A well placed source writes:
Seems that the problem with Dodd was not that he got a few points shaved from his fees by Countrywide, but rather that he got a no-doc loan for his retirement house in Ireland. Seems it might be a wee illegal to do so, particularly if the loan was a Fannie and/or Freddie secured one, or how it was booked, or any millions of reasons why a federally insured loan shouldn’t be given to a home under foreign jurisdiction. I hear that the Senator bought the house through a front company, and disposed of it in the same manner when the Countrywide thing went down, indicating, at least as the cop shows say, bad intent.
The irony of course is that mortgage troubles got his Dad censured and disgraced by the Senate because – I think – he used campaign funds to pay mortgage(s). He used to have a life-sized painting of the old man over his Senate desk and talked endlessly of the “shame”.
Update: here’s an Irish blogger who estimates the value of Dodd’s Galway cottage as between $800 – $1,000,000, quite a bit more than the $100,000-$250,000 the senator shows in his senate financial disclosure form. Interesting.
Two weeks after the Madoff collapse Walter Noel’s firm just today remembered to yank the name of his niece off the Fairfield Greenwich Group website as its “man in Brazil”. Turns out she isn’t registered in that country to sell securities so her doing so would be, as Caroline Kennedy might put it,”like, illegal, you know?” This gang really can’t shoot straight and they’d better hire damage control quickly – it shouldn’t take a call from a curious Wall Street Journal reporter to remind you to cover your tracks. Come on, Walt, Greenwich’s reputation is on the line here.
Our country’s latest dynastic political heiress, Caroline Kennedy, may have impressed the New York Times editors with her “eloquence” but others, not so star struck, aren’t impressed. Twelve “you knows” in 49 seconds. Makes you think she’s uncertain what to say, ya’ know?
Nuclear, coal and liquified natural gas, all to the tune of $28 billion, according to today’s WSJ. Meanwhile, we’ve elected a president who vows to shut down existing coal powered plants, bankrupt anyone who tries to build a new one and who has no intention of permitting a nuclear or gas-powered plant to be opened. So, if you were going to bet on who would still have a vibrant economy fifteen years from now, South Korea or the US, who would you put your money on?
I’m off to buy stock in propeller beanie manufacturers.
One of the main players in the sub-prime mortgage scandal is our own Senator, Chris Dodd. Portfolio.com has an extensive review of his various misdeeds and the Senator himself is simply stonewalling on releasing the mortgage documents showing how he received a $100,000 break on interest payments from the now-defunct (soon to be defunct? Who can keep up these days?) Countrywide Mortgage. There’s plenty of outcry over this scam artist who heads the Senate Banking Committee in the rest of the country but things are quiet here in his home state. Why? Well for one, the Connecticut Post, owned by Hearst who also owns Greenwich Time, doesn’t want to hear about it: “All letters are welcome. But there are code words hidden in some that are signals to stop paying close attention — ‘Chris Dodd’ and ‘Barney Frank.’ ” In short, the man is a crook, but he’s our crook, and we don’t want to discuss it. Journalistic courage at its finest.
Go back to selling houses!
Last week the Greenwich Board of Realtors felt it necessary to once again remind its members that broker and public open houses were to be held for the sole purpose of showing the client’s house and not used as an opportunity to engage in retail sales. Certain agents have a hard time remembering this and, despite previous warnings and a few nasty comments in my old column, continue to offer for sale bad art and counterfeit goods. There’s no law against dealing in bad art, obviously, or New York City’s art world would have shut down decades ago but it is illegal to peddle counterfeit shoes, purses and whatever else strikes an old agent’s fancy, no matter if the proceeds are donated to charity or stuffed into her (knock-off) bra. If I had entrusted my house to an agent I would expect her to devote her time to answering fellow agents’ questions and pointing out the listing’s selling points, not extolling the virtues of an “almost-indistinguishable” Rolex from Shanghai. That’s not just my opinion, the Board thinks so too. I continue to be astonished at the behavior of some of my fellow “professionals”.
“If this guy [George Lindemann] kills horses, they better keep Walt’s daughters away from him.”
Why would he say that?
Greetings from Mustique!
Two of my quicker readers identified Freyda Lindemann, shown in “Hot Time in Palm Beach” as the mother of George, who electrocuted show horses for fun and profit back in the 90s. How quickly we forget – I wrote a novel set in Greenwich and based on Georgie’s antics but my agent hated it – more to the point, he hated the main character, a feeling held by most of the horse set, I suppose. George was convicted in 1995 . Did he ever go to jail? His dad was #512 on Forbe’s richest people in the world list (but did he invest with Walt?) so I doubt it; even if he did he’s probably out by now. Given the friendship displayed between Freyda and Monica Noel (that friendship looks a little frayed in the supplied photo) perhaps George was rehabilitated and went to work selling investments in Fairfield Greenwich’s Sentry Fund. It would have been right up his alley.
Update: Aw, isn’t this sweet? Georgie is now down in Miami, where he serves on the board of directors of an art museum, and is a noted philanthropist and champion of civil rights. That would be civil rights for humans, not animals. Just in case you were wondering how a noted benefactor and philanthropist kills his prized horse for insurance money, he hired a killer to bring into the stables an extension cord with two alligator clips attached. Fasten one clip to the horse’s anus, another to the ear, plug into wall socket and, after some minutes of torment, the horse’s entrails explode, a death usually ascribed to colic. One dead horse, one hefty insurance pay off and the son of one of the richest men in the world is off to Florida to become king of the Jet Set.
Here’s his house. Very nice, but I see no evidence of any horses on this waterfront mansion. Do you suppose a prohibition against owning a horse was a condition of his parole?
Southern Union Corporation, the natural gas company dad founded and George oversees, no doubt with the advice Walter Noel, seems to be disappointing its major shareholders. Like Noel’s FGG, nepotism seems to run in the family here, so to speak.
Residential foreclosures up 42% this year in Greenwich. Still relatively small numbers (142 in pre and final foreclosure) but growing. The next two months will be interesting, I’m guessing.