Recent comments by Mike in Long Island

Billionaire Rennert Found Liable in MagCorp Looting Lawsuit - Bloomberg Business

Too bad he didn't think to convert into a bank holding company - then he would have been good to go.

Was getting my jalopy serviced last year and the Toyota dealership had $42k plug-in Prii on the showroom floor.
...made you wonder who would buy them?

Mission Electric New York City | Drive Your City Electric

Indianapolis’ fleet currently uses only 21 plug-in electric cars, such as the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, and Nissan LEAF, but that number will grow to 100 by year’s end, and 325 more will be deployed in 2015 to reach a total of 425 plug-ins by 2016. For perspective, New York City’s fleet has operated roughly 300 electric cars as of this past July, according to the NYC Department of Transportation. However, New York is nearly ten times the size of Indianapolis. Therefore, if Indy’s electric car fleet can catch up to or even surpass that of New York with 425 plug-in cars by the end of 2015, it could have a far more impressive electric vehicle fleet per capita. Cities across the country, such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, and others are supporting electric vehicles in various ways. They are helping to build out charging infrastructure, provide charging station incentives, and offer electric vehicle purchase rebates, but Indianapolis is taking the most proactive approach by deploying the vehicles itself. Simply put, no other city in the U.S. is directly placing electric cars on the roads like Indianapolis is.


Measure authorizes 150 new law enforcement vehicles in Suffolk - Newsday

Suffolk bill would spend $5M on 150 new law enforcement vehicles

After a recent ice storm while roaming lower Manhattan I encountered someone who was using a metal snow shovel to scrape the ice off the windshield. A quick glance confirmed my suspicion - it was a city owned car - no wonder the guy didn't give a flying fuck about what he did to the car.

Now there's a black hole of obliviousness, I tell yew whut.

Speaking of dark stuff.

I had a very nice black ale the other day. You should check it out.

Route Of All Evil Black Ale | Two Roads Brewing Company | Stratford, CT | BeerAdvocate

How about sales?

Figure out what the 1% want and then find a way to sell it to them.

I suck at sales so there is that one minor obstacle...

Rental news

- NY Times

In a city where two of every three homes is a rental, the median rent rose 3.4 percent, after adjusting for inflation, to $1,200 a month from 2011 to 2014. When factoring in utility costs, the median rose 4.3 percent, to $1,325.

Although the annual increases for rent-stabilized units are controlled by a city board, the rise was steeper for rent-stabilized apartments than for market-rate units, which are growing in number.

While housing became more expensive, the survey found that the median household income for all renters changed minimally, rising by 1.1 percent, to $41,500, from 2010 to 2013. And while rent-stabilized tenants experienced stagnant earnings, tenants in units that were not regulated had their income go up by 7.7 percent.

The median rent in 2014 was $1,500 for market-rate apartments, $1,200 for rent-stabilized units, $900 for rent-controlled homes and $583 for other apartments, a category that includes public housing.

That would be considered something of an improvement here.

5 F here. Really getting tired of this cold weather. We've not had a lot of snow but what we've gotten hasn't gone away as it has been really cold for the last month plus.

In other news - banks like to supersize apparently.

Why Lenders Love the $2.5 Million Home Loan - Bloomberg Business

Levering up!

Home loans from $1 million to $5 million were the fastest growing part of the jumbo market in January, according to purchase application data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Wealthy borrowers are seeking even bigger loans this year while luxury housing prices rise and lenders lure them with competitive terms.
As first-time homebuyers struggle to qualify for mortgages in a market that’s shrinking after the housing collapse, lenders are providing more multi-million dollar loans to Americans who pose less risk. These borrowers are using the loans to purchase high-end homes in cities such as San Francisco and Miami, where prices have been climbing.
“We’ve seen strong appreciation in most of the coastal markets,” said Brad Blackwell, portfolio business manager at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest jumbo lender. “The price rise will move more homes into the category that would need a larger loan.”

Hey great news Whiskey. Congrats to you and Mrs. Whiskers.

Does this mean you time table for getting a house in the 'burbs just got bumped up?

A quick post before a run off to a meeting - not a first place finish to be proud of...

15 Most Expensive Places to Live in America

OT I think the finviz VIX quote is just broken. (there's nothing to see, just something I brought up last night) Maybe how many days it stays broken will be some kind of complacency indicator. (the gauge is broken)

^VIX: Summary for VOLATILITY S&P 500- Yahoo! Finance


Watertown, N.Y. -- At 34 degrees below zero, Watertown is the coldest place in the lower 48 states this morning.
Watertown was also the coldest place in the coterminous United States on Friday, when the temperature was 30 below.
The city had the same distinction on Jan. 22, 2014. It was minus 37 that day.

RiF probably has that location bookmarked in accuweather so he can feel better about whatever conditions he's experiencing at the moment.

Y'all stole our weather... it's bizarre to look outside in February and see the ground.

We haven't had "much" snow. Expecting another 3 to 6 inches tomorrow. What we've had is cold and plenty of wind. 20 below with the windchill this morning on the way out the door.

Tomorrow low of 16
Wed low of 14
Thurs low of 7
Fri low of 9

Add in some wind and it will feel a bit nippy.

Think the SPY PUTs I snagged with 2min before the close Fri might loot like

What strike?

What expiry?

.full leaked draft eurogroup communique: 

Under "breaking news" on Bloomie

EU Official Says Eurogroup Meeting Put On Hold
Greek Government Official Says No Accord Possible at Eurogroup

Am I getting older or is the supermarket playing GREAT music?

It's the latest in marketing. They have scanners at the front door that grab your music library from your smartphone. From your most frequently played song list they develop one designed to keep you inside the store longer by eliminating those tunes with a faster tempo. They then broadcast those songs to your bluetooth earpiece or modify your hearing aid to receive your personalized song list.

On average they found that shoppers responded to this by staying 23 minutes longer than those who didn't receive their own personalized broadcast, in turn spending $56.32 more.

Our little 9hole uses treated water as there is no way to get ditch water to the course. Short of mucho buckos!!
Watering has been cut back to brown grass levels. As is usual in Calipornikateya, 80% of our water goes to "agriculture". Agriculture in our area is of the Hobby type. I don't think anyone reports positive income off their "farms".

I bet those "farms" qualify for some nice subsidies. In New Jersey a few years back there was a story about a guy in a rather high end development located outside of the incorporated township/village, that had a few goats roaming his property. Neighbors weren't happy but could do nothing about it - the goats apparently were tied to some tax break extended to "farms" so the guy decided to become a "farmer".

- NY Times

The big investment banks and brokerage firms used to form the powerful engine that pulled New York’s economy out of recessions. During the boom years of the 1990s, the high-paying securities industry accounted for more than 10 percent of all of the jobs added in the city’s private sector. This time around, it has contributed less than 1 percent.

To city officials and economists, this is extraordinarily good news. For the first time in decades, New York is proving that it can grow at a rapid pace without leaning on Wall Street. The city has added about 425,000 jobs since the end of 2009, raising total employment to 4.1 million jobs.

Many of the new jobs are in lower-paying businesses, such as hotels and restaurants. But, for a change, fast-growing and well-paying Internet companies like Google, Facebook and BuzzFeed are adding jobs at a fast pace.

Ms. Maldonado, 34, said she spent much of last year “either making 10 bucks an hour or on unemployment.

She enrolled in Access Code, a coding class set up by Coalition for Queens, a nonprofit agency. And last month, her decision to switch careers paid off. As a developer of apps for mobile phones, Ms. Maldonado now makes double what she used to earn when she worked in an administrative job at Hunter College, she said.

- NY Times

For the next several weeks, many New York City families will be in a state of apprehension as private schools begin sending out their acceptance letters.

There is not much for them to do. They have already written essays expounding on their 3-year-old’s passion for Thomas the Tank Engine; sat nervously for interviews with admissions officers; and dreamed of their child’s successes while touring hallowed halls of learning. All that is left is to scan the mail each day for the telltale thick envelope announcing their child has been accepted to his first-choice school.

With many of the city’s private schools on the Upper East Side, the opening of acceptance letters can lead some families that live elsewhere to wrestle with whether to uproot themselves and relocate closer to school. Many answer in the affirmative, and their next step is to call a broker.

“We started out with one-, two- and a few three-bedrooms, but the largest demand is for three-bedrooms, four-bedrooms and even five-bedrooms, which we are calling uber combos,” Ms. Tobak said. “We are creating larger apartments wherever we can.” The four-bedrooms are 1,880 square feet and priced in the high-$2 million to the low-$3 million range. In the five weeks since it began sales, Carnegie Park has had more than 65 contracts out or signed.

At the Carlton House at 21 East 61st Street, where the majority of apartments have three to six bedrooms and are priced at an average of $4,000 a square foot, the experience has been much the same. The building has been marketing units for a year, and “last spring, we had buyers coming from downtown, mostly Battery Park City and TriBeCa, because their kids were coming to school in the neighborhood,” said Elida Jacobsen Justo, the building’s director of sales. “We expect to see that happen this year again.”

OMG!! These poor policemen are being abused for defending FREEDOM!!! What a travesty of justice!!!

Don't worry. We're making up for that short coming out east.

Special Suffolk grand jury expires without findings in Nassau cop's unjustified shooting of cabbie - Newsday

Even as Nassau County Police Department investigators determined that former officer Anthony DiLeonardo committed four felonies during his 2011 off-duty shooting of an unarmed cabdriver,** a special grand jury convened to investigate the incident expired last year with no criminal charges brought,** Newsday found.

There were dozens of potential witnesses to the shooting and its aftermath, including medical personnel, civilians and law enforcement officials from both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Newsday recently interviewed seven of the incident's central figures, or their attorneys, and all said they had not been asked to testify before the grand jury, which was set to expire in January 2014.

A spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, whose office maintained jurisdiction over the Huntington Station incident, confirmed Newsday’s findings and acknowledged for the first time that Spota allowed the special grand jury to expire last year without key witnesses being called.

the 105-page Nassau County Internal Affairs report, along with hundreds of pages of supporting documents, had been accidentally uploaded to the publicly accessible online court file.

The report revealed that investigators found DiLeonardo faced no danger when he broke Moroughan's nose with his gun and then shot him in the chest and arm as Moroughan attempted to drive away.

How much would a landlord have to get a month on a rental house to meth cookers to make it worth your while?

Greens fees.

Now Playing on America's Golf Courses: Meth Cooks and Rattlesnakes - Bloomberg Business

Real estate developers bet big on golf course communities in the 1990s and the 2000s, sparking a building boom that cratered in the recession. Now, amid a strong housing market that creates demand where the courses are located, they are working against zoning laws and deed restrictions across the country to shut down unprofitable courses and develop the land for new homes.
In Myrtle Beach, copperheads and a methamphetamine lab are among the new residents of shuttered courses.

Fairway to heaven: What happens to an abandoned golf course -

Edit: Don't look to close JD - there's lot's of lush, green, verdant things in those photos. Don't want you lusting for that which Cali won't give you.

The handler ended up in the ER and needed stitches this year because Phil bit him while he was listening. Ungrateful rodent, you give him all that fame and look how he treats you.

Groundhog payback for deBlasio.

After groundhog's death, Bill de Blasio keeps paws off 'Staten Island Chuck' | Chicago

While Staten Island Chuck — New York City’s counterpart to Punxsutawney Phil — emerged from the Staten Island Zoo on Monday, de Blasio kept his paws off the furry critter after last year’s disaster where he dropped the groundhog, which died weeks later.

A medical exam revealed it died of internal injuries, but zoo officials said it was unclear if they were caused by the fall from de Blasio’s arms. Zoo officials — who did not did make the death public for months — also revealed that the role of Chuck a year ago was played by a female stand-in, Charlotte.


Our Amazingly Plastic Brains - WSJ

But the activity with the biggest impact on risk was walking at least 2 miles a day, biking 10 miles a day or engaging in some other regular, vigorous physical exercise. All five of these factors have been found in other studies to promote the general health of two types of cells in the brain: neurons and glial cells (which interact with and protect neurons).

Imagine if there were a drug that could reduce the risk of dementia by 60%. It would be the most talked-about drug in history, but this astonishing finding has been fairly quietly received.

Early on spouse tallied the poundage of peanut butter I had stored on the shelves and I never heard the end of it. I toned the food packratting down.

Show him the price label on one of the earlier vintage jars as compared to present prices. Figure out you annual rate of return and ask him if he's beaten that lately with any of his investments.

That looks spectacular. Taiwanese beef noodle soup is amazing. I've asked some random Chinese restaurants in America to make it when I notice any traditional writing, but I've never found anything good. If they serve knife noodles, I'm there.

You mean noodles like this?

Mahlzeit!: The greatest noodle dish in New York (CLOSED)

Did you know that Japanese people consider ramen to be Chinese? I was very surprised by that. Udon is much more traditional.
My favorite restaurant in the entire world is the Ikebukuro branch of:

If you ever make it to NYC you should swing by Flushing, Queens.

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Police Seize Lamborghini From ‘Negative Billionaire’ Batista - Bloomberg Business

Batista, whose fortune peaked at $35 billion in 2012 before his commodity and logistics empire collapsed, is $1.2 billion in the hole, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, giving him the rare distinction of being a “negative billionaire.”

Thanks. I appreciate your input. How would they go about hijacking a direct deposit? Better yet, how would you protect against that?

I'm certain I'm one of the people affected by Anthem's breach. I did nothing about it. All you can really do is watch your direct deposits, if you're lucky enough to receive them. Rerouting those is far and away the most popular use of personal data these days. It typically takes several pay cycles for the victim to notice.

I'm in that camp as well. I was contemplating placing a credit alert with one of the big three. Would I be wasting my time?

Tired and anxious

Good. So you'll both be in practice for what comes next Smile

Good luck. Get your rest now 'cause you aren't going to get good sleep for a few months.

If you ever want to sneak out for a beer shoot me an email.

So today was my last day in my current capacity. I'm looking forward to Monday with some anticipation and a little bit of apprehension.

Kalipornia aint got nuttin' on lawn guyland

Hamptons trailer on the market for $1.1M -- it's all about location - Newsday

Click thru for the pictures.

Owner Richard Lester, 79, is asking $1.1 million for the 48-year-old, 700-square-foot trailer and its .36-acre flag lot and shed -- the lowest asking price for a property in Amagansett south of Montauk Highway. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom mobile home is about two minutes from the ocean and about a quarter of a mile from Jerry Seinfeld's estate.

I think they could have saved time and just asked poic for this article. Wide error bars for the win!

These Experts Know Exactly Where Oil Prices Are Headed - Bloomberg Business

What’s an investor to think? In 2015, the average price is likely to be anywhere from $35 to $80, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence survey of 86 investment specialists. That’s a pretty big range.

It must be tough to manage a commissioned sales staff - getting the balance right so they makes good sales without annoying the customer.

Retail in general is tough. Working weekends, evenings - never mind the holiday season. I did it to pay the bills. Not something I'd go back to if given a choice but I was pretty good at it. It's like anything else - a good dose of common sense goes a long way.

Any way we can make some money offa this?

Russian CDS, bond yield premiums higher than Pakistan
| Reuters

Russian CDS are at 636 bps compared to around 400 basis points for Lebanon -- rated B-/B/B2 -- and 450 bps for Pakistan, rated B-/Caa1.

But they put the sales people on commission, and it became a very unpleasant to be as a customer.
It's long gone now.

Actually getting rid of commissioned sales people was probably the death knell for Circuit City. You ended up with a store with very few knowledgeable people. When I was at the Wiz our sales staff were commissioned (draw against salary) and rarely would you get someone complaining about an overly aggressive sales person. My sales staff was "zoned" and once you figured out staffing right there was usually enough business to go around to everyone in a zone to prevent any competition for customers during most times. By zoned I mean sale staff dedicated to video, others dedicated to computers, others to audio, cameras, portable electronics, etc. Of course if one area got real busy while another was slow we would bring in sales people from other zones.

That's how you end up with knowledgeable sales people who are interested in selling you something that will make you happy. Nothing worse than getting a return, especially on a big ticket item which can push you negative on a slow day.

i worked for a really great sporting goods company named galyan's. dealt in high end gear for fanatics. decent pay plus a commission that could add up to several dollars per hour. the friends that i made working there a million years ago are still my friends today. dick's bought the company and snapped its neck. i was part of a class action against dick's. got like 100 bucks from it.

I remember Galyan's before Dicks took it over. I preferred it as Galyan's.

A eulogy for RadioShack, the panicked and half-dead retail empire -

Retailing history is littered with the carcasses of companies like RadioShack who lost their way.

Nobody Beats the Wiz co-founder can't beat prison - In the Markets Blog | Crain's New York Business

As head of advertising at Nobody Beats the Wiz, Mr. Jemal helped transform a family-run downtown Brooklyn appliance shop into a household name. At its peak, the company had $1.4 billion in revenue and 6,000 employees, and it was the place New Yorkers bought their stereos, televisions and music. Paid pitchmen included Joe Namath, Patrick Ewing and other celebrity athletes.

Nobody Beats the Wiz was a thriving company until the arrival of big-box retailers like Best Buy drove it into bankruptcy in 1997.

CompUSA, Circuit City, and Best Buy weren't the only reason for their demise. There was a large degree of mismanagement as well - I say that as someone who worked there and saw some of what happened from the inside.

Seat 9E

Just kidding. Safe home.

$337.10 one-way. Made the reservation on Tuesday. Long story.

WOW! Small world. I'm on that flight too! Stand up and oink so I can come say hello.

Pretty neat. I need some sunlight now and then but perhaps others don't.

Welcome to SubTropolis: The Business Complex Buried Under Kansas City - Bloomberg Business

The underground industrial park known as SubTroplis opened for business in 1964 in an excavated mine below Kansas City, Mo., attracting tenants with the lure of lower energy costs and cheap rents. The walls, carved out of 270-million-year-old limestone deposits, help keep humidity low and temperatures at a constant 68 degrees, eliminating the need for air conditioning or heating. Tenants have reported saving as much as 70 percent on their energy bills, says Ora Reynolds, president of SubTropolis landlord Hunt Midwest. Rents run about $2.25 per square foot, about half the going rate on the surface. "It's also a question of sustainability," says Joe Paris, vice president at Paris Brothers, a specialty foods packager that employs about 200 workers underground. In addition to Paris Brothers, 51 tenants have rented nearly 6 million square feet of space. Others include LightEdge Solutions, a cloud computing company that uses the mild climate to help cool servers, and an underground archive that contains the original film reels to Gone with the Wind and Wizard of Oz.

Greece Loses ECB Funds, Raising Pressure to Yield to Austerity - Bloomberg Business

The ECB move came hours before the Greek finance chief, Yanis Varoufakis, was due to meet Germany’s Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin and hours after he met ECB President Mario Draghi.
“The Greek government has realized handcuffs are a lot tighter than they expected,” Paresh Upadhyaya, Boston-based director of currency strategy and portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management Inc., which oversees about $248 billion. The ECB’s message was “‘your predecessor signed on to the program and that’s why you got the assistance, you can’t just back away from that,’” he said.