Will 2014 be the year of inventory?

From Bloomberg:

Home Sellers Return for U.S. Spring Market as Buyers Get Relief

Suzanne Baker and her siblings bought a foreclosed home in Atlanta two years ago, added a fourth bathroom, then waited for values to rebound before considering a sale. Now, she says, they’re ready to cash in.

The family last month listed the four-bedroom house in the affluent Buckhead neighborhood for $710,000. It was purchased as an investment for about $375,000 in late 2011, before bulk buyers snapped up many of the area’s distressed homes, helping to drive up prices in Atlanta by more than 25 percent.

“The market is back up,” Baker said. “We think we can make a good amount of profit so we’re going to try.”

For two years, a shortage of sellers like the Bakers has propped up prices across the U.S. as shoppers jostled for a dwindling supply of houses. Now, as the market’s busiest season approaches, escalating values are spurring more listings as homeowners regain equity lost in the worst crash since the 1930s. While new-home construction at a third of its 2006 peak will keep inventory tight, the supply increase is poised to damp price gains while higher mortgage rates cut into demand.

For would-be buyers, more choice would mean relief from the bidding wars of last year, when the supply was at a 12-year low leading into the key spring season. The period traditionally starts in mid-February, with deals picking up in the following months as weather in much of the country starts to warm.

Prices “won’t be rising as much as they were rising last spring.” said Jed Kolko, chief economist of San Francisco-based Trulia Inc., operator of an online property-listing service. “It will be a less frantic market with more inventory and fewer investors.”

“Rising inventory is the primary reason that we expect the pace of price gains to drop back,” Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said in a telephone interview.

Prices nationwide will climb 4 percent this year compared to 2013’s expected 11 percent gain, according to Diggle. Increasing mortgage rates also will weigh on prices because the higher costs will push some buyers out of the market, while forcing others to look for cheaper deals, he said.

Diggle’s firm projects 30-year fixed mortgage rates of 5 percent by the end of the year. That compares with the average this week of 4.23 percent, according to data from Freddie Mac. Rates will climb as the Federal Reserve scales back bond purchases that have bolstered the housing recovery by holding borrowing costs down, he said.

“Buyer enthusiasm has really softened in the past three months,” said Lawrence Yun, the Realtors group’s chief economist, who said colder-than-normal weather may be partly to blame. “In some markets, prices may rise further and buyers will want to catch it” before the increases put them out of their budget.

Sellers are “nervous about what the spring is going to bring,” said Reid, who is based in Temecula, California. “They don’t know if everybody will list this spring then you’ll have a big counterbalance toward too much inventory, or if there’ll be a crunch again. They figure they’ll get out ahead of the market, list, sell and be done with it.”

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

84 Responses to Will 2014 be the year of inventory?

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning

  3. grim says:

    Huh? From the Star Ledger:

    Which N.J. city was rated the fourth most romantic in the United States?

    Still looking to plan a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day?

    Look no further than New Jersey’s Atlantic City, ranked the No. 4 most romantic city in the United States by OpenTable.

  4. Comrade Nom Deplume in the dark says:

    Day 3 of no power. Actually, we have generators so we have power but aside from running appliances, that’s it. Kicking myself for not getting that transfer switch done first thing.

    But family is warm and comfortable and the schools are finally open again. And it has been good prepper practice.

  5. grim says:

    Prepper 101 – Buy a book on basic wiring. No reason your heat couldn’t have been safely hooked up in 20 minutes, and no I’m not talking about suicide cables. You could have just added an extension pigtail to your boiler controls. In the middle of the night? Cut the end off an extension cord and use it, just remember to repair your extension cord the next day.

  6. grim says:

    Grim’s essential prepper skills

    Ability to hike 25-30 miles a day, loaded, with your kids
    Ability to join metal, welding, braising, etc
    Ability to join wood into a useful structure
    Ability to dig a well
    Basic first aid including the ability to suture a wound without creating infection problems, understanding of how to treat infection problems you just caused.
    Ability to butcher an animal
    Ability to preserve meat and vegetables over winter
    Basic understanding of edible flora
    Ability to repair a small engine
    Understanding of basic electric theory and practice
    Ability to navigate without a GPS
    Ability to sew
    Ability to make soap
    Ability to ferment and make alcohol

    Ideally, you will be a combination of Bear Grylls, MacGyver, Steven Raichlen, and the Professor from Gilligan’s Island.

    Surprisingly, none of these involve guns or gold. Don’t need those, when someone comes to me with a gash in their abdomen, they’ll gladly trade all their gold and guns for medical attention.

  7. Juiice Box says:

    Nom a real man would have YouTubed the video on how to hardware the furnace.

  8. charlie says:

    Brazing u mean…braising is good for ribs

  9. grim says:

    Ability to cook good ribs – thanks for reminding me

  10. grim says:

    I’d also say having the ability to build one of those off-road dune buggies like they had in mad max, with the spikes and the guns, and tina turner, that’d be cool.

  11. grim says:

    Jobs numbers suck

  12. jj says:

    Most men are sissys. And 99% of men under 40 are super sissys.

    For example I had a bday party and my damm lights started flickering on main level. Everyone at party was horrified that after party I was going to open main 220 electric panel and checking the connectons and changing out breakers. They were like they are scared OMG I dont touch that. These folks are scared to pop out and pop in a six buck breaker and you want them butchering animals. Yea right
    grim says:
    February 7, 2014 at 7:49 am
    Grim’s essential prepper skills

    Ability to hike 25-30 miles a day, loaded, with your kids
    Ability to join metal, welding, braising, etc
    Ability to join wood into a useful structure
    Ability to dig a well
    Basic first aid including the ability to suture a wound without creating infection problems, understanding of how to treat infection problems you just caused.
    Ability to butcher an animal
    Ability to preserve meat and vegetables over winter
    Basic understanding of edible flora
    Ability to repair a small engine
    Understanding of basic electric theory and practice
    Ability to navigate without a GPS
    Ability to sew
    Ability to make soap
    Ability to ferment and make alcohol

    Ideally, you will be a combination of Bear Grylls, MacGyver, Steven Raichlen, and the Professor from Gilligan’s Island.

    Surprisingly, none of these involve guns or gold. Don’t need those, when someone comes to me with a gash in their abdomen, they’ll gladly trade all their gold and guns for medical attention.

  13. Good morning for drinking some whiskey.

  14. jj says:

    Treasurys soar on soft jobs report
    MARKETWATCH — 7 MINUTES AGO
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Treasury prices soared, sending yields sharply lower, after a showed a below-consensus 113,000 new jobs created in January. Economists had expected 190,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 6.6% from 6.7%. The benchmark 10-year note (10_YEAR) yield, which falls as prices rises, dropped 6 basis points on the day to 2.644%. The 30-year bond (30_YEAR) fell 3.5 basis points to 3.641%, and the 7-year note (7_YEAR) yield fell 7 basis points to 2.097%.

  15. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Grim people used to laugh at me when I said the first thing I would do when the SHTF is go to the local generic company and loot as many cases of Antibiotics as possible. i can get food and everything else. So while the morons are grabbing twinkies and cans of beans I’ll be grabbing things that can be bartered at the highest possible price.

  16. chicagofinance says:

    jj says:
    February 7, 2014 at 8:47 am
    Soar…..?

    Treasurys soar on soft jobs report
    MARKETWATCH — 7 MINUTES AGO
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Treasury prices soared, sending yields sharply lower, after a showed a below-consensus 113,000 new jobs created in January. Economists had expected 190,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 6.6% from 6.7%. The benchmark 10-year note (10_YEAR) yield, which falls as prices rises, dropped 6 basis points on the day to 2.644%. The 30-year bond (30_YEAR) fell 3.5 basis points to 3.641%, and the 7-year note (7_YEAR) yield fell 7 basis points to 2.097%.

  17. jj says:

    Yes for folks in at 829 and out at 833 a billion long it soared.

    chicagofinance says:
    February 7, 2014 at 9:18 am
    jj says:
    February 7, 2014 at 8:47 am
    Soar…..?

  18. No new jobs. Robots taking over.

  19. jj says:

    How do you barter antibiotics to someone with a gun?

    My favorite during sandy of preppers being prepared was I had a neighbor who had a generator, nice one big expensive one. Had foresight to move it up high so not flooded like nearly every other generator.

    The night of norester he lights it up and you hear the humming and he is sleeping nice and tight with heat while the rest of us is freezing. In middle of night his house gets a bit colder he wakes up but still hears generator going, fall back a sleep then wakes up freezing and still hear generator going. So he gets coat and goes out side Generator is gone and someone put an old lawn mower running right in the spot. We all were laughing our butts off.

    Painhrtz – Disobey! says:
    February 7, 2014 at 9:08 am
    Grim people used to laugh at me when I said the first thing I would do when the SHTF is go to the local generic company and loot as many cases of Antibiotics as possible. i can get food and everything else. So while the morons are grabbing twinkies and cans of beans I’ll be grabbing things that can be bartered at the highest possible price.

  20. chicagofinance says:

    you are a grumbly old sot….

    Spine Snapper says:
    February 7, 2014 at 9:20 am
    No new jobs. Robots taking over.

  21. Carlito says:

    Inventory is picking up….this jewell in WF is for the picking
    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/229-E-Dudley-Ave-Westfield-NJ-07090/40086185_zpid/

  22. Essex says:

    5. I just unhook the wires to the furnace in the junction box above the heater and attach it to the extension cord which plugs into the generator.

  23. Essex says:

    Spending more time on Zillow these days. It’s great fun. I assume when I see a place on the market for hundreds of days it is 1. overpriced….or 2. Sucks……thoughts??

  24. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sx [24];

    (1). Its always (1). Even when its (2), its really (1), because there’s nothing wrong with the place that the right price can’t fix*.

    *Grim.

  25. xmonger says:

    #6 My prepper plan – befriend Grim

  26. grim says:

    I can’t sew and my ribs are tough

  27. Steal clothes off dead people.

  28. Entering the payoff phase of the Big Grift:

    “First, is it possible that like the Fed, the government is also aware that a crash in stocks is coming? And, are they offering the MyRA program as an easy outlet (or trap) for people to pour in what little savings they have as panic over declining equities accelerates? Bonds do tend to look appetizing to uninformed investors during an equities route.

    Second, the program is currently voluntary, but what if the plan is to make it mandatory? Obama has already signed mandatory health insurance “taxation” into law, which is meant to steal a portion of every paycheck. Why not steal an even larger portion from every paycheck in order to support U.S. debt? It’s for the “greater good,” after all.

    Third, is this a deliberate strategy to corral the last vestiges of private American wealth into the corner of U.S. bonds, so that this wealth can be confisc@ted or annihilated? What happens if there is indeed an eventual debt default, as I believe there will be? Will Americans be herded into bonds by a crisis in stocks only to have bonds implode as well? Will they be conned into bond investment out of a “patriotic duty” to save the nation from default? Or, will the government just take their money through legislative wrangling, as was done in Cyprus not long ago?”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-06/final-swindle-private-american-wealth-has-begun

  29. grim says:

    Jesus take off the tinfoil hat – the MyRA program is nothing – is nothing more than additional evidence illustrating the ineffectiveness and dysfunction of the US Government.

    Equivalent of a presidential temper tantrum – I’ll show you – I’ll get it done through edict! Just like raising the minimum wages associated with federal contracts.

    Again, nothing more than additional evidence of dysfunction. Assuming conspiracy would be giving them too much credit.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    I thought Helipads were verboten….or was that Summit?

    Carlito says:
    February 7, 2014 at 9:58 am
    Inventory is picking up….this jewell in WF is for the picking

  31. grim says:

    31 – Are you talking about the widows walk? Not sure why one would require it in Westfield – we’re miles away from the shore. Perhaps it’s intended for the wife to stand watch for the midtown direct train?

  32. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    JJ I think you have been around long enough to know I’m well armed

    An 870 and 1911 ensure my investment is well protected. At least at close range

  33. Street Justice says:

    Funny where I live it’s the opposite. People think you’re a wuss if you call a contractor.

    jj says:
    February 7, 2014 at 8:44 am
    Most men are sissys. And 99% of men under 40 are super sissys.

    For example I had a bday party and my damm lights started flickering on main level. Everyone at party was horrified that after party I was going to open main 220 electric panel and checking the connectons and changing out breakers. They were like they are scared OMG I dont touch that. These folks are scared to pop out and pop in a six buck breaker and you want them butchering animals. Yea right
    grim says:
    February 7, 2014 at 7:49 am
    Grim’s essential prepper skills

  34. WestJester says:

    RE 23
    Pop the furnace breaker first, of course.

  35. Juice Box says:

    Where I live people think you are poor if you don’t call a contractor.

  36. Libturd at Home says:

    Yes. At the junction box to the furnace. Cut the circuit to the house electric. Connect the boiler feed from the junction box to an extension cord. No need to cut extension cord. Just put the black and white wires right into female slots in the extension cord. Polarity shouldn’t matter since it’s AC. Tie off extension cord (wrap around a pipe) so if someone trips over cord, it doesn’t disconnect from furnace. Once house AC comes back on, reconnect black and white wires in junction box. Simple. I didn’t tell you this of course.

  37. xolepa says:

    (32) That wife would be waiting a long, long time. There is no midtown direct to Westfield.

  38. jj says:

    As if I would approach someone one on one with a gun. I would do something big like that movie Death Race 3. Run you over, flame thrower, machine gun, posion gas.

    Must likely just run folks over it seem so much easier. I had a kid once in my HS a little guy. He was insane, he never lost a fight. He was like five foot six inch 14 pounds. Once the guy was scraching me, biting me spitting on me during a fight and was beating the snot out of me. I also saw him hit someone with a plank once. Anyhow someone pulls him off me and he goes lets go some more. I say you win I am out. this guy will scratch my eyes out.

    So when he was 18 he was in long beach in a bar by himself and picked a fight with four large guys. He never loses a fight. They did not seem to understand that. They beat the living snot out of hime left him bloodied in the alley behind bar and the four guys took off down the boardwalk. Well in like three minutes bloodied needing sitched jumped in his grand prix with a 455 cit engine and big wheels flew down bock right up boardwork ramp and ran them over. Saw him the next day hosing blood off his front end. Got convicted of vehicle manslaughter. Then he was appealing and got DA to let him out early if he enlisted to fight in Gulf War one. Apparantly he was good at killing folks. Did four years came back even crazier, but the military for some crazy reason gave him a military license and he got a job as a cab driver!!!! Got into some huge accident that injured a bunch of folks speeding and cab company got sued for millions. Anyhow he got some weird desease in Iraq, his mother sued Arm, he got massive Arthritis in his early 30s from some chemicals he was exposed too. He was adopted and Mom remaried so it was a little sad. My Mom told me only like two people showed up for his funeral.

    Some people are soooo insane guns dont help you.

    Painhrtz – Disobey! says:
    February 7, 2014 at 11:07 am
    JJ I think you have been around long enough to know I’m well armed

    An 870 and 1911 ensure my investment is well protected. At least at close range

  39. xolepa says:

    Back to train talk.

    Can someone please please tell me why NJT does not introduce midtown service on the Raritan line, albeit off-peak hours? I can understand that traffic is overloaded on peak hours, but off-peak and weekends? They have the dual-mode locomotives.

    If NJT introduced direct service to NY off-peak, I guesstimate about a 5-10% increase in RE values across the entire line. If it went full-peak, it would be about 20%. If I remember correctly, that’s what happened to the towns along the lines that were introduced to midtown direct in the 90s.

  40. jj says:

    On a macro basis whereever that bus drops off the Jersey folk in Manhattan the city real estate will fall 5-10%

    Kinda like the block in Long Island City where they drop off the just released Riker Island prisioners

    xolepa says:
    February 7, 2014 at 11:35 am
    Back to train talk.

    Can someone please please tell me why NJT does not introduce midtown service on the Raritan line, albeit off-peak hours? I can understand that traffic is overloaded on peak hours, but off-peak and weekends? They have the dual-mode locomotives.

    If NJT introduced direct service to NY off-peak, I guesstimate about a 5-10% increase in RE values across the entire line. If it went full-peak, it would be about 20%. If I remember correctly, that’s what happened to the towns along the lines that were introduced to midtown direct in the 90s.

  41. Fast Eddie says:

    As of January, only 63% of Americans over age 16 participated in the labor market — meaning they either had a job or looked for one. This matches the lowest level since 1978. (Yes, we can!)

    About 15,000 jobs were added at restaurants and bars. (Buy now or be priced out forever)

    Professional and business services added 36,000 jobs, but a large part of those jobs were through staffing agencies. (translation – temp jobs)

    I’m dying to enjoy a day of banter and discourse but this newest gig of mine has consumed me entirely. I’m in G0d’s country, The Workers United Republic of Hoboken, working for a VERY progressive company rooted in Silicon Valley and the attitude certainly reflects it. I have never been surrounded by so many Ivy League graduates holding higher degrees in my life – many substantially younger than myself but I have life experience, a pragmatic approach and moxie and they do not! :) After 4 or 5 years of banging about in various gigs, I’m here for the long run; too much opportunity and too much to learn but omg, my head hurts!

    I saw that article on pocket listings from yesterday. I still haven’t read through it all but I told you, that is the game now. Everything else is just a mob front.

    More later… I hate you all! Kidding, just some of you. lol!

  42. Street Justice says:

    What made me a little nervous during sandy was that I live near the county prison. Some of the county sheriffs guys and other people in local municipality were showing their true colors and taking municipal backup generators and prolly townships gasoline too and using it for themselves. I wondered if the power was out for too long some of them would just stop guarding the jail.

    My buddy from down the shore said cops were totally overwhelmed after the storm. He said they took turns watching the neighborhood with hunting shotguns and his 9mm. Finally they brought in state troopers from some other state down south to watch the neighborhood and chase off looters. But there was a time there when you could call the cops but there was little guarantee they would ever come.

  43. Marilyn says:

    and where I live, I live with all the contractors. That’s why my windshield is always broke.

  44. I like the way hatred motivates Gary.

  45. grim (30)-

    Not even the most conservative member of Clowngress would object to a presidential edict creating a savings scam to bilk the least wealthy and sophisticated among us. Bailing out the country on the backs of dupes is a popular play on both sides of the aisle.

    “Equivalent of a presidential temper tantrum – I’ll show you – I’ll get it done through edict! Just like raising the minimum wages associated with federal contracts.”

  46. jj says:

    Contractors threatened one of my handimen once.

    My guy I use drives a minivan and dresses in business casual, his workers also wear business casual. He picks up workers at their houses and drives to job site. Other thing is he had me buy supplies and had some big supplies delivered to my home and a few days before work begins he brings tools to house and other materials. He actually needs multiple sets of tools. During rip out and big parts of job owner has to be there.

    All this as building inspectors, contractors, electricians, plumbers, neighbors, zoning folks are all looking to make a buck.

    Funny I want to rip out my basement bathroom and put in a new basement bathroom and it leaks I get water in my own basement. Why do all these folks care? I can see doing an oil to gas conversion with a handiman being an issue but isnt that the owners job.

    Marilyn says:
    February 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm
    and where I live, I live with all the contractors. That’s why my windshield is always broke.

  47. grim says:

    Off Peak midtown direct will have zero impact on RE values.

  48. chicagofinance says:

    See, here is the problem…..the quote is “this is the first step”…..no jerkoffs….this is the LAST step unless they build more tunnels…..but the whining won’t stop….so all this money and effort is spent for nothing…..

    Pete says:
    February 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm
    Xolepa, They will be offering off peak soon…
    http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2013/12/one-seat_ride_to_manhattan_to.html

  49. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re: [26];

    Yes, befriend someone who is prepared and hardened, or intimidate someone who is prepared but soft.

    http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-07-31/

  50. Carlito says:

    No “one seat” ride at peak hours…thanks CC…

  51. Carlito says:

    Put it in perspective: connecting NJ-NYC, last railway tunnel was built over 100 years ago…newest is the south tube in the Licoln, done 1957…

  52. Juice Box says:

    Rail is way too expensive. Buses are the way to go, if they dig another tunnel it should be for buses.

  53. chicagofinance says:

    noonan:
    Welcome to my obsession. It is electricity. It makes everything run—the phone, the web, the TV, the radio, all the ways we talk to each other and receive information. The tools and lights in the operating room—electricity. All our computers in a nation run by them, all our defense structures, installations and communications. The pumps at the gas station, the factories in the food-supply chain, the ATM, the device on which you stream your music—all electricity. The premature infant’s ventilator and the sound system at the rock concert—all our essentials and most of our diversions are dependent in some way on this: You plug the device into the wall and it gets electrical power and this makes your life, and the nation’s life, work. Without it, darkness descends.

    Because this is so obvious, we don’t think about it unless there’s a blackout somewhere, and then we think about it for a minute and move on. We assume it will just be there, like the sun.

    But this societal and structural dependence is something new in the long history of man.

    No one who wishes America ill has to blow up a bomb. That might cause severe damage and rattle us. But if you’re clever and you really wanted to half-kill America—to knock it out for a few months or longer and force every one of our material and cultural weaknesses to a crisis stage—you’d take out its electrical grid. The grid is far-flung, interconnected, interdependent, vulnerable. So you’d zap it with an electromagnetic pulse, which would scramble and fry power lines. Or you’d hack the system in a broad, sustained attack, breaking into various parts, taking them down, and watching them take other parts down.

    Or you’d do what the people at the center of a riveting front-page story in this newspaper appear to have done. You’d attack it physically, with guns, in a coordinated attack.

    The heretofore unknown story happened last April 16. There was an armed assault on a power station in California. Just after midnight some person or persons slipped into an underground vault near Highway 101 just outside San Jose. He or they cut telephone cables—apparently professionally, in a way that would be hard to repair. About a half hour later, surveillance cameras at Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s nearby Metcalf substation picked up a streak of light, apparently a signal from a flashlight. Snipers then opened fire. The shooters appear to have been aiming at the transformer’s cooling systems, which were filled with oil. If that was their target, they hit it. The system leaked 52,000 gallons; the transformer overheated and began to crash. Then there was another flash of light, and the shooting, which had gone on almost 20 minutes, stopped.

    The assault knocked out 17 giant transformers that feed electrical power to Silicon Valley. A minute before the police arrived, “the shooters disappeared into the night,” in the words of reporter Rebecca Smith, who put the story together through interviews, PG&E filings, documents and a police video.

    No suspect in the case has been identified.

    Jon Wellinghoff, who at the time was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told Ms. Smith the attack “was the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.” If the attack were replicated around the country, it could take down the entire electrical grid.

    There was no big blackout after the attack—officials rerouted power, and power plants in Silicon Valley were asked to increase their output—but it took 27 days to get the substation fully working again.

    Mr. Wellinghoff said he briefed Congress, the White House and federal agencies. But 10 months have passed since the attack, and he fears another, larger one could be in the planning stage.

    Ms. Smith quotes an FBI spokesman in San Francisco saying the bureau doesn’t think a terrorist organization launched the attack. Investigators, he said, “are continuing to sort through the evidence.” PG&E, in a news release, called it the work of vandals.

    If so, they were extremely sophisticated and well-armed. More than 100 shell casings were later found at the site. They were of the kind ejected by AK-47s. They were free of fingerprints.

    Mr. Wellinghoff later toured the area with professionals from the U.S. Navy’s Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, which trains the SEALs. He said the military experts told him it looked like a professional job. They noted small piles of rocks that they said could have been left by an advance scout to alert the attackers as to where to get the best shots.

    Some in the industry see it the way Mr. Wellinghoff does, including a former official of PG&E, who told an industry security conference he feared the incident could be a dress rehearsal: “This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components.”

    Rich Lordan, an executive at the Electric Power Research Institute, said: “The depth and breadth of the attack was unprecedented” in the United States. The motivation, he said, “appears to be preparation for an act of war.”

    It’s hard to look at the facts and see the Metcalf incident as anything but a deliberate attack by a coordinated, professional group with something deeper and more dangerous on their minds than the joys of vandalism.

    So, questions. Who is looking for the shooters, and how hard? On whose list of daily action items is it the top priority?

    Those who worry about the grid mostly worry about hackers, and understandably: The grid is under regular hack attack. But the more immediate and larger threat may be physical attacks. In any case, as Ms. Smith suggests, the Metcalf incident appears to lift the discussion beyond the hypothetical.

    Protection of the grid on all levels and from all threats should be given much more urgent priority by the federal government. If it ever goes down nationally, it will take time to get it back up and operational, and in the time it could take—months, weeks—many of our country’s problems would present themselves in new and grimmer ways. There would likely be broad unrest, much of it inevitable and some of it opportunistic. What would happen in an environment like that, with people without light, means of communication, and perhaps in time food? What would happen to public safety? To civil liberties? Those questions sound farfetched. They are not.

    I end with an anecdote. In 2006 I met with some congressional aides and staffers to talk, informally, about what questions should be in the country’s hierarchy of worries. They were surprised when I told them a primary concern of mine was electricity, how dependent we are on it, how vulnerable the whole system is. I asked if there was any work being done to strengthen the grid. Blank faces, crickets. Then a bright young woman said she thought there was something about electricity in the appropriations bill a while back.

    You always want to think your government is on it. You want to think they see what you see. But really, they’re never on it. They always have to be pushed.

  54. chicagofinance says:

    Progressives in their full glory…..

    A California high school is under fire for a lunchtime faux pas.

    Some parents and pupils at Carondelet High School were offended after finding out the all-girls school planned to serve up fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon to celebrate Black History Month.

  55. 1987 Condo says:

    I suggest we will protect the grids sometime after a large scale issue, otherwise, too expensive before…..(sarcasm)

  56. Pete says:

    No one seat ride to NYC, but hey we have $1.5B to extend Path to ewr.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/Port_Authority_to_extend_PATH_to_Newark_airport.html

  57. grim says:

    Path to EWR? Seems like the only folks to benefit from that would be New Yorkers.

  58. Happy Renter says:

    [55] Interesting piece. I just heard about that CA incident recently, and was shocked that it wasn’t making headlines in a bigger way. Amazing how blind the public is to this danger. Having gone through a 2 week power outage after Sandy, it really was a —- Sorry, I’m interrupting this post because Justin Bieber was just spotted riding down the street on a skateboard . . .

  59. xolepa says:

    (56) My daughter’s college did that a year or two ago, except I think it was MLK day. Very liberal New England school. Figure it out.

  60. Pete says:

    Grim #59,

    For the most part yes, and I read it was downtown developers who were lobbying for the extension. Also, it only saves them about 10 minutes each way as they still have to hop on the Airtrain.

    Airport workers living in Newark would also benefit.

  61. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Chi and it has always been the most vunerable part of infrastructure. Oh the masses will be placated for a few days but when basics run short all bets are off. Scary sh!t

  62. Libturd in the City says:

    Port Authority and NJ Transit are separate entities. They compete. Which is completely bassackwards. But better to pay two pensions than one. Right?

  63. Libturd in the City says:

    Oh…and I rode off peak into the city today since I needed to see a doctor for my tennis elbow. At 10:45am we completely stopped right after Secaucus for a solid 15 minutes. We’re told the tunnel was single-tracking. They didn’t blame AMTRAK so a NJTransit train must have broken down. What’s new? Bigger pensions for all so we can hire the best and the brightest.

  64. chicagofinance says:
  65. Anon E. Moose says:

    Carlito [53];

    Two words for you: BIG DIG. That’s the new model of what it takes to get a transit tunnel dug under a major city, and why we might never have another one built again. Delays, cost overruns, some due to straight out graft to buy off favored constituencies. Under the ARC tunnel plan, NJ would have been responsible for all cost overruns. With the Big Dig as the precedent, CC was right to reject that deal. Cost overruns would (not could) have easily dwarfed the original budget.

  66. chicagofinance says:

    Even though LGA, JFK & EWR are all PANYNJ, I would still argue that anything that put EWR on higher footing than the other two has to be better for NJ/Essex/Newark tax revenue…….

    grim says:
    February 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm
    Path to EWR? Seems like the only folks to benefit from that would be New Yorkers.

  67. chicagofinance says:

    grim can you fix the above hyperlink?

  68. WestJester says:

    RE 55
    It is probably worse than you think. Unless things have changed since I was closer to power electronics, admittedly quite awhile ago, it is probably still the case that major substation xformers are custom designed. Each then took months to source.

  69. Essex says:

    46. I thought it was agnst.

  70. Marilyn says:

    JJ,
    my windshield is always broke because I always have to drive on the Highways w/ them and rocks and shit fly off their trucks!! Thanks for story, love your stories. Esp. the sleazy ones. M

  71. JJ says:

    You really have to stop running over folks!!!!! How about you give us some sleezy stories of your own.

    You know one of those “one time in band camp” stories

    73.Marilyn says:
    February 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    JJ,
    my windshield is always broke because I always have to drive on the Highways w/ them and rocks and shit fly off their trucks!! Thanks for story, love your stories. Esp. the sleazy ones. M

  72. xolepa says:

    One time in band camp I contracted pink eye.

    Sad truth, they sent me home.

  73. anon (the good one) says:

    @markfollman: “The little boy climbed the dresser, got the gun and shot his 17-month-old sister” http://t.co/25GAn4gHwU On it goes. http://t.co/1FSAcueIrY

  74. anon (the good one) says:

    @NewsBreaker: BREAKING: 14-year-old Mass. boy has been charged in fatal shooting today of brother in http://t.co/pDe2YtT2Bz – @BostonGlobe

  75. hobojoe says:

    Actually I would love PATH extension to EWR. Do away with all the anxiety of missing the last inbound NJ transit train when your flight inevitably comes in 3-1/2 hours late. Yes, I’m thrifty and really do take mass transit to EWR on a very regular basis (live near the PATH). It’s a shame these mickey-mouse agencies can’t get their transportation systems in this area coordinated and reliable, because when things are working smoothly and you get the connections just right it’s a pretty easy trip from anywhere along the PATH lines (I’ve made it faster than a car service on many occasions).

  76. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    I saw the youtube about hooking up the heat. Didn’t get the generator until last night and the neighbors were offering comforts of home (they have standby generator that they hooked up three weeks ago!).

    Today, I went out and got the extension pigtail. Had to go to Delaware to find one. Hooked it up and system got power but didn’t turn over. My neighbor, a retired engineer, and I went over it and retried it. Was getting power but generating error codes. Turns out it is a new, ultra-high efficiency unit that wasn’t liking the power from the generator. Kept running diagnostics and spitting out error codes.

    So, Grim, I successfully wired the extension but it still didn’t work. That also suggests to me that I may not be able to use the transfer switch/portable route. I may need to go whole hog and get a standby unit. It was nice at the neighbor’s house for two days.

    Oh, and the power is back on.

  77. Street Justice says:

    Anon ….check it out … Another school shooting…

    http://www.universityherald.com/articles/7297/20140204/eastern-florida-state-college-shooter-allowed-back-on-campus-cops-determine-shot-fired-was-in-self-defense.htm

    Feb 04, 2014 04:31 PM EST
    By Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter (r.westerholm@universityherald.com)
    Eastern Florida State College Shooter Allowed Back on Campus; Cops Determine Shot Fired Was in Self Defense

    (Photo : Flickr/CC) Local police determined the shot Hamilton fired was in self defense.
    Landrick Hamilton, a 24-year-old student at Eastern Florida State College (EFSC), was invited back to campus after shooting someone in self-defense Thursday.

    Like Hamilton, Armando, 25, and Landyer, 24, Contreras are claiming they too were defending themselves, FloridaToday.com reported. The two brothers allegedly jumped Hamilton in a campus parking lot when he managed to reach his car where he had a gun stowed. He fired one shot and sent Armando to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.
    Palm Bay police said Armando and Landyer attacked Hamilton Thursday afternoon with a pool cue, but the state attorney has not yet decided on whether or not to file charges.

    EFSC president Jim Richey said the police’s report of self defense factored into the decision to invite Hamilton back to campus. The other two people involved in the fight were not students, but Hamilton does not have a disciplinary record at the school.

    “We’re reaching out to him to see what we can do,” Richey told FloridaToday.com. “He has a special place at our college, so we’re concerned about how he’s doing and how he’s feeling and, hopefully, he feels well enough to continue classes.”

    The school previously did not allow guns to be carried on campus, but EFSC recently changed its policy to allow firearms only to be kept in a motor vehicle, WFTV reported. There was briefly doubt that Hamilton would be immediately allowed back on campus since he had a firearm on campus.

    Gun rights group Florida Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit Monday calling for students to be allowed to have firearms on campus. When the suit was filed, college officials told WFTV they were already in the midst of the policy change.

    Thanks to the new policy change, Hamilton will be allowed back on campus. There is no official word yet if he does plan to return to school at this time.

  78. A Home Buyer says:

    Large Substation and transmission transformers still have lead times of many months. Currently the gov. is keeping several on hand so they can be dropped in the event of emergency. Not perfect, but something.

    Nom,

    About generators. They are considered very dirty sources of power. The cheap units you get from wal mart or home depot can actually damage sensitive electronics like tv’s and microwaves because they don’t track voltage very well leading to surges, brown outs, and impure wave forms. The starting current required for a heating system, especially a fan motor, can easily be 6 to 20 times its running current. I only need a 3kw generator to run my furnace, but a 6 kw to start it.

  79. Jesus, what a degenerate place Russia is.

    Not gonna watch a second of the Olympics after this POS opening ceremony. What a suckass third world sinkhole.

  80. Juiice Box says:

    Sochi has an interesting history….no wonder they have about 100k troops defending it.

  81. Comrade Nom Deplume, back as Captain Justice says:

    [81] buyer

    We suspected that. My neighbor thought the voltage drop was an issue and wanted to hook up a second pigtail. But when we looked at the error codes, we thought that there might have been a problem with the system. So we reconnected the wiring to the state it was in before I tried to bypass it. Good thing too because the power came back less than a half hour later and the heating system seems to be working albeit slowly. I understood the electrical reasoning, but I wasn’t really keen on adding the additional voltage because I didn’t want to affect the system. In hindsight, that was the right call.

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