March 28, 2013

Bits Bucket for March 28, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

RSS feed


Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-28 01:44:01

LPS released their “first look” on delinquency data the other day.

Big picture (no significant state-by-state granularity)…the slow grind down continues, but evidence continues to be that the pig is in the python, slowly being digested.

Delinquent loans less than 90 days seem to be about normal, and pretty steady, only down about 6% year on year.
Delinquent loans more than 90 days, but not yet in the foreclosure process are a multiple of “normal” (3x?), down about 14% year on year…at this pace, we have years to go.
Loans in foreclosure are a bigger multiple of “normal” (7x?), down about 18% year on year…again, at this pace, we have years to go.

However, as I’ve noted again and again, some states are moving faster than others…their full report, that typically has state-by-state granular data, will be released at the end of next week (if they are on time).

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 04:42:38

Thank you for this, Rental Watch. The state-by-state breakdown will certainly show which are the judicial states.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-03-28 07:35:10

What’s really going on in California

California imposed a new law on banks innocuously called “Homeowners Bill of Rights” which forces banks to switch over to a judicial foreclosure process, which they can opt to do on their own, but takes a year or more to renegotiate contracts and compensation structures for the foreclosure law firms who do all the leg work for the banks. And while those changes are being made… it makes it appear that foreclosures have slowed down dramatically in the state.

The reality?

Defaults (undeclared) are spiraling upward that yet have to pass through the foreclosure pipeline.

The truth?

California is still the highest foreclosure state in sheer volume and percentage.

The low-down?

Resale housing is still massively overpriced as a result of unprecedented interference by individual states and the federal government. The market distortions will be removed and the down draft will continue allowing the market to correct.

With millions of excess empty houses and housing demand at 17 year lows, housing prices a long way to fall. A very long way to fall.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 16:02:28

What’s really going on in California

California imposed a new law on banks innocuously called “Homeowners Bill of Rights” which forces banks to switch over to a judicial foreclosure process, which they can opt to do on their own, …

Would it be accurate to say that California is now a judicial state?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-28 20:56:48

No. It would not be accurate.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-28 21:35:18

And it’s not accurate because the law does not force banks to switch to a judicial foreclosure process.

Look to Realtytrac, which only tracks non-judicial filings in CA. They still slow lots of foreclosure filings.

What the law does is stop dual tracking, so banks can’t be negotiating a short sale while also processing a foreclosure.

Comment by zee_in_phx
2013-03-28 09:29:45

RW : I am concluding from your post that there are many many ‘distressed’ houses coming down the pike, but somehow i don’t see that in the local listings. Here in the PHX area the new monthly listings have dipped below the monthly sales, that means that demand is higher than supply, which is leading to a increase in sale price. I do not understand this since i have no way to find out where the supply is being throttled.

Comment by brother_jimmy
2013-03-28 11:02:21


there is no shadow inventory in Phoenix. it has all been sucked up by the johnny-come-lately speculators trying to flip and rent their way to riches. See 2005 for how this game ended last time.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 13:23:43

“See 2005 for how this game ended last time.”

It’s a back to the future housing market!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-28 20:58:36

I’ve been tracking the LPS data for a few years now. In February 2010, AZ had a non-current loan rate of 16%. Now they are in the low 7% range. “Normal” is approximately 5%.

AZ is one of the states where lots of the distress is in the rearview mirror. Look to FL/NJ/NY/IL, etc. for the pain in the next few years.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-28 01:47:53


The Case Shiller graph that you posted yesterday from Ritholtz’s website is hopelessly flawed.

The way CPI was calculated from before 1980 differs markedly from how it was calculated after 1980 (the BLS began to tinker with how it was calculated at that point). Yet it is used in this graph as though it’s a consistent measure of price changes.

It’s not.

Some claim that this difference is many percentage points per year (John Williams of Shadow Stats, Seth Karman of Baupost to note a couple), John Mauldin recently posted on this, titled “Is The Government Lying To Us About Inflation? Yes!”…others disagree vehemently with this conclusion. Most recently, I saw someone show the growth in a handful of items for the past 30 years and concluded that inflation was as reported—trying to discredit John Williams in particular.

However, you only need to go to the government’s own Boskin Commission report to see some of the differences…they noted that they thought that inflation was OVERSTATED prior to 1996 by approximately 1.3% per year, and following that, the BLS made changes to correct these biases (ie. they pushed CPI lower post-1996 as compared to methods used pre-1996). Other changes started to be put into effect prior to 1996 (1980 ISTR was the start of the game playing).

Ignoring the changes that started in 1980, and you only worked off of the 1996 changes, if you correct for these biases in the Shiller graph, what will it show? Something different…that is certain.


A) Methods prior to 1996 were correct, and current methods understate CPI, in which case, Shiller’s graph, which assumes home prices rise only with inflation, would show that we have overshot that flat trendline (the Boskin Commission induced 1.3% “correction” compounded over 17 years, 1996 to today, is nearly a 25% difference in the endpoint of the graph); or
B) Prior methods overstated CPI, as the Boskin Commission concluded, in which case, Shiller’s graph would show that home prices actually rose faster than inflation over much of the century, and the graph would show that we have overshot that rising trendline.

There are no other conclusions.

And I realize that I’ve now opened the door to RAL saying that another conclusion is that I’m a liar in a snappy retort…I would expect nothing less.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 08:13:13

And the other conclusion is that you’re integrity challenged.

The reality is CS is quite accurate…. right down to the bubblettes and collapses to trend line we experienced in the late 80’s and early 90’s. And just as we all know, prices began inflating rapidly in 1998.

And your little lapdog got the smackdown of her life on Tuesday when she insisted the bubble began in 2003. Sadly for you integrity challenged types, FHA data dovetails nicely with CS data.

Now I understand that you’ll duck and weave from reality. We’ve come to expect it from you.

Happy reading.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 08:50:43

Using a “corrected” version of the CPI to show changes in home prices from 1890 to the present would not hide the fact that U.S. housing experienced its greatest ever bubble in history from the mid-1990s until when the bubble started its collapse (which is not yet finished) circa 2007.

Why the dilatory effort to hide the truth?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-28 21:48:24

The “corrected” version would show that we have overshot the inflation-adjusted trendline.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-29 07:22:07

That only seems valid if inflation is defined by incomes, which I don’t believe is the case.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Neuromance
2013-03-28 09:05:28

Rental Watch: One can also go to Standard and Poor’s site and see the Case Shiller graph from 1986, which again shows a dramatic bubble:

1) (See page 2 of the document - note it automatically generates a PDF).

2) Home page of the Case Shiller index:–p-us—-

The Ritholtz link to the New York Times chart was a cleaner URL. The Case Shiller data from 1986 (above) still shows a pretty dramatic bubble, and instead of a drop, an abrupt stop in bubble territory.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-28 21:19:53

The S&P data is not inflation adjusted like the long-term Shiller graph.

1995-2013 is approximately 18 years, starting at the trough of the last housing collapse. The imputed inflation rate to go from a level of, say 75 to 145 is 3.7% annually. According to BLS data, from 1995-2013, $100 has become $152…or annual inflation rate of 2.35%…about a 1.35% difference–is this a coincidence that this is nearly the exact amount that Boskin “corrected” for in their changes following 1996?

If the Boskin Commission was never formed, reported inflation would have still had the “biases” that Boskin found and would still look like it did prior to 1996, and the “official” reading would have been approximately 1.3% higher (on average) per year.

This begs the question…what is real inflation? What is now reported following the Boskin Commission? Or reported inflation PLUS the 1.3% “corrected” for by Boskin? If the prior methods (before the Boskin Commission) were actually the correct ones, then you would conclude that we have gone trough to trough on an inflation adjusted basis. If you think Boskin was right, then we have farther to go…if you assume that home prices only rise with inflation. However, per Shiller’s research, it would indicate that home prices over nearly a century actually rise faster than inflation on average (because remember, Boskin showed that prior methods of inflation overstated CPI by 1.3% annually).

My point quite simply is that using CPI over long periods of time…through different methodology regimes, is problematic…so presenting a graph that does so, is also problematic.

Comment by goon squad
Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 06:52:52

Those are some big projects.

Or, were.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-28 07:18:58

Fugly, too.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 07:56:50

Those colored row-houses look passable, but those were ” initially designed to attract foreign customers looking for sunshine and golf.” Translation: $$$$.

Those massive apartment buildings look like the Ministry of Love, and I don’t meant that in a good way.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 08:10:14

Do you mean like the Ministry of Love that Obama and Holder are building in Utah:

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 11:26:05

Servers don’t mind rats as much as people do.

Comment by rms
2013-03-28 12:13:16

“Those are some big projects.”

Gotta wonder how many subcontractors got stiffed on those half-built skeletons.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 14:16:42

All of them? :lol:

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 03:26:36

Wall Street Journal - Use of Food Stamps Swells Even as Economy Improves:

“The financial crisis is over and the recession ended in 2009 (um, no, it didn’t). But one of the federal government’s biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn’t shrinking back alongside the recovery.

Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as the modern-day food-stamp benefit is known, has soared 70% since 2008 to a record 47.8 million as of December 2012. Congressional budget analysts think participation will rise again this year and dip only slightly in coming years.

The biggest factor behind the upward march of food stamps is a sluggish job market and a rising poverty rate. At the same time, many states have pushed to get more people to apply for SNAP, a program where the federal government picks up the tab.

The food-stamp rolls have swollen since 2008 and are projected to stay that way for years. In 2008, SNAP enrollment was 28.2 million. Unemployment peaked in October 2009 at 10% and was at 7.7% as of February, but SNAP kept growing.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts unemployment will drop to 5.6% by 2017 but that SNAP enrollment will drop slightly to 43.3 million people, down 4.5 million from the current level.

The government spent a record $74.6 billion on SNAP benefits last year, roughly equivalent to the combined budgets of the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Department of the Interior. Roughly 45% of recipients are children. In 2007, the government spent $30.4 billion on the program.”

And what the article neglects to mentions is that the majority of income gains since the recession allegedly ended have gone to the top 1%.

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%.

Welcome to the recoveryless recovery.

The future belongs to Lucky Ducky.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 06:55:16

Quick - raise taxes and grow government even bigger.

That will surely fix the problem THIS time.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:30:53

better give a tax cut to the job creator walton family so they can create more jobs for their employees on food stamps.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 07:59:46

Stop with the stupid taxes. Say a company ships $10 million of salary overseas just so the stockholders can pocket an extra $1 million in profit/bonuses/whatever. What good does it do to to tax that $1 million even more? We need to bring back the $10 million.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 08:06:25

commie talk. the maw must be fed.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 08:52:10

“Use of Food Stamps Swells Even as Economy Improves”

Could the problem be a zero-sum improvement?

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-28 10:58:54

And then we have such positive news:

Police restrain crowd from taking food after supermarket eviction

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 14:14:35

Let them eat cake.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 03:36:55

Wall Street Journal - The Red-State Path to Prosperity:

“You can tell a lot about prosperity in America by observing the places people are moving to and where they are packing up and moving from. New Census Bureau data on metropolitan areas indicate that the South and the Sunbelt regions continue to grow, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to shrink.

Among the 10 fastest-growing metro areas last year were Raleigh, Austin, Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. All of these are in low-tax, business-friendly red states. Blue-state areas such as Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Providence and Rochester were among the biggest population losers.

This migration isn’t accidental. Workers and business owners are responding to clear economic incentives. Red states in the Southeast and Sunbelt are following the Reagan model by reducing tax rates and easing regulations. They also offer right-to-work laws as an enticement for businesses to come and set up shop.”

And the food stamp usage rates in some of these right-to-work (for low wages) Galtian utopias, as reported here:

Texas - 16%
Florida - 18%
Arizona - 17%
North Carolina - 18%

As compared with:

Illinois - 16%
Michigan - 18%
New York - 16%

If trickle-down was really trickling, one would think that the “right-to-work” states would all be lands of milk and honey with nobody on food stamps. Except it doesn’t work that way. It only trickles up, into the pockets of the 1% and the 0.1%.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 06:55:09

Trickle MEANS trickle.

trick·le[trik-uhl] verb, trick·led, trick·ling, noun
verb (used without object) flow or fall by drops, or in a small, gentle stream: Tears trickled down her cheeks. come, go, or pass bit by bit, slowly, or irregularly: The guests trickled out of the room.
verb (used with object) cause to trickle.
4.a trickling flow or stream.
5.a small, slow, or irregular quantity of anything coming, going, or proceeding: a trickle of visitors throughout the day.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 07:03:52

If trickle-down was really trickling, one would think that the “right-to-work” states would all be lands of milk and honey with nobody on food stamps. Except it doesn’t work that way. It only trickles up, into the pockets of the 1% and the 0.1%.

You are starting to sound like a bitter homeowner trapped in a blue state with no escape. Hey, where did everyone go?

No one said red states were utopias. Only that they have better opportunities to find a job and raise a family.

People vote with their feet when they see they cannot change where they live.

Deep blue and long time democrat controlled cities and states are dying because they are CRUSHING the people who work and make things in order to buy the votes of the freeloaders and wackos.

Eventually, people get sick and tired of it and just move.

And FYI - food stamps are a federal program paid by the feds and pushed by the feds. All states want to get their fair share of the “free” fed money. Hate the game and not the players.

Better stats to look at would be ones that the states actually control.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-28 07:25:56

Food stamp usage in my blue state is only 10%. No bitterness here. I’m so glad I don’t live in the backward, poverty ridden south.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:34:11

fortunately the earth is only 6,000 years old, adam and eve rode dinosaurs like horses, we have to destroy the world to save israel to hasten the rapture, types are mostly contained to colorado springs.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by rms
2013-03-28 12:22:08

“…we have to destroy the world to save israel to hasten the rapture…”

+1 And don’t forget those non-performance based bonuses.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 07:51:57


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by bunga bunga
2013-03-28 08:21:00

Weren’t the southern red states overwhelmingly democratic some 30 years ago? In local politics, they might still be.

If you can say Obama and Democrats can’t fix decades of Republicans largesse in 4 or 8 years, would it also make sense to not expect miracles from Republicans for the Democratics abuses for centuries?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 08:41:54

Centuries? :lol:

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-28 08:47:27

Both parties were founded back when people rode on dinosaurs.

Comment by usury camp resident
2013-03-28 12:59:46

Both parties were founded back when people rode on dinosaurs.

Yup. There was always a struggle between people who wanted to ride on the left side vs. the right side.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-03-28 13:54:45

Weren’t the southern red states overwhelmingly democratic some 30 years ago?

Actually, you have to go back 50 years. What changed 50 years ago? The national Democratic party became the party of equal rights for black Americans. After Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 he predicted that his party would lose the South for a generation. It’s turning out to be quite a bit more than a generation.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-28 07:30:21

“No one said red states were utopias. Only that they have better opportunities to find a job and raise a family.

The significantly above average incidence of foodstamp and disability usage in those states refutes that claim.

Comment by Dale
2013-03-28 09:49:44

It would be interesting to know the political affiliation of the people collecting food stamps and disability in the red states (and blue states). States are not really red or blue but various shades of purple. There may be a certain segment of the population that wants to live off the rest no matter where they live and it is probably easier where the economies are good.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-28 09:55:32

There may be a certain segment of the population that wants to live off the rest no matter where they live and it is probably easier where the economies are good

That makes no sense. Welfare is welfare. And shouldn’t have more of those people in blue states? In any case, median wages are lower in red states. And since unemployed people on welfare don’t count in those statistics, people are indeed poorer in red states.

Comment by rms
2013-03-28 12:26:45

“It would be interesting to know the political affiliation of the people collecting food stamps and disability in the red states (and blue states).”


Comment by usury camp resident
2013-03-28 12:52:39

That makes no sense. Welfare is welfare. And shouldn’t have more of those people in blue states? In any case, median wages are lower in red states. And since unemployed people on welfare don’t count in those statistics, people are indeed poorer in red states.

Another side effect of centuries of slavery. Take a closer look the red states you talk about, they have a very higher percentage of african americans. And more AAs rely on govt. beni’s than any other race including in the blue states.

Comment by Steve J
2013-03-28 15:10:16

Not true. Native Americans rely more government handouts.

Comment by scdave
2013-03-28 07:49:36

No one said red states were utopias. Only that they have better opportunities to find a job and raise a family ??

You mean like Mississippi & North Carolina with unemployment rates of 9.3% & 9.5% ??

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 08:04:14

nothing says ‘family values’ like being at the top of the list for child poverty, obesity, smoking rates, infant mortality.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by scdave
2013-03-28 08:14:32

+1 gooney….

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 08:43:06

GOP family values.

You also left out closet queers.

Comment by polly
2013-03-28 09:02:45

Darn those facts.

Comment by Dale
2013-03-28 10:02:34

You are assuming that everyone in these state have “family values”. A minor population without “family values” living among the larger population with “family values” could significantly skew the numbers. Short of forcing this population to adopt the “family values” which would decrease the child poverty, obesity, smoking rates, infant mortality rates what can you do? I am not sure that this is a problem that will go away by throwing money at it.
Re-education camps anyone?

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-03-28 11:07:47

” Short of forcing this population to adopt the “family values” which would decrease the child poverty, obesity, smoking rates, infant mortality rates what can you do?”

So the adoption of “family values” is a cure for poverty? Maybe the best family value is the one that says don’t have children if you can’t afford them - a strong argument for free birth control and abortion and education and job training programs. Or should poor folk be told to just say no to sex even within marriage.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 12:58:30

Not to mention that a lot of people aren’t poor or weren’t poor when they started their families.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 07:15:47

Right to work states are also the home to MASSIVE social security disability claims.

There aren’t a lot of good jobs in red states compared to blue. We can argue over WHY this is true, but it’s hard to argue the trend.

This also isn’t to say that a lot of people aren’t better off in red states. Red states are great if you want a lower cost of living and slower pace of life. Usually if you want to aim for the top of your field, it’s going to mean a blue state or at least a purple state. Look at BiLA - he “lives” in AZ but he admits he can’t find the same work in AZ. He’s worked in Maryland and California in the last few years. Wonder why not Mississippi or Oklahoma?!?!?

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:21:18

and many of the ‘good jobs’ in the red states are dependant of government cheese via the pentagon. but if theyre contractor jobs then theyre all bootrappers galt gulch and not the 47 percent takers, right.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-28 07:23:58

Occam’s Razor says everyone is moving where it’s warm, now that businesses can locate anywhere, not having to be near steel mills or coal mines or large rivers, like they used to.

Man is a tropical animal.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-28 07:31:49

That has long been my understanding, people have been moving to the sunbelt for decades for that very reason. Cheap housing is also a factor.

Comment by Steve J
2013-03-28 15:12:29

Air conditioning.

It’s because of air conditioning.

Otherwise there would be a lot fewer factories in the South.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ahansen
2013-03-28 09:27:59

Tell that to the Danes.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-03-28 14:09:07

The editorial lists Las Vegas as one of the places that people are moving to. According to the papers, the economy is still lousy there. It it’s actually true that large groups of Americans moved to Phoenix, Orlando Las Vegas, etc. last year, it may be that many of them were retirees looking for high temperatures, cheap housing and low taxes. If that is the case, a healthy economy would be unimportant.

Comment by Salinasron
2013-03-28 07:43:33

The problem is missing data. What experience is needed for the better paying jobs and whether the influx of people moving into the state is due solely to filling positions that the locals cannot fill.
Some look at CA as a hard place to find a job but I know of quite a few who lost a job and the next day had employment at $75K or higher. Even some graduating with a business degree or in accounting starting at $65K to $75K right out of school.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 08:46:07

Occams razor. See above.

Summary: it’s warmer in the south.

Comment by rms
2013-03-28 12:33:08

The problem is missing data.

Gathering data and organizing it into useful information is a politically charged business that can ruin innocent careers.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 03:55:06

Washington Post - ‘Trickle-down consumption’: How rising inequality can leave everyone worse off

“As income inequality in the United States has soared and median wages have flatlined since 1980, economists have spent a lot of time debating why the top 1 percent have done so much better than everyone else. Is policy to blame? The decline of labor? Technology?

An equally pressing question, though, is what those increasingly hefty incomes at the very top mean for the lives of everyone else. And a big, newly revised paper by the University of Chicago’s Marianne Bertrand and Adair Morse finds that there is a connection, but not a happy one: The gains of the rich have come alongside losses for the middle class.

As the wealthy have gotten wealthier, the economists find, that’s created an economic arms race in which the middle class has been spending beyond their means (on overpriced housing?) in order to keep up. The authors call this “trickle-down consumption.” The result? Americans are saving less, bankruptcies are becoming more common, and politicians are pushing for policies to make it easier to take on debt.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 08:54:12

“The gains of the rich have come alongside losses for the middle class.”

Zero-sum improvements…

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 04:05:32

How the 0.1% roll

Globe and Mail - Introducing the Knight: A $629,000 armoured cocoon SUV

“There are those who believe that less is more. They read Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, dream of living in a cabin by a pond in the woods, and worship nature in all its divinity: they rake Zen gardens and marvel at a single blade of grass.

Then there are the Conquest Knight drivers – a group that is prepared to spend more than half a million dollars on a super-sized SUV that will crush ordinary cars, repel bullets, and keep an angry mob at bay should things go south in the streets (that’s unpossible! because the economy is in Recovery®).

“Think of it as an armoured private jet,” said Conquest Vehicles president Bill Maizlin. “You’re riding in luxury, but you’re totally secure.”

I could see what he meant. The Knight’s door had the heft of a bank vault, and it closed with an ominous metallic thunk, like the mechanism of a giant artillery gun (the doors are secured by massive electromagnets and hinges that weigh more than 35 pounds apiece).

I looked out through thick bulletproof windows over a long black hood that was slashed with cooling vents. The dash was studded with controls that included five different horns and sirens.

In the Knight, I was ready for anything, from a knife attack to a bazooka round – its reinforced steel hull was like a rolling bastille, and the tires were designed to go up to 40 kilometres even if they got shot off the rims. Next to an battle tank, this was about as secure as you could get.

Until a couple of years ago, I’d never heard of Conquest Vehicles or the Knight. Against all odds, it’s a Canadian company, with a small factory in Toronto’s northern suburbs. Each Knight is built by hand, using Ford engines and running gear (usually the F-550 chassis). Conquest caters to a rarefied clientele who are prepared to spend more than the price of a Rolls-Royce for on an attention-getting fortress on wheels.

Maizlin started his company in 2008 after working with a firm that sold military hardware. “My idea was to bring military design to the high-end luxury civilian market,” he said. “We weren’t producing for the masses.”

Because you’re producing to protect the 0.1% from the masses.

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-28 09:42:48

Cool! When it runs out of gas in the bumper-to-bumper fleeing The Big One, we’ll know just whom to cow-tip and pillage. Does it come complete with a zircon-encrusted “Kick Me” sign for the owner’s kid?

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-28 09:45:54


Comment by Martin
2013-03-28 04:29:49

Came across this site that hires H1B workers for all of US with their salaries:

Surprising to see many companies hiring these folks at very high salaries. Moreover, software engineers seem to be getting average of $100K whereas H1Bs mandated wage is 42K.

In search you can type any company like APUS, NIH etc.

Comment by bunga bunga
2013-03-28 07:04:10

From what I have read most h1b’s are paid similart salaries to that of citizens or PR for the same type of job. However H1B’s supress the overall salary of the said proefession by increasing the labor supply. If “practicing” IT was as tough as practicing medicine or law for foreign graduates, IT salaries would have gone through the roof. Or, offshored 100%.

There’s a new comprehensive immigtration bill being discussed. The new bill would not only deal with illegals but would also drmarically increase the h1b’s and other visas for “highly skilled” workers.

Comment by bunga bunga
2013-03-28 07:12:25

Another thing few h1b’s have told me was the h1b makes you somewhat dependent on the employer for your job. Just because you have h1b visa, doesn’t mean you can quit one company and join another one. The new employer has to sponsor you for the h1b (a lengthy process) before you can join them. This increases the abuses the h1b’s may suffer from the hands of employers. So far the “body shops” have been the biggest culprit in that matter.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-03-28 07:39:26

This also prevents business from investing in training of citizens.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 08:11:38

This seems like the biggest problem.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 08:54:30

Companies training employees beyond “orientation” died decades ago.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 13:31:44

Still have my travel coffee mug from orientation day at TARP bank back in the day. Such fond memories of: being lied to by management; being told by management to lie to customers; being told by management to fraudulantly alter documents, and to accept inaccurate or incomplete documents from customers.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 14:10:33

…except for THAT kind of training.

Comment by cactus
2013-03-28 10:45:08

How funny I now know the salaries of many fellow emplyees here at ___________ like my boss

the H1B has to wait for a Green card. After that they can work anywhere.

Comment by Steve J
2013-03-28 15:21:34

Did not know there is a shortage of accountants. LOL!

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 04:49:25

Fun website:

Nothing but pix after pix after pix after pix of beauty shots of over-designed renos and new builds quite obviously ordered by Insecure. Women. With. Too. Much. Money. Seriously. The only thing that holds my attention is that some of these monstrous homes have price estimates, something rarely found in the home magazines. Click a pic and scoll for a price breakdown.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 06:34:49

That is a plethora of housing porn.

Comment by Salinasron
2013-03-28 07:54:20

Nothing warm or homey in those pic’s. when most people eat out and don’t cook why the fancy kitchens, accent lighting everywhere?

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 11:34:36

Love the ubiquitous Viking stoves. Six burners? I don’t have six POTS. And you certainly can’t “entertain” and run a six-pot stove at the same time. You’re probably making stuff ahead and microwaving, like every other restaurant.

I’d rather spend the money on a discreet drain in the floor so I can hose the place down.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 08:57:18

Reminds me of the San Diego County real estate porn that comes for free with our Sunday paper…

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 04:50:07

Huffpo forgot “adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed, imported criminal-minded” in their headline. But it is still better than “Alabama legislator’s email not typical reply” from

Joe Mitchell, Alabama Democrat, Sends Email Blasting Constituent’s ‘Slave-Holding, Murdering’ Kin

The Huffington Post
By Chelsea Kiene
Posted: 03/27/2013 7:31 pm EDT - -

Alabama legislator’s email not typical reply

Updated 2:09 pm, Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Read more:

Alabama lawmaker’s email: ‘Slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, snaggle-toothed kin folk’

By George Talbot |
March 27, 2013 at 9:07 AM

From: Eddie Maxwell

Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 10:54 PM

To: (all members of state legislature)

Subject: Gun Control and our Constitutions

Can the officers of our state government change our constitution when the change is forbidden by the people? The Supreme Court of Alabama has ruled that it cannot in an opinion dealing with another matter where change is forbidden. You have sworn to support our constitution. You have defined a violation of an oath in an official proceeding as a class C felony (C.O.A. Section 13A-10-101 Perjury in the first degree).

Do not violate your oath of office by introducing additional gun control bills or by allowing those already enacted to remain in the body of our laws.

From: Representative Joseph Mitchell

Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 11:59 PM

To: Eddie Maxwell

cc: (all members)

Subject: Re: Gun Control and our Constitutions

Hey man. You have used the word ‘except’ when I think you mean somethin’ else.

Hey man. Your folk never used all this sheit to protect my folk from your slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed, imported criminal-minded kin folk. You can keep sending me stuff like you have however because it helps me explain to my constituents why they should protect that 2nd amendment thing AFTER we finish stocking up on spare parts, munitions and the like.

Bring it. As one of my friends in the Alabama Senate suggested – “BRING IT!!!!”

JOSEPHm, a prepper (’70-’13)

Mobile County - -

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 16:49:42

Alabama Democrats: Rep. Joe Mitchell ’stands alone’ in racially charged comments

By George Talbot |
Follow on Twitter
March 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM

The Alabama Democratic Party today released a statement distancing the party from racially charged comments made by state Rep. Joe Mitchell, D-Mobile, in a series of emails to a Jefferson County man.

“Recent inflammatory remarks made by Representative Joseph Mitchell do not represent the values of Alabama Democrats,” the party said in a written statement. “As far as the Alabama Democratic Party is concerned, Representative Mitchell stands alone in this matter and speaks only for himself. The level of discourse in our Legislature and by our Legislators has been diminished and the Alabama Democratic Party deplores any rhetoric that divides the people of Alabama.”

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 16:54:51

If pol called constituent a ‘baby-raping’ inbred, that’s not good

5 hrs ago

Joseph Mitchell, Alabama lawmaker, reportedly writes racially … - -

Comment by joe smith
Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:17:19

nice article except their mobile display blows, can’t even see all of the graph at once 9

the droid 4 hates me since a recent forced software upgrade.

the best way those poors could save money would be to not have children.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 07:55:06

it looked OK on samsung

re: saving money but not having children, it seems to work exactly opposite, young people with the least education and income are the ones having all of the kidz.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 08:17:55

The graph lines are in 5 shades of pink. Even Excel isn’t that bad. :roll:

Comment by DaniW
2013-03-28 17:59:44

It’s hard to take any article seriously with such poor grammar in the title. Maybe the author can try to improve himself before casting aspersions on others.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 05:16:03

Bad Sign for Tech: Idle FoxConn Factory

Published: Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 | 12:37 PM ET
By: Cadie Thompson
Technology Editor,

Orders have slowed down significantly since February at the FoxConn factory in Shenzen, China, factory workers told CNBC on Tuesday.

“There are no orders, generally there is nothing to do,” one FoxConn worker told CNBC.

The worker, who inspects iPads, said that he normally made about $480 a month, but said he would be lucky to make two-thirds of that this month.

“There’s no overtime,” he said. “A lot of people have left.” - 73k

Comment by SUGuy
2013-03-28 07:28:03

My reading on the small business economy is 2 words

Silence and shutdowns.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 08:59:09

Bad sign for potential future labor unrest in China…how are their workers going to snap up those 60 million empty housing units as investments if they aren’t working?

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-03-28 11:36:41

Will China start a ground war if their economy tanks?

Comment by usury camp resident
2013-03-28 13:55:48

That’s a western phenomenon.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jess from upstate SC
2013-03-28 05:39:48

Our work truck is a 2003 ford F150 with the smallest V8 they have, we bought it new just weeks before the 04’s came out way back.
We have done nothing to it but change tires , oil, and a few batteries. At 150K I knew it needed a spark plug change ,but with all the spark plug problems Ford is having on their 04-08 bigger V8’s ,I was worried.
Some end up paying 2-3K for what starts out changing spark plugs. They break off,explode, or something like that.
I happen to rent a house to an older top-notch auto Mechanic who offered to do mine , after he checked on the year and the size engine in it.
He said I was lucky with the combination year and engine, as even Ford Dealers are reputed to refuse to work on a lot of 2004-2008 Ford spark plug changes ,or pretend to change them and do not,but charge for it, knowing the triton engines will run up to 200K on the original set.
He brought to his house a handful of odd looking tools , changed all 8 plugs out in 45 minutes , and accepted my token$20 happily for his labor,with me watching.
I couldn’t even find the plugs ,they are all hidden under some kind of firing packs……Are we lucky ,or what.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-28 06:45:51

I think a lot of engines have individual coils over the spark plugs these days. on a 2000 infiniti I did the plugs and it has individual coils and they are not cheap.

I did the rear brake pads on the same car the other day and learned something new. usually on disc brakes you have to push the brake piston back within the caliper to get the new thicker pads to fit in. I was prying like a mad man and they wouldnt move. I got on the internet and did a little searching. evidently on this car the caliper pistons screw in to make way for new pads. they make a special tool for it but I was able to use vice grips to do it. What a pain in the @ss!

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-28 07:25:28

Every car I’ve had required the screw-in routine for the rear calipers. I thought all rear discs with an emergency brake that acted on the rear calipers required that.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-28 08:49:59

maybe so. first time I confronted it. I guess most of the old sh@t I have been drivn has drum brakes in the rear.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Dale
2013-03-28 10:34:17

I had the same experience with infiniti brakes. I did the front first which just needed a c-clamp to compress the pistons. I never imagined the back would be different and spent considerable time and effort (using up my considerable list of profanities) trying to compress them. Final checked the internet. Not that hard when you know what you are doing.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 09:38:46

Gave up on Father Ford 10 years ago after being a loyal customer for 20 years.

Ford=Fawkin’ Ol’ Rusty Dog.

Comment by brother_jimmy
2013-03-28 11:24:46

The issue is the aluminum heads combined with steel plugs and a 100k maintenance interval which almost assures that with just a touch too much force, the threads will come out with the plugs. Slow and easy, along with anti-seize compound works wonders.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 06:03:35

Top news from Bloomberg

Yes we can!


U.S. Economy Expanded at Revised 0.4% Pace in Fourth Quarter

Gross domestic product rose at a 0.4 percent annual rate, up from a 0.1 percent prior estimate and following a 3.1 percent pace in the third quarter, revised Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The fourth-quarter slowdown was due to the biggest slump in military spending since 1972 and a reduction in the rate of inventory building.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Increase More Than Forecast

More Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, bringing a halt to the recent progress in the labor market.

First-time U.S. jobless claims rose by 16,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 23, the highest level in more than a month, Labor Department data showed today in Washington.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-28 06:39:34

there is no growth with QE treasury purchases.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 06:44:22

No growth with $6 Trillion in new debt????

No growth with the government borrowing 46 cents of every dollar it spends????

No growth with 0% interest rates???

No growth with government controlling the housing market??? And the health care market. And the student loan market.

How can this be?

But I voted for hope and change.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-28 07:00:43

you have to get the private sector back to work somehow.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-28 07:26:50

That would require the people with stockpiles of cash to pay the people without cash to perform work, correct?

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:38:38

the only jobs the ‘job creators’ create are for their accountants and lawyers to help them transfer more money from lucky ducky to the 1 percent.

Comment by measton
2013-03-28 11:01:51

Imagine what the growth rate would be without the US gov spending and low interest rates. Tell us in your twisted utopia with the benefit of retrospective vision what you would have done and how it would have changed things.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 07:05:19

Republicans block ending offshore jobs US tax breaks

(that’s how)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 07:12:48

Do you even read your own posts?

Hmmm - maybe the bill was just a campaign stunt for the 2010 election?

Five members of the Senate Democratic caucus broke party ranks and opposed the bill, including Max Baucus, chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 07:56:30

OK, so 47 republicans and 5 democrats opposed ending off shoring tax breaks.

And the democrats who opposed are from red states.

Got it.

Carry on, Cabana Boy.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-03-28 07:43:03

You do love to celebrate America going down the toilet. Still mad Mittens lost?

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:50:39

america is going down the toilet. and the economic conditions leading us there were a bipartisan creation. an th

Comment by AnnGogh
2013-03-28 08:19:14

Post America- can you feel it now?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 08:32:01

Idiocracy is here. The future = there is no future.

and to quote Jim Morrison, “I’m gonna get my kicks before the whole sh*thouse goes up in flames”

Comment by michael
2013-03-28 06:14:51

democratic party hacks…close your eyes for a moment and imagine:

POTUS: Dick Cheney
VPOTUS: Ann Coulter

“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” - Rush Limbaugh - Attorney General of the United States

now how would you “feel”?

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 06:41:44

Drone strikes on America citizens by the whims of President Nixon’s kill list…

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-28 06:50:05

now how would you “feel”?

I would feel very surprised because I would agree with Rush, which rarely happens.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 07:06:34


Comment by michael
2013-03-28 07:11:57

you would make a great realtor.

Comment by bunga bunga
2013-03-28 07:15:26

He is a realtor.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by michael
2013-03-28 07:16:59

no friggin’ way?

Comment by bunga bunga
2013-03-28 07:20:58

Yup. It’s always a good time to buy democratic propoganda.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 08:21:20

Inside joke, Michael. If you’re not screaming daily that demand is at 17-year lows and that there are [insert yesterday's millions due jour + 3 million] of empty houses, then you’re a Re-Al-TOR.

Comment by polly
2013-03-28 09:17:34

He doesn’t call me a realtor. Says I work for HCS. Wikipedia says this:


HCS may mean:

Haryana Civil Services
Hackensack Christian School
Hoboken Charter School
Hallett Cove School in Adelaide, South Australia.
Halifax Consciousness Scanner
Hampton Christian Schools
Holland Christian Schools
Harlem Children Society
Hartland Community School in Hartland, New Brunswick
Hyderabad Civil Service
Hard Clad Silica
Harvard Computer Society
Heritage Christian School (disambiguation), various institutions
Hull Collegiate School in Anlaby, England.
The High Compression Swirl engine by Ford in the 1980s
Human Chorionic Somatomammotropin
High-content screening
Hierarchical cell structure
Hydrocortisone or Cortisol, Which should not to be confused with Cortisone,a compound with a similar name, genesis and function
Heliospheric current sheet
Hummocky cross stratification
Header Check Sequence
Hereford Cathedral School
Highland Cattle Society of Stirling, Scotland.
High Carbon Steel
Hinsdale Central School in Hinsdale, New York.
Honorable Company’s Ship, the prefix for a ship of the British East India Company (as in HCS Bombay)

Do you think I could get reimbursed for my travel expenses for an interview with the Highland Cattle Society of Stirling, Scotland? Scotland is very nice in the summer.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 09:40:47

Just a liar then.

Comment by polly
2013-03-28 10:44:22

What is HCS?

Comment by Pete
2013-03-28 11:33:00

“What is HCS?”

I think he means “Housing Crime Syndicate”? Almost as bad as a realtor, I’m afraid.

Comment by polly
2013-03-28 11:49:00

Thank you, Pete. That is at least plausible as his opinion. Not accurate in the slightest, but given his penchant for accusing everyone who indicates that a person might care where they live to a granularity of less than 20 or 30 miles, it could be part of his line of thinking.

A little odd since he works in the supply end of housing himself (or claims to) but I appreciate the suggestion.

Comment by usury camp resident
2013-03-28 12:46:56

I thought it was “High [on] Corn Syrup”

Comment by polly
2013-03-28 13:09:31

Working for “High on Corn Syrup”? Seems unlikely. Dj is the one with the questionable grasp of the English language. Ral is the one who doesn’t get that individual people care about the exact location of the place they live, unlike home builders who only care if there is someone out there who wants to live where they are building.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 09:01:40

Here is my dream ticket for 2016:

POTUS: Willard “Mitt” Romney
VPOTUS: Hillary Rodham Clinton

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-28 09:28:52

Why that order? I don’t like her a whole lot but she seems more qualified than Mitt.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 16:15:55

Perhaps the more important question than “who is most qualified to be POTUS” is “who would be willing to run as VPOTUS candidate.” I refer you to the never-ran Gingrich/Santorum ticket.

I also believe perceived qualifications are a fairly weak indicator of POTUS job performance, but that is another conversation.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by michael
2013-03-28 09:34:29

im still holding out on a kucinich/paul or paul/kucinich ticket.

Comment by michael
2013-03-28 09:36:39

they should run simply on the economy and the TBTF banks and declare they will be one term.

gay marriage? you gotta wait 4 years
gun control? you gotta wait 4 years
global warming? you gotta wait 4 years
etc. etc.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 11:40:47

run simply on the economy and the TBTF banks

They and what Congress?

Comment by michael
2013-03-28 13:12:38

that may be an imperial presidency that even i could get behind!

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2013-03-28 16:04:48

they should run simply on the economy and the TBTF banks and declare they will be one term.

+1 on that ticket. Also to be included is end Afghanistan, try or release the Guantanamos, and pull troops from Germany, Italy, Japan, etc.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 13:14:32

Mitt “I sent your jobs to communist China but that doesn’t make me a traitor” Romney?

Mitt “half the population doesn’t matter” Romney?

And you people wonder what’s wrong with this country? :roll:

Comment by michael
2013-03-28 13:18:07

Mitt “half the population doesn’t matter” Romney


Barrack “maintain the status quo” Obama.

glad i voted for neither.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by usury camp resident
2013-03-28 13:52:40

Isn’t it basically the same thing?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 14:06:11

Ye… ah, no.

Not even close.

Comment by rms
2013-03-28 16:59:48

“glad i voted for neither.”

+1 Ditto.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 06:39:18

It is not a “glitch”

It was never meant to work.

Oh well, we had to pass the bill to see what was in it.

More and more government - it always makes things affordable!

See housing and college for other examples.


Little hope seen for millions priced out of health overhaul
Reuters | 03/28/2013 | Tom Brown

(Reuters) - Millions of Americans will be priced out of health insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul because of a glitch in the law that adversely affects people with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by their employers, a leading healthcare advocacy group said on Tuesday.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:28:11

obamacare was never intended to benefit anyone except the 1 percenter insurance and pharaceutical pigs. single payer as advocated by dennis kucinich would save money and provide more health care.

but those scandinavian socialists are all just sooo mserable, right

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-28 07:43:48

Exactly, it kept the private, for profit system that has given us costs that are at least twice that of other nations, and rising fast for decades, in place.

Eventually, no one will be able to afford private insurance and we will transition to a single payer system.

Comment by measton
2013-03-28 11:04:29

Actually it’s worse

It kept it private and subsidized it.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bluestar
2013-03-28 12:07:59

“single payer as advocated by dennis kucinich”
Dennis sold out at the end.
“Pelosi needed 216 votes, and got 219. That means just four people could have stopped the bill that they swore needed a public option to secure their vote.”

Barack Obama’s Economic Legacy: The Billionaire-Boosting Big Four on His Wish List

Just think, we would be 3 months into the Ryan budget by now…

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 13:12:31

You mean with Mittens “half the population doesn’t matter” Romney?

Yeah, you have wonder why he didn’t win. :roll:

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by rms
2013-03-28 07:34:34

“Oh well, we had to pass the bill to see what was in it.”

+1 LOL! :)

Comment by polly
2013-03-28 15:02:30

You guys would be surprised at how accurate that statement can be. One aspect of my division’s work which used to involve a delay of between 2 weeks and 2 months (if you have enough people to actually look at things as they come in the door including at the busiest time of year, you have over hired because some people are less than fully occupied during the less busy times of year), now has a delay of about 12 months. Volume has increased so much because of a law that Congress passed a few years ago that it is impossible to keep up. And that delay creates even longer delays because people write to their Congressmen to ask what is going on and some people have to be taken off other work to respond to the letters forwarded from Congress.

Sounds terrible, but it happens.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 06:53:35

Remember when everything that happened in New Orleans after Katerina was President Bush’s fault?

Why, he wanted to kill and starve black people in order to steal elections in the Chocolate City. Even then candidate obama said so.

Today - barely a peep of what is happening in the NE after Sandy. And certainly no blame for obama.

The massive bias of our press.

And PS - I am sure glad the total gun ban in NYC is keeping the crime rate low.


Squatters, Looters Overrun Sandy-Ravaged Staten Island Communities
CBS New York | 3/27/13

Staten Island residents already suffering from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy say they are now seeing their neighborhoods infiltrated by squatters and looters.

As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported Wednesday, when darkness sets in on Wavecrest Street in New Dorp, people say squatters make their move – crashing empty homes wrecked by the hurricane.

But Sumner said it is not just the squatters, but the looters, too. They have tried to break into his Sandy-ravaged home next to the trailer where he has been living temporarily.

But he said he has managed to fight back, with many different weapons, including a cane, a baseball bat, two rakes, and a stick.

When asked if the weapons work, Sumner said they usually do not.

“They usually run away from the big rake, but the baseball bat, they look at you and it’s like, ‘What are you doing? Are you kidding?’” he said.

“I even chained up the back of my camper, so they don’t hook it up and take that away, too,” he said.

The Sandy survivors have been left on their own to defend what the storm didn’t take.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 07:10:37

How big are those pink elephants inside your head and do they ever stop talking?

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 07:14:29

You can take my big rake from my cold dead fingers…

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 08:57:53


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ahansen
2013-03-28 15:17:20

Stealing that one, nannerz.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-03-28 07:45:57

Most chronic consertvative angst can be explained by hemohroid flare ups. He needs to stay busy posting as a distraction.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 07:54:42

speaking of conservatives with a pain in the arse:

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Pete
2013-03-28 12:12:06

“Why, he wanted to kill and starve black people in order to steal elections in the Chocolate City”

So our biased media was pushing this notion? Or were there a few extreme lefties that managed to get airtime on cable news entertainment shows and wound up looking like idiots while helping the ratings? It’s important that you get the distinction.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 12:44:03

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama tells an audience of black ministers, including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that the U.S. government shortchanged Hurricane Katrina victims because of racism.

“The people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much!” Obama shouts in the video, which was shot in June of 2007 at Hampton University in Virginia. By contrast, survivors of Sept. 11 and Hurricane Andrew received generous amounts of aid, Obama explains. The reason? Unlike residents of majority-black New Orleans, the federal government considers those victims “part of the American family.”

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-28 15:04:07

What a moron…that Ohbewanna, the problem was the superdome should have never been used as a shelter…the generators were not above sea level, and the roof was a fixed roof…..had they had a retractable roof choppers could have landed on the playing field and supplies would be available and plumbers could have fixed the toilets….

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Pete
2013-03-28 15:38:25

“Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama tells an audience of black ministers, including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright……”

Obama’s hypocrisy is not in question, I expect that from him and others. You cited the massive bias of our press, and I just don’t see it as far as Katrina/Sandy. Bush came across as an aloof goofball, but that’s what he was, no matter what the crisis was. Obama is bright and knows how to show concern, but proves himself a hypocrite time and time again. Obama may get a free pass from alot of liberals, but as far as the press in general I don’t see it at all.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by LA Broker
Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 07:54:26

Ain’t that the truth….

If you buy a house in California now (or anywhere for that matter), you’re going to lose ALOT of money. Remember what happened the last time the bubble burst. Those losses will be dwarfed by the losses this time.


Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 08:07:37

People in LA are screwed, not only because of cratering demand, but also because RAL can build a 3000 sq ft 4/4 house with a 25000 gallon gunite pool for $200k and that includes the lot and permits.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 08:14:09

and he can do this in malibu, brentwood, WeHo, etc.

Used home buyers will be losing alot [sic] of money.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Ryan
2013-03-28 11:36:51

Alot of money. Alot.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 08:15:59

Sloppy joe….. sloppy.

$60/sq ft on your lot.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 08:26:50

“on your lot”

And thus you just gave yourself away.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 08:31:40

We don’t give anything away my dear debt junkie. And we’ve shown time and time again that there’s a globe full of land and a full 95% of it goes undeveloped.

The truth?

You got ripped off. Accept it and get on with your life.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 09:02:14

Of course it goes undeveloped. That because it’s not really habitable. :lol:

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 09:06:24

You mean houston? ;)

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 08:25:15

Hope and Change in Los Angeles County:

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-03-28 08:39:05

End of quarter window dressing?

Comment by azdude
2013-03-28 08:55:23

primary dealers trading with each other in wash trades?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 12:31:09

Churn baby, churn!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 09:04:50

No window dressing in Asia:

March 28, 2013, 4:35 a.m. EDT
Asia stocks fall sharply as banks weigh
By Sarah Turner and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asia stocks came under strong selling pressure Thursday, with banks putting in a particularly weak performance across the region as the first quarter of the year drew to a close for some markets.

Chinese stocks slumped as banks there faced an additional drag after the banking regulator there issued new rules Wednesday to improve transparency and disclosures related to the wealth-management products marketed by the lenders.

The Shanghai Composite Index CN:000001 -2.82% was by far the region’s worst performer, slumping 2.8% for its worst one-day loss since March 4. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HK:HSI -0.74% fell 0.7%.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:NIK -1.26% fell 1.3%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO -0.57% lost 0.6% and South Korea’s Kospi KR:SEU +0.0040% ended little changed.

Thursday’s losses came as the trading week wound down for many markets, with Australian, Hong Kong, Indian, and Singaporean bourses to be closed Friday, along with most of those in Europe and the U.S.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 09:13:48

The Eurozone economies aren’t looking so hot at the moment, either. Luckily, the U.S. economy is fully decoupled from Eurasia.

March 27, 2013, 6:01 a.m. EDT
After Cyprus, euro zone will slip into depression
Commentary: Three big problems with the Cyprus ‘rescue’
Stories You Might Like
Italian political turmoil hits Europe stocks
By Matthew Lynn

LONDON (MarketWatch) — A deal was always likely to be done at the last minute in Cyprus.

The sums of money were too small, and the impact of the country chaotically pulling out of the euro too catastrophic, for the two sides not to be prepared to compromise. Late at night, with a deadline looming, the two sides managed to cobble together a deal. The euro staggers on for another day.

But the Cyprus debacle will deepen the depression now starting to grip the European economy. This is no longer a financial crisis — it is an economic crisis. And the collapse of Cyprus will make that a whole lot worse.

The so-called rescue will push one more country into a catastrophic recession. It will provoke an outflow of global funds from the euro-zone. And it will encourage small businesses and depositors to hoard cash. A modern economy can’t function without a healthy banking system. And after Cyprus, no bank in the euro zone can be regarded as safe anymore.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 12:32:06

This bull cannot be stopped. And QE3 can be continued indefinitely.

Buy U.S. stocks now, or get priced out forever!

ft dot com
March 28, 2013 5:35 pm
Bulls make seismic call on stocks record
By Michael Mackenzie and Stephen Foley in New York and Ralph Atkins in London

For believers in a “great rotation” from bonds into equities, Thursday’s leap by the S&P 500 into record territory could well be the trigger for a seismic shift in investors’ portfolios.

The US benchmark, having surpassed its 2007 closing high, is up nearly 10 per cent since January. Yet, even at these elevated levels, stock market bulls say shares look cheap: the S&P has an earnings yield of 7 per cent based on this year’s expected profits, offering vastly superior prospective returns to historically low yields on bonds.

Indeed, America appears finally to be enjoying the benefits of record-low interest rates and the Federal Reserve’s policy of emergency bond-buying, called “quantitative easing”.

Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says: “The region leading the great rotation is the US, because there you have tangible signs that policy is working. You’ve yet to see policy working as a stimulus in Europe.”

“The secular outlook is still one that looks more favourable for equities than bonds.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 13:09:28

What is stopping you from climbing aboard this rocket ship before it reaches escape velocity and heads up into outer space?

March 28, 2013, 3:42 p.m. EDT
S&P 500 surpasses record closing high
By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 index poised to finish at a record high, as portfolio managers and other investors looked to get into equities before the first quarter ends.

“As investors really look at their holdings and evaluate the 10% gains for this quarter, that is a nice return,” said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

So-called ‘window dressing,’ where fund managers want their end-of-quarter balance sheets to reflect participation in higher-gaining stocks, is a likely factor in Thursday’s session, Silverblatt added.

In mid-morning trade, the S&P 500 (SPX +0.41%) surpassed its record close, set in October 2007, but its intraday high of 1,576.09, set on Oct. 11, 2007, remained elusive.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 13:29:14

Successful crisis management has not helped gold bugs one bit.

March 28, 2013, 4:18 p.m. EDT
Gold below $1,600, falls nearly 5% in quarter
By Myra P. Saefong and Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold futures slipped back below $1,600 an ounce Thursday as an upward revision to fourth-quarter U.S. growth and an orderly reopening of banks in Cyprus after an extended closure helped to calm investors’ nerves.

A rise in weekly jobless claims and a bigger-than-expected drop in March Chicago-area manufacturing, however, kept investors on edge.

June gold GCM3 -0.68% , the most-active contract, fell $11.50, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,595.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed $9.90, or 0.6%, on Wednesday.

Cypriot banks open for the first time in nearly two weeks. But there was little sign of the expected rush to withdraw deposits.

Tracking the most-active contracts, gold futures for the month settled higher by 1.1%, but lost 4.8% for the quarter. They also declined for the week, by 0.6%.

Trading on Comex will be closed for Good Friday.

“Markets have taken the bait that Cyprus is ‘contained’,” said Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault.

“Gold ETFs and futures positioning show managed-money has moved its attention elsewhere for the time being,” he said. But the Cyprus fiasco has “rebooted private investor demand for gold, by proving once more that bank depositors are just another set of creditors, albeit with tax-funded insurance.”

“The professionals may well catch on if Italy can’t fill its political vacuum soon after the long Easter weekend,” said Ash. Italy has yet to form a coalition government.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 16:11:11

Go on, take the money and run.

US Market Snapshot | Currencies | Commodities
S&P 500 hits record close — take the money and run?

March 28, 2013, 4:36 p.m. EDT
S&P 500 record to test market momentum
After flirting all month, index sets new closing high of 1,569.19
By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — After a month of teasing investors, the S&P 500 closed at a new record high on Thursday. Time to take the money and run?

Maybe not, but keep in mind some technical strategists say they expect a pullback of 2% to 3% before the index of large-cap U.S. stocks pushes to higher highs by year-end.

For investors who have ridden even part of the massive upswing since stocks bottomed four years ago, the threshold can also act as a reminder to do some portfolio spring cleaning. In other words, figure out how much you can afford to lose if this is a peak — and whether you’ve become overly concentrated in one type of investment.

“For most people passing a certain level in and of itself doesn’t cause you to rethink your strategy,” said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank. “But it is a milestone; it does cause you to stop and evaluate where you are and where you come from.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 09:10:36

March 26, 2013, 6:15 p.m. EDT
Forget Facebook; investors like real estate
Commentary: The next hot IPO? Think bricks, not clicks
Stories You Might Like
Fed’s Pianalto: Scaling back QE could come soon
Pending home sales decline in February
By David Weidner, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Interest in Facebook Inc. since its calamitous initial public offering has mirrored interest in the social-networking site: Investors and users are still hanging around, but they’re less enthusiastic.

Facebook’s experience, however, hasn’t exactly cast a pall on the IPO market. The bull market is fueling a stock-offering renaissance. IPO volume for the last four weeks is up 59% from the same period last year to $2.93 billion, according to Dealogic.

But it’s the type of IPO that’s changed. Real-estate and property offerings are up nearly 40% from last year’s rates to more than $14 billion.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-28 09:31:39

Interest in Facebook Inc. since its calamitous initial public offering

It’s still funny that the FB IPO is considered calamitous for working like they are supposed to work instead of enriching connected bank insiders at the expense of the company.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 12:29:50

If it comes down to a choice between investing in Facebook or RE, I’d take RE hands down (already did, in fact…).

Comment by polly
2013-03-28 15:07:13

The purpose of the FB IPO was to get working capital for FB. Whether you want to invest in it or not has nothing to do with it. They got pretty close to the maximum amount of money they could from the deal (might have been even better a few months earlier). That is a successful IPO. A failed IPO is when it trades at 3 times the initial offering price by the end of the first trading day. That company could have had a lot more cash for the exact same ownership stake if the IB had priced it correctly.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-28 16:06:21

“That is a successful IPO.”

I assume you mean successful for the company, not the suckers who saw their shares drop by 50% in value shortly after buying at $40.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-03-28 09:10:43

So, two days ago, the Case Shiller index was released. Shiller said that the current real estate market is “totally artificial.”

Yesterday, Walter Molony, spokesman for the NAR, came on DC news radio and said the housing market had recovered and there is “no artificial support” for the market.


1) Is the real estate market artificial?

2) If so, how long can it remain artificial?

Comment by cactus
2013-03-28 09:56:07

Dollars are more artifical than RE

What takes longer? Loaning 1 trillion to Blackstone to buy RE or building 1 trillion dollars worth of new RE ?

Stop this mad money supply creation and you stop artifical RE prices.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 10:02:28

If your dollars are so “artificial” then why are you desperately trying to get your lying hands on them?

Nice try.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 11:52:00

Because then you can trade those artificial dollars for “real” estate, i.e. land. And if you do it fast enough, you can obtain the tangible land before people realize that the dollars are not so tangible.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 16:46:05


Yeah. Land… at $500/acre in all 48 states. Why is it $500/acre? Because that’s all land is worth.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-29 19:59:06

Rental Pimp….. you’re pimping again.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-28 12:18:24

Shiller is right - totally artificial.

Only a housing apologist like Rental Watch would argue otherwise.

Comment by Your Client
2013-03-28 16:47:09

You’re failing.

Comment by cactus
2013-03-28 09:27:28

My new boss asked me what I thought about the book he gave us “Who moved my cheese” I told him it was about getting laid off
and if I get the slighest hint of a layoff I’m moving on down the corrider ” This reference is from the book ”

I should send him this

“More than 12 million Americans are jobless and 40% of these individuals have been out of work for more than six months. The U.S. economy overall may be improving but many Americans still cannot find a job. This trend will only continue in the foreseeable future says James Altucher, managing director of Formula Capital, an asset management firm. The author and venture capitalist tells The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task that the U.S. is moving toward an “employee-less society.”

“If you’re just sitting still, shuffling paper, they’re going to fire you,” he argues. “Cubicles have become commodities. You’re like the walking dead if you have a job.”

According to Altucher, businesses used the 2008 financial crisis as an excuse to get rid of “dead wood” and the firing trend hasn’t stopped. Companies no longer show loyalty to employees. They’re more interested in increasing profits and revenue – which means letting go of expensive staff employees (due to health care benefits, 401k contributions) and replacing them with cheaper temp employees. Altucher says this situation is happening in every sector of the economy and he should know – he sits on the board of a publicly traded temp hiring firm.

“If you’re stuck in a cubicle you have a target on your back…the CEO is looking to cut you out,” he declares. “Temp staffing is sweeping the nation.”

Related: Seth Godin’s Key to Success: “Do Something Ridiculous”

The changing employment climate has made Altucher an advocate of employees quitting their jobs. He lists 10 reasons why workers should give their two-week notice:

1.The Middle Class Is Dead
2.You’ve Been Replaced
3.Corporations Don’t Like You
4.Money Is Not Happiness
5.Count Right Now How Many People Can Make A Major Decision That Can Ruin Your Life
6.Is Your Job Satisfying Your Needs?
7.Your Retirement Plan Is For Sh-t
9.It’s OK To Take Baby Steps
10.Abundance Will Never Come From Your Job
Of course, packing up your cubicle and leaving a steady paycheck is a lot easier said than done. Even if an employee waits to be fired to collect unemployment benefits, the weekly sum will be much less than one’s current take home pay.

So Altucher offers a compromise: stay at your job but become an “entre-employee.” By this he means building connections and networking with employees in other divisions or even starting another business on the side.

“Look for alternative sources of income,” he advises. “Learn your employer’s connections and expand your services because you can’t relax anymore. You have to stay ahead of the economy.”

Altucher says the techniques he preaches work – he has applied them to his own career with success.”

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 09:51:39

an employee-less society?

because an economy that is based on 70% consumption doesn’t need customers.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-03-28 10:20:58

Somebody gave me that book when I (along with the friendly little community hospital I worked at) was bought by the big hospital to the south. One of the most ridiculous, Pollyanna-ish, intelligence-insulting little tomes I have ever encountered. What makes it even worse is knowing the authors made millions from it.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-28 09:32:16

Let’s look at the knowns;

-Anything nar-scum states is suspect
-There are between 20-30 million excess empty houses in the US today
-Inflation is non-existent and has been for 20 years
-The notion that inflation is going to drive wages to meet corrupt asking prices of resale housing is a stretch. We know wages and housing prices will reconnect. But not by rising wages(inflation)
-PR firms are frantic at work here, across the net and in the traditional media to convince the public that current grossly inflated asking prices is somehow normal.
-housing demand is at near multi-decade lows
-New construction costs w/profit are a fraction of resale housing prices in price per square foot.

That’s alot to know but I’m sure I missed a few.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 10:52:33

“Throwing money away on rent” really sucks when you have all this money left over every month after throwing money away on rent.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 11:56:58

Fret not. :-) When you’re 65 and no longer able to make the salary you make now, you will still have the opportunity to spend all that leftover money from paying rent … on paying more rent. If fact, if you invest the leftover money wisely, that money will increase, possibly even as fast as the rent does.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 13:12:50

Amy Hoak, is that you?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by sfhomowner
2013-03-28 13:24:37

Rent is really really cheap where I live.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods In San Francisco Detailed By Terrifying Heat Map

Yesterday yet another friend is being “owner occupied evicted” from her rent-controlled flat of 8 years. Average price for a 2 bedroom for her and her daughter: $2400. Yikes.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 16:17:07

So you’re all toast on the coast. We get it.

You can keep your cultural amenities and climate and food snobbery and hippie-dippie free love, and we’ll keep our flyover cowtown from which we can drive less than an hour to be on the slopes and literally skiing 50 feet from the car to the lift.

How long (and how much bridge toll $) does it take to get from SF to the Tahoe area?

Comment by Pete
2013-03-28 19:03:32

“How long (and how much bridge toll $) does it take to get from SF to the Tahoe area?”

Believe it or not, you only get tolled once in each direction. The Carquinez in Vallejo will cost you $5 eastbound, Bay Bridge will cost you $4-$6 coming back into the city. If it’s carpool hours and you have 3 or more people, it’s only $2.50. Compared to the gas cost, not much. However….I’ve been driving to the city daily for 16 years now (airport shuttle driver here), and the Bay Bridge was $1 in 1997, and the Carquinez was 40 cents.

As for “flyover cowtown less than an hour from the slopes”, that’s almost us! Sacramento is 90 minutes ir less to the closer ski areas.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 13:53:31

“Let’s look at the knowns;”

Can we look at the…… If only we’d knowns

Comment by frankie
2013-03-28 09:44:58

A portrait of desperate Britain: 4,000 job seekers queue for chance of employment at new shopping centre

Queues formed two hours before the jobs fair opened its doors
Job seekers had to park a mile away because so many people were there
Positions were sought at new £84million shopping centre with 56 shops

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Long queues started to build two hours before the jobs fair at the Solent Hotel, in Whiteley, Hampshire, got under way, drawing in people from all walks off life clutching CVs and laptops in a bid to make the right impression.

I’m shocked Whiteley is in the affluent South.

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 10:48:47

How much are these retail jobs paying in UK?

Comment by frankie
2013-03-28 13:03:44

Most will be minimum wage

21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice*

2012 (current rate) £6.19 £4.98 £3.68 £2.65

Roughly $9.30 for the over 21’s.

Comment by cactus
2013-03-28 10:01:55

Wouldn’t it be great if this money supply expansion went to creating better technoloies we can all use instead of running prices up on essential commodities ?

Expanding the money supply is like throwing bird seed on a lawn,

How do you know it won’t feed rats instead of birds ?

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 10:49:59

It doesn’t feed the rats or birds, it feeds the PIGS, the 0.1%.

Comment by measton
2013-03-28 12:35:34

That would require a government to spend on infrastructure science and technology and we know that one party will have none of that.

Comment by measton
2013-03-28 12:38:35

Note this would do a much better job fighting deflation and increasing GDP as well. Of course w global free trade the money would soon flow to China

Comment by oxide
2013-03-28 12:37:11

commie talk

Comment by measton
2013-03-28 12:34:28

The recent political struggle to resolve the fiscal cliff issue has highlighted the desperate search for revenue by the U.S. government. The possibility of major tax increases and the removal of cherished tax deductions remain on the table with the current administration, and one of the key deductions that may be up for either reduction or elimination is for charitable giving.

Of course the bottom 99% give a much larger portion of their income and of course the dirt poor benefit from charity. This one is ripe for elimination.

Perfect timing as more and more sink into poverty.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-28 12:45:07

Funny how none of your options is the reduction of government spending…

Comment by ecofeco
Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 13:43:29

Is stopping tax breaks the reduction of government spending?
Now if you could find someone to end those tax breaks and reduce government spending you might have something. But I don`t think that was a choice we had was it.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 14:26:50

You live in some dream world if you think any gov in history ever voluntarily spent less.

Gov’s spend. Fact of life. Get over it.

But it’s insanity to spend AND give large tax breaks. It is an outright crime to give tax breaks that also causes your base revenue to be less. i.e. people with low income jobs pay less in taxes.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 15:26:38

“Gov’s spend. Fact of life. Get over it.”

Don`t tell me, tell Cyprus and Greece.

Comment by measton
2013-03-28 14:32:17

Why is that funny.
I think the gov should be spending. I just think they should be spending on infrastructure, technology and socializing medicine as opposed to bank bailouts, wars, and tax breaks for the elite who already pay a lower rate than most in the upper middle class.

What’s funny is you think tax cuts for the rich and slashing gov spending will fix our problems despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 15:28:49

Now if you could find someone to end those tax breaks and reduce government spending you might have something.

Would that work?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-28 21:44:30

“of course the dirt poor benefit from charity…”

Charity. Hasn’t that been replaced by entitlements?

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 13:21:20

So it cost $2.5 million to find a 75-year-old woman who had been living in Illinois for the past eight years for billing Medicaid $526,236.08 from January 2008 to February 2013 for services she did not administer in Florida. I guess if they only find $20 million in overpayments in 4 years and there is $60 billion in fraud in 1 year, the odds of getting busted are pretty long. Forward!

Medicaid Fraud Audits Cost Five Times Amount U.S. Found

By Alex Wayne - Jun 14, 2012 12:01 AM ET

A program to fight fraud in the Medicaid health system for the poor has cost the U.S. at least $102 million in auditing fees since 2008 while identifying less than $20 million in overpayments, investigators found.

Medicaid and Medicare, the U.S. insurance program for the elderly and disabled, are plagued by $60 billion in fraud a year, the Justice Department estimates. - 159k -

Posted: 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, 2013

Authorities: She billed Medicaid $500,000 for working at West Palm Beach day care centers while in Illinois

TerreroBy Alexandra Seltzer

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

A 75-year-old Illinois woman is faces Medicaid fraud charges in Palm Beach County after she allegedly billed the program more than half a million dollars for services that she did not provide.

Irene Terrero, of Gurnee, Ill., was arrested Wednesday and faces charges of Medicaid fraud and grand larceny. She is being held in the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Terrero, who is a speech pathologist and is licensed in the state of Florida, was billing Medicaid for children who were attending two day care centers. The centers are the Ismaelillo Learning Center I, at 3501 Georgia Ave., West Palm Beach, and the Ismaelillo Learning Center II, at 724 Bunker Road, also in West Palm.

According to a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit probable-cause affidavit, authorities started investigating Terrero in December once they received a complaint that she was providing services during the day for between seven and 15 hours even though a regular school day is only seven hours long.

The centers are licensed day cares and are owned by Maria Estela Edward, the affidavit says.

According to the Florida Medicaid Therapist Handbook, services must be conducted on a face-to-face basis. While she reported to Medicaid that her address was the Georgia Avenue address, investigators found that she had actually been living in Illinois for the past eight years.

The handbook also requires the Medicaid provider to sign each patient entry the day that the service is completed.

Investigators found that Terrero was not providing the services. Unlicensed employees Elaine Cooper and Madelyn Brave Rodriguez were.

From January 2008 to February 2013, Terrera billed Medicaid a total of $526,236.08 for services she did not administer.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-28 14:29:23

What were they supposed to do? Let her get away with it?

WTH kind of logic is that?

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 15:23:46

“What were they supposed to do? Let her get away with it?”

I would hope they could get her and a whole lot more just like her.

I would think that with all the technology the federal government has access to and all the money they spend they could maybe do a little better than catching $20 million out of $240 billion in fraud over 4 years.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-28 17:02:14

Dog bites kid because dog is obviously racist, child’s mom claims


A scrappy bull terrier escaped from his owner’s yard, crossed the street and bit a 7-year-old girl. That story wasn’t exactly newsworthy — until the victim’s mother opened her mouth. “I feel that the dog is racist,” Pam Nkosi said. “The way it behaved … shows that it was not familiar with other races.” The South African woman also says that the dog’s owner hasn’t been very neighborly since the incident: He hasn’t checked on her daughter, nor did he offer to cover any of her medical bills. The police and the SPCA are investigating, but they’re not ready to call the dog a racist yet. One SPCA inspector simply said that “domestic animals behave differently because of their upbringing.” [Source]

Click to see more on, updated 24 hours a day.

Read more:

This cute little mutt might die for being a gay dog in Tennessee

Woman heads to court after dog is accused of rape - 111k -

Comment by goon squad
2013-03-28 18:22:24

Better call in an expert. Because nothing solves racism like giving Jesse Jackson’s kidz another Anheuser-Busch distributorship,

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 18:33:52

Default only answer to Cyprus crisis: Mark Mobius
March 28, 2013, 6:19 AM

A default is the only cure to the euro zone’s problems in the wake of the botched Cyprus bailout, investor Mark Mobius told CNBC late Thursday.

That’s because a bailout “never solves the problem,” the executive chairman at Templeton Emerging Markets Group said.

“The default will take place with a longer time period, in other words, they will stretch out payments so that at the end of the day, as the economies recover, they are gradually able to pay off those debts, Mobius said.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 23:07:22

Updated March 28, 2013, 4:04 p.m. ET

Cypriots Cast Blame as Banks Open
Capital is Surprisingly Orderly as Branches Restart; President Calls for Probe Into Economic Crisis

Cypriot banks reopened their doors for the first time in nearly two weeks. But there was little sign of the expected rush to remove deposits. WSJ’s Joe Parkinson suggested new capital controls may have helped to calm things down for now. Photo: Reuters

NICOSIA—Cyprus’s banks reopened from a nearly two-week hiatus on Thursday with little sign of disorder among depositors, even as the country’s politicians pointed fingers over who was to blame for the financial sector’s meltdown.

Small groups of account-holders—typically numbering two dozen or less, and mostly retirees—pressed to enter the banks as they formally reopened at noon local time. Police and private security guards, under orders from Cyprus’s central bank, limited entry to only a few people at a time, giving priority to seniors and leaving others waiting.

Katerina Stylianidou, 32 years old, said she searched all morning for a cash machine that would dispense the €300 ($390) daily maximum permitted under new capital-flight laws. Unsuccessful, she wound up waiting in line to enter a branch of Cyprus Popular Bank PCL, CPB.CP 0.00% the country’s second-biggest lender, which will be closed under the terms of an international bailout deal sealed early Monday.

“I have bills to pay. I need the cash for just ordinary expenditures like food,” she said. “Staff here say they’ll only let eight people in at a time, so I think I need to be patient.”

President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday ordered the creation of a three-member committee to investigate the roots of the economic malaise engulfing the island. The committee will be chaired by three former judges from Cyprus’s supreme court, including Georgios Pikis, the court’s former president and a former member of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“They have a mandate from the president to look deeply into actions, inaction, omissions or decision that led to the present state of the economy but also particularly into the state of financial institutions like Cyprus Popular Bank,” said Alexandros Sinka, international affairs secretary of the ruling DISY party.

The management of the two banks behind the country’s economic troubles—Bank of Cyprus PCL BOCY.CP +3.48% and Cyprus Popular Bank—as well as the Central Bank of Cyprus should be questioned as part of the probe, said Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

“How come the leadership of the banks, the central bank governance and the ECB could allow ELA to reach €9.2 billion?” Mr. Kasoulides told reporters, referring to the Emergency Liquidity Assistance that had kept the two banks operating as the country negotiated an international bailout over the past year. “We are to blame for sure, but why didn’t the ECB cut the umbilical cord?”

A Green party lawmaker called for the resignation of central bank Gov. Panicos Demetriades, adding to the chorus of those seeking his ouster.

Mr. Demetriades, who under European Central Bank regulations can’t be fired, said earlier this week that he had “no intention” of resigning, adding that this would only make matters worse for Cyprus at this moment. He couldn’t be reached to comment Thursday.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 23:08:52

So long as the S&P500 keeps hitting new records, U.S. investors have nothing to worry about.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 23:11:07

Avoid Cypros like the plague.

March 28, 2013, 2:42 p.m. EDT
Cyprus capital controls could blow the euro apart
Two-tier currency flies in face of economic and monetary union
By William L. Watts, MarketWatch

Customers queue outside a Bank of Cyprus PLC branch ahead of opening for the first time in two weeks in Nicosia on Thursday. The Central Bank of Cyprus’s capital controls include a 300-euro ($383) daily limit on withdrawals and restrictions on transfers to accounts outside the country.

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch)—The capital controls imposed on Cyprus in the wake of the bailout deal with its euro-zone partners raise the odds of a messy euro breakup, economists warn—a scenario that could shake financial markets around the globe.

Here’s the problem: While economists and traders spent much of 2011 and 2012 war-gaming scenarios in which countries might leave or be ejected from the euro zone, the precedents set by the Cyprus deal have undermined the euro in a different but very important way.

The imposition of capital controls–a euro-zone first–now means that a euro held in a Cypriot bank account can’t be moved, withdrawn or even spent with the same ease as a euro held in a bank account in Germany, France or anywhere else in the 17-nation euro zone.

Simply put, a “Cypriot euro” is worth less than a euro held in a bank account anywhere else.

“Economic and monetary union across the entire euro zone no longer exists,” said George Saravelos, strategist at Deutsche Bank, in a note. “Even though [Cyprus] is very small, policy makers’ willingness to suspend cross-border euro convertibility is a meaningfully negative signal for the euro zone.”

The development undermines the very notion of a currency union.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-03-28 22:12:52

Aw heck, another Trader Joe’s product I missed the seasonal window on. Found out they ran out of Caramel Salt Chai mix. Who knows if they will have it next year. They discontinued Mexican hot chocolate. WTF? I already told them: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don’t have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can’t they understand that? What the hell is wrong with those people?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 23:13:42

Your First Amendment rights are in jeopardy of being rescinded by the real terrorists: The propagandists who are paid to wage war in the MSM on your right to freedom of speech.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 23:20:57

Any reputation which can be shred by one blog post is worth less than a nickel to begin with.

And so far as defamation of character based on libel, the court has remedies for such crimes, which were around long before the internet or blogs.

Painting all bloggers with a broad brush as guilty of libel is a great example of the kind of attack the propaganda piece posted below purports to address.

March 28, 2013, 8:02 a.m. EDT
Bloggers, not hackers, are the real cyber threat
Commentary: Online attackers shred reputations in one post
By Ryan Holiday

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Companies are so worried about cyber attacks that they’re rushing to buy insurance against it.

According to a report on the news website Mashable, the purchase of cyber insurance is up 33% over last year. And can you blame these companies? They want protection against hacking, security breaches, data leaks, or just plain old vandalism.

But these online attacks don’t begin to articulate the real dangers companies face. A denial of service attack is relatively straightforward. Same with stealing credit card numbers.

What about a blog attack? Is your business or persona or reputation prepared for the damage it can wreak?

Sen. Robert Menendez sure wasn’t ready. The New Jersey Democrat was defenseless against The Daily Caller publishing a story accusing him of patronizing underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. He wasn’t prepared for the rest of the media, which relies on and repeats gossip that begins on blogs, to make that story a national scandal.

It didn’t matter that the women had been paid to make up their story (and that they weren’t underage). There was nothing Menendez could do — not when blogs will publish anything that fits their agenda or drives page views.

As Menendez later told the Washington Post : “I don’t know more than what I have read but I do know from the very beginning I have said that nameless, faceless, anonymous sources . . . from the right-wing blogs took this story . . . before an election cycle, attempted to do it then and ultimately drove it into the mainstream press.”

Such attacks can happen to anyone, not just politicians.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-28 23:25:13

Despite QE, Japan’s prices and output are still falling. But at least their central bank has succeeded in creating stagflation — same as the Fed has done.

Good thing this could never happen here in America, where prices of everything always go up.

ft dot com
March 29, 2013 2:38 am
Japan suffers decline in factory output
By Jonathan Soble in Tokyo

The challenge facing Japan’s new leadership in escaping from economic stagnation and deflation was underscored on Friday as data showed further declines in consumer prices and an unexpected contraction in factory output.

Haruhiko Kuroda, the new governor of the Bank of Japan, could struggle to reach his goal of generating 2 per cent inflation in two years, analysts said, after the government data indicated core consumer prices fell 0.3 per cent in February compared with a year earlier.

It was the fourth consecutive decline in core CPI, which excludes prices of fresh food. The fall came in spite of a more than 15 per cent fall in the value of the yen, which has pushed up prices for many items sourced outside Japan, from gasoline to package holidays.

“We believe the BoJ’s 2 per cent target is still a long way off,” said Chiwoong Lee, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, adding that it would take time before the impact of the weaker yen was felt on prices in general, rather than merely imports.

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post