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CAPITALISM: A Love Story - A Must-See Film by Michael Moore This past weekend I had the opportunity to see the movie. I found it funny, sad, powerful and frightening. Michael Moore's new documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story" lays out the case why we need to seriously re-examine the merits of Capitalism - the economic & social system in the United States of America. The movie is not about being a Republican or Democrat. It's not about Socialism. It's about Democracy - equality and freedom. The subject matter is so relevant, so important, that it deserves public debate - Civil, coherent (14 comments)
The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) needs money .... but hasn't decided if it should get it from its member banks or draw on its credit line with the Treasury. The FDIC's fund has fallen to a 17-year low of $10 Billion, which represents a mere 0.22% of insured deposits as at June 2009 (according to Bloomberg.com). What's really scary is the fact that the FDIC issued an open letter in May this year stating "Staff currently projects approximately $70 billion in losses due to insured depository institution failures over the next five years, the great majority of which are (19 comments)
Existing Home Sales Fall 2.7% in August 2009 - 09/25/09 11:33 PM
"Existing Home Sales fell unexpectedly by 2.7% in August this year breaking a four month streak of increases", according to a report on CNN Money.com. I was curious as to what caused this drop and what was really going on behind the statistics. So I read further .... For starters we all know that bad news sells, so a negative headline about a 2.7% drop in sales gets our attention. Of similar significance, in my opinion, and far less likely to stir media buzz, is the fact that housing inventory fell by 10.8%, "representing an 8.5 month supply, down from a (2 comments)
Every few months I blog about Pizza. I love it. It's probably my favorite food, so I seek out the best in every city I've visit throughout the world (literally!). Apart from Venice and little cafes dotted along the Amalfi Coast, the most delicious pizzas I've enjoyed have been in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles - until my recent visit to Chicago last week. Pizza was on the menu for the first night there and a friend who lives in Chicago insisted we go to Giordano's Pizza. WOW!! Their pizza is truly magnificent. The Thin Crust Pizza had a (5 comments)
"Beverly West" - 35 Exclusive new condominium homes in Los Angeles from $1.9 Million to over $10 Million. Situated at 1200 Club View Drive in Westwood (adjacent to Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles Country Club) is the luxurious new 21-story Bevrly West tower. One of LA's newest high-rise buildings comprising offers a choice of 2-4 Bedroom luxury residences. According to the MLS the condos range from about 1800 sq ft to over 8200 sq ft in size and HOA dues are estimated to vary between $3000 - $6000 per month. The development currently appears to be marketed in-house but (7 comments)
Wells Fargo Closing Guarantee - For Real or a Marketing Gimmick? - 09/24/09 05:29 PM
Wells Fargo Closing Guarantee - For Real or a Marketing Gimmick? Wells Fargo makes a bold statement on their website about their "Closing Guarantee" .... "We will close your loan on or before the closing date stated in your original contract or we'll write a check equal to your first month's principal-and-interest payment". Wells Fargo is late on funding a client's loan and despite my repeated emails to the Loan Processor and Manager, neither of them have responded to my inquiry as to whether the bank will honor their guarantee for my buyer. Their website goes on to say "Our Wells (22 comments)
Bank's Bullshit - Ever heard of a "BPAG" - 09/24/09 11:40 AM
Have you ever heard of a bank's BPAG? Today I received an email from a Mortgage Loan Specialist at Wells Fargo claiming that the bank's BPAG needed an additional 7-10 days to underwrite a client's loan. I'd never heard of a BPAG so I asked the "Loan Specialist" to explain it. He said BPAG is the "Builder Project Approval Group" - "a specialized group of underwriters that go into a more in-depth look into the Condo Association to ensure that they are financially sound". I googled BPAG (and Builder Project Approval Group) but found nothing that matched what the Loan Specialist had (13 comments)
Sold, Sold, and Sold again - 09/21/09 07:59 AM
Sold, Sold, and Sold again .... 1277 S Beverly Glen #107, Los Angeles, CA 90024. It's not uncommon to resell a property within a few years, but I recently sold the same condo for a third time in 6 years which must be something of a record. In 2003 I represented a Buyer who purchased the condo. It was listed for $425,000 and within 9 days (and after multiple offers being received) we were in escrow for $444,000. In 2005 the Owner relocated for work reasons. I listed the condo for $719,000 and it sold for $710,000. This time around it (3 comments)
The Malibu Colony house where the ex Wells Fargo Vice President partied is officially on the market for $21.5 Million. The MLS listing describes the house as "A stunning Architectural oasis. Walls of glass create an unparalleled indoor/outdoor environment". The Listing is held by the Brokerage of Hilton & Hyland (Paris Hilton's dad's business) and the Listing Agent is Chad Rogers, one of the Realtors featured in Bravo's reality TV series "Million Dollar Listing". Note: The pic above is from the previous Listing Agent's website (Irene Dazzan-Palmer with Coldwell Banker) (4 comments)
The photo above appeared on The Huffington Post website this afternoon demonstrating protester's outrageous "Wilson-like" behavior "Demonstrators take photos of an Obama sign placed under droppings from a police horse" I couldn't help noticing that these protesters, who are so adamantly against Health Care Reform, all appear to be overweight, big-bellied and out-of-shape. (22 comments)
Joe Wilson: "I am not going to apologize again" - 09/14/09 08:10 AM
When is an apology not a real or sincere apology.....? It's when the apology is made for political reasons and is blatantly disingenuous. This is how Joe Wilson explained his "apology": "Well, I last night heard from the leadership that they wanted me to contact the White House and state that my statements were inappropriate. I did." According to Wilson himself, he contacted the White House at the direction of the Republican leadership and not because of his own sense of remorse for his unbecoming conduct. (31 comments)
Afghanistan - "It's Good to be the King" - 09/12/09 10:13 AM
Afghanistan - "It's good to be the king" Do you remember Mel Brook's "History of The World" where he played King Louis XVl, the self-indulgent husband of Marie Antoinette? It seems like history has a way of repeating itself. While the country of Afghanistan is in shambles and thousands of brave American soldiers are risking their lives to stabilize the country, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations), has recently purchased a multi-million dollar apartment in the luxurious Trump World Tower in Manhattan. The New York Observer reports that "The (9 comments)
BOOM - What was that? - 09/11/09 07:56 PM
"BOOM" - What was that? A few minutes ago I heard a sonic boom as the space shuttle entered the earth's atmosphere and prepared to land at California's Edwards Air Force Base. I knew the landing had been delayed but I forgot it was happening this afternoon. Wow - it was really loud! The windows and glass sliders in my condo shook from the impact. Our cat ran under the bed! I thought we were having an earthquake - but fortunately everything was okay.
A Wells Fargo Malibu Foreclosure - 09/11/09 06:31 PM
A Wells Fargo Malibu Foreclosure - Outrageous details about what went down .... When I heard this story on the news I couldn't believe what I was hearing ..... It concerns a property that is estimated to be worth $12.5 Million $21.5 Million and could lease for $65,000 per month. A Wells Fargo executive moved into a $12 million $21.5 Million Malibu beach house shortly after it was handed back to the bank, the Associated Press reported. Apparently an owner of a house in the Malibu Colony (one of the most exclusive enclaves of homes in the greater Los Angeles area) (6 comments)
In July of this year I blogged about the massive price reduction on Nicolas Cage's Bel Air mansion at 363 Copa De Oro Road in Bel Air (Los Angeles). After being on and off the market for almost three years, the List Price for the property was reduced from $35 Million all the way down to $17.5 Million. Well, even at 50% off there were no takers for the property. Today on the MLS there has been a whopping change in price .... The property is now listed at $9,950,000. The property will be subject to a "sealed (15 comments)
Republican Hypocrisy Continues .... Mike Duvall Resigns as O.C. Assemblyman - 09/10/09 03:23 PM
Republican Hypocrisy Continues .... Mike Duvall Resigns as O.C. Assemblyman Conservative Republican politician Mike Duvall (R-Yorba Linda) has resigned his position as Orange County Assemblyman after KCAL-TV Los Angeles aired a videotape of the Orange County GOP lawmaker bragging about his sexual conquests to a colleague at an Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing. Duvall, a staunch conservative, has been a "pro-family values" proponent and in 2008 blasted efforts to permit same-sex marriage. Chapman University awarded Duvall the "Ethics in America Award" for his “demonstration of the highest standards of ethical integrity” while a member of the Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce. Duvall's (20 comments)
Rob Miller for Congress - "Defeating the man who yelled 'liar'." - 09/10/09 10:32 AM
Rob Miller for Congress - "Defeating the man who yelled 'liar'" "Representative Wilson's behavior tonight exemplifies everything that is wrong in Washington," Democrat Rob Miller said in a statement provided to CNN. "Instead of engaging in childish name-calling and disrespecting our Commander-in-Chief, Joe Wilson should be working towards a bipartisan solution that makes quality, affordable health care available to each and every South Carolinian - CNN Political Ticker I'd never heard of Rob Miller before last night's fiasco, but now that I know there's a viable candidate to oust Wilson, I'm excited to learn more about this prospect. Rob Miller (13 comments)
Rep. Joe Wilson yells out at President Obama - "You Lie!" - 09/09/09 09:52 PM
Rep. Joe Wilson yells out at President Obama "You Lie!" "During President Obama's major health care speech on Wednesday, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson (R) yelled out "You lie!" when the President said the legislation would not mandate coverage for undocumented immigrants" - Associated Press. Republican Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst was "totally disrespectful .... and he should apologize immediately," said Sen. John McCain in a CNN interview shortly after the President finished his speech. I believe this behavior is an embarrassment to his office and unacceptable from a member of Congress. Not only did Wilson show disrespect for the President, but (45 comments)
HBO's Entourage - The "Entourage" Condo is For Sale - 7250 Franklin Ave #1203, Los Angeles. The penthouse (purchased by the current owners in 2007 for $1,280,000) and as seen in the TV series "Entourage" was listed in April this year for $1,375,000. The price has subsequently been reduced - first to $1,295,000 and now to $1,195,000. The MLS Listing describes the 2-Bed 2.5-Bath condo as being almost 2000 square feet in size and boasts views of Runyon Canyon, the Ocean and Century City. The full-service building (known as "Franklin Towers" and built in 1964) offers valet parking, concierge, 24-hour (2 comments)
West Hollywood Condos - Sold in August 2009 - 09/09/09 08:58 PM
West Hollywood Condos - Sold in August 2009 Market Report for August 2009 Average Selling Price: $508,000 ($542,000/$572,000/$545,000) Average List Price: $537,000 ($520,000/$607,000/$579,000) Median Price: $445,000 ($560,000/$502,000) Total Sold in Dollars: $15,200,000 ($17,900,000/$15,444,000/$14,170,000) Number of Units Sold: 30 (32/27/26) Lowest Price Condo Sold: $299,000 ($260,000/$274,500/$265,000) Highest Price Condo Sold: $880,000 ($1,150,000/$1,485,000/$900,0000) Average Days on the Market: 94 (89/100/124) (Statistics extracted from The CLAW MLS and rounded off for ease of comparison. Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed) (5 comments)
"Practice Makes Perfect" - A Fire Drill in West Hollywood Today
Life Insurance Securitization - A Brilliant idea or another racket? - 09/07/09 01:21 AM
Life Insurance Securitization - A brilliant idea or another racket?" Wall's streets securitization of mortgages proved to be a disastrous investment for investors. I believe that the bundling of mortgages and their securutization was a deliberate strategy to cause confusion to those being advised by "Wall Street Experts" to invest in them. Ultimately investors had no idea of what was really behind the bonds they invested in. The mortgage business imploded, Wall Street turned to the Fed for massive bailouts, and American Taxpayers were assured that regulators would stop such unscrupulous practices by Investment Bankers in the future. That was only (4 comments)
September 2, 2009 - A Smokey Sunrise in Los Angeles (8 comments)
Problems with Apple's Snow Leopard - "If it's not broke, don't fix it" - 09/01/09 07:29 AM
Problems with Apple's Snow Leopard - Last week I eagerly installed Snow Leopard on my iMac and iBook, looking forward to enjoying the much hyped improvements to Apple's Leopard Operating System. Well, let's just say thing's weren't as exciting as they promised to be. The problem is that since installing Snow Leopard, my Hewlett Packard Wireless Printer isn't working properly. Specifically, the scan function which I use daily for sending documents back and forth has stopped working completely! I've checked online and printer problems appears to be a major problem for customers who have installed Snow Leopard. This kind of (8 comments)
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