Daily Archives: November 1, 2008

How dare you be productive?!

Last week, the One promised to punish anyone earning over $250,000. His partner in The Great Taking, Joe Biden, revised that downward on Monday to $150,000 and today, the official definition of “rich enough to steal from” was lowered to $120,000.By the day of anointment we’ll all be rich – but not for long.


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The New York Times doing what it used to do so often, and so well.
In depth report on the banking shenanigans that dragged down municipal dupes – $200 million leveraged into a $20 billion exposure, no appreciable payments in exchange for that risk and, of course, huge profits for the guy who sold the stuff.

It’s all reminiscent of the stuff I used to go after when Wall Street was still content to defraud individual investors – these guys just figured out how to go big time.

One thing the article passes over but which will be the next, huge financial disaster of the coming decades: the bankruptcy of municipal pension plans. General discussion of this latter sorry subject can be found here.

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Buy land!

Okay, that’s a shot of Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains, where I’d prefer to live but if, like me, you’re stuck here in the Hell Hole of Greenwich, you can still make the best of things by building a nice house. I mentioned yesterday that my pal Lou Van Leeuwen and his company, Greenwich Construction LLC (698-9420)were offering 20%-30% off construction projects and suggested that other contractors could probably be persuaded to be equally as generous. I mostly discussed renovations and additions but of course, this isn’t a bad time to build new, either. Same lower building costs and the same pressures on sellers of building lots.

The Greenwich MLS currently shows 105 land listings, ranging from $35 million for waterfront on Field Point Circle (discussed yesterday – I think there ought to be some give in that figure)to $245,000 for a tenth of an acre on Peck Avenue. Plus, there are many house listings that would be suitable for new construction: my own listing, at 34 North Porchuck, adjoining Audubon property and available for somewhere between $1.6ish to $1.75 ish is just one example.

So look around. My sense is that a lot of these properties were priced when builders were active and buying. That’s not true right now and in fact, most builders I know have put their land inventory back on the market. Deals can be had.

Figure it will take a year or so to build a new house. By that time, the market may have recovered in which case you’ll have an easier time selling your existing house at a price you like and you will have constructed a new house for far less than you could have a year ago or perhaps you could a year from now. Not a bad deal, I think.


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