I’ve long wondered what is hiding in that big brick building on Ave A between 6th and 7th.
An amazing old Hollywood Theater! Photographer Kevin Shea Adams got to explore.
Here’s the theater back in the day, via EV Grieve. It shut its doors in 1959.
The story is a scandal, and the book should be the bible of Occupy Wall Street. But they seem as incapable of seeing government as part of the problem as Republicans seem of seeing business as part of the problem. —
Peggy Noonan, in her recent article The Divider vs. The Thinker, referring to NYT’s Gretchen Morgenson’s “Reckless Endangerment,” an account of the key players in the financial crisis.
Best article I read all weekend.The description of Fannie/Freddie is pretty spot on.
47 percent of us trust the IRS compared with 36 percent ten years ago. The U.S. Postal Service—a whopping 83 percent of us like them. 61 percent like NASA. 67 percent like the Centers for Disease Control. And when you ask Americans what they want to cut, they want to protect their Medicare, they want to protect the military, they want to protect Social Security, they don’t want to cut spending on education and highways. A marketing consultant might reasonably conclude it’s the federal brand we hate, not the product. — Donovan Hohn, senior editor at Harper’s, in A Superbowl Spot for Uncle Sam. Harper’s tasked a group of ad creatives (Perry Fair of Grey Group, Mark Fitzloff of Wieden+Kennedy, Thomas Frank of Harper’s, Marc Sobier at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and Con Williamson at Saatchi & Saatchi) to develop a superbowl ad for the federal government. This is the forum of discussion and it is super interesting if you can get your hands on it.
Idea: A Gym Membership that Charges You for Not Exercising -
According to recent financial data from the 3rd quarter of 2010, six banks represent 64% of GDP. These are JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. In 2006, before the financial crisis, that number was 55%. And fifteen years ago, it was 17%.
The point, though, is that anyone who claims that transferring some income from the most fortunate members of society to the least is a vile injustice is closing his eyes to the obvious reality of how the world works.
— Paul Krugman, Economics and Morality.
I always enjoy reading the comments on Krugman’s blog.
Why Is The US Taxpayer Subsidizing Facebook – And The Next Bubble? -
Goldman Sachs is investing $450 million of its own money in Facebook, at a valuation that implies the social networking company is now worth $50 billion. Goldman is also apparently launching a fund that will bring its own high net worth clients in as investors for Facebook.
On the face of it, this might just seem like the financial sector doing what it is supposed to – channeling funds into productive enterprise. The SEC is apparently looking at the way private investors will be involved, but there are some more deeply unsettling factors at work here.
Remember that Goldman Sachs is now a bank holding company – a status it received in September 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, in order to avoid collapse (for the details, see Andrew Ross Sorkin’s blow-by-blow account in Too Big To Fail.) This means that it has essentially unfettered access to the Federal Reserve’s discount window, i.e., it can borrow against all kinds of assets in its portfolio, effective ensuring it has government-provided liquidity at any time.
Any financial institution with such access to such government support is likely to take on excessive risk – this is the heart of what is commonly referred to as the problem of “moral hazard.” If you are fully insured against adverse events, you will be less careful.
A friend of mine is hosting a New Years party themed around New Years traditions. She’s from Atlanta, so her tradition is to eat black eyed peas and collared greens, symbolizing good luck and good fortune in the new year. As usual, I was curious and researched up on other New Years traditions. Also as usual, I am inspired (crazy?) and am going to try to enact all of them tonight. Here’s the plan!
I shall make and eat lasagna: In Italy, this would bring me good luck.
I shall break the China on which I ate said lasagna: In Denmark, this would bring me more friends.
I shall wear white: In Brazil, this would bring me good luck.
I shall wear yellow underwear: In some South American countries, this would also bring me good luck and, ooo, perhaps love.
I shall eat 12 grapes at midnight: In Spain, this would ensure 12 months of good luck.
I shall write down every bad thing that happened this year on a piece of paper, fold it up, and then burn it at some point in the evening: In Mexico, this would remove negative energy from the new year.
I shall write down all the things I hope will occur this year on a piece of paper, fold it up, and then burn it at some point in the evening: In Venezuela, this would make all of my wishes come true.
I shall eat plenty of collared greens on New Years day: Per Southern tradition, the more collared greens I eat, the more money I will make in the new year.
I shall write the name of 12 men on 12 pieces of paper, put them under my pillow, and choose one in the morning: In Lithuania, whatever name I pick is the name of the man I will marry. (I’m not actually going to do this one, but it’s pretty entertaining.. it’s MASH, NYE style.)
I shall jump seven waves: In Brazil, this would make my wishes come true. (Do piles of snow count?)
2011 y’all. Let’s do this.
is Merriam Webster’s word of the year for 2010. People are making a big deal out of it for some reason.
These are the past words of the year since 2003 when the site started tracking them.
And perhaps more interesting are the top words that were created this year. Business Insider lists them out..
Wall Street... what is it good for? absolutely nothing -
at least per this New Yorker article.
Tree, Cordoba, Argentina
Photo and caption by Marcos Furer
A lonely tree. Landscape of Northern Cordoba, Argentina. Very few trees are left in an extended area where soybean crops and farming are destroying the natural habitat of the algarrobo tree.
NatGeo’s Best Photos of 2010 are out. This wasn’t one of the winners, but is my favorite. Scroll through to check out the finalists in each category. If you want your mind blown.
From Bob Cringley’s Motivating Miss Daisy
“It’s ass-backward, I know, but it would work. Give rich people a short term incentive to spend like poor people, then phase it out over time.”
A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I'm An Atheist - WSJ -
“I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.”
UPDATE: He follows up with a Q&A.
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg and 17 more of America’s wealthiest individuals pledged to donate a majority of their wealth to charity over their lifetimes, as part of The Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is just that - a campaign, spearheaded this year by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, to invite America’s wealthiest to pledge to give over 50% of their wealth to philanthropy. It now has 58 pledges, with donations estimated at $139 billion. You can view them all here.
Now don’t get me wrong. I really think that’s awesome. But.. it can be argued that Mark just cost me (and you!) $10. Well, $8.53 to be more exact. And these 58 pledges could cost us $50 billion, or $350 each. And if The Giving Pledge succeeds in getting all of the Forbes 400 wealthiest individuals to pledge a majority of their wealth, that could cost America $210 billion, or about $1500 each.
That’s because charitable contributions aren’t taxed. As economist Richard Thaler in his recent NYT article describes, the contribution is deducted from the contributor’s taxable income, and, therefore, tax revenue is lost. Thaler argues that lost revenue is effectively subsidized by the government. So if the estimated donations of the 58 pledges is $139 billion, that means we are losing out on $50 billion in tax revenue (assuming a 35% tax bracket). That $50 billion is, thus, put on the rest of us 141.5 million taxpayers. For about $350 each.
(Similar calculations follow for the $10 for Zuckerberg and $1500 for the Forbes 400.. the estimated net worth of the Forbes 400 in 2009 was $1.2 trillion. If they give away 50% of their wealth, that is $600 billion in charitable contributions. Taxed at 35% = $210 billion in lost revenue. And divided among each of us, that’s about $1500.)
Now, they’re obviously not directly “costing” me that money (it’s for effect!). And the “lost tax revenue” cited is based on cumulative net worth and is overstated due to limits of what can be deducted (50% of adjusted gross income in a year). And despite my hyperbole, again, I totally laud the pledges. But seriously… Mark? Can I get that ten spot?