Recent comments by Mike in Long Island

Security Theater™

Yes - in all its glory the past few days replete with NYPD Counter-Terrorism (their flak jackets said so) on foot patrol on the pedestrian/bike path on the bridge. Always in groups of at least 2 and usually 4 stationed a few hundred yards apart.

'Murica - fuck yeah

It's not funny enough to be an M. I. T. hack. Neither is the response

It's fucking ridiculous is what it is. Talking about the response. "Security" at the bridge consists of an officer or two seated in parked patrol cars that scan the license plates of every car approaching the bridge. Presumably it's cross referenced against a database of some sort. Not like someone with bad intentions wouldn't say steal a car or rent a truck to carry out their plans but whatever - it makes people feel "safer".

Except you can't drink in an Indian casino, can you ?

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut got the alcohol flowing.

...maybe the bridge was trying to surrender?

I prefer to think it was a statement about the fading glory of what once was - back when businesses were allowed to succeed or fail, fiat only conjured images of exotic imported cars and the Fed meant someone was talking about Britney's boyfriend.

For those outside the tri-state area, the local news has been buzzing about the "terror" threat implied by the actions of some yet to be identified individual or individuals who managed to climb atop the Brooklyn Bridge a few nights ago to replace the American flag with one that had been bleached white.

There's an update today - apparently the perpetrator(s) left behind some DNA evidence.

DNA clue in Brooklyn Bridge flag mystery | New York Post

The intruders who beat NYPD anti-terror patrols to plant white flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge thought they were crafty by covering the lights with aluminum pans, but they left DNA evidence behind on some of the zip-ties, sources told The Post on Thursday.

Roughly 1,800 cars crossed the bridge within an hour of the time the vandals covered lights on the first tower at 3:29 a.m. — and cops are running every one of those license plates, police sources said.

Many of the city’s best and brightest investigators were yanked from elite divisions to work the case.
Investigators were pulled from homicide, counterterrorism, intel and transit to hunt down the infiltrators
, who went unnoticed as they climbed atop the bridge’s 276-foot towers on Tuesday, police sources said.

I for one feel much safer now. I hope they make DNA samples mandatory at birth now.

As someone said, it was predicted we would have flying cars by now. Instead we got 140 characters.

Yeah and a handful of those post here regularly...

Some Dooooooooooooooom!!! that EE would take interest in if he were around.

BBC News - Sierra Leone hunts Ebola patient kidnapped in Freetown

A hunt has been launched in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, for a woman with Ebola who was forcibly removed from hospital by her relatives.

The BBC's Umaru Fofona in Freetown said the woman, who is an apprentice hairdresser, is a resident of the densely populated area of Wellington in the east of the city.

This might not end well...

I can't believe you idiots still throw money away on rent after all you've read here.

This place turned Nemo into a believer.

Better than being a Belieber I suppose.


Spill grease on it and it's not going to clean up without ruining the finish. I rip it out of my units and replace it with tile.

I had linoleum throughout the lower level of my current house - they slapped it down atop the concrete slab. Unfortunately it was from the 60's which means a high probability of them containing asbestos. I used a premium mortar and tiled right over them. It's been 8 years and I haven't had one issue - even after that floor was under a few feet of water courtesy of the storm surge from Sandy a few years back.

Asbestos is okay as long as you don't make it friable by breaking stuff up. I'd rather encapsulate it than risk trying to rip it up.

Yeah, hardwood floors are definitely cleaner, but more expensive (of course).

Total cost of ownership has to be lower than carpeting. Hardwood, with care, can go a long time before needing to be refinished.

It also doesn't hold dust, pet dander and other irritants like carpet can. The only two surfaces in our house are tile or hardwood. If you count the garage add in concrete.

I sort of half-seriously watch an old (1913) place near Old Westbury, but the owners will outlive me.
Besides, they should just stay. It's a whole-life house.

Some nice properties - many way, way, way out of my price range. The taxes though... ouch.

7 Stone Arch Rd, Old Westbury, NY 11568 | Listing Information | - Long Island Real Estate

$102,000 per year.

Some lawn guyland housing data

Long Island housing values

But apparently there's never been a better time to sell(buy) a house!

Report: More LIers putting their homes on the market - Newsday

With prices making slow but steady gains, more Long Island homeowners are putting their homes on the market.
The number of homes listed for sale on Long Island grew to 17,208 in the April-to-June period, 5.6 percent higher than a year before, according to a report due to be released Thursday by the appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the brokerage Douglas Elliman.

BofA Sanctions

Bank of America to pay $16.6 mln to resolve U.S. sanctions violations
| Reuters

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's banking unit agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve allegations that it processed transactions for drug traffickers who are subject to U.S. sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday.

Another story on DB

Deutsche Bank Finance Chief Faces Heat After Financial-Reporting Exposure - WSJ

"One of Mr. Krause's biggest projects since he became CFO has been implementing an enormous information-technology project dubbed Stride, an acronym for Strategic Reporting and Information Delivery Program. Stride, launched in 2010, is designed to improve the lender's financial reporting across all divisions by consolidating into a single system the more than 1,000 information-technology systems that Deutsche Bank currently uses for financial reporting."

Good luck with that....

Some good quotes in this article

N.Y. Fed Blasts Deutsche Bank's Financial Reporting

To remedy its woefully inadequate financial reporting, Deutsche said it is investing $1.4 billion to “upgrade” its internal systems. So far, the undertaking has been a considerably large one, says the bank with “1,300 employees working on the improvements.”

As Deutsche faces possible fines and settlement costs for various inquiries, Reuters says that last month the bank raised 8.5 billion euros to strengthen its balance sheet.

This is a notable development considering that Thomas Hoenig, vice-chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., told Reuters last year that Deutsche was “horribly undercapitalized.”

emergency hotdog wrote:

i hate tight connections. those can stress out even the dalai lama.

I hate connections period. Fortunately flying in/out of the NY area I can get direct flights to most places I need to go for work related travel. Otherwise it's a crap shoot.

Returning from the windy city a year or so ago there were storms that had passed through earlier in the day that had ORD backed up like toddler on a chocolate binge. Fresh off of Tainter's Collapse of Complex Societies it all started to make some sense.

energyecon wrote:

Chinese rabies!

More like Zombie 's

For EE

China 'seals off' town after man dies of bubonic plague - Yahoo News

Beijing (AFP) - A Chinese town has been sealed off and 151 people placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said Tuesday.

The 30,000 people living in Yumen in the northwestern province of Gansu are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on its perimeter are telling motorists to find alternative routes, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said....

"The city has enough rice, flour and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month," CCTV added.

This has to have a red hat

The Real Reason For The 40-Hour Workweek - Business Insider


But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.

We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.

Read more: Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

Rajesh wrote:

Words to inspire confidence:

Good thing they raised capital recently....

Well you have also brought us some fantastic tiles to help fund the costs kcoop incurs in keeping this joint open. Thank you.

I see I've been blackening pixels here now for a little over seven years.

This reader at least is grateful. Happy anniversary!


Lets take a coffee break

This story has it all - FHA, theft, and other good stuff.

Cops: Ex-Fairfield official illegally posted 'scandal' videos - Connecticut Post

A former executive director of the FHA, Elizabeth Gutierez, was charged in February 2013 with embezzling $30,000 in federal funds from the agency to cover personal debts. She pleaded guilty to one count of theft involving programs receiving federal funds and was sentenced last November to five years of probation, the first six months of which she was required to spend in home confinement under electronic monitoring. She also was ordered to pay back the $30,000.

The federal charge against Gutierrez was filed for writing two $15,000 checks to a vendor that was never hired and then depositing the money in her checking account to pay off credit card debt in the summer of 2011.

In December 2011, she took a leave of absence from the FHA post for medical reasons, only to resign at the end of that month. The following month, Gutierrez resurfaced in Truth or Consequences, N.M., as the executive director of its housing authority. She was fired from that job in November 2012.

Meanwhile - if instead you are caught stealing from the tax man you risk getting choked out.

New video shows police offered no medical help to unresponsive Staten Island dad Eric Garner; cop who used chokehold is stripped of shield, gun - NY Daily News

The guys/gals behind this infographic would have a field day on HCN...

Graphic Language: The Curse of the CEO - Bloomberg

ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

I'm wondering what "World Reserve Currency" would look like in Chinese.

Ill gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today...

OT but what isn't these days -

Pretty impressive sound and light show going on outside right now. Complete with water effects.

New York, NY Weather Forecast from Weather Underground

Active Advisory: Severe Thunderstorm Watch, Flash Flood Warning, Flash Flood Watch

My governator

Thomas Prendergast, MTA chief, writes 'open letter' to customers ahead of possible LIRR strike - Newsday

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday a Long Island Rail Road strike would be inconvenient "but not a disaster."
Cuomo said he still wasn't sure if he'd get personally involved in the contract stalemate between LIRR unions and the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The Democrat who is up for re-election this year sought to distance himself from the issue a bit,

I guess $50million/day is chump change

New York could lose $50 million a day during LIRR strike, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warns - NY Daily News

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli estimated a strike shutting down the nation’s busiest commuter railroad could cost up to $50 million a day in lost economic activity.
An “LIRR strike would cause headaches and financial hardships for riders and businesses,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “It would also be another devastating blow to a region that is still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy and the recession."

Edit to add NYC's new mayor's thoughts on this

MTA, unions spit fire over impasse in LIRR contract talks - New York Business Journal

For his part, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will likely depart for a planned family vacation to Italy on Friday, even if there’s still no resolution, saying that since it’s a summer month and people can work from home, the transportation issues are manageable, the Times reported.

For EE if he's out there...

Ebola Spreads to Sierra Leone Capital of Freetown as Deaths Rise - Bloomberg

The worst outbreak of Ebola moved to Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown where an Egyptian was found with the city’s first confirmed case of the disease.

The unidentified Egyptian national had traveled from Kenema, the largest city in the nation’s Eastern Province, and checked into a clinic east of Freetown, Sidie Yahya Tunis, director of Information, Communication and Technology at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, said by phone today. The person was moved back to the Ebola center in Kenema, he said.

Rob Dawg wrote:

UC Davis, the bicyclists are texting.

Much more preferable to having the car drivers texting.

Home Depot Starts Selling 3-D Printers in Stores for First Time - Bloomberg 

Home Depot and MakerBot say they’re not worried about that.

“You can’t use it as a hammer,” Pettis said. Only certain materials can be printed in the MakerBot machine -- metal cannot -- and customers will still have to go to the store to buy the materials for the printer.

Selling razors to get the razor blade sales. I can only imagine the in store interactions between customers and sales staff

Customer: "Can I use this to make a new addition for my house."

Salesperson: "Let's see. Um - yeah - 3-d printing. Ok. Is your addition 2 stories or 3?"

Customer: "I was thinking of a 2 story addition"

Salesperson: "Well then you're good to go. This is good for up to 3 stories"

Got Pigged

Mary wrote on Mon, 7/14/2014 - 9:01 am (in reply to...)
In which financial statement, balance sheet or P&L, do Citigroup accounts record the mark, "$3.8B pre-tax charge"?
Page 29 of this PDF

(2) The second quarter of 2014 results included the impact of a $3.8 billion charge ($3.7 billion after-tax) to settle claims re
lated to legacy residential-backed securities (RMBS)
and collateralized debt obilgations (CDOs) issued, structured or underwritten by Citigroup between 2003 and 2008. For additiona
l information, please see Citigroup's Form 8-K
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 14, 2014. The charge consisted of $3.7 billion in legal expenses
and a $55 million loan loss reserve build.

Mary wrote on Mon, 7/14/2014 - 9:01 am (in reply to...)

In which financial statement, balance sheet or P&L, do Citigroup accounts record the mark, "$3.8B pre-tax charge"?

Page 29 of this PDF

(2) The second quarter of 2014 results included the impact of a $3.8 billion charge ($3.7 billion after-tax) to settle claims re
lated to legacy residential-backed securities (RMBS)
and collateralized debt obilgations (CDOs) issued, structured or underwritten by Citigroup between 2003 and 2008. For additiona
l information, please see Citigroup's Form 8-K
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 14, 2014. The charge consisted of $3.7 billion in legal expenses
and a $55 million loan loss reserve build.

That's gonna leave a mark. They only call it a class war when we fight back

FTA: LL's favorite

The Justice Department broke off negotiations last month because it was dissatisfied with Bank of America’s offer to pay more than $12 billion, which included at least $5 billion in consumer relief, the person familiar with the discussions said at the time. The department’s latest settlement request was for about $17 billion, the person said.

Citigroup Reaches $7 Billion Mortgage-Bond Settlement - Bloomberg


Citigroup Inc. (C), the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, agreed to pay $7 billion in fines and consumer relief to resolve government claims that it misled investors about the quality of mortgage-backed bonds sold before the 2008 financial crisis.

The bank, which is scheduled to report results today before U.S. markets open, took a $3.8 billion pretax charge in the second quarter ended June 30 to cover the cost of the settlement, the New York-based firm said today in a statement.

Canary in coal mine or Red Herring ?

Unusual Activity Alert: Will There Be More Downside in MGIC Investment Corp. (MGIC) | The Options Insider

The volume went up in 1 large block. Total puts on this strike traded over 8000 contracts with volatility expanding rapidly. Most of the trade here was put buying as investors are looking from more downside by the big mortgage insurer.

and more

Unusual Activity Alert: Strange Put Trade in Chimera Investment Corp (CIM) | The Options Insider

The volume went up in 1 block. This huge trade in a low volume stock is most likely a put buy from the customer. Liquidity providers were no bid and this is probably a put buy against stock. Either way this is a strange trade in a stock with no movement. The stock pays a big dividend and there is a chance the trader was buying this put in case of a dividend reduction.

30-day implied volatility is 18%. 10-day implied volatility is 14%. 30 day implied volatility is trading above the 10 realized volatility

Chimera Investment Corporation is a specialty finance company that invests, either directly or indirectly through its subsidiaries, in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), residential mortgage loans, commercial mortgage loans, real estate-related securities and various other asset classes.

Going forward, I think it would be a positive if wages outpaced, or at least kept pace with house prices increases for a few years.

Throwing yogi a bone I see.

Pocket listings are now mainstream (media).

Pssst. Wanna Sell Your House? Can You Keep a Secret? - Bloomberg 

No national data exist on the percentage of residential transactions happening off the MLS. Two small surveys that looked at transactions in a few counties -- one focused on California, one multi-state -- put it at more than 20 percent of sales. Steve Murray, president of RealTrends, a real estate consulting and data company, says he sees more private agent networks popping up, and expects them to become a bigger presence.

Cinco-X wrote:

German MP Michael Hartmann has admitted taking small amounts of crystal meth. Why? To make him a more “efficient” politician.

Rob Ford could learn from this. He needs better messaging consultants.

For EE

Deadliest, Rarest Form of Plague Contracted Near Denver - Bloomberg

A Colorado man is infected with the rarest and most fatal form of plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing.

Give Millennials Credit, Though They Might Not Take It   - Bloomberg

Breaking News: Most 15-year-olds are clueless about money. That bit of wisdom comes courtesy of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, which quizzed 29,000 15-year-olds in 18 countries. It found that only one in ten U.S. teens is a financial literacy “top performer.” The OECD is using the test to urge more financial education in schools, despite evidence that such courses largely don’t work.

Daughter Doesn’t Buy Dad’s Cheering of U.S. Homeownership - Bloomberg 

David Stevens, chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association, has spent his career lauding the merits of homeownership. One person still isn’t buying it: his daughter.

Sara Stevens, 27, knows interest rates are low, rents are high and owning a home can build wealth. She also had a front-row seat to the worst real-estate slump since the Great Depression.

“The world has changed,” she said.

More 'flation

We're Paying Tons of Money for Big Steaks in New York - Suttonomics - Eater NY

More specifically, the price of USDA choice beef has risen 12 percent since last May, and 18 percent over the last two years. Some restaurants have responded by passing the increased costs along to consumers. The Wolfgang's porterhouse, $81.90 in 2010, then $89.90 two years later, is now $97.90. Others have held firm; The Dutch has kept its rib for two at $125 for over 24 months.

Rajesh wrote:

Why is the Chipme icon not under wearables?

As a permanent install - not sure it fits the definition of wearables.

In 'flation news

Breakfast takes a bigger bite out of your wallet | Consumer - Home

New Tool from Atlanta Fed

I read the article with the expectation of hearing they hired yogi. Oh well. Back to work.

gwb43 wrote:

Brooklyn Bridge

Pulaski Skyway.

- NY Times

The inquiries into securities law violations focus on a period of 2010 and 2011 when Gov. Chris Christie’s administration pressed the Port Authority to pay for extensive repairs to the Skyway and related road projects, diverting money that was to be used on a new Hudson River rail tunnel that Mr. Christie canceled in October 2010.

Again and again, Port Authority lawyers warned against the move: The Pulaski Skyway, they noted, is owned and operated by the state, putting it outside the agency’s purview, according to dozens of memos and emails reviewed by investigators and obtained by The New York Times.

Detroit’s Desire Is Streetcar in City's Bid for Revival by Rail - Bloomberg

A streetcar will spawn $3.5 billion in development over 10 years, according to an economic-impact study for M-1 Rail. Such projections are overblown and encouraged by companies that build streetcars, said Randal O’Toole, senior fellow at the Washington-based Cato Institute, and a critic of urban rail projects.

O’Toole has written that streetcars are slower, cost more and are less efficient than buses. He said in Portland, Oregon, where streetcar lines are touted as economic generators, tax subsidies to developers and a proliferation of brewpubs are what lured businesses and young people.

“I think beer has a bigger impact than streetcars,” O’Toole said in an e-mail


ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

I miss Eric!

Driven off by the combination of endless sniping and ever higher markets.

Ironbank | Shirtigo

Gonna order one of these.

josap wrote:

A few cents a year increase in the gas tax would be helpful.

Gasoline Tax

Cali crossed the $.70/gallon threshold and NY is nipping at its heals. While State and Federal taxes are cents per gallon - my county levies a % of price tax on gasoline.

Edit - $4.05/gallon locally for regular as of last night.