Northern NJ July Home Sales

(I’ll post the remainder of the graphs later in the day)

Preliminary July sales and inventory data for Northern New Jersey (GSMLS) is in. Please note that this data is subject to revision.

The first graph plots the unadjusted sales data (closed sales) for the counties listed. Please note the lower bound of the graph, it is set to 500, not to zero. I do this to emphasize the seasonal nature of the Northern NJ market.

(click to enlarge)

The second graph is another view at the sales data for the full year. Please note that this graph does cross at zero.

(click to enlarge)

The third graph displays only July sales, 2000 to 2009 YOY.

(click to enlarge)

The fourth graph displays an overlay of Sales and Inventory from 2003 to 2009.

(click to enlarge)

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

185 Responses to Northern NJ July Home Sales

  1. grim says:

    From USA Today:

    Home sellers frustrated as short-sale deals collapse

    Scores of homeowners who thought they’d cut a deal with their banks to sell their houses for less than their unpaid mortgages are seeing those agreements fall apart months later, contributing to the mounting foreclosures that threaten the housing market’s recovery.

    The sales of homes for less than the amount owed the bank, known as “short sales,” have been widely viewed as an alternative that could help slow the foreclosure epidemic. In theory, delinquent homeowners escape a mortgage they cannot afford, and lenders, although taking a loss, avoid the even costlier process of completing a foreclosure.

    Instead, many homeowners are watching potential buyers walk away as months pass while they deal with lenders’ lengthy delays, lost documents and unreturned calls, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Not all the snafus are lenders’ fault; inexperienced real estate agents who fail to turn in complete paperwork also are causing holdups, as are severely underpricedhomes.

    The problems have become such a kink in the market’s recovery that banks and the federal government are launching new efforts this month to simplify and speed up the short-sale process.

  2. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    NYC Foreclosures Drop, but Some Areas Struggle

    Foreclosures are tapering off in the nation’s largest city after spiking last year, but hundreds of families still saw their homes go to auction in the last month alone, a new report shows.

    The pain isn’t spread equally. The report from real estate data service shows nearly two-thirds of the auctions were in Queens, which accounts for less than a third of the city’s population.

    Citywide, the total of 318 new foreclosure auctions last month was down 7 percent from July 2008 — and 20 percent from a peak in September. PropertyShark’s tally includes only homes and apartments scheduled for auction for the first time, to avoid counting the same property multiple times if an auction is postponed.

    Other data also point to a foreclosure slowdown. A broader measure of foreclosure-related legal activity dropped nearly 19 percent citywide between the second quarter of last year and the same period this year, according to figures from the state Banking Department and the foreclosure information service RealtyTrac.

    While the foreclosure crunch has eased somewhat in Queens, the borough still is being squeezed. In Manhattan, home to 1 in 5 New Yorkers, just four new foreclosure auctions were scheduled in July — compared to 199 in Queens, the PropertyShark data show.

  3. grim says:

    From the NY Post:


    Uncle Sam yesterday released its “hall of shame” for banks that haven’t lifted a finger to help struggling homeowners prevent foreclosures — with Bank of America as one of the worst offenders.

    Even after taking tens of billions in bailout aid from Uncle Sam, BofA and dozens of other banks have helped just a tiny fraction — just 9 percent — of the desperate 2.7 million homeowners who are eligible for federal help but still face being tossed into the street.

    The government offered $50 billion to dozens of big banks to modify onerous mortgages, but a lot of banks have ignored the effort, the Treasury Department said yesterday.

    “I think it’s safe to say we’re disappointed in the performance of some of the servicers,” said Michael Barr, the Assistant Treasury Secretary in charge of financial institutions, referring to the divisions within banks that collect mortgage payments and which would be the first responders should a borrower get in trouble.

  4. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Home-Buying Risks Decline Along With the Rewards

    Has an all-clear siren gone off? Is it safe to invest in U.S. homes yet?

    While a big-city gauge of U.S. home prices in May showed its first monthly gain in three years and pending home resales rose in June, the storm hasn’t passed. Foreclosures still buffet Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada and areas beset by unemployment.

    If you are relocating, buying investment properties or retiring, you may have to move to areas not on your top-10 list in order to gain some home-equity growth.

    It is a fallacy to assume that all housing markets are on the mend. There are still about 4 million single-family homes, condominiums and co-ops sitting unsold and foreclosures keep hammering prices in the worst-hit areas.

    It takes some research to find which markets were least affected by the bubble, had few subprime mortgages and show stable or growing employment patterns.

  5. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Farm Values Drop in U.S. First Time Since ’87; Revival Forecast

    Farmland prices, which advanced for 21 years, couldn’t escape the worst plunge in real estate since the Great Depression.

    The value of all land and buildings on farms averaged $2,100 an acre at the start of 2009, down 3.2 percent from a year earlier, the first decline since 1987, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday in an annual report. Prices in Corn Belt states including Iowa and Illinois fell 2.2 percent to $3,620 an acre. In Montana they plunged 22 percent to $700.

  6. DL says:

    It wasn’t until 2006 that she learned she might be able to own the place for just $1.

    According to a clause in the Camden Townhouses deed, owner and developer Israel Roizman agreed to offer the 91 units to the existing low-income tenants 15 years after they were built.

    Even for one dollar I think she’s overpaying.

  7. DL says:

    Raises the term “cooking the books” to a new level. From Mish:
    “Look at what happened in that first quarter GDP number — total GDP contracted around $30 billion at an annual rate, but when you strip out all the government activity, ranging from spending, to tax reductions, to benefit payouts, the decline exceeded $300 billion. In other words, without all the government intervention, the decline in GDP in 1Q would have been closer to an 8% annual rate, not 1%.”

    And remember, that’s all “new” money.

  8. DL says:

    “Last month, commercial real estate research firm Reis Inc. reported that the steepest rent declines since 2002 occurred at shopping malls between April and the end of June. The threat of vacancies was to blame.

    Joe Coradino, who oversees retail leasing for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, said last week that “everybody who could was asking for rent relief. It was a free-for-all.”

    PREIT, which owns Cherry Hill, Willow Grove Park, and other malls, even formed a “lease modification review committee” to handle the influx, Coradino told me yesterday. Requests have finally slowed down, though.”

  9. GerryAdams says:

    7 – yeah, but think how many LL Bean stores were spared and how that stimulus money helped China avert a recession.

    Well worth the money that our children’s children will be paying with compounded interest.

  10. grim says:

    Firestormik, thanks for your generous donation!

  11. freedy says:

    short sales ,, all the rage.

  12. freedy says:

    unless the govmint does something, more and more people will simple walk.


  13. This is definitely worth watching, it’s Jim the Realtor on cre in So. Cal. It looks like the stuff is piling up fast.
    The kicker is at the end with a brand new, largely unoccupied, strip mall going into a foreclosure sale for $.95 sq ft. Yes, that decimal is in the right place.

  14. grim says:

    Challenger numbers in at 97k, up 31%.

  15. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Chris Christie is getting dangerously close to losing my vote:

    Christie praises Stack in Union City campaign stop

    Politics is politics but you start breaking bread with that corrupt douchebag you just lost all your credibility.

  16. #14 – Not really surprising, but contra the prevailing theme of ‘getting better’.

  17. cooper says:

    this is from… are these numbers correct?

    “Banks say a safe mortgage is a maximum of 3 times the buyer’s yearly income with 20% downpay”ment. Landlords say a safe price is a maximum of 15 times the tenant’s yearly rent. Yet in coastal areas, both those safety rules are still being violated. Buyers are still borrowing 6 times their income and putting only 3% down, and sellers are still asking 30 times annual rent, even after recent price declines.”

  18. cooper says:

    17 continued…
    are these numbers correct= is there a rule of thumb calculation to get purchase price from rent income?

  19. scribe says:

    Where’s lostinny?

  20. lostinny says:

    I’m trying to be awake.

  21. grim says:

    ADP numbers come in worse than estimated

  22. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    How can that be? green shoots!!

  23. John says:

    chifi, tried to buy an AMBAC bond that was being offered at 27 this morning. Bond got withdrawn before order went through. they have a 10am call and I bet they do a tender offer on the bonds between 30 and 50 cents. Dang, how is a vulture supposed to make money today.

  24. Barbara says:

    what makes me crazy is the “100k out later on this, 1 mil out later.” These people pocketed 100ks tax free and will walk away with, *gasp* a bad credit score. This is stolen money.

  25. scribe says:

    Hey, Lost

    You were right about getting into MSG. I thought it would be a mob scene, but it was very efficient.

    I didn’t like my seat, though. Too far removed from the stage, and when you’re “up there,” you’re too close to the ceiling-mounted speakers.

    What was the next to last song, with the video of people shimmying?

    Were they doing mostly their most recent CD?

  26. John says:

    scribe are you also going to the blink 182 concert coming up since you are in a comeback band mood.

  27. scribe says:


    I have no idea who blink 182 is, but I will go, if you promise to go.

    If you promise to go, no doubt a big group of people from this blog will go, too …


  28. lostinny says:

    25 Scribe
    Sorry you didn’t like your seat. We were on the floor and it was still hard to see at some points. The girl was dancing to Personal Jesus. They did mostly older hits with a smattering of songs from the new album- most of which they could have left off the set list as far as I’m concerned, especially Jezebel. What a waste of 5 minutes. They should have kept Home instead.

  29. DoughBoy says:

    At least the crooks in office aren’t pushing the BS that the CARS program was just to help the environment and get old crap off the stree. Now they’re at least talking about the stimulus to the auto manufacturers for what it was.

  30. goonsquad says:

    HEHEHE, how is Stack corrupt? I ask because I really don’t know. I don’t follow local politics enough to know what’s the deal w/ Stack in particular.

  31. NJGator says:

    Why New Jersey’s going south faster than its residents

    Among those of us who find amusement in New Jersey politics there is a constant debate: Is the state going bankrupt primarily because of corruption?

    Or is it going bankrupt primarily because of an assortment of legal but expensive practices endorsed by our legislators?

    The other day I came upon a fascinating Associated Press article that seemed to offer support for both theories.

    It was headlined “Florida highrise has 32 stories but just one tenant.” It told of the plight of a New Jersey couple who last year bought a unit in a Fort Myers condominium that has no other residents, despite the fact it has “marble floors, a large pool overlooking a river and modern furnishings that speak of affluence and luxury.”

    The point of the story is that the Vangelakos family is alone in this building with inadequate services and security. But my first thought was: I wish I could afford a place like that. Even though I make a good salary and my wife works, I couldn’t possibly afford my current mortgage, plus a mortgage on a $430,000 luxury condo, plus the cost of air fare to visit the place regularly. Yet Victor and Cathleen Vangelakos visit their deluxe condo quite often, and they bring along their three kids.

    Not only that, but the 45-year-old Victor hopes to retire to the condo in a few years, the article stated. Again I was envious. I’ll be turning 59 next month and have zero prospect of retiring comfortably in the near future to a luxury Florida condo — or even to my current crib in New Jersey.

    So naturally I wondered what the guy does for a living. I figured maybe he invented some brilliant new device for irritating people, like Bluetooth. Nope. It turns out he’s a firefighter. Yup.

    Vangelakos works for the government, for me and you in other words. And when he’s in his late 40s kicking back on his balcony enjoying the Florida sunset, you and I will be paying a good part of the tab. New Jersey’s public pension system is among the most lavish in the nation. A participant can collect a pension and health benefits for life on as little as 20 years of employment. His spouse can keep collecting after he dies. The state can be on the hook for a 50-year payout for a mere 20 years of work. No wonder our pension fund’s broke.

    The theory behind this is that public employees deserve big pensions because they get small salaries. But if this guy’s not making much money, how can he afford two homes? I was curious, so I went to a Star-Ledger data base, available on our website, that reports the salaries of public employees. There I learned that as of 2006, Vangelakos earned $104,220 annually as an employee of the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue squad. He earned an additional $25,009 working for the township of Weehawken as its fire inspector. Meanwhile, his wife earned $25,411 working for the township as court clerk.

    Add that all up and it’s a lot more than the average family earns. But it still doesn’t seem like enough dough to cover a luxury condo in Florida. And it may not have been enough. After the story broke, a reporter for a Florida newspaper apparently found a story that was also on The Star-Ledger’s website at (a real wealth of information, as you can see.). That article from the Jersey Journal described how Cathleen Vangelakos was arrested in June of 2008 on embezzlement charges.

    The investigation was performed by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, so I called Prosecutor Ed DeFazio for some details.

    “She had been employed there a number of years,” said DeFazio, “Generally, people would come in to pay a fine in cash and she would misappropriate the money.” The total amount at issue won’t be revealed until the trial, DeFazio said, but it was well in excess of the $500 necessary to support a charge of official misconduct in the second degree.

    This was shaping up to have all the elements of a classic Jersey story. And then DeFazio added another nice touch. He reminded me that Jersey City Councilwoman Nidia Lopez was recently revealed to have some Florida ties of her own. After a recent election, her opponents charged that Lopez should have been disqualified because she has been claiming Florida residency for the past eight years so she could get a break on the property taxes on her spacious Orlando home.

    A lot of Jersey City residents object to that and are calling for her resignation. But I fail to see their point. At the rate we’re going, half the people in New Jersey will soon be living in Florida. Why shouldn’t they have representation here?

  32. chicagofinance says:

    28.lostinny says:
    August 5, 2009 at 9:19 am
    25 Scribe
    Sorry you didn’t like your seat. We were on the floor and it was still hard to see at some points. The girl was dancing to Personal Jesus. They did mostly older hits with a smattering of songs from the new album- most of which they could have left off the set list as far as I’m concerned, especially Jezebel. What a waste of 5 minutes. They should have kept Home instead.

    doh! :(

  33. chicagofinance says:

    lost: I hate Jezebel… moose c-ck

  34. chicagofinance says:

    Home on 8/3 was the best version I’ve ever seen….

  35. John says:

    Junk Bonds Making Loomis See Dot-Com-Like Peril for Dearest CCC Rated Debt

    The nerve of them!!!!! What I can’t make 100% a year interest forever.

    Nah wont be at Blink 182, already got wife to let me go to Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, Titans and Dolfins games plus a little conference in Florida in next 3 months, adding blink 182 may result in alimony paymnets.

  36. renter says:

    What does “Buyer will be responsible for C of O and any required certificates” mean?

    Thanks in advance.

  37. lostinny says:

    35 ChiFi
    I agree. But Martin sang Question of Lust last night and I just about fell over!

  38. homeboken says:

    37 – C of O means Certificate of Occupancy. Whatever you are looking at is not legal to live in at the moment, and will need to $ in order to get final C of O. How much $, could vary greatly.

  39. yikes says:

    cnbc ratings are absolutely in the tank

    down 28 percent since july of 2008

    ratings for kudlow’s show are down 40%

  40. HEHEHE says:

    Stack was being investigating for running money through some charity he put his wife in charge of running. He’s one of those NJ pols that’s had three jobs on the public payroll at the same time. He’s implicated in the latest FBI roundup too.

    He also flooded Hoboken with money for machine candidates during the council election prior to this one. All of which I am sure was placed via strawmen to circumvent the campaign funding laws if they ever file and ELEC report which his buddy Chris Campos still hasn’t filed. Cammarano ran that campaign so God knows what he can give the feds on that one. They had ex-felon JC Mayor Gerry Mcann heavily involved in it. That’s the stuff that’s become public. God knows what’s under the surface. Basically you see the words Hudson County Democrat you might as well see Gambino.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [41] HEHEHE

    Running money through a charity or foundation is a classic dodge, and one that can be expected to garner more scrutiny in the coming years. Basically, anyone in public life that has a charity or foundation that they established, manage, or even are identified with heavily, can expect that the charity or foundation will undergo a proctological exam in the near future.

  42. homeboken says:

    Re: Stack – He was also supposed to take the truck to get compacted by some friends of ours out in Jersey, but instead he got high and fell asleep at his girlfriends house. By the morning the cops had fingerprints off the steering wheel, it was only a matter of time before they got to Stack(s).

  43. renter says:


    Thank you for the information.

  44. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [43] boken

    That scene reminds me of another.

    “Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.”

  45. morpheus says:

    Once again I make a bid on a house and once again I encounter a seller in need of “real estate intervention” or a swift kick in the head.

    Seller has made a final offer that is $5K more than a comp that has 30% more property and the building is assessed higher than the seller’s building (same sq. footage). This comp sold in may of last year.

    Next door is a property that is going short sales. has a 2 car stand alone garage and 200 more square feet in the house. The buildings are assessed at $20K more than the seller’s building. Seller wants at least 30K more than the short sale price.

    I will counter offer with a final offer that is $5k more than what I really think the property is worth. I do not expect to get the property.

    These sellers are delusional. I understand he is trying to pay off the mortgage of the new house he bought (house we are bidding the mortgage has been paid in full) but if he wanted to do that, he should have put up the property for sale last year.

    He should know better: he bought in 1987, almost near the top of the last housing bubble.

  46. confused in NJ says:

    California’s prisons are so overcrowded that the state is violating inmates’ constitutional rights, three federal judges ruled today in a decision imposing a cap on the prison population that will force the state to release nearly 43,000 prisoners over the next two years.

    The 185-page opinion also accused the state of fostering “criminogenic” conditions, compelling former prisoners to commit more crimes and feed a cycle of recidivism.

  47. ruggles says:

    46 – what you really need to do is not counter with more money, give them your phone number and go out looking again. negotiating further just adds to the problem.

  48. Secondary Market says:

    morpheus says:
    August 5, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Once again I make a bid on a house and once again I encounter a seller in need of “real estate intervention” or a swift kick in the head.

    welcome to my world. i’m 0 for 6 and my wife is now starting to question my analytics and my realtor thinks i’m crazy (that part i take as a compliment).
    oh well, at least i’m not a bag holder and this site is the only thing that keeps me from breaking my stance. stay strong!

  49. morpheus says:

    I can offer more money: my inital offer was no where near what I though the house is worth. I can go a little higher: 5K is not going to kill me and it is still within the realm of affordability.

  50. Shore Guy says:

    If anyone wants to own the largest post office in the nation, bidd on the old Main Chicago P.O. start at $300,000

  51. Shore Guy says:


    To what extent do you think the banks are stopping short sales as a method of not realizing losses and, thus. enhancing their financial condition — higher-valued assets on the books, lower reserve requirement?

  52. #51 – Worth every penny. It’s rare you see such a prime example of fascist architecture in the U.S.
    2.7 million sq ft. starting @ $300k, no too shabby.
    From the NY Times article on the sale;
    After the old post office in Chicago, the second-largest vacant property is a 1.5-million-square-foot mail processing facility in Jersey City.

    Hmm. Potential bargains in JC!

  53. DoughBoy says:

    You’re obviously not going to be on the same page as the seller and it would take an act of total insanity on your part to come up to meet his price… so you’re done with the negotiation.

    If you’re going to revise your offer, add THINGS to it like you require a new shed to be built or the driveway to be resealed, etc. Either that or go DOWN in offer.

    Don’t forget to leave your email address and tell him you’ll be happy to discuss prices when he’s come to his senses.

  54. veto that says:

    im waiting for this answer.
    This whole discussion is the elephant in the room.
    The banks are hoarding to maniuplate the inventory and its working! the only question is how long can this work? a few months or 5-10 years?
    im no forensic accountant but Banks must be reaping huge benefits by keeping the foreclosure on the books.
    Im shocked to see the efforts to make short sales move more efficiently. In my opion, dumping this shadow inventory onto the market will be the trigger that makes prices collapse.

  55. veto that says:

    Grim, awesome charts. it really puts the green shoots in perspective. Thanks,

  56. ruggles says:

    50 – as long as you stay at or preferably below current fair market value. Otherwise you are feeding into the delusion. just adding a little more hope.

    You’re more likely to win, I think, if you talk least and walk first.

    49 – are these houses selling within 2 months of your offer for relatively close to asking (within 5-10% or higher)? if yes, then the market must be hotter than you think. (or there are a lot of suckers following you around). Otherwise, you’re probably right

  57. John says:

    Banks don’t want to do short sales, lotta work. Out in Hamptons a lot of banks holding paper on jumbo just sell them to vulture funds for 30-50 cents on dollar and lets vulture fund foreclose and kick the people out. Bank does not want bad press or raise their foreclosure stats, also banks don’t want to do the work of a short sale. Better to use that manpower to make money than on loss mitigation.

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    NJ not the only state losing business to its neighbors:

    “Lassoing in Mass. jobs
    N.H. telling cos. to be Big and Rich there
    By Jay Fitzgerald
    Friday, July 24, 2009 – Updated 9h ago
    Boston Herald General Economics Reporter

    New Hampshire is at it again.

    The Granite State, which has been poaching Bay State workers, customers and companies for decades, is now inviting 900 Massachusetts business owners to enter a contest with a grand prize of limousine service to a Big & Rich concert, complete with a VIP preconcert reception and backstage privileges.

    Ten other lucky winners will get free tickets to the Aug. 30 show at the U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H. – and New Hampshire economic-development recruiters will be right there with them touting their state as a place to do business.

    Steve Boucher, legislative director of New Hampshire’s economic development division, said it’s “pure coincidence” the recruiting campaign is occurring as Massachusetts prepares to raise its sales tax to 6.25 percent from 5 percent next month.

    “But I’d be lying to you if I said the timing isn’t perfect,” Boucher added, noting New Hampshire expects to benefit from its neighbor’s increase in the sales tax. . . .”

  59. Marie says:

    Thanks for the charts. Puts 2009 in proper perspective.

  60. Secondary Market says:

    @57 ruggles:

    all of the homes i bid on in philadelphia sold pretty close to asking which was astonishing. but that further supports my theory that this market is 6-9 month behind national or no. jersey trends. much to my wife’s delight, i’ve capitulated and shifted focus to the ‘burbs. PA burbs are still in high denial but NJ towns like Cherry Hill have loads of inventory and price drops are occurring like these flash floods. i’m gearing up for some offers but am tempted to hold off until Sept. when the sellers officially know they can’t find the sucker family rushing to move before the school year. if i heard blue ribbon school and motivated seller one more time i might go crazy.

  61. morpheus says:

    no: last house I bid on is still on the market. . . that was approximately 2 months ago.

    Other house was a fixer upper, we lost by 10-12K, so we were in the ballpark for the POS.

    Both the seller’s agent and our agent believe that the seller is overpricing the current property. So I am in the ballpark.

  62. leftwing says:

    Re: Firefighters

    Careful with your criticism of compensation less you bring out the ‘hero’ chorus of how-dare-you question someone who has a (potentially) life risking profession for the benefit of others.

    I am familiar with many firefighters, it’s worse than you think.

    I don’t disagree it’s a profession with more danger than others. That adjustment should be made if/when something adverse happens – take care of the employee and the family top to bottom and then some. The ‘risk premium’ for employment should not be built into base compensaton so that the 95% who never experience a debilitating injury can sleep two nights at the firehouse and take five days off.

  63. Ben says:

    I got my mom to price her NYC apartment 10k below what I thought market clearing value would have been. She got 3 offers in under two weeks and a ton of traffic through the place. I don’t understand the people who try to hold on to grandma’s house for another 9 months trying to squeeze an extra 10k out of people. Get it over with already.

  64. Clotpoll says:

    HE (15)-

    Sadly, nothing will change under Christie.

    He’s just a tool who’s controlled by a different constituency.

  65. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (52)-

    To a great extent.

  66. Clotpoll says:

    I was going to respond to Morpheus, but I truly don’t know what to say.

    Maybe the only thing I can say is stop torturing yourself.

  67. Clotpoll says:

    Can’t get tomorrow’s price today.

  68. Qwerty says:

    RE: “Can’t get tomorrow’s price today.”

    MLS 2517833 and 2603182.

  69. morpheus says:

    clot: I am a DM fan, so I guess I am used to pain and suffering.

    Oh well, I will make the offer and ask for a credit for closing costs.

  70. John says:

    something fishy with AMBAC up 25% today after being up 11% yesterday and they postponed their earnings release today until friday. Me thinks either insurance regulator going easy on them or bondholders are working on some type of swap They are working on something, may even be a BK, bet the price for collars are getting tighter than the collar on a a bronx pitbull.

  71. John says:

    firefighters do a risky job for not that much pay, however paid firefighters are way overpaid. why do I say that, NYC firefighters can make 100K with free medical for life and a crazy big pension, meanwhile on Long Island people do the same job for free as it is all volunteer.

    In fact a few more surburban parts of Queens wanted to organize a volunteer fire department and the NYC fire department came down on them like a ton of bricks, how dare they do it for free!!!!!!! Even kookier half the guys who would be that fire dept were retired firemen.

  72. Cindy says:

    55 – Veto “In my opinion, dumping this shadow inventory onto the market will be the trigger that makes prices collapse.”

    In my opinion, it ain’t gonna happen. At least it is not happening in CA…

    They have been gradually letting inventory onto the market here and controlling the pricing by doing so. If they really let them all hit at once, it would be a disaster. I see no reason to believe the current scheme will change. Sure I could be wrong – just my opinion.

  73. HEHEHE says:


    Agreed re Christie. As soon as he ran for governor he ended any legitmacy. Having said that I still may hold my nose and vote for him unless it appears he’s hanging around or courting the support of clowns like Stack.

  74. Stu says:

    Leftwing (63):

    Went to the town council meeting last night to debate the merits of paying the fire chief, deputy fire chief, police chief and deputy police chief 4.5% raises this year. Well the town council does not want to pay much more than 1% because these are firefighters and police we are talking about (tongue in cheek), but they claim they are powerless. Town manager cited a recent arbitration decision made on behalf of the Paramus Police force where they were awarded a 4% annual increase every year for the next four years. Their hands are truly tied. Unless all of the town councils and mayors across the state rally in Trenton to break the unions, then the status quo will continue until services are drastically reduced to continue to pay insane salaries and pension benefits. I think Rome is well on its way to collapsing.

  75. Sean says:

    Stack is playing for both teams.

    “In the end, I’m a Democrat,” said Stack as Corzine reached one end of the festival, walked a block east and jumped in his waiting SUV. “But I won’t make an endorsement until the end of August.”

  76. Stu says:

    Can we just forget about NJ state politics on this blog? It is a complete waste of time and I’d rather listen to the rantings of a delirious Frank than listen to one side claim that their party is better suited for the job.

  77. HEHEHE says:

    This is Not a Recession!

    “Contrary to most, I don’t believe in a V-shaped recovery. Beyond the headwinds of substantially greater private-sector deleveraging, continued high unemployment, and further deterioration in credit quality ahead, I think there’s an equal, if not more severe and profound task ahead in this country — and that’s the enormous “resizing” of the American economy.”

  78. veto that says:

    “They have been gradually letting inventory onto the market here and controlling the pricing by doing so. I see no reason to believe the current scheme will change”

    Cindy, neither do i. The banks are basically the guvt in this case as they are both acting together to benefit eachother and stabilize the plunge. The only question is will they simply use this control to deflate prices in an orderly manner or do they intend to control the inventory so drastically that it pushed prices up again?

  79. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (73)-

    I agree with you.

    BTW, I also think this is an excellent way to trigger and sustain a 20-25 year recession.

    Gotta go. Time to finish my breakfast of raw fish and cold rice.

  80. Clotpoll says:

    HE (74)-

    If you vote at all, you’re one of them.

  81. HEHEHE says:

    I really don’t have a side. Just anti-corruption.

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [78] HEHEHE

    I don’t believe that some of what the author says is necessary actually is (re:oversupply), and that will correct itself. But he is correct that (and for different reasons) we won’t see the V, but will be in for a prolonged (dare say permanent) economic stagnation and complete revision of our (american) way of life.

    Many liberal commentators are actually calling for this; not directly, but for a lower output, flattened earnings pyramid economy. The outgrowth of that will be much more foreign ownership of US-based assets, and a continuing transfer of wealth from the US to foreign businesses, unless the administration erects high protectionist walls. In essence, the only way to save our economy is to close it by ending globalization and containing all production for domestic consumption within our borders. It will result in an artificial economy as our costs will be higher than the rest of the world’s but it is the only way that we can keep an ambitious “eurpoeanization” of our government and economy and still prevent widespread unemployment and the systematic wealth-stripping that will occur when we have driven all our “wealthy” to sell out to foreign corporations that are not as constrained as ours are.

  83. freedy says:

    aig ,, cured cancer up 5

  84. HEHEHE says:

    So you are saying globalization and wage arbitrage isn’t working for the typical American?

  85. HEHEHE says:

    Deutsche Bank: Construction Loan Defaults Coming

    “Interesting piece from Deutsche Bank on rapidly deteriorating Construction loans. DB predicts that “construction loans will be the epicenter of bank loan problems”

    • By far the riskiest type of loan product in bank portfolios;
    • Substantial portion represents loans to homebuilders;
    • Market currently penalizing properties with vacancy issues extremely severely;
    • Newly constructed (or only partially constructed) properties are the poster children for vacancy problems in CRE;
    • Values of most newly constructed properties are down massively;
    • Expect extremely high default rates and extremely high loss severity rates, both likely to be in excess of 50%;
    • Total expected losses of 25% or more.

    In a reversal of the Residential Real Estate market, the exposure for large money center banks is low — smaller regional and community banks have the highest construction loan exposure”

  86. Clotpoll says:

    Protectionism- even when it’s cloaked in the clothes of “common sense”- is still a guaranteed path to economic ruin.

    IMO, protectionism will be the element that turbocharges a nasty recession into a full-out global depression.

    That, and the collapse of some obscure currency…

  87. veto that says:

    He, as you post that, srs drops into the 12s.
    I’m thinking of buying back in today but i cant help but think that srs is being totally manipulated.

  88. Ben says:

    A free market in global trade (which we never had anyway) was a completely stupid idea from the standpoint of American workers. American workers enjoyed wages orders of magnitude higher than their foreign counterparts. A free market in global trade was the last thing that American workers should have ever wanted. Globalization was great for the world and bad for America.

  89. Clotpoll says:

    HE (86)-

    Feh. Mike Morgan made this call over two years ago.

  90. Clotpoll says:

    veto (88)-

    The HFT guys are juicing IYR.

  91. Secondary Market says:


    In Re: Short Sales

    Are the banks usually firm on asking price and more willing to make concessions or is it the other way around?

  92. Clotpoll says:

    2nd (92)-

    Banks have no say over the asking price. Generally, they won’t even get involved in a short sale until you bring them a binding contract of sale and a complete package of information, including the borrower’s financial statements and details of the hardship that led to the short sale.

  93. Secondary Market says:

    I see. There’s an active listing-short sale that fell apart due to the home owner not disclosing a hidden line of credit and I’m told the asking price is not negotiable since that will be the amount needed to cover debts. How is this my problem? See you in foreclosure, pal.

  94. Cindy says:

    Veto #79 –
    “The only question is will they simply use this control to deflate prices in an orderly manner or do they intend to control the inventory so drastically that it pushed prices up again?”

    Again – only know what I see here – my opinion: Low-priced places are commanding multiple bids. I am pretty sure that is just the way they want it. It apparently keeps the price as high as the market will handle and establishes the proper inventory volume.

    My friend that was looking to buy a low-end rental for cash – did a few months ago. She is sorry now. Much more on the market. If she bought today, she would be sorry for the same reason next year.

    There are no raises here. City officials are taking pay cuts to save jobs. Unemployment issues big time. I do not see the housing picture changing for quite some time.

    One positive thing, because many here have been renting out their property for quite some time in the hopes that they would sell and still not have to claim capital gains (live in the place 2 out of 5 years or however that law works) – Some folks have to lower their price and sell. They would lose out in taxes if they don’t and never intended holding a long-term rental.

    That, according to a real estate friend, is one reason medium or upper-priced places are going on the market. People had to move – couldn’t get their price – rented it out….but now they have to sell. That should happen more and more as time winds on. You can only hold onto it for so long under that tax ruling, then you have to keep it as a rental. Is that right Clot, Stu?

  95. Ben says:

    Clot, reactionary protectionism leads to economic malaise. But 200 years of protectionism served the US well. Protectionism is what kept Japan’s export market strong to counteract the stupid actions of their government. In the late 1970s, when Milton Friedman and company convinced the US to move towards lowering trade barriers, it was an insane idea. They believed foreign countries would reduce their barriers and wouldn’t be able to indefinitely peg their currencies (another indirect form of protectionism) because they thought political pressure would force them to perform in true free trade. They based this off of Japan’s failure in pegging their currency. Fast forward to today, it didn’t happen. China is still pegged and our trade deficit is near 10 trillion dollars. The US would have been better off keeping all their tariffs up the entire time. No free trade with China. No NAFTA. Nothing. We had the world by the balls. We were a creditor nation and had the biggest industrial capacity in the world. We also were stealing the world’s greatest talent in academia/science/engineering/medicine from the rest of the world via immigration. Realistically, the US was in a position to develop a system where the where we could consistently outperform the rest of the world by simply being the “land of opportunity”. China, Russia, and Europe had no chance in competing with us when their best workers immigrate into our border. All we had to do is keep government minimal, keep regulation low, enforce tariffs, and make legal immigration easily accessible. Instead, we went crazy and blew up the military budget, removed tariffs, outsourced labor, regulated our industrial base to death, and multiplied the size of government by 200%. The whole printing money thing, that’s the icing on the cake.

    At this point, the only thing protectionism will do for us is ensure we never have a real recovery after we get a real economic crash. We should only hope that Asia doesn’t realize where we went wrong as a nation 40 years ago.

  96. Cindy says:

    Here is a bunch of tax talk on that situation @95.

  97. Ben says:

    Veto, there’s a house on Robbinsville/Edinburg Rd. down the street from Delorenzo’s. I was in it a few weeks back. It’s been foreclosed on and for some reason, you don’t even see it listed on any website. They don’t want to sell it. I believe 490k is owed on the house. If you go in it, the layout is amazing. It was once truly a phenomenal house on a great piece of land. These days, it needs a new roof, spackle, paint, all the floors need to be replaced, the kitchen and all 4 bathrooms need to be redone. The basement has about 3 inches of water in it. On the bank’s balance sheet, they probably still have it recorded as 500k. Realistically, I can’t see it selling for more than 160k. If they plan on keeping it for more than another year, the house will have to be torn down. They won’t be able to keep these homes off the market as long as they would like to.

    As far as your family goes, I understand your urgency to buy now. But hear me out. My parents didn’t buy a home until a week before I moved out for college. They rented the same spot for 8 years. It never affected our family one bit. They eventually bought a house a few blocks away. In this type of environment, if you are well off, I would suggest you find a neighborhood you like and find a rental there. Every neighborhood has at least 4 to 5 homes that come onto the market every year. In this type of environment, you can literally end up buying the house across the street from where you rent. I’ve already seen people do this a few times. Just make sure Bernanke doesn’t confiscate your down payment through inflation.

  98. Alap says:

    General Growth accounted for 43% of all delinquent commercial mortgage-backed securities on retail properties in June, according to Realpoint. That share shrank to 18% in July.

  99. Clotpoll says:

    2nd (94)-

    Hey, any homedebtor could easily forget about a little LOC…:)

  100. Seneca says:

    Anyone agree with this theory? Clot, you need not respond, I already know where you stand.

    “This rally is simply here to relieve investors’ pent-up urge to buy and recreate an environment that will drag the maximum amount of money back into the losing vortex.”

  101. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (95)-

    This seems to be prima facie evidence that even in a market as damaged as yours, housing prices are still too high…and being kept up by artificial means.

    I keep telling people I know who fancy themselves “investors” that this is why you don’t want to go to somewhere like Fla yet and go on a buying binge.

    It may take years for residential RE markets to clear. And, the banks want it that way…even if it wrecks the entire economy.

  102. EWellie says:

    #77 Stu,

    I agree. Let’s keep NJ politics out of this. There are many other forums for it. I come here to get information about NJ real estate.

  103. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (95)-

    Mostly right. After you pass the 2-in-5 time period, you can sell anytime you want. However, your profit is subject to taxation at the capital gains rate.

  104. Cindy says:

    101 – It MAY take years….agreed.

    Let’s say some of these idiots that decided to rent bought a new place, moved etc. at the first downfall – 2006. They rented out the place figuring – no problem – I will wait “a few years” and the prices will go back up.

    FF to 2009 – No, think again. Well, okay – I’ll just continue to rent the sucker out…FF to 2011. Your 5 years is up, Dude. You have to sell now…

    Seriously, Dr. Housing Bubble has been saying 2011-2012 for a bottom in CA forever – I can’t see how he is wrong…

  105. Clotpoll says:

    Ben (96)-

    Unfortunately, we also taught China, Russia and the rest of the world the following:

    1. Beggar thy neighbor.

    2. Spin the presses 24/7.

    3. Mollify underpaid workforces with extensions of easy credit.

    Our downfall as a creditor nation began to crumble when we taught the ROW how to expand debt.

  106. Cindy says:

    Oooppps – forgot @ 104…

    His predictions also take into account: The majority of option ARM resets are in CA – The are extended out until 2012.

  107. Stu says:


    I would agree with your two out of five capital gains theory, but I don’t think many any gains to deduct in the first place. Certainly not enough to force people to sell to capture a tax free capital gain.

  108. Clotpoll says:

    Don’t forget, kids: current cap gains treatments sundown at the end of 2010.

    Here’s a good teaser bet. Which will happen first: a) the supreme Soviet in DC jacks up cap gains rates; or, b) the current laws actually hold until 1/1/11?

  109. Cindy says:

    107 – Stu –

    As silly as it sounds, my brother is in that position – he only owes $80,000 on a $450,000 place (It used to be worth $650,000.) HE RENTED IT OUT in 2006 when he moved to OR. He will have to do something.

    A lady I teach with owns one place outright and rents it – bought a new place. She wants the profit to pay down her current loan on the new place so she can then refinance.

    Yes, these people should have sold in 2006 but were stubborn – Now they will settle for less – for sure.

    But – isn’t it true that they will get stuck after the 5 years if they
    can no longer claim it as a primary residence?

  110. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (109)-

    Only if there is a profit.

    Sadly, Stu is right. Almost everyone in that situation is underwater. Very few folks will have a profit to tax.

  111. Seneca says:

    Trades as a reflection of the economy?

    Cygnus Media Restructures Debt Through Chapter 11

    Cygnus publishes (or used to) titles like Modern Jeweler, Lustre, Kitchen & Bath Design and Wood Digest.

  112. bi says:

    whats going on? srs under $13. where is the recession?

    p.s: news for b.c bob – SPG over $60, are you in?

  113. John says:

    I know it will be a brick wall to the stock and bond market in the second half of 2010. You have to hold a position for one year to qualify. Anyone who was buying stocks or bonds between November 2008 and early July 2009 are all going to want to sell before new tax rate.

    Clotpoll says:
    August 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm
    Don’t forget, kids: current cap gains treatments sundown at the end of 2010.

    Here’s a good teaser bet. Which will happen first: a) the supreme Soviet in DC jacks up cap gains rates; or, b) the current laws actually hold until 1/1/11?

  114. Cindy says:

    110 – Thanks Clot – Got it.

  115. John says:

    AIG up nine bucks a share today!!!!!

  116. Clotpoll says:

    John (113)-

    I can see hundreds of companies declaring a giant special dividend toward the end of next year, cutting checks, mailing them out, then bending over and kissing their collective asses goodbye.

  117. Sean says:

    John – AIG did a reverse 20-for-one stock split.

  118. Clotpoll says:

    Yeah, SPG is hanging in there.

    They were able to jack the rents on all the mall kiosks manned by pushy Israelis.

    Who cares about retailer BKs or places like Coldwater Creek refusing to pay rent for months on end, as long as you have that steady-Eddie kiosk business?

    [sarcasm off]

    The fact that bi is on a dog like SPG is of infinite comfort to me on days like today.

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Supposedly Timmay really went off last Friday in his meeting with other regulators.

    ““Mr. Geithner told the regulators Friday that ‘enough is enough,’ said one person familiar with the meeting. Mr. Geithner said regulators had been given a chance to air their concerns, but that it was time to stop, this person said…

    Friday’s roughly hour-long meeting was described as unusual, not only because of Mr. Geithner’s repeated use of obscentities, but because of the aggressive posture he took with officials from federal agnecies generally considered independent of the White House.”

    The story intimates that he is gonna come down on regulators that don’t carry the water for Chairman O. And we now see regulators berating banks for not modifying mortgages fast enough. What a surprise.

  120. John says:

    Nope Sean, this is post split, AIG is straight up 65% today and CIT is up 50% today and AMBAC is up 30% today, it is a fallen angel rally day!!!!!!!

    Sean says:
    August 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm
    John – AIG did a reverse 20-for-one stock split.

  121. HEHEHE says:

    “Goldman sees U.S. economy growing faster”

    You wondered why the market suddenly went up? Have to keep the suckers like Bi in line;)

  122. John says:

    I am glad the correction is over and we are back above 1,000 in the S&P.

  123. John says:

    goldman just raised goldman to outperform.

  124. RGB says:

    Check out the listing history on MLS 2614630. Also check out the property taxes these people were paying while the house sat

  125. HEHEHE says:


    It’s amazing how many times they’ve trotted that one out in the past couple months!

  126. jcer says:

    I will only say this for NJ politics and politics in general they are all bad and generally must lie and do rather unscrupulous things to get elected. Honest politicians cannot exist as they are literally eaten by dishonest ones, and cannot convince the rather dumb populous to vote for them. That being said everyone needs to get behind Christie, as poor of a candidate as he is if elected he will stick it to his enemies mostly Dems. The Dems in NJ need a reality check, it should not be that easy for them to win, and they need to start working for the people again. I think Christie will pretty easily pull upper class and middle class suburbs, what he needs is the urban vote and blue collar vote(Union). The Stack thing is him trying to get some hudson county votes, it is quite possible he pulls the Hispanic vote which is huge in NJ.

  127. On the fence says:

    Don’t know if you all have discussed this already. Excuse the duplication, if so:

    “Still no end to foreclosure mess”

  128. Clotpoll says:

    jcer (127)-

    If that’s the case, Christie’s time would be much better spent canvassing graveyards.

    “The Stack thing is him trying to get some hudson county votes…”

  129. Zack says:

    SRS and SPG getting obliterated today.
    Where are the bagholders?

  130. John says:

    Published: Wednesday, 5 Aug 2009 | 9:59 AM ET Text Size By: Jane Wells

    There are many ways to measure where we are in the economic cycle. GDP, unemployment numbers, housing starts, hot waitresses.

    “The hotter the waitresses, the weaker the economy,” Hugo Lindgren writes in New York Magazine. He has developed the Hot Waitress Index, under the theory that attractive people land great jobs in sales…when there are jobs in sales. When the economy contracts, they trade down to waiting tables.

    Lindgren spoke to one waitress at a club on the Lower East Side, who told him, “They slowly let the boys go, then the less attractive girls, and then these hot girls appeared out of nowhere.” But he also points out that hotness only goes so far. “Rare indeed is the waitress who is so smoking that customers don’t mind when she drops a glass of Cabernet into their laps.”

    Lindgren claims the Hot Waitress Index is actually a leading indicator, unlike the rest of unemployment.

    Hot people will migrate back to better jobs sooner than not-so-hot auto workers.

    So when you see the hot waitress go, it’s time to feel good, not bad.

    The economy is rebounding.

  131. chicagofinance says:

    John says:
    August 5, 2009 at 3:06 pm
    goldman just raised goldman to outperform.

    I love this :)

  132. chicagofinance says:

    I you want to come, please let me know….. Corzine will not show….also, MODC reflects Monmouth/Ocean, which is one of the most Republican and business oriented parts of the state.

    “Annual Candidates’ Luncheon ”

    Friday, September 18, 2009, 11:30 a.m.
    Sheraton Eatontown, Rte 35 at Industrial Way East, Eatontown, NJ

    Sponsored By
    New Jersey Natural Gas Company

    Presented by MODC’s Government Relations Committee

    Featured Speakers:

    Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Governor Jon Corzine (invited)

    Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Christopher J. Christie (confirmed)

    Candidates for the General Assembly and County Offices from Monmouth and Ocean Counties have been invited as well.

    Come meet the Candidates and hear their
    views on our region’s most pressing issues.

    11:30 a.m. Networking Reception
    12:00 p.m. Luncheon/Membership Meeting
    1:00 p.m. Guest Speakers: New Jersey Gubernatorial Candidates

  133. Barbara says:

    firefighter jobs here are just another political appointment along with housing inspectors.

  134. HEHEHE says:

    ““Annual Candidates’ Luncheon ””

    Might be worth coming just to see Christie eat.

  135. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    ‘Underwater’ Mortgages to Hit 48%, Deutsche Bank Says

    Almost half of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are likely to owe more than their properties are worth before the housing recession ends, Deutsche Bank AG said.

    The percentage of “underwater” loans may rise to 48 percent, or 25 million homes, as prices drop through the first quarter of 2011, Karen Weaver and Ying Shen, analysts in New York at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a report today.

    As of March 31, the share of homes mortgaged for more than their value was 26 percent, or about 14 million properties, according to Deutsche Bank. Further deterioration will depress consumer spending and boost defaults by borrowers who face unemployment, divorce, disability or other financial challenges, the securitization analysts said.

    “Borrowers may also ‘ruthlessly’ or strategically default even without such life events,” they wrote.

    Seven markets in states with the fastest appreciation during the five-year housing boom — including Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida; Merced and Modesto, California; and Las Vegas — may find 90 percent of borrowers underwater, according to the report.

    The share of borrowers owing more than 125 percent of their property’s value will increase to 28 percent from 13 percent, according to Weaver and Shen.

    Home prices will decline another 14 percent on average, the analysts wrote.

  136. grim says:

    Guess that DB isn’t seeing a bottom.

  137. grim says:

    So much for FHA.

    Worse than subprime.

    Everyone knew that subprime was crap, didn’t try to hide it.

    This? This was insidious.

  138. New in NJ says:

    In a small town on the South Coast of France, the holiday season is in full swing, but it is raining so there is not too much business taking place.

    Everyone is heavily in debt. Luckily, a rich Russian tourist arrives in the foyer of the small local hotel. He asks for a room and puts a Euro100 note on the reception counter, takes a key and goes to inspect the room located up the stairs on the third floor. [snip]

  139. HEHEHE says:

    They don’t time their press releases for maximum market moving effect either:)

  140. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Taylor Bean to Cease Operations

    Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. announced that it has closed down its mortgage-lending operations.

    The privately owned Ocala, Fla.-based mortgage bank cited Tuesday’s move by the Federal Housing Administration barring it from making loans insured by the FHA. It also disclosed that it can no longer sell loans to Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage investor that has purchased a large share of Taylor Bean’s production in recent years.

    Taylor Bean was the nation’s 12th-largest home-mortgage lender in this year’s first half, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication. Taylor Bean did most of its lending through brokers and smaller mortgage banks and was one of the last big mortgage originators that isn’t part of a giant commercial banking company.

  141. bi says:

    are you trying to remind me update ultrashort score board?

    > HEHEHE says:

    You wondered why the market suddenly went up? Have to keep the suckers like Bi in line;)

  142. grim says:

    TBW was the 3rd largest FHA lender.

  143. bi says:

    118#, i’m fine. just don’t know how you will you explain your short positions to mrs. clotpoll. you are in red no matter the market goes up or down.

    > The fact that bi is on a dog like SPG is of infinite comfort to me on days like today.

  144. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Two charged with foreclosure scams in Bergenfield, Paterson, Elizabeth

    Two men from Brooklyn were charged in federal court in New Jersey today with running a foreclosure scheme that bilked millions from banks and homeowners.

    Garth Celestine, 44, and Phil Simon, 34 were arrested this morning by FBI agents and were scheduled to appear this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Newark. Authorities said they targeted homeowners who held substantial equity in their homes but struggled to make monthly payments and faced foreclosure, authorities said.

    “Let me make this crystal clear: anyone engaged in any type of mortgage fraud scheme will most definitely be investigated, caught, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Weysan Dun, head of the FBI’s Newark office.

    Operating a firm called Home Savers Consulting Corporation, authorities said Celestine and Simon convinced victims to surrender the titles of their homes for one year, promising in the end to secure a more affordable mortgage.

  145. NJGator says:

    Advance Publications Ends Long-standing ‘No-Layoffs’ Pledge

    NEW YORK Advance Publications’ Newhouse Newspapers, believed to be the only major newspaper chain to avoid layoffs throughout the recent upheavals suffered by its industry, is planning to remove its long-standing “no-layoffs” pledge.

    Publishers at the chain’s 20 daily newspapers, which include The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.; The Oregonian in Portland, the Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, broke the news to staffers Wednesday.

    “We wanted to communicate to employees that this is coming,” said
    Steve Newhouse, chairman of AdvanceNet, the chain’s online division, and a member of the Newhouse family, the company’s longtime owners. “We have had a pledge not to layoff employees for economic conditions or advances in technology.”

    But Newhouse said recent industry problems have forced the company to rescind the pledge. He said staffers are being told today that the pledge will remain for six more months, and then layoffs could occur.

    “It was not a pledge that applied to the kind of transitional moment in the newspaper industry that is basically struggling to survive,” he said, noting it only applied to the company’s daily newspapers.

    The end of the no-layoff pledge follows last year’s string of buyouts at many Advance papers, including more than 200 at The Star-Ledger, as well as furloughs implemented at most of the dailies this year.

    “As all of us are working to keep our daily newspapers going, the pledge in many respects became a deterrent to actions that could actually save the daily newspapers and jobs for the majority of employees,” Newhouse said.

    Newhouse stressed that no layoff plans have been made and none would occur for at least six months. He said today’s notification is “an alert that we need the flexibility to take the steps to address our newspapers’ revenue decline.”

  146. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    The Quill precedent may be headed back to SCOTUS, and it is all thanks to New Jersey:

    “Washington State Court Confirms
    New Jersey Firm Subject to B&O Tax

    SEATTLE—A New Jersey manufacturer of insulation products is liable for business and occupation taxes in Washington because it has a sufficient nexus in the state and the company’s customers receive its products in Washington, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 4 (Lamtec Corp. v. Washington Department of Revenue, Wash. Ct. App., No. 37516-8, 8/4/09).

    Lamtec Corp. is liable for $71,566.12 in business and occupation wholesale sales taxes, including interest and penalties, for 1997 through June 30, 2004, as determined by the Washington Department of Revenue, according to the appellate court.

    Lamtec was unsuccessful in its appeal of the assessment to the department’s appeals board and to Thurston County Superior Court. Upholding the trial court, the appellate court agreed that Lamtec’s activities create a nexus under the Washington B&O tax statute, “even though they do not have an office in the state and do no direct sales.”

    Company Found to Have ‘Substantial Nexus.’

    The appeals court found Lamtec “has a substantial nexus in Washington.”
    “Its employees’ activities within the state are significantly associated with its ability to establish and maintain its market, particularly in light of Lamtec’s business model that entails maintaining a small number of high-volume customers long term,” the court said.

    The company also contended that its Washington customers actually received goods in New Jersey because the company ships goods free on board (FOB) Flanders, N.J. But Lamtec provided no evidence that the common carriers had authority to accept, reject, or inspect goods for Washington customers, the appeals court said.
    It agreed with the trial court that Lamtec’s Washington customers receive goods in Washington state.

    Sellers of products originating outside of Washington received by a purchaser within the state may be taxed under the state’s B&O tax provisions, the appeals court said.”

    This has the potential to turn state sales taxation on its head, and force the SCOTUS to revisit its Quill decision, which provides that a business that doesn’t have a presence in another state, and drop ships to that state by common carrier, isn’t liable for collecting sales tax.

    Washington has no income tax and relies heavily on its sales tax. It is also an extremely aggressive state when it comes to collection (businesses that attempt to relocate out of WA are routinely hit with injunctions, prohibiting them from moving assets out of the state prior to tax clearance).

    SCOTUS should take it on cert. That will clarify the issue once and for all.

  147. Comrade Nom Deplume says:
  148. John says:

    Dick Bove, a bank analyst with Rochdale Securities, said AIG and CIT Group also are benefiting from a growing appetite for risk.

    “Money is now pouring into the junk bonds, the high grades, commercial paper and everything financial,” Bove said.

  149. John says:

    Seven markets in states with the fastest appreciation during the five-year housing boom — including Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida; Merced and Modesto, California; and Las Vegas — may find 90 percent of borrowers underwater, according to the DB report.

    The share of borrowers owing more than 125 percent of their property’s value will increase to 28 percent from 13 percent, according to Weaver and Shen.

    Home prices will decline another 14 percent on average, the analysts wrote.

  150. Shore Guy says:

    This economy reminds me of one of those slaasher films from the late 70s and early 80s (cue Jamie Lee Curtis) where the killer goes on a rampage, people recognize the threat and eventually kill the killer. Then, as everyone relaxes and heads off to get on with their lives, the killer pulls himself off the floor.

  151. Bill in NJ says:

    As much as the real estate industry is trying to promote the idea that the slump is ending, there is still a lot of evidence to the contrary. The real activity was in very low priced homes which were able to take advantage of the $8k credit. Seems like we have a very long way to go before the slump is over, probably until at least the end of 2010. The increase in foreclosures, especially from the short sales that fell through are just going to prolong the downturn. Looks like anyone selling a home for over $400k is still in for a real tough time.

  152. chicagofinance says:

    Cisco’s John Chambers is going to take down the whole equity market

    On a conference call, Mr. Chambers said he expects first-quarter sales to fall 15% to 17% from a year ago. He expects a sequential rise in orders, but Mr. Chambers said he would wait a few quarters before calling for a return to normal business momentum.

  153. Shore Guy says:


    With that Conde Nasty news, are you okay?

  154. bi says:

    154#, long live chambers! we need someone like him to save our beloved ultrashorts.

    > Cisco’s John Chambers is going to take down the whole equity market

  155. bi says:

    this market is just insane in the different way from what we had before march 9th. we need correction to bring in new investors.

  156. NJGator says:

    Shore 155 – That piece refers only to the newspapers.
    Yesterday, the remainder of the company’s receptionists were let go, with the exception of The New Yorker’s – the magazine opted to move him to an editorial position. Have no fear, the Bobs have not yet deemed me a deriment to the company’s long term financial health.

  157. Pol Clot says:

    grim (144)-

    One of our processors found this out today when she went to submit an app to Taylor Bean online.

    Up popped a DOJ screen, informing that Taylor Bean has ceased ops.

    This is the tip of the FHA iceberg. IMO, this also means that the Phony/Fraudy pump has been primed full of garbage loans again. We are probably weeks away now from a complete and final implosion of Phony/Fraudy and FHA…which will ultimately be discovered to have been an even bigger sewer than subprime ever was. FHA was- and is- simply gubmint-abetted fraud.

  158. Pol Clot says:

    bi (157)-

    Wrong. We need a correction to get you hit by a bus.

  159. Pol Clot says:

    The gubmint has set up Phony/Fraudy/FHA to be bankruptcy-bailout vehicles from the start of this mess. They know full well what giant outfits like Taylor Bean are doing.

    They had the gubmint’s full blessing to pull those shenanigans, and now the DOJ get ordered to shut them down only because the FHA poop chute is filled to overflowing with toxic sludge.

  160. Pol Clot says:

    Maybe now is the time to bring back Klink to set that covered bond thingy in place again.

    ‘Cause the secondary market is about to shit the bed.

  161. Pol Clot says:

    I feel a market dislocation event coming on.

  162. Seneca says:

    7 Meadowbrook Court Summit, NJ

    Sold June 2004 – $640,000
    Sold July 2009 – $620,000

  163. Seneca says:

    …by the way, Sue Adler is having a very, VERY good summer. She is getting sale prices over her asking. Before you all jump in and say her clients (sellers) are leaving money on the table, don’t forget the guidance being offered by our resident pros that the way to sell is to be the lowest priced comp in the market. Strategy seems to be working.

    Millburn is insane. Anything mid to high range is selling over ask. It is now officially off my list. I can’t compete.

  164. Sean says:

    Seneca at 45% below original ask?

  165. bi says:

    for what? simply because i didn’t subscribe your end-of-the-world theory?

    for the record, i do feel the market is way ahead of real economy right now. but it could extend more than we anticipated.

    >Pol Clot says:
    August 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm
    bi (157)-

    Wrong. We need a correction to get you hit by a bus.

  166. Seneca says:

    Sean [166]

    The owner of the home that sold for 45% below original ask was a licensed Realtor but that Realtor was NOT Sue Adler.

  167. Sean says:

    Seneca – comps are in the toilet in Millburn but hey lets believe those Wall St jobs will be coming back and we can all take loans on our stock options to buy a house. That whole town is fu(K)ed.

  168. Stu says:

    Banks still getting sicker

    “The economy may have turned, but banks will be cleaning up after their lending mistakes for years. Several big banks may already be doomed to fail.”

  169. bi says:

    169#, sean, school is the number one factor. people are looking for rankings in every aspect. i repeated this theory here so many times. the towns with highly ranked schools will hold well.

  170. Sean says:

    bi – $82.9 million school budget for that little burg for the 2009-10 academic year. I know a principal and a teacher in that town, they cut like crazy already and now they are down to the bone. Next year is gonna be a bloodbath, but hey those Wall St. jobs will pay for it right?

  171. Cindy says:

    Guarantee Bank out of Austin Texas is on the “verge of collapse” they are saying around here. There is a branch in Fresno and one in Clovis.

    Word is, it would be the largest failure this year. I know it is only Wednesday – but be on the lookout. I will be gone for the W/E so – Grim – You are in charge.

  172. randy says:

    first it was “What recession?”

    next everyone will be saying “What recovery?!”

    people are very short-sighted….

  173. x-underwriter says:

    About half of U.S. mortgages seen underwater by 2011

  174. yikes says:

    bi says:
    August 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    for what? simply because i didn’t subscribe your end-of-the-world theory?

    no. because you are consistently clueless, always inaccurate, and hopelessly lost in life. your spelling is abysmal. those things come to mind in the first 10 seconds.


  175. bi says:

    176#, have you figure it out how to get 0.02% yet? at least i didn’t follow the hype on ultrashorts here a few months ago.

  176. Sean says:

    bi – the broken record………10 years from now are you still going to harp on SRS?

  177. Pat says:

    O.K. I’m smackin bi’s butt here. You go, bi, ol’ budd. Bi spells better than I do.

    Where I live, people advertise “Chester Drawers” on craig’s.

    And do you know, Clot, that Elvis had about 60 pounds of crap in his bowel when he died on the toilet?

    How can we relate this to a Fannie?

  178. Firestormik says:

    RE: 10
    James, you are joking, right? :(

  179. bi says:

    179#, i don’t kwow. acctually, i think it may be a good short-term play at this level. but can you recall all the hypes here since 2 year ago?

  180. sas says:

    i know some u blokes think that bi is all washed up.

    but he called $40 crude at the $150 peak.

    that was a damn good call.


  181. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh….although a good line was thrown out…

    Albert Fuchs wrote:
    .Putin wants to see if he can trade the submarines in the cash for clunkers program.

    AUGUST 6, 2009
    Russian Subs Seen Off U.S. East Coast

    WASHINGTON — Two Russian attack submarines were detected patrolling the waters off the East Coast of the U.S. in recent days, including one that came as close as 200 miles offshore, according to U.S. military officials.

    Although Pentagon officials monitoring the subs’ movements didn’t consider them threatening, one senior military official said the patrols were unusual, given the weakened state of the Russian navy and the failure of Moscow to conduct such missions in years.

    “Is it unusual? Yes, but we don’t view it as provocative at all,” the official said, adding that both subs remained in international waters at all times. The patrols were reported on the Web site of the New York Times.

    During the Cold War, subs from both the U.S. and the Soviet Union regularly patrolled the North Atlantic in an elaborate game of naval brinkmanship intended to track rival fleets and position themselves strategically in case of war.

    The senior military official said the two Russian vessels were nuclear-powered Akula class submarines, which were used during the Cold War to track North Atlantic Treaty Organization vessels and, in the event of war, attack enemy subs and ships with torpedoes and missiles. Only larger ballistic-missile subs are used for nuclear-weapons launches.

    The Times reported that one of the subs had recently made port in Cuba, but the official said the U.S. has no confirmation of that move and that the second sub is believed instead to have remained close to Greenland.

    The submarine patrols are the latest series of recent military operations by the Russians — many of which Moscow dropped in the years following the Cold War — which analysts believe are an attempt to reassert the stature of its military.

    Last year, a Russian long-range strategic bomber buzzed the U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz and its accompanying flotilla as the Pearl Harbor-based strike group was patrolling the Pacific.

    Two years ago, the Royal Air Force scrambled fighters to intercept Russian strategic “Bear” bombers that were flying patrols close to British airspace.

  182. Firestormik says:

    SAS might confirm, but from I guess/read from russian sources. USA is obsolete :(

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