The New American Dream

From the WSJ:

American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent

Schoolteacher Shana Richey misses the playroom she decorated with Glamour Girl decals for her daughters. Fireman Jay Fernandez misses the custom putting green he installed in his backyard.

But ever since they quit paying their mortgages and walked away from their homes, they’ve discovered that giving up on the American dream has its benefits.

Both now live on the 3100 block of Club Rancho Drive in Palmdale, where a terrible housing market lets them rent luxurious homes — one with a pool for the kids, the other with a golf-course view — for a fraction of their former monthly payments.

“It’s just a better life. It really is,” says Ms. Richey. Before defaulting on her mortgage, she owed about $230,000 more than the home was worth.

People’s increasing willingness to abandon their own piece of America illustrates a paradoxical change wrought by the housing bust: Even as it tarnishes the near-sacred image of home ownership, it might be clearing the way for an economic recovery.

Thanks to a rare confluence of factors — mortgages that far exceed home values and bargain-basement rents — a growing number of families are concluding that the new American dream home is a rental.

Some are leaving behind their homes and mortgages right away, while others are simply halting payments until the bank kicks them out. That’s freeing up cash to use in other ways.

The U.S home-ownership rate has charted its biggest decline in more than two decades, falling to 67.6% as of September from a peak of 69.2% in 2004. And more renters are on the way: Credit firm Experian and consulting firm Oliver Wyman forecast that “strategic defaults” by homeowners who can afford to pay are likely to exceed one million in 2009, more than four times 2007’s level.

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

206 Responses to The New American Dream

  1. safeashouses says:


  2. Shore Guy says:


    The electorate was Blinded by the Light, while BHO, it seems is Working on a Dream. His next Treasury Secretary will be Peter something or another, and will soon be known as Outlaw Pete.

    In a world with justice, Timmy G will findhimself Working on the Highway or in a Factory that is Open All Night, I just hope it is not In my Hometown — perhaps in Atlantic City.

    Anyway, it is too late to keep going. Besides, I need to take my Angel, Rosalita, to My City of Ruins and ride the Tunnel of Love where maybe I can feel a little Magic.

  3. Schumpeter says:

    Love the MD’s assessment of liberalism as a mental disorder in the previous thread.

    Absolutely correct. Of course, a lot of the same things can be said of the Hannity set, too.

  4. freedy says:

    well i’m glad i defaulted and sold the dump. came out ok,, dinged the credit
    but glad to be a renter . first time in a long time.

    will never own in NJ, unless…

  5. Shore Guy says:

    I understand individuals’ decisions to sidestep a crushing debt burden. The stress of running on the debt treadmill is a killer, literally.

    That said, the government should not do anything to encourage such behavior. Those who did right should not be slapped in the face and then handed the check. The people who decide to walk away or receive loan modifications should bear all of the consequences including taxes on imputed income. Oh, and government should stop using the “victim” language, most people are not victims of any financial fraud, although they may have been victims of either greed or stupidity. If poor economic decisions do not hurt, where is the disincentive to repeat them?

  6. cooper says:

    Tosh- F1 news

    Virgin Racing to launch next week

  7. BC Bob says:


    We need a holiday show.

  8. Shore Guy says:


    You are not kidding, we do. Unfortunately, it looks like coal in our stocking this year.

  9. BC Bob says:

    Another reformist. We can take solace in the fact that we were not the only country sold on hope and change;

    “PM’s stock purchases in spotlight / Hatoyama’s claimed acquisition dates contradict real dates by up to 4 yrs”

  10. Schumpeter says:

    BC (11)-

    We are all dupes, nonetheless.

  11. Al Gore says:

    “A message from Congressman Scott Garrett,

    We Must Stop the Bailout Bill in Congress this Week

    Washington, Dec 9 –

    While millions of Americans are unemployed, Congress continues to pass job-killing legislation that will further cripple the economy. This week, the House of Representatives is considering legislation that creates a permanent bailout authority for the government. This permanent bailout authority results in a government takeover of big business, and destroys small business. The end result is a bigger government in need of higher taxes to fund its growth, and a weaker economy with fewer jobs.

    This bill also greatly expands the powers of the Federal Reserve and establishes a Fed-controlled “government watch list” on which businesses may be placed for any reason. Once on this list, the government can fire a business’s CEO, set wages for ALL employees, force the liquidation of assets and mandate general business practices for the company. Small business owners that have worked hard to build their businesses will soon find the government as their unwelcome, not-so-silent partner.

    House Republicans are demanding an end to all bailouts, and have proposed a taxpayer protection bill that helps creates jobs and preserves free market principles while providing significant reform to our antiquated banking regulations. The Democrats have NO plan to support the American taxpayer.

    I will be voting against this bailout bill on Friday. Members of Congress need to hear from the American people that the public is tired of bailouts. I am confident that with a public outcry of opposition, we can put an end to the bailout mentality that has gripped our government, bankrupted American taxpayers and changed the face of our financial sector.”

  12. BC Bob says:

    Schump [12],

    Yep. The biggest heist in our history, yet 99% don’t have a clue. PT Barnum is spinning right now.

  13. Painhrtz says:

    At least you can burn coal for warmth

  14. Schumpeter says:

    What do we do once we’ve crashed the Treasury market?

  15. Schumpeter says:

    2-30 spread doubled, YOY.

    Nothing to see here; move along.

  16. BC Bob says:

    Schump [17],

    If the fed gave Exxon free oil do you think they may record record profits?

  17. frank says:

    Retail sales up by 1.3% Where’s the recession? where’s the 20% unemployment? Where’s the housing bust? Good times continue, people keep on shopping.

  18. Schumpeter says:

    frank (19)-

    Call Becky at CNBC and have her do a comp with 2007.


  19. Schumpeter says:

    Liesman trying to lie away continuing UE claim numbers & Santelli won’t let him.

  20. frank says:

    Hoboken market on fire this week. 12 UC.
    Recession?? Just look at the prices, $500/sqr ft.
    Housing boom continues.

  21. Schumpeter says:

    BC (18)-

    They could even spill some of it in the ocean & still make money.

  22. BC Bob says:

    Chain store sales down 3.5% in Nov, Thanksgiving spending down 9%, yet Retail Sales up 1.3%? Sounds like Resale Tales, spiced with inflation.

  23. #6 – cooper – Thanks, I hadn’t seen that yet. I was surprised when Virgin didn’t acquire Brawn and Brawn went to Mercedes. It’s been one very strange off season.

  24. frank says:

    Her Idiot, Stick to investing in SRS and tell us how you make out.

  25. BC Bob says:

    Sales down 2.1%, yoy, and Sep to Oct 2009 revised down 20%.


    Have enough hot dogs for the day?

  26. Al Gore says:

    Ah Yes. The great nation of Indonesia has created a bronze statue of “Boy Obama”

    Politburo: Comrades! Today you will be working on field 8

    Americans: But Sir! We are hungry! When are you going to give us the food you promised?

    Politburo: BANG! Anymore questions?

  27. Veto That says:

    JPMorgan Sells $500 Million of Mortgage-Backed Bonds

    Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. sold $500 million in securities backed by commercial mortgages without aid from a Federal Reserve program to jumpstart lending, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

  28. Retail sales up by 1.3%

    Looks like Oct was revised down to 1.1% from %1.4. Also, import prices gained %1.7 and gasoline sales up 6%.
    I believe we’ve seen this pattern before.

    Should bee interesting to see how the actual sales break out in retail. That is, if we’re going to see continued strength in discount retailers or if any of the upscale chains have managed to staunch the bleeding.

  29. All Hype says:

    Retail Sales – Another bogus number from the gubbmint.

    I went to the East Brunsick Best Buy on Sunday at 1 pm to buy my mom a TV. Not only could I park right in front of the store but there must have been 5+ open parking spots around where I parked. The store was literally empty and the sales people were just hanging around.

  30. Safeashouses says:

    #27 bc

    I relish frank’s posts. I get to ketchup on my mall and Hoboken reports.

  31. 3b says:

    #19 frank: Time and time again I tell you, to please read the entire articles before posting your silliness. You need to get past the first 1 or 2 cheerleading sentences.

    If you did in this instance, you would have noted that excluding auto and gas sales, retail sales rose 0.6%.

    Also you would have noted the numbers are not, repeat not adjusted for inflation, you know like higher gasoline or food prices?

    However your understanding of retail sales, as in crowds flocking to the malls of North Jersey, buying clothes, furniture, and all the rest, well those numbers were dismal.

    And Christmas is in 2 weeks.

  32. ftalphaville has the deets on the HAMP program. Some highlights;

    – 31k permanent mods have been made (1 million were offered mods). That’s a conversion rate of 3.1%. Have to wonder how many of them will end up re-defualting (hopefully not many).

  33. Veto That says:

    22 “Hoboken market on fire this week. 12 UC.
    Recession?? Housing boom continues.”

    135 Garden Street, Hoboken
    MLS 90010157
    Sold Aug 2005 – $505,000
    List Price Today – $404,997

    OUCH! More than a $100K loss in 4 years – and thats just the listing price.
    When you say Hoboken is on fire, you are not kidding. The sellers prob had to claim bankruptcy but hey, where is the recession?

  34. jamil says:

    Luckily, it’s not like the Federal Government couldn’t afford these raises. Just couple of days ago Congress boosted their salary increases (somehow missing from the article).

    “For feds, more get 6-figure salaries
    Average pay $30,000 over private sector

    The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.

    Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

    Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.”

  35. Hoboken market on fire this week. 12 UC.

    It’s always UC, never closed sales.

  36. Veto That says:

    Frank here is another disaster you listed in those recent hoboken comps:

    65 10th Street, Hoboken – unit 1
    MLS 90007453
    Sold May 2005 – $641,500
    Sold May 2007 – $650,000
    List Price Today – $578,000

    Ouch, hoboken is getting slammed.

  37. Shore Guy says:


    And ours will be high sulpher, requiring us to purchase sulpher credits and then soon we will need to purchase carbon credits.

    It is time to start pressing coal into diamonds to free up carbon credits.

  38. Veto That says:

    Frank and Grim, thanks for the comp killers!
    I always enjoy those.

  39. BC Bob says:

    veto [39],

    Wouldn’t you love to be on the other side of his trades.

  40. frank says:

    Based on this blog and the rental market the price on 10th Street, Hoboken should be down to $200K. Asking $578k??? Wow, boom continues.

  41. scribe says:

    In other news of the world, my aunt, who is 97 1/2, says there’s a buyer for her house, and her son is now handling the paperwork.

    They were hung up for a while because they had to get an old, de-commissioned underground oil tank tested and certified. And, they had to get a tree cut down.

    No idea of the selling price, but the asking price was about $340,000 – reasonable for the house and the area.

  42. #43 – Based on your statements and the probable debt load of the owners asking should be $700k, oh teh noes!!.

  43. 3b says:

    How is a current lower ASKING price, than the last sales price a boom??

    Your brain is in a recession.

  44. BC Bob says:

    “Your brain is in a recession.”


    Wrong. Depression.

  45. #46 – 3b – How is a current lower ASKING price, than the last sales price a boom??

    Good point. Theoretically these people could have torched the house for the insurance money, they didn’t therefore there is no recession!

  46. Veto That says:

    “Based on this blog 10th Street Hoboken should be down to $200K.”

    Frank, I dont agree with this. I think you will find that the consensus here reflects CS metro NY, down roughly 15-25% from peak on avg.

    On 10th st for example, that translates to $100K loss in four short years. I dont know what kind of work you do, but for most people $100K after tax is a hell of a lot of dough and could take years of hard work and sacrifice to save up. Any middle/upper middle class person/family taking a $100K hit to their balance sheet could be wounded or devastated for a decade.

    Judging from the comps that you provided the recession/housing crash is hitting people hard in Hoboken and its no different than anywhere else in the state.

  47. Schumpeter says:

    Lighten up, guys. Just try to see Frank as living embodiment of a gubmint and financial industry that’s so stupid and reckless that they might actually blast us all the way back to the 16th century.

  48. Schumpeter says:

    We are no better than the morons for allowing the morons to take control.

  49. leftwing says:

    Anyone informed on the COAH developers fees being imposed by towns?

    Does the 1.5% residential development fee include single family homes? Even if performed by the homeowner?

  50. make money says:

    Veto 49,

    Don’t waste your time talking rational with an Idiot.

  51. frank says:

    Just look at the rent vs. own in Hoboken, why would you pay $500K+ for this place when you can rent this place for $2500/month. It’s crazy. Anyone stupid enough to overpay this much deserves to loose all the money they have. So my point is that as long as people are willing to grossly overpay for homes, the market is on fire.

  52. frank says:

    Stick to SRS investments and leave RE investments to pros.

  53. bi says:

    any gurus here please explain why gold went down everydaysince last friday. i thought gold can only go up. why?

  54. Veto That says:

    Whoever claimed we were in the mideast for oil is a conpiracy theorist nut job and should have their head examined.

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell on Friday won the rights to develop one of the world’s largest remaining untapped oilfields as Iraq staged its second auction of oil contracts since the 2003 U.S. invasion.

    French oil major Total, partnered with China’s CNPC, also bid and was disappointed at losing a field it sought to develop under ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

    The deals have the potential to lift Iraqi oil output to levels which would rival that of top oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, and could rattle the geopolitical power balance in the Middle East.

  55. BC Bob says:

    Other idiot [56],

    Not a guru but I’ll take a stab.

    First of all, get your facts straight. It closed $5 higher yesterday. Who ever stated that gold only goes up? YOY, yes higher for the last 8 years, 2009 will be the 9th straight higher close. Day to day, we’ll leave that for idiots like you.

  56. BC Bob says:

    One other thought ace. Suppose one is long gold versus the Euro?

  57. bi says:

    it’s almost the end of the year. it would be no-idiotic to show how good your return is before calling everyone idiot.

  58. BC Bob says:

    No Idiotic [60],

    “it would be no-idiotic to show how good your return is before calling everyone idiot.”

    The return is in. Go to the archives. Now scaling back in for 2010.

  59. Veto That says:

    “Just look at the rent vs. own in Hoboken, why would you pay $500K+ for this place when you can rent this place for $2500/month. It’s crazy. Anyone stupid enough to overpay this much deserves to loose all the money they have.”

    Frank, agreed, there is still a ton of downside price risk according to historical price/rent ratios. thats a solid point and another reason why prices will continue to adjust downward in hoboken and other towns.

    And you are also right to say that buyers are stupid for still overpaying those crazy prices in Hoboken – even though they have come down significantly – glad to see that your dillusional optimism routine is sarcastic. I always hoped that was the case but you just never know what kind of crazies are lurking in these blogs.

  60. BC Bob says:

    “it looks like a bubble burst”

    Looks like major support between 107-102.

  61. Veto That says:

    “bi says: it looks like a bubble burst”

    BC, i guess the bubble bursted in 2008 too (link below). Its a good thing you were buying on the dips.;range=my;indicator=volume;charttype=candlestick;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined

  62. BC Bob says:

    Veto [65],

    Major bubble in 2006/2008 and a mini bubble in 2009, now another bubble. Yet, the market continues to make higher highs/higher lows.

    Only imbeciles call tops on 10 year bull markets. OOPS, I forgot.

  63. Veto That says:

    “please explain why gold went down everydaysince last friday.”

    bi, this is probably because it surged upwards so aggressively over the last number of years/months, that its taking a small breather before it commences its next upward movement to 2,000.

  64. relo says:

    57: Maybe the WMD are in that same field?

  65. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [32] veto,

    Yes, it is going to be a big deal, though not for everyone.

    I believe I was trumpeting this for the past year, including a post yesterday.

    To their credit, others here have warned (as do the articles) that this is not necessarily a good deal for everyone. In fact, few will be able to take full advantage of this, and it is a play on tax arbitrage that may not pay off. I, for one, will not be rolling over much at all since I pay taxes at a high marginal rate. However, if I lose my job in 2010 (or sooner—things are not that good here), then I will roll over everything I can because it will be at a low rate, and taxes are never going down.

    In fact, the folks who are the best candidates for taking advantage of this are high earners who are out of work now or in 2010, and expect to return to high salaries someday. If they can do so, it makes sense to make the rollovers, pay the taxes, and bank. BUT, they should consult their advisors on how that might affect benefits, and if they are insolvent, whether a direct rollover will suffice to keep $$$ out of their (and their creditors) hands.

  66. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Tax News of the Day:

    Look for more of this with respect to all kinds of mail order, now that legislation will essentially moot the Jenkins Act.

    “Connecticut Mails Tax Bills to Residents Who
    Purchased Unstamped Cigarettes Via Internet

    BOSTON—The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services said Dec. 10 it mailed nearly 1,000 bills this week to Connecticut residents who owe state taxes for unstamped cigarettes purchased over the internet.

    The agency said the initiative is part of its efforts to ensure taxpayer compliance with state cigarette and use tax laws. The bills mailed to 928 individuals detail the tax and interest owed for online cigarette purchases made between 2007 and 2008. Consumers who purchase untaxed cigarettes are required to file Form AU-75, Tax Return for Persons in Possession of Unstamped Cigarettes, to pay both the cigarette and use taxes to the state. Those who do not file and pay these taxes will receive a tax bill related to the purchase, the agency explained.

    DRS said it was able to send the bills as a result of information it received from businesses that sold Connecticut residents untaxed cigarettes over the internet. Under the federal Jenkins Act, out-of-state retailers are required to give state tax departments detailed information about purchases of cigarettes delivered to their state. Online and mail order retailers must provide the tax departments with the names, addresses, brands, and quantity of cigarettes shipped into each state. Such information allows states to make certain the appropriate taxes are paid on the purchases.”

  67. Veto That says:

    “57: Maybe the WMD are in that same field?”

    Relo – lol. they probably stumbled upon the oil fields in their search for UBL.

  68. make money says:


    “In summation, I don’t know who you’re racing but I’m already at the finish line with the flag waiving.”

  69. d2b says:

    My friends in retail say that sales have been absolutely awful.

  70. make money says:

    I will keep buying Shiny as long as Bi is bearish.

  71. 3b says:

    #74 I am heraring the same thing.

  72. #74 – d2b – CalculatedRisk has a story about December retail sales being slow so far.
    On a purely anecdotal level; I have been absolutely bombarded with various sales/extended sales/continuing sales.

  73. Jpasteurized says:

    Re: 31 Further retail observations near Lincoln Center yesterday at 4:45 pm: At the Apple Store, all the sample computer consoles were filled on both floors, but the four registers saw maybe three customers in the ten minutes I was there. Barnes and Noble had a dozen cashiers, which may or may not have explained why there was no line to pay (help is cheap, eh?). Outside Best Buy at 63rd St., a small line of people waited to get in the store behind velvet ropes, but the inside of the store looked half empty…talk about “All Hype”…

  74. Stu says:

    WSJ on retail sales surprise:

    Car purchases and rising gasoline prices played a part in the surprisingly strong November increase. Yet most other merchants had good gains, too.

    Spending by consumers during the traditionally busy shopping day after Thanksgiving was a little higher this year than last. Customers made a beeline for discounts; crowds at high-end stores were observed to be thinner. Online sales were strong, according to reports.

  75. scribe says:


    You said:

    Look for more of this with respect to all kinds of mail order, now that legislation will essentially moot the Jenkins Act.

    What legislation?

    If I remember right, when Congress passed that bill that allowed Paulson to nationalize Fannie and Freddie over the summer of 2008, it included something that credit card companies have to report your purchases to the IRS, and it also included stips about eBay and PayPal. Is that what you’re talking about?

  76. Shore Guy says:

    “The deals have the potential to lift Iraqi oil output to levels which would rival that of top oil producers Saudi Arabia”

    I believe I mentioned a year or two ago that the DoD and Bush Administration people I spoke with made clear that the invasion of Iraq was in some significant part because of a fear of revolution in Saudi Arabia and with the knowledge that only one nation, Iraq, had to potential to offset the possible loss of Saudi oil to the market.

    Saudi Arabia 2009 is similar to Iran, 1977. It just lacks a Khumanie (sp?) in Paris.

  77. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Lockhart Says Housing May Take ‘Another Leg Down’

    James B. Lockhart III, vice chairman of WL Ross & Co. and the former director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said the U.S. housing decline may not be over.

    Lockhart said at a conference in New York that “he’s concerned there may be another leg down” for housing due to the pace of foreclosures. Lockhart also said “hundreds of banks will be taken over.”

    Lockhart, 63, joined the distressed-investment unit of Atlanta-based Invesco Ltd. this year after serving as head of the FHFA. WL Ross was among nine asset managers chosen by the Treasury Department to take part in the $40 billion U.S. Public- Private Investment Program, under which taxpayer and private capital will be paired to invest in mortgage bonds.

  78. Shore Guy says:


    There it sits buddy
    Just a mouldering in the sun
    The New Jersey economy
    Now Corzine’s work is done
    He’s gonna pack his bags
    And gonna beat a path
    To a new federal position
    On the BHO Ranch

    Tax and spend
    Tax and spend
    Don’t you know
    It never ends
    But its okay buddy
    Obama has the fix
    He’s gonna’ solve our problems
    Just by taxing all the rich

    © 2009 Shore Guy, ASCAP

  79. grim says:

    November Mass Layoffs/Warn Notices









  80. Shore Guy says:


    Get a grip, will you? Those are not Wall Street jobs, so they don’t matter.

    Bonuses on the Street are all that matter. Oh, and job cuts there are a good sign too, because it means bigger shares for those who remain.

  81. Justin says:

    I am trying to find out some info, so I’ll pose the question to the blog.

    In reference to the current health care debate going on in the Senate.

    Can anyone explain the difference between a government program (Social Security), a non-profit federal program (new public option), and a government run entity (Amtrak)?

  82. Shore Guy says:


    In the first, the taxpayer is on the hook

    In the second, if there are any problems, the taxpayer is on the hook.

    In the third, the taxpayer is on the hook, but we pretend to be surprised each time.

  83. Stu says:

    Retail Sales Are Up, But So Is Theft

    “How exactly does one steal a 42-inch TV?

    On Wednesday, Shatavia Rowe and Lawanne Harris made off with four flat-screen televisions (as well as assorted other electronics) by placing them in two shopping carts at a South Windsor, Connecticut Target (TGT) and simply walking out the door.

    They were arrested and charged with third-degree larceny. “

  84. kettle1 says:


    How did you like Harvest Moon?

  85. kettle1 says:

    Youll love this one BC.

    Got AUD?

    THE OPPOSITION finance spokesman, Barnaby Joyce, believes the United States government could default on its debt, triggering an ”economic Armageddon” which will make the recent global financial crisis pale into insignificance.

    Senator Joyce told the Herald yesterday he did not mean to alarm the public but there needed to be a debate about Australia’s ”contingency plan” for a sovereign debt default by the US or even by a local state government.

    hmm, how to get dual citizenship in Aussi-land?

  86. Veto That says:

    Ket, Fire Truck Red Ale gets two thumbs up.

    Im still shocked to have learned that you are not a janitor. All that talk about geothermal reactors and nuclear turbine fusion generators should have been a dead give away. ;^)

  87. Veto That says:

    Ket, Fire Truck Red Ale gets two thumbs up.

    Im still shocked to have learned that you are not a janitor. All that talk about geothermal reactors and nuclear turbine fusion generators should have been a dead give away. ;^)

  88. Schumpeter says:

    justin (88)-

    Different degrees of clusterfcuk.

  89. kettle1 says:


    I really am a janitor. But being a janitor at Los Alamos has a few perks over your standard janitor.

  90. Stu says:

    Harvest Moon in NB?

    I like that place a lot as well. Nice beer list and quite a variety of decent food on the menu.

  91. BC Bob says:

    “The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway”

    “Geithner, in other words, is hired to head the U.S. Treasury by an executive from Citigroup — Michael Froman — before the ink is even dry on a massive government giveaway to Citigroup that Geithner himself was instrumental in delivering. In the annals of brazen political swindles, this one has to go in the all-time F*ck-the-Optics Hall of Fame.”

  92. #98 – Taibbi strikes again.

  93. relo says:

    83: I’m confused. I was told to think that not buying a house currently made me either stupid or broke (either or both of which may be true, but for unrelated reasons). Who is the more credible source?

  94. grim says:

    From the Rolling Stone:

    Obama’s Big Sellout

    Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.” Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.

    Then he got elected.

    What’s taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.

    How could Obama let this happen? Is he just a rookie in the political big leagues, hoodwinked by Beltway old-timers? Or is the vacillating, ineffectual servant of banking interests we’ve been seeing on TV this fall who Obama really is?

  95. grim says:

    Beat me to it BC, was just reading that one.

  96. Taibbi gets to hammering Bob Rubin around page 3.

  97. grim says:

    Lots of foreclosures and short sales here on Maui. You can find a near beachfront house (1 or 2 away) in the 400s. If you want to walk a block or two, in the mid 3’s. On the Jersey Shore, these places would sell for double easily, if not more. Weekly real estate section is packed, pages and pages filled with foreclosure notices.

    Plenty of open retail space, lots of stores and restaurants closed.

  98. BC Bob says:


    Great read.

  99. 3b says:

    #83 Are we supposed to be surprised?

  100. Shore Guy says:



    How are the neighborhoods? Are such places close to decent downtowns, food stores, medical facilities etc.? If you have any recomendtions, please tell.

  101. grim says:

    If you need to be next to the Ritz Carlton in Naplii near Honalua Bay, you aren’t going to be interested in these places. Naplii and Honalu area homes are going for a couple million, with the top end somewhere around $20m. I suppose the gated golf-course communities around Wailea would be in the same category.

    I’m more interested in the older neighborhoods, a big fan of the old plantation style architecture. Places like Wailuku rank high on my list. Otherwise Upcounty, or near the North Shore near places like Haiku or Paia. Realize that my definition of paradise would involve an old pickup truck with a dog in the back.

    Other than the gated communities, where old white ex-CEOs are your neighbors, you’ll probably be a minority, by far (unless you are a tan asian, or have some pacific islander heritage). Doesn’t correspond with how safe a neighborhood is.

    There are going to be trade-offs, and the cost-effectiveness of a vacation home out here are probably slim. I believe there are some tight restrictions around vacation rentals and flights out here aren’t cheap.

  102. #105 – BC – Great read

    The point is that an economic team made up exclusively of callous millionaire-a****les has absolutely zero interest in reforming the gamed system that made them rich in the first place.

  103. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [81] scribe

    Legislation in Congress would outlaw any mail order tobacco sales (except for highly regulated sellers under tight conditions), so the Jenkins Act, regulating such sales, would be essentially meaningless.

    [101] Grim,

    This prognosticator has said repeatedly that when push came to shove, Obama would toss the progressives under the bus. Before the election, I told a number of progressives that this would be their place, and they were okay with that if it meant getting rid of W.

    Now they are shocked, shocked, that Obama has cozied up to the corporatists and tossed them under the bus.

    My response to them is “you said you wouldn’t mind the view. Now STFU.”

    However, those that didn’t agree to the deal, deluded though they might have been, have every right to be pissed off.

  104. hughesrep says:

    I liked Paia, laid back hippie town. Lot’s of people dropped out of life and ended up there.

    If you meet a guy named Talon, he’ll hook you up with whatever you want.

  105. Shore Guy says:

    I am thinking non tourist areas, suitable for retirement and vacations. The ideal place has a view of the ocean, perhaps terraced lot, a pattio overlooking interesting view, within walking distance of a coffee shop, grocery, etc.

  106. scribe says:


    The PACT legislation has been kicking around for a while.

    What’s the most ominous is that legislation where all of your credit card purchases get reported to the IRS, and sellers on eBay are allowed only so many sales before eBay has to report them to the IRS.

    End of privacy.

    But I haven’t heard anything more about when that goes into effect.

    The clear goal was to set up a database serving one of two goals …so the states could tap in for state sales tax – or – for the day when there’s a national VAT.

  107. Painhrtz says:

    Veto – I can assure you that Ket is a humble janitor as people in my line of work usually create the messes he gets to clean up.

    A well informed janitor, but a janitor none the less

  108. lostinny says:

    Dont forget about the low property tax rate!

  109. Stu says:


    Waiohinu, Big Island. Close to Naalehu where the supermarket is.

    Population 300. This is cowboy country, quiet and very friendly. When your friends visit Volcano, they can stop by to disturb the peace.

    Houses probably average 250K.

  110. Stu says:

    Na’alehu Fruit Stand is also in town and makes a fantastic sandwich.

  111. Schumpeter says:

    After reading Taibbi’s latest piece, does anybody really think that the gubmint isn’t our avowed enemy?

    I’m now seriously thinking of defaulting on every credit obligation I have. Fcuk all of them.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    “Other than the gated communities, where old white ex-CEOs are your neighbors, you’ll probably be a minority, by far (unless you are a tan asian, or have some pacific islander heritage).”

    Not an issue here. Recall that our number one spot for retirement (at least half of each year anyway) is Grenada.

  113. Shore Guy says:


    Tell me more. You have been all over the islands.

  114. Painhrtz says:


    whole system is gamed, get on the board suck at the teet, or start a revolution their is no option C.

    Unfortunately the mouth breahters, who have been comatosed into obscurity through TV and petty morality plays by politicians make option B unlikely as well.

    That just leaves A, better to be a robber than the robbed. Especially when you have the police in your back pocket, pensions sweetheart salaries and all.

  115. Schumpeter says:

    BC (118)-

    I think you found the depression for Frank.

  116. Veto That says:

    “I can assure you that Ket is a humble janitor”

    Pairitz, I believe you but why does he keep breaking out into discourse about advanced scientific non-linear extrapolated quantum physics? It just seems very odd to me.

    And then when i saw that he jerry wired a gas powered weed wacker engine to his scientific calculator that was a total red flag for me.

  117. Stu says:

    Been to Hawaii three times and have been to four of the five islands. Each are very unique. The problem with Hawaii is the cost for food. If you live there, you can grow lots of fruit and vegetables, but meat and other imports will kill you. Also, a lot of people struggle with the pace. Things move really slowly there. It’s even more noticeable when you are on vacation and in a rush to cover as much ground as you can. Frequently, locals will tell you to slow down. Especially if you are walking at a pace that reveals your mainland roots.

    Lots of weed is smoked and the people are very environmentally conscious. Saw a few signs promoting independence from the US, but never felt even the least bit uncomfortable. The locals certainly realize the roll tourist play in their economy.

    Outside of Oahu (Honolulu) and Maui, the islands are sparsely inhabited. Oh yeah, there are very few restaurants except in the big tourist cities as eating out is cost prohibitive to the locals. Most hotel rooms have lanais (BBQs) to cook your own meals. Also, the surfing culture is very strong. Whole families participate and it is not unusual for people to grab the board before work, at lunch break and after dinner when the surf is up.

    By far, it’s the most beautiful place I’ve been on earth.

    What are you looking to find out Shore?

  118. Painhrtz says:

    Veto janitor’s come in all forms and they don’t always push brooms.

    On the heals of the rolling sotne read I give ouor government:

    I can see the spin already, republicans refused to vote for wallstreat reform. Blah blah blah

  119. Stu says:

    “I’m now seriously thinking of defaulting on every credit obligation I have. Fcuk all of them.”

    I Wish I had some credit obligations to default on :P

  120. Veto That says:

    bc 118, the funniest part about that chart is that it has the recession ending in 2009, just as bank lending is collapsing through the floor.

  121. relo says:

    127: Don’t worry, Unc is working on your share of the obligations as we speak.

  122. 3b says:

    Every MSM article today is playing up today’s retail numbers as signs of a recovery.

    Am I missing soemthing? Did they actually read the reports? Does frank write all these articles for the MSM?

  123. meter says:

    “This prognosticator has said repeatedly that when push came to shove, Obama would toss the progressives under the bus. Before the election, I told a number of progressives that this would be their place, and they were okay with that if it meant getting rid of W.

    Now they are shocked, shocked, that Obama has cozied up to the corporatists and tossed them under the bus.

    My response to them is “you said you wouldn’t mind the view. Now STFU.”

    However, those that didn’t agree to the deal, deluded though they might have been, have every right to be pissed off.”

    Count me as one of the (truly) shocked. I still count Obama as better than W if for no other reasons than he’s not the laughingstock of the world and we have the potential for better buy-in from our allies (what few remain).

    Everything else is pretty much Bush 2.0. He’s certainly no worse.

    That said, if the presidential election were held tomorrow (and assuming Palin wasn’t on the ticket), I’d vote Republican.

  124. flank says:

    What Recession?

    Buy now or I will keep on masturbating forever in my moms basement

  125. Veto That says:

    “Never felt even the least bit uncomfortable. The locals certainly realize the roll tourist play in their economy.”

    Stu, i agree with your assessment overall but you obviously never paddled out to to a local surfer’s point break and attempted to share their waves, especially on the North Shore.
    The only thing scarier than those hawaain local surfers were the waves themselves. They paddle directly towards any non-familiar american as if they are going to eat them and then if that american dare say anything they punch them directly in the face within 3 seconds and then all of the sudden six ‘cousins’ are paddling over to get their punches in. I saw this 3-4 times and i was only there 2.5 weeks. i never had the pleasure of stopping a swinging hawaiin fist with my own cheek bone but then again i was never stupid enough to talk back.

  126. Schumpeter says:

    Just got off the phone with a short sale prospect. Spent close to 2 years on the market @ around 950K asking, no takers. Lis pendens was filed by BAC abut three weeks ago.

    I informed the prospect that her home was probably worth nowhere near the mortgage payoff, at which point she blurted out the old “I’m not giving my home away line”, at which point I gently informed her that people don’t really have practical ownership of homes drowning in negative equity.

    Her response was that she’d rather let the bank foreclose than sell short or deed-in-lieu.

    This is not Camden or Paterson…it’s Hunterdon Co. It is also an affluent, educated, high-net-worth neighborhood. If this is how the best and brightest among us react to financial difficulty, anybody who thinks things are going to end well may want to think again.

    I have 4-5 conversations a week like this with people in similar neighborhoods.

  127. relo says:

    From BofA

    On U.S. Municipals:
    It’s not hard to explain the recent rally: investors are tired of earning 0% on cash, and are creeping out the yield curve into longer bonds. But it’s remarkable to see given declines in the underlying municipal credit quality. Deficits at the state level don’t look bad…as long as you include Federal government transfers. There’s
    always some level of federal transfers to states (Medicaid, unemployment insurance, community development block
    grants, etc). But such transfers have risen sharply as part of a $170 bn stimulus injection from the Federal
    government1. These funds run out in 2010, so 2011 is going to be a very difficult year for many municipalities. We expect that most will enact the tax hikes and spending cuts to remain solvent, but it’s not going to be pretty.

    Part of the problem at the state and local level is that mayors and legislators have lost control of municipal salaries and benefits. Benefits per full-time employee have risen faster, and from higher levels, than private sector counterparts (see chart on prior page). One illustrative example comes from the Citizens Budget Commission of New York, where benefit costs for the private sector rose by 40% from 2000-2008, and by 182% for New York City employees2. Another estimate of the existing imbalance: state and local employees represent 12% of the U.S.
    workforce and 64% of all unfunded pension liabilities3. A 2006 paper from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve4 pegs
    unfunded state and local pension liabilities at $270 billion, and noted how they are fundamentally different from
    private sector pensions: bankrupt companies pass pension obligations to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, but at a fraction of their value. Public sector benefits are like “headless nails”: once they’re installed, you can’t change them.

    Another problem: states aggressively increased spending even though there was ample evidence that the rise in
    income taxes was highly concentrated. In New York in 2006, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 48% of the city’s
    income tax compared to 34% two decades ago5. In California, the top 1 percent paid 48% as well.

  128. Veto That says:

    Clot, 134 – but then how did she react when you told her about the coming famines and riots?

  129. relo says:

    134: Clot, as someone said: nothing a chainsaw and a steamer trunk wouldn’t solve.

  130. Veto That says:

    “Sshort sale prospect: Spent close to 2 years on the market @ $950K asking, no takers.”

    Shumpt, Would an offer of $200K adjust her confidence at all?
    Just say the word. I’ll stand ready to fax it over.

  131. Stu says:

    “Stu, i agree with your assessment overall but you obviously never paddled out to to a local surfer’s point break and attempted to share their waves, especially on the North Shore.”

    Funny, I behave the same way when some Staten Islander sets up shop complete with boombox, cigarettes and cooler filled with Corona when I’m at the beach on the Jersey shore. Rather than punch them, where I have a chance of getting hurt, I usually simply tell them that the hotties are located the next beach down. Either that or I let loose with some flatulence aimed in their direction.

  132. d2b says:

    meter 131-
    I find that most people that say “i told you so” about Obama don’t realize that what makes Obama a failure is that he is Bush 2.0. These are the same people that DID NOT vote for him because they did not approve of the changes that was proposing. Now they crow that he is a failure because he did not bring about the very reforms that they were against in the first place. They should be overwhelming supporters at this point.

    Obama is pro-war, pro-Wall St., and pro-deficit spending. He’s more Republican that my father. The only thing missing is a hunting trip with Cheney.

    At this point, he’s worse than Bush. While I did not like Bush, he seemed to have a base and he appeared to push the adgenda of that base that elected him in the first place. He was a GOP Republican to the end, for better or for worse.

    Obama appears to have completely abandoned the ideas of change that put him in office in the first place.

  133. yo'me says:

    If we sold 10 year Treasuries 10 years ago with a yield of 10% and due to be paid now and printed useless paper and paid the bonds.The bond holder says I don’t want this useless paper but if I don’t take it your currency wiil go down then my economy will be in trouble.So i will buy more of your bonds at 3.4% yield so your currency wiil go up.
    We just destroyed high yield bonds and when inflation kicks at 3 to 4% we are destroying the bonds we are selling at 3.4%.Why not borrow some more if this countries are willing to pay for our troubles.

  134. confused in NJ says:

    Tax News of the Day:

    Look for more of this with respect to all kinds of mail order, now that legislation will essentially moot the Jenkins Act.

    “Connecticut Mails Tax Bills to Residents Who
    Purchased Unstamped Cigarettes Via Internet

    Not as bad as Pelosi’s idea to imprison people who fail to buy Medical Insurance. God Bless America. Let’s see, failure to wear seat belt, failure to wear helmet, failure to buy medical insurance, purchasing things from another state, etc., consequences, fines and or imprisonment. America, Land of the Free, NOT.

  135. Painhrtz says:

    OH give me a friggin break, I came out of college saddled with debt. Maybe it will teach your friggin snowflakes self reliance, ingenuity, and the pain of being a debt slave. Break the entiltment cycle. Ah who am i kidding it was probably written by someone on a college board looking to keep the other government scam going. Student loans

  136. Schumpeter says:

    d2b (140)-

    Obama never had any principles to jettison. He is a bought-and-paid-for lackey. “Change” was nothing more than a marketing and merchandising gimmick.

    It’s amazing what fools we are for buying his line for even one minute, as his delivery of the message was as calculating and cynical as any I’ve ever seen in my life.

    I maintain my position that he is nothing more than GWB in blackface, and as subservient as any Uncle Tom that ever came down the pike.

  137. Schumpeter says:

    O will stop looking like GWB when Afghanistan starts making him look like LBJ.

  138. yo'me says:

    China’s Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said the chief U.S. climate negotiator either lacks common sense or is “extremely irresponsible” for saying that no U.S. climate financing should be going to China.

    In unusually blunt language, the minister said he was “shocked” by U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern’s comments that China shouldn’t expect any American climate aid money and that the United States was not in any debt to the world for its historical carbon emissions

  139. Nuts, Bess Levin was at a party I totally blew off last night.

  140. Painhrtz says:


    I heard a great overlay of IL Duce’s Afghanistan speach, with LBJ’s famous honorable peace speach. horrifying in there similarities, wars fought from Washington are never won. The world isn’t one big Stratego map, and the pieces certainly aren’t made of plastic.

  141. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [131] meter

    Okay, who are you and what have you done with Meter?

  142. d2b says:

    I don’t disagree. Last week a wrote that those that dislike GWB were not necessarily Obama supporters.

  143. BC Bob says:

    “While fortunes were won during the credit boom, reports of violence are now surfacing as California continues to struggle with the credit bust and fortunes lost,” Padilla writes, noting the case of lawyer Jeffrey Tidus, who was found dead outside his home in Los Angeles on Monday.”

    “The same day that Tidus died, three men allegedly forced their way into the Newport Beach, California, home of Daniel Sadek, who had reportedly made billions in subprime loans before his company, Quick Loan Funding, went bankrupt in 2007. The Orange County Register reports that, two weeks earlier, a Mercedes parked in Sadek’s driveway was set on fire.”

  144. #151 – I’d say something here about ‘chickens coming home to roost’ but that would be a bit gauche and too soon.

  145. blindjust says:

    Clot – I was looking in a particular complex in Randolph where LPs were in the high 8’s and sale prices in ‘2009 in the mid 7’s. Then, some “well-informed” buyer executed a comp “killer” by paying full price – in the high 8’s.

    How often do you see this happening?

    For a prospective seller, would you recommend high 8’s and a buyer mid 7’s? Or, would that depend on the desperation factor?

  146. relo says:


    A dead debt slave is a useless debt slave.

    Let’s see, failure to wear seat belt, failure to wear helmet, failure to buy medical insurance, …consequences, fines and or imprisonment. America, Land of the Free, NOT.

  147. 3b says:

    gary: I found your dream house in Ramsey all for $1,738,777.

    But don’t worry if you miss it, becasue as per the mls there are 695 other houses avaialable starting at $1000,000,000 and up in Bergen county.

  148. d2b says:

    3B 155-
    I love how new construction always looks like crap from the back yard.

    $1.7M with a $1,500 above-ground pool in the yard.

  149. gary says:


    Great timing, I just logged on! :) I picture a cow being catapulted over that house like the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail! Is there some sort of cat walk where soldiers can pace while guarding that thing?

  150. 3b says:

    #158 Just looked at it again,and you are exactly right about the monty python cow scene.

    I really like the use of all those Home Depot light fixtures, and the delightful use of vinyl siding.

  151. Zack says:


    From zillow, it looks like 28 Peterson Place sold for 1.2M couple of months ago and this brain dead seller is asking for 1.7MM

  152. 3b says:

    #156 the $1500 pool is so we don’t forget our roots. And it reminds us just how truly grateful we shoudl be had we the chance to live in that vinl clad plosh of a house.

  153. 3b says:

    #159 Well frank told us prices are going up. We should race and see who can grab this vinyl clad box first.

  154. 3b says:

    Of course for all the renters here who want the blue ribbon Bergen train town, but don’t feel adequate enough to purchase and make a statement about who you are as a person, than do not miss this wonderful opportunity below.

  155. 3b says:

    Or this wonderful new construction in Glen Rock too. All this for just under $1,000,000.00,and you get to live on a busy street too!

    On another note there is something serously wrong with the picture of Valentina the realtor.

  156. flank says:


    Buy now before you are priced out forever!

    Now-did someone here hide my Wal Mart name tag? Gotta go to work.

  157. leftwing says:

    Re: 163

    Who dreams these things up?

    I mean, seriously. Some architect had to sit down at a computer and say ‘this looks good’.

    The realtor had innumerable pictures to choose from, poses to take, things to wear, and she said ‘I think I’ll do it like this’.

    Truthfully, what rabbit hole have I fallen down?

  158. Happy Daze says:

    I have a term for this type of architecture:

  159. Schumpeter says:

    blind (153)-

    I don’t see that too often. Amazingly, our economy is running out of greater fools.

    Or, perhaps, the greater fools number is a constant, but they are running out of discretionary income.

  160. Schumpeter says:

    3b (155)-

    What a shitcan.

  161. Schumpeter says:

    3b (163)-

    That is just vile. And, I think the agent is a tranny.

  162. Schumpeter says:

    blind (153)-

    Sorry, didn’t answer your whole question:

    Normally, that kind of bid/ask spread is too great to make transactions happen. You may find pockets in some areas where there is a bit of an unspoken “agreement” among sellers and agents that a certain ask will be maintained, but market-appropriate offers will be considered.

  163. A.West says:

    Schumpeter (134),
    How many of those conversations in Warren, Basking Ridge, Skillman. I want to know how many more fancy houses are about to be forced on market.

  164. Laurie says:

    Re #155
    Another thing that you don’t see in the photos or the map is that Patterson is a very strange street, a few mcmansions but mainly a lot of rural “park your car on the lawn” type of houses.this is NOT any type of planned development…some builder bought this land from an old time farmer dude and put up that monstrosity and it’s not even in the part of Ramsey considered desirable. Also,you drive more than 25 miles an hour on Myrtle and you will have a tkt courtesy of Ramsey police…guaranteed.

  165. Shore Guy says:

    “y far, it’s the most beautiful place I’ve been on earth.
    What are you looking to find out Shore?”

    We have a desire to spend about 6 months a year (a few years down the road) in a tropical environment: where we can sit on our porch and see the ocean, walk to and on the beach every mornong and evening, and enjoy.

    Were I more confident of political stability, I would jump at Grenada, and may anyway. We love the island and the people.

    When we travel, we love getting away from sanatized, homoginized, could-be-anyplace-in-the-world kind of places.

    I had never considered Hawaii before but it has the advantage of the U.S. Constitution and access to federal flood insurance, as well as U.S. jurisprudence.

    I would love to find out whatever I can from those of you who have experiences away fromtourist resorts and beaches.

  166. 3b says:

    #169 Schump:What!!!! You don’t like vinyl? The thought that went into the placement of the windows? The home depot light fixtures?? Come on!!!

  167. 3b says:

    #170 Schumpt: I think something went very,very, wrong with her tanning bed.

  168. Safeashouses says:

    #175 3b

    I thought with all that orange and yellow she was going for the goldfish look. I here it’s thenrsge from belmar to bergan county.

  169. still_looking says:

    Yet another report from the pit.

    More psych patients than ever.

    More and more are reporting “foreclosure” as one of their top stressors.

    One granite designer told me that the company they worked for just closed *all* of their offices — completely… The designer is freelancing now and stressed beyond belief trying to make a living. Told me that they are 2 mos behind on their mortgage and credit cards.

    I didn’t even want to start discussing strategic foreclosure at 0300. Not exactly what you want to hear from your doc at that hour.


  170. Safeashouses says:

    # 176

    Or maybe there was a problem with the flash, like sammy Sosa’s pic.

  171. lostinny says:

    Grim I’m in mod.

  172. NJGator says:


    We have similarities as what we like to do when on vacation.

    I too like to find the most desolate beaches.

  173. Safeashouses says:

    I’m starting to get tired of Essex county after 3 months. The percentage of people that are self-centered, pretentious, conspicuos consumers could easily rival the somerset hills area. Playtime’s over. The novelty has warn off.

  174. Pat says:

    So what’s the problem? Why can’t s/he design something else? I mean, I never heard of a granite designer until the whole greed thing. What was the former life of a “granite designer” like?

    Stress. Hmmmpf. Repairs is where it’s at for a while.

  175. Pat says:

    Granite designer = Fred Flintstone

  176. Pat says:

    Townhouses here in the far DC burbs are at 50% peak. Right now.

  177. Safeashouses says:

    #185 pat

    Any buy 1 get 1 free deals?

  178. PGC says:

    So does that leaves me as the only one here that thinks O has done a reasonable job? Given the cards dealt and the chip stack he started with, I don’t think he is doing that bad. I still wake up and that the l0rd that I’m not looking at McC/P.

    On Healthcare, the Public Option seems to have turned into a strawman. That will be given up to get a bill passed. Any bill that passes with reforms at this point will be seen as a D victory and full ownership if it blows up. The R will continue as the party of NO.

    Keeping Gates on was a great move and 1raq withdrawal will give him points he needs because Afghan will be unwinable. Unless he brings in OBL it will be damage limitation and then see if NATO can step in. Closing Gitmo is a proving more of a challenge and is slower than expected, but it is happening. There will be a nice big show trial starting up around Election Day in NY to help with the polls.

    On the economy, I think we are getting a controlled crash as opposed to the crash and burn we could have had. Are the best people at the helm, I don’t know, but who else are you going to put in there. Get Volker back in to raise interest rates to 12%. Will the remedy of the 80’s work today? The backlash against Wall street is stupid. Yes these people make a lot of money for themselves in bonuses, but they also make a lot of money for their companies and the country. With the Citi and Phiboro, why not pay a guy 100 million if he averages you 400million a year. Having to sell that unit for 250mil to appease the politicians is crazy.

    Global politics will come down to grain vs oil and the holders of both need each other.

    Overall, I think instead of Bush 2.0 I would say we see parts of a Clinton 2.0 without the F-ups. The transition was a lot smoother and the administration hit the ground running. This is like turning a supertanker, change gvmt and the economy is not done in a year. Now it will be a big push to get most of the big stuff out of the way before the 2010 elections and a repeat of 1994. 2010 should be a walk in the park as the GOP will screw themselves in the March primaries and field some unelectable candidates. Beyond Chris Dodd going under the bus, there should not be that much D backlash. Rudi and Pataki will probably go up against Schumer and Gillibrand and you may see Pataki and Schumer come out of it.

    Coming out of 2010, you could see Romney and Huckabee come back out to “reclaim” the GOP. I think 2012 with a moderate GOP is a 50/50, unless we are looking at scorched earth economy, O should be favorite.

  179. X-underwriter says:

    Yo Pat,
    I’m down here in Ashburn. It’s still pretty expensive here for single family homes but me and the missus will be looking to buy up in Leesburg very soon. The houses there fly off the shelves if priced right but that means sub $400k for a 4 br colonial.

  180. Pat says:

    Bairen, I’ll check on the BOGO. I think BOA issued a rewards card.

  181. Pat says:

    Do you have to do Leesburg? I mean, it’s inflated there.

    What about 20 min south? Really good cr@p.

  182. X-underwriter says:

    One thing about this place is you can’t look at a map and say that doesn’t look too far. I know what the traffic is like on 66 and have no plans on going there every day. If I lived 20 minutes south, I’d have to take that route. I work in Herndon. Route 50 is even worse. You hit it from Route 28 and it’s completely stopped until you get out into nowhere where there’s no houses to buy

  183. X-underwriter says:

    Yeah, you have to do the math on the commute and see if it’s worth it. Living out there, you’re required to take the Greenway to work each day @ $9.00 round trip plus wear & tear on yourself and car. I did enough of that in Jersey for a lifetime

  184. yikes says:

    Schumpeter says:
    December 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm

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

    you know i love you clot, and you’ve been on point for years … but i really, really really hope you’re wrong here.

    and if it must happen … PLEASE after august. next summer’s big for me …

  185. Essex says:

    “….why not pay a guy 100 million if he averages you 400million a year….”

    Because no salesperson in the world gets a bonus of that magnitude.

  186. Essex says:

    The backlash against Wall Street AND excessive CEO is long long long overdue. I am sick watching the greedy bastards wreck companies and lives.

  187. PGC says:

    In the UK, they are strting to take a hard look at the ex PM’s life after office endevors.

    “It is fitting to note that as everyone who is anyone in green politics talks shop in Copenhagen, Tony Blair is toying with yet another new project. How could he content himself merely by bringing peace to the Middle East and selling his expertise to ever higher bidders? How could he? Thus research into online domain names shows that his discreet company vehicle, Windrush Ventures Ltd, has this autumn registered a novelty called the Low Carbon Capital Fund. But what is it? His spokesman says: “From time to time we register names in an area we may be interested in.” He refuses to elaborate. But there are clues. For around the time the name and its variants were purchased, Blair was getting very excited about climate change and the financial opportunities it presented. He made speeches extolling the “business revolution in low-carbon industries” that was coming, and linked up with a body called The Climate Group. This publicises the ideas of entrepreneur James Cameron, who wants to see the equivalent of war bonds issued to green-minded investors. These would enable power stations to carry on burning fossil fuels by bolting on rather expensive carbon capture technology. For where there is crisis, there is also opportunity. Blair knows that better than most.”

  188. NJGator says:

    Shore 180 was actually Stu. Flood is not be the only insurance issue on the big island – you also have to deal with lava flow. The most reasonably priced properties are the likliest to be eaten up by it. Still an amazingly beautiful place and biggest variation of topography I have ever seen.

  189. blindjust says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Clot.

  190. PGC says:

    #195 Essex

    He made them 667mil last year so his 100Mil bonus is a 14% comission. That is not that far out of wack.

    The main point is that he made them 667Mil last year and Citi off loaded the business for 250Mil, just due to poilitical heat.

  191. Al Gore says:

    57. Ah, Veto. You are starting to realize that those that do their homework are not nutjobs. Welcome to the darkside. Knowing the truth will not let you sleep comfortably.

  192. PGC says:

    The History channel are doing a 30th aniversary introspective on National Lampoons Animal House.


  193. renter says:

    Regarding #134
    What is happening to people after foreclosure? Do they have any negative consequences other then credit score destruction?

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  195. Credit Cards says:

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