Bear Market on Your Back
It's true. Lehman Brothers?the investment bank founded in 1850 that powered notable multifamily deals including the privatizations of REITs such as Gables Residential and Archstone-Smith?is history. But that doesn't mean the Lehman spirit can't live on and generate cash flow at the same time. Just swing over to eBay.com, where creative capitalists are offering novelty items such as t-shirts proclaiming "I invested my life savings in Lehman Brothers and all I have left is this lousy t-shirt," official Lehman coffee mugs with the company's motto ("Where Vision Gets Built"), and expired company stock certificates. Also spotted on the street?and discussed on the September 22 episode of the Howard Stern radio show?the "I bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" variation. At least you'll still have the shirt on your back.
Comedian Dane Cook better tend to business if he wants to stay in show business. Cook is fighting eviction from his Hollywood apartment complex over claims that the funny man has neglected cleaning up after his dog. Cook is countering that he'll suffer mental and emotional damage and his career is likely to crumble if he is forced to move. According to an article in the Boston Herald, Cook says the apartment community?formerly home to comic legends Steve Martin and John Belushi?is his muse and the source of his comedic chops. "I am extremely frightened," Cook said in the Herald article. "I've seen it happen to other comics?that something interferes with their connection to their creative muse, and it's destroyed their careers." The Herald also noted that Cook's new movie, "My Best Friend's Girl," pulled in a paltry $8 million its opening week. Now that's funny.
Penn State of Suspension
Altoona, Pa., property mangers and landlords flooded a city council meeting September 24 to protest an ordinance that proposes a virtual moratorium on student housing in neighborhoods adjacent to the Penn State campus. According to reports in the Altoona Mirror, residents are fed up with partying co-eds who drink on rooftops, throw beverage cups at passing traffic, and urinate in the streets. "The campus is going to grow and [neighborhood residents] need to decide if they want to live in another area or embrace it," countered local landlord Mike Crownover in a letter to the city council. The alternative to student housing for many property owners would likely be some sort of affordable or Section 8 voucher-supported housing, Crownover said. Section 8 properties in Altoona, including the Penn Alto community, have a reputation?deserved or not?for dangerous substance-abuse related crimes. According to Crownover, residents complaining about a little co-ed carousing should keep that in mind and warned that supporters of the moratorium should "be careful what [they] wish for."
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