Wall Street Journal: Post-Recession, the Rich Are Different: “Lyndie Benson says she now mentally calculates the price per wear’ of designer clothing.”
But 62 percent of wealthy people surveyed don’t wait for items to go on sale.
NY Times: Need a Life? She’ll Arrange One. Looking for someone to curate your life? Need a personal concierge whose expertise is not picking up dry-cleaning but helping chose your wardrobe, your tastes, your friends? Ms. Storr calls herself a personal manager, but her duties go far beyond that. Her clients, all of them men, pay monthly fees of $4,000 to $10,000 to have her be their personal decider in nearly all things lifestyle-related.
It would be one of the most expensive houses ever sold in San Francisco – a neoclassical villa with a four-story floating staircase and glass atrium, a facade of French limestone and a roof of 19th century Florentine tile is on the market for $65 million. Despite the price tag, the home is a mere shell – it doesn’t have interior walls, floors or ceilings – and will require more than $10 million to complete.
SF Chronicle letter to the editor: Clinton’s health-care plan is unfair. Hillary Clinton’s health proposal to tax those who make more than $250,000 to cover the cost is just plain wrong. She considers working couples, doctors, lawyers and business people who are in this tax range as wealthy. This is unfair to those who want to achieve the American dream.
Practically poverty-level, if you ask me.
Washington Post: Sunbelt City in Grasp of Housing Undertow. Or talk to the Shevlins, a real-estate agent and a carpenter, whose combined incomes dropped from $350,000 to less than $60,000 in two years.
Now they are down to a middle-class income.
CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo interviewed Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide, the huge mortgage and financial company whose stock has been taking a beating as the housing bubble has started to deflate. He’s been selling enormous amounts of stock in the last year, making about $129 million, or about a third of the $406 million he’s collected by selling stock he got as a gift from the company over the years. (Not to mention his $20 million in other pay last year…)
Bartiromo asked him about his stock sales, and here’s part of his answer:
The reason I’m selling is that it is the majority of my net worth, and I have a big family, nine grandchildren, five children, I have a lot of education to pay for, but–so I have a lot of obligations, but I am sort of at the end of my career, not at the beginning of my career.
Those grandkids must be planning to go to incredibly expensive schools…
Michael Kinsley, channeling a private equity baron:
So now they want to take away our special tax break and tax our income like everybody else’s. Let’s get real. Last year I made $300 million and paid 15 percent of that in taxes, leaving me with $255 million. If I had to pay 35 percent like these other suckers, I would only have $195 million when the smoke cleared. If Uncle Sam thinks that I am going to keep spending my weekends emptying bed pans at the nursing home for just $195 million a year, it had better think again.
NY Times: In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich. (M)any such accomplished and ambitious members of the digital elite still do not think of themselves as particularly fortunate, in part because they are surrounded by people with more wealth — often a lot more. When chief executives are routinely paid tens of millions of dollars a year and a hedge fund manager can collect $1 billion annually, those with a few million dollars often see their accumulated wealth as puny, a reflection of their modest status in the new Gilded Age, when hundreds of thousands of people have accumulated much vaster fortunes.
Can we arrange a CARE package?
NY Times: Investors Say That Fed Must Do More for Markets. Analysts now say that the central bank’s move last Friday to restore confidence by encouraging banks to borrow directly from the Fed at a lower cost has had only limited impact so far and that the Fed will need to take more drastic action by cutting its benchmark interest rate soon if it fails to see more progress.
Translation: Keep the spigot open or we’ll demonstrate so little “confidence” that the entire economy could tank.