NJ job numbers not as rosy as first reported

Some Seneca and Hughes (and Mantell) from NJBIZ:

Economic Heartbeat: Revised jobs data forecast a gloomy future for N.J.

This may be the case for some time to come if the United States repeats the employment change pattern of the aftermath of the last recession — a period of job-loss economic growth. During that official recession, which lasted eight months (March to November 2001), the nation lost approximately 2 million private-sector jobs, but an additional 1.3 million private-sector jobs were lost during the following 21 months. These losses occurred even though GDP showed sustained growth. This precedent-setting pattern, which New Jersey closely followed, suggests a turnaround in employment may not occur until sometime in 2010.

It is in these contexts, both short-term and historic, that New Jersey’s August payroll employment report from the employer survey should be viewed. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that the state added 2,900 private-sector jobs in August, despite national economic headwinds. The bad news is that the previously reported gain of 13,000 private-sector jobs in July was revised sharply downward to a gain of 5,600 jobs — a 57 percent reduction. At the same time, an equally significant downward revision to total employment in July transformed a previously reported monthly gain of 5,900 jobs to an actual loss of 500 jobs. We warned in this column last month that the July numbers seemed too good to be true.

During August, New Jersey gained 800 total jobs, with most individual sectors showing just small changes. The most significant were the loss of 2,400 manufacturing jobs, nearly erasing the unusual gain of 2,700 jobs recorded in July (revised), and the loss of 2,100 government jobs. Despite the overall positive employer-based payroll employment gain during August, the household survey painted quite a different picture of the state’s labor market. The sharp jump in the unemployment rate to 9.7 percent in August, from 9.3 percent in July, affirms that New Jersey households continue to be hurt by weak labor market conditions, with the household survey indicating a decline of 34,600 jobs.

On a year-to-date basis, the state’s unemployment rate has risen from 6.8 percent in December 2008 to 9.7 percent in August, an increase of 2.9 percentage points. This increase exceeds the national rate of increase over the same period of 2.5 percentage points (from 7.2 percent to 9.7 percent).

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152 Responses to NJ job numbers not as rosy as first reported

  1. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    F.D.I.C. May Borrow Funds From Banks

    Tired of the government bailing out banks? Get ready for this: officials may soon ask banks to bail out the government.

    Senior regulators say they are seriously considering a plan to have the nation’s healthy banks lend billions of dollars to rescue the insurance fund that protects bank depositors. That would enable the fund, which is rapidly running out of money because of a wave of bank failures, to continue to rescue the sickest banks.

    The plan, strongly supported by bankers and their lobbyists, would be a major reversal of fortune.

    A hallmark of the financial crisis has been the decision by successive administrations over the last year to lend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to large and small banks.

    “It’s a nice irony,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a consulting company. “Like so much of this crisis, this is an issue that involves the least worst options.”

  2. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Last Centuria land on auction block

    An eight-acre property in downtown Fort Lee that was to be part of a giant residential/retail redevelopment is scheduled to be auctioned next month to pay off a $73.5 million debt.

    The sale of the land, part of Town & Country Developers’ proposed Centuria project, is scheduled for Oct. 23 at the Bergen County courthouse. The sale will pay off a $60 million mortgage owed to Palisades Regional Investment Fund II, a fund managed by Palisades Financial of Fort Lee, plus interest and fees.

    The property is the eastern half of the original 15.7-acre parcel. The western half was sold at sheriff’s auction in April to satisfy a $32 million mortgage held by TDC Fort Lee, an affiliate of Illinois-based Tucker Development Corp. TDC paid $1 million at auction for the property, and also took the loss on the loan.

    Town & Country, which is based in Westwood, has been badly damaged by the housing bust that has affected builders around the state and nation. Housing starts in New Jersey are expected to total fewer than 12,000 this year — the lowest number since World War II.

  3. grim says:

    From the Home News Tribune:

    Firms owning properties managed by Connolly hit with foreclosure filings

    A mortgage lender has filed for foreclosure against two more companies owning single city apartment entities managed by Connolly Properties Inc., marking the 11th and 12th such properties to be so cited during the past three months.

    New York Community Bank filed documents to state Superior Court in Elizabeth against Green Brook Village LLC, 609 Madison Avenue LLC and David M. Connolly, the president and CEO of Connolly Properties, which manages 29 city apartment entities and more than 30 others elsewhere.

    Connolly Properties manages a total of 3,000 apartment units in five different cities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but today more than 1,000 of them currently are tied up in bankruptcy proceedings or facing possible foreclosure, proceedings tied to bank demands of combined debts approaching $60 million. Of the 1,130 city units the company manages, 290 currently are under bankruptcy protection, 199 are facing foreclosure and 162 are listed for sale.

  4. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Newark to forgive interest, penalties on deadbeat taxpayers

    Newark will forgive interest and penalties levied on deadbeat taxpayers in an effort to generate revenues and help struggling residents avoid liens and foreclosures, officials said this week.

    Modeling its initiative after a successful state amnesty program this summer, Newark will give residents who have not paid their property tax or water bills a chance to settle up with the city without criminal or financial penalty, according to Mayor Cory Booker and acting business administrator Michelle Thomas.

    Between now and Oct. 30, “all penalties and interest will be waived on any delinquencies if the principal is paid in full during the amnesty period,” Thomas said Friday, adding that taxpayers can come directly to City Hall to settle their accounts.

    After threatening to shut off water to more than 1,000 property owners earlier this month, city officials are taking a softer line with the amnesty program.

    “In these tough times, we’re trying to find ways to get collections to the city to be sustained and not pass on that pain to the taxpayer,” Booker said.

    Officials estimated that the average tax bill delinquent property owner owes the city about $580, for a total of $48 million in outstanding tax bills. While Thomas said she can’t predict hard numbers, she said the city expects about $5 million from water and sewer delinquencies and hopeful for $20 million from property taxes.

  5. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Americans Put Off Marriage, Buying House: Census

    A broad survey of Americans has provided striking measures of the recession’s effect on life at home and at work: People are now stuck in traffic longer, less apt to move away and more inclined to put off marriage and buying a house.

    The U.S. census data, released Monday, also show a dip in the number of foreign-born last year, to under 38 million after it reached an all-time high in 2007.

  6. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Decision on Ending Housing Prop Can Wait

    The Fed is considering kicking away a fairly important prop for the housing market. But this will likely happen in slow motion.

    Federal Reserve policy makers begin a two-day meeting on Tuesday. Investors widely expect them to leave their key interest-rate target unchanged at nearly zero, while reiterating Chairman Ben Bernanke’s recent declaration that the economy likely is recovering.

    The real mystery is what they will say about their program to buy $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities to support housing.

    Some observers think the Fed will stretch mortgage purchases out rather than end them abruptly, as scheduled for December. Given that the Fed lately buys roughly 80% of all new mortgages, that gentler approach might make sense.

    Any reduction in Fed purchases would likely affect housing affordability. In the six months before the Fed began buying mortgages late last year, 30-year conventional mortgages yielded an average of 2.4 percentage points more than 10-year Treasury notes, a useful benchmark for such long-term loans since most mortgages get repaid before 30 years.

  7. grim (1)-

    In related news, the US will now be referred to as the Fascist States of Amerika.

  8. Mikey, on Chinese drywall. He also advocates the bulldozer solution.

    “There is another answer. Bulldoze these homes and build new ones or just leave the lots empty until the inventory glut is eaten away. Bulldozing toxic homes is not that bad of an idea if the insurance industry, the home builders and the manufacturers are going to fund it. It would kill two birds with one stone.

    The downside would be entire developments stripped to the ground. And maybe that is not such a downside in this market. I still believe the home builders have far more liability than they are accepting. They knew there were problems with these homes, but they refused to properly investigate. They were too busy building homes for flippers that are now standing empty or being foreclosed by the millions.”


  9. Just BK your problems away:

    “In [2005], just before the more stringent rules took effect, 6,339 bankruptcy petitions were filed during an average business day. In 2006, with the law fully in force, the rate plunged to 2,372 per day. Now, Americans are flooding back into bankruptcy court at the rate of 5,593 per day.

    By year’s end, about 1.45 million bankruptcy petitions will be filed, Lawless said. The American Bankruptcy Institute offers a similar prediction of more than 1.4 million petitions.

    That would represent an increase of about 35 percent over last year’s numbers. The modern record is about 2 million bankruptcy petitions, set in 2005 as filings spiked just ahead of the effective date of the new law.”


  10. marty says:

    Thanks for all your work grim

  11. Sean says:

    Don’t worry about jobs, we are already starting to put boots on the ground in our new overseas investment in the Horn of Africa. Pretty soon we could have lots of jobs for the young and unemployed.


  12. afe says:


    Asians, many of them living in foreclosure-ravaged California, suffered the sharpest drop in homeownership last year, eclipsing declines felt by whites, blacks and Hispanics, according to new Census data

  13. afe (12)-

    Are the Asians the first to figure out the benefits of strategic foreclosure?

  14. Cindy says:

    Grim – Could you do me a favor? I just did my semiannual donation but have not received verification from PayPal – Can you check and see if anything shows up there for you? Thanks…..

  15. frank says:

    Need a job?? Forget NJ, try Australia instead.


  16. BC Bob says:


    Forget the job, trade dollars for Aussie.

    All Disclaimers.

  17. BC Bob says:


    Funny, we have heard, on this site, that Asians will save NNJ RE. Similar to the Brits/European’s, proximity to NYC, WS Bonuses, etc..

  18. This should end well:

    “Real Madrid have announced a massive debt of £296 million after a summer of lavish spending in the transfer market.

    Cristiano Ronaldo et al cost Real Madrid an unprecedented amount of money. Having doled out some £226 million on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso, Madrid revealed the debt at their annual assembly on Sunday.

    However, the club appears to have lost none of its appetite for spending, with the assembly also approving a new record budget of £381 million for the current season.

    “We’re going through a delicate moment with the world financial crisis but we had to make a big effort for the new arrivals of players, which explains the debt,” club president Florentino Perez said.

    Perez told the assembly that projected revenues, increased on previous years, should see the club cut their debt to around £180 million by the end of the season.

    The figures are likely to be jumped on by UEFA, whose president Michel Platini has announced plans to bar clubs from major European competitions unless they restrict their budget to spending only what they earn.”


  19. make money says:

    16 (BC),

    Silly Aussies, they have an old fashion economy. What do they know? They’re backwards down there. sarcasm off.


    I trade dollars for Jets tickets but a prominent big time bond trader from NY is on the other side of the trade.

  20. make money says:


    Asians are very smart and they dumped the upside down mortgage faster then everyone else while the media makes them look like victims. Great stuff.

  21. make (19)-

    One thing never changes: in the end, the Jets will break everyone’s heart.

  22. John says:

    Chifi I bought this at 78 and I still think it is a buy at 92, remind me again why I should run before I buy again.

    I have damm AIG bonds almost at Par and I am looking to sell and reinvest.

    FIFTH THIRD BANCORP BOND 08.25000% 03/01/2038 Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 92.000
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 9.036%

  23. John says:

    Bottom line is the Jets are not sold out. Go to ticketmaster and buy direct from box office, click season ticket holder and enter code FOOTBALL.

    The entire stadium MUST be sold out for Jets tickets in secondary to rise greatly in value. Normally you are scalping to just get into stadium. In the case of Jets anyone can buy a ticket from the box office. What you are paying extra for are better seats. I sold my last Jets ticket this weekend. Remember, I had 40 tickets in my name. I was only planing on using 10 tickets. Average ticket price is around 110 for my tickets plus I had a parking pass to sell. I was sitting on around 3,500 dollars of tickets I had to dump. I have been a Jets fan a long time to know they break your heart 95% of time in the end. However, they start off with the best of intentions. My real hope is play-offs and superbowl. But the true test is if I go. It is hard to resist selling your front row seats and watching game on TV or in back row in cheap seats.

    Anyway next four games in a row I will be in the front row sideline on the 40 yard line. I will be with my wife so sadly I won’t be able to curse at the opposing players.

    make money says:
    September 22, 2009 at 9:02 am
    16 (BC),

    Silly Aussies, they have an old fashion economy. What do they know? They’re backwards down there. sarcasm off.


    I trade dollars for Jets tickets but a prominent big time bond trader from NY is on the other side of the trade.

  24. bi says:

    20#, make,
    have you dumped your upside-down srs yet? or you are not that smart?

    >Asians are very smart and they dumped the upside down mortgage faster then everyone else while the media makes them look like victims. Great stuff.

  25. John says:

    “I think so. Who do we have to beat?” was Rex Ryan’s answer on ESPN 1050 when asked if the New York Jets were an elite team. The Jets are 2-0 after beating the New England Patriots on Sunday and suddenly on the radar of all media “experts”, most of whom predicted the Gang Green to finish last in AFC East. Ryan did not stop there, however, as he added that the Jets won the Super Bowl in his dad’s first year as a coach in New York, and so maybe the Gang Green just needed a Ryan on their coaching staff to return to Super Bowl glory.

  26. Cindy says:

    Okay guys and gals…
    Speaking of value, money, dollars, and big-time traders…..

    Time to hit the donate button….

    October and April for me – I am sure many of you send James something every month…

  27. grim says:

    Thanks for the donation Cindy!

  28. Cindy says:

    28 – Grim – You are entirely welcome.

    Where else would one find up-to-the minute news, credible opinions on every subject know to mankind, R/E updates, and this level of humor all in one location?

    Worth every penny. I’m sure others will match, double, or triple my donation throughout the day…

  29. John says:

    How do I do the OFAC search first?

    Cindy says:
    September 22, 2009 at 9:33 am
    Okay guys and gals…
    Speaking of value, money, dollars, and big-time traders…..

    Time to hit the donate button….

    October and April for me – I am sure many of you send James something every month…

  30. make money says:


    You’re an idiot. Shut the fcuk up.

  31. Stu says:


    You’ve got mail.

  32. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [15] frank

    I think I have been in that alley in Melbourne.

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [30] john

    “OFAC search”

    Ferchrrisakes, it isn’t hard to use the website.

    And congrats, you haven’t shown up on it (yet).

  34. kettle1 says:


    I was on a plane to Houston the other day and was chatting with the guy next to me. Him and 3 three guys in the plane were carpenters from south jersey headed to Houston for work. They said that the carpentry market dried up in a matter of weeks about 6 months ago and there has been virtually no work to be found since then, in the jersey area.

    just some anecdata for you.

  35. cobbler says:

    California’s Asians are to much greater extent than here small business owners (due to more Vietnamese – former boat people, etc.) rather than tech oriented which we mostly have in NJ. Small business guys were the principal lenders for option ARMs and similar junk.

  36. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: At this stage, why the fcuk do you want to go out the curve like that? It would be plenty taking credit risk on any bank, but why would you want to take interest rate risk too? Fcuk 1 and 2/3 bank. I don’t know sh!t enough about it to care BUT it is not an elite regional bank and its bread and butter is Ohio. Do the math.

    Thank said, you seem to have a better feel for this bungie-jumping….er I mean junk bond investing than I do. If you chuck some change in here, make it an even bet with the others……
    FLAT OUT…the easy money trade is done…..do go to the well once too often…..if we get annihilated again, then you should have dry powder read to step-up in size.

    Wait for the turn, I think that the quarter close is screwing up numbers.

    John says:
    September 22, 2009 at 9:10 am
    Chifi I bought this at 78 and I still think it is a buy at 92, remind me again why I should run before I buy again. I have damm AIG bonds almost at Par and I am looking to sell and reinvest. FIFTH THIRD BANCORP BOND 08.25000% 03/01/2038 Basic Analytics
    Price (Ask) 92.000
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 9.036%

  37. chicagofinance says:

    FLAT OUT…the easy money trade is done…..do NOT go to the well once too often…..if we get annihilated again, then you should have dry powder readY to step-up in size.

  38. Veto That says:

    US immigrants are taking a hit on employment but look closer, its mostly made up of mexican immigrantss that are losing construction jobs. Indians are gaining jobs left and right. Meanwhile median income is dropping like a rock across the board.

    Recession Hits Immigrants Hard, WSJ


  39. John says:

    See Chifi that is what I needed!!! I have an AIG bond now trading at 99!! That should be enough of a clue.

    What I did buy today was callable muni bonds trading under 102 with a 5% coupon. Must municipal govts are still having trouble raising cash to call bonds so rather than pay 110 for a noncallable bond ten year bond with a 5+ coupon I rather buy a ten year callable bond and bet by the time they have to cash to call rates will be up and they won’t call.

    The non-callable bonds will get hammered much more than the callable bonds if rates rise.

  40. John says:

    I need to do EDD, AML, OFAC, Drug Kingpin act, Politically Exposed Person check etc. before I wire money. Heck there are even comrades on this site, aka commies.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    September 22, 2009 at 10:11 am
    [30] john

    “OFAC search”

    Ferchrrisakes, it isn’t hard to use the website.

    And congrats, you haven’t shown up on it (yet).

  41. Anon E. Moose says:

    Last Week: Robert Toll dumps company stock. Today: Bruce Toll dumps company stock.

    Rats… Sinking Ship… etc.

    (This stuff just writes itself.)

    Linky: http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2009/09/21/another-toll-selling-company-stock/

  42. Qwerty says:

    Fantastic stats for NJ…..


    Share ARMs: 67.1%

    Share Current: 44.1%

    Share in Foreclosure: 22.1%

  43. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    {last thread}essex

    “I would say that you would see a pretty dramatic spike in crime once the police decided to take a month off and the teachers closed the high schools”

    I doubt it would be much worse than their current “slowdowns” and in a down economy would earn more wrath. Further, I think you are mistaken in your assumption that the average voter would blame the pols when the state workers started slacking off more than usual.

    I seem to recall when PATCO decided to call the gov’s bluff, the gov. decided not to bluff and fired all their azzes.

    Besides, I thought the public workers were all democrats, and aren’t dems all about equalizing pay, eliminating excess comp., and promoting the intrinsic value of work over crass greed?

    In reality Essex, you freeze existing pensions, replace them with less expensive pensions or DC plans, and later on, you let the frozen pensions crater. And to make your point, you go toe to toe with a union that represents less useful state workers, and when they say pay us or we walk, pull a PATCO on them to make an example of them. The rest will start to fall in line.

  44. kettle1 says:

    Nom for governor!!!!

  45. Zack says:


    My company has hired over 10 employees this year for IT jobs and all of them have been Indians. It almost feels like HR and hiring managers screen for any names of Indian Origin and if so, you are selected.
    If your name ends with a Harrison or starts with a Greg, the resume almost always ends up in the trash.
    Keep in mind that the hiring managers and HR are all white.

  46. John says:

    BTW Incomes on LI rose in 2008, average non-hispanic white households 100K and asian house holds 114K. Homes are priced on average around 450k almost back to 4x income.

  47. freedy says:

    careful zack,, you will be deemed a racist

  48. John says:

    Zack went to Morgan Stanley on an interview back in the 1980s. A friend of mine who was back at the time told me he did not want to work there due to how they divided up people. I said what do you mean and he said at MS the Irish make the money, the Italians count the money and the Blacks mail out the checks. Had two interviews there and damm it they did do that. Wonder if HR was involved. Now of course I don’t think there are any Irish, Italian or Blacks at MS the Indians went and took all thejobs.

  49. Stu says:

    Nom (44):

    In a bad recession like our current situation, when the unions strike, the scabs will most certainly cross the picket lines.

    Unfortunately Nom will not get reelected after even the lightest belt tightening is applied to union workers salaries or benefits. Think the fat guy is willing to end his political career to make NJ better? Not gonna happen.

  50. Zack says:

    I guess people are wired for certain jobs;
    IT- Indians
    Money Management – Jews
    Sales – Italians
    Hip hop/Basketball – Blacks

  51. chicagofinance says:

    What is black and yellow and sleeps 6?

    PENNDOT truck….

  52. #46 My company has hired over 10 employees this year for IT jobs and all of them have been Indians… If your name ends with a Harrison or starts with a Greg…

    I’ve been in IT for almost a decade now. What you are describing is pretty much par for the course. Although I’d disagree with your later statement. If your name ended with Harrison you would probably never be in the IT field to begin with.
    IT is heavily populated by the immigrant community, not just Indians. Got to any large IT dept. and it will mainly be Russian/Indian/Chinese, broadly speaking. This is because these people are acitvely pursuing IT certifications and educations, not any weird discriminatory practices.
    You couldn’t possibly fill all the IT positions open with US born employees. There just aren’t enough to do so.

  53. chicagofinance says:

    Zack says:
    September 22, 2009 at 11:09 am
    I guess people are wired for certain jobs;


  54. Stu says:

    About those damn indians…When Zack was trying to beat Greg or Mr. Harrison at Super Techmo Bowl, Ravi and Mr. Patel were getting tutored at the local Kaplan center. Now Zack, Greg and Mr. Harrison might have been the kings of the local arcade down at the mall, now Ravi and company are programming the Nintendo Wi so your offspring too can aspire to be kings of the arcade. Unfortunately, your offspring are running out of tokens.

  55. chicagofinance says:

    According to my friend who did IT type jobs for 20 years, there is heavy programming to the point that most recruiters/HR force exams before the interview process. So basically anyone who isn’t keeping their skills sharp is automatically out of contention.

  56. Stu says:

    ChiFi (52):

    Want to save some public sector dollars? Place the workers paychecks in their work boots.

  57. Zack says:


    Isn’t that a mouse which was genetically modified to remove the skin pigmentation..?

  58. Stu says:

    What’s an Albanian?

    A person from Albany?

  59. chicagofinance says:

    I guess by definition it points to the fact that white guys in hardcore programming IT are deficient…..but pounding code is a sh!t job anyway, which is why the people with below-par American style social skills are drawn to it over our uncompetitive nationals.

  60. #56 – Anyinterview for an IT job is always part Inquisition to make sure said candidate really does know what they claim to.
    The dot.com boom produced a large number of “paper admins” or “paper MCSEs” that are still around. People who have a cert because they passed the tests, not because they knew what they were doing.

  61. Stu says:

    “which is why the people with below-par American style social skills are drawn to it over our uncompetitive nationals.”

    Or perhaps, we simply are not willing to spend 12 hours a day in a well ventilated basement.

  62. chicagofinance says:

    Stu says:
    September 22, 2009 at 11:18 am
    Or perhaps, we simply are not willing to spend 12 hours a day in a well ventilated basement.

    But if you are intelligent and productive, but out of the mainstream here to function in a normal workplace, you need to go where you can differentiate yourself.

  63. Zack says:


    Hey it buys you a decent lifestyle..Much better that landscaping and digging ditches..
    You are safe from sun and the cold..
    You get free lunches sometimes and all you have to do is to think and type on that keyboard..

  64. chicagofinance says:

    Stu says:
    September 22, 2009 at 11:16 am
    What’s an Albanian? A person from Albany?

    Old story from summer internship in college.

    People introducing themselves.
    Where are you from?
    I am from Buffalo.
    Hi. I am from normal parents.

    Funny, but the guy that said it was kind of a d!ck so it takes the edge off.

  65. yikes says:

    median income statistics are pretty much a waste, right?

  66. chicagofinance says:

    yikes says:
    September 22, 2009 at 11:22 am

    median income statistics are pretty much a waste, right?

    All data is a waste unless it can be put in context and properly interpreted.

  67. bergenRenter says:

    Can someone give address for MLS ID #2934243? Thanks!

  68. renter says:

    There are six list a company should a potential client against check before exporting to them.


  69. renter says:

    …check a potential client against

  70. Veto That says:

    “New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s largest milk exporter, boosted its milk-price forecast for the year ahead by 12%.”

  71. Veto That says:

    “median income statistics are pretty much a waste, right?”

    Yikes, this is similar to saying SAT scores are useless. Yes and no. You need some unit of measure to make historical comparisons.

    If median income to med home prices jump from 4x historical avg to 8x, then the data is telling you something. Maybe we all interpret differently make adjustments to the data as a result but at the same time there is something about the data that is black and white that make some explanations a waste too.

    Example, if homes are bigger so people are paying more for them nowadays thats a good reason but it doesnt matter if its unsustainable and needs to go back to 4x ultimately by way of families begrudgingly downsizing into smaller more affordable homes. As a result the whole explanation becomes mute.

  72. Schumpeter says:

    My own national franchisor, proving that our company doesn’t get it, either:

    Good Morning:

    I would like to ask for your assistance on a timely issue that is critical to the real estate industry, the expiration of the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit on November 30.

    As most of you know, the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit has had a positive impact on our market this year. Over a third of all sales have been to First-Time Homebuyers, and research shows that each home sold puts about $60,000 into the local economy. A great return on the government’s investment.

    Although there are many competitors in our industry, we all agree on one thing: The Tax Credit has been beneficial and it needs to be extended. It would also be helpful to expand the credit to include all homebuyers. In normal times, we would not favor such government involvement, but these are not normal times. At RE/MAX International, we feel strongly that such Tax Credits will not only help stabilize housing prices, but will help us from falling back into recession.

    Many independent analysts favor such a Tax Credit. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist with Moody’s, says market conditions “remain extraordinarily fragile” and that “the risks of not doing something like this are too great.” Zandi also says that the benefit multiplier of a Tax Credit for all homebuyers is greater than most other credits for individuals and businesses.

    For those of you who would like to have some influence on the process, I would encourage you to write to your Senator or Representative in Washington. Now is the time to take action, before the Tax Credit expires. If you’re not sure how to do this, you may want to use the automated email tools on the NAR web site. which makes the process quick and easy.

    If you would like information on specific legislation to extend the Tax Credit, you may like to visit Senator Benjamin Cardin’s web site (SB 1678). To learn about legislation that would expand the Tax Credit to all homebuyers, I would encourage you to visit Senator Johnny Isakson’s web site, or Representative Howard Coble’s web site.

    The recovery is NOT certain yet. Our market is still fragile. Foreclosures remain at record levels, unemployment is still rising and home prices are not rebounding. An extended and expanded Tax Credit would provide continued momentum and keep us on the road to a full recovery.

    You can make a difference. Contact your legislators, and please talk to your colleagues, clients and friends and do what you can to promote a Homebuyer Tax Credit.

    Thank you,
    Vinnie Tracey
    RE/MAX International, Inc.

  73. afe says:

    vacuum (13) – would not be surprised!Maybe they remembered their lessons from the 90s in Japan (of course after refi’ng the **** out of the mortgage first).

  74. Mrdenis says:

    Mark Faber “Buy Stocks Because U.S. Dollars Will Be Worthless,” Large caps ,gold …and surprisingly real estate …http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/338419/Buy-Stocks-Because-U.S.-Dollars-Will-Be-%22Worthless%22-Says-Faber?tickers=fcx,gld,nem,chk,ng,xom,pfe

  75. A.West says:

    Par for the course. The government continues to step up its involvement in the economy, granting and withholding favors to various gangs of people. Your company, like most everyone else is trying to get as close to the government teat as possible.

    Get ready for this kind of world, described by Ayn Rand:
    A mixed economy is rule by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government—i.e., by force. In the absence of individual rights, in the absence of any moral or legal principles, a mixed economy’s only hope to preserve its precarious semblance of order, to restrain the savage, desperately rapacious groups it itself has created, and to prevent the legalized plunder from running over into plain, unlegalized looting of all by all—is compromise; compromise on everything and in every realm—material, spiritual, intellectual—so that no group would step over the line by demanding too much and topple the whole rotted structure. If the game is to continue, nothing can be permitted to remain firm, solid, absolute, untouchable; everything (and everyone) has to be fluid, flexible, indeterminate, approximate. By what standard are anyone’s actions to be guided? By the expediency of any immediate moment.

    The only danger, to a mixed economy, is any not-to-be-compromised value, virtue, or idea. The only threat is any uncompromising person, group, or movement. The only enemy is integrity.

  76. frank says:

    Zack, I tried hiring a quant and all I could find was Mexicans, I feel for you.

  77. chicagofinance says:

    clot: you give me no credit…..


    chicagofinance says:
    September 21, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I missed my calling as a marketer….how’s this?

    RE/MAX of New Jersey
    Outstanding Agents
    Outstanding Results
    Liberate Tuteme Ex-Inferis

  78. chicagofinance says:


    An actual commercial for TV…
    RE/MAX of New Jersey
    Outstanding Agents
    Outstanding Results

  79. yo'me says:

    Mall owner Taubman Centers Inc. plans to turn over to its lender a mall on the Atlantic City, New Jersey, boardwalk because the recession cut traffic to the east coast gaming capital.

    Taubman said the shops at the Caesars Atlantic City hotel aren’t generating enough cash to pay its debt. The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based real estate investment trust wrote down the value of the Pier Shops at Caesars and its Regency Square property in Richmond, Virginia, according to a Taubman statement today.


  80. confused in NJ says:

    76.Mrdenis says:
    September 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm
    Mark Faber “Buy Stocks Because U.S. Dollars Will Be Worthless,” Large caps ,gold …and surprisingly real estate …http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/338419/Buy-Stocks-Because-U.S.-Dollars-Will-Be-%22Worthless%22-Says-Faber?tickers=fcx,gld,nem,chk,ng,xom,pfe

    Interesting, but what do you convert Stock, Gold or Real Estate into, to make a purchase like food, if cash is worthless? Seemslike if the Cash is worthless, the investments when converted also become worthless.

  81. Jim says:

    I’m considering buying a house in Germany at the moment. The poor exchange rate has me a bit worried but I do get a housing allowance and can use it to buy a place. The main problem is I haven’t been able to find exactly what I’m looking for.

    The Jets will self-destruct come late November/early December (situation normal). The Giants on the other hand may go all the way again. I know, the defense seems to have a few holes in it, but the passing game is A1.

  82. freedy says:

    that mall has been a ghost town for a few years now. they should just turn it into
    a homeless shelter.

  83. Qwerty says:

    Schumpeter at 12:13 pm,

    RE: First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

    Since more transactions yield more commissions, why are those who should know better fixated on maintaining inflated home prices?

  84. Jim says:

    I almost forgot- BO is still weak on defense. He is also into the usual beltway politics after campaigning for change and saying he was a different type of politician. Asking the NY gov to step aside for the next election is another low point in US politics.

  85. BC Bob says:

    “Since more transactions yield more commissions, why are those who should know better fixated on maintaining inflated home prices?”

    Because their quant is Mexican?

  86. Stu says:

    “Because their quant is Mexican?”


    Oh wait, that’s with a ‘G’ and it’s Cuban. Close enough.

  87. BC Bob says:

    What a surprise;

    “The best month of the year for car sales is being quickly followed by what could be the worst month of the year,” noted Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. “Cash for Clunkers was supposed to prime the pump, but that is a physics concept, and economics is quite different. Demand has dropped off significantly since the program ended.”

    “Based on the current rate of sales, we anticipate that September’s SAAR will be 8.8 million units,” stated Edmunds.com Senior Statistician Zhenwei Zhou. “Last year when the bottom was falling out of the economy, September SAAR was 12.5 million, and prior to that it had been over 16 million for years. Many people regard February as the darkest month of the recession, but even then the SAAR was higher, at 9.1 million units.”


  88. Schumpeter says:

    chi (79)-

    I give you props, but that particular campaign would be a little too vapid/cheerful for my target market.:)

    Hows about you work me up something with a heavy theme of imminent doom?

  89. Schumpeter says:

    chi (80)-

    BTW, I like the gouged-out eyeball thing. Work that image into the campaign…

  90. Schumpeter says:

    qwerty (85)-

    Mass stupidity.

    My industry begs for handouts because begging for handouts is what every other zombie industry does.

  91. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [41] John

    Just trying to find my place in the New World Order here, comrade.

  92. Schumpeter says:

    BTW, my dog is a better fcuking beggar than NAR.

  93. Schumpeter says:

    Puh-leeze. Somebody should tell this guy that it’s painfully obvious when he’s lying (which is pretty much all the time):

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday said that the U.S. economy appeared to be picking up steam and G20 leaders gathering in Pittsburgh this week would strive to ensure the recovery was balanced.

    “We are at the very beginnings of this recovery … We need to make sure that we keep at this, so we have in place a recovery that is going to be self-sustaining, led by private demand, (and) a financial system that can actually provide the credit that is needed,” he told a press briefing.

    G20 leaders will meet in Pittsburgh on September 24-25 and Geithner said the aim was to take stock of the world economy and ensure better growth in the future.

    “To make sure that as we recover from this crisis we are laying the seeds for a more balanced, more sustainable recovery. That is the agenda,” Geithner said.

    U.S. officials want the G20 to adopt a framework aimed at lifting growth in export-orientated members like China, Germany and Japan, while boosting savings and curbing consumption among import-hungry debtors like the United States.

  94. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [82] confused

    The premise is sound (use assets as store of value, and currency as transient means of moving between assets, e.g., stock for food), so the idea is to hold dollars only for very short periods and only to facilitate buying what one needs.

    But the problem one has (which is what I think you are getting at) is finding a liquid market. Easy for stocks, not so for gold or R.E.
    Thus, in a TEOTWAKI event, you have the assets, but no market, and unless those assets are subsistence commodities (e.g., beans, booze, or bullets), you can’t move them in a barter marketplace.

    I don’t think Faber had a barter marketplace in mind.

  95. BC Bob says:

    “To make sure that as we recover from this crisis we are laying the seeds for a more balanced, more sustainable recovery. That is the agenda,” Geithner said.

    The dollar carry trade. Goodbye Mrs Watanabe. Hello Mrs Smith, I mean Mrs Rodriguez.

  96. BC Bob says:

    Nom [96],

    I press a button for gold, easy as stocks.

  97. Schumpeter says:

    Race to the bottom, American-style.

  98. BeachBum says:

    Any background on this house?
    Would love to get the back ground!
    2 Bedrooms
    1 Bathrooms
    Listing # 20934845
    Thanks all!

  99. Schumpeter says:

    BC (98)-

    Frank pushes a button to get a reward, too:


  100. Anon E. Moose says:

    68.bergenRenter says:
    September 22, 2009 at 11:23 am
    Can someone give address for MLS ID #2934243? Thanks!

    Read it again… “to be built”. Vaporware. Those pretty pictures are someone else’s house. The builder probably can’t get a construction loan from a bank, so he’s looking for a softer mark… i.e., you.

    It’s an ex-urb McMansion priced like its 2005. Have you been reading Ben’s blog for more than a week?

    For $750,000 I want to look out my river-view window, see the ferry coming in to dock, and make it down in time to be on the boat before it leaves and at my desk in 25 min. Montvale? Not until they install the bullet trains on the Spring Valley line.

  101. bergenRenter says:

    Anon E. Moose ( 102)

    Yes. I agree!

    I have been noticing the “asking” prices come down in the area.

    I was curious to see the location/address, given that the asking price for a townhouse around here is around same price. MLS ID #2917544

  102. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [98] BC

    I meant physical. I don’t consider owning GLD the same as owning shiny. But I do buy it for the run up, always intending to hit the exit before the masses do.

  103. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    apologies if posted:

    “NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Of all the commuters in America, residents of a small town in eastern Pennsylvania spend the most time behind the wheel, according to the Census Bureau.

    Commuters living in the area of East Stroudsburg, a town near the New Jersey border, averaged 40.6 minutes from home to work or vice versa, according to the 2008 Census report released Monday.

    That’s a lot longer than the nationwide average of 25.5 minutes.

    Roger DeLarco, president of East Stroudsburg council, said that’s because many of the locals travel to jobs in the New York City area, more than 60 miles east as the crow flies. He said that 10,000 people live in his town, but three times that number commute to New York from the greater area of East Stroudsburg.
    . . .”

  104. zieba says:

    RE: 182

    These people are pioneers! Visionaries of their time!

    After all, at tail end of 2005, when all of us were sitting on our hands, mouths ajar with disbelief at RE prices, these people were snapping up prized lots in proximity to NYC. After all they’re not making any more land on which to build RE and that they need to act now or be priced out (cue amplified echo effect) forever !!!

    Man, I wish I coulda had my slice of the Bronx Riviera. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

    Can you hear that?? Shhhh… that’s the sound of the high speed bullet train… to nowhere, suckers.


  105. PattiMak says:

    #100 Beach: 20934845
    Address is 78 Applegate St. Taxes $5304 Built in 1943. Sold between family members in 2007 for $1.
    1161 sq ft. in Middletown but actual mailing zip is Red Bank.

  106. GerryAdams says:

    Yikes 66 –
    Average or mean income for a group is a waste; median incomes says alot.

    I would bet that the average income in Bernardsville is higher than in Basking Ridge, but Basking Ridge has a higher median.

  107. John says:

    AIG doing secondary offering. Well they can kiss my grits.

  108. NJGator says:

    Nom 105 – That’s ok. The train will start running any year now.

  109. John (109)-

    Count on that making GS’ Conviction Buy list.

  110. NJGator says:

    Just spoke with a coworker who lives in Montclair’s prestigious condo building The Siena. His neighbor was all upset because the unit directly below him just closed for 200k less than he paid. No worries. The market is just peachy in Montclair.

  111. make money says:

    Edumacation bubble…just the blame the investors who are making a profit.

    Key Congressman Calls for Hearings on For-Profit Colleges
    In response to Monday’s Government Accountability Office report on loan defaults and basic skills tests at for-profit colleges and universities, the chairman of the House education committee, George Miller of California, has called for hearings on whether such institutions are “gaming the system,” Bloomberg News reports. Some higher-education experts, however, noted that the report contains some positive findings about for-profit colleges, including that some of them have among the lowest loan-default rates of all colleges in the country.

  112. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [110] gator

    That is the last thing that I, or any governor of NJ, want right now: Something that drives up PA real estate and encourages folks to take their earnings out of NJ.

    FWIW, the Poconos to NYC train ain’t never gonna happen. Not in our lifetimes. I will put $$$ on that.

  113. BeachBum says:

    Patti – thanks, any way to find out if there is a mortgage/other financing on that? (I still don’t understand how one finds that out – I looked on the Monmouth County link that Fiddy sent me and still can’t see it…)

  114. Secondary Market says:

    more from my realor, i really better hurry:

    “I am going to send you a fresh list of the current listings on the East side of Cherry Hill. If anything else looks promising, I’ll gladly make an appointment for you to see it.

    Sorry about that. I’m not trying to be a cheesy salesperson, but things are really starting to move. Just putting it out there”

  115. ruggles says:

    105 – East Stroudsburg is about as charming as Edison. I did the commute from the Delaware River to Parsnippany for 4 years up rt 78. left at 6:30 to get there by 7:45. and I hear rt 80 is worse. wonder if this is one lesson learned when everyone moved out there during the bubble–the commute to money from PA is brutal.

  116. chicagofinance says:

    We’re so vain

    Americans, argues Jean Twenge, have become increasingly self-absorbed.

    By Jake Grubman, ’11

    Jean Twenge, AB’93, is trying to check out at Babies “R” Us, but her daughter is having none of it.

    If the terrible twos are pulling the toddler away from the checkout line, a display of bejeweled bibs beside the register is doing just as good a job of distracting Twenge. Princess. Supermodel. I’m the Boss. For Twenge, who went to the store looking for sippy cups, the message is right there in pink and white. The bibs offer an example of the ocean of narcissism that has inundated the country over the past three decades.

    Paris Hilton and her self-indulgent T-shirt both reflect and breed narcissism, says Twenge.

    An associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University, Twenge recounts the moment in her book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (Free Press, 2009), which documents changes in American culture that have fostered growing narcissism and presents possible solutions.

    Twenge and coauthor W. Keith Campbell, a social psychologist at the University of Georgia, define narcissism as a positive and inflated view of oneself, a view associated with materialism, a lack of empathy, aggression, and relationship problems. At its core, narcissism is the fantasy that a person is better than he actually is. Twenge identifies a plethora of causes for the narcissism outbreak: Unwarranted positive feedback in schools encourages kids to believe they are better students than they are. Web sites like Facebook and MySpace allow users to create new personalities for themselves. And at least until recently, easier credit let people pretend they were rich and famous with bigger houses and nicer cars than they could afford.

    The roots of the epidemic run back to the 1970s, when self-esteem and -expression movements replaced community-oriented thinking in American culture, and loving oneself became vital to success and happiness. Christopher Lasch’s 1979 book, The Culture of Narcissism, first called public attention to the phenomenon, and Twenge and Campbell use three decades of statistics to analyze cultural trends. “Self-admiration is the new conformity, where you can’t do something because people might think you didn’t love yourself,” the authors note. “And in our culture, not loving yourself enough is shameful.”

    The writers trace the spread of narcissism—in both individuals and American culture—to multiple factors. Parents have become more indulgent and less authoritative, giving children an inflated sense of importance. More children grow up in environments where they get whatever they want, leading to self-centeredness in adulthood, false entitlement on the job, and poor decision-making in relationships and finances. And it’s not only the Paris Hiltons and Lindsay Lohans of the world perpetuating the cycle. Twenge and Campbell present what the New York Times describes as “compelling and appalling” evidence documenting the average American’s downward spiral into vanity. Reality television, Web sites where people can post their glamour shots for others to rate, and even Time magazine, which in 2006 named “You” the Person of the Year, make average people think they can have, and have the right to, their 15 minutes.

    It all comes down to fantasy versus reality, and for Twenge, the country’s economic downturn is a prime example of what happens when the fantasy world where everyone is “special” comes crashing down. Each stage of the crisis, she says, can be traced to overconfidence that stems from narcissism. Americans were overconfident that they would be able to pay off unreasonable mortgages, and bankers were overconfident in providing the home loans in the first place.

    “Even people who aren’t particularly narcissistic but have been drawn into this cultural narcissism take too many risks and don’t see the downside, just believing that things will always go well for them,” she says. “There was this sense of entitlement that ‘I deserve this big house,’ and that overconfidence really backfired.”

    While the economy has been a rude awakening for many Americans, Twenge isn’t convinced that swift change is possible. In 2007, when she and Campbell first released their study showing that, in 2006, two-thirds of college students scored above average on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory—up 30 percent from 1982—their warning was hardly met with open arms. “When I say it’s not a great idea to tell your kids they’re special, [parents] react as if I told them not to wear pants,” says Twenge, who drew mixed feedback after her book’s coverage by the Today Show, NPR, and Newsweek. “It never occurred to them that that might be a bad thing, because it’s so taken for granted in our culture that it’s a good thing.”

    In fact, college students across the country acknowledged and accepted their own narcissism. In responses printed in school publications, “[t]hey basically said, ‘Yeah, our generation is more narcissistic, you got us,’” Twenge recalls, “but justified their narcissism by claiming it as necessary to cope with today’s competition.”

    On the contrary, the authors’ research shows that narcissism is detrimental in the long run because it inhibits interpersonal skills. “People who are just focused on self-promoting and just focused on their own success often implode,” Twenge says, “because, in order to really be successful, you have to work well with other people.”

    It’s hard for parents to avoid narcissistic influences. On her first day of preschool, Twenge’s two-year-old will complete a project called “All About Me.” But “when you’re a parent,” she says, “you have to do your best with it.” It’s impossible to avoid all the pitfalls, but she and her husband have at least steered their daughter away from the Little Princess shirts. Although they don’t tell her she’s “special,” Twenge says, they look for a stronger connection through the simple phrase, “I love you.”

  117. d2b says:

    Shame about the flooding in Atlanta. Most of the housing stock down there is relatively new. I have not been impressed with the new construction in this area. I can’t imagine what these will look like with 10 feet of water in them for 24 hours.

  118. Qwerty says:


    88-Year-Old Jersey Man Fights Off Thieves

    “I dropped my cane and I just went in action”

  119. Mrdenis says:

    Corzine Allies Direct $565 Million in State Pension Money into Corzine’s TPG Family of Funds …Cozy Relationships Clearly Cloud Judgment of Pension Fund Investments Considering Fund Down Nearly $16 Billion Since 2007

    PARSIPPANY, NJ – Just days after learning that Jon Corzine is invested and a partner in TPG Axon, a firm founded and owned by two New Jersey casino license holders, it turns out he’s been playing with more than just his own personal wealth, but New Jersey taxpayer dollars as well. The State Division of Investment (DOI), overseen by Corzine’s State Treasurer, has committed and invested $565 million in taxpayer dollars in TPG funds over the past 3 years


  120. PattiMak says:

    You can go to http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/oprs/clerk/clerkhome.aspx?op=basic
    It’s the Monmouth County Clerk’s records website.
    I looked it up and I don’t see a mortgage, but there was a lis pendens filed in Jan. 09. Looks like someone (previous owner) died and someone in the family may be suing the estate.

  121. NJGator says:

    Some of my favorite Poconos commuting articles from the NYT:

    Next Stop
    Martz Trailways Bus from Mount Pocono, Pa., to the Port Authority in Manhattan

    The 5.10 a.m. Martz Trailways bus at the Mount Pocono station in Pennsylvania. The earliest bus to leave Mount Pocono, Pa., is 4.10 a.m.

    5:30 a.m., Jan. 28 Monday.

    I was amazed by the stamina of the passengers lined up outside the Mount Pocono bus station in the freezing cold at 5:15 a.m. Monday morning. Certainly, it’s not unusual for families to flee the city for the promise of, as one woman put it, “a country lifestyle,” but to achieve a standard of living with safer neighborhoods and better schools, some commuters wake up around 3 a.m. (for those catching one of the even earlier buses) to catch a two-hour bus, to work eight hours and then get back on the bus for a two- to three-hour return trip — in traffic.

    “The commute is definitely something you have to consider,” said my seatmate as we pulled away from the Mount Pocono station in Pennsylvania, headed to the Port Authority in Manhattan. “If it wasn’t for the kids, I would still be in the city,” she whispered almost inaudibly, because she did not want to disturb the other passengers.


  122. NJGator says:

    Hanging On, From Predawn to Way Past Dusk; For Poconos Newcomers, Long Days and Lean Wallets

    Dazed with exhaustion, Angela Dean takes a third swipe at the snooze bar and then realizes she cannot afford another 10-minute reprieve from reality. It is 3:30 a.m., and there is laundry to be done, lunches to be made and homework to be checked before she can climb aboard the 5:15 bus that carries her to her big city job two states away.

    She smears toothpaste on her sons’ toothbrushes, changes the water in a fishbowl that has turned brown and then trudges into Trenton’s bedroom. ”C’mon ragamuffin child,” she says, shaking her whimpering 8-year-old awake and pushing him toward the bathroom. Eleven-year-old Michael is less compliant, and only the promise of a lollipop gets him out of bed. Half an hour later, the boys are bundled into the car and Ms. Dean is driving like mad to the home of a baby sitter. ”Pay attention in class,” she calls to Trenton before heading down the mountain.

    With a minute to spare, Ms. Dean boards the bus and nods to the bleary-eyed club of commuters. As the bus rumbles past the darkened windows of strip malls and half-finished homes, Ms. Dean unfolds a blanket, tries to apply makeup and gives in to slumber. By the time it crosses the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border, the 5:15 has become a rolling dormitory, the whoosh of hydraulic brakes mingling with an orchestra of snores.

    Nearly three hours later, after the usual crush at the Lincoln Tunnel, the bus emerges into Midtown, and Ms. Dean, 38, a labor investigator for New York State, fixes her hair and offers a bitter assessment of her life. ”I spend more time with these people than I do with my own family,” she says, stuffing the blanket into her bag.

    Ms. Dean is a weary soldier in a growing legion of teachers, subway conductors and executive secretaries, 17,000 strong, who make the voyage each day from the forested Pocono highlands to the steel escarpments of Manhattan. Largely black and Latino, urban refugees from places like Newark, Brooklyn and Queens, they come here for the schools, the trees and the $140,000 starter homes, seeking what generations of middle-class strivers have always sought. With Long Island, Westchester and suburban New Jersey beyond their means, more than 44,000 arrived in the 1990’s.

    But this mass westward migration has also had a dark side. Since 1995, more than one in five households with mortgages in Monroe County, Pa., have stumbled into foreclosure proceedings, their credit ruined, their family life in tatters.

    Some simply misjudged the financial and physical strain of commuting or the cost of heating a home through the bitter Pocono winters. Others overstretched budgets, leaving themselves vulnerable to unforeseen expenses or an unexpected pink slip. Hundreds more, perhaps thousands, fell victim to misleading real estate deals that saddled them with overpriced houses they could neither refinance nor sell.

    For every family that folds, dozens of others hang on, forgoing vacations, raiding retirement accounts and taking on second jobs in their quest to stay one step ahead of the marshal. Sometimes it is not clear who are the biggest losers in the Poconos land rush: those who lose their homes or those who do not.

    There are many places to gauge the stresses on this unlikely suburban outpost of New York City, marked by 6 a.m. traffic jams and look-alike subdivisions.

    Richard Proctor can only wring his hands as the waiting list for boys seeking a Big Brother mentor stretches to 60 names. Tracey Johnson, who helps run a domestic violence center, cites a numbing flood of calls to her crisis hotline. With newcomers cut off from old friends and family, she trains postal carriers to spot signs of abuse. ”For a lot of people, the mailman is their only link to the outside world,” she said.

    At St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church in downtown Stroudsburg, where the soup kitchen, once dominated by hard-drinking men, feeds a growing cadre of mothers and their children, the Rev. Thomas McLaughlin shakes his head at the tales of overworked parents struggling with unruly teenagers or imploding marriages. ”People used to resolve their disputes around the dinner table,” he said. ”But when you’re commuting five or six hours a day, there’s no time for dinner.” But as good a view as any can be seen at Pocono Country Place, the community where Ms. Dean has lived since 1997.

    With 10,000 residents, it is a densely built warren of vinyl-sided saltboxes and compact colonials set amid a former Girl Scout camp. When Bob Levy arrived from Brooklyn in 1979, there were 300 homes here, all of them weekend homes. ”We used to have socials in people’s homes,” he said, driving past streets called Fox Chase and Honeysuckle Way. ”Everyone knew everyone.”

    But over the last decade, as housing prices in metropolitan New York soared, the neighborhood drew hundreds of frustrated renters who could afford only a long-distance version of the American Dream. Today, nearly a third of the residents here are black or Latino and most of them still hold jobs in the city.

    In the process it has become a symbol of the frustrations and fears that have become byproducts of the changing demographics here. And Pocono Country Place, which has drawn ugly nicknames like ”Pocono Criminal Place,” or ”the ghetto in the woods,” has become a lightning rod for some of the racial issues simmering below the surface of life here.


  123. Outofstater says:

    #119 It was godawful! We had flash floods in our area. I couldn’t believe how quickly the water rose. The buses carrying the elementary school kids home had to return to the school. I tried several routes to get to the school to pick up my child and the water was raging across the first two roads I tried. I’ve never seen anything like it. For awhile, I thought she might have to spend the night at the school. I finally went miles and miles out of my way and finally got to her. God it was scary. The good news is I got several phone calls from the school telling me exactly what was going on. And we never lost power or water so I’m pretty thankful today.

  124. relo says:

    U2 tickets for Giants stadium released.

  125. chicagofinance says:

    On the WSJ website is a slideshow

    House of the Day
    Happy Home on the Block
    A mining industrialist built the ‘Froh Heim’ estate in Far Hills, New Jersey in the 1920s. Aftter lingering on the market for over a year, it’s now up for auction with no minimum bid. (Visit the House of the Day homepage.) –Sushil Cheema

  126. relo says:

    AIG secondary.

    If dreams came true,
    Ah, wouldn’t that be nice.

  127. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:


    The Applegate house seems to be in a legal quagmire. That section of Middletown (River Plaza) is not really all that nice. Everyone over there likes to use the trendy Red Bank mailing address.

    Beach….did you check out 710 3rd Ave in Avon #20922900 ??

  128. Essex says:

    I’m rich. Rich I tell ya!!!!! bahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  129. Noah says:

    I just got this from my broker/dealer. No financial advisors can recommend any leveraged ETFs and now mutual funds, too. I didn’t have any clients in them. Most have been in municipal bonds since November 2007 and have stayed there to date – I hope I haven’t missed the boat. I expect bond prices to create greater returns for the next 18 months. Anyone agree/disagree?

    Good afternoon registered representatives,

    In June, FINRA published Regulatory Notice 09-31 discussing concerns related to the purchase of leveraged Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), inverse ETFs and leveraged inverse ETFs. Due to the complexity and nature of these securities, there was significant regulatory concern over their suitability for retail clients. In response to the Regulatory Notice, MMLISI suspended new purchases of such ETFs and announced the decision in the July 29, 2009 edition of the MMLISI Weekly Reminder.

    FINRA has recently published a revised FAQ related to Regulatory Notice 09-31 that raises many of the same issues for leveraged mutual funds, inverse mutual funds and leveraged inverse mutual funds.

    In response to this FAQ and in addition to the ETF policy that was already communicated, MMLISI has chosen to suspend new purchases of such mutual funds. The suspension of new purchases is effective immediately. For your reference, a list of non-traditional mutual funds subject to this notice has been published to FieldNet.

    Additionally, MMLISI has decided to no longer permit clients to hold positions in leveraged, inverse and leveraged inverse mutual funds or ETFs. This decision is in line with other broker-dealers in the industry. Accordingly, registered representatives must notify clients that they need to either liquidate or transfer such positions by October 22, 2009.

  130. 2nd (116)-

    Who is this idiot? When I want to show clients that homes are moving, I just send them the listings marked “UC”.

    By announcing one doesn’t want to sound cheesy, the exact opposite impression is conveyed.

  131. Bystander says:



    I agree. I love these ignorant comments that Americans are lazy, uneducated and talentless compared to the Indians. The issue is one of population and desperation. There are 4 times as many people in India than the US. If you add Chinese and Russian populations, you are looking at 10 times the talent pool. If only a small % attain English literacy and technical education you could fill every IT job in the US. I also know that US companies like three things:

    1. Talent
    2. Production
    3. Lowest possible price for the above two

    The problem is that American workers are used to choice and job fluidity. If we don’t get pay increases, good benefits, bonuses then we move to another company. Off the boat Indians/Chinese will cling to their job because they are happy to be here. Companies like it because they can pay less for good production. I work in process change for an IB. I sit right in between IT and the business line. I report to an Indian boss. About 60% of my group is Chinese, Indian or Russian. These people are not IT workers – it is mostly BA work or project management. Guaranteed that most came here to do IT work originally but moved out of that area. Over time, you will see the same blah attitude and milking the system from Indians as the Americans. In the long run, Americans are helpless. Companies can get fresh talent from desperate countries, dump the unsponsored workers that stay here illegally (plenty of IT work is done under the table) and also outsource jobs to India where more desperation exists. One of our directors of accountig has already accepted that most of NY accounting jobs will be in Pune within 3 years. How do Americans compete with that?

  132. Sean says:

    One for the Legal Eagles….

    Sotomayor Issues Challenge to a Century of Corporate Law

    WASHINGTON — In her maiden Supreme Court appearance last week, Justice Sonia Sotomayor made a provocative comment that probed the foundations of corporate law.

    During arguments in a campaign-finance case, the court’s majority conservatives seemed persuaded that corporations have broad First Amendment rights and that recent precedents upholding limits on corporate political spending should be overruled.

    But Justice Sotomayor suggested the majority might have it all wrong — and that instead the court should reconsider the 19th century rulings that first afforded corporations the same rights flesh-and-blood people have.


  133. Barbara says:

    116. Secondary.
    My Dad is a retired broker form that area and he keeps up with the market. Nothing is moving south of Princeton. Nothing.

  134. Sean says:


    A landmark ruling in a recent Kansas Supreme Court case may have given millions of distressed homeowners the legal wedge they need to avoid foreclosure. In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose – on 60 million mortgages.


  135. NJCoast says:

    The river front house in the Highlands that was discussed on this blog last summer just closed.

    160 Portland Rd
    Listed 9/12/06- $5,200,000
    Closed 9/22/09-$1,290,000

  136. sas says:

    “U2 tickets for Giants stadium released.”


    I’d rather have Burt Bacharach front row seats.


  137. sean (136)-

    I don’t mind corporations having the same rights as flesh-and-blood people…as long as they have the same responsibilities and you can imprison principals/shut them down when they break the law.

    The way we stand now, there’s not a lot of diff between us and Mussolini’s Italy.

  138. sas (140)-

    Burt Bacharach is in my deadpool.

  139. Sean says:

    re: #139 NJ Coast – We went and looked at it in July. Weird driveway setup, you had to drive through the apt complex next door to get in.

    Property needs work, and I am not a fan of being at that point in the river, tidal currents are killer there for people and boats.

    Other than that view was awesome and place was huge with nice finishes.

  140. Firestormik says:

    Secret Service picked up drunken Yeltsin during Washington visit

  141. fire (144)-

    Is there a way we can figure out to keep O drunk all the time?

  142. chicagofinance says:

    Liberate Tuteme Ex-Inferis….

    ROISEPTEMBER 22, 2009, 9:01 P.M. ET.
    Seeking Real Estate Bargains?
    Try Looking at the High End Mainstream Home Prices May Be Rising, But Luxury Properties Still Offer Deep Discounts

    Falling real estate prices are becoming as much a feature of high-end neighborhoods as ocean views, infinity pools and four-car garages.

    While the latest data suggests prices for mainstream homes may be stabilizing after several years of pain, the news for luxury homes isn’t looking as good.

    That’s bad news for sellers, naturally, but anyone in the market for a home listed for $2 million or more will find deeply discounted asking prices—and may be able to command even lower prices.

    On Tuesday, data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed that average home prices ticked up 0.3% nationwide between June and July, including a 1.6% bounce on the west coast. The gains are modest, and they are partly influenced by the season—higher-end homes tend to sell better in late spring and early summer, as families try to move before the school year. Analysts are disappointed the rise was not higher.

    Nonetheless, prices have now risen three months in a row. And compared with the disastrous events of the past few years, anything other than Armageddon is apt to raise spirits.

    But these numbers only relate to homes purchased with conforming loans backed by the FHFA—in most areas, that describes mortgages of up to $417,000, or up to $713,000 in the country’s most expensive regions.

    That overlooks luxury and high-end homes, where the outlook remains bleak.

    “I would say we’re 40% off 2007 prices for everything,” says broker Chad Rogers, who covers the area from Malibu to Hollywood Hills for Hilton & Hyland, a Beverly Hills real-estate firm. “We’re now seeing prices consistent with where we were back in 2003.”

    “The $10 million to $30 million properties are on the market for a very long time,” says Cathy Wood, a real estate broker covering Beverly Hills and surrounding areas for realty firm Gibson International. “They’re seeing a lot of price reductions.”

    Realtors, she says, “are now selling $500,000 condos, when they used to sell $5 million homes.”

    Across the country in hedge-fund haven Greenwich, Conn., local broker Eric Bjork at Prudential Real Estate finds a similar effect. “There’s a new level of value being set,” he says. “The $8 million [homes] are selling for $6 million, and the $10 millions are selling for $8 million. When you do the math, it looks like an adjustment of 20% to 30%.”

    You’ll find similar anecdotal data in several high-end markets. But real estate Web site Trulia.com, which tracks listing prices on multiple listing services across the country, took a look at what’s happening to listing prices for homes over the $2 million mark.

    Such homes only account for about 2% of the properties listed on the site, but represent 25% of the total price reductions by value. Overall, sellers listing homes for more than $2 million have dropped their asking prices by a total of $7 billion, with an average price reduction of 14%. The average for all properties tracked by Trulia is only 10%.

    Data for individual Zip codes is intriguing, whether you’re in the market or you just like to rubberneck. According to Trulia data, 28% of the homes currently for sale in Beverly Hills (Zip code 90210) have dropped their price, with an average discount of 11%. In Aspen, Colo., (81611), 39% of the homes have cut their price, by an average of 16%.

    On New York’s Upper East Side (10065), no less than 40% of the homes have slashed prices—and by an average of 18%. In California, some of the most exclusive areas in Newport Beach, Big Sur and Monterey have seen a third of the sellers reduct prices, by an average of about 15%. Malibu? More than half have cut prices.

    Chip Case, economics professor at Wellesley College and one half of the Case-Shiller index duo, says that some of these markets may be finally catching up to the wider housing market crash. “That level was more in the hold-out category,” Mr. Case says. “Up until recently the foreclosures weren’t hitting that level .But they are now. There’s no question about that. You’re seeing some contagion from the prime level to the luxury end.”

    Bottom line: At the high end, it’s a good time to be shopping for that dream home.

    During—and after—a bubble, investors often hope that “quality assets” will hold value. It’s usually a vain hope. Just ask people who owned luxury condos in Tokyo after 1990, or investors in Cisco Systems (CSCO) after the tech-stock bubble popped. Real estate is not that different.

    Sooner or later, even rich homeowners need to sell. They get divorced. Their company collapses. They relocate or retire. And, when they get tired of waiting, they cut their price. Factoring in taxes, upkeep and the opportunity cost of keeping money in a non-performing asset, an empty luxury home may be costing owners a lot just by sitting there. That gives them a powerful incentive to make a deal.

  143. yikes says:

    plg says:
    September 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    This tells me that in return for those taxes residents get superior services such as schools, transportation, infrastructure and jobs such that, even despite those high taxes, they are still willin to pay a premium for the house itself.

    Am I wrong here?

    hey buddy – come over to bucks county. a few towns here have schools on par with those in NJ. you can check the list of where kids matriculate to.

    oh, and the taxes on houses are half of what they are in NJ.

    NJ is effing everyone. Hard and fast, right in the poop shoot.

  144. scribe says:

    From Wednesday’s WSJ:


    Debra and Arthur Scriven were served notice in June 2008 that their mortgage lender, a unit of Citigroup Inc., was preparing to foreclose on their home. Fifteen months later, the Scrivens are still in their home near Columbia, S.C., and battling to stay there, even though a dispute with the lender over how much they owe prompted them to stop making regular payments last year.

    Legal snarls, bureaucracy and well-meaning efforts to keep families in their homes are slowing the flow of properties headed toward foreclosure sales, even when borrowers are in deep distress. While that buys time for families to work out their problems, some analysts believe the delays are prolonging the mortgage crisis and creating a growing “shadow” inventory of pent-up supply that will eventually hit the market.

    The size of this shadow inventory is a source of concern and debate among real-estate agents and analysts who worry that when the supply is unleashed, it could interrupt the budding housing recovery and ignite a new wave of stress in the housing market.

    “There’s going to be a flood [of bank-owned homes] listed for sale at some point,” says John Burns, a real-estate consultant based in Irvine, Calif. When that happens, Mr. Burns believes, home prices will fall further, particularly in markets with large numbers of foreclosures. Overall, he expects home prices to decline 6% next year.

    Ivy Zelman, chief executive of Zelman & Associates, a research firm based in Cleveland, believes three million to four million foreclosed homes will be put up for sale in the next few years. The question is whether the flow of these homes onto the market will resemble “a fire hose or a garden hose or a drip,” she says.

    Analysts who track the shadow market have focused primarily on the gap between the number of seriously delinquent loans and the number of foreclosed homes for sale by mortgage companies. A loan is considered seriously delinquent, which typically means it is headed to foreclosure, if it is 90 days or more past due.

    As of July, mortgage companies hadn’t begun the foreclosure process on 1.2 million loans that were at least 90 days past due, according to estimates prepared for The Wall Street Journal by LPS Applied Analytics, which collects and analyzes mortgage data. An additional 1.5 million seriously delinquent loans were somewhere in the foreclosure process, though the lender hadn’t yet acquired the property. The figures don’t include home-equity loans and other second mortgages

    Moreover, there were 217,000 loans in July where the borrower hadn’t made a payment in at least a year but the lender hadn’t begun the foreclosure process. In other words, 17% of home mortgages that are at least 12 months overdue aren’t in foreclosure, up from 8% a year earlier.

    Some borrowers may be able to catch up on their payments or receive a loan modification that helps them keep their home. There has also been an increase in short-sales, transactions in which at-risk borrowers sell their homes for less than the loan amount, with the lender’s approval. In some cases, lenders have decided not to foreclose because the home’s value is so low. These factors could mean fewer foreclosures.

    More here:


  145. scribe says:

    From Wednesday’s WSJ:


    Debra and Arthur Scriven were served notice in June 2008 that their mortgage lender, a unit of Citigroup Inc., was preparing to foreclose on their home. Fifteen months later, the Scrivens are still in their home near Columbia, S.C., and battling to stay there, even though a dispute with the lender over how much they owe prompted them to stop making regular payments last year.

    Legal snarls, bureaucracy and well-meaning efforts to keep families in their homes are slowing the flow of properties headed toward foreclosure sales, even when borrowers are in deep distress. While that buys time for families to work out their problems, some analysts believe the delays are prolonging the mortgage crisis and creating a growing “shadow” inventory of pent-up supply that will eventually hit the market.

    The size of this shadow inventory is a source of concern and debate among real-estate agents and analysts who worry that when the supply is unleashed, it could interrupt the budding housing recovery and ignite a new wave of stress in the housing market.

    “There’s going to be a flood [of bank-owned homes] listed for sale at some point,” says John Burns, a real-estate consultant based in Irvine, Calif. When that happens, Mr. Burns believes, home prices will fall further, particularly in markets with large numbers of foreclosures. Overall, he expects home prices to decline 6% next year.

    Ivy Zelman, chief executive of Zelman & Associates, a research firm based in Cleveland, believes three million to four million foreclosed homes will be put up for sale in the next few years. The question is whether the flow of these homes onto the market will resemble “a fire hose or a garden hose or a drip,” she says.

    More here:


  146. scribe says:

    Whoops … sorry for the double post

  147. Essex says:

    Money changes everything.

  148. BeachBum says:

    Fiddy – Checked it out – too rich for my blood at 950K – remember I keep saying “one half of one million dollars”.

    It’s beautiful though! 0.4 to the beach, but for that kind of a house, I’d walk!

    Beach….did you check out 710 3rd Ave in Avon #20922900 ??

Comments are closed.