Daily Archives: July 7, 2011

I’m not entirely unsympathetic, but isn’t this closing the barn door after the horse has escaped?

“Group” advises states to ban all cellphone use while driving, hand-held or not. The statistics I’ve seen have always shown the same accident results for both types because it’s the distraction, not the actual holding of a phone, but legislatures have enjoyed banning the former so that they can show that they’re doing something. I myself have quit using my phone while driving but judging from what I observe, 99% of my fellow drivers have not.

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The banks are really pissing off this free marketer

JP Morgan to pay $228 million for rigging municipal bond auctions. It just keeps coming – week after week, confession after confession of every sort of sordid financial crime from people I once respected and defended. Not good for our country.

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A new Riverside listing that might be of interest to you

15 Field Road just came on, asking $1.295. It’s a 1936 house and is listed as an “estate sale” which, sadly, means no one’s done anything to it for a long time. But Field’s a great road, there’s room to blow this house out from its present 2,000 sq. ft. and I think you could do well on this one. I work with a number of young families that simply want nothing to do with “a project”, but there’s opportunity here.

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Oh, dear

As the result of that Florida verdict, “Caylee’s Laws” have already been drafted in four states. I don’t remember who said it, but some pundit suggested that laws enacted under a particular victim’s name are often our worst possible response as a society. I agree: the poor child is dead, but the hasty response ends up causing far-too-harsh results for schnooks who run afoul of the law in the future. It’s a sort of legislative lynching, in my opinion, directed at the wrong person.

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Maybe you should sell that Madoff claim for 70%

A second federal judge seems to be moving away from Picard’s claims against banks. As I understand the matter, Bankruptcy Trustee Picard has been bringing some huge claims in bankruptcy court against banks (and the Mets owners, the Wilpons) , alleging that the defendants knew or should have known that Madoff was up to no good. Now two federal courts have at least listened to the defendants and yanked the cases out of bankruptcy court, at least for now, while they decide whether Picard can bring these suits. From their comments, the judges sound dubious.

As of last week, Madoff claims were selling on the secondary market for up to seventy cents on the dollar. You might want to see if those deals are still available. Walter Noel victims are out of luck on these deals, by the way – feeder fund victims are ineligible for recovery from the bankruptcy and are due to get bupkis – you may want to stroll up to Round Hill and knock on Walt’s door.

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Well here’s a boon

Our GMLS has just started adding the listing agents’ names to open house listings. Now I can do a quick memory check, figure out who I’ve pissed off recently and avoid the house. Of course, that can result in my not going to any houses at all, but I do have disguises.

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A contract and a sale

14 Meadow

The biggest first, I suppose. 14 Meadow, off of Zaccheus Mead, has a contract – last asking price was $38 million. This was George Scott’s old property, 14.5 acres that felt like Vermont but just minutes from downtown. The sellers paid $8 million plus for the land, tore down the house and spent the past couple of years building this 15,000 sq. ft. home. You never know what goes into a decision to sell but I do often wonder at folks who put this much effort into a project and then sell when it’s finally done. None of my business, I’m just curious.

22 Will Merry sold for $2.5 million. Owners paid $2.4 for it in 2003 and did a major renovation.

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The two biggest losers in the corporate world, and you own them

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. $14 billion loss for each last year, all funded by us – they led the pack in 2009, too. But do try to get a job there – executive pay is fantastic.

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18 million gallons to water a six-acre Hampton estate?

Okay, I’m a free market libertarian and all that but doesn’t this seem … excessive?

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Well of course it’s done on purpose, Ed

(Many-times) defeated Democrat Ed Krumeich wants to redraw our districting lines to give him and my pal Fudrucker a chance at actually winning an election. Ed’s got a perfectly valid point but then there would be no Republicans in Hartford and the state would fall apart. No, Ed, you’ll just have to move to Naugatuck.

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Which is why Connecticut has spent nothing on smoking cessation programs

Arizona has too few smokers. The great “tobacco settlement” was supposed to devote millions to get smokers to quit and save states the expense of treating their health woes in later years. Connecticut did nothing of the sort because, clearly, our legislature knows a cash cow when it sees one (tobacco tax revenues far outweighed medicare costs, even before the recent tax increases, a fact that was deliberately excluded from the trial as inadmissible).

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Another 9/11 memorial for Tod’s Point?

That seems to be the proposal and I’ll admit to mixed feelings. That was a horrific day and I will always sorrow, but I’m not sure what a second memorial accomplishes – I reflect on the incident just about every time I go to the Point and gaze down to the New York skyline with its missing towers. Works for me, but I also can understand how family members and friends of victims could want more. It’s a poser, but I guess our RTM will puzzle out the right thing to do.

(By the way, if you can make your way to Captain’s Island, check out the original memorial – beautiful and moving).

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