The bad news: James Gorman’s pay fell 30 percent this year. The good news: he’s now in a position to show employees how to take these setbacks like a man, rather than grumbling like someone who puts their compensation in a one-year context to define their overall level of happiness. Read more »
As you may have heard, when the housing market collapsed, California was hit pretty, pretty, pretty bad. Particularly screwed was the town of Merced, which is third only to Las Vegas and Vallejo, CA in “metropolitan-area foreclosures,” where “builders were [once] coming into the area by the bulkload” and are now desperate to put warm bodies that can pay something, anything in the hundreds of empty houses. It’s obviously a very depressing situation, unless you happen to be a student attending school at the University of California-Merced, in which case, ka-motherfucking-ching. According to the Times, UC-M undergrads, whose school enrolls 5,200 but only has enough on-campus housing for 1,600, are moving into the nearby McMansions en-masse, creating a win-win for all.
The finances of subdivision life are compelling: the university estimates yearly on-campus room and board at $13,720 a year, compared with roughly $7,000 off-campus. Sprawl rats sharing a McMansion — with each getting a bedroom and often a private bath — pay $200 to $350 a month each, depending on the amenities…students willing to share houses have been “a blessing,” said Ellie Wooten, a former mayor of Merced and a real estate broker. Five students paying $200 a month each trump families who cannot afford more than $800 a month.
And for less than $100 extra a month, you can score yourself an even sweeter set up, new friends and the opportunity to have a major news outlet take gratuitous* pictures of you in the bath** where it appears as though you’re about to be electrocuted.
Heather Alarab, a junior at the University of California, Merced, and Jill Foster, a freshman, know that their sudden popularity has little to do with their sparkling personalities, intelligence or athletic prowess. “Hey, what are you doing?” throngs of friends perpetually text. “Hot tub today?”…Gurbir Dhillon, a senior majoring in molecular cell biology, pays $70 more than his four housemates each month for the privilege of having what they enviously call “the penthouse suite” — a princely boudoir with a whirlpool tub worthy of Caesars Palace and a huge walk-in closet, which Mr. Dhillon has filled with baseball caps and T-shirts…Jaron Brandon, a sophomore and a senator in the student government, does his homework in the Jacuzzi in his six-bedroom house, on a waterproof countertop that he rigged over the tub.
There are, of course, a few minor downsides to McMansion life, like the hobos (“Lance Eber, the crime analyst for the Merced Police Department, said vacant houses were frequent targets of theft, most recently of copper wiring. They also attract squatters, who sometimes encamp beneath covered patios, he said”), vying for parking spots (“one parks on the street, two park in the garage and two in the driveway. Whoever is getting up for an 8 a.m. class parks last”), yard work (“after an unsuccessful attempt at tending the yard with a hand mower, they now pay $50 a month to a gardener”), and the neighbors, who are having a hard time swallowing the fact that they’re living alongside kids when they were banking on stay-at-home moms of loose morals. Read more »
The bad news is that bank bonuses this year are estimated to drop 20% to 30% from 2010, and quite a bit more if you’re a bond trader. The good news is that 2012 should see some cash freed up, on account of all the people who will have been fired by then. Read more »
If you’ve been keeping up with the Dominque Strauss-Kahn story, you may recently have hit your disgust overload (and if you haven’t, take a gander at Ben Stein’s analysis). The IMF chief, currently bunking at Riker’s and said to be on suicide watch, was been accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid over the weekend; while DSK is of course innocent until proven guilty, the fact that many women have come out of the woodwork to speak not very highly of his character, and, more so, that his defense quickly changed from having lunch with his daughter and not being in the hotel at the time of the allegations to being there but the encounter being “consensual” does not look good. And if, as some conspiracy theorists believe, DSK did not do anything wrong but was set up, that would be pretty vile, too. This morning, however, one thing did emerge that could prove to be a small but bright light in an otherwise very dark story. Naturally, we speak of the case against emoticons. Read more »
Great News For Anyone Looking To Stick It To Former Spouse Years After Divorce (Provided You Invested With Madoff)By Bess Levin
A New York lawyer who said he paid his ex-wife $2.7 million of the purported value of his account with Bernard Madoff can sue her to revise their 2006 agreement because of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, an appeals court ruled. [Bloomberg]
Back in February, Macquarie employee David Kiely got in a little trubs with his employer for looking at some topless shots of Miranda Kerr on his computer. It should’ve been no big deal but unfortunately his floor was being filmed on live TV at the time and as the Aussies couldn’t be perceived as condoning that sort of thing, they put him on a time-out. He was ultimately allowed to keep his job but probably won’t be promoted any time soon and now has to live with a 9-5 sans nudes, as his computer was most likely equipped with the child-lock. Sans tits to look at over the course of the day (the secret to many a financial services hack’s success), David is probably going through a bit of an existential funk. Well take heart, buddy boy! We have some news sure to brighten your afternoon right up and perhaps offer some JO&C material for later tonight.
“It was a huge deal,” Kerr told GQ recently over tea in New York City. “I wasn’t offended. I just felt sorry for the poor guy.” Posing near naked for a living can give you a certain perspective on such things. Kerr considers the scandalized Aussie banker with whom she’ll be forever intertwined. “I wonder if he’ll get into trouble if we send him this cover,” she asks. “We should send him a signed cover! He can read the magazine at home instead of at work on the Internet.” A brilliant idea.
You hear that, guy?! MIRANDA HASN’T FORGOTTEN YOU. In fact, SHE TALKS ABOUT YOU. TO PEOPLE. And speaking of brilliant ideas, try this one on for size. All this guy had to do to get Miranda Kerr to think about him, talk about him, feel bad for him in such a way that she might even feel like she owes the guy something was to get caught looking at pics of her on his computer. Since I am always working for you, all I’m going to say is there are shots of MK from the June issue after the jump. Do what you want with them. Read more »