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April 30, 2011

Condos vs. co-ops: You can buy fashion. Style is something you earn

Nowadays, condo buyers tend to be foreigners, absentee owners, empty nesters and corporate types with an instant-gratification streak who want to put down as little as possible for flashy, turnkey residences that they also can get out of as fast as possible.

Co-op owners tend to be more "vested in New York," as Stribling's Kirk Henckels puts it--more social and financially stable, and more interested in the location and architectural quality (the steak, not the starchitect sizzle) that characterize Manhattan's best buildings, most of which are pre-World War II vintage co-ops around Central Park. Co-op buyers need "a different level of commitment," said John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens.

You can buy fashion. Style is something you earn.

[ Via Condos vs. co-ops: crass warfare.
You can buy fashion. Style is something you earn
Michael Gross ]

April 29, 2011

Cult of rationality

Let me be clear: Trump's little game doesn't reflect American ideology as much as it exposes the flaws within it.

It further exacerbates a corrosive culture on the right that now celebrates the Cult of Idiocy -- from Glenn Beck to Michele Bachmann -- where riling liberals is more valuable than reason and logic, and where intellectualism and even basic learnedness are viewed with suspicion and contempt.

Of Donald, Dunces and Dogma
Published: April 22, 2011
The destructive game Donald Trump is playing, and its welcome on the right, only exposes the flaws in American ideology and further corrodes the Republican brand.

April 28, 2011

F.O.M.C. members traditionally don't discuss their votes

F.O.M.C. members traditionally don't discuss their votes or policy before the meeting. If the presidents got together for dinner the night before, they limited their discussion to Reserve Bank business and gossip. Usually they went their separate ways for dinner. Being the introvert that I am, I frequently had take-out Chinese food in my hotel room.

¶Everyone arrives for the meetings after having done tons of homework. The Reserve Banks have excellent research departments, but they are smaller and less specialized than the board's research staff. The presidents are expected to say something about their regions, as well as the national and international economy. It's a lot like cramming for finals. The board staff's material, mostly contained in the "green book," included all recent data in context, forecasts made under alternative assumptions, and special topics of current interest. It was always comprehensive and outstanding in quality.

-- Bob McTeer, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

April 26, 2011

Bank fraud by mortgage bank

After more than a day of deliberations, a federal jury in Virginia found Lee B. Farkas, the chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, guilty on 14 counts of securities, bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Mr. Farkas faces decades in prison for his role in the $2.9 billion plot that, prosecutors say, was one of the largest and longest bank fraud schemes in American history and that led to the 2009 collapse of Colonial Bank.

Leader of Big Mortgage Lender Guilty of $2.9 Billion Fraud
Published: April 19, 2011
Prosecutors said the defendant, Lee Farkas, led a mortgage scheme of staggering proportions in a case arising from the nation's financial crisis.

April 25, 2011

NYT readers are middle class

The median income of a NY Times subscriber in 2009 was $115k to $119k.

The aspirational positioning of their well educated readers may explain the appeal of newspaper stories about the guilt felt by benevolent yuppies when they have to lay off their nannies and housekeepers during the current financial crisis. Or how about this one, about the middle class keeping energy costs down on your vacation home.

April 24, 2011

Americans do not want to be involved in politics

"Governing isn't, and shouldn't be, about party loyalty. It's about what's best for America."
Isn't this the mantra of Village thinking? Oh politics, when will you ever grow up?

Americans often complain about the operation of their government, but scholars have never developed a complete picture of people's preferred type of government. In this provocative and timely book, Hibbing and Theiss-Morse, employing an original national survey and focus groups, report the governmental procedures Americans desire. Contrary to the prevailing view that people want greater involvement in politics, most citizens do not care about most policies and therefore are content to turn over decision-making authority to someone else. People's wish for the political system is that decision makers be empathetic and, especially, non-self-interested, not that they be responsive and accountable to the people's largely nonexistent policy preferences or, even worse, that the people be obligated to participate directly in decision making.

Stealth democracy: Americans' beliefs about how government should work
John R. Hibbing, Elizabeth Theiss-Morse

[ Via Unf ]

April 23, 2011

Whole Foods Market: leads or follows gentrification

But Christy Pardew, spokeswoman for Whose Foods, Whose Community?, an activist group protesting the forthcoming Whole Foods, says the issue is "keeping multinational chains out." According to Ms. Pardew, the addition of a high-end grocery store to Jamaica Plain will result in higher rents, pushing low-income residents from the neighborhood. "It's a term that real estate agents use," she intoned, "called 'the Whole Foods effect.'"

But real estate agents aren't economists, and Ms. Pardew admitted that there "isn't a lot of academic research" to back up the claim that stores like Whole Foods destroy low-income, ethnic communities. In fact, evidence points in the opposite direction: "To blame gentrification for rising rents is to get things exactly backwards," says Duke University economist Jacob Vigdor. "Companies like Whole Foods are building in places where the clientele is there already. They follow the customer."

When studying gentrification patterns in Boston, Mr. Vigdor investigated claims that elevated rates of neighborhood departure correlated with rising rents. "Actually, I found that in the gentrifying neighborhoods, the turnover rate among long-term residents was actually lower than it was in other parts of the city," because most residents see changes like lower crime rates and the revivification of derelict buildings as positive developments.

"People think that gentrification is causing prices to rise, when it's actually the reverse. In cities that are popular places to live, where demand exceeds supply, and prices go up all over the place--this leads people to seek out neighborhoods that are less expensive," says Mr. Vigdor.

Census data for Jamaica Plain show that Whole Foods is indeed following demographic trends, not simply hoping that if a store is built, the yuppies will come. In the past decade, the Hispanic population in J.P. has declined by 10%, while the African-American community shrunk by almost 15%.

PRIL 16, 2011
A Whole Foods Fight in Boston
Grad students and hipsters protest the organic market, but many Latino residents are happy about the new shopping option and the jobs.

Boston, Mass.

April 22, 2011

Old buildings of NYC

According to the 2008 Census housing survey, 85 percent of New Yorkers live in buildings erected before 1970, compared with 42 percent of Americans generally. More remarkably, 39 percent of New Yorkers live in buildings predating 1930 and 17 percent in buildings predating 1920. Luckily for New Yorkers with a taste for past lives, many of these dwellings function as palimpsests of the city's history.

Message From a Stranger
Published: April 8, 2011
In New York City buildings, many of which were built before 1930, evidence of earlier tenants lurks in unexpected corners.

April 21, 2011

Rent New York properties by night or by week

Web sites like HomeAway.com and VRBO.com (which stands for "vacation rentals by owner") are packed with New York properties renting by the night or the week and available well after the law takes effect.

"It's going to be very interesting because a lot of companies, that's all they do," said Marie-Claire Martineau, an owner of Maison International, a brokerage that focuses on finding short-term rentals for celebrities who are in town to shoot movies.

For property owners, she said, profit is often considerably less if the lease is for a month at a time. "We have people calling us now because they are getting ready to try to rent their apartments for more than 30 days. But the problem is that they are used to charging $250 per night. I say, I can get you $3,500 for the month." (Do the math: $250 per night comes out to $7,750 over 31 days.)

Hey, Short- Timer, Park It Here
Published: April 14, 2011
The short-term rental business may be affected in unforeseen ways by a new state law that will prohibit rentals of less than 30 days in most apartment buildings.

April 20, 2011

Americans like workds; Europeans, symbols

"The use of symbols rather than words, for example, is a cheap if irritating solution to the problem of selling appliances in a linguistically diverse market."


We're No. 1!
But only when it comes to domestic appliances. (Slate)
By Mark Vanhoenacker
Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 8:15 AM ET

April 18, 2011

Javascript Nodes are to LAMP what LAMP was to HTML

I. 1991-1999: The HTML Age.

The HTML Age was about documents, true to Tim Berners-Lee's original vision of a "big, virtual documentation system in the sky." The web was dominated by static, hand-coded files, which web clients crudely formatted (with defaults that offend even the mildest of typographiles). Static documents were served to static clients.

II. 2000-2009: The LAMP Age.

The LAMP Age was about databases. Rather than documents, the dominant web stacks were LAMP or LAMP-like. Whether CGI, PHP, Ruby on Rails, or Django, the dominant pattern was populating an HTML template with database values. Content was dynamic server-side, but still static client-side.

III. 2010-??: The Javascript Age.

The Javascript age is about event streams. Modern web pages are not pages, they are event-driven applications through which information moves. The core content vessel of the web -- the document object model -- still exists, but not as HTML markup. The DOM is an in-memory, efficiently-encoded data structure generated by Javascript.

LAMP architectures are dead because few web applications want to ship full payloads of markup to the client in response to a small event; they want to update just a fragment of the DOM, using Javascript. AJAX achieved this, but when your server-side LAMP templates are 10% HTML and 90% Javascript, it's clear that you're doing it wrong.

April 17, 2011

A study that is statistically significant

"A study that is statistically significant has results that are unlikely
to be the result of random error . . . ." Federal Judicial Center, Refer­
ence Manual on Scientific Evidence 354 (2d ed. 2000). To test for
significance, a researcher develops a "null hypothesis"--e.g., the asser­
tion that there is no relationship between Zicam use and anosmia. See
id., at 122. The researcher then calculates the probability of obtaining
the observed data (or more extreme data) if the null hypothesis is true
(called the p-value). Ibid. Small p-values are evidence that the null
hypothesis is incorrect. See ibid. Finally, the researcher compares the
p-value to a preselected value called the significance level. Id., at 123.
If the p-value is below the preselected value, the difference is deemed
"significant." Id., at 124.


For the reasons just stated, the mere existence of
reports of adverse events--which says nothing in and of
itself about whether the drug is causing the adverse
events--will not satisfy this standard. Something more is
needed, but that something more is not limited to statisti­
cal significance and can come from "the source, content,
and context of the reports," supra, at 15. This contextual
inquiry may reveal in some cases that reasonable inves­
tors would have viewed reports of adverse events as mate­
rial even though the reports did not provide statistically
significant evidence of a causal link.

-- supremecourt.gov/opinions 09-1156

No. 09-1156. Argued January 10, 2011--Decided March 22, 2011

April 16, 2011

Sites we are reading

Time to review the investing blogroll, 2010.

24/7 Wall St.

A Dash of Insight /Jeff Miller

Abnormal Returns
Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letters
Crossing Wall Street
Information Arbitrage
Jeff Saut
Random Roger
Take A Report
The Big Picture

The Kirk Report / Charles E. Kirk / 12 steps to GTD

Trader Mike
Wall Street Window
World Beta

April 15, 2011

The Maestro speaks

Dodd-Frank fails to meet test of our times

- Alan Greenspan

April 14, 2011

Ten most segregated cities by Census 2010

Ten most segregated cities by Census 2010, by Salon with maps.

April 13, 2011

A new breed of self-curating, design-smart amateurs spurred to resourcefulness

As shelter magazines foundered, up came a new breed of self-curating, design-smart amateurs spurred to resourcefulness by the recession and assisted by the Internet in finding materials and furnishings at deep discounts. The result is an outpouring of homegrown inventiveness -- sofas upholstered with burlap coffee sacks, stereo speakers made from Ikea salad bowls, party decorations conscripted as permanent ornamentation.

Every offbeat detail is critiqued and discussed in the comment fields of design Web sites. For the moment, the grass-roots novices have upstaged the experts. The amateurs "aspire to a certain level of interior design, but professional help is beyond their reach," Ms. Lemieux said. "So they go at it their own way. Now they're the authorities."

Ms. Lemieux's amateurs are not trying to imitate the polished work of a master, as, say, the culinary enthusiast Julie Powell did when she faithfully worked her way through the Julia Child oeuvre. On the contrary, the movement -- it's more accurate to call undecorating a movement than a single identifiable style -- takes subversive pleasure in breaking the rules. Harmony and balance are passé. Excess is encouraged. Fabrics are mismatched. Wallpaper spreads over moldings and ceilings.

Anything goes, as evidenced by a Chicago couple who parked an Airstream trailer in their loft. While modernism wagged a disapproving finger at those who dared breach its formal orthogonal lines and rigid color palette, undecorating delights in residential anarchy. "There's no longer any good or bad," said Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, a founder of Apartment Therapy, a home design blog. "That new openness is the story. We're all swirling around together."

Mr. Gillingham-Ryan started his site seven years ago to help galvanize the growing ranks of design-literate amateurs discontented with the role of passive consumer. Its audience has swollen to five million unique visitors a month, an increase of 166 percent in two years.

If Mr. Gillingham-Ryan is the populist hub of the emergent do-it-yourselfers, their aesthetic hero is Todd Selby, a photographer whose three-year-old Web site, the Selby, has become an indie version of Architectural Digest. Organized as a series of visits to the homes of writers, musicians and other creative types, the site shows rooms filled with artful clutter -- taxidermy, thrift shop paintings, exquisitely peeling wallpaper.

The central tenet of the undecorate movement is that personal expression matters more than professional polish. In keeping with that sentiment, the Selby reflects the outlandish, idiosyncratic taste of the residents. "It's still in the underground phase," Mr. Selby said of his sensibility, "but it's starting to break through." Last year Mr. Selby published "The Selby Is in Your Place," a collection of roughly a thousand photographs and sketches from his site.

Design Well Within Reach

Published: April 2, 2011
How might today's anxious economic climate be shaping our interior design? Consider the "undecorate" movement, an amateur style with a populist ethos.

April 12, 2011

Why can't American airports have public transport like this?

Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo-Narita and Shanghai are among other spots in Asia with similar railway links. And this is where it gets depressing. Why can't American airports have public transport like this? Even our most expensive efforts are half-assed by comparison. Compare the best of Asia with, for example, my hometown airport, Boston-Logan. My commute to the airport by public transportation takes almost an hour and requires two changes, including a ride on the Silver Line bus, which, in addition to being at the mercy of automobile traffic, requires, at one point, that the driver step out and manually switch power sources to the bus.

Or how about JFK, where for hundreds of millions of dollars they finally got the AirTrain completed -- an inter-terminal rail loop that can't take you beyond the Queens subway. Heck, it can take 45 minutes, up and down a byzantine array of escalators, elevators and passageways, just to get from one terminal to another, let alone all the way to Manhattan. The distance from Shanghai airport to the city is about 20 miles -- roughly the mileage from JFK to midtown. Shanghai's bullet train covers this distance in seven minutes.

To be fair, not every Asian terminal is so astoundingly convenient. Seoul, Bangkok and Taipei top a list of those without high-speed rail options. Still, they make up for it in ways -- overall convenience, friendliness and efficiency -- that leave virtually any U.S. facility in the dust. (As an added touch, terminals like those in Seoul and Bangkok are stupendous works of architecture.)

I arrived at Taipei's Taoyuan airport the other night without a hotel reservation. The first thing I saw when I cleared immigration was a large information desk staffed by about 10 people in crisp red uniforms. "Do you know if there is a hotel desk," I asked, "where I can find a place to stay?"

April 11, 2011

Buy realized volatility, sell implied volatility ?

Unlike 2008 and 2010 implied volatility the market over estimated implied volatility going into and out of the Japan crisis -- why then should Vix be trading so low now?

Vix parity, volatility arbitrage and Japan

Posted by Izabella Kaminska on Mar 29

April 10, 2011

Regional Rail passengers are a different breed of rider

Frequent rail passenger Douglas Diehl of Drexel Hill said he could envision riding free from Trenton on SEPTA's train and then returning on the cheaper NJ Transit River Line. He said he got conflicting answers from SEPTA representatives Friday about that possibility. And Diehl said rail passengers would not be happy with the proposed gates in Center City stations.

"Regional Rail passengers are a different breed of rider," he said. "And now SEPTA is going to treat them like subway riders and make them go through turnstiles?"

SEPTA's chief of new payment technologies, John McGee, said the Regional Rail changes were not firm.

[ Via Atrios ]

Nurdle of toothpaste

Nurdle is "a small amount of toothpaste akin to what consumers would use brushing their teeth."

WSJ, JULY 29, 2010, 11:07 AM ET
Colgate, GlaxoSmithKline, Set to Battle
Over Toothpaste 'Nurdle'
Time to brush up on your trademark law.

April 9, 2011

QuantNet for Quant Finance

QuantNet is portal from education and recruiting in quant finance.

Example 1: the coming glut of financial engineers:

Financial trading has transformed over the past 30 years. In the early '80s, the people drawn to trading had a passion for markets, but few had the academic pedigree that's a prerequisite today. Many had only a high school education, but the markets were straightforward enough that a basic understanding of option theory and CAPM sufficed. When derivatives markets exploded in size, both in terms of equity trading and footloose liquid capital, complexity increased by an order of magnitude. Traders with a technical background who had been there from the start were able to capture "monopoly profits" since a failure to understand the technical nuances of the business was a barrier to entry for many prospective quants. Academics and engineers were in short supply, and therefore were hot commodities.
Today, however, the situation looks much different. Where advanced training in quantitative finance was once the exception, there is a growing army with advanced credentials. Black-Scholes and Ito's Lemma used to be hallmarks of an expert in quant finance; now they're part of the MBA curriculum and even some undergraduate math programs. Interest rate derivatives and the Gaussian copula for credit and mortgage derivatives were similarly standardized.
[ Via BI/Clusterstock ]

Example 2: Understanding the Difference Between Risk Taking, Risk Management and Risk Control:

Since the full magnitude of the recent financial crisis has become clear, a great deal has been written about how risk management failed us. We hear of purported death knells for quantitative financial modeling, cries of "back-to-basics" and even reports of civil war brewing between the quants and the managers. Commentators highlight spectacular blow-ups and mind-bending tales of management ineffectiveness, outsized hubris and plain ineptitude. And then, of course, there is always the requisite finger pointing towards those institutions that, either through intellectual and strategic prowess or via sheer brazen luck, came out smelling of banknotes and roses. We all love the drama - it's the ultimate in reality TV and in the context of our self-obsessed culture, it really drives home the maxim that truth is stranger than fiction.

Now that the dust has settled, the question remains: was it risk management and quantitative modeling that failed the people, or was it the people who were supposed to be implementing risk management strategies and leveraging quantitative finance that failed the people?

April 8, 2011

Architecture critics detest Trump complex on Riverside South

Xanadu Mall in NJ is almost as bad a a Trump project.

In the New York region, "the only thing comparable would be Trumpville on the West Side Highway. It beats Xanadu in its sheer mass, and its brutal imposition on the eyes of millions of people."


Editor in chief of the Web site The Infrastructurist

I know various people have said the whole Trump complex on Riverside South is worse, and it is pretty bad."


Architecture critic of The New Yorker

Fix Xanadu? The Problem May Be Where to Begin

Published: April 1, 2011
Architectural experts offer thoughts on rescuing a stalled New Jersey Meadowlands mall project that has already soaked up $2 billion.

April 7, 2011

What questions do you typically ask ?

Q. So what questions do you typically ask?

A. One of the questions I always ask them is, why don't you want this job? What are the things that scare you about this job? You learn a lot about a person that way. And if they say, "Well, what scares me about this job is it's too chaotic," they're not going to thrive here. Or if they say to me, "You know, I like to be in charge," then you're thinking, this person's not going to thrive in his group.

You're really looking for that person who understands the mission. Not that they agree with everything that you say, but they understand the mission. I want to hear someone who says: "I can contribute. I want to be part of this team. I feel like I can add some value and these are the reasons why." That's important. You want people who can put in and not take out.

Q. Have you been given feedback about your leadership and management style that led to you to make some adjustments?

A. People want to hear from me. I thought I was being very communicative. But they want more, so I send out updates constantly. They are usually pretty passionate and it's about what's going on in the business.


What's the Mission? Your Troops Want to Hear It From You

Published: March 26, 2011
Doreen Lorenzo, president of Frog Design, uses companywide phone calls, town hall meetings and many one-on-one contacts to communicate the company message.

April 6, 2011

Boeing outsources 787 Dreamliner, thinking

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner goal, it seems, was to convert its storied aircraft factory near Seattle to a mere assembly plant, bolting together modules designed and produced elsewhere as though from kits.

The drawbacks of this approach emerged early. Some of the pieces manufactured by far-flung suppliers didn't fit together. Some subcontractors couldn't meet their output quotas...

Rather than follow its old model of providing parts subcontractors with detailed blueprints created at home, Boeing gave suppliers less detailed specifications and required them to create their own blueprints.

Some then farmed out their engineering to their own subcontractors. At least one major supplier didn't even have an engineering department when it won its contract.

Among the least profitable jobs in aircraft manufacturing, he pointed out, is final assembly -- the job Boeing proposed to retain. But its subcontractors would benefit from free technical assistance from Boeing if they ran into problems, and would hang on to the highly profitable business of producing spare parts over the decades-long life of the aircraft. Their work would be almost risk-free, Hart-Smith observed, because if they ran into really insuperable problems they would simply be bought out by Boeing.

What do you know? In 2009, Boeing spent about $1 billion in cash and credit to take over the underperforming fuselage manufacturing plant of Vought Aircraft Industries, which had contributed to the years of delays.

Among the least profitable jobs in aircraft manufacturing, he pointed out, is final assembly -- the job Boeing proposed to retain. But its subcontractors would benefit from free technical assistance from Boeing if they ran into problems, and would hang on to the highly profitable business of producing spare parts over the decades-long life of the aircraft. Their work would be almost risk-free, Hart-Smith observed, because if they ran into really insuperable problems they would simply be bought out by Boeing.

What do you know? In 2009, Boeing spent about $1 billion in cash and credit to take over the underperforming fuselage manufacturing plant of Vought Aircraft Industries, which had contributed to the years of delays.

"I didn't dream all this up," Hart-Smith, who is retired, told me from his home in his native Australia. "I'd lived it at Douglas Aircraft."

As an engineer at McDonnell-Douglas' Long Beach plant, he said, he saw how extensive outsourcing of the DC-10 airliner allowed the suppliers to make all the profits but impoverished the prime manufacturer.

"I warned Boeing not to make the same mistake. Everybody there seemed to get the message, except top management."

2001 paper by Boeing technical fellow LJ Hart-Smith.

Felix Reuters

Michael Hiltzik has a fantastic column on Boeing's outsourcing disasters in the LA Times.

April 5, 2011

Covered Bonds and Qualifying Mortgages

Covered bonds are pools of debt obligations that have been assembled by banks and sold to investors who receive the income generated by the assets. The bank that issues the bonds, meanwhile, retains the credit risk. If losses arise, the bank that issued the covered bonds must offset the loss with its own capital. That could push troubled banks closer to the edge.

If an asset in the pool defaults, a separate entity would be required to remove the assets from the bank's control. The assets would then be out of reach of the F.D.I.C. should the bank fail and the agency step in as receiver. The investors who bought the covered bonds would have first call on the assets, ahead of the F.D.I.C.

This structure would wind up bestowing a new form of government backing to the major banks issuing the bonds, raising the potential for losses at the F.D.I.C. insurance fund, which protects savers' deposits.

Equally troubling, the covered bond structure favored by the banks would let the pools invest in risky assets such as home equity lines of credit. These loans have been among the worst-performing assets out there. Covered bonds issued overseas, by contrast, typically consist solely of high-quality loans.

"The industry is trying to do an end run around the F.D.I.C.," said Christopher Whalen, publisher of the Institutional Risk Analyst. "This proposal is about restarting the Wall Street assembly line for selling toxic waste to investors."

Business Day
Note to Banks: It's Not 2006 Anymore

Published: March 26, 2011
Attempts in Washington to return to the good old days for banks don't look so good for taxpayers.

April 4, 2011

Fate of people born in Taro

"People say that those who live in Taro will encounter a tsunami twice in their lives," Ms. Araya said. "That's the fate of people born in Taro."

Perhaps because it was their fate, because they were used to rising from tsunamis every few generations, some of those walking on the sea wall were already thinking about the future.

Ryuju Yamamoto, 66, peered down, trying to spot his house below, but was more interested in talking about the woman he was wooing. A tatami-mat maker, he pointed below to a spot where he had found his dresser and tatami mat, as well as a doll he had received as a wedding gift three decades ago. His father had forced him into an arranged marriage, he said, that lasted 40 days.

"I learned that she already had this," he said, pointing to his thumb, signifying a boyfriend. "And she refused to break it off."


In Japan, Seawall Offered a False Sense of Security

Published: March 31, 2011
A Japanese town's faith in a seawall and its ability to save residents from any tsunami was so unshakable, that some rushed toward it after the earthquake struck.

April 2, 2011

Nabewise beautiful

The Meat Packing District, SoHo, NoLiTa, and East Village are beautiful, according to NabeWise; see also NYC and SoHo pages.

Move on downtown.

April 1, 2011

Middle class begins at $68k

A single worker with two young children needs an annual income of $57,756, or just over $27 an hour, to attain economic stability, and a family with two working parents and two young children needs to earn $67,920 a year, or about $16 an hour per worker.

-- a study by a women's advocacy group that looked at what a somewhat secure middle-class lifestyle costs.

Economic Crisis, The Audit -- April 1, 2011 02:16 PM
A Times Snapshot of the Gilded Age Economy

The very rich do very well while the rest of the country suffers
By Ryan Chittum