New Jersey Contract Sales Continue Decline

From the Otteau Valuation Group:

MarketNEWS – November 2010

The New Jersey housing market continued to experience weak purchase demand in October due to the lingering effects of the economic recession. In October, home purchase contracts in New Jersey for both existing and new homes fell by 30% from one year ago, marking the 6th consecutive month of declining sales. To put some perspective on present pace of sales, the chart below shows that October’s performance essentially matched that from 2 years ago in the midst of the worldwide economic collapse following Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September 2008.

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

162 Responses to New Jersey Contract Sales Continue Decline

  1. reinvestor101 says:


  2. safe as houses says:

    First human!

  3. reinvestor101 says:

    Look motherhubbard… you’re starting to bother me

  4. safe as houses says:


    Is there anyway to drill down deeper into this data? It seems like houses in good shape in good locations move, anything else rots. Maybe Otteau needs to come up with a POS /power line/tracks/double yellow line tab.

  5. safe as houses says:

    #3 upsidedown clown

    Don’t get your knickers in an uproar.

  6. grim says:

    It seems like houses in good shape in good locations move, anything else rots.

    Step back, think about the comment. Isn’t that just common sense in a normal market?

    Sales won’t ever fall to zero, look at the graph, even at 10 year lows during a recession we’re still talking about greater than 4000 contracts last month.

  7. grim says:

    GSMLS – October Contracts

    Warren County
    2009 – 108
    2010 – 58 (Down 46%)

    Somerset County
    2009 – 300
    2010 – 208 (Down 31%)

    Sussex County
    2009 – 144
    2010 – 102 (Down 29%)

    Morris County
    2009 – 485
    2010 – 348 (Down 28%)

    Essex County
    2009 – 372
    2010 – 267 (Down 28%)

    Hunterdon County
    2009 – 124
    2010 – 93 (Down 25%)

    Bergen County (NJMLS)
    2009 – 692
    2010 – 540 (Down 22%)

    Union County
    2009 – 369
    2010 – 295 (Down 20%)

    Middlesex County
    2009 – 113
    2010 – 96 (Down 15%)

    Passaic County
    2009 – 216
    2010 – 194 (Down 10%)

  8. Fabius Maximus says:

    I had to think it long and hard about posting this. Once you get over the initial laugh, there is a long story underneath this.

    Think about how this applies to the great US.

  9. Fabius Maximus says:

    Ket and the other STATies,

    Is there anyway to flatten the graph to compensate for the stimulus spike. From the graph it seems that if the spike was taken out we would be tracking last years numbers.

  10. grim says:

    Is there anyway to flatten the graph to compensate for the stimulus spike.

    How about comparing January 1st thru October 31st for 2009 and 2010? (Compare the area under the curve for both years).

    NJMLS (Single Family) – Year To Date Sold By County

    2009 – 1184
    2010 – 1081 (9% Decrease)

    2009 – 3785
    2010 – 3800 (No Change)

  11. safe as houses says:

    #6 grim

    Are we returning to a normal market?

    I looked at tiny colonial this summer that had been repainted, new kitchen – granite and stainless, on a side street not in a flood plain with a dry basement, with a weird shaped lot. It got 9 offers in 3 days and sold at 3% above list. Saw a split that had been redone cheaply (cheap bamboo floor, lack of finishing details like trim work on the new cabinets, no shoe molding, etc. The back part of the yard was in a flood plain, got multiple offers and sold at full list.

    I saw a split that needed a lot of work rot for over 6 months till it was dropped to 385k, there’s now a redone split on the same street at 495k. The 385k house would probably take 50k or so and a few hundred hours of DIY (ripping out carpeting, wallpaper, and repainting) to look the same at the 495k house. If you really want to buy a house and have a 20% to 25% downpayment, why not put 10 to 15% down on a house that needs work, and sink the other 5 to 10% of the downpayment into doing a renovation? Couldn’t the buyer then do a refi to wipe out the PMI and have the house the way you want it and maybe even get a lower rate and/or some of their cash back? Is that still possible in this market?

  12. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Delinquent borrowers would rather rent: Fannie Mae survey

    Half of homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages would rather rent than buy a home, according to Fannie Mae’s third quarter national housing survey.

    This is the first time the rental preference has exceeded the percentage of people who would rather buy. Fifty percent said they would rather rent, up 10% from January, while 45% said they would buy a home, down 11% since January.

    According to the quarterly survey, 68% of Americans think it’s a good time to buy a home, down 2% from the last survey conducted in June, while 29% of Americans think it’s a bad time to buy a home, up 3% from June. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they think it is a bad time to sell a home, up 2% from June.

    “Consumer attitudes toward buying a home are more negative since last quarter,” said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Our survey shows that Americans’ declining optimism about housing and their personal finances is reinforcing increasingly realistic attitudes toward owning and renting.”

    Fannie Mae found that an almost equal number of Americans expect home prices to increase in the next year as think prices will decrease, with 25% thinking they will increase (down 6% from the last quarter) and 22% believing they will decrease (up 4%).

  13. grim says:

    Are we returning to a normal market?

    Absolutely, with a caveat. See that spike in March and April? That has more to do with idiocy than normalcy. I also don’t believe credit is tight at all, there is more than enough cheap credit available for qualified borrowers.

    … sold at full list … sold above list …

    Selling above ask doesn’t imply anyone paid a premium.

    Likewise, discount to ask doesn’t imply a bargain.

  14. safe as houses says:

    #13 grim

    It’s amazing what hardwood floors, a recent paint job in neutral colors, and cheap new cabinets that are going to fall apart in a few more years will do.

  15. grim says:

    It’s amazing what hardwood floors, a recent paint job in neutral colors, and cheap new cabinets that are going to fall apart in a few more years will do.

    They do ’em like that new in the Southwest (and you get Chinese drywall to boot!)

  16. grim says:

    Speaking of, hot off the wire from the Mercury News:

    There’s triple trouble for the Golden State’s struggling real estate market: the usual seasonal slowdown, a weak economy and “unrealistic asking prices” by some sellers, according to a report today from the California Association of Realtors.

    “We’re really seeing two different housing markets — one at the lower-end driven by first-time buyers and investors, which is keeping prices stable, and one with nostalgic sellers who set unrealistic asking prices,” Leslie Appleton-Young, the group’s vice president and chief economist, said in a news release today.

    “Sellers need to consider current market conditions when pricing their home in order to facilitate a shorter time on the market,” she said.

  17. grim says:

    And this from Leslie Appleton Young!! (For those who don’t know Leslie, she was one of the biggest housing cheerleaders during the bubble, right up there with David Lereah)

  18. safe (11)-

    The only things that are possible in this market are really bad outcomes.

    “Is that still possible in this market?”

  19. grim (17)-

    Looks like somebody’s been in Kool-Aid rehab.

  20. Realizing that Jerry Brown is gonna be the governor of that vermin-infested failed state must’ve been Ms. Appleton-Young’s come to Jesus moment.

  21. safe as houses says:


    She’s just following the trends, happy on the way up, pessimistic on the way down.

  22. safe as houses says:

    Did anyone see Corzine got remarried? Wonder what Carla thinks.

  23. The trend is your friend.

    Except when the trend ends in a bridge abutment.

  24. safe (22)-

    I think that Carla knows her secret dossier of Jon-boy in spiked dog collars and latex jockstraps just went up in value.

  25. Pat says:

    Can people please stop referencing Leslie Apple-Whatever?

    Every single time you do that, I end up hearing this song in my head all night long. And I mean all night long. I do projects during the hours of 1 to 5 and it ain’t pretty working with this in my head. It forces me to watch 70’s heavy metal vids.

    I have no idea why the brain connection is occurring, but it is. Please try to replace name with LAY or something.

  26. pat (25)-

    If you’re not already medicated heavily, may I suggest it?

  27. I will bet anyone here $1,000 that Carla Katz ends up starring in cougar videos.

  28. Pat says:

    Clot, thanks for the thought, but my only med is a Tylenol just before a big snowstorm. Mostly, I tame the beast with music and laps four or five times a week.

  29. grim says:


    You see the buzz about Kuwait banning DSLR cameras for non-journalists?

  30. chicagofinance says:

    Already suffers from multiple personality disorder…..

    Lamar Asperger says:
    November 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm
    pat (25)-
    If you’re not already medicated heavily, may I suggest it?

  31. chicagofinance says:

    …and now for a public service message….

    Ex-JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater offers flying tips for Thanksgiving

    Slide through your Thanksgiving airplane journey with some advice from wacky ex-JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater.

    A key rule: Be nice to the cabin crew.

    “It’s amazing how many people will stare suspiciously at us before storming down the aisle in response to our smile and ‘Welcome aboard,’¤” Slater says on, a gay travel site.

    Slater says a passenger who wasn’t very nice in August caused him to deploy an emergency chute, which he used to slide off his JetBlue flight with a couple of beers in his hands.

    He also slid himself out of a job — and ended up pleading guilty of attempted criminal mischief.

    Some of Slater’s other flying tips:

    Dress well. “An elegant wardrobe paired with good manners is the hallmark of a classy traveler. We’re more likely to dote on refined customers than we are the T-shirt and flip-flop crowd.”

    Be tidy. “It’s hard to scrape gum off the upholstery and retrieve dirty diapers from the seatback pockets and still look fresh for the next round of passengers.”

    Don’t crowd the boarding gate. “Stylish travelers wait until their row is called instead of rushing the gate like the stage at a Motley Crue concert.”

  32. safe as houses says:

    Fed lowers growth outlook for 2011 and says it could take 5+ years for economy to recover.

    Green shoots?

  33. safe (32)-

    It’s as good a lie as any that they tell.

  34. Here’s some hopeful news:

    “Congratulations to anyone who refinanced last month. That may have been the bottom in mortgage rates.

    15 and 30-year fixed mortgage rates have climbed by about a quarter of a point from a month ago, and rates will climb another quarter of a point for many borrowers. In addition, Freddie Mac will now require 25% down for borrowers to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

    Expect Fannie Mae to follow. If so, the wave of refinancings we saw this year, may be about over. The 25% needed to avoid PMI is the kicker.”

  35. Essex says:

    My banker tried to get me to refi with them (pnc). I would rather have my eye gouged out.

  36. Essex says:

    PNC is not the worst bank in the world, but close.

  37. Essex says:

    Happy Thanksgiving all. I am grateful to the board for their insights and to Grim for his vigilant posting. Be well and happy. If possible.

  38. grim says:

    Were downgrades supposed to be done?

    From the WSJ:

    Moody’s Cuts Lion’s Share Of Another $23.1B In RMBS

    Moody’s Investors Services mostly downgraded $23.1 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities, the latest cuts by the agency as the underlying loans continue to deteriorate.

    The ratings agency has downgraded hundreds of billions of dollars of RMBS this year as credit raters have steadily increased loss expectations on them at a time of low home prices, high unemployment and an uneven economic recovery.

    Moody’s said Tuesday it cut 95 tranches from 10 RMBS transactions issued by Chevy Chase Funding LLC. It also confirmed seven tranches’ ratings from the deals.

    Separately, it cut the ratings of 272 tranches and confirmed ratings on 15 tranches from 38 RMBS transactions issued by Countrywide Financial, which was bought about two years ago by Bank of America Corp. (BAC).

    The collateral backing the transactions were primarily backed by first-lien, adjustable-rate, negative amortization and Alt-A residential mortgage loans.

  39. Useful information…

  40. For anyone not paying their mortgages, Pluckemin Inn is doing a $240 per person truffle tasting menu, wines included.

    Fitzgerald was right. The rich are different than you and me.

  41. Essex says:

    The only reason most people are afraid of the TSA machines is that their tiny sausages will be revealed…what the wife always knew, the rest of the people in line will now be aware of.

  42. reinvestor101 says:

    >>“Sellers need to consider current market conditions when pricing their home in order to facilitate a shorter time on the market,” she said.”<<<

    This damn lady needs to be taken out and summarily shot. This is a bunch of bullspit. I lowered by damn price slightly and still the scum buyers still want to muck with me. To hell with that. The main damn thing I have to consider is my damn retirement and paying off the mucking mortgage. I can't do that without getting the right damn price. I'm owed that and ain't backing down one iota.

    The next motherhubbard who lows balls me will be forced to sign a damn sales agreement at my damn price. Let that be a damn warning to those of you going around and lowballing sellers with impunity and taking too much time to make up your mucking mind. There's a backlash coming and you can wind up in a damn house far quicker than you anticipated.

  43. Nomad says:

    He re #43:

    Mtg rates are ticking up, will need 25% down to avoid PMI, economy sucks, no jobs being created in addition to all the other existing problems and additional global issues with Ireland, NKorea etc. How is all this going to impact your asking price?

  44. reinvestor101 says:

    “The only reason most people are afraid of the TSA machines is that their tiny sausages will be revealed…what the wife always knew, the rest of the people in line will now be aware of.”

    Let’s get something damn straight. That may be your mucking problem but folks like me scare folks with a damn anaconda.

  45. reinvestor101 says:

    “How is all this going to impact your asking price?”

    Guess what? That ain’t gonna do shlt to my asking price. Like I said, the next motherhubbard who presents me a low ball bid will own a damn house at my price.

    I can hardly wait. I should have taken that position a couple of years ago.

  46. safe as houses says:

    #43 re101

    Try removing the 1960’s wallpaper and get rid of the liver and onion stench that permeates your place.

  47. The fun should really start on December 7…the day designated for a pan-European individual depositor bank run.

    The bank runs here are gonna be great.

  48. yo (41)-

    Everything is bleak. I see nothing to dissuade me of the notion that we are at the edge of a complete breakdown of society, followed by decades of nomadic, hardscrabble existence for the survivors.

  49. Nomad says:

    Re: let us all know when you close and your SP / OLP.

  50. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “I should have taken that position a couple of years ago.”


    Rather than down on both knees with your backside spread?

  51. 250K says:

    #4 and #6

    >>It seems like houses in good shape in good locations move, anything else rots.
    >> Step back, think about the comment. Isn’t that just common sense in a normal market?
    >> Sales won’t ever fall to zero, look at the graph, even at 10 year lows during a recession
    >>we’re still talking about greater than 4000 contracts last month.

    What happened to “no one will be spared? No one!”

  52. Shore Guy says:

    “Rather than down on both knees with your backside spread?”

    Sounds like something required by a merged IRS and TSA.

  53. #29 – You see the buzz about Kuwait banning DSLR cameras for non-journalists?

    I did. I was confused by it as cell-phone cams are more prevalent by several orders of magnitude and more intrusive. Same with pocket cams, some of which have very far reaching zooms. Not sure what an SLR ban accomplishes, other than ridding the streets of cameras that look like cameras.

  54. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    S&P cuts its rating on Ireland. You gotta luv the talent on WS.

  55. You see the buzz about Kuwait banning DSLR cameras for non-journalists?

    Presumably rangefinders and view cameras are ok…

  56. Al Gore says:

    I know someone that locked a 3.875 30 year no point last month. Lowest I was offered was 4.0 30 year 0 points.

  57. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    How long will it take Merkel/Germany to say Auf Nimmerwiedersehen?

  58. Mr Wantanapolous says:


    I hope rates move up rapidly. Last nail in the coffin.

  59. chicagofinance says:


    chicagofinance says:
    November 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm
    For JJ:

  60. You see the buzz about Kuwait banning DSLR cameras for non-journalists?

    Reading a little more about this and all the news stories cite an article from The Kuwait Times** which doesn’t name any sources. So this whole thing might be more about bad reporting than anything else.

    ** Note: Don’t seem to be able to locate the original article, only this reaction to it.

  61. JJ says:

    Now if home prices rise in excess of 3.875% a year he made a good deal.

    Al Gore says:
    November 24, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I know someone that locked a 3.875 30 year no point last month. Lowest I was offered was 4.0 30 year 0 points.

  62. scribe says:

    For everyone else who was wondering about the translation:

    Auf Nimmerwiedersehen! [ugs.]
    Goodbye forever!
    I never want to see you again!
    I don’t ever want to see you again!

  63. Painhrtz says:

    Hey happy thanksgiving everyone and just got back from two straight weeks in Northern Cali, stayed in Tiburon for one of them, Prices ranging from Million to 10 million plus, on earthquake prone hillside with SF and GG bridge views. Must be the water, or fog rots your brain

  64. Juice Box says:

    Good Read on Ireland. They have been running that country like the Democrats have been running New Jersey. I have many family members who are Teachers and Nurses in Ireland. They do have it pretty easy, short work weeks high pay, lots of vacation and perks.

    See below.

    quote: “Even after recent cuts Ireland’s nurses are the fourth highest-paid in the developed world and Irish teachers earn 33 per cent more than the developed world average.”

  65. JJ says:

    Juicebox, I feel bad for Ireland, I will send over a few copies of Angela’s Ashes to remind them of how good things still are.

    Back in 1847 they had six million people, three potatoes and two jobs. Things have to be better than that.

  66. ricky_nu says:

    Pain – I would move there in a hearbeat, but woudl rent – that way quakes are someone else’s problem

  67. Fun and good times at 72 Cummings Point Rd. The Hirst reference in the pic made me lol.

  68. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    May everyone have a happy thanksgiving with their families tomorrow.

  69. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    I firmly believe that German has been quietly constructing their exit for some time now. There have been a number of small signs.

  70. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Cat [70],

    I agree. It’s only a matter of time.

  71. Confused In NJ says:

    The middle-class tax hike nobody’s talking about

    Are you ready to give up $30 a month?

    That’s what may come out of your paycheck if — as expected — the Making Work Pay tax credit expires at the end of the year.

    The credit was enacted last year as part of the Recovery Act to put more cash in people’s pockets. For the past two years, it has boosted paychecks by up to $400 for single filers and $800 for joint filers by reducing the tax withheld and giving a credit for that amount. That’s $33 or $67 a month.

    Taxpayers who make $75,000 or less are eligible for the full credit, while higher earners can receive partial credit. More than 90% of working Americans have been helped by the tax break.

    Now they will feel the pain when the credit goes away.

    A Senate Finance Committee aide said panel chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, is working on a proposal to extend a number of expiring tax breaks when Congress returns next week.

    Obama proposed an extension months ago, but it’s unclear if the administration will fight for it now.

    And with only weeks remaining in the lame-duck Congress, the credit is likely on its way out, said Clint Stretch, managing principal of tax policy at Deloitte Tax.

    “I haven’t seen any serious effort to extend Making Work Pay,” Stretch said. “For this to get passed, somebody in Congress would have to be saying this is a priority, and we just haven’t seen that happening.”

    Instead, most of the buzz is about the Bush tax cuts, which are also slated to expire at the end of the year.

    Republicans are fighting to extend the Bush cuts for everyone — including higher income Americans. But Obama, who has promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, is pushing to preserve the cuts only for family income up to $250,000.

    “The most curious aspect of the tax debate is the obsession with taxes at the high end,” said Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “But when almost every middle and lower class American is going to face higher taxes, nobody’s talking about it.”

    The big issue with keeping Making Work Pay around is its cost — about $60 billion to extend it one year.

    “Stimulus is a bad word now, so anything labeled stimulus will not get traction,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

    But if the extension isn’t passed, the 110 million families that received higher paychecks in 2009 and 2010 will owe more taxes than they did during those two years.

    “Most people may have no idea they received it and no idea that it’s going away,” said Marr. “But what you can be certain of is that they’ll have less money and they’ll spend less — and this is a terrible time for the economy to lose $60 billion of spending.”

  72. Libtard says:

    ruh roh:

    Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    New Home Sales – Level – SAAR 314 K 300 K to 335 K 283 K

  73. Juice Box says:

    re: #66 – JJ – I do not feel sorry for them, they forgot where they came from. My grandparents never had a car, cellphone or home phone and somehow still managed to raise 10 successful children.

    Luckily for the Irish about 200k workers from Poland have all gone home, things would be much worse if they were still in country. The older generation remembers when they did not have cell phones and were a one car (usually a beater) per family and nobody traveled to NYC for a shopping vacation. I can’t tell you how many times over the last decade I met up with relatives from Ireland who just flew in to NYC for a shopping trip, and that was usually after a Disney vacation and a Carnival Cruise.

    My young 19 year old cousin did not experience the bubble and cannot find much work now. He now scours the fields and old farm houses for scrap metal to recycle to earn a few Euro. He still lives at home with two of his brothers and they will probably be there for life. His sister lives in a new very large house one of the largest I have ever seen in Ireland outside of the old English estates. She stopped working after the first child was born, and her husband barely works at “The Morgue” which is the nickname for Shannon airport. I cannot belive the size of their house, the two new cars and how they manage to keep all of it with just his meager salary.

    All she did over the summer was complain about how they should have knocked down the center walls and went for the open floor-plan…. once I heard that I felt transported back to NJRereport for a second. To cure that I went down to the Pub the same one my grandfather drank in and downed a few pints and enjoyed the craic which is still as lively as ever.

    Their tradition and rising exports will sustain them until this debt hangover is over.

  74. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Rates and home prices are inversely proportional If rates are at record lows then what does that say about prices?

    Income is flat to declining, taxes are virtually guaranteed to go up and probably substantially, insurance is likely to continue increasing albeit at a much smaller rate then insurance, and utility cost for running a home are virtually guaranteed to go up and potentially substantially as well.

    Currently conforming loans use the following DTI ratio’s
    * Conventional 28/36.
    * FHA 31/43.
    * VA 41/41,
    * USDA 29/41

    So if we approximate that the average front end DTI is about 30% of gross income, and that income is flat to declining while I,T, & I (of PITI) are all set to rise, then P must decline in order to maintain the 30% ratio

    As a crude thought experiment, we can model the situation as
    30% Income = PITI
    In this equation PI are dependent exponential functions while TI can be approximated at linear functions. That is bad news for those dreaming of home price stability.
    The changes wont happen over night, but assume we return to a 6 -7% rate in the near to intermediate future. As an approximation, every 1/10 change in interest rate effectively equals a 1% change in home price. A return to 6-7% rates from would mean we see about a 20% drop in home prices.
    We are going to need some serious inflation if TPTB want that 20% drop to be masked by dollar devaluation.

  75. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Juice [74],

    Not much different from our grandparents/parents here. Somewhere along the line, those making 50-60K thought they were entitled to live the life of the rich and famous. Not sure what will sustain us until the deleveraging buzzer goes off?

  76. Shore Guy says:

    Interesting, from CBS News on salary arbitration for police and fire fighters in NJ:

  77. Juice Box says:

    re #77 — 2% cap still not enough. They are still gonna layoff lots more just look at Newark.

  78. Mike says:

    Mr. Shrodinger Number 75 if I was grading papers you would get an A+

  79. Libtard says:

    Obviously, the cat is not a public education retard.

  80. reinvestor101 says:

    I hate cats. They’re sneaky and lowdown.

  81. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [74];

    Interesting contrast between those who “Got Theirs” and those who missed the boat, generationally speaking. No one would believe that anything of the sort played out in America, though [TIC].

  82. dan says:

    I really hope we get better arrests in the SEC thing than just old Asian guys. Hopefully, there’s an Anna Chapman type on the list with pics…..

  83. JJ says:

    My grandparents lived in a house with no heat, bathrooms, running water or electricity and used to brag how well off they were as their grandparents lived in the loft above the stable and the ten kids slept on the floor. They were rich as they had bedrooms and straw beds.

  84. Juice Box says:

    re #82 Moose the kids coming out of school today are laden with debt some more than 200k and cannot find work.

    Interesting read, and at least no more crap about work life balance coming from the Gen Yers.

  85. Mike says:

    Reinvestor 101 Number 81 I’m a dog person myself but I hear the cat has that sixth sense. And the Chinese know it’s not pork but Garfield on your fork.

  86. JJ says:

    anon thanks, those jets know how to tailgate!

  87. Juice Box says:

    re: #87 – Wantanapolous didn’t the FBI ask him to wear a wire? He may now be hiding/working his way up to head Barista at a Tim Hortons somewhere in Toronto.

  88. #87 – Surprisingly, and contrary to what Frank said, one of the questions isn’t ‘Do you know .NET?’.

  89. JJ says:

    Ireland was one of the few countries in the world where mortgage interest payments were tax deductible, but there was no property tax.

    Talk about a recipe for disaster.

  90. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Mike [88],

    Start with the basics; it is human or an animal? Does the character walk, run, swim, breathe fire, sh*t silver bullets, fly? Give the characer a name then create his/her persona. Result; RE 101, subsequently downsized to 50.5.

    The character is old, stale and boring; should only be available for reruns.

  91. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Next; Portugal, Spain, Italy, Japan and finally the US.

    “MADRID (MarketWatch) — In echoes of labor unrest seen across Europe this year, Portugal’s public and private sectors united on Wednesday for what some are calling the country’s biggest-ever strike to protest government austerity measures.”

  92. Mike says:

    Mr Wantanapolous Number 93 you mean he’s a bad old putty cat ?

  93. Mr Wantanapolous says:


    I received from LinkedIn today;

    LinkedIn Groups
    Group: Foreign Exchange and Currency Markets
    Subject: Silver Traders – Have you traded in the past 2 years?
    Hello all,

    We have been approached by a leading New York City law firm that is bringing a class action case against JP Morgan regarding Silver price manipulation.

    Send me a message if you have traded silver between March 2008 and March 2010 (even just one trade) and have it documented so we can put you in direct touch with the lawyers who are handling the case to evaluate your potential position.

    Please look at this Reuters news piece for more information on the case:

    Let us all stop price manipulation by these big guys who keep on taking our money!

  94. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Mike [95],

    Probably more like Gomer Pyle.

  95. Libtard says:

    Wantan Soup (96):

    Seems like an overzealous lawyer will stoop to any level to get people to join a class action lawsuit. He will need a whole lot of backers if he thinks he stands a chance against the legal team with the muscle of the fed backed team at JPM.

  96. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Lib [98],

    This thing has legs. However, a better game plan, take delivery.

  97. 250K (52)-

    “The market never goes to zero” and “no one will be spared” are not mutually exclusive concepts.

    Think on that for awhile. Maybe draw yourself a Venn diagram or two. Then get back to us.

  98. scribe (63)-

    Here’s a more proper way to say Auf Nimmerwiedersehen!

  99. Libtard says:

    a better game plan, take delivery.


  100. pain (64)-

    People in SF are just stupid as shit. How else does a ginch like Pelosi get elected to anything higher than animal control officer?

  101. jj (66)-

    And this time around, the Irish are even gonna hand out gubmint cheese.

  102. cat (70)-

    It’s times like this that I wish we’d let them keep a Panzer division or two. Just to help them remember the good times. Just a damn shame to disarm a nation that was born to fight.

    “I firmly believe that German has been quietly constructing their exit for some time now. There have been a number of small signs.”

  103. d2b says:

    Juice 74-
    Our family business hired Irish students for almost 15 years before throwing in the towel in 2000. There was a remarkable change in the students that applied. Once their economy started to shift they stopped coming over to make money and now only visit for vacation. They all had jobs waiting for them at home.
    Instead of hiring them for three months/60 hours per week, students wanted 35 hours per week. Most would tell us that they could work until Labor Day only to tell during the last week of July that they needed to go home in 2 or 3 days because of ‘failed exams’. We still have Irish students apply in June for work, but we can not hire them because they want to leave in mid-July. By then employment prospects are very slim. Also, they are likely to be living with roomates that may not be working. When students are oversleeping their 5 PM start times, you have to look elsewhere for employees. Even the best employee is useless if he/she fails to show.
    The ‘Irish need not apply’ signs could make a comeback at the Jersey Shore.

  104. BC (87)-

    En Espanol, por favor.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    100.Lamar Asperger says:
    November 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm
    250K (52)-
    “The market never goes to zero” and “no one will be spared” are not mutually exclusive concepts.


  106. d2b says:

    Juice 86-
    Favorite part of the article.

    “Even with those, Generation Y is the least likely of all age groups to invest in stocks or bond funds, according to a Vanguard Group Inc study of its retirement investors.

    “There is a very important message that’s not getting through,” said Christine Fahlund, retirement planning expert at mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price.”

    Gen Y is not getting the important message. Maybe they are sending the most important message. Better to keep your money safe rather to invest it on Wall Street.

  107. Chi, your fascination with bowling is deeply troubling.

  108. Libtard says:

    “Chi, your fascination with bowling is deeply troubling.”

    As is his fascination with Depeche Mode. Fortunately, that had died down a bit.

    By the way ChiFi, I suggested someone use your inspector from Little Silver and they are going to. I’ll let you know how they like him.

  109. chicagofinance says:

    112.Libtard says:
    November 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    “Chi, your fascination with bowling is deeply troubling.”

    Maybe both of you will find this visual more inspirational.
    I dub this “…..The Global Financial Dystem 2005-2012….”

  110. chicagofinance says:


  111. JJ says:

    Chifi, last thursday or friday did you pick up any of the muni bond deals.

  112. chicagofinance says:

    115.JJ says:
    November 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm
    Chifi, last thursday or friday did you pick up any of the muni bond deals.

    Not in the market…..but I saw that….

  113. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: there was this over the weekend…
    Note, I always think that the bulk of the “specific” investment advice in the WSJ is garbage, but I always appreciate the commentary….
    NOVEMBER 20, 2010
    How to Play the New Muni Market
    The Municipal-Bond Selloff, Three Years in the Making, Has Created Opportunities for Savvy Investors. Here’s What You Need to Know.

    Before the financial crisis there was one municipal-bond market. Now there are more than 20,000.

    Understanding the forces that led to this fracturing can help you make sense of the selloff of the past two weeks, sidestep future trouble and exploit new opportunities.

    Municipal bonds are backed by local or state governments or other public entities. Investors like them because their interest payments are generally exempt from federal income tax, though states often levy taxes on out-of-state bonds.

    The muni market is usually steady—but it has been a mess lately. The BofA Merrill Lynch Municipal Bond Master Index has fallen 3.6% this month. Some exchange-traded funds have fared even worse: the iShares S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond ETF fell 4.1% from Nov. 1 to Nov. 18.

    A freakish confluence of events sparked the selloff. Treasury yields rose, which led to losses on all types of bonds as investors sold older bonds to make room for newer ones. A massive amount of muni-bond supply hit the market—about $34 billion through Nov. 19, the average issuance for an entire month in 2010. And the Republicans’ retaking of the House of Representatives on Nov. 2 made it more likely that the Bush-era tax rates will be extended for all taxpayers, reducing the urgency for upper-income earners to hold tax-free munis, and threw into question the future of the Build America Bonds program, in which the federal government subsidizes municipalities that issue taxable bonds.

    Yet while the downturn was sudden and surprising, it was made possible by deeper structural problems three years in the making.

    Before 2008 the muni world was as homogenous as markets can be. Many bonds were insured—and therefore perceived as safe—and investment banks and hedge funds were big players in the market. Thanks to steady economic growth over the previous two decades (punctuated by two recessions), government budgets were in good shape.

    The financial crisis changed all that. Now the market is murky and more fragmented, with a few categories looking more attractive and others seeming riskier.

    Most important, investors can no longer assume that any of the market’s 20,000-plus issues will trade like the others. “It’s more unpredictable than ever,” says Matt Fabian, a managing director at Municipal Market Advisors, a research firm.

    Gauging Credit Quality
    The problems started when bond insurers, with massive exposures to subprime mortgage debt, fell on hard times. Now they are exiting the muni market in droves. Whereas about half of all newly issued bonds in 2006 carried insurance, that number has fallen to about 7% in 2010.

    The retreat of the bond insurers has forced investors to do more homework to figure out individual municipalities’ credit quality, or their ability to pay their debts.

    Yet the credit ratings offered by the big three ratings firms, Moody’s Corp., Fitch Inc. and McGraw-Hill Cos.’ Standard & Poor’s, may not be as meaningful as they once were.

    That’s because Fitch and Moody’s earlier this year decided, for simplicity’s sake, to align their ratings scale for munis with that of other bonds so that investors could compare munis against them more easily. The net effect was that the agencies upgraded many munis. At Fitch, for example, the percentage of muni bonds rated AA or better rose to 82% from 52.7% before the recalibration in April, according to Peter Bianchini of Mesirow Financial.

    The grade inflation “reduces the ability of the market to discriminate based on ratings,” says Richard Ciccarone, chief research officer of McDonnell Investment Management. (Investors can do their own bond research via the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s Electronic Municipal Market Access system, known as EMMA, at, which contains financial statements and trade data, including price and yield.)

    .The financial crisis also drained the muni market of liquidity. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were two major muni-bond dealers before they blew up. Other banks and brokers have been less willing to hold large amounts of muni bonds on their books, while some hedge funds that used “arbitrage” strategies in the municipal-bond market pulled back or disappeared.

    As a result, the market is traded much more thinly now. During the past 30 trading sessions, an average of $10.6 billion of bonds changed hands daily, with each trade averaging $242,486. Four years ago, $29.7 billion worth of bonds changed hands, with each trade averaging $837,919, according to EMMA.

    Without big dealers like Bear and Lehman in the market, traders are having trouble finding the best price. Benjamin S. Thompson, a principal at Samson Capital Advisors, says it now takes at least twice as many phone calls to get the best execution on a muni trade.

    Winners and Losers
    The financial troubles of many municipalities, meanwhile, have created winners and losers among different classes of bonds. Before the crisis, “general-obligation bonds,” which are backed by the taxing authority of a state or city, were the top of the municipal food chain. It was thought that an issuer of a general-obligation bond would withstand tough times because of its ability to raise taxes to make good on their debt.

    But since the start of the recession, unemployment has increased, damping income-tax revenue; property values have plummeted, hitting real-estate taxes; and Americans have saved more, cutting back on sales-tax revenue.

    Now, some investors are starting to view “essential-service revenue bonds,” which are backed by the revenue stream from services such as sewer systems or water, as equally safe investments. General-obligation bonds have more varied revenue sources, but the income generated from essential services like water seem more stable, says Neil Klein, a senior portfolio manager at Carret Asset Management in New York.

    “The old joke is that the only things you can be certain of are death and taxes,” says Mr. Klein. “Now the revenue streams from essential services are more predictable.”

    In early 2009, for example, a typical AA-rated general-obligation bond yielded 0.40 percentage point less than a revenue bond with a similar rating, as investors put a premium on the ability of municipalities to tax. (When bond prices rise, yields fall, and vice versa.) Now, general-obligation bonds yield just 0.03 percentage point less than revenue bonds.

    Hard to Value
    The market’s fragmentation makes it difficult for investors to gauge whether munis are cheap or expensive.

    Back when more of the muni market was insured, the direction of interest rates was the primary driver of yields. Treasurys and municipal bonds typically moved in the same direction, with a fairly predictable ratio between their yields.

    The historical average was around 82% for 10-year bonds, because that was the ratio that produced a yield roughly equal to a Treasury once taxes were factored in (the “taxable equivalent yield”). When the ratio moved higher or lower than that, it signaled a buying or selling opportunity to some investors.

    Now the direction of interest rates is just one of many drivers of muni yields, and the relationship between Treasurys and munis has weakened, say traders and analysts. The correlation between the two since 2008 is just 1%, versus an historical average of 91%. (A correlation of 100% means two assets move in lock step; a correlation of -100% means they move in complete opposition.) So while the taxable-equivalent yield ratio is now 103%, it doesn’t mean munis are cheap.

    The recent trading in ETFs and closed-end funds shows how tricky it can be for investors to value a muni portfolio. Muni-bond ETFs, which trade on exchanges like stocks, are generally more liquid than the bonds they hold, so there can be big differences between the two during periods of volatility.

    For example, the iShares ETF and the SPDR Nuveen Barclays Capital Municipal Bond ETF on Tuesday traded about 2% below the value of their underlying holdings, according to investment-research firm Morningstar Inc. Before November, both ETFs had generally been trading within 0.5% of their net asset values this year.

    Closed-end muni-bond funds, which also trade on exchanges, have been even further away from their net asset values than ETFs. Many of them use leverage, which magnifies up and down moves, and have fallen hard in recent weeks. The average muni closed-end fund traded at a 5% discount at the start of this week, according to Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc., an investment-advisory firm specializing in closed-end funds. That means investors selling the shares were getting 95 cents per $1 of underlying assets, after generally paying a premium for the funds over the past several months. The average discount narrowed to 1.1% as of Thursday, according to Herzfeld.

    What to Do
    Investors who have been jarred by the recent volatility need to reassess their muni portfolio’s quality and sensitivity to interest rate swings, advisers say. Given the expectation of rising interest rates, uncertainty about tax-law changes, and the precarious financial position of many state and local governments, analysts expect the volatility to continue for some time.

    While it still is worthwhile to hold high-quality muni bonds for income, investors shouldn’t expect much price appreciation in the months ahead. And anyone holding individual muni bonds should consider selling their big winners now, particularly those with longer maturities, says Marilyn Cohen, president of Envision Capital Management, a Los Angeles fixed-income money manager. “We’ve had a great run—start taking some of the profits,” Ms. Cohen says.

    For investors looking to exploit recent weakness, diversification is essential. With many state and local governments strapped for cash, investors should spread their bets widely among individual bonds, say advisers—even if it means giving up in-state tax benefits. “It provides more stability if you look outside your state,” says Elizabeth Fell, a New York-based strategist at Barclays Wealth.

    Ordinary muni-bond mutual funds are the easiest way to gain diversity without the added pricing complexity of ETFs and closed-end funds.

    Investors should focus on national muni funds rather than their single-state competitors, analysts say. And they shouldn’t be too tempted by the higher yields now available—there still is more pain to come, say advisers. “There will be a general decline in credit quality,” says Warren Pierson, comanager of the Baird Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund. “I think you’ll see more downgrades than upgrades,” which would hurt muni-bond prices.

    Instead, investors should focus on high-quality short- and intermediate-term funds. Bond prices fall as interest rates rise, and longer-term holdings are more sensitive to these shifts. That is especially important given the uncertainty about the Build America Bond program. If it is allowed to expire at the end of the year, there could be a fresh flood of long-term municipal issues, which could cause long-term muni prices to drop.

    High-quality, broadly diversified muni-bond funds receiving high marks from Morningstar include Fidelity Intermediate Municipal Income, Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt and T. Rowe Price Summit Municipal Intermediate.

    Investors also can try to profit from falling muni prices by “short selling” ETFs—borrowing shares and selling them in hopes of buying them back later at a lower price. ETFs are the cleanest way for investors to short muni bonds, because they are traded on exchanges and are liquid. It is virtually impossible to bet against individual muni bonds by selling them short.

    What to avoid? Riskier sectors, including hospital, land and housing bonds, could be in for more pain ahead, say advisers. And investors should be cautious with funds using complex holdings such as “inverse floaters,” which can boost income but also add volatility. “Whenever you’re looking at the highest-yielding fund, you want to be a little skeptical,” says Miriam Sjoblom, an analyst at Morningstar.

    Despite pockets of opportunity, the upheaval of the past few years has made most muni bonds and funds a trickier bet. “This isn’t really a market,” says Jeff Cleveland, a muni strategist at Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles. “It’s a lot of different fragments pieced together and called ‘tax-free bonds.'”

    Write to Ben Levisohn at and Eleanor Laise at

  114. 250K says:

    Lamar (100)

    Here is what is of interest to me. Some people who suggest that decent homes in good locations are still selling are met with polite rejoinder. Others are met with acrid remarks. Who can say why?

    Anyway, for those who dabble in schadenfreude I give you:

    Asking $1,325,000 and last sold in May’07 for $1,600,000.

  115. JJ says:

    Chifi, I saw stuff like long term NY Water bonds with 5% coupons going for like 95 on Friday. For the buy and hold income investor who does not plan on selling and letting it mature, A+ rated 10-20 year Munis are great. However, not many of us who can commit cash to something for 20 years if it gets illiquid. However, plenty of old folks will money in a taxable 1% bank CD who plan on dying with the money in the account could be living it up on 5x the interest the next ten years and let their kids worry about selling possible iluiqud bonds. However, may be best thing for kids as they may have to hold to maturity to use for their own retirement or kids college rather than squander the money. I bought a 25k 26 year NY muni bond Friday, A rated with a 5.45 coupon AMT free for 98. I am holding that to maturity, either I mature by dropping dead or bond matures. Until year end and until BABs are officially extended the muni sale is still on.

    Lots of folks have lots of cash to put to work between December and Feb bonus time.

  116. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Lamar 105

    Have you even looked at the Leopard II Tank that Germany fields???? It is serious hardware and not something you take lightly

  117. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    I had the generally unpleasant experience of public school. If went sort of like you would expect trying to put a cat into water. Although there were 2 different teachers of mine that were phenomenal.

  118. JJ says:

    If you notice most schools are made of cinder block, brick, steel, stone etc. If they weren’t the kids would have burned them all down by now.

  119. Orion says:

    Headin’ towards warm sunshine in the flamingo foreclosure state.
    Can’t wait to be groped in Newark.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  120. Juice Box says:

    Orion stay away from the old ladies.

  121. Happy Renter says:

    At this time of the year, it comes to mind that I am thankful that I (a) sold my condo in NJ and (b) decided to rent a nice house in NJ instead of buying something back when I was looking in 2008.

    And I’m thankful to NJREreport for keeping it real.

  122. Confused In NJ says:

    Interesting that Menendez is exempt from the screening even though he is a potential terrorist.

    Senator Robert Menendez strongly backed the use of controversial airport full-body scanners and pat-downs, suggesting opponents of the invasive screening process “seem to live in a post post-September 11 world.”

    In a press conference at Newark Liberty International airport to urge airline pricing legislation to be passed, Menendez (D-N.J.) told reporters that the admittedly intrusive scanners and new aggressive pat-downs are necessary in an era where the threat of terrorism is still real, even more than nine years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    “I remember the 700 people who died on Sept. 11 from New Jersey, ” Menendez said. “I have not forgotten them. God forbid an airliner would be brought down in a terrorist strike the outcry would be overwhelming with critics asking ‘why wasn’t more done?’ ”

    Menendez acknowledged the scanners and the pat-downs did raise privacy concerns.

    “I think the TSA needs to do everything they can do be as least intrusive as they can,” he said. “The terrorists have to get lucky once. The government has to get it right 100 percent of the time.”

  123. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Love the markets today! Nothing like a low volume pump job on the day before a holiday. I hope only Skynet and Hal 9000 show up for work on Friday. Nothing like bad housing numbers over the last 2 days to ensure unlimited free gubbmint cheeze courtesy of The Bernank.

    If I do not get a chance to post tomorrow, have a safe and happy Turkey Day everyone….

  124. If I can just get myself killed, the family cashes in on the insurance, and everybody’s a winner!

  125. JJ says:

    Happy T-Day everyone. AND GO JETS!!!!

  126. Confused In NJ says:

    130.Lamar Asperger says:
    November 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm
    If I can just get myself killed, the family cashes in on the insurance, and everybody’s a winner

    Sounds like a viable plan!

  127. If I’m worth more dead than alive, it only makes sense to think about how to make it pay.

  128. Biggest challenge is, you can’t whack yourself or leave a trace of suspicion that self-whackage was your goal.

  129. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lamar [134];

    Didn’t some Brit get caught living it up with his “widow” in Belize after paddling of in his kayak with the intention of never being seen (alive) again? Seriously, if moving to some nondescript Central American country on an assumed identity isn’t far enough away, what is?

  130. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [135];

    Wow, the Guardian has a whole page dedicated to this guy.

  131. moose (135)-

    Honestly, I don’t think staging your own death can be pulled off. Seems like insurance companies and the police are willing to spend time and coin hunting for your ass. It seems like the threshold for triggering their suspicion is pretty low, too.

    Even the guys who pull it off for a few years seem to get caught. Too easy to let your guard down, I guess. There was a developer in this part of the world who tried to stage his own death as his phony empire crumbled during the RTC days; sure enough, they caught him in the Carribbean about four years ago.

  132. Confused In NJ says:

    137.Lamar Asperger says:
    November 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    moose (135)-

    Honestly, I don’t think staging your own death can be pulled off. Seems like insurance companies and the police are willing to spend time and coin hunting for your ass. It seems like the threshold for triggering their suspicion is pretty low, too.

    Even the guys who pull it off for a few years seem to get caught. Too easy to let your guard down, I guess. There was a developer in this part of the world who tried to stage his own death as his phony empire crumbled during the RTC days; sure enough, they caught him in the Carribbean about four years ago

    You have to go to a place like Cuba that doesn’t extridite you.

  133. Yeah, but my primary goal in faking my death would be for my family to cash a substantial life insurance policy I have.

  134. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Dwight [137],

    I’m sure you remember this Hudson County thief;

  135. Before my time here, but I read about him a few years ago. A great example of criminal genius.

  136. stan says:

    Suicide exemption in NJ is two years, after that the insurance company pays upif I am not mistaken

    Not endorsing that for the record

  137. Confused In NJ says:

    I believe you can still vote in Hudson County even after Death?

  138. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Mike 79

    Regarding my post at 75; Can i go for extra credit? I just ran the approximated model through excel and i was being quite optimistic in my first post based on what the calculated results show. For example, if income stays flat and taxes stay constant while the rate goes from 4% to 6% you see a 20% drop in home value and a change from 4% to 7% with constant income constant taxes produces a 28% drop in home prices.
    One interesting effect that shows up is the variation of home price ratio. For example an increase in interest rates to 7.0 – 7.5% puts the home price ration back to about 2.5X

    Charts and data to come, but here is the quick and dirty:

    Assuming constant income, fixed (constant) taxes and standard fixed rate mortgage,

    1)every $100 increase in annual taxes approximates a $1,500 drop in home price
    2)every 0.1% rate increase approximates a 1% drop in home price
    3)every 1% increase in annual taxes approximates a 0.5% decrease in home price
    4)every 1% increase in interest rates drops home price ratio by approximately .25

    These relations are approximation since the functions are exponential. Due to the exponential nature of the functions the stated relations shift slightly over the spread of the range.

  139. Fabius Maximus says:

    Happy Turkey Day for tomorrow.

    This is to put a smile on your face and remind you to think of something to be thankful for. Not for the sqemish.

  140. Fabius Maximus says:

    Here we stand or here we fall
    History won’t care at all
    Make the bed, light the light
    Lady Mercy won’t be home tonight yeah

    The Hammer comes down: DeLay convicted

  141. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    PITI Effects Raw data 1

  142. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    PITI Effects Raw data 2

  143. Schrodinger's Cat says:
  144. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    1)every $100 increase in annual taxes approximates a $1,500 drop in home price
    2)every 0.1% rate increase approximates a 1% drop in home price
    3)every 1% increase in annual taxes approximates a 0.5% decrease in home price
    4)every 1% increase in interest rates drops home price ratio by approximately .25

    These relations are approximations as they will ultimately all have some degree of interdependency in the real world as well as impacts from other external factors such as utility costs and cost of living changes from gas prices to food prices. Inflation will also skew the trends over time unless all data is normalized by using an adjustment factor such as CPI. The relations listed above should at least give us a ballpark idea of the general impacts of the direction of impacts to the different components involved.

  145. Fast Eddie says:

    I’m thankful that my father, who spent two years on a German border, didn’t have to hear this:

  146. Fabius Maximus says:

    #151 Fast Eddie

    Did he get to hear this one.

  147. Fast Eddie says:

    The current guy in the Whitehouse claims that the “enemy” is the people that voted against him, nor will he acknowledge the real enemy nor will he utter the words “terr0rist” nor recognize the radicals that endorse it. The solution that all liberals love to endorse is to point fingers at the other side.

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

    No better words….

  148. safe as houses says:

    #151 Fast Eddie

    I read that at first as 2 years on a German boarder and started waiting for the JJ story.

  149. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Fast Eddie,

    Any truth to the rumours that the 2 Turkeys pardoned O?

  150. Fast Eddie says:


    Yes, the turkeys pardoned him. They wanted to save one of their own. :o

  151. Dan says:

    Insurance companies and police/emts/medical examiners/conroners like bodies on their death certificates. Goldman Sachs also likes to keep tracks of the living and non-living.

  152. Dan says:

    You think Menendez would be saying the same thing if the Bush Administration decided to reach for people’s crotches?

  153. Fabius Maximus says:

    #153 Fast Eddie

    Funny, it turned out in the end that Cicero was the traitor.

  154. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Both Bush and O have and are staunchly supporting blatant violations of constitutional rights. Its all a laughable farce at this point. I agree with Eddie. The traitor is from within and it is the entire political establishment.

  155. Fabius Maximus says:

    #160 Cat

    There is a big difference between the two. GWB put the constitution through the wringer. IF O tried to pull the likes of the suspension of Habeas Corpus or tried to do to the 2nd amendment, what FISA did to the 4th, there would be screaming from the rafters and the Roberts courts ruling post haste.

    But I forgot, GWB gets a big pass on what went on in his terms and any criticism of him gets ignored and filed under Liberal Partisanship.

  156. So is it safe to conjecture that home prices will decline further in NJ, not only because they are priced above most people’s income, but also because of rising rates?

Comments are closed.