Daily Archives: August 14, 2009

Bud Dealy is dead

71, Parkinson’s Disease. Vain to the literal end, Bud seems to have written his own obituary - that’s our Bud. We started as friends but I angered him once and that was that. I was sad to see him afflicted by Parkinson’s and physically deteriorating over the years, and he leaves a wonderful wife, Ellen, and three young boys. Wherever he’s off to, he’ll have an opinion on how it’s run and I’m sure he’ll share that with the man in charge. I was going to invent a quote from Bernie Yudain, Bud’s particular target for years and for inexplicable reasons, but Bernie has outlasted the guy and that’s comment enough.

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Patriot Bank insider sells

Patriot National Bank’s Chairman Angelo Decaro has been busy the past few weeks unloading shares at $3 a share. Does this have anything to do with a toxic loan load of 16% of its portfolio and at least one observer’s belief that anything 5% or high marks the point of no return for a bank? Stay tuned.

Recent Trades of Patriot National Bancorp Inc. by CEO:

  • Sell: Chairman and CEO Angelo Decaro sold 400 shares of PNBK stock on 08/05/2009 at the average price of $3; the price of the stock has decreased by 1.67% since.
  • Sell: Chairman and CEO Angelo Decaro sold 1,406 more shares of PNBK stock on 08/04/2009 at the average price of $3; the price of the stock has decreased by 1.67% since.
  • Sell: Chairman and CEO Angelo Decaro sold 8,907 more shares of PNBK stock on 07/31/2009 at the average price of $3.01; the price of the stock has decreased by 1.99% since.
  • Sell: Chairman and CEO Angelo Decaro sold 2,000 more shares of PNBK stock on 06/25/2009 at the average price of $3; the price of the stock has decreased by 1.67% since.
  • Sell: Chairman and CEO Angelo Decaro sold 5,100 more shares of PNBK stock on 06/22/2009 at the average price of $3; the price of the stock has decreased by 1.67% since.

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Keep your hands to yourself

What worm?

What worm?

I stopped by Sandy’s farm stand (behind the old Fjord Fisheries on River Road) to pick up the freshest corn in town and she thanked me for not shucking the corn as I grabbed it, and discarding half. People who do that, she told me, destroy its value – no one wants someone else’s reject – and it “breaks her heart” to see them at it. She doesn’t stop them because so many people do it but really, it’s totally unnecessary and wasteful (which means it costs all of us), so stop it.

When I used to grow my own corn and each ear was precious I never examined it in the field and threw any on the ground because it didn’t measure up. Since moving down from corn growing country and into the land of supermarkets I’ve watched in amazement as women spend fifteen minutes rooting through a pile of corn like porcine gourmets, peeling back each ear as though giving it a short arm inspection and then tossing it back on the pile. What the hell are you looking for, ladies? Worms? I’ve probably encountered a dozen, at most, in fifty years of eating corn. They stay at the tip so if you find one, whack off an inch of cob and boil away. Same thing if the very tip is missing a few rows of kernels – so what? snap it off or just ignore it – it tastes just as good and buying corn is transformed from a long ordeal to a simple task. You must have better things to do with your time, and the vendors will bless you for it.

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Greenwich shunned him now Miami Democrats don’t want George Lindemann,Jr.

Hard to believe, but George and his electrifying personality got all the way up to being named fund raiser host for a Democrat politician before someone remembered his conviction and jail time for killing his horse up here. “Pederasts, junkies, even axe murders are okay,” a polictico speaking anonymously said,”this is Miami, after all. But the PETA folks just lose their fucking minds over a guy who plugs in his horse to an electrical socket. Maybe he should move to Philadelphia.”

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That was then, this is now

In 2006, Nancy Pelosi loved disrupters – “it’s very American”. Today, not so much. What could have happened to change her mind?

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Stickiness – it’s not just for the stubborn anymore

stuckAnother observation from today’s shopping tour: there must be a lot of sellers out there who can’t afford to sell their houses. If a house has lost 40% of its value (a common phenomenon these days) and the seller had only 20% equity when he bought it withing the past ten years, there’s a decent probability that he will have to show up at the closing with a ton of cash or he won’t be able to close the deal. But where will he get $500,000? Or $1,000,000? So the refusal to drop an asking price may no longer be solely attributable to deluded sellers refusing to accept the new market reality; I think many of these folks simply don’t have the free cash available to afford to cut their price. Which presents everyone, buyers, sellers and lenders, with a real poser.

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Bad news for lenders

I’ve been out today with buyers looking at houses and we paid particular attention to houses that are “underwater” – asking less than the owners owe on them. Our unanimous conclusion was that these weren’t worth anything except, perhaps, their rental value. Bad locations, shoddy construction – you tell me how a four-year-old house can already have rot and leaking pipes – and ridiculous prices. I don’t think anyone will find these particular houses are worth tying up money in. Even at, say, $900,000, that’s a lot of money to sink into a clearly depreciating asset, and for what?

There’s a reason these houses haven’t sold and I think there’s a reason they aren’t going to sell any time soon. I’m curious to see how long the banks can continue to carry them at loan value. Much longer and I think it will constitute fraud on their shareholders and the F.D.I.C.

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How many loans must a bank have go bad, before it is washed to the sea?

Says here that 5% is the magic number and there are at least 150 banks with bad loans at that level or higher. The article says that all those banks report that they’re “well capitalized”. Go figure. While you’re figuring, anyone know Patriot Bank’s level?

UPDATE: Looks like Patriot is at 16%. That can’t be good.

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Here’s another method of keeping landscaping costs low

26 Grove

26 Grove

It took a year (400 days) and a price cut from $699,000, but this 2 bedroom in Cos Cob (where else?) on 0.06 of an acre went to contract August 5th and closed yesterday for $568,409. That’s less land than a condominium – lay down an Astro-turf welcome mat at the front door and your mowing chores are done. Sold for $599 in 2005, by the way.

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Is this how Mark Mariani keeps his landscaping costs so low?

Man charged with stealing tree from town park. Mark’s tip of the day: get a big root ball.

(h/t – Norwich denizen)

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(Some) Democrats retreating from cap and trade

Those Town Hall meetings must be even warmer than we’ve heard - support for the Carbon tax is splintering. My guess though, is that Goldman Sachs fears being cut out of the deal and wants more time to bribe its way back in.

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Can’t I leave you alone for a minute?

Sheesh, I spend the morning doing real estate (what can I tell you, Walt? Shit happens) and you financier types let the market go to hell. Put down your sandwiches and get back to work, would you?

dow

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