Daily Archives: August 3, 2010

Apples and regulators

The comments to my posting on the Mac iPad reminded me of a time when state regulators used to review and approve or reject initial public offerings (IPOs) of companies going public. In 1980, the year Apple went public,  I was studying securities law under Nicholas Wolfson, a former big cheese at the SEC. I remember him railing against the state of Massachusetts ruling that Apple’s IPO was too risky for state residents and barring sales in that state. Apple was a hot  company out west back then but the buzz hadn’t reached the Massachusetts Division of Banking, Wolfson questioned the capability of state bureaucrats to evaluate the prospects of a new venture. The result:

On December 12, 1980, Apple launched the Initial Public Offering of its stock to the investing public. When Apple went public, it generated more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in 1956 and instantly created more millionaires (about 300) than any company in history. Several venture capitalists cashed out, reaping billions in long-term capital gains.

I haven’t attempted to read the 2,100 page banking “reform” act, but I suspect we’re heading back to bureaucrats deciding what and with whom we can invest in. That will probably save a few dolts their life’s savings, but it will also cut off capital to the very folks we’re counting on to bring back our economy. Bad trade off, in my opinion.

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We’re all going to die!

Going my way?

Our acknowledgment of that fact will make Martin Heidegger happy wherever he is (given I had to defend my philosophy thesis on him I hope it’s Hell). But not tonight, probably – what we  may get is a show of northern lights, due to a solar storm headed our way. Check the northern sky tonight and Wednesday and you may get a treat.

Older readers may remember when, in 1969 the Northern Lights could be seen from New York to Pennsylvania. It may have happened since but that’s the only show I remember. It caused  quite a stir, as I recall, because, while Alaskans are accustomed to the phenomenon, it was all new to us Easterners. It wasn’t quite “War of the Worlds” but the police were flooded with panicky calls.

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Calculated Risk: existing home sales, prices will fall

Here are the charts. These are national figures but I’m sure not seeing much activity here in Greenwich. I’ll try to pull that data tomorrow and post it.

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Here’s an interesting gamble on Perryridge

18 Perryridge

 

The spec builder who put this place up on 0.18 acre (and how he got 5,300 sq.ft.in that zone mystifies me) originally listed it for $4.650 million and today dropped it to $4.495. It looks like a nice house but Perryridge, aside from the ambulance sirens and hospital traffic, has always been a nice little street of modest homes. The record sales price achieved at the height of the market in 2007, was $2.1 and everything else has sold for far less than that.  

So who’s going to pay $4.5 for a house here? Not I, but maybe some neurosurgeon with more cash than brains.

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A Riverside house

This old ( 1926) tired house on Miltiades backs up to the railroad tracks and I thought its asking price of $1.2 million was pretty steep. But someone figured out its charm and paid $850,000 for it on Friday. That seems closer to its value. Assessed value was $535,000.

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Does the broker make the difference? We’ll find out

26 Taconic Rd

 

This was new construction once, way back in 2007, when it was listed at $6.850. It dropped to $5.980 in September, 2008 and then $5.495 in February, 2009. Even with 18 months at that price it stubbornly refused to sell but here it is back again, this time with David Ogilvy, still priced at $5.495. Can David achieve what Sally Maloney couldn’t? Watch and wait.  

My personal opinion is that its lack of a useable yard and the overhanging porch roofs that make the house so dark will continue to haunt this house until a low price finally induces a buyer to overlook these defects but maybe it’s all in the marketing.

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Connecticut says it wants hedge funds but tell that to the Democrats

Governor Rell wooed NYC hedge funds last night to move to Connecticut to avoid New York’s new taxes on that business, but while she’s doing that, our Hartford yahoos are doing their best to impose new “millionaire” taxes, estate taxes, bonus taxes and anything else that stirs their black, greedy hearts. So what do you want: employment or punitive taxes on the rich? That seems to depend on which party you belong to.

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iPads and the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service

A reader, commenting on my earlier post about iPads, says that “it will soon be an essential tool for every realtor”. Not in Greenwich it won’t, because we still use a Microsoft-only data base that can only be accessed via MicroSoft Explorer. I understand that, for a $40 monthly fee, you can now use an iPhone to get into the data base but what kind of bull shit is that?

The iPad would be a wonderful tool to use with clients – small enough to easily carry around in the car but a large-enough screen to properly display pictures of the houses. The world has moved away from the Microsoft monopoly and I think the GMLS is doing its members and our clients a real disservice by using a database provider who will not accommodate all browsers.

UPDATE: Reader FloridaGeek comment sure seems to make sense to this techno-idiot:

Actually, it is not the database that is the issue. That is just a container for the raw data. The IE only requirement comes from something that only IE supports in the presentation layer – most likely javascript, but possibly some active-x control. I routinely develop websites that use MS SQL (a pretty good database by the way) as the backend that render pages quite nicely in IE, FireFox, Chrome and even (shudder) Safari. Yes, I AM a geek in real life, why do you ask?

You are probably just dealing with a very old and proprietary system that either no one wants to pay to upgrade or was provided by a vendor who for whatever reason has a lock on the business and no motivation to improve.

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