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Scafflaws: Part 1, seven-figure settlements

23 April, 2013 (09:00) | Affordability, Building, Cities, Construction, Development, Law, New York City, Safety, Structures, Supply, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   Lunch atop a skyscraper: workers on the Empire State Building construction (The photo was staged, but it’s still a killer image.)   Though goodness knows I shouldn’t be, I am constantly surprised by the shortsightedness of those who defend anachronistic laws that nevertheless benefit them, and even more surprised by the […]

Neighborly development

22 April, 2013 (15:00) | Boston, Development, Homeownership, Land use, Markets, US News |

By:David A. Smith   Though this Boston Globe (March 24, 2013) story is written to cheer you up with its tales of civility, I am not at all sure that it means what the Globe thinks it means.  The Globe thinks it’s a charming example of communitarianism:   Arthur Johnson (left), Kevin Batt, Barbara Kaplan, […]

The world is the building, the building is the world

19 April, 2013 (09:00) | Apartments, Arcologies, Cities, High-rise, Le Lignon, Rental, Switzerland, Ultimate future city |

By:David A. Smith   If the world keeps urbanizing – as it will – and cities keep going ever more vertical – as they will – then the moment will come when what constitutes the city may be seen as a single building, stretching for miles across the landscape, like Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel […]

Now we find out what’s in it: Part 2, Scapegoats wanted

18 April, 2013 (09:00) | Banks, Cyprus, Democracy, Eurozone, Fraud, Global news, Recapitalization, Speculation |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith   Yesterday’s post on the sudden illumination of the rottenness of Cyprus revealed that not only is the recapitalization already 31% over budget in a week (€23 billion new estimate divided by original €17.5 billion), requiring another €5.5 billion with the EU’s demigods have decided must […]

Now we find out what’s in it: Part 1, Europe’s appendix?

17 April, 2013 (09:26) | Banks, Cyprus, Democracy, Eurozone, Fraud, Global news, Recapitalization, Speculation |

By:David A. Smith   Now that the Eurozone’s leaders have bought a box-o’-problems labeled CYPRUS, what have they bought, what is it worth, and how will the bill be paid?    What’s in Pandora’s Bank?   Nobody knows, and now we begin the process of finding out.   Two weeks ago, the European troika took […]