December Existing Home Sales Slump

From the Courier Post:

Home sales drop beyond expectation

Sales of existing homes, plumped up by government incentives in November, melted 16.7 percent in December, the largest month-to-month drop in 40 years. The steep decline, reported Monday by the National Association of Realtors, was worse than the 10 percent drop predicted by economists.

Overall, prices fell dramatically in 2009, declining 12.4 percent nationwide to a median of $173,500, the largest decline since the Great Depression.

But the most recent numbers for New Jersey — for sales in the third quarter — indicate prices are still softening.

“The good news is that homes are still moving, even if the price points are lower,” said Allan Dechert, president-elect of the NJAR and co-owner of Ferguson-Dechert Real Estate in Avalon.

In Burlington County, the median sales price for an existing, single-family home slid 7.4 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, from $247,000 to $228,000.

In Camden County, the median price inched down 3.3 percent, from $203,200 to $196,400. In Gloucester County, the median price shed 10.8 percent, from $232,100 to $207,100.

From the Philly Inquirer:

Philadelphia-area existing-home sales down in December

The end of the first housing tax credit, as expected, took its toll on sales of existing homes in December, national and regional data show.

Sales fell about 35 percent in December from November in the eight-county Philadelphia region, according to a Prudential Fox & Roach HomExpert report.

Nationally, the month-to-month drop was 16.7 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Some economists question whether the extended credit will jump-start the real estate market as much as the first one did.

“So far, the second credit appears to be having a minimal effect,” said IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport.

“Mortgage applications to purchase homes [the four-week moving average] are near their lowest level since 1997,” he said. “Applications are down despite the fact that mortgage rates, which are at historically low levels, are likely to go up during 2010.”

Newport said he believed sales would be weaker in 2010 than in 2009.

Prices fell 3.2 percent year-over-year in the eight-county Philadelphia region, but that reflects the continued presence of first-time buyers in the market, with or without the tax credit, snapping up lower-priced homes.

From the WSJ:

Existing-Home Sales Plunge

Home sales plunged in December, raising fresh concerns over the housing market’s ability to recover when government support winds down.

Sales of previously owned homes fell 16.7% from November to a 5.45 million annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said Monday, after a looming tax-credit deadline pushed buying decisions into previous months. The drop brought the pace of sales down to the lowest level since August.

The government’s first-time home-buyer tax credit was initially scheduled to end Nov. 30, and there was a race to finish deals before it expired. But the tax credit was eventually extended until spring, complemented by an additional tax break for repeat buyers.

For all of 2009, there were 5.16 million home sales, up 4.9% from 4.91 million in 2008. It was the first annual sales gain since 2005.

Although economists expected Monday’s report to show declining December home sales, few thought they would fall so sharply. The decline called into question the sector’s ability to bounce back.

“We have a very fragile housing system,” said Michael Carey, an economist with Calyon Securities in New York. He worried that as the government withdraws support from the housing market, prices could begin slipping again. That would put more homeowners into the position of owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth and could lead to another wave of foreclosures.

Regionally, December sales fell 19.5% in the Northeast, 25.8% in the Midwest, 16.3% in the South and 4.8% in the West.

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

323 Responses to December Existing Home Sales Slump

  1. grim says:

    From the Press of Atlantic City:

    Job loss drives jump in local bankruptcies

    Households seeking advice from the Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling service in Upper Township usually were overwhelmed by one or two financial hardships, whether it was mounting credit card debt, a mortgage foreclosure or a bankruptcy filing.

    Now they face yet another threat — job-loss-driven bankruptcies, said Russell Graves, the nonprofit agency’s executive director.

    “Unemployment is rippling through the South Jersey economy pretty hard,” Graves said Monday. “More and more people coming to us appear to be casino employees who have had their hours cut and are in need of credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling and mortgage foreclosure counseling.”

    Bankruptcies in particular are on the rise. A review of the latest U.S. Bankruptcy Court data shows the number of consumer filings in New Jersey totaled 34,388 in 2009, up 35 percent from 2008 and 82 percent from 2007.

  2. Essex says:

    Are we having fun yet???

  3. grim says:

    From New Jersey Newsroom:

    Budget expert gives legislators grim review of New Jersey’s fiscal problems

    Members of the New Jersey Assembly Budget Committee Monday gathered to learn the depth of the state government’s fiscal situation and they they got a forecast as gloomy as the weather outside the Statehouse windows.

    In the next five months, legislators and the Christie administration must confront a deficit in the current 2009-10 New Jersey state budget that is expected to grow by June to nearly $2 billion and a 2010-11 budget deficit of $8.9 billion. Both budgets must be balanced by June 30.
    David J. Rosen, budget and finance officer for the non-partisan state Office of Legislative Services, told legislators that 2009 was the worst in modern state government history for tax collections with overall revenue down 12 percent.

    He said it was also the worst year for income tax collections with revenue down 18 percent, and the worst year for sales collections with revenue down 14.8 percent.

  4. grim says:

    From Seneca and Hughes at NJBiz:

    Economic Heartbeat: Awaiting revisions to better gauge N.J.’s pain in 2009

    With the release of December’s employer-based payroll employment by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 2009 officially is history — at least, preliminarily. Since the monthly sample payroll counts are subject to an annual revision, called rebenchmarking, that’s based on more complete data from all New Jersey employers, we have to wait until March 10 to get a final, more accurate picture of New Jersey employment for the year. But with the December release, we can at least obtain a preview of the final employment tallies.

    The state lost 88,100 private-sector jobs in 2009, virtually identical to the 88,700 private-sector jobs shed in 2008. A major difference between the years is that government employment, which grew by 3,000 jobs in 2008, declined by 2,000 in 2009. Consequently, the total employment loss in 2009 was 90,100 jobs, compared to a loss of 85,700 jobs in 2008, meaning 2009 was somewhat worse than 2008, based on preliminary data.

    But beware of benchmark revisions. Last year at this time, the preliminary estimate of the state’s 2008 employment decline was 59,800 private-sector jobs. Upon rebenchmarking, the loss grew to 88,700 jobs — an increase of more than 48 percent. So while 2009 was somewhat worse than 2008 based on the initial data, it could turn out to be far worse.

  5. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Home sales rose in ’09 as prices plunged 12 pct.

    Sales of previously occupied homes rose in 2009 for the first time in four years, despite a December slump that was due to a tax credit that led many buyers to complete sales earlier.

    Still, prices plunged more than 12 percent last year — the sharpest fall since the Great Depression. The price drop for 2009 — to a median of $173,500 — showed the housing market remains too weak to help fuel a sustained economic recovery.

    Concerns remain that home sales will weaken after March 31, when the Federal Reserve is set to end its program to buy mortgage securities to keep home loan rates low. Once that program ends, mortgage rates could rise. Adding to the worries, a newly extended homebuyer tax credit is set to run out at the end of April.

    Some analysts question whether the housing market can remain stable without the hundreds of billions in government spending now propping it up.

    Once the Fed’s mortgage-buying program ends, analysts say rates could rise as high as 6 percent from the current level of around 5 percent for 30-year loans. That’s why some expect the Fed to either extend or expand the program after March, concluding that the housing market remains too fragile.

    “You just can’t go from 100 miles an hour to a dead stop and expect it to happen without a big jump in mortgage rates,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at

  6. grim says:

    From the Washington Post:

    Stakes are high as government plans exit from mortgage markets

    For more than a year, the government pulled out the stops to revive home buying by driving down mortgage rates.

    Now, whether the housing market is ready or not, the government is pulling out.

    The wind-down of federal support for mortgage rates, set to end in two months, is a momentous test of whether the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve have succeeded in jump-starting the housing market and ensuring it can hold its own. The stakes for the economy are massive: If the market again falls into a tailspin, homeowners could face another wave of trouble, and it would deal a body blow to President Obama’s efforts to get the economy on track.

  7. Essex says:

    The State of the Union…..Meh.

  8. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Strategic Defaults

    The lead story in commercial real estate today is the dynamic duo of Tishman Speyer and BlackRock walking away from Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan. The two have been trying to refi $4.4 billion in debt on the 11,200-apartment property, to no avail. So now they’re handing over the keys to the lenders.

    Here’s the quote from the venture: “The only viable alternative to bankruptcy would be to transfer control and operation of the property, in an orderly manner, to the lenders and their representatives.”

    This news comes on the heels of Morgan Stanley walking away from its commercial mortgage commitments on five buildings out in San Francisco.

    Apparently it’s just good business.

    So why is it not just good business for homeowners to walk away from their mortgages? Borrowers are looking at the same negative equity and loss on investment, simply on a smaller scale. At least that’s the running argument. Somehow it’s fine for commercial investors, but not for individuals? I’m not taking a side here, but I wanted to throw out some math done by my colleague Steve Liesman:

    If the average home mortgage in the U.S. is about $140,000, then Tishman and buddies walked away from the equivalent of 38 thousand mortgages… that’s from an investment perspective.

  9. grim (6)-

    I didn’t realize that the initial tailspin ever ended. Honest to God, are these newspaper guys that stupid…or is the gubmint just paying them off?

    When the gubmint stops buying MBS, it’s going from black to eternal darkness, and there really isn’t any arguing the point. I’d be shocked to see them even try to turn off the life support. If they do, it’s a sign that they’re surely now smoking the same brand of crack they’ve been selling us for the last four years.

    “If the market again falls into a tailspin, homeowners could face another wave of trouble, and it would deal a body blow to President Obama’s efforts to get the economy on track.”

  10. Oblivion is now assured. All we’re haggling over is the size of the eventual mushroom cloud.

  11. crossroads says:


    a buddy at work keeps telling me it will all be over in 2 years ( back to normal. what ever that is). when I bring up interest rates going up he says the payment balances out. I tell him people won’t be able to sell at what they paid. I can’t see a way out. The Gubmint should have left things alone.

  12. freedy says:

    seems to me the Walk a way is gaining steam.

    now what happens when more and more go for
    the old,, screw you tactics

  13. ruggles says:

    freedy, I’m all over strat default but I’m looking to time it so I can keep the house. maybe there’ll be a crush of nonpayment that collapses the banks and they’ll forget about me.

  14. yikes says:

    wow, you guys see this? happened in NJ. branchburg. guy had kevlar and heavy weapons.

    they say he isn’t a threat!!

  15. xroads (11)-

    Your pal is a good, patriotic Amerikan. Too bad he’s also about to be road kill.

  16. Cindy says:

    MarketWatch – Trulia CEO Peter Flint – Demand pushed forward…home prices not rising any time soon. Google looking to buy Trulia?

  17. ruggles (13)-

    I think you’re onto something. With the magical thinking that pervades all levels of gubmint, don’t be surprised to see them try to hit some sort of universal “reset” button.

    You can already see the beginnings of this in credit scoring. If they don’t dumb down the standards, nobody will be creditworthy in the future.

  18. yikes (14)-

    I just wonder how many posters here thought that guy was me.

  19. ruggles says:

    Yikes, Branchburg’s a magnet for trouble.

  20. Trouble is my middle name.

  21. Branchburg is also weird. High per capita income, combined with highway zones that host like seven SRO motels.

  22. Much safer and quieter when the SRO occupants would just murder each other.

  23. yikes says:

    clot, my first reaction actually was, ‘clot?’

    but then i saw the guy’s mentally ill, and they showed his mugshot and i thought of another NJ rereport reader: Jamil.

    as you were.

  24. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    Grim, this is my vote for the topic of the next thread…

    “Oblivion is now assured. All we’re haggling over is the size of the eventual mushroom cloud.”


  25. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Il Duce to freeze spending, how come I ain’t buying that line of …….

  26. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Veto 26 didn’t we do that?

  27. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    “Now, whether the housing market is ready or not, the government is pulling out.
    The wind-down of federal support for mortgage rates, set to end in two months, is a momentous test of whether the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve have succeeded in jump-starting the housing market and ensuring it can hold its own. The stakes for the economy are massive: If the market again falls into a tailspin, homeowners could face another wave of trouble, and it would deal a body blow to President Obama’s efforts to get the economy on track.”

    Can anyone imagine why the govt would actually agree to pulling their support of housing? It sounds like the craziest thing i’ve ever heard. Why would they risk collapsing the housing market and banks again? Nobody cares if we get a low price on a house so i cant figure out why they would do this, unless they plan on replacing it with a ‘new’ program.
    Or maybe they wont be happy until the $55 Trillion derivatives finally implodes and jpm boa and c go down in the same day.

  28. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    “BRANCHBURG — A Virginia man who once spent eight years on the run from naval investigators was arrested in Somerset County early today with a trove of high-powered weapons, including a grenade-launcher and two assault rifles, along with maps of a U.S. military base and a civilian neighborhood, authorities said.”

    Clot, if this is really not you then i suspect that we wont see any posts from AlGore today.

  29. grim says:

    Am I reading that right? Since when is it illegal to own a map?

  30. mike (27)-

    It’s a lie, concocted to lull everyone back to sleep while the looting of the Treasury continues.

  31. gary says:

    The wind-down of federal support for mortgage rates, set to end in two months, is a momentous test of whether the Oblama administration and the Federal Reserve have succeeded in jump-starting the housing market and ensuring it can hold its own.

    Read this statement above, then click on the link below and tell me whether the Choosen One and the Fed Reserve will succeed.

  32. grim (31)-

    Maybe he was hunting for treasure.

  33. ruggles says:

    31 – map of which neighborhood? westfield?

  34. gary (33)-

    My honest guess is that the gubmint is hoping they can kill real estate while leaving the banks pretty much unscathed.

    Then, in a year or two, they will let the banks into the RE biz. If some kind of Glass-Steagall Lite gets imposed, they can rationalize letting banks into RE as a way of letting them replace income streams that were lost when they shut down the financial casinos.

  35. gary (33)-

    gary (33)-

    My honest guess is that the gubmint is hoping they can kill real estate while leaving the banks pretty much unsc@thed.

    Then, in a year or two, they will let the banks into the RE biz. If some kind of Glass-Steagall Lite gets imposed, they can rationalize letting banks into RE as a way of letting them replace income streams that were lost when they shut down the financial casinos.

  36. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    ok, im ready to commence the housing price death spiral. Where is that cs release?

  37. Shore Guy says:

    Some economics is complicated some is not. If one has falling sales at a time of increasing prices then prices have gotten too high. If, in the absence of demand at a given price, prices start to decline but demand does not increase, prices are still too high, regardless of what the seller paid for his or her goods.

  38. Shore Guy says:

    That should “earn” me a Nobel Prize, no? Clearly distilling the economics of the housing collapse in a way to make it understandable to both the masses and the Fed is at least as worthy of one as B.O. was.

  39. njescapee says:

    nj = fl, lv, az, ca?

  40. freedy says:

    NJ getting very close. thats why i say
    the Walk a way gaining steam. wait till
    the gov starts the cutting .

    many towns will fold like cheap whores

  41. today NJ. Tomorrow the rest of the country. It really is no different here. But our schools are better.

  42. Gump says:

    Stu #42,

    And don’t forget our proximity to NYC and remember, they aren’t making any more land. I’m sure Sue Adler would agree.

  43. John says:

    Overpriced bond of the year (well 2010, anyhow) remember when this dog was like 50 cents a year ago?

    NATIONAL CITY CORP SUB NT 6.87500% 05/15/2019
    Price (Ask) 112.635
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 5.146%

  44. ruggles says:

    43 Gump – they aren’t making any more land? – You think G-d made battery park city?

  45. toyne says:

    #10 No the gov’t is just going to extend the tax credit,a nd continue to buy MBS’s bonds. And rates are nto going up this year.

  46. safeashouses says:

    #42 Stu

    Don’t forget we are always on the right side of the trade, our kids never get picked on, we all look like greek gods and goddesses, and we always get great deals anytime we open our wallets.

  47. toyne says:

    #11 Your buddy is an idiot. Nothing is going back to normal, nothing will ever be the same.

  48. John says:

    Folks, look on a macro basis, Tischman did not walk away from anything. Metlife unloaded that dog at the peak for billions, Metlife had that cash on balance sheet and unlike Genworth, Hartford and Lincoln did not need a bailout. When fannie and freddie lend as a GSE and money is “vaporized” it can be re-printed without risk of inflation risk. Everything is all good here, keep moving along. I do think the sr. debit of this is a good buy. No way fannie and freddie is not going to kick this can out the road, that is all middle class folks in stuy town and we know we all love the middle class nowdays.

  49. Raul says:

    What happened to all the “pant” up demand???

  50. ruggles says:

    At least Stuyvesant Town is pretty.

  51. smathers says:

    Is there any where that isn’t screwed yet? We lived in California where Proposition 13 eviscerated the schools. We had a certified teacher as our nanny because she thought the school system had just deteriorated too much to work for. A friend was a substitute teacher and instructed that the first rule was don’t bug security unless a student assaults someone or pulls a gun. Otherwise there was no lesson plan. We have two kinds so paying for private school wasn’t something I wanted. I don’t mind the high taxes in towns in Jersey with good schools. But anti-tax is going to be the hue and cry and we’ll see some caps in these states too. I struggle to think of what is left, where to live. Are there any states that aren’t doomed?

  52. toyne says:

    #52 The whole point is the schools in NJ, are really not all that good. So called high rated or not. In fact they are not much better if at all than schools in many other states.

  53. smathers (53)-

    I’ve stopped asking myself that question and finally accepted that we have entered a nationwide depression. No one will be spared.

    “Are there any states that aren’t doomed?”

  54. toyne (54)-

    Agreed. However, as tools for mass brainwashing, they are excellent.

  55. No diff between most local high schools and Jim Jones.

    One way you die fast, the other, you go slow.

  56. Essex says:

    53. A HAP Team in our town came in #1 in the State and #9 in the country in this year’s Quiz Bowl.

  57. njescapee says:

    dc is the only place with money. i think they manufacture it there. that is what i was told.

  58. freedy says:

    wait till the feds stop funding the housing
    market . thats the killer.

  59. Essex says:

    Some kids can do very well for themselves while others, given every opportunity to succeed will squander the opportunity. Blame the bell shaped curve.

  60. toyne says:

    #59 Won’t happen.

  61. freedy says:

    and the band continued to play on the titanic

  62. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    grim, #6

    The Washington Post story … parts ring bells as being deja vu … didn’t I read that part or this part somewhere else? ..parroted from another story or – more likely – a blog?

  63. NJGator says:

    Your homeland security at work…

    Student pranked by Philadelphia TSA worker
    Man planted bag of white powder in bag, no longer works for agency

  64. Sastry says:

    Gator and others,

    The township assessor reduced our assessment a bit (6% drop). There was about 30% difference between the purchase price and the prior assessment). Wife and I are inclined to declare victory and stop.

    What are the typical adjustments like?


  65. Ho hum. Just another day in oblivion…

    “In tonight’s Heard On The Street section, the WSJ notes:

    As everybody knows, AIG got a huge government bailout in September 2008 to help make payments on derivatives contracts with banks, including Goldman. Yet in the previous month, Goldman approached AIG about “tearing up” its contracts, according to a November 2008 analysis by BlackRock, then an adviser to the New York Fed. So was Goldman prepared to offer AIG a haircut in the month before its rescue? A legitimate question, given that Goldman refused to accept such a cut when the New York Fed raised the idea after it bailed out AIG.

    The implications of this discovery are huge as they essentially destroy all the arguments presented by the FRBNY about an inability to extract concession out of Goldman (which being the largest AIG CDO counterparty, was the critical negotiating factor). It also casts doubt on the veracity of any arguments presented in Congress by Goldman representatives discussing the potential to take a haircut on their AIG exposure. What this means in plain English is that, in the month before the Fed entered the scene, GOLDMAN SACHS ITSELF OFFERED TO TEAR DOWN THE CDS ON AIG’S CDO PORTFOLIO (we don’t use caps lock lightly). This is basically a smoking gun on the moral hazard issue perpetrated by the FRBNY when it got involved, and indicates that through their involvement, Tim Geithner, Sarah Dahlgren or whoever, not only did not save US taxpayers’ money, but in fact ended up costing money, when they funded the marginal difference between par (the make whole price given to all AIG counterparties after AIG was told to back off in its negotiations) and whatever discount would have been applicable to the contract tear down that had been proposed by Goldman a mere month earlier. This, more so than anything presented up to now, is the true scandal behind the New York Fed’s involvement.

    If this November Blackrock report indeed exists, and if Goldman did in fact offer to tear down contracts, this is an act of near criminal implications and heads at the FRBNY must roll immediately.

    We hope this is the number one question asked by Chairman Towns of Mr. Geithner. But as the latter will plead the fifth due to his lack of involvement, we kindly suggest that the correct person, the person who can not claim lack of knowledge on the AIG situation due to a prior recusal, and is therefore the right person to grill before a live studio audience, is the FRBNY’s Sarah Dahlgren: as it stands, Wednesday will merely be yet another spectacle, in which Geithner will claim stupidity, and this time very likely get away with it: is there any wonder why he agreed to provide testimony so promptly after his “invitation.” What about Goldman’s Stephen Friedman – did he accept the invitiation yet? How about Goldman’s Hank Paulson? It sure must be nice to have the luxury to kindly decline the privilege of providing sworn testimony, and avoid perjury.”

  66. frank says:

    Hey Mr. gloom and doom, if you’re so smart, why don’t you get out now? move to a better place, like Iran or Cuba.

  67. We’ll all be safer when TSA unionizes.

  68. Nothing wrong with Frank that a jagged spork and a ball peen hammer can’t fix.

  69. frank says:

    NY C&S prices down -0.2% MoM. You call this recession??? Give me 4 of them.

  70. Cindy says:

    Caroline Baum today on Geithner

    “Goldman Parachute Awaits Geithner to Ease Fall”

    “Axing Geithner might be good for president and Treasury Secretary alike. Obama would be seen as an ally of the people. Geithner would be free to claim his just reward: that plum offer from Goldman Sachs. The circle would be squared. Obama would have his man on the inside.”

  71. NJGator says:

    Sastry 65 – There’s all sorts of variables that would impact that. I can’t make a generalization. I would suggest that you hire an appraiser to do an appraisal specifically for use in a tax appeal (i.e. he’d only look at comps through Oct 1 of last year).

    You need to look at where that appraisal comes in, and if that would put your assessment/appraised value ratio over the upper limit for your town for the 2010 tax year to determine if it is worthwhile to file an appeal. What town are you in again? I can get you the average ratio and upper limit figures for this tax year.

    If you need a recommendation for an appraiser, send me an email and I will give you the contact info for the appraiser we worked with.

  72. frank says:

    Homes prices are up for 6 months in a row. Where’s the recession?
    Buy a home now, before prices go up even more.

  73. Cindy says:

    Also at Bloomberg today:

    Fed Weighs Interest on Reserves as New Benchmark Rate”

  74. Veto That says:

    One of the most promising pieces of news to hit the media in years.

    GM to make its own electric motors in 2013

    The automaker said Tuesday that starting in 2013, it plans to build its own electric motors for hybrid and electric vehicles. GM has been getting electric motors for those vehicles from suppliers, but wants to make the motors in-house in order to lower costs and improve quality and reliability.

    “We need to not only buy the parts, we need to really understand them,”

  75. Cindy says:

    Check out this guy’s time table:

    -1994-1997- prices…..2014…….

  76. I might have to make an exception to my no-video games in the home rule for this one.

    Cherry Hill man’s iPhone tank game allows users to blast N.J. towns

    “But Montclair Councilwoman-at-large Kathryn Weller-Demming said games are meant to be fun so that people will buy them. Montclair serves as the setting for the first level in “Tank Battles in Suburbia.”

    “I don’t think there’s anything a fictional video game can take away from what’s great about Montclair,” Weller-Demming said. “Certainly no one should be encouraged to perpetuate violence, but video games don’t raise people. Parents raise people.”

  77. John says:

    Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) — MGIC Investment Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage insurer, reported a 10th straight unprofitable quarter, posting a $280.1 million loss on falling premium revenue and record home foreclosures.

    The fourth-quarter loss widened to $2.25 a share from $275.6 million, or $2.23, in the same period a year earlier, the Milwaukee-based company said today in a statement. Excluding investment gains, the company lost $2.42 a share, beating the $3.18 loss estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

  78. NJGator says:

    Stu 77 – Does that mean I can get an iPhone now?

  79. freedy says:

    how’s the ski business in NJ.

  80. Gator (79): You can get an iPhone if you like. Just be aware that when the sh1t hits the fan, I will get the Fancy Feast, and you are getting the Meow Mix.

  81. lisoosh says:

    Interesting factoid:

    Recent McKinsey Global Institute report found that 71 percent of U.S. workers hold jobs for which there is decreasing demand, increasing supply, or both.

    This’ll end well.

  82. lisoosh says:

    Was thinking that for when the SHTF I should get in a large supply of Chef Boyardee.

    For use as currency.

  83. ruggles says:

    how’s the ski business in NJ.

    Slopes are packed at Xanadu.

  84. ruggles says:

    83 – “Was thinking that for when the SHTF I should get in a large supply of Chef Boyardee.

    For use as currency.”

    Don’t try eating it yourself.

  85. Cindy says:

    Good one from Institutional Risk Analyst today.

    “The Volcker Rule & AIG: Hedge Funds and Prop Desks Are Not the Problem”

    “Neither prop trading nor the size of the largest banks are the causes of the financial crisis. Instead, opaque OTC markets, deliberately deceptive structured financial instruments, and the general lack of disclosure are the real problems. Bring the closed, bilateral world of OTC markets into the sunlight of multilateral public price discovery and require SEC registration for all securitizations, and you start down the path to a practical solution. But don’t hold your breath waiting for President Obama or the Congress or former Fed chairman to start that conversation.”

  86. Varun says:

    Could anyone get me information on this mls listing please?

    MLS #2715440

    thank you

  87. lisoosh says:

    #85 – No. Never tried it, don’t want to.

    Lasts forever though and I’m sure there are plenty of HFCS, transfat, preservative and salt addicts out there for whom it’s a little slice of heaven. Same with Twinkies and Ho Ho’s.

  88. NJCoast says:

    Why Boyardee when you can feast on these morsals.

  89. John says:

    wilbur ross all in on stuy town, should have bought some mezz debt this morning.

    funny part of xanadu is they put the giants/jets coaches club super expensive snooty private parking on that side so the rich would have access to restaurants and bars after games and put us poor slobs on visitors side where we had to walk around stadium to get to xanadu, now the coaches club people are parking next to abondoned buildings.

  90. njescapee says:

    The New Mortgage Revolution: Walk Away|aim|dl4|link1|

  91. lisoosh says:

    Coast – Wow. I find that website so depressing. Survivalist consumerism.

    Still think junk food would be the best currency. After a few months of eating beans there are a lot of people who would kill for a bag of industrial strength Cheetos.

  92. freedy says:

    which county in NJ will lead in Walk a way’s?

    Bergen , Passaic, Hudson

  93. If I could fix my grenade launcher, I could lend it to Stu. Then, he could blast Soviet Montklair for real.

  94. NJCoast says:


    Imagine I stumbled on the Thrive products on Costco’s website. Probably their best seller in Utah.

  95. veto (76)-

    Another massive fail just waiting to happen.

    I’d rather take my chances with a rear-fuel-tank Pinto than a car with an electric motor made by GM.

  96. Mr Hyde says:

    Off to take the Mrs gun shopping! Nothing like a woman who loves the smell of gunpowder!

  97. Veto That says:

    Here is the full VetoThat NJ RE research report, updated with todays cs release.

  98. How many billions will we piss away subsidizing an overpriced electric car that won’t run right?

  99. frank says:

    You call this a housing recession?? Give me 2 of them.

    Nov. FHFA Housing Price Index: +0.7-% month-on-month, vs. +0.6% in October. Year-on-year, prices are +0.5%.

  100. Veto That says:

    “Another massive fail just waiting to happen.”

    Maybe but we have to start somewhere.

  101. Outofstater says:

    #60 Essex – Totally agree with you.

  102. RayC says:

    A clickable guide to where all your bailout money went!!! No work for me this morning!

  103. John (91)-

    No big. Pretty soon, 35,000 will be a good draw for the Jets/Gints. It’ll be easy to park & walk anywhere at that dump.

  104. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. "The Goon Squad" says:

    [14] yikes

    RE: guy in branchburg.

    Now admit it; how many of you heard about the guy in Branchburg with all the weapons and thought of Clot?

    I know I did.

  105. lisoosh says:

    Coast – Hey, it’s a good business model. If it sells, offer it.

  106. lisoosh says:

    Coast – Hey, it’s a good business model. If it sells, offer it.

  107. veto (104)-

    You despair about housing prices getting into your range, but you’re bullish on GM?

    Seems a bit backward.

  108. What happens when you can buy a Tata for $2,000?

    Buh bye, GM.

  109. plume (108)-

    Do you think it would be weird if I tried to post bail for him?

  110. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. "The Goon Squad" says:

    [19] clot

    “I just wonder how many posters here thought that guy was me.”

    At first, guilty!

  111. hrirono says:

    RE: #19

    Clot I got here too late to make that joke. But the mention of Branchburg did make me think on those lines.

    But it was absurd on its face, this guys arsenal was too small to be you.

    PS – to all – How about that strategic default on Stuy Town?

  112. toyne says:

    #99 Two thoughts/questions.

    1.How far have prices fallen to date in the NYC metro area?

    2. Are you saying that more educated states overpay for housing? If so does not say much for educated people.

  113. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. "The Goon Squad" says:

    [112] clot

    You could expect to find a plain Ford Crown Vic in your driveway, and four nice young men with black suits and ear pieces asking to speak to you before the week was out.

  114. Veto That says:

    Not everyone is expecting the end of world.
    Innovation with electric engines is a good way to advance our engineering and compete internationally. Plus the move to electric stops us funding the oil empire that hates us.
    Let me ask you, realistically, without the ultra doom and gloom drama, whats your home price prediction for NJ? ten years out.
    Besides ‘oblivion’ which can mean different things to different people.

  115. Sue Adler says a NJ public skool education is the best.

  116. Veto That says:

    “#99 Two thoughts/questions.”

    1. Pages 22 and 23.

    2. Are you saying that more educated states overpay for housing? If so does not say much for educated people.
    You get what you pay for. Me, i’d rather pay more to be around educated people.

  117. lisoosh says:

    #118 – Anything so expensive MUST be good!!!!!

  118. lisoosh says:

    Veto -most people in NJ aren’t paying for the education. They are paying to SAY they are paying for the education. Half of the point of a label is the label itself, not the goods.

  119. veto-

    Ten years from today, I expect home prices in NJ to be at around 1995-96 levels, with ownership rates at around 35-40%. There will be tens of thousands of households permanently barred from housing ownership because of bankruptcy. The good news may be that massive municipal defaults will allow many towns to get rid of redundant tiers of gubmint, completely restructure and rebudget and set tax rates at a realistic, livable level.

    Any recovery in NJ housing will come only on the heels of a resolution of property taxation problems.

  120. NJGator says:

    Committee finds Montclair’s debt is a ‘time bomb’

    MONTCLAIR — An independent advisory committee told the council the township’s mounting debt is a ticking time bomb that could increase taxes by up to 7.8 percent in the coming years.

    The Capital Finance Committee’s report — presented at Tuesday’s council meeting — points out almost $100 million, more than half Montclair’s debt, is held in low-interest, temporary notes, which eventually must be refinanced at a higher interest rate. This is a “perilous situation” that will dramatically increase the amount the township spends annually to pay off debt, the report states. The committee singled out a $3.5 million adult day-care facility the council is thinking of buying for use as a community center, describing the projected operating costs as substantially understated.

    Committee chairman John Reichman, a civil attorney and one of three citizen members, said the township needs a long-term spending plan, along with a stricter standard for approving expenditures.

    “In our view, that means only essential capital projects going forward,” he said, giving the example of a fire truck in need of repair.

    The committee was formed in mid-2008 to advise the council on capital-spending issues. The other two residents appointed to the committee have experience working at major financial firms, Reichman said.

    Township manager Joe Hartnett thought the committee did a good job presenting the outlook of the township’s debt but said it had no business making a recommendation about a specific project.

    Hartnett readily admits a community center isn’t essential — but neither are tennis courts, swimming pools and an ice rink, assets the township could give up if the council decides a center is more important.

    “It’s a question of cost-benefit analysis,” he said. “You’ve got to prioritize.”

    Kathryn Weller-Demming, councilwoman-at-large, said the idea of creating a community center has been floated for decades but never materialized. Now, it is a buyer’s market, she said, and Essex County awarded Montclair a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant that can only be used to buy the 17,000-square-foot Greenwood Avenue building by March.

    “How can I tell my grandchildren, ‘Oh, we could’ve had this, but we passed’?” she asked.

    Resident Fred Guterl said today he was shocked at the size of the township’s debt.

    “They’re like shopaholics — they can’t walk by a building without thinking, ‘Gee, maybe we should buy that,’” said Guterl, who’s lived in Montclair for 16 years.

    He went to the meeting because he said he’s concerned about high taxes. At $15,101 per household, Montclair’s average tax bill is twice the state average, according to a report last year from the state Department of Community Affairs.

    The council is working with the owner of the Greenwood Avenue building to arrange an open house for Montclair residents, Hartnett said. A public hearing to discuss the pros and cons of going forward with the purchase will be held at 8 p.m. on Feb. 3 in council chambers at 205 Claremont Ave.

  121. I have no doubt that the housing crisis will become so severe in NJ that no thinking person will want to own a home, and even the most solvent of owners may consider giving their homes up, as the whole asset class will become a sinkhole of negative equity, accelerating depreciation and excessive taxation.

  122. NJGator says:

    Open House is Sat 1/30. Clot – want to go raise some h*ll with Stu?

    The President of the Montclair Senior Care and Activities Center Vincent
    DeMauro and Township Manager Joseph Hartnett announced today that the Center and
    the Township will jointly host an Open House for all Montclair residents and
    taxpayers at the Senior Center facility, 110 Greenwood Avenue, on Saturday,
    January 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Open House is being held in
    conjunction with a proposal before Council to purchase the building to use as a
    Community Center for Montclair residents.
    > >
    > > “This is a potential action that has long-range implications for the
    community and we want all taxpayers and residents to have an opportunity to
    actually see the facility in order to get a better feel for whether or not the
    Township should take advantage of this opportunity,” said Township Manager
    > >
    > > “We understand that these are challenging times economically, so the
    Township must very carefully examine all considerations when weighing in on this
    proposal,” he said. “Most importantly, should this move forward, we must have a
    plan that has minimal or no impact on the taxpayers by virtue of making cuts or
    trade-offs in other areas,”said the Manager.
    > >
    > > DeMauro says he is pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the facility
    to Montclair residents. “It’s a wonderful building, almost brand new and just
    about perfect for a community center but, of course, we understand the decision
    is up to the Township,” said DeMauro.
    > >
    > > Light refreshments will be served at the Open House and staff will be on
    hand to answer any questions visitors may have. For additional information
    please contact the Township Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs at

  123. lisoosh says:

    Gator -your Township Manager sure is a peach.

    Loving your councilwoman too – the community center is “for the children”.

    Liking my blue collar wilderness more and more….

  124. Gator (126)-

    Only if there are no metal detectors at the door.

    “Open House is Sat 1/30. Clot – want to go raise some h*ll with Stu?”

  125. Anon E. Moose says:


    Plus the move to electric stops us funding the oil empire that hates us.

    The best way we have to generate electricity still involves fossil fuel or nuclear. Solar and wind are neat toys, but don’t add up to anything significant. Not to mention that even the Democrats – Hi Joe Kennedy! – get all NIMBY on wind turbines. The frog-lickers and other animal lovers in the movement object to wind because bird-brained … well, birds… occasionally fly into them with fatal effect.

    So what you say is only true if the watermelon environmentalist movement (green on the oustide, red on the inside) holding sway over the left wing quiets down long enough to permit America to a) burn the domestic coal that we know about; b) drill for domestic and offshore oil and natrual gas [DRILL, BABY DRILL]; and c) build the nukes we’ll need when the coal and NG gets harder to find.

    Elections have consequences.

  126. Want to have some fun? Start pressing your town/township to eliminate the police department.

    I’m thinking of doing this here…just for giggles.

  127. NJGator says:

    Clot 129 – I’ll get Nick Lewis, 3rd Ward Councillor right on that. He might go for it, if it means we can buy the Senior Center. He actually advocated that we consider not repairing any roads for the next 2 years so we can do it.

  128. John says:

    Stuy town is a great deal, I was kicking it with Paul Reiser one day on the set of my two dads and he was telling me he still had his rent controlled unit, when mad abut you started and was a hit stuy town booted him as they claimed he was a permanant resident of LA, Reisers mom and my aunt live in same buidling in Stuy town.

  129. Sean says:

    The Branchburg arrest is some crazy dude from Virgina. He was stupid enough to come to NJ for whatever nonsense he was up to.

    Down in Virgina he would not have even been stopped for having a bulge in his jacket at a Quick check.

  130. NJGator says:

    Now John – no way that story is true. Any connoisseur of bad late 80’s/early 90’s TV (or someone who can use Wikipedia) would know that My Two Dad’s ran from 1987-1990. Mad About You did not start until 1992. So how could you have had that conversation on the set of My Two Dads?

  131. Veto That says:

    95-96 price levels?
    Thats the most dire prediction i have ever heard.
    Notice that i wont knock it.
    I’m basically open minded about any scenario at this point.

    Fair warning. i am creating a forecast chart that includes all the forecasts of the characters on this board. Should be good fun. Gary claimed his prediction two days ago. I know Grim was always looking for 30%, not sure if that changed for him or not, but thats also about where i stand.
    Anyone else want to make their ten year prediction known? Lets hear it.

  132. toyne says:

    #119 You get what you pay for. Me, i’d rather pay more to be around educated people.

    1. You missed my point entirely.

    2. Some of the smartest people I know, have very little formal education.

  133. Veto That says:

    “What happens when you can buy a Tata for $2,000? Buh bye, GM”

    Ha ha. Half of the American population couldn’t even fit into this thing.

  134. Ray C. (105):

    Thanks for posting that stimulus tracker. The Jamil’s of the world need to look at it to understand why bitching and moaning about Obama and the congress for porking up the stimulus is really small beans compared to the stealth stimulus we are providing Wall Street and the banksters via the Paulson/Geithner conduit.

    3.9 trillion divided among 300 million equals $13,000 per citizen.

    Could you only imagine how the economy would be thriving if we had let the banksters failed and gave everyone a $13,000 check?

    But go on and complain about the extension of unemployment benefits or increase in food stamps programs. It really amounts to less than one pube of hair in the collective body of stimulus compared to the stealth stimuli.

  135. toyne says:

    #123“How can I tell my grandchildren, ‘Oh, we could’ve had this, but we passed’?” she asked.

    Don’t worry grandma your grand children won’t be able to afford the taxes to live there.

    A better question to ask yourself might be, why did we so royally destroy future generations.

  136. Veto That says:

    1. You missed my point entirely.
    Maybe you should be more clear about what exactly your point is. We are not mind readers here.

    2. Some of the smartest people I know, have very little formal education.
    If you think that chart i graphing smarts, you are completely misreading it.

    Question. Is your only goal to start a debate or do you have something to contribute? If so, let it rip. If you disagree with what my report is suggesting, then go ahead and share your theories. If you continue to knock other people’s theories without providing your own “correct” theories, then it is clear that you have none of your own to begin with. And then the whole debate becomes a worthless waste of time.

  137. toyne says:

    #134 According to your charts we are down 20% from peak. Without govt intervention we would be down twice that amount. If and when govt ends housing support we are back to 1996-97 levels, only with triple and quadruple the property taxes.

  138. John says:

    I guess this is why Zion was roaring like a Lion. Bonds were 14% on Jan 1, now are 9%.

    Lets see if MI, SNV and CMA can pop. Regional banks are players. They got killed in 2008 and never really recovered in 2009

    Zions stock pops as analysts see more upside
    shares were up more than 10% in early trading Tuesday after the bank reported narrower-than-expected losses and at least one analyst predicted a turnaround.

    Late Monday, Zions also reported reduced losses and other costs from bad loans compared with the previous quarter.

    In a note Tuesday, FBR Capital Markets analysts raised their target price for Zions’ stock to $21 a share from $19 and predicted the Salt Lake City regional bank will return to profitability in the first half of 2011.
    Shares of Zions closed at $17.92 on Monday.
    Zions shares have now risen more than 50% in 2010.

  139. toyne says:

    #139 No I am not disagreeing with your report, I just find it ironic that so called educated people make undeducated decesions and over pay for housing. Does not say much for so called educated people. Wait until these so called educated people actually have children in the so called good districts;more than a few will be quite disappointed.

  140. Veto that:

    Put me down for 30% inflation adjusted. 40% without.

  141. I’m not sure what I find more entertaining?

    1) Veto That’s reports.

    2) Veto That’s temper when ever anyone criticizes his reports.

    I think it’s #2.

  142. John says:

    Stu, in reality people who oppose bailout are nutso. Lets see I got money in savings at 1%. I know FITB, BAC, JPM, GS, MS, GNW, HIG etc. are all going to pop from 50% to 1,000% because of bail-out. I live my 50K at 1% in savings in 2009 and earn $500 bucks. I take the higher moral road. I on purpose choose not to invest in these stocks where my $50,000 could have been up to $500,000. Now I complain cause others did. Hey that is life. We all should have been pouring money into stocks and bonds on March 9th 2009 like drunken sailors, I was 110% in. I wish I margined to the max and used options to increase leverage so I could be retired now, I did not. But why complain I had my chance.

  143. Good for you John.

    You have the moral equivalent of a female mosquito.

  144. DL says:

    Has any nation’s fall ever been attributed to supidity? Will we be a historical first?

  145. ‘Have’ should be ‘are’.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    Now, HERE is a thrill seeker’s dream activity: Supersonic freefssll diving from 36km up.

    It is quite out of this world, but carries with it a fairly-undesirable possible side effect:

    “The jump height is above a threshold at 19,000 metres called the Armstrong line, where the atmospheric pressure is so low that fluids start to boil. ‘If he opens up his face mask or the suit, all the gases in your body go out of suspension, so you literally turn into a giant fizzy, oozing fluid from your eyes and mouth, like something out of a horror film. It’s just seconds until death.'”

  147. Jeff Spicoli says:

    “so you literally turn into a giant fizzy, oozing fluid from your eyes and mouth, like something out of a horror film.”

    Dude! We gotta try that.

  148. ruggles says:

    147 – dl – “Has any nation’s fall ever been attributed to supidity? Will we be a historical first?”

    I highly doubt that. We just have better glasses with which to see it.

  149. Veto That says:

    #134 According to your charts we are down 20% from peak. Without govt intervention we would be down twice that amount. If and when govt ends housing support we are back to 1996-97 levels, only with triple and quadruple the property taxes.

    Thats like a fair analysis to me.
    The only thing i would add Gvt intervention is the market, not an outside force that is messing with the market. Totally free markets would have failed 100 times over. Ours are rigged, regulated and manipulated to always go up.

  150. pricedOut says:


    Let’s put it in perspective. I can think of quite a few ‘college level’ books I wouldn’t want in an elementary school library.

  151. Veto That says:

    “I think it’s #2.”

    clot, if you read the small font on my report it says, “I’m happy to share my charts and reports on the one condition that everyone agrees with it 100% and does not question anything about it.”

  152. pricedOut says:

    oops, that’s in re. #152

  153. Shore Guy says:

    Heck, with the way B.O. & Congress are spending, the deficit iss growing so fst we will soon have a budget deficit that is bigger than the budget itself.

  154. Mr Hyde says:

    Jeff 150

    space exposure:

    new scientist is wrong. NASA has done experiments with lab animals. While very unpleasant exposure to space would be far from what is seen in movies and survivable for exposures of a few minutes

  155. chicagofinance says:

    un compresion corto….

  156. toyne says:

    #153 The only thing i would add Gvt intervention is the market, not an outside force that is messing with the market.

    And that will ultimately destroy what used to be a market.

  157. Remember I was talking the other day about that great hummus that I can only find in the Marlboro Shoprite?

    Here is picture of it.

    If you ever see it anywhere north of Central Jewsey, please let me know.

  158. gator (131)-

    If Montklair convened a special secretariat death panel, you could deal with your senior issue much more effectively.

  159. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto, clot

    great debates today and would love ro throw in my 2 cents but not near a pc to get at my data :(

  160. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. "The Goon Squad" says:

    [132] sean

    “Down in Virgina he would not have even been stopped for having a bulge in his jacket at a Quick check.”

    Sorry, I call b.s.

    VA requires a permit for concealed carry, which is anything but walking down the street with your hogleg displayed or holstered in plain view. If you have a jacket over it, or you are in a car, it’s concealed.

    Further, getting a permit in VA is a b1tch. They require training, certification, background, the works. And remember, NoVa is essentially its own blue state, and he had to pass thru NoVa to get here.

  161. Shore (158)-

    Pass the sushi, please.

  162. Veto That says:

    Hyde, the more charts the better. Post them later.
    Whats your ten year price prediction?

  163. Reuters:
    Home prices suggest tenuous housing rebound;_ylt=AniH85TSWisntzGfKsEHF7u7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1ZjFub2ZyBHBvcwM1BHNlYwN0b3BTdG9yaWVzBHNsawNob21lcHJpY2VzZGk-?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

    “From their peak in the second quarter of 2006 through November, the 10-city index has toppled 30 percent and the 20-city index has tumbled 29.2 percent”

  164. toyne says:

    #167 And that is with govt intervention.

  165. chicagofinance says:

    Uh oh…JJ feeling remorse….I guess the drugs are wearing off….

    John says:
    January 26, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Overpriced bond of the year (well 2010, anyhow) remember when this dog was like 50 cents a year ago?

  166. safeashouses says:

    #107 nom

    I thought the guy in Branchburg was james or Al.

  167. Veto That says:

    “And that will ultimately destroy what used to be a market.”

    Maybe but ‘Ultimately’ is a sujective time frame.
    Bye the way this is classic Karl Marx vs Adam Smith right now.

  168. Sean says:

    re#164 Comrade – Cumon now Virgina is not NJ. It is allot easier get a carry permit concealed or otherwise there, even if you are an out of state resident.

    I am not defending this looney he may not even have permits. I am just saying the gun laws in Virgina are pretty lax compared to NJ. For example Delaware and Pennsylvania will honor a Virgina issued concealed carry permit whereas NJ will not.

    More info here on Virgina laws here.

  169. toyne says:

    #171Maybe but ‘Ultimately’ is a sujective time frame.

    Sooner rather than later;time is not on this govt’s side.

  170. Veto That says:

    sorry Stu 155 was to you.

    “Put me down for 30% inflation adjusted. 40% without.”

    Just doing nominal. Are you saying 40% from peak or from jan 2010?

  171. toyne says:

    #171 Perhaps a better question is, why would one even want to buy a house in NJ now?

    I don’s see any upside for years if ever. Sad thing, those who bought in the last year, who wanted the 8k tax credit, and wanted to take advantage of lower prices, have already lost money. For those who did FHA, (and many in our area did) they have lost their 3.5 down payment. Instead of chasing some stupid 8k tax credit, they should have been patient,and gotten another 25k or more dscount from last years prices.

  172. Veto…from peak. It was my original prediction from way back when and I figure the end of housing stimulus should be good for another 15 to 20% ‘real’ around these parts.

  173. toyne says:

    #176 Only stimulus ain’t ending as far as I can see.

  174. Sean says:

    John – more comp numbers are out today. Seems everyone got raises.

  175. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. "The Goon Squad" says:

    [172] sean

    I am well aware of VA laws, having lived there and considered getting a permit (decided it was too much hassle).

    I am also aware of reciprocity but I fail to see your point regarding reciprocity and enforcement.

    IMHO, you are conflating the ability to get a legal permit with the willingness to enforce the law, or even the existence of a law to enforce. But understand that having a suspicious bulge gives any officer anywhere probable cause to stop and frisk, regardless of whether the person may be legal (VA) or in all likelihood cannot be (NJ).

  176. Veto That says:

    “why would one even want to buy a house in NJ now?”

    This is just a guess but there are alot of things people do without making a cost benefit analysis. Most people want a home to live in for many years and dont think much about the mortgage or payments or taxes until the day they go see the realtor. Alot of my friends and family know that stocks and homes have always gone up, so they dont really think too much about it.

    If we did the math on every decision in life, there is prob alot of things we would all do differently.

  177. “If we did the math on every decision in life, there is prob alot of things we would all do differently.”

    Like get married…have kids?

  178. toyne says:

    #179 Alot of my friends and family know that stocks and homes have always gone up,

    But they have not, and have performed poorly over the long term.

    Either way, but you are right the mindset is incredibly dense.

  179. Housing, like gold, has historically been a terrible investment. If you manage to time it right, well sure, you can get lucky. So how many people do you know that sold at the peak and massively downsized to pocket the gains? I only know one. Typical herd mentality I suppose. Now stop interrupting me, Judge Judy is on.

  180. Veto That says:

    Stu, Guy was married 50 years, miserable old man.
    told me that he did the math. If he killed his wife, he could have been out in 20.
    Worst part of the whole story was she was standing right next to him. lol.

  181. yikes says:

    women cancels ESPN. husband goes after her with a knife. this is real, apparently.

  182. Veto That says:

    “But they have performed poorly over the long term.”

    Most people just stuff their savings into their 401k and all they know is they get dividends and the dow always goes up. Maybe that mentality will change. It obviously has not yet. If you talk to the average person about home prices and stocks going down over the long run they will seriously think you are nuts.

    1.6% over inflation for housing over the last 40 years is not poor performance for an asset that you get alot of use out of. Im not saying we will repeat this performance over the next forty years. Fact is that anyone who bough during last downturn or before 2002 is still up huge with a ton of equity in their home right now, unless they heloc’d themselves into the ground. but even my parnts bought in 1987, what the heck do they care about this housing downturn? 20% correction is nothing when their home price is up 400% in 20 years. Yeah, they were always fixing it up and pouring money into it but they dont even count those costs. Most people dont do the math or even care enough to know if you did the math for them.

  183. Dr. Ruth says:

    “Like get married”

    Now Stu,

    For men, getting married is a real cost saver. First, it reduces the number of drinks and dinners the man must buy in the quest to get laid. It also reduces the number of hotel rooms, weekends to Barbados, cases of condoms, he must buy and the number of penicillin perscriptions he must fill.

    When the typical male also adds in how much longer his clothes last now tht they are no longer allowed to lie in a lum on the floor, marriage is a huge plus.

  184. toyne says:

    #185 Don’t forget property taxes. ANd I woudl argue that most people are very concerned about the value of theri house, even those who bought years ago,

    As far as home equity loans, every homeowner I know in their 30’s to 50’s has at least onw home equity loan/HELOC. If people were as unconcerned about prices as you say, one could argue that the govt might not be pursuing the extraoridanry steps they have to prevent further price declines.

  185. jcer says:

    Housing is a few things, a stable place to live(no LL turmoil, can paint, update, decorate, make it your own), forced savings(paying a traditional mortgage forces you to build equity). I am not as bearish on housing, it is my opinion that the demand is still around, people still need good housing and NJ is constrained. That being said, housing has not yet reached it’s intrinsic value, making it a bad investment. If the rental #’s i.e. true affordability don’t line up with ~8% return on capital it is a bad deal. I am still a bear and I think prices need to fall a lot, we’d be closer to bottom if not for the ludicrous property taxes. The taxes in some towns put the nails in the coffin.. I’m looking at you suburban essex county(WO,SO,Montclair, etc).

  186. lisoosh says:

    Stu – Shoprite in East Brunswick also sells Achla. I would think you would be able to find it in some stores around Livingston, probably other Shoprites, but don’t quote me on that.

    Strauss actually owns Sabra, so while the Achla is imported, Sabra is made with the same recipe and is widely available.

    Locally – Sonny and Joes is absolutely fantastic. I get it at the EB Shoprite.

    I used to bring some Achla back with me from Israel when I could, now I don’t bother.

    If you are ever in NY,then there are a couple of supermarkets in Kew Gardens Queens which also carry the stuff.

  187. Sastry says:

    Gator #72,

    The township is Greenbrook. The best “hard data” I can think of is a recent sale in the complex there. About 10% below our new assessment.


  188. leftwing says:

    Stu, re: stimulus tracker

    I would have no problem if the whole right hand side of that diagram never happened.

    Its existence, however, does not justify the left hand side.

  189. Veto That says:

    Clearly the housing crisis exists and is real. Im just trying to balance out the discussion with some perspective.
    Not everyone is sitting around with paper and pencil worried about their home prices… yet anyway.

    Toyne. What is your prediction ten years out?

  190. freedy says:

    this just in another widening of the NJ
    turnpike. does it ever end.

  191. lisoosh:
    Thanks for the advice. I’m not a big fan of Sabra. Not half as smooth and there is not nearly enough Tahini for my taste. I really should try some Livingston places although I usually just drive through so I wouldn’t even know where to look. By the way, Trader Joe’s tabbouleh is pretty damn good if you are looking for a cheap accompaniment.

    I agree completely. The right does not justify the left at all. It is just annoying to hear the right constantly attack the left as they ignore the right. Got it?

  192. NJGator says:

    Sastry – The average ratio for 2010 in Green Brook is 93.97%. That puts the upper limit at 100%. You just have to prove that you are assessed above market value in an appeal and then your assessment should be reduced to 93.97% of market value.

  193. Sastry:

    Please send $200 to our Montclair address for Gator’s services. We’ll be sure to immediatelly forward it to Michael Steele.

  194. Barbara says:

    Looking up dirty words in the dictionary is one of childhood’s right of passage.

  195. freedy says:

    i’m still looking for the info on stiffing
    the credit card companies. after stiffing
    and walking on the home/heloc

  196. jcer says:

    Stu, on hummus, just make your own, it’s almost always better, especially if you don’t use canned beans. pop the ingredients in the food processor and your done, also the oil and tahini you buy is generally of a higher quality than what is used in the containers.

  197. jcer…been thinking about trying it, but I doubt I would get the smoothness. Maybe I’ll try it. Can it be frozen? ;)

  198. Veto That says:

    MONTCLAIR: The Capital Finance Committee

    stu, isnt this the committee you and gator created to dole out allowance to the kids?

  199. leftwing says:


    It comes down to an abdication of responsibility, personal and corporate.

    I am no moralist, and not opposed to jingle mail either. So long as one is subject to the ramifications of one’s decisions.

    Also, you’re underpricing Gator’s services. I would suggest that a model that charges up to two years of annual taxes saved would work, if you handle it soup to nuts on a success fee. For a $1m house in a 1.5 tax rate town with a 7% decrease in assessment that would work out the taxpayer saving $1,050 annually and $2k for Gator. Why not?

  200. “isnt this the committee you and gator created to dole out allowance to the kids?”

    Allowance? Never heard of it.

  201. Veto That says:

    if you don’t use canned bean,

    Uggh, the only thing thats more laborious than making hummus from scratch is scraping wall paper off the walls. Soaking the beans is a two day process. (Que John)
    We have done it this way and it still never comes out the same as the flaffel place.
    Smoothe hummus is one secret we have never been able to unlock.

  202. In my hummus research, I read that the secret to the smoothness is to dribble in the olive oil through that tiny hole in the top of the food processor. Most people don’t even know that this is what that tiny hole is for.

  203. jcer says:

    you can freeze it, but it’s not as good after being frozen, it stays good for about 5 days. It’s really easy with canned beans but the can taste kind of comes through if you know what I mean. You can get it pretty smooth in a food processor, especially if you use a lot of olive oil,start with a little water and feed the peas through the slot. My feeling on it, is it beats most containers, though not as good as a really good middle eastern restaurant(I think they use a ricer or something, they might force it through a sieve and whip air into it).

  204. Schumpeter says:


    Most people don’t cook the garbanzos until completely done. Also, bomb the hummus with olive oil AND garlic that has been steamed, then roasted (steaming garlic until tender before roasting it increases yield and prevents the heads from burning and filling your house with that wretched NJ burnt garlic stench).

  205. John says:

    Only remorse is I sold at 105, this should make you cringe, loaded up on FITB,MI, Zions, SNV bonds in late December 2009 and already up 5%. Buy at 60-70, sell at 100-105, lather rinse repeat. You gotta problem with that? Next I am selling all my Feb/March 2009 Citi, HIG, GNW bonds I bought at 50 cents as soon as I hit LTCG, I will need your advice where to re-roll.

    chicagofinance says:
    January 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Uh oh…JJ feeling remorse….I guess the drugs are wearing off….

    John says:
    January 26, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Overpriced bond of the year (well 2010, anyhow) remember when this dog was like 50 cents a year ago?

  206. Schumpeter says:

    Anytime I see FITB in one of John’s posts, I start to go a little psycho.

    We deal with their wholesale mtg department, and I don’t think there’s a way I can adequately describe what an incredibly broken enterprise this gang of crooks and thieves is.

    This bank truly should be shot and put out of its misery.

  207. lisoosh says:

    Stu – I’ve never been able to make good hummus (although Clot is probably right about the not cooking the beans long enough part) but I do make killer tehina dip and rock fava beans in all their variations.

    Here is a place to try, I was sent there once for some Israeli imports I’ve never seen anywhere else but Queens:

    Amira Fresh Fruits and Veg
    12-64 River Road
    Fair Lawn.

    I believe that is closer to your neck of the woods.

  208. lisoosh says:

    And if you want really good ME food, can’t beat Paterson. There are pastries there that I have only ever seen in Jerusalem, and almost as good.
    It’s where all the Israelis go.

  209. Barbara says:

    add greek yogurt to homemade hummus in the food processor. Most homemade hummus isn’t as smooth as the stuff you buy because there is an unhealthy and obscene amount of oil in it, the yogurt helps a bit

  210. jcer says:

    One more note on dried beans, soak(1-2 hrs), drain, crock-pot(8-10 hrs on low), they will be very soft after this and the skin of the chickpeas will come off. You can also cook the canned beans longer 25-30 and the result is better, skins come off and the bean is wetter/more cooked which leads to smoother hummus.

  211. grim says:

    205 – stu the drizzle is to create an emulsion, same technique is used for mayonnaise. If you add too much oil too quickly you end up with a gloppy mess.

  212. Schumpeter says:

    If you bite into a garbanzo and it’s still raw & chewy at the middle, it’s not cooked through. No amount of yogurt or oil can fix undercooking them.

  213. jcer says:

    Barbara the oil makes it good, there is good reason I buy gallons of EVOO a year, I put it on everything.

  214. Barbara says:

    jcer I love it too but a calorie is a calorie is a calorie….trying to keep the weight off

  215. John says:

    Schmupter I also bought this today if you really want to flip out, small postion but I am a sucker for high coupon short term bonds as in a prepac I get a better offer and all I need is to clip a few coupons and I don’t care anymore, REALOGY CORP SR SUB 12.37500% 04/15/2015 at a price of 70

    FITB rocks, I bought these two bonds nine months ago, btw anytime I can combine a 8.25 coupon with a 33% gain it is a good thing. However, I like comerica bonds better. I am closing out both FITB postions in a few weeks when I hit LTCM. Actually closing out every single LTCM by 12-31-10 before tax rates go up.

    316773CH1 FIFTH THIRD BANCORP BOND 08.25000% 33.14% gain

    316773AD2 FIFTH THIRD BANCORP SB NT 4.50000% 06/01/2018 42.92% gain

    BTW Schmupter what banks should I be buying. I am avoiding stocks cause my crazy strategy involves buying high yielding bonds and then reinvesting the interest into different bonds. Stocks no longer pay much interest.

  216. Schumpeter says:

    I like mayonnaise.

  217. Leftwing: I think our best model for making some cash off of Gator’s property tax appeal process knowledge is to do a series of lectures in each town following their town-wide reassessment. You gotta figure that in a town like Bloomfield, you should easily get 200 attendees. Charge $10 to $15 a head and present the process to them clearly. Maybe it would take 3 hours of her time for a quick 3K per session cash business. Do one every couple months for some extra spending money. I’m not sure how we would advertise it though. Perhaps a quick blurb in a local paper?

  218. Barbara says:

    greek yogurt makes a slammin mayo, sour cream, whipped cream substitute. Fage 2% can be flavored sweet or savory. My fav dip:

    1 Fage 2%
    some squeezey horseraddish
    few dashes of tarragon vinegar
    kosher salt
    cracked pepper.

  219. Schumpeter says:

    John (218)-

    I don’t doubt your picks…or the validity of the TBTF/bailout trade. However, it’s symptomatic of how sick our markets are when losers are the biggest winners.

    You and I know Icahn will leave nothing but charred earth at Realogy, but I guess it’s good for a reach around.

    No banks for me…I’ll just throw my mad money at AUD, paired against any phony currency of choice.

    All disclaimers.

  220. jcer says:

    Yeah, that calorie thing is a bummer. Schump, mayo is nasty stuff unless flavored, by itself it is gross, flavored with garlic, chipotle pepper, or cranberry makes it a tasty addition.

  221. I can’t stand mayonnaise. Sorry. Gimme a good quality oil and vinegar and I’m happy. A decent spicy brown mustard works for me in other cases.

  222. Schumpeter says:

    jcer (223)-

    Naah, man…fries dipped in plain, homemade mayo rule!

    Still waiting for John to toss in a mayonnaise story…

  223. John says:

    Great brand new site for people who like FX options.

    industry sponsored. I like FX, just don’t know much about it.

    Icahan will try to scare the mothers out of Reology, back door buy up debt at 30 -60 and back door a prepack at 70. Where he takes contol of company and doubles his bond investment. I am ok with that. I bought a little piece and want to clip a coupon or two and take stock in new company. Those people who bought at par and jump ship at 50 will get burned like CIT bondholders.

  224. lisoosh says:

    Barbara says:
    January 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    “greek yogurt makes a slammin mayo, sour cream, whipped cream substitute. ”

    I’m sorry. Greek yogurt makes a great substitute for the chemically mess that goes for low-fat yogurt in this country.

    Mayo, sour cream and whipped cream all stand on their own.
    And are delicious.

  225. lisoosh says:

    Schumpeter says:
    January 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm
    jcer (223)-

    “Naah, man…fries dipped in plain, homemade mayo rule!”

    Yum. Never made it myself. The Dutch have that special creamy stuff just for fries.

    Goes well with beer.

  226. Barbara says:

    lisoosh, they are great, but who can really afford to eat gobs of full fat sour cream,kwim?

  227. Barbara says:

    I’m with you, mayo makes me wretch and if it is accidentally on a sandwich, I throw it out or send it back. Pass the Chalula!

  228. Barbara says:

    this is stuff I read about when its late and the baby isn’t sleeping

  229. Veto That says: just opened a blog on their site.
    They obviously know better and only allow realtors to sign up.
    I really cant think of anything more fun that blogging about the houses on that sight.

  230. Barbara says:

    holy s., I’d never leave the house.

  231. Schumpeter says:

    John (226)-

    Agreed. It’s the best he can do, and the company is just too chock full of dopes and losers for Icahn to even begin to sort it out. Realogy makes Imclone look like the best company on the planet, by comparison.

    “Icahan will try to scare the mothers out of Reology, back door buy up debt at 30 -60 and back door a prepack at 70.”

  232. Veto That says:

    If there was a posterboy for the sleazy hard sell, it would be this guy’s picture.
    Whats worse is that his finger pointing arrogance screams outloud everything that was wrong with 2006. If he just toned it down just a little, we would all be better off.

  233. Schumpeter says:

    Barb (231)-

    I think poutine is French for diarrhea.

  234. Schumpeter says:

    Veto, we’d be better off if that guy got hit by a car.

  235. Barbara says:

    never had it but I like the greek version as described on wiki

  236. leftwing says:

    Agree that few people actually run numbers when contemplating alternatives to or in a home purchase.

    So, some mental m@asturb@tion on breakevens and incentives:

    Same house. One buyer with 3.5% down (FHA guy) and another with 20% down (oldtimer). Interest rate on the first is 6.5% and on the latter is 5.0% (don’t know how realistic the spread is, if any). 30 year amort schedule on both.

    Observations, regardless of house price:

    The amount by which FHA buyer’s monthly mortgage payment exceeds oldtimer’s payment is 1.1% of the difference between the two downpayments. Or, stated differently, not until 7.6 years after closing is FHA out of pocket the same amount of cash as oldtimer.

    The amount by which FHA buyer’s annual mortgage payment exceeds oldtimer’s payment is 2.2% of the purchase price of the home. Stated differently, after two years FHA would be cash out of pocket 7.9% of the purchase price relative to oldtimer and not until 7.5 years is he out of pocket 20% of the purchase price relative to oldtimer.

    Combining the two observations, some conclusions, if you are serious about your willingness to walk away and have structured your affairs so:

    You’re crazy to buy a house with 20% down, even taking into account the different principal balances due as a result of higher interest payments.

    Buying now under FHA versus oldtimer has a huge free option embedded in it REGARDLESS OF THE DIRECTION OF HOUSE PRICES so long as there is volatility. If prices move up or down double digit percentages, you’re covered. Up is easy, you are making a huge return on a thin sliver of investment. Down, say 20%, FHA can bail after even two years and pick up an equivalent house at 12.1% off all-in.

    I’ll do this trade all day long – for a ‘premium’ of 7.9% I have a two year option to potentially return 100% or so in the event of a big market decline or triple my money in the event of a move upward. I get hurt if after 7.5 years the market hasn’t moved at all. I don’t know many two year options with that premium and return profile.

    This analysis may have me pull the trigger on an another home.


  237. Schumpeter says:

    Reggie Middleton, with some poutine of his own:

    “The bursting of the massive real estate bubble and associated Asset Securitization Crisis has seriously impaired the US financial system. US banks’ profitability and solvency will continue to be threatened until their balance sheets are purged of the loan losses by writing down the portfolio to the realizable value. This value is currently, in our opinion, on a continuous downward trend, contrary to the opinion of many analysts, consultants and pundits. As pointed out in the CRE 2010 Overview and my blog posts as far back as 2007, commercial real estate (CRE) is the next major crisis brewing due to the inability to rollover underwater debt and the signs of the same have started to emerge in the banks’ books. This, coupled with continuing losses from the rolling losses across various classes of debt in the residential space and weak consumer lending and associated non-performing assets, underlines the huge risk attached to the sector and undermines any investment proposition.”

  238. Barbara says:

    I cam to this conclusion a year ago. I will be 3.5% all the way and I am currently looking but like many on this board, still not seeing enough sanity in the market over all, still seeing a LOT of asking prices OVER 2005 purchase prices which tells me this is a whole lot of “bail me out please” and I will probably have to wait for these houses to go foreclosure.
    Its already happening, 3 out of the 5 I’ve looked into recently have been bank owned. Compared to two years ago when that wasn’t happening (for me) at all. A quick trip around Zillow will show you all the foreclosures coming around, they seem to out number the “solvent” sellers 4:1.

  239. freedy says:

    if nick cage can to into foreclosure , where does that leave the rest of us.

  240. Julia Child says:

    Can any of you other cooks recomend a real estate blog?

  241. Simon says:

    “Schumpeter says:
    January 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Barb (231)-
    I think poutine is French for diarrhea.”

    Is there anything this guy doesn’t have a negative comment for?

  242. Veto That says:

    Stop being sich a downer.
    Focus on the positive.

  243. Anon E. Moose says:


    I had a great conversation with a friend this weekend who is smack dab in the middle of the “American Dream” – underwater house and family in MI, job and apartment three states away. He offered the most insightful description that I have yet heard of used house sales ‘professionals’ (second-oldest profession by my estimation):

    “Low lifes looking to live the high life.”

  244. Stu says:


    What’s the break even on 10% down? I too ran the numbers but a 10% down traditional is still very doable today if you have the good credit score and assets to back it up.

  245. relo says:

    John sporting wood aside, anyone familiar w/ “Managed Timber”? Seriously.

  246. ruggles says:

    “Julia Child says:

    Can any of you other cooks recomend a real estate blog?”

    I hear has one (see above). Probably quite pithy.

  247. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a. "The Goon Squad" says:

    I’m shocked, shocked to learn that there is gambling going on here.

    “NEW YORK ( — The Congressional Budget Office hiked its forecast Tuesday for how much the stimulus bill will add to the nation’s deficit, raising its estimate by $75 billion to $862 billion.

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in February 2009, was initially believed to have a price tag of $787 billion. With the glaring exception of skyrocketing unemployment compensation costs, the CBO said the Recovery Act’s effects on government spending and revenues have closely followed its initial estimate for 2009 and 2010.

    The vast majority of the increased deficit impact is linked to anticipated spending in 2011 to 2019. It now appears to the Budget Office that stimulus will have a larger impact on the deficit in the years to come based on changing economic factors since the bill was signed into law 11 months ago. . . .”

  248. sas says:

    “SEC mulled national security status for AIG details”

    -U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve’s bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.

  249. sas says:

    remember what I told you about SEC.
    they are there only to provide legitimacy to the fraud that goes on. They go after the mid level crooks, to make it look legit.

    However, the big money and big boys get a free pass and the green light to go.

    Crime that pays, stays.

  250. Veto That says:

    Honey, if we ever want to be truly happy, we NEED this house first.

  251. sas says:

    Madoff was a just kitty cat in some sense.

    although, he had help, from the top down to bottom up help.
    he had help as far and as deep into the telecommunications buisness & CIA eavesdropping capabilities.

    Now, what exactly brought down the house of cards? personally, I do not know for sure. I tend to think it was just good old fashion “lack of trust”. basically, the SHTF, and fat cats started to squeal like a pig. and nothing brings down fraud and rigged markets quicker than lack of trust. and in turn, lack of trust, can restore back free markets. (in my opinion).

    In any case, its interesting. Now get back to work and pay for that bailout. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.


  252. NJCoast says:

    Best condiment ever!

    Warning- highly addictive.

  253. sas says:

    “Honey, if we ever want to be truly happy, we NEED this house first”

    looks like if you sneeze to hard, that house will fall down.


  254. sas says:

    “im Geithner’s “Financial Crisis” Declassified Phone Log Released”

  255. sas says:

    and if you wanna out on your sherlock homes hat.

    look in Goldman & yen carry trade.
    start with interest rates, and media relations department.

    but hey…what do I know.
    I ain’t never been south of Lodi.


  256. sas says:

    brother… I can go on all day.
    I can fill this blog with things that would make you head spin.

    and if you think I’m always Mr. nice… you bad wrong.


  257. Stu says:

    Upper Freehold?

    Oy Vey!

  258. NJGator says:

    Leftwing 202 – The professional attorneys that do this take 50% of what they save you in the first year only on contingency. The taxpayer is responsibile for paying all filing fees and for appraisals.

  259. Simon-

    Ever eat poutine? It blows.

  260. Veto That says:

    South Brunswick,
    This trailer sold for 230k in 2002.
    Seems about right to me.
    So then who is advising them to ask $360k today?

  261. Veto That says:

    Then again there are alot of indians i S Brunswick.
    I forgot that you pay a premium for that.

  262. Veto That says:

    Going once going twice. Get your 3 bed box here. Bought in 2007 for $335K, we thought it appropriate to add on an additional $10K to the asking price. Step right up and take a sucker punch to the old wallet.

    Rugs are original (ie 50 years old)

    Warning: This is bidding war material.

  263. Looks like a cruise missile could fix that house up nice.

  264. meter says:

    Hey, wood paneling ain’t cheap, ya know.

  265. Veto That says:

    S Brunswick,
    This guy bought in 1982 for 82K. He seems to be the most reasonable seller in the whole town. Only asking $300K.

    Now this is the type of situation, where, if i had to buy today, i would throw the old $230k low ball across the table and i bet you could get a decent here. Im thinking you could get a 2002 price from a guy like this.

  266. meter says:

    Veto, I don’t understand why you even waste your time looking.

    Time to go back into ground hog mode: poke your head out of the hole every once in a while and see if we’ll have 6 more weeks of market insanity. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    I’m in the same boat, mind you. I bookmarked a few listings from with their initial prices in the link name. When I see a 35% haircut in asking price across the board I’ll know that the lowered expectations that I’ve come to expect from sellers have set in.

  267. toyne says:

    #270 Agreed. There is nothing else to do. The madness should have been long over by now. I guess desperation dies hard.

  268. Barbara says:

    I don’t understand the south brunswick/princeton/windsor appeal. Its a culture free park n shop with the sh*tty construction that goes along with it. And no, downtown Princeton ain’t all that.

  269. Barbara says:


  270. sas says:

    “Warning: This is bidding war material.”

    looks like one of them mobile homes.
    is that what that is?


  271. Stu says:

    Veto That,

    I grew up in East Brunswick and know Fresh Ponds Road well. It’s pretty quiet in that part of South Brunswick. For $230K, that home could be a wise purchase. Of course, anyone willing to buy before the supposed tax credit and MBS support termination is really speculating.

  272. Veto That says:

    “Time to go back into ground hog mode: poke your head out of the hole every once in a while and see if we’ll have 6 more weeks of market insanity.”

    If i ever stopped looking at overpriced listings i’d prob have nothing else to do.

  273. Veto That says:

    “looks like one of them mobile homes.
    is that what that is?”

    Yes but not just any trailor. This one is special, thats why im asking $360K for it.

  274. sas says:

    long time ago…

    we were in a mobile home, a howling wind storm come through, tore the roof right off. Peeled it off.

    I just about crapped myself. not fun.


  275. leftwing says:

    Why do the these realtors all use photos of themselves in tuxedos?

  276. SocGen, caught pouring 0.49 USD slop through the Fed’s discount window:

    “Aside from the fact that in October 2008 France-based Soc Gen was not a Primary Dealer (it only just applied for this position a few weeks ago), one needs to turn to page 5 of the presentation to realize that Soc Gen’s portfolio had a value of 49 cents on the dollar. What this implies is that in October of last year (and ostensibly prior) Soc Gen, a foreign, non Primary Dealer, had access to the Federal Reserve’s Discount Window, where it had pledged securities that had a value of 49 cents on the dollar, and for which the Fed would have taken arguably no haircut, thereby funding the French firm at par for securities that were worth less than half, and which the taxpayer was on the hook for. Indeed, these securities may well have been completely worthless: lower on page 3 we read:

    ‘Soc Gen and AIG are currently in dispute over existing events of default and credit events under transaction [ineligible] for 2 deals, totaling $650 million of notional exposure.’

    We would not be at all surprised if the defaulted securities were part of the crap that had been given to Tim Geithner, at the time head of the New York Federal Reserve.

    And what Soc Gen was doing by pledging reference assets to the Fed, we are certain that all the other counterparties (those which unlike Goldman still held on to the securities) were doing as well.

    The fact that the Fed was willing to risk taxpayer capital with such reckless abandon, first in the form of accepting literally worthless reference securities from Soc Gen (as documented by BlackRock), and subsequently by bailing out Goldman at well over par (remember the money the firm made on its actual AIG counterparty-risk) protection, would have been sufficient to terminate Geithner’s career in any self-respecting banana republic. Too bad America is no longer even that.”

  277. Fraudy, running toward the fire.

  278. sas says:

    “After Three Months, Only 35 Subscriptions for Newsday’s Web Site”

  279. Barbara says:

    leftwing says:
    January 26, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Why do the these realtors all use photos of themselves in tuxedos?

    Because its a glamorous profession for only klassy people.

  280. relo says:

    282: To the rescue! Ha.

  281. sas (284)-

    Dolan needs to bring Isiah to clean up that mess and breathe some excitement into it.

  282. Dolan = Richard Pryor/Brewster’s Millions

  283. leftwing says:

    Forgot to mention, today’s one month Treasury auction went off at a yield of 0.00%.

    Nothing wrong here…..

  284. PGC says:


    That shelf reliance site is like Martha Stewart does survivalist. I love the color coded cans and the bespoke shelves. I suspect however they are just white labbleing Mountain House.

    Here is a fun site. Bruce is my favioite right wing whackjob. He stopped responding to my emails about June 2008.

    Apart from his politics, his range and prices are reasonable.

  285. Essex says:

    254. I don’t hate it.

  286. lisoosh says:

    PGC – Love their copy:

    “A lot of preparedness “stores” sell dehydrated and freeze-dried foods . . . and so do we.”

    But hey, they have “Real Canned Cheese”.

  287. safeashouses says:

    Where can I get some dehydrated water?

  288. yikes says:

    The Condition-Code Red says:
    January 26, 2010 at 10:49 am

    What happens when you can buy a Tata for $2,000?

    Buh bye, GM.

    that thing is a death trap

  289. yikes says:

    late in the day, but i’ll ask it anyway: Does anyone like the town they live in?

    seems like nobody is happy.

    * We are extremely happy out here in Bucks Cty (PA). eager for the Princeton GTG!

  290. Stu says:


    If you’ve been to an Indian city, you would know it’s not a death trap as the traffic never allows you to go much faster than 5mph.

  291. freedy says:

    look , lets face it . unless your in Bergen
    county, how could you be happy

  292. Terc says:

    I know I’m late to the mayo discussion, but where I’m from (if’n you don’t wanna make yer own) Duke’s Mayo is the very best.

  293. Pat says:

    I know Julia doesn’t want the food discussions, but there were two things that were not fully expanded.

    1) Why is Trader Joe’s hummus no good? That place looks like hummus heaven with all the varieties.

    2) Where do we find the European mayo for the fries?

    Finally, here’s something to keep John busy while we discuss oils. He can ponder what caused the crust.

  294. Pat says:


  295. safeashouses says:


    The scooter traffic in Taiwan is crazy.

    They will even drive the scooter between the curb and a bus while people are getting on and off the bus.

  296. yikes says:

    stu, yes, seen those videos. should have been specific – death trap in the United States.

    would Greg Oden and his huge pen!s even fit in there?

    i can’t believe athletes are this dense

  297. grim says:

    And you guys thought I was crazy, from the Record:

    Sarlo proposes casino for Meadowlands

    The Meadowlands needs a world-class casino — not just a “racino” with video lottery terminals — state Sen. Paul Sarlo, a longtime proponent of racinos, suggested Tuesday during a conference about the horse-racing industry’s woes.

    “Could you imagine a high-end, full-fledged casino in the Meadowlands?” Sarlo, who also is mayor Wood-Ridge, asked during a panel discussion presented by the Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau in Lyndhurst. “The revenue stream created in the shadow of New York City would be magnificent. We’re beyond [just] VLTs at this point. If we are to do this, we need to do it right.”

    The panel — which also included state Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth and three leading New Jersey horse industry officials — analyzed what should be done about the state’s horse racing struggles. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is facing a $22 million loss on operations this year at the Meadowlands Racetrack and at Monmouth Park.

    Sports authority Chairman Carl Goldberg, a prominent real estate executive, was asked at the conference how attractive the Meadowlands Sports Complex could be to possible casino developers.

    “The number is almost incalculable,” Goldberg said. “This would be the most valuable parcel of real estate for the expansion of gaming, maybe not only in the U.S., but the world.”

  298. grim says:

    I posit that Xanadu was always intended to be part of a casino complex.

  299. Bystander says:

    Poutine? That reminds me of a good Triumph the Dog moment during his visit to Quebec. Sad to read that Triumph is done. Conan had to leave him behind after the NBC settlement.

  300. safeashouses says:


    The number is almost incalculable,” Goldberg said. “This would be the most valuable parcel of real estate for the expansion of gaming, maybe not only in the U.S., but the world.”

    They said the same kind of stuff about mega casinos in Macau. I believe a few Australian and US big name investors were taken to the woodshed on that one.

  301. grim says:

    #306 – Didn’t they say the exact same thing about the Meadowlands and retail?

  302. Sean says:

    Ever Been to Yonkers Raceway? Their slots pay out pretty well but let’s just say the “atmosphere” is stale at best on a Saturday night.

  303. Stu says:


    Run from Yonkers. Those are not slot machines, those are lottery terminals and you are essentially playing a scratch off ticket. The return is right around 82%

  304. Anyone I know that’s been to Montreal loves poutine. I don’t see how its any different then the fries with cheese and gravy you get at the diner at 4 am after being out drinking all night around here.

  305. Essex says:

    294. Love my town. Without a doubt. Could not be happier.

  306. Sean says:

    Stu -went once out of curiosity, I am a Bronx boy after all.

  307. safeashouses says:

    #307 grim

    Yup. Except the Macau casinos don’t resemble any ports.

  308. Stu says:


    I must correct myself. Return on every single machine, regardless of game, is 92%. Video poker in AC/Vegas and a few other jurisdictions is 99.5% with the proper paytable. Some games are even 101%, but the strategy is really tough on those.

    An occasional fling won’t kill you, but keep in mind that you could experience the same chance of winning by buying a scratch off at the local bodega.

  309. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    Is it just me or is the “Home and Garden” button on as useless as the “I’m feeling lucky” button on google?

  310. Sean says:

    Stu – That place is about a fun as a morgue. The crowd, the bar the track are all subpar. Does not come close to Vegas or Atlantic City. I can’t see the Medowlands being any different.

  311. Stu says:

    The Meadowlands Casino wouldn’t be any different except that it is located in the most densely populate area of the country. With the rail hub already in place, there is no doubt that it would generate a ton of revenue. Of course, I consider this revenue blood money as it would mostly come from those who can’t afford to be there. Who am I to stop them?

  312. WaitingTo says:


    I was in Taiwan in Nov and almost got nailed by a scooter. It is crazy over there and the people on the scooters have no FEAR!

  313. freedy says:

    do slots come in spanish ?

  314. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

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