Daily Archives: November 15, 2008

November contracts

Five single family houses have gone to contract this month – not an impressive amount. I discussed each one earlier this week, a luxury that’s affordable when there are so few, and the only hopeful one is the $12.9 (asking) contract down at the foot of Indian Head in Riverside. That’s because, while it was an estate sale, it wasn’t a distress sale, to my knowledge. That distinguishes it from the two spec houses, one on Clapboard Ridge, the other on North Street, whose builders were surely sucking wind.

So we move on through the month. Not much usually happens after Thanksgiving in the Greenwich market, but this is hardly the usual market, so who knows?


Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate

At its root, this mess is all about housing

Or so says this editorial piece in today’s WSJ. I don’t pretend to know anything about collateralized debt obligations or whatever is being flung around the canyons of Wall Street these days, but the writer makes a persuasive case, to me, that it’s the housing collapse and the junk mortgages that collapse exposed that are causing our current difficulties.

Of course, if I did know anything about this stuff I could read with a more critical eye and perhaps find flaws in the argument. But since I don’t. I’ll leave that task to you financial wizards.

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Okay, you caught the car, now what, Fido?

Obama frets over what to do with terrorists at Gitmo.

It’s not quite so simple as “shut it down immediately”. Interesting that this comes as a surprise to the man.

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Don’t bail out GM!

From yesterday’s WSJ, an article from someone who must have given up buying Detroit junk just about when I did. He’s no more enthusiastic about pouring more money into that rat hole than I am:

As a society, we have very little to show for this $465 billion. At the end of 1998, GM’s market capitalization was $46 billion and Ford’s was $71 billion. Today both firms have negligible value, with share prices in the low single digits. Both are facing imminent bankruptcy and delisting from the major stock exchanges. Along with management, the companies’ unions and even their regulators in Washington may have their own culpability, a topic that merits its own separate discussion. Yet one can only imagine how the $465 billion could have been used better — for instance, GM and Ford could have closed their own facilities and acquired all of the shares of Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen.

The implications of this story for Washington policy makers are obvious. Investing in the major auto companies today would be throwing good money after bad. Many are suggesting that $25 billion of public money be immediately injected into the auto business in order to buy time for an even larger bailout to be organized. We would do better to set this money on fire rather than using it to keep these dying firms on life support, setting them up for even more money-losing investments in the future.
Want to save Detroit? Ease up on the environmental regulations that forbid US automakers to import their own European models, cars like Ford’s 65 mpg diesel. If those whacky Europeans are satisfied with diesels, surely our own environmentalists can learn to love them too.

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