Daily Archives: April 27, 2009
Bankers set to leave England as tax raised to 50%. Fifty percent is just a start, of course, just as it will be here. The politicos have declared class warfare and the mob loves it:
The proposal, part of the 2010 budget, is likely to go ahead after Conservative Party leader David Cameron said April 24 that reversing the 50 percent rate wasn’t a priority. About 57 percent of Britons have a “positive view” of the plan.
My own end of world scenario suggests that the mob will pull down western civilization long before it runs out of successful people to feed on, but it would be nice if the wealthy left now and forced the mob to turn on itself sooner, rather than later.
It’s clear that President Obama was as ignorant as Mayor Bloomberg about what the Air Force One guys had in store for New York this morning and it’s not his fault that bozos took control. But I was struck by this bit of coverage of the event:
The White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, conveyed the president’s anger in a meeting with the director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, who issued the apology “Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision,” Mr. Caldera said. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”
Having “taken responsibility” for the incident, what does Mr. Caldera intend to do? Hanging himself seems harsh – resigning does not. Hand wringing and saying “sorry”, which is the extent of his contrition so far, doesn’t amount to anything. And, while we’re examining the behavior of appointed officials, can we address the President’s press secretary who dismissed reporters’ questions about a plan attacking New York with a snide, “it might surprise you to learn that I don’t keep track of every movement of Air Force One”? If he’s still alive, Ron Ziegler could step in and replace this dolt to better effect.
Word I have is that Antares files for bankruptcy this week. Another interesting tidbit is that the boys are on the line with some pretty hefty personal guaranties – large enough to take away those side-by-side Mooreland mansions from their wives. Well, it’s a good thing that they evicted all the old folks from Putnam Green before the condo project failed – plenty of empty apartments for Jimmy and Joe to find shelter in at a moderate price. That’s assuming the new landlord doesn’t require a credit check.
Back in January or so I posted that Country Living Associates was going down. I was flooded with angry emails threatening all sorts of dire punishments if I continued to malign their fine name and business prospects, so I removed the post.
They shut their doors Friday.
Old song. Anyway, I see that 204 Lyons Farm West sold today for $855,000, a fair bit lower than its asking price of $1.175. I remember when Lyons Farm units began breaking the million dollar barrier and being a tad dubious. Seems that we’re seeing them come down closer to earth.
On the other hand, 32 Twin Lakes Drive (really Gilliam Lane) in Riverside is back on the market, still asking $13.5 million. I’m not impressed. It has an acre and a half of yard, which is good, but the water access was sold off years ago so you’re left with just views and, half the day, those views are of mudflats framed by neighboring houses. The house itself is old, old old and, although the listing says it has been “complete renovated” [sic] it looks as tired and beat up when the 12 Fritsche kids were tearing things apart down there in the 1960s. As land, I suppose it would fetch $4.5 million, maybe. If the remaining $9 million is for the house, someone admires old, leaky leaded windows more than I.
Not that slow, in fact, because we did see four contracts come in but with the exception of Calhoun at $5 million plus, all were under $1 million. But, as that reader’s dinner companion pointed out, “at least the high end is holding up.” Not selling, mind you, but holding up, and isn’t that a comfort.
One nifty old house came back on the market, 25 Field Point Road, down 20%, to $10,000,000 from its first price of $12.5 million. I love the place – great architecture and an excellent location, though the new listing describes it as “adjoining the Belle Haven Waterfront Association”. The keen legal scholar in me interprets that to mean “not in the Belle Haven Association” – I really don’t know the effect that has on $10 million buyers. Here’s the house, anyway:
Walt complains that he’s having trouble reaching his old pals at Fairfield Greenwich Group and hasn’t a clue where the Antares boys have got to. Last week I published an iPhone shot of Walt’s own reserved, empty parking space at 2 Sound Shore Drive – all the other FGG slots are empty, too and the name’s been taken off the building directory.
As for the boys, if you go to Antares.com, you get this:
WEBSITE WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON
Let’s say you’re a federally – protected worker in the White House Military Group and you think it would be kinda neat to send a 747, chased by a flock of military jets, zooming by Wall Street and over the remains of the World Trade Center. Do you: notify NYC?; alert anyone down there that you’ll be showing up?; or do what you damn well please, because you’re with the White House and who the hell can stop you or complain?
The last option was exercised, of course, causing panic and building evacuations throughout the downtown area. Surprise, guys! Just kidding!
Three reported already today. Two are for houses under a million but this big boy on Calhoun was listed at $5.595 million and went to contract in just 53 days, which I will assume means there was an offer somewhere close to asking.
Reader Sambone sends this link to Bloomberg – the suit against Walter Noel and Fairfield Greenwich Group has been amended to include fraud as a cause of action. Judgments awarded for fraud can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, among other bad things.
Last fall I criticized Wall Streeters for giving the hangman the rope he would use to hang them, but several readers defended the industry’s campaign contributions to Obama as “protection money. Well that’s an effective strategy only if your money does in fact buy protection. Now that they’ve discovered what I already knew, Wall Street has stopped giving money to any politicians, Republican (ha!) and Demmerkrat alike. This won’t work, of course, because Congress will just impose even harsher punishment until the industry caves. Do you recall that Microsoft once refused to hire lobbyists, figuring it didn’t need them? One anti-trust suit later, it now spends hundreds of milions on those bloodsuckers. Who is John Galt?
Losing sleep over the decline of your retirement savings? Morgan Stanley has a solution: wipe it out and stop worrying – it can’t go below zero, unless you’ve margined the damn thing. Does it work? Well MS tried it themselves and by gosh, every employee who invested in the special MS retirement fund’s been wiped out! Proven performance, for a fee. It’s little surprise to learn that MS recently hired Walter Noel to run their funds.
18 Sandy Lane (4 acres off Porchuck and close to the Merritt Parkway) listed for $2.995 in May, 2007. Sold last Friday for $1.350 million.
UPDATE from Old Greenwich
26 Weston Hill sold for $2.995 million in October 2004. It came back on at $3.095 recently and today it’s marked down to $2.999. I think we’re below 2004 prices, but it’s interesting to watch the process of prices adjusting.
There seems to be some confusion among certain readers about wall plates. Here are three types, each distinctive to their neighborhood:
Okay, we seem to be having a bit of fear about pig sickness, but if, like me, you’ve been spending most of your time scanning the skies for deadly meteors, perhaps we can all relax: seems that the dinosaurs survived the big hit by 300,000 years. Of course, it isn’t entirely impossible that the poor dears died of swine flu, instead.
By Chantal Britt
April 27 (Bloomberg) — The demise of the dinosaurs probably occurred 300,000 years after a giant meteor struck what is now Mexico, scientists said, casting doubt on a popular theory that the impact triggered a mass extinction.
The Chicxulub crater, which is about 180 kilometers (112 miles) across, was formed on the Yucatan peninsula when an extra-terrestrial object struck Earth 65 million years ago. Since its discovery in 1978, the crater has been cited as evidence that the impact’s aftermath led to the extinction of about 65 percent of all species including the dinosaurs.
New clues at other sites in Mexico showed that the extinction must have occurred 300,000 years after the Chicxulub impact and that even larger asteroids may not be the purveyors of doom they’re thought to be, according to a paper published in the Journal of the Geological Society by researchers from Princeton, New Jersey, and Lausanne, Switzerland.
“We found that not a single species went extinct as a result of the Chicxulub impact,” said Gerta Keller, a professor of geosciences at Princeton University, in a release distributed by the Geological Society of London. “These are astonishing results.”