4:46 PM, Jun 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former President Bill Clinton insists he and his wife, Hillary Clinton, are not out of touch. The examples he cites? They talk to people at their "local grocery store on the weekend" and, he adds, they "talk to people in [their] town."
"I think I had the lowest net worth of any American president in the twentieth century when I took office," said Bill Clinton today. "But I still could have been tone deaf. And, you know, now I don’t. And we’ve got a great life and I’m grateful for it. But I still, we go to our local grocery store on the weekend. We talk to people in our town. We know what’s going on. The real issue is, if you’ve been fortunate enough to be successful, are you now out of touch and insensitive to the agonizing struggles other people are facing. That’s the real issue."
The Clintons have a home together in Chappaqua, New York, a rich town that boasts "a median household income of $163,201," as the New York Times once noted.
The Times explained, “Stately houses are set on spacious, hilly lots shaded by old trees; its village center has gourmet restaurants and bakeries; its schools are top notch and its 9,400 residents have a median household income of $163,201, ranking the area roughly 40th among America’s wealthiest communities. It is no surprise that Chappaqua is the home of a past president and perhaps a future one, Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as a Hollywood star or two.”
One wonders whether they've discussed with their numbers one of the hot topics in Chappaqua: whether a low-income housing project should be built, a move that would desegregate the town. As the New York Times has also noted, “The project would allow Chappaqua, where 91 percent of the residents are white, to contribute to a desegregation settlement Westchester County reached in 2009 that is being overseen by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agreement is a condition of Westchester continuing to receive federal housing dollars after it was accused of lying about its compliance with fair-housing mandates. It requires the county to spend $51.6 million by 2016 to help finance the building of 750 units of moderate- and low-income housing in some of Westchester’s 31 largely white communities, including Rye, Larchmont, Harrison and Mount Pleasant. The county is required to aggressively market those apartments to nonwhites.”
The paper has added:
The plan has become the center of a bitter three-year-long communal and political battle. Robert J. Greenstein, the current supervisor of New Castle, which includes the Chappaqua and Millwood hamlets, was elected in November partly because of his opposition to the project. In September, a town board led by his predecessor, Susan E. Carpenter, approved the project, 3-2; the new board is, in effect, trying to overturn what the previous board agreed to. ...
Some residents who oppose the project have banded together in a group called Chappaqua for Responsible Affordable Housing. They said they support the creation of moderate-income apartments but think the location is terrible because it is on a forlorn, polluted field.
12:00 AM, May 31, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Little ado about not very much. Markets yawned when the government revised its initial estimate of economic growth in the first quarter from a slight positive, +0.1 percent, to a non-trivial negative of -1.0 percent. There are several reasons that the first shrinkage of the economy in three years did not deter investors from driving share prices to record levels, defying the old injunction to “sell in May and go away.”
12:00 AM, May 10, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein is not a man to be fazed by the recent rise in mortgage interest rates. Nor is he one to worry that the housing market might be softening, loping the odd million off the $147 million he shelled out for an 18-acre beachfront home in the Hamptons, on New York’s Long Island Sound. So all is well in the housing market.
3:01 PM, Mar 18, 2014 • By JAMES K. GLASSMAN
Top Senate Banking Committee members released plans this week to wind down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a complicated apparatus disturbingly similar to Obamacare.
12:00 AM, Mar 1, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The housing market and house prices are the economy’s gift to journalists. For one thing, almost everybody either owns a house, is looking to buy one, or to sell one – and all want to know whether prices are going up, down, or sideways, whether buyers are in the saddle and ride sellers, or vice versa.
2:06 PM, Feb 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The highest rents in the country aren't in major metropolises like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago--they're in Williston, North Dakota. Business Insider reports that the highest average monthly rents for entry-level, one-bedroom apartments can be found in Williston, a small town in northwestern North Dakota that's the central city in the state's oil boom of recent years.
12:00 AM, Jan 4, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Herewith some thoughts about the outlook for this year. Thoughts, not forecasts, for which I have neither the skill nor the courage. I offer these thoughts in deference to the understandable demand for look-aheads. Human beings are always hunting for certainty, attempting to reduce randomness, surrendering to what Harvard’s Walter Friedman in his new book (Fortune Tellers: The Story of America’s First Economic Forecasters) calls “the near universal compulsion to avoid ambiguity and doubt.” But there is more to the demand for forecasts than this desire for certainty. Businessmen and policymakers want to use forecasts to change the future, to adapt products to predictions of changes in consumer taste, to structure finances so as to take advantage of predicted changes in interest rates and thereby change earnings in the coming year, to obtain “the ability to alter the very thing that one predicts,” to borrow from Friedman. In short, it is often the goal of the purchaser of a forecast to act so as to prove his seer wrong, and then hire him the following year to repeat the process.
12:00 AM, Sep 7, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
It’s not that anyone here in Washington begrudges Britain, and to some extent Spain, their fledgling recoveries. But President Obama and other proponents of more government spending aren’t delighted that those nations’ austerity programs seem to be paying off in renewed growth rather than in the perpetual recession the Keynesian try-another-stimulus-crowd in the White House has been predicting. Conservatives are saying that the austerity sauce for the British roast beef would be just as tasty on the U.S. hot dog.
12:00 AM, Jul 6, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Until recently it has been fashionable to denigrate the U.S. economic recovery: “America is the best house in a bad neighborhood,” sniffed many analysts. No longer. America is now a very good house in a terrible neighborhood.
The micro-apartment craze.Mar 11, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 25 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has always been interested in real estate. The billionaire media tycoon owns—as The Weekly Standard goes to press—11 homes, including his primary residence, a 12,500-square-foot townhouse on East 79th Street. (He’s the only New York mayor who’s completely shunned the city’s official residence, Gracie Mansion, where mayors have lived since 1942.)
6:03 PM, Jul 25, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
“Demand for new U.S. homes probably climbed in June to the highest level in two years, economists project a report today will show, another sign the housing market is recovering,” Bloomberg, midnight.
12:00 AM, Jun 9, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Just as America proved to be such a safe haven for immigrants in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, it is now seen as a safe haven for wealth attempting to escape Europe’s tax collectors and financial chaos and recession in Europe, and for foreign central banks newly enamored of the dollar.
12:00 AM, May 26, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
America is the best house in a run-down neighborhood: The famous BRICs are crumbling.
Doom at the end of the tunnel?12:00 AM, Apr 7, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
It is no easy thing to peer through the fog of recent economic data. Confidence that the economic recovery would accelerate ran into a not-so-good job report Friday.