Housing’s Handcuffs

From HousingWire:

Recession forced homeowners to stay put, Cleveland economist says

More homeowners are staying in their homes longer because of the struggling economy, according to Daniel Hartley, a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Hartley cited 2009 data from the U.S. Census Bureau that showed a steady increase in the percentage of people who live in the same house as they did a year ago, from just below 84% in 2005 up to 85.5% in 2009.

The percentage of people living in a different state between the same time period decreased, from approximately 2.5% in 2005 to below 2.1% in 2009.

Hartley said these correlated patterns are referred to as the “spatial lock-in” phenomenon. For example, higher foreclosures obviously make it less likely that people will be living in the same place they were a year ago. But, spatial lock-in occurs when conditions, such as unwillingness to strategically default on the mortgage or an inability to sell the home, physically prevent a homeowner from considering moving to a new location.

Hartley found that, over the past decade, homeowner moving patterns — including spatial lock-in — have fluctuated simultaneously with economic stability. In 2001, the percentage of people living in the same house spiked to nearly 85% and remained at an elevated level throughout the early 2000s recession. At that time, the percentage of people who lived in a different state than they did one year ago dropped from 2.75% to 2.2% by 2003.

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

198 Responses to Housing’s Handcuffs

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    The Shrinking House: Downsizing the American Dream

    Home ownership has long been a symbol of the American Dream and for a while there, we SUPERSIZED it. But since the recession, we’ve been downsizing it.

    The median home size in America was near 2,300 at the peak of the market in 2007, with many McMansions topping 10,000.

    Today, the median home size has dropped to about 2,100 and more than one-third of Americans say their ideal home size is actually under 2,000 square feet, according to a survey by real-estate site Trulia.

    “The whole glow of bigness kind of wore off all of a sudden,” said Sarah Susanka, an architect and the author of “The Not So Big House” book series.

    Builders are responding by chopping out rooms that people just don’t use anymore, particularly formal living rooms and sitting rooms.

    “You’re not having the king and queen of England to dinner but Joe and Kathy from next door — and they’d prefer to be in your informal space!” Susanka said.

    Even media rooms, game rooms and libraries are on the way out, added Boyce Thompson, the editorial director for Builder magazine.

  2. Lamar says:

    A massive population of people who are depressed, discouraged, broke and trapped in their homes is easy to control.

    None of this stuff is an accident.

  3. Lamar says:

    Things not looking good for Moose’s chances of buying a house anytime within, say, the next half-century or so:

    “Today, Bank of America filed its first official response, and exposed how it plans on defending itself, to the recently launched RICO case by the Davis family (Southern Illinois, 10-01303), seeking monetary damages for what they now claim is a fraudulent eviction on the ground that the affidavit was signed by two Robosigners: one Keri Selman and one Melissa Viveros. In its Motion to Dismiss, defendant BofA notes “Plaintiffs assert that these affidavits were “necessarily perjured” because Ms. Selman and Ms. Viveros could not have read the allegations in the complaints, examined all of the documents or exhibits “and still read all of the accompanying documentation to all of the other affidavits [ ] signed the same day.” The bulk of BofA’s defense is centered around a technicality: it says Plaintiffs do not “seek to reopen or disturb the judgments in [the Foreclosure Action], and instead seek only monetary damages as a result of being prematurely evicted from their houses based on perjured affidavits.” The Davises also have some choice words about MERS saying it is “widely reported” that MERS was “poorly conceived and sloppily run.” Having read the motion to dismiss, it does appear that BofA may be able to get off on a series of technicalities on this one, yet that will only enable subsequent RICO suits to emerge using the weaknesses of the Davis case. And the main thing BofA does not defend against is the underlying allegation that fraudulent affidavits were used to evict the Davis family, nor, more importantly, does it present a verifiable case that it does in fact own the underlying mortgage note. As such, once the technicalities are all resolved in the next RICO lawsuit, all the holes presented by BofA’s attorneys will be filled, making a technicality-based defense that much more difficult, since if BofA/CFC indeed does not own the mortgage note, there is little it can do to defend itself against an onslaught of comparable legal claims.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/bofa-reveals-its-rico-defense-fraudclosure

  4. yo'me says:

    The wealth of Asia Pacific-based individuals with investable assets of $1 million or more outranked Europe for the first time at the end of 2009, according to the widely quoted Capgemini Merrill-Lynch 2010 World Wealth Report

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AB1YJ20101112

  5. Al Gore says:

    Wondering what shenanigans are happening at the G20. JP Morgan desperate to drive down gold. The vigilantes smell blood in the water and are going for the kill.

  6. 30 year realtor says:

    North Jersey real estate is grinding down into the holiday season. Had another listing go over asking price and it was a rotten deal for the buyer. Guy paid almost 20% more than the next highest offer in a 3 way highest & best. Rotten house on a busy street in a middle of the road Bergen County town.

    A lot of foreign cash buying properties under $200,000 in Bergen for rental. Money coming from countries where the RE bubble has yet to pop. Their theory appears to be, their RE is over valued and US RE is under valued. Only agree with the first part of their theory.

  7. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Yome [5],

    You think it’s a coincidence that the sun sets in the west and rises in the east.

  8. Safeashouses says:

    I’ve got a relative who is underwater and turned down a better job because of the albatross, excuse me, mcmansion they bought. When theyfirst moved I asked whymot rent a bling bling house for a year while they get to no the area or at least just but a 3k sq ft house. A house that size you could rent to cover the PITI if a job offer came along. I was told we could never rent and a 3k house isn’t big enough. We have to have a media room, a sitting room, and a hobby room.

  9. Nomad says:

    30 yr – why do you think someone would overbid like that? Complete ignorance or just desperate and worked themselves up into a tizzy that they had to get a home?

    Comments have been another 6% – 10% decline in prices in 2011 and even with interest rates falling, given everything that is going on, I don’t see a price turnaround for a few more years at best and that assumes that the employment picture starts to improve and that is going to be a very slow process.

  10. jamil says:

    9: not much to celebrate..
    parasites 1 – taxpayers 0

    “The Parsippany Board of Education voted 6-2 tonight to renew the contract for district schools Superintendent LeRoy Seitz, just hours after Gov. Chris Christie called the contract greedy and arrogant because it would exceed the proposed pay cap for superintendents.
    The board voted to extend Seitz’s contract, which expires July 1, by another five years, paying him an average annual salary of $225,064. The contract was approved by the Executive Morris County Superintendent Kathleen Serafino on Friday, according to board attorney Mark Tabkin. “

  11. 30 year realtor says:

    Nomad #11 – Foreign buyer with cash on an under 200k home. Purchased to rent out. All 3 offers were cash. One buyer said he intended to sell his other home in same town and live in subject property. Other 2 buyers were from same country with same intended use. Final offers $160, $161,500 & $190. My estimated value to seller before listing was $160.

  12. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nomad [11];

    Well, coming in 20% high at (guessing) $500,000 puts ~$12,500 (2.5%) in the pocket of his “buyer’s” agent. Maybe we should ask the buyer’s agent that question when he gets done counting the extra $2,500 he made by advising his client where to bid.

  13. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [14];

    I didn’t see 30-yr’s reply when I posted.

    30-yr, is it possible it cash flows at $190k? At that level lots of things become possible.

  14. 30 year realtor says:

    Moose #14 – @ 5% the total difference in commission to the buy side of the transaction is $750. That HUGE sum must be divided between the broker and the agent.

    After all my years in the biz I have never heard someone make such an accusatory statement about real estate agents over such a paltry sum! Moose, the buyer was STUPID! Even stupid agents can’t protect a stupid buyer from himself! Get over yourself!

  15. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Jamil [12],

    F-Ing crooks.

  16. 30 year realtor says:

    Moose #15 – Split built in mid 1980’s on main road. Terrible floor plan, needs $15,000 in repairs. Potential rental of about $1,750 to $1,900 per month. RE tax of $7,800.

    I wouldn’t buy it!

  17. ricky_nu says:

    Moose & 30y Realtor – re: $190k bid on $160k house….

    it’s the banks fault, burn them down…….

  18. Lamar says:

    30 Year (7)-

    These early “investors” are dumb money and dead money. They will have their heads handed to them forthwith.

  19. Lamar says:

    safe (10)-

    Have to at least give them credit for turning the whole joint into their own personal prison.

    “We have to have a media room, a sitting room, and a hobby room.”

  20. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Slip slidin’ away
    Slip slidin’ away
    You know the nearer your destination
    The more you’re slip slidin’ away

    “SEOUL, South Korea — Leaders of 20 major economies on Friday refused to endorse a U.S. push to get China to let its currency rise, keeping alive a dispute that has raised the specter of a global trade war amid criticism that cheap Chinese exports are costing American jobs.”

    “The G-20’s failure to adopt the U.S. stand has also underlined Washington’s reduced influence on the international stage, especially on economic matters. Obama also failed to conclude a free trade agreement this week with South Korea.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40143947/ns/business-world_business

  21. Yikes says:

    I was told we could never rent and a 3k house isn’t big enough. We have to have a media room, a sitting room, and a hobby room.

    Friend bought one of these oversized houses (sits on a postage stamp lot). They came to visit and fell in love with our yard (nearly an acre). I asked how often they used their ‘media room’ (basically has 8 ‘movie’ theater seats that recline) and the answer was, ‘sometimes.’

    Such a waste.

  22. Lamar says:

    30 year (16)-

    In Moose’s world, all agents pocket 100% of the commission, have no broker fees; no marketing costs; no cost of sales; no office expense; no taxes; insurance and pension as part of a generous benefit package; and convert 100% of their clients. In addition, we are both stupid AND scheming, larcenous hyenas, constantly lurking in wait for yet another sick and fading wildebeest.

  23. ricky_nu says:

    my ideal movie theater room would have a couch, a cooler, and a toilet

    surround sound too

  24. 30 year realtor says:

    Lamar #24 – Most people don’t understand the ins and outs of other people’s businesses. Of course, most people ask questions before they accuse you of being a whore and a thief, because they don’t want to be viewed as an a**hole.

  25. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lamar [16];

    Everyone’s got costs of doing business. It gets built into the fee. If they can’t build it into the fee, and can’t raise the fee, then the business isn’t worth doing.

    And it’s not just the $750, it the other $4,000 they would have lost had their bidder not won the day. Or consider $750 x one deal a month for $9,000 a year. I’m not saying that specificially happened there, just saying out loud who is looking out for whom.

    But to answer 30-yr’s question, I have yet to personally meet a used house salesgal who I believed would not throw me under a bus for $750.

  26. JJ says:

    huge monster roof fire on Broad street near wall street right now. Looks like a whole generator blew and the stench of burning rubber and oil is super nasty. Fun Fun Fun.

  27. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    Hey Mish’s blog is down, what up?

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

  28. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    He [29],

    I saw the same. I thought there was a problem on my end. ???

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Morpheus,

    You have mail

  30. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [27];

    That makes me think of an interesting study topic: Do represented buyers routinely overbid buyers who are not represented?

    I’d think that a professional buyer of the type who doesn’t ordinarily use a buyer’s side agent (and lets throw in that that person is in fact themselves an agent, or at least registered as one so they can receive the buyer’s side of the commission) would have a slight edge another bidder who had to pay the agent (regardless of how its hidden in the bid price). The pro se buyer could then outbid the represented buyer up to the amount of the buyer’s commission, but still pay less net for the property. So is it the case that represented buyers are consistently getting outbid by professional buyers representing themselves?

    I suspect not.

  31. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    BC,

    Black ops????:) Maybe he is switching platforms or something.

  32. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [158][previous thread] WTF

    The HEART Act imposed the exit tax but did away with the 10 year lookback. So for some taxpayers it is better, others worse. As I have ALWAYS maintained, it depends on your situation. Tax planning isn’t one size fits all.

    The takeaway from the expat number is that there is now a significant cost to US citizenship. There never used to be, and folks that kept it purely for sentimental reasons, or the security of that US passport, now have to weigh the cost.

    As for rich folks coming here, that used to be the norm. It is less so as evidenced by the fact that North America doesn’t hold the vast share of the world’s wealth anymore. Further, if this nation is going to erode the certainty of rule of law principles, this gives potential foreign investors (where your wealthy are coming from) some pause. If you can live in one really nice tax haven, and keep your money in others, and have more security against goverment conf1sc-ation, why come here?

    Finally, recall that the largest cohort of “wealthy” are those that are retired or nearing retirement. If we tip tax policy against retirement (which is quite heavily favored and should remain so until the cohort dies off), the “wealthy” among them will skate in record numbers. And after you take your 15% of mark-to-market gains, your ability to tax these people is nil. In fact, expat-triation among this cohort won’t be driven by income tax rates or means-testing for social security. It will be driven by estate taxes and its easy to see why: Pay 15% on gains, or 55% on the taxable estate in excess of the exclusion. It’s a no-brainer, and that is why the HEART Act has a provision that hammers bequests made by former US citizens to their heirs in the US.

  33. Unexpected HEHEHE says:

    Hahaha maybe Cisco is after Mish:

    Congratulations To Cisco Insiders For Dumping 6,620,750 Shares, 60% Of Holdings In The Past 6 Month

    http://www.businessinsider.com/congratulations-to-cisco-insiders-for-dumping-6620750-shares-60-of-holdings-in-the-past-6-month-2010-11

  34. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    HEHE 33

    I dont think they included Mish in the new Cal of Duty game.

  35. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    …Call of Duty

  36. 30 year realtor says:

    Moose #’s 27 & 32 – Smart buyers don’t use a buyer’s agent to purchase REO. Listing agent knows all. Most agents and professional buyers seeking to buy REO go through the listing agent and fore-go their end of the commission in exchange for information.

    Moose, It is my distinct feeling that my breath is wasted on you. Any agent who showed you homes would throw you under the bus so as to be rid of you. No charge!

  37. Tom says:

    30 yr, Lamar,

    How is that such a horrible investment?

    190k + 15k in repairs (assuming repairs are made) = 205k

    7.8k taxes + 1k insurance + 5k (expenses, maint, fees) = 13.8k total yearly expenses

    1,750/mo rent assuming 90% occupancy = 18.9k

    Net is 5.1k/yr

    Since they’re paying cash that’s like putting 205k in the bank and earning 2.5% interest. 4.4% if they can get the high estimate for rent.

    Back when you could get that type of return from something as simple as a savings account with an online bank this wouldn’t’ be so great but now it’s not that horrible. If the investor thinks the value when they sell (after 10 years) will at least keep up with inflation in the long run then it may not be that bad.

    It’s a little thin but since they’re paying cash and not paying interest it doesn’t look horrible to me.

  38. Juice Box says:

    Looks like the good old days of NY are now in China.

    November 8, 2010, in Jiulongpo district, Chongqing, 4 young men wearing suites were passed out on the ground at the Baguocheng Square which attracted many onlookers. It turned out these 4 young men went to their second around job interview for a sales position at this company. Two of them are still university students about to graduate next year.

    At noon, the company leader invited them for lunch. Eager to impress the boss, they competed in drinking more alcohol. In the end they were wasted. At first, they just sat on the ground chatting, but soon three of them lied down and passed out. The fourth guy leaned against a telephone pole, standing unsteadily, occasionally muttered some words out his mouth and shivered non-stop.

    http://www.chinahush.com/2010/11/11/competing-in-drinking-for-sales-job-interviewees-pass-out/

  39. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Moose,

    Say a realtor can strike a deal, today, at 400K (6%), 24K total comm. Let’s assume it’s a 4 way split, 6K ea.. In this environment, do you actually think they would jeopardize the deal by pushing for 450K, to receive an additional, paltry $750? Not only do they risk the deal, the property may not appraise at the higher #.

    Makes one wonder who’s delusional? Have a mirror handy?

  40. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Juice [40],

    Back in the day, the bench across the street from Jim Brady’s. Glory Days!

  41. JJ says:

    Actually the drinking in an interview makes sense. My dealings with Asian culture is drinking after work with clients is a huge part of businessl. Lots of chinese men have a low tolerance for alcohol.

    Can’t have a chinese guy who cant hold his liquir throwing up or passing out on clients.

    Interesting in Asia the guy to the right of you fills your glass when drinking, not yourself. I was out drinking Kirin beers and saki next to a client who kept topping me up. They have these gigantic bottle of beer and saki on table and each person has two glasses, I had no clue how many I had, maybe 12 sakis and 12 small beers. But of course when he filled me up it was signal for guy to right of him to fill him up.

    Any of these little chinese men in the article who can’t handle drinks would pass out. I did impress the hell out of the little asian men in another meeting as I really don’t like warm saki, so I was only one who had beers, I kept drinking like 21 sakis and everyone was drunk but I really had like 9 beers too. No wonder we kicked their butt in every war.

  42. safe as houses says:

    #21 Lamar,

    Even better. When they moved from one state to their current mcmansion. They brought their 6 oversized stadium chairs from the media room, as well as their washer and gas dryer. New house only 4 of those chairs can fit in the media room and the place uses an electric dryer.

    Took them a long time to sell the old house. I thought they could have sold the old house in 2 or 3 months and for 40 to 50k more if they had left that stuff in it. When people are buying a 3 year old used mcmansion they want to have the appliances come with it. And what do you do with a 400 sq foot room that’s had the levels put in for stadium seating but no frigging chairs? I bet lots of people thought wtf when they saw it.

  43. jcer says:

    30 year, I can attest to the fact that in distressed properties you have almost 0% chance of getting it with a buyers agent.

    I also share some of moose’s distain for the finer folks in your profession. I have more bad experiences with realtors than I care to remember. I’ve dealt with the worst listing and buyers agents. I have experienced everything from not being that great at handling transactions(Honest but inexperienced), to being basically scummy, incompetence, and absolute craziness(Like the realtor who flipped out on my last almost purchase, when we backed out because my inspector told me there was potentially 25k in plumbing work and the house didn’t appraise). There are more bad than good realtors, especially with those minted in the good years.

  44. safe as houses says:

    #27 Moose

    “But to answer 30-yr’s question, I have yet to personally meet a used house salesgal who I believed would not throw me under a bus for $750.”

    You need to get out more. I’d say about 1/4 to 1/3 of the re agents I’ve met are knowledgeable and ethical, 1/4 to 1/3 are clueless, and the rest make my skin crawl.

  45. Shore do hate air travel Guy says:

    First, I have no issue with tracking down and shooting terrorists. Second, I recognize that aviation is a prime target of terrorists. Third, TSA cannot keep us safe from smart terrorists who are determined to take down airliners, including from within the aircraft itself.

    Fo your consideration:

    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7640559/

    The next time I get patted down, I think I am going to go all When Harry Met Sally on them. Then, ct other travelers to request my screener. “I’ll have what he’s having.”

    Now, back to the salt mine. See all ya’ll next week.

  46. Lamar says:

    moose (27)-

    People usually end up finding what they expect or what they’re subconsciously looking for. Were I to think all lawyers were shysters, I would inevitably beat a path to your door.

    “But to answer 30-yr’s question, I have yet to personally meet a used house salesgal who I believed would not throw me under a bus for $750.”

  47. Juice Box says:

    Har Har, back to the White House and go hide like Jimmy Carter did his last two years in office!

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iQW7DJxkrdTi5j9heX85apNZbOxA?docId=CNG.cb80a1df49e6851ae06101076385e499.151

  48. safe as houses says:

    #40 juice

    Did the last man standing get the job?

    I bet they were drinking baijiu.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baijiu

  49. chicagofinance says:

    Hurdle rate is fcked…..put a real return on your money and your analysis is blown….also you assume best case scenario relative to the rent roll……finally, any other repairs and your balls are in a vice…..

    39.Tom says:
    November 12, 2010 at 10:52 am
    30 yr, Lamar,

    How is that such a horrible investment?

    190k + 15k in repairs (assuming repairs are made) = 205k

    7.8k taxes + 1k insurance + 5k (expenses, maint, fees) = 13.8k total yearly expenses

    1,750/mo rent assuming 90% occupancy = 18.9k

    Net is 5.1k/yr

    Since they’re paying cash that’s like putting 205k in the bank and earning 2.5% interest. 4.4% if they can get the high estimate for rent.

    Back when you could get that type of return from something as simple as a savings account with an online bank this wouldn’t’ be so great but now it’s not that horrible. If the investor thinks the value when they sell (after 10 years) will at least keep up with inflation in the long run then it may not be that bad.

    It’s a little thin but since they’re paying cash and not paying interest it doesn’t look horrible to me.

  50. Lamar says:

    Tom (39)-

    I’d like to see a return about double your projection to pull the trigger on that deal.

  51. Lamar says:

    I’d also like some assurance of the future stability of cost of carry, too.

    Unfortunately, the tax situation in NJ precludes that.

  52. Lamar says:

    BC (41)-

    Stop it. Your logic is killing me. :)

  53. NJGator says:

    Shore – did you see my post from yesterday? And BTW – Stu and I survived Commutair to make our way back from Austin via Dulles. And transferring through Dulles with a gimp was a royal PITA. 9 elevators and a train (plus two plains boarding via stairs on the tarmac) to make it between 2 regional flights in different terminals.

  54. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Lamar 53

    You haven plenty of assurance! The taxes are all but guaranteed to increase at head spinning rates for the foresee able future. Your net positive investment has a very high probability of promptly going under water between state local and federal taxes

  55. Lamar says:

    jj (43)-

    When the Chinese are holding a trillion or so of your IOUs, they can puke on any pair of Cole-Haans they choose.

    “Can’t have a chinese guy who cant hold his liquir throwing up or passing out on clients.”

  56. JJ says:

    lmaar, the treasuy make the rules. Lets say USA is going to go bankrupt and we all have nonpounds cause we can’t pay our bills and we all are going to be slaves to the chinese for centuries to come as we can’t pay back all the debt we owe them. Do we become slaves or do we inflate our currency or interest rates to make that debt near worthless and buy it back at 50 cents on a dollar, or even better pass a new rule that any non US citizen holder of treasury debt will not be repaid.

  57. Lamar says:

    Oh, boy. Bergabe and Eraserhead have quite the needle to thread here: how do you cajole the EU to keep the EUR/USD on the come and jam even more austerity down their people’s throats when the whole continent is about to explode into around-the-clock violence?

    “Here we go. European bailout #2. Eurozone sources say assistance to Ireland does not foresee any debt restructuring or ‘haircuts’ for bond holders. In other words, more strikes and riots in store, as taxpayers get stuffed with the full bill. Next up on the bailout wagin: Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, BeNeLux, Austria, and everyone else.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/reuters-eurozone-sources-say-ireland-talks-receive-emergency-funding-eu

  58. Lamar says:

    jj (58)-

    Wrong. We trigger a naval conflict with the Chinese (or a 3-way border conflict with the N Koreans) that eventually escalates into airbursts over a couple of their strategic areas like, say, Canton Province.

    Print, repudiate, default, attack.

  59. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Lamar [59],

    The west; we all go down together. It will be QE 3, 4, 5, etc…

  60. Tom says:

    chifi, lamr,

    I used the low range for rent given by 30 yr and I think my 5k estimate for expenses above taxes and insurance are very conservative especially considering the initial 15k in repairs. Every 10 years you replace the roof and water heater and maybe the boiler. That works out to ~1.2k per year. That leaves 3.8k/yr in my estimate for the occasional painting, plumber, locksmith, handyman, legal which should be more than enough. A lot of the maintenance is going to be the tenants responsibility, lawn care, gutter cleaning, snow removal, etc.

    Taxes go up, they go up across the board which means rents will go up across the board once leases expire.

    It’s not a great investment, you could put that money in a 5yr CD without the hassle and headaches and get about the same. I did say it was thin but it looks like it will have a positive expected value to me.

  61. Zhang Fei says:

    jj: lmaar, the treasuy make the rules. Lets say USA is going to go bankrupt and we all have nonpounds cause we can’t pay our bills and we all are going to be slaves to the chinese for centuries to come as we can’t pay back all the debt we owe them. Do we become slaves or do we inflate our currency or interest rates to make that debt near worthless and buy it back at 50 cents on a dollar, or even better pass a new rule that any non US citizen holder of treasury debt will not be repaid.

    I’d have to agree. Heck, Argentina defaulted with little consequence, and it’s not like they have this huge military to deter attempts at gunboat diplomacy by creditor countries. When a shrimpy little country with trumped-up militias as its military like Zimbabwe gets away with zero debt repayments since 2004, you know that default is a game any country can play without any fear of being invaded.

  62. Tom says:

    chifi,

    Out of curiosity what would you put the hurdle rate at and why?

  63. Anon E. Moose says:

    Safe [46];

    1/4 good; 1/4 inept; 1/2 repulsive

    So you’re saying that I’m too pesimistic about the industry because 3 out of 4 realtors bring no value to the table? That’s supposed to be a ringing endorsement?

  64. yo'me says:

    Gold 1376.30 -27.00 -1.92%
    Oil (WTI) 85.50 -2.31 -2.63%
    U.S. 10-year 99.03 2.74

    Chinese getting all the capital money when they hike interest rates?Amazing!Inflate and deflate

  65. yo'me says:

    Pump and Dump!

  66. make money says:

    lamar 59,

    They form bailouts over the weekend and then watch everything shoot up on Monday.
    When a politician has to make a decision between print and violance, its a no brainer.
    Taxes will be paid through inflation.

  67. safe as houses says:

    #65 Moose,

    that ratio probably works for just about any industry, be it a dentist, plumber, hair dresser, mechanic, re agent, etc. about 1/3 take pride in what they do and bring value, 1/3 are clueless and/or inexperienced, and the rest will focus on quick fix/high volume or trying to get you to buy services and stuff you don’t need. The key is doing your own research and getting referrals and recommendations from people you trust. Would you use the same dietician and personal trainer/motivator a morbidly obese person has used for years? Would you ask a toothless man for a dentist referal? No. But the guy you work with who lost 20 pounds and kept it off for 3 years you would ask how did he do it. RE is the same thing. That’s why I said you got to get out more and ask people who did they use to rent or buy their place and what did they think, what was it like.

  68. JJ says:

    wow got off phone with one of lead underwriters of GM. Amazing govt priced it to pop, limited the max shares you can buy to 5,000. Then put min you can be allocated 100 shares then said small investors 100k-200k balance can have 300-500.

    Thing is over subscribed on common. The perf is already sold out.

    pricing around 26-29 should open 31-33.

    Should be fun next week.

  69. JJ says:

    http://autos.aol.com/cars-Chevrolet-Cruze-2011/expert-review/

    As an independent person similar to a realtor selling a house I would highly recommend you buy a chevy curze. Just because I now own Gm is no reason to think I would be biased in any way shape or form. I am only looking after your best interest.

  70. wtf says:

    (34) Nom,

    Interesting. Thanks for the info.

  71. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Zhang Fei

    The US has historically kept the global players mostly out of their south American backyard, or made sure that any foreign powers gave us a pound of flesh.

  72. Zhang Fei says:

    SC: The US has historically kept the global players mostly out of their south American backyard, or made sure that any foreign powers gave us a pound of flesh.

    The US has traditionally been one of Argentina’s biggest creditors. No gunboats going up the Rio de la Plata that I know of. Zimbabwe’s not, I believe, covered by the Monroe doctrine, given that South America broke apart from Africa way before Monroe showed up.

  73. sas says:

    BFF friday.

    another day in paradise.

    SAS

  74. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    From Ritholtz,

    Interesting. Seems like this pattern/cycle has been discussed numerous times, on this site.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/GordonLongCycle.png

  75. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Zhang

    Look into the history of the Argentinian economic collapse. Our banks made some fat profits off of the devaluation of the Argentinian currency. Gunboats? That is so 1960’s. Economic warfare has progressed far beyond naked threats of aggression.

    We may be debating past one another here. I dont think we are going to have chinese troops guarding chinese owned US Quarries or the like by any means. But “Argentina defaulted with little consequence” is patently false. The consequence for the population has been huge!

    http://tinyurl.com/22oxds8

  76. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Argentina, little consequence?

    How about a 5,000% inflation rate, bank runs, capital fleeing, bank accounts frozen, savings crushed, violence and vandalism. Just another day in the market?

  77. Anon E. Moose says:

    Great News! Deadbeats in our Nation’s Capitol get another six months’ rent-free living! Ain’t America great?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111201962.html

  78. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Moose [79],

    6 months of mediation? What’s this, a freaking divorce?

  79. Juice Box says:

    JJ – some GM pump for you.

    Nov 10 (Reuters) – General Motors Co [GM.UL] is in the final stage of talks to sell equity to long-time Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS) in conjunction with its landmark initial public offering, two people familiar with the matter said.

    The two government-funded automakers are currently finalizing how much of a stake SAIC would buy in the top U.S. automaker after discussions involving technology sharing and SAIC’s ambitions to move beyond the China market, the sources said.

    Any agreement between GM and SAIC would need Chinese government approval and could still fall apart, the sources cautioned.

  80. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Zhang

    No consequences for Argentina?

    Check out the follow data on inflation in Argentina compiled by MIT
    http://www.infalcionverdadera.com

  81. Juice Box says:

    re: #79 – can’t have Obamavilles popping up by the Washington monument.

  82. 30 year realtor says:

    With regard to the cash flow analysis of the piece of sh*t house for $190k, you forgot to compensate for management and reserve for repairs. When they call you on weekends, evenings and holidays to fix something they broke you’ll wonder why you took a rotten 4% return. In addition, the sh*tty location and rotten house will likely get you rotten tenants who will wear out your house at a rate of speed you are unaccustomed to.

  83. NJGator says:

    Fried: 2011 budget woes are ‘dire’

    A group of about 50 residents peppered Mayor Jerry Fried with questions about Montclair’s financial health during a meeting last night of a citizens committee formed to help the municipality cut its 2011 budget.

    Fried, who said he is as unhappy with rising property taxes as anyone else, told the crowd that the municipality’s budget woes are “dire.”

    “We are looking at a crisis,” the mayor said, adding that Montclair may lose a fire engine next year as a cost-saving measure.

    The meeting, hosted by the Concerned Citizens of Montclair (CCM), featured a 20-minute slideshow detailing the group’s worries about Montclair’s 2011 budget. Though next year’s spending plan has yet to be formed by municipal officials, CCM members believe the 2011 tax increase could reach 15.6 percent.

    Sean Reddington, a founding CCM member, said Montclair is reaching a “saturation point” where the taxpayers will not be able to pay what the municipality demands.

    “We like the town. We just don’t like the taxes,” Reddington said.

    The mayor defended the council’s actions over the last two years, saying the municipal budget has increased at a smaller rate than it increased before the council’s term began in 2008. But the municipal budget is filled with statutory responsibilities, like pensions and debt service, that can’t be cut, leaving it very difficult to lower taxes, the mayor said.

    “This stuff is just not easy to accomplish,” he said.

    Tom Donatelli of Greenview Way asked the mayor to admit that Montclair is “flirting with insolvency.”

    “It’s like alcoholism. You have to admit there’s a problem” before you can fix it, Donatelli said.

    Fried objected, saying he and the council have taken “responsible actions” that have taken Montclair “in the right direction.”

    Even with all the fiscal problems, the mayor said, “there’s still no better place to live in America than Montclair.”

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/107517093_Fried__2011_budget_woes_are__dire_.html

  84. Lamar says:

    safe (69)-

    You’re telling this to a guy who thinks it’s OK for banks to commit fraud.

  85. 30 year realtor says:

    Also forgot a vacancy factor! You geniuses would go broke on this kind of investment!

  86. Anon E. Moose says:

    W [80];

    At least the story I posted is less Twilight Zone than another from the WP, reporting that Cook Couty Sherrifs (dat’s Chicago) openly ignoring eviction warrants and conducting their own inquiry into whether the foreclosure was ‘properly’ ‘justified’ . I suppose if you do things the Chicago Way for long enough you get emboldened to wantonly ignore the basic structures of government.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/11/AR2010111107518.html

  87. nj escapee says:

    Millions of American homeowners are in a danger as great as if an arsonist were pouring gasoline around the living room. Foreclosure, getting kicked out of your family home, is the equivalent of getting your house burned down, except you get to wrestle with bankers and lawyers for a year first.

    And foreclosures threaten to explode. The banks have become law-breakingly aggressive, while jobless mortgage-payers are running out of savings and unemployment benefits. In fact, anyone with a house “underwater,” worth less than its mortgage, is only a pink slip, and a year of fruitless job seeking, away from the bank taking away their home.
    snip

    Why this is news now is that the State of Florida is spending over $9 million of our tax money to make it easier for banks to quickly ram through even more foreclosures. (We can guess which lobbyists greased this appropriation through the legislature.) How? By hiring retired judges to hold special courts for the specific purpose of speeding up foreclosures. Florida needs to “clear out the market,” is the theory: somehow, dumping even more cheap homes on the market will magically help our economic recovery. While dumping ever more families out on the street.

    The biggest irony is that other tax dollars are simultaneously being spent to prosecute these same banks for the shockingly illegal procedures they are using to rush foreclosures through these courts. Have you heard of the “robo-signers,” with one bank “officer” signing hundreds of files daily? Their signature is supposed to mean they read and approved the information in the file.

    Under oath, they admit they don’t read them at all; that in some cases they have their assistants practice and forge their signatures; and that they work as “Vice President” for as many as three banks simultaneously.

    The latter was quite an accomplishment for a young woman with no college and only a few years in the field!

    I doubt the Cosa Nostra has ever had a 6-year run as lucrative and rapacious as our major bankers have just enjoyed. It all started when they found they could sell off their loans to institutional investors in big chunks. That is, they could get all of the money back that they loaned out, plus a hefty fee that led to milliondollar bonuses. So they could make more mortgage loans and get more hefty fees. Hooray for the banks!

    http://www.kwtn-blue.com/2010/11/boettger-house-afire.html#more

  88. Lamar says:

    Zhang (63)-

    Utter mayhem and lawlessness = little consequence?

  89. Lamar says:

    BC (80)-

    In a place like DC, expect those foreclosure “mediations” to take place at the business end of metal baseball bats.

  90. Lamar says:

    30 year (84)-

    Hey, but you can depreciate that miniscule-yield shitbox over 26 mind-numbing years.

    I’m sure that makes tons of folks want to go out and buy as much investment property as they can.

    [sarc off]

  91. JJ says:

    lamaar real estate appreciation is lots of work. Considering you are totally speculating. I can click a little button on a computer but something and get out later with a profit and maybe make or lose money, however requires little effort on my part.

  92. Tom says:

    “you forgot to compensate for management and reserve for repairs”

    I didn’t forget that. I added in the 15K you said it needed in repairs and budgeted 5k/year for additional expenses which I think is well on the high side.

    7.8k taxes + 1k insurance + 5k (expenses, maint, fees) = 13.8k total yearly expenses.

    Based on your follow up statements I wouldn’t be surprised if that 15k you think needs to be put into the home doesn’t get put into it and that the owner will not spend much on repairs in general.

    Not sure what you mean by “management” but people don’t hire property managers to manage a single family home or half dozen or so.

    “Also forgot a vacancy factor! You geniuses would go broke on this kind of investment!”

    I factored 10% average vacancy which I believe is also conservative over the long run but you didn’t give much details about the area.

    1,750/mo rent assuming 90% occupancy = 18.9k

  93. Lamar says:

    jj (94)-

    I wouldn’t consider owning and managing investment RE as “totally speculating”. It’s not an easy job…as a few thousand completely underwater “investors” all over the US can now attest.

  94. Lamar says:

    Everybody thinks RE is easy.

    Too bad they confuse simple with easy.

  95. JJ says:

    Lamaar actually when you factor in all costs with RE and add in inflation and the risk free rate then do it over a long time frame you will find out that it is guaranteed you will lose money in real estate.

    Speculating implies there is a chance on making a profit. There is no such chance in real estate.

  96. Lamar says:

    jj (98)-

    Tell that to guys like Fogelman and Zell.

  97. Juice Box says:

    re # 88 – Cumon Moose pure politics Sheriff Thomas J. Dart a Democrat was up for re-election two weeks after he made the announcement on Oct 19th.

  98. Juice Box says:

    Turkey Prices Hit Record Before Thanksgiving on Feed Costs

    U.S. wholesale, frozen turkeys jumped to $1.09 a pound on average yesterday, the highest price ever and up 28 percent from a year earlier,

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-12/turkey-jumps-to-record-before-thanksgiving-urner-barry-says.html

  99. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [100];

    Well it seems to have worked:

    Cook County Sheriff Race
    November 05, 2010 – 04:09PM ET
    Sheriff – Cook County – General
    Illinois – 4502 of 4507 Precincts Reporting – 99%
    Name Party Votes Vote %
    Dart , Thomas (i) Dem 1,019,964 77%
    Collins , Frederick GOP 253,691 19%
    Lewis , Marshall Grn 47,825 4%

    What gets rewarded gets repeated. But at 77-19, was there really ever any doubt? Sherrif Dart seems to have been safely in the ‘live boy or dead girl’ position with regards to being reelected. That being the case, why pull a stunt like that if you’re not a true believer?

  100. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Juice [101],

    You can keep feed costs down by serving them infected carcasses.

  101. Juice Box says:

    re #103- Moose – Judges in Chicago have yet to hold him in contempt, it will be a few months before that happens and he get’s locked up in his own jail. However we are simply repeating the Great Depression, back in the 1930s the tidal waves of foreclosures prompted more than half the US States to change or pass laws that at least temporarily stopped homes being seized. It’s all delay and kick the can down the road.

    The Politicians are your best friend when things are good and when things are bad as long as you continue to vote for them.

  102. Bliss says:

    A girl says to her date,”You’re in for a real treat. I’ve been told that I have a body like New Jersey.”

    So, her date grabs her waist and asks, “What’s this?”

    She replies “Middlesex.”

    He grabs her butt and asks “What’s this?”

    She replies, “Freehold.”

    Then he grabs her breast and asks “What’s this?”

    She replies,”Point Pleasant.”

    Finally, he reaches between her thighs and says, “I guess this is Cherry Hill?”

    “No”, she replies, “That’s Eatontown.”

    The guy gets so excited that he pulls down his pants and says, “Welcome to Long Branch!”

    “I don’t know,” she replies, “It sure looks like Short Hills to me!”

  103. Juice Box says:

    re: #104- every drive by that Turkey Farm in Wall Twp by the rest stop off exit 98? You get infected by just breathing the air around there.

    http://www.hincksfarm.com/farm.html

  104. hughesrep says:

    107

    The turkey farm is well north of there. Near Shark River I think.

    That place is still pretty bad, a petting zoo full of sickly looking animals, lousy food. I went there once with the kids to pick pumpkins. We never went back, and it’s close.

  105. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Re GM IPO,

    I can only say that I have a relative who has declared bankruptcy once, been foreclosed on once, and evicted from apartments several times. I was amazed to find her driving a new Chevy Cobalt when I saw her in September. If they are giving loans to people like her all I can say is you’ll be spending more than 2000 hours reviewing their financials.

  106. JJ says:

    GM has orders for $60 billion in stock: sources
    REUTERS — 27 MINUTES AGO

    By Clare Baldwin and Soyoung Kim

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors have put in orders for $60 billion of common stock in General Motors Co’s initial public offering as of Friday, six times the amount being offered, three people familiar with the matter said.

  107. Juice Box says:

    re: #110 – JJ – With all of this noise it’s a wonder that the SEC loosened the Quiet Period IPO rules. If it were any louder they would need to give out earplugs to go with all the hype. I have a Goldman account and I did not even get solicited, all the big boys must have gobbled it up and the Robots will take the rest come IPO day.

  108. JJ says:

    Even more amazing on GM is the 5,000 share limit. That is like only a $150,000 max order. That means a huge amount of individual people bought in. Citi, GS are not calling people, it is full house. I am in for 300 shares, as under allocation rules at SB/MS that is all I can get anyhow.

    When Citi dumped Travelers they had hedge funds and high net people putting in 10-100 million dollar orders.

  109. Lamar says:

    bliss (106)-

    That joke would rate 100/100 if it contained a reference to Buttzville.

  110. chicagofinance says:

    64.Tom says:
    November 12, 2010 at 11:48 am
    chifi,
    Out of curiosity what would you put the hurdle rate at and why?

    Tom: what is the best use of this “investment” capital…..long-term annualized rate of the opportunity……..I would accept no answer lower than 9% due to risk profile, although given the indosyncratic nature of rental property, I would argue more in the 13-14% area……you are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay underappreciating the risk you are taking…..

  111. Juice Box says:

    re: #112 – JJ not so —-> the big boys Singapore-based GIC and Temasek Holdings, Kuwait Investment Authority, Qatar Investment Authority and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority were offered large blocks of shares. The government needs this pig to rise 6X to make ends meet and pull out of ownership. The bog boys are all in to pump before the big dump.

  112. JJ says:

    juice box so what is your point, do I look like a long term shareholder? I get in at IPO price and out before trouble. I want back in when GM issues bonds for first time. I want out again when GM issues bond second time. I love GM with a passion. My 2009 GMAC bonds pay me 27% like clockwork and some have matured already at par. A wonderful company. Almost as good as Ford, although I sold most of my bonds already. God Bless Free Market Captialism.

  113. Juice Box says:

    re: #116 – JJ – all I am saying is dump before Uncle Sam does a victory dance on your head is the holding period 15 days?

  114. Too bad the only kind of engineering that we excel at is of financial products that are guaranteed to implode.

  115. box- 15 days is too long. I’d be sweating bullets at 15 minutes.

  116. Speaking of shaky engineering:

    “As the United States and China battle over the finer points of currency manipulation at the G-20 summit, American negotiators may want to take note of this startling testimonial to the productivity of Chinese workers: A construction crew in the south-central Chinese city of Changsha has completed a 15-story hotel in just six days. If nothing else, this remarkable achievement will stoke further complaints from American economic pundits that China’s economy is far more accomplished than ours in tending to such basics as construction.

    The work crew er<cted the hotel — a soundproofed, thermal-insulated structure reportedly built to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake — with all prefabricated materials. In other words, a crew of off-site factory workers built the sections, and their on-site counterparts arranged them on the foundation for the Ark project."

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/stunning-time-lapse-video-china-completing-15-story-hotel-6-days

  117. JJ says:

    JB got a better recommendation for me?

    Juice Box says:
    November 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    re: #116 – JJ – all I am saying is dump before Uncle Sam does a victory dance on your head is the holding period 15 days?

  118. JJ says:

    Animal health-care company VCA Antech Inc. (WOOF), blood transfusion industry supplier Immucor Inc. (BLUD), beer maker Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) and shoe design and production company Steven Madden Ltd. (SHOO)

    I like their ticker symbols

  119. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: what about the Ag ETF (MOO)

  120. Juice Box says:

    The only reason to the IPO is to Cash out Uncle Sam. They aren’t using the money to expand or pay down the 19 billion in Debt they have on their books. US government is just like Leon Black now. Head for the exits if it hits 47.

  121. chicagofinance says:

    hicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    November 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm
    “Greer said he didn’t buy the ticket himself….” I CALL BULLSH!T

    LANSING, Mich. – A group of Michigan friends and family is obscenely rich after winning a $129 million jackpot with a lottery ticket bought at a pROn shop. Mike Greer, a member of the group, came forward Friday to claim the Powerball winnings on behalf of the others, who remained anonymous. Greer — who said only that the group has more than two members and fewer than 100 — indicated some of the money will be going to a church.

    “The only thing I can assume is that the Lord trusted us to do certain things with the money that He bestowed upon us,” he said. “That’s the only thing that I can gather.”

    Greer said he didn’t buy the ticket himself and doesn’t know whether it was purchased inside the Uptown Bookstore or at its outside, walk-up lottery window. And he said the group’s members don’t particularly care.

    Many customers of the adult bookstore in a depressed section of Highland Park near Detroit buy their lottery tickets without setting foot inside the place and getting an eyeful of its X-rated videos and magazines.

  122. Tom says:

    chifi,

    I agree it’s not a great return. I wasn’t arguing that it was and I don’t know enough about the property to make a proper assessment but I was curious what it might look like.

    Based on the info available it looks like the property will provide positive cash flow, most likely more than what I estimated.

    If the investor bought the property at 160k (the right price?) and put in the same 15k repairs that’s only increasing the annual ROI by half a point.

    Whether the investor could have made more money is up to him to decide. People who pay 200k cash for an investment property aren’t investing their whole nest-egg. This might just be a way to diversify into some real estate or hedge against other investments.

    The reason I jumped into that conversation was that I was so confused why two real estate agents seem so upset that a home was sold above listing price to an investor that paid cash and will likely see a profit from renting it? Seller wins, agents win, investor wins.

    Or who knows maybe it’s part of some money laundering scheme or scam like the Korean mortgage scam and the investor will get 3-4 loans on the property and then bail.

  123. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ
    URBAN GARDNER
    NOVEMBER 12, 2010
    Message in a Bottle

    By RALPH GARDNER JR
    You know it’s autumn at my house not just because we set the clocks back but also because the vodka goes into hibernation for the winter and the scotch comes out.

    I remember exactly when I discovered the charms of single malt and from then on returned to blended whiskies only under duress. My overgenerous friend Aris and his wife, Carole, gave me three bottles for my 40th birthday. I’d never had a single malt before. But as soon as I did I found it preferable to, say, Dewar’s or Johnnie Walker, though I don’t want to disparage either, since they’ve helped me reach the far side of some frigid evenings and otherwise entertainment-free c-cktail parties.

    Each single malt is at least slightly different from every other, and some are quite different. My palate isn’t sophisticated enough to pick up those notes of heather, morning dew, nutmeg, moss, running deer, cumulus clouds at sunset, puppy love, etc. But single malt reliably transports me to a different place every time. As soon as the scent singes my nostrils and the taste hits my tongue, it’s not hard to imagine myself sitting by a crackling fire on the Isle of Skye, the weather raging outside.

    I happened to be in the market for an inexpensive single malt last week on my way to the apartment of my brother, who doesn’t drink. As a sign of my affection for him, and also because in the best of all possible worlds one would have one’s favorite poisons secreted in cupboards of safe houses around the globe, I was preparing to purchase a bottle that would room at his place for the winter, coming out to give me a big hello whenever I dropped by.

    Which is what brought me to Acker Merrall & Condit, a West 72nd Street liquor store down the block from his home. I’d been under the impression that Acker Merrall—one of New York’s oldest wine merchants (50 cases of their best stuff went down with the Titanic, and they have a canceled check from Babe Ruth for services rendered)—was primarily interested in Bordeaux. So I was pleasantly surprised to see it had a substantial single-malt section. Frankly, I can’t remember what I bought to leave at my brother’s, though it’s safe to say it was in the under $30 price range, as most of my single-malt purchases are unless I’m feeling flush, and I can’t remember the last time I felt flush.

    However, as the cashier rang up my sale, and because their selection seemed so polished, I asked whether they carried Glendronach, my favorite single malt. It’s aged in sherry casks, which gives it a subtly festive flavor (and there’s really no reason to drink anything besides tap water if festive isn’t the effect you’re after).

    The merchant pointed out not one but three Glendronachs—at 12, 15 and 18 years old. I couldn’t in good conscience leave without acquiring a bottle. Not that, at $49.95, I had any intention of stashing it at my brother’s who I knew, come a fire, earthquake, or anthrax attack, would selfishly save his cats before my scotch.

    The salesman also offered to summon the store’s single-malt buyer, Anderson Tallent, to take a bow. It seemed appropriate since I’ve found my favorite single malt increasingly hard to track down over the last couple of years. “I’m a staunch advocate of Glendronach,” Mr. Tallent said. “I like how sherry it is; kind of toffee flavor. The 12 is lovely. The 18 is just really special.”

    Detecting that I had free time on my hands and a mind prone to recreation, he suggested I return to test several of his favorite single malts, which I did Wednesday evening.

    “We chose to focus on smaller distilleries and more limited production,” he told me as he poured our first selection, a 1979 Inverleven, a Lowland scotch whose distillery was demolished in 2001. It cost $169.99, probably triple what I’ve ever spent on a bottle of scotch.

    It was certainly delightful, but I can’t say I passed out and when I came to I was surrounded by fairies in a forest glade. Indeed, the most important takeaway from our tasting that evening was that older, more expensive single malts aren’t necessarily better; it’s more a question of personal preference.

    Mr. Tallent reported that there are many more decent single malts selling for under $35 and even $30 than there were just a few years ago, when Dalmore was my default single malt, the modest price and free tumblers usually sealing the deal. “I love Dalmore,” Mr. Tallent said, making me sigh in relief.

    Mr. Tallent graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis—where they teach the “100 great books” curriculum—and whose liberal-arts education wasn’t wasted on him.

    His knowledge of single malts, including the history of the distilleries and their techniques, not to mention the topography and hydrology of Scotland, even though he’s never been there, and his ability to articulate the idiosyncrasies of individual labels was nothing short of poetic. He described a 1992 Signatory Mortlach, our third selection, as “grassy, herbal, with a brininess to it,” my thoughts exactly.

    Since I had him there, and since the vodka also happened to be nearby, I decided to test his expertise for all things alcoholic by posing a question that’s been bugging me for most of my adult life: Is it just me or do all vodkas taste more or less the same?

    “I’m not against vodka,” Mr. Tallent stated, “but there’s not the same range, not the same depth and interiority,” as single malts. Yes, interiority! “It’s not stimulating intellectually to drink vodka to me. We blind tasted 26 different vodkas and Smirnoff won. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy vodka.”

    But come April, and not a moment sooner, so shall I.

    —ralph.gardner@wsj.com

  124. chicagofinance says:

    Question for the board: gift to client protocol….

    Good up and coming client; just had second child…..want to give a bottle of scotch……suggestions? I already have an opinion, but I want to hear others……..

  125. chicagofinance says:

    unmod?

  126. Juice Box says:

    Glenfiddich 18 yr

  127. Al Gore says:

    61.

    Wantan,

    F ing 7 billion POMO and we end down? Looks like its time to start talking about QE 3. This time lets make it massive. 600 (900) billion is chump change. What a complete clusterfack.

  128. Fabius Maximus says:

    #129 Chi

    I would go with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. It sends the same message as a bottle of Scotch but doesn’t cut out his missus. Its says that you see the family and not just him as a meal ticket.

  129. Al Gore says:

    Max Keiser organizing a campaign to crush JP Morgan eh? Sounds like a worthy cause. I was thinking about handing out some tubes as Christmas gifts anyway.

  130. Chi (129)-

    Savannah or Charleston Madeira from the Rare Wine Co. Not terribly expensive, and it can be opened and drunk over a period of time (although I doubt it will last a week; even people who have never had Madeira before go crazy for it).

    Good for the mind, the tongue and the tummy.

  131. The Charleston is dry, the Savannah is all Verdelho and sweet:

    http://www.rarewineco.com/html/rwc-hist.htm

  132. al (134)-

    All I want for Christmas is for some disgruntled soul to pull a Lee Harvey on Dimon.

  133. Some crazy shit:

    “There were some very odd occurrences in the world’s largest silver ETF, the iShares SLV. After the exponential increase of the price of silver in the spot market, almost hitting $30/share on November 9, the SLV ETF, which like GLD purports to holding the underlying precious metal, saw a massive basket creation demand, amounting to a whopping 523 tonnes of actual silver added to the fund’s holdings (equivalent to 16.8 million ounces, at a cost of about $456 million) for the week ending November 12, currently at a record 10,718 tonnes. While we don’t purport to knowing how much free silver is available in the open market, the possibility that any one entity could have manged to purchase such a massive amount of actual silver, of which 352 tonnes was supposedly acquired on November 10, without completely destabilizing the actual supply and demand mechanics, and creating a vicious loop where basket creation leads to a further surge in prices, is just slightly mind boggling. As we have speculated earlier, we expect comparable activity in the GLD ETF to follow suit. Additionally, we will shortly look at this week’s CFTC COT data to determine just how massively JPM’s silver short has impacted the firm’s P&L.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/slv-etf-adds-massive-523-tonnes-silver-current-week

  134. Al Gore says:

    Speaking of POMO. 30 year rates are repricing for the worse. 4.25 no points now. Up .25 from last week. So 1.5 trillion is what is necessary to keep rates there. No wonder Goldman called for 4 trillion.

  135. Fabius Maximus says:

    #135 Clot

    Yes, I’m uncouth, but I put Portugal, just behind Germany in the winemaking table. 90% of the output is either dry as a lemon or so sickly sweet to be undrinkable. The best thing about Madira is the cake named after it.

  136. grim says:

    BFF! From the FDIC:

    Copper Star Bank, Scottsdale, AZ
    Darby Bank & Trust Co., Vidalia, GA
    Tifton Banking Company, Tifton, GA

    I hear JJ was working with the FDIC to acquire Darby in receivership

  137. scribe says:

    Juice,

    There was just a TV news item about a bunch of wild turkeys in Staten Island bugging a neighborhood. I was wondering why no one had thought of the obvious.

  138. Fabius Maximus says:

    #34 Nom,
    That answer is a slight side step. If that expat number counts in long term visa holders and green cards then WTF has a very valid point. It will explain how that number took off in 2009 I know a lot of Green card holders that have heading back and long term expats that have cut ties.

    One friend, I haven’t seen in a load of years that is probably one of those numbers. He was born a Bills fan, went to Iona, traveled the world. I met up with him in Merrils in London and we ended up working at a bank in San Francisco. His stories would exceed JJs. We just missed out on him setting us up to be busboys at the Courtney Cox/ David Arquette wedding.
    He was always b1tching about filing returns when he was out of the country. The last time I heard from him he gave it all up and was a swim coach in Australia and was trying to swim the Cook Straight between the north and south islands of New Zealand.
    He would file just to get rid of the hassle of filing taxes every year.

  139. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [144] fabius,

    How is anything there a sidestep? And sidestepping what exactly? Myself? An explanation is in order.

    Also, the number is not supposed to include expiring visas as they are not renunciants. Only renunciants are counted. And while your anecdotal evidence is compelling, I would like to see the numbers behind the claim that suddenly an unusually large number of visa holders and green card holders expired in 2009 and decided not to renew, which is your inference. Of course, even if they did, they would not show up in this number. So your premise is false.

    Finally, if you follow tax and enforcement changes, you have a good explanation of what I said about the cost of being an american—that there are now onerous costs associated with that us passport, from refusal of foreign banks to deal with you, to double taxation over the foreign income exclusion, to additional reporting requirements, to higher marginal rates and loss of deductions.

  140. Tom says:

    If only we could profit from people’s willingness to tolerate being lied to over and over.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/11/sarah_palin_has_a_lot_to_teach.html

    Oh wait… people already have.

  141. chicagofinance says:

    Tom says:
    November 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm
    chifi, I agree it’s not a great return. I wasn’t arguing that it was and I don’t know enough about the property to make a proper assessment but I was curious what it might look like.

    Tom: One of my old jobs was defending the corporate hurdle rate published by the Treasury group for use in the finance areas. Kinda sucks when someone’s bonus is on the line based on whether their lame POS money losing project should be implemented. They are building a wireless network in Siberia and they want to use LIBOR so the NPV is positive……STFU

  142. Confused In NJ says:

    As the United States and China battle over the finer points of currency manipulation at the G-20 summit, American negotiators may want to take note of this startling testimonial to the productivity of Chinese workers: A construction crew in the south-central Chinese city of Changsha has completed a 15-story hotel in just six days. If nothing else, this remarkable achievement will stoke further complaints from American economic pundits that China’s economy is far more accomplished than ours in tending to such basics as construction

    Interesting, the Chinese build a 15 story hotel in six days and here it takes American workers 1 Year to replace a street level 40 foot overpass over a small stream. During WWII we built Liberty Ships in 7 days.

  143. Confused In NJ says:

    An inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America’s supermarkets and restaurants, threatening to end the tamest year of food pricing in nearly two decades.

    The year has not been tame at my supermarket. As a general rule of thumb, most government statistics are biased and inaccurate.

  144. Confused In NJ says:

    ALBANY, NY (11/12/2010)(readMedia)– These are the facts: Without federal legislation to extend Unemployment Insurance benefits past November 28, some 200,000 New Yorkers will prematurely exhaust their extended UI benefits by the end of the year.

    With this in mind, today State Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner issued a plea to New York’s unemployed to visit one of the 81 One-Stop Career Centers across the state and take advantage of the services they offer.

    “Finding a job is a full-time job for hundreds of thousands of unemployed New Yorkers, but they don’t have to do it alone,” said Commissioner Gardner. “To the unemployed: I urge you to go back to your nearest One-Stop Career Center right away. To the ’99 weekers’ out there: we know you’re struggling. We haven’t forgotten about you. To our nation’s lawmakers: now is the time for decisive action on behalf of our nation’s unemployed. There is not a moment to lose.”

    UI extension programs currently total 93 weeks in New York State. Without federal legislation to extend the filing deadlines for these programs, some 200,000 New Yorkers will run out of benefits at the end of the year. They may never even reach the 93-week threshold. The federal legislation allows people who get extended benefits to finish their tier. But, now they may not enter the next tier of the extension programs. Through May 1, 2011, the number of affected individuals in NYS may grow to 400,000. That is when they’ll also be unable to make the jump from one tier of UI benefits to the next.

    To view a listing of New Yorkers who may run out of UI early, by Region, visit the following link on the Labor Department’s web site.

    “The extension of unemployment insurance has provided a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of unemployed New Yorkers and a boost to our economy,” said Commissioner Gardner. “We are asking Congress to take action to meet the dire needs of the record number of long-term unemployed people who are eager to work but cannot find a job.”

    One-Stop Career Center staff can help people write the perfect resume to fit any occasion, hone their interview skills and learn to network. Beyond job search aid, One-Stops host targeted job fairs for businesses that want to hire quickly. They also offer SMART 2010 online job matching to job seekers. This tool already has helped thousands of New Yorkers find new leads to get back to work.

    The Labor Department knows that many of New York’s unemployed prefer to conduct their job searches at home on their computers. They may have limited access to transportation to visit their nearest One-Stop Career Center regularly. For these New Yorkers, the department has produced videos ranging from Creating the Right Resume to a Hiring Manager’s Advice to Job Seekers. People can view these online.

    “These videos are quick, easy to understand and offer sound advice to job seekers both in and out of the workforce,” said Commissioner Gardner. “They are invaluable resources for every New Yorker.”

    For a complete list of One-Stop Career Centers, click here.

    Through October 2010, 107,000 New Yorkers have run out of 93 or 99 weeks of benefits. Many have found access to additional government assistance through web sites like http://www.mybenefits.ny.gov. Legislation has been proposed to add a tier of 20 additional weeks of benefits. DoL continues to follow this and other legislation to help New York’s unemployed closely.

  145. Outofstater says:

    Is it just me or is there something disturbing about a government site called “mybenefits”?

  146. jamil says:

    85 “Even with all the fiscal problems, the mayor said, “there’s still no better place to live in America than Montclair.””

    Indeed. As Njgator has correctly pointed out, white leftists people move there because of the diversity. At any given time, you can bump into a marxist, trotskyist, obamaist – and this just in njgator’s family alone!

  147. Frank says:

    636 Prospect St, Westfield, 07090 @$700K had multiple bids. Where’s the recession?

  148. Fast Eddie says:

    Interesting, the Chinese build a 15 story hotel in six days and here it takes American workers 1 Year to replace a street level 40 foot overpass over a small stream. During WWII we built Liberty Ships in 7 days.

    There was a time when this country had balls. Everybody somehow survived through good and bad times. That same group that was building planes and ships within a few days also put a man on the moon using a stack of scrap paper and pencils to do calculations. Fast forward to the millenials whose greatest feats are Snooki, Gaga and texting.

  149. Outofstater says:

    #154 If only exorcists could rid DC of narcissists…

  150. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Clot, or anyone else

    Can i get a restaurant recommendation for tonight in the general morristown area?

  151. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Fast Eddie

    Anything the chinese build in 7 day is highly suspect.

  152. Fabius Maximus says:

    Nom,

    The side step is that you are ignoring the premise that the number may not be made up of just your high net worth individuals making a dash for Gaults Gulch. If the visa and green card numbers are factored into that report by the fact they have to file an 8854 then its not the canary you might think it is. You side step that and go into the other side of your arguement that the US are overtaxed and over burdened her and its hard to live overseas with an American passport. While your other side does have some valid points (you were moved to the front of the plane when it was taken over), its hard to open a bank account in a lot of places regardless of youyr passport.

    “I would like to see the numbers behind the claim that suddenly an unusually large number of visa holders and green card holders expired in 2009 and decided not to renew, which is your inference. ” Ok, how about a load of H1-Bs that got sh1tcanned when the economy went south. They get two weeks to find a job or they have to leave the country. If they are looking to get back in they will need to have filed the form. How many European banks shut the office in Stanford CT or the European desk in the US office and repatriated the staff back to the home county.

    The “and all long-term residents” in the forms description catchs a lot of people. I would say the number is low as there are many that don’t realise they need to file.

    Form 8854
    Certification of compliance with tax obligations for preceding five years. All U.S. citizens who relinquish their U.S. citizenship and all long-term residents who cease to be lawful permanent residents of the United States (within the meaning of section 7701(b)(6)) must file Form 8854 in order to certify, under penalties of perjury, that they have been in compliance with all federal tax laws during the five years preceding the year of expatriation. Individuals who fail to make such certification will be treated as covered expatriates within the meaning of section 877A(g) whether or not they also meet the tax liability test or the net worth test.

  153. Dan says:

    What type of food, what kind of cost and what towns around Morristown are convenient?

  154. Fast Eddie says:

    Cat,

    7 days, 30 days, it doesn’t matter, that’s not the point. The point is we used to just somehow get it done and now we have to contemplate our existence over a cup of Tazo while composing lyrical prose on an iShit device.

  155. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “The year has not been tame at my supermarket. As a general rule of thumb, most government statistics are biased and inaccurate.”

    Confused,

    You’re being much too kind. Govt #’s are a scam and outright lies.

  156. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Hell of a 10 days for O. After the thrashing at home, he skipped town then received a Bronx cheer from G-20 participants regarding Yuan revaluation. As a consolation prize, SK laughed at his free trade proposal; cattle and autos. When you bat .000 you are .200 away from the Mendoza line. That puts you into the bread line.

    The playing field is becoming larger and our share of the turf is diminishing.

  157. Tom says:

    chifi, clot, 30yr,

    I just don’t see why you three have a problem with that investor buying that property and was hoping someone could explain why.

    When I posted the info about the town of River Vale buying a foreclosed country club nobody seemed bothered by it enough to say anything. In that case they’re spending $17.5 million on a property that was scheduled for auction, where similar properties sold for considerably less than the judgment or last sale price and the owner was found to have committed fraud during his bankruptcy hearings.

    With the house bout for a rental, the seller gets more than he thought he would, the agents get a little more commission, the seller paid cash so there’s no issue regarding banks (and then taxpayers) getting stuck with a non-performing asset and the deal wasn’t so horrible that the investor will lose their shirt. If the investor wants to keep his property occupied he’s going to have to charge rent in line with the local market.

    What’s the problem with this purchase that I’m obviously missing?

  158. Fast Eddie says:

    Wantanapolous,

    The Oblahma administration is like the Dallas Cowboys organization. lol!

  159. Outofstater says:

    Well, Ambrose thinks we might not be going to hell after all.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/

  160. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    dan

    any good thai places????? anywhere north of 78

  161. safe as houses says:

    #156 Schroedinger’s Cat

    If you want to drive about 10 minutes, China Chalet in Florham Park has great Chinese food, not the westernized stuff. It’s on the Columbia Parkway in the same plaza as King’s.

    http://www.gochineserestaurant.com/chinachalet/

  162. Nomad says:

    Cat – here are a couple of places to eat that I like – perhaps others will give you their perspective.

    If you like Thai – great Pad Thai & Curry – always packed – casual

    Penang Malaysian Cuisine
    200 State Route 10 # 8, East Hanover, NJ – (973) 887-6989

    Amici’s – front of the place looks like a pizza joint – back area is a nicer (not fancy) with what I think is very good pasta
    90 Park Ave # B, Madison, NJ (973) 360-9100

  163. NJGator says:

    Cat 168 – Haven’t been here in a while, but I remember this pan Asian place in Morristown being quite good. Their sister Indian place, Mehndi (in the same Headquarters Plaza complex) is great too.

    http://www.ming2morristown.com/mainmenu.html

  164. yo'me says:

    THAT IS WHY THE STATE IS BROKE!

    Contractors billed New Jersey $27 for light bulbs, and ran up tens of thousands of dollars in other “unreasonable costs” on a $119 million weatherization program funded with U.S. stimulus money, the state auditor said.

    Out of $613,600 in charges reviewed, $54,000, or 8.8 percent, was deemed unreasonable by Auditor Stephen Eells, according to a Nov. 8 report to lawmakers. The audit examined program oversight by the state Community Affairs Department.

    One contractor sought $27 for light bulbs, while another billed $1.50 for similar items, according to the report and Assistant Auditor Thomas Meseroll. Another vendor charged $75 for carbon-monoxide detectors that it had provided to a different program for $22, the report said. Eells also cited $32,700 in auditing fees when “no services had been performed” and $69,000 in construction costs that couldn’t be verified.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-12/new-jersey-auditor-questions-27-light-bulbs-billed-under-stimulus-program.html

  165. chicagofinance says:

    Why would a cat go to a Chinese restaurant or Thai…do you have a death wish?

    safe as houses says:
    November 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    #156 Schroedinger’s Cat

    If you want to drive about 10 minutes, China Chalet in Florham Park has great Chinese food, not the westernized stuff. It’s on the Columbia Parkway in the same plaza as King’s.

  166. SG says:

    Thai place I can recommend, in my personal ranking.

    Pad That – High land park

    Chao Paya – Somerset (Easton Ave)

    Splash of Thai – Somerville Downtown (Kind of Fusion)

    Thai Kitchen I – Bridgewater

  167. gluteus (140)-

    You got a problem with Vintage Port, too? Or top-drawer reds from the Douro?

    In my book, Portugal and Germany are both top-rank wine producing nations.

  168. grim (141)-

    That’s just no way to treat an onion.

  169. Tom (163)-

    That’s because the buyer was the town gubmint. We expect stupid from them. Nothing in that deal is newsworthy; just another soul-killing dive into taxpayers’ pockets.

    “When I posted the info about the town of River Vale buying a foreclosed country club nobody seemed bothered by it enough to say anything.”

  170. Tom (163)-

    To answer your question, I wouldn’t touch a residential RE investment in this environment unless it threw off a minimum of a 10% gross annual return.

    My reason is simple: in the investments I’ve done, the ones my associates have done and the ones I’ve had to unwind for clients when they crashed and burned, the ones that went bad were all throwing off less than a 10% annualized gross.

    I’m too old and dense to an@lyze it further.

  171. Tom says:

    clot,

    Like I said before I don’t think it’s a great deal or necessarily even a good deal for the investor. If it goes south it’s only really going to hurt the investor. That’s not what I was trying to point out.

    Maybe I just misinterpreted 30yr’s original comments cause he came off to me like a debbie downer that was upset at having his listing go so much over asking.

  172. safe as houses says:

    One step closer to oblivion.

    Career politician retires after 25 years and will collect 5k a month plus health benefits for life.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/nj_career_politician_retires_o.html

  173. safe as houses says:

    #180

    She retired on the first day she was eligible. I hope she miscalculated her time in the system and is a day short and gets nothing.

  174. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    At Penang now, thanks fir all the input!

  175. safe as houses says:

    #183 Cat,

    I highly recommend the rhati canai as an appetizer and the roasted duck leg in chinese herbs soup.

    If you like taro, they have a dish with the bowl is made out of fried taro and stuffed with rice, veggies, and shrimp.

  176. Tom (179)-

    I think 30 year’s biggest point was that the buyer simply made a bad deal. Beyond that, he seems like a pretty dispassionate guy.

    Thanks again for letting me know my domain name had expired. The registry never notified me, and they always used to send an e-mail.

  177. safe (181)-

    I just hope she gets hit by a bus.

    “She retired on the first day she was eligible. I hope she miscalculated her time in the system and is a day short and gets nothing.”

  178. safe (182)-

    No. No teachers in my district are imaginative enough to come up with something like that, and 75% of them are too obese to get on a horse.

  179. Barbara says:

    Porto is awesome. Pad Thai in Highland Park the yum. That’s all I’ve got for this thread.

  180. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Penang sucks!!!

    The food was way over salted, the meat was more grizzle then meat, the food was excessivly oily and we were rushed out the second the wait staff thought we might be done. The table next to us sent two of their dishes back for similiar complaints.

    We should have gone back to the new Thai place in Chester instead. Great Thai food there.

  181. Barbara says:

    Penang is a chain. The one here in Edison seasons the food well, but the meat truly is grizzle, well put. The gruff wait staff suck and always rush you out. Pad Thai in Highland park is truly tops, spicy as an MFer, order EVERYTHING mild. No kidding, their menu actually has a disclaimer on the front about the heat.

  182. Libtard says:

    The best Thai food we ever had in this country was on the Big Island in Hawaii. It’s in the town of Volcano and is simply named, ‘Thai Thai.’ Best curries I’ve ever tasted and heat that didn’t burn, but made you sweat. The best part is that you made your reservations next door in the True Value Hardware store.

  183. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Barb

    I know pad Thai in highland park well. I usually get medium to spicy

  184. nj escapee says:

    I used to go to 4 Seasons on Stelton Rd. Was Thai 1/2 restaurant 1/2 grocery. Haven’t been there since I left NJ more than 5 yrs ago. That place had great food.

  185. Yo'me says:

    Nice sculpture on Margarito’s face.Worth millions of dollars.

  186. Yo'me says:

    Chef at 4 season left and open his own resto.Pad thai in highland park and one in Metuchen is owned by the same 4 season.I personally like the ambience in Metuchen with a piano bar.Although I have not been there in along time.

  187. nj escapee says:

    There was a real nice Thai French restaurant in Somerville. Had some very good meals there. One of the former servers from 4 seasons opened a place in Somerville. I tried it once. It was nice. Servers were dressed in native costumes.

  188. There was a real nice Thai French restaurant in Somerville. Had some very good meals there. One of the former servers from 4 seasons opened a place in Somerville. I tried it once. It was nice. Servers were dressed in native costumes.

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