Meet the Pied-à-Terre Levy – The Proposed Tax that Could Crush High End NYC Real Estate

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.29.22 AMIn July, I published a post titled, Introducing Ghost Skyscrapers – NYC Real Estate Goes Full Retard, in which I highlighted many of the current absurdities characteristic of Manhattan real estate. Of all the points made, the most striking statistic from the piece is the fact that:

“The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.”

There is absolutely nothing healthy about this reality. As someone who grew up less than a mile from that quadrant, I can tell you this is very negative for NYC’s long-term vibrancy. Sure, while the boom is happening and global oligarchs are parking some of their savings in newly built glass towers, you’ll get jobs, construction and sales; but when the boom stops, and it always does, all you’ll be left will are empty multi-million dollar boxes that no one can afford. When such a high percentage of properties are built solely to serve as bank accounts, and not a space to live in, you’ve got a severe case of malinvestment on your hands.

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United Serfs of America – Low Income Workers at Jimmy John’s Forced to Sign Noncompete Agreements

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 2.29.52 PMWhile oligarchs and corrupt politicians continue to loot the world with impunity, low income workers and the middle class continue to be pushed into a life of misery and serfdom under a neo-feudal plutocracy. The latest example has manifested itself under ridiculous noncompete clauses that low wage workers are being forced to sign at Jimmy John’s.

The Huffington Post notes that:

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NBC Correspondent Quarantined for Ebola is Spotted Going Out in New Jersey Anyway

NBC Chief Medical Correspondent Nancy Snyderman was part of a film crew that worked with freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo covering the ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia. After it was discovered that Mr. Mukpo had come down with the virus, Dr. Snyderman agreed to quarantine herself for 21 days as part of a voluntary arrangement with the Centers for Disease Control and state officials. For example, she tweeted the following on October 2:

Apparently, that didn’t last long. Gawker reports that:

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Washington D.C. is Now the Most Expensive Place to Live in the USA

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 3.49.52 PMThere is no greater signpost of the decay in America’s cultural, economic and spiritual life than Washington D.C.’s ascendancy into the most expensive spot to live in within these United States.

Yes, according to a recent government study, the nation’s capital is even more expensive than New York City, ground zero for America’s most unscrupulous banking criminals, as well as San Francisco, the epicenter of the latest tech venture capital binge. This is extraordinarily disturbing, considering the primary products created in the D.C. area consist of death, destruction, criminality, propaganda and lies. In a nation in which the primary driver of GDP growth has become fraud, I suppose this shouldn’t be that surprising.

The Washington Post noted the following:

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New Report – The United States’ Sharp Drop in Economic Freedom Since 2000 Driven by “Decline in Rule of Law”

The increased use of eminent domain to transfer property to powerful political interests, the ramifications of the wars on terrorism and drugs, and the violation of the property rights of bondholders in the auto-bailout case have weakened the tradition of strong adherence to the rule of law in United States. We believe these factors have contributed to the sharp decline in the rating for the legal-system area.

To a large degree, the United States has experienced a significant move away from rule of law and toward a highly regulated, politicized, and heavily policed state.

- From the Cato/Fraser Institute’s recent report: Economic Freedom of the World in 2012

Every year, Cato and Canada’s Fraser Institute publish a report titled Economic Freedom of the World (EFW), in which they rank countries across the globe based on their economic freedom. The latest report was just released and it covers 2012 data for 152 countries. The methodology for the index is based on five major areas in which the countries are ranked. These are are listed below along with a brief summary:

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Snapchat Hacked – At Least 100,000 Photos at Risk

Looks like they weren’t deleted after all.

From CBS News:

At least 100,000 Snapchat photos that users thought would disappear as soon as they were viewed may have been scooped up by hackers who are planning to post them online, a new report claims.

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U.S. Government Wants to Charge $1,500 to Take a Photo in Federal Wilderness Areas

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.16.44 AMGo ahead and file this in the ever expanding category of: “WTF, how is this possible, America is becoming a crazy banana republic.”

When I first saw this headline, I was certain it had to be misleading. Someone had to be exaggerating in the pursuit of click-bait. Incredibly, it was another case of truth being stranger than fiction, with the article actually far worse than I imagined.

You ready for this? Have a seat, take a deep breath, and brace yourself for unbridled fascism. From OregonLive:

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Video of the Day – NYPD Officer Steals Brooklyn Man’s Money Then Pepper Sprays Him

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 4.49.26 PMEarlier this week, I highlighted the growing practice of police stealing American citizens’ hard earned cash with reckless abandon via the shady practice known as “civil asset forfeiture” in the extremely popular post: “Common People Do Not Carry This Much U.S. Currency…” – This is How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens’ Money.

While that post focused on how cops confiscate cash from motorists on the road, it appears the NYPD prefers to do its work on street corners. Like what happened to Lamard Joye in Coney Island, Brooklyn last month. The New York Daily News reports that:

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office is investigating allegations that an NYPD cop swiped more than $1,000 from a man during a stop-and-frisk, then pepper-sprayed him and his sister when they complained, the Daily News has learned.

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Thoughts from GoldBroker.com – Is This the Calm Before the Storm?

In case you haven’t noticed, Goldbroker.com has been a Liberty Blitzkrieg partner for several months now. If you care about the precious metals market, then you should know about them. Not only do they deal in the metals, but their site provides some excellent commentary on the market. Such as the latest by Dan Popescu titled, The Calm Before the Storm in the Gold Market.

Here are some excerpts:

Again this week the gold price tested the $1,200 level dropping below it on higher US dollar against most fiat currencies. It is assumed that a stronger US dollar against the euro and other fiat currencies is also negative for the price of gold. However gold is not a hedge against the US dollar but rather against all fiat currencies. Even though gold’s price has been falling, in India and China gold premiums have increased signifying a rising demand. We have also seen a substantial increase in silver and gold coin sales in the US. Actually gold coin sales doubled in September compared to August.

With sentiment at historic low as I explained in my previous article Gold Sentiment, $1,200 and more specifically $1,180 is more a correction within a secular bull market than a pause in a larger bear market. With more and more articles coming out with titles like “Gold Dies”, I am more convinced than ever that we are seeing a major bottom being crated. Eastern central banks are still buying massively and Western central banks are holding on to their stock. This doesn’t look to me as a continuation of a downtrend.

On November 30, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote on three areas; whether or not the Swiss National Bank should increase its gold reserves to 20%, that the central bank should stop selling its gold and that all its gold should be held within the country. If by any chance the Swiss people votes in favor I expect major tremors in the gold market. Just the fact that Switzerland will have to buy a large amount of gold to reach the 20% will have a major psychological effect on the gold market not to mention also the snowball effect it will have on other countries. Switzerland is a very small country but with a long history of gold ownership. A vote in favor in the Swiss Gold Initiative referendum would mean that Switzerland would have to buy 1,700 tonnes of gold. This represents 70% of annual world gold production. The Swiss National Bank has 5 years to acquire the 1,700 tons if the initiative passes.

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Consultant the San Francisco Pension Fund Asked Whether it Should invest in Hedge Funds, Runs a Hedge Fund

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 11.40.21 AMMost Liberty Blitzkrieg readers will be familiar with the common fee structure for hedge funds known as “2 and 20.” What this simply refers to is the fact that a manager will take as a fee 2% of the assets under management, as well as 20% of the profits (above a high-water mark). While many people would balk at giving up such a high percent of profits, when the industry first got going several decades ago the managers were so few and the returns so huge, that high net worth individuals were happy to pay up for alpha.

Fast forward several decades, and the hedge fund industry is extremely crowded and competitive. What’s worse, in such a central bank manipulated market, it has become extraordinarily difficult for hedge funds to outperform and generate the desired “alpha.” Nevertheless, people that go into this business generally go into it for one reason. To make a shit-ton of cash.

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