Daily Archives: September 24, 2012

Well, let’s see: there was strawberry nutter, extra extra crunchy, pigeon drop smoothie ….

More than 60 varieties of peanut butter recalled.

Bubba: Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp,coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.

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He may be all wet but Horton (eventually) reaches the right conclusion

As proposed

Fresh from attacking a general lack of spending in Greenwich’s budget, GT columnist Bob Horton gets down to particulars: he wants a new pool in Byram, and he wants us to pay for it. Well that’s not going to happen, as Horton acknowledges, but at least we can all agree with his summation: “We would be better off with no pool than to construct another bargain-basement special, a public resource that will go neglected and under-used.”

With ya all the way, Bob.

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Pay me $5,000 and the job’s done

See? I’m smiling, I’m smiling!

Peter Tesei (is it just me or is Peter looking more and more like Little Lord Fauntleroy as his tenure extends?) has committed to spend $50,000 to train town employees how to be nice to the public. Okay, so just because I’m a trusting soul, I’m going to reveal how Peter can accomplish this for free – he can send me my reward later. Ready? Disband the unions.

Yup – if a surly employee knew that she could get her fat ass fired for treating taxpayers with contempt and disdain, she’d refrain from giving in to her basic nature. No training necessary – self-presevation is a natural instinct.

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The commies are in the State Department too

 

So everything we told you about Libya was a lie – let’s change the subject, alright?

Hillary: I’m spending my time traveling the world urging higher taxes everywhere”.

One of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner — especially from the elites in every country,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her speech at the Clinton Global Initiative Monday.

Although Clinton noted that she is “out of politics” domestically, the audience was already chuckling at her clear reference to the debate over tax policy in the presidential contest.

“It is a fact that the elites in every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries,” Clinton said.

What Clinton meant by “contribute to growth” was revealing. She listed contributing to building schools and hospitals rather than domestic business investment, which is the conventional meaning of contributing to growth.

Our Secretary of State is not only injecting herself in domestic policy – a violation of law? – she expresses the same looter mentality as her boss. This is the new world order, stomping in.

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Good gracious, but at least she can always make a living selling moccasins and trinkets

 

Chief Justice

Betsy Warren doesn’t have a law license – too bad she didn’t tell her clients that when she was charging them for legal services, but they’ll understand: family legend says that her great grandfather practiced with Abraham Lincoln and passed on his knowledge to young Elizabeth – that’s worth more than a mere license any day, isn’t it?

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Catching up on today’s activity

27 Bible Street

Two sales: 27 Bible Street, $522,000 and 137 Milbank, $3.385 million. Bible has two very small bedrooms an an 0.06 – acre yard, but it looks tidy. Milbank looks like Milbank – asked $4.395 million originally but that was obviously overly aggressive. Still a hefty sale, though.

Accepted offer: 7 Ford Lane, Old Greenwich. Last sold for $4.450 million in 2003, asked and, given its short time on the market, probably is getting, $5.495 this time. Wow.

Price reduction: 18 Porchuck Road, from $9.5 million to $6.9 in one swell foop. Wow again – this was probably a much more attractive place when it was built in 1929 before the Merritt came through.

14 Hearthstone – photoshopped by Clouds in my Coffee, Inc.

And new listings include yet another Hearthstone building lot, this time #24 and also asking $1.4 million. That’s what these lots have been selling for so you can’t fault the pricing but I wonder whether the music will stop for homeowners when they run out of builders or whether the entire inventory of existing homes here will go?

47 Round Hill Road is back as a new listing – it expired unsold three days ago at $7.995 million so they’re asking $8.195 now. You snooze, you loose, buster.

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There: feel safer now?

Aboard the SS Napolitano

(h/t, Unkster) Just a few weeks after the Port Authority’s $100 million perimeter security system was breached by a waterskier looking for a cup of coffee, its crew sinks a new boat after opening a hatch below the waterline to see if that would cause the boat to sink. It did.  The Post describes the move as “dumb as hull” –  works for me.

A $500,000* Port Authority patrol boat sank this month after a veteran police sergeant took the advice of a clueless civilian safety instructor — and opened a hatch while it was under water, The Post has learned.

“It was like opening a window during a carwash,” one PA insider lamented of the screw-up off Breezy Point, Queens, that left 11 people scrambling for their lives.

*In fact, the rescue equipment on board cost $500,000 – the cost of the boat itself should presumably be added to this sum.

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Accepted offer for a good house on Cat Rock

125 Cat Rock Rd

125 Cat Rock, new construction asking $4.1 million, reports an accepted offer after just a short time (60 days or so) on the market. I liked this house very much when I first toured it August 9th, and said so. It’s great when good construction is rewarded by the marketplace – sometimes, I despair.

Further up the road, 184 Cat Rock is a new listing that I don’t remember – the pictures aren’t posted yet, which would jog my memory. Looks like it was built in 2004 and sold in 2005 for $2.160 million, so its current ask of $2.295 seems like a reasonable starting point. Only three bedrooms – its undersized area of just 0.60 acre would dictate that – but could be a decent buy. Open house is this Thursday.

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The D.C. Stangler resurfaces

Odd little bit of news from Twitter: Brunswick grad Cole Stangler is now following my posts. I took the kid to task a year ago for his adoration of Che Guevara but really, I haven’t devoted much thought to him since. Maybe Dollar Bill’s brought him in as part of a troll tag team – even DB must run out of idiotic things to say, once in a while.

UPDATE: Cobra points out that our young commie is wearing a Ferarri T-shirt – why do I suspect that he’s not doing that as an ironic expression of disillusionment with the consumerist, material world he was forced to endure here in Greenwich?

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Wow, great news on the housing front!

Like a house afire

Bloomberg News regurgitates  a press release without – surprise! – adding any historical perspective.

 Builders broke ground on new single-family homes at an annual pace of 535,000 in August, the highest rate since April 2010, when buyers rushed to take advantage of federal tax credits designed to stimulate the market, the Commerce Department reported Sept. 19.

“The housing market has stabilized and the recovery is well under way,” Lennar Chief Executive Officer Stuart Miller said in the statement. “Low mortgage rates, affordable home prices, increased buyer confidence and an extremely favorable rent-to-own comparison are driving growth in each of our markets.”

Of course, there’s a bit of a problem here: even with this surge in construction, the results are simply awful compared to past times. Here’s what the new house market looked like in 2007, a “dismal year” for construction:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Construction on new homes fell 14% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million, the slowest building pace in more than 16 years, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

The gruesome figures show builders are cutting back on production at a furious pace to try to work off a large backload of unsold homes. The bad news is that housing is still contracting; the good news is that the sooner builders stop adding supply to overbuilt markets, the sooner the housing market can recover.

National housing starts were lower than the 1.12 million pace expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The pace of housing starts for October and November were also revised lower.

Commerce DepartmentCompared with December 2006, monthly housing starts were off 38%, the biggest year-over-year decline since 1980.

In December, single-family starts fell 3% to 794,000, the lowest monthly pace in 16 years.

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That tenth flea bath is a killer

Cat dropped off for a flea dip is euthanized instead.

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Let’s hope his assessment of the situation is more accurate than his understanding of the rest of the Middle East

Obama agrees with Ahmadinejad : Israel’s protests about Iran’s nukes “just noise”.

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This can’t be benign

Chase OnLine is still down, as of 6:25. Four days and counting. What other parts of their computer system have been infected?

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Government moves to help Britain’s upper end real estate market

Let’s soak those buyers more!

“Most people in this country don’t understand why people who have very high-value property don’t pay their fair share,” he [Deputy PM Clegg]  said in an interview on BBC Radio 5 today. “It’s easier to stop tax avoidance on bricks and mortar than on money you can move around the world.”

Zoot alors, here is a fund raising idea to solve all our difficulties!

In the meantime, the supposed resolution of the Euro-crisis is foundering on a rather fundamental difference between the two biggest and only relevant players, France and Germany: French President François Hollande wants to form a “deeper union” among EU members, with one budget to rule them all, one budget to bind them.  France (ahem) would take charge of the new structure, with perhaps a little help from its German friends.

Hollande’s also floated the idea of changing the name of Paris to Mordor, but there may be copyright problems with that one. Good thing these two nations disarmed themselves decades ago.

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If true, this is going to hurt a lot of traders I know

Mssr. Chance and friend: “hey, whadda we know?”

Mark Cuban: trading is shifting to a macro-view.

Over just the past 5 years, the market has changed. It is getting increasingly difficult to just invest in companies you believe in. Discussion in the market place is not about the performance of specific companies and their returns. Discussion is about macro issues that impact all stocks. And those macro issues impact automated trading decisions, which impact any and every stock that is part of any and every index or ETF.  Combine that with the leverage of derivatives tracking companies,  indexes and other packages or the leveraged ETFs, and individual stocks become pawns in a much bigger game that I feel increasingly less comfortable playing. It is a game fraught with ever increasing risk.”

Personally, I’ve blamed the phenomenon of  micro-second trading for the death of the buy and hold investment strategy, and seen traders make billions short term while the world slowly erodes just beyond their vision, but what do I know? I’m no trader. But I do know a lot of traders, and some of them display no knowledge of history, economics, philosophy (it’s still relevant, long term) or current events beyond what flashes across their Bloomberg screens. Hell, they couldn’t even name the vice-president of Iceland! (joke).

Will knowledge regain its role in determining who succeeds and who fails on Wall Street? I’m skeptical, because regardless of what they may know about events happening beyond their trading desks, these people are super-smart and fiercely determined to win – they’ll figure out a way to (continue to) make a buck on ignorance.

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