Altos: Home prices trending positive

From HousingWire:

Home prices, inventory levels trend up: Altos Research

Home prices and inventory levels are trending upward in many U.S. cities tracked by Altos Research, according to the firm’s latest Housing Market Update.

The median national home price for all 26 markets covered by Altos hit $450,358 in June, up from $444,273 in May.

Meanwhile, in the past three months, listing prices rose 2.31% and inventory levels grew 3.52%.

The only city to report a drop in home prices in June was Las Vegas and even that was a mere 0.86% decline when compared to the month before.

When analyzing home price data for the past three months, both New York and Las Vegas experienced falling prices, reporting drops of 2.2% and 1.61%, respectively, Altos said.

Inventory rose in 12 of the major markets tracked by Altos last month, while falling in the remaining 14 composite cities. The biggest inventory jump occurred in Boston, with the city’s inventory level rising to 5.8%. Phoenix, on the other hand, experienced the largest inventory level drop, falling 7.93%.

Comparatively, the latest S&P/Case Shiller report said the average price of a single-family home rose for the first time in eight months during the month of April. Altos suspects the S&P/Case-Shiller will be reporting a few positive trends through September.

At the same time when looking forward, Altos foresees a slowing or plateau of home prices in the fourth quarter.

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199 Responses to Altos: Home prices trending positive

  1. grim says:

    North Jersey #1 in green jobs?

    From the OC Register:

    O.C.-L.A. No. 2 in green economy jobs

    The Orange County-Los Angeles area had 89,592 jobs directly related to the clean economy last year, up from 62,807 in 2003 and the second-highest in the country after Greater New York City-Northern New Jersey, according to a study released today by The Brookings Institution.

  2. grim says:

    Or….. maybe not..

    From Time:

    A New Report Counts Up Green Jobs—And They’re Not What You Think

    Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart famously said the phrase in 1964: “I know it when I see it.” It, in this case, was obscenity, and Stewart was making a point about the trickiness of properly defining the term. How do you have an argument about pornography if you can’t quite say what it is?

    For the past several years, environmentalists have been having a version of the Stewart debate over the definition of a green job. We know green jobs are important, that they’re the key to a cleaner economy—and that they may be the best way to sell a sometimes skeptical American public on the pressing need for energy and climate legislation. But no one can agree on what a green job really is. A worker at a solar panel plant certainly qualifies—but what about a steel worker whose labor help makes wind turbines? A scientist working for an advanced biofuel startup definitely has a green job—but what about a roofer who sometimes works on green buildings? Without a meaningful reckoning of just how large the clean economy is, advocates on both sides of the issue can run wild—and for the average American, green jobs may seem more myth than reality.

    Good news—the numbers are in. The Brookings Institution—a progressive think tank in Washington—and the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice have collaborated on the first comprehensive accounting of the nation’s clean economy and green jobs on a city by city basis. They found that 2.7 million Americans are employed in the clean economy—more than the number who work in the fossil fuel industry and twice as many who work in biotech. And the clean energy sector in particular is growing very quickly: it grew by 8.3% between 2003 and 2010, nearly twice as fast as the overall economy during those years. “The pace of growth really is torrid in that sector,” says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings Metropolitan Program and a co-author of the report. “This confirms the intuition that these exciting industries really are growing as fast as we think they are.”

    But one of the most unexpected conclusions from the report is that those red-hot clean-tech jobs—in solar or wind or cellulosic biofuels—are actually a relatively small part of the overall clean economy. The most common green job? Try waste management and treatment, which employs nearly 400,000 workers—14% of all green jobs. And the single biggest employer in the clean economy isn’t a sexy startup like First Solar, or even a giant like GE’s wind division. It’s the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, followed by the waste management and water treatment operations of the city of Los Angeles and New York. And waste management is followed by mass transit, which employs about 350,000 Americans. There are your most common clean workers: the garbage man and the bus driver.

  3. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  4. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Bank’s Deal Means More Will Lose Their Homes

    Tens of thousands of Bank of America’s most distressed borrowers could be evicted and lose their homes more quickly as a result of a proposed settlement between the bank, which is the country’s largest mortgage servicer, and investors in its troubled mortgage securities.

    For struggling borrowers in better financial shape, the outcome could be more positive: the deal would include incentives for mortgage servicers to help homeowners who have fallen behind on their payments and whose homes are worth less than they borrowed.

    “The goal is to reinstate as many borrowers in a modification that performs well,” said Tony Meola, a servicing executive with Bank of America. “It also is likely to lead to faster resolution in those unfortunate situations where foreclosure is inevitable. While not a desirable outcome, the recovery of the housing markets depends on moving through the foreclosure process as quickly and fairly as possible.”

    While powerful investors stand to benefit from the $8.5 billion settlement over the bank’s bundling of shoddy mortgages as securities, the fallout for the nearly 275,000 borrowers who took out those loans depends greatly on how deep they are in the foreclosure process and whether they earn enough money to dig themselves out.

    While no exact income qualification has been set as part of the agreement, which was announced last month, many servicers use a formula in which borrowers can qualify for a modification as long as the new monthly payment does not exceed 31 percent of their monthly gross income. For borrowers who are unemployed or lack the income to cover even reduced mortgage payments, foreclosure and eviction could be much more immediate.

    With 1.3 million borrowers at risk of foreclosure, Bank of America has been overwhelmed by the surge in defaults, and the accord has raised hopes that this logjam will finally begin to ease. But skeptics say that previous arrangements, like another multibillion-dollar settlement by Bank of America in 2008, have barely made a dent in the problem.

    “The mortgage servicers have repeatedly promised to do things and then not done them,” said Michael S. Barr, a former assistant Treasury secretary who now teaches law at the University of Michigan. “I think it’s positive in general, but I don’t expect it to be transformative of what we’ve witnessed from the mortgage servicers over the last four years.”

  5. Mike says:

    from the other site: most expensive home in NJ drops in price http://www.businessinsider.com/frick-mansion-new-jersey-photos-2011-7?yui-main

  6. grim says:

    Can I say I’m glad the idiots who pushed to reverse the new lighting efficiency standards were overturned?

    You know, asbestos siding and flooring really were very good, and burning coal to heat your home was very cost effective as well. You know how much longer your car engine would last running on leaded fuel without catalytic converters?

    How about striking a happy medium? A $3 “electricity guzzler” tax on incandescent bulbs, which is used to fund development to reduce energy dependence.

  7. Al Mossberg says:

    Enjoy your work today NJ. Pretty soon you will see the rewards of your work go up in smoke!

  8. Confused In NJ says:

    6.grim says:
    July 13, 2011 at 6:21 am

    You know, asbestos siding and flooring really were very good,

    Did read one article which said if asbestos had not been discontinued immediately before the Trade Center was built, it may well have protected the steel beams which subsequently melted from the plane crash fires.

  9. Another Amerikan contribution to the world: fabricated short squeezes.

    “Frequent Zero Hedge readers may recall that back in the spring of 2009, when the market needed a desperate boost by any and all insivible hands, we exposed one of the methods of ramping stocks as being stock custodians, in this case State Street and Bank of New York, generating a wholesale squeeze by pulling borrow, or in other words retrieving lent out shares so those who are short are forced to cover. Many laughed assuming this was merely yet another deranged rant. It wasn’t. Fast forward to today, when we learn that the Consob, Italy’s market regulator and SEC equivalent, has “recommended to stakeholders who have lent shares in Italian companies to retrieve them” – i.e., playbook artificial short squeeze 101. This is two days after the Consob banned naked short selling: a move which had disastrous consequences after the market continued plunging and would have collapsed entirely had it not been for the ECB and/or China buying Italy bonds before yesterday’s Bill auction. “”Yes, we’ve exercised moral suasion by asking all those who have lent shares to retrieve them,” Consob Chairman Giuseppe Vegas told journalists on the sideline of a conference.” And now you know how to generate a market-wide short squeeze.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/italian-regulator-urges-banks-destroy-stock-shorts-pull-all-short-borrow

  10. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Grim, agreed that for many reasons the efficiencies from green technology aren’t what they’re presented as, and without govt subsidies some literally fall short. But considering the geopolitics and the biggest wealth transfer in history that we make on a daily basis to the m.e., im all for the push toward ‘green’. I dont know much about lightbulbs and aspestos. But one big one is the recent talk of increasing car mpg, which doesn’t require hybrid technology. Its been done for years simply by using smaller engines.

  11. Shore Guy says:

    For what it is worth:

    Don’t punish success

    “Nothing succeeds like success” — Alexandre Dumas, 1802-1870

    If new millionaires or billionaires were created every time President Obama and his fellow liberals disparage “millionaires and billionaires,” there would be far more of them than there are today. And that would be a good thing because it would mean more people are succeeding.

    This president, more than any other in my lifetime, seems determined to punish and discourage success and the hard work, risk-taking and values by which one must live in order to attain it.

    He blasts people who fly on private planes, though he flies on Air Force One, the ultimate private plane, which taxpayers pay for. He doesn’t like yachts, or specifically the people who can afford to buy them.

    And yet the people who make the private planes and yachts have jobs precisely because others have achieved a level of success that enables them to afford such luxury.

    Recall during the George H.W. Bush administration when congressional Democrats persuaded Bush to sign a bill increasing the luxury tax on yachts in exchange for a promise — later broken — to reduce spending? The result was fewer people bought yachts, boat builders were laid off and Congress later repealed the tax hike.
    snip

    People who envy the successful won’t receive any of the money higher taxes might bring in. Congress will spend it long before it “trickles down” to the poor and even if the poor did get some of the largesse from the wealthy, when the money runs out they would likely remain poor because their attitude toward “entitlements,” rather than wealth building, would remain unchanged. Isn’t that the story of the failed welfare system?

    Welfare mostly subsidizes people in poverty, helping few escape from it.

    In their hearts, most people who are poor would like to be rich, or at least self-sustaining, but this president never talks about how they might achieve that goal.

    Instead, he criticizes those who made the right choices and now enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    Rather than use successful people as examples for the poor to follow, the president seeks to punish the rich with higher taxes and more regulations on their businesses.

    President Calvin Coolidge, who is receiving another look by some historians, said in 1919, “The great aim of our government is to protect the weak, to aid them to become strong.” See the difference? President Obama apparently thinks the weak and poor can never become strong and rich without government, though government has a poor track record of aiding people in either endeavor.

    Another Coolidgeism: “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”

    Pulling down the strong seems to preoccupy this administration
    snip

  12. gary says:

    In their hearts, most people who are poor would like to be rich, or at least self-sustaining, but this president never talks about how they might achieve that goal.

    Instead, he criticizes those who made the right choices and now enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    Rather than use successful people as examples for the poor to follow, the president seeks to punish the rich with higher taxes and more regulations on their businesses.

    Any Questions?

  13. Confused In NJ says:

    The dismembered body of the little boy found in Brooklyn, calls out for a return to Capital Punishment. Of course Bloomberg would only be interested if the perpetrators smoked.

  14. nj escapee says:

    Why Taxes Will Rise in the End

    Polls show that most Americans are opposed to raising the federal debt ceiling. Even when the Pew Research Center included the consequences in its question — a national default that would damage the economy — slightly more people were against raising the ceiling than were for it.

    How could this be? Above all, I think it reflects a desire to return to the good old days. Not so long ago, nobody was talking about tax increases or Medicare cuts, and the federal budget seemed to be in fine shape. If only we could get back to the past — get spending under control, as the cliché goes — we’d be O.K. The debt ceiling, with its harsh finality, offers the chance.

    Unfortunately, this nostalgic view depends on a misunderstanding of the budget. It imagines a budget in which the United States indefinitely has the world’s highest medical costs, its largest military, an aging population and, nonetheless, taxes that are among the world’s lowest. Economists have a name for that combination: a free lunch.

    Free lunchism is ultimately the problem with the no-new-taxes pledge that so many politicians have adopted. A refusal to raise taxes, no matter how principled, cannot take us back to the good old days. It would instead lead to a very different American society. For taxes to remain where they are, Washington would need to end Medicare as we know it, end Social Security as we know it, severely shrink the military — or do some combination of the above.

    “We cannot repeat the past when it comes to the federal budget,” Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, recently wrote. “The aging of our population and the rising cost of health care have changed the backdrop for federal budget policy in a fundamental way.”

    The most important part of the recent Republican budget plan, written by Representative Paul Ryan, was that it acknowledged this reality (in its details, if not its packaging). It called for no tax increases. To make the numbers come close to adding up, the plan also called for eliminating the current Medicare and replacing it with a system in which the elderly would buy less generous private insurance plans. Such is the price of no new taxes.

    Early indications are that Americans don’t like Mr. Ryan’s plan all that much. In upstate New York this spring, a Democrat won a typically Republican House district by campaigning relentlessly against the plan. National polls show huge majorities favor keeping Medicare and Social Security in something approaching their current form — much larger majorities, tellingly, than oppose an increase in the debt ceiling.

    In the near term, Congressional Republicans have decided to play down the Ryan plan. Most continue to oppose new taxes, without going so far as to explain the consequences. They will have little trouble sticking to that position through the current debt ceiling fight, because the deficit does not need to be solved immediately.

    Eventually, though, drawing up a credible deficit plan with neither Ryan-like cuts nor higher taxes will be impossible. And you can already see the start of a potential Republican compromise.

    It revolves around raising taxes, on net, by shrinking corporate or individual loopholes. The country’s highest-ranking Republican, John Boehner, the speaker of the House, signaled his openness to such a deal last week. (Mr. Boehner abandoned the deal under pressure from Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican and a Tea Party ally.)

    Stalwart Republican economists — like Martin Feldstein, a chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Ronald Reagan, and Gregory Mankiw, who held the same job under George W. Bush — also favor raising taxes by closing loopholes. So did most of the Republicans from the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit commission, including Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, former Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and David Cote, the chief executive of Honeywell.

    One obvious compromise along these lines would follow the outline sketched out by the Simpson-Bowles plan. Marginal tax rates could actually fall. But the closing of loopholes would more than make up for the loss in revenue from lower tax rates.

    Conservatives might accept the deal, partly because it would satisfy their longtime desire for a simpler tax code with lower rates and partly because spending cuts would still make up the bulk of any deal. Liberals might accept the deal because tax loopholes disproportionately benefit the wealthy, and a simpler code — even one with lower rates — could be more progressive.

    The mortgage interest deduction, for example, saves more than $5,000 a year for the typical household in the top 1 percent of earners. Most middle-income households don’t benefit from the deduction at all, because they instead claim the standard income tax deduction. And the mortgage deduction is the second-largest tax break for individuals, costing about $80 billion a year, more than the budgets for the Education Department and Justice Department combined.

    Yet despite all the substantive arguments for such plans, I still wonder whether one of them is the most likely outcome.

    The truth is, closing loopholes has much stronger support among economists and columnists than it does among voters. Only 23 percent of Americans benefit from the mortgage deduction, but 93 percent support it. Other big breaks, like the exclusions for health insurance and 401(k) contributions, are popular, too. On the corporate side, Eric Toder of the Urban Institute has pointed out that the biggest breaks also tend to be popular, like the credit for research and development.

    So what kind of tax increases do Americans support? The old-fashioned kind. Seventy-two percent support raising taxes on income above $250,000, according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll, and a large majority likewise favor raising Social Security taxes on the affluent.

    In the end, the most likely tax increase may be the one that’s already on the books. On Jan. 1, 2013, all the Bush tax cuts — on the affluent and nonaffluent alike — are set to expire, which would solve roughly one-quarter of our long-term deficit problem. If Republicans have their way, all the tax cuts will be extended. If the Democrats have their way, most of them will be.

    But if the two parties each control a branch of government after the 2012 elections, neither may be able to get their way. Instead, they would have to compromise — or a stalemate would cause the Bush tax cuts to disappear. After the last few days, a stalemate doesn’t seem like such a bad bet.

  15. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Mom lets 8 year old walk a few blocks from school for first time. A women and two men snatch kid, cut body in half dump one half in an apartment and the other half in a dumpster. Makes Casey Anthony look like a Saint.

    Confused In NJ says:
    July 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

    The dismembered body of the little boy found in Brooklyn, calls out for a return to Capital Punishment. Of course Bloomberg would only be interested if the perpetrators smoked.

  16. A.West says:

    “Let them be green” is the modern edition of “let them eat cake,” inspired by today’s limousine liberals. Hey, your SUV is inefficient, go buy your family a new $50,000 hybrid minivan (which doesn’t yet exist). Hey, your HVAC system is old, you need to buy a $100,000 geothermal system for your $200,000 pos cape. Telling people they have to buy $30 LEDs, putting out a pathetic 300 lumens is like telling people they all had to buy Apple Newtons for $1000 back in 2000. Telling people in India that they can only build green power plants means telling lots of kids they can’t have electricity for another 10 years.

    I’m for economizing, not “green” stuff. Economizing means not wasting resources, including one’s existing capital. “Green” has become an excuse to spend more than what economically makes sense. Status goods for the rich, pork for the politicians.

    For example, I’d much prefer a flat energy tax, and let profit seeking companies fight out the best way to help users economize on energy, than what we’ve currently got: a maze of regulations and lobbyists, with “success” being steered more by influence in Washington (e.g. massively inefficient and value-destroying ethanol subsidies, subsidies to economically inefficient but politically popular green stuff), than by actual value in use. The dumb politically diven automotive fuel efficiency standards in the US were pretty obviously designed to favor domestic car makers, not to encourage real innovation in an open field.

  17. Orion says:

    15- This tragedy is so gruesome that there’s no words to explain the parents’ pain. What a sick society. Yes, for capital punishment.

  18. Anon E. Moose says:

    South Jersey shore merchants seeing a sunbeam of great business

    Just like housing, its all because of the weather.

    In their minds, the crappy economy has no influence on people’s decision to take shorter, cheaper car-trip vacations.

    The fact that TSA gestapo tactics make all but absolutely necessary flying nearly unbearable.

    The inability to tap phantom home equity to fund a world cruise or European jaunt ‘on the house’ is completely beside the point, apparently.

    Its all because of the good weather.

  19. Juice Box says:

    re: # 15 – JJ there is only one killer reported so far. Levy Aaron a suspected child molester from that community.

  20. Ben says:

    Green energy has no hope as long as we subsidize it. Companies are content to manufacture their inefficient solar panels because there are giant subsidies behind them. The solar people now setup booths at all the food festivals in the state. You can get solar panels for $30k, and a huge tax break every year. Basically, everyone who buys spends $30k to probably save $1k a year. But don’t worry, the taxpayers foot the bill for the net loss.

  21. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    And the nut is from New Jersey and went to Brooklyn to pay a dentist bill when he saw the boy alone.

    Juice Box says:
    July 13, 2011 at 9:54 am

    re: # 15 – JJ there is only one killer reported so far. Levy Aaron a suspected child molester from that community.

  22. Juice Box says:

    Shore – GloryDays was based upon a meeting at the Headliner in Netpune in 1973

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/sports/baseball/bruce-springsteens-inspiration-for-glory-days.html?_r=2

  23. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [11, 14]

    Got (second) Passports?

  24. Nicholas says:

    Ben,

    Your statement has about as much wisdom as saying “The internet has no hope as long as we subsidize it” The internet was developed by DARPA and was a net drain on taxpayers for many years before it gained a life of its own. Home solar is only a small part of green energy but it is still in its nascent years and needs continued support. No one dissagrees that the environmental benefit will probably outweigh the cost to produce at some point if not today.

    You have to build a culture around the technology before it can attract enough smart eyeballs to find a way to make it efficient enough to be self sustaining; lets call that “critical mass”. Once you have established a critical mass in the technology then you can back away subsidies and watch it take off.

    There are some good estimates that say 2016-2020 will be when solar energy will overtake, on a dollar per KW/h basis, other forms of energy. Now it is my belief that when solar energy cost per KW/h reaches other forms of energy, nat. gas, coal, oil, and nuclear that there will be a stall, but right now there is room for improvement. At somewhere around 32 cents per KW/h other forms of energy production beat out home solar soundly. My power company provides 10.9 cents per KW/h from nuclear and coal power plants.

    I believe that there will be a time when solar energy will become stand-alone viable but it isn’t quite there yet. I also believe that it will be in our lifetime.

  25. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Surprised I missed this . . .

    Canada has an investor immigrant program, but the one I knew of required investments of about a half million. Now, I see that if you have net worth of 1.6MM, you can get PR status in about 16 months and a passport in 3 years. This is clearly a “fast track” program.

    This program will accept 700 applications annually. The Federal program (Quebec has its own separate one), used up its alloted spaces and closed to new applicants on July 1st.

    Hmmm. England announced a fast track program for HNW immigrants. Canada has a fast track program for HNW immigrants. And US consular officers have a 1.5 year backlog of renunciant appointments.

    Nope, nothing to see here. Move along.

  26. All Hype says:

    Risk on trade today courtesy of Uncle Ben:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/watch-ben-bernankes-testimony-congress-live#comments

    One small mention of QE to infinity is enough to raise the markets….

  27. All Hype says:

    And shiny just hit $1582/ounce.

  28. Shore Guy says:

    Juice,

    Thanks for the heads-up. Whenever I hear that song, I picture the Red Lion,out on 70.

  29. Fabius Maximus says:

    #23 nom
    Looking to skip out of the bar without paying the tab?

  30. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    I want to think that Bergabe is all talk right now; that there’s no way he implements QE3 with the indices where they are now; but of course he’s proven he’s batsh*t crazy time and again so who knows.

  31. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [29] fabius

    Paid my tab, and the tabs of a few others too.

    No, I am looking to skip out without paying YOUR tab.

  32. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [29] fabius

    and consider this: Why is it that I cannot afford to expatriate, and don’t have enough net worth to worry about estate taxes (yet), but the Obama Administration considers me rich?

    My effective tax rate is at least 8 percentage points higher than Warren Buffett’s and Obama’s yet they make more (and in Buffett’s case, a LOT more). I think that the number of people on this board that would find that fair can be counted on one hand (I have already assigned one finger to you. Care to guess which one? ;-) )

  33. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    the middle class in general from that WSJ article are a bunch of deadbeats, student loan interest, mortgage deductions, cash for clunkers and home buying credits, RE tax deductions, child care credits, Cheap Mortgage rates due to govt with low downpayments, 401k plans, flex spending accounts, 529 plan deductions, free medical and pensions via unions and govt jobs, plus they work easy jobs like guy in article as gym teacher and DJ so they stay in a lower tax rate. lazy bums I say. Put them to work and cut their free lunch.

  34. 3b says:

    What is the point of QE 3?? 1 and 2 did not work, is the 3rd time the charm?? even with all the buying 30 year mtg rates still never broke the 4% mark.

  35. Juice Box says:

    re: #34 – 3B Bernake talks deflation when we all know the name of the Feds game is inflation. QE3 will force additional inflation, we will get cost push inflation and things will just keep going up and up. They focus on core inflation which can be gamed and forget about commodities and food which hits everyone much harder than the cost of an iPad. They only people that will grumble is those foreigners still holding dollars and last time I checked the smart ones moved their money to Asia and Brazil etc, heck even the hedge funds are buying up junk bonds in Europe over US Treasuries.

  36. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    btw the economy is turning big time, went to long beach the other day, they opened a brand new tremendous restaurant in Island Park on water right before Long Beach bridge called Pops, damm thing is huge, maybe holds a 1,000 people. Well I did not see a single ad for club anywhere, no discounts, place is charging full price and there was a two hour wait for a table.

    you can’t open a 1,000 seat restaurant operating at full capacity 7 days a week for lunch and dinner with no advertising and no discounts and call it a recession.Other friend who went there without reservations left and hit one or two other places till she found a place in Long Beach with a short wait. Another place I drove by at 7pm on a Tuesday had cop cars directing traffic it was so crowded for dinner, brand new Rolls, Porsches, Ferraris all over lot. People with brand new 5 series and E classes had to park in the street a block away as they did not want that junk on their property.

    Recession is long over. People just can’t get over, Housing is still dead and Unemployment is still high. Fact of matter is the 9% unemployed are unemployable and your 800K cape will never be worth 800K again. Get over it. .

  37. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh (Apiarist Edition):

    ISLAND PARK, Idaho (AP) — Cleanup crews in Idaho have finished clearing honey and an estimated 14 million bees that got loose after a delivery truck overturned on a highway.

    Fremont County Sheriff deputies say several workers were stung during the first few hours of the cleanup Sunday.

    And some observers told The Post-Register about seeing a strange black cloud and roaring noise above the spill area before realizing it was a massive swarm of bees.

    Authorities say a truck was hauling the bees from California to North Dakota when the driver veered off the shoulder, tipping more than 400 hive boxes and honey.

    Crews worked all day Monday before removing all the honey from the roadway, though deputies say a significant amount of bees were still buzzing.

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Forget shiny. Got Light Bulbs?

    “The coming standards have caused a run on traditional incandescent bulbs in some home improvement stores, with some consumers stockpiling them before the standards go into effect. ”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20078925-503544.html

    FWIW, I don’t think that most incandescent bulbs will go away, but some higher wattage ones likely will. That is why I stocked up years ago on incandescents, particularly higher wattages. I did not stock up on specialty bulbs—I don’t think that outdoor floods or candle-shaped bulbs will be affected.

    Also, I would really like to use more energy efficient bulbs like CFLs and others, but I have a house full of dimmer switches, and the cost for dimmable alternative bulbs are still pretty high. So my stock of incandescents is more of a bridge measure to the days when the costs come down.

  39. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    QE1 and QE2 both worked, risk trade on, stocks up, bonds up and interest rates down.

    Trickle down takes time. Those valet and bus boys right now are cashing out. It is trickling down!!

  40. Mikeinwaiting says:

    29/31 Fabius , you walked right into this one “No, I am looking to skip out without paying YOUR tab.” It came into my head without even thinking about it. It is a tough sell to say we are going to take your hard earned money & give it to people who don’t do anything.

  41. 3b says:

    #39 JJ It helped the stock market, and nothing else. I don’t know how you can say it worked.

  42. 3b says:

    #36 If housing is dead (which it is), and unemployment is still high, (also true),than tthe recession is far from being over. And if it is over as you say,than there would be no need for QE3.

  43. 3b says:

    #35 Juice: Ben is delusional. History teaces that inflation destroys an economy; it does not help it. In yesterday’s release of the June minutes, it appeared that the Fed really had no idea what was going on with the economy, including the bearded one. And today he is talking about more stimulus.

  44. homeboken says:

    3b – Once again, you trying to use facts when arguing with JJ, he doesn’t think that way. His world view is limited to what is 4 feet in front of his face. A crowded resturant, a rolls rocye, and the S&P green = no recession to him.

    National unemployment at 9.2%, U-6 unemployment > 15%, 1 out of 4 americans on food stamps, food and energy inflating rapidly, stagnant wages etc. these things do not interest a man that just saw a bunch of overpaid WS hacks waiting an hour for an overpriced steak.

  45. homeboken says:

    Correction – 1 out of 9 americans on food stamps,

  46. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    “Correction – 1 out of 9 americans on food stamps”

    Give it time, your 1 our of 4 will come true

  47. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Stocks are liquid. A rising stock market is good for spending. My home going up in value 100K is meaningless. However, if I had some stock vest that is now up 100K out of the blue I may spend some of that money on dinners, broadway, sports, vacations, appliances etc. It is real cash. When people from March 2009 till today see their 401ks, 529s and broker accounts rise on average 10K a month for almost 2.5k years that gives them confidence. Problem is in last crash people realized how little they saved. They are not pulling out profits and spending as much as Ben would like. Plus old folks with cds where they rolled over from 5% to 1% were supposed to spend the cash or reinvest in stocks, bonds or housing. Instead they let their money rot at zero to 1%, that also was unexpected. We have kept rates near zero for longest time ever and grannie and gramps refuse to do something with their money.

    It is a bull market baby. My brothers county club has prices back to 2007 levels and another club with a 300K fee to join has a list several years long with people trying to jump the list by offering to pay double. Hamptons are packed. BMWs and Mercedes selling like hot cakes. People are spending just not on houses. Employers figured out they can run their company on 91% of workers so why hire back that 9% they laid off. That is not to say their business is doing bad just they dont need the people.

    3b says:
    July 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

    #39 JJ It helped the stock market, and nothing else. I don’t know how you can say it worked.

  48. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Food Stamps don’t exist

  49. 3b says:

    #48 If you say so.

  50. 3b says:

    #45/46 True. And for every job opening that there are 5 applicants. And lets not forget all the college kids out there floundering around for a job, and all the student loan debt they have. In the world of JJ all is well.

    And the street is laying off again, but JJ conveniently ignores it. Oh and of course there is Europe.

  51. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    I just love how some people are all for raising taxes on “those who can afford it,” while 1) ignoring the work and effort that went into achieving the earnings and 2) protesting that a single tax rate would be unfair as the level of govetnment spending would cause low earners’ rates to increase.

  52. ditto says:

    shoreguy – what it amounts to is raising taxes on “anyone earning more than me”.

  53. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    It is true they are now some type of debit card that looks no different from a credit card. Gone are the days of using the stamps. I remember years ago in Forest Hills Queens laughing as the elderly jewish folk all pulled up in their Mercedes and their jewels and minks using food stamps. Plus people relatively well of can get food stamps if they have a few kids. It is based on a scale where only super dirt poor get them for free. The richer people pay for food stamps, something like you can buy $100 for $70. I qualified for food stamps pretty much from birth till 23. Never used them. You can make 44k and get food stamps.

    3b says:
    July 13, 2011 at 11:50 am

    #48 If you say so.

  54. Shore Guy says:

    ditto,

    Yup! I for one have no problem paying more thaxes than most, I just don’t feel that it is productive to carve out different rates. It makes it easy for many people to ignore inefficient or outright wasteful government spending because some other people are picking up the tab.

  55. Shore Guy says:

    Hey, John. Here is a little something for you:

    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/30-days-to-a-better-husband-2505408/

  56. Shore Guy says:

    ditto,

    Have you ever been out to dinner with a group of people and someone at the table has many drinks, an appetizer or two, a coup[le of sides, an expensive main course, dessert, and an after-dinner drink, whereas everyone else has normal or small means and the glutton is all for splitting things evenly. Which is fine as far as it goes but, it always seems that the people who do that insist on seperate checks when they have a smaller meal than everyone else.

  57. Confused In NJ says:

    Interesting, Bernanke discussing additional stimulus at a time when Debt Ceiling will cause massive US Default? He evidently has separate money. The US is broke but not Ben?

  58. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    I wouldn’t mind paying more in taxes if there were real spending cuts but that will never happen.

  59. Shore Guy says:

    Ben doesn’t need credit, he has printing presses. No, even better, he has Excel and can just add zeros.

  60. A.West says:

    JJ,
    From what I’ve heard, people who lived through the depression with good jobs said it wasn’t that bad. The problem was the low percentage of the population in that position.

    Shore,
    I’d be willing to pay 10% higher tax rates if 1) it was constitutionally guaranteed that the government could never take any more than that from me by any means whatsoever, and guaranteeing absolute protection of property rights on the remaining half of my income and property, inclusive of all government fees/programs/and stealth transfer mechanisms, 2) the government explicitly characterizes all said incremental taxes from me in official budget documents and presentations hereafter as “taxes on productive individuals”, and all said incremental expenditures as “alms for unproductive leeches who live off the economic value created by others,” and 3) Paul Krugman is dropped into a pool of molten gold.

    Otherwise, taxes are never high enough for the redistributionists. For them, when they’re 30%, they should be 40%, when they’re 40% they should be 50%, and so forth. What they really want is for everyone to kneel to them – the rich to kneel and pay, the poor to receive their “generosity,” as if they were the ones who made it possible.

  61. Al Mossberg says:

    Miners up big today. Accumulation underway. Thankfully I stayed 50% in. Might be time to add.

  62. Shore Guy says:

    HeHe,

    Look at the current situation, even with the proverbial gun to our heads, we can’t get agreement to cut spending in any meaningful way. Even the $4T that was on the table was over 10 years and was a cut in increased spending. If, under the current threat of default, we cannot agree to toss overboard every last program, department, agency, or office that is not essential to a functioning government, we are unlikely to ever do so ifg we allow government to have additional revenues in the form of increased taxes.

    I submit that we must first cut to the bone, including good programs. Then, or in conjunction with the cuts, likely a political quid pro quo, we reform the tax code to eliminate “tax expenditures,” which try to doo good things for the economy but just distort things in the long run and never seem to die. If, after doing all of this, there is still some gap, I would not protest raising taxes; however, raising taxes now will only prompt congress to “save” this program, or that agency.

  63. Dink says:

    Posting this because its a good example of government waste. Also because I’m shocked that Stu was not all over this!

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/07/13/137795995/how-frequent-fliers-exploit-a-government-program-to-get-free-trips

  64. sas3 says:

    Shore, you were for 3/1 ratio of cuts to taxes. Now you are against it? The congress won’t even cut subsidies for oil companies, let alone defense. It will take a lot of NPRs and Planned Parenthood funds to make up for a drop in the ocean.

  65. Shore Guy says:

    AW,

    It sucks to be a kulak whern the proletariat has congress bending over backwards to throw money at those who “deserve” it more than the people who earned it in the first place.

  66. Shore Guy says:

    “Shore, you were for 3/1 ratio of cuts to taxes”

    IO will take it, I am not for it and I am totally against raising marginal tax rates on wages, royalties, partners’ distributions, and other such earned income. In fact, those rates should come down and lower rates should come up so we all pay the same, including cap gains.

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    One of the big problems with the Empty Suit in Chief’s approach is that taxes go up now and spending cuts largely happen after 2016. Call me cynical, you will not be the first, but, something tells me most of the cuts will never happen.

  68. Shore Guy says:

    Off to feed the tax monster.

  69. toomuchchange says:

    52 – Shore Guy

    You feel targeted and naturally don’t like that.

    But look, the average and lower people on the totem pole have been doing worse economically for years, even when the economy as a whole was doing well. These days almost all of the financial rewards of increased productivity only go to business owners and stockholders and not to workers.

    We can’t lay off millions of working class and middle class people, give the remaining ones no raises in bad times and in good times raises that that are less than the rate of inflation, increase workers’ healthcare costs and/or reduce coverage every year and expect them to keep on paying the same amount of taxes they did years ago.

    The higher wage earners will have to pay more if we continue on the road we’re on, where the richer are indeed getting richer and the nonrich are getting less and less of the American financial pie. I don’t see anyway around that. It’s a road that will lead to third world conditions here and a large amount of social unrest. We should get off it as soon as possible.

  70. sas3 says:

    Shore #63…

    There is no proverbial gun to our heads (at least the debt ceiling raise). It is just that the GOP is putting the gun to US and saying kill some old people and make some unemployed people starve or else we will make you default. After raising the ceiling so many times, this is the first time they make a big deal out of it, and what a big deal they have been making. The solution is simply to raise debt ceiling — if you have a credit line and you are facing an imminent default, it is common sense to make use of the credit line (of course, within reason).

    On the other hand, there is a proverbial iceberg (overwhelming debt) waiting ahead of us and we are going full steam towards it. There’s no solution in sight.

  71. Al Mossberg says:

    LMFAO! Watch the good Dr. Paul interogate the Bernank on gold.

    “ron paul just asked the bernank if he thought gold was money. The bernank almost swallows his tongue, stares blankly for a few seconds and then says, “no.”

    paul then asks why banks hold gold on their balance sheet? why not diamonds? the bernank says, “tradition, I suppose.” so let me get this straight, banks hold billions of dollars of an asset that pays no interest or dividends on their balance sheet for reasons of “tradition”. nothing to do with anything else, just tradition. uh, yea. that must be it.

    classic! the bernank just revealed his fundamental adherence to fiat money and his massive misunderstanding of real money and economics. BUY MORE GOLD AND SILVER immediately if not sooner!!!”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/ben-believes-golds-only-value-due-tradition

  72. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Heck with the great depression. The late 1970s, early 1980s and early 1990s recessions were much worse. This one was a walk in the park.Lots of younger people in work forced graduated in 1993 and after are the ones who thought this was bad.

    I remember recessions so horrible and so frightening deep that on a fourth of July Weekend I was able to get into a Boardy Barn happy hour with under a 15 minute wait.

  73. sas3 says:

    Shore, these guys can’t even close the hedge fund loophole… I think they are very good at their job just like “expert consultants”: there is more money in prolonging the problem and suggesting “innovations” (read expensive solutions) rather than simply fixing the problem. It looks like the dems and repubs team up strongly only to fight the general public on issues such as mega corp subsidies and tax loop holes.

    Re, the 3/1 ratio — I remember you mentioning exactly that ratio a while ago. Granted, the term “spending cuts” can mean anything just like an “80% off sale”, while the tax increases are very specific.

  74. gary says:

    This administration is a f*cking disaster. Let’s see who gets the checks and who doesn’t according to the Keynesian Messiah. If it’s in his interest, you’ll get a check. This f*ck is so negative, that it reeks… not a positve, optimistic message to be found from this bullsh1t artist.

  75. 3b says:

    #73 JJ from an unemployment stand point this recession is worse than the ones you mention. 2 plus years into the so called recovery and we have an official UE rate of over 9%. In addition in those past recessions th country in people in general i would argue were in far better financial shape than now

  76. sas3 says:

    gary, if the debt ceiling is raised with no conditions, all checks would be sent — or, if a white man were president, this blackmail would not have occurred! Your guys are running the show on the blackmail.

    Looks like you are peering into the future, assuming that your guys successfully blackmail the US, speculating how the chips (or checks) fall in that scenario, and complaining.

  77. homeboken says:

    3B 76 – You don’t get it, the super rich crowd that hangs out in the Hamptons are spending like crazy, ergo, no recession.

  78. homeboken says:

    Sas says – The solution is simply to raise debt ceiling — if you have a credit line and you are facing an imminent default, it is common sense to make use of the credit line (of course, within reason).

    Define within reason? I think it has become clear to those whose jobs rely on getting votes, that not addressing spending now will force them out of office next election season. So, that is why there is no rubber stamp increase occuring this time around. Frankly, I agree with the G0P strategy. They need to hold the Pres’ feet to the fire here and demand spending cuts be enacted prior to, or at least in conjunction with any tax increase discussions.

    History will remember the President that was in office during the first US debt default, not the congress that was in session. Having said that, both sides need to back away from their original negotiating posistion and be willing to compromise, yet it appears neither is willing to do it, so long as they beleive they can break the back of their counterpart.

  79. Al Mossberg says:

    The debt ceiling will be raised. Who cares? The fiat currencies are all going to go away. Everything in DC is political theatre. Ignore it.

  80. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Unemployment in 1982 and 1983 was 10%, in 1975 it was 9%.

    In 1966, 40 of American women were in the workforce and this rose to 51 percent in 1979, 60 percent in 1998 and today 72 percent of women work.

    Mind you I am not talking Moms with kids I am talking all women with those stats. If you notice the 1975 9% unemployment is a lot higher than it appears as only around 45% of women worked. Time travel to 2011 unemployment overall is still 9% for men but employment of women increased from around 45% to 72%. Which means 27% more people have jobs in 2011 than in the 1975 recession.

    Also in the 1975 and 1983 recessions a married man with kids at home did not have a spouse in the work force. The man was the sold breadwinner. A lay-off was a disaster. Flash forward today people have working spouses. Lets play odds straight up, you have a 9% chance of losing your job, but wait my spouse also has a 9% chance of getting laid off. If both get laid off at same time you better fly to vegas those are long odds. Also back in 1975 and 1982 were days of the one car household, no cable, small cape, clipping coupons, no child car, no maid, no lawn service. There was not a lot of fat in a budget. Fast forward today, Dad gets laid off Mom still works, it is like lets cut back on vacations, turn in one of the leased car, dinners out, nanny, manicures, starbucks, netfilx, maid and/or lawn service. Today dual income couples have a huge amount of fat in their budget.

    If you go back in time a married man with kids did not have the safety net of a working spouse.
    I recall Dad’s firm went on strike when I was little. We were living in a two bedroom apartment, with four kids, a car that blew smoke that was old as the hills and I wore hand me downs. Dad goes time to cut the fat. Well all he had was food and there went meat and I went out and got a job and I was 7! Walked neighbors dog for a quarter twice a day and chipped in. How can you compare that to today where Mcdonalds coffee sales are up as people are cutting the fat by skipping starbucks.

    3b says:
    July 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    #73 JJ from an unemployment stand point this recession is worse than the ones you mention. 2 plus years into the so called recovery and we have an official UE rate of over 9%. In addition in those past recessions th country in people in general i would argue were in far better financial shape than now

  81. Juice Box says:

    re: #79 – re: “History will remember the President that was in office during the first US debt default”

    Homeboken read up on your history this isn’t the first or the last. In the last 80 years we defaulted in 1933 when the US issued an intentional repudiation of its obligations, supported by a resolution of Congress and later upheld by the Supreme Court. We did it again in 1971 during the Nixon shock when we were running the printing presses full steam ahead to cover over our deficit and a trade deficit. This time it was a presidential order to refuse an exchange dollars for gold, countries like Switzerland withdrew from Breton Woods because of it.

  82. 3b says:

    #78 I guess so. funny thing though. One minute JJ is talking about hanging in the Hampton’s, and the next minute he is talking about his above ground pool pump in his oh so blue collar Long island town. I wonder how the Hampton’s crowd takes him seriously.

  83. Juice Box says:

    JJ – Just 58.2% of American adults are employed,which is somewhere around the 1983 recession low of 57% that is both men and women.

  84. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    It is clear that we just see the world and politics in very different ways. Since my famly has been here since the 1600s and have fought and died for it from the beginning, I take great umbrage at policies that threaten to destroy this nation.

  85. House Whine says:

    70 – thank you, thank you. I couldn’t have said it any better. Workers are being treated so poorly, in my opinion. Maybe not the big shots or those in established positions in solid companies but believe me, the general workforce out there does not have it great. No raises, no 401K’s. and no respect from employers. If this goes on year after year the workers keep falling behind. You could say, well go find another job but the problem is this is really hard to do right now. And the other job isn’t usually any better than the one you left. Maybe everything is rosy if you are the boss or you are on Wall Street but here amongst the rest of us it’s very stressful.

  86. 3b says:

    #81 Too much there for me to challenge some of your assumptions. But 1970’s dad sole breadwinner loses his job on a house that was 30 or 40K with property taxes well under $1000 a year. Fast forward to today, same simple house that before the bubble burst may have cost 400 to 500K and property taxed of 12k or more a year. Dad loses his job, but still has working spouse, only now it takes the 2 incomes for that same house.

  87. Shore Guy says:

    2much,

    What I dislike is people wanting what is in my pocket (in greater percent) than they think they should pay. Hey, I grew up poor, not dirt floor and outhouse, but poor. I have lived in a house with no heat in winter and gone to bed hungry. I am all for offering folks a hand up. I just do not believe that my last dollar earned should be taxed more than anyone elses.

    Frankly, for five-figures a month in taxes we should be cutting some things before asking me to kick in any greater percentage.

  88. Anon E. Moose says:

    US Women are through to the finals!

    FRA:USA 1:3(0:1)

  89. BC Bob says:

    3b [76],

    Why waste your time with that simpleton? Granted, if you are front running the fed, long commodities or robbing the treasury, you are having a field day. Come to think of it, blood sucking zombies are also fine. However, any dodo is aware that the real unemployment rate is north of 20%, not 9%. A monkey could pull up a chart of Philly Fed, ISM, Empire State, consumer confidence, etc., and come to the conclusion that we are in unchartered waters.

    Also, one must be a bird brain to compare this bust to recent, past recessions. How does one compare a structural blow out to a cyclical recession? This is no slowing down of a business cycle or an inventory slow-down. This is an old fashioned credit bust, a once in a lifetime, structural, event.

    Even Bernank was trembling today, already hinting at QE3. He realizes that after $5 Trillion, the dog has no bark. A great sign of confidence, no?

    Presently, more Mexicans are sneaking across the Rio Grande, going back home than coming to the US. I guess all the quant jobs are filled?

    One question nobody asked Bernank today; Got demand?

  90. gary says:

    Bob,

    In other words: Stimulate? Stimulate who?

  91. gary says:

    Yes… We… Can. LMAO!!

  92. nj escapee says:

    In 2013 if we continue with divided gubmint, the bush tax cuts will expire and at least 25% of the forecasted deficits will disappear. Additional gdp growth / inflation will also contribute to lower the deficit.

  93. 3b says:

    #90 BC Welcoem back. Simpleton. Nothing else needs to be said.

    Oh and I thought the Fed minutes from June were frightening, in the complete apparent cluelessness of all of them.

  94. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    I had a Hamptons share house from 1986 to 1996. I was on the lease for 11 years. I stopped going there regularly way back. I did stay out there two or three times since but it is like going to an all you can eat buffet while on a diet if you go out there with the wife and kids. Plus out East unless you are young and hot or over 40 and filthy rich what is the point. People throw house parties that cost 100K now. Back when I went even well off folks did not do that. Over the years I had a house three doors down from Steven Spielburg, got drunk with John Roland of Fox Five News, helped Chuck Scalboro find his SUV when he was drunk as a skunk, sat by Paul Newman at Hampton Classic, by Naomi Campbell at Mercedes Benz Polo Match, Hung out with the brunette girl who played John Stamos wife on Full house, dated a model, actress, Solmon Brothers Investment Banker. At its peak had a house party with well over 1,000 attendees at one time, served almost 10,000 drinks and went to 100’s of parties. Heck I drove a car out there once with an engine that was about to blow rather than wait till morning to get it fixed and the damm engine did blow around exit 54 of LIE, driver was shocked when I had him tow me to the Hampton house instead of the nearest gas station. I had a party to get too!! Once I even invited John Gottis neice out for the weekend and I was driving around in my jeep wrangler top down doors off with his neice in a bikini next to me playing NWA on 500 watt speakers. Jersey Shore came 20 years too late for me.

    I do live in a very blue collar neighborhood. Bought house when I switched careers and wife was pregant and considering I spent every cent I made in the 1980s and 1990s, did not have savings.when I married it was best I could do. The value of my house today is pretty much meaningless to me. But ten years ago it was a fortune to buy and mortgage was 50% of my income. Wife recalls those days and trade up houses scares her. Not being able to eat a bagel unless you have a coupon and buying 1/2 a tank of gas at a time and duct taping your hoses is not fun. Heck I could not afford to change locks on house so I just took front door lock and put it on back and back door lock on front and hope that was enough.

    BTW my above ground pool pump switch broke but screw the neighbor I will plug it in and out to get it to work. Winning DUH, btw the really really rich are really really cheap. I once dated a really really really really rich girl. I helped her move back home and we needed a big car. I had an old station car a 1969 plymouth with a dent in the side that was already 20 years old. I pull up to the three million dollar home (1991 value), in jeans and sweatshirt with her following me in her small car. We unloaded the boat load of stuff in that Plymouth and I made a second trip. with another boatload of stuff. Her Mom says I will make you dinner for helping my daughter and they start talking about movies and she goes there is a new one playing in town she goes I will treat you, she insists, so dirty jeans and sweatshirt with GF in Dirty Jeans and sweatshirt we go to leave, Mom goes lets take your car, my husband had one like it when we first got married and lived in Queens, so here I am driving the super rich in a $5oo dollar car. It is the damm not so rich that drives me nuts. The 2-3 super rich girls were cool. Heck I even went to a girls party in Sands Point whose dad was CEO of Time Warner in a 67 Pontiac, also a dent!! and he was cool too. So bottom line the rich love us hard working blue collar guys. They hate stuck up dual income Bergan County couples with leased BMWs and Atlantis vacations pretending they are rich. I keep it real and I have street cred.

    3b says:
    July 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    #78 I guess so. funny thing though. One minute JJ is talking about hanging in the Hampton’s, and the next minute he is talking about his above ground pool pump in his oh so blue collar Long island town. I wonder how the Hampton’s crowd takes him seriously.

  95. Al Mossberg says:

    93,

    Escapee,

    Thats painting lipstick on a pig. What the western world will experience is a financial crash on an epic scale and as a result of that the greatest wealth transfer in history. This crash will be followed by war so you can forget about Bush tax cuts erasing 25% of the deficit.

    Most of America will be destitute and lost most of what they earned over their lifetimes. Once destiture they will beg for world g_v.

    Never trust g_v with anything especially your retirement. In addition, be smart enough to keep your kids out of the next war as well. Theres nothing patriotic about sending your kid off to some orchestrated war to get his guts spilled out while screaming for his mama.

    Its all over except the crying now. Book it.

  96. Bystander says:

    JJ,

    I hear restaurants in DC are doing well even selling multiple $350 bottles of wine. So, recession never happened in NY or Washington. You need to get off the island more. Harken back to your broke@as days that you love to reminisce about. That is daily reality for 60-70 percent of families of four in the US and they have no hope of being bond traders someday.

  97. nj escapee says:

    Al, your points are well taken. I’m just trying to be optimistic. Maybe it’s the Fl Keys sunshine that’s affecting my outlook.

  98. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    True, I stayed at the Hay Adams last time I was there. Highest income around, hard to get a room and harder to get a dinner reservation.
    I don’t even know what a family of four does with all the free time and extra income. If I only had two kids life I guess I would sleep late and count my money. People in my neighborhood growing up were gossiping my mom must be infertile or my father impotent as she only had four kids. She would have had more if she married earlier.

    I spend less than 99% of my neighborhood. When I open hood of my car to fix something or do a home repair. the lazy folks on my block look at me like I just discovered nuclear fushion. Neighbor who is unemployed since 2002 has maid service and lawn service. I know what his wife does and it is crazy.

    Bystander says:
    July 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    JJ,

    I hear restaurants in DC are doing well even selling multiple $350 bottles of wine. So, recession never happened in NY or Washington. You need to get off the island more. Harken back to your broke@as days that you love to reminisce about. That is daily reality for 60-70 percent of families of four in the US and they have no hope of being bond traders someday.

  99. Bystander says:

    Off topic – stepping into my first slr camera. This deals seems insane. Anyone own a Canon Rebel T3? Amazon has following deal:

    – Canon T3 with 18-55mm lens $549
    – Add Canon EF-S 55-250 telephoto zoom lens for $199 and get $150 off order.
    – Get free Tiffen UV filter -$12
    -Add Canon Promark 9000 photo printer for $419 and get $400 Amex card.
    – Total cost for everything in $600.
    Screaming deal, right? Toshiro around?

  100. Fabius Maximus says:

    #31 Nom

    We’ve had the discussion before and I pay my own tab, but have on occasion been comp’ed by the house which is a different discussion.

    “Why is it that I cannot afford to expatriate?” Only you can answer that. You can get on a flight from EWR tonight and start naturalization procedures tomorrow. While you wont get the 3 year fast track of the HNW individual, you should get there in 5-8 years. I would say if you want to know how, go ask a tax professional. As usual on this whole issue, you are floating into Eddie Ray Khan territory.

    As for the level of rich, n the UK and most of Europe, you are looking at rich kicking in at around $70 and super rich at $300K. So in the US, you are actually better off.

  101. Nicholas says:

    Recession happened here in MD/DC and is still happening. The real issue that I think that you all are identifying is that the recovery is really bi-modal. The rich have recovered or never even felt the recession and are looking around saying “what is the big deal” when the working class has been struggling under years of unemployment.

    If they are working salaries have been reduced 50% or more, that or they are only working half as much. Employment with a catch.

    I didn’t lose my job during the downturn and I’m making more cash then ever. So yeah, I’m among the crowd that says “what recession” but that doesn’t mean I turn a blind eye to those who are struggling.

  102. Juice Box says:

    QE3 untested methods to stimulate growth as elucidated in his Bernake’s NOv 2002 speech, “Deflation: Making Sure “It” Doesn’t Happen Here”

    “Of course, in lieu of tax cuts or increases in transfers the government could increase spending on current goods and services or even acquire existing real or financial assets. If the Treasury issued debt to purchase private assets and the Fed then purchased an equal amount of Treasury debt with newly created money, the whole operation would be the economic equivalent of direct open-market operations in private assets. “

  103. stan says:

    Boardy barn. Man. I love that place. Wild wild place, def not the ‘Hamptons’ tho. Hampton doesn’t start until jobs lane.

  104. Shore Guy says:

    NJE,

    At the rate we are adding more debt, by the time 2013 comes around any extra income will just go to paying off our increased borrowing costs; none of it will be available for paying down the debt. I have no illusions about the problem we face; however, I believe that many in DC and on Main Street have yet to see the light.

    A family who is up to its neck in debt and whose income cannot cover the current spending must cut back. While the piano lessons, vacations, etc. may be good for everyone, if one cannot afford to pay the electric bill, even those good things must end. I believe that government is at the point where cutting waste is no longer enough to solve the problem; we must start cutting even good programs if we are going to avoid disaster. Put another way, when on a sinking boat, one tosses everything overboard in an effort to slow the sinking long enough to allow the pumps to keep the boat afloat. Our governmental pumps cannot keep us afloat unless we lighten the spending load.

    Now get back to oogling bikinis.

  105. Shadow Of John says:

    “painting lipstick on a pig.”

    Garters and fishnets to?

  106. Shore Guy says:

    “increases in transfers”

    Here is a concept, let those who earn money spend it on what they fing valuable and help those who do not earn money learn skills necessary to earn. Those who refuse to learn skills and make some contribution to society, well, they are then on their own.

  107. Shore Guy says:

    Vee haf vays:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303678704576440253307985070.html

    Dozens of law-enforcement agencies from Massachusetts to Arizona are preparing to outfit their forces with controversial hand-held facial-recognition devices as soon as September, raising significant questions about privacy and civil liberties.

    With the device, which attaches to an iPhone, an officer can snap a picture of a face from up to five feet away, or scan a person’s irises from up to six inches away, and do an immediate search to see if there is a match with a database of people with criminal records. The gadget also collects fingerprints.

    snip

  108. Shore Guy says:

    I would hate to be someone who has ever posted or had posted a compromising photo online. At some point, some enterprizing geek will find a way of linking every online face photo to the name and current address of the person in the photo.

  109. Anon E. Moose says:

    $22 Billion Housing Tax Credit Program Utterly Failed as Economic Policy

    This paper finds that (1) the home buyer tax credits had an insignificant effect on the number of homes sold, (2) sellers in markets with low and stable prices captured most of the credit, and (3) The effects of the credits sharply reversed after expiration. … Rather than igniting ‘animal spirits’ or pulling housing demand forward from the distant future, the tax incentives were a simple redistribution of wealth.

    Lets review:

    $22 Billion
    Utterly failed…
    insignificant effect on number of homes sold…
    low prices got the sales…
    effects evaporated when the credit expired…

    We’re in the best of hands.

  110. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [99];

    nuclear fushion

    You cleared the hurdle then tripped on the pebble. ;-)

  111. nj escapee says:

    If you gloom and doomers are right about the future, why even bother to have a nompound or gold. We’re all doomed anyway so have a little cyanide with your pinot noir and as clot always reminds us to breathe in the smell of death or is that doom. I say the rent is to damn high!!

  112. 3b says:

    #97 All the big boys on the street are laying off again, and in the big money big bonus areas of the frim.

  113. homeboken (45)-

    Anyone who thinks the WS set all have it made in the shade should take a trip over to Liberty Harbor in JC. Place looks like Sarajevo during the ethnic cleansing. Lots of young, master of the universe types very nervously walking their dogs and doing the swivel-head act.

  114. 3b says:

    #76 JJ I agree with you on that. The really rich for the msot part are down to earth nice people. Is is the wannabes that drive me crazy.

    One of them told me they have to co-sign for their kids studenet loans, who knew. I just write the check. Starting to sound like you now JJ.

  115. Only stores in Liberty Harbor are a beer garden (which I hear is a magnet for drunks) and a fruit joint that cuts it all up to look like flowers.

  116. 3b says:

    #15 Sorry JJ 15 was in response to your post at 95.

  117. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Where’d that market pop go?

  118. Nicholas says:

    I asked my mother for money to go to college…

    Her response was “is 20$ enough to get there?”. She thought I needed gas money.

    That was a low point in my life when I realized that I would have to scrape for everything I would get in this world.

  119. al (72)-

    Just priceless. The chairman of the Fed is a 64-IQ chimpanzee.

    Excuse me…I am absolutely certain that there are 2,000-3,000 chimps in captivity that could run the Fed better than this certified cretin.

    If I roll up on a Bentley or Lotus dealership with a truck full of assayed bullion, I will be able to trade some of that bullion and drive away with a car. Same for a Swiss watch, Brioni suit, a nice piece of real estate, dinner for four at Per Se, a yacht or two bags of groceries at a bodega in N. Bergen.

    Tell me that gold isn’t money after I pull off those transactions, dumbass Bergabe.

  120. Roll up on some stores and eateries in Paris or Milan with a truckload of gold.

    You’ll have your way.

  121. gary (75)-

    Just to be fair, there’s nothing about which to be positive or optimistic.

    Unless you have a basement full of shiny and plenty of firepower.

  122. Whatever the worst case scenario is…that is what will come to pass.

    This is all you need to know about life in Amerika right now.

  123. JJ (81)-

    Thanks for giving me my new handle.

    “Well all he had was food and there went meat…”

  124. shore (85)-

    Sastry is from a place that makes our gubmint look good by comparison.

    Sastry also believes that gubmint is capable of acting in a responsible manner.

    Sastry does not believe that our gubmint operates on an addiction paradigm, whereby it is succumbing to the ratchet effect of needing more and more money in order to produce smaller and shorter stimulative “highs”.

    Sastry is about to be proved very, very wrong.

  125. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh (Statutory Rape Edition):

    R. Kelly Hasn’t Been Paying the Mortgage on His Massive Mansion

    If R. Kelly can remember the lyrics to all 22 chapters of “Trapped in the Closet,” could he have conceivably forgotten to pay the mortgage on his home? According to a legal complaint filed last month in a Chicago court (via Crain’s Chicago Business), the R&B singer (born Robert Kelly) hasn’t made a monthly payment since June 2010 on the 11,140-square-foot mansion he built 11 years ago. J. P. Morgan Chase Bank has filed a $2.9 million foreclosure suit for Kelly’s failure to pony up on the original $3.5 million loan, which was issued in 1999. .

    A source tells Crain’s Kelly stopped living in the Maros Lane mansion in Olympia Fields, Illinois, a year ago and halted payments intentionally to encourage the bank to renegotiate the terms of the loan. If so, that plan didn’t work out so well. Quoting an Assessor estimate, Crain’s reports the gated home — which includes a lot of bathrooms (six full, seven half-baths) — was valued at a high of $5.2 million 2009, but a year later it was only worth $3.8 million. The balance on the loan is $2.9 million, excluding interest and other charges. .

    Kelly’s rep hasn’t issued an official statement about the mortgage, but told the Associated Press the singer isn’t in financial trouble. .

    So where’s Kelly’s cash going, if not to repaying his home loan? Most likely to his lawyers: Kelly has been in almost perpetual legal trouble since 1996, when he got into a fight on a health club basketball court and was booked on battery charges. Later that year, he was sued by a woman who claimed they had a sexual relationship when she was a minor; they settled out of court in 1998. In 2001, Kelly was sued by another woman making a similar allegation, and they, too, settled out of court. The same pattern repeated twice more in 2002, when Kelly was slapped with another pair of suits. In June of that year, he was indicted on 21 counts of making child p0rnography in Chicago and arrested hours later in Florida on 12 additional counts. The Florida case was quickly dropped and Kelly stood trial in Chicago six years after his original arrest (he was found not guilty on the remaining 14 charges he faced). .

    His business affairs have often turned litigious, too. A joint Best of Both Worlds Tour with Jay-Z ended prematurely in 2004 and the two artists sued and countersued each other almost comically multiple times. In 2006, Kelly was sued by a man claiming to be a friend and mentor who fought with the singer at a party in his Maros Lane home. Two years later, Ne-Yo sued a tour promoter for supposedly booting him from a trek because he was upstaging the headliner, Kelly, who was not named in the suit personally (Ne-Yo eventually won $700,000). And just last month, Kelly’s former managers sued him for $1 million for allegedly defaulting on payments because he needed the money for other reasons, namely “to ‘pay off’ various individuals threatening to expose alleged illicit, embarrassing and unlawful conduct by Kelly, including sexual misconduct.”.

    Despite his myriad legal dramas, Kelly has continued to release music and tour, though his album sales have slipped as the music industry continues to decline. His last album to go platinum — sell a million copies — was 2007’s Double Up, featuring the hit single “I’m a Flirt.” His 2009 disc Untitled failed to go gold (sell 500,000 copies), but he rebounded with 2010’s Love Letter, which has gone gold and remains on Billboard’s Top 200 seven months after its release. His Love Letter Tour, which began in June, wraps tomorrow in Tennessee.

  126. I am going to write a screenplay based on jj, win an Oscar and move to Chile.

    Right after I finish this quart of Everclear.

  127. 3b says:

    #18 Market popped, (IMO) because the bearded one said more stimulus on the way. Then the market paused and thought about it, and said wait a minute if there is more stimulus on the way, then we are not in recovery., and things are bad. I mean after all the Fed ended QE 2 barely two weeks ago, and barely 2 weeks later Bernanke is talking about round 3.

    Take that along with June’s Fe minutes and perhaps the market realized that all is not well.

  128. Fabius Maximus says:

    #57 Shore

    Yea,those cheap Bstards that doesn’t like to pay their fair share and probably b1tch about paying taxes. If there are individual checks then everyone at the table are eating within their means and paying their own way. It you are on a limited disposable income you can only order what you can aford to pay for. It is only those who have a higher disposable income that can aford Chateaubriend who can try and get it for the same price as a soup and a salad the others had.

  129. 2011 is 2010, all over. Those ZH guys were right.

    Last year, we got the deflation scare at just this time. Then, we got QE2 at Jackson Hole.

    Bet we get QE3 (or rate capping) at Jackson Hole this year.

  130. chicagofinance says:

    That “beer garden” is a fun place. Your description may not be wrong, but since I don’t have to live there, I needn’t be concerned about serial 2AM scrums…..
    http://www.zeppelinhall.com/

    Hobo With a Shotgun says:
    July 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm
    Only stores in Liberty Harbor are a beer garden (which I hear is a magnet for drunks) and a fruit joint that cuts it all up to look like flowers.

  131. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    That creepy big bouncer Dave who owns the place is a camera nut, takes pictures pretty much all the time since the 1980s. Had them posted online at the Boardy Barn site, you may catch a picture of you drunk and covered in beer.

    Back in the day it was Neptunes, Boardy Barn, CPI ,Eds Bay Pub then at 4:15 am Johns Pizza or or the Hampton Bay diner before passing out in the car for two hours and back to beach.

    stan says:
    July 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Boardy barn. Man. I love that place. Wild wild place, def not the ‘Hamptons’ tho. Hampton doesn’t start until jobs lane.

  132. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/boardybarnpics/5222011NewMoreOnTueHadToGetMyDaughterHome#slideshow/5610366759749715090

    just curious how many on this site at one time in their youth went to Boardy Barn? It is open 40 years so should be most.

  133. Fabius Maximus says:

    #32 Nom
    My effective tax rate is at least 8 percentage points higher than Warren Buffett’s and Obama’s

    So how will that work this year with Nom LLC. What will its tax rate look like vs revenue. After “expenses” salary paid as dividends funneled straight to retirement?

  134. Fabius Maximus says:

    #134 redux

    ” I just do not believe that my last dollar earned should be taxed more than anyone elses.”

    Do you have the same level of outrage with the front six figures of income heading off tax free?

  135. 3b says:

    #33 I was. The only trouble is I don’t remember very much!!!!

  136. cobbler says:

    Top marginal tax rate of 91% existed till 1963.
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/fed_individual_rate_history-20110323.pdf

    Among other things, it allowed the creation of the interstate highway system, Apollo project, and protected our allies from communism via Marshall plan. There is no evidence that it depressed economic activity; at least, this activity had been much more vigorous than it is now with 35% top marginal rate.

    I don’t believe anyone including Krugman is calling for 91% rate. However, taxing say hedge fund profits at 50% (instead of 15%) is unlikely to cause any economic dislocation; I also don’t see, e.g., A.West working less and spending even more time on this board than he does already, as a result of such tax increase.

  137. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [134] fabius

    Nom LLC will not pay a dime in taxes. This is due to normal expenses (equipment expensed under Sec. 179 and normal deductions), and the 401(k) I plan to set up. Of course, this means that I did not get paid a single dime in 2011 from my practice, but I will take that. In fact, Nom LLC should run a loss in 2011, thus offsetting some of the wife’s income too.

  138. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    BTW, Nom LLC has been picking up clients from all sorts of places. Amazingly enough, one guy searched me out on the internet (kinda creepy since he really, really searched and told me what he found), and another was referred by, of all people, someone from my last law firm.

  139. sas3 says:

    Shore,

    “Since my famly has been here since the 1600s and have fought and died for it …”

    Please don’t throw the “I have long history” card so loosely since it may also come with some baggage? If you have to invoke your ancestry to justify your patriotism…

  140. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:
  141. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [137] cobbler

    In point of fact, almost no one paid the 91%. Back then, tax shelters were much better at actually sheltering, and there were all sorts of income-shifting schemes that were legal on their face, or worked if one pushed the envelope. Then there were fringe benefits–Things like housing, meals, cars, and generous pensions were provided to CEOs, all tax free or tax preferred. The result was a lower AGI because of all the tax deferred or tax free “accession to wealth” that the well-heeled got or gave to themselves.

    TRA 86, TEFRA, and a lot of other acts did away with many of these “loopholes”. In the case of TRA 86, loopholes were closed, deductions eliminated, and rates lowered. This is called “broadening the base.” So actual tax bills may not have gone down for many people, and for a good many of the Kulaks, they went up.

    That is just the thumbnail sketch. If I were you, I would not rely on this 91% top rate=economic good times argument. It is a fallacy. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. It ignores all the externalities that really contributed to our Pax Americana. Surprisingly, Chairman O still trots it out when speaking to the faithful. Unfortunately, the vote of the stupid person counts as much as the intelligent, so it is bound to keep working.

    Back in the early 90’s, I theorized that in the next econ boom period, everyone was gonna grab as much as they could before the music stopped cuz once it does, game over. Remains to be seen, and I was off by nearly a decade, but so far, it looks as if my prognosticating was all on point thus far.

  142. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    kinda old, but he makes the same point I make.

    http://cryptogon.com/?p=18827

    FWIW, if the Administration suggests anything formal (other than telling State to slow down on the renunciation appointments) to keep the wealthy on the plantation, I expect a near reverse Mariel boatlift, with the wealthy, especially those nearing or at retirement, fleeing en masse.

  143. Shore Guy says:

    “since it may also come with some baggage?”

    Nope. Given the background of those early settlers , the usual “baggage” was not there. As for, “If you have to invoke your ancestry to justify your patriotism…,” I have to justify nothing, especially not to you. I note my background as context for my disgust.

  144. Anon E. Moose says:

    HEHE [141];

    I heard from a GS contractor who was let go (in a singularly classless way) too.

  145. Shore Guy says:

    “the vote of the stupid person counts as much as the intelligent”

    We seem to be minting the former at a far greater rate than the latter.

  146. Shore Guy says:

    “Moody’s Investors Service announced Wednesday afternoon that it has put the United States’ Aaa bond rating under review “for possible downgrade given the rising possibility that the statutory debt limit will not be raised on a timely basis, leading to a default on US Treasury debt obligations.”

    The announcement serves as a warning shot to lawmakers to act quickly to get a deal to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt limit before Aug. 2.”

    snip

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20079275-503544.html

  147. cobbler (137)-

    Your dog won’t hunt. Your comparison is apples to oranges, because those monster tax rates were in an environment where tax sheltering was ok.

  148. sastry (140)-

    If multiple generations have shed blood for country, it is perfectly legit to invoke the “long history” card.

    Consider the mirror image: what if I walked into India, and started telling everyone to eat a little beef and put on some weight?

  149. gary says:

    There Went Meat [149],

    He shoots! He scores!

  150. NjescaPee says:

    HAd my 4 glasses of chardonnay at happy hour. Here’s to shore, clot and the rest of the crew. Cheers!!

  151. toomuchchange says:

    “Long History” People, especially Higher Income Division People, don’t seem to be reliable defenders of the nation anymore.

    Many of them (though certainly not all) are among the most responsible for shipping jobs overseas and doing nothing to stop the mass migration that has taken place in America over the past 30 years.

    The more I read about our upper classes increasingly identifying themselves as “citizens of the world” instead of “citizens of America” the more convinced I am that it is true. Same thing with “American companies” — how many of them have a real loyalty to America, its way of life, its citizens and its workers? Now of course many American companies do lots of business overseas and there’s nothing wrong with that. But how can America survive if so many companies based here look to us for profits and customers but don’t want to use American workers or pay their fair share of taxes? And of course when they’re in trouble or they want something, these “world citizens” suddenly remember their American status and shamelessly demand every financial benefit they are entitled, plus go looking for more from the politicians.

    This is a terrible thing. How can we stop it? If our elites won’t stick up for us, who will?

  152. Al Mossberg says:

    20% Drop in Housing to Cause Recession in 2012, Says Gary Shilling

    “The problem with the real estate market remains excess inventory. Based on Shilling’s research, there are 2 million to 2.5 million excess homes in the country — a supply that will take 4-5 years to work-off. The result: Housing prices will fall another 20% and underwater mortgages will balloon from 23% to 40%, he says.

    With housing slumping again, Shilling says recession is coming to a town near you in 2012.”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/20-drop-housing-cause-recession-2012-says-gary-161445494.html

  153. Al Mossberg says:

    152.

    TMC,

    “This is a terrible thing. How can we stop it? If our elites won’t stick up for us, who will?”

    Stopping it would require import tariffs and repeal of NAFTA/GATT. That isnt going to happen because your g_v is bought and paid for. You now live under corporate fascism. Wont be too long before the depopulation of the useless eaters begins.

    Sorry Grandma and Grandpa.

  154. gary says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States may lose its top-notch credit rating in the next few weeks if lawmakers fail to increase the country’s legal borrowing limit and the government misses debt payments, Moody’s Investors Service warned on Wednesday.

    http://news.yahoo.com/moodys-puts-u-ratings-review-downgrade-210901261.html

    No need to fret, Barry Soetoro will save us.

  155. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “I spend less than 99% of my neighborhood. When I open hood of my car to fix something or do a home repair. the lazy folks on my block look at me like I just discovered nuclear fushion. Neighbor who is unemployed since 2002 has maid service and lawn service. I know what his wife does and it is crazy.”
    If you skip most posts and just read jjs it simulates the same effect you would get by smoking paoti…

  156. nj escapee says:

    now for a little generational warfare:

    Alan Greenspan: It’s the Gen-Xers Fault They’re Out of Work

    Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/07/13/alan-greenspan-its-gen-xers-fault-theyre-out-work/#ixzz1S2UnDVic

    Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said in a recent interview that the U.S. is suffering from an unproductive youth movement in the labor force, and that companies don’t want to hire these young folk. Greenspan also said that U.S. companies would be better off hiring immigrants.

    I yield the floor to FOX Business Director of News Ray Hennessey:

    Apparently the problem with the American jobs picture is the American worker.

    At least that’s what Alan Greenspan thinks.

    We are, he says, too young, dumb and unproductive as a workforce. The Baby Boomers were better, finding ways to do more with less, but they are retiring in droves. As they hit the links, their ranks of replacements don’t measure up.

    Here are his [Greenspan’s] words, in an interview with The Globalist:

    “Baby boomers are being replaced by groups of young workers who have regrettably scored rather poorly in international educational match-ups over the last two decades. The average income of U.S. households headed by 25-year-olds and younger has been declining relative to the average income of the baby boomer population. This is a reasonably good indication that the productivity of the younger part of our workforce is declining relative to the level of productivity achieved by the retiring baby boomers. This raises some major concerns about the productive skills of our future U.S. labor force.”

    There is, sadly, much truth in what he says. The degradation of our educational system, thanks to a lack of accountability and a general resistance to innovation, is well-documented.

    It has been difficult for American students to keep pace with those from overseas when viewed through the lens of quantitative, objective metrics like standardized tests.

    But the lack of productivity Greenspan frets over can arguably also be set at the feet of our growing entitlement culture, which we explored in some detail several weeks ago for Entitlement Nation Week. Being a productive worker means having a commitment to honest labor.

    That has eroded as more people have relied upon the federal government for the growth of their household wealth. That, in turn, has led to a troubling change in attitude in this country.

    As [Pulitzer prize winning syndicated columnist] George Will put it, “Americans, endowed by their solicitous government with an ever-expanding array of entitlements, now have the whiny mentality that an entitlement culture breeds.”

    The question then becomes, “How do we fix this?” To Greenspan, it is to “Go West, young man.” Or East, North and South for that matter. Just go anywhere else but here and find someone who is willing and able to work:

    “Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States,” Greenspan said. “But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow.”

    Think of that last line for a moment. We need to import labor – intelligent, skilled labor – to guarantee that Americans’ standard of living is maintained.

    Have we indeed fallen so far?

    Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/07/13/alan-greenspan-its-gen-xers-fault-theyre-out-work/#ixzz1S2UvnGEY

  157. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [152] tmc

    “But how can America survive if so many companies based here look to us for profits and customers but don’t want to use American workers or pay their fair share of taxes?”

    At the risk of oversimplifcation, how long will an American company last if they use higher priced American labor, or don’t minimize their taxes? When competing against other companies, I suggest they don’t last long unless they are a US government contractor.

    Further, you invoke the “F” word when speaking of taxes. I notice however, that you don’t insinuate that said companies are evading taxes (BTW, there is still a legal distinction between avoidance and evasion). So what would you have said companies do? Volunteer to forego legal tax-saving measures? At some point, you run out of business judgment rule leeway, and face the wrath of the shareholders.

    Now, you can change the tax code to force american companies to pay more taxes and hire american workers. Can you figure out what the result will be?

    I have said it before, and I say it again: Obama doesn’t succeed without protectionism, without walling off this country from foreign goods and services. Of course, that will kill our export markets, and we will be an economic island unto ourselves, but I see no real middle ground. Either we wall ourselves off from the world, or we collapse.

  158. nj escapee says:

    Alan Greenspan Blames The Bad U.S. Economy On The Lazy Young Work Force And The U.S. Copying China
    Business Insider ^ | 07/12/2011 | Courtney Comstock

    Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 11:34:54 PM by SeekAndFind

    Alan Greenspan has an interesting new take on what’s wrong with the U.S. economy.

    He blames the young work force — there are “major concerns about the productive skills of our future U.S. labor force” — and U.S. trade policy mirroring China’s.

    Greenspan interviewed himself (or so it appears) for the Globalist recently about how the U.S. is handling job creation. He says that the U.S. is doing it backwards by trying to increase jobs via trade policy.

    “Increased jobs are the consequence of increased trade. Increasing jobs more than output implies a fall in productivity and standards of living. That surely cannot be our goal.” But that is exactly what China is doing wrong, says Greenspan.

    “[The Chinese] are manipulating their currency in order to get low-quality, high-labor-content products produced — for maximum employment. They are distorting their economic structure and creating long-term economic damage.”

    It sounds like Greenspan is primarily worried that the U.S., in its quest to create jobs quickly and get the recovery on track, will employ the young U.S. work force in easy, lower-paying, unproductive jobs. And since the young work force is unintelligent and lazy compared to the workers they’re replacing, the Baby Boomers, this spells bad news for the U.S. economy.

    “[Baby boomers] are being replaced by groups of young workers who have regrettably scored rather poorly in international educational match-ups over the last two decades.”

    (Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com …

  159. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [157] NJ

    There are so many long-known truths in that article, it is sickening.

    And it should not be a surprise. All of these things were predicted or lamented as they were happening, but the Cassandras and Jeremiahs of our age were shouted down, usually by those on the Left.

    Now all those chickens have come home to roost. Regrettably they vote. And the observation so oft attributed to Tytler looks more likely.

  160. Al Mossberg says:

    You cant compete with slave labor. This country doesnt need to import skilled labor. It needs to stop exporting unskilled labor jobs. Take some of the 45 million on food stamps and stick them in a factory making plastic toys. China builds garbage. Why Americans buy that crap is beyond me.

    As for Greenspan’s comments. That motherf_cker should be hung for treason for what he did to this country.

  161. nj escapee says:

    To all you gen Xers. Warren Buffet and his ilk pretty much subscribe to the same ideas as greenspan. All you high earning folks under 40 better make your millions fast or support medicare and social security because you’ll need all the help you can get when you reach your 60s. bwahahaha

  162. Al Mossberg says:

    162.

    “To all you gen Xers. Warren Buffet and his ilk pretty much subscribe to the same ideas as greenspan. All you high earning folks under 40 better make your millions fast or support medicare and social security because you’ll need all the help you can get when you reach your 60s. bwahahaha”

    Who is going to be able to buy my over taxed crap shack then! Buy now or be priced out forever.

  163. nj escapee says:

    Al, these pieces of sh_t have sold us down the river. They dumbed down the public education system in the name of multiculturalism. I hope warren buffet, alan greenspan, the bushes and all the rest burn in hel- for 12 eternities.

  164. Al Mossberg says:

    164.

    Agree. The subversion of public education began 100 years ago thanks to the Rockefeller foundation. Social engineering replaced math, reading, writing etc.

  165. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I have been thinking about long term investment opportunities, and in the past, I considered things like a Sin Stocks Fund (surprise, they now have such funds!!!).

    My next big idea: A Government Titsucker Fund. Invest in stocks and sectors, such as healthcare and certain government contractors, that will benefit from government “investment.” Better yet, create a business that is nominally controlled by women or minorities and get in on the gravy train.

    Another big idea: A Vulture Industry VC Fund. Identify the sectors that will profit from feeding off the rotting carcass of the American Dream, and VC those businesses. Kind of like what I plan to do with my legal practice someday.

  166. Fabius Maximus says:

    #40 mikeinwaiting

    So at the end of the day, it turns out I’m picking up his tab.

  167. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [164] escapee

    Kinda like this?

    “Teaching Math in 1950:
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

    Teaching Math in 1960:
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

    Teaching Math in 1970:
    A logger exchanges a set “L” of lumber for a set “M” of money. The cardinality of set “M” is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set “M.” The set “C,” the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set “M.” Represent the set “C” as subset of set “M” and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set “P” of profits?

    Teaching Math in 1980:
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

    Teaching Math in 1990:
    By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels “feel” as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

    Teaching Math in 2002:
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is $60?

    Teaching Math in 2010:
    El hachero vende un camion cargado de lena por $100. Su gasto de produccion es…….. “

  168. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [167] fabius

    Sucks, don’t it?

    Peace out, y’all. Gotta walk the dog and rack out.

  169. toomuchchange says:

    I saw the Greenspan article yesterday and was going to bring it up tomorrow.

    It was totally outrageous. I didn’t know what to make of such views, to be honest.

    Would anybody care to speculate how he thinks our standard of living can improve while our jobs — all of them, from those requiring PhDs to those held by high school dropous — go to immigrants specifically brought in to work for less?

    If we all work for less and prices stay the same, then what? If we all work for less and prices drop, then what? What kind of unemployment rate would we have? The mind boggles, the anger boils over that such a person was in charge of protecting Americans’ economic future while believing we are nothing more than replaceable cogs in a system that’s set up to benefit — well, who, actually? Apparently Greenspan doesn’t think that our economy was set up to benefit Americans. I don’t know what he thinks its purpose is, maybe to achieve maximum efficiency by a continuous lowering of costs. But that just doesn’t work because labor is a necessary cost that keeps the whole system going: If nobody is paid, no one can buy, which means companies cannot profit, so nobody makes anything anymore.

  170. nj escapee says:

    Nom, scary isn’t it. My son has his BS in Business but is currently only earning $10/hr part time in South Florida. My wife and I have been backstopping him and his young family.

  171. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Oh, I just had to come back and feed Jamil. This is a direct quote from the Chosen One:

    “So, when you hear folks saying ‘Well, the president shouldn’t want massive job killing tax increases when the economy is this weak.’ Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years.”

    WHAT? I thought raising taxes was GOOD for jobs??? Didn’t The One just say that the economy did fine under Clinton and his tax hikes (ergo, higher taxes=growth)???

    Sooooo, is this a tacit admission that tax hikes are NOT good for job creation and economic growth (as Christine Romer wrote about once in an econ. paper but good luck finding that link on Daily Kos)???

    Somebody has to keep this guy on Teleprompter.

    Oh, and Jamil, are you enjoying David Cay Johnston’s skewering as much as I am???

  172. nj escapee says:

    tmc, greenspan and his fellow elites have no interest in improving the lives of the middle / working classes. he is only concerned with himself. read ayn rand

  173. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [171] escapee

    Scary? I am absolutely fcuking petrified. Why do you think I am pursuing this Nompound thing??? At least my girls can go into farming when we are Asia’s granary.

    Now I am out. Really.

  174. nj escapee says:

    Nom, It was a major error but at least Johnson seemed to sincerely apologize for reporting wrong infrormation.

  175. Al Mossberg says:

    Nom,

    Jim Sinclair might want to invest in your nompound. He has officially bugged out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COltiIT-aKI&feature=player_embedded

  176. chicagofinance says:

    albani: you ok?

    Feds, NYPD bust 37 in NY-based Albanian drug ring
    By MITCHEL MADDUX

    The Drug Enforcement Administration and the NYPD swooped in this morning with simultaneous large-scale raids throughout the city — and reaching into the suburbs, upstate and overseas — smashing a drug trafficking ring run here by the Albanian mafia.

    The massive fed-coordinated raid locally nabbed at least 27 of 37 alleged members and associates of an Albanian mob made up of several family clans and involving “hundreds of associates and customers spanning three continents,” officials said.

    Among other illicit activities, Brooklyn federal prosecutors say the organization ran an international drug trafficking ring that smuggled large quantities of hydroponically-grown marijuana from Canada into the Big Apple.

    Ecstasy was brought in from the Netherlands and Canada, while cocaine was transported from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru, officials said. The organization also trafficked in substantial quantities of highly-addictive prescription pills, such as the pain killer Oxycontin, the feds say.

    But the organization also specialized in sending drugs abroad, procuring large quantities of cocaine in the US and shipping it across the Atlantic and Mediterranean to Albania and elsewhere in Europe, officials said. The coke was secreted in hidden compartments inside luxury automobiles that were shipped from supposedly “legitimate” car dealerships that the feds say were run by the mobsters.

    Arrests were made in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Long Island, as well as in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Albany counties.

    Other alleged mobsters were busted in New Jersey, Florida and Colorado – as well as in in Albania, officials said.

    Federal agents seized 18 firearms and ammunition during the early morning raids, officials said.

    An earlier case linked to today’s action was the arrest last month of a reputed Albanian mobster who blew a planned hit on another mob associate because he let his temper get the best of him.

    Bajram Lajqi — who also went by the street name “Van Damme” after the Brussels-born action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme — and a henchman tracked down the man after a falling out over the drug-smuggling scheme from Canada, according to a report filed by Brooklyn federal prosecutor Steven Tiscione.

    Shortly before midnight on June 3, Lajqi and his cohort, Carlos Alvarez, went to the Tosca Cafe on East Tremont Avenue in The Bronx, according to an official report.

    Before entering the restaurant, investigators believe the pair first located their intended victim’s car, which was parked outside, and punctured all its tires.

    NYPD detectives and DEA agents investigating the incident later came to believe this was a tactic aimed at making it hard for the victim to flee.

    But watching their intended victim inside the restaurant for two hours was apparently too much for Lajqi to bear, he lost his cool, walked right over to the man, and punched him in the face, the report says.

    Then Lajqi whipped out a pistol and turned it on a bouncer who intervened — but that gave the marked-for-death man a chance to run out the door, the report says.

    The mobsters ran after him, and when Lajqi caught up, he allegedly fired several shots at the man outside the eatery.

    Bullets hit the man in his left and right thighs, the report says, but he somehow was able to run away and later was treated for the gunshot wounds at a hospital.

    Much of the incident – both inside the restaurant and out on the street – was caught on surveillance tape by 10 security camera, authorities said.

    With the help of witnesses, federal investigators discovered that Lajqi and the victim had allegedly been partners in a pot-trafficking organization, the report says.

    Shortly after the botched hit, Lajqi was busted by the DEA on drug-trafficking charges and firing a gun in connection with narcotics smuggling.

  177. Fabius Maximus says:

    #155 Gary

    Leaving aside the Tea Party slur, this will be a non story as debt limit will be raised. The bigger question here is if the GOP will survive the battle.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58881.html
    McConnell sought to do damage control Wednesday, speaking frankly to GOP senators on his backup plan and taking to conservative radio to argue that the Republican Party cannot sustain the political ramifications of not raising the debt ceiling. But the concerns he heard from Republicans reveal how politically difficult it is going to be to allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling after the party spent months demanding major concessions.

  178. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh (Borders Chap 7 Edition):

    self-explanatory

  179. sas3 says:

    #148… the discussion isn’t about culture, right. It is about a 3% change in tax rate and its effect on future economy. The main thing that the teabaggers have in common with their ancestors is their belief that O is not fit to be their leader because of his race.

  180. nj escapee says:

    sastry, if i’m not mistaken sound like you’re calling shore out.

  181. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    I really could not care any less what race, gender, or sexual orientation any elected official is. If you look through the archive you will find multiple instances where I hoped that BO would, in fact, achieve greatness.
    Alas, he sucks, and it has nothing to do with race. His policies are awful and the nation is suffering without a firm hand on the tiller.

    So, rather than fall back on race, look at the substance of what those who disagree with the Empty Suit in Chief say against his policies.

  182. Shore Guy says:

    Sastty,

    If you really believe that raising the rates on “the rich” is the right thing to do for the country, I would expect youto stand behind a flat 49/40% tax rate for everyone. After all 40% of 50,000 is only $20,000, a small price to pay to protect government from budget cuts.

  183. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Yeah, I’m back. But this is too funny not to post. From a practitioner’s blog in which he takes issue with Commissioner Shulman and the IRS’ pestering of his clients over late filings.

    “Oblig. footnote. I really wonder what happens when Douglas Shulman (“igorance of the requirements won’t relieve you from severe penalties”) sits around that big oak conference table and looks across at Timothy Geithner (“Yeah I’m really smart ‘n stuff but geez I had no idea tax law was this complicated and this $30 computer program I used to do my taxes whilst being a Captain of Industry led me astray.”)”

    Considering that Shulman works for Geithner, what indeed?

  184. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    DUH!!!

    “$22 Billion Housing Tax Credit Program Utterly Failed as Economic Policy

    Jonathan Brogaard & Kevin Roshak (both of Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management) have posted The Effectiveness of the Financial Crisis Housing Tax Credit Programs on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

    ‘Fiscal stimulus has been suggested as a tool to prevent excessive price declines by creating incentives to increase current demand. In 2008 and 2009 the U.S. Congress passed several housing tax incentive programs to encourage activity in the residential real estate market. This paper examines the impact of the different housing tax incentive programs on the demand for housing during the financial crisis. Using city level data we implement a differences-in-differences-in-differences methodology to isolate the impact of the tax credits on the quantity of housing transactions and their prices. We find that quantity was unaffected and that prices rose only temporarily. The results showed no statistically significant difference in quantity. However, prices in affected housing markets rose on average $6,509 more than unaffected markets during the program. This price differential more than reverses, falling $7,721 after the expiration of the final tax credit program. The speed of these price movements is quick. The price increase takes place largely within a month of the first large tax credit, and the price drop occurs predominately in the two months following the credit expiration.’

    The paper concludes:

    This paper finds that (1) the home buyer tax credits had an insignificant effect on the number of homes sold, (2) sellers in markets with low and stable prices captured most of the credit, and (3) The effects of the credits sharply reversed after expiration. … Rather than igniting ‘animal spirits’ or pulling housing demand forward from the distant future, the tax incentives were a simple redistribution of wealth.”

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1882599

  185. cobbler says:

    shore [183]
    Me not being Sastry – but I would agree to pay European level taxes in exchange for European level services. Specifically, if the 40% rate will mean neither I nor my employer have to pay for the medical (except for a small co-pay), that I don’t have to save for kids’ college as it is free for citizens, and that I don’t have to mess with 401K as my pension is enough to live on – I am all for the 40% rate…

  186. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Out of work NJ attorney denied estate tax deduction of 1.2MM for “services” rendered to his now deceased parents.

    http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/InOpHistoric/OLIVO.TCM.WPD.pdf

    There but for the Grace of God . . .

  187. Fabius Maximus says:

    #182 Shore
    ” look at the substance of what those who disagree with the Empty Suit in Chief say against his policies.”

    I look at what those who disagree said, I think it was, No, No, No, No, No, No, No etc.

    The biggest problem here is that there has been no effective opposition party. The GOP have just set up shop as the party of no. They ran the country into the wall and won’t step up to help fix it. Their answer to health reform was Stop, Scrap and Start over. They could have had anything they wanted in there. Tort reform, no problem. They say no to things that are core tenets of Republicanism. Saying no is fine as long as there is justification and you are willing to put up credible alternatives.
    Debt limit, “we want cuts!” Dems put 3.6 Trillion of cuts on the table, but they wanted 3.7Trillion , WTF!

    But you won’t have to worry, you won’t have a chance to pull the lever for a credible GOP candidate until about 2020. A that point they may get the wheels back on the bus and drive it back from the wingnut wilderness they are stuck in.

  188. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Here’s some information on the expatriate numbers that I post about from time to time. Some may recall that this number is believed to be low, that it doesn’t catch all renunciants, and as it turns out, this is true.

    “Only certain expatiates are listed in the Federal Register.

    “Only individuals to whom Code §877 (pre-June 17, 2008) or 877A (post-June 16, 2008) applies are listed in the Federal Register. Therefore, the [Federal Register] does not include ALL individuals that have renounced their U.S. citizenship or long term permanent residency. . . .

    Code §877 or 877A applies to individuals that:.

    1.have a net worth of $2,000,000 on the date of expatriation,
    2.have an average annual net income tax for the period of 5 years ending before the date of the loss of citizenship/permanent residency of more than $124,000 (the amount is annually adjusted for inflation and the amount for 2011 is $147,000), or
    3.do not certify to the I.R.S. that they have met their U.S. tax obligations for the 5 preceding taxable years.

    Therefore, in general, only individuals that meet certain asset or income thresholds are included in the [Federal Register]. Some might say that only “wealthy” individuals who have expatriated are included.”

    And that number, small as it is, has increased exponentially.

    Sorry Fabius, looks like you and I, and thousands of others, will have to pick up the bar tabs of the several hundred wealthy (and we can now safely say this) that are Getting Out of Dodge every quarter. Considering what that cohort paid in total dollars, we are gonna have to dig deep.

  189. sas3 says:

    #186… I’d be willing to pay 50% or more if your conditions are met. In fact, looking at FICA, fed, state, property taxes, retirement accounts, college funds, many self employed workers probably pay 50% or more income already. Especially if they don’t have a good tax accountant.

  190. sas3 says:

    nje #181…

    I wasn’t calling Shore out…

    I was reacting to implied patriotism++ in Shore’s statement — and the broader implication that somehow the teabaggers that want to secede from the US are more patriotic that someone like the POTS because their ancestors fought in wars (btw, which side?)

    OT about patriotism++… The reality is that the baby boomer generation have only their ancestors to rely on because the boomers earned their freedom to never having to serve the country by getting rid of the draft. They now gleefully send poor youth to die in needless wars, worship foreign sovereign fund owners, fight for tax breaks to companies that are cutting jobs here and setting up shops in other countries, all the while wrapping themselves in a cheap flag made in China.

    I am generalizing, but… the first generation immigrants can at least point to specifics of what good they see here and definitely see something good here that makes them want to establish roots here. The later generations sometimes take everything for granted, and break into chants of “USA, USA” without meaning anything by it. Samuel Johnson was spot on.

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