Buck up campers, home prices will stabilize and begin to rise again

(Now a return to bubbly peak prices? That’ll take a while)

From the NY Times:

Gloom Grips Consumers, and It May Be Home Prices

Ernest Markey lost his stone-cutting business in 2009. He then sold his home for half a million dollars less than its value at the peak of the housing bubble and moved with his wife, Marie, to a smaller home in a less affluent suburb. They gave up two new cars and bought one. Used.

The Markeys have since patched together a semblance of their old life, opening a new stone-cutting shop. But they do not expect that they will ever recover financially from the loss of equity in their old home.

“For two years I kept thinking that things would get better,” Mr. Markey, 51, said as he stood in his empty store on a recent weekday. “Now I think the future doesn’t look so good.”

The United States has a confidence problem: a nation long defined by irrational exuberance has turned gloomy about tomorrow. Consumers are holding back, businesses are suffering and the economy is barely growing.

There are good reasons for gloom — incomes have declined, many people cannot find jobs, few trust the government to make things better — but as Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, noted earlier this year, those problems are not sufficient to explain the depth of the funk.

That has led a growing number of economists to argue that the collapse of housing prices, a defining feature of this downturn, is also a critical and underappreciated impediment to recovery. Americans have lost a vast amount of wealth, and they have lost faith in housing as an investment. They lack money, and they lack the confidence that they will have more money tomorrow.

Many say they believe that the bust has permanently changed their financial trajectory.

“People don’t expect their home to regain value, and that’s really led to a change in consumer attitudes about the economy that we’ve just never seen before,” said Richard Curtin, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan who directs its Survey of Consumers. The latest data from the survey, released Friday by Thomson Reuters, shows that expectations for economic growth have fallen to the lowest level since May 1980.

Economists have only recently devoted serious study to how a decline in housing prices affects consumer spending, not least because this is the first decline in the average price of an American home since the Great Depression. A 2007 review of existing research by the Congressional Budget Office reported that people reduce spending by $20 to $70 a year for every $1,000 decline in the value of their home.

This “wealth effect” is significantly larger for changes in home equity than in the value of other investments, such as stocks, apparently because people regard changes in housing prices as more likely to endure.

A recent paper by Karl E. Case, an economics professor at Wellesley College, and two co-authors estimated the decline in home prices from 2005 to 2009 caused consumer spending to be $240 billion lower in 2010 than it otherwise would have been. That figure is equal to about 1.7 percent of annual economic activity, enough to be the difference between the mediocre recent growth and healthy growth. And it does not include all the other effects of the housing crash, including the low level of new home construction, that are also weighing on the economy.

This entry was posted in Economics, Employment, Housing Recovery. Bookmark the permalink.

134 Responses to Buck up campers, home prices will stabilize and begin to rise again

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    Does the overhang of foreclosures really pose a risk if nobody will buy them (or they aren’t really for sale)?

    From the Boston Globe:

    SJC puts foreclosure sales in doubt

    The state’s highest court added further turmoil to the housing market yesterday when it ruled that buyers of some foreclosed homes may not be the legal owners of those properties.

    The decision leaves in limbo hundreds, if not thousands, of people who bought homes seized by lenders under questionable circumstances. They are left with no easy recourse; among their options are to sue the lender behind the botched foreclosure or “reforeclose’’ on the prior owner.

    “It leaves us nowhere,’’ said Edward M. Bloom, president of the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts. “The residential housing market is never going to stabilize and grow until all of these properties that are in foreclosure are organized and cleaned out.’’

    This is the second ruling in less than a year in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has tried to sort out the mess created by the rapid-fire foreclosure of thousands of properties after the housing market’s collapse. During that time, some lenders seized and then resold homes before establishing a clear record of ownership. Last winter, the high court upheld a contentious ruling from the Massachusetts Land Court that challenged how banks had traditionally seized properties without having all the necessary paperwork.

    In that case the high court overturned foreclosures of two properties in Springfield by U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo after the banks could not prove they owned the mortgages they foreclosed on.

    Yesterday’s decision was a follow-up to that ruling. The case was brought by developer Francis J. Bevilacqua, who in 2006 bought a building in Haverhill from a trust for which U.S. Bank National Association, a unit of U.S. Bancorp, is trustee. Earlier in 2006 the trust had prematurely seized the property from the prior owner, acting about one month before the mortgage lender appointed it to do so.

    With that cloud hanging over the foreclosure, Bevilacqua sought to clear any doubt that he was the legal owner by bringing a case against the former holder of the property. The high court ruled the earlier improper transfer of the property left him with no standing as an owner.

  3. serenity now says:

    Doesn’t sound too bad to me!!

    Subject: Another good idea from Warren Buffet

    Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
    “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.

    The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

    Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure. Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

    In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

    _*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*_

    1. No Tenure / No Pension.

    A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

    Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time?


  4. Mike says:

    The Who From 1971:
    We’ll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgement of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again

  5. grim says:

    Anything that reduces the number of professional politicians/legislators is a good thing.

  6. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (3) serenity,

    Any call for an amendment at this point would open the floodgates to demands for other amendments, or worse, a constitutional convention.

    That, IMHO, would touch off a near insurrection here and worldwide markets collapse.

  7. grim says:

    Surprise spike? A 4 point uptick from the depths of the lowest lows? Get real.

    Call me when we have a sustained 6 month upward trend that holds through the winter.

    Although we need to at least acknowledge that survivorship bias is going to start to play a big role in these kinds of confidence numbers. There are builders that are still doing well, and are probably reporting solid confidence numbers, but they are insignificant against the backdrop of poorly performing builders. As they continue to disappear, and consolidate, the confidence numbers are bound to rise as the survivors begin to stand alone.

  8. grim (2)-

    Any words here that are too big to understand?

    “It leaves us nowhere,’’ said Edward M. Bloom, president of the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts. “The residential housing market is never going to stabilize and grow until all of these properties that are in foreclosure are organized and cleaned out.’’

  9. Stench of death and ouzo this morning…you can even smell it through the rain.

    That’s not spanakopita you smell; it’s the rotting Greek corpse.

  10. grim says:

    I’m not sure I buy that. If it’s not for sale, or can’t be purchased, does it really play into anything other than confidence and sentiment? We can call it supply, but it really isn’t.

    More and more I think this can be dragged along/kicked down the road to the point where they’ve exchanged the sharp stab for prolonged pain.

    Everyone loses, buyers and sellers alike. We talked about this 5 or 6 years back. Sideliners thought they would eventually be “winners”.

    Look around, how many winners are there? How many do we think there might be?

    Also, I still think we’re going to see an RTC-like bulk disposition of assets, so that big moneyed parties will eventually reap any and all bargains to be had. Joe Six won’t be invited to that party.

    I have no idea what the eventual outcome will be, but I can assure you that it will be Joe Six who gets screwed.

  11. serenity now says:

    Re#7 Nom………thats is the exact problem with a lot of issues, they are so
    intertwined and complex to deal with that NOTHING is getting accomplished!
    So we just slide deeper into the SH-T!!

  12. grim (11)-

    Agreed. Only thing is, the RTC-like vehicle will not be put into action until 2087.

  13. serenity (12)-

    Honestly, I think the only complicating issues in all of this are fraud and denial. The main culprits in the necronomic collapse have now fully succeeded in legislative capture, so those who hold office are simply the brainless proxies of financial criminals.

  14. grim says:

    Just don’t be surprised when Ara buys ten thousand NJ REOs for pennies as teardowns and builds infill McMansions we can’t afford.

  15. grim says:

    Clot – look around, the only choice we have is whether we will take heroin or methadone today.

  16. All Hype says:

    Clot (10):

    A live feed of the rioting in Greece. You will not see this on CNN, CNBC or FOX……


  17. yo says:

    7:33 AM ET) NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Morgan Stanley /quotes/zigman/182639/quotes/nls/ms MS -0.48% said on Wednesday that its third-quarter profit was $2.15 billion, or $1.15 a share, compared to a loss of $91 million, or 7 cents a share a year ago. Consolidated net revenues rose 7% to $9.89 billion compared to $6.78 billion a year ago. Results for the current quarter included positive revenue of $3.4 billion, or $1.12 a share, compared with negative revenue of $731 million a year ago related to changes in Morgan Stanley’s debt-related credit spreads and other credit factors, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected the company to earn 30 cents a share on revenue of $7.46 billion.

  18. grim says:

    Killing it?

  19. 3B says:

    #8 grim: I believe anything less than 50 is considered negative, and this guy is celebrating a move, or as he calls it a spike from 14 to 18!!!

  20. Mikeinwaiting says:

    The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential
    construction statistics for September 2011:
    Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 594,000. This
    is 5.0 percent (±1.3%) below the revised August rate of 625,000, but is 5.7 percent (±2.6%) above the September 2010 estimate of
    Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 417,000; this is 0.2 percent (±1.0%)* below the revised August figure of
    418,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 158,000 in September.
    Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 658 000 This is 15 0 percent (±13 7%) above
    U.S. Census Bureau News
    Joint Release
    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    U.S. Department of Commerce Washington, D.C. 20233
    Privately 658,000. 15.0 13.7%) the revised August estimate of 572,000 and is 10.2 percent (±13.3%)* above the September 2010 rate of 597,000.
    Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 425,000; this is 1.7 percent (±9.4%)* above the revised August figure of
    418,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 227,000.
    Privately-owned housing completions in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 647,000. This is 2.1 percent (±18.8%)*
    above the revised August estimate of 634,000 and is 2.1 percent (±16.4%)* above the September 2010 rate of 634,000.
    Single-family housing completions in September were at a rate of 428,000; this is 11.6 percent (±11.3%) below the revised August rate
    of 484,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 208,000.
    New Residential Construction data for October 2011 will be released on Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 8:30 A.M. EST.
    Our Internet site is: http://www.census.gov/newresconst

  21. The Original NJ Expat says:

    “People don’t expect their home to regain value, and that’s really led to a change in consumer attitudes about the economy that we’ve just never seen before,”

    Idiots. I’m amazed how many people economists think the world started 60 years ago. At the turn of the century(1900), an average house cost about $1500. In 1929 in was worth about $5000. A few years later it was worth $1900. Do you think those homowners expected their homes to regain value?

  22. 3B says:

    #22 Actually a lot of people do hope that their homes regain their lost phantom value. Almost every decision they made during the bubble frenzy was based on that phantom value of their house. Form many it is all they have. This explains the agonizingly slow decline in prices. Anyone that is buying today that is not just considering it to be a long term rental, and for the potential tax advantages is making IMO a huge foolish mistake.

  23. 3B says:

    #21 Mike: Looks like today’s numbers shows a big increase in multi-family (rental) construction.

  24. Shore Guy says:

    ““The residential housing market is never going to stabilize and grow until all of these properties that are in foreclosure are organized and cleaned out.’’

    Make that, “organized, cleaned out, or bulldozed.”

  25. Shore Guy says:

    “a spike from 14 to 18!!!”

    Is this an improvement from suicidial to catatonic?

  26. Mikeinwaiting says:

    BC 24 Yes, it would seem the builders are adapting to the new reality on peoples attitude towards bag-holding. In our little piece of heaven, NJ, property taxes all but make it a gimme to rent. I have run the numbers over & over for my area, continue to rent. Spoke to a friend the other day another 800 increase in taxes this year, he wants to sell but to whom & at what price. I know many say tax increases will be passed on but I have been able to negotiate discounts by paying a year in advance. My present landlord could not find anyone with a credit score he was comfortable with till I made my offer. There was one guy 275 a month over my price, upon checking him out my landlord found he was being evicted from his present rental. Buddy of mine getting stiffed on his rental in town now 3 months, I’m sure he would take a yearly check for a hell of a lot less.

  27. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore start up the bulldozer.

  28. Mikeinwaiting says:

    PS I think paying a year in advance breaks some NJ law or other . My RE agent will have nothing to do with it, no commission for you , private deal. I also vetted the owner in-depth, he was surprised to find I requested his info for credit check, ran mortgage check(none). You check me out I check you out, now lets talk price!

  29. hughesrep says:


    I sell to plumbers and mechanicals for a living. Pretty much the only residential building being done in NJ is multi-family. I probably see 4-6 large apartment projects in either Philly or Jersey to be bid each week. Other projects that were put on hold or were half finished in 2009 are coming back to life. Zombie jobs.

    I don’t even bother to call on single family contractors. No money to be made, and most of them are just barely hanging on.

    In my business it is either multi-family, government money, or hospitals that are doing everything.

  30. JCer says:

    Rentals are on fire, the market has really grown as people eschew homeownership. The big thing I’m seeing is rents are going through the roof, especially here on the mold coast. I’ve heard of landlords slapping tenants with 15% increases in Hoboken!

  31. Shore Guy says:

    I guess these Disney workers neber read Restriction of output among unorganized workers by Stanley Mathewson and William Leiserson:

    Disneyland workers answer to ‘electronic whip’
    Anaheim laundry workers monitored by giant big screens aim to keep productivity high as they worry about paying more for healthcare.

    By Steve Lopez

    October 19, 2011
    In the basements of the Disneyland and Paradise Pier hotels in Anaheim, big flat-screen monitors hang from the walls in rooms where uniformed crews do laundry. The monitors are like scoreboards, with employees’ work speeds compared to one another. Workers are listed by name, so their colleagues can see who is quickest at loading pillow cases, sheets and other items into a laundry machine.

    It should come as no surprise that at the happiest place on Earth, not all the employees are smiling.



  32. Shore Guy says:

    Restriction of Output Among Unorganized Workers

  33. Shore Guy says:

    Nom (and other Android sufferers),

    You may appreciate this:

    Dear Android: This is your last chance

    The morning of October 4, I had my credit card in hand, ready to buy an iPhone 5 and wave good-bye to Android forever.

    Sadly, the iPhone 4S isn’t quite what I’d hoped for: it’s too expensive for the high-capacity models I’d prefer, I want a bigger screen, there’s no 4G, and I’d hoped for integrated turn-by-turn directions. The 4S has left an opening for Android to reassert itself and win my continued loyalty…but it’s a tiny opening, indeed. This is Android’s last chance, and here’s why.

  34. Shore Guy says:

    From that CNet piece:

    “In sum, life with Android has been an uncertain, buggy, frustrating mess. ”


    “the iPhone 4S gave Android an unexpected break: before that announcement, fully 42 percent were prepared to switch to an iPhone. Those numbers may be lower in the wake of the lack of 4G, the still-small screen, and the fact that Vlingo does a lot of what Siri promises. But the break is likely to be short unless Google can put some serious muscle behind bringing the platform up to prime time. Me, personally, I’m still keeping the credit card ready for the iPhone 5, just in case. “

  35. Shore Guy says:

    It looks like the Administration is trying to garner some goodwill via social security, or as another form of “stimulus.” In a climate of 0% inflation, Social Security benefits will increase by 3.6 percent in 2012.

  36. Juice Box says:

    I am very happy with my Droid Bionic and my iPhone 4. If I had to actually shell out the money for them? No way it is a phone not a wife.

  37. make money says:


    Media here won’t report anything until they take over and trash the Parliament.

    Greece should do a reality show for Americans.”citizens gone wild”
    “riot safari” tourism: you get to throw real live gasoline bombs.
    Also thousands of protests and no gyro stands? come on! protesters gotta eat.

  38. JCer says:

    Shore[35], android is a mess for a few reasons
    1. Too many handheld form factors, no tight control on hardware specs, Google and the Android alliance needs to publish specs on devices(min proc specs, screen resolutions, standard hardware features/sensors etc)
    2.Wild west, no approval process for calling something an android device or making an application available, they don’t enforce standards
    3.Dalvik/Java, and flex, … dumb,dumb,dumb! Interpreted languages do not belong on mobile computers(Yet), Apple’s brilliant combination of compiled languages and LLVM allows most of the advantages of JIT code with few of its drawbacks. After the Oracle lawsuit I think google should build a Dalvik front end to LLVM and ditch the JIT concept, make the devices more cycle efficient and more memory efficient for sure.
    4. Multitasking! A good feature, yes, but Apple’s state based setup is nicer and I think Android needs to adapt that as well as traditional multitasking so apps that need to be left running are left running but other apps keep state and are loaded when needed(dual core handsets make this less of an issue but there are still memory constraints and battery life)

    Google has done a tremendous job with android considering where it started, but they refuse to be the bad guy like Apple and enforce things with app developers and admit they overlooked some thing and really change the android programming interface. I currently have a 3GS which I am giving up for a droid, because T-Mobile 4G service is so cheap($50 a month for unlimited everything!) and it’s what they support. My wife has one and while I’m impressed with the functionality, the stability leaves a lot to be desired vs my iphone which never get rebooted and the apps frequently lock up, which I consider to be an app developer problem, Apple would never stand for that and nor should Google.

  39. Juice Box says:

    Greeks strikes have shut down the whole country, and they have yet to layoff a single government worker. What happen when the put 10% of them on the street?

    Go long tear gas and rubber bullets.

  40. Shore Guy says:

    It seems that “Occupy Athens” is much more robust a movement than the latte-sipping malcontents in lower Manhattan.

  41. Happy Renter says:

    Grim, in response to some of your points …

    [11] “Everyone loses, buyers and sellers alike. We talked about this 5 or 6 years back. Sideliners thought they would eventually be ‘winners’. Look around, how many winners are there? How many do we think there might be?”

    Not sure I could count the “winners,” but I’m quite sure being a “sideliner” is a big reason I’m among them. No ball-and-chain of out-of-control property taxes around my neck, and the politics of NJ are really just entertainment at this point. Career options remain flexible, both in the region and in terms of an easy relocation anywhere the market or interests lead me.

    Spend little to nothing on home repair issues. No rent increase in over 4 years. I pay less to rent a house in a blue-ribbon haughtyville than I would pay in interest+taxes+insurance, and I look around and prices just keep going down. Why would I pay more to “own” this place and all the expenses/risk that comes with it? For housing in NJ, each day is better than the next.

    I have enough of the usual stuff that helps people sleep well at night (investments, shiny, lead, even a nompound) and a nice chunk of change if/when I ever decide that anything is worth buying (although, more and more, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that will ever be in NJ). It will probably be an all-cash purchase after we get the banana republic interest rates we’re asking for in this country. So, maybe my situation is an anomaly, but being a “sideliner” has definitely contributed to my being a “winner.”

    [15] “Just don’t be surprised when Ara buys ten thousand NJ REOs for pennies as teardowns and builds infill McMansions we can’t afford.”

    Yeah right. How’s that go again … oh yeah: Sell? Sell to whom?

    The fantasy we’ve been living in since WWII is being wiped out by a tsunami of, shall I say, “pant up” reckoning. The McMansion set can’t possibly fill all the rotting crapshacks out there.

    [16] “the only choice we have is whether we will take heroin or methadone today”

    Indeed. But when I follow that through to its logical conclusion, it does nothing but make me glad I am not a bagholder.

  42. Shore Guy says:

    Protesting against “corporate greed” is foolish. If the protesters were calling for criminal indictments of people who precipitated the economic crisis, fine; that is an actionable demand. But, the squishy positions being espoused in the park are just high-profile kvetching.

  43. Shore Guy says:

    “ball-and-chain of out-of-control property taxes”

    This factor alone has prompted us not to buy several properties in the Northeast, including a few we could have paid for in cash. Buying a house in NY, NY, and some other places where unfunded public pension liabilities, medicaid expenditures, and other expenses are high is like deciding to jump off an adjustable-height diving board. One may be okay jumping from 3 meters, but what about 10 meters? What about 30 meters?

  44. Shore Guy says:

    “does nothing but make me glad I am not a bagholder.”

    Your transparent envy of those who own houses cannot be hidden by logical analysis of the economic benefits of renting. What successfull and self-respecting person would want to pay less for something if they could pay more. Paying more is the only way of proving to your neighbors that you earn enough to pay more. C’mon! Get with the program.

  45. Juice Box says:

    Haven’t seen too many pics like this on the news either.


  46. Happy Renter says:

    [47] “Your transparent envy of those who own houses cannot be hidden by logical analysis of the economic benefits of renting.”

    You got me ;-)

    The only strange thing is how often my wife tells me that the other moms she chats with in the playgrounds of Haughtyville get a wistful look in their eyes when she tells them that we like it here just fine, but we’re happily renting.

  47. JCer says:

    Shore, protesting corporate greed is like protesting against wolves for being vicious predators, it is their nature. My issue with OWS, is they should be protesting the government for not keeping it in check, I think the real issue is people unhappy with the economy blaming an industry for all that ails the economy. If our president/government were smart there would have been more high profile arrests and people marched around in handcuffs to appease the public who is rightfully angry.

  48. Shore Guy says:


    That is just a redevelopment opportunity.

  49. Shore Guy says:

    Um, juice box, I meant.

  50. Shore Guy says:



  51. Shore Guy says:

    If at the height of ther crisis congress had passed a bill voiding all derivitive contracts, had taken the good assets from failing banks and transferred them to new banks (perhaps recapitalizing the new banks to some extent), and let the dying banks die — with the shareholders and managers taking the financial hit — and then arrested and tried a gaggle of bankers who broke the law, we would all be better off.

  52. mikey (29)-

    I thought the only check they made up in your neck of the woods was to see if you had a full set of teeth.

    “PS I think paying a year in advance breaks some NJ law or other . My RE agent will have nothing to do with it, no commission for you , private deal. I also vetted the owner in-depth, he was surprised to find I requested his info for credit check, ran mortgage check(none). You check me out I check you out, now lets talk price!”

  53. May I have some more heroin, please?

  54. Shore Guy says:

    Shades of the movie Still Crazy:

    Some late-breaking dental news:

    The BBC reports that one of John Lennon’s teeth will be auctioned in Stockport, England, next month.

    It is expected to bring in £10,000, or just under $16,000 US.

    Lennon gave the tooth to his housekeeper, Dot Jarlett, who worked for him at his house in Kenwood, Surrey, in the late 1960s. He told her to give it her daughter “as a souvenir” after he had pulled it out of his mouth.

    “He was in the kitchen and he had this tooth which he had wrapped in a piece of paper,” said Barry Jarlett, Dot’s son. “He said, ‘Dot, will you dispose of this?’ and then he said, ‘Or, as your daughter’s a Beatles fan, you can give to her as a souvenir’.”

    The tooth comes with an affidavit signed by Dot, who has, in the past, sold items belonging to Lennon, including his Rubber Soul-era jacket.



  55. Fabius Maximus says:

    What an ETF !

  56. chicagofinance says:

    Rent: My wife and I cannot be that forthcoming. The attitude around us is that we are stealing somehow from the community…..of course it is somehow lost on them that we are maintaining and living in an otherwise empty property, and paying full freight on a kid in pre-school for this otherwise empty-of-children school district.

    Happy Renter says:
    October 19, 2011 at 11:46 am
    The only strange thing is how often my wife tells me that the other moms she chats with in the playgrounds of Haughtyville get a wistful look in their eyes when she tells them that we like it here just fine, but we’re happily renting.

  57. chicagofinance says:

    max & clot:

    I’m surprised that you guys didnt mention this footage…..go all the way to the end….soccer and executions…..I thought you would be inspired….

  58. still_looking says:

    No more property taxes for North Dakota?

    Proposal to Abolish ND Property Taxes Stirs Debate
    By DALE WETZEL Associated Press
    BISMARCK, N.D. October 18, 2011 (AP)

    A proposed constitutional amendment that would make North Dakota the only state in the nation to abolish property taxes would be “the most profound policy change since statehood,” a county commissioner said Monday.

    The measure, which goes to a statewide vote in June 2012, is stirring controversy in North Dakota, where oil and gas development have contributed to an expanding economy and low unemployment that has largely insulated the state from the nation’s economic malaise. /snip/


  59. still_looking says:

    serenity, 3

    Wow. Sign me up.


  60. JJ says:

    Renter, Crackho and Wife beater are interchangeable terms in blue ribbon towns

  61. 3B says:

    #44 Happy: Property taxes are a ball and chain, could not have described it better. Hover, property tax increases will continue to force prices down. I was looking at closed sales yesterday in the land of Unicorns, and I was amazed at the amount of homes that closed in the range of 250k or so to the low 300’s This was absolutely unheard of during the bubble period. Under 300K is late 1990’s pricing. So any one that says prices won’t go back to those levels, is IMO mistaken. Now I do not know the condition of these houses, but that is of secondary importance. housing can no longer (if it ever should have) be considered an investment, property taxes have destroyed that. Even of prices rise at some point, increasing taxes will mute or kill the rise. If one is buying now (we will at some point) it should only be looked at as a long term rental with possible tax advantages. Putting down more than the minimum is in mind foolish.

  62. 3B says:

    #36 In a climate of 0% inflation. Well we know that number is bogus.

  63. 3B says:

    Anybody having problems with njmls system lately??

  64. grim says:

    67 – Problems other than just sucking? Same goes for GSMLS.

  65. Shore Guy says:

    “property tax increases will continue to force prices down”

    Perhaps but, it still means out-of-pocket housing costs are out of control. And, as opposed to money spent on a fairly-priced home, in a stable environment (yea, I know), one does not get back the price of taxes when one sells the house.

  66. 3B says:

    #69 Shore All true. But the more prices are forced down, perhaps our local and state officials as well as residents, will finally make the hard decisions to attack out of control property taxes.

  67. 3B says:

    #68 grim: Every time I enter a zip code, I get the first page of listings, then when i click for the second page it reverts to all the listings on the njmls system over 500 etc.

  68. Shore Guy says:


    I think we will die holding our breath waiting. In fact, I think Sela Ward and I will have a lost weekend in Paris before NJ gets taxes undercontrol; to do so requires cutting the pension obligations.

  69. Barbara says:

    In NJ, local municipalities are family businesses. These people feel that your tax dollars are their and their children’s ( and dim witted son in law’s) birthright.

  70. chicagofinance says:

    From this week’s Barron’s…..

    WHO SAYS ACCOUNTANTS DON’T have a sense of humor? The rules for bank earnings are as absurd as anything Monty Python ever came up with, but to the market, they’re pretty much an unfunny joke.

    Take JPMorgan Chase (ticker: JPM), which posted third-quarter earnings of $1.02 a share Thursday, handily beating the consensus estimate of 91 cents. A big factor: a $1.9 billion gain from DVA, or debit valuation adjustment. DVA reflects the change in value of the company’s debt securities. A decline is recorded as an addition to income because the presumption is the company would be able to repurchase the debt at a discount and record a gain. Of course, the same holds if that same company’s finances deteriorate, according to this accounting theory.

    This principle should be applied to Europe. Think of it: Record the decline in the price of Greek government bonds as revenue. That should eliminate Greece’s budget deficit. Repeat in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Problem solved.

    Maybe not. JPM’s shares fell 4.8% Thursday despite the supposed earnings “beat.” Look for more DVA gains by banks, which saw their credit spreads widen in the third quarter. The market gets the joke.

  71. JJ says:

    Chifi so sad to think you have taken an Ocupy Mindset. Flim Flam accounting manuvers are a solid way to juice earnings. We all know that.

  72. chicagofinance says:

    Letters to the WSJ Editor

    Alert to parents whose children are currently occupying Atlanta/Chicago/Seattle: Now’s your chance to change the locks.

    Kate Walters


  73. 3B says:

    #72 Shore: You are probably right, but then if property taxes continue on their present trajectory, than taxes in a typical “good” (choosing one’s own definition of good will average around 20K or more a year for a 3 bed 1.5 bath home over the next few years. Look out further, and that rare Senior who might have paid off that same 3 bed house could well be looking at 35k or more a year in property taxes. It simply will not be sustainable.

  74. Juice Box says:

    re # 76 – Flim Flam is how we went from the Big 5 to the Big 4. I know a few ex Arthur Andersen folks that are still “recovering” and are probably part of the the homeless delegation down at Zucotti.

  75. chicagofinance says:

    OCTOBER 17, 2011
    Notable & Quotable

    Mark Steyn on middle-class decline and what Occupy Wall Street protesters expect as their birthright..


    more in Opinion ».


    Save↓ More.


    Columnist Mark Steyn in the Orange County Register, Oct. 14:

    Beneath the allegedly young idealism [of Occupy Wall Street] are very cobwebbed assumptions about societal permanence. The agitators for “American Autumn” think that such demands are reasonable for no other reason than that they happen to have been born in America, and expectations that no other society in human history has ever expected are just part of their birthright. But a society can live on the accumulated capital of a glorious inheritance only for so long. And, in that sense, this bloodless, insipid revolution is just a somewhat smellier front for the sclerotic status quo.

    Middle-class America is dying before our eyes: The job market is flat-lined, college fees soar ever upward, the property market is underwater, and ObamaCare is already making medical provision both more expensive and more restrictive. That doesn’t leave much else—although no doubt, as soon as they find something else, the statists will fix that, too. As more and more middle Americans are beginning to notice, they lead more precarious and vulnerable lives than did their blue-collar parents and grandparents without the benefit of college “education” and health “benefits.” For poorer Americans, the prospects are even glummer, augmented by ever-grimmer statistics on obesity, childhood diabetes and much else. Potentially, this is not decline, but a swift devastating downward slide, far beyond what post-war Britain and Europe saw and closer to Peronist Argentina on a Roman scale.

    It would be heartening if more presidential candidates understood the urgency. But there is a strange lack of boldness in most of their proposals. They, too, seem victims of that 1950 moment, and assumptions of its permanence.

  76. chicagofinance says:

    OCTOBER 18, 2011

    Polling the Occupy Wall Street Crowd

    In interviews, protesters show that they are leftists out of step with most American voters. Yet Democrats are embracing them anyway..


    President Obama and the Democratic leadership are making a critical error in embracing the Occupy Wall Street movement—and it may cost them the 2012 election.

    Last week, senior White House adviser David Plouffe said that “the protests you’re seeing are the same conversations people are having in living rooms and kitchens all across America. . . . People are frustrated by an economy that does not reward hard work and responsibility, where Wall Street and Main Street don’t seem to play by the same set of rules.” Nancy Pelosi and others have echoed the message.

    Yet the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.

    The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, interviewed nearly 200 protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park. Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.

    Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.

    The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed, and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%).

    An overwhelming majority of demonstrators supported Barack Obama in 2008. Now 51% disapprove of the president while 44% approve, and only 48% say they will vote to re-elect him in 2012, while at least a quarter won’t vote.

    Fewer than one in three (32%) call themselves Democrats, while roughly the same proportion (33%) say they aren’t represented by any political party.

    What binds a large majority of the protesters together—regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education—is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas.

    Sixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost. By a large margin (77%-22%), they support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but 58% oppose raising taxes for everybody, with only 36% in favor. And by a close margin, protesters are divided on whether the bank bailouts were necessary (49%) or unnecessary (51%).

    Thus Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That’s why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.

    In 1970, aligning too closely with the antiwar movement hurt Democrats in the midterm election, when many middle-class and working-class Americans ended up supporting hawkish candidates who condemned student disruptions. While that 1970 election should have been a sweep against the first-term Nixon administration, it was instead one of only four midterm elections since 1938 when the president’s party didn’t lose seats.

    With the Democratic Party on the defensive throughout the 1970 campaign, liberal Democrats were only able to win on Election Day by distancing themselves from the student protest movement. So Adlai Stevenson III pinned an American flag to his lapel, appointed Chicago Seven prosecutor Thomas Foran chairman of his Citizen’s Committee, and emphasized “law and order”—a tactic then employed by Ted Kennedy, who denounced the student protesters as “campus commandos” who must be repudiated, “especially by those who may share their goals.”

    Today, having abandoned any effort to work with the congressional super committee to craft a bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction, President Obama has thrown in with those who support his desire to tax oil companies and the rich, rather than appeal to independent and self-described moderate swing voters who want smaller government and lower taxes, not additional stimulus or interference in the private sector.

    Rather than embracing huge new spending programs and tax increases, plus increasingly radical and potentially violent activists, the Democrats should instead build a bridge to the much more numerous independents and moderates in the center by opposing bailouts and broad-based tax increases.

    Put simply, Democrats need to say they are with voters in the middle who want cooperation, conciliation and lower taxes. And they should work particularly hard to contrast their rhetoric with the extremes advocated by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

  77. Juice Box says:

    Chi – Schoen misrepresented the Polling results.

    “What frustrates you the most about the political process in the United States?” 30% said “Influence of corporate/moneyed/special interests,” and 21% said “Partisanship.” Only 3% said, “Our democratic/capitalist system” and 6% said “Income inequality.”

    When asked, “What would you like to see the Occupy Wall Street movement achieve?” 35% said “Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP” and 11% said, “Break the two-party duopoly.” Only 4% said “Radical redistribution of wealth.”

  78. Bystander says:


    I don’t get all the negativity against OWS crowd. This blog is a who’s who of malcontents sick of the structural kleptocracy in this country. A million people don’t organize on congressional steps overnight. I expect that to happen if the movement grows and the NRA gets an invite to the party.

  79. Barbara says:

    Two simultaneous yet seemingly opposed truths: a psychological inflation of lifetyle expectations that has seeped into every socioeconomic layer, and a statistically supported realization that dollar for dollar and hour for hour, life was better for your parents.
    Sometimes I think it’s no accident that this paradox coincides with the growth of 24 hour media that relies on ceaseless cycle of envy and fear for it’s own profitability.

  80. Bystander says:


    Is there anything lazier than selling a bunch of MBS to pension funds then taking out CDS contracts against that debt while waiting on the whole thing to explode so the govt. can pay you 100 cents on the dollar? Wall Street loves passive income more than any kid at Zucotti Park. This whole “we earn it” BS by much of the Wall Street crowd is hubris. WS works hard when big money is to be made. They have been riding FASB changes and Ben’s coattails for earnings going on 5 years now.

    Disclaimer: I work for an IB.

  81. nj escapee says:

    3B, you will just about cover the expenses to house and feed a small family almost anywhere else in the USA for the cost of a future northern NJ real estate tax bill.

    3B says:
    October 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm
    #72 Shore: You are probably right, but then if property taxes continue on their present trajectory, than taxes in a typical “good” (choosing one’s own definition of good will average around 20K or more a year for a 3 bed 1.5 bath home over the next few years. Look out further, and that rare Senior who might have paid off that same 3 bed house could well be looking at 35k or more a year in property taxes. It simply will not be sustainable.

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [82] juice

    Where can I find the polling data?

  83. yo says:

    There is no recession so far, based on the latest anecdotal reports from regional Fed Banks. The Beige Book prepared for the November 1-2 FOMC meeting stated that the twelve District Banks found overall economic activity continued to expand in September, although many Districts described the pace of growth as “modest” or “slight.” Contacts generally noted weaker or less certain outlooks for business conditions which are weighing on plans for business spending. Firms are reluctant to build inventories significantly due to uncertainty. Auto dealers were an exception, still rebuilding from Japanese supply shortages and with auto sales up. Consumer spending was up slightly in most Districts, with auto sales and tourism leading the way in several of them.

    By sector, manufacturing and transportation activity was reported to have increased on balance. A few Districts also reported slight improvements in construction and real estate activity. Nonetheless, overall conditions for both residential and commercial real estate remained weak.

    Respondents indicated that labor market conditions were little changed, on balance, in September. Several Districts cited only limited and selective demand for new hires. Some Districts, however, noted that firms in some sectors that were hiring more broadly (such as manufacturing, transportation, and energy) were also experiencing difficulties in finding appropriately skilled or qualified labor. A number of Districts reported that hiring was being restrained by elevated uncertainty or lower expectations for their future growth. There were mixed reports on the direction of upcoming seasonal hiring.

    Most Districts reported that wage pressures remained subdued. Exceptions were generally for workers with specialized skills or in areas where firms were having difficulty finding workers, such as in information technology, in the energy industry, and for truck drivers.

    Most other cost pressures moderated in September. Most Districts reported a general decline in commodity prices, including prices of oil and industrial metals. Many Districts indicated that there continued to be some further pass-through of past increases to wholesale prices. Though retail contacts noted a hesitation to increase prices with demand still weak, many Districts reported increased pass-through of costs in the retail sector, particularly for food and cotton-based goods.

    Overall, the Beige Book argues that the recovery continues but at a very sluggish pace and with continued high unemployment. The latest anecdotal news on inflation is a little more encouraging than the latest PPI and CPI reports showing strong headline inflation.

  84. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [62] SL

    You may recall that I had said it would be smart for conservatives in red states to pass constitutional amendments that barred the state from imposing its own property taxes. I am not aware of any state that does have property taxes (excluding PPTs for businesses, such as WA), but there is no bar in many states from doing just that. In PA, that would mean hitting up the Conservative T to pay for Philly and Pittsburgh. State-level bans would insulate the only form of truly immovable wealth from state-level redistribution.

    The ND proposal, which is populist in nature, goes way beyond that, and I am not sure that the masses will be down with it once they figure out that it would essentially vest all taxing power in the state. In one sense, it seems to be populist in that the municipalities will likely impose income taxes, so some towns will look to soak the rich. Of course, on a muni level, if a wealthy businessman can avoid taxes simply by changing his zip code, he will do so. That would leave the muni in a worse-off position. And if state did so, they could not impose a steeply progressive tax. First, you would drive wealth out of North Dakota, and second, it would emasculate the state’s efforts to bring business in from Minnesota (Grand Forks and Fargo are two of the bigger cities there, and they are on the Minnesota border).

    I don’t think it will pass if it means that the munis will have to go hat in hand to the state, or if it has the effect of scaring off capital. But then, I have never seen a measure quite like this.

    And yes, it signals another canary dying of asphyxiation.

  85. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    they are the same idiots I remember from college in the nineties, railing against the injustice of the captilist system, which is just a meme for progressive redistributionist BS of the sixties. They lost my attention when I caught the patchoullie smelling morons recycling the whole world is watching chant on TV. The only thing I detest more than the majority of boomers is their progressive hippie subspecies and their stupidly named children. Wow activism is real original when you have to re-use old hippie slogans. Back to the new job

  86. yo says:

    The lowest level of weekly imports so far this year led to a big 4.7 million barrel draw in oil inventories which now stand at a 20-month low of 332.9 million barrels. Imports fell sharply and suddenly to 7.9 million barrels per day in the October 14 week vs 9.1 million in the prior week. Data on product inventories are also bullish for prices showing a large 3.3 million barrel draw in gasoline stocks and an even larger 4.3 million barrel draw for distillates. Soft production is helping to draw down product inventories as refineries operated at only 83.1 percent of capacity in the week which is the lowest level in five months. Demand indications are mixed with wholesale supplies of gasoline down a year-on-year 1.5 percent though wholesale supplies of distillates are up a solid 5.8 percent. Oil is up 50 cents to $89.25 in early reaction to today’s results.

  87. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Semi-OT Alert: Politics across the river.

    So, how long before (and let me be the first) people start calling Liu “the Manchurian Candidate”?


  88. Shore Guy says:

    “if property taxes continue on their present trajectory, than taxes in a typical “good” (choosing one’s own definition of good will average around 20K or more a year for a 3 bed 1.5 bath home over the next few years”

    Hard to argue with that assessment. Now, consider this, to pay $20k in property taxes, one must earn about $40,000 pretax (considering, state income tax, FICA, and federal income tax). I wonder what perecntage of income that is for the universe of NJ residents who are not on public assistance.

  89. Shore Guy says:

    Where the heck is BC?

  90. Shore Guy says:

    Did he leave the state?

  91. Shore Guy says:

    Scratch Mexico off the vacation list:

    (CNN) — People in the Mexican state of Veracruz, which has witnessed a spate of violence in recent weeks, now have confirmation that any lack of confidence in the state’s ability to keep them safe was justified. Nearly 1,000 police officers have been fired because they failed so-called “reliability tests,” the state’s Secretariat of Public Security said.

    In all, Veracruz state employs 21,000 officers, including the secretariat’s own police force, and smaller auxiliary forces and municipal police forces.

    Of those, about 3,150 police have undergone the tests, which include a lie detector examination, the head of the secretariat, Arturo Bermudez Zurita, said Tuesday. Of those, 980, or about one out of every three officers, failed the test, he said.


  92. 3B says:

    #88 Overall, the Beige Book argues that the recovery continues but at a very sluggish pace and with continued high unemployment. The latest anecdotal news on inflation is a little more encouraging than the latest PPI and CPI reports showing strong headline inflation.

    I would argue that there is no recovery even a sluggish recovery,when unemployment is so high.

  93. Bocephus says:

    90. Get back to your corporate overlord. Those TPS reports won’t write themselves.

  94. JJ says:

    Don’t you know only the 1% live in NJ, 20K taxes is nothing on a seven figure salary.

    Shore Guy says:
    October 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm
    “if property taxes continue on their present trajectory, than taxes in a typical “good” (choosing one’s own definition of good will average around 20K or more a year for a 3 bed 1.5 bath home over the next few years”

    Hard to argue with that assessment. Now, consider this, to pay $20k in property taxes, one must earn about $40,000 pretax (considering, state income tax, FICA, and federal income tax). I wonder what perecntage of income that is for the universe of NJ residents who are not on public assistance.

  95. Juice Box says:

    re: # 87 – Data was collected 198 interviews on the Mon the 10th and Tues 11th.

    Here it is.


  96. Shore Guy says:

    “Don’t you know only the 1% live in NJ”

    Indeed. That said, even if one earns $400,000, well above the $250,00 level considered “rich,” cough, gag, that $40,000 needed to earn to pay the $20,000 property tax is 10% of earnings. This is absurd to the Nth degree.

  97. Double Down says:


    “In six days, I’m going to release the details of an economic growth package that will create jobs, create growth, create investor confidence in America again,” Perry said at the Western Republican Leadership Conference Wednesday morning. “Scrapping the three million words of the current tax code, starting over with something simpler — a flat tax.

    I want to make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time.”

  98. Shore Guy says:


    Antidepressants were taken by 11% of Americans over the age of twelve years during the period 2005-2008, according to a CDC report issued today. Antidepressants are the most common prescription drugs taken by individuals aged 18 to 44 – nearly one quarter of all females aged 40 to 59 take them, the reports informs.



  99. Juice Box says:

    What a drag it is getting old “Kids are different today,” I hear ev’ry mother say Mother needs something today to calm her down And though she’s not really ill There’s a little yellow pill She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

    “Things are different today,” I hear ev’ry mother say Cooking fresh food for a husband’s just a drag So she buys an instant cake and she burns her frozen steak And goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper And two help her on her way, get her through her busy day

    Doctor please, some more of these Outside the door, she took four more What a drag it is getting old

    “Men just aren’t the same today” I hear ev’ry mother say They just don’t appreciate that you get tired They’re so hard to satisfy, You can tranquilize your mind So go running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper And four help you through the night, help to minimize your plight

    Doctor please, some more of these Outside the door, she took four more What a drag it is getting old

    “Life’s just much too hard today,” I hear ev’ry mother say The pusuit of happiness just seems a bore And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose No more running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day

  100. chicagofinance says:

    shore: he has bailed on the threads for weeks at a time in the past; this disappearance is not out of the ordinary….

    Shore Guy says:
    October 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm
    Where the heck is BC?

  101. Shore Guy says:

    So, those of you who have downsized or can’t find regular employment what do you think of Harry Reid’s assement?


  102. Shore Guy says:

    Speaking of bailing, what about Kettle?

  103. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore 109 busy with the twins maybe. We have had a GTG lately, all is well.

  104. RU says:

    #65 3B: I check recent sales every week in the land of Unicorns because I will be relocating next year due to work. I don’t recall any recent sales under 300k. I see at least one a week for around 350k and the rest over 400k. Granted that is a lot less than during the bubble but I don’t think it’s anywhere close to the 90’s. I’ll check again.

    On another note, have you seen the recent campaign literature from the Democrats in town regarding the recent tax increase? I laughed because a lot of it was to pay the bills for their reckless spending while they were in office. I can’t wait until one of them comes knocking on the door while campaigning in town.

  105. Juice Box says:

    Re: 108- my Fil was downsized again today, 2nd time in 2 years. I doubt he will be getting a GOV job before I run out of patience paying his Mortgage, which cost as much as my rent. I have been planning to buy a mother/daughter might as well hit the MLS tonight and hit the liquor cabinet as well.

  106. 3b says:

    #111 RU Check on Trulia sold homes there is 4 or 5 under 300K, and more in the low 300’s to 350K range, and they will continue to come down.

    The Democrats in town are a joke. They spent the town’s surplus, which the town used to pride itself on. And they embarked on one foolish spending folly after another. Now they have the audacity to blame the Mayor!!! The Mayor can only vote in the event of a tie otherwise he or she is powerless. The Council was dominated by the Democrats entirely for years. The Mayor has been consistent in warning over the years that property taxes were out of control. Now the Democrats have the nerve to question her leadership.

  107. RU says:

    I wonder if one of them is the house across from TD Bank. House is in shambles. Roof is so bad that there has to be a large amount of water damage. I remember it up for sale in the spring for 180k.

    Hopefully the residents are smart enough to see through the BS. I guess we’ll find out soon!

  108. 3b says:

    #111 RU: Just looked quickly again. 224 Madison Ave sold at 285K, 28 Wayne sold at 280K, and 92 Wayne sold at 275K. ALso 251 Oak at 325K. Also saw one on Bogert just closed 4 bed 2.4 bath expanded colonial etc. Sold in 2006 for 635K closed in Sept at 525K. Also saw Reis colonials now listing in the low 400’s, these were selling at 500K during the bubble.

  109. RU says:

    I was just looking too. I saw the one on Madison. Must have needed a ton of work. It was listed for 299k plus no interior pics on the listing. Nothing is selling anywhere near the price during the bubble days. From what I’m seeing, 4 br houses that are well kept and need minor updating are selling for around 400k. I believe the median is around 425k for the past 12 months. Some people are still a little delusional and listing their houses for over 500k even though it needs work.

  110. Fabius Maximus says:

    #81 Chi #82 Juice

    This seems to be the default plan from the right side media. Try and paint a picture with barely credible facts and if the picture does not stick, it clouds the picture of the left as they have to dispell thiss before their own message comes throught.

    In this case the poll results themselves show the slant of the articles. The Dems are holding back from full suport OWS as they know this could disolve into anarchy at any point. But you will see the James OKeefe trying to run the Acorn play on this. They should be concerned as people will start comparing OWS to the Tea Party and the AstroTurf will start showing through.

  111. Fabius Maximus says:

    Ones of my wingnut friends posted this to me:

    ‘Question to the “Occupy” protesters. If you can get a job under Capitalism, how are you going to get a job without Capitalism!’

    I could try and point out that under both scenarios they still don’t have a job so what is the point of capitalism to them, but like some discussions in here, whats the point of even trying to debate the point.

  112. chi (60)-

    Their logic is the same as that employed by Jim Jones to get his minions to drink the Koolaid.

  113. Fabius Maximus says:

    Banning Jamil,

    Haven’t had time to post on this. Only a select few people have ever been banned here. I say hold him up against Dcuky and if he meets that criteria, toss him.

    Personally I would happily see him banned as he brings nothing to the discussion here. I actually think we are looking at a new Jamil. He posted at one point he was being relocated to CA or the UK. I think we got reassigned to a new Koch-head and this one has turned out to be a Super A-Troll.

    I don’t have a problem with people holding opposing views from me (as long as you are willing to defend them). Most of what Al posts here I would disagree with and in Nom I have found my ideological opposite (I struggle to recall anything we agree on). But a least there is the scope for debate an a respect for differences, with Jamil, its just a constant drone.

  114. I guess the fact that jamil merely seems tedious to me means that every one of my nerves is shot.

    Where is my heroin?

  115. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [118] fabius,

    “I could try and point out that under both scenarios they still don’t have a job so what is the point of capitalism to them, but like some discussions in here, whats the point of even trying to debate the point.”

    The difference is that under socialism (assuming an anticapitalist system, this seems easiest), the unemployed person will have a lot more company.

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [120] fabius

    “I struggle to recall anything we agree on”


  117. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    But not this. A little Euro-style social engineering that Fabius would surely endorse.


  118. Fabius Maximus says:

    #123 Nom

    You say Whisky, I say Whiskey!

  119. Fabius Maximus says:

    #124 Nom,

    Amen, I do love a good luxury tax.

    Just like property taxes. the more it costs and the more prestegious the more you should pay.

  120. Fabius Maximus says:

    #122 Nom

    At least they get a job that will meet basic needs. Even picking cabages in a field comes with basic healthcare.

  121. Shore Guy says:

    Why didn’t we think of this great idea years ago?

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — The first Mexican carrier is set to roll into the U.S. interior within days, but the Teamsters union and two California congressmen haven’t given up on stopping the cross-border trucking program that had been stalled for years by safety concerns and political wrangling.

    U.S. Reps. Duncan Hunter and Bob Filner joined Teamsters President James Hoffa at the border on Wednesday to take a bipartisan stand against the pilot project that will allow approved Mexican trucks to come deep into the United States. The first Mexican truck will enter Texas on Friday.

    The lawmakers and Hoffa were surrounded by more than 75 union members from at least five states who attended the news conference near a major international truck crossing in San Diego. Hunter is a San Diego-area Republican, while Filner is a Democrat whose district includes California’s border with Mexico…

    Full article at:


  122. Shore Guy says:

    “Even picking cabages in a field comes with basic healthcare.”

    What? Cut yourself with a harvesting knife and wrap the wound with a cabage leaf?

  123. chicagofinance says:

    Fabius Maximus says:
    October 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm
    #123 Nom
    You say Whisky, I say Whiskey!

    Irish Whiskey is for river dancers…..

  124. Fabius Maximus says:

    #130 Chi

    I don’t have a problem with that, more Pure Pot Still for me.

  125. Shore Guy says:

    Adios Sears? (Who here has been in a Sears or a K-Mart since G.W. Bush was president?

    FORTUNE — In what seems an admission that the Sears shopping experience continues to have about as much appeal as getting a root canal, Sears Holding Corporation has moved to expand partnerships over the last few months that allow competitors to sell its most storied brands. Craftsman tools and DieHard batteries have already escaped the big-box retail behemoth, and it’s probably only a matter of time before Kenmore makes a break for freedom as well.

    The move is an ingenious elixir for near-term earnings, providing incremental cash flow to the struggling corporate mash-up that Eddie Lampert built, and is a delightful added discomfort to Sears’ high-interest-paying shorts, who have watched the company’s float vanish thanks to Lampert’s aggressive stock buybacks. But critics worry that it could, in the end, just be digging the once omnipresent retailer a deeper grave.

    “It will have a short-term benefit, but long-term it will be a disaster,” predicts Howard Davidowitz, Chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, Inc., a national retail consulting and investment banking firm. “Sears is in total collapse — earnings, sales, everything is tanking — so they embark on this strategy with their brands that fundamentally goes against what every retailer in the United States is doing, what every retailer is trying to accomplish, which is to differentiate themselves from their competitors.”


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