Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!

Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead! The New Jersey housing market has lost its biggest set of pom-pom waving cheerleaders, and none to soon!

Sugar-coat this one all you want, but the fact of the matter is that Burdgdorff is gone, the axe was swung and those who survived were folded into the characterless Caldwell brand (not sure which fate was worse).

These folks were the self-proclaimed kings of real estate, nothing but arrogance and hubris. I’m sure many of you here are happy to see them gone. There is something inherently beautiful in the fact that a firm that vehemently denied the existence of a bubble ultimately being destroyed by it. Just desserts.

From the NYT:

The Home-Grown Advantage

TWO of the state’s largest real estate agencies — Coldwell Banker and Burgdorff ERA — are in the process of being melded into one by a parent company, NRT (which itself has a parent, Realogy, and a “grandparent,” Apollo Management). And some smaller, independent agencies are taking the move as an opportunity — to promote their smallness, and perhaps to grow bigger.

In Montclair, the week after the June 23 merger announcement, one smallish agency ran a full-page ad in the local weekly to tweak their larger rivals.

“Big is one thing,” it said under a picture of David with his slingshot, standing next to the gigantic hairy foot of Goliath. “Smart is something else. We’re something else. Rhodes Van Note & Company.”

In that community, the Burgdorff ERA branch had just been “rebranded” as a second Coldwell Banker office — less than a mile from the first. Instant rebranding took place in six other communities, too, including Short Hills and Summit. In mid-July, however, Burgdorff signs still hung on a few office buildings; even some lawn signs still hadn’t been switched.

In six additional towns, Burgdorff offices were closed outright, and agents moved to Coldwell Banker offices. NRT officials based in Parsippany described the merger as a way to cut costs and strengthen efficiency.

But for the affected agents, said Lois Schneider, a longtime Summit broker, the turmoil “has to be nightmarish.” Ms. Schneider, whose independent agency bears her name, also described the merger as “confusing for the public, at least right now.”

She said that she had built her firm’s success on “community-oriented, personal, friendly service,” handpicking a tight-knit team of agents, all women, and that she saw customers as being hungry for “local-ness” and personal attention now, more than ever.

Like both Ms. Schneider and Ms. Bigos, Mr. Baris said it pained him to see the demise of the Burgdorff brand, created by Douglas and Jean Burgdorff in Murray Hill in 1958 and sold to NRT in 1996.

The six towns that lost Burgdorff offices are Basking Ridge, Chatham, Hillsdale, Morristown, Princeton and Ridgewood.

In addition to Montclair, Short Hills and Summit, the towns in which Burgdorff branches became Coldwell branches are Cresskill, Livingston, Maplewood and Westfield.

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101 Responses to Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!

  1. Orion says:


  2. yo'me says:


  3. yo'me says:

    July 19 (Bloomberg) — Home resales in the U.S. probably rose in June and a gauge of the economic outlook improved, signaling the recession may soon be over, economists said before reports this week.

    Purchases of previously owned homes climbed to an annual rate of 4.83 million, the highest level since October, according to the median of 57 estimates in a Bloomberg survey before the National Association of Realtors’ report on July 23. Figures tomorrow may show the index of leading indicators climbed for a third consecutive month.

    Mounting evidence that housing is stabilizing is bolstering forecasts that government stimulus efforts will gain traction in coming months and lift the economy from the worst slump in five decades. Other reports may show rising joblessness is weighing on Americans’ moods, tempering optimism about any rebound.


  4. Cindy says:

    Tom Watson, two month shy of 60 years old – tees off….4 under – the leader going into the final round of the British Open.

    Anything is possible….

  5. gary says:

    I have a message for all the ex-Burgdorff house tour guides: Buy now or be priced out forever.

  6. gary says:

    Dear Sellers:

    Bloomberg Press reports that more than one million adjustable rate mortgage loans (ARMs) are due to reset between now and 2013. Of these, about 75% are expected to reset in 2010 and 2011. Homeowners who’ve enjoyed very low mortgage payments may find their payments unaffordable once they reset according to the terms of their mortgage loans. Although many ARMs are scheduled to reset after five years of low payments, homeowners could face payment resets before their initial period of low payments expires if their mortgage balances exceed 110 to 125% of their homes’ value.

    tick… tick… tick… tick…

  7. gary says:

    Dear Sellers,


    Any Questions?

  8. gary says:

    Seriously, you can’t start pumping out the flooded basement until the water is shut off and repairs are made. If the worst of the flood is still to come, how the fuck* does one state that things are stabilizing? Look at that chart and please explain to me how those dead loans are going to be handled?

  9. 3b says:

    #7 yome: Recession may soon be over? Optimistic at best,and even if it is, than what? All is well? As far as house prices stabalizing well maybe in Cal, Az, Fla, but not here.

    Oh and stock market goes up, treasury prices go down, mtg rates go up.

    So which do we want a stock market recovery, or a housing market recovery which would be predicated on rates staying low.

  10. 3b says:

    Yome from the prvious post at 319. I know so many people who purchased before 2003, well before 2003 and they are bagholders.

    They sucked every dime of equity out of their homes and than some.

    And that 100k kitchen remodel in 03 or 04, well guess what it is now 5 or 6 years old, and it ain’t worth 100k any more.

  11. lisoosh says:

    Chi – congrats. One of each. Best combo.

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “July 19 (Bloomberg) — Home resales in the U.S. probably rose in June and a gauge of the economic outlook improved, signaling the recession may soon be over, economists said before reports this week. ”

    Every Sunday Bloomberg trots out some lead piece with some rosey-@ssed economic claims. They bat about 30% on these economic proclamations and even when they are correct there’s usually a huge “yeah, but” attached to them.

    To say that housing resales rose in June from May, a month they typically rise, is like saying the temperature likely rose in June from May. Moreover they and the clowns they interview always seem to keep the headline as “Home Resales Rise Showing Sign Recession Easing”, they never put it as “Home Sale Prices Drop Precipitously Year Over Year as Sign Housing Recession Continues”.

  13. Shore Guy says:

    “the clowns they interview always seem to keep the headline as “Home Resales Rise Showing Sign Recession Easing”, they never put it as “Home Sale Prices Drop Precipitously Year Over Year as Sign Housing Recession Continues”

    This either speaks of poor analysis skills on the part of editors or an agenda on their part.

  14. 3b says:

    #12/13 Exactly.

  15. yikes says:

    anyone listen to rick edelman on the radio today? he’s got that syndicated show on personal finance (he’s a pretty well-known financial advisor) and he went from being sorta bullish on the economy over the last few months to FULL ON BULL today.

    didn’t hear it all (usually wait for the podcast) but he really thinks the worst is over and seems confident that it’s all going to be positive from here.

    it was the kind of show that could end up burning the guy if the market tanks back to 6500 or 7000

  16. cobbler says:

    Pom-poms or no pom-poms, I am still grateful to the Burgdorff agent who had been pushing me to lowball back when we’ve been buying in 1991. The sellers were totally pi$sed off – but didn’t go away, and eventually we agreed on a price that allowed for the conforming mortgage (with our downpayment) which had been critical for us.

  17. grim says:

    What happened, Lance?

  18. 3b says:

    #15 yikes:if the market tanks back to 6500 or 7000

    I believe we see that, and than we can talk about the recovery.

    And yes recovery, recovery while unemployment is still rising, yeah makes perfect sense.

  19. chicagofinance says:

    Hey everyone. Thank you.

    Daughter born at Monmouth on Friday morning at 5:19AM. Mom kicked it with no drugs. Not entirely the plan, but fine. Everyone is well. The name is Lena Margaret (LEY-na) not (LEE-na).

    We named her for my grandmother and my wife’s grandmother. I think it is a good choice, because there have been a lot of misty eyes in the family about it.

    My son’s reaction? “Can Ley-ley come into the family room to play toys? I want to give her a cookie.”

  20. grim says:


  21. yo'me says:

    “The economy is in the process of bottoming and should produce a positive reading on growth by next quarter,” said Joseph LaVorgna, economist at Deutsche Bank.

    On Monday, the Conference Board will release its index for leading economic indicators for June. Economists expect the index to post its third straight gain in June. Economists expect the index to rise 0.5% after jumping 1.2% in May. The breadth of the gain should also be impressive with all components adding to the gain.

    On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors will release its estimate of existing home sales for June.

    Analysts are projecting the third straight monthly gain in sales, pointing to further stabilization in the sector.

    Economists expect existing home sales to rise 1.7% to 4.85 million in the month


  22. yo'me says:

    “I have said on numerous occasions that the recession would last roughly 24 months. Therefore, we are 19 months into that recession. If, as I predicted, the recession is over by the end of the year, it will have lasted 24 months with a recovery only beginning in 2010. Simply put I am not forecasting economic growth before year’s end.

    “Indeed, last year I argued that this will be a long and deep and protracted U-shaped recession that would last 24 months. Meanwhile, the consensus argued that this would be a short and shallow V-shaped eight-month long recession (like those in 1990-91 and 2001). That debate is over today as we are in the 19th month of a severe recession; so the V is out the window and we are in a deep U-shaped recession. If that recession were to be over by year end – as I have consistently predicted – it would have lasted 24 months and thus been three times longer than the previous two and five times deeper – in terms of cumulative GDP contraction – than the previous two. So, there is nothing new in my remarks today about the recession being over at the end of this year.

    “I have also consistently argued – including in my remarks today – that while the consensus is that the U.S. economy will go back close to potential growth by next year, I see instead a shallow, below-par and below-trend recovery where growth will average about 1% in the next couple of years when potential is probably closer to 2.75%.


  23. yo'me says:

    #10 3b
    Yome from the prvious post at 319. I know so many people who purchased before 2003, well before 2003 and they are bagholders.

    They sucked every dime of equity out of their homes and than some.

    And that 100k kitchen remodel in 03 or 04, well guess what it is now 5 or 6 years old, and it ain’t worth 100k any more.

    Do you really believe they are the bagholders?
    Month after month foreclosure is up.People owing more than the value of their houses are walking away and getting paid to hand their keys.Nobody is going after their assets (assuming recourse state).Wich is the way it should be.Collateral is the recourse.
    Compliments of yours and my tax dollar.
    And you keep calling them bagholder.

  24. yo'me says:

    And that 100k kitchen remodel in 03 or 04, well guess what it is now 5 or 6 years old, and it ain’t worth 100k any more.

    Courtesy of 3b’s future earning.

  25. yo'me says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several large investment firms are creating new lending companies that plan to go public to raise billions of dollars to take advantage of the distress in the commercial real estate market, and more are on the horizon.

    The planned IPOs, which include units of firms like Apollo Management APOLO.UL and Alliance Bernstein Holding LP, could be just the beginning of what some bankers expect to be a boom in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) going public over the next few years


  26. 3b says:

    #22 yome: Not arguing with you. My point is with these articles the impression they give is that recession over all will be well;which is nto the case.

  27. 3b says:

    #23 yome: I consider them a bagholdee, if every financial decesion they have made (and many have) was predicated on the fact that their house values would only go up, and the more improvements, the more the house would be worth.

  28. 3b says:

    #24 yome” ?? You lost me on that one.

  29. grim says:

    I can understand all the excitement about the recession being over. But for home buyers, realize that real home prices fell for years following the end of the early 90’s recession.

    Even if the recession ends later this year, there is still a high probability of nominal home prices falling for at least a year, and real home prices falling even longer than that.

    Playing out just like ’91 right now.

    Bottom of the Housing Slump Is Seen in the New York Area
    Published: Friday, March 1, 1991

    The New York area’s housing slump may have finally hit bottom, or come close to it.

    Lenders say that in the last two months, during what is normally a winter lull, demand increased for mortgage loans. Brokers report a sudden surge in sales contracts and say that more people have been attending open houses in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

    “This is not a big new wave coming in to buy homes,” said Eugene Sherman, chief economist for the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, which supplies money to mortgage lenders in the three-state area. “But it looks like the tide is no longer going out.”

    While brokers are buoyed by the renewed interest, they remain cautious about the near-term prospects.

    There are signs that people are showing greater interest in buying homes elsewhere in the country as well. A survey of 300 builders this month by the National Association of Homebuilders found that prospective buyers were visiting new subdivision sites at nearly twice the rate they did at the start of the year.

    In the West, “There has been a distinctive turnaround in our sales in February in the San Francisco Bay area and the Seattle area,” said Larry Knapp, president of the northwest regional operations for Coldwell Banker.

    Falling home prices have combined with declining interest rates to bring housing to its most affordable point since 1977, he said. Already, there is anecdotal if not statistical evidence that home sales are picking up, he said.

    In Mercer County, N.J., which includes Princeton and Trenton, the inventory of homes for sale was lower in January than a year earlier, falling to 4,717, from 4,867. “We have passed the bottom,” said Richard A. Weidel, president of a Princeton brokerage that bears his name. It reported 223 home sales in January, 30 more than a year earlier.

    If the housing market has indeed reached its trough, there is ample cause, economists and analysts say. They point to the sharp decline in mortgage interest rates, now well below 10 percent, and to the even steeper fall in home prices. Those declines have converged to make houses, condominiums and co-ops bargains — at least compared with the lofty prices of the mid-1980’s.

    Prices over all are continuing to fall, in fact, as buyers seem to be seeking out the less expensive homes, brokers said.

    Chemical Bank, a major mortgage lender in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, said home loan applications jumped 46 percent in January from January 1990, and were up 62 percent from December. In Westchester County, Haber Mortgages Ltd., a broker of loans for 40 banks, said its applications rose 50 percent in January, and are up another 50 percent in February.

  30. yo'me says:

    #28 3b #24 my point is because of the action of the gubmint,generation will be paying for this mess.I don’t see any changes in their policy.
    If i borrowed money to purchase something the bank quantifies the collateral.If in default,the asset is more than the value of balance owed.The banks made the wrong bet.The govt will not let them go down so they socialized their losses.
    In other countries i know,you put 30 to 40% of the value of the collateral and nobody will give you 30 years mortgage.The most is 15 years.

  31. grim says:

    Unfortunately, that “bottom call” in March of 1991 proved to be way too early..

    Have Suburban Prices Hit the Bottom?
    Published: February 28, 1993

    THE market for one-family homes in the suburban New York metropolitan region, much of which has been in decline for the last five years, appears to have bottomed out in most areas, and, in some places, such as Northern New Jersey, a modest recovery seems to be under way.

    Real estate brokers attribute the trend to low mortgage interest rates, realistic prices set by sellers, the dearth of new construction and a small surge of first-time buyers who were priced out of the market in the mid-80’s and frightened out in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

    They caution, though, that because of the suburban region’s continued economic weakness and changing demographics, home sale prices are expected to increase at a far slower pace than the double-digit gains achieved by many homeowners in the Northeast in the early and mid-80’s.

  32. grim says:

    And even that “bottom call” was too early, this one got it right, years after that first “bottom”.

    New York Housing: Sellers Finally Sell
    Published: Sunday, February 26, 1995

    OWNERS of residential real estate in New York City, particularly those with co-ops, may look back on 1994 as the year when it once again became possible to sell their homes — even studios and one-bedroom apartments. It still wasn’t easy, and the big profits of the 1980’s remained only a memory, but the increased demand and stable prices were a substantial improvement over the early 1990’s, when market activity slowed drastically and prices fell.

  33. yo'me says:

    CIT cuts deal with key bondholders for $3 billion in financing, will avoid bankruptcy: report 5:04pm EDT

  34. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #31, yes, as my moniker says, bought for $132,000 in 1987, sold in 1999 for $92,000

  35. yo'me says:

    #29 “I think prices are going to decline another 10% by the end of the year,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research.

  36. chicagofinance says:

    grim says:
    July 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    What? You want sexting already?

  37. crossroads says:

    # 17 grim
    What happened, Lance?

    old age. I would argue in Lance’s prime he might have trouble with Contedor. in the mountains that is

  38. grim says:

    What? You want sexting already?

    Your time will come, dad.

    Never to early to start training her big brother in the ways of intimidation.

  39. yo'me says:

    I never question prices will still go down.Look at the number of foreclosed homes that are not in the market.
    My point is the govt socialized the losses of the homeowners.It’s not the bank that is taking the lost.The tax payer is the real bagholder.
    The govt is cleaning the banks book and we are paying for their toxic assets

  40. grim says:

    OT, really diggin’ the new Regina Spektor album.

  41. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    What amazes me more is even if we do get a positive GDP number for a quarter or two it’s going to be so miniscule as to be a joke considering the amount of stimulus the gubmints been throwing around.

  42. goonsquad says:

    I went to an open house today in New Providence (or maybe it was Berkeley Heights) and the house was “on sale”. Presumably, the sale price was reduced for 10 days and will then go back up. Is this a common strategy used by realtors? What’s their angle?

  43. goonsquad says:

    Grim, I didn’t like the new single. I liked her last album though. (Regina Spektor)

    I wonder if she is Phil Spector’s love child and was conceived in Saskatchewan.

  44. grim says:

    What’s their angle?

    Anything that can create a sense of urgency among buyers.

    This is, without a doubt, the #1 tactic to use.

  45. yo'me says:

    The more foreclosure added every month the more toxic asset the tax payer have to buy.That is why the banks can afford to hold on to all this foreclosed homes.
    The govt will do anything to avoid a cathastrophic decline in home prices.

  46. grim says:

    The govt will do anything to avoid a cathastrophic decline in home prices.

    Some might argue that standards of living in the U.S. are too high to maintain global competitiveness.

  47. goonsquad says:

    [44] grim

    wrt to creating a sense of urgency…

    This was obvious to me. But I wondered what would happen with any offers. Say the house was 500k last week and the “sale price” is 450k. I wonder if this means the sellers are really prepared to accept a 450k offer. Needless to say, raising the price to 500k isn’t going to create any new offers.

    I’ve given up on arguing with realtors when they try to tell me that now is the perfect time to buy. Whenever they say something like that, I just nod my head and stay silent.

  48. goonsquad says:

    [46] grim

    The govt will do anything to avoid a cathastrophic decline in home prices.

    Some might argue that standards of living in the U.S. are too high to maintain global competitiveness.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this yesterday and what it would take for our country to return to equilibrium regarding our trade deficit. What if one day we just decided to make and buy everything in america instead of buying cheap chinese toys and japanese cars. What would happen to our standard of living? Surely, it would suffer immensely at first since there would be intense downward pressure on low skill wages (to produce the formally chinese toys etc.) and retail prices would skyrocket to support the wages of these new workers–let’s face it, nobody’s going to work for $0.25/hour.

  49. A.West says:

    The angle is delusion. The real price of their house is the highest offer someone makes that they’re willing to take. List prices are just conversation starters.

    I just saw a house where the seller has their company setting a floor price that the company will take it at. I assume the seller will hang a higher price out there, eventually would like to take a price higher than that before time runs out and would need to sell it to their company.

    I didn’t like the house so much, but houses like that are lowball proof.

  50. goonsquad says:


    Also, the open house, of course, had a $20k kitchen and nothing else had been updated.

  51. yo'me says:


    Other leading investment firms are trying to raise money to create REITs that will buy bad loans or CMBS, referred to as “toxic assets,” on the cheap from the U.S. government.

    Newly formed REITs affiliated to asset managers AllianceBernstein (AB.N) and Angelo Gordon & Co have in the past week applied for large initial public offerings in an effort to buy so called “toxic assets” under a U.S. government program. The AllianceBernstein affiliate is looking to raise $500 million.
    Angelo Gordon and AllianceBernstein were among the nine fund managers the U.S. Treasury recently chose to run the so-called public-private investment program, known as PPIP, that could buy up $40 billion of toxic securities from banks eager to clean up their balance sheets

  52. Moshe Cohen says:

    Appraisers are under pressure again by the same characters who needed inflated values to come up with the lowest prices so they can sell the reo for cents on the Dollar

  53. yo'me says:

    NEW YORK (Fortune) — Looking for an inexpensive change-up for your next backyard barbeque? Try lobster. “Per pound, it’s less expensive than hot dogs right now,” grumbles lobster-boat captain Mike Dassatt, who fishes the coast near Belfast, Maine, with his wife Sheila.

    You won’t hear many complaints from lobster-loving tourists in Bar Harbor or Kennebunkport, but the Maine lobster fishery is coping with the steepest price decline in generations. All around the globe, the lousy economy is having a devastating impact on demand for luxury goods, and the Maine lobster may well be the Mercedes-Benz of food.


  54. cobbler says:

    goonsquad [48]
    …What if one day we just decided to make and buy everything in america instead of buying cheap chinese toys and japanese cars. What would happen to our standard of living? Surely, it would suffer immensely at first since there would be intense downward pressure on low skill wages (to produce the formally chinese toys etc.) and retail prices would skyrocket to support the wages of these new workers–let’s face it, nobody’s going to work for $0.25/hour…

    As a matter of a fact, not really – we are deciding between a low-skill manual production in China and highly automated production here. Remember 1960s distopias? Where the robots were cranking up all sorts of stuff and the former proles were into all sort of distracting activities? For most goods all it will take is a meaningful drop in Walmart profit margin and relatively small (<10-20%) retail price increase. Certainly, there are some special cases when the Chinese product is both high-skill and labor-intense – e.g., these days you can buy an excellent string instrument for under $1K – then the price shock will be big. However, a huge investment is needed to re-industrialize, and it is totally unclear who could make it. On average (I don’t remember where I’ve seen this number) the shopping malls and warehouses require only 20% of the [initial] investment of the manufacturing plants in whose place they’ve been built…

  55. yo'me says:

    Goldman Sachs bites Uncle Sam’s hand
    The investment bank is fat and happy again, but you wouldn’t know it from its squabbling with the Treasury over the warrants in the TARP deal

    NEW YORK (Fortune) — I’ve always thought that the guys running Goldman Sachs were really smart, not only about making money, but also about projecting a classy image to the world outside of Wall Street. Clearly, I overestimated them.

    If there was ever a firm with the motivation — and the money — to be gracious to the U.S. taxpayers who kept it alive when the financial markets were imploding, it’s Goldman. It had a chance to look good and do good for taxpayers and itself and Wall Street for a relative pittance — and has blown it. Horribly.

    As you have probably noticed, Goldman is getting attacked for posting record profits and setting aside a record amount for employee compensation about three seconds after it repaid its $10 billion of loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Repaying those loans freed Goldman from pay restrictions on its top honchos, who seem headed for record or near-record bonuses unless things go badly for the firm in the second half of the year.

    What you probably don’t know is that Goldman, flush with cash and profits, is squabbling with the Treasury about how much it should pay taxpayers to buy back the stock purchase warrants it gave the government as part of the TARP deal. Talk about tacky.

    Had Goldman retained something it was once reputed to have — a sense of short-term sacrifice in return for long-term profit — it would have agreed to pay the government generously for the warrants. It could have announced that on Tuesday, along with its profits, and looked like a decent, concerned corporate citizen instead of Greedhead Central.

    The warrants are very valuable, especially with the recent sharp run-up in Goldman’s stock price. The warrants carry the right (but not the obligation) to buy 12.2 million Goldman (GS, Fortune 500) shares at $122.90 each. Goldman’s closing price of $156.84 yesterday put the warrants “in the money” by a bit over $400 million. (That’s the $33.94 difference between $156.84 and $122.90, multiplied by 12.2 million.)

    Given that the warrants still have more than nine years to run, they’re clearly worth more than $400 million, because its owner has years of upside. However, because there’s no existing market for such long Goldman warrants, their value is in the eye of the beholder (and the pricing modeler).

    Alas, no one would tell me what the government is asking for the warrants or what Goldman is offering for them. “We are in discussions with the Treasury on the buyback of the warrant,” said Goldman spokesman Lucas VanPraag. “The purchase price has yet to be determined…. We believe that taxpayers should get a decent return, and we hope that our discussions with the Treasury will do just that.” The Treasury declined comment.

    My estimate — okay, my SWAG (for scientific wild-assed guess) — is that the Treasury is asking for $1 billion to $1.5 billion and Goldman is offering $500 million or so.

    Under the law, Goldman, like other early TARP repayers, has the right to force the Treasury to sell back the warrants after a lengthy set of price arbitrations.

    When I say that taxpayers kept Goldman alive, I’m not talking about the $10 billion of TARP money or the $12.9 billion of AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) bailout money that Goldman got. The $10 billion was nice, but not necessarily essential to Goldman’s survival, and Goldman says it was holding enough assets and collateral to get all or almost all of the $12.9 billion had the government not bailed out AIG.

    Rather, I’m talking about the way that U.S. and foreign governments — in other words, taxpayers — saved the world’s financial system, saving Goldman in the process. Had many of the world’s biggest institutions collapsed, which would have happened without taxpayer aid, Goldman would have been wiped out because the firms that owed it money wouldn’t have been able to meet their obligations.

    I’m also talking about the Federal Reserve Board moving with lightning speed last fall to allow Goldman to become a bank holding company. By giving Goldman access to vast amounts of money it was making available to bank companies, the Fed ended panicky demands from Goldman customers that the firm immediately return the cash and securities it was holding for them. That was the equivalent of a run on the bank, which no institution can survive. Stopping it saved Goldman.

    Now this is how Goldman shows its gratitude. It could have shelled out a few extra bucks and done the right thing for taxpayers (and ultimately for itself) by exercising good business judgment and looking generous. Instead, it’s behaving in a way that brings to mind one of my favorite Biblical verses, Deuteronomy 32:15: “So Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked…and spurned the Rock of his salvation.” In these ultra-political days, filled with economic pain for so many Americans, that’s not only the wrong way to act, it’s foolish. A word I never thought I’d associate with Goldman.

    With reporting by Mina Kimes

  56. stan says:

    anyone ever put in a new floor, not the top level, I’m talking the sub floor and the hardwood.

    What does it cost? Saw an open house today where the upstairs bedroom was falling into the first floor, that wasnt on the pictures on the web.

    I imagine its expensive, not really doing anything with the place, just got me wondering.

  57. Essex says:

    Stan. It’s really no bid deal. Maybe a $2k job….depending. Totally worthwhile. The laminate is really nice too without the gaps real wood has.

  58. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:


    Are you talking about new joists, too?

    If the bedroom floor is “falling into the first floor”….I’d want to know why.

    Was there a leaky bathroom fixture nearby ?

    Did a person of great girth sleep in that upstairs bedroom ?

    Did they try re-building a Chevy engine in there last winter ??

  59. yo'me says:

    LONDON (MarketWatch) — British home sellers showed renewed confidence in July, nudging up the average asking price by 0.6% from June, according to property Web site Rightmove’s monthly housing survey released Monday


  60. grim says:

    CIT cuts deal with key bondholders for $3 billion in financing, will avoid bankruptcy: report 5:04pm EDT

    Superb deal, whose knees were put up as collateral?

    From the WSJ:

    Bondholders Plan CIT Rescue

    Under the proposal, CIT would likely pay interest rates 10 percentage points above the London interbank offered rate, said these people. (As of Friday, three-month Libor stood around 0.5%.) CIT has also agreed to pledge some of its highest-quality loans as collateral on the $3 billion package.

    The new loan could act like a “bridge” to a series of debt-exchange offers that CIT would launch in order to get bondholders to swap some of their bonds for equity in the company or for new debt that matures later.

  61. Essex says:

    58. Speaking of rebuilding engines. Am selling my buddy’s car on eBay.


  62. yo'me says:

    CIT would likely pay interest rates 10 percentage points above the London interbank offered rate,

    Ouch!!! Blackmarket price?

  63. yo'me says:

    10.5% and praying LIBOR will not go up.

  64. yo'me says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – CIT Group Inc has reached a tentative deal with a bondholder group for $3 billion in rescue financing, which the lender hopes will help it avoid bankruptcy, a source close to the situation said on Sunday.
    The bondholder group, which includes Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco) and some other top CIT holders, is expected to provide the financing with a 2 1/2-year term, the sources said

  65. Rich says:

    Goodbye burgera. SOB’s always hogged the sale from both sides and sometimes ignored higher offers.

  66. yo'me says:

    Marijuana is the new gold just ask California.

  67. stan says:

    thx fiddy cents-

    looks like joists would be needed. bathroom on the other side of wall, could have been a leak.

    or a fat dude. seriously though, we walked in the room and thought we were going to end up downstairs in the living room. great seeling point

  68. NJGator says:

    Shore – No NetJets. It’s commercial for us. But at least we are coming home with an extra mortgage payment.

    We are going to cap off the weekend of winnings with dinner at Bobby Flay’s and then head off to the airport. We’ve already dined at Francois Payard’s, Hubert Keller’s and Mario Batali’s, plus spent some fun times with family and friends. All in all an excellent weekend.

  69. Pol Clot says:

    chi (20)-

    My daughter’s reaction to her brother’s arrival:

    “Can we sell him?”

    “My son’s reaction? “Can Ley-ley come into the family room to play toys? I want to give her a cookie.”

  70. Pol Clot says:

    goon (43)-

    Yeah. It’s a ploy to make the agents look more like used car salesmen.

  71. Pol Clot says:

    grim (45)-

    Creating a sense of urgency in buyers is easy. After years in real estate, however, I have lately discovered that it’s a real fcuking feat to create that same sense of urgency in a seller.

    And, creating that seller urgency is probably the #1 factor in whether individual agents and companies will survive this market.

  72. BB says:

    Went to an open house in Chester today. Short sale…people bought in 05 $507,000…asking $329,000. Beautiful old house. Needs major work. Realtor said outside just needs to be painted. Not sure what she was smoking…we were calculating around $100,000 worth of work minimum.

  73. Pol Clot says:

    yo’me (56)-

    “Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
    In the Rialto you have rated me
    About my moneys and my usances:
    Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
    For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
    You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
    And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
    And all for use of that which is mine own.
    Well then, it now appears you need my help . . .”

    Shylock, The Merchant of Venice (Billy Shakespear)

  74. Pol Clot says:

    grim (61)-

    I still say Vinnie the Mook down the corner would’ve given CIT better terms.

    Only 1,000 bps over LIBOR? Such a deal…

  75. Pol Clot says:

    We can now fully expect LIBOR to start going the wrong way…and fast.

  76. NJCoast says:


    My first car was a (used) 1965 Mustang convertible. Midnight blue, white top and leather interior and spinner hubcaps. I had to put a cinder block in the trunk to keep it from fish tailing in the rain and snow.

    My dad tinkered with and maintained it until about 5 years ago when he finally sold it.

    Man I loved that car.

  77. Pol Clot says:

    My choice for the next bubble: a phony re-inflation of the old stock market bubble…enhanced and inflamed by phony liquidity. In fact, one might call it a liquidity trap.

    Chi, I’d ask for you to weigh in on this…but I understand you’re otherwise occupied.

    And, the person banging the table the loudest is your archenemy, Tyler Durden:

    “There are a lot of banks making prices and there’s ultimately only so much end-user volume to support those prices. So, yes, I think there is a risk of a liquidity mirage in some respects if there is a proliferation of platforms and people providing prices and representing more liquidity at any given time than is actually there.”


  78. Pol Clot says:

    Ingmar Bergman. Filmmaker; bagholder.

  79. Essex says:

    Who is Pol Clot? Bergman is dead.

  80. Pol Clot says:

    Double rut roh:

    “Note the huge drop in continuing claims and the 4-week moving average of continuing claims. Two factors account for the drop.

    1) Extended benefits expiring

    2) A huge seasonal adjustment factor beyond the ordinary related to auto manufacturing plant shutdowns skewed the seasonally adjusted numbers.

    The key point now is the number of people whose benefits have expired or are about to, and those people will not show up at all in the above weekly unemployment releases.”


  81. Pol Clot says:

    sx (81)-

    Just joking.

  82. Essex says:

    50 Cent slashes price on Conn. mansion to $10.9M

    Buzz Up
    * Send
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    * Stars are red-carpet-ready in NYC Play Video Celebrity Video:Stars are red-carpet-ready in NYC 11 News Houston
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    * Update: Tour de France Play Video Celebrity Video:Update: Tour de France KVUE-TV Austin

    Sat Jul 18, 5:33 pm ET

    FARMINGTON, Conn. – The price of the Connecticut mega-mansion owned by rapper 50 Cent has dropped again — to $10.9 million.

    The 50,000-square-foot mansion is in the Hartford metropolitan area suburb Farmington. It was owned by boxer Mike Tyson.

    It has 19 bedrooms and 37 bathrooms. It boasts a gym, billiards rooms, racquetball courts and a disco with stripper poles.

    The New York City rapper bought it for $4.1 million. He said it had “a ‘Miami Vice’ feel” and spent $6 million on renovations and repairs.

    The home was for sale for nearly two years before being pulled off the market in May. The initial $18.5 million price dropped to $14.5 million late last year.

    50 Cent says he’s tired of the two-hour commute to New York City and wants to downsize.

  83. Cindy says:

    74 Pol Clot
    Dickens – David Copperfield – Mr. Micawber

    “Annual income 20 pounds, annual expenditure 19 pounds 19 shillings six pence, result happiness. Annual income 20 pounds , annual expenditure 20 pounds and six pence, result misery.”

    Ah, the classics….

  84. BklynHawk says:

    #5/Cindy – Very sad Tom couldn’t pull it off. Being a former ks guy near KC, big Watson fan. Would have been an amazing capstone on a career.

    #20/ChiFi – Congrats!!! Best of luck.

  85. lisoosh says:

    chi – she’ll be Ley-Ley for ever more.

  86. Cindy says:

    86 BklynHawk

    Watson is one class player. It was an awesome day of golf. He just didn’t have it at the end…any other time, he makes that 8 foot put. But it was the 18th on a Sunday of a major – and Tom…Tom is 50 friggin 9 years old!
    I thought he was going to do it. OMG.

  87. Cindy says:

    Well – those things they make at the end there on the greens are called putts – not puts…Oh well.

  88. sas says:

    “Burdgdorff is gone”

    thats funny.
    that as good as seeing Lemon brothers go bust.


  89. Shore Guy says:

    I thought it was putz.


  90. Shore Guy says:


    Congrats on the extra mortgage payment. Sounds like a weekend well spent.

  91. sas says:

    “Some might argue that standards of living in the U.S. are too high to maintain global competitiveness”

    some think bring the Chinese standards up to replace the declining prozac, harry potter loving sap americans.

    personally, i think that is possible considering all the wealth transfer that has been going on.

    but, why not continue to do what the US has always done.. tax the world.. but just rachet it up a few notches. Finace our debt, or we will drop a bomb on you, manipulate trade/tariffs, and send in a counter to put in a puppet who does what we tell them, and control all illegal trade.


  92. sas says:

    “illegal trade”

    not limited to illegal drugs.
    anything can be on the table.

    ex. one time in the middle east, we traded a fleet of toyota land crusiers for political persuasion. worked like a charm for someone who doesn’t want USD.


  93. Shore Guy says:

    One knows that times are tough when one observes politicians cutting back travel expenses:


  94. sas says:

    “Some might argue that standards of living in the U.S. are too high to maintain global competitiveness”


    keep in mind tto. demand destruction.

    the multiplier ain’t working.


  95. kareninca says:

    this is an incredible article. it was posted at patrick.net. the author is a mortgage banker in Chicago; nonetheless it’s the most insightful thing I’ve read about what’s coming down the economic pike, apart from stuff by Mish and Denninger. as a bonus the writer is really snide and snarky re people who have loads of money and can’t fathom the situation of those who don’t. it’s so good that I’m hereby embarassing myself by demonstrating that I don’t know how to post links:


    if you read it and agree it’s great and know how to post the link, please do so!

  96. kareninca says:

    hey, I posted a link!!!! without knowing it!!!!!

  97. I read about the “witch” closing even up in Ann Arbor.

    However, I didn’t expect to see a post like this. I guess is was about time.

  98. Sandeep says:

    The current market scenario has brought everyone on his toes. One should be careful before investing in real estate. Do confirm prices by other builders/other sources.
    Idaho Real Estate

Comments are closed.