite the bulk of Beijing’s economic stimulus package.
    Mike Morgan – What can I say? I keep hearing that China will lead us out of the slump. I have not bought that line of ka ka. In fact, when everyone was calling for a 9% GDP in China, I pegged it at 0-3%. Last week when that 9% was lowered to 7.5%, my numbers started looking better. But I’m pulling my 3% and looking for at best something close to flat for China in 2009. We are still underestimating the level this Depression will reach and . . . we are underestimating the social unrest that will tear China apart in 2009. A perfect example of the very beginning is a shot in The New York Times with the caption . . . Workers laid off by the Kader Group, a Chinese toymaker, surrounded a police vehicle on Tuesday in violent protests of the company’s job cuts.

    Chinese Airlines Seek Emergency Aid – The Financial Times

    QUOTE – If you look at the subprime problem in the U.S., you would say we’re in the eight inning, or maybe the top of the ninth. – Morgan Stanley CEO – John Mack
    Mike Morgan – And this guy still has a job paying millions of dollars. By the way, the quote was made during the first week of April 20008, almost eight months ago. Maybe he meant we are in the ninth, but there are going to be 20 innings of extra innings.

    One more dumb dumb from April – Texas Pacific Group (TPG) gives WAMU $7B. Do ya think they did any homework before they forked over $7B of their clients’ money? Or were they more concerned with the commissions and fees they were going to earn.

    Homeless in a Flash, Hundreds in Texas Now Wait for Relief – The New York Times
    Mike Morgan – Although this article deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, it struck me that we are seeing more and more homeless in the wake of the current financial crisis. Then again, wake is the wrong word. A wake is what boats leave behind. We are still entering a financial crisis that I put at inning 4 or 5, at best. On a recent research trip I noticed more street beggars and more homeless living under highway overpasses. I saw homeless in places that I have never seen them before. Just how bad it gets depends on how long the government keeps giving our money to Wall Street crooks like the one at the top handing out the money.

    Enough Shock Treatment? – Business Week
    “There is a very severe deleveraging which you can’t stop,” says Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. . . . it’s clear that we’re deep in unchartered territory – or at least territory that hasn’t been explored since the Great Depression. Economists and policy makers are floundering.
    Mike Morgan – Another superb article by Peter Coy. He faces facts and reports the truth . . . unlike so much of the dribble in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the talking GE puppets on CNBC. As Peter’s article points out, we are headed for more shock, because no one is considering treatment of the problem . . . instead they are focusing on self preservation and how to make friends they will party with when the masses are eating cardboard. Buffet Blunders – We’ve seen and heard a lot about Buffet’s deals with GE and GS, but there’s not a lot of color about his naked PUTs on $37B of equity indexes. We know he pocketed $4.8B in premiums, but we’re not sure what his real exposure is. Most of what we hear, is that there will be no loss until 2019 at the earliest . . . and this stretches out for another eight years. Warren may not be around then, so maybe that’s why the big bet. But if we enter an era of decline similar to Japan, Buffet will have come full circle on his life as an investor.

    Record $40B is Redeemed from Poorly Performing Hedge Funds – The Financial Times
    Mike Morgan – For those media yappers that are insisting the worst is behind us when it comes to redemptions . . . one word – WRONG. Redemptions in October were the highest since the numbers were first compiled in 1990. The worst is yet to come. Many hedgies are going to go down in flames. They can’t liquidate, so they are hoping for a miracle. For some, this week’s rally in the builders, banks and other losers was an opportunity to sneak out of some positions. But that will not last long, and as more investors request redemptions, more hediges will be forced to sell. For those hedgies that have their clients’ funds locked up, these hedgies will most likely be the guys we read about as their funds go belly up with a big stink.

    Perot Fund Liquidates as Debt Bets Turn Sour – The Wall Street Journal
    Mike Morgan – Ooops, another “value investor,” “buy-out king,” “turnaround expert,” takes it on the chin. But it doesn’t end there. The article featured in the top right hand corner of the Money & Investing section, goes on to point out a few other funds coming apart . . . Petra Capital Management, Guggenheim Partners and Centerline Holdings. By the way, Centerline is run by Stephen Ross and Petra by Andy Stone . . . two more experts that totally missed the collapse. Why? How? Easy. Huge management fees and huge bonuses with no downside risk. None. In fact, much of the money these funds were “investing” was silent money from pension funds, endowments, municipalities and others that wouldn’t think twice about questioning such names as Perot, Guggenheim, Ross (Wilbur or Stephen), Buffet and Icahn, just like no one questioned Hank Paulson and the schemes created on his watch at Goldman Sachs that were rolled out to the world with a deadly viral effect.

    A British Lesson Auto Bailouts – The New York Times
    “I’m not telling the U.S. what to do, but the lessons of the British experience is don’t throw good money after bad.” – Leon Britain, a top official in the government of Margaret Thatcher.
    Mike Morgan – A lesson to be learned from the British “failed” bailout of British Leyland. The

    Mother of Bear Market Rallies is on the Horizon – The Financial Times
    Mike Morgan – That headline was a statement from Barton Biggs. Sadly, Barton has tarnished his reputation and in recent interviews, he appears openly bitter that the markets are not doing what HE wants the markets to do. Biggs, just like Wilbur Ross, Warren Buffet, Kirk Kerkorian and so many other wizards of finance are starting to look foolish, while their arrogance and egos keep them from admitting and acknowledging what is happening and where we are going. Biggs, as others, believe that we are down so far, that we can’t go any lower. That type of arrogance has destroyed more than a few financial powerhouses.

  146. willwork4beer says:

    Oops, the date on the current list price of the active one is wrong. Cutting and pasting the format to make things simpler and forgot to take it out.

  147. Clotpoll says:

    Oops. Think I submitted something too long. Here’s a link to Mike Morgan’s latest hallucination:


  148. Clotpoll says:

    beer (148)-

    A slow-motion train wreck.

  149. Frank says:

    How can make such cruel comments about the Walmart worker that got trampled? How rude. You have not heart.

  150. Frank says:

    “And all my friends tell me I’m an idiot”

    I think they are correct.

  151. Frank says:

    “Can you please explain it to my 401k??”
    You still have it?? I only have 201K now.

  152. Frank says:

    “The economical climate out there isn’t good for most people right now. Maybe not for you, and not for me, but for many it is.”

    That’s because people got used to the free homes, free cars and unlimited spending. It was a mirage, not it’s time to pay for things and people can’t believe it. You need to realize that people used to live within their means and we need to go back to those days.

  153. Stu says:


    I’ve been following the China collapse as best as one can from this side of the Pacific. I will most likely be doubling my position on Monday at 50 or below. Still won’t be a monster position for me, but will make it somewhat significant. Might buy some more SRS around 110 if I can get it for that.

    I appreciate the head’s up on the riots.

  154. Stu says:

    Frank has become Captain Obvious!

  155. kettle1 says:


    I agree with Mike, There are underlying weaknesses in china are have set them up fora nasty fall. I still think that we will see the center of the financial universe move towards asia of the next decade or so, but china’s supposed immunity will be as real as their so called decoupling.
    China also thinks that they can CYA by turning their population into consumers. Consumerism is a dead end long term strategy and can only be pulled off when either your population has massive amounts of money to spend or you as a nation have the ability to strong the golabl markets into accepting your debt.
    China as a nation may be wealthy, but it people are not. China’s population cannot afford to consume its on products at any significant scale unless the government were to attempt a US style debt expansion. I personally believe that even that would fail as the average wealth level amongst Chinese citizens is to low compared to the global market.
    That male overpopulation problem that china has may very quickly become a primary issue. A bunch of unemployed angry young men is a very dangerous thing on a national level….



    The longest o have gone without sleep is 4 days. I had the most phenomenal hallucinations simple due to sleep deprivation. They were more real then real life. Colors were brighter, touch and smell were more intense…. If there was a drug that could get me back to that i would probably be hooked. That was probably the most amazing experience i have ever had. It seemed similar to a combination of experiences from mescaline and lsd that people have told me about. Never played with either one of those myself.

    Insome ways it also sounds similar to what the link you put up was talking about.


    Mike in waiting:

    250, here we come…..

    Just got back from moutain biking. I was bored at 5am so decided to get some exercise.



    This happens to me 2 or 3 times a month. Insomnia hits and i stay up for 72 hours or so before i can go back to sleep. The problem is that my brain wont shut down and stop running if that makes any sense?.?.?.?.

    never have needed much slept

  156. Stu says:

    I had insomnia (extremely rare for me) when I returned to my room in AC on Thursday night at 3am. I couldn’t get a whole bunch of thoughts out of my mind. It sounds quaint, but I literally count sheep. It clears my mind from all of the other thoughts if I really concentrate. I actually got into the 500s before pooping out. That is a record for me.

    Though, I have a funny feeling that my insomnia is nothing compared to the others here who reportedly suffer from it.

    On the beer tip, all of the discussed beers are quite good and I have had them all. The Rogue beers are especially well done and would agree that Sierra Nevada is more of an everyday beer. Their IPA is really a decent brew, especially for the cost. I’m not a big fan of the beer that require fruit to drink it. Corona is pisswater in Mexico, but us American’s drink up the marketing. I really love Negra Modelo for Mexican beer and it has become more widely available now that the importer for Corona has picked up the label. I’m partial to dark beers and really like McEwan’s, Boddington’s and Smithwicks as well as Guiness on tap.

    Best new beer I’ve had recently and can’t seem to find any local places that carry it is Thelonious Monk. It’s a delicious Belgian ale with a very high alcohol content. The few places that carry it are always sold out. Can you guys let me know if you see it when you do your beer shopping?

  157. Seneca says:


    from the NYTimes article “All Eyes on Holiday Shopping”

    “…Walter Loeb, president of Loeb Associates, a retail consultancy, said there was shopping mania at Wal-Mart every year. But this year, he said, it seems “people are becoming irrational in their actions.”

    At a Wal-Mart store in Columbus, Ohio, Nikki Nicely, 19, jumped onto a man’s back and pounded his shoulders when he tried to take a 40-inch Samsung flat-screen television to which she had laid claim. “That’s my TV!” Ms. Nicely shouted. “That’s my TV!”

    A police officer and security guard intervened, but not before Ms. Nicely took an elbow in the face. In the end, she was the one with the $798 television, marked down from $1,000. “That’s right,” she cried as her adversary walked away. “This here is my TV!”

    … the only shopping I did yesterday was grocery shopping. Wegman’s was empty and it was awesome. I generally pay extra to shop at stores that charge more for the same items because it keeps people like Ms. Nicely (oh the irony) out of my line of sight. I offset my grocery costs with coupons and I buy many of my consumer products via the Net (Amazon Prime is key). I only minored in Psychology so perhaps that is why I can’t understand the mentality of getting beat up to save $202 on a TV. I suppose the “victory” of winning that battle has some value to people like Ms. Nicely and it goes beyond merely having a new TV. If someone is truly desperate to save $202, should they be using what money they do have on unnecessary consumer electronics?

    On the way home from Wegman’s I noted lines out the door at 6th Ave Electronics and Electronics Expo but no line at the PC Richards I passed; this was around 11am-noon on Friday.

    I guess we have to wait for the actual numbers to come out before seeing how BF went for the retailers.

  158. willwork4beer says:

    160 Stu

    I have seen Brother Thelonious at Supersaver in Pennington and purchased it at Little Brothers in Flemington. Really amazing stuff, but I’m a sucker for Belgian Ales.

    In your area, did you try Shopper’s Vineyard in Clifton? I’ve heard they have a good selection.

    I agree that Negra Modelo is about the only beer worth drinking coming out of Mexico. I never understood the attraction of Corona.

    PS. Mexicans don’t put fruit in their beer. That’s strictly for the gringos…

  159. chicagofinance says:

    Do you understand the inherent stupidity of this quote? It sounds Bushian….

    Mike Morgan – “As prices fall so will earnings and so will PE ratios.”

  160. kettle1 says:


    you nailed my problem. Its like your brain wont stop thinking. I have even tried a significant number of shots of vodka. Then i was just awake drunk and thinking ;). It does allow you to do a large amount of reading, good for keeping up with the apocalypse.


    from a 2nd law of thermodynamics perspective capitalism is a superior form of economics/government compared to the feudalistic forms that were dominant before the rise of capitalism.
    Looking at it from the perspective that systems that are the most efficient at dissipating energy gradients in a dynamic system, then it seems that a form of corporatism could be what rises from the ashes of capitalism.

    vague perhaps, but it would take a book to go indepth

  161. 3b says:

    Frank: The Dow had its best week since 1932. Kind of ironic don’t you think?

  162. kettle1 says:


    I am with you on smithwicks, guiness and the monk!



    While i see your point, Is it also not possible that you could maintain sales and PE by decreasing price and making up the difference on increased volume?

  163. kettle1 says:

    hmmm 164 was a bit of a ramble….. ignore it….

  164. chicagofinance says:

    Re: MM….quoting Business Week as an imprimatur of analytic thought and balance…..

    He is aware that McGraw-Hill publishes Business Week and also happens to be the parent of S&P. While Moody’s behavior was probably the most blatantly unethical, McGH has the deepest pockets for litigation targeting. Sure BW will lay it on the line.

  165. kettle1 says:


    we haven’t even talked about the interceding severity of issues in china due to lack of fresh water and environmental depredation…

    The US has experimented in debt saturation of a population. China has experimented in rapid large scale industrialization without safeguards.

    each of us now faces the consequences.


    Mike in waiting:

    Could you throw up the history on that house for me again? OLP/DOM/ stats?

    much appreciated!

  166. kettle1 says:

    Random thought…

    Anyone here play with google notebook? I found it last week and love it. It is a nice little add on for firefox. very helpful actually. a more elegant solution then bookmarking entire webpages just for tracking bits and pieces

  167. BC Bob says:

    “The stock market just had it’s best week since 1974. You call this a recession?”

    There is not one single successful hedge fund manager/trader that would even whisper an asinine statement like this. Come to think of it, a crumbling hedgie wouldn’t make a jackass statement like this.

  168. BC Bob says:

    “Do you understand the inherent stupidity of this quote?”


    On the flip side, nothing inherently stupid regarding his trading returns.

  169. Sybarite says:


    I’ve picked up Thelonius Monk here at Gary’s in Madison a couple of months ago. They should still have it on their warm shelf.

  170. Stu says:

    Thanks Sybarite. Will stop by there today on my way to Trader Joes in Florham Park. I’ll let you know if I was successful.

  171. Laurie says:

    Regarding the anti Frank attitude here…while i do agree that a certain amt of “head in the sand” is going on here there is NO doubt that ALOT of people are not touched now by a recession and they are still buying things like expensive RE like crazy..case in point…in my neighborhood just a stones throw from me is a sweet farmhouse colonial that went on the mkt in mid Sept for 999k. The house sold for 990k within 2 weeks and the new owners are now living there.so what that means is that it went up for sale,sold and closed within a 60 day period..pretty darn fast and that is a recession??? They have brand new cars in the driveway and a non working wife..no recession over there. NOW..for us my husbands job could be gone any day…I mean literally any time and he took vaca this week because when/if they go bankrupt at least he got his vaca…scary for us but good times for a lot of people. my sister in law is a shrink and she has seen NO drop off in her business…funny huh

  172. Laurie says:

    Also…4 houses were for sale this last summer/early fall in this neighborhood..all sold, all closed…2 of them doing major renovations right now..can’t you hear the construction??

  173. kettle1 says:


    But is your sample size representative of the market as a whole????

    Frank often poses a false dichotomy. Just because a handful of people you know are making lots of money does not mean that we are or are not in a financial crisis or that RE is toast. To make such broad statements you must look at a broad data set.


    Was at a little GTG in mendham yesterday. Several people agreed that they would stop paying their mortgage before dipping into savings/investments. At least 1 family at the GTG, in the main neighborhood area of mendham has stopped paying and has not heard from the bank since they stopped paying back in September. Husband was an NYC banker and got the ax back then.

    There is definitely a feeling of acceptability in not paying a mortgage. It seems to be becoming BAU


  174. Clotpoll says:

    Laurie (175)-

    In case you missed this news flash, having lots of stuff is no indicator of real personal net worth.

    Also, a 990K sale in what may have been a formerly 1.2mm neighborhood isn’t a sign of the good times rolling, either.

    And if you’re gonna come back and tell me that values haven’t dropped in your neighborhood in the past three years, I’ll go ahead and call bullshit to that one right now.

  175. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (177)-

    You have to be delinquent 90 before most lenders will pick up the phone and call you.

    Some of them don’t even bother to call anymore. They just hit you with a Notice of Default.

  176. Clotpoll says:


    Of course, that 990K buyer may have been a guy who got short early on. Maybe he was one of the smart Paulson’s customers for a couple of years. If I’d been on that gravy train, I wouldn’t have minded the 2/20 load (oops…almost forgot…Paulson doesn’t charge 2/20).

    I have a couple of pals who’ve ridden the SRS/SKF/DOG/DUG express in a much bigger way than I could ever imagine. A couple of them are scratching around for a nice, bank-owned house these days.

    We’d all have to admit, though, that the number of people walking around with winnings from shorting isn’t enough to trigger any kind of RE recovery.

  177. BC Bob says:

    Laurie [175],

    I would think that your sister in law would have seen/will see a substantial increase in her business.

    4 houses near you sold? That’s funny I know 4 traders, who made a ton, the last six months. Maybe you’re right, no recession?

  178. kettle1 says:


    Physiologists and psychiatrists always see an uptick in business in tough times.

  179. Sean says:

    Laurie – Frank’s head is not in the sand it is somewhere else where the sun does not shine.

    Frank won’t add anything substantive here other than some prozac induced fluff like the sun always shines, he does add the occasional comic relief like Hedge Funds can’t even hire Mexican Quants at any price.

    Apparently Frank can take a dressing down so if he keeps coming back for more we will oblige.

    Here is my latest guess on who and what Frank is based upon his very vague posts.

    Frank speaks in generalities about the stock markers, Hedge Funds and has a strange fixation on Hoboken Real Estate.

    My best guess Frank is a Tech Recruiter and a part time flipper who is furiously trying to find a buyer for his one an only investment a 500 sq ft one bedroom condo that he paid 600k for back at the height of the bubble.

    Frank found this blog last spring when nobody showed up for his open house and he googled NJ realestate and landed here accidentally. Now based upon info found here found here, Frank in now furiously trying to get out before his Condo association brings back those fashionable yet functional wrought iron window guards.

    Frank will be one of the last to capitulate on selling price since he does not understand the ponzi scheme of triple AAA rated tranches that brought us here, and how the bad bets at the bucket shops have caused about 15 trillion dollars in paper profits to vanish in a few short months.

    As long as Frank keeps coming back I will keep guessing.

    Thanks for playing.

  180. Sean says:

    re: #182 Kettle1 – I can’t wait to see how full the churches are on Dec 25th.

  181. 3b says:

    #175 laurie: This recession is just getting under way, do you expect it to be over in a month or two?

    I would not assume because a house sold in your neighborhod, that the people who bought it are doing well.

    There is a house that sold in my neighborhood in May, I am told it is already in foreclosure.

    People spending moeny could be a sign of people doing well, it could also be a sign of stupidity. We have certainily seen an incredible amount of stupidity over the last few years.

  182. 3b says:

    #181 BC Bob:.Maybe you’re right, no recession?

    Yeah, for those 4 Traders.

  183. Sean says:

    WTF is wrong with Buress?

  184. Stu says:


    After much searching at the Gary’s in Madison, I was able to find one dusty 4-pack of Thelonious Monk. 4-12 oz. bottles cost $12.99? That is criminal. Well I bought it anyway plus a case of Smithwicks which was almost the same price as the 4 of Monk. Thanks for the tip. Now I need to find a place that carries it at a reasonable price.

    As for Frank the troll, he is a complete Wall Street wannabe. Probably way underwater and in complete denial. I have met quite a few people who don’t own up to their mistakes. For some unknown reason, they tell lies to make themselves feel better. These tend to be the same people who end up suffering the most as they don’t try in any way to repair their situation. In their minds, their planned ignorance is an easier way to do things than to make the necessary adjustments to begin the healing process. This is not dissimilar to the person who tells so many lies that they eventually begin to believe them.

  185. Nom Deplume says:


    For those worried about the gov taxing the schitt out of your holdover 401ks when you draw them down, consider rolling them over to a Roth IRA (can’t do it with current 401k though unless it has a Roth feature).

    If you are under the limit, you can do this now (but will take a tax hit). But, if you have massive losses, it may make sense to roll now since the tax hit will be lower. Similarly, if you find yourself unemployed this year or next, roll it over if you are in a much lower tax bracket. And if you can’t roll it over now, roll it over in 2010, when the limits are lifted.

    Also, fully fund the traditional IRA, even if not deductible. I am doing this, then will roll it over to the Roth in 2010. Since it is after tax $$, no extra tax hit.

    Note that if you do this, you must roll a like percentage from each of your IRAs. $$$ in a holdover 401(k) doesn’t count, but if you roll it into an IRA, you have to roll the like percentage from all IRAs. No cherry picking.

  186. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [106] Kettle,

    So Rubin has no fingerprints on Citi?

    Ah, Ah, AhBullshitchoo!!!

  187. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [158] stu

    I thought the character’s name was “Obviousman”? (from Non Sequitur).

    BTW, saw your post on T-Day. Was surpised by a certain pair of omissions, but I will take it on faith that the things you are truly most grateful for kinda go without saying.

  188. kettle1 says:

    Can the US do an IMF on itself?

    In previous years and decades whenever a third world country would get into financial difficulty it would turn to the IMF for a bailout. Because of the way the global financial system was structured in the post-Bretton Woods era (World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc.), the US was always in the forefront of such efforts. The bailout examples are numerous and well known: Latin America, Mexico, Asia, Russia. By and large the process worked pretty well, based on the premise that in an interconnected world if your neighbor’s house is on fire you don’t haggle about the garden hose…..

    But the US cannot perform a similar IMF bailout on itself, as it is currently attempting to do. The United States IS the IMF. Astronomical guarantees and bad-asset purchases merely transfer and spread out the problem internally, instead of solving it. There is simply way too much debt; too much dead wood, too much turpentine and, naturally, no one else wants it in his back yard. Just think of China, Japan, the Gulf States or Russia and how much US debt they have already piled up. How much more “firehouse debt” are they willing to accept, particularly when the flames are already licking their own houses?

    What we need right now is water: a.k.a. debt liquidation. And the longer we fail to recognise this simple fact, the longer we fail to provide it, the worst it’s going to get later on.President-elect Obama is currently hiring firemen, his economic policy team; and it doesn’t look good. They are the exact same bunch that let the firehouse get full of tinder in the past, if they didn’t necessarily also strike the match. I sincerely hope they can teach new tricks to old dogs – but does Larry (Summers) look trainable to you? Woof.


  189. kettle1 says:


    Lehman’s Neuberger Division Sale May Be Scuttled By S&P Drop

    Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may not get to close a $2.15 billion sale of its investment- management business to Bain Capital LLC and Hellman & Friedman LLC as a result of a provision tying the deal’s completion to the value of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The purchase by Bain and Hellman of the division, which includes the Neuberger Berman unit, is conditioned on an S&P 500 average closing price of more than 902 for the 10 trading days before the sale closes. The average for the last 10 days has been about 844, after the index reached its 52-week intraday low of 741.02 on Nov. 21. When the parties signed the deal Oct. 3, the S&P closed at 1099.23.


  190. Stu says:


    My wife and son already know that I am grateful for them. No need to profess this online as we did that in person.

  191. NJGator says:

    Gator is thankful that WABC chose to air Florida – FSU instead of BC -Maryland.

    I hope everyone is having a relaxing, peaceful Thanksgiving weekend.

  192. sas says:

    Went to a great mexican place in Hillsdale today.

    Think it was called “Cinco de Mayo”???

    In any case, great eats.
    I got the shrimp with green tomatillo sauce.


  193. sas says:

    Hard to find good authentic Mexican food around here for some reason.


  194. scribe says:


    it seems that a form of corporatism could be what rises from the ashes of capitalism.

    What is corporatism?

    I’ve never heard that term.

  195. sas says:

    “it seems that a form of corporatism could be what rises from the ashes of capitalism”

    hate to break it to you bloke, corporatism is already here, and has been for some time.

    “What is corporatism?”

    The corporations own the govt, and the govt works for the corporations. Not you.
    You are viewed as a consumer, not as a citizen.

    Why you think after 911 they told you to go shopping, rather than go home and hug your family and friends. They wanted your sweet little ass back in the white trash SlaveMarts.


  196. sas says:


    cut a brother some slack.
    why do I always get “moderation” ?


  197. SAS says:

    whats going on here?

    where are my posts?


  198. Frank says:

    You call this a recession?? I will take 2 of them.

    “Early data shows strong Black Friday shopping”


  199. d2b says:

    Do McMansions come with one candle for every front window or is that an accessory?

  200. Frank says:

    Did you have 0bama in your post?

  201. SAS says:


    I was talking about corporatism, and I was blacklisted.


  202. Jersey Jim says:

    206. SAS

    Perhaps it was Big Brother censoring you and not Grim?

  203. SAS says:

    “Perhaps it was Big Brother censoring you and not Grim?”

    wouldn’t suprize me.
    I could tell you a few stories or two about getting detained Law Enforcement for things I’ve said.

    Here an interesting little diddy.
    Not too long ago, I took a trip to Israel.
    They had me on the watch list because of my field of work. But, what I found really intersting…IDF asked me if I had ever talked to “Mr. so and so”.

    I said no that I could remember. and I really couldn’t remember. but let me tell you… IDF knew, because they pulled me into a private room with computers, and waa laa. Not only did they pull the date and time I placed a phone call to “Mr so and so”. THey played the god damn phone conversation back to me.

    Jaw dropped & I almost craped my pants.

    Here was the kicker:
    They played back a conversation from my own personal cell phone, from a conversation that took place over 3 years ago, and took place in the United States.

    Chew on that one for awhile…


  204. DL says:

    Black Friday sales nothing more than the last gasps of an economy about to go the way of the Hapsburg empire. Read “A Nervous Splendor” by Frederic Morton for historical parallel.

  205. Stu says:

    McDonald’s sends me into mod!

  206. Stu says:

    Try to type Mickey D’s real name!

  207. Stu says:


    Do you even read the article that you link to? Better yet, do you even know how to read?

    “But the sales boost during the post-Thanksgiving shopathon came at the expense of profits as the nation’s retailers had to slash prices to attract the crowds in a season that is expected to be the weakest in decades.”

  208. Stu says:


    Is Cinco de Mayo REALLY good or just good? Have you had El Meson in Freehold?

    Mexican is my favorite and outside of El Meson, have not found anything terribly edible in Jersey.

  209. jamil says:

    sas: “IDF knew, because they pulled me into a private room with computers, and waa laa. THey played the god damn phone conversation back to me.”

    I have hard time believing this. Why would they reveal this to you. It is one thing to have this info (big intelligence agencies surely have this sort of data) and another to directly expose it to the culprit (and public).

  210. Cindy says:

    Chicago – While in the car just now I heard a local radio show host say if you plan to purchase gift cards, use your credit card because credit card purchases are covered under the “Fair Credit Billing Act.” If an outfit went belly up, you have recourse through your CC company. Made sense to me.

  211. Jersey Jim says:

    208. SAS

    Yes, they are indeed paranoid. Here is my own story of a trip I took a couple of years ago…

    Security- “What is the purpose of your trip?”

    Me- “I’m visiting a friend who is with the UN Peacekeeping Mission up in Nahariyya.”

    Security- “You came from Germany?”

    Me- “Thats right. I live in Germany.”

    Security- “But you’re an American?”

    Me- “Thats right.”

    Security- “Your passport says you were born in Japan.”

    Me- “Thats right.”

    Security- “What do you have in the box?”

    Me- “My bagpipes.”

    Security- “Aren’t those from Scotland?”

    Me- “Thats right.”

    Security- “Where did you learn to play those?”

    Me- “From an Englishman.”

    Security- “How long did you live in England?”

    Me- “I never lived in England.”

    Let me tell you, they took me to a side room and searched through all my bags very throughly. They were even holding my underwear up to the light, looking for God knows what. As they say, the problem isn’t that you’re paranoid, the problem is that you aren’t paranoid enough.

  212. SAS says:

    “Is Cinco de Mayo REALLY good or just good?”

    I think its pretty good. Best real Mexican I can find in all of Bergen County. Its kind of a hole in the wall, but a good spot.
    When your the only gringo in a Mexican joint, you can’t go wrong in my book.

    “Have you had El Meson in Freehold?”

  213. kettle1 says:


    What we have is only sudo corporatism. A full blown corporatist society is the world banks and IMF’s wet dream. In a full blown corporatist society all major functions of government would be corporate. While many of ours are, there are still noticeable differences.

    We are probably the prototype of corporatist society and other will arise, likely in Asia that are more fully developed and able to out compete our system in terms of economic output.

    Te really amusing thing is that the more successful a system is a dissipating energy, the more likely it is to kill itself in the long run. Of course that is only a significant factor if the time scales involved are similar. Highly dissimilar times scales would make that aspect appear irrelevant.

  214. SAS says:

    “another to directly expose it to the culprit (and public)”

    I agree with you and you are correct. Except for one caveat, I was the team leader on a group that brought down South Korea telecommunications, and gave it over to the guys out in California.

    You can flip your cell phone over and thank me anytime for that 4 letter acronym.

    (obviously alot I can’t post, but also gave you big clues)

    but hey… what do I know.


  215. kettle1 says:


    i got pulled aside at heathrow and put in an interview room. Guess i really shouldnt ever go to isreal then, huh? If the UK grills me, is the IDF going to loan me to egypt for a few days?

  216. SAS says:

    The realy point of my other post was that…if any agency wants, wether domestic or foreign wants to know what your up to…chances are they are doing it, and have been doing it for sometime.

    Sad, but true.


  217. kettle1 says:


    when looking at things in terms of thermodynamics, some actions and structures such as governments and the actions of large populations, make much more sense.

    Although it then raises some interesting questions on free will.

  218. Jersey Jim says:

    219. kettle

    My experience in Israel is that they ask questions in an attempt to uncover the lie you are hiding. If whatever you say is true, but just isn’t very logical they get more paranoid.

    The funny thing was that after they had a look through all my stuff and questioned me they brought me back to the main line area. One of the security guys said, “Let me hear you play those pipes.” I guess he thought he would discover I couldn’t play a note and he would have me I guess. I blew the pipes up and started to play and security guys from all over the place ran over. The pipes are pretty loud. I imagine that was the last time he asked anyone to play the pipes.

  219. kettle1 says:


    i got pulled aside at heathrow and the wanted detailed accounts of what i had been spending money on recently and who i had been associating with.

    perhaps it was stupid on my part, but they were being rude, so i finally requested that if they were really concerned about to please call the US consolute because i was done answering questions.

    I didnt expect to be released, but without another word they let me go.

  220. Frank says:

    Do you know how to read?? If you read the news before this Friday, expectations were for -10% sales, sales came +3%. Now expectations are for weak Holiday season, because negative news sells. In reality people will go out and spend, spend and spend. Why are you so in love with negative news? If you are so negative you should start planning a move to Cuba, I heard they don’t even report holidays sales, because there are none.

  221. morpheus says:

    I am thankful this holiday season that I found this site and all of it’s wonderful analysis.

    As you all know, I have been looking since january 2008 for a home. You all have saved me much $$$$. Now, my wife has finally “got it” and wants to delay the renewed search for a home until next year in late winter/early sping time.

    She has finally realized that all those people who made less than myself and “could afford to buy” really could not afford to buy. Thanks for letting me help her see reality. It has certainly improved my home life.

    Oh.. . .I am also thankful because I just brewed my first all grain home brew batch (no extract. . . .Yeah!)

    enjoy the rest of the holiday and realize what is important: family and alcohol.

  222. Stu says:


    Blind optimism is much more dangerous than optimism alone. You are too dense to understand this. I have decided to stay away from having any future discussions with you for it is about as entertaining and fruitless as reasoning with a past out alcoholic.

  223. scribe says:


    Thanks for the explanation of corporatism.

  224. spam spam bacon spam says:

    The one time we get to go to the back room at customs, is coming in from Jaimaca and we get “busted” with 40 little bottles of some Jamaican hot sauce.

    We thought we were gone’ers for not declaring…

    The customs agents were absolutely stupified at having not found any weed.

    Funny that. We looked like pot heads.

    Cute story, right?

    Gets better.

    We had just spent a week at an all-inclusive… for about the first 4 days, we got tepid care from the staff. We had tipped generously (up front) and tried to be friendly, in order to reap the benefits of the locals’ knowledge…

    The 4th day, one of the waiters, with obviously trepidation, asks my husband if he’s a cop. When my husband laughs his head off and tells him “no”, 3 other waiters come rushing over and all start talking a mile a minute about how the entire staff of the hotel was afraid of him, “the cop”.

    When we cleared up the misconception, we were introduced to the local color and had a blast…. :)

    So for one group, we’re pot heads. For another group, we’re narcs.

    Go figure.

  225. SAS says:

    ok, I don’t know why, but some of my posts are being stuck in moderation and/or being removed/


  226. SAS says:

    ok, I give up.

    this board is being sensored.

    thats too bad


  227. jamil says:

    “I agree with you and you are correct. ”

    I still don’t understand what your Korean adventures have to do with Israeli security checks. They should not expose that info to outsiders. Anyway, I would love to have a beer with you sometime. I thought about deposing you in the summer and forcing you to testify:) That 4-letter word (second letter D) is pretty interesting, even though it is a bit old.

    Anyway, there is a good reason Israel is doing that. In the 1980’s, a British pregnant girl was traveling to Israel and a smart Israeli security agent questioned her. It turned out she was going to meet her Palestinian fiance and his family in Gaza, but the fiance traveled in a separate flight and he had given a package for the girl..you can guess what was in that package..

    US customs also uses that method (surprising questions, e.g. “who did you meet abroad..what is your profession..did you enjoy your trip”). One smart US customs agent in Seattle caught Al-Qaida terrorist who was going to bomb LA airport in 2000. He panicked when questioned. This system is pretty good.

  228. PGC says:

    #223 Kettle

    I refuse to travel with my father any more as those sorts of questions in Heathrow or any other UK port are generally answered with: “With what right do you think you have to ask me such a question?”.

    It usually goes down hill from there. It will end up with my father quoting Acts Of Parliament (the UK equivalent of the constitution) to the persons superior and and the superior ending up just trying to get rid of us.

    I have triggered some of these stops myself. The best was when I returned to SFO after leaving with a plastic bag as carry on and no checked baggage. I returned 18 days later with a full set of luggage and a passport that had been through London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok. I was left standing in the middle of the Immigration hall for 30mins on my own with the nearest person 100yrds away.
    I walked over to the little room where I saw my passport disappear into and said to them WTF. I stood at the door and shouted. “I just flew from Bangkok to San Francisco, the wrong way around the world with a transfer in London. I haven’t slept in two f**king days and I just want to get back to my apartment and get some sleep. You either get me the F**k out of here or you turn off that f**king welcome message from Willie Brown and tell me what the f**k the hold up is”.

    After a bit of discussion they came up with the line “we thought you were someone else” and let me go.

    SAS, sorry about Dublin, I grew up in Belfast in the 70’s so we can have a good discussion at a GTG if we both get to one.

  229. Frank says:

    You are too dense to understand this. Pessimist like you are killing this country by naked selling stocks of good companies, preventing people with good credit from getting mortgages and spreading false rumors. Go hide in your cave and don’t come out for few years. If you think things are so bad and this country is going to collapse, get yourself a one way ticket to Cuba, Iran or Venezuela, I hear they love US haters there.

  230. Cindy says:


    “New Crisis in Commercial Real Estate Looms”

    “Unlike home mortgages, businesses don’t pay their loans over 30 years. Commercial mortgages are usually written for five, seven or 10 years with big payments due at the end. About $20B will be due next year, covering everything from office space and condo complexes to hotels and malls.”

  231. Cindy says:


    “Office space in Exurbia”

    “…45% of the Temecula Valley office tenants were escrow, real estate, mortgage and title companies.”

  232. Theo says:

    It’s been know for quite some time that Israel has an in with regard to our telecommunications industry… They have even been able intercept internal US government communications, including DOJ, FBI, State, even White House in the past. Do a search on amdocs, comverse and verint and see what you come up with.

  233. jamil says:

    238: All semi-decent intelligence agencies (KGB/FSB, MI5 etc) and criminal organisations have all that information (and much more). Even NY Slimes has all that (of course, it published it only if it helps their komrades).

  234. Cindy says:

    I have been trying to post a video from Bloomberg – no go Roubini in the morning…”Omama needs $700 Billion Stimulus Package”I’ll try again..

  235. Cindy says:

    I have tried three times to post a video from Bloomberg: 17 minutes

    Roubini in the morning…Moscow

    “Omama Need $700 Billion Stimulus Package”

    Just won’t seem to post but you can check it out …

  236. Cindy says:

    NO WAY! Grim – Now all three posting show for me as “in moderation”…

    240 -241-242…all the same post…

    Again, sorry…

  237. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (203)-

    I know your hedge fund wouldn’t know a profit if it were tied to a bowling ball and dropped on your heads, but here’s a tip:

    Where there is no profit, there is loss.

    From the article you linked:

    “But the sales boost during the post-Thanksgiving shopathon came at the expense of profits as the nation’s retailers had to slash prices to attract the crowds in a season that is expected to be the weakest in decades.”

  238. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (221)-

    Never mix thermodynamics and free will.

  239. Cindy says:


    from Brad DeLong

    “As if an Invisible Hand Played a Losing Card: The Turn Towards Depression in September 2008”

    He spells out why the collapse of Lehman was a big mistake and “created an extraordinary and immediate demand for additional bank capital – a demand that the private sector could not supply.”

  240. Clotpoll says:


    Corzine settles with Katz relative for $362,500
    by Josh Margolin/The Star-Ledger
    Saturday November 29, 2008, 9:09 PM

    To avoid a potentially messy court fight, Gov. Jon Corzine has paid $362,500 to the brother-in-law of labor leader Carla Katz, his former girlfriend.

    Corzine completed the confidential deal with Rocco Riccio, a former state employee, in late September after Riccio threatened to sue the millionaire governor for allegedly reneging on a promise to find him a private-sector job, the governor confirmed.

    The payment marks the second time the governor has paid Katz or one of her relatives after publicly saying he had ended all financial ties to the labor leader he dated for two years.

  241. Frank says:

    Did you just arrive in this country from Cuba on a raft??
    I hear the same line “at the expense of profits” every year. Profits is the key, not losses. So they are selling and making money.

  242. freedy says:

    my word,, how low can corzine go?

    why is he not arrested?

  243. lisoosh says:

    249 – I’m surprised the Katz’s and Riccios aren’t being arrested for blackmail.

    Very odd all around.

  244. Cindy says:

    Whoa – There is a picture in the paper today of Craig Robinson – (first season coach for Oregon State’s basketball team.) Turns out he is Michelle Os big brother.

    I talked to him Friday – as well as several members of the team – while we were all waiting for our flight from Portland Or. to Fresno. They play Fresno State today @ 2. I just knew he was the coach – I didn’t know he was anyone’s big brother. Instead of talking about sports and Oregon in general we could have been talking about the fate of the world….oh well.

  245. grim says:

    “Obama” will still throw you into mod, while you can get passed the filter by mistyping the name, you can’t get around this easily if the name is within a URL/Link.

  246. grim says:

    You are too dense to understand this. Pessimist like you are killing this country by…preventing people with good credit from getting mortgages

    People with good credit and incomes can easily get mortgages.

    Not sure where you get your information from, but it appears that it is you who are spreading false rumors.

  247. BC Bob says:

    “Pessimist like you are killing this country by naked selling stocks of good companies”

    Yet, the turkey [Frank] works for a hedge fund? Some classic sh*t on this ite.

  248. bairen says:

    Is Frank the new Richard or Duckie?

  249. BC Bob says:

    “LandAmerica, the No. 3 U.S. title insurer and a firm weakened by the U.S. housing slump, said it filed for bankruptcy after Fidelity National withdrew on Friday a $126 million takeover offer extended earlier this month. The company also cited the shutdown of its 1031 Exchange Services Inc unit, which also filed for bankruptcy.”


  250. BC Bob says:



  251. Cindy says:

    I received a letter from Citicorp yesterday – Thank heavens I have no balance on this account…but it WAS my internet card..no more.

    “Notice of Change in Terms and Right to Opt Out”

    “We are changing your card agreement. The changes will be effective for all billing periods beginning on or after December 3, 2008. The changes will be effective whether or not you receive a billing statement. ”

    Let me paraphrase…

    1. We are changing how we calculate your variable APR for purchases. (16.99%)

    11. We are changing how we calculate your variable for cash advances. (21.99)

    111. Changes to the default APR –
    23.99% or 29.99%

    They go on to tell me about fee after fee @ $39.00 each.

    At the very bottom they explain the different ways I can opt out. If I opt out, I may use my card under the current terms until the end of my current membership year or the expiration date on the card then they will close it down.

    If you still have a balance – you have to repay them under the current terms.

    So….they have just chased off a valuable customer – you would think – 10 years or so. AND some poor folks are going to get nailed with balances at this new interest rate. Pity the poor soul who is late on their payment. They are going to inflict some kinda hurt on folks who didn’t see this coming.

  252. jamil says:

    I got that same letter from Citi, too.

  253. HEHEHE says:

    “Rocco Riccio” – you can’t make names like that up!

  254. Cindy says:

    (265) I know for a fact my credit score is over 800….what is up?

  255. jamil says:

    Citi sent that letter to everybody. It is easier that way (and it may be illegal to apply it to certain people only, as they may largely belong to a protected race or group and last thing Citi wants is to face a march from Al S/Jesse J or some other race-hustler wannabe).

  256. Cindy says:

    (265) Jamil – Just checked card – 04 so only 4 years. I went from 97-99 with -0- credit cards. I have never been late, never been over…high credit score.

    Are the extra bucks they are about to squeeze out of folks worth the loss of goodwill?

    I couldn’t dial that 1-866 number fast enough. The comments are recorded. I gave them an earfull. So I can continue to use the card under the current rate until it expires. I reminded them that many used their credit cards for online shopping and that by having the change dtd. 12-3, they were putting stress on many who may have been planning on using their card for holiday purchases.

    Well it’s a done deal now…

  257. jamil says:

    Cindy: Citi is happy to get rid of responsible people like you, who always pay the full balance in time.

  258. nwnj1 says:

    Prices down 7%, sales down 44% from peak in Morris county.
    Sima Wolf, owner of Exit Realty Gold Service in Mountain Lakes, said, “We are definitely seeing a lot of short sales.” She estimated that nearly half of the sales they see involve a home being sold for less than the amount left on its mortgage.
    “Clearly, the trend is down,” said Hughes, citing another study that showed prices down 17 percent over the last year when comparing specific types of houses to one another.


  259. lisoosh says:

    cindy – credit cards do that all the time. As long as you pay your bills in full and on time it won’t affect you.

    I have been hearing of credit card companies lowering limits and cancelling unused cards in order to lower their risk.

    Motgages aren’t the only things not being paid.

  260. Mr Home Buyer says:


    Is it illeagal for a RE agent to withhold an offer made to a seller? If so how can I follow up with a complaint?


  261. House Hunter says:

    Louise Yamada says don’t look at the last bear market (60’s), but your grandparents example (30’s)

  262. yikes says:

    # Frank Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    “The economical climate out there isn’t good for most people right now. Maybe not for you, and not for me, but for many it is.”

    That’s because people got used to the free homes, free cars and unlimited spending. It was a mirage, not it’s time to pay for things and people can’t believe it. You need to realize that people used to live within their means and we need to go back to those days.

    Finally, the resident idiot gets it. Way to go! You do, of course realize that living withing their means = no more CC debt = nobody buys anything, right?

    it’s only the beginning, Frankie

  263. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (260)-

    Reech and Duck were much more entertaining than this dolt.

  264. Clotpoll says:

    Homey (273)-

    Completely illegal. Call the NJ Real Estate Commission.

  265. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (277)-

    The listing agent looks like a hitman.

  266. kettle1 says:

    JPMorgan Plans To Ax The WaMu Suits.

    Up to 19,000 employees of Washington Mutual face being laid off this weekend as JPMorgan Chase turns up the synergy on its recent acquisition.


  267. kettle1 says:

    Citigroup plans to cut about 50,000 jobs
    Announcement of pink slips dwarfs previous job-reduction news in sector


  268. tman says:

    The lot looks small. Am I missing something??

  269. Stu says:

    I would agree that Duck actually believed what he preached and at least made attempts to defend his position. Frank simply ignores the facts and then tells you to go to Cuba. Frank scares me. If the government says that the Jews are responsible for the recession, Frank would volunteer to load the cattle cars.

  270. Frank says:

    Speaking of classic sh*t, how about scam artists some call real-estate agents, charging people 6% commission for doing no work and taking no responsibility for advising people to buy homes that they could not afford? Take them to jail.

  271. alia says:

    Honestly, I believe frank –and probably reinvestor101– is here to keep Clotpoll sane.

    when there is no one to argue with, and everyone just goes “Yup, Armageddon here we come” the discussion just gets more and more depressing. (no pun intended)

    frank and re (and bi, though i still think he’s probably real, because he’s consistant and original. if he is a troll, he is at least played by somebody besides whoever is playing frank/re) argue the surface stuff, and keeps everyone happily distracted/not suicidal.

    frank’s personality originally was unique, but now he’s just a blander re101. i originally thought he was njpatient’s construct, but as the quality of frank’s posts have declined i’ve changed my mind. ‘patient is too classy to slum it that badly. (as in, if he was playing he would play better)

    …or maybe i’ve just read too many conspiracy theory plots. ;)

  272. kettle1 says:

    In Brazil, Credit to Farmers Dries Up

    The global credit crunch is slowing Brazil’s roaring agricultural sector — at a time when more food, not less, is needed around the world. A steep drop in global crop prices and rising costs of farm supplies, combined with tighter credit, are causing the slowdown in one of the world’s fastest-growing breadbaskets.


  273. kettle1 says:

    Poultry producer posts $800 million loss

    Embattled chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride Inc. expects to post a loss of more than $800 million in its fiscal fourth quarter and plans to continue talks with its lenders to restructure its debt. The company said Friday in a regulatory filing it was delaying filing its annual report for fiscal 2008 with the Securities and Exchange Commission due to ongoing talks with its lenders regarding temporary waivers and “related financial uncertainties.”


  274. kettle1 says:

    Chinese exploit western job losses

    Out-of-work finance professionals in the UK and US have a new reason for optimism about their employment prospects – especially if they speak Mandarin.
    Chinese financial institutions are set to exploit the widespread job losses in western financial centres as a result of the credit crunch by next month embarking on a hunt for financial experts willing to relocate.


  275. kettle1 says:

    Fears over end to zero credit as card firms can now tell if you are a ‘rate tart’

    Millions of credit card users could be denied cheap credit after new rules come in to let card firms share data about their customers, it is feared. So-called “rate tarts”, who legitimately move their debts around from card to card to keep down their cost of repayments, could soon find themselves shut out of the best deals, a leading expert has warned. From Monday, the five largest credit card providers have started a voluntary agreement to share more details about each others customers.


  276. kettle1 says:

    Unpaid Medical Bills – The Other Credit Crunch

    Hospitals and patients alike are struggling with unpaid medical bills. A look at the drastic new measures both sides are taking to survive. Julie Basem was 20, living in New York, and pursuing her dream of becoming a Broadway dancer when a knee injury knocked her off stage. She had insurance, but it barely covered her treatment, and her savings were meager. The bills piled up—some $40,000 worth—and ultimately, bankruptcy became her only option. “Emotionally, it was very hard, because I didn’t think that at that age anything was ever going to happen,” Basem says. “I didn’t really know how to deal with it.”


  277. kettle1 says:

    will be interesting to see what happens to food stocks in net importing nations this summer and fall…..

  278. NJGator says:

    Market still ok in Chatham Twp?

    GSMLS 2609474 – 132 Ormont

    LP 775k
    Last Sale – 890k 9/13/05

  279. grim says:

    New thread

  280. yikes says:

    Pessimist like you are killing this country by naked selling stocks of good companies, preventing people with good credit from getting mortgages and spreading false rumors.

    back to cluelessness from Frank. hey frank, from 2003-07 when every strawberry picker making 14k a year was getting free money and over extending themselves, was that the fault of the short sellers, too?

    you’re not even a troll. you’re a fraud. a giant fraud masquerading as some hot-shot hedge fund douche on a blog. i feel bad for you, really, i do.

  281. General Electric and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced a voluntary recall of nearly 244,000 GE, GE Profile, Monogram and Kenmore branded wall ovens. The units pose a risk of fire or burns during the

  282. Yes, because chances are that thousands of other bargain-seekers saw it drop and are already posting details online. At websites designed to help you find every discount, sale and coupon code available — no matter how fleeting

  283. Yes, because chances are that thousands of other bargain-seekers saw it drop and are already posting details online. At websites designed to help you find every discount, sale and coupon code available — no matter how fleeting

Comments are closed.