Uncertainty about recovery

From the Star Ledger:

Uncertainty lingers amid signs of hope

After staggering the past two years, the state’s economy won’t be able to walk tall again until employers start hiring in a meaningful way.

Companies — big and small — are cautious about adding to payrolls in 2011 because the economic recovery has been so tepid.

But there is evidence that job growth is starting to pick up and that some companies will make modest increases to their work force. The question is whether the labor momentum will be sustainable.

New Jersey lost more than 245,000 private sector jobs during the Great Recession, according to Joseph Seneca, a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

“That’s a deep and significant loss — almost as many as we lost during the 1980-81 recession,” he said. “We’ve only gained back about 10,700 jobs thus far, so we’ve got a long road ahead.”

The jobs picture will depend on whether consumers open their wallets and purses as they did during the holiday shopping season.

But there has been pushback on the costliest items.

Real estate sales are sporadic in New Jersey, and car sales are picking up but nowhere near their level a few years ago.

Some industries, such as pharmaceuticals, are retrenching, but there could be room for nimble biotech firms to step in and prosper. Small businesses continue to struggle with health care costs and a dearth of orders.

“I would describe the homebuilding business now as more intensely managed than before the economic downturn,” said Paul Schneier, who heads PulteGroup’s Northeast division. “Without the help of rising prices, operational inefficiencies become very evident.”

Those trends will likely continue in the new year because experts say the housing market may not get better any time soon.

The foreclosure problem isn’t going away, even while the state cracks down on lending practices, said Jeffrey Otteau, an appraiser and president of the Otteau Valuation Group in East Brunswick.

Instead, the future of the housing market, experts predict, will be more European: People will choose to rent and live near a city center, jobs and public transportation. That model is more attractive to people who face stagnant incomes, tight lending restrictions, compromised credit scores or foreclosure.

But if the price is right, people will buy, experts said.

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

107 Responses to Uncertainty about recovery

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Mortgage Market Underestimating Defaults

    That’s the premise of analysts at Amherst Mortgage Securities, who recently argued that without more governmental intervention, 11.5 million borrowers would be in danger of losing their homes. They now argue that “the housing overhang is not caused solely by the number of non-performing loans that exist in the market. The problem also includes the high rates at which re-performing loans are re-defaulting.”

    They also argue that the high rate at which “deeply underwater loans that have never been delinquent are going 2 payments behind for the first time” is only adding to the potential for far higher losses than the market currently predicts.

    We know that more than half of the government modification trials go bad again. Big bank proprietary modification data is harder to get, but JP Morgan Chase’s re-default rate on proprietary modifications as of September 2010 was around 35 percent. And therein lies the problem…according to Amherst, bond investors and housing analysts “are focusing solely on non-performing loans; they ignore re-performing loans and seriously underwater borrowers.”

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. Mike says:

    Merck to shutdown manufacturing at their NJ site?

  4. serenity now says:

    re #1 We know that more than half of the government modification trials go bad again. Big bank proprietary modification data is harder to get, but JP Morgan Chase’s re-default rate on proprietary modifications as of September 2010 was around 35 percent

    Once a dead beat always a dead beat……… come on lower my mortgage I have not missed a payment in 17 years!!! I promise to appreciate the gift!

  5. Confused In NJ says:

    Obamacare should place everyone on Ambien CR, then they’ll buy houses and stuff without even remembering it. Problem solved!

  6. grim says:

    Very happy about this, from the LA Times:

    IKEA stops selling incandescent light bulbs

    IKEA announced it will no longer stock or sell incandescent light bulbs, effective Tuesday. The world’s largest retailer of home furnishings says it is the first major retailer to stop selling incandescents.

    “IKEA is committed to integrating sustainable practices into our business practices … and [is] constantly looking at ways to help support our customers with everyday environmentally responsible solutions that will improve their lives,” IKEA U.S. President Mike Ward said in a press announcement Tuesday. “Eliminating incandescents is just one simple way for IKEA customers to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases.”

    IKEA sells compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, which last six to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 80% less energy. It also sells LED lamps, which are 70% more efficient than incandescents, and halogen lamps, which consume 30% less energy than traditional light bulbs.

  7. JJ says:

    Grim, those stupid new bulbs are a toxic mess in the dumps, most people just wing those bulbs in garbage.

  8. It is our God-given right and a duty to country to toss toxic crap in the garbage.

  9. JJ says:

    Yep, but less electricity used means higher electricity costs as it is a fixed cost business.

  10. stan says:


    Doesn’t sound like you, and a bit too early for you to post, no?

  11. chicagofinance says:

    albani: the Garden must have been rockin’…

  12. d2b says:

    CFL bulbs are a problem in my house that was built in the 40s. We have about 7 light fixtures that use an unusually high amount of light bulbs because ofthe age of the wiring that runs from the panel box. A regular bulb or CFL bulb only lassts about 4 months in these fixtures. The rest of our home has been rewired and is not a problem.
    Interesting that a company that essentially makes and sells throwaway furniture is taking a stand on lightbulbs.

  13. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [122 prev.];

    “Low-grade graft”

    My take on it has always been the only thing that makes NJ (or NY) ‘different’ is the scope of the thievery via property taxes. If you’re living in Pike or Bucks Co., PA, and the garbage gets picked up and you see a plow truck with reasonable frequency, basic municipal services are present, while the property tax bill is $3k-$4k a year, 1/4 – 1/3 of comparable property in NNJ or LI, it really doesn’t matter if Sanitation commissioner Bobby Jo shows up driving his new Duallie truck that folks can’t quite figure where he got the scratch to pay for.

    It’s where you ‘re paying $12k – $15k a year and you still can’t get out of your driveway two days after the snow, or you can’t send your kids to school district, that it becomes a problem.

  14. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    RE Compact Fluorescent Bulbs:

    The question of pollution is a little more complex then that. JJ is right that base load power plants are designed to run at a constant minimum rate and have secondary units for peak demand. The most polluting power plants are generally coal fired base load power plants with the peak power units being the less polluting ( Natural gas fired).
    While compact fluorescents do help reduced energy consumption, a rigorous analysis may find that they actually contribute to net pollution due to the large amount of mercury and other heavy metals that will end up in land fills from the bulbs being tossed out.
    A real leap forward would be the development of advanced LED lights that can match the color performance of incandescent and CF bulbs. There is work on that but to the best of my knowledge it isnt there yet.

    About 30 of US electricity generation is coal fired and about 70 overall is fossil fuel fired.


  15. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [6];

    Did anyone post here about the newest product in Europe: 100W incandescent “Heat Balls”! They’re actually remarkably efficient at generating heat, the light is just a by-product.


  16. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    About 30% of US electricity generation is coal fired and about 70% overall is fossil fuel fired.

  17. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    If people are so worried about pollution they should be advocating for US base load generation to be shifted primarily to 3rd/4th generation nuclear and the national electric grid rebuilt around a smart HVDC core.

    Both of those goals could have been completely funded for 1 – 3 trillion $. Instead we bailed out the banks. Such a project would have guaranteed massive numbers of skilled jobs for over a decade. Then again it would have also crushed some of the embedded industrial/corporate giants as they currently exist. Thank goodness for lobbyist.

  18. d2b says:

    Blind Just’s comment from yesterday about land made think of a funny story from the weekend. We have 5 houses in our neighborhood that have been for sale for along period of time which is odd. Up until now, everything in our area has moved quickly because we live a great PA neighborhood with excellent schools and low taxes.
    We went for a walk and went by a great home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths that has been on the market for about 8 months. On our way back we notice that their next door neighbor has two of those little yelping dogs that wouldn’t shut up in a fence outside. When you own your next door neighbors are something that you tend to notice because they directly affect your quality of living. My next hoe will probably be on a larger lot, just in case.

  19. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Such a project would have also made the US the world leader in advanced nuclear power generation and advanced power grids. two things that we could sell to the rest of the world for a nice premium and would be hard for anyone else to duplicate in a short period of time.

  20. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    3rd and 4th generation nuclear power plants can be designed so that they are useless for weapons production and so that they actually consume existing high level radioactive waste as part of their fuel cycle (i.e liquid thorium/fluoride reactors).

  21. Thundaar says:

    Frack you
    Pa. allows dumping of tainted waters from gas boom
    By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press David B. Caruso, Associated Press – Mon Jan 3, 10:32 pm ET

    The natural gas boom gripping parts of the U.S. has a nasty byproduct: wastewater so salty, and so polluted with metals like barium and strontium, that most states require drillers to get rid of the stuff by injecting it down shafts thousands of feet deep.

    Not in Pennsylvania, one of the states at the center of the gas rush.

    There, the liquid that gushes from gas wells is only partially treated for substances that could be environmentally harmful, then dumped into rivers and streams from which communities get their drinking water.

    In the two years since the frenzy of activity began in the vast underground rock formation known as the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania has been the only state allowing waterways to serve as the primary disposal place for the huge amounts of wastewater produced by a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

    State regulators, initially caught flat-footed, tightened the rules this year for any new water treatment plants but allowed any existing operations to continue discharging water into rivers.

    At least 3.6 million barrels of the waste were sent to treatment plants that empty into rivers during the 12 months ending June 30, according to state records. That is enough to cover a square mile with more than 8 1/2 inches of brine.

    Click image to see photos of the polluted water and treatment plant

    AP/Matt Rourke

    Researchers are still trying to figure out whether Pennsylvania’s river discharges, at their current levels, are dangerous to humans or wildlife. Several studies are under way, some under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    State officials, energy companies and the operators of treatment plants insist that with the right safeguards in place, the practice poses little or no risk to the environment or to the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on those rivers for drinking water.

    But an Associated Press review found that Pennsylvania’s efforts to minimize, control and track wastewater discharges from the Marcellus Shale have sometimes failed.

    For example:

    • Of the roughly 6 million barrels of well liquids produced in a 12-month period examined by the AP, the state couldn’t account for the disposal method for 1.28 million barrels, about a fifth of the total, because of a weakness in its reporting system and incomplete filings by some energy companies.

    • Some public water utilities that sit downstream from big gas wastewater treatment plants have struggled to stay under the federal maximum for contaminants known as trihalomethanes, which can cause cancer if swallowed over a long period.

    • Regulations that should have kept drilling wastewater out of the important Delaware River Basin, the water supply for 15 million people in four states, were circumvented for many months.

    In 2009 and part of 2010, energy company Cabot Oil & Gas trucked more than 44,000 barrels of well wastewater to a treatment facility in Hatfield Township, a Philadelphia suburb. Those liquids ultimately were discharged into a creek that provides drinking water to 17 municipalities with more than 300,000 residents. Cabot acknowledged it should not have happened.

    People in those communities had been told repeatedly that the watershed was free of gas waste.

    “This is an outrage,” said Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an environmental group. “This is indicative of the lack of adequate oversight.”

    The situation in Pennsylvania is being watched carefully by regulators in other states, some of which have begun allowing some river discharges. New York also sits over the Marcellus Shale, but then-Gov. David Paterson slapped a moratorium on high-volume fracking last month while environmental regulations are drafted.

    Industry representatives and the state’s top environmental official insist that the wastewater from fracking has not caused serious harm anywhere in Pennsylvania, in part because it is safely diluted in the state’s big rivers. But most of the largest drillers say they are taking action and abolishing river discharges anyway.

    Cabot, which produced nearly 370,000 barrels of waste in the period examined by the AP, said that since the spring it has been reusing 100 percent of its well water in new drilling operations, rather than trucking it to treatment plants.

    “Cabot wants to ensure that everything we are doing is environmentally sound,” spokesman George Stark said. “It makes environmental sense and economic sense to do it.”

    All 10 of the biggest drillers in the state say they have either eliminated river discharges in the past few months, or reduced them to a small fraction of what they were a year ago. Together, those companies accounted for 80 percent of the wastewater produced in the state.

    The biggest driller, Atlas Resources, which produced nearly 2.3 million barrels of wastewater in the review period, said it is now recycling all water produced by wells in their first 30 days of operation, when the flowback is heaviest. Half of the rest is now sent to treatment plants, but “our ultimate goal is to have zero surface discharge of any of the water,” said Atlas senior vice president Jeff Kupfer.

    Records verifying industry claims of a major dropoff in wastewater discharges to rivers will not be available until midwinter, but John Hanger, secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, said he believed that the amount of drilling wastewater being recycled is now about 70 percent — an achievement he credits to tighter state regulation pushing the industry to change its ways.

    “The new rules, so far, appear to be working,” he said. “If our rules were not changed … we would have all of it being dumped in the environment, because it is the lowest cost option,” Hanger said.

    But he cautioned that rivers need to be watched closely for any sign that they have degraded beyond what the new state standards allow.

    “This requires vigilance,” he said. “Daily vigilance.”

    Natural gas drilling has taken off in several states in recent years because of fracking and horizontal drilling, techniques that allow the unlocking of more methane than ever before.

    Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals and sand deep into the rock, shattering the shale and releasing the gas trapped inside. When the gas comes to the surface, some of the water comes back, too, along with underground brine that exists naturally.

    It can be several times saltier than sea water and tainted with fracking chemicals, some of which can be carcinogenic if swallowed at high enough levels over time.

    The water is also often laden with barium, which is found in underground ore deposits and can cause high blood pressure, and radium, a naturally occurring radioactive substance.

    In other places where fracking has ignited a gas bonanza, like the Barnett Shale field in Texas, the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana, and deposits in West Virginia, New Mexico and Oklahoma, the dominant disposal method for drilling wastewater is to send it back down into the ground via injection wells.

    In some arid states, wastewater is also treated in evaporation pits. Water is essentially baked off by the sun, leaving a salty sludge that is disposed of in wells or landfills.

    Operators of the treatment plants handling the bulk of the Pennsylvania waste say they can remove most of the toxic substances without much trouble, including radium and barium, before putting the water back into rivers.

    “In some respects, it’s better than what’s already in the river,” said Al Lander, president of Tunnelton Liquids, a treatment plant that discharges water into western Pennsylvania’s Conemaugh River.

    The one thing that can’t be removed easily, except at great expense, he said, is the dissolved solids and chlorides that make the fluids so salty.

    Those substances usually don’t pose a risk to humans in low levels, said Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia, but large amounts can give drinking water a foul taste, leave a film on dishes and give people diarrhea. Those problems have been reported from time to time in some places.

    Those salts can also trigger other problems.

    The municipal authority that provides drinking water to Beaver Falls, 27 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, began flunking tests for trihalomethanes regularly last year, around the time that a facility 18 miles upstream, Advanced Waste Services, became Pennsylvania’s dominant gas wastewater treatment plant.

    Trihalomethanes are not found in drilling wastewater, but there can be a link. The wastewater often contains bromide, which reacts with the chlorine used to purify drinking water. That creates trihalomethanes.

    The EPA says people who drink water with elevated levels of trihalomethanes for many years have an increased risk of cancer and could also develop liver, kidney or central nervous system problems.

    Pennsylvania’s multitude of acid-leaching, abandoned coal mines and other industrial sources are also a major source of the high salt levels that lead to the problem.

    Beaver Falls plant manager Jim Riggio said he doesn’t know what is keeping his system off-kilter, but a chemical analysis suggested it was linked to the hundreds of thousands of barrels of partially treated gas well brine that now flow past his intakes every year.

    “It all goes back to frackwater,” he said


  22. grim says:

    CFL isn’t the only option. Halogen bulbs are more efficient than standard incandescent and do not contain mercury. There are tons of LED options on the market now, and the prices have been steadily dropping (have you noticed the changes in cold drink cases?). I really think we’re going to see a push towards full spectrum metal halide in the home as well, which are vastly more efficient than standard incandescent.

    The issue is cheap screw in CFL, which I agree are largely garbage. We need more ballasted fixtures with replaceable bulbs. These permanent ballasts are significantly better than the tiny ballasts included in CFLs, better efficiency, better longevity of bulbs, less flicker, and faster start times.

  23. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Take a look at Colorado, New Mexico or other places where hydrofracing has been used extensively and you will see a multitude of lawsuits of polluted well water. Hydrofracing fluids should be treated like the toxic waste that they are. But that might impact bottom line.

  24. Good for U. I think its one of the most informative post in this theme. Lookin’ forward.

  25. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    LED’s arent quite there yet for general lighting in the home but are improving. Metal halide is nice but needs more commercial development to bring down the price a bit.

  26. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    In regards to yesterday and my Obama quote. I believe the bail out was complete BS. Letting the bankrupt players go down would have hurt but we could have used the money we handed to the banks and their cronies to fund infrastructure projects that would have provided social and economic dividends for generations and that would have potentially revolutionized the US economy. There are a number of different projects that could have been initiated but it would have required a visionary leader who had brass cannon balls for cojones and wasn’t busy fellating the banks.
    We could have funded social support programs to help people out short term as the Apollo type projects ramped up. Too bad that such an ambitious undertaking would wipe out the FIRE economy

  27. Banksters own Amerika. We will only be able to seize it back through violent means.

  28. chicagofinance says:

    from e-mail

    Who Said That Romance Is Dead ???

    She was standing in the kitchen,
    preparing our usual soft-boiled eggs and toast
    for breakfast,
    wearing only the ‘T’ shirt
    that she normally slept in.

    As I walked in,
    almost awake,
    she turned to me and said softly…..
    “You’ve got to make love to me
    this very moment!”

    My eyes lit up and I thought…..
    I am either still dreaming
    or this is going to be my lucky day!

    Not wanting to lose the moment,
    I embraced her and then gave it my all…..
    right there on the kitchen table.

    Afterwards she said:
    and returned to the stove,
    her T-shirt still around her neck.

    but a little puzzled,
    I asked…..
    “What was that all about?”

    She explained:
    “The egg timer’s broken.”

  29. whyoung says:

    12 – “Interesting that a company (Ikea) that essentially makes and sells throwaway furniture is taking a stand on lightbulbs.”
    They were also one of the first to start charging for plastic bags.

    A couple of years ago there was a fad/fashion for reusable bags, but they seem to have largely disappeared.

    I think these are not bad things to do (use less bags, use less electricity) but it is an “instant gratification” gesture not a long term solution.

  30. joyce says:

    Exactly. What will the judge say in a lawsuit?…, “not guilty, gov’t said it was OK”

    Thanks govt for removing all of the companies’ liability.

  31. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    You want a long term solution. Reduce the global population by a few billion, the method is irrelevant.

  32. New in FL says:

    My quibble with most of the low energy lighting is that there is no way to dim the lights. I like to dim most of the lights in my house most of the time.

    I’ve actually been stockpiling some bulb types, such as for my dining chandelier, just so I’ll have more options that “on” and “off”.

    I happily use a warm florescent in my office lamp and other places where on/off is appropriate.

  33. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    When does truecrypt get ported to smartphones?????

  34. I enjoyed to find this article. I like your point of view. Thanks a lot. Cheers

  35. leftwing says:

    Cat, sooner than yesterday.

  36. Libtard says:

    “Banksters own Amerika. We will only be able to seize it back through violent means.”

    Hence, why I still support the right to bear arms, even though I’m a libtard on most other issues.

    Once day, there’s going to be an uncivil war between that tiny and continuing to shrink upper class who continue to beg for tax cuts and that other pesky 99.5%. Shouldn’t be long before the banksters lobby to overturn that troubling 2nd amendment.

  37. A.West says:

    The hippies killed the nuclear power industry in America, which is tragic, because the US would have been a natural leader. Operating costs are quite low, most of the high costs assigned to nuclear come from regulation.

    LED lights have a long way to go. I bought xmas lights and they look weird. I was thinking about replacing some room lights with LED, but the ones I saw at home depot cost over $20 each and produce a pathetic 200 lumens, closer to a nightlight than a real light. Last I checked, LED auto lights are a $1,000 upgrade cost on cars.

    The hippies want humans shivering in dark caves, they may get their wish yet.

  38. Wendy says:

    “It will take nearly 10 years to clear the shadow inventory in the New York metropolitan area at the current liquidation rate, S&P estimated on Monday. That’s at least twice as long as it will take in any of the other top 20 metropolitan statistical areas monitored by S&P, and nearly three times the average time to clear for the entire U.S. ”


  39. Libtard says:

    I used to invest in CREE, the leader in LED technology. LEDs are far from replacing incandescents and CFCs.

  40. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    LED’s are great when used in the appropriate application. They are very low power, very directional and have limited color temperature. They are great for flashlights, low power back up lighting, signal lights etc, but they dont strike me as a natural replacement for general lighting. There are other lighting techs that will probably fill that gap.

  41. homeboken says:

    NJ Real Estate, firearms, scotch and lightbulbs report

  42. Libtard says:

    Don’t forget the strollers.

  43. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    How about some love for the bike paths?

    NJ Real Estate, firearms, scotch, lightbulbs, strollers, & bike path report

  44. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    A West 38

    One of the original problems was that the 1st and second generation of commercial reactors was designed to be dual purpose, to produce both civilian electricity and weapons material for the military. Its more efficient and less political in the end to just build task specific reactors. Then it’s realistic to demonstrate against weapons reactors while not halting commercial power reactors.
    Then again the sheeple are probably long past the point of being able to differentiate without a decades long PR campaign to educate them first.

  45. jamil says:

    17 cat, re lobbyist
    Because we have Imperial Gov with unlimited power (when libs in power), every cause, both good and evil ones, need lobbyists. Energy mess is a result of lib policies, we are the only country in the world refusing to develop domestic energy sources or infra.
    This includes oil, gas, wind (if it block the view from kennedy mansion)

  46. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Nope. 2 heads of the same serpent. Either party is equally likely and willing to sell their souls and the souls of the citizens they “represent” for a few bucks and a BJ.

  47. jamil says:

    cat, yes but slowly it is changing. Tea party so far is the only example. Dems don’t have any adults any more, their reform groups are just doubling down with corruption and spending, with che posters and mexican flags.

  48. I came across your blog and Ive been reading along our article. Thank u very mucho

  49. relo says:

    Outside this board, I don’t talk to anyone about RE anymore. Gary, kindly opine on the below. I know of someone who is looking at this. I was also talking to someone over the holidays who was contemplating buying a vacation place in Miami. Any talk of shadow inventory should factor these future bagholders as well.


  50. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    many of my friends and family are having flashbacks to 2005 and telling me how its a great time to buy, why waste my money renting. If i was willing to play the default game, it may indeed be a good time to buy and setup the transaction so that you can live for a few years rent free in “your” house. Alas, i am not yet willing to walk that path, and perhaps i am a greater fool for it.

  51. relo says:

    51: Curse you, Red Pill.

  52. Libtard says:

    Schrodinger’s Cat:

    When reading your posts, I feel like I’m looking in the mirror. Are you fat and bald too?

  53. Richie says:

    CFL’s suck. They take minutes to “warm” up and if it’s colder in the room, even longer. The dimmable ones make an annoying high-pitched whine if they are not on full power and ridiculously expensive as well compared to other bulbs. They *might* be good for rooms that are constantly lit; but for on-demand lighting I’ll pass. Most of the lighting in my house is controlled through home automation; so I prefer not to deal with the inconveniences of CFL’s as I do my share to control costs (lights turn off if the room is unoccupied/etc).

    They say they last longer then incandescents; but I just don’t see it. We have (had) a light in our closet that was using CFL’s. In 6 years of living in our house; I replaced the CFL bulb once a year, most of the incandescents never had to be replaced.

    Not using them anymore. I’ll stick with incadescents or switch to halogens next. Nothing beats old school technology looks.

    Could you imagine what a chandelier would look like with CFL’s?

  54. sas says:

    “coal plants”

    i love Hg in fish.


  55. Libtard says:

    “Could you imagine what a chandelier would look like with CFL’s?”

    I imagine anyone stupid enough to spring for a Prius would have no issue with CFCs in their chandeliers.

  56. sas says:

    accident attorneys,
    “I came across your blog and Ive been reading along our article. Thank u very mucho”

    is that an ambulance I hear? scram.


  57. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Find your soul in the sunrise
    rise up together,
    search and you will find the answer
    if you look deep inside your mind

    look inside of your mind
    Find a sense another won
    Feel your way through the dark
    Guide your soul into the light
    Find your soul in the sunrise
    Look around you can see it in their eyes
    Search and you will find the answer
    If you look deep inside of your mind

  58. Richie says:

    Oh yea; thanks for reminding me about the Prius owners.

    Prius owners; PLEASE stay out of the left lane.

  59. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    SAS 55

    Forget mercury, how about a nice dusting of uranium?

  60. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    You know me. And no not yet. Give the fat thing a few years. The bald thing just isnt going to happen unless there is a razor involved.

  61. makek money says:

    albani: the Garden must have been rockin’…


    One of these days I have to take you with me. D- Fence chants have been replaced with ahhhh , woww and yeaahhhhh…screams of joy. Its also amazing how many celebrities are getting on the bandwagon. I didn’t most of them but recognized Joe Frazier. Tutti went along last night and touched one of jersey shore guys guidos hair. If there was an earthquake last night his hair would not have moved an inch.

  62. sas says:

    “Forget mercury, how about a nice dusting of uranium?”


    although, I charcoaled fire pizza is damn good.


  63. sas3 says:

    cat, re truecrypt… imagine entering long pass phrases on the phone everytime you want to access the data.

  64. JJ says:

    Were you at the St. John’s Georgetown game on Monday?
    makek money says:
    January 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    albani: the Garden must have been rockin’…


    One of these days I have to take you with me. D- Fence chants have been replaced with ahhhh , woww and yeaahhhhh…screams of joy. Its also amazing how many celebrities are getting on the bandwagon. I didn’t most of them but recognized Joe Frazier. Tutti went along last night and touched one of jersey shore guys guidos hair. If there was an earthquake last night his hair would not have moved an inch.

  65. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: I would pay to watch a pick-up game of Mullen, Mark Jackson, Wennington, Walter Berry play Ewing, Mourning and the rest of the scrubs……

    65.JJ says:
    January 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    Were you at the St. John’s Georgetown game on Monday?

  66. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: are you going to get your next coupon payment? I still owe you a beer….can we go to AJ Kelly’s on Stone (it is now Murphy’s but they haven’t changed the sign).

  67. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Not that big of a deal. even a weak password of only 5 or 6 characters would prevent virtually anyone except a determined 3 letter government agency from accessing the data (assuming its not something like a birthday,pet,loved ones name).
    The other aspect is that you would have a minimum of 2 passwords. an easy one for everyday insecure use that would provide minimal protection and that you would supply to authorities if forced to and the other password would be a more complex one for when you need security. The nature of truecrypt makes it virtually impossible to prove that a second password exists or not.
    The challenge for phones is that it would require a nontrivial amount of processor power which may negatively impact usability.
    I am no security expert but there may be a way to develop a LITE version of truecrypt that would make it more practical. On top of that i believe that there are issues of the phone developers not opening their architecture and so impeding the implementation of this sort of security.

  68. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    the long passphrase is reserved for sensitive data as determined by the user. The deniability action of truecrypt requires that the majority of your activity, the less then sensitive activity be done on the sacrificial partition. While still encrypted the sacrificial partition ultimately hides the existence of the sensitive data.

    Even a sacrificial truecrypt partion will defeat most attempts to access the data without the passphrase

  69. JJ says:

    I was row one under the hoop for the 1985 Championship game SJU may have lost in first round but seeing NOVA kick GT0wn butt’s and partying with the Nova Cheerleaders afterward was great. Mark Jackson was also pretty smart, graduated on time with an accounting degree. That is 130 credits in four years at SJU. CBS confiscated my ASSHOYA sign but for some reason let me hold up Patrick Ewing – KIN U RED DIS? for a good ten minutes, Ewing saw it a couple times as I was standing up row one under hoop, gave me a few looks like he wanted to kill me and then during CBS time out he pointed to a guy in a yellow jacket and me and they took it.

    Lavin is bringing that team back from the dead. Anytime drinks downtown

    January 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    JJ: I would pay to watch a pick-up game of Mullen, Mark Jackson, Wennington, Walter Berry play Ewing, Mourning and the rest of the scrubs……

    65.JJ says:
    January 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    Were you at the St. John’s Georgetown game on Monday?

  70. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “JJ: I would pay to watch a pick-up game of Mullen, Mark Jackson, Wennington, Walter Berry play Ewing, Mourning and the rest of the scrubs……”


    1985 Big East Championship, maybe the best Big East tournament ever. We lost to Cuse at the buzzer in the quarters; last second shot, to win, rolled out. Flutie threw his hat onto the court. Hoyas over Redmen, (before they fagged out-Red Storm) in the finals. It was a blast.

  71. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Pearl Washington had the Garden buzzing.

  72. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    Brazil doesnt have the financial or military firepower to back up that claim. They can interfere, but they cant stop it.

  73. JJ says:

    The absolute yield on junk bonds was 7.75 percent yesterday, down from 9.13 percent a year ago, and 9.24 percent on Nov. 15, 2007, the index data show. It’s at the lowest since Nov. 15, 2010.

  74. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    in a trance/chill mood today

    In the twist of the morning light
    Lies a soldier that doesn’t fight
    There’s a battle going wrong
    War don’t care what side you’re on

    Someone’s watching from far away
    No one’s ever really safe
    And everyone gets hurt
    But only some will learn

    Caught in the flame of a burning fire
    Do you wanna let go
    Do you wanna go high
    You’ve had enough
    Your heart’s above

    This is a feeling you cannot name
    The future’s always been the same
    The time has come
    To walk with the soul and the sun
    To walk with the soul and the sun

    Look to the sky and find it grey
    Without a road you make your way
    All you’ve got is what you know
    It’s up to you where you go

  75. JJ says:

    EZ Bake Ovens are worthless with damm GFI’s./

  76. Juice Box says:

    re: # 73 – CAT – No shots need to be fired. They are talking about Tobin Taxes to keep Bergabe’s easy money from creating additional bubbles in their economies. G20 was squawking about it in November and ofcourse Treasury Secretary Geithner was against it.

    Imaging applying a day-by-day financial transaction tax on all of the Robot trading?

  77. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [76] JJ

    Post of the Day! I’m still chuckling.

    And I am also stockpiling incandescent bulbs in all sizes and types used here.

  78. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    juice 77


  79. Barbara says:

    Re: The Ikea article.
    I won’t live with florescent lighting. WILL NOT. I wonder what the environmental impact is of plastics manufacturing, hmmmmmm Ikea? Halogen bulbs are hard to find in certain watts and sizes, I know because I have a house full of halogen fixtures. Nothing like opening up a 10 dollar bulb only to find that its defective. Try sending that back for a refund and recouping mailing costs on top.

  80. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    your a little late on that subject, see the earlier parts of the thread today.

  81. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    What happens if your phone is password protected???? I keep that feature turned on on my phone. many of the newer smart phones have the ability to automatically wipe themselves if the wrong password is entered to many times. It looks like that feature, set to a very low number of tries could be handy.

  82. Juice Box says:

    re: #81 – been doing that on CSI and cop TV shows for a few years now.

  83. sas3 says:

    Cat, true… The plausible deniability thing works with two partitions… But, with things like text messages and phone call records, it is a bit tricky in the sense that one has to manually move the messages to the secure location. So, if a cop wants recent phone call records or text messages, he can get them easily. More useful for really secret stuff like they show in movies (half torn dollar bill type :) ).

    I think the solution to the problem is not in technology. Bulldog “tough on crime” cops/prosecutors often try to get some dirt on the arrested people (DC sniper case is one example that comes to my mind — they made a big deal about a “white van” where they thought the DC sniper was in, and eventually got some immigration violation tacked on to the poor guys in that van). These guys of course try to appease the sheeple that want “someone” to pay for a crime. They will stoop to the level of charging someone with download/sharing a single MP3.

    If people stop rewarding idiots for being arbitrarily too tough on crime, that may be a good solution.

  84. homeboken says:

    First, let me say that I am 100% against losing personal freedoms, and the idea of search and seizure without a warrant is nuts.

    But what exactly do you keep on your phone that you wouldn’t want a court to see? Maybe my phone is out of date, but unless the government wants to hack my hi-score at Brick Breaker, I can’t think what on my phone would be incriminating.

  85. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “But what exactly do you keep on your phone that you wouldn’t want a court to see?”


    Probably posts from NJRER.

  86. jamil says:

    homeboken, yeah and shore guy can vouch warrantless searches, wiretapping and assasinations are perfectly fine now. Few years ago they were biggest threat to this country since 1860s. It is amazing what letarded potus can do to your average msnbc host!

  87. joyce says:

    shut up about the two parties being different… any person with an open mind knows that is not true

    i’m sorry everyone else i forgot to never feed the trolls

  88. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    More justification for Nompounding: Investment potential.


  89. stater (72)-

    Beggar Thy Neighbor. Catch the fever!

  90. cat (73)-

    Brazil can’t stop it any more than jj’s mom could stop him from buggering onions.

  91. I have to figure I’m pretty high up on any civilian hit lists the gubmint may have drawn.

  92. Tall Paul: getting out while the getting is good.

    “Poor President Obama may be left without a single non-Wall Street based advisor in no time. After his trusty sidekick Robert Gibbs announced earlier he is bailing from the Titanic, Reuters has just reported that Paul Volcker, the only man in the past 30 years to have to deal with the problem of pernicious inflation, is about to take a hike too. While his role was simple: head of the White House advisory panel, he did at least attempt to do some things while there, namely take down prop trading. Of course, he failed, as all prop traders are now merely masked as flow traders, and even worse, are sitting smack in the middle of order flow, knowing full well who is buying what, and allowed to build or reduce securities inventories at will with full inside knowledge. But at least he tried. Unfortunately, Volcker’s (hyper)inflation fighting skills will be needed again very soon, alas by then America will only have the deranged madman of a genocidal Rudy von Havenstein reincarnation to fall back on. Hopefully it can enjoy the gross lie that is the “wealth effect” before it becomes the “poverty effect.”


  93. Schrodinger's Cat says:


    I agree with the excessive bulldog issue. However,
    whole disk encryption, or the equilivent for a smart phone is something that really needs to be developed, as even a weak passphase prevents casual access to private data.

  94. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Boken 86

    my Japanese pron collection. And why do you close your curtains at night or the door when you go to the bathroom? If a policeman is in my house for some unrelayed reason, should he be able to casually browse the contents of my laptop?

    In my worthless opinion it’s an invalid question to begin with.

  95. Essex says:

    A man’s home is his castle.

  96. Fabius Maximus says:

    Its getting embarrassing

    Boehner wept as he made his way to the speaker’s chair, wiped his eyes, and climbed up the steps to receive the gavel from outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


  97. Fabius Maximus says:

    Finally some common ground for myself and the Tea Party.

    The tea party leader said Republicans should aim to reduce spending to the levels seen in 2000, not 2008. He suggested that Congress reach this number by putting everything, including defense spending, on the table for cuts. As CBS News pointed out, defense spending would certainly need to be addressed, as the wars in Afghanistan in Iraq, which have cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion since 2001, weren’t yet on the budget in 2000.

  98. chicagofinance says:


    Re: experts say home prices will probably continue to drop in 2011 #21
    Anonymous Let me first start off by saying I currently own a home in Paramus, NJ. I bought 11 years ago and have seen my home value go up past $900k and now down to the low $700s as per the latest comps. My parents are from Ridgewood and advised that if I was thinking of scooping another property since rates are great and prices have fallen that I should continue to wait. Their reason — NJ usually lags behind the national market. I asked for detail and all I was told were to look up some examples of home transactions betweeen the late 80s and early 90s and the most recent sales of those homes. There is a decent amount that fit this criteria but I did have help from my sister in law (who is a realtor in Ridgewood). My parents said when prices nationally “bottomed” in 1989, Bergen County wasn’t affected and homes were still selling at highs in the early 90s up to 1993 or 1994. They said one of the reasons was the laws in NJ prevent a swift foreclosure process. They believe this is the case for much of the Northeast. When I was told this back in the summer I couldn’t find any evidence so I just took it as anectodal evidence. So while my wife and I are looking for an investment opportunity we drove by an Open House in Paramus and noticed a home in similar size to ours. The address is 547 Mill Run Road. It was listed at $925k. My sister in law told me it recently sold for $760k (I think). She also said it was bought in the early 1992s for $435k. So after 18 years, the home appreciated $325k but if you factor in maintenance costs of the home, realtor commissions on the sale, inflation and real cost (interest rates I believe were higher in the early 90s vs our 4 to 5% rate) – its about even in my opinion. I know this is one example but I’m writing too much as it is. I have about 5 more examples similar to this but I won’t get into the detail. My sister in law is not going to do these searches without giving me a hard time.

    At any rate, what I’m trying to say is that prices are still falling here in Northern NJ and I know the first response I will get from everyone here is that the burbs are different than condos and don’t get me wrong, Hoboken and downtown JC have experienced gentrification so an uptick is expected but please don’t live under the assumption anyone is immune.

    My sister in law is a realtor so I’ve never ever heard her say it was ever a bad time to buy. Either rates are low so borrow as much as you can or prices are low so buy now or you’ll miss out but she doesn’t generally agree that there is some pain to come in our area (homes and condos). She’s been monitoring realtytrac and says the “Pre Foreclosures” in Hoboken, JC and all good counties in NJ are just piling up while Foreclosures and Bank Owned numbers remain stagnant. Her assesments is spot on with my parent’s assertion that there seems to be a delay here and the knife is still falling. I asked for her logon credentials but she’s stalling (I don’t know why).

    I came across this link which supports what I wrote above so maybe there is some merit to the notion that the NY Metro Area is lagging as far as price correction goes.


    This combined with rising rates, unemployment and lending standards – I just don’t see how we even stay flat to last year. I will be holding out a bit for an investment opportunity but I just wanted to pass along some of the info I have found.

  99. jamil says:

    Great work Elizabeth Warren!
    Chase has $12 new monthly fee as a result of your activism on behalf of consumers..

    “Her new Consumer Financial Protection Board doesn’t officially go live until July but Elizabeth Warren is already having an effect on how banks operate. Legislation and regulations she championed which limit the fees banks can charge have resulted in, for lack of a better term, “unintended consequences.”

    Two big banks, Chase and Wells Fargo, will begin phasing out traditional free checking in New Jersey next month. Consumers can avoid monthly maintenance fees, however, if they meet minimum balance requirements for the account or set up direct deposit.

    She hates poor and black people (who are most likely victims).

  100. jamil (103)-

    It’s not Liz. Actually, God hates poor and black people.

    “She hates poor and black people (who are most likely victims).”

  101. Fabius Maximus says:

    #103 Jamil

    The poor don’t bank at Chase or Wells, they bank at Walmart.

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