3% is back

From MarketWatch:

Feds hope 3%-down-mortgages will boost struggling housing market

After announcing plans in October to boost lending for first-time and middle class borrowers by reducing down payment requirements, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week detailed guidelines to banks that they hope will jump-start an otherwise struggling housing market.

Two months ago, at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual meeting in Las Vegas, Federal Housing Finance Agency director Mel Watt discussed his agency’s desire to see the federal government lift some lending and credit restrictions that had been put in place as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law in the aftermath of the housing crash. This week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled programs that focus on authorizing government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin buying loans that have up to 97% loan-to-value ratios (LTV), instead of the previous maximum of 95% LTV, which means borrowers can put down as little as 3% with banks having the backing of the GSEs for those loans.

That could help cash-strapped borrowers afford homes by requiring less up-front cash. There will also be a non-cashout refinance option available. A non-cashout refinance means that you can refinance the principal for a lower rate but you can’t take equity out.

The loans will typically have lower interest rates than those offered by FHA, which also offers loans with 3% down payments, but they typically have higher interest rates because credit scores for those loans are lower, said Mark Livingstone, a mortgage broker with Cornerstone First Financial in Washington, D.C. “The Fannie Mae option is so much more attractive if the borrower has the [ higher] credit score,” he said.

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114 Responses to 3% is back

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Fannie, Freddie and FHFA Detail Low Down-Payment Mortgage Programs

    Mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Monday provided details of new low-down-payment mortgage programs that could reduce costs for first-time and lower-income home buyers, providing a boost to a segment largely absent from the housing market for the last few years.

    The mortgage-finance companies and their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said the companies would start to back mortgages with down payments of as little as 3%, and that the loans would be available to first-time home buyers, borrowers who haven’t owned a home for at least a few years and to those who have lower incomes.

    “When we survey consumers, they say the biggest obstacle to home ownership is saving for the down payment. That’s particularly true for young people,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for the residential real-estate website Trulia Inc.

    The new loans could be most popular among high-credit-score borrowers who might have otherwise had to resort to pricey mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

    Borrowers who get loans guaranteed under the new programs would have to meet criteria that offset the increased risk, such as high reserves or lower debt-to-income ratios, said officials at Fannie, Freddie and the FHFA.

    Both companies said the programs could be available to borrowers with credit scores of as low as 620, which is the current Fannie and Freddie minimum for other loans.

    Some studies have shown that moving from a 5% down payment to a 3% down payment doesn’t result in many more defaults. About 0.4% of borrowers in 2011 who made down payments of 3% to 5% on loans backed by Fannie Mae have defaulted—no more than borrowers who made down payments of 5% to 10%, according to the Urban Institute.

    Fannie and Freddie’s low down-payment programs will have slightly different requirements. Fannie’s program will be limited to borrowers who haven’t owned a home in the past three years. Freddie’s program generally will be available to borrowers who don’t make more than the median income in their area.

  2. Juice Box says:

    Wake me up when fog a mirror is back.

    Oh am Foist!

  3. Grim says:

    $40 million tax break to put a Whole Foods in Newark?

    God I wish I was that politically connected.

    Who is going to afford Whole Foods? Hell I make a decent living and I still consider shopping there an occasional extravagance. Whole Paycheck indeed. I understand there is a real shortage of food and grocery options in Newark, but going from nothing to a $3 orange? $15 bag of cherries? $27.99 a pound black cod or aged steaks? At the end of the day there will still be a shortage of real food and grocery options.

    You know, we can’t all be one percenters like Booker. Look, I’m all for gentrification, make no mistake there. However, passing this through as being beneficial for low income residents struggling to find better food options? That’s just being disingenuous. And a $40 million tax break to get them in? C’mon.

  4. grim says:

    I won’t even get into this nonsense. Please tell me how this is even remotely economical?

    There was a joke posted over at the Ledger site about it, that they were prepping to build the worlds largest indoor marijuana farm. You know something, that’s probably the only way it could ever be economical. Can’t wait to get me some of those Wowie “Leafy Greens”.

    The board also voted to award about $8.7 million in tax breaks to develop an aeroponic farm run by the startup AeroFarms at the site of the former Ballentine Brewery in the city’s Ironbound District.

    The indoor farm — in which plants are grown with a nutrient-rich mist instead of soil and under LED lights instead of the sun — plans to grow 2 million pounds per year of leafy greens “in an environmentally controlled, safe and sanitary facility,” according to developer RBH Group.

    “It will be the largest indoor aeroponic farm in the world, providing healthy foods to the local community as well as to other markets.

  5. Fast Eddie says:

    I am on the train and laughing out loud like Di Nero in Cape Fear while reading the lead story for today’s post. Clot is absolutely right, this is the beginning of a wretched decline. Cash strapped buyers? It’s a fcuking oxymoron! AHhAAAHAAAAHAAA!

  6. Fast Eddie says:

    Newark needs a bike trail and a duck pond like Ridgewood to make those folks feel prestigious.

  7. Toxic Crayons says:

    Subaru moves its headquarters to Camden

    http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2014/12/subaru_moves_its_headquarters.html

    In exchange for a $118 million tax break, Subaru will move its headquarters about four miles down the road and shift 500 New Jersey jobs to Camden while adding 100 new jobs over a decade, all at a steep cost to taxpayers.

    Taken together, the 600 jobs come with a taxpayer price tag of $196,000 per job; if only counting the 100 new jobs in the state, the price skyrockets to $1.17 million per job.

    While this deal and the others approved today are not as egregious as recent high-profile tax breaks to Holtec International, Lockheed Martin and the Philadelphia 76ers, they are all part of a troubling trend.

    During the past five years, New Jersey policymakers have relied almost entirely on tax breaks to try to spark a post-recession recovery. Yet that recovery remains elusive. New Jersey has not even recovered half the jobs it lost during the recession, and in the past 12 months the state had the second-worst job-creation record in the country.

    New Jersey’s leaders need to recognize the tax subsidy shell game for what it is and instead turn their attention to investing in what works: the public assets – like schools, safe communities and modern, efficient transportation networks – that are the true building blocks of a prosperous state economy.”

  8. anon (the good one) says:

    “The Obama recovery isn’t just a little bit better than the Bush recovery. It’s miles better. ”

    @MotherJones: The Obama Recovery Has Been Miles Better Than the Bush Recovery

  9. Toxic Crayons says:

    Cooper Hospital, Subaru nab millions in tax breaks to expand in Camden

    http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2014/12/cooper_hospital_subaru_nab_millions_in_tax_breaks_to_expand_in_camden.html

    George Norcross is the chairman of the board of trustees of the Cooper Health system. his Son is a former NJ Senator, and a newly elected Congressman of District 1.

    His Wikipedia article states: “For many years, he has been named as one of the most powerful non-elected political figures in New Jersey by the website PolitickerNJ.com. He is a member of the Democratic National Committee.”

  10. grim says:

    8 – worthless partisan circle jerk

  11. grim says:

    Norcross is the King of New Jersey, don’t you know?

  12. anon (the good one) says:

    this is awesome. can I get a 2017 Outback on layaway?

    Toxic Crayons says:
    December 10, 2014 at 8:09 am
    Subaru moves its headquarters to Camden

    http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2014/12/subaru_moves_its_headquarters.html

    In exchange for a $118 million tax break, Subaru will move its headquarters about four miles down the road and shift 500 New Jersey jobs to Camden while adding 100 new jobs over a decade, all at a steep cost to taxpayers.

    Taken together, the 600 jobs come with a taxpayer price tag of $196,000 per job; if only counting the 100 new jobs in the state, the price skyrockets to $1.17 million per job.

    While this deal and the others approved today are not as egregious as recent high-profile tax breaks to Holtec International, Lockheed Martin and the Philadelphia 76ers, they are all part of a troubling trend.

    During the past five years, New Jersey policymakers have relied almost entirely on tax breaks to try to spark a post-recession recovery. Yet that recovery remains elusive. New Jersey has not even recovered half the jobs it lost during the recession, and in the past 12 months the state had the second-worst job-creation record in the country.

    New Jersey’s leaders need to recognize the tax subsidy shell game for what it is and instead turn their attention to investing in what works: the public assets – like schools, safe communities and modern, efficient transportation networks – that are the true building blocks of a prosperous state economy.”

  13. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Amen!!

    “New Jersey’s leaders need to recognize the tax subsidy shell game for what it is and instead turn their attention to investing in what works: the public assets – like schools, safe communities and modern, efficient transportation networks – that are the true building blocks of a prosperous state economy.””

  14. anon (the good one) says:

    @SenSanders:
    If poor people want food stamps, they should become massive corporations.

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    December 10, 2014 at 8:21 am
    Amen!!

    “New Jersey’s leaders need to recognize the tax subsidy shell game for what it is and instead turn their attention to investing in what works: the public assets – like schools, safe communities and modern, efficient transportation networks – that are the true building blocks of a prosperous state economy.””

  15. grim says:

    13 – I don’t trust any of the state and local leadership to be able to deliver on either approach. Fire everyone first.

  16. The Great Pumpkin says:

    13- We complain about state workers that have do nothing jobs. Meanwhile we are paying subaru over a million dollars per job created. I wish I could get a million dollars to create a job in which i will pay prob 50,000. Ok, I’ll be generous…..a job that pays 100,000. So what is that 100,000 investment to make over 1 million. Where do I sign up?

  17. Toxic Crayons says:

    They were already in Jersey. They moved from another site from within the state. Now they just pay less taxes to the state.

    anon (the good one) says:
    December 10, 2014 at 8:19 am
    this is awesome. can I get a 2017 Outback on layaway?

    Toxic Crayons says:
    December 10, 2014 at 8:09 am
    Subaru moves its headquarters to Camden

  18. Toxic Crayons says:

    awesome

  19. grim says:

    And if Subaru moved to another state for a tax break, you’d all be bitching about how bad NJ is and how we don’t do anything to keep or attract business.

    Are you all getting it now? We need the jobs, the jobs don’t need us.

  20. Pete says:

    Aren’t these tax breaks that are handed out the definition of picking winners and losers? What’s stopping companies from just bluffing and saying they will leave the state to see what types of goodies they can get. I’d like to see some empirical evidence that these targeted tax breaks produce greater returns then just broad based across the board ones.

  21. Pete says:

    Also, everyone talks a big game about helping small business but these subsidies and always seem to be for large companies. Grim, what type of breaks/subsidies have been thrown your way in your new endeavor. Yea, I thought so.

  22. grim says:

    If NJ takes a hardline stance on tax breaks, Pennsylvania, NY, CT and Delaware will offer aggressive tax breaks. The problem isn’t the tax break, it’s regional competition for that single job. It doesn’t matter if companies are liars or not, the politicians have created an environment that allows them to play this game. You think these politicians aren’t in their pockets?

  23. grim says:

    No subsidies in NJ.

    However right over the border in NY state, there were some very interesting options.

  24. New Jersey and You…Perfect Together. If you can’t trust Bill Cosby, who can you trust?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWaQs1yZoZ4

  25. phoenix says:

    Should be a perfect match for those new fancy 4k televisions……

    http://time.com/money/3626746/comcast-internet-fees/?xid=yahoo_money

  26. Toxic Crayons says:

    The Subaru move would be a better story if we’d poached them from a neighboring state.

  27. grim says:

    26 – So now I need to budget $150 for cable, $150 for wireless, and $150 for internet?

    Triple play indeed. Do they provide the lube with the router?

  28. jcer says:

    Comcast is the worst run company in America, and somehow they think they should be able to charge more? In sometimes the LTE on my phone is faster than their wired fastest available service. Their new X1 platform is a joke, if they weren’t giving me such a huge discount on the service I’d be back to verizon fios in a minute.

  29. grim says:

    Funny, at the prices they will charge, you wonder if they are shouldering the cost for the entire internet. We are talking about last mile here, no?

  30. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Grim, the point is, they should outlaw tax breaks. Who came up with this tax break non-sense, lobbyist? The taxpayer is getting flogged with this corporate tax break to stay scheme. Talk about taking advantage. It’s amazing that people defend this madness. They justify it by stating that another state will just offer the tax break and steal the job. They didn’t steal jobs, they stole the tax payers money of the state where this business has now moved to. That’s the bottom line. A few people get to have jobs at significant cost to the tax payer. Mine as well just have a lottery and send tax payer money to a few winners, instead of giving it to the corporation in the name of expensive job creation.

  31. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Years before Jerry Jones planned on moving the Cowboys stadium to Arlington, his partners were buying up property all around the planned site.

    Want to know the real story in Camden, look who at who owns the land around the planned site?

  32. Toxic Crayons says:

    The State of Illinois just passed a bill with an odd amendment added to it. It says that recording or videotaping a police officer while in the “performance of his or her official duties, if not authorized by this article or proper court order, is a Class 3 felony” etc and so on and so forth.

    Something to consider if you recently bought a dashcam….

  33. grim says:

    31 – Suppose it’s in your perception of the break. In most cases, they aren’t being given a stack of cash, and in most cases they are still paying significant taxes, the only difference being they are paying somewhat less.

    People love the big numbers, but in many situations the tax breaks are decades long, so the annual numbers are smaller yet.

  34. In the section of Boston where I live it was the trolley company. By about 1900 all the new land that was created in Boston by filling in the Back Bay in the 1800’s had been built on, the only way to expand was West. The Trolley company bought up all the land for out and back streetcar routes and sold off all the land adjacent to their tracks to RE developers. Because of this, the Western reaches of Boston proper were built up pretty fast between about 1910 and 1935.

    Years before Jerry Jones planned on moving the Cowboys stadium to Arlington, his partners were buying up property all around the planned site.

    Want to know the real story in Camden, look who at who owns the land around the planned site?

  35. Happy Renter says:

    It was mentioned yesterday, I think, as a possibility — now it is a reality.

    “Columbia Law School is allowing students to postpone their final exams this month if they feel unnerved by the recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men. . . . [According to Dean Scott] following existing policies for ‘trauma during exam period,’ students who felt their performance could suffer because of the decisions in the Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island cases could request a delay.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/09/nyregion/columbia-lets-law-students-delay-exams-after-garner-and-brown-decisions.html?_r=0

    Millenials to the rescue? We are so effed.

  36. [35] When I first moved to Boston I had no idea why Back Bay was such named. There was no Bay, only the Charles River. Here was the answer:

    1630 Boston: 783 Acres
    1910 Boston: 1904 Acres (all additions by landfill)

    http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/boston/bosfill.gif

  37. On our local NPR today I heard that Harvard Law wants in on postponing or skipping their exams because they’ve been so busy protesting B&G GJ decistions. Wigga, please.

    It was mentioned yesterday, I think, as a possibility — now it is a reality.

  38. I lured a perma-lib bandwagon-jumping family member of mine on FB the other day, it was priceless. I posted the a link on her FB page showing that guy from last year in LA who led the police on an hour long high speed pursuit with his Corvette and then was gunned down when he tried to run on foot…except…I told her it was an unarmed black guy. She was all gung-ho commenting on this is another example of racially motivated police killing, blah, blah, blah. Then I told her that guy was white and that the cops who killed him were Latino and that’s why the story didn’t get much national attention. She was outraged and said that I so “full sh*t” and that I baited her. All I did was intentionally misstate the perpetrator’s race.

  39. Essex says:

    Look it’s a tough time for everyone, but please, in the name of all that is sacred, let Bono recover and the stock market continue to rise……! Puleaze……

  40. Essex says:

    39.

    Sweet laptop: $1800

    Broadband connection: $250 per month.

    Trolling family: Priceless.

  41. It almost seems like this article was written just for lil’ punkin’ head:

    Central Banks Have Failed Because They Can’t Push Wages Higher

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-10/central-banks-have-failed-because-they-cant-push-wages-higher

    You can print all the money you want, but it will never boost wages to keep up with prices.

    Central banks have been pursuing two goals for the past six years: ignite inflation and an expansion of debt that will supposedly generate “growth.” Despite squandering trillions of dollars, yen, yuan and euros, central banks have failed to ignite sustainable inflation or growth.

    There’s nothing mysterious about their failure: you can’t get “good” inflation or growth if wages are stagnant or declining.
    The central banks don’t bother to distinguish between “good” and “bad” inflation: any and all inflation is considered not only wonderful but essential to propping up the Ponzi scheme of debt-dependent consumption, a dynamic I described in Central Banks Create Deflation, Not Inflation.

    “Good” inflation is wages rising faster than prices. When wages rise faster than consumer prices, households have more money to spend on consumption, and it’s progressively easier for them to pay down debt and support additional borrowing.

    “Bad” inflation is prices rising while wages stagnate. In “bad” inflation, prices keep rising as central bank money-printing devalues the currency, but wages don’t rise along with prices. As a result, wages decline in real terms, i.e. purchasing power.

  42. Fast Eddie says:

    After announcing plans in October to boost lending for first-time and middle class borrowers by reducing down payment requirements, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week detailed guidelines to banks that they hope will jump-start an otherwise struggling housing market.

    Struggling where? Not here! We’re exempt and wealthy! Forget about wages being the same for 15 years now, it’s appearances and psychology that matters. If you believe, you are!

  43. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Good for those law students, besides knowing the law, a good lawyer knows how to look at any situation and present a case no matter how crazy it sounds.

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/12/the-affluenza-defense-judge-rules-rich-kids-rich-kid-ness-makes-him-not-liable-for-deadly-drunk-driving-accident/

    Kid kills 4 ppl and only gets probatios because he’s rich and shouldn’t be liable.

  44. grim says:

    Millenials to the rescue? We are so effed.

    What, like a milliennial lawyer was going to actually rescue us anyway?

  45. jj says:

    Wonder how those plumbing companies that have been making a killing doing oil to gas conversions feel about plumiting oil prices.

    A new gas burner, gas water heater and line from street as well as removal of oil tank and old oil burner can run you 10K. Heating oil at $4.30 a gallon it made sense. Heating oil at $2.80 a gallon no longer makes much sense. Business must start to dry up.

  46. chicagofinance says:

    Mickey D’s (jj Edition):
    Want p0rn with that?

    Customers at a McDonald’s in Switzerland were lovin’ it when video screens in the eatery inadvertently served them some hard-core fare, according to Central European News.

    Steffen Reiniger, 24, went to the restaurant in the town of Zuchwil with friends for burgers when they were treated to p0rn from the Sexy Sports Clips program aired by a German sports channel.

    “We were only a group of men so it didn’t bother us, although what would have happened if there was a family in the restaurant at that time I don’t know,” Reininger said.

    An employee changed the channel after noticing the titillating video.

    McDonald’s apologized, saying workers were asked to leave the TVs turned to the channel Eurosport.

    The workers sometimes “change the channel to please a customer,” spokeswoman Aglae Strachwitz said.

    The staff didn’t know that Sport 1 also included a p0rn show, she said.

    “If our employees didn’t immediately realize what was going on it’s because they were concentrating on our customers and their work,” she said.

  47. Libturd in Union says:

    “@SenSanders:
    If poor people want food stamps, they should become massive corporations.”

    @Libturd:
    The federal government is a massive corporation.

    @Libturd:
    If poor people can’t find food their food stamps, they should look in their work boots.

  48. joyce says:

    (33)
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-26/news/chi-supreme-court-rejects-plea-to-prohibit-taping-of-police-20121126_1_cook-and-crawford-counties-police-officers-enforcement

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a controversial Illinois law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job.

    By passing on the issue, the justices left in place a federal appeals court ruling that found that the state’s anti-eavesdropping law violates free-speech rights when used against people who audiotape police officers.

  49. Happy Renter says:

    [45] “What, like a milliennial lawyer was going to actually rescue us anyway?”

    No, but it’s a reflection of the uber-fragility of this pansy, man-boobed, teacup generation that I keep hearing is so great.

    Trigger-warning!

  50. joyce says:

    (33)
    They’re f-ckin’ scum. This reminds of the day of/after the Supreme court ruled on McDonald…. Mayor Daley said ‘fine, we’ll roll out new gun control laws.’

  51. Anon E. Moose says:

    ExPat [42];

    Don’t tell Puffin-stuff. I don’t think he could handle it.

  52. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [44] fka

    Those kids knew how to work a system, but that isn’t the system to which they aspire.

    The latter will chew them up and spit them out.

    No effing way I would ever hire grads from Columbia, Harvard, or G’town. They don’t pass the Gekko Test of being “poor, smart and hungry.”

    FWIW, I used to work in the same firm as Bob Bennett. He was notorious for hiring only those with Ivy pedigree. And equally notorious for having so many of these well[-credentialed lawyers crash and burn. It was a joke around the firm how ill-suited these privileged kids were to the actual practice of law.

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [50] renter

    ” uber-fragility of this pansy, man-boobed, teacup generation”

    You mean like the barista who told Chifi to “check his privilege”?

    I personally think that the barista had balls. If he had said that to me, I would have verbally ripped him a new sphincter in New Jersey style. I would have F-carpetbombed the MF twerp. I would have verbally abused him so badly, he’d need 4 years of therapy.

    Or perhaps not so much in the balls department: Millenials have the stones to get in your face, but I find that they do so because they don’t expect pushback, or because they think they are still safely and anonymously on social media. When one spouts off in person with something that gets my hackles up, they usually retreat quickly, recoiling in shock that they should be treated so badly. To which I reply with something like “can’t take the heat, stay out of my kitchen, b1tch”

  54. chicagofinance says:

    I was joking…..

    Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    December 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    [50] renter

    ” uber-fragility of this pansy, man-boobed, teacup generation”

    You mean like the barista who told Chifi to “check his privilege”?

    I personally think that the barista had balls. If he had said that to me, I would have verbally ripped him a new sphincter in New Jersey style. I would have F-carpetbombed the MF twerp. I would have verbally abused him so badly, he’d need 4 years of therapy.

    Or perhaps not so much in the balls department: Millenials have the stones to get in your face, but I find that they do so because they don’t expect pushback, or because they think they are still safely and anonymously on social media. When one spouts off in person with something that gets my hackles up, they usually retreat quickly, recoiling in shock that they should be treated so badly. To which I reply with something like “can’t take the heat, stay out of my kitchen, b1tch”

  55. Happy Renter says:

    [54] “You mean like the barista who told Chifi to ‘check his privilege’?”

    I must have missed that post from Chifi, but yes, exactly that type of nonsense.

    I like your verbal smack down, going Alec Baldwin on ’em. (I’m sure you’re given the same libtard free-pass as Baldwin when it comes to your insults.)

    Speaking of Alec Baldwin, I heard him on NPR (or WNYC) the other day. How many times has he used so-called “hate speech” in ranting off on some nancy-boy photographer that got in his way?

    Speaking of NPR, the other day I also heard the sponsor message “NPR is supported by . . . Al Jezeera America” Can’t make this stuff up, folks.

  56. chicagofinance says:

    Register your card online and they automatically load the card up with the freebie when appropriate….
    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    December 9, 2014 at 7:06 pm
    chifi – You’re kidding, right? I haven’t re-charged my Starbucks card in a year or so, and I had a gold card, or gold ranking or whatever since 2006. When they stopped sending me those postcards for free drinks every so many purchases I was done with them.

  57. Libturd in Union says:

    For those still on company health plans, how did ACA affect your rates for the upcoming year? Our family coverage went up $700 on the year. Thank you Obama. Anyone else care to share?

  58. jj says:

    calling a bottom for oil at 55. There I called it.

  59. Libturd in Union says:

    Outofstater.

    We are rapidly approaching D-Day for many state pensions. Glad to see a partisan effort is in place to do what’s necessary in the private sector while completely ignoring the herd of Woolly Mammoth in the corner of the public sector room.

  60. grim says:

    Spent many years building that system for them.

    Postcards are no longer utilized, but still sent on occasion. Rewards are loaded to your card, but there are now additional restrictions.

    If you at all feel slighted, just pick up the phone, they’ll send you free drink coupons.

    I wanted to be the first non-employee that was allowed to get their Coffee Master certification, but they said nope. If I wanted to go to Seattle I could go through the program, but no apron for me.

    The whole crew out there are really great people.

  61. Libturd in Union says:

    I know there is not a perfect correlation between oil and gas pricing, but I made the call months ago that $2.00 per gallon at the pump was possible.

    Paid $2.39 credit yesterday in Union.

  62. grim says:

    Starbucks: Check your privilege.

    http://store.starbucks.com/limited-edition-sterling-silver-starbucks-card/011046258,default,pd.html

    A gift aglow with holiday sparkle, this Card comes pre-loaded with $50.

    Made of jewelry-quality 925 sterling silver, the Limited-Edition Sterling Silver Starbucks Card is the first precious metal Starbucks Card we’ve ever offered. It comes with its own beautiful red snap pouch. Free shipping. Limit one per customer. No discounts or partner discounts available. Adult signature required upon package delivery.

    $200.00

  63. Fast Eddie says:

    Libturd,

    For those still on company health plans, how did ACA affect your rates for the upcoming year? Our family coverage went up $700 on the year. Thank you Obama. Anyone else care to share?

    Yep! A little less but relatively the same. Hey, someone’s got to pay for Ottoman’s and Anon’s people.

  64. NJT says:

    Looks like the cheapest gas in NJ is now $2.15

    http://www.newjerseygasprices.com/

    I was going to install a pellet stove in my primary residence and keep the oil as a backup. Not with oil at these prices!

  65. jj says:

    Those pellets are suprisingly expensive

  66. NJT says:

    $3 a bag if you buy a pallet at a time.

  67. POS cape says:

    “Subaru moves its headquarters to Camden”

    Better double check the source; sounds like The Onion.

  68. Libturd in Union says:

    Poor Cherry Hill.

  69. Anon E. Moose says:

    UConn 1, Ivy League 0

    Huskies BBall team gets no break from exams, despite 3-game losing streak.

    http://bit.ly/1we7HU8

  70. Libturd in Union says:

    That loss to Yale was pretty funny. I was watching the game with my son and noticed that Yale only had one black player. The last time I saw that above the high school level was when Bird led the Celtics.

  71. Comrade Nom Deplume, armed and dangerous says:

    [56] chifi

    you know, it sounded outrageous but not beyond the realm of possibility. I could see some hipster wannabe barista doing that.

  72. Libturd in Union says:

    Where’s my rally?

    Mortimer, your brother is not well. We better call an ambulance.

    Mortimer Duke: Fcuk him! Now, you listen to me! I want trading reopened right now. Get those brokers back in here! Turn those machines back on!

    Mortimer Duke: Turn those machines back on!

  73. Comrade Nom Deplume, who needs to stop screwing around and get back to work says:

    [76] fabian,

    For once, something enjoyable.

    I am quite familiar with the statute in question and the article is correct. But I think that the general statement about treble damages was right even if applied imprecisely. The damages are discretionary but they can be claimed, which is what he did.

    That said, what state has the minority rule that mandates treble damages, attorney fees and costs if you win a consumer case? New Jersey!!!

  74. Ultra Fabius says:

    #3 grim

    Here is a great article that explains Newark Whole Foods. The article touches on a bigger issue of how the poor shop for food. Part of the obesity and diabetes problem is that, in some ways its cheaper to feed your kids off the dollar menu than to cook them a meal.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2014/11/whole_foods_detroit_can_a_grocery_store_really_fight_elitism_racism_and.html

  75. Happy Renter says:

    [78] “Part of the obesity and diabetes problem is that, in some ways its cheaper to feed your kids off the dollar menu than to cook them a meal.”

    Not so. That’s just pablum from the eternal-excuse-making libtards. It is not cheaper to eat fast food than to cook your own.

    I’ll let the conservative NY Times debunk that one:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/is-junk-food-really-cheaper.html


    THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”

    This is just plain wrong. In fact it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four — for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas — costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28. (Judicious ordering of “Happy Meals” can reduce that to about $23 — and you get a few apple slices in addition to the fries!)

    In general, despite extensive government subsidies, hyperprocessed food remains more expensive than food cooked at home. You can serve a roasted chicken with vegetables along with a simple salad and milk for about $14, and feed four or even six people. If that’s too much money, substitute a meal of rice and canned beans with bacon, green peppers and onions; it’s easily enough for four people and costs about $9. (Omitting the bacon, using dried beans, which are also lower in sodium, or substituting carrots for the peppers reduces the price further, of course.)

  76. grim says:

    78 – My argument isn’t that this isn’t the right approach, it’s that the implementation is almost a caricature of reality. Eating more fruit and vegetables has nothing to do with whole foods selling a $17 bag of Ranier cherries. Because when given this choice, the dollar menu will still win.

  77. Nom – I think you were right to stand up to her, but didn’t your wife kind of undermine your authority by making the girls switch ballet academies after that happened during a plié exercise? I bet that piano accompanist thinks twice before shushing another parent during peek week.

    Or perhaps not so much in the balls department: Millenials have the stones to get in your face, but I find that they do so because they don’t expect pushback, or because they think they are still safely and anonymously on social media. When one spouts off in person with something that gets my hackles up, they usually retreat quickly, recoiling in shock that they should be treated so badly. To which I reply with something like “can’t take the heat, stay out of my kitchen, b1tch”

  78. Libturd at home says:

    “Eating more fruit and vegetables has nothing to do with whole foods selling a $17 bag of Ranier cherries. Because when given this choice, the dollar menu will still win.”

    Same thing with Head Start. It’s free, includes busing, yet parents in the ghetto won’t send their kids.

  79. Happy Renter says:

    Well, sure — one doesn’t need Whole Foods to eat much, much healthier than the average Big Mac inhaling water buffalo. Any regular old supermarket will do.

    What I want to know is whether they are creating special bike lanes to the Whole Foods market in Newark . . .

  80. chifi – My card has been registered online, since 2006 or y in fact. I think when they stopped forgoing the postage they also started expiring your free drink faster or not letting you know you had a free one unless you asked. I was definitely not their target market as I only drank drip coffee unless I got one of the postcards and then it would be a $5 drink. Also they took away the free upgrade on the better drinks (like if you wanted soy instead of milk). The best benefit of the card was free refills all day long, instead of 50 cent refills for drip coffee, which was great when my office was across the street from a Starbucks in Cambridge. I used to buy so many coffees a day from them that they were the ones who eventually implored me to get a card so they could give me free refills. My current office is big and we have three different kinds of free coffee cup/pod/packet machines and I just keep my own Organic Milk in the fridge, so I’m all set. Our cafeteria doesn’t even sell coffee because there are about 6 different free coffee machines around the office, each with a bevy of coffees, froths, chocolates, etc.

    Register your card online and they automatically load the card up with the freebie when appropriate….

  81. LOL. I just logged into Starbucks for the first time in a long time, this is the message I received:

    Oh no.
    You didn’t earn 30 Stars over the last 12 months so you’ve lost your Gold status and your Stars. Don’t worry – you’re still earning Green benefits and the next Star you earn will have you on your way back to Gold.

  82. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lib [82];

    I didn’t know that participation in Head Start was a problem. Head Start has been shown to be ineffective. Any measured gains are lost by 2d grade compared to kids who didn’t do Head Start.

    What Head Start is now is merely an employment program and free day-care.

  83. Dunkin’ Donuts used to p1ss em off in a whole different way. I would load $30 on my card and 1 out of 12 times their system was down and I had to pay cash even though I already prepaid $30. Also DD in supermarkets around here don’t take the card. Several years ago I figured it would be exactly the same deal when I found a Starbucks inside, of all places, the A&P in Vernon, NJ. Surprisingly, my Starbucks card was good there. I’ll still patronize them both, maybe once every couple weeks, but it all goes on a real credit card, not their pre-paid swindle cards.

  84. In Boston I think they have Head Start, but it’s not too popular. We have early learning centers that start at K0 (3 years old), followed by K1, K2, then 1st grade, and 1st grade is the highest grade in the school, so it’s a real safe environment. Also it’s 7:30-5PM and includes meals (all meals are free in Boston for all students now). That’s actual public school. My kids have been going since they were 3, reading and writing since they were 4. If the kids and parents follow through there are 3 exam schools, including Boston Latin, that give a private school environment and education within the public school system for grades 7-12.

    Same thing with Head Start. It’s free, includes busing, yet parents in the ghetto won’t send their kids.

  85. grim says:

    The gold program is still decent from a loyalty perspective.

    Free birthday drink
    Free drink/food for each 12 purchases, that’s an 8% discount
    Free refills
    Other freebees depending on whether your selected for them

    The big downside is the rewards expire in 30 days, and you need to ask if you have one to redeem.

  86. Libturd at home says:

    Don’t worry. The public sector pensions are still protected.

    Baa.

  87. jcer says:

    Reading the article on the Detroit Whole Foods it becomes clear what the game is here. Oh we want to help the poor eat healthy, give us a free building/tax breaks/outright grants so that we can help the community. All the while they are looking at the fact that they are located next to a hospital or office building, etc where yuppies are working who they can sell their overpriced wares to. Based on that article they not only are more or less maintaining their margins but have way lower overhead than any of their other stores. I’m surprised they haven’t done this in Jersey City yet, put a whole foods on Comunipaw so the bloods can buy their Foie Gras closer to the corners they hustle on…I mean so poor urban people have a place to buy healthy groceries…or even better so downtown yuppies can drive their cars 2 miles away and buy $40 a pound cheese.

  88. jcer says:

    87. prepaid cards are such a scam, as is Starbuck, or any coffee joint. At home a super automatic machine and imported coffee from italy, good coffee…at work free bad coffee..if need be maybe a coffee shop coffee or the .50 coffee from the cart. What am I made of money…the amount of coffee I drink my starbucks bill would look like a car payment.

  89. joyce says:

    The $5 million cop
    http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2014-08-30/story/5-million-cop-how-jacksonville-pension-program-can-turn-police

    couldn’t they at least have found some non-fat @sses for the photo

  90. chicagofinance says:

    ex-pat…..I buy black coffee or double espresso at Starbucks…..I never go north of $2.50 a trip…..in fact I bagged going to Dunkin because it is an inferior product that costs at least the same and in some cases more……

  91. [89] grim – thank you, that’s what I thought. My big goodbye to them was because I was showing up and getting nothing. I get what they are doing as a company and, like everyone else under the sun, “promoting an online presence”. But for me, as a previously satisfied customer, I was continuing my buying pattern while they changed their notification pattern, which ended up in them losing me. As mentioned before, I was not a high value customer (probably because I’m spending my own money, not my parent’s), so maybe the parting is fitting for both Starbucks and myself.

    The big downside is the rewards expire in 30 days, and you need to ask if you have one to redeem.

  92. chifi – I don’t know how often this flip-flopped, but this was my introduction to Starbucks as a frequent flyer: Fall 2007 – I’m consulting at a company that is right across the street from CambridgeSide Galleria in Cambridge, MA. As a consultant, you extend your earning power and longevity by making friends and entering lots of money in every football pool. I got into this regular thing where I went across the street with two managers every day around 10AM to the mall. One was going for DD coffee, which was close, the other was going for SB coffee which was far. Ever the diplomat, I would stand in line with the DD guy one day, the SB guy (and the long walk down the mall) the next day. I found that I was served quicker at the SB and the largest drip was $1.80 while DD X-Large was $2.40. Alternating every day I quickly figured out that the SB was less stepped on *and* cheaper. I also found out I could get refills all day for .50. I then found out that I could get refills all day for free if I got a card. That converted me to SB for a long time. It was cheaper, free refills, and now they are sending me free drink cards that I cash in for a $5 drink after every $20 that I spend on $2 drinks with free refills. It was fine for long while…until it wasn’t. If you’ve tried SB blonde you may have noticed that they have engineered it to taste just like DD. In my final days a SB regular I used to bring in my own SB double-walled aluminum mug ($18, but one of the best travel cups I’ve ever owned) and order a Tall Blonde. Well it’s a grande mug, but I take milk not cream, so I need “room” as they say. I always order a tall when I’m on the go because it costs less and they put about the right amount of coffee in. So quite unintentionally, but also amusing (to me), I find myself repeatedly ordering a “Tall Blonde” from this very, very cute and petite brunette.

    ex-pat…..I buy black coffee or double espresso at Starbucks…..I never go north of $2.50 a trip…..in fact I bagged going to Dunkin because it is an inferior product that costs at least the same and in some cases more……

  93. NJT says:

    Free Coffee – delivered!

    At a pharmaceutical company I was consulting for there was an automated ‘coffee wagon’ (and mail truck too) that made the rounds once in the morning and then again in the afternoon. It would stop at a location and let out a ‘beep, beep’. After 10 minutes it took off again. Even had its own elevator!

    *Coffee while not Starbucks was good and there were also free snacks, too. What a great gig that was. Would have been there a long time had they not been bought out. Heck, probably would have finished my IT career in a few years, 15 years ago (the money was that good).

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

    [81] expat

    Have you been huffing the nitrous? That made no sense.

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

    [90] Essex

    I’m working on some of those plans. This is a huge issue and the article soft pedals it.

    a million years ago when people were flipping out over FDIC and RTC, I told some folks that the initials that would really signal collapse, were they to appear all over, are PBGC. Many years later, I sm starring to look prescient. Wish it wasn’t so.

  96. joyce says:

    Never support a law you are not willing to kill to enforce.

    Don’t ever fight to make something illegal unless you’re willing to risk the lives of your fellow citizens to get your way.

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-12-04/law-puts-us-all-in-same-danger-as-eric-garner

  97. [100] Sorry Nom, I must be mixing up stories. Was that you at the Jump on in birthday party, then?? That clown in the cake room had it coming. Wait a minute, that might have been me.

  98. Liquor Luge says:

    Some observations from today:

    1. Starbucks serves overpriced, burnt coffee. Any one of those brain dead for shit baristas that looks into your eyes- much less utters speech your way- deserves to be debearded with a micro planer.

    2. What’s the over/under on the first carjack-homicide in Whole Paycheck Newark’s parking lot? Also, does Sharpe James have anything to do with this deal?

    3. If Newark gets a Whole Paycheck, why can’t I have a Cabela’s (complete with firing range) at exit 18 on 78?

    4. Why can’t gluteus comment on something appropriate for his level of thinking, like coming up with some sort of defense for his shit football club?

    5. We are all utterly fuct. Just a bunch of already-dead, ambulatory bags of blood, loosely-wrapped.

    6. Princeton has attitude. Cornell has a bunch of people who smoke choom all day and collect sweater lint.

  99. Clot – I wanted one specific item from Cabela’s and we were traveling through Hartford to NJ early on December 26th one year and decided to stop. We’d never been to Cabela’s before. 70% of the shoppers were wearing camo and 40% were taking pictures out front like they were at Disney. Surreal.

  100. Very similar to Rutgers back in the day.

    Rutgers had a bunch of people who smoke choom all day and collect sweater lint meat.

    Cornell has a bunch of people who smoke choom all day and collect sweater lint.

  101. Liquor Luge says:

    Expat (105)

    Were they chomping on fried turkey legs?

  102. Liquor Luge says:

    And one more question: does Subaru moving to Camden have any correlation to the fact that it’s extremely easy to mount a machine gun turret on every model they produce?

    Jesus, even the goddam fake AQ on Homeland ride around in totally jacked Subarus.

  103. Liquor Luge says:

    You short that shit, chi?

  104. Liquor Luge says:

    Who do I call when I can set my running tap water on fire?

  105. Comrade Nom Deplume, at Peace With The Trolls says:

    [104] luge,

    Seen our injury reports? I have no idea who they will suit up against the Gooners. Half the team is on the DL.

  106. Essex says:

    Cheap gas! Hurray.
    Margin Call for Sovereign Wealth Funds that depends on Petro prices….*Gulp*

  107. bankers can be preppers too:

    The Department of Treasury is spending $200,000 on survival kits for all of its employees who oversee the federal banking system, according to a new solicitation. As FreeBeacon reports, survival kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States and includes a solar blanket, food bar, water-purification tablets, and dust mask (among other things). The question, obviously, is just what do they know that the rest of us don’t?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-10/why-us-treasury-quietly-ordering-surival-kits-us-bankers

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