Landmark Links January 26th – Selling My Soul

Lead Story…. If you’ve ever wanted to watch your favorite blogger make an ass of himself for a good cause, Super Bowl Sunday is your chance!  First a little backstory:

California became my adopted home about 17 years ago but the first 18 years of my life were spent in Northern New Jersey.  My father is a big sports fan and had access to season tickets to the Giants, Yankees and Devils through his company.  I grew up to be a fan of all of those teams but the Giants were and are my first love when it comes to sports.  Some of my best childhood memories were spent a brisk fall or winter afternoon with my dad in Section 311 of the upper deck on the 35-yard line, breathing in cigar and pipe smoke from the old-timers who sat in front of us (yes, you could actually smoke legally in a stadium back then) and watching our beloved Giants.

As a fan of an NFC East team, one is defined not just by the team that they love but also by those that hate: the Eagles, Redskins and Cowboys.  All three of those rivals were despised but the Eagles held a special distinction for any Giants fan.  The Giants and Eagles have a unique rivalry.  The two franchises’ stadiums are separated by a mere 97 miles of prime New Jersey Turnpike real estate and alliances neatly divide the state of New Jersey.  However, it’s not just the proximity that drives contempt between the two fan bases, the rivalry itself is unique.  The Giants have undoubtedly enjoyed more overall success winning four Super Bowls while the Eagles have yet to win their first.  However, the Eagles have owned the head to head rivalry going 58-41-1 against the Giants since 1970, including 12-4 over the past 8 years (during which time the Giants have added two Super Bowl Championships).  As a result, both fan bases loathe and resent each other as each has what the other one wants – Giants fans want to beat the Eagles head to head and Eagles fans want Super Bowl rings.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that I hate the Philadelphia Eagles. And don’t even get me started about their fans.

Usually, having the Eagles in the Super Bowl would mean that I, like most Giants fans would automatically be pulling for the other team.  However, this years opponent is none other than the dynasty that is the New England Patriots.  I find it impossible to cheer for the Patriots.  They are far and away the most dominant professional sports team of my adult life.  However, they seem to thrive on the organizational ethos of “you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’ and their long string of success has led to some of the most obnoxious band wagon fans on earth.  Their ageless 40-year old star quarterback is playing like a 30-year old and is married to a super model, their coach, Bill Belichick is the most successful – but possibly the sleaziest – of all time and may or may not be a Sith Lord.  Oh, by the way, Belichick was also the Giants defensive coordinator in the 1980s and the heir apparent to Bill Parcells but was somehow passed over in favor of the now disgraced flame-out Ray Handley for the Giants job by then- GM George Young when Parcells left town.  Yes, the Giants have beaten the Patriots in 2 Super Bowls in the past 10-years.  I attended the first with my dad and it was one of the highlights of my adult life, sitting in the end zone above where Eli Manning threw the final touchdown to Plaxico Burress, defeating an undefeated Pats team in the biggest upset this side of Lake Placid.  However, the Giants success against the Patriots doesn’t make the team any more like able or their smug fans any less obnoxious.  It also probably doesn’t help that I went to college in Boston and the vast majority of my friends there are Pats fans (thank God their dynasty started after I graduated).

So, I’m left with a conundrum for this year’s Super Bowl: I can’t root for the Eagles under any circumstances and feel the same about the Patriots.  Needless to say, last Sunday was a dark day from a sports perspective in my house.  This week, I saw something that another Giants fan came up with on Facebook that gave me an idea on how I could make the best of the situation: by auctioning off my fandom for the Super Bowl and donating the results to charity.  Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’d never be caught dead in an Eagles or Patriots jersey or rooting for either team.  However, to my Eagles and Patriots fan friends, this is your chance!  Here’s how it works: I’ve set up a GoFundMe page to run this through.  My goal is to raise $2,000 for HomeAid of Orange County, the local chapter of HomeAid which is a charity run by the Building Industry Association dedicated to ending homelessness.  I serve on the Finance Committee of the local chapter and it’s a cause near to my heart.  When you donate, please add a note saying either Patriots or Eagles.  The competition will end at midnight on Friday, February 2nd.  If $2,000 or greater is raised by that point, whichever team has more money in it’s name will get my fandom for the day and I will cheer for them loudly (since we are talking about Pats and Eagles fans, I will be as loud and obnoxious as possible so that I’m acting the part – that being said, I will not punch a horse if I end up rooting for the Eagles – sorry).  If the Eagles win, I’ll wear a Carson Wentz jersey, if the Pats win, I’ll wear an Gronk or Brady jersey.  I will also take pictures and videos to post here and on my Facebook page so that you can be sure that I’m not just fleecing you for donations and have actually followed through.  You can feel good about donating to a great cause and perhaps just as good by getting a laugh at my expense as a make an ass out of myself for a worthy cause: Selling My Soul For A Good Cause.


Bottom Up: Less educated workers are seeing the largest weekly pay bumps of late.

Roller Coaster: Billionaire Ray Dalio of Brigewater, the world’s largest hedge fund believes that we are late in the economic cycle and sees a market surge in 2018, followed by the potential for a bust after that.

Stimulus: There’s growing cohesion among executives — cutting across industry and even geography — that the tax reform plan is going to deliver massive new investment in the United States, which should, in turn, boost growth and employment.


Study Up: WeWork is turning it’s offices into study halls as the co-working behemoth teams up with online education provider 2U to give online students places to study and collaborate.


All In: Tech titans are getting behind Scott Weiner’s bill to increase home building near transit as NIMBYs dig in against it.

Dry Well: Inventory is now at crisis levels in many of the major housing markets in the US as the affordability crisis continues.  But See: While for-sale inventory is at rock bottom, for-lease inventory is growing in some key markets.  Here are 10 markets that will be flooded with new apartment supply in 2018.


Ultimate Game Changer: How a misfit group of computer geeks and English majors from DE Shaw transformed Wall Street and hatched Amazon.

Oops: How one computer programmer’s decision to remove South Korean exchange data from an algorithm led to a $100 billion dollar hit to cryptocurrency market capsSee Also: More than 10 percent of the $3.7 billion raised in ICOs has been stolen.

Making a Mint: Bitcoin broker Coinbase booked a whopping $1 billion in revenue last year and is telling venture capitalists to get lost.  See Also: Why Bitcoin could split 50 times in 2018 as the forking craze mounts.

Enough, Already: A California judge is about to rule whether a state law passed in 1986 to warn of potential cancer causing chemicals applies to your morning cup of coffee.

Chart of the Day

Today’s Housing Supply Update from The Daily Shot

Turning to the housing market, US existing home sales were a bit disappointing.


The issue, of course, is the supply constraints. Inventories of existing homes available for sale hit the lowest levels in decades.

• Number of homes:


• Months of supply:


Tight supplies continue to drive housing inflation that significantly outpaces wages. Here is an updated comparison.


Mortgage applications for home purchases (as opposed to refinancing) hit the highest level since 2010 (remember the First Time Homebuyer Credit program?).


Of Course He Does: The guy who used to play Barney the Dinosaur now runs a shady tantric sex business.

Hump in the Road: A dozen camels were disqualified from Saudi beauty pageant over botox injections (h/t Steve Sims).  In related news, The Onion filed for bankruptcy this week as the market for satire has dried up due to stories such as this.

No Hope for the Future: Despite YouTube and Amazon’s efforts, record numbers of teens are still eating Tide Pods because Millennials are idiots.

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