NJ unemployment rises to 8.4%, 14k jobs lost in April

From the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development:

Employment in NJ Fell by 14,400 in April; Unemployment Rate Rose Slightly to 8.4 Percent

New Jersey’s labor market continued to contract in April as employment fell for the 15th consecutive month. The state’s unemployment rate moved slightly higher by 0.1 percentage point from March’s 8.3 percent to 8.4 percent in April, remaining below the U.S. rate of 8.9 percent.

According to preliminary estimates from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s monthly survey of employers, nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State decreased by 14,400 jobs in April, to a total of 3,945,600. All of the loss occurred in the private sector (-15,600) as public sector employment rose by 1,200, entirely due to hiring by the federal government as it ramps up for the decennial census in 2010. Based on more complete reporting, the previously released March estimate was revised higher by 3,900 to reflect a February-to-March loss of 13,300.

“The serious impact of this global recession continues to be felt by New Jersey’s working families and their employers,” said New Jersey Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow. “Now more than ever, the services and programs of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development are crucial to workers who are most affected by the economic downturn and who require unemployment benefits assistance, training for new careers or reemployment assistance.”

Job loss in April was felt across most industries as declines were recorded in eight of ten supersectors. The largest contractions occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (-5,900 jobs), leisure and hospitality (-5,700), professional and business services (-2,300), manufacturing (-2,000), and construction (-1,700).

As the national recession has deepened, reduced spending by budget-conscious consumers has affected payrolls in trade, and leisure and hospitality in New Jersey and throughout the nation. In April, both retail (-1,600) and wholesale (-1,700) trade employment moved lower, while both components of leisure and hospitality — arts, entertainment and recreation (-3,500) and accommodations and food services (-2,200) —also recorded significant losses. Payroll contraction in professional and business services was concentrated in the professional, scientific and technical services (-4,600).

Modest gains were recorded in the information (+1,400) and education and health services (+900) supersectors.

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373 Responses to NJ unemployment rises to 8.4%, 14k jobs lost in April

  1. confused in nj says:


  2. grim says:

    Thank god for that public sector hiring, or we’d all be screwed.

  3. lurker til now says:


  4. Victorian says:

    Nice! The companies are now running lean and mean. Green Shoots!!!

  5. HEHEHE says:


    NICE SPIN!!! You missed your career calling.

  6. SirRentsalot says:

    “Do statistics tell the whole story?”

    Depends on the statistics, and depends on the person interpreting them (for example, Mrs. Rentsalot, who is a statistician and expert in survey methodology).

    Do you know what doesn’t tell a story of any use to anyone?
    A realtor with an anecdote.

  7. we says:

    Expense cuts have been deeper than revenue loss in many Companies. By end of 2009 Companies and average American family will find themselves cash-rich.

  8. SirRentsalot says:

    7 – how does the differential between expense cuts and revenue losses in corporations cause American families to become cash rich by the end of 2009?

  9. we says:

    8, because American Famalies have cut spending too.

  10. Zack says:

    What the hell are you talking about. Are you drinking again!?

  11. grim says:

    #7 – We’re already rich, using Donald Trump’s valuation methodology of course.

  12. zieba says:

    we = bi?

  13. Clotpoll says:


    This post announces the presence of a fresh, new village idiot here.

  14. grim says:

    #9 – Increased debt service and deleveraging are both scenarios where reduced spending does not necessarily result in increased savings. Not to mention the fact that your two examples directly contradict each other. Unless you’ve identified some new economic scenario where a recession and declining spending results in both consumers and corporations becoming “cash-rich”.

  15. Clotpoll says:

    grim (14)-

    Hey, man- everybody knows this is just a liquidity issue. There’s no deflationary credit crisis/balance sheet depression here. Print money, blast cannons full of money…that’ll fix everything.

    Move along; nothing to see.

  16. lurker til now says:

    [6] I would love for Mrs. Rentsalot to weigh in on this. I have to believe that she would say that the distribution curve is infinitely more helpful than the single average and median statistics that we hear bandied about. That distribution curve would, in turn, be the statistical backup that you are looking for to the realtors anecdote. But I don’t want to steal her thunder.

  17. grim says:

    #16 – Consumers understand worthless anecdotes and sound bites, they can not understand distribution curves.

    Therefore, except for a handful of individuals that might benefit from that information, it is largely wasted on Joe Sixpack.

    Average and Median are used, because they are easily communicated, and easily manipulated.

  18. Joey says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but paying down credit card debt still counts as savings when the BEA computes the savings rate, right?

    In which case, one could wrongly infer that people are putting more in their bank accounts than they actually are, when they see that the Personal Saving Rate is up.

  19. Victorian says:

    HEHE (5) –

    Nom outed me recently. I am a gubmint spy trolling boards to disseminate party propaganda. Which reminds me, the deadline for party dues is this Friday.

  20. grim says:

    #16 – During the first part of the decline here in Northern NJ, I argued that Medians and Averages were not accurately portraying the scale of the downturn because of mix-shift. As subprime loans were eliminated, sales at the bottom end weren’t happening, putting upwards pressure on the median and average.

    I was told that there was no such thing as mix-shift, and I was making up reasons for a decline that wasn’t happening in NJ.

    Now, we’re seeing sales at the high end fall off, and it is causing major declines in median and average.

    So what do we hear out of the mouth of every pundit? Ignore the declines, they are the result of mix-shift, and prices aren’t really falling.

    Go figure.

    Give me a dozen comps and I’ll know the direction of a market. Give me the median and average and all I know is what you told me.

  21. Clotpoll says:

    grim (11)-

    I have good credit and have never defaulted on bonds or gone bankrupt. However, I’m not rich.

    Trump, OTOH, is a rich person who is a serial deadbeat and multiple bankrupt.

    I used to think I was trying to get rich. It was a goal of mine for many years. Lately, however, the whole pursuit has lost its luster.

  22. Safeashouses says:

    The 2 owners of my company were talking about green shoots and were all pumped up. A day later they had a conference call, I could see one turn purple and the other one started pulling out his hair. The next day mass layoff. I guess their green shoots were hemlock or toxic mold.

  23. lurker til now says:

    [17] Grim, that’s exactly right. That’s why it’s a bad idea for people to generalize the market based on the single numbers that they are given. And that’s why newspapers turn to realtors for anecdotes instead of publishing distribution curves. It’s not that the numbers don’t back up the anecdote, it’s that they’re not easily understood.

  24. grim says:

    For example:

    lurkerd says:
    November 25, 2008 at 7:47 am


    The mix shift and timing excuses have grown tired. As analysis of the facts dismisses them both.


    pretorius says:
    February 28, 2008 at 10:58 am

    “there’s also every chance median prices could remain flat & even rise, as affordability in the low-end becomes even more elusive for first-time buyers who see their take-home pay eroded by inflation.”

    Mix shift is one of the pegs on which bad forecasters hang their climbdowns.

  25. grim says:

    When I pointed to mix-shift, I was ridiculed, didn’t exist.

    So why aren’t these same folks up in arms about the NAR using the same reason for explaining the sharp declines in average and median price?

  26. SirRentsalot says:

    16 lurker

    You misunderstand me. I’m not arguing for the wonderful validity of the fabulous statistics. I am merely pointing out that, to denigrate the statistics and then immediately lean on a single anecdote about a single house on a single weekend by a single Realtor ™ is a juxtaposition that brings me much mirth and general hilarity.

    My point: That realtor’s view? Worthless.

  27. SirRentsalot says:

    “I have to believe that she would say that the distribution curve is infinitely more helpful than the single average and median statistics that we hear bandied about”

    of course it is.

    and a magic 8-ball would be infinitely more helpful than one anecdatum from a realtor.

  28. lurker til now says:

    [24] and [25] Grim, I’m sorry I wasn’t following the blog back then so I don’t want to jump into an old debate. As for the NAR, well, they’re a lobbyist right? In general, I find that the truth is always somewhere in between.

    Given that all real estate is infinitely local here (not by town, not even by neighborhood, but by street location in neighborhood) it’s up to potential buyers to truly understand their market activity. Knowing the average or median sales price in one county is not at all helpful in deciding whether a single house is priced right for you.

  29. grim says:

    #23 – Your wife could explain it better than I could but the answer to all of this is simple.

    You can not use simple descriptive statistics to make inferences directly about a population without also taking into account the error associated with the size of your sample and an assumption about the accuracy of your estimate.

    In a town of 25,000 houses, what does the median sales price of 3 houses tell you about the median price of a home in that town?


    If you did the mathematics correctly, you would yield a result that reads something like:

    I can say, with 95% accuracy, that the median home value in this town is somewhere between $298,502 and $657,283.

  30. SirRentsalot says:

    17 grim

    “Average and Median are used, because they are easily communicated, and easily manipulated.”

    Ding! In the same way the NAR anecdata is.

    “We sold a house in Maplewood last week. Everything’s OK now!”

  31. lurker til now says:

    [27] sir, i get that you and 3b have a lot of hostility towards the market. That’s fine, I get that. If the realtor’s anecdote is not helpful for you then you should ignore it. But information has value (depending on the quality of the information, of course) and even small things like anecdotes can be very helpful to buyers who are, for whatever reason, choosing to purchase now. I know, silly them.

  32. lurker til now says:

    [29] Grim, again I agree exactly. If we are debating something, let me know. Otherwise, I think we’re on the same page.

  33. SirRentsalot says:

    “Mix shift is one of the pegs on which bad forecasters hang their climbdowns.”

    Speaking of climbdowns, was pretorius ever heard from again?

    Not that he’s the only one who ever disappeared…

  34. Curmudgeon says:


    So you’re buying outside of the Dirty Jerz? Point on the map..


  35. SirRentsalot says:

    lurker: “As for the NAR, well, they’re a lobbyist right? In general, I find that the truth is always somewhere in between.”

    You find the truth is somewhere in between (a) the NAR and (b) _____.

    What’s (b)?

  36. Curmudgeon says:

    ..not that I believe the AP Distress Map is a flawless document..just sayin’

  37. SirRentsalot says:

    “If the realtor’s anecdote is not helpful for you then you should ignore it.”

    I prefer not to ignore propaganda in widely circulated media outlets. I’d rather people know it’s propaganda.

  38. lurker til now says:

    [35] Sir, I think you and 3b may be (b), but I guess I really don’t know you well enough to say that with certainty.

  39. SirRentsalot says:

    “you and 3b have a lot of hostility towards the market”

    I’m not even sure what that means.
    I’m about to buy a house, and I’m loving the market that is allowing me to take advantage of some poor soul who has no choice but to sell.

  40. BC Bob says:


    Do you trade lumber futures?

    Is lurker aka pret?

  41. SirRentsalot says:

    38 lurker

    In my book, grim is (b), and having followed grim’s prognostications and those of the NAR for three years now, I can tell you with certainty that the truth is NOT somewhere in between.

  42. lurker til now says:

    [37] Propaganda is a lie, or distortion of the truth. The realtor told what she observed. Many other articles, including the NY Times have posted articles about empty open houses. Again, I hate to overstep my boundaries, but I’m guessing that those articles were posted here without a problem.

  43. lurker til now says:

    [41] well, that’s your anecdote, now isn’t it :)

  44. lurker til now says:

    [39] Sorry, I meant the NJ market. Congratulations on your house purchase!

  45. skep-tic says:

    well, on this green shoots business, the last couple of weeks at work feel more like spring 2007 than winter 2008. I have been getting killed. then again, I get the sense that everyone is in a mad dash to get new financing while the window is briefly opened.

  46. SirRentsalot says:

    34 curmudg
    “So you’re buying outside of the Dirty Jerz? Point on the map..”
    I’m buying where the economic distress, on that map, is measured as 0-5.
    Where high oil prices will help the local economy.
    Where the food is cheap and the livin’ is easy and the property taxes are low.

  47. SirRentsalot says:

    “well, that’s your anecdote, now isn’t it :)”

    No. If you’ve really been following grim’s blog for any period of time, you know that the stat analysis here with respect to real estate is better than what is publicly available in all other fora, so I wouldn’t call it an anecdote.

  48. BC Bob says:

    “The realtor told what she observed.”

    Hank observed that the banks were fiscally sound, there would be no contagion.

  49. BC Bob says:


    Canada, Oklahoma or Texas?

  50. skep-tic says:


    “Where the food is cheap and the livin’ is easy and the property taxes are low.”

    and the girls all stay the same age?

  51. lurker til now says:

    [48] Hank opined.

  52. SirRentsalot says:

    “Propaganda is a lie, or distortion of the truth. The realtor told what she observed.”

    No. Read the article again. The realtor said quite a bit more than a mere factual observation.

    “According to Long Island real estate agent Margaret Bzdewka, much of the slack in the market has been in the high end, which has been hard-hit by job losses on Wall Street. In the entry-level market—in Massapequa, that means older homes under $400,000—buyers who are trying to take advantage of the $8,000 federal tax credit before it expires on Dec. 1, 2009 are starting to compete for modestly-priced houses.”

    On what basis did she make these statements to the WSJ? On this basis:
    “Last weekend, she says, one open house attracted 20 home shoppers and six offers.”

    She’s either a fool or a charlatan. So perhaps you are right; there’s a 50% chance that it’s not propaganda.

  53. lurker til now says:

    Sir, you must be a picnic at parties.

    [39] “I’m loving the market that is allowing me to take advantage of some poor soul who has no choice but to sell.”

    [52] “She’s either a fool or a charlatan.”

    But you have to find what works for you in life. Mazel tov!

  54. relo says:

    Would Hank have opined based on his observations?

  55. SirRentsalot says:

    “Hank opined.”

    Hank had to say what Hank had to say, because Hank was trying to make sure that the public did not panic, and the truth would have caused a panic.
    Hank had little choice, and Hank was working furiously behind the scenes to twist private arms to ensure that as much damage (to those whom he views as his constituents, to be clear) could be avoided as possible. Hank was fighting a rearguard action in his public statements, but Hank was very busy in the meantime.

  56. lurker til now says:

    [54] Relo, actually he wold have opined based on his analysis of financial documents of which he had no first hand knowledge, hence no observation. i don’t mean to be snotty, but i do think it’s an important distinction. Trust the soldier in the field, as it were.

  57. SirRentsalot says:

    “Would Hank have opined based on his observations?”


    This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions.

  58. SirRentsalot says:

    “financial documents of which he had no first hand knowledge”


  59. SirRentsalot says:

    “you must be a picnic at parties.”

    Especially after I get into the zinfandel!!

  60. BC Bob says:

    relo [54],

    You beat me to the bag.

  61. SirRentsalot says:

    49 BC
    The last is closest. Head east on 10.

  62. 3b says:

    #7 we:By end of 2009 Companies and average American family will find themselves cash-rich.


  63. lurker til now says:


    [58] yes
    [59] red or white? not that it matters, the one is too heavy and the other is too sweet for me. Give me a good pinot anything, red or white :)

  64. 3b says:

    #13 clot: If he keeps this up, he make become the king fo the village idiots.

    It would be funny if not so drug induced dilusional.

  65. SirRentsalot says:

    “red or white? not that it matters”
    It matters a hell of a lot to me. Red, of course. Not much for the noir, but the grigio is very nice on a hot summer day (though I’ll reach for a nice grassy sauvignon blanc instead).

  66. SirRentsalot says:

    “[58] yes”

    I disagree.

  67. relo says:

    I too think the distinction is important as it furthers the point of BC’s post in 48, above.

  68. grim says:

    Propaganda is a lie, or distortion of the truth.

    #42 – So what is “puffery”, as permitted by the NAR Code of Ethics?

  69. lurker til now says:

    [66] sir, i won’t ask why, but the point is that he did not put together the financial statements. He could either have deliberately misread them, honestly misread them or been given inaccurate information. The latter case is the problem of garbage in, garbage out. My point is, like the statistics, he had the end numbers but no first-hand knowledge of the pieces that they were based on.

  70. BC Bob says:


    “actually he wold have opined based on his analysis of financial documents of which he had no first hand knowledge”

    Just busted a gut with this slop.

    So the head supervisor of the nations banks, who advises on monetary and fiscal policy had no first hand knowledge? The former CEO of GS who jammed armageddon down the throat of Congress. The same individual that robbed taxpayers by creating an AIG conduit?

    That’s it, you really are pret.

  71. lurker til now says:

    [42] Grim, puffery is wearing makeup on a date. Like I said, the truth is almost always somewhere in the middle. Sometimes a paint chip looks bright in sunlight, but dark under flourescent light. The paint color didn’t change, it’s just how you look at it. Their job is to make it look good. The buyer’s job is to see it at its worst and still like what they see.

  72. BC Bob says:

    “The last is closest. Head east on 10”


    Good for you. Congrats, all the best.

  73. SirRentsalot says:

    He had a lot more than just the financial statements. His public statements did not comport with what he knew.

  74. SirRentsalot says:

    Thanks, BC

  75. SirRentsalot says:

    70 BC

  76. SirRentsalot says:

    I’m picturing Hank on LiveEDGAR checking out the public filings, thinking “hmmmmm… looks OK to me…”

    damn, got coffee on my screen

  77. Clotpoll says:

    rents (33)-

    Cashiered, then hauled out on his shield.

    “Speaking of climbdowns, was pretorius ever heard from again?”

  78. lurker til now says:

    [73] That’s fine if you believe it was deliberate. I’m just saying that whatever decision he made was based on macro analysis not micro observation. I’m not saying he didn’t have plenty of (are you ready for this) **anecdotes** to draw on, but they weren’t his anecdotes, they beloged to others providing him with information.

  79. SirRentsalot says:

    “I’m just saying that whatever decision he made was based on macro analysis not micro observation.”

    And I’m disagreeing.

  80. 3b says:

    331 lurked; No hostility to the market. Just hostility to clueless realtors, clueless commentators on CNBC, and cluelss homeowners who could not read a graph if there life depended on it, pontificating that ther county, their town, their block, and or their house is somehow immune to real estate corrections.

    Hey I bough my first house in my 20’s, at the peak of another real estate bubble, some of the same nonsense we had these last few years, we had than.

    Buy now or be priced out forever, real estate only goes up, and on and on.

    Well guess what that was a bunch of krap than,and it is the same now.

    I know people who were selling coops/condos at 40 cents on the dollar. If we had sold when we wanted to we would have taken a 35% haircut. So we did not, but rather stayed and paid.

    Of course some self styled real estate experts like a soccer mom, or a local realtor will say “oh, well it was different back than.” Any time I ask why, or what makes thiis time different, I get the blinking eyes.

  81. grim says:

    From the APP:

    State loses jobs for 15th consecutive month

    New Jersey’s economy in April lost 14,400 jobs and its unemployment rate rose to 8.4 percent from 8.3 percent in March, the state reported today.

    he job losses were fueled by the private sector, which cut 15,600 jobs. The public sector was aided by the federal government, which hired hundreds of workers to prepare for the 2010 census, the state reported.

    “The serious impact of the global recession continues to be felt by New Jersey’s working families and their employers,” Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow said.

    The report marked the 15th consecutive month New Jersey’s labor market has declined. The state has lost 145,400 jobs during that time, a decline of nearly 3.6 percent. And its unemployment rate reached its highest level since December 1992.

  82. lurker til now says:

    [79] fair enough

  83. grim says:

    145,500 jobs lost in the state over the past 15 months and Nomura hiring 150 bankers is something to get excited over?

  84. Clotpoll says:

    BC (70)-

    If it’s not Pret, it’s a mutant offspring relative.

    Scary to think they may be multiplying.

  85. BC Bob says:

    Hammerin Hank, no first hand knowledge. That’s simply the most asinine post that this blog has ever witnessed. That’s saying something, there has been serious competition.

    Hank meets with AIG and only one other chief on WS, Lloyd Blankfein. A 3 page pile of sheet demanding $700B, with no discussion, conditions nor benchmarks. On top of this, with complete impunity.

    HMMM, Hank didn’t have a clue.

  86. lurker til now says:

    [80] 3b, I woud say just stop talking to people about it. They have their own interests and agends. I bought my first house because I needed it and my second house because I liked it. When I bough the first one we were apparently in a market trough. I didn’t know that, it all seemed so ungodly expensive. Now it seems so cheap. I’ll never know what the market will do, I’ll only ever know what I like and what I can afford.

  87. Stu says:

    Lurker til now (71):

    Thou art an educated fool.

  88. lurker til now says:

    [87] do tell :)

  89. grim says:

    Sorry, unemployment is backwards looking, I should be looking towards the future..

    Asco laying off 350 in Florham Park on 5/31

    Electrochem laying off 97 in Teterboro on 5/31

    State Street laying off 80 in Princeton on 6/26

    Children’s Place laying off 341 in Secaucus on 6/13

    Ortho McNeil laying off 30 in Raritan on 6/12

    Global Pharma laying off 129 in Raritan on 6/26

    PF Labs laying off 67 in Totowa on 6/30

  90. stan says:


    Sister lives in m’pequa, put 20% down in 2007. Couldn’t refi in feb of 2009. Starter home Anecdata.

  91. Firestormik says:

    One more prediction from last year come true.

    FACED with the unexpected prospect of unemployment, China’s students are again getting restless in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    Thousands of students are reported to have protested in the streets of Nanjing, in central eastern China – one of the centres of protests in 1989 – following an incident on Monday night in which government security guards enforcing restrictions on peddlers allegedly attacked classmates who had set up footpath stalls.


  92. Stu says:

    “Children’s Place laying off 341 in Secaucus on 6/13”

    Wow…I never thought I would see the day where parents weren’t willing to spend $20 on a shirt or a pair of pants that their child will outgrow in 3 months.

  93. BC Bob says:

    “I’m just saying that whatever decision he made was based on macro analysis not micro observation.”


    Hank created the damn market. He knew it was a pile of crap and subsequently shorted it. The same AAA that was sold around the world. How’s that for micro observation?

  94. John says:

    Bond of day for very long term.

    RENO NEV CAP IMPT REV CABS SER. 2005A 00.00000% 06/01/2038
    Price (Ask) 9.579
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 8.250%

  95. lurker til now says:

    [90] stan, she didn’t get a fixed rate? that is some anecdata i’m trying to get my hands on. what made her go with an arm?

  96. grim says:

    From the Record:

    State unemployment rate up slightly

    New Jersey’s unemployment rate edged up from 8.3 percent to 8.4 percent in April, as employers cut 14,400 jobs. It was the 15th month in a row that employment fell, but the state’s unemployment rate remains below the U.S. rate of 8.9 percent.

  97. grim says:

    #95 – I would have guessed that she just wanted a lower fixed-rate.

  98. stan says:

    Lower fixed rate…..

  99. lurker til now says:

    [99] unfortunate, my best to her.

  100. DL says:

    Cash rich families indeed…

    “Property tax rebates will be suspended this year for homeowners except senior citizens and the disabled under Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s revised budget proposal, state Treasurer David Rousseau told the Assembly Budget Committee Tuesday.”

  101. kettle1 says:

    NJ unemployment at 8.4% = 14.8% U6

  102. 3b says:

    #42 lurkerd: grim posts many articles both pro and con if you will. And yes to borrow a line, he has always been fair and balanced.

    I do not doubt what the realtor said, for me howver, there is no validity in that, as I will not be swayed by the actions of most probably clueless first time home buyers.

    I was one of those my first time around.

  103. Seneca says:

    91.6% of New Jerseyans who want to work are working!

    -Green Shoots

    Jack B@eur not dead, yet.

    -Green Shoots

    Steve Leuthold Boosting Stock Holdings to Almost 70%.

    -Green Shoots

  104. lurker til now says:

    [103] 3b, I most certainly wasn’t besmirching grim. But many posters post articles in the comments (as I did) and I was more referring to that.

  105. 3b says:

    #69 lurkerd; He was the former head of Goldman Sachs, what is or was considered the premier investment bank in the world. And we are to believe he did not understand, garbage in garbage out etc.?

    I do not buy that at all

  106. confused in nj says:

    101.“Property tax rebates will be suspended this year for homeowners except senior citizens and the disabled under Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s revised budget proposal, state Treasurer David Rousseau told the Assembly Budget Committee Tuesday.”

    Interesting that Corzine is still providing $55M for Pre School. Wonder if people who have an At Home Wife, can get some $ for At Home Pre School? Probably only, applies to Union Employee Pre School.

  107. 3b says:

    #81 grim: Jeez grim are you somehow implying that we need a healthy job market to have a healthy real estate market?

  108. chicagofinance says:

    lurker til now says:
    May 20, 2009 at 12:18 pm
    Hank O’Pine

    my favorite Irishman

  109. 3b says:

    #83 grim: I was 135, please don not exagerate.

  110. lurker til now says:

    [106] Not at all. I’m just differentiating between analysis and observation. Every business and government head (incl POTUS) relies on the observations of those around him or her to make decisions. Therefore any observations they rely on are not their own, but ones relayed to them. It is very different being a soldier in the field than being a strategic commander in an office building. The strategic commander is certainly bright and capable of understanding, but he or she doesn’t observe, he or she analyzes.

  111. Victorian says:

    Nomura won’t let us come out of recession. What is it trying to do by hiring people? As John has noted in his thesis, we need to fire more people so that companies are lean and fit.

  112. 3b says:

    #86 lurked: Except for this blog and my spouse I do not talk to anyone about it.

    I could be less than charitable too, and say I told you so to people, but I do not.

  113. 3b says:

    #96 grim: But it was only up slightly, that has to be good for the real estate market. Green shoots!!

  114. 3b says:

    #102 kettle: Thank You kettle, maybe not green shoots, but green poop.

  115. we says:

    grim #114 in moderation.

  116. Curmudgeon says:

    It totally amazes me how Grim avoids all the nonsense.

    His restraint and extreme competence have helped LOTS of people. I would give Grim about 99.8% of the credit for the value provided here…with Comp Killers as the MVF (most valuable feature).

    Speaking of Comp Killers; it sounds like a cocktail. Any mixologists want to take a shot?

  117. make money says:

    Access Holywood or someone should do a special programme and call it

    “Where is Hank Paulson now”?

  118. lurker til now says:

    [117] agree. i’m amazed he’s just been able to ride off into the sunset (lest anyone mistakenly think i am a particularly big fan of his).

  119. we says:

    The nonfinancial firms in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index have a total of $811 billion in cash and marketable securities on their books, calculates Goldman Sachs. That’s just shy of a record high in nominal terms and up $43 billion from the depths of the financial crisis last fall.

  120. zieba says:

    RE: Paulson 700B:


    I went to the 92nd street Y when he spoke to Business week. Hank mentioned that the two pager request sent to the hill was a proposal or a proforma or sorts. Hank went on to say that he was surprised to see it pass in this state as he thought lawmakers would expand on significantly and redraft.

  121. HEHEHE says:

    John for you:

    Fund Managers Burned by Obama Now Say They Are Wary

    May 20 (Bloomberg) — Hedge fund manager George Schultze says he may avoid lending to any more unionized companies after being burned by President Barack Obama in Chrysler LLC’s bankruptcy.


  122. zieba says:

    RE: 117

    Hank and wifey are back in Wisconsin with his their newly minted grand daughter. Hank is a big bird watcher and fisherman and I think he said he would liquidate ny real estate and move back to wisc fo’ good.

  123. kettle1 says:


    this is purely anecdotal on my part, but the break point for when things really start to accelerate and become undeniably obvious is somewhere around 20% U6.

    AT the current rate we should be there by sometime around august for NJ unemployment

  124. Clotpoll says:

    zieba (122)-

    I’d like to see him moved into a Supermax.

  125. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (123)-

    We’re probably there now.

  126. 3b says:

    #123 kettle: jeez kettle you too! Are you somehow implying that we need a good employment environment to have a strong demand for houisng? (sarcasm/off)

  127. SirRentsalot says:

    111 lurker
    ” he or she doesn’t observe, he or she analyzes.”

    In this case, Hank did both.

  128. SirRentsalot says:

    119 we
    “in nominal terms”

  129. we says:

    The Commerce Department reported that US savings rate hit a 14-year high of 5% last month, up from .1% a year ago as Americans moved money out of the stock market and socked cash away. At an annual rate, personal savings rose to a record $545.5 billion.

    At the same time, the FDIC reported that in the fourth quarter of last year, deposits in banks increased by $308 billion, the largest increase in 10 years. This cash flooding into banks has depressed rates on savings accounts, money markets, and cds as banks don’t need to set such competitive rates to attract consumer deposits.

  130. SirRentsalot says:

    we – thank goodness the financial firms are no longer relevant, eh?

  131. zieba says:


    You should have bought a carton of eggs and hauled your ass to the UES then.

    Yes, I know know you have principles and you’d like to shoot him, but a few well placed eggs might still see you home by the end of the week.

  132. BC Bob says:


    The death of the service economy.

    Thanks for posting.

  133. John says:

    Good article, it even mentions a bond I own American Airlines. Now talk about risk being priced in. I have a 20 year AMR bond with a 10% coupon I bought for 40 cents on the dollar. If AMR tried to do a bond sale they would need a 25% coupon to match its older issues. AMR might survive this time, but next recession if gas prices are high at same time they are toast or we have a severe terroism attack or SARs type event they are toast. Type of bond you buy and hold your nose for 48 months when you get back your whole investment and then you ride it as long as you can.

    Fort Worth, Texas-based AMR Corp. employs about 90,000 and 67 percent are represented by unions. AMR had about $4.2 billion in underfunded pension obligations as of year-end, according to Fitch Ratings.

    AMR, the parent of American Airlines, is rated Caa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and B- by Standard & Poor’s, four and six levels above default.

  134. grim says:

    #125 – Stop being so negative.

    The second derivative of the NJ unemployment rate is clearly improving.

    Green shoots!

    Nothing to worry about, things are getting badder at a slower pace.

    Must be the bottom.

    Got RE?

  135. grim says:

    #134 – Turning Japanese?

  136. John says:

    084664AR2 BERKSHIRE HTHAWY NT GBL 4.125 01/15/10 0.261(M) 102.454

    Who buys this stuff?

  137. kettle1 says:

    3b clot

    unemployment has followed U shaped curves durin recsiion for the last 50 years. Given our current stats, the curve we are currently on is set to peak at about 40-45% U6 if we bottom out in joblosses late in the summer. If we have already bottomed out in job loses and improve from here on out we are looking at a peak of 35-40% U6.
    If unemployment does not begin to improve by the end of the summer…… dont ask. The only response left to the government at that point is a major war similar to WWII in order to provide gainful employment (or conscription) for the population. The alternative at U6 rates above 45% generally involve civil unrest from a historical perspective

  138. John says:

    Other than some skycaps at Newark, toll collectors, guys selling beer in the Meadowlands, girls at the bada bing, 7/11 workers and mall employees and some middle aged phama types how many people actually work in NJ anyow?

  139. relo says:

    96: Great news! The pace of unemployment is slowing. Breathe easy.

  140. kettle1 says:

    Did i mention i hate audi’s!!!!!

    I am F’ing stranded in NC waiting for my car to be fixed inorder to drive home. Stranded day #3

  141. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [19] victorian,

    When you are reporting back to your handlers, Comrades Maddow and Olbermann, remember to tell them that I Love Big Brother. =)

  142. HEHEHE says:


    Should have bought a Chrysler.

  143. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [143] kettle,

    “did I mention that I hate Audis?”

    Join the club

  144. kettle1 says:


    Re unemployment and civil unrest:

    all those years of playing “civilization” may payoff after all

  145. zieba says:

    Note to self: Reconsider future purchase of ’09 A6.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    How many people do you think will look at that increase and say, “yippee, not so bad,” and not realize that it represents a 1% monthly-, or over 12% yearly- increase?

    Furthermore, what happens to the numbers when King Jon is forced to cut State jobs?

  147. John says:

    Audi is the worst of both worlds, relatively expensive and no brand recognition. But it has the honor of being the ugliest german car. BTW I love the phrase Audi 5000!!!


  148. HEHEHE says:

    But for what it’s worth, I don’t trust this market one bit.

    The relationship between the Dollar Index (DXY) and long-term Treasury rates (TYX) I highlighted on May 8 continues to grow in the wrong direction. Also, today’s acceleration in the slide of the dollar is quite eye-opening.

    One thing is to think that we’ve stepped away from the abyss (which we have – for now). Another is to suggest that the downward credit cycle we’re in has been resolved. Even ignoring the remaining structural problems, this isn’t going to be a routine credit cycle: Individuals, companies and countries are effectively broke, and printing money or being able to pile on more debt isn’t going to fix the problem.

    2010 Operating EPS estimates on the S&P 500 (SPX) are $45.99 for a forward P/E of 20. Use the GAAP estimates (you know, the ones that actually account for losses and other bad things we don’t like) and you get EPS of $35.66 for a P/E of 26.

    I won’t repeat my arguments as to why commercial real estate is heading down the tube (along with its load of debt) – but the counter-argument (i.e. “If we aren’t seeing it happen, it must not be happening”) seems more than a little suspect.

    According to a long/short financial services hedgy with a 20%/year return record over the last 5 years, remove the Temporary Liquidity Guaranty Program (TLGP) and General Electric (GE) could be spelled AIG (AIG). Does that sound like the all-clear?

    And what happens when Wells Fargo (WFC) and company stop pushing out the amount of time a loan must be in default (currently a ridiculous-as-it-is 180 days) before they actually recognize it as a bad loan? Is that when the reality that smoking debt-crack doesn’t cure the addiction that’s set in?

    The biggest gift the market has given me over the last 6 weeks isn’t higher prices, but a lower VIX, which is letting me pile on 2-sided option exposure at ever lower prices. As far as buying into the market… someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.


  149. Shore Guy says:

    Just talking to the tax people today, God bless the Section 179 deduction and The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

  150. John says:


    now these type of lay-offs bring a tear to my eye.

  151. we says:

    152, yes…..can even ride a big SUV through it.

  152. Shore Guy says:


    Tax law, for those who enjoy it, must present unlimited evil-scientist-hadns-rubbing-together-while-issuing-an-evil-laugh moments of joy when one finds yet another way to fully-comply with the law yet avoid its intent.

  153. kettle1 says:


    dont touch the audi if you are buying. Lease is fine, but dont buy unless you enjoy a very large and regular maintenance bill

  154. Shore Guy says:

    I wonder if one can justify a big-a$$ed boat as a satelite office someplace — equipped with business equipment etc., of course, and used as a real office, just with a better view than most.

  155. Shore Guy says:

    “dont buy unless you enjoy a very large and regular maintenance bill”

    Several of us said nearly the same thing to a good friend. Except that was about his fiancee.

  156. Shore Guy says:

    BTW, he did not listen and paid for it for years. Still is, in a way.

  157. Shore Guy says:

    Could adda new twist to the naked bootleg:


  158. BC Bob says:

    “As far as buying into the market… someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.”

    He [151],

    “But now you’re sad, your mama’s mad
    And your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money
    Tell him this is last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
    Because a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance”

    “My tires were slashed and I almost crashed but the Lord had mercy
    My machine she’s a dud, I’m stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey”

  159. Shore Guy says:


    Now I have Rosalita running through my mind. Thank you.

  160. Shore Guy says:

    Going tomorrow or Saturday?

  161. skep-tic says:


    Comp Killer c*cktail (aka Champ@gne Cocktail):

    Dash of bitters (for the sellers)

    sugarcube (sybolizes POS cape)

    bubbly (self explanatory)

  162. kettle1 says:


    + the office boat makes for a nice plan B

  163. Young Buck says:

    Please be advise that on May 21, 2009, at approximately 9:45 a.m., the United States Army Parachute Team “Golden Knights”, will stage an aerial demonstration in which team members will jump from a fixed- wing aircraft and land in Liberty State Park on Liberty Island (site of the Statue of Liberty). The demonstration will end at approximately 11:30 a.m.

  164. grim says:

    Anyone down on LBI this weekend?

  165. skep-tic says:


    Audi is the best looking german car left. benz and bimmers have grown gaudy and clunky looking

  166. 3b says:

    #138 we: Crammer is a disccredited moron.

    I saw him a couple of years ago on Michael Eisner’s MSNBC talk program.

    During the course of the interview he told Eisner he is “first and formost and entertainer”.

  167. BC Bob says:

    “Going tomorrow or Saturday?”


    Maybe both, Sat is a definite. No tickets, at this point.

  168. we says:


    private equity funds now have about $1 trillion in capital to put to work.

  169. BC Bob says:


    They had much more than that in 2007. How did that work out?

  170. we says:

    #168, you have already made up your mind about things, what difference does any data make to you.

  171. Shore Guy says:


    At this point, all I care about hearing live is Crush on You, and Sherry Darling — but will always take Roaslita, 5th Ave. Freezeout, and Jungleland. Our schedules do not allow us to catch any more of the current tour dates. If they add some after the overseas leg, maybe we can get a few shows in.

  172. BC Bob says:


    10th Ave? Jungleland is one of my favs. I believe there will be dates added after Europe.

  173. Nicholas says:

    Give me a dozen comps and I’ll know the direction of a market. Give me the median and average and all I know is what you told me.


    I understand completely what you are saying and I have hit on the same issue that you have brought up.

    The only access to data that I have is aggregated so I don’t see individual sales. For example, I get bin sizes that tell me how many sales and how many bedrooms occured in a specific price range. I could mine this data over say years to determine if there is a mix-shift occuring and in what bedroom/price ranges but there are some problems.

    A proposed strategy would be to pick a year/month that you consider stable/normal sales volume and distribution and create a baseline from this data. Then all other data that is collected would be compared from this base line to determine if the distribution is substantially deviating from the normal. Once you determined the deviation from “normal” then you could use that as a correction or error factor when looking at the median/average. A deviation on the high side (mix-shift toward more expensive housing) would mean that the median/average is overwieghted and needs to be errored down.

    Above is the only proposal that I could come up with for generating hard numbers for mix-shift. My question to you is how would you determine the direction of the market given a handful of comps?

  174. Joey says:

    #172, you have already made up your mind about things, what difference does any considered opinion make to you.

  175. zieba says:

    I heard Citi is outsourcing their trade support ops to India. Consultants flying in to asses what can be carved up and shipped out. Axes go down late August.

    Incomes for the jockeys were good and everyone ate well. These “WS” ops positions aren’t coming back.

  176. HEHEHE says:

    “I heard Citi is outsourcing their trade support ops to India. Consultants flying in to asses what can be carved up and shipped out. Axes go down late August.”

    I can confirm from a reliable source. Good thing bailing them out was the patriotic thing to do!

  177. zieba says:

    Friend knows people in the department who bought RE locally, some even in BC. Whoops.

    “Would you like some Green shoots with that?”

  178. grim says:

    Hey clot,

    You know, I’ve still got a bottle of real absynthe that I smuggled over from Europe.

    How about a Green Shoots Shots GTG?

  179. HEHEHE says:

    That’s “prestigious” BC

  180. zieba says:

    related and somewhat interesting:

    “Indian outsourcing company Tata Consultancy Services will buy Citigroup’s back-office operations in India for $505 million in cash, reports The Associated Press in a story in The Boston Globe.

    In addition, Citigroup is offering Tata Consultancy a $2.5 billion, 9 1/2-year contract to provide outsourcing services to Citi and its affiliates.

    Weighed down with $61 billion in credit-related writedowns, Citigroup has been trying to sell non-core assets.

    Citigroup employs 12,000 back-office workers who process transactions and provide customer services. Tata Consultancy employs about 8,000. By more than doubling its payroll, Tata Consultancy will widen its lead over rivals Infosys Technologies and Wipro, reports Bloomberg.”

  181. grim says:

    From the NY Observer:

    Another Round of Layoffs at WNET-13 and Parent Organization

    This morning, Neal Shapiro, president and C.E.O. of WNET.org, broke some more bad news to the employees of WNET-Thirteen, PBS’s flagship station in New York, and its sister station WLIW-21.

    At a station meeting, Mr. Shapiro told employees that the organization would be going through another round of layoffs. Roughly 50 staffers will be losing their jobs. The changes will take place over the course of the next month.

    Today’s grim news hit the stations’ employees just five months after a previous round of extensive job cuts.

  182. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy says:
    May 20, 2009 at 2:26 pm
    Going tomorrow or Saturday?

    shore: finally used StubHub to sell something…pocketed $425 for $250 worth of tix. Paid for my own tix.

  183. BC Bob says:

    zieba [177],

    Hey, no problem, only 12K back office workers. After all, Nomura has hired 135 bankers over the last 8 months.

  184. HEHEHE says:

    “only 12K back office workers” Will do wonders for that NJ Gold Coast RE market.

  185. HEHEHE says:

    Jeff Macke’s New Approach To CNBC Commentating: Cocktails


    This is beyond hilarious, I think he’s taken a page Ratigan and said to hell with this “green shoot” spouting circus.

  186. BC Bob says:


    NNJ RE owners never have to worry. It is tied to the hip of WS.

  187. zieba says:

    I don’t remember this event being open to the highest bidder. File this under “a sign of the times”:


    John, the code to purchase the ticket is BunnyRanchVIP.

  188. 3b says:

    #172 we: I love data, especially if it is unmanipulated.

    I just do not pay any attention to Crammer who insisted that all was well.

  189. HEHEHE says:

    Grim unmod 187 it’s a classic

  190. we says:

    189, I think you are thinking of the other guy, Kudlow goldilocks something. I pay little attention to Crammer, but I recall him yelling about the need for liquidity long before anyone.

    Bottom-line, things are not as bad as the Doom and Gloom that rests on this blog. But this is a great place to subdue irrational exuberance.

  191. BC Bob says:

    “I pay little attention to Crammer, but I recall him yelling about the need for liquidity long before anyone.”


    That’s why Cramer is a clown. Liquidity was never the problem. It’s insolvency. Keep pushing on a string.

  192. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [155] shore

    evil scientist-type glee and handrubbing???

    Pretty much. Yeah.

  193. SirRentsalot says:

    “I pay little attention to Crammer, but I recall him yelling about the need for liquidity long before anyone.”

    LOL, Cramer was urging viewers to buy Bear shortly before it went under. He panicked way after it was too late, and for the wrong reasons, and after he had been mercilessly cheerleading the bubble all year. Cramer is and always has been a clown.

    Kudlow, on the other hand, is just a blowhard, and in multiple senses of that word, if you catch my drift (and my drift is a snowdrift).

  194. Stu says:

    Zieba (124):

    “Hank is a big bird watcher…”

    I’ll flip him a bird to watch!

  195. skep-tic says:

    maybe already discussed here, but Cali is now one big step closer to 3rd world status. Projected $15B deficit just jumped to $21B with failure of bailout initiative to plug budget gaps with higher taxes. Public school class sizes to be 35-50. Convicts transfered from state to county jails (many will be released). Oh, and the state wants the feds to backstop their debt.

  196. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [157] shore guy

    See Progressive Engineering, Inc., T.C. Memo 1975-82.

  197. Stu says:

    We (191):

    “Bottom-line, things are not as bad as the Doom and Gloom that rests on this blog. But this is a great place to subdue irrational exuberance.”

    It’s easy to say that now. Talk to me in September. Until then, you are just playing Monday morning quarterback.

  198. John says:

    That is hot, but it is better when Hugh comps me
    zieba says:
    May 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm
    I don’t remember this event being open to the highest bidder. File this under “a sign of the times”:


    John, the code to purchase the ticket is BunnyRanchVIP.

  199. John says:

    How about talk to me next summer at my mansion in Southampton.

    Stu says:
    May 20, 2009 at 3:59 pm
    We (191):

    “Bottom-line, things are not as bad as the Doom and Gloom that rests on this blog. But this is a great place to subdue irrational exuberance.”

    It’s easy to say that now. Talk to me in September. Until then, you are just playing Monday morning quarterback.

  200. lurker til now says:

    talk about being under water


    (apologies if this was llinked to already)

  201. Stu says:

    John (200):

    “How about talk to me next summer at my mansion in Southampton.”

    We’ll see big boy!

  202. zieba says:

    Yeah right.

    Delusions of grandeur John!

  203. Clotpoll says:

    BC (192)-

    This “we” character is like a more virulent form of bi.

    A sort of swine flu, as it were.

  204. Clotpoll says:

    When is ESPN bringing back “Stump the Schwab”?

  205. Shore Guy says:

    5th?? Damned multitasking. You would never know all the years I spent living in Belmar, lol. Yeesh. They may never allow me to go to another concert.

  206. John says:

    Stu, don’t hate the playa hate the game. Back in the day I plop my SL on your front lawn out east, drink all your alchol and bust out of there smoking with your hottest ladies in a NY minute. Ladies be shifting my car for a good ten minutes before they realize it is auto-mat-ic. Catch me Memorial day at Lily Pond in East Hampton, taking Lindsay Lohan there so she can show the world she is again straight and can hang with the playas.

  207. we says:

    Stu, by September Dow will be above 9K, gas at $3 and green shrubs.

    Do you really think anyone in DC will allow deflation and collapse of revenue to take hold. When you make the rules and control the presses, you can achieve anything.

    John, I hope you get the place in the Hamptons, you sound like a player.

  208. Stu says:


    I hate neither the playa nor the game. Cause the game isn’t over until the fat lady sings, and the last I checked Congresswoman Frank hasn’t even warmed up yet.

  209. Shore Guy says:

    As for more dates for the Springsteen tour, I would think more dates will be added but, if they are, I would also expect they would need to be announced by mid June.

  210. we says:


  211. Stu says:


    I found a piece of land that’s perfect for you in the Hamptons.


  212. HEHEHE says:

    For a good chuckle watch post 188

  213. BC Bob says:

    “When you make the rules and control the presses, you can achieve anything.”


    Too bad John Q is staring at a mountain of debt. What about the demand side of the equation.

    By the way, being selfish, I hope they print 36 hrs a day.

  214. Stu says:


    Be very careful…John seems to be more attracted to you than to a Vidalia!

  215. we says:

    Stu, I can take care of myself.

    It’s ‘we’ or ‘WE’ for West Essex.

  216. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [214] John

    I suggest your lawyer be present at all times.

    This way you avoid Weekend at Bernie’s type episodes (or liability therefor).

  217. John says:

    Re 218, who is this John Q person, maybe he can pay off his debt and solve this problem.

    We is safe, Stu better watch out when he is sleeping out in the Hamptons the Mexicans may steal his shoes.

  218. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [156] kettle

    “a very large and regular maintenance bill”

    Second that.

    Two things I will never buy again:

    1. property in New Jersey
    2. an Audi

  219. grim says:

    From the AP:

    11 Atlantic City casinos report profit drops of 38 percent

    ATLANTIC CITY — Heaping on the bad news, Atlantic City’s 11 gambling halls are reporting first-quarter gross operating profits 38 percent lower than in 2008.

    The casinos earned $151.2 million in the first three months of 2009, compared with $243.8 million in the same period last year. Their net revenues fell 16.2 percent to $925.2 million for the period.

    The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa led the city with gross operating profit of $47 million for the quarter, but that was still 16.6 percent below the first quarter of 2008.

  220. Qwerty says:

    RE: “Consultants flying in to asses”

    Come again?

  221. grim says:

    #225 – How much do you want wager that the Treasurer and Jonnie Boy aren’t factoring in a loss in gaming tax revenues?

    What is gaming tax revenue, about 3-5% of total?

  222. Stu says:


    You really are a trip

  223. Hubba says:

    #188 LOL!

    Macke must have been reading the same chart I was yesterday. He sounds crazy, but I think he is just fed up with all of the BS and manipulation in the mkt.

  224. John says:

    I am thinking of blogging too, this site name is available do you think it is catchy.


    Just kidding, but it really is available.

  225. zieba says:

    It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to attend as I don’t see a helipad. Do the tennis facilities have a high fence around the perimeter? Maybe we could take the net down? Perhaps you can clear it with the neighbors? I don’t know, this very is frustrating to me, PM me I’ll give you my pilots contact info.

    PS- I fly with a case of mustard and four video girls.

  226. Traitor nom deplume says:


    Amherst beats out Berkeley and Boston for “Best College Town” in America.


    Take that BC Bob and Chifi!

  227. BC Bob says:


    I must be getting under your skin. That’s a good thing.

    Now, go play with we.

  228. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [214] john

    I may not be able to make it. The slip isn’t nearly large enough for my floating office, and that inlet may not be deep enough either (it draws 6 feet).

    I’d take the stretch limo, but some of those turns are too tight and narrow. Cannot make those corners.

  229. John says:

    Zieba, don’t worry I land on Sean Combs house, he hooks me with the party list and then has his staff transport us down the block in a gold crusty escalade, kelly rippa lives next door to Sean and if she is around she will jump in back for a few minutes to prime the pump.

  230. BC Bob says:

    Nom [232],

    I’m confused. Boston is not a college town.

  231. Curmudgeon says:


    I’ve had the “real stuff” in Paris but I brought back two bottles of Kubler from Zurich last month and it is the best I’ve tasted. Wormwood is not illegal anymore, you know…

  232. John says:

    Fifth Third plans tender offer for $1.1 bln notes

  233. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [235] zieba,

    Or you can land on my floating office. I got this from my friend Malcolm’s estate after he died.


  234. John says:

    Don’t worry Billy Joel will give us a ride.

    Traitor nom deplume says:
    May 20, 2009 at 4:40 pm
    [214] john

    I’d take the stretch limo, but some of those turns are too tight and narrow. Cannot make those corners.

  235. zieba says:

    I wasn’t aware you could set a heli down through the thick growth in the Esplanade area. Tip your pilot well.

    Next time you’re there, make a right on Sylvan head south past Tamcrest CC, my office is a few blocks down.

  236. BC Bob says:

    “Don’t worry Billy Joel will give us a ride.”


  237. HEHEHE says:


    That was guerrilla TV man, good for Macke.

  238. Victorian says:

    Macke was sloshed, must be getting margin calls from hell.

  239. Safeashouses says:

    #226 qwerty

    Sounds like a John story.

  240. SirRentsalot says:

    “It’s ‘we’ or ‘WE’ for West Essex.”

    Shwoo. It was probably ‘bi’ or ‘BI’ for Big Idiot.

  241. cobbler says:

    Traitor nom deplume says:
    May 20, 2009 at 4:28 pm
    [156] kettle

    “a very large and regular maintenance bill”

    Second that.

    Two things I will never buy again:

    1. property in New Jersey
    2. an Audi

    The trick to having an Audi repaired on the [relatively] cheap is to find a garage unfamiliar with the make and have them quote a firm price in advance. Most mechanics “not in the know” do not realize they have to put apart the whole front end of the car to do almost any work on the engine, except for an oil/filter change. The trick works, but for the next repair job you need to find another garage. I am on the 4th one (2000 A6 w/135K mi, bought when it had 90K).

  242. BC Bob says:

    Where is biluva?

  243. we says:

    Ok SirRentsalotBecauseTheManControlsMyLife

  244. ithink ithink says:

    i got new furnace
    & ac, submitted feed
    back. free gift, oh yeah.

    not just cows; salmon,
    and ham, cheesecake. God bless us
    and america.

  245. SirRentsalot says:

    “Boston is not a college town.”

    Damn, that is one of the greatest movies ever made.

    Picturing john and we singing “Big Bottom”

  246. Safeashouses says:

    My landlord is unhappy. He has a cash flow negative depreciating property on his hands.

  247. zieba says:

    I vote 250 for most random post of the day.

  248. Safeashouses says:

    I’ll have to find another bagholder to subsidize my lifestyle.

  249. 3b says:

    # 193 we:Bottom-line, things are not as bad as the Doom and Gloom that rests on this blog. But this is a great place to subdue irrational exuberance.

    Perhaps you want to back that statement up with some facts/examples.

  250. Essex says:

    The land of diminished expectations.

  251. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [253] zieba

    251 is pretty random too.

    BC Bob — I believe the author was using town generically.

    Also, Boston is, IMHO, a college “town.”

    Or are you of the opinion that Chestnut Hill (which got NO mention, BTW) is the only true college town? Feh!

  252. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [252] safe

    On the bright side, if he is taking depreciation, he won’t get hit with Section 1250 depreciation recapture if he disposes of the property.

  253. Orion says:

    Greetings from Asbury Park.

    From New Jersey Monthly Magazine:


  254. relo says:

    252: I resemble that remark.

  255. skep-tic says:

    Amherst being the best college town in America is a joke. Any school with a major football program blows the doors off of Amherst

  256. SirRentsalot says:

    257 nom de geurre
    Have you seen the movie “Spinal Tap”?
    I assumed BC was referencing it in his “Boston is not a college town” comment.
    In it, there is a song called “Big Bottom”, and since we and john seem to think we’ve hit the bottom, it seemed an appropriate link.
    OK, so that was pretty random….

  257. relo says:


    Nigel: This rally is the best.
    DiBergi: Why?
    Nigel: It goes to up to 11.

  258. grim says:

    Xanadu delayed, will open “sometime in 2010 at the earliest”

    Oh bother.

    Mall to nowhere.

  259. crossroads says:

    another decade another failed attempt for Asbury

  260. lurker til now says:

    hi grim, #261 is in moderation. what does that mean? is it because the link, or are we and i the risky posters of the day? ;)

  261. grim says:

    #266 – C’mon, look at the bright side, another bubble or two and that place will be transformed.

  262. Seneca says:

    Where is Jefferson Smith when you need him?

  263. grim says:

    #268 – city-data links banned.

  264. syncmaster says:

    Why are city-data links banned?

  265. bi says:

    top 10 lurkers today:

    32 SirRentsalot
    28 lurker til now
    24 grim
    21 BC Bob
    17 we
    16 John
    14 3b
    13 zieba
    12 Shore Guy
    11 Traitor nom deplume

  266. Safeashouses says:

    #262 relo

    My guy bought at the peak. It’s a flip gone bad. Very bad.

  267. relo says:

    274: Flips and landlordship (?) are great…until they’re not (speaking as a FL bag-holder). Boo-f’n-hoo.

  268. HEHEHE says:

    “Xanadu delayed, will open “sometime in 2010 at the earliest”

    Is that the date it opens to the public or to the squatters?

  269. BC Bob says:

    Nom [257],

    Nah, it’s a major city that happens to house colleges and university’s. It’s strictly a pro town. With the Celts, Soucks, Pats and Bruins, nobody gives a rat ass what is happening at BU, BC, Harvard or Northeastern. State College, Pa, that’s a college town.

  270. BC Bob says:

    “I have been wondering if I should buy this?”


    What the hell are you wondering about?

    Ivy League- Quantitative Easing
    Floor Trader- Dollar in sh*t can, major debasement.

  271. helpingafriend says:

    Can I get a history on MLS: 2640609


    House is currently lisyed at 125 below 2003 selling price, and I thik the offer accepted may be below the current list.

    Thanks in advance

  272. The theme looks good for this type of niche.

  273. HEHEHE says:

    O’bamaland at work, Indiana Teachers Pension Fund tries to stop Chrysler sale with motion filed 5/19/09, motion denied today in less than 24 hrs, hours later NEA takes over the Indians Pension fund:


    You can’t make this stuff up. Wake me up when they start burning books and forcing people out of their homes.

  274. kettle1 says:

    Noticed an interesting anecdotal trend.

    In the NJ PA area, “for sale” signs look like a plauge of mushrooms, there are so many of them.

    In the NC and SC area, there are significantly fewer, what appears to be a more “normal” amount. You dont see 50 signs every mile.

    This would seem to fit the data in regards to how bubblicious the 2 different regions got.

    This is completely anecdotal, but interesting to see in person.

    On another note, was renting a house on topsail beach. Spoke to the owner and they said that rentals have been hurting this year and that that another bad season could put a number of her fellow owners under and potentially into foreclosure.

  275. Shore Guy says:

    Nom is like fire and Clot is like ice, and I am in the middle, like lukewarm water.

  276. SirRentsalot says:

    261 lurk
    I think we’d need to start by understanding how “affordability” is defined.

  277. SirRentsalot says:

    That being said, I agree that prices are down.

  278. grim says:

    #273 – A lurker is someone who reads, but doesn’t post.

  279. grim says:

    #272 – The ol’ city-data troll/spam war of 05.

  280. lurker til now says:

    [285] My heart just melted a little bit :)

    [284] The HOI assumes 28% of income for housing expense, but only 10% down which I don’t really like. But I don’t know what the norm is anymore for borrowers and lenders. I was hoping we’d inch back to 20% but I’m not sure that’s true.


  281. Shore Guy says:


    Interesting about the rental situation in NC. Another bad season down there and we may help some of the overextended-shortselling sellers pull a millstone from their necks.

  282. Shore Guy says:

    Ann Arbor is a pretty good college town.

  283. chicagofinance says:

    Q to anyone that might know: does anyone know the context of the Macke thing on CNBC with DK? He was referring to something earlier in the show, so I am wondering whether it still stood out given that information. I had no idea what he meant…..

  284. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy says:
    May 20, 2009 at 6:54 pm
    Ann Arbor is a pretty good college town.

    Weather too poor.

  285. BC Bob says:

    “273 – A lurker is someone who reads, but doesn’t post.”

    I thought a lurker was one who requires a disclaimer?

  286. BC Bob says:

    Chi [291],

    Just a guess, Doug Kass?

  287. yome says:

    think we’d need to start by understanding how “affordability” is defined.

    Yes i agree.
    When i first came on this blog before RE collapse we agreed:
    1.Not everybody can afford to be a homeowner.
    2.Prices back then (monthly mortgages)are more than double of what you’ll pay in rent.Affordability is about same as what you will pay in rent.
    3.Affordability is 2x gross income.

    Are we still on the same page?

  288. Shore Guy says:


    Well, then, Austin, Tempe, and Ruston work.

  289. grim says:

    Any long-term affordability measure for NJ needs to take into account the increase in property taxes over the period.

    I’m sorry, but it must be done.

    In 1998, the average property taxes in NJ were $4,119. By 2007, that increased to $6,796. The 1998 cost, adjusted for inflation, is roughly $5,300 in 2007 dollars. The series I’m using doesn’t move into 2008, but I’m sure the number exceeds $7,000 at this point.

    A quick and dirty way to integrate this would be to simply recalculate affordability using income less property taxes.

  290. Shore Guy says:


    You just hit the nail on the head. We were about ready to buy an occasional use place here but have gone 80% against the idea (NJ, not buying one) only because of the threat of runaway taxes.

  291. grim says:

    By the way, the NAHB HOI is saying that median prices in the New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ MSA have fallen 20.3% from peak.

    Those pointing to the NAHB HOI as a sign of market strength, realize you are also agreeing that NY metro prices are 20% off peak.

  292. Shore Guy says:

    The retirement plans had been NJ half year and either NC/PR/or Grenada 1/2 year. Now? Perhaps NC in the summer and FL (for tax reasons half year plus a day) in winter or perhaps PR or Grenada.

  293. Shore Guy says:


    They may be down 20% in North Jersey, just not here (wherever one is dtanding at the moment).

  294. SirRentsalot says:

    “I was hoping we’d inch back to 20%”


  295. lurker til now says:

    [296] yome,

    I think the rent comparison doesn’t work so well in NJ because it’s not so common to rent a proper home, and even if you can, you don’t get to make it your own. So the rent/own paradigm is a little weaker here than in the city. That is, I think people are willing to pay a premium to have something they can make into their own. Again this applies more to SF homes, I completely leave condos out of this mix.

    As for the affordability measure you gave of 2x gross income, I’ve never heard anything that low. Traditionally it was 20% down and 2.5 times income for the loan. So a $400,000 house would require $80k down and an income of $128,000. This was the old, conservative standard. I truly don’t know where lenders are at right now in terms of down payments and loan ratios.

  296. lurker til now says:

    [290] go blue

  297. lurker til now says:

    [300] grim,

    “Those pointing to the NAHB HOI as a sign of market strength, realize you are also agreeing that NY metro prices are 20% off peak.”

    I really don’t know but I’d have to assume that they have based on the HOI chart. So isn’t that good? I thought the point of this blog was that home prices will come down.

  298. BC Bob says:

    “go blue”

    Yes, hail to the victors; (3-9, 2-6)

  299. lurker til now says:

    I was a rower, not a fighter :)

    (I think those are football scores?)

  300. SirRentsalot says:

    “I think people are willing to pay a premium to have something they can make into their own.”

    As someone who really enjoys landscaping and gardening, I would agree with this statement. That being said, I have been renting a SF home in NNJ since early 2004, because the premium of owning over renting in NNJ single family homes has been absurd for the past several years. Were I remaining in NNJ, I would continue to rent for another year before buying.

  301. lurker til now says:

    [310] sir, I could see that (renting for another year), especially if you’re already settled. Hopefully your new home will be a gardener’s heaven :)

  302. House Whine says:

    Being unemployed is certainly a drag – but I was able to find a job after a few months. Honestly, I am pretty good at networking and being rejected doesn’t usually bother me. You can’t sit at a desk surveying the internet only to look for a job – you really have to get out of your house and tell everyone and their brother that you are looking for work. People I never expected to help me did.
    Just my personal two cents worth on the current unemployment situation.

  303. lurker til now says:

    [312] Congratulations, House Whine! Enjoy the new job.

  304. kettle1 says:

    been offline for a few days, anybody seen this piece yet?

    Joseph Cassano: the man with the trillion-dollar price on his head

    He judged that AIG was highly overvalued, and he would later realise that its shares were supported by an ability to stifle criticism. In his report for The Economist, however, he was tactful. To justify the share price, he said, “it would have to grow about 63% faster than [its] peers for the next 25 years. If investors believe that AIG can sustain this type of performance for that period of time, then AIG is properly valued”. Any investor who believed that would need to be certified.

    “AIG’s foray into CDS was really the grand finale,” says Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, an expert on banking who has testified before Congress. Towards the end, it looked much like a Ponzi scheme, “yet the Obama administration still thinks of AIG as a real company that simply took excessive risks”. In other words, there was never a chance AIG would honour its contracts: its income was nowhere near enough to cover the payouts.


  305. BC Bob says:

    “Any investor who believed that would need to be certified.”

    kettle [314],

    Well, send all of WS, along with pension fund and mutual fund manager’s, to Cuckoo’s Nest. Nurse Rached will provide the care.

  306. BC Bob says:


    How can you hail the victors and not know their overall/big ten football record? Bring back Bo.

    “A Michigan man will coach Michigan.”

  307. BC Bob says:

    House Whine,

    Spot on. Congrats.

  308. lurker til now says:

    [316] my bad :)

  309. Rich says:

    Bank of America raised $13.5 billion by selling stock after the government said it needed more cash to survive. BofA sold 1.25 billion shares at an average price of $10.77 each. Now, the public has bid the stock up to $12 today. Why would the public bid up the price of a bank that the government says needs $40 billion of additional capital? Nothing is better for banks than government-engineered inflation. By holding short-term rates low, the government will enable banks to earn their way out of the hole they’re in. The bank stocks are acting the way they should if a huge new wave of inflation is coming.

  310. Rich says:

    If the east permits the hyperinflation to occur in the upcoming years in the US. Your current mortgages could be paid off in half or a third of the time.
    Hoarding cash could become very painful.

  311. House Whine says:

    313, 317,

    WOw – thanks for your support. I won’t be able to be on the web at work (I think that’s actually a good sign) but I do know that this blog was a bright spot in my days of job-searching.

  312. chicagofinance says:


    The Great Santana, Star Southpaw By ALLEN BARRA

    The hottest party of the year in Tovar, Venezuela, is called “El Cy Youngazo,” which roughly translates as “The Great Cy Young.” It’s held in December, and the host and No. 1 attraction is Johan Santana, the town’s native son and the New York Mets’ star southpaw.

    It is, as one Latin journalist describes it, “A festival of all things Venezuelan, all things baseball, all things Johan.”

    There are musical performances, free toys, and beverages courtesy of Cervecería Regional, the second-largest beer producer in the country and the proud “sponsor” (as they put it) of Mr. Santana. For those who prefer wine, there is Santana’s Select for sale — proceeds support the pitcher’s charitable foundation. There are also bodyguards provided by Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, who is well aware of what would happen if any member of the Santana clan — which includes his wife, Yasmile, whom Johan has known since he was 9 years old; their two daughters, Jasmily and Jasmine, and their baby son, Johan Jr. — were kidnapped.

    Winding up for Cy Young 2010?
    The way things are going, this year’s party is likely to be a real fiesta. Currently leading the National League in earned run average, second in strikeouts, and tied for second in wins, Mr. Santana is the odds-on favorite to win a Cy Young trophy — the third of his career — this season. This would make him, at age 30, a lock for baseball’s Hall of Fame, where every pitcher who has won more than two Cy Youngs has wound up.

    The Cy Young Award is, of course, given annually to the best pitcher in each league, and Mr. Santana is the National League’s best. He is probably the best pitcher in either league, although there are some American League chauvinists who argue the case for Kansas City Royals right-hander Zack Greinke, 7-1 with an ERA of 0.60 as we go to press. But though Mr. Greinke has been slightly better than Mr. Santana so far this season, he’s 41-46 (a won-lost percentage of .471) in five major-league seasons and has never finished a season leading his league in any key pitching category.

    Now in his 10th major-league season, Mr. Santana has won 114 games and lost just 53 for a .683 career W-L, and has won two Cy Youngs (in 2004 and 2006 while with the Minnesota Twins). He has led his league in strikeouts three times, ERA three times, and fewest walks and hits per innings pitched four times. He has struck out at least 200 batters in each of his past five seasons, many of them with a devastating change-up (generally thrown after a hard slider or 91 mph to 95 mph fastball) that, as former Mets pitcher and current broadcaster Ron Darling says, “absolutely humiliates hitters. Some get so far out in front of it that they want to pull the bat back and try and swing at it a second time.”

    In fact, most baseball analysts — and all New York Mets fans — feel Mr. Santana should have already won three Cy Young Awards. Their point of view is expressed by ESPN.com columnist Rob Neyer: “He’s the best pitcher in the game, and by any objective standard should have won the National League’s Cy Young last season.”

    Mr. Santana actually finished third in the voting, which many regard as outrageous: He had a better ERA (2.53) than the winner, San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum, and the second-place finisher, Arizona’s Brandon Webb, and a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than either. “Everyone knows why he didn’t finish first in the voting,” says Mr. Neyer. “It’s because he was ‘only’ 16-7.” (To Mr. Lincecum’s 18-5 and Mr. Webb’s 22-7.)

    But 2008 was a season in which Mr. Santana could have won a lawsuit against his bullpen for lack of support. Seven times he left the mound with the lead only to see his relievers give it back. Combined with his other statistics, he probably would have swept Cy Young voting if his bullpen had just held on in five or even four of those games.

    What a difference a year makes. The Mets collapsed at the end of last season for lack of a strong closer, but before this season’s spring training they acquired one of the best, Francisco Rodriguez — aka “K-Rod” (the “K” stands for strikeout) — currently the hottest relief pitcher in baseball. Mr. Rodriguez has a microscopic ERA of 0.92 today and 11 saves in 11 opportunities. If K-Rod had been in the Mets bullpen last season, Mr. Santana would probably not only have led the league in victories with 23, but the Mets would have avoided their second straight September swoon and made it to the World Series. Though Messrs. Santana and Rodriguez have had limited opportunity to work together this year, every hitter in the NL knows that as the season goes on those two Mets are likely to be the deadliest combination in the game.

    “On the days when Johan is scheduled to pitch,” says Mets manager Jerry Manuel, “and Francisco is available to close things out, the other team’s hitters have got to wake up in the morning feeling they don’t have much of a chance.”

    Before the year is out, the party in Tovar may have a new name: “The Great Santana.”

    Mr. Barra’s latest book is “Yogi Berra, Eternal Yankee” (W.W. Norton, 2009).

  313. kettle1 says:

    this touches n a debate we have had here many times

    Blue collar U.S. males lose more ground

    One statistic that stands out in America’s recession-stung economy is the unemployment rate for adult men: in April for the second month in a row it surged ahead of the national average to 9.4 percent versus 8.9 percent for all workers. The jobless rate for adult women was 7.1 percent. The reasons are clear: male-heavy sectors such as construction and manufacturing have been hard hit. But the implications may be dire for the broader economy and hamper the recovery as families that once had male breadwinners struggle. “In the 2001 recession, 51 percent of all job losses were for men. It was evenly split. But in this recession 80 percent of the jobs that have been lost have been men’s,” said Andrew Sum, a labor economics professor at Northeastern University who has studied this issue in detail.

    The fact that American males without a college degree are especially vulnerable in this cycle point to more hard times ahead for the U.S. working class, which has endured stagnant and declining wages for the last three decades. The skilled and semi-skilled jobs they traditionally held have been moving overseas to places like China and Vietnam. The jobs that remain pay less, amid declining union membership. One study by Julia Isaacs of the Brookings Institution think-tank found median U.S. family income rose to $53,280 by the middle of this decade in 2004 dollars from $37,384 in 1964. But for males aged 30 to 39, average annual personal income fell from the mid-1970s by around $5,000 to $35,000.

    The growth in family incomes is mostly from women entering the workforce. But during this recession that will hardly compensate given the scale of male job losses.


  314. kettle1 says:

    Fed to Add Older CMBS to TALF Lending Program in July

    The Federal Reserve will include legacy assets for the first time in a $1 trillion program to revive credit markets, expanding the effort to commercial real estate securities issued before the start of this year. The central bank also expanded the number of credit-ratings companies permitted to rate assets for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to five after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told the Fed that the three initial eligible companies helped fuel the global credit crisis. Today’s announcement is part of the U.S. government’s broader plans to revive credit for consumers and businesses and end the recession. Fed officials set terms for accepting older commercial mortgage-backed securities after some investors were disappointed that a May 1 announcement included TALF terms only for new CMBS.


  315. Sastry says:

    Nom/Clot… Question on attorney reviews — are there usually back and forth on the contract language? The language in the response was a bit weird — “Item x is unacceptable, etc.”

    Is it usually posturing, or regular business? The language in the response took me by surprise. My fear is that the other side lawyer/bank may threaten to pull the plug.


  316. Victorian says:

    Lebron James is from another planet!

  317. Sastry says:

    My attorney wants to say, “all appliances must be in working condition”, when the deal is “as is” [also, I think all appliances are fine]. Anyway, we’ll get new ones before we move in, so, trying to win a meaningless battle seems odd. Attorney says he is trying to protect me.


  318. Sastry says:

    House Whine, Congrats!


  319. kettle1 says:


    Chrysler’s Pensions Are Underfunded by $10 Billion

    Bankrupt Chrysler LLC’s pension plans may be underfunded by more than $10 billion, the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has estimated


  320. lurker til now says:


    the last house we bought our attorney also tried to “protect” us. I know she meant well, but I had to stop her because she was killing the deal in the name of helping us. If you are ok with the appliances then let it go.

  321. kettle1 says:



  322. grim says:

    Nom/Clot… Question on attorney reviews — are there usually back and forth on the contract language? The language in the response was a bit weird — “Item x is unacceptable, etc.”

    I’m not Clot, but yes. Not uncommon for the back and forth to begin prior to the lawyers even getting their hands on it.

    If it isn’t an issue, make it clear to your attorney, and if possible, use it to your advantage.

  323. grim says:

    I really don’t know but I’d have to assume that they have based on the HOI chart. So isn’t that good? I thought the point of this blog was that home prices will come down.

    Just making sure that assumptions are in line with the measure.

    That said, a 20% off peak price right now isn’t a bad deal, and is obviously more affordable than just a few years ago.

    Unfortunately, the economic situation we’re in differs greatly from that of just a few years back, and the measure doesn’t capture that.

    Irks me that the NAR uses a downpayment assumption of 20% when calculating housing affordability.

    If the measure actually took into account the number of median wage earners that actually had that downpayment, the number wouldn’t be so pretty.

    “assuming a 20% down payment”

    Is one hell of an assumption to be making right now.

  324. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Asbury Park Club From Springsteen’s Glory Days Set for Auction

    One of Bruce Springsteen’s old haunts is about to go on the auction block.

    The building that once housed the Upstage Club in Asbury Park, New Jersey, a hall in which Springsteen and fellow rockers used to jam in the late 1960s and early 1970s, will be offered for sale next month.

    “There was probably no other club like it not only in New Jersey, but in all of rock and roll history,” Robert Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles and author of a history of Springsteen’s E Street Band, said by telephone. “Without the Upstage Club, there’d be no Bruce Springsteen, there’d be no E Street Band.”

    Springsteen, a New Jersey native who named his first album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” performed at the Upstage with musicians such as Southside Johnny Lyon and Steve Van Zandt before the venue closed in 1971. Some of the building’s second and third floors are still covered with Day-Glo paint from that period, said Eric Kaufman, senior managing director of Bedford, New York-based Symphony Property Group, which is organizing the sale.

  325. BC Bob says:

    “Why would the public bid up the price of a bank that the government says needs $40 billion of additional capital?”

    Funny, is this really a question?

  326. BC Bob says:

    Rich [320],

    If your scenario plays out, hyperinflation, just look in the mirror. Wow, that’s Elvis Patterson.

  327. BC Bob says:


    It’s funny from RE never declines in value to location/location, to tied to the hip to WS, to the highly educated, to WS bonuses, to no contagion, to a slight pause. Now, hyperinflation? If it wasn’t so sad, it would be comical.

  328. Sastry says:


    “If you are ok with the appliances then let it go.”

    I think you meant I should stand firm and ask the attorney to let it go :)


  329. lurker til now says:

    [338] yes :)

  330. Clotpoll says:

    sastry (325)-

    You best tell your attorney to shut up and sign off on attorney review.

    Don’t steal in slow motion.

  331. Clotpoll says:

    Gotta jet. The french fries are ready, and Idol is on.

  332. Pat says:

    GMAC now Ally…did anybody just catch the pony commercial?

  333. grim says:

    #342 – Please tell me a kid gets a pony

  334. Pat says:

    One kid gets a rock.

  335. grim says:

    Coal? A young Ken Lewis?

  336. SirRentsalot says:


    “Attorney says he is trying to protect me.”

    And when you tell him thanks, but drop it, attorney should do as he’s told.

  337. SirRentsalot says:

    “One kid gets a rock.”

    Good ol’ Charlie Brown.

  338. Pat says:

    I think it was Ken Lewis’ daughter.

  339. SirRentsalot says:

    “I think it was Ken Lewis’ daughter.”

    Oh. Well, then I hope it wasn’t travelling at too high a speed on impact.

  340. kettle1 says:

    have a pool yet on how long before TSHTF in Cali, since prop 1A-1E got shot down?

  341. Pat says:

    Speaking of a rose by any other name, has anybody ever heard of the term “blackcap” or “redcap” being used by old ppl in NNJ or upstate NY (anywhere over the Tappan Zee) for a wild berry that IS NOT a raspberry or blackberry?

    I’m trying to get to the real berry type.

  342. Pat says:

    Apparently, it’s smooth…like a blueberry.

  343. reinvestor101 says:

    I just got finished watching Elliot Spitzer talking about the NY Fed board and a supposed conflict of interest because certain financial institutions’ CEO sit on the board.

    Why in the hell is anyone listening to this guy? Didn’t he disgrace himself not less than six months ago? These liberals kill me taking a page out of Clinton’s book—go out and be a pervert, then act all remorseful and then slink back on the public stage as some sort of damn expert. Clinton created the playbook for this sort of thing and now everyone and his mother uses it. Disgusting.

  344. reinvestor101 says:

    ahem. I’m posting now.

    Pat says:
    May 20, 2009 at 10:15 pm
    Apparently, it’s smooth…like a blueberry.

  345. Sastry says:

    Clot, do you know this guy? He is recommended by Bob. Marco is the name… He tone was a bit of “who’s the lawyer here?” type, and “I am trying to *protect* you”.


  346. kettle1 says:


    Toll Second-Quarter Revenue Declines 51% on Housing Slump

    Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. builder of luxury homes, said fiscal second-quarter revenue fell 51 percent as banks cut lending and demand for new homes sagged. Sales for the three months ended April 30 dropped to $398.3 million from $818 million a year earlier, the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company said today in a statement today. Toll was projected to have revenue of $364 million, according to the median estimate of 11 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Toll, the second-worst performing U.S. homebuilding stock this year, has lost more than a third of its value since 2006 as the housing slump and the recession have cut demand. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Toll said today there are some signs the housing market is starting to improve. Deposits for new homes last quarter rose from a year earlier, he said.


  347. Pat says:

    Yeah, but you haven’t been squeezing your eyelids together.

  348. kettle1 says:

    California Officials Prepare Budget Cuts After Voters Reject Ballot Measures

    California voters rejected a handful of ballot measures Tuesday meant to plug less than half of the state’s $21 billion budget hole, and state leaders today are preparing major program cuts to deal with the growing crisis.
    Voters resoundingly snubbed five of the six ballot measures — a combination of tax increases, borrowing and earmarks for education — in Tuesday’s special election, with most of them receiving more than a 65 percent “no” vote. The only measure approved was one that prevents legislators, including the governor, from receiving pay raises in years when the state is running a deficit. Had the measures passed, the state’s deficit would have been slightly smaller: $15 billion. The timing couldn’t be worse for the Golden State, which regularly takes out short-term loans this time of year to pay its bills. California will be hard pressed to secure a sizeable loan, given its shaky credit rating and the tight lending policies at banks following the national economic crisis.

    In anticipation of Tuesday’s outcome [Gov Schwarzenegger], he released early two versions of the budget, one based on the measures passing and the other if they failed. The second one calls for more than $5 billion in cuts to schools, more than $1 billion from higher education, and $2 billion from health and human services, including cuts in HIV education and prevention programs. It also calls for turning over thousands of undocumented immigrant prisoners to federal custody, saving the state $100 million, Schwarzenegger said, and borrowing $2 billion from local governments. And in a move that has drawn some criticism, Schwarzenegger’s budget also calls for selling off state properties, including San Quentin State Prison and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


  349. Clotpoll says:

    sastry (356)-

    Name doesn’t ring a bell. However, if this is his attitude, I’d give him about one more phone call to do what you want, when you want. If he can’t do that simple thing, there are about 7,000 other attorneys in a one-mile radius that will.

    And I would suggest firing this guy and getting somebody who will work for you instead of fcuking up your deal.

  350. kettle1 says:

    Former head of US government pension agency takes the Fifth

    The former director of the government’s pension agency took the Fifth Amendment Wednesday when senators asked about allegations that he had inappropriate contacts with Wall Street firms while running the operation, which insures the pensions of 44 million Americans.


  351. kettle1 says:

    Pension Benefit Guaranty’s Deficit Triples to $33.5 Billion

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s deficit tripled to $33.5 billion in the past six months as companies canceled retirement plans in the U.S. recession, the head of the government-owned corporation said.


  352. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (357)-

    Too bad TOL had/has a huge cash cushion to help take the edge off the poleaxing they’ve been taking fro quarters on end. It’d be really fun to watch them bleed out, HOV-style.

    Of course, Bob Toll has taken polish-the-turd and turned it into an art form. Too bad no creative US attorney has been able to hang a RICO indictment on him. If he isn’t a racketeer, I don’t know who is.

  353. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (361)-

    Oh yeah, that’s gonna end really well…

  354. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob,

    this is incase you need someone else to short.

    May 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks are at the start of a bull market that may spur an 88 percent advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in the next two or three years, Laszlo Birinyi said.

    “We’re confident we are in a bull market,” Birinyi, the founder of Westport, Connecticut-based research and money- management firm Birinyi Associates Inc., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today.

    The S&P 500 may jump to a record 1,700 as the economy rebounds from the worst recession since World War II, an increase from today’s close of 903.47, said Birinyi, who spent a decade on the trading desk at Salomon Brothers Inc. Signs the global contraction is easing have spurred a 34 percent rally by the index since it sank to a 12-year low in March.


  355. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    May 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm
    vodka (357)-

    Too bad TOL had/has a huge cash cushion to help take the edge off the poleaxing they’ve been taking fro quarters on end. It’d be really fun to watch them bleed out, HOV-style.

    Of course, Bob Toll has taken polish-the-turd and turned it into an art form. Too bad no creative US attorney has been able to hang a RICO indictment on him. If he isn’t a racketeer, I don’t know who is.

    clot: Back when I used to care, I did a significant amount of review of that company. The amount of self-dealing by upper management is literally disgusting. There are a million sub-partnerships which are consolidated into results, but have a group of sticky hands picking the pockets of shareholders……if you are going to steal, at least use the government to help you….

  356. Shore Guy says:


    Having a lawyer protect you from bad language is a good thing. Having him scuttle a deal over appliances you do not even want is not this guy’s idea of a wise move.

  357. cobbler says:

    please unmod 367 or 368…

  358. Sastry says:


    There is some language such as “if lender is changed, then it is a breach of contract and bye bye deposit”. Clearly, very badly worded and unacceptable. Lawyer caught all such things. I think main things will be appliances, closing date, and deposit forfeit in case deal falls through (other than mortgage)… I believe those will be non-issues for me so far. However, I shouldn’t sign something that says “25k bye bye if you go with Clot’s guy” [it rhymes!]…


  359. lurker til now says:

    sastry – what’s the closing date issue? you want later rather than sooner?

  360. cobbler says:

    kettle [359]
    (repost from mod)
    Bloomberg radio about 5:40 pm had a talk with some muni bond speci@list. He basically discounted the idea that Cali could default on the municipal debt; felt the Governator would rather fire a bunch of state employees. However, he felt that Puerto Rico is a potential disaster – lots of debt (triple tax-free, so almost every state muni fund has some), very weak tax base (people are 3x poorer than in the 48 states), high dependence of economy on tourism which is dropping like a rock, local politics don’t allow any aggressive action. Tells he is did his best to get his clients out of there.

  361. Qwerty says:

    20% off peak means $600K POS Capes are now $480K POS Capes (essentially, $500K POS Capes).

    Wake me up when POS Capes run $350K.

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