“Towns have a choice: We can do it ourselves or wait for the state to do it for us.”

From the Star Ledger NJ Voices Blog:

Sussex Borough and Wantage: A tough sell on N.J. town mergers

In a leafy corner of the state, far from the epicenter of a nasty gubernatorial election, voters from the Sussex County towns of Sussex Borough and Wantage quietly mulled a merger of the two municipalities. And on Tuesday, by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, they said, “No thanks.”

The consolidation seemed to make sense: The towns already share three regional schools, a construction department and a court system and, served by the State Police, wouldn’t have to quibble over police. Plus, the towns had assets (land and utilities) to share. In an unsettling economy, when cutting property taxes is the driving political issue, this one seemed like a rural no-brainer.

“If it wasn’t going to happen here, I wonder if it’s going to happen anywhere,” said Sal Lagattuta, one of the proponents.

According to the Consolidation Study Commission report, the towns — if they merged — could have saved $585,000 in the first year. Future savings could have been greater with even more cost-cutting. That’s a nice chunk of change, but it wasn’t enough to persuade residents to erase a border — especially those in Sussex Borough, population 2,000.

“We were going to be swallowed up,” said Sussex Borough councilwoman Katherine Little, who was against the merger. “Bigger government isn’t better government. Tiny towns are pretty frugal.”

The average municipal tax bill in Wantage — home to 11,000 — would have shrunk only $57, business administrator James Doherty said. The average savings in Sussex Borough would have been approximately $400. Still not enough, it seems.

And maybe that’s the problem with regionalization: To many, it’s not worth the hassle. There are 566 pieces to New Jersey’s jigsaw puzzle, and consolidating some makes long-term fiscal, historical and geographic sense. Gov.-elect Chris Christie is coming around to that realization.

But in most instances, mergers won’t save enough money to persuade taxpayers to change the names of their hometowns or their way of life. Taxpayers need to look at the long-term benefits — more control over development and, if not tax reduction, at least stabilization. Sooner or later, Trenton probably will step in.

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

138 Responses to “Towns have a choice: We can do it ourselves or wait for the state to do it for us.”

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Fewer U.S. Homeowners Owe More Than Properties Are Worth

    The number of U.S. homeowners who owe more than their properties are worth fell in the third quarter as values stabilized and some homes were lost to foreclosure, Zillow.com said.

    About 21 percent of owners of mortgaged homes were underwater, down from 23 percent in the second quarter, the Seattle-based real estate data provider said today in a report.

    “The decline in the percentage of homeowners with negative equity is a positive sign, and is directly attributable to the stabilization of home values from the second quarter to the third,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a statement. “It is also attributable to many homeowners who were previously underwater on their mortgage losing their homes to foreclosure.”

    U.S. foreclosure filings climbed to 937,840 in the third quarter, a 23 percent increase from a year earlier, Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac Inc said Oct. 15. Zillow estimated that the median value of single-family houses, condominiums and cooperative apartments declined 6.9 percent in the same period.

    The rate of decline slowed, as home values dropped 0.4 percent from the second quarter to a median of $190,400, Zillow said.

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Catering to the Recession Mentality

    Glimmers of recovery in housing starts, manufacturing and auto sales have yet to reassure many consumers who are spooked by 10.2% unemployment, determined to save more and skeptical of sunny forecasts. The Conference Board recently said its consumer confidence index fell almost six points in October from September.

    The retail picture is improving, but haltingly. The Federal Reserve said household spending “appears to be expanding but remains constrained by ongoing job losses, sluggish income growth, lower housing wealth and tight credit.” A new holiday poll of consumers by consulting firm Deloitte LLP says 74% intend to buy items on sale and 54% intend to use more coupons.

    Bargain-hunting remains the operative shopping mode, though. Supermarkets usually benefit during downturns as people turn away from restaurants and buy more food to prepare at home. But coupon-clippers are making it tough to boost margins. Kroger Co., the country’s No. 2 supermarket chain by revenue, recently downgraded its 2009 earnings-per-share guidance. “Customers are buying more of what they need and less of what they want,” Kroger chief operating officer Rodney McMullen told investors.

  3. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger Letters to the Editor:

    No hope for change
    From Carl Kettler, Raritan Township

    There lurks a strange phenomenon in the cranium of politicians. After they win an election, their first action is often to grovel before those who voted against them or didn’t vote at all rather than stand with those who supported them.

    The first thing that Republican Gov.-elect Chris Christie did was to visit a Democrat-dominated Newark inner-city school instead of an Republican venue.

    That’s a strange signal to send in view of his pledge to reduce state spending when the Newark school system receives over 250 percent of its annual per-student school budget from New Jersey taxpayers.

    It seems to me he should have shown his appreciation at being elected by visiting a venue that supported him and which is representative of his pledge to cut costs.

    Clearly, Christie was a Hobson’s choice because, despite his rhetoric, he isn’t much different than Gov. Jon Corzine and will be just, if not more, liberal than the defeated governor. This fits the pattern of the Republican Party that has actively participated in virtually bankrupting this state and the nation, along with the Democrats.

  4. yikes says:

    Grim, are you moving to Tennessee?

    unrelated: have a feeling Frank Rich (whom i enjoy reading) is going to regret this column


  5. Schumpeter says:

    grim (3)-

    Spot on.

  6. Shore Guy says:

    ” The Conference Board recently said its consumer confidence index fell almost six points in October from September.”

    I am sure this bodes well for the Christmas retail season.

    On a related note, I just heard CNN talking about the U6 unemployment rate, 17+%. I do not see much TV so I don’t know whether the networks have been talking about it but this is the first time I have seen it mentioned.

    The anchor also mentioned that 10.2% might soon be 11%.

  7. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    re 3,

    No doubt. As was mentioned last week, if Tubby does the right thing he’ll get trounced in the next election. Funny thing is he seems dumb enough to believe that by going Corzine’s route he’ll somehow win re-election when the only way that will happen is that by kissing enough local Democrat bosses rings they’ll find a weak candidate to run against him. Look for him to suck up to every single one of those hoods. They could care less who’s governor as long as he doesn’t interfere with the graft and patronage jobs.

  8. yikes says:

    cross brazil off the destination list.


    college kid wears short skirt to school…suspended.

  9. frank says:

    Where’s the recession?? Wall Street Record Bonuses Return as Big 3 May Pay $30 Billion


  10. frank says:

    RE inventory down big time in NJ. Buy a home now, before the first time home buyers out bid you with their tax credits.

  11. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    My online brokers technical analysis rag just added IYR as a short candidate. Moved SSR to neutral from avoid.

    BTW this is NOT advice to buy or sell any stocks. I am a moron, if you saw my performance this year you’d wholeheartedly agree.

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    that’s srs

  13. frank says:

    Listen to frank instead, buy a home now, before prices go up, just like in 2005.

  14. frank says:

    On another though, buy stocks and commodities, dollar is toast, thanks to Omama, protect yourself.

  15. BC Bob says:

    “Listen to frank instead”

    I only listen to Rickey.

  16. Schumpeter says:

    chi (16)-

    The real shame will be when these idiots have gone to the Holocaust well so many times that the imagery fails to shock anymore.

  17. Schumpeter says:

    Expressed in trillions, for your browsing convenience:


    Ratigan is right. Why can’t we all agree that this is simply casino gambling?

  18. BC Bob says:

    Clot [18],

    Pay no attention, it justs sits there and does nothing.

  19. chicagofinance says:

    “I served with Rickey Henderson. I knew Rickey Henderson. Rickey was a friend of mine. Lawrence, you’re no Rickey Henderson.”

    Ex-Giant Lawrence Taylor busted in Florida
    Comments: 9

    Former Giants great Lawrence Taylor was busted last night in Florida for taking off after he was involved in a car accident, authorities said.

    The 50-year-old NFL Hall of Famer was arrested in Dade County for “leaving the scene of accident/property damage,” shortly before 10 p.m., Florida officials told The Post.

    Taylor, who played his entire career with Big Blue and won two Super Bowls, was quickly released on $500 bond.

    It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured in the accident or where it took place.

    Taylor twice tested positive for cocaine during his playing days, and was arrested two times after he retired for buying drugs from undercover cops.

    The former grid great was in the news recently after he competed on “Dancing with the Stars” last spring.

  20. Schumpeter says:

    chi (21)-

    If you had a couple of eight balls in your car, you’d beat it out of there, too.

  21. grim says:

    Auschwitz and Birkenau should be mandatory trips for young adults.

  22. John says:

    One way or round trips?

    grim says:
    November 9, 2009 at 9:18 am
    Auschwitz and Birkenau should be mandatory trips for young adults.

  23. John says:

    I remember in HS we saw the movie “Night and Day” afterwards we had a holocost survivor speak and she showed us the numbers tattoed on her. That scene with the bulldozers moving bodies was burnt into my head, of course afterwards I noticed her afterwards driving away in a new Mercedes, now that was weird, but hey why hold grudges those 1970’s mercedes were the finest cars made at the time.

  24. safeashouses says:

    #16 chifi,

    Disgusting isn’t it.

  25. Stu says:


    I was a Holocaust junkie due to some serious programming in my formative years in hebrew school. I still feel freaky when I am in Germany or speaking one-on-one with Germans over here. Strangely, I am half German.

  26. John says:

    Stu, how do feel about the play “The Producers”, I thought that was really funny. How about Hogans Heros? I like taboo funny stuff.

  27. Stu says:

    Tongue-in-cheek stuff, I’m a huge fan of. That banner in DC, well that’s just horrible. Those bodies are not so distant relatives of a lot of us.

    I’d love to see the Republican propagandists even mention this picture, which is 100 times more controversial than Obama saluting the delivery of the caskets returning from Afghanistan.

    It won’t happen though, must be the fault of the pro-democrat MSM for sure.

    Ya know, the worst part of that banner is that there is absolutely zero comparison with anything even remotely health-care related.

  28. John says:

    Stu, if it makes you fell better, my Uncle has been to Germany 40 times, it was in WWII and he never landed the plane, just droped off some nice presents that go boom.

  29. Schumpeter says:

    Stu (29)-

    Sad to think that the Dachau pics, etc are the kind of stuff that knuckle-draggers like Rove and Hannity think are politically effective.

    A much more apt comparison can be drawn between Rove and Goebbels.

  30. Barbara says:

    I was in Germany, Epcot a few days ago. They wanted 30 dollars for cabbage and knockwerst. Bitch, please.

  31. ruggles says:

    29 – Its meant to be the result of the death panels. or maybe its the 45k people who die each year without healthcare. not sure.

  32. Schumpeter says:

    Tweak this a bit, and you can imagine Glenn Beck saying it:


  33. Schumpeter says:

    rug (33)-

    I think that’s simply what the want to see happen to their opponents.

  34. Kettle says:


    from yahoo:

    could You Be Saving Too Much?

    About 10 percent of the population has too much retirement savings, estimates one economist — and some of those lucky individuals may be unaware of their status.

  35. Stu says:

    “Rove and Goebbels.”

    Now that was funny.

  36. John says:

    36, I see how that can happen. I have friends who got good jobs out of school who do max 401K since 21, who married girls who do max 401K, it builds up real quick. Some even have pensions from old companies and there still is SS and they still save in their taxable accounts. Some are even lucky enough who have worked at companies with deferred comp and during 1987-1995 and late 2008 to now build up lots of stock cheap. However, when it rains it pours so the lucky ones made out the whole way while unlucky ones sank.

  37. Eric F says:

    You guys are aware of the endless comparisons of Bush to Hitler during the last 8 years, right?

  38. Stu says:

    Eric F.

    Yes and these were unfounded as well. Unfortunately, there is a big difference between displaying victims and comparing an elected leader to Hitler.

    Even you see that I hope.

  39. Sean says:

    re#39 – What is worse is The Democrats loved to rip the Republicans for Bush’s golf game, yet Obama has played 24 rounds in office this year so far way more than Bush did his first year, and not a peep from them.

    Obama is now prosecuting two foreign wars with allot of vigor, seems there will be no end to those wars during this administration and Obama is also threatening Iran. Yet will not hear a peep from the war protesters who were so active when Bush was president, with all their Bush/Hitler effigies. Where are all the protests in Washington DC against the wars? Did they all pack up and move home? They were down in DC protesting nearly every weekend, along with Cindy Sheehan etc.

  40. Stu says:

    Ughh. Didn’t intend to start another partisan flame war. I bow out here.

  41. sastry says:

    #39, #40… second that.

    Even O has been compared to Hitler (and been called a Communist Fascist Liberal Extremist). I think the teabaggers are running out of options in raising the rhetoric.

    Anyone found the idiot congressman who brought a small kid (someone else’s granddaughter) and said something like, “XYZ wants freedom, and doesn’t want government to take her money”. I am sure at that age, the most likely thing that kid wanted was to go potty urgently, and the congressman was going bull potty on us.

  42. Anon E. Moose says:

    Schumpter[19]:Why can’t we all agree that this is simply casino gambling?

    I’ve thought so as well. The CDS parties claim it is not an insurance contract, intentionally to avoid the regulators. If not, then why isn’t it a wager, like the outcome of the Giants’ game or the last 3 digits of the track handle?

    Traditionally, illegal wager contracts were unenforceable (in court) by either party. AIG can’t pay? To bad – so sad.

  43. stan says:

    Does anyone else feel as though big law in NYC and environs will be decimating staff levels this quarter?

    Have some friends who are very nervous. This can’t help the area as far as overall economy and housing.

  44. Sean says:

    re #44 – The man making the most waves right now is Gary Gensler, the new chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission appointed by Obama in May.

    He testified last month that the Obama plan to regulate OTC derivatives has holes in it big enough to drive a truck through.

    I would not be surprised is Obama replaces him quietly over the holidays.

    Here is what he said.

    I have repeatedly stated that the exceptions to Obama’s proposed regulation of credit default swaps will swallow up any real oversight.

    For example, I wrote in July:

    Obama’s regulation of credit default swaps leave loopholes large enough to drive the biggest trucks through. Specifically, it forces over-the-counter credit default swap transactions to be traded through an exchange unless it is a non-standard cds. So all that the “financial innovators” who melted down the economy have to do is get a little creative in drafting their cds’ – or just to tell regulators “oh no, that wasn’t a standard contract”, and they are excepted from the regulation.

    Today, Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (an agency with responsibility for overseeing derivatives trades) – and one of the main people who blocked regulation of CDS in the past – warned Congress about this issue:

    Gensler identified several loopholes in Obama’s plan, noting that it would exclude foreign exchange swaps from regulation, possibly encouraging swap dealers to tailor products to fit this foreign exclusion.

    “These exceptions could swallow up the regulation,” Gensler said in his package to Congress.

    As Gensler told Congress:

    If a foreign entity or a foreign subsidiary of a U.S. entity is trading with an American counterparty, we should know about it. I am concerned that the Discussion Draft [of Congress’ proposed regulation of credit default swaps] could allow foreign financial institutions to be exempted from our requirements. We must ensure that we do not inadvertently create gaps in our regulatory system through exemptions for foreign regulations…

    I worry that the specific provisions might inadvertently permit market participants to shop for lax foreign regulators.

    While Gensler gave one example of a “creative” scheme which would get around CDS regulation – running the contract through a foreign partner or foreign subsidiary – I guaranty that there are thousands of other creative schemes which could be used to evade regulation.

    Every time the IRS cracks down on a new tax shelter, “creative” tax lawyers come up with new ones. CDS will be exactly the same, unless the government actually deals with the underlying issues.

  45. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [31] schump,

    I have to think that those guys are smart enough not to raise the taboo subject. As for Rove and a certain former Minister of Propaganda, I think Macon Phillips fit that role better.

    [42] stu,

    Feel your pain, but someone brought up the H word, so I can’t blame you. And if anyone decides to flame you for bowing out, tell them to show up at the next GTG and say it to your face. We can have a double bill.

    Gotta get back to the grindstone now—absolutely sh1tty day today, capping what has been a pretty miserable last few weeks. Will really need that next GTG.

  46. Stevie says:

    HOGAN’S HEROES…..What do you all think?

    Would a show like that ever be made today? Or are we all so politically correct that a show like that cant be made?

  47. still_looking says:

    …yet another day in the pit.

    …yet another reality check:

    my godfather’s friend/business partner just diagnosed by me with what is likely a brain tumor.

    Age 52.

    [now back to your regularly scheduled program]


  48. Stu says:


    You are way too emotional to be a doctor.

    Make believe you are a Wall Street Trader and your patients are investments. You win some and you lose some, but in the end you win more often. The impact your investment decisions make on the greater society don’t matter. And if you make too many bad decisions, the government will keep your investments on life support indefinitely.

    Truthfully, you are probably twice the doctor most of us are used to. It’s nice to actually see one who cares.

    Make your money and then run from the industry.

  49. still_looking says:

    Stu, 50

    You should know me [like the folks I work with know me] before assigning me that designation. :)


  50. zieba says:

    I had a similar reality check experience recently. Someone in the family was diagnosed with CML at age twenty eight. Been trying to find the regularly scheduled program since…

  51. chicagofinance says:

    How about a Fresca?

    But some things are probably better left unsaid, most notably Blankfein’s declaration that Goldman is “doing God’s work.”


  52. chicagofinance says:

    I think those scripted shows on C-Span are great!

    Stevie says:
    November 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

    HOGAN’S HEROES…..What do you all think?

    Would a show like that ever be made today? Or are we all so politically correct that a show like that cant be made?

  53. chicagofinance says:

    Even CEO Can’t Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business


  54. NJGator says:

    Escape from NJ – Please get our email address from Grim. We need to plan our GTG on the high seas! How old is your little one? Boy or Girl? Lil Gator is 4 1/2. We are booked on Deck 9.

  55. still_looking says:

    Z, 53

    I’m sorry.

    I can only wish for the best for your family member and strength for you.

    Most folks take their health for granted, myself included.

    Part of the silver lining is that it helps people (family as well as patient) see things in sharp focus.

    I hope his/her treatment goes well.


  56. RayC says:

    I don’t remember George Bush (in the American Press) EVER being compared to Hitler. I remember Dick Cheney being compared, but Hitlers family sued successfully for libel.

  57. Sean says:

    re # 59 – That is because the MSM did a piss poor job of covering the weekly protests in Washington DC, San Francisco and New York.

    Only about 1,4 million hits in a google image search.


  58. Escape from NJ says:


    Grim should have my e-mail. My little guy is 19 months and very mobile. We are on deck 8 as of today. Working on an upgrade. GTG at the pool bar!

  59. Stu says:

    Grim…Can you shoot us Escape’s email address?

  60. Ben says:

    Gold at $1100, time for me to make the “I told you so” post on every message board I’ve been ridiculed at the past 2 years.

  61. Stu says:


    Obama Hitler has almost 1,950,000 hits and he hasn’t even been in office for a year. Could you imagine what it will look like in another seven? :P

  62. Kettle1 says:


    GW put the abusive laws (ie patriot act and the like) in place, Obama is just prepping the sheep for a real manipulative demigoge, whether he knows it or not. It’s a historic pattern

  63. BC Bob says:

    “Gold at $1100, time for me to make the “I told you so” post on every message board I’ve been ridiculed at the past 2 years.”


    Who cares about revenge. Besides, can you imagine what the portfolio of your naysayers looks like? Keep your eye on the ball.

  64. NJGator says:

    Escape 61 – I emailed Grim. Sounds like a good plan to me.

  65. Stu says:


    You are most likely right.

    The near religious idolatry displayed in the 2008 campaign was certainly eye-opening. It’s such a shame that he, like so many before, did not take advantage of this one time opportunity to be a leader rather than a placater.

    I recall W having a similar opportunity right after the terrorist attacks of 9-11. He too could have convinced the Congress and Senate to pass anything.

    Instead, both men wasted extremely rare opportunities to make a difference. Instead, it’s the same old rewards of the lobbyists who pay the most to play.

    The parties are truly insignificant.

  66. Stu says:

    And in other news, the collapse of the dollar is really juicing equities. Who cares about 10.2% unemployment?

  67. All Hype says:

    Look at the markets go today. Total madness. We are right back to where we were in 2007.


  68. BC Bob says:

    “We are right back to where we were in 2007.”

    AH [70],

    Which markets? Not the Dow/S&P’s.

  69. Sean says:

    re #69 – Stu 10.2% only 20% higher than the ‘consensus’ predicted unemployment would PEAK at sometime NEXT year, and we still have a whole year of layoffs to go.

    The prime Thanksgiving and End of Year layoff season coming up, should be good for another 100 basis points.

  70. All Hype says:

    BC Bob:

    I meant the whole rally, rally, rally mentality with no underlying fundamental to support it.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  71. leftwing says:

    Pfizer Closing Princeton facility

    Just weeks after completing its acquisition of Wyeth, Pfizer said this morning it will consolidate its far-flung research and development activity to five main campuses. The strategy will result in the closing of six locations including Wyeth’s Princeton research center, which represented the heart of the company’s discovery efforts on Alzheimer’s disease.

    The work being done at the center, which is actually located in South Brunswick, will be relocated to Pfizer’s major research campus in Groton, Conn. The relocation is planned to go into effect next year.

    “On the one hand, New Jersey will continue to be an important area for Pfizer, but when it comes to research and development, we have decided to exit our presence,’’ said Mikael Dolsten, president of BioTherapeutics Research and Development at Pfizer.

    The consolidation will shrink the drug maker’s research footprint from 20 locations to five campuses, with nine specialized laboratories. In addition to New Jersey, Pfizer will close operations in New York, North Carolina, including facilities in Research Triangle Park and the United Kingdom.
    Employees at the affected locations were informed of the company’s decision yesterday morning in face-to-face interviews. Roughly 450 people work at Wyeth’s former Princeton research center. The facility also does animal health research.

    “We’re trying to create a structure that will be efficient and focused on fewer geographies,’’ Dolsten said during a telephone interview this morning.

    “These are difficult decisions,’’ he said, “but we’re very pleased, we’ve been able to move fast. We think that will allow the company to focus on moving the new products forward.’’

    Last month, Pfizer said it would keep Wyeth’s former world headquarters in Madison. The campus will be known collectively as “The Leadership Center for Pfizer Diversified Businesses.’’

  72. BC Bob says:

    AH [73],

    Mentality, got it. I agree.

    What are you left with when you drop the last 4 letters of the word?

  73. chicagofinance says:

    All Hype says:
    November 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm
    BC Bob:
    I meant the whole rally, rally, rally mentality with no underlying fundamental to support it.
    Sorry for the confusion.

    AH: I’ve been discussing the rationale for weeks. I have even stuck my neck out on it. Melting up is all…..go back and look at my posts…ask yikes…

    “I meant the whole rally, rally, rally mentality with no underlying fundamental to support it.”
    I understand where you are coming with this opinion, but it is patently false. Do not misconstrue me on this…I am not making a defense of anything or any policy…I am just reviewing market details and mirroring them back at you.

  74. Victorian says:

    What are you left with when you drop the last 4 letters of the word?

    A mental recession? Phil Gramm was right after all.

  75. Kettle1 says:


    use exigent circmstances to put totalitarian rules in place – GW

    popultion gets, hungry, poor, cold, etc and a “savior” promises the world – O

    savior dissapoints and leaves population disillusioned, grasping for strong leadership. Charismatic, polished power broker (or their puppet) enters stage left and institues significant change fully utizing abusive laws previously put in place ( historically bad for Joe sixpack) – ?????

  76. chicagofinance says:

    If you shorted this b!tch hard, you just got reamed….lots of covering by people that assumed 10.2% was going to freak everyone out….

    The only thing that can save the shorts for the balance of 2009 is some random catastrophe, crappy holiday sales, or some big (unexpected) leg down in employment…I feel as if a shift below 10% on November’s report is baked in……

  77. BC Bob says:

    “The only thing that can save the shorts”

    Chi [79],

    Bold statement, no?

    What about a jolt to the risk carry trade?

  78. Stu says:


    I can vouch for your calls.

    I am completely disillusioned about this market and have embraced it. If Christmas numbers are somehow slightly decent, this melt-up rally can go on for a long time, or at least until the FED raises interest rates. IMO!

  79. All Hype says:


    I never said that I disagree with your call. As a matter of fact I am making great $$$ in this market. I just do not believe that the money that I am making is based upon any sound fundamentals other than gubbmint free money and intervention with the banks.

  80. Veto That says:

    Schumpt, Now this is a girl after my own heart.

    New Mexico’s Elizabeth Lambert vs BYU

  81. John says:

    I thought only jewish people got circmstances?

    Kettle1 says:
    November 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    use exigent circmstances to put totalitarian rules in place – GW

  82. jcer says:

    It doesn’t matter what the ideology is or the ideals of either party, they both have good qualities in theory. In practice it is really polluted by money, power and greed for both. Any good a politician can bring is quickly removed by the real motives of the parties, supporting their benefactors. Basically we have a system where are choices are like should I vote Castro or Mussolini, not exactly a wonderful choice.

  83. cobbler says:

    Depeche Mode has a performance tomorrow in Geneva – you still have time to hop on a flight out of Newark at 545 pm. The venue is right next to the airport…

  84. HEHEHE says:


    I took everything off last week. Thank God!!!

  85. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [81] stu

    For my part, I have begun taking $$$ off the table. I was never heavily invested but over the past couple of days, I have been getting out.

    I just do not trust these numbers, and I think the rally is really a “hope” rally (business “hopes” that the feds keep priming that pump).

    I also think that the underlying message from the health care debate (which the left doesn’t seem to be trying to refute) is that everyone will pay more for health care next year, and that perception is going to have a depressive effect on spending, hiring, and capital investment.

    Will be interested to see how the nonprofits fare this season.

  86. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [87] HEHEHE

    That’s sick. Go put on a robe or something.

  87. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [64] stu,

    just for grins, and because it took two seconds, I googled Bush, Hitler, and got 9,520,000 hits.

    That is nearly 1.2 million per year.

    So, surprisingly, they really are not that far apart.

  88. danzud says:


    I did the same today and moved shekels out of the S&P 400 fund in my 401k to the MM fund.

  89. HEHEHE says:

    I’m long with tight stops man. Lets get this puppy back up to 15000. Papa wants to get back to those easy money days

  90. Sean says:

    U-3 chart with and without Stimulus projections vs actual.


  91. chicagofinance says:

    You can’t take the money off the table now…..you will be caught flat footed in November…..I think you are OK until after Thanksgiving…..

  92. chicagofinance says:

    cobbler says:
    November 9, 2009 at 3:35 pm
    Depeche Mode has a performance tomorrow in Geneva – you still have time to hop on a flight out of Newark at 545 pm. The venue is right next to the airport…

    Dude….check this out….Sister of Night
    Full studio instrumentation, not acoustic.


  93. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    November 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm
    “The only thing that can save the shorts”
    Chi [79],
    Bold statement, no?
    What about a jolt to the risk carry trade?

    The carry trade is locked in….the Fed said as much; foreign central banks and random a%%holes are just jawboning…..

  94. Sean says:

    Deflation my arse!

    Fears as price of long-dated oil soars

    Long-dated oil prices have risen to within a whisker of $100 a barrel, in a sign that investors are expecting high prices to return after the recession.

    The furthest forward oil contract traded on exchanges – the December 2017 futures – rose last week to $99.97 a barrel for the Brent benchmark and to $99.43 for the West Texas Intermediate, the highest since last October. The prices have risen by 10 per cent in the past month.

  95. chicagofinance says:

    I will say that somewhat good holiday sales are in there….but if we get any kind of indication of a good number…blamo….and this market is feeding on itself….that random hoi polloi feels richer, and they are going to spend more than you would think…

  96. Essex says:

    *100* Oh Stop it.

  97. BC Bob says:

    “The carry trade is locked in….the Fed said as much;”


    The fed said as much? Comforting.

  98. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I love the myopia of the average blogger.

    Case in point: On NPR, there was an analysis of the dems who voted No on health care. One of them was the boy mayor, Dennis Kucinich.

    The article said that Kucinich was unhappy with the bill because it “left insurance companies alive” (minor paraphrase here).

    Some bloggers took exception to this statement, and tried to argue that Kucinich never said he didn’t vote yes because the bill left alive the ins. cos.

    But they linked to Kucinich’s statement, which read, in somewhat pertinent part:

    “. . . .But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. . . . .


    . . . . Notwithstanding the fate of H.R. 3962, America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America’s businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals.”

    I don’t know, but it sounds to me like he clearly wants to drive private insurance out of business. Not a lot of grey there IMHO.

    But I do have to agree with the bloggers in that Dennis never used the words “left alive” in the same sentence.


  99. Sean says:

    re: #99 chicagofinance – just a “feeling” or are you thinking layaway is the new black when it comes to Holiday shopping?

    What percentage of Holiday sales are made on credit cards? Then ask yourself who is going to charge up a storm when many credit cards now have 20% + interest rates.

  100. BC Bob says:

    The road to riches, follow what the fed says.

    Disclaimer: Fed’s past performance is no indication of future results.

  101. chicagofinance says:

    Do I have anger management issues?

    chicagofinance says:
    August 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    173.grim says:
    August 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm
    New thread, up!

    Fcuk you. This blog isn’t your personal boot cap, and you sure as hell can’t be a drill sargeant with all that chest hair!

  102. BC Bob says:

    Sean [103],

    CC, hel’s, 2nd mortgages, all bit the dust. 20% unemployment, avg hourly work week at historic lows and avg hourly earnings falling.

    X-Mas present? How about a job?

  103. BC Bob says:

    Nevertheless, entertaining.

  104. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    November 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm
    The road to riches, follow what the fed says.
    Disclaimer: Fed’s past performance is no indication of future results.

    Bost: I appreciate the joke, but you may want to think that one through….if you are talking the next 3-6 months, the Fed is in charge and can pretty much do what they want……….

    as long as the UST curve stays down, they are bulletproof…it’s a joke…idiocy…

  105. BC Bob says:

    Chi [109],

    Not joking, nor have I for the past 6 years. Thankfully, I have been on the right side of the trade. How have those fared that followed the fed with the dot-com/housing bubble and sat? The fed has demonstrated that they experts in engineering bubbles/busts. If you don’t ring the bell, how do you win? Better to wait 10 years, catch up and sit w 25-30% real losses?

    Six months is a week of spring training; Short term mentality, I’m in it until approx 2015.

  106. BC Bob says:

    One other item, if you believe in green shoots, why invest in the laggard?

  107. willwork4beer says:

    #3 Grim

    We should have written that guy in for governor.

    The sad thing about this election is we dumped the governor (rightly so) but re-elected all the criminals in the Assembly. Most county and municipal elections probably went that way as well.

    It doesn’t matter what party affiliation they claim. They’re all the same. when will people learn that you have to throw them all out to have a chance to turn this state around?

    Christie already owes too much to be effective without a Legislature (regardless of party) that fears being replaced.

  108. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob says:
    November 9, 2009 at 6:16 pm
    One other item, if you believe in green shoots, why invest in the laggard?

    Bost: It’s not about being black and white. Extremism is the death knell of discussion…..

  109. PGC says:

    My vote for post of the year.

    EWellie says:
    November 8, 2009 at 1:50 am
    You don’t understand that your hatred consumes you, do you? You need help.

  110. PGC says:

    A West previos thread

    “I let the angry moms around me know that these shortages are the result of the government pushing down the profitability of supplying flu vaccines”

    The problem with this that the gvmt is the only market for the Flu shot. If it was not for the CDC contract the drug companies would not be in the market because there is no money to be made. Unlike regular vaccines the flu shot has to be reconfigured every year and if H1N1 mutates they have to go back and reconfigure a new vaccine. The drug companies are not in the prevention business, they are in the cure business. They make more from Tylenol and Nyquil, than they’ll ever get from the flu shot. The only reason they do it, is that it will keep the gvmt off their back and stops them opening up the cross border pharmacy trade.

  111. BC Bob says:


    It’s not about black/white. It’s pertaining to the fed being in charge. Can’t fight the fed. That’s actually hysterical.

  112. yo'me says:

    From homeowner to tenant
    Fannie Mae program allows those facing foreclosure to rent their home back


  113. PGC says:

    Got Balls?

    Haven’t had much time to post in the last few days but I was thinking about your Roth post. While it is very clear you are not giving advice it would be good to state that you should have the cash available to meet the tax obligation otherwise you may be dipping back into the conversion (with penalties) to pay the debt. While on paper it might look like free money, unless you are in Nov 2010 with a new steady job, would you pull the trigger on generating a $30K-$50K tax liability, that the earliest you could discharge in bankruptcy would be 2014 if you qualify.

    For the high tax payers, Roths don’t make sense unless you have maxed out contributions in the traditional 401ks and need to contribute more. You will be funding the Roth with high margin after tax dollars that have been through the federal and NY/NJ tax codes with a hope that you can make tax free withdrawals further down the line. That will take some Hail Mary (or Johns munis) plays to beat that spread. Is it not better to keep the traditional and look to take the distribution in a lower tax environment (FL or off shore) later. While you don’t know what the rates will be in future, with the Roth you don’t know if they will find a way to tax it later.

  114. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [119] PSA

    A fair point, re: taxes. I recall that I was speaking in the first person, and do have that covered, but others may not.

    As for taxpayers in the higher marginal brackets, that is also true, and I had thought I covered that, perhaps not clearly. I am acutely aware of that problem too but my traditional IRAs are funded mostly with post-tax dollars, so the damage is done—this is merely a play to get future gains tax free, and to put more $$$ into devices that are better protected creditor-wise. And besides, there is always the possibility (very remote, I hope) that I won’t be employed, so the marginal rate hit would be negligible.

    As for offshore withdrawal, that won’t work re: fed taxes.

    And because it had come to my attention before, and you reminded me of it:

    IRS Circular 230 Disclaimer: To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein.

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [116] PSA

    For a good backgrounder on this issue, research the reasons for the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, some legislation that I have a passing familiarity with.

  116. PGC says:

    #120 Got Balls?

    As for offshore withdrawal, that won’t work re: fed taxes.

    Your still thinking too local. One countries tax is another countries credit. You had the right idea with the Irish Artists exemption, but it can get a lot more sophisticated than that.

  117. PGC says:


    I am very aware of it and it is one of the myriad of reasone I will not vaccinate a new born toddler.

    Sorry SL, I said I would stay away from this.

  118. Schumpeter says:

    vodka (65)-

    O is GWB in blackface. A virtual Uncle Tom, if there ever was one.

    Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon are his massas.

  119. PGC says:


    new born or toddler

  120. Schumpeter says:

    If you had given me a list of things O could’ve turned into after his election, Stooge to Bankers would have the been dead last of my choices.

  121. Schumpeter says:

    BC (80)-

    I can only imagine what will happen when the carry starts to run against our new nation of Ms. Watanabes.

  122. PGC says:

    #127 Schumpt

    I think were safe. Is there another currency around to use for the carry?

  123. Schumpeter says:

    veto (83)-

    You know, all that chick needed to do was come in two-footed, studs-up a couple of times, and she wouldn’t have ended up all over the internets and TV.

  124. Stu says:


    Your unwillingness to vaccinate an infant or child due to nothing greater than conspiracy theory is disturbing to say the least. When your child comes down with the Mumps or Polio, he/she is really going to regret your ill-informed decision.

    But what do I know?

  125. Schumpeter says:

    BC (101)-

    Another one of my nominees for post of the year:

    “The fed said as much? Comforting.”

  126. Schumpeter says:

    Bitchin’ GG tonight.

    “Nuf said.

  127. Schumpeter says:

    pgc (128)-

    Confederate dollars? Ameros?

    “I think were safe. Is there another currency around to use for the carry?”

  128. PGC says:

    #130 Stu

    “But what do I know?”

    I’ll take the discussion offline if you want to discuss.

  129. PGC says:

    #133 Schumpt

    We’ll they don’t exist, and nothing else is strong enough to carry.

    You could head into AUD, but that could be a bubble thats about to be popped.

  130. jmacdaddio says:

    I found this gem from 2006 while researching a paper for school:


    3 and 4 incomes on the mortgage application? Would wife’s sister’s occasional boyfriend count as a half income? In 2006, no need to even bother checking, just put whatever you want on the form.

  131. Sean says:

    Where is Cindy and the rest of the protesters? CBS news says Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner will be sending another 40k combat soldiers to Afghanistan.

  132. Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.

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