Sorry about your mansion

From the WSJ, hat tip Anuj:

Wealthy Greenwich Home Sellers Give In to Market Realities

After four years on the market, and three price cuts, a stately Colonial-style home on Greenwich, Conn.’s tony Round Hill Road is being sold in a way that was once unthinkable in one of the country’s most affluent communities: It is getting auctioned off. Once asking $3.795 million, the four-bedroom property will be sold May 18 with Paramount Realty USA for a reserve price of just $1.8 million.

Seller Isaac Hakim, a real-estate investor, said it is time to move on. “We are ready to sell and I don’t want it to drag on,” he said. After raising their children there, he and his wife moved to Florida several years ago.
While luxury home auctions are utilized in other parts of the country, they have rarely been seen in markets like Greenwich. Once a beacon for Wall Street’s top brass and still one of the richest towns in the U.S., Greenwich is facing a slew of issues.

Many wealthy New Yorkers are opting to live in the city, rather than in the suburbs. Some of the wealthiest, like Mr. Hakim, have decamped to Florida in search of more favorable tax rates. Banking executives who propped up the market with their yearly bonuses have also experienced cuts in compensation.

The seemingly never-ending slump is leading some sellers to accept less—sometimes a lot less. Owners who paid top dollar for their homes in the Fairfield County town in the mid- to late-2000s are routinely selling for less than they paid. Dramatic price cuts are the order of the day. There were 45 properties in Greenwich priced at more than $5 million that had their price reduced by 10% or more in the 12-month period between April, 2018, and March, 2019, according to Realtor.comRealtor.com is owned by Move, Inc., a subsidiary of Wall Street Journal parent News Corp .

Attorney Frank J. Gilbride II said one of his clients recently sold his home for $11.18 million, after buying it for $14.7 million in 2007. “We’re finding that the larger back country homes have not been selling recently, because the new buyers don’t want to maintain 10 acres of grass,” Mr. Gilbride said. “A lot of sellers are taking hair cuts of $1 million or more just to move on.”

Some sellers have resorted to renting out their homes. Brian Amen, an agent at Houlihan Lawrence, said one of his clients tried to sell his roughly $3.65 million home for about a year and lowered the price, but recently decided to lease it out in hopes the market would improve in a year or two.

Several prominent owners have settled for significantly less. Earlier this month, music executive Tommy Mottola sold his Georgian-style estate for $14.875 million, or 25% off its original asking price. In December, hedge fund executive Ara D. Cohen, co-founder of Knighthead Capital Management, sold his sprawling 27-room property for $17.5 million—half of what he was seeking in 2015.

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78 Responses to Sorry about your mansion

  1. Juice Box says:

    Who is getting crucified today?

  2. grim says:

    Patrick Ewing…

    Patrick Ewing is trying to rent out his house for $25K a month

    Let’s hope Knicks great Patrick Ewing has better luck at the draft lottery than he’s having in the real estate game.

    The Hall of Fame center, who will represent the Knicks at the May 14 NBA lottery drawing, is trying to rent out his 10,524 square-foot Bergen County, N.J., mansion for $25,000 per month, according to a listing on Realtor.com.

    He’s been trying to sell the house — which comes with a basketball court — since 2015, when it was put on the market for $7 million. The 56-year-old 7-foot-1 baller has slashed that price by $2.2 million.

    The palatial home sits on nearly 2 acres of land where annual property taxes are reportedly $114,615. According to the listing, the home has 10 bathrooms, an elevator, a four-car garage, a theater and a bar.

  3. grim says:

    Purchased $6.35 million in 2007, currently listed for $4.8 million.

    Paid more than a million dollars in property taxes? Wow.

  4. The Great Pumpkin says:

    High end real estate is a dangerous game. Limited buyer pool and on top of that, they always want shiny new. If you are buying high end real estate, you should know you are most likely going to lose money and are doing it for the lifestyle.

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Yes, but what would the free market offer to someone in libs position? It would deem the investment high risk and move on. No chance of taking it on. You would have to come up with cash from charity or his kid is left for dead.

    No One says:
    April 18, 2019 at 11:23 pm
    Free market healthcare would still offer insurance, focusing on the large items.

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    These Asian companies love to rip off designs. I said this the other day, and now I guess I’m not the only one who thinks it.

    “So the Kia Telluride concept is a luxury SUV Kia would like to build one day. One day we’ll be living in the clouds in cities floating in the sky. Or you could actually get a the Kia Telluride right now, we know it as the XC90, Volvo’s head turning luxury SUV that actually is luxurious.”

    http://www.dailycarblog.com/2016/01/9844/

  7. Fast Eddie says:

    According to the listing, the home has 10 bathrooms, an elevator, a four-car garage, a theater and a bar.

    What purpose does it serve? Acquiring money and making money are two different things. Give me a dollar and I’ll turn it into $10 as quickly as anyone. It’s instinct to me. So, if my net worth was $20 million tomorrow, I’m not going for 10 bathrooms and a home theater which I think is a colossal waste. Give me a 4200 sq. ft. CHC on an acre and a green border and I will make if infinitely nicer than your monstrosity of a house.

  8. Fast Eddie says:

    And just because you live in a particular neighborhood, doesn’t give you the right to command top dollar because you feel you deserve it. No, you wasted your money on cars, trips, eating too much f.ucking food and your house smells like cabbage, Pall Malls and beer. Don’t ask for “top dollar” when it hasn’t seen a paint brush in a while and you never wiped down the shower. Don’t make me need to cover my nose from the animal smell an expect to offer you anything close to your dream price. This was my angst when looking for a house for years. If you’re house is impeccable, then you’re in the drivers seat. If I gag looking at each room, you have to reduce your price by 30% and possibly f.uck me to get me to consider it.

  9. homeboken says:

    Eddie – There is entirely too much emotion in your analysis of the real estate market. It makes for interesting reading in blog comments but falls short of the intelligent market commentary you are aiming for.

  10. leftwing says:

    ^^^I just missed the old ‘cabbage’ Eddie and am happy to have a glimpse back this morning. brought a smile to my face.

  11. leftwing says:

    Joyce, Lib, NoOne re: insurance….

    The US health insurance market has failed in its most mission.

    Conceptually, any insurance is a [usually voluntary] collective pooling of funds to protect the participants from low probability, highly catastrophic, and usually financially devastating occurrences.

    In healthcare, that concept is why one does not insure against the costs of headaches. The occur frequently, are medically irrelevant, and cost pennies to resolve. Collective does not pay. 100% individual financial risk.

    That concept is why a rare cancer or disease should be fully insured. Very low probability of occurring, catastrophic outcome if not addressed, and financially devastating. Collective pays, 0% individual financial risk.

    Much is wrong with our health care system today. But unless and until one comes back to these basic tenets there won’t be resolution.

    The format – public or private collective – is nearly irrelevant, or at best an after thought on the manner of financing or political views (eg, personal responsibility).

    No matter who controls the levers, the system will fail until the basic raison d’etre of insurance is re-introduced.

  12. 3b says:

    Wealthy people don’t want to live in the suburbs anymore. Of course pumps explains it away as the houses are not shiny new.

  13. Fast Eddie says:

    See, leftwing gets me! :) lol. Homeboken, my logic is laced with passion! ;) Emotion is required! It’s an Italian thing! I’m in a soap box type of mood today.

  14. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I’m glad I had the foresight to DVR Morning Circle Jerk with Joe & Mika on MSNBC this morning because it is HILARIOUS today!

  15. joyce says:

    Today, we insure against routine, expected visits to the doctor.

    leftwing says:
    April 19, 2019 at 9:05 am
    Joyce, Lib, NoOne re: insurance….

    In healthcare, that concept is why one does not insure against the costs of headaches. The occur frequently, are medically irrelevant, and cost pennies to resolve. Collective does not pay. 100% individual financial risk.

  16. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I guess you’re lucky you play in the kiddie pool, Pumps. Leaves you more money to invest in tech food startups like Pancake in a spray can.

    High end real estate is a dangerous game.

  17. joyce says:

    Eddie,
    You know else’s posts are laced with emotion?

  18. Fast Eddie says:

    Yes joyce. I tend to ignore those though.

  19. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Uh…never mind. Have a happy Easter, gary.

    Give me a dollar and I’ll turn it into $10 as quickly as anyone.

  20. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    You can’t fix insurance in this country because our government is owned. It’s really that simple. How else can you explain why healthcare is 3 to 4 times cheaper in Costa Rica and higher rated?

    In the meantime, I’ll take soc1alized healthcare over open market because I want to be covered for a catastrophic illness. In the open market, company A won’t dare take on a pool of people like me when company b is offering rates that don’t include such coverage. Look at all of the idiots who only take collision and comprehensive because the bank makes them.

    Of course, I’m a democratic soc1alist at heart. I do believe that three things need soc1alizing. Law, health insurance and medicine (both the practice of as well the drug/biotech creation/manufacturing). You can free market the rest.

  21. ExEssex says:

    You know who “else” is an emotional twat??

    ‘Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue. Watch out for people that take so-called “notes,” when the notes never existed until needed,’ he said.
    ‘Because I never agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullsh*t & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad).’
    Trump seemed to be refuting Hunt’s note-taking in the report — and attacking Mueller as an ‘Angry Democrat’ who was out to get him.

  22. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    Why the concept of free market healthcare is nothing more than political horsepoopy.

    Written by a Republican btw.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/03/07/there-is-never-a-free-market-in-health-care/#65df70e01147

    There’s a reason Obamacare hasn’t been repealed. Because 10 years after it was conceived, no alternative has been suggested by the Republicans.

    Sorry. But it’s the truth.

  23. Fast Eddie says:

    Essex,

    Are you working yet? Earning? Making money?

  24. ExEssex says:

    10:19 chillin’ like a villain. Thanks

    I did get my NJ State pension statement the other day.

    Very generous!

  25. ExEssex says:

    In short, building wealth shouldn’t be about having a certain amount in the bank — it should be about living a life you love.

    “Essentially, I think in this country we put an enormous premium on the accumulation of wealth as an isolated achievement — the lists ranking the X wealthiest people, the constant focus on celebrities’ net worth, the obsession with displaying personal wealth on social media — and this creates a perception that the number itself is in some way a goal,” Chelsea Fagan, co-founder of The Financial Diet, told Business Insider.

  26. ExEssex says:

    What really valuable? Time. And then inclination to use it.

  27. joyce says:

    Libtard,
    There is a difference between being covered for something before vs after it occurs.

    Re: the Forbes article, emergency situations are a fraction of the total healthcare transactions. Office visits, treatment for minor injuries and even minor surgeries are the most common. I was going to write a lot more but I’ll just say I’m sure we agree that there’s so much wrong the healthcare and insurance industry it’s requires wiping out (probably literally) so many entrenched interests.

  28. leftwing says:

    Lib, I’m agreeing with you that it’s broken. Where we diverge is on the solution. For me it’s not about who administers health care insurance – government or private. It’s that the fundamental setup is broken so that no matter the administrator any system is doomed to fail.

    The two issues are, first, the one I point out above. Health insurance needs to function as any insurance is intended. Coverage for catastrophic, low probability, financially devastating events.

    The second issue is the incredible inefficiency [costs] that come from the actual disincentives in the system to prevent catastrophic chronic disease payouts, a major source of expenditures. These diseases – heart, diabetes – are generally preventable but because of portability [of payout risk] it is not in any insurer’s benefit to address them before they are catastrophic.

    So, again, until insurance goes back to its roots and prioritizes low probability, high payout events AND establishes a framework that decreases the likelihood of those payouts to preventable disease states, health insurance will not work.

    Big picture, there is a limited pool of funds available for health care. It doesn’t matter who administers its distribution – government or private – if the paradigm is set for failure.

    And, yes, I do believe that a six year old with a random horrible disease should be ‘fully covered’ from the collective health insurance funds. And especially that he ought to be prioritized over some 300lb, sugar soda drinking, BK eating, sedentary 34 year old.

    Problem is going to government coverage doesn’t guarantee that. Matter of fact, if current government transfer programs are any indication, the 300 pounder would likely be means tested ‘in’ and someone with a professional NJ demographic means tested ‘out’ of full coverage.

    The solution begins with going back to the basic precepts of insurance first. After that, we can figure out who bests mans the cash register.

  29. grim says:

    You can’t fix insurance in this country because our government is owned. It’s really that simple. How else can you explain why healthcare is 3 to 4 times cheaper in Costa Rica and higher rated?

    Americans would never accept the limits of socialized healthcare.

    Today, you can get 7 opinions on something that doesn’t require it, demand an MRI and a CT in a hospital, and get it, and essentially get any treatment you demand. Medicine is completely defensive, so they’ll do it.

    My buddy in Canada tore a tendon in his non-dominant hand, as a result his finger is bent and has limited mobility. He has been waiting a year for surgery, he doesn’t have a date yet.

    In the US, you could demand to be seen by the best hand surgeon in NJ, and be operated on in a week. Probably spend a hundred thousand dollars on a non-life threatening condition.

    This is the difference.

  30. grim says:

    Socialized healthcare in the US would require tort reform, and lawsuit/liability waiver. Essentially, you can not sue for malpractice.

    Would America accept this?

    This is a huge factor in American medical costs.

  31. joyce says:

    grim,
    Medical malpractice premiums, inflation-adjusted, are nearly the lowest they have been in more than 30 years.
    Medical malpractice claims, inflation-adjusted, are dropping significantly, down 45 percent since 2000.
    Medical malpractice premiums are less than one-half of one percent of the country’s overall health care costs; medical malpractice claims are a mere one-fifth of 1 percent of health care costs. In more than 30 years, premiums and claims have never been greater than 1 percent of the nation’s health care costs.
    Medical malpractice insurer profits are higher than the rest of the property/casualty industry, which has been remarkably profitable in the past five years.
    The periodic premium spikes that doctors experience, as they did from 2002 until 2005, are not related to claims but to the economic cycle of insurers and to drops in investment income.
    Many states that have resisted enacting severe restrictions on injured patients’ legal rights experienced rate changes (i.e., premium increases or decreases for doctors) similar to those states that enacted severe restrictions on patients’ rights, i.e., there is no correlation between “tort reform” and insurance rates for doctors.”
    https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2009/07/23/102434.htm

  32. leftwing says:

    Grim brings up good points.

    The finger example goes to the heart of my argument on the definition of insurance. Why is that covered, or covered to that extent in the US? It is draining funds from the ‘precept’ group of insured – those suffering low probability, catastrophic, financially devastating events.

    The other point Grim mentions – extraordinary care in the US. Another US budget buster is end of life expenditures. In any ‘pure insurance’ scenario it is insane to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of health insurance resources to keep an 89 year old in a vegetative state for an additional ninety days before passing.

  33. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    In other news, my insurance company created a nightmare for me this year.

    First, before my company was acquired, our fiscal year and healthcare calendar ran from February 1 to January 31. To save money we planned most of the D’s expensive tests in January since we hit all of our max out-of-pocket limits usually by March. When our company was acquired, they ended the fiscal year on December 31st, leaving us hitting our max-out-of-pocket limits in the first month of the fiscal year (January). All of these tests would have been free. So technically, what we would have paid out over all of 2019, was due by the end of February.

    But this is just the start.

    When my company was acquired, they issued my policy the wrong ID number (just found out a week ago) which some medical providers got BCBS to accept, while others got rejected by BCBS. So now I have piles of bills, some handled properly, some not. This completely messes up my out-of-pocket payments as I no doubt paid some providers more than I should have and other providers are sending me bills with asinine numbers since they were rejected by BCBS.

    Then we are working on two appeals simultaneously which were probably denied payment due to the number snafu, though we can’t be sure.

    I’ve asked BCBS to send me an itemized list of every claim submitted and their current position on each. Keep in mind, there are probably 50 claims at this point. I’m really thinking about suing them for my lost time.

  34. leftwing says:

    The entire US health system can be fixed by taking up these three points:

    Full insurance of low probability, high cost catastrophes.

    Deep cuts in late stage chr0nic disease costs, through a combination of early disease management and denial of care for those who won’t participate.

    No extraordinary end of life her0ics for the aged.

  35. chicagofinance says:

    joyce: have do you have this resource at the ready to respond? Healthcare costs have always been about tort reform and lack of it. The reason it doesn’t happen is that many of the most influential in government happen to be JD’s. The other issue I would assume (I do not have a factual basis), is that the above resource is an insurance industry rag. As we know from real estate, statistics can be manipulated. So as a result, I would introduce the concept of a moving target (conjecture). The premiums may be small in scope and not advancing significantly over time. However, what is the true liability faced, and what is being insured. The above resource is 10 years old. One of the most effective ways insurance companies protect their profits is the painstaking and consistent measurement of risk through experience and data analysis. I would assume malpractive coverage in 1979, 1989, 1999, 2009 & 2019 are different animals. There is also an incredible self-selection bias. Doctors avoid the riskiest patients given specific mandates of their coverage.

    joyce says:
    April 19, 2019 at 11:20 am
    grim,

  36. leftwing says:

    If you want the answer why C0sta R1ca has lower costs and better ‘outcomes’ there it is. We’ve both been there multiple times. There are no heart spec1alist hospitals, 80 year olds vent1lated in intensive care units for months, $25,000 nracan induced treatment pr0t0cols.

    If you want to fix health care, the nation first needs to make some really hard decisions on HOW to allocate the p00l of health care resources. Then you can figure the WHO of who collects and pays those bills.

  37. 1987 Condo says:

    Lib,

    you can track status of Horizon claims online, I think you need to set up an online account for access.

    In the 1990’s I was Product manager for Prudential Healthcare’s Capital region and my wife was a Claims System analyst. Somehow we managed to lose $200 million a quarter!
    That was a bad MLR!

  38. ExEssex says:

    
Car-share company Car2Go has suspended Chicago service as police search for 100 stolen cars, half of them Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
While several vehicles have been recovered, police are still questioning people of interest. The heist appears to have been executed via fraudulent rentals, Chicago police said in a statement.
The car-sharing service, which recently changed its name to Share Now, said in a tweet on Wednesday that the company was working with police to “neutralize a fraud issue,” ABC News reported.

The cars may have been used to commit crimes, reported CNET.

  39. leftwing says:

    And actually I would add chi’s point of tort reform.

    full catastrophic coverage.
    chronic disease cost management by incentive and denial.
    no end of life heroics.
    tort reform.

    Does the nation have the stomach for these discussions? If so, you’ll emulate the ‘single payer’ models elsewhere and have costs under control to a point where my high schooler could administer the system.

    If not, any changes including from private pay to government or single payer is just rearranging Titanic deck chairs.

  40. Johnyboy says:

    Grim, I’m Canadian living in the states and a friend had the same – torn something or rather and having to wait +12mo’s to get treatment – unless you’re connected then instant treatment! Family member is retired VP in US hospital chain with relatives in Canada hospital system and when visits seeing 2nd world conditions – supplies and patients in hallways, no protocols around various treatment, facilities in sad shape, scary…A relative in Canada had tingling in arm, went to doctor who said 6mos for angiogram, VP hospital family member had them flown down that weekend to Chicago where doctors told him he had 80% blockage in multiple arteries (veins?) and got angiogram the following weekend. They said he’d likely have been dead in a month without treatment, now 10+ years on. This is Canada Socialized healthcare, definite pros, definite cons. None many of the cons hit the US media and I laugh everytime I hear it being used as some aspirational standard for the US.

  41. joyce says:

    You answered your own question.

    chicagofinance says:
    April 19, 2019 at 11:30 am
    joyce: have do you have this resource at the ready to respond? Healthcare costs have always been about tort reform and lack of it. The reason it doesn’t happen is that many of the most influential in government happen to be JD’s. The other issue I would assume (I do not have a factual basis), is that the above resource is an insurance industry rag. As we know from real estate, statistics can be manipulated. So as a result, I would introduce the concept of a moving target (conjecture). The premiums may be small in scope and not advancing significantly over time. However, what is the true liability faced, and what is being insured. The above resource is 10 years old. One of the most effective ways insurance companies protect their profits is the painstaking and consistent measurement of risk through experience and data analysis. I would assume malpractive coverage in 1979, 1989, 1999, 2009 & 2019 are different animals. There is also an incredible self-selection bias. Doctors avoid the riskiest patients given specific mandates of their coverage.

  42. joyce says:

    The red herring of cost of charity,uncompensated care as well as costs for malpractice are a small percentage.
    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2013/12/09/not-all-rainbows-and-butterflies-in-rentville/#comment-621898

  43. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Since going all redistributiony is the rage these days, maybe somebody should take a good look at the auto insurance industry. My bet is if you take any random 1000 drivers and look at the premiums paid versus claims paid over the last, say, 10 years, there is a lot of money leaving the pool and hitting private pockets. Maybe somebody should correct or raid that form of insurance and subsidize health insurance. Take a look at homeowners and renters insurance after that.

  44. Libturd, can't say I didn't warn you. says:

    Condo. Thanks. I put in my new (correct number), and wallah! No claims listed. Maybe they need to hire you back?

    Left wing. I agree. But “no end of life heroics?”

    Most people I know mortgage their homes to add a lousy three months to their 100 year old dog’s life. Forget it if you think they won’t do it for moth ball smelling grandma.

    This country is so dumb, they would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to put armed officers in schools when less than 25 kids on average per year are shot. Yet 300 kids per year die texting while driving and the parents do nothing to prevent it.

  45. The Great Pumpkin says:

    So then we can’t really complain about the price…we want it this way.

    “My buddy in Canada tore a tendon in his non-dominant hand, as a result his finger is bent and has limited mobility. He has been waiting a year for surgery, he doesn’t have a date yet.

    In the US, you could demand to be seen by the best hand surgeon in NJ, and be operated on in a week. Probably spend a hundred thousand dollars on a non-life threatening condition.

    This is the difference.”

  46. grim says:

    Stop health insurance regulation at the state level, make it federally regulated, allow nationwide risk pools.

    Why not take this on?

  47. Pete says:

    “Healthcare costs have always been about tort reform and lack of it”

    Tort reform is a drop in the bucket in reducing total healthcare costs and the claims that it will save tons are always overstated. The total cost of malpractice and defensive medicine spending is a small portion of overall spending. Tort reform would not drive those down to zero also and may have an almost negligible impact overall. Texas and other states have passed tort reform and have seen very little impact to overall healthcare costs. Providers are happy with it though of course.

  48. grim says:

    The red herring of cost of charity,uncompensated care as well as costs for malpractice are a small percentage.

    Sorry, I don’t believe it. I don’t believe that defensive medicine is truly captured in the cost.

    My wife went to the hospital 3 weeks back. She started new medication that gave her visual migraines. They treated her as a stroke as soon as she walked into triage, code blue, all hands, probably spent $50k in billing in the course of 30 minutes.

    Do I want this level of care? Yes. Do I want to pay for it? No.

  49. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    chi, et al – can someone paste this article by Kimberly Strassel in today’s WSJ?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/muellers-report-speaks-volumes-11555629994

  50. joyce says:

    As many of us have posted here before, a very simple thing that would go along way is to make all healthcare providers post prices for their services and accept the same price regardless of payer (individual, employer, insurance, in network, out of network, etc).

  51. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Jesus. I used to get those all of the time, haven’t in several years. 3-4 ibuprofen shuts them down for me in 30 minutes, but it took me a long time to figure that out. It used to piss me off when I was about to leave from work to go home and knew I wouldn’t be able to drive for about a half hour. grim – ask your wife if most of the fireworks and colors are on one side? Mine are always mostly on the right. Very tiny headache, almost unnoticeable, on one side of my head afterward.

    On a hot July afternoon about 15 years ago I was getting one on my way into Boston (on the “T”, luckily, not driving) with my toddler to have lunch at Legal Seafood. Just me and the kid, wasn’t meeting anyone. I got a brutal one, had no chance of being able to read the menu. Luckily I knew what I wanted, so I could order lunch and a glass of Chardonnay without being able to see. First world health problems, I guess?

    My wife went to the hospital 3 weeks back. She started new medication that gave her visual migraines.

  52. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Grim – check the calcium content in the new medication. I got the first one of those migraines when I was about 31 years old. I finally realized they were being triggered by a clay court tennis club I had just joined. Groundskeepers continually spread calcium on the courts to make them retain water and not get too “beachy”. Coincidentally, there was an article in the Sunday times extolling the newest migraine med – calcium blockers. I had to quit that club. Just to prove it to myself I went there with a friend and started playing. The instant I felt the symptoms start we quickly drove off to some hard courts where I played 3 sets without further problem. When I played at my club the symptoms were unbelievable. I lost my voice, literally, and had a black hole in my vision; I couldn’t see anything except black straight ahead of me, but my peripheral vision still worked. The first time it happened I got a massive headache on one side of my head. I was sure I had a brain tumor.

  53. grim says:

    Joyce – I see a potential $4 billion a year savings.

  54. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Stop healthall insurance regulation at the state level, make it federally regulated, allow nationwide risk pools.

    New York is really the only state that has large enough insurance regulation to keep companies in line, but they’re still no match for the aggregate lobbying power in DC.

  55. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “Did Capitalism Kill Inflation?
    ● The disappearance of the age-old bogeyman confounds central bankers and economists.”

    “If economics were literature, the story of what happened to inflation would be a gripping whodunit. Did inflation perish of natural causes—a weak economy, for instance? Was it killed by central banks, with high interest rates the murder weapon? Or is it not dead at all but just lurking, soon to return with a vengeance?

    Like any good murder mystery, this one has a twist. What if the apparent defeat of inflation blew back on the central bankers themselves by making them appear expendable? Far from being lauded for a job well done, they’re under populist attack. “If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3% … with almost no inflation,” President Donald Trump tweeted on April 14. On April 5, channeling Freddie Mercury of Queen, he said “you would see a rocket ship” if the central bank eased up.

    The irony of Trump’s criticism of the Federal Reserve is that by historical standards, the bank is remarkably dovish—that is, inclined to keep rates low. After decades of working to tamp down inflation, even at the cost of inducing recessions, and finally succeeding, central bankers in developed economies have spent most of the past 10 years reversing course and trying to reignite it, with very little success. At a press conference on March 20, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said low inflation is “one of the major challenges of our time.””

    https://apple.news/AMmg1ud64SoaOuc3zIBb6Gw

  56. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Reading that article has me thinking. Is there a relationship between the lack of inflation and length of expansion. With inflation in check, this bull run never overheated and goes on for much longer than we have ever experienced.

  57. joyce says:

    Overall annual medical liability system costs, including defensive medicine, are estimated to be $55.6 billion in 2008 dollars, or 2.4 percent of total health care spending.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048809/

  58. ExEssex says:

    So familiar, yet so under-reported. Have you heard this story?
    Middle-class families are seeing their incomes stagnating as they are squeezed by the ultra-rich taking a bigger slice, while housing and student debt are crippling the prospects of the youth.
    Even the ultra-rich themselves are saying capitalism isn’t working for most people, even as the U.S. is said to be having the strongest economy in recent memory with record unemployment.
    Under Employment is an Invisible Economic National Emergency
    Well, what about under-employment and the rise of part-time work? What about the wave of automation that’s coming vaguely on the horizon that will disrupt the working world in the next three decades?
    A recent international report from the OECD economics think tank points to the conclusion that the middle class is being “hollowed out”, with declining chances of rising prosperity and growing fears of job insecurity.
    That we haven’t had a recession in over 10 years speaks volumes to what might happen when the next one does get hold of us, it will be crunch time. Young people today are stressed out about career and economic uncertainty. Europe in early 2019 is basically already in recession levels.
    Our Most Prosperous Firms aren’t being Regulated Properly
    So what gives? Silicon Valley is basically unregulated, their platforms go to extremes of manipulating all of our attention spectrums on the western internet, basically a “super-power” of magnifying their advertising revenues, leading to enormous profits.
    The OECD says there will be political consequences for Western countries for the decline of the Middle Class.
    Each generation, in their 20s, are experiencing less Middle Class-like realities. Meanwhile, of course, the ultra-rich are enjoying greater success at a time when income gaps and wealth inequality are increasing at a startling pace.
    When the internet and democracy have been hacked by the ultra-rich, what does that leave for the rest of us? Capitalism, sure, but how does it pick the winners? When social mobility (The American Dream) and ethnic divides in income and access to promotions and income equality are so lacking in America, how can we say it’s the global leader for the future economy?
    We have to admit, whether we like it or not, the current version of capitalism and democracy are likely failing. Failing the human challenge of global warming and, even more importantly, failing the economy for the majority of people.
    The Seniors’ Economic Meltdown
    But listen, we know what’s coming — as bad as the youth have it today, tomorrow’s seniors will have it worse.
    The three “legs” of the retirement “stool” (private savings, pensions, and Social Security) are all in dire shape.
    That balance hangs on many other factors, including whether or not you have access to a 401(k) and which assets your employer selects and then how they fare.
    For many in North America, pensions may not exist years from now as they do for some of us today.
    A large segment of the population has little to no savings for retirement.
    The intersection of aging populations, technological automation and the decline of the middle class due to accelerating wealth inequality paints a dire future ahead for the Western economy. The Middle class will perhaps be irrevocably damaged in the process.

  59. grim says:

    I think it’s still material.

    In addition, elimination of the ability to sue for malpractice is a key factor in changing the perception of American’s that the medical sector has a “duty to cure”, which it does not.

    If you walk into the hospital with a life threatening condition, and maybe you could have been saved, but instead you die…

    That’s really too bad, but that doesn’t mean you get to sue.

    You walk into the hospital, with Stage 4 cancer that’s been entirely neglected, and your chances of survival are single digits.

    Sorry, that’s really too bad.

  60. joyce says:

    grim,

    Saving $4B or $55.6B would be terrific, but given how small those are in percentage terms (0.17% and 2.4%, respectively), it won’t move the needle much.

    As your and Libtard’s stories over the years have pointed out, there’s just an outsized amount of fraud and collusion between the healthcare providers and insurance companies that results in extraordinarily high prices for everything. Can’t get prices ahead of time for anything, it’s insane.

  61. 1987 Condo says:

    Regarding Health plans and State laws, the Contracting process was the most painful part of rolling out new and revised plans. We set an 8 -12 month lead time and had a team of lawyers and contract professionals that had to work with each State’s Department of Insurance. What a royal pain, time and $$$$$$$$$$$.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarran–Ferguson_Act

  62. grim says:

    Not only that, but any kind of supplemental insurances should be made illegal as well.

    Under socialized healthcare, there needs to be equal healthcare. A CEO doesn’t get better treatment just because he or she can pay for it.

  63. grim says:

    Otherwise, you’ll simply see a secondary medical industry develop that caters to the rich, or desperate.

  64. 1987 Condo says:

    WSJ article noted above:

    By the fall of 2017, it was clear that special counsel Robert Mueller, as a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was too conflicted to take a detached look at a Russia-collusion story that had become more about FBI malfeasance than about Donald Trump. The evidence of that bias now stares at us through 448 pages of his report.
    President Trump has every right to feel liberated. What the report shows is that he endured a special-counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times farcically, obsessed with taking him out. What stands out is just how diligently and creatively the special counsel’s legal minds worked to implicate someone in Trump World on something Russia- or obstruction-of-justice-related. And how—even with all its overweening power and aggressive tactics—it still struck out.
    Volume I of the Mueller report, which deals with collusion, spends tens of thousands of words describing trivial interactions between Trump officials and various Russians. While it doubtless wasn’t Mr. Mueller’s intention, the sheer quantity and banality of details highlights the degree to which these contacts were random, haphazard and peripheral. By the end of Volume I, the notion that the Trump campaign engaged in some grand plot with Russia is a joke.
    Yet jump to the section where the Mueller team lists its “prosecution and declination” decisions with regards the Russia question. And try not to picture Mueller “pit bull” prosecutor Andrew Weissmann collapsed under mountains of federal statutes after his two-year hunt to find one that applied.
    Mr. Mueller’s team mulled bringing charges “for the crime of conspiracy—either under statutes that have their own conspiracy language,” or “under the general conspiracy statute.” It debated going after them for the “defraud clause,” which “criminalizes participating in an agreement to obstruct a lawful function of the U.S. government.” It considered the crime of acting as an “agent of a foreign government”—helpfully noting that this crime does not require “willfulness.”

    Up to now, the assumption was that Mr. Mueller had resurrected long-ago violations of the rarely enforced Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938 purely to apply pressure on folks like Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn. Now we find out that it was resurrected in hopes of applying it to campaign-period actions of minor figures such as Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
    Mueller’s team even considered charging Trump associates who participated with campaign-finance violations for the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Was that meeting “a conspiracy to violate the foreign contributions ban”? Was it “the solicitation of an illegal foreign source contribution”? Was it the receipt of “an express or implied promise to make a [foreign source] contribution”? The team considered that the law didn’t apply only to money—it could apply to a “thing of value.” Until investigators realized it might be hard to prove the “promised documents” exceeded the “$2,000 threshold for a criminal violation.” The Mueller team even credited Democrats’ talking point that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had committed perjury during his confirmation hearings—and devoted a section in the report to it.

    As for obstruction—Volume II—Attorney General Bill Barr noted Thursday that he disagreed with “some of the special counsel’s legal theories.” Maybe he had in mind Mr. Mueller’s proposition that he was entitled to pursue obstruction questions, even though that was not part of his initial mandate from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Or maybe it was Mr. Mueller’s long description of what a prosecution of the sitting president might look like—even though he acknowledged its legal impossibility. Or it could be Mr. Mueller’s theory that while “fairness” dictates that someone accused of crimes get a “speedy and public trial” to “clear his name,” Mr. Trump deserves no such courtesy with regard to the 200 pages of accusations Mr. Mueller lodges against him.
    That was Mr. Mueller’s James Comey moment. Remember the July 2016 press conference in which the FBI director berated Hillary Clinton even as he didn’t bring charges? It was a firing offense. Here’s Mr. Mueller engaging in the same practice—only on a more inappropriate scale. At least this time the attorney general tried to clean up the mess by declaring he would not bring obstruction charges. Mr. Barr noted Thursday that we do not engage in grand-jury proceedings and probes with the purpose of generating innuendo.
    Mr. Mueller may not care. His report suggests the actual goal of the obstruction volume is impeachment: “We concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority.”
    Note as well what isn’t in the report. It makes only passing, bland references to the genesis of so many of the accusations Mr. Mueller probed: the infamous dossier produced by opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. How do you exonerate Mr. Page without delving into the scandalous Moscow deeds of which he was falsely accused? How do you narrate an entire section on the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting without noting that Ms. Veselnitskaya was working alongside Fusion? How do you detail every aspect of the Papadopoulos accusations while avoiding any detail of the curious and suspect ways that those accusations came back to the FBI via Australia’s Alexander Downer?

    The report instead mostly reads as a lengthy defense of the FBI—of its shaky claims about how its investigation began, of its far-fetched theories, of its procedures, even of its leadership. One of the more telling sections concerns Mr. Comey’s firing. Mr. Mueller’s team finds it generally beyond the realm of possibility that the FBI director was canned for incompetence or insubordination. It treats everything the FBI or Mr. Comey did as legitimate, even as it treats everything the president did as suspect.
    Mr. Mueller is an institutionalist, and many on his team were the same Justice Department attorneys who first fanned the partisan collusion claims. He was the wrong man to provide an honest assessment of the 2016 collusion dirty trick. And we’ve got a report to prove it.

  65. ExEssex says:

    aman Sea.
American man’s sea-floating home raided, now fears execution
STORM GIFFORD
April 18 at 8:10 PM PT
A Michigan man living with his partner in a floating pod in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand fears he could be executed after his home was raided while being arrested.
Chad Elwartowski and his Thai partner Supranee Thepdet are accused of endangering national sovereignty — an offense punishable by life imprisonment or death.
It’s unclear where the couple is, according to the Detroit Free Press on Thursday but The Associated Press reports the two have gone into hiding.
Elwartowski claims to be a pioneer in the seasteading movement, which promotes residing in international waters, free of any country’s laws. In an email written Thursday he asserts he and his partner violated no laws.
The Thai navy filed a complaint against Elwartowski and Thepdet in the resort town of Phuket and authorities revoked his visa.

“This is ridiculous,” said Elwartwoski in an statement posted online. “We lived on a floating house boat for a few weeks and now Thailand wants us killed.”
Their home is a comfy octagonal, white pad that appears to be floating on water. Inside, there are white bulkheads, arched doors, stainless-steel ladders and small portholes.
In a video posted on YouTube, Elwartowski says, “It’s oceanfront property at a fraction of the cost of any other place you would get oceanfront property.”
A U.S. State Department spokesman said Thursday the American government is aware of Elwartowski’s plight but warned that U.S. citizens living abroad are subject to that country’s laws.

  66. joyce says:

    grim,
    Generally speaking, I’m not opposed to a legal framework for differentiating between someone not liking their outcome, medical carelessness, negligence, gross negligence and criminal behavior. (sorry if my terminology is wrong but you get my point)

    There might be benefits to changing the status quo, but I think the numbers clearly demonstrate it won’t lower the cost of healthcare absent other reforms.

    Banning secondary insurance with socialized medicine will result in huge black markets. We’d need a(nother) huge regulatory and policing agency to conduct oversight.

  67. Fast Eddie says:

    A CEO doesn’t get better treatment just because he or she can pay for it.

    Liberals don’t care. That’s the whole point. The CEO’s vote carries as much weight as the 300 lb. louse. It’s all about equality. Right?

  68. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    1987 Condo – thanks!!

  69. leftwing says:

    “Left wing. I agree. But “no end of life heroics?” Most people I know mortgage their homes to add a lousy three months to their 100 year old dog’s life. Forget it if you think they won’t do it for moth ball smelling grandma.”

    Don’t disagree. But the conversation needs to start with ‘there are not infinite resources’. There isn’t. I know everyone likes to think the government can write a blank check, but at the end of the day the amount spent is the amount spent.

    I assert the discussion needs to be HOW to we collectively want to spend that amount.

    Hundreds of thousands to keep Grandma Mothball breathing for three more months? Less for the six year old boy with cancer. And vice versa. Resources are not unlimited, the starting point to any healthcare reform is how do we apportion them.

  70. leftwing says:

    And, if Grandma Mothball’s offspring want to keep her alive outside of what we as a society deems reasonable then it is somehow out of their own pocket. But then social class war will develop….

    “Not only that, but any kind of supplemental insurances should be made illegal as well.”

    Three letters. NHS.

    Haven’t looked at it in a while, but the five years I spent in London there was the national healthcare system, NHS.

    And then for those willing to pay to receive more than what the government deemed the baseline insurance there was a supplemental private option.

    You can’t have it both ways – unlimited heroic care and for everyone.

  71. ExEssex says:

    Wuuuuut?! Am I hearing … Death Panels?

    Obaaaaaaama Rhetoric time machine…..!

  72. ExEssex says:

    Seagram’s liquor empire heiress Clare Bronfman pleaded guilty to federal charges Friday for her role in running the NXIVM sex cult, becoming the latest top-echelon member to cut a deal with prosecutors before facing trial in the sordid case.
An apologetic Bronfman, 40, spoke softly in entering her plea to two counts at the late afternoon hearing in Brooklyn Federal Court. She recounted growing up in a family of great wealth and generosity, and straying from those roots while serving as a member of the raunchy cult’s executive board.
“I was afforded a great gift by my grandfather and father,” she said as reporters strained to hear her words. “With the gift comes important, tremendous responsibility. It does not come with an ability to break the law; it comes with greater responsibility to uphold it.
“I failed to uphold the following laws set forth by this country, and for that I am truly sorry.”

  73. Yo! says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/nyregion/new-york-city-population.html

    Jejune reporter refuses to explore the possibility New York City’s population is declining because the quality of New York City’s leadership is declining. Bloomberg and WSJ articles were better than this generic NYT piece.

  74. JJ says:

    Been busy down in DC last two years. But the market is crazy down here too. We have mansions on outer Potomac MD and Great Falls VA sitting on market.

    Anything near Amazon new headquarters, row houses in DC walking distance to Metro are bidding wars waiving everything. Like 2005 on steroids

    On Long Island finally sold my POS split that was Sandy damaged for a good prices. Nice starter homes in low to mid 500s are in big demand. Buyer did not even ask for single Sandy receipt.

    I would love to head back to Wall Street but my corner office some Chinese cash buyer who bribed his daughter into Columbia is most likely using it as a pied a tier

  75. leftwing says:

    “Wuuuuut?! Am I hearing … Death Panels?
    Obaaaaaaama Rhetoric time machine…..!”

    All kidding aside, this point we likely agree on…

    The ‘death panel’, as that remark relates to bringing Britain into the US healthcare discussion, was a hyper-political oversimplification by the Right of the operation of the NHS.

    Does the NHS apportion healthcare resources, as I argued the US needs to explicitly discuss? Absolutely.

    The US FDA approves for safety and efficacy. Only.

    NHS evaluates for both, and through its NICE affiliate for *cost effectiveness* as well.

    US FDA will approve an oncology drug with a $300k price tag and a clinical endpoint of extension of life for six months. Done. Administer and charge.

    UK will approve the safety and efficacy, and NICE will not approve it for use because it is not deemed “cost effective”.

    It is a long overdue conversation for America, and the critical first step in resolving our healthcare crisis. What procedures for whom do we prioritize for the [limited] funds available?

    Everybody can’t receive the best of every type of care for a uniform low cost. Somebody has to pay. Clinically or financially. Grandma Mothball, by foregoing six months of additional life? Or a critically ill child? Or give them both heroic care and each one of us here pays higher premiums, deductibles, and copays for our standard care?

    It’s a balloon guys. Step on one part and it bulges elsewhere.

    There is no magic silver bullet through changing payers from public/private to public or single payer.

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