Surviving the storm

[Editor’s Note: Ian Ritter is taking a much deserved vacation over the next week, and GlobeSt.com retail reporter Debra Hazel is filling in for him on Counter Culture. Please be nice.]

“When you’re in the middle of the storm, all you can focus on is the rain around you,” Taubman Centers COO William Taubman told CNBC yesterday, referring to the uncertainty around commercial real estate.

Some specialty apparel stores stores are showing signs of life, but commercial real estate still has a long way to go, he noted. With some $300 billion to $400 billion of debt to be financed, with no liquidity in sight, he said, the hole is still pretty deep.


Working through the mess could take three to four years, according to Taubman. Class A regional malls will continue to hold up – Taubman cited rival Macerich’s sale of 49% of its Queens Center mall to Cadillac Fairview as an example. But until the liquidity crisis is resolved, pricing will be uncertain, he added.

Believe it or not, we media types don’t enjoy reporting gloom and doom. Will it really take that long to get to whatever the new normal will be? Can anything kick-start the business?

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27 Responses to “Surviving the storm”


  1. 1 james August 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Nature abhors a vacuum. The vast majority of the debt to be refinanced is performing debt. It will be repriced and new providers will step in. Financing American retail centers looks like a pretty good bet to me, Americans are still 90% employed and that situation is likely to get better sooner not worse. Is it possible that some of the CMBS formed Trusts will consolidate under new sponsorship? All the elements are in place. The underwriting is there , the due diligence is there, the servicers are there, the borrowers are still relatively strong and likely to get stronger from this point going forward. Is it possible that some of the foreign banks we rescued on this last go round will step up with fresh capital? China may decide to go hunting for higher returns than those available from T-Bills.

  2. 2 Sean O'Shea August 28, 2009 at 9:49 am

    We appreciate the thoughtful and measured language of Bill Taubman at this time. We need more a balanced use of language in our culture, in general, these days.

    It has been difficult for laymen and even seasoned professionals to fully and accurately estimate the magnitude of the recent financial sector events and get our arms around the aftermath.

    While it was true that the debt instruments, which may have been a dramatic breakthrough at their inception, affording substantial new debt vehicles for real estate and other financings, simply, turned out to be “too much of a good thing”. The originally asserted liquidity of the bond instruments combined with the explosive demand for cheap debt were irresistable to Wall Street and borrowers, alike. Why are we surprised when a savvy ‘long view’ investor, from a distinguished real estate family, suggests that it will take multiple years to begin to balance out the curent imbalances in the market?

    There will increasingly be “Hell-to-pay” in the commercial markets as these shorter term CMBS loans maturities come due. On the math, there will be wave after wave of foreclosure as we re-calibrate valuation, as replacement eventually becomes more available. The storm has, in our judgement, just begun.

    The wasteland that has been New Orleans and the Gulf Coast is actually a fit metaphor for the landscape of the commercial real estate market. Last night, 4 years later, New Orleans is showing signs of renewal, after 4 long years of challenge and often despair. So, “lash yourselves to the mast’; these will be challenging waters in which to navigate for some time. I agree with Bill’s optimisic 3-4 year estimate. Check out a possible solution http://www.foreclosewithease.com

  3. 3 Ladislao August 28, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Wow, again, I’m amazed by Ian posting this. Again, thank you for your commitment to posting both sides of the Commercial RE news. You know it’s (really) funny, that you’re NOT getting as many “responses” as you used to Ian and it’s not your issue. The TRUE issue at hand though is people (like us) in general DON’T want to talk and DO something about these ISSUES. So what people in general do is NOT respond with their thoughts. Part of “dealing” with the situation is talking (or venting) about situations like these. I remember listening to an audio on two of the bigger “gurus” out there involved in Real Estate that we pretty much all know; Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump. They wrote (and produced an audiobook) called: “Why We Want You to be Rich.” In that book they wrote about what their two favorite books were; Robert K’s was a book called “Prophecy” – where he talked about the current fiscal crisis (although in it’s baby stages) that we’re going through right now. And Donald Trump’s book called “The America We Deserve.” Then they were asked what were the two LEAST selling books they ever wrote; guess what they were – you guessed it – THOSE TWO VERY BOOKS. You know why? People (in general) don’t want to face the truth. If we did (and yes, I’m including myself in this picture), we would as a whole slowed down our spending and borrowing to correct this problem that’s STILL COMING.

    I “love” the comment that William Taubman said “When you’re in the middle of the storm…” What “middle” are you talking about? This is just the beginning. It’s just “drizzling” right now. Defaulting commercial real estate loans total around or a bit over $3.7 Trillion. So when you’re talking about “With some $300 billion to $400 billion of debt to be financed, with no liquidity in sight…” you NEED to go a bit higher than that to be TRULY honest, don’t you think? He’s almost 6 times UNDER what the total Commercial RE Bubble will be when it pops here soon. But then again William Taubman is not a forecaster and neither am I. But there are a few that I’ve mentioned here already on GlobeSt.com that are:

    1) Gerald Celente – http://www.trendsresearch.com and http://www.youtube.com/user/geraldcelentechannel?blend=1&ob=4
    2) Peter Schiff – http://www.peter-schiff.com/
    3) Marc Faber – http://www.youtube.com/user/MarcFaberChannel
    4) Harry S. Dent Jr. – http://www.hsdent.com/

    Now some of these guys have fees to join for their newsletters and whatnot, but if you want to hear any of them and save your duckets, just go to youtube.com and type in their name and you’ll get all that you need for information. My favorite is Gerald Celente because he’s been the most accurate Trends Forecaster to date.

    I don’t know if it was you (Ian) or William that said: “Will it really take that long to get to whatever the new normal will be? Can anything kick-start the business?”

    Personally in order for any business or even us as a society to deal with these issues STRAIGHT ON is to LET THEM FALL ON THERE FACES and file BK; just like some of us are doing right now, with NO bail-out “help” money with overtaxing us on fiat currency (built on interest anyway – making it worse for us as a whole). And “let the chips fall where they may”. Yes, it will take a very long time (MANY YEARS) for that kind of recovery, but you’re also letting things in this business start over (or actually start NEW). Which in my opinion needs to happen… That leaves room for new opportunity to grow again. Thanks again Ian for allowing me to respond…

  4. 4 NormalRelativity August 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    If “normal” is supposed to be what we experienced over the last 7 years, then prepare for eternal abnormality. What we did experience was a freak bubble that employed many in retail real estate with high paying jobs that will never return domestically any time in the near future. The Economic Tsunami that we are living through is akin to the realignment of major industries, such as the demise of the railroad industry in the 1900’s. Let’s take our skills developed in this industry and apply them to rebuilding the USA in ways that profit all of our citizens, not merely a few.

  5. 5 Slave.to.fashion August 31, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Regional malls will not hold up, because of the issue of co-tenancy. It’s very easy for a mall to enter a death spiral of vacancy, because of the network effect of a collection of shops attracting consumers. The fewer active stores within the mall, the weaker the attraction.

  6. 6 james September 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I can’t believe the pessimism expressed here. This is not the end of the world, only the end of Wall Street hyped real estate financing, the promotion of which lead to cap rates running at or below the coupon rate. Pure insanity. We stopped buying RE when cap rates dipped into the high 8 range. Unlike the 1980’s debacle, these are not government tax payor insured accounts provided by federally regulated banks. A bunch of Wall Street sponsored funds now in the form of Trusts are going to loose alot of money, money belonging to individual investors. But isn’t this a disaster they brought on themselves? Maybe these Trusts need to reprice themselves to their borrowers extend these loans and allow this debt to be “parked” for a time. Had I been able to do that with our S&L debt during 89, 90 and 91 I’d be lunching with Warren Buffett today!

  7. 7 Ladislao September 2, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Thanks James for your thoughts. Here’s what I would like James, can you then please explain to me the details of where I could be off in what has happened and why the crash happened in Sept. ’08 and what is coming in these maturing loans. Because if these loans that I’ve described are no different than the maturing sub-prime loan that hit us back in 09/08 then I believe we are heading for a tsunami wave of trouble… I’ll be waiting for your reply here… Thanks…

  8. 8 Ladislao September 2, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I’m sorry James, before you answer that question, let me be explain more of the specifics. Back in September of ‘08 with all that our Dow went from around 14,000+ points to around 7,000 (or just a little under). Now we have another:

    – $600 Billion in “Option Arm” loans that will be “maturing” (defaulting) starting in Mid 2010 and peaking the end of 2010.
    – $1 Trillion in “Alt A” loans that will be “maturing” (defaulting) starting in Mid 2010 and peaking the end of 2010.
    – $3.7 Trillion in Real Estate loans that (as you can already see) starting to default.
    – $2 Trillion in the printing of all this bailout money (between now and next year).
    – Trillions in Defaulting Credit Card Debt that is also defaulting now.

    What I need to know James, is how can we recover from this wave that hasn’t even hit us yet? I’m coming to you with honest humility, please give me (us) a straight answer, because quite honestly I haven’t been able to come up with one and this situation is scary. Because if this is what’s coming, I think you typically know what happens after a terrific fiscal crisis (I’m talking about another global crash); a (cold) war someplace else that we don’t need. Sorry for all the pessimism “porn” (a term coined by a writer at New York Magazine), but I’m having a hard time believing optimism “opium”. Again James, I look forward to your reply…

  9. 9 james September 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Ladislao,
    Picture a stack of dollar bills laid one on top of the other, all together comprising an investment in Real Estate. Each dollar in the stack has been assigned a risk quotient according to its position in the stack. The highest risk is at the top of the stack, the very lowest risk is at the bottom of the stack. Each and every dollar in the stack is “secured” by an asset allocation again according to its position in the stack. The lowest risk and the lowest rate of return and the position of least liquidity is secured by the most fundamental unchangeable asset, in this case it might be land, its there, its not going anywhere,it’ll be there forever. The highest rate of return, having the most liquidity, and secured by nothing but optimism and best wishes are assigned to the dollars at the top of the stack.
    The wind is blowing dollars off the top of the stack.

  10. 10 NormalRelativity September 3, 2009 at 11:12 am

    To James: You’re right, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of the world as we’ve known it.

  11. 11 BillyBob September 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

    To James and Ladislao: Picture a monopoly game, only you’re kid brother used all the of the cash as kindling to ignite his toy rocket project. So now how are you going to play the game?

  12. 13 Ladislao September 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    First to NormalRelativity:

    Unfortunately, I don’t think you could have said it any better.

    and to BillyBob:

    Why are you mixing me in with “james,” since we have such two opposing views of this issue? (please, no offense to you james). It looks like you’re basically saying that with NO MONEY, how can we make it? Which has been my point throughout any post that I’ve been putting here on GlobeSt.com within the last 8-10 months now.

    Lastly, James:

    I’d like to agree with you, but I’m having a hard time because all those “stack of dollar bills” are backed by… nothing… Nixon officially took care of that back in ’71. How does your description work now, James? Again, please, no offense, I just need to have something more substantial than that explanation. Cause money backed by nothing is not cuttin’ for me anymore, and China made that very clear when Geithner went to a Chinese University and said how “strong” our dollar “still” was and was laughed off stage by get this… college students. Even as young as they are THEY even know how toxic our debt is. The sad thing is this is going to affect EVEN them, because this is a GLOBAL issue. Almost every country in the world has imitated from our “fiat” based currency system.

    James, you’re not coming to somebody that doesn’t have any knowledge of the subject. I’ve done extensive research on the topic of currency, it’s origin (history) and what ultimately happens to it each and every time – it ALWAYS goes back down to ZERO. The ONLY exception to that rule is PRECIOUS METALS, like Gold & Silver. That’s why I’m having a hard time with all of this. In order to understand the future you have to understand the past. And every hundred years or so we always seem to go through these cycles that use this money based on interest that favors the rich and affects ultimately the poor (or middle class; which will soon become the poor) which is most of us. And as you should know by now the Federal Reserve is as federal as Federal Express. Don’t believe me? Look in your local White Pages that has a Federal Reserve building in your City or Town. You’ll see them listed not far off from Federal Express. Why? Because it’s Privately Owned NOT Government Run. At it’s core it’s a Cartel. There is something seriously wrong with that picture.

    I hope you don’t refute this quote James, and this is WAY before you and I were even a thought…

    “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value: zero.” Voltaire (1729)

    Again, James please give me something more substantial so I can walk away with some hope that we’re not heading for a “Fiscal Tsunami.” Again, as history has helped us understand this, I just don’t see how this CANNOT happen. I look forward to your reply…

    Again, thanks Ian for you allowing us to express our thoughts on your forum… Later…

  13. 14 james September 4, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Ladislao,
    There isn’t enough Gold and Silver in the known universe to back the financial dealings of planet earth. At the end of the day I can live a lifetime without possessing a single grain of gold, but I can’t live much more than three minutes or so without air! So which element is more valuable?
    Currency represents perceived agreed value and it matters not whether its wampum, or gold, or printed paper. To say that one is a greater fantasy than the other, and is somehow therefore more dangerous, is silly, they are all dangerous when the perceived agreed value changes.
    I didn’t know Voltaire was a world economist, I wouldn’t make any life changing decisions based on the musings of an eighteenth century fop.
    Have you noticed how everyone’s eyes glaze over when you bring this concern up and how they blanch when you start expressing these fears of Global economic collapse. That’s because they don’t believe it, they are sensible human beings, they don’t live in daily fear of disaster. Unfortunately for you the world will not be returning to your antiquated “perceived agreed value” anytime soon, so I think you need to decide whether this is the planet for you or not. I know that everyone will greet you with open arms if you decide to join us all in our current fantasy, the good old Americam Dollar.

  14. 15 Ladislao September 4, 2009 at 10:14 am

    James:

    There’s a thing called “standards” (or checks and balances). The way we did things (back in the day) were simple – we didn’t spend what we didn’t have. That was called the “Gold Standard.” Our debt (before Nixon took office) was relatively in check for 250+ years; not including the “wars” that we created to jack up that debt. But it eventually came back to it’s original level, why? Because we held to a STANDARD – the Gold Standard. If you want more education on the subject you can read and watch this section that I think might help you understand what I’m explaining.

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-10-inflation

    So now we have money that is “loaned” into existence, or with a term people now are very familiar with “printing money out of thin air.” Because that is the fact. Again, thanks to Nixon’s decision back in ’71 we now have NO standard except it’s “backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.” When other countries got wind of this they quickly took back their end of physical G&S and boogied back home. Which is WHY we don’t have enough G&S. So your point is somewhat valid that we don’t have enough. The other reason is because we are living way beyond our means. You talked about “at the end of the day…”, well, to me what’s even more important than Gold and Air… is God. But that’s just me and what I hold on to; even through my fears. Although air is very important God is what gets me through my fears when I’m breathing His air that He provides me, but again, that’s just what I believe. When you talk about currency and it’s “perceived” value you need to also look at the “people” who stand behind that “value.” Again, our “good and faithful” government. Yeah, they’re so great. I’ll give you two prime examples of how “great” they really are. You know about the twin towers, that they were going to build them bigger and better than ever? How about another example with the rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina hit? Yeay… for FEMA… I can tell you what FEMA HAS been doing with our tax dollars, but that would probably make you say more pessimistic things about me. I’ll let you do your due diligence on what they’ve been doing over the last 20+ years with our money.

    Also, you are right that Voltaire was an fop (or Philanthropist), but his point is STILL valid. How ’bout this, name any currency that has ever been created by man that HASN’T failed. You won’t, because there isn’t any. Nor will there ever be any.

    And to your last comment – “I know that everyone will greet you with open arms if you decide to join us all in our current fantasy, the good old Americam Dollar.” Sounds to me like your a part of the Illuminati group, and if you’re not… well, they got you just where they want you… like they ALMOST had me. As for me and my household we’re going to look towards other means. Thanks for helping reconfirm what I believe is still coming. Enjoy your labor day weekend James, thanks again for trying…

    P.S. You said “Americam” – were you trying to say “Ameriscam”?… Would make more sense to me… Again, no slight on you James, you’ve been great, really…

    Thank you again Ian for allowing this post, later…

  15. 16 BillyBob September 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    To Ladislao: Your comment “Ameriscam” is highly unpatriotic. What is your origin of birth? What is your nationality? Are you a communist? Also, do tell about your associations with the Illuminati that you’ve said “ALMOST had you.” Such comments make me question your credibility.

    • 17 james September 9, 2009 at 8:07 am

      The “me and our household are going to look to other means” comment is pretty scary. What is he you gonna do, fly to the moon, drink the kool-aid, build an ark??

  16. 18 Ladislao September 9, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Hey BillyBob:

    Since you like to ask questions that assume that take what I said out of context and think that I’m a “part” of something when the exact opposite is the case here. It would be the same as me saying: “Hey BillyBob, what hick-back neighborhood did you come from?” (assuming that you came from a neighborhood like that because of your “name”?). I think you know what happens when you “assume.” Also it came across as a “baiting” question, but I’ll answer them. At least most of them. Yes, I was born and raised here in the states, but I thought you would have figured that out by now, guess not… Your other question about my “nationality”; that has no bearing here. To address the comment that I made:

    “Sounds to me like your a part of the Illuminati group, and if you’re not… well, they got you just where they want you… like they ALMOST had me.”

    You should watch the Matrix sometime to understand that comment or if not, then you should watch this:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8957710309230682364#

    This will help you to understand what I mean, that I too was almost blindsided by our government and the “value” of our “good old American Dollar” (as James put it). The current “system” (our government and corporate powers) in my opinion is destroying our Constitution and what our founding fathers fought for. I couldn’t be any MORE AMERICAN. What’s sad is reading articles like this:

    http://infowars.net/articles/september2009/070909Currency.htm

    Here’s a quote that I bet you never studied in the history books in school:

    “Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws”
    – Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Founder of Rothschild Banking Dynasty

    This was the dude that got this current system where it’s at today. But there is reason for this, and that you’re going to have to figure out yourself, just like I did.

    You guys still don’t believe that we’re not heading into a “official” crash (although it’s already here) read this:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/159998-hong-kong-recalls-gold-reserves-why-no-news-coverage

    http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page67?oid=88400&sn=Detail

    As you can tell I don’t follow corporate controlled “main stream” media. With articles like this there should be no surprise where we’re heading, we just haven’t felt the HIT yet. And this one is going to be MUCH STRONGER than the “Sub-Prime” hit we had back in Sept. of ’08… So you guys can make fun of what I’ve posted here all you want, but it’s coming and there ain’t nothing that you or I can do about it, because we’re too small and we’re not in THEIR “club.” But there are more of us then there are of “them” and we don’t have to be “sucker-punched” anymore into believing in this allusive fiat based currency system that almost had me. And that’s what I meant by that comment…

    Thanks again, Ian for posting this… Later…

  17. 19 Ladislao September 9, 2009 at 9:03 am

    To James:

    No, I think YOU “drank the kool-aid” a long time ago, you just don’t know it or don’t want to believe it. But when you have some time read those lovely articles that I just posted for BillyBob about what the CIC, Hong Kong and UN is doing with our (as you put it) “good old Americam Dollar.”

  18. 20 BillyBob September 9, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    To Ladislao: So what’s in a name, like Ladislao? Here’s what I fell upon, your name is the Italian form of Vladislav, a Russian name.

    VLADISLAV
    Gender: Masculine

    Usage: Russian, Czech, Slovene, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian

    Other Scripts: Владислав (Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian)

    Pronounced: vlah-dee-SLAHF (Russian) [key]

    Means “to rule with glory”, derived from the Slavic elements volod “rule” and slav “glory”.

    So I may not be far off from calling you a communist, in sheep’s clothing. It seems your theories are based in fear mongering, typical subversive attempts to destabilize the populace. HMMMMmmmmm, “TO RULE WITH GLORY.” Need I say more. As for my name and origin, DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!

    • 21 james September 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      BillyBob, Though there are issues you and I may not agree on, let’s keep it simple, as a Big City ex-Detroiter, I have encountered many Ladislao’s in my time. Ladislao = Nut Case.
      Lets hope he isn’t making decisions that involve children’s lives.

  19. 22 Ladislao September 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    To BillyBob:

    Wow! I’m impressed. I never knew my name had so many definitions; so for that thanks, I would have never known. The only thing I do remember about my name is that I thought it meant “ruling men.” Yeah, right… The only thing I’m “ruling” right now are my two small kids and I honestly think they’re winning that battle…

    BTW, BillyBob I too am from Texas – LOL!!! Isn’t that too funny!!! But aside from all of that, all I can tell ya is that is that I’m still disheartened by what our current government is doing to break our system down. The UN is already talking about a one world currency and now it’s public record. Next will be the New World Order… And this unfortunate plan has been going on for YEARS!!!… Still don’t believe me, listen to this:

    Now this man (in my opinion) was our last greatest president. He truly stood for what was right and contrary to what others said about his assassination, I honestly believe THIS (to me) WAS the reason why he was assented because he didn’t “play ball” with the rest of our corporate and government corrupt few – the Illuminati “elite.” Want to know how far JFK went to NOT “playing ball?” Take a look at this:

    Again, it was this Executive order #11110 that I believe got him killed. He went after trying to reinstate our dollar to once again be backed by gold (or in this case silver), NOT loaned into existence by the Federal Reserve.

    Here’s another great man of conviction that unfortunately didn’t win this election, and guess where he lives and is the governor of?… Yep, ya’ guessed it, TEXAS !!! Yeeeee Haaaaa !!!

    Also, don’t forget where our conspiracy exposing Alex Jones lives (which BTW is a person who’s standing for what he believes in) – YES, ya guessed it again… TEXAS !!!

    So BillyBob, you can do whatever research about my (or anybody else’s) name you want, but a person is NOT defined by his or her name, but by his or her character and what he or she stands for… In this case I AM STANDING FOR MY COUNTRY (USA) AND WHAT OUR FOREFATHERS FAUGHT FOR – TRUE LIFE, LIBERTY and the pursuit of JUSTICE… I know that people will try to correct me in that statement and say that I should state “happiness” instead of Justice. But without Justice, there is NO true freedom and without freedom there is NO true happiness… But all of what I just said here is just my opinion, right?…

    Again Ian, thanks…

  20. 23 Ladislao September 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Opps!!! I wrote “…why he was assented because…” I meant to say assassinated NOT assented – sorry for the misspelling. Darn’d spell-check, you did me wrong again !!!

    Now watch, another “smart guy” will get on here and try to say that I meant something about the word “assented”…

  21. 24 Ladislao September 11, 2009 at 7:26 am

    To James:

    And guys like you “scare” me the most, you know why? Ever heard of the term “mob rules”?…

  22. 25 Ladislao September 21, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    To BillyBob and James:

    Just wanted to say hi and post these two videos. When you get a chance watch this one first:

    Then watch this one:

    http://www.china.org.cn/video/2009-04/07/content_17564437.htm

    Amazing huh? What’s even more amazing is that the first video link came out in April 2008!!! And how this is coming into fruition. Again I say, so much for “your” good old Americam dollar. But go watch your football and fashion shows, because I’m a “nut-case” and this is just all my opinion, right?

  23. 26 Sid September 25, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Ladislao: Your idolization of JFK is readily apparent. Unfortunately, he had a history of a “Reckless Youth” and a steadfast rebellious streak which predisposed him to “rocking the boat.” It was his same reckless streak which caused PT109, the ship he commanded in WWII, to be where it should not have been, which cost some of his crew their lives. Ironically, it was his heroic rescue of one of the crew, he swam carrying him for miles, that catipulted him onto the national scene, and through the deft maneuvers of his father’s well-paid PR arsenal, eventually carried him to the Presidency. It was also through his reckless alliances with various nefarious circles (i.e. Chicago) which allowed him to be elected but also cost him much more….

  24. 27 Ladislao September 28, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    To Sid:
    I like how you “try” to peg someone like me with your “fancy” wording to describe what kind of person I may be (in your opinion), but no I DON’T “idolize” anybody or anything (with the exception of Christ – who’s my Lord), and at the same time I don’t take away from you just wrote about JFK’s past. BUT… that STILL doesn’t change the fact that he went back to a more secure standardized way of a “check & balances” type of currency that was ultimately destroyed and (in my opinion) along with him. That is what’s sad most of all with this situation…

    When you have a moment Sid, listen to this:

    This is a four part segment, so if you want listen the first part. This is where I believe we’re heading… You think we’re in a fiscal mess now, wait till first quarter of 2010… Hopefully we’re ready for this major hit, later…


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