On track for a 3.9 million year

From Bloomberg:

U.S. Foreclosures to Reach 3.9 Million in Second Record Year

Foreclosure filings in the U.S. will reach a record for the second consecutive year with 3.9 million notices sent to homeowners in default, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

This year’s filings will surpass 2008’s total of 3.2 million as record unemployment and price erosion batter the housing market, the Irvine, California-based company said.

“We are a long way from a recovery,” John Quigley, economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said in an interview. “You can’t start to see improvement in the housing market until after unemployment peaks.”

Foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000 for the ninth straight month in November, RealtyTrac said today. A weak labor market and tight credit are “formidable headwinds” for the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a Dec. 7 speech in Washington

A total of 306,627 properties received a default or auction notice or were seized by banks last month, or one in 417 U.S. households, and a similar number are expected for December, RealtyTrac said.

There have been 3.6 million filings from January through November, the most in RealtyTrac records dating to January 2005.

Three loans went bad for every one that improved in the first 10 months of this year, according to a Dec. 2 report from Lender Processing Services Inc.

The combined delinquency and foreclosure rate for all loans increased to 12.6 percent through October, the Jacksonville, Florida-based loan servicing and mortgage data company said.

Filings rose 65 percent from a year earlier to 9,227 in New Jersey. They dropped 3.7 percent to 2,114 in Connecticut, and jumped 69 percent to 4,401 in New York.

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

231 Responses to On track for a 3.9 million year

  1. grim says:

    From the Press of Atlantic City:

    Expert says local unemployment leaves homeowners at risk

    A report of November foreclosures released Thursday provided fresh evidence that southern New Jersey’s unemployment may be putting homeowners in jeopardy at rates not seen previously in the housing downturn.

    Foreclosure filings increased 30 percent from October in Atlantic County, 29 percent in Cape May County, 28 percent in Cumberland County, 34 percent in Salem County and

    24 percent in Ocean County, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

    Compared with November 2008, foreclosures were up

    113 percent in Atlantic County, 95 percent in Cape May County and 99 percent in Ocean County, but only 8 percent in Cumberland County and 4 percent in Salem County.

    Nationwide, foreclosures declined 8 percent in November from the previous month, RealtyTrac said, the fourth straight month-to-month decrease. Compared with a year ago, U.S. foreclosures are still up 18 percent.

    Foreclosures in New Jersey were up 24 percent from the prior month and 65 percent for the 12-month period.

    Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, told the convening members of the N.J. Association of Realtors that job losses and homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth will keep foreclosures rising next year.

  2. still_looking says:

    I see you survived the waves??


  3. still_looking says:

    Don’t forget to bring home some Kona coffee beans for me, mmmmkay? :)


  4. Jim says:

    You know, I lived in Hawaii for two years (we still own a house there) and I fail to see why Kona Coffee is so popular. It has a bitter taste and is pretty expensive. Any answers? We did plant two coffee plants in our back yard, that was pretty neat.

  5. cooper says:

    a realtor sent this to me… No surprise there.

    “If You Don’t Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke”
    “Interest rates are at historic lows but cyclical trends suggest they will soon rise. Home buyers may never see such a chance again, writes Marc Roth ”


  6. Schumpeter says:

    coop (5)-

    With him on the mortgage rates rising. Fed stops buying agency paper in March.

  7. Schumpeter says:

    I nearly went to the NJAR convention, but I couldn’t trust myself not to take a run at the lying mouthpiece Yun, so I passed.

    I also didn’t get as many invites for free drinks & eats as I’d like to see. Many of the companies that sponsored the largesse in the past are now gone the way of the dodo.

  8. Schumpeter says:

    I remember a Countryslide party at the Borgata in ’05, complete with ear-splitting rock band and bartenders handing out bottles of Grey Goose.

  9. Schumpeter says:

    That was the first time I thought to myself that the good market run had become a tad overheated.

  10. Cindy says:

    Clot – from yesterday @ 45

    “Is there a more compelling proof that our futures are in the hands of monkeys?”

    I am sincerely hoping some of these monkeys lose their jobs come November of 2010.

  11. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Cindy 10 Then we get new monkeys.

  12. Cindy says:

    11 – Mike – No doubt – But I am soooo tired of these yahoos.

  13. Cindy says:


    American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent

    Interactive map – CA, What a mess.

  14. Schumpeter says:

    This is why I’ve been banging the table on FHA for the past 18 months. The thermonuclear payload is about to detonate, as the initial discoveries of massive frauds are now occurring.

    Of course, it’s way too late to do anything about them. If you think subprime was bad, wait ’til you see the fallout from this.

    Ginnie Mae is the secondary market (think Phony/Fraudy) for FHA-insured loans:

    “The trouble signs surrounding Lend America had been building for years. A top executive was convicted of mortgage fraud but still helped run the company. Home loans made by its headquarters were defaulting at an extremely high rate. Federal prosecutors alleged in a civil suit that the company falsified loan documents and committed fraud.

    Yet despite these red flags the Government National Mortgage Association, known as Ginnie Mae, authorized the firm to bundle its mortgages into securities and sell them to investors around the world — all backed by U.S. taxpayer money.

    Lend America is hardly the only lender with a troubled record that Ginnie Mae has endorsed. The agency has provided taxpayer backing to at least 36 other mortgage companies with a history of reckless lending, fines or other sanctions by state and federal regulators or civil lawsuits, according to an analysis of government records, court documents and statistics in a HUD database.

    “Ginnie is like an accelerant to a fire,” said Anthony Sanders, professor of real estate finance at George Mason University.

    HUD Inspector General Kenneth Donohue said Ginnie Mae is too accommodating of problem lenders, adding that the agency has put its highest priority on ensuring that money is pumped into the mortgage market.

    “Ginnie Mae is in the business of trying to bring in business,” he said.

    Lenders with spotty histories and poor financial health have sold nearly $100 billion in loans packaged into Ginnie Mae-guaranteed securities in the past two years, according to calculations based on data provided by Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication.

    Sixteen mortgage lenders endorsed by Ginnie Mae have been cited by various federal regulators for unsafe banking practices, insufficient capital or other violations. Thirteen firms have been fined, sanctioned or ordered by HUD auditors to cover the cost of bad loans. Eight firms have FHA loan portfolios that are defaulting at double the rate of their principal competitors, which can be grounds for suspension from the FHA program. Another eight companies have FHA default rates more than 50 percent higher than the average in their area.

    In November, Ginnie Mae’s outside auditor reported a “significant deficiency” in Ginnie’s internal controls: The agency could not adequately track whether loans sold to investors had been insured by the FHA and therefore met government requirements. The auditors noted they first identified the problem in 2007.”


  15. frank says:

    France to pass a bonus tax.
    NY state is way ahead of France, it passed a bonus tax in April that covers everyone from cops to ceos. Long live New France.


  16. Nomad says:


    Looking for info on forecast for 2010 foreclosures, and suggestions where I can find them. Goggle turned up some stuff but not from sources I am familiar with.

    Wondering if houses will become illiquid in the next couple of years. Increasing interest rates, high unemployment and flat/declining income along with low consumer confidence seem to indicate this is a possibility.


  17. gary says:

    “If You Don’t Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke”
    “Interest rates are at historic lows but cyclical trends suggest they will soon rise. Home buyers may never see such a chance again, writes Marc Roth ”

    Dear Marc,

    Over the last 7 years, salaries have increased about 23% while house prices have increased aproximately 88%. Please let me know if you need further explanation and I’ll slow down a little for you.

  18. cooper says:

    #6 Schump

    I have about 150k in cash and another 100 in a fund, In ur opinion…
    do you take the low interest rate/higher price now or wait for a better price/higher rate and refi? the latter with more money down due to more time saving.
    thanks Cooper

  19. Cindy says:


    Okay everybody – Let’s look for Grim in the crowds.

  20. Shore Guy says:

    If you pay more now, you are out the money for sure. If you wait, and expect that prices will drop, then the money you save is real.

    The costs of mortgages may go up by the time you buy, or they may not. Thought one, why spend real money now to possibly save some interest payments relative to some future time?

    Point two, interest rates may go up by thr time you buy, but there is always the refinance option should they dip again.

    Point three, the longer you wait, the more dp you have and the less lengthy the mortgage you will need. thus reducing the impact of interest on the loan.

  21. Shore Guy says:


    C’mon, man. Income growth only crawled for the stupid and lazy and others unworthy of buying a house.

    Get a grip, and get with the program. Unless, of course, you are comfortable living as a, gasp, renter.

  22. jamil says:

    15 frank: what is this ny bonus tax and how it works?

  23. BC Bob says:

    Part of our stimulus package. Did John land this job?

    “Study on “Hookup” Behavior of Female College Coeds ($219,000)
    The National Institute of Health (NIH) is using stimulus funds to pay for a year-long $219,000 study to follow female college students for a year to determine whether young women are more likely to ―hookup — the college equivalent of casual sex — after drinking”


  24. BC Bob says:

    “If You Don’t Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke”

    Same imbecile that said RE prices never go down and Northern NJ is insulated.

  25. BC Bob says:

    “With him on the mortgage rates rising. Fed stops buying agency paper in March.”


    They will continue to print and buy. They are the only game in town.

  26. Shore Guy says:


    When one’s income is tied to other people buying houses, “It is always a great time to buy.”

  27. cooper says:

    #20-Thx Shore-
    i was thinking the same but so many conflicting messages out there I lose my way- Maybe soon I’ll buy something outright and F the mortgage all together!

    #7 Schump im with you, $100 bucks to the 1st guy who slaps Yun in the chops, that self-serving douche.

  28. frank says:

    Effective January 1, 2010, if you pay supplemental wages (bonuses, commissions, overtime pay, sales awards, etc.), the
    following withholding rates apply (the New York City and Yonkers nonresident rates are unchanged):
    New York State 9.77%
    New York City 4.0%


  29. frank says:

    “American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent”
    When a firefighter chooses to keep his BMW6 over paying his mortgage, I call this American dream. Long live American dream.

  30. frank says:

    Mortgage agency’s growth gives fuel to risky lenders
    Ginnie Mae enables the firms to issue more taxpayer-backed loans


  31. Weekly initial unemployment claims rise to 474k.

    Also, Renault out of F1…

  32. NJGator says:

    Lil Gator and I are off to SFO. Empty middle seat between us – Captain Cheapo’s version of first class.

    Have a great weekend folks!

  33. 3b says:

    #25 BC: In March thye ill just extend the program.

  34. BC Bob says:

    3b [33],

    Extend and pretend.

  35. kettle1 says:


    The Chinese RE bomb is still cooking as well.

    Its estimated that by the end of the year, Bejing will have a supply of 16
    million sqft (1.5 MM sq-M) of commercial space and Shanghai will have
    about 20 million sqft (1.9 MM sq-M) . This does not include government
    buildings such as the CCTV tower that has just been built (5 million sqft
    of space just for this building). There is an estimated 40 – 60 million
    sqft of additional commercial space current being sold to investors to be
    built over the next 1-2 years

    During peak boom years the commercial RE absorption rate was about
    465,000Sq M/yr. At the peak absorption rate (which china is no longer at)
    there is a 3 yr supply of commercial RE in Beijing and a 4 year supply in

    On top of that there is currently a 30-50% vacancy rate in commercial RE.
    Oh and lets not forget about the numerous ghost cities in China that are
    being built to keep those juicy GDP numbers up.

    The funny thing is that structures start to decay the second you put them
    up , especially if you dont actively maintain them. People think that
    idea of need to bulldoze half of Detroit is apocalyptic???? Wait until
    china either has to bulldoze entire cities or just do what Russia does and
    pretend they dont exist until the forests reclaim them.

    But wait there’s more!!!! A huge % of the phantom housing in China is
    driven by chinese citizens dumping their investments and retirements into
    housing, given that its a “sure thing”. You are going to have a whole lot
    of pissed of chinese people when thier bubble bursts an they run out of
    village idiots to feed the ponzi scheme. granted with a population 1.3
    billion, you have a lot of village idiots. But ghost cities becoming
    standard might be a sign.

    Much of china’s “savings” may very well cease to exist when the ghost
    cities that the chinese people invested in cant be sold to anyone

  36. BC Bob says:

    “When a firefighter chooses to keep his BMW6 over paying his mortgage, I call this American dream.”

    When the same firefighter receives an IOU, in lieu of a tax refund, he realizes the American dream is a sham.

  37. kettle1 says:


    for an even uglier picture, lets revisit an article that was linked here early in 2009

    By Rodman’s calculations, 500 million square feet of commercial real estate has been developed in Beijing since 2006, more than all the office space in Manhattan. And that doesn’t include huge projects developed by the government. He says 100 million square feet of office space is vacant — a 14-year supply if it filled up at the same rate as in the best years, 2004 through ’06, when about 7 million square feet a year was leased.

  38. scribe says:

    I think we should have another GTG over the holidays.

    I have a craving for another Arthur’s steak and a tasty Yuengling.

  39. BC Bob says:

    kettle, [37],

    They are building roads and bridges that will never see a car and CRE that will never be occupied. In the meantime, cargo is not being shipped. Got demand?

    It’s an accident waiting to happen.

  40. WHYoung says:

    #4 – re Kona Coffee…

    A little marketing as something exotic and in “limited supply” is like waving a red flag in front of a bull to a status seeker.
    (Tho’ I must admit I’ve tasted some Kona I liked.)

    If you an even stranger example of gourmet coffee check out the wikipedia entry on Kopi Luwak.

  41. kettle1 says:

    BC 39

    I still here people that all of this constrution is just another way to “stockpile” commodities. BS

    They are stockpiling, but building a ghost a structure that decays from day 1 and has a long term maintenance cost is nothing of the sort

  42. jamil says:

    28 frank: “the
    following withholding rates apply (the New York City and Yonkers nonresident rates are unchanged):”

    So NYC residents have no change in tax rates?
    Since rich bankers with family tend to live in CT (or even NJ) and bankers without kids tend to live in Manhattan, this has zero effect on Wall Street bankers.

    Some Queens bus drivers may be affected, though, for overtime work.

  43. d2b says:

    I am never for new taxes of any type. But paying back TARP for the sole reason of being able to avoid compensation restrictions is a giant middle finger to the taxpayers, shareholders, and the government. These banks are only in business because they can borrow cheap FED money and the suspension of mark to market.

    It’s disgusting.

  44. kettle1 says:


    roads and bridges that will never see a car

    I see a marketing opportunity. Open Road Carting.

    rent a few hundred Kilometers of some cchinese ghost highway and then set up ccarting races/tours


    Or heck we could even get serious and rent the few hundred Kilometers of highway and run mad max training sessions for NJREREPORT bloggers and anyone else interested.

  45. kettle1 says:

    BC Clot,

    If we think Chinese drywall and radioactive granite is bad here in the US then how toxic and substandard are those chinese ghost cities?!?!

  46. chicagofinance says:

    My guess? Instructions for Hunts Point at 4AM when you pay a crack ho $20 for a hand job and dream it’s Lady Gaga….

    34.BC Bob says:
    December 10, 2009 at 8:50 am
    3b [33],
    Extend and pretend.

  47. jamil says:

    #42 addition. I’m still confusedInNY

    “The New York City personal income tax rates and the Yonkers nonresident earnings tax rate have not changed.”

    “Supplemental withholding rates
    Effective January 1, 2010, if you pay supplemental wages (bonuses, commissions, overtime pay, sales awards, etc.), the
    following withholding rates apply (the New York City and Yonkers nonresident rates are unchanged):
    New York State 9.77%
    New York City 4%”

    I think previously in NYC it was 3.648% for excess income over 90k so this is a small increase.
    In addition, in NY state it was additional 6.85% for excess income over 40k. This increase to 9.77% hurts a lot. I guess these can be partly deducted on federal income tax, though, unless Obambi tinkers with deductions.

    Well, those welfare parasites with ipods and taxpayers funded apartments sure need more help.

    I like living in Manhattan but now I think it is time to finally consider moving out. Ironically, it may be NJ where I end up. Only reason to stay in Manhattan would be to find a really good deal in rental building (~40% off from last year rents). I have seen quite amazing-sounding deals for new buildings, need to double-check on those.

    So this tax increase is sure good news for NJ state and NJ housing market as all the disgruntled taxpayers in NYC start the exodus to NJ /sarc

  48. Schumpeter says:

    coop (18)-

    Wait. For a million reasons, wait.

  49. Stu says:

    I’m a huge fan of Kona and find it the least bitter of the world’s coffees. The key is to use less of it when brewing. I use 2/3rds the amount of what I would use in traditional brewing. This cuts the cost significantly and it helps to buy direct from the farm.

    We buy it direct from a great family farm on the Big Island.

    6 pounds with free priority shipping for $109.95 and they frequently will give you $10 off the next purchase. Add it all up and you are paying $11/lb. for the freshest smoothest coffee I have ever tasted. Get a burr grinder and a good coffee maker and you’ll never stop in a Starbucks again.

    We’ve visited the farm and it is completely legit. It’s a really nice family as well and they send us a holiday card every year that is hand signed.

    I really miss Hawaii.

  50. Schumpeter says:

    BC (25)-

    Sadly, you’re probably right. Both agency paper purchases and TARP will be extended to infinity.

  51. BC Bob says:

    Consumer credit has now declined for 9 straight months. How does a consumer economy fare when the consumer cuts back or is forced to contract?


  52. Schumpeter says:

    vodka (37)-

    What will eventually happen in China will turn out to be one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of all time. I figure 1 bn starve to death.

  53. Stu says:

    Schump/BC (25,50):

    Can’t help but agree. Once the government throws out a life preserver, they can never real it in without suffering politically.

    This is the same reason the FED always waits too long to start raising the lending rates.

  54. Schumpeter says:

    Look at the number of ag workers China is sending to vast tracts in Africa. Those are the lucky ones.

  55. Stu says:

    at 53: real should have been reel. Sorry!

  56. 3b says:

    #51 BC Consumer spending is all we have. And the recovery is predicated on consumer spending, in an environment where credit is tight,and many consumers are paying cash for this years holiday spending.

  57. d2b says:

    Villanova vs. St Joe’s at the Palestra in Philly last night. Great game, much closer than the score. If any of you have never been to a Big 5 game at the Palestra, I highly recommend it.

    The Big 5 are the division 1 basketball programs in Philadelphia.

  58. Shore Guy says:

    “Lil Gator and I are off to SFO”

    It is good that you two can finally break away for dsome R&R. (He says dripping with envy).

    Where are thr Gators off to in January?

  59. Stu says:

    There are no trips planned for January yet Shore Guy.

    We’re just doing our part to stimulate the economy. You should all be grateful. Quite honestly, airfare coast to coast for $200 and a Pricelined hotel. Vacationing has NEVER been cheaper.

  60. BC Bob says:

    “If any of you have never been to a Big 5 game at the Palestra, I highly recommend it.”


    Been to many. I agree, great atmosphere.

  61. Schumpeter says:

    Just to make sure we’re on the same page, FHA (aka you and me) are the only viable mortgage insurer on the planet. And look at the top-shelf stuff we’ve insured:

    “When Lend America, based on Long Island, N.Y., was approved as a Ginnie Mae issuer in June 2008, there were already reasons for caution. HUD’s database shows that nine months before that approval was granted, FHA loans made by one of the firm’s branches had a default rate far higher than is deemed acceptable by the FHA. The company’s chief business strategist, Michael Ashley, had been convicted of fraud, including for falsifying loan applications, and been subject to multiple investigations into his business practices.

    Yet for the past 18 months, nearly all of Lend America’s 6,500 new loans have been turned into Ginnie Mae securities, giving the company additional cash flow and putting taxpayers at risk. A spokesman for Lend America said neither the company nor Ashley would respond to questions for this report.

    Ginnie Mae has stood on the sidelines as the Justice Department — and, at times, HUD itself — tried to crack down on the company’s business practices. Last week, federal officials removed Lend America from the FHA program altogether, shutting down the firm’s government-backed lending. That triggered an immediate suspension of the company by Ginnie Mae.”

    Anyone who doesn’t think that the gubmint is our avowed enemy is just smoking hopeium. This is all pre-planned and designed to break our backs.

  62. BC Bob says:


    Any recommendations/deals, warm weather, between X-Mas and New Year’s?

  63. Schumpeter says:

    BC (61)-

    Wake me up when they start a Rollerball league and play the games in arenas abandoned by the NBA and NHL.

  64. #51 – BC – How does a consumer economy fare when the consumer cuts back or is forced to contract?

    That was the other big takeaway from the JPM HAMP presentation of the other day. The %2 permanent mods garnered all the headlines, but the other details presented were fairly grim from the commercial banking side;

    Mortgage 3Q09 YTD applications down 10% YoY

    Card 3Q09 YTD sales volume down 7% YoY

    Average large corporate loans down 24% YoY to $66.3B at 3Q09 from $86.6B at 3Q08 due to lower demand and increased access to capital markets

    Average Mid-Corporate and Middle Market loans down 13% YoY to $51.9B at 3Q09 from $59.6B at 3Q08 due to lower demand and utilization rates

    Business Banking 3Q09 YTD origination volume down 66% YoY due to lower demand and tighter underwriting standards

  65. still_looking says:

    Stu 49, WHY 40

    I’ve had mixed experience, good and bad kona.
    But it never hurts to try again.

    The best coffee I’ve had was Kenya AA. Roasted by an outfit in RI. Was sold at BJs for $6.50/lb and was unbelievable.

    I miss that coffee. I’ve had Kenya AA at other places… just not the same.


  66. Veto That says:

    When global hyperinflation kicks in, china will be holding mass amounts of gold, commodities, agg and infrastructure.
    They are either really stupid or really smart.

  67. Stu says:

    BC (63),

    Tough week for travel as kids are out of school so tourist outfits have a guaranteed audience. I would wait for the last minute and book either a cruise or see what Travelzoo comes up with for a Mexican or Caribbean Island destination. Jet Blue has been having outrageous deals to many of the islands which are frequently offered with only 7 day pre-purchase restrictions. I’ll keep my eyes open for ya.

  68. safeashouses says:

    The end is nigh.

    Red Dawn remake coming out in 2010. This time China invades US.


    I thought the propaganda picture of donuts calling them “A weapon of mass destruction” was pretty funny.

  69. BC Bob says:

    Stu [69],

    Thanks. Yeah, tough getting deals for that week.

  70. Anon E. Moose says:

    5.cooper says:
    December 10, 2009 at 5:59 am
    a realtor sent this to me… No surprise there.

    “If You Don’t Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke”

    More of the Realtwhore marekting plan of insulting your customer. Damn they are desperate. Back to the steno pool…

  71. kettle1 says:


    China has been very forward looking in terms of stockpiling commodities, and acquiring AG resources. However in a global hyperinflation type event, how long are african nations going to respect 99 yr chinese farm leases, when the local population is gin hungry or involved in civil war?

    I think china has some potentially substantial instabilities within that stockpiled commodities alone will not solve.

  72. kettle1 says:

    for the group….

    what does 3500 starwood points get you (as in starwood resorts)? how many nights (if any) at what type of place?

  73. kettle1 says:

    Anon E Moose:

    let me fix that for the REtard

    …You Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke

  74. kettle1 says:

    Anon E Moose:

    let me fix that for the REtard

    …If you Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke

  75. still_looking says:

    Dems to lift debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion, fear 2010 backlash


    Is this really a good idea?


  76. Painhrtz says:


    further fixed for my situation

    If you Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid and Broke but could not listen to the wife complaining anymore

  77. Schumpeter says:

    sl (78)-

    They’re probably hoping to create enough bread/circus-type giveaways to buy the votes needed to hold office.

  78. Schumpeter says:

    The whole country is turning into Hudson County.

  79. Anon E. Moose says:


    Venti Crappucino? Dave Barry wrote about that years ago.

  80. db says:

    “It’s time to take up your bayonets ” America was tricked in Nov 2008 …http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP2p91dvm6M&feature=player_embedded#

  81. Schumpeter says:

    CNBC just cut away from Liz Warren kicking the crap out of Eraserhead.

  82. chicagofinance says:

    Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 10:52 PM
    To: Undisclosed recipients
    Subject: Landon Lowdown: Random Thoughts About Fed, USD, GOLD

    I thought you might enjoy this. Our strategist Ken Landon is all fired up today!

    from Ken Landon, J.P.Morgan Strategy, NY (Dec 9, 2009)

    Random thoughts after returning from a 2-day business trip on 1) The Fed; 2) The USD; 3) Gold

    * FED – Having nothing better to do on the plane, I was watching CNBC (thank you JetBlue for that service) and heard commentators repeat several times that perhaps “the Fed knows something that the rest of us do not know.” The context was the recent downbeat comments made by Chairman Bernanke and NY Fed President Dudley. With contemptuous derision, I thought “when will these people learn that repeatedly running into a brick wall is not the way to ultimate health?”

    Do I need to point out (again) that the Fed has repeatedly missed all the major turning points in the economy over at least the past decade? It was just one week ago that the Lowdown illustrated Mr. Bernanke’s unenviable track record of the past few years (see attached ll_3Dec09.pdf).

    Furthermore, Chairman Bernanke himself has admitted under oath in Congressional testimony that the Fed is *not* very good at economic forecasting, especially at the turning points:

    “Economists are extremely bad at predicting turning points and we don’t pretend to be any better. We have not calculated the probability of recession and I wouldn’t want to offer that today. Again, our assessment is for slower growth, but positive growth going in the next year.” — Chairman Bernanke, Nov 8, 2007, Joint Economic Committee testimony [this was one month before the official start of recession!]

    Can we please put to rest the cliche that the Fed “knows something that we don’t know?” The actual track record clearly indicates that they do not.

    It is not healthy to uncritically accept that “they know something that we don’t know.” Sapere aude – Have courage to use your own reason.

    I have not changed my view that the U.S. economy is currently in the early stages of a V-Shaped recovery. The yield curve remains at historically extreme steepness, which is a good sign of sustained growth over the coming 12 months at a minimum.

    * USD – I have written many times that the value of a fiat paper currency is no better than the government of issuance. In the case of the USD, millions of people, both domestically and globally, assess the overall policy mix of the U.S. government when deciding whether or not to hold the USD. That Policy Mix includes monetary, fiscal, regulatory, trade, and foreign policies.

    Although public popularity is not a true measure of the validity of government policies, it does pick up general approval or disapproval with those policies. Attached chart usd_pres.jpg shows that the international “poll” on US policy (i.e., the USD) has been trending in the same direction as the domestic polls on Presidential popularity. Of course, the two series do not move lockstep in line with eachother. But the overall “picture” is illustrative of the fact that a currency is no better than the overall market’s assessment of the government of issuance. The USD is no better than the collective decision-making of Congress and The White House. Ultimately, they are the monopoly issuer of the dollar.

    Even today, there are new stories that undermine the overall credibility of the Policy Mix. For example, the TARP has turned out to be less costly than original estimates. The full $700 billion is not needed to supposedly “support” the financial system. For those who hold USDs, a credible policy would be for the U.S. government to phase out the TARP. Instead, politicians are now rushing to claim their piece of the excess TARP pie. The president has proposed using TARP money for “job creation” and House Majority Leader Noyer has stated that $75-$150 billion should be used for “highway construction.” (As an aside, these are the same politicians who support “Cap and Trade,” and, yet, they want to build more highways!)

    * GOLD – This gets us to gold, which has fallen sharply over the past week from $1215 to the current $1142 (-6%). The price of gold is the inverse of the real value of the USD. The real value of the USD is driven by the same factors that determine the value of any good or service: Supply and Demand. I see nothing to indicate that demand for holding the dollar will increase given my negative assessment of the Policy Mix.

    Trending markets inevitably face counter moves, which are colloquially known as “corrections.” In my opinion, the 6% decline in gold over the past week is a “correction” and not a major turning point.

    If you truly trust that the current government will break with its recent past and implement investment and market-friendly policies, then you should sell gold and buy the USD. However, if you have no good reasons for believing that policy will improve, then you should stay long gold and short the USD. I am in the latter camp.

    Some people have asked what would change my mind? One thing on my radar is the mid-term elections in Nov 2010 (granted, that is a long ways away). Return to divided government has historically been associated with a slow down in government spending. Divided government would cause me to question my premise that the Policy Mix is not likely to improve on the margin. For me, the Nov 2010 election is a crucial event for the market and the economy.

  83. kettle1 says:

    Pain 79

    a nice diamond or a few fancy pair of shoes would have cost a lot less…….

  84. BC Bob says:

    “The whole country is turning into Hudson County.”


    From mold to shining mold.

  85. theo says:

    BC Bob #23

    I ran that original study back in 1991. Study results were affirmative.

  86. Veto That says:

    “If You Don’t Buy a House Now, You’re Stupid or Broke”

    This is the most aggressive hard sell i have ever come across. and When i see a hard sell i run as fast as possible in the opposite direction.
    This realtors line reminds me of something out of jerkey boys… (click the blue play button at the top of this google search result to hear sample.)

  87. BC Bob says:

    theo [88],

    They should send the stimulus $ to you, let you run phase 2. Sounds like a good gig.

  88. yo'me says:

    Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business and chairman of RGE Monitor, is clearly not a “gold bug.”

    “I don’t believe in gold,” Roubini told CNBC. “Gold can go up for only two reasons.”

    “[One is] inflation, and we are in a world where there are massive amounts of deflation because of a glut of capacity, and demand is weak, and there’s slack in the labor markets with unemployment above 10 percent in all the advanced economies.”

    The only way gold can go higher in a deflationary economy is a financial Armageddon, Roubini says, but we’ve avoided that tail risk as well.

    “So all the gold bugs who say gold is going to go to $1,500, $2,000, they’re just speaking nonsense,” Roubini asserts.

    Though he acknowledges that gold can go above $1,000, Roubini says it can’t move up 20-30 percent unless we end up in a world of inflation or another depression.

    “I don’t see either of those being likely for the time being. Maybe three or four years from now, yes. But not anytime soon.”

    Gold prices fell for the third day in a row on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar continued to strengthen.

    “The dollar is strong today, and gold has been trading against the dollar,” Joe Foster, portfolio manager for the Van Eck Global International Investors Gold Fund, told CNN Money.

    Foster says prices could continue to decline for the next few weeks before climbing anew next year.

  89. Schumpeter says:

    Dilute? C’s current float is 23 bn shares.

    Pure asswipe.

  90. BC Bob says:

    “The only way gold can go higher in a deflationary economy is a financial Armageddon, Roubini says”


  91. Schumpeter says:

    BC (93)-

    He’s dead wrong on that. I think this guy is spending too much time with supermodels.

  92. Painhrtz says:

    Ket her patience has passed that and my lovely significant other has no need for those baubles according to her

  93. chicagofinance says:

    Stu says:
    December 10, 2009 at 9:23 am
    I’m a huge fan of Kona and find it the least bitter of the world’s coffees.

    Did you ever buy any Benny Bean?

  94. chicagofinance says:

    Stu says:
    December 10, 2009 at 9:41 am
    Vacationing has NEVER been cheaper.

    Frequent flyer points and hotel points? “Nominal cost” zero.

  95. chicagofinance says:

    Schumpeter says:
    December 10, 2009 at 9:46 am
    BC (61)- Wake me up when they start a Rollerball league and play the games in arenas abandoned by the NBA and NHL.

    strumpet: at least it is a start on the continuum…please be patient…

  96. chicagofinance says:

    Best skater name?

  97. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 says:
    December 10, 2009 at 10:16 am
    for the group….
    what does 3500 starwood points get you (as in starwood resorts)? how many nights (if any) at what type of place?

    ket: Not much, a free night at a hotel….I don’t think any resorts are level 1 or 2. It would be a Four Points and certain Sheratons, but mostly in lower cost areas. There are two Sheratons in NJ Newark and Edison where you would get a free night. As an aside the one in Edison is very nice, but in a weird location.

  98. Stu says:


    Benny Beans = Agbayani’s coffee? = no!

    Points are great for free lodging, but FF miles are almost useless these days except for international travel. Finding a reward ticket is like finding a benji in your jeans pocket.

    Our best FF ticket was used on our honeymoon. Gator and I flew round-trip first class to Lulu (I think it was direct one way) for 50,000 points each. That ain’t ever going to happen again….ever.

  99. chicagofinance says:


    Category 1 or 2 hotels

    use drop down in upper right hand corner for the 2’s….

  100. frank says:

    You are incorrect, NYC residents will see increase in their state bonus taxes, the increase applies to non-residents as well. So moving to CT or NJ while working in NYC will not solve your problem.

  101. chicagofinance says:

    Anon E. Moose says:
    December 10, 2009 at 10:39 am
    Why[40]: Venti Crappucino? Dave Barry wrote about that years ago.

    and I quote “…I want all of your crappacino!”

  102. cooper says:

    #48 Schump
    That’s all you have to say- i’m sitting and saving all the way

  103. A.West says:

    Chifi (85),
    I know Ken Landon from Ayn Rand philosophy conferences. Very smart, principled thinker, and obviously willing to publish unpopular ideas. Wish more in the I-banking industry were like him.

  104. lisoosh says:


    Unemployment claims jump unexpectedly

    And yet the stock market keeps on rising…

  105. still_looking says:

    lis, 108

    You took the words right off my keyboard…

    My next fav is the debt ceiling being raised by 1.8 T (as in TRILLION) dollars…


    It’s ridiculous.


  106. Qwerty says:


    Tampa, Florida (CNN) — Dianne McLeod recalls her husband, Stanley, getting so visibly upset when the debt collectors called that she had to take the phone away from him. She believes constant harassing phone calls and other tactics eventually killed him.

    “I think they were a major contributor to his death because of the stress and what I saw it doing to him,” she said.

    McLeod is suing her mortgage company, Green Tree Servicing, for the wrongful death of her husband. McLeod said she thinks he would be alive if not for the stress caused by Green Tree’s debt collectors. She said they sometimes called up to 10 times a day and also called the McLeods’ neighbors.

  107. PGC says:

    I think the biggest issue with coffee is that a lot of people can’t brew it correctly.

    I’ll take a good brew of Eight O Clock bean, over a bad brew of Kona.

    I love the new Fairway in Paramus. They have a great bean section. It’s is cheap and the roaster is always on.

  108. lisoosh says:

    still 109 -Nice turn of phrase.

    Each day I still get that gut-pinching feeling of impending doom.

  109. BC Bob says:

    Everything that dies, someday comes back. Shore, you’re up.

    “Fed up, some consumers are paying with cash instead of plastic”


  110. lisoosh says:

    I’ve never really enjoyed US coffee. Find it bitter and burnt. Prefer Italian – Segafredo in particular. Other than that, Israel (yes, really) has the best coffee. Starbucks went out of business there in a hurry, they just couldn’t compete with the locals.

  111. BC Bob says:

    SL/Lisoosh [109],[112]

    Ceilings get raised, floors are lowered. When the spread becomes too large, it all goes Ka-Boom.

  112. Victorian says:

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. unveiled compensation changes Thursday in the wake of pressure from some shareholders of the investment bank.

    Goldman said its management committee will be receiving bonuses in the form of “shares at risk” in 2009 instead of cash. The shares cannot be sold for five years.

    “Discretionary compensation represents the vast majority of senior management’s compensation and is directly tied to the firm’s overall performance,” Goldman said in a statement.

    Shareholders will also have an advisory vote on the compensation package at the firm’s annual meeting in 2010.

    The announcements come after the board approved changes to the firm’s 2009 compensation plan

  113. Outofstater says:

    #52 Famine and starvation: You may be right. And the Chinese gov’t won’t blink an eye because it’s happened so many times before. I knew a guy years ago who told me stories of the famine in the 1950’s. I don’t know which was more chilling, the stories or the fact that his tone was ho-hum, it was just one of those things. The return of the bark-eaters. God.

  114. 3b says:

    Ugly house of the week award.
    Utterly delusional pricing award too.


  115. lisoosh says:

    BC – I think of it as being stretched on a rack. Rather than Ka-Boom, more like a squishy splattery Pop.

  116. #118 – How do they not have a fountain in the front yard.

  117. kettle1 says:

    Pain 95,

    A new Bow, an M1A SOCOM with pink pistol grip and a nice scope with matching pink accents.?.?.?.

  118. still_looking says:


    Re Vornado’s failed deal that netted them $27 million dollars just. like. that.

    Can anyone find who the “undisclosed buyer” was who seemingly walked away from their $27 million dollar deposit just. like. that?

    VNO registered that as a Q4 profit on their books. I wonder what happens to the CRE market if this sort of deal starts happening over and over and over with, oh say — RWT and SPG and VNO (again) and HCP and others?


  119. meter says:

    Ayn Rand disciples must be publicly mocked.

    Or forced to read her 89-page soliloquies in detention ad infinitum.

  120. kettle1 says:

    outofstater 117

    dont forget boiling the remains of those that die of starvation in order to make a soup, to delay you own death in the same manner

  121. kettle1 says:


    Thanks, had the points sitting around but didnt know if they were good for anything.

    happy holidays.

  122. lisoosh says:

    #118 – 3b

    I can beat that, near me is a McMansion topped with a fake marble/limestone Italianate railing. To reiterate, the railing is on TOP of the house.

    Guess they saw that on some Pallazo somewhere and just had to have it.

  123. relo says:

    From above:

    “Geithner also said HE chose to extend the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to give the Obama administration more time to unwind its bank-rescue efforts.”

    Que the Chinese student laughtrack.

  124. Schumpeter says:

    And they say you can’t get an armed revolution going:

    “The number you won’t hear mentioned anywhere in the Mainstream Media: 327,729. That is how many people shifted to Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs in the last week alone, hitting an all time record high of 4.2 million! So as everyone is focused on the benign picture of initial claims in the last week which was “only” 474,000, the number of people rolling off continuing benefits has exploded and is now a stunning 592,579 only in the last two week. Look for this number to keep going into the stratosphere as the 6 month continuing claims cliff keeps getting hit by more and more people who are unemployed and keep looking not only for believable change, but actual jobs to go with it.”


  125. Schumpeter says:

    Somebody should inform the idiot Eraserhead that there is no more housing market for the gubmint to support.

  126. BC Bob says:

    “There is a significant likelihood we will not be repaid from our investments in AIG, GM and Chrysler,” Geithner said.

    From #127,

    Investments? You would think if you invested in a dog, he/she may be able to wag their tail. Just a bit?

  127. Painhrtz says:

    Ket she can’t pull the bow back but the pink M1A1 might be a good idea as long as it has the collapsible butt stock. The 5 mm is getting really hard to find with two wars going on though.

    Besides the nesting instint is strong with that one, we live in an urban hellhole ie Garfield, and she grew up in a nice neighborhood so she has no coping skills for it like I do. Plus I’m really tired of hearing her. The whining of a married woman may be the most awful sound known to man

  128. Schumpeter says:

    sl (123)-

    Awful prescient of VNO to now write down that property’s value to 83mm. I’d say if the buyer just forfeited 27mm rather than close title, 27mm would be a good level to write it down to.

    But hey…it’s just me talking.

  129. Schumpeter says:

    BC (132)-

    And a lot more satisfaction to be derived from h00kers and blow.

  130. Schumpeter says:

    pain (133)-

    Nothing wrong with your wife that a chainsaw and a steamer trunk can’t fix.

  131. chicagofinance says:

    I want to know whether anyone has visited this place and had an opinion.

    Seem like a good place for a machine gun attack by our local gourmet: Nidal “Strumpet” Hughes…

  132. still_looking says:

    Schump 134

    What I’m wondering is…. whose $27M was it?

    Could be a convenient way to prop CRE by a snowstorm of “failed deals” that conveniently make VNP, SPG, RWT, etc seemingly profitable.

    I like to see who the deposit-losing buyer was… just to be sure it’s not us, the taxpayer, via some sham corporation, who seems to keep ‘losing their deposit’ on their continued ‘failed deals’ with the every money hungry and desperate to stay afloat, CREs.


  133. relo says:

    138: Maiden Lane.

  134. still_looking says:

    relo 139

    that’s my worry


  135. Schumpeter says:

    chi (137)-

    I hate it already. What a pansy-ass name.

  136. Schumpeter says:

    And, they have kids’ cooking classes. Why? Kids should do nothing in a kitchen (other than cleaning up) until they’re at least 15 or 16.

  137. Schumpeter says:

    sl (140)-

    Just think of it as “direct injection” stimulus.

    Of course, we’re getting directly injected, too.

  138. relo says:

    130: Now why on earth would they need to keep extending the duration of benefits?

  139. Shore Guy says:


    With no thought, rushed at a traffic light, let’s try this:

    In 2005
    Trouble came
    To my home town
    The real estate boom
    Went kaboom
    And many lost their homes
    In my hometown

    gotta go, light changing

  140. Schumpeter says:

    Brother, won’t you buy my 30-year bond?

    Brother, can you spare a dime?

  141. Schumpeter says:

    Your own worst enemy has come to town.

  142. SS says:

    So this is why we’re paying so much money in taxes here in NJ. We have the top schools in the nation……..not


    4 out of the top 100 in the nation are from NJ – with the highest rank of 39th. Pretty sad for the highest taxed state in the union.

  143. chicagofinance says:

    Schumpeter says:
    December 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm
    And, they have kids’ cooking classes. Why? Kids should do nothing in a kitchen (other than cleaning up) until they’re at least 15 or 16.

    My 3yo helped my wife baked a gingerbread house yesterday. When they were done, it took him about 10 minutes to annihilate it.

  144. Schumpeter says:

    chi (149)-

    Automatic or semi?

    “When they were done, it took him about 10 minutes to annihilate it.”

  145. chicagofinance says:

    SS says:
    December 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm
    4 out of the top 100 in the nation are from NJ – with the highest rank of 39th. Pretty sad for the highest taxed state in the union.

    SS: High Tech is #11. This survey is too erratic, leading to the conclusion that it creates a false precision. As an example, any survey rating Bronx Sci 12 places ahead of Stuy is a pure crock. Stuy is superior across the board on all levels except possibly athletic facilities.

    …and we call know who would be #1 if they weren’t arbitrarily excluded….

  146. Shore Guy says:

    Well they blew up the state budget in Trenton last night

    And they took down the whole state too

    Out on the boardwalk people are scrounging for a morsel to eat

    And a safe place outside for the kids to sleep

  147. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [136] pol clot

    Lets not forget the concrete. Need a lot of that to make sure the trunk stays on the bottom.

  148. Shore Guy says:

    For Timmy, via Bruce:

    “I don’t believe a single thing you’re saying. I think its all som evil game your playing… I want protection.”

  149. SS says:

    chicagofinance says:
    December 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    SS: High Tech is #11. This survey is too erratic, leading to the conclusion that it creates a false precision. As an example, any survey rating Bronx Sci 12 places ahead of Stuy is a pure crock. Stuy is superior across the board on all levels except possibly athletic facilities.

    …and we call know who would be #1 if they weren’t arbitrarily excluded….

    Ok – missed that one. I guess any survey or analysis can be somewhat subjective (as opinions are like a$$holes in that everyone has one) – but I think the point to be taken here is that everyone [who I talk to] justifies our high taxes on the fact that NJ has top schools. I’m not a product of NJ school system so i can’t speak from experience, but in talking with parents and reading articles like this lead me to believe that they aren’t exactly what they’re cracked up to be.

    But I guess this is nothing new [especially to you folks] but I just felt it really drives the point home.

  150. BC Bob says:

    shore [152],

    Now, there’s trouble bustin in from all over the state

    And Chris Christie can’t get no relief

    Gonna be a rumble on the Turnpike and the State House

    And the unions/Hudson County hangin on by the skin of their teeth

  151. House Whine says:

    130- Also being kept very hush hush, compared to other economic details, is the fact that ALL the emergency extensions for unemployment will expire at the end of 2009 unless Congress reauthorizes them. That means that whatever extension you happen to be in the midst of as of end of 12/09 will be your last one, unless it’s reauthorized by COngress. So if you are only on your first initial 26 weeks and it expires by year’s end you get zippo extra while others can get up to 99 weeks. This is a very big deal and I don’t think that all that many of the unemployed are even aware of this yet.

  152. Barbara says:

    Is it possible for a Realtor to easily pull up comps from, say…1999? I know the info is gettable, but how difficult is it to go that far back or is it just a matter of plugging in the dates?

  153. Painhrtz says:

    Clot 137 problem is I’m broke, chainsaw is dead cause I can’t afford gas, and I had to sell my steamer trunk to fill up the car for open houses.

    I knew there was a country song in Clot’s heart.

    Nah I just like her to much, I could always just go completely deaf instead of just one ear but she knows sign language!

  154. kettle1 says:

    Nom 153

    [136] pol clot

    Lets not forget the concrete. Need a lot of that to make sure the trunk stays on the bottom.


  155. d2b says:

    158 barb-
    Might be easier to do a deed search online on your own.

  156. BC Bob says:

    No link;

    Yesterday afternoon, at the Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference in New York City, Capital One’s Chairman and CEO, Richard D. Fairbank, wowed the crowd with a dizzying collection of grim assessments and forecasts. In no particular order, Fairbank observed:

    1) “The storm is not over and we continue to face several significant risks.”
    2) “With respect to commercial real estate, I believe we cannot see line of sight to the peak yet… I kind of feel it’s going to get worse before it’s better.”
    3) “The housing market remains severely dislocated.”

    Fairbank placed this last observation in the context of an economy that is still wobbling on its feet and unable to generate employment growth…

    “Despite last week’s modest improvement [in the jobs report],” he observed, “the average time to find a new job remains very high, a sign that the job market is more frozen than in past recessions. Similar to labor markets, the housing sector remains severely dislocated, despite some signs of stabilizing home prices. There is a growing backlog of foreclosures. Inventories of homes in foreclosure or with severely delinquent mortgages are increasing. This is likely to put downward pressure on home prices as the foreclosure inventory hits the market. Continued weakness in housing puts pressure on the broader economy and makes any emerging recovery fragile. And some of the apparent improvements in the economy may not be sustainable. As government stimulus programs like Cash for Clunkers, first-time home buyer tax credits and other direct cash payments to consumers may have only fleeting effects.”

  157. Barbara says:

    161 db
    I dont want a specific house’s sale price, I need comparables from 2000-1999ish.

  158. Schumpeter says:

    Funny; you don’t hear “green shoots” talk anymore.

    Of course, this Spring, many of our neighbors may be eating the green shoots coming up in the park:

    “With food stamp use at record highs and climbing every month, a program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children.

    While the numbers have soared during the recession, the path was cleared in better times when the Bush administration led a campaign to erase the program’s stigma, calling food stamps “nutritional aid” instead of welfare, and made it easier to apply.

    There are 239 counties in the United States where at least a quarter of the population receives food stamps, according to an analysis of local data collected by The New York Times.

    The counties are as big as the Bronx and Philadelphia and as small as Owsley County in Kentucky, a patch of Appalachian distress where half of the 4,600 residents receive food stamps.

    In more than 750 counties, the program helps feed one in three blacks. In more than 800 counties, it helps feed one in three children. In the Mississippi River cities of St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans, half of the children or more receive food stamps. Even in Peoria, Ill. — Everytown, U.S.A. — nearly 40 percent of children receive aid.”


  159. Schumpeter says:

    The time bomb is ticking. When it goes off, last Fall will seem like the good old days.

  160. prtraders2000 says:

    OT – Where’s the best place to advertise my used commuter car? I’m tired of listing on CL and seeing 100 dealer ads post ahead of me. Besides, it’s not working (the ad that is, the car runs fine). It’s $3,500 car, so I’m not looking to run an ad in the NY Times.

  161. #166 – CL has kind of become the default choice. A lot of local supermarkets still have community bulletin boards by the registers, you could post a flyer there.

  162. Schumpeter says:

    Bugger that long bond, Ben:

    “Just in case there is anyone still doubting what an impact the Fed’s intervention in the bond market has had courtesy of the first (soon to be followed by second) QE program, one needs look no further than the 2s30s curve, which, at 372 bps is now the widest it has been in thirty years. However, regardless, of how one interprets Bernanke’s indirect market manipulation, one thing is sure – investors are walking, no running, for the hills when it comes to the long-end of the curve. We wish Geithner all the best in his attempt to issue hundreds of billions of debt with a tenor greater than 10 years.”


  163. Stu says:

    K-A-R-S cars for kids!

  164. lisoosh says:

    #169 – that funds some wacky Chabad “educational” stuff.

    I’ll second Tosh – I sold a clunker via a supermarket board. Stop and Shop and Shop Rite have them as does Wawa.

    I’ve seen people advertise their houses on those things.

  165. safeashouses says:

    #166 prtraders

    If you have an Asian supermarket in your area check that out too.

  166. prtraders2000 says:

    Thanks! Apparently no one wants a 92hp stick shift econo box.

  167. #172 – prttraders2000 – I don’t know if you’re close but both Brookdale Community College or Monnmouth College would probably be ideal to flyer.

  168. Barbara says:

    stick is pure misery in the NY Metro

  169. flank says:

    what recession?

    buy now or I am a dork forever

  170. Al Gore says:

    Pay attention:A 1991 policy paper prepared for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)

    “This is the word- Agenda 21: the UN strategy for redistributing the wealth accumulated by the “North” in order to create a completely “balanced” world society- under auspices of the United Nations of course and the private central banks controlling it. This can only come about by destroying the middle-class. A sudden redistribution and industrialization would not do- for the middle-class would undoubtedly rise in defiance against it. Therefore, Sachs argues for an incremental and carefully planned dissolution of the middle-class phase by phase:”

    “The governments of Europe, the United States, and Japan are unlikely to negotiate a social-democratic pattern of globalization – unless their hands are forced by a popular movement or a catastrophe, such as another Great Depression or ecological disaster”

    Time is short. Get prepared.

  171. Essex says:

    I dig the whole “thanks for the nobel…but we still like our wars”….Heck Yeah. Screw the pansies.

  172. Barbara says:

    Can we get some video already of the smoke filled room? Its 2009, surely one the suits has a nifty camera for easy posting.

  173. chicagofinance says:

    Stu says:
    December 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm
    K-A-R-S cars for Jewish kids in Lakewood!

  174. make money says:

    It looks like money well spent right about now.

    A new Rasmussen poll has anti-tax candidate Peter Schiff AHEAD of Chris Dodd. This is an early Christmas gift for the Peter Schiff campaign. Before we could email our campaign pollster for his analysis, he had already emailed us, “Rasmussen Poll: EXCELLENT NUMBERS!” “These numbers are striking considering the campaign is still in our initial stages, and we are still beating Dodd,” he explained.

  175. Essex says:

    If you can’t beat Dodd after this last go-round…..

  176. Shore Guy says:

    Speaking of wine (surely someone was): I need to find two Cabs as a gift for a business associate who KNOWS wine and loves cabs. Any suggestions?

    I don’t want to spend $200 a bottle but the person threw lots of business this way this year and I want to give them a nice thank you gift.

  177. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    2010 is approaching, so I wanted to reiterate this tip for those of you who find yourself unemployed, but with sums in IRAs.

    Provided you can handle temptation, if you are unemployed, it will be the ideal time to roll them over to Roths. Your tax rate will be as low as it will ever get, there’s no witholding (be safe—arrange direct rollover), and you will have successfully arbitraged your old tax rate from when you saved that money (especially pre-Bush tax cuts), to the rate in 2010. Best part, absent a tax grab in the future, that money can now grow tax free.

    Unemployment sucks, and I think I may just be there come 2010, but that is the one last tax break W left for us.

  178. chicagofinance says:

    shore: just call these guys…they really do a good job and are strong at various price points….

  179. chicagofinance says:

    same Seavey at $80 free shipping that costs $105 direct from vinter…


  180. chicagofinance says:

    chicagofinance says:
    December 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm
    same Seavey at $80 free shipping that costs $105 direct from vinter…

    did you read the review? Tastes like “scorched earth” …strumpet…sounds like something for you….

  181. Schumpeter says:

    chi (189)-

    I brokered Bill Seavey’s first two vintages, back in the day. Good wine!

    If you want a sleeper that isn’t terribly expensive (probably well under $50), look for Tulocay Cabs. Every once in a while, you can find older vintages. They age very, very well…something not true of all CA cabs.

    If you can’t find Tulocay in NJ, try Ardsley Wine & Spirits in NYC.

  182. AlexNYC88 says:

    Hi Everyone.
    Can anyone give more info for NJMLS 2950744
    Thank you!

  183. Kim says:

    Apologies if this has been posted already. But this article really made me sick. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126040517376983621.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

    American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent

  184. Essex says:

    I like this comment:

    “…Sorry, but if there was any further evidence required to prove Geithner is nothing but a bankrupt mouthpiece for the Obama admiistration, this is it.

    With Obama continuing to use the TARP as his personal piggy bank for pet projects, rather than for any emergency reconstruction of the economy, all the TARP has become is a way to place both legislative and executive powers in the hands of one man. He doesn’t need to come to Congress to ask for money, because he has an obscene amount of “unspent” (read: unprinted) money at his disposal.

    For those of you on the left who don’t get it, let’s put it this way: With that TARP money, Obama could not only declare war, but he could fully fund it without having to get an OK from Congress. Do you really want all that power in the hands of one person? Especially when that one person is, with at least 50% probability, going to be a Republican in two years?

    For me, this isn’t about Republican vs. Democrat. It’s about separation of powers, and how Congress has abdicated their responsibilities…”

  185. skep-tic says:

    American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent

    I don’t blame these people on an individual level. They are making the smart move in a game for which they did not create the rules.

    However, on a macro level, it should not be the taxpayers’ responsibility to backstop speculation of this sort for the long term. I think the gov’t appropriately stepped in to prevent a banking crisis last fall, but they blew their responsibility in the aftermath to clean up the system.

  186. Shore Guy says:


    Sad news about Lenny Sullivan’s death:


  187. Andy says:

    Luxury may have been given a bad name in this recession, but,


  188. yikes says:

    cooper says:
    December 10, 2009 at 8:12 am

    #20-Thx Shore-
    i was thinking the same but so many conflicting messages out there I lose my way- Maybe soon I’ll buy something outright and F the mortgage all together!

    #7 Schump im with you, $100 bucks to the 1st guy who slaps Yun in the chops, that self-serving douche.

    toss in a benjamin from me if this is caught on video (seriously)

  189. Al Gore says:

    Here are my top 3 places in the US (East Coast) that I dont want to be when it crashes down and the depression starts.

    1. North Philadelphia
    2. Anywhere in NYC
    3. Camden

    I can imagine a scenario like this. Wake up one morning and a bank holiday has been declared, martial law enacted as riots break out in urban areas and around banks. Stock market drops 2000 points and riots end up in rolling blackouts through some urban areas.

  190. Al Gore says:

    “Bayer was supposed to be careful,” attorney Don Downing told the jury of four men and five women during his opening statement yesterday. “Bayer was not careful and that rice did escape into our commercial rice supplies.”

    The farmers, who grow rice in southeastern Missouri, claim the export market for their crops was curtailed when the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2006 announced that trace amounts of the genetically modified rice, designed by Bayer to be herbicide resistant, were found in U.S. long-grain stocks.

    Bayer and Louisiana State University had been testing the rice, which hadn’t been approved for human consumption, for resistance to the company’s Liberty herbicide.”


    UN Agenda 21 is about sustainable development. In other words depopulation.

  191. Shore Guy says:

    “Wake up one morning and a bank holiday has been declared, martial law enacted as riots break out in urban areas and around banks. Stock market drops 2000 points and riots end up in rolling blackouts through some urban areas”

    That was a Clash song, no?

  192. BC Bob says:

    Shore ]195],

    Yeah, saw that. Sad, indeed.

  193. Barbara says:

    wow Al Gore, there goes your Water World plans.

  194. Shore Guy says:


    At one level Bruce et. al must be pissed at him. This does not sound like a first timer’s drug and the idea that he may have been traveling across national borders with such material, egads. The complications such a thing can cause.

  195. Shore Guy says:


    The perfect Springsteen song title for the BHO Administration: Held up Without a Gun.

  196. Al Gore says:


    I have an article for you.
    The Liberal Mind – The Psychological Causes of Political Madness

    By Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., M.D.

    For more than 40 years, Rossiter has diagnosed and treated over 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases, both state and federal, as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist retained by numerous public offices, courts and private attorneys. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

    Rossiter explains with great clarity why the kind of liberalism being displayed by Barack Obama can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

    “Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,” says Rossiter. “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”

    “A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do,” he says. “A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which overregulates and overtaxes the nation’s citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do.”

    Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

    creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
    satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
    augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
    rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
    “The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” he says. “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”

  197. sas says:

    twas me with the prediction:

    NHL gone within the next few years.
    next up, NBA.


  198. sas says:

    recession xmas.

    don’t buy made in China. for Pete’s sake, don’t buy anything in China.

    Buy USA, or nothing at all. Bake’em a cake, or do cookie exchange.


  199. sas says:

    speaking of cookie exchange:

    wife dragged me to one over the weekend. It wasn’t that bad, kind of fun.

    Had some Pecan cookies, very good.


  200. PGC says:

    #183 Nom

    Rolling to Roth in 2010.

    Are you saying that if you are rolling a 401k to a Roth IRA you will be exempt from writing the gvmt a check for the tax you should have paid on the contributions. If you are rolling from a 401k to a traditional IRA you are safe, but I think with a Roth, you are going to have to write a check.

    If you are unemployed and don’t have the cash to pay the tax, the damage you are going to do to your finances will most likely outstrip any tax break.

  201. BC Bob says:

    “However, on a macro level, it should not be the taxpayers’ responsibility to backstop speculation of this sort for the long term. I think the gov’t appropriately stepped in to prevent a banking crisis last fall, but they blew their responsibility in the aftermath to clean up the system.”


    If you backstop idiots that had levered up 35-1, including foreign banks, and and turned “investment” banks into casinos why not backstop the innocent that were sucked into their game? This is/was the problem with moral hazard. Where does it stop?

    The banksters should have never been bailed out. We have allocated over 12T into a sinking hole. What has changed? Nothing has been bailed out. The big have become bigger and the toxic assets still decorate their books. In the meantime, consumer loans, cmbs, rmbs and cdo’s are still getting hit. Do we continue to fund this cesspool?

    The dead should have been put into receivership, stock and bond holders crushed, the crap buried and performing divisions spun off. In this scenario, the trillions in fiscal policy would then have been filtered thru the economy as opposed to speculating in stocks, commodities and currencies.

    Guess what? The system would not have imploded. That was a sham that Congress and the public bought. By backstopping the CP market, MM guarantees, and increasing FDIC insurance, the system was fine. At the same time, mark to market was suspended. However, why not raid the vault and pay all contra parties [AIG].100/dollar.

    Sorry, they opened the can of worms. Unfortunately, when you sleep with dogs you tend to catch fleas.

    Simple question. How much did foreign CB’s contribute to the AIG charade? After all, many European banks were also paid .100/dollar.

  202. jamil says:

    210 PGC: You can’t avoid tax and it is not possible to directly convert 401k to ROTH (must go through Traditional).

    I think Comrade’s point was that your tax rate is low if unemployed so the tax hit is much lower when converting Traditional IRA to ROTH in 2010 (compared to the scenario where you are employed and enjoying our super high tax rates).

  203. BC Bob says:

    Shore [205],

    Blinded by the Light
    Trouble in Paradise
    Brilliant Disguise
    Fade Away
    This Hard Land
    Counting on a Miracle
    Land of Hope and Dreams
    Dead Man Walking
    If I Shall Fall Behind

    Not necessarily in that order.

  204. BC Bob says:


    Brain cramp, how could I forget?

    Long Walk Home

  205. PGC says:

    #212 Jamil

    I agree and was clarifying that the money must go through the traditional.

    My point is that if your are 50+ and have been laid off, you could have 200K built up in contributions. If you can’t pay the tax for the conversion up front from cash on hand, you will be creating a sh1tst0rm in your finances as the tax obligation is very difficult to shake off.

    If you re 50+, there is a good chance you are not getting rehired in your field in the current marketplace (and salary).

  206. safeashouses says:

    #215 PGC

    If you re 50+, there is a good chance you are not getting rehired in your field in the current marketplace (and salary).

    Or 40+, 30+, 20+, etc.

  207. sas says:

    “If you re 50+”

    how about if your 65+

    I will be working till I circle the drain. I’ve been done married 5 times. Talk about a headache.

    I need to dig out my yack tracks.

  208. jamil says:

    215 PGC:

    In 2010, you can also defer the taxable income (result of conversion) between 2010 and 2011. This might be handy for those 50+ laid-off people.

    Also, if you have both Traditional IRA and 401k, there may be nasty surprises when converting to ROTH as IRS considers it as proportional conversion (“pro-rata rule”) even if you think you are converting only one of them.

  209. PGC says:

    #206 AlGore,

    Ok this is why I dismiss this guy. This is a certified Forensic Psychologist, but there is zero objectivity in anything I have seen that he has written. To take a board brush and paint all liberals as crazy, just puts himself up as another political hack with an agenda.

    “The modern liberal mind, its distorted perceptions and its destructive agenda are the product of disturbed personalities.”

    Ok, so what is the distinction between a “modern Liberal” and a “not modern Liberal” where was the line drawn.

    Do the modern liberal concerns of environment, globalization and big business, supercede the old liberal values of war, capital punishment discrimination gun control, civil rights, and government looking out for the minorities and the downtrodden of our society.

  210. PGC says:

    #216 safe

    Are you working out the Morining Line?

  211. PGC says:

    #218 Jamil

    2010/2011 While it may help it is just delaying the inevitable, you can’t avoid the tax.

    One thing that is missed in all this rollover discussion is that it is a one way street, you can roll into a Roth, but you can’t roll back to a traditional. I would say you need to be 100% certain it is the right decision for you and that yo realise the implications of your actions.

  212. PGC says:

    Watching the Food network at the moment reminds me that if TSHTF, I will be hitting the big box stores for what they have left in Salt, and White Vinegar for preserving and then off to the Chinese and Japanese supermarkets for anything dried left on the shelves.

  213. chicagofinance says:

    PGC: two comments although I want Nom as the final voice…(1)some qualified savings plans allow a direct roll to a Roth; (2) a Roth cannot be rolled to a traditional IRA, but you can “undo” the election….I can look up the details, but certainly within the same tax year

    221.PGC says:
    December 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm
    One thing that is missed in all this rollover discussion is that it is a one way street, you can roll into a Roth, but you can’t roll back to a traditional. I would say you need to be 100% certain it is the right decision for you and that yo realise the implications of your actions.

  214. chicagofinance says:

    shore: Depeche Mode’s song about being a heroine addict…..whatever I’ve done; I’ve been staring down the barrel of a gun

    204.Shore Guy says:
    December 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm
    BC, At one level Bruce et. al must be pissed at him. This does not sound like a first timer’s drug and the idea that he may have been traveling across national borders with such material, egads. The complications such a thing can cause.

  215. cobbler says:

    For the rollover – is the marginal tax rate assessed based on normal AGI, or AGI + the rollover amount?

  216. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on.You have done a marvellous job!

  217. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  218. Interesting blog, I’m so happy I stumbled here through my friend’s blog. Going to have to add this one to the morning routine.

  219. Jayne Lisman says:

    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.

  220. Antony Clish says:

    It appears that you have placed a lot of effort into your article and I require more of these on the net these days. I sincerely got a kick out of your post. I don’t really have much to say in response, I only wanted to comment to reply wonderful work.

  221. Jame Sofia says:

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  222. Hyman Nemes says:

    I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks – you cleared up some things for me!

Comments are closed.