Archive for July, 2016

NEWS – The Russian Analyst’s Report

07/31/2016

“General, as you ordered, I have analyzed emails we copied from Clinton for President office computers” “Excellent lieutenant. Our sleeper agent in the Trump campaign is most eager for information. What did you find?” “Sir, I must report that even with most thorough review, much remains obscure. For instance pantsuit.” “Yes?” “The subject of many of the emails is pantsuit. ‘Do you like my pantsuit?’ ‘That was a lovely pantsuit you wore today.”Where did you ever find that pantsuit?’ ‘The pantsuit makes your bottom look big.'” “Pantsuit? Why would they talk about pantsuit?” “It is believed that a pantsuit which makes your bottom look big is damaging to reputation. Americans outside of New Jersey will not vote for person with big bottom.” “Ah, I see. We shall start a rumor that Clinton’s bottom is expanding. Tell agent Hannity to begin such a program. What else?” 

“Many emails concern Clinton’s pet dog.” “Pet dog?” “Yes sir, pet dog. Is big dog and is bad behaving dog.” “Bad behaving?” “Yes sir, many emails talk about not being able to keep leash on big dog, what trouble will big dog cause.” “Our files do not indicate dog.” “Many dog emails sir.” “Alright. Perhaps we kidnap dog, tempt it with some beef and snatch it.” “Sir, this dog does not eat meat.” “No meat?” “No sir but records indicate that when it is not under control it eats pie.” “Pie?” “Yes sir, pie. Big dog seeks out pie and, if not being watched, will eat the pie of strangers.”

 “Dog and pantsuit? Is this all? Dog and pantsuit? President Putin will not be happy with this. He insists ‘You must help Trump. He must be president. Only this way will my lover, agent Melania, become queen of America.’ So you see, I cannot go back with nothing but dog and pantsuit. Is there nothing of strategy? Nothing of plans?” “Sir, their strategy is to say nothing to press and let the Trump keep talking.” “Keep talking?” “Yes sir, keep talking. They want to make sure voters hear Trump talk about sacrifices and accomplishments” “Roskolnikov! That is dastardly strategy. I know! We will start rumor Clinton has Jewish daughter. Americans will not trust candidate with  Jewish daughter.” “General, I regret to tell you…”

NEWS – Up the Bracket (Exhuming Reagan)

07/26/2016

Make no mistake; I hated Reagan but primarily because of his nasty Orange County social policies and, in a general way, the patent absurdity of trickle down economics but, at 25 years old, I didn’t quite understand the nuts and bolts of tax policy (probably because I had no money). I’m no maven now. Economics is not my strong suit but I’ve had a chance to look back and it kind of shocks me the extremity of the changes he made. I know, I’m behind the Marxian curve, but the degree to which capital holders were favored (corporate tax reduction, capital gains reduction, reduction of personal rates at the high end) over labor looks vengeful today (sorry Paul Ryan), an empty heart carrying out the orders of wealthy cronies and corporate masters, and those changes largely remain in place in the USA today and, as to reduced corporate tax rates, have permeated the world economy. Now, I don’t have any big ideas as to how to unmix that batter but I do have an opinion on how to raise much needed federal revenue and increase fairness to the personal income tax: go back to the pre-Reagan tax brackets. I’m not talking about reinstating 1970’s tax rates which were up at 70% for the top bracket. I’m agnostic on rates. However it works out. Let’s take a look at the current rates and brackets, shall we:

Table 1. 2016 Taxable Income Brackets and Rates (Estimate)
Rate Single Filers Married Joint Filers Head of Household Filers

10%

$0 to $9,275 $0 to $18,550 $0 to $13,250

15%

$9,275 to $37,650 $18,550 to $75,300 $13,250 to $50,400

25%

$37,650 to $91,150 $75,300 to $151,900 $50,400 to $130,150

28%

$91,150 to $190,150 $151,900 to $231,450 $130,150 to $210,800

33%

$190,150 to $413,350 $231,450 to $413,350 $210,800 to $413,350

35%

$413,350 to $415,050 $413,350 to $466,950 $413,350 to $441,000

39.6%

$415,050+ $466,950+ $441,000+

Right now, a single filer making $415,051 (assuming all his dough is ordinary income which, for guys at that level, is rarely the case and some day I’ll get around to writing just as ignorantly about the carried interest loophole) is at the top of just seven brackets. In 1979 there were 16 brackets and, at other times in history, even more. As it stands, the 415,051th dollar earned by a taxpayer is taxed at the same rate as the millionth or ten millionth. What if you created a new bracket beginning at $1,000,000 and earnings above that level were 1% higher than immediately below? What if you added another 1% at $5,000,000 and another 1% at $10,000,000? Would that be excessive or unfair? The fact is that more brackets create more progressivity and more graduated increases from bracket to bracket. Even if you made the changes revenue neutral, it would still be more fair than the current allocation but, with the way new income has migrated to the wealthiest, it’s fairer still for them to pay more. W don’t need to soak the rich. We’ll just rinse them off a bit.

If you’d like more information, here is an article from the Northwestern Law Review making the case in much greater detail than I have here (http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=nulr)

and a chart detailing brackets and rates from 1913 to 2011 (file:///Users/davidbreger/Pictures/fed_individual_rate_history_nominal&adjusted-20110909.pdf).REAGAN IRAN CONTRA

NOT NEWS – Drug Talk

07/23/2016

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Mark, Don and I were having cocktails and a nosh at the Nomad Bar when Mark asked, “Did you smoke on the street on the way over?’, which is something I am wont to do, to the combined horror, dismay and amusement of my friends. I turned to Mark and I said, “You know, it’s funny. The last time I went out for drinks with Don, he asked me the same question and, that day, I had smoked on the way to meet him, and he started talking to me about my excessive pot smoking and he asked how early I usually start smoking and how much I smoke during the day. He wasn’t judgmental or aggressive, no admonishing. It was clear he was talking from a place of concern and caring and I tried to be as open as i could be, not defensive, taking it in the spirit it was meant and it’s really had an impact. It’s changed my behavior.” “How so?” “Well, I don’t smoke in front of Don anymore.”

NOT NEWS  – Introducing Ptui and Toshi

07/20/2016


Pteri was the first Jardine’s Parrot that Sami and I owned (She was named after Peewee’s pet pterydactyl). She was a sweet little girl, stepped up nicely, never bit.  One day Sami came home from school and went to her room and found Pteri dead on the bottom of the cage. I didn’t know why. I didn’t know how she was acting in the days before. I rarely looked in on the bird. My wife at the time claimed she was allergic to bird dander which she could detect on me if I so much as stood by the bird. I was wracked with guilt. It felt as if I had chosen a wife I didn’t like very much over a parrot I did (There was a time, before I was married and was free to bring Pteri into my bedroom, that I was home sick with a fever and Pteri walked up to my mouth and shared her food with me – by generous regurgitation, as though I was a fellow hatchling).  Over the next two years it continued to gnaw at me and so, once it was clear the marriage was over, I purchased another Jardine. I suppose I wanted another bird but mostly I wanted to atone for my part in Pteri’s demise. This bird I would do the right thing by. He came by airplane from the breeder in Texas (Jardines’ are African birds, originally from Senegal, but they are much less available than other African birds like Grays or Senegals).  I named him Ptui. He was (is) cute as hell, lots of personality, lots to say but he was (and is) a son of a bitch (His human vocabulary is limited to “Hi”, “Hello” and ‘Ptui” [He meows as well] but he’s very chatty and expressive with bird sounds.). Try my best, I couldn’t get him to step up. He liked to bite, usually with restraint but bitey just the same (Less so with women. Ptui loves the ladies). He loves me though and is always happy when I’m down in the den with him and when he’s out of the cage he perches on my shoulder. The first thing we did, when he was just a few months old, was take a road trip together. We drove up to Northampton, Mass., then to Niagara Falls, from there to Cleveland and, after, Chicago. We picked up the old Route 66 there and drove it all the way to Vegas. He stayed in a backpack-like bird carrier and I would sneak him into whatever hotel or motel I was staying in each night and then I would open the carrier and let him free (His wings were clipped a little at that point so it’s not as though he flew around too much. He glided and walked everywhere though. I don’t clip him anymore). We had a great time, talking while I drove, eating room service or barbecue or chicken-fried steak I would bring in. After a three night stay at the Bellagio, we abandoned the rental car and flew home.  The real problem with Ptui at home was that (like Dorothy Parker’s parakeet Onan) he spilled his seed and the seed attracted mice. Lots of them. They’d run across the floor with impunity. They’d climb into the birdcage. They were everywhere. Sami and I had been thinking of adopting a dog at the Bide-A-Wee so we made a slight alteration in the plans and went to the animal shelter and got ourselves a cat which was named Toshi (though they referred to her there as monkey due to her habit of climbing onto people’s shoulders, a habit she has to this day). She was about six months old when we got her. She was friendly, tactile and a very pretty silver-gray. She adjusted to her new surroundings right away and, in her first two weeks at home, must have taken out over a dozen mice (Watching a cat pursue a mouse is a lesson in cruelty. She would pounce on it, let it go, pounce on it again, bat it from side to side with her paws, let it go again, pounce again – it took a while). She was not and is not kind to the furniture, all of which is a little shredded. For the first couple of years she would stare at Ptui with savage interest but now she seems to enjoy hanging out on the couch near the bird like they’re buddies. Just the same, I don’t let Ptui out of the cage when Toshi’s around. Too cautious. There was a year that Sami spent in Boston and took Toshi with her. I had always been kind of sarcastic about the cat and the endless hours it spent lying there sleeping but when she was gone, I really missed her. Ptui, however, did not miss her so much as he was out of the cage almost all the time while Toshi was away, fouling the furniture and your clothing which invariably would be discovered only after you left the house with a bird turd on your back. Once Toshi (and Sami, temporarily) moved back home, Ptui’s golden year was over. Being an uptight jerk, I used to close the bedroom door to keep Toshi out when i went to sleep but since Jolean is much more kind and humane than I am, she lets the cat sleep on the bed and she (Toshi) nestles right between our heads (Sometimes I’ll wake up in the morning to discover Toshi’s spent the night laying on my head). I’ve had them both for about seven years now. Ptui is still the adorable little bad boy he has always been but Toshi has grown into an empress, the dowager of the house, acting completely entitled. I’d really love to see how they’d react if I let them both free and unfettered at the same time. My bet is that, between bite and flight, Ptui would be fine but the downside if i’m wrong is too high to risk. Jolean and I are thinking of expanding the menagerie with a dog in the fall. I’ll let you know how that goes.

NOT NEWS – I Turn to Stone

07/19/2016

When last I posted about my mental state, as you might remember, I was an emotional firecracker with a very short fuse, leaving a snark’s trail at the least provocation. That’s done. There is no denying that my affect has been flat in these last two weeks. I’m not unhappy but I’m tight. I’m tied up. I’m not smiling a lot. I’m slow and cautious in responding. i’m not experiencing the ennui I associate with depression but I ain’t quite right. So what, right? It’s never the same river even once. A lot is going on in my head. After all, I’m recuperating from a month in a hospital bed, the loss of 15 pounds, an abdominal surgery and being so close to shuffling off that I needed ten units transfused just to keep me stable. What do I have a right to expect? Don’t I need to give my psyche a little recuperation time too?

id_ego_superego_160215245_std

Be cool, be present and let the rest happen. It will change again just as it has before, right? Let the antidepressants do their work and, soon enough, we’ll be back to baseline (and my baseline in the last couple of years has been very elevated – I was describing myself as the happiest person I knew and I meant it).  That’s my approach, I guess. Still, I’ve been wondering if maybe I should go back to therapy. There’s a sense that I have that returning to therapy is like being Lot’s wife, that once you’re out there’s no looking back without turning to salt or at least transforming yourself to something needy and wounded. I think i’ve mentioned that I was acolyte to a particular psychiatrist for over 30 years.nuts That’s a whole lot of transference (and counter-transference, I would say). We broke up because I had become disillusioned, primarily over a single issue. A few months into my second marriage it became clear to me that my wife was very badly damaged and by the time we hit our first anniversary I was ready to bail. Dr. Bloom was very insistent that the best chance we both had for happiness and growth was to work it out together. He became, in addition to my shrink, our marriage counselor, dedicated to healing the marriage, but over the course of the next two years my wife became more and more disabled, her psychological problems more manifest and I ultimately ended the marriage but that was two unnecessary miserable years during which he should have been looking out for me, not the marriage. I wasn’t angry with Bloom. Well, maybe i was but mostly I was hurt. Like Rod Steiger in Waterfront, he should have been looking out for my end a little. My unhappiness should have been respected. His formerly sandaled feet began to look a little clayish. Still, what am I going to start at b’reishit  with somebody new?  Or go to some behaviorist to give me “useful advice”? I don’t shrink that way. I may enjoy a superficial life but I demand depth from my therapy. So that leaves me at a bit of a dead end which, maybe, is where I prefer to be because, as I said, I really don’t want to go back there. Here’s the big reveal, though. Because you, tender reader, you’re my shrink now and this blog, among it’s other purposes, is a doily-less couch and we’re now finishing up this session and I think I feel better for it. For now. I’ll let you know. I’ll be in touch.

 

NEWS – The Paley Network (Not CBS)

07/17/2016

One night we were lying in bed and I was recounting to Jolean stories from my long career as a rock and roll obsessive when the subject strayed towards my time in Boston around 1973/4. The town had gone Springsteen crazy and so was I but, beyond that, there was a robust local music scene, largely curated by WBCN and, for me, Charles Laquidera and his morning show, The Big Mattress. Ruling the roost, of course, was J. Geils Band, who no longer qualified as a local band really. Aerosmith released their first album during this time and Dream On was a big local hit. I saw them opening up for out of town bands all the time.

Then there were the Modern Lovers who I saw playing a college mixer (in addition to running into Jonathan singing in the park in Cambridge from time to time). The Allston All-Stars were a popular band in the rock/soul mode who did a version of Trying to Live My Life Without You that compared very favorably with the version released by Brinsley Schwarz on New Favorites at around the same time. Then there was Sidewinder. They had a song that WBCN played like it was a top ten hit called Streetwalker (“You’re such a sweet talker but you’re just a Streetwalker…”). I was into it. And so I told Jolean “I remember that song so well though it’s probably been 40 years since I’ve heard it. I’d love to hear it again.” What she suggested next is the nut of this story but before I get there, first I need to digress a bit. A few months ago, Marc Nathan came up from Nashville to visit, as he does from time to time, and accompanying him was his good friend Cait Brennan, who I was glad to meet. The reason for their trip: Cait had just recorded her first album which was full of great songs so Marc was doing his best to introduce her to as many New York record people as he could.Cait also had a gig at the Rockwood and it was her first time in New York so the whole thing was very exciting. One of the appointments Marc set up was with legendary music guy, founder and major domo of Sire records, Seymour Stein. And Seymour bit. He liked the songs. He liked the record. He was ready to make a deal and the deal he offered was to finance some demo sessions and to bring in Andy Paley as producer. Andy’s resume is astounding. He has worked as producer or performer or writer or co-writer with so many different artists I can hardly begin to list them here but I’d say, maybe, he’s most identified with Brian Wilson, Jonathan Richman (see how everything is coming together? Just wait) and, of course, The Paley Brothers

but, in my mind, he is just as importantly the leader of that great lost Boston band Sidewinder. And so, to climb back into bed with Jolean, as I was lamenting the absence of Streetwalker in my life, having told her the very few degrees of separation between me and Andy, Jolean said “Why don’t you contact Cait and have her ask him if he has an mp3 of the song he can send you? I bet he’d be pleased to know there was somebody still interested in the song after all this time.” And so I did. I messengered  Cait on FB. “Am I remembering right, that you’re recording demos with Andy paley? How are you doing, by the way? Can you do me a big flavor? Ask Andy if he has a recording of the sidewinders doing Streetwalker? It was a WBCN hit in 1974, I’ve had it in my head these last 40 years but I don’t believe I’ve ever owned a recording in any format.” And she responded “I will definitely ask Andy about the Sidewinders recording.” Well, I was very pleased with myself. I spoke to Cait, Cait said okay, maybe it would happen. I called Marc later, related the events. “Why didn’t you just call me? I’m in touch with Andy. I could’ve gotten it.” I got the sense he was offended but it turns out I read him wrong. He was motivated. He was persistent and on 7/15, two weeks after I had initially contacted Cait, Marc messengered me with this: “Yours”

I looked up the track list online and there it was – Streetwalker – the grail. Now, this is a story of friendship and how touched and pleased I am by the kindness of friends. There’s an ironic twist though. Marc FedExed the album to me Thursday for guaranteed delivery on Saturday and here it is Monday and it still has not been delivered. Who knows? Maybe it’s lost. Maybe it’ll never get here but I will still be very happy with how it all happened. Maybe the delivery person left it at the door and someone stole it and she’ll listen to it and will also get hooked on magic that is Streetwalker. God works in wondrous ways.


NEWS – The Anniversary Guitar Strap

07/13/2016

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it but my wife, Jolean, is kind of a terrific artist. Her own stuff is primarily abstract but the pictures below are details from a guitar strap she painted for me as a gift for our first anniversary. All are comic book or cartoon characters I have a special love for.strap 1

Above, upside down, is the wolf from such Tex Avery cartoons as “Red Hot Riding Hood” and “Dumb-Hounded” in full reactive glory. Below it is the shmoo, a recurring character in Al Capp’s L’il Abner. The Urban Dictionary describes the shmoo as “a small lovable creature. It laid eggs, gave milk, and died of sheer ecstacy when looked at with hunger. The shmoo loved to be eaten and could taste like any food you desire. Shmoo hide, cut thin, made a fine leather. Even shmoo whiskers made excellent toothpicks. The shmoo had the power to supply the whole world with all of its’ wants and needs. The shmoo reproduces asexually, and only requires air to stay alive.” I often call Samara Shmoo.

strap 2

Below the shmoo is Little Helper, the assistant of Gyro Gearloose, both characters created to appear in Scrooge McDuck comic books by the great Scrooge auteur, Carl Barks. Gearloose is an inventor whose products never seem to work out right and Little Helper, well, helps.strap 3

Under Little Helper, antlers down, is Jay Ward’s masterstroke, Bullwinkle J. Moose, resident of Frostbite Falls, friend to Rocket J. Squirrel, foe of Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, weather prognosticator and a thousand other things I could recite in my sleep.strap 4

And below Bullwinkle, the richest duck in Duckburg, world explorer and abject miser, Scrooge McDuck whose stories were written and drawn by Carl Barks. Why does he want all that money? “I like to dive around in my money like a porpoise! And burrow through it like a gopher! And toss it up and let it hit me on the head!” And that’s why! If you’ve never read a Scrooge story, go and do so now. It’s like “Raiders” except the characters have personalities.strap 5

Finally, below Scrooge is Homer Simpson, in this case Rasta Homer. I’m sure you’re all familiar with this fellow so I’ll just credit Matt Groenig, thank him for the still-ongoing years of delight and move on. Aren’t they all terrific? Beautifully done? Well chosen? I love it. Next time I post something by Jolean it’ll be her more serious work but for now, here you go.

 

NEWS -Whippings and Apologies

07/10/2016

Reader, dear reader, I owe you an apology. These most recent blog posts? They’re not my best. As a matter of fact, I can do much better. I know I can because I am currently in a very stupid period. I’m stupider, or at least, less intelligent than ever. I guess it’s all the general anesthesia or all the time unconscious or all the time in bed over the last month. I am not thinking at my best. And how do I know this? The NYT Crossword. In March, I completed 29 out of 31 puzzles. In April, 27 out of 30. In May I finished 27 out of 31. Since the tenth of June, when my medical problems went into hyperdrive? Five. I came home from the hospital June 2o, I haven’t had any treatment since then and in those three weeks I’ve only managed five. The puzzles haven’t become any harder. The only explanation is that I have become impaired and I can only hope it’s a temporary condition because, aside from the fact that i like finishing the puzzle, I’ve never been the most physical guy. I don’t work out, was never much into sports, have never really put a lot of effort into my physical self.  My edge as a kid, I thought, was that I was smarter than everyone else (by the way, even before this current problem, I no longer believed that. When I started practicing, I’d end up working with big law firm partners and those guys are just humbling smart. Now, everybody seems smarter than me). It’s how I competed. My body was just a support system for my mind. It’s where my pride lies. Now, my body, from which I asked so little, has betrayed me by breaking down in the most grotesque and dangerous ways and, if that was not enough, it’s dulling my mind as it does so. And Tuesday, I go in for another endoscopy and more general anesthesia. So, bear with me please. I’ll keep doing the best I can and, soon I hope, I’ll be back to my usual self. If you’re enjoying now, well, just wait.

NEWS – Bob Dylan at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium

07/09/2016

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Seventy-five year old man gets up in front of a small combo and sings old Frank Sinatra songs – could be the worst wedding entertainment ever, could be cocktail lounge hell but when it’s Bob Dylan and the Never Ending Tour band it’s a rock and roll show.  A real live rock and roll show with noise and vitality and screaming and everything. We tend to think of Bob as some kind of savant, an antenna picking up messages from the near future, but if you read Dylan’s Chronicles what comes through is what a shver arbiter he is (as they say in Hibbing), how each step and change in his music or his writing or his performance is deeply considered, the result of an amazing, amazing intelligence and I have no doubt this new crooning phase of his career is just as thoughtfully reached. The arrangements were precise but the band swung and uber-guitarist Charlie Sexton is back in the group and there was hardly a moment he didn’t fill with equally crooning leads. Bob danced, sat down and played some piano (no guitar), leaned into the mic stand like he was leading the Dorsey band and plaintively spread his arms like a brokenhearted angel. He said nothing to the audience but there was so much more contact than there was in the Paul Simon concert the week before.  There were some familiar, if barely recognizable, oldies (“Blowin’ in the Wind”had a little Stevie Wonder groove going) and a lot of songs from more recent albums which sounded like part of the canon played live. And, of course, the new crooning covers, with Bob putting his all into doing it right.

  1. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  2. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  3. Set 2:

  4. (Cy Coleman cover)
  5. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  6. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  7. (Yves Montand cover)

    Encore:

 

NOT NEWS – Real Estate Dirt

07/08/2016

Once you’ve been in a job for awhile, it’s like you’ve joined a secret society. There’s a particular lingo that you learn, a specific circle of colleagues and competitors you run into all the time. You’re in a group apart with special knowledge known only by other members of your group. And there are dozens of these specialized groups, hundreds, maybe thousands, intersecting with each other at strange arcs because anyone may be a member of more that one group. It’s a fantastic kaleidoscope bound together by commerce and social gravity. Me, I was born to be retired. All those years distracting myself with useless arcana are finally paying off. I became interesting. My work years were definitely warm-up for now. I do miss being a member of my group, the commercial real estate traders and lenders attorneys in New York City. I miss the gossip. I miss the belonging. In the latest issue of The Real Deal there’s an article entitled ‘Rentopoly: Who owns New York (http://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/rentopoly-who-owns-new-york/ ). All New Yorkers like to talk real estate, right? The authors have tried to create a methodology for determining which entities are the largest residential landlords in the city. There are some surprises. Several entries which wouldn’t have been there 20 years ago. Some you might expect are not there. Some are entities I’ve done deals with or worked for [Understand that I had practice but I wasn’t Ed Breger or even Jonathan Mechanic or Andy Albstein but I was a member of the club]. So I thought I’d talk about some of them. First on the list is Related which is run by Steve Ross. 

He’s become so ubiquitous so quickly. I’ve only been at the table with him once. He was buying a nursing home from my client which Related was going to tear down and use for a development site. I liked him. He’s a former lawyer, a little geeky but he’s got those problem-solving skills that good lawyers have and which clients rarely do. A couple of weeks after the closing, which was when the Time Warner Center was still brand new and hot, my father called him up and asked if Steve could get a reservation at Per Se for him that weekend (honestly, I don’t think my father knew what he was asking for). Steve was friendly, unruffled and graciously took care of it like he was the maitre d’. On a different matter, I personally am not a believer in the myth of Maurice LeFrak, French developer and bon vivant. I believe in Sam Lefrak, the ambitious dynamo who developed the buildings that bore his capital-less name. 

I’ve only done one deal that involved Richard. I was representing a potential purchaser of a package of buildings in Brooklyn and Queens. Most of the contract was done with some third-generation Lefrak who kept saying,”I want to hear all of your comments before I respond,” but made disapproving noises after everything I said. It ended up that our mortgage broker couldn’t guarantee us the last $10m so we chose to walk. That’s a bad feeling. It feels like a failure of nerve and often is. If Ed was on the deal would we have taken the risk? In any case, Richard came out after everything, very distinguished, sat with us for a few minutes, we all shook hands and that was that.  The wild performance of the evening came from the broker, D’arcy Stacom, who shrieked out a third rate Sue Mengers impersonation with, “You’re never going to get deals again!” Shook me up. Man, I could just go on and on but there are two more items I’d like to cover for sure. Down towards the bottom of the list is Solil Management where I worked as a managing agent before law school. The principals are the heirs of the late great Sol Goldman, the closest thing to a mentor I ever had. 

Based on the methodology described in the article, I don’t think the authors included rental units in buildings subject to net leases. Mr. G liked to buy those fee positions so I think Solil is probably underrepresented on the list. Finally, a blind item: which of the listed entities has a single principal who is the most arrogant, nasty and unpleasant person alive. He started off with his charming then-partner buying crappy Bronx buildings with wraparound mortgages and he was a jerk then. When I would get paid by him (as I was lender’s counsel) he’d cut my bills and then complain to my client to cut me even more. He and a couple of friends/colleagues were going to buy a house to develop and live in on the upper east side but it went nowhere because they each realized what a dick he is. Gotta hand it to him, he made it all himself. And lost most of it too. Only in New York, kiddies, only in New York.