New York's Wealthiest Households Are So, So Rich and So, So White

Image via Wikimedia Commons
740 Park Avenue (shown here under construction in 2008), the home of New York's richest resident, David Koch.
The income gap between New York's wealthiest and poorest citizens took center stage this last election, with now-mayor Bill de Blasio's "tale of two cities" mantra. Now, a newly released report from the City University of New York shows how far apart those two cities really are. The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, part of the CUNY Graduate Center, looked at how income inequality shifted between 1990 and 2010. The short answer: the poor, adjusting for inflation, got poorer and the rich got much, much richer.

"No shit," you respond, justifiably. But even the CUNY researchers were surprised by what they call the "extraordinary, and growing, concentration of wealth" in the hands of a very few. In 1990, the top one percent of New Yorkers had a median income of $452,415. In 2010, their median income was a cushy $716,625. In the same time period, the poorest ten percent of New Yorkers barely saw their incomes rise at all. The wealth concentration in white households also became "the most extreme in the City," they add, with 42 percent of white households earning more than $100,000 a year.

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New York City: The New World Capital Of The Super-Rich

You wouldn't believe this if you read the news the other day that the homeless population in New York City is at its highest rate since the Great Depression. But...

According to London's Daily Mail, New York City has surpassed the British capital as the most appetizing spot for the super-rich (oh, and the fact its Mayor just scored big points on the Forbes Billionaires' List adds to this a bit). The study was done by a property agent known as Agent Frank, which surveyed High New Worth Individuals -- slang for all sorts of bourgeois terms -- and came to the conclusion that the rich are all flocking to New York.

The reasons given by the newspaper are pretty straightforward: London's super-rich are afraid of a mansion tax, the Eurozone is in the shitter, New York is awesome and property prices here a bit cheaper. Tell that last part to those of us who are still dealing with this whole highest-rent-in-the-nation thing.

Welcome to your new home, guys. Get comfy.


Manhattan Millionaires Dupe Government Into Giving Them Nearly $200K in Welfare Benefits


A couple of Manhattan millionaires were arrested this morning on charges that they ripped off the government to the tune of nearly $200,000 over the past six years by pretending to be poor in order to collect welfare benefits.

We're not sure what's more disturbing: the fact that millionaires are allegedly sleazy enough to collect benefits intended for poor people, or that it took six years for authorities to figure it out.

In any event, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office this morning announced the indictment of millionaire couple Salim Bakhsh and his wife, Tirnawati Bakhsh, for bilking welfare money from the government since 2006.

Their scheme wasn't all that elaborate either -- apparently, all you need to do to scam some welfare coin is lie about your income on a form.

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Mike Bloomberg Opened Homeless Shelters on the Upper West Side. Gasp!

Not all Upper West Siders have this attitude. Just most of them.
The U.S. economy is in the shitter, and with that comes high unemployment, which, naturally leads to more homeless people. So in response to the spike in homelessness, Mayor Mike Bloomberg has set up homeless shelters in some of New York City's pricier neighborhoods.

And who lives in New York's pricey neighborhoods? Rich people, that's who -- most of whom don't seem too thrilled with their new neighbors or the mayor's decision to give them glamorous new mailing addresses without neighborhood consent.

Bloomberg -- who by our count currently owns 11 homes -- said in August that, "We have made our shelter system so much better that, unfortunately, when people are in it, or, fortunately, depending on what your objective is, it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before."

In other words, New York City's homeless shelters perhaps are becoming too nice -- so nice that people don't want to leave.

This, apparently, is a problem for the haves in New York's wealthier areas..

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Forbes: Mike Bloomberg Still Has Way More Money Than You Do


Forbes released its 30th annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans yesterday, and there's a 99.9 percent chance that you didn't make the list.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg did, though, finishing 10th on the list with a net worth of about $25 billion.

But Bloomberg isn't the only person in New York with way (way) more money than you -- of the 400 richest people in the country, 120 are from New York state, with 53 hailing from the five boroughs.

And here's an interesting tidbit from this year's list that's certain to cause a little fussiness amongst the "99 percent-ers": The piss-poor economy that has millions of Americans out of work isn't impacting the country's billionaires -- this year's Forbes rankings finds that the average net worth of the billionaires on the list is $4.2 billion, which is up from $3.8 billion last year.

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Islands For Sale! Islands For Sale! Calling All Rich Guys, There Are Islands For Sale!

Categories: Rich People
Coldwell Banker
Jepsen Island in the Long Island Sound is up for sale.
Private planes, helicopters and fancy cars are nice, and all, but nothing quite says "fuck you, I'm rich" like your own private island -- which could be yours...assuming you have several million dollars in your island fund.

Two private islands in the Long Island Sound are up for grabs after the widow of a "party goods magnate" -- who "collects" islands -- has put them up for sale.

Christine Svenningsen bought 10 of the Thimble Islands, off the coast of Branford, Connecticut, for more than $30 million. She has now decided to part with two pieces of her collection.

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With Donations, Cuomo is Like a Mini-Romney

This is the promo video for the Committee to Save New York, the outrageously-named pro-Cuomo PAC that loves Andrew. The Governor urged the creation of the fundraising committee before he stepped into office and the monies gathered have supported the advertising of his first term's achievements thus far. 

Run by three business-y board members - Rob Speyer of Tishman-Speyer, Kathryn S. Wilde of the Partnership for New York City and Steven Spinola of the Real Estate Board of New York - the Committee to Save New York raised over $17 million last year for the head honcho of Albany. Except it didn't come from "ordinary, hard-working New Yorkers."

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Ashton Kutcher's Going To Space. Sadly, He's Not Staying

There's good news and bad news: Fact-phobic Dude, Where's My Car star Ashton Kutcher is heading to space. Unfortunately, he's not staying.

On his blog yesterday, Sir Richard Branson, the chairman of Virgin Group, announced that Kutcher would be the 500th person to get shot into space on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Rocket Plane.

Branson also vows to bring him back safely.

From Branson's blog:

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Ruth Madoff's Back In Town -- Should She Still Be Villainized Because Of Her Dirtbag Husband?

Ruth Madoff: villain or victim?
Are your torches and pitchforks handy?

As you may have heard, Ruth Madoff, the wife Bernie Madoff, one of the most hated men in New York, is back living in the Tri-state area -- and none of her neighbors can muster a kind word about her.

Ruth Madoff has moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, reportedly to be closer to her one remaining son and his children. She moved there in 2011 after living in Boca Raton, Florida, for the past several years.

Bernie Madoff, as you know, ripped off thousands of investors -- to the tune of an estimated $65 billion -- in a Ponzi scheme that's widely regarded as the largest case of financial fraud in U.S. history. He's currently serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in March of 2009 to 11 federal felonies.

His wife, however, hasn't even been charged with a crime -- yet, she gets the Casey Anthony treatment every time she shows her face in public.

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Morgan Stanley's PR Department Suffers Particularly Bad Week -- Compliments Of Hookers And Racism

So, Morgan Stanley really took it on the chin in the PR department this week...

The public relations beat-down is the result of two of the financial giant's employees' suspected involvement in two fairly serious, but unrelated, crimes -- in one case, one of the company's bigwigs pleaded not guilty this morning to charges that he, in a drunken rage, stabbed a Middle Eastern cab driver while screaming "I'm going to kill you, you should go back to your own country.

The company's other public black-eye stems from one of its financial advisers getting placed on leave amidst suspicion that he was involved in a prostitution ring with a Manhattan mother of four.

If it's any consolation, Morgan Stanley's stock prices, as of 1:37 p.m., are up 29 cents.

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