Daily Archives: April 29, 2008

If you want to contact my publisher
It won’t do any good, but if you’d like to send along your opinion to my former publisher about his firing me, : Mhersam@hersamacorn.com will reach him. I’m just about to email him myself to cancel my subscription.

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Wall Street’s latest Scam
That would be, “auction rated securities”. These were financial instruments touted as ” just like certificates of deposit”, and carried as cash on the account statements of private investors. Turns out, of course, they aren’t, and now people who stashed their money in the things waiting to pay their kids’ college tuition or put a down payment on a house are discovering that they can’t get at their money. A year and a half ago, when the whole thing started going down, Wall Street (UBS, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, name your favorite) alerted their institutional investors and concentrated their selling efforts on chumps. Only in February of this year did the whole structure freeze up. Now, if you need to pay your bills, your friendly banker will loan you up to half the money they’ve frozen, at a nice interest rate. I don’t really blame the “financial advisors” who simply parroted what their bosses told them about these things – these people are nothing more than broo-pushing custodians granted a title and a desk in order to scam their customers- but the principals of the firms knew exactly what they were pushing and should be, but won’t be, held accountable. Almost makes me want to dust off my legal degree and go chase someone.

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The beat goes on
Houses are still selling, despite bad market news. All it takes is a good price. Joe Barbieri’s listing at 33 Meeting House Lane has gone to contract somewhere around its asking price of $8,995,000. When I previewed it, I guessed its worth in the high 9’s or low 10’s, so this was a comparative value.

More impressively, if you’re lucky enough to own direct waterfront, is Mark O’Brien’s place at 15 Meadow Place in Old Greenwich. Came on the market last Thursday at $7,995,000 and was gone by Sunday via bidding war. This house, in all respect to Mark and the previous owner, Eugene Remmer, is a tear-down (with the best tree house I’ve ever been in). Waterfront remains king.

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