“Home prices are falling and will continue to fall.”

(Note: 46 Windermere was featured in Comp Killer in early February, you can find the details here.

From the NY Times:

A Market Going Downhill Fast
Published: February 19, 2009


IN the heady real estate days of the summer of 2005, a well-maintained house in a decent school district would not last long on the market. That was when a three-bedroom ranch house at 46 Windermere Road here achieved its peak-value moment.

The red-brick ranch sold that July for $709,000 — fetching $50,000 over asking price — after just 10 days on the market.

Fast forward to the spring of 2008, and a market gone slack, not just in Montclair or Essex County, but in all 21 counties of the nation’s second-wealthiest state. The brick ranch was for sale again, and had been, on and off, for more than a year. The owner had given up on getting his price, and moved out. The bank had agreed to a “short sale” in which it would recover less than it was owed. The asking price was reduced to $599,000.

“That seemed like a really good price when we first saw it,” said John Strong, who finally bought the house with his partner, Heather Carter. “But there were no lights in the house — the electricity had been turned off — and later we could see there were problems, because it had been empty and not kept up.” The final price at the closing last month: $528,110.

Over the course of three and a half years, the New Jersey residential market has headed downhill fast. In September 2006, Jeffrey G. Otteau, whose Otteau Valuation Group gathers data on the residential market for many builders and brokers, said there were 68,000 houses sitting on the market unsold for a month or longer, more than he had ever seen in his experience in this market. By spring 2007, there were 71,000 unsold houses, his firm reported, and by May 2008, that number had climbed again, to 74,000.

At the same time, the pace of sales kept lagging, sometimes erratically, but always headed down, according to monthly reports from Mr. Otteau’s firm, based in New Brunswick. Each December, on a line graph depicting month-by-month sales during the year, the squiggly line ended in a deeper valley than it had the previous year.

More than a year ago, Mr. Otteau announced that his calculations indicated there would be a long wait before prices returned to 2005 levels. Not until 2014, he said at the time — and that prediction was made well before Wall Street quaked, the mortgage lending market foundered and unemployment statistics started to skyrocket.

As of January, the state had a 17-month supply of houses on the market, according to Otteau Group figures. That means that even if no other houses were put up for sale, it would still take 17 months to sell those already available, under current market conditions.

In Bergen County, it would take an estimated 15 years and 4 months to sell all the houses now on the market priced at $2.5 million or more. In Morris County, for homes priced from $1 million to $2.5 million, it would take seven and a half years, and in Warren County, for homes priced from $600,000 to $1 million, five years and one month.

With unsold-house inventories like those, and the probability that the economic malaise will continue for some time, Mr. Otteau’s most recent prediction is that New Jersey home prices will continue to drop.

Prices have declined by an average of 15 to 20 percent in every county in the past three and a half years, contract sales data indicates. At the start of 2009, some real estate professionals said they had noticed a few sellers starting to “see the light” and agreeing to slash asking prices by 10 to 20 percent, sometimes even 25 percent.

James Bednar, who writes the real-estate blog njrereport.com, said last month that it was high time for both buyers and sellers to face reality. He proposed a new mantra for them: “Home prices can fall. Home prices can fall. Home prices can fall further than I believe possible. Home prices are falling and will continue to fall.”

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

531 Responses to “Home prices are falling and will continue to fall.”

  1. Outofstater says:

    Frist?! Good morning all.

  2. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Rebates on the rocks?

    The latest news out of Trenton is that Gov. Jon S. Corzine may scrap the property tax rebate program for all but senior citizens. That would be politically risky in an election year, but would also save about $1.7 billion,

    The rebate program has been around in varied forms and under different names since the administration of Brendan Byrne 30 years ago. It works this way: The state kicks back a few hundred dollars to homeowners to somewhat offset New Jersey’s high property taxes. The fundamental disconnection is that people pay property taxes to their towns, but rebates come from the state.

    The rebate program has lived on for so long because it helps politicians create the illusion that the state is doing “something” about property taxes. What the state is actually doing is merely distributing checks, generally in October. The rebate program does nothing to lower the amount of property taxes local government collects and uses.

    If rebates vanish, the governor will take a political hit, but it also could force the state to look at truly reforming property taxes. How do you do that? You begin by looking at what property taxes support — local government and schools — and examine if there is a better funding mechanism. Drawing on income or sales tax revenue for this purpose would be preferable to property taxes, which are regressive by nature. That’s because they tax the artificial value of property as opposed to actual income. If an end to rebates prompts real property tax reform, it will be well worth the effort.

  3. grim says:

    Will the sales tax be cut back to the rate it was prior to the rebate being enacted?

    Nope, sorry, that one sticks.

  4. Cindy says:

    James – You rock star…

    Home prices can fall, home prices can fall, home prices can fall. What sort of reaction did you get from the reporter at the NY Times?

  5. grim says:

    You know, I think I enjoy the interview process more than the resulting articles. Especially so when the interview really has an understanding of the subject material. The questions asked aren’t the basic ones, asked 100 times before, but the real thought provoking questions that I’ve got to stop and think about before answering.

    Reaction? I don’t think I said that in the interview, that came off one of the comp killer blog posts. But I will say that the reaction elicited when I provide a contrarian view isn’t one of emotion or outrage, only questions to understand why I hold that viewpoint.

  6. reinvestor101 says:

    How come I never get to be first?

  7. Cindy says:


    The next words out of Geithner’s mouth better make sense…
    I liked this Interfluidity article.

    “We are all tired of the lies, Mr. Geithner. By all means, let nationalization be a last resort, and do all you can to offer liquidity to private parties willing to take both the upside and downside of speculating in questionable paper. But if you keep mationalizing the downside and privatizing the upside, it will not be very long at all before the public concludes that stress tests and market prices are just a slight-of-hand for Davos man while he picks our pockets, again. Act fairly, and you may end up nationalizing the worst few of the larger banks. Keep up the games, and we will insist you nationalize them all. It is getting hard to believe that there is a banker in the land who has not already robbed us. Eventually we will tire of drawing fine distinctions.”

  8. DL says:

    Grim, if enough of these chuckle-heads read your blog and lower prices, it will do more to bring the market back than all the bailout packages combined. I’m still hoping to buy in early 2010. Keep up the good work.

  9. Cindy says:

    (6) Grim “..only questions to understand why I hold that viewpoint.”

    Good. You mean the press seeking news – truth. How encouraging is that!

  10. Cindy says:


    Here is the Bronte Capital article I posted on Monday that “Interfluidity” refers to…

  11. grim says:

    Good. You mean the press seeking news – truth. How encouraging is that!

    I don’t think someone interested in spinning the market would even bother to talk to me.

  12. grim says:


    Are you sure you are a grammar school teacher and not a director at some West Coast hedge fund trying to keep a low profile?

    Your back story would make for good cover.

  13. Cindy says:

    (13) Grim – You honor me, Grim. I have learned from you and your compadres.

    I am a second grade teacher…12 years in banking in the 70’s – 80’s.

    I have a passion for learning.

  14. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Trump casinos stocks to be delisted from Nasdaq

    ATLANTIC CITY — Fallout from a third Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing continued for Trump Entertainment Resorts on Friday after it learned that its stock will be delisted from the Nasdaq exchange.

    The company, which owns three Atlantic City casinos, said it does not plan to challenge the action. The delisting — which means its shares will no longer be bought or sold on the exchange — takes effect Feb. 26.

  15. grim says:

    From NJBiz:

    Cracks in the Foundation

    With commercial real estate mortgage delinquencies rising in the Garden State, experts see the growing number of distressed properties as the latest sign of deepening troubles in an industry already suffering from higher vacancies, lower rental rates and a liquidity crisis.

    “Commercial real estate is certainly going to be extremely challenged in 2009, from a liquidity standpoint and from a value standpoint,” said Kevin Welsh, a senior vice president at the Saddle Brook office of CB Richard Ellis, a commercial brokerage firm.

    “Up until now, people were looking at commercial real estate and saying the fundamentals were holding up,” Welsh said. But in the downturn of the past few months, fundamentals have been deteriorating, with vacancies increasing and rental rates declining, he said. Deteriorating fundamentals, along with the illiquidity of the debt markets, have in turn caused property values to decline on a daily basis.

    For a small entrepreneur, a mortgage is “one of the first items to be paid,” said Kevin Cirello, chief executive officer and president of MTD Express, a tire wholesaler and distributor in Lodi. Cirello owns the 30,000-square-foot warehouse, distribution and office facility that has served as the headquarters for MTD for the past six years. “Most businesses have equity in their real estate, so a business is not going to want to lose that.”

    While Cirello currently isn’t too worried about making his mortgage payments, that could change, given the fact that many of his customers — who are business owners themselves — carry high overheads. “There’s definitely a concern that these people are not going to be able to afford the real estate they are operating their businesses in,” he said. “If a business goes out of business, then you’re not going to get paid.”

    (Hey, I know you Kevin! We were in a few MBA courses together last year.)

  16. Cindy says:

    (13) Grim – BTW “Your back story would make good cover.” Tell them just that. Your are educating people…feel free to have them contact me – You have my email.

  17. grim says:

    Bank Failure Friday came late last night.

    Was worried that something might have happened to our friends at the FDIC.

    Little fish, this one couldn’t have been more than a 2 pizza night. Those jokers probably went out for pizza and beer before heading over the the HQ last night.

    Oregon bank is 14th failure of 2009

    Silver Falls Bank, of Silverton, Ore., was closed Friday by state regulators and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    It was the 14th bank to fail so far this year and the 39th since the beginning of the current credit crisis.

  18. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Nice quote!

  19. ricky_nu says:

    15.3 years supply for $2.5mm+ homes?!

    7.5 years supply for $1-2.5mm?!

    Yes – it is indeed a good tome to buy (thanks NAR for letting me know!), look at all the inventory you have to choose from!!!

    Don’t worry, when all the extra supply hits in spring, the buying frenzy will clean all this up.

  20. Cindy says:

    (18) GRIM! I lived in Silverton, Oregon for 21 years. That bank took over the space The Bank of Oregon occupied. (They were bought out by Key Bank.) I literally worked in that very bank building. Beautiful BTW – Huge stained glass of the Silver Falls located 15 minutes up the road.

  21. grim says:


    Any experience dealing with WAMU directly?

    I’ve got a client interested in a property they took REO last year. I don’t believe it is currently being marketed.

  22. crossroads says:

    why does media whore keep coming to mind? is this 3 days in a week
    I mean that in a good way.

  23. Cindy says:


    Anyone read “Animal Spirits” by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller?

  24. Laurie says:

    i didn’t realize you spent so much time up here in beautiful Ridgewood and surrounding environs. I would be interested in what you think about 60 Walnut West in Mahwah…1.1 million for literally one of the biggest POS EVER…seriously this goes in the POS Hall of Fame. BTW..both owners died in the house within a few months of each other…eeewww..I got a real problem with the listing agent …she prices houses WAY to high and then lets them sit and sit while the owners are forced to follow the market down…I have seen her do this time and time again and she’s up to it once more! This house at 60 Walnut West is owned now by the heirs and they will spend months if not years trying to sell that house…BTW…a good price for that house would be 830k

  25. lostinny says:

    24 Cindy
    Out of the loop on that one. Anything I’ve read related to animal spirits are related to Native Americans or some other tribal peoples.

  26. crossroads says:

    emergency Christmas anyone?

  27. Cindy says:


    Yves Smith on Fast Money – Jeeze – They barely give her enough time to talk…She was just getting to the good part…

  28. crossroads says:

    the rebates were designed to be used in this way the govt. always had an emergency fund. its was our money that paid the processing fees every year and now they have 1.7 bill to spend because of their mistakes. didn’t that Forrester guy run on eliminating the rebate cutting spending and reducing property tax by %40? would have been interesting to see that tried

  29. Cindy says:

    (26) Lost – LOL –
    I was thinking they probably meant “greed” etc. I’m going to go look for a review.

  30. PGC says:

    #22 grim

    My REO was from WAMU. NJ REO in Bloomfield acted for the bank. Call Sue Barrone (973) 783-5775 and she should be able to get you connected. Also my lawyer dealt with the WAMU lawyers in a firm based out of Boston.

  31. grim says:


    You want to talk about market chasing?

    MLS# 2525234 – 531 Waverly Rd, Wyckoff NJ
    Listed: 8/7/2005
    List Price: $764,900
    Expired at 359 days on market

    Relisted MLS# 2717370
    Listed: 5/1/2007
    List Price: $699,500
    Withdrawn at 252 days on market

    Relisted MLS# 2801708
    Listed: 1/14/2008
    List Price: $574,800
    Reduced: $530,000 (6/3/2008)
    Expired at 118 days on market

    Relisted MLS# 2835344
    Listed: 8/14/2008
    List Price: $528,800
    Reduced: $479,000 (10/14/2008)

    Sold: 2/17/2009
    Sale Price: $430,000
    Original list price (if you don’t remember) was $764,900.

    Are you kidding? These dreamers were asking almost DOUBLE the market price of the property.

    All the more reason to completely ignore asking prices.



  32. PGC says:


    Can you pull the details on 457 Carlton Rd, Wyckoff. The Sheriffs showed up this week to evict.

  33. crossroads says:

    “All the more reason to completely ignore asking prices.”

    what if you know what they paid? would there be a difference in the way you approach a 2004 and 1980 seller in low balling?

  34. Laurie says:

    Thanks for the reply Grim..I think I’ll just ignore the house and it’s asking price and watch it deteriorate…it’s empty

  35. Cindy says:

    (34) Crossroads – What people paid became irrelevant around here. Everyone lost – tough luck. The house next door sold at peak for $315,000. 100% financing. Sold in foreclosure for $179,000 just months ago.

  36. PGC says:


    One think has been puzzling me about that Otteau comment on 17 months of Inventory in January. What is he measuring this against. Is this 17 months based on sales for the year. Does it take into acccount the fluctuations of Inventory based on “Selling Season”(Don’t Laugh). From the few towns I watch, I am not seeing the Superbowl bounce of new listings coming on. Last year I think inventories were high due to listings being held open from the 2007 selling season. A lot of properties stayed on the market over the holidays and continued on through the start of 2008.

    Maybe they are all stuck in the bank REO depts.

  37. crossroads says:

    36 cindy
    many more foreclosures in cali thats not happening yet

  38. grim says:

    what if you know what they paid? would there be a difference in the way you approach a 2004 and 1980 seller in low balling?

    They paid $312,500 in 1988, near the peak of the last bubble.

    If you adjust the purchase price for inflation (CPI-U), the inflation adjusted price of the property is $558,000.

    So, given an apples to apples comparison, they lost money over 20 years of ownership.

  39. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Took dog out this morning around 7 am. Wiechert Realtor puting out a sign on corner already for an open house:) Things must be hopping:) Two years ago they’d be putting em out 10 minutes before the open house.

  40. Cindy says:


    Arnold must have slipped this in at the last minute…

    California home builders publicize new state tax credit

    “Hours after a new state budget produced a $10,000 tax credit for buyers of new, unoccupied houses in California, home builders began gearing up marketing campaigns around the surprise tax breaks hoping to spur new traffic to their models this weekend.

    “We’re definitely getting the word out there as quickly as possible, and big as possible,” said Ian Cornell, a Sacramento spokesman for New Jersey-based K Hovnanian Homes.

    Unlike an $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit also approved by the federal government, the California version offers breaks for both first-time buyers and move-up buyers. It also sets no limit on income, meaning even the most expensive homes qualify.

  41. Cindy says:


    I think Kettle wrote about our drought a few days back…

    “California Urges All to Cut Water Use by 20%”

    No water – no planting – no crops – unemployment – higher food prices

    After spending a fortune on fires, Boy, we are having some kinda year.

  42. Cindy says:

    Clot (41) – Is that going to help HOV any?

  43. Cindy says:

    (27) Crossroads “Emergency Christmas anyone?”

    Did you get that from this Daily Show clip?
    Hilarious…on Calculated Risk


  44. Anyone read “Animal Spirits” by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller?

    Thanks for the link, I might have to read it.
    Although from the blurb;

    One of the roles of the government is to offset the animal spirits. So that when animal spirits are high — and people are too trusting and they engage in investment projects that they shouldn’t engage in — one of the roles of the government is to offset them.

    Would seem to indicate something of a false dichotomy. In a representative democracy (and here I do understand you can argue we do not live in said system) the governed and the body politic are one and the same. Hence manias that affect the masses likewise spread to the govt and vice versa. I think we’ve seen ample evidence of exactly this sort of a diffusion process just within my lifetime.
    I could expand on this, but it would only bore and wouldn’t be fair as I haven’t read the book and Schiller and friend may deal with exactly this.
    Also I was hoping for kitty pics.

  45. grim says:

    I can haz bailout?

  46. kbock says:

    Good article explaining the lack of thought process put into the mortgage ‘bailout’ plan.


  47. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (14)-

    Guess that’s why you’re not in banking anymore.

    “I am a second grade teacher…12 years in banking in the 70’s – 80’s.

    I have a passion for learning.”

  48. Clotpoll says:

    grim (22)-

    Yes. The scum that floats on top of the scum. Bottom-of-the barrel. Nuclear waste. Cage full of monkeys.

    Their REO ops have (hopefully for you) been merged into JPM’s. However, JPM’s REO department is only marginally better than WAMU’s was.

    Get the picture?

  49. Rich says:

    40 Edgemont Road MONTCLAIR, NJ

    Sold 2/2008 for $1,065,000
    List 2/1/2009 for $1,999,999
    Sold 2/11/2009 for $2,510,000

    Sold in 9 days today, in a bidding war.
    They bid it up $510,000 more, TODAY.
    Also not bad for a flip.


  50. Clotpoll says:

    x (23)-

    It’s a desperate cry for help. :)

  51. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (31)-

    That only helps when the property is listed.

    My guess on this one is that WAMU’s backlog of REO is so great, they’re running months behind on getting them to market.

  52. Cindy says:

    (45) Toshiro – “Hence manias that affect the masses likewise spread to the government and visa versa.”

    That is probably why we have discussed here so often that it is difficult to enact change when society is falling off a cliff…

    We elect these people from “among ourselves…”…the folks deciding to have the financial engineers create products that no one understood, didn’t seem to care that there may be negative long-term consequences.

    So maybe animal instincts; look out for #1, greed, “all for one and one for ME” were at work here. But agreed, how is that to change if the change-masters are all of the same ilk.

    Confidence is so shattered. There are honest people in this world, people who think, plan, and care about this country. We really require a new generation of conservators – I think we are about to get one…cyclical?

    Maybe it just happens every hundred years as greed overtakes all else and the lessons must be learned all over again…

  53. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (43)-

    No. HOV is dead man walking.

  54. DL says:

    “Flat applications to law schools spark worry.”

    Finally, some good news to come out of the downturn. (Apologies in advnce to our law school friends. A cheap shot but its Sat and my bride and I just finished a bottle of Alsacian Pinot Blanc.)

  55. kbock says:

    (50) Schweppe works differently than most other realty companies. They believe in ‘energy pricing’ and try to stay ahead of the market. Realizing that it is a depreciating market they try to ‘underprice’ the market to generate the most energy possible in their properties to get them sold quickly. Montclair realtors know this and it is not uncommon for a Schweppe listing to sell for more than asking price, even in this market. It’s all about pricing ‘right’ for the current market.

    By the way, Coldwell Banker has also began trying to instill this ‘Schweppe’ philosophy as well. The hard part is convincing unrealistic sellers to price their properties ‘correctly’.

  56. Cindy says:

    (Clot) 54 – HOV – dead man walking – Thanks… Good to know. I wouldn’t want a friend to start a deal with them then have no recourse if something went wrong…

  57. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (53)-

    The new generation was supposed to be the one now occupying the White House.

    Instead, we have GWB in black-face, performing a minstrel show to the death.

    Same as it ever was.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    The only way to fix this thing is to spill some blood.

    “We really require a new generation of conservators – I think we are about to get one…cyclical?”

  58. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (57)-

    The only “dealing” you can do with HOV involves bending over.

  59. Cindy says:

    (58) – We are agreeing at this point, Clot. They don’t seem to get that they can no longer lie to us. We are not the dumb fools they hoped for…

  60. Maybe it just happens every hundred years as greed overtakes all else and the lessons must be learned all over again…

    This is almost exactly the conclusion I’ve come to. It most likely is cyclical, or at least seems so.
    I too would really like to believe that those same people who care, act conscientiously and do the right thing are the ones who get to power, but that would be incredibly naive of me. The ones we have currently are exactly the ruthless, glad handing power hungry SOBs we suspect them to be.
    The only way to get rid of them is for enough people to suffer so that they won’t be tolerated any more… until we forget again.
    Somewhat depressing.

  61. Clotpoll says:

    kbock (56)-

    The “underprice to get more” tactic is absolutely THE best way to get top dollar for a home. It engages the “fight/flee” in every buyer and causes the most emotional of them to engage the irrationally-competitive facets of their personalities.

    The people who end up buying homes in this process are the truest examples of “Winner’s Curse” that I’ve ever seen.

    That being said, 99% of the homeowners in NJ are just too dense to have the cojones to play the game.

  62. Cindy says:

    Well…the market sure indicates they have had it with the lies and vague plans…

  63. PGC says:

    #52 Clot

    Sue may have the contacts to get a property to percolate up to the top of the pile. Also they may be the ones contracted to winterize the property until it gets to the market.

  64. Clotpoll says:

    PGC (64)-

    If that sucker ain’t winterized by now, it’s already a tear-down.

    This Winter has been a byatch in that department. Ever see an exploded radiator?

    Ever seen nine exploded radiators in a single house? They’re like Claymore mines.

  65. kbock says:

    (62) So true clot

    The flip side of that is getting buyers to realize that when a house is priced ‘right’ that they shouldn’t take the ‘automatically deduct x% off of asking price’ approach when crafting an offer.

    It’s been said a few times on these boards before, but it is so true, ‘forget about the asking price’. Asking price just gives you an idea of what you ‘might be’ up against in a negotiation. Understanding ‘value’ is king.

  66. Cindy says:

    (61) Toshiro – Some good things have come out of all of this in California. Folks now realize that Gray Davis was doing the best he could after the revenues fell off in 2001 and that Arnold has been working with a structural deficit since then.

    I don’t see floating bonds, and lying about our situation being such an easy play going forward.

  67. PGC says:

    #65 Clot

    You can list that as one of the benefits of Steam heat!

  68. CAIBC says:

    this blog has been up for a while right grim? have you or anyone compiled a list of formulas / calculations on what to actually offer for a home (since we are constantly told to ignore asking prices)

    is there some financial calculator out there that says – 2001 comps + x% appreciation per year + x% value in remodelling…..(i only use 2001 since its what i think a good baseline would be)

    any suggestions? maybe the brainiacs on this site can put a value to these ‘toxic assets’ and everyone can get on with life….

    grim et all, any suggestions?

    what the new ‘mark to market’ price!!!???

  69. CAIBC says:

    continuing from my comments in entry 69…..i asked this of a realtor and she looked at me like i was on crack! needless to say i never heard from her again!!!

    she probably knew that the price i would offer on any home would not be even close to the price her sellers were asking!!!

  70. kbock says:


    There are too many ways that you ‘could’ look at it. There is no one set way to answer that question.

    The first question I would ask you is, what is your motivation for buying?

  71. PGC says:

    #70 CAIBC

    I work from the median sale price for a town from the last sale price. If you plot the sale price vs the change in median price from year to year. You should see how the price changed year by year. last years median price should be reflecting the downturn.

    Otherwise find a comp or a sale price before 2000 and add 3% per year

  72. PeaceNow says:

    Drove past J. Cramer’s house yesterday. It’s a nice big one; ocean views; maybe located a little too close to a hotel for my taste. It was purchased in ’02 for a little over $750,000. I doubt he could sell it for that today, although I have no idea what the inside is like.

    On a more plebian level, the house next door to me is still for sale. Close to four years on the market now, and only one price cut, from $525K to $440. I doubt anyone will be looking at in the near future, however, as its front storm door blew off during that windstorm. Nothing says “well-maintained” like broken glass on the porch and part of a door frame hanging from a chain….

  73. CAIBC says:

    my motivation for buying? so i can stop paying rents and start paying myself, more space for the growing family (and with that comes the need for a good school district, activities..)

    during the frenzy, the realtors and appraisers used some ‘magic math’ to come up with the ‘value’ of these homes right? so why can we come with a new ‘value’ now?

  74. Sybarite says:


    I have mulled over this same idea, thinking that if you could amass enough data together, you could essentially do some kind of regression and come up with a formula.

    In practice, I believe there are truly too many variables to account for, which complicates the analysis and ends up requiring massive amounts of data.

    In the end, I think valuing real estate truly is more art than science. I think you can get in the ballpark using comps, if available, but then fine-tuning the value takes a bit of experience and intuition.

    The hardest thing about today’s market seems to be the lack of comps, and uncertainty about future trends, including govt intervention.

  75. CAIBC says:


    yeah, the govt intervention throws me off too….does anyone know if this kind of govt ‘bailout’ was ever done before? what was the outcome then? how many years before a ‘true value’ was established?

  76. crossroads says:

    44 cindy
    yes from the daily show. stewart has had some funny skits with the economic crisis. At least he’s getting something out of it without bailout $$

  77. Cindy says:

    In the mail yesterday…

    “As a valued Wells Fargo Mortgage customer with a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, you’re extremely savvy with your finances. So you don’t want to miss this excellent opportunity to use your home’s equity to get the funds you need now.

    Act today, and you can get an exceptionally low rate on a Wells Fargo Home Equity Account – 4.49% variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on a $250,000 credit line. This includes your 0.25% APR discount when you select automatic payment. And, as an extra thank you, we’re offering you a $125. Wells Fargo Gift Card, just for opening a Wells Fargo Home Equity Account with a balance of $40,000 or more.”

    Hurry! Offer expires March, 29, 2009

    Well, well…they tell me they think I know what I’m doing on the one hand, then encourage me to lever up.

    They must have done a mass mailing to all of their 15-year fixed customers.

  78. kbock says:


    The motivation for buying question is an important one. Are you looking to buy today at ‘tomorrow’s prices’? Or are you looking to buy at or slightly below ‘fair market today’. Fair market today can be determined numerous ways including using comparables or by calculating depreciation / appreciation from a certain point in time. Factor in the emotion (is this ‘the house’, or is it just ‘a house’). The bottom line is, though, if your thinking of ‘value’ does not match up with a seller, you won’t be buying anytime soon. It’s the meeting of the minds of buyer and seller that gets a deal done. Your realtor should be able to help you with trying to determine ‘today’s’ market value and also helping to reach a meeting of the minds with your seller.

  79. CAIBC says:


    i have waited this long (almost 3 years) to be able to afford a home….i guess i am willing to wait a bit longer for ‘tomorrow’s prices’…assuming that prices are still decreasing….

    it would be nice for me to buy now at ‘tomorrow’s prices’ and like you said find a seller willing to sell today at ‘tomorrow’s prices’ it is a meeting of the minds i guess to get that deal done….

    that being said, i dont trust realtors anymore….their only motivation is the commission and other than sending me listings (which i can always get myself anyway) i see them offering no added benefits if they arent going to try and convince these sellers that they arent going to get what their neighbors got two years ago!!!!

  80. lisoosh says:

    CAIBC –

    You’re trying to apply a mathematical formula to something that is driven in large part by emotion.

  81. CAIBC says:

    we can put a % in there for emotion too!!! depending on the sellers attachement to the home based on years lived, amount owned, age?

    we can do this….

  82. BC Bob says:

    “(Hey, I know you Kevin! We were in a few MBA courses together last year.)”

    JB [16],

    BC Jane worked with him for about 5 years.

  83. BC Bob says:

    No problem, just backstop the world.

    “Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — Asian investors won’t buy debt and mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until they carry explicit U.S. guarantees, similar to those given on bonds issued by Bank of America Corp. or Citigroup Inc.”

    “The risks are too great without a pledge that the U.S. will repay the debt no matter what, according to Hideo Shimomura, chief fund investor in Tokyo for Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management Co., and other bondholders and analysts in Japan, China and South Korea interviewed by Bloomberg.”

    “Overseas investors are looking for the full-faith-and- credit clarification,” Goodman said. Such a pledge would essentially about double the U.S.’s debt, potentially boosting the country’s own borrowing costs.


  84. safeashouses says:

    #84 BC Bob,

    No problem, debt = wealth.

    I’m thinking more and more most people will have a negative net worth before this bust is over. Even the savers will wind up upside down.

  85. House Hunter says:

    Clot, how about IndyMac for a reo?

  86. House Hunter says:

    CAIBC…I am with you on the realtor front (no offense to clot or grim) I have heard the most obsurd reasoning to just about everything in the last few weeks…makes no sense. very frustrating

  87. safeashouses says:

    House Hunter,

    I like the “it’s MADISON” or it’s CHATHAM” or whatever town when they talk about price.

    I also like how they claimed Basking Ridge was going to boom with the Verizon office bringing in people from around the US. That was spring of 07. If they meant by boom that prices would go ka-boom and drop 20%, well I guess they were right.

  88. House Hunter says:

    safeashouses…nothing happens it the “town” they work in…i know of 32% – 40% off asking and dumb assessments…how do they explain that?

  89. confused in nj says:

    As Tall Paul said yesterday, the erosion of our economy has been quicker then the Great Depression, something none of the Guru’s anticipated. Considering WWII was necessary to end the Great Depression, the solution to this one is more then Tarp & Stimulous.

  90. kettle1 says:


    the origianl intended structure of the us government was such that the intended effect was a filter of sorts. This system was disrupted when the 17th amendment was passed.

    the 17th amendment to the US constitution supersedes Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, transferring Senator selection from each state’s legislature to popular election by the people of each state.

    The original system allowed state selected sentors to counter act federal encroachment on state rights. one the system was shifted to direct election the barrier was gone.

  91. chicagofinance says:

    Lost: WTF are you?

    Go to You Tube…they keep throwing up Wrong, and then it gets yanked, so I won’t give you a link, but you can find something…..

  92. chicagofinance says:

    Lost: it is a creepy little synth tune……THIS IS SO 2009!

  93. kettle1 says:


    you are treading dangerously close to suggesting that the masses cannot effectively rule themselves…..

    during the founding of the US there was a heated debate about how far the general public should be removed from the direct governing process….

    regardless. no matter what system is used, a slothful, gluttonous populous will beget a corrupt government every single time

  94. Barbara says:

    95. Kettle
    people don’t realize or have never learned what a secretive and elitist process went into the writing of our Constitution.

  95. chicagofinance says:

    Utterly fcking brilliant…..

    I was born with the wrong sign,
    In the wrong house,
    With the wrong ascendancy,

    I took the wrong road,
    That led to,
    The wrong tendencies.

    I was in the wrong place,
    At the wrong time,
    By the wrong reason,
    And the wrong rhyme.

    On the wrong day,
    Of the wrong week,
    Using the wrong method,
    With the wrong technique,


    Is something wrong with me,
    Something wrong with me,

    The wrong mix,
    In the wrong genes,
    I reached the wrong ends,
    By the wrong means.

    If it’s the wrong plan,
    In the wrong hands,
    The wrong theory,
    For the wrong man.

    The wrong lies,
    On the wrong vibes,
    The wrong questions,
    With the wrong replies.


    I was marching to the wrong drum,
    With the wrong scum,
    Pissin’ out the wrong energy.

    Using all the wrong lines,
    And the wrong signs,
    With the wrong intensity.

    I was on the wrong page,
    Of the wrong book,
    With the wrong rendition,
    Of the wrong hook.

    Made the wrong move,
    Every wrong night.
    With the wrong tune played till it sounded right,


    (Too Long)

  96. kettle1 says:


    not to nitpick or anything but WTF means What The F-ck, not where……

  97. chicagofinance says:

    I know…

  98. chicagofinance says:

    But WhereTF doesn’t have the same visual as WTF, and she understands…

  99. kettle1 says:


    maybe i am shooting myself in the foot, but i tend to agree that there needs to be filters in between the general population and the government.

    The general public is too fickle to maintain focus on issue that can take decades to address. Any system can be abused and a filtered one equally so. But the problem is not with the government but the people.

    No government will stand against a nation of people willing to die for their cause. In the end the success or the failure of the government is rooted int eh people it governs. the government will lose its ethics and morals shortly after its population does so. after that point its is a nasty little positive feedback loop between the 2.

  100. kettle1 says:


    good point.

  101. kettle1 says:

    came across a DM song the other day, not bad…. i think it was a remix though

  102. Barbara says:

    kettle. I agree with all of this

  103. Sastry says:

    CAIBC says:
    February 21, 2009 at 11:51 am

    we can put a % in there for emotion too!!! depending on the sellers attachement to the home based on years lived, amount owned, age?

    we can do this….


    I am not good with this, but my friend is… The philosophy is “Pick a price, make an offer, and *W A I T*. Don’t chase it.”

    He has the discipline and it seems to be working very well. I guess one can lump all emotions, trends, etc., into a range like “10% – 30% below similarly sold house”. May be just pick a number and wait. Even with the best formulae, one would not be able to convince a seller to lower the price. It cannot be shown. They have to see it for themselves :)

  104. kettle1 says:

    so the government is destroying the ability to price real estate. at what point do you default to pricing the home at the base construction cost?

  105. Barbara says:

    when the NJ school fetish subsides (if it ever does)

  106. safeashouses says:

    I’m seriously thinking of opening a bakery in Asia.

  107. chicagofinance says:



  108. crossroads says:

    ever heard of Datarock? I heard them on radio before holidays you DM and synth talk made me look them up.

  109. BC Bob says:

    You’ll have to sign up for a trial to see full article. Anybody have a subscription to Barron’s online?


    Manhattan on Sale


    “Manhattan’s luxury real-estate market is rotting, as Wall Street layoffs and tight credit squeeze demand. Why prices could slip another 30%.”


  110. bi says:

    In case this is not posted here:

    The White House and Rick Santelli’s revolution, with CNBC’s Rick Santelli.


  111. Frank says:

    Manhattan’s luxury real-estate market is rotting, as Wall Street layoffs and tight credit squeeze demand. Why prices could slip another 30%. (Video)

    ON A RAIN-DRENCHED AFTERNOON LATE last week, Michael Shvo, a renowned megabroker of Manhattan apartments, showed up at 20 Pine Street to answer our questions about the troubled development.

    A stone’s throw from the New York Stock Exchange, 20 Pine once seemed a symbol of the area’s post-9/11 renaissance, sprouting Armani-designed apartments with oversized windows, exotic woods and recessed, virtually silent shower heads. Where Chase Manhattan built a vault for its first headquarters, there is now a swimming pool and Turkish bath. But for all its virtues, 20 Pine is starting to look like just another victim of New York’s luxury-housing bust.

    Left, Bartomeu Amengual; center and right, courtesy of Corcoran Group
    (Left) 702 Park Ave., four bedrooms: $51 million. (Center) 25 East 77th St., five bedrooms: $60 million. (Right) The Plaza, six bedrooms: $42.4 million.
    Reports have circulated that the owner of the 409-unit building, Boymelgreen Developers, may unload 80 apartments for just $652 per square foot, about half the current asking prices. Shvo, 36 and perfectly coiffed, acknowledged the existence of “20-25 offers from bottom fishers,” some as low as $600 per square foot. But the offers didn’t seem to concern him. “The developer,” he sniffed, “isn’t interested.”

    Not yet. First came Miami, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Now Manhattan’s high-end housing market is cratering. With Wall Street firms stepping up layoffs, and money for big-ticket mortgages drying up quickly, prices for new york apartments and townhouses of $5 million or more have been falling and may well drop by another 30% before finally bottoming out. That could help turn the Big Apple into the ugliest housing market in America.

    While Barron’s reported three months ago that the New York luxury market was headed for trouble (“Sand Castles,” Nov. 24, 2008), the outlook has become notably worse, with some experts citing the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers as the breaking point.

    The local economy is reeling as the securities industry moves to cut some 46,000 jobs by the summer of 2010. Affluent investors have pulled back from house shopping to nurse wounds inflicted by the stock market. Even that most voracious of buyers — the hedge-fund manager — has lost his appetite, as angry investors yank their money from his funds.

    PRICE CUTTING HAS BECOME SAVAGE. The 14-room Park Avenue apartment of the late socialite Brooke Astor — which Barron’s highlighted in that earlier story after its price had been cut from $46 million to $34 million — is now down to $29 million and probably has to be cut further.

    Prices for Manhattan town houses and apartments continue to slip as the demand for such types of housing drops. Will Manhattan turn into the newest ugly housing market in America? Barron’s Leslie Norton reports.

    But even with dramatic reductions like that, the inventory of unsold luxury housing is ballooning. Streeteasy.com, a Website that pulls together listings and insights from a variety of brokers and buyers, now shows 795 New York apartments offered for $5 million or more, up from 518 a year ago.

    Detailed data on that top tier of sales are hard to come by, but the price trends are thought to be similar to those in the mainstream luxury market, defined as the top 10% of home sales. Using that yardstick, the median sales price of a Manhattan luxury apartment topped out at about $5 million in the first quarter of last year — well after the national housing market came unglued — and then fell nearly 20% by the end of the third quarter, according to Miller Samuel, a real-estate appraisal firm.

    In December, says Jonathan Miller, the firm’s president, contract prices were 20% lower than in August, all but assuring sharp drops in closing prices in the months ahead. Nowadays it isn’t unusual to hear anecdotes about potential buyers backing out of deals and abandoning down payments as large as $500,000, worried that a property’s price could fall by much more.

    Buyers clearly were wary of signing on the line. The number of new contracts for luxury properties dropped 40% in the fourth quarter, says Sofia Kim, research chief of StreetEasy. At the same time, inventory rose 65%. “We’re years away from full recovery,” Kim says.

    MAKE NO MISTAKE, PRICES are still staggering. The average Manhattan apartment — counting all price levels — sells for $1.6 million. The most expensive for sale, at least publicly, is a penthouse at 25 Columbus Circle, otherwise known as the Time-Warner Building. This is listed for $65 million by the brokerage Brown Harris Stevens. But that doesn’t include so-called quiet listings, like the apartment of a Nu Skin Enterprises executive, who wants to sell her penthouse for $80 million through Sotheby’s, as the New York Observer recently reported.

    Realty brokers, the industry’s natural cheerleaders, are now unabashedly glum about the high-end market. “The $5 million-and-above market is inventory-rich and buyer-poor,” says Dolly Lenz, a broker to the stars and vice chairman at Prudential Douglas Elliman.

    The price of a property, she says, “has to be 25% off the last sale for it to be a bargain. People have no sense of urgency. A sense of urgency is what the real-estate market needs as a stimulus.”

    In short, the market is almost unrecognizable from a year ago. “People used to call and say ‘I have a Russian,’ and that meant you were supposed to drop everything,” says Leighton Candler of Corcoran Group, another top broker. That’s changing: The ruble buckled and so did oil. And the dollar is up sharply, making U.S. prices all the more expensive.

    Says marketing chief Louise Sunshine of the residential developer Alexico Group: “We have definitely noticed a switch from international buyers to more of a U.S.-based and local purchaser base.”

    The damage in Manhattan is spreading well into the suburbs-from Saddle River, N.J., to Greenwich, Conn., to South Hampton, N.Y.

    In 2008, the median price of a single-family home in Fairfield County — Connecticut’s most expensive locale — fell 12.8% to $522,000, while sales plunged by 31%, according to Boston-based Warren Group. On Long Island, the median price fell 10% just in the fourth quarter, including a 14% drop in the Hamptons region, reports Miller Samuel.

    In New York’s Westchester county, sales of single family homes fell 30% in the fourth quarter, and the median sale price fell 11%, according to the Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service.

    The high end of the greater New York market “has been holding up better than that in many of the larger metro area markets,” says Celia Chen, the housing economist at Economy.com. But she sees continued drops ahead for luxury and other housing in and around the city.

    “House-price depreciation in New York will likely be greater than the national average this year, as the impact of the lost jobs on Wall Street hits” the local economy, Chen says.

    Indeed, Ivy Zelman, a former Credit Suisse analyst who was among the first to call a national housing bust, figures that the New York housing market is headed straight down.

    “When we look at New York City, we look at a price-income ratio that historically has been four times income, versus three times nationwide,” says Zelman, who now runs her own firm. At 7.7 today, that ratio is “significantly higher than normal” because prices have only started falling. “If you want simply to get back to the median, it would be a 46% correction,” says Zelman.

    She adds: “If I had to pick one market in the country with the most challenge and the most substantive rate of decline [ahead], it’s New York City. It has the greatest number of job losses among the higher earners.”

    Over the years, Zelman’s bleak views have earned her the sobriquet Poison Ivy. But other analysts are starting to reach conclusions similar to hers. A recent report by Goldman Sachs suggested New York condo prices would need to fall between 35% and 44% to return to a “neutral” valuation level.

    TWO OPULENT DEVELOPMENTS MARKED the apex of the luxury market: The refurbished Plaza Hotel at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, and 15 Central Park West, a completely new development near Columbus Circle on the site of the former Mayflower Hotel. At one time, both fetched more than $4,000 per square foot, and were snapped up sight unseen on the strength of floor plans, architect renderings, and materials samples.

    Both have suffered lately, but one much more than the other.

    At 15 Central Park West, one of the most successful launches ever in the city, a 40th floor penthouse owned by developer Amit Ben-Haim recently relisted for $47.5 million. That’s down from $80 million last fall when, according to the blog Real Estalker, Alex Rodriguez was interested in buying it. But it’s still more than twice what Ben-Haim paid for it last April. And in today’s market, that’s a strong showing.

    Then there’s the Plaza. Large, ornate and landmarked — and beloved by many who read the children’s book Eloise by Kay Thompson — this building has lately been the object of embarrassing litigation. Andrei Vavilov, a former Russian deputy finance minister, sued the building’s developer after buying the penthouses without seeing them first and then finding them to be “glorified attic space.” The developer, El-Ad Properties, has reportedly settled after a lengthy dispute.

    Punch the Plaza’s address, 1 Central Park South, into StreetEasy, and you see 29 listings, most above the 12th floor. The price for a three-apartment combination, according to the site, was just cut by $4.1 million, to $42.4 million.

    The broker, Carrie Chiang of Corcoran, also represents three other apartments, including a corner-unit for $25.7 million, and two two-bedroom units for $10.8 million each. Chiang claims she has “two major buyers” for the larger apartments, though they haven’t signed contracts yet.

    A leisurely stroll through open-house showings on the Upper East Side suggests that the inventory in the $5 million-plus market extends well beyond Fifth and Park Avenues. All the way over by First Avenue, for instance, there’s the Laurel, a new “green” building with a triathalon center and a $6.1 million penthouse with a dizzying view of the 59th Street Bridge.

    Then there’s the as-yet-unbuilt Charles, designed by David Collins, architect of the London Hotels. In an office at the site, a buoyant young saleswoman offers cappuccino and enthusiastically displays renderings and touts various amenities like a building sommelier.

    The biggest problem is clearly new development, including condo conversions. One such conversion is Manhattan House, an enormous white brick building on east 66th Street that, as its marketing campaign has noted, once was home to Grace Kelly. The developer battled with renters after it bought the building for $625 million in 2005. So far, third of the apartments have been sold.

    One of the thorniest issues for the New York market is mortgage availability. Though high-end buyers historically have paid mostly or entirely in cash, more now need to borrow — just when large mortgages have all but vanished.

    Many of the home mortgages in Manhattan are “super jumbo” loans, meaning $650,000 and up. And the key super-jumbo lenders — Citibank, Chase and Wells Fargo — have curbed lending because the secondary market for the loans has shut down.

    Lenders generally won’t extend any mortgage unless half the building’s apartments are sold — an obvious problem for the newer buildings — and down-payment requirements look to be getting stiffer by the week. For apartments of more than $5 million, it’s usually at least 30%, says Melissa Cohn, the president of Manhattan Mortgage, a major lender.

    SO WHAT’S TO LIKE ABOUT THE MANHATTAN market? Some extraordinary properties that might not come on the market again for years may be available at cut-rate prices. At 1020 Fifth Avenue, Leighton Candler marked a penthouse down to $39 million; last year, the estate that owned the apartment wanted to price it at $50 million. “We are actually working on a contract,” Candler says.

    The problem is that nobody knows for sure just how much further prices might fall. “It’s a ‘cart before the horse’ discussion,” says Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel. “Credit has to stabilize and liquidity returned to the market before we can talk about stabilized housing markets and ‘bottoms.’ …It will be a multi-year period for things to sort themselves out.”

    Michael Shvo, the broker for 20 Pine Street, thinks that prices across the city will have to come down further, and credit will have to become more available, before demand picks up. How far will prices fall? “Certain projects will be down 50% from the peak; Certain others will be down 30%.” Most, in all likelihood, will be somewhere in between.

    Much as sellers might wish otherwise, that’s life in the big city.

  112. bi says:

    So what to do? Cramer, of course, has a plan: The government should offer 40-year, 4% fixed-rate mortgages or refinancings to everyone – not just those overextended homeowners.


  113. NJCoast says:

    Clot or anyone who knows-

    Please excuse my ignorance. Can a bank foreclose on a property without going to sheriff’s sale? I hear of distressed properties that are bought from the bank (for less than the mortgage)without it ever going to auction (usually by a bank insider or estate attorney). I thought the bank would not consider a short sale unless the “homeowner” submitted a contracted offer. Can one contact the bank directly if there is a Lis Pendens on a property that isn’t currently for sale (expired listing) but has not yet gone to auction? How can one tell when a property goes from Lis Pendens to actual bank possesion before an auction takes place?

  114. Steve says:

    Had in interesting dinner with a hf buddy, along w/ a couple- one w/ AIG, the other a commercial lender (lending out private $$) to developers.

    Apparently, business is going b-lls out right now, beating developers to pulp on crushing terms; mob couldn’t do better.

    Sense was that the PE guys were in and out pretty fast (I’m skeptical they won’t go down in flames too); what startled was his bluntness- confirming a massive far-reaching time bomb, coming very soon. Gotta think this tidal wave will be mopping the floor with all banks, regionals included.

    Developers are so desperate they’re taking any terms to get cash, prevent imminent collapse and keep the companies going, even if the terms are 99% guaranteed to drive the project immediately into red. Literally, the last gasp. For the few projects that get finished (condos etc), surely will get dumped onto mkt at fire sale prices.

    No one at the table who wasn’t either 100% cash or short, all agreed the road ahead was going to be horrendous.

    I took note that for the first time in a couple years, everyone at a table sounded eerily like me.

    Hedgie just got a sublet for $50sq/ft in prime NYC space – the leasee’s paying $150/sq ft. Ouch. Also said every time he leaves our dinners, he gets damn depressed. Yeah, me too.

    Finally, heard a notable comment end of this week:

    “NYC will become the Detroit of Finance”

    Now, ain’t that a pretty picture.

  115. Steve says:

    hey Mr. Prez,

    Can Macklowe or Trump get a cramdown?

    They’re going to need a few, and fast.

  116. Cindy says:

    Kettle (95)

    “You are treading dangerously close to suggesting that the masses cannot effectively rule themselves…”

    Oh really? I thought I was suggesting that the process appears to be cyclical and we must learn, as a nation, hard lessons….over and over again….

    The bright spot in that theory is that we have survived as a nation…as dense as we apparently are.

  117. Cindy says:

    Chicago (97) I have never heard the music to that(DM?) song but those words are GOOD.

  118. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Home builder’s stock falls below $1

    Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., New Jersey’s largest home builder, dipped below a dollar a share to its lowest ever on concern that the spring selling season will not bring in enough money.

    Shares fell 21 cents, or 19 percent, to 88 cents in New York Stock Exchange composite trading at 4 p.m.

    “This is disconcerting, especially in light of our view that it will be increasingly challenging for companies to generate positive free cash flow given the weaker demand heading into the selling season,” Goldberg and Maklari wrote. Goldberg has a “neutral” rating on the company.

    Hovnanian’s debt-to-capital ratio, 65 percent, was higher than the 40 percent average of its peers, according to UBS.

  119. grim says:

    Sorry, but I’ve got to repost this gem…

    CastleKing Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    K. Hovnanian up 28% today. Bernanke is the best. All you have to do to make $$$ is read the posts made by the negative “geniuses” on this site and do the opposite.

    9/18/2007 – HOV @ $14.55
    2/20/2009 – HOV @ $0.88 (a loss of 94% to date)

  120. grim says:

    Just for reference, HOV traded at a high of $72.30 a share in July of 2005.

  121. Cindy says:


    Chicago (109) – This sort of goes with your article…

  122. Rich says:

    The bank probably asked or owners asked if they could do a deed in leu of foreclosure “without recourse”. Basically they sign the deed over to the bank and if property is worth less than property bank signs “without recourse”. They usually do this with commercial accounts. They usually trade up or down properties with other accounts were it benefits themselves and other troubled accounts.

  123. stan says:

    thanks for that post Frank

  124. lostinny says:

    Wrong is not on youtube right now. I’ll have to check back later. Thanks for the lyrics.

  125. lostinny says:

    That song has not been released yet. Its the first single from the new album.

  126. Joe says:

    Southern California home prices fall, affordability returns to normal


    Prediction: 1 more year & prices in the great garden state will be back to normal $250,000

  127. Sean says:

    100,000 protest in Dublin Ireland today, this would be about 20% of Dublin city population or about 10% of the surrounding metro area.

    Quote: Many are angry at plans to impose a pension levy on” public sector workers.
    Trade union organisers of the march said workers did not cause the economic crisis but were having to pay for it. ”


  128. BC Bob says:

    “NYC will become the Detroit of Finance”


    The financial rust belt.

  129. BC Bob says:



  130. lostinny says:

    I have a co-op question. If you buy a co-op and your neighbors can’t or don’t pay their maintenance fees, what happens? Are the other residents expected to cover for the non-paying residents’ share? Just curious as one of the developments we’re looking into has a number of co-op buildings.

  131. 1 more year & prices in the great garden state will be back to normal $250,000

    Given what is happening in the financial svc industry right now, and northern NJ’s dependence upon that industry; I don’t think we really have any idea of what a “normal” price for a “normal” house is any more. I don’t think we will either for a while yet.

  132. BC Bob says:

    “CastleKing Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    K. Hovnanian up 28% today. Bernanke is the best. All you have to do to make $$$ is read the posts made by the negative “geniuses” on this site and do the opposite.”


    LMAO. I remember like it was posted yesterday. Sept 18 is my anniversary. I gave my wife some new shorts, that night. I could not resist after reading that post, on that day.

    Castle King is a contrarian trader? Well, I hope he/she gets a piece of that tarp, or do I mean trap.

  133. Sean says:

    It’s bend over time people.

    Obama to Unveil an Ambitious Budget Plan

    By Lori Montgomery and Ceci Connolly
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Saturday, February 21, 2009; 3:00 PM

    President Obama is putting the finishing touches on an ambitious first budget that seeks to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years, primarily by raising taxes on business and the wealthy and by slashing spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration officials said.

    In addition to tackling a deficit swollen by the $787 billion stimulus package and other efforts to ease the nation’s economic crisis, the budget blueprint will press aggressively for progress on the domestic agenda Obama outlined during the presidential campaign. This would include key changes to environmental policies and a major expansion of health coverage that Obama hopes to enact later this year.

    A summary of Obama’s budget request for the fiscal year that begins in October will be delivered to Congress on Thursday, with the complete, multi-hundred-page document to follow in April. But Obama plans to unveil his goals for scaling back record deficits and rebuilding the nation’s costly and inefficient health care system Monday, when he addresses more than 100 lawmakers and budget experts at a White House summit on restoring “fiscal responsibility” to Washington.

    In his weekly radio and Internet address today, Obama expressed determination to “get exploding deficits under control” and described his budget request as “sober in its assessments, honest in its accounting, and lays out in detail my strategy for investing in what we need, cutting what we don’t, and restoring fiscal discipline.”

    Reducing the deficit, he said, is critical to the nation’s future: “We can’t generate sustained growth without getting our deficits under control.”

    Obama faces the long-term challenge of retirement and health programs that threaten to bankrupt the government years down the road, as well as the more immediate problem of deficits bloated by spending on the economy and financial-system bailouts. His budget proposal takes aim at the short-term problem, administration officials said, but also would begin to address the nation’s chronic budget imbalance by squeezing savings from the federal health programs for the elderly and the poor.

    Even before Congress approved the stimulus package earlier this month, this year’s deficit was projected by Congressional budget analysts to approach $1.2 trillion, or 8.3 percent of the overall economy, the highest since World War II. With the stimulus and other expenses, some analysts say the annual gap between federal spending and income could approach $2 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September.

    Obama proposes to dramatically reduce those numbers by the end of his first term, cutting the deficit he inherited in half, said administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the budget has yet to be released. His budget plan would keep the deficit hovering near $1 trillion in 2010 and 2011, but shows it dropping to $533 billion in 2013 — still high in dollar terms, but a more manageable 3 percent of the overall economy.

    To get there, Obama proposes to cut spending and raise taxes. The savings would come primarily from “winding down the war” in Iraq, a senior administration official said. The budget assumes that the nation will continue to spend money on “overseas military contingency operations” throughout Obama’s presidency, the official said, but that number is significantly lower than the nearly $190 billion the nation budgeted for Iraq and Afghanistan last year.

    Obama also seeks to increase tax collections, primarily by making good on his promise to eliminate the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 for wealthy taxpayers, whom Obama defined during the campaign as those earning more than $250,000 a year. Those tax breaks would be permitted to expire on schedule for the 2011 tax year, when the top tax rate would rise from 35 percent to more than 39 percent.

    Obama also proposes to maintain the tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million, instead of letting it expire next year. And he proposes “a fairly aggressive effort on tax enforcement” that would target tax havens and corporate loopholes, among other provisions, the official said.

    Overall, tax collections under the plan would rise from about 16 percent of the economy this year to 19 percent in 2013, while federal spending would drop from about 26 percent of the economy, another post-war high, to 22 percent.

    Republicans, who are already painting Obama as a profligate spender, are laying plans to attack him on taxes as well. Even some non-partisan observers question the wisdom of announcing a plan to raise taxes in the midst of a recession. But senior White House adviser David Axelrod said in an interview that the tax proposals reflect the ideas that won the election last fall.

    “This is consistent with what the president talked about throughout the campaign,” and “restores some balance to the tax code in a way that protects the middle class,” Axelrod said. “Most Americans will come out very well here.”

    The budget also puts in place the building blocks of what administration officials say will be a broad restructuring of the U.S. health system, an effort aimed at covering some of the 46 million Americans who lack insurance while controlling costs and improving quality. Many lawmakers said they had expected a health care overhaul to be pushed off while Obama deals with the economic crisis, but administration officials stressed they intend to forge ahead with comprehensive reform.

    “The budget will kick off or facilitate a focus on getting health care done this year,” the senior official said, adding that the White House is planning a summit on health care. The event has been delayed by former senator Tom Daschle’s decision to withdraw from consideration as health secretary because of tax problems, a move that left Obama without key member of his health team.

    Administration officials and outside experts say the most likely path to revamping the health system is to begin with Medicare, the federal program for retirees and people with disabilities, and Medicaid, which serves the poor. Together, the two programs cover about 100 million people at a cost of $561 billion in 2007. Making policy changes in those programs — such as rewarding physicians who computerize their medical records or paying doctors for results rather than procedures–could improve care while generating long-term savings, expert say. It also could prod private insurers to follow suit.

    Obama’s budget request would create “running room for health reform,” the official said, by reducing spending on some health programs so the administration would have money to devote to initiatives to expand coverage. The biggest target is bonus payments to insurance companies that run managed-care programs under Medicare, known as Medicare Advantage.

    The Bush-era program has attracted nearly a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries to private health insurance plans that generally cover a package of services such as doctor visits, prescription drugs and eyeglasses. But the government pays the plans between 13 and 17 percent more than it pays for traditional fee-for-service coverage, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on Medicare financing issues. Democrats have long complained about the cost, and eliminating the extra payments would save about $35 billion over the next five years.

    Administration officials also are debating whether to permit people as young as 55 to purchase coverage through Medicare. That age group is particularly vulnerable in today’s weakened economy, as many have lost jobs or seen insurance premiums rise rapidly. The cost would depend on whether recipients were offered a discount or required to pay the full price of coverage.

  134. #92 – Kettle1 – If we’re going to start counting the ways in which the Constitution, as originally framed, has been abused, ignored, neglected, dejected and rejected* we’re both going to be here for a long long time. And we’ll start to sounds exactly like the blog posts over at Reason.com

    *with 8×10 color glossy photos.

  135. lostinny says:

    I found it! It sounds really good. So analog.

  136. kettle1 says:


    true, good point, yet a very disturbing point when you think about it….

  137. comrade nom deplume says:

    Just got in last night from Utah. Though I have never been to Park City before, even in the playground of the A list, there is recession. Sorry Frank.

    At first, Frank would disagree: In Park City itself, restaurants were busy, people buying in shops, etc. The Canyons itself had decent sized crowds and some lift lines, but they were not obnoxiously long.

    But, if the parking garage was any indication, the Silverado Lodge at the Canyons was nearly empty during a school holiday week. Only about a dozen cars at any time, and I did not see a lot of people in the hallways. We got the 1-bed condo for about half of its “normal” rate by waiting until about two weeks before our scheduled time to come to terms with a desperate owner (who turned out to be great to rent from, so I would commend his rentals to anyone interested in the Canyons). Further, I was told that the Frostwood gondola was sitting idle because “no one was in” the Frostwood development at the base of the mountains.

    Places like this are the last ones to feel slowdowns fully, since they go from outrageous to merely expensive, and most folks with some means won’t give up vacations. Still, the depression was evident even here as noticed the family-friendly, inexpensive venues were getting attention.

  138. Sean says:

    Comrade – Goota love those gynormus houses on the Canyons mountain. I wonder how many are in forclosure.

  139. comrade nom deplume says:

    Lots of talk last week about middle class rioting. Won’t happen because most folks that riot or demonstrate do so because they have the time. The reason most moderates or conservatives don’t is because they are at work.

    But, in this technological age, one can still have a middle class riot by electronic means. Simply pick a time for a mass direct action, such as a mass emailing or mass phone-in to one particular office or series of offices, and everyone can participate. Best of all, it can mass energy at a single target and avoid the dissipation that results from normal, consituent-based efforts. For example, emailing your assemblyman means that a 500 person protest gererates a handful per assemblyman. But one directed at a particulary committeechair generates an inbox full of voter bile.

    While is isn’t much different than “write your congressman” kind of civics, the novelty of a mass, one-time event, or series of events, will get people interested and participating. Further, it gets media attention, which is mother’s milk to any movement. Finally, if a series of such events can be sustained, it will force policy makers to think about their own elections.

  140. comrade nom deplume says:

    [141] sean,

    You mean The Colony? Yeah, they were really gorgeous. I also noticed that most were either empty or unfinished.

  141. BC Bob says:

    “The budget also puts in place the building blocks of what administration officials say will be a broad restructuring of the U.S. health system, an effort aimed at covering some of the 46 million Americans who lack insurance”

    From Sean’s post;

    The same “homeowners” who jumped on board via a no doc liar loan and sucked out equity, to buy hummers? The same group that the govt is proposing to tax the prudent/productive/savers to restructure their dead #ss mortgages?

    How about some incentives for those that have capital and are ready and willing to invest? Allow private capital to come in and rebuild. Govt subsidies will not alter the course of this cycle and will only drag this on for years and years.

  142. Frank says:

    Love 0bama, just jack up the taxes, dummies have no choice but to pay.

  143. kettle1 says:

    welcome back Nom, relaxed a little?

  144. Sean says:

    Comrade – I toured one two years ago in the Colony simply amazing homes, way over priced for Utah though.

    Did they ever finish the convention center and all of those million dollar condos? Seemed like they wanted to build a few thousand condos with prices around 1 million.

    I am heading to Aspen on Friday for some RnR, I will be sure to report back on the economy there.

  145. comrade nom deplume says:

    [146] kettle,

    Not really. Classic case of needing a vacation to relax from vacation.

    [147] sean

    Did not see a convention center. Was that for Park City or SLC? Also did not see much in the way of condo developments, though Park City seems overdeveloped. As for the Colony, it may be expensive but the target demographic probably doesn’t care that much. In order to pay for the gated community upkeep alone, you have to be made of money. It also must be very exclusive—when I mentioned something about driving up to a lift, the shuttle driver said he “might be able to get in the Colony, since I am driving a Canyons van.”

    I will say this—they did not appear to be used much. I saw activity in only two finished houses, one when I was skiing behind someone and they skied right up to join a gathering on the back porch of one house. Must be nice.

  146. comrade nom deplume says:

    [146] kettle,

    While watching CNBC on vacation (I know, a guilty pleasure), I figured out how to get $$$ out of the country for the eventual Nompound financing and avoid the reporting requirement.

    Simply set up a foreign corporation that offers “Personal Services”, then wire the money to its offshore account in periodic installments. Then, if you are audited, tell them you spent the money on high-end escort services.

    Of course, this is both tax evasion and structuring, so the feds get a two-fer. But it was a fun idea to mentally toy around with.

  147. yikes says:

    anyone know where to look to find a state’s gun rights?

    specifically, im wondering what rights i have as a gun owner should someone break into my house and i shoot them.

    i’ve found a lot of discussion on this topic on the net, but no hard and fast state rules.

    ps – looking for PA’s rules

  148. yikes says:

    nevermind, found it


    love me some PA …

    (1) It is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others.

  149. comrade nom deplume says:

    [136] sean,

    Scary stuff.

    Someone on another blog noted that the decline in the market corresponded with the ascendancy of O-man in the primaries, and advanced the notion (condemned by Schabadoo as heretical) that the delevering (or just plain exiting) of the markets was a response to the prospect of an O-man victory. Such comparisons are not worth much, but there were enough folks saying it may happen, and enough people (including me) who exited positions with gains now so as to avoid the new taxes (particularly cap gain taxes) that it isn’t so farfetched.

    Conversely, I have some stocks that have been hammered down so much that I will simply hold them until the O-plan goes through, and sell them at deep losses. I figure that the tax benefit generated from the losses more than offsets any further risk of loss I take from holding them and seeing them sink further (after all, they cannot go below zero, right?).

    If everyone with deep loss positions does what I do, and maximizes the losses by holding them to offset higher-taxed income, you may actually see the first few years of O-man tax hikes negated by stock losses. Further, the prospect of new tax shelters, and outright cheating (it is unequivocally shown that higher taxes promote evasion), will only exacerbate the problem. Finally, the higher costs imposed on capital means less available for starting businesses and building inventory (why invest in business ventures when munis pay high rates and are tax free?).

    How will the MSM cover up the fact that tax projections fell woefully short in 2010 and 2011, and that the deficit is higher than ever? Will Chris Matthews still feel “tingly” when he has to obfuscate for the O-man by lying through his perfect teeth rather than just spinning the facts? Time will tell.

  150. lostinny says:

    I understand in NY that you have to show you tried every other option and had no choice but to shoot.
    I love NY but seriously, how many other, and what kind, of things do you have to try before you realize only shooting the intruder will save you?

  151. lostinny says:

    Sorry I meant to say in NYC.

  152. comrade nom deplume says:

    [151] yikes

    That is one of two principal reasons I selected northeastern PA for a future Nompound site.

    Grim, 152 in mod, and no idea why.

  153. comrade nom deplume says:

    [153] lost,

    That is why cops tell you to drag the body inside. And if it leaves a blood trail, drag it inside, then back to the original spot (with the story that the perp dragged himself there).

    They also tell you, if the perp is unarmed and you have an old knife, be sure to get the perp’s fingerprints on it and drop it inside your residence (or car, or alley) where “the attack took place.”

    Apparently they won’t investigate that heavily if it appears to be a clear case of home invasion.

  154. lostinny says:

    155 Nom
    Cops in Florida told my husband that he should shoot through the door then drag him inside.
    I hope it never comes down to it, but thanks for the info. Of course, by the time we really need a gun, it will be too late for a license and I’ll go to jail for having one, even though the person breaking in means to rape and kill me.

  155. yikes says:

    comrade nom deplume says:
    February 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    [153] lost,

    They also tell you, if the perp is unarmed and you have an old knife, be sure to get the perp’s fingerprints on it and drop it inside your residence (or car, or alley) where “the attack took place.”

    a retired CIA agent was telling me recently that back in the day (70s) cops would have a plant gun ready just in case.

    com – if you do bring the compound to NE PA, count me in.

  156. Cindy says:


    Did you folks know a huge German company owns Trader Joes?

    I had no idea…

  157. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Lost 156 get one now then. Time is a wasting.

  158. Mikeinwaiting says:

    157 that is still true trust me on that.

  159. lostinny says:

    159 Mike
    I know I know. Unfortunately, NYC makes it next to impossible to get. And I am quite sure I will be turned down.

  160. kettle1 says:


    i can imagine a few solutions to the offshore account issue…

    its even worse in Mass. you are required to retreat from an intruder. the only justifiable coase for shooting is if you were trapped in a corner and after negotiating with him for a few hours he still insisted on attacking….

    /sarcasm off

  161. lostinny says:

    162 Kettle
    I couldn’t read that one to DH without cracking up.

  162. kettle1 says:

    oh, and the local chief of police gets final say as to whether or not you may have a permit. he can use pretty much any reason he wants.

    there are multiple court cases fighting this in Mass but it will take years to work out

  163. lostinny says:

    Speaking of guns in PA, a child killed his father’s girlfriend, who happened to be 8 months pregnant:


  164. Steve says:

    BC (131),

    Yes, indeed.

    On the bright side, will be plenty of turrets and flat panels for sale, cheap!

    Always wanted my own hoot-n-holler…

  165. Sastry says:

    lostinny says:
    February 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Speaking of guns in PA, a child killed his father’s girlfriend, who happened to be 8 months pregnant:


    The gun was “made for children” and doesn’t require registration! The 11 yr old kid is going to be tried as an adult!!

    Give kids guns and try them as adults. Wonderful!

  166. sas says:

    man, i have a headache tonight,, hurts like hell…

    whats the skinny on boards tonight?


  167. lostinny says:

    167 Sastry
    I saw that it was made for children. There must be some details they aren’t sharing if they want to try him as an adult. Obviously he knows he did something wrong. He made up a story that sent the police investigating a false lead. Maybe tha’ts why they’re trying him as an adult.

  168. lostinny says:

    168 sas
    Have a beer. Maybe you’ll feel better.

  169. d2b says:

    How come every time I see the term Cramdown I think of John?

  170. kettle1 says:

    trying a child as an adult is asinine! not saying there should not penalties, but why have a juvenile justice system? the mental processing of adult and children are inherently different.

    and if the child has a legitimate psychotic condition then there are already systems in place for dealing with that

  171. sas says:

    “John Taylor Gatto, Teacher of the Year: State Controlled Consciousness”

  172. NJCoast says:

    Thanks Rich

  173. sas says:

    “Charlotte Iserbyt – Deliberate Dumbing Down of the World”

  174. BC Bob says:

    Maybe 9th inning closer, Dick Fuld should spare the short sellers and concentrate on ripping the hearts out of Bergabe and Hammerin Hank? Yet, we should be be grateful that we have been the recepients of this talent in DC. One, Bergabe, accepts any trash for cash, I mean trash for trash, and the other claims armageddon, just in time to pay off the culprits. So, since the first acronym was born, TAF, the Dow has gone from 13k to 7,300K. Thank you Ben and Hank. I can’t imagine we we would have been without you.

    “When commentators warn that a failure by the latest US rescue plan would lead to a “Japanisation” of the financial sector, they are missing the point. It is too late to worry about banks turning into “zombies” – they already are.”

    “Crushed under a pile of toxic assets, paralysed by wafer-thin balance sheets and deserted by fearful investors, once-mighty institutions such as Citi and BofA are barely able to perform basic functions such as lending and underwriting.”

    “In fact, the only reason they have not joined Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual on the financial scrapheap is that taxpayers have propped them up with more than $500bn in cash injections and guarantees.”


  175. chicagofinance says:

    lostinny says:
    February 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm
    I found it! It sounds really good. So analog.

    lost: the last minute with Gore in the background is just off the charts….

  176. bi says:

    • Talk of “nationalizing” U.S.’ troubled major banks comes not just from tarnished Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, but also from Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former Fed chief Alan Greenspan.

    To be sure, bank shares have plunged along with home prices, and many have inadequate capital. But is nationalization really the only solution for an industry whose main product — loans to consumers and businesses — has expanded by over 5% annually so far this year?


  177. bi says:

    the ibd article in my link is very good in my opinion. here is one more paragraph:

    • Business leaders are demonized. Yes, there are bad eggs out there like the Madoffs and Stanfords. But most CEOs are hugely talented, driven, highly intelligent people who make our corporations the most productive in the world and add trillions of dollars of value to our economy.

    They don’t deserve to be dragged before Congress, as they have been dozens of times in the past two years, for a ritual heaping of verbal abuse from the very people most responsible for our ills — our tragically inept, Democrat-led Congress.

  178. Sean says:

    bi – my new t-shirt says “Water board the Rich”

    It is fashionable right now, that will change with time.

  179. BC Bob says:

    “They don’t deserve to be dragged before Congress, as they have been dozens of times in the past two years, for a ritual heaping of verbal abuse from the very people most responsible for our ills — our tragically inept, Democrat-led Congress.”

    Verbal abuse? How about the slammer? All of them. The inept, greedy, liar, slime ball CEO’s followed by Frank, Pelosi, Dodd, etc.. Get rid of them all. Then again, keep them around until approx 2015. They are experts in laying it out on a silver platter for the taking. Play their game and take.

  180. BC Bob says:

    “But most CEOs are hugely talented, driven, highly intelligent people who make our corporations the most productive in the world and add trillions of dollars of value to our economy.”

    Yeah, the cream of the crop. Adding trillons to TAF, TSLF, TARP, etc..

    Stanley O’Neil
    Jimmy Cayne
    Chuck Prince
    Dick Fuld
    Bob Willumstad
    Ken Thompson
    Angelo Mozilo
    Franklin Raines
    Richard Syron
    Ken Lewis

    I can’t imagine how much more talent I can possibly come up with, if I just thought a couple minutes about it?

  181. BC Bob says:

    OOPS, forgot Victor.

  182. Pat says:

    Bi and Bob

    In all fairness (not that I think fairness is all it’s cracked up to be),…


  183. Steve says:

    Verbal abuse? How about the slammer? All of them. The inept, greedy, liar, slime ball CEO’s followed by Frank, Pelosi, Dodd, etc..

    BC (182),

    In Japan, these guys would be committing seppaku and sparing society the trouble. Here, they collect $40mil bonuses, profess shock and dismay, since all this was so “unforseeable.”

    Truly no honor among thieves.

  184. safeashouses says:

    #180 bi,

    Those CEOs are scumbags, perhaps even sociopaths. Their selfish actions to enrich themselves with shorterm profits has been a major factor in causing the depression we are no win.

    I remember seeing a housing bubble debate in 05 or 06 with a few of those guys on the “there is no housing bubble” panel along with our beloved Ara Hovnanian. They made my skin crawl.

  185. kettle1 says:


    most ceo’s show strong sociopaths tendencies if tested. my wife loves to point that out. the enitre corporate system is geared towards promonting sociopaths upwards though the management ladder. My wife has been to several conferes that discuss this point (a psychologist)

  186. kettle1 says:


    when some of these CEO’s
    disembowel themselves, i will then have respect for them.

  187. Cindy says:

    So guys – I’m reading around this AM – articles, comments…Some saying nationalization is good -“Let’s clean up the bank’s balance sheets.” Some saying Dodd dropped those comments about possible nationalization to bring down stock prices at Citi and BofA because he is helping his constituents, the hedgies who are shorting that market….

    Some say – bring back the up-tick rule, some say forget FAS 157 – no more mark-to-market…

    I just want clarity! The Whitney article out there basically calls Geithner and incompetent – period.

    What to do…

  188. Cindy says:

    And BTW Grim – I’m just figuring out that inferring I might be a West Coast hedge fund manager wasn’t a good thing!

  189. Essex says:


  190. Cindy says:

    Kettle/Safe – ??????

    So maybe the hedge funds benefit if there is nationalization – but the alternative is a constant flow of funds into disabled banks…What is worse?

    I cannot remember which article it was now but I wrote down a quote…

    “They’ve got to make a statement against nationalization,” said a person familiar with Citigroup’s thinking. The Obama administration’s rhetoric so far amounts to “destructive ambiguity.”

  191. kettle1 says:


    My current concerns….

    is a bank run already underway on BAC and Citi. Modern electronic runs are silent and deadly. while the general public may be largely ignorant of the severity of the current situation, the larger institutional investors and the large account holders know very well what the real deal is and are watching very closely.

    The US WILL nationalize both of these banks in one form or another. the problem is that the FDIC doesnt have enough (about 40 billion) money to cover either bank and will have to be bailed out by the treasury. BAC and C have a combined total deposit accounts approaching 2 trillion $!!!

    from bloomberg “Asian investors won’t buy debt and mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until they carry explicit U.S. guarantees, similar to those given on bonds issued by Bank of America Corp. or Citigroup Inc.” foriegn investor are getting more nervous everyday and are now begining to demand additional assurance on our debt. What happens to our ability to raise capital as a nation if we add 2 trillion in debt virtually overnight by having to take BAC and C. While the full2 trillion would not be needed, it would likely be over 1 trillion.

    If/When these 2 giants go down, it will very likely get the public’s attention. And once Obama and friends start announcing how sound our banking system is; well we all know how that goes.

    Its highly probable that the set of events before leads to banks runs ala 1930, since the existence of electronic banks runs makes the process even easier today then in the 30’s.

    As BC has pointed out last week, eastern europe is in deep trouble and their financial system appears to rapidly be reverting to something resembling what existed when the berlin wall was still up.

    A concern that is considered unthinkable to many is what happens when western europe and the US end up in such a situation. The people of western europe and russia spent decades living in economies that hovered between failed and stable. Circumventing failed/useless government controlled insinuations was a normal activity for many and they developed alternative means to support themselves and their families even if it didnt include plasma tv’s and escalades.

    As the western european and american banking systems collpase and people lose faith in the current banking system how do the people cope? Americans and western europeans are soft, they have not had to deal with economic hardship and shortages in generations. The american system is in no way prepared to operate outside of standard chanels and there is no secondary black market that exists like in eastern europe that is capable of providing at least a minmla market place as a stand in for the large banks and their ilk.

    As i write this the news just put up a teases about how BAC must be nationalized to save the economy. In my opinion this means that BAC is toast. They may be nationalized by tomorrow morning or perhaps later next week. They have received the kiss of death.

    Given that i just heard on network news that BAC must be nationalized, then i can only guess that the big institutional investors and large account holders probably began a massive run on BAC at some point this weekend….

    In pure numbers, the US may be better off then western and eastern europe. But socially the US and western europe are in a very precarious position. Our peoples do not have memory of functioning without extensive social support programs.

    Oh, and the network news went from “BAC must be nationalized” to ” whats X wearing to the oscars and what are they going to win!?!?!?”

  192. twice shy says:

    Nom [152],

    I’m sure you are aware that your total capital losses on stock trades are restricted to $3,000/year, a relative pittance for a market down about 50% from peak. If you attempt to harvest your “deep losses” for tax purposes against earned income, you’ll likely have carry-over losses for the rest of your life.

    I’m all for taking losses up to $3,000/year in taxable accounts, especially on busted equities that may not come back for 10 or 15 years.

  193. kettle1 says:


    I disagree

    The answer is simple and has been stated by many different people. Nationalize the banks and cram them down

  194. kettle1 says:


    if you cram down the banks after nationalizing them then you end up with health institutions when it is said and done.

    at this point the government fears the repercussions of wiping out the common share holders and forcinhg the bond holders to take a significant hit.

  195. Cindy says:

    (200) Kettle – “I disagree” Disagree? I’m asking questions – Was it the quote you disagreed with? Here is another opinion…


    More from John Hempton at Bronte Capital.

    Swedish banks were once in trouble too. Not all were nationalized.

  196. Hard Place says:

    Cindy says:
    February 21, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I think Kettle wrote about our drought a few days back…

    “California Urges All to Cut Water Use by 20%”

    No water – no planting – no crops – unemployment – higher food prices

    After spending a fortune on fires, Boy, we are having some kinda year.

    I may eventually have the ugliest house in town, but I’m all for more natural landscapes. What a waste of resources to maintain a patch of grass.

  197. kettle1 says:


    i read to fast. my bad:(

    multitasking while easting bagels with kettle jr

  198. kettle1 says:


    i read to fast. my bad:(

    multitasking while eating bagels with kettle jr

  199. Cindy says:

    (202) Hard Place – We have assigned watering days and many are switching over to natural landscaping.


    In this article, they estimate as many as 80,000 farm-related jobs could be lost.

    It is raining today. We are expecting more storms as well. I can see the snow in the foothills from my home. It is as though the January rain is falling in February.

  200. kettle1 says:


    one big difference between sweden and the US is that now the entire global financial system is on the brink, it not just one nations banks. For that reason any ultimate solution must be international. such as preventing any 1 bank from becoming to large.

  201. Cindy says:

    (206) Kettle –


    #5. “Will there be a clear, upfront commitment to reprivatization, with a promise that large banks will be broken up in the process?”

  202. Cindy says:


    “More on that Dirty Word “Nationalization” and Possible Approaches”

    Naked Capitalism

  203. lisoosh says:

    nom #152 –

    What an asinine thesis.

    More of the “lets pretend the last 8 (eight, I’ll repeat that EIGHT) years of gross fiscal mismanagement never actually happened” political spinning.

    Just take a look at this blog’s comments section back in 2005. The writing was on the wall a long time ago.

    Thought you were smarter and less reflexively partisan than that. Obviously I was wrong.

  204. kettle1 says:


    i think the solution of nationalization is fairly clear. the real question is do the politicians have the cojones to break up the banks that have funded them and their pet projects for years.

    Given their performance so far i think its a safe bet that the answer is no. the will continue with their half a$$ed measures hoping one of the just might work. when in the end they will be have spent 10 times as much money then they would have otherwise and wreak ever more havoc on the system delaying the eventual stabilization.

    then again i have come to the conclusion that our government has become institutionally corrupt so take my opinion with a kilo of NaCl

  205. Cindy says:

    Kettle (210)

    It’s almost like they can’t get the cat back in the bag, though. There is so much out there now re: nationalization – so many supporters.

    I heard/read somewhere lately that the FDIC had 20,000 employees during the S/L crisis. They only have 5,000 now. The contention being that a lot of groundwork would need to be laid (post stress tests) before the government could follow through.

  206. Steve says:


    I agree they’re in denial, and will try everything to avoid – however if there are bank runs, they won’t have a choice…hand will be forced. Especially if their stocks continue last week’s performance, could very well happen.

    At this stage, who would want the uncertainty of a nationalized counterparty??

  207. Cindy says:


    Re: 211 – It was here – Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism..

  208. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Ran into my friend who works at C, said he hopes they’d just nationalize and break em apart already. “The stock is trading less that the ATM fees” was my favorite quote.

  209. Hard Place says:

    so the government is destroying the ability to price real estate. at what point do you default to pricing the home at the base construction cost?

    I’ve moved into the camp that homes will be priced so low that they will be priced below the construction cost that the land will be free. This will especially be the case in areas of new development and where job losses hit the most. More established neighborhoods with little new development and where job losses are felt the least will probably be not hit as hard. I’m guessing Manhattan will be hit especially hard, the surrounding new development neighborhoods (gentrified areas in Brklyn, Queens, NJ Gold Coast) and further out new development neighborhoods in outer counties.

  210. Hard Place says:

    BC Bob says:
    February 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm
    “NYC will become the Detroit of Finance”


    The financial rust belt.

    All very catchy. I see an article coming up with this title very soon.

  211. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Fantastice Refutation of White House Response to Rick Santelli


    Who knew the White House was full of sh*t?

  212. Hard Place says:

    (202) Hard Place – We have assigned watering days and many are switching over to natural landscaping.

    Cindy – glad somewhere, people are starting to embrace things that make sense.

  213. cooper says:

    from big pic-

    How Wall Street lobbyists, PR hot shots will limit reform, brainwash America


  214. spam spam bacon spam says:

    I had to call Chase Bank yesterday, about my credit card(s).

    I had a question about online svcs, not important here, but I asked if they could reduce my interest rate from 22.9%. It was just an off-the-cuff question to see if they would.

    Both my Chase cards are above 22%.

    The rep said “no, but she could do a balance transfer from another bank for 4%.”

    She said my rate was prime plus xx. What’s that make their “profit” portion of the interest?… 18%? Must be nice to be a bankster.

    Stupid thing is, I pay off the balance(s) in full every month. So I don’t pay interest.

    [And don’t get me started about the $1.50 I had to pay Citibank to close a credit card! I told the svc guy on the phone that they spent more $$ paying his salary to deal with [me] than they made….he laughed and agreed.]

    And yes, that was ONE DOLLAR and FIFTY CENTS.

  215. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “And yes, that was ONE DOLLAR and FIFTY CENTS.”

    That’s more than the stock

  216. crossroads says:

    nice video
    I was out w/ friends last night and was surprised that they were in support of the presidents housing stability plan. There is a general feeling that people were duped into the arm loans. my point was there needs to be personal responsibility. where was their lawyer to tell them they couldn’t afford the house.

    I used the example that I may have a $50k credit card line but I don’t have $50k credit card debt. Just because the bank is willing to lend you a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to take it. Basic math skills are very useful here.

  217. victorian says:

    Rick Santelli is a hypocrite. If he hates govt handouts so much, why didn’t he resign when GE was sucking on the teat?

    Also, can someone show me how this plan bails out the irresponsible? Max LTV of the house should be 105%. The truly irresponsible put 0% down, HELO’ed the sh!t out of the house etc. Nationally, house prices are down at least 15-20%. No frickin way, that you are down only 5% (except if you put in a 20-25% DP).

    The bigger crimes are being perpetrated by the bankers. They are the financial experts, have the fiduciary duty to make sure that the money that they lent out, is paid back. But these guys are paying each other bonuses courtesy of the taxpayers. Not saying that there is personal responsibility involved, but there may be genuine cases out there who are affected by the ripple effects of this disaster, who can be helped by reducing their interest payments.

    RE: Reducing the interest rates for these people.
    How is this any different than the Fed artificially reducing the mortgage rates by buying treasuries? Didn’t some of you guys lock in this “historically low” rate? If so, you are sucking on the govt teat as well.

    I am sure that this post paints me as a commie.

  218. t c m says:


    “Also, can someone show me how this plan bails out the irresponsible?….”

    “The truly irresponsible put 0% down….”

    so you are making distinctions between the “irresponsible and TRULY irresponsible” You think it’s ok to bail out the irresponsible, but not the TRULY irresponsible?

    Oh boy –

  219. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    Not a commie, I agree there’s a whole bunch of bank CEO’s that would look good in orange jumpsuits, but it does make you sound out of it a bit.

    Santelli has been railing against the bank bailouts from the very beginning; he’s probably the only voice of reason on the entire CNBC network.

    I don’t know what he has to say about GE but I’d expect like anyone he’s not going to publicly bad mouth his employer.

    As the clip above showed, O’bamas plan has nothing in place to show that the mortgages being bailed out weren’t fraudulently obtained, fraudulently underwritten, or that the borrower had any capability to pay it back or ever will be able to pay it back even after it is modified.

    You need to understand too that there was a great deal of pressure on the mortgage industry to support the generation of these subprime/alt-a loans on the part of the government. They encouraged the loans to made and packaged and sent to Fannie/Freddie. Granted the mortgage co’s could care less as long as they got them off their books and got paid.

    The claim was to increase home ownership for the poor and lower middle class. As if home ownership is a right or common good and renting is somehow something to be shunned.

    The reality is Fannie/Freddie earned $$$ packaging and selling the mortgage paper and then paid the supporters in the government of program via campaign contributions.

    Those receiving the campaign contributions were primarily Democrats but there was a share of Republicans too.

    Reality is both parties are essentially the same establishment party and that establishment party only cares about enriching itself and increasing its power.

    Sometimes criticism of government programs is unquestionably correct and this is one of those occassions.

  220. BC Bob says:

    “charts from barrons”

    Kettle [193],

    Med price/med income; Without a doubt we will retrace to the late 90’s/2000. More importantly, do we go back to 1970-1975?

  221. JBJB says:

    “I was out w/ friends last night and was surprised that they were in support of the presidents housing stability plan”.

    There exist a large swath of people – mostly urban yuppies and deadbeats – that would approve of of having a dump taken on the hood of their Prius, provided that the crapper was BHO.

  222. BC Bob says:

    “however if there are bank runs, they won’t have a choice…hand will be forced”


    Bingo. Mr Market will force their hands. I don’t understand why 95% of the investing public listen to the pundits and tune out Mr Market. Big mistake.

  223. BC Bob says:

    “The stock is trading less that the ATM fees”



  224. kettle1 says:

    bc 226

    home/income ratio back to the 70’s means a median home price of about 150K

  225. chicagofinance says:

    ket: this article is 3 years old, but I have sent it umpteen times to people

    kettle1 says:
    February 22, 2009 at 7:24 am
    most ceo’s show strong sociopaths tendencies if tested. my wife loves to point that out. the enitre corporate system is geared towards promonting sociopaths upwards though the management ladder. My wife has been to several conferes that discuss this point (a psychologist)

    > The following is an article from the WSJ that is a dead-on
    > description of a former boss of mine. The gentleman [I use the
    > loosely] had a PhD in Economics from Chicago.
    > Regardless of what professional or social circumstance you
    > experience, we all know these people. Take heart – but also take
    > control!
    > ==========================================
    > Odds are you’ve run across one of these characters in your career.
    > They’re glib, charming, manipulative, deceitful, ruthless — and
    > very, very destructive. And there may be lots of them in America’s
    > corner offices.
    > One of the most provocative ideas about business in this decade so
    > far surfaced in a most unlikely place. The forum wasn’t the
    > Business School or one of those $4,000-a-head conferences where
    > Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists search for the next big
    > It was a convention of Canadian cops in the far-flung province of
    > Newfoundland. The speaker, a 71-year-old professor emeritus from
    > University of British Columbia, remains virtually unknown in the
    > business realm. But he’s renowned in his own field: criminal
    > psychology. Robert Hare is the creator of the Psychopathy
    > The 20-item personality evaluation has exerted enormous influence
    > its quarter-century history. It’s the standard tool for making
    > clinical diagnoses of psychopaths — the 1% of the general
    > population that isn’t burdened by conscience. Psychopaths have a
    > profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and
    > remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a charm
    > that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con
    > artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave
    > constant stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life “games”
    > they can win — and take pleasure from their power over other
    > “There are certainly more people in the business world who would
    > score high in the psychopathic dimension than in the general
    > population. You’ll find them in any organization where, by the
    > nature of one’s position, you have power and control over other
    > people and the opportunity to get something.”
    > On the broad continuum between the ethical everyman and the
    > predatory killer, there’s plenty of room for people who are
    > but not violent. This is where you’re likely to find such people
    > Ebbers, Fastow, ImClone CEO Sam Waksal, and hotelier Leona
    > We put several big-name CEOs through the checklist, and they
    > as “moderately psychopathic”; our quiz on page 48 lets you try a
    > similar exercise with your favorite boss. And this summer,
    > with New York industrial psychologist Paul Babiak, Hare begins
    > marketing the B-Scan, a personality test that companies can use to
    > spot job candidates who may have an MBA but lack a conscience. “I
    > always said that if I wasn’t studying psychopaths in prison, I’d
    > it at the stock exchange,”
    > There’s evidence that the business climate has become even more
    > hospitable to psychopaths in recent years. In pioneering long-term
    > studies of psychopaths in the workplace, Babiak focused on a half-
    > dozen unnamed companies: One was a fast-growing high-tech firm,
    > the others were large multinationals undergoing dramatic
    > organizational changes — severe downsizing, restructuring,
    > and acquisitions, and joint ventures. That’s just the sort of
    > corporate tumult that has increasingly characterized the U.S.
    > business landscape in the last couple of decades. And just as wars
    > can produce exciting opportunities for murderous psychopaths to
    > shine (think of Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic),
    > Babiak found that these organizational shake-ups created a
    > environment for the corporate killer. “The psychopath has no
    > difficulty dealing with the consequences of rapid change; in fact,
    > he or she thrives on it,” Babiak claims. “Organizational chaos
    > provides both the necessary stimulation for psychopathic thrill
    > seeking and sufficient cover for psychopathic manipulation and
    > abusive behavior.”
    > But how can we recognize psychopathic types? Hare has revised his
    > Psychopathy Checklist (known as the PCL-R, or simply “the Hare”)
    > make it easier to identify so-called subcriminal or corporate
    > psychopaths. He has broken down the 20 personality characteristics
    > into two subsets, or “factors.” Corporate psychopaths score high
    > Factor 1, the “selfish, callous, and remorseless use of others”
    > category. It includes eight traits: glibness and superficial
    > grandiose sense of self-worth; pathological lying; conning and
    > manipulativeness; lack of remorse or guilt; shallow affect (i.e.,
    > coldness covered up by dramatic emotional displays that are
    > playacting); callousness and lack of empathy; and the failure to
    > accept responsibility for one’s own actions. Sound like anyone you
    > know? (Corporate psychopaths score only low to moderate on Factor
    > which pinpoints “chronically unstable, antisocial, and socially
    > deviant lifestyle,” the hallmarks of people who wind up in jail
    > rougher crimes than creative accounting.)
    > This view is supported by research by psychologists Belinda Board
    > and Katarina Fritzon at the University of Surrey, who interviewed
    > and gave personality tests to 39 high-level British executives and
    > compared their profiles with those of criminals and psychiatric
    > patients. The executives were even more likely to be superficially
    > charming, egocentric, insincere, and manipulative, and just as
    > likely to be grandiose, exploitative, and lacking in empathy.
    > and Fritzon concluded that the businesspeople they studied might
    > called “successful psychopaths.” In contrast, the criminals —
    > the “unsuccessful psychopaths” — were more impulsive and
    > aggressive.
    > Most criminals — whether psychopathic or not — are shaped by
    > poverty and often childhood abuse as well. In contrast, corporate
    > psychopaths typically grew up in stable, loving families that were
    > middle class or affluent. But because they’re pathological liars,
    > they tell romanticized tales of rising from tough, impoverished
    > backgrounds. Dunlap pretended that he grew up as the son of a laid-
    > off dockworker; in truth, his father worked steadily and raised
    > family in suburban comfort. The corporate psychopaths whom Babiak
    > studied all went to college, and a couple even had PhDs. Their
    > ruthless pursuit of self-interest was more easily accomplished in
    > the white-collar realm, which their backgrounds had groomed them
    > for, rather than the criminal one, which comes with much lousier
    > odds.
    > Psychopaths succeed in conventional society in large measure
    > few of us grasp that they are fundamentally different from
    > ourselves. We assume that they, too, care about other people’s
    > feelings. This makes it easier for them to “play” us. Although
    > lack empathy, they develop an actor’s expertise in evoking ours.
    > While they don’t care about us, “they have an element of emotional
    > intelligence, of being able to see our emotions very clearly and
    > manipulate them,” says Michael Maccoby, a psychotherapist who has
    > consulted for major corporations.

  226. Clotpoll says:

    Hunter (86)-

    IndyMac REO’s? I thought Sheila Bair was doing principal cramdowns en masse for their underwater borrowers.

  227. still_looking says:

    chi 231

    Oh.. I see you’ve met my sister…


  228. still_looking says:

    I’m happy to report, “Boston Tea Party-like” Protests are starting to pop up in various places… :)

    There’s a Facebook page here for the DC Tea Party. I hear that PJTV will also be stepping up to the plate.


  229. still_looking says:

    re 234:

    the link


    We’re getting a group of activists from around the country to participate in a big event, that, while we have to skimp on the details for now, will resemble the classic tax revolt that jumpstarted the American revolution.

    This isn’t a conservative or liberal thing. This is about government forking over billions of dollars to businesses that should have failed. This is about taking money from responsible people and handing it over to CEOs who squandered their own.

    Contact Info
    Washington, DC


  230. Clotpoll says:

    BC (177)-

    The real tragedy is that still not enough people have realized they’re transfusing cadavers.

  231. kettle1 says:


    i wasnt thinking about that one article.

    My wife has numerous published research papers by professionals in her field that discuss this topic. I cant link to any because i have only seen the print version. take it for what you will

  232. Clotpoll says:

    BC (183)-

    I’m with you. Let the crooks run free. Hell, give ’em even more power. Investing counter to their moves is the best play I’ve ever seen in my life.

    And I’m 49 and have been playing the markets since I was 19.

  233. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (190)-

    What makes you think they will hit guts when they plunge knives into their bellies?

  234. Clotpoll says:

    HE (225)-

    Santelli is the only thing that keeps me from not watching Bloomberg the entire day.

    That, and Becky is a dead ringer for my college GF.

  235. lisoosh says:

    Clotpoll says:
    February 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    “BC (177)-

    The real tragedy is that still not enough people have realized they’re transfusing cadavers.”

    Just had my husband come in and insist that we had to buy financials because his “rich friends” told him to. Probably the same friends that told him he was stupid for not buying tech stocks in Jan ’01 ( I wouldn’t let him) or a house in ’05/’06 (again, I wouldn’t let him).
    It’s tough to be a contrarian.

  236. Barbara says:

    Finally, an excuse to wear my white stockings, satin whaleboned gown, pointy aqua satin kitten heels and powdered wig.

  237. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    More like the three stooges BC

  238. Sean says:

    Been wondering what the Chinese will be doing with their reserves? Wonder no longer.

    First it was Russian oil now it’s Brazil.


    Petrobras Gets $10 Billion China Loan, Sinopec Deal (Update1)
    Email | Print | A A A

    By Iuri Dantas and Jeb Blount

    Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) — Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, agreed to a $10 billion loan from the China Development Bank and to supply oil to the Asian nation.

    “There are two important commercial agreements and a finance accord that demonstrates new possibilities for raising money,” Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli told reporters after a signing ceremony in Brasilia today.

    Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based firm is known, also agreed to sell as much as 100,000 barrels of oil this year to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.’s Sinopec unit, Gabrielli said.

    The loan will be used for general corporate purposes and to help Petrobras pay for a $174.4 billion, five-year investment plan, Gabrielli said, without giving details of the loan’s cost. The final terms of the loan will be worked out between now and May, when Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva travels to China on a state visit, a spokeswoman for Gabrielli said. The spokeswoman asked not to be named, citing company rules.

    Petrobras has been talking with China about the loan since last year. The company has been seeking alternatives to international bank lending and bonds to finance its spending plan in the face of an international credit crunch.

  239. bi says:

    true. but right now most people and media coverage think financials, real estate and capitalism are over. less than 8 months ago, everyone think they should store 5 gallons of gasoline underneath their beds.

    >It’s tough to be a contrarian.

  240. Clotpoll says:

    bi (246)-

    You’re soon to be muzzled by this…yet, you have no earthly idea.

    Have you not noticed the PPT isn’t even rushing in on the bad days anymore? Notice that the only thing between where the S&P and Dow stand now and the 6-handles they should have are a couple of Treasury announcements about “details of the plan” to be announced later this week?

    What happens when Treasury can’t even drop hints in the press at 3:30 on a bad day (and don’t look now; we’re pretty close to that point)?

  241. Clotpoll says:

    bi (247)-

    Even for an hour.

    “It’s tough to be a contrarian.”

  242. Clotpoll says:

    I don’t think Timmay can control and focus the PPT’s efforts like Klink could.

    I’m also getting kind of a sick feeling that Klink was able to force outifits that have no business trying to put a bid under a falling market (like pension funds, etc) to do so.

  243. crossroads says:

    listening to bloomberg about an hour ago and they were killing Santelli for his “sophomoric comments”. one of the hosts were saying housing is the center of the economy and needs to be saved for us to go forward. it doesn’t seem we know how to have an economy without a bubble

  244. JBJB says:

    A decent summary of the housing credit in the pork bill. I am still not sure if the 8K credit for 2009 has an income threshold. Interesting that they added a proviison that you must own for 3 years or you have to give the credit back.


  245. Jill says:

    Grim, I wish I’d known you were in Ridgewood; I’d have sent my friend who is looking for someone to represent HER interests in the buying process to you. She is currently working with someone, but if she decides not to, I gave her your info, just in case.

  246. veto says:

    here is a relatively upbeat article on our manufacturing industry…

    Manufacturing goes high tech
    Industrial evolution
    NJ Times

    It seems like the country that used to make everything is on the brink of making nothing.

    In January, 207,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished, the largest one-month drop since October 1982. Factory activity is hovering at a 28-year low. Even before the recession, plants were hemorrhaging work to foreign competitors with cheap labor. And some companies were moving production overseas.

    But manufacturing in the United States isn’t dead, or even dying. It’s moving upscale, following the biggest profits and becoming more efficient, just like Henry Ford did when he created the assembly line to make the Model T.

    The United States by far remains the world’s leading manufacturer by value of goods produced.

    So what’s made in the USA these days?

    The United States sold more than $200 billion worth of aircraft, missiles and space-related equipment in 2007. And $80 billion worth of autos and auto parts. Deere & Co., best known for its bright green tractors, sold $16.5 billion worth of farming equipment last year, much of it to the rest of the world. Then there’s energy products like gas turbines for power plants made by General Electric, computer chips from Intel and fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. Household names like GE, General Motors, IBM, Boeing and Hewlett-Packard are among the largest manufacturers by revenue.

    America makes things that other countries can’t. Today, “Made in USA” is more likely to be stamped on heavy equipment or the circuits that go inside products, instead of the TVs, toys, clothes and other items found on store shelves.

    U.S. companies have shifted toward high-end manufacturing as the production of low-value goods moves overseas. This has resulted in lower prices for shoppers and higher profits for companies.

    When demand slumps, all types of manufacturing jobs are lost. Some higher-end jobs — but not all — return with good times. Workers who make goods more cheaply produced overseas suffer.

    Once this recession runs its course, surviving manufacturers will emerge more efficient and profitable, economists say. More valuable products will be made using fewer people. Products will be made where labor and other costs are cheaper. And manufacturers will focus on the most lucrative products.


  247. Cindy says:

    My two cents…

    Obama should explain everything himself.(But that can’t work for long.)

    Geithner has zip credibility and Gibbs comes off as an @ss.

    It’s going to be a limbo game next week “How low can you go” if these two open their mouths.

  248. kettle1 says:


    Finally, an excuse to wear my white stockings, satin whaleboned gown, pointy aqua satin kitten heels and powdered wig.

    i believe that the dress code at clots business establishment includes such and outfit. That or latex….

    give him a call i believe he may have a few positions open

  249. 3b says:

    #254 veto: The problem with the items we still make, is ,most of the world will not need them for quite some time.

  250. maplewoodian says:

    222 crossroads
    “I used the example that I may have a $50k credit card line but I don’t have $50k credit card debt. Just because the bank is willing to lend you a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to take it. Basic math skills are very useful here.”

    Oh you would if you were not finance savvy, believe house will appreciate, and banks were more willing to lend with no docs.

    Don’t you understand that this is the result of the fiscal policy of the last decade or so? It’s not the number of fools in the general us population, it’s the number of fools+crooks in gov and fed that increased.

  251. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (255)-

    I was thinking the same thing earlier this week.

    However, O is the CEO, not the sales force. At some point, his stature and credibility is damaged by having to personally sell every single detail of every plan.

    I want a President, not a game show host.

    The one thing O’s got going for him is that he at least acts presidential. If that goes, he’s got nothing left.

  252. Essex says:

    No…no….no….the pain here is the perfect storm….no credit lines to get people through hard times….homes that are not able to be used like ATMs anymore….and vanishing jobs with no hope of a good replacement on the horizon.

  253. kettle1 says:

    Fed Assets Rise to $1.92 Trillion After Mortgage Bond Purchases

    The Federal Reserve’s loans, securities and other assets expanded by 3.9 percent to $1.92 trillion over the past week as the central bank completed some of its planned $500 billion in purchases of mortgage bonds. The Fed added $57.9 billion of mortgage-backed securities to its balance sheet for a total of $65.3 billion, the Fed said today in a weekly release. The total value of assets on the Fed’s consolidated balance sheet rose by $72.2 billion from Feb. 11 until Feb. 18. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and fellow policy makers have indicated they’re ready to build on the $1 trillion increase in the central bank’s total assets over the past year to revive the economy and stem the risk of deflation. In December, the Fed switched to using emergency credit programs as the primary tool of monetary policy rather than changes in the main interest rate.


  254. kettle1 says:

    GM’s Opel Unit May Be Next ‘Domino’ After Saab

    General Motors Corp.’s decision to push its Saab unit into bankruptcy protection puts pressure on Germany, the U.K. and Spain to come up with funding that the U.S. company says is needed to save the rest of its European business. Saab filed for creditor protection yesterday after GM said it would cut ties with the Swedish carmaker following two decades of losses. Hours later, Opel supervisory-board member Armin Schild said the Ruesselsheim, Germany-based unit needs a rescue package that may exceed 3.3 billion euros ($4.23 billion). “The Saab filing creates fear of a domino effect,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of automotive research at the University of Duisburg-Essen. “It increases pressure on Opel because GM has shown it cannot absorb its units’ debts.”


  255. Essex says:

    The big losers in all of this will be the banks….they shot themselves in the face….full on head shot…much worse than anyone predicted…and that class of American worker and the people who trusted them with their assets….are screwed blued and tattooed.

  256. Cindy says:

    (259) Clot – I agree – wholeheartedly…

    So do you toss these guys out, right off the bat?

  257. kettle1 says:

    maplewood 258

    its both. all of these supposedly competent adults saw no problem with be leveraged to the hilt???? the averge joe is an idiot. I do blame the government for that….. but the fact remains that the government is onyl capable of what the population allows it to do. If the us public had any brains at this point they would be out ripping up cobble stones and smashing the town up until they got the authorities attention like they have been doing in Riga.

    then again the latest riot in Riga started when social security was cut. i expect to see things flair up when SS starts to take a hit here

  258. Barbara says:

    please. fiscally savvy? I’m not yet I was able to turn down hundreds of CC offers over the last 7 years, no problem. Its basic math skills and a general lack of vanity and entitlement, in other words, character, that allowed me to easily dismiss the temptation.
    Nothing like hard times to develop character.
    Bring it on.

  259. kettle1 says:


    the onyl way i would have any respect for Obama was if he immediately fired each and everyone one of them and started fresh…..

    until he demonstrates that he is willing to rule his flunkies with an iron fist he is more their puppet then they are his

  260. Essex says:

    Kettle….don’t be condescending…I could sit here and laugh at 99% of the population not bringing in a household income over $200k (what I believe to be the requirement for living here) — empathy…..my friend….When the chips are down, these ‘civilized’ people will eat each other.

  261. Barbara says:

    “predatory lending”
    please shut up

  262. Essex says:

    Barbara…..stupid? Predatory lending….very real…very serious….has cost the banks billions….their mistake…My guess is that they would not choose that business model again.

  263. Barbara says:

    hey America,
    your sons are morons and your daughters are insipid whores. You have a shopping addiction, food addiction, porn addiction and are generally overly dependent and needy. Your head is as mushy as the 60 pounds of pizza dough on your ass. You are a sorry excuse to the generations that came before you. And most of all, your lack of shame is your most shameful attribute.

    *slams mic on floor, exists*

  264. Essex says:

    Robert Rubin, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former secretary of the treasury, and the former power behind the throne at Citigroup, told an enthralled audience at the 92nd Street Y a few weeks back that there was a confluence of the most extraordinary events that caused the problems, from high oil prices to high housing prices to unscrupulous mortgage lenders and less than vigilant rating agencies.

    “You put that all together and then add one more item to that—which is global interconnectivity, that it is to say all of this very quickly spread around the world, so the problems developed here, they broke and they occurred elsewhere—all of that started to have more effect on the real economy, and it all came together in what some people have referred to as a perfect storm,” said Rubin. “And maybe the term is trite, but I think the idea, which is that a kind of a coming together that was a low probability event that then gave rise to a set of conditions as the most extreme since the 1930s is I think sort of what happened. Not sort of—that is what happened.”

  265. Barbara says:

    Predatory lending is just another form of advertising. I don’t buy sh*t off infomercials either and my kids know that a laughing leprechaun won’t pop out of a box of Lucky Charms.
    Likewise, I always knew that no exotic loan contained the kind of magic that could enable me to afford a house at 10X my income level.

  266. maplewoodian says:

    266 Barbara
    “Its basic math skills and a general lack of vanity and entitlement, in other words, character, that allowed me to easily dismiss the temptation.
    Nothing like hard times to develop character.
    Bring it on.”

    We are talking about punishment here not giving awards. And those who deserve to be punished are not the irresponsible or greedy or vain. Those who deserve to be punished is those who encouraged them, i.e. the executives starting with the highest ones Bush, Greenspan and the rest. Jail those first.

  267. schabadoo says:

    Someone on another blog noted that the decline in the market corresponded with the ascendancy of O-man in the primaries, and advanced the notion (condemned by Schabadoo as heretical)

    Since you mentioned me with this idiocy:

    The most obvious part of this stupidity is that it didn’t correspond; McCain led in the polls as late as Sept.

    I know, I know. Why bother letting facts get in the way of a good theory?

  268. Barbara says:

    its the character of a nation that got us here, not just one administration or a few CEOs.

  269. Hubba says:

    Its woody that got us here, he helped sow the exuberance and subsequent denial. I know since a realtor told me so.

  270. kettle1 says:


    i am not referring to how much education anyone has, or how much money they make. i am referring to the lack of most people to apparently think for themselves.

    Am i being condescending? probably. but the collective dumbing down of US culture is one of the prime factors that have gotten us where we are and at some point you have to a spade a spade.

    Most people are fully capable of independent rational thought if they would actually wake up and do so instead of going along with what ever the latest politico or news anchor tells them they should think.

    however until they actually wake up and think for themselves they are idiots

    Ignorance is not a defense.

  271. Essex says:

    You can’t have it both ways Babs….you can’t push a post 9/11 spending spree and then claim you really wanted austerity….you cannot bail out companies with public money and then watch them fire thousands….come now.

  272. maplewoodian says:

    265 kettle

    and I suppose that you are not the “average joe”. If the “average joe” is an idiot then he/she is not responsible. In fact the average joe was average joe at times when our economy was strong.

  273. Essex says:

    I love simplicity….I can boil just about anything down to its essence in about a sentence…

    Spending money is fun….living large is great….the media pushed it….the banks allowed it…they screwed themselves and the folks that signed along the dotted line.

    I enjoy the philosophical posturing and the anarchy that follows….but then I enjoy a little chaos.

  274. kettle1 says:

    essex 270,

    i am not sure i agree with you. if the banks could again play the great ponzi game and handout securitiezed loans left and right at the cos of bailouts and layoffs, i think they might. the executives have largely made ot like prices the entire time.

    the solution there is to remove corporate personhood so that executives are directly legally responsible for the actions of their companies.

  275. Essex says:

    and YES….having money beats the crap out of Not Having Money…..cash or credit…it all works for me.

  276. maplewoodian says:

    267 kettle

    “the onyl way i would have any respect for Obama was if he immediately fired each and everyone one of them and started fresh”

    I totally agree. I start to like you kettle. Unfortunately at the moment O recycles the same gang.

    Also O he should press charges to those who are responsible.

  277. Barbara says:

    Essex, who is this “you” you keep referring to in your post to me?

  278. kettle1 says:


    i use the term average joe very loosely. i know several executives and BSD CFO/CEO types. i would put many of them is the idiot average joe category.

    In fact i know 2 who have been nearly wiped out becuase of said stupidity.

  279. crossroads says:

    273 maplewoodian

    “We are talking about punishment here not giving awards. And those who deserve to be punished are not the irresponsible or greedy or vain. Those who deserve to be punished is those who encouraged them, i.e. the executives starting with the highest ones Bush, Greenspan and the rest. Jail those first.”

    to just go after the executives bush greenspan… is only solving 1/2 the problem. Leaving out personal responsibility is letting people off the hook. would you buy a car you can’t afford? of course the lender shouln’t lend you the money but a person has a duty to check themselves if he/she can afford something car, house… especially a house its the biggest investment in our lives. most of us anyway. it would be your responsibility to yourself and your family to make sure you can afford it

  280. kettle1 says:

    maplewood 283.

    i agree. i here there is about to be some free space at GITMO and dont forget that waterboarding is NOT torture per the US state department. So lets get some answers!

  281. comrade nom deplume says:

    [158] yikes

    Last year, you could get “recreational” land for closer to 2K an acre. Now you can’t touch that. Land prices are averaging 7,000 to 8,500 per acre where I am looking. That is up dramatically, suggesting to me that a lot of Nompounds are being created.

    Either that or dumb goobers are trying to cash in on growing corn for ethanol or on Marcellus Shale leases, neither of which are gonna happen in Wayne or Monroe counties.

    [198] Twice,

    Yes, I know that. There won’t be carryforward for more than a few years at most as my losses, while grievious to me, are not that huge. But some folks will have that kind of carryforward. So, if you are holding Citi right now, do you sell it for the huge loss carryforward, or do you hold and hope for some uptick? Since Citi is so low, the additional loss you incur if it collapses (if?) in 2010 is more than offset by the additional tax you avoid going forward (maybe, maybe not but I don’t have time to crunch numbers).

    Further, in the coming years, if you have modest gains, you can transfer appreciated stock to your kids’ UMTAs and avoid cap gains taxes altogether, thus exempting about 1,800 per kid from income taxes (and get the UMTA money back by having Junior fund his own day care). This extends your carryforward.

    It isn’t much per person, but it adds up, and the irony is that the O-man will not benefit as much from his tax hikes as he thinks he will since no one will have net capital gains for years.

  282. Essex says:

    You can view the You two ways…the royal you or the individual….I could care less…I wouldn’t cross the street to piss on you if you were on fire.

  283. Barbara says:

    sucks to have to bitch here than buy sh*t at the Shorthills Mall on a lazy Sunday, eh?
    I don’t feel your pain.

  284. Essex says:

    Not sure whatcha mean…..when I shop…I shop online….I hate finding parking in a mall on the weekend….and yes….Nordstroms has the same crap online.

  285. maplewoodian says:

    286 crossroads
    certainly but don’t worry, it won’t be easy for them, the housing bailout is crumbs. Some bought in the bubble but can afford their mortgage payments. Those will get a good lesson too. Everyone is “being educated” right now.

  286. Essex says:

    Anyway…babs…..your misplaced sense of self righteousness will not help you….once the shit really hits the fan.

  287. Barbara says:

    its pathetic when simple personal responsibility get interpreted as self righteousness. Truly pathetic.

  288. sas says:

    Bush = Obmama = puppet.
    joe 6 pack sucks his thumbs
    Predatory lending is real
    media is controlled, turn it off.


  289. comrade nom deplume says:

    [274] schab,

    If you want to refute, try backing up your assertions. Wanna impress me? Here’s a simple solution: overlay a poll chart onto a Dow chart.

    As I said, it really wouldn’t prove much, just more grist for the argument mill, but you seem to think that I am the only one advancing this theory as a partial explanation for some of the selling that happened over the past year.

    And the name-calling is childish. If you are gonna call me (and the others who think this) out, and if you are half the intellectual you so obviously think you are, please enlighten us with your scintillating analysis. Shouldn’t be hard for someone as erudite as yourself, right?

  290. crossroads says:

    “We are talking about punishment here not giving awards.”
    maybe if they gave awards out for being responsible we wouldn’t be in this mess. I personally thought I would be rewarded when prices came crashing down. I certainly didn’t expect to see govt. bailingout irresponsible buyers. far from free markets.

  291. yikes says:

    we were invited to the wedding of a good friend in egypt.


    reading stuff like this, we’ll pass.

  292. sas says:

    “This financial crisis is now truly global
    The financial crisis has moved from Wall Street to all streets”

  293. maplewoodian says:

    297 crossroads
    “maybe if they gave awards out for being responsible we wouldn’t be in this mess. I personally thought I would be rewarded when prices came crashing down.”

    such awards are given usually by god, not O, after death. Knock on wood!

  294. Barbara says:


    actually, they gave them out in the 90s with 20% down and full doc. The reward was a house within your means. Jeez, now fair and responsible finance has taken on a supernatural bent here on NJRR.

  295. chicagofinance says:

    I found some footage of ket as a teenager with his special “experiments”….


  296. Barbara says:

    299. Yikes
    I would have second thoughts too but it could be a once in a lifetime chance. Plus its nice to be hosted by people who actually live in the country you are visiting, how often do you get that perk?

  297. maplewoodian says:

    301 Barbara

    this is rational not responsible

  298. sas says:

    hey blokes,

    Just watched I.O.U.S.A.

    my personal take, this movie has a whiff of propaganda involvement.

    i think I will have to watch it again.


  299. sas says:


    have a read.

    “Looting Social Security”


  300. Barbara says:

    I haven’t seen it yet. Whose propaganda and is this on DVD?

  301. Barbara says:

    is this the start of the insanity defense?

  302. Clotpoll says:

    sas (305)-

    Just remember: Buffett has sold massive puts underneath four giant indices.

    Methinks he says many things, yet is now doing others.

    I heard an interesting theory this week, that basically stated that one of the mega-billionaires still active in the stock game (i.e., Buffett, Soros) have so much more relative clout and skin in the game now that others have exited, that it’s possible one of them will get wiped out.

  303. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (308)-

    Nobody in this mess needs to prove insanity. It’s self-evident.

  304. sas says:

    someone gave me a DVD cut, i think its out on DVD? not sure.


    like I said, i have to watch it again to see if its a propaganda piece or perhaps it’s just not telling the “whole story”, hence just a poorly made film.

    but this film has connections fromn people out of PBS. PBS is known for propaganda & controlled spin.

    i can break down my points to as why i have a problem with the film, but before I open the my yap, i need to do a rewind and watch again.


  305. sas says:

    “is this the start of the insanity defense?”

    hugh? i don’t understand.


  306. Essex says:

    You either play the game or you do not….either way….you must know that it is rigged. Seeing through the game and winning the game are two very different things…

  307. sas says:

    “have so much more relative clout and skin in the game now that others have exited, that it’s possible one of them will get wiped out”

    I suspect you will see a false flag operation before that happens.

    hint hint.. cat bonds, insurance scams, white elephants, and shorting one location & long another location.
    (god damn, that was really big hint..hint)


  308. Clotpoll says:

    sas (314)-

    Tee hee.

    “…shorting one location & long another location.”

    The ultimate paired trade.

  309. maplewoodian says:

    308 Barbara

    Those who act responsible should get nothing. Those who act irresponsible should be punished. Those who act responsible and expect awards, and the self-proclaimed responsible should be punished too.

  310. kettle1 says:


    sweet, i was wondering what happened to those!!!

  311. twice shy says:

    Nom [288],

    Cool. I figured you did know about the limit on capital losses. Just wanted to clarify in case a casual reader decided to dump a lot of stock tomorrow. Nothing wrong with the strategy you lay out, and yes, both the federal and state governments will have to survive on lower net capital gains for some time. Maybe they’ll find a more lucrative revenue source. Actually, I don’t think an official change in capital gains tax rates has been announced yet, but maybe I missed it. I do know the President is considering 20% or more, but don’t think that is yet finalized. I’ll expect we’ll know before too long.

    Back to lurking . . .

  312. sas says:

    “The ultimate paired trade”

    now you are thinking.

    and some people/agencies are masters at it. they set up the pieces and then watch them fall, and they make money on both.

    another big hint: TIA Cref


  313. Essex says:

    the big take a way from IOUSA was that the government will be completely insolvent before they realize they really only need to be in a couple of businesses…..regulation where needed….and the handling of national defense…the various wars on drugs….the welfare state….will break the country….already has most likely.

  314. kettle1 says:


    from your link

    “During the coming decade, however, the system will need to start drawing on its reserve surpluses to pay for benefits as boomers retire in greater numbers. ”

    what surpluses?? we are so deep in debt its funny. i get the idea of the article but there seem to be some weak assumptions in the tone.

    The SS program has never been designed for an upside down population as far as i know (i.e. more old then young people). that is going to be one heck of a speed bump to deal with.

    one example of a comment that is i think is very muc spun in your article

    “His(peterson) most blatant distortion is lumping Social Security, which is self-funded and sound, with other entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid. “

  315. sas says:

    “the big take a way from IOUSA”

    i think in that movie the “big take away” was a “steer you away” from something else.


  316. Clotpoll says:

    woody (316)-

    As horrible as many people’s decisions were during the bubble, most financial mistakes are practical mistakes, not moral/ethical failings. When financial failings were considered to be deep character flaws, we had debtors’ prisons. How well did that concept work out?

    Mr. Market is best for dealing out justice to those who make these practical errors, but we seem to have unfortunately gagged & tied up Mr. Market and tossed him into a closet.

  317. sas says:

    “i get the idea of the article but there seem to be some weak assumptions in the tone”

    yes agreed, i just thought it was a better article as of late, compared to the norm.


  318. Barbara says:

    maplewoodian says:
    308 Barbara

    “Those who act responsible should get nothing. Those who act irresponsible should be punished. Those who act responsible and expect awards, and the self-proclaimed responsible should be punished too.”

    So, how upsidedown on that house are you anyway?

  319. JBJB says:

    Just came from an open house. The place is exactly what we are looking for, in exact spot we want. The seller paid 600K in 2005, has an asking of 585K. The realtor begged us to make an offer, I told her that if I did, it would below 500K, figuring 15-20% of peak. She told me not to waste my time. Actually told me “this neighborhood is different”. Classic.

  320. Essex says:

    325….See? Self righteous….smug….can’t really define it better than that….FYI…some people are fine in this mess….AND they own nice houses….

  321. Barbara says:

    they own nothing. You just don’t get it.

  322. Essex says:

    I get it….ownership is an illusion dear…you are only here for a short while….you ‘own’ nothing….it is all vapor…..(Cue spooky music)….once you realize this … you are ahead of the game.

  323. Barbara says:

    back to the supernatural. Whatever gets you through I suppose.

  324. Essex says:

    I love my life…for the record…it is damn expensive…full of love and good friends….and consists of a fine German car….a gorgeous blond who tolerates me…and a little girl who worships me…but tells me where to go sometimes….PURE BLISS….and — fwiw — I am on plan ‘B’….I watched my first career implode and am well into chapter two….never let them tell you there are no second acts…..

  325. maplewoodian says:

    325 Barbara

    thanks but it doesn’t look that bad. When I decide to sell I might loose but I figure that it would be enough to buy the next one. Just like the bubble. Oh the insanity!

  326. Clotpoll says:

    JBJB (326)-

    Don’t be deterred. Find somebody to write your offer and throw it out there. Even if you have to let it sit for a good, long while, that seller will be coming back to you…unless they truly don’t need or want to sell.

    Hell, put some dates in your offer that trigger reductions in your bid. Let the seller see the consequences of waiting.

    If that seller has no other offers and little activity, you WILL get their attention.

    Getting a great buy doesn’t fall in anyone’s lap…in ANY market. I’m appalled at how much energy and creativity potential buyers will expend posting here, yet how little taste they have for the actual give-and-take with real sellers.

    That’s how I know 60% of the posters here will never, ever buy a house.

  327. sas says:

    “ownership is an illusion”

    you know, i think i can somewhat agree with that statement.

    property tax to me, is nothing more than rent.
    that how i feel about it anyways..


  328. sas says:

    god damn he is on a roll, i agree with this one too:

    “never let them tell you there are no second acts…”


  329. comrade nom deplume says:

    [318] twice,

    God, I hope no one is relying on me for market timing tips. That would be bad.

    The cap gain rate discussion varied during the campaign. 20 to 28% was the range I heard. Depending on which range you go with, you incentivize certain behavior. Thus, if you eradicate the difference between LT and ST rates, you kill buy and hold (as if it wasn’t already dead) and make the US equities market less attractive, so I don’t think you will see that. Further, while raising the cap gains and qual div rate (and carried interest) is the best way to get at the truly rich (and not the HENRYs), there is the aforementioned problem that this is a fairly easy tax to avoid in one respect—just don’t sell stock.

    I think we will see 20% (at most 25%) on LTCG and qual div transactions. This will be the least distortive, and it is an easy giveaway since a higher rate probably would not raise much more money.

  330. comrade nom deplume says:


    God, am mirroring Essex????

    “for the record…it is damn expensive” Ditto

    “full of love and good friends” too subjective but ditto perhaps.

    “and consists of a fine German car” German car, yes. Fine, no.

    “a gorgeous blond who tolerates me” Okay, she was blond when I met her but it wasn’t natural.

    “and a little girl who worships me…but tells me where to go sometimes” Big Ditto here.

    “and — fwiw — I am on plan ‘B’….I watched my first career implode and am well into chapter two…. never let them tell you there are no second acts” Ditto again.

    Too weird.

  331. sas says:

    i would love to be one of those pirates off Somalia, that would be a great gig.


  332. sas says:

    i got to ride shotgun in a military submarine once, that was very cool.


  333. Barbara says:

    having been through it 5 different times (buying) I think that more people would buy if there was more transparency in the process. I respect you for your honesty and being a true buyers agent but aside from my Dad (retired) you are the only I’ve ever came in contact with, you and grim. If some of us seem sluggish, its not a lack of will its a lack of trust and an unwillingness to waste more time until a market correction shows itself more broadly in asking prices.

  334. Clotpoll says:

    I like sas’ stories more than talking about housing.

    This thing has been off the tracks so far for so long, it doesn’t even interest me anymore.

    The gubmint has killed what little market is left by constantly floating trial balloons and empty promises.

    Glad I’m taking the soccer team back outdoors next week. Something to do other than talk to idiot buyers and sellers.

  335. schabadoo says:

    comrade: you seem to think that I am the only one advancing this theory

    No need to make things up.

    You, Rush, Sean, etc…many people love this idea. It just feels right.

    The original freeper theory was that the polls were wrong, that it was a deadheat down to the wire. Now? O was destined to win from the moment of his nomination.

  336. Clotpoll says:

    barb (340)-

    That’s a complete cop-out. There’s plenty of transparency in the process right now. Even if you have a bad guy in the middle of the deal, all the information you need is available.

    And if you continually have bad guys getting into the middle of your potential deals, it’s your fault. Learn how to interview. Agents are people YOU hire, to do a job FOR YOU.

    Sorry if I’m coming off as harsh. My fcuking DVR crashed and lost my AC Milan game from earlier.

  337. sas says:


    “Glad I’m taking the soccer team back outdoors next week. Something to do other than talk to idiot buyers and sellers”

    instead, you will talk to idiot parents.

    ha ha bloke!

  338. JBJB says:


    We may very well make an offer. I have to bring my better half for a look. I do like the idea of reducing the offer periodically the longer it sits. Hadn’t thought of that one. It’s still very tough for me to get over the NJ and fed tax hump. It seems both NJ and The One are set to declare war on the productive.

  339. 3b says:

    #294 Barbara: Ironically he is so guilty of that.

  340. comrade nom deplume says:

    [342] schab,

    “You, Rush, Sean, etc…many people love this idea. It just feels right.”

    Sure it feels right. If you believe that folks are tax adverse, then they will gladly take gains in Y1 at 15% than in Y2 at 28%, then I go with my gut on that one. In fact, I haven’t found a lot of debate about that premise (and, to your credit, you have not yet said categorically that investors are not tax adverse). Nor have I said, ever, that it accounted for much of the market blow-off, or even a sizeable percentage. It can’t because not all investors were similarly affected.

    That said, I do think that, all things being equal, had there not been bad econ. news, that some sell-off would have occurred once the O-man appeared to be the One. It’s profit taking, only in this case, part of the profit was avoiding future taxes.

    And there are faces behind this theory: I, for one, took profits, notably in one highly appreciated stock that I held forever so as to pay the tax on it in 2008, rather than risk paying twice as much in 2009. As it turns out, the market blow off made that an especially fortuitous call since I never thought it would decline to my original basis (it did). But my point is that I made a deliberate (and presumably rational) decision to take profits in 2008 at a lower rate, and I can only presume that a number of other investors, who wanted to beat everyone else to the exits, planned to do the same thing. In fact, I think that the downturn in the 3rd quarter may have been fueled by some who said “well, I plan to sell in 08 anyway, so . . . ”

    You also seem to want to imbue this thinking with ideology, but ideology isn’t always there. I don’t make market decisions based on ideology’ I make decisions based on where I think the market is going to head, and quite a lot of folks thought that the O-man was going to raise taxes on investors, and that the market would blow off (though not 40 F’ing percent). If I thought the O-man would be good for stocks, I would be in more. I don’t so I’m not. Does the fact that I don’t invest in equities because he is President make me an ideologue? I submit that to suggest that I possess idelogically-based investment philosophy would be a rhetorical fallacy of stunning magnitude.

  341. Cindy says:


    Most of you have probably already seen this – Shift happens…

  342. still_looking says:


    gawd I hope the link works!

    Just some e-cards to cheer everyone up… :)


  343. yikes says:

    grim says:
    February 21, 2009 at 8:49 am

    what if you know what they paid? would there be a difference in the way you approach a 2004 and 1980 seller in low balling?

    They paid $312,500 in 1988, near the peak of the last bubble.

    If you adjust the purchase price for inflation (CPI-U), the inflation adjusted price of the property is $558,000.

    grim, is there a formula to help neophytes calculate this?

    trying to figure the inflation-adjusted price on a place that was bought for 266k in 94

  344. BC Bob says:

    “and the self-proclaimed responsible should be punished too.”


    Haven’t caught this whole discussion, just logged on. Can you please clarify this?

  345. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “The SS program has never been designed for an upside down population as far as i know (i.e. more old then young people). that is going to be one heck of a speed bump to deal with.”

    Kettle SS is a government sponsored Ponzi scheme plain and simple.

  346. BC Bob says:

    “Kettle SS is a government sponsored Ponzi scheme plain and simple.’

    he [352],

    Madoff can’t hold a candle to this ponzi scheme.

  347. kettle1 says:

    BC, HEHE

    i am well aware of that…..

    we are currently in the middle of the inversion of the triangle, where there are more receiving then giving. SS in its current form only works on the assumption that you have constant population growth.

  348. Steve says:

    Bingo. Mr Market will force their hands. I don’t understand why 95% of the investing public listen to the pundits and tune out Mr Market. Big mistake.

    BC (228),

    Right. The irony, IMHO, of a career on wall st, you learn your colleagues- ones who endlessly pontificate on CNBC, run money for massive institutions, et al- generally don’t know sh*t. GS, MS, C, MER blah blah; i-bankers, ivy league degrees and trust funds; MDs or Associates, they’re just people. Some with a silver spoon, few who’ve had to live or die by their wits alone.

    Once folks learn to stop putting anyone on a pedestal, use their own brain, and come to one’s own conclusions, the world looks quite different. Case in point, this little community we have here.

    Most people, however, are just plain lazy- and would to be told what to do, how to think.

    In “normal” times, most can get by – even prosper – without really challenging conventional wisdom or themselves. However, when you hit a period of massive dislocation, a game-changer like we’re beginning to witness, the price of blissful ignorance becomes perilous. Yet, the opportunities we will see are equally as great.

  349. yikes says:

    brunch with a friend sunday. against my advice (gleaned from here), they bought in brooklyn in 2007. i tried really hard to explain the situation.

    her husband works at a hedge fund (in the accounting dept) and all of a sudden lost his job two months ago. but he got lucky and by the end of the week had a new one (he saw the writing on the wall, began to line shit up).

    they have done some improvements to their 1 bedroom spot, but i felt bad when she said, “we’re thinking of selling and moving back into the city in a couple of years. for as much as we work, the commute’s just annoying.”

    reason for the move? her husband thinks brooklyn could get dangerous as this economic crisis unfolds.

  350. kettle1 says:

    wonder if they just tear down the burj dubai or leave it unfinished like north korea’s Ryugyong Hotel

    Dubai bailed out by Abu Dhabi after property bust

    The government in Dubai said Sunday that it had issued a $ 20 billion (almost 140 billion Norwegian kroner) bond.

    The central bank in the United Arab Emirates has said that it is going to sign up for $10 billion of the loan, according to Reuters news agency.

    Fear in the market

    As a result of falling oil prices and the global financial crisis a considerable fear has developed that Dubai, which has led a very expansive building policy in recent years, would have problems servicing its debt.

    The bond “will ensure adequate funding so that Dubai will be able to meet its financial obligations and continue its development program,” according to a message from the authorities in Dubai.

    They say also that the loan will help to solve the liquidity problems the authorities in Dubai have.

    The loan will have terms of five years and has an interest rate of four percent.

    Priced like Iceland

    The fear that Dubai would breach its debt obligations has been so profound that the cost to insure themselves against default has been at the same level as what it costs to insure against Iceland in default of loans.


  351. Clotpoll says:

    JBJB (345)-

    “It seems both NJ and The One are set to declare war on the productive.”

    Those- to me- are indeed excellent reasons to worry about buying a house.

    However, if I might engage in a bit of crystal-ball thinking, Chris Christie stands an excellent chance of winning the guvnor seat here…and- like him or not- things WILL change.

  352. Clotpoll says:

    sas (344)-

    Nah. I’m the luckiest guy in the world; my group of parents are terrific.

    Some of my players, though, can throw off a sulk that would make Maradona look like a piker.

  353. maplewoodian says:

    351 Bob

    forget it- sarcasm-waste of time

  354. Pain Participant says:

    A little off-topic, but my anger over the bailouts (particularly the recent friskie-eater bailout) and some state’s refusal to ship citizen’s tax refunds has led me to an idea:

    On April 1, everyone still working cranks their W4 to 20, thereby minimizing witholdings and significantly cutting cash flow to the Feds, States & Cities for the rest of the year.

    Such an orchestrated move would send a signal to Washington without significant legal risk to the individuals involved.

    In fact, provided the individuals pay estimated taxes, there is no risk.

    To show we’re still good citizens, we endorse payments of our estimated taxes in accordance with the schedule set by Timmy Geitner – ie, min 7 years for intial payment, dependent on when we get caught.

    US Taxpayers: to big to fail!

    Its time for the responsible, live-within-their-means people to DO something to stop the destruction of our currency. This may be a first step.

  355. maplewoodian says:

    358 Clotpoll

    that’s what worries me the most. If not for the NJ taxes, housing market would be easier to decipher.

    Why do they depend on property tax? Why don’t they tax income? Is it NJ supposed to be a high income tax haven? Why do they makes nj homeowners fell like renters? I guess the answer is I am too naive to answer.

  356. lisoosh says:

    yikes – Egypt is really cool. Great place to visit. You should go, you’ll be fine. Just remember that news is sensationalist, that it is a big country and the vast majority of it is quiet.

  357. JBJB says:

    “Chris Christie stands an excellent chance of winning the guvnor seat here”

    from your mouth to God’s ears. I hope so, this would make me feel a little better about buying in NJ. I’ll believe it when I see it though.

  358. schabadoo says:

    I don’t make market decisions based on ideology

    Your theory was the decline in the market corresponded with the ascendancy of O-man in the primaries.

    To test this simple theory, check the times that McCain led. The market should’ve shot up, no? I’ll guess there’s a logical explanation for why it didn’t.

    I much more enjoy the theory of global warming reducing the number of pirates. It’s causation seems more concrete.

  359. kettle1 says:


    strippers and beer for all. now thats a bailout package i can get behind

  360. Clotpoll says:

    PP (361)-

    I like the way you think.

  361. yikes says:


    quite a nice 5-year run for Gold, huh?

    wish i could say the same for the DOW


  362. yikes says:

    grim 368 in mod

    (2 links)

  363. kettle1 says:

    Obama Plans to Reduce Budget Deficit to $533 Billion by 2013

    President Barack Obama plans to cut the U.S. budget deficit to $533 billion by the end of his first term by increasing taxes on the wealthy and cutting spending for the war in Iraq, according to an administration official. Obama wants to reduce the deficit because he’s concerned that over time, federal borrowing will make it harder for the U.S. economy to grow and create jobs, said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The deficit Obama inherited on taking office last month was $1.3 trillion. The administration next week is to release an overview of its budget proposal for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. “Next week sets the table for the year,” and the president’s four-year term, Kenneth Baer, spokesman for the White House budget office, said yesterday, referring to the budget plan that will be released on Feb. 26.


  364. kettle1 says:

    What We Don’t Know Will Hurt Us

    Andso on the 29th day of his presidency, Barack Obama signed the stimulus bill. But the earth did not move. The Dow Jones fell almost 300 points. G.M. and Chrysler together asked taxpayers for another $21.6 billion and announced another 50,000 layoffs. The latest alleged mini-Madoff, R. Allen Stanford, was accused of an $8 billion fraud with 50,000 victims. “I don’t want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems,” the president said on Tuesday at the signing ceremony in Denver. He added, hopefully: “But today does mark the beginning of the end.” Does it?

    No one knows, of course, but a bigger question may be whether we really want to know. One of the most persistent cultural tics of the early 21st century is Americans’ reluctance to absorb, let alone prepare for, bad news. We are plugged into more information sources than anyone could have imagined even 15 years ago. The cruel ambush of 9/11 supposedly “changed everything,” slapping us back to reality. Yet we are constantly shocked, shocked by the foreseeable. Obama’s toughest political problem may not be coping with the increasingly marginalized G.O.P. but with an America-in-denial that must hear warning signs repeatedly, for months and sometimes years, before believing the wolf is actually at the door.


  365. lostinny says:

    362 MW
    NJ taxes income plenty. As a matter of fact DH gets penalized for my income and I don’t live or work in NJ. But he works in NJ so they count my income in the tax rate.

  366. still_looking says:

    asia opens….7300, down over 100


  367. kettle1 says:


    nj has 58 billion in unfunded retiree healthcare liabilities, and 80 billion in unfunded pensions. Nj is on the hook for 130+ billion in unfunded liabilities!!!

    no haven here….

  368. BC Bob says:

    “Obama’s toughest political problem may not be coping with the increasingly marginalized G.O.P. but with an America-in-denial that must hear warning signs repeatedly, for months and sometimes years, before believing the wolf is actually at the door.”


    The wolf has entered the bldg, will take up residence for many years. Nothing new here, just another cycle.

  369. maplewoodian says:

    362 me and 371 lostinny

    OK since no one explained (isn’t that strange for a NJ RE site?). I had to google. According to this, NJ taxes less high income compare to other states. This study suggests to increase income tax rate to alleviate property tax.


    This is from 2003 but the situation got only worse.

  370. maplewoodian says:

    373 Kettle

    we are talking about high income (>300K). Nothing else than what our pres suggests.

  371. kettle1 says:

    Bc Bob

    2 more paragraphs from my link at 370

    you will enjoy the 1st one…

    “When we spoke last week, she talked of would-be bankers who, upon graduating, plan “to travel in Asia and teach English for a year” and then pick up where they left off. Such graduates are dreaming, Gelinas says, because the over-the-top Wall Street money culture of the credit bubble isn’t coming back for a very long time, if ever. As she observes, it took decades after the Great Depression — until the 1980s — for Wall Street to fully reclaim its old swagger. Not until then was there “a new group of people without massive psychological scarring” from the 1929 crash.”

    “In states like Nevada, Florida and Arizona, Gelinas sees “huge neighborhoods that will become ghettos” as half their populations lose or abandon their homes, with an attendant collapse of public services and social order. “It will be like after Katrina,” she says, “but it’s no longer just the Lower Ninth Ward’s problem.” Writing in the current issue of The Atlantic, the urban theorist Richard Florida suggests we could be seeing “the end of a whole way of life.” The link between the American dream and home ownership, fostered by years of bipartisan public policy, may be irreparably broken.”

  372. Clotpoll says:

    BC (374)-

    Klink crying wolf essentially blinded everyone to the actual and real drooling jackals begnning to rip at our nether regions.

  373. House Hunter says:

    Clot..on IndyMac. that is what I thought…can’t get a bit of information. They put up a reo company sign and still do not have a price on it…don’t know when they will.
    it is labeled a “rehab”

  374. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (377)-

    It’s fcuking Mad Max time.

  375. kettle1 says:

    a great start on the NIKKEI

  376. kettle1 says:


    the more this develops the more i wonder how much we have underestimated…..

  377. Clotpoll says:

    house (379)-

    Hah! That’s a good one. Try finding one lender anywhere in the US that will underwrite even the most solid of rehab loans.

    Nobody. Nada. Doesn’t exist. Not even an FHA 203k.

    Lenders are about to unleash tens of thousands of damaged properties onto the market that have no viable avenues of financing for prospective buyers.

    A cage full of monkeys can deal with REO better than banks.

  378. still_looking says:

    ket 381 7200 now down >200


  379. kettle1 says:


    the fun stage is when entire neighborhoods are rotting in place

  380. Barbara says:

    naw, the fun stage is when the sec 8 start moving into the newish McMansion developments in suburbia. Bodies will be put into these homes.

  381. kettle1 says:

    what time does the japanese ppt come to work? are they based on fiji?

  382. Barbara says:

    kettle, I remember that article from a few weeks back, awful.

  383. maplewoodian says:

    377 Kettle & 383 Clot

    Have you read Florida’s article in the Atlantic? It’s nothing but doomsaying. It actually asserts the well being of new york for years to come.


    “Amsterdam stood at the center of the world’s financial system in the 17th century; its place was taken by London in the early 19th century, then New York in the 20th. Across more than three centuries, no other city has topped the list of global financial centers. Financial capitals have “remarkable longevity,” Cassis writes, “in spite of the phases of boom and bust in the course of their existence.”

  384. sas says:

    “strippers and beer for all. now thats a bailout package i can get behind”

    count me in.
    I will buy the first round of drinks, and even throw in a lap dance for reinvestor101.


  385. House Hunter says:

    clot when they say rehab does that usually mean knock me down…listening to Mike right now..he states that the ETF’s are dangerous. for instance SPDR homebuilders. 4 of the 10 stocks listed are home builders…others are carpet co. paint co. rent a center and BBB

  386. sas says:

    My wife like that show “House”

    she thinks i look like an older looking House.

    ha ha..
    she says I even act like him too.


  387. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (386)-

    The whole thing goes parabolic when all those Section 8s start coming down with symptoms related to constant exposure to black mold.

  388. Stu says:

    “like him or not- things WILL change.”

    Heard the same thing about the messiah. Both parties are corrupt beyond belief. It makes no difference which party is in the driver’s seat in NJ.

    You can use Christine Todd as your example. And trust me, I would rather have Christie run NJ than Corzine and will vote for him for sure, but don’t for a minute think he will be much different than Corzine.

    Whitman gave us 30% off our state income taxes, and cut 30% from state support to localities. She made zero cuts except to funding of our state workers pension.

    Until a homeless despot gets elected to office, don’t look for anything to change for us low income earners (0-300K).

  389. Stu says:

    ChiFi: The DM song was actually quite good. It’s nice to see that they maintained their old sound somewhat, but the melody sounded kind of NIN-like which is not bad at all.

  390. Clotpoll says:

    Hunter (392)-

    Not all are knockdowns. “Rehab” can be as simple as some elbow grease and shoring up of basic structure and systems.

    ETFs are dangerous. That’s why I like them.

  391. House Hunter says:

    soros sees no bottom in sight


  392. kettle1 says:


    the financial centers of the world are based on growth. if growth hits the wall then finanical centers are in trouble. 1873 is a great example of that.

    if you are not aware i agree in general terms with the club of rome

  393. sas says:



    I’m meeting with someone this week whom has done some great research on the Tulip Bulb crash.

    I am not sure if you are aware of such a topic of history. But, if may peak your fancy to look into it.


  394. Clotpoll says:

    sas (393)-

    That is not a stretch to imagine…:)

  395. House Hunter says:

    thanks for the info Clot…this one is close to gut job..depends on what you get it for

  396. yikes says:

    kettle1 says:
    February 22, 2009 at 7:31 pm


    nj has 58 billion in unfunded retiree healthcare liabilities, and 80 billion in unfunded pensions. Nj is on the hook for 130+ billion in unfunded liabilities!!!

    one has to wonder why the media hasn’t hammered this point home or at least inquired about it.

    this # will only soar … maybe the media doesnt ask about it because the answers would be too real and scary

  397. kettle1 says:


    that was DM??? i thought it was NIN in drag

  398. Stu says:

    Spent Saturday skiing at the best kept secret mountain within a 3-hour drive from Montclair. The conditions were stellar and my thighs are on fire. Soon I have to leave for a dreadful 10:30pm ice hockey game at Codey arena. I always play center, but I might move back to D so I can skate less. Driving home was pure white knuckle. I saw more trees with cars wrapped around them then ever. It was a pure winter wonderland just north of the thruway tolls. My Civic worked perfectly once again. Have I told you guys how awesome she is?

    How about that Asian open? Australia down 2.5 and Japan is down 2.25. China opens in 15 minutes.

    SRS muzzle watch restarts in 13 hourse. ;)

  399. Clotpoll says:

    What is it with this Depeche Mode shit?

  400. BC Bob says:

    “Financial capitals have “remarkable longevity,” Cassis writes, “in spite of the phases of boom and bust in the course of their existence.”


    That longevity has been crushed. WS is now in a depression. Frank and Pelosi will now decide where $ gets lent. 60-70% of WS past profits, is now buried. Shadow banking, structured finances is kaput. You have now shrunk leverage to mini me proportions. On the flip side, this finacial capital now offers toasters and will be competing for your checking account business. Remarkabe longevity, no?

  401. Stu says:

    “NIN in drag” is Marilyn Manson!

  402. kettle1 says:


    New Jersey — Population: 8,724,560
    deficit: 130 billion

    130 000 000 000 / 8 724 560 = 14 900.4649 per Nj citizen

  403. BC Bob says:

    structured finance.

  404. Stu says:

    Speaking of DM, there was a DM bumper stick on the wall of the lounge in the lodge. The sticker had to be 20 years old, which tells you something of the age of the lounge.

  405. Pat says:

    “What is it with this Depeche Mode shit?”

    What is it with three periods instead of a single and a capital.

    Is a capital letter such a stretch?

    Three dots.

  406. Dink says:

    Stu, what mountain are you referring to?

  407. Stu says:

    “I don’t remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world,” Volcker said.

    Crazy to think that he is old enough to have remembered the depression.

    Did you guys know that Volcker graduated from Teaneck High School?

  408. Clotpoll says:

    BC (408)-

    If only they can resurrect one last bubble-and-mania. Try to cure the junkie with more smack.

    Then the banker/robbers get one more payday, and the rest of us eat millet cake forever.

  409. maplewoodian says:

    408 Bob

    I agree about the banking part. But, first, no one knows how banking will look like AFTER nationalization, second, investing can be healthier without limitless leverage. See things in perspective. The point of the article is that no matter the downturn or kind of economy NYC will survive.

  410. Barbara says:

    Clot, black mold lol
    its this generation’s TMJ

  411. Stu says:

    Platekill. Complete locals place with the best snow in the lower Catskills and they leave half of the mountain ungroomed like in Mad River. They also only have 2 lifts which is very Mad River like as well. They also let you ski the woods and the powder was knee deep everywhere. Best East Coast conditions I have skied in years. Wyndam and Hunter can suck it. I prefer to ski, without it feeling like the GSP during rush hour.

  412. Barbara says:

    wanted to ask, is your son in kindergarten in MC? If so, what is your general impression of the grade schools?

  413. Dink says:

    So no or minimal lines for the lifts I take it?

    I’m planning on going local next Saturday. I’ll probably give it a shot…you haven’t disappointed me with a recommendation yet.

  414. kettle1 says:


    The point of the article is that no matter the downturn or kind of economy NYC will survive.

    survive as the disney land it was recently or as gotham

  415. maplewoodian says:


    it was disneyland since the 90s. No one complained. Anyway the guise does not matter.

  416. sas says:

    “it was disneyland since the 90s. No one complained”

    i complained.
    give me gritty days of the 70s.


  417. maplewoodian says:

    “i complained.
    give me gritty days of the 70s.”

    your time has passed. go to Florida.

  418. Stu says:


    It won’t disappoint if you seek no lift lines. The lifts are slow, which is good, because it gives your legs the break they require after skiing such deep snow. Only 1100 vertical, but you have it all to yourself. The lodge is bare bones, but the lounge upstairs has decent beer. It’s the kind of place that you can stash your boot bag anywhere in the lodge and you need not worry that someone will mess with it. Let me know what you think of it. Everyone I’ve ever sent there can’t believe it is still this unknown. The lift tickets there are dirt cheap as well. Longest trail is 2 miles, but you never have to push. Their double diamonds are comparable to most other resorts single diamonds, but their bike trails are fantastic woods skiing. You will like it!

    Barb: Ryan is still very pre-K and we neither want to pay the exorbitant Montclair Pre-K tuition nor want to hire babysitters every day the township schools are closed. The pre-K is highly regarded, but those who make more than 150K (I think) pay for all of those families that live on the other side of the tracks who don’t. We also have an incredible special ed program, which attracts families with that need. Unfortunately, Montclair has three times the number of special ed students than average. This is what happens in an ultra-liberal town like Montclair.

  419. lostinny says:

    So are we getting together at DM or what?

  420. kettle1 says:


    i dont think anyone here suggested that BYC was going to die and dissapear. i think most have suggested that it will look more like the 70’s

  421. sas says:

    “your time has passed. go to Florida”

    i hate FL. Too hot for me.


  422. maplewoodian says:


    the point of the article is that nyc will still be among the top 3 cities in the world.

  423. kettle1 says:


    sounds just like newton MA

  424. kettle1 says:


    perhaps, i dont have a position on that

  425. Barbara says:

    I like the hot florida weather, hate winter but Florida is crazy people central.

  426. Sean says:

    Here we go Hillary is now adding her touch. She is now in the middle woman between China and the US.


  427. spam spam bacon spam says:

    I stayed away all day.

    After Heehee linked to Lew Rockwell, I had to go throw up.


    Why is it people (in general) would like to crucify other human beings on the same economic level as them, but “reason away” even worse actions by those who ARE THE GATEWAY TO ALL THE MONEY (the CEO and VP level players)

    You know, people made mistakes with money. Pat yourself on the back if you were “too smart” to make those mistakes. Don’t wrench a muscle though.
    Many people are not educated on money and the banksters certainly hid everything they could in microscopic print buried in a mortgage contract 20 pages long that is presented to you 2 minutes before you are asked to sign it.

    You know what? You make a TON of other mistakes your DON’T EVEN know about. You (and I) can be oh-so-smug about how you avoided “this” or “that” pitfall, and while you were backing away from that “idiotic decision”, you were so busy being smug you didn’t notice you fell right into a hole about some other scam. Ask me sometime about auto financing, leases, extended and aftermarket warranties, dealer suggested maintenance, fluid flushes, getting sold parts that don’t meet spec (but you wouldn’t know it unless you did HOURS of research) and I could show you how were a fool.

    And what about the crap I don’t know about?
    I fall in those holes. I try to avoid them, but there are CEOs and lawyers and big money guys coming up with new ways to game each thing so I can’t figure out the pitfalls unless I get a PhD in the subject.

    So, yeah, a lot of us were smart. Go us. But WHY, WHY do you take pleasure in pissing on the guy who bought a POS cape in ’06 with a “low payment” loan…you know, he just may be the guy who figures out how to wipe out Actinomyces bacteria in 1 week.

    (I’d BUY his cape for him if he did that…)

  428. NJGator says:

    371 Lost – Have no fear. NY counts Stu’s income along with mine even though he works in NJ.

  429. NJGator says:

    Barbara 420 – Were you wondering about a particular school? We have lots of friends and neighbors with kids already in the system.

    The general consensus is that if your kid is special needs or gifted and talented, the system is great. If your kid is middle of the road, he she is invisible and f*cked.

  430. lostinny says:

    438 Gator
    I didn’t know NY did that too. But if I remember what my accountant said, NY makes some kinds of allowances that NJ doesn’t so the tax isn’t as bad. Of course, this is a year ago so I’m not 100% clear on what he said.

  431. sas says:

    ok, watching the IOUSA now..
    paying more attention this go around.


  432. Barbara says:

    440. Gator, thanks for the reply. That sounds pretty lame and I can’t stand that gifted cr*p. I was hoping schools were getting away from that. Oh well, another check against an otherwise really pretty town.

  433. yikes says:

    grim 445 in mod

  434. Barbara says:

    LOL my 5 yr old is flipping out because Wall-E won

  435. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (442)-

    I’m pretty sure Timmay was “gifted” too.

    How’s that working out?

    With you on this one. We’re all idiots.

  436. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (434)-

    Once you understand most of these people have three chromosomes, it becomes easier to deal with them.

  437. Barbara says:

    434 Clotpoll
    as you would know better than anyone, those gifted programs are purely political. I’ve met some of these kids, nice kids but gifted? Not so much.

  438. Clotpoll says:

    sean (435)-

    I now have a very unsettling image seared onto my brain. Sort of a dog-and-whistle in between two very aggressive guys…if you get my drift.

    “She is now in the middle woman between China and the US.”

  439. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (447)-

    Everything else has been dumbed down; why wouldn’t the threshold for “gifted” be, too?

  440. Barbara says:

    parents of gifted children will generally not dispute school budgets. The more the merrier.

  441. bp says:

    We have just emerged from our cocoon to look at what’s for sale in North Brunswick. A number of houses that we had our eyes on have been taken off the market. They have all been rented out therefore reducing the number that is on the market. Also, this is not helping in bringing the house price to the current level.

    Have other people experienced the same?

  442. Cindy says:

    From the Atlantic story @ 390- pg.6

    How the Crash Will Reshape America

    If anything, our government should encourage renting, not buying.

    “As home ownership rates have risen, our society had become less nimble: in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Americans were nearly twice as likely to move in a given year as they are today. Last year, fewer Americans moved, as a percentage of population, than in any year since the Census Bureau started tracking address changes , in the late 1940’s. This sort of creeping rigidity in the labor market is a bad sign for the economy, particularly when businesses, industries, and regions are rising and falling quickly.

    The foreclosure crisis creates a real opportunity here. Instead of resisting foreclosures, the government should seek to facilitate them in ways that can minimize pain and disruption…”

  443. sas says:

    “gifted and talented”


    nobody actually believes such a fraud??

    if you do, your a sucker


  444. Barbara says:

    I’m right down the street and yeah, its a stand off. I’ll get back in in the summer.

  445. Essex says:

    Gifted Kids? Sure they exist. But let’s make sure the schools beat that crap out them. We are in the “everyone is great era” and “everyone gets a trophy”….and the rest of the douchebags in society all want their ranch home with central air….come on down to the real world folks. We got winners and losers here.

  446. Barbara says:

    apparently if you can Jazzersize really well at a young age, you are gifted and talented.

  447. Cindy says:

    Opps…”If anything, our government should encourage renting, not buying.”

    was a quote from the article – paragraph above…

  448. NJGator says:

    I hated the gifted and talented program when I was a kid in elementary school. Those kids got all the breaks while the rest of us sweated it out. I actually remember feeling the jealousy. Funny thing was, I was certainly qualified based on my grades and performance on the standard achievement tests. I think my parents (they are strange birds) didn’t want me in. Then again, I began to goof off in 6th grade and the extra programming would have been wasted on me I suppose.

  449. Sean says:

    re#448 Clot – You mean something like this?


  450. Essex says:

    The thing parents should realize is that if they are stupid….and they married someone stupid…and they have a child….chances are that child….might just be…..yep…you guessed it…..

    You meet a gifted kid….you will know it….unless of course…you…are….yep….stupid.

  451. Stu says:

    Damn Gator saved here name in my browser! That post, of course, was from me.

  452. Essex says:

    458….and you ended up at UF….see…there is a place for everyone.

  453. Barbara says:

    If I look back on all the crap I learned in high school….

  454. BC Bob says:

    MW [417],

    Well you have had WS firms prosper during the depression, world wars, currency crises, 20% inflation, etc.. Now Bear and Lehman are gone. In addition to that Merrill was down the same path, before the fed/treasury jammed it down Ken’s throat. Now C and BAC are nationalized, not officially, just in practice. Is this the definition of longevity? NY finance will limp along, just as a mere shell of its former self. Joined at the hip, NNJ real estate. When the smoke clears, 40-50% off peak. The best we can hope for is Japan. The worst?

    Who cares what the point of the article is? This deleveraging will take years. Much longer than most can imagine. Cycles don’t turn on a dime. This credit cycle lasted 28 years. You, or this author, really think that WS can possibly reverse this cycle in 6 months and continue down the road of prosperity? Better chance that Jimmy Hoffa will sing the national anthem at the opening of the new Giants/Jets stadium.

    The top economist of his time, Irving Fischer; “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”

    2 weeks later the market crashed and the Great D was upon us.

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

  455. Essex says:

    Hey stu…nothing a little propecia and a new woman won’t cure.

  456. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (450)-

    I got to go to my kids’ parent-teacher conferences without my (bleeding heart) wife two years ago. I told ’em my kids were as dumb as rocks, but I expected the teachers to be able to impart enough practical knowledge to them to help them avoid failing. And only I would determine what “failing” meant.

    I think one of them peed herself.

  457. Essex says:

    The best thing I learned in High School was how to drive (well)….understand my limitations on alcohol consumption….and how to ace standardized tests.

  458. Clotpoll says:

    bp (451)-

    If you want to own a house in North Brunswick, the first thing you should buy is an AK-47.

  459. Stu says:

    Barb…nice on the Kodachome lyric. I love S&G.

    Essex, you are simply a buffoon and a troublemaker.

  460. Essex says:

    Yep….and you are a cork sniffing putz….what is your point? You wanna be “internet tough”…or something?

  461. Essex says:

    I love how the truly righteous always get their asses bent out of shape when someone calls them on the crap they post.

  462. Frank says:

    U.S. Eyes Large Stake in Citi
    Taxpayers Could Own Up to 40% of Bank’s Common Stock, Diluting Value of Shares


    SRS will be in the 50s tomorrow.

  463. Essex says:

    Everyone is an expert…..everyone knows something….welcome to the internet age.

  464. Barbara says:

    Teach kept sending my K son home with stars all over his work, but when I would go over the same material with him in his homework, he didn’t have much of a grasp on the material. I send her a nice note asking her if maybe the other kids were “helping” him (he’s a bit of a manipulative charmer and gets people to do for him) and she got all defensive and assured me that all the kids were struggling with the lesson. So why the stars? Beats me. We do our best at home.

  465. Clotpoll says:

    sean (459)-

    You are a sick mf.

  466. Clotpoll says:

    sx (460)-

    Well, that explains most of the state of CA (Cindy notwithstanding).

  467. Essex says:

    Yeah clot….that Bell Shaped Curve will get you every time! The Asian and Indian kids (especially the girls) are kicking the American kids asses when it comes to being ‘gifted’…..and killing the standardized tests….it is called….Discipline….and yet there is no guarantee that they will achieve great heights of success….school is just that….school.

  468. Essex says:

    The mistake most people make is that they are dumb and they pass their stupidity directly on to their kids….yet….they somehow expect some magician or fairy to sprinkle pixie dust on them once they enter a classroom…..ain’t gonna happen….

  469. Cindy says:

    464 – BC I took something entirely different away from that article.

    Me @(452)

    We put too much energy, too many resources, unnecessary tax breaks, etc. into home ownership and it has created a “creeping rigidity” in our labor market.

    We need to be agile, nimble and creative… with talent centered in certain areas, if we are to pull ourselves out of this – which, as Americans – we have been know to do…

  470. sas says:

    BC Bob,

    that was a good post.


  471. still_looking says:

    barbara, “Florida is crazy people central.”

    SO TRUE!


  472. Essex says:

    475….I would have liked your story better if she had written DUMBASS across the top of the paper in big red letters….that is the teacher who will teach your kid something…..

  473. Cindy says:

    known already..

  474. Frank says:

    More jobs coming to America…

    Indian Outsourcing Firms Lay the Groundwork to Hire More Americans


  475. Barbara says:

    I’ve seen better trolls at Spencers gifts.

  476. Essex says:

    486….perhaps you have seen one burrowing between your sheets….not that I really care.

  477. Barbara says:

    Essex, open mic night at HA-HAs. See how it works out.

  478. Clotpoll says:

    sx (478)-

    To me, a smart kid nowdays is somebody who wants to grab his gat and start tearing this muthafcuker down.

    I earned admission into a K-12 school for “only gifted” kids in kindergarten, and by 11th grade, the same people who admitted me were telling my parents I was retarded and dangerous.

    Know what? Whatever these f-ed up education eggheads say, I friggin’ agree with them. They can tell people whatever they want to say (or the parents want to hear) about their kids.

    To these educators, I’d simply say: just be ready to deal with the consequences of your analysis. Once you’ve tracked, classified and diagnosed them, they’re your problem. Deal with it.

  479. Clotpoll says:

    Look at this Oscars shit. Who the hell cares about this garbage?

  480. Clotpoll says:

    Why am I supposed to care about Mickey Rourke? Some goof who lets people beat the crap out of him for years, then decides he doesn’t like being broke and decides to be an actor again?

    This guy looks like somebody ran him over- repeatedly- with a dump truck.

    I paid $7 to see Angel Heart. I want my money back.

    I also want my DVR to cough up today’s AC Milan game.

  481. sas says:

    IOUSA = sneaky propaganda (look into background people who did the marketing)

    and i will tell you why

    -just shows dumbass americans whom are clueless

    -no mention of energy technology suppressed & funny money monopoly with big oil and middle east,
    energy costs could be reduced compared to what they are now and our savings would be much higher.

    -no mention of costs for health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.
    and the fraud that goes on in drug pricing (FDA/Pharma marriages)

    -If government had produced proper financial statements as required by law and had also produced disclosure contiguous to Congressional districts, the housing bubble and a lot of other bubbles might never have happened.

    -currency and monetary systems is run by private bankers, with priority is their own member banks self interest. we would not have any debt.

    -no mention of media and government propaganda to influence you and lies told.

    -Trillions missing from the Pentagon and DOD…things would look very different.

    We have a system where secret sects government can steal and have Congress, the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve replace whatever they stole. The theory is that the end of the world will come unless we bail out them.

    IOUSA diverts away from real issues.

    just my thoughts

  482. still_looking says:

    well….high school. Let’s see.

    Our valedictorian was a drunk. Gave her graduations speech slurred and damn near fell off the podium.

    Class rank? Feh! Meant nothing.

    My high school was in middle suburbia. We still had plenty of teen pregnancy, drug overdoses and a few stabbings.

    I remember hating school so much that I’d have cut my arm off not to have to go back.


  483. Barbara says:

    I had such a crush on Mickey Rourke after The Pope Of Greenwich Village

  484. sas says:

    “Look at this Oscars shit. Who the hell cares about this garbage?”

    Oscars reminds me of dumb americans always laughing and giving the same reaction to some dumb bloke falling off a bike and taken it in the crotch.

    You can show that clip in a thousand different ways, but its still a hit to the crotch, and dumbass americans will laugh the same way everytime.


  485. scribe says:

    From the WSJ:

    Nouriel Roubini
    ‘Nationalize’ the Banks

    Dr. Doom says a takeover and resale is the market-friendly solution.

    Mr. Roubini tells me that bank nationalization “is something the partisans would have regarded as anathema a few weeks ago. But when I and others put it in the context of the Swedish approach [of the 1990s] — i.e. you take banks over, you clean them up, and you sell them in rapid order to the private sector — it’s clear that it’s temporary. No one’s in favor of a permanent government takeover of the financial system.”

    There’s another reason why the concept should appeal to (fiscal) conservatives, he explains. “The idea that government will fork out trillions of dollars to try to rescue financial institutions, and throw more money after bad dollars, is not appealing because then the fiscal cost is much larger. So rather than being seen as something Bolshevik, nationalization is seen as pragmatic. Paradoxically, the proposal is more market-friendly than the alternative of zombie banks.”

    In any case, Republicans must now temper their reactions, he says. “The kind of government interference in the economy that we saw in the last year of Bush was unprecedented. The central bank — supposed to be the lender of the last resort — became the lender of first and only resort! With our recapitalizing of financial institutions, and massive government intervention in the markets, we’ve already crossed a significant bridge.”

    So, will the highest level of government be receptive to the bank-nationalization idea? “I think it will,” Mr. Roubini says, unhesitatingly. “People like Graham and Greenspan have already given their explicit blessing. This gives Obama cover.” And how long will it be before the administration goes in formally for nationalization? “I think that we’re going to see the policy adopted in the next few months . . . in six months or so.”


  486. bp says:

    Clotpoll (469),

    Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice. Our kids are in high school so we cannot move out of North Brunswick right now. We tried to get a house on rental last year. Friends wanted to move out and we agreed to rent their house. We advised them to sell it if they could before we moved in because we strongly felt that the price would fall. They found a renter who was willing to pay more. Felt a little betrayed because we were watching for their welfare and to find they turned around and rented it. Oh well.

    Barbara, thanks for confirming that you have seen the same thing in North Brunswick. The taxes are ridiculously in North Brunswick.

  487. Essex says:

    489….there are so many directions a kid can go these days….so many ways a person can live….I have a kindergartner to be next year….I will be her advocate….keep tabs on how things go….unfortunately…I’m to loose cannon in the room….and when I go boom….things can get pretty ugly….as long as I keep my cool all is well. But I will bury anyone who F’s with her…..ever.

  488. Essex says:

    The best thing I ever did was marry about ten steps above my pay grade….and man that made all of the difference in the world right there.

  489. Clotpoll says:

    bp (498)-

    Hell, you just mentioned the biggest reason you should get out of No Brunswick now.

    And, you want to compound the damage by owning a house there? What, you’re m@sochists, too?

    “Our kids are in high school so we cannot move out of North Brunswick right now.”

  490. Clotpoll says:

    bp (498)-

    BTW, there’s no such things as “friends” in real estate.

    Sorry you had to learn that with “friends”.

  491. Clotpoll says:

    sl (493)-

    I took the SATs on acid. Good times. I will tell you the story sometime.

  492. Clotpoll says:

    BTW, this makes it very hard to deal with my daughter, who is trying hard to prep for it and doing all the “right” things that are being suggested by teachers, counselors, etc.

    Doesn’t seem right for Dad to tell her to slip some blotter under her tongue and just let it ride, does it?

  493. NJGator says:

    Essex – Florida attracts more National Merit Scholars than any other public university in the US. In 2006 (most recent year that I can find stats online in my quick search), UF was second to only Harvard in the number of Merit Scholars enrolled.

    So yes, I “only” attended UF, but I did it on scholarship and in the honors program and got my degree from there with no debt and no regrets.

  494. sas says:

    college loan debt bubble.

    another no mention in IOUSA, and will ruin many people.


  495. Clotpoll says:

    sas (506)-

    So true. You can spend 250K sending Junior to Fudgepack State, only to watch him graduate with the prospects of making 25K for the next ten years. Those numbers don’t add up.

    Yet, parents can’t wait to fork up money and go further in hock for this slop. Better yet, they even tell their kids it’s ok to go into debt to buy this candy bar illusion.

  496. Pat says:

    Essex, treat her like you’re going to die when she’s ten.

    You’ll give her better skills. And it’s amazing what they do on their own.

    I want to go into my daughter’s 2nd grade classroom and throttle some of the bullies down here. Sweet and sneaky down South is way worse than obnoxious blowhard up North.

    But my father died when I was 11, and I’m glad that that 8th-grade-educated man treated me the way he did.

    This weekend, I was told at a very large group event (private, non-public school event), that I should be putting in writing any behavioral instructions [I’ve recently been giving my daughter], and then cc them to the teach. “So that everybody is on board.”

    Apparently, the word has gotten out that my seven-year-old is no longer taking crap from one of the big-time classroom bullies.

    I’d told her to do whatever Victoria Stillwell on Animal Planet would do to a bad dog. Her favorite show.

    “I don’t care if you don’t want to go to school because of that kid. Get moving. Do the turn-your-back-on-her thing like Victoria Stillwell. Or tell her you’re going to give everybody candy except for her on your birthday. Here’s your backpack. Adios.” Slam.

    So, the other day, in the lunch line, the kid sneers, kicks Gracie’s sneaker, and says, “Just because you have a Hanna Montana shirt on doesn’t mean you’re ever going to be popular.” Sticks out tongue.

    My socially-backward, normally slow-to-respond, naive and very big-hearted kid makes huge eyes, crosses her arms and turns her back. Girl shrieks. Yells out my kid’s name about ten times.

    Then, miraculously, she moves on to torture another kid. Fortunately, it was the kid of an influential townsperson.

    So, now I’m hearing about it. But it’s going to stop now.

    My daughter just told me she can’t wait for school tomorrow.

  497. Clotpoll says:

    You go to a kegger at most colleges nowdays, each one of those beers really costs about as much as a bottle of Krug.

  498. sas says:

    college loans & financial aid counslors.
    major fraud, Cumo didn’t do much.


  499. Clotpoll says:

    Pat (508)-

    You should make them pay you for advice like that.

  500. Clotpoll says:

    Education, my ass. Nothing out there looks like it to me.

    Lots of gubmint mind control, though.

  501. sas says:

    “Education, my ass. Nothing out there looks like it to me.
    Lots of gubmint mind control, though”

    take your Prozac Johnny.

    and Suzie, study hard for that test, so you can get into a “good” college, just so you can go off and work for someone else, make someone else rich, and then you get laid off with no benefits or pension, to be replace by someone half your age.

    I love CO2

  502. sas says:

    and that what they call “gifted & talented”

    the most naive kids, with the most naive parents.

    and your willing to pay a premium on your RE for a school district.

    you’ve been suckered.

  503. veto says:

    “huge neighborhoods will become ghettos” with an attendant collapse of public services and social order. we could be seeing “the end of a whole way of life.”

    I’d like to hear more about the 70s from those on the boards who followed finance RE and banking. is there any similarities to this crisis? Did media constantly make comparisons to great depression like they are doing now or is this just way worse?
    I remember 70s charles bronson films where inner city neighborhoods were literally like war zones and that is what i keep thinking our future holds in worse case. It did not seem to be a huge deal if you lived in suburbs back then, you just knew not to take the kids on day trip to newark. if its getting dark, you get home, etc etc. im thinking we go back to that and all become used to lower living standards and higher crime rates. maybe im naive but i just cant fathom mass crime and anarchy in streets of american suburbs, kicking neighbors doors in for a cup of sugar. cant see it.

  504. nj ecapee says:

    Believe it or not, the 70s were not all that bad. There were good safe neighborhoods in NYC. Not that much blood in the streets. You guys / ladie sound like a bunch of wussies. Hell, I drove a yellow cab in 72 and 73 in my college days and am still here to talk about it. Yeah, Florida may have its loonies but I’ll never willingly trade the Keys for your NJ winters.

  505. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    February 22, 2009 at 8:18 pm
    What is it with this Depeche Mode shit?

    clot: this new album is going to be the sh!t…already two tracks off this thing are more relevant to me than anything I’ve heard from a non-financial source in 2009.

    This new single speaks to me…..it’s not what you want…it’s what you need…..yes….stuff is fcuked right now…fine…..everyone take your head out of your asses and go out to kick some asses…

    this ain’t depression music…it is TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE MUSIC…

  506. cobbler says:

    I don’t think that anywhere in the world a meaningful public unrest ever took place in the areas as sparsely populated as our suburbs. Do you expect several hundred people to drive over to the supermarket parking lot, park there, take out the pitchforks from the trunks, and start rioting? You need a real townsquare (or a wide enough city street), and people who live within 15 min walk from it. If we are talking things like biker gangs, etc. + police protection falling apart I’d think the most endangered are the really spread out places – like Harding, Far Hills, and so on; more valuable stuff there, too.

  507. cobbler says:

    I don’t understand the obsession of some pretty reasonable people here with SRS as anything other than a day/very short-term trade. I 100% agree that CRE will continue going to the crapper – but SRS’s history shows that it is an absolutely terrible vehicle to take advantage of this effect. In an ideal world, shorting URE (if you can get any to borrow) gives drastically better effect longer term – but even IYR puts or put spreads will get you to your destination with much less volatility (you can get 15/20 Sep09 put spread for $1.40 if you are lucky; I don’t see any reason why YIR should be higher than 15 then –> so you get $5 for every spread).

  508. chicagofinance says:

    All you need to know about 2009 is that they gave an Oscar to a dead person……

  509. Essex says:

    505…Sure enough. Anyone still wearing a class ring or identifying themselves based on an Alma mater 10 years after the fact needs to move on.

    I got my graduate degree from a Florida Institution….best thing I ever did….FWIW.

    Pat! Nice post…..damn straight.

  510. chicagofinance says:

    does your handle refer to your vocation? or does it refer to that really crappy dessert that used to be in Swanson Frozen Dinners?

  511. sastry says:

    #520… Oscar to a dead person… Happened before. Peter Lynch?

    I am happy that Slumdog won many awards. May be that will be a reality check for Bollywood, and I hope they start making focusing on decent movies again.

    That said, I liked what Will Smith said about action movies: They have fans. Hollywood has a decent balance.


  512. NJGator says:

    or does it refer to that really crappy dessert that used to be in Swanson Frozen Dinners.

    Ugh, bad memories. Remember boil in a bag dinners? Boiled chicken parm? What were they thinking?

    Essex: You are a true buffoon with an unmatched superiority complex. If being called a buffoon bothers you so much, then you seriously need to grow a pair. We have a lot of friendly people here offering positive advice and a little reality. Why you feel the need the to put everyone down is a question you should ask yourself some time. Internet muscles? Come on! If you have such trouble with the dialogue here, then why do you continue to read it?

    Scored 2 goals in a 4 to 2 loss. Half our team didn’t show and my legs feel like jelly. Good night all, up in five hours to walk the dog.

  513. Stu says:

    she got me again!

  514. Stu says:

    Gov’t reportedly mulls taking larger stake in Citi
    Sunday February 22, 9:22 pm ET
    WSJ: Citigroup in talks with officials about government taking up to 40 percent stake in bank

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Citigroup Inc. is reportedly negotiating with government officials to have the U.S. boost its stake in the troubled bank to as much as 40 percent, The Wall Street Journal said late Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

    Such a move by Citigroup would result in the New York-based bank ceding far more control to the feds than executives likely desire, and would dilute shareholders’ investments. The Journal, which said Citigroup made the proposal to its regulators, noted that sources say executives would prefer to keep the government’s stake closer to 25 percent.

    But with the company’s shares trading at their lowest point in nearly two decades, Citigroup is seeking ways to stem further losses.

    On Friday, shares of Citigroup fell 22 percent to close below $2, and Bank of America Corp. shares also sank, as talk of the banks’ nationalization spooked investors. Both banks already have received significant help from taxpayers as the government has rushed in to try to save the financial sector. The White House, however, has insisted it’s not trying to take over the two ailing financial institutions.

  515. Stu says:

    The daddy on the bottom left looks a bit like me ;)

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