Planespotting

I’m Asking You For Another Favor

mozilo.jpgWe’re not crazy- we understood full well the tough times that mortgage lender Countrywide has lately fallen on would mean a battening down and tightening of the company belt. We just assumed the streamlining would be contained to firing a ton of employees and screwing a few more people on their home loans, and not impinge on the really important stuff, like flying Ang. Moz.’s leathery goodness around the world in style.
So we were extremely disappointed to hear that the company put its Gulfstream IV on the market, for $21.5 million, which really isn’t that much money when you factor in how sad the sale will make the old crocodile, who’s had some great times in that thing. Making spur of the moment visits to Fresno for the ego boosts derived from thinking about how many people he and his associates fucked in town. Entertaining tanning bed distributers at the cabin bar during the flight to Dubuque, Iowa for their missionary work (if ever there was a population comprised solely of pasty individuals in need of a little “face paint,” as Moz likes to call it, it was in Dubque). Throwing $500,000 in small bills out the window over a cattle ranch in Montana, and making 100 Countrywide staffers pick up and return every last dollar. Shit like that.
And now he’s being involuntarily stripped of these memories, like the chemical peel he so desperately needs but refuses to get. Anyway. I’m not sure there’s anything any of us can do about it, but I just felt you should know. If I’m wrong, and you do have the scratch, there’s contact information for some Countrywide guy named Patrick Johnson who I guess is handling the sale. Give him a buzz in the office at (818) 778-1770, or try him on his cell at (203) 890-2000. This is important.
1990 GULFSTREAM IV [Controller]
* Yeah I know he “said” he wouldn’t use the company plane but we’re talking about Angelo Mozillo here and need to take everything that comes out of his mouth with a giant grain of If I’d screw you for a nickle, you don’t even want to know what I’d do to you for a free ride on the corporate jetTM salt.

therapy.jpgPresident Bush has moved onto a new, more worthy target and his name is Warren Buffett. Bushie is currently proposing a major cut in federal taxes paid by passenger carriers every year by $1.68 billion. The burden would fall on smaller operators like General Motors Corp. and NetJets Inc, Berkshire Hathaway’s business-jet charter company to make up the difference. Right now, the government gets $2,015 each time a full Boeing Co. 757-200 jet travels between New York and Florida, and $236 from a General Dynamics Corp. G4. Bush would like those numbers to change to $1,298 and $837, respectively.
Shockingly, James May, the president of the Air Transport Association, a Washington lobbyist group for major airlines, told Bloomberg: “We absolutely have been overpaying. Our passengers should not be forced to continue to subsidize corporate aircraft.”
Ed Bolen, with the National Business Aviation Association trade group, believes that the change in law, should it be enacted, would be “significant,” and that sizeable amount of small-jet users would drastically reduce their flying. (Which, on a personal note, would not be good news for DB, as we’re planning on bringing back Planespotting in the very near future).
Buffett did not respond to a request for comment by Bloomberg or Dealbreaker; his silence can only be explained by this bit of BS. Bigger fish to fry, indeed. (And that was in no way a comment on his hatred of salmon, but if you want to take it there, by all means. We’ll be riding that horse for at least another couple of weeks).

Buffett Battles Bush as Corporate-Jet Owners Fight Tax Increase
[Bloomberg]
Cavemen pilot called ‘astoundingly awful’ [AdFreak]

planespotting.jpgContrary to popular belief, here at DealBreaker, we like to look out for the little people. We’re all “Big Brothers” (and Sisters); every Wednesday night we play Bingo with a bunch of senior citizens; and we’ve all adopted several Cambodian children (legally). Carney was actually a stray kitten that we kept leaving milk outside the door for until one morning when we just decided to take the little guy in and he became the tiger you see before you.
Which was why, upon opening our copy of Greenwich Time last evening, our hearts broke to read about a terrible phenomenon that’s been going on in the town CNN Money ranked 12th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States in 2005, where Mel Gibson has a home (and therefore, has been pulled over for drunk driving) and The Ice Storm, The Stepford Wives and parts of a student film we had a small but award-winning role in junior year of college were filmed. If you could see us now (and a few of you with whom we’ve exchanged WebCam capabilities with can), you’d see two people who are thanking god they wore waterproof mascara this morning because they are just barely holding back tears that are pleading to come out (mostly Carney though, I’m not really a crier).

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superbowl_traffic.jpg
(via Boing Boing)
SAC Capital, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone and Citigroup all went for the three-day weekend, departing at ten am or later Monday morning. Meanwhile, the NYSE’s plane was in Hawaii until after 1 that afternoon, which chafes pretty badly, considering the fact that Johnny T. told me we couldn’t see each other this weekend because he was “swamped with work all day Saturday” and was “having two pairs of pants tailored on Sunday.” Sartorial douchebag.

What’s The Deal With…

applebees.jpg…every corporate executive and his mother (and her mother) taking the company jet on unauthorizedish jaunts? Todd Thomson, sure, he needed some privacy a few thousand feet above ground to seduce the $Honey, that we get. But what about everyone else? Like, for instance, Applebee’s former CEO Lloyd Hill? In a letter to the chairman of Applebee’s International’s (APPB) compensation committee, CEO Douglas Conant, from Richard C. Breeden (obtained by footnoted.org), DC is informed of the error of his “free rides for everyone” ways:

On 29 occasions from April 2006 through January 2007, Applebees’s corporate aircraft flew into and out of Galveston, Texas, where former CEO Lloyd Hill happens to own a beach house. The nearest Applebees’s restaurant is more than 40 miles away. Though Mr. Hill ceased to be CEO in September 2006, company planes continue the Galveston shuttle.”
We do not believe that shareholder interests are served by turning corporate aircraft into flying limousines for senior executives’ personal vacations. Just as importantly, this practice is inconsistent with the wholesome “neighborhood values” that Applebee’s claims to embody as a company. I am quite certain that most Applebee’s customers would be shocked to find out that a portion of the cost of their meal goes to fly the former CEO back and forth to his beach house aboard a corporate plane.

Allowing someone to fly the company plane to his beach house when he doesn’t even work for the company anymore is one thing, but bucking Applebee’s “wholesome neighborhood values”? That a portion of the $9.99 that Bob Loblaw is shelling out for his Fiesta Lime Chicken™ is paying for? That is just wrong, my friend. This is why Applebee’s is on the decline.
(NB: footnoted asks in a P.S.: “Just imagine if some other folks started digging into corporate flight logs — now that would make for some interesting proxy reading. In fact, this sounds like a great wiki-project for footnoted.org readers. Anyone interested in helping to pull this together?” Obviously we’re huge fans of FN and read it daily but here’s a question—what in god’s name do you think the point of this is? Our own personal amusement?)

A day at the beach…
[footnoted.org]

planespotting.jpgNow that the housekeeping’s taken care of, now seems like as good a time as any to introduce our latest and greatest Planespotting feature. Our ad guy worked overtime this month—that or ‘Zbignew’ and ‘Anonymous’ have been clicking the hell out of the CFO.com skyscraper—and we found ourselves with a little extra spending money. Naturally this surplus went toward our top priority here in the DB HQs: Planespotting, and derivatives thereof. Since everyone (who matters) is in that canton of Graubünden, Landwasser River-adjacent, or en route, and a whole Planespotting of “W, X, Y Z went from here to there on their aircraft carriers of choice” leaves something to be desired, we decided to put our pocket change to good use and send some special correspondents to do a little undercover work, pre-aviationally speaking, to find out who’s afraid of flying, who’s got to have the window seat, and who’s planning on saying “F the FAA, I’ll take my disposable razor on the plane in order to get a quick shave in before landing and I dare them to stop me,” etc, etc. You will find the first report after the jump. And watch for the second installment of this series on Thursday, when we reveal which Fortune 500 CEO Special Correspondent Bono found out a little too much about in a Zurich Airport Men’s Room. Stay tuned.

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drudge+siren.gifStevie “Boy” Cohen: Chicago Executive to Garfield Co Regional on his Gulfstream V
Donald Trump: Laurence G Hanscom Field to Los Angeles Int’l on his Boeing 727-100
Warren Buffett: Mc Carran Int’l to Kahului on his Gulfstream IV

Planespotting: Will Somebody Please Help Stevie Cohen?

drudge+siren.gifStevie Cohen: Nassau Int’l to Boca Raton on his Gulfstream V
We didn’t say anything when you took a stake in Build-a-Bear, or when you requested ice sculptures in the various likenesses of the A-team for your last birthday or even when you sent out a mass email asking if anyone knew of any “moyel-in-a-minute” programs. But voluntarily spending time in Boca Raton? Stevie-boy, you are obviously a hamster with his tail caught in the wheel of life, crying out for help. That or you’ve got a gun to your head. But we like the hamster imagery, so the former stands.