Ridgewood? Can’t be.

From Bloomberg:

Boomer Bows Out in Shakeout That Led to Vermont Beard

In early 2008, David Roberts’s morning routine at the Ridgewood, New Jersey, train station was as unchanged as the view from its platform, which overlooks a downtown anchored by the Daily Treat diner and a 77-year-old movie theater. Roberts would sip coffee, eat a corn muffin, scan the Financial Times and step aboard the 7:50 train.

This was not the same trip he had made for the 14 years he worked for three Wall Street firms. This was a commute to nowhere.

Roberts, 61, was bound for an outplacement center on New York’s East 37th Street, where he pursued job leads and the dream of starting a consulting firm with former colleagues. Like many of his neighbors in Ridgewood, Roberts had been thrown out of work after the credit markets seized up last year, joining thousands of commuters in the competition for jobs that don’t exist anymore.

Roberts, an economist at Dominion Bond Rating Service until January 2008, was fired 13 months after he predicted in a published report the recession that would end his livelihood.

“You can see a train wreck coming,” Roberts says. “But that doesn’t mean you can get out of the way.”

Roberts has suffered through a chain of unanswered job applications, an ill-fated relocation to Washington, and depression. As of April, he had lost or spent more than half of his $1.4 million in savings. One of the few risks he takes with money these days is at the poker table.

Roberts and his wife — who is battling multiple sclerosis — are moving to Vermont, where they honeymooned and often vacation. He has grown a gray-and-white beard more befitting the Green Mountains than Wall Street.

Knowing that the money he has left won’t last forever, Roberts must figure out a new way to earn a living. “I don’t know where the income is going to come from,” he says.

Roberts is one of 26,000 people who lost financial services jobs in New York City from January 2008 to March 2009, according to Moody’s Economy.com. Many live in bedroom communities such as Ridgewood — a Bergen County enclave of 24,300 people 25 miles from Wall Street.

Ridgewood retailers say some stores’ Christmas receipts were off 40 percent last year. As many as 30 stores and restaurants in the business district are for sale. The village government trimmed three building inspectors after a two-year, 46 percent drop in construction activity.

Nestled in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains, Ridgewood has had a symbiotic relationship with New York’s financial district since the mid-1800s, when tycoons built summer homes there. Commuter trains soon carried dad to the financial jungle while mom stayed home and raised the kids. “It’s for domesticated masters of the universe, a throwback to the 1950s,” says Erik Sorenson, chief executive officer of online career firm Vault.com and a Ridgewood resident.

Ridgewood’s projected median household income for 2009 is $129,394, according to market research firm Nielsen Claritas, which makes it the 17th-most-affluent U.S. community in the 20,000 to 50,000 population range. From 1991 to 2006, the average home sale price more than tripled to $864,000, according to the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service.

Now that market has reversed. Ridgewood averaged 11.3 home sales a month in the first quarter of 2009, versus 32 in the first quarter of 2007, a 65 percent drop, according to Otteau Valuation Group Inc., a real estate analysis and consulting firm in East Brunswick, NJ.

Roberts says he and his neighbors who worked on Wall Street “do not understand: You lose your bonus, you lose your job, and you have no prospects.”

“We have no income coming in,” he says. “I’m just trying to get by. I don’t know what the end scenario is going to be.”

The Robertses have found getting out of Ridgewood is easier said than done. They put their house on the market for $899,000 in October and had to lower the price three times before getting a contract — for $760,000. That fell through in March. As of mid-April, they had a new contract for $775,000.

They’ve lined up a rental house in South Newfane, Vermont, for $1,800 a month, roughly half their current mortgage payment. Next, Roberts must figure out how to stop the money drain, which has reduced his nest egg by half to $720,000. More than 70 percent of the money disappeared in the market crash, he says, lamenting that he didn’t act on his own prediction that a recession was coming.

“As an economist, I have no excuse whatsoever,” he says.

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

141 Responses to Ridgewood? Can’t be.

  1. grim says:

    (some more)

    Former Lloyds banker Matthew Tuck is still shaving–and still looking for work in banking. Since he was let go in September, he has applied for more than a dozen jobs and is a regular member of the Financial Executives Networking Group. He was one of 400 applicants for a post at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. It paid about $85,000, half his Lloyds base salary and two-thirds of his pay when he arrived in New York in 1995 with Barclays.

    In 1997, while at Barclays, Tuck met Brooklyn-born Maria Priolo at the Greatest Bar on Earth, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower. She was a Salomon Smith Barney assistant sales associate. It was a romantic start — the Brit and his Brooklyn bride with their opposites-attract accents –in an age when double-income Wall Street couples had it made.

    They married in 2000 and moved to a stone house in West Caldwell, New Jersey, built in 1915, where both an American flag and a Union Jack fly out front. They had two children, now 6 and 7 years old, and Maria stopped working.

    Now both the Greatest Bar on Earth and the golden era of Wall Street are gone. The lifestyle based on Matthew’s income — the Land Rover, the dinners out, the Bermuda vacations — is a memory. Tuck’s $406 a week in unemployment benefits covers the $13,000 a year in property taxes on his house and not much more.

  2. Traitor nom deplume says:

    Stunning article on tax revolts in the U.S. during the Great Depresssion.

    The parallels are staggering. Also staggering is the assertion that (mainstream, and therefore liberal) historians either minimized it or did not even know tax revolts occurred.


  3. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Home Vacancies Rise in U.S. to Record Amid Recession

    A record 19.1 million homes stood unoccupied in the first quarter and the U.S. homeownership rate fell as the recession sapped demand for real estate.

    The number of vacant homes, including foreclosures, properties for sale and vacation properties, jumped from 18.6 million a year earlier, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. Households that own their own residence declined for the third straight quarter to 67.3 percent.

    The U.S. financial crisis and falling home prices have shattered the confidence of homebuyers. The percentage of people who said they plan to buy a home in the next six months dropped to a 26-year low in March, according to the Conference Board in New York. Job losses will continue to erode real estate demand, according to an April 23 report by Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic Inc. in Santa Ana, California.

    “We expect home prices to continue to decline into 2010 as economic conditions and excess housing inventories dampen prices,” Fleming said in the report. “Decreases are now being driven by rising unemployment and a high volume of distressed home sales.”

  4. PGC says:


    I tracked down the house I had seen for sale.


    I am still struggling to see how this house goes for this price.

    It has an under contract sign on it. So unless there is a big disconnect between Ridgewood and Midland Park Taxes, I can’t see this house apprising for this amount of money.

  5. grim says:


    Went into attorney review about 2 weeks after it was listed and UC a few days after that.

    I do have some historical sales.

    August 1987 – $234,000
    February 1993 – $232,000

    (a very nice example of a 6 year long market “bottom”)

    However, even if we adjust for inflation (CPI via BLS) we get approximately $438k.

    The price does seem high, but I might be missing some details.

  6. grim says:

    (Anyone know if these jobs are in NYC?)

    From the AP:

    Conde Nast closes Portfolio magazine; 80 jobs lost

    Conde Nast Publications Inc. is shuttering the business magazine Portfolio and its Web site, Portfolio.com, and laying off more than 80 people.

    Portfolio launched in May 2007 as a glossy, high-end rival to business magazines such as Fortune, Forbes and BusinessWeek. The company said the May issue, on newsstands now, will be Portfolio’s last.

    “The pressures and realities of the continuous deep economic slump have lowered Portfolio’s revenue projections below what is needed to continue publication,” Conde Nast Chief Executive Charles H. Townsend said in a statement Monday.

  7. grim says:

    From the Stamford Advocate:

    Legg Mason lays off 24

    Legg Mason, a Baltimore-based investment firm, has laid off 24 workers at its corporate office at 100 Stamford Place.

    “As part of our review of all areas of our business to align our operating costs with the realities of the marketplace, we have made the decision to implement additional staff reductions in certain teams that support our American business,” said Maria Rosati, a Legg Mason spokeswoman.

    The Stamford office, formerly part of Citigroup Asset Management, has “over 200 professionals” focused on retail investment products and marketing, Rosati said.

    The company, which employs 3,848 workers worldwide, Friday announced that it laid off a total of 40 workers, or 12 percent of staff in the administrative and support areas in marketing and product.

    The layoffs include five workers at its corporate office in Baltimore and 11 employees at its New York office.

  8. John says:

    so this guy is 61 years old had 70% of his money in stocks and still had a mortgage and was an economist. Guy is stupid.

  9. HEHEHE says:

    We need that 3:45 mystery bulk stock purchase to get this day positive! Come on Goldman, where r u!

  10. BC Bob says:

    “Come on Goldman, where r u!”

    he [9],

    Running away from the plane, on the streets of JC?

  11. HEHEHE says:

    Come on BC, you honestly think they didn’t notify Goldman before that stunt?

  12. John says:

    Filene’s Basement Chain Said to Prepare for Bankruptcy Filing

  13. BC Bob says:


    They were departing at the same time we were. Nobody here knew.

  14. HEHEHE says:

    I thought Lloyd ran the gubmint

  15. kettle1 says:

    zieba 175

    I wonder if the dual income family is myth being perpetuated by people of power in blue collar BC towns.

    US census suggests that only about 35% of households are dual income. another 35% are single income


  16. John says:

    since dual earners earn less than head of household earners that is good news. I thought we were all 6 ft two inch, full head of hair, buff as can be and all making well in excess of 250K a year and when in a men’s room bar we always know how cold and deep the water is.

  17. zieba says:

    Thanks for the data Kettle.

    Do you think the increase of dual income families in the late 90’s came out of necessity or whether this was a result of greed and a vehicle of fueling the consumption bonfire?

  18. we says:

    John is the only reason I come to this website.

  19. kettle1 says:

    can someone translate?

    since dual earners earn less than head of household earners that is good news. I thought we were all 6 ft two inch, full head of hair, buff as can be and all making well in excess of 250K a year and when in a men’s room bar we always know how cold and deep the water is.

  20. kettle1 says:


    Both, growth in dual income households will drive up prices, and then you ave the keeping up with the jones’ factor which is the greed.

    i believe that elizabeth warren has addressed this in an interesting paper. In my opinion its essentially a matter of necessity, in terms of keep up with the jones’.

  21. Victorian says:

    “Filene’s Basement Chain Said to Prepare for Bankruptcy Filing”

    Uh-Oh! There goes more revenue for the malls. In keeping with the current bizarro market, this means we should buy more IYR, right?

  22. confused in nj says:

    Bloomberg was on TV talking about the Corzine Flu.

  23. confused in nj says:

    What would be really interesting is new Corzine Flu cases coming from infected Illegals crossing the border.

  24. waters says:

    “I do have some historical sales.

    August 1987 – $234,000
    February 1993 – $232,000

    (a very nice example of a 6 year long market “bottom”)

    However, even if we adjust for inflation (CPI via BLS) we get approximately $438k.”

    My little spreadsheet (which uses vlookups on case-shiller index data) says a NY metro area house that sold for $232k in Feb ’93 would sell for about $540k today. Of course that’s assuming no major upgrades over a 15 year period.

  25. kettle1 says:

    Fed study puts ideal US interest rate at -5%

    The ideal interest rate for the US economy in current conditions would be minus 5 per cent, according to internal analysis prepared for the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting. The analysis was based on a so-called Taylor-rule approach that estimates an appropriate interest rate based on unemployment and inflation. A central bank cannot cut interest rates below zero. However, the staff research suggests the Fed should maintain unconventional policies that provide stimulus roughly equivalent to an interest rate of minus 5 per cent. Fed staff separately estimated what size and type of unconventional operations, including asset purchases, might provide this level of stimulus. They suggested that the Fed should expand its asset purchases by even more than the $1,150bn (€885bn, £788bn) increase policymakers authorised at the last meeting, which included $300bn of Treasury purchases. The assessment that the US central bank needs to provide stimulus equivalent to a substantially negative interest rate is unlikely to have changed ahead of this week’s policy meeting.


  26. John says:

    I think it all goes back to the damm Charlie’s commerical, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never never let you forget your a man”

    Actually, women were there worst enemy in this, when women were not in the workforce men earned more.

    zieba says:
    April 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm
    Thanks for the data Kettle.

    Do you think the increase of dual income families in the late 90’s came out of necessity or whether this was a result of greed and a vehicle of fueling the consumption bonfire?

  27. zieba says:

    I guess the answer to the question lies in data showing whether dual income families represent the upper or lower end of the household income spectrum.

    These are interesting questions but soon unravel into very thought intensive processes when you start introducing “living” variables.

    All in, I am in agreement that a self fulfilling prophecy exists.

  28. Nicholas says:

    There has been an increasing trend to not get married.

    You need to factor that in when you start calculating the FED dual income family.

  29. BC Bob says:

    kettle [25],

    Before you know it, there will be a penalty tax on savings.

  30. #26 – Actually, women were there worst enemy in this, when women were not in the workforce men earned more.

    You’re having a problem with the causal relation in this statement.

  31. Sastry says:

    John #26…

    There’s this movie ‘Promotion’ that keeps coming frequently on Cinemax, one of the quotes is (a wife telling her husband when he insists on being the bread winner), “Female lions do the hunting”.

    Anecdata: Second hand info about an Indian guy that married a physician who became very successful. He sort of retired (may be temporarily) at 40 or so.

  32. Sastry says:

    BC #29… Negative interest rates (in the form of inflation) are a big penalty on savings — and whatever pittance of an interest they earn, it is taxed.

  33. zieba says:


    I am the torchbearer baby.

  34. BC Bob says:

    Sastry [32],

    In a deflationary environment you are a huge winner if you save at 0%.

  35. HEHEHE says:

    Negative interest rates are a raping of retirees and those near retirement.

  36. John says:

    I already pay tax on my interest income. BO did a big stealth tax on that with build america bonds, towns are issuing taxable BAB bonds instead of tax free munis.

    Actually when I was at that red neck party upstate ny someone asked me what I do with my kids when I am at work, I was like what the heck are you talking about? Then he said you know when you and your wife are at work, I then said why would my wife be working when I have three kids at home? It was like and upstate/downstate thing, I guess there are no good paying jobs up there in no man lands so they are all dual earners. Guess Dad can’t take a train to wall street and make some extra bucks to let his wife stay home, so they leave in beauty and the husband, wife and kids are never at home, what is the point. Plus they will keep inbreeding and be up there forever. To me the Bronx is upstate NY, once I past Bear Mountain I might as well be in the wild wild west.

  37. 3b says:

    The guy was 61 years old with a $3600 a month mtg payment?

  38. BklynHawk says:

    Mostly. 85 total positions. Maybe 6-10 outside NYC.

  39. John says:

    My friend at a consulting company told him recently they are getting rid of those who can’t eat what they kill. They are unwinding a lot of flex time, quality of life iniatives and working mothers things, women now have to eat what they kill to survive like the rest of the animals in the wilde.

  40. chicagofinance says:

    renter says:
    April 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm
    Highest Level of Educational Attainment of U.S. Population, 2005
    Some high school 8.5%
    High school graduate 32.2%
    Some college 16.8%
    Associate’s degree 8.6%
    Bachelor’s degree 18.1%
    Master’s degree 6.8%
    Doctoral degree 1.2%
    Professional degree 1.5%
    These percentages usually shock most people.

    rent: What we need is data on 18-35 year olds…there are a lot of people kicking around that would appear different on paper if they had to start from scratch….you can’t see a trend if you include people that are already mid/late/post-career, because it skews the data. Also, including only people who were born in the U.S. or immigrated before age-18 would also clean up the data….

  41. John says:

    Daimler reaches deal to fully break from Chrysler

  42. John says:

    WOWWOW – Since I have a masters degree does that actually prove I am smarter than 90% of people. Now I wish I know how to spell.

  43. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [19] Kettle,

    Old joke.

    Two macho guys were p1ssing off of a bridge, and one decided he was going to brag a bit about his, ahem, size, so he says, “wow, that water is cold.” His friend says “yeah, and deep too.”

    Let me know if I did not capture it correctly.

  44. BC Bob says:

    Shore [41],

    Were you in the Hilton bar after the show on Friday?

  45. crossroads says:

    “Ridgewood’s projected median household income for 2009 is $129,394, according to market research firm Nielsen Claritas,”

    are the lush wall st. bonuses included in median income??

  46. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [29] BC

    Fact that savings are taxed at marginal rates isn’t penalty enough?

  47. sas says:


    here comes swine flu, I am scared.


  48. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [43] John,

    I will accept that conclusion because it presupposes I am smarter than you.

    Some may disagree, however.

    But I can spell. Does that count?

  49. John says:


    Speaking of marriage penalty, can I get two deductions if I marry this girl?

  50. BC Bob says:

    nom [47],

    You would think. I’m talking about a separate tax, a penalty tax on savings. Nothing would surprise me.

  51. John says:

    You are even stupider than me if you think spelling and counting are the same thing?

    Traitor nom deplume says:
    April 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm
    [43] John,
    But I can spell. Does that count?

  52. John says:

    Yes, except in my case I could tell you rhe weather in China.

    Traitor nom deplume says:
    April 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm
    [19] Kettle,

    Old joke.

    Two macho guys were p1ssing off of a bridge, and one decided he was going to brag a bit about his, ahem, size, so he says, “wow, that water is cold.” His friend says “yeah, and deep too.”

    Let me know if I did not capture it correctly.

  53. Victorian says:

    BC (51) –

    If they really want inflation, that would be the way to get it. Spend or else we will spend it for you via taxes.

  54. xmonger says:

    re: 48


    here comes swine flu, I am scared.


    The current economic disaster could be cured in a few short years if a deadly virus targeting unproductive members of society would just take hold on the planet.

    The swine flu looks promising. I’ll have to make note of it.

  55. John says:

    Wouldn’t this kill every blogger in the world?

    The current economic disaster could be cured in a few short years if a deadly virus targeting unproductive members of society would just take hold on the planet.

  56. skep-tic says:

    The dude in the OP should move to NH instead of VT. No sales tax or income tax in NH.

  57. daddyo says:

    “The guy was 61 years old with a $3600 a month mtg payment?”

    Not only that, but he’s renting a place for $1800 in the middle of NOWHERE in Vermont. If you are going to hunker down and save money by living off the grid, at least pick somewhere with low rents….

  58. sas says:

    Pursuant to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, SIGTARP must report to Congress on its oversight activities and compile certain specified data and information about the operation of TARP. SIGTARP’s reports to Congress are due 60 days after confirmation of the Special Inspector General and quarterly thereafter. Linked below are SIGTARP’s reports to Congress to date.


  59. safeashouses says:

    I had lunch today at Menlo Park Mall. I couldn’t believe what I saw in the parking lot. A mall security guard opened the door to a 328 convertible, sat down, and put the roof up. Then got out of the car with another guard gazing in admiration at the car.

    WTF? Since when can a mall cop carry a BMW payment?

  60. Silera says:

    Highest Level of Educational Attainment of U.S. Population, Age 18-34 2008

    None to 8th Grade 3.3%
    Some high school 12.2%
    High school graduate 28.58%
    Some college 25.9%
    Associate’s degree 7.48%
    Bachelor’s degree 17.41%
    Master’s degree 4.26%
    Doctoral degree .74%
    Professional degree .41%


  61. GerryAdams says:

    kettle1 (25)

    Krugman’s been about writing about the implications of the Taylor Rule – the interest rate needed to lift the economy out of the recession – for some time. The negative value then dictates the need for the Fed gov throw money out of helicopters in the form of printing money. Bush kept interest rates too low for too long, especially considering how shallow the 2001 recession really was. Low rates lead to the bubble and our current addiction to cheap money. What would happen to the balance sheet of the US consumer if the Fed rate was somewhere near where it was in the 1990s? Since you cannot drop it below zero, the soln is throw it is bundles of 20s from the helicopter. Now, if we were able to take the pain, interest rates could rise, savings would pay off and assets would lose their ridiculous price tags.

  62. xmonger says:

    re 56:

    “Wouldn’t this kill every blogger in the world?”

    Possibly. However, one thing is for certain. Everyone involved in the news biz would be rebooted.

  63. NJGator says:

    Grim 6 – If these jobs weren’t entirely in NY, the vast majority were. And don’t forget that magazine publishing is very much an industry of freelancers. Most of the photography and articles published in premium titles are not created by staff – the work is contracted out. The loss of income to those folks is not included in the 80 lost jobs mentioned in the article.

  64. xmonger says:

    Money, from helicopters? I remember that episode of Fantasy Island.

  65. sas says:

    “5 charged in ‘nightmare’ $70M mortgage scheme”

  66. sas says:

    “WTF? Since when can a mall cop carry a BMW payment?”

    easy answer.
    that mall cop is a look out for a drug dealer. malls have drug dealings going on for the knucklehead teens.


  67. jamil says:

    66 xmonger: “Money, from helicopters? I remember that episode of Fantasy Island.”

    The amount of money needed is much more than a helicopter can carry. It would need at least one special-built Boeing 747 to fly several times over Wall Street. Yeah, going to happen.

  68. 3b says:

    This house was an excellent buy at $555K, but at 545k it is an absolute steal. Hurry, hurry!!!


  69. Traitor Nom Deplume says:

    (58). He is renting in Newfane, which is upscale quaint and not the middle of nowhere as Vt goes.

    Not that a downstater could tell the difference.

  70. xmonger says:

    re 70: I raise you with this bargain


    North of 35, More Hazlet than Holmdel, next to a trailer park. Call quickly, this owner is passing the lack of a realtor commission directly to you, the lucky buyer.

  71. sas says:

    “owner is passing the lack of a realtor commission directly to you, the lucky buyer”

    many for sale by owners are really shooting themselves in the foot.

    I know RE agent pools have been tainted, but a decent RE agent will go along ways.

    trying to sell yourself, not a good idea. you have no experience & no idea.

    Back to the streets of Lodi.

  72. sas says:

    “Lockheed Martin announces layoffs”

    -Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego announced a round of layoffs that will affect 225 workers.

  73. freedy says:

    what’s wrong with Lodi. Lovely town

  74. Punch My Ticket says:

    All I can say re swine flu is, if I can’t get back from this little town on the coast south of Cancun because the borders get closed, the ATMs better keep working. Or I’m finding a job as a fry cook.

  75. sas says:

    lower taxes in NJ?
    only if you move to South Dakota or Wyoming.

    “Scary Numbers on the NJ Pension Plan”


  76. sas says:

    “what’s wrong with Lodi. Lovely town”

    nothing. but back in the 70s, it had some interesting times.


  77. Sastry says:

    #62… Silera

    How does the metric (18-34 age range) deal with the following case: a kid at 18 that wants to (and is in the pipeline to) do a BS and then an MD/PhD/JD — without any interruptions in education?


  78. Sastry says:

    BC Bob… the penalty on savings, if you call it a penalty, is the estate tax.


  79. sas says:

    “Pension Pains: What if Auto Companies Go Bankrupt?
    Government Has Massive Insurance Program, but Many Pensions Under-Funded”


  80. sas says:

    i think some you blokes might want to freshen up with this word & its potential ramifications:



  81. sas says:

    and this too, cause its coming down the NJ turnpike…southbound…

    “Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002)”


  82. Silera says:

    Those are just raw figures from the Census Bureau.

    I’d assume if the kid is 18 right now then he’s showing up as a HS graduate- maybe some college at this point. Based on the numbers – he has less than a 2% chance chance of completing that goal in his lifetime in the US.

  83. sas says:

    “he has less than a 2% chance chance of completing that goal in his lifetime in the US”

    and a 98& chance they will end up on serotonin reuptake inhibitors.


  84. sas says:


    98% chance


  85. yikes says:

    anyone want to recommend a golf course that ISN’T private in upper bucks/princeton area?

  86. PA Bound says:

    For Nom deplume and Shore Guy…

    Before Tea, Thank Your Lucky Stars


  87. kettle1 says:


    magic mushrooms (Psilocybin) and acid (Lysergic acid) are more effective then SRI’s with generally fewer side effects in terms of depression treatment.

    then again, i am not a doctor, just a janitor

  88. Shore Guy says:

    “Were you in the Hilton bar after the show on Friday?”

    Yes, did we talk?

  89. BC Bob says:

    Shore [90],

    Were you sitting against the wall by the bride? Black Stone Pony shirt?

  90. Shore Guy says:

    PA Bound,

    One cannot discount luck. Of course, luck without preparing one’s self to take advantage of the opportunities presented by lucky breaks does one little good also.

  91. Shore Guy says:

    HEHE and Nom,

    Did you see ATL today? More news about biglaw salary cuts.

  92. Shore Guy says:

    Mrs. Shore and I both had Pony shirts on. We were in full dress-down mode.

  93. Shore Guy says:

    Which one were you?

  94. BC Bob says:


    I think I saw you, black pony short sleeve shirts. I was approx 15 feet across from you. I was ready to come over but was tied up, at the bar, with a foreclosure attorney from Boston.

  95. BC Bob says:

    Shore [95],

    Black Bruce shirt. Wife was wearing a white t shirt, the cover of BTR, blonde.

  96. sas says:

    got a new cast iron skillet today and a new knife set at Williams & Sonoma.


  97. BC Bob says:

    “NEW YORK (AP) – Former NBA star Jayson Williams was zapped with a stun gun by police in his swank hotel suite Monday after the reportedly suicidal athlete resisted attempts by officers to take him to a hospital.”

    “Jayson Williams was hospitalized after police received a report that the former Net was suicidal. Police were called to the hotel in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City neighborhood around 4 a.m. when a female friend reported the former New Jersey Nets player was acting suicidal.”


  98. livinginpa says:

    yikes have you tried Makefield Highlands on Woodside Road in Lower Makefield Twp? Have a few friends who like it there. Also, in Hopewell, NJ – Stony Brook is public, walk on, no tee times. Just off of Rte 31.

  99. Clotpoll says:

    HE (35)-

    Those are the little people. That’s what they’re there for.

  100. Clotpoll says:

    BC (99)-

    Maybe the PPT plane and fighter jet scared the crap out of him.

  101. grim says:

    It wasn’t me.

    Five probable cases of swine flu identified in N.J.

    New Jersey health officials announced last night they had identified five probable cases of swine flu in people who recently traveled to Mexico and California.

    The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services said today that all five individuals have mild forms of the flu and none has been hospitalized. Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner declined to elaborate on a prepared statement, saying no further information would be released about the cases until confirmation arrived from the CDC.

  102. grim says:

    UAW will own 55% of Chrysler?

    This is getting interesting.

    What happens at the negotiating table, when both sides are the UAW?

  103. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    Yeah I saw that today. The firm I work at has cut loose a bunch of senior associates. No word yet on the salary cuts. I saw some of them are even cutting staff salary.

  104. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [88] pa bound

    I would take issue with some of the editorial, but arguing with an opinion is as effective as arguing with the wind.

  105. yikes says:

    John says:
    April 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Considering college graduates start at 55K, that means a couple who met in HS who get engaged and married the day they graduate would already be at 110K income. That does not make 100K per household much of a barrier to a blue ribbon town where most of the town has households with at least one college graduate.

    the percentage of college grads making 55k out of the gate is probably 2%.

    if that. you’re dreaming, john.

  106. Shore Guy says:


    Do you have your own seasoning formula or just go with wipe with oil, heat the heck out of it, heat with oil and heat the heck out of it….

  107. safeashouses says:

    #111 Shore guy,

    you can buy pre-seasoned cast iron made by Lodge. I order mine from Amazon and have it shipped for free under one of their minimum order is free plans.

  108. Shore Guy says:

    “he penalty on savings, if you call it a penalty, is the estate tax”

    The estate tax simply allows the USG to tax the cap gains that were not taxed during the lifetime of the asset owner.

  109. Shore Guy says:

    Amazing shrinkage:

    DETROIT — For all the uncertainty swirling around General Motors, the troubled automaker said Monday that one thing was clear: it must become drastically smaller if it hopes to remain a viable company, regardless of whether it has to file for bankruptcy.

    G.M. said it would eliminate another 21,000 factory jobs, close 13 plants, cut its vast network of 6,500 dealers almost in half and shutter its Pontiac division.

    By the time it is finished, G.M. expects to have only 38,000 union workers and 34 factories left in the United States, compared with 395,000 workers in more than 150 plants at its peak employment in 1970.



  110. Nubbin says:

    Yikes – “Makefield Highlands” is a great public course just inside PA – about 20 minutes from Princeton.

  111. Clotpoll says:

    SG (110)-

    The only purpose for the new appraisal rules is for lenders to be able to use the process to blow up more loans and to manufacture delays in order to spread out closings, so that there aren’t big demands for delivery of funds on any single day or cluster of days in a row.

    Despite anything you hear in the media, know that mortgage lenders don’t want to lend. On top of that, none of them actually has the money to meet even today’s paltry levels of legitimate demand (if you don’t believe me, go back and read Mish’s post from yesterday). There is a universal demand for cash…just as the availability of cash dries up. Just because Bergabe spins the presses 24/7 doesn’t mean that loot gets to regular businesses or to Joe6P.

    The new appraisal rules are as good as a kill shot to an industry that’s already on its knees. The mortgage guys in my office were doing a great job making do over the past six months, but these new appraisal rules have introduced a new layer of delay and complexity that will be difficult- if not, impossible- to overcome.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Government regulators have told Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. that the banks need to increase their capital reserves based on preliminary “stress test” results, according to a report published Tuesday.

    The capital shortfall at Bank of America could amount to billions of dollars, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation.



  113. John says:

    Are you a realtor? You are assuming people are lack any business sense or selling ability. Which would be 90% of realtors, which is why most real estate brokers don’t last too long.

    sas says:
    April 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm
    “owner is passing the lack of a realtor commission directly to you, the lucky buyer”

    many for sale by owners are really shooting themselves in the foot.

    I know RE agent pools have been tainted, but a decent RE agent will go along ways.

    trying to sell yourself, not a good idea. you have no experience & no idea.

    Back to the streets of Lodi.

  114. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (118)-

    They will be fine.
    There will be no more writedowns (per Dick Fuld and bi).
    Move along.
    Nothing to see here.

  115. we says:

    According to the Spring 2009 issue of NACE’s Salary Survey report, the overall average offer to a 2009 bachelor’s degree graduate stands at $48,515–down 2.2 percent from the average of $49,624 posted in Spring 2008.

  116. Clotpoll says:

    John (119)-

    Believe it or not, you’re probably as good at selling houses as I’d be at selling one of your dafunkmobiles.

  117. A brief blog post from NJ.com on the state pension plan’s pending disaster.

    As of July 1, 2008 there were 243,877 retirees getting benefits of $6.22 billion. A year earlier there were 235,346 retirees getting benefits of $5.78 billion. Assuming the same percentage increase over the next five years there will be $43 billion paid out in benefits.(There’s about $58 billion left in the plan, natch)

    I haven’t seen anything on Calpers in a while, I’m not sure if I want to.

  118. Clotpoll says:

    we (121)-

    Nice trend there.

    Great way to justify sending a kid of mine to a school where room & board for just one year exceeds the average one-year salary offer upon graduation.

    No doubt education is the next bubble to burst. Certain forms of higher education now make absolutely no economic sense.

  119. 3b says:

    #118 shore: According to an articel in the NYT this morning, Treasury is playing down the whole stres test thing.

    Geithner went form saying it will restore credibility to the banking system, o now saying the stress test is just a what if scenario As the article points out, the what if scenario appears to be the reality.

    The article also went on to state that Treasury believes even if some banks have to raise more capital, that does not imply anything negative about their solvency!!!

  120. BC Bob says:

    “As financial markets professionals mull over the 50% tax rate the UK government is to introduce next year to those who earn in excess of £150,000 ($220,000), the overwhelming view of those bankers who can quit the country seems to be: ‘I’m off’.”

    “The only reason to stay is the Premier League,’ he continued, ‘Although, as Wenger has said, all the best players will soon be off to Spain and Italy – where they will pay significantly less tax! London will soon be a place when only crappy football players and modestly-paid back office professionals work’.”


  121. 3b says:

    #126 BC Bob:I’m off’.”

    I wonder where exactly they will be off to?

  122. John says:

    Actually I am very good at selling houses. Last realtor I was forced to use could not sell house even after several open houses and MLSL’ing it for six months. Me one ad on-line and in World Journal Magazine in Mandarian banged the house out 20K over asking as is cash only no contingecies. Imagine the realtor trying to sell the house to white, black and spanish people as if they got any money. I need that deep pocket off the boat with bag of cash money who can’t read english, a bazooka bubble gum wrapper was more detailed than the contract.

    Clotpoll says:
    April 28, 2009 at 8:32 am
    John (119)-

    Believe it or not, you’re probably as good at selling houses as I’d be at selling one of your dafunkmobiles.

  123. NJGator says:

    Can someone with GSMLS access please let me know what the close price was for 49 Christopher in Montclair? It was supposed to close on 4/21.


  124. Sean says:

    Phase 5 declaration “Pandemic” is coming any day now from the World Health Organization.


    Preparations anyone?


  125. Clotpoll says:

    Let’s see if I can complete (or, blow up) this negative feedback loop:

    1. Bank needs housing prices to stabilize (and hopefully, begin to rise again) in order to save their marked-to-fantasy MBS.

    2. Therefore, bank needs to initiate as many loans as possible to as many buyers as they can barely qualify in order to stimulate and sustain demand at today’s prices.

    3. However, banks are now ratcheting up qualification standards and imposing procedural delaying tactics in order to build reserves against future losses.

    4. Therefore, just at the moment that the greatest amount of cash and leverage needs to be delivered to the potential RE buyer pool, the opposite is occurring.

    This is not going to end well.

  126. Sean says:

    Grim #130 in Mod due to FLU link?

  127. Sean says:


    Phase 5 declaration “Pandemic” is coming any day now from the World Health Organization.


  128. Clotpoll says:

    John (128)-

    Is there anything at which you are not good?

    Honestly, I think your greatest talent is the ability to exist within a magical world of pure fantasy. The fact that it’s entertaining to all of us here is a bonus whose advantage only accrues to us, however.

  129. Clotpoll says:

    CNBC dorks using word “pandemic” about every 30 seconds.

  130. Sean says:

    Preparations anyone? I would go before the shelves are empty and the stores start price gauging.


  131. BC Bob says:

    “Preparations anyone?”


    No problem. We have tarp.

  132. kettle1 says:


    from your link at 136

    # Plan for possible loss of income if you are unable to work or the company you work for temporarily closes.

    #Schools and Daycare Centers May Be Closed for an Extended Period of Time

    How exactly is the average wage slave going to manage these factors?

    If people start losing income due to a flu pandemic, you could see things get very ugly. is the power company or mortgage company going to give people a pass for not paying the bill? The average joe has little to no savings. That could could quite the trigger for housing foreclosures and further deterioration of the economy.

    What happens to consumer spending if the start closing stores and public events to prevent spread of contagion similar to what they are doing in mexico city, where they have pretty much shut down the entire city.

  133. kettle1 says:

    3b, 127

    I wonder where exactly they will be off to?

    I hear China wont be affected by the little recession we have going. Maybe shanghai?

  134. kettle1 says:


    see clots post at 135. From our previous debate, homes can have a negative value, they can be worth less then 0.

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