Daily Archives: January 30, 2014

With victory in their grasp, Republicans are set to kick it away

Republican leaders are ramming through an amnesty bill – the illegals benefitted by amnesty will still vote Democrat, the legal citizens who oppose it will stay home and the Republicans will remain  in the minority. They don’t call it the stupid party for nothing.

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The sky is falling. Or not.

UnknownA friend and reader suggests that when the NYT profiles a pessimistic real estate agent in Greenwich it’s probably a sign that the bottom’s been reached and values are about to soar. I’m inclined to agree, but in the same vein, there’s this quote from an “expert” in Bloomberg on the collapse of emerging market currencies:

Declines will prove temporary, much as they did in 1998, according to Mark Matthews, the Singapore-based head of Asia research for Bank Julius Baer & Co. Like then, the latest selloff comes after a five-year advance lifted valuations above historical averages. The S&P 500 traded as high as 17.4 times annual profit in December, the most expensive level in almost four years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In 1998, stocks rebounded from a 19 percent drop that came as currency turmoil in Asia and Russia spread to developed markets.

The most vulnerable emerging markets “have already reached a bottom in terms of their ‘badness,’” Matthews said. “Even if they do continue to see economic slowdown, I cannot believe it would be enough to derail the strong U.S. recovery.”

So two conflicting signals – take your pick.

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I wish her all the success in the world, but I’m not sure I’d want her advice on investments

Last of the Mohicans

Last of the Mohicans

Last owner of Just Books opens a hedge fund.

Marion Boucher Holmes, who left Wall Street to buy a doomed bookstore in Old Greenwich in 2008, is reportedly launching a hedge fund.

Boucher Holmes is forming Post Crossing Asset Management in Greenwich. The firm will invest primarily in loans, according to a story in the Jan. 29 edition of Hedge Fund Alert.Hedge Fund Alert is also reporting that Boucher Holmes is tapping as chief operating officer Gerald Lee, who was previously general counsel of debt-fund operator Plainfield Asset Management, which was started by Boucher Holmes’ husband, Max Holmes.

Plainfield closed in early 2013 after getting “clocked during the credit crisis,” Hedge Fund Alert reported. Max Holmes won’t be involved with his wife’s hedge fund.

I love books, and I loved old fashioned book stores, but I only continued to patronize Just Books because its then-owner Warren Cassell was a friend, mentor and a champion of my writing. It was clear by 2000 that the big box stores like Borders had doomed the independents, and when Amazon appeared, it was over. Warren sold in 2002 and retired. The next owner tried to keep the enterprise going and failed. Anyone who, in 2008, thought that an independent bookstore could be a wise investment can have my admiration and gratitude, but not my money.

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Open House report

17 Hendrie Avenue

17 Hendrie Avenue

15 Field Road in Riverside, which I mentioned yesterday was temporarily, I think, withdrawn from the market, so no open house, but 17 Hendrie Avenue, $4.195 million was on the tour and I went to see it. Very nice; I saw it when it was new in 2005 and it still looks and feels new. I’d be delighted to link to it but our GMLS apparently wants nothing to do with 15,000 readers looking at its listings so I’ll direct you to Zillow, which thinks it’s worth just $3 million, instead. Isn’t that silly of the Greenwich Association of Realtors? Short sighted?

In any event, it’s a great house. The listing describes it as “almost a 1/2 acre” which is technically true, but much of that is devoted to its driveway – this is a “flag lot”, so called because it resembles a flag: long driveway (pole) leading to the rectangular house/yard portion, the “flag”. All that said, there’s a decent little back yard, overlooked by the neighbors but these days, no one seems to care about that.

What does count is the interior, which is beautiful. This was built by Nick Barile nine years ago and touring it, you’ll understand why so many of us recommended him and his company back then: he built a great house. Perhaps, if he straightens out his finances he’ll do so again, but that’s irrelevant to evaluating this home.

Can it command $4+ million? Sure, or very close to it.  Hendrie Avenue has seen several houses sell for $4 million (ish), and this is as nice as those. It’s an easy walk to both Eastern and Riverside schools, and the train, and there’s enough yard to play video games on. Good deal.

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Well damn, now I may have to cheer for Seattle

Or at the least, root for Derrick Coleman to play a great game. Nice story, nice gesture.

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Yeah, butt Chris Christie’s the biggest Republican (probably beats out Taft)

HillaryClintonHillary Clinton’s the biggest Democrat nomination front runner ever.

If either wins, look for steel I-beams to be installed under the inauguration dais.

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Sale reported

595 Steamboat Rd

595 Steamboat Rd

595 Steamboat $3.035 million. Don’t tell angry-agent “Mike”, but original asking price on this property was $5.125, and I had no part in, as she claims, “talking it down”. The market does that for itself.

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He may not be capable of negotiating with Congress, but our man is sure good with pillow talk

"You'll thank me when we're both retired and the bag sitting next to me is history. 'Gold Man' indeed, baby!"

“You’ll thank me when we’re both retired and the bag sitting next to me’s history. ‘Gold Man’ indeed, baby!”

Obama’s Danish girlfriend survives public outrage over her selling off its energy industry to Barry’s friends at Goldman.

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Quite a Boo Boo

The broad makes ME look smart

The broad makes ME look smart

Demonstrating that she knows as much about wildlife as she does about firearms and constitutional rights, retiring representative Livvy Floren claims bears can talk.

Floren said she has no plans for next January when her term will expire.

“You know, as Yogi Bear says, `You come to a fork in the road and you take it,'” she said.

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No thanks to Obama and his crowd

 

No jobs for burly men!

No jobs for burly men!

European green energy policies putting its manufacturers at a severe price disadvantage to America.

In findings likely to inflame claims EU climate change policies are damaging the bloc’s manufacturers, the International Energy Agency said Europe will lose a third of its global market share of energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because energy prices will stay stubbornly higher than those in the US. …

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said environmental policies alone had not pushed up energy costs but the price gap between the EU and the US was going to last much longer than some expected. …

“Europe didn’t realise the seriousness of this competitive issue,” he said, warning the situation raises concern for the almost 30m peopleworking in heavy industries such as iron, steel and petrochemicals across the continent.

European gas import prices are currently around three times higher than in the US while industrial electricity prices are about twice as high, creating an energy price gap Dr Birol said would last “at least 20 years”.

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Your cheatin’ parts

Size does matter

Size does matter

Study: women more likely to cheat on husbands with large testicles.

Scientists say there is a correlation between fidelity and the size of a male’s testicles.

‘We can determine the degree of fidelity in the female by looking at the size of the male’s testicles,’ said Petter Bøckman of the University of Oslo, who led the study.

‘If the male will only fertilise one female and has no competitors, he only needs sufficient sperm to reach the egg.

‘If the female mates on the side, it is smart to have as many cars as possible in the race.

‘Then, the male must have testicles that are as large as possible. In gorilla troops there is only one male.

The testicles of humans are one and a half times larger than those of gorillas, the team said. They claim this shows that we are an unfaithful race by nature.

Prof Bøckman said: ‘This testifies with abundant clarity to life in our flock.

‘We can pledge our fidelity until we are blue in the face, but this is evidence that our females are cheating.

You might want to mention this study to the show-off next to you in the Y locker room – sure conversation starter – or stopper.

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Eric Holder can’t explain the constitutional authority for his boss’s refusal to enforce the law

 

Maybe it's right here in this room, behind that ceiling tike

Maybe it’s right here in this room, behind that ceiling tile!

“But I’m sure it’s there, somewhere”,

That’s okay, Mr. Holder – no one else can find it either.

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“But between the Nanny caring for them, and travel teams to keep them away from me on weekends, how else can I show I love them?”

Organic (L) $4.99; conventional (R) $1.83

Organic Rot, $11.99 lb

Slate: Regular ol’ fruits and vegetables are perfectly healthy for kids. Paying twice the price for organic veggies is like those fake sign-language interpreters politicians use – useless, except to convey the insincere message, “I care.” Save your money for their first Porsche, so they’ll really know you remember they’re there.

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