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Archive for April 6th, 2009

Ahem. Bank Loans. Ahem. Squatters.

Just a quick reminder that the Bank of Wells-chovia exposure to bad real estate loans remains massive. Developing angle: Squatters. In California.

You see, if landlords who had BofA or Wells mortgages default, there is the not small matter of the folks living in the space who have been making rent payments. Not easy to just throw them out on the street, especially in places like San Fran with robust tenants-rights laws.

But this issue is but a sub-set of looming legal battles the banks will face on a host of best-practices grounds. Have fun. Keep your loafers and sensible pumps dry as the oozes rises.

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Hoops Econ in Motown

Actual thought being given to the notion that Michigan State playing in the title game is not an economic boon for Dee-troit. The UConn fans, for example, have left town leaving their hotel rooms empty.

Just more proof that calculating this “economic impact” stuff is more complicated than it appears, as we note with regard to both Chapel Hill and Myrtle Beach officials declaring that some visitors to their towns cost more than they bring in. In the case of Chapel Hill, it was public library patrons, in Myrtle’s case it was bikers.

This can only mean one thing — Go Tar Heels!

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Those Troublesome Citizens

Can I sue Charlotte city attorney Mac McCarley for making blood spurt out my nose? What an arrogant man in spite of having so little to be arrogant about.

Thank goodness that Rev. Mike saw the same thing over the weekend in McCarley absurd claims about the “cost” of complying with government records requests. Mike is a decent guy, I am not. If he is hacked off, there is probably very good cause, to wit:

…Mr. Mc Carley makes the same mistake that every government attorney I’ve ever known makes, and that is this—he thinks those folks sitting around the dais in the Government Center Meeting Chamber, i.e., Curt Walton and the Council, are his clients. They are not. You and I are, and when Mr. Mc Carley resists the legitimate and even the illegitimate [sic!] requests of the public to obtain full disclosure of government activities, he fails in his obligation to us as his clients to serve our interests without passion or prejudice.

And I’ll go one further, since I am a complete bastard. If Mac really believes what he is saying, then every time city employees sit down and spend time with developers, bankers, and Chamber folks they are evidently contributing directly to those for-profit and non-profit endeavors. As such those in-kind contributions should be reported on relevant disclosure forms as required by law.

Now why is it I am certain that has not happened?

“Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top,” Edward Abbey observed. Charlotte needs one big-ass skimmer.

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UNCC Football: The Point Whizzes By

hhI found it fascinating that on the same day that UNCC Board of Trustees Chair and long-time QC iron lady Ruth Shaw tried one more time to explain UNCC’s football bid to the Uptown paper by ripping apart a previous editorial on the subject, editorial page editor Taylor Batten was lavishing praise on departing editorial scribe Mary Schulken. These past few years Schulken has proven singularly uneducatable on the topic, repeatedly throwing up a false choice between “academics” and “athletics.”

Shaw labeled this choice “ridiculous” and the numbers back her up. Specifically, as we’ve pointed out for years now, UNCC is at a crossroads with its athletic efforts. It can either hike student fees to pay for Division I basketball in the A10 or hike student fees and pass the hat among alumni to jump start a football program. The football program would then take on the role of primary revenue-producer among UNCC athletics — provided it is run properly with an eye toward revenue-producing “cannon fodder” games, at least at first. Other institutions, notably some of UNCC’s old Sun Belt foes, have certainly made it work.

We tried repeatedly to explain this intra-athletics choice to Schulken via email, but evidently could not pierce the academics vs. athletics dichotomy in her mind. This is when one doubts the efficacy of rational argument.

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