Thursday, July 7, 2011

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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:27 PM
    A Who's Who of Indian sleaze
    Leaks of tapped phone conversations reveal how corruption propels India's booming economy (
    By Praful Bidwai | The Guardian

    The leak of hundreds of nearly 6,000 tapped telephone conversations between corporate lobbyist and British citizen Niira Radia and many of India's politicians, businessmen, bureaucrats and journalists has shocked the country. The tapes reveal the lobbying to assign the telecommunications portfolio to the politician A Raja, who sold mobile telephone licences at throwaway prices to favour particular companies, at an estimated loss of $12bn to $38bn to the exchequer � the highest-ever figure for an Indian corruption scandal.

    Even more important, though, are the corporate lobbyists' attempts to influence government policies in a host of areas; to rig cabinet appointments; and to plant stories with high-profile journalists in which support for parochial business interests would be dressed up as "the national interest".

    The tapes' dramatis personae read like a Who's Who of India, but despite the personalities involved attention is now turning to the larger story � the influence of business over politics, and lobbyists' intrusion into policy-making on scarce natural resources, licensing of industries, and "regulatory capture". Suddenly, the inner workings of government, the compromised roles of high officials and the limitless venality of businessmen stand exposed to the harsh light of public scrutiny.

    The Radia tapes are the tip of the iceberg. They shock because they provide the clinching evidence for a few of the many recent scandals, including the astronomical corruption in contracts for the Commonwealth Games; mining and metallurgical projects that blatantly violate environmental regulations; corporate land grabs in the guise of export promotion zones; the razing of virgin tropical rainforest to make way for opulent housing; and the ripping up of mountain ranges to build dams.

    Scandals and corruption are not new to India. Businessmen have long milked the exchequer through tax breaks, rigged licensing procedures and fraud. What is new is the neoliberal policy context, the quality and intimacy of business-politician-bureaucrat collusion bordering on a corporate takeover of government, and the growing plunder of public money. The thinktank Global Financial Integrity estimates that rich Indians have spirited abroad the equivalent of half of India's GDP over six decades. Illicit flows have greatly increased since the economy was liberalised in 1991. The notorious (often exaggerated) excesses of the "licence-permit raj" of the 1960s and 1970s pale beside the new crony-capitalism.

    Sleaze is integral to India's growth, and one of its main drivers. The growth is skewed. Agriculture has stagnated, per capita food consumption has fallen, 200,000 indebted farmers have committed suicide. Industry has grown sluggishly and only forms about one-fourth of GDP. But services have boomed. The highest growth sectors are property, construction, telecoms and road transport � not IT. Capital accumulates through the privatisation of natural resources and dispossession of whole communities. In all these sectors, and in mining and metallurgical production, what counts is privileged access to natural resources and the national commons, most critically land, which is at the core of the government's discretionary powers.

    "Liberalisation" has recast discretionary powers and allowed a new business-politics relationship to develop. Behind each of India's new billionaires is political patronage. Here lies the underbelly of India's growth: using crony-capitalist influence to corner mining leases, property development rights, construction permits and airwaves. It is not the free market, but manipulation and distortion, that propels growth.

    One part of the seamy side of India's growth is well-known: persistent poverty, social bondage and economic servitude. The Radia tapes highlight another: sleaze and collusive business-politics relations that mock transparency, accountability, democratic policy-making and the public interest.

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 11:50 AM

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  • sanju
    12-30 01:20 AM
    I think you missed my point. Which was that the 'solution' that Mr rinku1112 was suggesting, destabilizing Pakistan by funding dissident groups, is something that Pakistan already suspects India is doing. And there might be some truth to it. So, then, Pakistan would want to fund groups that would try to destabilize India.
    Thats the vicious cycle.

    Your point is understood and well taken, however, the only difference is, Pakistan is already committed and entirely focused in their attempts to destabilize India. The way Pakistan behaves, it seems that their sole purpose is to destabilize India. Pakistan have carried such activities since 1947, the more so after 1971. On the other hand, India is not committed to destabilize Pakistan, not yet. Which is ok, because Pakistan has enough percentage of its committed population doing a good job in destabilizing Pakistan. India is not yet spending its resources, and we all want India to spend substantial budget, say over $50 billion an year, to destabilize & disintegrate Pakistan. India is not directly involved in any destabilization of Pakistan, and the news on Geo TV and other bull shit channels are all pure lies. But those news will be ok once Indian government gets directly involved in the counter offensive.


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  • coopheal
    01-07 10:15 AM
    Refugee_New already got the GC. I have read his some previous posts too and after that I doubt his commitment for the IV goals.

    People responding to him please understand, either we can focus on efforts which will help us getting GC faster or we can continue to discuss this topic.


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  • 485Mbe4001
    08-06 01:52 PM
    red dot for this post.... are you nuts or someone touched a raw nerve or you have lots of spare time to create controversies:confused:

    Lets petition USCIS to scrap EB3 and send them home. Rolling_flood needs his GC real bad... We are unavailable today and will be U in 2010. you can have our 3k visa for your category.

    Have you never jumped a line in your life, i bet you have.

    We see it all the time, people will find ways to move ahead and so will you..nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is demeaning or ridiculing a group for you selfish needs...good luck with the law suit.. the least it will do is highlight problem our to a greater audience (Y).

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  • Administrator2
    04-08 07:22 AM
    I might be interesting to check with a lawyer whether:

    H1B extensions based on I-140 (beyond 6 years) are same as normal H1B extensions(without I-140). In other words, if someone has an I-140 approved does this bill still affect his H1B extension petition(assuming he is consulting)?

    We have already checked with an attorney before posting this thread. You are welcome to check with an attorney and post your attorney's opinion here, for other members.


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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 11:31 AM
    looks like your case have been picked up for random check.......Do you have US masters degree?

    No..I dont have a US masters degree.

    Also, yea..I understand that my case was picked up for random check..but they already picked up in Apr 2008 and sent it to NBC..and then in Aug 2007 they sent it to local office where I was interviewed..

    My PD was current in both Aug 07 and Sep 07 per bulletin..but during interview in Aug07,we realized that visa numbers were long gone (which was confirmed by DOS in sep)..that was the only reason we didnt get stamped that time..per..Interviewing officer..

    So not sure what this is now..also they wanted copy of Degree certificates?..comeon we sent those along with 485 application.. :D:D

    Anyway thanks to you and chandu for respoding :)

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  • GCBatman
    01-07 09:01 AM
    Hey Refugee_New, why the hell you gave me red ("what other site - refugee!").
    As I already said it is very sad to hear innocent kids got killed. Opening a thread here & giving your baseless comments will not going to help the ppl suffering over there so why not you go over there and help them out by fighting with Israeli forces instead of whining here.

    It is very sad but please post it on the relevant site.


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  • Macaca
    12-27 07:31 PM
    'A Hole to Bury You'
    A first-hand account of how China's police treats the citizens it's supposed to serve and protect. (
    By TENG BIAO | Wall Street Journal

    On Dec. 23, the United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Forced Disappearance came into force. China has declined to accede to this convention. My experience that same day is just one of many examples of how the authorities continue to falsely imprison Chinese citizens.

    That evening, I was in the Xizhimen area of Beijing chatting with my colleagues Piao Xiang, Xu Zhiyong and Zhang Yongpan. Ms. Piao had been disappeared after she and I went to Dandong on Oct. 7 to argue the court case of Leng Guoquan, a man framed by the police for drug trafficking; she had only been released on Dec. 20. Her abductors had been officers from the state security squad of the Public Security Bureau. I asked her to narrate the entire process of her disappearance in detail.

    Later, I suggested to Mr. Zhang, "Let's go and see Fan Yafeng's mom." The day before, we had contacted fellow human rights lawyer Fan Yafeng and found out that he was under strict house arrest. But he had said that his mother was going to be alone at home in the evening and so I thought we should go see her.

    Because I used to go there frequently I remembered clearly where she lived. As Mr. Zhang and I entered the block of flats and started walking up the staircase, I had a feeling that someone was following us. Observing that we went to the third floor, a young security guard asked us whom we were visiting. We said, "We're seeing a friend." Immediately, he called out for someone else to come up.

    We knocked on the door and were greeted by Mr. Fan's mother. But as we entered the flat, the security guard came with us, and a person in plainclothes stormed in just behind him. The man in plainclothes demanded to check our IDs in a very coarse manner. I asked him in a loud voice, "What sort of people are you? How can you enter a private residence without permission?"

    The plainclothes man said, "I am a police officer. We want to check your ID cards." "You're a police officer? I want to see your police ID." "If I am telling you I'm a police officer, then that's what I am. What are you doing here?" "Is that your business? How can you prove you're a police officer if you don't show your police ID card?"

    The situation was escalating. I ducked my head and used my phone to send out a message on Twitter, and Mr. Zhang made a phone call to a friend. It was then about half past eight. The plainclothes guy made a phone call asking for reinforcement. Later I learned that at that moment our own reinforcements were mobilizing.

    Two police officers showed up. One of them showed us his police ID. I asked Mr. Zhang to note down his police ID number and name, Shi Ligang, and pass it on to our Twitter friends. Then they wanted to check our IDs. I said, "According to Article 15 of the National Identity Card Law you have no right to check them in the present situation."

    He said, "We are conducting an investigation in accordance with the People's Police Law." I said, "You can only question people who are suspected of having broken a law. We've just come to a friend's home for a visit, so you have no right to question us."

    We quarreled for some time, and that state security squad officer in plainclothes kept making phone calls asking for more people to come over. The situation was getting worse, so I sent another Twitter message.

    I talked to Mr. Fan's mother and the older state security squad officer told her not to speak to me. I got angry. "You're not even disclosing your identity, do you think you can enter other people's flat as you please and order the flat-owner about�not to mention that that's illegal, it lacks every human feeling!"

    "You should think more clearly. Don't talk so much about the law with me. Do you know where we are? We are on Communist Party territory!"

    The state security squad officer later tried to beat me. I warned him, "As you haven't shown me any documentation, you don't even have the right to seek a conversation with me. Don't push me." Then he said, "Don't you know what place you are in? This is China! Now you've come here, don't think you can leave again!"

    After about 15 minutes, a large contingent of police officers arrived. I was in the washroom at the time. I could hear the police dragging Mr. Zhang forcefully downstairs. The plainclothes man banged madly at the door of the washroom, cracking a hole into the thin wooden panel of the door. I said, "I just want to use the washroom!" He said, "You're not allowed to," and kept banging against the door. He inserted his hand through the hole he had made, and undid the latch. Several police officers dragged me out. The state security squad officer took away my glasses. I am severely near-sighted, and as a result I was quite unable to see clearly. Later, I wasn't even able to read a police officer's ID number.

    I protested loudly against this treatment. A whole group of police officers pushed, shoved, pulled and dragged me down the stairs and into a police van. Mr. Zhang's glasses and mobile phone had also been taken away. As we were dragged away we were also beaten. My hand had been grabbed so violently that it was injured in a few places. A police officer wanted to take away my mobile phone, I resisted with all my force and he eventually desisted.

    When we arrived at the Shuangyushu police station, I said, "You have no right to take us into a police station. You can't be ignorant of the provision of Article 9 of the Police Law!"

    "Want to tell us what it says?"

    "'In the following four sets of circumstances, the police may take citizens to a public security bureau for questioning: (1) if the person has been accused of having committed a crime, (2) if a person has been discovered at the suspected scene of a crime, (3) if a person is suspected of a crime and if their identity is not clear, (4) if a person carries goods with them that may have been stolen." And if you want to check a person's ID card, you can only do that in the following cases: (1) suspicion of illegal behavior, (2) control of a site, (3) sudden incidents severely endangering the social order, or (4) other situations stipulated in the law - and such a law stipulating other situations must have been passed by the National People's Congress or its Standing Committee." I knew this stuff inside out.

    "But you are a person 'whose identity is unclear.'"

    "But according to the law, persons whose identity is unclear can only be checked if they are 'suspected of having committed a crime.' I don't belong in that category." Since there are more and more activists nowadays who are familiar with these two legal provisions and use them to challenge the police, I've been told by police officers that they hate the very bones of the legislators who created them.

    Mr. Zhang and I were taken to two different rooms on the second floor of the police station. A gang of police officers again came to wrestle my mobile phone from me; and there was another scuffle. All the things inside my pocket were taken out. I protested. Seven or eight police officers loudly insulted me. Two or three were swearing especially viciously, using mafia slang words to curse me.

    A police officer shouted at me to sit; I pushed the chair over with my foot. Several officers rushed forward and twisted my arms, punched my head and choked me, and pushed me to the ground. They took me to another room. In the corridor I cried out, "I am a law teacher, I know whether or not you are violating the law." I said this primarily to make them understand that they were dealing with someone who knew the law, to make them refrain from acting rashly and inflicting too much pain�and it was also meant for the ears of Mr. Zhang and the officers who were interrogating him.

    Several police officers pushed me into a corner and one guy came up and fiercely dragged at my tie until he finally managed to pull it off, and threw it to the floor. The police officers pointed at my nose and coarsely swore at me again, and again they cried, "Do you know where you are? If we beat you, what can you do?"

    After a while, a police officer came in and said that we had been detained because we had gone to Fan Yafeng's home. One officer, who I heard addressed as Xu Ping, went from merely loudly interrogating to roaring accusations at me: "O ho, that's how it is! In that case, you belong to the enemy! F- your mother, you went to see Fan Yafeng! That c-! In that case we don't have to talk about legal constraints at all! And you motherf- won't get out of here again! You traitors, you dogs! Counter-revolutionaries! The Communist Party feeds you and pays you and you still don't acknowledge how good it is! You keep insulting the Party!� We will treat you just like an enemy!"

    I was very curious. "How do you treat your enemies?"

    "Like Falun Gong!"

    "And how do you treat Falun Gong?"

    "You'll find out by and by."

    I felt a pang of horror.

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  • nojoke
    05-03 09:38 PM
    You think buying and selling a home a joke. You look on an average for 3-5 month to buy a home and one fine day u woke up and interest rate is high u plan to sell. This may be even possible only when u have bought house for pure investment.

    Once you move to ur first house with ur family. you will not sell ur house until u r forced to because of job/other extreme factors.

    Location is most important that any thing. It is very very localized. do u think manhattan house price went fact it went up. Similarly DC metro area is relatively stronger compare to mid west.

    A bit of luck is always there in every single thing. Predicting bottom/peak is always challenge.

    One funny thing..people are planning how to sell before they even look for house to buy. lol..

    What are you talking about? I said to buy house when it is cheaper. If interest rates go up, then the house price will sure come down. If I buy low, I will be able to sell without a loss. I said it is better to buy a house cheaper at higher interest rate than paying 1/2 million at a lower interest rate. Got it?

    So Manhattan prices are rising and it is ok to buy else where? You are kidding.
    Yes real estate is localized. But this time it not if you area is falling down in price, but it is by how much. Some areas fall more than others. The prices will continue to fall in 99% of the place. Please stop quoting Manhattan. How many here live in Manhattan?

    Oh, predicting in this economy is easy. The housing will crash. No question about that. Only question is by how much. The lying liars(NAR) has just said that there is going to be a correction of 24% this year for california. If they are saying this, then you know it will go down by more than 40%.

    Did you watch today's program in CNN(housing meltdown). They said that this is a ponzi scheme. It is unsustainable. It is bound to fall.

    You seem to be living in your own dream world. Stop denying the fact. Go look around and read news. Just hoping for prices not falling is not going to stop the crash.

    I am not trying to talk about selling before buying. I am telling you to buy at a lower price so that you don't loose when you are forced to sell. Even otherwise it is always a good idea to buy low. Don't you look for bargain for your clothing. You don't sell them, but you still try to get at a good price. If you are doing this for buying clothes, why are you guys so eager to throw your money away when it comes to housing.:confused:

    Before throwing the sarcasm at others, learn about the economy and where we are in housing and where it is heading. You are just playing 'I don't hear any bad news, I don't see bad la la la and everything is wonderful'. Look into all the links I posted and tell me why you are confident that house prices won't fall.


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  • gjoe
    08-06 07:50 AM
    We will support your lawsuit if you pay up for our support. I am onboard if the figure is 4 digit or above. I hope your lawsuit doesn't get backlogged in the court and USCIS holds up your GC application until your case is decided in the court.
    If you lose the case I will return your money with a 3% interest to compensate for inflation or defalation of the currency.

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  • obviously
    08-05 09:41 PM
    started by a guy/gal who possibly spent the formative years of his/her life buried in text books because mama/papa wanted him/her to crack the JEE and get into IIT... possibly feted with flowers on his/her trip to the US...after lying on the F1 visa interview about intent to immigrate...and now seeking to raise a hue and cry because the protectionist sense of entitlement is being challenged by law abiding immigrants...someone that is obviously closeted in perspective...

    obviously, a spoilt child crying sour grapes... the admins did not sweep anything under the carpet... they let this thread grow to 13 pages! obviously, you are someone that is unhappy with a lot of things. stop hurting yourself. you might invite a myocardial infraction given the rate at which you seem to be stressing out... there is no EB3 (majority) vs. EB3 (minority) issue... stop raking up more BS... enough is enough... someone has to have the b*lls to tell you that the world is bigger than you and your inflated sense of self worth and it?

    i still dont see the EB2 job posting for this #1 guy/gal in a #2 company... what a #3 (third rate :)) poster with a #4 (fourth degree) threat that started this all... i can help your company find a qualified US citizen for YOUR EXACT JOB... go ahead, do post that... scared to do that? :)... obviously you are!!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    PM me and I can help your company. No, I am not a body shopper and wont take commissions, thank you. Just thought I'd help a US company not have to deal with this immigration BS, so they can let you go and hire a US citizen instead. Seriously, I call that social service.

    While I am at it, I can also contact special interest groups from the ACLU to Gay/Lesbian Groups to Veteran Groups to find out why their members dont get the kind of protected 'lines' that EB2's such as you have! After all, if EB2 is such a protected category, why not have other protections for other groups that need such protections? We can go ahead and divide the world into pieces as small as our mind... :D

    My last post for this obvious loser... mama/papa would be proud, indeed :D... sad, sorry state of reality that we call the 'high skilled immigration cause' ...

    While you are ranting and raving, dont forget to get back to basics... and read my earlier threads educating you on the basics of EB immigration and why the current interfiling / porting is a valid practice...

    Go ahead, rant, rave... enjoy your stress... :D

    BTW: I have more qualifications and success than people have letters in their long names :)... so, I know a little bit about success :D... and I didnt get it by throwing others under the bus... !


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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 03:22 PM
    hey dude. just a few posts back, you mentioned that cnn and fox are mouthpieces of a vast jewish conspriacy. and now you have no qualms in using CNN to justify another argument you are making. so i guess it's ok to switch sides in the middle of an argument? i'm not trying to demean you, but you sure have me confused now.

    CNN has to post it because UN brougth the truth out. I posted it here because you guys trust CNN and Fox.

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  • vbkris77
    03-24 04:21 PM
    Hello, If I were to put you all guys in a room and give you a permission to fight each other, you will really beat the crap out of others..

    Any topic, any issue will lead to in-fighting..

    Why did most Indians were caught on wrong doings in H1B, becos, most Indians had to spend most time on H1B status. Atleast 5 more years than usual. I am not saying it is right. But that is the fact..

    How long is Long enough to prove that one is employed to a GC?? No one knows???

    How many of the FTEs do other jobs that are not listed on their H1B? I bet most.. You don't look at your H1B petition to see if you are qualified to do that job or not. You will do it if you asked by your boss. Even if you can't, you will learn and still do it.

    So stop these crazy talk and help the OP if you can or just give a moral support.

    Most of you are not still convinced that we are not the reason for backlog. It is CIS that wasted visas and is the reason for the backlog.. That is the problem..


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  • funny
    10-01 05:17 PM
    I was thinking of buying a car but I have decided to hold off on it untill the presidentials elections are over. If obama is elected president I will not buy the car and will basically go into 100% saving mode because you never know when Obama\Durbin might kick us out. Nobody knows what sort of draconian rules are going to be put in place for EB community by Obama and Durbin. I have no confidence in Obama\Durbin to show any compassion\fairness towards Eb community. There might be hundreds of thousands of people holding off on purchasing a house, car or any big ticket item because of Obama\Durbin cir and there hostility towards Eb community. Hope I am proven wrong but I have not heard a single positive thing out of obama regarding EB community. Even when he was specifically asked about the green card delays faced by EB community he gave a evasive reply. He is always boasting about support for legal immigartion i.e family based immigration and not eb. I am not a obama hater nor a mcccain supporter but just a worried EB guy worried about his bleak future with Durbin lead cir.

    It is not clear what will happen to the existing applications, I don't think it would be simple to throw all the pending EB based GC applications out of the window and have everybody fall in line again in the new point based system....

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  • styrum
    08-11 12:02 PM
    great find yabadaba. Thanks. I have sent this link to someone who can do some data analysis in our favor. However we are looking for EB GC data.

    do you/anyone know of any data sources for EB greencard applications on USCIS site/someone has already done stat research based on uscis data?

    The USCIS's "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics" is a valuable source of info in any immigration debate!

    One can catch on lies a lot of anti-immigration jerks and even the USCIS themselves using their very own data! You can clearly see how the number of employment based Green cards changed, for example, how sharply it dropped in 2003 for some reason (not in 2002 which could be explained by 9/11!). They have no explanation for this. Apparently they were told to do so. The sabotage is obvious. There are more interesting facts there. Say, one can check if a particular country really has contributed too many immigrants in the last years to be excluded from the GC lottery or not, while another country is for some (political) reason still eligible despite it exceeded the limit.


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  • alterego
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

    The truth is probably between the extreme pessimism in this post and the unbridled optimism in other posts.

    Never trust what realtors tell you, they are in it to make a sale and it is always in their interest to talk up the market. I have never yet seen/read/heard a realtor speak negatively about the market. Even if they are asked an obvious question like do you think prices have fallen in the last year they will say they have trended down a little but the foreclosure crisis is over now, and the fed is acting decisively and the demographics speak to a longer term secular uptrend bla bla blaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Some BS to justify their talk.

    The bottom line is there will be a hangover of a few years from this unprecedented bubble in housing, it will be more severe in hotspot areas we all know about. In those areas you will likely see a 25-30% drop with about half of it already baked in, another half spread out more slowly over the next 3 yrs that that graph illustrated. Additionally the inflation rate of 3-4%(you can expect an uptick over the next 2-3 yrs) will eat away another few percentage points of your capital , while also eating away at your loan.
    The net effect is that you would be another 20% or so the worse off in these hotbed areas in the next 3-4 yrs. In more steady areas, that fall will be much more muted perhaps half or less of that. However sales will slow to a crawl with the slowing jobs market.

    The main determinants of house prices are.

    1) Inventory............a negative right now.

    2) Credit............negative but with scope for improvement in the next 12 mths.

    3) Jobs...........likely to be down for the next 6 months atleast.

    4) Salaries..................Global pressures on these will likley persist with some tax help to average americans likley if Dems. take control.

    5) Market psychology...................likely damaged for the near term atleast 12 mths.

    6) The replacement value of homes. Land is a non factor here in this country. I scoff at suggestions to the contrary. Even in cities with restrictions, this is a yawn yawn factor. Unless you are speaking about downtown manhattan it is not a factor. Construction costs on the other hand are a factor. A value of $100 per Sq Ft of constructed value is perhaps par for the course right now, that can only go up, with rising commodity prices, salaries for construction with illegals kicked out etc over time this will go up.

    7) Rental rates to home prices. This too will catch up. Folks kicked out of sub prime mortgage homes need to go somewhere. They will likley drive demand for rentals.

    All of this points to a fast then a slow correction. I think we are nearing the end of the fast phase of home price correction. 20-25% in hotbed areas and 7-12% in other areas. I think you will see a more gradual correction of a similar magnitude spread over 3-4 yrs now.

    Lets see how it all unfolds.

    Remember Every drinking binge has a hangover! The US housing market is now in one.

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  • prince_waiting
    08-05 11:03 AM
    1. Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end & a fool at the other.

    2. Love affairs: Something like cricket where one-day internationals are more popular than a five day test.

    3. Marriage: It's an agreement in which a man loses his bachelor degree
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    4. Divorce: Future tense of marriage

    5. Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the
    lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either".

    6. Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

    7. Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody
    believes he got the biggest piece.

    8. Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine will-power is defeated by feminine water-power.

    9. Dictionary: A place where divorce comes before marriage.

    10. Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens &
    everybody disagrees later on.

    11. Ecstasy: A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before.

    12. Classic: A book which people praise, but doesn�t read.

    13. Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

    14. Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.

    15. Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

    16. Etc.: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you
    actually do.
    17. Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to
    decide that nothing can be done together.

    18. Experience: The name men give to their mistakes.

    19. Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.

    20. Philosopher: A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.

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    22. Opportunist: A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into a river.

    23. Optimist: A person who while falling from Eiffel Tower says in midway "See I am not injured yet."

    24. Pessimist: A person who says that O is the last letter in ZERO, instead of the first letter in word OPPORTUNITY.

    25. Miser: A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

    26. Father: A banker provided by nature.

    27. Criminal: A guy no different from the rest... except that he got

    28. Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are

    29. Politician: One who shakes your hand before elections and your
    confidence after the elections.

    30. Doctor: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills.

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  • gc_on_demand
    09-30 04:45 PM
    If Obama becomes president can he restore the faith of high-skilled immigrant who play by the books and still have to wait for decades to get their Green Card.

    After graduating with a Electrical engg degree from a top school in India, I got a job with a world leading semiconductor company. I first came to USA almost 12 years ago on a business trip as part of a multinational chip design effort for high end Telecommunication market. I was very impressed with the group of professionals I worked with. I felt the work environment stimulated the creativity in me and brought the best out of me. After the short trip I went back to my home country but that visit left a lasting impression on me and I felt USA would be the place I can further my professional abilities. Couple of years later, I came to USA for my Masters to embark on that journey. Even though I graduated when the US economy was in recession (2001), my unique skill set was much sought after and hence I got a job with a R&D startup division of a popular Japanese company. Working with a great group of professionals brought out the creativity in me. I currently have 10 US patents. The sailing was smooth until I started my Green Card process. The outdated immigration system and the long wait in the limbo state has been impacting my professional and personal life. I am starting to doubt that my American dream is slipping away day by day. I hope if Obama becomes the president he would restore some credibility to my faith in the immigration system. But if Sen. Durbin is driving Obama's immigration policy then I fear even more long waits for high-skilled immigrants because of Sen. Durbin's aggressive stance against H1B's. Mean while I have started to look at immigrant friendly countries like Australia and Canada as my possible future destination.

    Obama has mentioned many times on the campaign trail that "his education" is the reason why he has risen to where he is now. I feel Obama is a person who values higher education and high-skilled professional and I do have great faith in Obama's skills, I hope he takes a strong stance on the need to reform the high-skilled immigration system.

    Many have been looking at the high-skilled immigrants through a narrow pin hole, even Sen Durbin has been swayed by such critics. NFAP report shows that almost 50% of the private venture backed companies started between 1995 and 2005 are founded by immigrants. Guess what Sen. Durbin and high-skilled immigrant critics majority of those immigrants would've taken the route of H1 -> GreenCard -> US citizen. The companies started by those immigrants employ thousands of Americans and millions in tax revenue. Then why is America so hostile towards the same high-skilled immigration system which in the long run benefits America. Why are Sen. Durbin so short sighted on the high-skilled immigration system? Hope Obama can look at the high-skilled immigration system with a long term perspective and persuade his colleagues in Congress to enact a legislation to fix this broken system.

    Here is the link to the NFAP report which I talked about 6.pdf

    I 100% agree with you. We are highly skilled educated people. Legally came to USA , earned Master or higher degree in field of STEM. Working hard and paying taxes , having amerincan babies but still cannot make USA as our permanant home.

    It is very riskey to buy a house without having green card. Not that we will not find job if we loose current one but not sure where we end up getting job. and given housing market condition ,we will be end up loosing money if we sell house.

    I have seen CIR debates for 06 - 07 , Senator Durbin was against H1b people. Even current H1b laws are very strick. After living in USA for 10-12 years if you loose job becasue of given environment and if you cannot find second soon it is possible that you may loose your legal status.

    I love to see OBAMA as next president of USA. Even I am not citizen of this country but my children are. And as a responsible parent of them I wish Senator OBAMA become next president of USA. when I hear speech of Senator OBAMA & Biden I feel security of my children.

    I wish Senator OBAMA will restore my trust in American Dream. Would it be appropriate if I have to move out of here along with my USA citizen children to another country ?

    04-09 12:23 AM
    We've met with a lot of law makers and their aids, and really the housing down turn is not an argument for GC that is productive to use. If I get 30 minutes with a law maker's aid, each minute is valuable I can muster many more compelling arguments in that time.

    So to answer your question: yes IV has considered this, but only for about 2 seconds. It is something that is not worth raising with law makers or media.

    When I bought my house no one was bothered about I485 etc., partly because they thought prices only moved up, and more importantly I had over 20% deposit, I had the money credit score and an SSN that's all they cared about then. I would only put mortgage in name of people with SSN, do not use tax payer ID. My wife does not have SSN, and it causes delays and hassle for things like credit cards. Also hope you have US driver license that is not marked as temporary as I could see that causing trouble at closing if someone is overly fussy.

    another one
    09-29 07:20 PM
    To me collateral damage to GC is more acceptable than the same to human life.

    On economic front, the only person on either side who truly supports free market policies is Ron Paul. He is the one of the few Republicans who actually thinks about balancing the budget. Tax cuts are ok, only if you back them up with reduced spending, without increasing the national levergage. National debt is now at 100% of GDP (in the company of zimbabwe and jamiaca) , 20-30% of future income tax will go towards paying of the interest on Govt tax. It will definitely crowd out future private investments. Look at the history of national debt, and correlate them to the administrations.

    "Supply side" tax reductions of Reagan admin were good but even he increased the debt during his tenure. Leveraging is good for private cos (to certain limit, as we can say from recent developments), but not for Govts, as they do not really do much economically productive activity. Keynesian economists have all been hiding in their basement in the last two weeks.

    It is just my belief that Repubs dumb down everything.. from education to how to sell a war or economic plan to people.

    So you are ok with "colateral damage" to your GC ? I have never seen a school force creationism on a child, as for reading its the same everywhere (i remember in india my catholic shool was at pains to teach us that Ramayan was a legend...i didnt change my religion because of that). How many wars were fought during regans adminstration? Do you remember the tax rate during the Carter years? people were shelling out 17% on home loans while banks were paying 13% interest on their CD's. Media driven pontification is ok as long as you can substantiate them with valid reasoning. (Clinton years were good for us but some say that it laid the foundation for the dot com crisis, which lead to easy credit and so on)

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