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Bynocerus's Achievements

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  1. Honestly, Windsurfer, that is the most flattering shot of the QC skyline I have ever seen. Very impressive.
  2. I haven't been to Charlotte in about a year, so seeing The Park unfinished and whatever hotel it is that is in never-ending construction mode is kind of jarring. And, as for the tower, maybe no flames, but black would look slick as hell; I'd love it and I'm not a NASCAR fan. Well, unless you count pulling for Jeff Gordon or the Busch guy to beat DE Jr (ducks and runs for cover). Edit: Wow I'm bad at this for some reason lately.
  3. What the hell are you talking about? Atlanta is one of the handful of truly international cities in these United States. Sure, it may be a shipping/communications hub, as opposed to a financial center (something Charlotte is clearly not), but it is most certainly an international city. Charlotte will not become "world class" until it manages to at least: 1) Diversify its local economy beyond banking. And no, incredibly fragmented and/or nearly bankrupt industries such as OEM and commodities don't count. Energy beyond DUK is out given the fragmentation of utilities and the lack of natural commodity resources in the area, Technology and Healthcare are a tall order due to RTP/the Triangle, and communications and transportation are out simply because of ATL's lead/geographic location. However, attracting large multinational consumer staple/consumer discretionary is still a viable strategy. As well as; 2) Realize that banks are not the end-all be-all. Yay, BofA and Wachovia are in Charlotte. SoEffingWhat. There are hardly any hedge funds, no noteworthy mutual funds (Columbia runs Small Cap 2 out of BoA1), and no private equity or IB activity beyond former local executives. And, although I've poo-pooed the idea before, WB is now vulnerable enough due to its market cap vis-a-vis the devastating incompetence of its executives that it could well be bought by a smaller rival for much less than the value of its assets. Beyond these, building light rail as quickly as possible, encouraging density by not approving building any-damn-where there's a place to build, creating street-level retail (I know, all of these are covered in other topics, so we're on the same page there), etc. The Lord Mayor is correct: there's more pedestrian/consumer/business activity around the Gherkin at 3PM on a Saturday than there is on S Tryon at 8:30 on Monday morning. Charlotte can get there, but not without a different vision that its current leadership possesses /Native North Carolinian //Moving back to the state in the next twelve months ///Albeit probably to Raleigh
  4. Damn librul media: it's all their fault folks such as Kentard went out and did things that would cost you your job as assistant controller for the local hospital, to say nothing of how CEOs of the world's largest financial institutions SHOULDN'T behave. I bet it's dang ole CNN's fault capitalist economies have dang ole business cycles too. I know a little* bit about economics, so let me weigh in real quick. 1. We are in a recession. NBER won't declare it as such until well after the fact, the reason being that we have to actually be out of the recession before they can assign dates and assess severity. Make no mistake about it though: we've had two quarters of declining growth (meeting the generally accepted definition), and if the government hadn't screwed with the CPI to disguise those annoying phenomenon such as $5 milk, $3.50 gas and the fact that you can't buy a decent home in East LA making $100,000 a year (still), we most certainly would have had negative GDP last quarter (and the gov's been doing it since JFK, so I'm not assigning any specific blame. Shockingly, all politicians do it. /sarcasm off). 2. More germane to the topic, this project is not going to be initiated under any circumstances in the foreseeable future for one simple reason: All these developers understand NPV, and you don't need a Harvard MBA to tell you that a project's NPV goes negative very quickly when you have to fork over a crap-ton of cash just to get a commercial lender to play the game with you, assuming that lender can actually lend you a couple bil. Donald Trump ain't got half a billion dollars to plunk down, and even if he did, it wouldn't be worth him to tie up that much money on a project. On the flip side, if Mr. Trump doesn't plunk down hundreds of millions of dollars, no one's going to finance the project because: 1) banks are scared crapless right now; 2) quite frankly, no one has that kind of money to lend at the moment, and; 3) with inflation pressures mounting and scrutiny as high as ever, do you really want to be the VP who green lights this deal and gives someone five to ten percent of your entire commercial portfolio @ 4%? It's not like ANYONE is willing to swap that in the derivatives market, and if they are, EPIC FAIL may be renamed in their honor. I'd love to see this project done, but I'm not sure why it's gotten so much hype over an ad buy that Mr. Trump probably didn't think twice about as a sunk cost. Perhaps it does get done down the road, but don't be surprised if the grading is just getting started a decade from now. People outside the financial industry, even now, don't seem to realize how much damage has been done, and how precarious many banks financial situation still is. This kind of deal is a death sentence for your career and anyone elses who comes near it if it blows up.
  5. The Forbes article is - pardon the expression - retarded. According to Forbes, higher taxes are as bad as high crime. Huh? I'll take NYC over Jacksonville, FL and its lack of state income tax anyday, thank you very much. And, yes Detroit has a crime problem, but at least the city has character. #1 worst city in America? Hardly. I'd rather live in Detroit than Cincy, St Louis, KC, Cleveland, Columbus, Milwaukee or any other city in the Rust Belt. IMHO, St Louis and Cincy are far and away the left and right armpits of these United States. In terms of crime, though, it is really shocking to see that the Charlotte metro has a higher crime rate than Baltimore. http://www.morganquitno.com/cit06pop.htm#500,000+ I mean, I've never been super-excited about being in certain parts of Charlotte (i.e. wandering off Brookshire near Uptown) late at night, but there are places in B-more that I wouldn't visit in broad daylight. Honestly, as gritty as it is, The Wire sometimes doesn't give the full measure of the penalty associated with getting lost. That said, if Charlotte (metro wise) has a higher crime rate, that's kinda scary. And traffic? I'll take I-85 rush hour over I-95 rush hour any day of the week.
  6. I respectfully disagree, Commoner (and I can't stress the word respectful enough. I'm not an attorney, so I can't speak for the law profession, and I'm most certainly not trying to be disagreeable). When all hell is breaking loose, it is not uncommon for partners/associates/analysts at a MAJOR firm I am intimately familiar with to travel to locales such as London, Paris, Thailand and even Poland. A law firm with an international presence is great news, but it would be nice if the firm were focusing on areas not associated with traditional banking. Again, this is great news, but as I've mentioned before on this thread, Charlotte is and is not a financial center depending on what the definition of is is (sorry, couldn't resist, even though I like President Clinton), and if the firm were involved in defeasement, Hedge Funds, derivatives, PE, etc, that would be much more welcome.
  7. rahulmuk's pic is straight amazing. I'd like to see the Chamber maybe go a little outside its comfort zone and consider that for the photo contest winner. And dbull's is great too. Reminds me A LOT of Philly and the density you see coming up the Interstate. When all those S Tryong projects get finished that will be a hell of a postcard (cropped just a smidge).
  8. Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, the higher Charlotte's national profile the happier I am. What's good for the city is good for North Carolina.
  9. Alright, so it may sound like fudging, but you're all right. Charlotte IS a finance hub while at the same time not. Here's how: We all know Charlotte is home to BofA and Wachovia, as well as BB&T Investments. So, on that count, Charlotte is. However... Columbia and Evergreen funds are still mostly run out of Boston, and with the exception of a few IB shops (Mr. McColl's various and numerous adventures come to mind) and even fewer botique investment management firms, Charlotte doesn't have much in the way of financial services. Take Philly, for one example. Tons of hedge funds, PE, derivatives shops, defeasement outfits, etc. The only hedge funds I'm aware of in NC are in the Triangle, and the one Charlotte did have went bust when one of the Principals got sticky fingers. If and when Charlotte starts to attract multi-billion dollar financial services firms not attached to BAC, BBT, WB or Mr. McColl, then it will become a major financial services player. Until then, it is both literally and figuratively a banking town. Personally, I'm hoping this happens sooner than later, because I'm itching to get back...
  10. Sorry if I wasn't crystal clear in the previous post. Is it a done deal? No. Is it being held up because of land owner's balking/city council issues/local bs/whatever? No. Essentially, Trump is going through the process, but the only factor that can derail the process is whether or not we enter some kind of ugly recession. A subprime meltdown or a derivative nightmare (which, in reality, is the really scary thing that should keep you up at night if you're in the finance industry) is what would make this not happen; not whether or not he can convince some yokel lawyers to move.
  11. First a disclaimer: I am not connected to the inside sources some of you guys have at your disposal/ However, I was having lunch with a Principal from a very prominent IB shop in Charlotte the other day, and he let it slip/didn't really give a flying eff that the Trump project was done, as in, let's start digging the hole when they figure out how deep this subprime *crisis* (not saying it won't be one, only this is just the tip of the iceburg if a crisis develops) runs. Is it Charlotte BJ, or some guy at a local architecture firm? No, but it is certainly someone who would have a reason to know given his relationship with THEE most important person in the history of Charlotte's skyline, if that tells you anything.
  12. Well, as an anecdote: I was talking to my brother in law today about where my wife and I wanted to eventually wind up, and I told him that eventually we'd like to get away from VA back down to Charlotte. His response: Charlotte North or South Carolina? Um, is there a Charlotte, SC??? At any rate, still some work to be done for the Northeasterners on where we are.
  13. I was watching the Panther's game yesterday, and Jim Nance had many favorable things to say about the city. That was the national game (not being in Charlotte any more is tough on game day, because it's all Redskins/Ravens all the time up here), so I assume that lots and lots of people got an eye-full of uptown (Nance even referred to it as Uptown several times). Also when the camera panned North you could really see that South Tryon looks like construction mania; I think Nance's words were a "tremendous expansion of the Uptown area." For my friends from Jersey/Philly/points North who've never been to Charlotte, this was a real surprise. There was a wide cam shot that made Uptown look monstrous, and the general consensus was that Charlotte is a big place period, but for its size, it's ginormous. I know a city's downtown isn't representative of an entire place, but right or wrong, most people judge a city's size and importance by its skyline, and Charlotte has that going in spades. I've mentioned it in another thread from a while back, but if you get out and travel the country much, you realize that there's nowhere else in this country that even comes close in terms of downtown skyline to metro population (excluding NYC, Chicago of course). To reiterate, for folks who've never seen Uptown and yesterday's game was a first for them, Charlotte is now definitely more than some cow-town in the Carolinas.
  14. ESPN is heading to UNC this weekend? It's not "Carolina" anywhere else in the country except within a 50 miles radius of Columbia. Same goes for USC. It's South Carolina, period.
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