Daily Archives: August 24, 2009

How come Walt never mentioned this?

You in there, Walt?

You in there, Walt?

That pathetic woman who outed herself for having an affair with Madoff , all to sell a ghost-written book, embarrassment to her family be damned, is still at it. Bernie’s weenie, she discloses, was “small enough to fit inside a single-serving honey jar”. Somewhere, A.A. Milne is heaving a sigh of relief that he had Winnie get his head, and not any other body part, stuck in that honey pot. Sheesh.

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Mexican Flu is the new Global Warming

90,000 Americans will die of the flu this year alone, Obama panel squawks. Run! 

But give Bloomberg credit: they actually tracked down a physician with a little common sense:

According to what the advisory report describes as a “plausible scenario,” 30 percent to 50 percent of the country’s population will be infected in the fall and winter. As many as 300,000 patients may be treated in hospital intensive care units, filling 50 percent to 100 percent of the available beds, and 30,000 to 90,000 people may die, the report said.

Peter Gross, chief medical officer at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, said if the group’s scenario comes true, “I think every hospital in America is going to be in a crunch. We’ll be hard pressed to deal with those predictions,” he said.

Predictions ‘Overblown’

The predictions seem “overblown,” Gross said, given that swine-flu outbreaks in 1968 and 1957 failed to cause as many deaths, even with medical technology and disease surveillance less advanced than today.

“Influenza, you can make all the predictions you want, but it’s more difficult than predicting the weather,” Gross said in a telephone interview today, after the advisory report was made public. “If influenza was a stock, I wouldn’t touch it.”

Look: the usual flu hits elderly people, already weakened by other ailments, the hardest. This one leaves the old folks alone and is striking young people. If a healthy robust 17-year-old can’t shake off the flu our species is in even more trouble that I’d imagined.

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Letter from Nigeria:$67 billion per year, please to compensate us for global warming

Hey, why not? They’ll even provide us with the routing number for each politician’s Swiss Bank account, just to make things easier.

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And so it begins – again

Prosecutor named by Obama to pursue CIA agents. Back in the day, the Church Committee eviscerated the CIA and set the stage for, ultimately, 9/11. We had seven years of some kind of sanity and now we’re heading back down. Obama and the left are worried that CIA agents threatened an Al Qaeda leader with a mock execution. They aren’t worried that the same leader or his cronies like to slowly saw off prisoners’ heads because well, they’re enemies of America, and just acting out their justifiable rage.

When the first nuclear bomb explodes in Manhattan, the survivors will hold still more congressional hearings to determine why the CIA didn’t prevent it. And again, just as with the 9/11 Commission, they will appoint the architects of this disaster to that inquiry to hide the truth.

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Great moments in real estate pricing

20 Langhorne, five acres of steep hillside and not much else, has never sold since first offered for sale at $2.895 million. So today its owner raised its price to $2.995. I’m a little surprised by this because he tried the same thing at 39 Boulder Brook, dropping it from $9 million (hee hee hee) to $4.5 and then back up to $5.5. It didn’t work on Boulder brook and I rather doubt it will work here. Heck, for the same money, you can probably buy the Antares 35,000 foot shell and have a conversation piece.

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Loon watch

Everyone’s favorite candidate for stupidist person on earth, Congressman Maxine Waters, has just the person to pay for free medical care: you! (3:35 in)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHOJMHFc8Xs&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edealbreaker%2Ecom%2F&feature=player_embedded#t=231

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Finally, a little good news!

The Bureau of Prisons says Bernie Madoff is fit as a fiddle and the NY Post’s article is dead wrong. May you live one hundred years, pal.

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People have stopped curing their mortgage defaults

Business Insider links to a story in Calculated Risk that shows the mortgage “cure rate” – the percentage of borrowers who, having defaulted on their mortgages make good and resume paying – has dropped from 45% to a measly 6%. Apparently the historical average, used in part to calculate exposure of lenders to bad loans, is no longer operative now that there’s no longer any equity in the property. Which makes sense: why flog a dead horse when you can cut your losses and move on? But it doesn’t bode well for those predicting an improvement in our foreclosure rate.

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How will this work?

63 Maple, that new construction built below road grade across from the Second Congregational Church, has been rented for $13,000 per month. It was asking $4.4 million when the owner/builder gave up, down from an original price of $5.1. $13,000 pays the interest on what – $2,500,000? Somewhere around there. Assuming a market value of $4 million, taxes should run about $2,000 per month, so the builder has $11,000 to cover her debt. That might work, I suppose, but I’m guessing she’ll be taking a loss every month this place is rented. If the market doesn’t soar in the next 12 months, I don’t see how this is going to help her.

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Walter’s woes just never end

Bernie Madoff may be preparing to shuffle off this mortal coil but Walter Noel is still golfing in the Hamptons, resting up, no doubt, for his hearings in Boston that commence September 9th. But now comes news that investors who lost money with Bernie are suing the feeder funds that fed Walter and Fairfield Greenwich Group who in turn fed Madoff. The first out of the box is a suit against something called Chartered Investments (or something like that).  The first thing someone like Chartered will do in a situation like this is to implead – sue – Fairfield, saying, in effect, “if we’re responsible for our clients’ losses, then you’re really to blame, because we relied on your due diligence, which you didn’t perform.” I don’t know if this will add to the $7.5 billion FGG admits it lost to Madoff, but it’s certainly going to add to its legal fees. I wonder whether Andres has found a buyer for that yacht yet?

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A sale, a price drop

5 Raymond Street in Old Greenwich (ML # 73407) sold for $1.625 in 2004 and was relisted for $2.250 in June, 2008. It sold Friday for $1.450, well below its 2004 price but still substantially above its assessed value (70% of its estimated market value in 2005) of $1.137. That would be roughly $1.6 million, so this house has lost just 10% of its value. South of the Village still rules, apparently.

62 Valleywood, on the other hand, is a older house in dubious conditio9n that was first listed for $925 and, still unsold, dropped its price today to $829,000. Its assessed value is $779,800, and in this case, I don’t expect a sale for more than that.

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Some sign of life, sort of, maybe

15 Wynnwood
15 Wynnwood

15 Wynnwood (off of Clapboard, near Lake) is a very well made house on an okay street. The builder paid $2.8 million for the site in 2007 and listed it for $8.650 in June, 2008 while it was still under construction. That didn’t work out, in this market, and the price was dropped (interesting fact – the building loan had a drop dead date of June 2009 and the listing was allowed to expire then came back on under a different LLC’s name – I suspect the builder had to buy back his own loan). In any event, last listing price was $6.995 and today it’s reported under contract as a “direct sale”. That means the agent who showed it for the past year gets nothing. What is it selling for? We’ll know soon.

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Mystery solved

As suspected, Bernie Madoff has terminal cancer. Heard it just now on radio so no link, but it’s in the NY Post. His victims must feel cheated.

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