Goodbye 30 year?

From the NY Times (Hat tip Shore):

Without Loan Giants, 30-Year Mortgage May Fade Away

How might home buying change if the federal government shuts down the housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan, the steady favorite of American borrowers since the 1950s, could become a luxury product, housing experts on both sides of the political aisle say.

Interest rates would rise for most borrowers, but urban and rural residents could see sharper increases than the coveted customers in the suburbs.

Lenders could charge fees for popular features now taken for granted, like the ability to “lock in” an interest rate weeks or months before taking out a loan.

Douglas J. Elliott, a financial policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Congress was being forced for the first time in decades to grapple with the cost of subsidizing middle-class mortgages. The collapse of Fannie and Freddie took with it the pretense that the government could do so at no risk to taxpayers, he said.

“The politicians would like something that provides a deep and wide subsidy for housing that doesn’t show up on the budget as costing anything. That’s what we had” with Fannie and Freddie, Mr. Elliott said. “But going forward there is going to be more honest accounting.”

Some Republicans and Democrats say the price is too high. They want the government to pull back, letting the market dictate price, terms and availability.

“A purely private mortgage finance market is a very serious and very achievable goal,” Representative Scott Garrett, the New Jersey Republican who oversees the subcommittee that oversees Fannie and Freddie, said at a hearing this week. “No one serious in this debate believes our housing market will return to the 1930s.”

Hanging in the balance are the basic features of a mortgage loan: the interest rate and repayment period.

Fannie and Freddie allow people to borrow at lower rates because investors are so eager to pump money into the two companies that they accept relatively modest returns. The key to that success is the guarantee that investors will be repaid even if borrowers default — a promise ultimately backed by taxpayers.

A long line of studies has found that the benefit to borrowers is relatively modest, less than one percentage point. But that was before the flood. Fannie, Freddie and other federal programs now support roughly 90 percent of new mortgage loans because lenders cannot raise money for mortgages that do not carry government guarantees.

One prominent investor, William H. Gross, the co-head of Pimco, the major bond investment firm, has estimated that he would demand a premium of three percentage points to buy such loans — a cost that would be passed on to the borrower.

Longer terms make ownership affordable only by increasing the total cost of the loan, because the borrower pays interest for a longer period. Moreover, Mr. Pollock noted that over the last several years, borrowers with adjustable-rate loans paid less as interest rates fell, while those with fixed rates kept paying the same amount for devalued homes.

“One of the reasons that American housing finance is in such bad shape right now is the 30-year mortgage,” he said, noting that such loans are not available in most countries. “For many people, it’s not at all clear that that’s the best product.”

This entry was posted in Employment, Mortgages, National Real Estate, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

187 Responses to Goodbye 30 year?

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    Also from the NYT LI Region section:

    Betting on a Spring Housing Market Rebound

    THE spring selling season is usually under way by Super Bowl Sunday, but it got a late start this year. The reasons for the delay included the snowy winter, the uncertain economy and the extinction of the first-time buyer tax credit that ignited the market last year.

    “What you have out there is a tremendous number of lookers with a hesitancy to pull the trigger,” said Joseph E. Mottola, the chief executive of the Long Island Board of Realtors and the director of its Multiple Listing Service. Once the tax credit ended last June, he added, “the adrenaline stopped.”

    But as the weather improves, Mr. Mottola said, he expects smoother sailing, envisioning things this way: “A smooth market, stable, but not a strong market.” Inventory in Nassau County in January was 8,491 homes, a decline from 10,594 six months ago. In Suffolk at the start of the year, inventory was 11,537, versus 14,209 six months ago.

    Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, calculated that it would take just over 11 months to clear out all the homes for sale in Nassau County, 13 and a half months in Suffolk. He describes those backlogs as the shortest they have been in the seven quarters he has been tracking sales on the Island, a great improvement from the more than 28 months of inventory idling in the second quarter of 2009.

    Yet despite this cheering perspective, and the inventory declines, the backlog is still substantial enough to make some sellers jittery and buyers pickier — loath to commit to a house that needs work and angling for one in mint condition.

    Mr. Miller says the best-performing segment of the market is the middle, with an 11-month inventory of homes priced from the $350,000 median to $700,000. Clearing the backlog of less expensive homes would take slightly longer. But the real laggard is the top 10 percent, or luxury market, starting at $701,000, which is “definitely weak,” with more than 18 months’ worth of stock.

    Lower prices may have helped. They have dipped 19.5 percent from their peak in the third quarter of 2007, Mr. Miller said. Back then the median sales price on the Island, excluding the Hamptons, was $442,380.

  3. 30 year realtor says:

    The demise of the 30 year mortgage is not priced into today’s housing market. Just another reason for pessimism on an already long list.

  4. grim says:

    And some more NYT:

    Foreclosure Follies

    Recent price data show home values at nearly their lowest levels in the postbubble era, and a coming tide of foreclosures means prices will drop further. Seven million families have lost their homes so far, and another three million foreclosures are expected through 2012.

    The ongoing crash is further evidence that the government’s antiforeclosure efforts have fallen short and America’s struggling homeowners need more help.

    So what are House Republicans proposing? They want the government to get out of the antiforeclosure business altogether and leave homeowners to fend for themselves. The result would be hundreds of thousands of additional foreclosures and steeper price declines.

    House Republicans have introduced bills to eliminate four federal antiforeclosure programs and replace them with — nothing.

  5. 30 year realtor says:

    What do you think those Nassau/Suffolk inventory levels would look like if there has been foreclosure sales the last 6 months? Could that be why they are lower?

  6. grim says:

    Two hours to go until we get the payroll numbers. Lots of eyes watching, should make for an interesting day, up or down.

  7. grim says:

    I think the stimulus money would be better spent trying to invent a weather control machine, I’m sure the NAR would concur.

    From Bloomberg:

    Payrolls Probably Rebounded as U.S. Economy, Weather Improved

    Payroll gains in the U.S. probably accelerated in February, spurred on by an improving economy and more seasonable temperatures, economists said ahead of a government report today.

    Employment increased by 196,000 workers last month, the most since May, after a 36,000 gain in January, when winter storms depressed the count, according to the median forecast of 84 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The report may also show the jobless rate increased to 9.1 percent from 9 percent.

    Bigger, sustained monthly payroll gains would underscore Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s testimony to Congress this week that there are “grounds for optimism” about the labor market in coming months. Employment growth and the resulting increases in income and confidence are contributing to sales improvements at companies like J.C. Penney Co. and Macy’s Inc. (M)

    “The labor market has passed an important threshold and is starting to create a good number of jobs,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. “It’s partly a snow-related rebound, but I think there’s some real substance there. We’re looking for jobs to run 200,000 plus in coming months as the recovery reaches the self- sustainable stage.”

    The Labor Department figures are due at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Bloomberg payroll survey forecasts ranged from gains of 100,000 to 297,000.

  8. xroads says:

    #3
    “The demise of the 30 year mortgage is not priced into today’s housing market. Just another reason for pessimism on an already long list.”

    I think Realtors could spin this as a hurry up and buy before you can’t get a 30 year loan type of thing and the sheeple will line up. think positive 30 year!

  9. grim says:

    From CNN/Money:

    Home prices: Should you buy a house right now?

    That big sucking sound you heard last week? That was the air being taken out of the housing market by a slew of bad reports followed by some dire predictions by an industry bubble-spotter.

    On Tuesday, we found out that home prices were near their post-bust lows. Two days later the government reported that January saw a double-digit dip in the number of new homes sold.

    Then Robert Shiller, the Yale economist and co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes, dropped this bomb: “There’s a substantial risk of home prices falling another 15%, 20% or 25%,” he said.

    That’s a stunning enough pronouncement to make house hunters consider putting purchases on hold. And that may not be a dumb move: If prices are near a double dip — meaning they fell after the bust, rose a bit during recovery and are now heading back down — there may be better deals ahead.

    “There will be differences by market, but generally, you may get a big discount by waiting a year [to buy],” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who thinks the price drop will be closer to 10% or 15%.

    Baker looks at the ratio between local home prices and annual rents to judge whether markets are overvalued. If the median-priced home sells for more than 15 times the median annual rent, there’s a good chance prices may come down.

    On a national level, Shiller and other economists compare home price changes with income growth over the years. Before the bust, home prices had been outpacing earnings since the late 1990s.

    Just to get that back to a normal ratio — which we last saw in 1998 — home prices would have to drop another 15%, according to Anthony Sanders, a director of Real Estate Entrepreneurship at George Mason University.

    “Even after the bubble burst, the ratio of income to home prices is still way too high,” he said.

    Naturally, many disagree with these assessments. Karl Case, who co-founded the home price index with doom-sayer Shiller, believes that the market will “bounce along the bottom all year.” If that’s the case, buyers who take the plunge now shouldn’t expect big profits if they sell in the next few years, but they shouldn’t have to take a major hit either.

    Besides, a home purchase is more than a potential investment, especially for families planning to stay put for a while. The big plus for them is the pleasure of living in their own homes.

  10. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    NAR lobbying to preserve mortgage interest deduction, 30-year fixed mortgage

    The National Association of Realtors wants lawmakers to preserve some type of government-guarantee for the secondary mortgage market as it moves forward with housing finance reforms, the association’s president Ron Phipps said in a podcast Thursday.

    Phipps said his organization has representatives in Washington fighting to preserve mortgage interest deductions and the standard 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage.

    NAR’s concerns — like those of many homeownership advocacy groups — rose after the Treasury Department revealed mortgage finance reforms that envision a private-sector led market with very limited government-guaranteed loans. NAR’s concerns about the changes mirror those of small community banks.

    “A reliable secondary market is essential so that the nation’s Main Street community banks can continue to offer residential mortgages to their customers,” according to Jim MacPhee, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America. “While reform should focus on preventing future crises in the housing market and embracing the common-sense underwriting standards long practiced by community banks, it should not eliminate all government involvement in the secondary market while turning it over to Wall Street,” MacPhee said following the Treasury’s proposals were announced

  11. yo'me says:

    Only the savers and the rich will be buying homes in cash,if congress pass the elimination of govt loan subsidies.It will be too expensive and risky for a home buyer to take a loan.I will not take a risk of loosing my 25% down payment and 3 percentage point premium , if I start missing payments..The risk is taken away from the bankers.After the dust have settled two classes will be created.The have and the have nots.The have’ s will be the the homeowners.

  12. grim says:

    Only the savers and the rich will be buying homes in cash,if congress pass the elimination of govt loan subsidies.It will be too expensive and risky for a home buyer to take a loan

    If the situation comes to exist, home prices will fall significantly, keeping affordability levels roughly where they are. The situation you paint is one of vaporizing demand. Few markets can maintain pricing power in the face of near zero demand, especially one with many players and a significant level of forced sales/churn.

    The paradox of homeownership subsidy states that home prices will rise by exactly the level of subsidy provided, making any attempts at subsidizing affordability futile. Think of this as the reversal of the paradox.

  13. grim (12)-

    I’m all for reversing paradoxes. Perhaps it will offset the stench of death I smell in the air every morning.

  14. yo'me says:

    Lower priced home with a high interest rate,add a 3 percentage points premium on top of that,monthly payments will be the same as a high priced home with low interest rates.The cost of a new home will not be a comparable price for a older home,for cost in building is increasing.Growing in a 3rd world country where my scenario is justified.The have don’t need to sell their homes if they don’t have to.Properties gets passed on to their kids and grand kids.Asian homeownership is still the same today.Chinese owns 3 or more homes for long term investments.Maybe the benificiary will be their kids or grand kids.Not necesarilly them.Most pay cash.The reason home prices keeps on climbing,owners don’t have the urged to sell .And if they are forced to sell a big markdown in price is taken.
    This might not be the scenario in the US today but with a 2 class citizen it can.Where owning a home becomes a status symbol.

  15. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “Representative Scott Garrett, the New Jersey Republican who oversees the subcommittee that oversees Fannie and Freddie, said at a hearing this week. “No one serious in this debate believes our housing market will return to the 1930s.””
    Yeah uummm…. queue doom.

  16. Garrett is a tool. The situation is actually going to pass the 1930s on the way down to a complete and final crash, in which laws concerning title, notes and property rights are completely obliterated.

  17. The longer the current phony equilibrium is maintained, the more violent the eventual revolution will be.

  18. I hope the NFL locks out the players forever.

  19. Shore Guy says:

    No Frigging League?

  20. Shore Guy says:

    No Fans Left?

  21. Shore Guy says:

    A flat tax with all programs, including Social Security and Medicare paid for ny general revenue, and not special taxes, and no deductions for mortgage interest would force fiscal restraint in moth the public and private spheres.

  22. grim says:

    192k jobs added, under consensus, however last month revised up by 58k.

  23. grim says:

    Big dip in unemployment, down to 8.9

  24. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Feb. nonfarm payroll up 192,000, job rate 8.9%
    Feb. payroll rise below 218,000 expected
    Feb. jobless rate 8.9% vs 9.1% expected
    U.S. Feb. nonfarm payrolls up 192,000
    Dec. Jan payrolls revised up 58,000

  25. Lone Ranger says:

    [23],

    Discouraged workers dropped by 200K. They probably fled the country?

  26. banny says:

    Owning a home is a brainwashing mantra that is not wise for millions, just like owning a car is not wise (when you can lease). Owning and 30 yr mortgages are a product of a time and life model where you worked at the same employer for your career/life.

    Today everyone is a ‘free-agent’, your tenure at a job not secure, you might only spend 4 or 5 years with a single employer and your next job might be 100 or 1000 miles away. “Housing commitment” not attractive, “housing flexibility” desireable.

    “Meanwhile, the New York metro homeownership rate has plunged more sharply, from a peak of 55.9 percent in 2008 to 51.2 percent.”

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/bye_bye_buying_vzTFhNBtili0WARx60TkxH#ixzz1FdcDK21e

  27. Kettle1 says:

    Shore

    Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment and Welfare comprise 56.7%) take up more then 50% of the federal budget (about 56% to be be a little more exact). A flat tax is great and i’m all for it, but it doesn’t solve jack until we stop spending what we dont have.

    Cut defense? Not going to help to much. Defense is 18% of the budget.

    Everything needs to be cut. But at the end of the day, entitlements are the 800lb gorilla we keep trying to ignore. Cut all entitlements by 50% if you want a good start. That alone drops the budget by 25%

  28. make money says:

    “Meanwhile, the New York metro homeownership rate has plunged more sharply, from a peak of 55.9 percent in 2008 to 51.2 percent.

    I’m reading this as more people renting hence upward pressure rent prices. Am I wrong?

  29. Lone Ranger says:

    “One of the reasons that American housing finance is in such bad shape right now is the 30-year mortgage,” he said, noting that such loans are not available in most countries. “For many people, it’s not at all clear that that’s the best product.”

    True, it is not the best product for many. However, the 30 year is not the scapegoat for the ruins of this industry. The 20% down model with 28/36% cap for related obligations was successful. Even in the early 90’s many did not walk way as prices fell dramatically. There was skin in the game. Who wanted to walk and forfeit their 20% down?

    No mention of I/O’s, pick a pay, piggyback’s, granting loans to deadbeats and the widespread, related fraud as to why this industry has been pummeled?

    The 30 year may not be viable in most countries? Ask Mrs Wantanabe, she’s holding 100 year paper.

    An investment? My ass. Simply consumption.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    from yesterday

    chicagofinance says:
    March 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    albani: my two aunts from Durres who I’ve never met in my life are flying into NYC later this month…..what would two albani ladies in their 50′s want to see? other than grim’s chest hair…..

  31. A.West says:

    Kettle1,
    I totally agree, entitlements is the real issue, though defense could also be cut well back without danger to US safety. (Nukes are way more cost effective than huge numbers of people.)

    A real change in entitlements would require a serious rethinking of conventional altruist ethics. The current system is built around “to each according to their need, from each according to their ability”. It’s all about wealth transfer, and with the government overseeing the distribution of services, it’s even less efficient than a straight cash transfer would be (though I’d be against that too).

    But the crazy thing is that what we have now is roughly this:
    upper middle class person: government takes $50k/yr
    otherwise lower class person: gets services which cost $60k/yr to provide, yields about $30k/yr of cash and service benefits, plus $30k/yr of government inefficiency, salaries, and overhead, and which requires an additional $10k/yr of borrowing from foreigners.

    Given that this government borrowing is to fund weath transfers which are ultimately plain old consumption, and not something which generates value for future repayment of said debt, this government fed consumption is even more unsustainable long term than the housing bubble. At least someone had a house after that bad transaction. With transfer payments you’re just left with poop down the toilets and dirty bedsheets.

  32. chicagofinance says:

    From Mushnick:

    * Pssst. The money is stuffed in Mr. Met’s head.

    * The Mets this summer will team with Charlie Sheen to celebrate Coke & Prostitutes Heritage Night.

  33. vodka (27)-

    The revolution will take care of all those entitlements.

    Pretty soon, people will feel lucky to be able to wake up to see another day.

  34. NJ Toast says:

    “Owning and 30 yr mortgages are a product of a time and life model where you worked at the same employer for your career/life.”

    Since most people are free agents and extremely mobile, how about a company called houseshare (think phillycarshare) or some hybrid (no pun inteded) thereof?

    As manufacturing wages drop in this country, will it entice multinationals (US and foreign) to bring production back to our country?

  35. ranger (29)-

    Yeah, and it looks like the USD is now in the lead in the race to the bottom. Too bad our housewives are too stupid to spend a few minutes each day shorting the crap out of it.

    “Ask Mrs Wantanabe, she’s holding 100 year paper.”

  36. EUR/USD, game on.

  37. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    My future property plan now involves a Nompound for eventual retirement/recreation/survival that I “own” thru an entity, probably an LLC. The financing will be provided by a balloon mortgage held by an offshore trust, the beneficiaries of which will be pourover trusts in tax havens (which I and my family will conveniently be beneficiaries of).

    The pourover trusts have no funding so they are not reportable. The offshore trust holding the mortgage may be reportable, so some creative drafting will be needed, perhaps an intentionally defective trust that causes the resulting trust to vest in the pourover trusts, or disclaiming all interests but retaining a special testamentary POA. Idea is to avoid reporting, but even if reportable, arrange it so there is nothing to get at.

    So I effectively pay myself interest, which the entity gets to deduct from any income produced, and it goes offshore. Assuming trust is in a treaty country, no US tax on the outbound interest payments. And since property is legally encumbered by a senior debt, I won’t be a target for debts other than those on the land itself, such as property taxes). Oh well, can’t avoid everything.

    Hard part is making it all legal, or at least legal for a long enough period of time, and avoiding grantor trust status (the latter is a lot harder).

    Damn, I am becoming my own best client.

  38. chi (32)-

    The Mets should retire Coleman and Bonilla’s jerseys on the Charlie Sheen night. As an extra, Wilpon can pay Bonilla the final installment on his mortgaged contract.

    Maybe Mel Rojas can be the honorary MC.

  39. Did I mention that the Mets singlehandedly killed my love of baseball?

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    BTW, 37 does not constitute legal advice, and I am not even sure yet if it is legally workable. Just an idea for now.

  41. grim says:

    Gartman nailed it this morning.

    A high school education is no longer sufficient for entry into a middle class lifestyle in the US. Heck, I’d extend that to include a wide variety of undergraduate degrees as well.

    Our post WW2 industrial utopia is gone forever.

  42. make money says:

    ChiFi,

    Without knowing them personally its tough to say. Start with usual cites and then see what really sparks their interest and take it from there.

  43. Kettle1 says:

    hi ho silver AWAY!!!!!

  44. Thundaar says:

    Debt 38-

    Just spit up my coffee with the mention of Mel Rojas!
    I think hiis spirit lives inside Oliver Perez!!

  45. Confused In NJ says:

    27.Kettle1 says:
    March 4, 2011 at 8:47 am
    Shore

    Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment and Welfare comprise 56.7%) take up more then 50% of the federal budget (about 56% to be be a little more exact). A flat tax is great and i’m all for it, but it doesn’t solve jack until we stop spending what we dont have.

    Cut defense? Not going to help to much. Defense is 18% of the budget.

    Everything needs to be cut. But at the end of the day, entitlements are the 800lb gorilla we keep trying to ignore. Cut all entitlements by 50% if you want a good start. That alone drops the budget by 25%

    You can start by cutting Public Sector Entitlements like Public Employee Pension & Benefits at Federal, State & Local levels which are significantly greater & more costly then Social Security & Medicare. If you can’t cut the 100K Pensions, cutting the 15K Social Security is a waste, if you can’t cut the Cadilac Medical, cutting Medicare is a waste. Medicaid shouldn’t exist at all.

  46. Kettle1 says:

    CONFUSED 45

    cut it all. Set it all to 0 then calculate what you can afford to spend.

  47. Kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    As soon as i make my first million i will call you about setting up a personal nompound!!!

  48. NJGator says:

    Union Members Hold Protest Demanding Aides Be SavedAbout two dozen teachers protested outside Montclair High School on Friday—with other protests held outside other schools as well.

    Carrying signs with messages such as “Educate Don’t Outsource,” about two dozen teachers—as well as a smattering of students—protested the outsourcing of aides outside Montclair High School early Friday morning.
    Organized by the Montclair Education Association, teachers said many of their aides had worked with the same students for years.
    A few also said that principals and the superintendent should take a pay cut.
    “If we didn’t have the aides then the special education students wouldn’t be able to handle the higher level of classes and might not be able to go on to college,” said Jennifer Richtberg, a 10th grade history teacher.
    The MEA is set to meet with the Board of Education later today to discuss their current contract that’s good through June 30, 2012.
    When asked whether teachers would be willing to contribute more towards benefits—or take a pay cut—in order to save aides, they responded that the superintendent and the principals should help shoulder the burden this time around.
    Margaret Astorino, the MEA’s interim president, said this week that the union shouldn’t be asked to give back a million dollars every year.
    “Last year we gave back $960,000 and that was out of the goodness of our heart,” she said.
    And teachers standing outside in the cold Friday morning before school, waving signs, agreed that administrators should not ask them to take cuts without agreeing to do the same.

    http://montclair.patch.com/articles/union-members-hold-protest-demanding-aides-be-saved

  49. yo'me says:

    “Medicaid shouldn’t exist at all”

    Use Government hospitals for charity like the VA Hospitals

  50. Outofstater says:

    #41 I think it was over in 1973 only people didn’t recognize it then.

  51. A.West says:

    Grim,
    Post WW2, the US was one of the few places in the world with a healthy base of undamaged physical capital, and pretty good human capital. Seems like back then high schools were actually teaching kids how to do useful things in real life too. Much of the world needed help rebuilding its physical capital (e.g. Europe, Japan). And much of the world had withdrawn into the economic insanity of communism/socialism, taking their people off the world market for productive activity (e.g. China, India, Russia).

    Thus, post WW2, a decent high schooler had a lot of useful capital awaiting his help to supply both the US and to an extent the global market. And global capital wasn’t really prepared yet to supply much to the US market.

    I travel around the world looking at investment opportunities. I see so many people in places like China, India, and Brazil working so hard to improve their skills. Many are really poor, but working their butts off. And they don’t think that being born and graduating from high school entitles them to 3br house, 2 cars, cable tv, vacations, and a cozy retirement. Do I have sympathy for the American who lives a sheltered life and thinks that passing high school and “being American” should be an automatic ticket to earn 20 times what a similarly skilled person in China or India makes? No I don’t.

    Long term, people and countries get what they earn. Americans are basically living off their grandfathers’ capital in the big mansion they inherited. But the upkeep is expensive, and the grandkids decided to major in art history rathter than picking up a more useful trade. And they’re sitting on the floor singing folk songs and smoking pot late at night. Over on the other side of the tracks, the poor kids are studying hard, learning how to do the things everyone in town needs done, willing to work for a little now, and investing in new machines, working on them late into the night so that they can save and reinvest in their futures.

    There are of course many individual exceptional people in the US, and some strong industries as well. But the entitled, consumption-led mentality so common in households and government is suicidal.

  52. Lone Ranger says:

    “hi ho silver AWAY!!!!!”

    [43]

    Tonto, slow down.

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [47] kettle

    The idea is to be able to have it before you make your first million.

  54. yo'me says:

    “entitled, consumption-led mentality so common in households ”

    1 in 10 US households rent a self storage facility.Self storage facilities did not exist 60 years ago.

  55. Lone Ranger says:

    “1 in 10 US households rent a self storage facility.Self storage facilities did not exist 60 years ago.”

    Is there where the gold is being stored?

  56. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Silver broke $35.00 like a hot knife thru butter. Where is Al at today?

  57. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [25] lone

    Losing hundreds of thousands of discouraged workers is how we game the U3 number.

  58. nj escapee says:

    Hey AWest, Move to China already and don’t let the door on that sampan hit you in the ass!

  59. Kettle1 says:

    Kimosabe

    silver seems to like burning Libyan oil wells

  60. Kettle1 says:

    Nom

    what sort of $ entry point are we talking about?

  61. Painhrtz says:

    debt 39 I agree, I pray for a drive by from one of Gooden’s former dealers

  62. NJSerf says:

    30. from yesterday

    chicagofinance says:
    March 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    albani: my two aunts from Durres who I’ve never met in my life are flying into NYC later this month…..what would two albani ladies in their 50′s want to see? other than grim’s chest hair…..

    Chi – Assuming that its their first time in the states the following are usually good tourist options in the NE:

    1) Statue of Liberty / Ellis island / Empire State Building / Times Square Save Times Square for last, as it is a great experience for first timers at night.

    2) Niagara Falls – Always a tourist favorite. As boring as it is to drive 8 hours to get out of the car for 15 minutes to take a picture of falling water, the tourists seem to love it.

    3) Washington DC

  63. ranger (55)-

    No, that’s where you put your stuff when you get foreclosed out of your McMansion and move into a 2BR rental.

  64. You should see what happens to Ethan Allen furniture after a summer or winter in a self-storage place that has no temp control.

    In two years, the must-have furniture in the US will be milk crates and refrigerator boxes.

  65. The walk-aways I talk to these days left all their pricey furniture in their house when they abandoned it.

    Makes for a nice mold accelerator when the pipes burst, and the mattresses, couches, etc got soaked with water.

  66. Kettle1 says:

    Debt

    know any homeowners who are ready to walk and want a nice ” finders fee” for a backdated rental contract?

  67. Lone Ranger says:

    Going to see a POS tomorrow. Asking is 60% lower than my sale price in 2005.

  68. chicagofinance says:

    albani Serf thx

  69. NJSerf says:

    Heart Failure Friday?

    575-pound Heart Attack Grill spokesman dies at 29

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-04-restaurant-spokesman-dies_N.htm

  70. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    Remembered this puppy from the last oil run-up. This is not a recommendation. Just funny how they always go back to the same stocks and run them up.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=TGC+Interactive#chart1:symbol=tgc;range=1y;indicator=sma(50,200)+bollinger+volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

  71. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    You can do this? What kind of steelworkers union do we have in this country

    Fired workers burn Indian executive to death

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110304/ap_on_re_as/as_india_executive_killed

  72. DL says:

    My sense is that after the 60s generation gets done screwing the country, the US will be forced to abandon it’s Disney-like existence and join the rest of the world. We are witnessing the last gasp of our post-WWII structural advantages and will soon be at the bottom of the heap, trying to create a country that can compete on a level playing field. One good thing about having Bernake trash our currency is that once rolls of dollars are avaliable next to the asswipes at you local Quickie Mart, it may be cheap enough to bring jobs that actually make things back to the country.

  73. zieba says:

    Chi,

    If you want to impress, a 30 minute sightseeing helicopter ride is always the way to go.

  74. Lone Ranger says:

    “One good thing about having Bernake trash our currency is that once rolls of dollars are avaliable next to the asswipes at you local Quickie Mart, it may be cheap enough to bring jobs that actually make things back to the country.”

    Classic.

  75. …..what would two albani ladies in their 50′s want to see?

    The Met, the Cloisters, MoMa, the Whitney, Brooklyn Museum,

  76. …. Ok, maybe not the Whitney but the Guggenheim and C21.

  77. Shore Guy says:

    “Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment and Welfare comprise 56.7%) take up more then 50% of the federal budget ”

    Now, we have just suffered a huge economic shock, many people became unemployed or suffered large reductions in income and people who are receiving government “entitlement” benefits suffer no losses? First, eliminate the name entitlements and then cut all benefits 10-15% in recognition that everyone must recognize the real state of things. Then cut every other federal budget item by 5% and hold steady after that for 5 years.

  78. Shore Guy says:

    Even that does not get us to balance but it makes a real move towards it.

  79. Shore Guy says:

    also, eliminate every duplicative program and eliminate everything that is “nice” but not necessary.

  80. sas3 says:

    A.West

    “Chinese owns 3 or more homes for long term investments.Maybe the benificiary will be their kids or grand kids.”

    Here, any home worth holding longer term (highly correlated with “good school districts”) costs a lot of money in recurring expenses. Imagine owning three 500K houses at 10k+/yr property taxes + maintenance + insurance + sometimes rapid fall in price. Not big factors in some other countries. Here, one tempting alternative is to dump the money in an investment that is not taxed till it’s sold, and that too at a very low long-term capital gains rate.

    I am tempted to see your China example and raise an India example. The advantages of home ownership are similar in both countries. Beyond that, I hold a view diametrically opposite to yours: your posts seem to suggest that US should emulate China while I think US should avoid becoming like India [or China or Brazil…]

  81. sas3 says:

    cut all benefits 10-15% in recognition…

    Cutting taxes for the rich while cutting benefits to others (in recognition of the reality) doesn’t compute. Almost makes it like a lottery. If one makes it big, one is rewarded further with more money via tax cuts, while others will have to take cuts.

    The payroll tax cut of 2% too seems a bit weird. If you have a job, you get a few bucks extra, but if you don’t, then no benefit for you.

  82. Shore Guy says:

    Egads! This sounds like the opening scene of a tearjerker/ middle-ageg-introspection movie:

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20471075,00.html

    Wes Leonard Dies After Making Game-Winning Shot

    Heartbreak and shock hit a Michigan high-school basketball court Thursday when, before hundreds of spectators, star player Wes Leonard collapsed and later died after making a game-winning shot in overtime to close his team’s perfect season.

    Leonard, 16, of Fennville High went into cardiac arrest and became unresponsive after the game, say news reports. He was rushed to Holland Hospital at around 9:15 p.m. and pronounced dead 85 minutes later, according to hospital spokeswoman Deb Patterson. Cause of death has yet to be determined.

    snip

  83. Painhrtz says:

    SAs technically me making 6 figures in this economy makes me rich. funny I don’t feel that way. How about the leeches who pay nothing get a llittle skin in the game. Everybody pays at least a grand, gives us 330 billion in intake minimum. Those who make more pay more, but I always felt a tax floor should always be appropriate. If you have no income, you get 1K less in benefits. Incentivize work not sloth.

  84. Ben says:

    “silver seems to like burning Libyan oil wells”

    We’ve made the bullish case for Silver for years now. Silver likes anything because the supply/demand fundamentals are just that good. Or…at least they were when it was below $20.

  85. AG says:

    Drove by some picketing A n P workers today. They said they want their jobs back. I asked them if they owned any silver. They said no.

    Buy silver crash JP Morgan you dumb union losers. Ill help myself to some cold suds tonight in celebration of todays silver performance and the thought of 4000 contracts for delivery.

  86. Shore Guy says:

    “Cutting taxes for the rich”

    Who can object to the fairness of everyone paying the same percentge of income in taxes? The “rich” and truely rich will pay vastly more than joe main street in any flat tax system. Why is it that you liberals seem to think that just because someone can pay more they should pay more? Heck, a hamburger at McD0nal-ds costs you and Bill Gates the same, a gallon of gas out of the same pump costs you and Bill Gates the same. Why is it that we can accept that these products cost everyone the same, regardless of income, but we seek “progressivity” with taxes. If you want to charge me a greater percentage in taxes, give me a greater number of votes in the elections.

  87. Shore Guy says:

    “me making 6 figures in this economy makes me rich”

    And paying six-figures in taxes elicits no sympathy for us but, I hate paying huge sums in taxes to a governemtn that cannot balance its budget. It just feeds the beast and deprives my kids of the benefits of Mrs. Shore’s any my labor.

  88. NJSerf says:

    (86) Who can object to the fairness of everyone paying the same percentge of income in taxes

    Define income.

  89. JJ says:

    They bought that POS Pathmart that put them into BK. Also their stupid union lays off by senority, so they have to lay off a larger population of the new union employees to save the same amount of cash. The owners and investors in A&P hae lost a boatload of cash on that bad investment, this is not the NFL with rich owners. Part of problem is workers themselves, go to Trader Joes get nice happy people who want to help customers, go to A&P or pathmart get nasty old employees who won’t help you in dirty stores where they charge more for milk and bananas. Wow I wonder they they lost business

    AG says:
    March 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Drove by some picketing A n P workers today. They said they want their jobs back. I asked them if they owned any silver. They said no.

  90. relo says:

    86: You cannot be serious.

    The payroll tax cut of 2% too seems a bit weird. If you have a job, you get a few bucks extra, but if you don’t, then no benefit for you.

  91. JJ says:

    In 2011 I already paid six figures in taxes. It makes me feel great leaving at 6:30am for work and getting home at 7ish ever day know I am supporting all the guys my age who are retired cops, firemen and garbage men who are off boating and drinking, the unemployed guys goofing off, the old people cashing in on medicare and SS I won’t get and all the illegals. That plus all the hot 20 something school teachers so they can go to the Hamptons all summer and have breaks in winter to go tanning or sking. The least they could do is come help me around the house and maybe one or two hot teachers could blow me now and then, but know I am scorned at laughed at as I am one of the very few fools in my town who has a job and went to school. Next life I am coming back as a retired 41 year old firefighter.

  92. JJ says:

    They are witholding 2% less on your taxes from paycheck, you still pay the same income tax.

    relo says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    86: You cannot be serious.

    The payroll tax cut of 2% too seems a bit weird. If you have a job, you get a few bucks extra, but if you don’t, then no benefit for you.

  93. d2b says:

    The United Food and Commercial workers union was an expert in making part-time, entry level positions into full-time careers and now their stores just can’t compete. Paying a cashier $17/hr was fine when there was no competition. When you look at a supermarket there are not a lot of positions in the store that require skilled tradesmen. Even the meat cutters don’t do much more than packaging.

    This union is in trouble because they can’t accept early retirements. They need high wage earners to support pension plans.

  94. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    “Next life I am coming back as a retired 41 year old firefighter.”

    See what hard work gets you… a kick in the a$$. I tell my dad every time I see him that hard work is totally over rated.

  95. relo says:

    92: JJ:

    I believe the 2% refers to FICA reduction which is a net increase to the employee.

    I was marveling at SAS’ convoluted logic whereby someone not earning anything should dervie benefir from same (in addition to welfare, etc.).

    relo says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    86: You cannot be serious.

    The payroll tax cut of 2% too seems a bit weird. If you have a job, you get a few bucks extra, but if you don’t, then no benefit for you.

  96. relo says:

    derive benefit.

  97. relo says:

    91: Next life, that ship will have sailed.

  98. relo says:

    I see. 90 was intended for 81, not 86. Is it me or do these posting #’s jump around (unmods, ect.)?

  99. sas3 says:

    JJ #92… It’s not just a withholding change. You actually get a net savings [compared to what was the “current normal” as of Dec 2010] of 2% on your income subject to FICA taxes. It is 2k savings for people at 100k. If a couple makes over 100k W2 income each, the net savings is 4k.

    So, a person making 100k gets a new “2k benefit” — relative to the prior year.
    Relo, while it is a nice (and unexpected) “gift” [relative to 2010 tax rates] for many (including me), it seems inappropriate when drastic cuts are made in many sectors in the name of deficit reduction.

    I guess how one perceives tax cuts matters a lot here. If there is an special tax break (like home owner tax credit), would one look at it as “gift from government” or “the government now stealing less than what it was stealing before”. The chasm between the views is far too wide.

  100. kettle1 says:

    Ben,

    I am well aware of silver and have been on board for a while. I stepped in at $12.

  101. sas3 says:

    JJ

    “but know I am scorned at laughed at as I am one of the very few fools in my town who has a job and went to school”

    I though you were a (very successful) player and an envy of many!

  102. DoughBoy says:

    Well, I’m into the fray with the rest of the schmucks… I’ll be closing in a few weeks.

  103. A.West says:

    sas3, (80)
    Why are you quoting yome (11) and then putting his words in my mouth to argue with me?
    I’m in favor of the hard work put in by Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, etc, but think that storing wealth in empty apartments is a major distortion, created by a distorted financial system and a bubble mentality.

    But given our diametrically opposed views about ethics and politics, which probably continues on into epistemology and metaphysics, disagreement is usually a good starting assumption.
    Regarding your post 99, you need to put your mind into the state of zero based budgeting. In the US we have property rights and the right to the product of one’s life. What the government allows you to keep of your own earnings is not a “benefit” from the government. It’s what’s rightfully yours.

    Shore (86), you ask who can object to a flat tax rate? Altruists like Sas3 can and do. Virtually every Democrat and a large majority of Republicans do. When it comes down to nitty gritty, they think that everybody else in “society” has a higher claim than you to your income than you, if they “need” it more than you. And so they redistribute it. As long as that ethical system remains dominant in the culture, it will continue to happen, whether through a tax system or some other means.

  104. Lone Ranger says:

    “I am well aware of silver and have been on board for a while. I stepped in at $12.”

    [100],

    Sounds like you stepped into it. Great trade.

  105. Painhrtz says:

    doughboy sucker! welcome to the club

  106. J. says:

    JJ #89: Trader Joe’s also pays its people a reasonable living wage. Perhaps that’s why they are happy.

  107. DL says:

    As long as you’re earning dollars, you’re earning trash. A year from now you’ll be burning Franklins to keep warm.

  108. Anon E. Moose says:

    Shore [86];

    If you want to charge me a greater percentage in taxes, give me a greater number of votes in the elections.

    I’ve thought this might be a good idea as well. Corporations are run like this – whoever puts up the most money (in shares purchased) get the most, and proportional influence. It would also encourage tax compliance.

  109. NJSerf says:

    (103) A.West Shore (86), you ask who can object to a flat tax rate? Altruists like Sas3 can and do. Virtually every Democrat and a large majority of Republicans do. When it comes down to nitty gritty, they think that everybody else in “society” has a higher claim than you to your income than you, if they “need” it more than you. And so they redistribute it. As long as that ethical system remains dominant in the culture, it will continue to happen, whether through a tax system or some other means.

    Please define income.

    If the flat tax that Shore proposes encompasses those whose entire livelihood is derived from capital gains, bonds, dividends etc.. then your argument holds a lot of water. Otherwise, it is just a flat tax for everyone except the rich. If that is the case, then we might as well keep our convoluted system in place.

  110. Lone Ranger says:

    “As long as you’re earning dollars, you’re earning trash”

    DL (107),

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Inflaci%C3%B3_utan_1946.jpg

  111. We are all Watanabe now.

  112. Should be fun times when the gigantic carry trade that’s developing against the USD is blown to smithereens.

  113. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re title post;

    The payment on a 30-yr mortgage of $250,000 at 6% is just under $1,800 a month. Total of payments over the life of the loan is $540,000, more than double the purchase price. At 3% compound growth, you can expect the house to be worth about $600,000 at the time of sale, meaning that the buyer has $60,000 in equity.

    If, instead of a 30-yrar loan, a 20-year loan is the product of choice, the payment increases to $1,800, only $300 more. The total of payments is $430,000, a savings of $110,000 in interest expense. Look at it another way, sheople are spending $110,000
    to avoid spending $300 a month.

    If we presume, and most of us do, that the average sheep spends the most they could afford per month, their buying power of $250,000 using a 30-yr mortgage is reduced to $210,000 using a 20-year mortgage. That’s a 15% decline just based on the financing available. Anyone else think were’re done dropping? Put another way, Phonnie and Fraudie jack the price of a home up by almost 20%, in order to make it “more affordable”.

  114. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re [113];

    30-yr payment is $1,500, not $1,800.

  115. chicagofinance says:

    By BETH DeFALCO, Associated Press Beth Defalco, Associated Press – 1 min ago
    TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that he’s not worried about businesses leaving for Illinois because Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is “a disaster.” Christie’s comments come as ads are set to appear in several New Jersey publications on Monday, including NJ Biz, criticizing the state’s business climate. They were paid for by the advocacy group For a Better Chicago and are in retaliation for an ad campaign Christie launched to encourage businesses in Illinois to relocate to New Jersey.

    “Let me tell you something: We won’t lose any business to Illinois as long as Pat Quinn’s the governor,” Christie, a Republican, said during a news conference Thursday. “He’s a disaster.”

    The Chicago group said it’s taking out the ads to set the record straight on which state has the best business climate.

    “We understand that governors have to be cheerleaders for their states, but the claims Gov. Christie is making are so far from the truth,” said Jake Braun, For a Better Chicago spokesman.

    The Chicago ads, which say “Rhetoric is nice, reality matters,” focus on New Jersey’s high property taxes and cost of living.

    Christie launched his campaign after Quinn, a Democrat, raised personal income taxes to 5 percent from 3 percent and corporate business taxes to 9.5 percent from 7.3 percent to help balance his budget.

    In print and radio ads, Christie reiterated his commitment not to raise taxes. Christie also took a trip last month to Chicago to meet with business leaders.

    Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan said Quinn has more important things to do than worry about Christie.

    “Instead of making personal attacks on other governors, Gov. Quinn is focused on getting our state’s fiscal house in order and continuing to make Illinois an even stronger economic competitor,” she said.

  116. Anon E. Moose says:

    RE [113] con’t;

    In addition to jacking up the price of the house by 20%, the total interest on the 30-yr is 60% more than the total interest on the 20-yr. This additional interest to the banksters is guaranteed (now, explicitly) by the federal government via FNMA/FMCC.

    I’m still looking for a way to justify this as being a ‘good idea’.

  117. JJ says:

    Trader Joe pays $13 per hour, Pathmart pays butchers and pharmists like 100K+ a year and cashiers like 45k. The employees are way overpaid, but the union protects them from ever being fired or from ever work. The union also is big on FIFO. Even crazier the Pathmart/AP union lets workers pick where they work by senority not by competence. Therefore the Pathmart in a rich neiborhood has the worst employees

    J. says:
    March 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    JJ #89: Trader Joe’s also pays its people a reasonable living wage. Perhaps that’s why they are happy.

  118. JJ says:

    True. But I still have to go to work every day. The one thing I find curious is I am often talking to blue collar people in my town and they bitch an moan how the rich are all crooked and they either inheritied their money or got it through connections. Meanwhile it could never be they actually graduated college and worked hard. Sometimes my wife slips when people talk about car loans, credit cards interest or mortgage rates or something as she has no clue what they are as we have no loans. Also lots of women talk about part time jobs they have and stupid things they do to make side money like Mary Kay or Gold parties. Once again my wife has no clue. All she knows is she puts everything on the credit card and nearly all bills are autopaid and it is magically paid each month. A wonderful thing. Meanwhile my wife buys nothing fancy, if any of the other ladies in my neighborhood was married to me I would be broke in six week. Jets skis, time shares, summer homes, new cars. The poor are poor cause what ever money they get they blow.

    sas3 says:
    March 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    JJ

    “but know I am scorned at laughed at as I am one of the very few fools in my town who has a job and went to school”

    I though you were a (very successful) player and an envy of many!

  119. Anon E. Moose says:

    This think is like catnip.

    When I talk about $60,000 equity, I’m comparing the price of the house at 3% appreciation v. the total of payments. So if, instead of burying $1,500 a month in random and assorted mayonaise jars for 30 years, you buy $250,000 house on credit, you profit by $60,000, or about 11% on your $540,000. That’s an annual compound return of 0.77% on your inestment — and it assumes you spent nothing to maintain it. That’s nominal return, not real (post-inflation) return.

    “Best investment I ever made!”

  120. JJ says:

    You mean if your borrow at 6% to buy an asset that has 3% appreciation it is not a sure thing?

    Anon E. Moose says:
    March 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    This think is like catnip.

    When I talk about $60,000 equity, I’m comparing the price of the house at 3% appreciation v. the total of payments. So if, instead of burying $1,500 a month in random and assorted mayonaise jars for 30 years, you buy $250,000 house on credit, you profit by $60,000, or about 11% on your $540,000. That’s an annual compound return of 0.77% on your inestment — and it assumes you spent nothing to maintain it. That’s nominal return, not real (post-inflation) return.

    “Best investment I ever made!”

  121. Lone Ranger says:

    Anyone wish to wager that Goldman knows of a hedge fund/funds overextended, long in palladium? Wonder who will be buying if they are forced to puke it out?

    http://www.kitco.com/reports/KitcoNews20110304AS_CME.html

  122. NJ Toast says:

    Trader Joe’s also pays employees a portion of the store’s profits as per their outlined benefits on their website.

    Any chance of making the old Pathmark in Livingston (Rt 10 circle) into a Wegmans?

  123. Shore Guy says:

    Njserf,

    My definition of income is as you specified and contains wages, cap gains, interest rents, royalties, etc. Income is income and everyone should pay the same percentage.

    If we did this, we would go from half of earners paying taxes to nearly everyone paying. Having skin in the game alters perspective.

  124. yo'me says:

    Moose

    You forget a person paying a mortgage of $1500 a month might be paying that on rent.If rent increase by 5% a year and that mortgage stays the same,it is a good investment.If the homeowner ignores all the maintenance work that needs to be done and gave away the house at the end.He will still be ahead ignoring property tax.

    Down side is property tax will always be there.

  125. d2b says:

    JJ-
    Nobody knows that our mortgage is paid off. We live in a smaller home than my siblings. We have small bedrooms and little closest space. We are in a great school district. Simply speaking, we forgot to “trade-up”.

    My father-in-law was mad at my wife because she did not know the mortgage payment. He was mad because she should know such things. She didn’t want to tell him that there was no mortgage.

  126. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [115] chifi

    Much as I love the Fat Man, he was throwing stones from his vitreous center hall colonial when he launched that attack on Illinois. Either his handlers also suffer from a case of New Yorker Worldview, or his mouth got ahead of them before they could say “What the Governor meant to say was. . . “

  127. d2b says:

    Trader Joe’s and Aldi are owned by the same company with a similar strategy of mostly selling store brands. I can’t speak for the quality of either but I wonder if some of the products are the same.

  128. make money says:

    You mean if your borrow at 6% to buy an asset that has 3% appreciation it is not a sure thing?

    JJ,

    You still have to factor rent money you could have been handed to someone so that he can buy shiny. A two family home is a good neigboorhood on a large lot is a better option for a blue collar type person earning 100K per year. My dad’s first house was a two family home in SI. His PITI was $1200 while rent received was $550. It made for easy living. A single woman in her 40’s rented (manager at macys) was never home and always paid in cash and on time. She had her own side entrance and we barely even knew she was there until of course the 1st of the month.
    My dad’s salary and her rent increased year after year with inflation but mortgage stayed fixed.(bear in mind taxes didn’t increase much back then). 19 years later house was paid off when I returned back my tuition money and now my Dad gets $1800 per month from (Wall Street back office guy) rent money pays for taxes and maintance and he doesn’t have to move down south because of finances.
    BTW, Mom never worked, kids got Ivy league education and house is paid off.(market value above 800K). For somone who came in this country at age 21, never owned a business, and barely speaks english, he swears buy real estate cause he doesn’t know how to buy silver, a barrel of oil or a single share of stock.

  129. NJSerf says:

    Shore,

    If you run for congress on that platform I’ll gladly cut you a check.

    Sadly, I think we all know that our country will sooner see Clots visions proven true before we have anything representing a flat tax.

  130. Barbara says:

    124. Shoreguy,
    you don’t think there is a big difference betwen cap gains and wages? I do. I personally don’t believe in taxing labor, only consumption.

  131. chicagofinance says:

    Actually, Illinois (i.e. Chicago) has its head so far up it ass that even the fat man could not fathom how spot on he was…….

    127.Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    March 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm
    [115] chifi Much as I love the Fat Man, he was throwing stones from his vitreous center hall colonial when he launched that attack on Illinois. Either his handlers also suffer from a case of New Yorker Worldview, or his mouth got ahead of them before they could say “What the Governor meant to say was. . . “

  132. I say NJ should declare war on IL.

    Let’s get this party started.

  133. Irvington gangs vs. Chicago thugs from the projects. Good infantry matchup.

  134. chicagofinance says:

    I am all about East Coast glory, but as we all know, it is the some of the more backward places that have serious infintry expertise……East St. Louis, Baltimore, South Side of Chicago, Memphis, SE DC, Atlanta

  135. Lone Ranger says:

    The Ides of March. Currently, more delivery notices for silver, March, than there is silver to deliver. It’s a bitch when you have sold more silver, naked, than the world’s capacity to mine. You would probably have a better weekend bruised and battered on the streets of Philly than answering the world knocking on your door for physical.

    Thank you Bergabe. You have created inflation in one sector.

  136. Shore Guy says:

    Whoopie! CA unemployment down yo 12.4%

  137. Shore Guy says:

    Barbara,

    I understand your perspective; however, as we have a system of income taxation, we should tax all income the same.

  138. I seriously think I may have sold my last home.

  139. “We have heard much from the propaganda machine just how much better the jobs situation has gotten under president Obama three years into his term. We would like to interject with two very simple charts…”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/about-jobs-improvement-under-president-obama

  140. joyce says:

    The Shadow King Of Wall Street: “Markets Like Totalitarian Governments”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/shadow-king-wall-street-markets-love-totalitarian-markets

  141. jmacdaddio says:

    Trader Joe’s uses Wal-Mart tactics on their suppliers. For example Amy’s Organics makes the TJ’s burritos, albeit for a much smaller margin than the branded items you see in a regular store thanks to hardball TJ negotiators. TJs isn’t the panacea the Birkenstock crowd makes it out to be – for every happily empowered TJ’s store associate, there’s a dozen hurting back at the organic arrugula factory.

  142. Essex says:

    51. Life is much more complicated than your insipid narrative would suggest.

  143. jmac (143)-

    It’s all a zero-sum game. In every economic dealing, there is a winner and a loser.

    Win-win is idiotic happytalk, promulgated by TPTB to render people docile and compliant.

  144. Hmm…

    “…where, in the absence of ongoing central bank monetizations (with or without the assistance of major financial black holes like Europe’s EFSF), will the world be able to find buyers for roughly $4-5 trillion in debt to keep the self-funded Ponzi going?”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/5-trillion-us-and-european-funding-needs-over-next-3-years-how-long-until-global-monetizatio

  145. Al Mossberg says:

    Speculative junior miners are exploding. The big miners like AEM, GG and others are too dam manipulated via naked shorts. I sold off most of my producers because the speculative gains in the juniors are just massive.

  146. Al Mossberg says:

    I may be talking to myself here but take a look at these returns.

    Pretium resources. IPO’d at 6.00 in December 2010. 110% return in 4 months.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=PXZRF.PK

    Great Panther Silver. Another Spec junior with incredible gains on huge volume.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GPL

  147. al (148)-

    It all works. Until it doesn’t.

  148. Lone Ranger says:

    “I may be talking to myself”

    AG,

    Start raising the white flag when the majority start listening.

    By the way, Tonto’s request for delivery is falling on deaf ears; seems like he’s also talking to himself. The sellers of his long comex silver futures contract and his long LBMA forward contracts are offering a huge premium over spot in a cash settlement. Currently, Tonto is not budging.

  149. Ranger (150)-

    Have no fear. The gubmint will step in and force people to accept cash or some sort of bullshit “silver certificates”.

    I am prepared to bet my life that this will occur.

    “By the way, Tonto’s request for delivery is falling on deaf ears; seems like he’s also talking to himself. The sellers of his long comex silver futures contract and his long LBMA forward contracts are offering a huge premium over spot in a cash settlement. Currently, Tonto is not budging.”

  150. Confused In NJ says:

    BHUBANESHWAR, India – Indian police detained two people after an angry mob of fired workers burned to death a senior executive of a steel factory, an official said Friday.

    After learning they were laid off, about a dozen workers attacked a vehicle carrying Radhey Shyam Roy as he was leaving the factory in eastern Orissa state on Thursday, dousing the Jeep with gasoline and setting it on fire, said police Superintendent Ajay Kumar Sarangi.

    Two other people in the vehicle were allowed to flee but Roy, 59, was trapped inside and later died of severe burns, Sarangi said.

    Police were questioning two workers and their formal arrest on murder charges was likely, Sarangi told The Associated Press. The steel factory is in Bolangir district, nearly 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state.

    Incidents of industrial violence are common in India, where workers often target executives in cases of wage disputes and job losses.

    In 2008, scores of dismissed employees of an Italian manufacturing company, Graziano Transmissioni India, used iron rods and wooden sticks to beat to death the company’s local chief executive officer on the outskirts of New Delhi.

  151. Lone Ranger says:

    “The gubmint will step in”

    Debt[151],

    The govt stepped in years ago. Let’s just hope they are as successful in the next 5 years as they have been in the past 5 years.

  152. Al Mossberg says:

    150,

    Lone Ranger,

    Word on the street is Tonto is asking and getting 80% premiums to rollover those contracts. This is the end game we have been waiting for.

  153. al (154)-

    Unless the premiums are paid in silver, they are worthless promises.

    Demand delivery of the physical!!!!

  154. Al Mossberg says:

    151,

    Debt,

    Doesnt matter. Its all going to shit and the Federal Reserve Note is the currency of slaves.

  155. Gotta put getting the rocket launcher in my garage into working condition onto my honey-do list…

    Never know when you might need to stage a frontal assault on a gubmint storage facility.

  156. Al Mossberg says:

    155,

    Debt,

    4000 contracts for delivery and say goodbye to the CRIMEX. Now if I was a billionaire would I not take a 80% return for 2 months of work just for rolling my contracts forward to May? I think I would pocket that premium and play again.

  157. Eat their bread, do their will.

    Thus saith the Bible, and thusly it shall play out.

    Me? I wouldn’t accept anyone’s scrip, no matter how “credible” they may be. Even people like Buffett have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage, so common sense tells me that any of us who accept “premiums” will end up bagholders in the final accounting.

  158. Walk up on my porch uninvited, and be prepared to get a 30.06 high velocity round between your eyes.

    Count on that, mf’er.

  159. I like my dog better than 999 out of 1,00o people I meet.

  160. Al Mossberg says:

    160.

    LMAO,

    Debt, you forget that there are some real Americans left in this nation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d0TOvo3CF8

  161. Wake up to Steve Lies-man on the Today show, spouting his usual false recovery banter. Projectile vomit. Roll over, can’t go back to sleep. Next story up is probably a report on C. Sheen’s latest bowel movement. Overwhelming stench of death in the air. Can’t get Black Hole Sun out of my head.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltc5EsuyBh4

  162. freedy says:

    debt,you sound bitter

  163. Mike says:

    Loreal to shut down manufacturing operations in Clark 300 jobs will be lost. Work will be done in Mexico http://newjerseynewspress.com/2011/03/03/loreal-to-cut-clark-manufacturing-jobs-the-star-ledger/

  164. Mike says:

    Could not find any bank failures yesterday that’s a first

  165. There are only failed banks. They fall into two categories:

    – TBTF (like the JP Morgue); supported by gubmint guarantees and mark-to-fantasy on toxic assets

    – not TBTF, but supporting themselves through fraudulent reporting and mark-to-fantasy on toxic assets

    – not TBTF, and not connected enough to keep the FDIC from prying into their books, filled with toxic assets marked to fantasy

  166. Er, that’s three categories.

  167. The state-chartered bank that holds a note on my building is going into week number two of being procto-reamed by examiners. My note is current, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that their mortgage portfolio is pure sewage.

  168. Essex says:

    162. Al they don’t like Cath-0-lics in them there parts. You are either Baptist or nuthin.

  169. Outofstater says:

    Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees an odd, fascinating splendor in the ugliness that is industrial Jersey.
    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2011/03/industrial_side_of_garden_stat.html

  170. Shore Guy says:

    Early North Jersey industrial skyline

  171. Barbara says:

    171.
    Thanks for posting, Outofstater. I also love this area and have found it fascinating in the massiveness that makes it dangerously anonymous. You never see a human, or even a moving vehicle, when looking at all those sites from the Skyway and Turnpike. How can that be? Weirdness that I love.

  172. Shore Guy says:

    All hail the personal consumption expenditure deflator.

  173. shore (175)-

    Feh. It will end up being a slap across the wrists of these criminals…and, it will also end up protecting them against future borrower claims of wrongdoing. The current relief number for underwater homeowners works out to about $2,000/household.

    The individual Amerikan will always be screwed to serve the interests of banksters.

    Besides, it’s campaign season soon, and Bojangles needs all the bankster loot he can get.

  174. Kettle1 says:

    Great advice

    Stop Saving So Much for Retirement
    By Eric Schurenberg
    CBS MoneyWatch.com – Mon Feb 28th, 2011 3:00 AM EST
    Recently, Christine Fahlund, the financial planning director at mutual fund company T. Rowe Price circulated what you’d have to call a pretty novel retirement planning strategy for boomers. Stop saving. Instead, spend the money on cruises and other indulgences until you retire. Do this, her calculations showed, and you’ll end up with 70 percent more income in retirement than someone who saves like crazy for the rest of his or her career.

  175. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “The participation rate is the comparison of the “labor force,” those looking for work or employed, and everyone else. That ratio is currently 64.2 percent seasonally adjusted, and 63.9 percent non-seasonally adjusted, the same level as last month. Both of those percentages are currently running at 27-year lows, meaning the percentage of Americans not working or even trying to join the work force is at a near three-decade high. It is imperative that we continue to monitor this relationship in order to determine if an improving unemployment rate means that American workers are finding jobs, or have just given up looking. ”
    -rick santelli

  176. 30 year realtor says:

    #175 – No good can come out of the twisted logic driving the settlement between banks and the government. At least I’ll finally get some new inventory.

  177. 30 year (179)-

    Negative. Banksters and the gubmint are in collusion to destroy the RE industry. Look for the settlement to contain some sort of door-opener for banks to trample the Commerce Clause and conduct “limited” types of RE transactions.

    The RE industry is led by a cabal of idiots who are a cross-section of our industry at large. Instead of pressuring gubmint and banks to mark-to-market, acknowledge losses and accelerate both foreclosure and REO liquidation, we cheerlead the commission of financial crimes and beg for 8K tax breaks to people who were going to buy a house anyway. In the end, our gross stupidity will be the implement of our own destruction.

    And we deserve it.

  178. NJCoast says:

    We dropped anchor next to some hedge fund guy’s 85′ sailboat in St. John today. What a beauty she was, amazing what inside info and HFT profits can buy. Then sailed back to the beach for just caught and cooked on the fire Wahoo and MahiMahi with mango and grilled pineapple salsa. The world can end now.

  179. Carolina laying the wood to Dook. Hopefully, we don’t let them off the hook like in the first game.

    Jesus, Dook is slow and goofy. Just an insult to the game of basketball.

  180. Wait until a few people decide to bring guns to these events:

    MADISON, Wis. – Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore urged Wisconsin residents Saturday to fight against Republican efforts to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights, telling thousands of protesters that “Madison is only the beginning.”

    The crowd roared in approval as Moore implored demonstrators to keep up their struggle against Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s legislation, saying they’ve galvanized the nation against the wealthy elite and comparing their fight to Egypt’s revolt. He also thanked the 14 state Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin to block a vote on the bill, saying they’ll go down in history books.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110306/ap_on_en_ot/us_wisconsin_budget_unions_protest

  181. cobbler says:

    Wisconsin does not issue concealed or open carry permits.

  182. Anon E. Moose says:

    Make [129];

    A great American Story. Now inconceivable to anyone who didn’t own their first property by 2002. I grew up in a 2-family on SI too (more mother-daughter than duplex). We had a good tenants too, an old couple. The wife used to baby-sit for me.

    Your dad (and mine) got lucky with good tenants. Bad ones (esp in the 5 boroughs) can make a casual landlord who has to live next door want to lose his keys.

  183. Anon E. Moose says:

    Debt [180];

    With that, I offer to bury the hatchet.

  184. still_looking says:

    181 Coast

    Wish I was there…

    sl

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