looks like a long, cold winter for the whales



Just out of curiosity, I looked up how many homes priced at $9.5 million and above have either sold or gone to contract since the 1st of September. Answer: One sold, one contract. 48 Round Hill Road sold for $9.750 million after starting at $12 million in June, 2013, and 18 Parsonage Road, now asking $10.2 million, is under contract, after asking $13.750 in March, 2011.

There are 54 active listings in this price category.


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Does this mean we can demand that Elizabeth Warren quit the Senate?

Susan Taffee Reed at family reunion in hidden Pennsylvania

Susan Taffe Reed at family reunion in hidden Pennsylvania

Publius sends along this WSJ story: Dartmouth dumps its Native American after she turns out to be a white gal. 

Dartmouth College has removed the new director of its Native American Program after tribal officials and alumni accused her of misrepresenting herself as an American Indian.

The Ivy League school hired Susan Taffe Reed last month to serve as a liaison between the college and Native Americans, saying her role as president of the Eastern Delaware Nations would be instrumental in helping guide Indian students.

But her appointment quickly became mired in controversy as some Native Americans said Dartmouth didn’t sufficiently vet Ms. Reed’s association with the Eastern Delaware group, which concedes it isn’t an actual tribe. Indian activists also said they couldn’t find documentation of Ms. Reed’s claims that she had Native American heritage.

Ms. Reed, who has a doctorate in musicology and American Indian Studies from Cornell University, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. In an email to The Wall Street Journal last week, she said she was of mixed Native and European heritage, though she wouldn’t specify which tribe or tribes she hailed from. She added that she had been raised participating in traditional Native ceremonies in a rural region of Pennsylvania, where she said some Native Americans had historically kept their identity secret.

Dartmouth said Ms. Reed had been honest in representing herself and that it would never ask an applicant to document their ethnicity.

So if it’s illegal to ask a job applicant about her ethnicity, and it is, and if this member of a “secret” Indian tribe was truthful on her resume, isn’t it illegal to fire her because of her race? Probably so, which would explain why, after removing her from her Chief Pocahontas role, the school’s keeping her on the payroll “for retraining for some other job”.

On the related story of Elizabeth Warren’s false claim to be an Indian (and unlike Miss Reed, she did lie on her resume), this week Slate examined “Why so many Americans claim to be Cherokees”. The answer, basically, is because they can; it’s a claim almost impossible to disprove, short of DNA testing, and what faker’s going to submit to that? Perhaps someone – that Congressman who stole the Pope’s? -can swipe Warren’s water glass from her senate desk and send it for testing.


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Morgan Stanley doesn’t understand the Tesla business model

I'm Joe Hedger, and I endorse this message. Screw you, sucker.

I’m Joe Hedger, and I endorse this message. Screw you, sucker.

New Tesla SUV is “too expensive” at $132,000, it claims, and lowers its valuation of the company’s targeted stock price.

The bank should know better. Tesla, manufacturer of cool cars for the 0.01%, doesn’t make its money from its cars, but from the sale of emission credits to conventional car makers.

It’s the perfect scheme for liberals who want to drive the Little People from their cars and into mass transportation, where their movements and residential choices can be controlled, while leaving the elite driving Zil Limousines Tesla’s cars. “It’s the ultimate in fairness”, Al Gore tells FWIW. “This way, everybody’s doing their part to save the planet.”


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Comb over

Bad comb over

Bad comb over

Eli Comb’s (formerly) Greenwich hedge fund shuts its doors after blowing European bet

The company had settled into digs on Steamboat Road just three years ago, but moved to less expensive quarters in Stamford a little while ago. Presumably the Euro bet wasn’t the only thing it got wrong.


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NYC rent control: bonanza for the lucky few

Mayor DeBlasio's grandmother sets the tone

Mayor DeBlasio’s grandmother sets the tone

Two tenants settle for $25 million and a luxury apartment in exchange for dropping their appeal of an eviction suit

Two tenants in a grimy four-story building on a desolate stretch of 10th Avenue in Manhattan scored a $25 million payout — after stalling part of the Hudson Yards redevelopment project by refusing to vacate.

The men lived together at 10th and West 34th Street, on a rundown corner that had been slated for redevelopment by real-estate giant Tishman Speyer.

The developer had bought the property and its surroundings for $438 million as part of a $20 billion redevelopment plan to create some 17 million square feet of new residential and commercial space west of 10th Avenue from 23rd to 42nd streets.

But the developer couldn’t proceed with its big plans until the pair moved, and they refused to budge. Tishman actually won in court, but it still caved.

The men’s lawyer, David Rozenholc, is infamous for tying up cases on appeal, so Tishman offered the men a multimillion-dollar settlement to avoid a prolonged battle, reported Crain’s New York Business.

Court papers identify the tenants as Gary Schwedock, 58, and Steven Kobrick, 36.

They now reside on the top floor of Riverbank West, a 44-story doorman building at 560 W. 43rd St. with concierge service, a pool and roof deck.

Rozenholc, 69, did not return a message seeking comment.

But he told Crain’s that Tishman was right to assume he would continue to fight.

“I would have taken the next step and come up with another argument.

[Even] if [the developer] wins every step of the way, it will take them five years,” he said.

The city’s filled with stories of wealthy tenants still occupying and paying  1960s rent for luxury apartments, and the protections afforded tenants in general allow for a lawyer like Rozenholc to acquire a rich practice as a (legal) blackmailer. It’s been a while since WWII, when these controls were imposed, but tenants’ groups have blocked their repeal ever since. And no wonder: you never know when someone will win the lottery.


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Liberals are always astonished when the communists they supported line them up against the wall first


SOVIET UNION: Intellectuals get a whacking

DeBlasio orders city cultural institutions to compile voluminous reports on their diversity hiring

The city is grilling museums and cultural institutions about the racial and ethnic diversity of their entire staffs — and if they don’t answer, they’ll be cut off from taxpayer cash.

Nearly 1,000 organizations were asked to fill out a survey this summer detailing the race, gender and disability status of their employees and board members.

“As long as you complete the survey, you will be eligible to apply for funding from [the city] in fiscal year 2017,” institutions were told in a July 20 letter from Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Organizations had to fill out a “demographics spreadsheet” by combing through their personnel files for their workers’ information.

Groups that don’t keep such data were told to hand out voluntary surveys to employees, with the caveat in the instructions that “you cannot require a staff member or board member to self-report any element of their identity.”

In addition to providing the workforce information, the cultural groups had to answer a questionnaire with up to 48 questions — including “How does your organization engage with issues of diversity on a daily basis?” and “What forms of diversity do you think are important for strengthening the quality of work of your organization?”

Groups are also queried on whether there were barriers to increasing diversity among staff and board members, according to a copy of the survey obtained by The Post.

The survey is being paid for with more than $150,000 in private funds from the Ford Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

But an art adviser who works with high-level collectors called the racial inquisition another “Big Brother act by the de Blasio ­regime” and said it didn’t matter who was funding the initiative.

“It’s a waste of money that could go into the arts,” the adviser said.

Yesterday, in response to the uproar of his liberal allies after this NY Post article came out, DeBlasio denied that he’d cut off from city funds any institution that refused to complete the survey, but the threat is still there (my guess is that he’ll make good on his threat after the furor dies down) and the waste of money and time mentioned by the “art advisor” quoted above remains regardless. The reaction of the cultural elite reminds me of Michel Moore’s plaintive cry on the day Al Qaeda brought down the twin towers: “Why New York? We voted for Kerry!”.

Always the last to know.


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From cradle to grave, the government wants all of your child or, more accurately, their citizens

Children dress up as Elizabeth Warren

Children dress up as Elizabeth Warren

Minneapolis schools hire “Playground Consultants” to supervise and guide.

Two Edina elementary schools, worried about the politics of the playground, are taking an unusual step to police it: They have hired a recess consultant.

Some parents have welcomed the arrival of the firm Playworks, which says recess can be more inclusive and beneficial to children if it’s more structured and if phrases like, “Hey, you’re out!” are replaced with “good job” or “nice try.”

But some of the kids at Concord and Normandale Elementary say they are confused, or that the consultants are ruining their play time.

“The philosophy of Playworks does not fit Concord,” said Kathy Sandven, a parent of twin boys who attend the school. “It is a structured philosophy — an intervention philosophy — not allowing kids for free play.”

The two schools have joined a growing number of districts that have hired consultants to remake the playground experience into more structured and inclusive play time. The games and activities, like four square and jumping rope, are overseen by adults and designed to reduce disciplinary problems while ensuring that no children are left out.


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