Housing rescue plans failing

From the Philly Inquirer:

In the housing market, still waiting for dust to clear

Volatility in the mortgage markets. Rising foreclosure rates and delinquencies. Increasing existing-home inventories. Weak demand for new and existing homes, and lagging construction. Continued price declines.

Not a good week for housing, which PMI Group Inc. chief economist David Berson says “historically leads the economy out of a recession.”

Berson did not say it would be easy. He and other economists, including Economy.com’s Mark Zandi, caution that the housing market must stop falling before it reverses course, probably by mid-2010.

Not that the road will be smooth. For example, unexpected volatility in the Treasury market yesterday widened the yield gap between 2-year and 10-year bonds to a record 2.76 percentage points.

When 10-year yields rise, so do fixed mortgage rates, and those numbers gyrated wildly for most of the day, sometimes gaining and losing as much as three-quarters of a percentage point in an hour, brokers and analysts say.

When the dust cleared, unnerved investors had driven the Dow down 173.47 points. Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates then settled in at 5.375 percent, with no points, up half a percentage point from 4.875 percent a few days ago.

About 10.6 percent of the mortgages in Florida are in the foreclosure process. Pennsylvania’s rate is 2.39 percent; New Jersey’s is 4.32 percent.

Many of the moratoriums that delayed foreclosure proceedings expired when President Obama debuted his rescue plan for nine million bad mortgages – effects of which Zandi maintains will not be evident until the second or third quarter.

“Sadly, it validates that none of the current foreclosure-prevention programs is working at all,” said Rick Sharga, chief economist of RealtyTrac Inc. “Any program that doesn’t include some sort of forgiveness or long-term deferral of principal balance simply isn’t going to be effective.”

There also has been a major shift in the bad-loan category from subprime to prime, which “points to the impact of the recession and drops in employment on mortgage defaults,” Brinkmann said.

From Bloomberg:

Bernanke Bid to Lift Housing Scuttled by Rising Rates, Defaults

Kyle McGee went to his mortgage broker’s office yesterday hoping to refinance and save about $200 a month. He walked away empty-handed.

McGee was expecting a rate of 4.7 percent; the broker offered him 5.375 percent. The average 30-year fixed-mortgage rose to 5.08 percent May 27, according to Bankrate.com.

“We feel like we might have missed the boat,” said McGee, 37, an adjunct professor of social work at Hunter College School of Social Work in Manhattan.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s efforts to bring down borrowing costs to revive the housing market and help the economy are stalling. Mortgage rates are almost back to where they were in March before the 30-year rate fell to a record and sparked a refinancing boom. Mortgage delinquencies rose to a record 9.12 percent of U.S. home loans and house prices dropped the most on record in the first quarter, industry reports show.

“Housing is not going to be the engine to get us out of this recession,” said Robert Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist for Vineland, New Jersey-based Cumberland Advisors Inc., and former research director at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta. “They’ve squeezed a lemon and now they’re trying to squeeze some more, but you can only get so much juice out of a lemon.”

From the AP:

Mortgage delinquencies hit record high in Q1

A record 12 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are behind on their payments or in foreclosure as the housing crisis spreads to borrowers with good credit. And the wave of foreclosures isn’t expected to crest until the end of next year, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday.

The foreclosure rate on prime fixed-rate loans doubled in the last year, and now represents the largest share of new foreclosures. Nearly 6 percent of fixed-rate mortgages to borrowers with good credit were past due or in foreclosure.

At the same time, almost half of all adjustable-rate loans made to borrowers with shaky credit were past due or in foreclosure.

President Barack Obama’s recent loan modification and refinancing plan might stem some foreclosures, but not enough to significantly alter the crisis.

“It may be too much to say that numbers will fall because of the plan. It’s more correct to say that the numbers won’t be as high,” said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

From the Boston Globe:

Late mortgage payments hit highest level since ’72

Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures rose to records in the first quarter and home-loan rates jumped to the highest since March this week as the government’s effort to fix the housing slump lost momentum.

The US delinquency rate jumped to a seasonally adjusted 9.12 percent from 7.88 percent, the biggest-ever increase, and the share of loans entering foreclosure rose to 1.37 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association said yesterday. Both figures are the highest since 1972.

The housing decline is proving resistant to efforts by the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration to keep owners current on mortgages by allowing them to refinance or sell. Prime fixed-rate home loans to the most creditworthy borrowers accounted for the biggest share of new foreclosures at 29 percent, MBA said, a sign job losses are hurting homeowners.

One in every eight Americans is now late on a payment or in foreclosure, the MBA said.

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

329 Responses to Housing rescue plans failing

  1. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Dover redevelopment dead

    A plan many years in the works to redevelop Bassett Highway with new shops and condominiums has been scrapped, officials said Thursday.

    The nationwide economic downturn and delays in securing approval from the state Council of Affordable Housing were cited as the two reasons for the demise of the plan that some officials had said would have brought in $800,000 more tax dollars to the town.

    The developer’s representative, Richard Murphy of Trammell Crow Residential, and property owner, Paul Barnish, advised the mayor and board of aldermen the deal was dead, town administrator William Close said.

    “All parties involved were disappointed that the project could not be brought to fruition as the circumstances involved were beyond their control,” Close wrote.

  2. grim says:

    From CentralJersey:

    ‘Hire’ ed: Career fair at Rutgers draws thousands of job-seekers

    Job-seekers came by the thousands, resumes in hand, to the College Career Fair at the university’s College Avenue Campus on Thursday.

    Officials estimated attendance at Thursday’s event, billed as the state’s largest career fair, at well over 3,500. Yet, only about 130 companies and agencies were on hand, a drop from previous years when 260 or so employers would attend, said Dorothy A. Kerr, executive manager of employer services at Rutgers.

    New Jersey has almost 83,000 fewer jobs this month compared to May 2007, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment in New Jersey has climbed to 8.4 percent, the highest it’s been since 1992. The national unemployment rate is at 8.6 percent.

    Men dressed in dark suits, crisp shirts and ties, and women in matching trousers and jackets, marched in and out of the Rutgers Student Center and the Brower Commons from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

  3. relo says:


  4. Cindy says:

    Grim – On the national RE front – I’m wondering now if the possible “overshoot” in CA prices might be necessary to accommodate the reduction in spending power.

    With the furloughs, pay cuts, increases in health care costs, inflation – we may NEED to overshoot in order to have a decent loan to income ratio. Thoughts?

  5. traveljerk123 says:


  6. traveljerk123 says:

    from reuters:

    Japan developer Joint files for bankruptcy protection
    *Fourth-largest failure by listed Japanese firm this year
    *Top shareholder Orix says may write down stake

    TOKYO, May 29 (Reuters) – Japanese apartment developer Joint Corp (8874.T) filed for bankruptcy protection with about $1.5 billion in debt, underscoring the sluggish state of the property market and dealing a blow to shareholder Orix Corp (8591.T).


  7. 3b says:

    7% mtgs around the corner??

  8. Cindy says:


    Potential Consequences of 5.5% Mortgage Rates

    “Yesterday, the mortgage market was so volatile that banks and mortgage brokers across the nation issued multiple midday price changes for the worse, leading many to ultimately shut down the ability to lock loans around 1p.m. PST.”

    “Jumbo GSE money – $417K – $729,750 – has been blown out completely with some lenders at 8%.”

    Can you even imagine going through all of the work of a refinance, calling up to get a lock and having them tell you – “Oh, the 4.75% – well, that is now 5.5%.” I wonder how many refis will just be abandoned because they no longer represent a significant savings to the customer.

  9. Dissident HEHEHE says:


  10. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Dear Mortgage Refinance Applicant, Expect Delays

    Mark Hanson at the Field Check Group has an update on the mortgage mess that started Wednesday.


  11. BC Bob says:

    “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s efforts to bring down borrowing costs to revive the housing market and help the economy are stalling.”

    Sorry Ben. The bond market is much smarter, more efficient and has deeper pockets. Yes, deeper pockets.

    The fed produces bubbles and busts. Well, they have created the most recent bubble, supply. Unfortunately, for Ben, the sheriff is back in town.

  12. grim says:

    Ain’t that rich, the Fed wasn’t trying to lower mortgage rates at all!

    From CNBC:

    Fed Not Setting Rates in Credit Markets: Sources

    The recent surge in interest and mortgage rates is not down to the Federal Reserve’s purchases of Treasury and mortgage assets, sources familiar with the thinking of Fed officials told CNBC.

    The $1.2 trillion in mortgage assets and $200 billion in Treasurys bought by the Fed in an attempt to backstop the troubled credit market were not designed to impact rates, the sources said.

    Yields on 10-year U.S. government bonds jumped more than 50 basis points in the last two weeks, which unnerved many investors.

  13. grim says:

    And by the way, what the hell is this:

    sources familiar with the thinking of Fed officials told CNBC.

    Sources familiar with the thinking of?

    So this didn’t come from the Fed.

    It came from someone who thinks they know how the Fed thinks?

    If they are so sure, why do they want to remain unnamed?

  14. Shore Guy says:

    “housing rescue plans failing”

    In other news, gravity still pulls objects towards each other and light still travels faster than sound.

  15. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    WTF are they talking about? They were floating around the idea in the press about six months back that if they just got everyone into a 4% mortgage all the housing problems would be over. Next thing you know Ben is buying up tons of Fannie and Freddie paper. These people flat out disgust me. You have a lousy idea at least take ownership of it.

  16. Shore Guy says:

    “Sources familiar with the thinking of?”


    This is the Fed looking to make a statement without the possibility of being hammered for doing so. It is probably Ben or his press officer who made the statement. It happens all the time and, without saying more about the process, allows the media access to information it could not otherwise get.

  17. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Friday Outlook: End of Month Tape Painting

    The current rules are simple:

    Use light volume to push your book and the financial media. (Bill Gross)
    Use government money to trade. (TARP)
    Paint the tape at the end of the month. (Business as usual)
    Ignore any bad news. (All the downward revisions to previous data today)
    Little guys should stay out of the way. (You and me?)
    Okay, one day down and one more to go before the end of the month. Bulls got in a “relief rally” that bonds didn’t collapse after another auction. It’s a little too comical that Bill Gross comes on the airwaves to talk up his book that bonds were good value now. It’s laughably transparent.


  18. Shore Guy says:

    Another thing, the higher-up the “leaker,” and the more important/sensational the information, the more vague the reference to who said it.

  19. Cindy says:


    Nice slide show of charts from Whitney Tilson via Clusterstock.

    1) First Lenders Got Drunk
    2) Turns Out, Lending While Drunk Ain’t Such a Good Idea


  20. Clotpoll says:

    grim (12)-

    If this is some sort of attempt to jawbone the rates back down, oy vey! It won’t work.

    The Fed will have to deliver yet another plutonium money bomb to have any hope of reversing this disturbing new trend.

    As that Field Check article stated, if they drop another money bomb- and there is continued selling into it- there will be no follow-up. The world will know the Fed is out of ammo.

  21. Clotpoll says:

    grim (13)-

    What CNBC passes along as news doesn’t have the credibility of high school rumors. It’s a mix of hope, wish, innuendo, disinformation and outright lies.

  22. BC Bob says:

    “Ain’t that rich, the Fed wasn’t trying to lower mortgage rates at all!”

    I get it. They also had no intention of saving the worlds banks thru the AIG conduit. They were only targeting insurance rates, backstopping John Q.

    I guess their only objective is to fuel a commodity explosion?

  23. BC Bob says:

    “It’s a mix of hope, wish, innuendo, disinformation and outright lies.”


    Are you referring to green shoots?

  24. BC Bob says:

    Dollar getting pounded, [no pun]. Wait, it’s up versus one currency, the Zimbabwe dollar.

  25. Clotpoll says:

    Dollar flat vs Marcal one-ply.

  26. Clotpoll says:

    When is the Federal Reserve opening a branch in my neighborhood?

  27. Clotpoll says:

    Let’s denominate our mortgages in Zimbabwean dollars.

  28. afe says:

    mmmmmm, freshly squeezed lemonade in the summer time!

  29. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. GDP revised to 5.7% decline in first quarter

    The U.S. economy contracted violently again in the first quarter, falling at a revised 5.7% annual rate after sinking 6.3% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday in its second estimate of quarterly gross domestic product. Business investment declined at a record rate during the quarter. Investments in housing fell at the fastest pace in 29 years. Domestic demand fell at the fastest rate in 29 years. Exports fell at the fastest pace in 38 years. The negative 5.7% estimate for real seasonally adjusted gross domestic product was slightly stronger than the first estimate of a 6.1% decline released a month ago.

  30. Frank says:

    Where’s the recession?? Where are the home price declines??

    “California’s median price for existing homes rose 1.4% in April from March, marking the second consecutive monthly increase in housing prices and prompting some industry officials to declare that the state’s long swoon in housing values could be at or near the bottom.”


  31. Frank says:

    Today is another chance to buy SRS under $20. Way under.

  32. bi says:

    S&P hasn’t moved that much in the entire month of May. today’s market will set tone for the rest of the year. if it moves up 1% or more, it means people don’t sell in May going away. any prediction on SRS today? close at all time low below $19.78? or build base to shoot moon again? i bet the former.

    dislaimer: I don’t own any ultrashorts.

  33. Sean says:

    In Frank’s wonderful world of math a 50-70% decline in 18 months is completely offset by a 1.4% gain. Frank if the prices in California continue to go up at that rate
    then you better buy now or be priced out forever.

  34. Frank says:

    Any prediction on SRS today?

  35. bi says:

    31#, frank, when did you sell your $70 SRS? i would think you are a genius.

  36. BC Bob says:

    “U.S. GDP revised to 5.7% decline in first quarter”

    The 2 quarter contraction was the worst in 60 years.

  37. Frank says:

    I wish I lived in CA, I would buy and rent by the thousands.
    I am waiting for the same kind of market to appear in NJ, but so far it’s wishful thinking.
    I bought thousands of homes in CA in my work portfolio. Making money by the millions.

  38. Safeashouses says:

    #35 bi,

    Bi and frank, perfect togethor.

  39. BklynHawk says:

    RH DONNELLY (Yellow Pages publisher)

    R.H. Donnelley Initiates Voluntary Chapter 11 Proceeding to Restructure Balance Sheet and Reduce Debt

    – Has Reached Agreement in Principle with Key Creditors to Significantly Reduce Debt

    – Operations Continue Without Interruption; No Impact To Customers

    CARY, N.C., May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — R.H. Donnelley (OTC: RHDC), one of the nation’s leading consumer and business-to-business local commercial search companies, announced that the company and its subsidiaries today filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in order to consummate a balance sheet restructuring.

    “Our growth-through-acquisition strategy never anticipated the cataclysmic collapse of the U.S. economy and the local advertising market. As a result of these developments, earlier this year we began negotiating with our lenders to restructure our debt and provide the company with a more sustainable capital structure that reflects the current economic realities,” said David C. Swanson, chairman and CEO of R.H. Donnelley. (Ed. comment per Calculated Risk: “Hoocadanode?!”)

    Under the terms of the agreement:

    — R.H. Donnelley would reduce its total debt by approximately $6.4
    billion, including about $700 million of secured indebtedness
    — The approximately $6.0 billion of unsecured bond indebtedness would be
    exchanged for 100 percent of the equity in the restructured company
    and $300 million of unsecured notes issued by the company; all
    existing equity in the company would be extinguished
    — Total cash interest expense reduction of approximately $500 million
    — Post-restructuring secured and consolidated debt of approximately $3.1
    billion and $3.4 billion, respectively, which represents approximately
    3.0x and 3.3x net secured and net consolidated leverage, respectively

    — Post-restructuring cash balance of approximately $125 million

    4700 employees. One location in Flemington, NJ.


  40. Frank says:

    I sold my $70 SRS at $65 at a loss, then made it up and more in longs, including FAS and UYG.

  41. grim says:

    Where’s the recession?? Where are the home price declines??

    Home prices exhibit seasonality, you can’t compare home prices month over month without seasonal correction.

    IMHO, based on what I’ve seen in NJ, the seasonality is due to mix shift throughout the year. You see different types of homes selling during the “spring season” than you do during the fall doldrums.

  42. gary says:

    Get to work everybody, I need to cash another check handed to me on behalf of the tax payer. Ahhh… the new model for success!!

  43. BC Bob says:

    bi [35],

    I think you are a genius, calling for $650 shiny and 10% RE appreciation in 2008.

  44. bi says:

    37#, frank, now i understand why you bought srs at first place: hedge against your job.

  45. bi says:

    43#, bob, zillow appraisers are genius: they estimated my home 16% more than what i paid at the end of 2007.

  46. Frank says:

    I hedge with ABX, not SRS.
    btw, made a killing doing so.

  47. Safeashouses says:

    #37 frank,

    Do you mean homes or home fries?

  48. Essex says:

    Bankruptcy. It’s what for dinner.

  49. BC Bob says:

    bi [45],

    Fcuk zillow. Hit the market, then come back and report.

  50. Stu says:

    Me thinks the RRD bankruptcy is striking a little to close to home. Pray for Mojo!

  51. Frank says:

    “Do you still not understand the difference between asking and sold prices?”
    Another place in the same building just sold for higher asking price.
    Do you know what a house is? Have you ever sold one?

  52. bi says:

    where is mike morgan? i didn’t see any update from his blog since May 8th? maybe he got a job as a bankruptcy lawyer for GM or Chrysler.

  53. Cindy says:


    Did you know – If you google “Frankbi” you get a wordpress site called:

    “International Journal of Inactivism”

    – Heartland Institute’s Coded Messages –

    You can’t make this up…It’s for real.

  54. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    May 29, 2009 at 7:47 am
    Sorry Ben. The bond market is much smarter, more efficient and has deeper pockets. Yes, deeper pockets.

    Bost: I thought Zero Hedge said these guys are in control?

  55. BklynHawk says:

    Stu/50- Different company than RR Donnelly. I saw a flash on the CNBC ticker and looked up news on RRD and found this company (which is the company on the CNBC ticker on TV). Much smaller, but some overlaps in business lines.

  56. chicagofinance says:

    I Googled…. John Onion…this is the first hit


  57. Stu says:

    “5.7% annual rate after sinking 6.3% in the fourth quarter”

    At this pace of recovery, the green shoots will bear fruit in the first quarter of 2014. I know the market is forward looking, but come on folks!

  58. BC Bob says:

    “I thought Zero Hedge said these guys are in control?”


    Don’t know what you are talking about. Who’s in control?

  59. Stu says:

    Thanks BklynHawk…it didn’t make sense as RRD just made a sizable acquisition of Quebecor World. I appreciate the clarity.

  60. Stu says:


    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that SRS finishes up or even today. $18? I really doubt it.

  61. grim says:

    From Diana Olick at CNBC:

    It’s Prime Time In Foreclosures

    It’s not like we didn’t know it was coming, but apparently it’s coming with a vengeance.

    Prime fixed-rate loans have finally leapfrogged those nasty subprimes to take the lead in the race to foreclosure. The foreclosure rate on primes has in fact doubled in the last year, and almost half of the overall increase in foreclosure starts in the first quarter of this year was due to the increase in primes.

    I got a call yesterday from Scott Scredon at the Consumer Credit Counseling Services in Atlanta. He says they’ve seen a distinct change in callers. “We’re getting calls from engineers and attorneys and post graduate students,” he says. “Many of these people run through their 401Ks and their savings and start living off credit cards and then they call a counseling agency for help. So it’s a new kind of person we’re seeing today, but it’s a sign of the times.”

  62. Sean says:

    Santelli blasted one of his coworkers on the revised GDP numbers today, up to only -5.7%. Kiernan spewed the mantra that jobless claims were a lagging indicator and Santelli said, “I don’t care if they’re prehistoric, no jobs means no spending and no home buying.” (something like that)

  63. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [56] chifi

    How appropriate:

    “Onion John is a novel written by Joseph Krumgold and published in 1959. . . . The story is set in 1950s New Jersey . . .”

  64. james says:

    Ahh Santelli, father of the tea party movement. See you on the 4th.

  65. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [57] stu

    I see you survived Colgan Air.

    How does Donnelly filing affect your biz? I suspect not much, but they are a competitor, are they not?

  66. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    May 29, 2009 at 9:11 am
    “I thought Zero Hedge said these guys are in control?”
    Chi, Don’t know what you are talking about. Who’s in control?

    Bost: not directed at you….

  67. chicagofinance says:

    Onion John is an unusual man: a European immigrant who lives in a hut made of stone and furnished with bathtubs. He befriends young Andy Rusch, the only person in Serenity who can understand his speech. As Andy comes to know Onion John (so named because he grows the best onions in town, and eats them like apples), he finds that the man believes some odd things.

  68. BC Bob says:

    “I don’t care if they’re prehistoric”



  69. Stu says:


    This is RH Donnelly, Not RR Donnelly. So no impact as far as I can tell. Our real competitor is Bowne. RRD does some financial print, but it is not their bread and butter. Bowne and us are in full Darwin mode these days. I think we have a slight edge.

  70. kettle1 says:

    Cindy #4,

    That has been my point for the last year. this housing bust MUST drop more (% wise) then any of the other bubbles in the last 25 years. simply due to the loss of credit access and the decreasing incomes/purchasing power

  71. Traitor nom deplume says:

    This will send a major fcuk you across the Hudson if it passes:

    HR 2600 — Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act

    (a) In General- Chapter 4 of title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
    ‘Sec. 127. Limitation on State taxation of compensation earned by nonresident telecommuters
    ‘(a) In General- In applying its income tax laws to the compensation of a nonresident individual, a State may deem such nonresident individual to be present in or working in such State for any period of time only if such nonresident individual is physically present in such State for such period and such State may not impose nonresident income taxes on such compensation with respect to any period of time when such nonresident individual is physically present in another State. . . .”

    I seriously expect the entire NY state delegation to vote no on this one, therefore it has no hope of passage. But the entire NJ delegation should vote yes, provided they hear about it enough from their constituents.

    Still, it is so small a constituency that is affected, I fear it has no hope.

  72. Secondary Market says:

    69 in mod. sorry for the duplicate post

  73. Cindy says:

    (70) Kettle – It’s just dawning on me (putting two and two together) as I watch the numbers play out here…
    Incomes will probably continue down as out state’s troubles play out.

  74. Shore Guy says:

    If they change the telecommuting taxation rule, I would not be surprised to see a fair number of folks whose businesses are at least 1/2 telecommutiable decide to buy a place in a tax haven and spend less than 1/2 their time in thir former physical location.

    Attorneys, business consultants, writers, engineers, etc., could make out very well from this.

  75. Cindy says:


    Chicago –

    “Depeche Mode’s interrupted tour to restart in June

    “Depeche Mode say its lead singer, Dave Gahan, has had a malignant tumor removed from his bladder and the British electro-pop group will soon be ready to restart its interrupted tour.

    A statesman on the group’s Web site Thursday said doctors discovered the tumor after Gahan was hospitalized with severe gastroenteritis in May.”


  76. bi says:

    63#, nom, the mystery solved! onion john was this blogger john’s father. i recall you mentioned his father was a famous writer.

    Traitor nom deplume says:
    May 29, 2009 at 9:17 am
    [56] chifi

    How appropriate:

    “Onion John is a novel written by Joseph Krumgold and published in 1959. . . . The story is set in 1950s New Jersey . . .”

  77. bi says:

    76# > i recall he mentioned his father was a famous writer.

  78. Stu says:

    “Gahan was hospitalized with severe gastroenteritis in May.”

    Must have been tough to ‘enjoy the silence’ eh?

  79. freedy says:

    mike morgan took a heart attack and
    is now at home.

  80. BC Bob says:

    “May 28 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. housing market is nowhere near recovery and signs of stabilization are premature, said David Sokol, a top aide to billionaire investor Warren Buffett who oversees the nation’s second-largest real estate brokerage.”

    “We’re not seeing the green shoots,” said Sokol, head of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., which owns HomeServices of America Inc. “We don’t see improvement.”

    While official statistics show a 10- to 12-month supply of unsold homes, “we believe the backlog of homes for sale is twice that.”


  81. Shore Guy says:

    The International Space Station now has a full-time crew of 6, which is several more than many condo complexes in Broward and Dade counties in Fla.

  82. Clotpoll says:

    bi (44)-

    I think it’d be smarter for Frank to buy an orange smock as a hedge against his job.

    “frank, now i understand why you bought srs at first place: hedge against your job.”

  83. Clotpoll says:

    Frankfurter (51)-

    Close to 900, dolt. You?

    “Do you know what a house is? Have you ever sold one?”

  84. BC Bob says:

    Stu [81],

    Gold shoots. Don’t forget Hi-Yo.

  85. Clotpoll says:

    Got my garden going, so my job for today is to begin stockpiling canned goods and water.

  86. we says:

    Discussion from some other random site…
    I am sitting on the sidelines with perfect credit and a fat downpayment and watching dream houses float down into my price range. I couldn’t imagine a better market for a savvy buyer as prices continue to float down over the next 18 months.
    response to that:
    Someone I know did the same thing, and ended up buying a fridge. 1990, Eastern Europe, 1000%/year inflation.

    In this environment, the only people who can really rest easy are the ones with nothing to lose.

  87. Shore Guy says:

    Hey, Mom! Great news, the prom queen agreed to go out with me for the parties after graduation. The catch?


  88. RentinginNJ says:

    Let’s denominate our mortgages in Zimbabwean dollars.

    A few months ago, Z$100 trillion would buy one egg.
    The average (used in CPI) cost of a dozen eggs is US$2.20; or $0.18 per egg.
    Therefore, Z$100 trillion roughly = $0.18.

    A $350k mortgage would be about Z$1.94 Quintillion or;

  89. Stu says:

    Clot…I attempted watermelons this year. I only have success with them when the summer is super hot and humid. I have 3 heirloom tomato plants 3 cherries and 3 Rutgers. 6 heads of lettuce, 3 cucumbers, 3 jalapeno peppers, 3 stalks of corn (a bit of an experiment) and 3 cilantro stalks in sandy pots. I’ll get the sugar snap and snow peas in the ground shortly. I started late this year on the peas, but should still be able to get two full crops out of ’em. A lot of people don’t know it, but in NJ, you can plant peas three times per year with success. I concentrated on the regular landscaping improvements this year more than the garden as it was 5 years overdue.

  90. NJGator says:

    Shore 82 – Having breakfast at Sarabeth’s with a friend visiting from Florida. We are both giggling at this.

  91. Clotpoll says:

    stu (90)-

    Can’t eat landscaping.

  92. Clotpoll says:

    BC (92)-

    May have to pay a visit to the cousins in Montreal this year.

  93. BC Bob says:

    “In this environment, the only people who can really rest easy are the ones with nothing to lose.”

    Or those with everything to gain.

  94. Moved to Vermont says:

    Headline: “The government took on $6.8 trillion in new obligations in 2008, pushing the total owed to a record $63.8 trillion.“

    so far so good – when it hits $65 trillion its time to start worrying.

  95. BC Bob says:

    Clot [94],

    Book your room and pay today.

  96. Clotpoll says:

    shore (88)-

    I lived a few blocks from Fairfax High when I was in LA. It was one of the first HS in the US to have metal detectors at the entrance. A total gangbanger wet dream.

    I’m surprised this guy lived to see his senior year.

  97. BC Bob says:

    Sad day when we are forced to get on our knees and beg to Communists.

    “Geithner goes to Beijing to manage bad marriage”


  98. Clotpoll says:

    Here’s a little bait for the crowd who still thinks Zero Hedge is tinfoil hat stuff:


    Please explain to me the fallacies of simple observations such as:

    “Kilroy’s capital structure is roughly 72% debt, if you measure it as total debt and preferred stock (the red columns in the chart) as a percentage of the book value of real estate (the black columns in the chart). But the market value of Kilroy’s real estate will likely be lower than book value in coming years. Kilroy may have to impair the value of its underperforming properties fairly soon.”

  99. Victorian says:

    This market is sweeping stops, both long and short.

  100. Clotpoll says:

    Carry traders have called it a day and are now all congregating at Flashdancers.


  101. Happy Daze says:

    “They’ve squeezed a lemon and now they’re trying to squeeze some more, but you can only get so much juice out of a lemon.”

    I love the quote.
    I think I’ll put some Led Zeppelin now.

  102. Stu says:

    GM 90 cents

  103. Stu says:

    Chicago PMI was ugly:

    Released on 5/29/2009 9:45:00 AM For May, 2009
    Previous 40.1
    Consensus 42.0
    Consensus Range 34.2 to 45.0
    Actual 34.9

    A “W” recession is what the Chicago purchasers report is pointing to as the headline index came in at a much weaker-than-expected 34.9, a reading well below 50 to indicate significant month-to-month contraction in business activity. New orders, always the key index, fell nearly 5 points to 37.3. Backlog orders fell nearly 11 points to a very depressed 26.3. Businesses, facing declining orders, continue to draw down inventories as much as possible with the index at 31.5. Job cuts are deeper than ever with the employment index down nearly 7 points to 25.0. Despite increases in energy and commodity prices, purchasers continue to report significant month-to-month declines in input prices with the index at 29.8. This report has a thin sample and a sample that includes both manufacturers and non-manufacturers. But its results are clear and do point to disappointing reversals in next week’s national purchaser reports from the ISM. Stocks fell back in immediate reaction to today’s report.


  104. kettle1 says:


    we dont need 3 large auto makers in the US. 1 would be just fine, or perhaps 3 small manufacturers. There is only enough demand to keep one of the big boys alive in the long term, or 3 small versions of the big 3

  105. PGC says:


    Saw this and thought of me

    $ show system
    BAR/VMS V1.0 on node VAXBAR 28-JUN-1997 18:11:08.82 Uptime 2190 17:43:42
    Pid Process Name State Pri I/O CPU Page flts Pages
    00001010 REFRIGERATOR HIB 4 1212 0 00:10:12.23 4125 150
    00000800 LIGHTS COM 6 9121 0 00:34:23.11 1231 343
    00000412 BLENDER HIB 4 3412 0 00:23:49.32 1341 111
    00000169 SINK LEF 3 211 0 00:01:12.66 231 222
    $ logout
    BARTENDER logged out at 28-JUN-1997 18:11:23.75


  106. BC Bob says:


    Nor do we need 8,000 banks. Major consolidation coming.

  107. Clotpoll says:

    BC (110)-

    Video of Sheila Bair, eating banks:


    Whoops…wrong link…oh no…

  108. bi says:

    todays market seems make everyone except GM stockholders a little happier: srs/skf up, gold up, oil up, natual gas up, s&p up. but GM: down 22%

  109. Shore Guy says:


    Which location?

    As for your friend, she can laugh today, but when she goes home….

    I guess the good news is that empty units are quiet units.

  110. Sean says:

    So with interest rates now going up, and the tusanmi wave of option arm resets coming in the next year we are in for a rough ride.



    How are borrowers going move out of the option ARM products before they reset if the fixed rates are higher and many won’t qualify for refinaning?

  111. BC Bob says:

    bi [112],

    You forgot the loonie.

  112. BC Bob says:

    Sean [114],

    Rates won’t matter when you are underwater 20-25%. Bull market in jingle mail.

  113. Sean says:

    Another monthly reset chart to include other mortgage classes.


    This chart looks like a giant tsunami wave that is going to wipe out a million or so borrowers if they cannot refi.

  114. Stu says:

    “You forgot the loonie.”

    IMO, whenever bi is awake, the loonie is up!

  115. BC Bob says:

    Stu [118],

    LOL. No argument here.

  116. PA Bound says:

    The Unwise “Tax Email” Idea Resurfaces


  117. PA Bound says:


    Garrett Withdraws as Obama’s Top Tax Policy Official


  118. kettle1 says:

    E-mail Tax,

    wont work and coul decimate current primary e-mail providers.

    All it takes is for a nation that does not play ball with the tax to allow a compnay to set up serves and then have the user log directly into that server to compose, send and receive e-mail.

  119. Revelations says:

    Reading today’s headliner article, I’m starting to think this is truly scary stuff..

    -Fed has FFR already at near zero
    -Herculean efforts to lower mortgage rates did nothing for prices
    -US gov’t is bleeding red from it’s attempts to help the market, and by some measures the worst is yet to come (Alt A, Commercial RE, etc.)
    -Our monetary policy peeps and regulators have nothing left in their arsenal but accounting tricks, cheats, and deception
    -The govt’s looking for new sources of revenue including VAT (which I like, but not IN ADDITION to current taxes!)

  120. Revelations says:

    No matter how you design it, raising taxes in this country would be like trying to fill up a bath tub by scooping up water from one end of the tub and pouring it into the other (with copious amounts of floor spillage with each scoop, of course).

    Maybe if we actually had decent foreign trade accounts could they squeeze out more revenue, but who would want to stick around for it?

  121. #122 – Agreed, a dumb idea and impossible to actually do.
    I wouldn’t even move to offshore servers, just encapsulate the smtp into something else, presto no more email.

  122. BC Bob says:

    Bang, bang. Finally, I now realize what Larry Crudelow is talking about, regarding mustard seeds.

    “The first visible chunk of federal stimulus money to reach Elkhart County landed in this tick-ridden wetland near the Michigan border. Its arrival was great news for Matt Ingle, a 24-year-old father of four who had been unemployed for four months when he landed a job doing battle with the garlic mustard plant that is invading this nature preserve.”


  123. Stu says:

    “I’m starting to think this is truly scary stuff..”

    It appears that you just had a revelation.

  124. NJGator says:

    113 Shore – Madison Ave. and 92nd. After breakfast we wandered over to the Guggenheim to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit. I am making a big push to take advantage of our corporate mesuem memberships this year, as I expect them to disappear next year if the economy continues to worsen.

    I love Summer Fridays.

  125. Zack says:


    From the article

    “Under the program, workers put in between 30 and 40 hours a week at $7.25 per hour for anywhere from four to seven weeks. All told, the county is hoping to provide about 2,000 jobs with the money”

    Hip Hip Hooray, jobs being created which will spur demand for housing..

  126. kettle1 says:

    and the unwinding begins

    Towns Rethink Self-Reliance as Finances Worsen

    As the recession batters city budgets around the U.S., some municipalities are considering the once-unthinkable option of dissolving themselves through “disincorporation.” Benefits of this move vary from state to state. In some cases, dissolution allows residents to escape local taxes. In others, it saves the cost of local salaries and pensions. And residents may get services more cheaply after consolidating with a county.


    last one out turn off the light

  127. PA Bound says:

    Good riddance to bad regulators…

    Consumer panel losing chairwoman

    Republican Nancy Nord, the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, will be stepping down from her leadership role at the end of this week.

    Nord, a former Eastman Kodak Co. lobbyist who has come under fire over the CPSC’s response to defective Chinese drywall, informed her staff in an e-mail that she was passing the reins to fellow commissioner Thomas Hill Moore.


  128. kettle1 says:


    If you add up all the government bailouts, explicit and implicit, along with actual government purchases of assets (debt from banks) it comes out to a surreal $30 trillion. Markets are cheering that things have “stabilized” and “things are getting less bad”. I ask you seriously when the government throws $30 trillion at the “crisis” (one which bankers are now claiming is over), can you call that stable? That is like declaring a patient being kept alive on a heart-lung machine healthy.


  129. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [121] pa bound

    Saw that. I was going to post it, but you are all over it.

    I suspect those family reasons had to do with some unreliable tax software, and perhaps that nanny that never declared income for a few years.

  130. PA Bound says:


    Golly gee, you’re so cynical.

  131. chicagofinance says:

    From Zero Hedge Blog…….NOT

    MAY 29, 2009
    Deflating the Bubble in U.S. Treasurys

    The Treasurys bubble is deflating. But this is hardly the moment to pile back into U.S. government securities.

    The panic buying in late 2008 drove Treasury yields to absurdly low levels, giving virtually no protection against inflation and bigger budget deficits. The speed with which yields have backed up is a source of concern, especially because it has happened despite a Federal Reserve program to buy $300 billion of longer-dated Treasurys, a commitment it is about halfway through.

    But investors shouldn’t look at the rout and assume dire things are immediately in store for the U.S. With a yield near 3.7%, the 10-year Treasury trades more or less in line with 10-year government debt issued by the U.K. and Germany. And other segments of the fixed-income market, including corporate debt, have held up as Treasurys have tanked. The narrowing spreads between the two suggest both are reflecting better recovery prospects, or at least less fear.

    Where might yields go now? They are unlikely to move back below 3%, absent the renewed threat of a deflationary bust. Even if the economy stays weak, investors are unlikely to ignore the U.S.’s ballooning fiscal deficits. Indeed, higher Treasury yields are likely one reason why recent heavy issuance has met reasonable demand. Meanwhile, Fed buying could make investors demand higher yields, because they don’t know how much the central bank is affecting prices and when it will stop.

    A gradual rise in yields seems more likely. Right now, investors are being asked to receive 3.7% a year from an issuer that remains set on reflating its economy at almost any cost. Who wouldn’t want more?

  132. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [134] redux

    Personally, I am happy that Garrett is out. She is a true believer o-bamunist and probably a founding member of the CBPP.

  133. chicagofinance says:

    NJGator says:
    May 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm
    113 Shore – Madison Ave. and 92nd. After breakfast we wandered over to the Guggenheim to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit.

    Gates: you were a block from my old high school…..25 years ago I sneaked into the courtyard behind what is now the row of stores that includes Sarabeth’s and made out with my girlfriend…. :)

  134. chicagofinance says:

    Cindy says:
    May 29, 2009 at 9:50 am
    “Depeche Mode say its lead singer, Dave Gahan, has had a malignant tumor removed from his bladder and the British electro-pop group will soon be ready to restart its interrupted tour.

    A statesman on the group’s Web site Thursday said doctors discovered the tumor after Gahan was hospitalized with severe gastroenteritis in May.”

    Yep. They don’t call ’em cancer sticks for nothin’…..

  135. grim says:

    #125 – Logged instant messaging would begin to replace email almost immediately.

  136. Frank says:

    C is selling their mortgage for par+.
    Who needs TALF??

  137. #140 – Yup. I suppose they could just tax all network traffic, say on a per packet basis. A “tax `em all, let god sort `em out solution”, but that would be a bit heavy handed.

  138. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    May 29, 2009 at 10:53 am
    Here’s a little bait for the crowd who still thinks Zero Hedge is tinfoil hat stuff:

    clot: stupid post….who gives a crap? They act as if this is some scandal.

    I am going to post this next over there…..
    I went to BMW of Morristown and they asked me how many miles were on my car….I said 90,000. Then the technician asked me had I ever had my timing belt replaced. I said no. He told me that I must. How much was the repair? $2500. But you never looked at the car.

    We have uncovered a plot by the US Government to restart the auto industry revenue in the United States through manipulation.

  139. HEHEHE says:

    I see all this negativity on here. Don’t you know that China is going to pull us all out of this. Their stock market is popping!

  140. chicagofinance says:

    clot: I found a picture of HEHEHE and his pet…..


  141. skep-tic says:

    coming soon: principal forgiveness, guaranteed below market fixed rate mortgages (maybe limited to those making less than $250k?– a common theme), zero down payment. 6 more months without housing finding a floor should induce the gov’t to take more drastically manipulative steps

  142. safeashouses says:

    #143 chifi

    I think most cars need their timing belt replaced every 60 to 75k miles.

    The tech has to take apart the engine and it is an all day repair.

    Switch to a Japanese car. repairs are much cheaper.

  143. chicagofinance says:

    safeashouses says:
    May 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm
    #143 chifi The tech has to take apart the engine and it is an all day repair.

    safe: I don’t own a BMW. I was making a point.

  144. Victorian says:

    Holy Cr@p!
    Look at the miners and Gold go! Round N (again) goes to BC Bob.

  145. chicagofinance says:

    HEHEHE says:
    May 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm
    I see all this negativity on here. Don’t you know that China is going to pull us all out of this. Their stock market is popping!

    HE: As you know……

    MAY 29, 2009
    Chinese Banks Lend Now, May Pay Later
    Quantity Seems to Trump Quality as Credit Boom Drives Growth; ‘Pillaging Balance Sheets’

    A historic increase in China’s bank lending this year has helped keep the world’s third-largest economy growing during a global recession. Yet there are concerns that this explosion in credit will mean a setback to the progress Chinese banks have made after years of financial reform.

    China’s state-controlled banks have spent the past several years trying to transform themselves into commercial entities for which making loans is a business decision, not a political one. They have overhauled their operations with foreign investors and international expertise.

    Then the financial crisis hit, and Beijing turned to the banks to help finance its huge stimulus program. The result: In the first four months of 2009, China’s banks extended 5.17 trillion yuan ($757.15 billion) of new loans, more than in all of 2008.

    The banks deny they lowered their standards to meet government demands for more credit.

    “We have never loosened our risk-control assessment, not even for government-stimulus projects and infrastructure lending,” says Wang Zhenning, a spokesman for Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the country’s largest bank by assets.

    But the costs of their lending spree are becoming apparent.

    The push to extend credit so quickly has cut profit margins. Despite banks having 30% more loans paying interest, most banks’ earnings are down this year. These loans are also being made while corporate profits are falling sharply. So there are already early signs that more loans are starting to turn bad.

    “Everyone agrees that China’s stimulus lending is damaging future bank balance sheets,” says Daniel Rosen, partner at Rhodium Group, a research firm, and visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    The push to support growth now is understandable, but, Mr. Rosen says, “pillaging bank balance sheets is not a strategy for recovery.”

    The question is whether the cost of bad loans in the future is worth the improvement in the economy today. If China’s stimulus can get growth back on track, then tax revenues will keep rising and the government should have the resources to bail out banks for any losses. But if the recovery stalls, bad loans could become a bigger burden on future government finances.

    From 1998 to 2006, the government and private investors spent about 3.8 trillion yuan — about $475 billion at the time — recapitalizing China’s banks, according to an estimate by Guonan Ma of the Bank of International Settlements.

    China’s government has acknowledged risks from the lending boom but says the boost to the economy is worth it. “In a situation of financial crisis, rapid growth in lending does more good than harm,” deputy central bank governor Yi Gang said in a speech last month. He added that “we should also consider the sustainability of the rapid growth of credit and the possible adverse impact.”

    Nonperforming loans now account for about 2% of the total in the Chinese banking system, a relatively low figure. That figure won’t rise soon, as analysts believe Chinese banks are now rolling over problem loans rather than calling them in. Indeed, regulators in January specifically instructed banks to support companies that had been affected by the downturn.

    Yet there are other signs that businesses are having more trouble paying back debts. So-called special-mention loans, those that banks have identified as potentially weak but not officially bad, are starting to increase. The four biggest publicly traded Chinese banks reported a combined increase of 7.69 billion yuan in such loans over the course of 2008, according to their financial statements. That isn’t a large sum relative to their total lending, but it is still a sharp reversal from 2007, when those banks reduced special-mention loans by 202.74 billion yuan.

    Analysts say there isn’t enough historical information to predict how much bad loans in China might increase in the current slowdown. The main worry is that pressure from the government might keep banks from properly screening borrowers, causing bad loans to pile up faster.

    “Credit policy from the government is really driving lending, as opposed to banks’ own internal decisions,” says Charlene Chu, an analyst at Fitch Ratings in Beijing. The Chinese government is hoping that by pushing banks to lend they can “bring growth back to a robust pace and let all the losses take care of themselves,” she says.

    The banks deny that. Wang Zhaowen, spokesman for Bank of China Ltd., another state-controlled bank, says, “Of course we didn’t relax our standards.”

    But the slowing economy is now taking its toll on loans made in earlier years. Mr. Wang says Bank of China recognized about five billion yuan in new bad loans in the first quarter of 2009, compared with about two billion yuan a year earlier, though the bank still cut nonperforming loans overall. “The borrowers are exporters who have suffered during the financing crisis,” he says.

    The increased competition to lend this year has pushed margins down. According to the central bank, the average interest rate on loans fell 0.80 percentage point, to 4.76%, in the first quarter of this year, even though authorities didn’t cut benchmark interest rates.

    The profits of the 14 publicly traded Chinese banks were down 8.9% from a year earlier in the first quarter of 2009, according to Dragonomics, a research firm in Beijing. With profits getting pushed down, banks may be more likely to turn to the government for help with bad loans.

  146. HEHEHE says:


    I was kidding. That was the new mustard seed Mobius was floating the other day on Bloomberg. BTW I have been banned by Hoboken411. They apparently did not like some of my anti-cammarano postings.

  147. chicagofinance says:

    HEHEHE says:
    May 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm
    BTW I have been banned by Hoboken411. They apparently did not like some of my anti-cammarano postings.


  148. chicagofinance says:

    You can’t post enough negative stuff about that guy…..if he wins, that town is finished. It is already teetering on the brink. Those idiots have no idea what would happen if the current monied yuppie group bails on them.

  149. HEHEHE says:

    Yeah. I never really got an explanation but everytime I try and post I get some sort of message saying my post is being moderated. I don’t know if they didn’t like me calling him Bareback Pete, Condomless Pete, or Pete “The Prolific Parent”. The guy running the thing is kind of a paranoid weenie anyway so that may be part of it too. Haters.

  150. chicagofinance says:

    HEHEHE says:
    May 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm
    The guy running the thing is kind of a paranoid weenie anyway so that may be part of it too. Haters.

    HE: The guy’s name is Perry. I guess when you have your money and life tied up in something, it can be pretty scary to see it so easily spin out of control away from you. Doesn’t Scammarano advertise on his site?

  151. HEHEHE says:

    Hey, I wouldn’t have cared except there was really no warning or anything. No mention to tone it down etc

  152. YipYap says:

    HEHEE – H411 is exhausted from moderating trying to stop the paid posters and cronies so and just moderates allot of stuff now not always fairly. As you know it always gets nuts around election time in that town. When I see him later perhaps tonight I will ask him to unban your posts, after all you are pretty funny.

  153. d2b says:

    Do any of you stroller junkies has problems with birthday parties in your neck of the woods. I’ll Be on the couch for sure tonight for floating the idea that I may work instead of going to my son’s 9th birthday bowling party.
    Every kid in my son’s class has a birthday extravanganza. He moves to a new school next year and two of the kids are having graduation parties. For the THIRD grade.

  154. d2b says:

    I was told there would be a few more kids than 4 for his party. There are 22.

  155. HEHEHE says:


    Bri777 is my tag. I am not paid by anybody but I am open to the opportunity;)

  156. HEHEHE says:


    My brother was going on about the kids birthday parties a while back. When I grew up my mom made us a Duncan Heinz cake and made you favorite meal. You were lucky if a friend was allowed over. Now their renting inflatble playpens and sh*t.

  157. HEHEHE says:

    “The net of all of this is that there are any number of countervailing forces at work, making it all but impossible for banks to capture the opportunity at hand. And as yesterday’s FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile highlights, even with all of the government’s help to date driving the short end of the curve to zero, bank net-interest margins aren’t expanding.”


  158. james says:

    Just got back from a meeting with my financial advisor. He is jumping in commodities as well. “There is no way we will not see severe inflation.”

  159. Shore Guy says:

    Did anyone hear that our proposed new SCOTUS member has four credit cards with something like $10,000 each on them and total investment assets of around $60,000? FOr someone who worked in private practice for a god number of years, she has little in the way of assets. FOr someone who makes as little as a federal judge does, something like $175,000, if the reports are accurate, she seems to have alot of revolving debt.

  160. Shore Guy says:

    “Now their renting inflatble playpens and sh*t”

    And that is just the Fed.

  161. Shore Guy says:

    Does anyone here have a Korg M-50? If so, what do you like about it, what do you dislike, and what do you hate about it.

  162. Sean says:

    re #164 – not as bad as the other debt serf in charge of the Treasury.

    Fyi Turbo Timmay has lowered his asking price 300k to $1,374,500 down from $1,635,000 million.

    He is below what he paid for it.


  163. safeashouses says:

    #164 Shore Guy,

    maybe she’s been working with nom to expat her assets?

  164. #164 – Shore – That sounds about right actually. Doctors are about the same.
    When I used to work in the mortgage world I learned the following generally have the worst credit and DTI;
    Construction workers

  165. Shore Guy says:


    Noit to prejudge but, one has to wonder what the Sotomayor is doing with her money. Given her wildly-fluctuating (though very small for someone with her education and employment history) assets, and her disclosure of decent-sized gambling winnings (link in next post), one has to wonder if she has a gambling problem. If so, that would be a concern inasmuch as if she gets in debt, she could be persuaded to “work off” her debt in trade.

  166. kettle1 says:


    you starting a band or what?

  167. Shore Guy says:


    No, no band for me. Just acquiring some tools.

  168. safeashouses says:

    #158 d2b

    the parties are ridiculous. When I was a kid the b-day kid would have 5 to 10 kids come over with a cake and a few party games. Now it’s all bowling parties, tae kwon do, gym parties, etc. Dropping $300 to $500 bucks for a pre-schoolers party is nuts.

    This year we sent in cup cakes and party hats to his class. The kids still had a good time.

    I don’t get it. Why does a 3 year old need 20 kids at a frigging bowling party? Why does a 4 year old need a portable petting zoo in the back yard?

  169. Shore Guy says:


    Timmy should save that place for when B.O. throws him down the well.

    I wonder if Lassie will find him?

  170. Sean says:

    Shore – Sotomayor is on the Gov’t payroll and will get a fat pension so no need for stocks and bonds when you get a six figure retirement courtesy of the taxpayer.

  171. Shore Guy says:

    “Dropping $300 to $500 bucks for a pre-schoolers party is nuts.”

    Is it maried parents doing this or divorced dads looking to impress divorced moms?

  172. Shore Guy says:


    Bingo on the pension. But, if one has a gambling problem, neither the pension or salary will necessarilly allow one to keep ahead of Paulie Walnuts and company.

  173. safeashouses says:

    #177 Shore Guy

    married parents.

    Even before i got laid off we were not going to throw a party for our kid. $400 can buy us 1 family outing a week to the local Thai place fr0m Memorial day to Labor day.

    Friggin b-day parties have gone nuts.

  174. Shore Guy says:


    A whole hack of a lot has gone nuts. I have no objection to spending money on things that bring value to me and my family. That said, so much of what people spend money on is just a friggen waste, and simply designed to impress.

  175. Shore Guy says:

    hack, heck, whatever.

  176. Stu says:


    Don’t get me started on the birthday party thang.

    If I was lucky, my mom would let me take a couple of my friends to see Lone Wolf McQuade at the local cheapo theater. Maybe we would pick up a 6-pack of Flying Saucers from Carvel to eat at home afterwards if it was a good year.

    The SOP in our neck of the woods is cupcakes and pizza for all the kids and teachers in his class. The regular party (which surprisingly is made up of the same group sans the teachers) usually involves those places that charge anywhere between $10 and $20 per kid. Think Gymboree, bowling, Chuck E. Cheese, etc. Then there’s the loot bags, food for the adults, baloons and the cake and the photo invitations, cause the friends might not remember what the birthday kid looks like.

    I figure, my folks spent about $20 on my average birthday party. We are easily spending upwards of half a grand on Gator Jr’s 4th when you add it all up. And trust me, we ain’t even close to keeping up with the Joneses on this one.

    It has been a bit of a bone of contention between the Gator and I, but I gave in easily on this one. It might not be money well spent, but to not return the favor to families who invited your kid to their little one’s mini-wedding of a birthday could have disastrous results! :P

  177. safeashouses says:

    #180 Shore guy

    For $200 i can get an annual subscription to Chinesepod to learn mandarin. Unlimited downloads and time doing exercises on the site.

    the minimum for a bowling party is $20 a kid plus tax, 10 kid minimum.

    What’s more valuable to my kids’ future?

    for less than $400 a year I can subscribe to an asian dvd rental place and get over 5 movies and 3 tv series a month every month to watch for the year. (about 650 to 700 hours of entertainment/learning)

  178. Stu says:


    Don’t forget about the value of receiving 10 to 20 Chinese manufactured toys that will be thrown out in a month’s time. We need to serve our masters!

  179. Stu says:


    Were you one of the founding members of “Men In Power?”

  180. safeashouses says:

    #185 Stu

    I know. Parents will give crap I wouldn’t even consider for my kid. Unsafe, breakable, etc.

    Since we have 2 little in the future I’m going old school for parties. Come on over, play party games, then get the french connection uk out of my house!

    Don’t get me started on play dates! Parents just drop the kid off never even setting foot in the house.

  181. Stu says:

    We kept it real for Junior’s first three parties. We had ’em in Gator’s folks backyard. They have a huge in-ground pool and we bought a 6 foot sandwich and Costco Chicken Nuggets for the kids. A few coolers of beer and juice boxes and everyone had a fantastic time. The problem is, Gator’s folks live pretty far away and 20 4-year old’s running around inside the house if the weather turns bad is just too scary a thought. This and the fact that her folks use us to open the pool (which is a huge PITA) is just demoralizing.

  182. Sean says:

    Only in Joisey..

    Real Housewive is a former coke head stripper…


  183. PGC says:

    Our parties have a No Gifts policy. We ask them to bring a book for a Book Exchange, so they go home with a different book. I think we can get away with that for another few years.

    I went to one last week where they had a husband and wife music group. IT was good that it kept the kids engaged and you didn’t have to stand around and talk to other parents.

    Also, with one gift per child, it gets expensive to attend these when you have three kids.

  184. d2b says:

    Thanks for the responses. We are raising our son in a neighborhood that is divided between new money and upper middle class.

    Yesterday was the kid’s 3rd grade class concert where each kid was given a colored shirt to wear for their particular song. My son’s was purple. One of the more pretentious parents dressed their kid in a blue Polo-branded collar shirt instead of the standard issue, blue school shirt.

    We have become a country of whining babies. Everybody thinks that they are special. I see it in adults and we are passing it on to our children.

  185. Stu says:

    Frank says:
    May 29, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Today is another chance to buy SRS under $20. Way under.

    bi says:
    May 29, 2009 at 8:41 am

    S&P hasn’t moved that much in the entire month of May. today’s market will set tone for the rest of the year. if it moves up 1% or more, it means people don’t sell in May going away. any prediction on SRS today? close at all time low below $19.78? or build base to shoot moon again? i bet the former.

    Frank says:
    May 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Any prediction on SRS today?

    Safeashouses says:
    May 29, 2009 at 8:46 am

    #35 bi,

    Bi and frank, perfect togethor
    With about an hour to go SRS is up about half a point.

    It appears the only one who is going to be right is Safeashouses.

  186. Stu says:

    Iacocca losing pension, car in Chrysler bankruptcy

    By Emily Chasan

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lee Iacocca, the car executive credited with saving Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s, is to lose a big chunk of his pension and a guaranteed life-long company car due to the U.S. automaker’s bankruptcy filing two decades later.


  187. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [168] safe

    I’d have an easier job expating yours (if you had any).

    Besides, for what she makes, it isn’t worth it for her to engage in offshore shelter structures.

  188. skep-tic says:


    “That sounds about right actually. Doctors are about the same.
    When I used to work in the mortgage world I learned the following generally have the worst credit and DTI;
    Construction workers”

    Doctors and lawyers make sense. Many expect having such a job will make them rich. Around here, they are not rich, but often try to live like they are anyway. They also tend to have a lot of student loan debt.

    Not sure what is up with the other professions though.

  189. skep-tic says:


    Shore–do you know where Sotomayor worked in private practice?

  190. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [192] d2b,

    We are in Brigadoon so we see that in spades. We honestly don’t give a crap, and if that keeps more pretentious types away from us, then it acts as a natural repellent.

  191. kettle1 says:


    Its what i call Snowflake Syndrome.

    everyone is convinced that they and their unfortunate offspring have some particularly unique characteristic that isnt found in any of the other 6.8 billion humans on the planet and should therefore be treated as royalty.

    Guess what, we are all meat popsicles, get over it and do something productive instead of eating chips in front of the TV and imitating the cattle in the feedlots

  192. kettle1 says:


    what income/asset level starts to make offshoring and all of that other nonsense such as foundations a reasonable proposition?


  193. #196 – A lot of the construction workers, and I’m using the term bit broadly here, are 1099’d. Have a job for 3 weeks, off 2, etc. Hard to plan finances that way.
    Cops – IMO, a matter of the mentality. Not all of them, but certainly enough are in the “I am the law, it doesn’t apply to me” camp. I also saw an awful lot of cops w/ $42k a year in household income and brand new corvettes, boats, beach houses, etc. Now, I’m not saying anything here, but it isn’t too hard to read between the lines.
    Teachers – No idea. The worst were unmarried female teachers. Almost universally awful credit.

  194. Sean says:

    re #199 – kettle1 – I prefer to be called a pants wearing monkey.

  195. Traitor nom deplume says:

    Since we were on this subject recently, I noticed that we’ve gone mainstream. Well, if Fake Jane on CNBC is mainstream, we have.


    “More Americans who are concerned about the teetering financial system dependent on government handouts are preparing for a potential doomsday scenario. They’ve been dubbed “Suburban Survivalists”, and they’re one reason the stocks of companies like Cabela’s [ and Big Five have more than doubled since the start of the year.

    “I got involved in this six months ago when I became concerned about the financial meltdown,” says Wiseman, standing in a garage piled high with enough canned goods to feed ten people for a year. He was concerned that the government’s response to the banking crisis wasn’t to let the free markets work, but to hand out money. “If this was our response from the government to fix the problem, then I can’t depend on them to provide for me and my family.”

    In the last six month he’s spent about $20,000 on food, a 250-gallon water storage tank, a water filter, medical supplies, a grain mill (which can be operated by hand if there’s no power), a generator for his RV, and guns and ammunition. “I believe I’m pretty well set.” Wiseman says he spent $6,900 alone on food, much of it from online companies which specialize in disaster kits. “I wanted to get it done before the rush happened,” he says, adding that his timing was good. After he started ordering, the companies which make these kits were overwhelmed with orders, and some goods are now on backlog.

    Wiseman realizes that not everyone thinks he’s acting rationally, but he’s not holding a grudge. Those who mock him now may thank him later, as he’s intentionally bought more food than his family would ever need. “It’s going to be disastrous for everybody, and we have to have compassion for those people who haven’t prepared.” Wiseman says he knows what it’s like to go without. As a child, his mother lived on welfare for a time. “I’m not going to take a chance with my children if (disaster) happens, having to look in their faces when they’re hungry and asking for something to eat.”

    Hate to say it, but he is well ahead of me.

    FWIW, I think that this is a bit of overkill. If he were doing this in conjunction with, say, immediate family members or neighbors, then 20K spread out over 4 or 5 families is reasonable. Otherwise, he is buying a lot of equipment he may never use himself.

    Excluding what I might expect to shell out for land, I think that, for someone in my position, devoting no more than 1% of gross income per year toward survival gear and stockpiles is a rational limit.

  196. Revelations says:

    Shore @170,

    National security personnel can lose security clearance (hence, in most cases, their jobs) for unhealthy amounts of debt for obvious reasons. I should think the same reasons should apply to fed judges.

    But, then again, that would be logical.

  197. gary says:

    News from the job front: absolutely dismal. F*cking devastating. Three years ago I was getting two interviews per week; now, I can’t even get a response to an email. It’s so f*cking bad that I can’t even describe it. It’s to the point where recruiters are actually getting p*ssed off if you email them more than once.

    I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who loses their 175K salary and lives in a haughty town. They must be on the brink. Graydon must be eating cup-a-soups by now. My PITI is miniscule compared to some of those who spread themselves to the max. I have close to twenty years of engineering and IT systems experience and I can’t buy an interview to save my f*cking life.

    It’s f*cking laughable. I’m willing to take $20 an hour to do any kind of desk job and I can’t even get a bite. Do not lose your job.

  198. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [200] kettle

    Assets over 2MM (excluding primary residence and pension plans) and annual income over 500K and you should be considering it.

  199. Stu says:


    We feel for you. Really.

  200. Sean says:

    gary – what do you do exactly?

  201. HEHEHE says:

    Sorry gary.

  202. skep-tic says:

    Starting a business doing birthday party BS sounds like a moneymaker. everybody seems to get wedding planners these days– can bday party planners be far behind?

  203. safeashouses says:

    #205 gary,

    I hear you. I heard fear and pain from coast to coast in my last sting being an IT contract recruiter.

    For any of you people into pain start calling companies involved in auto and truck manufacturing and ask if they are looking for any consultants.

    You will hear fear, horror stories, how many days they have left, they are the last one in the group, etc.

  204. make money says:

    Silver gained 25% this month, the biggest since April 1987. The metal has many industrial uses but is also seen as a hedge against a weaker dollar and inflation. In contrast, gold, which has limited industrial uses, has gained less than 10% in the month.


    Did you get a peace of this silver rally? I didn’t. I have to be an idiot holding shiny. It’s only up 10% this month.

    I say it’s good for another 10% next month too.

  205. House Whine says:

    With maybe one or two exceptions we always had our kid’s b-day parties at our house! Either in the basement or outside in the summer. Honestly, I think they had a lot of fun and we enjoyed being creative and inventing silly games. Why have a house if you don’t use it? Most other moms said they didn’t want to bother getting their house messed up – as for me.. I knew we were creating great memories.

    Gary – you sound beyond frustrated. I hope you have supportive family and friends. I’m sorry for your pain.

  206. make money says:


    Sorry to hear that man.

  207. Alap says:

    MLS/Web ID: 917265
    Listed at $210,000
    Last sold 7/07: $295,000

  208. kettle1 says:

    safe 211

    pharma contracting isnt that far behind the auto world. its ugly out here. My current gig is probably on life support.

  209. skep-tic says:

    Sotomayor was with Pavia & Harcourt, a small boutique that represents mostly Italian companies.

  210. Frank says:

    You’re looking in the wrong places, the Mexicans by me have no problem getting good paying jobs.

  211. Frank says:

    Picking up SRS in the low 19s again??

  212. stan says:

    Gary- hang in there.

    Frank- show some class, if you don’t have any, pretend

  213. 3b says:

    #219 frank: It is confiremed, you are truly ignorant.

  214. d2b says:

    Market spikes or plummets at the end of everyday lately.

  215. d2b says:

    Over 100 points in 20 min. Green Shoots

  216. BC Bob says:

    Frank [219],

    Shove it. The guy is out of a job. You, on the other hand, are a complete moron.

  217. chicagofinance says:

    Stu says:
    May 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm
    ChiFi: Were you one of the founding members of “Men In Power?”


  218. safeashouses says:

    #219 frank

    You really are painfully dumb.

  219. chicagofinance says:

    Sean says:
    May 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm
    Only in Joisey..Real Housewive is a former coke head stripper…

    S: I used to go to Shakers on Friday lunches in 1992 with these super-smart post-college frat-guy types. We had a saying for it TBO. We had an in-house programming language we used to query a database, and you could insert language in between the code called OVERRIDES. Well, TBO stood for tittie-bar override…….but could be used in mixed company or in front of partners.

  220. Frank says:

    I am just trying to help the guy out, I know where the jobs are and they pay more than $20/hr. No English required.

  221. Zack says:

    My advice to you is, if you can,liquidate all your assets that can be liquidated and move to emerging markets. With your experience, you should have no problem find a job there.
    Of course, I have no idea of your personal situation.

  222. Uncle Jay says:

    What the heck was with that 100 point run up in the last 30 minutes? Was that all window dressing? As Oil marches to $85 a barrel?

  223. safeashouses says:

    I’ve been watching this series today.

    Angels of Mission


    And I’m all out of onions.

    It’s a hong kong version of Charlie’s angels.

    1 dvd down, 19 to go!

  224. x-underwriter says:

    gary says:
    I have close to twenty years of engineering and IT

    Gary, it’s a new world in IT where the only skills you can sell are the soft ones…dealing with people and managing projects….BA and PM work. If you’re trying to sell programming skills, get in line with a million other guys in 3rd world countries that are willing to work for $8/hr. Programming skills are a commodity now that go to the lowest bidder.

    If your business background is in Wall St stuff, you might have to find other business experience by doing QA for something else.

    There’s jobs out there, you just have to tailor yourself to them, not the other way around.

    Christ, I was laid off in Feb from my position as a BA at Chase and found a new position in a few months

  225. needgoodhandle says:

    Gary’s bitterness at the world must come through in his job search. Too many F-bombs maybe?

  226. Frank says:

    Is that what started the Taliban??
    Failed IT guys that cursed a lot??

  227. Clotpoll says:

    Frank- thanks for reminding us just what a spectacular douchebag you are.

    I have all the SRS I need, pretty much all of it bought across the $20’s. Thanks for your fake concern, asshole.

    Having fun with shiny and hi-ho. BTW, how underwater are you on your current home? You never answered that question.

    Not that you would answer it with anything other than a lie…or with the insane price you’d probably ask for it.

    Classy, taunting somebody looking for work. I hope you lose your job and get hit by a car.

  228. kettle1 says:

    nice analogy for the financial crisis

    The Tsunami Wave is only several feet high out in deep water but that several inches to a couple feet of height represents a tremendous force and momentum in the displacement of the water column extending to the ocean floor.

    The Tsunami wave in deep water also gives off a clue as to it’s great force with it’s speed, several hundred miles an hour. You would never know by looking at a time lapse video of a one foot high Tsunami passing through an small fishing fleet at 500 mph that anything had passed through at all. It looks like a quick blip, a blink of the eye.

    That is the metaphor of the public consciousness of what has already actually happened in the financial sector. It just doesn’t look that dangerous or unmanageable to the Sheeple. It’s just a fast little wave shooting through their ordinary lives.

    But as the ocean floor rises to meet the surface, it pushes the seemingly small water column into an enormous wave, very quickly.

    I think we are finally seeing the smallish fast moving tsunami wave of financial displacement, that manifest itself in July 2007, beginning to be pushed up by the ocean floor so that even the MSM wh0res will be hard pressed to ‘cover it up’

  229. 3b says:

    #224 d2b:Over 100 points in 20 min. Green Shoots.

    Nah, Green Shitz.

  230. make money says:

    From Schiff,

    During the height of New York City’s financial crisis in the 1970’s, President Gerald Ford had the good sense to turn down Mayor Abe Beame’s request for a federal bailout. The refusal prompted the famous New York Post headline, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” More than 30 years later, as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a similar plea to Washington, I hope President Obama will show similar restraint. Unfortunately, given Obama’s recent string of unwise economic decisions, it’s hard to imagine that his judgment will suddenly improve.
    The only rational policy choice for Obama is to send Schwarzenegger packing. If he does, California will have no choice but to cut spending or default on its bonds. My guess is that, with their backs to the wall, the California legislature will choose the former. However, even if they default, at least the losses will be borne by those who freely assumed the risks. With a bailout, the losses will be shouldered by those who were not even parties to the transactions. If we go this route, we can all say “hasta la vista, baby” to our prosperity.

  231. make money says:

    #224 d2b:Over 100 points in 20 min. Green Shoots.


    Mugabe shoots.

  232. BklynHawk says:

    Grim- Could you un-moderate 211? Just a link to realtor.com.

  233. gary says:

    x-underwriter [233],

    Gary, it’s a new world in IT where the only skills you can sell are the soft ones…dealing with people and managing projects….

    Exactly. I have a combination of systems and back office support experience, not development. The funny thing is, my biggest strengths were acting as a liason between technical/business groups and coordinating projects.

  234. gary says:

    needgoodhandle [234],

    Perhaps my problem is that I need to drop more F-bombs and threaten to break somebody’s leg.

  235. HEHEHE says:

    That was some serious quarter end tap painting today. Wowza

  236. confused in nj says:

    Watch the Unemployment Numbers when Obama outsources the Military to China.

  237. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [244] gary

    “Perhaps my problem is that I need to drop more F-bombs and threaten to break somebody’s leg.”

    I didn’t know the NJ State Police were hiring?

  238. Pat says:

    For a stocking stuffer, we gave my daughter a $1 bag of those balloon kits from Dollar Free.

    She loved it, and learned how to make all kinds of animals. It’s the hobby of the year.

    So for her party this year, we’re having it at the pool. Five bucks a kid. I’m making crooked cake, a term I’ve coined myself, and we’re boilin and foilin hot dogs.

    She’s making every kid a balloon animal, and I’ll paint their faces at the end.

    The entire class is invited…so maybe we’ll get 12 kids. Entire party will cost about 60 bucks.

    No gifts.

  239. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [240] make

    Don’t know what to expect if O-man bails out Cali, but I suspect some teabagger type folks in a few red states will start clamoring for articles of secession.

    Not NJ though. We want the bailout, dammit.

  240. House Whine says:

    As relates to being out of work – I just walked in Gary’s shoes these last few months. Everyone’s situation is unique but to kick a man when he is down is what we teach our kids not to do.

  241. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [240] make

    Glenn Beck and Ben Stein (with Gov. Sanford on line) on the cali bailout idea:

    “BECK: Let me tell you something, Governor — I like to run this both by both of you, guys. I think — look here’s what the big problem is right now, in places like New Jersey, places — Maryland, New York, Connecticut — people are moving away from these states that have gigantic income taxes that are out of control. The government has got to stop the exit. They’ve got to block the exits.

    So, if they bail out California, they bail out Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, what would stop them from saying, “You know what, let’s just stop with the state taxes because we just all have to be in this together, we just all have to help each other”? And instead of — instead of rewarding states like yours or Texas, that’s trying to be responsible, they will just penalize. They’ll just take that money and it will be the end of state rights.

    STEIN: I think that’s part of the plan.

    BECK: I do, too.”

  242. d2b says:

    Boy those red states will be up in arms even though they have been subsidized by blue states forever.

  243. safeashouses says:

    #250 pat,

    You should invite frank. He’s a hot dog pro and can double as a clown, no make up required.

  244. Pat says:

    So who’s up for helping gary find a job?

    I got NOVA and MD covered if you’re willing to move, Babe.

    set up a yahoo box, post it here.

  245. grim says:

    When is the f’n GTG?

  246. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [254] d2b

    Thats the reason they won’t go.

  247. bi says:

    stu, make, bob,
    for the record, SRS closed at all time low: $19.58.

  248. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [257] grim

    GTG? Don’t know that anyone declared one. Seems most GTGs lately were private affairs.

    Course, if you want to call the time and place, I can make my next donation IRL.

  249. Traitor nom deplume says:

    [254] d2b

    $50 says O doesn’t bail out Cali, but if he did, I think you would see folks go ballistic, and not just in red states. Would make the Tea Partiers look like a book club gathering.

  250. BC Bob says:

    bi [259],

    For the record. I don’t give a sheet. I’m too buried in metals, grains and currencies backed by tangibles to care. However, keep me posted. Make your day momentous.

  251. BC Bob says:


    How about doing something worthwhile. Crank up your blackbox and run some options spread strategies. Should I spread out of my Dec 950 gold puts and move up to 1K? Waste of money?

  252. NJGator says:

    Mark your calendars folks. Stu v Montclair will be heard on June 22. That is actually Lil Gator’s birthday. Here’s hoping that Essex County has a very big birthday present for him.

  253. d2b says:

    Nom. If NJ received their fair share from the govt they would blow it. But it doesn’t change the fact that NJ gets back less than they put in. I don’t want Cali to get bailed out because its time for smaller govt across the board.

  254. bi says:

    263#, bob,
    what to trade? how about add me to your email list?

    >Should I spread out of my Dec 950 gold puts and move up to 1K? Waste of money?

  255. x-underwriter says:

    Pat says:
    I got NOVA and MD covered if you’re willing to move, Babe.

    NOVA is kickin’ as far as jobs go. With my experience, there’s always jobs for IT people with mortgage experience. I was just down there last weekend with the wife. Unfortunately, I left feeling like it wasn’t a place I wanted to move to. Very expensive and congested and people didn’t overwhelm me. It was kind of like a very built up Middlesex county without the grunge.
    I was on Bestplaces.net looking at comments on Fairfax and Reston and posters there had some pretty bad things to say about the place.
    I had a phone interview set up for yesterday with Freddie Mac but decided to pass.

  256. x-underwriter says:

    gary says:
    I have a combination of systems and back office support.

    Isn’t back office support what they do in India now? Serious here, you might want to get more into software systems and apps rather that infrastructure support.

  257. jcer says:

    Gary, it’s a new world in IT where the only skills you can sell are the soft ones…dealing with people and managing projects….

    I disagree, that is what the idiot managers think(We’ll see how long they manage to stay around). Try running a development team with $10/h people overseas. It really doesn’t work great, not to mention the high turnover rate, try keeping employees. The problem with technology at banks and large companies is a failure at the highest levels to understand what it takes to deliver a quality product. The problem begins with people, ie your systems development guys who are mediocre at best. Banks can’t attract the talent and have no room to bring in people who really know and understand software development and have zero appetite. Even your best firms technically(GS) produce some real albatross type systems.

    From where I sit, the survivors have been critical systems support people. If you have knowledge required for running and improving a system you have a good change of surviving. We cut most of the BA’s and PM’s, no big project spending, no need for them. Also lower performing employees and those who while skilled were not absolutely necessary(Replaced by offshore resources) are cut. Banks are in survival mode.

  258. x-underwriter says:

    jcer says:
    that is what the idiot managers think(We’ll see how long they manage to stay around).

    My colleagues and I have known that for quite some time. Unfortunately, the idiots are the ones calling the shots. They’re controlled by accountants who think its a good idea but don’t have a f’ing clue what really goes on.

  259. #269 – jcer – Try running a development team with $10/h people overseas

    Yeah, that $10hr sure blinds a lot people though. Then they have to learn the hard way that it doesn’t take too much to claim to be a developer.

    If you have knowledge required for running and improving a system you have a good change of surviving

    Wombat, RMDS, Dealing, EBS, etc. etc. These never go away, are somewhat obscure systems (compared to Exchange or Sybase) and are critical for trading. It’s good knowledge to have.

  260. Victorian says:

    Here comes Woot! for houses –


  261. Traitor nom deplume says:


    FWIW, I used to live in NoVa and really liked it.

  262. BC Bob says:

    As GM Goes, So Goes The Nation.


  263. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    bi says:
    May 29, 2009 at 9:01 am
    where is mike morgan? i didn’t see any update from his blog since May 8th? maybe he got a job as a bankruptcy lawyer for GM or Chrysler.

    He may have been detained. If so, that’s a good thing. There are some folks here that could use some time in detention.

  264. x-underwriter says:

    Traitor nom deplume says:
    FWIW, I used to live in NoVa and really liked it.

    What town did you live in?

  265. BC Bob says:


    Get on board the train, it’s leaving the station. Destination; hopes and dreams.


  266. x-underwriter says:

    I guess part of the problem was that I didn’t see any relief in the home prices as compared to here. In fact, its worse. Houses are on very small lots too.

    POS capes aren’t just for jersey;




  267. Cindy says:

    (245) Gary – “My biggest strengths were acting as a liaison between technical/business groups and coordinating projects.”

    Gary – I was wondering if your skills wouldn’t lend themselves to an independent contractor business. Maybe folks are interested in “per project” managers.

    If so, the SBA has a new business loan program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009. Money should be made available – you’d think – for an independent thinker who wishes to do a new business start up of this type. With businesses cutting back, many may be interested in a per project coordinator.

    I was unable to get on the SBA site but managed to get this info from my Googling.

    “If you would like to talk to a representative @ SBA -866-947-8081.

    If this isn’t helpful please ignore…
    I wish I could help.

  268. Cindy says:

    (292) Tosh – “Teachers – No idea. The worst were unmarried female teachers almost universally awful credit.”

    Hey – watch out! That’s me – All except the awful credit part.

    Off to the school carnival – talk soon.

  269. x-underwriter says:

    I guess part of the problem was that I didn’t see any relief in the home prices in NOVA as compared to here. In fact, its worse. Houses are on very small lots too.

    POS capes aren’t just for jersey

  270. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Rail Traffic Down; Truck Traffic Down; Air Cargo Hoping For A Bottom

    Green shoots are not yet showing up in cargo statistics. Let’s take a look starting with AAR: Rail freight traffic down from a year ago.


  271. Frank says:

    I don’t care how much my home is worth, it’s a sunk cost, I paid for it already, so no foreclosure anytime soon. I will worry about it when I try to sell it. But so far homes around me are selling for more than my purchase price, so things are looking up in my town unlike in the overpriced Bergen Co.

  272. Frank says:

    I work for the NJ government, they would never lay me off, they rather raise your taxes than fire a hedge fund manager that make millions.

  273. Frank says:

    “the definition of the bottom in the real estate cycle.” according to Cramer.


  274. gary says:


    Software systems and app support is/was primarily my background. That’s why it’s so frustrating, I know there’s opportunity, I just haven’t found it.

  275. gary says:


    Thank you very much!

  276. bi says:

    227#, i feel gary’s pain. i fully understand his frustration when a family has only one income. now here is a fair question to you and the rest of the board who cursing others who have different opinions: why a “moron” like frank who started from zero has be weathering storm so well but you are at the edge of being down-sized? don’t take it personally.

    > BC Bob says:
    May 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm
    Frank [219],

    Shove it. The guy is out of a job. You, on the other hand, are a complete moron.

  277. bi says:

    285#,gary, have you tried out of tri-states area. i heard the perspective in dc area is better – fed goverment always want to expand when there is a crisis.

  278. scribe says:

    Is there a GTG coming up?

  279. james says:

    Gary, I can empathize with a man hurting when hes down. You cash your taxpayer funded Uemp check with humility. Pick yourself up and fight back. The liberals punk asses wont understand until they hear the first round snap over their heads.

    You are a true American. Get it done.

  280. safeashouses says:

    #287 bi,

    You usually have a different opinion then me, but I do not find you offensive and i think this board does need different views.

    I find frank to be continually abrasive, obnoxious, and I felt today he was taunting gary and other posters and lurkers who have been downsized and are out of work or underemployed.

  281. x-underwriter says:

    gary says:
    Software systems and app support is/was primarily my background. That’s why it’s so frustrating, I know there’s opportunity, I just haven’t found it.

    I know, it sucks. I’m now driving 68 miles each way for a 20% pay cut. You can meet 9 out of 10 job requirements and still not get a call. My rep from the firm I’m a contractor with says she’s hearing there’s going to be a lot happening in June. IT hiring goes by quarter due to funding. The month just before the start of a new quarter is when a lot of hiring goes on. The good news is that is starting in just two days (June 1st) When I started looking, February was dead and then the phone started ringing in March. I wasn’t picky just to get working.
    All I can say is be open to relocation for now. As Pat pointed out, there’s lots of hiring in DC area. I hear other cities are much better too. NY is the center of job cuts in this recession so don’t kill yourself there…not going to catch any fish with your hook in the bath tub.

  282. Frank says:

    When I come to this country I had $20 in my packet and spoke no English. Now I am a source of inspiration. Thanks bi.

  283. bi says:

    292#, actually, for dc area, you don’t need to relocate. friend of mine has been working there for more than 3 years with his family still in jersey: he works there 3 to 4 days and work from home for one to 2 days.

  284. x-underwriter says:

    Grim, 278 in moderation

  285. Frank says:

    I am not taunting Gary, nor anyone else, just pointing out that people will less skills than him have no problem getting jobs, so things are not that bad out there.

  286. All Hype says:


    You work for the state? I thought you were a hedge fund big wig? Maybe you were the goobermint worker who gave all my mom’s hard earned pension money to Lehman Brothers.

  287. james says:

    Frank, you state working piece of shit. You are on the A list of my targets.

  288. Morpheus says:

    I must admitt if have to choose who is more irritating, Frank or Reinvestor 101, I would have to choose Frank. At least re 101 has good “schtick”.

    watch out for those pesky grasshoppers!

  289. Morpheus says:

    the polls are now open:
    How many people think Frank is a piece of shit? got my vote!

    Your schadenfreude is most annoying!

  290. PGC says:

    I’m still waiting for the Bergen Co GTG. I have some nice stories from the front line over the past year.

    Gary back office IT is tough at the moment. Hiring and budget freezes across the board. The only real opening are in outsourcing. Its not helped by the fact that there is no natural attritition in the big mainframe shops as all the older staff can no longer afford to retire. A lot of companies don’t want the hassle of putting a lot of people with 25-30+ yrs with the company out on a package, if there is a chance they may retire anyway.

  291. BC Bob says:

    bi [287],

    HAH. You missed the memo. Sorry, not on the email list. I’ve been tarped.

  292. BC Bob says:

    Frank a hedgie? Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp; the 4 Horseman.

  293. Stu says:


    It appears that there is demand for a GTG coordinator.

  294. kettle1 says:


  295. kettle1 says:


  296. Essex says:

    Wow….”Frank”….seems you might be a poster boy for Douche.

  297. Essex says:


  298. Essex says:

    Hang on everybody…..OBAMA’s Got this!!!!

  299. confused in nj says:

    Bowden on NJ Schools, Serve their employees, not their students.


  300. kettle1 says:

    confused, d2b

    it all comes back to the idea that a nation of individuals gets the society that they deserve. Whether its corrupt politicians or a repressive government, the people will only get what they are willing to fight for.

    If the majority of people are willing to accept corruption and ineptitude, then that is what they and hence we will a ll get

  301. gman says:


    What exactly do you do? What is your job title?

  302. gman says:

    Woops forgot to say I may be able to help… maybe…

  303. Stu says:

    I know it’s long, but this Pravda article offers a similar take on how many of us of America, but from the outside.

    American capitalism gone with a whimper
    27.04.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru URL: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0

    It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

    True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

    Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

    First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDon@lds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

    Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

    The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

    These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

    These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

    Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

    So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

    Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.

    So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

    The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

    The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

  304. RentL0rd says:

    I might bite the bullet today and make a serious offer.

    20yr old property in mercer county. Bought in 04 for $607K. Currently on market for $576k.

    My reasons to buy – paying much above market for my rental. Monthly mortgage (w/o tax) comes to about the same as rent. I want to move my first kid to a better school and second kid is going to be in Kindergarten soon.

    Here’s the catch: DOM = 3, multiple offers.

    My agent says they are ‘accepting’ offers till 3pm today and will make an offer by 5pm.

    I dont want to get into any bidding war, so will wait till afternoon and make an offer for about 5% less than list.

  305. lurker til now says:

    “I dont want to get into any bidding war, so will wait till afternoon and make an offer for about 5% less than list.”

    Do you want the property or not? Are you knocking 5% off out of principle or because that’s the max that you are willing to pay for the house?

  306. Essex says:

    316. Camaros are cool. Yo.

  307. RentL0rd says:

    lurker, yes – i think it’s a great property and I want it. Are there others like it – I think so. I want to give an offer close to 5% off the list price (not sure what you mean by ‘principle’). But I will not counter – because I know they will shop with my offer and I hate to get into such a situation.

  308. RentL0rd says:

    I want them to think of my offer as more than just my offer price – its about buyers with excellent credit, big downpayment, no contingencies and dual income. But I know squat about the sellers (except from the tax records).

  309. lurker til now says:

    Rent – You say that you hate to get into a bidding war but you also said that there are multiple offers on the property. Do you think that yours will be the high offer, or do you think that they’ll accept your lower offer over another higher offer because of your credit, lack of contingencies and dual income?

    I guess what I’m saying is, why are you taking 5% off? Just because you feel like nobody should pay list no matter how realistic list may be?

  310. kettle1 says:


    I hate to nitpick, but the “Ben Rose home” in your link isnt cantilevered, the realtors description is off. And really, which can never be duplicated, you could duplicate that home fairly easily, its contrustion is not complicated, just unique looking.

    an exmaple of a cantilever home would be
    the “Falling Water House” by Frank Loyd Wright


  311. kettle1 says:


    here is an interesting cantilevered home


  312. kettle1 says:

    another fun cantilever home


  313. Essex says:

    326! I hear you…besides this one looks down on that “pit”….I just liked the movie….

  314. 3b says:

    b #283 frank:but so far homes around me are selling for more than my purchase price,

    Sure they are frank, sure they are.

  315. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    What??? As soon as I saw Pravda, I stopped reading. This is the same Pravda that the damn communists have been using for years to get to young American minds.

    Guess what youngster? You just earned youself a detention for posting that crap. You’ll be picked up shortly.

    Stu says:
    May 30, 2009 at 7:34 am
    I know it’s long, but this Pravda article offers a similar take on how many of us of America, but from the outside.

    American capitalism gone with a whimper
    27.04.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru URL: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0

    It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

Comments are closed.