Daily Archives: July 19, 2012

So do we now face mandatory exercise sessions?


Hey, I’m cool with that – I play golf!

Lack of exercise kills as many as smoking. If taxpayers (non-taxpaying free loaders get a pass) have to pay a penalty tax of $2,000 for not buying insurance because of the cost they impose on society, shouldn’t there also be a lethargy tax? At the very least, GPS-equipped sneakers to be worn by all of us and our physical activity monitored?


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Deadbeats aren’t (always) stupid

Don’t let the rocker slap you on the ass on your way out, sonny

Underwater borrowers spurn BOA’s offer of loan modification. And BOA alone has a million mortgages two months or more delinquent. After two months, that borrower’s never coming back and why should they?

This is more than borrower fatigue. Most people aren’t going to respond because they benefit more by simply squatting until the foreclosure. Underwater borrowers are not completely stupid. Many recognize a loan modification is paying more for their house than it’s worth. Plus, once they complete the loan modification, they have to start paying again. If they do nothing, they can stay payment-free indefinitely while the banks wait for their answers and finally begin foreclosing on the non-responders.

“The number of customers responding is lower than we expected, given the significant assistance available,” Frahm said in an interview. “We are working very hard to determine why response rates are lower than expectations.

Duh. Borrowers may not be so stupid but bankers sure are dense. Mortgage modifications, even when, as here, the lender offers to forgive $100,000 of principle, can still leave a borrower owing (and paying) a debt far larger than his house is worth. What kind of deal is that? So he’ll relax, enjoy that pool he installed with someone else’s money and figure on moving in three years or so.

Why buy the cow when you get the milk free?

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So what’s the matter with Greenwich?

We’re gonna have to call Larry Yun in on this one

Across the nation, a tight inventory is blamed for the paucity of real estate sales.

June existing home sales, or completed transactions of single-family homes, condos and coops, fell 5.4% from May, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. It is the slowest sales pace in eight months and perhaps a surprise given the fact that transactions are usually strongest during the summer months.

Yet, despite weak jobs growth and mounting evidence of a softening economy, the decline in existing home sales may have less to do with America’s larger economic woes and more to do with the fact that there simply aren’t enough homes that buyers can (or want) to purchase. ”Despite the frictions related to obtaining mortgages, buyer interest remains solid.  But inventory continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities,” explains Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR, in a statement.

So here in Greenwich, where a bloated inventory continues to swell, houses should be flying off the shelves, right? Right?

Maybe – and I’m just suggesting this – it has something to do with the fact that the average selling price last month was $2.225 million while the average asking price of our unsold inventory is $3.882 million. But that’s just crazy thinking, I know.


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The science is settled

Washington Post (1 hour ago): Get used to it – ‘unusual’ heat to keep nation in its grip until mid-fall.

Bloomberg (3 days ago): Canadian gas declines on forecast of cooler weather.

Remember, we no longer have local weather phenomena – it’s all global warming, all the time.

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Pardon the yawn


Yellow Jersey

Briton poised to be first of his countrymen to win Tour de France.


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Oh, let’s Move On!

Never mind

Roll Call: Pelosi no longer worried about Mitt’s tax returns.

Facing questions about why she and other top Congressional officials won’t release their tax returns, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi(D-Calif.) downplayed her previous demands for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to release his, calling the issue a distraction.

That’s so yesterday!

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A belated happy anniversary

A reader reminds us that yesterday marked the 43rd anniversary of Teddy Kennedy’s excellent adventure on Chappaquiddick. Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment and the rest of the Kennedy clan was busy attending Kerry’s own news conference.

And that’s the way it is


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Jepson joins the Gov on a picket line

Elizabeth Warren joins the clamour

After marching in picket lines at various locations where Healthbridge has nursing homes, State Attorney General Jepson now says he will recuse himself from any legal matters arising from that strike. In theory, this should allow his subordinates to fully investigate the vandalism committed by the strikers earlier this week, but exactly how independent will these appointees be when they know that their boss and his boss support the strikers and wish them well?

Imagine if a Republican governor and her Attorney General had marched to support the owners of a company whose workers were on strike. But Democrats are different; no need to look for the union label, they have one stapled to their foreheads.

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Finally rebelling against the wanton lasciviousness of the Bush administration, CNN declares, “enough!”

Blurs the tits on a Henri Matisse painting.

You will remember, of course, when the Bush Department of Justice bravely stood fast against bluenosed critics who complained when Attorney General Ashcroft posed in front of nude marble.

No, I’m not embarrassed by art, are you?


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All quiet on the real estate front

A Bailiwick house asking $1.6 million, down from $2-point-something several years ago, has an accepted offer. Of interest, if at all, only when final sales price is revealed.

Versailles by the swamp

That ridiculous Antares mansion at 11 Langhorne Lane has a new broker but the same price, $23 million. If Ogilvy’s office couldn’t sell this oversized pile of rock in 980 days there’s no particular reason to believe that Sotheby’s can. I’d love to sit in on one of these sales pitches where one broker wrests a listing from another using promises of – what? – it’s the price, you idiot, always.

Antares lost this house to a creditor long ago, by the way, and that fool paid $13.5 million for the privilege of spending many more millions completing the husk. He’s only compounding his error now, in my opinion.

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Harry Reid, senile pit bull

Can’t remember why Demoncrats didn’t try to soak the rich while they controlled Congress.

At a press conference in the Capitol today, Senate Democrats continued to make their push to raise income taxes on individuals, as well as small businesses that file with the IRS as individuals, earning more than $250,000 per year. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn’t explain why he didn’t pass this bill in 2009 or 2010 when Democrats had huge majorities in the House and Senate and could have actually sent it to President Obama to sign into law.

TWS: Leader Reid, when it comes to the Bush tax cuts…why didn’t Senate Democrats push through this bill back when you controlled the Senate, the House, and the presidency?

REID: The tax cuts weren’t about to expire then. So that’s why we’re doing it now.

TWS: You could have foreseen this issue two years ago.

REPORTER: What are you talking about? They expired at the end of 2010. 

REID: And that’s why they were extended one year.

TWS: Why didn’t they vote when you could have pushed this bill through and had it signed into law?

REID: Next question.


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Well this will help

And we want Cos Cob back too, God knows why

Elizabeth Warren rushes to the defense of the Community Organizer”


Warren said during a campaign stop in Dorchester yesterday, “I think the basic notion is right. Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody. People worked hard, they build a business, God bless, but they moved their goods on roads the rest of us helped build, they hired employees the rest of us helped educate, they plugged into a power grid the rest of us helped build,” she said.

“The rest of us made those investments because we wanted businesses to flourish, we wanted them to grow, we wanted them to create opportunity for all of us. That’s what we do together. We get richer as a country when we make those investments.”

The reason Obama stepped in it the other day is because he and Betsy live in an echo chamber populated solely by people like themselves (and FWIW’s resident imbecile Dollar Bill, who has spouted this line ever since Warren first passed it from her cheeks). They preach this theory of social justice to each other over white wine receptions at Harvard (or Norwalk Community College, in Bill’s case) and their listeners nod their heads and applaud them for their daring, their keen insight into Marxist economics.

So, despite his campaign’s furious denial that he said it or, if he said it he didn’t mean it, Obama did mean it; it just didn’t occur to him that only liberals suckled at the teat of what passes for higher education share his view of economics and how a fair world should operate.

And they still don’t get it: witness Dollar Bill’s post here yesterday in which he supplied the full transcript of his leader’s remarks because he was sure that, viewed in context, no one could disagree with Hussein’s sentiments. Or Warren’s repetition yesterday of what she said originally. Don’t you understand, you bitter clingers you?

Only the clueless ….


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Guess the Golfer in Chief isn’t going to pay their mortgages after all

Mortgage foreclosures decimate old folks, with Blacks, Hispanics hardest hit. What the hell, they didn’t earn those houses, we all did, and now we want them back.


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Talk about dirty politics!


Oh, the humanity!

Obama campaign is out with a new advertisement accusing Mitt Romney of just the lowest, nastiest behavior any politician has ever engaged in: quoting Obama!

It’s just not fair.

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June sales down

Greenwich single family home sales were 72 this past June, compared to 105 in June, 2011. Back soon with average price, but I’d imagine they fell too.

UPDATE: As a reader alerted me, Raveis does have June figures up.

71 sales (I found 72, but never mind) vs. 105 last June.

Average price: $2.225 vs. $2.449

Median price: $1.494 v. $1.680 (11.1%)

But here’s the number that I keep harping on – average list price is $3.882 million, vs. $3.897 last year – essentially unchanged, which explains why inventory is up and months to exhaust inventory is 18 months instead of 2 months.

I was speaking with a fellow agent this morning, one of the most knowledgeable I know (I’d give hom credit but I’m not sure he wants to be identified) and he said, “thank God for sellers’ stubbornness or prices would collapse completely”. Which is true – I wonder whether homeowners holding out for magic buyers realize that they aren’t going to sell their house but they are at least helping their neighbors maintain their own delusions?

He also said, and again he was right, that if Riverside and Old Greenwich weren’t boosting sales prices, our numbers would look absolutely awful.


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They attacked in Bain


Soros’ money is OUR money, and we spent it like Democrats!

$100,000,000 in negative ads later, Obummer’s still tied with his opponent. If I were Romney I’d point out to our president, “I didn’t make that campaign, you did!”

That’s what I’d say, anyway.


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Enemy of the people

The Obama legacy, 43 months in:

Destroying our military

Denouncing the “myth” of self-reliance

Encouraging class conflict, European-style

Opening our borders

Destroying the rule of law

And today, teaming up with Mexico to expand use of food stamps by Mexican illegals

By their works shall ye know them.


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Small business owners thank Obama for giving them their success

Sure, they worked 80-hour weeks, maxed out their credit cards, even went bankrupt a couple of times before finally succeeding, but NYC businessmen acknowledge that they couldn’t do it without Obama and his welfare friends.

“I’d be nothing if it weren’t for the Brooklyn Bridge”, Omar Shariff, owner of ToFu Heaven says. “How could I get across the East River without it? Obama wants 75% of my profit? It’s his, and I know I owe it.”

“If our customers didn’t have food stamps”, chimed in Apple spokesman Ugata B. Kidding, “they couldn’t afford to buy our products. So yes, everything Apple is today we are because of the War on Poverty. In fact, we’re going to eliminate all spending on research and development so we can donate even more money to the poor. It’s only just.”



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Fun and games at the GAR

19 Licata Terrace, Cos Cob (bank owned) , is reported as sold today for $1,631,250 million after just 72 days on the market and asking $1.695. Wow! The market’s coming back, right?

Not with this house it isn’t. The property has been available for sale since its builder abandoned it in 2007, as was discussed here in 2008. The GAR / MLS has cleaned up its price history by deleting all information prior to January, 2012, but it was asking far more, for far longer.

All that said, $1.631 for a house on Licata Terrace that sat vacant and exposed to the elements for years doesn’t sound like much of a bargain to me, so maybe the market is coming back after all. Gosh.


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What’s the rest of the family’s excuse?

Kerry Kennedy’s behavior explained: the old, “dropped on her head as a baby” routine.

She didn’t elaborate on the old injury, but a source said it could have occurred in college, when Kennedy bungee-jumped out of a window at Brown University and hit the pavement


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